Hogan v. Austin

Scott,
How come we never saw the big Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan dream match in WWE circa 2002-2003?  After the success of Rock-Hogan at WM18, it seemed like a natural to run Austin-Hogan at either SummerSlam 2002 or WM19 (instead of Rock-Austin and Hogan-Vince).  I remember reading somewhere that Austin did not want to work with Hogan, but it seems like one of those can’t-miss paydays.  Obviously it would not have been good from a technical standpoint, but it’s one of those that would just be worth it as a spectacle (like Rock-Hogan or HBK-Hogan).  The two biggest stars ever headlining WM19 would have been epic, especially as Austin’s last match.  Was there any official reason this never happened?

Yeah, Austin actually talked about it at one point.  Basically he felt like he would have been second fiddle to Rock in the nWo feud, and they couldn’t work out who was going to do the job.  To this day I’m frankly shocked they got Hogan to do as many jobs in 2002 as they did, and obviously Austin wasn’t high on their protection list at that point given all the jobs they asked him to do.  So from Austin’s perspective it was probably for the best.  But yeah, they would have done MONSTER business.  Actually they probably could have done it at Summerslam 2002. 

Hogan v. Austin

Scott,
How come we never saw the big Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan dream match in WWE circa 2002-2003?  After the success of Rock-Hogan at WM18, it seemed like a natural to run Austin-Hogan at either SummerSlam 2002 or WM19 (instead of Rock-Austin and Hogan-Vince).  I remember reading somewhere that Austin did not want to work with Hogan, but it seems like one of those can’t-miss paydays.  Obviously it would not have been good from a technical standpoint, but it’s one of those that would just be worth it as a spectacle (like Rock-Hogan or HBK-Hogan).  The two biggest stars ever headlining WM19 would have been epic, especially as Austin’s last match.  Was there any official reason this never happened?

Yeah, Austin actually talked about it at one point.  Basically he felt like he would have been second fiddle to Rock in the nWo feud, and they couldn’t work out who was going to do the job.  To this day I’m frankly shocked they got Hogan to do as many jobs in 2002 as they did, and obviously Austin wasn’t high on their protection list at that point given all the jobs they asked him to do.  So from Austin’s perspective it was probably for the best.  But yeah, they would have done MONSTER business.  Actually they probably could have done it at Summerslam 2002. 

Fall Brawl 1996

This is another one that I did a long time ago so the quality again may not be that strong. I apologize in advance.

Fall Brawl 1996
Date: September 15, 1996
Location: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Winston Salem, North Carolina
Attendance: 11,300
Commentators: Dusty Rhodes, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

WOW that’s a long name for a place to hold a show. This show is about two things: War Games and Sting. Six days before this, Sting had been announced as being in Japan for that day so he would NOT be at Nitro. Ok, fine. So later on in the night, Luger went chasing after someone in the NWO and ran into the parking lot where the NWO limo awaited. And out pops Sting. My jaw went through the floor when I saw it as a kid.

It turns out though that it’s a fake Sting and that the real guy really was in Japan. The deal here though is that even though we knew he was in Japan, he looked a lot like the real Sting so the WCW guys believed he had really turned until he told them otherwise. This was stupid from both sides. One: it was established he was in Japan.

If that’s the case, why wouldn’t they believe him? Second, can you blame them for believing it was him at least for awhile? Does NO ONE watch film anymore? So yeah the main event is NWO vs. WCW in War Games and neither team knows who the fourth guy for their team is, which makes things a bit odd but whatever. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is of course about the war between the two organizations. Oh and Giant has joined since the last show. Other than that it’s just about the chaos the NWO has been going off about in the last few months. We see the video from Sting “turning” and Eric FREAKING is great. We also see them destroying a car last night with their bats. Why were they never arrested?

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Chavo Guerrero

Well this is an odd pairing. DDP is a heel still and is feuding with both Guerreros at this point. Chavo is almost brand new here having been in the company like five months and is TINY here. He hit the gym over the years and filled out a lot which is good for him as he looks pretty pathetic here. There are two rings here and they’re in the left one.

Chavo goes off on him early on the floor and whips him with a belt that I have no idea where he got. Apparently Eddie won the Battlebowl ring at Clash of the Champions from DDP so at least they’ve set this match up. This is a real contrast of styles as Chavo is young and fast and DDP is really bad at this point still. He’s pretty much the prime example of a guy that started off as horrible and just clawed his way up to being a quite good wrestler that was popular as well.

He kind of had a gimmick change but it was really more that he turned face and got confidence. He hits a top rope clothesline to really take over as Dusty is having way too much fun here. DDP hooks a nice little rolling move as he’s improving at this point. To be fair though he was horrible before this so an improvement is hard to avoid. He had some flashes of good stuff though and you could see it here.

Not that we’ve been told this or anything as it’s all about the main event here even though we’ve already bought the PPV in theory so it’s not like it needs to be hyped or anything. In a nice move (again) he sets for a belly to back suplex but just spins him over so he lands face first. That was very nice. Chavo makes his comeback with really basic stuff and some jumping stuff but again he’s a relative rookie here so there we are.

He kind of messes up a hurricanrana but it wasn’t terrible I guess. And now we’re in the other ring and Tony actually asks if this could be a count out. That’s….actually an interesting question as they’re in a different ring but they’re still in a ring. The fans are rising up for rollups. That’s a good sign and then they cheer loudly for a Helicopter Bomb by DDP for two. In a creative ending, DDP stomps on Chavo’s foot and gets the Diamond Cutter to a NICE face pop. His turn was coming very soon.

Rating: C+. Nothing too special here but not bad at all. DDP was getting better and better every time he had a big match and this was one of them. He still wasn’t that good, but you could see a lot of promise in him. He had the good music and the kick ass finisher so he was well on his way. Once he turned face though, it was all awesome as his feud with Savage was one of the highlights of WCW. We’ll get to that soon enough.

SPECIAL REPORT

Gene talks about the NWO and what they’ve done. Uh, why are we seeing this now? Why would we need to see this if we’ve bought the show already? Couldn’t there be a match in this time or something? It’s a GREAT video that explains the first few months of the angle perfectly, but why are we watching this now?

Ice Train vs. Scott Norton

This is a submission match. Again I have to ask WHY? Is there anyone that thinks we need to see two matches between these guys? I was a semi-mark for Ice Train though so I’m not completely furious. Teddy Long of all people is managing Ice Train. Has this guy ever not been on a roster somewhere? He’s FAT looking here which is just bizarre considering what he looks like now. Train works on the arm which makes sense at least.

Now he uses…let’s call it a chinlock and be nice. Tony points out that Norton is using the same move that another guy uses for a finisher which might be bad but I’m not sure. They need to pick a freaking body part and STICK WITH IT. Norton has worked the arm, the back and the neck and now the arm again. Teddy comes in and distracts and a full nelson ends Norton. At least it wasn’t that long.

Rating: F+. Seriously, THIS gets 7 minutes of PPV time? Why? Who thought this was a good use of PPV time? Having them do one match at Hog Wild at least made sense, but did we really need to see these two in a gimmick match, especially THIS gimmick? I don’t think so.

Mexican Heavyweight Title: Konnan vs. Juventud Guerrera

Ok a lot to talk about here. For one thing, the Mexican Heavyweight Title is the AAA Americas’ Title, a title that was a midcard title that Konnan was the first to win. He won it then bailed to WCW with it so they just didn’t talk about it any more. He’s also a heel now with the whole street thing going on and has joined the Dungeon of Doom so he has Jimmy Hart with him. As for Juvy, he’s brand new here, having been around about three weeks.

There was also an internet rumor that he was actually Sean Waltman under the mask which is about as bizarre of a story as I’ve ever heard of. He trips over the steps during his intro in a funny thing, so maybe there was a reason for that story after all. Oh yeah we actually have a match to do now. Konnan is now described as a big man. That’s just odd to hear. In a painful looking spot, Konnan picks him up and just drops him over the top to the floor.

Juvy goes to the other ring and hits a QUADRUPLE jump leg lariat to take over. Take that Sabu. This is back when Konnan was motivated and therefore was actually interesting to watch as well as entertaining. The commentary just stops for like 30 seconds. That was strange. I’m watching a WCW show where there is decent wrestling going on.

Never mind on that strange comment. Juvy is flying all over the place here and it’s surprisingly working for me. Tenay calls the rope the top strand. Ok then. They botch the hell out of a moonsault press. I’d put that on Konnan though as it looked fine but Konnan didn’t sell it at all. He hits a great powerbomb to make up for it I guess. There’s a good deal of sloppiness here but for the most part it’s working.

In a STUPID move, Juvy has him set for a top rope rana and instead just backflips off the top. Konnan hits a dropkick immediately as he lands which Juvy freaking deserves. Damn that looked stupid. The masked dude hits a springboard spinwheel kick which is one of my favorite moves. 450 hits for two. A corkscrew splash gets two as for some reason the crowd is dead all of a sudden. Konnan hits what we would call a Musclebuster for two and then a super powerbomb from the top for the pin.

Rating: B-. This gets a much better grade if not for the sloppiness. I thought it worked quite well though for what they were trying to do. This was another example of WCW throwing some people out there and seeing what they could do. On that level I would say it definitely worked. Again though, the constant botches were hurting it. There was some good stuff though so I’d say it was good.

Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho

Yeah this works. Again you can see the solid lower and midcard guys having the best matches and then the main event stuff being pure drama that was epic. With this kind of combination, there was no chance for any other company to touch WCW. The announcers imply that Benoit could be the fourth WCW guy in case Sting has jumped.

Benoit uses the Liontamer (as in the more painful looking one) before Jericho adopted it which is very weird looking. Dusty thinks there could have been 20 men in that limo with Sting, somehow managing to rival the in ring match for entertainment value. It’s so weird seeing a motivated Jericho in WCW. He goes for a springboard move but lands BACK FIRST on the apron on the way down. Freaking OW.

You can see the star in Jericho begging to be let out. Sadly it would never happen in this company. Bobby says you can hear those chops in Vietnam. What’s in that cup he’s drinking? According to Joey Styles it was vodka so there we go. Benoit is a Horseman here so he’s incredibly popular as we’re in Horsemen country, which is always odd to me since they were the top heels in that area for the most time.

This is Jericho’s PPV debut so he’s brand new as well. Let the chopping begin! Heenan is a bit tipsy already I think. The headbutt hits but it’s more like a splash, which works just fine too. That’s a perk of having a move such as that as if it’s botched like that it still looks fine. Apparently he was going 65-70 miles an hour too. I love WCW commentary at times.

And of course we get a line about the Shell Answer Man which Tony of course tries to explain, going from entertaining to ARE YOU KIDDING ME mode in seconds. Jericho goes Canadian as Heenan makes the Shell joke again. Tombstone hits Benoit but the Lionsault doesn’t. Dusty makes the comment that Jericho would be a big star in WCW.

That’s one for two I guess, but he had an eye for talent at least. He also says Benoit is the best pound for pound athlete in WCW but forget the pound for pound aspect. Benoit hits a belly to back off the top to knock Jericho the fuck out for the pin.

Rating: B. This was a very physical match that told a good story: Jericho is the rookie that has nothing at all to lose and Benoit is the hot young guy that is looking to make a statement. These two should have headlined a bunch of PPVs, but alas we got Hogan vs. Savage about a million times instead.

Both of these two wound up main eventing Wrestlemania though so I think they had what it took, despite the old guys saying otherwise. Anyway, this was a very good match, but seriously, did you expect anything else?

Cruiserweight Title: Super Calo vs. Rey Mysterio

Thankfully Tenay is here for this but his mic doesn’t work. That leaves Heenan and Dusty to make their bad jokes about nothing in particular. Calo always looked kind of fat to me for some reason. He’s listed at 200lbs but I have some issue with that. He has a backwards hat on but I think the sunglasses are painted on his mask. So he’s the Blue Meanie? Some idiot chants boring a minute into the match.

Apparently his name comes from a big rap group in Mexico. Ok then. Rey is more or less the king of the hurricanrana so that’s the majority of his offense. He does the 619 but it’s more or less a taunting thing at this point. Calo hits a slingshot powerbomb which is a cool looking move. Calo hits an overhead senton to the floor onto Rey who is down. FREAKING OW! Calo is dominating here which isn’t expected by either myself or Rey.

Someone must have slipped Heenan some coffee as he’s far more coherent all of a sudden. We hear about some Lucha de Apuestas matches which is a new one on me in WCW (meaning I’ve never heard them talked about, not that I don’t know what they are). Rey finally comes back but Calo hits a dropkick to block his springboard something. It’s been probably 90-10 Calo here as he’s dominated.

Rey hits an INSANE rana with like 4 different bounces and springboards in it. This is why Rey used to be my favorite wrestler. Rey gets a springboard sunset flip for two as Bobby keeps trying to talk about the NWO and is actually ignored for the most part. That’s a different one also. Finally Rey hits a double springboard into the West Coast Pop for the pin.

Rating: B-. This was good but it went on WAY too long. This gets three minutes cut out and it’s way better. Calo was never really much of anything, but he’s another example of a guy that got a chance in WCW and since he was brand new to the American audience, he was considered cool because he wasn’t like what was being seen.

That’s the brilliance of Bischoff in the day: throw so much at them so fast they can’t tell if it’s good or bad. The ending was well thought out though so it worked. There’s your difference between Bischoff and Russo.

Tag Titles: Harlem Heat vs. Nasty Boys

Heat have the belts here. So we go from Benoit, Jericho and Mysterio to this. Ok then. We get clubbering as Dusty LOSES it. That was kind of funny. I had to do this match about 5 times in 94 and 95 so I really don’t care that much about it here. Double teaming allows the champions to take over. Knobbs and Stevie run the ropes and it’s painful to see. Knobbs is so out of shape it’s pathetic.

And let’s get a chinlock now because this match is so riveting otherwise. Also throughout the match Sherri and Colonel Parker keep interfering to get on my nerves. I’m just killing time here until we get to the next two matches as they’re the “meat” of the show with War Games and Savage vs. Giant. Why was Savage not thrown into War Games? They didn’t have a fourth guy and you have Randy Savage in a nothing match with the Giant?

Does this make anything resembling sense? Sags hits a piledriver which has Bobby freaking out over them using a move. That wasn’t a piledriver but whatever. Parker trips Sags up to switch momentum again and I just do not care at all. END THE FUCKING MATCH ALREADY!

It’s been ten minutes so far and it’s all brawling and stuff like that with a ton of interfering from the managers. END THIS. Knobbs gets like the 8th hot tag of the match and I’m barely paying attention at this point since the belts aren’t changing hands. FINALLY a cane shot from Booker to Knobbs ends this idiocy. Move on PLEASE.

Rating: F. Oh just no. Who thought that these guys deserved 15 minutes? This was just boring as all hell and NO ONE cared at all. This was terrible and deserves to fail.

Savage guarantees he’ll beat the Giant and then beat Hogan at Halloween Havoc.

Randy Savage vs. The Giant

Savage is wearing a Nitro T-shit. Great way to make your #1 contender look like a jobber. Giant still has the Dungeon of Doom music here. Tony and Bobby are just funny as far as the anti-NWO stuff goes. Savage wisely doesn’t let him get in the ring to start us off. And then he goes to the floor to fight. WHY DOES EVERYONE TRY TO SLAM BIG MEN? It’s A BODY SLAM.

It’s hardly some big epic move that’s going to kill someone or explode their kidneys. It’s a damn body slam. Giant says he’s going to make Savage disappear. Is he a magician all of a sudden? Giant hooks a back breaker hold as all of the fans are looking at something more interesting. Even the announcers point it out. And now it’s a Boston Crab. Yes, a guy the size of the Giant is using Rick Martel’s hold.

Can we just get to War Games now? Savage actually slams him in the only power display I’ve ever seen from him. He hits the elbow and doesn’t cover to allow the storyline to go forward. And here’s Hogan who he chases after. Yep, Hall distracts him and Nash pops him with a chair. Beatdown commences, Nick Patrick sees nothing of course, and Giant gets a simple pin.

Rating: D. This was short and bad. At least it wasn’t that long and now we’re down to War Games so I can’t complain. This somehow was supposed to build up to Halloween Havoc but whatever. At least this wasn’t that long and now I’m repeating myself out of boredom. Considering how awesome the first hour and 45 minutes or so went, the last half hour has been AWFUL.

The cage is lowered. This is always cool.

Flair, Anderson and Luger say their usual stuff. Flair is asked who will be the fourth man but doesn’t say a name. He almost implies there won’t be a fourth. Anderson starts talking a bit, but here’s Sting. He says it wasn’t him and Luger says he looked him right in the eyes and knows it was him. Maybe he should have gotten his eyes checked. Sting says he’ll see Luger in awhile. Other than a promo the next night on Nitro, he wouldn’t speak again until January 98.

Before we get going, here are the rules. It’s 4 on 4 (although we don’t know who the fourth guy is for either team as Sting has apparently been thrown out). They both send in a man in each to begin for five minutes. At four minutes in there’s a coin toss (the heels literally never lost) to determine control.

After the first five minute period ends, the team that won the toss sends in its second man and they have a 2-1 advantage. This lasts two minutes and after that two minutes the losing team sends in its second man making it 2-2. They alternate for two minute periods until all 8 are in and then it’s first submission (no pins) wins.

War Games: Team NWO vs. Team WCW

So far it’s Hogan, Hall and Nash vs. Flair, Anderson and Luger. You know there’s a huge angle coming when Hogan, Hall, Nash and Giant vs. Flair, Anderson, Luger and Sting isn’t the best they can do. That’s a SICK sounding War Games when you think about it, but that’s not the best they can do. Scott Hall is first for the NWO and he has DiBiase with him. Anderson starts for WCW. That promo from Sting was the first time he had been seen in 6 days.

To be fair, maybe he couldn’t get a flight back from Japan. Maybe I should stop thinking about it so much. We keep hearing about how awesome the Horsemen are in this match. Did they ever win one? Hall beats him up to start. Well that went well. Dusty cheering for Anderson is just wrong on so many levels. Nick Patrick is the referee. Bobby freaks out over who the fourth man is for the NWO and how unfair it is for them not to tell WCW who the fourth man is.

Tony: they don’t know our fourth man either. Arn gets the figure four for like 3 seconds which is just odd. The problem is that Arn vs. Hall really isn’t that interesting of a match. The key thing here is that it looks like an awesome structure and it really is. Patrick threatens to end the match right now much to the announcers’ chagrins. We hit two minutes left. The NWO of course wins the coin toss.

There’s the spinebuster on Hall and then a half crab which Hall taps to. It’s Nash in second and after about 9 seconds Arn goes down to a big boot. Nash hits Snake Eyes, and he was the guy that actually gave it that name when he was Vinny Vegas back in the early 90s. Luger jumps the gun and they realize there’s nothing they can do about it so there we are. He’s wearing black boots which is kind of weird looking.

He beats up both Outsiders for awhile and Arn is back up now. There’s a formula to these matches and to be fair it worked so there was no real need to ever change it. Heenan points out that everyone should just come out here now. WCW dominates as we have 15 seconds left.

Hogan is 3rd so it’s the original three vs. Luger and Anderson. Hogan goes off on Arn which is a match that happened a lot on Nitro in 96 actually. The fans want Flair as Anderson is beating Hogan up. That’s a new one. Hogan drops the leg on Anderson and we’re still waiting on Flair. There he is to an ERUPTION. It’s North Carolina. Did you expect anything else?

Flair stays in the empty ring and calls out Hogan. Dusty then cracks me up to the point where I have to stop the video. “One on one, I don’t know if Hogan can beat Flair.” WOW. I don’t think Flair has ever beaten Hogan, but all of a sudden Hogan can’t beat him. That’s just hilarious. We go split screen when for once we actually should. Flair goes low on everyone and WCW is in control again.

“Sting” is the fourth man in the NWO. This became a running joke as there would be like a million fake Stings over the years, ranging from Chris Harris to guys as tall as Nash and somehow the announcers could never tell. There’s another referee in there now too. The fans, having basic intelligence and passable vision, of course get the idea as they chant WE WANT STING.

Another way to tell is that Sting has always had a very unique striking style. Pop in some Sting tapes and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Oh and Tony offers a pearl of wisdom by saying the one man advantage has been the deciding factor. The clock runs out and it’s the real Sting. His pop is better than Flair’s so take that for what it’s worth. He beats the living crap out of the NWO on his own and stares down Luger.

He leaves, asking if that’s good enough. The NWO destroys them afterwards with Sting putting on a Scorpion and Hogan making sure he gets some credit by throwing on a horrible front facelock for the “submission.” In a scary line, Heenan says that hold could make Luger lose the use of his legs, which of course he has in real life. Luger crawls towards the back, screaming for Sting.

And now he gets beaten up even worse. The Horsemen keep fighting but it’s 4-2 at this point so it doesn’t mean much. Savage runs out and he goes straight for Hogan. Hogan runs and here’s the Giant. The beatdown is on and it’s bad for Savage. Here’s Liz to do….something. She tries to cover up Savage and gets painted with the words 4 Life on her ass. I’m sure there’s a joke there.

The fans think he sucks and he wants a mic. He talks about how they said they would be together until death do them part and he says he’ll make that happen then SPITS ON LIZ. WOW. Yeah he’s going to hell. Tony says this is the lowest WCW has ever reached. Oh you don’t want to go there dude.

This company had the Ding Dongs for crying out loud. Giant says he’s the best artist in the world. This needs to end. And now the NWO takes over the announce position in the middle of the announcers bitching about life in general. The show ended over ten minutes after the match ended.

Rating: C+. This match is about getting to the ending. The wrestling itself is just boring as hell though. However, it’s War Games, which makes it awesome by association. The match was of course second to the ending but it worked out fine for what it was. This was about setting up Sting and the biggest angle in company history and it certainly worked in that regard. It built to that point so I can’t complain.

Overall Rating: B. Other than the AWFUL tag title match, there isn’t really anything that bad on here. There are a ton of good and entertaining matches in play here and every one of them worked just fine. Also, other than the Savage match and the submission match, everything here is at least thirteen minutes long.

They let the guys go out there and work and it came off very well. This would become the system used for a LONG time in WCW: awesome midcard, terrible main stuff and while it started out awesome, ultimately it ended WCW for reasons we’ll get to later. Overall though, very good show and well worth checking out. Just fast forward the tag title stuff.

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Monday Nitro – September 9, 1996

Monday Nitro #52
Date: September 9, 1996
Location: Columbus Civic Center, Columbus, Georgia
Attendance: 6,000
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’ve hit a full year worth of shows with this one and it’s the go home show for Fall Brawl. With the Giant having joined the NWO and the group being stronger than ever, it’s time to have another member join tonight to make them ultra strong before Fall Brawl right? Tonight is the beginning of something huge and it’s going to be interesting to see how it goes from a modern perspective. Let’s get to it.

We recap the ending of last week’s show.

Pat Tanaka vs. Super Calo

Tanaka, of Hulk Hogan’s Micro Championship Wrestling fame, comes out to what would become Goldberg’s music. Tanaka is in stereotypical martial arts attire and fires off kicks because he’s Asian and every Asian wrestler has to kick a lot. I didn’t hear a bell but I guess that’s implied. Calo speeds things up to start as we need to give him a reason to be #1 contender to Rey I guess. There’s a big dive to the floor to take Tanaka down.

We cut to the back (that’s becoming really annoying) to see kids in NWO shirts bringing in a bunch of papers that look like newspapers. Tanaka takes Calo down with a powerbomb and in a really weird ending, he puts Calo on the top and tries what looks like a gutwrench superplex but falls backwards so Calo can fall on him and pin him. That was either a botch or really stupid.

Rating: C-. If the idea here was to make us think that Calo was a threat to Rey, they didn’t do a very good job. I mean dude, Pat Tanaka? That would be like bringing in Kid Kash today. You would have to be an idiot to think that would be a good idea. Anyway, this was nothing of note and Calo was forgettable at best.

Rick Steiner says he could have beaten Luger last week but Nick Patrick screwed it up. Gene isn’t sure about that and here’s Luger for a rebuttal. They’re facing each other later tonight. Rick sounds delusional.

Buy the NWO t-shirt!

After months and months of talking, Glacier debuted! But he did it on WCW Pro, which was a show that came on Sunday evenings. Yes, after all those months, this is what we get out of it. Are you freaking kidding me WCW?

Nasty Boys vs. Amazing French Canadians

They’re the Quebecers. Jacques says he’s going to sing and the Nasties jump them. We cut to the crowd with the kids from earlier passing out NWO leaflets and papers. In the brawl that starts the match, Jacques hits Sags with a Canadian flag to give the French dudes the advantage. Larry goes to get the leaflets and throws down the pile of it. The thing says “you haven’t see bad but it’s coming.” Preach it brothers.

Now back to our bad match with old guys in progress. Jacques slams Sags and they try the Cannonball which connects for no cover because they need to try it again. This one hits as well but Knobbs makes the save. Things break down (imagine that in a Nasty Boys match) and Knobbs clocks Oullette in the head with a flag for the pin.

Rating: C-. Not bad here and they beat each other up pretty well although I’d prefer it being with more than flags. The Canadians got annoying quickly and would soon get Colonel Parker as their manager to further their levels of annoying. Nothing too bad but it was only a decent brawl which was mainly due to how short it was.

The Nasty Boys imply they want to join the NWO but say they’re not sure either way. All they care about is being tag team champions.

Scott Norton vs. Craig Pittman

The hits just keep on coming. Pittman takes over to start but his Code Red doesn’t work. Norton drops him down with a single arm DDT and we go to the floor. Pittman goes into the post and the dominance is on. Back in and there’s a Fujiwara Armbar and Pittman slaps the mat but it doesn’t mean anything yet. Teddy Long, Pittman’s manager, isn’t sure what to do but Ice Train comes out to throw in the towel and give Norton the win. They have another match Sunday. This match existed and that’s about all there is to say about it.

Team WCW minus Sting is in the back and Flair wants to know where Sting is. Luger says he’s here but he doesn’t know where. Flair wants Sting here and rants about the NWO a bit as only Flair can do. Mongo and Benoit come up and accuse Sting of betraying the team. Anderson says he has the hospital rooms reserved for the NWO.

We recap DDP vs. the Guerreros which culminates in a match vs. Chavo on Sunday. Not that either of them is wrestling or talking next but WCW just wanted you to know about it.

Joe Gomez vs. Juventud Guerrera

Speedy match to start us off with Gomez being kicked to the floor. Gomez gets on the apron and Juvy tries a rana to bring him back in and it’s botched badly to draw some boos out of the crowd. He aborts a rana off the top and botches a spinning springboard splash for the pin. This was BAD and Juvy is booed out of the building.

Nick Patrick is asked about the Steiners/Luger/Sting last week. He says Luger hit him on purpose which makes no sense but Patrick stands by it. Patrick swears he’s WCW and implies Gene is on the take. Patrick says he can prove his innocence.

We cut to the parking lot and the Outsiders and Hogan are putting fliers on the cars. Giant is there too. DiBiase is talking to someone in the limo and it’s raining.

Lex Luger vs. Rick Steiner

Tony suggest Patrick and Luger are in on something together. Patrick isn’t refereeing here. Larry thinks that Luger can get the belt back from Hogan but Savage can’t. Larry would be correct by that as it would eventually be Luger that ended this current Hogan reign. They shake hands pre match and after a break we’re ready to go. Steiner takes him to the mat with ease and then does it a few more times.

Hour #2 begins. I wonder if any fans ever had a heart attack off the totally random fireworks. Lex grabs a powerslam for two and takes over out of nowhere. They slug it out a bit and Rick snaps off a belly to belly for two. Steiner Line gets two. A double clothesline puts both guys down and there’s another powerslam for no cover this time from Lex. He calls for the Rack but Nick Patrick runs out to get Lex’s attention, saying something is going on out back. Lex runs to help and loses by countout.

Rating: C. The match was just ok with Steiner being a lot more amateur based than usual. The supelxes were always worth seeing but the rest of it was just there to set up the ending. I’m not sure what the point was in having Steiner being all insane earlier in the night and swearing he could beat Luger after the quick ending last week but Rick never was known for being normal.

We cut to the back with DiBiase talking to someone that sounds a lot like Sting and Sting is saying he’s tired of this don’t trust anything stuff. Luger comes out and Sting gets out to beat down Lex in the rain. That voice was really mic’d up too. Even DiBiase gets in some shots. And so it begins.

Eric doesn’t know what to do so we go to a video about the events of last week and Giant turning. This eats up a good while and I’m sure the live crowd loved sitting through all this dead time. This is like 10 minutes of stuff the audience can’t see at all. We go back and see the beatdown AGAIN to fill in some time.

After a break some WCW guys are still in the parking lot looking for cars to go after Sting.

Billy Kidman vs. Rey Mysterio

Non-Title here I think. The announcers are all depressed because of what they saw in the parking lot and the fans are depressed because they just sat through 20 minutes of nothing. The announcers are really getting on my nerves with being all stoic and sounding like someone died or something. Rey is doing his usual fast paced offense but the crowd isn’t all that into it because of waiting around for something to happen for so long.

A rana puts Kidman on the floor but he blocks a springboard dropkick from Rey to put both guys down for a bit. A top rope splash gets two for Kidman. Out of absolutely nowhere, Rey hits a springboard front flip dive to land on Kidman in a seated senton position for the pin. And the announcers sound like they just watched their puppies be put to sleep. Too short to grade but the announcers were REALLY hurting things here.

Faces of Fear vs. Public Enemy

The announcers are still depressing. It’s a brawl to start and after Eric apologizes for ignoring Rey earlier (Kidman can screw off I guess), he completely ignores this match to start it off. We get down to a regular tag match with Barbarian vs. Grunge and the Leprechaun runs around the ring. This is a full grown man (Sgt. Dwayne Bruce) so it’s not as stupid as Hornswoggle right?

Off to Meng vs. Grunge as Heenan points out the issues with the NWO: “if they want you they’ll buy you but if they don’t want you they’ll eliminate you.” And now we get to something I didn’t even think WCW would do: they go to a promo during a match. I don’t mean an inset or something like that. I mean there’s a full promo that we go to instead of watching the match.

Now I know what you’re thinking. The promo is Luger and the Horsemen talking about Sting. “It’s a huge moment so this is trying to come off as real.” I get that. However, there’s a simple way around this: don’t have the match airing at the same time. You control when the matches air so it wouldn’t be hard to cut the match down and have something else afterwards or put the interview after the match. I know it’s a nothing match but things like this annoy me. It’s disrespectful to the wrestlers if nothing else.

Anyway, they’re all distraught and Luger is holding his left arm. Anderson is in shock because Sting was the only constant in WCW over the last ten years. That’s very true actually. At this point they do make things better by going split screen with the match. This isn’t as bad. Luger says he’s WCW and wants to be in WarGames even more now. He knows where Sting is going to be and is going to get him. Flair says the confusion is over and we’re the Horsemen so we’ll be ready at WarGames.

This makes me feel like asking something: why in the world did the Horsemen never just go off on a member of the NWO old school style? They could do it back in the 80s and they had the manpower to do it here. I mean….THEY’RE THE FOUR HORSEMEN. Would anyone have questioned them picking off someone like Buff Bagwell and beating him within an inch of his life? The numbers would have been against them but are you telling me that the Four Horsemen armed with chairs couldn’t pick off some of the NWO B-Team?

This is one of the big reasons why WCW died: because the good guys were treated like idiots. Flair and Arn never joined the NWO and neither did Benoit or Malenko who later comprised the team. Instead we had faces running around like idiots while we waited for Sting to make the save after like a year. After that, no one ever banded together and just mauled some of the NWO. You have the NWO beating someone down when you have a locker room of what, 40 guys (in kayfabe) who are for WCW so why did the locker room never empty and have everyone just lay out Hall and Nash and Hogan?

WCW had so many opportunities to make this takeover storyline interesting but instead we got stuff like Piper coming in to terrorize Hogan and celebrities trying to look like they know what they’re doing and the same old guys beating up the other same old guys while the young guys were stuck in the same places over and over again. I’m getting off track here, but the point is that for some reason, the good guys in WCW were treated like idiots and eventually people got tired of cheering for them and it went downhill from there.

Back in the match now and Meng is beating on Rock in the corner. A piledriver gets two and Meng goes off on Grunge with rights and lefts as the Samoans/Tongans/stereotypical savages dominate. This match has been going on like 6 minutes now which is longer than almost anyone wanted it to go. Now we have something new to talk about other than the match: should it have been the Horsemen the whole time?

Eric talks about how Meng is awesome but gets bored of that so let’s talk about WarGames. Things break down and Grunge is put on a table at ringside and Barbarian dives off the top but misses. Rock moonsaults Meng through another table and Patrick is cool with this. Meng gets up and puts the Death Grip on Grunge just as it’s all thrown out.

Rating: C-. Who would have predicted that I’d say this much during Public Enemy vs. Faces of Fear? This wasn’t a bad brawl and the Barbarian dive through the table was great. These teams wouldn’t mean much as the tag titles would go between the Outsiders and the Steiners for about a year and a half.

Heenan calls Meng Haku during the post match highlight package.

The Dungeon says they created the Giant so they’ll take him out too. Bubba still wants Glacier.

The NWO talks about Hogan being NWO Champion. Oh and if they win the WarGames match they want their own segment and an NWO Tag Tournament. Also the 4 life line is debuted here I believe.

John Tenta vs. Randy Savage

Tenta’s music would become Jericho’s in about two years. Savage hits the ring and is stomped down by Tenta quickly. Eric has to say that Meng works for WCW and not WWF as Haku to avoid legal issues. That’s how messed up things were back then. Savage pops Tenta with a chair and that’s cool too. There’s the elbow and a second one as Teddy Long comes out, saying they’re in the back. Savage runs off to huge booing and is counted out also. Too short to rate but it was in essence a Savage squash.

Out to the parking lot and a limo leaves but a second is still there. They find some yellow paint in it but no people. They spraypaint the limo. I hope that was a rental.

The Horsemen make one final sell of the PPV on the commentary table and they’re fired up.

Overall Rating: D+. Their streak of one good one and one bad one continues. You can see a lot of the standards coming here as we have the focus being off wrestling and trying to make stuff real. However, Sting being redeemed would take almost 15 months and would culminate at Starrcade 97 and the biggest blunder ever. You could notice a lot by the booing for Savage just leaving like that. The fans wanted to see a match, not a guy running off to do something that the fans couldn’t see. It became an issue later, but WCW never looked past that week’s show, and that’s a big part of why they died.

 

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Summer of Punk

I missed out on the Summer of Punk. What’s the best way to catch all the
highlights?
I realize the Money in the Bank PPV is probably a good place to start,
but I’m also interested in seeing how it unfold on RAW, not just random
clips of chair shots weirdly recolored, in music video format (the kind
of recap WWE is known for).
Is there a Best of CM Punk DVD out that covers the general storyline, or
maybe one in the works?

No, but that Dr. Horrible mashup I posted a couple of weeks ago is FANTASTIC.  Especially now that I’ve watched the original show and get how perfectly it matches up to Punk.  The only thing missing is Punk’s sad face at the end of Summerslam when NPH ends with “…feel a thing”.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rz38IwXKG0 A rare second plug from me because it’s so good.  You can also find the Punk-Cena match on Dailymotion and other less reputable places, and it’s also well worth a watch.

Summer of Punk

I missed out on the Summer of Punk. What’s the best way to catch all the
highlights?
I realize the Money in the Bank PPV is probably a good place to start,
but I’m also interested in seeing how it unfold on RAW, not just random
clips of chair shots weirdly recolored, in music video format (the kind
of recap WWE is known for).
Is there a Best of CM Punk DVD out that covers the general storyline, or
maybe one in the works?

No, but that Dr. Horrible mashup I posted a couple of weeks ago is FANTASTIC.  Especially now that I’ve watched the original show and get how perfectly it matches up to Punk.  The only thing missing is Punk’s sad face at the end of Summerslam when NPH ends with “…feel a thing”.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rz38IwXKG0 A rare second plug from me because it’s so good.  You can also find the Punk-Cena match on Dailymotion and other less reputable places, and it’s also well worth a watch.

Summer of Punk

I missed out on the Summer of Punk. What’s the best way to catch all the
highlights?
I realize the Money in the Bank PPV is probably a good place to start,
but I’m also interested in seeing how it unfold on RAW, not just random
clips of chair shots weirdly recolored, in music video format (the kind
of recap WWE is known for).
Is there a Best of CM Punk DVD out that covers the general storyline, or
maybe one in the works?

No, but that Dr. Horrible mashup I posted a couple of weeks ago is FANTASTIC.  Especially now that I’ve watched the original show and get how perfectly it matches up to Punk.  The only thing missing is Punk’s sad face at the end of Summerslam when NPH ends with “…feel a thing”.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rz38IwXKG0 A rare second plug from me because it’s so good.  You can also find the Punk-Cena match on Dailymotion and other less reputable places, and it’s also well worth a watch.

Summer of Punk

I missed out on the Summer of Punk. What’s the best way to catch all the
highlights?
I realize the Money in the Bank PPV is probably a good place to start,
but I’m also interested in seeing how it unfold on RAW, not just random
clips of chair shots weirdly recolored, in music video format (the kind
of recap WWE is known for).
Is there a Best of CM Punk DVD out that covers the general storyline, or
maybe one in the works?

No, but that Dr. Horrible mashup I posted a couple of weeks ago is FANTASTIC.  Especially now that I’ve watched the original show and get how perfectly it matches up to Punk.  The only thing missing is Punk’s sad face at the end of Summerslam when NPH ends with “…feel a thing”.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rz38IwXKG0 A rare second plug from me because it’s so good.  You can also find the Punk-Cena match on Dailymotion and other less reputable places, and it’s also well worth a watch.

Summer of Punk

I missed out on the Summer of Punk. What’s the best way to catch all the
highlights?
I realize the Money in the Bank PPV is probably a good place to start,
but I’m also interested in seeing how it unfold on RAW, not just random
clips of chair shots weirdly recolored, in music video format (the kind
of recap WWE is known for).
Is there a Best of CM Punk DVD out that covers the general storyline, or
maybe one in the works?

No, but that Dr. Horrible mashup I posted a couple of weeks ago is FANTASTIC.  Especially now that I’ve watched the original show and get how perfectly it matches up to Punk.  The only thing missing is Punk’s sad face at the end of Summerslam when NPH ends with “…feel a thing”.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rz38IwXKG0 A rare second plug from me because it’s so good.  You can also find the Punk-Cena match on Dailymotion and other less reputable places, and it’s also well worth a watch.

Summer of Punk

I missed out on the Summer of Punk. What’s the best way to catch all the
highlights?
I realize the Money in the Bank PPV is probably a good place to start,
but I’m also interested in seeing how it unfold on RAW, not just random
clips of chair shots weirdly recolored, in music video format (the kind
of recap WWE is known for).
Is there a Best of CM Punk DVD out that covers the general storyline, or
maybe one in the works?

No, but that Dr. Horrible mashup I posted a couple of weeks ago is FANTASTIC.  Especially now that I’ve watched the original show and get how perfectly it matches up to Punk.  The only thing missing is Punk’s sad face at the end of Summerslam when NPH ends with “…feel a thing”.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rz38IwXKG0 A rare second plug from me because it’s so good.  You can also find the Punk-Cena match on Dailymotion and other less reputable places, and it’s also well worth a watch.

Marion Cobretti Reviews “Ladder Match 2”

The Cobra Kai Review of Ladder Match 2: Crash & Burn Most great films get a sequel. A few years ago, the WWE released what is arguably their greatest DVD release to date; The Ladder Match. From the beginning of the first disc, to the end of the 3rd, the set was packed wall to wall, floor to ceiling with ****+ matches. Going through the entire spectrum with one on one for title, non-title, tag-teams, and TLC. So, it was only a matter of time before we got a sequel. The question is, will this be Aliens, or Alien Resurrection? Intercontinental Title Match – WrestleMania X
Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon
One of the all time classics. I’m not gonna go too in depth with this one, because you’ve all probably read about a thousand reviews, and know the score. To history, it’s a ***** match. But for my money, I can’t go all the way. It’s not one of those things where I’m worn our because of all the crazy things I’ve seen in ladder matches these days, I just don’t think it’s a 5 star match. Their bout at SummerSlam was better, and the ladder match Bret had with Shawn before this one was even better.
Razor grabs the belts at 18:47
****1/2 Smokey Mountain Wrestling – March, 1994
Chris Candido vs Tracy Smothers
The prize here is $2500 in an envelope. Funny thing is, the envelope isn’t very high. Smothers only needs to climb one rung to be able to reach it, and even if he wanted to just jump up he could grab it. So, there isn’t much climbing the ladder drama. I know they like to try and show the roots of the ladder match, and that’s all this is really good for, because it’s not that great.
Smothers snags the money in about 9 minutes
**1/2 US Title Match – nWo Souled Out – January 25th, 1997
Eddie Guerrero vs Syxx
The nWo’s first PPV, Souled Out, was a landmark in wrestling I think. It looked different, sounded different, and just completely gave you a breath of fresh air. This match is an awesome debut for WCW in the ladder match game. Eddie, for my money, was practically always at his peak, and Syxx/123 Kid/X-Pac was at his peak during this time, I believe. Or at least winding down. Regardless, they put on a hell of a match. It wasn’t a spot-fest, as ladder matches would morph into, but just a well done wrestling match that involved a ladder.
Eddie snags the title in 13:48
****1/4 Hardcore Championship – Monday Night Raw, November 30th, 1998
Mankind vs The Big Bossman
This was during Mankind’s rise to the top, as well as one of the WWE’s greatest angles of all time. One of the treats is Shawn Michael’s on commentary, this was during his time as the Commissioner. He’s clearly high as hell, as he stammers over his words, slurs them, and just rambles. This match isn’t landmark, but serves it’s purpose.
Bossman grabs it in about 8 minutes
**3/4 WWE Championship – Monday Night Raw, February 15h, 1999
Mankind vs The Rock
The Rock & Mankind are one of the all time great feuds, their chemistry resulting in back to back incredible matches. They hit every spectrum of the wrestling stipulation, from I Quit, to Last Man Standing, and the seminal classic, the ladder match. A great outing that took place the day after St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, so we’ve got Stone Cold on commentary, with the winner of the match going on to face him at WM 15. Definitely worth the inclusion.
Big Show chokeslams Mankind, allowing The Rock to snag the belt in about 15 minutes
***1/2 Match for Control of the WWE – King of the Ring, June 27th, 1999
Shane & Vince McMahon vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
Ugh. I absolutely do not see the reason to include this match. Yeah, we get it, it’s Stone Cold during the Attitude Era, but it wasn’t all gold, and this goes to show. It’s literally Stone Cold beating the hell out of both of them for about 15-20 minutes, and them squeaking out a victory. Just terrible.
Shane grabs the briefcase at 17:01
** Match for 3 Count’s Gold Record & Recording Contract – New Blood Rising, August 13th, 2000
3 Count vs Jung Dragons
Yeah, you read that match title right. Are you KIDDING me? This is insane. Vince Russo is probably the worst writer of any sort of material of all time. That’s including Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer. Russo truly believed that people would be dying to see if 3 Count would be able to continue to make records? Anyways, Jamie Nobel is known as Noble-San, and get’s the white-guy-from-the-Orient-Express treatment here with the mask. Of course it’s a decent match, but not as great as the one from Starrcade. I think it would have been better had they included Scott Hall v Goldberg for the tazer on a pole match from Starrcade 1999. It’s a decent match, and gives us even more variety.
3 Count snag the contract & the record in 11:32
***1/4 WWE Tag-Team Championship – Monday Night Raw, September 25th, 2000
Edge & Christian vs The Hardy Boyz
This is just a condensed, less exciting version of all their other classics. Plus, you can see that everyone is still beat up from their cage match the night before. However, since this was the first night of Raw on TNN, they had to bring out all the big-guns.
Hardyz snag the belts in about 10 minutes
**3/4 DISC 2 Unification of the Intercontinental & European Titles – Monday Night Raw, July 22nd, 2002
Jeff Hardy vs RVD
RVD always does well in ladder matches, as does Jeff Hardy. They go out there and pretty much just go through the motions, but there’s nothing wrong with that when
the usual motions are still damn good.
RVD grabs the belts in about 13 minutes
***1/2 WWE Tag-Team Titles – Judgment Day, May 18th, 2003
Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri vs Team Angle
It was suppose to Los Guerreros, but Chavo was hurt so we got our friend the Japanese Buzzsaw instead. Honestly, I was expecting a real show stealer with this one, but it just didn’t seem to click as well as one might think. Eddie always seemed to have that luck when it came to tag matches though. At one point Eddie does a hilo while Haas is sandwiched in between a ladder, and man did it seem like a stupid thought, because it’s nothing but Eddie landing on wood/steel, neck first.
Eddie & Tajiri grab the belts in 14:18
***1/4 Intercontinental Title Match – Monday Night Raw, September 29th, 2003
RVD vs Christian
I was starting to think that perhaps the ‘E had used up all their earlier great ladder matches for the first release, then this one came along and proved me very wrong. This match is fantastic, and probably the best singles ladder match that either RVD or Christian have been involved in. These guys go full tilt, and really beat the hell out of each other. We get some great false finishes, high spots, and lots of risk. One hell of a match, really.
RVD grabs the belt in about 17-18 minutes.
****1/2 Undisputed OVW Women’s Champion – OVW, December 23rd, 2006
Katie Lea vs Beth Phoenix
Katie Lea is now known as the TNA Knockout, Winter. This was before she had the powers to turn women into zombie-lesbians who are then given the power to have the angle dropped mid-point and act completely normal. All Russoing aside, I can honestly say that this is the 2nd best women’s match I’ve ever seen [Alunda v Bull from the Raw 15th Ann. DVD set]. I didn’t have all that much faith in this, to be honest. Besides being really hot, I know Beth can wrestle her ass off, but Winter I didn’t have any faith in. Well, to my surprise they go out there and really kick some serious ass. There’s no low points, it never drags, there’s not one botched move, and they work their asses off.
Katie Lea pulls down both belts to become the Undisputed Champion in about 10 minutes
***1/4 Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Wrestlemania 23
Mr. Kennedy vs. CM Punk vs Edge vs Finlay vs Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy vs King Booker vs Randy Orton
Man, remember the days when Finlay had cool music, was a bad-ass, and didn’t play 2nd fiddle to a joke that wasn’t funny to begin with? Besides that, we have ourselves an awesome MiTB here. Highlights include Mr. Kennedy giving Hornswoggle what I can only describe as a Swanton Bomb, but with the person on your shoulders, not on the mat. Either way, it looks like it crushed Swoggle’s ribs. Jeff Hardy making sure that Edge will have to retire soon by diving off a ladder onto Edge’s midsection, sending them both crashing through the ladder that Edge laid prone on. Booker T giving up a win to save his wife, and JBL thinking that was one hell of a stupid thing to do. At the time I didn’t understand why they gave Kennedy the win, and apparently they didn’t either. Still, great match from one of my favorite WM’s.
Kennedy becames the 3rd MiTB winner at 19:10
****1/2 World Tag Team Championship – One Night Stand, June 3rd, 2007
The Hardyz vs The World’s Greatest Tag-Team
Years ago, the Blockbuster near my house had this PPV on sale in their discount bin, I bought it soley for this match. Again, I expected a lot with the WGTT, but they just didn’t deliver to the heights I feel they’re capable of. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great match and all, but with these two, the Hardyz, and some ladders, they should have broke ****, easy.
Hardyz retain the titles at 17:17
***1/2 Intercontinental Title Match – Monday Night Raw, December 10th, 2007
Jeff Hardy vs Carlito
I don’t really see the point of having ladder matches on Raw unless they’re going to go full tilt. Giving a ladder match less than 15 minutes is just doing harm, because you’re taking a lot of time to transport the ladder, set it up, and all the other accoutrements that come with. That time should be used for actual wrestling, if they aren’t allowed to go the full gambit. Plus, Carltio kinda sucks. At least that’s what I think. This is rather forgettable, but if you love Jeff, or Carltio, then go nuts.
Jeff wins in about 10 minutes
*** DISC 3 World Heavyweight Title Match – One Night Stand, June 1st, 2008
Edge vs The Undertaker
2008 was a banner year for Edge & The Undertaker. They started off with a damn near 5 star classic at Wrestlemania 24, then two more matches that almost matched up to WrestleMania at Backlash, and Judgment Day. When One Night Stand came around, the stakes were raised and The Undertaker’s career was put on the line. That’s one stipulation you can bank on, because Ric Flair [twice, even], Kevin Nash, Macho Man, and The Undertaker are all kicking it together at Del Boca Vista. Anyways, after 3 fantastic technical bouts, we got ourselves a TLC with Edge and the Deadman, and once again they didn’t disappoint. They beat the hell out of one another with every chance given, from chairshots to crashing through tables. A fantastic match, and one of the greatest TLC’s. As a follow-up, much to my shock, Undertaker came back 2 months later, as he and Edge gave a Hell in a Cell that was damn near 5 stars.
Edge pulls down the title after sending Undertaker crashing through 3 tables.
****1/2 World Heavyweight Title Match – No Mercy, October 5th, 2008
Chris Jericho vs Shawn Michaels
The reason this match is so damn great is because it went the complete opposite way of most ladder matches. Ever since No Mercy 1999, anytime there was a ladder match people kept trying to one-up the last one. With this one, they built an awesome match along with the ladders, instead of trying to build a match with just the ladders. There were no over-the-top spots or anything, but a lot of innovative uses involving 2 of the best in the world.
Jericho smashes Shawn with the belt to retain in 22:22
****3/4 Money In The Bank – Wrestlemania 25
CM Punk vs. Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane vs. Mark Henry vs. Finlay vs. Christian
From the get go, people get it wrong. In my opinion, this is the greatest Money In The Bank to date. It was non-stop action from beginning to end, and it was packed with a ton of great spots. From Shelton running up 3 ladders, Kofi climbing while Mark held it, to everyone taking their turns leaping from the turnbuckle. A lot of folks really underrated this one, and I think it deserves a second look. It was just all out and aggressive, and a great way to open the show.
Punk wins in 14:24
****1/2 Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Money in the Bank 18th July, 2010
The Miz vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho vs. Evan Bourne vs. Ted DiBiase vs. John Morrison vs. Edge vs. Mark Henry #1 Contenders Match – TLC, December 19th, 2010
John Morrison vs Sheamus
I’m curious to see if John ends up being one of wrestling’s biggest blown opportunities. To date, he’s the only one to get a decent match out of The Miz during his God-awful title run, and is able to kick some serious ass when he gets out there. As I stated in my review of the King of the Ring DVD, Morrison & Sheamus have a ton of chemistry, and this is no exception. It’s the small nuances that really help to piece this match together, from Sheamus egging on Morrison verbally in the beginning, to Morrison giving a Bruce Lee influenced hand gesture to bring it after he slides under a ladder that Sheamus intended to take his head off with. It’s great that these guys were given so much time, and more than delivered. One of my all time favorite ladder matches.
John Morrison snags the contract at 24:25
****3/4 World Heavyweight Championship – Extreme Rules, May 1st, 2011
Christian vs Alberto Del Rio
Edge was forced to retire because of matches just like this, so Christian earned his spot in this match by winning a battle royal. I was ecstatic to see Christian get his chance, because he’s been busting his ass for over 15 years and has done nothing but deliver quality. As for the match, I have no qualms with saying that this is my favorite ladder match of all time. Both guys go to the absolute limit with each other, and beat every ounce of will, drive, and fortitude out of each other. You get everything, one moment you get an awesome segment where Christian & Alberto break out reversal after reversal on each other until one of them is finally bested, then you get a crazy spot like Alberto diving from the top turnbuckle through a ladder. An absolute war, and a fantastic moment with Edge & Christian celebrating with legitimate emotion.
Christian pulls down the title at 21:01
***** Last Words: Well, it isn’t Aliens, but it isn’t Alien Resurrection either. Honestly, I’d put it at the first Alien vs Predator. A damn fine movie that could have easily been better, and although didn’t live up to the original of the series, was still better than some of the other sequels. I really think they should have released more current material than the older stuff, because there just wasn’t much. It might have been a bit redundant to release the ladder matches from the past TLC’s and such, but I’d much prefer to see Jeff Hardy vs CM Punk TLC, JeriShow vs DX TLC, Christian vs Shelton Benjamin ladder match, or Jeff Hardy vs Edge ladder match, which is actually on the Blu-Ray release. Perhaps the next time. For now, we’ve got a pretty solid release, but not exactly able to keep up with the gems that the ‘E has been releasing as of late. It get’s a final score of **** This is Marion Cobretti saying; get’em a body-bag, yeeeah! hahaha!

Marion Cobretti Reviews “Ladder Match 2”

The Cobra Kai Review of Ladder Match 2: Crash & Burn Most great films get a sequel. A few years ago, the WWE released what is arguably their greatest DVD release to date; The Ladder Match. From the beginning of the first disc, to the end of the 3rd, the set was packed wall to wall, floor to ceiling with ****+ matches. Going through the entire spectrum with one on one for title, non-title, tag-teams, and TLC. So, it was only a matter of time before we got a sequel. The question is, will this be Aliens, or Alien Resurrection? Intercontinental Title Match – WrestleMania X
Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon
One of the all time classics. I’m not gonna go too in depth with this one, because you’ve all probably read about a thousand reviews, and know the score. To history, it’s a ***** match. But for my money, I can’t go all the way. It’s not one of those things where I’m worn our because of all the crazy things I’ve seen in ladder matches these days, I just don’t think it’s a 5 star match. Their bout at SummerSlam was better, and the ladder match Bret had with Shawn before this one was even better.
Razor grabs the belts at 18:47
****1/2 Smokey Mountain Wrestling – March, 1994
Chris Candido vs Tracy Smothers
The prize here is $2500 in an envelope. Funny thing is, the envelope isn’t very high. Smothers only needs to climb one rung to be able to reach it, and even if he wanted to just jump up he could grab it. So, there isn’t much climbing the ladder drama. I know they like to try and show the roots of the ladder match, and that’s all this is really good for, because it’s not that great.
Smothers snags the money in about 9 minutes
**1/2 US Title Match – nWo Souled Out – January 25th, 1997
Eddie Guerrero vs Syxx
The nWo’s first PPV, Souled Out, was a landmark in wrestling I think. It looked different, sounded different, and just completely gave you a breath of fresh air. This match is an awesome debut for WCW in the ladder match game. Eddie, for my money, was practically always at his peak, and Syxx/123 Kid/X-Pac was at his peak during this time, I believe. Or at least winding down. Regardless, they put on a hell of a match. It wasn’t a spot-fest, as ladder matches would morph into, but just a well done wrestling match that involved a ladder.
Eddie snags the title in 13:48
****1/4 Hardcore Championship – Monday Night Raw, November 30th, 1998
Mankind vs The Big Bossman
This was during Mankind’s rise to the top, as well as one of the WWE’s greatest angles of all time. One of the treats is Shawn Michael’s on commentary, this was during his time as the Commissioner. He’s clearly high as hell, as he stammers over his words, slurs them, and just rambles. This match isn’t landmark, but serves it’s purpose.
Bossman grabs it in about 8 minutes
**3/4 WWE Championship – Monday Night Raw, February 15h, 1999
Mankind vs The Rock
The Rock & Mankind are one of the all time great feuds, their chemistry resulting in back to back incredible matches. They hit every spectrum of the wrestling stipulation, from I Quit, to Last Man Standing, and the seminal classic, the ladder match. A great outing that took place the day after St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, so we’ve got Stone Cold on commentary, with the winner of the match going on to face him at WM 15. Definitely worth the inclusion.
Big Show chokeslams Mankind, allowing The Rock to snag the belt in about 15 minutes
***1/2 Match for Control of the WWE – King of the Ring, June 27th, 1999
Shane & Vince McMahon vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
Ugh. I absolutely do not see the reason to include this match. Yeah, we get it, it’s Stone Cold during the Attitude Era, but it wasn’t all gold, and this goes to show. It’s literally Stone Cold beating the hell out of both of them for about 15-20 minutes, and them squeaking out a victory. Just terrible.
Shane grabs the briefcase at 17:01
** Match for 3 Count’s Gold Record & Recording Contract – New Blood Rising, August 13th, 2000
3 Count vs Jung Dragons
Yeah, you read that match title right. Are you KIDDING me? This is insane. Vince Russo is probably the worst writer of any sort of material of all time. That’s including Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer. Russo truly believed that people would be dying to see if 3 Count would be able to continue to make records? Anyways, Jamie Nobel is known as Noble-San, and get’s the white-guy-from-the-Orient-Express treatment here with the mask. Of course it’s a decent match, but not as great as the one from Starrcade. I think it would have been better had they included Scott Hall v Goldberg for the tazer on a pole match from Starrcade 1999. It’s a decent match, and gives us even more variety.
3 Count snag the contract & the record in 11:32
***1/4 WWE Tag-Team Championship – Monday Night Raw, September 25th, 2000
Edge & Christian vs The Hardy Boyz
This is just a condensed, less exciting version of all their other classics. Plus, you can see that everyone is still beat up from their cage match the night before. However, since this was the first night of Raw on TNN, they had to bring out all the big-guns.
Hardyz snag the belts in about 10 minutes
**3/4 DISC 2 Unification of the Intercontinental & European Titles – Monday Night Raw, July 22nd, 2002
Jeff Hardy vs RVD
RVD always does well in ladder matches, as does Jeff Hardy. They go out there and pretty much just go through the motions, but there’s nothing wrong with that when
the usual motions are still damn good.
RVD grabs the belts in about 13 minutes
***1/2 WWE Tag-Team Titles – Judgment Day, May 18th, 2003
Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri vs Team Angle
It was suppose to Los Guerreros, but Chavo was hurt so we got our friend the Japanese Buzzsaw instead. Honestly, I was expecting a real show stealer with this one, but it just didn’t seem to click as well as one might think. Eddie always seemed to have that luck when it came to tag matches though. At one point Eddie does a hilo while Haas is sandwiched in between a ladder, and man did it seem like a stupid thought, because it’s nothing but Eddie landing on wood/steel, neck first.
Eddie & Tajiri grab the belts in 14:18
***1/4 Intercontinental Title Match – Monday Night Raw, September 29th, 2003
RVD vs Christian
I was starting to think that perhaps the ‘E had used up all their earlier great ladder matches for the first release, then this one came along and proved me very wrong. This match is fantastic, and probably the best singles ladder match that either RVD or Christian have been involved in. These guys go full tilt, and really beat the hell out of each other. We get some great false finishes, high spots, and lots of risk. One hell of a match, really.
RVD grabs the belt in about 17-18 minutes.
****1/2 Undisputed OVW Women’s Champion – OVW, December 23rd, 2006
Katie Lea vs Beth Phoenix
Katie Lea is now known as the TNA Knockout, Winter. This was before she had the powers to turn women into zombie-lesbians who are then given the power to have the angle dropped mid-point and act completely normal. All Russoing aside, I can honestly say that this is the 2nd best women’s match I’ve ever seen [Alunda v Bull from the Raw 15th Ann. DVD set]. I didn’t have all that much faith in this, to be honest. Besides being really hot, I know Beth can wrestle her ass off, but Winter I didn’t have any faith in. Well, to my surprise they go out there and really kick some serious ass. There’s no low points, it never drags, there’s not one botched move, and they work their asses off.
Katie Lea pulls down both belts to become the Undisputed Champion in about 10 minutes
***1/4 Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Wrestlemania 23
Mr. Kennedy vs. CM Punk vs Edge vs Finlay vs Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy vs King Booker vs Randy Orton
Man, remember the days when Finlay had cool music, was a bad-ass, and didn’t play 2nd fiddle to a joke that wasn’t funny to begin with? Besides that, we have ourselves an awesome MiTB here. Highlights include Mr. Kennedy giving Hornswoggle what I can only describe as a Swanton Bomb, but with the person on your shoulders, not on the mat. Either way, it looks like it crushed Swoggle’s ribs. Jeff Hardy making sure that Edge will have to retire soon by diving off a ladder onto Edge’s midsection, sending them both crashing through the ladder that Edge laid prone on. Booker T giving up a win to save his wife, and JBL thinking that was one hell of a stupid thing to do. At the time I didn’t understand why they gave Kennedy the win, and apparently they didn’t either. Still, great match from one of my favorite WM’s.
Kennedy becames the 3rd MiTB winner at 19:10
****1/2 World Tag Team Championship – One Night Stand, June 3rd, 2007
The Hardyz vs The World’s Greatest Tag-Team
Years ago, the Blockbuster near my house had this PPV on sale in their discount bin, I bought it soley for this match. Again, I expected a lot with the WGTT, but they just didn’t deliver to the heights I feel they’re capable of. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great match and all, but with these two, the Hardyz, and some ladders, they should have broke ****, easy.
Hardyz retain the titles at 17:17
***1/2 Intercontinental Title Match – Monday Night Raw, December 10th, 2007
Jeff Hardy vs Carlito
I don’t really see the point of having ladder matches on Raw unless they’re going to go full tilt. Giving a ladder match less than 15 minutes is just doing harm, because you’re taking a lot of time to transport the ladder, set it up, and all the other accoutrements that come with. That time should be used for actual wrestling, if they aren’t allowed to go the full gambit. Plus, Carltio kinda sucks. At least that’s what I think. This is rather forgettable, but if you love Jeff, or Carltio, then go nuts.
Jeff wins in about 10 minutes
*** DISC 3 World Heavyweight Title Match – One Night Stand, June 1st, 2008
Edge vs The Undertaker
2008 was a banner year for Edge & The Undertaker. They started off with a damn near 5 star classic at Wrestlemania 24, then two more matches that almost matched up to WrestleMania at Backlash, and Judgment Day. When One Night Stand came around, the stakes were raised and The Undertaker’s career was put on the line. That’s one stipulation you can bank on, because Ric Flair [twice, even], Kevin Nash, Macho Man, and The Undertaker are all kicking it together at Del Boca Vista. Anyways, after 3 fantastic technical bouts, we got ourselves a TLC with Edge and the Deadman, and once again they didn’t disappoint. They beat the hell out of one another with every chance given, from chairshots to crashing through tables. A fantastic match, and one of the greatest TLC’s. As a follow-up, much to my shock, Undertaker came back 2 months later, as he and Edge gave a Hell in a Cell that was damn near 5 stars.
Edge pulls down the title after sending Undertaker crashing through 3 tables.
****1/2 World Heavyweight Title Match – No Mercy, October 5th, 2008
Chris Jericho vs Shawn Michaels
The reason this match is so damn great is because it went the complete opposite way of most ladder matches. Ever since No Mercy 1999, anytime there was a ladder match people kept trying to one-up the last one. With this one, they built an awesome match along with the ladders, instead of trying to build a match with just the ladders. There were no over-the-top spots or anything, but a lot of innovative uses involving 2 of the best in the world.
Jericho smashes Shawn with the belt to retain in 22:22
****3/4 Money In The Bank – Wrestlemania 25
CM Punk vs. Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane vs. Mark Henry vs. Finlay vs. Christian
From the get go, people get it wrong. In my opinion, this is the greatest Money In The Bank to date. It was non-stop action from beginning to end, and it was packed with a ton of great spots. From Shelton running up 3 ladders, Kofi climbing while Mark held it, to everyone taking their turns leaping from the turnbuckle. A lot of folks really underrated this one, and I think it deserves a second look. It was just all out and aggressive, and a great way to open the show.
Punk wins in 14:24
****1/2 Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Money in the Bank 18th July, 2010
The Miz vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho vs. Evan Bourne vs. Ted DiBiase vs. John Morrison vs. Edge vs. Mark Henry #1 Contenders Match – TLC, December 19th, 2010
John Morrison vs Sheamus
I’m curious to see if John ends up being one of wrestling’s biggest blown opportunities. To date, he’s the only one to get a decent match out of The Miz during his God-awful title run, and is able to kick some serious ass when he gets out there. As I stated in my review of the King of the Ring DVD, Morrison & Sheamus have a ton of chemistry, and this is no exception. It’s the small nuances that really help to piece this match together, from Sheamus egging on Morrison verbally in the beginning, to Morrison giving a Bruce Lee influenced hand gesture to bring it after he slides under a ladder that Sheamus intended to take his head off with. It’s great that these guys were given so much time, and more than delivered. One of my all time favorite ladder matches.
John Morrison snags the contract at 24:25
****3/4 World Heavyweight Championship – Extreme Rules, May 1st, 2011
Christian vs Alberto Del Rio
Edge was forced to retire because of matches just like this, so Christian earned his spot in this match by winning a battle royal. I was ecstatic to see Christian get his chance, because he’s been busting his ass for over 15 years and has done nothing but deliver quality. As for the match, I have no qualms with saying that this is my favorite ladder match of all time. Both guys go to the absolute limit with each other, and beat every ounce of will, drive, and fortitude out of each other. You get everything, one moment you get an awesome segment where Christian & Alberto break out reversal after reversal on each other until one of them is finally bested, then you get a crazy spot like Alberto diving from the top turnbuckle through a ladder. An absolute war, and a fantastic moment with Edge & Christian celebrating with legitimate emotion.
Christian pulls down the title at 21:01
***** Last Words: Well, it isn’t Aliens, but it isn’t Alien Resurrection either. Honestly, I’d put it at the first Alien vs Predator. A damn fine movie that could have easily been better, and although didn’t live up to the original of the series, was still better than some of the other sequels. I really think they should have released more current material than the older stuff, because there just wasn’t much. It might have been a bit redundant to release the ladder matches from the past TLC’s and such, but I’d much prefer to see Jeff Hardy vs CM Punk TLC, JeriShow vs DX TLC, Christian vs Shelton Benjamin ladder match, or Jeff Hardy vs Edge ladder match, which is actually on the Blu-Ray release. Perhaps the next time. For now, we’ve got a pretty solid release, but not exactly able to keep up with the gems that the ‘E has been releasing as of late. It get’s a final score of **** This is Marion Cobretti saying; get’em a body-bag, yeeeah! hahaha!

Marion Cobretti Reviews “Ladder Match 2”

The Cobra Kai Review of Ladder Match 2: Crash & Burn Most great films get a sequel. A few years ago, the WWE released what is arguably their greatest DVD release to date; The Ladder Match. From the beginning of the first disc, to the end of the 3rd, the set was packed wall to wall, floor to ceiling with ****+ matches. Going through the entire spectrum with one on one for title, non-title, tag-teams, and TLC. So, it was only a matter of time before we got a sequel. The question is, will this be Aliens, or Alien Resurrection? Intercontinental Title Match – WrestleMania X
Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon
One of the all time classics. I’m not gonna go too in depth with this one, because you’ve all probably read about a thousand reviews, and know the score. To history, it’s a ***** match. But for my money, I can’t go all the way. It’s not one of those things where I’m worn our because of all the crazy things I’ve seen in ladder matches these days, I just don’t think it’s a 5 star match. Their bout at SummerSlam was better, and the ladder match Bret had with Shawn before this one was even better.
Razor grabs the belts at 18:47
****1/2 Smokey Mountain Wrestling – March, 1994
Chris Candido vs Tracy Smothers
The prize here is $2500 in an envelope. Funny thing is, the envelope isn’t very high. Smothers only needs to climb one rung to be able to reach it, and even if he wanted to just jump up he could grab it. So, there isn’t much climbing the ladder drama. I know they like to try and show the roots of the ladder match, and that’s all this is really good for, because it’s not that great.
Smothers snags the money in about 9 minutes
**1/2 US Title Match – nWo Souled Out – January 25th, 1997
Eddie Guerrero vs Syxx
The nWo’s first PPV, Souled Out, was a landmark in wrestling I think. It looked different, sounded different, and just completely gave you a breath of fresh air. This match is an awesome debut for WCW in the ladder match game. Eddie, for my money, was practically always at his peak, and Syxx/123 Kid/X-Pac was at his peak during this time, I believe. Or at least winding down. Regardless, they put on a hell of a match. It wasn’t a spot-fest, as ladder matches would morph into, but just a well done wrestling match that involved a ladder.
Eddie snags the title in 13:48
****1/4 Hardcore Championship – Monday Night Raw, November 30th, 1998
Mankind vs The Big Bossman
This was during Mankind’s rise to the top, as well as one of the WWE’s greatest angles of all time. One of the treats is Shawn Michael’s on commentary, this was during his time as the Commissioner. He’s clearly high as hell, as he stammers over his words, slurs them, and just rambles. This match isn’t landmark, but serves it’s purpose.
Bossman grabs it in about 8 minutes
**3/4 WWE Championship – Monday Night Raw, February 15h, 1999
Mankind vs The Rock
The Rock & Mankind are one of the all time great feuds, their chemistry resulting in back to back incredible matches. They hit every spectrum of the wrestling stipulation, from I Quit, to Last Man Standing, and the seminal classic, the ladder match. A great outing that took place the day after St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, so we’ve got Stone Cold on commentary, with the winner of the match going on to face him at WM 15. Definitely worth the inclusion.
Big Show chokeslams Mankind, allowing The Rock to snag the belt in about 15 minutes
***1/2 Match for Control of the WWE – King of the Ring, June 27th, 1999
Shane & Vince McMahon vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
Ugh. I absolutely do not see the reason to include this match. Yeah, we get it, it’s Stone Cold during the Attitude Era, but it wasn’t all gold, and this goes to show. It’s literally Stone Cold beating the hell out of both of them for about 15-20 minutes, and them squeaking out a victory. Just terrible.
Shane grabs the briefcase at 17:01
** Match for 3 Count’s Gold Record & Recording Contract – New Blood Rising, August 13th, 2000
3 Count vs Jung Dragons
Yeah, you read that match title right. Are you KIDDING me? This is insane. Vince Russo is probably the worst writer of any sort of material of all time. That’s including Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer. Russo truly believed that people would be dying to see if 3 Count would be able to continue to make records? Anyways, Jamie Nobel is known as Noble-San, and get’s the white-guy-from-the-Orient-Express treatment here with the mask. Of course it’s a decent match, but not as great as the one from Starrcade. I think it would have been better had they included Scott Hall v Goldberg for the tazer on a pole match from Starrcade 1999. It’s a decent match, and gives us even more variety.
3 Count snag the contract & the record in 11:32
***1/4 WWE Tag-Team Championship – Monday Night Raw, September 25th, 2000
Edge & Christian vs The Hardy Boyz
This is just a condensed, less exciting version of all their other classics. Plus, you can see that everyone is still beat up from their cage match the night before. However, since this was the first night of Raw on TNN, they had to bring out all the big-guns.
Hardyz snag the belts in about 10 minutes
**3/4 DISC 2 Unification of the Intercontinental & European Titles – Monday Night Raw, July 22nd, 2002
Jeff Hardy vs RVD
RVD always does well in ladder matches, as does Jeff Hardy. They go out there and pretty much just go through the motions, but there’s nothing wrong with that when
the usual motions are still damn good.
RVD grabs the belts in about 13 minutes
***1/2 WWE Tag-Team Titles – Judgment Day, May 18th, 2003
Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri vs Team Angle
It was suppose to Los Guerreros, but Chavo was hurt so we got our friend the Japanese Buzzsaw instead. Honestly, I was expecting a real show stealer with this one, but it just didn’t seem to click as well as one might think. Eddie always seemed to have that luck when it came to tag matches though. At one point Eddie does a hilo while Haas is sandwiched in between a ladder, and man did it seem like a stupid thought, because it’s nothing but Eddie landing on wood/steel, neck first.
Eddie & Tajiri grab the belts in 14:18
***1/4 Intercontinental Title Match – Monday Night Raw, September 29th, 2003
RVD vs Christian
I was starting to think that perhaps the ‘E had used up all their earlier great ladder matches for the first release, then this one came along and proved me very wrong. This match is fantastic, and probably the best singles ladder match that either RVD or Christian have been involved in. These guys go full tilt, and really beat the hell out of each other. We get some great false finishes, high spots, and lots of risk. One hell of a match, really.
RVD grabs the belt in about 17-18 minutes.
****1/2 Undisputed OVW Women’s Champion – OVW, December 23rd, 2006
Katie Lea vs Beth Phoenix
Katie Lea is now known as the TNA Knockout, Winter. This was before she had the powers to turn women into zombie-lesbians who are then given the power to have the angle dropped mid-point and act completely normal. All Russoing aside, I can honestly say that this is the 2nd best women’s match I’ve ever seen [Alunda v Bull from the Raw 15th Ann. DVD set]. I didn’t have all that much faith in this, to be honest. Besides being really hot, I know Beth can wrestle her ass off, but Winter I didn’t have any faith in. Well, to my surprise they go out there and really kick some serious ass. There’s no low points, it never drags, there’s not one botched move, and they work their asses off.
Katie Lea pulls down both belts to become the Undisputed Champion in about 10 minutes
***1/4 Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Wrestlemania 23
Mr. Kennedy vs. CM Punk vs Edge vs Finlay vs Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy vs King Booker vs Randy Orton
Man, remember the days when Finlay had cool music, was a bad-ass, and didn’t play 2nd fiddle to a joke that wasn’t funny to begin with? Besides that, we have ourselves an awesome MiTB here. Highlights include Mr. Kennedy giving Hornswoggle what I can only describe as a Swanton Bomb, but with the person on your shoulders, not on the mat. Either way, it looks like it crushed Swoggle’s ribs. Jeff Hardy making sure that Edge will have to retire soon by diving off a ladder onto Edge’s midsection, sending them both crashing through the ladder that Edge laid prone on. Booker T giving up a win to save his wife, and JBL thinking that was one hell of a stupid thing to do. At the time I didn’t understand why they gave Kennedy the win, and apparently they didn’t either. Still, great match from one of my favorite WM’s.
Kennedy becames the 3rd MiTB winner at 19:10
****1/2 World Tag Team Championship – One Night Stand, June 3rd, 2007
The Hardyz vs The World’s Greatest Tag-Team
Years ago, the Blockbuster near my house had this PPV on sale in their discount bin, I bought it soley for this match. Again, I expected a lot with the WGTT, but they just didn’t deliver to the heights I feel they’re capable of. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great match and all, but with these two, the Hardyz, and some ladders, they should have broke ****, easy.
Hardyz retain the titles at 17:17
***1/2 Intercontinental Title Match – Monday Night Raw, December 10th, 2007
Jeff Hardy vs Carlito
I don’t really see the point of having ladder matches on Raw unless they’re going to go full tilt. Giving a ladder match less than 15 minutes is just doing harm, because you’re taking a lot of time to transport the ladder, set it up, and all the other accoutrements that come with. That time should be used for actual wrestling, if they aren’t allowed to go the full gambit. Plus, Carltio kinda sucks. At least that’s what I think. This is rather forgettable, but if you love Jeff, or Carltio, then go nuts.
Jeff wins in about 10 minutes
*** DISC 3 World Heavyweight Title Match – One Night Stand, June 1st, 2008
Edge vs The Undertaker
2008 was a banner year for Edge & The Undertaker. They started off with a damn near 5 star classic at Wrestlemania 24, then two more matches that almost matched up to WrestleMania at Backlash, and Judgment Day. When One Night Stand came around, the stakes were raised and The Undertaker’s career was put on the line. That’s one stipulation you can bank on, because Ric Flair [twice, even], Kevin Nash, Macho Man, and The Undertaker are all kicking it together at Del Boca Vista. Anyways, after 3 fantastic technical bouts, we got ourselves a TLC with Edge and the Deadman, and once again they didn’t disappoint. They beat the hell out of one another with every chance given, from chairshots to crashing through tables. A fantastic match, and one of the greatest TLC’s. As a follow-up, much to my shock, Undertaker came back 2 months later, as he and Edge gave a Hell in a Cell that was damn near 5 stars.
Edge pulls down the title after sending Undertaker crashing through 3 tables.
****1/2 World Heavyweight Title Match – No Mercy, October 5th, 2008
Chris Jericho vs Shawn Michaels
The reason this match is so damn great is because it went the complete opposite way of most ladder matches. Ever since No Mercy 1999, anytime there was a ladder match people kept trying to one-up the last one. With this one, they built an awesome match along with the ladders, instead of trying to build a match with just the ladders. There were no over-the-top spots or anything, but a lot of innovative uses involving 2 of the best in the world.
Jericho smashes Shawn with the belt to retain in 22:22
****3/4 Money In The Bank – Wrestlemania 25
CM Punk vs. Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane vs. Mark Henry vs. Finlay vs. Christian
From the get go, people get it wrong. In my opinion, this is the greatest Money In The Bank to date. It was non-stop action from beginning to end, and it was packed with a ton of great spots. From Shelton running up 3 ladders, Kofi climbing while Mark held it, to everyone taking their turns leaping from the turnbuckle. A lot of folks really underrated this one, and I think it deserves a second look. It was just all out and aggressive, and a great way to open the show.
Punk wins in 14:24
****1/2 Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Money in the Bank 18th July, 2010
The Miz vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho vs. Evan Bourne vs. Ted DiBiase vs. John Morrison vs. Edge vs. Mark Henry #1 Contenders Match – TLC, December 19th, 2010
John Morrison vs Sheamus
I’m curious to see if John ends up being one of wrestling’s biggest blown opportunities. To date, he’s the only one to get a decent match out of The Miz during his God-awful title run, and is able to kick some serious ass when he gets out there. As I stated in my review of the King of the Ring DVD, Morrison & Sheamus have a ton of chemistry, and this is no exception. It’s the small nuances that really help to piece this match together, from Sheamus egging on Morrison verbally in the beginning, to Morrison giving a Bruce Lee influenced hand gesture to bring it after he slides under a ladder that Sheamus intended to take his head off with. It’s great that these guys were given so much time, and more than delivered. One of my all time favorite ladder matches.
John Morrison snags the contract at 24:25
****3/4 World Heavyweight Championship – Extreme Rules, May 1st, 2011
Christian vs Alberto Del Rio
Edge was forced to retire because of matches just like this, so Christian earned his spot in this match by winning a battle royal. I was ecstatic to see Christian get his chance, because he’s been busting his ass for over 15 years and has done nothing but deliver quality. As for the match, I have no qualms with saying that this is my favorite ladder match of all time. Both guys go to the absolute limit with each other, and beat every ounce of will, drive, and fortitude out of each other. You get everything, one moment you get an awesome segment where Christian & Alberto break out reversal after reversal on each other until one of them is finally bested, then you get a crazy spot like Alberto diving from the top turnbuckle through a ladder. An absolute war, and a fantastic moment with Edge & Christian celebrating with legitimate emotion.
Christian pulls down the title at 21:01
***** Last Words: Well, it isn’t Aliens, but it isn’t Alien Resurrection either. Honestly, I’d put it at the first Alien vs Predator. A damn fine movie that could have easily been better, and although didn’t live up to the original of the series, was still better than some of the other sequels. I really think they should have released more current material than the older stuff, because there just wasn’t much. It might have been a bit redundant to release the ladder matches from the past TLC’s and such, but I’d much prefer to see Jeff Hardy vs CM Punk TLC, JeriShow vs DX TLC, Christian vs Shelton Benjamin ladder match, or Jeff Hardy vs Edge ladder match, which is actually on the Blu-Ray release. Perhaps the next time. For now, we’ve got a pretty solid release, but not exactly able to keep up with the gems that the ‘E has been releasing as of late. It get’s a final score of **** This is Marion Cobretti saying; get’em a body-bag, yeeeah! hahaha!

Marion Cobretti Reviews “Ladder Match 2”

The Cobra Kai Review of Ladder Match 2: Crash & Burn Most great films get a sequel. A few years ago, the WWE released what is arguably their greatest DVD release to date; The Ladder Match. From the beginning of the first disc, to the end of the 3rd, the set was packed wall to wall, floor to ceiling with ****+ matches. Going through the entire spectrum with one on one for title, non-title, tag-teams, and TLC. So, it was only a matter of time before we got a sequel. The question is, will this be Aliens, or Alien Resurrection? Intercontinental Title Match – WrestleMania X
Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon
One of the all time classics. I’m not gonna go too in depth with this one, because you’ve all probably read about a thousand reviews, and know the score. To history, it’s a ***** match. But for my money, I can’t go all the way. It’s not one of those things where I’m worn our because of all the crazy things I’ve seen in ladder matches these days, I just don’t think it’s a 5 star match. Their bout at SummerSlam was better, and the ladder match Bret had with Shawn before this one was even better.
Razor grabs the belts at 18:47
****1/2 Smokey Mountain Wrestling – March, 1994
Chris Candido vs Tracy Smothers
The prize here is $2500 in an envelope. Funny thing is, the envelope isn’t very high. Smothers only needs to climb one rung to be able to reach it, and even if he wanted to just jump up he could grab it. So, there isn’t much climbing the ladder drama. I know they like to try and show the roots of the ladder match, and that’s all this is really good for, because it’s not that great.
Smothers snags the money in about 9 minutes
**1/2 US Title Match – nWo Souled Out – January 25th, 1997
Eddie Guerrero vs Syxx
The nWo’s first PPV, Souled Out, was a landmark in wrestling I think. It looked different, sounded different, and just completely gave you a breath of fresh air. This match is an awesome debut for WCW in the ladder match game. Eddie, for my money, was practically always at his peak, and Syxx/123 Kid/X-Pac was at his peak during this time, I believe. Or at least winding down. Regardless, they put on a hell of a match. It wasn’t a spot-fest, as ladder matches would morph into, but just a well done wrestling match that involved a ladder.
Eddie snags the title in 13:48
****1/4 Hardcore Championship – Monday Night Raw, November 30th, 1998
Mankind vs The Big Bossman
This was during Mankind’s rise to the top, as well as one of the WWE’s greatest angles of all time. One of the treats is Shawn Michael’s on commentary, this was during his time as the Commissioner. He’s clearly high as hell, as he stammers over his words, slurs them, and just rambles. This match isn’t landmark, but serves it’s purpose.
Bossman grabs it in about 8 minutes
**3/4 WWE Championship – Monday Night Raw, February 15h, 1999
Mankind vs The Rock
The Rock & Mankind are one of the all time great feuds, their chemistry resulting in back to back incredible matches. They hit every spectrum of the wrestling stipulation, from I Quit, to Last Man Standing, and the seminal classic, the ladder match. A great outing that took place the day after St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, so we’ve got Stone Cold on commentary, with the winner of the match going on to face him at WM 15. Definitely worth the inclusion.
Big Show chokeslams Mankind, allowing The Rock to snag the belt in about 15 minutes
***1/2 Match for Control of the WWE – King of the Ring, June 27th, 1999
Shane & Vince McMahon vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
Ugh. I absolutely do not see the reason to include this match. Yeah, we get it, it’s Stone Cold during the Attitude Era, but it wasn’t all gold, and this goes to show. It’s literally Stone Cold beating the hell out of both of them for about 15-20 minutes, and them squeaking out a victory. Just terrible.
Shane grabs the briefcase at 17:01
** Match for 3 Count’s Gold Record & Recording Contract – New Blood Rising, August 13th, 2000
3 Count vs Jung Dragons
Yeah, you read that match title right. Are you KIDDING me? This is insane. Vince Russo is probably the worst writer of any sort of material of all time. That’s including Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer. Russo truly believed that people would be dying to see if 3 Count would be able to continue to make records? Anyways, Jamie Nobel is known as Noble-San, and get’s the white-guy-from-the-Orient-Express treatment here with the mask. Of course it’s a decent match, but not as great as the one from Starrcade. I think it would have been better had they included Scott Hall v Goldberg for the tazer on a pole match from Starrcade 1999. It’s a decent match, and gives us even more variety.
3 Count snag the contract & the record in 11:32
***1/4 WWE Tag-Team Championship – Monday Night Raw, September 25th, 2000
Edge & Christian vs The Hardy Boyz
This is just a condensed, less exciting version of all their other classics. Plus, you can see that everyone is still beat up from their cage match the night before. However, since this was the first night of Raw on TNN, they had to bring out all the big-guns.
Hardyz snag the belts in about 10 minutes
**3/4 DISC 2 Unification of the Intercontinental & European Titles – Monday Night Raw, July 22nd, 2002
Jeff Hardy vs RVD
RVD always does well in ladder matches, as does Jeff Hardy. They go out there and pretty much just go through the motions, but there’s nothing wrong with that when
the usual motions are still damn good.
RVD grabs the belts in about 13 minutes
***1/2 WWE Tag-Team Titles – Judgment Day, May 18th, 2003
Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri vs Team Angle
It was suppose to Los Guerreros, but Chavo was hurt so we got our friend the Japanese Buzzsaw instead. Honestly, I was expecting a real show stealer with this one, but it just didn’t seem to click as well as one might think. Eddie always seemed to have that luck when it came to tag matches though. At one point Eddie does a hilo while Haas is sandwiched in between a ladder, and man did it seem like a stupid thought, because it’s nothing but Eddie landing on wood/steel, neck first.
Eddie & Tajiri grab the belts in 14:18
***1/4 Intercontinental Title Match – Monday Night Raw, September 29th, 2003
RVD vs Christian
I was starting to think that perhaps the ‘E had used up all their earlier great ladder matches for the first release, then this one came along and proved me very wrong. This match is fantastic, and probably the best singles ladder match that either RVD or Christian have been involved in. These guys go full tilt, and really beat the hell out of each other. We get some great false finishes, high spots, and lots of risk. One hell of a match, really.
RVD grabs the belt in about 17-18 minutes.
****1/2 Undisputed OVW Women’s Champion – OVW, December 23rd, 2006
Katie Lea vs Beth Phoenix
Katie Lea is now known as the TNA Knockout, Winter. This was before she had the powers to turn women into zombie-lesbians who are then given the power to have the angle dropped mid-point and act completely normal. All Russoing aside, I can honestly say that this is the 2nd best women’s match I’ve ever seen [Alunda v Bull from the Raw 15th Ann. DVD set]. I didn’t have all that much faith in this, to be honest. Besides being really hot, I know Beth can wrestle her ass off, but Winter I didn’t have any faith in. Well, to my surprise they go out there and really kick some serious ass. There’s no low points, it never drags, there’s not one botched move, and they work their asses off.
Katie Lea pulls down both belts to become the Undisputed Champion in about 10 minutes
***1/4 Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Wrestlemania 23
Mr. Kennedy vs. CM Punk vs Edge vs Finlay vs Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy vs King Booker vs Randy Orton
Man, remember the days when Finlay had cool music, was a bad-ass, and didn’t play 2nd fiddle to a joke that wasn’t funny to begin with? Besides that, we have ourselves an awesome MiTB here. Highlights include Mr. Kennedy giving Hornswoggle what I can only describe as a Swanton Bomb, but with the person on your shoulders, not on the mat. Either way, it looks like it crushed Swoggle’s ribs. Jeff Hardy making sure that Edge will have to retire soon by diving off a ladder onto Edge’s midsection, sending them both crashing through the ladder that Edge laid prone on. Booker T giving up a win to save his wife, and JBL thinking that was one hell of a stupid thing to do. At the time I didn’t understand why they gave Kennedy the win, and apparently they didn’t either. Still, great match from one of my favorite WM’s.
Kennedy becames the 3rd MiTB winner at 19:10
****1/2 World Tag Team Championship – One Night Stand, June 3rd, 2007
The Hardyz vs The World’s Greatest Tag-Team
Years ago, the Blockbuster near my house had this PPV on sale in their discount bin, I bought it soley for this match. Again, I expected a lot with the WGTT, but they just didn’t deliver to the heights I feel they’re capable of. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great match and all, but with these two, the Hardyz, and some ladders, they should have broke ****, easy.
Hardyz retain the titles at 17:17
***1/2 Intercontinental Title Match – Monday Night Raw, December 10th, 2007
Jeff Hardy vs Carlito
I don’t really see the point of having ladder matches on Raw unless they’re going to go full tilt. Giving a ladder match less than 15 minutes is just doing harm, because you’re taking a lot of time to transport the ladder, set it up, and all the other accoutrements that come with. That time should be used for actual wrestling, if they aren’t allowed to go the full gambit. Plus, Carltio kinda sucks. At least that’s what I think. This is rather forgettable, but if you love Jeff, or Carltio, then go nuts.
Jeff wins in about 10 minutes
*** DISC 3 World Heavyweight Title Match – One Night Stand, June 1st, 2008
Edge vs The Undertaker
2008 was a banner year for Edge & The Undertaker. They started off with a damn near 5 star classic at Wrestlemania 24, then two more matches that almost matched up to WrestleMania at Backlash, and Judgment Day. When One Night Stand came around, the stakes were raised and The Undertaker’s career was put on the line. That’s one stipulation you can bank on, because Ric Flair [twice, even], Kevin Nash, Macho Man, and The Undertaker are all kicking it together at Del Boca Vista. Anyways, after 3 fantastic technical bouts, we got ourselves a TLC with Edge and the Deadman, and once again they didn’t disappoint. They beat the hell out of one another with every chance given, from chairshots to crashing through tables. A fantastic match, and one of the greatest TLC’s. As a follow-up, much to my shock, Undertaker came back 2 months later, as he and Edge gave a Hell in a Cell that was damn near 5 stars.
Edge pulls down the title after sending Undertaker crashing through 3 tables.
****1/2 World Heavyweight Title Match – No Mercy, October 5th, 2008
Chris Jericho vs Shawn Michaels
The reason this match is so damn great is because it went the complete opposite way of most ladder matches. Ever since No Mercy 1999, anytime there was a ladder match people kept trying to one-up the last one. With this one, they built an awesome match along with the ladders, instead of trying to build a match with just the ladders. There were no over-the-top spots or anything, but a lot of innovative uses involving 2 of the best in the world.
Jericho smashes Shawn with the belt to retain in 22:22
****3/4 Money In The Bank – Wrestlemania 25
CM Punk vs. Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane vs. Mark Henry vs. Finlay vs. Christian
From the get go, people get it wrong. In my opinion, this is the greatest Money In The Bank to date. It was non-stop action from beginning to end, and it was packed with a ton of great spots. From Shelton running up 3 ladders, Kofi climbing while Mark held it, to everyone taking their turns leaping from the turnbuckle. A lot of folks really underrated this one, and I think it deserves a second look. It was just all out and aggressive, and a great way to open the show.
Punk wins in 14:24
****1/2 Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Money in the Bank 18th July, 2010
The Miz vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho vs. Evan Bourne vs. Ted DiBiase vs. John Morrison vs. Edge vs. Mark Henry #1 Contenders Match – TLC, December 19th, 2010
John Morrison vs Sheamus
I’m curious to see if John ends up being one of wrestling’s biggest blown opportunities. To date, he’s the only one to get a decent match out of The Miz during his God-awful title run, and is able to kick some serious ass when he gets out there. As I stated in my review of the King of the Ring DVD, Morrison & Sheamus have a ton of chemistry, and this is no exception. It’s the small nuances that really help to piece this match together, from Sheamus egging on Morrison verbally in the beginning, to Morrison giving a Bruce Lee influenced hand gesture to bring it after he slides under a ladder that Sheamus intended to take his head off with. It’s great that these guys were given so much time, and more than delivered. One of my all time favorite ladder matches.
John Morrison snags the contract at 24:25
****3/4 World Heavyweight Championship – Extreme Rules, May 1st, 2011
Christian vs Alberto Del Rio
Edge was forced to retire because of matches just like this, so Christian earned his spot in this match by winning a battle royal. I was ecstatic to see Christian get his chance, because he’s been busting his ass for over 15 years and has done nothing but deliver quality. As for the match, I have no qualms with saying that this is my favorite ladder match of all time. Both guys go to the absolute limit with each other, and beat every ounce of will, drive, and fortitude out of each other. You get everything, one moment you get an awesome segment where Christian & Alberto break out reversal after reversal on each other until one of them is finally bested, then you get a crazy spot like Alberto diving from the top turnbuckle through a ladder. An absolute war, and a fantastic moment with Edge & Christian celebrating with legitimate emotion.
Christian pulls down the title at 21:01
***** Last Words: Well, it isn’t Aliens, but it isn’t Alien Resurrection either. Honestly, I’d put it at the first Alien vs Predator. A damn fine movie that could have easily been better, and although didn’t live up to the original of the series, was still better than some of the other sequels. I really think they should have released more current material than the older stuff, because there just wasn’t much. It might have been a bit redundant to release the ladder matches from the past TLC’s and such, but I’d much prefer to see Jeff Hardy vs CM Punk TLC, JeriShow vs DX TLC, Christian vs Shelton Benjamin ladder match, or Jeff Hardy vs Edge ladder match, which is actually on the Blu-Ray release. Perhaps the next time. For now, we’ve got a pretty solid release, but not exactly able to keep up with the gems that the ‘E has been releasing as of late. It get’s a final score of **** This is Marion Cobretti saying; get’em a body-bag, yeeeah! hahaha!

Marion Cobretti Reviews “Ladder Match 2”

The Cobra Kai Review of Ladder Match 2: Crash & Burn Most great films get a sequel. A few years ago, the WWE released what is arguably their greatest DVD release to date; The Ladder Match. From the beginning of the first disc, to the end of the 3rd, the set was packed wall to wall, floor to ceiling with ****+ matches. Going through the entire spectrum with one on one for title, non-title, tag-teams, and TLC. So, it was only a matter of time before we got a sequel. The question is, will this be Aliens, or Alien Resurrection? Intercontinental Title Match – WrestleMania X
Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon
One of the all time classics. I’m not gonna go too in depth with this one, because you’ve all probably read about a thousand reviews, and know the score. To history, it’s a ***** match. But for my money, I can’t go all the way. It’s not one of those things where I’m worn our because of all the crazy things I’ve seen in ladder matches these days, I just don’t think it’s a 5 star match. Their bout at SummerSlam was better, and the ladder match Bret had with Shawn before this one was even better.
Razor grabs the belts at 18:47
****1/2 Smokey Mountain Wrestling – March, 1994
Chris Candido vs Tracy Smothers
The prize here is $2500 in an envelope. Funny thing is, the envelope isn’t very high. Smothers only needs to climb one rung to be able to reach it, and even if he wanted to just jump up he could grab it. So, there isn’t much climbing the ladder drama. I know they like to try and show the roots of the ladder match, and that’s all this is really good for, because it’s not that great.
Smothers snags the money in about 9 minutes
**1/2 US Title Match – nWo Souled Out – January 25th, 1997
Eddie Guerrero vs Syxx
The nWo’s first PPV, Souled Out, was a landmark in wrestling I think. It looked different, sounded different, and just completely gave you a breath of fresh air. This match is an awesome debut for WCW in the ladder match game. Eddie, for my money, was practically always at his peak, and Syxx/123 Kid/X-Pac was at his peak during this time, I believe. Or at least winding down. Regardless, they put on a hell of a match. It wasn’t a spot-fest, as ladder matches would morph into, but just a well done wrestling match that involved a ladder.
Eddie snags the title in 13:48
****1/4 Hardcore Championship – Monday Night Raw, November 30th, 1998
Mankind vs The Big Bossman
This was during Mankind’s rise to the top, as well as one of the WWE’s greatest angles of all time. One of the treats is Shawn Michael’s on commentary, this was during his time as the Commissioner. He’s clearly high as hell, as he stammers over his words, slurs them, and just rambles. This match isn’t landmark, but serves it’s purpose.
Bossman grabs it in about 8 minutes
**3/4 WWE Championship – Monday Night Raw, February 15h, 1999
Mankind vs The Rock
The Rock & Mankind are one of the all time great feuds, their chemistry resulting in back to back incredible matches. They hit every spectrum of the wrestling stipulation, from I Quit, to Last Man Standing, and the seminal classic, the ladder match. A great outing that took place the day after St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, so we’ve got Stone Cold on commentary, with the winner of the match going on to face him at WM 15. Definitely worth the inclusion.
Big Show chokeslams Mankind, allowing The Rock to snag the belt in about 15 minutes
***1/2 Match for Control of the WWE – King of the Ring, June 27th, 1999
Shane & Vince McMahon vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
Ugh. I absolutely do not see the reason to include this match. Yeah, we get it, it’s Stone Cold during the Attitude Era, but it wasn’t all gold, and this goes to show. It’s literally Stone Cold beating the hell out of both of them for about 15-20 minutes, and them squeaking out a victory. Just terrible.
Shane grabs the briefcase at 17:01
** Match for 3 Count’s Gold Record & Recording Contract – New Blood Rising, August 13th, 2000
3 Count vs Jung Dragons
Yeah, you read that match title right. Are you KIDDING me? This is insane. Vince Russo is probably the worst writer of any sort of material of all time. That’s including Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer. Russo truly believed that people would be dying to see if 3 Count would be able to continue to make records? Anyways, Jamie Nobel is known as Noble-San, and get’s the white-guy-from-the-Orient-Express treatment here with the mask. Of course it’s a decent match, but not as great as the one from Starrcade. I think it would have been better had they included Scott Hall v Goldberg for the tazer on a pole match from Starrcade 1999. It’s a decent match, and gives us even more variety.
3 Count snag the contract & the record in 11:32
***1/4 WWE Tag-Team Championship – Monday Night Raw, September 25th, 2000
Edge & Christian vs The Hardy Boyz
This is just a condensed, less exciting version of all their other classics. Plus, you can see that everyone is still beat up from their cage match the night before. However, since this was the first night of Raw on TNN, they had to bring out all the big-guns.
Hardyz snag the belts in about 10 minutes
**3/4 DISC 2 Unification of the Intercontinental & European Titles – Monday Night Raw, July 22nd, 2002
Jeff Hardy vs RVD
RVD always does well in ladder matches, as does Jeff Hardy. They go out there and pretty much just go through the motions, but there’s nothing wrong with that when
the usual motions are still damn good.
RVD grabs the belts in about 13 minutes
***1/2 WWE Tag-Team Titles – Judgment Day, May 18th, 2003
Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri vs Team Angle
It was suppose to Los Guerreros, but Chavo was hurt so we got our friend the Japanese Buzzsaw instead. Honestly, I was expecting a real show stealer with this one, but it just didn’t seem to click as well as one might think. Eddie always seemed to have that luck when it came to tag matches though. At one point Eddie does a hilo while Haas is sandwiched in between a ladder, and man did it seem like a stupid thought, because it’s nothing but Eddie landing on wood/steel, neck first.
Eddie & Tajiri grab the belts in 14:18
***1/4 Intercontinental Title Match – Monday Night Raw, September 29th, 2003
RVD vs Christian
I was starting to think that perhaps the ‘E had used up all their earlier great ladder matches for the first release, then this one came along and proved me very wrong. This match is fantastic, and probably the best singles ladder match that either RVD or Christian have been involved in. These guys go full tilt, and really beat the hell out of each other. We get some great false finishes, high spots, and lots of risk. One hell of a match, really.
RVD grabs the belt in about 17-18 minutes.
****1/2 Undisputed OVW Women’s Champion – OVW, December 23rd, 2006
Katie Lea vs Beth Phoenix
Katie Lea is now known as the TNA Knockout, Winter. This was before she had the powers to turn women into zombie-lesbians who are then given the power to have the angle dropped mid-point and act completely normal. All Russoing aside, I can honestly say that this is the 2nd best women’s match I’ve ever seen [Alunda v Bull from the Raw 15th Ann. DVD set]. I didn’t have all that much faith in this, to be honest. Besides being really hot, I know Beth can wrestle her ass off, but Winter I didn’t have any faith in. Well, to my surprise they go out there and really kick some serious ass. There’s no low points, it never drags, there’s not one botched move, and they work their asses off.
Katie Lea pulls down both belts to become the Undisputed Champion in about 10 minutes
***1/4 Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Wrestlemania 23
Mr. Kennedy vs. CM Punk vs Edge vs Finlay vs Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy vs King Booker vs Randy Orton
Man, remember the days when Finlay had cool music, was a bad-ass, and didn’t play 2nd fiddle to a joke that wasn’t funny to begin with? Besides that, we have ourselves an awesome MiTB here. Highlights include Mr. Kennedy giving Hornswoggle what I can only describe as a Swanton Bomb, but with the person on your shoulders, not on the mat. Either way, it looks like it crushed Swoggle’s ribs. Jeff Hardy making sure that Edge will have to retire soon by diving off a ladder onto Edge’s midsection, sending them both crashing through the ladder that Edge laid prone on. Booker T giving up a win to save his wife, and JBL thinking that was one hell of a stupid thing to do. At the time I didn’t understand why they gave Kennedy the win, and apparently they didn’t either. Still, great match from one of my favorite WM’s.
Kennedy becames the 3rd MiTB winner at 19:10
****1/2 World Tag Team Championship – One Night Stand, June 3rd, 2007
The Hardyz vs The World’s Greatest Tag-Team
Years ago, the Blockbuster near my house had this PPV on sale in their discount bin, I bought it soley for this match. Again, I expected a lot with the WGTT, but they just didn’t deliver to the heights I feel they’re capable of. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great match and all, but with these two, the Hardyz, and some ladders, they should have broke ****, easy.
Hardyz retain the titles at 17:17
***1/2 Intercontinental Title Match – Monday Night Raw, December 10th, 2007
Jeff Hardy vs Carlito
I don’t really see the point of having ladder matches on Raw unless they’re going to go full tilt. Giving a ladder match less than 15 minutes is just doing harm, because you’re taking a lot of time to transport the ladder, set it up, and all the other accoutrements that come with. That time should be used for actual wrestling, if they aren’t allowed to go the full gambit. Plus, Carltio kinda sucks. At least that’s what I think. This is rather forgettable, but if you love Jeff, or Carltio, then go nuts.
Jeff wins in about 10 minutes
*** DISC 3 World Heavyweight Title Match – One Night Stand, June 1st, 2008
Edge vs The Undertaker
2008 was a banner year for Edge & The Undertaker. They started off with a damn near 5 star classic at Wrestlemania 24, then two more matches that almost matched up to WrestleMania at Backlash, and Judgment Day. When One Night Stand came around, the stakes were raised and The Undertaker’s career was put on the line. That’s one stipulation you can bank on, because Ric Flair [twice, even], Kevin Nash, Macho Man, and The Undertaker are all kicking it together at Del Boca Vista. Anyways, after 3 fantastic technical bouts, we got ourselves a TLC with Edge and the Deadman, and once again they didn’t disappoint. They beat the hell out of one another with every chance given, from chairshots to crashing through tables. A fantastic match, and one of the greatest TLC’s. As a follow-up, much to my shock, Undertaker came back 2 months later, as he and Edge gave a Hell in a Cell that was damn near 5 stars.
Edge pulls down the title after sending Undertaker crashing through 3 tables.
****1/2 World Heavyweight Title Match – No Mercy, October 5th, 2008
Chris Jericho vs Shawn Michaels
The reason this match is so damn great is because it went the complete opposite way of most ladder matches. Ever since No Mercy 1999, anytime there was a ladder match people kept trying to one-up the last one. With this one, they built an awesome match along with the ladders, instead of trying to build a match with just the ladders. There were no over-the-top spots or anything, but a lot of innovative uses involving 2 of the best in the world.
Jericho smashes Shawn with the belt to retain in 22:22
****3/4 Money In The Bank – Wrestlemania 25
CM Punk vs. Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane vs. Mark Henry vs. Finlay vs. Christian
From the get go, people get it wrong. In my opinion, this is the greatest Money In The Bank to date. It was non-stop action from beginning to end, and it was packed with a ton of great spots. From Shelton running up 3 ladders, Kofi climbing while Mark held it, to everyone taking their turns leaping from the turnbuckle. A lot of folks really underrated this one, and I think it deserves a second look. It was just all out and aggressive, and a great way to open the show.
Punk wins in 14:24
****1/2 Money in the Bank Ladder Match – Money in the Bank 18th July, 2010
The Miz vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho vs. Evan Bourne vs. Ted DiBiase vs. John Morrison vs. Edge vs. Mark Henry #1 Contenders Match – TLC, December 19th, 2010
John Morrison vs Sheamus
I’m curious to see if John ends up being one of wrestling’s biggest blown opportunities. To date, he’s the only one to get a decent match out of The Miz during his God-awful title run, and is able to kick some serious ass when he gets out there. As I stated in my review of the King of the Ring DVD, Morrison & Sheamus have a ton of chemistry, and this is no exception. It’s the small nuances that really help to piece this match together, from Sheamus egging on Morrison verbally in the beginning, to Morrison giving a Bruce Lee influenced hand gesture to bring it after he slides under a ladder that Sheamus intended to take his head off with. It’s great that these guys were given so much time, and more than delivered. One of my all time favorite ladder matches.
John Morrison snags the contract at 24:25
****3/4 World Heavyweight Championship – Extreme Rules, May 1st, 2011
Christian vs Alberto Del Rio
Edge was forced to retire because of matches just like this, so Christian earned his spot in this match by winning a battle royal. I was ecstatic to see Christian get his chance, because he’s been busting his ass for over 15 years and has done nothing but deliver quality. As for the match, I have no qualms with saying that this is my favorite ladder match of all time. Both guys go to the absolute limit with each other, and beat every ounce of will, drive, and fortitude out of each other. You get everything, one moment you get an awesome segment where Christian & Alberto break out reversal after reversal on each other until one of them is finally bested, then you get a crazy spot like Alberto diving from the top turnbuckle through a ladder. An absolute war, and a fantastic moment with Edge & Christian celebrating with legitimate emotion.
Christian pulls down the title at 21:01
***** Last Words: Well, it isn’t Aliens, but it isn’t Alien Resurrection either. Honestly, I’d put it at the first Alien vs Predator. A damn fine movie that could have easily been better, and although didn’t live up to the original of the series, was still better than some of the other sequels. I really think they should have released more current material than the older stuff, because there just wasn’t much. It might have been a bit redundant to release the ladder matches from the past TLC’s and such, but I’d much prefer to see Jeff Hardy vs CM Punk TLC, JeriShow vs DX TLC, Christian vs Shelton Benjamin ladder match, or Jeff Hardy vs Edge ladder match, which is actually on the Blu-Ray release. Perhaps the next time. For now, we’ve got a pretty solid release, but not exactly able to keep up with the gems that the ‘E has been releasing as of late. It get’s a final score of **** This is Marion Cobretti saying; get’em a body-bag, yeeeah! hahaha!