The SmarK Rant for WWE Network Hidden Gems (and Other Stuff) – 12.13.18
Only one new gem this week, but it’s a doozy. Although not particularly hidden since it was already on a DVD release last year. Plus of course, the “other stuff” I’ve been reviewing for the past two weeks. Pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er.
Building an Iron Man
Seth Rollins v. Dean Ambrose (09.18.11)
Back to FCW in 2011, as the future Shield partners fight for the FCW 15 title in a 30 minute Iron Man match. This was set up because they did a 15:00 draw one week, then a 20:00 draw the next week. Why do they not just dump this damn show onto the Network already? It looks beautiful in HD and features all the guys they love! They do some stalling for the first minute or so and Seth tries the superkick, but Dean bails and we take a break. Back with Rollins working the arm and he manages to hold Ambrose down with an armbar and takes him down with a Downward Spiral onto the arm. Dean fights out with chops in the corner and gives him a face rub with the forearm, which actually gets two. Seth fires back with his own chops and Dean does the Terry Funk comedy sell in the ropes and ends up hanging by his ankles, and Rollins dropkicks him in the ass to put him on the floor. They slug it out down there and then Rollins chases him back in and beats on him in the corner. Rollins backflips off him, but Ambrose kicks him RIGHT IN THE NUTS and gets DQ’d at 6:30 to put Seth up 1-0.
But now Rollins is screwed, and Ambrose hits the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL for the pin at 7:00 to make it 1-1. Wonder why he didn’t take that one with him to the main roster? Maybe because it’s basically Sheamus’s White Noise? Ambrose takes over with a lariat and that gets another quick pin at 7:44 to make it 2-1 Ambrose. That was one hell of a nutshot. Personal story time: For those who doubt the effectiveness of that particular heel move, the other night my wife wore her wrist brace to bed, and woke up in the middle of the night to adjust the sheet. However, her hand slipped in the process of moving it, and she basically punched me square in the junk with the brace, and I woke up howling in pain, equally pained and confused, never again doubting the strategy of Ric Flair. And yeah, it took me more than a few minutes to recover, as well. That’s marriage for you – some days it’s great, and some days you’re literally getting punched in the nuts at 3am.
Dean with another lariat and Rollins wisely just rolls out to the floor to escape this time, and we take another break. Back with Dean holding Seth in a bow and arrow hold, and he tries another finisher, but Seth rolls him up for the pin at 12:20 to tie it up.
Rollins makes a comeback with clotheslines and runs Dean into the turnbuckle with a Flatliner, but misses the curb stomp and Ambrose bails to escape. Rollins hits him with a crazy dive in a very confined space, and back in that gets two. Seth misses the superkick, which he was calling Avada Kedavra because he’s a huge nerd, and Ambrose ducks out to escape again. And we take another break. Back with both guys slugging it out from their knees for the manly spot and Dean wins that battle, but Rollins pops up with a Pele kick and Ambrose has another Terry Funk sell in his toolbox for that one. Rollins gets two from that. Quebrada gets two for Rollins. Curb stomp gets two. Rollins goes up and misses the Phoenix splash, which the announcers doesn’t even have a name for at this point. Rollins is out, but Ambrose takes too long to cover and only gets two. Ambrose slaps himself around to wake up and tries a Texas Cloverleaf, but Seth blocks him, so he puts him in a wacky leglock instead and then turns it into the Cloverleaf with time running out. Rollins manages to make the ropes with a minute left, but Dean tries Seth’s own superkick, so Rollins hits him with his own Midnight Special and gets two. 10 seconds left and he hits Avada Kedavra for two and time expires at 24:05 aired. So the GM, Maxine, declares that it’s sudden death.
Ambrose goes nuts on him in the corner and pounds him down with wacky forearms and a running knee to the face that gets two. Dean tries a suplex from the apron, but Rollins kicks him from the ring, hits him with a dive, and then hauls him back in for a corner clothesline. And then Dean hits own, but runs into a superkick, and then Dean gets a lariat while selling. AWESOME. That was all one sequence. Midnight Special gets two for Ambrose. Rollins heads to the apron and Dean tries to bring him back in with a superplex, then changes his mind and goes for the Midnight Special instead. Rollins escapes with a buckle bomb, and Avada Kedevra and a fisherman’s DDT finish at 28:20 total. DAMN what a great match. Started a bit slow and wacky and then just got better and better with amazing heat and drama. ****1/4
And of course, our other regular Thursday feature…
The Edge & Christian Show S02E03: “The Heartbreak Kinder”
We’re joined in progress with Table for 4, as Edge and Christian and DDP sit down at a former World Champion’s table with David Arquette. Christian: “I honestly don’t feel like I deserve to be at this table.” Edge: “You don’t.”
So the major theme of this show is an exploration of the life and career of the Dutch luchador, Nils Nascaras. THE SHOCKING TRUE STORY. The agility of Steamboat! The pageantry of Randy Savage! The unpredictability of George Steele!
Let us take you to the Netherlands, home of suicide and windmills. In fact, Nils was raised in a windmill, to parents so poor that they had to carve their own clogs. Then one day he met a luchador at a donkey show and history was made. 15 years later, his family perished in a windmill fire caused by a faulty waffle iron. Including his pet donkey, Rockabilly!
However, tragedy only inspired Nils to train harder, especially once he was allowed to wear wooden clogs in the ring and use mayonnaise sandwiches as weapons. But soon he met his greatest challenger: COJONES DEL FUEGO.
TO BE CONTINUED!
Interlude: Elias does a familiar singing competition, singing about his “Rock N Roll Kimono” and winning over the judges. But they all want to change him into the Honky Tonk Man. Might be worth a try. That was some impressive build to the joke, actually.
Back to Nils Nascaras, as the heat between Nascaras and Del Fuego was so insane that they had to hold the match in an undisclosed empty arena in Parts Unknown. In fact, it was so exhausting that at one point, Del Fuego had to be revived with a literal defibrillator. But in the end, Nils used one mighty bell clap and pinned him to win the World title. Clog dancing and Mayo sandwiches for everyone! Unfortunately, in the post-match melee, Nils accidentally kicked off a clog and decapitated faithful trainer Javier Consuelos.
TO BE CONTINUED!
This week, the boys will take turns guessing iconic facial hair in a challenge called “Facial Pubes”. I will not reveal the results and will let you play along at home.
Facial Pube #1:
(Edge guesses incorrectly)
Facial Pube #2:
(Christian guesses correctly)
Facial pube #3:
(Edge is way off here.)
Facial pube #4:
(Christian gets this one pretty easily.)
Facial pube #5:
(Come on, this one is a gimme for Edge!)
Facial pube #6:
(Christian gets this one easily to go up 3-1)
Facial pube #7:
(Duh. Edge is back within one at 3-2)
Facial pube #8:
(Tricky but do-able. Christian whiffs on it, as do I.)
Facial pube #9:
(Another tricky one! Christian wins on Edge’s incorrect guess!)
Interlude: The Iiconics introduce Edge & Christian ice cream bars, with special Tommy Dreamer bar that tastes like Axe body spray and sadness.
And now, back to the Legend of Nils Nascaras!
As often happens with World champions in wrestling, success caused him to disappear and live in a literal dumpster, ready to commit suicide until the ghost of Bob Backlund or angel or whatever gives him a pep talk for his rematch with Del Fuego. Mean Gene: “I know I said the last match between them was the high water mark in the business. But I lied.” Viewed by up to 178 billion people on TV, it was another classic that ended when Nils ingested expired food products and used the old DUTCH OVEN to win, as pioneered by Dutch Mantell.
Yes, they spent 25 minutes building to a massive fart joke. That’s why the show is awesome.
Interlude: Dirty Deeds with Shawn Michaels. E&C interrogate HBK with glow sticks, convinced that he’s secretly NILS NASCARAS. Shawn protests that the dutch oven was Nash’s thing, not his. But once they leave…the mask FITS.
DUN DUN DUN.
Well this was a hell of a night on the WWE Network!