October Countdown: WWE Bragging Rights 2009

Hey Scott, Big fan, yadda yadda, just wondering when you’re gonna get off your fat fucking lazy ass and rant the PPV? Kind regards, Dan.

Wouldn’t watching the PPV require me remaining on my fat fucking lazy ass?  There seems to be a gap in logic there.  In the mean time, you get this and like it. The SmarK Rant for WWE Bragging Rights 2009 – Live from Pittsburgh, PA. – Your hosts are Michael & Jerry & Todd – So apparently the winner of the metaphorical bragging rights gets an actual trophy. Really? In 2009?  (And in 2010!  Thankfully they came to their senses and dropped it in 2011.)  The Miz v. John Morrison You’ve gotta feel a little bit bad for Marty Jannetty, having been turned into even more of a punchline than he was before.  (The sad thing is that I have no idea which one I was mocking there.  I assume Miz, but then he’s the guy who went on to main event Wrestlemania and Morrison is doing guest spots on Zack Ryder’s internet show these days.  Although neither guy is exactly Shawn MIchaels.)  Morrison rides him down to start and controls with an armbar for two. Shoulderblock gets two. Miz bails and heads back in for a side headlock. Morrison escapes with a pancake and gets the standing moonsault for two. Miz hammers away and tosses him, but Morrison comes back in with a sunset flip for two. Rollup gets two. They fight over a backslide, but Morrison clotheslines Miz to the floor instead and follows with a baseball slide. Glad we missed that because of the director showing the locker rooms watching the match. (Team Smackdown!  Team RAW!  Team Miz!  Team Morrison! Everyone loves to support a Team according to Stephanie!)  Morrison goes for a flying headscissors and gets dumped to the floor, and back in Miz gets a backdrop suplex for two and takes over. Morrison slugs back, but Miz clotheslines him in the corner and adds a kneelift for two. We hit the chinlock, but Morrison rolls him up for two. Another rollup gets two. They slug it out and Morrison wins with a legsweep and adds a leg lariat for two. Shining Wizard misses and Miz rolls him up for two. Morrison with the Moonlight Drive for two, but Miz bails to escape Starship Pain. Morrison hits him with a plancha instead, and that gets two. Morrison puts him on top, but Miz hits him with a double axehandle. Morrison comes back with a Russian legsweep and goes to finish, but Miz knocks him down and pins him at 10:55. The announcers were all “The winner of this is the conquering hero who hit the home run!” and stuff, but the crowd wasn’t really into it. They really need to better inform the crowds when it’s the most important PPV of the year, because otherwise people just think for themselves. Match was fine, as they have good chemistry. *** Michelle McCool, Natalya & Beth Phoenix v. Melina, Kelly Kelly & Gail Kim Kim starts with Phoenix and gets a rollup out of a slam attempt for two, so McCool tags herself in. That goes nowhere, so Natalya comes in and slams Kim. Gail gets a kneelift off the apron and it’s over to the RAW side, where Kelly gets a Nash choke in the corner, but gets dropped on the top rope for two. The Smackdown team works Kelly over in the corner and Phoenix gets a snapmare for two. Kelly plays face in peril and McCool throws knees, but Beth comes in and gets rolled up for two. Hot tag Melina and she faceplants Phoenix and gets a small package, but McCool turns them over for two. It’s BONZO GONZO and Beth finishes Melina with the Glam Slam at 6:51. Totally watchable. **1/2  (Three years later and only Nattie is foolish enough to continue waiting for her turn to be pushed in this company.)  Meanwhile, D-X tries to rally the troops, inadvertently insulting everyone on the team (“And we exposed this guy as a fake Jamaican!”) but still getting the solidarity desired. Smackdown World title: Undertaker v. Batista v. CM Punk v. Rey Mysterio Punk declaring “It’s clobbering time!” on the ramp is pretty awesome. Batista chases Punk to start, and walks right into Undertaker’s punch. Punk hammers on UT in the corner, and that’s an epic fail as Taker tosses him into a Mysterio dive from the apron. Rey dropkicks Taker out of the ring, but walks into a boot. Taker goes to work on Batista with Old School, but Punk prevents a second attempt and fights on the top rope with UT. He manages a superplex and Rey springboards in for two. Batista beats on Punk and adds a powerslam, but Taker puts him down with a big boot. Rey tries diving in with a rana, but Taker counters to the Last Ride, and Batista spears UT out of that. Rey and Batista argue over who gets to cover, but Taker pops up, so Rey gets the 619 on Taker, into Batista’s spinebuster for two. Rey goes up again and gets caught by Punk with GTS for two. Batista goes after Taker and gets caught in the gogoplata, but Punk breaks that up and hits the running knee on Taker. That leads to the Last Ride for two. Taker and Batista slug it out and Batista gets chokeslammed for two. Punk goes after Taker and gets tossed, leaving UT to finish Batista, but Batista counters with the Batista bomb for two. Rey breaks it up and gets two, and there’s your heel turn for Batista. Unfortunately, Batista gets so distracted by the dark side of the Force that a chokeslam from Undertaker gets two. (Uh, sorry, Mr. Mouse, sir, I meant “The alternate side of the public domain religion.”  Please don’t sue me now.  Loved the Avengers!)  They clothesline each other and Punk gets two on both of them. Rey comes back in and Batista tosses him, but Undertaker finishes Batista with the tombstone at 9:56 to retain. Well that was fast-paced, to say the least. I liked all the crazy finishers for the first 8 minutes or so, but it kind of fell apart once Batista turned. Needed to go to the finish as soon as Batista nailed Rey, but it was really entertaining otherwise. ***1/4 Afterwards, Josh interviews Rey & Batista, and Rey is all “Well, we did our best”, and Batista attacks him again to really drive the point home. And people CHEER him. (That’s because he’s fucking awesome.)  Well, that was a pretty awesome heel turn with some good menace from Batista (“I’m not playing. I’m gonna rip your head off.”) so you can hardly blame them. And a really good, high quality heel turn with solid motivation has been lacking for a while now, so good on them.  (Has there even BEEN one since then?  Big Show maybe, although that had the crying and begging for his job thing preceding it.  I feel like Randy Orton is gonna turn again soon, and it’s going to be an EPIC backstabbing on someone because he really seems bored in his current role and I think he’d take to an evil predator role again really well.)  Bragging Rights Trophy final: HHH, Shawn Michaels, Big Show, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes & Kofi Kingston v. Chris Jericho, Kane, Matt Hardy, Finlay, R-Truth, DH Smith & Tyson Kidd (Almost as exciting a lineup as this year’s Survivor Series main event.  And a lot of the same people!)  Once again the announcers lie about RAW being the “longest running episodic show in TV history,” which it’s not. The Simpsons and Law & Order have been running longer than RAW, and 60 Minutes has not only run longer but has produced more episodes. (Much like Meltzer, my blood boils every time I hear that stupid made-up honor and I MUST REFUTE IT.  Or else!)  Rhodes and Truth do some brawling to start, but Cody tags out to Show. So we get Show v. Kane instead, and Show puts him down and follows with a legdrop for two. Swagger comes in and gets in Kane’s face, and that proves to be a bad idea. The Smackdown side beats on Swagger in the corner, and Hardy gets a clothesline for two. Swagger charges and hits boot, and Matt follows with the yodeling legdrop for two. To the floor, where Hardy clotheslines him, and we get our first RAW v. Smackdown standoff. Matt gets caught in the RAW corner and Henry tosses him around, then Shawn works on the arm until Matt hits a Side Effect. Over to Finlay, who whips Shawn into the corner for a Flair Flip, but they collide for the double KO. Shawn recovers first with the superkick, but the Hart Dynasty sneaks in with a Hart Attack to keep Shawn in the corner. And it’s Jericho time, as he goes to a chinlock. Cole, while talking about Big Show: “Big Show there, looking at his partner. Well, no partners tonight!” Except for the six partners on his team, I guess. Kane comes in with a seated dropkick for two. Grisham accidentally calls the Hart Dynasty “The Hart Foundation” and MICHAEL COLE makes fun of him for saying something stupid. Buh-zing. (It’s BAZINGA.  But then Big Bang Theory wasn’t quite the cultural phenomenon in 2009 that it is now.  By the way, I’m totally serious. People who don’t live in Canada don’t understand how that show completely dominates every facet of TV up here.  It is literally one of the highest-rated shows in Canadian TV history, and the Comedy Network runs a marathon basically every stat holiday, plus it’s constantly, CONSTANTLY shown in syndication, often in two hour blocks like the Simpsons, on any station that can buy the rights to it up here.  Sheldon shirts are everywhere and worn totally without irony in public, and there’s ads for it all over.  It’s EVERYWHERE.  I mean, I love the show too, but you can basically pick anyone off the street at random and engage them in a conversation about last week’s episode and if they think Raj is gay or not.) Smith comes in with a backdrop suplex on Shawn for two. Kidd slingshots in with an elbow, but misses, and it’s hot tag HHH. He runs wild on the Harts and hits everyone with spinebusters, but Kane chokeslams him. Kidd gets two off that. Jericho with a bulldog, but the Lionsault misses and Kofi comes in. Jericho counters the, uh, Boom Drop into a Liontamer attempt, but Kofi rolls him up for two. (Sadly “Boomdrop” became the totally non-ironic name for that move.) Trouble in Ghana gets two and it’s breaking loose in Tulsa again, as everyone does their wacky finishers. Kofi looks to finish, but Big Show turns on him, revealing that his alliance to the World tag team titles is more important than a meaningless trophy. (NO PARTNERS TONIGHT!  It was FORESHADOWING!) I’m shocked, I don’t know about you. Jericho pins Kofi at 15:31 to give Smackdown the trophy. Sadly, no one smashes it. Too short to give everyone any kind of time in the match, but it was another good fast-paced match for the night. ***1/2 RAW World title, Iron Man match: Randy Orton v. John Cena Cena with the headlock to start, and Orton also goes that route. Cena fights out and Orton sends him into the corner and Cena tries a bulldog, but Orton counters that and stomps the back. Cena takes him down with an STF out of nowhere, however, and Orton taps out at 3:55. Cena is 1-0. Smart booking there, as Orton tapped immediately rather than let himself get injured.  (If only Jon Jones would have learned that lesson.)  30 second rest period follows, and Orton charges in with a powerslam, then chokes away on the ropes. Suplex gets two. Orton goes to the CHINLOCK OF DOOM, but Cena escapes with the Throwback and goes up for the legdrop. Five knuckle shuffle is countered with the RKO, and we’re tied 1-1 at 9:00. Cena bails to the apron and Orton sends him into the railing, then clears the announce table and nails Cena with the monitor. That gets two. You know, it’s 2009, they should really have switched to LCD monitors by now.  (Or iPad or something.  Like really, what IS up with that?  Even TNA, who does free tapings and whores out their TV time to Direct Auto while losing millions has nicer equipment for the announce team.)  Orton brings the microphone into the ring and puts Cena down for two. And Cena is BLEEDING. Holy shit, that’s only the second time this year someone has done that. (They came down HARD on the blood edict at this point, making sure that any stragglers who still wanted to gig themselves for their art were snuffed out like the proverbial candle in the wind.)  They want to check the cut, but Cena is too angry and tosses Orton, before getting sent into the stairs himself. Orton gets two off that. Orton stomps Cena’s head on the stairs and gets two. Back in, Orton slugs away while the announcers talk about how the doctors might have to stop the match because of Cena’s cut. C’mon, Jerry Lawler would bleed more than that during his PROMOS, why would he ever say something like that? This TV-PG shit is fucking stupid. (Get used to it.  Although in the age of Hep-C and other disgusting blood-borne illnesses, in a lot of ways I’m glad they’re being safer about it.  Maybe we can go back to my personal favorite:  Biting down on a condom full of fake blood to simulate internal injuries!) Cena comes back with the Shuffle and FU, but Orton counters to an RKO in mid-air and both are down and out. So the ref counts them both out at 17:00 to make it 2-2. Well that’s kind of a pointless fall, although it does save Orton from going down 2-1, so I guess it makes sense in that regard. I retract my criticism.  (Not often I do that.  Usually I’ll fight to the death to defend whatever stupid stance I’ve taken that day.)  They fight to the top rope and Cena gets the FU off the top, for the pin to go up 3-2 at 19:38. And Legacy runs in for the beatdown, because why not? It’s no DQ anyway. After the 30 second rest period, Orton pins Cena at 20:55 to make it 3-3. Kofi Kingston chases Legacy away to explain their departure. They brawl to the stage and Orton rams Cena into the pyro table, which sets off an explosion on the ramp. That seems to inspire him, so he throws Cena into the lighting grid for more silly special effects, and that makes it 4-3 Orton at 25:33. Orton continues to play with the pyro board, which has GOT to be setting something up, and indeed he puts Cena down with a chair and drags him over the pyro and then threatens to BLOW HIM UP REAL GOOD. Sadly, it doesn’t work, because it would have been the most over-the-top retardedly awesome finish in wrestling history. So with that devious plan foiled, they fight back to ringside as Jerry Lawler has to say with a serious inflection “Guys, Randy Orton’s intentions were to blow up John Cena.” I can’t even type that without cracking up. (I wish Ryback had been involved, because then I could have said “He was already blown up!” but Cena is pretty awesome, cardio-wise.)  Was he going to ask for ONE…BILLION…DOLLARS first? Was his next step the sharks with frickin’ laser beams on their heads? They’ve crossed the line from wrestling into Austin Powers, folks. (Vince Russo was WAY ahead of them…) Anyway, Orton hits Cena with the stairs for two, then a chair for two. Back in, Cena gets the cradle out of nowhere for the pin at 33:00 to make it 4-4. Orton tries to beat up Cena during the rest period, and the ref is like “You’ve gotta give him 30 seconds!” Are you kidding? You’re gonna tell that to the guy who tried to murder someone with a PYRO BOARD?  (In all fairness, it was only ATTEMPTED murder.  I mean, to quote Sideshow Bob, they don’t give out Nobel Prizes for attempted chemistry.) So Orton gives him the 30 seconds, then drags him to the apron and DDTs him to the floor to make it 5-4 at 35:15. After the rest period, he covers again and gets two. Back into the ring for the Garvin Stomp, which gets two. Orton slugs him down for two. Very slowly. Cena suddenly makes the comeback, rapidly shifting as usual between playing a corpse and moving planets as Superman, and Orton bails to think the situation over. (In all fairness, Superman hasn’t been able to move planets since before the John Byrne revamp in 1987, and certainly not after the New 52.  Although maybe he was super-duper-overpowered again around 2009, but I wasn’t reading very much in the way of comics at that point so I’m not sure.)  Lawler thinks that 19:00 is too long for Orton to stall, but that never stopped Larry Zbyszko before. They slug it out on the ramp and then Orton runs all the way back to the ring again to waste more time. So back into the ring, Orton attacks and pounds away on the mat, then tries his DDT, but Cena reverses out and Orton bails again. Into the crowd this time for the time-wasting brawl, as Cena sends Orton down the stairs and back to ringside again for two. Into the stairs for two. Nice visual as he tosses Orton through the timekeeper’s barricade, then hits him with the STEEL steps. Then he stops to prep the table, and sets up the stairs next to it. That seems like an oddly specific plan for revenge. As it turns out, he carries Orton up the stairs on his back and puts him through the table with the FU. That ties it up at 5-5 at 51:00. Cena brings another table into the ring and puts Orton’s lifeless body on it, but then goes up and tries a flying splash. That backfires on him, of course, and they slug it out from their knees as the crowd boos Cena’s comeback. The ref is bumped and Orton gets the RKO, but it only gets two, even with Charles Robinson sprinting in. Oh no, I said a referee’s name, I hope Vince doesn’t sue me or yell in my headset. (It’s so funny in the dark way that I love so much that they spent YEARS making sure no one would ever speak the name of a referee on WWE TV and turning them into nameless nothings, only to suddenly be all “BRAD MADDOX!” when the situation required an evil referee, and they’re shocked when it doesn’t get over.)  Orton gets rid of that ref and stops to talk to the voices in his head, but misses the PUNT OF DOOM and gets caught in the STF. He holds on for nearly a minute, but taps at 1:00:00 to give Cena the belt back. I liked the Hell in a Cell match better, actually, as I found this even more slow and plodding than usual for an Orton match and couldn’t take it seriously after Orton tried to kill him with fireworks. I don’t get where some people are getting “All time classic” from at all. ***1/4  (Yeah, like seriously, who even remembers this match outside of the pyro board spot?)  The Pulse: A good show with yet another in the endless series of World title changes that mean nothing. (Oh…JUST WAIT.)  Nothing bad and all good matches means an easy thumbs up, but this is nothing I’m ever going to go back and watch again.


hey scott, check this out: http://www.wwedvdnews.com/report-nwo-revolution-dvd-content-vince-russo/29171/

quote: Was very surprised they got Lex Luger and Vince Russo to provide comments. Looks like they were recent because no year was on the top right corner. 

Russo??????? is he back!?!?!?!?

In many ways it's almost like he never left in the first place.
By the way, gotta love the strategy now of blatantly recycling the Back In Black / Monday Night Wars single disc DVDs into one MEGADOCUMENTARY about the nWo.  

What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – May 12, 1997

by Logan Scisco
Vince McMahon
recaps last night’s In Your House pay-per-view
Jim Ross and Jerry
“the King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from Newark, Delaware.
The Hart
Foundation arrives on the ramp and Bret hypes the qualities of each
member.  Bret gives a great promo that
blasts Austin for his behavior and “barnyard clichés.”  Bret says he has a surprise to announce, but
he gets irritated by the crowd berating him and leaves before revealing it.
1-815-734-1161 to get your Austin 3:16 t-shirt for $20 (plus shipping &

King of the Ring
First Round Match:  Ahmed Johnson defeats
Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Chyna) by disqualification when Chyna interferes at
The 1997 edition of the King of the Ring tournament was
the weakest in history, with only eight men participating.  Helmsley is on a small winning streak, but he
hasn’t faced anyone of Ahmed’s caliber in a couple of months.  If you close your eyes and listen to the
commentary of this match it is eerily similar to the Booker T-Triple H contest
from WrestleMania XIX as Ross and Lawler discuss Ahmed’s troubled past.  This is a very abbreviated contest and Ahmed
appears headed for a clean win until Chyna gets a chair and nails him with it.  After the match, Ahmed and Helmsley engage in
a small brawl on the stage.  Helmsley
losing here was a small upset, since it was assumed that Ahmed’s feud with the
Nation would cause him to lose this match, but he would be reinserted into the
tournament when Vader was too injured to face Crush in another first round
match.  Rating:  *
Sunny hypes the
Super Soaker by attacking The Headbangers with it
Vince McMahon
interviews Steve Austin, who comes out with one of Bret Hart’s crutches and
says that sooner or later he will be the WWF champion.  Austin says the quickest way to kill a snake
is to chop its head off and he says Bret is the head of the snake of the Hart
Foundation.  However, Austin says he
wants to have fun with his endeavor, so he’s going to start with the ass of the
snake, which is Brian Pillman (who he alludes to carrying in the “bush
leagues”).  Great promo to set up
Austin’s angles for the next six months.
A video package
showcases Ivan Putski, whose son, Scott Putski, will be making his debut
Scott Putski
defeats Leif Cassidy with a release German suplex at 4:05:
Another day, another job for Cassidy as he was the
resident WWF jobber at this time.  Putski
shows some raw talent and has a good look, but his debut took place without any
build so the crowd doesn’t know what to make of him.  Somehow Putski avoided getting an
embarrassing gimmick out of the gate, but that may be because the WWF was using
him as a babyface.  Putski misses a few
cues, but Cassidy does a good job covering for them.  An okay match, but the spots needed to be
more fluid.  After the match, Cassidy
snaps and blasts Putski with a suicide dive. 
However, Putski clotheslines him over the top rope when they get back
into the ring.  This whole thing
showcased Cassidy losing his mind, which eventually manifested itself in the
“Head” gimmick.  Rating:  *½
The Legion of Doom
say they can’t wait to mistreat two members of the Nation of Domination like
small animals.  Uh, poor choice of words
The Legion of
Doom beat PG-13 when Hawk pins both members after a Doomsday Device at 1:58:
In this contest the Legion of Doom were scheduled to face
two members of the Nation of Domination and PG-13 assumed that it would be
Faarooq and Crush, but they were forced to compete by their Domination
brethren.  For people that hate PG-13
this is your match, as the LOD squash them like bugs.  In Jamie Dundee’s shoot interview he said
that this match cost them a job in ECW because it made them damaged goods.  This was the end of PG-13’s tenure in the WWF,
so no more raps for the Nation from here on out.
Mankind is shown
with a man who has bandages wrapped around his face backstage, who we assume is
Paul Bearer
Dok Hendrix hypes
the next Madison Square Garden house show. 
The Undertaker & Sid face Vader & Mankind, Ahmed Johnson faces
Faarooq, the Legion of Doom & Steve Austin face Brian Pillman, Owen Hart
& the British Bulldog, Goldust takes on Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and Rocky
Maivia faces Savio Vega.
Mankind comes out
and brings Paul Bearer, who has his face wrapped in bandages, with him.  Bearer says that he is giving the Undertaker
one more chance to get back together with him or he will reveal a secret that
only the Undertaker knows.  He alludes to
the fact that this deals with the Undertaker’s dead mother and father and
thereby kicks off one of the more fascinating and well done angles of 1997.
McMahon interviews
Faarooq, who has been named the number one contender for the WWF title.  Faarooq says that there has never been a
black WWF champion even though Ahmed Johnson was Intercontinental champion and
Bobo Brazil (!!!) was U.S. champion decades ago.  He gives a race centered promo of how blacks
are discriminated against and how he’s going to change that with his fists and
feet.  Despite the controversial content,
this is by far the best promo Faarooq has given thus far in his WWF career.
Match:  The Undertaker (WWF Champion)
defeats Savio Vega (w/The Nation of Domination) by disqualification when the
Nation interferes at 3:55 shown:
We join this one in progress and Savio works the leg
after a Nation member grabs the Undertaker’s leg when he runs the ropes.  The announcers miss an easy storyline
concerning what might happen if Savio wins here, since Faarooq is the number one
contender and it might create more rifts in the Nation.  The Undertaker makes a comeback out of
nowhere and hits the Tombstone, but the Nation predictably invades the ring and
beats down the champion.  Rating: 
Sable models an
Austin 3:16 t-shirt and you can get yours for $20 by calling 815-734-1161!
Rob Van Dam
defeats Jeff Hardy with a split legged moonsault at 2:28:
This was part of an ECW angle where Rob Van Dam and Sabu
declared their allegiance to the WWF and aligned themselves with Jerry
Lawler.  Lawler hypes Van Dam on the
microphone and Van Dam says ECW is low budgeted and low talented.  So basically our storyline here is that Van
Dam is making an unauthorized appearance in the WWF.  Van Dam nearly flies into the first row on a
plancha and since we are in Delaware he gets a few “you sold out” chants.  A very impressive squash for Van Dam, who
works in the ***** Frog Splash and his split legged moonsault, which wows the
Part two of Dustin
and Terri Runnels interview with Jim Ross is shown.  Dustin talks about his relationship with his
young daughter Dakota and talks about how he wanted to be like his father and
pulled it off.  He says that he hopes
that his father is proud of him.
Ross interviews
WWF Champion The Undertaker on the Titantron. 
The Undertaker says that he may have to unleash a demon to deal with the
Nation of Domination and that there are some secrets that are better left
Non-Title Four
Team Elimination Match:  Owen Hart &
The British Bulldog (WWF Tag Team Champions) defeat The Headbangers, Doug
Furnas & Philip LaFon & The New Blackjacks at 6:59 shown:
Order of
Elimination:  Windham pins LaFon with a
lariat at 1:42; Thrasher pins Bradshaw during the commercial break by falling
on top of his after a suplex when Furnas and LaFon trip Bradshaw; Bulldog pins
Thrasher with a running powerslam at 6:59 shown
None of the teams get an introduction, as they are forced
to stand in the dark until the Undertaker completes his promo.  This is quite a random match and realistically,
none of these teams are on Owen and Bulldog’s level in physique, experience, or
overness.  Furnas and LaFon continue to
be depushed as they are eliminated less than two minutes into the match because
of a miscommunication spot.  The New
Blackjacks also continue their lack of direction by going out during the
commercial break.  The Headbangers
seemingly win after Thrasher superplexes Mosh onto Owen, but Owen puts his foot
on the ropes and the referee waves off the count.  Lawler keeps referring to this as the “Raw
Bowl” but that doesn’t make any sense because the Raw Bowl in 1996 was held on
New Year’s Day and was a parody of the college football season.  Nevertheless, the Headbangers acquit
themselves well with some smooth double teams, but the Bulldog and Owen emerge
on top when all hell breaks loose and get the victory.  I have no idea what the point of this was
since it didn’t put over any new contenders and the whole thing was a mess
until it got down to the last two teams. 
If they wanted to put over the Headbangers as legit contenders they
should have just scheduled a match between them and the champions.  Rating:  **
Chyna beating up
Flash Funk at In Your House is the Super Soaker Slam of the Week
Bret Hart and the
rest of the Hart Foundation come down to the ring.  Bret tells the rest of the Hart Foundation to
go back to the dressing room.  Bret calls
out Shawn Michaels and when Shawn arrives works in a nice burn about how his
career is “hot and cold.”  Bret goes on a
hilarious anti-American rant and says Shawn didn’t face him like a man at
WrestleMania XIII and he continues ranting as the show goes off the air. 
The Final Report Card:  Aside from the bait and switch at the end of
the show, this was a great effort of storytelling on the WWF’s part.  We have lots of things to follow next
week.  First, what is Bret’s major
announcement?  Second, what is Shawn
Michaels going to do in response? 
Finally, what is the Undertaker’s secret?  The glue of the top storylines is what held
the show together, but this show provided nothing too terribly offense in two
hours and that’s an accomplishment.
Monday Night War Rating:  2.8 (vs. 3.2 for Nitro)
Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Up

History of ECW 5/12/1998

Taped from Buffalo, NY

Airdate: May 12, 1998

Hosted by Joey Styles

Joey welcomes us to another installment of the History of
ECW and notes that this episode emanates from Buffalo, NY. Once again he
mentions that Beth Phoenix is from Buffalo and thinks she’s very hot. He even
makes the “call me” gesture to her. What a cornball. In the first match Sabu
will face Chris Chetti. Also a rematch from Wrestlepalooza takes place as the
bWo faces the FBI. To start off the show he introduces Joel Gertner then mocks

Joel Gertner cuts a promo with the Dudley Boyz. He states
that the Dudley Boyz will “raise the violence quotient.” With a faux Southern
accent Bubba puts in a few words while rattling off the scars and injuries to
his head. He then proceeds to headbutt a locker. D-Von wants us to testify to
the violence they will bring to ECW. Big Dick chuckles maniacally to end the

“Free Ric Flair”, “Imprison Eric Bischoff”, and “F*?! Vince
McMahon” start the opening credits.

Joey opens the show from Buffalo when Taz immediately
interrupts. While wearing “FTW” on his taped right hand he refers to himself as
the heavyweight champion. While being intimidated and mocked by Taz Joey hypes
the opening match between Chris Chetti and Danny Doring?

Match 1: Chris Chetti
versus “Dastardly” Danny Doring

Right off the bat Taz starts with a “boring” chant. He says
he made Douglas tap out twice. They shove each other to start. Chetti dodges a
charge but takes a kick to the gut and a dropkick from Doring. As Taz provides
delusional color commentary Doring puts the boots to Chetti. After he whips
Chetti off the ropes he leapfrogs Chetti. Chris grabs a go-behind in order to
roll Doring up off the ropes but gets shrugged off.

Suddenly Taz is destroying things at the commentator’s area.
Joey looks like he just changed the color of his underwear. Chetti comes off
the second rope with a double-axehandle and gets a 2 count. Taz has left the
broadcast position, and the show returns to normal. As Chetti cross-corner
whips Doring Taz walks in the back and into the upper deck. Joey wonders where
he’s headed. Taz threatens the sound engineer to play his music then makes his
way through the crowd to the ring.

As Taz enters the ring he delivers a Taz-plex to Doring.
Chetti tries to spear him, but Taz side-steps him and menacingly gives him some
crossfaces. Referee “Pee Wee” Moore tries to step in, but Taz throws him off.
“Pee Wee” then gets a Taz-plex. Again Chetti tries to go after his cousin, but
Taz takes him down and gives him a Fujiwara armbar. Security grabs him and
escorts him from ringside. As Taz is handcuffed he tells Shane Douglas “Who’s
the champ? I’m the champ!”

As Taz continues to be escorted out of the building Fonzie’s
voice is overheard talking to Chris Chetti. Sabu and Fonzie are in the ring,
and Fonzie wants Chetti to prove himself against Sabu. Instantly Sabu gets a
single-leg takedown and drops the elbow. Briefly he grabs a headlock, but
Chetti counters into a hammerlock then an armbar. Sabu grabs another
single-leg, but Chetti powers him down with his right leg.

Now Chetti gets the single-leg takedown and holds the
legbar. As Chetti grapevines Sabu’s leg on the mat Taz curses his way out of
the building. We return to ringside where Sabu whips Chetti into the steel
railing. While Chetti is down Fonzie pie-faces him twice. As Fonzie continues
to berate the rookie Sabu bridges a table between the steel railing and the
ring. Sabu finds a chair and launches it into Chetti’s face!

Sabu drags Chetti to the table, but Chetti fires back and
tosses Sabu in the ring. As Chetti begins to mount the top turnbuckle Sabu
catches him with a couple of punches. Chetti returns fire and heads to the top.
Again Sabu catches him then gives Chetti the super-huracanrana. Both men are
down. Sabu then dropkicks Chetti to the floor.

While favoring his left knee Sabu gives Chetti a pescado.
The crowd chants “ECW!” Sabu sets up a chair and fucks up the triple-jump spot
yet again. BOOOOOOOOOO! As the crowd chants “You fucked up” Chetti suplexes
Sabu. However, Chetti is too weary to capitalize for the victory. In lieu of
making the cover he heads to the apron and executes an excellent springboard
clothesline and gets a 2 count. Like a very green rookie he tries a second
springboard but Sabu dropkicks him onto the table. Sabu nails him with the
chair again then successfully gives Chetti the triple-jump legdrop through the
table! The crowd celebrates with another “ECW” chant.

After Sabu re-enters the ring and clutches his left knee
Fonzie rolls Chetti back in the ring. Sabu only gets a 2 count. Now Sabu acts
like a green rookie and tries another triple-jump legdrop but misses. He
positions Sabu in the middle of the ring but misses the double springboard
moonsault. Instead Sabu delivers his triple-jump moonsault press and pins him.

We return from commercial and Joey hypes another meeting
between the FBI and the bWo.

Match 2: The FBI (w/
Tommy Rich) versus the bWo

Joey mentions that Tommy Rich must be the only person in
Atlanta to not only fly the Confederate but also the Italian flag at his home.
As soon as the Blue Meanie and Super Nova enter the ring they are ambushed by
Smothers and Guido. Smothers hammers Meanie with the flag to the back and then
a flag-assisted clothesline.

“Double side-Italian legsweep” puts Nova down on the mat.
Subsequently they deliver one to Meanie as well on the steel chair. All 3
members of the FBI wield chairs and nail both Nova and Meanie with them. As the
crowd chants “Where’s my pizza?” Rich wipes Meanie’s facepaint off with a
towel.  If only he’d give him the “Blow
Away” diet he’d be loving life. Guido wallops Meanie with the flag pole again.

Relentlessly Guido wallops Nova twice with the flag pole. As
an added bonus WWE Classics On Demand informs us that in 1981 Tommy Rich won
the NWA title from Harley Race only to lose it back to him 4 days later. After
another chair shot by Smothers the bWo leaves the ring and the FBI stands tall.
Not really a match so no rating.

Next Al Snow is sitting on a stairwell muttering to Head. He
chases the cameraman away citing the need for privacy.

Meanwhile Joey states that Lance Storm and Jamie Dundee are
scheduled to have a match, but the Triple Threat intervenes. Candido gets on
the microphone and lists all of Shane Douglas’ injuries. Then he “shoots” with
Lance Storm about his character and the storyline. He asks Buffalo if they want
to be a part of history and offers him a spot in the Triple Threat.
Understandably Storm rejects the proposal. Shane Douglas gets on the
microphone, lists the former and current members of the Triple Threat, and asks
him if he really wants to turn that down.

Storm respects Douglas for the effort he put forth at the
PPV and Bam Bam Bigelow as the “greatest big man this sport has ever seen.” But
he refers to Candido as the “biggest pain in the ass…” and doesn’t want to be
part of the same group that includes him. He tells Shane that if they remove
Candido he’d consider joining them. Candido pleads with him to join. Finally he
says yes. Everyone raises their arms and Storm waffles Candido with the tag
belt. Long story, er, long, instead of Lance Storm facing Jamie Dundee he will
face Bam Bam Bigelow.

Match 3: Lance Storm
versus Bam Bam Bigelow (w/ Francine, Shane Douglas, and Chris Candido)

After a minute of sizing each other up, BBB hammers Storm
into the corner. He lets him get up by himself only to toss Storm back into the
center of the ring. Buffalo shows their love for BBB’s workrate by chanting
“Show your tits” at Francine. Bigelow tries to toss him again, but Storm blocks
and hooks a Fujiwara armbar. BBB makes it to the ropes to break the hold.

BBB charges, but Storm gives him a drop toehold to stop him
in his tracks. He then jumps on Bigelow’s shoulders and gives him a victory
roll for 2. Storm must have watched King of the Ring 1993 to steal that move
from Bret Hart. He then gives Bigelow his patented dropkick. 

We cut to where Bigelow takes Storm on the outside and makes
him eat the steel railing. Maybe if it was covered in chocolate syrup it would
taste good. BBB then military presses Storm and tosses him into the second row!
Joey mentions that other promotions give out t-shirts to fans at ringside, but
ECW throws wrestlers out to them. Bigelow runs him into the steel railing again
then military presses him again. This time Storm gets launched face-first on
the apron!

BBB throws eight chairs at Storm. We cut to where Storm
executes a high crossbody press onto Bigelow and gets 2. Candido gets on the
apron, but Storm knocks him off. A Sting bulldog puts BBB on the mat. As he
mounts the top turnbuckle Francine distracts the referee so that Candido can
push Storm off. Bigelow catches Storm and delivers the Greetings from Asbury
Park for the pin. **

Match 4 for the ECW
World Television title: RVD (champion w/ Fonzie) versus Doug Furnas

We are joined in progress as Furnas gives RVD a cross-corner
whip. RVD grabs the top rope in order to vault over him, but Furnas knocks him
to the apron by pushing on his left arm. When RVD re-enters the ring Furnas
gives him a standing dropkick to the floor. Furnas meets RVD on the floor with
a double-axehandle from the apron. He chops RVD and whips into the steel
railing. He follows but gets kicked in the face. RVD mounts the steel railing
and gives him a springboard moonsault!

We return from commercial and Furnas has Fonzie in his
clutches. In order to save his manager RVD mounts the steel railing and broad
jumps the entranceway. The crowd celebrates with a “Rob Van Dam” chant. RVD
lifts Furnas up to place him on a table that’s bridged between the apron and
steel railing. Unfortunately for RVD Furnas gives him a swinging DDT on the
floor to counter.

Furnas tosses RVD back in the ring and gets a 2 count. After
jawing with the crowd he allows RVD to get up. RVD tries to give Furnas a leg
lariat, but Furnas ducks, grabs RVD from behind, and delivers a released german
suplex. It gets another 2 count. He works RVD over in the corner then
cross-corner whips him. Furnas charges in to find nobody home. Instead RVD
jumps to the middle turnbuckle and gives Furnas a springboard sidekick.

RVD beckons Fonzie to throw him a chair. RVD whiffs on
catching it and Furnas charges into him. He then grabs Fonzie on the apron and
runs his face into the top turnbuckle. RVD tosses the chair to Furnas to give
him the Van Daminator, but Furnas ducks and gives him a chair shot to the head!
Furnas kicks Fonzie onto the table. RVD charges, but gets backdropped onto
Fonzie through the table! If your diet consists of squished whistle-blowing
former referees Fonzie would be on your buffet table.

Furnas looks to finish RVD off. He whips RVD off the ropes
and tries a huracanrana, but RVD counters that into a powerbomb. RVD leaps to
the top turnbuckle and delivers the ***** frog splash. In lieu of making the
cover for the pin he basks in the cheers of the crowd as the fans chant his
name again. He points to the sky to mock Sabu then applies the camel clutch to

Enraged Sabu enters the ring wielding a chair. He leaps onto
the middle rope and makes RVD eat some chair. As RVD tries to cover Furnas Sabu
mounts the top turnbuckle and gives RVD the Arabian facebuster. Furnas gets up
and nails Sabu with the chair. Luck would not be on his side because since he
was holding the chair RVD gives him the Van Daminator for the pin! Sabu
re-enters the ring and grabs the TV title belt away from the referee. ***

Fonzie cuts a promo stating there is no friction between RVD
and Sabu.

Lance Storm is sick and tired of being screwed. Who is he?
Bret Hart? He challenges Candido to a match to determine who the better man is.

Chris Candido cuts an unintelligible promo on Lance Storm
and refers to himself as the “greatest tag team wrestler of all time.”
Somewhere Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton are crying.

Lance Storm believes Candido won’t accept his challenge, so
he changes it to a “dream partner” tag team match.

Candido contemplates Storm’s offer and wonders aloud who his
partner would be. Bam Bam Bigelow shuffles in. Candido gives Storm no chance to

Once again Storm changes the stipulations and makes sure
that Candido cannot choose a member of the Triple Threat as his “dream
partner.” He disses Candido by stating his “biggest claim to fame is that he’s
Sunny’s boyfriend.” Ooooooooooooh!

Candido accepts the challenge. He says he’s coming for blood
and chooses Sabu as his partner.

Storm rebuts, but the program gets cut off. Joey apologizes
then explains how much of a mess ECW was as a company. He then informs us that
Storm revealed RVD as his “dream partner.” The match will take place in two
weeks. Next week’s show, however,  will
emanate from Queens, NY. Joey wonders if we’ll see if anyone gets run over on
Queens Boulevard. Since they’ve escorted Taz out of the building twice now I’d
bet on his chances.

Another intriguing show displayed by ECW this week. The
match between Doug Furnas and RVD was definitely the best match on the show.
The rebellious Taz storyline was advanced, so what could he possibly do next?
Additionally Taz’s commentary at the beginning of the show was a fresh change
of pace albeit delusional on Taz’s part. The story between Lance Storm and
Chris Candido had a great twist on the Hennig-Horseman angle from the previous
year. Heyman’s storytelling is shaping up nicely here. We’ll see where it goes
on the next edition of the History of ECW!

Be sure to visit http://www.rockstargary.com to check out more info on me!

Podcast Plug

Hey Scott…hope you are well. Looking for another plug for our

podcast. Thanks as always!

In this all new episode of the PTB Podcast, the great Kevin Kelly
joins Scott & Justin to talk about the year that was 1997 WWF. Kevin
doesn't hold back as they chat about Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Steve
Austin, Vince Russo, Undertaker, Brian & Melanie Pillman, Michael
Cole, Sunny, Vince McMahon and so much more.

They then wrap up with a discussion on Ring of Honor and the WWE
future of Jerry Lawler.

Kevin is open, honest and compelling as always, so fire up and enjoy
the newest episode of the PTB Podcast!


October Countdown: WWE No Mercy 2008

The SmarK Rant for WWE No Mercy 2008 (I didn’t forget this one, I just couldn’t remember which show came first.)  – Live from Portland, OR – Your hosts are Todd Grisham, Tazz, JR, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler…as the Beaver. ECW World title: Matt Hardy v. Mark Henry Henry gives Matt a clean break to start and then powers him down and pounds him with the clubbing forearms and knees in the corner. He misses a short charge and Matt starts kicking at the knee, but Henry clotheslines him and then levels him with a forearm shot off a charge. Matt goes after the knee again, but takes it to the floor and gets tossed into the stairs like a fly. Back in, Henry fights him off again and puts him down with a big boot for two. Mark goes up with a stomp from the middle rope, and that gets two. We hit the chinlock, but Matt fights up and then promptly walks into a bearhug. Matt keeps fighting, however, and gets the Side Effect for two. Henry powers out of the Twist of Fate and adds a big splash, but he hurts the knee and only gets two. Matt comes back one last time, hitting the knee to escape the powerslam, and finishes with the Twist of Fate at 8:06. Quite decent with the David v. Goliath story working like it generally always does when done properly. **1/2  (Mark Henry was actually showing signs of getting better at this point, although I think the MVP team kind of regressed him.)  Meanwhile, HHH and Jeff Hardy do a joint interview backstage, as HHH texts his vote for himself (but he’s rooting for Jeff) and he wants Jeff to be at his best so he can beat the best. Women’s title: Beth Phoenix v. Candice Michelle Candice dropkicks the knee for two and takes her down for a rollup for two. Low dropkick gets two. Enzuigiri (and not a pretty one) and Candice fires away in the corner, but Beth picks her up in a fireman’s carry and rams her into the corner. Candice kicks at the knee in response, but Beth sends her shoulder into the post for two. She works the arm on the mat, thankfully switching from a cross-armbreaker to a wristlock. Seriously, it’s 2008, we’ve all seen UFC and we know that if you really do that move, you break the arm. (Well, except for Alberto Del Rio, who must be REALLY bad at the move.  Perhaps he should watch some Ronda Rousey matches.)  Candice fights up with a dropkick for two, but Beth blocks a legsweep and faceplants her. Beth goes up and gets knocked down, and Candice dropkicks her for two, as Santino saves. Candice makes the mistake of going after him, and Beth clobbers her, but Glamarella has another argument and Candice gets two. Beth kills her dead with the chickenwing-bomb at 4:50, however. Another notch on the Moolah-Meter. Not embarrassingly bad like the Tramp Stamp side of the division, and that’s enough these days, but Candice looked like an amateur out there next to Beth with her half-assed dropkicks and shrinking muscle tone. **  (She pretty much disappeared after her Playboy shoot, didn’t she?)  Meanwhile, Kane once again is angry and very confused. Apparently we all wear metaphorical masks or something. Mask v. Nothing: Rey Mysterio v. Kane Wouldn’t it be fair to make Kane put his mask back on if he loses? (Not for another three years.)  Rey wisely dodges Kane to start and dropkicks him to the floor, but walks into the big boot. Rey comes back with a seated dropkick and springboards in with another dropkick, but a clothesline blocks the 619 attempt. Rey tries a rana and gets blocked, but he pulls Kane to the floor anyway and follows with a pescado. Kane catches him and dumps him into the front row. Rey meets the post and they head back in so that Kane can dole out more punishment. We hit the chinlock and Kane boots him down again for two. He follows with a backbreaker submission, but Rey slugs out of it and reverses a sideslam into an inverted DDT. Cole describes it as “swashbuckling”, which is one of the reasons why no one likes him. Kane hammers him in the corner, but Rey comes out with a moonsault press and slugs back. He kicks Kane down and comes off with the top with a guillotine legdrop for two. Kane catches him again with a sideslam for two and looks to finish with the chokeslam, but Rey escapes it and springboards at him with some messed up DDT-like move. Splash gets two. Rey goes up and gets caught coming down, and Kane gets two. Kane misses a boot in the corner and Rey 619’s the leg to put Kane on the floor, but flies into a chair for the DQ at 10:03. Did Kane think the ref wouldn’t see it? Really good crowd heat for what seemed like it could have been another typical big v. little match, thanks to Rey bumping like crazy. *** Meanwhile, MVP demands to see Vickie, but can’t get past Big Show. Show’s “I’ve been focusing on the Undertaker, but if you keep bothering me I’m gonna focus on YOU” is a pretty good heel line. So MVP joins us, pleading his case to the crowd for his mistreatment on Smackdown. Randy Orton interrupts and he’s not particularly impressed with MVP’s skills. Rhodes & Dibiase & Manu join him and the crowd just gets on Cody right away with a “boring” chant, rattling him. Apparently the threesome is against Orton right now before they do the obvious “swerve” and have them join the Age of Orton. (Hey now, it was LEGACY as it turned out, not Age of Orton.)  I like Manu’s Big Show Lite look better than his crazy samoan look. (He definitely wasn’t long for the promotion.)  MVP tries to get on board with the second generation, but they show disdain for anyone without a famous father. MVP decides to leave, but now CM Punk and Kofi Kingston join us and ask for his help in brawling with the New Kids. And they punk him by sending him in first and leaving him to take a beating, but then join him and clean house themselves. Did I switch over to RAW or something? JBL v. Batista They slug it out to start and JBL loses that one, and Batista puts him down with a clothesline. Boot to the head gets two. Batista slugs away in the corner, but runs into a boot. JBL sets up for the Clothesline from New York, but Batista blocks him with a spear and JBL rolls out to recover. Back in, JBL slugs him off the apron and they brawl outside and back in. JBL gets two and takes over. Neckbreaker and elbow gets two. JBL hits the chinlock, but Batista suplexes out and wins a slugfest, then puts him down with another clothesline. Corner clothesline follows, into the running powerslam. JBL blocks a spear with a big boot, but Batista is in no mood and finishes with the spinebuster and Batista bomb at 5:15. No screwing around there. I had no beef with this. **1/2 JBL, from his position counting the lights on the mat, asks for the microphone and complains about the bad week he’s been having. And then he gets his heat back by cutting a hilarious promo about how great the bailout is for him because it costs everyone $10,000 per household and he gets to keep his penthouse apartment and millions of dollars. I sense some subtle political commentary from the WWE. And then it gets sillier as Cryme Tyme and Sgt. Slaughter steal his limo in the back. Big Show v. Undertaker JR, apparently trying to one-up Michael Cole, calls Big Show “cyclopean”, apparently having missed out on Show having both eyes. Slugfest to start and Show clotheslines UT to the floor, but gets necksnapped. They brawl on the floor and Show gives him some good shots to the ribs and sends him into the railing, but Taker comes back and puts Show into the post. Taker pounds him on the floor and adds the guillotine legdrop, and they head back in. Taker hits him with a corner clothesline, but gets mowed down by a clothesline. Show throws hands in the corner, again working on the ribs, then drops an elbow for two. Back to the ribs and he adds a legsweep for two. Taker fights from his knees, but Show knees him in the head to put him down and pounds away. Taker fights up, but Show headbutts him down again…and goes up? Pump splash misses and Taker fires back again and hits the flying clothesline. Legdrop gets two. Old school ropewalk, but Show catches him with the chokeslam for two. Taker ducks the knockout punch and tries his own chokeslam, but Show counters that, so Taker DDTs him instead for two. Kudos to Show for taking that bump. Taker slugs him down in the corner, but Show takes the turnbuckle off and rams Taker into it, and knocks him out cold with three punches at 10:03. Now there’s a finish you don’t see every day. Unless you’re Kimbo Slice.  (In all fairness, Slice goes down after one.)  This was quite good, as if you’re gonna have two 300 pound guys out there, might as well have them beat the hell out of each other. ***1/2 Show’s ending rabbit punch is why MMA refs would stop the match BEFORE he got a chance to hurt his opponent. As a WRESTLING finish, though, it worked.  (And Show has been riding that punch as a finisher ever since!)  Smackdown World title: HHH v. Jeff Hardy HHH gives the handshake and then clobbers him from behind, getting two. He starts working on the arm, but Jeff flips out of it and takes him down with the headlock. HHH wins the battle for a hiptoss, but Hardy takes him down with another headlock and hangs onto that. HHH elbows him down to break, but Hardy gets a flying headscissors and puts the champ on the floor with a clothesline. He follows with a dive, but HHH directs him into the floor instead. Back in, Jeff slingshots in with a legdrop for two and it’s back to the headlock on the mat. HHH backdrops him to the apron to escape, but Jeff tries a sunset flip, which HHH blocks with a Pedigree attempt in an “Ooooooh” moment from the crowd. Jeff backdrops out of it, but then tries a flip dive and splats on the floor. HHH lets the count run and then tosses Jeff back in, for two. Backbreaker and he drops elbows on the back, for two. Jeff fights up, but a facecrusher gets two. HHH drops the knee for two. He works Jeff over in the corner, but runs into a boot, then recovers with the abdominal stretch as he goes old school heel. And he even uses the ropes, but gets caught. So he switches to the sleeper, but Jeff takes him down to escape and then follows with a mule kick for two. Seated dropkick gets two. He whips HHH right to the floor and this time gets his tope con hilo, as JR is all about the baseball analogies tonight. Back in, a clothesline from the middle rope gets two. Twist of Fate is reversed into a clothesline, however, and HHH gets two. Hardy charges and hits elbow, but HHH comes off the middle and gets caught, allowing Jeff to hit a gourdbuster for two. Jeff tries the Whisper in the Wind, but HHH powers him down for two in kind of an ugly spot. MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER and HHH sets up to finish, but Jeff reverses the Pedigree into a catapult, and Whisper in the Wind gets two. Mule kick in the corner and Jeff goes up, but he whiffs on the swanton and it’s KICK WHAM…Twist of Fate? Wow, not many people get to reverse the Pedigree. Jeff pulls off that miracle and hits the swanton, but HHH cradles for the pin to retain at 17:00. Ooooh, so close. See, kids, never leave your shoulders down. I was way into this one and thought they were gonna pull the trigger there for a second. **** RAW World title, ladder match: Chris Jericho v. Shawn Michaels Shawn overpowers Jericho and teases the superkick, but Jericho evades him. Shawn charges and hits the post, and Jericho hits a northern lights suplex, which leads into a pinfall reversal sequence in a match without pinfalls. Jericho clotheslines him to the apron and puts him on the floor with a nasty springboard shoulderblock. He tries whipping Shawn into the ladder, but Shawn climbs it and uses the momentum to hit a cross-body. Jericho sends him into the post again and charges with the ladder, forcing Shawn to counter with a drop toehold. Shawn gets his own ladder, but Jericho takes him down with the Walls of Jericho and brings the ladder into the ring. Shawn see-saws it into his face, however, and sets it up for the first climb attempt, as Jericho now appears to be down one tooth. Hey, that’s BLOOD. Someone alert Vince. Jericho pulls him down and catapults him, but Shawn grabs the ladder and climbs again, so Jericho brings the ladder down. Crude but effective. Jericho beats on Shawn with the ladder, then whips him into the corner, but Shawn reverses him into the ladder and brings it down on his knee. Shawn puts the ladder in the corner and adds a kneecrusher onto it, then goes to the figure-four to really kill the knee. Jericho reverses out and then kicks the ladder into Shawn’s face for good measure, then catapults him under the ladder. And then we get an incredibly brutal spot, with Shawn’s head getting sandwiched in the ladder, and Jericho climbs. Shawn stops him, so Jericho sets up the ladder in the corner and then gets reversed into it. They brawl to the floor and Jericho gets the worst of it, as Shawn drops ladders on him and BRINGS THE HATRED~! Sportsmanship is nice, but sometimes you just need a good vendetta, ya know? Shawn puts Jericho on the table and climbs a monster ladder, but Jericho follows and you know it’s gonna be good. And indeed, it’s a backdrop suplex through the table, taking both of them out. Shawn emerges first from the wreckage and sets up with a ladder on the top rope, but Jericho recovers and dropkicks it back at him. They fight on top and Jericho climbs the ladder and sets up for a superplex, but Shawn pushes the ladder over to escape, leaving it on top of Jericho. Flying elbow onto the ladder follows, and the laws of physics say that’s a dumb move. Luckily Shawn suffers less damage and he sets up for the superkick, but Jericho counters by smashing him in the face with a ladder. I love this match. So Jericho also gets goofy by Lionsaulting Shawn under a ladder, which again hurts him worse. Jericho sets up the ladder and pins Shawn underneath, but Shawn has the POWER and pushes the ladder over, sending Jericho to the floor as a result. This seems to leave things free and clear for Shawn to win, but Jericho pushes the ladder over just as Shawn starts undoing the belt. Jericho takes his turn at climbing now, but Shawn follows him up for the slugfest on the ladder, which results in Jericho falling back and getting hung up in the rungs. Lance Cade runs in to save his meal ticket, and Shawn stops to go after him with a superkick and they battle for the belt on top. The belt is freed and Shawn hammers away in desperation, but Jericho headbutts him and falls off with the belt to win at 22:22. That finish with both guys having a tug-of-war for the belt was something else, man. Match of the year thus far, there I said it. ****3/4 And what I loved was that they didn’t try to out-crazy the previous ladder spots, but merely took the existing ones and made them more bitter and hateful. More blood (or at least intentional blood) would have been nice, too, but it didn’t hinder the match for me like it did with the Edge-UT Hell In a Cell deal. The Cade run-in really wasn’t needed, though, and that deducts the 1/4* if you’re playing along at home. So yeah, the last three matches comprised basically half the show’s running time, which makes this one an overwhelming thumbs up. Especially surprising given how lackluster the show looked on paper, but the big matches delivered and I’m happy.  (That was a hell of a double main-event!)  Don’t forget to check out Dungeon of Death, available in bookstores everywhere (and Amazon) on October 28!

The SmarK RAW Rant–10.29.12

The SmarK RAW Rant – 10.29.12 Man, hurricanes on the east coast, earthquakes on the west coast…makes me glad to be stuck in the most boring province in Canada where nothing ever happens.  Much like this show as of late. Live from Charlotte, North Carolina Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jim Ross CM Punk and belt-handler are out to start, and the announcers are aghast at the highway robbery that transpired last night. A wrestling referee who is BIASED? This is a wholly unprecedented turn of events! Punk claims that he had nothing to do with it and he was as surprised as anyone else. They’ve all tried to erase from the history books, but he’s in-erasable, like a crossword done in pen! OK, I added the last part. Mick Foley interrupts this going-nowhere promo, and he’s mad because Punk FAILED to live up to the tradition of the Cell match. He won the damn match! But Punk is all about tradition, so he challenges Mick to a Survivor Series elimination match. Where the fuck did this come from? Ryback v. JTG Ryback with a couple of slams and a Thesz Press of all things, and the lariat and Shellshocked finish at 1:56. And then we get a RYBACK PROMO, as he’s still hungry for Punk. Randy Orton v. Wade Barrett Two years ago this was the main event of Survivor Series, and now they’re both just hanging around the midcard again. That’s why I miss the territory days – it used to be that guys would go to the main event, get burned out there, and then go somewhere else to keep making money. They brawl to the floor right away and Orton has his way with him, and it’s back in for the Garvin Stomp. Wade slugs back, but gets dumped again and we take a break. We’re back in suddenly no longer in HD for some reason. That’s pretty weird. Wonder if that was just The Score or if USA also switched to 4×3? Barrett works on the arm and gets two. The Score confirms that the hurricane is messing up the HD feed, which is good because it’s driving me crazy. Orton comes back with the powerslam and draping DDT, but Barrett counters the RKO with the Bossman slam for two. Another RKO finishes at 10:00. The 50/50 booking continues, but this was fine. **1/2 Meanwhile, AJ and Vickie discuss the allegations and AJ is basically forced to beg for her job. Daniel Bryan & Kane v. The Primetime Players4 This would be non-title, I presume. The champs take turns on Darren Young in the corner, but Bryan refuses to tag Kane back in. This costs him when Titus comes in and takes over, and Young goes to a chinlock. Bryan comes back and brings Kane in for a sideslam that gets two. Kane with the flying clothesline on Young and the chokeslam, but Bryan tags himself in for the No!Lock at 4:24. Just a match. *1/2 We recap the Brad Maddox storyline from two months ago, AFTER the match where remembering it in advance would have actually made the finish sensible. John Cena joins us to confront Vickie about the proof of his affair. He claims he was joking about the date, and was just comforting AJ last week, and the dinner was just a business dinner. However, Vickie also has video of Cena and AJ flirting in the hallway and then going into an elevator together. The crowd chants “You are busted” after that one. Cena digs the hole deeper before Dolph Ziggler interrupts. Cena actually gets serious for once and shoves Ziggler off before storming away. Surprisingly effective, actually. Kofi Kingston v. Antonio Cesaro And HD is back! Yay! Cesaro attacks, but walks into a forearm and the corner kick. Kofi goes up and Cesaro slams him off. Double stomp and Cesaro goes to the top wristlock, but Kofi dropkicks him to the floor and springs off the stairs with a forearm. Kofi gets into an altercation with color commentator Miz, and it’s a DQ at 2:40. The heels do the beatdown, but R-Truth makes the save. This was nothing. * Meanwhile, Vickie continues antagonizing AJ, who still claims that nothing happened. 3MB has an AWESOME vignette, including Jinder Mahal ripping off The Simpsons to great effect with “Yeah, I’m known as the fun one”. Also: “We’re not Lenscrafters! We can’t churn out smash hits in one hour or less!” Who knew friggin’ Jinder Mahal could be hilarious? If they keep giving them this kind of promo, they’ll get over as a cult babyface pretty quickly. 3MB v. Zack Ryder & Santino Ryder quickly gets the Broski Boot on Mahal, but he bails and necksnaps Zack to take over. Over to Slater for a quick beatdown in the corner and a flying forearm for two. Mahal with a high knee for two. Slater works a chinlock, but misses a charge and it’s hot tag Santino. It’s BONZO GONZO and Santino preps the cobra, but as usual he gets distracted and Slater finishes with the neckbreaker at 3:45. *1/2 AJ Lee v. Beth Phoenix AJ tries to unleash the crazy, but Beth lays her out and tosses her. Back in, she gets two. AJ comes back with a small package for the pin at 2:00. Oh man, the cradle, it’s Beth’s kryptonite! Vickie comes out to restart the match, however, and Beth quickly beats her with the Glam Slam. This 50/50 booking is getting out of control. Sheamus comes out to concede that Big Show was the better man at the PPV. But he didn’t come here to always win! Could have fooled me. Anyway, the war continues, he loves to fight, loves to smile, blah blah blah. This brings out Big Show, who wants to knock the smile off Sheamus’ face because Sheamus knows that he can never beat Show. Sheamus gives him the White Noise in response. Two guys engaging in hatred over the World title is a good thing, even if the feud bores me to tears. Meanwhile, Beth thanks Vickie for her assistance, but Vickie fires her. And so ends the Beth Phoenix farewell tour. The Rhodes Scholars v. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara Rey’s got the Grim Fandango look going tonight in honor of Halloween. The masked men frustrate the heels to start and double-team Cody, but Rey takes a beating for a bit before Sin Cara tags in and runs wild on them. A pair of dives follow and we take a break. I’m surprised we didn’t get yet another self-aggrandizing promo or recap of Punk-Foley during the break, because they’ve been doing both all night. Back with Cara getting the heat, but he gets a sunset flip on Cody for two. Hot tag Rey and he lands on his feet after getting tossed by Cody, but Sandow hits him with a cheapshot from behind. And now the heels get the heat on Rey, with Sandow dropping the ELBOW OF DISDAIN for two. Choking in the corner, but Rey cradles Sandow for two. Cody stomps him down for two as this is clearly just filling time. Finally Rey manages a double DDT and makes the tag to Sin Cara, who gets an enzuigiri on Sandow for two. The heels switch off and bail, but Cara hits Cody with a corkscrew dive. Back in, he goes up and misses a senton on Sandow, allowing him to finish with the Terminus at 15:30. Went too long, but the Rhodes Scholars continue to look strong. **1/2 With the tag division actually deep for once, they should go old-school and do a 10-team Survivor Series match this year. Luchadors/Kidd & Gabrel/Kane & Bryan/Santino & Ryder/Usos v. Primetime Players/Rhodes Scholars/3MB/Camacho & Hunico/The Ascension? John Cena gives a big cheque to cancer survivors after another 10 minutes of videos about how great WWE is for doing it. Just before an election, too! How about that. But then what’s another $1,000,000 donation when you’ve already burned $100 million on both campaigns to date? Like was this REALLY something they couldn’t have just stuck on the website instead of burning 15 minutes on the show with it? Alberto Del Rio v. Justin Gabriel ADR kills him quickly and gets a NASTY looking snap of the arm on the ropes. I don’t know how they worked that one, because Gabriel’s elbow went in a bad direction. ADR works on the arm while the words CHAEL SONNEN are spoken on WWE TV for the first time ever. That hurricane might be a signal for the end of times. ADR works a very long armbar and stomps Gabriel down for two. Gabriel gets a brief comeback, but Del Rio finishes with the inevitable armbreaker at 5:18. WAY too long for the extended squash it was. Much like everything else tonight. ½* For those keeping track, that makes Del Rio v. Gabriel your main event of the evening. CM Punk joins us at the 3-hour mark and we’ve still got a 20 minute interview segment to go here. Paul Heyman announces Team Punk: CM Punk, The Miz, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow & Alberto Del Rio. Mick Foley presents Team Foley: Kofi Kingston, Kane, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton & Ryback. Wow, this is quite the conflagration of midcarders. And then they do the big go-home brawl right here as Punk leaves. Geez, building up the reveal of the team members for a couple of weeks is the easiest hook there is and they just threw it out there in the same show as they announced the match! The Pulse This was yet another show where I had to keep stopping the show and going to do other stuff because I was bored out of my mind the whole way. I even watched last week’s episode of Dexter after the first hour before slogging back into it again. Also, basically no followup on EVIL REFEREE Brad Maddox, but a whole lot of AJ and Vickie. This doesn’t fill me with anticipation for Survivor Series.

Monday Night Open Mic

Ahh another episode of RAW. I wonder how many consecutive shows this is now? I can’t remember the final year they were pushed aside for the dog show. Had to have been during the first USA contract.

Much love to my people on the East Coast dealing with Hurricane Sandy. People here in Florida tend to mock those “overreacting” to this storm without thinking that most things here in Florida from houses to highrises are built to withstand moderate hurricane force winds. What really fucks things up is the flooding. Even the most minor of tropical systems can be a bitch if they move slow and dump a ton of rain in one place.

Family is good. Poor kid was struggling with the broken rib because it hurt to breathe but he couldn’t move around to make it easier because of the body spasms. However, pain killers still work.

Hmmm what else. I’ve heard different things about Hell in the Cell? Seems like either it was better than expected or as bad as expected. Naturally it appears that the answer is to push the Miz more. Hopefully either he or Ziggler will turn soon enough because that’s where I think any push can be maximized. Pushing Miz as CM Punk’s heel equal will just further expose how limited he is. Pushing him as a Blanchard to Punk’s Flair has more potential but someone has to eventually take the fall…and it usually wasn’t Flair. Hell a Dangerous Alliance 2K12 with Punk, Ziggler, Miz and Brock (in a recurring bully role) wouldn’t suck but there isn’t a Sting, Steamboat, Windham…etc. etc to really counter them. Cena can’t run thru them all can he??? Ummm enjoy the show and come out swinging but try to keep it clean.

October Countdown: WWE Cyber Sunday 2008

The SmarK Rant for WWE Cyber Sunday 2008 (So I installed Windows 8 Pro on my new laptop because I got the $15 deal from Microsoft and I had been testing the Consumer Release version on my piece of crap Toshiba since June or so and really liked it.  However, with the pre-release version, it wiped out all my settings and was basically a fresh install, and I was a little apprehensive about installing over the shiny new version of Windows 7 that was on this laptop.  And as it turned out…it installed perfectly and everything is still there, 100% working fine.  WHAT THE FUCK MICROSOFT?  How am I supposed to rail against your crappy products if you make well-made operating systems that don’t give me anything to get angry about?  Even worse, they made a big deal about Office 2010 Starter Edition not being compatible before I installed, and I was getting ready to get all mad about it and even posted a diatribe on Facebook in advance, and then after I installed Win8…Office Starter still worked fine. FUCK YOU AND THE QUALITY PRODUCT YOU RODE IN ON, JERKS.) – The time is almost upon us, as Dungeon of Death: Chris Benoit and the Hart Family Curse comes out this week, and you can get your copy from Amazon NOW. (And now on Kindle as well!)  It’s apparently already shipping from Chapters as well if you’re Canadian, and will be shipping next week for those buying it in the UK. You can also pick it up at all the major bookstores. I might be selling autographed copies as well if there’s enough interest. (I’ve still got about 20 copies kicking around the house if anyone is in Saskatoon and wants one.)  I’m also available for radio show appearances and interviews.  (Not anymore.  Sorry, too busy with the offspring.)  – Live from Phoenix, AZ. – Your hosts are Michael, Jim, Tazz, King, Matt and Todd. Rey Mysterio v. Kane Your cyber-voted stipulation: No holds barred. Did they really expect anyone to waste $1 voting for 2-out-of-3 falls? Rey tries attacking to start and dodges Kane to put him on the floor, then follows with a somersault plancha that misses by a lot. He grabs a kendo stick from under the ring and goes to work on Kane’s leg, but Kane boots him down. Rey takes a goofy bump into the post and Kane baseball slides him to work on the ribs, then bends him around the post. That’s like a Jack Evans spot. Shot to the post gets two back in the ring. Legdrop gets two. Rey fights up and Kane boots him down for two and then goes to a surfboard as this match is surprisingly shitty after their good one last month. Kane goes to a backbreaker submission until Rey fights out, and the bulldog allows Rey to make the comeback. Enzuigiri sets up the 619, but Kane clotheslines him down instead and gets two. Kane grabs a chair and Rey boots it back at him ala RVD and follows with an Arabian facebuster for two. Rey goes up and Kane slugs him down for two. Kane brings the stairs in, but Rey manages a drop toehold to send Kane into them, and a springboard butt splash gets two. Rey goes back to smashing Kane’s leg with the chair, and tries another 619, but Kane counters out to a chokeslam attempt. Rey reverses to a rana, into the 619, and splashes him for the pin at 10:20. They actually put Rey over surprisingly strong here, although the match was pretty dull stuff and didn’t take advantage of the stips. Kane looked lethargic and uninterested to me as well. **  (I think Kane cashed in a MITB contract on Rey a couple of years after this, so maybe he was just biding his time for his revenge.)  ECW World title: Matt Hardy v. Evan Bourne Landslide win for Bourne, so I guess Matt’s campaigning worked. Matt grabs the headlock, but gets dropkicked by Bourne. Evan takes him down into his own headlock, but Matt powers him down with a wristlock for two. Bourne with a rollup for two off that, and a sunset flip gets two. Matt tries the Side Effect, but Bourne gets a SWEET reversal off that for two and kicks him down. Rana, but Matt dumps Bourne and knocks him off the apron. Back in, Hardy follows with a lariat for two. Corner clothesline into a bulldog, but Bourne reverses him into the corner and takes him down with a cross-armbreaker. Matt reverses out and Bourne holds the armbar, then hits him with a great standing moonsault for two. They slug it out and Bourne gets a high kick to put him down, then goes up, but Matt rolls out of the ring and suckers him into trying a quebrada, at which point Matt yanks him down and slams him on the floor. Ah, the cagey vet Matt Hardy, who would have thought it? Back in, Matt gets a yodeling elbow for two. Abdominal stretch as Matt plays the subtle heel to keep Bourne strong as the underdog babyface. Bourne fights out, so Matt clotheslines him down again and follows with a boot to the ribs. Matt tries a Razor’s Edge, but Bourne counters out with a rana. Evan fights back with more kicks, but he walks into the Side Effect and Hardy gets two. Another one gets two. Matt goes back up and Evan hits him with a leg lariat on the way down, fighting back with high kicks and a moonsault press for two. Spinkick gets two. Bourne goes up with a flying high knee, and that gets two. I’ve never actually seen that before. Another spinkick misses and Matt rolls him up for two, using the tights in a nice touch. Bourne with a tilt-a-whirl into an armbar takedown, and he goes up to finish, but Matt slugs him down. Bourne puts him down again and tries the Shooting Star Press, but it misses and KICK WHAM TWIST is reversed into a backslide by Bourne for two, before the Twist ends the dream at 11:03. I daresay I would like to see these two gentlemen engage in honorable fisticuffs at a later date. ***1/4  (Never really went anywhere that I can recall.  Bourne had some great matches with Jericho after this, though.)  Cryme Tyme v. Miz & John Morrison Morrison gives JTG a clean break in the corner to start and grabs a headlock, but JTG elbows him down for two. Miz comes in and gets dropkicked, allowing JTG to whip Shad into Miz with a corner clothesline for two. Shad whiplash slams JTG onto Miz for two. Over to the heel corner where Morrison and Miz do some double-teaming, but Cryme Tyme dumps Morrison and tosses Miz onto him to follow. Shad presses JTG onto them, but sadly doesn’t follow with his own dive. Back in, Shad gets two. M&M cut him off with a shot to the knee, however, and Miz goes to work on the leg in the heel corner. Morrison with a half-crab, but Shad powers out, so Miz comes in and legbars him. Shad powers out again it’s over to JTG, as he hits Miz with a necksnap and a neckbreaker that’s like something out of the Def Jam games. However, Morrison manipulates the ref and JTG is YOUR thug-in-peril. Double gutbuster and heels take over with some choking. Morrison with a boot to the head for two. Miz with a corner clothesline for two. We hit the chinlock as the crowd just isn’t getting into this one. Miz tries a catapult, but JTG hits Morrison on the way up and makes the hot tag to Shad. M&M sell like crazy, bumping all over for him, and a forearm shot gets two on Morrison. John dropkicks the knee, however, and gets two. Shad with a spinebuster for two and it’s BONZO GONZO, but Miz kicks the knee out and Morrison rolls the dice for the pin at 10:25. This never got out of first gear for whatever reason. **  (Because Cryme Tyme was not very good and neither was Miz at this point?)  Intercontinental title: Santino Marella v. Honky Tonk Man Pretty even split here, although I thought they’d hold off on the Honky Tonk Man payoff until longer into the Honk-A-Meter. And really, hearing Honky’s music just shows how lame and generic all the theme music these days has become. Kind of weird seeing Honky getting a babyface reaction and somehow going from running joke into legitimate “greatest champion of all time”. They have a dance-off before Santino attacks, and apparently Honky is wrestling with the suit on. Probably best for everyone. Honky works on a headlock to start and pauses to dance, but Beth trips him up for the DQ at 1:05. LAAAAAAAME. Piper and Goldust head out and add a beating to Santino as well. At least they didn’t do the rumored payoff of Charlie Haas dressing up as the winning challenger.  (Santino wasn’t long for the belt at this point.  Honky, wisely, vetoed doing anything here that would jeopardize his indy bookings.)  – Next Monday, the 800th episode of RAW, which gives them another excuse to do a special three-hour show. Not that it isn’t impressive, but it seems like every few months there’s some other special celebration and it just doesn’t feel particularly special any more. Especially when they’re constantly and insecurely comparing themselves to shows like ER and the Simpsons because they’re so hung up on gaining mainstream acceptance.  (But what about RAW 1000?!?)  Undertaker v. Big Show The stipulation voted in is Last Man Standing, although Vickie announces it as “I Quit” because live TV is not her forte. I’m not generally a fan of this match type, although Taker and Batista had a good one last year so there’s always hope. They slug it out on the floor to start and Show tosses Taker into the front row. Taker comes back with a chairshot and a pair of corner clotheslines, but Show puts him down with a clothesline of his own. Show slugs away in the corner and puts Taker down with a headbutt, and a legdrop draws the first count. They fight to the floor again and Taker rams Show’s throat into a chair by using the post, which draws an 8 count. Taker gets the legdrop on the apron and they head back in, where Taker slugs away until Show clotheslines him down again. That draws a count of 8. Show fires away and headbutts him into the corner, but Taker slugs back and tries a chokeslam. Really? Show tries his own, but UT reverses him into a DDT for 9. Show removes a turnbuckle, but Taker sends him into it and puts him down with the flying clothesline, that gets 9. Taker charges him, however, and hits the STEEL turnbuckle before bumping to the floor off that. Show pounds away and preps the announce table, but Taker slugs a chair back at Show. Show gives him a weak chokeslam through the table in response, which I think was supposed to have more impact than it ended up having. It sounded more like a thud than a smash. This whole thing has been in slow motion anyway. That gets a 9 count for Show. Back in, Show slowly slugs away, but Taker gets a DDT. He goes old school, but Show chokeslams him to counter and that gets 9. Knockout punch draws the best reaction of the match, but Taker does a zombie situp to recover. A chairshot puts him down again, but Show goes in for the kill and Taker catches him in the Googleplex and chokes him out for the win at 19:22. Boring ass slow motion match, good finish. **1/4 Smackdown World title: HHH v. Jeff Hardy They were fooling themselves if they were expecting anything other than Hardy to win in a landslide. Kozlov getting an embarrassing 5% is pretty telling, no matter how much they want to do that match. (Yeah that monster push didn’t last long.)  Hardy works the arm to start and HHH reverses to a headlock, but Jeff goes for a Twist early, and HHH counters to a Pedigree attempt before they both back off. Hardy takes him down with an armdrag, but HHH runs him into the corner to break and then shoves him off the top rope. Back in, HHH stomps away and runs him into the post a couple of times, into a rollup for two. Hardy fights back with a lariat and a seated dropkick for two. Hardy with a falcon arrow for two. Corner clothesline, but he charges again and HHH catches him with the spinebuster for two. He follows with the Cerebral Crossface, but Jeff counters into a cradle for two. HHH stomps him out of the ring, but Hardy whips him into the stairs and follows with a flying leg lariat off the stairs. Back in, Jeff gets the Whisper in the Wind for two. Mule kick in the corner gets two. Twist of Fate is reversed by HHH, but Jeff counters again to a rollup for two. HHH tries the Main Event Sleeper, but Hardy reverses to the Twist of Fate for two. Jeff goes up with the swanton, but then tries another one instead of covering, and hits knee. Another shot at the Pedigree, but Hardy shoves him out of the ring and then follows with a pescado that missed by a mile. HHH sells it anyway and they head back in, where Hardy tries again for the swanton, and this time HHH kills him dead with KICK WHAM PEDIGREE to finish at 15:35. They didn’t have the mojo going this time quite like they did last time, and I think they’ve run it one time too many and killed the Jeff Hardy chase. ***1/2 That being said, still a very good match when HHH was able to reel Jeff in and keep him from getting too sloppy.  (They had something real with Jeff Hardy and WASTED IT.)  RAW World title: Chris Jericho v. Batista Your guest referee: Steve Austin. Well, duh. Jericho gives attitude to everyone and runs away to avoid the consequences, but Austin informs us that Batista will win the title if Jericho walks out. Like the real Steve Austin would ever say something like that. So Jericho heads back in and Batista tosses him around and elbows him down, and a suplex gets two. Jericho dumps him to come back and then dropkicks the knee on the way back in and goes to work on it. Batista fights up and Jericho dropkicks the knee again, then goes to a chinlock. Batista fights up, but Jericho cradles for two and kicks him down again. Batista fights up again and gets a corner clothesline, into a powerslam. He tries the powerbomb, but Jericho reverses to the Walls, forcing Batista to make the ropes. Austin drags Jericho off, and Batista gets a Bossman slam for two. Jericho tries a cross-body, but Batista catches him and tries another powerbomb. Jericho hits the leg to escape and comes off the top, but Batista catches him with a clothesline for two. He goes up and a flying shoulderblock gets two. Batista tries a spinebuster, but Jericho kinda sorta reverses into a DDT. That gets two, although it didn’t come off as convincing and I think the crowd was confused. Batista tries a shoulderblock and wipes out Austin, and Jericho gets the codebreaker. Alternate ref Shawn Michaels runs in and gives the world’s slowest count in a funny spot, setting up a spear from Batista that gets two. JBL then comes out and gets rid of Michaels to set up the next feud that no one wants to see, and Jericho takes out Batista’s knee again. Next run in is Randy Orton, as he takes out Austin and Jericho puts Batista down with the belt for two. Austin recovers, however, and it’s KICK WHAM STUNNER for Orton. Spinebuster and demon bomb win the World title for Batista at 17:04. Match actually picked up a lot with all the interference at the end, as these two just don’t have the main event chemistry. *** But really, while this would have been fine as the conclusion of a long reign for Jericho to finally get his comeuppance, it just cheapens the title further to have them switch it AGAIN after only two months with Jericho as champion. There’s just no direction in the main event. The Pulse Business as usual with this show. The fan voting stuff didn’t really help or hurt, as it was going to be a pretty middling show no matter what the stips were. Nothing terrible, nothing great, just a thumbs in the middle from here.

Hell in a Cell 2012

in a Cell 2012
October 28, 2012
Phillips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Michael Cole, Jim Ross, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
main event here is Ryback vs. Punk and there’s one thing I love about
it: I have no idea who is going to win. They really could go either
way and as a big supporter of Rybac, I’d love to see it. The main
event is in need of a major change, so why not Ryback? The main
issue for him though is that the fans are going to have the Goldberg
chants going on high tonight. The Sheamus vs. Big Show match should
be good too. Let’s get to it.

the preshow, here’s Cena to address the AJ/Vickie/Cena story.
Apparently Vickie has evidence of the inappropriate relationship
which she’ll show tomorrow on Raw. Tonight, Cena is answering
questions from social media. The first questions is about him
passing a torch to Ryback. Cena says no but he never had any fire to
pass. A TOUT asks what advice Cena would give Ryback for the Cell
tonight. Cena says that brute strength alone isn’t going to do it.
Tweet asks if Cena could beat Ryback. Cena asks the fans who aren’t
really clear on an answer. He does however say if Ryback wins the
title, he’d love the first shot. Another TOUT is about what was
Cena’s toughest match. Of course he says it’s the one against Rock.
Cena wants another shot of course. This isn’t going anywhere is it?
Another TOUT asks if Punk is the best in the world but Cena won’t say
yes. Another TOUT is from Dolph Ziggler asks if Cena will tell the
truth. Cena says the people should cheer Dolph because he used TOUT.
If Dolph is here, why not just come out here and fight?
Dolph…..or make that Vickie. She says the fans are more confident
in her than in Cena because Cena got his hand caught in the cookie
jar. Ziggler finally charges and gets knocked right back to the
floor. This was free on Youtube and I feel like I deserve a refund
after sitting through it.
on to the actual show.
opening video is about the two world title matches, just as it should
Del Rio vs. Randy Orton
quite the opener. Orton immediately jumps Del Rio and we’re out on
the floor very quickly. Alberto goes face first into the announce
table and back inside we get the Orton Stomp. Orton stomps away in
the corner until the referee pulls him off. Alberto throws him to
the apron and rams the arm into the bar connecting the buckle to the
post. Back in and Del Rio hooks a kind of armbar followed by
something close to the armbreaker over the top rope.
shoulder goes into the post and Randy is in big trouble. Alberto
hooks a different kind of armbar to keep control. It’s nice to see
the holds used being mixed up as watching the same stuff over and
over again gets old in a hurry. Orton jumps over Del Rio out of the
corner and grabs a rollup for two. Del Rio hits a DDT on the arm for
two and puts on yet another kind of armbar, followed by another
armbreaker over the rope. This time though Orton shoves Del Rio off
and out to the floor. Basic storytelling and psychology there but it
worked just as well.
sets for the powerslam back inside but Del Rio hangs onto the ropes.
More good psychology there as you can only have Orton or anyone use
the same moves so many times before someone sees it coming. Del Rio
tries the armbreaker but Orton makes the rope almost immediately.
The backbreaker from Randy looks to set up the Elevated DDT but Del
Rio counters into another shot on the arm. Alberto tries the RKO but
gets countered into the Elevated DDT.
tries the mat pounding but hurts his bad arm again. Nice touch there
again. Del Rio hits the Backstabber for two but the armbreaker is
countered into the powerslam for two. They go to the corner but
Orton gets shoved off. He hangs on by the ropes but Del Rio hits a
double stomp to Orton’s chest for two. This has been way better than
I was expecting.
as I say that, Del Rio goes up and I think is supposed to jump into
the RKO, but instead he just lands next to Orton and they’re
completely out of sync now. The RKO is countered as Orton is sent
into the corner where Ricardo rams the arm into the post. There’s
the armbreaker but Orton somehow hangs on and rolls on top of Del Rio
for two. Del Rio tries the running enziguri in the corner but Orton
ducks and catches Del Rio in the RKO as he comes down for the pin at
13:06. That didn’t have the impact they were looking for I don’t
B-. This was higher until the
jump off the top which looked horrible. Either way, this was a very
nice surprise with some solid psychology and storytelling the whole
way through. Orton isn’t great all the time but if you get him the
right kind of opponent, which is usually a guy who isn’t a giant, he
can have some solid matches and this was one of those. If the botch
hadn’t happened, it would have been an excellent opener. With it,
the match is just quite good.
recap the AJ/Vickie/Cena stuff and Vickie says she’s got the pictures
to prove the affair happened. Vickie turns around and runs into
Heyman. Paul wants the match canceled but Vickie will have none of
it. Heyman snaps at the theory that Ryback scares Punk and goes off
on Vickie for a bit. Vickie continues to do nothing for me at all.
Titles: HELL NO vs. Rhodes Scholars
Scholars won this shot in a long tournament. In case it’s not clear,
HELL NO is defending. The Scholars say that there’s one thing for
sure: at the end of the night they’ll be able to say “WE ARE THE
TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!” Funny stuff. Bryan vs. Sandow (in dark gray
trunks, just like Cody) starts things off and Bryan hits a running
knee to Damien’s ribs. Off to Kane for a low dropkick before it’s
off to Cody for the same move for two.
gets caught in the champions’ corner and it’s back to Bryan for some
rapid fire kicks in the corner. Kane comes in again and throws Cody
around again until Damien gets in a chop block to take Kane’s knee
out. More leg work keeps Kane down but Sandow jumps into an
uppercut. There’s the tag to Bryan who moonsaults over Sandow in the
corner and hits a running clothesline to take Damien down. There are
the NO Kicks and the Scholars are both sent to the floor. Bryan hits
a BIG suicide dive to take them both out.
they head back in, Cody grabs Bryan’s leg and Sandow knocks Daniel
into the barricade. Back in and a running knee gets two for Rhodes
as we enter the tag team formula mode. Bryan plays Ricky Morton for
a bit as Cody comes in to work on the arm a bit. Bryan punches his
way out of the corner but a knee to Bryan’s ribs takes him right back
down. Off to Sandow again who pounds on the ribs for two.
windup elbow gets two (I’m not even going to try to spell the real
name) and it’s off to a chinlock. Kane: “COME ON GOAT FACE LET’S
GO!” That actually works as Bryan almost gets the NO Lock before
hooking a drop toehold to send Sandow into the middle buckle. A
double tag brings in Cody to face the fresh Kane and the Big Fried
Freak takes over. The sidewalk slam gets two and the top rope
clothesline kills Cody. Kane signals for the chokeslam but Bryan
tags himself in and hits a Swan Dive, but Kane breaks up the cover.
pulls Kane to the floor and gets punched in the face. Bryan
backdrops Cody to the floor onto Kane and misses the running knee,
taking out Kane by mistake. The champs get into a shoving match and
a pair of baseball slides take out Kane. Back in and Cody hits Cross
Rhodes on Bryan but Kane makes the save. Kane is losing it and
destroys everyone in sight drawing a lame DQ at 13:30 for beating on
Sandow in the corner.
C+. This was getting good at
the end before the lame DQ. They did set up another match later on
which is fine, but with all of the teams they’ve got built up, do
they really want to go another month with the same guys? Still
though, entertaining enough match here and the champs fighting is
almost always entertaining.
gets a chokeslam post match.
talks about how Kofi brings mediocrity and mediocrity brings the end
of civilization, so Kofi brings the end of the world. It ties into a
show coming up about people who are preparing for doomsday if that
clears up anything.
Title: The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston
inflatable AWESOME from the Mania match with Cena is back. Kofi is
defending and this is a rematch from a few weeks ago on Main Event.
Both guys try and miss their finishers less than thirty seconds in,
sending Miz to the floor to regroup. How much regrouping do you need
after half a minute? Kofi jumps over the steps on the floor but Miz
kicks his head off to take over. That gets two back in the ring and
things slow down a bit.
to a chinlock for awhile followed by a clothesline to put Kofi down.
There’s a top rope double ax for two and Miz punts him in the ribs.
Miz’s corner clothesline is blocked by a hard clothesline from the
champ and both guys are down. Kofi chops Miz down and hits the Boom
Drop for two. Miz runs from Trouble in Paradise but gets caught by
the spinning top rope cross body for two.
SOS is countered into half of the Reality Check but they seem to miss
on something before the neckbreaker. SOS gets two and Miz hits a
kind of Stunner to the leg. Miz bends the leg around the ropes and
takes off the leg pad and boot from Kofi’s left leg. Kofi gets to
the second rope but Miz slams him off and puts on a half crab.
crawls to the ropes but Miz pulls it right back to the center. The
champ counters into a cradle for two but Miz gets the same off a
short DDT. Miz loads up the Finale but Kofi counters into a kind of
victory roll for two. The kick misses for Kofi but the Finale can’t
hit again. Miz gets kicked to the floor and as he comes back in,
Kofi kicks him into oblivion for the pin to retain at 10:44.
C+. Another good and lengthy
match here as this show is already better than anything WWE has
thrown at us in weeks. This gets Miz out of the title picture and
hopefully pushes him back up the card. Kofi is fine in this role and
can be put with almost anyone to get a good match. Solid stuff here
and a fine match.
says Miz has brought out the wildcat in him and that he’s proud to be
the champion.
NO argues again. Kane thinks Bryan almost lost because he was
thinking about vegan candy. Bryan yells at Kane for bringing up
Halloween when he’s always wearing a mask. Kane says that Bryan has
been wearing a mask since he was born on Old McDonald’s Farm….AND
AM THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!” I love these two.
Title: Antonio Cesaro vs. Justin Gabriel
we only had three announced matches left and it’s ten after 9, they
had to add another match or two. Antonio says something in what
sounds like German or Swiss before the match. Cesaro is defending
and they’ve traded wins on Raw lately to set this up. Cesaro takes
it to the mat as soon as the bell rings before cranking on the arm a
bit. Gabriel counters a hip toss and monkey flips Cesaro down.
goes up top but the champ knocks him off to the floor. Back in and a
legdrop gets two for Cesaro and he pounds away with some rough
looking shots to the head. An uppercut to the back of Gabriel’s head
gets two and it’s off to a chinlock with a knee in the back of
Justin. Cesaro puts him face down on the top rope and hits a running
knee to the ribs. A double stomp gets another two on Gabriel and
it’s back to the arm. The crowd is pretty dead for this so far.
comes back and takes Cesaro down for a quick top rope Lionsault for
two. Cesaro takes Justin’s head off with a clothesline for two. The
champ pounds away in the corner but Gabriel comes out with a spinning
DDT for two. Gabriel tries the 450 but rolls through when Cesaro
moves. Cesaro goes to the floor so Justin hits a dropkick through
the ropes for two. He heads back in but dives into the uppercut to
knock Gabriel silly. Back in and the Neutralizer retains the title
at 7:35.
C. I know there wasn’t much
here, but having Cesaro run through the entire lower card is a fine
way to keep him on TV without having him face guys he’s not ready to
beat yet. It’s also a good way to make him look like more than he
really is, which is something Cesaro needs. Imagine that: using
jobbers to the stars to push someone higher up the card. It’s so
crazy that it just might work.
cancer is bad.
on Ryback and how unstoppable he is.
sucks up to Vickie in the back because apparently the Cell has been
canceled. Vickie doesn’t seem to understand what he’s talking about.
The match is still on.
Time Players vs. Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara
Cara and Darren start things off with Young slapping him around on
the mat. Cara headscissors him down and there’s the tag to Rey.
Cara has what looks like a Mysterio mask on the back of his own mask.
The main event for Main Event this coming week is these four teaming
with Del Rio and Orton respectively. Yep the card is already falling
down. Off to Titus for some power to take over on Mysterio. A
double elbow by the Players take Rey down and Young comes in for some
near falls.
to a quick reverse chinlock by Young but Titus charges into a boot in
the corner to let the masked guys make a tag. Back to Cara who
speeds things up and hits a top rope cross body on Titus. Cara’s
spinning armdrag out of the corner is caught by Titus and he rams
Cara into the corner. Back to Darren to pounds away a bit more
before hitting the belly to back suplex onto the apron for two.
to Titus who suplexes Young onto Sin for two. JR says the Players
are trying to get a big payday for a win on a major PPV. What
exactly would be a minor PPV? Titus yells at Cara in the corner and
tells him to speak English, which will probably be a fine for O’Neal.
Titus puts on a kind of abdominal stretch before slamming him down
for two. Back to Young for a backbreaker which gets two. Titus gets
in a three point stance but charges into the post.
hits a kind of standing Sliced Bread #2 and makes the hot tag to Rey.
Mysterio speeds things up and hits a tilt-a-whirl DDT on Darren for
two. JR: “Keeping up with Rey is like trying to pour smoke through
a keyhole.” JBL: “Who would want to do that?” Cara dives on
Titus on the floor as Rey counters the gutbuster from Young into the
619 and top rope splash for the pin at 12:50.
C-. This wasn’t a bad match at
all but it ran too long and overstayed its welcome. These guys are a
good undercard feud for the tag division (imagine THAT say six months
ago) and putting them on here was as decent enough of an idea as you
were going to get. Either one of these teams could get a title shot,
and that’s kind of cool to think about.
may have hurt his neck but he gets up on his own power. Apparently
on that standing Sliced Bread he landed on the top of his head.
is promoting a Rolling Stones PPV concert.
recap Big Show vs. Sheamus. The idea is that Sheamus can’t Brogue
Kick Show but he wants to fight no matter what.
World Title: Big Show vs. sheamus
is defending. Show throws him around to start and Sheamus tries to
brawl with him. That results in the champion being knocked down into
the corner and Show is in command. Ziggler is watching with the case
in the back. Sheamus knocks Show to the floor and as the challenger
gets back in, Sheamus fires away with all he’s got. It does a bit of
damage but Show shrugs it off and knocks Sheamus to the floor again.
head to the floor with Show throwing Sheamus into the barricade.
Back in and Show keeps pounding on Sheamus very slowly. He steps on
Sheamus’ head and knocks the champ to the floor before sending him
over the announce table. This has been almost all Show so far and
Sheamus is looking like a ragdoll. Back in and Show hits the Eye of
the Hurricane for two. I think he used to call that the Final Cut.
Sheamus tries to fight back with some punches to the ribs but Show
throws him over the top to the floor.
Sheamus comes back in, he hits the slingshot shoulder but charges
right into a superkick for two. Show knocks him down again with
Sheamus only being able to get in some punches before charging into a
bearhug. Show gets on his knee instead of picking Sheamus up,
allowing Sheamus to hit some forearms. A slam doesn’t work at all
and the Vader Bomb Elbow gets two for Show. He calls for the
chokeslam but Sheamus counters into a DDT but the kickout sends
Sheamus out to the floor.
tries the ten forearms in the corner but Show shoves him off. The
chokeslam hits but it only gets two. Show is getting ticked off now
but he can’t hook the Colossal Clutch. Sheamus avoids an elbow and
tries the Cloverleaf of all things but Show kicks him off. They head
to the floor and Sheamus drives Show into the post a few times. Back
in and Sheamus goes after the knee before hitting some ax handles to
take Show down.
hits White Noise and does it with EASE. That looked better than a
lot of the AA’s Cena hits on Show. That only gets two and Sheamus
charges into the WMD…..for two. Show tries another punch but
Sheamus kicks Show’s head off…..FOR TWO. This is getting AWESOME.
Sheamus gets WAY fires up but the Brogue Kick charges into the WMD
for the pin and the title at 21:37.
B+. This was exactly what it
was supposed to be: a heavyweight slugfest with Sheamus pounding away
with everything he had but it just wasn’t enough. I would initially
say that Show winning the title was a bad thing but the way they were
going with the feud it was probably the best idea. This was a great
match though and WAY better than I was expecting. The kickouts were
great and the match worked really well. I can’t believe I’m saying
this, but match of the night so far.
tries to talk to Booker but Booker goes to check on Sheamus. Teddy
says Eve is going to lose when Ryder comes up dressed as a witch. Oh
ok he’s Eve. Teddy says that’s one letter off.
is here and Punk asks him to cancel the match. Vince asks if Punk is
afraid of Ryback but Punk says no and leaves.
Title: Layla vs. Eve Torres vs. Kaitlyn
was attacked at Night of Champions and Layla had to defend against
Eve instead of Kaitlyn. Eve won the title and was accused of
attacking Kaitlyn, setting up this. The challengers double team Eve,
argue a bit, and then double team Eve again. Eve and Kaitlyn finally
start fighting and we get a pinfall reversal sequence. Eve comes
back in and knocks Layla to the floor so she can beat on Kaitlyn a
works over Kaitlyn’s leg with a long hold until Layla finally gets
back in. A hard kick to Eve’s face slows her down and Layla pounds
away in the corner. A cross body gets two for Layla but Eve throws
her into the splits. Eve gets thrown into the splits as well and
Kaitlyn gives us a DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER!!! Kaitlyn puts Layla in a
Fujiwara Armbar but Eve makes the save. The crowd dies as the match
starts to drag. Kaitlyn hits Stratusfaction on Eve to send her to
the floor and powerslams Eve down. Eve hits a middle rope Swanton to
break up the pin and covers Layla to retain the title at 6:39.
C-. The girls are getting
better and they have an actual story anymore, but the fans still
don’t care. This is MILES better than they were having a few months
ago, but at the same time it’s still nothing to write home about.
Kaitlyn appears to be the future but I’m still not sold on her at
all. Decent match that ran too long.
Show brags about getting the title back and dares anyone to try to
take it from him. That sounds like a match for Ryback once he’s done
with Punk.
is getting looked at.
recap Punk vs. Ryback. Punk and Cena were feuding, then Cena got
hurt and Ryback was the next best thing they could come up with.
It’s in the Cell because the calendar says it needs to be.
Cell is lowered. Cole says the Cell was introduced 15 years ago. My
goodness do I feel old.
World Title: Ryback vs. CM Punk
honestly don’t know who is going to win here and I love that feeling.
The Goldberg chants start before the music hits. Ryback has a red
singlet tonight. Not much of a pop for him though. The big match
intros inform us that this match will indeed be taking place inside
the Cell. You know, in case you’re REALLY FREAKING STUPID. The fans
get fired up for the Feed Me More chant at least.
immediately heads to the floor and we’re in the big Cell where
there’s almost no room at ringside. Punk gets back in and
immediately runs to the floor again. After almost a minute and a
half Ryback gets his hands on Punk and chokes him in the air. Ryback
kicks him in the chest and Punk is in trouble early. Punk gets a
boot up in the corner but a tornado DDT is easily countered.
is sent back to the floor where he tries to get out of the door.
Ryback throws him into the Cell wall and then does it again. The
Goldberg chants start up and Punk hides under the ring. Heyman
distracts Ryback, allowing Punk to spray him with a fire extinguisher
and knock Ryback into the cage. The champ finds a chair but Ryback
knocks it into Punk’s head. Back in and Ryback hits a Warrior
gorilla press drop.
misses a charge into the corner and Punk hits a springboard
clothesline to take him down. A top rope double ax only kind of hits
so Punk hits a second to stagger Ryback. A third attempt is caught
in midair but Punk hits a leg lariat to take Ryback down again. Punk
sends him to the floor and hits the suicide dive but Ryback is
slammed into the cage instead of being knocked down. Ryback easily
breaks up a neckbreaker on the floor but his spear hits the steps.
in and Punk puts on a chinlock. We’re over eight minutes into this
and it’s been pretty good stuff so far. Another Ryback charge hits
the post and Punk smiles. Heyman: “HE’S STILL ALIVE!” Punk hits
the running knee in the corner and a clothesline to set up the Macho
Elbow for no cover. Punk brings in a kendo stick and mocks the FEED
ME MORE chant.
Hulks Up and takes the stick out of Punk’s hands. Ryback is all
fired up now and Heyman is panicking. The fans are getting into the
chant now and there’s the Meathook (clothesline). Ryback loads up
Shell Shock….and the referee hits Ryback low and fast counts a Punk
rollup for the pin to retain at 11:45.
B-. This is one of those what
the heck was that endings but it was a good match until we got there.
I don’t like the screwjob ending and I wanted Ryback to win, but
this sets up another match down the line I guess. I don’t recognize
the referee but I’m sure we’ll find out who he was later on. The
fans went silent after the pin which is a good thing….I think?
gets up and murders the referee as Heyman pulls Punk through the
door. Ryback catches up to him though and throws Punk at the Cell,
but Punk climbs up to escape. Ryback follows him and hits the Shell
Shock on top of the Cell.
poses on top of the Cell to end the show.
B+. This was a really
good show actually and the ending has me wondering where they’ll go
next. There wasn’t a really bad match on the show but a few of them
were pretty slow. The Show title win was a nice surprise and the
ending visual of the Shell Shock was good, but it wasn’t a classic
show. For what it was, this was solid, but it’s another show that
leads to another one instead of something conclusive, which is an
annoying habit WWE has.
Orton b. Alberto Del Rio – RKO
Scholars b. HELL NO via DQ when Kane would not stop attacking Sandow
Kingston b. The Miz – Trouble in Paradise
Cesaro b. Justin Gabriel – Neutralizer
Mysterio/Sin Cara b. Prime Time Players – Top rope splash to Young
Show b. Sheamus – WMD
Torres b. Kaitlyn and Layla – Eve pinned Layla after a powerslam
from Kaitlyn
Punk b. Ryback – Rollup after a low blow from the referee
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com

ROH TV 10-27-12

Survival of the Fittest!

Briscoe Boys vs. The
Bravado Brothers:
Kevin Kelly
plays up the Bravado’s stay in NOAH. Mark and Harlem start us off, Mark gets a
big boot, tags in Jay, and they hit the Sidewinder for 2. Mark back in with a
brainbuster for 2, and hits some odd looking chops to the face and a couple headbutts.
Harlem reverses an Irish whip and Lancelot grabs Mark’s foot as he comes off
the ropes, and Harlem hits a nasty kick to the face for 2. Lancelot in now and
they hit a double elbowdrop, Jay comes in for the save but Mark kicks out on
his own. Suplex from Lancelot and he tags out, and Mark and Harlem slug it out,
but Lancelot provides the distraction and Harlem takes over… for about 10
seconds. Harlem misses a blind charge, and Mark does this idiotic-looking chest
slapping thing and hits an uppercut. Both guys tag out and Jay hits a falcon
arrow on Lancelot for 2. Briscoes go for the Doomsday Device but Harlem knocks
Mark off the top. Harlem hits the Blockbuster on Jay, Mark makes the save,
Harlem accidentally enziguries his partner and the Doomsday Devices finishes it
at 5:22. *1/2, pretty much a squash, and not a very good one, as the Briscoes
were clearly not putting in a full effort here.
Match was just a backdrop for the angle anyway, as the Disciples
of Truth make their way out, announce they’re leaving the House of Truth, and
unmask as the Headbangers, to the shock of no one. They even referred to
themselves as “former WWF tag team champs”, which is kind of weird to hear
these days. Hopefully they will go back to the old WWF ring gear, as the D of T gear
looked incredibly low budget.
Clips of the finishes from the previous S.O.T.F. matches,
including the World Tag Team Champion, who won the inaugural match in 2004, and a
couple guys that are now on NXT.
Survival of the
Fittest 2012 finals: Jay Lethal vs. Adam Cole vs. Mike Mondo vs. Davey Richards
vs. Roderick Strong vs. Michael Elgin:
Richards and Strong start us off
thanks to a “coin toss”, though how you’re supposed to do a coin toss with 6
guys is never explained. Nothing of note happens for the first couple minutes, until
we get the lucha trainwreck spot, Mondo is the last man left and he hits a
moonsault from the top onto everyone else on the floor. Crowd pops big for
that, and with good reason, it was a damn fine moonsault. Doesn’t do him much
good, as he’s blasted with a kick to the face by Strong  a minute later and he’s done at 4:48. Strong
and Cole fight it out, though he seems more interested in talking shit to Elgin
than he is in wrestling Cole. He also knocks Richards off the apron, just for the hell of it.
Nice. Back to work on Cole now with some pretty stiff stuff, and a double-knee
gutbuster gets 2. The mouthing off to Elgin finally bites him in the ass
though, as Elgin comes in and pops him, and a Cole superkick finishes Strong at
6:35. Richards now in with the anklelock on Cole, but Cole gets loose and Elgin
tags himself in. He and Cole fight over a rollup, Cole hits a jumping enziguri
and goes for what looked to be a Shining Wizard but Elgin catches him,
powerbombs him into the corner, and Cole is sent home via the sitout powerbomb
at 7:36. And now the real fun begins, as Lethal is in with a seated dropkick on
Elgin for 2 as we go to commercial.
Back with Elgin hitting a Samoan drop on Lethal and a fallaway
slam on Richards at the same time. I don’t care if the other 2 guys are
cooperating, that’s still awesome. Lethal and Richards bail to the floor
and Elgin goes to the top for some reason, and Strong (who had been
lying on the floor since being eliminated) knocks him off. Lethal and Richards
slug it out back in the ring while Elgin is lying on a table that’s up against
the apron. Richards knocks Lethal down and tries to suplex Elgin through the
table, but it’s plastic and it just bends in the middle as Elgin bounces off
it. That was SICK. Elgin is down on the floor as Richards and Lethal slug it
out for a while. Elgin finally crawls back in and Lethal and Richards double
team him. Lethal hits a DDT, Richards hits a double stomp from the top, Lethal
gets the Macho Man elbow and both guys make the cover, but Elgin kicks out.
Richards tries some clotheslines and punches, but Elgin isn’t going down. Both
guys superkick him, Lethal hits a Yazuka kick to finally knock him down, both
guys hit simultaneous kicks to the head, and THAT is enough to eliminate Elgin
at 13:10 shown. And we go back to commercial.
The locker room comes to ringside to watch the rest of the
match as we come back from the break, and the audio is in and out for the
remainder of the match. ROH production values at their finest… Jay hits a
Diamond Cutter off a handshake (I knew we wouldn’t get through this whole show
without seeing at least one) and the Mach Man elbow gets 2. A pair of Lethal
Combinations get 2. Lethal then gets some sort of MMA hold (I don’t really know
MMA, so I have no idea what it’s called, and with the audio out I get no help
from the commentators), Richards reverses into the anklelock, Lethal reverses
that into an anklelock of his own and adds a sort of surfboard-like maneuver to
stretch him out. Richards makes the ropes and they fight it out on the apron.
Richards suplexes Lethal to the floor, tosses him back in, and hits the double
stomp from the top for 2. Richards kicks away and gets 2 off those. They slug
it out some more and Lethal hits a superkick for 2. He misses the Lethal
Injection and Richards gets the anklelock again, but Lethal quickly gets free.
Richards does the cross corner whip and clotheslines, hits a superplex, and rolls
that right into a brainbuster for 2. That was pretty sweet. Richards hits the
sliding kick thing that used to finish off Mike Bennett a couple weeks ago for
2, and then back to the anklelock. Lethal gets free and just plants him with a
German suplex, then hits a full-nelson suplex (though not a Dragon suplex, no
bridge) for 2. Richards is a dead man walking here, as he has to pull himself
up on Lethal to get to his feet. Lethal headbutts him and Davey spits in his
face (that was uncalled for…), jumping enziguri and the Lethal Injection finish
it at 20:30 aired. And now of course the audio comes back on. ****, this is a legitimate
MOTY candidate, well worth checking out if you can find it online somewhere.
Richards raises Lethal’s hand to close out the show.
Next week: Road Rage from Toronto, as we get highlights from
the recent PPV. Next TV taping is November 3.


Hell In A Cell Thread: Part One

First up, predictions for the show, and specifically the main event tonight.  There seems to be some buzz about it, although I don't think it'll affect the buyrate.  

My bold prediction:  I think they're in panic mode and that means WWE CHAMPION RYBACK.  
Bryan Alvarez had a really cool scenario if they want to screwjob the shit out of it:  Cena or someone else beats up Punk before the match even starts, and Ziggler cashes in on him and wins the WWE title.  Then Ryback can beat Ziggler in the Cell and supposedly walk out as champion.  Next night on RAW, the title gets taken away from Ziggler because his briefcase was only good for the Smackdown belt, so we end with Punk still champion, Ziggler still carrying the briefcase, and Ryback still undefeated.  If it was me I'd just beat Ryback by doing the Warrior-Rude finish and be done with it, but then I'm not exactly a Ryback booster.  
Apparently there's other matches tonight too.  

How Long Aces & Eights Storyline Will Keep Going

Six months?  Oy vey…

Look at how long they kept the Joey Ryan angle going and no one gave a shit about that one, either.  Nothing against Ryan, he's great in this role, but it wasn't a storyline that required FOUR MONTHS.  With Aces, we should have gotten the payoff at BFG, and all we got was the first real angle.  Maybe Brian Michael Bendis is doing wrestling writing now?