Rock On RAW

Hey Scott,

Here’s a question for the BoD: I assume Rock is not going to stick around post-WM as a full-timer. If you’re Vince, how do you not book a Rock-Cena rematch for the 2nd Raw after WM? If Rock’s leaving for (basically) good and will not be around for the next PPV, why not have Rock-Cena II on Raw and see what kind of rating you’ll pop? (Obviously you can’t have the rematch on the Raw immediately after WM because then it’ll rip off the people who paid for the PPV, but the 2nd Raw after WM… won’t rip them off… as much.)

Sure, and then you can withdraw $20,000,000 in potential PPV revenue for that rematch, cash it into hundreds, and then put the money in a box and burn it on the next RAW, because that would probably get the same rating and be about the same thing as running Rock v. Cena on RAW.

They don’t need to have Rock wrestling to pop a rating.  Rock draws ratings just by appearing and having him wrestle won’t appeal to any bigger chunk of the fanbase.  The goal is to take those 4 million people watching the show and get them to pay to watch Rock wrestle.  Although the WWE might be that stupid, Rock is not, and he knows the downside to degrading his drawing power by wrestling on TV again.  Plus he’s one of the only guys with the leverage to tell Vince to go fuck himself if need be.  Never happen in a million years.

Edit to add:  I just noticed that my auto-tagger interpreted “rip” as “RIP”.  I guess it gets used so much that the blog just assumes now…

Rock On RAW

Hey Scott,

Here’s a question for the BoD: I assume Rock is not going to stick around post-WM as a full-timer. If you’re Vince, how do you not book a Rock-Cena rematch for the 2nd Raw after WM? If Rock’s leaving for (basically) good and will not be around for the next PPV, why not have Rock-Cena II on Raw and see what kind of rating you’ll pop? (Obviously you can’t have the rematch on the Raw immediately after WM because then it’ll rip off the people who paid for the PPV, but the 2nd Raw after WM… won’t rip them off… as much.)

Sure, and then you can withdraw $20,000,000 in potential PPV revenue for that rematch, cash it into hundreds, and then put the money in a box and burn it on the next RAW, because that would probably get the same rating and be about the same thing as running Rock v. Cena on RAW.

They don’t need to have Rock wrestling to pop a rating.  Rock draws ratings just by appearing and having him wrestle won’t appeal to any bigger chunk of the fanbase.  The goal is to take those 4 million people watching the show and get them to pay to watch Rock wrestle.  Although the WWE might be that stupid, Rock is not, and he knows the downside to degrading his drawing power by wrestling on TV again.  Plus he’s one of the only guys with the leverage to tell Vince to go fuck himself if need be.  Never happen in a million years.

Edit to add:  I just noticed that my auto-tagger interpreted “rip” as “RIP”.  I guess it gets used so much that the blog just assumes now…

Rock On RAW

Hey Scott,

Here’s a question for the BoD: I assume Rock is not going to stick around post-WM as a full-timer. If you’re Vince, how do you not book a Rock-Cena rematch for the 2nd Raw after WM? If Rock’s leaving for (basically) good and will not be around for the next PPV, why not have Rock-Cena II on Raw and see what kind of rating you’ll pop? (Obviously you can’t have the rematch on the Raw immediately after WM because then it’ll rip off the people who paid for the PPV, but the 2nd Raw after WM… won’t rip them off… as much.)

Sure, and then you can withdraw $20,000,000 in potential PPV revenue for that rematch, cash it into hundreds, and then put the money in a box and burn it on the next RAW, because that would probably get the same rating and be about the same thing as running Rock v. Cena on RAW.

They don’t need to have Rock wrestling to pop a rating.  Rock draws ratings just by appearing and having him wrestle won’t appeal to any bigger chunk of the fanbase.  The goal is to take those 4 million people watching the show and get them to pay to watch Rock wrestle.  Although the WWE might be that stupid, Rock is not, and he knows the downside to degrading his drawing power by wrestling on TV again.  Plus he’s one of the only guys with the leverage to tell Vince to go fuck himself if need be.  Never happen in a million years.

Edit to add:  I just noticed that my auto-tagger interpreted “rip” as “RIP”.  I guess it gets used so much that the blog just assumes now…

Rock On RAW

Hey Scott,

Here’s a question for the BoD: I assume Rock is not going to stick around post-WM as a full-timer. If you’re Vince, how do you not book a Rock-Cena rematch for the 2nd Raw after WM? If Rock’s leaving for (basically) good and will not be around for the next PPV, why not have Rock-Cena II on Raw and see what kind of rating you’ll pop? (Obviously you can’t have the rematch on the Raw immediately after WM because then it’ll rip off the people who paid for the PPV, but the 2nd Raw after WM… won’t rip them off… as much.)

Sure, and then you can withdraw $20,000,000 in potential PPV revenue for that rematch, cash it into hundreds, and then put the money in a box and burn it on the next RAW, because that would probably get the same rating and be about the same thing as running Rock v. Cena on RAW.

They don’t need to have Rock wrestling to pop a rating.  Rock draws ratings just by appearing and having him wrestle won’t appeal to any bigger chunk of the fanbase.  The goal is to take those 4 million people watching the show and get them to pay to watch Rock wrestle.  Although the WWE might be that stupid, Rock is not, and he knows the downside to degrading his drawing power by wrestling on TV again.  Plus he’s one of the only guys with the leverage to tell Vince to go fuck himself if need be.  Never happen in a million years.

Edit to add:  I just noticed that my auto-tagger interpreted “rip” as “RIP”.  I guess it gets used so much that the blog just assumes now…

Monday Nitro – September 16, 1996

Monday Nitro #53
Date: September 16, 1996
Location: Ashville Civic Center, Ashville, North Carolina
Attendance: 5,000
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone, Eric Bischoff

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these. We’re done with Fall Brawl now and Sting is public enemy #1 in WCW, even though he showed up in WarGames and proved that he was innocent. The card is nothing special tonight but we do have a debut of a pretty big name which we’ll get to later on tonight. Let’s get to it.

Is there a reason why Hogan, the NWO leader and top heel for over two months now is still in the red and yellow and the first three pictures you see in the intro to a WCW show?

We open with some shots from last night with Larry and Tony talking about how it was all about Sting. At the end of the show, Liz came out to save the beaten down Savage and got her dress spraypainted.

Tony apologizes to Sting because we were supposed to know he was in Japan. Larry says if Sting is so sensitive he should get another job.

Apparently there were NWO guys at the entrance handing out papers with their logo on it.

Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio vs. Juventud Guerrera

The announcers are talking about Sting as soon as the bell rings. Rey grabs a weird looking backbreaker hold and Juvy grabs a DDT. The NWO wants their own TV show now. Glacier debuts tonight. GLACIER DEBUTS TONIGHT! Well kind of as for absolutely no apparent reason his debut match was on some Sunday show instead of here. WCW never thought things through.

We’re 90 seconds in and there has been absolutely zero nothing said about this match or the guys in it. I mean that literally. They have talked about everything else. Not even saying that was almost it on a two count. At 95 seconds, we start talking about the match with Juvy whipping Rey in. They speed things up and Rey kicks his head off with a spinwheel kick.

Scratch that momentum as Juvy takes over again and goes up for a springboard dive, only to see Rey dropkick him in the stomach to the floor. Rey hits a springboard rana as we take a break. During the break, we get an NWO t-shirt ad. Back with Juvy getting two off something we didn’t see. A springboard spinwheel kick and a baseball slide send Rey to the floor and an Asai Moonsault puts him down again.

Back in a springboard 450 gets two. Well he’s no AJ Styles. Top rope rana gets two…and here’s an NWO rally instead of the match. Back in the ring (that place with that wrestling stuff), Rey counters a top rope powerbomb into a mid-air rana (SWEET) for the pin to retain. We saw that move by about 4 seconds. I can’t wait for them to mess up something like that which I’m sure they will for the sake of nothing of note at all.

Rating: B. Oh come on were you expecting something other than a fast paced and fun match with these two at a combined age of 42? The lack of talking about it got annoying but that’s to be expected. Either way, very fun match even if the crowd didn’t care about Juvy. These two would have more classics.

Mongo and Benoit say how they should have been in WarGames instead of Luger/Sting so tonight they’ll take revenge on them. Now that sounds like something a Horseman would say.

We get a video on Glacier who talks in this. His Georgia accent ruins the image. I get why I never heard him talk other than this. Well not for several years at least. He talks about going to Japan to train and being taken in by an old master who is his sensei. His mask is a tribute to gladiators or something. This goes on WAY too long, clocking in at almost two and a half minutes. The accent absolutely killed this.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Ice Train

Train shoves him around a bit as I begin to think of a really bad tag team in the form of Ice Train and Glacier. They do a weird spot where it looks like they’re supposed to collide but they stop like an inch ahead of each other to eliminate all of the momentum. Weird. Page hits a top rope clothesline to take over and there’s a discus punch. Discus lariat follows it up but Page won’t cover.

The Cutter is countered and Ice gets a belly to belly to put both guys down. Train gets going with a spinebuster and powerslam for two as Teddy Long, Train’s manager, gets on the apron. Now let’s cut to the back for a shot of “fans” in NWO gear taking over the merchandise stand. While this is being shown, THE BELL RINGS AND WE HAVE A PIN.

Yes, they actually missed the end of the match to show “fans” putting caution tape around the merchandise stuff. Who won? Not mentioned. What did he win with? Not mentioned. We didn’t even cut back immediately and the stuff in the back kept going on even longer. Apparently Ice Train had a full nelson and Page grabbed Teddy Long’s towel to throw it in for a forfeit on Train’s part. We see that on a replay, but that’s beside the point. We didn’t see enough to rate it but it was fine.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the point where wrestling has officially stopped meaning anything. The match wasn’t much, but the company decided that showing people in the back (not wrestlers mind you, just “fans”) were more important. This is what the Attitude Era would become defined on over the next few years and would become the foundation of what Sports Entertainment was. We aren’t focusing on wrestling and competition anymore. We’re focusing on drama.

This kind of thing gets on my nerves. It’s one thing if there’s something of note to show, but this is saying to the wrestlers “Yeah, we know you’ve trained for years to do this and we know you’re working hard out there, but we have something more important than you to put on screen.”

If this was Hall and Nash beating people up or something, that’s one thing but that isn’t what’s happening here. It’s fans taking over a merchandise stand and it’s the second match this has happened in. Is there ANY reason this couldn’t have waited another two minutes? No, there isn’t and everyone in WCW is cool with that, which is why people stopped watching (in part): it stopped being about wrestling. This will become huge later on when we eventually hit the late 90s.

Anyway the fans take over the stand and put up NWO stuff.

Sean Waltman, formerly known as the 1-2-3 Kid, is in the front row and his release from WWF is acknowledged.

Konnan vs. Super Calo

Konnan is sent to the floor so Calo hits a flip dive (mostly) to take him out. Tony invites Mike Tenay to sit on his lap. Ok then. Back in Konnan hooks a top rope butterfly superplex before hooking a backbreaker kind of hold for a bit. We go back to the floor and Calo tries another spinning dive but leaves it short again, more or less slapping Konnan instead of landing on him.

Konnan takes over again and drops Calo with the Scorpion Death Drop. Here’s something you don’t see something every day: Calo hooks a headscissors/ankle rana off the top and Konnan lands on him. This is a really sloppy match. A missile dropkick to the floor mostly misses as does a regular one in the corner. Konnan drops him with what would later be called the 187 (fisherman’s brainbuster) for two and a powerbomb into a victory roll gets the same. The Power Drop (Razor’s Edge into a sitout powerbomb) gets the pin.

Rating: F+. The plus is for the speed of the match, but there’s no excuse for a match having this many misses and mistakes out there. Calo never got over at all for the most part despite being on TV pretty often. This was a horrible match from an execution perspective and I don’t think they knew if it was a squash or not.

The 1-2-3 Kid says he’s here because Nitro is hot. He asks Tenay who won WarGames and Tenay isn’t impressed. Waltman seems surprised the NWO won. Total “I’m in the NWO but I’m not saying I’m in the NWO” promo.

Hugh Morrus vs. Brad Armstrong

Nothing of note in the first minute. I have no idea why this match is happening. Armstrong takes over with a dropkick and we talk about Liz last night. Larry thinks Flair went through her alimony from Savage and dumped her. Tony: “How do you know how much she had?” Larry: “No matter how much she had, Flair could spend it.” Preach it brother! Morrus takes over and hits No Laughing Matter (moonsault) but makes a very casual cover, allowing Armstrong to quickly roll him up and steal a pin.

Rating: D+. What in the world was this? I really don’t get this: it’s the most random wrestling match and ending I’ve ever seen. It looked like a squash but we get that ending? It didn’t go anywhere or anything, so what was the point here? It wasn’t bad or anything, but why did it happen? I don’t understand this at all.

Hour #2 begins.

Here’s Savage for an interview. We get some shots of last night where the NWO beat Savage down and left him laying. Savage says he’s ready for Hogan and that’s all he’s got left.

The NWO arrives, including the fake Sting. They’re going to beat up someone tonight.

Randy Savage vs. Scott Norton

This starts in the aisle with Savage being all crazy again. A knee to the back puts Norton back on the floor and it’s Crazy Macho again. There’s the double axe off the top to the floor and we talk about the NWO wanting to beat him to death next week because there’s going to be no WCW guys around as they’ll be in Japan. Eric talks about how Sting was in Japan promoting the tour that he (Eric) set up but he didn’t realize it was the impostor last week. That’s either foreshadowing or really stupid.

Norton takes over with power and it’s the traditional Randy Savage beating. That’s more or less one third of what he did around this time: get beaten up, get disqualified, or hit one move, a slam and the elbow to end it. Savage takes over and we go to the floor with Norton getting sent into the barricade a few times. Norton gets slammed on the floor but grabs a DDT for two back in the ring. There’s the shoulderbreaker and Macho goes to the floor. He avoids being sent into the post and then WHACKS Norton with the chair for the DQ.

Rating: C. Pretty fun brawl while it lasted and it accomplished the goal that it needed to get through: making Savage look like a crazy lunatic that could kill Hogan if given the chance. They managed to kill the heat on the match because we needed to have Hogan vs. Piper for some reason. Anyway though, this was more fun than I expected.

Glacier vs. Big Bubba

Let’s get this over with. Glacier has his infamous overblown intro which cost thousands of dollars per time I believe. Bubba doesn’t get an entrance and it’s snowing in the arena. They have the blue lights ala Sin Cara/early Kane matches too. Glacier fights like a Power Ranger. Bubba finally gets in a punch and a big spinebuster but Glacier pops up and fires off a bunch of kicks because that’s all he knows how to do. A big spin kick ends this. More or less just an exhibition by Glacier.

Sting (the real one) is here and Eric says this wasn’t expected. This is a very famous moment. He wants to explain last week. Last Monday, he was on a plane coming back from Los Angeles. Important note to this: his back is to the camera and he won’t turn around. He talks about how Luger hasn’t come to see him and he’s tired of all the doubt. The fans are kind of booing him here.

That brings us to Fall Brawl where he was going to tell Lex to his face. Luger didn’t believe him there either. After everything he’s done, how dare no one believe him after everything Lex has done over the last year. That’s a really good point. He’ll stand by all the wrestlers and fans that stood behind the Stinger, but as for everyone that doubted him, you all can stick it. From now on, he’s a free agent. He’s going to pop in when you least expect him. With that, he walks out of the ring and leaves. That’s the last time he would speak on camera for about 16 months.

Ric Flair/Arn Anderson vs. Chris Jericho/Marcus Bagwell

Think this is going to get any attention from the announcers? Before the Horsemen come out we cut to the back where Liz is too scared to come to the ring with them. Before the match starts, Waltman stands up in his chair and holds up a box with a button on it. He presses a button and a ton of leaflets fall from the ceiling with NWO on it. Bischoff says Waltman is the 6th one (Hogan, Hall, Nash, DiBiase, Giant, Fake Sting makes six without him but I guess math is too hard for WCW).

After a break the papers are still falling. We at least get a bell. Arn vs. Jericho gets us going. The Canadian takes over with a dropkick for two to start as we’ll be lucky to hear 5 words about the match. Spinwheel kick puts Arn onto the floor as the papers keep following. Eric admits that he’s the Executive Vice President of WCW and admits he agreed to give the NWO their own TV show if they won last night or they wouldn’t fight. That would wind up being a segment on Saturday Night that was done for comedy.

Flair comes in to chop away at Bagwell but Buff (not yet Buff but who cares) fires back and it’s about what you would expect. The Horsemen double team a bit as there is zero heat on this match. Flair is crawling around on all fours outside and is mad about the papers. I’d be mad too if the fans kept throwing the papers at me. Anderson gets a spinebuster on Jericho for no cover. Tenay starts questioning Eric’s decision and it’s covered up well by Bischoff. It’s interesting to look for the hints to the swerves that would come.

Jericho gets beaten down by both guys and Heenan enjoys it way too much. As the Canadian gets his leg worked on Horsemen-style, we cut to the back where Giant is arriving and Waltman is with them with a small boom box. At least it’s split screen so we can see the match, as boring as it is. And there goes the splitting. They play a tape of “Sting” running his mouth about not trusting anyone. After about a minute of that, back to your regularly scheduled match.

Hot tag brings in Bagwell and he’s still Marcus so no one cares. They tried forever to get people to care about him and it didn’t work ever with him as a face. Woman interferes to allow Anderson to knock Bagwell out dead with a DDT. The Figure Four goes on and Bagwell gets beaten by the rare pin in the submission.

Rating: D. Not an entertaining match at all. It was ok but with all of the distractions going on in it, there’s only so much you can get out of it. The papers and then cutting away from it for about a minute took way too much out of it. To be fair to the bad ideas though, the match wasn’t going to be interesting no matter what they tried with it.

Buy this Horsemen t-shirt for $22! This is back in the days of $30 PPVs. That would be the equivalent of about a $35 t-shirt today.

Chris Benoit/Steve McMichael vs. Lex Luger

No Sting for Luger to tag with. Benoit start with Luger and I guess they’re still going with the idea of the other Horsemen being upset about not being in WarGames. There’s the snap suplex. You know for a guy that went through WarGames last night and passed out from the pain of a double submission, Luger looks pretty good. Mongo comes in for his usual boring stuff.

A forearm/elbow gets two for Benoit. We’re told that more or less EVERYONE ON THE ROSTER other than Savage is going to be in Japan next week. Heenan: “QUIT TELLING EVERYONE THAT!” Listen to Brain. He knows his stuff it seems. A double clothesline puts both Benoit and Luger down as we’re waiting on the screwy finish. Luger makes his comeback and Racks Benoit but here are Flair and Anderson for the DQ.

Rating: D+. Another weak match here but it was around to set up what the lack of Sting means for Luger and for just the big beatdown post match. Not a horrible match again, but at the same time they were really just wasting time here until the ending and everyone knew it, which is one of the most boring kind of matches you can have.

During the beatdown, Eric gives us the word that Waltman is officially to be called Syxx.

Outside the NWO is watching Nitro in a limo. They hear that no one will be here but Savage next week, so they’ll beat him up. Thanks Eric.

Overall Rating: C-. The wrestling was terribly boring here but they have like six weeks before Halloween Havoc so they have plenty of time left. Not the worst show ever but it was really more about transitioning things, including the start of the REALLY big part of the NWO angle, which is saying a lot. Sting’s speech is huge and the rest is just there.

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NXT – February 8, 2012

NXT
Date: February 8, 2012
Location: BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Commentators: William Regal, Josh Matthews

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Here we are again. I really don’t know what to talk about here other than Young and Titus seem to have formed a new alliance after hating each other for so long. I don’t know how well Titus’ heel turn is going yet because he doesn’t have anything to gain. I’m sure nothing will change here because that’s how this show works. We’re at a month away from this being running for a year. Let’s get to it.

We are Wild And Young and feel the need to sing about it.

Striker opens the show and tells us that there are four matches tonight, including the Usos vs. Hawkins/Reks. You know, to freshen things up a bit.

Derrick Bateman vs. Heath Slater

Bateman takes over to start but misses a corner charge. Regal talks about punching a homeless man as Slater punches him down. A leg lariat puts Bateman down and it’s off to a chinlock. Bateman fights up and hits something like a modified STO for two. A flip neckbreaker like the one John Morrison used to use gets the same. Slater pops up and hits his running spinning sleeper drop for the pin at 3:27. That needs a bad name.

Rating: D. This didn’t click at all for me as there was a severe lack of selling. Granted at the same time it’s Heath Slater vs. Derrick Bateman in a match that runs three and a half minutes so how good was it possibly going to be? Bateman’s stock somehow manages to fall even further, which I didn’t think was possible.

Percy Watson vs. Darren Young

Titus is on commentary. Percy starts out fast and takes him down where he stomps away on the ribs. They go to the floor and Percy gets caught in the ring skirt. Back in a swinging neckbreaker gets two for Darren and it’s off to a body scissors. Titus goes on a rant about how no one has done anything for him so he’s controlling his own destiny. Young charges at Watson in the corner but Percy moves, sending Young chest first into the buckle. The Heisman (spinning splash) gets two and the Persecution gets the pin at 4:24.

Rating: D+. Better match but it still wasn’t anything great. This was more about furthering Percy vs. Titus post match which is a much more interesting feud. Titus turning is fine, but like I’ve said many times, it doesn’t mean anything without there being something for him to win. At least it wasn’t Slater though.

Titus gets in the ring and tells Percy that when Titus attacks him, Percy will know it.

Johnny Curtis hits on Kaitlyn and implies that Bateman has a crush on her.

Trent Barretta vs. Tyson Kidd

Yes please. They run the ropes a bit with Kidd hitting an elbow to the face to take over. Trent knocks him off the apron and they head to the floor. Whisper in the Wind off the barricade takes Kidd down but he goes down as well. Back in the ring Kidd comes off the top but jumps into a dropkick which gets two for Trent. Kidd charges in the corner but Trent gets up two knees to take him down.

He tries what looks like a one legged Codebreaker but Kidd counters into a Sharpshooter attempt. That’s countered as well but Kidd kicks his head off and a release German gets two. These kickouts and counters are getting good. Trent gets in a shot to take Kidd down and heads up. A missile dropkick gets two and Barretta is getting frustrated. They go into a pinfall reversal sequence and Kidd hooks him into a sunset flip for the pin at 5:22.

Rating: C+. These guys are very fun at what they do but they’re stuck here on NXT so that we can see guys like Jinder Mahal on Smackdown. Kidd used to be my favorite guy on this show and I wish he’d get more time to showcase his stuff because he really is fun to watch when he gets more than a few minutes.

Kidd helps Trent up post match which is a different style for him.

Kaitlyn goes up to Bateman in the back and Maxine comes in to yell about the loss earlier. There’s a match set up. Curtis can be seen watching in the back as the girls argue.

Kaitlyn vs. Maxine

Regal goes into a LONG rant which almost has to be a song lyric or a poem. He literally talks for 34 seconds and says that’s what Maxine said. It ended with what sounded like “shoplifters of the world unite.” From what I can find that’s a song by The Smiths. Kaitlyn drops a leg and Regal says her legs could crack walnuts for him at Christmas. Maxine hooks a dragon sleeper to slow things down. Kaitlyn comes back with some knees and the worst cross body ever, due to a lack of jumping. Maxine wins with a crucifix at 2:59. This was your usual NXT Divas match.

Video on the Chamber which I think is the same one from Raw.

Trent is getting out of his gear in the back when Kidd comes up and says Trent has earned his respect. Kidd proposes a tag team and asks Trent to think about it. Can we please get an NXT Tag Title already? In this case there actually is a division for it.

Usos vs. Tyler Reks/Curt Hawkins

Curt and let’s say Jey start us off. Hawkins takes him down a few times but walks into a northern lights for two. Off to Jimmy vs. Reks as the Usos do their “I say Us, you say O” thing which gets a reaction as it always does. Hawkins is sent to the floor and the Usos double team to dive onto Hawkins. Reks and Hawkins use a nice misdirection move to get a boot to Jey’s head and we take a break.

Back with Reks hooking Jey in a chinlock and then hitting a boot for two. Back to Hawkins and things slow way down. Reks and Hawkins are very uninteresting in the ring and they slow matches down so much when they’re in there. Reks and Hawkins double team even more but Jey blocks a charge in the corner with a boot.

Hawkins gets Reks back in again though and Jey gets pounded on even more. The heels tag again and it’s back to Curt for a chinlock. Jey takes him down and brings in Jimmy. Everything breaks down and Jimmy escapes the spinning Rack neckbreaker. He gets shoved into a cane shot by Hawkins and Reks gets a rollup pin at 7:29.

Rating: C. The problem with this is the same as the problem with most of the feuds on this show: we’ve seen it so many times that there’s no point in watching them anymore. This might have been the first time that Reks and Hawkins have beaten them, but does it really matter after they’ve lost about four or five times in a row?

Striker runs out to report the cane shot (why doesn’t this happen more often?) and Hawkins drops him with a right hand.

Overall Rating: B-. This show flew by and in a good way. A lot of new stories were started tonight and it was like there was a brand new writer for it, which shakes thing up a lot which is what this show has needed for a very long time. I’m actually looking forward to this show now because there’s something new to see, which is the best thing that could have happened on NXT.

Results
Heath Slater b. Derrick Bateman – Spinning Sleeper Mat Slam
Percy Watson b. Darren Young – Persecution
Tyson Kidd b. Trent Barretta – Sunset flip
Maxine b. Kaitlyn – Crucifix
Tyler Reks/Curt Hawkins b. The Usos – Rollup to Jimmy after a cane shot from Hawkins

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Cobra Kai Review: Best PPV Matches of 2011

  The Cobra Kai Review of WWE’s Best PPV Matches of 2011
I love these releases. Of course, they could have a better match selection, as either LMS [Punk vs Orton, or Cena v Alberto] that they had this year would be a better choice than Henry v Big Show, but since the ring fell down, they obviously have to include it. Not a lot of folk want to shell out the money to buy the PPVs when they hit DVD, so something like this is fantastic. So, let’s see how how they did with their choices this year. World Heavyweight Title – Royal Rumble, January 30th, 2011
Edge vs Dolph Ziggler
One year later, Ziggler would be in the same situation, but for a different title. It’s a real bummer that Edge had to retire all of a sudden, because even though his feud with Kane was a bleak spot, this match shows that he could still go with the best of’em. Giving us a fantastic match, and probably Ziggler’s best to date. There’s nothing flashy, nothing “OMG!” about it, it’s just an excellent match that’s built brick by brick. The stipulation of Edge not being able to use the Spear is great, because even though it’s simple, it always creates an interesting dynamic. Same goes for Shawn’s match against Orton at Survivor Series 2007.
Edge pays homage to his pal Christian, hitting the Killswitch at 20:48
****1/2 Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Title – Elimination Chamber, February 20th, 2011
Edge vs Rey Mysterio vs Wade Barrett vs Kane vs Drew McIntyre vs Big Show
It wouldn’t be a Best Of without a little Chamber. Now, these matches tend to be a roll of the dice. They can either kick some serious ass, or just sludge along. Or, Triple H can win despite not having wrestled for literally an entire minute, whilst wearing bike shorts no less. This one does a fine job for itself. Everyone actually gets into the deal before anyone’s eliminated. I can’t recall if that’s been done before, but it was the first time I’ve seen it.. The real shine of this match is when Edge & Mysterio go at it near the end, they honestly elevate the match by at least a full star with their night cap performance.
Edge hits a mid-air Spear on Mysterio in 31:30
**** WrestleMania XXVII – April 3rd, 2011
Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes
Rey had caused the once dashing Cody Rhodes to basically look like his older brother, via smashing his face with this knee brace, so this is the grudge match. Nothing too stand out, and a damn fine match for it’s placement on the card. I do find it a waste to give someone a victory over a guy like Mysterio when they really aren’t setting the world on fire.
Cody hits the Cross Rhodes in a cool 12 minutes.
***1/4 No Holds Barred Match – WrestleMania XXVII – April 3rd, 2011
I don’t think there’s ever been a match that people were so divided on. Peeps either hate it, or love it. Myself, I’m on the love it side. I saw it live with a group of friends, and I’ve never had so much fun. Sure, when Mark Henry is taking a stab at the streak, it’s not in question, but half way through this one nobody was sure. Half was for Triple H, the other half were for Taker. When Triple H hit the Tombstone, the place exploded, and we all truly thought it was over.
Undertaker puts Triple H in the Gates of Hell at 29:25
***** DISC 2 World Heavyweight Championship – Extreme Rules, May 1st, 2011
Christian vs Alberto Del Rio
Edge was forced to retire because of matches just like this, so Christian earned his spot in this match by winning a battle royal. I was ecstatic to see Christian get his chance, because he’s been busting his ass for over 15 years and has done nothing but deliver quality. As for the match, I have no qualms with saying that this is my favorite ladder match of all time. Both guys go to the absolute limit with each other, and beat every ounce of will, drive, and fortitude out of each other. You get everything, one moment you get an awesome segment where Christian & Alberto break out reversal after reversal on each other until one of them is finally bested, then you get a crazy spot like Alberto diving from the top turnbuckle through a ladder. An absolute war, and a fantastic moment with Edge & Christian celebrating with legitimate emotion.
Christian pulls down the title at 21:01
***** Capital Punishment
Rey Mysterio vs CM Punk
For the life of me, I can’t understand why I hadn’t heard of this match for the entire year of 2011. It’s absolutely fantastic from beginning to end, and what I believe is CM Punk’s true classic from 2011. They wrestled at a non-stop high pace, without one botch. They busted out reversal after reversal, then counter into counter, and had more incredible moments than one could count. This is an absolutely fantastic match that people need to look at again, because it’s flawless.
The GTS at 14:58 puts Mysterio out
***** Money In The Bank for Raw – Money In The Bank – July 17th, 2011
Alberto Del Rio vs Rey Mysterio vs Jack Swagger vs Alex Riley vs The Miz vs Kofi Kingston vs Evan Bourne vs R- Truth
The match started off great, with every wrestler taking a ladder and doing battle. This one had more spots than the Smackdown bout, and was about 10 minutes shorter. Not one of the best I’ve seen, but it worked. Unmasking Rey as a way to get one over on him is always a cool way to go.
Alberto becomes Mr. Money in the Bank at 15:54
**** WWE Championship Match – Money In The Bank – July 17th, 2011
John Cena vs CM Punk
A great match with one of the Top 3 crowds I’ve ever seen. For my money though, I can’t give it the fully monty, because I think it just ran way too long, with the first half  not delivering so much. Afterwards, it really picked up the pace. I think seeing this live influenced people’s ratings, because that would have been awesome. There’s quite a few moments where you’d think for sure it was over. So, I can’t fault anyone for giving it 5 stars, I just don’t see it that way. Their SummerSlam match was the superior, in my opinion.
CM Punk puts Cena to sleep at 33:54
****1/4 DISC 3 No Holds Barred World Heavyweight Title Match – SummerSlam – August 14th, 2011
Christian vs Randy Orton
This feud reminded me a lot of Edge vs The Undertaker, where the chemistry was off the charts as they headlined PPV after PPV. Christian & Orton just couldn’t have a bad match this year, and it reached it’s zenith at SummerSlam. It’s an absolute monster, and both guys go until absolute tilt, it’s incredible. I had the match originally docked a quarter because of Orton winning, but that really shouldn’t effect the quality of the match, so I went all the way with this. What a brutal ending.
Orton hits a mid-air RKO onto the steel stairs at 27:43
***** World Heavyweight Title Match – Night of Champions – September 19th, 2011
Randy Orton vs Mark Henry
What we have here is basically Mark Henry’s greatest match. The WWE have done a fine job with Mark’s character, actually making him interesting for once in his 15 year career. They made Henry look like a true beast, with Orton throwing everything he had at him and it just wasn’t enough. Mark gets the clean win, making him look even stronger. Also, as a bit of an off note, is anyone else sick of seeing the Orton-Goes-For-The-RKO-Only-To-Get-Pushed-Away thing that happens 10 times in every Orton match? That never happened with The Diamond Cutter, and rarely with The Stunner.
Mark Henry hits the World’s Strongest Slam at 13:07
***1/2 No DQ Match – Night of Champions – September 19th, 2011
CM Punk vs Triple H
Man, they talk about great guys in wrestling, and they better start talking about CM Punk soon. Here he is, at the prime of his career, in midst of one of WWE’s hottest angles ever, and he’s selfless enough to give the rub to the youngblood known as Triple H. Hopefully this will help catapult Triple H towards his 37th World Title reign. Also, it was nice to see that the booking for this match was a return shot for Vince Russo, with a sweet minimum of 8 different things happening. It was all gravy until right after Punk dropped the big elbow.
Triple H puts down the spot-light-glory-hog CM Punk in 24:07
***1/2 Divas Championship – Hell in a Cell – October 2nd, 2011
Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix
Beth was suppose to be the heel, yet there wasn’t anyone over 10 who wanted to see the over-tanned girl with hair extensions and the body of a 10 year old boy win this one. Again.
Beth wins at 8:31
* WWE Championship Triple Threat Match – Hell in a Cell – October 2nd, 2011
Alberto Del Rio vs CM Punk vs John Cena
This was a great example of how Triple Threat’s should be booked. Each guy trying to snag the quick pin, with a ton of different ways to be broken up. Plus, this was the first time in a while that Hell in a Cell that truly felt like a HELL IN A CELL. By that, I mean just a brutal, violent outing. CM Punk getting his back cut to hell, and Cena getting suplexed through the chairs. I really hadn’t felt this interested in a HIAC since Taker/Batista. I loved the idea of Cena being locked out, because it gave Alberto that clever-heel aspect that’s been sorely missing, as he seemed to be taking delight in Cena’s frustration.
Alberto earns his 2nd title at 24:07. Then is beat to hell by Miz & R-Truth.
****1/4 World Heavyweight Title – Vengeance – October 23rd, 2011
Big Show vs Mark Henry
I would have much preferred to see Cena vs Alberto in a Last Man Standing from this PPV, than this match. However, the ring exploded, and thus this just had to be included. It’s not a bad match by any means, and a lot more than I thought these two could do, but they really need to be in a gimmick environment for them to thrive. Also, they really should have had Mark get back up on his own, and beat the hell out of Big Show as he’s being helped. It would have made him seem a hell of a lot tougher, and more viscous. Ah well.
No contest, the ring exploded. 13:00
**1/2 Last Words: Sure, there’s a match or two that could have been left off, and a match or two that should have been included. But for $20, you aren’t going to find more for your dollar, with almost every single match being fantastic. Only 3 out of 14 matches rank below ***1/2, and you don’t find that too often. A great set that’s a must, with a final score of ****3/4 This is Marion Cobretti saying, I want him out of commission. Do you have a problem with that, Mr. Lawrence?

Cobra Kai Review: Best PPV Matches of 2011

  The Cobra Kai Review of WWE’s Best PPV Matches of 2011
I love these releases. Of course, they could have a better match selection, as either LMS [Punk vs Orton, or Cena v Alberto] that they had this year would be a better choice than Henry v Big Show, but since the ring fell down, they obviously have to include it. Not a lot of folk want to shell out the money to buy the PPVs when they hit DVD, so something like this is fantastic. So, let’s see how how they did with their choices this year. World Heavyweight Title – Royal Rumble, January 30th, 2011
Edge vs Dolph Ziggler
One year later, Ziggler would be in the same situation, but for a different title. It’s a real bummer that Edge had to retire all of a sudden, because even though his feud with Kane was a bleak spot, this match shows that he could still go with the best of’em. Giving us a fantastic match, and probably Ziggler’s best to date. There’s nothing flashy, nothing “OMG!” about it, it’s just an excellent match that’s built brick by brick. The stipulation of Edge not being able to use the Spear is great, because even though it’s simple, it always creates an interesting dynamic. Same goes for Shawn’s match against Orton at Survivor Series 2007.
Edge pays homage to his pal Christian, hitting the Killswitch at 20:48
****1/2 Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Title – Elimination Chamber, February 20th, 2011
Edge vs Rey Mysterio vs Wade Barrett vs Kane vs Drew McIntyre vs Big Show
It wouldn’t be a Best Of without a little Chamber. Now, these matches tend to be a roll of the dice. They can either kick some serious ass, or just sludge along. Or, Triple H can win despite not having wrestled for literally an entire minute, whilst wearing bike shorts no less. This one does a fine job for itself. Everyone actually gets into the deal before anyone’s eliminated. I can’t recall if that’s been done before, but it was the first time I’ve seen it.. The real shine of this match is when Edge & Mysterio go at it near the end, they honestly elevate the match by at least a full star with their night cap performance.
Edge hits a mid-air Spear on Mysterio in 31:30
**** WrestleMania XXVII – April 3rd, 2011
Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes
Rey had caused the once dashing Cody Rhodes to basically look like his older brother, via smashing his face with this knee brace, so this is the grudge match. Nothing too stand out, and a damn fine match for it’s placement on the card. I do find it a waste to give someone a victory over a guy like Mysterio when they really aren’t setting the world on fire.
Cody hits the Cross Rhodes in a cool 12 minutes.
***1/4 No Holds Barred Match – WrestleMania XXVII – April 3rd, 2011
I don’t think there’s ever been a match that people were so divided on. Peeps either hate it, or love it. Myself, I’m on the love it side. I saw it live with a group of friends, and I’ve never had so much fun. Sure, when Mark Henry is taking a stab at the streak, it’s not in question, but half way through this one nobody was sure. Half was for Triple H, the other half were for Taker. When Triple H hit the Tombstone, the place exploded, and we all truly thought it was over.
Undertaker puts Triple H in the Gates of Hell at 29:25
***** DISC 2 World Heavyweight Championship – Extreme Rules, May 1st, 2011
Christian vs Alberto Del Rio
Edge was forced to retire because of matches just like this, so Christian earned his spot in this match by winning a battle royal. I was ecstatic to see Christian get his chance, because he’s been busting his ass for over 15 years and has done nothing but deliver quality. As for the match, I have no qualms with saying that this is my favorite ladder match of all time. Both guys go to the absolute limit with each other, and beat every ounce of will, drive, and fortitude out of each other. You get everything, one moment you get an awesome segment where Christian & Alberto break out reversal after reversal on each other until one of them is finally bested, then you get a crazy spot like Alberto diving from the top turnbuckle through a ladder. An absolute war, and a fantastic moment with Edge & Christian celebrating with legitimate emotion.
Christian pulls down the title at 21:01
***** Capital Punishment
Rey Mysterio vs CM Punk
For the life of me, I can’t understand why I hadn’t heard of this match for the entire year of 2011. It’s absolutely fantastic from beginning to end, and what I believe is CM Punk’s true classic from 2011. They wrestled at a non-stop high pace, without one botch. They busted out reversal after reversal, then counter into counter, and had more incredible moments than one could count. This is an absolutely fantastic match that people need to look at again, because it’s flawless.
The GTS at 14:58 puts Mysterio out
***** Money In The Bank for Raw – Money In The Bank – July 17th, 2011
Alberto Del Rio vs Rey Mysterio vs Jack Swagger vs Alex Riley vs The Miz vs Kofi Kingston vs Evan Bourne vs R- Truth
The match started off great, with every wrestler taking a ladder and doing battle. This one had more spots than the Smackdown bout, and was about 10 minutes shorter. Not one of the best I’ve seen, but it worked. Unmasking Rey as a way to get one over on him is always a cool way to go.
Alberto becomes Mr. Money in the Bank at 15:54
**** WWE Championship Match – Money In The Bank – July 17th, 2011
John Cena vs CM Punk
A great match with one of the Top 3 crowds I’ve ever seen. For my money though, I can’t give it the fully monty, because I think it just ran way too long, with the first half  not delivering so much. Afterwards, it really picked up the pace. I think seeing this live influenced people’s ratings, because that would have been awesome. There’s quite a few moments where you’d think for sure it was over. So, I can’t fault anyone for giving it 5 stars, I just don’t see it that way. Their SummerSlam match was the superior, in my opinion.
CM Punk puts Cena to sleep at 33:54
****1/4 DISC 3 No Holds Barred World Heavyweight Title Match – SummerSlam – August 14th, 2011
Christian vs Randy Orton
This feud reminded me a lot of Edge vs The Undertaker, where the chemistry was off the charts as they headlined PPV after PPV. Christian & Orton just couldn’t have a bad match this year, and it reached it’s zenith at SummerSlam. It’s an absolute monster, and both guys go until absolute tilt, it’s incredible. I had the match originally docked a quarter because of Orton winning, but that really shouldn’t effect the quality of the match, so I went all the way with this. What a brutal ending.
Orton hits a mid-air RKO onto the steel stairs at 27:43
***** World Heavyweight Title Match – Night of Champions – September 19th, 2011
Randy Orton vs Mark Henry
What we have here is basically Mark Henry’s greatest match. The WWE have done a fine job with Mark’s character, actually making him interesting for once in his 15 year career. They made Henry look like a true beast, with Orton throwing everything he had at him and it just wasn’t enough. Mark gets the clean win, making him look even stronger. Also, as a bit of an off note, is anyone else sick of seeing the Orton-Goes-For-The-RKO-Only-To-Get-Pushed-Away thing that happens 10 times in every Orton match? That never happened with The Diamond Cutter, and rarely with The Stunner.
Mark Henry hits the World’s Strongest Slam at 13:07
***1/2 No DQ Match – Night of Champions – September 19th, 2011
CM Punk vs Triple H
Man, they talk about great guys in wrestling, and they better start talking about CM Punk soon. Here he is, at the prime of his career, in midst of one of WWE’s hottest angles ever, and he’s selfless enough to give the rub to the youngblood known as Triple H. Hopefully this will help catapult Triple H towards his 37th World Title reign. Also, it was nice to see that the booking for this match was a return shot for Vince Russo, with a sweet minimum of 8 different things happening. It was all gravy until right after Punk dropped the big elbow.
Triple H puts down the spot-light-glory-hog CM Punk in 24:07
***1/2 Divas Championship – Hell in a Cell – October 2nd, 2011
Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix
Beth was suppose to be the heel, yet there wasn’t anyone over 10 who wanted to see the over-tanned girl with hair extensions and the body of a 10 year old boy win this one. Again.
Beth wins at 8:31
* WWE Championship Triple Threat Match – Hell in a Cell – October 2nd, 2011
Alberto Del Rio vs CM Punk vs John Cena
This was a great example of how Triple Threat’s should be booked. Each guy trying to snag the quick pin, with a ton of different ways to be broken up. Plus, this was the first time in a while that Hell in a Cell that truly felt like a HELL IN A CELL. By that, I mean just a brutal, violent outing. CM Punk getting his back cut to hell, and Cena getting suplexed through the chairs. I really hadn’t felt this interested in a HIAC since Taker/Batista. I loved the idea of Cena being locked out, because it gave Alberto that clever-heel aspect that’s been sorely missing, as he seemed to be taking delight in Cena’s frustration.
Alberto earns his 2nd title at 24:07. Then is beat to hell by Miz & R-Truth.
****1/4 World Heavyweight Title – Vengeance – October 23rd, 2011
Big Show vs Mark Henry
I would have much preferred to see Cena vs Alberto in a Last Man Standing from this PPV, than this match. However, the ring exploded, and thus this just had to be included. It’s not a bad match by any means, and a lot more than I thought these two could do, but they really need to be in a gimmick environment for them to thrive. Also, they really should have had Mark get back up on his own, and beat the hell out of Big Show as he’s being helped. It would have made him seem a hell of a lot tougher, and more viscous. Ah well.
No contest, the ring exploded. 13:00
**1/2 Last Words: Sure, there’s a match or two that could have been left off, and a match or two that should have been included. But for $20, you aren’t going to find more for your dollar, with almost every single match being fantastic. Only 3 out of 14 matches rank below ***1/2, and you don’t find that too often. A great set that’s a must, with a final score of ****3/4 This is Marion Cobretti saying, I want him out of commission. Do you have a problem with that, Mr. Lawrence?

Cobra Kai Review: Best PPV Matches of 2011

  The Cobra Kai Review of WWE’s Best PPV Matches of 2011
I love these releases. Of course, they could have a better match selection, as either LMS [Punk vs Orton, or Cena v Alberto] that they had this year would be a better choice than Henry v Big Show, but since the ring fell down, they obviously have to include it. Not a lot of folk want to shell out the money to buy the PPVs when they hit DVD, so something like this is fantastic. So, let’s see how how they did with their choices this year. World Heavyweight Title – Royal Rumble, January 30th, 2011
Edge vs Dolph Ziggler
One year later, Ziggler would be in the same situation, but for a different title. It’s a real bummer that Edge had to retire all of a sudden, because even though his feud with Kane was a bleak spot, this match shows that he could still go with the best of’em. Giving us a fantastic match, and probably Ziggler’s best to date. There’s nothing flashy, nothing “OMG!” about it, it’s just an excellent match that’s built brick by brick. The stipulation of Edge not being able to use the Spear is great, because even though it’s simple, it always creates an interesting dynamic. Same goes for Shawn’s match against Orton at Survivor Series 2007.
Edge pays homage to his pal Christian, hitting the Killswitch at 20:48
****1/2 Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Title – Elimination Chamber, February 20th, 2011
Edge vs Rey Mysterio vs Wade Barrett vs Kane vs Drew McIntyre vs Big Show
It wouldn’t be a Best Of without a little Chamber. Now, these matches tend to be a roll of the dice. They can either kick some serious ass, or just sludge along. Or, Triple H can win despite not having wrestled for literally an entire minute, whilst wearing bike shorts no less. This one does a fine job for itself. Everyone actually gets into the deal before anyone’s eliminated. I can’t recall if that’s been done before, but it was the first time I’ve seen it.. The real shine of this match is when Edge & Mysterio go at it near the end, they honestly elevate the match by at least a full star with their night cap performance.
Edge hits a mid-air Spear on Mysterio in 31:30
**** WrestleMania XXVII – April 3rd, 2011
Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes
Rey had caused the once dashing Cody Rhodes to basically look like his older brother, via smashing his face with this knee brace, so this is the grudge match. Nothing too stand out, and a damn fine match for it’s placement on the card. I do find it a waste to give someone a victory over a guy like Mysterio when they really aren’t setting the world on fire.
Cody hits the Cross Rhodes in a cool 12 minutes.
***1/4 No Holds Barred Match – WrestleMania XXVII – April 3rd, 2011
I don’t think there’s ever been a match that people were so divided on. Peeps either hate it, or love it. Myself, I’m on the love it side. I saw it live with a group of friends, and I’ve never had so much fun. Sure, when Mark Henry is taking a stab at the streak, it’s not in question, but half way through this one nobody was sure. Half was for Triple H, the other half were for Taker. When Triple H hit the Tombstone, the place exploded, and we all truly thought it was over.
Undertaker puts Triple H in the Gates of Hell at 29:25
***** DISC 2 World Heavyweight Championship – Extreme Rules, May 1st, 2011
Christian vs Alberto Del Rio
Edge was forced to retire because of matches just like this, so Christian earned his spot in this match by winning a battle royal. I was ecstatic to see Christian get his chance, because he’s been busting his ass for over 15 years and has done nothing but deliver quality. As for the match, I have no qualms with saying that this is my favorite ladder match of all time. Both guys go to the absolute limit with each other, and beat every ounce of will, drive, and fortitude out of each other. You get everything, one moment you get an awesome segment where Christian & Alberto break out reversal after reversal on each other until one of them is finally bested, then you get a crazy spot like Alberto diving from the top turnbuckle through a ladder. An absolute war, and a fantastic moment with Edge & Christian celebrating with legitimate emotion.
Christian pulls down the title at 21:01
***** Capital Punishment
Rey Mysterio vs CM Punk
For the life of me, I can’t understand why I hadn’t heard of this match for the entire year of 2011. It’s absolutely fantastic from beginning to end, and what I believe is CM Punk’s true classic from 2011. They wrestled at a non-stop high pace, without one botch. They busted out reversal after reversal, then counter into counter, and had more incredible moments than one could count. This is an absolutely fantastic match that people need to look at again, because it’s flawless.
The GTS at 14:58 puts Mysterio out
***** Money In The Bank for Raw – Money In The Bank – July 17th, 2011
Alberto Del Rio vs Rey Mysterio vs Jack Swagger vs Alex Riley vs The Miz vs Kofi Kingston vs Evan Bourne vs R- Truth
The match started off great, with every wrestler taking a ladder and doing battle. This one had more spots than the Smackdown bout, and was about 10 minutes shorter. Not one of the best I’ve seen, but it worked. Unmasking Rey as a way to get one over on him is always a cool way to go.
Alberto becomes Mr. Money in the Bank at 15:54
**** WWE Championship Match – Money In The Bank – July 17th, 2011
John Cena vs CM Punk
A great match with one of the Top 3 crowds I’ve ever seen. For my money though, I can’t give it the fully monty, because I think it just ran way too long, with the first half  not delivering so much. Afterwards, it really picked up the pace. I think seeing this live influenced people’s ratings, because that would have been awesome. There’s quite a few moments where you’d think for sure it was over. So, I can’t fault anyone for giving it 5 stars, I just don’t see it that way. Their SummerSlam match was the superior, in my opinion.
CM Punk puts Cena to sleep at 33:54
****1/4 DISC 3 No Holds Barred World Heavyweight Title Match – SummerSlam – August 14th, 2011
Christian vs Randy Orton
This feud reminded me a lot of Edge vs The Undertaker, where the chemistry was off the charts as they headlined PPV after PPV. Christian & Orton just couldn’t have a bad match this year, and it reached it’s zenith at SummerSlam. It’s an absolute monster, and both guys go until absolute tilt, it’s incredible. I had the match originally docked a quarter because of Orton winning, but that really shouldn’t effect the quality of the match, so I went all the way with this. What a brutal ending.
Orton hits a mid-air RKO onto the steel stairs at 27:43
***** World Heavyweight Title Match – Night of Champions – September 19th, 2011
Randy Orton vs Mark Henry
What we have here is basically Mark Henry’s greatest match. The WWE have done a fine job with Mark’s character, actually making him interesting for once in his 15 year career. They made Henry look like a true beast, with Orton throwing everything he had at him and it just wasn’t enough. Mark gets the clean win, making him look even stronger. Also, as a bit of an off note, is anyone else sick of seeing the Orton-Goes-For-The-RKO-Only-To-Get-Pushed-Away thing that happens 10 times in every Orton match? That never happened with The Diamond Cutter, and rarely with The Stunner.
Mark Henry hits the World’s Strongest Slam at 13:07
***1/2 No DQ Match – Night of Champions – September 19th, 2011
CM Punk vs Triple H
Man, they talk about great guys in wrestling, and they better start talking about CM Punk soon. Here he is, at the prime of his career, in midst of one of WWE’s hottest angles ever, and he’s selfless enough to give the rub to the youngblood known as Triple H. Hopefully this will help catapult Triple H towards his 37th World Title reign. Also, it was nice to see that the booking for this match was a return shot for Vince Russo, with a sweet minimum of 8 different things happening. It was all gravy until right after Punk dropped the big elbow.
Triple H puts down the spot-light-glory-hog CM Punk in 24:07
***1/2 Divas Championship – Hell in a Cell – October 2nd, 2011
Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix
Beth was suppose to be the heel, yet there wasn’t anyone over 10 who wanted to see the over-tanned girl with hair extensions and the body of a 10 year old boy win this one. Again.
Beth wins at 8:31
* WWE Championship Triple Threat Match – Hell in a Cell – October 2nd, 2011
Alberto Del Rio vs CM Punk vs John Cena
This was a great example of how Triple Threat’s should be booked. Each guy trying to snag the quick pin, with a ton of different ways to be broken up. Plus, this was the first time in a while that Hell in a Cell that truly felt like a HELL IN A CELL. By that, I mean just a brutal, violent outing. CM Punk getting his back cut to hell, and Cena getting suplexed through the chairs. I really hadn’t felt this interested in a HIAC since Taker/Batista. I loved the idea of Cena being locked out, because it gave Alberto that clever-heel aspect that’s been sorely missing, as he seemed to be taking delight in Cena’s frustration.
Alberto earns his 2nd title at 24:07. Then is beat to hell by Miz & R-Truth.
****1/4 World Heavyweight Title – Vengeance – October 23rd, 2011
Big Show vs Mark Henry
I would have much preferred to see Cena vs Alberto in a Last Man Standing from this PPV, than this match. However, the ring exploded, and thus this just had to be included. It’s not a bad match by any means, and a lot more than I thought these two could do, but they really need to be in a gimmick environment for them to thrive. Also, they really should have had Mark get back up on his own, and beat the hell out of Big Show as he’s being helped. It would have made him seem a hell of a lot tougher, and more viscous. Ah well.
No contest, the ring exploded. 13:00
**1/2 Last Words: Sure, there’s a match or two that could have been left off, and a match or two that should have been included. But for $20, you aren’t going to find more for your dollar, with almost every single match being fantastic. Only 3 out of 14 matches rank below ***1/2, and you don’t find that too often. A great set that’s a must, with a final score of ****3/4 This is Marion Cobretti saying, I want him out of commission. Do you have a problem with that, Mr. Lawrence?

Cobra Kai Review: Best PPV Matches of 2011

  The Cobra Kai Review of WWE’s Best PPV Matches of 2011
I love these releases. Of course, they could have a better match selection, as either LMS [Punk vs Orton, or Cena v Alberto] that they had this year would be a better choice than Henry v Big Show, but since the ring fell down, they obviously have to include it. Not a lot of folk want to shell out the money to buy the PPVs when they hit DVD, so something like this is fantastic. So, let’s see how how they did with their choices this year. World Heavyweight Title – Royal Rumble, January 30th, 2011
Edge vs Dolph Ziggler
One year later, Ziggler would be in the same situation, but for a different title. It’s a real bummer that Edge had to retire all of a sudden, because even though his feud with Kane was a bleak spot, this match shows that he could still go with the best of’em. Giving us a fantastic match, and probably Ziggler’s best to date. There’s nothing flashy, nothing “OMG!” about it, it’s just an excellent match that’s built brick by brick. The stipulation of Edge not being able to use the Spear is great, because even though it’s simple, it always creates an interesting dynamic. Same goes for Shawn’s match against Orton at Survivor Series 2007.
Edge pays homage to his pal Christian, hitting the Killswitch at 20:48
****1/2 Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Title – Elimination Chamber, February 20th, 2011
Edge vs Rey Mysterio vs Wade Barrett vs Kane vs Drew McIntyre vs Big Show
It wouldn’t be a Best Of without a little Chamber. Now, these matches tend to be a roll of the dice. They can either kick some serious ass, or just sludge along. Or, Triple H can win despite not having wrestled for literally an entire minute, whilst wearing bike shorts no less. This one does a fine job for itself. Everyone actually gets into the deal before anyone’s eliminated. I can’t recall if that’s been done before, but it was the first time I’ve seen it.. The real shine of this match is when Edge & Mysterio go at it near the end, they honestly elevate the match by at least a full star with their night cap performance.
Edge hits a mid-air Spear on Mysterio in 31:30
**** WrestleMania XXVII – April 3rd, 2011
Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes
Rey had caused the once dashing Cody Rhodes to basically look like his older brother, via smashing his face with this knee brace, so this is the grudge match. Nothing too stand out, and a damn fine match for it’s placement on the card. I do find it a waste to give someone a victory over a guy like Mysterio when they really aren’t setting the world on fire.
Cody hits the Cross Rhodes in a cool 12 minutes.
***1/4 No Holds Barred Match – WrestleMania XXVII – April 3rd, 2011
I don’t think there’s ever been a match that people were so divided on. Peeps either hate it, or love it. Myself, I’m on the love it side. I saw it live with a group of friends, and I’ve never had so much fun. Sure, when Mark Henry is taking a stab at the streak, it’s not in question, but half way through this one nobody was sure. Half was for Triple H, the other half were for Taker. When Triple H hit the Tombstone, the place exploded, and we all truly thought it was over.
Undertaker puts Triple H in the Gates of Hell at 29:25
***** DISC 2 World Heavyweight Championship – Extreme Rules, May 1st, 2011
Christian vs Alberto Del Rio
Edge was forced to retire because of matches just like this, so Christian earned his spot in this match by winning a battle royal. I was ecstatic to see Christian get his chance, because he’s been busting his ass for over 15 years and has done nothing but deliver quality. As for the match, I have no qualms with saying that this is my favorite ladder match of all time. Both guys go to the absolute limit with each other, and beat every ounce of will, drive, and fortitude out of each other. You get everything, one moment you get an awesome segment where Christian & Alberto break out reversal after reversal on each other until one of them is finally bested, then you get a crazy spot like Alberto diving from the top turnbuckle through a ladder. An absolute war, and a fantastic moment with Edge & Christian celebrating with legitimate emotion.
Christian pulls down the title at 21:01
***** Capital Punishment
Rey Mysterio vs CM Punk
For the life of me, I can’t understand why I hadn’t heard of this match for the entire year of 2011. It’s absolutely fantastic from beginning to end, and what I believe is CM Punk’s true classic from 2011. They wrestled at a non-stop high pace, without one botch. They busted out reversal after reversal, then counter into counter, and had more incredible moments than one could count. This is an absolutely fantastic match that people need to look at again, because it’s flawless.
The GTS at 14:58 puts Mysterio out
***** Money In The Bank for Raw – Money In The Bank – July 17th, 2011
Alberto Del Rio vs Rey Mysterio vs Jack Swagger vs Alex Riley vs The Miz vs Kofi Kingston vs Evan Bourne vs R- Truth
The match started off great, with every wrestler taking a ladder and doing battle. This one had more spots than the Smackdown bout, and was about 10 minutes shorter. Not one of the best I’ve seen, but it worked. Unmasking Rey as a way to get one over on him is always a cool way to go.
Alberto becomes Mr. Money in the Bank at 15:54
**** WWE Championship Match – Money In The Bank – July 17th, 2011
John Cena vs CM Punk
A great match with one of the Top 3 crowds I’ve ever seen. For my money though, I can’t give it the fully monty, because I think it just ran way too long, with the first half  not delivering so much. Afterwards, it really picked up the pace. I think seeing this live influenced people’s ratings, because that would have been awesome. There’s quite a few moments where you’d think for sure it was over. So, I can’t fault anyone for giving it 5 stars, I just don’t see it that way. Their SummerSlam match was the superior, in my opinion.
CM Punk puts Cena to sleep at 33:54
****1/4 DISC 3 No Holds Barred World Heavyweight Title Match – SummerSlam – August 14th, 2011
Christian vs Randy Orton
This feud reminded me a lot of Edge vs The Undertaker, where the chemistry was off the charts as they headlined PPV after PPV. Christian & Orton just couldn’t have a bad match this year, and it reached it’s zenith at SummerSlam. It’s an absolute monster, and both guys go until absolute tilt, it’s incredible. I had the match originally docked a quarter because of Orton winning, but that really shouldn’t effect the quality of the match, so I went all the way with this. What a brutal ending.
Orton hits a mid-air RKO onto the steel stairs at 27:43
***** World Heavyweight Title Match – Night of Champions – September 19th, 2011
Randy Orton vs Mark Henry
What we have here is basically Mark Henry’s greatest match. The WWE have done a fine job with Mark’s character, actually making him interesting for once in his 15 year career. They made Henry look like a true beast, with Orton throwing everything he had at him and it just wasn’t enough. Mark gets the clean win, making him look even stronger. Also, as a bit of an off note, is anyone else sick of seeing the Orton-Goes-For-The-RKO-Only-To-Get-Pushed-Away thing that happens 10 times in every Orton match? That never happened with The Diamond Cutter, and rarely with The Stunner.
Mark Henry hits the World’s Strongest Slam at 13:07
***1/2 No DQ Match – Night of Champions – September 19th, 2011
CM Punk vs Triple H
Man, they talk about great guys in wrestling, and they better start talking about CM Punk soon. Here he is, at the prime of his career, in midst of one of WWE’s hottest angles ever, and he’s selfless enough to give the rub to the youngblood known as Triple H. Hopefully this will help catapult Triple H towards his 37th World Title reign. Also, it was nice to see that the booking for this match was a return shot for Vince Russo, with a sweet minimum of 8 different things happening. It was all gravy until right after Punk dropped the big elbow.
Triple H puts down the spot-light-glory-hog CM Punk in 24:07
***1/2 Divas Championship – Hell in a Cell – October 2nd, 2011
Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix
Beth was suppose to be the heel, yet there wasn’t anyone over 10 who wanted to see the over-tanned girl with hair extensions and the body of a 10 year old boy win this one. Again.
Beth wins at 8:31
* WWE Championship Triple Threat Match – Hell in a Cell – October 2nd, 2011
Alberto Del Rio vs CM Punk vs John Cena
This was a great example of how Triple Threat’s should be booked. Each guy trying to snag the quick pin, with a ton of different ways to be broken up. Plus, this was the first time in a while that Hell in a Cell that truly felt like a HELL IN A CELL. By that, I mean just a brutal, violent outing. CM Punk getting his back cut to hell, and Cena getting suplexed through the chairs. I really hadn’t felt this interested in a HIAC since Taker/Batista. I loved the idea of Cena being locked out, because it gave Alberto that clever-heel aspect that’s been sorely missing, as he seemed to be taking delight in Cena’s frustration.
Alberto earns his 2nd title at 24:07. Then is beat to hell by Miz & R-Truth.
****1/4 World Heavyweight Title – Vengeance – October 23rd, 2011
Big Show vs Mark Henry
I would have much preferred to see Cena vs Alberto in a Last Man Standing from this PPV, than this match. However, the ring exploded, and thus this just had to be included. It’s not a bad match by any means, and a lot more than I thought these two could do, but they really need to be in a gimmick environment for them to thrive. Also, they really should have had Mark get back up on his own, and beat the hell out of Big Show as he’s being helped. It would have made him seem a hell of a lot tougher, and more viscous. Ah well.
No contest, the ring exploded. 13:00
**1/2 Last Words: Sure, there’s a match or two that could have been left off, and a match or two that should have been included. But for $20, you aren’t going to find more for your dollar, with almost every single match being fantastic. Only 3 out of 14 matches rank below ***1/2, and you don’t find that too often. A great set that’s a must, with a final score of ****3/4 This is Marion Cobretti saying, I want him out of commission. Do you have a problem with that, Mr. Lawrence?

Cobra Kai Review: Best PPV Matches of 2011

  The Cobra Kai Review of WWE’s Best PPV Matches of 2011
I love these releases. Of course, they could have a better match selection, as either LMS [Punk vs Orton, or Cena v Alberto] that they had this year would be a better choice than Henry v Big Show, but since the ring fell down, they obviously have to include it. Not a lot of folk want to shell out the money to buy the PPVs when they hit DVD, so something like this is fantastic. So, let’s see how how they did with their choices this year. World Heavyweight Title – Royal Rumble, January 30th, 2011
Edge vs Dolph Ziggler
One year later, Ziggler would be in the same situation, but for a different title. It’s a real bummer that Edge had to retire all of a sudden, because even though his feud with Kane was a bleak spot, this match shows that he could still go with the best of’em. Giving us a fantastic match, and probably Ziggler’s best to date. There’s nothing flashy, nothing “OMG!” about it, it’s just an excellent match that’s built brick by brick. The stipulation of Edge not being able to use the Spear is great, because even though it’s simple, it always creates an interesting dynamic. Same goes for Shawn’s match against Orton at Survivor Series 2007.
Edge pays homage to his pal Christian, hitting the Killswitch at 20:48
****1/2 Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Title – Elimination Chamber, February 20th, 2011
Edge vs Rey Mysterio vs Wade Barrett vs Kane vs Drew McIntyre vs Big Show
It wouldn’t be a Best Of without a little Chamber. Now, these matches tend to be a roll of the dice. They can either kick some serious ass, or just sludge along. Or, Triple H can win despite not having wrestled for literally an entire minute, whilst wearing bike shorts no less. This one does a fine job for itself. Everyone actually gets into the deal before anyone’s eliminated. I can’t recall if that’s been done before, but it was the first time I’ve seen it.. The real shine of this match is when Edge & Mysterio go at it near the end, they honestly elevate the match by at least a full star with their night cap performance.
Edge hits a mid-air Spear on Mysterio in 31:30
**** WrestleMania XXVII – April 3rd, 2011
Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes
Rey had caused the once dashing Cody Rhodes to basically look like his older brother, via smashing his face with this knee brace, so this is the grudge match. Nothing too stand out, and a damn fine match for it’s placement on the card. I do find it a waste to give someone a victory over a guy like Mysterio when they really aren’t setting the world on fire.
Cody hits the Cross Rhodes in a cool 12 minutes.
***1/4 No Holds Barred Match – WrestleMania XXVII – April 3rd, 2011
I don’t think there’s ever been a match that people were so divided on. Peeps either hate it, or love it. Myself, I’m on the love it side. I saw it live with a group of friends, and I’ve never had so much fun. Sure, when Mark Henry is taking a stab at the streak, it’s not in question, but half way through this one nobody was sure. Half was for Triple H, the other half were for Taker. When Triple H hit the Tombstone, the place exploded, and we all truly thought it was over.
Undertaker puts Triple H in the Gates of Hell at 29:25
***** DISC 2 World Heavyweight Championship – Extreme Rules, May 1st, 2011
Christian vs Alberto Del Rio
Edge was forced to retire because of matches just like this, so Christian earned his spot in this match by winning a battle royal. I was ecstatic to see Christian get his chance, because he’s been busting his ass for over 15 years and has done nothing but deliver quality. As for the match, I have no qualms with saying that this is my favorite ladder match of all time. Both guys go to the absolute limit with each other, and beat every ounce of will, drive, and fortitude out of each other. You get everything, one moment you get an awesome segment where Christian & Alberto break out reversal after reversal on each other until one of them is finally bested, then you get a crazy spot like Alberto diving from the top turnbuckle through a ladder. An absolute war, and a fantastic moment with Edge & Christian celebrating with legitimate emotion.
Christian pulls down the title at 21:01
***** Capital Punishment
Rey Mysterio vs CM Punk
For the life of me, I can’t understand why I hadn’t heard of this match for the entire year of 2011. It’s absolutely fantastic from beginning to end, and what I believe is CM Punk’s true classic from 2011. They wrestled at a non-stop high pace, without one botch. They busted out reversal after reversal, then counter into counter, and had more incredible moments than one could count. This is an absolutely fantastic match that people need to look at again, because it’s flawless.
The GTS at 14:58 puts Mysterio out
***** Money In The Bank for Raw – Money In The Bank – July 17th, 2011
Alberto Del Rio vs Rey Mysterio vs Jack Swagger vs Alex Riley vs The Miz vs Kofi Kingston vs Evan Bourne vs R- Truth
The match started off great, with every wrestler taking a ladder and doing battle. This one had more spots than the Smackdown bout, and was about 10 minutes shorter. Not one of the best I’ve seen, but it worked. Unmasking Rey as a way to get one over on him is always a cool way to go.
Alberto becomes Mr. Money in the Bank at 15:54
**** WWE Championship Match – Money In The Bank – July 17th, 2011
John Cena vs CM Punk
A great match with one of the Top 3 crowds I’ve ever seen. For my money though, I can’t give it the fully monty, because I think it just ran way too long, with the first half  not delivering so much. Afterwards, it really picked up the pace. I think seeing this live influenced people’s ratings, because that would have been awesome. There’s quite a few moments where you’d think for sure it was over. So, I can’t fault anyone for giving it 5 stars, I just don’t see it that way. Their SummerSlam match was the superior, in my opinion.
CM Punk puts Cena to sleep at 33:54
****1/4 DISC 3 No Holds Barred World Heavyweight Title Match – SummerSlam – August 14th, 2011
Christian vs Randy Orton
This feud reminded me a lot of Edge vs The Undertaker, where the chemistry was off the charts as they headlined PPV after PPV. Christian & Orton just couldn’t have a bad match this year, and it reached it’s zenith at SummerSlam. It’s an absolute monster, and both guys go until absolute tilt, it’s incredible. I had the match originally docked a quarter because of Orton winning, but that really shouldn’t effect the quality of the match, so I went all the way with this. What a brutal ending.
Orton hits a mid-air RKO onto the steel stairs at 27:43
***** World Heavyweight Title Match – Night of Champions – September 19th, 2011
Randy Orton vs Mark Henry
What we have here is basically Mark Henry’s greatest match. The WWE have done a fine job with Mark’s character, actually making him interesting for once in his 15 year career. They made Henry look like a true beast, with Orton throwing everything he had at him and it just wasn’t enough. Mark gets the clean win, making him look even stronger. Also, as a bit of an off note, is anyone else sick of seeing the Orton-Goes-For-The-RKO-Only-To-Get-Pushed-Away thing that happens 10 times in every Orton match? That never happened with The Diamond Cutter, and rarely with The Stunner.
Mark Henry hits the World’s Strongest Slam at 13:07
***1/2 No DQ Match – Night of Champions – September 19th, 2011
CM Punk vs Triple H
Man, they talk about great guys in wrestling, and they better start talking about CM Punk soon. Here he is, at the prime of his career, in midst of one of WWE’s hottest angles ever, and he’s selfless enough to give the rub to the youngblood known as Triple H. Hopefully this will help catapult Triple H towards his 37th World Title reign. Also, it was nice to see that the booking for this match was a return shot for Vince Russo, with a sweet minimum of 8 different things happening. It was all gravy until right after Punk dropped the big elbow.
Triple H puts down the spot-light-glory-hog CM Punk in 24:07
***1/2 Divas Championship – Hell in a Cell – October 2nd, 2011
Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix
Beth was suppose to be the heel, yet there wasn’t anyone over 10 who wanted to see the over-tanned girl with hair extensions and the body of a 10 year old boy win this one. Again.
Beth wins at 8:31
* WWE Championship Triple Threat Match – Hell in a Cell – October 2nd, 2011
Alberto Del Rio vs CM Punk vs John Cena
This was a great example of how Triple Threat’s should be booked. Each guy trying to snag the quick pin, with a ton of different ways to be broken up. Plus, this was the first time in a while that Hell in a Cell that truly felt like a HELL IN A CELL. By that, I mean just a brutal, violent outing. CM Punk getting his back cut to hell, and Cena getting suplexed through the chairs. I really hadn’t felt this interested in a HIAC since Taker/Batista. I loved the idea of Cena being locked out, because it gave Alberto that clever-heel aspect that’s been sorely missing, as he seemed to be taking delight in Cena’s frustration.
Alberto earns his 2nd title at 24:07. Then is beat to hell by Miz & R-Truth.
****1/4 World Heavyweight Title – Vengeance – October 23rd, 2011
Big Show vs Mark Henry
I would have much preferred to see Cena vs Alberto in a Last Man Standing from this PPV, than this match. However, the ring exploded, and thus this just had to be included. It’s not a bad match by any means, and a lot more than I thought these two could do, but they really need to be in a gimmick environment for them to thrive. Also, they really should have had Mark get back up on his own, and beat the hell out of Big Show as he’s being helped. It would have made him seem a hell of a lot tougher, and more viscous. Ah well.
No contest, the ring exploded. 13:00
**1/2 Last Words: Sure, there’s a match or two that could have been left off, and a match or two that should have been included. But for $20, you aren’t going to find more for your dollar, with almost every single match being fantastic. Only 3 out of 14 matches rank below ***1/2, and you don’t find that too often. A great set that’s a must, with a final score of ****3/4 This is Marion Cobretti saying, I want him out of commission. Do you have a problem with that, Mr. Lawrence?

Cobra Kai Review: Best PPV Matches of 2011

  The Cobra Kai Review of WWE’s Best PPV Matches of 2011
I love these releases. Of course, they could have a better match selection, as either LMS [Punk vs Orton, or Cena v Alberto] that they had this year would be a better choice than Henry v Big Show, but since the ring fell down, they obviously have to include it. Not a lot of folk want to shell out the money to buy the PPVs when they hit DVD, so something like this is fantastic. So, let’s see how how they did with their choices this year. World Heavyweight Title – Royal Rumble, January 30th, 2011
Edge vs Dolph Ziggler
One year later, Ziggler would be in the same situation, but for a different title. It’s a real bummer that Edge had to retire all of a sudden, because even though his feud with Kane was a bleak spot, this match shows that he could still go with the best of’em. Giving us a fantastic match, and probably Ziggler’s best to date. There’s nothing flashy, nothing “OMG!” about it, it’s just an excellent match that’s built brick by brick. The stipulation of Edge not being able to use the Spear is great, because even though it’s simple, it always creates an interesting dynamic. Same goes for Shawn’s match against Orton at Survivor Series 2007.
Edge pays homage to his pal Christian, hitting the Killswitch at 20:48
****1/2 Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Title – Elimination Chamber, February 20th, 2011
Edge vs Rey Mysterio vs Wade Barrett vs Kane vs Drew McIntyre vs Big Show
It wouldn’t be a Best Of without a little Chamber. Now, these matches tend to be a roll of the dice. They can either kick some serious ass, or just sludge along. Or, Triple H can win despite not having wrestled for literally an entire minute, whilst wearing bike shorts no less. This one does a fine job for itself. Everyone actually gets into the deal before anyone’s eliminated. I can’t recall if that’s been done before, but it was the first time I’ve seen it.. The real shine of this match is when Edge & Mysterio go at it near the end, they honestly elevate the match by at least a full star with their night cap performance.
Edge hits a mid-air Spear on Mysterio in 31:30
**** WrestleMania XXVII – April 3rd, 2011
Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes
Rey had caused the once dashing Cody Rhodes to basically look like his older brother, via smashing his face with this knee brace, so this is the grudge match. Nothing too stand out, and a damn fine match for it’s placement on the card. I do find it a waste to give someone a victory over a guy like Mysterio when they really aren’t setting the world on fire.
Cody hits the Cross Rhodes in a cool 12 minutes.
***1/4 No Holds Barred Match – WrestleMania XXVII – April 3rd, 2011
I don’t think there’s ever been a match that people were so divided on. Peeps either hate it, or love it. Myself, I’m on the love it side. I saw it live with a group of friends, and I’ve never had so much fun. Sure, when Mark Henry is taking a stab at the streak, it’s not in question, but half way through this one nobody was sure. Half was for Triple H, the other half were for Taker. When Triple H hit the Tombstone, the place exploded, and we all truly thought it was over.
Undertaker puts Triple H in the Gates of Hell at 29:25
***** DISC 2 World Heavyweight Championship – Extreme Rules, May 1st, 2011
Christian vs Alberto Del Rio
Edge was forced to retire because of matches just like this, so Christian earned his spot in this match by winning a battle royal. I was ecstatic to see Christian get his chance, because he’s been busting his ass for over 15 years and has done nothing but deliver quality. As for the match, I have no qualms with saying that this is my favorite ladder match of all time. Both guys go to the absolute limit with each other, and beat every ounce of will, drive, and fortitude out of each other. You get everything, one moment you get an awesome segment where Christian & Alberto break out reversal after reversal on each other until one of them is finally bested, then you get a crazy spot like Alberto diving from the top turnbuckle through a ladder. An absolute war, and a fantastic moment with Edge & Christian celebrating with legitimate emotion.
Christian pulls down the title at 21:01
***** Capital Punishment
Rey Mysterio vs CM Punk
For the life of me, I can’t understand why I hadn’t heard of this match for the entire year of 2011. It’s absolutely fantastic from beginning to end, and what I believe is CM Punk’s true classic from 2011. They wrestled at a non-stop high pace, without one botch. They busted out reversal after reversal, then counter into counter, and had more incredible moments than one could count. This is an absolutely fantastic match that people need to look at again, because it’s flawless.
The GTS at 14:58 puts Mysterio out
***** Money In The Bank for Raw – Money In The Bank – July 17th, 2011
Alberto Del Rio vs Rey Mysterio vs Jack Swagger vs Alex Riley vs The Miz vs Kofi Kingston vs Evan Bourne vs R- Truth
The match started off great, with every wrestler taking a ladder and doing battle. This one had more spots than the Smackdown bout, and was about 10 minutes shorter. Not one of the best I’ve seen, but it worked. Unmasking Rey as a way to get one over on him is always a cool way to go.
Alberto becomes Mr. Money in the Bank at 15:54
**** WWE Championship Match – Money In The Bank – July 17th, 2011
John Cena vs CM Punk
A great match with one of the Top 3 crowds I’ve ever seen. For my money though, I can’t give it the fully monty, because I think it just ran way too long, with the first half  not delivering so much. Afterwards, it really picked up the pace. I think seeing this live influenced people’s ratings, because that would have been awesome. There’s quite a few moments where you’d think for sure it was over. So, I can’t fault anyone for giving it 5 stars, I just don’t see it that way. Their SummerSlam match was the superior, in my opinion.
CM Punk puts Cena to sleep at 33:54
****1/4 DISC 3 No Holds Barred World Heavyweight Title Match – SummerSlam – August 14th, 2011
Christian vs Randy Orton
This feud reminded me a lot of Edge vs The Undertaker, where the chemistry was off the charts as they headlined PPV after PPV. Christian & Orton just couldn’t have a bad match this year, and it reached it’s zenith at SummerSlam. It’s an absolute monster, and both guys go until absolute tilt, it’s incredible. I had the match originally docked a quarter because of Orton winning, but that really shouldn’t effect the quality of the match, so I went all the way with this. What a brutal ending.
Orton hits a mid-air RKO onto the steel stairs at 27:43
***** World Heavyweight Title Match – Night of Champions – September 19th, 2011
Randy Orton vs Mark Henry
What we have here is basically Mark Henry’s greatest match. The WWE have done a fine job with Mark’s character, actually making him interesting for once in his 15 year career. They made Henry look like a true beast, with Orton throwing everything he had at him and it just wasn’t enough. Mark gets the clean win, making him look even stronger. Also, as a bit of an off note, is anyone else sick of seeing the Orton-Goes-For-The-RKO-Only-To-Get-Pushed-Away thing that happens 10 times in every Orton match? That never happened with The Diamond Cutter, and rarely with The Stunner.
Mark Henry hits the World’s Strongest Slam at 13:07
***1/2 No DQ Match – Night of Champions – September 19th, 2011
CM Punk vs Triple H
Man, they talk about great guys in wrestling, and they better start talking about CM Punk soon. Here he is, at the prime of his career, in midst of one of WWE’s hottest angles ever, and he’s selfless enough to give the rub to the youngblood known as Triple H. Hopefully this will help catapult Triple H towards his 37th World Title reign. Also, it was nice to see that the booking for this match was a return shot for Vince Russo, with a sweet minimum of 8 different things happening. It was all gravy until right after Punk dropped the big elbow.
Triple H puts down the spot-light-glory-hog CM Punk in 24:07
***1/2 Divas Championship – Hell in a Cell – October 2nd, 2011
Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix
Beth was suppose to be the heel, yet there wasn’t anyone over 10 who wanted to see the over-tanned girl with hair extensions and the body of a 10 year old boy win this one. Again.
Beth wins at 8:31
* WWE Championship Triple Threat Match – Hell in a Cell – October 2nd, 2011
Alberto Del Rio vs CM Punk vs John Cena
This was a great example of how Triple Threat’s should be booked. Each guy trying to snag the quick pin, with a ton of different ways to be broken up. Plus, this was the first time in a while that Hell in a Cell that truly felt like a HELL IN A CELL. By that, I mean just a brutal, violent outing. CM Punk getting his back cut to hell, and Cena getting suplexed through the chairs. I really hadn’t felt this interested in a HIAC since Taker/Batista. I loved the idea of Cena being locked out, because it gave Alberto that clever-heel aspect that’s been sorely missing, as he seemed to be taking delight in Cena’s frustration.
Alberto earns his 2nd title at 24:07. Then is beat to hell by Miz & R-Truth.
****1/4 World Heavyweight Title – Vengeance – October 23rd, 2011
Big Show vs Mark Henry
I would have much preferred to see Cena vs Alberto in a Last Man Standing from this PPV, than this match. However, the ring exploded, and thus this just had to be included. It’s not a bad match by any means, and a lot more than I thought these two could do, but they really need to be in a gimmick environment for them to thrive. Also, they really should have had Mark get back up on his own, and beat the hell out of Big Show as he’s being helped. It would have made him seem a hell of a lot tougher, and more viscous. Ah well.
No contest, the ring exploded. 13:00
**1/2 Last Words: Sure, there’s a match or two that could have been left off, and a match or two that should have been included. But for $20, you aren’t going to find more for your dollar, with almost every single match being fantastic. Only 3 out of 14 matches rank below ***1/2, and you don’t find that too often. A great set that’s a must, with a final score of ****3/4 This is Marion Cobretti saying, I want him out of commission. Do you have a problem with that, Mr. Lawrence?

A Jarrett-ish Question

Scott, A much younger version of myself was at the Royal Rumble in 1994. I chanted for Diesel. From the bottom of my heart, I am sorry. I had just watched the entire Civic Center turn on one of my favorite wrestlers for kicking that selfish, no good older brother of his when he had every right to. Then I watched another one of my favorite wrestlers get gang murdered (?). I was 12 years old, had been looking forward to seeing not just the WWF but a PPV in person, and was mere minutes away from one of the biggest cop-outs in PPV history (TNA doesn’t count). So I chanted for Kevin Nash. I can’t un-do it. There you have it. About that Undertaker finish, maybe it was the fact that I wanted so badly to enjoy the WWF at the time, and I was young, but I actually kind of bought it. That just shows how dedicated to a product a wrestling fan can be, and how low a company has to sink to finally scare them off. They finally lost me around the time Bret and Lawler were touring the country doing “Kiss My Foot” matches, and I came back in time for the Attitude Era. As for Jeff Jarrett, I’ve noticed that you like to refer to him as someone who has achieved beyond his talents. To me that seems different than over rated, because you’re looking primarily at accomplishments, namely title reigns and money matches. If you were to construct a list of the top achieve beyond their talents wrestlers, who is on it? Sid? Nash? As much as I’d love to throw HHH on there, the fact is when paired with the right guy he can go. JBL only really had one go at the TOP, but it was a really long run because HHH “didn’t want to work Tuesdays”.  Anyway, just curious who’d you would list.

In defense of HHH, Tuesdays can be tough to get your head around.  Yeah, it’s after Monday, but then there’s still the whole rest of the week to go. Nash is a pretty talented guy in terms of charisma and understanding how to build a match, he’s just really lazy.  So I wouldn’t necessarily say his run at the top was unwarranted or anything.  JBL, definitely.  Also DDP, who was never what you’d call “talented” but had all the right connections and a good work ethic.  Booker T was really good, but not a 5-time World champion level good.  But that’s the thing with wrestling – it’s more about being in the right place at the right time lots of times.  Much like Honky Tonk Man, you need to be lucky to be good and vice-versa. 

A Jarrett-ish Question

Scott, A much younger version of myself was at the Royal Rumble in 1994. I chanted for Diesel. From the bottom of my heart, I am sorry. I had just watched the entire Civic Center turn on one of my favorite wrestlers for kicking that selfish, no good older brother of his when he had every right to. Then I watched another one of my favorite wrestlers get gang murdered (?). I was 12 years old, had been looking forward to seeing not just the WWF but a PPV in person, and was mere minutes away from one of the biggest cop-outs in PPV history (TNA doesn’t count). So I chanted for Kevin Nash. I can’t un-do it. There you have it. About that Undertaker finish, maybe it was the fact that I wanted so badly to enjoy the WWF at the time, and I was young, but I actually kind of bought it. That just shows how dedicated to a product a wrestling fan can be, and how low a company has to sink to finally scare them off. They finally lost me around the time Bret and Lawler were touring the country doing “Kiss My Foot” matches, and I came back in time for the Attitude Era. As for Jeff Jarrett, I’ve noticed that you like to refer to him as someone who has achieved beyond his talents. To me that seems different than over rated, because you’re looking primarily at accomplishments, namely title reigns and money matches. If you were to construct a list of the top achieve beyond their talents wrestlers, who is on it? Sid? Nash? As much as I’d love to throw HHH on there, the fact is when paired with the right guy he can go. JBL only really had one go at the TOP, but it was a really long run because HHH “didn’t want to work Tuesdays”.  Anyway, just curious who’d you would list.

In defense of HHH, Tuesdays can be tough to get your head around.  Yeah, it’s after Monday, but then there’s still the whole rest of the week to go. Nash is a pretty talented guy in terms of charisma and understanding how to build a match, he’s just really lazy.  So I wouldn’t necessarily say his run at the top was unwarranted or anything.  JBL, definitely.  Also DDP, who was never what you’d call “talented” but had all the right connections and a good work ethic.  Booker T was really good, but not a 5-time World champion level good.  But that’s the thing with wrestling – it’s more about being in the right place at the right time lots of times.  Much like Honky Tonk Man, you need to be lucky to be good and vice-versa. 

A Jarrett-ish Question

Scott, A much younger version of myself was at the Royal Rumble in 1994. I chanted for Diesel. From the bottom of my heart, I am sorry. I had just watched the entire Civic Center turn on one of my favorite wrestlers for kicking that selfish, no good older brother of his when he had every right to. Then I watched another one of my favorite wrestlers get gang murdered (?). I was 12 years old, had been looking forward to seeing not just the WWF but a PPV in person, and was mere minutes away from one of the biggest cop-outs in PPV history (TNA doesn’t count). So I chanted for Kevin Nash. I can’t un-do it. There you have it. About that Undertaker finish, maybe it was the fact that I wanted so badly to enjoy the WWF at the time, and I was young, but I actually kind of bought it. That just shows how dedicated to a product a wrestling fan can be, and how low a company has to sink to finally scare them off. They finally lost me around the time Bret and Lawler were touring the country doing “Kiss My Foot” matches, and I came back in time for the Attitude Era. As for Jeff Jarrett, I’ve noticed that you like to refer to him as someone who has achieved beyond his talents. To me that seems different than over rated, because you’re looking primarily at accomplishments, namely title reigns and money matches. If you were to construct a list of the top achieve beyond their talents wrestlers, who is on it? Sid? Nash? As much as I’d love to throw HHH on there, the fact is when paired with the right guy he can go. JBL only really had one go at the TOP, but it was a really long run because HHH “didn’t want to work Tuesdays”.  Anyway, just curious who’d you would list.

In defense of HHH, Tuesdays can be tough to get your head around.  Yeah, it’s after Monday, but then there’s still the whole rest of the week to go. Nash is a pretty talented guy in terms of charisma and understanding how to build a match, he’s just really lazy.  So I wouldn’t necessarily say his run at the top was unwarranted or anything.  JBL, definitely.  Also DDP, who was never what you’d call “talented” but had all the right connections and a good work ethic.  Booker T was really good, but not a 5-time World champion level good.  But that’s the thing with wrestling – it’s more about being in the right place at the right time lots of times.  Much like Honky Tonk Man, you need to be lucky to be good and vice-versa. 

A Jarrett-ish Question

Scott, A much younger version of myself was at the Royal Rumble in 1994. I chanted for Diesel. From the bottom of my heart, I am sorry. I had just watched the entire Civic Center turn on one of my favorite wrestlers for kicking that selfish, no good older brother of his when he had every right to. Then I watched another one of my favorite wrestlers get gang murdered (?). I was 12 years old, had been looking forward to seeing not just the WWF but a PPV in person, and was mere minutes away from one of the biggest cop-outs in PPV history (TNA doesn’t count). So I chanted for Kevin Nash. I can’t un-do it. There you have it. About that Undertaker finish, maybe it was the fact that I wanted so badly to enjoy the WWF at the time, and I was young, but I actually kind of bought it. That just shows how dedicated to a product a wrestling fan can be, and how low a company has to sink to finally scare them off. They finally lost me around the time Bret and Lawler were touring the country doing “Kiss My Foot” matches, and I came back in time for the Attitude Era. As for Jeff Jarrett, I’ve noticed that you like to refer to him as someone who has achieved beyond his talents. To me that seems different than over rated, because you’re looking primarily at accomplishments, namely title reigns and money matches. If you were to construct a list of the top achieve beyond their talents wrestlers, who is on it? Sid? Nash? As much as I’d love to throw HHH on there, the fact is when paired with the right guy he can go. JBL only really had one go at the TOP, but it was a really long run because HHH “didn’t want to work Tuesdays”.  Anyway, just curious who’d you would list.

In defense of HHH, Tuesdays can be tough to get your head around.  Yeah, it’s after Monday, but then there’s still the whole rest of the week to go. Nash is a pretty talented guy in terms of charisma and understanding how to build a match, he’s just really lazy.  So I wouldn’t necessarily say his run at the top was unwarranted or anything.  JBL, definitely.  Also DDP, who was never what you’d call “talented” but had all the right connections and a good work ethic.  Booker T was really good, but not a 5-time World champion level good.  But that’s the thing with wrestling – it’s more about being in the right place at the right time lots of times.  Much like Honky Tonk Man, you need to be lucky to be good and vice-versa. 

A Jarrett-ish Question

Scott, A much younger version of myself was at the Royal Rumble in 1994. I chanted for Diesel. From the bottom of my heart, I am sorry. I had just watched the entire Civic Center turn on one of my favorite wrestlers for kicking that selfish, no good older brother of his when he had every right to. Then I watched another one of my favorite wrestlers get gang murdered (?). I was 12 years old, had been looking forward to seeing not just the WWF but a PPV in person, and was mere minutes away from one of the biggest cop-outs in PPV history (TNA doesn’t count). So I chanted for Kevin Nash. I can’t un-do it. There you have it. About that Undertaker finish, maybe it was the fact that I wanted so badly to enjoy the WWF at the time, and I was young, but I actually kind of bought it. That just shows how dedicated to a product a wrestling fan can be, and how low a company has to sink to finally scare them off. They finally lost me around the time Bret and Lawler were touring the country doing “Kiss My Foot” matches, and I came back in time for the Attitude Era. As for Jeff Jarrett, I’ve noticed that you like to refer to him as someone who has achieved beyond his talents. To me that seems different than over rated, because you’re looking primarily at accomplishments, namely title reigns and money matches. If you were to construct a list of the top achieve beyond their talents wrestlers, who is on it? Sid? Nash? As much as I’d love to throw HHH on there, the fact is when paired with the right guy he can go. JBL only really had one go at the TOP, but it was a really long run because HHH “didn’t want to work Tuesdays”.  Anyway, just curious who’d you would list.

In defense of HHH, Tuesdays can be tough to get your head around.  Yeah, it’s after Monday, but then there’s still the whole rest of the week to go. Nash is a pretty talented guy in terms of charisma and understanding how to build a match, he’s just really lazy.  So I wouldn’t necessarily say his run at the top was unwarranted or anything.  JBL, definitely.  Also DDP, who was never what you’d call “talented” but had all the right connections and a good work ethic.  Booker T was really good, but not a 5-time World champion level good.  But that’s the thing with wrestling – it’s more about being in the right place at the right time lots of times.  Much like Honky Tonk Man, you need to be lucky to be good and vice-versa. 

A Jarrett-ish Question

Scott, A much younger version of myself was at the Royal Rumble in 1994. I chanted for Diesel. From the bottom of my heart, I am sorry. I had just watched the entire Civic Center turn on one of my favorite wrestlers for kicking that selfish, no good older brother of his when he had every right to. Then I watched another one of my favorite wrestlers get gang murdered (?). I was 12 years old, had been looking forward to seeing not just the WWF but a PPV in person, and was mere minutes away from one of the biggest cop-outs in PPV history (TNA doesn’t count). So I chanted for Kevin Nash. I can’t un-do it. There you have it. About that Undertaker finish, maybe it was the fact that I wanted so badly to enjoy the WWF at the time, and I was young, but I actually kind of bought it. That just shows how dedicated to a product a wrestling fan can be, and how low a company has to sink to finally scare them off. They finally lost me around the time Bret and Lawler were touring the country doing “Kiss My Foot” matches, and I came back in time for the Attitude Era. As for Jeff Jarrett, I’ve noticed that you like to refer to him as someone who has achieved beyond his talents. To me that seems different than over rated, because you’re looking primarily at accomplishments, namely title reigns and money matches. If you were to construct a list of the top achieve beyond their talents wrestlers, who is on it? Sid? Nash? As much as I’d love to throw HHH on there, the fact is when paired with the right guy he can go. JBL only really had one go at the TOP, but it was a really long run because HHH “didn’t want to work Tuesdays”.  Anyway, just curious who’d you would list.

In defense of HHH, Tuesdays can be tough to get your head around.  Yeah, it’s after Monday, but then there’s still the whole rest of the week to go. Nash is a pretty talented guy in terms of charisma and understanding how to build a match, he’s just really lazy.  So I wouldn’t necessarily say his run at the top was unwarranted or anything.  JBL, definitely.  Also DDP, who was never what you’d call “talented” but had all the right connections and a good work ethic.  Booker T was really good, but not a 5-time World champion level good.  But that’s the thing with wrestling – it’s more about being in the right place at the right time lots of times.  Much like Honky Tonk Man, you need to be lucky to be good and vice-versa. 

Alpha Plug

Hey Scott,
Alpha-1 Wrestling is a promotion running out of Hamilton, ON … just wondering if you could plug the website www.alpha-1wrestling.com
They have tons of video updates on youtube also.
If you need more convincing check out this commercial for their next event on March 11 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qMcPEZJTbn4# … I don’t think many indies out there have stuff that cool going on.
Thanks,
Randy

Always happy to help out an indy. 

Alpha Plug

Hey Scott,
Alpha-1 Wrestling is a promotion running out of Hamilton, ON … just wondering if you could plug the website www.alpha-1wrestling.com
They have tons of video updates on youtube also.
If you need more convincing check out this commercial for their next event on March 11 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qMcPEZJTbn4# … I don’t think many indies out there have stuff that cool going on.
Thanks,
Randy

Always happy to help out an indy.