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Thread: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

  1. #26
    Big Pimpin' Big Pete's Avatar

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    Do I really put him over that much?
    Nah, I just wanted to bring you into the conversation.

    I get the feeling that Joe took really good care of Ciampa and Gargano in their outings together. Take it up a level, or so to speak, in order to get them a spot in the company. It definitely worked and led to one of the more memorable television matches in recent memory.

  2. #27
    Atodaso Strobe's Avatar

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    Trying to help Baker in his hunt for the great Yoko match. Unfortunately, he may need to dip into territory that neither of us like venturing into - fancams. The fact this is at MSG makes it even more annoying, as they did film those big MSG cards and televise them on the MSG Network up until March 1992.



    MSG (8/13/93)
    'Steel Cage' Match for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
    YOKOZUNA [Champion] with MR. FUJI vs. BRET 'HIT MAN' HART


    My thoughts on escape rules in cage matches are typically never positive, but this is one of the best examples of doing it well. Because Yoko is such a monster and his offence is so devastating, it never feels too contrived when Bret is slow when trying to escape, since he'd be hurt, even in the early going. And because Yoko is so big, it never feels too contrived when he is slow when trying to escape, because he'd be gassed.

    They both know how to time their spots and bumps so well, while milking the drama of the escape attempts perfectly. Like usual, Yoko is the master of teasing his bumps and popping the crowd big when they do happen. We get a really nice spot when Yoko is going for the Banzai Drop in the corner with the door and Bret tries to escape, with Fuji stopping him and Bret ends up knocking Fuji over and putting him out of commission, with him taken to the back.

    Lawler, who would be facing Bret at SummerSlam later in the month, comes out to attempt to provide distraction and interference. Yoko misses a big splash and makes it such a big deal with the big run-up he did. Bret blocks a ram into the cage and nails Yoko into it, before sending him down with a clothesline to another big pop from a tremendous MSG crowd. Lawler throws in Fuji's salt bucket but Bret blocks the attempting shot and hits Yoko with it himself. Bret covers and a ref, after being held back by Lawler, enters for a nearfall that the crowd completely bought (even on this fancam I can tell it is Earl Hebner as he always gives away his nearfall counts after he has counted two by kicking his legs out to try to make it all dramatic). Bret hits Yoko with the bucket again and Yoko falls between him and the door.

    The pin didn't work last time (and it would take time for the ref to come back into the ring again; weird that the ref wasn't just always in there if pins were allowed, but it did work very well to make that nearfall spot so good) and Yoko had fallen between Bret and the door, so he decides to climb out over the top. But Lawler is waiting and throws "salt" in Bret's eyes, allowing Yoko to crawl out the door to retain at around 21:30. Post-match, Yoko comes in and delivers a Banzai Drop like the big bad heel that he is.

    This is probably the best Yoko match because while it is long (and typically any match of his over 5 minutes unfortunately requires him to do the dreaded nerve pinch of doom for a good while to catch a breather), the gimmick here allows the milking of spots and escape attempts and such that he has enough time to catch his breath without needing the nerve hold. I can find it hard to judge fancams compared to pro shot matches because the quality, presentation and feel is so different, but this is probably around the **** mark. Just a shame they never had a pro-shot match at this level.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    They have a pro-shot match (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x38jkl7) from three months later and while it shares a lot of the same spots and ideas as the MSG match, pretty much everything about it is inferior. Yoko feels like a bit less of a monster, the spots aren't quite as well built to, the drama is less, it doesn't flow as well and the crowd isn't as into it. It perfectly shows that wrestling is not just about coming up with some cool spots and that the timing, building to them, hitting them at the right moment, working the crowd just right (or even just having a more game crowd), etc. are all very important. Still a fine match however.

    You also get to experience the bizarreness of the Gorilla Monsoon/Johnny Polo commentary team. Of course Gorilla, like usual, tries his best to make people look like idiots, continually calling Bret out on trying to climb out over the top (when that's the fault of the escape rules gimmick really; if you go to the door every time, it is hard to keep it semi-believable) and then acting like the ref doesn't know the rules when he tries to count the fall. Now, the pinfall thing is a bit weird (even if it definitely works well as a spot) since there is no ref in the ring throughout both matches, but it could easily be covered by semi-competent announcing (if you wanted to have them bring it up at all, rather than just ignore it). I can just imagine something like this off the top of my head:

    Vince: "1-2-he got him! We have a new champion! Wait, no we don't."
    Heenan: *indignant* "Yokozuna kicked out! Since when have there been pinfalls allowed in this match, McMahon?!"
    Vince: "Pinfall or escape, that's the way to win."
    Heenan: "So why hasn't there been a ref in there this whole time?"
    Vince: "Would you want to be inside a cage with a man the size of Yokozuna? Who knows what could happen."
    Heenan: "Good point."
    Vince: "A smart move to stay out of harm's way until a pin is made from the officials. The Hitman just one second away from regaining the Dubyoo-Dubyoo-F Championship."

  3. #28
    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    I think that cage match is the best Yoko match too, but I didn't like it as much as Strobe. I gave it a C or C+ which is more in the *** range, I think. I don't do well with star ratings. Rock solid, nothing special.
    ---
    Here it is.

    Spoiler
    Last edited by Kilgore; 07-12-2016 at 05:46 PM.


  4. #29
    Atodaso Strobe's Avatar

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    I'm normally a stingy one with star ratings as well. Maybe I am letting the awesome crowd influence me a bit, but I think they were reacting as they were because everything was just paced and timed perfectly. It just feels like basically the ideal version of the type of match they were going for. One of those "everything clicked" matches. Just a shame the MSG Network wasn't showing WWF shows at the time.

    Also, just for fun, here is Yoko and Fuji on Conan to plug Survivor Series 1993.


  5. #30
    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    Quote Originally Posted by Strobe View Post
    I'm normally a stingy one with star ratings as well. Maybe I am letting the awesome crowd influence me a bit, but I think they were reacting as they were because everything was just paced and timed perfectly. It just feels like basically the ideal version of the type of match they were going for. One of those "everything clicked" matches. Just a shame the MSG Network wasn't showing WWF shows at the time.
    It's probably me. I don't really criticize anything in my review, and somehow, I give it a C. Although, I try to make every match I review sound better than it is. Unless it's a bad match, then I try to make it sound worse than terminal illness.


  6. #31
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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    I did Mr. Perfect a disservice in my last review by not mentioning what had to be a ring burn-inducing sliding bump off a Yoko clothesline. Just thinking about it pains me.

    So I caught my brother watching some spring 1995 WWF stuff. There was no prompting. He knows what's up. Truly a member of the Baker family.

    Caught the conclusion to the Battle of the Shoguns~! (Kwang & Hakushi). They were a one off tag team who I'm fairly certain existed just so we could get the cool Shoguns vs. Smokin' Gunns tag line one week on Superstars but they definitely could have been Baker Guys had they lasted longer and Kwang been less meh. Hakushi puts a permanent end to Kwang with a hurty top rope senton. Kwang would of course resurface a few weeks later as Saaaaavio Vega.

    Jean Pierre Lafitte was up next, making this viewing a win. He does his cool running crossbody blocks to a tied up opponent before winning with his usual Le Cannonball. My brother- "I would hate to be a jobber in mid 90s WWF. Guys just jump off the top rope and land on you with all their weight."

    The fun continued with an early Hunter Hearst Helmsley appearance. He made quick work of Buck Zumhoffe, finishing things with the Diamond Cutter.

    The big angle of the moment was Bigelow getting kicked out of the Million Dollar Corporation and turning face.

    There was also a Bret Hart vs. Jimmy Del Ray match but I got sidetracked and couldn't watch it. The Masters of Sleaze (Del Rey & Buck Zumhoffe) have to be among the early favorites for next years George Plimpton Memorial Tag Team Tournament.

    1995 WWF

    Commentary for these shows was provided by the weird trio of Gorilla, JR and Dok Hendrix.

    This week in ROH Rewind was Michael Elgin vs. the aforementioned Shiloh Jonze. Cornette had to have envisioned Jonze as a lower card blowjob babyface. Think a Sam Houston for 2011. His jean shorts are something else. Elgin was with Truth Martini back then. Elgin's character seems to be a dangerous dimwit. Truth is actually not terrible in a pre-tape interview. Nothing fancy but it gets across their characters. Martini is your traditional manager. In other words, a snake. Elgin is a dimwit being manipulated by Truth for his own means. Roderick Strong was also in HoT back then. Man, who hasn't been HoT? It ends with Festus Elgin grunting something like "Dead Meat." It wasn't exactly "Dead Meat," and Elgin is FAR from a Clubber Lang, but it was something like "dead meat."

    Match happened. Jonze hit a cool top rope superman punch and now I'm curious as to the origins of the Superman Punch. It definitely wasn't a thing when I stopped watching wrestling on a weekly basis back in 2009. Now Roman Reigns & Raymond Rowe use it. But who popularized it? Could it have been Sam Houston 2K11? The other highlight was Elgin hitting a sick Aja Kong-style spinning backfist. Nothing worth seeing aside from those two spots.

    Skipped the main event. I always seem to skip the main event for this show

  7. #32
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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    Been staying in my comfort zone with some 1995 WWF tv. Mostly from around Wrestlemania season.

    1-2-3 Kid had a nice little match with a local guy named Mike Khoury. Nothing fancy but Khoury was able to keep up with Kid's fast pace. They traded hiptosses and ran the ropes with aplomb. Khoury ate some kicks and Kid finished him off with a Northern Lights Suplex.

    A while back I watched a decent amount of Mantaur and came to the conclusion that he was not terrible in the ring. He seemed to move around the ring like a guy with an amateur background. I checked, and sure enough he did have an amateur background. Well, I may have spoken to soon because he was terrible here against another local in Rich Myers. 'Ramblin' Rich was a fairly regular WWF tv jobber at the time. He was also a regular in my late 90s local indy- MCW. He was crap there. You know you're bad when you're the lesser half of a tag team (Holy Rollers) that involves a shitty fake Road Dogg (Earl the Pearl). Anyway, the timing in this mess was atrocious. Mantaur would miss a charge and wait....wait....wait until 'Ramblin' Rich did something. Total amateur hour. Mantaur gets the win with a World's Strongest Slam after standing around like a goofball for a good ten seconds while Rich takes his time climbing the ropes.

    Smokin' Gunns beat a team I'm going to call the Dying Day Territorial Guys (Rip Rogers & Chic Donovan). Rogers shaved his beard and seemed to age ten years between 92 & 95. Rip has (or at least had) a cult following but he was pretty lousy here, barely able to get up on a leapfrog (Billy had to duck down and his comeback leapfrog smoked Rip's). Gunns score the win with a different version of their usual Sidewinder finisher.

    Aldo Montoya and the Heavenly Bodies also showed up a bunch of times (Bodies in singles action!). Y'know, Aldo is not terrible as a yellow jockstrapped Brad Armstrong. He has that style down pat. Just a perfectly acceptable 80s lower card babyface. He hit a sweet missile dropkick on Hakushi and broke out a bunch of neat pinning combinations against Double J. I'd rather watch Aldo matches than Justin Credible matches at this point in my fandom. Cornette was booked so weird during this little period. He was stuck managing bottom of the barrel guys like Mantaur & The Bodies. But he also had upper midcard/main eventers in Owen & Yoko. I'm glad he ditched the bottom feeders to focus on the Guys Who Mattered.

    Tatanka vs. Bulldog was a perfectly fine watch, though I remember little about it now save the finish which involved Dibiase tripping Bulldog to give Tatanka the countout win. I had no idea Tatanka was still getting wins over stars of Bulldog's caliber this late, no matter how tainted they may have been.

    The big angle was Sid turning on Michaels. In true Sid fashion, he botched the first powerbomb of his big angle. Yeah, he followed up with two perfectly acceptable powerbombs, but botching the first, and biggest, is just so Sid.

    My brother popped for Shawn's "Yakety yak McMcMannequin" line. Like he was rolling. Not quite to the extent of Dusty's "Cold Blooded Sausage Maker" promo (probably his all time favorite) but he definitely got a kick out of it. And he typically HATES Shawn Michaels.

    Hunter Hearst Helmsley vignettes are gold. Like to the point where it's a mystery how I did not rate Helmsley in the same rarefied air resolved for the 1995 Holy Trinity of Goldust, Jean Pierre Lafitte and THE DEAN~! My only explanation is the booking. Goldust was beefing with Razor and gunning for the IC title within two months. The Dean did those same things pretty much instantaneously. And Jean Pierre was gunning for Bret pretty early on. Meanwhile it took Helmsley like seven months to have his first big feud w/ HOG. And, as much as I liked HOG, he was no Razor or Bret when it came to Guys Who Mattered. So doing basically nothing with Helmsley for seven months caused me to lose interest. But those introductory vignettes are tops. My brother popped for the randomness of his "I wouldn't wear a cowboy hat to a dog show" line while I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing from start to finish.

    1995 WWF is life.

  8. #33
    Big Pimpin' Big Pete's Avatar

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    With the return of brand exclusive shows, I thought I'd go all the way back to 2002 to check out how the WWE handled it the first time around.

    WWF SMACKDOWN
    4/4/02


    Backstage, Vince announced that since SmackDown received the first pick, they were entitled to have the first WWE Undisputed Championship match, so the scheduled Triple H vs Taker match would not take place at Backlash. He revealed that he would announce the match later in the show. This was actually a semi-shoot angle, Triple H vs The Undertaker for Backlash had been locked in for months but then Hogan received that monster reaction at Wrestlemania X-8.

    Cue Marilyn Manson's The Beautiful People, aka the best theme SmackDown ever had.

    Kurt Angle made his way to ring and told Vince that he was happy to face Triple H at Backlash. The crowd wasn't happy, so Kurt Angle started listing reasons why he was deserving. He got through about four of them, told the crowd he had twenty-six more before Jericho interrupted. Jericho sooked about how unfair his rematch was (which to be fair, he had a point, it was a Triple Threat match - Jericho vs Triple H vs Stephanie McMahon) and said he was more deserving. This brought out The Rock who proceeded to eviscerate them on the microphone. After some verbal jousting, The Rock said that Hogan was most deserving and got the crowd behind the idea. Well...it was more like Austigan but close enough.

    WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
    Scotty 2 Hotty & The Dancing Hippo vs Billy & Chuck (c) (w/Rico)


    In hindsight, I find it funny that there was some developmental hype surrounding Rico. I never saw his OVW stuff, so for all I know he truly was this great Pro Wrestler that the WWE managed to mess up. Instead what we got was a glorified manager who came off like a cheap Disco Inferno knock-off. The champions got the heat on Scotty, hot-tag to Albert who cleaned house and was one step ahead of the champs. Rico tried to get involved, causing Albert to go after him, only to be levelled on the outside by a Palumbo clothesline. Back in the ring, Scotty hit a Tornado DDT which seemingly would have won the match for his side, but the referee was distracted with Albert and Palumbo brawling right infront of the Spanish announce table. This allowed Rico, who was standing right alongside Albert and Palumbo to 'sneak in' and hit Scotty with the Rico Kick. Gunn gets the cover and the tag champions retained.

    WINNER: Billy & Chuck

    I thought the finish was bogus. It's one thing for a guy to interfere, it's another for a guy to do it right infront of the referee.

    The post-match segment saved it somewhat. Albert got his hands on Rico, set Scotty up for the worm, only to turn on his partner and leave him laying in the ring. At least something came out of the segment.

    Backstage, Mark Lloyd, one of the more forgettable Mean Gene clones tried to get an interview with Vince. Vince asked him if he had ever worked for Flair, and when Lloyd said no, Vince was happy to answer his question. They were really hammering home the Vince v Ric angle on this show. Mark asked him who would be the number one contender at Backlash and Vince straight out told him it would be Hogan. Wow, what an anti-climax.

    Still backstage, and they showed Jericho flipping out over the announcement. He found The Rock, reminded him that he had beaten The Rock several times in the past twelve months (albeit, he threw Judgement Day in the mix, but I guess that's close enough to Vengeance), so The Rock challenged him to beat him again tonight.

    Christian vs DDP

    Before the match, they played a hype video that recapped the entire angle. It was a nice touch that made the match feel bigger than what it was.

    DDP is that guy who tries to sing-a-long with the song when he only knows the chorus. When it comes to high-spots, he looked really good but in-between he looks like a deer in headlights. Fortunately for him, they kept this to around five minutes, so it wasn't too obvious. The finish saw Page go for his third spin-around clothesline, Christian read it and hit a reverse DDT. Page kicked out, which caused Christian to throw a tantrum, which is what the build up was based on. Page tried to sneak up on Christian, but Captain Charisma was able to hit a flash Unprettier on him for the win to seemingly end their feud.

    WINNER: Christian

    Backstage, Angle was filthy with Vince's decision. "What next, will they make Hillbilly Jim President" Ha! Edge tries to console him by showing him pictures of better times. Kurt held the photos up and unbeknowst to him revealed that Edge had written some disparaging comments on the back. I remember watching this segment live, which is odd since I don't recall this episode specifically. Angle was seemingly touched, Edge wished him well for their match later tonight, left Kurt before Angle figured out the trick. It was a lot better than it sounded, just harmless Attitude Era Kurt sketch.

    Triple H came out and cut a promo hyping up his match at Backlash. Triple H was HUGE at this time. I know everyone says that, but it's crazy going from 1999 to 2016 then back to 2002. HHH cuts his usual 'bad-ass' promo which gets a luke-warm reaction. Hogan interupts, talks about how he didn't think his career could get any better after slamming Andre and then it did at Wrestlemania X-8 when the fans brought Hulkamania back to life. HHH told Hogan that he isn't afraid to do whatever it takes to retain the belt, even if it means injurying Hogan. Hogan continues to imply that he's Jesus and that at Backlash the fans will make sure that Hulkamania will rise and whatcha gonna do brother when Hulkamania runs wild on you.

    Edge vs Kurt Angle

    Edge reminds me a lot of Dolph Ziggler in the sense that he works at a nice clip but none of his high spots really register with the crowd. He hit Angle with a couple of Spears, The Edge-O-Matic, The Spinning Roundhouse but no real tension or sense of progression. At one point, Edge tied Angle to the ropes, nailed a couple of spears before the referee intervened. This allowed Angle to grab a steel chair and moments later use it to protect himself from a spear.

    WINNER: Edge by DQ

    After the match, Edge was able to wrestle the chair off of Angle, causing Angle to bail.

    WWF CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
    Billy Kidman vs Tajiri (c) (w/Torrie Wilson)


    Backstage, Kidman approached Torrie and said despite their past history he's cool with her seeing Tajiri. Tajiri saw them hugging, so he made Torrie kiss him infront of Billy Kidman.

    The state of Billy Kidman. It looked like he stacked on twenty kilos since leaving WCW, which served to make him look like a giant toad. While he was never going to be anything more than a Cruiserweight or Tag guy in WCW, the skater boy suited him and gave him a good niche in the company, especially with Tony Hawk entering the cultural zeitgeist.

    The cruiserweight matches in the WWE never felt right. In WCW, they were just short NJPW Super Junior style matches with some lucha libre sprinkled in. In the WWE it felt really Americanized with a lot of spots becoming cliche. Back and forth match, neither guy can really get on top. Tajiri gets frustrated and brings his Cruiser belt to ring-side as an ace in the hole. When he has Kidman reeling, he looks for it, only to discover that Torrie has taken it away, allowing Kidman to roll him up and score the flash pin. We've got a new champion.

    WINNER: Billy Kidman

    Not a good match, but it makes sense to have a title change on your first show.

    After the match, Tajiri chewed Torrie out in Japanese. Nobody had any idea what he was saying and Torrie's acting abilities may have been one of the worst in Pro Wrestling history. She was supposed to be scared/upset, instead it seemed like she was scared to laugh.

    Backstage, Vince isn't happy with the title change, but he was more upset that Maven lost the Hardcore Championship after he had just drafted him to SmackDown. Vince turned to Hardcore Holly, a trainer on the second season of Tough Enough, to take care of business and show this kid what's up. Holly left, which brought Stacey into Vince's office. Stacey cut a sensual promo and offered her services as Vince's executive assistance. Back from the break and while Vince was getting himself together, D'Von Dudley burst in. D'Von was upset that Vince had drafted him to SmackDown, breaking up the best tag team in the WWF. Vince gave D'Von a pep talk and told him to grab the brass ring.

    Hardcore Holly vs Maven

    Nothing match. Holly kicked out of Maven's missile dropkick, hit an Alabama Slam and it was over. Poor Maven, it seems like they were building Holly up for a feud with Randy Orton down the line.

    WINNER: Hardcore Holly

    The Rock vs Chris Jericho

    These guys have fought each other so many times they could do in their sleep at this point. In a lot of ways it felt like paint by numbers stuff from both men, Jericho working The Rock over with chops, always managing to stay one step ahead, only to be caught on the top rope and hit with a superplex. The Rock then made a big babyface comeback and had Jericho reeling before Y2J accidently took out the referee with a flying forearm smash. This led into the finish, with Kurt Angle running interference just as The Rock had his god awful Sharpshooter locked in. That distracted allowed Jericho to lay out The Rock and attempt a People's Elbow only for The Rock to reverse the tables. Angle interfered again, hit an Olympic Slam and got a near fall. Edge ran out, took care of Angle, Jericho went for a Lionsault, came up short and The Rock was able to finish Jericho off with a Rock Bottom to send the fans home happy.

    WINNER: The Rock

    And that was the debut edition of SmackDown. Outside of a couple of segments, it was difficult to tell it apart from a regular edition of SmackDown. If they took the Vince segments out, you wouldn't be able to tell anything major had changed. The Hulk Hogan stuff was really weird. I understand why they went in that direction, but it seemed rushed and bit of a chairty case. Hogan was more over than HHH but then by that point if you had any babyface face up against HHH they would have been cheered over him. The fans were over HHH at this point and his instantly forgettable 'That Damn Good' phase. What really struck me around this time was the lack of hot angles. The most over angle on the night may have been Albert/Scotty when it was all said and done.

  9. #34
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    I just don't like the idea of a draft in a pro wrestling league. Drafts are for amateur college athletes and fantasy sports, by fantasy I mean office workers gathered around a water cooler talking about their fantasy league, not dungeons and dragons fake wrestling fantasy. How many drafts has the WWE done over the years?

  10. #35
    Big Pimpin' Big Pete's Avatar

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    Last week's draft marked the 10th draft the WWE had.

    I could understand doing it once just for something completely different and creative, but it became over-kill.

    The highlight was the 2011 draft where Cena was drafted to SmackDown with the first pick, only to be drafted back to Raw on the last pick. Death of WCW shit right there.

  11. #36
    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    A draft totally seems like something Russo WCW would do. It's pretty much a glorified reset right? Is that how they used it in the past? I'm intrigued by these 10 drafts they have done now.

  12. #37
    Big Pimpin' Big Pete's Avatar

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    This is how I remember them...

    2002 - Nobody knew what to expect from it. It really was like that Bischoff/Russo Nitro in a lot of ways except they kept the belts on everyone. Outside of them breaking up a few tag teams, it was fine for what it was.

    2004 - Was anti-climatic. They made a huge deal about Triple H going over to SmackDown, only to pull the plug a couple of days later and have Booker and The Dudleyz go over instead. In the end, the draft served only to get Edge onto Raw, RVD onto SmackDown and that was the bulk of it.

    2005 - This draft occurred over several weeks, so every show you were guaranteed to see a new face on the roster. They didn't just move the deck chairs on the Titanic either, you had the two World Champions swap shoes, Angle traded in for Benoit & Orton, it shook up the company quite a bit.

    2006 - I consider this draft unofficial since it was really just getting guys like RVD, Angle and the Big Show on ECW. They were only a handful of picks total, with the only other major change involving Orton heading back to Raw.

    2007 - The biggest issue fans had with the draft was that it was so uneven. Raw would get the hottest up and coming talents, while SmackDown would be left with trash. On this occassion they received Bobby Lashley, King Booker & Mr. Kennedy, while SmackDown received The Great Kahli and Ric Flair. This was also around the time where they'd make a further 20 roster changes on WWE.com, so you'd have all these guys swap over for no real reason, so neither brand felt unique.

    2008 - It seemed like the WWE took on board the criticism from the last draft and wanted to even things up. So they took guys like Rey Mysterio and Triple H who were big parts of their respective brand and swapped them over. It was weird and it never felt right. It was like if ECW traded Sandman for Diamond Dallas Page and refused to change anything about him. Supposedly they kept this draft a shoot, so Jim Ross found out during the show he was being demoted to SmackDown and it made for really awkward television.

    2009 - Came off as an admission that they fucked up the year before. HHH returned to Raw, Mysterio back to SmackDown and we were supposed to forget about the previous year. I do recall SmackDown being deceptively exciting to follow around this period up until SummerSlam. Meanwhile on Raw, we got a rehash of the Donald Trump v Vince McMahon feud, which ultimately culminated in celebrities coming onto plug whatever project they were working on.

    2010 - I can't remember anything that happened on this draft...I think Edge was moved over to Raw where they turned him heel again after a pretty awful Wrestlemania feud with Jericho that was built around his god-awful version of the Spear. They split up Rhodes/Dibiase and Rhodes clearly out-shone Ted with his Dashing gimmick. My memory gets real foggy after that.

    2011 - The aforementioned Cena getting traded only to be traded back show. At this point, the draft felt completely meaningless since guys would swap shows all the time with minimal fuss. Wade Barrett was the biggest heel on Raw for months and it only took him weeks after his blow-off match with Cena to rock up on SmackDown with The Corre. CM Punk and Edge did something similar where they just swapped shows. Punk was on commentary, while Edge was thrown into the middle of another Kane v Undertaker storyline (which also saw the return of Paul Bearer). As sort of pointless as the whole thing was, SmackDown seemingly got the better end of it. Orton, Bryan, Sin Cara (Mistico) and Sheamus all made their way over while Raw got Del Rio and Mysterio. The latter two felt really out of place on Raw and really would have been better off on SmackDown.

    2016 - Is essentially just a desperate ploy to boost ratings on SmackDown. Neither roster feels well thought out and there is little in the way of dream feuds. It's an awful idea and I expect it to bomb pretty badly by next year.

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    The best variation of the draft was The New Talent initiative on ECW.

    Every year, they'd have two shows where they'd introduce a bunch of call ups from FCW.

    It brought in guys like Sheamus, Evan Bourne, Jack Swagger etc. and always gave you something to look forward to even though there were a few busts along the way.

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    Hardcore Holly vs John Bradshaw Layfield
    SmackDown! 2004


    We're on the road to WWE No Mercy 2004! JBL is gearing up for a Last Ride match (aka a glorified Ambulance Match) against The Undertaker, while Hardcore Holly is just slumming around. Wasn't he teaming with Billy Gunn around this time as the Attitude Era Tag Guys? Speaking of the Attitude Era, I wonder what the average fan would have thought in '99 if you told them that Holly and JBL would be involved in marquee matches? They'd probably laugh it off, but I thought this was an enjoyable eight minute television match. JBL clobbers Holly for the first half of the match, neither guy was afraid to really lay it in so it's easier to get sucked into the action. JBL gets too clever, heads to the top rope only to be flipped into a bodyslam. Holly hits a gorgeous drop-kick for a well earned two before JBL regains control with the Razor Ramon Fall-Away Slam. One of the better JBL stories floating around is that he got permission to use the move when Hall was back in the WWE, if he wanted to, he could have just kept using it. JBL attempts a powerbomb, but Holly is able to hit a desperation Alabama Slam.

    Back from the commercial break and the tables have turned again. Holly has been busted open on the outside with the steel steps. Shouldn't that be a DQ? JBL drags Holly back into the ring, leaves him hanging on the ropes as referee Nick Patrick assess' Hardcore. JBL tells Patrick to move out of the way, sinks a big boot into Holly and only then Patrick calls for the DQ. It wasn't overly consistent, but I like that the referee exercised some discretion here. It's very WCW with Patrick giving Holly every chance to make a comeback. JBL is in a foul mood and continues to pummel away on Holly. He drags Holly over to the announcer's table where he proceeds to smash him with stiff chair shots. He brings him back inside and hits a clothesline from hell.

    GONG

    It's Taker! Taker has been on the warpath and has been taking down JBL's crew one by one. I keep forgetting there was a Ministry-subplot to the feud, that was a nice touch. Mullet Taker has Orlando Jordan tied up to one of his symbols like it's December of 1998 and JBL looks on horrified.

    Rey Mystero vs Kenzo Suzuki
    SmackDown October 2004


    Another random YouTube clip, this match must have taken place around the same time as the Holly/JBL match since Suzuki is a tag team champion and they referenced the London/Kidman feud. I still see Suzuki's name from time to time when I read Puro results. At 6'3 120kg he certainly looked the part but I don't recall him being anything special in the ring. In fact the most memorable aspect of his WWE run was his wife Hiroko who would come to the ring in full geisha attire. If he can't look good against Rey, than he's no chance.

    Rey makes his way to the ring alongside RVD. They could have been a dream tag team, but if memory serves they felt really thrown together. Rey's WWE run is a constant source of mixed feelings for me. I love the actual entrance Rey makes, but I hate the theme music they gave him. It has this really cool build where they display all of Rey's different masks on the titantrons only for some really child-friendly rap music to come on. It feels like it was put together by Simon Cowell, just really manufactured and sadly you see a lot of that through out here.

    Short four minute match, Rey could just about work these in his sleep at this point. Kenzo works an arm-bar for the heat before Rey hits his high speed offence. Kenzo finally catches Rey and hits a nice double underhook jaw-breaker. At least I think it was a jaw-breaker, Rey took the bump off his knees and it looked nasty. Kenzo looks for a powerbomb, but Rey takes a page from Kidman's book and reverses it into a Senton.

    Eventually Rey puts Kenzo into position for the 619. Dupree tries to interfere, RVD takes care of him, Rey hits the move but Renee is back at it. Springboard hurricarana is reversed by Suzuki but Rey is able to turn it into a roll-up. 1-2-3 and it's over.

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    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    I fell asleep watching Ancient Aliens earlier tonight. I woke up on the couch and can't go back to bed so I'm watching a little 3 A.M. ECW Hardcore TV from 1997. This was the last episode of August 97 filmed at the Madhouse in Queens. I love ECW shows in this setting. This was a good one. Show starts off with Rick Rude. This was after Rude made his return to WWF as Shawn Michaels insurance policy, so he was working both WWF and ECW at the same time here.

    Rude brings out a challenger for Shane Douglas' ECW World Title and it's pre-head Al Snow. He comes out to the Prodigy song "breathe" and they cut the intro into this using that song, it's great. The match itself is damn good. Probably 3+ stars.

    I love how they brought Lance Wright back after a failed WWF run, he starts to work an angle here where he's losing his mind because he's back in ECW working hype central, it's pretty funny.

    Taz squashes El Puerto Ricano. Awesome. Taz standing over dudes clobbering them with crossface strikes is one of my favorite spots in all of pro wrestling.

    RVD takes on Tommy Dreamer in a very fun main event. This is the match where RVD does the splits tip up in the corner but Tommy kicks him in the balls and pulls him down with a DDT. Sabu and Fonzie get involved and help RVD bury Dreamer under the WWF flag. Fun episode of ECW right here.

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    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    John Cena vs Balls Mahoney
    WWE Raw(June 2006)


    This took place shortly after ECW One Night Stand 2006. They show a replay of ECW guys(Balls, Justin Credible and somebody else I forgot) attacking John Cena on Raw the week before, Cena fought back and hit Balls with a pretty stiff chair shot to the head(Balls didn't put a hand up either). They totally no-sell RVD's title win at One Night Stand, citing how Edge interfered and cost Cena the match and Heyman counted the pin when he wasn't even a referee, Lawler makes it out like ECW is a joke and JR makes it out like Cena got screwed, but he's not crying about it.

    Cena dominates early on. Balls fights back and lands his punching combo. There are a few grown man voices in the crowd chanting along with the "Balls, Balls, Balls, whoooooaaaaa... BALLS!" thing but mostly the fans boo Balls when he goes on the offense. Then Cena makes his heroic comeback. Crowd is hot for Cena. Cena wins with a pin in a pretty decent little 4-5 minute long match(if that).

    After the match I'm deflated and almost pissed off.



    Then all of a sudden Sabu appears out of nowhere and throws a chair into Cena's face as hard as he can, busting him open hardway. This is how I felt:



    Sabu then takes Cena out to the commentary table and hits the greatest fucking flying leg drop of all time:



    Holy fucking shit. JR on commentary puts it over the top(they even censor some of the shit he says). Amazing.

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    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    SA-BU. SA-BU. SA-BU. I knew Sabu and Cena wrestled once* but I never saw that leg drop. As if the leg drop itself wasn't cool enough, Sabu recovering from the shakier ropes, pausing, and just standing there, looking straight ahead, is such a boss move.

    *I was reading Sabu's Twitter earlier tonight, and one fan mentioned at some point, "10 years ago today, Sabu wrestled John Cena at..." Sabu's reply, "So fucking what?"

    Seeing things like that legdrop, I think a closer to his prime Sabu, would have been okay in the big show during MNWs, I really do. It wouldn't be ECW level magic, but he would've made his mark, and showed that he belonged.


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    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    It was amazing. I was legit marking out watching that, took me completely off guard. Sabu defending the faith of ECW! RVD came out later in the show and attacked Edge and got boo'd! ECW were the bad guys! I liked it.

    Smoking weed tonight, the Eugene character on this same episode made me laugh so hard that I cried. My god that guy nailed that character, the way he was sticking his tongue out and his facial expressions got me.

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    Big Pimpin' Big Pete's Avatar

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    The WWE didn't know whether to shit or wind their watch in 06.

    Here's John Cena, a cash-cow that's over with women and children, has potential to win the entire market over and isn't a screw-up like that boy from St Louis.

    Instead of building a company around him and making a point of how great Pro Wrestling IS, why don't we bring in D-Generation X, Classic Kane and ECW and tell you how great Pro Wrestling WAS.

    Is there any mystery as to why fans kept gradually tuning out?

  20. #45
    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    I still haven't reviewed anything in the new match review thread, because I'm a sack of shit. I was thinking about reviewing some Sabu TNA matches that Baker recommended a month ago, and found myself reading Sabu's Twitter tonight*, to get me psyched up. Then Shinobi drops that legdrop gif, and it's been ordained by PW.

    TNA Bound for Glory 2005: Sabu vs. Rhino vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Abyss - Four Way Monster's Ball Match

    What is a Monster's Ball Match? Wikipedia tells me, "A Monster's Ball match is a professional wrestling, hardcore match staged by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. The key premise of the match was that all contenders are sequestered alone in a locked room without light, food or water for twenty-four hours before the match. This stipulation is intended to induce extreme feelings of aggression in the competitors. Once released, the wrestlers fight one another in a no disqualification match, with the usage of weapons encouraged." Goddamn, this is going to be like when they put Clint Eastwood in the hole in Escape From Alcatraz, but gave him a barbed wire bat when he came out. I'm totally into this.

    Sabu has some pretty sweet Huka Blues ripoff music, like I'm surprised there wasn't a lawsuit involved.

    Each participant brings a weapon:

    Rhino: New Jack style, Garbage can full of weapons.
    Abyss: Sack 'o' thumbtacks and steel chain
    Sabu: His trusty chair
    Jeff Hardy: Body paint

    First spot of the match is Sabu tossing a chair into Abyss' face, and then a slingshot sommersault to the outside. Jeff Hardy, fully aware that Sabu is the coolest motherfucker in the match, starts his offense by doing Sabu moves too. A jump off a chair into the corner, and then a jump off a chair, and over the ropes with an Air Sabu.

    90 seconds in, and Sabu is already bleeding. All four men do some Big Pete crowd brawling, with Hardy jumping from a high(ish) area with a double axe handle on Abyss. Sabu busts Rhino open somehow, and the reveal is with Sabu doing a crazy eyed Uncle Sheik choke on him.

    Back in the ring, Sabu does a triple jump crossbody onto Rhino on the floor, pausing on the top rope, and getting big air.

    Jeff Hardy does his climb up the ropes into a twisting turnaround senton spot. He tries a twist of fate, but Abyss reverses it and hits "Shock Treatment" on him. Sabu tries to steal a cover on Hardy. Pyschology!

    Really cool spot, where an injured Sabu is on all fours, and Jeff Hardy does an Air Sabu off of Actual Sabu. Jeff Hardy then gets on all fours, and waves Sabu in to do the same. Sabu points up, runs like he is going to oblige, but kicks Jeff Hardy in the gut. And then an Arabian facebuster onto him for good measure. Sabu has no time for fanboys doing fanboy shit with him.

    Rhino breaks up the pin with a Singapore Cane! Let me tell you, Rhino swings a mighty cane. He's hitting guys as hard as I ever seen. Rhino goes for a gore on Abyss, but runs into a chokeslam onto a chair for the first near fall.

    Sabu is on the outside, procuring a table. Jeff Hardy is on the otherside, procuring a ladder.

    Sabu, builds a Bombay Bridge with the table on the apron to the guard rail, and triple jump legdrops Rhino through it. Jeff Hardy uses the ladder to climb up to the top of the TNA set. He jumps over the stage and onto a table onto a prone Abyss on a table on the floor. Ridiculous jump, Jeff Hardy could have hit the back of his head on the stage.

    This happens within 30 seconds of each other.

    Back in the ring, Sabu is setting up a triple jump moonsault, when Rhino springs back up, grabs a cane, and cuts Sabu off with a baseball swing to the gut with it.

    Rhino wedges a chair between turnbuckles, and goes for a gore in the corner, when Sabu moves, and Rhino essentially gores himself. Rhino lands in the center of the ring, and Sabu immediately hits a really good Triple Jump Moonsault on him (Probably a 7, if that one he did on RVD in 1996 was an 11). Nearfall.

    Jeff Hardy is (half) alive on the outside, and Abyss has actually recovered first and makes his way back into the ring. Sabu tries an Air Sabu onto him, but Abyss catches him and drops him through a table on the outside.

    Abyss grabs his bag o tacks, and hoists it similarly to Al Snow with head. He turns around and is gored through a table by Rhino.

    Jeff Hardy finally back in the ring, cuts of Rhino before a pin, and lifts him to the top rope to (probably) go for a hurricanrana. Rhino fights him off and Piledrives Jeff Hardy from the second rope.

    Cover. 1. 2. 3. Sabu for the save at 3.1

    Rhino wins.

    Dean Kilgore Grade: B+

    No bullshit, action fest. No bad selling to critique. Totally succeeds at what it is trying to do.

    TNA Genesis 2005: Sabu vs. Abyss - No Disqualification

    Sabu comes out, covering his arm with his head gimmick to feint Abyss into thinking he wrapped his arm in barb wire. Interesting quirk that the freakish Abyss apparently has a barbed wire phobia. Abyss retreats to the floor, and Sabu reveals he's got nothing under it. Abyss jumps back onto the apron, but eats a Sabu flying chair to start the match. Sabu is like the hardcore veteran using every trick to gain advantage over the young monster.

    Baseball slide by Sabu onto the outside, and then a Triple Jump Crossbody to the outside. Sabu's not fucking around here.

    Back in the ring, Sabu runs into a right hand directly to his nose. Abyss then starts twisting the nose. Sabu is selling his nose. Most wrestler's sell limbs. Sabu sells appendages. Advanced.

    Abyss rams Sabu's nose into the top turnbuckle repeatedly. And Sabu is bleeding from the nose.

    They take turns cutting each other off. Sabu hits a hurricanrana off the top rope. Abyss cuts off a triple jump moonsault by springing up and nailing Sabu with the chair, similar to the Rhino spot from Monster's Ball. Abyss wedges a chair between turnbuckles, but Sabu moves and Abyss goes crashing into.

    Sabu with a Triple Jump Moonsault now, having to jump three quarters of the ring, his knee is the only part that connects with Abyss, but it works. A knee to the face from a crazy person doing a moonsault might hurt even more than the intended splash.

    Sabu tells the camera man, "Out of my fucking way," and sets up a table on the floor. He nails Abyss with a chair shot on the apron, with Abyss crashing to the floor. As Abyss is using the table to help himself up, Sabu calls an audible. Instead of going for a Triple Jump onto the floor, he does a slingshot sommersault leg drop to the back of Abyss's head onto the table.

    Abyss has brought his bag o tacks, and releases them into the center of the ring. Sabu comes back in, with a chair wrapped in barbed wire. Just as he's about to unleash it, outside interfearance from The Sinister Minister, whose been with Abyss both times, and I failed to mention it until now. He hooks the barbed wire chair with his vampire cane, enough to distract Sabu, and then Abyss nails Sabu from behind.

    They tease an Abyss fall into the thumbtacks. On Sabu's third try, he runs into a punch to the nose! Abyss then chokeslams Sabu into the thumbtack pile, and they look incredible on Sabu's bare back.

    Nearfall. I also failed to mention in the previous match, Abyss is bad at nearfalls. Usually, it's the guy getting pinned who is bad, but Abyss kind of backs off a pinfall before his opponent kicks out, and then acts surprised when it's not a three. This is such a weird thing to be bad at, I thought it was worth mentioning.

    Abyss tries a splash off the second rope, but Sabu moves, and Abyss takes a minor thumtack bump, with some sticking in his elbow.
    Sabu, starts pulling thumbtacks out of his wrist and hand, as the crowd groans. Sabu is an underrated seller. Probably because he sold things that legitimately hurt.

    Sabu goes for his version of the camel clutch. Abyss thinks about submitting but gets to the rope.

    It's then Take 2 for Sabu's barbed wire chair. He places it next to the pile of thumbtacks, but the time it takes to do this, gives Abyss time to recover. He gets up, and attempts to powerbomb Sabu onto the barbed wire chair. Sabu fights out of it. Runs the ropes and goes for a clothesline, when Abyss drives Sabu into the barbed wire chair with a Black Hole Slam (Bossman Slam).

    Abyss is the winner. He almost releases the pin before the three again. Was this part of the gimmick, like Kamala, who didn't understand the concept? This is so weird.

    Dean Kilgore Grade: B-

    Fun Spectacle. Just a series of violent spots, trying to top the last one, but the right amount of weight was put into each one.

    Sabu vs. Abyss Barbed Wire Match tomorrow night.

    * Things I learned reading Sabu's Twitter

    Spoiler
    Last edited by Kilgore; 08-02-2016 at 01:32 AM.


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    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    John Cena vs Sabu
    WWE(Raw) Vengeance 2006


    This is a lumberjack match. I remember reading about this in something @Big Pete and/or @Baker posted a long time ago but never got around to watching it. Very cool seeing Sabu in this type of setting in a big match like this. Cena pretty much squashes the whole ECW thing they were trying to get going, I don't get it. He comes off as super hero here like ECW was just a monster of the week for him to slay. What makes me laugh is how the Raw guys who were Cena's lumberjacks is the biggest group of j-brones I've ever seen in my life, I'm talking Val Venis and Mabel type dudes. Sabu hits Cena with some pretty brutal chair shots through this match. Cena hits Sabu with some stiff shots as well. Cena dumps Sabu over the top through a table with his AA but Sabu kind of hits the table at an awkward angle and takes it really hard. This was pretty brutal, short as it was. Sabu taps out to Cena's hold(correction on that Balls review, I remember now he actually tapped out to this hold as well). It was like they dug up ECW's corpse just so they could bury it again. Incredible.

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    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    TNA Turning Point 2005: Sabu vs. Abyss - Barbed Wire Massacre

    First of all, I have to point out how surreal it is to see a No Roped Barbed Wire Match in a mainstream wrestling promotion. I don't think I even knew the concept existed until 1995/1996, and the thought of such a thing happening in WWF/WCW would have felt preposterous. Ten years later, it was taking place in fucking Disney.

    Sabu comes out with a taped nose, still selling the nose! Abyss tries to jump Sabu as the hardcore god slides under the barbed wire, but Sabu somehow avoids it, and reveals a barbed wire bat that backs up the big mang. Sabu swings and misses, and the bat gets caught in the barbed wire ropes. Both men retreat to opposite corners, Sabu points up, and the match is officially under way.

    After a bit of a wrestling struggle (both try the behind the man waist takedowns you see in amateur wrestling that I don't know the proper name of), before Sabu remembers he's Sabu, and uses a chair as a lawn dart to Abyss' face. And another chair shot backs Abyss up to the barbed wire.

    Sabu folds his chair, and runs to do an Air Sabu, no doubt reminding everybody of the Born to be Wired Spot where Sabu tore his bicep open (he taped it up, so he was fine), so the crowd gasps as Sabu takes off, but Abyss catches him in a powerbomb position. He looks to attempt to powerbomb Sabu onto the barbed ropes, but Sabu punches Abyss to his back, and gets a pin. Abyss kicks out at two, and Sabu goes chest first into the barbed wire ropes (which if memory serves, was also the first barbed wire spot in Born to be Wired). The crowd is horrified. And then in awe with a Holy Shit chant.

    After taking turns trying to put each other's heads into barbed wire, Sabu gets a running start at Abyss, jumps, but gets caught in a press slam position. Abyss then drops Sabu THROAT FIRST onto the top barbed wire rop. Sabu sells it like his throat is caught in the barbs! But it's only his arm, and he uses this as a diversion to reach into his boot and grab a Uncle Sheik style taped spike.

    He jabs Abyss once in the forehead, and then repeatedly in the left lower shoulder, drawing blood.

    Sabu back Abyss back into the ropes, and it's Air Sabu Attempt #2. I've got good news and bad news. Bad news, Sabu obviously misses and goes straight into the barbed wire. Good news, his bicep is in one piece, and it was about as safe a landing as one could have essentially crotching oneself onto something prisons use to top their fences with. Like in Born to be Wired, Sabu's genie pants, have seen better days.

    Sabu untangles himself out of the ropes (his back gets caught in it too), and now it's Abyss' turn to taste the barbs. Thinking Sabu was about done, Abyss attempts his first high risk maneuver, a running something or another, but Sabu with a drop toe hold (!), as Abyss goes chest first into the barbs.

    Nice little touch, where Sabu "forgets" he's in a barbed wire match, goes for a running start like he wants to bounce off the ropes, sees it's barbed wire, stops short, turns around, and this indecision gives Abyss enough time to recover as he punches Sabu in the broken nose, which has been bleeding since the first minute.

    And then a chokeslam onto a chair. First near fall, which Abyss doesn't screw up.

    Sinister Minister throws in a barbed wire chair. Abyss places it on Sabu's chest, does a similar, "There's no ropes to bounce off" move, hesitates, and then goes for an Earthquake kind of squash on Sabu. Sabu raises the chair to its edge, as Abyss goes cock-and-balls first into it.

    Sabu with two barbed wire chair shots to Abyss' skull, which chases Abyss to the outside (I think this is the first bit of gimmicked barbed wire as it doesn't stick to anything but still, chair to the skull).

    Sabu unfolds the chair, gets a running start and jumps over the barbed wire, and onto Abyss on the floor, with somersault plancha. Sabu almost lands in the first row.

    Sabu grabs one of those Japanese barbed wire tumbleweed boards, and throws it into the ring. This give Abyss enough time to recover, who then regains an advantage in the match.

    Abyss then goes for a vertical suplex on the floor, but suplexes Sabu forward and up, stomach first onto the top barbed wire rope.

    Back in the ring, Abyss goes for a powerbomb onto the barbed wire board. Sabu fights out of it again. Abyss goes for a chokeslam, Sabu bites his way out of that. Sabu runs at Abyss, but once again runs into a press slam, and Abyss drops him chest and stomach first onto the barbed wire board.

    Abyss brings in another barbed wire board, and stands it vertically in one of the corners. He shoots Sabu into that corner, but Sabu stops short. Abyss takes a run at him, and goes chest first into the board, and he's pretty disgustingly caught in the barbs.

    Sabu then kicks the other side of the board, and Abyss falls backwards onto the other barbed wire board. He is now the meat in a barbed wire board sandwich.

    Sabu legdrops the top of this, remains seated, as the referee counts.

    1. 2. 3.

    All is right, as the winner of this barbed wire match, is barbed wire god, Sabu.

    Sabu celebrates the win by putting the boots to the board, with Abyss still stuck in the middle.

    Dean Kilgore Grade: C+

    Probably my least favorite of the three matches. There's not a lot you can do in a no roped barbed wire match. That being said, they made the best of it, with Sabu doing the heavy lifting. It's hard to have a great barbed wire match, maybe even impossible, but this is a very good one.

    Sabu is god.


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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    Just caught John Cena vs RVD from Raw in June 26th 2006, this was the Raw after Vengeance 2006 I think, two weeks after ECW One Night Stand 2006, a week after Sabu put him through the table(after he made Balls tap). Cena got his revenge by making Sabu tap out and they were making it out to be a major deal(I seen a screen shot of the WWE website they were plugging had a story on the front page, "Sabu Taps!". Anyways, I really enjoyed this match. Fans were kind of booing Van Dam before the match. I even seen a "ECW Sucks" sign. Cena sold Van Dam's kicks very well, both guys bumped their asses off and worked hard. I would have given it around 4 stars if not for the weak finish(Cena had Van Dam beat with the AA or whatever it's called, then Edge runs in and attacks both guys for the DQ). Very cool match though, they hyped it up all through the show, cool to see Van Dam as the WWE World Champ, even though he came out first for the intros. Looks like his whole title reign was booked as a pretty big joke though.

    Actually watched bits and pieces of this whole episode and kind of enjoyed it. Definitely still rocking the Attitude Era vibe as far as the sexiness and the humor but this seems better than the 2002 stuff I've seen. The DX vs Mcmahon stuff is pretty corny. I laughed at the skit they did on this show but overall I'd say this DX was a little out of character. They definitely don't feel the same without Rude and Chyna. Also don't remember the old DX dropping slime and dookie on dudes Nickelodeon style. Aside from that stuff it was a pretty cool show, better than a lot of recent Raw episodes I've seen lately. You had John Cena vs ECW going on, Kane vs fake Kane, Foley vs Flair feud, even John Cena and Edge seemed to have edgier attitudes than some of the more recent stuff of theirs I've seen. I'm intrigued by this era. I wonder what was Smackdown like. Also wish they would upload the WWECW tapes someday. Just so I can poop on them.

  24. #49
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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    Sticking with the ECW guys in other places theme....

    Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy- Raw 5/12/97

    Those RVD "what if" threads had me thinking back to Van Dam's 1997. RVD appeared backstage at Nitro shortly before Barely Legal. The Apter Mags and/or my wrestling radio show reported he was "visiting friends." Uh oh. "Backstage at Nitro visiting friends" was 1997 insider lingo for "soon signing with WCW." The ECW Arena crowd knew this. Hence RVD's promo and hostile reaction at Barely Legal. That was my first time seeing RVD. I was hooked but not in the way you might think. Far from being a fan, I thought he was a massive prick and was willing to spend some dimes to see this douchebag get taken down a peg after only one match and one promo. And people say RVD has no mic skills! So I kept waiting to hear the news that WCW signed away another one when SWERVE! He randomly appears on Raw instead.

    The classic ECW theme plays.....to no response. Not a peep. The camera is zooming in on some fans. They do not react at all. RVD saunters out douchey as ever. We get a rare Fink botch as he announces Jeff Hardy from ".....(long pause)......Virginia. Jerry Lawler is in the ring. He cuts his typically good promo on Extremely Crappy Wrestling and puts over RVD as the one diamond in the rough. RVD nails it with his facial expressions and says his few lines in a perfectly acceptable manner. Jerry Lawler gives RVD his "Mr. Monday Night" nickname and calls Jeff Hardy a "Jon Bon Jovi wannabe." And with that we are underway.

    This whole angle with ECW positioned as the good guys is weird. Especially when you consider this is WWF. Anyway...

    This is a perfectly fine RVD showcase. Jeff Hardy is an unsurprisingly game jobber. RVD hits some kicks before going for his version of Angels Wings. I was just wondering why he dropped that in later years when he almost killed Jeff Hardy on a very unsafe landing. And now I know. Hardy takes a sick bump through the ropes to the floor off a RVD spinkick. RVD lands awkwardly himself on a subsequent big somersault dive. Back in the ring we get some slams and legdrops. RVD with the Five Star Frog Splash. JR compares it to Snuka's Superfly Splash. Lawler goes off on a tangent how RVD is better than Snuka. You know, the RVD/Lawler partnership is weird on the surface but I think they could have made it work. RVD finishes things with the Split Legged Moonsault since the Five Star is not yet his finisher. Both the Frog Splash and Split Legged Moonsault looked aces and were not things you would typically see in a WWF ring at the time.

    Crowd picked up as this progressed. They were dead at first but woke up during the match with "E-D-DUB" "Sabu" and "You Sold Out" chants. Despite his heel status, RVD won at least a few people over by the end. I saw claps and heard some "oohs" and "aahs" for his big moves.

    Verdict- Interesting historical curiosity

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    Default Re: Match Review Thread II (History Edition)

    There is a countdown of ECW's greatest matches over on the wrestlingclique forums. I think it's going to be pretty good. I've been watching a few matches trying to finalize my list. One I've watched this morning is Pitbulls vs Raven and Stevie in the double dog collar match. I love, love, love the crowd in this match, it just sets a great atmosphere, guys wearing old school Philadelphia Eagles t-shirts, people smoking cigarettes, handing the wrestlers chairs and frying pans. The funniest thing about this match is the guy I've nicknamed "Raven Mark Guy" who sits about 3 rows up right in the middle with short black hair and wearing a black ECW t-shirt. He is such a huge Raven fan, his reactions during this match are funny, basically how I look when I watch a Houston Texans football game on TV or something. His reaction when Dreamer runs in and costs Raven/Stevie the match is solid gold.

    The aftermath makes this great. 911 chokeslams Fonzie finally after months of build up to it. Amazing moment. The match itself though was not good. Some great table spots and a great atmosphere but the Dudley run ins and the whole sequence with Raven and the ether rag with the ensuing two botched table spots were some bad stuff. This match was fun but will probably not make my top 25.

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