Pay Per Value: Pro Wrestling Guerrilla – Tango and Cash Invitational Night One Jun30

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Pay Per Value: Pro Wrestling Guerrilla – Tango and Cash Invitational Night One

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla : Tango & Cash Invitational Night 1

January 25, 2004 in Santa Ana, California.

Your hosts are? NOBODY? No commentary? Oh, no?

Brett: So? I consider myself a very well rounded wrestling fan. I?ve seen tons of wrestling from Japan, Mexico, all over the United States and even the United Kingdom. However, one place I hadn’t seen much from was California.. specifically southern California, which is often pimped as a hotbed of hybrid wrestling, featuring lucha mixed with all kinds of other styles. Specifically, a new company in SoCal, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, was pimped to me by my friend from the Oratory forums, Julio Paz. It?s supposed to be a mix of Northeastern workers (Homicide, CM Punk, Colt Cabana) with big name West Coasters (Chris Daniels, Samoa Joe, B-Boy) with SoCal?s own guys (Joey Ryan, Super Dragon, Adam Pearce). I didn’t order a show until their tag title tournament, which was to feature workers I love like CM Punk, Chris Hero, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, American Dragon, B-Boy, Homicide, Super Dragon, Joey Ryan, and much much more, and I didn’t think I could keep denying the Guerilla love. For those who don’t know, each of the tag teams was given a team name that represents a ?buddy? flick, and it?s supposed to not be about what teams are the best, it?s supposed to be about what movie is the best. That, of course, isn’t true, or the Blues Brothers 2000 wouldn’t be anywhere near this poll and Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein would have an automatic pass into the second night. For those that don’t know, PWG has a really great sense of humor in their press releases and during their events, and this was no different. I ordered the tape, but before I set about reviewing it, I sent it off to some kid you may or may not know, and he wanted in on the action, so I said ?sure, why not? and let him ride off my coattails. Take it away, Justin.

Justin: Well, Brett was nice enough to hook me up with this and make my SoCal collection a little bit larger. I’d been wanting to see this tape for a while just out of curiosity of the tag team dream pairings? which is the same thing IWA MS just did to me again recently to be honest. This was actually the first SoCal I’d seen as I got this set before my other tapes. People kept calling it the ?ROH of the West? and I think that is some really unfair pressure to live up to, and honestly, they don’t live up to it, because even when ROH had production this low grade they had stronger workers giving a larger effort. That?s not a diss, I’m a huge fan of SoCal and their workers and I’ll be buying plenty of tapes (hell, I already have)- but I just don’t think that type of pressure should be on any indy group. If they didn’t have that tagline on them I think they’d fare a lot better. Anyways, we’ll talk more about this as the shows go on and afterwards.

Batman & Robin (Chris Bosh & Quicksilver) d. Cheech & Chong?s Corsican Brothers(Phoenix Starr & Zokre)

Justin: Heels attack to start and I’m buzzed off the brews to start this review of night 1. I’ll be switching on and off with the Play by Play the same as with ROH. If a match is good I’ll do more PbP then when it?s not. One Los Lucha does this AWESOME move where they tope but throw their back legs up in the air and bounce back into the ring. Los Luchas basically start every damn show in SoCal. Charles Mercury, Scorpio Sky, Zokre, Phoenix Starr, Chris Bosh, etc. Chris Bosh is really fucking cool, he?s like the gaijin ass kicker. He should have a good future ahead of him. Los Luchas control for a while and Zokre slows it down which I just really don’t want to see in this match.

Bosh takes control back and gets 2 with a Fishermans. Bosh is just cool, he?s a good wrestler, sure, but he has this odd charisma about him that makes me really love watching his work. And with the tons of SoCal wrestling I just bought in a bulk buy- I’m lucky to get to do often lately. Finally we go back to the spotfest that luchadores SHOULD do. They don’t bring these RevPro guys in so that they can do armbars. Batman and Robin hit a toss into a spinebuster for the win. Hey, Charles Mercury is here apparently as he comes out and congratulates Bosh and Hey Ho Silver on the win.

Fun little opener, nothing great, usually the lucha openers are a bit wilder then this.

$1.00

*3/4

Brett: Yeah, I enjoyed the lucha segments in this one. I’m not a huge fan of lucha, but I certainly won’t complain about workers pulling it off well and being able to incorporate splashes of it into their matches. While I don’t really love Phoenix Starr or Zokre (I would have rather seen Scorpio Sky, I love him), they both work adequately enough that they were fine in the opener. In addition, Quicksilver is pretty decent, Bosh is awesome, and they make a really good team that I like watching work. I enjoyed this match just fine — it was a nice choice for the opener and didn’t run too long at all. The only major complaint I have is, like many PWG and other So-Cal shows, this show had a weird crowd. There were only like 100 people there max, which is a SHAME, and they can’t decide who to root for at times. They were pretty firmly behind Los Luchas, but you heard them cheer Quicksilver and Bosh on occasion and they react really strangely to things. This happens in other feds, but not usually in matches where the faces (Los Luchas) and the heels (Quicksilver and Bosh) are so rigidly defined. The crowd is loud for their size, but I can’t believe they’d have this good of a show and so few people would come. Kind of depressing.

$1.00

*1/2

Dumb & Dumber (Scott Lost & Joey Ryan) d. Sidekicks (M Dogg 20 & Babi Slymm)

Brett: X-Foundation is represented tonight by Scott Lost and Joey Ryan (the better members of the stable), and they’re billed as Dumb and Dumber. Ha! M-Dogg comes out by himself with the team name Sidekicks — he was supposed to team with Jardi Frantz, who is awesome, but he cuts a promo that?s nearly indecipherable. The one thing that is bugging me BAD about this DVD is the sound quality is bad, and the VQ looks like early Ring of Honor. I understand it, but it’s really not that great. M-Dogg looks VERY different than when he debuted.. he now sports a beard and brown hair opposed to his blonde mane, but he looks much, much better. Instead of looking like a teenage former backstage wrestler, he actually kind of looks like a star! He calls out his new partner, Big Babi Slymm, which is a TERRIBLE name for a wrestler, but he is a big black dude so I wouldn’t say it to his face. M Dogg breakdances before the match, but he?s no Jack Evans.

I guess I’m going to be doing more PBP than Justin on night one because I accidentally got the better matches, and I kind of want to tell you what style these new guys wrestle. Joey and Slymm start with a headlock, but Ryan gets overpowered. A couple of times. Lost charges and eats shoulder, and then tags in Joey and they get a double dropkick, a double dropkick to Slymm’s knees and Scott gets a dropkick off his knee, shining wizard style. Cool spot. Slymm shoves him into the corner and knocks him down with a punch, and then tags in M Dogg, who gets armdragged into a deep armbar, and Joey hits an axehandle to his arm. FEEL THE OLD SCHOOL. Tag back into Scott, who slugs away at M Dogg’s back and shoves him into the corner with punches, Eurocuts and shoulder charges. He sends M Dogg into the other corner and gets a flying headbutt spear to his abdomen for a long two, and then tags in Joey. They get a double Russian legsweep and Joey follows that up with a sloppy dropkick. Scott back in, Slymm lifts him up and gets a face slam, and he rolls out, so M Dogg hits a twisting plancha then rolls back in for a short two, followed by a really nice snap suplex for a short two. He tags in Babi, who gets a back elbow for two, but Scott gets his feet on the ropes, then he covers him again and Scott kicks out. He gets a pair of forearms to Lost’s back and then dances for two. I kid you not. They trade shots until M Dogg is back in and he goes for an instant cover? damn? soooo many pinfalls. M Dogg gets a flipping dropkick for two, but Joey breaks it up, so he nails a back suplex also for two. M Dogg to the top rope, and he nails a split legged senton (he turns around on the flip instead of making it a moonsault, he gets a senton), but Scott is in the ropes. Slymm back in and he gets a WEAK kick and a body slam, then tags his partner back in. What?

Nice vertical by M Dogg, then they get a silly spot in which Slymm leapfrogs him into a leg drop on Scott. MD misses a pair of elbows, both front and back, and Scott gets a forearm, but he’s exhausted.. so instead of going for the tag, he gets a reverse hotshot across the top rope. Not too smart, Scotty, but he crawls over and both men get their partners in. Joey with a pair of dropkicks on BBS, but can’t get a body slam as the big man is too heavy, so Babi reverses into the corner. After a few chops, Joey gets a reversal and a silly submission in which I guess he?s the attacker. It looks like Slymm has him for a bear hug but Joey has him set up in a front chancery. It doesn’t look painful for either guy, really. He lets go and they trade Irish whip reversals until BBS gets the Devito overhead belly to belly into the turnbuckles. Always loved that spot. Cover for two, followed by a lazy attempt at a swinging uranage that Joey gets out of. He tries to slam BBS, but he reverses into a crossbody pinfall for a long two. BBS crotches him and hits three NASTY punches and follows, but can’t hit… so he waddles over and tries again, but Joey shoves him off.. but again he wobbles. This time, Joey takes about five minutes setting up a swinging neckbreaker off of the top, which is a nice spot, but it looked very contrived. Both men get their partners in, and Lost controls with a leg lariat and some right hands, followed by the Trent Acid back kick and the Deranged spinning kick. Beautiful fucking combo. He stomps away at M Dogg in the corner and looks for Justin Credible’s Rydien bomb out of the corner, but M Dogg flips up and gets an F-5 into a light Michinoku driver, nice move. Joey breaks up the cover, so M Dogg tags in BBS who gets the damn swinging uranage that like 80 people do, but Joey breaks up the cover again. M Dogg in and gets superkicked, so Joey hits a body slam on BBS and Scott gets a weird variation of the top rope elbow with a lot of kick in his legs, but it looks REALLY cool.

I just wasn’t feeling this match. Scott Lost is decent, but was in most of the match while Joey (who I really like) sat. M Dogg has some cool moves, but he went for too many covers and weird pinfalls, and for someone who?s worked so many tag matches with Josh Prohibition as Youthanazia, I was really surprised that he didn’t seem to know how to work a tag match that well. Big Babi Slymm worked along the same lines — he’d tag in, hit a body slam or a back elbow and tag out. He also looked GASSED early, which is a result of his apparently bad conditioning. He moved pretty well for such a big dude but I was annoyed by his lack of effort at times. Seeing as M Dogg and Babi really didn’t know how to work a tag formula match, and they aren’t good enough to mix it up, I wasn’t really impressed with this one at all. I like the X Foundation pretty damn well, but they should have controlled the offense, seeing as how they are a regular tag team and their opponents were not. The fact that they didn’t really bothered me. I guess it was an okay opening round match, but I’m just happy M Dogg and Slymm don’t make it further.

$1.75

*3/4

Justin: Slymm is replacing Jardi Frantz and that?s just not the same. Jardi is a really awesome, underrated, RVD-without-the-downpoints type of guy. I have yet to see a Jardi match that I didn’t like. Slymm is a really thick black dude that has a ton of charisma and can hang with any of these guys granted it doesn’t go over ten minutes- but he can’t go like Jardi can. M Dogg 20 has the most dramatic entrance music in the world. He’ll even breakdance it seems. Maybe he should come to ROH and him and Jack Evans can have a breakdance YOU GOT SERVED~! Competition. For humor if nothing else cause even picturing that is making me laugh.

I’m harping on it but if M Dogg 20 had good lighting and he had a better ring outfit he’d be a superstar cause his look and music are great. I’m a really big X Foundation mark? well, not for Billy Kim from what I?ve seen, but Joey Ryan is a supertalent with the coolest chant ever and Scott Lost is even better in terms of bumping and charisma, thought not psychology. I don’t know why Brett dislikes him, because after seeing his Lil Cholo matches and his performances on Night 2 I really like him. Oh well. His matches from 2003 with Lil? Cholo are greatness. I suppose I’m intended to keep this short. So I shall, the match itself was good with Slymm being the big man of the bunch, but yet selling great for the little guys, and the X Foundation making M Dogg 20 a whole lot less spotty. Finish comes when Lost hits the Scissor Kicking Flying Elbow on Slymm. Good match to me. I think this is the first time in history I?ve rated a match this much higher than Brett.

$4.25

***

Turner & Hooch (Havana Pitbulls) d. Castaway (Al Katrazz & Hardkore Kidd)

Yeah, I’m not doing PbP like Brett is. I did that and fine tuned it for years and about a dozen people give a fuck so let me restate that if the match isn’t something special- I’m not doing that stuff.

Not much to review here, the recently OVW headed (again) Aaron Aguilera (Hardkore Kidd) cuts a promo but then the Pitbulls come out and just beat them senseless and gets the win in a quick match. Romero looks hurt after the match but leaves on his own accord. Wow, thanks for making a match really boring just to put over the Pitbulls who are over with this crowd in the first place.

$1.00

*

Brett:I just have to fire back ? I don’t hate Scott Lost at all. I just don’t think he?s in Joey?s league. Thank you. As far as this match — the thing that I like about the Pitbulls is that they don’t work a tag formula at ALL. They’re just high octane, running around the ring with dope moves and getting some really, really sweet nearfalls. This match didn’t let them do that, though, they were just instructed to kick some ass and look good. It got them over without making them work a match too grueling so they could save for the second night, I’m assuming. Fun stuff, but there wasn’t much there as far as an actual match. Given some actual time and drama in their matches, Justin, they are really good, and you’ll like them.. well, as much as your xenophobia will allow you to, anyway.

$1.75 (the extra money coming from the fact that I just plain like the Pitbulls)

*

Bill & Ted?s Bogus Journey (American Dragon & Super Dragon) d. Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (Excalibur & Jonny Storm)

Brett: HA! Excalibur and Jonny Storm are billed as Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein. That’s really, really, really awesome. You’ll know Excalibur as a worker I love (mostly for his humor), and I had him as my avatar for about a month and a half on the forums. Jonny Storm is the now clean shaven Wunderkid. He’s looks a lot better and more professional without his ugly long hair, and his work has actually gotten a lot better after he dropped the grease. Excalibur cuts a promo in a British accent about how he had to go to Britain to find a partner. Then SELF ESTEEM fucking hits and American Dragon and Super Dragon come out — they’re billed as Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, simply because even though they ARE Double Dragon… that movie sucked and doesn’t belong anywhere near a greatest movie list, unless we’re talking greatest flop. They get into it BIG TIME with a fan, who just looks happy to be on tape and American Dragon looks bad ass, actually, quite a bit more angry than his Ring of Honor appearance.

SD and Excalibur start, as they are very familiar with one another — and they do a very basic lucha sequence that I enjoy. I know Justin hates Excalibur in the ring, but I don’t.. I think he?s a decent enough worker, especially if he just concentrates on getting his ass kicked. He and Super Dragon trade arm wringers and wrenches until Ex gets a front chancery, and Dragon reverses that. I guess I’m spoiled after seeing Ring of Honor, but the mat stuff they do (basically all armbars and front chanceries) looks really basic. Danielson finally tags in and somebody says “You don’t know shit about Excalibur”, in reference to Dragon telling the guy in the audience during their entrance that he “doesn’t know shit about wrestling”. Back in, AD gets a punch of stiff shots, European uppercuts, headbutts and knee drops. Even in brawling, this cat is the best around. He turns a headlock into a CRAZY stretch. I can’t even describe it, but Excalibur HAS to be taking yoga. as his legs get wrapped around his head. It looks REALLY painful and is just awesome, and then SD comes in and STOMPS ON HIS NUTS! Unbelievable. After Dragon lets up he tries to lock on a couple of more submission holds, but Excalibur fires back with some chops and a monkey flip, and finally Jonny Storm tags in. He’s roughly 6 inches shorter than the maybe 5’10” Dragon? I never noticed that. They jockey for a wristlock, and Dragon gets it and locks it on, but Storm knees him in the back of the head and gets out, so they do some really ill reversals and Dragon gets a wacky armbar that Storm does a HEADSTAND TO GET OUT OF and reverse it! That shit was awesome. Dragon works a headlock and Jonny pulls his hair, and although it may sound slow with all of the matwork, you need to see Dragon to believe how it’s not. Storm somersaults over him and reverses the headlock, then flips out of a back suplex attempt and gets a dropkick, so Danielson tags in Super Dragon. They do a mini-lucha section and trade headscissors, then Jonny flips out of a snapmare, a hiptoss and a tilt-a-whirl, all perfectly (which is kind of a new trick for him), then he and SD get a double dropkick and they tag in their partners.

Danielson gets a slingshot on Excalibur almost into the corner, but SD blocks it and shoves him back down on his partners knees before hitting the CURB STOMP (double stomp off the top rope, ill), for a long two, followed by a backbreaker for a long two. Super Dragon gets a couple of cool submissions, including a surfboard followed by a stomp to the back of Excalibur’s head, but none can get a pinfall. Tag into Danielson, who comes in and gets a double underhook suplex for a trio of 2 counts. Excalibur tries to bridge out but gets an axehandle to the gut and Super Dragon gets tagged in. He gets an ILL dropkick off the top to Storm, who is coming into the ring, into a senton on Excalibur. FANTASTIC spot. Ex ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own that Super Dragon flip sells and they get in their partners, who do an AWESOME pinfall reversal sequence, but Storm ends it with a back drop and a victory roll for a long two. Dragon no-sells and gets a Eurocut and a headbutt, and then looks for a wheelbarrow suplex, but Storm turns perfectly it into a DDT! AWESOME. He looks for another victory roll, but Dragon pushes him off onto the top and gets a back suplex followed by a diving headbutt for two. Storm ducks a roaring elbow and gets an exploder into a Michinoku Driver! ILL. Tags in Super Dragon, he looks for a German but Jonny flips out, so the masked Dragon gets a sloppy Dragon suplex. He bounces off the back rope but Jonny gets a flapjack into a powerbomb, nice stuff. He puts Dragon on the top and gets elbowed off, but Excalibur punches him down and Storm dropkicks him as he hangs. As he’s back up, Jonny gets a SPRINGBOARD REVERSE FRANKENSTEINER! SUPER DRAGON LANDED ON HIS FUCKING HEAD! Insane. Both guys hit the move PERFECTLY. That only gets two, though, as Danielson comes in and stomps away at Storm, but Excalibur breaks it up and sends him to the outside. They get a double team front Russian legsweep for two on Super Dragon, then Storm gets a triple jump somersault plancha to Dragon on the outside, just as Super Dragon gets a Psycho Driver on Excalibur on the inside for the win.

Good stuff all around. I don’t know why Justin doesn’t like Excalibur’s ring work, but I think he’s pretty decent, and he did great in this match. I also don’t know why Justin can’t spell Excalibur, but I’ll look past that one ? he just moved to the south, I suppose he suffered a mandatory IQ drop. I kid, I kid. I don’t like Super Dragon as much as many (he’s good, but not a god), but he was good, and American Dragon was awesome, as usual. Jonny Storm, however, was GREAT. HE wasn’t all flips and planchas.. he actually did some technical wrestling, and he was good at it. He mixed in the flying stuff with the mat stuff and the brawling and looked fantastic. He didn’t blow any spots (in fact Am Drag blew a sunset flip), and overall, I thought this clicked REALLY well, and was a hell of a lot of fun. Although there wasn’t a ton of psychology, it wasn’t a spotfest and was just a crazy match that I enjoyed greatly. The after match stuff with Quicksilver, Bosh and Scorpio Sky stomping everyone would have made more sense if… you know… there was commentary and we knew what was going on?.but other than that?

$4.75

***1/2

Justin: This was just a really good match for the most part. Excalibur tends to screw up in the ring (he?s a great talker, smart, and seems to have a mind for the business but just flat out can’t work and gets lost) but his parts with Super Dragon were acceptable and everything else here was really good. Storm has been a ton better as of late- ever since he got lice and had to shave his hair or whyever he did. Though I still hate his voice to a great degree. And while I don’t really like Super Dragon nearly as much as most- he did well here and looked good. American Dragon is American Dragon. He even starts fights with a number of fans here just to prove he doesn’t like you or me today. The stretching exhibition he did recently on Jack Evans he did here first with Excalibur, just bending him in unholy ways. Good stuff but went a bit too long. Post match American Dragon gets Super Dragon into a fight with a fan that has to be seperated by the entire PWG staff in a scene that lasts like 10 minutes. Well at least that made more sense then the Aerial Express run in. Does a company owned by Excalibur, in part, have an excuse to not have him doing commentary? No.

And who said I haven’t seen the Pitbulls? I?ve seen plenty of them before in NJPW.

$4.25

***

Lilo & Stitch (Samoa Joe & Puma) d. Twins (Ballard Bros)

Ballard Brothers annoy me. Sorry. They’re okay in the ring but the ugly Canadian twins doing a patriot gimmick is just boring. Puma is basically a luchadore who?s good enough that he doesn’t have to open every card with the RevPro folks. Match goes pretty well until Joe kicks a Ballard in the face and KOs him and it?s a 2 on 1 match. Basically Joe snapmares the guy and gets a running start before kicking him flush in the face to the point where he?s unconscious for the next minute and looks literally dead. Very scary, one of the worst KOs I?ve ever seen anywhere. How come all the matches I’m designated keep being all screwed up in one way or another? I get luchadores, a squash, and a legit KO so far. C’mon Brett, stop fixing the draw!

Puma and Joe will be good in the second round against opponents I care more about and are more to their level? and hopefully without Joe knocking anyone out.

N/A

Brett: I didn’t mean to be fixing the draw. I requested Double Dragon vs. Excalibur and Storm because I really, really, really liked that match on first view, and I just gave you the matches before and after and went from there. Besides, you get the HOT DRAW for the next night so maybe you should give me a break. This match wasn’t really anything. Puma is a pretty dope worker (I saw him work Josh Daniels live at a Ring of Honor show, and it was really good), and he had some fun stuff here, too. I guess I don’t mind the Ballards too much. I?ve heard they work some damn good tag matches, and this one didn’t go long enough for them to prove it, but what was there was alright. I don’t feel right rating it because it probably should gotten another seven, at least, and the end stuff is usually the best in any match.

N/A

Friday (B Boy & Homicide) d. Shanghai Knights (Disco Machine & Rising Son)

Brett: Disco Machine is AWESOME, and it?s too bad the gimmick is holding him back (he gets booked as comedy, mostly), because he?s a really dope wrestler, too. Rising Son is okay.. he?s basically an angry midget with a bad hairdo. They’re facing two of my top five indy workers, Homicide and B-Boy, who come out to this one G-Unit song that I can’t remember of the name (Poppin? Them Thangs?), but I find really dope. Homicide rocks an Ice T shirt and I can NEVER complain about that. B-Boy and Son start, and they do some dope headlock reversals and trade Japanese armdrags and Son gets a headscissors and looks for a hurricanrana, but B-Boy pushes him off. He sends him into the corner and gets chops and elbow drops as Homicide yells ?BRRRRAP? on the outside and tells the ref to, I think, ‘make that Power Ranger get in? as Rising Son rolls outside. B-Boy looks at him wrong and he gets scared, tagging in Disco Machine, who dances, so B-Boy tags in Homicide. He chases DM around the ring and gets a couple of middle kicks, but Homicide no sells and gets a shoulderblock, but the Machine comes back with an armdrag and a dropkick. Homicide goes to the outside, so Disco gets a plancha, but it looks like his elbow hits Homicide?s head LEGIT. Nasty. They trade shots until Machine gets a NICE Northern Lights out of the corner for two and tags in Rising Son. He gets a cartwheel into an elbow and ducks a clothesline but gets Homicide?s overhead release belly to belly and tags in B-Boy, who snapmares RS and gets some NASTY soccer kicks to his back, followed by some LOUD chops. Damn. Son ducks a clothesline and a back elbow, but B-Boy says ?naw, fuck that? and ABSOLUTELY SPIKES him with a DDT. RS acts dead but miraculously pops up as B-Boy tries to get him. He looks for a hurricanrana, but B-Boy stops it and POWERBOMBS HIM ACROSS HOMICIDE?S KNEE. Disgusting. Homicide gets a superplex for two, and follows that up with a forearm to him in the corner and B-Boy gets one of his own, then a running bootscrape, and B-Boy tunes up the band his way and gets a dropkick in the corner then gracefully slides out to the floor, getting a facewash in the progress. Dope.

He slaps and slugs away at Rising Son, but gets sunset flipped for two. Son fires back with a clothesline attempt that B-Boy reverse it into a crossface, but they’re too close to the ropes. He tags ?Cide in, who gets soccer kicks to Rising Son?s back and pulls his hair, and then gets a slam into the corner. The Notorious 187 follows that up with a barrage of chops, slaps and punches and puts Rising Son on the top rope, trying to superplex him off, but the angry midget knocks him down and gets a really nice Swanton bomb. He looks for a tag, but ?Cide cuts him off, so he gets an enziguiri and tags in Disco Machine who is a house a fire and gets clotheslines, dropkicks, an exployda and even a CHOKESLAM? Odd. Homicide and B-Boy no sell and toss him around, but he finally comes back with a dropkick as Rising Son (who isn’t the legal man) gets a crossbody for a long two. Son gets a cool variation of Rainman?s Spine Splittah, but turns into a STIFF Yakuza kick from Homicide, who turns into an exploder into powerbomb (hard to describe) from Rising Son, who turns into a Death Valley Driver into a Michinoku Driver from B-Boy. Very nice sequence. Son looks for a crossbody, but the New Age Punisher catches him, but he flips out. He looks for a clothesline, but B-Boy catches him, and looks for a Dragon suplex, but RS flips out and sells it for some reason. Don’t quite get that. B-Boy stands up but turns into Disco Machine, who looks for a chokeslam, but Homicide takes his knee out with a dropkick and B-Boy gets a stiff Shining Wizard for the duke.

Damn, I liked that a LOT. I thought that Disco Machine did a great job bumping and getting the hot tag, and Rising Son got his ass kicked nicely. B-Boy and Homicide were, well, B-Boy and Homicide. The only real problem I had with it is there was no real drama. You knew that B-Boy and Homicide were advancing (even if you didn’t know the results, the people there live knew), and Disco Machine and Rising Son, although good, didn’t do a ton to make you think otherwise. Nice match, though.

$3.25

**3/4

Justin: Disco Machine is just way too fun during his entrance and despite the fact that everyone else has him wrestling women, the guy can really work and has very crisp moves. Like I said, his entrance is TOO fun and his little corny song pops into my head randomly a few times a week. Stupid catchy disco. Rising Son I?ve seen a bunch but he?s never caught my eye. He?s not bad or green but he disappears in matches. Homicide everyone knows I love. B Boy? Well, recently I got a ton of B Boy matches and I’m a HUGE fan of his work already- he?s really great. As for this match? Well, 187 and the New Age Punisher destroyed them. Not a squash, but they certainly maintained control the whole time until a quick hot finish. Homicide looks like he doesn’t even care during this one until the finishing sequence. This was just one of those mail-in extend-o squashes to me with some hot action every now and then.

$2.50

**1/2

Blues Brothers 2000 (Thomaselli Bros) d. 48 Hours (Sara Del Ray & Apollo Kahn)

Justin: See? What kind of draw IS this, Brett? Crowd boos the Thomaselli?s anytime they take control on Sara. Oh whatever, match is boring. Not good. I don’t like any of the workers in this match, and I don’t like male vs. female psychologies. Die, Brett.

$0.75

DUD

Brett: Sara Del Ray looks like she’d be an alright wrestler, for a female. She?s also really cute (great, great smile), but she isn’t ?WWE cute?, if you know what I’m saying. She can call me anytime, though. She has some good moves and moves well in there, but she was totally outclassed. I actually like Apollo Kahn, though.. he?s a big dude but he has some REALLY nice moves and looked way more athletic than Big Babi Slymm. This also wasn’t the best match to be introduced to the Thomasellis. They’re both really good (and Brandon is just as good), and I wouldn’t mind seeing them in Ring of Honor and in other major indies. You’ll see on Night 2. Sorry about the draw. Or maybe I’m not since you keep trashing me, jerk. I enjoyed this a lot more than you did, I guess. The crowd booing the Thomasellis every time they hit her was lame, though. Regardless, my favorite part of the match was before it started, when Apollo went to the top, jumped off, and hit Sara?s head on the way down with an elbow by accident. Classic!

$1.00

*1/4

City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly?s Gold (Chris Hero & CM Punk) d. We’re No Angels (Christopher Daniels & Messiah)

Brett: The really sad thing about this match is Daniels comes out to his ROH entrance and Messiah looks right at home next to him, and it makes you realize that Daniels doesn’t get to do that in Ring of Honor anymore. It?s also sad that this is only a few weeks after 1/10?s show, Battle Lines are Drawn, where the Second City Saints and Prophecy feud really kicked off. CM Punk and Daniels are interacting here and they didn’t get to in ROH after that, and it?s weird to see them without all the bitter hatred. So it?s kind of historic, I guess, except Messiah and Daniels are working heel, and Punk and Hero are faces? you can’t really boo anyone coming out to 99 Problems, especially two guys who look like that and probably didn’t even pick their own theme music. I like three of the four men in this match a ton, and one of them just okay. Take a guess who falls where? Daniels and Punk start with some basic hold trading and maneuvers, but they just do it so damn well. Yes, every guy on the indies has a mat wrestling sequence of cool things to start, but a reason these guys are so over and good is that they do it better. Punk gets a hiptoss and they trade armdrags for a while until he decides to lock on an armbar and the fans chant for Hero, so Punk lets him in. Daniels tries to get the crowd to do the same thing, but understandably, they are less enthused about seeing Messiah. Don’t blame them. He does some really sloppy armwork, and just generally looks a bit outclassed with Hero. He?s not bad.. it?s just in there with the guys he is? Messiah locks on a front chancery, and I wish the VQ was better so I could see his missing thumb better. Hero ducks an armwringer attempt and gets the CRAVAT ALREADY! So dope. He gets a dropkick and a ?jawbreaker? to Messiah?s head, and then an STO before continuing his assault on Messiah?s hand by dropping a knee on it (maybe he?s working the nub of his missing thumb?), and tags in Punk, who gets some cool twists and locks to his hand, followed by a backbreaker for two, but he goes right back to work.

He tags in Hero, who continues to work the hand, but ducks for a back body drop and gets kicked, so Daniels comes back in. Hero doesn’t care, as he gets a hiptoss into a powerbomb and then tags in Punk who gets a back suplex and tags Hero back in. Hero starts working Daniels? elbow, so Daniels elbows out of it, but Hero switches arms and tags in Punk who gets the original arm. Really dope spot. Punk gets a single arm DDT and then a rolling senton to his elbow and I love the way these guys work as a team. He tags back in Hero, who gets an elbow bar (I kid you not), but the Fallen Angel ducks a clothesline and hits an STO as Messiah gets a really light jumping neckbreaker. Nice spot that only gets two, so Messiah slugs away, but the cameraman follows Daniels on the outside. Ha! Messiah gets a snapmare and a seated full nelson, not a move you see often, but Punk chops him off. He smartly tags back in Daniels, who gets a leg lariat and tags back in Messiah? not-so smartly. He drops a leg across Hero?s throat for two, and gets a back suplex that Daniels finishes with a Hart attack clothesline. Very nice. Daniels tags back in Messiah, though, who gets a smooth lionsault, then does one of his own. He looks for Messiah to get the cover, but the thumbless wonder isn’t watching and waits too long. He still gets a chinlock, and Hero elbows out but gets yanked down by his hair. Daniels back in, and he runs the ropes, but teases the fans by just going for a cover. Tag back into Messiah, and Hero slugs away at both Daniels and Messiah, but Daniels looks for a drop toe hold? Hero wobbles while in the hold, so Messiah gets a bulldog onto Hero to knock him down. Dope. They both take an arm and run in opposite directions, clotheslining Hero with his own arms, very nice. He ducks a Messiah clothesline and sends Daniels into him, forcing him to get a spear on Messiah. Hot tag into Punk, who hits a bunch of clotheslines. He does his move where he gets Messiah?s arm between his legs facing away from his body and gets a mule kick to his face (Rico stole it, if that helps), then gets a Russian legsweep on Messiah as he DDTs Daniels. Very nice. He yells for ?Welcome to Chicago? (in a much higher voice than his heel stuff) and hits it ? double underhook backbreaker, but Daniels runs in and gets his standing Rock Bottom followed by a call and nailing of the ?BEST. MOONSAULT. EVER.? His words, not mine, although it?s hard to argue. He calls for the Last Rites, but Hero clotheslines him out of it and gets a cravat, then goes to the second rope and hits a flipping cravat neckbreaker. AWESOME. Do you know how much I love the cravat? Messiah breaks up the cover but gets sent into the corner, so Hero charges and eats boot and then elbow, so Messiah goes to the top and gets a leaping Tornado DDT. Punk breaks up the cover and gets some facewashes, but Daniels breaks up an attempt at a running one with a clothesline. Punk rolls to the floor and Daniels looks for a plancha, but misses, so they run back in and get a tag team somersault neckbreaker/Doomsday device. Great finish.

I know I gave Messiah some shit but he held his own for the most part. Everyone here did a great job, and although some of the other guys didn’t work their hardest tonight, they refused to not put on a good show. Hero, you probably haven’t seen and you really need to as his style is breathtaking and impossible to describe, and Punk and Daniels were their steady, regular selves. Very, very, very good match for the time it go that worked in basic tag formula but had its own stuff. The only real complaint I had were all of the weird tag ins after moves that Daniels and Messiah did. Stay in there a bit, eh?

$4.80

***1/2

Justin: Punk & Hero come out to 99 Problems which is hilarious to me for some reason or another. Punk playing face is odd to me now. He?s really good at it, too, which might be the weirdest thing of all considering how heel he is naturally.

Strong match here overall as I like everyone involved (and will discus the AWESOME Chris Hero more on Night 2) and they didn’t half ass at all. The only thing was the constant tagging in and out of Messiah and Daniels was more annoying then fun. Heels control on Hero until the hot tag and then Punk and Daniels start doing the Steve Corino Z1 thing of calling all their moves during the Pier Six before Hero and Punk gets a Doomsday Device with a Blockbuster for the V on Messiah. Call it

$4.00

***.

Frankie Kazarian NC Adam Pearce to Retain the PWG Championship

Justin: Frankie is whipping some ass to start and breaks out a whiteboard to write ?Aren’t I Cool?? on it. Ha. I?ve never liked Frankie but his work has been better lately. I just never saw him as anything special and hated people that raved about him- but he?s finally coming around more lately and especially in the charisma department. Pearce I like, he?s an okay worker for the most part and while he?s not special on the mic he?s ultra-confident and that makes his promos better than they actually are (which is usually calling someone a ‘douchebag?). Pearce takes control but Frankie comes back with? a Tazmission which is an interesting choice. They brawl to the outside for a while and end up both laid out on the green carpet floor. Back in and they’re punching each other in the face and doing Ric Flair/Sting spots and laying down a lot to make it feel all epic and shit. I don’t know, that?s one thing I hate about Indy wrestling is when they promote ?Twenty Minute IRONMAN match? or something like that. Maybe tinfoil man. The announcer announces the match is five minutes from done and they’re laid out under the refs count. They get up but end up on the mat again and the bell rings to signify a time limit draw after twenty minutes. At least Shawn & Hunter fight for almost an hour when they do this style.

I understand what they’re trying to get over here, but I’d have prefer if in execution it was an entertaining match that wasn’t finished in 20 minutes instead of one of those ?epic? lay around matches.

$3.00

**

Brett: Totally agree on this one. It wasn’t bad at all, but it was pretty slow. It looked like Pearce kind of controlled the pace, and in retrospect I’m not sure it was the best idea. He?s a much better mic worker and heel than he is actual worker, and I like Kazarian a bit more. They?ve had better… this one was just a bit slow. Not offensive, but not great, either.

$2.50

*3/4

Final Thoughts

Justin: I didn’t mind this so much. I understood that a lot of people were saving their energy for the next show before I even got this because that?s what people do in tournament, they spread out their energy? which is why tournament can bomb sometimes. This didn’t bomb but with no announcers the storylines meant nothing to me and there were no great matches. Just some above average stuff and some not good stuff.

It?s worth it to see the Punk vs. Daniels stuff the Brett talked about, American Dragon starting a near riot legit, and to see the Joe KO which is brutal and I’m a huge MMA follower and don’t get easily impressed? unless you getting a running start and just boot someone in the face. And then I’m not so much impressed as I am scared.

Anyways, I’d probably skip this tape if it didn’t come free with Night 2 of the week. I mean, it?s worth it because it?s solid overall but it?s just not a good introduction to the SoCal scene or workers and there was nothing standout on it.

I’ll give more in-depth thoughts and whatnot on Night 2 which is definitely the superior showing.

Night 1 Total: $20.75

Brett: It wasn’t an incredible, blow away show, but it was solid. A lot of the teams that will be wrestling in the next show didn’t work that hard, so some of the stuff wasn’t as awesome as it could be. Simply a warmup for night two, which I believe, with some of the teams that advanced, should be completely awesome. Hopefully the matches on night two will be longer, and we’ll see some of the guys try harder. I think that all of the eliminations made sense, and in every case, the better team is going on. That may change in night two, but of the teams remaining, the worst is probably Quicksilver and Bosh and that?s saying something as they’re pretty good.

Like Justin said, it?s not really a good introduction to the SoCal scene as most of these guys don’t work tags all the time, and some, in fact, very rarely. It?s too bad that this wasn’t quite the ?indy dream show? that I had hoped for, but night two still holds a lot of promise. If night two is only just as good as night one, well, it?s worth it, but if it blows it out of the water, this will be well worth getting. It?s not worth it as a standalone tape, though, by far.

If you’re counting, the Double Dragon/Excalibur & Storm, B-Boy & Homicide/Disco Machine & Rising Son and Hero& Punk/Daniels & Messiah matches are all worth catching, the rest is pretty much just filler.

Night 1 Total: $21.80

Brett: Thanks for joining us, folks. We’ll be back sometime next week with the second half of the this tournament, so stick around!

For Justin T, this is Brett Berliner signing off.

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Pay Per Value: WWE Unforgiven 2003

September 21, 2003

WWE Unforgiven

Live from Hershey, PA

Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry the King Lawler, but not for long (FEEL THE FORESHADOWING!)

-A video package opens the show, highlighting the terrible feud between Goldberg and Triple H. Boy, what an underwhelming main event, huh?

The Dudley Boyz d. La Resistance & Rob Conway to Capture the World Tag Team Championships

Apparently, this is a handicap match since Spike is pretty hurt from a nasty bump he took on RAW from La Res. The announcers mention that on Heat, Bischoff made this a handicap match, but Stone Cold countered him and made it for the titles. Yeah, they definitely have no prestige, and nobody gives a DAMN about them, but anyway…

D-Von starts out with Dupree, who quickly tags in Conway. Flying shoulderblock, scoop slam and a leg drop lead into a sequence that ends up with Conway getting double clotheslined. Tag into Bubba, who puts Conway onto the top rope and then chops him off. Huh? Whip sends him into the corner, but he bounces out with a clothesline, then cleans house on all three. Eventually, the heels distract the ref and Conway takes advantage of Bubba. He tags out to Dupree, and they get in a double team clothesline. Tag back into Conway, who locks on a sleeper and gets hit with the WEAKEST backdrop driver ever. D-Von, into the match, cleaning house with clotheslines and shoulderblocks for all. This match is moving REALLY slowly.

D-Von ducks a clothesline by Conway, who laughs, but Bubba sneaks up behind him and they hit a reverse 3-D. Scoop slam and the stupid-ass headbutt to Dupree’s groin, and it’s time to GET THE TABLES! They take too much time doing it, though, and Resistance takes advantage, setting up their own table in the corner. They send D-Von through it with a whip, and set Bubba up for their double spinebuster death drop, but he powers out. Conway with a neckbreaker to take advantage, and he tags out to Grenier, who trades shots with Bubba, but ends up getting sent through a table with a suplex. Conway and Dupree set up another table and look to backdrop Bubba through it, but D-Von moves the table out of the way and is.. back in the match? Ok… Bubba Bomb on Dupree follows, and they double chokeslam Conway over the top rope and the same thing that happened to Spike (his head hits the edge of a table) happened. Revenge? Maybe, but I fucking hope not. Dupree walks into a 3-D for the win and the titles at about 11 minutes in a less than exciting match.

Yeah.. so.. 17 time tag champions, huh? I’m sick of the Dudleys and I bet you are too. This one definitely moved in slow motion for most of the match, until it began to pick up with a few ugly moves through tables, including Conway’s SICK bump. Absolutely disgusting. Table matches usually suck, but this one didn’t have to – they fucked it up by not working it right. If they were going to let D-Von stay in the match, they could have played around with the idea that he couldn’t be re-eliminated, with him maybe going through a table to protect Bubba from losing the match. Shame, shame, shame on these guys for just working about the most basic tables match they could have. Shame.

$1.00

-Test vs. Steiner, and their ensuing feud over Stacy is recapped. It’s sad to remember how long ago some of this stuff happened, jeez, it all started at right after Wrestlemania, 6 months ago? Insane.

Test d. Scott Steiner

Stacy’s out first, and if Steiner wins, he gets her back, but if Test wins? He, uh, gets Steiner, too. I don’t know if it’s homosexual innuendo, but they didn’t really follow on that, thank goodness. Stacy leaves the ring, and Steiner holds the rope for her, but as he does, Test gets a cheap shot. He charges, but Steiner reverses into a sloppy powerslam for two. Big Poppa Pump chops away and hits a big lariat, followed by the bicep kiss elbow drop for one, but he pulls off and does some pushups, so Test bails and grabs Stacy, but she slaps him. Back in, Test reverses a clothesline into the full nelson slam for two. Test with the sleeper, but gets sent into the corner. Blind charge is reversed with an elbow, then Test heads up top, before looking for a double axe handle, but he gets caught and hit with a BEAUTIFUL northern lights suplex for two, followed by the spinning belly to belly for two. Pumphandle powerslam is reversed into a double underhook powerbomb that Steiner blows by dropping Test on the back of his head. Steiner follows him in, but Test gets a mule kick and looks for a cheap pin, but Stacy pushes his feet off the ropes. He tries to pull her in by her hair, but she hotshots him, sending Test into a reverse DDT for two. Pumphandle powerslam follow for two, and then Stacy distracts Test on the apron. He charges, but she ducks and he gets rolled up by Steiner for two. Outside, he chases her around the ring, but she runs into Steiner, and as he checks on her, Test catches him with the big boot for two. Test undoes the turnbuckle, and, as the ref puts it back on, he grabs a chair. Stacy steals it and swings at him, but she misses and hits Steiner. Big boot follows for the three count at about six and a half minutes.

Just because this was Steiner’s best single’s match, by far, since his return.. doesn’t make it that good. Test has a lot to learn about pacing and telling a story, but they did a decent job. It was just too short and too slow to be anything real good.

$2.00

-Quick rundown of Randy Orton and Shawn Michaels’ feud to this point. They make Orton look REAL good. Sucks, though, when the match you’re looking forward to most (BY FAR) is on third.

Randy Orton d. Shawn Michaels

They start off by posing, and seriously.. with his costume, poses, dancing and playing to the crowd? Michaels is so TREATING this like a PPV main event. I like that. They trade headlocks, leg scissors and pinning combinations to start, and Orton actually hangs in there, looking good. Orton works a headlock, but gets dumped and skins the cat back in before nailing a nice dropkick and a big clothesline for two. He stomps away at HBK, hitting a European uppercut, a scoop slam, and then goes up top. Right now, his movement in the ring isn’t really fluid.. he’s more concerned with hitting nice moves than telling a story. But HBK will teach him about that… I hope. Orton off the top looking for a double axehandle, but HBK reverses into an inverted atomic drop and a pair of clotheslines, the second one dumping Orton out of the ring. HBK starts to fall out of the ring with him, but he skins the cat back in, taunting Randy before climbing to the top and coming off with crossbody, ouch. He tries to suplex Randy back in, but Orton slips out and looks for a German. HBK blocks and hits one of his own, and then a crucificx into a rollup for two. They trade shots, and HBK charges into the corner, but misses, and hits his shoulder on the post, sending him outside.

Flair attacks him while Orton distracts the ref, classic Flair. He then throws Shawn into the post, and generally acts like a dick. Back in, Orton hits a few Scott Hall shoulderblocks and an armdrag into a spinebuster? Crazy. He then drops a leg on Shawn’s arm and puts it into a hammerlock, basic stuff, but looking good as far as heel goes. HBK fights out, and looks for a back body drop, but Orton hits a single arm DDT, another move that works over the arm (and one that most people wouldn’t use to work the arm). Cross armbreaker… HEY! Randy is looking good. He keeps trying to get HBK’s shoulders down while in the hold, too, I like it. Shawn finally gets out of it, and Orton looks for a dropkick, but HBK dodges and hits a Thesz press on the seated Evolution member. They again trade shots, with HBK hitting his flying forearm and coming out on top. Inverted atomic drop and a series of big right hands for HBK follows, and he sells his left arm like a CHAMP.

They brawl outside, and then back in, HBK gets a double axehandle for two, and then Orton reverses a whip into Shawn’s awesome “flip in the corner off a whip” sell. Double axehandle for Orton follows, but he lands on HBK’s foot, and he sells it like he got knocked stupid. Shawn warms up the band, and looks for the SCM, but Orton spins him around and hits the RKO, wow, HBK kicks out! How? He looks for a frog splash crossbody, but HBK ducks and he hits air. HBK back up top, and hits the elbow, but he’s hurt and can’t make the cover.. since he used his injured arm. PSYCHOLOGY! Cover gets a long two. Shawn is excited, and he hits a BIG sweet chin music, but Flair gets Orton’s foot on the rope! Boo! Flair charges, and eats a Sweet Chin Music. Michaels looks to back suplex Orton into the ring, but he reverses into a pin for the one, two, three at 18 minutes.

Hey, wow, this wasn’t bad at all. The story of Randy working Shawn’s injured arm and shoulder all match, and Shawn selling it like a CHAMP worked excellently. It just should have been over at the RKO. As is it, this didn’t really cement Orton as the superstar it would have with a clean pin.

$9.00

-Jericho inspires La Resistance to be upset that Austin made it a table’s match while they ice down.

Trish Stratus & Lita d. Molly Holly & Gail Kim

Who would have ever thought I would be very excited for a women’s match? The heels attack from behind but get sent into the corner as Trish drops to her knees and Lita hits a flying clothesline off her back, Poetry in Motion style, followed by a double baseball slide to knock them down on the outside. Back in, Lita gets a pair of armdrags on Gail, followed by a backbody drop and a suplex. Tag into Trish, who gets a body scissors and then a clothesline for two. Gail tries to tag in Molly, but gets rolled up for two, and comes back with a clothesline. Trish ducks that with the Matrix, and hits her Kawada kick, but Molly breaks the cover up. Gail whips Trish, and Molly pulls down the ropes, so she falls out. Lita tries to stop the double team, but the ref yells at her, so the heels double team Trish. Molly with a dragon sleeper, tags out to Gail, who stomps away, and locks on a dragon sleeper of her own, but Trish reverses with a SLOW Sliced Bread #2. Still, nice idea.

Tag back into Molly, who comes back with a headlock. To this point, the match is kind of moving slowly, but so far, so good. She backs into the corner, and Lita tags in, but the ref doesn’t see it, so the heels hit a camel clutch/Boston crab combination for two. Backbreaker by Molly for two. Tag into Gail, who comes in and tries a back suplex, but Trish flips out of it and hits a double team headlock takeover/headscissors on the heels. She looks for the tag to Lita who is BLEEDING BADLY FROM THE MOUTH (ew), but Gail cuts her off. Kim misses a second rope legdrop, allowing Lita to get back into the match, and clean house with clotheslines, dropkicks and monkey flips galore. Sloppy headscissors on Molly, then Gail comes in and eats a stiff powerbomb, but Molly sneak attacks and goes to the top. She gets Strausphered off, and then Lita hits a reverse Twist of Fate (Old School Expulsion), and then a SCARY low moonsault for the one, two, three at about seven minutes.

This was pretty good, actually. Definitely old school in its execution, with the heels cheating and the faces getting screwed by the ref, but it worked in the context of all four women’s characters. They saved Lita for the hot tag, which was the best thing to do, considering her limited skills in the ring. Nice work by all involved.

$5.00

-Video package of Shane/Kane on Celebrity Deathmatch with all of their stupid stunts. Oh, wait, that’s all “real”? Wowza. I didn’t like this feud at all.

Kane d. Shane McMahon

This follows Last Man Standing rules, by the way. Shane starts off by jumping Kane from behind, and hitting him with a chair seven or eight times. No, really. He looks like Superman, what a surprise from a McMahon. He tosses Kane around outside and jumps off the barricade, but Kane reverses into an ugly slam and the ref begins the ten count. Kane pulls him up and goes after him with the ring stairs, nailing Shane and knocking him down. They finally make it back in the ring, and Kane kicks Shane around and hits the chokeslam, the ref starts counting. All of this counting is REALLY annoying, it is TOTALLY killing the flow of the match, instead of increasing the drama like it’s supposed to. Kane looks to tombstone Shane on the steel steps, but he slips out and nails a nice bulldog, stands up and knocks the stairs into Kane’s face with a baseball slide, and then keeps hitting him with the ring steps, before going to the opposite corner and nailing a nice Van Terminator. O kay, Shane is alright as a wrestler, but he looks like fucking superman, and that bothers me.

There’s like.. ten minutes of dead space, because the ref is down, and Shane gets the stairs kicked into his head, and more dead time. Selling is fine, but enough. The count begins, both men back up, and Shane gets dumped. They brawl to the entrance set, and Kane tosses Shane into it thrice. Nothing exciting is happening, really.

Kane dumps him onto the concrete, and then tosses the Spanish announce table onto him, but Shane actually moves and NAILS him about four times with a piece of the table, and then in a sweet spot, takes him out with the boom camera. The ref counts again, and Shane chokes Kane with the cables. He shouldn’t be getting so much offense. Kane then goes for a chokeslam on the stage, but Shane reverses it with a low blow and a DDT. Shane then hits him with a TV! Okay, we can get creative. Nice that there aren’t any more hardcore matches, and, because of this, the spots aren’t repetitive. He then heads up to the Unforgiven stage (shouldn’t the referee be counting? Kane is down), and jumps off, looking for a senton, but misses and nails the HEAVILY gimmick stage. Nice spot. Kane stands up at 9, match over. EMTs out to save Super Shane-O at about 20 minutes.

Eh, this was okay. After it got going, it had some fun stuff (the camera spot was awesome), but it was a one bump match, and I don’t like those, which Shane McMahon matches often tend to be. It didn’t have any psychology or flow to speak of.. just a decent match within the confines of the gimmick..

$5.00

-Jericho tells Austin that he influenced Kane to become a monster again, and Austin gets in his face. They’re SO going to fight at Wrestlemania. I like this.

Christian d. Chris Jericho & Rob Van Dam to Retain the Intercontinental Championship

You know something’s up when the Intercontinental champion enters FIRST. In a triple threat match. That is bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad form. He should be entering last as long as he’s the champion. To start, Van Dam dumps Christian and looks to hit an Asai to the outside, but Jericho stops him and tries to suplex him back in. HOWEVER.. RVD reverses that and Jericho lands kind of awkwardly, nasty bump. RVD then nails a nice moonsault from the second rope, knocking them both down. Back in, he hits a slingshot legdrop on Christian, then the headbutts and monkey flip sequence. They start to brawl, but Jericho breaks it up with a clothesline, and then he takes advantage. Christian rolls out of the ring almost DEAD, because of a monkey flip? That is why I hate triple threat matches.

Jericho then looks for a flying clothesline, but RVD ducks and hits a standing moonsault that Jericho has to move under, ha. Looks for the Rolling Thunder, but Christian trips him up, and Jericho goes for the pin, so Christian and he shove each other off., but then agree to double team RVD. Jericho jukes and jives, and they beat Rob up.. together. Awww. But he comes back with a step over heel kick, although Jericho stops that with a jumping enziguiri (no leg grab). Again, they double team RVD, looking for a double backdrop but get DDT’d. Jericho sends Van Dam across the ring with a whip, and Christian looks to grab his foot, but he flips over the top with a sweet plancha. Nice spot. Back in, Jericho chokes away and straps on the CHINLOCK! Whoo. Van Dam gets out with a rollup, but eats clothesline. He looks for a hurricanrana, but Jericho reverses into the Walls, and RVD looks about DEAD, but thankfully, Christian breaks it up and goes for the pin, smart. He gets hit by Jericho, clotheslined, and thrown over the ringsteps, clearly ending their friendship! Back in, Jericho looks for a bulldog, but Christian reveres into a diving reverse DDT. He goes up top, but Jericho knocks RVD off the apron and Christian gets crotched. Jericho superplexes him down, ref starts counting. RVD finally comes back in and gets a double jump crossbody, but gets bulldogged. Y2J looks for a lionsault but misses, walks into a spinning heel kick and Van Dam gets a cartwheel into a standing moonsault, nice. Christian off the top with an elbow drop, but RVD dodges and he hits Jericho by accident. Rob then gets a drop toe hold that sends Christian onto Jericho in a 69, and they rotate to be ready for the Five Star. Hey, that’s a legal pin! He hits it, but can’t make the cover in time.

Jericho goes to the top, and RVD goes under him to hit an electric chair, but Christian POWERBOMBS RVD AND JERICHO DIES FOR YOUR SINS! HOLY FUCK! Rob then hits a spinning heel kick on Christian, who rolls out of the ring, and then he dumps Jericho with a clothesline. Christian brings in the belt, RVD knocks him down and hits a slingshot that sends Christian into Jericho. He then rolls Christian up for two, and goes up for another Five Star. Jericho tries to stop him with a chair, but gets it kicked back into his face, so Christian grabs the belt, RVD looks for the Five Star, but Christian rolls out of the way and he only hits belt.. and Christian pins him for the cheap win at 16 minutes.

Eh. This was just there. Three workers that I like can only put that on? Hmm. It had nice spots, but not much in the way of storytelling, and they had to do too much for Van Dam to make it work (like rolling under his moonsault, rotating for the Five Star..).. not terrible, by any means, but too long for what it was.. would have been better at about 10 minutes length.

$3.50

-HHH runs down Goldberg with Marc Lloyd. Screw Marc Lloyd, and screw this segment. Fast forward.

-We learn that the next PPV is in a month with No Mercy, Sunday, October 19th. Uh, that already happened, I know, but it was so bad I had to remind you, because the announcers match that they’re previewing now (Al Snow & The Coach vs. JR & The King) isn’t as bad as Steph/Vince.

The Coach & Al Snow d. Jim Ross & Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler to Capture the Raw Announcing Duties

Wow, they’re going with no announcers for this one. That’s just plain great.. nothing to listen to, nothing to watch…fantastic. We start with some stalling, and King gets a series of sloppy rollups on Snow for two. More stalling, interrupted by a shoulderblock for two, followed by more stalling. Can you tell this is going really slow? Al slugs away in the corner, but King comes back, hitting a few punches to knock him down, then a snapmare and the FIST DROP. It wasn’t off the second rope, though, so it doesn’t count. Al comes back with a clothesline, and it’s obvious they are going to do most of the work in this match.. at least they’re trained wrestlers. But the BRAWLING DOES NOT STOP. Seriously, it’s like four minutes in and there’s nothing that’s been done besides kicks, punches, clotheslines and pin attempts. In addition, without any announcers, it just sounds awkward.

Snow locks in an arm wrench, though, thus doubling the number of actual wrestling moves done.. and he turns it into a chinlock! Holy crap! Okay, I’m lying, this is just bad. He gets a back body drop and slugs away again, but Lawler reverses into the piledriver. Al gets his foot on the rope. Ugh. One of the few times a false finish should have been the real finish. Tag into Coach, who executes some great pinfall attempts and then JR licks his lips. Coach looks for a Bronco Buster, but King moves and he gets crotched. King takes advantage, hitting a body slam and the fist drop off the SECOND ROPE! WOW! Al breaks up the cover. While the ref tries to get him out of the ring, JR kicks him in the nuts and then clotheslines him out of the ring. He looks to hit a clothesline on Coach from behind, but FALLS WITH HIM. Oh, boy. JR mounts the Coach and slugs away, Jericho runs in, hits a dropkick on him and puts Coach on top for the pinfall after the longest nine minutes of my life.

Wow, that was bad. Between the sloppy ringwork and the lack of announcers, I seriously think this was the worst match of the year. I wish I gave negative dollars.

$0.00

-A video highlights the Elimination Chamber match from Summerslam, and the travesty that it was. Stupid sledgehammer. They then run down their feud again.

-JR and The King cry about losing, and then Lilian explains that if Goldberg loses tonight, he has to retire. I’ve not rooted for HHH in a long time, but now’s a good time to start, huh?

Goldberg d. Triple H to Capture the World Heavyweight Championship

Again, the champion enters first. That shit bugs me HARDCORE. I need champions last, that’s the way you do it, dammit. The entrances take like five minutes, too, that also annoys me. Assholes. And they take a long time after the match starts just staring each other down. It’s fine if they want to build drama, but this SO means this isn’t going to have a lot of action. Early on, Goldberg gets a gorilla press slam, and Hunter rolls out of the ring already. After one move, seriously. Oy, vey, this is not looking good.

Arm wrench by Hunter is turned into a suplex attempt, but Goldberg reverses into a sweet spinning neckbreaker. See, if he could do MORE of these cool moves (and he does have some), or bump? He’d be good. He’s got nice offense at times. They trade shots, and Hunter gains the advantage. He walks into a back body drop, however, and bails again. Seriously. Goldberg gets a clothesline and looks for the spear, but Hunter counters with the high knee. He clotheslines Bill out of the ring and then sends him into the ringpost. Back in, Hunter hits an elbow drop to the back of his head for two. They trade blows, and Hunter takes the advantage on the outside by attacking Goldberg’s knee. He chop blocks it twice, and then locks on a figure four, using the ring ropes to assist himself., but Goldberg rolls it over. Triple H then hits a knee drop, and looks for another, but Goldberg blocks it, grabs Hunter’s legs and then kicks his knee, before hitting a tilt-a-whirl powerslam. Back outside, Goldberg sends HHH into the steps.

Back in, Hunter fights back, but they bump the ref and he gets a DDT. HHH looks for a Pedigree, but Goldberg reverses into a back body drop that sends Hunter out of the ring, ouch. While outside, he grabs his sledgehammer and hits Goldberg with it, but in like 10 seconds, Bill is okay? Huh? Wow, crazy. Back in, though he gets the spear and Jackhammer, Hebner back in for the one, two, three at about 15 minutes.

Well, it was probably Goldberg’s best performance since he joined the WWE, but that isn’t saying a lot. It wasn’t his best match, but he did okay, and Hunter wasn’t too bad. This wasn’t disgusting, it wasn’t awful, it was just there. Not good for a main event, not at all.

$3.00

PayPerValue Meter Total: $26.50

In Closing…

Again, a WWE show fails the meter, by almost ten dollars. Why? Because these shows suck. Workers don’t want to work hard, so they don’t, because they have no reason to. The top two matches featured the four worst workers on the card and a sometimes decent wrestler who NEVER LOSES and was injured. And people are supposed to be motivated to work their asses off? No wonder the buyrates are in the shitter.

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Pay Per Value: WWE Backlash 2003 Sep18

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Pay Per Value: WWE Backlash 2003

April 27 2003

WWE Backlash

Hosted by Jerry ?The King? Lawler and The Coach for the RAW brand, and Michael Cole and Tazz for the Smackdown brand.

-The PPV starts off early with a countdown.. oh, wait, that?s just my tape. The actual show itself opens with a video package of Goldberg vs. The Rock. This feud wasn’t very good, in case you forgot. After the opening pyro, we go to The Coach and The King. The Coach is announcing? Oh, boy. As usual, they pass it over to Tazz and Michael Cole for the Smackdown side of things as we start off with the likely best match of the evening, as Team Angle comes down with a portrait of their injured hero, Kurt Angle.

Team Angle d. Los Guerreros to Retain the WWE Tag Team Championships

Eddie and Charlie start off, circling each other before locking up. Eddie gains the advantage with a go behind, but Haas turns that to an armbar, so Eddie nails a drop toehold and they roll off. Another lockup is turned into a headlock takeover by Guerrero, who keeps the hold on. A whip sends him across the ring, and he scores with a shoulderblock for two, followed by a snapmare and a cradle, each for two. Haas smartly backs off. He looks really young without his goatee here. Chavo tags in, then lays on the ropes ala HBK, waiting for Benjamin to tag in. They circle each other, with Chavito going behind. Shelton gets an armwringer, but Chavo flips out of it on his head, and nails a single leg takedown for two. He charges, but eats a double leg takedown from Benjamin for two. Nice amateur influenced sequence. Chavo begins to take over with some shots, and gets an armwringer before tagging in Eddie, who nails a few punches and a European uppercut for two. They repeat the sequence, with Eddie getting the wringer and Chavo nailing an axehandle. Chavo nails a modified armdrag, and then locks on a cross armbreaker, looking good tonight.

A Chavito whip is reversed, and Haas gets a knee up from outside the ring. Chavo then walks into a body slam, followed quickly by a short arm clothesline. Shelton looks for a whip, but Chavo reverses and Eddie gets a knee of his own. Chavo then ‘tags out? and Eddie comes in, distracting the ref as Shelton gets choked with the tag rope. Chavito goes back in, again no tag, and dumps Shelton, and Eddie takes advantage outside with some shots. Back in, back suplex by Guerrero for two, and a body slam, before a tag to Eddie, who nails his somersault slingshot senton. Talk about alliteration. Backdrop driver by Eddie, but Shelton scrambles over to his corner to tag Charlie in. Whip by Guerrero gets reversed into a back body drop. They continue their attack in the corner, as Haas distracts the ref and Benajamin chokes with the tag rope before ‘tagging? in and nailing a suplex, and then dumping Eddie. He distracts the ref, and Haas takes advantage on the outside. Funny stuff, with Team Angle trying to keep up with the cheating of Los Guerreros. Shelton locks on a modified camel clutch for two, then tags in Haas, who puts Eddie face down on the top rope, before Shelton leapfrogs him in their double team move. Haas then stomps away, before locking on a modified rear chinlock.

To get out of it, Eddie nails a sick backdrop driver, and both men are out and crawling towards their corner. Eddie starts to charge to his corner, but Charlie pops up and nails a nice spinebuster, cover broken up by Chavo, and as he?s escorted out, Shelton ‘tags? in and locks on a chinlock of his own, but that?s reversed into a jawbreaker, ouch. He starts towards his corner, but Benjamin trips him and slaps on a grapevine. Irish whip by Eddie is reversed into a modified powerslam by the former Minnesota wrestler, and then he locks on a rear chinlock, turning that into a pinfall for two. Nice. Haas tags in, nailing a backbreaker into a painless stretch, I don’t like that move. Nice backbreaker though. Latino Heat headscissors out of it, wow. He charges towards the corner, and Haas is in the way, but he alleyoops him right into the tag. Chavito is cleaning house, nailing a few dropkicks and backbody drops. He concentrates his attacks on Shelton, and dodges a Haas body avalanche that hits Benjamin. Suplex gets two, and Shelton runs in, breaking it up and nailing a powerbomb. He turns around into a missile dropkick by Eddie, who then nails his stereo suplexes on Haas and gets out of the ring as Chavo crawls over for the pin, but only gets two as the crowd EXPLODES.

Back up, Haas looks for a flapjack, but Chavo dropkicks out of it, and Eddie nails his frog splash, which is, in fact, better than RVD?s. Chavito crawls over for the cover, but Benjamin pulls him off from out of the ring. Eddie looks to whip Shelton into the steps, but he reverses. Back suplex near the ropes by Chavo on Haas is reversed by a leg trip by Shelton, who then holds Chavo?s legs down for the one, two, three at about 11 minutes. Post match, Team Angle celebrates outside with the belts, but a body press to the outside by Chavo knocks them and their picture of Kurt Angle over, and they steal the belts.

If the writeup seems long for 11 minutes, it?s because this match was literally all action. There were few restholds, and those they had lasted only seconds. Although the match was pretty good, it wasn’t the best 11 minute tag match ever, as Team Angle certainly had a bit of trouble keeping up with Los Guerreros. Looking back, I think this feud was severely underrated, as it was a pretty ingenious idea, with the faces cheating way better than the heels, but the heels still getting one up on them over and over again. It?s obvious, though, that Los Guerreros are definitely responsible for making Team Angle so talented today, and without this series of matches, they likely wouldn’t be the top tag team in the WWE right now.

$6.00

-Backstage, Eddie and Chavo discuss what their grandma will think of their win. They end up in front of a sparkling green low rider as they celebrate, and the horn plays ?La Cucaracha?. Racial stereotyping a bit much?

-Test and Torrie are chatting, and Test hits on her. This was during Test?s ?slightly but not quite totally evil? phase. Torrie looks at him like he?s a pervert for looking at her Playboy pictures. What did she think he’d do? He won’t leave her alone, finally kissing her, and she tries to slap him before walking off. You’d expect there to be no ramifications, but guess who saw the whole thing? Grandma Sable! Worst. Angle. Ever. She hates Torrie, so I guess she’ll fuck things up.

Sean O?Haire d. Rikishi

Piper?s music hits first, and he comes out alone, carrying a wicker basket with a coconut in there. Heh. Get it? He cuts a three line promo about O?Haire, who comes down to some generic rock. I think he?s winning, because he was in the midst of a push, and Rikishi hadn’t been in a match on PPV, bar a Royal Rumble, on for a long time. Team Angle gets to learn from Eddie and Chavo, and O?Haire learns from Rikishi. Sigh.

Match starts with a brawl on the outside highlighted by Rikishi tossing O?Haire into the ring steps. Back in, he continues the assault, nailing a few punches and two clotheslines. O?Haire?s clothesline is ducked, and Rikishi nails a Samoan drop. Piper distracts, O?Haire charges, Rikishi counters. Piper distracts again, and this time, Kish hits a superkick. O?Haire chokes him, then gets pulled off by the ref as Piper chokes him. Clothesline by O?Haire gets two, then he already goes to the chinlock, less than two minutes in, and the fans BOO him, so he smartly lets it go and nails a knee lift for two. They trade shots, and O?Haire looks for the Prophecy, but that?s countered. Looks for a spin kick, but that?s also countered. Sean is backed into the corner, and Rikishi hits a clothesline and a butt splash, then looks for the stinkface but gets kicked out of the corner. Piper in with the coconut, but a sloppy double superkick knocks both wrestlers down. Piper back in, but he gets smashed with the coconut. As Rikishi celebrates, O?Haire grabs him and hits the Prophecy. I like that move, but, well, longest five minutes of my life.

O?Haire is still green as hell. If he worked OVW, it didn’t help. He?s also only been given short matches with anyone talented since his return. He can succeed, he?s got a great look, decent interview skills and a good moveset, highlighted by some martial arts stuff and some high impact. Give him time on the house show circuit with talented workers, and let him learn. His problem is he isn’t sure where to be.. his offense looks good, but it?s obvious he doesn’t have the timing yet. This match was really, really bad. Not worth being on PPV.

$0.25

-Stacy is backstage getting food, and she grabs like two whole vegetables. So skinny. Grandma Sable comes in and she breaks the ?news? that Test and Torrie are ?fooling around?. Worst. Acting. Ever. Is it noticeable that this feud had a lot of worst evers? She gets mad and throws down the veggies! No, don’t waste them!

-RVD and Kane are preparing for their match by chatting. RVD bitches about Morley being the special referee, and they are sure they’re losing their titles. I don’t care.

Rob Van Dam & Kane d. The Dudley Boyz to Retain the World Tag Team Championships

It?s so sad seeing Chief Morley, the special referee, knowing that only months later he’d have to be Val Venis again, damn. He?s out first, followed quickly by his team, the Dudley Boyz. The fans are unreceptive to them. They pop huge for RVD and Kane, and they really were being wasted in the tag team division. Bubba and RVD start off, hiptoss is reversed into a a standing position by RVD, who nails a legsweep, but misses a somersault leg drop. Bubba misses a clothesline, then RVD backs off and gets hammered. Not too bad, but clearly, Bubba Ray is not the person to be trading a quick reversal sequence with. Van Dam nails a heel kick for two, and then hits a battering ram, flips back, and gets clotheslined. Tag in to D-Von, and he slugs away. Judo back roll out of a backbody drop, then RVD misses a kick but then hits another before hitting a turning legdrop for two. Tag in to Kane, who wrenches D-Von?s arm, wow. Back elbow, elbow drop, arm wrench follows for Kane, but an eye poke (through the mask?) gets him out of it. They blow a clothesline reversal into a back elbow, but don’t repeat it, thank goodness, and Kane hits a big boot for two. Blind charge, but he eats boot and a flying clothesline for only one.

Bubba Ray tags back in, but gets clotheslined and elbowed to hell. Kane has hit like ten back elbows this match. He looks to hit D-Von on the apron, but the Rev. ducks and hots shots him, and then Bubba nails a bulldog for two. Spinebuster by Kane for two, then tags into RVD who slugs away, sending Bubba into the stinkface position. He then backflips off the second turnbuckle, lands and hits a basement dropkick. Runs towards the corner, but slings up and over before nailing a heel kick, then a sloppy split legged moonsault for two. RVD charges for a monkey flip, but gets shoved off and sideslammed. Wazzup headbutt follows, but no wazzup because, well, that pops the crowd. At least they can kinda work heel. Tag in to D-Von, who hits a spinning back elbow for two, then straps on a rear chinlock, and Bubba hits a seated dropkick to RVD?s face while he?s in it, owwww! Bubba is tagged back in, and he locks on his own rear chinlock. Great. RVD gets out and starts towards this corner, but gets yanked down by his hair. He starts crawling, but Buba grabs his leg and gets his modified enziguiri. Tag back in to Kane, who cleans house with a bunch of clotheslines and back body drops, as well as a sideslam on D-Von for two? who.. must be the legal man. They didn’t show the tag.

Tag to RVD, and he nails a kick off the top, his enziguri miss into a spinning kick, and the Rolling Thunder. Looks for a monkey flip on D-Von in the corner, but he turns it into his corner neckbreaker. He turns around into Kane?s top rope flying clothesline, and HE turns into Bubba?s setup for his Atomic elbow, but Kane counters with a chokeslam attempt. Morley goes downstairs, though, claiming Kane was choking and that?s illegal. Nice, Morley!. Van Dam back up, ducking a Morley clothesline that instead hits Bubba Ray, making D-Von angry, so he slugs away, but turns into a top rope diving clothesline by Lance Storm, who turns into a Bubba Bomb, and Bubba turns around, only to clothesline RVD. Morely eats the 3-D, and Kane slides back in and hits a chokeslam on Bubba, then dumps D-Von as RVD hits the Five Star Frog Splash. Another referee slides in and counts the one, two, three at about 11 minutes.

Suprisingly, not too bad. It started slow, and the ending was a bit overbooked, but it made sense, with the Dudley?s tweener tendencies, attacking everyone, and Storm?s loyalty to Morley. There was a lot of action at the end, and this didn’t move too slow. It wasn’t good, but it didn’t offend me either, so, good work, I suppose.

$4.00

-Inspector Stacy is backstage, and she breaks into the women?s locker room. I think they’re comparing boobs. A crazy ass brawl between her and Torrie follows, and a CAT runs by. Haha, nice, I bet it was Ivory?s. I always thought of her as the old maid, and old maids usually have cats. I have a cat too, but I wouldn’t bring it to a wrestling match. So many hot women in one place. Molly, the voice of reason, breaks it up, and looks so beautiful doing it. Why is she in the dressing room if she?s not on the PPV?

Jazz d. Trish Stratus to Capture the WWE Women?s Championship

Theodore Long starts off with a short promo.. instant extra *** for the match, but Jazz also speaks, and that takes the *** back. Sorry. Trish enters, looking MENACING! Sort of. This should be short, because, well, you know, it?s a women?s title match. After a short staredown, Jazz starts with an arm wringer, and Trish nails an amateur takedown into a MAJISTRAL CRADLE? Wow. She then hits a nice single arm DDT into an armdrag, jeez, Trish is pulling out all the stops. Backbreaker by Jazz, who sends Trish to the ropes but gets clotheslined. The Bitch takes advantage, though, nailing a clothesline and hitting the Bitch Clamp really early. Trish into the corner and Jazz looks for a tilt-a-whirl sideslam, but Stratus flips out and hits a nice gutwrench sideslam. Jazz hits a very Earthquake-esque butt splash and then goes to remove the turnbuckle, but is stopped by LIL NAITCH~~~! She walks right into a backslide, but the ref?s back is turned fixing the corner and she kicks out.

They trade pinning combinations, and then punches, with Stratus gaining the advantage. She sends Jazz into the corner and charges, but eats boot. Jazz to the top, but Trish looks for the Strausphere, although that?s reversed sweetly into a top rope Boston Crab that Jazz leaps off the top while holding, driving Trish in to the mat in a sick fashion. She keeps the hold on, walking to the corner, but it?s reversed and they again trade pinning combinations until Trish gets a Boston Crab of her own that she turns into an STF, nice. Chops by the champion, who ducks a clothesline and hits the Kawada kick for two. Jawbreaker by Jazz, followed by a really nice dropkick for a long two. She protests the call, as all good heels must. Backdrop suplex is reversed, and Trish hits the Stratusfaction for two, but Teddy breaks it up by throwing his SHOE, yay Teddy. Stratus turns around into a rollup, but she kicks out. Looks for the Stratusfaction again, but Jazz grabs the rope, so she tries to turn it into a sunset flip. However, that?s stopped as Jazz just sits down and grabs the ropes for the tainted one, two, three at a little over seven minutes.

As far as women?s matches go, this was a pretty good one, but I question the booking sense of giving Jazz the title only a month after Trish won it at Wrestlemania. Why couldn’t Jazz have won it at ?Mania and then beat Trish one-on-one, instead of having a heel chase a face for a month? Oy. Regardless, the crowd was DEAD, and it showed in the match, which went about half-speed as both women kind of were hurt by the lack of noise from the audience. Still, some nice moves and reversals kept it watchable, and at only seven minutes, they went about the perfect time for a women?s match right now. If only the crowd would care?

$2.00

-Backstage, Booker T and HBK get ready for their upcoming six-man tag team match. If you had told me five years ago that two of my favorite wrestlers ever would be teaming, I’d have called you nuts, since Shawn was hurt and Booker was in WCW. Too bad Kevin Nash is around to ruin it.

The Big Show d. Rey Mysterio

Big Show is out first to no reaction, and then Rey comes out to a big pop. I don’t like big/little matches, unless the big is like Angle?s size. The little guy can’t go any of their sweet moves, and the big guy?s don’t look as good. So, safe to say, I’m not looking forward to this match as Rey waits outside, stalling, something I?ve never seen him do. He slides in as Show slides out, and then when Show comes back in, he eats a dropkick to the face, sending him back out. Ok.. more stalling, and as Show steps over the rope, Rey nails a springboard dropkick that sends Big Show into the corner. He charges a few times but eventually gets tossed into the corner roughly, and Show chops away. Looks for a chokeslam, but Rey nails a hotshot and then looks for a springboard crossbody, but that gets caught and turned into a standing backbreaker.

Gorilla press slam by guess which one, but the other one lands on his feet and ducks a big boot, rolling through and nails a low kick. Show slaps his back, sending him all the way outside, way too much rolling for that move. Rey grabs a chair and hits Show with it while he?s leaning over trying to pull him in, followed by a springboard body scissors. Show gets up and falls into the ropes, so Rey hits a 619 to his stomach, then one to the back of his legs and then one to his face in a cool sequence. He looks for the West Coast Pop (yeah right), but gets caught and hit with the Showstopper for the one, two, three. They do an injury angle, saying Rey?s neck is hurt, but don’t even put a neckbrace on him. Show comes back out, grabbing Rey on the stretcher and swinging him like a baseball bat against the ringpost, knocking him to the ground head first, ha ha.

The match itself was really pretty damn bad, as neither man could do any real moves besides their finishers ? Rey because of the size difference, and Show because he doesn’t really have other moves. At least it was over quickly, at only about 4 minutes, but it seemed like at least three times that. We all know Show can’t work that well, but I don’t understand the point of having him face someone who, for all his talents as a worker, will have problems covering Show?s faults because of his own faults (size, mostly). They had to know this would suck, and only booked it to put Show over as a monster to face Lesnar at Judgement Day.

$0.35 ($0.10 for the match, $0.25 for the segment afterwards)

-Ric Flair, HHH and Jericho verbally berate the opposing team, running down their respective opponents. Hunter disses Nash (his next opponent), Jericho disses HBK (his Wrestlemania opponent), and Flair disses Booker T? I guess because he?s the odd man out otherwise. They didn’t really fight too much, so I’m sure that explains it.

-The King and Coach plug Judgment Day, and I wonder if it can be even worse than this crap.

-Stacy and Torrie fight backstage, and Torrie ends up sending her into a filing cabinet and a PLASTIC TOTE WITH A BUNCH OF LIGHT STUFF FALLS ON HER HEAD, OH NO! She fakes the injury poorly, with Steiner picking her up and carrying her about five steps before Test cuts in. Steiner?s REALLY hard to understand at this point on the microphone, but it?s hard not to love him when thinking about how good he once was.

-A video runs down Cena/Lesnar. I think this feud’ll happen again in less than a year and be REALLY big. This is, if you’re taking notes, when Cena started to establish himself as an intense, exciting young contender. He looks real good on these recap videos, which, not surprisingly, focuses on Cena?s road through a tournament to face Brock, as well as a few raps, since this feud was mostly all Cena. The Lesnar stuff is all recap, as he?s not really a talented babyface.

Brock Lesnar d. John Cena to Retain the WWE Championship

Cena comes down first, starting off with a decent rap, running down Bruno Sammartino, the Iron Sheik, Mankind, Kurt Angle, and his home state/current venue of Massachusetts. He really needs to up his speed on his raps, because he?s just going too slow. JC ends with ?You can suck my?, waiting for the word dick, and this is catching on. I can’t remember if this is the first time he?s done it or not. Lesnar comes down, and although I like him, it?s so obvious that he?s a bad face and Cena TOTALLY has him beat on charisma. At least he?s a heel now.

Cena starts off by taking it to Brock with a variety of brawling moves, but Lesnar powers out, looking legimately pissed. He nails a pair of backbreakers, holding on and turning the second into a nice fallaway slam, followed quickly by a pair of snap suplexes for two. He?s already looking better than he did before Wrestlemania, clearly having learned from Kurt. He locks on a front headlock, then rolls over, wrenching Cena?s neck nicely. Cena stands up, but Brock refuses to release the hold and instead hooks his leg, nailing a fisherman?s suplex. He stomps away at the rookie in the corner, blind charge eats elbow, but Cena comes out of the corner into a gorilla press slam before getting clotheslined over the top and out of the ring.

Outside, Brock sends Cena face first into the announce table and then taunts him with the belt before rolling Cena back in. His intensity is good, but his mannerisms are still much, much, much too heelish. Cena bails back to the floor and gets a chair, but Brock breaks it up. However, Cena reverses a whip and sends him into the steps before grabbing the belt and taunting the crowd. He rolls back in and out, making Brock bleed with a few shots, nasty. Back in, he gets a cover for two, followed by a back suplex for two, an elbow drop for two and a back elbow for two. Too many pins in such a short time, this is something they must learn to spread out.

A lot of tired brawling follows for about two minutes until Cena shoulderblocks Brock out of the ring. Legdrop off the second rope to the back of Brock?s head for two, and then Cena locks in on a rear chinlock. In doing it, the blood from Brock?s forehead gets all over Cena?s face, nasty. Brock snapmares out of it, but Cena comes back with a DDT for a LONG two. He stomps away at Brock?s injured head, but walks into a big spinebuster, sending both men down. Jawbreaker and a clothesline by Cena for two, who then straps on a rear chinlock, but at least this time he chooses to add a rear grapevine. This goes on for a LONG time until Brock stands up with John on his back and then sandwiches him in the corner. Lesnar then hits three successive clotheslines and a powerslam for two, followed by a modified powerslam for two. Brock gets sent into the corner and almost knocks out the ref, but stops as Cena hits a low blow and a rollup for two, and then a flipping Ace Crusher for two. Spears Cena into the corner, but feels the pain himself, so John takes the time to wrap his fist in a chain, but Brian Hebner takes it away. F-5 finishes cleanly for Brock at about 15 minutes.

Although this match proves that Cena clearly isn’t ready to be a headliner, he did a pretty decent job for it being his first high-profile PPV match, and only his third appearance on PPV at all (the others being vs. Jericho and the Royal Rumble). Still, he and Brock went for pinfalls WAY too often, and at other times, were moving WAY too fast or too slow. They both have a lot to learn about pacing, but when they do, they’ll both be main event talents. This good feud culminating in a good matchup proves that they both have what it takes to eventually carry the company on their backs.

$5.50

-We get a rundown of the feud for the six-man tag match, but it focuses mostly on HHH/Nash. It?s SO obvious that they were going to be feuding next month, but kudos for doing a bit of a different build. They try to build dissention in the ranks of the faces, but it?s kind of silly, as they have little reason to be friends anyway, other than common enemies. The video package makes everything look better, except Nash?s hair, which ALWAYS looks better in real time.

Chris Jericho, Ric Flair & Triple H d. Booker T, Shawn Michaels & Kevin Nash

Jericho?s out first, and likely will be jobbing, too. Flair out next, followed by Hunter. Booker is out first for the face team, and HBK comes out, looking like the HBK of the past in his old tights. Nash is last, and they should have done his entrance first, since he’d just be getting down around the ring around the same time everyone else?s was over. Imagine him creeping down to the ring, and HHH just walks past him. I like. Everyone in the ring is a former world heavyweight champion, and Booker?s the only non-WWF one, a neat fact that I noticed.

Nash and HHH start, but they tag out in favor of Jericho and Michaels, who lock up. They trade punches and chops, and Michaels get a shoulderblock before looking for a German. That?s reversed, and Jericho looks for a vertical suplex, but Michaels flips out and they trade pinning combinations effortlessly until Michaels gets a backslide for a long two. Looks for a dropkick, but gets caught and almost turned into the Walls, but he scissors out of it. Armdrag to arm wrench, tag into Nash. He dumps Jericho and taunts HHH, but Jericho comes back in from behind and starts on offense. Nash tries to dump him again, but he skins the cat only to turn around into a big boot. Tag in to Booker, spinebuster for two. He slugs away, and counters an axehandle with a flapjack. Jericho finally tags out, sending HHH in for the first time. He walks into a Booker crescent kick for two, though.

Knee to face by Hunter follows, and he and Booker trade shots, backing The Book into the corner. He comes back, only to get caught with a nice spinebuster by The Game. Tag into Flair, who misses an elbow, and HBK is tagged in. Back body drop on Flair, then Shawn dumps Jericho and hits an atomic drop and a clothesline on Hunter. Forearm smash knocks Flair down, and he kips up and nails the Sweet Chin Music, only to turn around into a Pedigree. Nash enters the ring and chases after Hunter, who bails. Ten count begins, and Flair tags in Jericho, who starts to bust up his Wrestlemania opponent with three quick elbow drops for a long two. Tag back in to Hunter.

Hunter and Shawn duck clothesline attempts, but HHH hits the high knee and tags out to Flair who hits a snapmare and looks for the Figure Four, although that?s reversed into an inside cradle. Tag in to Jericho, who hits a backdrop suplex and straps on the rear chinlock. Shawn counters out of it, but walks right into a kitchen sink. Tag back into Hunter, and Flair distracts the ref as Hunter works over Shawn?s knee, then tags out to Flair, who works over Shawn?s knee some more, hitting a few moves and then a kneebreaker, but he holds on to Shawn?s legs, who nails an enziguiri to get out of it, and a cover follows for two. Flair tags in HHH, who tries to stop Shawn from tagging in, but can’t, as Nash enters the match and cleans house. He nails three of the worst and least high impact body slams ever, and hits his regular moves on Jericho and HHH (sidewalk slam, big boot, snake eyes). A cover follows, but Flair breaks it up.

Booker comes in the ring to even the odds, but he gets dumped by Jericho, who slugs away at Nash. Finally, Hunter looks for the Pedigree, but gets backdropped out of it. Nash tries for the Jacknife, but Jericho breaks it up. He and Booker brawl, leading to an axe kick by the 5-time WCW champion. Crescent kick is ducked, and Jericho gets dumped, so the two end up on the outside. Back in, Flair goes up top, but as he ALWAYS does, he gets tossed off ? this time by HBK. He calls for the Sweet Chin Music, but Jericho comes from behind with a bulldog, and Flair locks on the Figure Four while Jericho hits a Lionsault and then locks on the Walls. Nash is set to powerbomb HHH outside, but he gets distracted by the submission hold and goes in to break it up. Snake eyes to Jericho, and he looks for the Jacknife, but Flair breaks it up. Nash shoves him off, but he bumps the ref, so HHH comes in with the sledgehammer shot for the one, two, three and the tainted win at about 18 minutes.

Although this was still somewhat of a clusterfuck, they did a decent job of getting everyone ring time that deserved it (Flair, HBK, Booker, Jericho), and hiding those who didn’t (Nash). Still, by this point, people were just SICK of HHH winning over EVERYONE, cheating or not, so the finish was just ludicrous. I understand the point was to build up Hunter and Nash?s feud, but couldn’t Hunter have hit the sledgehammer and given Jericho the win? At least the action was decent, and this wasn’t anything too offensive.

$5.00

-Michael Cole and Tazz have an update on Rey Mysterio, although it?s just a replay of what happened with The Big Show. They SPECULATE on his condition, so it?s not an actual update.

-Video of Rocky and Goldberg?s feud. Although it?s a big deal (It?s Rock/Goldberg, and Rock was ON FIRE), they didn’t do a great job of a build. Just basic stuff, really.

-Terri is backstage with The Rock, and she is not a talented interviewer. Looks pretty decent for an almost 40 year old woman, though. He disses Goldberg for having no interview skills, and the fans are still cheering him despite him being a heel, since Goldberg isn’t over at this time. He?s not over now, but you know what I mean.

Goldberg d. The Rock

Lots of stalling to start, to get Goldberg over as a scary monster and The Rock over as a cowardly heel., plus, to hide the fact that Goldberg can’t really wrestle. About four minutes after the bell rang, they actually lock up, with Goldberg gaining the advantage, sending Rock into the corner who STILL stalls, then goes to the outside to stall some more. Back in, he slaps Goldberg, who comes back with punches, knees and a shoulderblock. He clotheslines Rock over the top rope, who then stalls some more before just BARELY beating the count. Maybe he?s afraid of suffering a career ending injury? Back in, Goldberg hits a ROCK BOTTOM very early into the match, the first wrestling move. Scary. He sets up for the Spear, but Rock acts like a bullfighter and dodges, sending him into the steel post and outside the ring. Goldberg sells his shoulder really well, and then The Rock puts on his sloppy Sharpshooter. Why doesn’t he attack the shoulder?

Rocky stands up, waiting for the Rock Bottom, but Goldberg spears him. They trade shots, and then Goldberg hits a powerslam, but is too winded to make an immediate cover, and once he finally gets over there, he only gets two. The Rock tries to clothesline him down, but fails, so he hits a spinebuster, kips up and waits for the Rock Bottom again, this time hitting it for?. two? Goldberg kicked out of the Rock Bottom? Bastard. Rocky is not happy, so he slugs away, but walks into a big clothesline. The Rock reverses a whip and hits the spinebuster again, setting up for a heavily popped for People?s Elbow, but Goldberg kicks out of THAT, too. If Rocky wasn’t leaving for Hollywood, they’dve killed his finishers, and it?s not easy to kill anything of his, he?s so over. Back up, Goldberg hits the spear, sending the Rock down, and he stalls even longer. I think the crowd, at this point, is yelling ?Goldberg sucks?. After SERIOUSLY A WHOLE MINUTE OF ROCK LYING AND GOLDBERG WAITING, Rocky finally stands up and walks into ANOTHER spear, before signaling for the Jackhammer and hitting it for the one, two, three. The Goldberg experiment is officially a failure at about 14 minutes of torture.

Although it was better than any Goldberg WCW matches besides his with Steiner, DDP, and maybe Saturn this was NOT good. At 14 minutes, you expect SOME action, but there was NOTHING. A few spears, a few moves by Rocky, and as a result, Goldberg?s limitations are disgustingly obvious in only his first match. Not good.

$0.00 (I don’t give negative dollars, but if you’re interested, that breaks down to $1.00 for the match and the fact that it was Rock/Goldberg, and -$5.00 for trying to sell that as a PPV main event)

PayPerValue Meter Total: $23.10

In Closing?

Wow. I knew this was going to fail the meter, but I thought it’d at least be closer. However, when three of the eight matches are crap, and the only world title match is between two rookies, you can’t have high hopes for the PPV. The sad thing is that next month?s doesn’t look any better, with a Nash/HHH world title match and a Mr. America vs. Roddy Piper match. Basically.. don’t get this PPV. There are thousands upon thousands of tapes that deserve your money, and this isn’t one of them. I feel insulted that I even watched it, but damn if it wasn’t fun to rip apart some of these matches. As far as rankings go? Backlash 2003 is a high end candidate for worst PPV of the year, and low end for worst WWE ever.

Agree, disagree? Love this, hate this? Love me, want me, hate me? Let me know by leaving feedback here in this thread, or you can catch me on AOL Instant Messenger at SavanteOSU. Alternately, if you’d like to e-mail me at Berliner.10@osu.edu, I’d be happy to hear from you. Your thoughts and time are appreciated greatly, I promise you.

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Pay Per Value: Wrestlemania XIX Aug16

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Pay Per Value: Wrestlemania XIX

Wrestlemania XIX

March 30, 2003

Seattle, Washington

Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler for the RAW brand, and Michael Cole and Tazz for the Smackdown brand.

-To begin this momentous event, we get a nice video package where Booker T, Stone Cold, Kurt Angle, and others run down their thoughts on Wrestlemania, and they put it over verbally as being the top event in pro wrestling, which it certainly is. Despite all of their faults, WWE still knows to keep Wrestlemania important. The video itself is bone chilling.

-We meet our announcers for the evening, Jerry Lawler and good ol? JR, and they pass it off to Smackdown?s commentators, Michael Cole and Tazz. Looks like a Smackdown match will be first? ah, it?s the Cruiserweight Title match. Hell of an opener on any card.

Matt Hardy d. Rey Mysterio to Retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship

Rey comes out first in a pretty neat maroon leather Daredevil-ish outfit. The fans pop pretty big for him, and holy crap, he looks tiny walking down the ring.. almost all the fans are taller than he is. Matt?s accompanied by Shannon Moore ? the Matt facts are that he?s appearing in his 4th Wrestlemania (already? No kidding?), and he often wonders how they did Wrestlemania without him. I think it had something to do with Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and maybe Steve Austin? but that?s just me.

Moore distracts Rey to start, and Matt charges at him but just gets WHIPPED over the top rope. So fast. Rey quickly bounces off the back and nails a corkscrew plancha. Now this’this is how you start a match. He rolls Hardy back in, and goes for a cover that only gets two. Matt tosses Rey into the corner, and a charge eats only boot. Mysterio hops to the top rope, and flips off, hitting a nice reverse headscissors, and then a spinning heel kick. Matt gets back on the apron, and they repeat the spot with Rey charging at him ? I predicted it’d be a repeat, instead Rey looks for a sunset flip powerbomb, but it?s broken up by Shannon Moore. Slam onto the barricade by Hardy, who rolls him back in and only gets two on a cover. Ricochet gets two. Matt chokes Rey using the top rope, and then distracts the ref while Shannon does it, too. Hardy for a rope down splash, but misses, and Rey looks for a springboard cross body, but that?s countered into a Twist of Fate, which is countered into a back cradle by Rey that gets two. Nice sequence. Rey looks to bounce out of the corner off of a whip, but gets caught with a Side Effect, and a snapmare into a surfboard.

Rey uses the typical reversal to get out of it, but Matt hits him with a pair of forearms to stun him, and then looks for another blind charge, but only eats boot. He charges again, but only hits post this time. Rey goes outside, nails a springboard body scissors for two, and then hits the aforementioned springboard cross body, also for two. He then hits a SWEET headscissors takeover, and a nice jumping tornado DDT, before setting Matt up for the 619. Shannon trips him as he runs back, and so Matt runs up and hits the Twist of Fate, but Rey kicks out of it. I’m all for suspense, especially at Wrestlemania, but damn, has anyone actually been pinned by the Twist of Fate for it to seem like a big moment? Matt sets him up for Mascross? Wreckoning, or a Splash Mountain bomb from the top, but it?s countered into a nice hurricanrana, which would get three, but Shannon puts Matt?s foot on the rope. Normal valet sequence follows, as Matt runs into Shannon, and then is hit with a dropkick to the back, setting him up and hitting the 619. West Coast Pop would follow, but Matt ducks, and Rey rolls through in another nice sequence. Matt looks to alley-oop him onto the top rope, but Rey counters, landing in an electric chair position, and looks for a victory roll. Instead, Matt counters and just drops him, before pinning him with the help of the ropes for the one, two, three.

Wow. For what time it was given, this was a great match, as it was literally all action and no brawling. If it had been given five more minutes, it’d get what it deserves, but even the best six minute match ever is still only six minutes long.

$4.50

-The Miller Light Catfight Girls pull up in a limo and, surprise, surprise, they begin to argue. I note in my head that the blonde is good looking, but I’ll be damned if the brunette isn’t one of the finest girls I?ve ever seen. Ignoring hotness, I really really hate the fact they’re on Wrestlemania.

-Tony Chimmel, the Smackdown ring announcer introduces ?The WWE?s Favorite Band in the Whole World?, Limp Bizkit. You can probably guess how I feel about this one by the quotes.. and it?s that they suck reallllllllll bad. They play their song ?Rollin?, which, of course, means the Undertaker is coming out. Great, bad band, bad match.. and here he is, on his bike?

The Undertaker & ?Nathan Jones? d. The Big Show & A-Train

?Taker comes out, and there?s no Nathan Jones to accompany him, which means Jones might run in and deliver a few spin kicks, but I pray not. He?s followed by A-Train and The Big Show, to Big Show?s music. A-Train messes with ?Taker?s bike.. oooooh?. Hope this one is short. While ?Taker stares down Train, Big Show tries to sneak up, but damn, is that the worst choice to have someone sneak up or what? Stealth. My. Ass. ?Taker knocks him off the apron, then catches Train with a quick chokeslam, but Show interrupts the cover. Back in, both men rest on the outside because one man is JUST THAT DANGEROUS AND CANNOT BE DOUBLE TEAMED TO ANY SUCCESS. Show comes in and shoves ?Taker into the corner, but he punches out of it. He gets tossed in again, but counters with a kick, and trades shots between Big Show and A-Train.. just dominating them. Train gets tagged in, and quickly gets hiptossed out of his shoes. Old school ropewalk follows, but Undertaker gets caught up with Show, and turns around right into a Derailer (Baldo Bomb). He gets pulled out, and Show does all the good things like dropping him on the barrier, before rolling him back in.

Guillotine by A-Train actually looks legit, but then he chokes ?Taker, who doesn’t sell it. What a surprise. Show gets tagged in, and gets his ass kicked. Way to make new stars, Mark! Blind charge results in a big soupbone elbow by The Undertaker, but Show comes back, looking for the Showstopper. That?s countered into an armbar by ?Taker on Big Show, and Train breaks it up easily. Michael Cole has said the phrase ?numbers game? about 1000 times already. Taker turns around and just says ?oh, fuck, no, you can’t hurt me?, and locks on a cross armbreaker that Show breaks up with a nice leg drop. Three headbutts follow by Show, and he locks on an abdominal stretch, the pinnacle of technical wrestling. Train gets tagged back in and stomps away on ?Taker before locking on an abdominal stretch of his own. Oooh. There are other moves that work on the stomach, you know? Undertaker counters into one of his own, great, but that?s turned into a big back suplex by Taker that Michael Cole calls a gutwrench. Ennh.

Show with the distraction, and Train hits a nice clothesline, but only gets two. He smacks around Taker on the mat for about five minutes, but Calloway gets up fairly easily, ducking a few telegraphed punches, before nailing his running DDT. Cover is broken up by Show, and ?Taker runs wild on the heels, of course, clotheslining the fuck out of them. Choke slam is turned into a big boot on A-Train, and then a flying clothesline on Show. He?s not only fighting two guys, he?s beating them AT ONCE. Train hits a bicycle kick right on his ugly kisser, ooh, nice, and he walks into the Show Stopper, but Nathan Jones runs down the aisle and actually hits a spin kick. Cover only gets two, but his whip is reversed and A-Train eats big Aussie boot. He stumbles around, and Tombstone gets the three count. After the match, he waves an American flag around. So American. Aren’t you an attempted murderer, Undertaker?

Well, the crowd was certainly into it, but I can’t even go over the anger I have that Undertaker beat two guys almost completely by himself. I know it?s only The Big Show and A-Train, but come on, it?s still two big and (supposedly) dangerous guys. The match itself was definitely not good, especially for 3 veterans.

$0.50

-Torrie and Stacy catch up with The Miller Lite girls, and they’re all complimentary. It?s funny that Stacy calls them ?The Miller Lite Catfight Girls?, like it?s their official name. Hell, everyone does that.. it?s so unrealistic, why can’t they just call them by their real names. Or at least how I’d do it — I see them backstage, I say, ?Hey, it?s those two chicks that fight in the fountain.. sweet.?

-JR and King go over some pro-war propaganda, and talk about the Heat match between RVD & Kane and Lance Storm & Chief Morley. This was pretty damn bad, so don’t stress if your copy of the tape doesn’t have it, unless you’re the Kane completist. No, I didn’t say a Kane completist, I said the.

Trish Stratus d. Victoria & Jazz to Capture the WWE Women?s Championship

Trish comes out first, wearing her 1980?s rock star hat, and watching lots of confetti shoot around. Her boobs are looking HUGE, as the outfit is basically a corset that shows her cleavage. No complaints. She?s followed by Jazz, with her cool new music, and more muscle tone than the Undertaker, from what I can see. Next is my favorite of the three, Victoria, with Stevie Richards, looking hot as all hell. The psycho look is perfect for her? This is under triple threat rules, so Vickie doesn’t even have to be pinned to lose her title.

Jazz cheap shots Victoria while she?s doing her pose, sending her out of the ring, and hits a dropkick on Trish, but a cover only gets one. Nice amateur style reversals by Jazz, who locks on a bridging inverted Dragon sleeper. Sick. She hops up to kick Victoria off the apron, but Trish is up and hits a Thesz press and some punches.. clich?! She gets whipped into the corner, but hits a boot to Jazz?s face. Trish goes outside, but Vickie yanks her off the apron, and she hits her face in a disgusting fashion on the way down. Victoria then tosses Jazz, and she and Trish brawl on the outside. It erupts into a three-way (you were waiting, I know), and Victoria rolls Trish back into the ring before nailing a springboard somersault leg drop. Her cover gets broken up by Jazz, who nails a legdrop and HER cover gets two.

The heels team up and nail a double shoulderbreaker on Trish that looked bad because Jazz didn’t go down quick enough. She?s obviously angry, as she turns on Victoria, but gets powerslammed and sent into the corner to be nailed in the stomach with Victoria?s head. Ouch. Trish sneaks up behind and rolls her up, but that only gets two, and back up, she walks into a clothesline. Victoria chokes and slaps and generally hates on Trish, but a superkick and a clothesline follow for the Canadian. Jazz remembers she?s in the match, and comes back in, nailing a powerslam from a shoulderbreaker position on Trish. Nice. She and Victoria argue about how gets to fight Trish, but get the ol? ?Head? Meet other head. ? from Miss Stratus. Victoria ties her up, but she ducks a spinning kick from Jazz and Vickie is out. Trish rolls Jazz up, but only gets two, and a Kawada kick gets two as well. Blind charge right into Victoria?s knee, but she gets the Stratusphere out of the corner. She is a house of fire, nailing some chops on both women, and sending Victoria out of the ring. Jazz catches her, however, and tosses her around like a rag doll, before locking on a half-crab, which Trish sells magnificently, but OH, SHIT, it?s TURNED INTO THE STF.

Right before Trish taps, Stevie runs in and breaks it up. Trish and Vickie trade rollups, but Jazz comes in and breaks it all up. Bitch Slap from Jazz, but she turns around into a superkick by Victoria, who then promptly misses a BEAUTIFUL moonsault. So good. Jazz charges and gets dumped, and Richards charges in, missing a chair shot, but hitting himself on the rebound. He gets a Stratusfaction for his troubles. Victoria sets Trish up for the Widow?s Peak, but Trish gets out and nails her Kawada kick for the pin and the women?s title for about time number 18.

This was a pretty good match, especially for three young women that will only improve. However, it only got around five minutes, and I hate triple threat matches. They’re so contrived, with someone always having to be out of the match for a while. Still, good effort.

$1.25

-Standing by with The Rock, waiting for an interview, is Coach. Bet he gets made fun of. The Rock interrupts him, and gets on the fans for booing him last year, and for booing him in general. He?s still excited because he?s sold out ‘this, and every Wrestlemania he?s ever been in.? He discusses how it?s his destiny to beat Austin one, two, three at Wrestlemania, which he?s never done. He then says Hollywood doesn’t remember act one and act two ? referring to their first two Wrestlemania matches — but never forgets act three, which will be tonight. Holy crap, does The Rock pull off the cocky heel act perfectly or what?

Team Angle d. Los Guerreros & Benoit/Rhyno to Retain the WWE Tag Team Championships

Los Guerreros? music hits first, and the fans are unreceptive to them.. it sounds weird, since only months later, Eddie gets HUGE pops. Next out are Benoit and Rhyno, to their own music. Benoit gets cheered. Loudly. Little to no reception to Rhyno, sadly.. I like him, I guess. Finally, the now-former but then-current Team Angle make their way down, and a big convoluted brawl starts, and I really hope it calms down a bit as recapping it will be a bitch. The actual match starts off with Chavo and Charlie, and Chavito catches him with a huge back body drop, a beautiful back suplex, and a European uppercut. Haas goes to hit a back body drop of his own, but it?s countered into a nice drop kick. He scrambles over to the corner and tags in Benoit, who charges, but gets caught with a Guerrero armdrag into an armwrench. Chavo maintains the hold and tags in Eddie, before hitting another back suplex, and Eddie nails his slingshot senton, before backing Benoit into the corner and punching him. That gets reversed and Benoit nails some STIFF chops. Shoulderblock knocks both men down, and Benoit tags in Rhyno. They stalk each other, but Eddie gains the advantage. A whip is reversed, and Eddie walks into a nice powerslam by the manbeast. He quickly tags in Benjamin, and every man has been in already. They trade shots, with Benjamin nailing a back elbow for two. Rhyno begins to take the lead until Haas is tagged in and Team Angle nails a nice double team drop kick, but Chavo breaks up the cover.

Rhyno tags in Benoit, and they double team Haas, before Benoit nails his beautiful snap suplex, and a beautiful back suplex just for kicks, that only gets two. Rhyno back in, and he and Charlie trade shots until Shelton gets the tag. He and Rhyno brawl for a moment, until the former ECW champ hits a snapmare for two. Eddie with the blind tag and a flipping dropkick on Rhyno. He stomps away and gets backed into the corner, and Benoit comes back in with a few chops. Eddie counters out with a back suplex, and then goes to the top, but gets superplexed off BEAUTIFULLY. BENOIT IS GOD, fuck the haters. Both men are down, but Benoit goes for a cover. It?s broken up by Chavo AND Shelton. Benoit nails his flapjack into a faceplant (called the farewell in the Smackdown games), and then locks on the Crossface off it. Sick. Tilt-a-Whirl is countered by Eddie into a brainbuster suplex. Eddie tags in Chavo, and nails a clothesline on Haas, and a headscissors on Benajmin. Benoit looks for the Crossface, but Chavo reverses into a Russian legsweep. Benoit counters into three Germans, and on the fourth, Chavo tags out to Benjamin right before he gets tossed.

Benoit continues the attack, unaware of the tag, but turns right into a superkick and a cover by Shelton, that only gets two. And Eddie breaks up. He comes in and he and Benoit collide heads, knocking both down. Benjamin stomps away and nails a slam and legdrop on Benoit. Cover is broken up by a Frog Splash to Benjamin?s back, ooh, nice. Haas comes in and Chavo tags himself in only to get caught with a nice overhead belly-to-belly, but Haas then walks right into a Gore. Rhyno then nails another Gore on Chavo, and he charges after Charlie, who?s bailed. Shelton crawls back in and makes the cover on the fallen Chavo, the legal man, and steals one for Team Angle.

Damn. Just when it was really getting started, they cut it off. This went about seven minutes, and if it had just been given 10-12 more.. it was building to something great. As it was, it turned out good, but it could have been something special.

$6.00

-In the back, we get more bimbo action. They all look hot as hell. Stacy and Torrie use their wooden acting skills to argue about who made Wrestlemania, Hogan or McMahon, and ooh, they are ANGRY! Then the catfight girls argue about the same thing. ALL FOUR WOMEN ARE SO WOODEN, as is most of male America. Sigh. King gets all lecherous, and he and JR hype Michaels vs. Jericho, showing a video package about their feud which began over three months ago. Given the participants, this should be a good one, eh?

Shawn Michaels d. Chris Jericho

Jericho is out first, and the fans are pretty silent, although Nutty swears his section was cheering for him. HBK comes out to a HUGE pop, and decides to grab some (old reference coming) Badd Blasters on his way down, but some of them don’t work. He looks REALLY fruity in his costume, but once he strips, it looks fine. Uhh? They start up with a lockup, but it?s broken off the first time. The second time, HBK gets a headlock into a headlock takeover, but Jericho leg scissors out of it. Third lockup turns into an armdrag by Jericho, and a headscissors for Michaels. Reversal trading leads to a hiptoss by Shawn, but he gets leg tripped. Another headlock takeover is reversed into a pin by Jericho, that only gets two. Jericho hits a shoulderblock, but gets clotheslined down and dumped out of the ring. Shawn looks for a plancha, but Jericho dodges, so he hits a baseball slide instead. Starting off slow but very crisp, thank goodness.

Back in, HBK gets a crossbody, but it?s rolled through nicely. Jericho then takes advantage, nailing a spinning heel kick, some punches and chops and chokes, and looks for a bulldog out of the corner, but Shawn crotches him on the post. Ouch. Shawn then keeps on the offensive, locking on a figure four, but it gets rolled over. Kneebreaker by HBK, and he looks for a Sharpshooter, but gets booted off into the corner. Chris then tries to dump him, but he looks to skin the cat back in. Jericho charges to stop it, but he gets nailed with a SWEET headscissors over the top, and then a picture perfect plancha. Nice sequence. They brawl outside, but HBK gets trapped in the Walls on the outside. Jericho releases and barely beats the count, but comes right back outside. He rams Shawn?s back into the corner a couple of times, and then gets CRAZY boos back in the ring.

Back in, Jericho hits a nice springboard dropkick to HBK on the apron, then rolls him back in before hitting a back suplex and a hanging vertical suplex for two. Follows that up with a backbreaker and his cocky pin for two, which again gets huge heat. Basic chinlock sequence leads to HBK taking back the match, but Jericho stops that with an eye rake. He looks for a back body drop, but HBK DDTs him out of it. Nice. Standing ten count, Y2J is up first. They trade punches, but HBK gets hit with a flying forearm, and Chris poses like HBK to mock him, but gets nailed with a flying forearm of his own, followed with an inverted atomic drop, a clothesline, and a back body drop. Blind charge and Jericho eats boot, followed by a moonsault by Shawn. I mark out simply because he was one of the first wrestlers (if not the first) I ever saw doing it. Crucifix by HBK is turned into a rollup, and they trade pinning combinations for a second, ala, most famously, RVD and Jerry Lynn. Jericho looks for the Walls, but HBK scissors him out of it in a sloppy fashion, not needing to lock his feet first. Ok? Northern Lights suplex follows, but Shawn bridges out of it and looks for a backslide, but instead gets clotheslined.

Bulldog and Lionsault by Y2J, but he has trouble making the cover and only gets two. Jericho looks for a backbody drop, but gets kicked into the face. Shawn looks for a hurricanrana, but its expertly countered into the Walls.. however, HBK gets the ropes rather quick. Looks for the Walls again, but gets cradled for two. Double underhook backbreaker by Y2J, and he nails a top rope back elbow, before going to the corner to warm up the band, before dropping Shawn with his own Sweet Chin Music as the crowd EXPLODES, and that only gets two which drives them NUTS. HBK springs off the second rope with a crossbody for two, and then looks for his own version of the Walls, but can’t get it, so he slingshots Jericho into the corner, and nails a school boy from behind for two. Jericho sets HBK on the top, looking for a back superplex, but Michaels counters into a crossbody and both men are out.

Shawn is up first and makes his way to the top, but Jericho kicks the ref into the ropes, and he accidentally crotches Shawn, haha. Y2J follows up top, and looks for a superplex, but it?s countered and he lands on his face hard before getting hit with a pretty ugly flying elbow drop.. not at all like the Shawn of old. He takes his turn to warm up the band, but SCM misses, and gets put in the Walls of Jericho AGAIN. It takes him a while, but he finally makes it to the ropes. Jericho charges, but gets absolutely WHACKED with the Sweet Chin Music, and both men are out. Shawn finally crawls over and looks for the cover, but that only gets a great false finish for two. Jericho sends Shawn into the corner with an Irish whip, and Shawn does his flip sell. Y2J looks for a back suplex, but Shawn flips out and nails a cradle for the surprise one, two, three! Post match, Jericho and Shawn hug, but Jericho kicks him in the crotch.

Man, I really don’t like that Shawn won at Wrestlemania, when he should be passing the torch. Regardless, he let Jericho still look like his complete equal. The match itself was fairly fast paced, without a lot of elaborate moves, but it featured some of the best false finishes in wrestling in a long time. Given six more minutes, which it could have easily gone, it?s a definite Match of the Year candidate, but since it was just a bit short, I’d only classify it as a low end MOTYC.

$19.00

-Backstage, Sylvan Grenier is shown going into Mr. McMahon?s office. This was months before he became the shittier member of La Resistance, don’t forget. After that, a Goldberg promo is shown for his debut the night after Wrestlemania. I come to the conclusion that his introduction would have had so much more impact if they had him show up unannounced?

-Limp Bizkit plays their new song ?Crack Addict?. Word. This time, Chimmel only announces them as ?The WWE?s Favorite Band?.. guess something happened between their two performances, huh?

-We are again shown the Miller Lite Catfight Girls, although this time, they’re formally introduced by The Coach. I think they’re going to fight. They sit across from each other on a bed, and yeah, they’re hot, but the combined segment time their crappy vignettes took up could have meant a match for The Hurricane. The rules are that they can only use the pillows on the bed, no ?heavy metal objects?. Stacy comes down looking sexy as all hell, and wants a piece of the action, and so does Torrie. They ?fight? for a minute, but then turn on the Coach and strip him and spank him.. and somewhere? Stuart Smith cries a tear. I can’t believe I spent so much time recapping this shit.

-Booker T is the star of a short video about his previous life before the WWE, you know, the whole stealing issue. He talks about finally getting his shot, and it?s hard for me not to be pissed about how this turned out, especially seeing how little of a chance he actually had.. damn you HHH. Damn it. I pop some bubble wrap to get my anger out.

Triple H. d. Booker T to Retain the World Heavyweight Championship

Hunter is out first, and he?s wearing purple tights. So manly. After Booker comes out, the match starts with a lockup, and then they trade punches and chops for a while, until Booker hits a back body drop. More chops, then Hunter goes up top, but gets armdragged off. He rolls out of the ring, and they brawl, with Booker gaining the advantage for a short while. Back in, Hunter nails a shoulderblock and follows that up with a hiptoss that?s reversed into a short arm clothesline by the Book. HHH backdrops him out of the ring, but Booker holds on, only to get his head rammed into the turnbuckle. Very No Mercy style sequence. Back in, HHH attacks with some stomps, and then more brawling. Very slow match so far.

Neckbreaker by Triple H gets two, and then he punches Booker some more. Enough with the punches, please. Booker reverses, slamming HHH?s head into the corner, and bounces off the ropes, but gets caught with a nice spinebuster by HHH for 2. Hard clothesline by Hunter for two, followed by choking. Suplex is reversed, and Booker swings him around into a DDT, taking advantage. Leg lariat by Book, followed by a sideslam and a turnaround forearm. He looks for the axe kick, but HHH catches him with a sleeper, and his first knee move, the high knee. Look for more later. Booker?s whip is turned into a facebuster on HHH?s knee, but then he comes back with a spinebuster. The action is very back and forth, but it?s kind of killing the momentum as neither one is exactly at their top speed, considering all of HHH?s injuries and Booker?s age.

Blind charge by Booker, and of course, he eats boot. Hunter goes to the top rope and looks for the Flair axe handle, but gets caught with a pretty nasty superkick that almost took his head off. Another axe kick is dodged, and Book looks for a crescent kick, but HHH pulls the rope down and he goes out to the floor, where Flair hits a steps-assisted kneebreaker. Back in, HHH locks on an Indian deathlock, proving he really does want to be Flair. The problem is, the move isn’t over, and although it works Booker?s knee just fine, it kills the heat of the crowd. He turns it into another variation, proving his technical ability?. Yawnnnnn. After a good three minutes, Booker finally makes the ropes. HHH hits a really sloppy move in the corner that Booker?s body obscures, but it works the knee, I SWEAR. Gotta keep the psychology.

HHH sends him across the ring, but Booker?s knee gives out and he tumbles to the mat. Kneebreaker is reversed nicely into a rollup, and it looked like that was it. Kick, wham, Pedigree is reversed, but Hunter pushes him into the referee and then looks for a clothesline, but gets rolled up for two. He continues working the knee, but gets caught with a back elbow and an axe kick for two. Booker?s selling is kinda spotty.. not RVD bad, but bad enough. Goes up top, but Hunter crotches him and looks for a superplex, but gets knocked down, and eats a gorgeous Harlem Hangover, despite Flair?s interference. That only gets two, though, and it should have ended the match, but Flair puts Triple H?s foot on the ropes. Oh, shit. Booker looks for the axe kick, but his knee gives out, and we get a Pedigree. No kick or wham, but just a Pedigree. After about ten minutes, Hunter finally crawls over and pins Booker for the stupid, stupid win. The crowd boos the ending mercilessly.

Christ. You take the most over babyface on WWE TV and feed him fairly cleanly to HHH at Wrestlemania (with no rematch), COMPLETELY killing his heat? Bad, bad, bad. Should have been over at the Harlem Hangover. It took too long to get going, and there was too much stalling and ugly brawling for my tastes. It wasn’t a slugfest, it wasn’t a technical affair, it wasn’t all around.. it was just there, and while it was fairly decent, it wasn’t a great match by any means.

$2.50 (The match itself was about 7.50, as it wasn’t bad, but the decision completely killed any heat that it had. Would have been a decent Wrestlemania title match if Booker had won.)

-The Hogan/McMahon feud is recapped. There?s too much kayfabe breaking in this, and I don’t like it. The steroid trial is discussed, and they talk about things that have happened behind the scenes way too much. I’d prefer to leave slight kayfabe breaking to talented workers.

Hulk Hogan d. Vince McMahon

Match starts off slow, with some really weak brawling between the two, dominated by Hogan. I get the feeling this will be the norm for this match, sigh. Seriously five minutes into the match, we get the first move besides punches, chokes, kicks and clotheslines, and that happens to be an armbar. Vince bends it many different ways for a few extra minutes, even using the steel pole as help. Again, there?s a really long sequence involving only test of strengths and kicks. I don’t mind the occasional wild brawl, but this could not be described as wild. I want to chant boooooooring at the TV, poor Lance Storm, you are so exciting compared to this. Finally, Hogan gets dumped, and on the outside, they trade hurricanrana reversals until Hogan punches Vince down. No, really!

After a few more minutes of stalling, Hogan finally delivers a weak chair shot, and punches Vince until he?s bloody, before rolling him back in. Nothing exciting back inside, so McMahon rolls back out, and gets caught with another chair shot, and then another, and Hogan?s next chair shot misses and nails the Spanish announcer, haha. Vince turns the tables, getting a chair shot, and then grabs a ladder, before throwing Hogan around a bit. Finally, he sets Hogan up on the Spanish announce table before climbing the ladder and dropping a leg on him through it! Wow, nice spot. Why’d Vince keep that for himself? Bastard.

Vince rolls him back in, and goes for a cover, but it only gets two. He rolls out, and grabs a metal rod of sort, but Hogan reverses with a very technical low blow. Since both men are down, it only makes sense that the man who hates WWE the most, Rowdy Roddy Piper, runs in and kicks both of their asses, nailing each of them several times with the steel rod. Later, we would realize that bringing Piper back was a bad idea. Vince crawls over, but only gets two, and then tosses Brian Hebner out of the ring because he?s checking on Hogan. Again, Vince picks up the metal rod, and whacks Hogan with it as Syl Grenier runs down. Vince looks for the pin with an atomic leg drop, but it only gets two as Hulk starts to Hulk up. Both men are just a bloody mess. Three punches follow, and Hulk beats Vince and Grenier, then hits the big boot and three legdrops for the pin. Post match, Shane comes down to check on his dad, and it?s premature as he doesn’t really come back for months. Sigh.

This match was better than it had any right to be, although that certainly doesn’t make it good. I can’t believe that a few people had it rated at *** or better. There was no speed, and no real moves, and it wasn’t even a brawl, which you’d think it might be. Just a bunch of stalling and a nice ladder spot. I?ve seen a lot better from both.

$2.00

-Through video, Stone Cold and The Rock?s feud is recapped. Again, they break kayfabe a LOT, as they talk about Austin walking out. Basically, I thought they should have just made this feud about their two previous Wrestlemania encounters, and no frills besides that. Simple storyline.. Austin believes he can beat the arrogant Rock anytime at Wrestlemania, and The Rock wants to finally get a win on him. Regardless, they always bring it when they face off with each other, and boy, am I excited for this match.

The Rock d. Stone Cold Steve Austin

Starts off just the way Austin/Rock should, with a wild brawl. Quickly, Austin looks for the Stunner, but Rock pushes off and bails. They take their brawl outside, with Austin absolutely dominating in the early stage. Finally, back in, Austin continues to control as he gets a back suplex (our first real move) for two. Unlike McMahon/Hogan, it just feels like they’re building and not stalling. After a choking session, Austin argues with Hebner and The Rock clips him from behind, so he bails and looks to be limping, so The Rock clips it again. And I like it, because, with two knee braces, clearly, Austin has had knee problems, so it makes sense for The Rock to attack it. As the action gets back into the ring, Rocky continues to work on the knee. The crowd is TOTALLY against him and for Austin.

Capitalizing on Austin?s injured knee, he locks on the Sharpshooter, but as is normal, it doesn’t even look remotely painful. Austin looks for the ropes, but gets dragged back into the middle. Second try for the ropes works. Rock slams Austin?s knee into the pole and then grabs his vest and puts it on, nice heel work. It just fires up Stone Cold, as they trade punches, and then hit the infamous double clothesline spot. After a small count, a Rock elbow is ducked, but on the rebound, Austin nails the Thesz press and about twenty right hands, much to the delight of the audience. Hits his elbow drop for two, then backs him into the corner and ?stomps a mudhole? into Rock?s chest. Rocky ducks two clotheslines, then gets a flying one of his own before kipping up to his feet. Man, that looks so good. He taunts the crowd, but turns around right into a Rock Bottom by Austin, but it takes him too long to get the cover and it only gets two.

As they both struggle to their feet, Austin looks for a Stunner, but his foot gets caught, he gets spun, and Rock nails one of his own. However, he can’t get there in time and a cover only gets two. Back up, Rock nails a few punches, and then spits in his hand, but the final punch is ducked and Austin nails the Stunner, sending Rock completely across the ring, flipping and flopping. That only gets two, however, as the Rock kicks out? of the Stunner? Crazy. He shoves Hebner out of the way, and while he?s turned, nails Austin with a low blow, dropping him to the mat. Slowly, he sets up for the People?s Elbow, but takes too much time and misses it. He?s back up quick, however, as he hits Austin with the spinebuster and this time nails the People?s Elbow, but THAT only gets two. Wow. Austin staggers up and walks into a Rock Bottom, but that?s right, it still only gets two. Another Rock Bottom try is elbowed out of, but Rocky finally gets it for only two, damn. Rock looks for ANOTHER Rock Bottom, hits it, and finally gets the three.

Wow, call me a sucker, but damn, that was a hell of a match. It started out as a wild brawl, then morphed into a crazy, dramatic sequence with some great false finishes. Both men kicked out of moves repeatedly they shouldn’t have, but it didn’t matter because it?s Austin/Rock at Wrestlemania. The drama was in full gear and was executed perfectly by two of the masters of it. Not quite a candidate for Match of the Year, but nothing to spit at either.

$12.50

-Just as we have for every match before, we get a video highlighting this feud. It of course starts at the Royal Rumble, that Lesnar won rather weakly. I liked this storyline simply because they signed the match (with Lesnar winning the Rumble), and then built the feud, instead of the other way around. I like it this way, as it makes more sense, honestly.. Brock gets a guaranteed shot at the title, Kurt wants to keep it, so they of course have problems. Moving on..

Brock Lesnar d. Kurt Angle to Capture the WWE Championship

Bigger reception for Kurt than Brock, but that?s to be expected. Nice extended amateur wrestling sequence to start, and I don’t know the technical names for any of the moves, but it ends in an armbar by Brock on Kurt, and he turns that into a headlock. Kurt nails a headscissors to get out of it, and they back off. Lockup turns into a go-behind and an amateur takedown by Lesnar, and a standing switch by Angle gets turned into an armdrag, but Brock headscissors out of that, only to walk into a headlock takeover that?s kept on. Brock powers out of that and hits a shoulder block, but gets tripped up and again we see an amateur wrestling sequence that ends in Kurt getting armdragged. Pretty nice stuff so far. Lesnar gets a back elbow, but walks into one by Kurt. He staggers back, but catches Angle with a nice powerslam.

Angles? back up quickly, though, nailing a German suplex, but Brock no-sells that and nails a stiff clothesline, so Kurt bails. However, that?s just a trap as he takes control, working on Brock?s previously injured ribs. Brock gets out of that with a press slam, but charges and eats boot (To the ribs? I guess he didn’t eat it then). As he?s staggering backwards, Kurt sneaks up behind him and nails a FUCKING GERMAN INTO THE TOP TURNBUCKLE! NASTY! He takes control, getting a back suplex for two and a floatover suplex also for two. To attack Brock?s ribs more, he locks on a modified bow-and-arrow, and eventually rolls that over into a rear naked choke. Brock gets out of that, however, but Angle locks on a chinlock. I love how Kurt keeps making the submissions less complicated, due to Lesnar getting out of them . He finally stands up, but Kurt piggybacks him and gets rammed into the turnbuckle. Quickly, he reverses and takes advantage with an overhead belly-to-belly and a high knee that sends Lesnar out of the ring.

Back in quickly, Lesnar hits a huge spinebuster, and they both are down. They brawl for a bit, with Lesnar gaining the advantage after a clothesline. He looks for a blind charge, but eats elbow, and again stumbles back, playing possum, before nailing two BEAUTIFUL overhead belly-to-bellys. Very nice. Kurt pops back up, however, and nails FOUR German suplexes. Knowing that Kurt?s neck was in as bad shape as it was, it?s hard to watch those moves, but he pulled them off fine, I suppose. Looks for the Angle Slam, but that?s reversed into the F-5, which is reversed into a modified STO and the Ankle Lock. Wow. Lesnar starts to get out, but Kurt reverses into a half-crab, although Brock quickly gets to the ropes. Kurt looks for a Nash-esque rope down slam, but gets dumped in a nasty spot. Bad on the neck.

Back in, Kurt starts to take advantage, but gets caught and nailed with a RELEASE GERMAN SUPLEX THAT SENT HIM 180 DEGREES AND HE LANDED ON HIS STOMACH!!!!!!!!! HOLY SHIT!!!!! Kurt then nails the Angle Slam, and Brock somehow kicks out.. too bad. That is a murderous combination. He looks for another Angle Slam, but Brock reverses that into a cradle, then holds on and stands up before nailing the F-5 for two.. wow, he kicked out? Damn. Quickly, Kurt locks on the Ankle Lock, and then modifies it by wrapping his leg around Brock?s, but he makes it to the ropes easily. Lesnar looks for another F-5, but Kurt rolls him up into a small package. Looks for the Angle Slam, but that?s reversed into a SECOND F-5, and he can’t get the pin right away. Instead, he goes to the top rope, and HOLY SHIT, he?s GOING TO HIT THE SHOOTING STAR PRESS. Oh my God. Kurt?s too far out.. WHOA BROCK STARTED TO TURN TOO LATE AND LANDED ON HIS HEAD! WHOA! KURT PINS BUT ONLY GOT TWO! That?s disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.. poor, poor, Brock.. he?s SO knocked loopy. Kurt is obviously pulling him around, leading him to bam, third F-5, and that finally wins it. After match, Kurt and Brock hug, but Lesnar obviously has NO clue where he is. None at all. He is so not there at all.

Definitely Brock?s best match to date, and it was crisp and nearly perfect, except that botched SSP. However, to the informed, Kurt was totally carrying Brock. And to think? he did that with a broken neck? Insane. Their amateur influence definitely helped this match as the extended amateur reversal sequences were SWEET. Brock?s future just looks brighter and brighter by the match, doesn’t it?

$17.00

PayPerValue Meter Total: $65.25

In Closing…

Although there have been better Wrestlemanias (X had two near perfect matches, plus an awesome build, and X7 had a completely stacked card), this one was nearly as good, I thought. As far as in-ring action goes, it was probably the best all-around, as some of the lower scores (women?s triple threat, cruiser title, Smackdown tag) were as a result of them not being given enough time, and not bad work. If I recall correctly, the show ended about 15-20 minutes early, and thus, each of the too short matches could have been longer, and even an additional match could have been added. Regardless, this PPV features three matches that I would have rated at **** or above, plus an additional 2 that are better than ***1/2. One of the best PPVs in a long time, this show represents a small promise in the often pathetic WWE PPV scene. Months later, it still holds up, and if you aren’t going to get the very awesome DVD, this is certainly worth getting a tape of.

Like this? Hate it? Love it? Hit me up at Berliner.10@osu.edu, on AIM at Savante OSU, or just leave it here. BIG ASS PROPS go to FTP Mike for the sweet banner, and just as many to Justin for making this happen. If you enjoy this, next, I have all the PPVs since ?Mania, and I’m either doing Backlash (chronologically next), or Vengenace (appears to be the best). Any suggestions would be sent to the appropriate places, or left here. Thanks for reading.

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