A complete chronological list of all of my reviews will be maintained here and updated whenever I post a new review.
WWE Old School intro.
Announcer Vince McMahon introduces the show.
Howard Finkel, sporting a powder blue suit and a full head of hair, is the ring announcer.
Jan Nelson vs. Jose Gonzalez. I assume this is the same Jose Gonzalez who would murder Bruiser Brody in a dirty bathroom 11 years later. He’s a big babyface here in New York. An “Old School Flashback” in the bottom right corner informs me that Kanye West was born this month, June 1977. That’s unfortunate for the world. But I digress. Gonzalez is the more experienced grappler, while Vince touts Nelson as a future star. I don’t know that Nelson ever lived up to that. Gonzalez makes the heel Nelson look foolish, and you can hear Nelson Muntz guffaw in the crowd more than a decade before The Simpsons debuted. Lots of good ol’ fashioned arm work in this match. as Nelson works an arm lock for several minutes. Gonzalez fights back with some arm wrangling of his own. Nelson quickly cuts him off and then beats him up. Gonzalez avoids a charge in the corner and makes his comeback. Gonzalez hits four dropkicks and scores the pin in 9:46. *3/4
Rocky Tomayo vs. Larry Zbyszko. Holy crap, Larry is young here. I’ve never heard of Rocky Tomayo. More basic, old fashined grappling. They actually do a bit of chain wrestling, which always makes me giddy. This is actually kind of fun. Larry is a fiery young babyface here, very quick to take Tomayo down and grab a hold. Of course, this is Larry Zbyszko, so there is some stalling. Tomayo endures a lot of trauma to his hamstrings. Larry catches Tomayo with an inside cradle for the pin in 7:30. Man, this referee counts slow. **1/4
Tony Garea vs. George “The Animal” Steele. Fiery young babyface Garea is ready to fight, which befuddles the Animal. Steele stalls a bit, then gets the advantage on Garea by wrestling heelishly. Garea makes a fiery comeback. The referee DQ’s Steele in 7:22 for hitting Garea with a foreign object. Steele continues to lay the beating on. Garea rallies and runs the big man off. **
2/3 Falls: Ken Patera & Nikolai Volkoff (w/ Captain Lou Albano) vs. Andre the Giant & Chief Jay Strongbow. The babyfaces run Albano off during the introductions. This seems to be a grudge match. Patera stalls a long time before getting in the ring to start the match. Vince calls Strongbow a “fired up redskin.” The ’70s were a different time. Strongbow gets Patera in his own hold, the full nelson. Patera escapes. Andre tags in and puts Patera in the full nelson. Patera manages to make the ropes. Volkoff tags in. The heels try to cut off Andre in their corner, but Andre is a giant, so he’s like “fuck that.” Strongbow comes in. Volkoff puts a hurting on him briefly. Andre tags in and bear hugs Volkoff. Volkoff gets free, but Andre punches him the face. Strongbow tags back in and gets caught on the wrong side of town. Andre gets a hot tag at point, but the referee didn’t see it. Heels continue getting the heat on Strongbow. Andre finally gets the tag and runs… well, he doesn’t really run wild, but he wrecks shit like a destructive giant briefly. Clusterfuck breaks out, largely involving Strongbow running into Andre, causing him to shoulder block both heels in the corner. Andre goes for a big splash on Patera, but Patera avoids certain death and makes the tag. Strongbow comes in with a big babyface flurry and locks Volkoff in a sleeper hold. Patera saves, but gets his man DQ’d in 13:46. My stream turns shitty, which is just lovely. After I get it straightened out, Volkoff and Patera get into it at ringside. Presumably, Volkoff is pissed that Patera cost them the fall. Insta-commercials. Strongbow and Volkoff start the second fall. Andre hold Volkoff for Strongbow to hit him, which is illegal. The heels are still not getting along. Patera shoves Volkoff. Volkoff takes a swing at him. Volkoff goes to leave the ring, but Patera clubber his back from behind. Patera leaves. Andre gives Volkoff a big boot and a splash for the pin in a little over two minutes. Finkel gives the total time as 16:25. Fun match. **3/4
Lenny Hurst vs. Stan “The Man” Stasiak. This is Hurst’s MSG debut. I wonder if he ever made it back. Stasiak is a former WWWF Champion, and the father of a guy who would someday run into shit in backstage segments. Stasiak is from Buzzard Creek, Oregon, which is a great name for a wrestling hometown. Vince touts the 225 lb Hurst as the lightest wrestler in the WWWF. I’ll bet he wishes that were still the case today. Anyway, Stasiak is the ornery old heel, Hurst is the fiery young babyface, and they work the match accordingly. Hurst delivers a dropkick that sends Stasiak to the apron. Stasiak comes back in and puts a beating on the young man. Hursts makes his comeback, then eats a boot to the face. Stasiak lands the heart punch for the pin in 7:55. **
Vince interviews WWWF Champion “Superstar” Billy Graham (w/ The Grand Wizard) in the ring prior to his match. I’m almost certain I’ve seen this interview before. “I am the man of the hour, the man with the power, the man too sweet to be sour.”
WWWF Heavyweight Championship Match: “Superstar” Billy Graham (c) (w/ The Grand Wizard) vs. Bruno Sammartino (w/ Arnold Skaaland). Bruno has a mustache and a Jew fro here. I think this is 2 months after Graham took the title from Bruno in Baltimore. Graham taunts Bruno with the belt, and by god, Bruno wants that belt back. The beauty of this is that Graham cheated Bruno out of his belt, so Bruno is PISSED OFF and wants it back. He does not laugh it off and talk about how championships come and go. Bruno attacks Graham to jumpstart the match and MSG comes UNGLUED. Graham manages to subdue Bruno with a full nelson. Vince notes that this hold is attacking Bruno’s neck, which was broken not all that long ago by Stan Hansen. Bruno reverses it and almost puts the champ down with it. Graham manages to avoid having his arm drop the third time and gets to his feet, but Bruno keeps the hold. Graham finally manages to get free and takes a powder. Graham comes back and manages to get the advantage, putting pressure on Bruno’s back and arms. Bruno again reverses Graham’s hold and puts the pressure on him. Graham manages to get some momentum going and puts the boots to Bruno. They work a bear hug for a bit. Bruno takes a spill to the outside, and Graham tries to keep him there. Bruno gets back in and goes on the attack. Graham begs off to no avail. Graham rallies, but knocks down the referee in the process. The guys brawl and the referee tries to break it up, only to get taken down repeatedly. The ref finally calls for the bell in 18:15. It’s a double DQ. Fun strong guy match. **3/4
Baron Von Raschke (w/ Freddie Blassie) vs. Ivan Putski. Putski’s beer belly is a little bit less prominent here than on the last show I saw. Raschke is announced as the “European Heavyweight Champion” 20 years before the WWF actually created a European Championship. These two went to a 20 minute draw previously, so now we’ve got a 30 minute time limit. Oh dear. Blassie is taken to the back before the match starts, for some reason. Raschke has a gimmick in his hand. Putski informs the referee of such. Raschke successfully conceals it on his person. They finally lock up after a lot of stalling. They also work the lockup for a long time. This is going to be a long one. Raschke with some desultory leg work. Putski with a rear chin lock, then transitions into some kind of wonky head scissors hold. Putski finally wakes up and shows some babyface fire. They go back and forth a bit. It goes to a 30 minute time limit draw in 19:13. I don’t care if they lied about the time, I missed some editing, or what. I don’t need to see these two wrestle for another minute ever. Putski, that son of a bitch, calls for one more minute. They brawl a bit. Raschke takes a powder. Long and boring. *3/4
Baron Mikel Scicluna vs. “High Chief” Peter Maivia. Maivia is making his MSG debut. His now-five year old grandson would later go on to some success in pro wrestling and Hollywood. Scicluna gets the jump on him. Maivia quickly rallies and kicks some ass. Scicluna tries to use an object, but fails. Maivia avoids Scicluna in the corner and pins him with a prawn hold in 1:08. It’s announced at 2:09, which is a lie. DUD
2/3 Falls: Dominic Denucci & Haystacks Calhoun vs. Mr. Fuji & Professor Toru Tanaka. Calhoun’s kayfabe hometown is Morgan’s Corner, Arkansas, which endears him to me. I know of all of these guys, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of them wrestle. Denucci and Tanaka brawl. Denucci applies a full nelson and allows Calhoun to hit a lackadaisical punch. Tanaka beats on Denucci a bit. Denucci fires back with Mongolian chops. Fuji tags in and hits a “Kamikazi Necktie” (think Sling Blade) for the pin in 3:06. Denucci makes a comeback as the second fall starts. Tanaka and Fuji double team Denucci in the corner. Calhoun comes in to help out, but only distracts the referee. We’ve got a curfew draw in 1:00 of the second fall! Calhoun comes in to beat the heels up for a bit, having never actually tagged in to the match. Fuji & Tanaka win the match, having won the only fall in a 2/3 falls match. 3/4*
And there’s another 1970s WWWF show from the Network. There’s one more show from the 70s, then we’ll move into the 80s.
“WWE Old School” opening. This is from the WWE Network.
Straight to the ring introductions for our first match. A young Vince McMahon is the play-by-play man. I have know idea who the ring announcer is, but he does the old school “repeat the guy’s last name” thing that Ken Anderson would turn into a gimmick 30 years later.
Paul “Butcher” Vachon vs. “Indian” Jay Strongbow. Yes, “Indian” Jay Strongbow. The ’70s were a different time. Neither of these guys are what you’d call “in shape” by modern standards, but Strongbow is actively flabby. The match is slow, plodding, and exactly what you’d expect from 1970s WWWF. Vachon spends an impressive amount of time working a hold on the neck muscles. Strongbow comes back and slams him around. Vachon heels on Strongbow some more. Vachon bites Strongbow, which is about as heelish as you can get. Vachon gets a near fall, but pulls Strongbow up at 2. He is immediately shown to have been a fool, as he shoots Strongbow into the ropes, but Strongbow catches him with a Thesz press for the pin in 6:26. **
Texas Style Match for the WWWF Heavyweight Championship: Bruno Sammartino (c) (w/ Arnold Skaaland) vs. Spiros Arion (w/ Freddie Blassie). Main event time! You see, back now, the WWWF always puts the champion on before intermission at MSG, so they can announce the main event for the next card prior to the last match. This is announced as a “Texas Style Match,” which I assume means it’s a Texas Death Match. Despite that stipulation, the referee still checks the wrestlers for weapons. Arion takes advantage of the situation by jumping Bruno before the bell, but Bruno immediately rallies and kicks his ass. Arion cuts him off and gets the heat briefly. The style here is pretty realistic, as they largely just kick the shit out of each other. The momentum swings back and forth. Maybe I’m imagining this, but there seems to be a lot of emphasis on liver/kidney attacks and blows to the lower back, which I enjoy a lot. Bruno makes a big comeback with hip tosses and body slams. Arion cuts him off, but Bruno comes back again with another body slam for the pinfall in 11:52. Arion’s foot was in the bottom rope, but the referee didn’t see it. I assume that will lead to a rematch. I also don’t know what was “Texas” about this match. The match time is announced as 14:52. Either they’re lying, or exactly 3 minutes was cut out of this. **1/2
Killer Kowalski (w/ The Grand Wizard) vs. Victor Rivera. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Kowalski wrestle. He’s very lanky. The original tape here skips and goes wonky at a couple of points early. Kowalski works the knee. He’s a rather vicious fellow. Rivera attacks Kowalski’s shoulder when the match is going in his favor. At one point, Rivera gets Kowalski tied up in the ropes and beats him up a bit. Kowalski breaks free and bites Rivera. They brawl a bit. Then they bite each other. Kowalski bites Rivera again, and the ref calls for the DQ (13:04 shown). So you’re allowed three bites until you get DQ’d? Rivera is announced as the winner in 15:50-something. *3/4
The Wolfman vs. Ivan Putski. I have no idea who the Wolfman is. Vince refers to Putski as a “one man gang.” He also states that this is Putski’s wrestling debut. I cannot confirm for deny. Putski is 275 lbs., and most of that is his beer gut. I miss fat wrestlers. Putski grabs a headlock and hammers Wolfman in the head. Repeat. Putski with a shoulder block. Wolfman cuts him and wins on him briefly. Putski fights back with punches and headbutts. Wolfman with bites and claws. Putski retaliates in kind. They beat on each other some more. Putski gets the bear hug for the win in 5:51. Fun little mean guy match. ** Wolfman tries to attack Putski after the match, but gets punched in the face. The match time is announced at 6:45. Again, I didn’t notice any editing. Putski drinks beer in the ring 20 years ahead of Steve Austin.
This was interesting. Obviously, modern WWE is very different from 1975 WWWF, but fundamentally, they are very much alike. The psychology of the Bruno match was much like a John Cena match today, and as I mentioned before, the show closed with a beer drinking, working man-type babyface.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.
This one’s for you, Biscuit.
The show starts with words from the Rumble participants. We are LIVE on iPPV!
Brad Stutts and Amber Gertner are on commentary.
CWF Mid-Atlantic Television Championship Match: Trevor Lee (c) (w/ Chet Sterling & CWF Mid-Atlantic Rising Generation League Champion Ben Tyler) vs. Matty De Nero (w/ Donnie Dollars). According to Stutts, Lee is 19 years old. I think that De Nero (a member of Fatback Enterprises) is the babyface. He hits a cannonball dive onto Lee’s cornermen. He then takes his shirt off, which frightens young Trevor Lee. Lee’s cornermen interfere and get T-bone suplexes for their trouble. Chet Sterling puts an object in Lee’s kickpad, allowing him to KO De Nero and get the pin in 4:24. A little short, but I guess they’ve got the long Rumble coming later.
“Hurricane” Shane Helms appears via video. He talks about going all over the world.
ArenaChicks Tournament Match: “The Rate Tank” Kellie Skater vs. Sassy Stephie. Both of these girls are in the same stable, so the manager comes out with both of them. They wrestle a bit, then accuse each other of cheating and start choking each other. The Coach tries to get them to make up, but they go at each other even more viciously. Stephie does the “hump the other girl’s face into the mat” deal, which always amuses me. The Coach has a whistle, but at least he’s not being Bill Alfonso and blowing it constantly. Coach Gemini? Is that the guy’s name? He keeps switching jerseys based on whoever has the advantage at a given moment. Skater counters Stephie’s “Kiss My Sass” and locks in an ankle lock. Stephie gets a rope break. Skater gets a reverse cradle, but get caught holding the tights. Stephie cuts it back, doesn’t get caught holding the tights, and gets the pin in 10:58. Chasity Taylor(?) tries to interview Skater, but gets shoved down for her trouble.
Commercial for the next iPPV, Ultimate Survivor.
CWF Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Title Match: The Killbillies (c) (w/ Bobby Jo Neil) vs. The Dawson Brothers. The Killbillies are undefeated as a team for 10 months. The Dawsons have apparently won several tag titles in North Carolina, but this one. Evan Banks annoys Zane Dawson my touching his impressive beard, and Zane kicks his ass. Killbillies cut Zane off and work him over. The Dawsons try to cut Banks off, but fail. The Killbillies do not fail to cut off Zane again. Zane knocks Aric Andrews out of the ring, where Dave Dawson outs a hurting on him. The Dawsons get the heat on Andrews. Aric Andrews is an awesome face in peril. Evan Banks gets the hot tag and RUNS WILD~! Dave Dawson grabs Bobby Jo Neil at ringside and gets PBR spit in his face. Evans hits Zane with a knee trembler and a spear for the pin in 14:42. My new favorite tag team, the Killbillies, retain! Good formulaic tag match, very fun.
Video explaining the next match. It’s a bounty match. Coach Gemini has put a bounty on Arik Royal, and Jake Manning is thinking about taking it.
“The Man Scout” Jake Manning (w/ Freight Train) vs. Arik Royal. Manning is a boy scout, but he’s a man, so… he’s a man scout. Will the fine, upstanding man scout do the dastardly thing and injure Arik Royal? Manning offers a handshake. Royal declines. They have a clean sporting match. Manning is apparently a father/big brother figure for Freight Train, a large black man who seems sort of… special. They start clubberin’ each other. Royal injures his knee. Coach Gemini comes out to wave the money in Manning’s face. Manning appears to take the deal, as he attacks Royal’s knee. Manning applies a figure-four leglock. Coach Gemini distracts the referee. Manning grabs a chair and threatens to Pillmanize Royal’s leg. Freight Train tells Manning not to do it. Manning throws out the chair and goes for the figure-four. Royal cradles him for 2, then kicks him in the face for the pin in 11:51. My second favorite match of the night so far. Gemini berates Manning. Freight Train comes in and gives him a hilariously gentle forearm, then takes the money. Royal and Freight Train help Manning up.
Chiva Kid and Ray Kandrack promos.
CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship Match: Ray Kandrack (c) vs. Chiva Kid. Chiva Kid is the much smaller man. He’s impressive too. Nice springboard headbutt followed by a standing Shooting Star press. SUICIDE DIVE BY CHIVA KID! Kandrack clotheslines Chiva Kid and the apron and Kid does a 360 bump to the floor. Awesome. Kandrack hip tosses Chiva into the post. Freaking OUCH. Oklahoma Stampede gets 2 for the champion. I’m digging this match. Chiva’s bumping like a madman. Great big man/little man match. Headbutt battle! Chiva Kid makes a comeback and escapes Kandrack’s finish, the Ray Gun (Death Valley Driver). Chiva’s hurting, but he’s still in it. SHOOTING STAR PRESS! KANDRACK KICKED OUT! I thought that was it. Kandrack ducks a kick and hits the Ray Gun for the… 2 or 3? The referee decides that it was 2. The match continues! Kandrack is NOT HAPPY. CHIVA KID HITS A DRAGONRANA FROM THE RAFTERS! And it’s only 2! Crowd is HOT for this. COME ON CHIVA! Chiva knocks Kid down and goes up top again. Chiva CRASHES AND BURNS. Kandrack hits the Gamma Ray for the pin in 13:59. This match RULED!
Now they’re airing a match from Britannia Wrestling Promotions England.
PWI/BWP World Catchweight Championship Match: “The Toxic Terror” Alex Cyanide (c) vs. Shaun “The Hammer” Davis. Clipped. They beat on each other inside a ridiculously tiny ring. Cyanide is a rather large bloke. Cyanide hits a powerbomb and 2 big splashes, but doesn’t cover. Davis hits a chokeslam off the middle rope. It’s a double KO. At least it’s over. What was the point of this? Just to kill ten minutes?
They show some photos of Jake Manning and somebody going to England to interview Dynamite Kid. Depressing.
Comments from Rumble participants. And now it’s Rumble time! Cory Edsel explains how a Rumble works, just in case you’ve never watched Pro Wrestling before.
30-Person CWF Rumble: #1 is Chase Dakota. #2 is Jason (not Mayhem) Miller. Dakota narrowly survives early elimination. Sweet sit out full nelson face buster by Miller. #3 is Chet Sterling. Miller destroys him. Miller hits a belly to belly on Dakota and Sterling at the same time. He throws them both out. Sterling is out, but Dakota saves himself again. #4 is Sassy Stephie, substituting for someone. Stephie and Dakota work together. Being slapped by Stephie only pisses Miller off. #5 is Mark James, who promptly beats the shit out of Chase Dakota. James sets Stephie on the apron. She slaps him. James pie faces her off the apron, then returns to beating up Dakota. Apparently James and Miller are tag team partners. #6 is CWF Mid-Atlantic Television Champion Trevor Lee, who promptly falls victim to a double spinebuster. James and Lee pair off, as do Miller and Dakota. #7 is Jesse Ortega, who helps from the floor to eliminate Miller. Miller attacks him, but is held back by the officials. Mark James tosses Ortega out so Miller can kick his ass. #8 is Solomon Spades, Dakota’s mentor. Lee bails while Spade and Dakota go after James. James gets the better off them and Lee Pearl Harbors him. James deals with him as well. #9 is Donnie Dollars, who cleans house. Joe Black appears and attacks Dollars, who tosses him. Dollars eliminates Dakota and Spades. Lee and Dollars face off. Lee took the TV title from Dollars last month with help from Spades and Dakota. #10 is CWF Mid-Atlantic Rising Generation League Champion and Lee’s partner, Ben Tyler. Dollars kicks both of their asses. #11 is Michael McAllister. His music is “I’m sexy and I know it,” so I hate him. Jason Miller and Jesse Ortega reappear, still fighting. #12 is “Ice Man” Joe Storm, who brings some plunder to the party. Storm plays the role of the poor man’s Sandman/Tommy Dreamer and has fun with weapons. #13 is Mecha Mercenary, who no sells Storm’s Singapore cane shots and throws him out. Mecha eliminates Donnie Dollars with a clothesline. The remaining guys in the ring, all heels, try to avoid him. #14 is Ty Dillinger, who attacks McAllister with a club and tosses him out. Dillingers backs into Mecha and tries to whack him with the club. That fails, but he grabs Mecha’s beard and lands some punches. Mecha tosses him. The Fun Athletic Guys (Lee and Tyler) dance around like goofballs and try to avoid Mecha’s wrath. #15 is Matt Smith, who runs wild on the heels in the ring before he gets powerbombed by Mecha. Trevor Lee barely avoids elimination. Smith hits a Northern Lights suplex and a Shining Wizard on Tyler, then gets killed by Mecha. #16 is Kamakazi Kid, who unexpectedly helps Mecha. Kazi takes his mask off. It’s CECIL SCOTT! The real Kazi appears and kicks his ass before being forced to the back. #17 is Amber O’Neal. Lee tries to kiss her. She throws glitter in his eyes. She gives Ben Tyler a stink face, then rams Lee’s head into Tyler’s balls. She gives them both a bronco buster. Mecha grabs her. #18 is Freight Train, who faces off with Mecha and gives him some love taps. Amber O’Neal gives Cecil Scott an X Factor, then Freight Train whips him and O’Neal low bridges him out of the ring. Dammit. Mecha eliminates Freight Train. #19 is Roy Wilkins. O’Neal grabs Lee’s and Tyler’s balls. Wilkins kicks her in the face and the Fun Athletic Guys eliminate her. Matt Smith eliminates Mecha Mercenary! Smith is fired up! #20 is Marcellus King. The Fun Athletic Guys attack him and get their asses kicked. King eliminates both of them. Smith and King beat up Roy Wilkins. #21 is Walter Eaton, Wilkins’ tag team partner. Smith is eliminated by Eaton and Wilkins. #22 is Devin Dalton. He’s a U.S. Marine, and he kicks ass like one. #23 is Nick Richards, who goofs off with King. #24 is Ric Converse. King waits for him, but Eaton nails him from behind. This only pisses King off, but the distraction allows Converse to eliminate King. Converse gives Dalton the Richter Scale, and Eaton tosses him. #25 is Chris Lea, who the crowd loves, and who immediately goes after Converse. Lea slips on a springboard, but catches Converse and dropkicks him to the apron. Eaton kills Lea with a clotheslines. #26 is Matty De Nero, who has a power gauntlet. What? IT WORKS! He punches the mat and knocks everyone down. Awesome. #27 is “The Rate Tank” Kellie Skater. De Nero gives her the power glove, and she throws it away and attacks him. De Nero decks her and teases eliminating her. Skater throws him out of the ring onto the ramp to eliminate him. #28 is Chiva Kid! He and Skater go at it. He’s still selling his back from earlier. Awesome. He tries to springboard, but Skater kicks him off the apron to the floor. #29 is Kamakazi Kid for real this time. He kills Skater with an uppercut and tosses her out. Cecil Scott and Mecha Mercenary reappear to attack Kazi. “The Boogie Woogie Man” Rob McBride appears to get rid of Mecha and Scott. #30 is Steve Greene, who seems to be both a surprise and a huge deal. Greene cleans house. Eaton and Wilkins eliminate him. Kazi and Lea go at it. Kazi hits a Frankensteiner. Lea hits the Eat Defeat (Soul Food), and Eaton eliminates Kazi. Converse and Lea brawl again. We’re down to five. Lea counters the Richter Scale and eliminates Converse. Apparently this is Lea’s pro debut. Impressive. Final four are Lea, Eaton, Wilkins, and Richards. Lea and Wilkins struggle to eliminate each other. Wilkins and Eaton eliminate him with a dropkick. Eaton and Wilkins are left with Richards. Stutts keeps calling them the Goon Squad. Is that their actual name? They put a beating on Richards. Goons set up a Doomsday Device. Richards fights out and gives Eaton a butterfly suplex off the top, then gives Eaton an avalanche-style backdrop suplex! Double clothesline! Richards is FIRED UP! Double DDT! The Goons cut him off and put a beating on him. Goons go for the Gang Bang. Richards counters out and hits a cutter on Wilkins. Richards manages to toss Eaton. Wilkins throws Richards out through the ropes. Eaton attacks him at ringside and gives him a sit-out Pedigree on the floor. Richards comes back in. Wilkins tries to eliminate him. Richards pulls him to the apron, a dangerous place to fight. Wilkins sends Richards into the post and to the floor to win it in 56:27. Damn. Fun Rumble. They really had me hooked at the end. Goons celebrate.
The show ends with a Killbillies promo, which is perfectly fine with me. Ultimate Survivor, November 17!
Very fun show, very much worth the $10. I’m glad I could support CWF Mid-Atlantic’s first iPPV.
I’m trying something different here. I don’t get to write reviews often anymore due to being a very stressed college senior, but every now and then I get the chance to watch a little bit of Pro Wrestling and would like to share my thoughts on it. So, from time to time, I may post what I’m calling a diary with short thoughts on whatever I happen to watch that day. Full show reviews may still happen in the future, if I ever have free time again.
I picked the the ECW Unreleased Vol. 1 Blu-ray recently, and this evening I’m taking a few hours off from stressing about life, the universe, and everything to enjoy it for a bit.
Former ECW announcer and current WWE.com guy Joey Styles is hosting this thing.
NWA World Heavyweight Championship Tournament – Final: ECW Heavyweight Champion “The Franchise” Shane Douglas vs. 2 Cold Scorpio (Hardcore TV, August 27, 1994). This was the night Extreme Championship Wrestling was born. Douglas and Scorpio had a very watchable little back and forth wrestling match, which Douglas won with a belly to belly suplex in 12:52 after Scorpio missed a moonsault. But the post-match promo is where it’s at. Douglas refuses the title, saying the NWA is a dead organization. He instead declares his ECW title to be a World title. Soon after, Eastern Championship Wrestling became Extreme Championship Wrestling.
Tommy Dreamer vs. Raven (w/ Stevie Richards & Beulah McGillicutty) (Hostile City Showdown, April 15, 1995). Fun little brawl. Raven gives Dreamer 3 consecutive DDTs, but Dreamer kicks out. Dreamer DDTs Raven on the floor, but Stevie interferes. Dreamer DDTs Stevie and the referee, then Beulah runs in. Dreamer gives her a piledriver and Philadelphia, apparently big fans of domestic violence, love it. Raven is announced as the winner by DQ. Joey Styles puts it over as a moral victory for Dreamer. Stevie carries Beulah to the back instead of allowing her to be stretchered.
Joey Styles puts over the workrate guys like Dean Malenko and Eddie Guerrero who got their first shot in the United States in ECW.
2 Cold Scorpio & Dean Malenko vs. ECW World Television Champion Eddie Guerrero & Taz (w/ Paul E. Dangerously) (Heat Wave, 7/15/95). The audio on some of these is pretty bad. You can hear the announcer, but not the guys talking on the microphone. So the banter before this match is completely lost on me. This reminds me, I used to love Taz. There’s something awesome about a short, stout guy who’s a total ass kicker. If this isn’t the match where Taz broke his neck, it’s the same configuration of guys. 3 minutes in Eddie and Malenko tag in and start chain wrestling and I vomit rainbows in joy. Scorpio and Taz have an awesome mat exchange that ends with Scorpio getting suplexed out of his boots. For that matter, every combination of these guys is awesome, but Malenko and Eddie are two of my favorite wrestlers of all time. Malenko puts Taz in a Sharpshooter that Joey Styles misidentifies as a Texas Cloverleaf. I expect better from you, Joey! I love how they’re working a really good wrestling match, but not at such a fast pace that you can’t digest anything. Eddie hits a brainbuster that Malenko sells awesomely by convulsing like he just had a seizure. He apparently still has feeling in his body, because he managed to kick out of the frog splash that followed. Determined to paralyze Malenko, Eddie dropkicks him off the top turnbuckle to the floor. Taz and Eddie hit a dropkick Doomsday Device. That’s kind of neat. Another Malenko/Eddie exchange with another misidentified Sharpshooter. Have I forgotten what a Texas Cloverleaf is? Okay, I googled it. Looks like I’m the idiot. Sorry, Joey. Scorpio hits a dive to the floor. Malenko tries to do one, but appears to lose his nerve and goes with an elbow smash off the apron. More dives. Paul E. hits Scorpio with the cell phone. Taz hits a head-arm suplex for the pin. State appointed referee Bill Alfonso orders the match restarted. Scorpio superkicks Taz and Malenko hits the Tiger Driver on Eddie. Alfonso fast counts the double pin to give it to Malenko and Scorpio in about 20 minutes. This was pretty damned good, much to the surprise of no one.
ECW World Television Championship Match: “The Shooter” Dean Malenko (c) vs. Eddie Guerrero (Hardcore TV, July 28, 1995). This match is great. Seeing wrestlers of this caliber bust their asses for the sake of having a good match reminds me why I love professional wrestling. Guerrero catches Malenko with a jackknife hold for the pin to recapture the title 11:47.
Joey Styles puts over Cactus Jack, always my favorite face of Foley.
Cactus Jack vs. “The Franchise” Shane Douglas (CyberSlam, 2/17/96). Douglas jumps Cactus, who is wearing a jacket and tie for some reason. That quickly goes, but Cactus is wearing a shirt underneath. Good. I’ve never seen Mick Foley shirtless, and I never want to. The referee is Brian Hildebrand (aka Mark Curtis), God rest him. Cactus is wearing the “Forgive me, Uncle Eric” shirt that I remember reading about in his first book. Joey notes that Cactus didn’t come to wrestle tonight, hence the jacket, tie, and cowboy boots. They brawl. Crutches, guardrails, and chairs come into play. Douglas hits a dive from the top rope into the crowd onto Cactus. I’ve never seen that out of him. Cactus does the “spit in the air and catch it in his mouth” bit, which is disgusting. Joey Styles calls it “Vintage Cactus Jack” here in 1996, so fuck you, Michael Cole. The referee hands Douglas an international object, which Douglas clocks Cactus with. They’re handcuffs! Douglas handcuffs Cactus and picks up a chair. Cactus tries to fight back, but gets murdered in the face with a chair not as badly as he did with The Rock at Royal Rumble 1999, but still… Cactus calls for help from Vince McMahon (this was right before Foley went to the WWF). Since Vince doesn’t come out to help, Cactus calls for Mikey Whipwreck. Douglas is trying to make Foley say “I Quit.” So this really IS like Rumble ’99. Douglas locks in a figure-four leglock. Mikey Whipwreck runs in with a chair and… murders Cactus in the face with it. Hildebrand counts the pin while Cactus is still in the figure-four in 15:42. This was fun.
“Lion Heart” Chris Jericho vs. 2 Cold Scorpio (The Doctor Is In, 8/3/96). There’s too much dancing in Scorpio’s entrance for my enjoyment. I don’t know anything about dancing, so I don’t know if it’s even good or not. This must have been one of Jericho’s last matches before going to WCW. Good wrestling here. Jericho goes a really wonky submission hold that even Joey can’t identify. Crowd chants “This show sucks!” I have no idea why. They do some near falls. Scorpio kicks Jericho out of the ring to the floor and says he’s going to finish him. Jericho stays in the game, though. Jericho tries to spring off the top and hit Scorpio on the apron, but eats the floor instead. Scorpio hits a diving leg drop that I thought might be the finish, but Jericho’s got some fight left. Jericho hits his rebound from the turnbuckle into a dropkick to the apron deal. There should be an easier way to say that. Scorpio hits a sunset flip powerbomb off the top that wins i… NO! OMGWTF JERICHO KICKED OUT. More counters and near falls. They do some mildly crazy bumps, such as when Jericho powerslams Scorpio off the top rope. Scorpio hits a Tombstone Piledriver and a Shooting Star press for the pin in 19:58. Okay, yeah, this was pretty good.
Joey Styles talks about Sabu.
Tables & Ladders Match for the ECW World Tag Team Championship: The Eliminators (c) vs. Sabu & Rob Van Dam (CyberSlam, 2/22/97). Saturn says the winners of this match will be the best team in the world. That’s a stretch. Tables and ladders are legal in this match, so of course, RVD and Saturn start with back and forth wrestling while the partners stand politely on the apron. They start bringing in the plunder and taking crazy bumps at around the 7 minute mark. With these bumps into ladders, it’s no wonder Perry Saturn has always been a bit touched in the head. Saturn splashes Van Dam off a ladder. Sabu kicks the ladder into Kronus, then puts him through a table at ringside. Joey with the classic “OH MY GOD!” The Eliminators keep the title when Kronus pins RVD after 2 Total Eliminations in 20:40. Wild and fun.
And now, a brief digression. I was chatting with a friend on Facebook (shout out, Shawn!) about memories of early 2000s wrestling and the time that Triple H defended the WWF title against TAKA Michinoku on Raw popped into my head. I searched YouTube, and…
WWF Championship Match: Triple H (c) (w/ Shane McMahon & WWF Women’s Champion Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) vs. TAKA Michinoku (w/ Funaki & The Acolytes) (RAW IS WAR, 4/10/00). TAKA is a mystery opponent. He hires the Acolyte Protection Agency to watch his back and they immediately run off Shane McMahon. This match is all kinds of fun. TAKA gets his shine and Jim Ross convinces you that he has a shot to win the WWF title. It doesn’t help that Hunter is being a real shit ass to referee Earl Hebner. Earl lets it go when Funaki dropkicks Triple H into the APA and the APA beat the hell out of him. Vince and Shane McMahon come out and distract the Acolytes. The Big Boss Man and Bull Buchanan Pearl Harbor TAKA’s protectors, and Hunter hits the Pedigree for the pin in 5:53. The dastardly heels put the boots to The Acolytes. Man, this was fun and brought back fond memories of being a 12 year old WWF mark.
I’ve had a rough week and felt pretty miserable about life a few hours ago. This heaping does of pro wrestling nostalgia was exactly what I needed. I hope to find some free time again soon to watch the rest of the ECW set and the new CM Punk release.
New WWE open, which debuted on the 1,000th Raw. Intro video for the 25th SummerSlam, which isn’t the 25th anniversary, but is billed as such because WWE doesn’t know how anniversaries work. Pyro and ballyhoo. We are LIVE from Los Angeles! Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler are the announcers.
Vickie Guerrero comes out to scream at us. I guess that means Ziggler vs. Jericho is up first. They show clips of Ziggler winning the Money In The Bank Ladder Match last month. Jericho comes out and they show a clip of Ziggler injuring Jericho’s ribs this past Smackdown. Justin Roberts is a ring announcer.
Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vickie Guerrero) vs. Chris Jericho. Jericho is sporting taped ribs from the aforementioned attack. Ziggler runs around the ring and Jericho gives chase. Back inside, Jericho catches him with an elbow smash and beats him up a bit. Ziggler does a drop down and a leap frog, but Jericho catches him with a chop. Ziggler avoids a suplex and attacks the injured ribs. Jericho gets a reprieve by back body dropping Ziggler to the floor. He goes for his rebound dropkick to the apron, but fails and eats the floor as Ziggler makes it back into the ring. Ziggler continues to punish the ribs. Vickie is obnoxious at ringside. Ziggler hits a Rude Awakening, complete with gyrating hips, then pulls a Jericho classic on foot cover for 2. Jericho gets whipped into the ropes, but catches Ziggler with a schoolboy for 2. Ziggler charges Jericho in the corner, eats it, and Jericho gets a brief flurry. Ziggler charges the corner again and eats Jericho’s boot. Jericho follows with a diving elbow smash. Ziggler sends Jericho into the post, then hits the Fameasser for 2. Jericho goes for the Walls of Jericho, fails, but lands an enzuigiri for 2. Ziggler avoids Jericho in the corner, jumps on his back, and clamps on the sleeper hold. Jericho backs Ziggler into the corner to escape. Ziggler kicks him in the ribs and goes up top. Jericho cuts him off, pounds on him, and hits a top rope Frankensteiner~! Delayed cover gets 2. Ziggler catches Jericho out of nowhere with a swank DDT for 2. They trade shots. Jericho hits the bulldog and goes for the Lionsault. Ziggler catches him in the injured ribs with raised knees, then hits the Zig Zag, but Jericho kicks out! Jericho catches Ziggler with the Codebreaker. Ziggler rolls to the floor. Jericho throws Ziggler back into the ring. Vickie grabs Jericho’s leg, allowing Ziggler to get an inside cradle for 2. Jericho sends Ziggler into the post and locks in the Walls of Jericho. Ziggler taps in 13:06. Yes, Jericho won, but is this really “the big one?” It made sense when Jericho did this angle with The Rock in 2001 and won the World title, but is the opening match of SummerSlam the same thing? Good match, though.
Slim Jim commercial.
They show Brock Lesnar destroying Shawn Michaels on Raw last week.
Matt Striker interviews Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. Well, Paul does all of the talking.
Lillian Garcia is also a ring announcer. The Spanish announcers, Carlos Cabrera and Marcelo Rodriguez, are present as well.
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane. Kane has his dukes up, which amuses me. Bryan kicks at the larger man’s legs. Kane catches a kick and throws him down. Bryan avoids an elbow and kicks him some more. Kane punches him a bit. Bryan backflips off the top rope, then gets slammed for 2. Kane stomps Bryan in the corner. Fans are chanting for Bryan. Bryan fails at a reverse cradle and eats a big boot. Cover gets 2 for Kane. Bryan kicks at Kane’s knee some more. Kane nonchalantly choke throws Bryan out of the ring. Bryan gets back in as Kane comes out and takes him out with a tope suicide. Back inside, Bryan hits a missile dropkick for 2. Bryan lands more kicks as the crowd chants “YES!” Kane ducks a critical blow and lands a clothesline. Kane hits a sidewalk slam for 2. Kane hits the diving lariat and goes for the chokeslam. Bryan counters out and rolls to the apron, pulls Kane’s head over the top rope, then comes back in to eat a punch. Bryan slaps Kane defiantly. Kane beats the crap out of him in the corner until the referee forces a break. Bryan takes the opportunity and goes on the offensive. He goes for the LeBell/Yes/No Lock, fails, and settles for kicking Kane in the chest. He gets annoyed at the “YES!” chants and goes for the diving headbutt. Kane catches him by the throat and hits the chokeslam. Instead of covering, he signals for the Tombstone. Bryan counters it into an inside cradle for the pin in 8:03! Bryan wins! YES! YES! YES! Fun little match.
Kane, pissed that lost, rampages around backstage. Josh Matthews tries to interview him, but Kane grabs him by the throat, yells “WHERE?! IS?! HE?!” and throws him away, then continues his rampage.
Don’t drink and drive.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: The Miz (c) vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. I think Mysterio’s costume is supposed to be Batman. They lock up. Miz lands a shoulder block. Mysterio sits up and kind of stares at him. They do a bit of wrestling that ends in Rey getting a near fall and Miz taking a quick powder. Miz comes back in and gets to stompin’. Rey hits a flying headscissors. Miz throws Rey out of the ring. Rey slides back in as Miz slides out, then dropkicks Miz through the ropes. Miz sends Rey torso-first into the barricade. Back inside, Miz goes to work. Rey counters a backdrop and gets a 2 count. Miz catches Rey with that lucha-style backbreaker that Jericho does on Rey for 2. Miz beats on Rey some more. Rey tries to make a comeback, but eats a clothesline, which gets a 2 count for Miz. Miz hits his corner clothesline and goes up top, but Rey dropkicks Miz, crotching h im on the top turbuckle. Rey hits the diving seated senton and goes for a rana, but Miz catches him with a powerbomb for 2. Rey ducks a kick and gets a cradle for 2, then kicks Miz in the head for another 2. Combine the two, and he got a 4 count, so he almost won under Canadian rules. Rey hits a whirly DDT for 2. Rey goes up top again, but gets caught. Rey fights Miz off and hits a diving headscissors, which puts Miz into 619 position. Rey hits the 619 and goes for the diving splash, but Miz avoids it. Miz goes for the Skull Crushing Finale, but Rey turns it into a cradle for 2. Miz launches Rey into the turnbuckles, then hits the Skull Crushing Finale for the pin in 9:10. It was okay, but I never really got into it.
Plug for the WWE iPhone/Android app. I downloaded it. It’s not that interesting.
Teddy Long and Eve Torres walk out of the GM’s office and talk about how quirky AJ Lee is. They walk away and WWE Champion CM Punk walks into the office. He complains to AJ about being in a Triple Threat Match tonight. She just cocks her head and stares off into space, ignoring him.
Sheamus/Alberto Del Rio hype video.
Ricardo Rodriguez introduces Alberto Del Rio for the World Championship match.
World Heavyweight Championship Match: Sheamus (c) vs. Alberto Del Rio. They lock up. Del Rio backs Sheamus into the corner. Repeat. They tumble out of the ring together and brawl on the floor. Back inside, Sheamus hits a neckbreaker for 2. Sheamus hits the Finlay Roll for 2. Sheamus goes for the Razor’s Edge, but fails. He ends up getting Del Rio up on his shoulders as Del Rio exposes the turnbuckle. Sheamus counters the Minoru Special and misses the Brogue Kick. Del Rio kicks Sheamus off the apron, then sends him knee first into the steps. Back inside, Del Rio clamps on a rear chin lock. Sheamus escapes and goes for another neckbreaker, but Del Rio kicks him in the knee, then in the head for 2. They fight some more. Del Rio is wearing black gear that looks reall weird on him for some reason. He taunts Sheamus by doing the “Brogue!” taunt. He teases a Brogue Kick, but Sheamus cuts him off. Del Rio sends Sheamus’ shoulder into the post. Sheamus tries to go up top, but gets cut off. Del Rio hits an arm breaker (pulling the knees into the arm) off the top for 2. There has to be a better name for that move. Del Rio goes for his move, but Sheamus counters. Del Rio counters the counter and hits the Minoru Special. Sheamus powers up and slams Del Rio down. Sheamus hits the White Noise (Schwein) for 2. Sheamus goes for the Brogue Kick, but Del Rio avoids him. Sheamus clubbers Del Rio in the chest. Why hasn’t the referee fixed that exposed turnbuckle? Oh, I see. Del Rio drops Sheamus into the exposed buckle, then hits an enzuigiri, but Sheamus kicks out! Del Rio roughs up Ricardo just because he’s a dick. Sheamus hits Del Rio with Ricardo’s shoe, then hits the White Noise for the pin in 11:24, even though Del Rio’s foot was on the bottom rope. That’s actually the finish? Okay then. Del Rio and Ricardo bitch at the referee, and rightfully so. This match did not click with me at all.
Plug for the National Guard, or rather, how great WWE is for supporting the National Guard.
Cole and Lawler plug Night of Champions.
On the pre-show, Triple H told referee Scott Armstrong to not DQ or count anyone out tonight in his match with Brock Lesnar.
Last week on Raw, the Prime Time Players beat up R-Truth while Kofi Kingston was in China, then Touted about it.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth (c) vs. The Prime Time Players. Truth beats up Young to start. O’Neil tags in and drops Truth with a boot, barks, and covers for 2. Kofi tags in and keeps O’Neil off balance with his speed. Kofi hits the Boom Drop and goes for the Trouble In Paradise, but Young distracts him. Heel chicanery on the outside leads to the Players getting the advantage. Kofi plays face in peril. Young looks like he’s trying to get Kofi in some retarded triangle choke. It fails completely, but he continues to put a beating on Kofi. O’Neil tags in and applies an abdominal stretch. Kofi turns a spinning slam into a spike DDT. Truth gets the hot tag and runs wild on Darren Young. Truth hits a front suplex. Cover, but O’Neil saves. O’Neil throws Kofi out of the ring, but Kofi skins the cat, low bridges him out, and takes him out with a dive. Truth thinks about a dive, but Young schoolboys him for 2. Young goes for something and fails, and Truth hits the Paydirt, whatever he’s calling it this week, for the pin in 7:07. Players are nothing without AW. This match was pretty close to nothing, too.
Punk/Cena/Show hype video.
Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship: CM Punk (c) vs. John Cena vs. The Big Show. Big Show beats up everyone to start. Punk seems to be channeling Bret Hart with his pink gear. Cena and Punk unite to try to suplex Show, but Show suplexes both of them at the same time. Show wins on them some more. Cena gets tossed out of the ring by Show and Punk makes a comeback until he stupidly goes for the Go 2 Sleep and fails. Cena tries to give Show the Attitude Adjustment, but Punk pushes them over. Punk covers Cena, but Show saves. Show beats up Punk some more and throws Cena out of the ring again. Punk avoids Show in the corner and goes for a springboard cross body, but Show catches him and hits the Final Cut. Show signals for the KO punch, but Cena reappears and cuts him off. Show spears Cena for 2. Show goes for a Vader Bomb onto both opponents, but Punk avoids it and Cena takes the full brunt. Punk breaks Show’s cover. Show throws Punk out of the ring, then goes after Cena on the other side. Punk tries a dive, but Show catches him and launches him into the ropes from the outside. Awesome. Show and Cena go at it in the ring. Punk pulls Show’s head over the top rope, allowing Cena to hit a backdrop suplex. LA crowd doesn’t like Cena. Cena signals for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Punk cuts him off. Punk hits the diving elbow drop on Show. Cover, but Show throws him across the ring at 2. Punk kicks Show in the head and locks in the Koji Clutch, of all things. Show breaks out. Punk takes a powder. Cena hits Show with a shoulder block and locks in the STF. Show stands and backs Cena into the corner. Cena goes for a dive, but Show catches and slams him. Punk drops Show with a diving lariat and hits him with 3 running knees to the corner, but Show counters the bulldog. Cena hits Show with the diving Fameasser, but ends up on the apron. Punk locks Show in the Koji Clutch. Cena also applies the STF. Show taps. The referee calls for the bell, but there are 2 winners. Cena and Punk argue with the referee. Raw GM AJ Lee skips out and rules that the match must continue. Show immediately chokeslams both me. Cover on Cena gets 2. Cover on Punk gets 2. Cena ducks the KO punch and hits Show with the Attitude Adjustment. Punk throws Cena out of the ring and pins Show in 14:28. Very enjoyable match. Punk celebrates.
Celebrities are here! Including former WCW World Heavyweight Champion David Arquette and WrestleMania participant Maria Menounos (sporting a Bob Backlund shirt).
Trailer for WWE Films’ latest, The Day.
On the preshow, Antonio Cesaro beat Santino Marella for the WWE United States Championship, with help from Aksana.
Kevin Ruldolf (who?) performs the SummerSlam theme song. People Dance like idiots. The divas come out to dance: Tamina, Kaitlyn, Natalya, Aksana, Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly, Cameron, Naomi, Layla, Rosa Mendez, and Alicia Fox.
Triple H/Lesnar hype video.
Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Triple H. Brock immediately powers Triple H into the corner. Hunter comes back with punches. Brock repeats and goes for the Kimura. Triple H counters. Brock beats him in the corner some more and goes for it again. He gets a standing version, but Hunter is in the ropes. Triple H fights back and clotheslines Brock out of the ring. Brock comes back in and beats up Triple H in the corner some more. Hunter lands a knee lift and clotheslines Brock out of the ring again. Lesnar looks irked. Brock comes back in and takes off his gloves. It’s a bare knuckle fight now! Brock gets a double leg takedown and pummels Triple H with a few punches. Hunter bails, selling a punch to the back of the head. They brawl outside. Brock gives Hunter a hammerlock slam onto the announce table. The brawl some more back inside. Brock delivers another hammerlock slam. Brock continues working the arm. Triple H counters an F-5 attempt, but Brock hits him with a BIG German suplex. Brock stomps Triple H’s arm again. Triple H tries to bail, gets caught, and pulls Brock against the top rope. Hunter manages to score with a DDT. Brock immediately goes after the arm again. I always enjoy a hammerlock slam, and Brock is dishing them out liberally tonight. They go outside and Lesnar sends Triple H into the post. They wreck the Spanish announce table. Brock actually jumps off of it and hits Triple H with a big chop. Back in the ring, Triple H tries to fight back. Lesnar gets an inside cradle of all things for 2. Lesnar hits a clothesline and goes for a suplex, but Hunter counters and suplexes him. Lesnar clotheslines the turnbuckle. Triple H goes for the Pedigree, but fails, gets whipped into the corner, and does the Michaels flip out of the ring. Brock takes a shot into the announce table on his stomach and starts dry heaving. The announcers talk about his issues with diverticulitis. Hunter goes after the midsection. He hits some knee lifts to the stomach. Triple H hits the spinebuster and goes for the Pedigree. Lesnar counters and goes for the F-5. Triple H counters and hits the Pedigree, but Lesnar kicks out. Triple H goes for the Pedigree again, but Lesnar hits him square in the balls. The referee, per Hunter’s request, is letting it go. Lesnar hits the F-5, but Triple H kicks out. Lesnar locks on the standing Kimura again. Triple H tries to fight out, but Lesnar goes to the ground with it. Triple H gets the ropes, but the ref isn’t enforcing the rules. Hunter fights out of the hold. Hunter hits the Pedigree and goes for the cover, but Lesnar gets the Kimura again. Triple H taps in 18:45. I’m absolutely shocked that they did the right thing and put Lesnar over. The match was an intense brawl, but not on the level of Lesnar/Cena. I’ll give it a thumbs slightly up. Lesnar leaves. Hunter refuses medical attention. Fans chant “YOU TAPPED OUT!”, which is probably not what WWE was going for with this. Hunter mouths “I’m sorry” and leaves to a mixture of boos and polite applause.
This show started well, dipped really low in the middle, peaked with the triple threat match, and ended okay. I’d say the show as a whole is thumbs in the middle.
WWE open, awesome PPV opening video, pryo and ballyhoo. Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Booker T are the announcers. Justin Roberts is the first ring announcer. Carlos Cabrera and Marcelo Rodriguez are the Spanish announcers.
They show the shenanigans leading up to Kane vs. Randy Orton involving their respective fathers, Paul Bearer and Bob Orton Jr.
Falls Count Anywhere Match: Kane vs. Randy Orton. They brawl. Orton gets punched off the top to the floor. Cover on the floor gets 2. Kane brings in a leg pipe. Orton cuts him off and hits him with the pipe a few times, knocking him back to the floor on the last shot. They fight in the crowd. Orton knees Kane in the face for 2. Kane slams Orton on the concrete for 2. More crowd brawling. They end up near the set. Orton lands a dropkick for 2. Kane blocks the RKO and boots Orton in the face for 2. They brawl backstage. They end up in a room with some geeks. Zack Ryder attacks Kane, which only pisses him off. Kane goozles Ryder, but Orton hits the 3.0 for 2. Back into the hallway. Kane throws something at Orton and covers for 2. Back into the arena. Back into the ring. Orton drops Kane with a clothesline and hits a powerslam. Orton retrieves a chair from underneath the ring and attacks Kane with it. Back outside, where Orton clears off the announce table. Kane goes for the chokeslam, but Orton prevents it. Orton hits the DDT OF MURDER off the table to the floor! Cover gets 2. Kane blocks the RKO and sends Orton into the post. Cover gets 2. Back inside, Kane goes up top. Orton crotches him and hits a superplex. Cover gets 2. Orton humps the mat. Kane hits the chokeslam, but Orton kicks out! Kane bitches at the referee. Kane goes for the Tombstone on the chair. Orton counts out and hits the RKO sort of on the chair for the pin in 16:45. Fun match.
John Laurinaitis and Eve Torres are backstage with the Raw Roulette wheel. Teddy Long brings in champagne. He’s being humiliated after he lost his GM job at WrestleMania. Laurinaitis gets a phone call from Triple H.
“The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay (w/ Hornswoggle, Cameron, & Naomi) vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vickie Guerrero & Jack Swagger). They lock up. Clay overpowers Ziggler. Ziggler tries to take Clay down, but fails. Swagger distracts Clay, allowing Ziggler to dropkick him out of the ring. Ziggler distracts the referee while Swagger hits a shoulder block on the floor. Back inside, Ziggler goes on the attack. Clay goes for a knee lift, but Ziggler dropkicks his knee, then hits the Fameasser for 2. Ziggler lands a dropkick for 1. Ziggler applies a rear chin lock. Clay fights out. Ziggler stays on the attack. He goes for a suplex, but fails. Clay throws him with a front suplex and makes his comeback. Clay knocks Swagger on the apron. Ziggler goes for the sleeper, but fails. Clay hits a headbutt and a big splash for the pin in 4:18. It was fine for what it was.
Earlier in the day, The Big Show and Cody Rhodes played Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal to determine the stipulation for their Intercontinental title match tonight. It’s a Tables Match.
Lillian Garcia is the other ring announcer.
The show highlights of Show’s title victory over Rhodes at WrestleMania XXVIII.
Tables Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship: The Big Show (c) vs. Cody Rhodes. Show beats up Rhodes. Rhodes bails after taking a big back body drop. Show sets up a table on the outside and picks up Rhodes. Rhodes slips off and chop blocks Show’s knee. Show rallies and continues to beat and toss Rhodes around. Show throws Rhodes and a table in the ring. He throws Rhodes at the table in the corner, but Rhodes rebounds off of it and hits the Beautiful Disaster. Rhodes charges, but Show shoulder blocks him. Rhodes bails. Show beats him up on the outside. Show throws Rhodes back into the ring and gets in the apron. Rhodes dropkicks Show, who steps through a table at ringside. The referee rules Rhodes the winner in 4:35. Stupid finish. A pissed off Show drops Rhodes after the match, then chokeslams him through a table. Crowd chants “One more time!” Show press slams Rhodes out of the ring through another table. Show leaves. Rhodes is helped up and manages to hold up his belt while looking like he’s near tears.
Edge DVD plug.
Matt Striker interviews Daniel Bryan. Will he become World Champion tonight? YES! YES! YES! Fun interview. He walks away and they show AJ sulking in the background.
Sheamus/Bryan hype video.
2/3 Falls Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus (c) vs. Daniel Bryan. Sheamus is wearing a t-shirt with “18 seconds” written on it, the time in which he beat Bryan for the title at WrestleMania. I timed it at 19 seconds, but that’s neither here nor there. Sheamus grabs a headlock and lands a shoulder block. They do a brief mat exchange. Sheamus goes for the Brogue Kick, but Bryan avoids it. Sheamus taunts Bryan with how close that was. They trade arm locks. Sheamus hits a Finlay Roll for 2. For some reason, I don’t know the proper name for that move. Sheamus rolls through a sunset flip and locks Bryan in a Texas Cloverleaf. Bryan gets the ropes. Sheamus goes for it again, but Bryan gets an inside cradle for 2. Sheamus beats up Bryan. Bryan lands a lariat. Sheamus rolls to the apron and Bryan dropkicks him to the floor. Bryan dives off the apron, but Sheamus catches him and sends him into the barricade. Back inside, Sheamus goes up top, but Bryan crotches him and goes on the attack. Bryan goes to work on Sheamus’ shoulder. They trade strikes. Bryan gets a reverse cradle for 2. More arm and shoulder torture inflicted by Bryan. Sheamus makes his comeback and beats up Bryan. Sheamus hits a fall away slam for 2. Bryan gets a schoolboy for 2. Bryan goes for a top rope Frankensteiner, but Sheamus holds on, then hits Bryan with a diving shoulder block for 2. Sheamus tries to suplex Bryan in from the apron, but Bryan lands on his feet, then low bridges Sheamus out of the ring on the other side. He goes for a dive, but Sheamus nails him. Back inside, Sheamus goes for the Razor’s Edge. Bryan turns it into a cradle for 2. Bryan goes for the Yes Lock, but Sheamus counters out repeatedly. Bryan sends Sheamus’ shoulder into the post repeatedly, then kicks the shit out of it while Sheamus is against the ropes. This causes the referee to DQ Bryan, diving Sheamus the first fall at 14:30. Bryan goes back on the attack and applies the Yes Lock. Sheamus struggles, but goes out, and Bryan wins the second fall by referee stop at 16:39. Bryan celebrates while the ringside doctor checks on Sheamus. There are dueling “Yes!” and “No!” chants. Sheamus tells the doctor he can continue. Bryan charges Sheamus and eats a Brogue Kick. Delayed cover gets 2. They trade strikes. Bryan lands a big kick to the head for 2. Bryan goes up top. Sheamus cuts him off and goes for a superplex. Bryan fights him off and goes for a diving headbutt. Sheamus avoids it. Sheamus avoids Bryan in the corner and makes his comeback. Sheamus lands another Brogue Kick for the pin in 22:55. Very good match.
WWE YouTube channel plug.
Over the Limit commercial featuring Randy Orton.
Santino Marella is watching the monitor backstage. 2 jobbers are in the ring. Great Khali comes over to watch too.
The jobbers are named Aaron Relic and Jay Hatton. They cut a stupid promo about 2 being greater than one.
Handicap Match: Aaron Relic & Jay Hatton vs. Ryback. There’s a smattering of “Goldberg!” chants. The jobber with the ridiculous pants attacks Ryback to no avail. Ryback kills him. He orders the other jobber to tag in. The fellow wisely demurs. Ryback tosses him in anyway and kills him. Ryback hits the second jobber with a backpack stunner. Crowd chants “Finish him.” Ryback kills ridiculous pants with sort of a Fisherman buster Samoan drop, then pins them both in 1:50. Santino and Khali are impressed.
Matt Striker interviews WWE Champion CM Punk. Tonight he faces Chris Jericho, who has been insulting his family, in a Chicago Street Fight.
Plug for the PPV theme song.
Punk/Jericho hype video.
Chicago Street Fight for the WWE Championship: CM Punk (c) vs. Chris Jericho. This is Punk’s hometown, and members of his family are in the front row. They brawl, because this is a street fight, see. Punk throws some plunder into the ring. He whacks Jericho with a Singapore cane. Jericho drops Punk with a dropkick and gets hold of the cane. He whacks Punk, then hits his trademark springboard dropkick to the apron, sending Punk to the floor. Jericho beats up Punk on the outside. Back inside, Jericho exposes a turnbuckle. Punk fires back with chops. Jericho avoids the running knee to the corner and Punk takes another spill outside. Jericho beats up Punk right in front of his family. He gets in Punk’s sister’s face and gets slapped. Jericho lunges for her and Punk kicks his ass. Punk slams Jericho through the announce table cover. Punk goes for a piledriver, but Jericho back body drops him, then hits him with a monitor. Jericho breaks the other announce table cover over Punk’s back. Back inside, Jericho covers for 2. Jericho applies a rear chin lock. Punk escapes with a backdrop suplex. Punk pulls Jericho’s throat over the top rope and goes for his springboard lariat, but trips. Jericho wails on him with the Singapore cane. Jericho taunts Punk and gets caught with an inside cradle for 2. Jericho responds with something that gets 2. Jericho brings in a can of beer, which he pours on Punk. He brings in another beer and starts drinking it. Punk, meanwhile, starts kicking his ass. Punk hits the running knee to the corner and the bulldog headlock, then pulls the Singapore cane into Jericho’s balls and signals for the Go 2 Sleep. He goes for it, but Jericho counters and goes for the Walls of Jericho. Punk counters and hits a powerslam for 2. Punk goes up top, but Jericho crotches him. They fight on the top rope. Punk sends Jericho to the mat with a Mongolian chop, then hits the diving elbow drop for 2. Jericho counts the Go 2 Sleep again and hits a bulldog. He goes for the Lionsault, but Punk catches him, picks him up on h is shoulders, and goes for the Go 2 Sleep. Jericho counters again and throws Punk into a chair wedged between the turnbuckles. Jericho gets a schoolboy for 2. Jericho catches Punk with the Codebreaker and locks in the Walls of Jericho. Punk manages to reach the ropes. It’s a street fight, so the referee can’t force a break. Punk somehow gets hold of a fire extinguisher and sprays Jericho with it to escape the hold. Punk hits Jericho in the stomach with it and sends him to the floor. Another shot to the gut followed by a kick to the head by Punk. Jericho is on top of the Spanish announce table. Punk goes to the top rope and hits the diving elbow through the table. Punk throws Jericho back into the ring and covers for 2. Punk locks in the Anaconda Vice. Jericho whacks Punk with the Singapore cane to escape. Punk hits Jericho with a chair. Jericho catches him with a Codebreaker into the chair. Cover only gets 2. Jericho is getting frustrated. He beats on Punk some more. Jericho tries to give Punk the Go 2 Sleep, just to be a dick. Punk catches Jericho’s leg and catapults him into the exposed turnbuckle, then hits the Go 2 Sleep for the pin in 25:14. This turned out to be a hell of a match. Punk celebrates with his friends and family.
Don’t try this at home!
Earlier tonight on the pre-show, Santino Marella defeated The Miz with the Cobra to retain the United States Championship.
The Bella Twins and Beth Phoenix bicker backstage. Eve Torres says Beth isn’t cleared to wrestle. Whichever Bella is champion will now defend the title against a surprise opponent who isn’t Kharma.
The show Nikki Bella beating Beth for the Divas title last week on Raw after Beth injured her ankle. The Bellas cut a promo. The opponent is the returning Layla.
WWE Divas Championship Match: Nikki Bella (c) (w/ Brie Bella) vs. Layla. They lock up. Lots of movement from Layla. Brie trips Layla behind the ref’s back, allowing Nikki to get the advantage. She DDTs Layla’s foot for 2. I fucking hate that spot. Layla gets an inside cradle for 1. Nikki does whatever. Layla hits a springboard cross body for 1, then knocks the other Bella off the apron. Nikki gets the advantage. Layla gets a wonky cradle. Nikki counters. The twins pull the switcheroo. Brie goes for a facebuster, but Layla turns it into a hangman’s neckbreaker for the pin to win the title in 2:28. This sucked.
Matt Striker asks John Laurinaitis what he and Triple H were talking about. Johnny doesn’t tell him.
Lesnar/Cena hype video.
Extreme Rules Match: Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena. Lesnar takes Cena down and mauls him, then kills him with a lariat. Cena is cut already. The stop the match to check the cut. I hate that shit, but I guess Brock is used to it now. Cena charges Brock and gets taken down and mauled again. Cena is sent outside. He’s bleeding pretty bad. Cena fights back as goes for the Attitude Adjustment. Brock will have none of that and gives him a couple of German suplexes. Cena hits a shoulder block and knocks Brock into the referee. The ref is dead, and Brock kills Cena some more. Brock torments Cena’s arm with a Kimura, then tosses him from the ring again. Brock follows Cena out and tortures his arm some more. Back inside, Brock brings in Cena’s chain, then throws it aside because he’s Brock Lesnar and doesn’t need it. He thinks again and uses it to chain Cena’s legs together. Brock hangs Cena from the turnbuckle and massacres him for a while. Cena gets loose and fights back until he’s thrown into the steps. Brock throws the referee back into the ring and wakes him up. Cena has the chain his hand, but Brock steps on it and takes it away. Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment. Brock counters and hits the F-5, but kills the referee again in the process. Another referee runs out, but the delay allows Cena to kick out. Brock clotheslines the new referee. Brock brings the steps into the ring. Cena does his “you can’t see me” and first back. Brock locks in a Kimura on top of the steps. Cena manages to pick Brock up and slam him on the steps. Cena goes for the diving Fameasser, but Brock avoids it. Brock prances on top of the steps while Cena struggles his way back into the ring. Cena makes it onto the apron and Brock launches himself at Cena, taking a bad tumble and injuring his knee in the process. Brock gets up and laughs it off. He charges Cena again, but Cena punches him with the chain. Brock is bleeding now. Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment on the steps for the pin in 17:42. Aside from the stupidity of putting Cena over in Brock’s first match back, this was awesome.
Cena takes the mic after the match and cuts a promo putting over Chicago. He says he’s going home, which is a lie.
Good show. There were a few really good matches. The main event is soured by the stupidity of Brock losing so quickly.