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Author Topic: What are you watching?
brawler2711
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quote:
Originally posted by jtx:
Watched BattleBowl 93 on the network.

Good grief was this such a flat show. Took me two sittings to plow through the whole thing. Honestly the only thing that would have saved it for me would have been clean shaven Rip Rogers pulling out the win in the end.

I'm working on that show, but it will be my fourth sitting, seems to be never ending.

--------------------
"I'll be with 20 in-laws...hhhmmm..we'll see. But, 7 of the 20 are my nieces (in their early to mid 20's), so I'll enjoy seeing a few of them at the pool, and on the beach.At least the "scenery" should be enjoyable. [Smile]"
Sir Tojo

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Arnold_OldSchool
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quote:
Originally posted by jtx:
Watched BattleBowl 93 on the network.

Good grief was this such a flat show. Took me two sittings to plow through the whole thing. Honestly the only thing that would have saved it for me would have been clean shaven Rip Rogers pulling out the win in the end.

WHY????? I have to review it myself in a few months for this little project but...ugh.


----
http://culturecrossfire.com/wrestling/monday-night-wars-week-18-jan-1st-1996/#.U4cpRSgm-So

We enter 1996 with Hogan vs. Flair, Savage vs. Arn Anderson, The RAW BOWL and a huge roster move for the WWF!

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SomethingSavage
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Lots of lucha mostly.

Rush, Virus, Titan, and especially LA Park's stuff from 2012 to today.

Oh, and there's been a little Stan Hansen here and there. Really re-exploring some of his lesser hyped matches, just out of curiosity. I know it's a universally accepted idea these days, but yeah. Can't be stressed enough. Stan was so darn good as the reckless riot-maker.

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tamalie from MN
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quote:
Originally posted by Arnold_OldSchool:
quote:
Originally posted by jtx:
Watched BattleBowl 93 on the network.

Good grief was this such a flat show. Took me two sittings to plow through the whole thing. Honestly the only thing that would have saved it for me would have been clean shaven Rip Rogers pulling out the win in the end.

WHY????? I have to review it myself in a few months for this little project but...ugh.


----
http://culturecrossfire.com/wrestling/monday-night-wars-week-18-jan-1st-1996/#.U4cpRSgm-So

We enter 1996 with Hogan vs. Flair, Savage vs. Arn Anderson, The RAW BOWL and a huge roster move for the WWF!

One reason WCW put Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair on Nitro, not to mention Randy Savage, Sting, and Lex Luger, was to not only win the ratings war that night, but to also impress the Turner Broadcasting bigshots in the crowd since that card was at The Omni in Atlanta.

A lot of the insider/early internet/sheet reading fans were furious at the time not only over Steven Regal beating Chris Benoit, but the manner of that win.

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Arnold_OldSchool
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http://culturecrossfire.com/wrestling/the-monday-night-wars-week-19-january-8th-1996/#.U43BpSgm-So

Hogan and Savage battle the Horsemen, VADER battles Antonio Inoki, The WWF makes a hard push for the Royal Rumble, and the biggest star in WWF history makes his debut

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jtx
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quote:
WHY????? I have to review it myself in a few months for this little project but...ugh.
I won't spoil it for you but be prepared for a long haul. A show that takes all the strengths WCW could have going for them talent wise and sabotages it with this concept. And really it is the execution of it that makes it so rough. Love the reviews BTW.

Watched In Your House 1

I really liked this show. Two good Bret Hart matches. I never saw much in him at the time but Hakushi was awesome. Shocked Jerry Lawler's "mother" didn't hang around some. She was really good in her role. Even Sid and Diesel was better than I'd have thought. Type of show that flew by. The shear joy on McMahon's face when they gave away the house was something else. If I didn't know better I'd have guessed the fix was in. I still can't stand Todd Pettengil.

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SomethingSavage
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Finally caught both ROH/NJPW joint shows. War of the Worlds was better, but Global Wars is still worth the watch. Good shows. Great production values. Hoping the trend carries on to future ROH shows. It's too bad they JUST decided to go the traditional PPV route, since U-Stream definitely seems like the path they should have taken.

A few random RAWs from the summer of '97 and Mania season of '98.

A little more Stan Hansen.

And a whole lot of lucha. Mostly LA Park matches from the past two or three years. Thanks to thecubsfan. [Big Grin]

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Cornette Fan
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A month after saying I was going to watch it, I finally watched AAA's Rey de Reyes 2014. It was an enjoyable show but I like some of their other stuff better. I mostly enjoyed the eight man cage match and the mixed match. I'm also a bigger fan of Jeff Jarrett's work in Mexico than I have been of his since 1995 or 96.

I watched NXT Takeover last week and it was awesome. Nattie/Charlotte, Neville/Kidd, and Breeze/Zayn were all great.

Later,
Nate

--------------------
Hulk Hogan, you are a household word, but so is garbage. And it stinks when it gets old too.
(Jim Cornette...1997)

If your mother wasn't so fancy we could shop at a gas station like everybody else.
(Homer Simpson)

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SomethingSavage
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Jarrett in Mexico was definitely an upgrade from everything he was doing in the States. Have you seen X-Pac's run down there with the D-Generation Mex faction?

I've been watching lots of LA Park (as mentioned before), and I'm currently mowing down plenty of Extreme Tiger as well. I unabashedly enjoy the guy in garbage brawls & gimmick matches. He's not just a typical spot monkey. And anybody that says Jack Evans is a better high flyer has simply lost their mind. End of story.

Took a slight detour and went for a quick one-off watch yesterday. Caught Eddie vs. Edge - No DQ from SmackDown! 2002.

Fun match. Eddie took some BRUTAL bumps to get Edge over in this one. Those last two spots in the finishing sequence are just SICK. Eddie looks like he could have & should have broken his neck on the back body drop in the corner. But then he goes and outshines himself mere moments later with a TREMENDOUS elevated DDT from the top rope. Wow. Just wow.

I went into it, thinking I'd come away with the impression that it's another one of those "SmackDown Six" matches that is best left to fond memories. But no way. Definitely worth revisiting again.

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Cornette Fan
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quote:
Originally posted by SomethingSavage:
Jarrett in Mexico was definitely an upgrade from everything he was doing in the States. Have you seen X-Pac's run down there with the D-Generation Mex faction?


Not really. I've dug what little I've seen but I've actually always been a fan of Waltman's other than his last couple years in the WWF/E.

I think that may have taken place when I didn't have AAA on TV. I wasn't watching it on youtube or AAA's website at the time either. Alex Koslov was in the group right?

Later,
Nate

--------------------
Hulk Hogan, you are a household word, but so is garbage. And it stinks when it gets old too.
(Jim Cornette...1997)

If your mother wasn't so fancy we could shop at a gas station like everybody else.
(Homer Simpson)

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SomethingSavage
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Yeah. The Forever Hooligans were kind of his lackeys. Koslov & Romero were having some great matches in Mexico around the time. They have some trios out there that are just incredibly entertaining. I know Waltman was battling some brutal "personal demons" at the time, but his work sure wasn't suffering for it.

The Hooligans have a match against Extreme Tiger & KENTA on YouTube that's worth checking out. Feels a lot more like something you'd see in Japan than anything you'd get from a lucha promotion, but it's great.

And, if you're okay with the clowns, Los Psycho Circus has a few fun trios & tags working off 'em as well.

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SomethingSavage
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Jericho's recent podcast with Bully Ray spiked my curiosity. I didn't remember their TLC 4 being all that monumental or memorable the first time around, but I realize how desensitized I've grown to Ladder Matches in general over the years. So I wanted to go back and give it another watch.

Nothing outstanding for the first few minutes. It's all typical brawling, right up until Bubba takes this magnificent header for a Bulldog spot off the ladder. And then business just picks up from there. Holy hell. Bubba's bump looked like a penguin taking a big old belly flop into the arctic waters somewhere, but it made for a tremendous visual.

I've mentioned how much I love Jeff Hardy's frantic, manic style of bumping before. It instantly raises the sense of danger and urgency in a match. Jeff doesn't land like someone that's trained to fall. He lands like he's been shot out of a speeding car or thrown from a rooftop. Same time? He's capable of creating these grand "moments" in time where he's airborne, and it just looks like such a masterpiece in motion.

So imagine my delight when Jeff takes a back body drop over the top rope, looking like a freaking bird of prey swooping down to descend on a carcass, only to CRASH violently through a table on the floor. It was breathtaking brutality, and I eat that stuff up.

At one point, Spike Dudley does the Bret Hart sternum charge directly into the end of a ladder. Normally, that's not all that noteworthy. But this is Spike Dudley, and his bones look brittle enough to mash into dust upon contact. So yeah. I let out an, "Ouch" for the poor guy on that note.

Christian is pummeled and PUNISHED towards the end of the match. It bordered on being overkill. He takes a slam off the top and has to spread out like a freaking filleted-open starfish just to ENSURE that he lands on the ladder for a back bump. Seriously, this bump HAD to do some damage to the guy's kidneys legitimately.

Ditto for the suplex Jericho suffered onto the ladder. He landed with a SPLAT. As someone that's had lower back spasms in the past, it made me cringe a bit.

There was a miscue or something on the Chokeslam from Kane for the finish. You could visibly see Kane and Jericho talking back and forth for a bit, but it wasn't so much that it really took anything away from the effect. Keep your eyes on Jericho though & you'll see him slide over on the mat to use his feet and help brace the bottom of the ladder, so that it doesn't tip over while Kane climbs. For a second, I thought he was going to kick the ladder over & the match would continue. But nah. He was just lending a helping hand.

All in all, I definitely walked away from this match feeling differently about it. It certainly doesn't get talked up enough in most circles, which is really unfortunate. It's just kind of wedged in there between the first historic TLCs and the popularized Money in the Banks that followed. It's a shame, because it's got some really good stuff packed into what COULD have just been a throwaway free TV match. Everybody brought their working boots, and it's neat (to me at least) that we got to see some makeshift, oddball tag teams involved. These pairings aren't your usual longstanding teams.

Oh. And JR referring to the Jericho/Christian team as the TLC All-Stars was a nice touch, since they were a merging of the only two teams that had won TLC matches up until that point. It's little things like that, which JR would pick up on and mention, that I miss.

Also? His call of the Van Terminator, in which Ross shouts, "Kane just ate EVERY DAMN BIT of that chair!" My god. Calls like that give me chills, because they just FEEL authentic. They resonate like they come from the heart, spontaneously, in the heat of the moment. We just don't get enough of that anymore.

I'm not the cynical type to sit around and harp on how bad the current commentary team is, but it's REALLY noticeable when reflecting back on even the random stuff like this. It doesn't necessarily need to be a classic "Austin" call or anything. Even when it came to the subpar or under-the-radar stuff, JR had a way of elevating it with his storytelling.

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Arnold_OldSchool
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http://culturecrossfire.com/wrestling/wrestle-war-90-wild-thing/#.U5RYHSgm-Sr

Lex Luger tries to once again wrest the World title from Ric Flair, The Steiners compete against Arn and Ole Anderson, Norman the Lunatic clashes with Cactus Jack, The Rock and Roll Express face old rivals The Midnight Express, The Road Warriors go to war with the Sky Scrapers, and Brian Pillman and Tom Zenk defend the US tag titles against Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin
----

I also watched Tanaka vs. Awesome from Heat Wave 98 and my GOD that power bomb from the ring to the floor looked BRUTAL

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SomethingSavage
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quote:
Originally posted by Cornette Fan:

A month after saying I was going to watch it, I finally watched AAA's Rey de Reyes 2014. It was an enjoyable show but I like some of their other stuff better. I mostly enjoyed the eight man cage match and the mixed match.

What did you think of the Chessman/Villano match? I'm a bit of a mark for Villano IV myself, and I think he's another guy (like LA Park) that can still exceed expectations deeper into his age.

I ask about the match, because when I first watched the show, it initially surprised me by how much it had exceeded my expectations of what it would be. I wasn't predicting it to be much of anything other than a throwaway filler, because the card was already pretty stacked around it.

But yeah. Upon a second watch, I think I'd overpraised it a bit - but again, that was because it exceeded my EARLY expectations of it going in.

Either way, it's still a fun freaking brawl. Smartly tells a good story, too. Nothing extraordinary. Just a simple, straight wrestling match that becomes a full-on FIGHT. They start out with loose & light mat wrestling. Too loose & light for my liking. But hey. In the broader scope of the story, it fits.

The chop exchange is stiff, but it honestly suffers from looking too fake & forced. Again though, it's that critical "next step" of intensity that the match needs. It's introduced to bridge the gap between the first phase of mat wrestling and the next wave of warfare that's about to come.

From there on, I'm absolutely unafraid to say I actively ENJOY the rest of the match. In all its sloppiness and flaws, I don't care. I dig it. Doesn't get much better than two lumpy fat guys doing suicide dives, literally BREAKING APART chairs over each others' craniums, and just generally rocking the house with ridiculous rowdiness.

The bloodshed is a bonus. We don't reach LA Park levels of blood loss, but it comes pretty close on Villano's end. Chessman rips away at the cut like a carnivore, and Villano gives a great visual with his tattered & torn mask as he fights back from underneath for awhile.

Finishing sequence is nothing special, but I must say - I wish everyone in WWE would sell the Spear to the ribs the way that Villano IV did for Chessman here. Guy looks to be drowning in absolute agony at the end there.

Oh, and any thoughts on the Four Way Tag Title bout? For a cluster, I found it to be a ton of fun. It was everything a scramble like that SHOULD be - fast paced and extremely fun. The spots were crisp enough, unique enough, and they came quick enough to keep the flow uninterrupted.

There wasn't a single dull moment. Everyone was quick on the draw. It's not going to take home any awards for being a great wrestling match. But great spot-fest? Absolutely. Spot-fests, like many things, have their place on a card. And this is a great template for how they COULD and SHOULD be done more often.

Indies could take note from this match on how to approach the booking of these multi-man spectacles. When they're kept within a certain time window, they look sensational and work really well. Keep it simple. Go-go-go matches are staples in joshi and can function phenomenally as openers (to get the crowd excited & energized) or even as buffer matches (versus the dead "down time" of a divas match).

[ 06-09-2014, 07:55 PM: Message edited by: SomethingSavage ]

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Arnold_OldSchool
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http://culturecrossfire.com/wrestling/the-monday-night-wars-week-20-january-15th-1996/#.U5b9Wygm-So

WCW has week 20 of Lex Luger, Sting, Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage bickering+ Sting vs. Ric Flair and Randy Savage vs. Lex Luger. RAW counters with A Dead Man vs. A Dentist and Goldust ramping up the homosexual overtones.

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timmyjax
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Cover for The Top 50 Incidents in WCW History DVD- Volume 2

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/91qrDOI1YOL._SL1500_.jpg

[Roll Eyes]

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Cornette Fan
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quote:
Originally posted by SomethingSavage:
quote:
Originally posted by Cornette Fan:

A month after saying I was going to watch it, I finally watched AAA's Rey de Reyes 2014. It was an enjoyable show but I like some of their other stuff better. I mostly enjoyed the eight man cage match and the mixed match.

What did you think of the Chessman/Villano match? I'm a bit of a mark for Villano IV myself, and I think he's another guy (like LA Park) that can still exceed expectations deeper into his age.

I ask about the match, because when I first watched the show, it initially surprised me by how much it had exceeded my expectations of what it would be. I wasn't predicting it to be much of anything other than a throwaway filler, because the card was already pretty stacked around it.

But yeah. Upon a second watch, I think I'd overpraised it a bit - but again, that was because it exceeded my EARLY expectations of it going in.

Either way, it's still a fun freaking brawl. Smartly tells a good story, too. Nothing extraordinary. Just a simple, straight wrestling match that becomes a full-on FIGHT. They start out with loose & light mat wrestling. Too loose & light for my liking. But hey. In the broader scope of the story, it fits.

The chop exchange is stiff, but it honestly suffers from looking too fake & forced. Again though, it's that critical "next step" of intensity that the match needs. It's introduced to bridge the gap between the first phase of mat wrestling and the next wave of warfare that's about to come.

From there on, I'm absolutely unafraid to say I actively ENJOY the rest of the match. In all its sloppiness and flaws, I don't care. I dig it. Doesn't get much better than two lumpy fat guys doing suicide dives, literally BREAKING APART chairs over each others' craniums, and just generally rocking the house with ridiculous rowdiness.

The bloodshed is a bonus. We don't reach LA Park levels of blood loss, but it comes pretty close on Villano's end. Chessman rips away at the cut like a carnivore, and Villano gives a great visual with his tattered & torn mask as he fights back from underneath for awhile.

Finishing sequence is nothing special, but I must say - I wish everyone in WWE would sell the Spear to the ribs the way that Villano IV did for Chessman here. Guy looks to be drowning in absolute agony at the end there.

Oh, and any thoughts on the Four Way Tag Title bout? For a cluster, I found it to be a ton of fun. It was everything a scramble like that SHOULD be - fast paced and extremely fun. The spots were crisp enough, unique enough, and they came quick enough to keep the flow uninterrupted.

There wasn't a single dull moment. Everyone was quick on the draw. It's not going to take home any awards for being a great wrestling match. But great spot-fest? Absolutely. Spot-fests, like many things, have their place on a card. And this is a great template for how they COULD and SHOULD be done more often.

Indies could take note from this match on how to approach the booking of these multi-man spectacles. When they're kept within a certain time window, they look sensational and work really well. Keep it simple. Go-go-go matches are staples in joshi and can function phenomenally as openers (to get the crowd excited & energized) or even as buffer matches (versus the dead "down time" of a divas match).

I enjoyed the Chessman/Villano IV match a lot more than I figured I would. I'm a Chessman fan but not too much of a Villano IV mark. I thought both guys brought it though, especially when Chessman was going for the mask.

I liked the four way tag match but not nearly as much as the eight man cage match. I think it's because I'm such a mark for Pentagon Jr. and Fenix (and Nino Hamburguesa amuses me). I honestly think Pentagon Jr. is the best guy in the company at this point.

Later,
Nate

--------------------
Hulk Hogan, you are a household word, but so is garbage. And it stinks when it gets old too.
(Jim Cornette...1997)

If your mother wasn't so fancy we could shop at a gas station like everybody else.
(Homer Simpson)

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SomethingSavage
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I've kind of been caught up in this phase of just plugging in random matches here & there, whenever the schedule permits for now. I'm actually enjoying it, as it gives me a chance to watch a wider variety of wrestling in a shorter span - not trying to force my way through entire cards at a time.

I gave Brock Lesnar versus Hulk Hogan from SmackDown 2002 another look. I didn't even remember about the detail that Brock put his title shot at SummerSlam on the line for this one, but yeah. It packed a grander "big match" feel with or without any of that. For a free TV match, this had the buzz and aura of a "Clash of the Titans" type of collision. And that's what you want when two major superstars engage in a showdown.

They kept things simple, but everything made sense. It's just two big guys laying into each other for the most part. Lesnar's elbow drops literally lifted Hulk up off the mat upon recoil at one point, which I dug. Just a neat visual to see that sort of impact on such an elementary move.

Hulk's big boot to set up the Atomic Leg Drop was incredibly weak though. Hate to say it, because his punches actually had a lot more "UMPH" behind 'em leading up to that.

Oh, but there's the stunning sight of Hulk freaking Hogan eating a big old running Powerbomb out of the corner. So that pretty much eclipses the weaker-than-wet-tissue kicks to the face for me.

Hogan's comeback was his typical routine, but his reaction to Brock powering out of the pinfall attempt off the Leg Drop was AWESOME.

Hulk goes full-on, over-the-top 80's HULKA-HARD SELL for it, getting wide-eyed and doing the head swivel in utter disbelief. It's one of those things that is easy to cast aside as being lame and outdated, but nah. I don't care. It feels do darn right in THAT moment. It's excitement, and it CAN feel like a genuine, raw reaction when done right.

The finishing stretch is quite good for a Hogan bout, too. There are counters that lead to counters. There's Heyman getting slugged, which I just love. It brought a moment of nostalgia to mind when Hulk would bump around the managers left, right, front, & center. Oh, and there's the F-5.

Part of me wants to like the bear hug as the choice for Brock's submission here, but it almost always looks so odd & out of place when it's done to a taller guy like Hulk. His legs should've gone limp long before his arms. I know that's nitpicking, but it would be one of those things that even the most casual viewer would pick up on - even if they couldn't quite explain WHY or put it into words, they'd still know it just didn't look right for him to be standing there, yet somehow unconscious.

Of course, the real story is the post-match punishment. Man, Brock puts a HURTIN' on Hulk. It's easy to see why Brock caught on so fast, so huge when looking back at even his earliest work. The guy just brings this amplified intensity and sense of energy to EVERYTHING he does. With the bear hug, he clinches and clutches tighter & tighter - squeezing the life from Hulk, and slinging & trashing around back & forth like an enraged attack dog. Or a gator trying to devour some deer carcass or something that's every bit as big as the gator. It's crazy, but it's an enticing image that sticks with you.

And that's really the story of this match. It's highly effective in elevating Lesnar and providing fans with a moment that really STICKS with you & stands the test of time. The idea that they actually produced a pretty solid match in the meantime? That's a bonus.

Just a throwaway thought that entered my mind when watching the match though - Austin walked out on RAW when proposed with the idea to lose to Lesnar for free TV with no program or buildup. Here's Hulk, a month or so later, doing precisely the same job that was proposed to Austin. Anyone have any thoughts as to why?

I've heard the motivation was that Hogan had the idea in mind that they'd come back and do return matches with a "redemption" program for Hulk and Brock down the line. And that's a realistic theory to me. Totally believable. And, outside of Hulk actually wanting to WIN said rematch(es), I can't really think of why they didn't at least attempt to milk a big money match or two out of the deal.

Same situation COULD have applied to Austin, of course. But I don't fault the guy at all for feeling like it was a wasted opportunity to do big business at the time.

And, to be honest, Hulk was losing a LOT during this period. I know most people think of that as the way it should be with older guys, but I think there are special cases for folks of Hogan's reputation and stature. When you have someone like Hulk lose too frequently to too many people, it just devalues the whole idea and loses purpose.

That wasn't the case here, but some of that goes back to just how strong they pushed the post-match beat down and everything also.

Samoa Joe vs. Jay Briscoe - ROH World Championship Steel Cage Match was another random one I watched recently. It's crammed with SOME unnecessary stuff, but it's nothing too excessive. The early cat & mouse game is tremendous. And the structure & storytelling actually ends up being one of the best Steel Cage Matches I've seen put on anywhere. Ever. It's suspense in a fence!

From a big picture perspective, bell to bell, the match tells a GREAT story of champion & challenger waging war inside the cage. The narrative is simple, but everything makes sense.

The punishment that Joe puts on Jay is brutal but beyond fun to watch. I will say that the ring is still extra "bouncy" at this stage of ROH, and it honestly distracts from some of the bigger moments & spots in the match. Other than that? It all wraps up nicely towards the finish, with Samoa Joe busting out a twisting Muscle Buster from the top.

The treatment of respect and honor at the end is one of those things I really remember enjoying about ROH around this time. Plus the visual of Jay receiving immediate attention & soaking up his blood with the towel? Yeah. I'm a sucker for the small stuff like that.

So yeah. Plenty of diversity and disparity in what I'm watching lately.

[ 06-11-2014, 09:00 PM: Message edited by: SomethingSavage ]

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Arnold_OldSchool
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http://culturecrossfire.com/wrestling/from-the-wwe-network-the-best-of-old-school-house-shows-vol-5/#.U5mc5ygm-So

Featuring: Tag Team turmoil!, Macho Man vs. Andre the Giant, The Rockers vs. Demolition, Bret Hart vs. Rick Martel, Jake Roberts vs. Rick Rude, The Ultimate Warrior vs. Mr. Perfect and reviews of some of the worst wrestling matches I've seen in a long time!

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Tatsuya
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Been slooooowwwwly going through the old Raws on the network. Rob Bartlett is even worse than I remember but those shows are for the most part fun. As matches goes, so far other than Flair-Hennig loser leaves the WWF, nothing outstanding (only up to April 1993) although I liked a Martel-Perfect match. Both guys were past their peak but Martel seemed like clearly the superior worker at this point. I was never a fan of Razor Ramon but in retrospect, it really was a great character and Scott Hall did a great job with it. Even as a heel, he is pretty over with the fans so no surprise he turned face not too long afterwards
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SomethingSavage
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Yeah. Martel never showed signs of slowing down to me. He altered his style from face to heel more than most though. So that's about the only glaringly noticeable change I saw in him during those last few years with the 'F.

As a fan at the time, Razor Ramon was a freaking game-changer. Just the way they brought him in & built him up? The guy could talk the talk. He was oozing with that "cool" factor that kids just dig so much. Plus he was putting on quality matches for a long stretch there.

I really need to make it a priority this weekend to catch the latest PWG show. And I still haven't watched the semi-finals and finals from Best of the Super Juniors just yet. Christ.

I've formed this new highly addictive habit of just watching random matches, and I'm caught up in that loop lately. I'll bounce around from 80's New Japan to modern lucha, stopping to hit some ROH and whatever free matches WWE puts up on their YouTube channel in between.

So yeah. Need to take some time out for more recent stuff.

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Tatsuya
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I think I was prejudiced by seeing him as the Diamond Studd (had no idea it was Scott Hall from the AWA and NWA days) so when he came to the WWF, just didn't pay attention at first. Cool thing about reliving stuff, realize how wrong you were
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jtx
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I love in the Hennig/Flair match how they even get Bartlett to shut up and watch at what is unfolding. They render him speechless.

I was a fan of Scott Hall back in his tag team with Curt and could never understand why he wasn't a bigger star. Until I saw what he brought to the table as Razor Ramon. Talk about a guy upping his game at the opportunity. And I so wanted to dislike the gimmick since I was a Scarface fan. By the Royal Rumble match with Bret I was completely sold.

Watched the October 88 MSG show. I never realized just how great the Rougeaus were as heels. Their antics in the match with the Hart Foundation were so entertaining. Raymond ringing the bell to fool everyone into thinking the time limit expired is classic.

And boy did Superstar Graham wanna see someone do an airplane spin. He just calls out for that move on more than one occasion across several matches.

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SomethingSavage
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Maybe I'm in the minority, but I liked Hall in the AWA. For all his limitations, he played the role of powerhouse rookie rather well. No. He wasn't going to light up anyone's radar as a strategic marvel, but that wasn't his part to play. He seconded Hennig as well as could be expected, and I liked their short-lived team for the most part.

Some credit has to go to DeBeers though. He was a genuine heat magnet through & through, and he helped to put some shine on Hall, who could have easily been made to look like a clueless goof under the right circumstances out there.

More randomness for me in the meantime...

Karl "Machine Gun" Anderson vs. Roderick Strong from Super Card of Honor 7 last year. Bleh. This was just a muddled mess to me. I really, REALLY wanted to like this match so much more going in, too. I generally dig both guys' work, but if I'm being completely honest - their matches are very hit or miss. So I guess it's not exactly unfathomable that they'd hold next to no chemistry when working TOGETHER here. And that's precisely what went down.

Just a complete disconnect from the get-go. No smooth transitioning. Everything felt rehearsed and prepackaged. They'd wander aimlessly to fill time. There was a sense of dead air to it, and a good chunk of the match was kind of like each guy waiting on the other to get caught up and in place for their next planned spot. At one point, Anderson drapes Strong across the barricade at ringside. Anderson then literally stops & stares at Roddy, until Strong actually adjusts HIMSELF and waits to receive an attempted Cutter. Just awkward movements & motions on everything. Nothing felt fluid at all.

Even the strong style no-sell, which I'm pretty high on in the right spots & doses, felt out of place and absurd here. Karl standing there with his hands down and leaning INTO the back-fists and strikes... just seemed weird. It wasn't like he was doing the "dare" thing that Elgin does either. Just standing there like a goof and eating some shots, basically waiting for Roddy to run the ropes so they could - you guessed it - set up the next spot.

The tease for the Cutter finish was clunky at best, too. I've seen some good reversals, counters into counters, and spin-offs done to set up the Cutter over the years. This... was not one of those times. When Anderson finally DOES catch Strong with the Cutter, I guess you're meant to care or pop for it. But it's coming off a weak string of teases, and it just seems very flat.

Again, I wanted to like this one so much more than I did. Ahh well. Can't all be winners, I guess.

Oh. There is one badass Bicycle Kick from Anderson on the apron. Roddy eats that boot like a champ. So there's at least that.

Randy Orton vs. Christian (c) from SummerSlam 2011. This is the big blow-off, and I actually dug it for what it was. Don't get me wrong. I get WHY Christian fans would be upset with his handling & booking throughout the feud, but come on. He's the chicken-spit heel, and he played it up to the HILT. I love cowardly, seedy Christian. It's a better fit on him than the plucky underdog deal, although he's fully capable of conveying that as well. I just think it's a case of the guy being CLEARLY better suited for one role over the other. That's all.

Edge coming out and dumping on Christian was lame. Besides, wouldn't it have been better for Edge to show up as the guest referee instead? That way, they could tease interference on Christian's behalf, play off distrust from Orton, and question whether Edge will call it down the middle. I mean, if they've got him locked in for the appearance ANYHOW, why not make the most of it? I get that the guy couldn't take a bump, but that's not exactly a requirement. In fact, if anything, I think NOT having him take a bump is more unexpected - especially in the context of a No DQ brawl.

The actual match was fun though. I'm a sucker for call-back spots, and the moment where Christian had Randy sprawled out and set in place for the Con-Chair-To... only to SPIT down onto his face? Glorious. Enjoyed the hell out of it. Randy's reaction was PERFECT, too. The overkill onslaught that followed was PRECISELY what should have gone down, given the story that they'd told thus far. Randy's mental state, anger issues, etc. were a key part of WHY and HOW he lost the belt in the first place. It's only fitting that he unleashes that rage again in order to recapture the prize. Christian does a great job selling the punishment, too - flipping & flopping around in agony like a freaking frog in a blender.

But Christian wasn't totally outclassed. He counters and almost sets up his own comeback, but not-uh. Randy does the mid-air RKO and leaves Captain Charisma splattered across the ring steps. So yeah. The hero triumphs. The villain goes down in defeat in EPIC style. The finish was definitive. For me at least, this was a seriously SATISFYING end to their rivalry. It told a great, entertaining story. And Christian was actually able to get even MORE mileage out of it on the other side - powering forward with his "One More Match" campaign for quite awhile.

The only thing I'd change is some of the buildup, since I do believe the overkill comeback from Orton would've felt more justified and enjoyable if Christian had been allowed to look more like a legitimate threat going in. Winning the belt via DQ made sense from a story line perspective, but I'm just honestly never a fan of a belt changing hands that way. It set up the "spit in the face" segment of this match wonderfully, but things could have been shifted around and still made sense there. Christian could just as easily have won the belt through nefarious means (an actual pinfall or submission over Randy), then retained by tricking Orton into losing his **** and raging out with the whole "spit in the face" routine.

That still would have led us here to the No DQ stipulation, the overkill spot, AND with the added benefit of Christian actually looking comparable to Randy as far as skills and rep go. But I digress... For what it was, in a vacuum, the match is REALLY entertaining. Oh, and Booker knocking Edge's outfit on commentary is a nifty bonus.

I finally started to finish up the Best of the Super Juniors with some late night viewing last night. Hoping to wrap it up & catch the PWG event before the weekend's over.

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SomethingSavage
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Still making my way through the first few nights of this year's Best of the Super Juniors, but I took a detour to catch this week's SmackDown. Glad I did, too.

Don't sleep on this one, guys. I honestly can't recall the last single, isolated episode of WWE television that was this good up & down the card. A lot of the stuff was completely cold & simply tossed together, but it clicked. Really fun show throughout.

Wade "Bad News" Barrett vs. Roman Reigns wasn't anything extraordinary, but it's probably the best solo performance I've seen from Reigns to date. It's still a little weird to see him sell so much and fight from underneath. I've grown so accustomed to seeing him in the "secret weapon" role - just generally receiving the hot tag, doing the superman save routine, and going home with the comeback routine.

But he did okay here. Barrett is a believable guy to be putting THIS kind of punishment on Roman, so it worked well enough. No clean finish, which I think is smart. 3MB causes a DQ with their run-in, seeking revenge. They get none of it, of course - as Roman promptly lays waste to the trio. Worth watching just to see Reigns murder, death, kill Slater with an AWESOME spear in mid-air on the outside.

Sheamus vs. Cesaro just about stole the show for me though. It's a toss-up between this one and the main event, for sure. These guys REALLY brought the bruising offense, and I loved every second of it.

Cesaro carves up Sheamus with those crisp, clean-cut uppercuts. There's a spot where he just CRUSHES Sheamus' sternum with a caving kick to the chest, squashing Sheamus in the corner & setting up the always eye-pleasing facewash.

Oh, and those crossface forearms? Absolute devastation. Cesaro ROCKS Sheamus' jawline with those bad boys, time & time again. At one point, Cesaro puts so much power behind one of 'em that he literally loses his footing and falls down with the follow-through. Just a raw, roughhouse fight right here.

And that doesn't even TOUCH on the neat story line stuff they accomplished here. Heyman's pre-match promo put all the pieces into place perfectly. The finish, with Cesaro countering and using his OWN cradle - PLUS grabbing the tights? Nicely done. Extremely clever, and it ACTUALLY builds to the next logical step of their feud.

So this isn't just a series of endless rematches we're seeing, which WWE has been guilty of sending down the assembly line a lot lately. So kudos to them on that end. In fact, I think this bout actually surpasses what these guys did at Payback. Maybe I'm in the minority with that line of thinking, but it's certainly not far off.

Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose was our main event, and it delivers big time. Phenomenally fun, physical contest from beginning to end. Bray has this way of working that just revolves around bombs and brutality. All his maneuvers and motions feel like broad strokes. It's full steam ahead at all times, and it's blunt force trauma type attacks. Nothing seems like filler or meaningless time-killing, like a lot of the "punchy kicky stompy" stuff we got in the Attitude Era heyday, for example. Hard to put into words, but when I watch the guy work - it's easy to point out.

Anyway, Bray pumps plenty of violence into this thing - whether it's the spine-jarring slam against the apron or the battering head-shots against the ring post. Oh. And there's the car-crash crossbody he busts out, too. Always dig that.

Dean retaliates with some darn good stuff of his own. Big DDT, the stinging jabs, the suicide dive. You name it. There's pretty much no lull in this match. It's nonstop.

There's also this terrific visual of Dean and Bray, both on their knees, just staring across at their foe eye-to-eye. Dean's got the eyes of a wildman, and he's shouting something directly at Bray. It's a GREAT image that's ultimately doomed to get swept aside in the abundance of TV we get every week. But it's still worth noting as a neat sight to see.

I like the way they're establishing that Bray can strike with the Sister Abigail attack out of thin air now. It's much more lethal as a sudden death type kill-shot, and it adds sharper teeth to his overall persona.

Dean is excitement. Pure, plain, and simple. The guy's a bundle of energy brought to life. If Seth Rollins is quietly putting critics to rest with his confident comfort & poise as a heel, then Dean Ambrose has shouted out loud that he is ALL ACES as a babyface. His peril routine, his fiery comebacks, his selling, his timing... EVERYTHING just gels so freaking well with this guy.

It's been almost a revelation with Ambrose this year, because I never would've called it. I'm pleasantly surprised. It's sheer versatility. The guy's practically got zero downside now, and I'm stoked for the possibilities with his future. Dean's playing the part perfectly thus far. He's a loose cannon with a lit fuse. A human hand grenade. And I know fans are calling to see that villainous side of him again soon, but I personally wouldn't have it any other way for now.

Now then... back to New Japan soon, probably with another pit stop for some more WWE or ROH randomness here & there. I'll post up thoughts on the Super Juniors when (IF?!) I get through the rest of the shows.

[ 06-14-2014, 05:12 PM: Message edited by: SomethingSavage ]

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Grant
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Watching Bruno Sammartino matches on youtube, trying to wrap my brain around his popularity.
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SomethingSavage
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Right guy. Right place. Right time. Superman treatment. Local hometown hero. Ethnic Italian fan base. He was "their" guy. Plug in the right elements & ingredients - the fiery comeback, the believable intensity, the legitimate strength, and some natural charm - and you've got yourself a popular hero to the people.

Or just revisit the Larry angle and the Spiros feud. The experiences pretty much explain themselves. Bruno was very good at what he did.

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Arnold_OldSchool
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http://culturecrossfire.com/wrestling/royal-rumble-96/#.U6A2D7Em-So

The Monday Night Wars come to another PPV stop...This time VADER debuts and tries to end HBK's boyhood dream in the Royal Rumble, Bret Hart collides with the Dead Man, Razor Ramon fights off Goldust's advances, Ahmed Johnson clashes with Double J and the Smoking Gunns defend against The Body Donnas.

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SomethingSavage
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Finally finished up this year's Best of the Super Juniors. I liked a lot of the matches, although I was admittedly disappointed to see Mascara Dorada do so poorly overall. The guy's a GREAT high-flying talent, and he performs some of his dives with incredible ease. Dude's smooth as butta' in the air out there. But that's a minor complaint, as the majority of the matches DELIVERED. Think the blocks could have benefited from being structured a bit differently to guarantee better matches, but what we actually got still turned out to be VERY good anyhow.

Taka can still go, man. Naturally, he doesn't have quite the same spring in his leaps or anything, but he's still polished enough to look like a legitimate threat out there with these younger competitors. Say what ya will, but he never seems out of place to me.

Taichi took this chance to make a real SPLASH. He's not on the same page as a Nakamura when it comes to character work or anything, but his performances are REALLY entertaining in their own right. He's got this heel Eddie Guerrero vibe to him right now, and the guy's genuinely exciting to watch. The pairing with Taka took some time to grow on me at first, but I'm really digging the stuff now. His stalling and antics don't ever tread water or feel tiresome and boring to me.

Throughout the tourney, Taichi played the arrogant & cocky part perfectly well, because he meshed it with this sense of danger and unpredictability. He's loose and lethargic, but it's all character work. The guy's not lazy. He's just full of himself and almost apathetic towards his opposition a lot of the time. It's hard to put into the words, but the guy's turned into a joy to watch.

I just hope the suspension and punishment for his "out of ring" shenanigans doesn't do him much harm in the long run. I like the shtick with Taka as it is.

Watching Rocky Romero and Alex Kozlov separately just reminded me how they are SO much better when paired together. These guys just don't do much for me in singles. Maybe I'm in the minority. I dig the Forever Hooligans as a unit, but individually? Not real big on either guy.

I've heard people dump on Tiger Mask lately, and judging by his contributions to this tournament - I can't understand why. He brought some good stuff out in these outings, for sure. In the opening round alone, he tossed Romero around like a rag doll with suplex after suplex. Wrecked him with a suicide dive that pushed back a few rows of chairs. Ruined him with a Tombstone Piledriver. Ripped away the Black Tiger hood, and then promptly folded Romero up like a lawn chair for the decision. It was the first match that really got me revved up for the rest of the tourney, and I never necessarily saw a drop-off in quality in Tiger Mask from there to be honest. Maybe I've missed out on some of his phoned-in work though.

I even enjoyed a lot of the random Bullet Club tags we got along the way. I'm no fan of the guy, but even Bad Luck Fale plays his part well. Reminds me of The Wall / Malice back in the day. Not lighting up anybody's radar as must-watch, but he knows what to do & when to do it. And, disagree if you want, but I feel like Doc Gallows has shown drastic improvement over the past few years. He's as fun a big man worker as you're going to find out there right now.

But Tama Tonga was the one that consistently drew my attention. Guy's got a natural presence and aura of intensity to him. Most of the Polynesians seem to share the same traits and similar qualities, sure. But he's got this extra bit of the intangibles. Maybe I'm overrating it or exaggerating, but that could be because it's still fresh in my mind. It DOES make me wonder why he hasn't been approached by WWE yet though. If Camacho landed a developmental deal, then surely they'd seek out Tonga, who has a look & feel of a natural bred superstar in the making.

My money was on Kushida to take the whole darn thing, and I was a tad disheartened to find out we WEREN'T going to wind up getting a Time Splitters clash after all. Shame that Shelley went down to injury. Kushida still impressed and made it all the way to the finals. With the way Ricochet breezed past the semi-finals, I *kind of* thought we were going to get shades of Bigelow/Bret from KOTR '93 - with Kushida outlasting the endurance factor and overcoming all obstacles to win the prize at the end of the night.

I was wrong. In a dazzling display of EVERYTHING these two have in their arsenal, Ricochet and Kushida delivered a tremendous match that's worthy of being called a Best of the Super Juniors finale. Still not totally sold on the Benadryller as Ric's signature finish, but meh. That's nitpicking, I guess. I can certainly understand why the guy would want to scale back on SOME of the high-risk stuff. I'd never fault a guy for trying to take better care of his body in that sense.

All in all, every night of the tourney gave us something different and something exciting. No complaints on that end. The booking kept me guessing right up to the end. Ricochet is as good as anyone to fill that void left behind by Devitt, if they choose to go that route with him. I get the sense that - at this specific moment in time anyhow - Ricochet is really generating that same style of hype and buzz around him. He really feels like he's on the cusp of becoming that next piece of highly sought after international talent.

Meantime? No harm done to Kushida, who is still finding his identity away from the Time Splitters. Not sure how long Shelley will be out of action, but this could be the premier time to put more focus and emphasis on launching Kushida towards more significant solo outings. I'm excited to see where they go with him.

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SomethingSavage
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Been purposely going back and giving a fresh look at several Ladder Matches that feel less memorable or lost in the surplus we've experienced over the years. Just wanting to see if there are specific reasons they don't stand out to me, or if I've just forgotten about them and been swept up in the "here and now" as time marched on.

CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. The Miz - Tables, Ladders, and Chairs for the WWE Championship.
This one came at the 2011 TLC event. I went into this one totally blind, as I couldn't recall or pinpoint one single moment or spot from this match. In fact, I don't think I'd seen it since the actual pay-per-view itself. Didn't really have high hopes either. I mean, yeah. Punk's solid enough, but both 'Berto and Miz have a long track record of being VERY hit or miss for me. Anyhow, Punk was the champ going in, having just won the belt back at Survivor Series. He's still very much in rebel Punk mode, getting huge babyface reactions for the most part.

The announcers note that all 3 of these men are past Money In The Bank winners. So this is billed as some sort of all-stars, I guess. Funny. When I look at Del Rio and Miz, I don't think Ladder Match worker at all. Far from specialists, for sure. And it shows throughout most of the bout here.

Typical double-team stuff to start, with the two heels ganging up on Punk with your usual dual offense. They DO snap off a nifty double-team Hot Shot across the top rope that we don't see often enough, in my book. Nothing special, but hey. Nifty spot to throw out there, nonetheless.

We get a lot of the stock ladder match stuff. Punk mixes in some of his little things, like the knee strike through the ladder. 'Berto gets the best of Miz with a back drop onto the ladder, which I really think should have been reserved for Punk. It comes at a time in the match when the crowd was hungry for Miz's blood, and Punk could have benefited from the babyface redemption scenario right there.

There's a nice spot with Punk having Miz set up for a superplex, but 'Berto rushes over and does the run-up enziguri in the corner. Holy hell. This kick lands FLUSH to Punk's freaking face. Even has the sickening SMACK sound effect. This is something that should be getting replayed anytime they want to shine up Del Rio for a new program or something. Seriously.

Moving along, 'Berto FINALLY comes around to full throttle heel mode and goes all "shark that smells blood." I must say - I don't care for plenty of Del Rio's performances, but when he turns it on? It's FANTASTIC to watch him get all malicious. He breaks out some handcuffs, which brought a slight smirk to my face. Clever. Classic heel tactics.

Punk fires up and RIPS APART the brace of the ladder. Neat visual.

Ricardo Rodriguez eventually earns his pay, and in a pretty big way. He gets toppled off the ladder and takes a NASTY spill down through a ringside table. Christ. He PLUNGES through the wood like an ass backwards beaver with a bag of bricks strapped to his back. Just brutal. Lands with a loud THUD that'd make you believe there was nothing but concrete underneath. Refs signal that he's alright - still alive and kicking - though.

Miz later handcuffs Punk to the middle turnbuckle. Again, just a clever spot. And Punk plays it up, making the most of the moment and seizing the opportunity to put it over like all hope is lost. Great visual there.

The rest of the match is just Punk making the comeback and retrieving the belt to retain. Nothing extraordinary, but I definitely came away from this with a higher appreciation for the match itself. I mean, yeah. There's a reason it isn't talked about or rated up there among the all-time best TLCs or Ladder Matches. It's just not THAT kind of quality. But it's passable. It has some neat stuff worked into the context of the story, although I honestly feel like they could have gotten a lot more mileage out of 'Berto and Miz trying to top one another in terms of dirty deeds or something.

Other impressions? Well, Miz is CLEARLY outclassed as a heel by Alberto at this point. There's no wonder why he was shuffled down the card so much, to be totally honest. It wasn't just a sign of the times, because he feels so far out of place in a lot of these main events in retrospect. And that brings me to...

The Miz (c) vs. Jerry "The King" Lawler - TLC Match for the WWE Championship.
Another match from (much earlier) 2011, and another match in Miz's ill-fated main event run. Ugh. Still, I wanted to give this a fair shake and look at it through freshened eyes. So let's see what we got.

Nothing outstanding, which was what I expected. I did recall that there was nothing mind-blowing about the match, but I remember being excited for the story and stuff back around this time. I guess just getting Lawler back in the mix and then gearing him up for the 'Mania buildup was what I was remembering most, 'cause yeah. Nothing much here.

Miz manages to stand out for his sheer LACK of showmanship. For a guy that earned his spot and status for working his mouth and being "charismatic", he sure doesn't show much here. He could have channeled villainous shades of Lawler himself and done some trash-talking in the ring, but we got very little of even that. Miz cracks Jerry across the back with some chair shots that are softer than powdered pastries. And sure. The natural explanation is that he was worried about hurting the legend, but come on. Rule of thumb - if you can't execute the stuff well or properly, then it isn't worth doing.

Miz goes on to blow a spot with a couple of chairs. But hey. At least the setup looks like it WOULD HAVE (MAYBE?!) been a cool spot. Ya know. Had he actually connected or whatever.

Of course, Jerry's big comeback is the saving grace of this match for me. In a heated little moment that actually comes across as exciting and almost "in the moment", Alex Riley plays the stooge and hops onto the apron to distract Lawler. The King barrels over and SLUGS A-Ry on the jaw, knocking him straight down off the apron and down, down, DOWN through a ringside table.

And that's about it. Miz takes a similar bump through a table, setting in motion the finishing sequence with Cole and all that. So yeah. I came away from this one about the same, all in all.

Oh, and I'm still catching other matches at random of course. Like this little gem...

"Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. Jay Lethal from ROH Super Card of Honor VII.
I remember the buzz this one got when it first went down, so I guess I *kind of* went in with high hopes - but I also wanted to fairly judge it now that there's been some time and separation from the hype and all the message board overrating that sometimes comes with these matches.

But nah. NONE O' THAT HERE. Won't even lie, guys. I still gush over this one. It's just FUN. Yes. It has some faults. But it works on so many levels as this great chapter in elevating Elgin, keeping Lethal revved up & relevant, and just being a generally BADASS clash of babyfaces. It functions extremely well as a straight-laced, action-packed match that is just jammed bell to bell with a lot of energy and intensity. This isn't the story of two guys trying to cripple each other. It's the tale of two guys busting ass and breaking limits, finding out who WANTS IT more. And hey. I dig that.

They start off with a standoff, which is one of those things I'm just a sucker for. It's a small detail, sure. But it helps to enhance a match and make it stand out as more of a big deal, even if the moment isn't really destined to be one in the long run. Doesn't matter. It's about being in the moment here. And in this moment? These guys look supercharged and ready to wage war.

Lethal busts out a three-peat suicide dive spot, SQUISHING Elgin against the barricade each time. Loved that. Throw in the Koji freaking Clutch from Lethal, as well as a Black Machismo callback with the Macho Man elbow. Ohhhh yeah. I'm fully into the match at this point. Follow that later with some of my personal favorite Elgin spots, like the Deadlift Suplex and the always-awesome, SOOPAH snug Bicycle Kick to the mush. Nice, clean, and crisp.

The match pretty much keeps the course, up until we reach the no-selling points. Now these are tricky for me. They CAN be aggravating when they're overdone, taken too far to an extreme, or simply tossed out way too many times in the course of a SINGLE night's card. But here? I don't find fault with it. Elgin does the deal where he gets smacked around a few times and just stands there, daring Lethal to REALLY bring it and try to knock him out. That's a typical tough guy thing that I can buy into, no problem.

Now a little later, we start to crossover into the "this might be a little TOO much" territory, but it's not enough to really detract from my enjoyment of the match. The **** goes down when Elgin eats a Reverse Rana and is spiked on his big (balding) DAD-HAIR WEARIN' DOME. Mister Unbreakable shakes it off, rises up, and roars in Jay's face.

Lethal responds by rushing off the ropes and SCORING with the Lethal Injection. Here's where we get sideways a bit, 'cause Elgin rises up from THIS, TOO. I'd complain, but I like the rest of the match WAYYYY too much to nitpick on a single little thing like that one instance of going "too far" with the no-selling. So meh. Sue me.

PLUS, it plays into the bigger story, as we get this instantly AWESOME visual of Jay clutching onto the bottom rope, looking like it's certain dread and eternal despair in his life. He looks like a man out of options, and it's simply stupendous.

Finish follows up on the whole story of the match, as it's maximum, high-octane offense back to back to FREAKING BACK. How's this strike ya? Jay eats a RAPID FIRE succession of... Super Powerbomb, Spinning Backfist, and then a Buckle Bomb tucked straight into a Spinning Sitout Elgin Bomb. It's a freaking buffet of brutality, folks. I know some people might criticize this as an "indie-riffic" style finish, but nah. It's strong, for sure. But that's the point.

I think it ties in nicely & fits within the context of the match and their story. Fits well enough, and it works for me. It's breathtaking in the sort of way that leaves you feeling exhausted after watching a thoroughly EXCITING match that just packs the feel of a nonstop thrill ride. That's what this was for me. In fact, I'm disappointed that I haven't gone back and seen it more times now. I'll definitely be revisiting it a few more times in the future.

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by SomethingSavage:
Right guy. Right place. Right time. Superman treatment. Local hometown hero. Ethnic Italian fan base. He was "their" guy. Plug in the right elements & ingredients - the fiery comeback, the believable intensity, the legitimate strength, and some natural charm - and you've got yourself a popular hero to the people.

Or just revisit the Larry angle and the Spiros feud. The experiences pretty much explain themselves. Bruno was very good at what he did.

I have definitely gained a new respect for him, especially after watching his stuff with Zybysko and Hansen. Only saw one match against Arion.
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Arnold_OldSchool
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http://culturecrossfire.com/wrestling/the-monday-night-wars-week-21-january-22nd-1996/#.U6Lpd7Em-So

Another big week in the Monday night wars as VADER makes a major impact during his first televised appearance, Razor Ramon collides with HHH, Bret Hart butts heads with Goldust, Randy Savage faces Ric Flair and Sting, Luger and Hogan are all in action!

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Arnold_OldSchool
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http://culturecrossfire.com/wrestling/the-clash-of-the-champions-32/#.U6VDZrEm-So

The MegaPowers collide with Ric Flair and The Giant! Luger and Sting battle the BlueBloods, Eddy Guerrero flies high against Brian Pillman, Public Enemy brawl with The Nasty Boyz, plus luchadores and cruiser-weights in action!

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Arnold_OldSchool
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http://culturecrossfire.com/wrestling/capital-combat-90-the-return-of-robocop/#.U6l2krEm-So

Lex Luger clashes with Ric Flair in the Thunderdome! The Steiners defend their titles against DOOM, Tom Zenk and Brian Pillman bring their aerial assault to the Midnight Express, The Road Warriors and Norman collide with Kevin Sullivan, Bam Bam Bigelow and Cactus Jack plus ROBOCOP and other bad matches!

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Arnold_OldSchool
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http://culturecrossfire.com/wrestling/clash-of-the-champions-11-coastal-crush/#.U6wS4LEm-So

Flair's infamous match with JYD headlines a night that also features Lex Luger vs. Sid, The Steiners against DOOM, The Rock and Roll Express colliding with the Midnight Express, Paul Orndorff taking the measure of Arn Anderson, Doug Furnas challenging Barry Windham, Brian Pillman making The Undertaker look like a beast and more!

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Pbhero
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Wow.

I finally got around to watching Black Mirror.

First episode blew me away. Very intense, dark and complicated.

I guess it's an anthology show. Looking forward to watching more..but I wont be able to take it if they are as messed up as the first.

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Arnold_OldSchool
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http://culturecrossfire.com/wrestling/the-monday-night-wars-week-22-january-29th-1996/#.U7ZtELEm-Sp Another big week in the Wars as Konnan faces the One Man Gang, Hulk Hogan clashes with Ric Flair, Macho Man attempts to slay the Giant, The Road Warriors against the Faces of Fear, and the Kliq tangle with Camp Cornette. Plus bonus coverage of Eddy Guerrero against Lex Luger and Dean Malenko grappling with the Nature Boy!
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jtx
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A random selection off the network - Judgement Day 2004

I enjoyed this show. The shocker was how entertaining the Cena/Dupree US title match was. Man did Dupree have some big time star potential. Undertaker/Booker was disappointing. I don't remember where they went from here but the Rico/Charlie Hass team was fun and the crowd was eating it up. Eddie/JBl was pretty shocking even knowing going in it was a bloodbath. In fact my guess is bloodbaths wouldn't even want to be associated with this. How Eddie was still moving or why no one stepped in to stop it will forever remain a mystery. Just brutal.

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Arnold_OldSchool
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I think T was supposed to do a Papa Shongo gimmick to feud with Taker.


http://culturecrossfire.com/wrestling/the-monday-night-wars-week-23-february-5th-1996/#.U7nFybEm-Sp

The Kliq battles Camp Cornette, The Kid and Hakushi fly high, and Bret Hart collides with The Undertaker on RAW, Nitro counters with Macho Man colliding with Chris Benoit, A "shoot" between Kevin Sullivan and Brian Pillman and finishes with Sting and Lex Luger trying to out muscle the Road Warriors

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SomethingSavage
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Aside from keeping up with the current product & my favorite indies, I'm still watching a bunch of random stuff whenever I get the chance. As far as agendas go though, I've been deliberately trying to go back and revisit some of the "lesser" Ladder Matches of the past. Maybe they're only "under the radar" in terms of how I recall them, but it's something I've been attempting to give a second glance.

Recently?

Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit (c) vs. The Hardys vs. Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz - TLC 3 for the WWF Tag Team Championship. This comes from an episode of SmackDown in 2001, and I remember it getting lots of love at the time. That's about all I remember though. Very little else springs to mind going into this one. But the same could be said about TLC 4, and it blew me away upon rewatch recently. So we'll see.

Right away, I find myself turned away by some of Cole's commentary. I know complaining about Cole is pretty much a broken record at this point, but hearing his contributions on commentary back-to-back with a JR match is staggering. It's such a stark contrast in what the two can do in terms of elevating a match and truly MAKING moments mean something. There are a few big spots in this bout that just scream for more streamlined significance & better calls than what Cole could possibly give them. It's noticeable, and that's the only reason I mention it here. With that out of the way though...

The action itself is incredible. There's a neat spot with a drop toe hold into the ladder, which is one of those things you'd THINK would be done to death by now, but it isn't. Jeff takes a Superplex from Bubba Ray, and young Nero nearly gets folded up like a lawn chair when his legs BARELY miss the top rope on the drop. Narrowly avoids what could have been a serious injury there.

Jericho is force fed a NASTY chair shot to the skull. Seriously. His head is tucked into his torso like a turtle shell off the impact. Brutal stuff from the get-go.

Aside from the crazy violent excitement, some "story" is infused into the match. Benoit misses a swan dive headbutt to the outside and crashes through a table. He's carted out of the match temporarily, only to make his way back later and really sell the rib injury. So naturally, the hunting party converge likes rabid wolves and start to pick the bones of Benoit's rib cage. And the Wolverine puts it over proper. He clenches and grabs his ribs like his insides are being put through a freaking meat grinder. It's fantastic.

Edge and Christian pour on the violence, and they eventually bombard Benoit with folding chairs from both sides. That's right. It's a standing Con-Chair-To, with one coming from the left, one coming from the right. Benoit is sandwiched between the steel.

True to form, the closing stretch never lets up. They crank up the intensity and urgency with a succession of dangerous stuff. There's a sick monitor shot, another table spot to satisfy the crowd, and a tremendous Twist of Fate that almost HAS TO BE SEEN (and never got enough love in the video package department, I'd say). Plus there's Edge's go-to move of the Ladder Match, the Super Spear. It's all wrapped up nicely in the end, with Jericho and Benoit overcoming the odds and remaining champs to keep the program with Austin alive and well for the meantime.

As far as fast-paced, frantic action-packed matches go? This one sure was a truckload of fun. Definitely glad I decided to give it another look after all these years. If you get the hankering for this specific match type, then TLC 3 delivers the goods well enough.

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