IN-RING SEGMENT: ALEISTER BLACK & LARS SULLIVAN
Sullivan announces that he will be Black’s first title challenger at Takeover: Chicago. He reverses Black’s finisher into his own and holds up the NXT Championship. This was a simple but good way to build up the feud. It’s the first time we’ve seen Black in trouble like that except for when Almas attacked him from behind.
Segment Rating: Five This Is Your Lifes
Continue reading “NXT Review, 5/30”
JACK GALLAGHER & THE BRIAN KENDRICK VS. KALISTO & LINCE DORADO
Two contrasting styles make for a really fun match because I dig both. The lucha style is so quick and exciting, while Gallagher and Kendrick’s ground-based offense is pretty awesome to watch as well. The ground style is definitely more effective and painful. Once the submission wrestlers inevitably catch the luchadors, they don’t just slow them down at the moment, but the damage they do has lasting effects throughout the match. Drew Gulak continues to feud with Lucha House Party and helps Gallagher and Kendrick to the win in a pretty good match. He’s already wrestled all of them, and they’ve been great matches so I’m looking forward to more, but where is the storyline going? I expect a six-man tag next week or within the next few weeks.
Match Rating: Six Gold Medals
Continue reading “205 Live Review, 5/29”
Happy Memorial Day! Raw opens with a moving and heartfelt tribute to fallen soldiers. Now it’s time for some rasslin’.
Continue reading “Raw Review, 5/28”
HEAVY MACHINERY VS. TM61
Heavy Machinery is such a fun team, and I want to believe “steaks and weights” really is their religion. It’s always cool to see a big man like Tucker Knight suplex two guys at once. Dozovic is a perfect guy for a hot tag. He is over as hell and really plays to the crowd, not to mention his devastating offense. TM61 picks up a win with feet on the ropes, the only logical way they should beat Heavy Machinery. Great way to get them heat with a dirty win over a massively over face team. Very well done match that successfully furthered a story. Continue reading “NXT Review, 5/23”
A lot of people have written and talked about the Attitude era of WWF as some sort of monolithic 4-year period, but savvy viewers will realize that there are chapters to its story.
Chapter 1: Wrestlemania 13 through Survivor Series 1997
Chapter 2: The dark period between Survivor Series 1997 and Wrestlemania 14, when WWF was still losing the ratings war to WCW, but Steve Austin was ascending.
Chapter 3: Wrestlemania 14 through Fully Loaded 1999, the Austin/McMahon feud.
Chapter 4: Summerslam 1999 through No Mercy 2000, when the in-ring product improved immensely, and Chris Kreski contributed coherent storylines.
Chapter 5: The home stretch of amazing PPV’s and angles from Survivor Series 2000 through Wrestlemania 17. Continue reading “Review: Unforgiven 1999”
DREW GULAK VS. GRAN METALIK
Gulak, who was trained as a luchador, continues to have great matches with the members of Lucha House Party. Gulak’s slow-down, submission-based style makes Metalik’s comebacks even more exciting for the crowd. They get put into a lull by Gulak and want some action and then Metalik indulges them with his exciting fast-paced offense. The lucha style is so much fun to watch. Gulak almost rips Metalik’s mask off with the Gu-Lock. That hold looks ridiculously painful. Another solid match for Gulak and a luchador.
Match Rating: Five Gold Medals
TJP VS. CHRISTOPHER GUY
TJP is one cocky SOB. Even though he was this iteration of the cruiserweight division’s first champion, he definitely got more recognition and more over once he turned heel. He was never threatened in this one as he defeats the jobber with ease. No matter what kind of attitude he has, he’s damn good in the ring. In his post-match interview he wasn’t even breathing heavily. He demands opportunities or he’ll go to SmackDown. I think we’ll see him back in the title picture soon.
Match Rating: Five Gold Medals
HIDEO ITAMI VS. AKIRA TOZAWA
I’ve really been looking forward to this match. Itami should be a Cruiserweight Championship contender, but there’s only so much room at the top, and on the heel side, Murphy is already getting his shot, and you have TJP and Drew Gulak who can also lay claim to deserving a shot. I wouldn’t mind see him continue this feud with Tozawa, but I’d prefer to see him feud with Mustafa Ali. I think they’d have awesome matches. He taunts the crowd and taunts Tozawa throughout this match, playing a terrific cocky heel and garnering a ton of heat from the crowd. Tozawa gets the upper hand and also perfectly plays to the crowd. It can be tough for the 205 Live main event to keep the crowd in it because it’s such a long night, but these guys are both excellent at getting the reactions they want. A lot of back and forth action as the match goes on, and Itami hits an incredible looking super falcon arrow from the top rope for a two count. Tozawa misses his top rope senton which leads to a few basement dropkicks from Itami and an knee to the face move for a three count. What a hell of a match, that was incredibly entertaining. I suspect this is the end of their feud, but I really hope they meet again.
Match Rating: Ten Gold Medals
Overall Show Rating: Eight Gold Medals
The heel gets the crowd to chant for his talk show and his sure-to-be-shitty TV show. Great heel work. It’s stuff like this that’s made me pretty sick of Miz. And worse, the members of New Day are his guests. I’m glad they can make each other laugh. That’s about all they can do at this point. The only thing Miz does in this segment that I approve of is try to break up them up. At least he slides back into an actual heel role by the end of the segment. And yes I laughed pretty hard at the Game of Thrones pancake reference, so the segment finally got pretty good by the end. As I figured would happen, Paige makes the match happen.
Segment Rating: Four Gold Medals
Continue reading “SmackDown Review, 5/22”
OPENING SEGMENT: KURT ANGLE, STEPHANIE MCMAHON, ROMAN REIGNS, & KEVIN OWENS
This is really interesting, having a heel Kevin Owens telling the crowd to chant for Roman… it’s like double secret reverse psychology. I dig it. I guess they figure they can get a complete split reaction in their match, with the Roman haters cheering for KO and the rest cheering for Reigns. Whatever, roll with it.
Segment Rating: Five Gold Medals, plus one more for Kurt being in it
Continue reading “Raw Review, 5/21”
I was recently approached about contributing some reviews of older shows available on the WWE network, and I jumped at the chance because I love my old wrestling. Oddly enough, the show I’m going to talk about today—In Your House 7: Good Friends, Better Enemies, from April of 1996— took place when I was not watching wrestling at all. In the early 90’s my favorites were Randy Savage, Jake Roberts, and I had my Ted DiBiase wrestling buddy, but by the mid 90’s I was into sports, and wrestling fell by the wayside until late 1996 with the emergence of Sycho Sid and Steve Austin, as well as the NWO.
Continue reading “REVIEW: In Your House 7: Good Friends, Better Enemies”