Friday, October 24, 2014

Bellator 130 - Newton-Vassell

Bellator brings Bobby Lashley back into the cage for his second fight in under two months. Given that he's 38, that seems a bit quick, but he really hasn't been injured all that much beyond his jacked-up shoulder in '07. He's a shockingly durable guy for someone carrying around so much mass, and tonight he's facing a dangerous knockout artist with no name who has the potential to make a name off of Lashley tonight. TNA really hyped up Lashley's first Bellator fight, but this past week's Impact was the first time I recall them bringing this one up. The timing of Lashley's title loss on-air is kind of perfect, because if he takes a beating or loses, or even wins after a long match, the TNA timeline of things happening on Wednesday allows a story to be told of him being exhausted - which fits into what Roode's promo brought up on Impact.

The pre-show Cops credits footage has JUGGLING! An excellent highlight reel for both of tonight's main eventers airs. Everyone else on the card gets a highlight reel and looks like a world-beater. Bellator's production has gotten a lot better on Spike, but this was one of the best things they've done to make the company look major league.

Dave Jansen vs. Rick Hawn 

 Rob Hinds is the referee for this bout. The first minute is spent with a lot of light jabs and kicks, but nothing major until Hawn either takes him down or Jansen slips - hard to tell which it was. Each man is fighting very tentatively, which fits into the story told of them being friendly with each other, but doesn't make for an exciting fight. Hawn goes for a left-right combo to counter Jansen's leg kicks, but nothing's getting through. This trend continues throughout the round, which ends after Jansen goes for an axe kick at the bell that Hawn gets his arm up for. This wasn't an exciting round, but could serve as a good place-setter if the leg kicks did any damage.

Jansen gets 10-9 via the Bellator app and Jimmy agrees - he was more active, while Hawn was largely defensive beyond his many punch attempts. Jansen gets more leg kicks, and Hawn finally lands a punch. The crowd is absolutely dead for this - you can hear each coach yell instructions like a TUF fight. Push kick to the thigh by Jansen allows him to recover from a punch that landed nicely. Jansen gets a few leg kicks and an uppercut. Jansen gets a switch kick to the jaw and some more leg kicks to close the round. The crowd is now audibly booing. If the first round was 10-9, this was 10-8 - Hawn had next to nothing here.

Round 3 starts off the same as the first two, but with a bit more up-close combat. Jansen has landed 49 kicks to 0 for Hawn. Jimmy Smith quoted Earnest Hemmingway here - so if you see nothing from this fight, check out the first two minutes of it for that. Smith hypes up the workrate of Jansen. The crowd goes crazy with booing as they do more of the same throughout round 3. They run through tonight's card, and Coenen-Bucci is next, followed by Lashley's fight, and then the main event. The fight ends with some back and forth punches that do no real damage. Janesen wins this fight easily.

An ad airs for Bas Rutten's BAS - Body Action System workout setup airs. Bas does his portion of the ad from what appears to be his own pool. Good for him. They have a highlight reel of Jansen's kicks, and use some really unique camera angles. I dug that - it's different and made the fight seem better. Jansen wins by unanimous decision. Jansen's red glasses and badass shirt were post-fight highlights.

The competitors for the main event are shown walking into the building, while the heavyweight fighters are shown backstage.

Marleos Coenen vs. Annalisa Bucci

Truncated intros are shown for this fight and then they go to a break. Mid-cage intros begin with Bucci getting booed, while Coenen's intro is strangely muted at points. "Big" John McCarthy is the ref here and Coenen starts off with a takedown and immediately goes for a choke. Nothing there, but she gets her hooks in for a choke from the back. Bucci hangs on and eventually gets out of this leading to her getting on top, but with Coenen still largely in control. This is a fine example of just how someone can dominate a fight while on their back. Bucci isn't doing anything that Coenen isn't allowing, and Jimmy Smith references Mike Tyson's Punch-Out - a game that remains fun to play decades later, unlike Bellator's own game. Hopefully, with the Yuke's engine not being used, they can strike a deal with them for a new game and increase the company's profile a bit. Big John orders a standup at the 3 minute mark with very little action. Coenen has her in a possible armbar, but the bell saves Bucci. 10-8 round for Coenen easily, as Bucci had nothing.

Coenen starts off quickly again and throws some punches to get her against the cage. She takes Bucci down, and there's some weird mic-bonking sound getting through here - it happened before, and it's happening now. Bucci is in the guard and hanging on for dear life. Big John tells her to stop stalling. Coenen continues to dominate by using her legs to move Bucci wherever she wants. Bucci is covering up like she's in a warzone trying to avoid gunfire, grenades, and/or grains of sand from coming anywhere near her. Coenen's going for a choke, while Bucci's hanging on to her wrist desperately. BUCCI SHOWS A SIGN OF LIFE! She gets on top voluntarily, but still can't do anything. This is a bad fight for each because it's clear Bucci isn't a match for Coenen in any way, but she's still not being finished, so Coenen doesn't look good - it's like she can't even beat this person who is doing anything possible to drag the fight on. Big John orders Bucci, who is still on top, to actually do something. Coenen is landing some nice elbows here. This show feels cursed, so Bucci will probably get a one-punch KO in round three.

Coenen's fight is a lot like Lashley's first Bellator one - the star's opponent is way out of their league, but the star doesn't shine because they're not finishing the fight as quickly as they logically should. Sean said we expected a squash for Coenen, but it hasn't been that. Well, not a Goldberg squash. More like a Goldberg squash with a lot of rest holds. Coenen takes her out early in the third round via an RNC. Another BAS ad airs with Pancrase clips. Well, I sure didn't expect to see that on national TV in 2014. They've got a new split screen for the post-fight promo and then showing the finish. Coenen came off really sweet here, and thanked Scott Coker for giving her a shot in both Strikeforce and Bellator.

Lashley is backstage without any Impact gear on whatsoever, while his opponent is shown boxing into pads. An ad airs for Tito-Bonnar, which continues to just make the company look bad. Beyond how contrived it seems, it's a bit sleazy to involve Tito's wife and then kids by proxy. Lashley is shown with a hype video about wanting to be a champion in MMA, while Etherington tells him he'll wish he was back in a pro wrestling ring. Lashley cut the best promo of his career promising to slice him up, which led to clips airing of his first Bellator fight. This was a spectacular video that made me oh so happy the fight was up next.

Bobby Lashley vs. Karl Etherington

Lashley has legit sponsors here, unlike his first Bellator fight - so he's definitely looking to be a regular here with TNA's future in doubt. Hinds is the referee here and they had a marvelous staredown. Lashley works him against the cage and Karl knees him right in the crotch. Hinds warns Karl, who gets a cheapshot in after the knee. They get stood up right in the center and Lashley gets him down and dominates with back-mount punches. Wow! Etherington tried to throw Lashley, couldn't do it, and lost the fight as a result. Lashley looked so great here - this was the fight he should've had before.  It was originally called a TKO by the commentators, but Hinds confirmed during the break that it was a submission by strikes. Jeremy Borash and others get their tweets about the fight on-air. Lashley says he's feeling great now and he talks about being so happy to get a big ovation from his home state. This couldn't have gone better for Bobby.

Randy Couture narrates a Dave and Busters video focusing on a legends signing. With Ken Shamrock back in the fold with UFC, I was a bit surprised to see him here. The main eventers are shown training a bit backstage and we get Jimmy's Key's to Victory before one last ad break.

Light Heavyweight World Title - Linton Vassell vs. Emanuel Newton

An awesome Newton video airs getting him over as a kind of silly guy, but a real badass too. They got over the spinning backfist as his finisher, which reminds me of the one Aja Kong threw on her Raw debut that was absolutely vile. Newton said his conversations with the universe revealed that the battle was already over. I half-expected him to talk about Hulk Hogan and airplanes, but thankfully, that didn't happen - he's quirky in some really good ways. Very memorable. 

Vassell's out first followed by the champion. Newton is coming out to the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers theme! Maybe they can bring Jason David Frank in for a fight at some point. Newton goes for a spinning back kick that doesn't get anything. Kick feint leads to Newton switching stances fairly frequently. A spinning back body kick lands for Newton. The crowd was hot for the intros but has cooled down - it feels a bit more like a Japanese wrestling show though where they're paying attention, because they're popping at points. Newton tries for a takedown, but Vassell gets on top and then goes to the back for an RNC. Vassell lets the choke go and Newton flies up, but gets locked into a Kimura sweep instantly. Newton recovers, but quickly finds himself on his back in a crucifix position eating elbows. Newton gets his back and goes for his own RNC. This was an outstanding first round - I'd give Vassell the edge 10-9. Hopefully the remaining rounds can match this one for sheer excitement

Newton goes for a takedown, but it's stuffed. Vassell gets a kimura and it's real close - the arm is torqued and he escapes! Vassell gets back on top and drops some elbows. Now he's landing some shorter punches. Surprisingly, they plug Lashley's match with Roode for the World Title. It's not a huge shock or anything, but you'd think they'd do it before his fight. Lashley's win tonight probably gives TNA a very valuable bargaining chip once again. Vassell gets an RNC, but Newton escapes. Newton slips onto Vassell's back and lands some strikes. A Glory highlight reel aired to hype up the top 20 KOs special airing after this show. 

Newton starts the third round with a spinning back kick to the stomach with nothing behind it. This is Vassell's fight, and title, to win. Accidental cup shot with the left foot to Vassell buys Newton some time. Newton goes for a takedown and get's got a grip on the waist from the back, but not really gaining anything beyond some light strikes to the head. Still, he's dominating, and that's good for him. Vassell regains control to close the round. 

Newton starts off round four with a big belly to belly takedown. Newton gets some strikes, but he's largely just holding him down. Vassell appears to be a bit gassed.  Newton's not doing much other than getting warned about back of the head strikes, and Big John wanting work. This was the worst round so far. Newton got some more strikes to the back of the head, but Big John rightfully tells Vassell to stop turning his head when he sees the punches coming. Vassell looked good to start, but Newton's looked better in the last two.

The final and deciding round is upon us. Newton takes him down, gets the RNC, and wins! Wow, that came out of nowhere and early on, this looked like it was Vassell's fight to win. Coker barely has time to strap the belt on Newton before he hops around. I haven't noticed this before, but they've got their logo on the leather - nice look for the title and their belts definitely look better than UFC's. They hype up Newton-McGeary next year and the show ends with a Tito-Bonnar video. The first fight was largely skippable, while Coenen's fight will be fine in highlights and both the Lashley fight and main event are worth watching in full.

WWE SmackDown 10-24-14

Dean starts off and says unlike what was said on Raw, he hurts. Unlike Mick, he's not a nice guy underneath the violent facade and he doesn't have a family to go home to and be accountable for. THIS SUNDAY, SETH ROLLINS LEARNS THAT NO MATTER HOW FAT YOUR WALLET GETS, YOU CAN'T TAKE IT TO HELL! Seth tells him that vengeance isn't a lottery - it's cheap and not worth a damn. He's the future and he's priceless. Mos Mizes beat the Matadores, with one tapping mid-ring and the other being in the figure four on the floor. Great finish - should've been on Raw. AJ beat Alicia with a distraction schoolgirl. Wyatts video.

Show-Cole sitdown features tons of stilted clips. Show talks about the troop and treats it like it was real, which is both good, and maybe not the smartest thing. I liked them using Tribute to the Troops stuff here. They also showed some Hogan promo stuff from Raw's post-show too. This was good, but it went on and on. Dolph's out to face Cesaro for the title. Gorgeous monkey flip from Cesaro was flipped out of. They exchange counts and Dolph eats a post for a break. Dolph uses a sleeper to get back into things and gets 1 off the elbows. Cesaro counters a guillotine choke with a deadlift suplex for 2. Wacky spinning facebuster/gutbuster thing gets 2 for Cesaro. Swing is countered and then the uppercut that got the win is countered into a Zig Zag for a win - good match here.

Heel Total Divas face the face ones in a six-person tag. Nikki beats Brie with the Rack Attack. Okay then. Cell numbers. Hogan Raw recap. Usos are out with Henry to face the Dust Bros and Bo. One of Bo's worst Bo-dogs yet wins. Cesaro challenges Dolph to a 2/3 match and he accepts. Seth came out with props to talk and talk and talk and talk. Raw clips air and Dean jumps him and THEY FIGHT WITH THE TOYS! Like kids. Mercury and Noble get physical with Dean here. Noble does a flip for the rebound lariat and Mercury eats the DDT. FLYING ELBOW OFF THE TOP TO NOBLE THROUGH A TABLE. So that'll be a key spot in the Cell.  They had a big staredown and damn would it be a mistake to not have these guys close the show - they've still got something with him after the bad Raw booking.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

WWE NXT 10-23-14

Before the show, Goldust's thing aired as did a plug for WWE Rivalries with some nice old-fashioned poster art. The Ascension starts off the show. WHY!? They're facing Jordan and Dillinger. God, their reverse-colored gear looks so shitty. Jordan is the generic-looking dude without tattoos, while Dillinger does. Albert talks about how fat Konnor is. Well, he's plump. Fall of Man hits and that's it. Itami comes down and gets beaten down, leading to Itami getting a "thanks for coming" chant. Well, this run really hasn't gone great for Itami so far. I was hoping this was Balor's debut, but it wasn't. Neville-Titus is hyped as the main event. Tyler is in action NEXT!

A Komen ad airs and then they do the usual LOOK AT ALL WE'RE DOING FOR CHARITY, LOOKITLOOKITLOOKIT bit. CJ's out to face Tyler, so I guess he's a heel that even other heels hate. Stream gets Real Player-level early on. CJ gets 2 off a double sledge off the top. Mojo came out looking really pissed off - I'm sensing a heel turn from him with this attitude, beard, and character motivation. Smooth rana from Breeze. Parker misses the Booker T kick, but Tyler hits the Beauty Shot for the win. Titus is backstage barking to scare the interviewer so she won't ask him the generic questions he knows she'll ask. After tonight, he'll be the N-X-T-I-T-U-S Champion! Vaudevillains are next. But first, a Corbin video.

Vaudevillains are out and I love them at least acting a bit more sinister to fit the new, awesome theme. They're facing the not-Machine Gun and not-AJ guy from last week. Blake and Murphy. Yup, great names. Aiden demolishes the arm in a lot of neat ways. Murphy spins through a schoolboy, but his partner eats an uppercut and a neckbreaker. IT'S BAYLEY and some fans have Bullet Club shirts. She's facing Sasha. Sasha can't hide for long, and eventually eats a sliding European uppercut to the neck and then the flying sliding D-ish thing for 2. Bayley comes in, but eats a boot from Sasha who gains control in the corner. Sasha goes rope to rope for a SLIDING SLAP! Ha! And she gets 2! Sasha chokes her in the ropes. Bayley fights back with a corner back elbow. Bayley picks her up, but Sasha slips through and nails the smooth Back Stabber>Crossface Bank Statement combo. Sasha doesn't want to take the move off and then beats her afterwards. Becky comes out for the save. They hug and then BECKY ATTACKS HER. Crowd popped big for this. Sasha looked on approvingly. Becky's new take no shit character rules - her facial expressions here were fantastic. Carmella in a leopard print getup talked on the phone about winning, and then Enzo came out in his black and leopard print getup. He's not just a G - HE'S 4G - well-connected. Cass gets a kiss, but Enzo wants his sugar and Cass tells him it's in Regal's tea. THIS RULED!

Titus is out first followed by Neville. The announcer's CHAMPION-SHIP! call is just dreadful. Titus is working like a giant here, which works since Neville can fly for him. Titus shoves him off the top to the floor and Neville takes a nasty bump. Gets 2. Ragdoll bearhug from Titus after the break. Neville goes limp and Titus just tosses him - but he doesn't follow up. Neville avoids a corner charge and hits a leaping Cro Cop kick! Titus responds with a giant boot to the face for 2. Neville fights back with corner kicks and...he actually hits the Red Arrow off of them. Well, that was odd - I'd have done the leaping Cro Cop kick to set up the finish, and the usual hope spot kicks for the hope spot. The finish was a bit flat, but the match was really enjoyable. Sami and Neville had a little promo exchange at the end. Not a bad episode, but only the main event and the women's match were worth going out of your way to see. The booking of Itami and the crowd's new reaction to him is worrisome.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

TNA Impact 10-22-14

Today's been pretty rocking - got a review done way ahead of schedule and I've been up all day for the first time in a while. On the downside, my hard drive with 4-ish years of wrestling show screens is all wonky. I first noticed it trying to save the Figure Four Daily with Jimmy Jacobs, but it spread to everything. I might be able to fix it fairly simply though as the drive is still recognized. I had a lot of them backed up to DVDs at one point - so between that and imagebam, I might have 80% or so of things saved. Beyond that, I won't miss anything beyond my Pete and Pete stuff, which is also largely backed up on DVDs too. Cops before the show has a guy getting arrested for child molestation, getting into a fight, pissing and shitting himself, biting a cop, and breaking another one's nose. This STARTS the show. The second story has a guy getting stabbed after a guy grabs his kid, and he wanders into a fast food joint to get some help. Jesus, this guy's bleeding a ton. Thankfully, the kid is fine.

The opening video focuses on Roode's inner monologue as he heads towards ONE MORE MATCH with Lashley. A goofy bullshit Wolves video was also in here. Matt's out to call someone out as his partner. Why wouldn't he team with Jeff? Why doesn't this thing have brackets? Tenay says he should pick Jeff and he does. Why bother doing this? DJZ's out first followed by Jesse - I'm sensing a filler-filled show here. Tenay plugged The Amazing Race, and with Dixie apparently having a "shocking" network in talks, I could see it being CBS. They briefly mentioned Lashley being on Friday's Bellator show. If Lashley wins and does well in the ratings, I could see Spike making another play for them just to keep things civil. Until Dixie actually announces that new deal, I figure anything's possible. Tenay's plugging the Hardy and Willow bundles. Neither he or Taz are actually calling the match itself. Nice double whip from the Hardys into the buckle leading to a double back suplex to Jesse. Roode-Lashley is next Wednesday - is that the finale? I don't remember any tapings past Roode winning. Tenay plugged the Bro Mans being kings of reality TV, completely puzzling Taz who had NO EARTHLY IDEA WHAT TENAY WAS TALKING ABOUT. They might've called two moves this whole match. Hardy gets 2 off the legdrop. Jeff swantons Jesse and Matt covers for the win. Far too much of this was bewildering. We got replays of that and they hyped up the Roode-Lashley contract signing.

They pushed Hardy and Willow bundles in the ShopTNA ad. Bram and his Seth Rollins-level generic theme came out. Bram likes A SOUND, A SOUND OF SOMETHING HITTIN FLESH and he's more than Magnus's friend - HE'S THE NEW KING OF HARDCORE! And he's coming for DEVON! Well, might as well bring back the TV Title or something. Have them all fight for it and rename it the extreme title. Bram talked about everyone knowing who he is a few too many times. I YAM BRAM! Devon's out to fight. Oh God. They punched, kicked, and choked. Goons came out and then Kurt came out to tell security to break it up. They did. He made Devon-Bram in a hardcore match - great, just what we needed. Ditto BRITTANY ACTING with Shaw. She's orange and in bright neon green - not the greatest look. Show's only 25 minutes in and it's dragging badly.

For some reason, this brawl isn't next. Instead, it's Low-Ki - I'm fine with that. He's in a tag team now for the tourney. He's got a Gracie JJ patch on his jacket now, and he's teaming with Joe. Shaw's out shirtless again with his weird-looking cover-up tattoos. They're really sloppy with some parts that look Sharpied in. He picks Gunner as his partner, and I don't see this going well for the team or as a match. Gunner cut an intense promo befitting MISTER INTENSITY THE MODERN DAY VIKING THE MDV about teaming with Shaw. Joe machine-gun punches Shaw in the corner. Gunner and Ki came in for a chop battle. Gunner hit a nice diving lariat/Vader bodyblock combo. Brittany's out chatting with Shaw on the apron. She's angry because...he's fighting for a title shot I guess. Gunner yells at Brittany for being down there, and he leaps into a kick. Joe came in and kicked Gunner's ass too. Gunner does HHH's facebuster as a calf branding. Brittany grabs Gunner's leg, Low-Ki hits the cartwheel kick, and Joe taps him out. This was a clusterfuck in so many ways. I do not mind Brittany's yoga pants. She and Gunner talk, Shaw hits Gunner in the back with a chair over and over. Hopefully TNA doesn't have a you break it, you buy it policy. They make out rolling all over Gunner - well, that's a new twist on the catfight spot. EC3 quoted "In the Air Tonight", so I already love his match in the tag tourney before it happens.

Lashley's asked about the Roode deal, and MVP talks for him - he throws King a softball, but he has no idea what to say. King and MVP enter the tag tourney so the whole crew can have some gold. Rebel's ass is out to face Love, but Havok's out instead. Punch, legdrop, chokeslam. Gail returns in street gear to fight Havok. Big beal on the ramp to Gail - why take that bump now? Gail gets up and fights, so again, why take it? Two people chant "let them fight", they do. Devon-Bram is next after the break. Boy what an hour one main event.

 In a far better move, they went with a Roode video package talking about his journey to the title. Treating it seriously, even in the state TNA is in, makes the World title seem so much more important than it does in WWE. Kurt says he's not going to have a contract signing just for the sake of it - he'll have a BIG announcement for it to raise the stakes. Bram's out first, followed by Devon. They punch, and kick and bonk and smash and hit, it's the Devon and Brammy Show! Devon gets some water and spits it at Bram - he's hardcore, he's hardcore! Cans, lids, and chairs oh my! Trash canchairto with the chair, and the chairs are all airy, so he might've wound up swinging it a bit harder. Bram bonked him with can lids. I think I had this match all the time in SmackDown: Shut Your Mouth. Devon ballshot sets up a corner can toss. Trash can to the balls sets up a headbutt off the top to the balls, but Magnus canes him. Bram hits him with Mr. Turnbuckle and Bram wins. Anderson chats with Melendez, and he wants him to be his partner against MVP and King. Chris thankfully reminds everyone of what they did to him. Melendez looked 45 with this backstage lighting.

Anderson came out and introduced himself and SAAARRRGGEEE! Anderson and King go at it for a bit, leading to MVP and Chris going at it a bit on the apron. MVP goes for the flying nothing, but catches the foot and then misses an elbow. King's in followed by Sarge. He runs wild and gets a Perfectplex for 2. His leg can't go down, so it's not a smart move for him. It's still amazing to see what he can do, and King gets a distraction schoolboy for the win. EY meets with Spud, and Spud says he has no job - so why is he here, why did EC3 challenge him, and how is EY able to be his partner?  Tito-Bonnar ad is okay.

Wolves chit-chat and them Storm whistles and calls Davey over to him. Storm's dark brown leather jacket looks awesome. Storm wants Manik to cut a promo on how great the Revolution is, and they cut away. TONIGHT'S MAIN EVENT is EC3 and Tyrus against Spud and EY. Holy God. Okay, so Spud apparently isn't EY's partner. Nope, he is. Tenay is baffled by this as well, so yeah this is a bit too goofy. EC3 brought up the I'M WITH SPUD MOVEMENT. EC3 added "you wish you could" to the "You Can't Wrestle" bit. The heat machine went crazy at EC3. Spud came out finally to wrestle. After all of this bullshit, they went to a break. Fuck this show.

Spud's black, neon green, and silver getup is amusing. EC3 tags out to Tyrus. Spud wants to tag out, but EY slaps the buckle to fire him up. Spud fires at Tyrus with leg kicks and forearms! Sternum headbutt hurts him. Big heart punch from Tyrus - while it was taped a while ago, this was a fine tribute to Ox Baker! Tenay did some voice over citing that and plugged his Escape From New York role. Tyrus hit the Big Ending to counter Spud's sleeper. Spud bumps halfway across the ring for the SHEE-YA suplex. Corner avalanche misses and gives Spud some time. Tyrus just slams him down and steps on his hand to tag EC3 in. I love EC3 being a chickenshit against Spud - and a hurt Spud at that. EY gets a tag and hits the flying elbow for 2. EY dives on them. EY holds up the heels for a flip dive off the top! Tyrus gets the goozle slam off of Spud flying into his arms due to EY being knocked into the ropes by EC3, who tags in to get the win. Spud shined brightly here as did Tyrus all things considered. First round is over so Tenay recaps it verbally - no visual brackets though. Contract signing is next.

Lashley-Roode is next week, EC3 and Tyrus face the Hardys, and Joe/Ki face MVP and King. Kurt came out to announce that he's got a stip neither Roode nor Lashley know about. Roode's out in a nice jacket, jeans, and a business casual shirt. Lashley's out in a nice suit wearing the title as a belt. MVP talks a bit of smack and then Kurt asks if either side has anything to say. Bobby says all he loves in wrestling, while Bobby's split between wrestling and MMA. Roode cut a damn good promo about fighting Lashley with the determination that will put the title around his waist. MVP said Lashley would destroy anyone in a wrestling ring, an MMA cage, a street fight, or even on the moon! All MVP does is point him to the ring and the opponent's bell gets rung! This is by far the best overall thing that could've happened for either MVP or Lashley as Lashley's stock really went up with this run, while MVP's got a solid run as both a manager had has been able to do some good work in the ring too. Angle says he'll add a special ref. MVP says EY's gonna be the ref, and Kurt says he's wrong - the ref will be HIM! Roode signs it and Lashley goes away from his crew to sign too. A couple of clips are shown from the match, but nothing that spoils anything. Good closing angle, bad show overall.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

WCW Halloween Havoc 1991 pt1

Since the Pro Wrestling Torch site has a new Wayback Playback show with Jim Valley and Pat McNeill where they watch shows in a few parts and do alternate commentary, I've decided I'll watch the shows and write alongside them. The only thing I don't like about this is it is split into three parts spread across a couple of weeks, so actually watching the shows in a single sitting isn't done by either them or the viewers/listeners, and the flow is all messed up. I'll give it a shot for tonight since it's only an hour and I'm in the mood for something that isn't Raw.

In an annoying bit, the show starts off just fine, then immediately starts and restarts for an ad. And it happened again. What in the fuck. It gets to Simmons's face on the tombstone and ends. All right, this is a failure on the Xbox One, so I'll try it on the PS4 where it defaults to 1080i and thus makes getting good screens much harder than the 720p max output I get on my Xbox One. Plus, the PS4's UI doesn't leave the screen for quite some time, so I can't get any good shots of the silly opening. Tony has a peach-colored bowtie on. Jack and Abby are out in a large car and they joke about it having to be the biggest car he ever rented. DDP's out with Hall, who has an awesome shirt on. Barry's out in a fairly old Benz by this point. The Enforcers jump him and he's saved late by Dustin. Dustin drives him to the hospital. El Gigante is out first, followed by Vader, the Diamond Stud, Cactus Jack with a chainless chainsaw, the Steiners, Abby, and Sting - so the chamber of horrors is the opener!

Rick's orange and black Halloween getup looks so much better than a lot of his early '90s crap.  EARLY STING-VADER! Someone hops out of the coffin and is beaten up. Rick slams him and he then goes to casket #2. Oh God, it's the refer-eye camera! A small cage with the CHAIR OF TORTURE LOWERS and takes up tons of the ring. This means that like a dozen guys have nowhere to move. Sting tosses a tiny coffin lid onto Jack's head and he bumps for it. Stud is slammed on a coffin and guys in white shirts are out. Scott busts a stick on Jack and busts his head open. Sting and Jack fight on the cage, which is nice. They handcuff the masked man. Jack took a bump over the top to the floor that they basically miss. Jim and Pat go over the Cruncher nickname's origins. They show the switch in the down position, which Mick brought up before and Jim and Pat talk about now. Abby is choking Sting. They show the guys in white shirts, and they have white face paint on because why not. The announcers talk about the issue with the switch. Lots of random weapon bonks, which is all anyone can do due to the chair taking up so much real estate. Mick flips the switch and Abby gets fried with the headgear nowhere near Abby's head. Pat and Jim talk about the "kid-friendly" era here where you had a death penalty match and in the WWF, Jake using the snake on Randy. Abby gets up and walks on the guys putting the stage back up and beats up the goons.  Tony is just gobsmacked by all of this.

Bischoff is backstage as a vampire, while Missy is a showgirl. A rather hot showgirl. Young Pistols are backstage with them in less garish getup than Miss. THE CREATURES are coming out to Psychosis's theme.  Creatures are apparently Johnny Rich and Joey Maggs. They're facing PN NEWS AND BIG JOSH. PN News rapped and the very white fans danced to it. PN attacks his with fat and a dropkick. Then again with his fat. BEAUTIFUL German from Josh! PN's whole body is covered and he just looks so fat. News misses the corner avalanche by a mile and even Tony says he missed it by a mile. Borne no-sells their stuff, and just kills Maggs with a powerbomb. Josh hits the Earthquake splash and the Rapmaster sofa drop wins.  They do a slow-mo replay of the finish and somehow miss it.

Jim Ross is excited about Eaton-Taylor. Bobby's shiny jacket is a bit garish, but not too awful. Taylor looks odd, while Terri with dark red hair and lack of giant tits is bizarre. Taylor looks like a ripoff of the Million Dollar Man with the suit. Nice fast action between the two sets up a lariat from Bobby. It's so great hearing the Torch guys bury the laptop at the time for mostly being off and point out that Terry shouldn't have worn the same red gear he did as the Rooster and that Race wore his King getup on WCW TV. A bad jawjacker gives Taylor the lead here. SLAM ON THE RAMP followed by a flying knee to the ramp. Ouch. Taylor takes a silly flip bump back in. Eaton eats a knee and is sent to the barricade. Flair-ish knee from Taylor gets 2. Pat tells a story about Bill Dundee not wanting his daughter to to marry a wrestler - until he found out it was Bobby. Doctor bomb on the ramp!  Slam to Bobby shows off how nasty the ring looks. Splash gets 2 from Taylor. Rear chinlock from Taylor kills time. Jim Ross talks about Taylor just now cracking the top 10, and the winner here being in the hunt for the TV Title. I love the little things like that. Sunset off the top gets 2 for Bobby. Taylor gets the non-arm clutching camel clutch. Bobby back elbows out of things. Sleeper from Terry gets a jaw breaker here, and wow is Bobby in shape. Taylor gets knees up for a splash, while Bobby does the same thing for a pump splash. Bobby gets a nice punch flurry mid-ring. Bobby gets the corner punches and Terry tries to get him mid-ring, but gets atomic dropped and hit with a swinging neckbreaker. Taylor avoids the jam, but eats a punch going for a superplex and then takes a GIGANTIC bump for that, eats the jam, and that's it. This was long, but pretty good overall. Tony is near-comatose right now.

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Raw 10-30-14

Dean-Cena recap with them adding a wacky Simpsons fire effect on the footage started the show. Authority's out, but first, we hear about the FIVE TON INTIMIDATING STRUCTURE KNOWN AS HELL IN THE CELL! Cole hypes up the renewing of Orton-Cena, while HHH goes for the face pop with the Raw intro. HHH proudly got the $9.99 pop, and boy does that ever devalue the brand. He said that HIAC would end two of WWE's greatest rivalries...this one? This cell show? The one in six days? Seth says he's the UNDISPUTED FUTURE OF WWE! HHH said that Orton-Cena, THE MATCH INVOLVING THE LOSER, gets a title shot. Oh fuck me running. They're really killing this Dean-Seth feud by not at least having the match for the case and found a way to make Orton-Cena, the lesser match with no hype, the main event. We're getting a street fight with some people later, and they talk about Sheamus-Miz. Sheamus and the Uos face Miz and the champs. Didn't we just have that match last week?

I guess Sheamus just stood around, because the Usos came down after the break. It's going to be a filler-filled night. Gold and Stardust (who can continue to fuck off) came out and had an inset promo. Mizdow was tagged into this match, and the ref is...fine with this despite him not being a signed competitor. Uso hit a basement kick to Starudst, then Goldust comes in and gets 2. Dumb and Dumber To ad looks dreadful. Cole explains this being a 6-man tag. Miz says he's been in his cinema all week watching Sheamus matches on the WWE Network. He's married to Maryse - he's making a poor use of his time. Uso dive to the pile. Falling Star plunge. Falling sofa from Sheamus. Mizdow gets the win with a distraction schoolboy. Miz brags about winning. JBL was yelled at to drive this point into the ground, leading to Cole burying him for it. The street fight is Cena and Ambrose against the Authority. Oh yeah, that thing.

A singer who survived breast cancer talked about her story, and then Naomi did a bad voiceover about BUYING THE GEAR AND JOINING THE FIGHT! H and Randy talk - Randy will win and then beat Brock, and HHH gave Seth credit for making the Cena-Orton stip. They condensed the Harper/Rowan set free videos into one. Are they ever going to actually get to the point with these Wyatt videos? They seem rather aimless and the commentators should really be commenting on how terrifying WWE will be with the maniacs on the loose without the one man by their side who can control them. King kind of teased a face turn for at least one of them by saying that it could just be Bray who made them crazy. AJ's for a match with someone.

It's Alicia, and WWE SMS SUBSCRIBERS GOT AN EXCLUSIVE - AJ will face Paige at the PPV. Alicia gets 2 off a northern lights. They're talking about the main event a ton, and I just want it to happen so this show will be over. They did a weird distraction finish with Paige and Alicia arguing resulting in Alicia winning, and then Paige jumping into Alicia's arms and falling to the floor. Orton and Seth argued for a little bit. They pimped a WWE Network exclusive - DX Confidential, which I guess is just a taped Summerslam panel. I assume they taped Bret's deal like this done on the screwjob.

Hogan will do an interview LIVE ON THE WWE NETWORK AFTER RAW! Orton's out to talk and they pointed out that Orton should be happy with the stip. Yes, you would think the stip would make Orton happy BECAUSE THAT WOULD MAKE SENSE. Instead of his match meaning nothing, it's for a world title shot. Orton points out that he and Cena had a Cell match before. TIME REALLY FLIES, DOESN'T IT FOLKS!? Randy Orton, top heel in 2014, went for local sports team heat. Yay, a verbal recap of the Orton-Cena feud with zero clips. Cena's out. They really should've made Keep Calm and Conquer the Streak shirts. Cena told him to shut up and called Orton a dumbass. More words. More dumbass stuff. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PAUL HEYMAN HAS RETURNED to bury the class of 2002's revisionist history since it didn't involve BROCK LESNAR! Heyman said Cena-Orton was a chance for the other to DEFINE THEIR LEGACIES. How? Orton-Cena is like the reverse Okada-Tanahashi feud. The more they fight, the less interest there is. Heyman says that Cena wants both the beast and the title, which would seem like the Survivor Series main event. Cena tried to AA Heyman for...daring to say words, and Orton RKOd him. RKO TO HEYMAN! Well, so much for my thought that Orton with Heyman could be new and fresh. "I didn't see that coming, and I didn't see that coming!" Thanks, King! 2K15 soundtrack "THEY SHOULDA NEVA LET CENA CUT WIT WIZ KHALIFA!" Ugh. Rusev and Lana walk backstage.

Total Divas mid-season finale has TJ-Nattie divorce issues, Nikki-Cena breaking up, and then HEY WHO CARES ABOUT THAT, recap of the stuff before the break. Rusev's out to face Big E. "If Big E can't knock off Rusev, I don't think anyone from our country can!" I'm sure he meant to say Show, but still LOL. They do the same stuff they always do and go to a break off a spin kick from Rusev. Rusev still has his heard and arm tie on after the break. Superkick>stomp>Accolade. WHAT'S BIG E GONNA DO!? Same thing he always does Cole - lose to Rusev via the Accolade. Lana cut an amusing promo about Show losing on Sunday and being sent to the carnival where people will throw half-eaten food at him and he'll allow in his own excrement. I really want a skit where Show gets food thrown at him. Less so one with him wallowing in his own shit. Lana praised the REAL RED WHITE AND BLUE, but the Russian flag didn't come down. Instead, Show rigged the American flag. A "troop" ran in and got superkicked when Rusev tried to pull the American flag down. This was different, but not really good.

"He tried to get into the ring, but was stopped by our security." Well no, he got in the ring, so security failed. Now had it been Russian security... Show is still mid-ring for some reason. "There are certain lines you don't cross." Like using a war where people are dying to prop up WrestleMania. A guy yelled Kurt Angle a few times and yelled BIG SHOW SUCKS. Show going to unleash every big of wrath in his head all over Rusev's head. After more horrible words, he got a light USA chant and threatened to go after Rusev backstage. Show went backstage and was told to go to "that door, right there". The one clearly marked with his name. He went in. No Rusev. Okay then. Dean's watching See No Evil 2 backstage. Ambrose plugging Kane's movie. Between this and him just wearing his merch last week, they're chipping away needlessly at Dean's rebel act. Dean was great here with Cena calling himself Batman while Cena's Superman, but the Joker payoff was silly. WHY SO SERIOUS!? HAHAHA 2008 MAGGLE!

Cole congratulated the company's top heel Stephanie McMahon for being honored by the Eisenhower committee. Brie's facing Summer, and the Bella stip match now has a new stip - the losing Bella MUST comply or be fired. WWE, like TNA, adding stips to a stip match that no one cares about. Brie won, yessed, and Nikki emoted angrily. So if Brie wins do we get skits on Total Divas of her buying Nikki's sex toys? And if Brie wins, I guess we'll have Nikki shopping at Whole Foods asking for all-natural foods awkwardly. "Hi, do you have...Khali?" "Excuse me?" K-a-l-e?"

Dean's out with a big bag. It contains several smaller bags, and a Seth dummy. Dean did prop "comedy", but it was the kind of funny that didn't involve people laughing. He tonged the dummy's non-balls and King made a "HOW TONG CAN THIS GO ON" joke. Seth came out to end this. THANK YOU SETH! Dean made faces and threw parts of the dummy at Seth, Noble, and Mercury. They said more words. SAINT MICK RETURNS! Foley returns to the a very large Santa shirt. Mick cut a fantastic promo about the Shield's debut and his daughter raving about it. He's proud of each man achieving their destines since then and put the Cell over as demonic, but special. We're getting Dean-Foley in the best way possible - on the mic! Mick looks so frail right now. Foley said the Cell will define Dean and Seth like it did him, to the point where his career is splintered into two forms - pre-Cell and post-Cell. Mick came reasonably close to saving the show with another excellent surprise that they could've hyped up beforehand. Dean hit Seth with the dummy. Well, I could've done without that, but the heels bumping for it was amusing.

Cesaro's facing Dolph. They did very little until the break. Nice gorilla press gutbuster led to a double axehandle from Cesaro. Tiger driver from Cesaro was turned into an X factor counter by Dolph. Cesaro wins by countering a superkick into the Swiss Uppercut, so he should get a title shot at the PPV. That is such a great finisher for him - stands out big-time, and it comes out of nowhere. So of course, he destroys him after to get the Neutralizer over as his REAL finisher. Authority bickered. HIAC Pre-Show has Mizdow TV with Heyman on the panel, so no need to watch that.

Hell in a Cell by the numbers. BAD BLOOD WAS THE FIRST TIME HELL GRACED THE UNIVERSE. Or whatever that was. Ugh. And was was that HHH-HBK cell match just awful - it was HHH trying to prove he was an all-time best by doing a really long match and proving that he's just not at that level. Main event tease, BUT FIRST, Wyatts video. I wonder if they'll be interfering in a cell match. Cena's out followed by Dean. I guess the heels come out after the break. Everyone was out by 10:50 and they recapped the Batman stuff with Cole calling JBL Catwoman. WHAT!? They clear off the table, of course, because it's a street fight. As you would do in one. Flying elbow from Dean onto the pile. OUT COME THE TOYS. Hard to sell them as vile weapons when they're called toys. Dean got bonked into the table and Kane took Cena down for a break. Seth and Dean did some stuff. Orton came in and stomped Dean. Came came in, got tossed around and took an awful bump over the announce table. I'm sensing a no contest in this street fight, with KANE IN IT. GENERAL KANE PUT CENA THROUGH A TABLE. This is somehow a preview to the Cell show. Cell came down and they tried to keep Dean out, but the cell dropped too slowly, so he got back in. Big dropkick from Dean sends Seth into the cell - great spot that they'd better repeat on the PPV.  They did shit and Orton landed awkwardly on the table and swore, resulting in a muting. KMOOOOOVVEEE! Orton is unhappy. Kane chokeslams Cena, eats a Dirty Deeds DDT, and then goes for a rebound lariat BUT HE EATS AN RKO AND LOSES. And then Seth Curb Stomps Orton. Also, there's a PPV on Sunday that really means nothing since everyone's already moved on from it. We know with Dean losing here, he's winning on the PPV, while Orton can lose to Cena and it won't matter since he's facing Seth at whatever the post-Cell PPV is.

The Hogan deal is just him backstage cutting a promo with Renee. Show's standing up for America JUST LIKE THAT TROOP DID. And I missed a bit of this due to "from the beginning" bringing up the DX thing, and "now" doing this. Rollins-Ambrose was apparently a tossup and now he's coming to the ring. It's pretty cool seeing he and Cena mid-ring. Hogan and Cena did the Hogan-Sid pose bit, but were really out of sync. Cole talked about doing the posing when he was a kid. And now. And how the DX thing is next, they gave him a wedgie, a wet willie, and broke his thumbs. What assholes.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

WWE SD 10-17-14

I've got a possibly lengthy vet visit and a top-shelf X1 early release today, so I'm glad to have a chance to get this show out of the way.  Show time is an hour 29 minutes - hooray for saving 30 minutes! A FOUR MINUTE LONG recap of Raw's Ambrose-Cena stuff kills time. Seth's out to cut a promo to start the show proper. Great bit where he chants along with the crowd's YOU SOLD OUT with I SOLD OUT - always good to see life brought to SD. Seth says that honor is a lofty ideal when you're young, but honor doesn't pay the bills. Seth and his absurdly slicked-back hair say you'd sell your family out in a heartbeat. He sold out against Dean, and he'll PUT DEAN OUT inside the cell. Dolph-Seth time - I guess Dolph isn't tired of losing. He wants this due to the post-match curb stomp. Dolph sends him to the floor to start a break off. Seth gets bounced around ringside, which gets so wacky Dolph nearly bumps off of ramming Seth into the barricade. Seth brings Dolph into the post, but eats a super facebuster for 2. Seth misses a stinger splash and takes a great bump for it - nice and bouncy, but not silly. Seth goes for a sunset buckle bomb, but Dolph hops up and gets his DDT - not super-smooth, but still good. Fameasser turned into a buckle bomb setup, but Dolph sunsets him for 2. Buckle bomb finally hits as does the curb stomp - that's it for D. Super-fun match.

YAY IT'S DEAN! Dean's excited about having Seth locked inside THE DEMONIC CELL. He's gonna stick his left boot, the lucky one, where the sun don't shine! Mr. Kane makes a match with himself against Dean later. AJ's facing Layla, whose new gear is pretty good. They've got some fast action going on, but AJ takes advantage of a situation and gets the Black Widow. Paige sends Alicia in, but she's gotta take her out herself. Yakuza kick and Rampaige take out AJ. Seth and Kane have a wacky meeting about their Raw handicap match. Rusev killing spree video. Sheamus and the Usos chat. They reference Twins from what, 1990 or so. They're facing Miz, Gold, and Stardust. Usos are so underrated on the mic. Rowan video. 6-man tag is up. An excellent Miz hype video aired. Faces are out followed by the heels. Stardust eats some double teams, and then Mizdow throws himself into the barricade off an Uso basement dropkick to Miz! Stardust tears off Jey's shirt. Sheamus chases Miz, Mizdow follows. Heel tag champs regain control. JBL puts Goldust over as he dominates Jey. Miz is back out. Goldust eats a Samoan drop for a hope spot. Sheamus comes in and runs wild on everyone but Miz - Uso dive to the Mizes. Clubberin time! Stardust saves, but Miz's face goes into the table. Falling reverse DDT from Stardust. He eats a superkick. Brogue to Goldust and that's it. Fun match.

Show in a nice pair of slacks and a giant Polo business casual shirt came out. Must be cold in the arena. Show and HIS BEST FRIEND, HIS BROTHER FROM ANOTHER MOTHER Mark Henry got involved on Raw. Henry comes out and Show tells a story about them riding around the road. Show and Henry went to Waffle House - it's an oasis for them! A guy steals their spot, but they're hungry. They flipped his car over onto its roof. Babyfaces. Then they had to get sandwiches at a gas station to avoid getting caught. "We were hungry, but we also family!" Show brought up Henry's family, and is so thankful that Henry's daughter looks more like his mother. They should've done this whole deal to start, but I'm glad they did it. Show talks about how he needs to take Rusev out on his own, which slightly upsets Henry, who brings that up. For the friendship, he'll get out of his business. Rusev and Lana come out - AFTER YOU LOSE TO ME, YOU'RE GOING TO DISGRACE YOURSELF AND YOUR STUPID USA! I WOULD LIKE THAT! Rusev rules.

Nikk-Brie footage after Raw makes the personal assistant stip. Nikki kills her with the Rack Attack. Nikki gave everyone a fine view of her cleavage on the post. Harper video. Dean met with Renee in the absurdly-pink backstage area. WWE has found a way from being as unsubtle as humanly possible to taking it a step further than that. Dean thinks Kane has starred in one too many horror films - yippy kai-yay! Kane's out with Seth, followed by Dean for a sub-10 minute main event. Dean takes a beating on the arm, but lands a corner forearm>bulldog combo for 2. Seth pulls Dean out during the rebound lariat and that'll be a DQ. Buckle bomb hits, but Dean avoids a chair-assisted curb stomp, but Dean uses the chair on Kane while Seth runs. Dean closes the show yelling to Seth that he'll rip his face off - complete with wacky body language. Fun stuff.

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