Monday, March 31, 2014

Raw 3-31-14

Brock's doc is playing before the pre-show. Good lord has he aged a lot in a decade. Alex Riley hypes up the GO-HOME SHOW! Barrett and Booker look about the same age. Crazy. Barrett announces a Piper's Pit. And Taker delivers his final message to BATISTA. God, it's amazing how unifying the titles took them DOWN to the level of the world title. Orton's saying words to Renee. Matadores on Superstars. Booker's OLE ruled. Riley's talking about how Brock has the edge going on being UFC Champ means nothing. King's talking to a family and the kids are hyped about Hogan and Cena. App vote involves picking which Shield guy Kane faces tonight. This Cena-Bray video is iTunes buys for "Legacy". A site interview with Cole and Hogan aired. Hogan's throat looks so old now. MAD-OX announced that a new entry is coming into the Andre battle royal - MAD-OX! They hyped up the WM press conference airing live on the WWE Network at 11 AM. Taker's starting Raw off, hopefully taking a beating. Rather than letting the entrance sink in, Cole yammered on about tweeting #thestreak. Taker talked about taking out 21 no. Taker then just rambled on about shit. He at least expressed the thought that the streak COULD be broken with some sadness in his face. Death, taxes, and the streak can't be beaten. Brock and Heyman came down and talked about how Taker NEEDS to win, leading to a big CM Punk chant. The F5 couldn't even take HHH out, why should anyone think it'll beat Taker? Heyman said Brock would be Taker and it's not a prediction, IT'S A SPOILER. This was annoying. Quite the tan on the dead man. Brock teased a beating. And then left. Then teased it again... Clearly Brock's been watching a lot of Larry Zybisko on the network. Thanks to the 50 year old manager, the former UFC and WWE World Champion was able to attack Taker with some basic stuff like punches and a clothesline and F5 him. JBL going for the crazy-hard sell here. It's absurd. HE HIT ONE MOVE, SO THAT MEANS THE STREAK'S OVER! Brock did his little hop outside and a fan yelled JIMMY JOHNS. This was a thing.

They hyped up a week of WM stuff on the Network. A fan held up a MENSCH! MENSCH! MENSCH! sign. Big E's out to face Alberto and maybe win to give 50/50 booking a whirl. Alberto did stuff with the arm on the post and steps to lead to an ad break. A Suits ep with "goddammit" aired. That sure is a good thing for the go-home WM show. Alberto countered the Ultimate splash with the knees to the gut. Superkick was countered into the toss up on the gut for 2. Backstabber got 2. Armbar countered into a backdrop and the splash for 2. Arm codebreaker led to the armbar and a tease of a Rampage powerbomb. He got it after the armbar was locked on only got 2. That Rampage powerbomb should really be a finish for him here since the crowd's not gonna get any hotter. Warrior's Way from Alberto. This has become the best singles match they've had yet. Grounded superkick got 3 again. HHH and Steph plan to say goodbye to the Yes movement. Wyatts are next.

Bray sang with the spider walk. Good promo, but the show's already dragging and it's not even an hour old. GOOD LORD NOW IT'S TIME FOR A TOTAL DIVAS RECAP. Summer faces Nattie, and Summer's in a crazy-hot red outfit. Quite the bald spot on Cole. Vickie said the title match is a one-fall match and everyone's in the ring at once. Vickie talked about "playing her role as GM". Great spot where Nattie took a seated Summer and bonked her face in the mat, then ran up her back and head before doing a seated dropkick! Summer got a fluke kick and a Steph and Hunter walked backstage. Steph looks stoned. They came down and Cole did a crazy hard-sell for the Network. HHH buried the current generation for being slackers. HHH buried Fandango and Fandangoing. Steph saying "yes yes yes yes!" was hot. HHH talked about the thought that he was successful due to him marrying well. A big boring chant broke out. They ran a video burying the idea of being a face, catchphrases, signature poses, and big moves. Nice of them to bury...ever trope that can get an act over. Steph then narrated a highlight reel of her husband kicking ass. This is a great video, even if it's absurd to bury so many things in it. "They were just players in the game, AND I AM THE GAME NOW MORE THAN EVER!" Batista in a Hoyas jersey, a blue shirt under it, jeans, work boots, and a grey golf hat came down. Batista hit "random" in the CAW mode and figured out how getup. Batista was upset that he wasn't in the video - BECAUSE HHH NEVER BEAT HIM! They're doing a great job hyping up HHH-Batista at ER. Oh yeah, it's the guy with belts. He came down. HHH told Orton to man up and be the Viper again, because even he can't beat him. And Orton-Batista is no DQ. App hype alongside Piper's Pit.

They came back and hyped up the 2-hour pre-show, with the second hour being exclusive to the Network. They made an 8-man tag with the heels vs. faces of the tag title match. A We Want Paige sign was shown. King said the Matadores fight bulls, while JBL's a bullshooter. Crowd was largely dead for this nothing match, except for We the People. CHUCK LIDDELL IS BEATING UP A RHINO! This Duralast ad is amazing. This just kept going on and on. Cole buried JR and JBL for sports references. Swagger hit a really shitty running big boot to an Uso. FLYING CROSSBODY INTO AN ANKLE LOCK! A...non-tap tap happened... Matadores did the switch and got a cradle for a win. OH MY GOD, NEW WARRIOR INTERVIEW FOOTAGE ON THE BLU-RAY! And they kept in him burying the original DVD.

Fandango was mid-ring with no reaction for a match. Fandango and Sandow face the Rhodes Bros. JBL buried Cole for not saving King's life when he died on Raw. Basic tag match led to Goldust winning with the Final Cut suplex>neckbreaker. Shield talks about SD next. Shield beatdown video aired. Great Shield promo saying that their fist bump is the new symbol of excellence. Bray came out for a match. GOOD GOD THE FILLER ON THIS SHOW. They announced Miz-Sheamus on ME. So...Main Event and SD can be safely skipped. Truth faces Bray. JBL called Truth A TOUGH YOUNG SUPERSTAR!? Basic Bray squash. Xavier came in and the Family took him out. They did the pose before a new Wyatt in a sheep mask appeared. Cena's reveal was perfect. He AA'd Rowan, but Bray escaped. App begging. Red carpet event for the HOF - can't wait to see Batista's outfit. I can't wait for a Chrisley Needs More Gay from Rantasmo.

NOW we get AJ-Naomi in a lumberjill match...which would've been a better WM match. Huge CM Punk chant. They did stuff. Tamina protected AJ, so they're buds now, and then Naomi won thanks to all the help. Cena says words next. Cena talked to Renee about it being a desperate time calling for a desperate measure. He said he'd be a monster for a day and secure his legacy for a lifetime. Panel said words. Brock-Taker beating recap. King badly recited stuff about the app vote, won by Roman. Just got the Brock-UFC Fight Pass ad - it's awesome. Cole blamed King for the Kane-Shield issues. Roman and Kane had a basic match until the Outlaws came out, the Superman punch hit, and then a brawl broke out. JBL hyped this as the Suits vs. the Shield.

Piper got...part of an intro sorta. Piper's packed on some weight again. Facially, he still looks pretty good. He also pointed out that he wasn't beat in the WM main event. He put over Andre and the battle royal. Miz of all human beings came down. Sheamus came down...oh lord. Time for a wacky buncha dudes just talking. At least now, Sheamus-Miz makes sense. Titus came down. HOLE UP - HOLD THE D! Then Dolph came down in an awesome Andre shirt. Piper did the Three Stooges eye poke, they all brawled AND REY CAME BACK! 619 to Sin Cara, then the Brogue kick took Cara out. Rey and Show run at around the same speed. Double chokeslam to Ryder and Dolph. Rey begged for Show to not kill him. Rey hit a cheap 619, then got tossed out onto the dudes. Piper yelled about the battle royal. This largely sucked.

Main event started with HHH coming down and Orton not attacking Batista for some reason. Oh goodie - FIVE PEOPLE commentating. JBL ratted Cole out to the Authority. HHH said the company was his, leading to Steph saying it was theirs. Can't wait for the Steph-HHH on-air power struggle angle. Batista has so many roses on his back. Steph said "that looked like it hurt!" ugh. Orton swore. Orton hit him with a kendo stick. Why is the injury-prone 45-year old Batista in a hardcore match 6 days before WM? "At one time, this was the main event of WM!" - and thank God it's not due to the boring chants. More swearing. Bryan saved this by jumping HHH. Spear to Orton. Flying knee to Batista. Dive to HHH, who flopped like a fish for it. A huge Yes chant closed the show. No finish to the main event.

The post-show featured Riley doing the Yes bit and Bryan showing up. Bryan cut his money promo on the network. 

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Friday, March 28, 2014

WWE SD 3-28-14

No intro for SD. Instead, it starts with Sandow-Sin Cara. Cara's got the blue and gold, but with a crucifix on the gear. Crowd is dead. Cara wins with an O' Conner roll. Show talked about how creepy Bray is. Recap of the Shield-Kane deal. Shield as a trio, with Rollins in a rash guard, faced 3MB. Jinder is ripped. Headlock bulldog is now the Dirty Deed. THESE FINISHER NAMES SUCK. Kane and the Corporate Outlaws came out. Road Dogg looked like an agent, while Billy looked like a plantation owner. Kane makes Rybaxel the Shield's next opponents. Cole ranted about the Outlaws getting new wacky corporate titles. Rollins ran wild with kicks and a big flip dive to Rybaxel. Curb stomp, called that instead of the Peace of Mind, won. Triple powerbomb to Rybaxel. Big Douche Dave came out in an olive green jacket and pants that matched his WWE shirt. And a grey beanie with a grey hoodie underneath the jacket. Batista said Steph hits harder than his opponents, leading to HHH coming out. This segment seems like the U.S. show opener. A fan holds up a giant BATISTA SUCKS sign. Batista says HHH has never beaten him, leading to HHH saying here, he doesn't have a stuntman, and that he's yet to see the Animal. HHH cited himself as an example of delivering an ass-kicking, but Batista couldn't do that - HHH wants to see "what you can still do". WOW did this bury Batista six feet under. And he's facing Sheamus - why give away these new matches on free TV without build?

OH GOD IT'S FANDANGO-GOLDUST II. This absolutely sucked. They just did moves and then Fandango won with a kick to the face as Goldust got into the ring. Batista-Sheamus is up. Batista's now got guards on his calves. His pseudo-MMA look is bizarre. Basic kick/punch match with a fantastic grounded kneelift from Batista. A neck snap on the rope showed off a CM QUITTER sign. Batista hit the spinebuster and made his pecs dance. Batista's right abdomen around the beltline looks so old. I don't know if he had surgery or something, but the giant line there makes him look his age. SHADES OF THE GAME with the kneelift from Sheamus, despite HHH never doing that. They brawled some more on the apron, then to the floor and Batista got DQed for a chair. He attacked him with a Batista bomb afterwards to "unleash the animal."

"Legacy" video for Bray-Cena led to a Wyatt promo using the mask and saying everyone's guilty in this world and if you hide behind the mask too long, it becomes you. Great stuff. Bellas are up against AJ and Tamina, with Vickie on commentary. Still no word on WHAT KIND OF MATCH IT'S GOING TO BE. AJ had better be turning face after this, because she's absolutely being booked like a face with this. Tamina turned on AJ and Brie beat her with the X factor. Santino and Emma did a skit and ordered the same food. He spit up wine on her, then puked off-screen...God these two have no luck with skits. An Uso faced Swagger, who won with the ankle lock. They hyped up WM XXX with a then, now, forever showing fake family histories with WWE and tons of wacky WWE props. Brock-Taker hype vid. Henry ON THE APP talked about meeting Andre at 8 and winning it would mean a lot to him. It's Henry-Miz...oh boy. They did moves, then Henry won with the slam. Nothing match. They've aired the Bearer vid, now they're doing Mr. T, and next, it's Razor. TONS of filler here. Show-Wyatt's going to have about five minutes - WHAT A MAIN EVENT! I think the Bully-Roode table brawl thing last twice as long. Show dominated with force, but Bray got the edge thanks to Show missing a big elbow. Big senton got 2. Bray did the spider walk, but it led to Show hitting some clotheslines. Bray did a double avalanche in the corner, and Show got a boot up for the third - which he turned into a DDT-kinda thing. Cheapshot from Harper to Show set up Sister Abigail. Bray just beat a former World and WWE Champion, like Cena - which would've been a nice thing to bring up at some point.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

TNA Impact 3-27-14

The Gunner-Storm feud was the focus of the Spike credits and the show-opening video package - so nice to see it not involve Dixie and/or MVP. And then MVP starts the show with a promo against Abyss. He says the cream rises to the top, which is...a tad ironic for him to use, although he is delivering the goods in TNA. Magnus and Abyss came down and Magnus said that Abyss's contract was through him - so he doesn't wrestle unless Magnus is then why was he in a match last week? MVP said he wouldn't fire Abyss for hitting could he fire him if he's under Magnus's contract and not a TNA contract? MVP hyped up Abyss to face Magnus, here in what, week TWO of this pairing. Next week, it'll be Magnus-Abyss-Joe for the title. I love Joe being in the title picture, but I don't see that being a good match. Joe came down and demanded a one on one shot since he's A - never happy, and B - owed a fair one on one title match. MVP brawled with Abyss and then EY came down and joined in. That was a bunch of stuff.

A new ShopTNA ad aired, then EY had a mic to lead up to a recap of the segment and MORE TALKING! EY, Eric Young, demands to be in the world title match. Well, he is a former Global champion who also carried around the old TNA World Title in a Stomper outfit. MVP asked why he should give him a shot, and EY says he's been around ten years while MVP's been here for 10 minutes, and where was MVP when he was in Team Canada, the leader of World Elite, a superhero, TV Champ, Global Champ, X Champ, Tag champ, and even KOs Tag Champ. EY is awesome, and is making a fine case for himself and rightfully pointing out that he's actually a really good wrestler who takes chickenshit and turns it into chicken salad. MVP said that since EY was willing to step up, he was in! Well this is different, what the heck - he's a great worker and deserves a main event shot even if it's for one show. EY and Joe brawled. WOAH WOAH WOAH GUYS STOP FIGHTING AND GRAB A MIC! Joe wants a match tonight with EY and gets it. Okay then. They spent 20 minutes hyping up EY and did a good-ish job of it. BULLY RAY HYPED UP HIS LIGHTNIN-PISSIN TWITTAH MACHINE! I think he has a table match with Roode later. The Wolves met with MVP and demanded a match with Abyss and Magnus. A wacky skit aired with EC3, who hates nature, and Spud with a walking stick, searching for Willow.

They came back with the skits being set up, and poor Spud trying to look through the wrong side of the binoculars. Wolves are out for their unannounced match with the world champion and his top henchman for the opener. Davey and Magnus started this off and have great chemistry together. Abyss takes the Wolves out with a double clothesline's break time! Nice cocky bit with Magnus doing a little head shimmy before doing the powerslam>delayed suplex. They hyped up Gunner-Storm II - UNLOCKED. I have no idea what that means. Eddie hits a rana on Magnus. Super missile dropkick to both heels from Davey! Enzuguiri from Eddie led to a German from Davey for 2. Great spot with the Wolves backflipping out of a double chokeslam, hitting a double dropkick to the knees, and then a double round kick before Eddie got the "heel hook" half crab on the WORLD CHAMPION for a tap. Well, the goal was to make the champ seem like he could lose the title next week, and this sure did why didn't it involve anyone actually in the match other than his partner, who grabbed his belt after the match? Looking forward to Eddie getting a shot at the title on TV at some point.

 Angelina came out looking even more rail-thin than usual in a mini-skirt. Angelina showed off what's left of her ass doing her intro. Now she's demanding YET ANOTHER TALKING SEGMENT WITH VELVET. "I HAVE MORE THAN A PROBLEM, I PISSED OFF!" Yowza. Angelina says that Velvet is mediocre and soft without her. A guy near the clown makeup mohawk guy held up a rock out with your knockout sign. SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP Angelina's facing Madison later. STOP. TALKING. This only lasted a few minutes, but wouldn't end. The history of GunStorm was chronicled - their...8 month saga as an off and on team began at Slammiversary and they somehow made it seem epic with just the first video. Five second bit with EC3 and Spud and Bully's out next for...something. Maybe a match with Roode, maybe talking.

 BUT FIRST, another EC3 and Spud skit. EC3 was a dick to Spud about him not wanting to get in the barn. "Man, it's a real crap shack - if I lived here, I'd go nuts." A silly sound effect aired and Spud was taken out. And then Willow cackled. A recap of the GunStorm breakup due to Feast or Fired was shown. Storm's super rana at Genesis was horrible, but man, I totally forgot about this - I figured their Lockdown match was the first one. Unlocked means No DQ by the way. AND NOW IT'S TIME FOR BULLY. A few fans brought tables out. #tablemovement. Taz talked about "2 tomatoes, 1 table". Bully talked about Roode winding up like Dixie. Bully followed up "no more talking" by talking more until Bobby came out to talk. Bobby was blinded by POSSIBLY OWNING 10% OF TNA, and forgot who he was. He recapped being a badass top heel who had the longest world title reign in company history, and spit in Dixie's face before it was cool...really now? Bobby asked if you knew who he was, leading to a no chant. I love Daniel Bryan being the top face in WWE and TNA. Bully, the...I guess face here, attacked Roode from behind. Bully choppd him, missed a shot on the table. Bobby is in damn good shape for 37 - shame he's as old as he is, because if he was able to be in WWE earlier, he'd have at least been a good IC-level guy. Now, I could only see him getting a decent run if it was in a Finlay-style player/coach kind of role where he's there to help guys out and hey, if he gets over, he'll get a little bit of a push. They teased a powerbomb off the apron from Bully to Roode, but Roode escaped with a backdrop. Bobby missed a blockbuster - a move you'd of course use in a fight. Bully missed a corner kick and put his leg through a table. "This isn't an official match", nope, it's gone longer than any of them on the show. More table teases lead to Bully missing a shoulder charge through the table. Abyss breathed deeply and gave Magnus his belt back and bitched about him basically throwing the match, and Magnus said he didn't care about that as long as the title isn't on the line. Abyss got all sad when he was insulted. Madison-Love is up next. In theory. A BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH ad aired. Just perfect.

They hyped up house shows with the party deal by showing clips...of photos being taken and no partying. Knux and I think Brittany met to show off the damaged carnival arcade games. Brittany's ass is quite fine. She might be his sister or something. WHY HAS NONE OF THIS BEEN EXPLAINED ON COMMENTARY BEFORE. Now Knux has deep family issues with his dad. They're telling a...reasonably compelling story here that's being told in a God-awful way. Angelina and Madison had a match for a minute before Velvet came down "dressed for business" in yoga pants and a tiny spiked shirt, so maybe he meant the hooking business. Very Hot O'Conner roll spot. Madison's ass is on display a lot here. Taz talked about there being no shades of grey, only black, only white - NO ONE'S WEARING GREY! Smooth Northern Lights got 2 for Madison. Angelina yelled at Velvet and got hit with a baseball slide as a result. Velvet DDT'd Madison by...landing right on her ass and gave Angelina the win. Velvet and Angelina got all wacky and jumpy afterwards. This was fun. ODB hyped up EY.

A really pretentious ad for the HTC One aired about how bad it is to look up stuff online. MVP and Kenny King talked. Kenny King met with him at 10:30 to discuss working tonight. MVP said he'd make a match for him next week. Joe got a jobber intro. EY and Joe had a really good match. EY as a serious worker can be really good, and he brought his A game here. EY avoided a corner charge with a leap, but they took each other out with a very rare good-looking double clothesline spot. A guy in the crowd wore a Shane Douglas shirt in 2014. EY got a big boot out of a corner charge, but missed a moonsault. Coquina choke is locked in sorta and they did a really bad kick off the ropes spot teasing a pin before the choke took EY out. That was fun, but less so than I was hoping. Okay, now Earl's out saying that Joe's shoulders were down. So Joe can't even beat EY without controversy, which does protect EY to a degree, but it's a bit weak.

Boondocks ad aired. I might actually have to watch Adult Swim for the first time this decade as a result. EC3...did something going towards a wacky house. Tenay talked about post-show footage and it was of Samuel Shaw meeting with Christy and cutting her hair before smelling it. THIS got him a one-week suspension. Oh okay, it's one week because it's Anderson-Shaw next week. It's amazing that the same company that's able to get this much out of Gunner-Storm is also creating the rest of the show, because that got hyped up with another great video. They showed a recap of the attack on Gunner's dad as well when Storm came down. Gunner needs a new theme badly. A fairly big Gunner chant broke out after a snap suplex on the floor, and Tenay broke in to talk about the EC3-Willow thing being shown on the show - yeah, if there's one thing I want after my blood feud main event, it's comedy bullshit. Suplex on the ramp from Storm. I like that, basic tit for tat stuff. They went to a break with Storm on the offensive. Another Boondocks hype vid aired. They came back and talked about it being GUNNER-STORM II after the hype tonight showing it as the third match between them. Slingshot suplex is what was used after the break, but he got the lead beforehand during the break somehow. Trash can shots to the head exchange. Storm got cocky and got weapons, leading to GUNNER SPEARING HIM OFF THE APRON THROUGH A TABLE. VINTAGE EDGE-FOLEY! It's a shame they didn't just pay off the EC3-Willow thing, because I have no desire to watch it after this epic-ish match. Superplex through the double chairs got Gunner the win at Lockdown, but only got 2 here. Like the Storm-Roode thing, they're playing off past stuff nicely. Codebreaker led to TWO LAST CALL SUPERKICKS for 2. Wow. This would be a really fun match to have in WWE 2K14. Gunner got the bottle and hit Storm with it before hitting the F5 for the win. So after getting the Gun Rack over, now that's his finisher. It's a shame they killed the TV Title, because this feud would be a perfect feud to at least in theory have a chance to not only get that thing over, but also make it seem like a secondary title that's as important as the world title - ala New Japan. And then after a dramatic main event, it was time for EC3 to save Spud in a comedy skit where Jeff Hardy beat EC3 down with an umbrella.

Screens -

WWF Fully Loaded 2000

I don't think I've ever seen this show in full, although I'm sure I've at least seen Rock-Benoit on a DVD at some point. Boy have video packages gotten better over the years - this one peaks with a wacky image of Steph screaming and/or crying all wackily. This could not have a more bland set - it's just a crucifix of video walls. A fan has an awesome Rock logo inside the Superman logo sign. Trish and T and A are out to face Lita and the Hardys. Trish's ass looks quite fine in these hot pink shorts. The video for this shows Lita doing the worst legdrop off the second rope ever to Trish, oh and hey guys are in this video too. Lita's bump off the ladder through a table has held up really well. I've seen this within the past few years on a DVD. More close-ups of Trish's ass, less shots of Albert. Wacky lucha armdrag off the top from Matt. Nice spot there. Jeff and Test work well together. It's a shame Test didn't get further, because he was a super-athletic big man and never quite reached his potential. Crowd's going crazy for Lita here. Test sold an accidental slap from Trish hilariously - doing a wacky selljob for it. A missed elbow from Trish lets Lita come in...BUT TRISH TAGS OUT! Hardys save Lita from Albert. Test and Trish get suplexed by Team Extreme! Press slam from Albert to Jeff TO THE FLOOR. Crazy. Hardys take control against the heels and Lita comes in to take Test out with a tornado DDT. DIVE OFF THE TOP TO THE FLOOR TO ALBERT. Wow. LITACANRANA to Test gets a 2.9. This is a better X division match than anything in the X division in a while. Powerbomb lets Trish come in for a 2. Bulldog gets 2. Superplex from Lita gets 2 thanks to Albert. Moonsault gets the win, but Albert attacks her afterwards. Test's big boot ruled. Trish is whipping Lita with Albert's belt, but the Hardys save her. This was quite good and a perfect choice for an opener.

Edge met with Mick and his weird-looking shaved head. Christian's got food poisoning, poor guy's like totally puking. Taker's chasing Kurt through the building without a helmet. Boy does Kurt look odd with hair. Taz's theme hits showing off the triple main event graphic. They showed Tazz attacking random mid-carders because he's pissed off. Well, he's facing Al Snow, so that's understandable. Al's in good shape - very slim compared to how he looked even during his Euro title reign. Moves. Moves. Moves. Nothing really going on here. Al gets the arm-trap headbutts that bring the crowd to life to some degree. Head and arm tie suplex leads to AL SNOW COUNTERING THE TAZ-MISSION. Taz gets it the second time and wins. Why on Earth you'd have Al Snow counter his finisher in this, I'd have no idea - it's supposed to be Taz's big return and AL FREAKING SNOW is able to avoid his finisher. Christian is sick and Mick believes him. YAY ANOTHER SKIT, with Steph and HHH in the back. HHH's black and silver getup rules. She's got flowers, but they're not from Hunter. Kurt sent them, and he's none too pleased.

Eddie's out with Chyna in his awesome red, gold, and black gear. That's some of his best-looking stuff ever, and it fits the title too. Shame it's not the even better-looking black and gold on each side instead of one side having old and the other black. They showed Chyna and Saturn getting into it from SD. Saturn's flying elbow ruled. Terri's hard nipple act ruled. Saturn bumped for Saturn on the floor.  King made a Uranus joke about Saturn, and then Eddie hit a nice flying rana off the top to Saturn mid-ring. Saturn got busted open a bit from something. Saturn misses a really sweet moonsault leading to a brainbuster from Eddie. He did the frog splash counter tumble, then Saturn leapfrogged and they messed up a victory roll attempt in theory, but saved it with a quick electric chair drop for 2. Saturn attacked Chyna and clotheslined her over the SAT. Terri kicked Eddie in the balls leading to a gorgeous flying elbow to the back for 3. Hot damn was Saturn's elbow amazing. Saturn got his first WWF Title win here - shame he never quite got to the IC Title-level - I always kept him there WM 2000 and No Mercy, although I thought he would've made a fine World Champion in WCW at some point. He always seemed to have traction there. E and C were caught saying Christian wasn't sick. The bit with Christian TOTALLY BARFING and getting exposed was here. "Hey Mick, I don't know who put that bucket in there!" Christian was great. Another wacky brawl with Kurt and Angle before E and C face the Acolytes. The heels flew around and were fine chickenshits. Bradshaw WENT UP TOP and hit a flying tackle to Christian. Edge got DQed using the belt. Well, the skits were better than the match. Yet another skit with HHH and Steph...God these are like Dixie skits.

They showed clips hyping up Val Venis-Rikishi, with Val going on a tear with cameras and tossing Scotty off the ramp. Bland Val with no gimmick, no color in his gear, and just a blah look overall with a generic techno mix of his theme came out for this cage match. He's managed by Trish...V, T, and A...okay then. Val's taking awesome bumps for Rikishi here. Low blow counters the stinkface. Now they're brawling on the top rope leading to a flying elbow from Val off of it. Didn't look good, but still better than Punk's. More top rope brawling and now Val's busted open off a cage shot. Trish recreates the Flair-Kerry cage match finish to give Val an upper-hand. Money shot off the top gets 2. Lita's down to take Trish out with a belt...and to strip her of her shirt. I'm fine with this. More top rope-cage brawling led to the memorable Superfly dive OFF THE TOP OF THE CAGE BY A 400 POUND MAN. He landed that perfectly - his kids definitely got the dive from him. Now Tazz is out to attack Rikishi with a camera...boy does that ever sound like a random match. And Val retains. Yikes. The title went from feeling like a possible big deal with Rikishi holding it to Val just being a dude with a belt.

Another backstage brawl with Kurt and Taker. Yet another Hunter skit with him being pissed. Hunter bullied Harvey Wippleman. Jericho sent the flowers and of course kicked Hunter's ass off-screen. Shane came out for an opening Raw promo and called out the Rock. And then Benoit cut a promo and tore up Rock's clothes. Well, this sure doesn't exactly scream main event build. Recap of the Angle-Taker feud being caused by Angle accidentally hitting Taker with a hammer. "I'VE BEEN AFRAID OF A MAN WHO RIDES A BICYCLE!" Kurt attacked Taker with a giant wrench he apparently got from Double Dragon on SD, and came out with it here. Crowd brawling to start. About a minute in, they did a tease where Taker could have won but picked Kurt up. Taker's inaudible "fuck you" was shown. Taker whooped some ass in the corner and J.R. apologized for the cussing. Kurt did a wacky comedy sleeper and got rammed into the corner. Angle's finally going for the knee and they're not really doing a ton. Basic kneebar from Kurt gets countered into a knee smash on the canvas. Body shot>uppercut combo gives Taker an edge leading to a chokeslam, but he doesn't want a cover - he wants to send Kurt on his last ride. That got the win, and getting that over as a finish probably extended Taker's career quite a bit since he didn't have to do tombstones all the time. Recap of the clothes-tearing...we saw earlier ON THIS SHOW, and Rock lamenting the loss of his clothes.

Jericho-HHH recap gets some awful narration by Kevin Kelly. Brooklyn Brawler pinning HHH was shown. Lots of talking from HHH about "wanting Jericho's ass". The sledgehammer and DX played a big part in the video, teasing them as part of the finish. Steph came out with the women's title and wow was Hunter's physique completely different here. HHH's "My Time" theme was quite great. JR hyped this up as only the second last man standing match in WWF history, with the first being between HHH and Foley. Wow. Nice brawling to start, leading to holds later - like an abdominal stretch. Lionsault led to the knees going up. Well, that's just a stupid move to try with bad ribs. Jericho counters a pedigree with a low blow. Protected chairshot to the head from Jericho. HHH gets a gusher on that one. Facebuster to the chair leads to another count and a great shot of HHH's hair being coated in blood. HHH took the wacky over the top corner bump. A pedigree tease on the steps leads to a backdrop. Walls are locked on, and HHH is chewing gum during it. HHH got the ropes, but there aren't any rope breaks. This led to Steph breaking it up, but getting the walls and a brief underboob shot because of the top she's got on. The original angle had a lot more of that, but a bit made it through here. Sledgehammer to the gut from Jericho. Shitty back suplex off the barricade through the announce table leads to a victory for HHH. HHH gets helped out by medics.

A Benoit video on him being callous and cruel is sure uncomfortable to watch now. Rock saying that Benoit doesn't deserve a title shot is just stupid. They brawled, and brawled, and brawled and brawled and brawled. Benoit came out in a weird cut up long-sleeve shirt looking like a Euro douchebag in a club. Ah, it's one of the Rock's shirts...looks ridiculous on him. Shane in wacky shades makes it impossible to take this seriously. They started this brawling, and then Rock attacked Shane. This is really just Rock-Shane with Benoit as Shane's surrogate. Super back suplex from the Rock fairly early on. Floor brawling...stairs...I'm really numb to the stuff on the show that's been done to death since this era. Rock got a figure four, BUT THANK GOD SHANE WAS THERE TO SAVE THE GUY HYPED UP AS THE GREATEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER IN THE WORLD. Spine on the pine leads to the People's Elbow, BUT THANKS TO SHANE, Chris is saved. THANK HEAVENS FOR SHANE. Good God is he a detriment to this match, and Benoit as well. They have no chemistry together at all. Shane takes the ref out, because that's a logical thing to do when you want your charge to win the world title. Rock got the crossface, which looks terrible because the Rock's arms are too long. They're saying Benoit tapped, but not playing Rock's theme. Benoit apparently wins via DQ, and gets the title as a result...for some reason. The ref DQed Rock because he thought he hit him with the chair. Wow. Benoit winning the title this way would've been terrible for many reasons, so it's a good thing Foley restarted this. Triple Germans lead to the crossface, but Rock makes the ropes, so he just pulls him back. Rock gets the ropes again, punches him, hits a Rock Bottom and wins. This didn't do much for me. It was overbooked to hell and Shane hurt it in so many ways.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

WWE Main Event LIVE 3-25-14

Well, they've already nixed the Christian-Big E match to seemingly tease a retirement angle for Christian. The pre-show filler was just a Q and A with Big E and an NXT Arrival hype vid. They start the show with Big E coming out and say Christian's out with a concussion. Now Sheamus is coming out for a new number 1 contender's match against Alberto and Dolph. Dolph yelled about knowing what time it is. We all know what time it is - jobbing time! They basically just re-did the Raw match without Christian, and Alberto was smoother with the apron kick. Dolph won after doing...a thing called a Zig Zag on Alberto while he hit Sheamus with the backstabber. Raw opening recap. Big Dave will VENT HIS SPLEEN on SD.

Ten-Diva tag is on tap. AJ said the match at WM should be AJ Lee vs. the World - well, that's accurate. Summer's theme rules. Layla starts by slapping Nattie's ass hard. Layla mocking Emma's retarded stuff rules. Sweet Christ Eva nearly landed on her head taking a Northern Lights Suplex. Nice high kick from Naomi to Tamina, leading to a big corner forearm ala AJ Styles. Emma dances. Two people do the Fandango dance...yikes. Tamina superkicks Naomi to win this. "She's got that Snuka look in her eye." RUN AJ, AND HIDE THE COKE! They showed the Cena mirror bit from Raw. It's a 4-way for the tag titles, with the champs facing the Matadors, Rybaxel, and the Real Americans. The Cena-Wyatt video gave them an excuse to show Harper being amazing.

YAY IT'S TIME FOR BAD NEWS! Barrett gets paid six figures to fly around the country, take part in online skits, and get on a podium without wrestling - it's his best gig since his main event push ended. Everyone should wear a sheep mask because they're ugly. IC Title match is up. Dolph is in new gear - very Savage at WM IV-esque and they got the big match intro here. Big E starts off with a side headlock...and he could honestly make that a finisher. E misses a shoulder charge in the corner after the break to give Dolph an edge for a bit. Jumping DDT got 2. Famouser gets 2, then the Big Ending gets 3. Well, that an amusing show.

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Review: Lupin the Third: Bye Bye Lady Liberty DVD

Since 2007, Discotek Media has been the most reliable source for Lupin the Third DVDs in North America. While Funimation brought out The Woman Called Fujiko Mine last summer, they've been re-releasing a couple old older things with tricked-out extras from Reed Nelson and the duo over at Lupin Has Three Jackets, as well as releasing things that had never seen the light of day in North America, like the critically-acclaimed First Contact TV special, the first TV series containing very early Hiyao Miyazaki work, and the polarizing Green vs. Red TV special. Now, they're back with more unseen material - the 1989 TV special that kicked off the annual tradition that is going on until this very day.

The film begins with a computer montage...oh my is this ever hilarious 25 years later. Now this was funny back when I watched a billionth-generation VHS-rip of the dub via a CD-R a decade ago, but it's even better now. Zenigata's birthdate is listed as 12-25-38 - making him 51 at the time of this special in-canon. Pops looks darn good for his age. There is a GIANT ROOM OF COMPUTERS DOING COMPUTER THINGS. The naming of "Wolf the Third" is odd to hear. Great Zenigata disguise spot with Pops catching him by surprise, and there's a beautiful night-time chase on buildings. Lupin escapes Pops with a helicopter umbrella, because of course! This has the "IT'S A MOVIE!" remix of the Lupin theme that I loved hearing for the first time in the Funimation releases.

A really slow, relaxing jazz club version of Lupin's theme plays Jigen into the movie. Jigen beats the daylights out of some goons to find out where Lupin is. Lupin's watching women's wrestling. Sadly, instead of Cuty Suzuki or the Crush Gals, it's a pair of fat chicks. This voice cast is fantastic. Jigen's just the right mix of sarcastic and serious, while Lupin sounds silly, but not like a complete joke. Lupin and his girl's first meeting features some really weird animation, but her voice seems to get across a silly, aloof chick. "Gomon" is used here...yikes...and Goemon's voice isn't exactly filling me with joy here. It's lifeless. The shot of Goemon against the New York skyline is something else.

Fujiko makes her debut here with an incredibly-unappealing design alongside one of the many square-jawed characters in this, Jimmy, on his Gold Dolphin yacht. Fujiko spies on Jimmy's conversation with an evil dude who of course WANTS THE ENTIRE WORLD TO BE HIS! Pops busts in on Lupin's house, but finds an annoying little kid who spills the beans on his entire personal life and 40% pay cut. Jigen's meeting with an old pal named Rooster reminiscing about the good old days. Lupin says his girl left him, and he needs to start thieving again because thanks to his girl, HE'S NOW THREE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT. Well, that's bad for him, but a good setup for the film. Excellent split-screen shot of Lupin and Jigen, with nice lighting as they fend off a junkyard full of mobsters and a giant truck that Lupin eventually takes control of to tip the scales in their favor.

The Kid finds Lupin, rattles off his history, and then Lupin scampers off. Jigen and Rooster run off but OH NO, Rooster meets a BRADDDOOOOO fate and isn't long for this world thanks to a gunshot. Never get introduced as an ally of a main character in a Lupin movie. An awesome scene plays out with no music and only a screechy train of Jigen getting revenge and just killing dudes. Rooster goes out staring at the Statue of Liberty - but he doesn't reveal the location of the Super Egg...well that's a stupid name. More stylish noir imagery with Lupin and Jigen against the lights of the night.

Aww, Lupin has exploding little duckies to help defend his boat against the GIGANTIC SUBMARINE SENT TO DESTROY HIM. Lupin then lifts up the Statue of Liberty with a giant balloon and himself, Jigen, and the Kid inside... I'm tempted to just keep going with this spoiler-laden review, but I think it would be best to just keep watching and enjoying since everything's been set in motion. So far, this is a very good special, and I don't remember all that much about it now despite having watched it a time or two many years ago. I like Goemon being chivalrous and helping a woman in need. I didn't like him speaking though. Poor Goemon can't handle seeing flesh, and Isabella is doing his best to console him. Ah yes, Isabella - now the plot's coming back to me. YAY SLICEY DICEY TIME!

Goemon takes Isabella to a cabin. Isabella is scary-thin, she has no bone structure at all. There's a beautiful camping scene with Lupin and the group, and the Kid WHO NEEDS A NAME 1/3 OF THE WAY THROUGH THE FILM is playing Not After Burner on his computer. Oh good, his name's Michael. Michael has programmed a guilt trip in his game to get Lupin to do what he wants - nice. He wants to hire Lupin to implant a virus into a computer. Michael's wallpaper is spelled as "Micheal", and Lupin wants to use the virus to wipe his record clean.

Mr. Big Evil Guy met with underlings and killed them with his rancid breath. Pops is at Humberger Shack, bringing back HAMBARRGGEERRRR memories from First Contact. Nice camo for the Statue against a cliff - it's amazing how they got the texture exactly right for the cliffside. A quick scene with James and Fujiko sets him up as being slightly sleazier than before. Fujiko slips out of her blue dress into her...bright red catsuit, which can't be all that useful for stealth. It actually looks more like an all-red workout leotard. Egads - every attempt to update the series in the '80s just dated it more than the '70s versions. Fujiko enters the giant goat head room and kicks a head with a woodcut smash cut. Mr. Big Evil Guy is 123 and uses his poison breath on James. Fujiko uses a giant breast-shaped explosive device, complete with a nipple detonator. Wow. Fujiko now has no bone structure as well. What an unappealing design the women have in this. Old Dude's eyes are leaking a nasty green-ish liquid. And then she gets caught and captured.

Zenigata and the taxi driver are having a wacky exchange before they get confronted by a fleet of black SUVs. Well, that ain't good. Another Lupin group camping scene leads to Michael crying for his mother and the Super Egg's location being revealed inside the torch! Evil dudes find them and attack. So much for going spoiler-free, I'm having too much fun with the stream of consciousness. There's a Jigen death fakeout, and Pops and the taxi driver are now pushing the cab, which is totaled. Pops skips out on the bill and sends it to the ICPO, but now includes a small tip for him. Great Pops/Lupin criss-cross bit, complete with woodcuts.

Goemon saves Jigen and says a bunch of bullshit. Jigen meets Isabella, who has a horse now for whatever reason. Zenigata has captured Lupin and...takes Michael to a bar with him. Lupin blows up the jail with an exploding duckie inside gum! Nice! A great shot of Goemon, Isabella, and Jigen on horses sets up a rare horse chase in Lupin. Lupin's got his face buried in Isabella's chest - classy. They've moved from NY to New Orleans. Isabella gets a traditional shower fanservice scene, which isn't all that erotic due to her unappealing design. And now she's listening in on their conversation, so maybe she's evil too. They go to HOTEL MISSIPY. Yowza. Lupin's drunk as could be, and rings up Isabella with her listening device. Okay then.

She owns a jewelry store and wants the Super Egg. Baddies shoot up the joint, and Lupin and Isabella talk in minimal clothing to avoid catching a cold. The Statue of Liberty returns to NY, and the gang is now in the sights of the big evil group. Ah, Michael's gum is now a radio - well, they set something up with that before when Lupin's gum led to the explosion. Fujiko and her...gym outfit were strung up, then released for "some kind of job", leading to her saying she's not that kind of girl. Well, that's a pleasant change from the Pioneer dub where they all but said she was a gangbang queen. The Big Evil Group is doing a ceremony, and the lead guy can now form a sword from his throat. A drop of his nasty green liquid sends her into convulsions - I bet. That's gotta be some nasty stuff.

Lupin meets with Michael in a punk rocker outfit. The Super Egg was hidden smartly inside a football, and then blinds everyone. Fujiko's out on her bike and spots them. Time for a chase! She can now levitate. The evil dude has possessed Fujiko and they're now shooting after Isabella, leading for Michael to cry out mommy. Well, there's the big plot twist I remembered. Thanks to Jigen, the possessed Fujiko gets dunked in the water. She really shouldn't have gone with that BRIGHT RED OUTFIT. Michael's performance is getting all wonky here. Big Evil Dude will kill Fujiko...or something since she's now free of his command, if they don't all go to his building.

Isabella's trapped with James, and it's revealed that she's the #2 traitor they talked about before. Kinda surprised to hear orgasms mentioned in a Lupin special...not really sure why though. Isabella appeals to James and his...desire to wear women's take out the top guy. Goemon leaves the gang to save Isabella, leading to Jigen being a bit upset, before being talked down by Lupin. Pops and Goemon cross baths briefly, while Pops eats some hot dogs. Fujiko refuses to babysit Michael. They work an "as if" line in there, so I'll just assume this dub was done around the time of Clueless...nearly 20 years ago. God that makes me feel old. Isabella talks to Evil Dude and strips to appeal to him. Isabella offers to sleep with him, which he accepts, and gets shot by James as a result. Well, there's 25 minutes left, so I doubt he's dead.

Goemon is heartbroken, and he takes his rage out on the underlings before getting a trap door escape where he meets up with Pops. So now they're buds, kinda like Pops and Lupin in Castle of Cagliostro. Lupin and Isabella do the exchange, but Lupin doesn't realize she's turned heel and the Big Evil Dude is dead. Trap door time for them. YAY A REUNION! Evil Dude got dumped too, and Pops gives him some some dignity by placing his coat over him. Lupin with some parkour action to get up and try to save the day. Isabella and James meet, where he is overly concerned about wearing her clothes. Lupin meets up with James on the elevator. IT'S ASS-WHOOPIN TIME! Now it's exposition time - Evil Dude got the Super Egg, then she stole it and it's got the virus in it. CONQUER THE UNIVERSE INCORPORATED. Really now. What a great name. James is out to take her out, and tries to murder Lupin with...fangs! I honestly didn't see that coming.

Lupin joins the goon squad in disguise for her ceremony. Giant blinky computers are forming around her, and the virus is buried into her subconscious and she strikes the pose of the Statue of Liberty because that's what she views herself as. A really epic song is playing, and it's awesome. Impalings and beheadings are shown in silhouette while a bunch of cool-looking stuff happens. She is exhausted by this, and thankfully loses her '80s-riffic purple eye shadow. James stabs Isabella, and Lupin saves her by LEAPING OVER THE ENTIRE GROUP OF BADDIES. Thank God he doesn't suffer fall damage. Fujiko and Michael meet the gang and save everyone but Pops.

Isabella tells Lupin to leave her behind and go to the roof and save himself. He tells her about Michael, who she barely remembers. Goemon and the group save Lupin via elevator, and Goemon splits the Super Egg with his sword. This leads to a reunion between Michael and Isabella. It's touching, aside from Michael's wailing. On paper, this works well. James goes more insane and tries to end the world by pushing random buttons and unleashing the virus on the computers of nations. What a glorious crazy evil madman laugh. Michael's computer blinks to update him on the situation.

Thank God Isabella's still alive, or this would be a major problem. She's bleeding badly, but luckily, her computer brain was passed to Michael... an exact line. Wow. James and his Moe from the Three Stooges haircut are stopped by Lupin and Michael. More random button pushing. Thanks to the magic of pushing random buttons, and one specific one, THE WORLD IS SAVED!  Jigen and Fujiko share a rare hug and James goes out saying "files". Wow. He at least has the good sense to activate the self-destruct function for the building. CONQUER THE UNIVERSE INCORPORATED's building is no more. What a great name for a group to not bring about any police activity. Isabella dies with Michael in her arms. Well, that part I completely forgot. And then they look down at the Statue of Liberty to page homage to her and Michael blames Lupin for her dying. Lupin tries to erase his files. Lupin finally does so, after Fujko wears her most revealing outfit yet. I don't recall this ED song, but I like it a lot.

AV-wise, the picture is about as clear as one can expect. It's certainly a massive upgrade from what I remember the VHS version being like. The music is quite lively, and the dub is very good.This is definitely the best the movie will ever look in a North American release, although I'm sure the Japanese Blu-Ray release has a slightly cleaner picture. The packaging design is excellent, with a beautiful poster image that goes from the front to the back and a new red Lupin III logo on the front. The back features a basic plot rundown, lists it as Special #1 and even includes the Japanese title in Japanese!  Extra features include liner notes from Reed Nelson as per the norm on these releases, and a commentary by Mike Toole of the Anime News Network. It'll be odd to have a commentary track without Reed or Mike and Ryan from 3 Jackets, but I'm interested in hearing Toole's insight into this film. Since Mamo didn't have a commentary track due to having nine billion audio tracks already, and Green vs. Red's was online-only, it's good to have one back on the disc.

The liner notes are incredibly-informative, and this DVD includes the English dub done by Manga UK! I haven't kept up on this release much, and have gotten so used to Discotek's sub-only stuff that this is quite a pleasant surprise. The liner notes talk about the dub cast, including the fact that the actors playing Goemon and Isabella are married, and played Bruce Wayne's parents in Tim Burton's Batman movie - nice! According to more extras, Ryan and Mike will apparently be doing a commentary via their podcast, which should be nice. I really should get around to finally watching Green vs. Red with the commentary by Reed and Luis Cruz. More extras include a little promotional art gallery, and the original Japanese-language preview. The commentary track is informative, as you'd expect with someone from ANN behind it. Hearing Mike Toole talk about the director had me look him up, and sure enough, the same things that were on display here, like the woodcut scenes, that become prevalent in Harimao's Treasure, were his staples - and he directed that special as well as several others.

I'm quite happy with my purchase. For a blind buy I just picked up to have it in my collection, it greatly exceeded my expectations with the English dub and the commentary track. It packs quite a bit of value into its cost, even though it might be easy to scoff at spending $20+ for a single movie on DVD in 2014, it's worth it here. The film is quite fun to watch, and was far better than I remember it being.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Raw 2-24-14

Taker-Warrior got a recap of wackiness. Riley's promo is...something. Foley's beard is a different kind of something. THEY'LL BE IN ACTION! NOT IN ACTION! BUT IN ACTION! VINTAGE BOOKER. Yay, Cena-Harper rematch! Foley and Riley are talking about Johnny Fabulous. Love Summer's theme. Crickets chirping for Emma. Booker equates the HHH-Bryan attack to HHH RUNNING DOWN STEVE AUSTIN. Then Josh brings up Bryan wrestling on house shows this week...despite Bryan saying he hasn't been medically cleared. Orton as a 12-time world champ is just mind-boggling. I remember this one, the Age of Orton, and the '04 World title win. Renee and Heyman had a glorious exchange -
Renee - Sorry...
Heyman - Heyman – Why say you're sorry? Why interrupt and then say you're sorry!? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!? Is this your excuse to just get close to me? GO ON THE VIEW AND BE WITH BARBRA WALTERS, BUT LEAVE PAUL HEYMAN AND BROCK LESNAR ALONE. BROCK LESNAR APPRECIATES ALL OF YOUR HARD WORK!

 Raw might've peaked as a whole with that. Riley bringing up that Taker is winding his career down is a bit odd. THE UNIVERSE IS GETTING WITH THE SHIELD! Riley's doing a bad Ahnold impression. Now Foley's doing an ALL HAIL KING BOOKAH deal. Riley busts Booker for wearing a scar indoors, so Booker has some fun with it. Bryan-HHH video starts off Raw. Steph is out in a nice outfit. She walked about the Yes movement leading PEOPLE DOWN A ROAD OF SELF-DESTRUCTION. This led to a giant CM Punk chant. YAY MORE REMINDERS OF HOW GREAT HHH IS! Steph saying HHH is the most powerful man in WWE is a clear indicator that Vince is coming back. Cole said that Orton has no champion's advantage, and then said something possibly hinting at a fatal 4-way. Big Bryan chant, leading to Steph taking over. Orton said a bunch of words and got a boring chant. Batista came out and got booed! BOO! Batista's not dressed like a middle-aged hipster! He's just in jeans and his green shirt. Love the Batista=overrated sign being on-screen with him. Also love his mic cutting out. "I hate to break your heart, I'm sure Steph's been drooled on before. Actually, I think she's been drooled on A LOT!" AWWW SNAPP! Spear by Big Dave. This was an amusing disaster, there's no better term for it.

A graphic aired hyping up Raw for being the top show on cable, leading to BIG THUMBS UP from the announcers. Then it was time for a 4-way with Sheamus, Dolph, Alberto, and Christian to get an IC Title match against on Main Event. Why wouldn't Alberto get the shot? He demolished him on SD. Dolph looks like a mini in there with Sheamus. So instead of breaking up a pin, Alberto just decides to hit Dolph. JBL buried Big E for being better on commentary when he's not on it. Ugh. Nice fallaway slam into the barricade by Sheamus to Christian. Love Cole finally calling JBL on the Mexico's greatest export deal. Super X Factor to Sheamus gets 2 for Dolph. Sitout powerbomb got 2 for Christian, which was broken up by the superkick to the back of the head by ADR. Sheamus struggled to get the cloverlead on ADR, but locked in on before Christian broke it up. This has turned into quite a good little match. Rampage powerbomb from Sheamus led to a Zig Zag, then Christian hit the Killswitch to Dolph to win. FANTASTIC finish. Bray sang about having the whole world in his hands...and how ya can't miss John Cena - we see you, your billboards, but have ya ever seen Bray for what he really is? HE IS THE WAY TO GO AMONG THE LOST BEYOND TIME! Bray said you can't hurt what cannot feel...oh he rules.

GHOST BEAR and the Scooby trailer were shown again. SIN CARA JUST CAME OUT OF THE MYSTERY MACHINE! JBL asked if he stole it, and then referenced WHO LET THE DOGS OUT in 2014. They brought back the trampoline gimmick here. Cara faces Sandow, and Sandow apparently buried the movie. A Scooby chant broke out. Then a CM Punk chant broke out. Sin Cara did Hakushi's prayer before winning with the swanton. The Shield attack from SD got a recap vid. They hyped up Hogan, Taker, and Brock being in DC for Raw...I really wish I was going to that. Kane will be on SD to talk about the Shield deal. Los Matadores are in a tag match against Rybaxel. The Matadores theme is so awesome. Rybaxel is now out of the battle royal due to the tag title match. SHIELD CAME DOWN TO RINGSIDE! and the Matadores won with a distraction schoolboy. Axel took an awesome bump on the floor for Reigns, and then they just demolished Ryback. This was great - The Shield as a face act is working just fine.

HHH came down for the interview, in a basic set. HHH and Cole talked. HHH brought up the interview not making sense for the COO, but working for the WM competitor. HHH looks so old with this hairstyle. It brings out every flaw in his face. HHH cut a promo basically saying that everyone in the crowd's a pussy now that he isn't full-time in the ring. HHH needs to watch the Nash and Shelley skits to really nail this whole schtick. HHH said it's the beginning of the REALITY ERA. Didn't Miz already talk about that? HHH burying Big Dave for being a nostalgia act is something else. Again, why not just send the guy a check and be done with it? You're not going to draw a dime with him now, so save him some wear and tear. This ended after what seemed like many minutes. The awesome "Legacy" video aired.

Goldust-Fandango recap vid. Cody and Fandango had a basic match while JBL talked about Fandango playing heel...okay then. Cody won and the brothers danced. Hogan came down and talked about Mr. T. Sabotage stars came down. Arnold talked about inducting Bruno in the HOF and Hogan's physique. Miz came down and got punched by the young dude, bitchslapped by Arnold, and tossed out of the ring by Hogan. Titus is in the job to Show. BOY WAS BREAKING UP THE PTPS A GOOD MOVE. Rey and Ryder are in the Andre battle royal. A CM Punk chant broke out, then it got louder. CM Punk is so much of a bigger star just being gone for two months. KO punch took TON out. Shield met with HHH and Steph. I'm sad Roman didn't call her babygirl. Cena washed his hands in the bathroom, then saw Rowan's mask in the mirror...VINTAGE HOGAN-WARRIOR II!

They recapped Harper-Cena in no time flat. Cena's new neon shirt looks terrible - like something they had an intern make in ten minutes. Harper came down with the crowd doing an phone light gimmick to imitate a concert with lighters - that would look amazing at WM. Cole said Cena RESPECTS FRIENDS AND ENEMIES! Good God, just have Cena come out to Steamboat's "Family Man" theme to make him seem like a bigger pussy. A big LET'S GO HARPER chant broke out. Pumphandle fallaway slam from Harper got 2 - haven't seen that move since WWF Attitude. They came back with a VINTAGE POST-BREAK...headlock, not a chinlock! Big boot hits. Harper is ruling this match - it feels like a star-maker for him. Yet another LET'S GO HARPER chant. SUPERKICK FROM HARPER GOT 2! Discus lariat is avoided and leads to the Protobomb. MICHINOKU DRIVER GETS 2! Powerbomb led to the Cena rana, but Harper avoided the STF. SUICIDE DIVE FROM HARPER! Harper's amazing in both real life and in games because of his crazy moveset. You'd expect it to be super-basic, but nope - he's like a crazy woodsman with a broad wrestling playlist on Youtube. Yet another Harper chant. Cena powers out of a double underhook superplex. Cena got the slice for 2. Atomic whip facebuster got 2 for Harper. Big lariat from Cena! AA setup led to the Wyatts' wackiness and then Cena was tied to the ropes with a sheep mask on his head. Well, I didn't see this coming. It got a this is awesome chant.

They came back and hyped up E-Christian, and the Cena-Wyatts deal. Naomi's eye patch gimmick works better than Mariah Carey's blinged-out sling. It's Naomi-AJ. AJ tried to leave. Maybe she's going to go find her missing ass. Countout finish for Naomi. Vickie came down, which makes sense with them bringing up AJ insulting her on SD. Vickie called her a real Vickie made the Vickie invitational with AJ against the Bellas, the Dactyls, Nattie, Eva, Emma, Summer Rae, Foxsana, Rosa, Layla, AND TAMINA! Well, this is a bit silly, but at least they're hyping up the end of AJ's title reign somewhat well. This really would've made more sense if the Vickie-AJ deal was regularly played up, but whatever, everyone gets a paycheck, and it's not like a divas singles match would be given any time to begin with - not like we're missing out on AJ-Nattie II. They recapped the Taker-Heyman bit from ME. New HOFer gets announced next - should be a great video for Hall.

THE WWE NETWORK HAS ELEVENTY BILLION DOWNLOADS. BEFORE THE ROCK, BEFORE DX, BEFORE STONE COLD!  Razor was hyped as the original bad guy who was beloved. They hyped him up as the first 4-time IC Champ, and the IC Title won at WM X. Hard to believe that was 20 years ago. Waltman got a new clip here, and Hogan putting him over was fun. This HOF Class graphic is like an indy show poster with how outdated the photos are. They recapped the Steph-Batista-Orton bit. Batista-Orton, the original WM main event, will be given away on Raw next week. They brought up Bryan not wrestling tonight, but wrestling at house shows and hurting himself further. Shield-Real Americans is next. Wyatt-Show happening...for some reason on SD. Big brawl before the match. Great corner blow exchange by Cesaro and Ambrose. VINTAGE heel eye rake on the ropes from Ambrose. YET ANOTHER WHO LET THE DOGS OUT reference from JBL. Can't wait for WM 40 for JBL to reference Lady Gaga. Seth went for Three Amigos, which were finished by Ambrose and Seth doing a double suplex to Swagger. AND ON HIS BIRTHDAY, which greatly offended JBL. He's one of FOUR LEGENDS born today - GORGEOUS GEORGE! BARRY HORROWITZ, FERNANDO, AND HARRY HOUDINI! Eye rake-ish Regal Stretch from Ambrose. Another fantastic Cesaro-Ambrose exchange - I wouldn't mind a feud between them for the U.S. Title. Cole put over the long reign, while JBL buried him for not defending it. Cole said it was up to GMs to make matches for it. Seth took an amazing bump for a Cesaro big boot on the apron. YAY THE SWING TO AMBROSE! Nice stuff here. Front facelock from Cesaro brought the match back from the break. Big LET'S GO SHIELD chant. "LET'S GO SHIELD, HUH!?" SMACK! Awesome. Cesaro is great. Big clothesline from Ambrose led to a hot tag setup. Great stuff from Seth, just kicking and chopping the hell out of Swagger. Seth getting such a huge push on WWE TV is still amazing to me. I went from seeing him in a giant tin tool shed, just like Claudio, and he's a major part of WWE TV now and has been for nearly a year and a half. Flying knee got 2. OVER THE TOP EXPLODER FROM CESARO TO AMBROSE had a nasty landing. Patriot lock to Seth. Pop-up kick set up the Peace of Mind curb stomp. That name sucks compared to Blackout. SUPERMAN PUNCH with a rev from Roman to Cesaro. AND THEN THE SPEAR ON THE FLOOR! They got a huge pop for taking the top off the announce table. Triple powerbomb to Cesaro through the table. This was just about the perfect first match for the Shield to have as faces. Kane made the Outlaws and himself against the Shield for WM. The Outlaws in suits works.

Oh yeah, it's Brock-Taker build next. Kinda forgot about that.Brock's new Eat Sleep Break the Streak shirt is great. Heyman said words while Brock was a bit too..excited by things. Paul says that Brock winning will take nothing away from the streak as a whole since Cena couldn't even get 21-0. THEY NAMED A BATTLE ROYAL AFTER ANDRE, who couldn't even got 21-0. THE CONQUERER HIMSELF WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO CLAIM 21-0. Heyman talked until Brock grabbed the mic. HE'S NOT HERE TO PROMOTE. HE'S HERE TO FIGHT! LET'S DOO THIIISSSS! Taker got the big chanting intro. YAY DRUIDS! Brock kicked the casket, which looked barely bigger than Bully's. Brock opened it to reveal no one. Brock scared the druids. Brock shut the lid. I AIN'T HERE TO PLAY GAMES! Paul buries Taker for not showing up in a slum like Brooklyn. Taker showed up barely being able to fit in the casket. Taker of course outpunched the UFC World Champion like it was nothing, then Brock took an amazing over-the-top bump over the casket. This was...stuff that will make a good video package, but man are they not making Brock look good here.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

WWE SD 3-21-14

It's the fifth anniversary of my mother's passing, and I'm celebrating it by relaxing. I'll also wind up saving a ton of time for tonight by knocking SD out now. Generic SD intro leads to Dolph-Sandow. Basic match here. Dolph gets a neckbreaker, Sandow misses one, and Dolph wins with a shitty-looking famouser. I love the split-up tag title graphic for the 4-way tonight. Mr. Kane came out in what will likely start the show off in the U.S. Cole says HE CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR FROM KANE. I call bullshit on that. Kane talked about the Bryan deal, leading to them airing a LOT of this thing. Mr. Kane briefly lost his composure, and he read a letter from HHH about how much he regrets the attack, and then he flubbed things which worked due to the crowd chanting. Fandango's out to face Nice springboard elbow from Primo. SUMMER'S IN A RED DRESS! OH NO! Schoolboy finish gave the matador a win. The stuff with the bull ruled. Luke Harper said that he is the reaper and will carry out His will. Bray as a Christ analog is working for this feud. Shield's out for the 4-way to determine who faces the tag champs. Jinder is back to wearing regular gear, which sucks for him. Ambrose and Seth took Ryback out with a clothesline. DOUBLE DIVE BY THE SHIELD! Seth sold a Cesaro big boot marvelously. Crazy cradle from Ambrose got 2. Tremendous spear to Heath by Reigns gave Seth an opening to take Mahal out with the Blackout. Kane and the Outlaws took out Reigns. Reigns briefly stood his ground, but wound up getting overwhelmed. Chokeslam to Reigns - Kane-Reigns will be an interesting little deal.

Miz is out for Miz TV. Oh please God no. Miz brought out the favorite to win the battle royal, the Big Show, and then a bunch of geeks in the match came out to do a giant battle royal before the...big giant battle royal on PPV. They just did an abandon ship battle royal, which didn't make me want to see the Andre one at all. Show and Sheamus had a really fun brawl as the last two guys. Big E and Alberto were out for that, and then had a quick match that Alberto won in a couple of minutes with the superkick. Bad night for Big E. Santino asked Jill to cover up his black eye, he doesn't want Emma to see it. Santino did her dance, she scared him, he bonked her eye, and then ran off...this was goofy. Mr. T vid. Nattie and Summer are a team...for some reason, against the Bellas. AJ and Tamina are buds again or something. Nice flippy matwork by Nattie to start. Brie hit Nattie with the X factor and won. Main Event Heyman-Taker recap led to a Taker-Brock one.

Kane gave Rybaxel a shot, then Zeb got his team a shot as well since they beat the champs on Raw as well. Drew demanded a shot because, and I quote "we were there too". He gave them a shot in the battle royal. Then shirtless Mr. Kane hugged the Outlaws. Lana looked hot and brought out Rusev. Cena-Wyatt "Legacy" hype vid aired. THANK GOD they made that before WM, because it's incredible. Basic match until Harper escaped the STF by biting Cena, then dropping him on his face for 2. Rana from Cena, RUNNING RANA FROM HARPER and the Michinoku Driver got 2. Holy shit that was fun. AA gets the win in a five minute match. This should've been three times as long, but it was a good test run for a longer Raw match if need be.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

TNA Impact 3-20-14

After playing some Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Super Mario RPG, I'm in the mood for something...different. A shockingly epic video package for Joe started things off. They showed TNA know that WCW DX skit where they compared it to a dentist's office? This was worse - it was like the cracker factory Milhouse's dad worked at. Then Abyss and EY brawled. ODB is yelling a lot. Abyss choked him out with what looked like a giant paper towel tube. They brawled and brawled and brawled and brawled and brawled. EY hit him with a chain. DIDN'T THEY JUST DO THIS EXACT THING A MONTH AGO? More brawling to the ring. Nice baseball slide and suicide dive from EY. Abyss set the chair up in a sitting position, because that's what you'd do in a fight. Flapjack on it to EY. Crowd chanted Joseph, which made him stop for a sec. Black Hole Slam led to Abyss struggling to get up, and then choking him with a chain. ODB came down without security, but with one ref. EC3's out in red, white, and blue gear to face Lashley.

IT'S HIS IMPACT WRESTLING DEBUT, AND HIS RETURN TO TNA...okay then. Nice leapfrog from Lashley. Wow, it's been SEVEN YEARS since Lashley's mega-push in WWE. Tenay is talking about him being both an amateur AND pro champ...yup. The crowd is shockingly hot for Lashley. Nice mule kick low blow from EC3. Willow came down and attacked EC3 to cause Lashley to lose. He did a slow-mo attack to the knee...didn't do the splash...whatever. Bully's at the HQ "earlier today". Joe banged on the wall to let MVP know he was there. They've got a basic framed PPV poster as the set for his office. MVP said EY was out, but he'd find someone to chain Abyss to...HOW ABOUT A WALL? Why risk someone else's health? Angelina's cleavage talked to the camera about Velvet.

Taz talked about Mr. Anderson doing a LIVE Q AND A! EC3 yelled at Magnus about not helping him. They argued and Magnus echoed badly and was a total dick to Ethan and insulted Dixie too. Looking forward to EC3 ending Magnus's reign with Dixie coming back as a face. Gunner and his generic theme came down, his dad was in the crowd. Gunner thanked his dad, who cried. His dad is awesome. Gunner swore to his dad and deceased grandmother that he'd be champ. Then they hugged - this was great. Storm came down looking a bit like Satan with his hairstyle, sideburns, and red and black shirt. Storm said that Gunner's dad is looking down from heaven...and he's glad he's dead because he didn't have to live and see his kid and grandson be such disappointments. Nice brawl here. Superkick takes out Gunner. Now he's cuffing him to the ropes in front of his dad. Oh this is gonna be good. He dragged his dad out of the crowd, then grabbed his beer bottle and smashed him with it while he tried to free is son. I LOVE THIS FEUD. Gail cut a promo about being the benchmark for women's wrestling since the KO division began, and Gail said that if she beats Tapa, Tapa's done. Good - she's not ready for TV.

Nice ShopTNA ad. The BroMans came in being goofy. The DJ Z shirt rules. He speaks both Lucha Libre AND Strong Style. I love this act. Tapa-Gail is up. They had a really good David vs. Goliath match here. Dragon sleeper by Gail led to a nice hair whip. Gail's laying in some kicks to the leg and then hits Eat Defeat for the win...and that's it for Tapa. A very unflattering view of Angelina showed her walking backstage for her bit next.

MVP talked with Willow, who was annoying. I want MVP to be fired just for engaging in a conversation with Willow. I hate this gimmick.  Angelina and her kid-sized skinny jeans came down. If Angelina's 100 pounds, I'm winning the lottery later. Oh thank God, more talking between these two. Velvet thanked Angelina for being her bestie when they started in TNA, and then said that she felt like she was beneath her. Angelina pointed out that VELVET SUCCEEDED A LOT WHEN ANGELINA WAS GONE, but one is a lonely number. Velvet said Angelina's like a big sister to her, so now they're buds. YAY BPS ARE BACK. Angelina called out Madison. Yup...Madison certainly was a member of the group...on par with Lacey Von Erich and Cute Kip. Madison's kid might weigh more than Angelina. Angelina got cocky, with "ya know you, Madison". Madison said that she's not the lost little girl now. She's not going to be on the floor while they've got thrones, and while she loves Velvet, she doesn't like Angelina and is outie. Magnus talked to a camera guy in the boiler room, or basement, or somewhere. Joe saw him there and talked smack. Al and his hipster glasses broke this up by talking. DJ Z hyped up the Bro Mans being used to international three-ways, with a giant wink. They showed Sanada and Uno beating the champs last week, thus establishing the logical reason behind this since the Wolves were champs too. Robbie talked to TIGER ONE AND HYUNDAI SANADA about needing to get to the club el quicko. Bro Mans tried to leave, but the Wolves attacked them. Faces took change before the break.

Great spot where the Wolves chopped and kicked the hell out of Sanada on the ropes. Loved Tenay's outrage saying "I'm just trying to get an idea FOR WHO YOU MIGHT THINK WILL BE CHAINED TO ABYSS LATER!"  because that's of course a normal conversation point. Uno did some cool flippy rana shit,t hen the Wolves hit the powerbomb backstabber for 2. Bro Down Hart Attack to Uno gets the win. Really fun match overall. Velvet and Angelina talked, and Angelina's upset cuz the things that sucked the most was there was like so much truth to it, but she's like not that person anymore. Sweet Christ does Angelina look scary, and it's worse with all the makeup.

An Adam and Eve ad aired. Well, after that acting, it's fitting. Kenny's the king of the night still. They zoomed in on Angelina's non-ass and she apologized to Madison. And then she attacked her. So I guess in like a year, Velvet will have watched the show and noticed this. MVP volunteered for the chain gang with Abyss. A video package aired on Knux, he's a simple man whose family runs a carnival. he got a call from a girl who he hasn't heard from, so it must be serious. This was shockingly good stuff - looking forward to seeing where this goes. TNA HQ vid is next.

They came back and rushed through Bully saying no one likes Dixie. Wacky dramatic music played. Bully said he was tired of talking to the back of a chair, so Roode jumped him and attacked him. "YOU SCREWED THE WRONG MAN!", which added to the comedy. This was hilarious. Main event is up. MVP and Joe came out, and then they recapped the Gunner-Storm bit. STORM-GUNNER II - UNLOCKED is next week. Joe got the upperhand with some strikes in the corner and the big kick. JOE'S OFFENSE IS SO MUCH LIKE MMA, AND HEY BELLATOR'S ON TOMORROW! Ref bump off a jack breaker counter to the choke. Then Abyss attacked MVP and grabbed the tacks. MVP fought back and unlocked himself to toss the tacks to the back. Suicide dive was countered with a chair...somewhere near Joe. Flying elbow gets the win.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

WCW Wrestle War 1992

Nice little opening video hyping up War Games with Sting's Squadron against the Dangerous Alliance. Eric and Tony talk about it being a huge deal due to Sting coming back from an injury. Freebirds vs. The Taylor-Made Man and Valentine. The Birds have leather on, with Hayes going for red and silver, which looks solid. Garvin has the red and silver jacket, but black pants with red stars. Generic music for the Birds here despite "Badstreet USA" being used on other events. Valentine wearing the U.S. Tag Title over his robe rules, and Taylor's red smoking jacket is pretty snazzy. Taylor has aged a lot in just a few years, but looks great in this role. Taylor does the Flair-esque strut to get heat. Hayes and his giant gut to the strut. He can still move, but looks really out of shape. They did a silly double down spot where Taylor and Valentine ran into each other. I like Valentine countering a hiptoss by just clubbing the shit out of Hayes. Leg catch spin into an atomic drop from Hayes leads to a left-arm lariat for 2. This gear looks so awesome on Hayes. It's annoying to hear basic knife-edge chops called judo chops. I like Garvin taking a bump off of an O'Connor roll counter and only getting up to avoid a Valentine elbow. Garvin's working hard here and he's slimmer than Hayes. Yet another huge DDT chant. Garvin with just a mustache looks bizarre.

Taylor's five-arm results in a 2, which Jesse attributes to it just not hitting properly. Valentine is working hard here, just chopping the hell out of anyone and going for basic, realistic covers. Hayes counters the hand-holding leaping bit by putting his feet right into his balls. Not a DQ. Doctor Bomb gets 2 from Taylor! Knee snap leads to the figure four from Valentine. Garvin comes in and gets an earful from Jesse for it. Ross rightfully says yup, they cheated. Jesse calls out Alfonso for his terrible reffing so far. Valentine went to do a corner clothesline, but Hayes got out of the way too quickly, so he just stops short instead of looking like an idiot by going for a clothesline into nothing. Hayes hits the big left and tags in Garvin. Garvin's a house of fire and atomic drops Taylor into Valentine. Double clothesline! Trip from Valentine takes Garvin down and leads to a Taylor kneedrop, which only gets 2 thanks to Hayes. Garvin DDTs Taylor as Hayes KOs Valentine - the birds win! This match overdelivered a ton. I haven't been wowed by the Hayes/Garvin combo, but this is the best match I've seen of them yet and this look is the best overall one yet.

Good God is Eric ever the most generic face announcer yet. Seeing his past and what the future would hold, it's a bit like imagining Josh Mathews running WWE. According to Eric, Johnny B. Badd's always the bridesmaid, and never the bride. Tracy came out in a bright gold and silver fringe jacket. Oddly, Young Pistol doesn't have quotes for his graphic, but "Tracy" does. Generic themes for both Tracy and Johnny. Johnny's gold and black cape is actual less feminine than Tracy's getup. Jesse all but calls Johnny gay, so Jim points out that Jesse had a feather boa in his day, while Jesse said he had that, earrings, and multi-colored hair. Jesse's ranting about how NO REF SHOULD EVER COUNT after a closed-fist. My how times have changed. Tracy claims that his tights were pulled, while Jim says he didn't see it and he wouldn't be shocked if Johnny just grabbed him BACK THERE. Cuz he's gay you say. IT'S SO SUBTLE.They're putting over both guys being in the LHW mix, and Jesse says a loss here could cost them a shot for an entire year. Nice bodyshots from Johnny, who has some fantastic-looking shots as he should. More bodyshots mid-ring. Flying hook kick by Tracy gets 2 - nice move there. Jesse wants to know what the lips mean on Johnny's ass, and he presumes it as being "kiss my butt". Ross says no, and then Jesse says well IT COULD BE interpreted in other ways. Sunset flip off the top gets 2 for Johnny. Kiss That Don't Miss takes Tracy out. I like that both here and in the U.S. Tag match, you had a hook play a vital role in the finish.

Missy and the Birds are backstage with a brunette Precious. The title match finish is replayed. Hayed puts over winning the titles in the home of Lynyrd Skynyrd, where the band was born! Hayes looks so awesome with this belt on him - those U.S. Tags were quite good-looking. Eric talks about Precious being behind Jimmy and he repeats the whole "IN THE POLITICALLY CORRECT ERA OF THE '90S, women are equal to men" thing. Marcus is out in shiny gold pants that look like stripper wear. I have no idea how to describe what Scott's wearing. It's a white suit jacket with yellow trim and his face on the back, and ripped white jeans with his bright pink and green zebra gear underneath it. Nice back forth battle for a suplex leads to a floatover from Bagwell. Scotty hits a shitty back suplex. I love Jesse asking what Marcus would do if the crowd said no to him asking if he should hit his finisher. Yellow Jacket Suplex gets 2 due to the ropes. Scotty reverses an O'Connor roll by holding the tights and wins.

Beach Blast gets hyped up with BODACIOUS BABES. IT'S TOTALLY BEACHIN! JYD and Ron Simmons team up because they're black I guess. They recap Abby attacking Ron and being saved by JYD. JYD's giant white suit with a red bowtie looks awesome. Shame he looks to be well over 300 pounds in this clip. He's got jeans on with his Hughes and Jack came out to a funeral march. Cactus is '92 is about the best Mick looked overall before his WWF run. He was relatively lean, but still had that "big" look, and was given a main event or semi-main event slot at times. JYD and Cactus brawl on the floor, with JYD actually bumping on the floor. A ram into the ramp leads to the Cactus elbow. JYD's selling the ribs and is out of the match. Jack's RON SIMMMOOOONNS squeal is terrifying. Alfonso with hair looks weird. Jesse and Jim chat about what they'll do without JYD. They made Simmons-Hughes...yikes. Hughes punches fakely. Clubs badly. Kicks. Jesse's going on about how the ref should be fired for changing a signed contract. Hughes takes a clunky bump for a backdrop but eats the big spinebuster and takes a knee clip - Simmons wins!

Todd Champion from THE WCW SPECIAL FORCES comes out...just what is that supposed to mean anyway? Jesse says he looks like the captain of the Love Boat. The Super Invader has Herc's body and Harley Race by his side, and the most generic gear so far. A half-and-half black and red singlet with a bland red mask. Like Sting now, he's got the tights over the boots, which looks weird and he has a neon pink and green glove because it's '92. Herc's at least got speedy offense and different offense as the Super Invader. If I was on the Olympic Committee, I'd sue WCW for having a goober like Champion put the rings on his gear. Long sleeper by SI. Champion gets jobber offense and is then lazily hot shotted before losing to a powerbomb.

Richard Morton's out looking at least 50 to face Big Josh...boy this is like the third hour on Raw with just stuff happening. Morton 208 pounds allegedly, and is in Joker purple and green gear. Log roll spot leads to Jesse being great - NOW THAT'S JUST MEAN TURNING A MAN'S STOMACH INTO A LOG! Jesse buries Josh's gear, and Ross talks about it not being fancy, and his log boots being approved by WCW for matches. I like Josh just attacking with punches, kicks, and chops - it makes sense given him not being a classically-trained grappler and all. Slick belly to back from Morton. Nice press of Morton to escape a cover by Josh. Elbow drop gets 2. This is a nothing match in terms of meaning, but it's well-worked. Steiners face Izuka and Fujinami later. Earthquake splash wins for Josh.

They recap the great Pillman-Zenk feud, which I remember vividly from New Blood on the Block. I like Brian and Tom having a nice, realistic argument here. Pillman gets pyro, and has a very '90s black and white jacket on. I love Jesse asking who will cheat first, and then getting on Ross for not answering his question - which Ross admits. They're telling a basic friend vs. friend rivalry, but with a bit of an edge as each guy has a temper. I like them doing mirror moves, and Zenk showing frustration just by kicking the rope. Pillman is outwrestling Zenk until Zenk counters a hiptoss and goes for a cover since it's the first chance he's had to make one. He gets 2. Jesse and Jim argue about football. Zenk gets some covers and so Pillman chops his chest to fire him up. Pillman working on the leg heavily, and Zenk counters with some back work. Big suplex gets 2. Zenk's getting cocky and gets kicked in the gut. Pillman resumes the leg work and talks smack to Zenk. Brian goes for a figure four and they just slap the shit out of each other during it. Zenk escapes by reversing it. More corner chops. Outside-in bodyblock by Pillman countered into a powerslam for a 2.9. Zenk's firing back with chops and gets hit with a crucifix for a 2.9 by Pillman. Jesse's pissed that neither guy has cheated yet. Pillman takes a nasty flip bump for a superplex counter, and another flip for a crossbody block off the top that allows the nearfall to make more sense. Leapfrog exchange leads to Pillman hitting an iffy dropkick to the gut. Bran takes a crazy bump for the backdrop-setup flapjack for a 2.9. Zenk's knee buckles on him. I remember this finish from the tape - Brian goes up top and takes a MASSIVE Yakuza-style kick for 2.9 thanks to the rope. The extension on Zenk's leg here was amazing. Zenk's kicking the shit out of him for that. Zenk's missile dropkick misses, but Pillman gets a jacknife cover for the win. This match ruled. I remember loving it in clipped form 20 years ago, and it's far better in full. Beach Blast hype vid again.

Time for the Steiners against Izuka and Fujinami. Scott's in a Joe-esque blue and black block singlet - one of his more subdued ones during the early '90s. Rick's in his bright orange and number gear. Fujinami's in black, shockingly, while Izuka's in bright pink. Jesse's turning this match into a war against America and Japan's automobile manufacturing. Nice RVD-esque spring off the shoulder charge in the corner. Flying somersault from Izuka off the top gets 2. Nasty Vader-Inoki-esque bump from Fujinami off a Rick German suplex. Scott locks in a half crab by the ropes. Crazy electric chair by Fujinami led to a crossbody being countered by Rick into a powerslam. THIS ONLY GOT 2. WHAT!? That was a thing of beauty. Izuka's nose is all busted up. Dragon screw by Fujinami leads to a legbar. Tilt a whirl on Izuka gets 2. Rick does the Ventura backbreaker-position shoulder charge in the corner. Big pumphandle by Scott gets 2. YOU MIGHT LOVE THE JAPANESE, YA MIGHT HATE 'EM, BUT YA GOTTA RESPECT ' Abdominal stretch cradle gets 2. A big brawl breaks out. Izuka and Fujinami attack Scott after Rick comes in illegally, as Jesse points out. Nice bit where Scott does a gymnastic flip with both Izuka and Fujinami holding him a top wristlock. Rick comes in with a double clothesline off the top. Big German suplex gets 2, might've gotten closer had he kept the bridge without losing Scott on it. Spike piledriver to Scott. Dragon sleeper locked on, but Scott gets to the ropes. Super belly to belly from Rick gets 3. This was rough around the edges, but really good overall.

Jim sends it to Eric and Tony to talk about the main event. They're setting up Nikita turning on Sting, with Eric being just awful here. Having just rewatched this recently via the Blu Ray set on War Games, I'll nix watching the whole thing right now, but it has held up really well and has a finish I hope they steal for the Shield's breakup with the ringpost connector being used on Eaton to take him out of the match and effectively kill this Alliance. This show has a big lull in it, but the first and third hours are quite good.