Friday, August 29, 2014

WWE SmackDown 8-29-14

SD opens with an Ambrose memorial video - showing his wacky funeral image without any bugs on it - so it was at least amusing. They edited the speech from Seth into seeming like a fairly epic main event-level promo. Roman-Seth was set up perfectly for NoC with this and made each guy seem like top-level acts. Tom Phillips introduced the show in the most boring manner humanly possible - it was with all the excitement of a number coming up for a dinner party. A fan looked absolutely gobsmacked at the sight of Roman. Bray comes out to face Roman. WHY IS THIS BIG-NAME MATCH HAPPENING FOR NO REASON!? Roman is selling entirely too much here. Roman comes back with a hair pull whip down and a flying lariat. Bray elbows out of a Samoan drop. Bray's bodyblock further ends Roman's momentum. Roman gets the Samoan drop for 2. Cole says Rowan looks concerned, which JBL points out is bullshit since he's wearing a sheep mask. Cole laughs and then a DQ happens due to the Family attacking. Show and Henry come out. I SENSE A 6-MAN! Team black and blue gear stands tall! Brock-Cena stuff from Raw gets recapped later. Swagger and Rusev face off in a submission match, which really should've been hyped on either Raw or Main Event. RVD-Seth is next, in a rematch that was explained, but not hyped up much.

HOLLA HOLLA 6 MAN TAG is later. Guys came out and did nothing for a couple of minutes until a break.They came back and Seth takes control with elbows to the neck. Rolling Thunder misses after a kick to the nose. Seth gets 2 off an enzuiguri, but eats a kick when he goes up top. RVD goes for a SUPERPLEX!, but Seth rakes the eyes and gets a corner to corner buckle bomb! Seth does it again since I guess RVD didn't get in position right the first time - this was a good, dominant win for Seth. Seth did the RVD thumbs and wow is he ever ripped. King-Bellas recap. Fuck this.

YAY EMMA! Emma marched and Paige pie-faced her, so Emma cradled her for 2. Emma hit some kind of wonky kick by accident or something getting face-planted. PTO's on and it's over. Well, that was worth either a long drive or airport bullshit for the crew. AJ has a box of chocolate - aww, she got them for Valentine's day! JBL said he loved chocolate, and Cole said he could tell. Paige was not amused by the chocolate, so AJ guilted her and then yelled at her to eat one! Paige chewed it and then spit it out at AJ, who finished it. That's a bit less nasty than it sounded in the spoilers - I thought it was spit on the mat. Tom Phillips quoted Forrest Gump, leading to Cole saying Tom looks just like him! They did a horrible $9.99 plug and did more Forrest Gump quotes - so I guess you're functionally retarded if you don't buy the network.

Brock murdering Cena was recapped. Well, maybe murder's too strong - Joe killed Steiner and Steiner at least had a Band-Aid on for TV. Cena's not only just fine, but he's actually better after being killed. Lana and Rusev, limping, are in the ring. Lana basically says that Russian men are athletic and can fuck all night long. Cole pointed out Jack's run in this feud so far - he passed out at Battleground, lost via stoppage at Summerslam, and lost on Raw. JBL points out that Swagger's spent half the feud out cold. They did nothing until an ad break, and came back with Rusev locking on a bearhug. Rusev hit a nice Vader-ish body attack while Swagger was in a 619 position on the ropes - that was unique. Rusev gets some body shots, but goes for a kick and eats an ankle lock. RUSEV GETS THE ANKLE LOCK, but it gets countered into it from Swagger. Rusev gets a superkick and stomps the spine for the Accolade. Swagger gets an arm free for a hope spot, but Rusev prevents it, so Swagger gets THE OTHER ARM FREE, and then he finally gets the rope! Rusev takes the 4 count to do more damage. I loved that! More spine stomps and another Accolade, but Swagger's escaping before a white towel is thrown in and Bo is revealed by tripping Jack and allowing another Accolade to secure a win. This was probably their best match yet - Swagger and Rusev have really good chemistry together. Rusev's selling on the ankle was fantastic throughout - he's really improved a ton. They replayed Bo's towel through, which they never confirmed on commentary despite THREE PEOPLE BEING THERE. Bo got his finish and needs a new one, as it's bodogshit. Miz had a wacky skit with Kane and being upset with autograph hounds, and he faces Sheamus next.

Or not. Jimmy Uso faced Stardust.Jey's knee is all wrapped up, which at least gives a shred of credibility to the deal from Raw. I liked the fire Jimmy had here. They had a nothing match, Stardust lost, and the faces got their asses kicked. This accomplished very little. Miz-Sheamus is next. Miz with Sandow are mid-ring. Great, another stunt double match. Sheamus-Cesaro was announced for NoC - I love the title belt outline graphic being used. Miz has a black version of his wacky white cloak/jacket thing. JBL put over that Gene LeBelle was a stunt double, and he stretched people! Okay, that was great. Sheamus clubbers Sandow. Kick wins and then Miz attacks and runs like a pussy. I love it! Dolph throws Miz back in and Mizdow eats a kick. This was amusing, entirely due to Miz being so silly. Cena-Brock stuff is next.

The Summerslam/Raw recap from Main Event re-aired here to kill time - lots of it. This lasted at least a few minutes, and was great. Hall of Fame Forum recap sucked, and couldn't even be saved with editing. Show and Henry came down to set up Roman as THE guy here giving him the last intro. Z Nation looks TERRIBLE. Wyatts teleported into the ring after the break. BIG SHOW DID A SUNSET FLIP ON ROWAN AND GOT 2! Show is amazing considering his size, age, and injuries - although he has held up really well over this past 6 year run. Crowd got hot for this after the big chop to Harper, leading to A DROPKICK! Show is doing everything Roman should be doing - going above and beyond. Henry did the JYD headbutt to Harper. THIS MATCH RULES! I wasn't too hyped about it going in, but I'm loving everything about it now. Rowan goes to lift Henry up for a suplex, and lifts his singlet up way too high, only to get reversed. SHOW GETS THE HOT TAG and he runs wild on Rowan. Rowan takes him down with a lariat - leading to JBL referencing Stan Hansen's birthday. Bray comes in and DDTs Show. Rowan does the kneeling head twist thing. Harper comes in and dominates. Show does the Vader-Cactus back dropping thing out of a chinlock. Running lariat counter's Bray's corner bodyblock! Roman comes in and runs wild. Sliding kick takes out Harper. Superman punch gets 2 thanks to a save. Show chokeslammed Rowan. Bray takes Show out. Henry slams Bray. Harper lariats him and boots Roman for 2. Harper's reaction was like NOO...okay...then, GROOVY MORE BEATING TIME! Very GIF-worthy deal there. Spinning lariat gets countered into a spear! THIS RULED and was Roman's best match since the end of the Shield.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

WWE NXT 8-28-14

The Ascension starts off the show literally looking like Emo CAW 1 and 2. Riley says THEY'RE THE MOST DOMINANT TEAM IN NXT AND WWE HISTORY! THEY COULD BE BETTER THAN THE SHIELD! They double shoulder block a jobber and a generic commentator pimps WWE Super Cards. Jobber 1 gets tossed into Jobber 2, which counts as a tag. Poor Jobber 2. Fall of Man takes him out. One of them cuts a generic promo afterwards, and then the other one brags about TOTAL ANI-YAAAAAAA-LATION! WWEEEEEE WILLL RRIIISSEEE sure as shit ain't "WHAT A RUSH!". NXT GM reveal is next, with a title announcement.

Regal's theme hits, so he's the new HEAD OF THE NXT BRAND as Tensai calls him. This is both good and bad, since he's by far the best commentator in the company. Luckily, he's also a good promo, and if he can make Big Zeke seem like a huge deal, then he should be able to do the same for the NXT roster. A huge Regal chant breaks out and he puts over being at NXT since the beginning of the Full Sail run. He brings Neville out to announce his opponent at Takeover 2. He asks WHO'S NEXT, leading to a Goldberg chant! Kidd comes out and gets a no chant, while Tyler gets a mild reaction. Zayn came out in a Rancid shirt, and Neville said he'd take them all on in a fatal 4 way. An elimination match would be better, but this should still be pretty good. I liked the champion being in a suit here.

Generic Cute Brunette Chick talked to Regal about the title match. Sasha's out to face IT'S BAYLEY! Fuck Riley for saying "you can't teach...". Fuck Enzo too, and he isn't even on the show yet. Riley put over Sasha being on an MSG show and impressing people. Sasha gets a straightjacket choke and yells that Bayley will NEVER BE CHAMPION! They said the name of this generic commentator and I can't even remember it seconds later - it's not Tom Phillips though. Belly to Bayley wins! She delivered it almost like a Rock Bottom and didn't drop to her knees for it - it looked excellent as a result. Bayley compares herself to the little kitty hang in there poster. Charlotte comes out to take umbrage to Bayley saying that she can beat her. The fans woo and Charlotte does too, then tells them to shut up. Charlotte said she'd knock a cat out of a tree and gets upset at the crowd for doing the hug chant. This was really good. Faces in the NXT Title 4 way face the heels in tonight's main event.

BULL BULL BULL! Tensai talks about Bull assaulting Santa when he was 8 for being mistaken for an adult. Angelo Dawkins is his opponent. Bull sits down on a sunset flip to get 2 on Dawkins.He lands a knee and some grounded kicks. Angelo gets a flip, flip, and fly, but flies into a Bull Dozer for a win. LeFort and Louis accepted the challenge of Enzo and Cass and were wacky. Heels came out first, followed by Sami and his wacky jig and Neville. The NXT titles have the Network logo, and they didn't change the NXT Title's design, which is just ungodly bad. First notable move is Zayn hitting a front slam to set up a corkscrew splash off of his back from Neville. Well, that was silly, but amusing. Kidd counters Neville's apron high kick with a Sin Cara kick. A Kidd thrust kick to the gut sets up an ad break. Neville's the face in peril against Breeze now. Sami comes in and runs wild on Kidd and Breeze. FLYING CROSSBODY OFF THE TOP TO BOTH GUYS! Michinoku driver gets 2. Swinging fisherman suplex gets 2 for Kidd. Breeze tags in and eats a buckle exploder. Neville tags in and gets a springboard dropkick to Breeze. Kick kick sends Breeze down, but Breeze crotches him. SAMI HITS THE KICK ON NEVILLE ACCIDENTALLY! Kidd tags in and pins Neville! And he did so without any cheating whatsoever! Zayn kicks Kidd! Zayn stared at the gold, grabbed it, and just stared at it. This was a powerful ending to the show for Sami's character.

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Post-Summerslam 2014 Lesnar-Cena Series in Day of Reckoning 2

Immediately after Summerslam, the first thing I wanted to do following the show was post my thoughts, then edit Brock a bit in WWE 2K14. I did that and had some good-ish matches with him that may have come closer with the instant F5 stuff, but didn't really nail the essence of that match no matter who I played as.


I thought my Day of Reckoning 2 Brock CAW was up to the task of having a similar story told, so I did a hardcore match that did it very quickly. I put the idea on the table until tonight. I've gotten the Impact report done, knocked out my homework for job training, and decided to throw Day of Reckoning 2 in after a night of PS1 playing before Impact.

Here's the first DoR 2 match, which I made a hardcore match just to aid in the brutality

Here's the second match, without a hardcore stip, and it led to a far better match. I was still able to use them, but the temptation was lessened a bit.

This is the third DoR 2 post-Summerslam meeting, and it's just an amazing match from start to finish. It's one of the best matches I've had in the game to date, and I love that about nine years after its release, DoR 2 can remain a viable game to play when you just want to have some great matches.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

TNA Impact Wrestling 8-27-14

The pre-show Cops has a guy running from the cops, getting his pants caught in a fence, which helps the cops catch him. They wind up slicing his pants off with a big-ass knife, which was kinda cool. Another guy gets a traffic stop and his buddy winds up getting caught with drugs. The final story is a bar fight - the guy gets banned from the bar for life and has a fucked up eye after asking two girls to sleep with him and getting chucked on the table. Shockingly, the cops let him go if he just promises to never come back. Wow.

An awesome hype video for the world tag title series starts the show - I guess they can have 3D lose via forfeit and then end the series with the Hardys and Wolves once Davey heals up. Tenay says that we'll get more on the six sides of steel controversy - Tenay says EY won, while Taz says Roode did. Angle cuts another promo from the stands, which I really like - it's very different. He makes EC3-Rhino and the Hardys-3D-Wolves Match 1. A fan in an ROH shirt is right next to Kurt - it's a real shame he never worked there in '07. Angle says he'll hash things out with EY and Roode later to name a contender soon. MVP's out in a glorious Sonny Crockett outfit. Lashley's got an American Top Team TUF-style shirt on. MVP mocks Kurt and says NEW YAWK SHITTY, which gets muted. MVP calls the crowd a bunch of pussies who would get flatter than Miley's ass. MVP is so great in this role, and he's perfect as Lashley's mouthpiece. Tommy Dreamer, the Innovator of IHOP came down. He put MVP over as underrated, being from Queens, and then said Lashley finally lived up to his potential. MVP talked more shit and holy hell, HE'S WEARING WHITE AND PINK POLKA DOTS ON HIS PANTS! Angle made Lashley-Dreamer tonight in a street fight. And by tonight, it's now. Dreamer looks much fatter here - he must just be in his shirt and not have his compression shirt underneath. Lashley stomps and they go to a break.

They came back and they had weapons, so yet another weapon-filled opener on the show. And this one involves the world champ to boot. Lashley hits a nasty overhead belly to belly on the ramp - this just looked awkward and painful for both guys. Lashley crotched him on the barricade in front of a guy with a giant wacky mohawk. Tenay put over the Bellator season opener with Lashley, which I think will bode really well for TNA if Lashley wins. It gives TNA a big chip to bargain with since their champion would be far more visible on Spike than any other network they're going to get a deal with. Dreamer escapes a bearhug by biting, but eats a big suplex. In a hilarious moment, Taz says that Dreamer, in jogging pants and a T-shirt, isn't in his gear. Dreamer avoids an apron spear that hits King, but eats one mid-ring and loses. Lashley held his title up high while a fan in a Manik mask held up a couple of replica belts. Madison talks about Taryn's story and their match tonight, but it's time for her to prove she's the queen of the division - good stuff.

A Wounded Warrior Project video aired. This was really good - hopefully this is something that came about due to Chris Melendez coming aboard because I haven't seen this before on Spike. HAVOK arrives next week. Gunner and Shaw met in Gunner's room to discuss Shaw's art and Gunner getting ready for the Wounded Warrior Project thing tonight. Shaw is "drawing the skyline" in broad daylight, and they found a great way to shoot this without showing anything. Gunner left and Shaw went over to Gunner's uniform. So maybe his dad will be named Gunner now. Taryn and Madison got jobber intros. Tenay put over the KOs calendar going on sale on 9/10, while Taz basically implies that they're just going to be used as jizz magnets. Well, he's not wrong. Taz occasionally called moves in this. This is a pretty good little match with Madison working as a subtle heel. Flying Hart attack from Taryn leads to a basic one, then another and a Moore-style neckbreaker. Flying crossbody gets a great 2.9 count. She sold that perfectly. Madison scoops the legs, but uses the ropes and gets caught. Taryn gets up, avoids a kick, and hits a cutter for the win! This was really good and fun to watch.

Roode went to Kurt's office and saw EY, looking homeless. Kurt told them to sit down and asked the camera guy to leave. The usual really good BFG hype vid aired. Gunner was incredibly weirded-out by Shaw wearing his uniform. A 6-man X division tag with Manik, Homicide, and DJZ facing Steve, Uno, and Low-Ki. What a tremendous waste of talent here. Guys did stuff for a while. Nothing of note until Low-Ki hit a cool spring-up kangaroo kick out of the corner. LOW-KI COUNTERED THE DOUBLE-KNEE GUTBUSTER WITH A FOOT STOMP! Holy shit that ruled! Steve is in, and actively drags down every single match he's in. Manik does his fakeout and Uno does a flip dive to the floor, which I guess he was planning to do anyway. Big kick and a Ki Crusher wins. This filled time and wasn't completely without merit thanks to Low-Ki.

The EC3-Rhino brawl from last week is covered. I'm kind of surprised they aren't covering why Rhino's back since he was brought in by Dixie - normally, they explain a minor plot hole like that. Rhino cut a brick-backdropped promo on EC3. Roode and EY are out next to talk about the cage match. I sure hope Bobby's grown his hair out since this taping. Bobby says that we'll get another no. 1 contender's match, between EY and Roode, next week. Bobby calls out "his best friend", who still looks homeless. Roode is trying, but I just can't buy this as a serious match - EY looks horrible, and Roode's haircut really hurts his presentation. EY brought up their match being fate - well, it should be better than just having it be decided in that cage match. EY says Bobby's the best in the world - well, he is the best overall worker in TNA. It's a shame that he wouldn't be a sure-fire WWE hire - he'd be so great in the Authority as HHH's dragon. After putting Roode over as the best, EY says he'll be better next week. Roode says they'll tear the roof off this son of a bitch - this turned around by the end. The Bro Mans played the Tinder Games on their phones. They're going to go on dates with the Knockouts. This lasted a shockingly long amount of time, but should be a fine setup to the in-air Robbie and Brooke angle. TAZ SANG EC3'S THEME, and the Rhino match is next. They showed Christy from the side during the intros and she definitely looked pregnant - I'm surprised word didn't get out sooner.

While EC3 and Rhino just did stuff, Taz and Tenay buried Dixie and TNA, which made it on the air just fine. EC3 DID THE STING SHOUT AND GOT A STINGER SPLASH FOR 2! I love him at least trying to play off of taking guys out of TNA in some way. EC3 locked on a hold, resulting in Taz losing his train of thought again. Rhino gets a death valley driver to set up a gore, but Spud saves and Tenay calls him the Good Humor man, resulting in Taz saying he's dressed like an ice cream sandwich! EC3 gets 2 off a low blow. Rhino gets the belly to belly and Spud gets involved again. EC3 used a chair on Rhino, which got a DQ. This shocked me since I was sure it was No DQ. EC3 almost snapped and hit Spud.  Spud was scared shitless on the ramp and gave him nervous thumbs ups - that ruled! THE GREAT SANADA is revealed next.

They hyped up the debut of Chris Melendez tonight - at 10:20. Storm THE LEGEND came out to bring out The Great Sanada - it's Sanada, but with a modern-day Muta-style hoodie jacket, reddish hair, and gold and black paint. Well, the paint should match the gear, but otherwise, I dig this. The tassels, not so much though - too DJZ-ish. Aries gets the chancery, but it's broken up quickly. NICE Steamboat-esque chop from Sanada. He's got slower movements and is far more heelish with chokes and such, so he's far better at playing a Muta expy than Cody is at playing a Goldust one. Aries does a nice corner to corner buckle spot on the apron with 10 bonks! Draping neckbreaker sets up the suicide dive. This just in - Aries is a darn fine pro wrestler. Aries and Sanada also have excellent chemistry. ROLLING ELBOW FROM ARIES! Corner dropkick! SANADA BITES HIS WAY OUT OF THE BRAINBUSTER! Sanada drops him on the buckle and goes up top, but gets his ears clapped, while Storm crotches him to set up the mist and kneeling superkick for the win.

A video showing Melendez's story aired. 23 days before the end of his run, he was hit with an IED - he kept everything together and is a darn fine worker as far as doing some moves with one leg. Unlike Gowen, he's got some real credibility. Anderson, Team 3D, and Angle hugged him while fans held little American flags. Angle puts over Chris going to war as being bigger than anything he's ever done. Anderson as former military said that his favorite charity is the Wounded Warrior Project. Anderson says he got some video and photos of Chris and was blown away. Ken said he couldn't train him, but he knew two guys who did - Team 3D. Anderson put them over as THE BEST TRAINERS IN THE WORLD. In a world with Lance Storm's school in it. Bully told the crowd Chris's story, which was important since they didn't see the video. Bully said that if he showed up in Florida, they'd train him for free - since he was willing to lose his life for the country, it was the least they could do for him. I've got a tear in my eye over this whole Chris Melendez presentation - this is one of the best things they've ever done. So much so that the crowd is even crying over it.

This was a perfect segment, and a great way to get to the main event since 3D's already in the ring. Hardys came out next, with Jeff in a black and shiny, greyish black top with white, grey, and black paint to match Matt's gear. Wolves are out next and the match itself is on after the break. It starts off with a double sledge to Bully. Bully chops Davey down. Eddie stops Wassup with a shining kick to the top, while Davey counters the goofy position with a victory roll for 2. Davey counters a second poetry in motion with a flying lariat. Taz puts over AMW and Beer Money as the best modern-era tag team company - this was nice to hear after months of nostalgia that didn't focus on TNA stuff. Devon and Matt tried a double clothesline on opposite sides, but Eddie yelled, and he ducked - I like that. A logical way out of a goofy-looking spot. Wolves counter a Hardys irish whip with a double dive to 3D. Over the top poetry in motion to the pile, while Matt does a moonsault off the top to the floor and lands wisely on his back to avoid killing his knees. Enzuiguri>German>jackknife gets 2 until Jeff saves Matt. Devon eats a double foot stomp to the back from Eddie, and then to the gut from Davey for 2. Davey counters Matt's Twist into a Sin Cara kick and he misses a double foot stomp leading to a Twist. Jeff swantons Davey, but Eddie gets a schoolboy for 2 on Devon. 3D to Eddie wins! This was damn good and a perfect capper to a fantastic second hour of Impact.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WCW Slamboree 1994

The F4W board is having a bit of a viewing part for this show, so let's cue it up! Slamboree '94 has always been a favorite of mine, and it's neck and neck with Spring Stampede '94 for me. Gene brings out hte legends. Ole looks fantastic. Penny Banner looks good for her age too. Tully looks 50. DA CRUSHER is aided by always looking 50. Don Curtis looks fine. Terry's no-show was hilarious. Verne looks the same as ever. HARD BOILED HAGGERTY! Now there's a man! Larry Hennig's out with "Henning" on the graphic. Kowalski's toupee is hilarious. Love seeing Ladd out there. WAHOO! WAHOO! Mosca out in a shirt doesn't fit everyone else in a suit. Harley looks like Harley. Ray Stevens looks slimmer than he did in the AWA at the end. LOU THESZ looked the same forever. Weaver looks okay. Mr. Wrestling II looks the same as ever. Tommy Young is calm and collected out there. Bobby and Tony hype up the card. It's hard to believe Flair was feuding with COLONEL PARKER.

Nick Bockwinkel with Heenan is always fun, and he looks fantastic with the Big Gold Belt. Sting's red blazer, pants, and wacky tie are something else. They show clips of Rude-Sting from Japan, but not the injury, and explain the vacating of the title being due to Rude cheating by using the belt and diving off the top. Sting doesn't want to get the title by decision, he wants a match! JOHNNY B. BADD gets a Michael Buffer intro, which seems bizarre. One big upside to using Buffer for every title match is that every title felt important. The Badd Blaster is a fantastic little prop - someone should bring it back. it would be fitting for Stardust. Buffer introduces THE DEFENDING UNITED STATES CHAMPION, STUNNING STEVE AUSTIN. This establishes that simply defending the title is important. I love the close-ups of the ref holding the title up - I used to make cardboard replicas of belts out of folders, and would use those closeups to make the titles. Steve's black and gold shiny velvet vest look good. Steve's "US Champ" text on the back of the gear looks like crap, although he had better iron-on text that were cocky and actually fit the character.

I love Steve getting flustered and Heenan telling him to take the 9 count and regroup. HEY BOBBY, THERE'S SHERRI MARTEL SENSUOUS SHERRI! I love Tony pointing out that no matter what, it comes back to wrestling and how Steve has held the title since the last event of '93 - making a five month reign seem so much more important. Tony ranting about how the rules have changed for a break off of cheating is just amazing given how much more erosion has happened with that. Heenan saying that Wahoo is out there selling blankets is something else. Tony is really fantastic at this point in time, and WCW's more realistic presentation of everything helps. Heenan saying that Steve should just grab two of Johnny's fingers and bend them back until they touch - then he can't hit ya! Sound logic. They're just exchanging random holds for seemingly eons, getting a boring chant in the process. Love Tony schooling Bobby on baseball. More holds. Big lariat from Johnny! Dropkick! Big kneelift gets a Mr. Wrestling II mention from Tony. Johnny gets a visual pin off an Oklahoma roll and Johnny gets a schoolboy and a 2.9, but the bell rings! Super sunset from Johnny gets a 2.9! Austin hits a thumb to the eye, Johnny gets a back suplex, but Austin holds onto the g-string and gets the win with a crappy cradle and cover. And he gets KOed by the punch anyway. Gene hypes up THE HOTLINE and if Cactus should be banned from WCW or not. Wahoo, Gene, and Ladd are together for a promo. Ladd talks about how nice it is to be honored by his sport. Gene puts over THE SPORT being better for having Ladd, while Gene talks about the blanket joke from Heenan. Wahoo says THEY'RE GOOD BLANKETS, and Heenan might need a good one when he's buried. Everything's great from Wahoo, ditto Gene. Dusty is "IN HOLLYWOOD!" via green screen to cut a promo. Dusty's in his PRIIIIMMMMEEE! Life is like a winding railroad.

Tully looks so old. TERRY FUNK'S THEME IS AMAZING! And he even gets pyro. "WE'RE HERE, YA DAMN RIGHT WE'RE HERE!" Ah, I remember loving this match for the ECW stuff that goes on. An ECW chant begins IMMEDIATELY. Tully's got more fire in his punches than he has hair. Great slap exchange on the floor. Solie and Heenan are an odd mix in theory, but work well together as total opposites. A PAIR OF CRUTCHES are thrown, resulting in great amazement from Solie. Terry hits a shitty atomic drop on the floor. Terry just hits a perfect hangman's neckbreaker - absolutely perfect. Terry hits some hard chops on Tully on the ramp "YOU SON OF A BITCH!". Terry breaks off a piece of wood to piledrive Tully through it, but he just puts his ass through it. Terry's selling of a DDT on the ramp is something else. Solie puts over Nick Patrick as a young wrestler who blew a knee out and become a great referee. A "we want blood" chant broke out. TERRY DID THE MOONSAULT and landed on his back for a 2 count from Tully. Tully is laying his punches in something fierce here. Gotta give Tully credit - he's being forced to step his game up and is doing so. Terry sets up a chair for a super piledriver, but lands on it, so Tully flips out of it and Terry just hits windmill punches. Tully hits the ref, Terry hits Tully with the branding iron. This was a total clusterfuck, but a lot of fun. A bullshit chant breaks out. Terry grabs Hat Guy's hat and elbow drops it, then hands it back. It's a double DQ.

Jesse's backstage with no hair on the top of his head, but a ponytail on the back. Wow. Flair is in the most '90s shirt ever. They show clips of the BLONDE SIX FOOT SEVEN, FORMER WORLD CHAMP attacking him last night. Flair cuts a fantastic promo on Terry Funk about him wanting back in the big-time door. Larry Zybisko's theme is pretty fantastic too. They've got a really intricate purple and gold balloon setup on the side of the ramp that I've never noticed before. Bill Dundee as Sir William is so weird. Regal's cape is amazing. Larry's in really good shape here and gets the lead with a trip and calls him a piece of crap. Hat Guy tells Sir William to go back to Memphis. Spinning back kick sends Regal to the floor. Regal's facial expressions are body language are already amazing at this point. Regal is so very tentative, and it's perfect for his character. Regal goes for an abdominal stretch, but LARRY GETS IT ON AND CHEATS to the cheers of the fans. Given that the whole story here is him outsmarting Regal, this works. Regal hiptosses out and gets 2 while Sherri takes notes and a fan with a shirt, bow tie, and giant pink W on his shirt are behind her. Heenan says she could be after Regal's crown jewels, resulting in an immediate request for a clarification from Tony. Sir William told Regal to "PLEASE KNOCK HIM OUT QUICKLY, SIR - THE QUEEN WANTS YOU!" I like how quick Larry is here, and how he's using Regal's only sneaky tactics against him. He's a rare example of a guy who can work dirty as a face and make it work out perfectly for the character. Tony puts over the hall of fame later, and Bobby asks what you get for it. Tony says "nothing". WAY TO PUT THAT OVER. Regal's got an odd almost Russian legsweep-looking armlock on with a leg trap. Someone dares chant boring, resulting in Larry firing up. Larry gets a tight sleeper on, but loosens it, gets a jaw jacker and Regal goes for a butterfly suplex after an umbrella shot resulting in a win when Larry reverses the move and traps him. Gene talks about THE HOTLINE and brings in Terry Funk - he didn't come out before because HE'S THE LEGEND in Philly. TERRY FUNK IS IN TOWN AND HE'S A HARDCORE WRESTLER! Terry points out that he's live, so he could talk for hours if he wanted to and they couldn't make him leave. AND HE HATES THAT EGG-SUCKING DOG DUSTY, BUT SINCE HE'S OLD, HE'LL ATTACK THE SON OF A SON OF A CARPENTER! Terry is so amazing. Gordon's out so it's HoF time.

Gordon says the HoF crosses all companies. Thesz is out as the first Hall of Famer, who will hand everyone their plaques tonight. Harley's the first one out, and Solie puts him over for coming back from a massive car-train accident, he eventually beat Thesz's record. He's also the only man to beat Dory and Terry Funk for the NWA World Title, and his last reign ended at Starrcade getting a huge WOOO chant even then. DA CRUSHA is next! Crusher saying HOW 'BOUT THAT while getting his plaque and chomping a stogie is amazing. Ladd is inductee #3, and really put him over as a sports legend. Gordon Solie puts over the physical hall of fame location at CNN Center. The Assassin is #4. Ole's 5 and it's amazing how well he's aged, outside of severe illnesses. The sixth inductee has passed away, and is Dick the Bruiser - well, when you've got The Crusher in, you've gotta put him in too. His mother apparently ran for Congress in the '50s - wow. Gordon's going to quote his grandson, which is going to be tough to get through. Yup, it was. Wow was that just emotionally exhausting.

Jesse talks with Col. Parker about Buck facing Dustin and the SIX FOOT SEVEN, BLONDE FORMER WORLD CHAMPION! I love how pissed Jesse is at not being given the scoop. Chael Sonnen should've used "The Natural" for his theme. I always loved Heenan calling Buck a nut - THE HEAD CASHEW in fact. DUSTIN AND BUCK BE CLUBBERING to start. We get a hanging spot to start, and in a comedy spot to boot. How very odd - only in wrestling is a hanging played for comedy. This is like a strap match, but with pins and not that corner bullshit. Dustin teases a ball stomp and delivers. Dustin does a drop-down resulting in Buck placing the rope by his crotch and BOOM, the rope gets pulled. Sometimes, predictable is so very good. A huge WE WANT BLOOD chant breaks out. Fans are squawking for whatever reason. Buck tears Dustin's shirt so he can beat him with the rope and bell. I like Buck using the rope to tie Dustin up to the post. Buck beats him, but eats a ball shot. They beat each other up some more and Buck gets a full nelson so Parker can attack. Dustin attacks with a '60s Batman kick to send Parker down and nails Buck with the bell to win. Funk comes in and beats him with the branding iron. They fuck up a spike piledriver TWICE! Terry gets a huge chant for this beating.This was fun, but the post-match stuff hurt it.

Gene's with Red Bastien and Ray Stevens, who still sounds fantastic. Flair's out in a gold robe out first, which Tony points out is odd, and is due to Col. Parker demanding it. Parker's out to the theme that the Horsemen would later use. Parker prevents Buffer from doing the intro, which is fine by him - I'm sure he gets paid the same either way. Barry Windham and his saggy man boobs came down. Jesse says that Barry lost the WCW World Title to Flair...well, I guess he didn't want to use the NWA name here. Odd to not just use the International title name though. Flair got his intro and they showed a fan in a Flair robe in the crowd. They start off with some basic chops and punches before Barry misses a big spinning elbow. Barry eats some corner chops, but comes back with a lariat. Tony hypes up Hogan and says Flair could be arrogant going into this match and believing his own hype. That's a very subtle heel tease - much like the month before with the Steamboat match. Barry's got a chinlock and is using the rope for leverage. Barry chucks him into the buckle for a Flair flip. Barry gets the floatover superplex, but it's not seamless and gets 2. Flair chops and punches him down into a Flair flop! Flair gets a delayed suplex. Jesse points out that a suplex does harm to the guy doing it, so he prefers a slam. Flair picks the leg for the figure four and gets it, while Barry makes it to the rope thanks to Parker. Flair goes for again, but eats an eye rake. Third time's the charm and Flair gets it again, but he was too close to the ropes. FLAIR GOES UP AND HITS A FLYING CHOP! Kneedrop to the head gets 2. They do a Cactus-style over the ropes crossbody spot. Jesse talks about Sensuous Sherri being there. Flair gets a good right resulting in a beg-off. Great corner punches from Flair set up a mid-ring haymaker. FLAIR WITH A JACKKNIFE PIN GETS 2! Low headbutt from Barry sets up a toss to the Colonel that backfires with a chop. More heel miscues lead to a Flair flip and a shitty-looking crossbody off the top for 3! A goofball BATB video aired. Heenan was actually a comedy act here, so it was kinda funny. Gene's with DA CRUSHER and Don Curtis.  DA CRUSHER cuts a great promo about murdering dem bums, a barrel, and DA DAMES!

Dave Schultz cuts an awesome promo about being the ref for the next match. Schultz and the face team have the same theme. They start off, shockingly, with brawling. Someone's chucked into the crowd, a chair is thrown, and crutches are used in the first minute. Sags uses a fire extinguisher on Cactus's back. Kevin hits a crappy piledriver on the ramp on Sags. Schultz is just getting the fuck out of here and staying on the ramp - smart. He's just going to let them do whatever and not get in the way. Cactus elbow off the second rope TO A TRASH CAN misses, and Cactus hits his head on the barricade. Sags is beating Cactus with a camera! Sags smashes Cactus with a chairshot to the head. Sags is just wailing on dudes with the destroyed trash can. OUTSIDE-IN CACTUS CLOTHESLINE. Schultz just has no idea what to make of this. Sags has a table and no wind. Beale to Cactus off the ramp through a table on the floor! Sags hits Cactus with a light stand, so Cactus suplexes the table on him! Sags beats him with a can lid, so Sullivan goes after the group with Knobs and attacks them with it. Sags tosses Jack in and hits the elbow! Sags pushes Schultz, so Schultz attacks him with punches, does some hockey shots and lets Cactus KO Sags with the stick. Huge pop for all that. This was a crazy-fun brawl and I love Jesse's pure rage over A REFEREE ATTACKING A WRESTLER! Payne returns to a polite reaction to bonk Sags with a guitar and the faces trap him with Dave hitting him with crutch on the ramp. A fan holds up a sign saying that WCW is too tough for Hulk Hogan. I love that they're talking about this afterwards and letting all of the carnage breathe. Tony plugs the program and shirt package - YOU CAN CELEBRATE THE GARBAGE CAN MATCH!

They recap the Sting-Rude issue and Sags is STILL OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RING! This is a heck of a sight and with Jesse putting them over as fighting all the odds, it would've made for a great babyface turn right after - or at least a way to set them up as character babyfaces. Gene plugs the hotline about banning Cactus Jack, who is actually a face here. Gene talks about the tag title fiasco and watching it with Lou Thesz and Verne Gagne - what a sight to see them together on-screen together. The only thing that would've made this better was Nick being on-screen with them too. Lou says that instead of a point system, they used sharp objects - nice little pun there. IT'S VADER TIME! I love Vader's little hunched-over stomping thing he does. Race saying IT'S VADER TIME is just terrifying - his gruff voice fits Vader perfectly. They had fantastic on-air chemistry, and it's amazing that the WWF ever put him with Cornette, who is just a visual clash for him. Both Vader and a very tan Sting get pyro. A very pale guy with a mustache yells VADER TIME while doing the sign. Buffer has a fine blue blazer on. They do an overhead shot of the crowd that is just awful - it looks like 90% of the building is either empty or blanketed in darkness. Vlad yells about Sting being the next champion, baby!

Sting's orange and blue gear looks really good on him - it's an odd color combo, but it works. Vader shoves Sting against the ropes and gives him a clean break, followed by a bow! Fans are yelling STING MUST DIE. Yup - it's Philly. Vader gets him in the corner and clubs away. I love how Brock is basically a modern-day Vader with those, and yet so few games have really ever gotten it right. The Aki games did though. Sting is rattled and he eats a shortarm clothesline. Sting fights back with Vader's own strikes and sends him to the floor. Sting gets a suplex and sells his back from the pain. Vader hits a bodyblock, but Sting absorbs it and tries his luck - he eats it and is taken down. Vader drops an elbow to the leg and slaps him - ha! Vader Bomb hits and gets 2. A second one hits and they get a perfect angle for it - showing Sting's body violently rattling from it. Vader locks on a weird leglock with an abdominal stretch of sorts too. Vader gets tired of this and just nails some mounted shots. Heenan says that the second Harley heard about the change in plans, he got Vader up to train and plan strategy. I just love things being treated seriously and a picture being painted in your mind that you can believe. Vader gets another leglock, but Sting gets out and goes to the corner. Vader lifts him up to beat him up and eats some shots, including his signature backhand shots and a big windup punch. Vader gets an elbow to the back. Sting goes for a flying lariat, but his Randy Anderson, so Vader can't get a win off a chokeslam. Race goes to hit Vader with a chair, but Sting moves and Vader goes down to both that and a DDT. Vader gets up at 2, but gets clotheslined to the floor. Vader catches him in a Stinger Splash and hits a powerslam. Vader's moonsault misses and Sting gets 2, but Harley's headbutt misses and Sting's flying splash off the top gets the win! Heenan shows highlights and a fan holds up a Dave Meltzer sign. Vader is pissed and starts swinging a chair around. What a great show - not so much bell-to-bell classics, but it's a really fun show to watch from top to bottom.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

WWE Raw 8-25-14

King puts over Brock-Cena in a fairly strong way to start the show, which is a tad odd. Cole is mid-ring for the Hall of Fame forum. LOL @ them just using an announce table for this. Looks so goofy - and the table itself looks like a relic. HBK says that Cena has no chance, and it MIGHT BE HIS TIME. Hogan says BROTHER, WHEN YOU KNOW IT'S YOUR TIME, IT'S YOUR TIME. God, this is as cringe-worthy as those questions the "press conferences" had. Hogan saying HUSTLE LOYALTY RESPECT ISN'T A MARKETING LOGO! They exchanged more crap for a few agonizing minutes before Cena came out. I half-expected them to talk about how amazing Applesauce bars are, and how Cena was doomed for going with the Vita Health Peach Log. Cena was of course, humbled by being in the ring with a panel of hall of famers. Shouldn't John have A SCRATCH on him after being murderkilled by Brock 8 days ago? Cena said this rematch was the biggest one of his life, but he told Hogan he's not going to win, HE'S GOING TO BEAT HIS ASS! Cena was good there, but his lack of ANY KIND OF SELLING OF THIS DESTRUCTION annoyed me. Dust Bros face the Usos for the titles later, leading to King saying that THEY COULD WIN THE TITLES FOR THE FIRST TIME. Except for that first time. Swagger-Rusev happens again next.

They plugged Nitro launching on the Network next week. Rusev got a jobber intro. Swagger got an okay reaction, but without Zeb, he's limited to being a one-note act. They did the same basic stuff, but after the break, did finishers and tapout teases. This is getting pretty damned...exciting. Not so much good, but exciting! The crowd is kind of getting into it at points, but it's not really connecting as well as it should. Swagger did WE THE PEOPLE and got the shit beat out of him halfway through. Rusev stomped and stomped and stomped and stomped and stomped until he couldn't continue. This was interesting. That was certainly a finish. This match had SOMETHING at points, but just didn't click. King is going to moderate a Bella dilemma for some reason. Cesaro faces RVD tonight for a US Title shot.

They ran an SD ad and HEAVILY IMPLIED we'd get Reigns-Orton II. Jack got treatment and Bo leered at him like a creep. JBL looks so awkward with Sheamus just sitting next to him and swiveling his chair around. Cesaro gets a jobber intro here. Sheamus called Cesaro THE KING OF SWINGERS!? Sara Del Rey better not find out. Cesaro busted out some nice knees to the stomach that should be in the WWE games. Nice apron double stomp from Cesaro. Cripes is this crowd dead. They fight this with an extended chinlock, and Cole rattles off his US Title Facts. Cesaro hits a Neutralizer after a basic match for the win! I dig this fairly simple build - it's better than their prior feud, and it should lead to some really good matches too. King hyped up ATTITUDE WEEK of Raw, and the first 100 hours of Nitro. Paige skipped for a match next.

Recap of the AJ-Paige stuff from Raw. Cole said that if Nattie beat THE CHAMPION THREE TIMES, SHE MIGHT GET A SHOT! They exchanged holds, including an awesome set of abdominal stretches before Nattie hit a release German! Paige gets to the ropes during a sharpshooter. PTO didn't work, so she hit the PTO and won. AJ came out IN PANTS! Nattie, LIKE A COWARD, attacks Paige from behind. AJ said that Paige said she loved her, BUT SHE'S NOT AS SINCERE AS HER! Aww, they hugged! They hyped up Seth's funeral of Dean with stupid music. Mr. Kane came out to start this with a hilarious shot of Ambrose before Seth blamed the fans for the beating. Seth talked and talked and talked. TNA is the MASTER of funeral skits, and WWE just can't get them right. After Seth said 10 billion words, Roman came out to take offense FINALLY to something Rollins did to Dean. So it's okay to crush Dean's head - just don't start talking about him! Roman beat them up and sent them packing, leading to an HOF Forum recap. The Dust brothers talked about the destruction of the galaxy when they win the tag titles. STTAAAAAAHHHHHHDDDDUUUUSTTTT can fuck off.

Buy the Network to watch Brock become the youngest WWE Champion in history. Usos came out before the Dust Bros. Goldust KNOWS this character and Cody doesn't have a clue what this is. Dustin owned Goldust immediately, while Cody just comes off as Cody in a bad cosplay getup doing wacky shit. Usos are the fifth longest-reigning tag champs in WWE history with a 110+ day reign. JBL talked about THE DUST BUSTERS! Crowd is six feet under. We may be able to hear an individual fart in this match. Cody got a tag for a break before another chinlock when they came back. Cole said that Stardust, STAR-DUST OF ALL PEOPLE, reminded him of Terry Funk. Uso Crazy dive from Jey led to him hurting his knee out of absolutely nowhere. A ountout loss on THAT!? Ugh. I love Goldust being a prick saying they had ONE SHOT and they wanted a rematch NOW! YAY, HEEL TURN! This was used to tease the Bella deal and THE BEAST SPEAKING!

Kane and Seth had a wacky meeting in the corporate dressing room. Kane made a handicap match with he and Seth against Roman, which Seth called poetic for some reason. King hypes up CONTROVERSIAL comments from Brock. Brock said he came back to BECOME THE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF WWE AND HE DID. Cena's never say die bullshit only hurt him. Heyman said that the only reason Cena survived is because Brock, sadly, held back and ended the fight.  Okay, they said this was done "hours after Summerslam", but are talking about the post-Main Event storyline of Cena cashing in his title shot. Still, this was FANTASTIC. "John, one day your daddy said "Johnny, ONE DAY YOU'LL GROW UP AND BECOME A MAN...WHO WILL RUN INTO A GUY WHO WILL KNOCK YOUR ASS DOWN!". This was so many buys.

Dolph's out. OH THANK CHRIST A REMATCH against Miz. RVD faces Seth on Main Event. YAY MORE REMATCHES! Miz brought out his stunt double - Damien Mizdow. This is both fantastic and awful. Sandow's just doing his regular stuff in Miz gear, BUT WITH THE FIGURE FOUR! Zig Zag wins and Miz fires Sandow. That was great. Bella acting is next. Vacuuming may happen to overlap it. They hyped up a Jeff Hardy special on Wednesday - opposing Impact - LOL.

Bellas acted. They used SHOOT NAMES. They had more mic problems, and Nikki said that BRIE WAS HOLDING HER BACK IN THE WOMB! I would say that this feud could suck a dick, but fellatio is enjoyable and this isn't. I. HAVE. NO. SISTER. YOU ARE. DEAD. TO ME. This was so very very very bad. A fan held up a silly sign about his newborn looking like Brock when Roman came out. They had a nothing handicap match until Seth hit Roman with the case. Kane and Seth had MORE CINDER BLOCKS...that no one noticed. What goofy bullshit this is. Roman back elbows out of an attack here, and Seth just jumps into a throat thrust. Roman chucked a cinder block at the post, it went kablooey, and Kane ate a Superman punch. They argued about this before Cole said WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THE WWE NETWORK! WWE's worth $9.99 monthly. Funny, because less than a year ago, they used to be worth $60 a month. Bray talked about Cena's shell being cracked after a battle with the beat.

World's Strongest Team face THE WYATTS AGAIN on SD. Matadores face Slater Gator tonight...again.. A matador ended Heath's streak with a crucifix in a fun-ish match. They recapped the Hall of Fame Forum for the 999th time. Kofi faces Bo. YOU HAVE GO TO BE SHITTING ME! Bo hit Kofi with a running thing that was supposed to be a knee to take him down. Swagger, LIKE A FUCKING COWARD, attacked Bo from behind and got booed for it. An awesome NOC hype video aired. Jericho's highlight reel returns with Orton. Oh goodie.

Cena started the match by swarming Bray ala Brock. Well, Cena does a German suplex better than a rana. Cena is just whooping that ass in the corner. Cena drove a big knee into Bray's face in the corner and hit more suplexes. Wyatts came in for a DQ. Henry and Show made the save - adding a logical reason for the SD match, or a holla holla 6 man. Yup - HOLLA HOLLA 6 MAN after the break. Big elbow from Show to Rowan after the break. Henry's got blue, white, and black camo trim to match Show - it's a great look. Crowd chanted for Sexual Chocolate, leading to another network plug.  Rowan slammed Henry. Show runs wild, but Harper hits a dropkick. Cena gets a tag and runs wild with shitty mounted punches, wins with an STF, and hits an AA on Rowan, then another to Bray, who was damn near squashed, and one to Harper. Well, they made you think the loss changed Cena and showed you why - it's a bit too soon to tell that story, but they're going to make some good money with NoC.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

WCW Halloween Havoc 1994

Tonight's F4W board show is the '94 Halloween Havoc show. I've seen the main event on one of the Hogan or Flair sets, but never the whole show - and this is a very interesting time in WCW history. You've got Hogan's buddies coming in and winning belts, but visually, everything is still WCW - so it's not trying to be WWF-lite like the late '90s and early '00s. The card looking pretty solid going by the preview for it, with Flair-Hogan, Dustin-Arn, and Vader-Guardian Angel on tap. Nasty Boys face Funk and Buck, which should be a fun brawl.

The opening video package is fairly awful, with just some Hogan-Flair posing and a bit of action to set up THE RETIREMENT MATCH BETWEEN TWO ICONS. Bobby's got a sequined red jacket on - so he's FINALLY the Brain in WCW. Gene talks about them "putting the pipe to Nancy Kerrigan.". Brain can barely talk here, his voice is shot. Love Gene having the minute-by-minute rates memorized. Some old fucker in a gaudy shirt and jeans sings the national anthem. The WWF would do this and ALWAYS make the singer look like a star. WCW does it and he's in a shirt and jeans.

Honky's out with his incredible ripoff WWF theme and a rather nice guitar. I love the set for this show. Johnny's out in a black and silver spider web sequined cape with pyro guns on the arms, gear that matches and that looks great, and dime store fangs. Honky's got his single-strap singlet and is working a reasonable pace here. Honky sells an atomic drop, resulting in Badd doing the same, and then HONKY'S HAIR GETS MESSED UP! Honky is a master of the old "sell so the blind guy in the back row behind a fat guy can see you" style. Heenan says he's been in the business since THE MID-60S and he's never seen a night like tonight. AND HE'S STILL IN THE BUSINESS! HTM hits a back elbow and he does his jig. Honky's dance is called the double hitchhike. Holy shit! They show Ali in the crowd, who is totally out there as basically a husk of a man. There's nothing behind the eyes. Ali was totally out to lunch there, and this was 20 years ago. A TEN MINUTE TIME LIMIT!? WHAT!? Badd misses an elbow and Honky takes control. He's got 3 minutes left and throws him to the floor. Tony gets on Bobby for just supporting bad guys and Heenan says HE'S A FAN, HE CAN'T HELP IT. I love that. Bobby knew his character so well. They do a bunch of nothing while Heenan yells at Honky to COVER HIIIIIMMM! That was great.

They chronicled Flair-Hogan by showing the knee bonking from the Clash in August. Gene's doing the VO just like a WWF video. Bischoff as a commentator was so awful. THERE ARE TWO MASKED MEEEEEENNNN! Mr. T COULD BE WITH FLAIR. WHICH SIDE IS MR. T ON! Holy 1987. Pretty Wonderful is out. Roma has a pretty okay red and white sequined jacket, while Orndorff has the same sequinned black and gold robe that he had on Raw. They're facing Steroids and Stripes for the tag titles. Tony goes over how at this event a year ago, Bagwell and his partner at the time Scorpio lost them to the Nasty Boys. Bobby says that the Patriot is Al Gore. Punch to the gut sets up a super sunset from Bagwell for 2. Roman has Pretty #1onderful on his gear now. Bagwell is the face in peril and gets a hope spot with a suplex and a backslide. Bagwell gets a sleeper, gets clubbed, and the heels cheat to win with that and a Roma flying elbow to the gut after the fisherman's suplex.

Flair cuts a promo with Sherri, who is gizmoed out of her mind. She's just dancing around goofily. Heenan references Let's Make a Deal in a promo. DAVE SULLIVAN VIDEO. Oh fuck. Hogan gave him a red and yellow bath robe. They sadly didn't dub out this awful "I Wanna Be a Hulkamaniac" song. Dave Sullivan playing this role actually works for him - better than the Equalizer, but he looks at least 45 playing a gullible 12 year old. They brawled and brawled, and brawled on the floor leading to a countout win for Dave.

Dustin-Arn recap. I loved this feud and still remember Arn saying he'd slap his Granny in the face for 50 cents! "WE'RE TURNING THE HURTIN AROUND!" - great line. I forgot about the arm-breaking angle - they left in Dustin's "GODDAMN!" for the video. Meng is scarier than P.T. in this getup. Dustin comes out in silly-looking sequined chaps and a jacket. Tony puts over him holding EVERY MAJOR TITLE BUT THE WORLD TITLE. He held the U.S. Title at this point. They show Thomas Hearns in the crowd in a nice black and orange suit jacket. Love the spot where Dustin hits an atomic drop sending Arn into the buckle so he can hit a rabbit lariat. Dustin goes for a flip, flop, and fly, but Arn's like FUCK THAT SHIT and just slugs him. Tony goes over Arn's history with Dusty - breaking his arm in '85 and leg in '88 - I love little touches like that. Dustin's out to destroy Arn's arm like he did to him - nice. Dustin gets a stun gun, much to the delight of the middle-aged blonde in the front row. He drops the knee right on the arm. They do a piledriver>sunset flip deal, but Arn cheats, gets caught, kicked, and beaten with a shitty cradle. He gets revenge by just destroying him with a DDT and mounted punches. This was easily the best match on the show so far.

Hogan, Gene, Bruti, and Hart cut a promo. Hogan's arms are crazy small here. Hogan talks about slamming Andre, God rest his soul AND HE'LL DO IT AGAIN TONIGHT! Gene asks him about Mr. T and Hogan says he looked into his eyes and he could see he was still taking his vitamins and saying his prayers! Way to give away the drama there. Bruti closes this with some goofy faces. Tony talks about Hogan's entourage - well, he's got two guys with him while Flair has ONE WOMAN. Flair's got the deck stacked against him here. They recapped Austin-Steamboat leading to Austin-Duggan. This Austin promo is truly a Stone Cold prototype. Duggan wins with a shitty backdrop and a shittier belly flop. Duggan going for the secondary title fits him since he was in the IC mix when he left the WWF and he's PERFECT for the U.S. Tittle. They've got some weird Mr. Sparkle-ish face on the graphics. Austin starts with brawling in the corner - straight out of Stone Cold's arsenal. They do stuff and DUGGAN HITS THE BACKDROP! Austin tosses him over the top for a DQ. Fuck this.

They plug THE HOTLINE and Gene cuts a promo with Sting in a sweet black tux. Sting's got some crokies holding his shades on, indoors of course. They recap the Angel-Vader feud with Angel losing via nightstick holding, then Fall Brawl where Angel hits the slam and has to reposition himself so Harley can hit a headbutt. RACE TAKES AN OVER THE TOP BUMP ON SATURDAY NIGHT before Vader hits the body attack in the corner. Race hits Patrick and nails a headbutt on him on the ground. Race is dropping knees too - he's more active here than his last few years. Angel cuffs Race to the post on the floor and attempts to hit him with a chair before being talked out of it. This Guardian Angel gimmick is at least visually impressive with the troupe of angels with him. Vader comes out with what looks like a blackjack in his hand and getting a huge pop, VADER VADER chants, and Vader rules signs. Love Vader giving props to Ali here. Angel and Race start this with stiff shots to Harley. This is like Japan where they're just slapping the fuck out of each other. VADER CLUBS HIM IN THE CORNER, GETS HIM DOWN, AND HAMMER FISTS HIM! God, Brock is such a modern-day Vader. Angel attacks Vader on the floor and Race mid-ring. WHAT AN ASSHOLE! Angel kicks Vader in the balls, uppercuts him, and slams him THANKFULLY FROM A LOW HEIGHT onto Harley. Legdrop to the balls. They struggle over a rough suplex that Angel gets. Vader lands some sick nice jabs out of the corner. Vader goes up, but gets slammed. Angel hits a flying...headbutt to be generous to the stomach for 2. Enzuiguri sets up palm strikes and an over the top lariat. They botch a chokeslam or punch or something REALLY badly. I love Harley NOT attacking here since it gives him some credibility. Angel gets a 2 off a splash. Angel gets a spinebuster for 2. Angel gives up the "spike slam" by Tony, but he goes after Harley. He suplexes him in, but EATS A SPLASH! VADER WINS!

Hearns is out with Gene and he's out of it. They hyped up the Nasty Boys tag by showing a Rhodes-Nastys skit to set up War Games. TEAM PARKER ATTACKED THEM AFTER THE MATCH. KNOBS HAS NO SHIRT! And he's getting the shit beaten out of him by Meng. They resume this with a shitty Saturday Night brawl. Sags has a giant pumpkin, while Knobs has a set of Nasty Boys masks. Nope - they're Beavis and Butthead masks. Terry goes to Pitty City and yells "YOU SON OF A BITCH, DAMN YOU!" They brawled and brawled and the Nastys won VIA PILEDRIVER ON THE PUMPKIN. Okay, what the fuck - might as well have fun with a match in what would now be the death spot, but they were hot for it here.

Tony plugs that proceeds from the show go to Ali's foundation for drug abuse. Heenan says that EVEN IF THERE'S NO HOGAN-FLAIR, IT'S THE GREATEST PPV EVER. Gene, Bischoff, and Bill Shaw are mid-ring with Ali. Gene says Bischoff's young - he's 39 here, and they give Ali a check, which he looks at and that's it. This was sad, but it must've been cool to be in this building and see Ali at a wrestling show. With Ali and T, along with Hogan and Orndorff, you've got WM I well-represented. Beefcake too. A GIANT HOGAN SUCKS chant starts things off. T's out with a Red Wings jacket to ensure a reaction. Flair comes out in black and silver while Hogan's got his group with him and Brutus trips over the pyro thing. HE'S THE KING OF HULK-MANIA! Buffer asks Tony for some information over the mic talking about Mr. T.  Buffer's intros were frequently flawed, but there's a reason he's the best boxing announcer ever. The cage lowers and this is the first time I remember that being done - even though the WWF made it popular later in the decade. The ring falls apart a bit, but I like that - gives things a human touch.

T's in gaudy black and multi-colored pants. He actually teases friction with Hogan. Hogan whips Flair into the buckle and the cage rattles, making everything seem pretty real. Tony talks about people holding up 4 fingers for Flair and he goes over the history of the Horsemen, while Heenan says he he'd up one when Hogan came out. Ha! Flair gets a huge pop and a WOOO from the fans for a delayed suplex. Tony brought up Flair's plane crash, and Heenan put him over as coming back from that ELEVEN TIMES TO BE THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD! They're exchanging punches and chops - Flair and Hogan have amazing chemistry together and it's a shame they never got a 'Mania, but hey, they meant more in WCW than they did in the WWF, so things kinda worked out well anyway. Flair gets 2 off an ungodly bad small package. Flair eats the cage, and his wrist gets cut a bit. Flair goes up and gets his head bonked over the cage before eating some massive chops. Hogan's working his ass off here - I'll give him that. Flair's destroying the knee and he's tearing off the protective tape. 

FLAIR GETS THE FIGURE 4! Hogan reverses, Hulks up and he winds up running into T thanks to a Flair shove. Then things go to shit as Sherri goes up, Hart takes her skirt off, she shoves him, Sting brings her down, gets his ass kicked the masked man, and Sherri does a DOUBLE AXE HANDLE OFF THE TOP OF THE CAGE TO HOGAN! They handcuff T and Flair and Sherri Martel beat up Hogan. MR. T GETS HIS ASS KICKED BY SHERRI! Sherri does look might fine here - nice ass on her. Hogan slams Sherri off the top before Flair and Hogan fight on the top rope. Sherri gets a big boot, opening the door for Flair to get offense again. Punches and a boot to Flair, legdrop gets the win! Hogan gladhands with Ali. Hogan celebrates and THE MASKED MAN IS BACK! He eats a big windup punch, which is sure stupid. It's Bruti - HE'S A BUTCHER, HE'S BUTCHERED A FRIENDSHIP! Sullivan's out, AND THE BUILDING'S RUMBLING - IT'S LIKE AN AVALANCHE! With a richter scale graphic on his gear. Tenta's powerslam was so awesome. Hogan eats the Avalanche butt splash. Sting and his silly suspenders come to save. He gets the edge! Shocking that Hogan didn't do that, honestly. Most of the show was at least good, but God was the ending a clusterfuck.

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WWE SmackDown 8-22-14

Orton starts the show while Cole introduces Tom Phillips as the NEW LEAD PLAY BY PLAY MAN. So what's Cole's job then? Orton cut a nothing promo about DESERVING RESPECT! Orton's got to nix the grey from the beard. Seth's out to face Swagger, after some recap videos. Seth drops some knees to the ribs and hits a nice running corner forearm. I like JBL saying that Swagger could only do the Swagger bomb due to adrenaline. Love the flying knee into the ankle lock spot. Swagger gets taken out on the floor for a near count-out, and then curb stomped for a countout loss. WHAT. A FUCKING. JOBBER. Bo cut a promo on him to continue their mid-card treadmill deal. Bella-Steph recap.

Miz told someone to get his pumpkin spice mocha latte back in season before talking to Mr. Kane, who made Miz-Roman since Miz wants sequel matches. Rusev's out to kill Sin Cara, who is in some just ungodly-bad attire. He killed him before Henry came down to talk smack. Rusev left due to the bad leg. Orton attacked RVD, hopefully for being a bad promo. They had a shockingly good match given how poor RVD usually looks. RVD had some fine-looking offense, but was mainly here to eat a bunch of Orton moves on the floor. Hey, if he can still take them, might as well use him for a main eventer. They went to a double count out due to all the ass-kicking. Orton doing the RVD thumbs in a chair was hilarious. The RKO on the chair looked nasty, and this was quite effective.

Roman cut a generic promo with "baby girl" Renee. Nattie faced Paige WHILE THE GERMAN ANNOUNCERS FIST BUMPED! Nattie hit a nice baseball slide to the floor, leading to a Paige superkick. Paige locked her in a GIF-worthy bodyscissors before AJ came out. Paige avoided a distraction schoolgirl finish, and a distraction count out, but got locked in a sharpshooter and tapped right in front of her belt and AJ. Dust Bros face the Wyatts next. Loved Stardust doing a courtsey after flipping out of a backdrop. JBL called Tom a nerd, leading to Cole saying Tom would go to a planetarium to pick up chicks when he was younger. They went out birthday wishes to Lilian, the Usos, and STEVIE RAY! Goldust gets a cradle win over Harper. This was good, but hard to focus on due to the commentary. Wyatts crushed them afterwards.

They hyped up the German commentators again, who have more charisma than WWE's homegrown goobers. WWE Title ceremony and the HHH announcement were recapped. Roman's out to kill Miz. Orton came out and distracted Roman, allowing Miz to briefly get a lead. Big spear ends it quickly and an Orton-Roman brawl ends the show. Roman won the war here with a Superman punch. Okay show, but nothing too amazing.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

WWE NXT 8-21-14

One benefit to the Impact timeslot change is that I can now cover NXT live. The pre-show thing is a Highlight Reel with Jericho and Goldberg - it's amazing how much cleaner the footage looks on the Xbox One than the PS4. Big Cass and Enzo come out and he does his sing along promo with the fans. They're facing the VAUDEVILLAINS! Aiden eats some crappy knees to the gut from Cass, and a nice big boot sends him down. Cass tossing Enzo into the poetry in motion bit is just terrifying. That's a Wrap takes out Enzo! Vaudevillains move on in the contender's tourney! LeFort and Louis attack and LeFort shaves Enzo's beard! I like the graphics here - they've got losing team names greyed out. It's a little touch, but it's nice. HHH is out next.

HHH, the COOO as Riley puts him, is out for a big announcement. HHH should really do a match on one of these NXT specials - he's crazy-over, and they could get a developmental guy over instantly on the main roster (which is the whole point of this program) as a main eventer. On 9/11, it will be Takeover 2. NXT gets a new GM next week. Last week's deal with Tyson costing Breeze his title shot was recapped. Breeze is pissed at Tyson, who he's facing tonight. Tyson has a fantastically douchey entrance vest  They don't really have time to do much as Breeze just leaves. Tyson puts on Tyler's vest to add some insult to injury. Well, this was a bit silly. Shield doc ad airs - I need to watch that later.

Tyler does an interview and just avoids the question as to why he left the match. Charlotte's out with a top that really accentuates her breasts. Becky Lynch is out as a headbanging Irish babe - which is sure better than the Irish stereotype. A loud Becky chant breaks out after the figure 4 headlock. Becky nails a nice European uppercut. Becky gets the 1-2-3 Kid speedy legdrops. Renee tried to get some wacky hashtags over for this Becky-Charlotte rivalry. Charlotte hits her facebuster for the win.

Enzo cut an angry promo on LeFort that was SO SERIOUS that he made sure to rhyme, and he wants LeFort at Takeover 2 in a hair vs. hair match. Mojo and Bull's loss last week is covered. Mojo's out and he's pissed. After hearing Enzo talk about LeFort's hairline, it's hard to not notice Mojo's. Steve Cutler is such a perfect jobber name - great goofy smile on him though. Not so sure about the giant forearm tattoo though - but it does help him stand out. Mojo wins a nothing squash. Mojo cut a nice, intimidating promo on Bull. Loved Renee referencing him losing his smile. Rose and Zayn face Sin Cara and Kalisto next in the main event.

Kalisto and Sin Cara have a fantastic look. Byron says THEY COULD BE THE NEXT BIG CONTENDERS FOR THE ASCENSION. They got MURDERED the last time. Sami has new gear that's much easier to make in a game than his last flag-heavy getup. Rose comes out and Renee hates "that damn bunny!" Kalisto does an awesome hand-walk into a headscissors takeover for 2! Rose gets 2 off a spinebuster with a humpy cover. Kalisto hits the Del Sol leading to a swanton for the win. Well, I'd have gone with Zayn and Rose to win since Sami could teach the Ascension some things, but whatever. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

TNA Impact 8-20-14

The pre-show Cops has a guy getting busted for screwing in a car in a kid-filled neighborhood next to a park. Neither of these folks are the nicest-looking of folks. There's also a weird show-ending robbery bit with a woman who appears to be quite drunk and robbed someone. I love her saying CALL MY MOTHER and the cop saying he will - to tell her she's going to jail! Turns out, she was banging on doors. She says it was her, but not her. This is amazing. Very sad though. The MOTHER SHOWS UP! She's sick of this shit. SOBER UP, GET OFF YA DRUGS, AND GET OUT! "Impact's signature hardcore event is on a new night" sets up the show - making it seem like a one week timeslot change. They ran the card down - we're getting Anderson-Shaw in an I Quit match for whatever reason. Stairway to Janice stars the show. Abyss does the worst overhead belly to belly I've ever seen into the ladder - appearing to smack his own back through his head on the ladder. They do a week post shot on the floor to set up can shots. They each go into the steps. Barb wire board is up, AND A SECOND ONE - grabbed with a bare hand. Bram gigged off the steps here in the opener. The crowd gets wire, ladders, steps, and now they're chanting for fire. The boards on two sides of the ring remind me of FPR's barb wire/light board matches. Bram goes up a ladder to grab Janice, but he gets chokeslammed really smoothly off the ladder.

Taz puts over THE NEW WEDNESDAY TIMESLOT. Abyss has the tacks. Taz then puts over the Dixie interview later. Bram gets tossed through a wire board in the corner, and Abyss nearly falls into a ladder. Amusingly, Taz said "quick feet" allowed him to move. Bram puts Abyss through the other board when Abyss climbs up parallel to it and Bram shoves him down. Bram gets Janice, but that's only step 1! So I guess pin is step 2 or something. Abyss black hole slams him onto the tacks to counter a Janice shot. Abyss goes to impale him with the weapon, but Bram kicks him in the nuts, grabs Janice and guts him for the win. Tenay put this over as the first time someone has had Abyss's number. EC3, Spud, and Rhino were asked about jail. EC3 said it gave him clarity. EC3 holds people accountable NEXT. If TNA's really done soon, at least EC3 used his time outside of WWE to basically use TNA as an audition tape that he's capable of at least being an IC Title-level guy - you can plop this act in WWE under a different name and it would get over just fine even with Miz also doing the cocky heel bit.

They recapped the monster's ball and Magnus was mad at Bram, because of course he was. He's in the world title shot 6 sides of steel. Why? He hasn't been anywhere close to the title since losing it. EC3's jail bit got recapped. VLAD THE SUPERFAN booed EC3 and Spud, who Taz said was dressed like a trial size bottle of Pepto Bismol. EC3 said the man who is to blame isn't just Bully, but Rhino - while he said this, fans in Bullet Club shirts were unimpressed. Rhino's voice cracked like a teenager. Rhino called him a bitch and told him to shove his money up his ass. Well, that's better than what he'd talk about shoving up things in ECW. EC3 went nuts on Rhino and then shoved Spud down - this was really good. Joe-Ki is up next. They talked about history, but didn't really show any of it. They did say it was all about East Coast domination back in the day. Anderson did a PSA about smoking since he was 13, and it took his dad's death from smoking to get him to quit. This was really good, and the Spike bumper at the end makes it seem like this is a network-wide thing. If Spike didn't want anything to do with TNA, they wouldn't have done this.

Hardys cut a goofy promo about an enigmatic journey for the tag division. Joe cut a promo about being the X Division champion meaning you need to be the best in the world. Ki's out in a white, orange, and black getup without the bodysuit. Tenay talked about Ki taking the title from Joe in '06. Taz talked about Ki being smaller, but a super-tough dude. Ki locks on a rope armbar and Tenay talks about Ki being in the first X division match back in '02 - when he was 22. He hasn't aged a day since then. Ki kicks and chops Joe. Joe just elbows him down to set up some jabs. Giant knee drop from Joe gets 2. Joe nails the inverted atomic, the big boot, and the senton for another 2. Joe's looking better here than he has in a long-ass time. Low Ki counters a muscle buster with a kick to the face and a double stomp while Joe was in a 619 position. Ki kicks him, including the kneeling hook kick that somehow forced Joe to his feet to setup a counter for a springboard kick. Tenay says Ki's the second X Champion in history, and he won it from AJ. Ki Crusher is countered into a powerbomb>Tenzan crab combo, then the STF. Joe eats a run-up spin kick for 2! Ki goes up top, gets taken down and hit with a muscle buster for the win! This ruled! Anderson bitched and moaned to JB about Shaw - THE CREEPY BASTARD. Shaw told him to not talk shit about his friends, and they brawled. Shaw looks weird with the facial hair and shaved head. They brawl and go to a break after Shaw gets shoved into pipes.

An ad ran for the TNA World Cup, and it's I Quit time. Anderson's attacking with a chair - because we needed more weapons. Good to have this match with chairs after the barb wire board, tack, ladder, and nail-board using OPENER. They brawled on the ramp and Gunner came down to talk. Shaw attacked Anderson. Anderson's DON'T TREAD ON ME gear makes no sense with his gimmick. Shaw attacked him with the mic, so now he's being heelish. Shaw got a Camel Clutch and Anderson made wacky Joker faces. Tenay put Anderson over as fighting through the pain. So I think he's the face now. Anderson gets divorce court to set up an armbar. Anderson said yes, so the crowd did a big YES chant. And Shaw quit. Well, this sucked. Team 3D teased the Hardys thing and said they'd be taking things to the next level and there's only one more piece - IT'S TIME FOR TALKING! Well, maybe - Tenay said his interview was also next. It's either one or the other - it can't be both!

They showed post-show footage of Gail being attacked last week by Love. Angle was DISGUSTED by this and Angle makes the match anyway because Gail asked. So instead of getting either thing we were promised "next", we got that. Roode cut a promo outside of a cage talking about his love for wrestling and being known as the best and tonight, he'll win the cage match. Hardys are out for talking. Jeff cut the promo and was actually decent - getting a big Hardy chant going. Bully cut a promo about agreeing with Jeff and Matt...about what? We never heard their proposal. Bully said they were all great not because they said so, but the fans did. Bully said they all want to be tag champs, but they're not the champs - so they called out the Wolves to settle this. This 3D promo would've made sense if we knew that the plan was a 3-way to determine the champs. Eddie said that 3D and the Hardys are considered some of the best teams of all-time - and they want to be in that discussion too. Impact Wrestling - where TAG TEAM WRESTLING MATTERS. I'm all for it. Tenay did a rushed VO for the interview. Dixie's bedroom is lush. Dixie went to the ER has a broken back and busted L2 and L3 vertebrae and she fractured a rib too, and a hard one to break too. So she broke her back for a ratings stunt involving a guy that's now gone from the company. BOY WAS THAT EVER BRILLIANT. Dixie said a Carter never forgets and she ends the interview and demands that Serge fluff her pillow. Dixie's headboard sure has a lot of pinholes in it.

Mike Tenay congratulated Christy Hemme on being pregnant - she's due in December. TNA has been a crazy-fertile company over the past few years. They re-aired last week's weird Storm-Sanada video. Sanada looks like just a dude with the dark hair. Velvet and Love came out in hot new gear. Gail and Angelina do stuff until Love gets a cookie sheet - of course this match would get weapons too. It gett dropkicked into Love's face. Sky helps her out with a cookie sheet shot. Gail set up a DDT on the steps, but Velvet pulled Gail's feet and she bonked her head for a 9 count. Gail's black and blue gear is hot - super-short shorts. Gail gets the ringpost figure 4! Gail got a chair, but Sky tried to grab it. Gail shoved her off, but ate the Botox Injection with the chair on the ramp. Gail got up earlier here than she did before and Sky did a zombie walk towards her. Gail shoved Sky into Love crotching her on the top, leading to a SUPER KRYPTONITE KRUNCH ON THE CHAIR! This wasn't an amazing match from start to finish, but it had some really good stuff in it - the finish was really impressive.

Angle made a 2/3 series between Hardys-Wolves-3D, and the winning team picks the stips. 6 Sides of Steel is up. Lashley, King, and MVP talked for a bit. MVP said that he was supposed to win the title at Slammiversary and Lashley was given the match and stepped up to win the gold. That wound up being just about the best thing humanly possible since the Lashley dynamic as the beast with MVP as his talker is far better than MVP struggling to have okay-ish matches at best now. He ran through Lashley's kill streak. Hardy flies high, but against Lashley, HE CRASHED AND BURNED. A Dub's an innovator - he cashed in, and cashed his ass out right away. MVP is so much better as a manager than as a wrestler, and that's not a bad thing - he's 40, banged up as a part-time guy, and should be transitioning out of the ring anyway. Tenay talked about the cage match's rules - there's only one - the first guy whose feet touch win. EY showed up in nice blue and red gear with wacky Cat in the Hat socks. Yikes. Gunner and Magnus got jobber intros here. Storm in a sweet silver ring jacket and Roode came out last. Taz picked EY to win since he was the only guy wearing black. Tenay talked about EY having the NY Rangers logo, and Taz said it's just the font with Showtime - and put over his graphic design background, which Tenay agreed with. Faces bonked the heels into the cage 2-on-1. Guys walked up the cage and on the ropes before a break. Way to kill the flow of the match - it will now have maybe eight minutes left.Nope - it's 10:53 and we're getting a BFG ad.

They came back and Storm's dangling off the cage by his hair. There's no flow to anything - it's just a bunch of stuff. There's a cute spot with EY doing a sharpshooter, Roode doing a crossface, and Aries getting the Last Chancery for a cool-looking shot. Tenay puts over the Bellator season opener with Lashley THE TNA WORLD CHAMPION competing on the show in an MMA fight. That really is a pretty cool deal that should in theory put their belt over. Tenay put over the Wednesday night timeslot change. Kinda surprised he didn't say it was the company returning to its original night to at least make some on-air sense of it. Opposite-side tower of doom spot looked cool too. Roode and EY did the powerbombs and then did a cage race ala Paul-Hogan. The timing was off, so they had to do some wacky cuts. The show ending with no decision, but they did put over next week's tag series starting up.

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