411’s WWE Heat Report 01.06.08
Hey guys and gals, I’m Scott, and this is 411’s ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT WWE Heat Report.
Before I begin, I’d like to send out a big thank you to Sat for his great fill-in Heat Report two weeks ago. My family came to town for Christmas earlier than I expected, so I had to find someone to cover for me at the last minute. Sat graciously volunteered his time and did an excellent job, and like I said, I really appreciate it.
Anyway, I’ve always prided myself on writing the Best Damn Heat Report on the Net, and part of being the best is continually striving to improve. So recently I was proud to debut a completely new format for the Heat Report. The most dramatic change was a drastic reduction in the length of the play-by-play. I loved writing in-depth, detailed reports of each match, but I completely understand that most readers would rather just get right to the highlights. So from now on I’m going to be presenting a more condensed Overview of each match in order to give you a clear view of the main events while skipping over some of the more minor details. However, in order to compensate for the abbreviated length of the Overview, I’m also going to be adding a Background, Analysis, and Rating for each match. The Background will provide a brief review of the recent events in the careers of each of the wrestlers involved in the match while the Analysis and Rating will allow me to give you my opinion on the quality and future implications of the match. Finally, I’ll still include the Result, Length, and Best Spot in order to continue to provide the most complete coverage possible. Okay, enough with the boring stuff. Let’s get to the wrestling.
Match 1: Super Crazy vs. Snitsky
Background: Snitsky was drafted to Raw from ECW on June 11, 2007 in the WWE 2007 Draft. Snitsky was nearly unstoppable during the second half of 2007 and is currently undefeated on Heat since his return. Sadly, he hasn’t punted a baby in more than three years. Super Crazy formed a tag team with “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan during the fall of 2007 but returns to his roots in one-on-one action in this match. A win over Snitsky would be a great way for Super Crazy to reestablish himself as a singles competitor.
Overview: This week Jonathan Coachman made the move to Smackdown, so Jack Korpela has now joined the Heat commentary team on a full-time basis. Wonderful. As if I needed another reason to hate watching Heat every week. But I guess that’s why the good people at Dell put a volume switch on my speakers. Anyway, Crazy uses his quickness to avoid Snitsky early, but Snitsky finally catches him and flings him to the corner. Crazy fights back with kicks to the legs and chops to the chest, but Snitsky shoves Crazy down to the mat and locks in a cross face. Snitsky drags Crazy back to his feet, locks in a double underhook, shakes the shit outta him, and then hits a butterfly suplex. Snitsky hits a scoop slam, drops an elbow, and then toys with Crazy in the corner. Snitsky hits a vertical suplex and goes for a leg drop, but Crazy just manages to roll out of the way. Crazy connects with a basement drop kick followed by a standing moonsault but only gets a two count. Crazy hits the ropes and charges at Snitsky, but Snitsky damn near decapitates him with a big boot. Snitsky drags Crazy back to his feet, hits the pump handle slam, and gets the three count.
Analysis: Well, it was what it was. And what it was was another Snitsky squash with just enough offense from Super Crazy so that he didn’t end up looking completely worthless. However, in all fairness, I will say that Snitsky’s ring work actually does seem to be improving. He’ll always be constrained by the big man / monster style that defines him, but it was nice to see him toss in a few new moves like the butterfly suplex. For his part Crazy certainly played his role well, but he also had very little opportunity to showcase any of his real skill. The bottom line is that this match was meant to put over Snitsky as a monster heel, and that’s exactly what it did. However, I’m still forced to ask why Snitsky was moved to Raw when Smackdown is currently the home of WWE’s monster division. It just seems like Snitsky would be much more at home with The Great Khali and Mark Henry than he is with Super Crazy and Carlito.
Result: Snitsky defeats Super Crazy with the Pump Handle Slam.
Best Spot: Snitsky’s butterfly suplex
Match 2: DH Smith vs. Dan Owen
Background: DH Smith is the son of WWE Legend “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith. Oh, and his mom was a total MILF back in the mid-nineties. Just ask Shawn Michaels. Anyway, Smith debuted in a dark match prior to the October 15, 2007 episode of Raw and then made his television debut on the October 22, 2007 episode of Raw with a victory over Carlito. Unfortunately, Smith but was soon suspended for violating the WWE Wellness Policy and was out of action for more than a month. Smith made his return on the December 21, 2007 episode of Heat with a victory over Charlie Haas and looks to continue to build momentum in this match. Dan Owen is a jobber. And hopefully he’s also not the same Dan Owen that writes for 411’s Sports Zone. Because I’m probably going to say some not-so-nice things about him, and I’d hate to get my ass kicked because of it…
Overview: Owen surprisingly takes control early with a standing side head lock followed by a running shoulder block. Smith fights back with a deep arm drag takedown into an arm bar followed by an arm wringer into a standing rear hammer lock. Owen reverses into a standing rear hammer lock of his own, but Smith climbs between the ropes to torque Owen’s arm. Smith goes back to work with another arm wringer followed a juji-gatame (thanks Joey Styles). Owen finally gets a foot on the ropes and then posts Smith in the corner. Owen works over Smith’s shoulder in the corner followed by a wrist lock back in the middle of the ring. Owen slams Smith’s shoulder into the top turnbuckle, but Smith fights back with a back elbow shot and a pair of European uppercuts (BUT HE’S NOT EVEN EUROPEA… oh, shit, yeah he is… kinda… sorta… um, never mind). Smith hits two running clotheslines and then lands a sweet belly-to-back suplex for the three count.
Analysis: Smith looked good here, and he’ll undoubtedly be enjoying an extended tenure here on Heat as he’s groomed for the big time. However, I hope that he is moved up to the main roster before Shawn Michaels retires for good, because Smith could have a great feud with Michaels. We’ve all been waiting to see one of the next-gen Harts take a shot at HBK, but most of those feuds would have to be fuelled only by the HBK / Bret storyline. Smith has the added advantage of both of his parents having feuded with Michaels as well, so in my mind it only seems natural to have him work a program with the Show Stoppa. Anyway, as far as this match goes, it was also interesting to note how much offense Owen was allowed to feature. We hardly ever see that much dominance from someone who is still theoretically a jobber, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Owen offered a developmental contract some time soon (that is, assuming that he isn’t already under contract. I don’t follow much OVW or FCW).
Result: DH Smith defeats Dan Owen with a belly-to-back suplex.
Best Spot: Smith’s juji-gatame
Match 3: Drew McIntyre vs. Charlie Haas
Background: Charlie Haas spent most of 2007 teaming with Shelton Benjamin as the World’s Greatest Tag Team. However, Haas and Benjamin wrestled their last match together (at least for the immediate future) on the November 23, 2007 episode of Heat. Benjamin has since moved to ECW to pursue fame and fortune as an Extremist while leaving Haas to fend for himself as a singles wrestler on Heat. Haas has since defeated Paul London but lost to DH Smith. Drew McIntyre made his debut on the October 12, 2007 episode of Smackdown. However, McIntyre has now evidently been moved to Raw and makes his Heat debut in this match. The over / under on McIntyre turning heel and joining the Highlanders is currently three weeks.
Overview: Haas gets on the mic before the match and reminds us all that he is the only All-American Wrestler in the arena. He begins to berate the fans, but that brings out… Drew McIntyre. I know, I know, that might seem a bit random right now, but trust me, it’s far from the most bizarre thing we’ll see in this match. Anyway, Haas takes control early and works over McIntyre’s arm and shoulder, but McIntyre fights back with a head lock takedown for a one count. McIntyre runs the ropes and catches Haas with another head lock takedown for another one count. Haas regains control and whips McIntyre to the corner, but McIntyre floats over and catches Haas with a deep arm drag takedown. McIntyre gets another deep arm drag take down followed by a head lock takeover for a two count. Haas fights back to his feet and runs the ropes, but McIntyre catches him with a nice standing drop kick. Haas rolls out of the ring to catch a breather and climbs half-way under the ring apron. All you can see for a few moments are his legs sticking out from under the ring motionless. And the… when Haas finally reemerges and peers back into the ring… HE’S WEARING A FUCKING LUCHA MASK. CHARLIE HASS… IS WEARING… A FUCKING LUCHA MASK. There’s no way this ends well.
Haas flips over the top rope and poses in the ring. I want to cry. Haas seems to have adopted a whole new persona when he donned the mask. Haas lands a poke to the eyes and then grabs a handful of hair in order to fling McIntyre down to the mat. Haas hot-shots McIntyre onto the top rope and then grinds McIntyre’s face into the mat. Haas traps McIntyre in the corner and then climbs the rope in order to choke McIntyre with his knee pad. McIntyre lands a back elbow shot in the corner, but Haas complexly no sells and lands his signature belly-to-belly suplex for a two count. Haas drags McIntyre back to his feet and hits a belly-to-back suplex. Haas climbs to the top rope and seems to be thinking about a splash, but McIntyre two-thirds of the way across the ring. Haas goes airborne, lands on his feet a few fee from McIntyre, and then his a standing splash for a two count. That was so Eugene-esque it hurt. Anyway, Haas goes for a vertical suplex, but McIntyre floats over and rips off Haas’ mask. Haas seem stunned. Yeah, join the party you poor fuck. McIntyre goes crazy (although not nearly as crazy as Charlie Haas) with two running clotheslines, a big back body drop, and a swinging neck breaker that gets a two count. McIntyre lands a knee to the face in the corner and then hits a Northern Lights Suplex for the three count.
Analysis: Oh my stars and garters. That was certainly… um… fucked. I mean, okay, sure, I see why you might want to give Charlie Haas some sort of character. He’s kind of a black hole of personality. But DAMN, crazy pseudo-lucha throwback guy? Really? That’s the best you guys can do? Haas looked like the devil spawn of Matt Classic and Eugene. I’m sorry, but the last thing you should do with a guy who can legitimately wrestler is make him into a fucking joke. As far as McIntyre goes, he looked good here, and I think he’ll only get better as he gets time to develop. However, I’m just afraid that WWE won’t be able to resist teaming him up with the Highlanders where his in-ring style would be seriously hampered and his development would be significantly stunted.
Result: Drew McIntyre defeats Charlie Haas with a Northern Lights Suplex.
Best Spot: Haas’ two-part splash
Match 4: Hardcore Holly vs. Trevor Murdoch
Background: Hardcore Holly and his partner Cody Rhodes feuded with Trevor Murdoch and his partner Lance Cade during the fall of 2007 before finally defeating them for the World Tag Team Championships on the December 10, 2007 episode of Raw. Lance Cade sustained a shoulder injury at a house show on December 28, 2007, so Trevor Murdoch will be forced to compete as a singles wrestler for the time being. This match is thus a one-on-one continuation of the tag team feud from late 2007.
Overview: Murdoch takes control early with a standing side head lock, but Holly fights back with a knee shot to the gut followed by a stomp to the, um, “lower mid-section.” Holly hits a pair of elbow drops and gets a two count. Murdoch regains control with a big boot followed by a knee shot to the gut. Murdoch connects with an elbow shot and goes for the cover, but the referee won’t make the count because Holly is partially under the rope. Murdoch applies an abdominal stretch back in the middle of the ring and grabs the ropes to increase the pressure… and the heelishness. Oh, fuck you Microsoft Word spell check. “Heelishness” is TOTALLY a word. Anyway, Holly fights out of the hold with a hip toss, but Murdoch traps Holly in the corner and stomps a mud hole in him. Murdoch applies another abdominal stretch before breaking the hold with a stiff shot to Holly’s ribs. Murdoch hits the ropes and charges at Holly, but Holly levels him with a running clothesline. Holly hits another running clothesline followed by a big back body drop and the Overhead Cam. Holly gets a HUGE inverted atomic drop and hits another running clothesline for a two count. Holly whips Murdoch to the corner and Murdoch tries to float over, but Holly catches him and lands the Alabama Slam for the three count.
Analysis: Both Holly and Murdoch looked good here, but they really just seem to be burning time until Cade gets healthy. The entire Holly / Rhodes / Cade / Murdoch feud was designed for the sole purpose of getting Cody Rhodes over, so you can only get so excited about any match that doesn’t feature young Mr. Rhodes. That being said, I was SHOCKED at the pop that Holly received on his way to the ring. This guy is over in a way that boggles the mind. I hope he sent RVD a hella nice Christmas card, because their match in 2006 (and the infamous table spot contained therein) fucking saved Holly’s career.
Result: Hardcore Holly defeats Trevor Murdoch with the Alabama Slam.
Best Spot: Holly’s Alabama Slam
Okay kids, that’s it for this edition of Heat. Hope you had fun. Feel free to email me with any comments or suggestions. I’ll see you back here next weekend.