Wrestling’s 4R’s Monday Edition 6.13.10: ROH, Superstars, Impact & SmackDown Reviewed!
In HD where available…
By: Aaron Hubbard
ROH on HDNet 06.07.10:
El Generico def. Ricky Reyes [**]
Jerry Lynn def. Steve Corino via DQ [*1/2]
Non-Title: Tyler Black def. Austin Aries [***1/4]
BLACK vs. ARIES: Hey look, a real main event! I’ve been dying for a good wrestling match ever since Edwards vs. Richards, and for the most part ROH has been lacking in that department. But this filled the quota. It certainly wasn’t amazing; it was more like a **** match condensed to fit TV. Kind of like the old NWA Matches where Flair would wrestle a top challenger for fifteen minutes. It’s a good match, but you know they aren’t really going all out. The small package counter to the figure-four as a finish doesn’t really hurt Aries much. I was perfectly satisfied with this.
GENERICO vs. REYES Not much to talk about here, but this was a good opener. Reyes is a guy who can have moderately good matches with other wrestlers; there’s not really a home for him in the current ROH landscape, but beating a former tag team champion means something. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind if ROH brought in Rocky Romero and reunited the Havana Pitbulls again. Decent opener, as Generico always delivers.
DBD VIII HYPE: Curse ROH…they are really doing everything they can to make me go against my better judgment and buy this show. Which is exactly what they should be doing. Tyler Black vs. Davey Richards sells itself for ROH Fans, but the simple build where they have both guys go over their life, their career, their opponent and what the title means to them. ROH is building a Big Fight Atmosphere for this match. Combined with the first-ever in ROH one-on-one between Kevin Steen and El Generico, the tag team match between The Briscoes and The Kings of Wrestling, Christopher Daniels vs. Kenny Omega, and the possibility of a certain ROH Legend making his return, this show could very possibly be the show of the year.
ECW REUNION/BRAWL!!!: So we get Jerry Lynn vs. Steve Corino in the ECW Arena. Alright, sweet. These guys have had good matches in ECW before and it was cool to see them go at each other again. Corino probably had the best match he’s had on HDNet (not that this is saying much) and Lynn was his usual good self. We got a non-finish as Cabana, Steen, Generico and Kenny King all showed up, King going after Lynn and everyone else going after each other. This was a well thought-out idea. What wasn’t a well thought-out idea was Corino deciding to play doctor and stick his thumb up Lynn’s ass. Because now, that’s the only I’ll remember about this segment.
NOTHING OF NOTE.
NOTHING OF NOTE.
Ring of Honor followed the KISS method of television: Keep It Simple, Stupid. They didn’t do a lot of stuff on this show, but what they did do they gave time to and helped to build to Death Before Dishonor VIII. The result is that we have a perfectly acceptable wrestling show, with nothing worthless or stupid. I wasn’t blown away by the show and won’t be watching it again, but you know, it’s nice to just watch a show and not have my intelligence insulted. If the main event had been a little better, I’d be raving about this.
SHOW RATING: 7.0
By: Chad Nevett
– Brian Kendrick defeated Homicide [*3/4]
– The Band (C) defeated Matt Morgan & Hernandez for the TNA World Tag Team Championship [N/A]
– Kurt Angle defeated Amazing Red [**]
– AJ Styles (#2), Desmond Wolfe (#7) & Beer Money, Inc. defeated Jay Lethal, Jeff Hardy (#3), Mr. Anderson (#4) & Abyss (#5) [**]
A FLAIR FOR THE DRAMATICS: The show kicked things off right with AJ Styles coming out with Desmond Wolfe, Kazarian, and Beer Money, talking about how Ric Flair isn’t there, so AJ is taking control of the situation. With an eight-man tag that night, he noticed that that means four men on his team, but there are 1-2-3-4-5 five guys in the ring, and that means Kazarian is out. During the course of this, he discusses great foursomes and even namedrops the Four Horsemen and flashes the hand sign of the group a few times. Then, Flair’s music hit, but out came Jay Lethal and he brought the house down. I wasn’t overly impressed the first time he did Flair. I liked it, I just didn’t love it. I loved this time, though. He was dead on in his cadence and rhythm. The guys in the ring kept telling him he’s not funny and he should stop, but they were dead wrong, of course. He introduced his team of Abyss and Mr. Anderson. AJ told him he couldn’t count and Lethal responded that Abyss is so big he counts as two men. Then, his trio went down to the ring to get the match going then. Of course, the heels gained the upper hand with five on three, but Jeff Hardy’s music hit and the Enigmatic Enigma came out of the crowd to save the day. Because we didn’t know he’d be the fourth member already. But, an entertaining promo that proved that Ric Flair isn’t actually essential anymore. AJ has stepped into the role and Jay Lethal does the voice.
KURT ANGLE vs. AMAZING RED: Prior to this match, Angle said that since Kazarian is an X-Division guy, he wanted to wrestle the best X-Division wrestler there is, and, apparently, that’s Amazing Red. This was a nice little match with Amazing Red always a step or two ahead of Angle, using his speed and agility to outmaneuver Angle until Angle hit the Angle Slam and won. I would have liked a longer match, especially to give the finish some more breathing room, but this was a solid match. Nice to see Angle back in the ring.
AJ STYLES (#2), DESMOND WOLFE (#7) & BEER MONEY, INC. vs. JAY LETHAL, JEFF HARDY (#3), MR. ANDERSON (#4) & ABYSS (#5): This eight-man tag was mostly the four heels kicking the shit out of Jeff Hardy once the initial stages of the faces being dominant ran its course. And, I’ll be honest, I could watch people kicking the shit out of Jeff Hardy all day. I love it. Some good in-ring psychology by all involved. Since Hardy is the most beloved, it was smart to have him be the whipping boy. The heels cheated a lot, while the faces got punished if they broke any rules. It was a little dragged out and the ending with the parade of moves was predictable, but AJ’s brutal power bomb and Styles Clash on Lethal was a strong finish. Pretty good showcase match and better than most eight-man tag matches are.
BRIAN KENDRICK vs. HOMICIDE: Before the match, Kendrick delivered an oddly compelling promo that looked like he was reading it as he said it. And that actually made it better as it came off almost said in a weird trance. Stoner new age stuff. But good. The match itself was pretty good up until the end. Douglas Williams came out at the beginning and went on commentary, which was good. The match had Homicide dishing out a lot of punishment, selling the idea that Kendrick can take a lot. Which is fine until Homicide kept trying to use weapons in a cartoonish, crazed way. Come on, they couldn’t think up something better than that? Plus, what’s with the continued use of the toolbox as the place for people to get weapons? If this simply had Kendrick outlast Homicide, it would have been much better.
TNA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH – THE BAND (C) vs. MATT MORGAN & ???: Morgan wanted to know who his partner was and Eric Bischoff told him to go out, because his title rematch was now and his partner was waiting for him. So, after Morgan hits the ring, Hogan comes out and calls Morgan whiny and says he deserves to be all alone in the ring after the crap he’s pulled, and that his partner is… Hernandez! Hernandez comes out guns blazing and beats Morgan all around the ring, laying him out, and, as he left, Hogan announced that it would Morgan/Hernandez at Slammiversary. The paramedics attended to Morgan and the Band’s music hit. They came out, Eric Young pinned Morgan (who was strapped down) and they celebrated. Liked the return of Hernandez, but don’t like the changing of PPV matches like that. Sure, the Band/Matt Morgan & a partner wasn’t looking great, but it doesn’t seem professional. Also, Hogan on commentary was just annoying.
STING STEALS THE BELT AND THEN HE AND RVD BRAWL: I liked parts of this little subplot that went through the episode until the end of the show where Sting attacked Rob Van Dam and stole the world belt. He painted the word ‘Deception’ on it, since that’s what it represents to him. The deception of RVD as champ and Hogan and Bischoff in TNA. This just went on far too long. Especially that backstage brawl that led to the ring. After watching the same damn thing basically with Sting and Jarrett earlier, this was just so goddamn boring. This needed to be sped up, so they could get to the point sooner. A good idea, just too drawn out.
JESSE NEAL AND BROTHER RAY HAVE WORDS: This didn’t really do anything new. It was a brawl in the back and then some words in the ring. Ray thinks Neal is too full of himself, while Neal is wonder why Ray is holding him down. And Devon wishes everyone would get along. It’s good to remind people of this match happening at Slammiversary, but couldn’t they find a way to do it where something new actually happens?
STING BEATS UP JEFF JARRETT AT SACRIFICE AND JARRETT SPEAKS: Time filler number one: extended clips of the Sting/Jarrett ‘match’ from Sacrifice. I don’t get why this was shown. I’m not big on the WWE/TNA comparisons, but at least they would throw in some added production values: cool cuts, some music, something to make it seem even bigger and more violent than it was. TNA just spliced together the whole thing and followed it up with Jeff Jarrett being sad about missing Slammiversary. Whatever.
SLAMMIVERSARY PROMO VIDEO: Time filler number two: a Slammiversary promo video that tried to give the idea of the eighth anniversary of TNA being a big deal, but never really got that across. Instead we had various people talking about TNA in vague, broad terms, and people trying to sell Sting as the number one contender, mostly because he’s Sting and, as Kurt Angle put it, he can be the number one contender at any time. This didn’t make Slammiversary feel any bigger than before. Watching shit like this really drives home how amazing the WWE is at videos like this.
NOTHING!: Two in a row! Two in a row, motherfuckers! Yeah!
Not the amazing go home show you’d want leading into Slammiversary, but they did push most of the matches. Some didn’t get anything new, while a few did. This was another solid episode, just nothing too great or too bad. Honestly, if TNA can stay in this middling, mediocre zone for a while, that will be good since they’ll at least have a baseline of quality, which they’ve been lacking for a while.
SHOW RATING: 6.5
By: Steve Cook
Alicia Fox d. Gail Kim (**)
Zack Ryder & Primo d. Goldust & Yoshi Tatsu (**½)
Kofi Kingston d. Luke Gallows (**)
ALICIA FOX vs. GAIL KIM: Alicia is getting better…I’m not sure she’s as good as some people think she is, but this was probably the best match I’ve seen from her yet, with the least amount of obvious botched moves. Gail’s starting to find her groove again and I hope she’s near the top of the Diva division sooner rather than later. The good thing about this match was it was a reversal from Gail’s usual matches lately, where she gets beat up for three minutes, hits a move and wins. You gotta switch up the match formula sometimes.
ZACK RYDER & PRIMO vs. GOLDUST & YOSHI TATSU: I’m glad to see the reunion of Goldust & Yoshi, who had a shockingly fun tag team back in the ECW days. They don’t seem like characters that would work as a tag team, but Goldust has been good in the mentor role for young & impressionable Yoshi. I’m not sure that see Zack & Primo as a regular tag team, but somebody likes Zack Ryder these days because he won two matches this week. I think that’s two more than he’s won during most months of his WWE career. Good action here with these four Superstars stalwarts.
KOFI KINGSTON vs. LUKE GALLOWS: I was hoping for a bit more out of this, as Kofi & Luke didn’t quite gel as well as Luke has with guys like Rey Mysterio. Not that we needed proof that Kofi isn’t as good as Rey, but if you need it you can compare their matches with Luke Gallows. Csonka says that the commercial break hurt the flow, but I don’t think this match had much of a flow going before that. Matt Striker going on about how he and Luke are close now that they were both attacked by the NXT people made me think it would be funny if Matt was all like “What up Luke?” backstage and Luke just ignored him. That seems like something that would actually happen.
Nothing of note.
Bryan Danielson getting fired: Whoops, that didn’t happen on this show.
Not a very eventful show this week. You had a decent Divas match and a good tag team match, but the main event was just kinda there and you didn’t miss anything if you watched the NBA Finals instead of this.
SHOW RATING: 6.0
By: Jeremy Thomas
WWE SmackDown 06.11.10
Rey Mysterio d. Jack Swagger [*** ¼]
Layla d. Tiffany [*]
Christian d. Dolph Ziggler [** ¼]
The Big Show d. CM Punk by DQ [* ½]
FATAL FOUR-WAY DEBATE: SmackDown kicked off with Rey Rey coming down to the ring much to the crowd’s delight, ostensibly for a non-title match with the World Heavyweight Champion to preview Fatal Four-Way. Before we got to that match however Rey wanted to talk. He got on the mic and talked about winning the Battle Royal last week and how he was going to win the World Title at Fatal Four-Way for the fans. After that little bit, Jack Swagger came out with a none-too-pleased expression. He climbed into the ring and said Rey had earned nothing, just capitalized on the Undertaker’s misfortune. Swagger’s promo was a classic little arrogant promo and he got the crowd riled up quite nicely before Rey took over. Rey’s response was to call Swagger stupid and make fun of the lisp. Not the best comeback in the world, but they picked it up nicely with some well-timed banter.
Rey: “You know what it’s going to take for me to beat you?”
Swagger: “A miracle?”
Rey: “BZZZZT! Wrong.”
I thought they had some great timing there, and it’s the kind of thing that makes me look forward to any full-on one-on-one feud they may have. Afterward, CM Punk came out and compared himself to Malcolm X and JFK as the victim of an assassination attempt. That’s new levels of martyrdom. He called it “thirty-six armed assailants” and used it as proof that he was extraordinary because he was able to show up. Punk’s dedication and conviction is brilliant, and adding him to the mix didn’t cause any disruption of their timing. Show was out next and in an awesome hidden highlight, Luke Gallows positioned himself protectively in front of Punk as the big guy made his way to the ring. Show’s promo was more laid-back and humorous, as he made fun of his own weight, Swagger’s “issues” and Punk’s baldness. Show threatened to pull the mask off, and Punk turned it around to “you’re not going to pull off a win at Fatal Four-Way either.” And then, finally the ring turned red and Kane showed up on the ‘Tron to accuse one of them (or two, or all four) of being behind the Dead Man’s “death” and saying he would put the guilty party (or parties) in a casket. This was a very long segment, but it played off nicely and accomplished multiple things while keeping the crowd into it. Can’t argue with any of that.
REY MYSTERIO vs. JACK SWAGGER: This was the opening match of the show, and I gotta say they did a good job for a first-time pairing. The story of this match was both men feeling each other out and that played out nicely enough. They had a decently-paced match and the crowd was very much into both men in this match. Little things played out with this like Swagger being able to get his foot on the ropes or Rey being unprepared for a few of Swagger’s moves and I enjoyed them. The match was fairly crisp in the ring and they got enough time here in order to build a solid match without being rushed. Swagger had the majority of the control during this match but ended up eating the loss. I’m okay with that because Swagger doesn’t lose anything by losing to a main eventer like Rey Rey, especially during a build to a four-way match like this. It’s who wins at the Pay-Per-View that’s most important so putting Rey over here is solid booking in order to give the challenger momentum. Great work here and I really enjoyed it.
CHRISTIAN vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER: Christian and Dolph’s feud is something I’ve actually been enjoying, and this was a good continuation of that. As much as I joked on the Vickie/Dolph thing a couple weeks ago, this is at least a storyline for him and it could easily lead to an increased push for him. Sure, there was Eric Escobar, but unlike Eric Dolph can actually talk and work well inside the ring. Christian and Dolph had a perfectly decent match between the two of them, albeit one that would have been a fair amount better given some more time. They seemed just slightly rushed but it didn’t kill the match like it has done others in recent weeks and months on the two big ‘E shows. It played out well and they kept it fast-paced which allowed both men to have moments to shine until Christian got the sunset flip out of nowhere. Good stuff. Afterward we had Hawkins and Archer show up for their latest “make an impact” moment by attacking Christian, which was apparently good enough for a spot on the show. Better, it allowed Dolph to get heat back by putting Christian out with a sleeper. As I said, this was a good way to continue the feud.
LAYLA vs. TIFFANY: Team Lay-Cool came out with Michelle and Layla, his NXT pros and got their Simply Perfect hoodies tossed on his head. Kaval was basically their gofer and this is undoubtedly going to play into the NXT programming as the next adversarial relationship between rookie and pro. Before the match Michelle and Layla bitched about how ugly the crowd was in a deeply annoying—but not unwatchable for once—fashion. Or at least, it started off that way. It got very old very fast. Tiffany came down with Triple K managing her. Now, this was not a “bad” match. In fact, it was a better match than I expected it to be; further proof that Layla is really improving more and more as time goes on. But it wasn’t all that good either; it was too short and not even close to notable. This just was kind of there, which is enough with the Divas for puRgatoRy but not much more than that.
DREW vs. TEDDY CONTINUES: Toward the end of the show we had Drew McIntyre come out in a suit with his awesome entrance music, looking all sorts of pissed off. Yes, his entrance music is awesome…don’t deny it. He demanded that Teddy Long get out there, like he’s done so many times. You know, you’d think if the guy didn’t want to repeat himself, he would just go back to find Long. Drew cut Teddy off and told him to look at the ‘Tron where we saw Matt watching Drew vs. Kofi from last week and then attacking Drew. Drew then showed us Matt beating Drew at Viewer’s Choice Raw. Drew said that by order of Vince McMahon, Matt was no suspended on all WWE Programming. It’s almost as if he choked someone using their own tie or something. Drew reminded us that he was the Chosen One and when Teddy tried to talk Drew threw his mic out of the ring. Drew was about to tell us something else, but Kofi came out and said he was tired of listening to Drew’s whining. He told Drew on behalf of the WWE Universe to shut up. This was a good promo by Kofi and I dug the way that they are playing these guys’ rivalry, although it is seriously blunted by the fact that the IC Champion is basically taking a side note in favor of Matt vs. Drew and even Drew vs. Teddy. Drew then told Teddy after the commercial that he would be in a match against Drew. Okay, that mere announcement killed what little enjoyment the Drew/Teddy feud had completely. This had its good moments, but the problems kept it out of the Right.
THE BIG SHOW vs. CM PUNK: Our main event of the evening had CM Punk taking of the Big Show in the second Fatal Four-Way preview. Punk of course came down with the rest of the Society, which Show found amusing. For the match being as short as it was, there was way too much stalling on Punk’s behalf. I understand what they were doing but it didn’t help the match any. Punk got some shots in but Show quickly took over and began to lay in his punches and slaps. The story just didn’t work and the finale with Show going to remove the mask and the Society (complete with mystery man) running in meant that the match was basically pointless. The Society laid in a beatdown until Kane came in and killed everyone, much like he did in the first match. Kudos for Kane hitting the choke slam on Show and I like that they’re building up Kane, but this was not a very good match.
DID YOU KNOW?: Nope. And, as always, I don’t care.
Main event aside, I really dug this week’s SmackDown. They had some great matches and only the last twenty minutes or so went downhill. They’re really pushing Kane which makes this particular Big Red Machine fan happy, and the opening match as well as Dolph/Christian gave us some good matches. Good effort by the Blue Brand and although I’m not looking forward to Teddy vs. Drew next week I’m otherwise enjoying Friday nights.
SHOW RATING: 7.5
Obviously a match between Jericho and Big Show not hyped to the balls is not going to be a blow off type match to a fued. I enjoyed seeing this as it was nice to see them in the same ring. It was just an apetizer not a main course 😀
I didn’t have so much of a problem with how it was hyped; I was more disappointed to see that it was a disappointing match. There was no way Jericho was looking good coming out of a bodyslam match and he didn’t.
From Ronnie LaFianza:
“Cena’s usually good about making Punk look credible in the ring in a way some other main event guys don’t.”
Yeah, if you don’t take into account of that time back in December where Cena squashed Punk in a little over a minute.
Well yes, other than that one. Details, schmetails.
Anyone think there’s a chance that Jericho is the mastermind behind the NXT uprising? It would fit with the aspects of his character that feuded with HBK and finds what the WWE Universe to be sycophants – and gives him something to do. Also allows you to maintain some semblance of the existing face/heel dynamics among the “pros”, and give you a way to turn some of the “rookies” face toward the end of the program when Jericho is inevitably revealed to be using some/all of them.
That would have potential, but honestly I would rather see the NXT guys get over on their own. We’ve seen the “mastermind” thing before, and yes we’ve seen an invasion a time or two before as well but I think that would just be somewhat fresher. Both would work though.
You just KNOW Dusty wrote all the A-Team segments.
At least they were better than “Lost in Cleveland!”
You have to go a long way back to find anything as bad as The A-team segment. That was really one of the all-time worst segments on a wrestling program ever. It just went on and on, and achieved absolutely nothing. I actually felt bad for Sharlto Copley. The dude was actually trying, but was labored with the worst, most over-the-top, unbelievably bad material that no-one could’ve made it look good. Everything about the segment was amateurish and embarrassing. Piper’s well past being of any use whatsoever. Bradley Cooper was the smartest person in the building, as he left straight away. A-Team = EPIC FAIL.
KILL THE CELEBRITY GUEST HOST SEGMENT PLEASE!!!!!
I wouldn’t say they were some of the worst segments ever, but they certainly were bad. As bad as they were, nothing is as bad as this:
The defense rests.
Liam Neeson was probably laughing his ass off seeing his cast mates appeard as bufoons whilst he retains all of his credibility. Then he probably remembered ‘Clash of the Titans’, and became sad.
“I would tend to agree. Kane was always better in his mask, but I doubt we’ll see it. Incineration isn’t very kid-friendly; don’t want to risk some kid torching his brother and saying
“The WWE made me do it.”
Kane could easily cut a promo saying ‘the mask is like my home, I feel safe there’ etc. and return to the mask. It wouldn’t make much sense, but this is Kane we’re talking about. Shit angles are like the dentist for him – nobody likes them, but you must visit them twice a year.
As someone else said, kudos on the Isaac Yankem reference. And very true with Clash of the Titans.
Regarding the NXT attack, i have watched it 4 times now & its still not getting old, the part where Roberts was getting strangled with his tie is funny each time for some reason.
Can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s not so funny anymore to me for some reason.
If it had been the APA instead of the A-Team, everyone would’ve marked like crazy. I would have rather watched more of that than half the other shit that happened on RAW.
Patently untrue. If Ron Simmons and Bradshaw showed up with smoke bombs and crap, then we had to deal with that in-ring segment, I would have hated it just the same. In fact, probably more because Simmons and JBL don’t have Copley’s sense of humor.
From Galen H.:
Here’s a question out of all of this: When the attack happened, where the hell was Michael Cole? If you notice during the entire beatdown, he was not seen at all… Stryker caught it, the time keeper caught it, even Lawler caught it, but Cole was no where to be seen.
You’re not the only one who wondered this. Hmmmm….
From CM Wolf:
I must VEHEMENTLY disagree with putting the NXt Uprising in purgatory.
It was without a doubt the BEST swerve I have seen in many a moon. Cena, Punk, the SES and the ringside guys all performed beautifully. They all figured something was up ON THE FLY and just went right into sell mode. Justin Roberts deserves a freakin RAISE and at least a month off in Antiga for his TOUR DE FORCE sell job. =)
No Jeremy, IMO this brings me back to the 80’s when you had no choice but to BUILD an angle with quick beatdowns, GOOD promo work and even better payoff matches. I respect your argument and opinion, but gotta disagree bro. Great column! Thanks for your time.
Very valid, well-thought out comment CM. Except one this: I put it in the Right and didn’t give it any negative comments except that we didn’t know where to go yet and couldn’t call it “the best” yet.