Wrestling’s 4R’s Monday Edition 8.9.10: ROH, Superstars, Impact & SmackDown Reviewed!
In HD where available…
By: Aaron Hubbard
ROH on HDNet 08.02.10:
Tag Wars: Dark City Fight Club def. Shawn Daivari & Ernesto Osiris [**]
10-Minute Hunt: Eddie Edwards def. Jay Freddie [*1/4]
Kenny King def. Delirious [**]
Jay Briscoe def. Claudio Castagnoli [***1/2]
Mark Briscoe def. Chris Hero [***1/2]
BRISCOES VS. KOW, THE SINGLES MATCHES: I was excited for this pair of matches, but all four men exceeded my expectations for the matches. Both matches were very good and very different, and they played off one another. This was basically one long segment, and in that capacity it was the most entertaining thing I’ve seen on ROH Television since Edwards vs. Richards. Now, neither match was truly great, but both were very good and providing us with twenty minutes of great wrestling, and showcased that at least three of the four (on the fence about Mark) are great singles wrestlers as well as tag performers. Also, the results pretty much guarantee a big blow-off, possible with a stipulation such as a cage, and I would love that.
DCFC vs. THE EMBASSY: I was surprised by this. It didn’t blow me away or anything, but I was expecting a two minute squash, and when it went longer than that I was expecting crap. Turns out the match was perfectly acceptable, and while the result was never in doubt, it was a good opener.
DELIRIOUS VS. KING: A perfectly acceptable wrestling match, and it has been a while since Delirious has entertained me as much as he did tonight. That said, it’s become almost impossible for me to care about this feud because ROH aired Aries attack on Delirious EVERY week and I was sick of it before Aries and Delirious got their first match. So even if it is good, I just can’t bring myself to really enjoy it.
TEN MINUTE HUNT, PART III: I allow two squashes on any given angle or wrestler. After that, you have to do something different, or I won’t care. We are at the third squash for this, and therefore, I no longer care. Do something with the angle, have someone win, have two guys, have Awesome Kong show up, but do SOMETHING.
I had difficulty getting into this show until the double main event. I would recommend catching both Briscoes vs. Kings of Wrestling matches, but skip the rest unless you have nothing better to do. Sadly, simply having one great segment is enough to elevate this above the recent episodes. This show seems to be stuck in a rut again, or maybe it’s just me.
SHOW RATING: 7.0
By: Chad Nevett
– Taylor Wilde & Hamada defeated the Beautiful People (C) for the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship [1/2*]
– AJ Styles (C) defeated Rob Terry (#10) for the TNA Television Championship [*]
– The Motor City Machine Guns (C) defeated Beer Money, Inc. in an Ultimate X Match to tie it up at 2-2 in the Best of Five Series for the TNA World Tag Team Championship [****1/4]
– The Pope (#9) defeated Orlando Jordan [*1/4]
– Ric Flair defeated Jay Lethal (#5) in a Street Fight [N/A]
– Rob Van Dam & Tommy Dreamer defeated Abyss (#1) & Raven [**]
KURT ANGLE PROMO VIDEO: These promo videos can be sort of hit or miss, but since Kurt Angle’s current story is simply making his way through the top ten or his career is over, a training video where he explains why he’s doing this is exactly what’s required. He’s done some in-ring promos, but this is a good way to change things up and show how serious he is about this quest. A good reminder of what he’s doing with Angle really selling the idea and his passion for wrestling. I was jazzed up to see Angle/Styles even more after this video and I was already very excited for that match next week.
MATCH #4 OF THE BEST OF FIVE SERIES FOR THE TNA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP – ULTIMATE X MATCH – THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS (C) vs. BEER MONEY, INC. (BEER MONEY LEADS 2-1): While I could have done without the pre-match in-ring promo stuff that added absolutely nothing and came off as somewhat awkward given the lack of promos in this feud to date, this was the best match of the series so far. Or maybe it was as good as the Ladder Match? I don’t know. It was pretty fucking good, okay? Ultimate X is the Guns’s match of choice and while I knew it would be good, after a Ladder Match and a Steel Cage Match, both of which use similar spots, I wasn’t sure if they could create a different enough dynamic and tell a unique story in this match. Both teams brought it, though, and built upon what came before to tell a story different enough from the previous matches. As always, I marveled at just how smoothly and effortlessly both teams work together, both against one another and with their partners. The story here built on Beer Money being the brutal brawlers, while the Guns are the quick acrobats, but added the extra element of Beer Money’s advantage of wins in the series running up against the Guns’s expertise at this sort of match. When it came time for Roode or Storm to go after the hanging X, you could just see the frustration on each man’s face as they knew they were screwed. Neither wanted to do it and they lost the match then. Of course, that was barely halfway through, almost putting Beer Money in an underdog position that made you want to root for them. Except not really, because screw those guys. The match had a lot of Chris Sabin being pulled off the wire by a member of Beer Money, which summed up the story well, I think. There were some crazy spots, one or two that made me shout “OH!” and cover my mouth while wincing at how much that probably hurt even with the tricks wrestlers use. The Guns, of course, won to force a fifth and final match next week. Goddamn, I’ve loved this series of matches.
ROB VAN DAM & TOMMY DREAMER vs. ABYSS (#1) & RAVEN: This was a solid if uninspired match. I’m trying to remember what happened, but I only have a vague sense of things, which is never a good sign. The match kicked off with a brawl on the ramp, eventually moving to the ring with Tommy Dreamer and Abyss, and it quickly fell into the heel beating on Dreamer until he eventually made the hot tag to Rob Van Dam until Dreamer hit a DDT on Raven to set-up the Five-Star Frog Splash by RVD. Like I said, solid and very forgettable. After the match, Abyss attacked the winners, causing various hardcore guys to come out of the back to beat down Abyss a little until Raven got into the mix. It ended when the lights went out and, when they came back on, there was the Sandman with a kendo stick to take out Raven and Abyss. End on the hardcore guys all happy. Nothing really wrong with any of this, but it was so by-the-book that it was mostly boring and obvious.
RAVEN WANTS TO BE CALLED “DADDY”: The show began with Tommy Dreamer calling out Raven over Raven attacking him last week. Dreamer wanted to know why and Raven came out, explaining that it all goes back to Beulah McGillicutty and how Raven is still bitter over ‘his girl’ marrying Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer’s kids should be his kids. So, he’s going to take it out on Dreamer at Hard Justice. (Yes, despite the PPV being renamed the week previous to this taping, every single one of the Hardcore Originals call it ‘Hard Justice.’ A small thing, but sloppy.) Raven said he wants to make it so Dreamer’s kids call him ‘daddy’ and, after Hard Justice, he’ll give Dreamer’s wife a little ‘hard justice’ and she’ll be calling him ‘daddy’ (and, come on, that ‘hard justice’ line would have been better if he said ‘hardcore justice’). Dreamer attacked Raven, Abyss came out to attack Dreamer, Rob Van Dam attacked Abyss, and Raven took out Rob Van Dam only for Mick Foley to come out with a chair, nail Raven, and announce that he’ll be the special guest referee for the Dreamer/Raven match at HardCORE Justice. I understand the need to get people somewhat interested in the Dreamer/Raven match by reigniting their feud, while also setting up the main event tag match, but this just left me cold. It seemed forced and contrived.
TNA KNOCKOUTS TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH – THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (C) vs. TAYLOR WILDE & HAMADA: Hey, look, everyone! Hamada is back! And she seems very happy to be Taylor Wilde’s tag team partner. This match was just very, very bad. It was jarring and fragmented with a constant stop/start feel to most of the moves that were done. The women would be moving at full speed and then stop and then do the move. I expected a lot better. Taz summed it up well when Lacey Von Erich attempted… something and Hamada dodged: “What the hell was that?” Wilde and Hamada won the belts (making both women two-time two-time tag team champions) after Madison Rayne and
Tara the motorcycle woman tried to help the Beautiful People out. Didn’t work. Oops. Later, Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky brawled until security pulled them apart and Lacey Von Erich was knocked out. Maybe we’ll get lucky and she’ll come back from the hospital as Alissa Flash or someone else with talent.
TNA TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH – AJ STYLES (C) vs. ROB TERRY (#10): Rob Terry’s contractually obligated rematch was pretty bad. I understand that Terry is enthusiastic, apparently a nice guy, and is a hulking freak show, but his ring work is just so limited that even AJ Styles can’t carry him to a good match. Prior to the match, Earl Hebner tried to send Kazarian to the back and Styles responded by trying to send Hebner to the back, which made me laugh. The match was built around rather boring power moves by Terry until Styles used a kick to the balls (a common feature on this episode of Impact, actually), hit the Pele, and did a 450 off the ropes for the win. Aside from those final 30 seconds, this match wasn’t worth watching and reminds us all that Big Rob’s in-ring improvements are slow bordering on not existing at all.
THE POPE (#9) vs. ORLANDO JORDAN: These two had some somewhat solid matches previously, but that was before Jordan’s gimmick changed. Now, the focus of the match was Jordan making the Pope feel icky with his man-lovin’ ways. Jordan began things by sucking on his index finger and then trying to touch the Pope. The Pope responded with pure rage. Any time Jordan did anything like that, the Pope’s response was so angry and over-the-top that it made me uncomfortable. The Pope yelling that he’s there to wrestle did redeem it a little since it reminded us that Jordan’s antics weren’t helping him in the ring and were just distractions rather than the Pope coming off as homophobic as he was before. The Pope won, but, after the match, Matt Morgan attacked him, prompting an appearance by Mr. Anderson to scare him off. The Pope and Anderson then had some heated back-and-forth in the ring. I would have rather just saw the Pope versus Anderson to tease next week’s three-way match than Jordan’s not-funny-at-all comedy act that shows that everyone’s fears about Jordan’s bisexual gimmick simply being a caricature were right on the money.
GET READY FOR THE BAND
WOLFPAC… ER, DOGPOUND? MAYBE?: Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan, and Miss Tessmacher came out to announce matches for next week’s Whole F*N Show PPV-esque “No Talk All Action” episode of Impact, but they were interrupted by Kevin Nash who finally got his chance to speak with the two. He demanded to know what was up and Hogan gave his usual speech about how it’s all about the young guys, it’s not like the old days, etc., etc., etc. It did make me wonder why, in story, Hogan would bother keeping Nash around if he basically says that no one wants to see him wrestle. Nash attacked them and Taz mentioned Hogan’s back surgery, which makes him doing this look ugly and flat-out stupid. Hogan put up a good fight, but couldn’t defend against a low blow. Just as Nash was going to deliver the final blow, Jeff Jarrett came out to attack Nash and, during that time, Sting returned with the red and black face paint, nailing Jarrett with the baseball bat. The Band shifts from its original incarnation into its Wolfpac phase? This is utterly Ridiculous for a few reasons: firstly, it wasn’t any good. Secondly, it showed everything Hogan said to be hollow and worthless. Hogan went on about how it’s about the young guys, their time had passed, and, then, they try to create tons of intrigue around an angle that we already saw over a decade ago with the same guys! Christ, does Hogan actually understand what he’s saying or does he just learn his lines and not even try to figure it out?
STREET FIGHT – RIC FLAIR vs. JAY LETHAL (#5): Like or dislike this match, it was pure Ridiculous. After it was over, I turned to my girlfriend and said, “I have no idea how to rate that match other than Ridiculous” (hence no star rating above). Ric Flair has somehow become a self-parody of his self-parody. I didn’t think such things were possible, but this match proved me wrong when he came down in his suit (that varied between $2500 and $7000 according to Taz) to wrestle in a Street Fight. Prior to the match, he delivered a standard Flair promo that was fun. I will admit that I was distracted by watching Christy Hemme when I noticed that she had no idea of what she was supposed to do while Flair was talking. Later in the show, I realized that she simply doesn’t know what to do when anyone is talking. She makes odd facial expressions and occasionally looks at the camera as if to ask “What should I be doing while this guy is talking?” Bizarrely compelling in a sad way. Which, come to think of it, could also describe a match where Jay Lethal strips Flair down to his underwear, one sock, and one shoe, whips him with a belt, busts him open in such an obvious way that I had to yell out “Blade time!” only for Douglas Williams to make sure Flair wins after standing ringside for most of the match. Part of me was entertained, but part of me just saw an old man who was once the greatest wrestling alive flopping around the ring because that’s all he can do anymore and I keep flashing back to Chris Jericho in the spring of 2009 and, man, he was right. He was so right.
Aside from the Beer Money/Motor City Machine Guns match, this was a pretty piss-poor episode of Impact. I guess with next week’s Whole F*N Show, they decided to load up on the short, bad matches, and bad promo work since next week’s show needs to have great wrestling with no promos. The worst episode of Impact in a long time.
SHOW RATING: 4.0
By: Steve Cook
Layla d. Tiffany (**)
Curt Hawkins & Vance Archer d. The Dude Busters (**¼)
Evan Bourne d. Zack Ryder (**½)
LAYLA vs. TIFFANY: Both of these Divas could benefit from more ring time to hone their games. Layla has improved a great deal over the past year or so, and I think Tiffany has the potential to be really good. Superstars is a good place for these girls to work in the ring and try stuff out.
EVAN BOURNE vs. ZACK RYDER: This was a pretty typical Superstars main event, featuring good talent that doesn’t get much time to shine on other shows. Bourne has been doing more things on Raw lately, but I’m struggling to remember the last time Zack Ryder had something significant going on. I guess you could count the tweet war with Ashton Kutcher if you really wanted to. I wouldn’t. Ryder is a pretty good talent with awesome theme music, and he had a good match here with one of the better in-ring guys in the company.
CURT HAWKINS & VANCE ARCHER vs. DUDE BUSTERS: I was pretty sure this was going to head right into the “Wrong” section when I saw that these guys were having a match, but credit to all four here for having a good match. The problem I had with it was the booking…Heel vs. Heel can work, but you need to have heels that people care about for it to work. They haven’t given us much reason to care about the Dude Busters, and Hawkins & Archer are still in the process of trying to prove themselves as a tag team threat. The fans kind of got behind the Busters a little bit, but it was just a weird dynamic to me. I did like Hawkins calling out the Hart Dynasty after the match, which might actually lead to a feud for the tag team champions. Assuming anybody can find them.
Nothing of note.
Decent show, but nothing that was especially memorable. Maybe Hawkins & Archer will end up doing something with the Hart Dynasty, and it’s always nice to see Bourne getting to do something, so Superstars continues its purpose of giving lesser-known people something to do.
SHOW RATING: 6.0
By: Jeremy Thomas
WWE SmackDown 07.30.10
Cody Rhodes def. Matt Hardy [** ¼]
Dolph Ziggler def. Kofi Kingston for the WWE Intercontinental Championship [** ¼]
The Straight Edge Society def. MVP, JTG and Chris Masters [*]
Rey Mysterio def. Drew McIntyre [** ¾]
DREW McINTYRE CALLS THE KETTLE BLACK: SmackDown began with the appearance of the villainous Rey Mysterio, the man who beat the Undertaker into a coma. Uh-huh. Right. The fans didn’t buy it either and gave him a good pop as he came out and got on the mic. He proceeded to talk about how badly he’d been messed up by that choke slam from Kane into the Gulf of Mexico and that he saw his life flash before his eyes for the first time. Rey then talked about how he came up and saw Kane, who stared at him then walked away. Rey said that he’d never been accused of something he didn’t do; I don’t exactly have a 100% memory recollection, but I doubt that’s true. Rey said that he didn’t have any sexual relations wi—err, didn’t have anything to do with attacking Taker and he then blamed Kane. There was some stuff about not wanting to die, being judged by God only and whatever, and sure he never got to actually SAYING Kane’s name, but he might as well have done it.
Of course, we didn’t get that chance because Drew came out and made his way down to the ring in a Dastardly black suit with a red shirt underneath. Drew said that there are names for people like Rey. Midgets? Apparently not; it was criminals. Drew accused Rey of pulling the wool over all our eyes…well, either that or pwuilling the wuwel over our eyes. Drew brought up several pieces of evidence pointing to Rey’s guilt, which mostly involved Rey not making the save for Punk and Swagger when Kane was after them. Drew then said he would have done it himself, without help unlike Rey. That basically turned into a match between them and bam, we have our main event. This was a decent opening promo by both men. Neither are in the top tier of WWE promo men, but they both did perfectly well and it set up the match nicely. They did do the Hollywood bullshit that I hate, but only a couple times in the beginning and I respect that, so it gets a pass and these guys get a mild Right for accomplishing what they needed to.
MATT HARDY vs. DASHING CODY RHODES: This was our first match of the night and was a good matchup between the perennial upper midcarder on SmackDown and the rising star on the show. The two of these guys made for good opponents and they wrestled a perfectly acceptable opening match. The crowd was kept into the match, though they weren’t hanging onto the edge of their seats or anything, and they wrestled a solid, efficient match that gave both men a chance to shine and continued doing a good job of getting Cody over. Of course, being a Matt fan I would like to see him be used for more than enhancing the talent, but there’s nothing wrong with him doing so because he loses no credibility with the crowd. The win, on the other hand, did Cody a fair amount of good and helped build him up.
DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. KOFI KINGSTON: Well, it’s about damned time. But let’s get to that in a moment. Vickie came out to announce her “handsome boyfriend,” the challenger. The champion was out next, and we had ourselves a match. They sold the emotion of this feud nicely in the opening moments with Kofi still being pissed after his tirade last week, and they settled into a well-paced give and take match. The crowd definitely responds to both men and they put forth a good effort here. Vickie got involved of course, and that could have been bad but I didn’t mind it for two reasons. First, she was simply correcting a mistake that she had caused—distracting Dolph which let Kofi hit the TIP, and second because Kofi made a mistake by letting himself be distracted. And honestly, this had to happen. Dolph was well past the point he needed to actually win a title and losing here would have been another nail in the coffin of his credibility. Dolph’s win wasn’t undercut too badly and Kofi got his heat back after the match. Sounds good to me.
STRAIGHT-EDGE SCHOOL: So apparently Punk, Luke and Joey are taking on the Big Show in a three on one match. Well, that’s kind of a bad idea. The problem is this; if they beat Show it does them no good because it’s three on one, and if Show beats them it buries them. Handicap matches are just fine for middle-of-feud matches, but as a Pay-Per-View match it just doesn’t work. But anyway, Punk got on the mic and talked about all that he’d accomplished such as sobriety and being the first and only three-time Straight Edge World Champion, two-time WrestleMania Money in the Bank and so on. He said he hadn’t been more proud than last week when they took out the Burbling Big Show. They showed us a recap and Punk said Show had two severed tendon in his hand because of it. Nice way to disable the Punch of Doom. Mercury went wacky with joy, then Luke and Serena said they were happy. That pissed Punk off and he told them they couldn’t be happy. He took them to school and said their happiness is weakness and basically was a drug. He then played drill instructor and said he decided when they were happy. Good promo as always and it was a solid way to sell the match since they weren’t bringing Show on, presumably to sell the injury.
REY REY vs. DREW McINTYRE: Man, they’ve been kicking up the quality in Drew’s opponents more and more, and I have to say it’s been working. They had a few mind games early on, and while I thought the “Ole!” thing was kind of goofy it did work and kept the crowd hot. The nice thing about putting Drew against Rey is that Drew can have legit periods in control and look very good against a main eventer, it doesn’t hurt Rey Rey at all and it does the Scot wonders. These guys had a great little TV match that may not rank among the best of the year by any stretch, but still worked very nicely in what it needed to do: put Drew over in a loss and give Rey a big win.
Afterward, Rey grabbed a mic, but he wasn’t able to get much out before fire blasted and Kane made his way down to the ring with a casket. He opened the thing and then walked into the ring, where Drew came from behind and nailed Rey before high-tailing it. Rey Rey tried to get away from Kane, almost slipped into the casket and then ran to the stage where he revealed that IT WAS KANE! IT WAS KANE, ALL ALONG! You know what, I’ll give them credit, they made Kane look like he legitimately didn’t believe it. So I guess that Kane is schizophrenic? Works for me. The show ended a bit abruptly, but otherwise I liked this.
Good show this week. Again, they’ve got a purpose and they’re moving toward it. The show stayed focused and had a decent flow, had several good matches and few things that really irritated me. I could hope for less. The title win for Dolph was nice to see since it’s been a long time coming and they seem to be doing a good job in building their mid-level heels. It wasn’t one of their best shows but it does earn a good recommendation.
SHOW RATING: 7. 5
Seven dwarves, as in, Morrison is much shorter than Khali. Come on Jeremy, don’t be such ignorant boob.
From cant C the 4est 4 the trees:
“Okay, I will admit that I tried to think of what the hell the Seven Dwarves had to do with anything, and I don’t get it. I’m willing to take suggestions, but that was just stupid.”
Dude…you’re over thinking this one in a MAJOR way. Khali has been portrayed as a big goof for quite some time. That the 7 seven dwarves had nothing to do with anything is exactly the point. It was a silly non-sequitor, nothing more, nothing less.
From The Awesome Pie:
Yes it does. Morrison was trying to hype Khali up by saying that the 7 of Team WWE could be like the Seven Samurai and Magnificent Seven. Khali was expressing his doubts about Team WWE by pointing out that this was a meaningless thing for Morrison to say because the number 7 could just as easily be associated with the rather less threatening seven dwarfs.
The segment sucked, but the whole point of Khali saying there was Seven Dwarves is to insult and downplay the greatness of the team as Morrison brought up super badass gunslingers (Magnificent Seven) and samurai warriors. It was a simple insult, nothing more or less so don’t read into so much.
and if i may add to that anothet, just as valid interpretation (although the one above is pretty good)
Khali is a giant. the only ones who can even get clost to standing nose to nose to him are not in the match.
and i don’t care who you are, if you are bigger than someone, you remind them of it. (as exampled by the constant use of ‘midget’ by a certain element of the comment posters in regards to Rey Mysterio.)
hence, it is a shot at how much smaller than Khali members of one team, the other or even both are in comparison.
I included all these as to point something out, which is that everyone had ideas as to what the whole thing “clearly” was. Obviously, they didn’t convey it with any level of clarity. Just making the point.
Also, regarding Jericho vs. Cena, I refute the idea that Jericho didn’t want to be on the team. For one, Jericho could have just quit if he didn’t want to be on the team. He made the challenge, not Cena. Second, when he lost after the quick tap-out he looked as if he was going to come back. He clearly wants to be on the team, he just can’t co-exist with Cena. And yes, I am aware that there’s a plan in mind here, but I want more subtlety and storytelling to my Jericho plot twists. We’ve seen better and I personally felt this was a bit too sudden. We’ll see where it goes from here, I just personally didn’t like the way it played out. If you did, then cool.
…and remember to stay grounded!