wrestling / TV Reports

411’s WWE Heat Report 04.20.08

April 20, 2008 | Posted by Scott Slimmer

Hey guys and gals, I’m Scott, and this is 411’s ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT WWE Heat Report.

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: Maria Kanellis & Ashley Massaro vs. Melina Perez & Jillian Hall

Background: Maria Kanellis teamed up with Ashley Massaro to take on Melina Perez and (at the time) WWE Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix in a BunnyMania Lumberjill Match at WrestleMania 24. Melina and Beth won that match, and Maria and Ashley have been looking to settle the score ever since. Beth was busy this past week on Raw defending (and ultimately losing) her WWE Women’s Championship against Mickie James, so Melina will be teaming with Jillian Hall in this WrestleMania pseudo-rematch.

Overview: It’s going to be Ashley and Melina to start, and Melina takes control early with a sliding double leg takedown. Ashley fires back with a forearm shot and a second rope diving elbow shot for a one count before tagging Maria into the match. Maria goes to work with knee shots and side kicks to the ribs before hitting Melina with a handstand back heel shot. Melina regains control, locks in a head scissors, tags Jillian into the match, and holds Maria as Jillian hits an elbow drop for a one count. Maria fights back with a modified arm drag and then hits the Bronco Buster in the corner for another one count. Maria makes the tag to Ashley and hits a monkey flip before Ashley heads into the ring and hits a clothesline. Jillian goes for a sidewalk slam, but Ashley counters into a head scissors takedown before finding a hurricanrana for a two count.

Jillian fights back and chokes Ashley against the mat before hitting a forearm shot and flinging Ashley down to the mat. Jillian makes the tag to Melina, and together they hit a swank sit-out face buster / modified bulldog combination for a two count. Melina drags Ashley back to her feet, flings her down to the mat, and gets another one count. Melina locks in a sleeper hold on Ashley, but Ashley fights back to her feet, lands a forearm shot to the face, and makes the hot tag to Maria. Maria connects with a back elbow shot and a modified bulldog for a two count. Maria goes for an inverted atomic drop, but Melina floats over into a sunset flip for a two count. Maria hits a gut buster for a two count and hits another running bulldog for a two count, but Jillian rushes into the ring to make the save. Ashley charges in a takes Jillian out of the ring, but Maria misses a second rope splash out of the corner. Melina drags Maria back to her feet, hits the Happy Ending (i.e. an inverted split-leg drop bulldog into a split-legged pin), and gets the three count.

Analysis: This certainly wasn’t the most technically sound match we’ve ever seen on Heat, but I have to applaud Melina and Jillian for busting their asses and doing all that they could to guide their less experienced opponents through the action. I’m also glad to see Melina (and, by association, Jillian) being booked strong here on Heat in anticipation of a future feud with WWE Women’s Champion Mickie James. Mickie will probably still have her hands full with Beth Phoenix for a bit, but after that I’d love to see her defend the title against Melina or Jillian.

Result: Melina Perez defeats Maria Kanellis with the Happy Ending.
Length: 5:43
Best Spot: Jillian and Melina’s swank sit-out face buster / modified bulldog combination
Rating: ¾*

Match 2: Super Crazy vs. DH Smith

Background: DH Smith may be at a turning point in his young career as both as both his persona and his ability to win matches seem to be changing from week to week. Two weeks ago on Heat, Smith defeated “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan in his first outing as a heel. However, last week on Heat Smith returned to his babyface ways only to lose to Paul Burchill. Will Smith turn heel once again in order to improve his chances of success, or will he fight the good fight as a babyface and hope for the best? On the other side of the ring, Super Crazy is stuck in quite a slump. In recent weeks he has lost to both Paul Burchill and Charlie Haas, so he’ll certainly be looking to change his luck and pick up a win over the up-and-coming DH Smith.

Overview: Smith takes control early with a volley of forearm shots to the face before sliding Crazy out of the ring. Smith follows Crazy out to the floor, stomps on his head, slams his head into the ring apron, and rolls him back into the ring before climbing back into the ring himself. Crazy fights back with a spinning back heel kick, but Smith heads for the ropes to force the referee to create some distance. Crazy locks in a standing side head lock, but Smith catches him with a running knee shot to the gut before posting him in the corner. Smith applies a hammer lock and then rams Crazy’s shoulder into the top turnbuckle. Smith lands a volley of mounted punches for a two count and then locks in an overhead key lock. Crazy fights back to his feet and breaks the hold, but Smith levels Crazy with a head butt and gets another two count. Smith lands a clothesline for two count and then catches Crazy with a power slam for another two count. Smith hits a sweet hammer lock slam and goes for an elbow drop, but Crazy just manages to slide out of the way. Crazy hit a basement drop kick to the knee and a second basement drop kick to the face before hitting a missile drop kick from the top rope and connecting with a standing moonsault for a two count. Smith retaliates with a swinging neck breaker and then finds the twisting belly-to-back suplex for the three count. I love that move.

Analysis: DH Smith once again looked strong here, and I continue to be impressed by how easily he can switch back and forth between babyface and heel. As I’ve said before, Smith clearly has an innate understanding of the fundamental psychology of wrestling, and that allows him to subtly adjust his in-ring performance in order to effectively portray either a fan favorite or a rule breaker. Normally I would criticize WWE for not being able to decide if Smith should be a face or a heel, but his ability to portray both convincingly means that WWE can actually take their time in deciding which role suits him best.

Result: DH Smith defeats Super Crazy with the twisting belly-to-back suplex.
Length: 4:36
Best Spot: Smith’s twisting belly-to-back suplex

Match 3: Cody Rhodes vs. Charlie Haas

Background: It’s been a while since we’ve seen Cody Rhodes on Heat, but in the meantime he has continued to team with Hardcore Holly, and together they still hold the World Tag Team Championships. Rhodes continues to try his hand at singles action from time to time, and in this match he’ll be looking to show that he can be successful when flying solo. Charlie Haas… is still bat shit crazy. Two weeks ago on Heat he lost to “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. Yeah, you read that right. However, one week ago on Heat, Haas rebounded with a win over fellow luchador Super Crazy. Haas needs a win in this match in order to start to rebuild some of the momentum that he has lost in recent months.

Overview: Haas takes control early with a modified monkey flip out of a collar-and-elbow tie-up before taking Rhodes down to the mat, locking in a front chancery, and rolling Rhodes around the ring. Rhodes finds a fireman’s carry takedown and locks in an arm bar before getting a two count off of a jackknife pin. Rhodes goes back to the arm bar and then drives his knee into Haas’ arm a couple of times, but Haas fights back with a forearm shot to the back of the head. Rhodes hits a sweet second-rope flying cross body for a two count, but Haas ducks a second cross-body causing Rhodes to fly out of the ring. Haas uses the break in the action to spend some quality time under the ring, and soon enough Lucha Haas enters the fray. Rhodes goes for a hip toss, but Lucha Haas counters into an arm drag. Lucha Haas hits a belly-to-belly suplex for a two count and then pounds away on Rhodes in the corner. Lucha Haas locks in a rear chin lock, hits a snap mare takedown, lands a stiff kick to the back, and gets another two count. Lucha Haas locks in a sleeper hold, but Rhodes fights back to his feet and breaks the hold. Rhodes strips off Lucha Haas’ mask and gets a crucifix pin for a two count before hitting a standing drop kick and a big back body drop. Rhodes slams Haas’ head into the top turnbuckle and gets a springboard bulldog (i.e., Trish Stratus’ Stratusfaction) for another two count. Rhodes and Haas exchange punches in the middle of the ring, but Rhodes catches Haas with a DDT out of nowhere for the three count.

Analysis: I have to admit that I was really impressed by Cody Rhodes in this match. I’ve always seen him as a talented, plucky young wrestler, but this was the first match where I saw subtle hints of his transition into a true star. He just seemed to carry himself with a bit more confidence and wrestle with a bit more tenacity that I recall in his previous outings. I’m also happy that Rhodes picked up the win. After all, he is one half of the World Tag Team Champions, and he doesn’t deserve to lose to a directionless wrestler such as Haas. However, that being said, Rhodes and Haas did have a certain amount of chemistry with each other, and I’d be more than happy to see them face off again in the future.

Result: Cody Rhodes defeats Charlie Haas with a DDT.
Length: 6:32
Best Spot: Rhodes sweet second-rope flying cross body

Match 4: Val Venis vs. Snitsky

Background: Val Venis is a former porn star. Snitsky is a foot fetishist with bad oral hygiene. What more do you really need to know? But just in case you’re a fact-and-figures kind of fan, here you go. Venis and Snitsky seem to be going in different directions. Venis has been on a losing streak, most recently falling victim to Paul Burchill two weeks ago on Heat. On the other side of the ring, Snitsky has been plowing through opponents, demolishing Super Crazy and jobber JT Flash in recent weeks. So there you go. But really, like I said, this match is all about porn stars and foot fetishists. Let’s just hope that a hot chick with nice feet isn’t sitting in the front row. Boy, that could get awkward…

Overview: Snitsky takes control early and shoves Venis to the corner, but Venis retaliates with a volley of kicks to Snitsky’s legs. Snitsky goes for a Big Boot, but Venis catches his leg. Venis tries to counter into a clothesline, but Snitsky catches him by the throat. Snitsky goes for a choke slam, but Venis breaks the hold with a double ax-handle. Venis comes off the second rope, but Snitsky catches him in mid-air and rams him into the corner. Snitsky levels Venis with a single punch, drops a trio of elbows, and locks in a cross-face. Snitsky drops another elbow and reapplies the cross-face, but Venis fights back to his feet and breaks the hold. Venis charges at Snitsky, but this time Snitsky does connect with the Big Boot. Snitsky drags Venis back to his feet, hits the pump-handle slam, and gets the three count.

Analysis: My first inclination was to criticize WWE for feeding a veteran like Venis to Snitsky, but then I realized that this might have been a really shrewd decision. Unlike many monster heels in the industry, Snitsky actually has been trying to improve his in-ring abilities and has slowly been making subtle additions to his repertoire in order to make his matches more entertaining. What this means is that Snitsky actually can benefit from working with talented veterans who can teach him a myriad of small ways to make his matches even more entertaining, and in that case you can’t ask for anyone better than Val Venis. Losing to Snitsky doesn’t really hurt Venis’ reputation or popularity, and working with Venis may help make Snitsky a more talented performer. Looks like win / win to me.

Result: Snitsky defeats Val Venis with the pump-handle slam.
Length: 3:38
Best Spot: Snitsky’s Big Boot
Rating: *

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.


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