wrestling / Columns

Revisiting Larry Csonka’s Reviews of the Worst Matches of the Year

May 18, 2023 | Posted by Steve Cook
Jeff Hardy TNA Victory Road 2011 Image Credit: TNA

Steve Cook: It’s been three years since 411mania.com & the rest of the Internet Wrestling Community mourned the passing of Larry Csonka. Larry left an impact on the world of wrestling that reverberates to this day through his writing, his podcasting & his power. It also lives on through his loving family, the writers he inspired and his loyal friends, the last two groups of which I am proud to include myself with. As far as I know, Larry & I were not relatives, which makes sense because most of my living relatives don’t seem to like me too much.

365 days ago, we looked back at Larry’s reviews of matches that Pro Wrestling Illustrated readers voted as the Match of the Year. It only feels right that we turn things 180 degrees and look back at Larry’s reviews of some not-so-great matches. Pro Wrestling Illustrated doesn’t have a Worst Match of the Year award since Bill Apter would have offed himself over such an idea, so we’re going to switch over to the Wrestling Observer Worst Match of the Year award. Say what you want about Uncle Dave & his readers, they can usually sniff out a rotten match. Here are Larry Csonka’s reviews of the Wrestling Observer Worst Match of the Year from 2004-2019.

September 12, 2004: WWE Unforgiven – Tyson Tomko vs. Steven Richards

SC: Steven Richards decided to come out in drag to save Victoria from the wrath of Tomko. This led to a match between Richards & Tomko that was a better argument against drag performers than anything I’ve heard over the past few months when some folks decided to make drag an issue to hide more important issues. Here’s Larry’s review.

Slap by the Drag Woman and Tomko drops her. Tomko kicks away and it is…STEVIE! OH MY GOD! Tomko strips down Stevie to his bra and panties. Tomko yells at Stevie and slaps him down. Crowd hates this. Tomko with more punches, and the crowd chants “You suck!” Choke by Tomko, then a kick to Stevie. Please end this. Tomko chokes Stevie again, but Stevie fights back. Press slam by Tomko and now a neck vice. More boring chants now, Stevie tries to fight back again but Tomko knocks him down. Right hands by Tomko and now Stevie is pissed. He asks for more right hands, and Tomko just clubs him down. He slaps Stevie and calls him a sissy. Testicular claw by Stevie! Stevie makes a comeback, and punches away at Tomko. Drop kick and more punches. Another drop kick and Stevie looks at his bra. Tomko grabs him, reverse TKO and that is all.

Winner: Tyson Tomko @ 6:25, but it seemed like 30:00

SC: “I’m not really sure what to say about that” was what Jerry Lawler had to say after the match ended. I’ve never agreed with the King more. It’s hard to say who was supposed to get over as a result of Steven Richards dressing up as a woman for several weeks to help Victoria win matches, then getting squashed by Tomko. Richards looked like a geek, beating him up did nothing for Tomko, and Victoria looked weak needing Richards to win her matches. Just bad all the way around, and not a good argument for drag. I assume drag has evolved in the past 20 years like most things have.

November 27, 2005: WWE Survivor Series – Eric Bischoff vs. Theodore Long

SC: Raw’s longtime General Manager vs. SmackDown’s longtime General Manager. Nobody expected this to be good, but it got even worse. Here’s Larry’s review.

They talk trash and play to the crowd. Long runs and dances. Long sidesteps him and dances more. CRANE BY LONG! HAHA! Bishoff grabs his Karate belt and chokes Long as the refs yell at Palmer. Choke by Bishoff and they chant BORING. I agree. Sleeper by Bishoff…Long is down…and Long takes his shoe off and nails Bishoff. Bishoff blocks another shot and chops him. THE BOOGEY MAN IS HERE! At least his music. He sends the refs up the ramp and he is in the ring! He chokes Bishoff…I’M COMIN TO GET YA! Meltdown by the Boogey Man. He slides out and Long covers for the win.

Winner: Teddy Long @ 5:25 via pin

SC: This was definitely one of those things that Vince McMahon thought was hilarious and nobody else did. At least Boogey Man’s worms stayed home for the evening. Sure, the match was bad, but I wasn’t especially outraged by it because I wasn’t expecting anything.

October 26, 2006: TNA Impact – Reverse Battle Royal

SC: Larry’s review of this silliness was a lot kinder than I expected, until I remembered that the official 411 Reports back in those days were supposed to be straight recaps without the writer interjecting too much of their opinion. Of course that varied from writer to writer, but Larry had his 3 Rs column where he could delve into opinion. Here’s his breakdown.

Russo-Nomics 101: THE FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT REVERSE BATTLE ROYAL, HYBRID-GAUNTLET STYLE RULES, SEEDINGS BATTLE ROYAL – So yeah, I almost put this into purgatory because there were some things about it that were good or fine. But overall, this was not a good idea so we will put it in the ridiculous and I will break things down and discuss them that way.

The Idea: This is an in the middle deal I feel. I applaud them for attempting to come up with new and fresh match ideas. They are so few and far in between these days, a fresh match idea that is, that anything new I usually appreciated. Unfortunately things were very convoluted, mainly due to the lay out and rules of the match.

The Rules: This one is a bad one. The rules are something that should be discussed. Anytime you have to use three screens to explain the rules of a match, it is a bad idea. Not only because of the short attention spans of the viewers, but for one other important reason. If you would turn this match on half way through and see all of this chaos happening, you would be totally confused and would most likely turn the channel.

The Execution of The Match: The “match” itself to me had three stages. The ridiculous, which was 18-goofs fighting to get into the ring. What the hell, are they going to have a “get your gear on first” match next? That part was brutal. The boring, which was the battle royal stuff. It wasn’t bad but also wasn’t good. The final part with Hoyt and Abyss I think I liked more than most. First of all Hoyt was the right guy to use there, because you didn’t want the others taking a pin. Also, Hoyt and Abyss did have a good PPV match a while back, and they do have some chemistry.

The Result: I think that the result worked out well. We have the following tournament set up:
-Ron Killings vs. Lance Hoyt
-Chris Sabin vs. AJ Styles
-Robert Roode w/Miss Brooks vs. Christopher Daniels

-The three winners of the above matches, which take place November 2nd will face off on November 9th in a triple threat match.
-The winner of that triple threat match will face Abyss on November 16th.

Abyss as the heel gets a bye to the finals, which is classic booking of a heel in a tournament. It makes whoever the face is that will be battling him weakened, having had to go through two matches before getting to Abyss, who will be fresh when the finals comes around. So I liked that.

What they could have done: They should have stuck to thier regular gauntlet style match. Use all 18 guys, start with two and go from there. You work the same style ending and the same reward. It is simple, there aren’t three pages of rules and if someone turns into the match halfway through it is easy to explain what the hell it is. The gauntlet match has become a staple for TNA, and there was just one on the PPV. There is no reason that they couldn’t have done that instead of this crazy ass match. I appreciate the effort, but it was just WAY too much wackiness.

SC: I have to say that the lengths Larry went to in order to show that any part of this was necessary and/or good was pretty impressive. My guy put a lot of thought into defending what he liked about it, which was needed because “Worst Match of the Year”.

April 15, 2007: TNA Lockdown – James Storm vs. Chris Harris (Six Sides of Steel Blindfold Match)

SC: The breakup of America’s Most Wanted after losing a match to LAX where the losing team must split led to James Storm cracking a beer bottle over Chris Harris’s eye. Harris couldn’t see, so it was only fair for their match on the next PPV to be a blindfold match. Even if there’s never been a good blindfold match in recorded history. Oh, and since it was Lockdown they were also in a steel cage. Here’s Larry’s review of this abomination.

They put the hoods on and here we go. And here we go with a small “Fire Russo” chant, it doesn’t catch on though. They do the feel out process and walk around. Storm grabs the ref, and almost hits him. They start to walk to the center, and walk by each other. They brush against each other, throw a punch and miss and they fall. Now we get a “We Want Wrestling” chant. Ouch. They find each other, Harris gets a take down and Storm escapes to the ropes. Harris now starts to play the crowd for help, good move. He grabs Storm and takes him down, lefts to Storm and Storm eventually rolls away. They find each other again, wild punches by Storm miss. Harris finds him and nails a big left, and the hood falls off of Storm. The ref gets it back on as we get the “boring” chant now. A slam by Storm, and then misses an elbow drop. They play search, find each other and Storm’s hood is tossed off. He refuses to put it on, but the ref finally gets it back on him. Storm grabs Harris, gets the 8-second ride and Harris kicks out at 2. Storm picks him up and they go the corner, tries it again but Harris with knees, Storm grabs him and Harris gets a cutter off the 2nd rope. He gets a cover for 2. Storm looks to climb up the cage, Harris uses he crowd, over and they both climb. Blind men fighting on the top rope. Storm’s hood falls off but Harris spears him off the top. Ref puts the hood back on, yeah, this is bad. Both men down as the ref counts. Harris’ hood falls off and he gets a full nelson slam for 2. Hood back on and we get “Goldberg” chants now. Harris grabs the ref, puts the sharpshooter on him Storm takes off his mask, flips the bird and superkicks the hell out of Harris, covers with the hood back on for the win.

Winner: James Storm @ 10:00 via pin (ASS)

SC: Harris & Storm would go on to have a Texas Death Match that was a lot better, but the damage was already done. I have a lot of love & respect for my fellow Northern Kentuckian Chris Harris, who deserved much more than he got from the business.

November 23, 2008: WWE Survivor Series – Edge vs. Triple H vs. Vladimir Kozlov

SC: Yes, this match was quite awful. I think it got the vote for WMOTY because of the angle taking Jeff Hardy out of the match, which played off of Hardy’s drug issues and offended some folks. Larry liked this, mostly because of the winner.His 4Rs review follows.

WWE TITLE MATCH and OTHER: And then we got the WWE Title match. I will talk about Hardy later, but we got Vladimir Kozlov challenging HHH for the WWE Title. I had been a fan of the booking of Kozlov, but like most wondered how he would do in the big match, hell, even a longer match. For the first, 12-13 minutes this was SHIT. It was bland, slow, and the crowd shit on it. I was getting what they wanted to do, but the fact that Kozlov cannot sell hurt things. HHH tried to overcompensate at times and it looked like shit. And what the hell was with HHH out wrestling the SAMBO champion? So the match is sucking, Vicky comes out and proclaims that “HE’S HERE!” But it wasn’t Hardy, it was the return of Edge and his awesome beard! He looks good for a man that was in hell for months. He cleans house, and then, then Hardy comes out. Hardy, with like a band aid on his neck comes out, looks fresh as a daisy and cleans house. Edge ended up with the win, which saved this from being an abortion. Unfortunately this comes down to more of the same with Edge and Vicky. People are claiming that this is so great, but I guarantee if it was TNA they would be shitting all over it. But I will say that taking the title off of HHH was the best thing to do. HHH’s run here has been boring and they needed a change. Kozlov wasn’t the answer, and we can argue all day long about pulling the trigger on Hardy but I don’t think they are ready to do it. Now if we get rid of Kozlov, we have a title scene built around HHH, Hardy, Taker, Big Show and Edge; and to me that’s pretty damn good.

SC: I think people would have been more forgiving if not for the Hardy silliness, and the fact they had to watch Kozlov wrestle Triple H for fifteen minutes.

July 19, 2009: TNA Victory Road – Jenna Morasca vs. Sharmell

SC: Sharmell had some wrestling training but was never great at it. Jenna was allegedly trained leading up to this match. We weren’t expecting much, and we didn’t get much. Larry reviewed it.

Jenna looks good, but I would be afraid to anger Kong. They pose and talks smack. Lock up, Sharmell with clubbing blows takes Jenna down. Off the ropes, and Sharmell slams her down. She lays the boots to Jenna, mounts her and slams her head to the mat repeatedly. Back elbow by Sharmell, and that gets 2. Sharmell lays the boots to her, and HUMBLES HER with a camel clutch! She gets bonus points for that. Sharmell’s dress is shedding. Jenna gets, well, a “cross body” for 2. Sharmell slams her down, stands on her hair and pulls her up as she stands on it. She breaks it, Jenna with a jawbreaker, and SOJO trips up Jenna. Kong chases SOJO, into the ring, the ref keeps Kong on the floor, SOJO and Sharmell double team Jenna, and that allows Sharmell to cover for 2. Boot by Jenna, one by Sharmell, Sharmell slaps her and Jenna with bitch slaps, gets made, mounts Sharmell, slaps again, they roll around, and then roll over referee Earl Hebner, and he then pulls Jenna off of Sharmell. Jenna pulls out some extensions and Sharmell is pissed. OH NO YOU DIDN’T! Sharmell runs into SOJO, and she flies off of the apron and hits the floor hard. Kong has the extensions, gives it to Sharmell, UPPERCUT to Sharmell! Jenns sits on Sharmell’s chest and wins.

Winner: Jenna @ 6:00 (WAY TOO LONG) via pin
Rating: BULL and SHIT! Seriously so bad.

SC: Pretty sure Earl Hebner is the only person that got any enjoyment out of this.

October 19, 2010: WWE NXT: Kaitlyn vs. Maxine

SC: Season 3 of NXT was an interesting time indeed. It introduced the world to AJ Lee & Naomi. Michael Cole was at his absolute dirt worst as an announcer. The wrestling featured a lot of people that had zero business wrestling on television. The entertainment value was off the charts, if you’re like me and are all about the trainwreck factor. However, it was far beneath Larry’s station at the time. Larry had more important responsibilities for 411, and WWE NXT Season 3 wasn’t really on his radar. This is the one Worst Match of the Year winner of Larry’s era that I can’t find any coverage of from our man.

Who was covering NXT for 411mania.com at this point? I’m glad you asked! I did some digging in the archives, and it turned out that the 10.19.10 edition of 411’s WWE NXT Report was typed by a young writer making his debut on the Wrestling page that evening. A man who would become one of Larry’s top pupils, and does as much as anyone to make sure the Csonka legacy lives on today. If we can’t have Larry’s review of Kaitlyn vs. Maxine as part of this retrospective, I can think of no better alternative than my friend & yours: Mr. Tony Acero.

Kaitlyn keeps the sweater on. We start with a lock up and Kaitlyn tosses Maxine. Another lockup and a take down by Kaitlyn. Also of note, both Vickie and Alicia are wearing live microphones. Kaitlyn tosses Maxine to the corner and goes for a clothesline but Maxine with a kick then a clothesline of her own. Maxine goes for a pin but only gets a 1 count. In the corner now and Maxine with a couple shoulders to the midsection then a hair toss. Maxine uses the hood to cover Kaitlyns face and…choke her, I think….Maxine goes for a pin as Cole gets a phone call and leaves the announce table to take it. Back in the ring, Maxine has Kaitlyn in a rear naked then tosses a knee in her back. We keep going back to Cole and his phone call for no reason other to continue to insult the show and the performers. Back in the ring, Kaitlyn reverses the tide with a side slam and a pin for 2. Kaitlyn with a clothesline then what looks like possibly a spinebuster but was botched and ends up looking like they just both fell near the ropes. Kaitlyn with an ugly small package for 2. Maxine turns it into a Sunset flip for the win.

Winner: Maxine
The match was horrible and was only made worse by Cole and his phone call. Maxine has the aggression down and Kaitlyn is cute but neither of them can put together a good match, or at least not with each other.

SC: I knew Tony was going to last a long time here when he got through this match without quitting. He’s good people.

March 13, 2011: TNA Victory Road: Sting vs. Jeff Hardy

SC: Jeff Hardy is still getting chances to prove himself from wrestling promoters twelve years later. I also noticed that this event opened with Bully Ray & Tommy Dreamer squawking at each other, so the more things change, yadda yadda yadda. Here’s Larry

Jeff teases throwing his shirt to the crowd, and Sting backs him off to a corner. Jeff goes to the ropes. He finally tosses the shirt down and they lock up. Counter, scorpion death drop and Sting wins.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Sting @ 1:00 via pin
RATING: NR (Bullshit?)

-Sting leaves the ring with the title, and as he leaves, celebrates the heroic and grueling performance.

-Yes, that appears to be the PPV main event.

-The crowd is chanting bullshit in the background of the replays of the show.

-If Sting is in such bad shape that he cannot work a PPV main event, why did they give him the title? Seriously, I am just asking. Feel free to be pissed off if you paid for this.

EDIT: Word is that Hardy was in no condition to perform. Take that for what you will. [Credit: Torch]

SC: In fairness to Larry…well, to be honest, nobody should have been surprised that a Hardy was not in condition to perform during this time period. Or any other time period, for that matter.

May 20, 2012: WWE Over The Limit: John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis

SC: I’m still shocked that WWE ran this as a PPV main event when PPV was still a thing. Here’s Larry’s review from the 4 Rs.

John Laurinaitis defeated John Cena: As promised…

SC: The official rating from Larry was SHIT, which is at least better than the “BULL and SHIT” that Jenna vs. Sharmell got.

November 24, 2013: WWE Survivor Series: Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, Natalya, Naomi, Eva Marie & JoJo vs. AJ Lee, Tamina, Kaitlyn, Alicia Fox, Aksana, Rosa Mendes & Summer Rae

SC: It was the Total Divas taking on the True Divas, most of who eventually ended up on Total Divas. I’m pretty sure this match stands as JoJo’s career highlight, but not anybody else’s. Here’s Larry’s review from the Tremendous Tirades.

This was pretty much what you would have expected from this match. Tons of quick eliminations, leading to AJ and Tamina left on the regular Divas team to face Natalya, Jo Jo and Nikki Bella. People are apparently watching Total Divas, because they hated Eva Marie. Tamina destroyed Jo Jo, allowing AJ to pin her, and leaving Natalya alone. She overcame the odds, with some help by Nikki taking out an already eliminated Tamina when she tried to attack, and won the match. I would imagine that gives Natalya a title match at the next PPV. It was very rushed, but wasn’t bad and looks to have set up a title match. EDIT: Cole noted later in the show that Nikki was never eliminated. Since she basically disappeared, and they announced Natalya s the winner, I assumed she was. My apologies.

SC: Sometimes I wonder why WWE’s A&E specials skip over the decade between Trish & Lita’s first retirement & the Horsewomen debuting on the main roster. Then I’m reminded.

May 4, 2014: WWE Extreme Rules Steel Cage Match: John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt

SC: I remember how people were mad when Bray Wyatt didn’t get the win over John Cena at WrestleMania XXX. Wyatt did get the win on the next PPV, and people were still mad! I could see why though. Larry explains why.

I have enjoyed a lot of the build to this match, but still have an issue with the cage match stipulation. Had Bray won at WrestleMania due to his goons getting involved, then the cage makes sense. Instead, it comes off as having a steel cage match to have a steel cage match. But I feel Cena tends to deliver well in big matches, and Bray has been good this year, so obviously there is hope. They did the opposite of the previous match, as they locked up and worked a side headlock to begin. Yes, this is a feud where Wyatt is playing mind games, and Cena was so upset that he wanted to grapple in the cage. Rowan and Harper repeatedly would try to stop Cena from climbing to the floor, adding to my hatred of the “escape the cage” rules. That led to Harper being pulled into the cage and Rowan using a chair to keep Cena in the cage. People question why fans tend not care about the regular cage match anymore, and it is due to the fact that they are often booked this way. The cage means nothing. This became a glorified handicap match with Harper in the ring, and Rowan on the floor constantly trying to keep Cena in. The lights went out after Cena took out all three members, and then we heard distorted singing and then little demon kid appeared doing the signing at the cage door to stop Cena. Wyatt hit Sister Abigail and then escaped. Well the good news is that Bray won the match. In a way, they symbolism of the child stopping Cena from winning should lead to something bigger, similar to the “WWE Universe” voting for Cena to face all three Wyatts. But then you see all of those “Make-a-Wish” videos and read reports of how much merchandise Cena sells and realize the odds of a heel turn are slim to none. A match like this, traditionally, would see blood. The face busted open, fighting back, busting open the heel and getting his vindication. In modern day WWE we’re not going to get that, which is fine if you work a good story and a very physical and hard hitting match that pulls you into the story. This match was all smoke and mirrors with overkill on the visual falls to cover the fact that Cena was losing. I was never pulled into the story, the cage match continues to be abused and instead of Bray getting a star making victory that can catapult him to the next level, he lucked out a win following the help of two goons and demon child. In theory the story sounds great, but I feel the execution has failed. Note to the wrestling world; stop scheduling cage matches until you know how to book them again.


SC: Bray’s first WMOTY award, and it wouldn’t be the last. Can’t believe Larry gave that mess a snowflake.

August 9, 2015: AAA TripleMania XXIII: Los Psycho Circus (Monster, Murder & Psycho Clown) vs. Los Villanos (Villano III, IV & V)

SC: Ah, AAA. They usually mean well and I enjoy watching their shows, but they are always prone to chaos. Especially on shows like TripleMania, which always involve the biggest luchadors with the biggest egos. Ego wasn’t the problem here, it was the fact that AAA wanted to give a proper send off to the first generation of Villanos when they weren’t really fit for in-ring action. Villano III was a true legend and deserved a great last match, but he wasn’t in shape for it and his opponents weren’t able to carry him through it. It ended up a mess, and Larry was there for it.

This is Villano III’s farewell match, and Tropicasas is one of the ref for this. Villano III suffered a stroke in recent years, and is reportedly in really rough shape. Villano V was already retired, and came back for this match. In more family relation news, Psycho Clown is the son of Super Porky. Villano III and V had lost their masks but wore them out. They did explain that they petitioned the commission to wear them tonight, with the promise that they remove them after the match. They attempted some slow motion lucha, and then decided to just have everyone in and do stuff. The Villanos took control, slowly working over one Circus member at a time. The Circus made a comeback, and I knew not to expect much from this, but this match was in slow motion as the Circus tried to be extra careful with Villano III. We eventually got some cookie sheet offense; a scary tower of doom spot and then Villano IV and V managed to hit suicide dives, barely. Psycho Clown had Villano III pinned after a top rope head butt, but opted to pull up and not pin him so that he could attack Villano IV. Villano IV then kicked Psycho Clown in the balls and picked up the pin. They tied to sell this as the possible end of the feud between the families, and they celebrated as Hijo del Villano III & Villano III Jr came out to join in. With all due respect to Los Villanos, because I appreciated the sentiment here, this sucked. Maybe if they had been able to work a plain brawl with the weapons and blood it could have saved this, but there was nothing redeemable as far as the match goes. Again, I appreciate the sentiment here and them wanting to pay tribute, but it was bad. How bad was it? This was easily the worst match I have seen all year, and I have watched a lot of wrestling. We all knew what were getting into with this match, but this was way worse than I thought it would be. It’s so bad that it is a match you may have to see for yourselves to believe the level of suck that occurred.

SC: Shout out to Tropicasas, father of Negro Casas, Felino & Heavy Metal that also retired from in-ring duty here. Poor guy was stuck being a fair & honest referee while all those rudo refs wanted to get their stuff in.

March 17, 2016: TNA One Night Only: Knockouts Knockdown 4: Shelley Martinez vs. Rebel

SC: This match was taped nearly a month prior to airing on PPV television, and Larry brought up the best point in his review…how in the world did this thing end up making television? The answer can only be because nobody associated with the production of the event gave a rat’s ass. From what I gather, this was a theme of the One Night Only series. Larry still reviewed it, and I’m pretty sure he was the only person reviewing most of those shows.

They spend nearly the entire first minute arguing, did a lockup spot and they then argued more. Shelley Martinez attempted to do what some would describe as arm work, she yelled a lot and called Rebel a bitch. Rebel then spent time hiding behind the ref, raked the eyes and that allowed her to get the heat. Rebel then did some horrendous “counter wrestling” as she tried for an abdominal stretch. They then fell to the mat, and had to edit shots because Martinez stated to fall out of the bottom of her bikini style outfit. Martinez they made a comeback, and then they completely blew a head scissors spot. My God this has fallen completely apart. Martinez then tried for a dive, which was to be a miss where she got caught in the ropes but she actually got caught in the ropes and Rebel sort of rolled her in for the pin. Martinez was covering her crotch post match because apparently she was letting it all hang out again. How this made PPV in the first place is amazing to me, was no one watching a monitor backstage when they taped this? This was a complete embarrassment on every level, is quality control too much to ask for?


SC: Larry showed some restraint here because he didn’t mention Shelly yelling “MY VAG”.

April 2, 2017: WWE WrestleMania 33: Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton

SC: I had made a glorious return to 411 after a brief absence to do some column writing, and I was all about Bray Wyatt getting a title run. Boy did they prove me wrong. Here’s Larry’s review.

Orton attacked at the bell, working ground and pound and then teased the RKO, but Bray bailed and they brawled on the floor. Back in and Bray takes control, and then we got spooky maggots projected onto the mat…

They both teased hitting their finish, as things slowed. Bray hit a corner charge, and we got more maggots. Wyatt hit the uranage and senton, which got 2. This shit killed the crowd. Orton cut off Bray with a dropkick, but then favored the knee. Bray then hit sister Abigail into the barricade, and then rolled him back in. They rolled back to the floor and Orton hit an RKO for the double down on the floor. Orton missed the PK, missed but then hit the draping DDT. Bray hits sister Abigail for a near fall. Bray does his wacky spider walk and we get more bugs projected into the ring. Orton then hits another RKO and wins. Randy Orton defeated Champion Bray Wyatt @ 10:35 via pin [DUD] The story here is that Orton survived and overcame Bray’s mind games; unfortunately that story sucked, they spammed finishes and there was no substance to the work. There’s a special place in hell for those that came up with that match.

SC: The man wasn’t wrong.

November 2, 2018: WWE Crown Jewel: Triple H & Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker & Kane

SC: Shawn Michaels came back to take some of that “Sweet Saudi Money”. Here’s Larry’s review.

Kane and HHH to begin. HHH finally attacks at a minute in and Kane tosses him to the buckles and follows with rights. The clothesline follows and HHH cuts off the tag and HBK tags in and hits a double sledge, Kane shoves him away, but HBK follows with chops and a neck breaker. Kane sits up and walks into chops but stops the sunset flip and then backs off as HBK teases a superkick. Taker tags in and HBK lays in chops, but runs into a big boot. Taker looks to set up old school, but HHH makes the save and gets dumped. Taker tosses HBK around and dumps him. DX charges back in, they all brawl, and they clear the ring. The brawl goes to the floor, with Kane & Taker controlling. Taker rolls HBK back in and hits old school. HBK counters the second try and tags in HHH. He lays in chops, but Taker fires back with a clothesline. Kane tags in and works over HHH with rights. The slam connects but the elbow drop misses. They trade rights and chops, and HHH hits a DDT. HBK tags in and lays in chops, hits the forearm and kips up. He works over Kane and Taker with rights, and HHH joins him to suplex Kane. HBK heads up top and the elbow drop connects. HBK tunes up the band and Kane blocks the superkick and hits a chokeslam. Taker tags in and he works over HBK with rights, head butts, and hits snake eyes and the big boot. The leg drop follows for 2. HBK hits a desperation superkick and both men are down. Taker sits up and dumps HBK. He follows and dismantles an announce table. They work on top of the table; HHH makes the save, and whips Kane into the steps. Kane then chokeslams HHH through an announce table. Taker now hits an apron leg drop on HBK and rolls him back in. Taker covers for 2 as HHH is still down on the floor. Kane tags in and works over HBK, covering for 2. Taker back in and the beatings will continue until morale improves. The suplex follows for 2. Taker follows with knee strikes and grounds things. Kane in and this has slowed to a crawl. HBK tries to fire back, but walks into a side slam for 2. Kane heads up top and HBK crotches him. Taker pulls him to the floor but HBK posts him. Back in and Kane cuts him off, sets HBK up top and they battle on the ropes and HBK knocks Kane to the mat and his mask falls off. Whoops. HBK up top and nearly lands on his head moonsaulting onto Taker & Kane on the floor, great catch assholes. HBK rolls back in and HHH is awake now. Tag to HHH and he works over Kane with rights, the knee buster, and a knee lift. Taker in and runs into a spinebuster. Taker fights off the pedigree, but HHH hits a pedigree after a chokeslam counter. HHH’s left arm is hurt as it’s just hanging at his side. Taker locks on hell’s gate, HBK superkicks Kane onto them to break it up. Everyone is down. The brothers sit up and look for tombstones, but DX counters and a superkick for Taker, superkick for Kane, pedigree on Kane and it’s over. DX defeated The Brothers of Destruction @ 27:50 via pin [*½] The main issue with this match is like Super Show-Down, it simply went way too long, which led to dead spots, and Kane and Taker looking like they could pass out at any time, and HHH possibly being legit hurt. The good news is that Shawn still showed signs of his greatness, and while obviously not the performer he was, was easily the best part of the match. Unfortunately, for as good as he is, he still couldn’t save the overall match, which while not as bad as Taker vs. HHH at Super Show-Down, it still wasn’t good.

SC: Sometimes I think about watching this just to see if it was as bad as the botch clips made it look. Then I look at that run time and realize that life is short.

October 6, 2019: WWE Hell in a Cell: Seth Rollins vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt

SC: Hey, it’s Bray again! Seth Rollins was already on pretty thin ice as a babyface champion before the Fiend got involved, then the Fiend made sure he was pretty well done. Here’s Larry’s review.

They keep the red lights on as the Fiend attacks, but Seth fires back and gets mowed down. Seth powders, grabs a kendo stick and attacks. The Fiend no sells him and works him over with strikes. The uranage follows and they work to the floor as the Fiend continues to maintain control. He whips Seth to the cell, chops him in the throat and crushes him against the cell. He then whips Seth to the steps, and again. Seth hits him with the steps, taking him down. Seth pulls out a table, slides it in and then hits suicide dives. He slams the Fiend to the steps, sets up the table, and the dive is countered into sister Abigail into the cell. Back in and Seth fights back, hits an enziguri and superkick. Fiend is on the table and the high fly flow follows. The Fiend pops up, Seth hits blackout, but the Fiend pops up and hits sister Abigail for 2. He “snaps” Seth’s neck and dumps him to the floor. The Fiend grabs a Gallagher like sledgehammer, but Seth hits superkicks and blackout onto the sledgehammer. Back in and the springboard knee follows, hits another but the Fiend is still up. Superkick and the blackout follows three times to boos. The Fiend is up and Seth hits a pedigree and another blackout for 1. Seth hits another superkick and like five more blackouts to boos. Seth gets a chair, nails a chair shot and covers for 1. Seth gets a ladder, lays it on his face and hits him with the ladder, covering for 2. Seth now gets kendos, and a toolbox as the Fiend takes a nap. He uses the toolbox to hit the ladder on the Fiend’s face several times to boos. Seth gets a Triple H approved sledgehammer, the ref stops him, so Seth hits the pile of carnage on the face of the Fiend anyway. And gets FUCKING DISQUALIFIED. The Fiend defeated Champion Seth Rollins @ 17:20 via DQ [DUD] What a clusterfuck of Russo led WCW proportions, complete with the crowd turning on this something fierce.

SC: The main thing I remember from this match is Seth Rollins cowering in the corner from The Fiend, which is the last thing you want from a top babyface. Rollins didn’t recover from that until people wanted to sing along with his entrance music.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for sticking with 411mania.com to this point. We probably don’t say this enough, but we love you all for hanging on all these years regardless of who comes through these doors. We’ve had the best & the brightest come & go. IWC legends, WWE writers, Internet tastemakers, they’ve all passed through. As for me, this place seems like the Hotel California. I could check out anytime I like, but I’ll never leave.

It’s been a rough stretch these past couple of years, as the Internet wrestling writing scene has lost folks like Chris Hyatte & Dean Rasmussen to the other side. Their memory will live on through their works, as will Larry Csonka’s.

Thank you, Larry.

article topics :

TNA, WWE, Steve Cook