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Ring Crew Reviews: VHS Tape Digging Volume 2

January 21, 2013 | Posted by Jack Bramma
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Ring Crew Reviews: VHS Tape Digging Volume 2  

• I went down with a broken wrist some weeks ago and that affected my output. I’m still putting the finishing touches on a (hopefully) three part review of my favorite/best matches of 2012 and some other stuff I had in my queue before taking a break. But to get the year started off, here’s another installment of Tape Digging.

Toughman Contest: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Mankind. RAW 11/18/96. Foley mentions this match glowingly in his first bio, Have a Nice Day. This is the night after the CLASSIC between Bret and Austin at SS 96. Foley himself is on a bit of a hot streak after the Mind Games match against HBK and the Buried Alive match against UT. Also of note, this is the first ever match between Austin and Foley. The two got together before the match and were a bit peeved about making less than Marc Mero, a solid performer, but on the downside of his career at this point so they decided to put on a clinic.

• Mankind comes bowling out from the back and jumps Austin from behind in the aisleway. It erupts into a brawl on the floor but Mankind gouges the eye to take over. He pummels Austin back to the set up and now they just devolve into clawing and scratching on the floor. Awesome intensity here. Foley shoves a ref out of the way and mounts Austin with the GnP. Austin comes barnstormin’ back with a STEVE-A-MANIA HAMMER! Foley sends Austin into the stairs to get an advantage as refs, Paul Bearer, and The Stooges try to restore order. Foley sends him into the stairs again and goes for the testicular charge but Austin avoids. Back in, Austin stomps a mudhole in the corner as the bell finally ring. Foley tries bailing out so Austin boots him to the floor and hits another STUNNIN’ HAMMER! Austin breaks the count but Foley AGAIN throws him into the stairs. Foley slides in and drags Austin with him. Foley goes to the BLATANTCHOKERY. Austin no sells to hits a running clothesline and he’s all FUCK THIS and goes back to the GnP. Austin with a haymaker and Foley stumbles out of the ring selling it. Now FOLEY is all FUCK THIS and grabs a chair because he wants Austin’s head. Austin scrambles out to boot him in the breadbasket. Hebner pulls the chair away and that allows Foley to attack Austin from behind. Austin counters a whip and Foley goes flying INTO THE GUARDRAIL! Intense stuff and we’re only a few minutes in. Back in, Foley ducks a shot and goes to the MANDIBLE CLAW! LOW BLOW FROM AUSTIN! We take a break and we’re back to Foley putting Austin up top. Austin tries a double ax handle but Foley goes back to the solar plexus and chokes away some more. Foley ducks out to the apron for the apron leg drop and then he drops Austin throat-first on the apron. JR: “This is very out of control. Very little action in the ring.”

• Austin recovers and strangles Foley THROUGH the ropes and just hits him with a flurry of rights and lefts. Austin preps a suplex on the floor but Foley counters and brings him in with one. Foley hits a swinging neckbreaker as Paul Bearer cheers him on. Foley with a leg drop and shoves Austin’s face into the mat. Austin goes for a Sleeper but Foley drives him back into the corner. Austin gets the boot up in the corner for a counter but runs out into a Lefty LARIATO counter from Foley. Slick stuff. Foley goes for the piledriver but Austin dumps him on the apron so Foley counters again with the STUN GUN! GIMMICK INFRINGEMENT! Foley heads up top but Austin cuts him off with more fisticuffs and dumps him to the floor. Austin is PISSED and stomps a mudhole and then goes to the BLATANTCHOKE! Foley bails out to regroup again and cuts off Austin and sends him into the stairs. Foley now gouges the eye again but Austin takes over and drops him on the guardrail. Insane pace they’re keeping as we’re 10 minutes in and they haven’t let up. Back in, Austin hits the second rope elbow drop for 2. Austin with shoulder surges in the corner and Foley gets tied up in the ropes. Austin hits more haymakers and Foley tumbles to the floor. BUT WAIT! THE EXECUTIONER HAS COME OUT! He attacks Austin from behind and the bell rings for the DQ at 11:41. That’s some Sullivan-Benoit GAB 96-level brawling and intensity there. It’s all kept within the confines of the ring and ringside but damn is it just about two guys going crazy on each other with chokes, punches, boots, and stairshots. ****

Raven vs. Chris Benoit. Nitro 03/16/98. This is the night after Uncensored where DDP won the US belt in a triple threat. Also, this is one of the Spring Break outdoor shows. Raven gets the stick to start and blames Benoit for his loss. He says Benoit is a “brave and valient warrior” but it’s time for Raven for fulfill his destiny and end the feud. Any combination of Raven, DDP, and Benoit was terrific anywhere from 97-99 at least in WCW so I’m hoping for good things here. Benoit stomps a mudhole to start in the corner. Benoit hooks for a suplex but Raven blocks. Benoit releases only to sucker Raven into another German suplex and Raven bails out to regroup. Benoit takes him down with a baseball slide and poses for the crowd a bit. Benoit chops Raven and Raven tries to take a walk so Benoit kicks him across the rampway to the fans. Back in, Benoit paintbrushes him and talks trash. Benoit goes back to more token stomping before hitting a back elbow for 1, 2, only 2. Raven takes over with a BLATANTTHUMBTOTHEEYE. Benoit no sells to get the boot up in the corner and Raven sells that huge. We take a break and routine to Benoit working over Raven near the set. Raven tries a whip but Benoit counters and Raven eats it to the set. Back in, Benoit hits a few knees and another clothesline. Benoit stalks around some more before hitting a Northern Lights suplex for another 2 count.

• Did WWE book this? Raven’s looking like a complete chump and getting nothing as Benoit tears off his shirt and throws it into the crowd. Benoit lays into him with a few chops and Raven goes down in a heap. Larry Z tries interpreting Raven’s tattoos but Tony won’t bite: “I’m not into reading another man’s tattoos.” Benoit hits a back suplex and now smacks around Raven like a jobber. Benoit: “YOU WANT A PIECE OF THE CRIPPLER, HUH?!” SMACK! Benoit with a backdrop and covers for another 2 count. Benoit rolls Raven into the 3 snappin’ amigos and calls for the diving headbutt. Benoit heads up top and flies but Raven moves and Benoit eats pine. Raven bails out and brings in a chair. He sets it up for the bulldog into the chair. YEAH! Raven wants the deadly drop toe hold into the chair but Benoit blocks for the ARMBAR TAKEDOWN INTO THE CHAIR! But Benoit collides with the chair himself and is too out of it to take advantage. EVENFLOW ON THE CHAIR! 1, 2, 3 for Raven at 8:42. Raven seriously hit three moves the whole match: a thumb to the eye, a bulldog on a chair and a DDT on a chair. He got his ass kicked the entire match, but pulled out the victory with a little Raven’s Rules retribution. Benoit squashed him the entire time but misses one move and 10 seconds later he’s done. Despite that promo, this still feels like a chapter in a story though and not the conclusion (DDP and Raven would have a few more PPV matches, don’t know about Raven-Benoit). **1/2

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Hollywood Hogan vs. Macho Man Randy Savage (c). Nitro 07/12/99. Macho won the belt in a strange tag match where the belt was on the line between him and Sid taking on Nash and Sting. The next night after Bash at the Beach, Macho said he challenged ANYONE except Nash because he’s a loser at life. Of course, open challenges for the Machster are a bad idea considering Hogan has sandbagged pretty much every one of his world title reigns. Sure enough, Hogan comes out of the woodwork after taking a few months off to do nothing and politiks his way into another shot. For those unaware, Macho in 99 had the Flair entrance of a train of women including Medusa, Gorgeous George, and Ms. Madness aka Mona aka Molly Holly. Funny story, Savage was legit with Gorgeous George off the air but their relationship hit the skids when Macho wanted a threesome with her and her sister.

• Mach goes to the eyes early and works some rights to the breadbasket. Mach hits yet more rights as Bischoff wonders about Hogan’s ring rust. Hogan blocks a turnbuckle shot and hits a few rights on Mach and Mach bails out. Medusa and Ms. Madness corner Hogan, so not wanting another sex tape debacle, Hogan instead vies for the double coconut of domestic violence. Medusa and Ms. Madness now start “brawling” with each other as security takes them to the back. Bischoff: “HAHA! THIS IS GREAT! I LOVE THIS!” Macho is a bit frazzled at the developments of his ladies, so he works the count. Back in, Hogan now gouges the eye and rakes the back. Hogan: “WHAT’S UP, MACHO MAN!? NOT SO TOUGH NOW!” Hogan mounts in the corner for the 10 punches and bites him to now rip off Piper. Macho no sells a kick so Hogan hits the shitty Hogan-line and takes down Savage. Hogan goes to the BLATANTCHOKE. Macho with a kick to come back but Hogan avoids an elbow drop and skips ahead to the Hulk Up. Macho, thank God, tries to bail out and save himself and the company from an iceberg but Hogan sends him meekly into the stairs. Hogan cuts off Macho and waffles him with the chair a few times. What’s that, DQ you say? This is WCW where every match operates under Hogan’s rules. Hogan now throws Mach into the announce table as Bischoff actively stinks out the joint on commentary. Tony: “THIS IS A GREAT NITRO MOMENT!” Hogan takes off the weightbelt and goes for another waffle but instead GG valiently takes one for Team Macho by shoving herself into Hogan. Macho now takes over and waffles Hogan with the chair and talks trash to Bischoff. Back in, Macho whips Hogan a few times with the weightbelt. Tony: “The tables have turned now on Hogan. LITERALLY!” Mach chokes him with the belt as a few fans chant for Hogan. I will say this, Macho is LAYING into Hogan with the belt. Macho continues waffling Hogan in excess of 15 times now as Hogan tries to sell. Hogan tries to fire up so Macho goes low and whips him some more. Macho covers for 1, 2, only 2. Mach says it’s over and calls for the big elbow. Mach heads up top but Hogan rolls out of the way and Hulks up. Rights and THE FOOT TO THE FACE! BUT WAIT! SID VICIOUS HAS COME OUT! He waffles Hogan as GG slips a chain to Macho. Now, Bischoff brings up an imaginary no-DQ stipulation. BUT WAIT! STING HAS COME TO THE AID OF HOLLYWOOD HOGAN! Sting throws Sid out to the floor and it’s a donnybrook. Macho waffles Hogan with the chain and now Bischoff says the ref didn’t see it and that’s why it’s not a DQ. Macho covers for 1, 2, 222222222222! KEVIN NASH IS IN THE BUILDING! He pulls out the ref and Jackknifes Macho. Hogan drapes the arm for 1, 2, 3 to win the belt again at 14:17.

• If you can get past the usual Hogan face/heel/tweener/no rules stuff that covers pretty much the entire 90s, this is a pretty damn entertaining match given the limited mobility of both, advancing ages, and lack of general overness of the company at the time. The opening stretch is vanilla as hell but once Macho starts whipping the hell out of Hogan and Hogan Hulks up and the run-ins kick in, it gels in a WCW main event way. Hogan would return to his red and yellow roots within a few weeks. **1/2

WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Sting vs. Hulk Hogan (c). Nitro 08/23/99. As promised, Hogan donned the garnet and gold for his second to last (third to last?) babyface run. Sting is back to regular crow face at this point. Heenan shows his true colors by picking Sting because he doesn’t like Hogan even as a face. Awesome. Lockup goes nowhere so Mickey J pulls them apart. Now it degrades into a shoving match and neither sells an inch. They go through some hammerlock reversals until Sting gets the ropes. Sting now grabs an arm and works some kinda wristlock but Hogan sends him off and they both no sell shoulderblocks. BACKTOTHELOCKUP! SCHOOL BOY FOR HOGAN! Sting kicks out at nothing. Test of strength spot that Sting loses so he small packages Hogan for 1. More touch ‘n go feeling out that goes nowhere so Hogan knees Sting in the corner and hits a running clothesline to crickets. Crowd is anemic for this chain stuff as Hogan goes through Sting with another Hogan-line. Back suplex gets 2. Sting comes back with a clothesline of his own TO A POP since the crowd is through with Hogan. Sting mounts in the corner for the 10 and now he rakes Hogan’s back. Why is Sting ripping off Hogan? Sting pulls him to the middle for a bodyslam and he goes for an elbow drop but Hogan no sells and Hulks up. Hogan shitcans him out for some token ringside, heel violence.

• Sting takes over and sends Hogan into the announce table. Hogan eats a few elbow drops before slamming Sting on the table and hitting some rights. Tony: “WHATTAFIGHT!” Back in, Hogan with an elbow drop to more crickets for 2. Sting fights back with a VaderBomb for 1, 2, only 2. Sting goes to the chinlock to slow things down. Tony encourages us to listen to the fans chant Hogan and Hulkamania but we might as well be listening for a Voodoo Kin Mafia chant because the crowd is dead for Hogan. They stay on the chinlock for the while as Hogan catches a breather in this “snuggily” resthold as labeled by Tony. Hogan Hulks up and facesmashes Sting into the mat. Hogan hits the BIG BOOT OF FEAR and goes for the Apocalyptic Leg Drop but STING MOVES! STINGER SPLASH! HE GOES FOR ANOTHER BUT HOGAN AVOIDS! Hogan Hulks up again for a haymaker. BUT WAIT! SID VICIOUS AND RICK STEINER HAVE COME OUT! No contest at 11:33. As paint by the numbers as this is, I’m tempted to say it’s better than either of their title matches from 97/98. The crowd was coming alive for the dueling banjos at the end. There’s even a smidge of both guys using staples of the other guy’s comeback routine but that’s probably just a coincidence. Sting and Hogan would basically have the same match a few weeks later at Fall Brawl where Sting would go over and turn heel. **3/4

Rock, Mankind & The Acolytes vs. Triple, X-Pac & The New Age Outlaws. RAW 01/10/2000. So the McMahon-Helmsley Era got underway by forcing Foley into a pink slip on a pole match with Rock. Foley lost so he got the boot and then Trips won the world title from Big Show. The next week Rock organized a walkout of the entire locker room to get Foley reinstated, hence this tag match. This, by the way, is when the WWE was on FIYAH. I mean, it was just clicking on all cylinders all across the card. Pre-match, Trips tries to get a group hug for DX but they are less than thrilled at tagging together tonight. In fact, they were so not together that Billy took on Road Dogg earlier in the night and X-Pac took on Triple H, both in singles matches before this match. Nice storyline hat tip as for once it’s the heels not cooperating and the faces that are united.

• Billy Gunn and Rock to start. JR: “Mr. Ass STILL not getting along with the Road Dogg. Let’s not forget they are tag team partners and tag team champions.” Billy starts talking trash and awesomely mocks the People’s Eyebrow so Rock knocks him senseless and stomps a mudhole. Rock goes for a clothesline but Billy ducks behind with a neckbreaker. Billy punches Rock around and chokes him as the crowd chants for Rocky. Rock misses a few clotheslines so he comes back with a Samoan drop. Road Dogg in to eat a spinebuster. ROCK BOTTOM ON BILLY! Cover gets 1, 2, X-pac breaks it up. Rock dumps him out and then DX regroups sans Billy. Bradshaw in and Billy tags in Road Dogg. RD hits a burrito but runs into a BOOT OF FEAR from Bradshaw. RD has had enough of carrying Bradshaw’s bags so he tags in X-Pac who promptly gets beat up as well. X-Pac comes back with his assortment of kicks. He goes for a crossbody but Bradshaw counters to the snap ab suplex. Farooq in with a headbutt for 1, 2, only 2. X-Pac hits the spinkick but Farooq no sells to hit a backbreaker for 2. Rock back in with a few turnbuckle smashes. Farooq now in to mock DX: “HUH?! HOW BOUT IT?!” Then tells X-Pac awkwardly to suck it a few times. X-Pac no sells fellatio and hits a DDT. Hot tag to Foley and the Hs meet him in the middle. Foley is cranking with rights in the corner and a testicular charge. H Flop follows but Foley telegraphs a backdrop and H counters with a jawbreaker. H goes for the tag but WAIT! WHAT THE HELL?! DX IS NOT TAGGING THEIR LEADER! Trips is left to fend for himself against Foley’s wrath. JR: “That’s breaking my heart!”

• H throws a tantrum as DX takes a walk. Now, Rock and the Acolytes for no reason really just start brawling with DX just because. It’s just Foley v. Trips right now. Foley hits the Double Arm DDT and pulls out Socko. BUT WAIT! STEPHANIE GRABS FOLEY’S FOOT! He pulls her up to the apron but H waffles him from behind to boos. The crowd is chanting for Foley as H checks on Stephanie. H sends Foley into the stairs and the announce table. Trips gets the ring bell and just DESTROYS Foley with it. Knowing Foley, he probably took it straight on too. Trips fires up for the PEDIGREE THROUGH THE TABLE! JR: “TRIPLE H JUST PEDIGREED MICK FOLEY THROUGH OUR TABLE TO THE CONCRETE! FOR GOD’S SAKE, STOP IT!” Rather than “sell” the spot, H breaks in Foley for a few emphatic crotch chops and the Pedigree again. 1, 2, 3 gets the victory for Trips at 10:28. JR: “AHHH DAMMIT! THAT NO GOOD SON OF A…. WWF CHAMPION!” H now takes out the ref and starts pummeling Foley as Mankind has bladed. Foley tries fighting back and tears off his own mask. JR: “NOTHING’S GONNA STOP MANKIND” Foley dumps out H and blasts him with the stairs and the awning on the announce table. JR: “NOBODY CAN GET AS PHYSICAL AS DIRTY AS MICK FOLEY!” Foley now hiptosses Triple H into the awning and H takes it awesomely. H tries a table shot to comeback but Foley no sells and Cactus clotheslines him to the floor. We fade to black as JR continues putting over the ending brawl and segment like only he can.

• Yeah, the Foley transformation on Smackdown before the RR and Triple H’s reaction rightly gets a lot of credit for the great build to that RR street fight. But this match was a necessary precursor to Foley turning into Cactus Jack. He first had to throw it all out there as Mankind and lose in the process of becoming a bloody mess that would lead him to become Cactus Jack. Plus, it’s a fun match with interesting storylines and a great brawl at the end. ***1/2

Randy Orton vs. John Cena. RAW 02/18/08. Triple H is special guest referee and already in the main event of Wrestlemania against WWE champ Randy Orton. If Cena wins tonight, the match at Mania becomes a triple threat. H out first, Orton as champ out second, and Cena out third. Cena sends Orton across but he comes up and over and takes down Cena with a haymaker. Orton hits several hundred more right hands as Lawler wonders if the Game will allow closed fists. Cena tries to come back but runs into a Bluechipper dropkick. JR: “A move of beauty.” Orton poses to a Cena reaction. Orton follows up by dumping Cena out to the announce table. We take a break and return to Orton pounding down Cena. Cena gets the boot up in the corner and slams him down for 1, 2, only 2. JR: “The Game officiating the game very efficiently.” Orton avoids a backdrop and bails out to regroup. He tries getting the belt to take a walk, so Cena sends him into the announce table. Back in, Orton cuts him off at the pass with the apron DDT. Orton covers for 1, 2, 2 ½. Orton dumps the right hands to show some versatility with CLUBBINGBLOWS. Orton with a powerslam for 1, 2, 2 ½. Orton stomps around like he’s Boris Malenko. Orton continues slowing things down and drops a knee for 2. ORTONLOCK! Cena back suplexes out to a mixed reaction. Cena with a charge but runs into the turnbuckle as JR laments his surgically-repaired pectoralis major. JR: “THE TURNBUCKLE DOESN’T CARE!” Orton and Cena hug each other as they can’t figure out whether they want to do a suplex, sell, or go from pillar to post. Cena comes back with a few rights to boos and goes to the shoulderblocks. ProtoBomb and 5KS sets up the FU but Orton blocks and Stun Guns Cena. Orton with a head of steam but Cena lowers the bridge and dumps him out. Orton no sells and throws Cena into the ring stairs. Back in, Orton wants the RKO but Cena drops him into the STF. Orton struggles but makes the ropes as Cena works the 5 count. Cena now stares down Trips like a dick. Trips is all I MARRIED THE NEXT-IN-LINE, SUCK IT! Cena comes to, avoids Orton and FUs him. 1, 2, 3 gets Cena in the Mania main event at 11:20. BUT WAIT! WAIT A MINUTE! TRIPLE H PEDIGREES JOHN CENA! The Hs grab the belt and pose. Typical TV main that makes Orton look like an idiot but Orton himself can’t seem to find any buttons to hit other than strike. **1/2

WWE Championship: Randy Orton vs. Triple H (c). RAW 04/28/08. Regal is GM and pissed at getting disrespected. He’s also the most recent King of the Ring at the time. This is the night after Backlash where Orton lost the belt in an elimination match to the Hs. Orton is a heel but gets the tweener reaction, Trips is face. They get all tangled up in a lockup so Chioda demands a break. They go eye-to-eye but still keep it clean. Orton grabs a headlock as King puts over the “Age of Orton” and Orton plows over H with a shoulderblock. They are really giving this the PPV main event feeling out process. Orton goes back to the headlock and H tries to send him off but Orton hangs on. H counters to his own and now he gets sent off and Orton eats the shoulderblock. Trips tells him to suck it as he blocks a hiptoss and clotheslines Orton down. Trips goes to the arm so Orton boots him to the corner and punches away. Trips sidesteps a charging Orton who eats ringpost. H takes advantages and slings him into the ringpost again. JR: “The ringpost has no conscience.” Orton appearing very un-Orton-like as he sells the arm pretty well. H slams it into the ringpost a few more times and works an armwringer. Orton bails out to regroup so H throws the arm into the barricade for some more heel stuff from him. Back in, Orton cuts off H with a boot and the apron DDT. We take a break and we’re back to Orton putting heat on the Hs with MOARRIGHTHANDS! H takes over with the iron fist but runs into a Bluechipper dropkick. Orton covers for 1, 2, only 2. Orton locks in the OrtonLock, something that is thankfully and mostly absent from face Orton. H fires up but Orton cranks the neck and H goes back down. H sends Orton off and catches him in the Sleeper but Orton slides behind and back suplexes him down. Orton goes to the Malenko/Garvin stomp as JR and King talk about his deadly… eyes.

• Orton covers for 1, 2, 2 again. Orton chokes him as H stumbles around near-death so Orton throws him into the stairs and then covers for another 2 count. BACKTOTHEORTONLOCK! Orton has seriously worked two chinlocks for damn near five minutes total. H says fuck this and gets out with a back suplex. Orton cuts him off AGAIN with a boot in the corner. Orton cues up the Viper for the RKO but H shoves him back into the turnbuckle on the bad arm. I can appreciate that psychology. H with some rights and a jawbreaker and a clothesline. H with a head of steam but Orton takes over again with a powerslam. H recovers to hit the high knee but Orton takes like a sack of shit. Trips covers for 1, 2, 2 ½. H tries to swarm in the corner but Chioda pulls him away long enough for Orton to come back with the neck/backbreaker. Orton covers for 1, 2, nearfall. Orton heads up top but H crotches him and hits a superplex. H drapes the arm for 1, 2, 2.7. Orton staggers but manages a BLATANTTHUMBTOTHEEYE! He goes for the RKO but H shoves him away and goes for the Pedigree. Orton counters to a catapult into the turnbuckle. H overcomes the odds with a drop toe hold into the Crippler Crossface. BUT WAIT! KING REGAL IS IN THE PRODUCTION TRUCK! Regal strongarms “Kerwin” into plugging the plug on the match. Regal: “TAKE IT OFF THE BLOODY AIR NOW!” We fade to black with Orton in the crossface and JR screaming on commentary at 18:53. That was a PPV quality match for the most part with an effective screwjob angle ending. You can pull that stuff on free TV because as a booker, you have to have the freedom to occasionally screw over the fans and bait and switch, as long as it’s not on PPV – otherwise, the good guys always win for the most part. Still, Orton’s heel offense at the time is the shits. A thousand punches and interminable chinlocks before we get brief respites of signature stuff. H gave him a ton of stuff and cutoffs to make it dramatic. Regal was in for big things before he got popped for his second wellness policy violation. Within a couple of weeks, he was unceremoniously ousted as GM via a loser leaves town match to Kennedy and he was suspended. ***1/2

Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio vs. The Big Show (c). So Del Rio turned face for a few weeks by helping Miz, Brooklyn Brawler and Tommy Dreamer overcome the racism and xenophobia of 3MB. But that was forgotten because they needed him to go back heel to run over Santa Claus. But at the New Year’s Eve party, Show got to pick his opponent and bullied his way to a DQ victory over Ricardo who spilled punch on his boots. ADR took offense and has had beef with Show ever since. This video basically sums up Berto’s second face turn.

• I know this is played as a big step up for Berto but JBL nicely points out that he’s already a TWO-TIME WWE Champ. Then again, Show is like a 10-time world champion and the fed acts like his victory over Sheamus was his only world title worth mentioning.

• ADR goes to the kicks early but Show no sells and overhand chops him a few times. Show slams him down and ADR sells it like falling out of a plane. Show: “THIS IS GOING TO BE A LONG NIGHT, PEDRO!” ADR with a massive headbutt and more chops. Show breaks out a table and stands it up and THEN the fans see that they’re behind the times and chant that they want tables… after Show set up one. I can’t even fathom the lemming-esque attitude of that causality. Show hoists up ADR and bodyslams him through the table. Ref starts the count and ADR makes it to his feet at 6. Show with more headbutts and he gets a chair. Back in, Show goes for the waffle but ADR cuts him off with a kick to the solar plexus and a few chairshots to the back. More chairshots from Berto and the audio track is heavily sweetened and kills the impact to an extent. ADR goes for the flying armbar but Show drops him out to the apron so ADR STAYS ON THE HOLD! Show overpowers with a weak Rampage bomb but Berto beats the count at 8. We take a break and are back to ADR working over Show’s arm and throwing him into the ringpost. Show gets another table but fortunately no chant this time. ADR fights back with headbutts and dropkicks Show through the table in the corner. Show gets up at 7 to stop the count so Berto jumps on his back with a Sleeper. Show tosses him over so ADR comes back with a superkick and clotheslines but Show won’t go down. ADR jumps off the top but lands in a AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHCHOKESLAM from Showster. Ref starts the count. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. ADR’S UP! Show with a headbutt and ADR falls out of the ring selling it. ADR is a wounded animal and tries scurrying away. Show now shoves ADR through part of the set. ADR is down but beats the count at 9 again. Show fires up for the KO punch and HITS IT! DEL RIO’S DONE! 1! 2! 3! 4! 5! 6! 7! 8! DEL RIO ROLLS OFF THE APRON ONTO HIS FEET! The ref is forced to stop the count. JBL: “Ricardo, you oughta throw in the towel. Your boss is in danger.” Show gathers up the ring stairs and JBL wants the match stopped. But Berto drop toe holds Show into the ringpost and into the stairs. OHHHH! ADR waffles Show with the stairs once, twice ON THE BAD ARM! THREE TIMES! Show goes down behind the announce table. Del Rio Hulks up and turns the announce table over on Show. BIG SHOW’S BURIED! 1! 2! 3! 4! 5! 6! 7! 8! 9! 10! NEWWWWW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION AT 14:15! Really fun match that sneaks up on you because it doesn’t have a lot of backstory or build, but still comes off fantastically and the pop for the win is awesome as well. I didn’t think Del Rio as a face could work but it was great here, let’s just see how it goes against someone not Show’s size. ****

The 411: Another mish-mash of entertaining odds and ends that won't show up on most DVDs but can probably be found on YouTube.
Final Score:  7.0   [ Good ]  legend

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Jack Bramma

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