ROH's 10th anniversary show is over, and here is my brief review below. Spoiler warnings to come:
WGTT vs ANX (B-) - A solid tag team match to start off that turned a bit sloppy at the end. It's good to see Rhett Titus back in action. Unlike every other tag team match on the show tonight, this one actually had rules that were enforced, but I'll get to that later. WGTT both went for the surgecally repaired knee of Titus, and was the focal point of the match. ANX got the win, but I think Charlie Haas continues to shine as a great heel wrestler.
Homicide vs. Michael Bennett (C) - I kind of don't care that Bennett isn't a great wrestler. He's average at best in the ring, but he's one of the better talkers on the mic, and that makes him stand out in ROH. With Maria by his side, it makes him stand out even more as somebody who could be a legitimate future main eventer in ROH or any other company. I'm glad ROH got Homicide to come in for the 10th anniversary show, and the moment at the end when he hit the GTS in front of Maria was pretty fun.
Eddie Kingston comes out representing Chikara and calls out Davey Richards and gets Kevin Steen. Kevin Steen coming out with a tuxedo shirt and a tennis racket with Davey's face on it cracked me up. Steen and Kingston cuts an effective promo on each other and I want to see this feud go on a long way.
TJ Perkins & Amazing Red vs. House of Truth (B) - This matchup was just all out fun. Michael Elgin continues to do nothing but impress me, and this match is easily the best work that Perkins has done in the company so far.
Jay Lethal vs. Tommaso Ciampa (B-) - I'm not a fan of the ending of this match, as I feel that it weakens Ciampa's reputation to have a tie in his undefeated streak. I do, however enjoy that Ciampa clearly wrestles a different style than anyone else on the roster by dramatically slowing the pace of a match down. I think Lethal is ready to be main eventing in ROH pretty soon. That move that Ciampa hit on Lethal on the edge of the ring was epic.
The Briscoe Brothers vs. The Young Bucks (C+) - I like both of these teams, but this match never really took off for me. I'm quite tired of ROH's tag team matches going off the wall and not having any control. Whenever I watch wrestling with friends on TV or at live shows, I always have fun and make it a point to yell at the ref and tell him to "get some damn control in the match". That being said, both teams hit their usual spots, but there was no doubt that the Briscoes were going to win it.
Kevin Steen vs. Jimmy Jacobs (A) - Over the past year, I've enjoyed the hell out of the Steen/Corino/Jacobs feud, and I'm glad that the (possibly) final pay off match was extremely satisfying. The turn Jacobs made before the match was a good move, and I hope it reinvigorates his career in ROH. Steen causing chaos throughout the arena is a sight to see, and how he interacts with the environment around him is brilliant. There's a moment before the start where Steen puts his gum on top of the announce desk, and after it's all said and done and Steen leaves the chaos that he created, he walks over to the speechless announcers and retrieves his gum from the beginning. It's great character moments like that that the company as a whole needs to start doing more. Jimmy Jacobs has quite a few great moments as well, and props to him for taking the F5 onto the backs of two steel chairs.
Davey Richards & Kyle O'Reily vs. Eddie Edwards & Adam Cole (C) - I really thought that Davey and Eddie would have learned their lesson after the last 35 minute no-sellfest, but they didn't. This time, they brought in two of the younger guys to join the super hero party. Another really exhausting match with absolutely no ring psychology what-so-ever. The ending, however, was really great even though I feel it's undeserved.
After the main event, Kevin Steen interrupts a Kyle O'Reily heel turn and begins a worked shoot on Davey and how everyone knows that the main event should have been Steen vs. Davey. He also through in a fun jab at The Rock by making a "trending" joke.
Overall, the event was really good and worth the price of admission. Kevin Kelly inserting Twitter made me cringe, but Nigel McGuinness's commentary was incredibly good. The production crew continues to suffer with simple things, and makes me think that ROH should just fire everybody in the production truck and start from scratch. The crowd was amazing, and created the "YES! YES! YES! YES!" chant in between every match.
I've been insanely busy for the past couple of weeks, so I thought I could just bang one of these out (and I did, successfully!!). I was name dropped by Brad Muir, and now we're best buds on Twitter, and I'm fairly sure that I can add "Inspired double-saluting mechanic in Trenched Iron Brigade" to my resume. I skipped over a few videos to get what I want out there in 12 minutes, so yes, I'm aware about Ninja Guiden and The Organ Trail.
Hello... you're looking at a blog that I've linked from an outside website... if you'd like to join the cause of getting the makers of Giant Bomb to build a Wrestling Wiki site, you can join us OVER HERE. Thanks for reading, and provide feedback in any way possible!
In the past handful of years, the tag team division in the WWE has gradually declined to the point of irrelevancy. If you take a look at the history of the championship, you see big gaps in between when the division was filled with teams, and when the division was an afterthought or involved in the main singles titles. So now, I've decided to have a little bit of fun with this and dust off the old whiteboard, and imaginarily book the Tag Team Division into relevancy once again. The rules are going to be fairly simple, everything I come up with needs to be realistic(I can't get Sting and The Ultimate Warrior to come to the WWE and reform their tag team, for example). I'm also going to go ahead and start this process after WrestleMania, since I don't want to distract any of the build up for the main titles. At the beginning of the brainstorming period, I thought that I should call an expert and see what I would need to have an interesting tag team division. His answer was:
You got it, JR! This advice is somewhat obvious, since that last great examples of a division in the WWE was in the late 90's when we had The Hardy Boyz, Edge & Christian, and The Dudley Boyz. Another great example is under Paul Heyman's "Smackdown Six" (Los Guerreros, Edge & Mysterio, Chris Benoit & Kurt Angle). So the difficult question is... who in the tag team division today am I going to go with today to be my "main four" teams to start out with, and who will be in the remaining fodder.
Epico & Primo - I'm going off the assumption that Epico & Primo are champions after WrestleMania this year, and I have no decision in placing them inside of my "Core Four"(I hope you get sick of that term by the end of this post). Rosa gets slight Vicki Guerrero heat by just shaking her ass around and yelling spanish into a microphone. I also find Epico & Primo to be a pretty solid team together. Decision: Core Four
Air Boom - Over the past half a year, Evan and Kofi has become quite a hell of a team, and it makes sense because they're extremely similar. However, Bourne has single-handedly hurt Air Boom way too many times... So I'm going to "play ball" here and split Air Boom... we'll talk about that in a bit. Decision: Split Air Boom
The Usos - If I had direct control of The Usos, I would strap a rocket on them and go straight to the top. Their "chant" during their entrance is proof that both these guys have a ton of charisma that's waiting to be unleashed, and they are the most impressive two currently working together in the WWE right now. Decision: Core Four
Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks - Poor Curt Hawkins. I feel that Curt is going to be this generation's Stevie Richards for some reason. These two are a good team for each other, but I don't think I'm ever going to take Tyler Reks seriously. Unless if they impress me out of nowhere, I'm making these guys lose to make my Core Four look good. Decision: Jobbers
Santoshi - Santino & Yoshi Tatsu have had one match together. I think these two should stick together because they could have entertaining segments and it would give Yoshi Tatsu SOMETHING to do, even if it was at a lower level on Smackdown. Decision: Jobbers
Trent Barreta & Tyson Kidd - This one is easy and involves no explanation. Tyson Kidd is NOT going to go anywhere or do anything until the Cruiserweight Division returns. Decision: Jobbers
Hunico & Camacho - It might seem racist, but I can't have two heel teams from south of the border in my Core Four. Once again, I feel that Hunico will not go anywhere until there is a Cruiserweight division. Decision: Jobbers
Curt will show you... you'll see!
Between WrestleMania and Extreme Rules
I have four episodes of Raw, Smackdown, NXT, and Superstars in between this period of time. As booker, I'm going to shove a tag team division match in your face on EVERY SINGLE EPISODE. That's right, 16 tag division matches in the period of a month. On the biggest show (Raw), I'm going to feature a match between one of my "Core Four" teams (The Usos or Epico & Primo) and one of my Jobber teams. This is simply to showcase my teams, as well as the moves of each team to WWE's core audience.
At Extreme Rules, we'll have Epico & Primo go over Air Boom. Primo pins Kofi, and Evan becomes obviously frustrated by Kofi not being able to kick out.
Between Extreme Rules and Over The Limit
Now I have three weeks of episodes, and on the first episode of Raw I'm going to through Curt Hawkins a bone and have Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks go over Air Boom, causing Evan to have another pissy fit towards Kofi and gives him a good shove. This leads to Smackdown, where they try for one last match, and loses to another one of my jobber teams... causing Evan to completely turn on Kofi and beating him down. Show a highlight of that on Raw and start promoting Evan Bourne vs. Kofi Kingston at Over The Limit. While this is going on, continue to have Epico & Primo win title defenses on every other episode of Raw, but there will be no Tag Team Championship match at Over The Limit.
On the week before Over The Limit, I'm booking Bourne in a singles match on Raw... and I'm going to hand Evan Bourne a microphone (stay with me here, folks). It will be a quick backstage segment between whoever the Raw GM at the time is and Evan Bourne, and I want Bourne to ask for the match to include mystery partners.
So... let me take a break here, and announce my two new teams in the division:
Air Boom 2.0 - Kofi Kingston & Justin Gabriel. I think most people could agree that Justin Gabriel is inter-changeable with Evan Bourne, and I think Kofi & Justin can put on the same caliber performance as Kofi & Evan
Evan Bourne & Drew Mcintyre - Hold your applause, people. Both of these guys are on their last strike as of right now, and I would be clear in making it known that if there is one more offense between both of them, then it's time to pack your bags. Evan is a great performer, and so is Drew... and finally I'll have a wrestler in my tag division who I'm comfortable to have a microphone in his hands. Kayfabe wise, Drew should be fired by Teddy Long from Smackdown at this point, but right before the match, make Laurinitus or whoever come out and announce that he's been picked up from Raw and is now Evan Bourne's tag team partner.
So who wins the match at the PPV? It'll be the new team between Evan Bourne & Drew Mcintyre, and those two will be in my Core Four. This leaves Air Boom 2.0 to be on the sidelines for a bit, and have Kofi back in the upper midcard.
beats losing to Santino every week.
Between Over The Limit and ???
The next PPV still hasn't been announced, so I'll just call it PPV. The Uso's has kind of been on the back burner, so I'll go ahead and finally put them up in a feud against the team of Evan Bourne & Drew Mcintyre.
Now I get to have a little bit of fun. During the first Raw after Over The Limit, Epico & Primo win in another jobber match, and The Road Dogg's music plays. He's one of the best talkers ever, so I have no problem with just giving him a mic and letting him let loose on whatever he feels like. Basically, he just talks about how lackluster the tag division has been and now he wants to give it "one more shot" after the reception that he got at the Royal Rumble. Primo & Epico accepts only if the stipulation of "If The New Age Outlaws lose, then they must retire from wrestling forever". Road Dogg accepts and we have a match at the next PPV that would put a few butts in the seats. I think Billy Gunn would be up for it if you guarantee them that The New Age Outlaws would be inducted in the Hall of Fame the next year (you must remember that they had the third highest merchandise sales of the Attitude Era). Have The New Age Outlaws return for a few matches on Raw before the PPV just to have people tuning in.
The PPV is here, and I've got The Usos winning a match against Evan & Drew, and I've got Epico & Primo winning against The New Age Outlaws.
We can all pretend that Billy & Chuck never even happened!
Between PPV and TLC
So, here is what I've been building towards for the last couple of months. We are now heading towards TLC, a match made famous by tag teams. After giving Epico & Primo a generous run of six months with the championships, it's time to hand it off. The GM will announce the match on the week after the last PPV, and will book a TLC match that includes Epico & Primo, The Usos, and Evan Bourne & Drew Mcintyre. I think that if The Usos has been booked well enough between WrestleMania and now, then they should get a good pop when they win the title belts at TLC in what should be an awesome match up.
Yes, I've been building up this "Core Four" forever now... AND I ONLY HAVE THREE TEAMS. If WWE has enough faith, then they should call up Chris Hero and Antonio Cesaro, a team that's reputation is well known at this point. Also, in the background of this whole tag team revival thing, William Regal is giving it one last run towards a major title reign (consider Regal the Mark Henry of this year) and in between PPV and TLC, he's beginning to hype up a team that has wrestled at as many locations around the world that Regal has wrestled. Regal forms a new stable with these two new wrestlers, and they are The Kings of Wrestling (*spine tingles*)
... and now there's a reason to give a shit about the division.
We now have our SOLID "Core Four" in Epico & Primo, The Usos, Evan & Drew, and Chris Hero & Antonio Cesaro. I think the first team that drops from the Core will be Epico & Primo for one of the Jobber teams as soon as The Usos beat them in a rematch. Then the remaining three can swap feuds for a while until a new fourth team emerges, and you build from there. I think you could possibly last a year off of these four teams, and eventually you'll get main eventers from Hero, Cesaro, and Drew Mcintyre. Possibly WWE could steal a tag team away from TNA (MCMG or Beer Money), but I don't think that it's all that's necessary.
At least it would give the tag team division fucking SOMETHING to look at over than what it is now.
Please send me any and all response for my manifesto! Is anything too outlandish for you, or did I do a decent enough job... maybe you've got a better idea! Who Knows!
I got to attend WWE Raw monday night, and my big fat stupid face made it on TV a couple of times. Since it was the 2011 Slammies, I went out there in a dress shirt and tie, meaning that whenever I was going to be put on TV, you will get to see my glorious sweat stains live and in HD. Overall, in terms of me being on TV, I'm disappointed that our section didn't have a microphone, because outside of people sitting around me and a couple of other places in the arena, the crowd was dead for most of the event (I'll get to that in a second). That means that my random obscenities didn't quite make it to air, like me yelling at Daniel Bryan "HARDER!" when he was hitting European Uppercut, etc... Though I am proud of starting up a fairly loud "We Want Wrestling" chant at the end of the first hour when we got NO wrestling matches. Our section also started up a "Chiota!" chant for referee Mike Chiota that somehow made it on television.
As far as the show itself... I think Michael Cole said it right by calling the opening segment "One of the worst segments in television history". As much as I love good Ol' JR, watching him flub up his lines during a "rap battle" was one of the most painful moments ever. It's a horribly written segment that should have never happened, but seeing it go from bad to worse was awful/incredible.
Then the slammy awards kept going.... and going... and going... In the span of three hours, there were four wrestling matches, which is unacceptable. The first hour was stupid award after stupid award, with the only highlight being CM Punk doing his thing and then showing this video, which had me hardly breathing because it was so damn funny.
The show went on longer, a couple of great legends came out, so that was fun. We got to see an awesome match from Bryan/Rhodes/Ziggler/Ryder. And then, evil Kane returned and I shit my pants because I marked out so hard.
So overall, I got to see some great stuff, and I got to see some awful stuff live... so it was a great WWE program to see live. I'm interested in seeing where Kane goes from here, whether or not he feuds with John Cena or feuds with Mark Henry... or if it's just like the old Kane and he comes out randomly and chokeslams jobbers in the middle of a match.
Here's some of the signs I brought... none of them were featured on TV sadly...
I love the holiday of Thanksgiving, but let's be honest, Turkey is the worst choice of meat you can have. It's always disappointing whenever you see this you bite into a dry piece of turkey, and try to neutralize it's awfulness by dowsing it in gravy and stuffing. Anyways... you guys love end of the year lists, right? So why not a "Most Disappointing Things of 2011".... except holiday themed.... right?
The Biggest Turkeys of 2011
Video Games (DisHonorable Mentions):
Duke Nukem Forever: Sure, I wasn't expecting the greatest FPS of all time from Duke Nukem, but the final product of the game was a mess. Extremely old multiplayer, loading in between levels, horrible dick jokes, uninteresting scenarios, and bad frame rate. The biggest crime is that there was no full on behind the scenes feature, because I would love to know what the hell caused this dull game to be delayed for so long.
Red Faction Armageddon: Aw man, I loved that open world mars game from two years ago... oh you took out the open world? Great.
X-Men Destiny: Oh sweet, the Silicon Knights guys are going to get back on their feet by making an X-Men RPG game... except it's a mediocre button masher
Dragon Age: Origins is perhaps my favorite RPG this generation (until I get my hands on Skyrim). It was long, strategic, and open. So what kind of "improvements" did Bioware make to the sequel? How about turn the strategy behind the game and turn it into a button masher, and take all of the open world stuff and force you go to the same exact place over and over again. As long as we can rush out a sequel, people will buy it, right? Instead, this game tarnished the Dragon Age brand for everyone that loved the first game.
Music (DisHonorable Mentions):
Lupe Fiasco - Lasers : Lupe Fiasco's first CD is something that I'm not afraid to say is one of my favorite rap albums of the last decade. It was the last rap album I really connected to before I abandoned the whole genre entirely. When Lupe's second album came out, I listened and somewhat enjoyed. But this album feels like a reaction to his one commercially successful song, which meant every song sounds like some crappy radio song. It doesn't help that he ruined Modest Mouse's "Float On".
Lou Reed & Metallica - Lulu : Neither of these two names has made anything of quality since the 80's, but when you saw that Lou Reed and Metallica was making an album together, the first thing that popped into my head was "Huh, I bet that's going to be crazy". Yes, it is crazy, but is also impossible to listen to.
I don't care if you're a fan or not of Radiohead, you have to admit that 2007's "In Rainbows" was one of the better albums of that year. Radiohead has four albums that would make any music critics all time favorites list, so any release from them is something to look forward too. However, what we got from them this year was a steaming pile of unlistenable shit. It was only eight songs long, the drum loops were too complicated, they abandoned guitars, and Thom Yorke's mumbling throughout the album drives me insane. Phooey.
Movies (DisHonorable Mentions):
Cars 2 : Damnit Pixar, I let you get away with the first Cars, but this movie somehow made me lose respect for the Pixar brand. Shame on you for cashing in a dull movie for money.
Captain America : Thor was surprisingly awesome, this movie was not.
Green Lantern : This comic book movie was straight up awful.
Hangover was a surprisingly fun, dumb comedy movie. Anything that makes Zach Galifinakis a star is ok in my book. I was a bit hesitant to see the rushed sequel, but I laughed a few times during the trailer, and planned accordingly to go into the midnight screening of The Hangover II drunk. I'm not making this part up, towards the end of The Hangover II, I proceded to yell at the movie screen that "THIS IS THE SAME GOD DAMNED MOVIE AS THE FIRST ONE". Sure, might have been a bit harsh, but it was a true statement. Every story element in this movie is exactly the same as the first movie... it was like the script writers played Mad Libs to write this movie.
Wrestling (Oh yeah, I'm including wrestling.):
Wrestlemania XXVII - The Undertaker/HHH match was fine, but the rest was extremely dull. The Miz is main eventing at Wrestlemania? Snooki is in a match? Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler? Absolutely unacceptable matches to be thrown into the biggest event of the year.
TNA In General - Seriously, where the fuck did Alex Shelley go? Crimson is awful, and them forcing the "Winning Streak" angle on us is worse. Samoa Joe is booked horribly. The X Division now has a weight limit. Hogan is back to his backstage antics. This show is awful in general. It's picked up a little bit in the past month by having Roode and Storm being the top two guys, but man....
Summer of Punk ruined - CM Punk changed the wrestling industry in one month. Then, WWE changed it back to business as usual within the next month.
Most Disappointing Wrestling Moment: Jeff Hardy vs. Sting
This is the definition of a train wreck. Jeff Hardy shows up to the PPV completely drugged up, and he's supposed to be in the main event with Sting. Sting basically forces the end of the match within a minute and TNA does the right thing and fires Hardy for disgracing the TNA brand. Except that last part never happened. Jeff Hardy is still working for TNA, even though he ruined the main event and cost all of the customers of that $40 TNA PPV their trust in that organization. Absolutely Horrible.
Small thing, I'm planning on getting all of the Giant Bomb community wrestling fans to start posting in the Wrestling Ring forums on Giant Bomb. Just one step closer to taking over Whiskey Media and creating a Whiskey Media wrestling site.
If you've never sat through a WWE DVD, then you haven't experience the high quality documentaries about behind the scenes wrestling that WWE produces frequently. My personal favorite that WWE has done to this point was The Rise and Fall of ECW, and I highly suggest checking it out if you haven't already. The newest from WWE is a beginning to a new series called WWE's Greatest Rivalries, and I'm pretty sure that you might not be able to start of a series like this better than showing off the history of Bret "The Hitman" Hart vs. Shawn Michaels.
The documentary portion looks throughout the entire history with Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, and Jim Ross serves as the moderator for the conversation. JR does a great job of maintaining the conversation. He sits across the table and let Shawn and Bret tell their stories and usually stays out of it for general knowledge stuff, and pushes the issues that are still unclear to the general public (If Shawn meant it when he told Bret to "get the hell out of my spotlight" at the end of Wrestlemania or if it was part of the story the two were trying to build). Bret Hart is in full shoot mode, and the man tells it like it is even if Shawn is two feet away from him. For someone that has been through a stroke and has lost most of his family and friends over the past decade (Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Helen Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Brian Pillman, Curt Hennig, etc.) Bret is emotionally stable enough to not only recollect what happened at every dramatic point in his career, but is able to remember the exact date and location of the incident.
Shawn Michaels is widely known as being a complete asshole during his first major stint in the WWE (before he seriously injured his back in 1997). Since then, he's changed his ways and has become a born-again Christian. This provides plenty of really awkward moments when Hart brings up some issues where he tells a story of Shawn's backstage antics and Shawn has no option except to just laugh it off and admit that he was a terrible person in that stage of his life.
As far as the topics covered goes, the DVD spans all of Bret's and Michaels matches. It begins with a brief segment of how they got into the WWE, and about the next fifteen minutes talks about their matches when they were both a part of tag teams. The highlight of that discussion is how frustrated Bret looks and sounds when talking about the rope breaking during a main event televised tag team match, a match that he thought was going to be historic ended up being so dismal it was never televised (and it was the night The Hart Foundation lost the belts to The Rockers for the first time).
It continues to showcase Bret and Shawn's excellent solo careers, how Bret led the locker room, and how Shawn only worked with The Kliq. This continue until it's time to talk about The Montreal Screwjob. Mostly, the discussion is nothing new, since both men have talked about it at length in their books (not to mention it's been talked about on documentaries, and it has been reproduced multiple times since then). Even if there is nothing new to add to it, it's always a fascinating moment that happened. At the time, it was tragic, but now it's easy to see that nobody was right in the situation. It wasn't right of Bret to refuse to lose the title over demanding more respect, it wasn't right of Shawn to say that he wouldn't put Bret over after Bret said he wanted to put Shawn over, and it wasn't right of Vince to abruptly finish the match and screw Bret (or to book Bret to lose in his final match in Canada). I also love conspiracy theories of whether or not the Screwjob was all part of some grand off-screen story, since there's a good bit of evidence backing the theory, like the cameras not cutting away from Bret when he was air writing WCW and how the Screwjob created the character of Vince McMahon. It all worked out a little "too well" in the end... but that idea isn't even brought into the DVD.
Post-Montreal Screwjob, there isn't too much more to tell in the rivalry. Bret went to WCW where he wasn't used right, and Goldberg ended his career accidentally, and Shawn injured his back and had to quit for a long time a few months after the Montreal Screwjob. Bret suffered from a stroke, and Michaels came back to the wrestling business a new man (reborn Christian) and had some of the best matches of all time against The Undertaker. This takes us to the moment in the documentary where Bret just starts laying his emotions on the table about how he was so bitter towards Shawn and the WWE and how forgiving them and coming back to the WWE helped him to drop his metaphorical sack on his back that he's been carrying all his life. It gets very emotional and kind of inspirational to see these two that burned the bridge years ago forgive each other and become friends again.
The rest of the set includes selected matches between the two. You're reminded immediately of how good Shawn and Bret's tag team partners were, Marty Janetty and Jim Neidhart respectively. The first ever Ladder Match was between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart for the Intercontinental title, it's also worth noting that at the time Shawn Michaels finishing move was a back suplex. Also, you get the full 1 hour Iron Man match at Wrestlemania 12, which is a classic. Having a DVD with the same two people fighting might sound dull, but the great thing about these two is that every time they fight, they will put on a different style of match.
Overall, this DVD is a great pickup for fans of either of the wrestler, or fans of the WWE pre-Attitude era. It's a great way to make people want more DVD's for the "Greatest Rivalries" line... I don't know if there is a more controversial story to tell, but there are certainly some just as memorable than Bret vs. Shawn.