My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

RAW gets a thumbs up

This week's edition of RAW was a thumbs up show for me as they did an excellent job of hyping the Royal Rumble match itself by having the 15 RAW entrants battle for the No.30 spot in a series of matches. Also on the plus side, HHH, HBK and Bisch wasn't around and Stone Cold only made a short appearance in the 2nd hour.
The series of matches that were held were also good TV grade matches. The Booker/RVD vs Christian/Hardy match had a good ending when Booker jumped out of nowhere to hit the double scissors kick on both heels and RVD followed with the frog splash for the win.
Rene Dupree showed more in his one singles match with Y2J then he did his entire current WWE run. It actually looked like he would win when he blocked the Lionsault and hit a Death Valley Driver!
Except for a few kicks, Rico was expectadly squashed by Mark Henry. Everyone says Rico is an underated wrestler, but I still say he sucks unless he does something else other than kicks in the ring. Tajiri can throw kicks too but at least he has a more varied arsenal.
Probably the biggest win Spike Dudley has had in a LONG time when he got Kane DQ'd for shoving the ref and the ref mistook Kane for it! Would have been better if they let Spike show his fighting spirit and still part take in the main event battle royal despite his injuries.
The Goldberg/Steiner/Test match was pretty good. Though I've noticed recently that after the opening minutes of all his matches, Goldberg tends to get very sluggish in the ring. Note to WWE: Start building Goldberg/Steiner for WrestleMania XX NOW!!!
Despite a very convincing and serious promo, you had to know Hurricane wasn't going to beat Orton. OK match though, which would have been better if given more time.
The main event battle royal got off to a good start when Goldberg took 3 finishers from Booker, Y2J and RVD. RVD & Book where than eliminate in record time which I always hate to see in a battle royal. Goldberg then goes into sluggish mode but wins spearing, Jackhammering and then tossing Orton out onto his fellow Evolution team mates. Good show overall.

Here's the full card for this Sunday's (Monday for us in Malaysia) WWE Royal Rumble. Personally, I wouldn't be suprised if one of the matches gets bumped up to HEAT. No prizes for guessing which match...
HHH vs HBK - Last Man Standing World Title Match
Flair & Batista Vs The Dudleys - Tag Team Title Tables Match
Brock Lesner Vs Hardcore Holly - WWE Title Match
Rey Mysterio Vs Jamie Noble - Cruiserweight Title Match
Eddie Guerrero Vs Chavo Guerrero
30-Royal Rumble Match

New Japan contract re-signings
So some of New Japan's talent aren't satisfied with having to take a 30-50% pay-cut if they re-sign with New Japan. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Yutaka Yoshie are 2 of 'em who re-signed and started complaining after. Justifiably they had a standout year and rose significantly in the ranks in 2003 and should probably be treated better unless NJPW was risking them walking out of the company and heading elsewhere.
Personnaly, I think Tanahashi re-signed cause he's so obsessed with entering the IWGP Title tournament in February. This has grounds for turning Tanahashi into a major heel.
Currently Ryushi Yanagisawa, Hiro Saito and Masahito Kakihara have not re-signed with the company. Saito should accept the pay-cut cause he's way past his prime. If Keiji Mutoh were smart, he's steal Kakihara back to All Japan and have him finally dethrone KaShin's strangglehold on the PWF Jr Heavyweight title. I don't know much about Yanagisawa to comment on his position.
Also re-signed: Masayuki Naruse, Koji Kanemoto, Shinya Makabe, El Samurai, Wataru Inoue, Jado, Gedo, and Toru Yano.

I also caught a K-1 show on TPI Digital (A satelite channel) this past monday and it had a very good fight between Zero-One regular Josh Dempsey and K-1's golden boy, Musashi. Musashi won by decision after 5-rounds. Dempsey showed his fighting spirit near the end of the 5th round as he just put down his guard and absorbed punishment from Musashi, daring him for more since he knew he was losing on points anyway. Dempsey also withstood a stiff hook kick to the right of his jaw in the 1st round and didn't even go down! I had no idea who any of the other fighters on the show were though.



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