My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

WWE No Way Out 2006 PPV Results

Sudden Death WWE Cruiserweight Title Match (First Fall Wins Title): Gregory Helms © VS Scotty 2 Hotty VS Paul London VS Brian Kendrick VS Funaki VS Psicosis VS Super Crazy VS Nunzio VS Kid Kash
Just when you think the Cruiserweight Division is dead, they let the boys out and put on a GREAT showing here! And it didn’t hurt that they gave them a good story to work with here as Helms was a marked man throughout the match, but was still able to retain his title! Give me one of these every Smackdown PPV and I’ll be a happy man!
Match Rating: ***

Fit Finlay (Who’s in GREAT shape!) carries Crystal (who’s kinda cute) to the ring to pick a fight. Lashley comes out to make the save and they brawl as JBL comes out. JBL takes out Finlay as JBL gets in the ring and the next match is on!

Lashley VS John “Bradshaw” Leyfield with Jillian Hall
They should have made this a 3-way with Finlay!
Give JBL A LOT OF CREDIT here for carrying Lashley, and making this one of the best JBL matches in a while! JBL bumped his ass off for Lashley, and even got busted open the hard way from a botched suplex. You gotta know Lashley is doing something right when you get the fans chanting his name, I just think he needs to vary his offense a bit as doing the same move four time in a row could back fire on him like it did to Scott Steiner a while back. His urinage was a good change though, and probably a good alternate finisher to his Dominator.
I didn’t even mind the ending of the match when Finlay cost Lashley the win and JBL broke his winning streak, as it just builds for a future war between these two big brawlers. JBL getting the win here also helps get his heat back from that horrible loss to the Boogeyman at the Royal Rumble too.
Match Rating: ***

Batista is announced as a special guest, and he comes out to cut a promo saying he’s healed up and will be gunning for the title again soon. I can’t wait.

MNM with Melina VS Matt Hardy & Tatanka
I guess Tatanka as Matt’s mystery partner makes sense since Tatanka & MNM had some good exchanges in the Royal Rumble match last month before MNM eliminated Tatanka together.
This was a really solid non-title match and it was good to see Tatanka in action again, even if his offense was limited to just tomahawk chops and regular chops, but at least he hit his finisher and got the win, which is a good rub to get him back in the graces of the modern day fans. He really needs to vary his offense up a bit though.
The fans are still wild for Matt Hardy, and it’s good that he finally has something to do even if it is teaming with Tatanka in the tag title hunt. One of the good things I like about MNM is that they are allowed to get some good offense in despite their size and can bump their asses off when required.
Match Rating: *1/2

WWE US Title: Chris Benoit VS Booker T (C) with Sharmell
Booker T tried to fake getting out of the match at the beginning, but when the match finally got started we were given a one of Booker’s best matches ever in WWE! They built a really solid match from the beginning which got the crowd into it till the end when Benoit scored the win floating through from the Sharpshooter into the Crossface to end a GREAT back and forth match!
Match Rating: ****

Chris Benoit celebrates backstage and is congratulated by the Smackdown superstars, including Chavo Guerrero and Vicky Guerrero, widow of Eddie Guerrero. Benoit dedicates the match to the memory of Eddie, and tells Rey Mysterio he’ll be waiting to congratulate him after he gets past Randy Orton next.

WrestleMania Main Event Match: Randy Orton VS Rey Mysterio
This was another strong contest, and you might really hate the ending of the match, but it actually made SENSE since Orton baited Rey in and Rey fell for it! Heck, you could say he suckered Rey in weeks ago when Rey agreed to put his WrestleMania main even on the line tonight.
The match itself was also really good with Randy playing the arrogant heel overpowering the smaller Mysterio, but Rey got in his usual array of innovative offense to get the crowd riling behind him, and Orton even came up with a few innovative moves due to Mysterio’s size, most notably a really cool looking neckbreaker out of a powerbomb.
Match Rating: ***1/2

I’m not sure if it was the desired effect, but the crowd was genuinely stunned silent as Mysterio left the ring. He didn’t even get sympathy applause. Rey gets backstage and apologizes to Chavo and Vicky for blowing it. They console him and he walks past the other Smackdown superstars who were earlier congratulating Benoit, and they all keep silent as Rey makes his way to the locker room.

World Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle (C) VS the Undertaker
Am I the only one that thinks that looping the intro to Kurt Angle’s theme 3 times before it actually kicks off sounds more like the CD is skipping instead of it being a cool intro? And I would strongly disagree with Michael Cole on ‘Taker being the best “pure striker” in WWE just because he wears MMA gloves and does a few submissions he learned from watching UFC shows.
But with that said, THIS is the kind of competitive match I expect to see titles decided over! Both men worked their asses off to pull out one of the most memorable world title matches in recent history!
Good God, is there no move Angle can’t counter into an ankle lock?!? He did it out of the chokeslam, he did it out of the Last Ride, and he even did it out of the Tombstone! And give ‘Taker credit as he can really go when he’s motivated and has his big match game on!
Match Rating: ****3/4

Overall: This was easily the best wrestling PPV so far this year, even beating out TNA’s recent PPVs, which shows WWE can still put on a good wrestling product when they want to. This PPV is a rare gem in that it demonstrates how it's not the number of matches on the card, but the QUALITY of the matches on the card that matters most. This is the first MUST SEE PPV of the year, and something to definitely add to your PPV collection!


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

TNA Against All Odds 2/12/2006

Austin Aries & Roderick Strong VS The Naturals
What the heck happened to Aries? At the last PPV he looked like a legit bad ass, now he looks…GAY! Actually, he now bares a resemblance to Petey Williams. At least the man is still a workhorse in the ring.
The match was solid also, and it was good that they remembered the Naturals are former tag team champions and giving them the convincing win here.
Match Rating: *

4-Way X-Division Match: Alex Shelley VS Petey Williams VS Matt Bentley with Tracy VS Jay Lethal
Seeing Tracy bounce around makes me happy.
Nice to see them do a better job with Lethal compared to the last PPV. This was another solid match, only I didn’t like the face VS heel bit of the match that went a little too long, making it feel more like a tag match. Why didn’t anyone think to tag in the other guy to make it heel VS heel or face VS face?
Seeing Tracy makes me happy.
Match Rating: **

LAX (Homicide & Machete) with Konnan VS the James Gang (BG & Kip James)
This as pretty bleh. Homicide is being wasted as they are still playing the “bigger guy always makes the smaller guy his bitch” card. At least Homicide won’t be around for long due to him needing shoulder surgery.
I hate the direction this angle seems to be taking if it means Bullet Bob Armstrong is going to get back in the ring again.
Match Rating: 1/2*

NWA Tag Team Titles: Sonjay Dutt & Chris Sabin VS America’s Most Wanted (C)
I’m all for having an underdog match, but I hate it when they play up the injury angle. I hate one they book the match that way and one team has the clear advantage and dominate for the most part because of it, and the injured guy usually won’t be allowed to use his full arsenal cause he has to sell the injury. Sabin’s injury may have been legit, but I still think they could have come up with better since it’s obvious they weren’t going to win anyway. This was probably the only way they could book AMW to win clean now I guess. Overall, I thought this match was better suited to be on Impact.
Match Rating: *

I thought it was funny having Jarrett rip on Monty Brown about doing the same redundant promo, which he does do if you notice.

Falls Count Anywhere: Abyss VS Rhino
Thank God they put this match up next as I was beginning to feel this PPV was really underwhelming. These two put on one heck of a war despite not running all over Universal Studios like I thought they would. Easily the best match of the night right now as they pulled some really big spots out of the bag, like Rhino breaking a trophy over Abyss’ crotch with a baseball bat, Abyss using a staple gun on Rhino’s bleeding head, Rhino chokeslammed through a table, and the closing spot where Rhino Gored Abyss off the balcony through four tables!
Match Rating: ***1/2

3-Way X-Division Title Match: AJ Styles VS Christopher Daniels VS Samoa Joe (C)
This one definitely lived up to the hype and was a lot better than the first encounter! These 3 obviously work well together with a lot of great 3-way offense and no allegiances between the 3. Considering what’s left on the card, this has to be the best match of the night and an early MOTY candidate.
Match Rating: ****1/4

Team 3D cut a great interview backstage where it seems Brother Ray is trying to incite a crowd gang beating on Team Canada.

Team 3D VS Team Canada (Eric Young & Bobby Roode)
The fact that this match went more than 2 minutes is a crime in itself. This should have been an easy squash for Team 3D considering it’s the Team Canada’s B (or even C) Team. It just couldn’t keep my interest as Team 3D was out for blood but were having so much trouble here instead.
Match Rating: 1/2*

NWA Heavyweight Title: Christian Cage VS Jeff Jarrett (C) Special Referee Earl Hebner
Did I just see Jarrett do a Blue Thunder powerbomb?!?
OK, this was surprisingly a lot better than I thought it would be with Christian defying the odds to take the gold after the usual Jarrett overbooked finish. I didn’t like the way they played up Earl Hebner would screw Christian or all the Montreal Screwjob references either. At the end of it they kept saying Christian had broken the glass ceiling, I say he’s only broken it if he can hold on to the title for a few weeks. Nice touch having the fans come into the ring to celebrate with Christian and Rhino though.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Overall: The first half of the PPV was nothing really special, but at least the 3 hyped matches on the card more than delivered. It was a lot better than that train wreck of a PPV Final Resolution was. Now how about giving the tag titles to Team 3D already?


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Kensuke Office results

Interesting notes coming out of the first Kensuke Office show.
Kikutaro got disqualified in the opener after getting frustrated by the antics of KENSUKI and the Florida Brothers.
The big battle royal ended with the possibility of Minoru Suzuki finally seting foot in All Japan in the near future, after being goaded by Tomoaki Honma and the AJPW workers who came to Akira Hokuto's defense during the battle royal.
The main event was billed as the first encounter of Sasaki VS Nakajima in about 2 years since they started teaming together. Of course, Kobashi & Tenryu heated things up themselves, with Tenryu bloodying Kobashi with a steel chair attack.
Definately looks like a fun show worth picking up on DVD when it comes out.

Kensuke Office "Kensuke Sasaki 20th Anniversary", 2/11/06
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
2,200 Fans - Super No Vacancy Full House

1. KENSUKI Sasaki, Michael Iwasa & Daniel Mishima beat Kikutaro, Space Lone Wolf & Masked Volcano (7:56) when Kikutaro was disqualified.
2. 120,000 Yen Winner-Takes-All Battle Royal: Minoru Suzuki beat Kikutaro (16:08) with a sleeper. Order of Elimination: KENSHIN, Nobutaka Araya, Ryuji Hijikata, Kaz Hayashi, Nobukazu Hirai, TAKA Michinoku, Brute Issei, AKIRA, Akira Raijin, Akira Hokuto, Masanobu Fuchi & Kikutaro.
- Talk Battle: Kensuke Sasaki VS Keiji Muto (5:00) ended in a time limit draw.
- Talk Battle: Kensuke Sasaki VS Satoshi Kojima (5:00) ended in a time limit draw.
- Talk Battle: Yoshihiro Takayama beat Kensuke Sasaki (3:14) by Give Up.
3. Kensuke Sasaki 20th Anniversary: Kensuke Sasaki & Kenta Kobashi beat Genichiro Tenryu & Katsuhiko Nakajima (26:36) when Sasaki used a lariat on Nakajima.

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