My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Friday, June 30, 2006

Kobashi diagnosed with tumor

Shocking news yesterday as Pro Wrestling NOAH ace Kenta Kobashi was announced as being diagnosed with a tumor in his kidney and will undergo an operation soon to try and have it removed. The announcement was made by NOAH president Mitsuharu Misawa at the Differ Ariake office. Kobashi will not be able to work the entire Summer Navigation tour, including the announced Yoshihiro Takayama return match at the Nippon Budokan where he was booked to team with Takayama against Misawa and GHC champion Jun Akiyama in an all-star dream tag match.

Here's hoping the Iron Man of NOAH can pull through this and have a long career in the ring for many more years to come.


Monday, June 26, 2006


Randy Orton beat Kurt Angle with the RKO
The match was rather similar to their ECW match, only without the atmosphere of the ECW crowd to liven things up. Heck, the crowd was even dead silent at some points despite there actually being Orton supporters in the crowd. The highlight was definitely Angle hitting 8 consecutive rolling German suplexes on Orton. The finish was well done with Orton escaping the ankle-lock and ramming Angle’s face into the exposed steel turnbuckle and hitting the RKO for the win.
This feud could actually go for longer from the look of things, since they obviously need a rubber match to break the tie.
Match Rating: **

Umaga beat Eugene with the Samoan Spike.

OK, I’ll admit it, I marked out when Kamala came out to be in Eugene’s corner with Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Doink the Clown!
Eugene still got squashed, but the ending was rather interesting that Armando would pull out Umaga after taking out Eugene, Hacksaw and Doink, but not let him face off with the original savage, Kamala. Guess there’s something to look forward to on RAW tomorrow even if it will be another squash.
Match Rating: DUD

2/3 Falls Match: Ric Flair beat Mick Foley 2 falls to 0.

Massive crowd heat for this one, and Foley has more or less cemented his heel turn with the brutal beat down he gave Flair after the match after losing 2 galls straight, first when Flair countered a figure-four attempt by Foley into a rather ugly roll-up for the win, and the losing the 2nd fall by disqualification when he hit Flair in the head with a garbage can when Flair had the figure-four locked on. This obviously a build up to a rematch at Summer Slam under hardcore rules or something, and hopefully they get more time on that one since this one was too short.
Match Rating: **

Intercontinental Title – Triple Threat Match: Johnny Nitro beat Carlito and Shelton Benjamin pinning Benjamin after Carlito hit the Back Cracker to win the title.

This is the darkhorse that stole the show! Somebody tell me why the heck that accident prone borefest known as Randy Orton can’t improve his game like Carlito has in the past few months?!? When Carlito first came to WWE, I called him boring, but now he’s stepped up his game BIG TIME, whereas Orton is still stuck with the same moves he’s been doing since he got here. Carlito is a perfect example of how a wrestler grows in ability.
With that said, all 3 busted their butts in this one and pulled off some fantastic 3-way offense (the corner spider-german-superplex spot), even if some of the spots were rather “worked” (monkey flip into a dropkick spot). But at least they didn’t work the match the way most triple threats are done in WWE with one guy sitting out while two guys go at it, only to trade dance partners every few minutes.
The only thing I would have to complain about in this one was the weak finish. There’s no way Carlito’s Back-Cracker should be a fisnisher, especially with Benjamin not kicking after being down as long as he was before Nitro finally made the pin to win the title. As Carlito would say, “That’s NOT Cool.”
Match Rating: ***1/2

WWE Championship: Rob Van Dam beat Edge with the Five Star Frog Splash to retain the title.

EH? Kane VS Kane, DX VS the Cheerleaders and a lumberjack match is more important than the world title?!? I guess that motivated them to break out a one hell of a match here! This was an awesome back and forth contest, and really, the best Van Dam has looked in a while, even compared to his One Night Stand match with John Cena! Some really SICK bumps by both men, and ton of edge-of-your-seat nearfalls, and good finish with the right man coming out on top as RVD hits the Five Star Frogsplash after Edge misses a spear and hits a chair being held by Lita to take the win.
On a personal note, anyone else notice how RVD could still get up and go after taking a powerbomb on the friggin’ guardrail, yet Benjamin stayed down for so long after taking the Back Cracker, which is a whole lot weaker of a move in the previous match?!?
Match Rating: ****

Kane beat Kane with a chokeslam.

I honestly don’t believe this match deserved the boring chants it received, and feel it was more out of disgust at the angle rather than the work of the match. They actually had a pretty good big man match, and one wicked spot where Kane (real) gave Kane (fake) an Exploder suplex like slam off the top rope. Once again, this is like the third match tonight to have a rather weak looking finish as Kane (fake) caught Kane (real) coming off the top rope with a chokeslam for the win. I would have preferred if he followed up with the Tombstone, like the old masked Kane would do back in the day for the win.
Match Rating: **

Extreme Lumberjack Match: John Cena beat Sabu with the STFU

A short but fun brawl, and a majority of the fans still hate Cena. Sabu was working on all cylinders again hitting Cena from every angle he could fly from, and took one hell of a bump when Cena FU’d him out of the ring through a table and only his lower back caught the table! This one definitely deserved more time for it to mean more.
Match Rating: **

5-on-2 Handicap Match: DX beat the Spirit Squad via pinfall when both HHH & HBK hit their finishers and made a double pin.

So the WWE Title match gets bumped up to the middle of the card in place of an extended comedy-squash match? Make no mistake about it, that’s all it really was as despite a sick bump here and there. There wasn’t even much of a pay off at the end other than Mr. McMahon coming out and telling DX he’ll see them on RAW tomorrow, meaning whatever it is these guys are doing is still more important than the top title of the brand.
Match Rating: **

Two really good matches and a whole lot of OK throughout this one. The big complaint for the most part was the weak looking finishes and short match times. Not a must see show by any means, but still just a big OK.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

TNA Slammiversary 2006

Live from the Impact Zone (Where else?), it's TNA's 4th Anniversary show!

Bingo Hall Brawl: Team 3D beat The James Gang when Brother D-Von pinned Kip James after 3D through a table.
I usually like a good garbage match, but I KNEW this was just so Team 3D could take a stab at the new ECW that they are not a part of. And Brother Ray proved it when he said that’s how it’s done after winning the match. Yeah, it was better than anything on the first ECW TV show on Sci Fi, but can’t hold a candle to the Dreamer/Funk-Edge/Foley match from One Night Stand. Sure they had an entertaining match, but it wasn’t really anything special and has been done a thousand times before.
Match Rating: *

Handicap Match: Rhino beat Bobby Roode & Scott D’Amore when he pinned D’Amore with the Gore.
This went too long and Rhino had too little offense in the match. Maybe they should have let Rhino kick out of D’Amore’s moonsault then Gore both Canadians and pin them both for the win.
Match Rating: 1/2*

X-Division Ranking Match: Senshi beat Shark Boy, Petey Williams, Jay Lethal, Alex Shelley & Sonjay Dutt
- Sonjay Dutt eliminated Shark Boy with a standing shooting star press.
- Jay Lethal eliminated Alex Shelley with a full nelson suplex.
- Petey Williams eliminated Jay Lethal with the Canadian Destroyer.
- Senshi pinned Petey Williams with the Warrior’s Way (diving foot stomp)
- Senshi pinned Sonjay Dutt with a tree of woe Warrior’s Way.
How did I know that as soon as the commentary team mentioned how no one was eliminated yet and how Shark Boy was getting in a lot of offense that he’d be the first one eliminated? Now this was great match and one of the reasons why I watch TNA. Great work by all throughout, and now we get to see Senshi VS Samoa Joe in the near future!
Match Rating: ***1/2

X-Division Challenge: Kevin Nash beat Chris Sabin with the Jacknife powerbomb
Here’s an example of a match where the baby face gets booed since the heel is a more popular figure. For more examples, see any John Cena WWE title match. Nash hobbled around a bit, but did he best to stay active in the match. This was a good David VS Goliath match, and if it pays off with Sabin finally overcoming the odds and beating Nash, than I can stand to watch this program go on a bit as it gives Sabin something to do since he’s representing the X-Division instead of the X-Division champion, or any of the guys who are officially ranked #1 – #6 from the previous match. Eh, so a guy that’s not even in the top 6 of the X-Division is defending it’s name?
Match Rating: *

NWA World Tag Team Titles: AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels beat America’s Most Wanted when Daniels pinned Harris with the Best Moonsault Ever to win the titles.
Taking a page from WWE, TNA really mailed it in that Styles & Daniels were taking the belts tonight since they made numerous mention of AMW’s record title run and how the dream X-team kept coming up short. It was still a great and exciting match though, and definitely gets a nod for Tag Match of the Year.
Match Rating: ****1/2

They played a REALLY good video package highlighting the history of TNA. It’s just too bad they shrunk the screen down to almost half the size for it. Why couldn’t they have used full screen instead?!?

Damn I just realized how much I missed Jim Cornette, and he gave one of the best worked shoot promos ever.

Samoa Joe VS Scott Steiner
Damn did Joe OWN Steiner in the build up video without having to raise his voice and all Steiner could do is take the usual cheap shots at Joe’s physical appearance like a kindergarden kid, where as Joe was actually more convincing for so little that he said.
Now I said before this match would be GOOD, I never said it would be GREAT. Who would have thought it would turn out to be EXCELLENT?!? Seriously, who the heck thought we’d ever use the words Scott Steiner and Match of the Year in the same sentence in 2006?!? Anybody who ever doubted Samoa Joe just needs to take a look right here at this match as it showcases everything that needs to be done to have an entertaining HEAVYWEIGHT singles match! My hat goes off to both men here for putting on a simply AWESOME PPV match that lived up to the hype!
Match Rating: ****1/2

NWA World Title – King of the Mountain Match: Jeff Jarret beat Christian Cage, Sting, Ron Killings and Abyss to win the title.
I said it before and I’ll say it again, TNA seriously need to try and stop topping themselves by coming up with all sorts of inane screw job finishes that ruin the vibe of a good match. Earl Hebner finally screwing someone out of the title and than closing the show on a cliffhanger with Cornette grabbing the belt away from Jarrett? Not the way you want to end big PPV. Another classic example of TNA ruining a good match with a crappy finish, and the fans let them know it with that garbage shower. And even though they were cheering at the end of it when Cornette took the belt from Jarrett, you had to know the fans would have started booing again when they realized the PPV is over and now they have to wait for Impact to get some kind of announcement on the situation.
Match Rating: ***

Overall: A great PPV with 2 EXCELLENT Match of the Year contenders. Definitely recommend checking it out for those two featured bouts alone.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Rise & Fall of ECW....in 6 Days

The hype behind the revival of ECW was really low up until the WWE VS ECW Head to Head special. The way the show was handled gave many hope that WWE's version of ECW actually had a chance of making it.

The second One Night Stand PPV could not and should not be compared to last year's nostalgic event. This year's event was to kick off the launch of the new ECW brand, and was a success if you looked at it that way.

Tazz VS Jerry Lawler - Your nuts if you were expecting this to be any kind of classic in the first place. I was a bit dissapointed we didn't see more than just Tazz clamp on the Tazmission for the 30-second victory, but I guess it just means Tazz's neck problems are worse than expected.

Randy Orton VS Kurt Angle - There were some people who were long time ECW fans that actually expected Angle to get booed and were shocked that he wasn't just cause he isn't an ECW pure-blood. Like his nickname, Angle is a Wrestling Machine, and he's earned the respect of pro-wrestling fans EVERYWHERE. And there were others who pointed out this match was boring due to all the mat work. Funny, I thought the critics were expecting more wrestling on the show? I think they are nuts if they just watch the match and silence out the audience cause the live crowd helped make this match fun and enjoyable. Don't tell me there are actually people who watch wrestling with the volume OFF on their TVs.

The FBI VS Super Crazy & Tajiri - The one match almost everyone can agree on as having an true-born ECW feel to it and was entertaining throughout.

World Championship: Sabu VS Rey Mysterio - The fact that they decided to end this match in a no-contest is a complete travesty since it was a PPV dream match that many tuned in to see specifically. Having the match end just because of one sick bump is being hypocritical to everything ECW stood for, especially since it seemed ok to have Terry Funk come out again after taking what looked to be a serious injury during the tag match later. Some people complained that Sabu is over rated And can only do big spots after watching the match, but hey, it's better than being a tiny world champion that jobs on TV EVERY WEEK. Sabu's style has never changed. Deal with it.

Mick Foley & Edge VS Terry Funk & Tommy Dreamer - A lot of complaints that they never should have added Beaulah & Lita to the match, but isn't that really like ECW's style to switch things up on the fly? The match was brutal, and we got more out of Terry Funk than any of us really expected he had in him after the way he was hobbling around on TV leading up to the PPV. The finish of Edge pinning Beaulah was the best way to continue Edge's push as a bastard heel who really would do anything to win a match and live up to his moniker of the Rated-R Superstar. If this show was like last year, no doubt the face team would have won to send the fans home happy, but this was more to set up storylines for the new TV show they have coming up and I really don't have a problem with it if taken in that perspective.

Balls Mahoney VS Masato Tanaka - They had to cut this one short due to time constraints, but seriously, after the MOTY caliber match and all the sick spots it took to take him down last year, they should have let Balls clobber Tanaka a few more times with the chair to finally put him down, no matter how sick that one shot was.

WWE Championship: Rob Van Dam VS John Cena - Again there were complaints about the fans not being "true" ECW fans since "true" ECW fans would have accepted Cena since the man really does bust his ass in the ring to do the best he can, just like in this match. Instead he got busted with "You can't wrestle" and "Same old sh*t" chants for his efforts. I really don't see the problem since Cena has been booed almost everywhere, and ECW fans at the Hammerstein was a high-concentrated dose of people who really had up to their necks with WWE cramming Cena down their throats and wanted Van Dam to get his due. Proven even more by the fact that they would cheer Edge for costing Cena the match near the end.
The one point I would agree on is of course the finish of the match with Heyman making the 3 count as back in the day you never saw anything like that on actual ECW television, and like many, I was expecting something to happen after the match that would either reverse the decision or continue the match, instead the decision stood.
And Vince obviously couldn't care less about his company's top prize since he agreed to let Heyman's decision stand on RAW the following night while he went off on his power trip seeking revenge against Triple H for exposing Vince's ass on TV last week.

So obviously, the PPV went off with a bang, and all the hope had been restored that ECW was indeed going to be something special when it made it's debut on Tuesday night on Sci-Fi Channel. If only we knew better then.


Any hope that WWE were going to do ECW right were completely dashed on Tuesday with the debut of ECW on Sci Fi Network. Even though some changes were to be expected, there was just so many thing wrong with the show.

The biggest problem was obviously the crowd. While it's good to see ECW in bigger venues compared to their past, the problem with doing ECW TV tapings before Smackdown! tapings is that you get a mixed crowd of ECW & WWE fans, resulting in ECW wrestlers getting booed during the ECW tapings, like Paul Heyman and Rob Van Dam were during the opening promo and presentation of the new ECW World Title. Add to that, why hasn't RVD been paired up again with Bill Alphonzo, the Manager of Champions? Fonzie was at One Night Stand, but he didn't accompany either RVD or Sabu for their matches.
And then we had Edge come out and play RVD like a fool before punking him out, along with John Cena. How the heck Joey Styles & Tazz could play it up like they didn't see it coming is beyond me considering just days earlier we saw Edge spear and dry hump Beaulah at One Night Stand. Heck, as laid back as he is, RVD should even have seen it coming.

And then there was the first official match on ECW TV. THE ZOMBIE?!? I understand it's the Sci Fi channel and all, but come on! The first match should have been something powerful and memorable, not having Sandman cane some jobber back to the grave. You could even see it on the faces of the fans as the Zombie made his way to the ring, this was the last thing anyone wanted to see on an ECW show.

And in the second match we had Kurt Angle squash former ECW champion Justin Credible in mere minutes with almost zero offense from Credible. Credible was the biggest heel of ECW at one time and one of the longest reigning champions. They could have at least let him get some offense in. And I think Tazz was legitimately shocked when Kurt almost used a Tazmission like choke to win the match.

Then we had another big time waster with the Kelly the Exhibitionist striptease segment. Some say it was a homage to Kimona from years back, but to me this was simply NOT the right time for it. I'm sure all the parents in the audience were happy they brought their kids with them that night too.

And finally the battle royal for the right to face John Cena at Vengeance. ECW was hardcore. But for ECW, hardcore was more than just garbage matches where you slapped each other on the head with a garbage can lid or cookie sheet. And despite Sabu winning it, that one match alone put over the fact that NONE of the ECW roster, including Big Guido, stood a chance against the Big Show.

And while we're on the subject of the roster, you could see how really thin the roster was last night. And we still haven't established a rank and file of the wrestlers. Who's a face and who's the heel? If they are all united, does that mean it's going to be ECW getting their butts kicked by WWE superstars every week?

The sooner they can get away from any inter-brand angle with WWE, the better. This was supposed to be an alternative to WWE programming, but in the end, it ended up as just another extension of everything we see on RAW and Smackdown every week, only worse. They didn't even give the live crowd anything to chant "ECW!" for.

Sci Fi Channel have given ECW praise for it's high debut TV ratings, but wasn't that the same as the XFL before it went downhill, crashed, burned, and became a black eye in the McMahon Hall of Achievement? Sci Fi might be happy now, but I'm guessing it'll be a different story next week when no one tunes in to watch after that debacle that was presented on Tuesday.
Some have said to be patient and wait it out, unfortunately, I think it's already too late for that. Next time Jerry Lawler calls it Extremely Crappy Wrestling and deters fans from watching the show, they just might listen to him.


Monday, June 12, 2006


It’s the same set as last year’s PPV, but we have a new white ring mat wit a red ECW logo on it.

Paul Heyman comes out to thank the fans and announce the revival of the new Era of Extreme. THANK YOU PAUL E!

Sign in the crowd: If Cena wins, We RIOT!

Tazz VS Jerry “The King” Lawler
Tazz comes out to his old War Machine theme! King gets a “You suck d*ck” chant, and he goes over to the announce table and slaps Joey Styles! Kill him Tazz, PLEASE!
King stares off with Tazz, and Joey jumps on Lawler’s back! King slams Styles to the mat and sets him up for the piledriver, but Tazz clamps on the Tazmission from behind and Lawler gets choked out in seconds!
I was expecting at least 1 Tazplex, but hey, Tazz shut up the King the choked him out, and that’s good enough for me!

A quick look back at Big Show jumping to ECW at the WWE VS ECW Head to Head special.

Back to ringside, and Tazz joins Styles on commentary.

Randy Orton VS Kurt Angle
Orton comes out and Styles & Tazz remark at how out of place Orton looks since he’s a superstar, and he even gets his pyro! Good to hear the ECW fans actually accept Angle, and the Olympic Hero has a new remixed entrance theme too. About time.
Orton gets a “P*ssy” chant for sliding out of the ring to avoid Angle.
We than get a “Break his ankle” when Kurt tried for an early ankle lock, and “Angle’s gonna kill you” and a “F*ck you Orton” chant. I love this crowd!
Angle actually pulls off an MMA takedown and gets a full rear mount, and then tries a few MMA submission locks! Angle is just OWNING Orton here!
Orton finally gets some offense in after Kurt misses a corner charge. He works over Angle’s back, but gets a “You can’t wrestle” and “Orton swallows” chant! The fans unload a “Boring” chant at Orton for using a sleeper!
Angle finally comes back with a big German suplex after Orton misses a corner charge. They stagger to their feet and trade European uppercuts. Angle hits a running elbow to the back of Orton’s head and hits the triple-rolling German suplexes! Orton counters the Angle Slam into an armdrag and catches Angle with a dropkick. Orton tries for the neckbreaker, but Angle counters into a back suplex. Angle hits the Angle Slam but only gets a 2 count! Angle clamps on the ankle lock, but Orton is able to ram Angle into the corner and catch him in his neckbreaker for a 2 count. Orton tries for the RKO, but Kurt shoves him off.
Orton goes up top and Angle pops up and tries to suplex him, but Orton knocks him off and hits a big diving cross body, but Angle rolls through and gets a 2 count! Orton hits Angle with hard clothesline and goes for the RKO, but Angle quickly counters into the ankle lock and clamps on the grapevine in the center of the ring, and Orton has no choice but to tap! ECW’s Kurt Angle wins!
As good as Orton is, this match showed his limited ring ability. Heck, Carlito has showed more growth in his ring work and Orton’s been around longer than him! Still, a really good match. Referees help Orton from the ring as he gets a rousing “You tapped out” and “P*ssy” chant from the audience.

The FBI (Tony Mamaluke & Little Guido) with Big Guido VS Super Crazy & Tajiri
Crazy & Tajiri do the 3-2-1 Hustle! pose in their intro!
Honestly, I haven’t seen a WWE tag team match that was as good as this one match ALL YEAR. The WWE bookers really need to take a good long look at this match and learn how to book tag team wrestling! Just a whole lot of awesomeness in this one from start to finish, and a rather surprising ending where the FBI manage to squeeze out a win pinning Tajiri with a double-team fisherman’s buster after getting dominated by Crazy & Tajiri throughout the match.

Big Show comes out after the match and cleans house on everyone! He even does a new cobra-clutch backbreaker move! I foresee a short Big Show/Big Guido feud coming up.

John “Bradshaw” Leyfield comes out in the rafters where the anti-ECW team were sitting last year. He shoots on the Blue Meanie incident from last year, and announces that since Tazz is jumping to ECW, that JBL is now the voice of Smackdown! Taz says he can have the job.

World Championship: Sabu VS Rey Mysterio
Notice they sort of stopped calling it the World HEAVYWEIGHT Championship?
We get the first “Holy Sh*t” chant of the night in this one when Mysterio gave Sabu a seated senton through a table on the outside, and Sabu may have hurt himself since referee Nick Patrick put up the “X” signal for injury and Sabu was clutching his right arm. But Sabu continues on and seems to be able to work through it since he dominated most of the match, including a SICK triple jump DDT out of the ring through a table! The trainers come out to check on both Sabu & Mysterio, and some Pee Wee Herman type person tells them to end the match?!? This gets a big “Bullsh*t” chant from the crowd, and rightfully so since it was getting really good. Hey, Mysterio has been jobbing left and right all over the place, why not lose here as well?!?

Mick Foley & Edge with Lita VS Terry Funk & Tommy Dreamer with Beaulah
Foley takes a shot at the ECW fans when he said he preferred ECW when it was run by Stephanie McMahon! Long live the Alliance! Edge bad mouths the fans, and Lita bad mouths Dreamer & Beaulah. The face team comes out next, and Beaulah challenges Lita, making the match now a 6-person tag!
This one quickly broke down to a garbage match with weapons and brawling everywhere. Dreamer manages to counter a spear and hiptoss Edge onto a ladder. Funk takes a big bump when he climbs up the ladder and try for a moonsault, but Edge knocks the ladder over. Dreamer tries for the Spicoli Driver on Edge, but Lita kicks him low. Edge & Foley than get a barb-wire board out from under the ring! They drop the whole darn thing on top of Dreamer! They try for it again, but Funk trips them up and the board falls on top of them!
Dreamer sets up the board in the corner as the fans chant “We want FIRE”! Dreamer & Funk send Foley into the board, but he puts the breaks on, so Funk & Dreamer beat him some more to send him into it! Edge grabs Dreamer out of the ring, and Foley drops the barb-wire board on Funk before asking for a roll of barb wire Lita gets from under the ring and wraps it around his hand and lays a few shots into Funk, bloodying him up! Foley than rakes the wire on Funk’s face! We might have another injury as Funk complains about his eye and medics remove him from the match. Foley grabs a barb-wire baseball bat and whacks Dreamer with it. They set the bat between his legs and Lita leg drops it on his groin! Foley pulls out Mr. Sockl and puts the mandible claw on Beaulah! Dreamer jumps Foley, but gets outnumbered as Foley puts the claw on him and Edge spears him.
Edge than grabs Lita, but before they can do anything, Terry Funk makes his way back to the ring, all bandaged up and carrying a barb-wire 2X4! Dreamer gives both Edge & Foley low blows while they are distracted, and Funk whacks them with the 2X4 before setting it on FIRE and giving Foley a shot to the back that sets his shirt on fire! Funk gives Foley one more shot that sends him out of the ring and through the barb-wire board! Edge than spears Funk off the apron and he falls on Foley!
Dreamer gives Edge the DDT, followed by a crossface with barb-wire across Edge’s face! Lita makes the save, but Beaulah tackles Lita and we have a CAT FIGHT! Dreamer gives Lita the Spicolli Driver, but Edge gives him an Edge-O-Matic with the barb-wire across the face! Edge than spears Beaulah when she checks on Dreamer and pins her for the win!
Now this was a really SICK hardcore match!

Balls Mahoney VS Masato Tanaka
Balls gained back his weight and looks like the Balls of old.
These two put on a great back and forth match which ended with one the SICKEST chair shots I’ve ever seen! Balls completed obliterated that chair over Tanaka’s head to get the surprisingly quick win!
Interesting that they would fly out Japan all the way from Japan for such a short match, and we still have plenty of time left on the PPV.

Looks like I spoke too soon as EUGENE comes out. He tries to put himself over as a ECW fan but gets booed. He starts reading a poem and I’m wishing for someone to come out and kill him already.
Well, out comes the SANDMAN! But NOT to Enter Sandman, which doesn’t get the big fan reaction you’d expect since the fans didn’t know it was him coming out till they saw him. Sandman has an EVIL look on his face as Eugene looks for a hug, but gets caned instead! Sandman canes him around the ring and Eugene gets on his knees and Sandman asks him to BEG! The whole crowd chants “Beg” and Eugene does but gets caned anyway as Sandman canes him all the way to the back! He comes out and has a few more beers before disappearing to the back again.
Seriously, they should have used Enter Sandman, just for tonight.

WWE Championship: Rob Van Dam VS John Cena
Cena threw his hat and shirt to the audience and they throw it right back at him! The fans even start to TP the ring lay into him with a “You can’t wrestle” chant. Heck, they give him a “Same old sh*t” chant when he does wrestle, so he goes up top and hits a diving axe handle!
Wanna know how much these fans REALLY hate Cena? At the end of the match, EDGE comes out and spears Cena through a table in the corner, and the crowd chants “Thank you Edge”! RVD hits the 5-Star Frog Splash, and PAUL HEYMAN comes out to make the 3 count since both referees got bumped, and Paul calls for the bell awarding RVD the WWE Title, now re-named the ECW World Title! Interesting finish to what was really a very strong back and forth match, but it protects Cena I guess since he’s hasn’t lost a match fair and square yet.

RVD instantly goes out into the crowd to celebrate with his wife before making his way back to the ring to celebrate with the ECW locker room. Some guys I noticed didn’t even make it onto the show like Danny Doring, Mikey Whipwreck (who was supposed to accompany Super Crazy & Tajiri earlier, but didn’t), and Fonzie!

Overall: Much like last year’s PPV, a definite contender for PPV of the year thanks to the really hot & rabid crowd as well as all the good ring work through out the night. If they continue booking shows like this, ECW will definitely be a success, and Vince probably won’t mind if as long as it makes him money.


Saturday, June 10, 2006

WWE VS ECW Head to Head 6/07/2006

Interesting kick off with Taz & Lawler almost going at it from the start since we have 2 announce teams calling the action at once.

Rey Mysterio VS Rob Van Dam
This is the kind of matches Rey Mysterio should be put in to defend his title instead of getting the snot beaten out of him by bigger guys! Van Dam even looked his best since his return, and the two really worked well together here being able to counter most of each others attacks and make for an exciting match that really could have gone either way if we didn’t already know that Rey is just a sacrificial lamb here.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Next up is the back and forth banter between Kurt Angle and Randy Orton. This really works when they get straight to the point, with Angle knowing Orton came after him because he broke his ankle 2 months ago, and Orton not only wanting revenge, but to be single handedly responsible for taking down ECW, in other words, he’s after another legend!

Mickie James VS Jazz
A bit too short for my liking, especially with the rather abrupt ending. That was a nasty landing for Mickie when Jazz gave her the Thez Press off the apron to the floor though. I’d rather see Jazz on RAW since there really isn’t much of a women’s division in ECW to begin with.
Match Rating: *

Interview with John Cena backstage, and the champ cut a great promo since he got straight to the point again and seemed to earn some respect from the fans when he said that he’s going into the One Night Stand and he’s going to fight like a man. You might hate his wannabe Rock style, but it worked here and came off really good.

Paul Heyman comes out next and in a span of about 5 minutes did more to promote One Night Stand than WWE has been doing in the past few weeks!

We than see Kurt Angle firing up the ECW team and Big Show firing up the WWE team for the big battle royal, which is next.

WWE VS ECW Battle Royal to Determine the Ultimate Supremacy in Sports Entertainment (Their words, not mine)
Team WWE: The Big Show, Randy Orton, Mark Henry, Tatanka, IC Champion Shelton Benjamin, Matt Hardy, Finlay, Carlito, US Champion Bobby Lashley & Edge
Team ECW: Kurt Angle, Terry Funk, Tommy Dreamer, the Sandman, Balls Mahoney, Little Guido, Justin Credible, Al Snow, Steven Richards & Psicosis
Well, this was actually a typically booked WWE battle royal with bodies flying everywhere too fast. Even if he was drafted to ECW, it sort of made them look weak when Angle was the only guy that stood a fighting chance on his team compared to everyone else. The whole match was basically to surprise everyone with the turn of the Big Show at the end as only in WWE would a guy win a battle royal, suddenly change sides, and the other team is then declared the winner. It was still fun watching Angle’s amazing effort though.
Match Rating: **

Back from commercial break and we see Big Show celebrating with the rest of the ECW crew in the locker room.

Edge, Lita & Mick Foley are in the ring, and Edge plays a classic ECW clip on the Titantron of Foley’s famous anti-ECW promo from 1995. And we are then on to our next match.

Extreme Rules: Edge with Lita & Mick Foley VS Tommy Dreamer with Terry Funk
The verbal assault between the WWE and ECW announce team reached it’s peak here as they really distracted from watching the match in the ring. Edge took a really sick bump when Dreamer backdropped him off the top rope and he missed the table, landing awkwardly on his head and neck. Interesting finish to the match also where Edge speared Dreamer when he had Lita up for a powerbomb.
Match Rating: *1/2

Back from a See No Evil promo to see Mick Foley sitting in a chair in the middle of the ring with a lone light shining on him. Foley is busted open from the post match brawl with Terry Funk. Foley finally gives his reason for turning on ECW, which of course is that he just wants to be rid of it and leave it in his past. This was another classic Foley promo and received good applause from the crowd despite the fact that he’s the heel.

Lawler & Taz finally had enough of each other and come to blows right at ringside. Joey Styles even takes a cheap shot at JR by flipping his hat off as Taz & Lawler are being pulled apart by officials.

Extreme Rules: John Cena VS Sabu
I guess any questions pertaining to Sabu’s health and current in ring ability were easily put to rest here he was in phenomenal shape and hit all his spots flawlessly, including the triple jump moonsault! Cena took a beating, but I think they should have had Cena actually beat Sabu here to make up for Mysterio’s loss to RVD earlier. And after all the carnage of Sabu tossing chairs into Cena’s face, it really didn’t make sense for the referee to call for the bell when Big Show got involved. If he rang the bell after everyone else came in it would have made more sense. It was still an entertaining match though, and the inter-promotional brawl at the end was good way to close out the broadcast.
Match Rating: **

Overall: This really was one of the better free TV wrestling shows of the year so far, and they did a great job of hyping the One Night Stand PPV as well as the return of ECW on Sci-Fi Network next week. They are bound to hit a home run again with the PPV if it’s booked like the show was tonight, or like last year’s PPV. The only thing I’m wondering about now will be the ECW show itself since we haven’t established who’s a heel and who’s not yet. Guess we’ll have to wait for next week for that.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

RIP John Tenta

John "Earthquake" Tenta, 1964 - 2006
Big John Tenta, who most wrestling fans remember as Earthquake in WWF/E, passed away this morning after a long battle with bladder cancer. He was just 42.
There have been a lot of big men in wrestling, and Tenta definately had to be rated up there as one of the best of them. He had size, power and surprisingly could move very well in the ring. The highlight of his wrestling career was easilly his feud with Hulk Hogan in the mid-90s, as well as being part of one of the most shocking moments I could remember when he squashed Damien, Jake "the Snake" Roberts' prized Python companion. He was awesome in the monster heel role he played in WWE during that time and when he became a babyface with Typhoon as the Natural Disasters, the fans instantly accepted him.
He never found the same fame in his career as his initial WWF/E run though. Going through bizarre gimmicks in WCW, and a short stint as the lovable Golga as part of the Oddities group in WWF/E later. He re-established himself a bit thanks to a short run in All Japan Pro-Wrestling before having to hang up the boots to deal with his cancer problems which were much publicized thanks to the big man himself who would show up on message boards to update the fans on his condition, hoping that he could one day get back in the ring. It was not to be unfortunately.
So here's to the Earthquake, hopefully rumbling it up with Yokozuna up there in the heavens. God bless and rest in peace.


Sunday, June 04, 2006

New NOAH Champions!

Big shocker at NOAH's tour closer today as there were two big title changes on the show! First, former champion Takashi Sugiura defeated KENTA to win the GHC Jr. title in a match whre everyone expected KENTA to retain and avenge his loss to Sugiura from 2 years ago when Sugiura successfully defened the title against KENTA, and last June when Sugiura pinned KENTA to win the GHC Jr. tag titles. Sugiura won his no.1 contender spot last night winning an 8-man battle royal which many thought would have been won by veteran Mitsuo Momota since he had attacked and provoked KENTA at the beginning of the tour.
And in the main event, the veteran team of Kenta Kobashi and Tamon Honda won the GHC tag team titles off the youngster team of Takeshi Morishima and Mohammed Yone, who are fresh back from a tour of the UK. Honda used a new cross-armed variation of the Dead End on Yone to win the titles in a battle that went over a half hour and should definately be awesome to watch when it becomes available.

NOAH "Northern Navigation" 6/4/06 (NTV/G+)
Sapporo Media Park Spica
2,400 Fans - Super No Vacancy

1. SUWA & Akihiko Ito beat Mitsuo Momota & Atsushi Aoki (10:12) when SUWA used the FFF on Aoki.
2. Junji Izumida, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Low Ki beat Masao Inoue, Kishin Kawabata & Ippei Ota (16:04) when Kanemaru used a brainbuster on Ota.
3. Akitoshi Saito beat Jason Bates (8:26) with the Sickle of Death.
4. Scorpio, Bison Smith & Bobby Fish beat Akira Taue, Takuma Sano & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (19:35) when Scorpio used the 450 Splash on Kikuchi.
5. Jun Akiyama beat Shuhei Taniguchi (11:56) with the Exploder.
6. Takeshi Rikio, Kentaro Shiga & Naomichi Marufuji beat Mitsuharu Misawa, Yoshinari Ogawa & Ricky Marvin (17:06) when Marufuji used the Shiranui on Marvin.
7. GHC Jr. Heavyweight Title: Takashi Sugiura beat KENTA (c) (25:42) with an ankle hold to become the 11th champion.
8. GHC Tag Team Titles: Kenta Kobashi & Tamon Honda beat Takeshi Morishima & Mohammed Yone (c) (33:31) when Honda used a cross-armed Dead End on Yone to become the 12th champions.