Wednesday, April 22, 2020

WWE NXT Review - April 22nd, 2020

April 22nd, 2020 

Apparently something happened and Finn Balor can't compete tonight. This leaves Velveteen Dream without an opponent tonight. Velveteen is on the turnbuckle doing his best Finn impression mocking the demon for standing him up. This brings out NXT Champion Adam Cole whom Velveteen has been wanting face to face for weeks. Cole has no clue what happened to Balor, but knows exactly what is gonna happen to Velveteen. Cue Roderick Strong & Bobby Fish on the attack. 3 on 1 assault is broken up by Keith Lee who cleans the whole damn house. 


1) Shotzi Blackheart & Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez 

God this ruled. I wish it would've went longer and wasn't just a glorified squash bc the urgency and fire in this stemming from last week was real and these ladies knocked it out of the park. Such a fun, crisp and perfect few minutes. Gonzalez pins Shotzi with a crazy chokeslam. 

Match rating - ***

Later tonight: Adam Cole & Roderick Strong vs. Velveteen Dream & Keith Lee 

2) Drake Maverick vs. Jake Atlas - Cruserweight Title Tournament 

Great video package to hype up and introduce Jake Atlas. They also show a clip of Maverick's emotional video on Twitter that he posted soon after he found out he would be unemployed after this tournament. It makes the stakes for this seem super high, but that drama doesn't transcend to the match. It's a solid debut for Atlas though and they showed some good struggle to build off the Drake stuff which was accuenated by some verbal exchanges. Atlas busted out a few crazy things including the finish as he nailed a flawless cartwheel ddt off the top rope for the victory. I hoped for a lot more from this, but you can't really expect an epic this early in a WWE booked tournament.

Match rating - **3/4

Damian Priest/Keith Lee video package. Priest brings it back to when he defeated Keith Lee in his debut main event match on NXT and says he will do it again and become North American Champion. 

3) KUSHIDA vs. Tony Nese - Cruserweight Title Tournament 

Nese is determined to show KUSHIDA how it feels to compete in a "real cruserweight tournament" and starts out real aggressive but KUSHIDA fires back in kind. Nese hits a 630 for a two count. KUSHIDA threw shots at the left arm throughout the match which helped him in the finish as he did the flying/flipping cross arm breaker on Nese for the win. That finish was sick. 

Match rating - ***

Backstage, it's Matt Riddle and BIG TIM THATCHER. Riddle says he misses Pete and gets weird and calls Tim beautiful. Next week he will show the world how beautiful Tim really is. 

Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae are sharing a candlelit dinner at home. Amid refusing to watch the recent Gargano/Ciampa stuff out of exhaustion, I forgot Gargano was a heel now. They propose the idea of taking over NXT as a couple, destroying it and rebuilding it the way it should be because the 'good guys' always win. Candice has fully committed to this heel role and she really shined here. I love it. Candice forever. 

Drake Maverick is on the steps backstage crying and says everyone in this tournament is facing their opponent but he is facing his opponents and himself. "Maybe everyone was right about me.." :-/

4) Mia Yim vs. Jessi Kamea

I love Mia and I've never seen Jesse but her theme music and entrance is cool. This is a squash for Mia. Post match, NXT Women's Champion Charlotte comes out to ask Mia about the opportunity she laid out for her. Mia says it would be an honor to face her. Charlotte says she's gonna make Mia a star next week. 

5) Jack Gallagher vs. El Hijo Del Fantasmo - Cruserweight Title Tournament Match 

Maybe I'm being short sighted but this was my least favorite of the tourney matches tonight. And that sucks bc I was stoked on Fantasmo's debut. But to me, it didn't give him the display he deserves. A cool move here or there but ultimately it was super routine. Gallagher is a newly focused man and wants to shut down Fantasmo in his debut. Tasmo fights from under and wins with a driver variation.

Match rating - **1/2 

NEXT WEEK: Charlotte vs. Mia Yim + Keith Lee vs. Damian Priest - both are title matches 

6) Velveteen Dream & Dexter Lumis vs. Adam Cole & Roderick Strong 

Okay so what the fuck? First off, Finn got mysteriously taken off the show because "something happened" to him in the locker room. So we get this tag, and Keith Lee gets attacked by Damian Priest before the bell and can't compete. So Velveteen goes it alone and randomly Dexter . .. Lumis... Shows up on the apron. "this night just keeps getting weirder and weirder" says Byron Saxton and he is correct. BUT Dexter looks AWESOME here. Giving it to Cole & Strong then diving onto Fish on the floor allowing Velveteen to scoop the pin on Cole for the win. 

Match rating - **1/2

Final thoughts: No standout matches or must see stuff this week, but it still passed very quickly and kept my attention pretty much the whole time and has me locked in to tune in next week because of so many unanswered questions and well built matches already announced. NXT has been producing simple, good week to week TV lately and the roster seems to have so much depth right now. I'm into it. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Velocity Review - August 10th, 2002

WWE Velocity
August 10th, 2002

Commentators: Tazz & Marc Lloyd

Rico is backstage giving Marc Lloyd a haircut/makeover. Hardcore Holly walks up and Rico basically tells him to piss off. Holly retorts by shaving a chunk out of Rico's hair.

1) Tajiri vs. Chavo Guerrero 

They trade holds to start and these two are both good, so it's solid from start to finish. Tajiri sells the leg insanely well. Finish cuts the momentum short though with Tajiri getting DQ'd for spraying Chavo with the green mist.

Match rating - **

2) Funaki vs. Rico

This was whatever. They did stuff for a few minutes and Rico wins.

Match rating - *1/2

3) Mike Awesome vs. Bull Buchanan

So, Mike actually got the opportunity to get some good stuff in during this match and showcased his agility. HOWEVER, the commentators completely shit on this by talking about Rock/Brock/Hogan the literal entire time. GARBAGE.

Match rating - *1/2

4) Hardcore Holly vs. Albert

Another complete throwaway here. Albert attacks Holly before the bell while he's staring out at Marc Lloyd whom he has an obsession with for some reason. Holly sneaks the win after a few minutes of stuff and goes after Lloyd again. Rico, his new personal stylist, makes the save and superkicks Holly to close the show.

Match rating - *1/4

WOW, this show sucked.

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - August 8th, 2002

WWE Smackdown
August 8th, 2002
Richmond, Virginia

Show begins with a Hulk Hogan video package that I skipped bc I don't care. Hogan faces Brock Lesnar in the main event tonight.

1) Kurt Angle vs. John Cena

What a rewind to how this whole era kicked off. Cena still isn't getting much of a reaction, but this is solid and honestly the best of any of his matches so far. It breaks down into hell after 6-7 minutes. Benoit runs in and locks Cena in the crossface. Mysterio runs down for the save. Eddie Guerrero is out next and takes Rey out. Next out is EDGE. Edge spears Angle off the apron and the baby faces stand tall. WE GONNA GET THE TRIOS MATCH I WANTED COMING OUT OF LAST WEEK. YUSSS.

Backstage, Angle confronts Benoit about him being the best at making people tap in the middle of Guerrero bragging about how Benoit made Rock tap last week. Guerrero & Benoit like Smackdown for this reason - so much good competition. Guerrero then proses the three of them team up to take on Cena/Edge/Mysterio.

2) Mark Henry vs. Rev Devon (w/ Batista)

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Raw Review - August 5th, 2002

WWE Monday Night Raw 
August 5th, 2002

TONIGHT: The Hardys vs. Christian & Lance Storm

Chris Jericho is out for his first -official- night on Raw. He's immediately interrupted by Triple H who's headhunting for who hurt Shawn Michaels last week. H basically accuses and questions Jericho because of their past issues. Jericho shoots down the idea and H says isn't leaving the arena tonight until he finds out who did it. Exit Triple H. Jericho is happy he can keep talking without being rudely interrupted only for ROB VAN DAM to come out. Van Dam welcomes him to Raw, but wants to know what HE is smoking to be out there saying Raw is his show. This leads to the two agreeing to a match. Jericho tries to call RVD a son of a bitch only to get clocked in the jaw. A little action breaks out and they do some flippy shit. Van Dam misses a kick, but Jericho lands one and dips out.

1) The Big Show vs. Bubba Ray Dudley - Tables Match

Tired of this feud, but this was fun! Trish comes out to distract Show, Spike runs in with a fucking football helmet and runs into Show allowing Bubba to pop Show through a table with a half 3-D/flap jack.

Match rating - **

Backstage, Lance Storm lays into America and the current president. This brings up Sgt. Slaughter and Test steps up to him. I guess they're gonna wrestle later or something.

2) Tommy Dreamer (c) vs. Bradshaw - Hardcore Title Match

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Velocity Review - August 3rd, 2002

WWE Velocity
August 3rd, 2002

Commentators: Michael Cole & Marc Lloyd

I haven't taken the time to watch many episodes of Velocity & Sunday Night Heat during this project, but fuck it lets go.

1) Hardcore Holly vs. Albert

Not much happening here. Most notable moment is Holly somehow hitting the Alabama slam on Albert which got a huge pop. Holly uses that to pick up the win after a few minutes to open the show.

Match rating - *1/2

Post-match, Holly slaps Marc Lloyd across the face and no one knows why. Cole follows it up with "cat got your tongue, Marc? Or does Holly?"

2) Mike Awesome vs. Farooq

Won't even lie, seeing Mike Awesome on this card made me motivated to give this a watch. He's fresh off knee surgery and just returned last week on Velocity. Farooq is a perfect opponent for Awesome, I wish they had gotten more time. But it's still enjoyable for what it is, albeit nothing special. Farooq wins.

Match rating - *3/4

3) Billy Kidman vs. Funaki

This was actually pretty focused. Funaki works the arm. Kidman finds a way out, but can't do much because of the arm. DDT from Funaki for a two count. Funaki scales the top rope, Kidman follows him up for a frankensteiner off the top for a two. Kidman then proceeds to counter out of a powerbomb attempt with a facebuster followed by a shooting star press for the win.

Match rating - **

Hurricane gives Shannon Moore a pep talk heading into their rematch with Billy & Chuck.

4) Billy & Chuck (w/ Rico) vs. The Hurricane & Shannon Moore

Ok this was random, but so sick. Moore & Hurricane fly around like crazy and push Billy & Chuck to their limits despite them having the power advantage. They play off the pre-match pep talk and don't allow Rico to cost them the match and in fact, do the opposite by taking him out with dives in the final stretch. Moore gets the hot tag and it rules. Lots of good shit packed in here, simple tag formula that built off their previous match. Billy & Chuck best the cruserweights when all is said and done, very fun.

Match rating - **3/4

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - August 1st, 2002

WWE Smackdown
August 1st, 2002
Charlotte, North Carolina

1) Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri 

YES. Another great showing for Rey following his debut against Chavo last week. Lots of good exchanges here as Tajiri can more than hold his own with someone like Mysterio. He finds a way out of the west coast pop hurricanrana forcing Mysterio to re-think and hit it from the top turnbuckle for the victory. Fiery start to Smackdown!

Match rating - ***1/4

Kurt Angle comes out and says he wants Brock Lesnar tonight. This brings out Hollywood Hulk Hogan who also has a bone to pick with Lesnar. Good segment with Steph coming out and making a match between the two for later with the winner facing Brock next week.

2) Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Henry

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Raw Review - July 29th, 2002

WWE Monday Night Raw
July 29th, 2002
Greensboro, NC

Eric Bischoff hits the ring to announce who he drove off with from Smackdown last week. It's Raw's newest acquistion - Christian, Lance Storm, and Test (The Un-Americans). They go nuts insulting NC and America. Christian says american teens do nothing but scarf down Big Macs and download porn. MY GOD. Shawn Michaels ends up coming out and pulls the Bret Hart insult card against the Canadians. Gross, fuck this.

1) Booker T vs. Eddie Guerrero

Book & Eddie both rule so this wasn't bad, but also nothing to write home about. Harmless five minute match with Book winning with the scissors kick.

Match rating - **1/4

Bischoff heard a woman showed up in a limo. He thinks it's Stephanie and snatches the door open to find... Mae Young and Moolah. Nice.

HBK is on a hunt for Triple H backstage and runs into BOOKER T. Book lays some vicious words on him, but Shawn doesn't care. Shame.

2) Trish Stratus & Bubba Ray Dudley vs. Molly Holly & Big Show

Molly was supposed to team with William Regal, but Big Show is his replacement. This is some more pointless shit. Bubba & Trish win yeehaw!

Match rating - *

Backstage, Shawn runs into Big Show, blowing him off in his hunt for H, also. Show is angry.

Ric Flair tells Jeff Hardy not to destroy himself to give Bischoff retains. Bischoff doesn't give a damn and can't wait to see Hardy in his hardcore title match with Bradshaw in a little bit.

3) Jeff Hardy vs. Bradshaw (c) - Hardcore Title Match

Monday, April 20, 2020

WWE: 205 Live Review - March 20th, 2020

WWE 205 Live Review 
March 20th, 2020 

Last week, Team NXT Cruserweights defeated the 205 Live Originals in a 10 man elimination match. What's next? 

1) Danny Burch vs. Joquain Wilde 

Burch was eliminated first last week so he's a little disgruntled. Side note: I love his theme music. ANYWAY these two put in a pretty decent showing here. Cool spot with Wilde diving off the railing in the "crowd" onto Burch. Other than that, this was pretty routine. Burch gets a singles win which is surprising but I guess it was needed coming off being eliminated first last week. 

Match rating - **1/4

They take a look back at the 5 on 5 elimination match from last week and run down what all happened. And then cut to the tech truck where JOHN CENA was watching live last week!! Epic. 

2) Isaiah Swerve Scott vs. Oney Lorcan 

Between these two, they hold claim to four of the eliminations last week so this almost a clash of the alphas. Lorcan took a different approach than normal and tried to wear down & ground Swerve with holds, particularly targeting the leg. Swerve fought from underneath and was finally able to get a break with an insane lariat that turned Lorcan inside out. This allowed Swerve to start flying around and doing what he does best and it ends up leading him to victory. This wasn't bad but had no real fire behind it. It was almost like the most basic run through of how to work this style of match. Swerves double stomp at the end looked great though. 

Match rating - ** 

WWE: 205 Live Review - March 13th, 2020

WWE 205 Live 
March 13th, 2020 
Orlando, FL 

205 Live Originals vs. NXT Cruserweights 

1) Tony Nese, Brian Kendrick, Jack Gallagher, Ariya Davari, & Mike Kanellis vs. KUSHIDA, Tyler Breeze, Oney Lorcan, Danny Burch & Isaiah Swerve Scott 

This entire show is devoted to a story that could have been so much bigger if it had been promoted on a larger platform. Recently, William Regal decided to spread the Cruiserweight Title to NXT thus adding outsiders to the originally 205 Live exclusive division which leads us to this. A match where the 205 Live Originals fight for their supremacy against the new NXT Cruserweights. Tony Nese and Lio Rush are the team captains, but Jack Gallagher took out Lio Rush in an attack so Team NXT has a hole to fill. The other four men come out and their mystery partner is .. ... KUSHIDAAAAAAA. Awesome surprise. This is real fun from the jump. Danny Burch is first out after shit breaks down into an all out brawl and the Singh Brothers toss Nese a camera and he hits him with it behind the refs back for the pin. Next out is Tyler Breeze via a pinning combination by Jack Gallagher. Team NXT is down 2 until 205 team leader Tony Nese gets eliminated thanks to dissension between he & Jack Gallagher. This also costs them the elimination of Mike Kanellis as Gallagher head-butted his own partner Nese AND Kanellis out of frustration. It's now 3 on 3 with Kendrick/Davari/Gallagher against KUSHIDA/Lorcan/Swerve. Swerve gets tagged in and manages to eliminate both Kendrick & Davari with a roll up. They assault KUSHIDA and Lorcan before leaving to try to help Gallagher who is now left on his own. He goes ape shit and throws Swerve over the announce table and eliminates Lorcan with a stiff elbow shot to the jaw. However, the numbers are too much and KUSHIDA & Swerve team up and take Gallagher down. Fucking great finish with Swerve popping Gallagher's arm and throwing him into KUSHIDA's signature arm bar which Gallagher taps to immediately. This was real solid despite having no audience. KUSHIDA and Swerve stare down to close the show as they know they will have to clash eventually. 

Match rating - ***1/4 

WWE Main Event Review - March 12th, 2020

WWE Main Event
March 12th, 2020 

Wow. I don't think I've ever reviewed an episode of main event??? But I saw Ricochet on the thumbnail and an advertised Shelton/Humberto match so let's goooo. 

Byron Saxton and... Wow Mickie James on commentary. I think my crush on her continues to last through the years.

1) Ricochet vs. Eric Young 

Eric Young comes out to no reaction. Poor guy.. he's a good base for Ricochet here though who's been reduced to Main Event after getting squashed by Brock at Super Showdown :-/ this is a fun Ricochet exhibition though. He runs through his stuff and gets the win with the 630. 

Match rating - **1/4

Raw replays begin. Becky's promo on Shayna airs. 

A McIntyre/Town clip slash beatdown slash match thing airs from Raw? This format is weird. I'm fast forwarding. 

Humberto Carrillo is out next to face Shelton in the main event of main event? 

2) Shelton Benjamin vs. Humberto Carrillo 

Pretty fun and creative match. Could've been a lot more if it went longer but they still made due with what they had. Carrillo defeats, as Mickie says, the self proclaimed main event champion. 

Match rating - **1/2 

Smackdown replays blah blah. The actual show is over goodbye. 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

WWE NXT Review - April 15th, 2020

WWE NXT Review
Orlando, FL
April 15th, 2020

Today has been a crazy day in WWE history, as has this whole week. On top of returning to live, albeit empty arena, shows - WWE began making numerous cuts to their roster due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Included in those cuts is Drake Maverick, a talent who will be finishing out his WWE run in the round robin cruserweight title tournament that begins tonight. A heartfelt video from him talking about this on Twitter is honestly what led me to want to watch this show live.

1) Finn Balor vs. Fabian Aichner

This stems out of Balor's quest to face NXT UK Champion Walter whom is the leader of the Imperium stable which Archer is a part of. Balor has been so much more intense since returning to NXT, so this was good, even without an audience to boot. Archer gave Balor a hell of a fight, giving some nasty looking marks on his back, but Balor would retaliate with a running dropkick through the railing followed by the Coupe De Grace and the bloody sunday for the win.

Match rating - ***1/4

TONIGHT: Adam Cole and Velveteen Dream confrontation

UP NEXT: NXT Champion Charlotte speaks

Charlotte pre-taped video package airs and she wants MIA YIM as her first challenger. Hell yes ! ! !!

2) Aliyah vs. Xia Li

Li accidentally broke Aliyah's nose in a prior match so here we are. Li starts pounding away but Aliyah won't back down. Valiant effort from Aliyah, but Li puts her down after a few minutes. Both ladies killed it, though. Perfect for what it was!

Match rating - **3/4

REGAL CRUSERWEIGHT TITLE TOURNAMENT VIDEO PACKAGE. FINALLY YES. And kicking it off up next is TOZAWA VS SCOTT. Perfect pairing to match my taste's.

Matt Riddle is on the phone with Pete Dunne trying to get him to tell him who his tag team partner is..

3) Isaiah "Swerve" Scott vs. Akira Tozawa - Cruserweight Title Tournament Match

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - July 25th, 2002

WWE Smackdown 
July 25th, 2002 
Indianapolis, IN

Tonight is Stephanie's first night as General Manger and she's bringing us Edge vs. Jericho in a Steel Cage, the debut of Rey Mysterio, and Hogan/Rock vs. Christian/Storm. 

1) Kurt Angle vs. Mark Henry 

This doesn't last long before Brock Lesnar runs out and hits an F5 on Henry. Kurt follows him backstage to ask what that was about. Lesnar says Kurt was in trouble and he wanted to help him out. Brock proceeds to say Kurt's run as the #1 guy on Smackdown is over. Angle looks like he's gonna blow a gasket. 

Stacy Keibler volunteers to help Steph anyway she can since Vince "relieved her of her services." Someone knocks at the door and Eric Bischoff sent Steph flowers and says he will be there tonight. Steph throws the flowers and vase at the wall. 

2) Reverend D-Von vs. Big Valbowski 

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Raw Review - July 22nd, 2002

July 22nd, 2002 
Grand Rapids, Michigan 

Eric Bischoff comes out. We are rolling into this era hard. The New Undisputed Champion The Rock will be here tonight. And now Bischoff introduces Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Huge pop for that. It soon turns sour as Bischoff tries to make HBK the manager of HHH and Shawn hates the idea and says it's his way or the highway and he walks out. H runs after him. As a side note, I've seen hardly nothing from this H/HBK feud so seeing all this unfold unspoiled is interesting!

1) Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy - Ladder Match for the IC/European Titles 

Bischoff announced this unification match. RVD and Hardy went out and went apeshit for 8 minutes. RVD wins after two of the most dangerous looking spots ever. Check this trainwreck out if you haven't seen it. 

Match rating - ***1/2

Chris Nowinski comes out and thankfully The Undertaker destroys him with a last ride. 

Bischoff is backstage striking a deal with Rhino when he isn't injured anymore. He runs into D-Lo Brown and Stasiak. They're begging for an opportunity so Bischoff gives them three minutes to entertain him or it's gonna be bad. 

2) Trish Stratus & Bubba Ray Dudley vs. Molly Holly & William Regal 

Monday, April 6, 2020

WWE: WrestleMania 36 Night Two Review - April 5th, 2020

WWE WrestleMania 36
Night Two - April 5th, 2020 

1) Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Charlotte - NXT Women's Title Match 

I'll go ahead and say it, the night peaked here. Awesome opener that definitely should've been higher in the card. Just great, classic traditional pro wrestling. Charlotte stuck to the leg work she began early on in route to the figure four and it obviously played into the finish. Everything here was well done, intriguing, and meant something. With a crowd, this probably could've been rated even higher, but even under these circumstances it's worth a look regardless. Charlotte wins the NXT Title in a huge moment! Interested to see where this leads!

Match rating - ****

2) Aleister Black vs. Bobby Lashley 

Saturday, April 4, 2020

WWE: WrestleMania 36 Review (Night One) - April 4th, 2020

WWE WrestleMania 36
WWE Performance Center
Orlando, FL 

Pre- Show: 

1) Drew Gulak vs. Cesaro 
I was really looking forward to this and they got five minutes. With their style, I thought this could work well under the no-crowd format but we didn't really get a chance to tell. It was fine while it lasted none the less. 

Match rating - **

Main Show: 

1) Asuka & Kairi Sane (c) vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross - Women's Tag Title Match 

Missed part of this because I left to get food but what I caught was decent. I love Asuka and Alexa. New champions were crowned in the form of Alexa & Nikki. 

Match rating - ** 

2) King Corbin vs. Elias

Elias cracks Corbin with a guitar to start. That earned one star and the half was earned by Corbin yelling "y'all like the view?" To God knows who considering its an empty arena. Other than those two moments this blew. 

Match rating - *1/2

3) Becky Lynch (c) vs. Shayna Basler - Raw Women's Title Match 

Wow.. for all the great matches Becky has had, she has two ultra disappointing Mania matches under her belt. Last year's main event and this travesty. Not anything like what the build insinuated. And ultimately dumb. Becky rolls out of a submission for a pin to retain. I don't get it. 

Match rating - ** 

4) Sami Zayn (c) vs. Daniel Bryan - Intercontinental Title Match 

4 minutes of stalling from Zayn. Then 5 minutes of Bryan stiffing him and beating the hell out of him. Bryan takes out Nakamura & Cesaro at ringside after they mess with Gulak. Zayn takes advantage and catches Bryan with a helluva kick in mid air. Best thing on the show so far, but can't help but think this was ended way too quickly/abruptly. 

Match rating - ***1/4

5) John Morrison (c) vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jimmy Uso - Ladder Match for the Tag Team Titles

Each man's partner was taken out due to the virus and having too many people in the ring (I think) - so it's a solo representation thing now. And wow. These guys killed it. They were just as motivated as Bryan & Zayn to make the best of this and gave nothing less than what I feel like they'd give in front of a full arena. A number of insane spots and even though the finish was weird, kinda lame - this deserves the rating I'm giving it for the performance and keeping my attention the entire duration on such a weirdly formatted show. Morrison retains the belts for he & The Miz. 

Match rating - ****

6) Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens

Wow. No clue how they pulled this off. I wasn't even expecting a ***1/2+ match from this if it was a normal scenario but they knocked it out of the park. Very stiff, very good pacing. False DQ finish, restarted as No DQ and Owens has a WrestleMania moment that will probably be replayed for a long time as he did a senton off the WrestleMania sign to the floor planting Rollins through the announce table. The camera angle on that made it look amazing also. Rollins best match in ages and Owens shows he deserves more than what he gets. 

Match rating - ****

R-Truth says he's the 24/7 I95 South Champion and Mojo Rawley knocks him on his ass and wins the title from him. 

Paul Heyman is backstage selling everyone on the McIntyre/Lesnar match tomorrow. Heyman says Brock isn't of our species.

7) Goldberg (c) vs. Braun Strowman - Universal Title Match

Goldberg went longer than a minute this is wild. Strowman wins a showcase of power moves that lasted not even 5 minutes. This shouldn't have been a World Title match. 

Match rating - *1/4 

8) AJ Styles vs. The Undertaker - Boneyard Match

Yanno. WWE really surprised me here. I don't really know how to review this or articulate my thoughts on it. BUT I think the biggest thing here is that WWE did something different and out of their element in lieu of the covid-19 crisis that backed them up against the wall before their biggest show of the year. So kudos to them for that. This has to be seen to be believed. Taker and Styles battle action-movie style in a graveyard. Gallows and Anderson are involved. Taker shows up as Biker Taker on his motorcycle. And when all is said and done and he buries AJ Styles, he rides off in the night on his motorcycle. All in all, it's a real hoot and not what I expected AT ALL. Some are gonna love it, some are gonna hate it, all I can really say is..

Match rating - WHAT THE FUCK 

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Vengeance 2002 Review - July 21st, 2002

WWE Vengeance
July 21st, 2002
Detroit, Michigan

Commentators: Michael Cole & Tazz (first half) and Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler (second half)
The theme song of this PPV "Downfall" by Trust Company accompanied by the card run down fully sent me into nostalgia mode. If you ever played anything on the video games released during this time period you will feel the same.

1) Eddie Guerrero & Chris Benoit vs. Bubba Ray & Spike Dudley
These two were involved in a six man that wasn't bad on Raw so this was solid also albeit just what you'd expect. They worked the stip well, Michael Cole kept using the term "hard wood" to describe the tables, Spike took some nasty bumps. Fine enough opener!

Match rating - ***

2) Jamie Noble (w/ Nidia) vs. Billy Kidman - Cruserweight Title Match

Pretty run of the mill stuff here. Noble retains and remains 'high on the hog'.

Match rating - **1/4

Kurt Angle runs into Brock backstage and hitsh im with "this isn't the summer of Brock, it's all year Angle" - I love that.

3) Jeff Hardy (c) vs. William Regal - European Title Match

This wasn't any better or worse than their first match. Regal is trying to get his title back after he had an emotional breakdown when he lost it. Hardy still brings his A game and bests him anyway in a fairly short amount of time.

Match rating - *3/4

Flair & Hogan are backstage waiting to congratulate Jeff Hardy. They say he's something special.

4) Chris Jericho vs. John Cena

Almost forgot about this match when writing this review. It wasn't bad, but the Cena push/first run is starting to lose it's steam and become repetitive. Jericho clearly has the match won, tries to torture him more, but Cena reverses a Walls of Jericho attempt into a small package for the win.

Match rating - **

5) Rob Van Dam (c) vs. Brock Lesnar - Intercontinental Title Match

Now this is the good shit. PERFECT power vs speed match. Brock plays the big man so well and Van Dam bumps around even better. This could've easily hit 4 stars or more if it kept going/had a clean finish. But regardless is still the best undercard match on this PPV and worth a watch. Van Dam in his prime ruled and Brock is Brock and amazing as always.

Match rating - ***1/2

6) Booker T vs. Big Show - No DQ, No Countouts

Booker & Show went out and just wreaked havoc for a few minutes. Booker gets the sort of upset victory? Some good announce table bumps and such and Booker hit a couple different scissor kick variations to put Show down. Fun!!

Match rating - ***

TRIPLE H is here. First night back in the ring. He's here to decide/announce if he's going to Raw or Smackdown. Eric Bischoff comes out followed by Stephanie to bribe him. H chooses "the devil he knows" over "the devil he doesn't" and picks Steph until AW AW AW SHAWN. HBK throws a monkeywrench in shit and a DX reunion is teased which gets H to wanna go to Raw. Hunter & HBK do the DX pose on the ramp and we will see them on Raw tomorrow night. Lordy lordy.

7) Hollywood Hulk Hogan & Edge (c) vs. Christian & Lance Storm - WWE Tag Team Title Match

This was in the cool down spot on the card, but actually kinda rocked. Crowd hates the canadians and loves Hogan & Edge. Several close falls down the stretch and ultimately thanks to some Test interference, Christian & Lance Storm come out on top and leave the new tag champs.

Match rating - **3/4

8) The Undertaker (c) vs. The Rock vs. Kurt Angle - WWE Undisputed Championship Match

This surprisngly held up just about as well as I remembered, if not even a little more so. Just classic stuff from all three guys. They did the whole do each others finishers thing kinda early which weirded me out, but the insane final stretch made up for it. Angle got busted open along the way. The crowd was hanging on every move and they worked the type of match well. The angle slam bumps here were rough. God I swear I don't remember that move having so much arc on the neck every time but lord. The finish with Rock pinning Angle out of the Rock bottom and Taker draping his arm over to try to break it up at the split second the ref counts three was a perfect touch. Rock wins and is the new WWE Undisputed Champion.

Match rating - ****1/4

Final thoughts: Pretty good PPV. I'm almost a month into this project and I'm finally finding myself excited to tune into the next show. Coming out of this, I'm invested in the Triple H/HBK stuff because I never watched regularly during this time so I really haven't seen any of that feud so it's all fresh. Also the main event ruled and seeing where all three men go going forward has my attention as well as Brock Lesnar. So, yeah, this was fun despite the undercard having some duds.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - July 18th, 2002

WWE Smackdown
July 18th, 2002
Wilkes Barre, PA

TONIGHT: The Rock vs. Kurt Angle

1) Chris Jericho vs. John Cena

Cena pinned Jericho in the tag last week so Y2J is infuriated. Rematch here from Cena's second match last month where he came up short. So, this was good yet again with all the added history that's happened since. Jericho feels overwhelmed and goes for a low blow to get disqualified. After the bell, Jericho attacks Cena and goes wild on him with a steel chair. John Laurinits, Fit Finlay, and the gang have to separate him from Cena.

Match rating - **1/2

Backstage, they think the new GM has arrived but it's Eric Bischoff here to try and steal some talent. Eric goes up to Hogan first and it's an awkward conversation.

2) The Hurricane vs. Chavo Guerrero 

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Raw Review - July 15th, 2002

WWE Raw 
July 15th, 2002
Continental Airlines Arena 

After last week's clusterfuck, I pray for an easier on the eyes show. 

The show starts with Paul Heyman trying to sweeten up The Undertaker. Tonight, Taker teams with Heyman's client Brock Lesnar to face Ric Flair & Rob Van Dam. 

NWO's music hits. And we get Vince McMahon? Weird. Vince says he came out to their music so we could all hear it one last time bc the NWO is over. Thank fucking god. He says things are shaking up tonight even more and he's naming a new General Manger later. 

Ric Flair gets interviewed backstage about who the GM could be and he teases the possibility of it being another McMahon. 

1) Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, & William Regal vs. Jeff Hardy, Bubba Ray & Spike Dudley - Elimination Match