Saturday, September 26, 2020

NJPW: G1 Climax Night Three Review - September 23rd, 2020

NJPW G1 Climax 30 Night Three Results & Review

September 23rd, 2020

Hokkaido, Sapporo

1) Gabriel Kidd vs. Yuya Uemura - Young Lions Match

My fav Young Lions match so far. Mainly for the finish as Kidd gets his first win and breaks out a sick ass double underhook suplex that popped myself and the commentary team HARD. Hell yes. This was super fun.

Match rating - **3/4

2) Shingo Takagi (0-1) (0 points) vs. Jeff Cobb (0-1) (0 points) - Block A Match

MAN FUCK. So, I was excited for this. I love Shingo. And on the other hand, Jeff Cobb is someone who can have really good matches despite his run in last year's G1 being quiet and sorta underwhelming. This turned out to be a pretty banging opener. They traded moves and shots. Just about everything you'd expect. A cool counter or two and a few good nearfalls. Then Cobb pins Shingo and I get SAD. I admit I'm biased because DAMN. My man is now 0-2 :( Good match, none the less and the story made sense considering Shingo is a junior technically and Cobb is a heavyweight so Shingo's stuff didn't have the same full effect on Cobb as it does most of his smaller opponents. Cobb wins with Tour of the Islands.

Match rating - ***1/2

3) Kazuchika Okada (0-1) (0 points) vs. Yujiro Takahashi (0-1) (0 points) - Block A Match

A lot of people expecting an upset here. Will Okada start the tourney 0-2? Will Takahashi get a major win? One thing is for sure heading into this - some pick em' brackets will be smashed depending on the outcome. From the jump, Takahashi seems to have some momentum. So much so Okada is forced to hit a springboard cross body to the floor to get the advantage at one point. It turns into a fairly back & forth affair about mid-way through with some exchanges that will make you gasp. But in the end, Okada hits a vicious lariat or two and then forces Takahashi to submit. So much for an upset, but this was a lot of fun and the most I've enjoyed a Takahashi match, maybe ever?

Match rating - ***

4) Minoru Suzuki (1-0) (2 points) vs. Taichi (1-0) (2 points) - Block A Match 

Another match of winners here where someone will take their first loss and it’s stable warfare as Suzuki-Gun members face off. Suzuki hits the ring immediately shoves Taichi in the face to establish his leader-esque dominance. Lots of the story here was Suzuki clearly showing that he believes himself to be above Taichi. Lots of plunder early then they go into a slugfest. Taichi reverses out of the gotch style piledriver and drives Suzuki into the mat with Black Memphisto for the surprise win. WOW. Taichi is 2-0. Good match. 

Match rating - ***1/4

5) Will Ospreay (1-0) (2 points) vs. Tomohiro Ishii (0-1) (0 points) - Block A Match 

Solely based off Ospreay being a complete shithead in real life, I wanted to see Ishii really light his ass up here. Unfortunately I didn’t get as much of that as I hoped, but the match was still good. Typical stuff you’d expect from a power/strikes vs. speed/agility match from these two. Ospreay wins with the stormbreaker after some false finishes. 

Match rating - ***1/2

6) Jay White (1-0) (2 points) vs. Kota Ibushi (1-0) (2 points) - Block A Match

Rematch from last year’s G1 finals and from Wrestle Kingdom. Jay talks a lot of shit with the fans early and works on Kota’s leg hard. He goes back to it to cut off every flurry Ibushi has. They go into some big stuff down the stretch. Gedo gets on the apron, Ibushi kicks him and then goes for the kamigoye BUT JAY CATCHES HIM WITH THE MOST SICK BLADE RUNNER OF ALL TIME for the huge win over Ibushi. 4 points for Jay. Not on the level of Suzuki/Ishii or Naito/Tana but definitely the best match on this night and a very good main event. 

Match rating - ***3/4



Jay White - 4 points

Will Ospreay - 4 points

Taichi - 4 points

Kota Ibushi - 2 points

Kazuchika Okada - 2 points

Minoru Suzuki - 2 points

Jeff Cobb - 2 points

Tomohiro Ishii - 0 points

Shingo Takagi - 0 points

Yujiro Takahashi - 0 points

Wednesday, September 23, 2020


Donnie Roses is back with a new edition of the Quick Six series we started a while ago! Their guest this week is Kevin Blackwood!

Kevin Blackwood is a vegan straight edge wrestler and tattooer from Buffalo, NY. He made his AEW debut this month and he’s someone to keep your eye on! This is his Quick Six!

Q: It’s been great seeing you in AEW. How did you and the company come together?

A: “The boys and I were supposed to do work for them in March when they were originally scheduled to come to Rochester. Unfortunately COVID happened and obviously plans changed, but the Butcher and the Blade are close friends of ours and kept on them to bring us in.”

Q: Lists are always cool so what are your top three all time favorite wrestlers?

A: “Oh god. I hate having to narrow it down completely but top 3: Bryan Danielson, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and as evidenced by my newest trunks, Randy Savage.“

Q: Since we’re both tattooers, who do you think has the best and worst tattoos in professional wrestling?

A: “Best is tough. I think CM Punk might be one of the only wrestlers in the world who’s covered in legitimately good tattoos, I’ll say him. Worst is me, hands down.”

Q: If you were stranded on a desert island and you could somehow watch one PPV, what would it be?

A: “Summerslam 02. Rey vs Angle is the hottest hot open, Shawn’s return is nuts, Rock vs Brock goes hard. I love that show.”

Q: Davey Havok vs Danzig
Who wins the match and what’s the finish?

A: “Davey, no doubt. Danzig runs his mouth but Davey pits hard. Definitely finishes him with that crazy jumping spin kick he does in the Leaving Song Pt 2 video.”

Q: The final is a two part question: Who do you want to see wrestle in a dream match and who would you wrestle for you own personal dream match?

A: “Some of my favorite matches have been Bryan Danielson vs Kenta matches, as well as Kenta vs his trainer Kenta Kobashi. I’d love to mash those up and see Danielson vs Kobashi. I think that would go so hard. As far as my own dream match I’ve always said Danielson. I’m positive he’d fuck me up for real, but nothing would be more fulfilling than wrestling that man.”

Big thanks to Kevin Blackwood for doing the Quick Six with us! Check him out if you haven’t already!

Click here to check out Kevin Blackwood's match with MJF from a Smash Wrestling vs CZW event!

Kevin Blackwood
Instagram: @Blkwdxvx
Twitter: @Blkwdxvx

Interview conducted by Donnie Roses.
Instagram: @donniexroses
Twitter: @munishmentprtnz

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

NJPW: G1 Climax 30 Night Two Review - September 20th, 2020

 NJPW: G1 Climax 30 Night Two

September 20th, 2020

Block A kicked off the tournament last night in great fashion with Suzuki & Ishii undoubtedly stealing the show. Tonight, Block B takes center stage! Pardon there only being gif's for a couple of the matches. I watched half of this on my computer and the other half on my TV sooooo... yeah. 

1) Gabriel Kidd vs. Yota Tsuji - Young Lions Match

BUT FIRST. Young Lions action. Tsuji lost to Uemura last night via tap out despite a valiant effort. He has another tough opponent here in Kidd. They chain wrestle for a bit before they start laying into each other with strikes. They do a nice call back to how Tsuji lost last night with a lion tamer, but Tsuji gets the ropes this time and ends up catching Kidd in a crab and wrenching down it on deep, forcing him to tap.

Match rating - **1/2

2) Juice Robinson vs. YOSHI-HASHI - Block B Match

WOW. Juice looks great. He's changed his look so many times, but always pulls it off. This was about what you'd expect. They went pretty hard and gave us some good action. It's not anything to write home about, though. Juice hits pulp friction for the win. I'm looking forward to what he can do in his bigger matches in the tournament.

Match rating - ***

3) SANADA vs. Toru Yano - Block B Match

This was... somethin. Yano is coming off a victory over OKADA not too long ago to win the KOPW 2020 thing. Well. He gets a big win here in a pretty funny match. He gets checked for tape pre-match and it's found on him. But the bell rings and the match unfolds. Sanada ends up tying Yano in a paradise lock along the entrance way after some back & forth in the ring. Yano escapes thanks to YOUNG LION Yuya Uemura untying him. Yano uses this distraction to tie he & SANADA's legs together and get the.. countout.. victory over SANADA. 

Match rating - **

4) KENTA vs. Hirooki Goto - Block B Match

Switched over to English commentary since it popped up when I tuned back into this show and wow. Kevin Kelly’s call at the end of this talking about how big of a set KENTA has for his game plan in this is hilarious. Yeah, KENTA’s proclamation was to tap out Goto with the game over here. This match is centered around that with KENTA targeting the arm and in vicious fashion like he’s known for. Goto fires back with some heavy strikes and limb work of his own but it’s not enough as he ends up tapping to the game over just as KENTA said he would. Real good match of struggle between two vicious workers. It never really got into high gear but I don’t think that was the point, it was a struggle from start to finish. 

Match rating - ***1/4 

5) Zack Sabre Jr vs. EVIL (w/ Dick Togo) - Block B Match

These two have had killer matches in the past so I was riled up on this one. However I did have my doubts considering I haven't been wild at all about EVIL's title win and stuff. None the less, this turned out to be my favorite match on the show so far. Sabre grabs Dick Togo’s arm before the bell and EVIL charges him which leads to an awesome brawl outside the ring to start. The middle portion of the match was smooth and didn't drag at all. Lots of good wrestling and counters and everything made sense. I was worried when Togo came into the ring after a ref bump, but it wasn't overdone and Zack locking him into the cross arm bar popped me hard. The finish with Zack's quickness giving him the edge as he kicks out of darkness falls and manages to trap EVIL in a bridiging pin combination out of nowhere for the victory. Loved this, not their best match together but very fun and with a surprising outcome to boot. 

Match rating - ***1/2 

6) Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi - Block B Match

WHAt. THE. FUCK. This is the Grade One Climax baby. Tanahashi wants to prove he's still the ace. Naito wants to prove he's here to stay and is every bit as good as Tana is and ever was. This match had me hooked from the jump. Tana looked amazing in entrance and as the match went on, you could tell his head was in the right spot as he was the first take aim at a body part in Naito's knees and he didn't hesitate to nail him with whatever it took to keep the advantage. He was focused and determined. Naito though, despite from fighting from underneath for most of the match, never seemed to lose his confidence and felt like a true champion and leader of the company. This was a classic performance from both guys in their first meeting in three years. This was the match both guys needed. For me, I wasn't hype on Naito heading into this coming out of the disappointing matches with EVIL and Tanahashi is just coming off being primarily a tag team wrestler - so, to see both of them come in here and shatter any doubts was just fucking amazing. I had minimal interest in the B Block on paper partially for reasons previously stated, but this turned that around because holy hell, if these two keep going at this level I'm gonna have a heart attack. Naito with a huge win and Tana with a huge loss, but that sets the table for some great stories to be told as this tournament goes on I'm sure. 

Match rating - ****1/2

Post-match, Naito cuts a promo and roll calls the entire LIJ crew and I fuckin LOVE it. NAITO, BUSHI, HIROMU, SHINGO, SANADA WE ARE LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON!!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2020

NJPW: G1 Climax 30 Night One Review - September 19th, 2020

 NJPW: G1 Climax 30 Night One 

September 19th, 2020


ITS THAT TIME. G1 SEASON. Except in the fall. I'm so glad this tournament was able to happen despite being a month or two later than normal. But yeah - it's the 30th Anniversary of the greatest wrestling tournament of all time. I've never been able to keep up with and review every single night but I am determined to this year so let's fuckin GO. Block A action is kicking us off in Osaka and boy, is Block A loaded.

 1) Yota Tsujji vs. Yuya Uemura - Young Lions Match

First time seeing both these guys and they do an awesome job putting on a compact sub 10 minute opener. Uemura taps out Tsuji with a deeeeep lion tamer for the win just over 6 minutes in. 

Match rating - **1/2

2) Will Ospreay vs. Yujiro Takahashi - Block A Match

Easy first match in the tourney for Ospreay. This is these two's first meeting and they mesh super well with Takahashi being a very solid base for Ospreay to get his shit in. Takahashi got a little bit in, but this more of a prolonged squash despite being a little competitive at times. A very fun one, though. Ospreay had some cool counters and the finish was sick. 2 points for the Aerial Assasin.

Match rating - **3/4

3) Jeff Cobb vs. Taichi - Block A Match

DAMN this popped off. I have been a "fuck Taichi" kinda guy, but the fact remains he pulls out some little bangers every now and again and this is one of them. Taichi took Cobb to the floor and worked over Cobb's leg on the railing. He continues this in the ring, but can't keep Cobb down and they go into a pretty back & forth exchange that had me on the edge of my seat a couple times during the near falls. Taichi picks up the shocking (at least to me) victory as he evades the Tour of Islands a couple times and hits Black Memphisto for the victory. 

Match rating - ***1/4

4) Minoru Suzuki vs. Tomohiro Ishii - Block A Match

This was never not going to deliver. They start off throwing elbows and things gradually get more stiff & intense. This was everything you would expect and want from these two and it built up so well into such a heated battle between two insane motherfuckers. Suzuki nails Ishii with a gotch style piledriver for the win after a badass slugfest. Match of the night.

Match rating - ****1/4

5) Shingo Takagi vs. Jay White - Block A Match

LIJ vs Bullet Club wages on here. Apparently these two faced off once before, but I'm pretty sure I haven't seen it so this is a first time match for me and I honestly was pretty stoked on it. Jay pleays weasel heel from the jump by sliding out of the ring at the bell. Once he gets in and gets going, he fires at Shingo hard with a lot of deep suplexes/head drop spots. I'd say this match was as good as I expected but there was lots of low blow and ref bump type shit down the stretch, plus Gedo got involved a couple times. All of these things brought it down a good bit for me, but the work itself was strong. I feel like both of these guys are in a similar spot in the company at the moment and in their runs in New Japan so that added to this also. Jay White wins after a low blow and a blade runner. 

Match rating - ***1/4

6) Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi - Block A Match 

This is probably the weakest match these two have had together, but it's Okada and Ibushi so it's still very good. The finishing run with Okada going for the kamigoye and Ibushi catching him with a sitout powerbomb instead was NUTS and set up for the perfect finish with Ibushi going apeshit on Okada with two back to back kamigoye's to take the pin and get a HUGE win to start the G1. Ibushi beat Okada in last year's G1, then lost to him at Wrestle Kingdom, and now finds redemption in the G1 yet again. Awesome stuff. Good match to close out the night. 

Match rating - ***1/2

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

ROH TV: Pure Title Tournament Night One Review - September 11th, 2020

September 11th, 2020
Baltimore, Maryland

Before the pandemic hit, Ring of Honor decide to bring back a championship that was active in the promotion for a few years (2004-2006) - the Pure Championship. A title held by the likes of Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson, and Nigel McGuinness. A title that clearly has a legacy, hell, the finals of the tournament to crown the first champion was between AJ Styles and CM Punk. The most notorious match associated with it however was the five star classic between Bryan Danielson & Nigel McGuinness when the title was unified with the ROH World Title in 2006 at their "UNIFIED" event.

The rules of Pure Titles vary slightly from normal matches and handshakes are required pre & post match. I’ll let you google all the specifics if you don’t already know.  

The first two matches in this single elimination tournament take place on this show. In the tournament, first round matches have a 15 minute time limit, semi finals have a 20 minute time limit and the finals have a 30 minute time limit. 

Before the matches, we get some super well done sit down interviews/video packages with each wrestler. Honestly some of the best video work I’ve seen ROH do. Lethal & Castle’s here were particularly exceptional and made me care way more about their match than I ever would have before. 

1) Jay Lethal vs. Dalton Castle - Block A First Round Match

So yeah as I said before, the pre match video made me care about this match more than I ever would have prior. I love Lethal, but Castle has never done much for me however his pre match promo honestly changed that. He felt legit and serious and had me invested. The sad thing is, this only has 15 minutes max and although they do make the most out of that time, it can’t help but feel like it had just started kicking into gear when it ended especially considering how invested the interviews made me. Maybe I should go back and watch their prior matches. So, fun stuff here. Lethal Injection gets the win for Lethal in a fun 13 minute pure struggle. 

Match rating - **1/2

2) Jonathan Gresham vs. Wheeler Yuta - Block B First Round Match

Gresham’s video package here was really good. Yuta’s was fine and a solid introduction to him as I’ve never seen or heard of him before. This match felt super reminiscent of old ROH matches as they went hold for hold early and often. It’s easy to see that Yuta was trained by Drew Gulak and Tracy Williams. The match turns serious when Gresham is unable to break his submission hold bc of how the legs were locked, but Yuta takes it personal and when it is broken by the ref, he charges Gresham with a closed fist shot which sends the momentum of this match right up. It’s also a great play on the rules of pure title matches. This leads to a fast paced final few moments where the leg Gresham had been working over throughout the match is slammed repeatedly into the match and Yuta is forced to tap. Simple and to the point. I loved this match. Gresham should win this whole thing and this sub 10 minute match is an example of why. He makes the most out of everything. 

Match rating - **3/4

Final thoughts: Good kick off to this tournament. I will definitely be turning in each week to see how things unfold. I just hope some of the other first round matches can hold my attention as I’ve been out of ROH viewing for a while. One things for sure though, I want Lethal/Gresham in the finals! It was teased here and I hope that’s the route they go. 

WWE: NXT Review - September 8th, 2020


September 8th, 2020

I didn’t watch the Iron Man Match from last week just because the thought of it pained me. They recap it before we head into the opening match of the night which also happens to be the tie breaker from the iron man match between Adam Cole & Finn Balor who both had two falls a piece at the bell. 

1) Adam Cole vs. Finn Balor - NXT Championship Match 

Now this was good. Not amazing, but good none the less. It’s hard for me to have any sort of reaction to almost anything Cole does anymore because it all seems so robotic and formulaic however Finn has been spiced up since coming back to NXT as I’ve said in previous reviews so his fire here combined with the backstory of this being between the two longest reigning champions and both men having a history in Bullet Club kept me into it from bell to bell. Things start slow and pick up nicely down the stretch. The finish is bonkers with Balor hitting a 1968 off the top turnbuckle to become a 2x NXT Champion. He deserves this and I am stoked on it. 

Match rating - ***1/2 

Rhea Ripley pre-taped promo heading into her “battle of the badasses” cage match with Mercedes Martinez later

Throughout the night we get a series of vignettes with Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae inviting Tegan Nox over for dinner to talk through their issues. 

Backstage, Adam Cole too sweets Finn Balor and shakes his hand as does Triple H. Finn says this is why he came back to NXT — to be champion. 

Io Shorai is in the middle of a photo shoot when Aliyah accidentally knocks into her brawling with Shotzi Blackheart. Io chases Aliyah to the ring. Io & Shotzi take out Aliyah. Robert Stone comes down and gets taken out by the women also. Io & Shotzi look to be working well together until Shotzi is hesitant to give Io the title back. Io says “don’t make me hurt you” OMG that fucking ruled. 

Big Tim Thatcher hosts a film study on Damian Priest. He challenges Priest for the North American Title next week. Excited for that match. 

2) Velveteen Dream vs. Ashante Adonis

Squash. Also big thumbs down for Dream still being featured prominently on this show. 

Post match KUSHIDA viciously attacks Dream and it absolutely god damn rules. I haven’t seen KUSHIDA this intense since he came to NXT but I hope it continues because this pull apart/attack made me want this match super bad and I hope it delivers. 

Tyler Breeze & Fandango and Imperium exchange words in a pre-taped promo to hype their match next week. Imperium says next week they get their titles back and end the shortest NXT tag title reign of all time. I kinda like seeing two guys like Breeze & Dango get this tag title run considering they are veterans of the NXT brand. 

3) Bronson Reed vs. Austin Theory 

This was solid. Best I’ve seen Reed look in a singles match and Theory nailed his role also. I really think Theory could be something special considering he’s only 22 years old. 

Match rating - **1/2 

Adam Cole backstage says Finn was the better man tonight, but he won’t be next time. 

Mercedes Martinez says when the cage door shuts she won’t stop until there is nothing left of Rhea Ripley. 

4) Roderick Strong (w/ Bobby Fish) vs. Killian Dain 

Roddy wins this off a distraction from Fish. The match is ok, but very forgettable and didn’t last long enough to develop into much. 

Match rating - ** 

Post match Drake Maverick runs down to save Dain from an attack from Roddy & Fish. Drake ends up taking a beating himself before Dain makes the save. Drake asks for a handshake but Dain elbows him in the face. 

Back at the Gargano house, Johnny leaves Candice & Tegan alone. They appear to have mended their friendship until Candice says she will be the next NXT Champ in a toast. Tegan challenges this and Candice throws salad at her. Little food fight breaks out and Candice accidentally throws something through Johnny’s tv. She chases Tegan out of the house as Johnny mourns the loss of the television. You could tell Tegan was holding back laughing during the entire food fight portion. 

Damian Priest vows to re arrange Tim Thatcher’s face next week. 

5) Rhea Ripley vs. Mercedes Martinez - Steel Cage Match 

I hate the “battle of the badasses” tag line but this match was awesome. They brought some weapons into play like a chair and a kendo stick, but also worked the stip well and did a number of sick spots off the top rope and using the cage. It felt like a good classic grudge match and didn’t go into overkill at all either. Fantastic job by Ripley & Martinez here. Ripley wins after planting Martinez through a table. 

Match rating - ***3/4 

Final thoughts: Pretty solid episode of NXT this week. First one I’ve been interested enough to make it all the way through in a month or two so hell yeah. They should keep NXT on Tuesday nights, tbh.  

Friday, September 11, 2020

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Raw Review - October 7th, 2002 (RAW ROULETTE)

WWE Raw 

October 7th, 2002

Las Vegas, Nevada

It’s RAW ROULETTE. Bischoff spins the wheel and first match of the night is a steel cage match. 

1) Booker T vs. Big Show - Steel Cage Match 

This actually was pretty good. They built towards a number of big spots and Booker’s comebacks ruled. Booker gets the win after a scissors kick off the top rope and escapes the cage. 

Match rating - **3/4 

Booker celebrates his ~big~ win and gets attacked by Chris Jericho who ends up busting him open.

Jericho wants respect and last week Goldust disrespected him so he attacked Booker.

It's announced that Kane and The Hurricane will defend their tag team titles in a TLC MATCH TONIGHT. YEs the almighty fatal four way. I love this match and am so excited to watch it again. 

Backstage, the wheel spins for Triple H and it's a blindfold match. H is pissed at the idea. Flair brings in Bischoff a set of girls. William Regal walks in and says this whole thing is stupid. Bischoff puts Regal in a showgirl match against Goldust where Regal has to dress in drag.

2) Triple H vs. D-Lo Brown - Blindfold Match

Now this shit's getting dumb. D-Lo Brown bounces to the ring and that's the most enjoyable thing about this. After fumbling around for a little while, Flair distracts the ref and H takes off his blindfold and pedigrees D-Lo for the win.

Match rating - *1/4 (one star for D-Lo's entrance and 1/4 for them showing up)

Bischoff brings Bubba Ray Dudley, Jeff Hardy, and Christian into his office. Basically telling them they are all in the TLC Match later and have to find partners. 

3) Goldust vs. William Regal - Showgirl Match

This happened. Regal is hilarious in everything so it was at least a little entertaining. Lance Storm distraction allows Regal to bust Goldy with brass knuckles for the win.

Backstage, Christian and Chris Jericho decide to team up in the tag title TLC match later on. 

Trish & Stacy have their shot at spinning the wheel and of course it's two weird, sexually charged stipulations. Paddle on a pole and bra & panties. What a combo.

Bubba Ray runs up on Tommy Dreamer backstage and asks him to be his partner. Spike is there and looks sad. Bubba asks why and Spike said he was hoping he'd get his chance to team with his brother in a TLC match like Devon used to. Dreamer tells Spike to be Bubba's partner and GOD DAMN RIGHT. 

4) Trish Stratus (c) vs. Stacy Keibler - Bra & Panties/Paddle on a Pole Match for the Women's Title

Trish strips down Stacy and gets the win then paddles her afterwards. After the match, Victoria runs down and lays out Trish. Now that was good shit, I love Victoria. 

Backstage, Jeff Hardy reveals his partner for the TLC match as... ROB. VAN. DAM. 

5) Al Snow vs. Test - Street Fight

This was so random. Al Snow gets the most random ass good pop for what I'm guessing is a rare appearance on Raw since he's normally on Tough Enough. They hit each other with trash cans, lids, and signs. Botch a spot and then Snow hits Test with a bowling ball (see above). 

6) Jerry Lawler vs. Steven Richards - Legal In Nevada Match

Jesus fuck. The winner of this gets a night on the ho train with the Godfather. Obviously Jerry the pervert wins and leaves with them. 

RANDY ORTON hype video. Also worth noting, a Batista one aired earlier. Are we building towards their uniting with H & Flair to form Evolution? Both videos were sick. Batista's was him working out and talking himself up. Orton's included highlights of him in the ring and his dad talking about how in 10 years he will be remembered as one of the best to ever step in the ring. Well it's 18 years later and that was definitely a correct assumption.

Kane is backstage getting interviewed by Terri. He vows to become the first ever to hold the World Heavyweight, IC and Tag titles all at the same time. Meanwhile, H & Flair assault Hurricane. Coach lets Kane know and he runs down the hall, but it's too late. Kane yells out "YOU SON OF A BITCH" at Triple H. This rules. So much hype heading into this TLC match from every corner of the motherfucker. LETS GO.

7) Kane & The Hurricane (c) vs. Bubba Ray & Spike Dudley vs. Christian & Chris Jericho vs. Jeff Hardy & Rob Van Dam - TLC Match for the Raw Tag Team Titles

So, this is a match I watched probably 20 times as a kid. It was on the first Ladder Match compilation DVD that WWE did and was definitely a favorite of mine. With that in mind, reliving it was loads of fun and it was honestly even crazier than I remembered. Plus having the backstory of the Spike stuff, Kane missing Hurricane because of H & Flair, etc - it added even more to it. This was a trainwreck in the best possible way and the first TLC Match in Raw history so that makes it a must see in my book. Kane overcomes the odds and wins the match by himself so he & Hurricane retain the titles.

Match rating - ****1/4

Triple H and Ric Flair come out afterwards. They said they promised to make his life hell before the end of the night. H says he knows about Katie Vick. The show closes with him saying Kane murdered her and "Kane.. you're a murderer" and the show goes off the air just like that... Wow. This is gonna be some shit. I've heard the name Katie Vick, but haven't seen anything regarding this story so this should be interesting.

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - October 3rd, 2002

WWE Smackdown
October 3rd, 2002

God I love Steph. Opening video pack hyping up tonight. Edge faces Angle, Benoit faces Mysterio, AND WWE TAG TEAM TITLE TOURNAMENT STARTS TONIGHTTTTTT. New titles baby. This rules. 

1) Eddie & Chavo Guerrero vs. Mark Henry & Rikishi - Tag Team Title Tournament First Round Match 

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Raw Review - September 30th, 2002

WWE Raw 
September 30th, 2002 
Houston, Texas

Commentary - Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler

Eric Bischoff and Lita are in the ring to start the show. Bischoff loads the card with three title matches to try to draw people in from watching football instead. He then confronts Lita for saying she thought Smackdown was the better show in a interview. This leads to the 3 Minute Crew bullshit. JEFF HARDY makes the save before they can attack Lita. Huge pop from the crowd and from me on that one. Lita is just coming back from having a broken neck. Rosey & Jamal fight off Hardy which brings out Booker & Goldust who clean house.

1) Booker T & Goldust vs. 3 Minute Crew (Jamal & Rosey) (w/ Rico) 

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - September 26th, 2002

San Diego, California 
September 26th, 2002 

Commentators - Michael Cole & Tazz

Replay of Rikishi disguised as the lesbian woman at Unforgiven and booting Bischoff before delivering the longest stink face of all time. 

1) Rikishi vs. Chavo Guerrero 

I was dreading this on paper but it turned out pretty painless. Chavo tried to do a stink face of his own and got embarrassed as Rikishi countered and Chavo couldn’t even get his pants up until minutes later. Chavo resorts to using the camera again like last week but Rikishi boots him and the camera and gets the win and some payback. 

Match rating - **1/4 

Torrie Wilson is getting ready backstage for the upcoming bikini contest.

Later tonight - Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero in a No DQ Match !!

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Raw Review - September 23rd, 2002

WWE Raw 
September 23rd, 2002

The fallout from Unforgiven

1) Trish Stratus (c) vs. Victoria vs. Molly Holly - Women’s Championship Match 

Okay no cap this was good! Fast paced, crisp opener for the ladies and they threw everything out there. Stratus retains despite taking some rough bumps in this one. 

Match rating - **3/4 

Backstage, Booker & Goldust air a replay of Rikishi giving Bischoff the stink face last night to some of the locker room. Rico catches them and says he’s gonna tell the GM.

Rico finds Eric and gets chewed out before he tells Bischoff about Booker & Goldust.

Bischoff goes to the ring and calls out Booker only to get more jokes. So he cues Jamal & Rosey. Huge breakdown that sees Rico & Goldust also get involved. 

2) Jeff Hardy vs. The Big Show 

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Unforgiven 2002 Review

WWE: Unforgiven 2002 
September 22, 2002
Staples Center - Los Angeles, CA

Video package on there being TWO World Title matches tonight. 

1) The UnAmericans (Christian, Lance Storm, Test, & William Regal) vs. Booker T, Goldust, Kane, & Bubba Ray Dudley

As usual, these guys tore it down. Perfect opener with the slow burn to start and a balls to the wall finish. Regal tried to grab brass knuckles. but Kane knocks the shit out of him and pins Storm following a chokeslam. Good stuff. Bubba waves an american flag in celebration of the babyface american victory.

Match rating - ***

2) Chris Jericho (c) vs. Ric Flair - Intercontinental Championship Match

Even though we get another screwy finish, it plays well to the story and I actually enjoyed this as opposed to their SummerSlam match which felt funky from the start. Jericho uses Flair's own cheap tactics against him to retain the title. Is Flair losing it?

Match rating - **1/2

Backstage, Steph is talking to Billy & Chuck about the importance of tonight's match with Jamal & Rosey. 

3) Eddie Guerrero vs. Edge

This fucking ruled. I'd say I enjoyed it even more than their SummerSlam match. Edge sold everything super well as far as his concussion and dizziness goes. Eddie was the ace in his role as always, controlling most of the match and cutting off Edge's comebacks. But when Edge does comeback, they throw bombs and had me gasping multiple times. This was awesome. Guerrero wins with a nasty sunset flip powerbomb off the top rope.

Match rating - ****

Triple H walks into the Raw locker room and tells RVD he doesn't have the fire to win the title tonight. He points to Ric Flair who is sitting behind him and said Flair used to have that fire, but he has nothing anymore so it's accurate for RVD to be getting ready with a loser like him. This brings Flair to his feet. RVD stops him from doing anything, but says "DAAAAAMN TRIPS, you really came back here just to tell me that?" The 'damn trips' line was so fucking funny. Good little segment to keep building the title match and the Flair stuff is so well done.

4) Jamal & Rosey (w/ Rico) vs. Billy & Chuck

Rico comes down with Jamal & Rosey. What a mf traitor. So, this is actually better than I expected. It's action packed from start to finish. Jamal and Rosey look great in their debut match and subsequently get the victory. Steph has to participate in HLA tonight.. oh boy.

Match rating - **

5) Triple H (c) vs. Rob Van Dam - World Heavyweight Title Match

I honestly didn't expect to care for this too much, but I really liked it tbh. Super slow start and Van Dam gets some water and mocks H's entrance. Van Dam opts for holds and headlocks as opposed to flying around and really visibly gets under H's skin. He eventually resorts to all his flashy moves for some near falls. Ref bump, frog splash, there's no ref. H low blows Van Dam and goes outside for the sledgehammer. He misses when trying to hit Van Dam with it, both men are down and Ric Flair runs down. It looks like he’s gonna get revenge on H for all the shit he has been giving him instead FLAIR NAILS VAN DAM. This gives H the victory to retain the title and wow. I wasn’t expecting the Flair turn this soon but I def saw it coming. 

Match rating - ***1/4

Eric gave Jamal & Rosey and Rico some girls for their victory earlier. He sends them out on the town but keeps two behind for Steph’s HLA session later on. 

6) Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit

Wow this PPV has been fucking great and it’s topped off by this insanely good Angle/Benoit match. Benoit targets the shoulder of Kurt and they work it throughout the match but also throw fucking BOMBS. Benoit sent Angle inside out with a release german that got a holy shit chant. Benoit gets on the top rope but ANGLE RUNS UP AND MEETS HIM!! BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX OFF THE TURNBUCKLE EHAT THE FUCK. They trade submissions holds with some insane reversals. Angle resorts to locking Benoit in the damn cross face when he won’t tap, but Benoit rolls him up and uses the ropes for the pin. 

Match rating - ****1/4

SOO. Let's run down this shit show real quick. Eric brings out Steph and his girls for HLA. Teases it heavy then brings out an "ugly" or "big" girl (can't remember the exact wording but you get the point) bc Steph is enjoying the others too much. This girl turns out to be Rikishi and he lays out Bischoff with a stinkface. Another insane swerve in this Eric/Stephanie - Raw vs. Smackdown GM saga thing. 

7) Brock Lesnar (c) w/ Paul Heyman vs. The Undertaker - WWE Championship Match 

So this has a double DQ non finish BUT it was good while it lasted and was allowed plenty of time and they made up for it with a crazy spot at the end post match where Taker threw Brock through the stage set to close the show to make up for it so I can’t complain after such a stellar show. Brock and Taker both bleed and beat the hell out of each other. Looking back, it’s clear they were building towards hell in a cell. 

Match rating - ***

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown - September 19th, 2002 Review

September 19th, 2002
Colorado Springs, Colorado 

Last Smackdown before UNFORGIVEN 02

Replay of last week with Rico and Eric Bischoff fooling everyone during the Billy & Chuck wedding. 

1) Rey Mysterio & Torrie Wilson vs. Jamie Noble & Nidia 

Okay this was a shitload of fun. Torrie & Nidia held their end down extremely well, much better than normal. Or maybe Rey & Jamie are just that good that they covered it up. But nah this was good dumb fun and the crowd was red hot. Rey Rey hits the code red for the win and no one had ever seen that move before at this point so that was a huge moment. 

Match rating - **1/2 

Steph is backstage. Paul Heyman hired some police offers to protect Brock Lesnar from The Undertaker in case he showed up tonight and tried to do something stupid LOL. Jesus Christ. Steph tells Heyman that Taker is on the way and Heyman escorts the champion and his officers down the hall telling them to “keep it tight, this guy could come from anywhere” 

STEPH again and I’m not complaining this is so nostalgic and great. She comes to the ring and accepts Eric Bischoffs challenge from Raw. It will be Billy & Chuck vs. Jamal & Rosey with the whole loser has to kiss the others ass stipulation and stuff. Billy and Chuck come down. Billy Gunn cuts a promo and says they’re gonna beat the crap out of Jamal & Rosey and if Bischoff isn’t down with that he’s got TWO WORDS FOR YA —- Kurt Angle interrupts a great moment and talks himself into a tag match against B&C with his Unforgiven opponent Chris Benoit as his tag team partner. 

2) Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. John Cena 

Little quickie here for the champ before his big match at Unforgiven. Heyman is rushing him the whole time bc his security bailed and he’s afraid Taker will show up. Brock ends it in a matter of minutes after throwing young Cena around. 

Match rating - **

3) Edge & Rikishi vs. Eddie & Chavo Guerrero 

Fun shit here. Eddie & Edge have a rematch from SummerSlam at Unforgiven on Sunday so they’re trying to hype that up. Rikishi gots the hot tag. Crowd is riled. Chavo hits Rikishi with a camera behind the refs back for the win.  

Match rating - **3/4 

Post match Edge spears Chavo for revenge only to get busted open by a chair shot from Eddie. 

Stephanie interview with Eric who is broadcasted via satellite. This was standard shit hyping the stipulation for the Raw/Smackdown match at Unforgiven. Eric being a sleazebag and Steph teasing that she might enjoy HLA if she has to do it. Jeeeeezus. 

4) Matt Hardy vs. The Hurricane

Whoa JUSTIN ROBERTS SIGHTING. Fans are chanting “we want Jeff” and “we want Lita” which honestly adds to this bc Matt is working the conceited gimmick right now. He works over Hurricane almost all match. Hurricane makes a comeback with a shining wizard but can’t get the win. Hardy wins a solid contest with a simple story. 

Match rating - **3/4 

Brock and Paul are backstage. They go to leave but think about the possibility of Taker being in the parking lot and decide to stay. 

Cole & Taz run down the Unforgiven card and the music is so nostalgic for me what the fuck. I feel like I’m playing one of the old video games on PS2 right now. 

5) Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit vs. Billy & Chuck

This was such a smartly worked and booked match. Angle & Benoit argue the whole time to build the tension for their match on Sunday. They coexist early but keep getting in the way of each other. Chuck gets the hot tag and it all breaks down for a second. Angle has the ankle lock on Chuck and BENOIT BREAKS IT UP. Benoit wants the tap out victory and it ends up costing his team due to the miscommunication. More tension between angle & Benoit and a HUGE win for Billy & Chuck. 

Match rating - **3/4


He comes out and calls out Brock. Which he gets.  Taker lays into him for a second then Matt Hardy runs down to attack Taker. This allows Brock & Paul to run backstage. Taker chases them but Brock has been “placed into protective custody” for Undertakers sake according to Heyman. They speed off as the show goes off air. Taker/Brock for the title in three days at Unforgiven.

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Raw - September 16th, 2002 Review

September 16th, 2002

Commentators - Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler

The final Raw before the UNFORGIVEN PPV

Eric Bischoff is the ring with the lights down and he introduces Raw’s newest acquisition from Smackdown - Rico. Well then. 

World Heavyweight Champion Triple H is out next. He talks about RVD and his upcoming title defense. This brings out RVD who proceeds to have the most amazing possible exchange with H possible considering their dynamic, basically saying H is just jealous of how cool and talented he is. Van Dam hits him with a kick when things heat up and ends the segment on top. 

1) Ric Flair vs. Rico 

Ok.. Rico won this and what the fuck lol. 4 minutes of ok stuff but what in the world! 

Booker T is backstage. He hated tests as a kid, tonight he will kick Test’s ass. 

2) Test vs. Booker T

What the HELL. This kinda ruled. Small slip up or two here or there but they went all out in the time they had. Booker busted out a flying drop kick and a hurricanrana. Fun shit all around. Book wins and the crowd pops hard bc 2002 Book is OVER AS FUCK. 

Match rating - **1/2

Triple H antagonizes and mocks Ric Flair for his loss to Rico and says he should retire. Flair says he doesn’t know what he’s capable of etc and walks off. H says “but yes I do” —— the loss to Rico makes sense now and I think this is the build to the start of Evolution?

3) Christian & Lance Storm (c) vs. The Dudleys (Bubba Ray & Spike) - Raw Tag Team Title Match 

Bubba starts strong. Spike gets in and is isolated and worked over. HOT tag to Bubba and it breaks down. Spike is powerbombed over the top rope through a table. Bubba takes out Christian but the ref is tending to Spike. Storm comes from behind and tries to hit Bubba with the belt. Bubba throws him out of the ring, but Christian comes behind with a roll up for the win. 

Match rating - **1/2

Spike Dudley is on a stretcher backstage. Triple H walks by laughing. 

4) Rob Van Dam (c) vs. Chris Jericho - Intercontinental Title Match 

This was whatever, we’ve seen this match a ton lately and it’s nothing new here. The inevitable happens and H runs down to cost RVD the title. Jericho is your new IC Champ. 

Match rating - **

5) William Regal vs. Kane 

Test ran in for the DQ about two minutes in, solidifying the alliance between Regal and the unamericans. I like that. 

There’s been women outside protesting Bischoff’s recent stunts like HLA. Eric invited them inside and one of the protestors is Stephanie. Billy & Chuck show up and attack Eric. This leads to Jamal & Rosey coming down. Back from commercial, Bischoff proposes Jamal & Rosey vs. Billy & Chuck at Unforgiven. If Bischoff wins, Steph participates in HLA, if he loses, he will kiss her ass. What a stipulation. This is so 2002. 

Triple H comes out for his mystery title defense and RVD attacks him and busts him open with the belt. 

6) Triple H (c) vs. Jeff Hardy - World Heavyweight Championship Match

H’s opponent is revealed as Jeff Hardy and THIS RULES. Jeff runs down full speed, the crowd pops, The Game is bloody and defenseless. This feels like a MITB cash in. For that reason alone I wanna say I love this but it was a little sloppy and the believe factor wasn’t fully there. Still much better than I ever expected for a 6 minute H/Hardy match in 02. H retains with the sleeper after several near falls where Jeff almost won. 

Match rating - **1/2

Post match, RVD shows back up and lays Triple H out again and poses with the belt to close the show. 

Ruthless Aggression Project: WWE Smackdown Review - September 12th, 2002

WWE Smackdown
September 12th, 2002

Replay of the Brock/Taker sit down table debate thing from last week.

TONIGHT: Angle vs. Mysterio and Billy & Chuck get married 

1) Brock Lesnar vs. Hardcore Holly

This starts out fire as fuck. Holly wrestles this like a fight and there’s legit struggle to start. He double leg take down's Lesnar through the ropes to the floor and lays in punches. This is good shit then Brock breaks Holly’s mf neck and it feels like they had to cut a little out and end this jawn. Brock wins with an F5. 

Match rating - **1/2 

2) Edge & John Cena vs. Eddie Guerrero & Chavo Guerrero 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

AEW: ALL OUT 2020 Review

 AEW: ALL OUT 2020

September 5th, 2020

Jacksonville, FL


1) Joey Janela (w/ Sonny Kiss) vs. Serpentico 

This match was added at the very last minute and is pretty random, but it's decent. Fun little back and forth action to kick things off. The Janela/Kiss alliance continues to work pretty well as Janela wins and they seem to be gelling pretty nicely.

Match rating - **1/2

2) Private Party vs. John Silver & Alex Reynolds (The Dark Order)

The former Beaver Boys really have been busting out some low-key heaters lately. This once again had me pretty riled up on a team I was never super stoked on. Private Party pick up the win, but what I got out of this was that I want more Silver/Reynolds tag matches. Very fun. 

Match rating - ***


1) Big Swole vs. Britt Baker - Tooth & Nail Match

So, this happens in a "dentist office" - a lot of people shat on it, but it was entertaining and kept me into it the whole time by the sheer weirdness and... stupidity of the stip? A needle of novacaine and a drill came into play and this was a fair enough blow off for all the issues they've had in recent weeks. 

Match rating - **1/4

2) The Young Bucks vs. Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) - #1 Contender's Match

The Bucks do an amazing job here of playing off where they are as characters, It seems like we could be headed towards a heel turn for them. Lots of frustration stemming from the Page/Omega stuff and you could almost sense a small lack of confidence. Jungle Boy & Luchasarus looked like straight up stars here and The Bucks gave them a lot. Great tag match with loads of action and fun spots, plus the Bucks story telling made this a success. The Bucks win and are the new #1 Contenders to the Tag Team titles. Jungle Express looks strong in defeat.

Match rating - ***3/4

3) Casino Battle Royale 

Off the top of my dome - three things stand out from this year's edition of this match, and I will mention those right off the bat. First being Will Hobbs who had an awesome showing. He had several great displays of his strength and agility, but also had the moment of checking on Sydal smoothly and discreetly following his botched shooting star press. Speaking of that, that's one of the three things that stood out here. Matt Sydal was the big final surprise entrant. Myself and the room of people I was watching with were super stoked. Sydal comes down, knees Shawn Spears in the face on the ramp, climbs the top turnbuckle for a shooting star press and.. slips and falls. I could not get the lump out of my throat for the rest of this match. Such a big moment for Sydal, arguably his biggest since leaving WWE as Evan Bourne and damn... I still hope he gets the chance to show out in AEW. And the third thing that stood out here was the absolute insanity of Darby Allin and the bodybag full of thumbtacks bump he took here - absolutely devastating. In the end, it's Eddie Kingston and Lance Archer left. A perfect final two as it felt like it could go either way, and Archer gets the win after a short struggle. I am big down for a Mox/Archer re-match after their match in NJPW so hell yeah to this.

Match rating - **3/4

4) Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara - Broken Rules Match

Man oh man.. poor Matt Hardy. This feud with Sammy Guevara has nearly killed him on two occasions now. First it was the botched chair shot on Dynamite that busted him open and it took 13 staples to close him up. Now they go right out the gate in this match with Guevara spearing Hardy off a lift thing, Hardy misses the table and clocks his head on the cement, going stiff almost immediately, clearly knocked out. The match gets stopped for a little while then they re-start and go right into the finish with Hardy throwing Guevara off a scaffold tower thing through some stage boards. FUCKED. I can't even rate this, but it was insane to see unfold live and I hope Matt is okay.

5) Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Thunder Rosa - AEW Women's Title Match

After the ups and downs of the battle royal and the scary Hardy/Guevara spectacle, this show needed a cool down and more of a straight forward wrestling match and that's what we got from Rosa and Shida here. This is a match that I was super looking forward to and it definitely delivered despite taking a few minutes to get into gear. After some intense back and forth, Shida retains over the NWA Women's Champion. I hope we get more AEW/NWA stuff because this was solid.

Match rating - ***1/4

6) Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page (c) vs. FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) - AEW World Tag Team Title Match

Ohhhhh man. Here we go. Omega & Page had a five star classic (and my only five star rated match in 2020) back in February against the Young Bucks at Revolution and proceeded to be the leaders of the best tag team division in all of pro wrestling with every defense being fun/very good at the least. I can only think of one or two that didn't hit over *** and those were still solid in their own right. AEW truly has the best tag team division in the world right now and this match is another example of that. There is so much going on story wise here. The tension between Page & Omega, Page's continual amazing character development, FTR's first big match and title match since jumping ship. So, yeah. A lot of people thought this match went too long, but I thought it made perfect sense considering FTR is the traditional tag team and they were in clear mental and physical control of this match so for it to be worked in their vein/this vein made sense. Lots of awesome story and character work from Omega & Page and at almost the 40 minute mark after a lot of struggle - FTR dethrones Omega & Page. This match was a slow burn, but had me on the edge of my seat for most of it anticipating if a turn would happen between Omega/Page and honestly what would happen in general. There was so much at stake that it had me grasped from start to finish. Another awesome tag team contest for Page/Omega and AEW. Its not Bucks/Omega & Page, but it's great and something totally different.

Match rating - ****1/4

7) Chris Jericho vs. Orange Cassidy - Mimosa Mayhem Match

The show is starting to feel kinda draggy and long at this point, but that aside this was another fantastic match from these two. The fire from Orange is amazing and I literally can't believe that he got the feud ending victory. Lots of sick exchanges and moments. Jericho ends up being the one to eat shit in the mimosa pools at ringside after loads of teasing and that is the finish despite them having some good near fall sequences in the ring. I thought they worked the stip well and didn't overdo it or make it look dumb. Another career defining performance for Orange Cassidy.

Match rating - ****

8) Jon Moxley (c) vs. MJF (w/ Wardlow) - AEW World Title Match

God, I wish this would have happened under different circumstances and not at 11pm at night after a super long and sorta rocky show because they knocked this out of the fucking park. It was smash mouth, in your face and brutal. MJF was the chicken shit heel that he is better than anyone and Moxley is Moxley. They work the paradigm shift being banned stip well and the way they play into the finish is fun and an outcome I didn't at all think of heading into this match. MJF bleeds a ton after eating a post shot. The bleeding stops, but Moxley headbutts him brutally and repeatedly and opens the cut back up which alone is fucking nuts. But this whole match ruled even if I was exhausted of this show by this point - it fucking ruled and is probably my favorite Moxley defense yet and my favorite AEW match of his since the Omega match. Awesome stuff. Mox retains after a banger.

Match rating - ****1/4

Final thoughts: Some say this was a shaky PPV, but to me it was only plagued by running a little too long as I was exhausted by the time Jericho/Cassidy and Moxley/MJF rolled around. None the less, it still delivered big to me with there being no BAD matches and there being three that hit four stars+. I think this will defnitely be better on a re-watch than live for some people.