Tuesday, July 27, 2021

GCW: Homecoming Weekend - Night One Review - July 24th, 2021

GCW: Homecoming Part 1
July 24th, 2021
Atlantic City, New Jersey

Commentary - Dave Prazak, Kevin Gill, & SHLAK 

I just have to say it right off the jump, hearing Dave Prazak on commentary is SO nostalgic and makes me feel like I’m in the early 2000’s all over again. 

1) Marko Stunt vs. Starboy Charlie 

This is Marko Stunt’s return to GCW as he’s been busy in AEW. I’ve never seen Charlie before, but he & Stunt have a super fun opener here. Just that classic indie spotfest opener style. They space everything out well though and do just enough spots to where you get riled up, but don’t feel like it’s overkill. Definitely down to see more of Starboy and this makes me want some more Marko singles matches in AEW. Crowd was hot for it too! Marko wins and pays respect to Starboy post match. Great way to start the show.

Match rating - ***

2) Tony Deppen vs. Ninja Mack

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

AEW: Dynamite - Fyter Fest Night Two Review - July 21st, 2021

AEW: Dynamite
Fyter Fest Night Two
July 21st, 2021
Dallas, Texas 

Commentary - Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, & MJF

1) Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Spears (w/ Tully Blanchard)

"We're just gonna chip away at this guy and it's gonna be delightful." -MJF

Jericho to start the show hot with a great entrance and reaction. MJF joins the commentary booth and is immediately cracking jokes on Jericho. The stip here is that Shawn can use a chair, but Jericho can't. I'm whatever on the stipulation, but the fire is there for this given the crowd's investment in Jericho and the Inner Circle. Shawn Spears may be mostly a dud, but he gets a nice array of boos here and the crowd is counting along all match and gets into Jericho's comebacks. Tully Blanchard tries to interfere when Jericho locks in the walls (which brought the crowd to it's feet) and SAMMY GUEVARA makes the save to a huge pop.   

Match rating - **1/2

After the match, something happens that I never thought I would see. MJF starts talking about the next challenge he has for Jericho in order for him to earn another match against him and.. ohm y god.. it's NICK... NICK FUCKIN GAGE~!!!!!!!! NO DQ MATCH NEXT WEEK - GAGE VS JERICHO HOLY FUCKKKKKKKKKK. I HAAVE LOST MY MIND!!! I still can't breathe. Gage comes out in a MDK shirt on national television. AND I JUST REALIZED. I WILL BE THERELIVE NEXT WEEK IN CHARLOTTE FOR THIS!!!

Pre-tape from Team Taz. Ricky Starks will have an FTW Title celebration next week. 

Meanwhile, Brian Cage is excited about this because he loves celebrations. 

2) Frankie Kazarian vs. Doc Gallows (w/ Karl Anderson) 

Monday, July 19, 2021

WWE: Money in the Bank 2021 Review - July 18th, 2021

WWE: Money in the Bank 2021
July 18th, 2021
Fort Worth, Texas

The first PPV back with fans.

1) Alexa Bliss vs. Liv Morgan vs. Asuka vs. Natalya vs. Tamina vs. Nikki ASP vs. Naomi vs. Zelina Vega - Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match

There's so much here that's solid. Liv Morgan's story and raw emotion, the crowd is behind her and so am I. The return of Zelina Vega which NO ONE saw coming. Then, you've got Asuka and Naomi who's in-ring work is always great. Unfortunately, these things weren't enough to keep this afloat. Nikki Cross is now "ASP" which stands for.. "Almost a Super Hero" -- I don't know and I don't care. She's good, but this sucks and her spots here were sloppy. Tamina was bad as always, Natalya is just the same every time she's around and Alexa.. poor Alexa. She's fantastic and has worked this gimmick so well, but some of the dumb shit she is asked to do like casting a "spell" on Zelina that caused her to climb off the ladder just overshadows all the positives that she brings to the table. So, yeah. This was fine, but weighed down by way too much bullshit. The finish was flat as hell with Nikki ASP winning. The premise was cool with all the women being too focused on brawling atop the three ladders to stop Nikki. That's about it, though.

Match rating - **1/4

2) AJ Styles & Omos (c) vs. The Viking Raiders - WWE Tag Team Title Match

This rocked. AJ looked better than he has in about a year, flying around like a maniac and also throwing some amazing strike combos. Not to mention selling like a madman for the Raiders and making them look like a million bucks. He & the War Machine Boys truly showed out here. Omos was there and did what he was supposed to so no complaints there. Styles & Omos retain after a very fun match.

Match rating - ***1/4

3) Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Kofi Kingston - WWE Championship Match 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Raw Review - February 10th, 2003

WWE Monday Night Raw
February 10th, 2003
Los Angeles, California

World Heavyweight Champion - Triple H (since 12/15/02)
World Tag Team Champions - William Regal & Lance Storm (since 1/20/03)
WWE Women's Champion - Victoria (since 11/17/02)
Commentary - Jim Ross & Jerry "The King" Lawler

Show opens with a graphic paying homage to the late Curt Henning. RIP :(

Eric Bischoff opens the show. He tries to get the crowd behind him for his evaluation with Vince by saying it's nice to be back in LA with "his people" and not with the toothless rednecks in Texas at the bars he visited trying to find Steve Austin. They boo him and he says that if that's how they want to be that's fine, because until Vince shows up, he is still the boss around here and he can do what he wants. Therefore, he proceeds to fire Jim Ross and blames him for Steve Austin not meeting up with him and signing a contract. Bischoff says the only way he's allowed back is if he brings Stone Cold to him. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

AEW: Dynamite Review - July 14th, 2021 (Fyter Fest Night One)

AEW Dynamite
July 14th, 2021
Cedar Park, Texas

AEW World Champion: Kenny Omega (since 12/2/20)
AEW World Tag Team Champions: The Young Bucks (since 11/7/20)
AEW TNT Champion: Miro (since 5/12/21)
AEW Women's Champion: Britt Baker (since 5/30/21)

Commentators - Excalibur, Jim Ross, & Tony Schiavone

The best day of the week for wrestling fans is here and it's time for WEDNESDAY NIGHT DYNAMITE BABY. 

1) Jon Moxley (c) (w/ Eddie Kingston) vs. Karl Anderson (w/ Doc Gallows) - IWGP US Heavyweight Title Match

What a fucking way to kick off this sold out show with the return of Jon Moxley. As soon as 'Wild Thing' started playing this place lit up. They were already going nuts in the opening, but things immediately went to a new level when Mox accompanied by Kingston made their way to the ring through the crowd. Kingston attacks Gallows with a pipe as the bell rings to go ahead and take care of any potential interference. They fight through the crowd and this thing gets going. STIFF elbows are thrown in the opening minutes and it rules. They fight around ringside, this just felt like an old school brawl. Excalibur notes that this is being contested under NJPW rules which includes a 60 min time limit and a 20 count on the outside. These two really just throw it all out there for like 10 minutes and it rocks. Mox eats a piledriver varation (that spiked him terribly) and two gun stuns, but still kicks out. He wins with the DDT to retain the IWGP US Title and break the record for most defenses of the title.

Match rating - ***1/2

After the match, cameras cut to Lance Archer backstage. He wants a rematch with Moxley for the IWGP US Title and he wants it next week!! AND HE WANTS IT AS A TEXAS DEATH MATCH. IN DALLAS TEXAS. AH FUCK. This is gonna be so sick. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - February 6th, 2003

WWE Smackdown
February 6th, 2003 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
WWE Champion: Kurt Angle (since 12/15/02)

WWE Tag Team Champions: Los Guerreros (Eddie & Chavo Guerrero) (since 11/17/02)

WWE Cruserweight Champion: Billy Kidman (since 11/17/02)

Commentary: Michael Cole & Tazz

THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE THEME and video play. Cameras cut to the arena and there’s a god damn crane with a wooden box hanging from it in the arena. 

TONIGHT: Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit, Hollywood Hogan appears plus Los Guerreros vs. Team Angle for the Tag Team Titles 

1) Rey Mysterio vs. Jamie Noble (w/ Nidia)

Monday, July 12, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Raw Review - February 3rd, 2003

WWE Monday Night Raw 
February 3rd, 2003 
Washington, DC

World Heavyweight Champion - Triple H (since 12/15/02)
World Tag Team Champions - William Regal & Lance Storm (since 1/20/03)
WWE Women's Champion - Victoria (since 11/17/02)
Commentary - Jim Ross & Jerry "The King" Lawler

“Eric Bischoff is on his way to hook up with Stone Cold Steve Austin.” 

Eric Bischoff is in the back of a limo in “Greater San Antonio” and he’s on the phone with CHIEF MORLEY. Long story short, Morley has been left in charge whilst Bischoff heads to Texas to try to find Stone Cold Steve Austin and get him to sign a Raw contract.

TONIGHT: Chris Jericho vs. Scott Steiner - #1 Contender’s Match 

STACY KEIBLER heads to the ring with Test. This is Stacy’s first appearance since getting accidentally cracked with a chair by Chris Jericho a few weeks ago. Test demands an apology from Jericho. Jericho comes out and beats around the bush and makes it all about his match tonight against Steiner because he has bigger things to worry about than this. Test gives Jericho five seconds to apologize before he TAKES IT OUT OF HIS ASS. Christian attacks Test from behind and knocks him into Stacy. OUCH. Test fights back and beats Christian’s ass and helps Stacy up. 

Backstage, Kane and RVD are arguing about what happened last week with Kane running off when his mask was ripped off. Morley walks up and makes a match between them tonight. 

1) The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley) vs. Jamal & Rosey 

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - January 30th, 2003

WWE Smackdown 
January 30th, 2003 
Green Bay, Wisconsin

WWE Champion: Kurt Angle (since 12/15/02)

WWE Tag Team Champions: Los Guerreros (Eddie & Chavo Guerrero) (since 11/17/02)

WWE Cruserweight Champion: Billy Kidman (since 11/17/02)

Commentary: Michael Cole & Tazz

Tonight: Vince McMahon responds to Hulk Hogan’s actions/challenge from last week PLUS Edge/Benoit vs. Benjamin/Haas in a #1 Contender’s Match 

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Monday Night Raw Review - January 27th, 2003

January 27th, 2003
Chicago, Illinois

World Heavyweight Champion - Triple H (since 12/15/02)
World Tag Team Champions - William Regal & Lance Storm (since 1/20/03)
WWE Women's Champion - Victoria (since 11/17/02)
Commentary - Jim Ross & Jerry "The King" Lawler

Replays of Triple H, Ric Flair, Batista and Randy Orton beating down Scott Steiner and posing together to close the show last week.

1) Booker T vs. Jeff Hardy

They trade kick attempts and shit and come to a stalemate to start. That was cool. Apparently Jeff issued this challenge. They play off the angle they ran last week where Jeff almost used a chair on RVD after their match. They go back and forth for a little bit. Booker wins and Jeff attacks him after the bell. It bites him in the ass as Book moves out of the way of a dive off the top turnbuckle and Jeff eats shit on the railing.

Match rating - **1/4

Cameras catch Scott Steiner in the hall for thoughts on what happened last week. STEINER SAYS HE'S CALLING H OUT LEGGGGGOOO!

AEW: Dynamite (Road Rager) Review - July 7th, 2021

AEW Dynamite
Road Rager
July 7th, 2021
Miami, Florida 

                                                     “COWBOY SHIZNIT.” -Jim Ross

We’re live outside of Daily’s Place for the first time in over a year and it feels GOOD. 

1) Cody Rhodes vs. QT Marshall - Strap Match 

Glad they are opening with this instead of trying to have it go on last. QT gets some color and they work the stipulation well. They don’t go overboard and treat this like some sort of epic rivalry that we all know it isn’t so that’s nice. Just simple, to the point and pretty inoffensive. Crowd is hot for Cody so the dive he hit to start and all his spots down the stretch came off well. The lights go out accidentally at one point and I think everyone thought something big was about to happen but it didn’t. Cody gets the win by touching all four corners after about 10 minutes or so. 

Match rating - **1/2

Backstage, Sammy Guevara gets revenge on Shawn Spears from last week by attacking him with a chair from behind and saying “GOTCHA BITCH!” 

Tony Schiavone brings out AEW World Champion Kenny Omega and Don Callis. Callis continues what he was saying last week about how Omega has beaten everyone. Crowd chants loudly for Hangman Page. Dark Order shows up. Evil Uno continues to be such a tremendous promo and takes the lead here asking Omega why he’s ignoring the crowd, why he’s ignoring the #1 ranked wrestler, and why he’s ignoring his friend. 

“What’s the capital of Thailand, Uno? Bangkok.” -Kenny Omega

Monday, July 5, 2021

DDT: King of DDT 2021 Finals! Review - July 4th, 2021

SO, this is not the whole show. The whole show featured various multi man matches along with these tournament matches. My review just covers the semi finals and final round matches. 

1) Konosuke Takeshita vs. Daisuke Sasaki - King of DDT Semi Final Round Match

SOUP!! Ever since Takeshita popped up in AEW for a week or two, my interest in him has been re-invigorated. Here he’s facing Sasaki with the winner earning their spot in the finals of the King of DDT tournament. Sasaki is clearly the heel, with his cohort Paulie at ringside running interference and Sasaki himself taking cheap routes and doing sneaky stuff all match. Takeshita is smart enough to be able to combat it, though. This had its moments, but the ref bump stuff, to me, hindered what became a great finishing run, although it definitely wasn’t BAD and it made sense considering who is involved. The finish still rocked, though, as did the rest of the match. Takeshita wins and advances to the finals. 

Match rating - **3/4

2) Yuji Hino vs. Kazusada Higuchi - King of DDT Semi Final Round Match

HOSS FIGHT. This was just a straight up slug fest with several minutes of the match just being them standing in the center of the ring trading stiff chops. Hino looked super dominant throughout and the finish which saw him pin Higuchi with just his fist on his chest for a cover continued that trend. Just an insane performance from him and a great strong style sprint altogether. 

Match rating - ***1/4

3) Konosuke Takeshita vs. Yuji Hino - King of DDT Finals Match 

Wow, what a match this was. It isn’t a MOTY contender, but had it continued it easily could have been. Hino continued his dominance here, but Takeshita fought from underneath so well and his comeback? One of my favorites that I’ve seen this year. As Hino is pulling him up by his hair and Takeshita starts chopping and striking his way out of desperation. It was just fantastic. Takeshita’s amazing comeback ends sort of abruptly with an AWESOME strait jacket style cross arm german that pins Hino’s shoulders to the mat for three. Big win for Takeshita here as he now is set for a title match with the legend Jun Akiyama, someone who has already beaten him twice (I think) prior. Excited to see if he can use his momentum from this match to take the K-OD Title home. 

Match rating - ***3/4

Friday, July 2, 2021

Random Match Review: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yuji Nagata - NJPW: Kizuna Road - July 1st, 2021

Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yuji Nagata - NJPW: Kizuna Road - 7/1/21

I haven't tuned in for anything New Japan related since Shingo won the title around this time last month at Dominion. The Road to shows normally have some good stuff, but it isn't must-see viewing and I barely have any spare time on my hands these days. With that in mind, I was gonna just wait for the Shingo/Ibushi match to happen and catch up then.

Well, today, I decided to take a look and see if I might have missed any matches worth a look and I noticed this one. It had a pretty high rating on cagematch so I threw it on expecting a good, hard hitting contest. I mean, it's Ishii and Nagata, it'll at the least be a hoot.

Turns out it's more than a hoot. It's a complete banger. 

Sometimes I forgot how literally insane Tomohiro Ishii is and then he has a match like this that reminds me how dumb I am for sleeping on him. The same could be said for Mr. Nagata who had a decent match with Jon Moxley on AEW Dynamite back in May. This match, though? On an entirely different level from that contest. So, if that was your first time seeing Nagata (somehow) - please do yourself a favor and check out this match.

Ishii and Nagata beat the everloving hell out of one another. Ishii focused on strikes and throws like usual. He blistered poor Nagata's chest to the point of me wincing at the sight of it. Nagata tried to focus on submissions and holds with offense targeted at the arm of Ishii. An arm/hand that would end up fucking swelling up from how hard and fast he had been striking Nagata as the match went on.

This was just a battle in every sense of the word and the purest form of Japanese strong style. The slaps and the striking showdown in the center of the ring about three quarters of the way through this thing was mind-blowing. A bloody mouth, a swollen wrist, a fucking war.

Ishii wins with the brainbuster. This ruled.

Match rating - ****1/4

AEW: Dynamite Review - June 30th, 2021

AEW Dynamite
June 30th, 2021
Daily’s Place - Jacksonville, FL

Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross, & Chris Jericho 

All I can say is damn… it feels GOOD to be back on Wednesday night. It’s truly where Dynamite belongs and feels at home, plus, we are LIVE. And it’s the end of an era sorta.. 

Daily’s Place has been the sole home of AEW for the past year and some change due to the pandemic, but starting next week, AEW returns to the road. The commentators note this early and say there will be a video package later to highlight the best moments from the past year in Jacksonville. 

Chris Jericho gets his grand entrance with everyone singing along to start the show as he makes his way to the commentary booth for the night. This was a nice touch considering he and his song have been such a centerpiece weekly during the past year at Daily’s. 

1) The Young Bucks (w/ Brandon Cutler) vs. Eddie Kingston & Penta El Zero Miedo