Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Monday Night Raw Review - April 7th, 2003

April 7th, 2003
Milwaukee, WI 

World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H (since 12/15/02)
World Tag Team Champions: Rob Van Dam & Kane (since 3/31/03)
WWE Women's Champion: Trish Stratus (since 3/30/03)

Commentary - Jerry "The King" Lawler & Jim Ross

Replay of Goldberg debuting and attacking The Rock last week.

1) Trish Stratus (c) vs. Jazz - WWE Women’s Title Match 

Whoa, this was good! They got time and worked their asses off. Barring some BAD Jerry commentary, of course. But that’s not their fault. Trish retains after a good back & forth women’s contest BY GOD. Very refreshing way to open the show.

Match rating - **1/2 

The Rock is backstage looking for Goldberg and he makes fun of him and the UR NEXT shit and it’s fucking hilarioussss. I also don’t fuck with Goldberg so I may enjoy it more than most. God damn. Good shit PAL. 

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - April 3rd, 2003

WWE Smackdown 
April 3rd, 2003
Spokane, Washington 

WWE Champion: Brock Lesnar (since 3/30/03)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (since 2/6/03)
WWE Cruserweight Champion: Matt Hardy (since 2/23/03)

Commentators - Michael Cole & Tazz

That amazing WM19 recap vid that they showed on Raw airs again here and the NOSTALGIA REIGNS ALL OVER AGAIN BABY.

AND HERE COMES STEPH. Smackdown General Manager Stephanie McMahon says both Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar are out for a few weeks due to injuries from their main event this past Sunday, but during those weeks, we will crown a new #1 contender to Brock Lesnar’s WWE Championship. Steph reveals a tournament bracket and the first match is NOW!

1) The Undertaker vs. Rey Mysterio - #1 Contenders Tournament Match

Oh yeah brother. You know this banged. It really just made me want more, though. Which I guess is a good thing? Taker is a much better base for Rey than expected.. or should it be expected? I’ve just never seen Taker work a Lucha guy so I didn’t know! But he is great so yeah. It’s pretty much a sprint, but we love sprints sooo. The finish is awesome as it teases a Mysterio escape out of the Last Ride as Taker has some struggle with him while holding him up BUT DAMN IT MADE THE EXECUTION OF THE MOVE EVEN MORE SICK. Taker wins, but shows respect by a handshake & a hug with Rey after the match. 

Match rating - **3/4

2) Brian Kendrick vs. Jamie Noble (w/ Nidia)

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Monday Night Raw Review - March 31st, 2003

March 31st, 2003 
Seattle, Washington 

World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H (since 12/15/02)
World Tag Team Champions: Chief Morley & Lance Storm (since 3/24/03)
WWE Women's Champion: Trish Stratus (since 3/30/03)

Commentators -
Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler

It’s the night after WrestleMania and one more night in Seattle before Mania weekend is fully over.

Awesome video package recapping Mania 19 to start the show. They did such a great job making these PPVs feel so hype and huge with these video packs at the time. As a kid, it truly felt like the PPV’s were something special and a totally different experience than Raw & Smackdown.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

AEW: Rampage Review - November 26th, 2021

AEW: Rampage (Black Friday edition)
November 26th, 2021
Chicago, Illinois

Commentators - Excalibur, Taz, Chris Jericho, & Ricky Starks 

Ok y’all sorry for no live instant recap this week. I work retail and it was simply not feasible considering it’s Black Friday. However I am here now with my usual written review so let’s diiiiive in. 

1) Adam Cole & Bobby Fish vs. Orange Cassidy & Wheeler Yuta (w/ Chuck Taylor & Kris Statlander)

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

AEW: Dynamite Review - November 24th, 2021

AEW: Dynamite 
November 24th, 2021
Chicago, Illinois 

Commentators - Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, & Jim Ross


And what a way to start it off with CM Punk in a 20 minute verbal exchange with MJF. This is the longest promo (I guess that’s the word) segment in company history and it is well deserved. Both of these guys truly showed the rest of the locker room exactly how to grab every person in the room AND everyone watching at home by the collar of the shirt. They kept everyone on the edge of their seat and hanging on every word for 20 minutes and guess what? I think most of us still want more! The references and punchlines here are too many to try to name or list. Punk calling MJF a less famous Miz and saying he had been replaced in the Four Pillars by Britt Baker cannot go unmentioned though. Just phenomenal stuff and MJF proved he can more than hang with someone the caliber of Punk, if there was ever any doubt otherwise. 

1) CM Punk vs. QT Marshall 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE WrestleMania XIX Review - March 30th, 2003

WrestleMania XIX
Seattle, Washington 
March 30th, 2003

WWE Champion: Kurt Angle (since 12/15/02)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (since 2/6/03)
WWE Cruserweight Champion: Matt Hardy (since 2/23/03)
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)

Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, & Tazz 

Ok y'all first off, I apologize for this not having any gif's. I normally go nuts with gif's and extra stuff for these PPV reviews, but god damn either the gifcam app i'm using isn't working or Peacock doesn't allow you to record gif's on their site because I can't get it to work for the life of me, but this needs to go up so I'm skipping over it. I definitely am gonna try to get that sorted soon though and try a new app.

Awesome video package to start the show with The Rock, Stone Cold, Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, Triple H, & Booker T talking about the importance of WrestleMania. Man I sure do miss when Mania felt this important…

Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler welcome us to the grandest stage of them all then send things over to the Smackdown commentary team of Michael Cole & Tazz. 

1) Matt Hardy (c) vs. Rey Mysterio - Cruserweight Championship Match 

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - March 27th, 2003

WWE Smackdown 
March 27th, 2003 
San Jose, California 

WWE Champion: Kurt Angle (since 12/15/02)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (since 2/6/03)
WWE Cruserweight Champion: Matt Hardy (since 2/23/03)

Commentators - Michael Cole & Tazz 


1) Rey Mysterio & Brian Kendrick vs. Matt Hardy & Shannon Moore

Oh yeah, bud. This was a blast. Kendrick takes the beating early. Hardy & Shannon rock as a team and hit big moves on him. Rey had to come in for the save several times. Rey finally gets the hot tag and him & Kendrick clean house. Just.. hell yeah. Kendrick is left alone in the ring after the mayhem, though, and Hardy catches him with a twist of fate for the win.

Match rating - **3/4

Hardy gets the upperhand on Rey post match, nails him with a Twist of Fate and stands over him. They clash for the Cruserweight title at WrestleMania. 

Saturday, November 20, 2021

AEW: Rampage Review - November 19th, 2021

AEW: Rampage 
November 19th, 2021
Norfolk, Virginia 

Commentators - Excalibur, Taz , Chris Jericho & Ricky Starks 


Before I begin, I’d like to formally announce a new segment as a part of our upcoming official partnership with the Up & Over Podcast (something more details will be announced about soon), we will be doing a Rampage live recap & review on the Pro Wrestling Truth YouTube channel every Friday night after Rampage AND we started last night! Check it out above, before, after or during your reading of my written review and make sure to subscribe to the PWT YouTube.

Myself, Mike, and Courtland took an in-depth look at Rampage from tonight and even touched on Dynamite a bit as well. Lots of cool things in the works so make sure to check it out and make plans to join us live on YouTube for our stream next week! 

1) Darby Allin vs. Billy Gunn 

Yeah, you read that right. This was set up in the most random ass backstage segment on Dynamite two nights ago. This is worked in the usual Darby formula. He’s overpowered and bumps around like an actual maniac. Leave it to Darby to do PPV caliber bumps on the secondary TV show. I mean, I’m not complaining, because they are sick.. in one way or another. Darby fights back after a commercial break, and hits the coffin drop. Billy kicks out at 1 and Darby hits another for the win. Idk I kinda enjoyed this.  

Match rating - **1/2

After the match, Austin & Colten attack Sting at ringside. Sting gets the upper hand and clears house before Billy chop blocks the leg of Sting and.. The Gunn Club stands tall. 

Replay of the CM Punk and MJF segment from Dynamite.

Meanwhile… Tony Schiavone is with QT Marshall and challenges CM Punk to a match on Dynamite next week. 

2) Jade Cargill vs. Red Velvet - TBS Title Tournament Match 

I had rocky expectations for this, but I was pleasantly surprised. Both women have strengths, it’s just hit or miss on when all the stars line up and they’re able to string together something solid. Here, they definitely did and it seems like they have some chemistry that I think should be revisited down the line once they’ve both grown further as wrestlers. Velvet bumped around for Jade and they laid out a super solid little match. Jade looked awesome and subsequently gets the win. I really really want a Rosa/Jade final. I think Rosa could lead Jade to a fantastic match and make her look extremely strong in defeat. 

Match rating - **1/2 

Backstage, CM Punk accepts QT Marshall’s challenge from earlier and puts emphasis on the stakes & importance of wrestling him in Chicago. 

They run down some upcoming matches for Dynamite next week which include the 8 man tag that was already announced (Cody/PAC/Lucha Bros v FTR/Malakai/Andrade) plus Danielson vs. Cabana and Punk vs. QT. ALSO, next week on Rampage, EDDIE KINGSTON VS DANIEL GARCIA!!!

ITS TIME FOR THE MAIN EVENT. Mark Henry does the pre-match split screen interview and IT IS TIME. 

3) Adam Cole & Bobby Fish vs. Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) 

Now, we all know how I feel about the Undisputed Era callbacks and Bob Fish in general, but this match rocked. These guys just can’t go wrong in a spot on the card like this. The time restraint helps it not get too lost in itself like the trios match from Full Gear and instead we just get a suuuuper great TV tag. Truly, no complaints from me here. Cole and Luchasaurus get the hot tags and the finishing run is awesome. The Bucks try to get involved and Christian brings a chair down and needless to say, puts a stop to that. This was a blast. Jungle Boy pins Bobby Fish for the win.

Match rating - ***1/4

Thanks for reading y'all, make sure to follow @ThePWTruth and @UpAndOverPod on Twitter! Until next time <3

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

AEW: Dynamite Review - November 17th, 2021

AEW: Dynamite
November 17th, 2021
Norfolk, Virginia 

Commentators - Excalibur, Jim Ross, & Tony Schiavone 


Before we get into the new AEW World Champion Hangman Page’s celebration, we cut to the SuperKliq in the back. Kenny Omega says Hangman was the better man and that he needs time away to figure some things out. Omega asks the Bucks to hold down the fort while he’s gone and Adam Cole thinks he’s talking to him so we get SOME AWKWARD TENSION AND FORESHADOWING!! ! The Bucks tell them to cut the camera feed.

Back to the arena, John Silver has the mic and the rest of the Dark Order is behind him. Silver says it’s time to celebrate National Cowboy Shit day and introduces the new AEW World Champion.. our kiNG HANGMAN ADAM PAGE :-) 

Page cuts the best god damn celebratory babyface promo. This segment really just ruled. It’s such simple.. I hate to say it, but simple… WWE Raw style shit but it is never done in AEW and I’m happy they went with an opening segment like this for once. Don’t make us wait til the end of the night to hear from Hangman, we’ve already waited 3 days!!! So yeah. Hangman gets a lot of chants and says the AEW title carries a lot of weight and now is the time to start defending it. Before he can even get to Bryan Danielson, Danielson’s music hits and be congratulations Hangman, but immediately things turn a little sour. Danielson says he’s surprised it’s Page and not Omega standing in front of him. Hanger responds saying he shouldn’t be surprised because he beat him in less than 30 minutes, something Danielson couldn’t do!!! Danielson then pokes fun at Page being in cowboy boots and not wrestling gear. They tease wrestling tonight only for Bryan to sort of use the attire as a way to halfway weasel out, but also he already has a match tonight and it’s next! Awesome seg way. 

1) Bryan Danielson vs. Evil Uno 

Dan & Uno play the hits here. Uno is fast and busts out lucha shit flying around. Danielson just wants to kill him, stiff kicks and forearms. No bullshit whatsoever from Dragon. This was just a fantastic sprint all the way around. Danielson wins and after the match says he wants to face every single member of Dark Order before he gets to Hangman and the title shot so he can kick every single one of their heads in!!! AHHHH!!

Match rating - ***1/4

MJF clip from after his match at the PPV. He screams about being under appreciated for his in ring work and shit. Honestly was scary, he looked like he was gonna blow a gasket! 

Eddie Kingston is backstage and he’s interrupted by 2.0 and Dan Garcia!!!! Hello kings! They poke fun at Eddie and Eddie starts shit with Daniel Garcia anD THEY GO NOSE TO NOSE AHHHH GIVE ME THIS SH IT NOW. Eddie is the best at getting you hyped for matches you had no anticipation for and doing so in literally like 60 seconds. 

2) Tomohiro Ishii & Orange Cassidy (w/ Chuck Taylor, Kris Statlander, Rocky Romero, & Wheeler Yuta) vs. The Butcher & The Blade (w/ Matt Hardy & The Bunny) 

Man wrestling in 2021 is so fucking crazy. Just seeing all this names in one match / segment on national f’n television… amazing. And this was everything it needed to be. Orange got all his stuff in and the dynamic of he & Ishii was perfect. Ishii certainly knows what it’s like to work with someone like him after all the tags he’s had with Yano. CHAOS really isn’t that important nowadays outside of having Okada in it, but it’s super cool to see the stable integrated into AEW television, their entrance here rocked. Ishii gets the hot tag and works some great spots with the Butcher and they built up their face off as a big deal which was cool. They give Ishii a second hot tag later which ruled even more. I thought he was gonna elbow Matt Hardy off the apron for a second which I was gonna pop for. Bunny slipped Blade the brass knucks off the distraction, but before he can use them, Rocky pulls him out of the ring. Hardy throws Rocky into the railing and ORANGE COMES SAILING OFF THE TOP ROPE TO THE FLOOR ONTO HARDY AND BLADE. Crowd went off for that, this was so fun. Ishii nails Butcher with a brainbustaaaa for the victory. 

Match rating - ***1/4 

Backstage, Tony Schiavone is with Andrade El Idolo and FTR & Tully Blanchard. Andrade says it’s time to show Cody Rhodes his bad side. FTR also chimes in and says they were robbed at Full Gear. The three men propose an 8 man tag with them & Malakai vs. Cody/PAC/Lucha Bros. 

Tay Conti, in a video package, says next time she faces Britt she WILL be champion. This cuts to the trio of queens - Britt Baker, Jamie Hayter, & Rebel. Britt says she’s tired of carrying the women’s division and directs the spotlight to Jamie Hayter, the future first ever TBS Champion. Tony mentions Jamie has to get through Thunder Rosa first. Britt cuts him off and says we don’t mention her name during her interviews. Britt says Jamie will take out Rosa in route to the finals of the TBS tourney. That match is next week and I am more excited about it than any of the tournament matches so far. Rosa & Hayter might be the two best wrestlers in the division right now in my eyes. 

3) Hikaru Shida vs. Nyla Rose - TBS Title Tournament Match 

These two always seem to cross paths. And when they do, the matches are always solid. This was no different and I liked the build up and how they touched on it in the match. Firstly, Nyla has never beaten Shida. Secondly, Shida tweaked her knee during the tag match both women were involved in on Saturday. Thirdly, Shida pinned Nyla in said tag match. Soooo yeah. They touch on all those things here and give us some nice false finishes. Nyla misses a senton off the top rope and eats shit. Shida goes for a kick off the opening and gets caught in a nasty standing stretch muffler and is forced to tap. Nyla advances in the tournament to face the winner of Statlander/Soho.

Match rating - ***

Malakai Black pre-tape on the 8 man tag coming up in Chicago next week. 

MJF is here now. He mocks Darby some more then just starts gassing himself up. He says there’s no one in the locker room who can hold a candle to him. CM Punk comes out to a huge pop. The staredown between the two gets a “holy shit” chant. Punk doesn’t say a word and MJF extends his hand to introduce and Punk just laughs and walks off. Good shit! Punk didn’t even have to say a word and Excalibur explains the intent of what Punk did as it’s just to piss MJF off. 

Backstage, Darby Allin says MJF didn’t break him and he isn’t taking time off. Darby wants the biggest and baddest that AEW has to offer. Up walks… Billy Gunn. He accepts Darby’s challenge and his sons laugh and one of them says “I like turtles” in reference to that viral video of that kid.. yeah.. idk. Fuck this though lmao. 

Adam Cole is backstage and mad. He is tired of Christian Cage and Jurassic Express. Cole says he wants Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus and that he & Bobby Fish will face them on Rampage. Fish walks up and we get a terrible promo from him teasing saying “undisputed” and ugh I wanna throw up. This is ass cheeks. 

4) Lio Rush & Dante Martin vs. The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) 

Oh man.. Dante Martin is such a great face in peril. Crowd is hot for him & Lio. So yeah this naturally builds to an AWESOME Lio hot tag after a commercial break. Lio gets a two count. Shit breaks down and ALL FOUR MEN ARE DOWN AND THE CROWD RISES TO THEIR FEET. Lovely little moment with Tony making me feel nostalgic as he hyped up how there’s still more to come even after this crazy fun tag. Dante hits some more wild stuff as they transition into the finish where Caster rolls out of a pin attempt only for Lio to come flying off the top rope and nail him for the three count.

Match rating - ***1/4 

Team Taz comes out. Taz explains why they offered Dante Martin a contract to join Team Taz, saying it’s all business. Ricky Starks chimes in and says they will wait as long as they have to and mention how long they waited for Hobbs to come around and today is actually the one year anniversary of him joining them. I really hope Dante doesn’t even tease joining them, this tag team with Lio rocks so much. 

Christian Cage is backstage with Jurassic Express. Jungle Boy has shaved the scruff off his face it seems and I’m kinda happy. OMG AS IM TYPING THIS HE MENTIONS HIS SCRUFF BEIN GONE HOLY HELL. 

“Shit, I’ll eat thumbtacks for breakfast.” 

Yea, Jungle Boy killed this. They basically are accepting Adam Cole’s challenge from earlier here. 

ON RAMPAGE: Jade Cargill vs. Red Velvet and Darby Allin vs. Billy Gunn. 

Great Jade/Velvet pre-tape with awesome promos from both. JADE GONNA BEAT THAT ASS. 

NEXT WEEK IN CHICAGO: Rosa/Hayter, Danielson/Cabana, and FTR/Andrade/Black v Lucha Bros/PAC/Cody.

5) Sammy Guevara (c) vs. Jay Lethal - TNT Title Match 

Fucking hell. This is… something. What a PR nightmare we have in this main event. The work here is just fine. Honestly good. More than suffice. I enjoyed the hell out of it. They work a great story, but god damn bud. Think about how much charismatic talent and awesome atheletes were showcased throughout this show. Then, think about the fact that this is being billed as the pinnacle, no pun intended, of it all. I had calmed myself down to the point of enjoying this for the work alone, or at least trying to, then they showed 205 Live Superstar Tony Nese and I just could not LMAO. But truthfully it’s more funny to me than anything at this point. So, I won’t harp on it too much, I’ll save that for the podcast on Friday. But this match? It honestly was good. Sammy sold the ribs, they laid it out super well, the spots ruled. Just sucks both these dudes suck as humans, especially Jay. But here we are so yea. Guevara retains after a match that would probably even be rated slightly higher if it was different people and under different circumstances. 

Match rating - ***1/2

The show closes with Chris Jericho, Santana, Ortiz, & Jake Hager joining their Inner Circle stablemate in the ring for a little celebration. They even embrace Jay Lethal as well. 

Final thoughts: Alright y’all well that was a blast! First hour was phenomenal and second hour didn’t drop off by any means so fuck yeah. It’s nice to see what direction certain things and stats are heading after Full Gear and this was the exact mid-week pick me up that I needed. And for those who don’t know I’m a part of a podcast called Up and Over, this Friday we will be discussing last week’s Rampage, the Full Gear PPV in depth, AND tonight’s episode of Dynamite so make sure to follow us on all social media and give it a listen when it’s up! I’m super excited to talk about AEW and all these great shows they’ve been having recently. See y’all there! Thanks for reading <3 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

AEW: Rampage Review - November 12th, 2021

AEW: Rampage
November 12th, 2021
Minneapolis, MN - Target Center

Commentators: Excalibur, Tazz, & Ricky Starks

I KNOW this is hella out of order, but the completionist in me can't not go back and cover it. This is the Rampage the night before Full Gear in the same arena. Let's get into it!

1) Bobby Fish vs. Jungle Boy

"He's an ego HOG." -Ricky Starks 
"Ego Hog.. that's a t-shirt." -Chris Jericho

It's unfortunate that we got to enjoy a week of no Bobby Fish on TV only for him to re-emerge in a more prominent form than before. Jungle Boy is good at working from underneath, though so that saves this. Fish works him over for a while before JB floors him with a lariat that sends Fish onto the crown of his 60-year old head. Exploder suplex into the ropes stops the momentum of JB and gets Fish a two count. It doesn't do much, though, and JB has Fish in position for the snare trap. JB pounds on Fish's neck until he can lock it in. Good finish to a fine match.

Match rating - **1/2

Adam Cole runs down post-match and he & Fish try to give Jungle Boy a conchairto. Christian & Luchasaurus make the save. Christian hits an unprettier on Fish and taunt Cole and the Young Bucks who also emerged on the ramp.

Miro/Danielson video pack hyping their match tomorrow night.

Backstage, Hangman Page walks up during a Super Kliq promo. Cole gets in his face when Page asks to speak to The Bucks alone. The Bucks tell Cole to calm down and Page & The Bucks get their moment. Page says he's sorry for screwing them out of their tag title shot forever ago, but the way he sees it -- they're even. Because they cost him a shot at the World Title in July. Page, however, says, if the Bucks interfere tomorrow on the PPV, he will ruin them. Good shit.

2) Jade Cargill vs. Santana Garrett

Red Velvet is at ringside to hype the match with Jade coming up in the TBS Title Tournament. Simple squash, but a very solid one. Santana is always suffice in these type of matches. Jade wins and she gets into it with Red Velvet after Velvet smashes a cake into Mark Sterling's face. Nice little brawl honestly, hell yea. 

Match rating - **

"Look at Eddie... on screen.." -$Big Money Mike$

Punk/Eddie video package airs ahead of their classic. 

3) Dante Martin vs. Ariya Daivari 

The AEW debut of Daivari here! Hometown boys getting a chance to shine here. I had no idea Dante was from Minnesota. This was your vintage 2021 Dante Martin sprint so yes, it fucking rocked. God, this dude is so awesome. Dante wins, but nice showing for Daivari in his debut, even if this is a one time appearance.

Match rating - **3/4

Post-match, Ricky Starks sends Powerhouse Hobbs & Hook to the ring to offer Dante Martin a contract to join Team Taz. That’s interesting. Dante truly is the hottest young talent in AEW right now so it makes sense that so many people want to associate with him, but lord knows this could get messy quick.

4) Orange Cassidy (w/ Chuck Taylor, Kris Statlander, & Wheeler Yuta) vs. Matt Hardy (w/ The HFO) - Lumberjack Match 

The pre-match interviews hosted by Mark Henry were awesome. Orange really showed a bit more than he normally does, saying that he’s tired of dealing with Hardy and after tonight it’s over. This energy comes across in the match itself as Orange CHARGES Matt with some forearm strikes early that rule. A highlight of this was the fire from Orange, the negative was almost everything else. The lumberjack stip I’m fine with because it’s something different, but this whole thing was just… a cluster. I’ve seen worse however and Orange is always a blast so that was the saving grace, plus Chuckie T and Yuta getting dives was awesome. Yeah, actually writing back, idk why I complained, this was fun, the outcome sucks though because it looks like this feud is gonna continue… just have Orange shave Matt’s head already and end this motherfucker!

Match rating - **1/4

Sunday, November 14, 2021

AEW: Full Gear 2021 Review - November 13th, 2021

AEW: Full Gear
November 13th, 2021
Minneapolis, MN - Target Center

Commentators - Excalibur, Jim Ross, & Tony Schiavone

The Buy In: 

1) Thunder Rosa & Hikaru Shida vs. Jamie Hayter & Nyla Rose 

This was so refreshing. Finally, AEW seems to be seeing what women need to be in what position on the card and with whom they need to be paired. These four just so happen to be four of the best the roster has. Rosa & Hayter can have a great match with just about anyone and Shida & Nyla can more than hold their own as well so this was just a blast, honestly. They also ran back the amazing bumping from Jamie Hayter when Rosa hit a crossbody to the floor and Jamie took it PERFECTLY. I wasn’t paying tons of attention to detail in the closing stretch but I know that I enjoyed myself and that’s enough for this rating. 

Match rating - **3/4

Main Show: 

2) Darby Allin vs. MJF 

This opens the show and where do I even start? This completely blew all expectations I had out of the water. Darby matches tend to follow a formula, but that formula was completely disregarded here. These two started this off with chain wrestling and lucha exchanges which was a nice change of pace and a fucking BLAST. MJF mouths off with a fan at ringside and eats a nasty Darby dive and after some even nastier bumps like Darby missing a coffin drop on the apron & eating shit, things settle into the story of the match with MJF hitting a brutal powerbomb on Darby on his knee. Looked like it tweaked it and Darby goes after it and they continue play on it through the entirety of the second half of the match which included some awesome spots and a Sting save when Shawn Spears & Wardlow tried to interfere. They played into the promos that led into this as MJF tried to coax Darby into hitting him with the skateboard so he’d get disqualified, which to me was an immediate callback to MJF saying he would break Darby mentally and Darby refuting it. Just good, good shit all around. MJF wins by using his ring on Darby and then .. a headlock takeover. Insane. This will be a rivalry that pops up multiple times in the next decade of AEW and what a chapter here. 

Match rating - ****1/4

3) Lucha Bros (Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix) (c) vs. FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) - AEW World Tag Team Title Match

First off, I love FTR’s new entrance music. It feels SO fucking WCW and fits them perfectly. Lucha Bros have an awesome entrance here as well. This started fast, but took a minute for me to get into due to how much of a barnburner Darby/MJF was. Things really pick up in the final half, seeing the Lucha Bros pay tribute to Eddie Guerrero and the crowd rise to their feet was so awesome. They do a loooooot of overbooking and some of it hits and some of it is like .. too much. But it’s still pretty much a blast during the second half. They call back to the green masks FTR wore when they were disguised as luchadors and try to do a switcharoo thing that sorta threw me off. But yeah it’s not good enough and Lucha Bros retain. 

Match rating - **3/4

4) Bryan Danielson vs. Miro - AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament Finals Match 

Danielson continues his run as the Wrestler of the Year here having a banger with Miro. The story early really turns into Miro just dominating Danielson because I mean… basic physics. Miro is a monster and a lot stronger and throws Bryan around. Bryan works his comeback and this turns into a god damn slugfest, the exact thing we wanted from these two. They keep a nice story going too, though, and the finish.. man.. the finish. The DDT is once again Miro’s worst nightmare as a swinging DDT into a choke puts him out. Awesome battle. Bryan Danielson is the new #1 contender to the AEW World Championship. 

Match rating - ****

5) Superkliq (Adam Cole & The Young Bucks) vs. Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) & Christian Cage - Falls Count Anywhere Match 

I hate to sound repetitive when I review Superkliq matches, but these are just always bonkers in the best way possible. You know exactly what to expect and they deliver every single time. The Falls Count Anywhere stip solidified it even more. Cole gets cut open early. We get awesome table spots with BATSHIT dives from Nick & Matt who continued that trend all match, flying around every fucking where like maniacs. Jungle Boy got the tacks in the mouth superkick spot. CHRISTIAN does a fucking crossbody off the balcony. Everyone was going nuts here. I was particularly shocked to see Christian doing some of the stuff he did here. On top of the balcony crossbody, he hit a nasty looking spinning DDT on Cole on a ladder. They fight up the stage, a lot of wild stuff happens here. Insane dives and chokeslam off the stage to the floor. Luchasaurus with a SHOOTING STAR PRESS OFF THE STAGE. Yeah that dude is a fucking insane person. He took a triple V trigger with thumbtacks on the knee pads here too. Christian gives Jungle Boy the honor of hitting the conchairto on Matt Jackson for the victory after an absolutely bonkers match.

Match rating - ***3/4

6) PAC & Cody Rhodes (w/ Arn Anderson) vs. Andrade El Idolo & Malakai Black 

This felt like it was in a semi cool down spot and that’s just fine. They did kill it, though. Cody is booed out of the building, but for some reason they decide to build towards a hot tag for him. He works the apron and all building towards it and boos just reign down on his ass. Shit is so wild. But yeah, this was fun. Andrade & PAC had some more great exchanges here and PAC got the pin to finish things off when all was said and done. 

Match rating - ***1/4

7) Britt Baker (c) (w/ Rebel & Jamie Hayter) vs. Tay Conti - AEW Womens Title Match 

Britt gets a live entrance with dude from Fozzy playing guitar for her theme. Tay Conti has her game face on early and does an awesome job exhibiting her anxiety and the pressure & seriousness of this match. The crowd seems to be very worn out at this point, but these ladies really busted their ass and delivered a great match. One that is honestly my favorite of Britt’s reign so far. Conti is still fairly green, but she has a LOT of major things down. The facial expressions and the general layout and execution of this match was phenomenal. I expected some hiccups or awkward pacing, but there wasn’t much of that, if any. Tay’s selling and facials were just next level and kept me hooked from bell to bell. They threw some pretty crazy apron bumps and stuff in here and Tay hits a breathtaking moonsault that rules. They make Tay look strong in defeat, but eventually she’s caught in the lockjaw, she rolls out for a pinning combo only for Britt to reverse it and scoop the pin. I really liked this match. 

Match rating - ***1/2

8) CM Punk vs. Eddie Kingston 

Match of the night and one of the best matches of the entire year. Undoubtedly the best CM Punk match since he returned. Eddie had no frills in his entrance, not that he ever really does, but here there was nothing but a walk to the ring and motioning for Punk to come out. Punk comes out and there are no frills during his entrance either. No pose, no nothing. This felt like a fight from the jump and they go nose to nose with the ref holding them back and King hits a spinning back fist on Punk before the bell that floors him. Punk tries to recover and Bryce asks if he’s good AND PUNK FLIPS OFF KINGSTON. The bell rings and things explode and god damn what a brawl we got here. Not just any brawl, the brawl of all brawls. A classic pro wrestling showcase that can simply not be topped. Punk bleeds, and it rocks. The crowd is torn on who to cheer for and it’s only made harder when both guys are plainly only working with one goal - beating the living shit out of the other. There’s nothing nice about this. Biting, taunting, fists flying, it’s just a war and one that tells a phenomenal story. Much like the promo battle between Punk & Kingston on Rampage shadowed the old Punk/Cena promos from 2011, they expanded upon that as mid match, Punk began hitting shoulder blocks, then set Kingston up move for move for the five knuckle shuffle. POSING WITH HIS HAND UP FOR THE YOU CANT SEE ME AND SMILJNG AT THE CROWD WHO IS NOW BOOING HIM AS BLOOD DRIPS DOWN HIS FACE AHHHHHHH.

These moments will never be forgotten. This is one of the best matches of either man’s careers. Just everything it needed to be and then some. 

Match rating - ****3/4

9) The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Santana, Ortiz, & Jake Hager) vs. Ethan Page, Scorpio Sky, & American Top Team - Street Fight 

Thankful this was placed in the spot on the card that it was because I needed a cool down and also, I couldn’t care less about this match. However, it most definitely delivers for what it is and we get everything we want out of it. Hilarious moments and some great spots like Sammy’s insane Jeff Hardy style dive off the tallest ladder I’ve seen in AEW. Ethan Page taunts Jake Hager’s wife at ringside then gets locked in the claw by Baron von Raschke who was at ringside. Dan Lambert gets embarrassed when all is said and done and Jericho does a tribute to the late Eddie Guerrero with the finish. Can’t complain one bit! Gentleman’s three boy.

Match rating - *** 

10) Kenny Omega (c) vs. “Hangman” Adam Page - AEW World Championship Match 

Video package airs before the match and another pre-tape we haven’t seen of Hangman riding his horse down the street outside of the Target Center. This match feels huge, as it should. It’s 2 and a half years in the making, as we all know. Omega and Page make their entrances and we settle in for a match structured differently than arguably any other match that’s ever happened in AEW. I truly don’t think I’ve seen any other main event worked this way and that in itself is super cool. This is the first time I’ve seen Kenny work a New Japan esque main event and I think it’s done this way to try and make Hangman look all the more like an absolute superstar. They work slow and methodical. Nothing is rushed. All the big moments/moves are inched towards so that they mean so much more when they hit. This feels exactly like what it is - the biggest match in AEW history. NOW, does it also have the slight stench of the excessivesness of some NJPW style main events.. yes. It sometimes felt like they needed to kick it to a different gear or spice things up to break the formula. Doing so, probably would’ve boosted this a higher rating because everything else was there. None the less, we still get a fantastic title match that I think stands far apart from all other AEW Title matches before it. My favorite moment of the match was seeing Omega go for the One Winged Angel, Page counter it and HIT OMEGA’s MOVE ON HIMSELF. Absolutely fucking awesome. I think we all were expecting Page to kick out of the move so we didn’t even think of what would happen if Page hit it on Omega. The Young Bucks come down next and we get the absolute most perfect final moment in this match as Hangman hits two buckshot lariats on Omega, one from each side of the ring. Nick Jackson is on one side tempted to interfere, but doesn’t. Matt Jackson is on the other side and nods his head almost in approval as Page stares at him before finally hitting the Buckshot on Kenny for the victory. Wow. What a heartfelt moment. Page getting the fair chance and approval from his former friends that he always wanted. Fuck yes man. We have a new AEW World Champion!!!

Match rating - ****1/2

Final thoughts: All in all, this completely lived up to expectations, and I think could be looked up on as potentially AEW’s greatest PPV event to date. Atleast match quality wise. All Out had the moments like Punk’s first match in 7 years and Danielson & Cole debuting, but the match quality here surpassed it just slightly for me. It really feels like a new era is beginning now that Hangman is champion and I'm excited to see where things go and how things reset. Strap in yall, it’s about to get wild!!! 

ALSO if you don’t already follow @upandoverpod on Twitter, this Friday we will be discussing Full Gear and the Dynamite that follows so if you want more thoughts and round table discussion on this event, don’t miss it!

Friday, November 5, 2021

AEW: Rampage Review - November 5th, 2021

AEW: Rampage 
November 5th, 2021
St Louis, Missouri 

Commentators - Excalibur, Ricky Starks, & Taz

1) Bryan Danielson vs. Anthony Bowens

What an awesome fucking surprise to open the show. This stems from Top Flight fucking with Tony Khan so he is essentially feeding them to our king, the American Dragon. Great showing for Bowens here though as he is on top for a good portion of the match. The Danielson comeback rules and he forces Bowens to tap. So fun.

Match rating - **3/4

Andrade and FTR backstage from Wednesday apparently. FTR asks where PAC was last week and refer to him as a British bitch. They say they will see him on Wednesday. 

CM Punk comes out to confront Eddie Kingston. This is one of those segments that is just so sick that words can’t do it justice. Kingston comes out and basically refuses to apologize and brings up old IWA Mid South beef. King says people don’t know the real Punk, but he does. He says Punk is a lowlife scumbag and did nothing but judge him back in the day. Punk said he didn’t judge him, he held him to a standard. Shit gets heated. Punk calls Eddie a bum who fell short of that standard. Eddie says no one really wants Punk here anymore and that he should quit and leave again for 7 years. This leads to a headbutt from Punk to Kingston leading to an AWESOME brawl. Punk faces Kingston on November 13th at Full Gear and they just put asses is in the seats with this segment, holy moly. Best thing Punk has been involved in since returning and one of the best in ring segments in the history of AEW. 

2) The Bunny vs. Red Velvet - TBS Title Eliminator Tournament Match

Well, this wasn’t nearly as offensive as I anticipated. In fact, they held it together very well and delivered a match that went on without any real hiccups. For that reason, I can’t complain. It’s not anything special or great, but it damn sure is suffice. Velvet gets the win with THE LAST SLICE. 

Match rating - **

In between these matches, they proceed to announce the most awesome Dynamite line up in a while with so many fresh, sleeper matches. PAC faces Dax Harwood, Rosa/Tay/Anna Jay vs. Britt/Rebel/Hayter in trios action pLUS DANIELSON VS ROCKY ROMERO. What da fuck. That women’s trios match!!! Rocky/Danielson?!? PAC and Dax is gonna rock too. I’m so excited! And how could I forget? Sydal/Moriarty vs. Dante/Lio Rush!!!

3) Adam Cole vs. John Silver 

Nice little side bar feud here that has developed out of the Jurassic Express/Elite story. Naturally, this is a blast. They’re restricted on time so this stays right in the groove that it needs to be for it to be super enjoyable. You get The Dark Order coming down late in the match to confront the Young Bucks when they put Cole’s foot on the ropes to save him from a three count. This leads to an awesome near fall for Silver off a spinning sit out powerbomb. I bit on the possibility of Silver upsetting Cole and so did everyone in the crowd, who chanted “holy shit” and “this is awesome” immediately after. Cole comes back, though, and a bunch of superkicks and the last shot finishes off Silver.

Match rating - ***

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

AEW: Dynamite Review - November 3rd, 2021

AEW: Dynamite
November 3rd, 2021
Independence, Missouri

Commentators - Excalibur, Jim Ross, & Tony Schiavone 


1) Kenny Omega vs. Alan Angels 

This is perfectly fine, I guess. They do stuff. The best part for me was the opening moments when Angels charges Kenny with a running drop kick. Then the fire wears off for me. I never saw their first meeting in April 2020 where Angels kicked out of a bunch of V Triggers and made everyone mad. But.. this didn’t make me wanna go back and watch it because truthfully, I can’t remember much of anything Angels has done since. It doesn’t upset me like it does others, but I also have no big reason to care about the stuff done in this match. The fire from Angels early is good, the commentary hyping him up as the underdog who may have Kenny’s number for some strange reason is also good, and the V Triggers at the end looked nice. But largely, it meant much of nothing. Still a fun stop in route to Full Gear, though! I like that they circled back around to this. Omega wins after selling Angels short with a lazy cover off a V Trigger leading him to hit a couple more brutal ones and properly cover him for the victory. 

Match rating - **

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Monday Night Raw Review - March 24th, 2003

WWE Raw 
March 24th, 2003 
Sacramento, California

World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H (since 12/15/02)
World Tag Team Champions: Chief Morley & Lance Storm (since 3/24/03)
WWE Women's Champion: Victoria (since 11/17/02)

Commentators - Jim Ross & Jerry "The King" Lawler

It’s the final Raw before WrestleMania 19!

Stone Cold Steve Austin opens the show. He wants The Rock to come out and sing him a song. Test comes out instead. He’s supposed to be in a match tonight, Austin gives him a stunner. Austin says he isn’t leaving until Rock comes out and takes a seat at ringside. Test’s scheduled opponent for the night, Lance Storm, runs down and goes for the cover. The ref hops in, but Austin stops him and does the count, but stops at two, flips off Storm and hits him with a stunner LMAO. Eric Bischoff comes out with a bunch of cops. He says he’s placed a restraining order against Austin to ensure he never lays hands on him again. He orders Austin to leave the building or get arrested and taunts him as he’s escorted out. Austin leaves under his own power, but surrounded by the police. 

1) Trish Stratus & Jeff Hardy vs. Victoria & Steven Richards 

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - March 20th, 2003

WWE Smackdown 
March 20th, 2003
Louisville, Kentucky 

WWE Champion: Kurt Angle (since 12/15/02)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (since 2/6/03)
WWE Cruserweight Champion: Matt Hardy (since 2/23/03)

Commentators - Michael Cole & Tazz 


It’s the second to last show before Mania 19. Realized this afternoon I typed it. 

TONIGHT: Hulk Hogan / Mr. McMahon contract signing 

1) Charlie Haas (w/ Shelton Benjamin) vs. Rhyno (w/ Chris Benoit)

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Monday Night Raw Review - March 17th, 2003

WWE Monday Night Raw
March 17th, 2003
St Louis, Missouri 

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)

Commentators - Jim Ross & Jerry "The King" Lawler

Eric Bischoff opens the show. He says he faces Stone Cold in the main event tonight under his rules.. with the entire roster at ringside. And if they don’t do their job, they will be fired. It’s a Lumberjack match. 

1) Rob Van Dam & Kane vs. Chief Morley & Lance Storm