Sunday, July 31, 2022

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - August 14th, 2003

WWE Smackdown
August 14th, 2003
St Louis, Missouri 

WWE Champion: Kurt Angle (since 7/27/03)
WWE United States Champion: Eddie Guerrero (since 7/27/03)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (since 7/3/03)
WWE Cruserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio (since 6/5/03)

Commentators - Michael Cole & Tazz

The Undertaker vs. The Big Show

Mr. McMahon opens the show. He says he is here to introduce everyone to someone that they thought they knew.. Brock Lesnar. Vince then replays what happened last week with he & Brock swerving Angle and destroying him in the cage. Vince play by play narrates the entire thing over the mic and it is HILARIOUS LMAO. “LOOK AT THAT!” Vince brings Brock out and they have a love fest. STEPHANIE MCMAHON MAKES HER RETURN to interrupt. Steph says she learned a lot at Vengeance.. she learned that her dad would hire A-Train to physically assault his own daughter just so “his slut” (Sable) could win a match. Dear fucking lord. Considering everything happening right now in real life in 2022, this segment is nuts to look back on. Steph talking about being in a position of power and her dad being a piece of shit. Vince makes a lot of derogatory comments toward women. He says the worst day in his life was when he married her mother and Steph tries to slap him. Brock grabs her arm and she screams. Vince says he can handle it, though, and since Steph wants to accuse him of physical abuse, he’ll show her physical abuse when she faces THE 350
POUND A TRAIN TONIHJT! “And that’s physical abuse…” this is fucked. 

1) Worlds Greatest Tag Team (c) vs. Rey Mysterio & Billy Kidman - WWE Tag Team Title Match

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Monday Night Raw Review - August 11th, 2003

WWE Monday Night Raw 
August 11th, 2003 
Quad Cities

World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H (since 12/15/02)
Intercontinental Champion: Christian (since 8/10/03)
World Tag Team Champions: La Resistance (since 6/15/03)
WWE Women's Champion: Molly Holly (since 7/28/03)

Commentators - Jerry Lawler & Jonathan Coachman

Goldberg vs. Ric Flair… again. But this time it’s No DQ. OH YAY. 

This is the first episode of Raw on SPIKE TV. 

Eric Bischoff opens the show and he replays everything that went down last week. As he’s bragging about beating Shane, JIM ROSS RETURNS. JR comes to the ring and says he’s pressing charges on Bischoff for what happened to him during the Kane interview. Stone Cold comes out and says the only way JR won’t sue Bischoff is if he signs a contract for a match tonight. Eric agrees to avoid the lawsuit, but he didn’t read the fine print.. tonight, Bischoff is contracted to face Kane!

1) Scott Steiner & Stacy Keibler vs. Rico & Jackie

This is fine while it lasts which isn’t long. Test runs through the crowd and Steiner follows him into the crowd for a brawl. This distraction allows Rico & Jackie to pick up the win. 

Match rating - *1/4

After the match, Steiner says THIS IS BULLSHIT. He is tired of Test following him around and wants him one on one right now. Test is down, but not right now.. next week and with one stipulation - winner gets Stacy Keibler. Jesus Christ. Stacy says they’re in and Steiner says Test’s ass is his next week. 

Backstage, Ric Flair and Randy Orton are talking. Triple H walks up and says now more than ever they need to stick together. H complains about the Elimination Chamber Match and Orton says Hunter isn’t alone in the match because he’s fighting to defend his title as well. H says now they need to turn their attention to tonight when Ric faces Goldberg. H says everyone’s been screwing them, now it’s time for them to screw with everyone else. 

Back from commercial, Kane arrives in his van again LOL. This shit is getting kinda humorous more than scary or ominous. 

2) The Dudley Boyz vs. La Resistance 

Saturday, July 30, 2022

NJPW: Music City Mayhem Review - July 30th, 2022

NJPW Music City Mayhem 
July 30th, 2022
Nashville, Tennessee 

Commentators -
Ian Riccaboni, Matt Rehwoldt, & Tanga Loa

1) The DKC, Kevin Knight, & Ren Narita vs. Shota Umino, Yuya Uemura, & Fred Yehi 

Uemura gets isolated by Knight, DKC, & Narita. Apparently those guys team a bit on Strong and it definitely shows. Kevin Knight surprised me here with an awesome flurry off a hot tag where he knocks Yehi & Umino off the apron and nails Uemura with a deep bodyslam. Yehi gets the hot tag when Uemura finally gets out of his predicament and it rules. Things break down here with various face offs. Most notably Umino and Narita squaring off. This was fun and almost everyone shined, but as a whole it probably could’ve benefitted from being a little shorter. Shota gets the win for his team with the Death Rider DDT in 13:12.

Match rating - **1/2

2) Davey Richards (c) vs. Rocky Romero - MLW National Openweight Title Match 

Friday, July 29, 2022

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - August 7th, 2003

WWE Smackdown 
August 7th, 2003
Kelowna, British Columbia 

WWE Champion: Kurt Angle (since 7/27/03)
WWE United States Champion: Eddie Guerrero (since 7/27/03)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (since 7/3/03)
WWE Cruserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio (since 6/5/03)

Commentators - Michael Cole & Tazz

1) Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Benoit

Ok, so obviously this fucking rules. Obviously a lot shorter than the awesome Vengeance match, but everything is snug and great. Benoit goes for the flying headbutt and Rhyno runs down & knocks him off. Benoit is pissed and dives onto Rhyno. Tajiri runs in and goes after Eddie and the ref calls for the bell. 

Match rating - ***

A huge brawl breaks out after the match. Officials come out to break it up and Sgt Slaughter gets on the mic. He says to ring the bell and WE’VE GOT A TAG TEAM MATCH PLAYA. 

2) Eddie Guerrero & Rhyno vs. Chris Benoit & Tajiri 

Another great time here. It goes a little over five minutes and goes by so quickly. Tajiri mists Rhyno and Benoit german suplexes the hell out of him. This leads us to the finish with Benoit forcing Eddie to tap to the cross face. 

Match rating - ***

Backstage, Kurt Angle tells Josh Matthews he’s gonna sit down with Brock Lesnar one on one tonight to get their issues settled. 

3) Zach Gowen vs. Nunzio (w/ Chuck Palumbo & Johnny Stamboli) 

Thursday, July 28, 2022

AEW: Dynamite - Fight For the Fallen Review - July 27th, 2022

AEW Dynamite 
Fight for the Fallen 2022
July 27th, 2022
Worcester, MA

AEW World Champion: CM Punk (since 5/29/22)
AEW Interim World Champion: Jon Moxley (since 6/26/22)
AEW World Tag Team Champions: Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee (since 7/13/22)
AEW Women’s World Champion: Thunder Rosa (since 3/16/22)
AEW TBS Champion: Jade Cargill (since 1/5/22)
AEW TNT Champion: Wardlow (since 7/6/22)

1) Jon Moxley (c) vs. RUSH - AEW World Championship Match 

Listen, firstly, I’m not calling Mox the interim World champ because that’s just short selling this run he’s having. Rush had an insane match with Dragon Lee this past weekend and that was enough to get me hyped for this considering how killer Mox is right now. We get the best Mox entrance in recent memory as he comes out super fired up and throwing bottles in the crowd. This match couldn’t have happened at a more perfect moment in time. Rush gets the jump on Moxley early and we see blood from the forehead of the champion just minutes into this. This was a great brawl that fell into the vein of Moxley’s style of match while also leaning into Rush’s brawling side which truthfully isn’t very far off from Moxley’s in a way if you look at some Rush’s past grudge matches and such. This just rocked. Stiff strikes, suplexes, nearfalls and some blood. Everything you expect from 2022 Mox and nothing less. Everything you’d want from Rush after his barnburner with his brother last weekend. Andrade tried to run down to interfere, but the Lucha Bros made the save and ran them off which added some drama to the final stretch. Mox retains off of a paradigm shift. 

Match rating - ***3/4

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Random Match Review: FTR (c) vs. The Briscoes - ROH World Tag Team Title Match - ROH: Death Before Dishonor - July 23rd, 2022

FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) (c) vs. The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) - 2/3 Falls Match for the ROH World Championship 

This is my Match of the Year so far. Plain and simple. 

I didn’t think anything would surpass Hanger/Bryan from January, but I should’ve never doubted these two teams. Not to spoil my rating before getting to the end of this article, but this is my third five star match of 2022. The first being the obvious Hanger/Danielson title match and the second came at Double or Nothing with the chaotic Anarchy in the Arena. This match surpasses them both, though, if we are comparing. To my taste, atleast. 

This felt like the type of match that made me fall in love with Ring of Honor’s mid 2000’s shows. It went around 45 minutes, but felt like 25. I was glued to the screen from bell to bell and this truly felt like a fucking rollercoaster ride. 

I went ****3/4 on their first match. Not that it was necessarily missing something, but I felt like there was a more perfect epic still stowed away that the two teams could deliver. I’m glad my thinking was right for once because that’s what we got here. 

Everything in this match was laid in. Even the smallest things. Every single strike looked like it hurt. Dax bled from the chest from chops, the teams traded headbutts and closed fists. This felt like an actual war. Their first match was an awesome back & forth spectacle, this felt like war. Competition between two teams who love tag team wrestling with everything in them. 

One team who is the most underrated of the last 20 years in some circles in the Briscoes. Then a team who is dead set on making a career worthy of placing them in the Top 2-3 best teams of all time discussion. The emotion both duos fought with is what pushed it beyond just a slugfest for a title.

The Briscoes have held the guard down for Ring of Honor through thick and thin for 20 years. When everyone else left, they stayed. They fought. They stood their ground and with pride. They’ve beaten everyone, they’ve held the titles 10+ times. Jay is a former world champion. They’ve done it all, but they’ve never beaten FTR. FTR.. a team who captured gold at the top of the ladder in WWE and has arguably taken the opposite career path that the Briscoes have taken. They’re a perfect clash for one another and you feel it with every strike and splash of sweat that flies to the mat. 

This match left nothing else to be desired. Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler, Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe gave everything last night and delivered the best match I’ve seen this year. An epic. A classic. Thank you, guys. This was amazing. Nothing else needs to be said. 

Match rating - *****

Friday, July 22, 2022

Random Match Review: Jon Moxley & Wheeler Yuta vs. Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent Beretta) - AEW: Dynamite - July 20th, 2022

Jon Moxley & Wheeler Yuta vs. Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent Beretta) - AEW Dynamite - July 20th, 2022

This probably comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me, but I loved this match. I don’t think I loved it solely because of bias, though. I think I tend to be pretty fair in my analysis of most things and when I am being biased, I can call myself out for it and own it. 

Sure, I love Chuck Taylor more than most. Yes, Jon Moxley is my undoubted Wrestler of the Year so far and has me glued to the screen any time he’s on. And yes, Wheeler Yuta has been a consistent favorite of mine this year as well. 

Take all of that away, though, and I think you still have one of the best TV matches of the year. In all honesty, I think it may go down as one of the most underrated ones considering some of the takes I’ve seen on it. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Monday Night Raw Review - August 4th, 2003

WWE Monday Night Raw 
August 4th, 2003
Vancouver, British Columbia 

World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H (since 12/15/02)
Intercontinental Champion: Booker T (since 7/7/03)
World Tag Team Champions: La Resistance (since 6/15/03)
WWE Women's Champion: Molly Holly (since 7/28/03)

Commentators - Jerry Lawler & Jonathan Coachman 

TONIGHT: Goldberg vs. Ric Flair 

Eric Bischoff kicks off the show. Shane McMahon almost immediately interrupts him. Shane returned last week and got physical with Kane for attacking his mother. Shane and Eric get into it. Eric tells Shane to leave and Shane refuses. They go nose to nose and Eric tells Shane he better leave because he’s a black belt and will kick his ass. Stone Cold comes out. Austin basically antagonizes both of them. Austin suggests a No Holds Barred Match between them for later. Eric reminds Austin of Linda’s rules about his decision making. Austin finds his way around them and asks Shane how he feels about it and Shane says “… ring the bell.” Bischoff starts screaming and shit then calms down like he came to a realization and says “.. you know what? You’re on.” The match is official and ITS BECAUSE STONE COLD SAID SO. 

1) Bubba Ray Dudley (w/ D-Von Dudley) vs. Renee Dupree (w/ Sylvan Grenier) 

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - July 31st, 2003

WWE Smackdown 
July 31st, 2003
Colorado Springs, Colorado 

WWE Champion: Kurt Angle (since 7/27/03)
WWE United States Champion: Eddie Guerrero (since 7/27/03)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (since 7/7/03)
WWE Cruserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio (since 6/5/03)

Replays of Kurt Angle winning the WWE Title at Vengeance air before the opening video package. 

TONIGHT: Eddie Guerrero defends the US Title against Tajiri and Torrie Wilson & Jamie Noble have a “sleep over”

The new WWE Champion’s music hits to start the show. Angle comes to the ring and gets a mic. He’s grateful to be here and be able to say that he’s champion again after his injury that made him think he may never get to do that. Brock Lesnar interrupts and challenges Kurt to a rematch. Kurt accepts, but Vince McMahon comes out to ruin the party. He tries to stir the pot and say that Kurt came to him earlier and told him not to book a rematch between them. Kurt denies it, but Vince still says no to Brock’s rematch request and instead makes a tag match for tonight to test their friendship. Brock & Angle versus two opponents of Vince’s choosing. 

Amazing SummerSlam commercial airs of Brock being a lifeguard and F5’ing a shark. Wow. 

1) Rey Mysterio (w/ Billy Kidman) vs. Shelton Benjamin (w/ Charlie Haas) 

VIDEO: NJPW G1 Climax 32 Night One & Two Review + Night Three-Five Predictions


Sunday, July 17, 2022

Random Match Review: Jon Moxley vs. Konsosuke Takeshita - AEW: Dynamite - July 13th, 2022

I don't do these often. That's mainly probably because I'm super OCD about reviewing shows in full. Lately, however, I just have not had the time or motivation to fully sit down and analyze all the shows I've been watching. That leads us here.

This week on Dynamite, we got possibly the best in-ring action overall of any week in recent memory. So much so that I woke up the next morning and couldn't stop thinking about two matches in particular with this being one of them.

When this was announced, everyone was ecstatic including myself. DDT’s ace Takeshita is in the midst of his US excursion where he’s had bangers against everyone he’s faced inside and outside of AEW from Hangman Page to Mike Bailey. Then, you have Jon Moxley. The undoubted wrestler of the year so far and not to jinx it or spoil my year end awards, but I don’t see ANYONE knocking him from that spot. This match and the circumstances around it are good reason as to why, too. 

The last calendar month of Mox boast a great, gritty GCW Title defense against Tony Deppen on 6/17, a bloody battle with Tanahashi to win the AEW Title on 6/26, the crazy ass Blood & Guts match on 6/29, a slugfest with Brody King on 7/6 and after ALL OF THAT, Mox sees Takeshita having a killer match with Eddie Kingston on Rampage and says YO LET ME FIGHT HIM NEXT WEEK. A maniac. A pro wrestler’s pro wrestler. A fighter. 

This turns out to be everything expected of it and more. Some could say Mox matches in 2022 are very similar.. or at-least have similar traits. Blood, suplexes, head drops, stiff strikes and chops. You wouldn’t be wrong, but they don’t come off as a routine to me, they come off as a fight. Mox wants to wrestle and he goes into these matches completely unhinged with this match being no different. 

This is snug and focused from Mox and truthfully we see more fire from Takeshita than we have yet in AEW. I would’ve liked to seen more fire, but that’s a minor note. Takeshita gets color during the commercial break and as someone who has watched a lot of Takeshita’s stuff back in Japan, I can never recall him bleeding so although I could he wrong, this is definitely a rare occurrence and something I did not anticipate here. It definitely added some urgency to things and some additional sympathy that Takeshita’s matches with Hanger and King didn’t have. 

This was definitely a Jon Moxley match, but he let Takeshita go the fuck off and counter a ton of his stuff which gave us some awesome nearfalls. These two really just threw fucking bombs and I’d love another match between the two or a match between Takeshita and Claudio because this definitely pushed Takeshita a level further in the eyes of the AEW fan base. Just fantastic, pro wrestling and another notch on the belt of both these guys’ monumental years. I could see this being an amazing AEW Title match 3-4 years in the future with the roles being reversed if AEW wants to take it there. Takeshita has IT and they need to do whatever they can to keep him coming back regularly and use him accordingly. 

Match rating - ****1/4

Fortune Dream 7 Review - June 15th, 2022

Fortune Dream 7 
June 15th, 2022
Tokyo, Japan 

1) Takao Omori vs. Issei Onitsuka 

Good squash opener here. Omori largely dominates and I think calling it a squash is pretty accurate. It did go 8 minutes though and we got to see Onitsuka fire up a couple of times which rocked for the young GLEAT lad. Omori wins a little banger. 

Match rating - **3/4

2) Lady C vs. Himeka

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Monday Night Raw Review - July 28th, 2003

July 28th, 2003
Colorado Springs, Colorado

World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H (since 12/15/02)
Intercontinental Champion: Booker T (since 7/7/03)
World Tag Team Champions: La Resistance (since 6/15/03)
WWE Women's Champion: Gail Kim (since 6/30/03)

Commentators - Jerry "The King" Lawler & Jonathan Coachman

Replays of Kane giving Linda McMahon the tombstone from last week air. Jesus. What a wild ass angle that was. 

NO CHANCE. Vince McMahon is here. He says he’s here to confront Kane for what he did to his wife.. not because he’s a good husband, but because he’s a man and Kane is not. Vince says he doesn’t know what’s going to happen when he has officials bring Kane to that ring tonight, but he can guarantee one thing. By the end of the night..


1) Booker T & Scott Steiner (w/ Stacy Keibler) vs. Christian & Test 

IMPACT: Against All Odds 2022 Review - July 1st, 2022

IMPACT Wrestling
Against All Odds 
July 1st, 2022
Center Stage - Atlanta, Georgia 


1) Black Taurus vs. Laredo Kid 

This was a blast and the perfect length. It only goes seven minutes so no room for filler or excess. Just these two running a great sprint with a ton of awesome spots. The crowd was hot for both guys which added to it as well. Taurus gets the win. 

Match rating - ***

2) Brian Myers (c) vs. Rich Swann - Digital Media Championship Match 

This was fun. I don’t really care about either guy, but you can’t deny how easy of a watch this was. I hate that Swann has so many shit allegations in his past because he really is such a fun act for Impact to have on their roster and I feel like all his shittiness has overshadowed any positive credit to his name. Which, I mean.. rightfully so. Anyway. 

Match rating - **3/4


1) Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) vs. BULLET CLUB (Chris Bey & Ace Austin) 

You know this rocked. Shelley is so consistent this year as always. Sabin is also a super solid hand.. as always. Then you’ve got the new young guns of the BC, Chris Bey & Ace Austin. I’m not big on either guy and I think BC is bloated as fuck, but Bey has delivered for me lately and Ace Austin’s story in the BOSJ and joining BC has been pretty cool. So, yeah, this was good. It’s the first ever time for Bey & Ace tagging and I’d totally be down for more. MCMG made them look great, even in defeat. 

Match rating - ***1/2

Backstage, Karl Anderson gets his team hyped up to face Honor No More later. Gallows, Heath, and Storm all get chances to talk. 

2) Mickie James & Mia Yim vs. Deonna Purazzo & Chelsea Green 

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Vengeance 2003 Review - July 27th, 2003

WWE Vengeance 2003
July 27th, 2003
Denver, Colorado 

WWE Champion: Brock Lesnar (since 3/30/03)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (since 7/7/03)
WWE Cruserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio (since 6/5/03)

Commentators - Michael Cole & Tazz

This is the first Smackdown solo PPV of the brand split era. 

1) Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero - United States Tournament Finals 

My god. This was fucking great. They really let these two go out here and work an almost 20 minute barnburner to kick this show off. People talk about all time great openers and I’ve never heard this one brought up, but I’d say it should be in the conversation. The only flaw this has may just be personal preference, but in the final few minutes, things seemed to lose focus and shift toward a ton of false finishes and nearfalls and even some interference as Rhyno runs down. He seems to be trying to help Benoit as Eddie tries to cheat, but instead TURNS AND SPEARS BENOIT. And as a result, Eddie steals the win. I did not expect that. But yeah, this was fantastic, check it out if you haven’t seen it. One of the best WWE matches of the year. 

Match rating - ****1/4

Backstage, Vince has some flowers and pretends they’re for Steph, but they’re actually for Sable. 

2) Jamie Noble vs. Billy Gunn (w/ Torrie Wilson) 

Friday, July 1, 2022

Ruthless Aggression Era Project: WWE Smackdown Review - July 24th, 2003

WWE Smackdown 
July 24th, 2003
Fresno, California 

WWE Champion: Brock Lesnar (since 3/30/03)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (since 7/7/03)
WWE Cruserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio (since 6/5/03)

Commentators - Michael Cole & Tazz


Replays air of the great handicap match from last week and the miracle work by Kurt Angle with help from Zach Gowen. 

The Smackdown General Manager Stephanie McMahon makes her way to the ring to start the show. Steph says since Vince is out taking care of her mother Linda after she was piledriven by Kane on Raw.. SHES GONNA TAKE BACK SMACKDOWN. Steph then turns her attention to Sable and says she’s gonna TREAT HER LIKE THE B*TCH SHE IS at Vengeance. John Cena interrupts. Cena apologizes, but says he had a dream about her last night and goes into a bunch of different sexual innuendos while rapping about her & Sable. This is the infamous segment where Cena smacks Stephanie’s ass (RESPECTFULLY WITH PERMISSION) and this brings OUT DA HELLCAT SABLE. Well.. she’s on the screen actually. Sable replays last week’s incident with all the moments where Steph had the upper hand conveniently edited out. She makes fun of Linda being piledriven by Kane and dares Steph to not wait until Vengeance. Steph storms toward the back as we head to commercial.

Back from commercial, Steph is stomping around backstage looking for Sable. She thinks she’s found her, but it’s Torrie. Steph continues the hunt. 

1) Rey Mysterio & Billy Kidman vs. Matt Hardy & Shannon Moore