Re: WWE Unleash the Fury
Personally, I think it would be better for Joey Styles to be the first voice you hear, rather than Kings, but it’s the commentary that shows are judged on.
Alright, Tag titles to kick off the show. I expect this one to be a rock buster.
MNM vs. London and Kendrick
As expected, was a fast paced opener, with only a few tags, but plenty of action, and not just quick tags, which was good, as we got into the action more, rather than the usual quick tagging in and out, which admittedly, is something I’d normally do.
Good use of Melina at ringside, having her distract the referee, to allow Mercury to take the padding off the turnbuckle, and I fully expect that to play a pivotal part in the end of the match. Working down on London was good from MNM, but would’ve been perfect if you’d have kept them focusing on the stomach, rather than going for the ankle too. Pleased to see you showing the fight in London, with him consistently kicking out at everything thrown at him, but nothing you couldn’t picture him kicking out of. Works for the realism factor.
Finally, we see Kendrick get back into the match, picking the pace right back up after the hot opening, with the challengers hitting a suicide plancha and corkscrew on the champions. This could well be the turning point, if London & Kendrick are to win the belts, with a near fall on Nitro. Superplex from Nitro should get the heat back on the champions now towards the finish.
London misses the 450 Splash?? Uh oh. That could be ominous for the challengers here. Finish was kinda flat to be honest, as I expected with four great athletes, there would be a much more of a frenetic finish.
Match Rating: **¾ - Solid, formula tag match, but the finish was a let down, as with these four, you could’ve done something better. Wonder if this ends the feud, or if London and Kendrick will seek out a rematch … Ladders at WM maybe??
No complaints with the Ric Flair interview. Good work, and solid in building Flair, for what I can only assume was a hard match to write.
Intercontinental Championship Match:
Opening was typical Flair with the chops, and out doing Masters at every turn, before the bigger, younger man takes control, although it was very back and forth after Flairs initial domination, which I found surprising. Good to see Flair having to dig into his bag of tricks to stay on a level par with Masters, with the eye rake etc. Up to now, it’s been a pretty entertaining match, despite being fairly uneventful, in terms of near falls etc.
Took Masters quite a while to get in control, and that back submission sounded pretty weird. Probably something used before, but I cant picture it right now. Flair showed plenty of fight, which kept this one as an entertaining contest, as Masters never really got a period of total dominance, although I still fully expect him to retain the belts in this one.
Figure Four was a close call, as Masters had to hang on for quite a while. Well described, chain of events during the time the Figure Four was locked on. Finish eventually comes from the deadly Masterlock. Have to say, when he first debuted, I totally wrote off Masters, mocked the Master lock … nearly a year later, I admit the Masterlock is a credible submission, and Masters is a fair wrestler. Great defence, with a pass out victory over The Nature Boy.
Match Rating: *** ¼ - Extraordinarily decent match. Was expecting to hand out a low grade, and despite it being fair at best, I’ve rated it higher, due to how you made it entertaining.
Mr. McMahon giving Eric Bischoff a pep talk?? Interesting. … accompanying him to the ring?? Very interesting.
General Manager of Raw Match:
Excellent start, with Austin giving out the beating of a lifetime, as it should be, as picturing Eric Bischoff beating up Austin would be just wrong. I suspect the majority of the match will be favouring Austin. Nice comedy spots with Austin, pretending that Bischoff is giving him trouble, then putting Eric’s foot on the rope. Stunner to Vince was cool, and if Homecoming was anything to go by, Vince should wake up sometime on Tuesday morning, lol.
Quite surprised to see Bischoff take such a violent battering. Expected to see him take a beating, but he is getting battered in this one, being badly busted open. More comedy from Austin, having him lift the shoulder, and then take a beer break. Pretty funny stuff, to cover up the lack of competition. McMahon saving Bischoff was a bit of a twist, albeit expected, after the stunner, and the soaking. Triple H running in though, costing Austin the match was a heck of a surprise, and a potential build up for a WM showdown. Should’ve guessed Austin would get screwed, as it’d be hard to imagine him as sole GM.
Match Rating: N/A - Cant really rate a match like this, as it was more entertainment than actually wrestling. Nice addition to the card though.
Nice Wrestle Mania VP, hyping Phoenix and the desert. I can imagine another couple of funny WM situation promos with the desert theme.
World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Good booking early on, having Christian playing his chicken shit role perfectly, whilst Batista as the fearless champion, shows no fear of Taker. Decent action, with Taker hitting one of my favourite moves, his running DDT. Always loved that one, getting a near fall. Note to Christian; Slapping Batista is not advised, lol. Was pleasantly surprised that the match continued for so long with everyone in and out, rather the the formula triple threat matches, when one guy is out for ages.
Nice introduction of the steel chair, and I suspect that could be the difference maker in the match. Had to expect the chair to be used at some point, and should’ve put money on it being Christian. Towards the end though, you had a couple of lengthy one on one fights, especially Taker and Christian. I enjoyed that, as a prolonged one on one fight is a good gap to have in there too.
Awesome spot, with Christian hitting a body splash onto the two opponents, and he’s coming out of this one looking good right now, win lose or draw. From there, for me the match died down a little for a bit, before picking up again for the finish. Good to see Christian trying to stoop to any length to win the belt, using the title itself as a weapon, although it backfired.
Chokeslam was protected well here, with Christian having to put his foot on the rope, rather than kick out of it. Surprised to see so much Taker - Christian in this match, with Batista barely being in the ring for a good period now, although he got back just in time to save the match after Taker hit the Tombstone. Leading to the inevitable Batista Bomb, on an already weakened Christian, getting the victory.
Match Rating: ***½ - Like the opener, the finish was a little flat, and Batista had little part for a good 30% of the match towards the end. However, the first ½ of the match was terrific, and the rest was solid.
What the- Edge?? That was interesting. Never saw a new champion coming in the shape of Edge at this show, but that makes things ultra awesome. Shock of the Month here perhaps.
I guess this was Edges plan after all, to set up a champion vs. champion showdown at WM. That could definitely happen, and I expect Edge will be one of the final four or so in the RR.
Strong Cena promo, ahead of the Hell in a Cell Match, which will undoubtedly be the brutal match of the evening.
WWE Championship Match:
Furious opening, with Cena looking to be the aggressor, which he should, as he is chasing the title, and Angle is looking to keep it. Pleased to see the use of weaponry early on, as HIAC matches shouldn’t be about wrestling. Chair backfiring on Cena is usually something I’d look for Angle to do. Cena regaining control, before introducing the table should start to a proper breakdown.
Cena busted open, after the countless shots into the Cell wall is good, as the match begins to take its toll, with blood becoming an issue. Excellent fight back from the bloodied Cena, and a close FU, quickly countered though into the cradle. Surprised to see the Ankle Lock come into play so early in the match, but had to expect Cena to survive it, as the match was only beginning to pick up pace. Interesting that Cena is limping, and I wonder how much of an impact that will make.
Angle remains in control, despite Cenas slight comeback, and that’s the way it should be, as Cena needs to be chasing the heel, rather than giving out the punishment all the time. Nice use of Angles medal, with Cena using it against its owner. ANGLE SLAM THROUGH THE TABLE!!! Oh my. As J.R would say, business is picking up. Barbed Wire Steel Chair could end up being a traditional HIAC weapon, and I’m pleased to see it used here. Ladder now brought in by Cena?? Awesome see saw type move, bouncing it into Angles face. What the heck does Cena have in mind?? Is he insane. TBH though, I doubt the fans would be asking him not to do it … they’d probably be willing him on, lol.
Surprised to see Cena go for a splash … not surprised he missed. I don’t know if Cena would hit one, but I guess for HIAC, he’d step his game up. Cena needing to put his foot on the ropes after crashing and burning was good booking, as it would’ve looked a little bit too much to kick out, so soon after nearly killing himself.
Now its Angle with the ideas. Oh my goodness. Taking the fight to the outside of the Cell is a bold move, and I hope this doesn’t leave the realms of reality, as can tend to be the case sometimes. Well, the only person I know of that went through the cell before was Mick Foley, and he was a sick SOB. I don’t know about Angle taking an FU through it. He’s had big time neck problems in the past, and it’s just a very dangerous one to pull off. However, on the flip side, Kurt Angle, albeit through internet reports, it seems he’s willing to do anything, in order to be given the chance to get a run. It’s done now anyway, but I don’t know whether or not I can see it happening for real. Hard call, as an FU isn’t exactly a Chokeslam, in terms of impact, though an FU through a cell would be a different matter.
The match looks to be taking its toll now on both men, with the action seemingly slowing down, which makes sense. Referee bumped. Don’t like the sound of that, as I fully expect some sort of interference now, which I hope doesn’t happen, as the final Angle - Cena confrontation should be kept between them. Nice to see the chair finally used too, and it should make for a memorable cell match with the presentation of Thumbtacks. I guess that’ll be Cena going into them, as Angle already got put through the thing. Bit of a swerve with the turnbuckle being bare, and Cena just surviving, but it looks like Angle is going to take control now. Comeback from Cena is short lived, and that’s how I like it, with short bursts, before the tide is turned back over again.
Ankle Lock is applied for the second time, and it seems to be for an eternity, with the challenger not set to tap out. Seems like the Ankle Lock is getting buried quite a lot in threads recently. Excellent finish, with the victory for Angle, done alone, and an awesome way to end it with the Angle Slam on the Tacks. Incredible job, and a fitting end to the long running rivalry.
Match Rating: ****½ - Contender for MOTM right here. The only thing that let it down slightly was the FU through the Cell, which I’m still 50/50 on. Angle is on his way to Wrestle Mania, but who will he face?? … Rumble winner perhaps??
Nice backstage confrontation between Edge and Theodore Long.
Jerry Lawler and Tazz commentating on the Rumble?? Not keen on that duo, but I guess you’re using King in more of a play by play role now.
Royal Rumble Match:
Benoit and Mysterio to open the match up is fine by me. Excellent way to kick things off, with two fairly big names on the roster, and two men who have been inter twined recently, involving Booker T. All we need now is for him to draw numero 3 … but its not to be with Rene Dupree making his entrance. I see Benoit and Mysterio going far, maybe even as far as Final 4, but I suspect Dupree will be having a short stay. Quite shocked Benoit and Rey didn’t eliminate him before the next entrant, but good double teaming from them, making the two minute period more enjoyable, and vastly different to the usual Rumble goings on.
Another Raw no-hoper enters, in Gregory Hellms, and I suspect we’ll see Rey and Benoit get one elimination each early on … nope. At least not yet. Hellms and Dupree hold on for the two minute period, but with another Smackdown star, and the so-called toughest guy, or whatever, Hardcore Holly, I see the eliminating getting under way very soon.
Hellms eliminated first, by Rey. Nice start for what I predict to be a long night for the United States Champion. Funny to see Holly and Dupree fight it out given their old history in real life, lol. Dupree gone, and a good time to get rid of the French Phenom, and it gives Benoit an elimination under his belt. Another fairly big name, with Carlito entering early, but I get the feeling he’ll not have a great night.
Chop fest on Carlito made for some entertainment, and light relief given all the seriousness there is due to be later on. Here he comes, my pick … SNITSKY!!! Well, I can hope, lol. Snitsky, being a big man will make for a good elimination later on for someone, despite his win / loss record. And hey, Snitsky gets himself a nice elimination, getting rid of Holly. I like that. I have a feeling it will be Lashley to eliminate Snitsky, as he’s an up and comer, he’s big, and he’s likely to get a good run in this match.
Whoa. Unexpected early entry for Edge. Was sure he’d feature late on. Starting to wonder now how he’ll fare, as I don’t see too many early entries making it to the last six or so. Perhaps a run in from Batista to cost Edge his plans?? I called the Snitsky elimination a moment or so ago, so I’m quite pleased about that. Good elimination too, and it makes Lashley look more dominant, getting rid of a big, big man.
Another early cruiserweight entry, with the first of the Mexicools to join the match, as the first third of entrants is now complete. Super Crazy is my favourite out of them all btw, so I hope he outlasts the others, if they are in it. Surprising to see Edge going so early, having just won the World Title earlier in the show. I see him screwing the two men who teamed to get him out, by costing Benoit and Mysterio the U.S Title to Booker T in a future SD.
O.J is here to make up the numbers, and just as I was thinking about the ‘classic’ matches between Benoit and OJ, I get a flashback, with Jordan getting eliminated in almost record time by the Wolverine. Funny stuff. Very good mix of entertainment and seriousness in this one so far. Loving it. I’m doing rather well for my predictions in this match, with Benoit eliminating OJ in emphatic fashion, and Carlito not getting a terribly long run.
Adding a second Mexicool into the match so soon after Super Crazy makes me think that we’ll see some double teaming here, or a backstabbing. Bit disappointed they got to do neither, at least from the get go, with Lashley imposing his power on the two smaller men. Now comes the true test for the big man Lashley, with Kane entering the fray. I see Lashley disposing of Kane, and making a huge mark on this Rumble, like Yokozuna in ‘93, Diesel in ‘94, Rikishi in ‘00, Kane in ‘01 and so on. Well, I didn’t expect that. If Lashley had eliminated Kane, it could’ve been a huge boost for the up and comer, but the opposite doesn’t really do much good for Kane, and although it doesn’t hurt Lashley, it doesn’t really help him either.
Kane appears to be the one who will own the Rumble once again, mowing through the other competitors, before eliminating Super Crazy. Would’ve loved Booker to draw Number Three, although I guess that would’ve been a little unrealistic. Pleased that both Benoit and Rey are still there though, so that rivalry can still go on during this match. Another CW gone thanks to Kane, and that’s all she wrote for the Mexicools this evening. I hope Kane doesn’t dominate though, as he had his run a few years back, and a run could do wonders for someone else this time around, pushing them into the spotlight.
Benoit and Booker team together for all of three seconds to knock down Kane, before they fight again. Glad to see their rivalry getting time to develop through the Rumble match. RVD gets Number 15, and with him being a fresh face, after a long injury lay off, I see RVD getting a nice long run. Could be totally wrong though, as Kane takes him down with a Chokeslam. I hope RVD doesn’t get eliminated this early, that would be bad. RVD hangs on, but Kane is dominating this match right now, with the chokeslams seemingly falling off a production truck … and I suspect they’ll come thicker and faster with the inclusion of Big Slow.
Show and Kane look to dominate, but things go awry, with them beginning to fight it out between them instead, lol. BOOOOO. Didn’t want Benoit to leave the match so early, but I’ll live to fight another day, with the Benoit - Booker rivalry set to roar on for another month or so, at least up until No Way Out, possibly WM with a 3 Way including Mysterio hopefully.
Mark Henry gets #17, and we get a ring full of barely mobile big men basically … well three big men. Henry is made to look really tough here, with Kane and Big Show having to team together to get him down. Kane with a second power bomb to Rey Mysterio in the same match?? A little unoriginal imo, as I’m sure you could’ve found another power spot for them to do.
JERICHO!!!!! Awesome. Chris Jericho finally back in the WWE. That should definitely add some big time star power to the Raw roster. The elimination of Kane seemed very strange. Kane dominates for a long period, then gets put out by someone like Booker T?? Expected a hot face to eliminate Kane, and get himself a big push from it.
Chavo and Striker add a few bodies to the ring, but I don’t expect them to do much, except make up the numbers. Nice elimination of Mark Henry for Mr. PPV, RVD, who is keeping a fairly low profile thus far, which has me thinking he could feature late on in the match. Booker T is being pushed pretty hard in this match, which I find surprising, as he’s been used well lately, but after his career, a big run in the Rumble isn’t exactly something he needs. JBL entering now, and that’s a good number for him imo, and he could definitely feature heavily, although I doubt we’ll see him win it. Funny to read Striker getting the better of Big Show, albeit for a short time. Hard to picture that, lol.
Forgot about Juvi, lol. Towards this point now though, definitely cant expect much from the mid carders, as the main players begin to take over. Bit of a shock to see Striker last as long as he did, but inevitably, he’s out of there. A little shocked, but pleased to see Show not dominant. Now, this is a good number for HBK. Definitely a contender to win, but the time just might not be right for Michaels. I could be wrong though. Juvi is gone, and maybe I spoke too soon about Big Show.
Mysterio gone with a bit of a whimper, but had an awesome run, entering at the beginning, and lasting a long amount of time, before eventually getting dumped out by The Whole Damn Show. Good run for Rey though. A heel of a lot of cruiserweights getting a shot in this Rumble, and I guess the current champion is as good as any to qualify. Elimination of the night goes to JBL by HBK. Nicely done, and put over the athleticism of Michaels. Very short run for JBL though, which I find a little bit of a surprise.
Would love to see Rob Conway eliminate a big name to elevate himself in this Rumble match. I don’t see it though, and I suspect he’ll just be there to make up the numbers, like all late entries that aren’t main event material. Funny stuff with The Con Man, having no one look at him. Gave me a chuckle. Kennedy getting a late entry now too, and with someone like him, it wouldn’t surprise me if he was there or thereabouts as a shock final four entrant. Would be a further boost for him, that’s for sure.
Could well have made another big prediction, as Kennedy gets off to a flying start, taking down Jericho, and eliminating Chavo from the match, to build up some steam for himself. Disappointed to see Conway go this quickly, courtesy of Matt Hardy, who is another guy who could build momentum from a good showing in the Rumble Match. Shelton Benjamin getting Number 28 could bode well for a final four run if he’s lucky. Yet to see my personal pick, Randy Orton enter, and if he gets #30, my prediction will change immediately.
Very frenetic start for Shelton, eliminating Jamie Noble, as well as making his mark on a certain number of other stars, including HBK, stealing the super kick to put HBK down. Eliminations could well start coming thick and fast, with Booker being tossed over the top by RVD.
And here comes the favourite to win, at least in my eyes, Randy Orton. However, now that I think about it, I was predicting Orton would win and face Batista, but now that Batista isn’t champion, I don’t see Orton vs. Edge or Orton vs. Angle at WM, but I wont change my mind, just in case. Glad to see the odds in Triple H’s favour, as it’ll make it a bigger surprise to see him lose. My pick for the final four now has to be HHH, HBK, Orton and possibly RVD or maybe Big Show.
Intensity levels look to have risen now, with the final competitors battling it out for the title shot. Hardy beaten by Orton, Benjamin was a cert to go after falling victim to the Green Bay Plunge too. Loving this run for Kennedy right now. He could be elevated big time if he managed another elimination, or made the final four or final five even. Finishing manoeuvres are starting to make the difference now, with The Big Slow being taken down by The Pedigree of HHH, and I expect that to spell the beginning of the end for Show.
Idea from Triple H to get everyone to eliminate Show wasn’t exactly the last thing I’d think of, but was a wise move for HHH to make, and it gets rid of the Whale. Y2J is eliminated by Orton, but Jericho had a good night to return, with a fairly decent run in the RR Match. Michaels gone now too?? Didn’t expect to see that … but Kennedy has reached the final four!!!! Odds are against RVD, with him being the only face left in the match, but it should also guarantee that he reaches the final two. I’m starting to think Van Dam will do it, to complete a remarkable return story, similar to HHH in 2002.
Awesome performance from Kennedy. Wasn’t in the match too long, but being part of the final four is an incredible achievement, and I expect you to fully play up on it in the coming weeks, and months to push him into the upper mid card on Smackdown. HHH, Orton and RVD left. Could be anyone’s match imo, but right now, I’m predicting Van Dam. The story seems to fit perfectly with WM, and it’s always better to have a face chase the champion into WM. Nice stuff with Orton and Hunter battling to see who can do more damage to RVD. Excellent comeback too from The Whole Damn Show, leading to the elimination of Triple H, bringing us down to the final two … my original pick, Randy Orton, and my In Progress pick, RVD.
Extremely nail biting finish, with a couple of close calls either way … but a very creative ending does it FOR ROB VAN DAM!!!!! Big twist in the tale, as about 90% of people who left predictions must’ve voted Orton, me included. Very inventive finish, with RVD being the shock Royal Rumble winner, lasting a long, long time, to make his victory that much sweeter.
Match Rating: **** - Very enjoyable RR Match. Always a favourite to watch in real life, and read in BTB. This was no different. Couple of minor things that weren’t too good, but nothing incredibly bad, more just things I would’ve liked to have seen, rather than the actual booking.
Well … that does it for this review. Has to have been one of, if not, the longest review I’ve ever completed. Without a doubt, the best PPV that you’ve ever put together. Be proud, and I’ll anxiously wait for WM.