DDMac's No Way Out Review
~ I'm back to normal now, Mac, so you can expect my reviews on a regular basis once again. I managed to hook this one up between reviewing Apple Spitter's Wrestlemania. Anyway, on to the show and a very, very, very nice way to kick things off, with the Hardys/Hooligans Ladder match. I have to admit, two things surprised me in the build up to this feud, the first being the reunion of the Hardys themselves, since I was loving the way you were handling Matt in his singles push as a heel; the second surprise was the Ladder stipulation at NWO. It seems a little odd, since Ladder matches are generally feud enders (not always), and I don't actually think this feud is over at all. Very nice contest, and well written too, with the recap being actually quite detailed so it still captures the excitement of the contest. Some nice spots were thrown in there such as London crashing and burning after missing the 450 Splash, Kendrick hitting the Doomsday Dropkick, and, my particular favourite Ladder match move, Kendrick nailing Matt with the Sunset Flip Powerbomb from the top. I would have loved to have read this match in full, since it was frenetic and quick simply via a recap; in full it would have been amazing. Didn't get as much time as I thought thought at 15 minutes, but I guess that's because Kennedy/Angle, Rock/Batista, and, possibly, Daniels/Malenko, need to go longer. Nice finish with Jeff pushing the Ladder down to pick up the win for his team. Like I said before, I'm not sure where this feud goes from here. It's not like you can have TLC at Wrestlemania now or anything, though I think these two teams will probably meet at that PPV, possibly with Shelton Benjamin/Gregory Helms and The Mexicools getting involved.
~ Oh come on! The build around this whole Angle/Kennedy/Stone Cold/Coachman deal has been amazing. Even without his jump to Raw, Angle was stealing the show on SmackDown with his heel turn and this wonderful feud with KK. But this business with Raw and Austin has only sweetened the deal. Nice little confrontation with Stephanie McMahon and here impersonation of Kennedy would have been a thing to see. I think Steph is right though, as I fully expect KK to retain his W'Mania spot tonight, though it should be a hell of match.
~ Heh heh, I guess I'm the only one who seems to be enjoying the Mark Henry/Kane feud then. No, the match really wasn't anything special from a wrestling perespective (obviously), but it sounded like a good brawl, with Henry actually showing his dominance well. The finish was, well it was coming let's just say that. What this means though from the looks of it is that these two monsters will meet again at Wrestlemania, possibly in some kind of gimmick match. You don't seem to excited by that fact, Mac, but I am
Could Henry really Gorilla Press the 300-pound Kane? He did it to Batista right? That's okay then, I was just wondering. Henry should probably go over in this feud, since he'll benefit from it much more in my opinion.
~ Nice bit of hype for the Six Man Tag match later on, with King Booker psyching up his troops. I'm still not sure where all of this conflict between The Court is going, since none of them work well as faces, and they have nothing, as of yet, clearly lined up for Wrestlemania. I can see the face team picking up the win tonight thanks to some miscommunication from Booker, Finlay and Regal.
~ Oh baby, this I want to see. Ric Flair and Mr. Kennedy going one-on-one in a battle of the mics. It's going to happen I'm sure when Kennedy retains his spot tonight and Batista defeats The Rock, setting up Kennedy/Batista for Wrestlemania, which will be a scintillating feud with Naitch thrown into the mix. This little segment was more of a snippet I suppose than anthing, really getting up prepared for the Road To Wrestlemania. Naitch gets the better of Ken on this particular occasion, but it'll probably just get him all fired up for later.
~ Okay, here we go with the Six Man tag action then, which should be a great match. The use of Chavo Guerrero was a bit disappoiting here, since he really ended up becoming the jobber of the equation, getting eliminated via a Scissor's Kick from King Booker after only 6 minutes. I think I would like to see something better for Chavo, so maybe just throw him back into the Cruiserweight division. Rey certainly took the Celtic Cross very early on, maybe a little too early for a finisher. Oh man, Finlay gets eliminated pretty early too after an accidental Scepter shot from Regal; this is bound to spell more conflict within the group. What the hell is up with Regal? He got himself disqualified on a whim it seems, leaving Booker all alone against Rey and Lashley. Bobby doesn't last much longer though either, leaving Rey and Booker to fight it out. Rey picks up the win though, which I kind of expected, since a face victory was clear from the start. Once again, this was a very nicely written match, especially for the recapped style that it was in. Blimey, I didn't think it would go that long, but a 22 minute match up makes it the sleeper hit of the night in my opinion since NO ONE was expecting anthing special from it I'll bet. In terms of what the outcome of this match means for future Wrestlemania feuds, I suppose that Booker, Finlay and Regal will not last much longer; they are all prime candidates for the Money In The Bank match, but I think that William Regal will probably defend his United States title at W'Mania, possibly against Lashley, possibly against Rey Mysterio, with Booker and Finlay maybe thrown into the occasion too. I'll look forward to all of the outcomes though.
~ What a great moment this was. The future of sport's entertainment in Mr. Kennedy meets possibly the biggest icon in The Rock. After KK had a similar moment with Stone Cold Steve Austin on Raw, I'm really getting a sense of 'passing the torch' with Kennedy, that you a turning him into THE BIG FACE of the WWE right now. The "Wrestlemania" line between the two was a nice touch, which kind of makes me want to see Rocky win tonight in order to see Kennedy/Rock; but I think the up and coming Batista/Kennedy and HHH/rock feuds will be better.
~ Ah, The Coach is here yet again, I suppose to check on the welfare of his latest aquisition, Kurt Angle. I like the banter between these two, especially when you right it in full like you did on Smackdown. I hope the Kennedy/Angle match stays as a clean wrestling match, though I suspect we may see a run in from either Coach or Stone Cold Steve Austin. I hope not though.
~ Wow, we're getting Kennedy/Angle this early? Ball game! It was a pretty intense contest throughout, with Kennedy seemingly stading toe-to-toe with Angle, even introducing something that I haven't seen before in using one of Angle's own German Suplexes. That's alwas a nice way to play personal mind games in an Angle match, hitting one of his own Suplexes on him. I expect a Kennedy German would be quite similar to the ones Edge does, which is quite like a throw as opposed to a perfect Suplex like Angle. Kurt brings in the real technical prowess to the match as I expected, targeting Kennedy's leg, using the ring post and the Figure Four Leg Lock in a nice, Bret Hart-eque move. Angle dominates for the majority here, even nailing the Angle Slam and getting in the Ankle Lock quite early, which is always the case in Angle's matches, as he uses his moves to add variety. No way does Angle go for a Stunner! Awesome, but gets an Angle Slam from KK instead! I love it. Angle makes the mistake by going to the top and Kennedy hits the Green Bay Plunge for the win! Woo, KK's going to Wrestlemania. I like the way you actually have Kennedy use his finisher's, since I can't remember the last time I actually saw him hit any of them in real life. Really fantastic match up, man, a great way to end a great feud, and now both men can go their separate ways with Kennedy/Batista and Angle/Austin at Wrestlemania. Excellent.
~ I thought we would probably see the backlash of the loss of King Booker and company earlier, and here it is. What was most interesting though was that it was William Regal who was being the most rebellious towards Booker here. In the past it has been Finlay who has been causing all of the problems, with Regal taking Booker's side more or less. Maybe Regal will be the first one to break away from the group, especially since he is the only of them whi is a Champion. With the brawl between Regal and Finlay, the split must be imminent.
~ Another potentially huge sleeper hit comes up next with the Cruiserweight title match between Christopher Daniels and Dean Malenko. It was a good match up too, with Malenko hanging with Daniels toe-to-toe. The veteran even gets the Texas Cloverleaf in early on after a missed B.M.E. I really loved the spot where Malenko hit the Diving Headbutt and locked in the Crippler Crossface; it was a great tribute to the late Chris Benoit (R.I.P
) Daniles' cowardly side comes across as he actually taps out, but Danger saves here man, and Malenko ultimately loses after a Last Rites from the top and the Angel's Wings for a great finish. Obvious result in the end, as this match was really a cameo apperance for the great Malenko, giving Daniels a lot more momentum and build heading into Wrestlemania where ... Rey Mysterio? Chavo Guerrero? It could happen.
~ Oh, Mac, you don't half spoil us with these segments that you write in full. This was a wonderful bit, with Kurt Angle and Coach showing their (very nice and entertaining alliance), and I loved Stephanie here strangely, escorting the Raw personnel from the building. STONE COLD!!! STONE COLD!!! STONE COLD!!! Oh yes, this just makes this already excellent PPV even better. Everyone was wonderfully in character throughout, and it really gets me hyped for the up and coming Austin/Angle match at Wrestlemania. Kurt Angle's Welcoming Party is going to be a thing of beauty. I'm so glad you're now writing both shows in full.
~ Short but still a pretty good match up between The Mexicools and Shelton Benjamin/Gregory Helms. I had worried that The Mexicools might pick up a relatively quick win, completing the tag team depush of Helms/Benjamin, but instead we get a good match, with Helms picking up the win for his team with and old school move of his, Vertibreaker! I'm glad you included this match in the PPV, despite it only being short, as it really DOES showcase SmackDown's tag team talent. It was an inspired choice to pair Helms and Benjamin all those months ago, so now you have four teams on the show worthy of the belts. which contrasts sharply with Raw, where there are only two. I hope we see some kind of mass tag team match come Wrestlemania with Hardys/Hooligans/Mexicools/Helms & Benjamin involved.
~ Nice bit of hype from Cena ahead of his big match up later with Chris Sabin. I hope to God that Sabin doesn't get the win again, although I do expect The Undertaker to make an appearance at some time.
John Cena vs. Chris Sabin
Really strange choice of the other match to write in full, but I guess you just had it wrote before you decided to recap the PPV or something. Anyway, onto the contest, and you continue Sabin's (a bit wierd) push in the early going, as he takes it to Cena, knocking him to the outside and going for the Plancha ... but gets caught. Great spot there, with Cena actually doing a move that we're used to seeing from The Undertaker, slamming Sabin's spine into the steel post. I wonder if you did this on purpose, having Cena utilise an Undertaker move, since we all know that Cena/'Taker is coming soon. Maybe a bit of mind games, like when Angle tried to use the Stunner earlier. Cena is suffering from Sabin's excessive speed, which is an interesting tactic, especially since Cena is not a slow man, but is obviously bulkier, so Sabin has the edge, as takes Cena down with the snapmare, kick to the spine and the dropkick to the face. Really showing that X-Division credential he has. It's a very nice contrast for the feud in fact, the speed of the X-Division/Cruiserweight against the power of a Heavyweight like Cena. Again, you're writing the contrast really well, jumping suddenly from the speed attacks of Sabin into the power of Cena with the Fisherman's Suplex. I'm really liking this contrast. Cena changes the match in a split second via power, whilst Sabin changes the match in a split second via speed. It happens yet again, as Sabin shows his athleticism, taking it onto the apron and then up high with a Missile Dropkick, before the matches changes almost instantly yet again with a power move, the Spinebuster. This was the perfect Cena/Sabin, Heavyweight/Lightweight contrast, going from the top rope moves of Sabin to the slam, mat moves of Cena. Cena looks for the F-U quite earl on, which he does way too much for my liking in real life, but at the end of the exchange he is nailed with a Hesitation Dropkick. No you see I don't if this is just that you've hit on a winning formula with Cena and Sabin, a great combination of power and speed, or whether you are just a damn good match writer, Mac, because that exchange was wonderful. You start off with the big power move of the heel, the dominant one etc. Yet the exchange ends with a high-flying move from the athletic face. It's very nicely done. This next exchange was quite nice too, as it actually ended with a power move from Sabin using the Running Liger Bomb. Damn, I actually thought that Sabin was going to pick up the win there, but that's not going to happen, since I can't see Cena losing tonight. As a heel, Cena hitting the Five Knuckle Shuffle is a great sight to see, really taunting the fans to one hell of a degree. Another nice touch with Sabin landing on his feet mid-way through the F-U, which I always like to see from the lighter wrestlers, like when Carlito does it and counters into the Springboard Elbow, here Sabin counters into the Torando DDT. Dun dun DUHHHHHHH! Here comes the evil heel move from Cena, as he loosens the top turnbuckle pad, and NEARLY sends Sabin into it ... but ends up eating the steel himself. Damn, he nearly lost again, but not quite. A very rapid finish then, with Cena looking for the STFU for the first time in the match, Springboard Crossbody ... F-U! CENA WINS!!! Great finish to the match up, with you getting over Cena's moves as powerful and dominant. You get the feeling that if Cena hits one of these moves it's over, like they said with the Umaga/Cena match at the Royal Rumble. You really nailed the chemistry, psychology of this encounter, a match that I didn't really have high hopes for. I actually would have liked for it to have gone on past the allocated 11 minutes. The aftermath to this match up added to the occasion even more, with The Undertaker making an appearance and getting it on with Cena for the first time. Cena doesn't even come across as that weak, since he managed to get 'Taker up for the F-U, but couldn't quite hit it. One gets the impression that Cena is going to be a real test for The Deadman. The lightning strikes and Cena's heel turn has me prepared for some excellent promos in the future. Anyway, as for the match itself, you shocked the hell out of me, Mac, since it was a thrilling and beautifull written contest. ****
~ Hmmm, I guess that Christopher Daniels' Wrestlemania opponent could very well be Rey Mysterio. In all honesty, I agree with Rey, that he is too BIG for the Cruiserweight division (not literally), but a match between these two at Wrestlemania could very well be a passing of the torch kind of thing in terms of the Cruiserweight division at least. So I wonder what could be in store for William Regal's U.S title challenger then.
World Heavyweight Championship: Steel Cage
IT'S TIME! Big match up now that I have been looking forward to like hell. It annoys me sometimes when I'm reading people's matches that they fail to inject any emotion into their matches. With you, Mac, that really isn't a problem at all. The opening of this match was simply you writing the emotion of the match. After all, this is Batista versus The Rock, this is absolutely HUGE, with the greatest EVER at ringside in Naitch, so you're damn right in writing the emotions of the match first
As the big face of the match, Rocky gets the early advantage by taking it to Batista. That moment in the corner was really good too, where Batista takes advantage of Rock pausing for ONE second, to rip up his insides with furious Shoulder Thrusts. The way you write Batista is amazing to be honest, make no mistake about it. NO ONE has ever used Batista as well as you, and this match is a perfect example of that. Mere minutes in, he shows dominace of The Rock, he is threatening, frightening and damn impressive too. I liked the way he went for the Batista Bomb early on but didn't hit it. I get the impression that the way you are using Batista's move set in this match is kind of like how you were using Cena's in the last one, where we get the impression that if he hits his finisher ... it's over. Batista starts to dominate though after throwing Rock into the cage and then applying Bearhug. The chemistry in this match has been good so far, that no matter what Rock (himself a powerful athlete) throws at Batista, Dave is always going to be stronger. A different chemistry from the Sabin/Cena match, but that was a clash of weights/divisions, whilst this is a straight up Heavyweight bout. Oh crap, I thought Rock had submitted then. You and your tricky writing, Mac
Rocky moves, and subsequently the writing moves, at a much faster pace when he is on the attack, cranking up the excitement a few notches, like the next flurry he has, really taking it to Batista with a Samoan Drop before slamming him into the Steel Cage. I like the way you bold and highlight the word BLOOD in red to make it stand out. I read it from the top of the page and couldn't wait to get to that point. I might have to 'borrow' that technique
Rocky is really starting to dominate now, much to the chargrin of 'The Nature Boy' on the outside, as he goes through his usual routine by removing his jacket and going nuts. How's he going to get inside that Cage, that's what I want to know. Damn, Rock Bottom out of nowhere, I didn't see that one coming. Yet again, this way of writing is that Batista is a monster basically and it'll take more than one finisher to put him down, whilst you get the impression that the moment Batista hits the Demon Bomb, it's over. Now Rock is bleeding too, and this match is sounding incredibly intense right now. Batista can't hit the Demon Bomb there, else I know, and the crowd gets the feeling that it would have been over. I think The Undertaker is the only person who should realistacally kick out of the Demon Bomb. I liked the spot with Rocky jumping from the Bomb position onto the Cage, as I had almost forgotten that you could win by escaping the cage as well. It doesn't end too well for Rock though, as he lands on his groin and ... DAMN! Batista kicks his head into the Cage, that sounded sick to say the least. Batista can't really take advantage though, as he gets the Spinebuster and the People's Elbow! Mark out! But he kicks out again! You are really selling Batista's dominance and strength here, as Rocky just can't seem to put him away. This reminds me of Rock's matches with Brock Lesnar a while back. Rock's selling was incredible in those matches, and I could imagine it here. Oh yes, here comes Flair! He beats up the ref ... Sharpshooter! A nice spot for sure, with Naitch and Rock locking eyes and exchanging words, before Flair gets into the Cage with a chair but only succeeds in getting his own ass kicked. Batista nails the Spinebuster though and both men are down. Flair's going to help 'Tista win ... KENNEDY! MARK OUT! Naitch and KK going toe-to-toe! Oooh, a sickening chair shot, and Batista escapes to retain. Those final few minutes of writing were exhilirating to say the least. Really, really cranked up the tension as they tried to escape the Cage, and, throughout, the use of Batista's Demon Bomb was really well handled, so that he still came out looking awesome and strong despite needing Ric Flair's help to win. He kicked out of the Rock Bottom and the People's Elbow, so now I'm wondering how the hell Mr. Kennedy is going to put him away come Wrestlemania. I guess my prediction of Triple H screwing The Rock was wrong, but I also thought that you might try to get over Batista's dominace factor even more by having him beat Rock clean with the Demon Bomb and the pin. The way you did it though, was much better. What a match. **** 1/2
~ Okay, this is what I have been waiting for. Triple H finally makes his move, and the way you wrote it was simply sublime. Describing Hunter's colda attire and expression was as though ou were showing his transition back to the dominant heel he once was, contrasting it nicely with Rocky's bloody attire. You could also say that metaphorically speaking Rock's lack of clothing was to represent his lack of defence he had to stop Triple H's assault. Maybe. What and assault it was too. Not only do we get Rock being thrown into the Steel Cage, not only is he Pedigreed onto a Chair, but he has his head smashed by a Sledgehammer onto a Steel Chair. This was incredibly brutal, and I can't wait to see what the backlash of this is going to be. Rock will surely be out for a while. But his match, feud with Hunter for Wrestlemania is now set. Triple H is back as a heel the way it should be. I'm very happy
Overall this was an excellent PPV, Mac. Despite the fact I wished you had written it all in full, you still gave us a treat with well detailed recapped matches and promos, as well as one brillaint little segment in full from Angle and Coach and two SENSATIONAL matches. Your spelling and grammar is damn impeccable, and your feuds are the best around. This recapped PPV showed why ou are the true #1 BTB, man