Finally tracked down the review, when I came across it at first I too was thinking whether he'd watched the same match. Then I watched it and a lot of the things he discussed I couldn't defend, a good example of an in depth review making me question a favourite of mine. Plus the older and more wrestling I've watched my tastes have differed and evolved. I'd rank the match a bit higher than him, but I agree with near enough everything he says:
Triple H vs. Steve Austin, 2/3 Falls, WWF 2/25/01
The first fall is a freaking mess, with both guys obviously killing time so they can get to the weapons. Triple H busts out a neckbreaker three times, Austin busts out the Thesz press three times, one of which is botched. Triple H can't focus in on anything, dancing between the neck and the leg. The lack of focus is compounded with Austin's total lack of desire to sell any of it, making it worse. When Triple H finally settles in on the leg work, it's long and not very interesting. Austin's up two seconds later running around like he's Sonjay Dutt, so it makes you wonder why they even bothered. We got some hot brawling in this to start off, but once they got through the first lap around the ring, it got obvious really quick that they didn't really plan to do much here. I wouldn't call it BAD as much as it was completely hot-dogged.
The second fall bordered on ridiculous and killed the heat for the third fall. We've got Austin doing his crazy chair shots thing only for Triple H to be up and at 'em a minute later. Jesus. From here, they just completely start smashing through weapons spots, kicking out of chair DDT's, bell shots, multiple chair shots, monitor shots, sledge hammer shots, etc. Half of this stuff should've been saved for the last fall, but they've completely burnt through it in one fall. They couldn't come up with enough stuff to fill up the non-spotty first fall and over stuffed the second fall which leaves me completely befuddled as to what they're going to do in the third. And why is Triple H selling the arm work all of a sudden on the table bump? He was swinging sledge hammers and chairs around like Hank Aaron two minutes earlier. Talk about selective.
The third fall is a testament to how crappy the first two falls were. Austin's no selling straight chair shots, still. These two are completely at a loss now, as they're using the barbed wire bat as a rest hold almost and even more worrisome, the crowd is totally sitting on it's hands. And they should be. If DDT's on chairs and sledge hammer shots aren't pinning either one of these guys in past falls, I don't know why they would in this fall. The barebd wire spots get zero reaction, the subsequent near falls get zero reaction, the finisher trading gets a LITTLE reacton, but shockingly mum for a feud with this much heat heading in and where they are in the match. They come up with an uber contrived finish to overly protect both guys and I'm wondering the fuck I thought this was any good.
This is such a weird match. Thanks in part to losing the crowd, they over comensate in the second and as a result, lose the crowd anyways. Just not interesting. I'm frustrated because I REMEMBER adoring this match and REALLY wanting to like it. I don't even think this is 'average'. I MIGHT have this at **1/2 because i'm in denial. But that might be generous.
A follow up argument from him on WWF/E brawls which I also whole-heartedly agree with:
I'd have probably started off with the street fight and really let them brawl. I can't even comprehend why they'd bother going to neck and leg work. This is a hate fest. Best off keeping it a wild brawl keep it under 20 minutes, go fast and furious and go home. I feel like the WWE in particular, go way too long with their big blow off matches. You watch the fantastic Lawler brawls back in the 80s, I don't think one of them goes past 20 minutes, most of them in fact, don't even go past 15 minutes. Still, they manage to pack all the hate and wildness into the time frame and make it entirely satisfying... I wish they'd consider that here as it's obvious outside of the great first 2-3 minutes and the weapons spots, that they didn't have much worked out.
I wish that guy still posted around here, he seemed to have a great grasp of old school territories wrestling as well as the current product.