Re: Official DVD/Match/Show Discussion Thread
My problem with the USA chants is when it's completely random. If it's a guy with a "Fuck America" gimmick, fine. But when they only do it just because a wrestler is from another country, it's just stupid. For instance, IIRC, they chanted it at Capitol Punishment in a match between Wade Barrett and Ezekiel Jackson. Completely meaningless. Neither guy is from America but nor do they have an anti-America gimmick so what are they trying to get across?
On another note, to advance through 05, I just finished rewatching the WM21 matches (although a few Raw episodes simply refuse to fully play which sucks).
Eddie Guerrero vs Rey Mysterio - ***
- This is not the masterpiece WWE might want you to believe just because of where it takes place, but it's not as bad as some in this thread make you think. They barely get above 10 minutes and a large amount of it is wasted on some pointless "technical" mat-wrestling and it only takes off in the last few minutes. When it gets there, it's pretty good but I can bet the rest of their series offer better matches with improved storytelling.
Edge vs Chris Benoit vs Chris Jericho vs Shelton Benjamin vs Christian vs Kane (Money in the Bank) - ****1/4
- Absolutely amazing ladder match. There are six great competitors in the match and plenty of time to make this match as good as possible. Kane is the powerhouse that looks out of place, Shelton is the athletic guy that is all over the place while the other four are all great athletes with the goal of becoming World Champion. During the time it gets, there are plenty of memorable spots such as Benoit giving Jericho & a ladder the German Suplex, Shelton running up the steps of the ladders to clothesline Jericho, springboard moonsaulting on everyone outside, giving Edge a ladder T-Bone Suplex and last but not least, Benoit's beautiful headbutt from the top of a ladder. Non-stop entertainment on that part. Then there's Benoit who sells his arm to perfection after taking damage from Kane smashing a ladder against it, Christian doing an arm DDT on him from the ladder and lastly, Edge's chair shot. Speaking of Edge, he is removed from the match after that T-Bone and only comes back at the end to steal the briefcase, thus giving birth to his nickname, The Ultimate Opportunist. One of WWE's future stars was created right here in this excellent ladder match.
The Undertaker vs Randy Orton - ****1/4
- This is the match where Undertaker's Wrestlemania streak would become a selling point for his matches from this point on and what a great match to set it off. Orton looks like a threat throughout this, Taker does his "vintage" stuff and it's just a solid 15 minute match between these two. For anyone watching live, the Chokeslam countered to an RKO must have been a moment similar to WM28 when Taker took a Sweet Chin Music and Pedigree but still kicked out. After that, Orton attempts a Tombstone that is reversed to one by Taker himself which finishes things off with the pin and another classic. Bob Orton also makes his debut as a character that helps Randy furthermore in the rest of this excellent feud.
Trish Stratus vs Christy Hemme - 1/2*
- Just complete trash and Christy only got here because of her publicity following the Playboy photos. Match itself is terrible but there's one goofy moment that I will never forget and that's Christy kicking Trish between the legs as if she's got a pair of testicles to make it hurt that much.
Kurt Angle vs Shawn Michaels - ****1/4
- Some may call it overrated here and I guess it's right to an extent. But I still think this is a great match. Starts off slow with some boring headlocks for several minutes but since this gets almost 30 minutes, there's plenty more to spend on improving. Crowd is at its best here with a dual "Let's go Michaels"/"Let's go Angle" chant going on. Gets better after that Moonsault into announce table spot where both men look like they were hurt badly and for that reason, referee's ten count felt like it was intentionally slowed down to make them recover. In the last few minutes, that's the classic part of this match, though. Several awesome nearfalls, reversals and finishers until Angle reverses a Sweet Chin Music attempt into an Ankle Lock and makes HBK tap out after being in the hold for about 5 minutes maybe.
Akebono vs Big Show (Sumo Match) - 1/4*
- Just a worthless waste of time. I can't believe the reason the match following it had its time cut off by five minutes because they felt it was more important to have this and Eugene's stupid nonsense along with Hogan's overly long celebration.
JBL vs John Cena - **1/4
- I gave this three stars at one point but after having watched the whole year and build-up to this, that was far too much. As a regular match, it's not extremely awful or anything, but it's such a let-down. JBL spent 9 months retaining the WWE Championship in the most cowardly, sneaky, intelligent, whatever-you-wanna-call-it ways but here, it feels like a normal match with all the build-up intensity thrown out of the window. It feels just like a regular TV match with JBL controlling most of it, then Cena makes a fast comeback, hitting some moves before he takes a big boot, ducks a Clothesline from Hell attempt and gives JBL the FU to win. Extremely underwhelming because there was zero build-up towards the finish, very little reason to care about the match and just not enough time to make it interesting. Cena's post-match celebration also feels extremely forced just like his whole "WE ARE THE CHAIN GANG" shtick that he's kept going on about on Smackdown. I also have to say that I noticed Cena getting booed a little by the end which is a foreshadowing to what would follow by the end of 2005. Despite all this criticism, I guess their "I Quit" match made up for it later on, leading to Cena leaving Smackdown with a bang.
Triple H vs Batista - ***
- An awesome build-up but this just has something missing. The crowd is pretty dead for the most of it and the match is kinda slow. HHH controls the first half and even delivers a top rope elbow drop without it being reversed like 99.9% of the time. Then they exit the ring and HHH attempts a Pedigree on the steel steps which Batista reverses to a catapult after which, HHH starts bleeding - a lot more than I remembered previously. Then they remind us again of Batista's power towards the end when he powers out of a Pedigree that he turns into a Celtic Cross-like slam. Then it's the powerbomb and the successful pin that makes Batista the new World Heavyweight Champion. Other than that, nothing noteworthy happened except the obligatory dirty tricks of HHH using the belt and a lowblow behind referee's back. Not WM-main event worthy but a decent match nonetheless.
Overall: ***3/4 out of ***** (A very good Wrestlemania that gets overlooked due to the lack of "big time" attractions. Here, Stone Cold and Hulk Hogan only appear in segments, The Rock's contract ran out which prevented him from appearing and the main attractions are the title matches where Batista & Cena are still up & comers before they proved themselves to be full-time draws for the company afterward. But aside from that, this PPV is filled with great stuff, including three classics, a couple of decent matches and two duds. This Wrestlemania along with 22 were both cursed in a way because a lot of plans had to be changed. In here, The Rock & Brock Lesnar permanently departing from the company are the big reasons while Mania 22 has so many more reasons that I'll get to when I'm there.)