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#1 Somamaniac
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So I've been watching all the PPV's of 2003 with the occasional TV match and I've gotten to Vengeance. What a show. :done

WWE United States Title Tournament Final Match - Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero
Fantastic opener. Two of my all time favourite wrestlers going one on one. Never seen this match before which stuns me but I’m glad because I went into this not know what to expect. Some great grappling in the ary goings with the two battling over a knuckle lock for around 5 minutes. Eddie controlled most of it and did a great job at releasing off this energy to make you root against him. It’s uncanny. The two get more physical with more chops, punches and suplexes. A nice escalation throughout the match until the end which had some great character, a unintentional comedy. It was slightly overbooked to protect Benoit but I don’t mind it overall. Great match. ****1/4

Billy Gunn (w/Torrie Wilson) vs. Jamie Noble
Poor Jamie Noble being sucked into this match with Billy Gunn. This didn’t last long at all. **

APA Invitational Bar Room Brawl Match
I have no clue what to say about this. NOT RATED

WWE Tag Team Title Match - The World's Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) (c) vs. Billy Kidman & Rey Mysterio
Amazing match. This was nutty as well. You got Mysterio and Kidman and flying around the ring, showing off their high flying ability. WGTT showing off their great chemistry as a tag team. So underrated. Then we had Kidman selling and being the FIP for around 10 minutes then the finishing stretch happened which was pure nuts with some fantastic wrestling, awesome near falls and a hot crowd. Fantastic tag match. ****1/2

No Count Out Cat Fight - Sable vs. Stephanie McMahon
Um, I’m not sure what I expect going in. It wasn’t bad, it was basically quite fun. I think I legit liked this. **1/2

John Cena vs. The Undertaker
This was really good. It wasn’t as technical as Benoit/Eddie or as nutty as the tag title match but it was a good back and forth slug fest. Cena was great here, showing spurts of aggression which allowed him to get the advantage but took an ass whipping like a champ. Taker was awesome as the dominating figure of the match. ***3/4

Vince McMahon vs. Zach Gowen
This actually delivered. Vince’s work on Zach’s leg was really good. He was very viscous with it and he was a good foil for Zach. It did go too long though. Gowen was awesome. Big credit for him. ***1/4

WWE Heavyweight Title No Disqualification Triple Threat Match - Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Kurt Angle vs. The Big Show
I really liked this match. The dynamic is great. You got Brock and Angle, two friends, two rivals going at each other but you got to deal with The Big Show so they have to team up against him. One aspect of the match I liked was the use of weapons. The match is No DQ so why not. They didn’t stick to “I’m a good guy so I won’t use it even if I can” story and it added a lot. Everything was great in this match, the story, the interactions, everything. ****1/4

Awesome PPV. So much better than the last three PPV's which weren't very good. 9/10
 

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SHOULD HAVE WATCHED BY NOW AND YET NEVER DID, PART 1. I'M SLEEPY


The Undertaker v. Ric Flair (WrestleMania 3/17/02)
Video package is funny, Taker attacks David Flair in some locker room and brought a camera man with him, la Resistance's theme plays, Flair punches an audience member in the face by accident leading to him getting arrested and there's this super corny business-meeting board thing where Vince & Linda tell him...something, I wasn't listening too much, and Flair says "Wress-stle - Mania" slowly and weirdly, like the way I just typed it sort of. I'm sleepy. Entrances! The Undertaker coming to the ring with the lyrics "L-I-M-P BIZKIT IS RIGHT HERE!" is weird and I never thought too much about it. Flair runs to the ring when he gets close enough and pounds Taker in the face. Flair's strikes are much better than Taker's to be honest but Taker did a very good job selling them, throwing his head in the opposite direction of where the wrinkly fist was coming. I forgot he could do that kind of selling considering it's been a while since I've watched a Taker match where he was less than 80% dust and dead scorpions. It was surprisingly refreshing to see him able to, like, walk? Flair grabbing Taker by the head and going over the commentary table in RAGE was cool. So was Taker choking Flair right on a "WOO!" I tend to forget Flair was still actually very mobile during this time but I guess he still had decent limitations because he failed his over-the-top-rope Irish whip-sell. But you know what, the way he crashed and burned on that second turnbuckle head-first was actually a thousand times more awesome than when he successfully pulled the bump off later. BOOGER RED says "now we go to school" and BOOGER BLONDE begins to bleed from being punched so much. I dug how long they made this match primarily about punches, I was hoping Taker would remove his gloves to add another flavour in it but alas it never came (if it did correct me, am sleepy). The blood on Flair's face really went wild, it was on the back of his head dying his hair in no time. Taker arguably oversells for Flair's chops but no fuck it I really appreciated how he flew back a bit and yelled "ahHhhHHH" because the chops being near-lethal is a great thing (was gonna say "flavour" here but used it already.....was gonna say "spice" but it's too similar) to add to a match that'd mostly based on punches so far. Taker hits a superlex which has Flair yelling in pain and then Taker GRINDS his forearm across Flair's face which has Flair saying some obscenities or something, and then Flair throws a chop which has Flair fall to his knees before being able to do anything else. To quote millions of different people talking about millions of different things: "I liked that." Flair's head looks like a tie-dyed Pomeranian by this point and I did like the 'old school' being countered because it's a big fall for Taker to take, but it was kind of unconvincing. Taker was clearly ready to somersault and I mean no duh you wank I don't want him to get hurt falling so he should prepare all he needs to, but people have made that look a lot better - including The Artist Formerly Known As Booger Red himself. Lawler asks JR "what is a Booger Red?" and that MILLIONS of people want to know, and that is actually true by now in 2018nearly2019. JR says "I'll tell you tomorrow" and if you think I am not fucking stupid enough to watch an entire episode of 2002 Raw just to see if he does, you are...wrong? Right? I forgot what I just typed and whether it would make you wrong or right - I WOULD watch the full Raw to find that explanation, is what I meant. Lawler points out that Flair should be Booger Red because he is way more red than Taker is right now because of the vein juice splatted all over his head. Though earlier he ignored that and said Taker had a really mean gash that would need stitches, consistency much?? Han shot first. Taker gets his unholy sack caught on the top rope and then falls out of the ring when Flair punches/woo-chops him. He winds up near the bike and Flair claws at his face and pulls some thingy from the bike (I not know cars stuff, commentators might not either because they call it just a 'lead pipe') to beat Taker with. Taker running Flair into apron was great purely for the visual of the pipe rolling over from one side of the ring to another. Flair finds a sign that says "KEEP OUT" and beats Taker over the face with before we go back in the ring. JR says "The Undertaker's genitals may be called Death Valley when this all said and done" after Flair kicks Taker in the balls and I really wish he instead said the genitals would be BOOGER RED. Taker attacks Little Naitch but probably not because of the connection the Regular Size Naitch, though there was no other reason to do that because it was No DQ anyway. Maybe he could tell the future and foresaw Arn Anderson running in with the spinebuster (which looked very good) and decided he would at least make the ref slow-count Flair's following pin attempt. But that is obviously not true because (a) if he could tell the future and see Arn coming, he would have just waited and walloped Arn, and (b) he cannot tell the future, dickhead - only shoot lightning out of his hands and summon fire from under the ring. 2002 Arn Anderson is surreal, was cool seeing him though Taker locking in that hold was dumb as fuck because he just left Flair alone to whack him from behind, and….was he hoping to submit Arn? Just tombstone him or something. Like he did with Flair! This was actually a really really fun match that featured two wrestlers who I consider all time greats, even though one only came in later in the match to interfere. HEEEEEYUCK. And to BOOT, one of the good parts of not having ever seen a match before is not knowing who wins!
 

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I went to a Smackdown house show last night in Baltimore and there was some things that had me scratching my head:

- Mysterio vs. Orton went 90 seconds. As far as I know neither one of these guys are hurt so idk what the deal was. They barely did anything and then all of a sudden Orton got set up and hit with the 619 and the splash off the top and it was over. ??? I was quite confused.

- Then in the following match, Jeff Hardy beat Samoa Joe with... a big splash. He literally took his shirt off, ran against the ropes, and jumped on Joe with a splash and that got a 3 count. I mean I get Jeff has that tailbone injury and they're trying to protect him but c'mon now.

- Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena in a STEEL CAGE match for the WWE Title happened and it... wasn't the main event. It was the pre-intermission match. Man this was a weirdly put together card. :lol
 

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Cutting a Shoot Promo To Get Over
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Heads up to UK: not sure how popular Blu-rays/DVDs are post Network (and more importatnly post Silvervision) but WWEDVD has a big sale on right now. Just spent over 40 quid!
 

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WWE LIST WATCH - 2000


I hadn’t seen the Hardys/Dudleys tables match in so many years that I forgot what I even thought about it before and what I’d think of it now, but it’s a really fun car crash match. Goddamn @ the amount of head shots with the chair were in it, Bubba alone took about three of them. The Jack/Trip street fight will always be great but I might be a little lower on it now than I’ve ever been before. Extremely easy lock regardless but I can’t say for sure it’ll make my top half. I thought their HIAC match was actually not good at all and thank god this wasn’t Foley’s retirement match. Imagine some of the last few moments of your in-ring career being spent trying to throw chairs up to the cell and being too stupid to realise that when you finally succeed in doing it, HHH will of course grab a chair and beat you with it. I don’t think the WM triangle ladder match is all that, which won’t shock anyone. I was at least intrigued as it progressed so that’s something. I had to watch Rock/Trip at Backlash twice to make sure I wasn’t overrating the first watch (not first watch EVER, but first watch for this poll) but no I seriously adore the match as the ultimate interference-based crowd-pleasing-after-heel-domination Attitude Era spectacle. Austin being absent and then showing up to a gargantuan pop. Shane McMahon as referee only for Hebner and Linda to come in later. McMahons everywhere. “If you read the fine print, it will say ‘card subject to change.’” Shane refusing to count a fall. Trip hugging Shane after distracting him, so Vince could attack Rock even though Shane would have let that fly anyway. Trip putting his feet on the ropes during the headlock and Shane going lower to ask Rock, to “not see it.” JR’s reactions to all the chicanery. Double Rock Bottom into the announce table and Vince’s reaction after it. Linda shoving Stephanie! It was obviously pieced together, HHH could be more compelling on offense, and it is helped by taking place in an era where WWF/E was as hot as it will ever get, but it just feels like a bit of magic that supersedes most of any negatives. Exactly what a WrestleMania main event should be, except one PPV late. I’ll have it higher than the Rumble street fight and likely every other HHH match. I might kick out the JD opener eventually but it’s on the bottom right now, it’s a blast and a half and a LACK OF PANTS. It has about five things in it that made me laugh. The whole stack of spots where Christian mocks Sexay, Sexay tags out to Rikishi behind his back, Rikishi clears out Christian and Edge, and then Christian tags in a distracted Angle, is utter gold. IIRC I said the iron man is great and HHH was awesome in it on last watch and I’d agree with neither of those now. It’s pretty good but I’ll probably never find a reason to go through the full hour again. I was honestly really disappointed with the Trip/Jericho LMS from Fully Loaded. I went to watch it like “wonder how this stacks up next to the Rumble and Backlash title matches” and tbh I’d take the build-up tag to the Rumble that I hyped up over it. I had it on my unfinished best of 2000s list and the idea of me putting on the best matches of an entire decade seems actually bizarre to me now. I’d still call it good but not super good. Benoit/Rock from the same show isn’t super good either, Benoit didn’t diversify his offense a whole lot and it wasn’t really interesting to watch. Maybe ironic criticism considering arguably Benoit’s best match is him constantly applying a sleeper but hell. I don’t think Benoit was a good fit for what they were going for, I mean being a meany cheaty heel who comes out with a meany cheaty McMahon against the biggest star in the business who has the odds stacked against him. I wouldn’t picture Benoit that role. TLC I is way better and actually feels more fresh than the WM ladder match. I found most of the off-the-ladder spots to feel more like a mad rush to get your opponent down, over WM focusing on being an innovation showcase or whatever. Also the spots that took out Matt and Bubba were huge and Jeff/D-Von dangling from the belts was a pretty great way to close it out to me. As a contrast, pretty sure at WM that Edge takes the same suplex Christian does and is out for like 8 minutes. Pleasantly surprised by the TLC, much more into the idea of seeing the next couple. I first watched Trip/Benoit at No Mercy for the 2000s poll IIRC and thought it was boring. Still not really a fan. I thought it was really good and surprisingly scrappy until Benoit stops selling the leg. Which is like, less than ten minutes I’m pretty sure. It’s an ok match. I liked Rock/Angle from the same night more, the Steph shenanigans felt more natural and they were able to do a smidgen of outta-the-ring brawling. I wanted to see a good short tv match in between all this so I watched Austin/Benoit from the 11/20 Raw and it holds up as a fun watch. Obviously they destroy it the next year at least a couple times but if they didn’t it would have served as a reminder that they could have. Like…Austin/Eddie 11/16 SD, which I also watched. Shorter than the Benoit match but a little more heated and Benoit doesn’t crotch himself on the ring post. I still don’t like the Armageddon Hell in a Cell. Trip bumping around/selling for Austin’s wildness is my only real consistent highlight.
 

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Giant paragraph of FUCK. (I'm still reading it)

I'll always love the Armageddon Hell in a Cell. It's utter chaos. As it stands, mostly with you on the Cactus vs Trips HIAC. I should watch it again to fully know, but last time I watched it wasn't all that special to me. Especially following the Street Fight. Triple H vs Benoit from No Mercy was always boring to me, though. Prefer Benoit vs Trips from Smackdown in early Feb over it. (Benoit's first WWF match)

TLC I is legendary. Edge spearing Lita on the outside and JR getting PISSED calling him a son of a bitch rules. King is upset with JR for his language, too. Even stuff outside of those six is on point. I've seen all of those Hardys/Dudleys/E&C matches so many times that nothing ever needs to be revisited, I just watch them often for the pure fun of how much I enjoy all the matches.

I swear, I haven't seen Trips vs Rock from Backlash maybe since it happened on PPV. I really have to witness this again. Nearly 19 years later and I still feel certain it is just as great as it was on that night. That's a good feeling.
 

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I instinctively ignored this thread after I posted that assuming nobody would would respond because this thread's been dead for so long but yay.

I remember us maybe briefly talking about the Armageddon HIAC over at WrestleClubForums in like 2010 when it was a WF off-shoot of sorts. This was before we really knew each other all that much too. The verdict still was you loving it and me not being a fan so the more things change the more we'll mention Paul WS Anderson to each other on some random board in 9 years time. TLC I - I forgot how close Lita's head got to the ladder on the spear. Hell it may have even really connected, I can't tell. IDR Benoit's debut match at all (couldn't even tell someone who was against had they asked) but if I squeeze in enough of the """heavy hitters""" far enough to the deadline, I'm gonna go through the more under-the-radar tv stuff and obviously 2000 will play a decent-sized part in that so I'll check that out. I feel like I made a mistake not re-watching any of the Benoit/Jerichos on PPV that year too, so that'll get done as well. I'm about halfway through the 2001 stuff now and "spoilers" I guess but I'm a little surprised I still like their Rumble ladder match as much as I do.
 

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2001 finally done.

Austin/Angle 1/8 is fun as hell and a really good match. I could have seen myself chucking it on as a low pick but WWE has so many matches over 40 years that I can't see it staying. I kinda hope someone else lists it though. Austin got a near fall in a WWF title match with some grounded punches. The Benoit/Jericho ladder match is something I hadn't seen in so long (I...don't remember watching it for the 00s poll?) that I didn't have a clue what I'd think of it so I'm happy to report I thought it was kinda excellent. If you play-by-played everything starting them getting the ladder involved it might sound like a bunch of spotty shit but I bought them using their wits to find creative counters for most of it and thought they did a really good job selling everything in between. I didn't rewatch any of their 2000 series but I'm gonna have to go and do that sometime to see if I'll get any on the list. I definitely felt the disdain in this one despite not having seen any of those recently, too. Side note: I've just marinated on this now but Benoit spent the whole of 2000 (in WWF) as a heel, didn't he? Something strange about that to me. Austin/Trip 3SOH is a'ight or good or something I'm not really sure. There's probably a great 15 minute Austin showcase if you took all the best parts but as a whole I couldn't really pay too much attention to it. Was impressed with how invested a lot of the audience seem to be the whole 40 minutes though. Rock and Angle's title match from the same show is another fun title match between the two. The Big Show run in was weird but Mike Chioda's face during replay of the chokeslam was fucking hilarious. What the hell was with Hebnar flubbing the finish? TLC II was more contrived than the first and the finish was flat. Like the triangle ladder match though I was able to watch it with some intrigue. I don't need to go into Rock/Austin. I've had discussions about some of the execution a few times and yeah it could be better but they throw everything with such recklessness and energy that I just don't think it comes even close to prevent it from being a great match. As far as spot-by-spot decision making goes it feels almost flawless, at least until McMahon enters. I watched the INFAMOUS Backlash 01 tag and it had some fun stuff, mostly Trip/Austin's shtick. Wasn't as good as Edge/Christian/Angle's from JD 00 but pretty fun. Match did nooooot need 25 minutes though and Cal giving this ****1/2 would fit on a list of top ten looney Meltzer ratings. Is there a good Austin/Undertaker from around this time I should watch? I seem to remember one. I watched TLC III (5/24/01) before Austin/Trip v. Ben & Jerrys (5/21/01) because I like seeing the latter + the two Austin/Benoits as a "trilogy" in a way. Didn't think of much the TLC. Benoit's injury added something new I guess. THE TRILOGY is obviously great. Well the first Austin/Benoit isn't but it's very good and I won't be surprised if it gets a couple votes. The rematch aka the number 1 match of the 2000s (apparently. And if Cal didn't fuck up the count) really is fantastic and thank Christ there was no commercial break splitting anything up. I'm not sure there was a 90 second span of the match we could have chopped off and lost nothing. I was thinking about watching Angle/Shane from KOTR because maybe I won't utterly despise it now but I'll save it for if I give more time to the list rewatches and go through each year again. Austin/Angle at Summerslam has actually gotten better each watch (remember when I first watched it and was super edgy about it being overrated lmao). I'll have it a fair bit higher than I would have had I finished my 2000s list (or had we done a WWE list at the time). The 'period' starting at Austin first hitting the stunner and ending with Angle getting the ankle lock on the outside (so, mainly Austin's outside assault, inc. the ring posts) is about as good a stretch in a WWE match ever. The Unforgiven match starts off excellently with the Angle revenge tour and if it stayed at that level throughout, I might have voted for it. The in-ring stuff was good enough but it was definitely a drop in quality. Weird moments like Angle's low blow getting no reaction too. The finish kind of came abruptly to me as well. Edge/Christian ladder match at No Mercy is like...a thing. I dunno. The shoot where they both talked about how they knocked each other out during it is really interesting. Rock/Jericho from the same show isn't especially good. I used to cite it as one of the few great Jericho matches and turns out that list gets even fewer (see: HHH LMS not holding up either). Feels like a lifetime ago that most of us agreed on this being like ****1/4 and I wonder if I should bother with the Rumble match. Jericho has the worst sideburns ever. Yes, good idea, that's how I'll end this post.
 

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I went to a Smackdown house show last night in Baltimore and there was some things that had me scratching my head:

- Mysterio vs. Orton went 90 seconds. As far as I know neither one of these guys are hurt so idk what the deal was. They barely did anything and then all of a sudden Orton got set up and hit with the 619 and the splash off the top and it was over. ??? I was quite confused.

- Then in the following match, Jeff Hardy beat Samoa Joe with... a big splash. He literally took his shirt off, ran against the ropes, and jumped on Joe with a splash and that got a 3 count. I mean I get Jeff has that tailbone injury and they're trying to protect him but c'mon now.

- Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena in a STEEL CAGE match for the WWE Title happened and it... wasn't the main event. It was the pre-intermission match. Man this was a weirdly put together card. :lol
Wait let me, get this straight. Cena versed Daniel Bryan, for the WWE Title. I hope this, does not, mean that cena will, get a future title shot again -_-.
 

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Cal has a blog?

Also, watch Velveteen Dream matches. That doesn't take 7 and a half hours.
 

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Giant paragraph of FUCK. (I'm still reading it)

I'll always love the Armageddon Hell in a Cell. It's utter chaos. As it stands, mostly with you on the Cactus vs Trips HIAC. I should watch it again to fully know, but last time I watched it wasn't all that special to me. Especially following the Street Fight. Triple H vs Benoit from No Mercy was always boring to me, though. Prefer Benoit vs Trips from Smackdown in early Feb over it. (Benoit's first WWF match)

TLC I is legendary. Edge spearing Lita on the outside and JR getting PISSED calling him a son of a bitch rules. King is upset with JR for his language, too. Even stuff outside of those six is on point. I've seen all of those Hardys/Dudleys/E&C matches so many times that nothing ever needs to be revisited, I just watch them often for the pure fun of how much I enjoy all the matches.

I swear, I haven't seen Trips vs Rock from Backlash maybe since it happened on PPV. I really have to witness this again. Nearly 19 years later and I still feel certain it is just as great as it was on that night. That's a good feeling.
seeing love for the Armageddon HIAC :mark: :proud
 

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I didn't know where to put this, so I figured it was best to put here. I just finished watching that new Worlds Collide show. It was a weird show, taking effectively NXT's midcard and pitting it against a bunch of talent the MR have either mishandled or forgotten about. This resulted in a lot of intriguing combinations on paper which were never as interesting in execution but had an edge to them all the same because they celebrated and showcased the talent of mishandled and forgotten MR talent like Luke Harper, Sanity and Tyler Breeze.
 

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If WWE wants to not suck and grant Harper his release, then this match vs Dijak is gonna be his final aired match with the company. I was going to watch it regardless, but this now has a bit more of an incentive behind it. Curious to see if Strong destroying Breeze turns into anything good, too.
 

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WWE “Hell in a Cell”
October 4th, 2009
From the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey
Commentators: Michael Cole and Jerry “the King” Lawler (Raw), Jim Ross and Todd Grisham (Smackdown)
Theme Song: Monster by Skillet

Hell in a Cell Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
CM Punk (champion) vs. the Undertaker
This wasn’t much of a match. They beat the crap out of one another but they didn’t get enough time to make it matter. It was pretty much all offence from the Undertaker.
Winner: the Undertaker (new World Heavyweight Champion)

The Rise and Fall of WCW ad.

For the WWE Intercontinental Championship
John Morrison (champion) vs. Dolph Ziggler
These two had a good undercard match and gave their all. They got more time than the previous match.
Winner: John Morrison

Josh Matthews is backstage with Batista and Rey Mysterio, who are reuniting tonight to try and reclaim the WWE Unified Tag Team Championships from Chris Jericho and the Big Show.

For the WWE Divas Championship
Alicia Fox vs. Mickie James (champion)
Holy shit; can you believe that these two are still around ten years later?! Alicia Fox is hot no matter what decade it is. This was just as good as any women’s match today but they just don’t tell you it is.
Winner: Mickie James

“Don’t Try This At Home” ad.

For the WWE Unified Tag Team Championships
Chris Jericho & the Big Show (champions) vs. Batista & Rey Mysterio
The crowd was into this match but I really wasn’t. It felt like something I’ve seen a million times before but it was a good match.
Winners: Chris Jericho & the Big Show

Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Championship
Randy Orton vs. John Cena (champion)
Ugh, bald Randy Orton. Ugh, 2009 John Cena. Yuck. Shit in Roman Reigns all you want, he’s nothing compared to Cena during his run. He’s pretty much the sole reason I didn’t watch WWE around this time as opposed to my reasons for not watching WWE ten years later being the WWE as a whole. He really was total shit. This match was okay.
Winner: Randy Orton (new WWE champion)

Josh Matthews is with R-Truth, who doesn’t appreciate Drew McIntyres constant disrespect.

R-Truth vs. Drew McIntyre
The “boring” chants started less than a minute into this one.
Winner: Drew McIntyre

Randy Orton is backstage when Legacy comes into to congratulate him. He warns them about Hell in a Cell.

For the WWE United States Championship
The Miz vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston (champion)
This was decent. They gave their all in front of an apathetic crowd.
Winner: Kofi Kingston

Hell in a Cell
Legacy vs. Degeneration X
I didn’t even bother watching this.
Winners: Degeneration X
_______________________________________________________________________________
It’s incredible how many of the guys on this show are still in the WWE ten years later. If you watch a show from 1999 I don’t think there was anyone from 1989 still there. Maybe one old guy in a battle royal. Same watching this from 2009, there were very few people from 1999 still there. I don’t know if that’s a testament to the conditioning of the athletes today or a slight on the WWEs inability to create anything new that sticks.

This was a decent show. Nothing crazy but an entertaining watch. The Undertaker verses CM Punk could’ve been a lot better if it had of gotten more than ten minutes. It should have been the main event but with Degeneration X in full-on mode that just wasn’t happening. The Unified Tag Team Championship Match was fun to watch for the thousandth time.
 

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WWE “TLC”
December 16th, 2019
From the SAP Center in San Jose, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Renee Young and Corey Graves (Raw); Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and David Otunga (Smackdown Live!)

Final of the WWE Mixed Match Challenge
Winners get the number 30 spot in their respect Royal Rumbles
R-Truth & Carmella vs. Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox w/the Singh Brothers
This was fine when Truth and Mahal were in the ring but it was an absolute abomination when Carmella and Alicia were.
Winners: R-Truth & Carmella

For the WWE Smackdown Live! Tag Team Championships
The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) w/Big E vs. the Usos vs. the Bar (champions)
This was a really good match from all teams but Tom Phillips’ commentary was grating. The Bar were a really good team that would’ve torn shit up in any other era.
Winners: the Bar

TLC Match with Baron Corbins job as General Manager of Raw on the Line, if Braun Strowman wins he gets a shot at the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble
Baron Corbin vs. Braun Strowman w/a broken arm
Special Referee: Heath Slater
Since Braun had a broken arm (and since TLC Matches are no disqualifications) Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode, Chad Gable, Finn Balor, Heath Slater and Kurt Angle all helped him in this match. They all got their shots in and that was the end of that. Terrible.
Winner: Braun Strowman

Tables Match
Natalya vs. Ruby Riott w/Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan
I’d already forgotten this classic WWE angle of the Riott Squad mocking Natalya’s fathers death five months before this. Fuck this company.
Winner: Natalya

Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor
This match had some good work from both guys but the crowd was just not into it. Finn Balor gets an entrance pop and that’s it. Drew McIntyre doesn’t even get that much.
Winner: Finn Balor

Chairs Match
Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton
These two wrestled to almost complete silence. But I can’t blame the crowd. I’m pretty sure I saw this match fifteen years ago.
Winner: Rey Mysterio

For the WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Nia Jax w/Tamina vs. Ronda Rousey (champion)
I was hoping this would at least be the mess it should have been. Instead it was just another boring ass match with three people excited by it (Michael Cole, Renee Young and Corey Graves) and it went way too long. I think the crowd was more behind Nia.
Winner: Ronda Rousey

For the WWE Championship
AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryant (champion)
I love how Daniel Bryant was a heel here for living a clean healthy lifestyle and cared for the environment. Reminds me of the days when Molly Holly was a heel for being a virgin. This wasn’t the best match but it did its job. Is it strange that I was glad it ended with a roll-up?
Winner: Daniel Bryant

For the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins (champion)
The back-and-forth between Renee Young and Corey Graves during this match was grating. I guess the cat is out of the bag now that she’s married to Dean Ambrose. But they sounded so fucking canned arguing. It’s really fucking garbage. The match wasn’t that great. I’m not sure why it didn’t get to be under TLC rules?
Winner: Dean Ambrose (new WWE Intercontinental Champion)

TLC Match for the WWE Smackdown Live! Women’s Championship
Asuka vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch (champion)
This was pretty good. At least they threw three women who can dish out and take a beating in this match. Bayley verses Liv Morgan verses Alicia Fox in a TLC Match would be a sight to see. I’m still not over that horrendous feud between Lynch, Charlotte and Ronda Rousey that dominated the WWE leading up to Wrestlemania yet. God that was terrible. That mess was already starting up at this point. Rousey cost Lynch and Charlotte this match.
Winner: Asuka (new WWE Smackdown Live! Women’s Champion)
_________________________________________________________________________________
I didn’t watch this just to shit on it. Honest. My youngest son saw Seth Rollins on the cover and that’s his favourite wrestler so he wanted to watch it. The first few undercard matches were good. But as the show went on the crowd died and the show got damn boring. They died within an hour, actually. And this show was almost four hours. It’s just the WWE today. I don’t need to say anything anyone else isn’t. The crowd popped for entrances, big spots and finishers. That’s all they do these days. I noticed that when I recently went to a house show. I think the crowd is a big part of the problem with the product looking so bad these days. You look at the audience and by the second hour it’s restless children and bored parents, with a few fans here and there. The crowds even five years ago were hot for most of the show. There were moments in the Ambrose verses Rollins match when the crowd should have been going crazy but they were virtually silent.

I don’t know why these people go to the live shows. Especially with what the WWE charges for tickets these days.

I fast-forwarded through all the hype videos, backstage segments and entrances. Matches are all that interest me and I think just watching those was how I was able to bare this show. They were all fine. Even the Ronda verses Nia Match was passable. It was everything outside the ring (the commentary, the crowd, the camera-work) that was fucking garbage.

Here it comes.

Fuck this fucking shit.
 

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Intercontinental Title Steel Cage Match - Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Johnny Nitro (w/Melina)
Big “Hardy” chants to kick off the match. The match is fairly tame for a Steel Cage match, but not boring. It’s basically a solid match within a cage, which is fine although not preferable. Mostly built around escaping rather than the hatred between the two wrestlers. However, some of the spots were really clever like Nitro Irish whipping Hardy, only for Hardy to jump the ropes and attempt to escape and Nitro hanging off the top of the cage using his legs. The crowd didn’t react to some of the spots like they really should’ve such as the sunset flip off the top of the cage. Maybe they have been desensitized by this point but still, something like that should’ve got a massive response. The finish was a bit contrived with Nitro easily able to escape before Hardy but choosing not to. Clunkily paced in parts with some decent moments but lacked tension. **1/2

Promo with Edge/Randy Orton
Pretty bland promo, from Orton especially.

Tag Team Turmoil Match
Nah.

Vince/Coach segment
Now I know that someone people are into arse licking but I don’t want to see it with Vince McMahon and Jonathan Coachman, thanks. Although that set up for Ron Simmons’ “DAMN” was gold.

Kenny Dykstra vs. Ric Flair
Kenny coming out with the most generic theme song but also dressing like Ric Flair. Talk about a juxtaposition. Kenny cuts a very robotic promo, I guess it’s one of the reasons why he never got past the mid-card. Flair lights up Kenny’s chest like only he could. Woos follow of course. Dykstra does some really bland work over Flair to zero heat. The fans are clearly waiting for Flair to do his stuff, which is always fun, no matter the age. There is some commentary with Lawler begging Flair not to go to the top rope because it never works, and low and behold, it doesn’t. Flair does a nasty chop block but actually hurts his back when Kenny lands on him. There is an awesome spot where they are locked in the figure four and Flair slaps Kenny. Still got the little touches of brilliance. The finish was ugh with a low blow and a roll-up but Lawler, again, put over how Kenny used Flair’s tricks against him. Lawler was on fire this match. Nothing match. **1/4

Victoria/Melina Segment
Apparently, Victoria has a checklist with all the woman's names on. There are only 5 women on the list so that sounds about right.

WWE Women's Title Match - Mickie James (c) vs. Victoria
Damn Victoria hasn’t joined TNA yet? I know she is apart of the promotion by the end of the year, so it must be imminent. There is some solid chain wrestling. Take notes, Kurt Angle. :p. The crowd is pretty silent for this which isn’t a big surprise given the era for women’s wrestling. Victoria does some really good work on the neck of Mickie James, first with the initial front face locks then using the ropes to wrench the neck in an unnatural position. Mickie throws some punches and I was just waiting for Lawler to talk, and he said: “this is throwing the wrestling out of the window”. That got me a chuckle. Melina came down and interfered, playing off the segment before the match. The divas (Candice Michelle and Maria) came down and even up the score. Mickie James got the win from a bulldog out of nowhere. I liked this a ton. Not a bad match. **3/4

World Tag Team Title Match - Rated-RKO (Edge & Randy Orton) (c) vs. D-Generation X (Shawn Michaels & Triple H)
I remember watching this live. When I was a young one, I woke up in the middle of the fight and listened in on my Dad watching this show. I burst out in tears because I couldn’t watch it live but my Dad let me in the end and this as on. I used to love Triple H. Even over Shawn. I still prefer him over Shawn Michaels to this day actually.

The match starts off heavy with DX meeting Rated RKO on the rampway and brawled for a little bit before transitioning into a normal match. The match gets a little dull for a few minutes but Triple H unleashes some punches on Orton which pops the crowd before Edge chop block the left leg (not the leg that’ll get injured btw) of Triple H and begin to work it over. Shawn comes in for a warm tag. Orton and Edge show some really good tag chemistry which does surprise me. It doesn’t come across as two single guys teaming as far as their work goes. Shawn gets split open seemingly out of nowhere (is HBK a Flair mark?), which is basically a big match obligation for 2007. Orton unleashes his awesome Garvin Stomp which always gets me to pop. Speaking of obligations, Rated RKO works over HBK’s back which is fine in theory but it seems aimless and doesn’t go anywhere. However, Shawn does have some nice chops as a defence at least. Triple H comes in with a great hot tag before it happens. You can actually see the muscle on the side of the knee at certain angles. They scramble and take HHH out of the match for the meanwhile. Then the chairs come in with Orton bleeding badly now. The match hits another level with Triple H hitting a goddamn pedigree with the torn quad on the table and Shawn hitting an elbow drop through the other table on Orton. The match sort of ends with no bell and seemingly no real signal the match is over. Now HHH did well to carry on given the injury, but it was still dumb to do so. The match is good but also has its flaws. Things like the aforementioned aimless back work and the structure of the match being brawl, normal match, brawl. No natural progression. However, the finish (if you can call it that) ruled and was easily the peak of the match. ***1/2

John Cena Promo
Good promo. Put over Umaga as a big monster.

Carlito (w/Torrie Wilson) vs. Chris Masters

“Masters might be the WWE champion if it was all about physique” hmmm. They do moves. No one cares. Let’s move on. DUD. But wait!!!!! “Masters has a thought. Something unusual” GOAT burial by JR.

WWE Heavyweight Title Match - John Cena (c) vs. Umaga (w/Armando Estrada)
Seeing Umaga brings back childhood memories. Used to have a figure of Umaga. My favourite too. I adored everything about him. His look most of all. I used to genuinely believe his face paint was a real tattoo. Oh, how naive was I.

The match starts off pretty good. Cena adopts a stick and moves approach in the opening moments. Baiting Umaga in and getting a few shots in. I did like the “Umaga ate my sign” sign in the crowd. Umaga does a really great job of working over Cena. His unique offence looks so impactful. Something fresh and new to counter Cena’s simplistic babyface offence. The whole match reminds me of Hogan matches in the ’80s. There even is a spot where Cena picks up Umaga only to fall back under the weight which is a classic Hogan spot. And Umaga going for the classic monster role, working over the ribs, using his weight and speed of his moves to his advantage. Cena sells excellently too, getting the crowd on his side very easily which I was taken back by given Cena was hated. Another thing that is good about this match is the struggle Cena has. It’s not as simple as making a comeback and getting stuff it. He has to earn everything he can. He has to not only get out of what Umaga is doing but deal with his constant cutoffs too. The finish is really clever too. Umaga stops another FU attempt and looks to hit all his big moves but Cena sees it coming and does the only thing he can do, he rolls Umaga up. Doesn’t kick out of Umaga’s big moves. He doesn’t even use a ton of his own. He adapts as a champion should. It’s a great match and easily my Match of the night. Loved everything about it. Not as good as their Rumble match but most matches aren’t. ****

Alright show, if I say so myself. The main event and the tag team title match are really good matches. Both well worth recommending. The rest is a bunch of mediocre wrestling that isn’t worth watching. Carlito vs Chris Masters is garbage. For a Raw B-PPV, this is okay, not bad. Best To Worst: John Cena vs. Umaga - [****]. Rated-RKO vs. D-Generation X - [***1/2]. Mickie James vs. Victoria - [**3/4] Jeff Hardy vs Johnny Nitro - [**1/2]. Kenny Dykstra vs. Ric Flair - [**1/4]. Carlito vs. Chris Masters - [DUD]. Tag Team Turmoil Match - [NR].
 

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WWE “Extreme Rules”
April 25th, 2010
From the First Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry “the King” Lawler, Matt Stryker
Theme Song: Time To Shine by Saliva

Triple H’s music hits...but he never comes out for his scheduled Street Fight against Sheamus. The camera cuts to backstage where Sheamus is beating him up with a steel pipe.

The Unified Tag Team Champions (the Big Show and the Miz) come out and demand that Bret Hart come out on Raw the following night to admit they are the greatest Tag team of all time. They demand competition and Teddy Long comes out and makes...A TAG TEAM GAUNTLET MATCH, PLAYA! with the winners getting a shot at their titles tomorrow.

Gauntlet Match for a shot at the WWE Unified Tag Team Championships
ShowMiz vs. R-Truth & John Morrison
This was fine.
Winners: ShowMiz
ShowMiz vs. MVP & Mark Henry
This isn’t even worth mentioning.
Winners: ShowMiz
ShowMiz vs. the Hart Dynasty w/Natalya and Bret Hart
This lasted all of one move.
Winners: the Hart Dynasty

Sheamus says if Triple H is too much a coward to face him he should come to the ring and admit.

If CM Punk Loses his head will be shaved
CM Punk w/the Straight Edge Society vs. Rey Mysterio
The stipulation for this match should have been if CM Punk loses he has to shave his chest. It was fucking disgusting. It was a decent match.
Winner: CM Punk

Strap Match
Shad Gaspard vs. JTG
This was garbage. I’m not a fan of Strap Matches as it is but why would you put such a meaningless feud in one?
Winner: JTG

Todd Grisham is still outside Triple H’s lockeroom and he has been told Triple H will likely not compete tonight.

Extreme Rules Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Jack Swagger (champion) vs. Randy Orton
This didn’t hold my attention at all.
Winner: Jack Swagger

Sheamus comes out to the ring to hear Triple H admit to being a coward. He demands the referee raise his hand and declare him the winner of their match. Backstage a groggy Triple H leaves the lockeroom and heads for the ring.

Street Fight
Sheamus vs. Triple H
I have zero sympathy for "face" Triple H so I enjoyed watching Sheamus beat on him. It was a decent Street Fight.
Winner: Sheamus

Josh Mathews asks Edge his thoughts on his upcoming Cage Match. Edge says he’s not even going to try escape; he just wants Chris Jericho in the cage.

Extreme Makeover Match for the WWE Womens Championship
Michelle McCool (champion) w/Layla and Vickie Guerrero vs. Beth Phoenix
While this was no Bra & Panties or Evening Gown Match it still managed to be a fucking abomination. What really killed it was Vickie and Layla’s actions outside the ring. They were terrible. The commentators called Michelle McCool “the greatest diva of all-time”. I guess that’s true since they only used that term for a short while. But nowadays that seems more like an insult than a compliment.
Winner: Beth Phoenix (new WWE Womens Champion)

“Please do not try this at home” ad.

Josh Mathews is with Chris Jericho, who says one loss earlier on in the week to an NXT rookie named “Heath Slater” will not affect him at all. One thing for sure, one win against Chris Jericho didn’t affect Heath Slater that much.

Steel Cage Match
Edge vs. Chris Jericho
You know what? I was never the hugest Edge fan but seeing him come out here made me really miss him. They told a good story of two people with vehement hatred for one another, with both having many opportunities to exit the cage but deciding to go back in and beat the other more.
Winner: Edge

Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship
Batista vs. John Cena (champion)
This was a really good match but it had that fucking duct tape around the ankles finish. I mean yeah, Batista couldn’t stand up to answer the ten count. But he was flailing around trying to stand up, clearly not incapacitated. You could even hear the collective groan from the live crowd.
Winner: John Cena
__________________________________________________________________________________
This was not a very good show at all. Firstly was the lack of anything really extreme in any of the matches. I've learned though that the name "Extreme Rules" is just a name the WWE still uses because they're in autopilot for most of the spring and probably haven't even noticed it the last decade. But moreso the fact that some of the matches were downright bad. The Gauntlet Match lasted barely five minutes total. The Strap Match didn’t even break five minutes (and was between Shad Gaspard and JTG) and the Extreme Makeover Match was a match where a table full of makeup was at ringside. You would have thought that plus Vickie Guererro would’ve meant total humiliation. But no. And then there’s the fucking stupid ending to the main event.

The beginning with Sheamus attacking Triple H before the match even started was an interesting and different way to start to a show. But like I said, I can’t stand Triple H (especially “face” Triple H) so I was actually happy at the prospect of not having to watch him wrestle. And it was something that would happen on Raw, which is how a lot of this show felt: like an episode of Raw but with more important matches. In some cases. The Tag Team Gauntlet Match and the Strap Match belonged on Raw, except without the Strap Match stipulation for that match.

The last two matches were at least good. The Last Man Standing Match was really good but just had such a dumb ending. And it exemplified the “Super Cena”/#cenawinslol era. Pure stupidity.

Neon Green Shirt guy was in the front row, but he was wearing a purple shirt.
 
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