Blog Archives

WWE King Of The Ring 1993 Reaction

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

From the opening bell to the final seconds of the broadcast, this was  a night that belonged to Bret “The Hitman” Hart all the way.

Many could even argue King Of The Ring 1993 was a career night for Hart as he battled through three rough, grueling matches to get the King Of The Ring accolade, also sparking what would be a long feud with Jerry “The King” Lawler over the title.

When Hart wasn’t in the spotlight, the undercard took a bit of an upper cut to the chin, with some questionable booking decisions. We’ll get into it all below.

Read the rest of this entry

WWE In Your House 1 Reaction

In_Your_House_1By Nicholas Jason Lopez

When you look at a show like this, it had all the characteristics of a typical mid-90’s WWE show: cartoonish gimmicks, cheesy promotions and a solid push of main-eventers.

This was the first installment of the “In Your House” monthly Pay-Per-View shows and for a first time, things were pretty good in terms of entertainment, as you had some decent storylines headed in, particularly the feud between Bret Hart and Jerry Lawler that was prominent here.

That said, we present this as the “Throwback PPV” of May 2015.

Read the rest of this entry

Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 5/4/15: Dawn Of The Dean

WWE Raw“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

(Aired 5/4/15)

Dawn Of The Dean 

– The first segment with Randy Orton, Roman Reigns and The New Day did a couple of decent things. Necessary tension was shown between Reigns and Orton. They were never established as friends nor should they be. They weren’t exactly at each other’s heads since they had a common enemy, but both men made it clear they would take the other out to pursue their goal. The New Day coming out nobody probably saw coming, but it was a welcome change, being that the spotlight was put on younger heels that were also the Tag Team Champions. What was even better here was that New Day was given mic time for extra annoyance purposes, helping them settle in as heels more. It also had the presence of Kane without actually having him there, as it was established that he booked The New Day to fight the two faces.

Read the rest of this entry

WrestleMania 2 Reaction

WWE WrestleMania 2WrestleMania I was the biggest phenomenon at the time, possessing a niche of main event stars, big matches and celebrities.

Those who were there didn’t know just how big it would become until the very end. How would they possibly top that? With the only Pay-Per-View to come out of three different cities at the same time, coverage bouncing from one to the next in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
Read the rest of this entry

WWE WrestleMania 31 Reaction

("WM31Poster" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia)

(“WM31Poster” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia)

Say what you want, but after the end of WrestleMania, the internet always seems to break and this year, we got yet another reason why.

Seth Rollins has pretty much had the best year anyone can have so far and now he’s topped it off big time.

Doesn’t get bigger than the main event of WrestleMania for a successful Money In The Bank briefcase cash-in.

This opens up so many possibilities. We’ll get into all of them below, but anybody can agree that this show – while lackluster in build and mild on paper except for the obvious marquee matches – delivered in almost every aspect of entertainment.

 

 

(Aired 3/29/15)

The Breakdown

– The fatal four-way Tag Team Championship match with The Usos (w/Naomi), Los Matadores (w/El Torito), Big E and Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods), and Tyson Kidd/Cesaro (w/Natalya) was predictable in the sense that Kidd/Cesaro were way over, New Day were way not, everyone appreciated The Usos when they weren’t in offense towards Kidd/Cesaro and Los Matadores were just there. The constant switch between control and utter chaos provided a nice pace to the match and set up the finish nicely as Cesaro tagged Uso as he was about to dive off the top and “stole” his pin. They retained and had their moment to shine.

– The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale was the utter expected chaos. Hideo Itami had his brief moment of glory by eliminating Bo Dallas (who just seemed way too happy about being there) but then was boringly KO’d out of the ring by Big Show. Lameness galore. Mizdow finally turning on Miz was excellently done and done in a way that can easily be followed up on post-Mania Raw, but with Show standing around while it all happened, it made you question the logic. Show getting the best of Mizdow was super lame on the big stage, but it gave him bragging rights for future segments if anything, because he needed more? Granted, that shot of him doing Andre’s pose next to the trophy was one to remember.

– The Intercontinental Championship Ladder match between Daniel Bryan, Bad News Barrett, Luke Harper, Dolph Ziggler, Stardust, Dean Ambrose and R-Truth started the show off on a nice note. It was cool to see the nod of acknowledgment on Bryan’s entrance that this year’s Mania started how last year’s ended, with the Yes Movement. That’s one of those little things that people will notice if they ever watch WrestleMania in consecutive marathons. The action wasn’t too extreme, but a few cool spots involving the ladders (powerbomb out of the ring) were enough to get the crowd on their feet. Bryan was the obvious choice from the get-go and can bring the IC Title to new heights, no pun intended.

– The Randy Orton-Seth Rollins (w/J & J Security) match was a solid, though predictable match that brought just the right amount of intensity. That finish with the “possum” RKO was hot and well-executed. Most beautiful RKO ever. The near-falls down the stretch were believable too. Ultimately, Orton got his revenge and taking the end of the night into account, he technically pinned the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Does that put him in line for a Title shot? Raw could be interesting.

– The Sting-Triple H match was preceded by the anticipated elaborate entrances – Triple H’s Terminator-inspired particularly went over well. This match fully lived up to the hype – bringing in an aspect to the match never even considered in the hype, but cool nonetheless in the nostalgia factor with D-Generation X and nWo all coming to blows, which the crowd was hot for. It was a unique sight, especially with memories of the Monday Night Wars in the rearview mirror. Just like WWE beat WCW, Triple H beat Sting, perhaps another metaphorical representation of the war, even though the WWE was led by heels here. Regardless, the “time warp” made this quite entertaining for everybody young and old. The embrace after between Triple H and Sting in the form of a handshake was also great.

– Having Daniel Bryan be congratulated backstage by legends and former IC Title holders like Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Pat Patterson, Roddy Piper and Bret Hart was an excellent rub and showed that he had the backing of everyone – fans and legends. Step one to Operation: Bring-Prestige-To-IC-Title is complete.

– The Paige/AJ Lee-Bellas Divas tag match was short and sweet, making the most of its rather short time. It had the Bellas dominate only to build up to Lee/Paige to grab the momentum and came out with the win. Not much to rave over, but nothing bad either, creatively speaking.

– The John Cena-Rusev match for The United States Championship really went all out with the entrances, especially for Rusev. The match was entertaining for the time it lasted, though it felt just a step behind their FastLane effort. The guys showed their urgency by pulling new moves out – Rusev going to the top rope for the first time and Cena doing a springboard stunner, which appeared better on instant replay – and it spoke to how bad both men wanted it. There were some strange moments – Lana throwing her shoes in the ring comes to mind – but Cena winning the belt was predictable. Lana getting knocked off the apron appeared to have been done for shock value as Cena pinned Rusev immediately after. Rusev not showing concern for Lana while she stumbled up the ramp with officials was an interesting hook for post-Mania Raw. Is there a problem on the Russian Front of the WWE Squared Circle?

– The Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Rock and Ronda Rousey segment delivered in terms of entertainment and did just enough to get everyone talking. Rock appearing on another WrestleMania was no shock and it closed the door on his Rumble appearance and what questions that had left unanswered. Though Triple H was great in his gloating of beating Sting and Rock did his schtick well, much kudos has to go to Stephanie here. She stole this segment with her toughness and facial expressions. She truly owned her words here and the eventual physical confrontation was a nice little payoff, but it makes us wonder just what the consequences will be, if any.

– The Bray Wyatt-Undertaker match lived up to all the hype and got better as it went on. The big moments came in the emphasizing of similarities in both characters with Taker sitting up as Wyatt was in mid-crawl and the trade of finishers was great. Taker winning by the Tombstone Piledriver was a fitting end for what could be his last two-step at the Mania dance.

– The Roman Reigns-Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman)-Seth Rollins match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship was everything built up to be and more. Just when we thought we knew what would happen – WWE changes the rules completely. Rollins cashing in with the most eyes on the product on the biggest stage in the biggest match of the year and coming out the winner was perfect. With the crowd’s pro-Lesnar reaction, Reigns could definitely not win this. Even the story of Reigns-Lesnar in the ring was well done, with an inhumane total of F5’s, Spears and Superman Punches as it looked like another Lesnar domination for much of the match. Reigns took a beating and a half and yet at the end was the one pinned and even then, it didn’t feel like he lost too much, besides obviously getting “robbed.” People could argue this moment will lead to a Rollins face turn, but his very actions were quite heelish and you can see it on his smirk with the photo of him, the belt and J & J Security going around online. This does however, set the road for a proper face turn with Lesnar/Heyman, as it also created perfect anticipation for the fallout, as Lesnar would probably be angry and can contest he was never pinned while Reigns had his match and lost.

 

 

 

 

Results

– Tag Team Championships – Tyson Kidd/Cesaro (Champions) (w/Natalya) def. Kofi Kingston/Big E (w/Xavier Woods), Los Matadores (w/El Torito) and The Usos (w/Naomi) via pinfall to retain

– Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale – The Big Show eliminates Damien Mizdow to win 

– Intercontinental Championship – Ladder Match – Daniel Bryan def. Bad News Barrett (Champion), Dean Ambrose, Luke Harper, R-Truth, Dolph Ziggler and Stardust to become new Champion 

– Randy Orton def. Seth Rollins (w/J & J Security) via pinfall

– Triple H def. Sting via pinfall

– Paige/AJ Lee def. Nikki/Brie Bella via pinfall

– United States Championship – John Cena def. Rusev (Champion) (w/Lana) via pinfall to become new Champion

– The Undertaker def. Bray Wyatt via pinfall

– WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Seth Rollins def. Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar to become new Champion via Money in the Bank Briefcase Cash-In 

WWE In Your House 6: Rage In The Cage Reaction

"In Your House 6 - Video Cover" by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:In_Your_House_6_-_Video_Cover.jpg#mediaviewer/File:In_Your_House_6_-_Video_Cover.jpg

“In Your House 6 – Video Cover” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia 

Most are familiar with the 60-minute Iron Man match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XII, but not as quite with the road to get there.

This show was all about getting to that point, making both Hart and Michaels look good in their respective matches and making some more WrestleMania matches in the process.

This was also the first official WWE Pay-Per-View in February, making it this month’s “Throwback PPV.”

 

 

 

(Aired 2/18/96)

The Breakdown

– The opening video showcased Sunny on the beach. Boy, have times changed. The video package solidly hyped Bret Hart-Diesel’s match all focused on the WWF Championship.

– Vince McMahon was very enthused to be in Louisville, Kentucky. Also, Jerry The King Lawler was such a good heel commentator. What has he become these days?

– The basic story behind the Razor Ramon-1-2-3 Kid (w/Ted Debiase) match was decent, but the “Baby Diaper/Bottle” stipulation was downright ridiculous. Was someone a baby daddy? Why the carriage stuff? It was funny to see that Kid broke out the crotch chop when he played to the crowd. Little significance back then. If you count the amount of baby-related references on commentary as a drinking game, damn, you’d be drunk. The guys worked well together and did some cool spots, the fall away slam from the top rope stuck out and Ramon won after two Razor’s Edges once Kid tried to throw baby powder in Ramon’s face and it backfired. The moment of Ramon making Kid drink from a baby bottle, putting a diaper on over his white wrestling tights and dousing him and Dibiase in powder wasn’t as memorable as you’d think. Johnson’s Baby Powder got a lot of advertising here. Product placement?

– Sunny was terribly scared of snakes evidently. Don’t call the WWF Hotline.

– The interview with Duke The Dumpster Droese seeking payback time for being pedigreed and getting his haircut by HHH was okay. His voice was loud and screechy.

– The Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Elizabeth Hilden)-Duke The Dumpster match wasn’t anything particularly memorable besides Lawler clearly having his eyes on Hunter’s valet. How unceremonious. Could Helmsley’s music be any more sleep-inducing? Worse than elevator music.

– An adult Undertaker one-size-fits-all sweatshirt for $29.95? Gosh – what a bargain.

– Yokozuna was billed as 700 pounds? Something about that just doesn’t sound right. His promo towards Jim Cornette, Owen Hart and British Bulldog was actually pretty good. Why didn’t they let him cut promos more often?

– The Yokozuna-British Bulldog match was okay as it was mainly Yokozuna absorbing Bulldog’s punishment and retorting back with his own offense. The blatant DQ with Cornette hitting him with the tennis racket was stupid, but this allowed for the moment everyone waited for: Yokozuna getting revenge on him. Well, almost. Vader showed up and hit Yokozuna and handcuffed him to the ring rope. Yes, ringing the bell 18,000 times in a row will stop the attacks. Vader’s mask came off. Those racket shots sounded like they hurt.

– Goldust and Marlena had him hype up a match on Raw against Razor Ramon for the Intercontinental Championship. Almost forgot what Goldust looked like with a wig. His trademark promo.

– It’s scary how similar the backstory of the Shawn Michaels-Owen Hart match was with Michaels putting his guaranteed WrestleMania Title shot on the line to the Reigns-Bryan storyline headed into the FastLane 2015 PPV. This match literally had Mania repercussions. He might’ve also danced on the roof set. Who knows?

– Michael’s promo was inspiring as usual and certified him as a risk-taker and tough guy. Good stuff.

– The Owen Hart-Michaels match was definitely very physical with lots of athleticism shown by both men. Strong finish as well as this was Michael’s year of his “boyhood dream.”

– The Rowdy Roddy Piper pulled his usual promo as “Acting WWF President.” It’s just funny considering he would be in WCW this time about a year later fighting for the World Title. Piper pulled no punches promising Michaels to show up to Mania for a fight, that he wasn’t sorry for Yokozuna being beaten down, insulted Vader and announced Vader-Yokozuna for Mania. Piper insulting Cornette was good stuff. Their interaction was fun to watch.

– The WWE Championship steel cage match between Diesel and Bret Hart was a good match – also quite physical and good use of the cage. Diesel looked to be the winner until Undertaker rose through the apron and dragged him under. Sounds about right, and it hyped their matches well.

 

 

 

 

Results

– Loser Must Wear A Diaper/Be Fed From Baby Bottle – Razor Ramon def. The 1-2-3 Kid (w/Ted Dibiase) via pinfall

– Hunter Hearst Helmsley (Elizabeth Hilden) def. Duke The Dumpster Droese via pinfall

– Yokozuna (w/Jim Cornette) def. British Bulldog via DQ

– Winner Gets WWE Title Shot At WrestleMania – Shawn Michaels def. Owen Hart via pinfall

– WWE Championship – Steel Cage – Bret Hart def. Diesel to retain

WWE Royal Rumble 1988 Reaction

WWE Royal Rumble 1988When it came down to it, the 1988 Royal Rumble had a little bit of everything: two separate two-out-of-three fall tag team matches, a questionable Dino Bravo bench pressing segment, a thriller of a match between Rick Rude and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, and a decent angle that involved Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant and an oak table.

Who could also forget the Rumble match itself? More on that below.

 

 

 

The Breakdown

– It’s crazy to see how the Royal Rumble took off from where it started: a three-hour TV special in Canada. Nowhere to go from there but up. At the time, this must’ve been a glorified “Saturday’s Main Event.”

– Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura made for an interesting duo on commentary all night long. They were certainly no Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan, but for 80’s WWE, we can settle. Ventura was almost like the JBL of his time; the perfect commentary foil to the straightforward McMahon.

– The Rick Rude-Ricky Steamboat match looked good on paper with their mixing of styles. Steamboat was over with the crowd too. How ironic was it to see that Steamboat was thrown over the top rope, held on, swung himself back over and let Rude go over the top rope a la a Royal Rumble elimination? Steamboat was like a one-man show here, in the prime of his career. The match pace was slow at times, but the psychology was strong and it was a very technical affair. At the end of the night, this match stood out on its own. The 80’s were strange times in wrestling compared to now. There was a point where Rude had Dragon in a Camel Clutch and Dragon tapped his hand on the mat multiple times while in the hold and it didn’t count as a submission. The finish was a way to give Steamboat the DQ win because of how Rude pushed the official in front of him when Steamboat went to the top.

– They actually sold megaphones to fans back then? Can’t see that happening now. Ugh. That guy was annoying as hell during the Steamboat-Rude match.

– It wouldn’t be an 80’s PPV if it didn’t involve some kind of body-building angle. Mean Gene Okerlund’s interview with Jesse Ventura set the rules for the bench pressing. This was such a filler of time. It was obvious Dino Bravo was a heel out there to get heat by telling the crowd to be quiet in spite of him going for a world record. For that reason, why would Gene keep asking Bravo’s manager questions if he didn’t understand French? That angle took freaking forever. Can we even officially count what he did? Were those actual weights?

– The Glamour Girls (w/Jimmy Hart) (Champions)-Jumping Bomb Angels two-out-of-three falls Women’s Championship Match was something you definitely won’t see nowadays, but the match wasn’t anything special despite the stipulation. It was hard to root for the Jumping Bomb Angels when they had no personality; just two Japanese ladies. The finish was hot though and that was the loudest the crowd was all night to that point. Winning the Women’s Tag Team Champinships must have been big back then.

– Anything involving Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant after WrestleMania III would make it must-watch. The angle surrounding the Sale of the World Title Belt with Ted Dibiase and Andre “buying in” was also intriguing for its time. Contract signings must not have been important back then seeing that the ring had a school desk with folding chairs around it. Dibiase was good on the mic here. Of course, a contract signing never goes without a hitch as Andre slammed Hogan’s head into the “solid oak” table and pushed him back with it. The hype for that match was on.

– The original Rumble had only 20 men, no countdown with the crowd and nobody’s music hitting when they came out. The differences were subtle, but noticeable. That aside, the RR magic was evident as everybody worked hard here. Jim Duggan seemed to have a career moment by eliminating One Man Gang. Bret Hart – one of the first two men in the match, also lasted way longer than originally thought. There were a lot of Harts in this match.

– Hogan’s promo on Giant was solid. Guy could sell a match in his day with words alone.

– Dibiase’s promo with Andre and Virgil did more selling for their upcoming match. There’s nothing better to a story than consistently delivering both sides of it. It was a bit hard to take the claim of “Giant-A-Mania” seriously, but that was supposed to be the point.

– The Islanders (w/Bobby Heenan)-The Young Stallions two-out-of-three falls tag match was okay and got better as it went on. The Stallions looked resilient at times but pushovers in others, yet The Islanders were dominant with two straight falls. It was what it was. Strange choice to end a show with.

 

 

 

 

Results

– Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat def. Rick Rude via DQ

– Women’s Tag Team Championship – Two Out Of Three Falls – The Jumping Bomb Angels def. The Glamour Girls (w/Jimmy Hart) (Champions) Two Falls To One to Become New Champions

– Royal Rumble – “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan Wins

– Two Out Of Three Falls – The Islanders (w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) def. The Young Stallions Two Falls To None