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Chairshot Classics

Leaping Through The Network: WrestleMania 17

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WrestleMania 17 TLC Match

It’s that time again people. Time to put the ‘Flashback Friday‘ into Flashback Friday and leap back and forth throughout the WWE Network’s timeline randomly going from pay per view to pay per view and from show to show.

Now before we go anywhere I have a confession. I can leap through the timelines fine and dandy. Thing is, the laptop I’m working with didn’t. Long story short I leap forward or back in my own timeline and I have deadlines. So the format here will be slightly different although if you prefer this version, Tweet me (@Callaweasy2220) and let me know.

Now that’s out the way. This is due to go out on WrestleMania week. It seems wrong to cover anything other than a WrestleMania so I made sure this leap landed on a WrestleMania. And I did. By luck I landed on a WrestleMania that is not only looked at as on of the best WrestleManias ever but as one of the best WWE Pay Per Views and for that matter one of wrestling’s best ever pay per views. So no pressure. But is one of the best? Only one way to find out.


WrestleMania 17 (April 1 2001)

We open with a video package showing us how WrestleMania is a legacy throughout the ages and is watched across the world. Although if anyone knows how the couple in the car got a TV to work do let me know.

Chris Jericho vs William Regal [Intercontinental Title]

JR says these two mix like wool and water and while I don’t fully understand the phrasing, I do get what he means. It’s easy to put two technical wrestlers together and expect a good match. This is a good match but to say it’s two technical wrestlers really is an over simplification. Jericho is the high flying and speedy wrestler with a Japanese and Mexican base. Regal is catch as catch can, pick a body part and work it. As a result there is a clash of styles here. Doesn’t make this a bad match though. Regal spends most of the match on offence working on Jericho’s shoulder while Jericho fights back with Dropkicks and a Plancha before winning almost out of nowhere with a Lionsault.

Winner: Chris Jericho (Still Intercontinental Champion)

Backstage, Shane McMahon arrives and Bradshaw discusses Texans in sport.

Faarooq, Bradshaw & Tazz vs Val Venis, Bull Buchanan & The Goodfather

It’s easy to do height jokes with Tazz but he just looks tiny here. Tazz spends most of this taking punishment before tagging in Bradshaw who hits Val with a Fallaway Slam and teams with Faarooq to hit a Double Spinebuster. Bradshaw avoids a Ho Train and smashes Goodfather with a Clothesline From Hell for the three count. A nothing match.

Winners: Faarooq, Bradshaw & Tazz

Backstage, Trish Stratus pushes a drugged up on pills, Linda McMahon and Stephanie McMahon tells Trish she wants Champagne, Strawberries and ice crushed with the back of a spoon to celebrate with later.

Kane vs The Big Show vs Raven [Triple Threat Match for the Hardcore Title]

Fairly quickly this match spills through the crowd and to the back and the usual crop of weaponry mesh fences, baking trays, glass windows. Raven at one point makes a getaway on a golf buggy that Show climbs onto the back off. Kane chases him in a second buggy only to find Raven has crashed his. The fight to the entrance stage and Show attempts to Gorilla Press Raven but Kane boots Show sending both men crashing through the stage. Kane dives at Show with an Elbow Drop and wins the title.

Winner: Kane (New Hardcore Champion)

Backstage, Kurt Angle watches last weeks Raw and questions if a tap out is official if it occurs after a match.

Eddie Guerrero vs Test [European Title]

I liked this one. Big man Test hit big moves like a Pump Handle Slam and a couple of Powerbombs while Eddie attempts Hurricanrannas uses Perry Saturn as an accomplice in his cheating in between working Test’s knee. Turns out cheating wins when Dean Malenko distracts the referee allowing Eddie to win after he hit Test with the title belt.

Winner: Eddie Guerrero (New European Champion)

Backstage and Mick Foley says that despite Vince McMahon embarrassing him, beating him and firing him he plans on calling the match down the middle.

Kurt Angle vs Chris Benoit

Ah. The elephant in the room. The guy considered persona-non-grata in WWE and not just because he had the charisma of a house brick. I knew sooner or later we’d get to him. He appeared at a lot of events and he will show up on these reviews a fair bit. I chose to think of and remember him as he is here, a damn fine talent in the ring who may have been one of the all time best. I get that there are others who don’t see him like this. If there are people offended by him, Tweet me (@Callaweasy 2220) and tell me. I can refer to him from here on as The Canadian Wrestler.

I’m guessing this match is what WWE were expecting with Jericho vs Regal. This really is two damn good technical wrestlers with submission finishers matching each other hold for hold and move for move. That said, this does have some out of the ring brawling. I struggle to find fault here. Every Belly To Belly Suplex is crisp, every submission is expertly applied. At one point Angle taps to the Crossface but the ref is down so it doesn’t count. Angle gets the win following a Roll Up with a hand full of tights. So much for the submissions then.

Winner: Kurt Angle

Backstage, Kamala has invaded William Regal’s commissioner’s office and Regal is miffed by the idea that Kamala wants Regal to rub the moon painted on Kamala’s belly. So Regal tells Kamala to bugger off. I love this Regal.

Benoit attacks Angle and puts him in the Crossface. Kurt taps out and again it doesn’t count.

Chyna vs Ivory [Women’s Title]

What can I say here? It’s an odd thing to do. I mean, the storyline to this is that Chyna suffered a neck injury in late 2000, she exacerbated it in a match with Ivory at the Royal Rumble in January and this is her big comeback. It’s all well and good until Steve Austin who, as I’ll probably cover later, was out for the best part of the last year due to a genuine neck injury. It’s either odd, bad taste or whoever booked wasn’t paying attention.

What makes it worse is that Chyna is huge in comparison to Ivory and she dominates about 95% of the match and I find it hard to get behind ‘the good guy‘ if they are that dominant. Chyna wins after a Gorilla Press Slam and leans on Ivory for the cover.

Winner: Chyna (New Woman’s Champion)

Backstage we see Vince McMahon with Linda McMahon, Trish Stratus and Stephanie McMahon. Nothing is really said or done here.

Shane McMahon vs Vince McMahon [Street Fight Match]

The story to this is that Vince wanted a divorce from Linda who fell into a catatonic state and was over medicated to the point she’s basically comatose. With Linda basically out the way, Vince had an affair with Trish. Stephanie didn’t like that and, long story shorter, Trish and Vince had a sort of break up. Vince then made Trish beg like a dog and now they’re back together and Stephanie has someone to talk down to. Oh yeah, Shane. He’s angry at Vince for everything Vince has done to his mother. The WCW thing was added at the last minute and it is something that was a huge deal at the time but means pretty much nothing these days.

If the Hardcore Title match was done for the comedy, this is the polar opposite. This is the basic fayre of Shane diving off and through stuff, Vince bleeding and looking evil and McMahon over booking.

Trish turns on Vince and gets a pretty big pop but the pop when Linda rises from her chair to kick Vince in his baby maker is MASSIVE. Foley calls it down the middle, like he said he would, as he pummels Vince in the corner before Shane pushes a trash can in Vince’s face and gets the pinfall following a Van Terminator/Coast To Coast

Winner: Shane McMahon

We see footage of Kevin Kelly talking with Matt & Jeff Hardy during a signing at Axxess last night. They talk about the dangers of the upcoming TLC Match but it must be a bit disappointing if you were at that signing. There you are waiting for ages to meet The Hardyz and instead of getting to talk with your heroes, they sign a card and you get nothing else because they are too busy talking to Kevin Kelly.

Edge & Christian vs Matt Hardy & Jeff Hardy vs Bubba Ray Dudley & D Von Dudley [TLC Match for the Tag Team Titles]

I admit I’m slightly glad about the forced change of format because I don’t need to call everything that happens here. I think it’s matches like this, and for that matter the rest of this card, that make WrestleMania what it is today, huge spectacle matches where the athletes involved put everything on the line for a title or a ‘WrestleMania Moment‘.

The big moment here is THAT Spear. Jeff Hardy hangs from the title belts like a pinata with no ladder below him only for Edge to climb a ladder in the corner and Spear the bejesus out of him with a near twenty foot drop. Edge and Christian win this by climbing the ladder and taking possession of the titles. Nothing I type here will properly do this match justice other than GO AND WATCH THIS!!!

Winners: Edge & Christian (New Tag Team Champions)

We see highlights of Axxess. Nothing to add here, you’ll probably see a modern version of this package at this year’s Wrestlemania.

The Gimmick Battle Royal

Iron Shiek, Repo Man, Jim Cornette, Sgt Slaughter, Michael Hayes, Bushwhacker Butch, Nikolai Volkoff, Kim Chee, Brother Love, Duke Droese, Hillbilly Jim, Bushwhacker Luke, One Man Gang, The Gobbly Gooker, The Goon, Doink, Tugboat, Kamala and Earthquake compete here and I love this. This is how to celebrate the stars of yesteryear without taking spots on a card from someone who has competed for the company all year. It’s quick, painless and fun.

Winner: Iron Shiek

The Undertaker vs Triple H

Guess who wins?

This is two icons of WWE going at it on the biggest show of the year at a point that The Streak wasn’t really a thing. Plus it has that shot of The Undertaker on his motorcycle speeding down the isle. This match had everything you would expect near falls. brawling through the crowd, ref bumps. I could gripe about camera angles and how long an Elbow Drop should keep someone down for but it’s not worth it. Undertaker wins when he turns a Ten Punch into a Last Ride.

Winner: The Undertaker

Steve Austin vs The Rock [WWE Title]

The story to this is simple. Austin was out from November 1999 until October of 2000 due to a genuine neck injury and wants to cement his comeback by wining the WWE Title. Meanwhile Rock has it and wants to keep it. Both men want to be the very to man in the business. Simple but effective.

This is a No Holds Barred match which means no ref bumps needed here. Main Events in this era featured more brawling and wrestling. The story of the match is really good with both men doing anything they can to win. Vince McMahon even comes down for a closer look. Or help Austin? Austin? Steve Austin? The same guy he’s had a long running rivalry with since 1998? Yes indeed he was here to help Steve Austin. It confused a lot of people. Some thought Vince had turned good, some still cheered Austin anyway as this all happened in Texas, Steve Austin’s home state. The finish is slightly odd as Austin wins the match and the title, not with the Stunner (his usual finisher) but by mashing The Rock repeatedly with a chair.

Winner: Steve Austin (New WWE Champion)

After the bell Steve Austin and Vince McMahon shake hands to confirm their new allegiance and we’re out.

Post Show: Yes this is perhaps the best WWE show ever. This show has it all Retro, Hardcore fun, a Hardcore brawl, women, TLC High spots, Icon vs Icon. It could even be argued that this is the blueprint for every WrestleMania since. Every Money In The Bank Match or every multi man Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title can be traced back to the TLC. Every Andre The Giant Battle Royal is just the Gimmick Battle Royal with the current roster. Every match on the show was a good match. Yes I can pick holes in styles that don’t mesh and faces dominating over the bad guy but it’s just minor nit-picking. Jericho vs Regal was a good match and the worst on the show only lasted a few minutes at most and were inoffensive. This will go down as a great show.

Match of The Night: There were a few good matches on this show but the best, for me, was the TLC Ladder Match. Six men played their parts and put their bodies on the line just to give a WrestleMania Spectacle. As I said earlier, go out of your way to watch this one.

MVP: Steve Austin. The show is all about the climax to his comeback and to come back from a serious neck injury that should have ended is career and to do that twice and go on to become the WWE Champion is amazing.

Rating: 8/10

And that was WrestleMania. Perhaps the best show in history. So it’s downhill from here, sorry about that. If you want to talk about wrestling, the new format or The Canadian Wrestler, Tweet me @Callaweasy2220. Time to leap to the next one, after WrestleMania 17, I hope it’s good. #UseYourHead

“I knew this guy was going to flip out sooner or later. He’s laid Shawn Michaels out!”

Oh boy.


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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classic: Andrew’s 2019 AEW Double or Nothing Ratings & Analysis

Take a look back at AEW’s first PPV effort, the 2019 Double Or Nothing in Andrew’s Retro Ratings and Analysis!

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AEW Double Or Nothing 2019AEW Double Or Nothing 2019

Take a look back at AEW’s first PPV effort, the 2019 Double Or Nothing in Andrew’s Retro Ratings and Analysis!

With AEW Double Or Nothing–the 2022 edition–on the horizon, enjoy this trip down memory lane as Andrew Balaz reviewed the inaugural Las Vegas AEW pay-per-view…spectacular?

Well this is history boys and girls. Good, bad or indifferent, it’s the first show of the IWC’s favorite t-shirt company. What becomes of Hangman since he’s injured and PAC cancelled? What surprises will we get?

We all sit here with bated breath. Some want it to fail, many want it to succeed. Me? I just want it to not suck.

Let’s see what we got!

Ratings:

  • Casino Battle Royal: Hangman Page wins @10:45 – **
  • Sammy Guevara vs Kip Sabian: Sabian wins Argentine Facebuster @9:55 – ***
  • So Cal Uncensored vs Strong Hearts: SCU wins via Best Meltzer Ever @14:00 – *** 1/2
  • Britt Baker vs Nyla Rose vs Kylie Rae vs Awesome Kong: Britt Bakers wins via Kneecap Brainbuster @11:05 – ***
  • Best Friends vs Angelico & Jack Evans: Best Friends win via Strong Zero @12:55 – ** 1/2
  • Riho, Hikaru Shida &  Ryo Mizunami vs Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki & Emi Sakura: Hikaru wins via Three Count @13:10 – *** 1/4
  • Dustin Rhodes vs Cody Rhodes: Cody wins via Crossroads @22:35 – *****
  • AAA Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks (c) vs Lucha Brothers: Bucks retain via Meltzer Driver @25:00 – *****
  • Kenny Omega vs Chris Jericho: Jericho wins via Judas Effect @23:50 – **** 1/4

Analysis:

This was definitely a mess. A few spots, a bunch of messy spots and just generally awkward moments. Flying Brian Jr had a few decent spots, Luchasaurus looked good and Orange Cassidy is awful. Hangman being the 21st entrant made a lot of sense, but probably already upset a few people since it wasn’t CM Punk or Jon Moxley. Of course Page won. He can fight with a bum leg, cause he has three of them. So yeah, not an awful match, but it had a lot of issues.

Sabian looked tremendous in this match. Guevara definitely did too much. Shooting Star onto Sabian draped over the outside barricade, a bad double Moonsault and standing Shoot Star hurt the match a little. But Sabian’s technically proficient, charismatic and can hang in the air a bit too. So Sabian was the star here. Solid match.

Well now, this was great. Strong Hearts trio pulled off some great fluid offense and SCU did fantastic. This was just a great match, I can’t really accurately describe more than great match. Best Meltzer Ever is a little dumb when it comes to names, but damn was this a good match.

So Brandi comes out in her gear to swerve us that she’s adding herself to the match, but instead she adds Awesome Kong! So the Triple Threat turns into a Fatal 4 Way and it’s not bad. A lot of the early portion is focused on taking out Kong, then Nyla becomes the target. Britt and Kylie are the ones left in the ring after the collateral damage. Kylie looks to be firing up for a finish, but Britt catches her in a Kneecap Brainbuster (Adam Cole’s Last Shot in ROH).

Excessive spots, excessive near falls, I knew to expect it to a degree with these four, but that doesn’t make it better. This was definitely an ‘Indie style” match, but the crowd seemed to enjoy it. There was a lights out attack on both teams from…some team, with masked minions. The “Who Are You” chant kicks up and commentary doesn’t lend any information. So that’s really not helpful.

Everyone got their stuff in, we got to see a lot of personality from the different women and the action was solid. I also appreciated Emi Sakura trying to rally momentum doing We Will Rock You stomps (since she was dressed as Freddy Mercury). Save for the big mess up with the bell ringer calling the end of the match when the referee obviously held up 2 and said 2, just messed up the flow and gave away the finish since Hikaru’s music played. Not bad, just the ending did kind of take the air out of a pretty good match.

Wow. Dustin and Cody brought it, Dustin bladed pretty deep, I think even Dusty would’ve blushed. New moves from Dustin like the Misawa style Apron Senton, a Code Red and a few classics. The blood, the desire to keep fighting, this was everything wrestling should be. It made sense for Cody to win the match of course, but wow after the match was a beautiful moment. Also call of the night might have to go to Excalibur when Cody hit a Pump Kick aka Bicycle Kick and you hear him say something like ” He hit him with a BICYCLE”.  In a huge homage to Dustin and Dusty’s Heart to Heart promo, Cody tells Dustin he can’t retire, because he needs a partner. He doesn’t just need a partner, he needs his big brother. This was a great way cap off such a hard hitting personal match. Wow.

Belt reveal with a few extra curricular and Bret Hart. Much like Bret Hart, the belt doesn’t do anything for me. It looks a lot like Big Gold, but it’s so ostentatious it’s hard to love it. Just too shimmery or whatever. It’s not bad, but I in no way love the belt.

I’m very happy there was the unveiling ceremony between the Rhodes match and this one. Cause this was a great match and moving it out too quick could’ve hurt the crowd immersion. Great tandem moves, a decent thread of the ring rust playing a part against the Young Bucks early on and just generally great spots. There definitely was a lot of stuff, big spots and it was “spot monkey” style, but it all worked. The Lucha Brothers pulled out crazy moves to try and get the AAA belts back and the Bucks were trying to prove they still had it with most of the year off. Just really really good.

Well now Jericho and Omega pick back up where they left off. Referee Paul Turner allows for a lot of out of the ring shenanigans. Jericho busts Omega open, tries to use a table as a shield, but Omega still throws himself at Jericho.Jericho focuses on Omega’s face with the Triangle Dropkick, a Lionsault went high and this was pretty damn solid. A few missteps and Jericho not countering the first One Winged Angel was car crash worthy, but aside from that, this was nice. Multiple Codebreakers followed by the new Judas Effect, leave Omega laying for the 1, 2, 3.

Jericho says AEW is for him not for fans, and he deserves a thank you. When the crowd pops, Jericho thinks it’s for him, but Jon Moxley makes his debut through the crowd! Almost as if it were a reference to Lex Luger showing up on the first Nitro, it looks like Jericho basically says “You don’t work here”. Dirty Deeds to Jericho, Dirty Deeds to referee Paul Turner and Omega manages a burst of energy to brawl for a little bit. They end up on the poker chips, Moxley hits Dirty Deeds and then just dumps him off, onto some other stage item.

Overall Score: 8.5/10

Well damn, I was skeptical since All In didn’t rate as highly for me as other fans, but this was great. Aside from a few personal gripes, and not really enjoying the cluster that was the Battle Royal, this was one of the better shows of the year thus far. Good surprises like Awesome Kong, Bret Hart and Jon Moxley. Jericho winning the main event breaks up The Elite getting the clean sweep, so that shows it’s not as predictable as All In.

Oh and yes, I can’t express how good the Rhodes match was. The match itself, the story it told, the promo after, everything was just beautiful. That is my number 1 match of the year personally, cause it was just too damn poignant.

Good job AEW. Great show, and the symbolic moment where Cody used the sledgehammer to break the replica throne Triple H used for his WrestleMania 22 entrance. It was awesome.


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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. The Rock from WWE Backlash 1999

Ahead of WrestleMania Backlash, Chris King takes a stroll back to WWE Backlash 1999 as Stone Cold Steve Austin defends his WWE Championship against The Rock. 

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WWE Backlash 1999 Steve Austin The Rock

Ahead of WrestleMania Backlash, Chris King takes a stroll back to WWE Backlash 1999 as Stone Cold Steve Austin defends his WWE Championship against The Rock.

Let’s set the scene for a minute, you’ve got “The Texas Rattlesnake” and Corporate Rock going one-on-one at WrestleMania XV. Austin wins the championship and the McMahon family is livid. Stone Cold wants his Smoking Skull Championship belt back, and Vince and Shane McMahon are trying to keep it from him by hook or by crook.

Damn, things were different during the Attitude Era, The Rock threw Stone Cold over a bridge and held a funeral for his rival. The storytelling was captivating and exciting, and it kept you guessing what would happen next. Keep in mind this match was conclusively built around a championship belt, something that would never work in the current product.

It was a high-octane no disqualification match with Shane as the special guest referee for their latest encounter. Austin began the match running straight into the ring for a brawl which spilled out all over the arena.  I miss how exciting these two superstars were. Rock hit a vicious Rock Bottom through the Spanish announce table and then got on commentary to talk some smack.

The arrogant challenger took the camera to talk trash while Austin laid on the other announce table, and ate a Stunner through the table. Man, the WWE Universe was on fire throughout the entire match. I feel like both superstars can’t put on a bad match because they have such strong in-ring chemistry.

The finish of the match came when Austin had Rock set up for the three-count but Shane refused to count. Vince came down and struck Shane with the Smoking Skull belt. Austin hit another Stunner and decked the challenger with the belt for the victory. Vince then tossed his rival his precious Smoking Skull Championship.


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