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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: WWE SummerSlam 2002

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JR is quick to introduce us to the next match between “The American Bad Ass”, The Undertaker and a member of The Un-Americans, Test. We see a package that shows us different symbols of American Patriotism before it is interrupted by The Un-Americans. They tell us that “The world hates America and we hate America”. Storm tells us that the upside down flag represents the upside down values and beliefs of American society. I don’t really recall this angle as a kid, but Storm’s mic work in this promo is great. Test enter the arena first and is waving the inverted American flag. And receiving some good heat for doing so. The crowd explodes as The American Bad Ass enters next and is on his Harley. Taker enters the ring and goes right for Test, who is quick to exit. Undertaker pumps the crowd up before Test rejoins him in the ring.

 

The bell sounds and Test comes out on top after the usual collar and elbow tie-up. He whips Taker into the ropes but the big man leapfrogs Test and takes him down with an arm drag. Test lands some knee strikes and sends Taker into the ropes again. This time The Undertaker goes sky-high to hit a diving lariat. The shoulder of Test gets worked some more before Taker leads him to the corner by the hand. The Undertaker begins to climb the rope to hit his signature, Old School. For those that don’t recognize the name, this is where The Undertaker tight ropes across the top rope to deliver a strike. Test stops this move by shoving the ref into the ropes and causing Taker to fall, spread eagle, onto the top rope.  Test then knocks Taker off the apron and into the security wall. Test is quick to join him on the outside and this leads to Taker being whipped into the ring stairs. Test returns him to ring and unloads with a series of blows. The crowd “BOOS” Test as he continues to whoop Taker’s ass around the ring. An armbar is applied next and this is when we see Taker start to successfully rally. After he escapes the hold he delivers a side suplex to Test and the momentum is beginning to shift. Taker tries to drop an elbow but Test avoids it and is quick to return to his feet. Test whips Taker into the ropes but Taker comes back hit and hits the running DDT. He goes for the cover but only gets the two. This time when Taker leads Test to the corner for the Old School it is successful. A snake eyes in next from The Undertaker but when he goes for the big boot, Test ducks it and hits one of his own. Test goes for the pump handle slam but Taker escapes with a backslide. The Undertaker grabs Test by the throat to go for the chokeslam, but Test escapes with some elbow to the side of Taker’s head. He tries to hit Taker with a big boot of his own but it is ducked under. This time when The Undertaker grabs Test by his throat, the chokeslam is successful. Undertaker raises his hand next and is setting up The Last Ride when we see Lance Storm And Christian come sliding into the ring. Taker makes quick work of the Tag Champs by hitting them both with some shy-high chokeslams. They slide from the ring, but Test comes from nowhere to hit Taker with a brutal big boot. He goes for the cover and the top comes off the building when Undertaker kicks out. Test leaves the ring to grab a chair, but when he returns with it, Taker sends it right back into his face with a big boot. This sets up The Tombstone and the three count for The American Badass. The Undertaker leaves the ring after the match and gets an American Flag from a fan. He climbs the turnbuckles and raises Old Glory high above his head. The flag is returned to the fan and Taker rides his bike back up the ramp. As good as this match was, it just maybe the worst on the card. That isn’t meant to sound like at slight on the match, its just the fact that the card is so strong. I wouldn’t skip this one but if you had to choose the least appealing match on the card, this would be it. Match Time:8:18

 

Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler introduces us to the video package for the next match. It shows the build-up to the relationship of Shawn Michaels and Triple H. It starts in their Degeneration-X days and leads us into this event. The video shows some of the best of their D-X days, and is really well put together. It builds to one of the greatest betrayals of all-time, when Michaels finally returned to the WWE after four long years he would be greeted with a Pedigree from his former best friend. Kids of today have Seth Rollins ambushing his fellow Shield members but I will always think of this as my favorite betrayal. There is a cool line where Hunter says “I used Shawn Michaels to get to the top just like he used me to stay on the top”. This is the best put together package on the show and is must see stuff. It ends with Bischoff setting up the Unsanctioned Street Fight between the former friends.

 

The crowd is going nuts when The Heart Break Kid, Shawn Michaels enters for his first match in over four years. Shawn went on to start his own wrestling training center and promotion while he was away. Most people don’t know that he did have one match for his promotion, Texas Wrestling Alliance, in April of 2000. The most famous man to come from his school is probably Daniel Bryan. He enters with some glitter cannons exploding around him and this is pretty cool stuff here. JR mentions here that Shawn is the first ever Grand Slam Champion. When Triple H enters he is welcomed with a unified “BOO” from the fans. Shawn is laying across the ring ropes and giving H the “Come Hither” finger. When Triple H is in the ring Michaels is quick to attack him with right hands and soon after that the bells sounds. Michaels proves he still has some agility early when he leapfrogs Triple H and then send him through the ropes to the outside. Michaels is quick to join him on the outside with a crossbody plancha. After this Shawn is checking under the ring for some weaponry. He throws a trashcan into the ring but the delay allows Triple H to land a knee and re-enter the ring first. Shawn hits Triple H in the head with a trash can lid before he lifts himself over the top rope and flips into the ring. The Showstopper still has it. The trashcan is dented over Hunter’s head, and the crowd is pumped as Michaels is tunin’ up the band early. Triple H ducks under the superkick though and hits Michaels with a brutal backbreaker. This allows Triple H to go on the offensive and he does so by targeting the back of Shawn. If you don’t recall, the injured back is what caused Michaels to leave the WWE in the first place. An Irish whip to the turnbuckle brings Shawn to his knees and this is a perfect time for a “Crotch Chop” into his face. After some more blows to the back Hunter goes for the pin but Shawn is able to kick-out. This enrages Hunter, who leaves the ring to grab a chair. He returns with it and continues to work the back of HBK, this time with the chair. The crowd is absolutely quite as Triple H controls the fight.

 

Shawn finally slows him when he sneaks a roll-up pin in but the effort doesn’t last long and Triple H hits him with a facebuster. Triple H DDTs Shawn onto the chair before he makes a cover, but Shawn still kicks out. This is when we start to see some blood flow from the face of Shawn Michaels. Triple H takes Michaels own belt off of him and beats him with it. He then wraps it around his fist to enhance his punches. After some blows to the head, Triple H leaves the ring to look for some more weapons under the ring. When he finds his sledgehammer the crowd explodes. Shawn stops the attack with some punches and the official removes the hammer. The attack doesn’t last long though and Hunter is soon stretching the back of Shawn again. When Triple H uses the top rope for leverage it pisses the ref off, and he and Triple H exchange words. The distraction allows Shawn to get a few punches in but once again Hunter stops his attack. Triple H then puts Shawn of the top rope and is quick to join him. They trade some punches and the crowd is on their feet when Shawn knocks Triple H to the mat. It appears as we are going to see an elbow drop from Michaels, but Triple H kicks the official into the ropes. This, in turn, knocks Michaels from the top rope and leaves him in a tree-of-woe. Triple H is quick to get the chair and hit the lower back of HBK. Triple H sets the chair up and drops Shawn onto it and the backbreaker crushes the chair. Brutal stuff here. Triple H goes for the cover, but Shawn kicks out. He goes for the cover twice more but Shawn still kicks out. Triple H stomps the chair flat and proceeds to sidewalk slam Michaels onto the chair. Shawn manages to kick-out of three more cover attempts and the Coliseum is shaking with “HBK” chants. Triple H is visibly pissed now and he attempts to give Shawn a Pedigree onto the chair. Shawn hits a low blow though and is able to stop the finisher. Both men take a moment to return to their feet but Triple H has the chair. Shawn hits the Sweet Chin Music and this sends the chair into the face of Triple H. And the crowd is going bonkers. This seems to have taking all Shawn’s energy and both men lay prone on the mat for a moment. When Triple H rolls over we can see some serious color on his face, as the blood is just a leaking. The both make it to their feet and Shawn unloads some left hands. A flying forearm is next, and when Shawn Michaels nips up the place explodes. He sends Triple H sky-high with a back body drop and when he hit Hunter with a chairshot, the fans come unglued. Shawn sends Triple H toppling over the top rope and when he hits the floor he catches his head on the security wall.

 

Shawn joins him on the outside, and after a few shots to the head with the trashcan lid, he beats Hunter with the leather belt. At this point you can see a large pool of blood were Hunter is laying and this dude is leaking some serious blood here. The fans unleash some “we want tables” chants here but aren’t rewarded. Instead, Shawn takes The King’s shoe and beats Hunter with it. To which King replies “a heel for a Heel”. I thought this was cool as this is more of a behind the scenes term and wasn’t really used on TV. Shawn runs all the way around the ring to deliver a bulldog onto the ring steps. Shawn goes under the ring and comes out with a ladder. At this point the “HBK” chants can be heard again. Michaels doesn’t climb the ladder, though, and instead rams it into the head and midsection of Triple H. The ladder is leaned against the ring ropes and Shawn then catapults Triple H into it. Shawn returns Triple H to the ring and attempts the cover. The crowd counts along but are forced to stop before three when Hunter kicks out. Shawn then leaves the ring to grab the ladder but Triple H baseball slides and sends it into the face of Michaels. Hunter returns Shawn to the ring but climbs to the top turnbuckle instead of resuming his attack. Shawn is quick to meet him up there and superplexs Triple H back into the ring. Shawn goes for the cover, but Triple H isn’t done yet. When they return to their feet Shawn comes off the rope, but Triple H is quick to meet him with another facebuster. Another cover attempt for Triple H and another kick out for Shawn Michaels. Triple H again leaves the ring and this time he comes back with the ring steps. But Shawn hits a drop toe hold and this bounces Hunter’s face off the steps. A clothesline over the top rope is next, and when Hunter goes over the top rope he lands right on the ladder. Ouch. Shawn now takes this moment to get a table from under the ring and the crowd is popping. He sets the table up as Triple H slowly walks toward him. After a fire extinguisher to Hunter’s face, he is lying on the table as Shawn enters the ring to climb to the top turnbuckle. Shawn comes flying off the top rope and they both crash through the table. The crowd rewards them with some “Holy Shit” chants for this. They return to the ring, but Shawn has the ladder. He quickly starts to climb it and comes of it to deliver an elbow “right to the heart of The Game.” The crowd is going nuts as Michaels is tuning up the band. But Triple H catches the foot and goes for the Pedigree. Shawn pulls Hunter’s legs out and rolls him up. The ref counts the three and so do the fans. Wow. What a finish. After the match Triple H attacks Shawn Michaels with the sledgehammer and he gets some serious heat for this from the fans. The doctors come out and Shawn Michaels is stretchered to the back. This may just be the greatest return match ever, in the history of Professional Wrestling. If you have the option, after you finish my article of course, go watch this match. For two guys just returning to the ring, one after four years away, this match is straight fire. Match Time:27:50

 


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Chairshot Classics

What I Watched #10b: All IN 2018

Harry decided to abridge his All In write up and bring us the blast from the past while he’s on vacation! With only a few weeks until All Out, reminiscing could be fun!

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ALL IN

Greetings, salutations and what nots. At the time you are reading this, I will be away from home on vacation with my amazing girlfriend. In the interest of not want to lose everyone’s attention in the downtime, I decided to go back to one of my earlier reviews and reformat it to match the current style while giving people who may have not been interested due to the length of the previous review a chance to see what they may have missed as well as share my thoughts on a show that had quite the buzz when it happened.

I mention in my review of AAW’s Destination Chicago 2018 (full review available in my archive by clicking my name at the top of this review) that everyone was in Chicago for this particular show. Obviously, though it was presented as part of a deal with ROH (and to some extent New Japan), this ends up being what many consider the launching point for AEW. So join me once again as the WayBack Machine takes us to suburban Chicago on September 1st 2018 and we revisit ‘All In’ here on ‘What I Watched’.

What I Watched #10-B

ROH/NJPW/Friends ‘All In’ 2018

9/1/2018

Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, IL

Runtime: 4:45:24 (45:27 on YouTube for the preshow, 3:57:57 on Fite.TV/HonorClub/NJPW World/traditional PPV for the main show)

Commentary By: Excalibur (PBP), Don Callis (Color), Ian Riccaboni (PBP/Color)

THE RESULTS

  • Match #1: Zero Hour- Frankie Kazarian/Scorpio Sky def. Jay/Mark Briscoe, Kazarian pins Mark with a powerslam counter to the Doomsday Device @ 12:35
  • Match #2: Zero Hour- Flip Gordon wins the ‘Over the Budget Battle Royal’ @ 17:11, last eliminating Bully Ray
  • Match #3: Matt Cross pins Maxwell Jacob Friedman, Shooting Star Press @ 10:07
  • Match #4: Christopher Daniels pins Stephen Amell, Best Moonsault Ever @ 11:45
  • Match #5: Tessa Blanchard wins four way, pinning Chelsea Green with the Buzzsaw DDT @ 12:43 of a match that also involved Britt Baker and Madison Rayne
  • Match #6: NWA World Heavyweight Title- Cody Rhodes pins Nick Aldis ©, sitdown on sunset flip attempt @ 22:03
  • Match #7: Adam Page pins Joey Janela, Rite of Passage off a ladder through a table @ 20:09
  • Match #8: ROH Heavyweight Title- Jay Lethal © pins Flip Gordon, Lethal Injection @ 14:25
  • Match #9: Kenny Omega pins Pentagon Jr., One Winged Angel @ 17:48
  • Match #10: Kazuchika Okada pins Marty Scurll, Rainmaker #2 @ 26:06
  • Match #11: Kota Ibushi/Matt Jackson/Nick Jackson def. Bandido/Fenix/Rey Mysterio Jr., Matt pins Bandido after the Meltzer Driver @ 11:44

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Zero Hour- SCU (Frankie Kazarian/Scorpio Sky) vs. The Briscoes (Jay/Mark)

*Hell of a way to kick things off and the exact kind of match that you want to put out to people in order to get those on the fence to order the show. I don’t know about the $50 price tag that the PPV had, but this would have been enough for me to sign up for Honor Club for $10 to watch the show at least. I’m curious if ROH ever followed up on SCU pinning the ROH tag champions here. I’d imagine so even though the end is near for Kazarian, Scorpio and Daniels in ROH with AEW looming on the horizon. (***½)

Over the Budget Battle Royal

*It was fun for what it was. Maybe a little overcrowded, but there are several people who have got to make a name for themselves off this match. Marko Stunt is all over Game Changer Wrestling (and got a run in AEW as part of Jurassic Express) and Jordynne Grace, who got herself a deal with Impact, being two to spring immediately. I don’t rate battle royals but it was entertaining, which is all you can ask for sometimes. (X)

Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF) vs. Matt Cross

*Good little opener here for the main show. My misgivings on the rope hanging piledriver aside (MJF calls it the Heatseeker), they worked together well without throwing too much against the wall and burning out the crowd for later. I had hoped Cross would get a chance with AEW but we know that doesn’t happen, unfortunately. MJF does become one of the biggest creations AEW has up until this point, but no-one is really sure where his status lies with the company at present. Strong start to open the show and really happy for a genuinely good dude in Matt Cross to have gotten this opportunity. (***)

Christopher Daniels vs. Stephen Amell (special guest referee: Jerry Lynn)

*When this show first happened, I heard a myriad of opinions on this match. Some thought it was really good, others thought it stunk. I fall somewhere in the middle here. Amell, for an actor, put in a pretty good performance here. I’m not saying he should do this full time or anything, but it’s not like he embarrassed himself either. Daniels had his own hiccups here as well though. So the blame doesn’t fall solely on Stephen. Overall, I’d call it above average given who Daniels’ opponent was. But I know first hand that Daniels is capable of much, much more. (**½)

Britt Baker (bay bay) vs. Madison Rayne vs. Chelsea Green vs. Tessa Blanchard

*Not sure if it was just me but the finish looks a little suspect. Tessa getting the win did make sense though at the time (I’d imagine this result changes with benefit of hindsight). As for the match, they worked hard and it by and large came together well. It definitely lost its way a bit towards the end, so I have to dock it a bit for that. All in all, I’d say good effort from the ladies involved and I’d even put it just slightly above the Daniels and Amell match it just followed. (***)

NWA World Heavyweight Title- Nick Aldis © vs. Cody (Don’t Call Him Rhodes)

*A very good match but a couple of little things keep it from the next level for me. First, the blatantly missed superkick. I’m not really as upset about that one as some people may be because I get it, shit happens in the moment. The blade job however, I can’t forgive. It was terribly obvious. I get the intent behind it to help Cody fight from underneath. I have no issues with blood in general (hell, I watch death matches). But if you can’t do the blade job more realistically there, it shouldn’t have been done. It doesn’t really factor into the match in the grand scheme of things. Also while I personally don’t mind the methodical pace, I do know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I dug the match as a whole though. And props to Brandi for eating it on that flying elbow drop. (****)

‘Chicago Street Fight’- Adam Page vs. Joey Janela

*This match won’t be for everyone. Some people like the old school ECW brawl and some people don’t. I do when it’s well executed but there seemed to be quite a bit of downtime in this one. Honestly, to me…Penelope Ford came out of this match looking like the biggest star of the three. All in all, I’d say good for what it was but nothing I’d probably want to go back and re-watch either. The finish was dope though. Janela is a crazy person for taking it. (***)

ROH Heavyweight Title- Jay Lethal © vs. Flip Gordon

*Let’s not kid ourselves. There was no way that they were going to change the ROH title on a non-ROH show. As much as they enjoyed having the belt defended, this defense was a lock for Lethal regardless of the opponent. Flip getting the match itself is the story here and his performance justifies it. I’d call it good but again, it’s nothing that you’ll want to re-watch again, despite the impressive agility of Gordon and the sheer nostalgia of Lethal busting out the ‘Black Machismo’ shtick again. (***½)

Kenny Omega vs. Pentagon Jr.

*Your mileage may vary for sure on this one. Everyone heaped a ton of praise on it and while it is very good, it does not raise to the level of excellence for me. The ridiculously spotty selling and the absolute disrespect to some of the most protected moves in wrestling cause me to take an issue. I do think they worked really well together and the styles meshed a lot better than I thought they might. But there was nowhere near the emotion here that came through clear as day on the Cody and Aldis match earlier. From a pure work rate aspect, it’s the best on the show so far. But personally, I prefer Cody and Aldis to Omega and Pentagon Jr. (****)

Kazuchika Okada vs. Marty Scurll

*A little long. But they told a pretty strong story throughout.At the time of this writing, I had made it no secret that I was not sold on Kazuchika Okada as a draw in the US. Clearly, I was wrong. He had the entire crowd in the palm of his and Scurll’s hands for basically the entirety of this contest and it was one that I think both raised Scurll’s standing in the world of wrestling and confirmed what many people already feel about Okada. That being said, it’s a better match if you chop off five to eight minutes from it. (***½)

Young Bucks/Kota Ibushi vs. Bandido/Fenix/Rey Mysterio

*Clearly much shorter than it was probably supposed to be, they packed a ton of action into these almost twelve minutes. I’d have been curious to see what was possible with a full run time but with Rey already gone (he had just resigned with the WWE), there would be no chance to run this back. I think it was a good way to send everyone home happy and get all the marquee moments in, but overall it just ends up being a spotfest fluff match rather than anything that’ll be strongly remembered as standing out down the road. (***½)

THE FINAL REACTION

There is a lot to get through here. As you guys saw above, the totality of both Zero Hour and All In run almost five hours. While not all of that is well spent, there is more than enough to sink your teeth into here, even if you wouldn’t classify yourself as a traditional ‘Independent Wrestling’ fan. There are a couple of real good spotfests if you liked the ECW/WCW luchador/cruiserweight style. There’s a tremendous call-back to the old NWA days with how Nick Aldis vs. Cody plays out. There is a interesting take on the old ‘hardcore’ styles that both ECW and the WWF used to enjoy presenting in Janela vs the ‘Hangman’. You even get the chance to see the celebrities that get trotted out for the big shows in places like the WWE and Impact Wrestling. Does it all work? No. But a good majority of it does. As I said, it’s almost five hours. But by and large, it’s five hours well spent. Call it an 8.5 and while there is room for improvement (as with everything), a very strong start for Cody and the Bucks as promoters.

Best Match/Moment: I’ll go moment here and go with the obvious of Cody getting to hold the same NWA title his father did in what was an NWA stronghold town. It’s cool to see the torch passed like this.

Worst Match/Moment: The fact that the main event with arguably six of the best wrestlers in the world at the time ends up getting the second shortest amount of time.

Overall Show Score: 8.5/10

MVP: I’m going to give this one to Cody, both for the role he played as a producer/agent for the show as well as the performance in the match with Aldis as well. A good night for young Mr. Runnels.

THE SIGNOFF

And that wraps up the first of the ‘retro’ look backs at previous ‘What I Watched’ reviews. When I return, I will be coming back with ECW’s Guilty as Charged 1999, the first pay-per-view of the last year of the 1900s. Following that, I know the WWF’s Royal Rumble 1999 is on the list. I’d imagine I’ll get to WCW’s Souled Out 1999 and when I do return to the Indies, promotions like IWA-MS, CHIKARA, Freelance, BEYOND, WWR and so many others are within my potentially planned scope. Hope to see you down the road and may you all enjoy quality time with those you care. See you next time and thanks for reading, everyone.


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Classic Royal Rumble

Attitude Of Aggression #275- The Big Four Project Chapter 3: Royal Rumble ’88 & WrestleMania IV

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Attitude of Aggression
Attitude Of Aggression #275- The Big Four Project Chapter 3: Royal Rumble ’88 & WrestleMania IV

The Attitude Of Aggression returns for Chapter 3 of The Big Four Project, a chronological analysis, review, and discussion about WWE’s Big Four PPVs/ Premium Live Events. On this Episode, Dave welcomes back the one and only PC Tunney to discuss two more immensely important events in pro wrestling history, the inaugural Royal Rumble and WrestleMania IV. The 1988 Royal Rumble was different than any other Rumble in history and not just because it was the first. Dave and Tunney break down the fascinating history of the first installment of an event that would evolve into an annual favorite for many in the WWE Universe. From there, the guys recap the surreal events that led to the end of Hulk Hogan’s 4-year reign as WWF Champion and set the stage for, arguably, the most important tournament in WWE History at WrestleMania IV. Macho Madness reached new heights that night. But was Savage the first choice of Vince McMahon to emerge from Atlantic City with the gold that night? We have the whole story for you here on Chapter 3 of The Big Four Project!

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