JR and The King rejoin us and they are up to call the next match. They introduce us to a package that shows Eric Bischoff and Shane McMahon’s feud. It shows Bischoff trying to have Shane escorted from RAW. Stone Cold comes out and makes them have a match instead. Kane interferes, and eventually Tombstones Shane ‘O’ Mac on ring stairs and this allows Bischoff to make the cover. Austin then tricks Bischoff into signing a contract that he thought was for a match with Shane. Turns out it was for a match with Kane. I’m sure Austin did this because he was fired from WCW by Eric, via FedEx. Kane doesn’t beat him and instead allows himself to be counted out. Austin then tells Bischoff that the contract stated the winner of that match is to face Shane McMahon at SummerSlam. The video ends with Eric in the house of Linda McMahon and he is telling her that he plans to beat her son into a bloody pulp. He then proceeds to hold Linda’s hands behind her back as he attempts to make out with her and asks to be shown into her bedroom. Wow, Bro, wow.
Eric Bischoff is the first man to the ring for this match. He isn’t greeted very warmly by the fans either. Bischoff takes to the mic as soon as he hits the ring. He tears into Vince first saying “Why are you running all over the country eating hamburgers when you’ve got a hot, juicy filet mignon at home?” Again, Wow Dude. He then answers the question everyone has been waiting for. What happened between him and Linda McMahon? He gives the crowd the answer they want and says “It’s not a question of if it happened, It’s a question of how many times it happened.” He continues with “It happened again and again and again.” Shane McMahon’s “Monay, Monay” theme cuts Bischoff off and Shane comes shuffling out onto the entrance ramp. As soon as Shane hits the ring he goes to work with a flurry punches that knock Bischoff into the corner. Some elbows to Eric’s face are next and some kicks follow those. Eric seems to have had enough, and leaves the ring to head up the entrance ramp. Shane chases him down and levels him with a clothesline. The ref starts to count them out but Shane slides into stop the count and then resumes beating Bischoff on the outside. He bangs Bischoff off the security wall before he slides back in to stop the count. Shane understands ring psychology better than most in the business and it really shows here. Next Shane leads Bischoff to the SmackDown announce table and bangs his face off it. This is when we see the Heel turn from Jonathon Coachman and he attacks McMahon from behind with a chair. The ref signals for the bell to be rung, but Bischoff stops it and gets on the mic. He declares that this is now a no DQ, falls count anywhere match. Coach then slams Shane into the steps and Bischoff makes the cover. He counts along on the mic, but Shane ‘O’ Mac kicks out. Coach and Bischoff then return Shane to the ring and Coach starts to call Bischoff’s moves in the ring, play-by-play. Coach continues to berate Shane as he holds him up for Bischoff to kick. Shane eventually kicks Bischoff in the midsection and throws Coach off of him. Next he DDTs Eric which gets the crowd is popping and coming back to life. Coach lands a low blow to stop Shane’s momentum and this is when we hear that old familiar glass break. The arena is electric and on their toes as Stone Cold Steve Austin enters.
When Steve hits the ring Coach stops him and he tells Austin “I don’t work for you, I work for Eric Bischoff.” Coach lays into Austin some more before saying “..and remember Steve you can’t touch me unless I touch you first.” At this time Shane pushes Coach into Austin so Austin can now hit him with the Stunner. The crowd explodes when the Stone Cold Stunner is unleashed. Austin then flips Coach the birds before he stomps a mudhole in his ass. Shane soon joins in the fun and helps Steve stomp the mudhole. They then whip Coach into the ropes and hit him with double back elbows. Shane then picks Bischoff up and uses his hand to slap Austin. Well this means Austin can Stun Bischoff, and he most certainly does. The crowd goes nuts as Shane goes for the cover but at the count of two Shane picks Bischoff off the mat, and thus stops the count. Shane then rolls Eric from the ring and begins to dismantle the Spanish announce table. Shane puts Bischoff on the table and heads north. Next thing we know Shane is flying off the top turnbuckle and driving the elbow into the chest of Bischoff. He makes the cover and gets the three count. The crowd is in an absolute frenzy as Shane ‘O’ Mac is declared the winner. Stone Cold then calls for some Steve-weisers and tosses one to Shane. The two then proceed to pound beers in the ring, when they show us Bischoffs blood is leaking from his face. This was a great match when Shane was leading the charge. The Bischoff fronted segments were lame, but short. That being said this one has been the best on the card so far. Match Time:10:36
We see the legendary Ric Fair and he is telling fellow Evolution member, Randy Orton that Triple H enters the Elimination Chamber Champion and he will leave the same way. Triple H enters next and really drives the point home. Ric looks skeptical but Randy Orton reassures him that he’s “got it”.
We are introduced to the Fatal Four Way match next that is for the US Title. Chris Benoit enters first and Tajiri soon follows. Rhyno is next and at this point not much pop is going on for these men. When Latino Heat, Eddie Guerrero enters in the lime green low rider the crowd is going bonkers. He drops it a few times before he exits and heads to the ring with the US Title strapped around his waist. Before the match Tazz and Cole are sure to remind us that under Fatal Four Way rules the champ doesn’t have to be involved in the decision to lose the Title. Rhyno and Benoit start the match and the bumps are stiff. When Benoit locks in an early Crippler Crossface Guerrero enters for the first time to break it up. But he is quick to exit again as Tajiri comes in and starts to unload some buzzsaw kicks. When Tajiri tries to cover, Benoit Guerrero re-enters to again stop the count. This time Rhyno chases after Eddie but he once again escapes the ring. Rhyno now leads the charge and as soon as he goes for the cover, Guerrero is there to stop it. This time he doesn’t escape as Chris Benoit is there to catch him. It’s utter chaos for a moment now as all four men are in the ring and working. Eddie eventually gains the momentum and clears the ring some. He clotheslines Rhyno over the top rope and then suplexs Benoit over another. This leaves Guerrero and Tajiri going one-on-one for a bit but Tajiri comes out on top. Tajiri soon is going for a cover after he hits a backbreaker, but Rhyno is back in the ring to break it up. Benoit re-enters the picture and the chaos continues.
The next high spot is when Rhyno powerplexs Benoit off the top turnbuckle. When he goes for the cover Tajiri is there to break it up. Tajiri leads the charge for a bit with his signature kicks, and the crowd explodes when he comes off the ropes and hits Benoit with a flipping back elbow. Eddie locks Tajiri in a clover leaf while Benoit locks Rhyno into a Crippler Crossface at the same time. Tajiri escapes the hold by getting to the ropes, and this leads to Eddie breaking Benoit’s hold. But for this Eddie ends up in the hold until Rhyno and Tajiri break it up. Rhyno almost gets the victory after he delivers a vicious spinebuster on Tajiri but he manages to kick out. Rhyno is then dropkicked from the ring by Benoit. Benoit then hits two of his three German suplexs but Tajiri escapes after the second one and rolls Chris Benoit up. But he kicks out and it isn’t over yet. When Tajiri locks the Tarantula in, the crowd goes nuts. But Rhyno and Guerrero re-enter the ring and Rhyno tries for the spear. It backfires, though, because Guerrero has the Strap in his hands and drives it into the face of Rhyno. But the ref is distracted by the Tarantula hold in the corner. Eddie goes up top and but Tajiri is there to kick him off the top rope. Tajiri gets caught in the tree-of-woe and Benoit jumps over him to deliver the diving headbutt to Rhyno. Tajiri stops the pin attempt and when he tries to hurricanrana Benoit it doesn’t go as planned ad he gets powerbombed to the outside. Benoit is wrapped in his legs and he joins him in the stumble. This was a brutal bump, as were most of them in this match. Guerrero quickly goes up top and hits Rhyno with a perfectly executed frogsplash. He goes for the cover and gets the three. And Eddie Guerrero maintains the WWE US Championship. This match was chaos to cover and it isn’t done justice like most matches are in text form. Go out and watch this one as it is great and features two legends that are no longer with us, Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit. Match Time:10:50
Chairshot Classics: What I Watched #16 – ECW Guilty As Charged 1999
Breaking up the 2018 time travel with a much deeper dive! Harry goes back to some prime ECW with Guilty As Charged 1999!
Greetings, salutations and welcome back. Harry here once again with another edition of ‘What I Watched’. As the calendar year turns to 1999 on my watch-through of all things ‘big three’ wrestling, I covered Starrcade 1998 in an earlier edition of WIW. I figured since this is probably the last year where all three major companies are relevant (at least at the start), it could be fun to compare and contrast how I feel about the respective PPVs when compared to some of the independent wrestling I’ve been covering recently. Or even going back to the PROGRESS or Impact Wrestling shows that I’ve covered before. I am fully aware there are going to be some bad shows in 1999. But there is also a lot to talk about in a drastically changing industry. Let’s do this, shall we?
ECW is in flux as talent losses haven’t yet gotten to what they would become but names like Sandman, Mikey Whipwreck, Bam Bam Bigelow and others are no longer with the company. To make matters worse, the ECW-FMW relationship is falling apart now as well as a Chris Candido and Sunny (sorry, Tammy Lynn Sytch) no-show of a scheduled FMW appearance. Paul Heyman himself is the first person we see telling us the card is going to change…how much does it change? The WayBack Machine takes us to January 10th, 1999 in Kissimmee, FL as it’s time for ECW to be Guilty as Charged!
What I Watched #16
ECW Guilty as Charged 1999
Millenium Theatre in Kissimmee, FL
Runtime: 2:40:30 (Peacock)
Commentary By: Joey Styles (PBP)
- Match 1: Axl Rotten/Ballz Mahoney win 3 team tag elimination match, eliminating Little Guido/Tracy Smothers @ 10:44 (Danny Doring/Roadkill eliminated @ 8:15)
- Match 2: Yoshihiro Tajiri pins Super Crazy, dragon suplex @ 11:37
- Match 3: Psycho Sid Vicious pins John Kronus, powerbomb @ 1:31
- Match 4: Bubba Ray and D’Von Dudley def. New Jack/Spike Dudley, both Dudleyz pin Spike @ 10:05
- Match 5: ECW TV Title- Rob Van Dam pins Lance Storm, bridged German suplex @ 17:46
- Match 6: Justin Credible pins Tommy Dreamer, That’s Incredible on ladder @ 18:44
- Match 7: ECW Heavyweight Title- Taz defeats Shane Douglas © by KO, Tazmission @ 22:15
Three Team Tag Elimination Match
Started as a straight up 2 vs. 2, but within the first two minutes, Ballz and Axl (Axl making his return to the company after the passing of his grandmother) join the frey and it becomes your traditional ECW three team brawl. Nothing really stands out here but the overall work is good enough for what the match is supposed to be. The elimination of Doring and Roadkill is well done, as a FBI double-team fishermanbuster looks really cool and gets a decisive win for what was to be the original match. They do give the win to Axl and Ballz here, which I get given the fact they are a popular act, but I personally think that Guido and Tracy were a better team during the time frame. (**½)
Super Crazy vs. Tajiri
Yes, it’s the feud that never ends. But this is where it begins. Both men were relative newcomers to the American wrestling scene with both having had limited exposure on WWF TV (both were in the Light Heavyweight title tournament). This is a good match but not a great match and honestly, I think timing is the issue here. Eleven minutes may seem like a lot but knowing what these two would be capable of down the road once there is more of a fan and time investment into their matches, it ends up being a good starting point but probably not the blow away match that ECW was expecting to deliver here. (***)
John Kronus vs. Mystery Opponent
So, ECW fans are notorious for their belief that the “big oaf” style of the WWF and WCW wouldn’t work in ECW. Obviously, they are wrong. Guys like Big Dick Dudley and 911 became massive fan favorites due to their look, not anything they could do in a wrestling ring. You can add another name to that list, as Psycho Sid makes his ECW debut here (following an introduction by the ‘Judge’ Jeff Jones) and absolutely kicks Kronus’ ass in less than two minutes. Sid was never anything special in the ring but he is one of the more charismatic big men in wrestling history so the cult-like following is easy to understand. Too short to rate, but fun for what it was. (X)
Dudleyz vs. New Jack/Spike Dudley
Sixteen year old Harry getting into ECW was a huge Joel Gertner fan. Thirty seven year old Harry going back and watching these shows is an even bigger fan of Joel Gertner. Granted, his shtick is incredibly juvenile but sometimes, you just want to laugh…
The match is your standard ECW garbage brawl. Most New Jack matches definitely have a similarity to them that does not hold up well for re-watching. I will openly admit to being a Spike Dudley mark and he does well taking an ass whooping from Bubba Ray. The Dudleyz definitely have their moments in ECW (the best is still to come in my opinion) but this isn’t one of their best performances. I will give props to New Jack for taking 3D on the ramp, even if it doesn’t come across the cleanest. About what you’d expect, but nothing more. (**)
TV Title- Rob Van Dam © vs. Lance Storm
Rob Van Dam vs. Masato Tanaka was the originally scheduled match and I think it could have been fun. However, Tanaka apparently has visa issues which prevent him from being able to get into the US for the show and thus ECW has to pivot quickly. I do have to give credit to Lance Storm for his pre-match promo here. For someone who is not known as one of the better talkers in wrestling history, he does a really good job explaining the situation with the 3 way that was supposed to happen (Storm vs. Spike vs. Jerry Lynn (cracked pelvis)) and then calling out Rob Van Dam since his opponent wasn’t there either. Storm has a really good closing line for the promo too: “I’m not the ‘Whole F’n Show’, but I am the best damn part of it’. That is one of the lines that sticks with you and you remember it.
The match itself is very good but not great. It is better than anything else on the show, so perhaps I’m rating it on a slight curve for that. Van Dam’s selling is sporadic but to be fair, Van Dam’s selling is always sporadic. The biggest thing for me is that despite that, they still keep an impressive pace and the match is by and large clean. There is a super weak chair shot by Storm (which the crowd gives him a good ration of shit over), but they do manage to turn that crowd around for the finishing sequence. A little surprised by the choice of finish, but I imagine that has something to do with telling the idea that Storm got caught and wasn’t soundly defeated like most of Van Dam’s prior opponents had been. (***½)
Stairway to Hell- Justin Credible vs. Tommy Dreamer
The problem for Credible in ECW is that Paul wanted you to believe that Justin was this huge deal but truthfully, the booking never actually treated him as such. Yeah, he won…A LOT…but more often than not, it was almost treated as an afterthought. He very rarely won the big matches on his own and while I get that as a heel, you want to give him that sense of dickishness, as a wrestling fan eventually you have to make it look like the dude could stand up on his own. Dreamer has long been a favorite of mine, even if he has overstayed his welcome in the ring on occasion. You know going in that win or lose, Tommy will bust his ass to give you as good a match as he is capable of.
As for this match, it never reaches that next level that you expect a gimmicked semi main event of a PPV to reach. It’s not actively bad or anything (in fact, probably up there for Credible’s best match in ECW to date) but with the stipulation and the gaga around it, it feels like there was so much more it could have been. The finish comes off really flat as well as it renders the whole point of the stipulation useless and only serves to put more heat on Credible by way of Funk. (**½)
Heavyweight Title- Shane Douglas © vs. Taz
So, I’ll be a little nicer to this match then some other reviewers I’ve seen for a couple reasons. It completely accomplishes the goal that Heyman set out for it. Taz comes out of the match looking like a world beater. Douglas comes out of the match as the face of the company who “went out on his shield” as the old phrase goes. Sabu looks like a lunatic and a viable threat to take the title at any time he damn well pleases. Candido comes off as a huge dick and sticks the final knife in Douglas’ back for the end scene. So the story telling is magnificent.
The match itself? At least a good five to seven minutes too long for that story. I get wanting that epic storytelling to fold out but when you guys are down and low on ideas, it might not be the worst idea to take it home. The other issue is that by trying to serve so many masters, Heyman causes the main event to end up being epically overbooked. Granted, that is an ECW trademark but for what was to be the crowning moment for Taz, I don’t think the 73rd Airborne needed to be a part of it. Sabu could have just as easily returned post match to set up a run with Taz. Or Candido could have turned on Douglas post match to give him a direction going forward since Taz would be occupied with Sabu. I’m not saying it completely takes away the moment but it does make it mean less than it could or should have in the overall scheme of things. (**)
THE FINAL REACTION
- Best Match/Moment: Rob Van Dam vs. Lance Storm, although I do think their match at the first ECW PPV ‘Barely Legal’ (which I imagine I’ll eventually do) is better
- Worst Match/Moment: The main event. What could have been an awesome moment for the ‘Human Suplex Machine’ and the biggest ass kicker in the company is ruined with a boring crowd brawl (to the home viewer) and a couple of run-ins that either end up actively taking away from it.
- Overall Show Score: 5.5/10
- MVP: Joey Styles is the best thing about this show with his one man performance. There is a reason he was such a major influence on what I did as an announcer.
It’s not a bad show. It’s just not a particulary good one either. And while ECW would put out worse, it only barely outdoes Starrcade 98 to avoid the worst show of the return thus far.
So, where do we go from here? January of 1999 had no chill. The very next Sunday would see the first WCW outing of 1999, called Souled Out. The Sunday after that would be the 1999 edition of the Royal Rumble. I’m going to hit both of those but as a fair warning, I’ll probably try to mix an Independent show from 2018 in the middle of them. Hope to see you guys at Souled Out. And feel free to check out my archives by clicking on my name at the top of this review. Thanks for reading, everyone.
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!
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
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)
- 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
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.
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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Mitchell’s Hyrule Puro-Resu Results & Report! (1/31/23)
The Bracket of Courage!
Mitchell’s Hyrule Puro-Resu Results & Report! (1/30/23)
The Bracket of Wisdom!
Bandwagon Nerds #168: One…And Done?
With Patrick O’Dowd out for the next 2 weeks, the Nerds hit the pause button on That 70’s Project to...
Andrew’s Judgmental Album Reviews: Samia – Honey (2023)
Deciding to venture into Indie Pop Rock again! The JAR tackles newer artist Samia and her sophomore album Honey!
Mitchell’s Hyrule Puro-Resu Results & Report! (1/29/23)
The Bracket of Power!
Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (2/3/23)
The Elite are on a Rampage!
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (2/3/23)
What is the State of the Bloodline?
The Outsider’s Edge presents The Storylines Episode
Rance and Kyle are joined by PC Tunney to discuss their Top 10 Best Storylines ever!
Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 2.2.2023
Impact has a new number one contender, a few new signings and setting up for No Surrender. Lets see what...
Mindless Wrestling Podcast: Rob, Put Down The Shovel
What hit? What Missed? What does Rob think of Women's wrestling? Find out this week as we recap the 2023...
Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (2/1/23)
Dynamite is No Holds Barred!
Greg DeMarco Show: Wrestling Has More Than One Royal Rumble (It Has Two)
A night to remember at the 2023 Royal Rumble--but what stood out? What does it all mean for WrestleMania? Plus...
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (1/31/23)
NXTag Team Tuesday!
Mitchell’s AEW Dark Results & Report! (1/31/23)
Orlando stays Dark!
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/30/23)
We're on the Road to WrestleMania!