Team WWF member and WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Tajiri makes his way to the ring next for a match that will have two Titles on the line. JR mentions here that Tajiri has a degree in economics. To which Heyman replies “U.S. Dollars or Yen?” The WCW Cruiserweight Champion X-Pac is out next and the crowd doesn’t seem too fond of The Alliance member. After a few tie-ups Pac has the crowd booing him after a hip toss on Tajiri. JR tells us here that “This will be the last PPV event broadcast on DirecTV.” Tajiri takes Pac to the mat with a leg sweep that he follows with a standing moonsault. This move set leads to the first positive pop of the match. The match starts slow, and I expected better pacing from these two Cruiserweights. It starts to finally pick up when Tajiri lands a hurricanrana that forces X-Pac to leave the ring to regain composure. Tajiri doesn’t allow this and hits him with a baseball slide that sends X-Pac tumbling. Tajiri is quick to springboard off the second rope into a moonsault, that was really nicely done. This has the crowd popping and is more of what I expected when I saw this match on the card. X-Pac manages to duck a clothesline and this sets him up to atomic drop Tajiri into the ring post. X-Pac returns to the ring and Tajiri soon follows. Pac applies a surfboard stretch but he is forced to break the hold when his shoulders lay flat on the mat. Tajiri tries a hurricanrana next but Pac would just sit it down into a powerbomb but he is only rewarded a two count. X-Pac sets up for a Bronco Buster next but Tajiri counters it and this leaves Pac hanging from the turnbuckle upside down. Tajiri again baseball slides, but this time its into the face of Pac. This looks brutal, the way that X-Pac’s head snaps back. Tajiri lands a superkick, that X-Pac no-sells, and this sets up a cool springboard back elbow from Tajiri. He puts Pac into the Tarantula but since this is an “illegal” maneuver he is forced to break the hold. Tajiri is going up top after that and comes of the ropes with a crossbody that X-Pac rolls through and into a pin. It’s only a two count and the match continues.
It’s X-Pac’s turn to try and come of the top turnbuckle, but Tajiri is right there to bring him right back to the mat. This sets up a variety of strange pin attempts for Tajiri which Pac kicks out of. Tajiri folds Pac in half next with a German suplex, that he holds for another pin attempt. But again X-Pac kicks out. Tajiri goes to the apron but X-Pac hits him with a superkick that sends him off it. X-Pac gets airborne next when he hits a summersault plancha over the top rope and onto Tajiri. They return to the ring and Pac is quick to hit his finisher, the X-Factor. He takes too long to make the cover though, and Tajiri kicks out. At this time we see another member of the alliance, Albert, start to slow walk to the ring. Pac takes notice and this allows Tajiri to strike. Albert is quick to get on the apron but Tajiri meets him there to spray “red mist” into is his face. This is some kind of red liquid that he spits from his mouth. When Tajiri turns around X-Pac is there to greet him with another X-Factor. He makes the cover and gets the three. This makes The Alliance up 2-1 at this point, and X-Pac a double Champion. After the slow start, the match picked up for the most part and was good. They’re was a few dull spots, but overall the ring work made up for it. This match is worth the watch. Match Time:7:30
Rhyno is shown in the back after the match and is joined by Stephanie. She is telling Rhyno how important this match is to her and that he must win. Stephanie tells Rhyno to “Gore him through the ring” and he promises to “Finish him off once and for all”, before he exits the room. We cut to the build-up of the match next and it is really just Chris Jericho tearing into Stephanie with verbal assaults. It’s pretty hilarious. This is where the famous “Stephanie you are the most filthy, dirty, disgusting, brutal, bottom feeding, trash bag hoe” comes from. This enrages her and she looks to Rhyno to take care of it and he does so by goring Jericho through the screen, at the top of the SmackDown apron. When Stephanie sees Rhyno to thank him he says he wants a match with Jericho at SummerSlam and she is happy to oblige. Jericho promises the fans that “At SummerSlam I’m going to take care of that smelly, greasy animal. And I’m going to get you too, Rhyno.” This is just classic Jericho here and is must see stuff.
Rhyno makes his way to the ring first and is joined by the “Owner of ECW”, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. The crowd give them some “BOOS” as the make their entrance. Their emotions quickly change when Chris Jericho’s music plays and he makes his appearance. The “Y2J” chants begin and so does the match. The collar and elbow tie leads to some big right hands from Rhyno and the early advantage. This doesn’t last long because Jericho comes off the ropes with a crossbody and is delivering some punches of his own. He takes to the top turnbuckle next and comes off it to hit the top of Rhyno’s head with an elbow. He goes for the cover but only gets a two. After that he attempts the Walls of Jericho, but Rhyno slingshots him away. Rhyno bounces off the ropes but Jericho is there in waiting and throws him over the top rope. A stiff bump for sure. When Rhyno tries to return to the ring, Jericho jumps off the turnbuckle again to dropkick him off the apron. Jericho goes right back up top but this time Stephanie is on the apron to grab his foot. He manages to kick her away, but the delay allows Rhyno to spear, or Gore if you will, Jericho to the mat, mid-air. Jericho’s head snaps so viciously to the floor mats her and its likely he suffered a concussion here. I heard Jericho say on a podcast that he thinks he suffered one here as he don’t recall most of the match from this point forward. The crowd rewards him for this with some “Holy Shit” chants.
Rhyno returns Jericho to the ring to make the cover but he kicks out. You can see at this point Jericho definitely looks a little groggy. Rhyno continues the beating and hits a powerplex onto the top rope. He stomps away at the midsection of Jericho so much that the ref warns him for this. This opens a window for Stephanie to slap Jericho in the face. After a rest hold body scissors, Jericho tries to rally behind some “Y2J” chants but the attempt is short lived. Rhyno picks him up for an airplane spin that he transitions into a nice cutter. But again Jericho manages the kick-out. Rhyno applies another stretch on Jericho that he transitions into a sleeper. Jericho manages to return to his feet and after some elbows to the midsection, he escapes. Jericho goes for a quick roll-up pin, and Rhyno narrowly kicks out. When they are back on their feet Ryhno is quick to hit a snap-suplex and climb to the top turnbuckle. He attempts a big splash but Jericho is able to roll away. This leaves both men on the mat as the official, Tim White, starts his count. They are on their feet at the count of six and Jericho attempts a quick backslide but again, a two count. Jericho gains some momentum next with some elbows and throws a lightning fast Lionsault in out of nowhere. This was really cool and I hit the rewind button on this one. Jericho rolls Rhyno up but he manages to kick out again. All the false finishes, folks. Rhyno reverses an Irish whip to the turnbuckle but when he charges, Jericho greets him with a pair of boots to the face. Jericho then gets on the second turnbuckle to deliver a missile dropkick into the chest of Rhyno. He goes for the cover but Stephanie is on the apron to distract the ref. When Jericho notices this, he breaks the cover and proceeds to grab Stephanie by the hair. The crowd is going crazy, but just when they think he is going to strike her he instead kisses her. This sends the fans into an absolute frenzy. Jericho attempts another Lionsault but when Rhyno moves he lands on his feet instead. This is good stuff here. He hits Rhyno with a back elbow and when he goes for the next Lionsault this one connects. The crowd counts along for the cover but are forced to stop at two. Rhyno reverses into a vicious spinebuster and puts Jericho into his own move, The Walls of Jericho. The “Y2J” chants are in full force and this powers Jericho to get to the ropes. A belly-to-belly suplex from Rhyno leaves Jericho in prime position for a Gore. Jericho moves and Rhyno instead hits the turnbuckle. Jericho grips him up and applies The Walls of Jericho and this leads to Rhyno tapping out. The look of disbelief on Stephanie McMahon’s face here is great. She then pouts her way into the back. This was I great match and I was thoroughly entertained throughout. The storyline with Stephanie, Jericho has credited as one that helped to really get him over as a babyface. Lets face it, Stephanie can play a Heel pretty well especially during her “Snobby Brat” run. This was a great match and I even hit rewind on a few spots. I would recommend viewing this one. Match Time:12:34
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.
Cook’s 2022 NFL Gambling Picks: Week 3
Week 3 is upon us! Are Cook's picks going better so far this year?
Down The Wire Episode 85: He Got Suspended for What?
Tom and Dave are back for Down The Wire and have a week of news stemming from Ime Udoka and...
Chairshot NFL: Which 2-0 Teams To Believe In
PC Tunney is back to take you through his picks for week 3 of the NFL season. Which 2-0 teams...
Cook’s 2022 NFL Gambling Picks: Week 2
It is Week 2 of the NFL season, meaning that the prognosticator himself, Steve Cook, is back with your gambling...
Chairshot NFL: Week 2 Betting Picks
Rey Cash and PC Tunney take you through the entire slate of week 2 games. Who will the dynamic duo...
Bandwagon Nerds #150: 150 Episodes of Nerdom
The Bandwagon celebrates 150 episodes of Nerdom this week with the OG Nerds celebrating with you! Join Patrick O’Dowd, David...
Andrew’s Judgmental Album Reviews: Sonja – Loud Arriver (2022)
Gothic Hair Metal crawls into the JAR this week! Sonja's full-length debut! How does it fair?
Talk The Keki – An Anime Podcast – Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero Review, Tekken Bloodline & More!
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero has made some solid numbers in North America. Do Ethan and Mat wish for more...
Mitchell’s Hyrule Puro-Resu News Report! (9/24/22)
Prepare for the Clash of Fates!
Chairshot Radio: Musical Chairs S2:E5- Alter Bridge & Seven Nations 
This week on Musical Chairs, the guys take a more personal approach to their choices as they both select bands...
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (9/26/22)
Bianca's the readiEST Raw Women's Champion!
Mitchell’s AEW Dark: Elevation Results & Report! (9/26/22)
Arthur Ashe gets Elevated!
Mitchell’s NJPW Burning Spirit Results & Report! (9/25/22)
A red hot finale!
DWI Podcast #342: The Pez Dispenser
Kyle from the Outsiders Edge Podcast joins us as we discuss #81-90 of the Top 100 Male Wrestlers!
Andrew’s IMPACT Victory Road Results & Match Ratings: 9.23.2022
Victory Road is the last speed bump before Bound for Glory! Main Event promises to be a bloody mess with...
Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (9/23/22)
It's a TWO HOUR RAMPAGE!
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (9/23/22)
Will the Brutes strike gold?
Mindless Wrestling Podcast: War Games and Blood and Vacation, oh my!
War Games is back, and in a major way! How will it go down? The Mindless crew has thoughts and...
Mitchell’s NJPW Burning Spirit Results & Report! (9/23/22)
Burning with gold!
Andrew’s IMPACT Wrestling Results & Match Ratings: 9.22.2022
The last IMPACT before Victory Road tomorrow! How does this GO Home wrap things up?
Podcasts3 days ago
Mindless Wrestling Podcast: War Games and Blood and Vacation, oh my!
Coverage3 days ago
Andrew’s IMPACT Victory Road Results & Match Ratings: 9.23.2022
Coverage3 days ago
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (9/23/22)
AEW Coverage3 days ago
Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (9/23/22)