Warrior Poetry: Rob Van Dam

Thanks for checking out Warrior Poetry. I’ve decided to jump back on the horse after around six years. What better way to get the juices flowing than some good old fashioned professional wrestling poetry? Sounds like a novel idea to me. I’ll be twinning the poems with awesome illustrations from Deviant Art. If you haven’t seen these before, check it out. Some amazing artwork! I hope you enjoy the poem, and please feel free to leave feedback and/or criticism in a comment below. Thank you for reading!

deviantrvdRob Van Dam – Source: Deviant Art

Rob Van Dam

The man best known for spin kicks and high knees
Also deeply fond of smoking mad trees
A hero to many, inspiration to all
Off of twenty foot ladders, he has learned to fall

In the home of chairs, canes and burning tables
He played his part in one of the game’s great fables
An extreme revolution with one shining light
For an army of misfits, he was an unarmoured knight

When Mr. Pay-Per-View arrived in the big time
His performances in the ring were typically sublime
With limited opportunities, he still made his mark
Going head to head with the pool’s biggest sharks

He showed us all that he had more in the tank
When he captured the precious money in the bank
He took John Cena out of his element
In the land of extreme, he became a champion

For a few years now, he has been gone from our screens
He’s been tearing it up, playing for the other team
But now that he’s back, we can all rejoice
The design on his ring gear, the sound of his voice

It’s about time that we got our fill of excitement
After all of these Ryback and John Cena indictments
A newly found impetus to stay in on Monday
A brand new old face to keep boredom at bay

The Classic Pay-Per-View Review: Summerslam 2003

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Ankle lock on Brock Lesnar – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

Thanks a lot for checking out this edition of The Classic Pay-Per-View Review. The object of this feature is to take an in-depth look at a show from the past. They will usually be WWE shows, but can be from other promotions. They may be very old, or they may only be a few years old. I tend to find random shows that I don’t remember and watch them when I go to bed. If they really entertain me, I’ll write about them on here. They won’t all be considered classics, and they won’t all be that old school, but they all have some value in my eyes. This time I’m going to talk about WWE Summerslam 2003. I hope you enjoy the review.

I was actually looking for Summerslam 2005 for the Hogan and Michaels oversell match. I’ll be doing a review of that show pretty soon. But for now, let’s take a look at this show. The opening vignette showed all of the crazy stuff that was going on during that period. Utter freakin’ chaos, in the words of Brock Lesnar. To say I was excited to watch this show is an understatement. I’m not actually sure I was watching during this period, but either way, almost ten years is enough time to make something fresh again. So, let’s get into the first match of the night.

La Resistance(c) v Dudley Boyz (for the World Tag Team Championship) This was a good opening match. Not incredible, but good. The 3D wasn’t enough for the face Dudleys to get the win because the referee was pulled outside. This wasn’t the last time a referee was interfered with on this show, not by a long shot. The French duo got the cheap win, which Bubba was big enough to applaud them for in a post match interview. He commended them for doing “whatever it took” to get the win.

A-Train v The Undertaker For the kids out there, A-Train was the moniker of Lord Tensai ten years ago. Very different character, but similar ring style. I don’t know if this was a low point for Taker, or a high point for Albert, but it’s a strange second match for Summerslam. These guys did a great job of playing on Taker’s supposed ongoing rib injury, as did the commentators. After a lot of good work, I thought Taker had the win with the Hogan esque big boot and leg drop, but that wasn’t to be. Train got a slow two count off of the sitdown powerbomb.

There were a couple of ref bumps in this match, continuing the trend. Taker hit a big chair shot and got the win with the chokeslam. Sable tried to get in the ring and seduce Taker, only for him to grab her by the throat. Rather than slam her on the mat, he held her for Stephanie McMahon who quickly came to the ring to begin the cat fight. Sadly for us viewers, Train spoiled the fun by saving Sable. What is it with hot women always being in Albert’s corner? Trish Stratus, Sable and now the Funkadactyls? He has a fat hairy back for Christ sake!

Shane McMahon v Eric Bischoff The preluding vignette for this match was absolutely epic. You knew from the get go that this brawl wasn’t going to be pretty. Early on, Coach blind sided Shane with a chair shot outside the ring, when he was in control of Bischoff. The ref called for the bell to be rung, but Bischoff grabbed the mic and ordered that the match be changed to NO DQ and Falls Count Anywhere rules. Oh, and it’s basically a handicap match at this point.

Coach held Shane’s arms behind his back while Karate Kid Bischoff hit him with fists and feet. I was marking out so much at this point, pleading for Shane to duck, which he eventually did after suffering several blows. He managed to escape and hit Eric with a DDT, only for Coach to low blow him from behind. Stone Cold came down and helped Shane stomp a mudhole in the little stooge, which was an amazing moment. He then delivered a stunner to Bischoff, allowing Shane to get the pin.

austinshaneMudhole Stompin’ – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

However, Shane picked Eric’s lifeless head up at two, and decided that wasn’t enough. He took him outside to the announce table with intentions of inflicting more damage on the power crazy GM. Shane delivered his trademark spinning elbow drop off the top rope sending Bischoff crashing through the announce table. For a non-wrestler, he can high fly with the best of them. Eric and Coach’s plan clearly backfired. Austin and McMahon drank together in the ring, as you never thought possible. Great match. Great story.

Eddie Guerrero(c) v Rhyno v Tajiri v Chris Benoit (Fatal 4 Way Match for the United States Championship) This is the kind of match you used to get for the US title at a PPV, not a pre-show. Crazy how things change! Am I the only person who would pop like crazy if Tajiri came back? Probably. The guy is actually one of my favourite wrestlers of all time. I was very happy to see him in such a great match, that featured terrifically chaotic work from all four wrestlers. Eddie exhibited great psychology as always, by ducking outside of the ring and carefully choosing his moments in the early going.

It’s hard to pick a favourite guy in this match. Once it warmed up, I was particularly impressed by the exchanges with Eddie and my boy Tajiri. Towards the end of the match, Benoit had Rhyno in the crossface, and Eddie had the Cloverleaf locked on Tajiri. It was a battle of who could make their opponent tap out first. Great spot! It didn’t work out like that though and before you knew it, Rhyno was demolishing Tajiri with the Arn Anderson spinebuster for a long two count. Tajiri’s bump taking continued when he faced three german suplexes from Benoit.

However, the Japanese Buzzsaw came within a split second of winning after he hit his own impressive german suplex on Benoit with the bridge. He then locked the famous Tarantula on the Canadian Crippler. There was so much other stuff going on in this match, but I just can’t describe it all. You have to see it. YouTube it! Guerrero retained the title with his classic frog splash. This was at least in the top three matches of the show, probably top two. Really entertaining contest!

Kurt Angle(c) v Brock Lesnar (for the WWE Championship) The pre-match vignette for this one built up a freight train of hype, and a volcano of heat for Lesnar. It showed him taking out the young one legged wrestler Zach Gowen. He broke his only working leg and left him a bloody mess in front of his mother. That’s how you get heat. To make matters worse, he turned on his friend Angle for Vinnie Mac. Before the bell even rang, I was amped up for this one. Tazz: “Well, here comes the pain!” – I miss Tazz!

The early exchanges were dominated by mat wrestling as you would expect. Brock hit multiple intense backbreakers and a body scissors playing on some sort of abdominal injury that Angle was bringing into the match. The highlight of a good contest was Lesnar delivering an F-5 on one freakin’ leg! His leg had previously been attacked by the ankle lock. Angle eventually tapped out Lesnar with the ankle lock after several attempts. The interfering Mr. McMahon had previously tried to impact on the match after yet another ref bump, but after all was said and done, he felt the Angle Slam onto a steel chair. Ouch!

Kane v Rob Van Dam This was possibly Kane’s hottest period, or certainly the time when he was most relevant to crucial storylines that didn’t involve a championship. The pre-match vignette showed some of the mental stuff he got up to: setting Jim Ross on fire, piledriving Linda and Shane McMahon on the stage and steel steps respectively, and running through his former tag team partner RVD like a wrecking machine at any given opportunity. This match did not bode well for Van Dam.

rvdkaneUnique offense from Rob Van Dam – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

There was some flurried offense from Rob, but the bout was mostly dominated by Kane. The highlights of the match for me were the coast to coast Vandaminator, and the Tombstone Piledriver on the steel steps. It was consistently solid work from two reliable performers, which ended with Kane throwing RVD’s lifeless carcass back into the ring after the steel steps spot for the cover and the victory.

Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H(c) v Kevin Nash v Shawn Michaels v Randy Orton v Goldberg v Chris Jericho

This reminded me of the days when the World Heavyweight Championship was firmly positioned as the A Title. Boy how things do change! Nonetheless, what an incredible lineup of wrestling Kings, minus Nash. He is more of a Marquis than a King. Anyway, I’m not going to do a straight up play-by-play for the whole of this match because we would be here all year. I’ll be as brief as I can with such a great match. The St. Anger vignette beforehand really gave this thing a new energy. I was thoroughly excited for it to get started.

Goldberg, Nash and Michaels were to play the faces in this one, with Jericho and Evolution members Triple H and Orton the heels. At this point in time, Orton was living proof of what happens when you push a young stud straight to the top from the get go. He reminded me of the modern day Cody Rhodes in this match, only taken a lot more seriously and put in high profile matches. Nash looked awful with his short blonde hair – may not seem relevant but I had to say it. JR hyped things up even more: “That title means more to Triple H than life itself” – That’s how you blur the moral lines between face and heel. After all of the entrances, the four guys were chambered up and the match was set to begin with the two best athletes in the match: Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho. Lets do this!

It was a typically solid, fast paced opener between these two. Lots of rope running and strikes. Orton was first out of his chamber and made an immediate impact with the crossbody from the top rope. Nash was out next to break up the Walls of Jericho, much to the relief of Michaels. Nash unleashed a no nonsense beatdown on everyone in sight. Before you knew it, Jericho was bleeding. Michaels hit Nash with the superkick and Jericho pinned his ass. He made a big impact but was eliminated surprisingly early.

hbkhhhSuperkick on hiding Hunter – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

That left three men in the ring, and Triple H about to enter. He was taunting on his way out of the pod but got hit with a Superkick from HBK. Kevin Nash then delivered the jackknife powerbomb to Orton and Jericho, and split. What a legend! Michaels was bleeding too at this point, and everyone was down wounded. All three guys eventually made it to their feet and started a slugfest, coincidentally just in time for Goldberg to come out of his chamber. He came in and just destroyed everyone in sight: Orton with a military press into a spinebuster (amazing), Jericho and Michaels with a double clothesline, and Orton again with a spear. He pinned Orton and made it a fatal 4 way.

Goldberg was simply dominant with power moves. He speared Jericho through the glass which was simply epic. What a crazy match! Triple H was still hiding inside his chamber, despite having been released like ten minutes before. Goldberg speared Michaels, delivered the jackhammer and pinned his ass. Three guys remaining. He then did the exact same combo to Jericho, and got the same result. Down to two. Hunter continued to hide in his pod and provoke Goldberg, with Flair holding the door shut from the outside. Goldberg found a novel solution: he kicked the glass through.

The look on Triple H’s face was priceless. He is a king of storytelling. Simple but so effective. Goldberg climbed inside and started beating on him. Then he dragged him out and started whipping him against the steel. When Hunter started to fight back and land some blows, the crowd booed like crazy. That should tell you all you need to know about why what came next was such a huge mistake. Goldberg went for the spear and was hit in the head by The Game’s trusty burial sledgehammer. He got the win and retained the title. The last two full length PPVs I watched have seen around ten title matches end with zero title changes. What the heck!? Despite the disappointing ending, this was probably the best chamber match I’ve seen, and a great way to top off a very good show.

Overall I’d say this was a very good Summerslam. There were two or three great matches and one incredible match, that being the Elimination Chamber. No titles changed hands, which was very weird. My only real qualm with the PPV is that they didn’t put the strap on Goldberg.

8/10

Thanks for checking out another edition of The Classic Pay-Per-View Review. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to show your love or hate by leaving a comment. Lets have a conversation about wrestling. We upload a post every day, and also have weekly video content, so be sure to Follow the page and stay locked!

Peace.

Unsanctioned Wrestling: Episode Four

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This is Episode Four of the YouTube wrestling Q&A series Unsanctioned Wrestling. It features questions on CM Punk, John Cena, Chris Benoit and much more. Check it out! Get involved by leaving a question in a comment if you would like. Hit play and enjoy it.

TNA Impact: The Weekly Review

TNA IMPACT: THE WEEKLY REVIEW 20/6/2013

The following is a review of the latest episode of TNA Impact. It was written by TNA Correspondent Joseph Holberry (check out the bio here) Enjoy reading. Follow, comment and like! Also check out the wrestling talk series Unsanctioned Wrestling on YouTube.

3sBobby Roode and Jeff Hardy at Final Resolution 2012 – Source: TNA Wrestling

Hopefully people enjoyed my review of Impact last week, as now its going to be a weekly thing! As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on twitter.

Impact begins with footage of sting walking into the arena looking very dapper in a suit, hinting at his main event mafia idea from last week.

Promo package for the Bound For Glory Series, which recapped who qualified over the last few weeks. They also had a soundbite from each of them, I liked that, especially as a lot of them never get any mic time.

Cut to 10 of the BFG qualifiers in the ring, all staring at Mr Anderson who is on the outside. Hulk Hogan comes out and puts over the series and its prestige, then invites the first BFG series winner Bobby Roode, to the ring. He fails to mention that even though Bobby won the series, he lost his title match to Kurt Angle because the ‘creative team’ didn’t think he was ready…terrible decision, he was definitely ready and if not, why not let him run for a month and lose it at the next ppv? Anyway, Hulk asks Jeff Hardy to the ring, who comes out to a loud ovation. Hardy continues to be massively over with the crowd wherever he goes, I’m not a huge fan, but I appreciate the risks he takes/has taken for the fans. Hulk then tells us its open fight night, and we’re going to see the results of last weeks vote which was to see who gets the first call out of the night, with the winner being Hardy. Before he can make his pick, Austin Aries gets on the mic and tells Jeff ‘even though you’re the most popular man in the company, there’s always chants of AUSTIN ARIES’ which a small section of the crowd to join in. Christopher Daniels snatches the mic and tells Hardy that he DOESN’T want to take on ‘The Secretary of Offence Francois Kazarian, or the sexually delicious Christopher Daniels’. If TNA don’t give Daniels a world title run before he retires, (which may be sooner than later, he’s 43) they really don’t know what talent they’re wasting. Hardy does the obvious thing and calls out Roode, and follows that by saying a couple of vague things followed by ‘CREA-TUUURES’ before being shoved by Roode and accidentally falling backwards into Samoa Joe. This then sets off a chain reaction of everyone in the ring fighting, which the crowd go mad for. The faces get the upper hand and start clearing the ring, apart from AJ Styles who starts attacking Hardy which looked very out of place, as everyone else had finished what they were doing. Even the commentators didn’t mention it, very odd.

After the break, they recap the earlier brawl, and Mr Anderson makes his way to the ring (even though he was already out here?). He lets us know the rules of open fight night, and calls out ‘Mr Joseph Park…Paaark’ which I must admit, was brilliant.

MR ANDERSON v JOSEPH PARK

Mike Tenay puts over the fact Park qualified for the BFG series by defeating Crimson last week, which if you read my last review you’ll know, made me pretty annoyed. Match starts with some basic chain wrestling to show Parks ineptitute. After mocking Park with a few hammer and headlocks, Park realises what to do next, takes Anderson down and repeatedly slaps him on the back of the head. Anderson stands up, bluffs respect for his opponent before targeting Parks knee with a sloppy looking dropkick. Anderson with a chinlock, and then takes Park down as he tries to fight to his feet. Anderson goes for a swanton bomb and misses. Park to his feet, whips anderson and hits a back body drop. Park with a boston crab until DOC makes his way to the ring and distracts the ref, Anderson tries a schoolboy pin but only gets two. Park recovers and nails a couple of hard scoop slams and heads to the second rope. DOC kicks his knee out, Anderson recovers and grabs Park for the Mic Check and the win. Afterwards it shows Anderson smiling at DOC, to tell us that the conflict from last week is solved.

Backstage Segment – Aces & 8’s are stood backstage, listening to Anderson bragging about his match. DOC then interupts and tells him that he nearly lost until he got involved, and says he wants to be the VP of the group. Bully Ray says that will be put to a vote, and to put that to the side for tonight, as he has a problem he wants to solve, involving his wife – Brooke Hogan.

Cut to the ring – Jay Bradley is on the mic, saying he wants the guy who was champion during last years series, Austin Aries. He then says ‘come out here and get bo-sticked’? I honestly have no idea what that means, but sounds like a sexual innuedo to me. Aries walks through the stage shaking his head, probably wondering what bo-sticking is. NOTE: I later learnt that Bradleys finisher is a lariat called the ‘Boomstick’, he just said it very strangely in his promo.

AUSTIN ARIES v JAY BRADLEY

Bradley tries to rush Aries, who steps to the side and throws Bradley out. He follows that with his double axe handle from the top rope. bradley back into the ring face down, aries comes back in with a nice senton over the ropes. AA to the top rope, bradley kicks him off and gets the upper hand. bradley using a lot of strikes, until he throws AA out of the corner with a big hiptoss. AA avoids a big boot and starts attacking Bradleys legs. after some back and forth action with Bradley selling his left knee, AA hits a nice crucifix pin slam. Bradley into the corner, AA hits his running dropkick and brainbuster combination for the 3 count. AA really showed his strength with the brainbuster, as Bradley had a fair bit of height and weight over him.

Promo package of Sting and his loss at Slammiversairy, which then translates into his desire to recreate the Main Event Mafia. Surprisingly it shows highlights of the original MEM; Sting, Angle, Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner and Booker T, 3 of which I very much doubt will ever be involved with TNA ever again. Cameras show Sting talking to a mystery person, who’s hidden behind some equipment. Sting says he needs to know hes 100% behind him, and extends his hand. The mystery man then gives sting a very soft looking handshake which made me cringe a bit, I hate soft handshakes in real life, and surely if you’re in an angle about getting revenge and being tough there should’ve been a bit more emotion to it. Maybe I’m overthinking a handshake, but I think attention to detail is important.

Backstage Chavo is talking to Hernandez about the BFG, trying to fire him up and get him ready for his next match.  I am not a fan of Chavo at all, he’s got no character whatsoever, the only way he gets over is imitating his uncle Eddie Guerrero.

Hernandez comes to the ring, says there’s someone in the company that always pisses him off, and calls out Daniels.

HERNANDEZ v CHRISTOPHER DANIELS

Daniels starts the match by attacking Hernandez’s legs, doing the standard big vs small strategy. Hernandez with a big overhead belly to belly, and a gorilla press drop. After Daniels trys to make a comeback on the outside, he gets knocked back into the ring whilst Hernandez heads up the ramp, turns around, sprints back and connects with his running shoulder block over the top rope. Hernandez stays on course and grabs Daniels around the waist from behind, Daniels distracts Earl Hebner so he can low blow Hernandez, hits the BME (best moonsault ever) and picks up the win and the BFG points.

Back from the break, Kazarian in the ring, on the mic. He immediately calls the crowd ‘turd-burglars’ and says Bad Influence are going to dominate the Series. He says the man he’s calling out has been called ‘the next big breakout star, and he’s gorgeous, giggle, he he by Dixie Carter’, Magnus. I cannot say enough good things about Kaz and Daniels, they stand out amongst the rest of TNA by just making that little bit more of an effort to say ridiculous things.

KAZARIAN v MAGNUS

Magnus walks to the ring and goes straight for Kaz (which everyone who’s been called out has done) until they brawl to the outside and Kaz gets the upper hand. Magnus gets rolled back in, hit with some kicks and an elbow drop. Rear chinlock by Kaz, Magnus fights out and pushes him to the ropes, but cannot get any offence in. Kaz with a swinging neckbreaker and a DRAGON SLEEPER, which I haven’t seen anyone use for years. Magnus with a clothesline, Kaz tries a springboard crossbody but gets caught and slammed with a vertical suplex. Magnus then goes for a texas cloverleaf and gets the submission win! (submissions get you more points in the BFG series, technically everyone should be trying to win with them).

Backstage Hulk is on the phone, with Bully Ray sneaking around behind him, carrying a hammer. Hulk turns and catches him and says they’re going to ‘do this thing tonight’. Bully says he just wants to talk to Brooke. Hulk tells him that the two of them are done, to which Bully asks why Brooke stopped Hulk hitting him last week, calls him Dad and leaves. Bully Ray is great as the top heel of this company, he can do the brash loudmouth, but can also be quiet, almost creepy.

Brooke makes her way to the ring, with an announcement to make. She says how proud she is of the knockout division and asks them to come to the ring. Eric Young is at the front of them with ODB, because they’re the Knockout Tag Champs, which everyone had forgotten. In the ring theres only EY, ODB, Velvey Sky, Taryn Tarrell, Gail Kim and eventually Mickie James. I’m sure there were a lot more knockouts a while back, where’s Tessmacher? Brooke asks EY if he remembers the discussion they had just over a year ago, to which EY says ‘okay, we’re all humans, we make mistakes, and if you want to be technical, get down to brass tacks, carry the two over the common denominator, technically…I’m not a woman’, Which I actually laughed out loud at. The crowd starts chanting ‘NO NO NO NO’ at EY who smiles and says ‘…that’s strange’ but eventually gives up the title belts. He then says its national kissing day and plants a kiss on ODB until they fall through the ropes and run up the ramp, pretty funny.

Brooke sets up Velvets title rematch, and tells Gail that she will be having a ladder match with Taryn. If their last match is anything to go by, that should be great. I actually think Brooke is good in her role, she’s pretty smooth on the mic, and can act pretty naturally. what does stand out to me is that she towers over the rest of the knockouts, I’m surprised Hulk hasn’t gotten her to wrestle yet.

After the break we’re shown Hulk taking Brooke to a car, to get her away from Bully and what could happen later tonight.

AJ Styles makes his way to the ring with his new, moody music and low lighting. He grabs the mic and tells us that hes not concerned with aces & 8’s, or TNA, he just wants to win the World Heavyweight Title for himself. He doesn’t want the fame or the glory, he just wants the money. He goes on to say that TNA is no place for a hero, and he’s sick and tired of doing the ‘right thing’. If this was supposed to be a heel turn, I don’t think it worked. As long as AJ wrestles as well as he does, he’ll always get cheered. Samoa Joe makes his way to the ring, and the match begins.

SAMOA JOE v AJ STYLES

The match begins with headlocks, back and forth strikes. An Interesting chain of moves with Joe trying to escape the side headlock, but AJ refusing to let go. AJ eventually gets the upper hand with a kick out of the corner, a clothesline and a back body drop. Joe comes back with some jabs, a whip and a kick that sends AJ to the outside.

During this Taz says that he’d know if Bully Ray was planning something because he’s on the Aces & 8’s email list, amazing. I have grown to really like Taz, especially in this heel character, it doesn’t sound as forced as he did before (Jerry Lawler/Michael Cole take note).

AJ ends up stood on the apron, Joe stood on the floor, kicks AJ’s legs out and he takes a hard face first bump on the edge of the ring, and we go to commercial. After the break Joe is striking a woozy looking AJ, until he hits the ropes and AJ hits his beautiful backflip dropkick. Joe rolls to the outside and is hit with a baseball slide. Christy Hemme then pipes up and tells us there’s 5 minutes left in the match, to an audible ‘eh?’ from the crowd (I didn’t know it had a time limit, apparently I wasn’t alone). Both men back in the ring, AJ goes for a vertical suplex but can’t manage it, so settles for a rolling neckbreaker like Curtis Axel has been using recently. AJ runs out of the corner and gets hit with a powerslam so fast, Randy Orton could only dream. Joe goes for an Armbar, which is very logical in this series, until AJ fights out and gets to the corner. Both men head to the top rope, Joe attempts a superplex but AJ reverses it into what looked like a crossbody, but looked very dangerous. Joe hits AJ with Jabs until AJ uses a move that looks like Kofi Kingstons SOS rolling pin, but it ended with him in the calf killer, very innovative. Joe starts to turn and manages to get AJ into the choke as we’re told that there’s 30 seconds remaining. They then brawl until the time runs out, and its a draw.

Backstage Segment – We see Bully on the phone, to whom sounds to be Brooke. From what Bully is saying, it seems Brooke is happy to come back and see him. He tells her to turn the car around and head back, and sends D-Von, Knox and DOC to head out on the bikes and make sure she gets back safe.

Backstage Segment – Hulk is telling X Division Champion Chris Sabin, Kenny King and Suicide whoever wins their title match next week can then swap the title for a World Title match at Destination X. I like Sabin, he has a great comeback story but I can’t see him as the World Champ, unless they plan on pushing him hard for the next few weeks. There wasn’t even an X Division match on the card tonight, or even a segment to keep Sabin in your head.

MAIN EVENT: BOBBY ROODE v JEFF HARDY

Roode attacks Jeff as he’s making his entrance, they make their way to the ring and work through a few of Hardy’s moves at a very fast pace until Roode finally takes him down and manages to get a Crossface.

I don’t think the commentary is drawing enough attention to the submissions, if they put over the fact you get more points with them, it would make the viewers feel that the match could end at any time instead of just after a finisher.

Roode gets the upper hand and starts technically striking his way around Hardy’s body to wear him down. After playing to the crowd, Roode gets hit with a back elbow out of the corner and drops conveniently for a second rope splash from Hardy and a two count. Hardy stays on him with a dropkick to a seated Roode, and attempts a twist of fate. He gets shot off to the ropes and hit with Roodes RR Spinebuster and a nearfall. I thought that was Roodes finisher, but Hardy kicked out pretty easily? Hardy with a twist of fate which was more like a stunner, then goes to the top for the Swanton Bomb. Roode moves away at the last second and tries the crossface again. Hardy reverses that into a pin, and when both men get to their feet delivers a full on twist of fate for the win.

I felt that the main event was waaay too short, and made Roode look pretty weak next to Hardy, he should’ve gotten more offence in to make the series look a bit more equal.

Bully Ray makes his way to the ring and states the Bound For Glory series is underway, and he doesn’t care because he will do anything it takes to keep his title. He tells us to look at what he’s done to Hulk and Sting, but then says he’s more of a lover than a fighter, and asks Brooke to join him. After a minute waiting for her, he asks again, but is answered by the Main Event Mafia music. Sting makes his way out, grabs a mic and speaks on the need for a family. The crowd start a Sting chant, until Bully screams ‘AW SHUT YOUR MOUTHS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING, CHANTING FOR THE MAN WHO LOST TO ME!’ which stops the chants and gets him booed instead, genius. There isn’t enough of that in wrestling, paying attention to the crowd and reacting quickly. Sting starts to take off his jacket and tie, Bully says at the snap of his fingers, the Aces will be out here and handle him. As he continues, Bully goes through with his threat and snaps his fingers. After a pause Sting laughs and points to the big screen, which shows Anderson, Garret Bischoff and Wes Brisco laid out in the back, Wes with a beer keg between his legs, that must’ve been painful. Bully tries to suckerpunch Sting, but Sting comes back until Bully tries to run away. He’s stopped at the top of the ramp by a suited Kurt Angle, who takes him down and get the Ankle lock until Bully is screaming and tapping out as Sting is shouting in his face as the show goes off the air.

Notes: I enjoyed the majority of the matches tonight, with exception to Anderson – Park. At first I liked the Park character, as it showed how Chris Park/Abyss can actually do something completely different to the character he’s been playing for the last 10 years, but I feel that its run its course. I think the gimmick would’ve worked better if in all his matches he’d come close to winning, but ultimately lose every time. After a couple of months of that, he could finally get a win, which would make it a big deal and please the crowd. Any match involving Kaz, Daniels, AJ, AA, Samoa Joe and Bobby Roode is going to be at least decent, which bode well for tonight’s impact. I find it hilarious that because they’re back in the Main Event Mafia, Sting and Angle now wear suits. They’re still the same people, doing the same stuff, but y’know, that’s wrestling logic for you. I must say I’m interested to see who else joins MEM, I hope its not a huge disappointment.

Thanks for reading!

Monday Night Raw continues to gather pace towards Money in the Bank

cenatitleWWE Champion John Cena – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

Thanks for looking at the weekly Raw review here on The Real Mid Card. I say this every time and recently it’s always impossible, but I will try to be snappier than ever. Raw has been so consistently great recently, that keeping things short has been very tough. Anyway, I made notes last night as always, and here are my thoughts on the show.

Daniel Bryan v Randy Orton This was the rubber match between these two, after all of the false finishes we have seen in the last few weeks. The match was called off for a double disqualification after around a minute.

Christian & Sheamus v Team Rhodes Scholars The match opened with good work from the ever reliable Cody and Christian. I’d rather see these two in a singles match. Sheamus got the tag in and raised hell, before hitting the Brogue Kick for the win. There was some confusion leading up to this between Cody and Sandow as they left and entered the ring respectively. Possible breakup on the cards?

Kaitlyn v Aksana Kaitlyn got the very quick win with a spear. AJ and Langston came out on to the ramp after the match and did a parody of the whole secret admirer segment. AJ was wearing a fake Kaitlyn man-arm suit. Absolutely hilarious stuff! What a goddess.

Chris Jericho v Alberto Del Rio I didn’t miss a bit of this match, thanks to the amazing app. I stayed locked to it the whole night and the match carried on with live video. This was a good solid wrestling match. Ricardo interfered and Jericho got the win by DQ. Ziggler came out and laid another insanely frantic beatdown on Alberto. He shouted “I’m the man around here!” He hit Jericho with the zigzag, payback! Maybe this means a triple threat at the PPV for the World Title? I would be down with that. Ziggler’s new look with the stubbly facial hair and the non-combed back hair is awesome. I hope that continues.

Triple H popped in to see Brickie. Vince had previously hinted to them to call off the Bryan and Orton match because he is “too small” – Hunter was there to tell them that it would happen, and it would be the main event! Also, the fans would get to decide the match stipulation on, you guessed it, the app!

Then we were treated to this hilarious video advert for Sheamus’ services as a fella. This was pretty funny, and the first time I’ve been entertained by the guy in a long time.

After this, we were subjected to an agonizing Brickie and Lawler in-ring segment, shamelessly plugging the WWE 2K14 videogame. The one good thing about this was the crowd reaction to Vickie. It reminded me of how badly we booed her when I was at the Raw TV taping in Birmingham last year. She is still over as hell in that regard. The crowd have a lot of fun booing her, She is an attraction. Then they unveiled the front cover. One man was on it. The Rock. What a fucking disgrace.

Ryback is back. Woo, I’m scared! He could job for someone at any given second! intimidating stuff. I was tuned into the app during the break and they showed an old clip of Stone Cold versus Savio Vega from the 90s. Vince was calling the match, and talking about how Diesel and Razor Ramon had just left for WCW. Awesome.

Ryback v Great Khali If ever a match was destined to be bad before the bell even rang, it was this one. It lived up to those expectations. It was a two minute standing borefest. Ryback marched around the ring twice with Khali on his back, shellshocked him, and got the pin. It’s okay if he jobs out for ten PPVs in a row, as long as he can march twice with someone big. Good logic.

John Cena came out to the ring to deliver a promo. Am I the only one who loves that thing he does when he comes out on the stage and has a casual chat with the cameraman before running down? It’s so cool. His promo was pretty damn good. He put over the title as something very important. He hated on Henry for working the universe. He brought up the retirement speeches of guys like Edge, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair (which got a huge woo pop, as they were in South Carolina) – Cena said faking the retirement speech was wrong. He then confirmed that the two of them would battle for the title at Money in the Bank.

The Usos v Tonnes of Funk v 3MB (Triple Threat Tag Team Match for Number One Contendership of the WWE Tag Team Championship) On the way to the ring, Tensai and Clay were joined by some rich douche who apparently paid the most money to a charity just to dance with those fools. The triple threat is always an interesting format for tag matches. The Usos were the only legit team in this match so I was pleased to see them get the win. The Shield came down to the entranceway of the stand and had a little stare down with their new competition. This could be a very good feud for The Usos!

Then they showed that hilarious advert for The Call with Halle Berry, Kane and David Otunga. I haven’t seen this for a while. It’s so funny! Berry is such a good sport for doing that and Kane is just amazing. Funny stuff, and this seems like it might actually be a decent film, especially by WWE standards.

David Otunga then proved that he can actually take a boring backstage interview plugging the movie, and make it entertaining with some good old fashioned arrogant heeldom. I think was on the app, not the actual show.

Paul Heyman came to the ring and called out CM Punk. So the first hour was a lot of matches. Now we’ve had a load of segments. A better mix of the two would be good, but I’m clutching at straws. This show was great. Mutton chops came out for the face to face meeting. He gave an epic history lesson about the days of OVW and ECW and put over Heyman as the guy who always stuck up for him and had his back. He talked about how Paul would often have to battle with Vince and others over keeping him in the company. He mentioned how Paul made him his first ECW draft pick. Touching stuff.

However, he wanted Paul to tell Lesnar that he is coming for him. He doesn’t care if Brock is bigger or stronger, because he isn’t better. He can’t be. Nobody is. Punk then demanded that for once Heyman tell the truth. He gave a passionate performance and the crowd actually started chanting “Tell the truth!” Heyman vehemently denied the accusation and even swore on his children. This promo was simply incredible. Paul attributed the attack to the “professional jealousy” that has apparently been brewing between the two of them for quite some time.

heymanpunkPunk and Heyman – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

Heyman then said he knew he would one day walk out with CM Punk again, probably at a Wrestlemania, because they are best friends. He once again made all men in the building uncomfortable, by declaring his love for Punk in the ring. Heyman is the king of acting. He actually had me believing him and following his every word. He kept bringing up the good old days that Punk had mentioned earlier, to buy himself some trust. Punk eventually picked up the mic and simply said “I’m sorry I doubted you” – He hugged him with this lost child expression on his face. The betrayal is going to be so scrumptious and juicy when Heyman actually does screw him over. They can build this for ages and make it so good, if they are subtle with it.

CM Punk v Darren Young You’re not imagining it. This match actually happened! After that intense twenty minute segment, it was pretty crazy to remember that this match was booked and try to prepare myself for it. Right now, WWE is the acting capital of the world. I mean, come on, Henry and Heyman are better than Cage and Damon! Before the match started, the app showed a highlight of Brock Lesnar and Rob Van Dam from years ago. This could be a hint at another possible future route for RVD?

Anyway, back to this very interesting choice of match. Darren Young got off some good offense in a surprisingly good match. I know Punk can have them with anyone, but still. Young hit a few very nice suplexes. This match actually did a lot for his stock in my opinion. He also connected with this sort of military press into a gutbuster. The kid got a long two on CM Punk! Punk did kick out though, and tapped him out shortly after with the Anaconda Vice. Titus came in and instigated the two on one attack. Like a shot, Curtis Axel came to Punk’s defence. Heyman got in the ring and told Punk “There was no other way. It was two on one” You just can’t take your eyes off of Raw these days. This added another very nice layer to the whole Punk and Heyman storyline. Great match too!

Stephanie McMahon came out and announced the lineup for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match for the WWE Championship briefcase. It’s possibly the best lineup I’ve ever seen. The possibilities are endless. Here you go: Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Sheamus, Randy Orton, Christian, Kane and Rob Van Dam! My only concern is that the match appears to contain seven faces, and no heels. That shows the total lack of good heels in the company right now. Ryback and Jericho argued with Brickie about their respective absence from the match backstage. Rather than do the logical thing and put the two of them in a match on Raw for an eighth spot in the match, making it eight (an even number) – Vickie decided to book them in a singles match against each other with nothing at stake at the PPV itself. Greaaat.

Heyman and Punk then had a chat backstage, which the cameraman luckily caught live. It’s great how they don’t even see him there filming them! How does that guy do it? Anyway, next week will see Punk team with Axel to take on the Prime Time Players. Could be a good match, but this whole thing is so weird! Punk told Heyman he doesn’t care. He will win that, beat Lesnar, win the briefcase and eventually win back the title, because that’s all he cares about.

Mark Henry came out to address all of the “puppets” in the crowd like a total legend! He delivered a great promo, making fun of the Henry chants, signs and tears from last week. He used his family and all of the fans, and refused to apologise. Insanely good “Bitch please” promo. “Y’all a bunch of puppets” – The infamous words of the guy who cut the best promo of all time.

PLEASE STOP SHOWING ME “DISTURBING” WYATT FAMILY VIGNETTES AND JUST FUCKING DEBUT THEM ALREADY!

Daniel Bryan v Randy Orton The fans chose a Street Fight stipulation for the main event. I voted for Falls Count Anywhere. Oh well. This was a very intense rubber match indeed. In one particularly cool spot, Daniel Bryan attempted the suicide dive, only to get hit with a steel chair by Orton while in mid-air. Another great one was when Bryan ducked under the bottom rope and powerbombed Orton through a table on the outside. Then he lashed Orton with a bunch of ruthless kendo stick shots.

ortontableRandy Orton after crashing through a table – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

The battle went on as Orton responded with a modified single leg hook belly to belly through another table in the ring. I know I didn’t describe that too well. My ROH correspondent Fozzy (who watches Raw with me most weeks) described it as “like a tazzplex” What a great main event! Bryan later went for a crossbody from the top, but Orton turned it into a powerbomb. He eventually got the Lobell Lock on Orton, but he fought out in the most intense way. He managed to grab the kendo stick, smash him in the face with it several times, and then continue to beat him senseless with the stick. Very intense stuff for PG Raw.

Orton then hit his trademark DDT. He went for the RKO but Bryan reversed it into a backslide for a near fall. Bryan got him in the Lobell Lock again. Orton grabbed the stick but this time Bryan grabbed it off of him and used it to assist his submission. The Viper had no choice but to tap. What an incredible match and an excellent way for D-Bry to finally get his win. Orton gave Bryan a handshake before leaving the ring. JBL described him as a “class act”

This was a great way to end a very, very good show. They are cramming in more amazing content with each week. Awesome matches. amazing segments. I have been so impressed with Raw lately, and this episode continued to go with that trend.

I hope you enjoyed the post. I tried to keep it as short as I possibly could, but as I said before, Raw has been just too good lately. Let me know what you think? If you enjoyed the content, give us a Follow. We upload a post every day, so if you like wrestling, you know where to come. Check out the other categories, and the YouTube wrestling series Unsanctioned. Thanks for all your support. Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

Peace

Unsanctioned Wrestling: Episode Three

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This is Episode Three of the YouTube wrestling Q&A series Unsanctioned Wrestling. It features questions on Mick Foley, Goldust, Paige and much more. Check it out! Get involved by leaving a question in a comment if you would like. Hit play and enjoy it.

Ring of Honor: Top Five

My Top Five (six, but who’s counting?) Ring of Honor Wrestlers

Rather than going for “My favorite ROH wrestlers” I decided to go with the 5 who I personally think are the most synonymous with ROH  itself. Guys who when you think of Ring of Honor, their name instantly follows.

Number One – Bryan Danielson

bryan-danielson

Bryan Danielson – Source: Ring of Honor

There was really only one choice for the first slot and it’s hardly going to surprise anyone. The first ROH match I ever saw involved Bryan (vs. Nigel McGuinness) and he was the reason that I got hooked on ROH. He’s the best wrestler I’ve ever seen live and with his recent antics in WWE (which seems to be building back towards his late-ROH character) is swiftly becoming not just my favorite “technical” wrestler, but is starting to seriously challenge Chris Jericho as my all time favorite.

Whether it’s his seemingly brutal strikes or his unparalleled chain-submission skills, Bryan just completely draws you into his matches and Ring of Honor is certainly where his best work (to date) can be found. Whether it was when he broke his eye socket a few minutes into a 20 minute match, tying Jimmy Rave into knots or elbowing his way to ROH Pure championship glory; the guy is absolutely legendary within the Internet Wrestling Community, and he seems to now be gathering pace with the casual wrestling fan.

Essential Matches:

Vs. Lo-Ki vs. Christopher Daniels at The Era of Honor Begins

Vs. Takeshi Morishima at Manhattan Mayhem II

Vs. Nigel McGuinness at ROH Unified

Vs. Tyler Black at New Horizons

Vs. KENTA at Glory By Honor

Number Two – The Briscoe Brothers

Briscoes

Briscoe Brothers – Source: Ring of Honor

These two guys could talk me into watching a Great Khali vs. Viscera Ironman match. The Delaware natives are two of the most entertaining guys who have ever worked for Ring of Honor and as long as they’re around, I’m interested. I mean, come on. They’re brothers. They’ve got beards. What more could you possibly want from a tag team?

Whether it’s brutal ladder matches against the likes of Steenerico or the vicious matches with the Kings of Wrestling over the ROH World Tag Team Championship (which they have held a record 8 times) the Sandy Fork brothers have been involved in some of the most memorable matches in the promotions history

Essential Matches:

Vs. Samoa Joe and American Dragon at Battle Lines are Drawn

Vs. The Kings of Wrestling at The Big Bang!

Vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico at Man Up

Vs. the Worlds Greatest Tag Team at Final Battle 2009

Number Three – CM Punk

CMGOD

 CM Punk – Source: Ring of Honor

Despite it being before my time, from what I can tell CM Punk is the guy who really put ROH on the map. It was his feud with Raven that started raising eyebrows and getting the promotion known for something more than great, great wrestling. Also, of course, the legendary Summer of Punk. This right here is the guy who will be known for opening (and by that I mean kicking the door down and throwing a pipebomb in) the doors for independent wrestlers to succeed in the ‘Big League’.

And boy can he wrestle. In that first paragraph it seems to suggest that maybe, Punk is more well regarded for his mic work than his actual wrestling. This couldn’t be further from the truth. This guy was involved in easily the most legendary series of matches in the history of the promotion, with Samoa Joe.

Essential Matches:

Vs. Raven at The Conclusion

Vs. Austin Aries at Death Before Dishonor III

Vs. Christopher Daniels at The Homecoming

Vs. Roderick Strong at The Future Is Now

Vs. Samoa Joe at World Title Classic

Number Four – El Generico

El Generico

 El Generico – Source: Ring of Honor

Once you get past the initial shock of “Holy shit it’s a white luchador!” you’ll probably be left wondering just how the man does what he does. I’ve seen him do things that defy the laws of physics as we understand them. He might just be the best babyface the world has ever seen.

Whether as a singles competitor or in his tag team with Kevin Steen, the Generic Luchador was a highlight of any show he wrestled on and his feud with Kevin Steen practically defines the late 2000’s era of ROH.

Essential Matches:

Vs. Kevin Steen at Final Battle 2010

(with Kevin Steen) Vs. BxB Hulk & Shingo at Supercard Of Honor III

(with Colt Cabana) Vs. Kevin Steen & Steve Corino at ROH Glory By Honor IX

Vs. Claudio Castagnoli at Race To the Top

Number Five – Jimmy Jacobs

 Little Jimmy

 Jimmy Jacobs – Source: Ring of Honor

I don’t really know how to follow that picture. Much like Bryan Danielson, Jacobs is one of the guys who hooked me on Ring of Honor. I guess he is that ‘Guy you love to hate’ and I feel he’s one of the most under appreciated wrestlers in the IWC. He’s the perfect heel for the 21st Century.

Vs. Bryan Danielson Vs. BJ Whitmer at Throwdown

(with Tyler Black) Vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico at Driven

Vs. BJ Whitmer at Supercard of Honor II

Vs. Bryan Danielson at Unscripted