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Formerly Known

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extreme rules 2011
we're kicking off with a last man standing match. and the only announcer voice ive heard so far was josh matthews.

this ppv is typically the better workrate ppv than wrestlemania, so we'll see where this goes.
100% on this night.

presumably to announce that nexus has to go to the back. and thats exactly what the email says. great and powerful stuff.
Ehhh, it always gets a pop though, I guess.

i wonder if booker has ever seen another match if he thinks we're moving at a blazing pace here.
I question if he's ever interacted with people on earth after watching this show.

i hate the last man standing stipulation. the standing around til the count of 8-9 is pitiful.
At least we got the cut offs from Punk especially, early. They didn't go full bore until the latter stages after some decent bumps that Orton wasn't selling.

kofis table saving spots near the end here are pretty good at least.
It's the second most inventive thing I've seen in tables matches, next to the finish in the ER '12 match, so...hey, it's something!

cole hopping around the ring with his belly is wonderful to me. he should be the world champ.
I now agree with your co-worker that you're insane.

poor swagger. why is he involved in this instead of a world title feud?
Or hell, an IC/US title feud! Swagger vs. Wade or Sheamus could be great stuff! (And yes, I know Sheamus just lost the belt, but fuck Kofi.)

it might just be that hes getting to work with rey, but cody seems to be figuring out the whole 'wrestling' part of wrestling.
He's added a few more moves other than stomps, I guess. But he's just ripping off his brother and Bob Holly, really.

rey got up on top of something twice to do a dive on cody, only for cody to walk away on him both times. i guess hes not fully in sync with rey.
I'll go with 'smart heeling' for that, but yeah, it was definitely odd.

sir michael cole is back! he tells us hes like superman and batman combined. i agree.
Legit. Nuts.

man layla is terrible. props to michelle for putting her over on the way out, but they definitely shouldve given the rub to someone who... could actually work.
Did they really have anyone for that role at that time, though? I guess Natalya probably needed it the most. Or throwing Gail out there to put on a ***1/4-ish match?

i dont recall kong lasting long in wwe. and i dont recall them ever trying to recreate those superb kong/gail matches from tna. because why would they?
There's an odd backstory here, but I guess the gist of it that she's...an odd person outside of the ring. Wiki might have it.

bookers commentary is still distracting to a degree
It's bad. I'm trained to ignore commentary, at this point, and I still had to stop and call out his stupidty.

this is really good. not a lot of wasted ladder climbing nonsense, and im so impressed with del rio early in this timeline.
I think he actually got better in ring as a babyface, too, so...something to look forward to, I guess?

i didnt really think anything of that ladder shot til i saw all the blood on the floor outside.
I missed it until the damn replay, so...at least you caught it before that.

though late. all the bullshit interference at the end really put a damper on that for me, if they had ended it after albertos dive off the top to the bridge ladder, i was bordering 4 stars. still our best match of the year thus far though.
I...kinda liked it, and probably would've liked it more in the moment, tbh. Because logic is all stating that Del Rio is getting a massive push, and it would make perfect sense to use this as the title win spot. I don't know, maybe I'm just forgiving it because Christian.

beginnings of the miz and riley split in a backstage skit.
If Riley would've interfered in the match, I would've chocked it up as a 'Getting Miz focussed' speech, tbh.

cole says him and swagger are gonna keep teaming up to challenge for the titles. i endorse this idea. sir michael cole!
You're reaching Kanye levels of insane now.

theres legit at least 2 guys at ringside that i have no idea who they are. a white guy with long brown hair. a white guy with blonde cornrows. and then theres a 3rd with his back to the camera, a suit jacket and a cowboy hat... maybe if i saw his face i could guess who he is, but as it is, no idea.
I normally go to Wiki to figure this stuff out during the review, but I gave zero fucks about this, so I'll go now...Lumber Jacks were: Byron Saxton, Conor O'Brian (Huuuh?), Darren Young, DH Smith, Evan Bourne, Heath Slater, Jacob Novak (No memory), Johnny 'Fandango' Curtis, Justin Gabriel, Lucky Cannon, Santino, Titus, Trent Barreta, Tyler Reks, Vlad and Yoshi. I mean, okay...

zeke is a horse.
Or...a human? I mean. I think.

i really wanna know who the guy with the cowboy hat is, and this match is clearly not built for workrate anyway.
I'm assuming that's Lucky Cannon, but I tapped out early on that NXT season, so who knows. And Novak and Fandango are the others, I guess?

barrett tags himself in, and eats a chokeslam and the pin for his troubles. zeke does not seem pleased. i guess we're splitting up the corre now too.
*sighs* The one I always used to miss when I did the IC title history quiz.

morrison is gonna do some dumb spot, and cena is walking out the champ. im fairly safe on both of those predictions.
Close enough.

"thats a move i dont even know what you call it..." i love you booker
If Cole said, 'Uhh, that's a headlock, Booker.' I would agree with all your insane praise.

3.5 stars: christian/del rio
3.25 stars: cena/jomo/miz
3 stars: rey/cody
2.75 stars: kofi/sheamus
2.5 stars: orton/punk
1.5 stars: show/kane vs zeke/wade
1.25 stars: michelle/layla
dud: swagger/sir michael cole vs jr/king
No big disagreements. You liked looking at the Lumberjacks a lot more than I did, though. And I'll always be higher on women's matches that aren't embarassing.

Oh, on the women's front, and I love this. Trish at Mania and Layla here both had ass crack showing, and neither of us even noted it in the review. We've come a long way since the Attitude era, folks!
 

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Oh, also on this night...

Some guy was finally killed and Cena gave a rah-rah USA! Speech. I don't want to bring politics into it, but man that reaction was probably quite something.
 

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"Well, this was disappointing. Alberto's arm work was great stuff, but Edge just sold none of it, and it was just something that happened before the finish. And Edge even used the bad arm on the spear. ** for the terribleness that is Edge. Goodbye, and good ridience. Now the true star gets his due. "

i kinda gave it all a pass from edge, knowing it was his last match. yea, him doing the basics wouldve been nice... but if youre riding off into the sunset on this match, ill give him a break for just enjoying the moment.

"Why this happened is beyond me. DUD and next. "

agreed, no reason to just bury those 4 guys here. especially since... really... 3 of them never recovered, and the one guy who actually got a push after this, was absolutely dreadful in the ring.

"Orton's knee is hurt because of a monkey wrench attack, and I'm sure he'll sell it like it's an injury the entire match! "

jokes on you pal!

"Hammer might get some perverse entertainment from this. "

i know i touched on this line already, but yes, i really did enjoy this match. it was stupid, but cole was absolutely awesome here as an over the top goof.

"Cole goes straps down and the An-COLE lock is in. "

oh come on, thats friggin gold

"Austin is drinking Keystone light, which is probably less tasty and alcoholic than Hammer's urine 10 months sober. "

hmmm... thanks?

"HHH clears off the 'English' announce table. (I put that in quotes because it's Ross and Lawler.) "

ha.

"The story here is...Cole was a Miz fan and saved his...idol from losing the title to Jerry Lawler? Twice? And then...uhh...family insults? Or something? "

i meant more the match 'story'. or antics. however you wanna phrase it.

"I made a Manu reference in my review, but I'm sure Vince was backstage screaming for Manu to fired for that, even though he wasn't there. "

sim snuka. same interchangeable shitty multi generation guy i guess.

"He totally should've went '98 and read it as 'And The Rock quotes.' I would've chuckled at that, at least. "

that wouldve been a very nice touch, agreed.

"Orton is growing out the beard, so he's almost certainly about to turn heel. "

stunningly youre wrong. but i actually like the next couple months of what hes involved in... though its more the other guy in the feud. i guess it takes two to tango though.

"Donut King is the ref. "

goddammit i still dont know who donut king is.

"This appears to be her debut. "

its so nice that the commentators conveyed this message to us.

"The face divas are concerned, except for Gail who is probably thinking she can get a ***1/2 match out of it. "

except that no one in wwe watched their matches in impact, so they never bothered to put them together.

"It's about fucking time. Christian is emotional. Edge is even emotional for him. Big pose on the ladder and all is right in the world. Christian and Edge share the victory hug. I'M NOT CRYING YOU'RE CRYING! Man, I'm so trained on wrestling, I'm fully expecting Edge to turn on Christian here. The replay shows that Brodus is busted open, as well. Yikes.

Oh yeah, a star rating. ***1/2 + the moment is ****. There was some different stuff in there, and some good bumps from both guys, but the selling was...meh. Oh well. Edge lays out so Christian can have his moment. "

i like that you liked something more than me for once. though i think i go through the same mark out moment and SLIGHT overrating when big mark finally gets the strap. so... go for it pal. also i only call it slight, because i think for the match we were exactly the same, or in the same ballpark, so you didnt even go nuts here.

"The match was fun, actually. "

its been a while, but im fairly certain i enjoyed the cena cage match too.

"I question if he's ever interacted with people on earth after watching this show. "

ha

"There's an odd backstory here, but I guess the gist of it that she's...an odd person outside of the ring. Wiki might have it. "

interesting. ill look into it.

yea im a michael cole mark. half of the comments are in jest, to be totally honest, but i did enjoy the schtick.
 

Mach

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Oh, also on this night...

Some guy was finally killed and Cena gave a rah-rah USA! Speech. I don't want to bring politics into it, but man that reaction was probably quite something.
Fuck bin Laden. The end.
 

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Also, Hammer...


You need to watch more JBL & Cole, though. *sighs*
 

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jeff cobb to aew. will that get witlon to watch? will that get me to watch?
 

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so i threw it on, i figure ill fast forward through the segments i dont care about. but i watched the opener between omega/page vs scu... and omega doesnt even really look the same as a wrestler anymore. he looks slow and kinda... eh. like hes tired, or overworked, or whatever. hes not the crisp stamina machine he was in njpw though. i dont know it was an off night, or if he was on the juice in japan and just came off it. i wasnt really all that impressed though. a little disappointed actually, because i always assumed if/when i did get back to aew, id always have kenny and jericho amongst the mediocrity.
 

Keller M. Whitlock

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so i threw it on, i figure ill fast forward through the segments i dont care about. but i watched the opener between omega/page vs scu... and omega doesnt even really look the same as a wrestler anymore. he looks slow and kinda... eh. like hes tired, or overworked, or whatever. hes not the crisp stamina machine he was in njpw though. i dont know it was an off night, or if he was on the juice in japan and just came off it. i wasnt really all that impressed though. a little disappointed actually, because i always assumed if/when i did get back to aew, id always have kenny and jericho amongst the mediocrity.
Do you suppose he has a lot if backstage responsibilities and losing some of the fun of just being a wrestler that way? That could always effect wrestlers. I'm sure when Nash was booker he just got even lazier in the ring.
 

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im sure the booking responsibilities has a lot to do with it. it could also be him just coasting through the tag matches like they all do in new japan til they get to the singles blow off at the go home show of the tour. but that's a terrible look when you're the tag champs of a weekly show, and you're going out there first to make sure the crowd stays invested. the show just about completely lost me til the moxley/santana main event as a result. although i did watch dustin rhodes' match and somehow at 93 years old he still might be the crispest in ring guy they have.
 

Keller M. Whitlock

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It's still a mostly uninspiring roster for me. Darby and Janela and Orange still don't do anything for me, but it's not terrible. Funny how you mention the guys who've mainly worked the North American style brought you back. Kenny just needs to realize you can't coast in tag matches like in Japan and some other things.
 

Hammer

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the roster is terrible. based off last night being the first episode ive watched in the new year, im getting the vibe they're gonna branch everyone off into stables, like new japan does... with the eventually assumption of using the big names to give rub to the smaller names...

inner circle (jericho, swagger, cobb, guevara, lax)
elite (cody, kenny, dustin, bucks, page)
dark order (evil uno, stu grayson, the two jobbers who i dont know... matt hardy and luke harper?)
mjfs group... this is a pure guess on my part; im assuming arn is gonna turn on cody at the ppv, and they throw tully and spears in here, and its kinda like bullet club east... arn and tully managing (jado and gedo) mjf, wardlow, spears and then they add some bodies as they sign

and then you have your mini stables like jurassic express, best friends and orange, scu.

yea, i dont really care for any of the guys who werent already familiar. i guess thats not counting mjf, but i was already quasi familiar. but hes basically the only name that wasnt already established, that theyve made seem important.

jimmy havoc was a name i was excited for from his progress work, and they barely use him. darby allin basically took his spot because hes younger, which is fine, but i dont care about darby allin despite their efforts. orange cassidy has a great comedy gimmick, but that only goes so far. like... him vs minoru suzuki has potential to be a fantastic contrast in dynamics. but you cant do that weekly because then that loses importance, and so youre basically stuck with orange cassidy being... orange cassidy.

meh.
 

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"im getting the vibe they're gonna branch everyone off into stables, like new japan does... with the eventually assumption of using the big names to give rub to the smaller names... "

which to be fair on this point, being jerichos pet makes sammy guevara seem INFINITELY more important than he would otherwise. so it does work in the right spots.
 

Keller M. Whitlock

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I think too many stables would be overkill and really creates a divide between what's important and not. Everyone knows the Elite and Inner Circle are pretty much the only important wrestlers right now. Once you get more guys like Brian Cage, that can't bring more of a north american flavour to the AEW, the better it'll be. They just need to cut bait with some of the guys that aren't working, of course they get the fans cheering regardless and think they're doing well.
 

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joey ryan, colt cabana and grado vs tom lawlor, ken shamrock and minoru suzuki. more comedy wrestlers to get killed off by the king. very good.
 

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lord william ospreay of essex beat zsj for the british heavweight strap. the review i read said it wasnt as good as the one on the new beginning tour, but once new japan gets it ill watch anyway because... its fuckin will ospreay and zsj.
 

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i dont know where smackdown is tonight, but man, the crowd is scorching hot for the elias/sami/cesaro segment. a perfect storm of elias being over and sami being such a great heel?
 

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i dont know where smackdown is tonight, but man, the crowd is scorching hot for the elias/sami/cesaro segment. a perfect storm of elias being over and sami being such a great heel?
Vancouver.

Close enough to Seattle for people to remember who Elias is.
 

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Before I move on to Over the Limit, I've got a couple bonus matches that I want to hit that seem actually pretty interesting to me.

This is two nights before Extreme Rules, but I didn't know it existed until now, so we'll backtrack.

So Rey is headed to Raw, so this is his send off. Khali wishes him good luck on Raw, and then a FUTURE WORLD CHAMPION DEBUTS to say hi to Mr. Khali. (I just made it sound more exciting than it was.)

The taped crowd sounds like they care for Rey a hell of a lot more than the PPV audiences. Oh, I haven't even mentioned what the match is yet.

From Smackdown, 4-29-11
Rey Mysterio vs. Mark Henry

So Rey is finishing up with Cody in 2 days, and is saying goodbye to Smackdown. He gets on the mic and thanks the crowd. Canned boos for Mizark, but hey, it wouldn't take long. He's smiling after turning on team Smackdown's...Christian and...John Cena? No memory of that.

Rey dodges Mark strikes, but Henry grabs and chokes. Cole sarcastically goes through the Mysterio cliches as Rey bails and regroups. Rey comes back in and gets a kick, and another. He slides under but gets caught by a Vader smash by Mark. He stands on Rey. Rey kicks back but gets clothelined in the back and is thrown out to the floor with the belly bump fro Rey. Mark follows this time, but Rey gets low dropkicks. Mark is annoyed and throws Rey into the steps, but he misses following with a knee and tumbles over the steps. Rey rolls in as Smackdown rolls on. (And JOSH EVEN FUCKING SAYS 'ROLLS ON'. Sheesh.)

Back from break, Rey kicks Mark in the corner and hits a sliding dropkick. Rey heads up, but Henry just swats the leg to crotch him. He's all smiles as he avalanches Rey in the corner. Cover gets two. Headbutt. 'Rey Mysterio will be broken at Extreme Rules' says Booker. This wasn't even REFERENCED on the show. Mark stands on Rey and throws him chest first into the corner. Henry tries a legdrop but misses. Rey comes back with a dropkick and heads up. Seated senton hits, but Henry does the press kickout. He dodges a corner charge and goes low on Mark. 6-1-9 hits. Henry is wobbly, but here's Cody for the DQ. *sigh*

Postmatch beatdown bullshit, and blah blah. I was excited for this, and they ruin it with an ER commercial. Your new monster...

Oh, Cody finishes his beatdown and throws Rey back in to Mark who hits the World's Strongest Slam with a huge smile and cockily walks away. I turn it off as Cody's doing his bag gimmick shit. Whatever.

** for this. Mark's pace and Rey's big/little dynamic are always going to work. I want to see this in...10 minute-ish form, though.

[BREAK]

This one probably needs to be viewed before reading, and it's only a few minutes, so...huzzah!


I feel like I've watched this before, but hey...a fresh review is never a bad thing.

From WWE Superstars
5-12-2011

Drew McIntyre vs. Chris Masters

Full intro for Drew here complete with Broken Dreams. The ring announcer is a special kind of terrible. We come back from break and Masters has pyro on Superstars. Oh, how times have changed. Superstars Masters was quite the worker, so I'm quite interested in this.

They circle to start and lockup. Masters is a bit stronger, and we get a clean break. Back to the lockup and Drew gets a go-behind. Masters reverses and Drew elbows free and gets a front facelock. Masters gets up and flips Drew over the by the arm. Masterlock try, but Drew bails to the corner. Chris tries to get the crowd involved, and...it kinda works. They tease another lockup, but Drew tries to go low immediately and gets caught, so he slaps Masters in the face and lays the strikes in. Boots to the gut in the corner. Corner whip, but Masters rebounds with a clothesline. And another. Drew tries to bail again, but gets caught, so he uses the ref distraction in the ropes to get a cheap boot to the gut. Punches, but Masters gets a chop on the rebound. And another. Whip, but Drew gets a boot off the head down. Whip reversal, and Drew goes for a leapfrog, but Masters gets an inverted atomic drop off of it for a counter. Kick. Delayed vertical by Masters gets two. Drew bails, but Masters grabs him by the hair but McIntyre goes low and hits Masters in the knee. He wraps the knee around the ringpost from the middle. And comes back in with a low dropkick. Elbows to the knee by Drew and a rest-submission. Masters punches back, but Drew boots the leg. Masters fights back again. Whip, but Drew goes low again with a shoulder. Drew heads out and breaks out the ringpost figure four as we go to break.

And we're back with Drew kicking away to the knee. He puts it on the middle rope in the corner and boots away. Leg lace takedown by Drew gets two. Back to the submission-rest for Drew. I've said this before, but as long as the rest hold is focussed on the injured body part, I don't mind it. Masters punches free again. Back elbow by Chris, but the knee buckles on a slam attempt and McIntyre breaks out a dropkick and a kip up. Jackknife cover (HOLDING THE BAD LEG) gets two for Drew, and on the kickout he keeps holding onto the leg. Holy crap, this Drew is awesome. He pulls down the kneepad and stomps Chris' knee. Masters can barely stand, so McIntyre just punches him in the face and he crumbles. He calls for a figure four, but Masters kicks him to the floor. He runs back in and immediately gets caught in a Samoan Drop. Boot counter in the corner, and he comes off the middle rope with a clothesline, and it looks awkward, because Masters barely used his left leg for push. (This is an impressive touch.) Chop by Masters, but Drew stops a whip, and it gets countered into a Low Down for two. Chop by Masters. Whip reversal, but the leg buckles for Masters. Future shock is blocked and Drew is backdropped. Drew ducks a clothesline, and they battle over a backslide. Masters has the advantage, but Drew flips over. Future shock is blocked again, so Drew goes back to the knee. Drew misses a shoulder into the corner and gets post. Masterlock is locked in, and the ref immediately calls for the bell.

Masters sells the knee in the celebration, even.

This was really good stuff, at least before the finish, but hey, having a MDK submission isn't a bad thing, either. Drew's limb work and Masters' selling were both top notch, and the pace never got slow at all. I'll say... *** for this, actually. It was lacking that extra gear, but it also feels like part 1 of 3, if I can be honest, which is definitely a good thing.

On to Over The Limit I go!
 
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