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Go2Sleep

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Posts posted by Go2Sleep

  1. Does Ambrose have any competition for #1 in WWE this year? Every since the Shield went tweener/face he's been killing it every match and segment he's in.

     

    Well, Bryan was easily #1 before he got hurt. His work through Mania tops most of Ambrose's work up to now (Shield/Wyatts 1 notwithstanding).

     

    I'd say Rollins is ahead too, though that may be an unpopular opinion here. He was just as important (if not more) as Ambrose in all the Shield matches, and his singles work is staying strong even though he has to work with RVD while Ambrose gets to work with Cesaro. Not that I'd begrudge anyone for picking Ambrose over him, but Rollins is definitely competition.

     

    Edit: Cesaro's still had a damn strong year too despite atrocious booking the last 4 months.

  2. I think Zayn/Neville is the only thing close to a "money match" that NXT has right now. Those two are so far ahead of everyone else in the ring, it really isn't fair. Only Kalisto appears to be within shouting distance. The tag division has some promise, but The Ascension are so terrible, I can't really think of any match I want to see them in despite their ridiculously strong booking (other than the one where they lose the belts). .

  3. The Vaudevillains are hands down the best act in NXT. Their entrance is glorious, and their mannerisms are spot-on throughout the match. If they don't win the tag titles, something's pretty wrong. Don't care about Bull/Mojo at all, but at least it condenses two boring guys into one program.

     

    The Kalisto/Sin Cara match was pretty fun too. Good showcase for Team Lucha. I'm looking forward to them against Zayn and Rose.

     

    Sasha/Bayley was solid. It wasn't as tight as their tournament match a couple months back, but they did alright filling the extra time. Really liked them building off the finish to their last match.

     

    The main was ok, but the wind got sucked out of the match as soon as Kidd showed up and ended even the minimal hope of a real finish. I'm not as high on Tyler Breeze as a lot of people, but he's at least at the level where he can look good against Zayn and Neville. Neville looked good as usual, including the tornado DDT sell and the superkick he delivered to Kidd. I don't mind them going for the 4-way at the next live show. NXT doesn't do shit like that all the time, so it'll feel fresh, and it should cut down on the boring parts of Kidd/Breeze matches. WIth any luck, it could transition to a Zayn/Neville feud.

  4. I think everyone assumed Ambrose was a heel for life based on his look. Then he took up the Ricky Morton role during The Shield's brief face run, and everyone realized (or should have realized) he's got money written all over him as a psycho face and we all missed it because of our sheltered and ignorant views on face/heel dynamics.

     

    Don't judge a book by its cover!

    • Like 2
  5. Also, and I know it doesn't matter, but Randy Orton is a really, really, really good professional wrestler. Not exactly a high spot machine, but I always thought his style of wrestling and psychology would be taken better here. 

     

    I mean, even stuck in a babyface role he despised, he was having wild matches with Damian Sandow and Cody last year. 

     

    Randy Orton is very good when he wants to be. His timing and pacing his excellent, and he mixes up his spots better than just about anyone. I think most of the hate he gets is because it appears that his effort level varies greatly. I think he's just been doing it for 12 years now, so if the writing/his opponent isn't fresh, he tends to coast. You don't even have to look back far to see this phenomenon. His work when he was paired with Show and Cena at the end of last year/beginning of this year was really uninspired. Then when he got paired with Bryan and The Shield, he looked like a top guy again.

     

    As far as Roman goes, while it's clear his ring-work isn't up to speed for a main eventer, he's still getting very good reactions. He just needs to work with guys who can hopefully boost his game in the upper midcard. I think a program with a freshly-turned Sheamus would do both guys a lot of good. Cesaro would be another option if he hadn't been jobbed out all summer.

  6. As I prepare to move on to 2000, here are some quick references for the 1999 WCW ppv section of the network.

     

    Best matches:

     

    1. Raven/Saturn vs. Benoit/Malenko (Spring Stampede)

    2. Hollywood Hogan vs. Ric Flair (Superbrawl)

    3. DDP vs. Ric Flair (Strap match - Halloween Havoc)

    4. Kidman vs. Mikey Whipreck (Uncensored)

    5. Goldberg vs. Sid Vicious (Halloween Havoc)

    6. DDP vs. Chris Benoit (Road Wild)

    7. Raven/Saturn vs. Benoit/Malenko vs. Kidman/Rey (Slamboree)

    8. Juventud Guerrera vs. Blitzkrieg (Spring Stampede)

     

    If you're a glutton for punishment, Worst Matches:

     

    1. Hardcore Invitational Junkyard Brawl (Bash at the Beach)

    2. Stevie Ray vs. Vincent (Uncensored)

    3. Berlyn vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan (Fall Brawl)

    4. Roddy Piper vs. Buff Bagwell ("Boxing" match - Bash at the Beach)

    5. Jerry Flynn vs. The Cat and Sonny Oono (Uncensored)

    6. The Cat vs. Buff Bagwell (Road Wild)

    7. Kevin Nash vs. Sid Vicious (Powerbomb match - Starrcade)

    8. Kevin Nash vs. Hulk Hogan (Road Wild)

  7. I don't know if Lesnar is a better "promo" than Heyman, but he's probably the best "talker" in the company if that makes sense. Put it this way, I wouldn't want to hear Lesnar read a script meant for Heyman, but when they let him be himself he projects this very old-school, authentic, legit crazy/dangerous aura that I think would be a big hit around these parts. "Party's over grandpa" was better than Heyman's long-winded speech in every way except that you can't make a video package around it.

    • Like 1
  8. Eh, technically WWE did this type of angle first. Remember the woman Heyman paid to see she slept with Taker?

     

    Her name was Tracy. That was a really awkward angle. It was sandwiched between a million other things and seemed completely out of place in that feud. Brock and Taker don't need superflcial reasons to fight each other. At least this type of shit makes sense in a Steph/Brie feud.

     

    Best part of the show was everything Lesnar. Of course "Party's over, grandpa" ruled, but I also liked him just pointing to the mic at the end of Heyman's promo, and Heyman going to pick it up and saying whatever Brock wanted.

     

    I can't decide what was the worst part of this show: Cesaro being cemented as a glorified jobber, or Cole yelling "hashtag Hogan's birthday, hashtag Hogan's birthday" during Hogan's entrance.

    • Like 1
  9. The journey of WCW's downfall took me to Starrcade 1999. It's a fairly bad show, as you would expect, but check out the end of the Sting/Luger match to see the most sickening baseball bat shot in wrestling history (from Liz of all people). If you watched the show live and knew that one person had a career ending head injury, you sure as hell wouldn't have guessed Bret after seeing this segment.

  10. I thought Angle going on about how Cena sucks for months, then Edge talking about how Cena wasn't edgy enough only for HHH to talk about how Cena wasn't good enough to be HHH started the whole Cena Sucks thing.

     

    No, people were getting tired long before that. They tried everything they could to make Angle a heel against Cena (such as cutting anti-military promos and pairing him with Daivari) but nothing took. Most of the heat Cena got from the Edge feud was winning the title back just a couple weeks after losing it. Edge winning was really fresh at the time, and most people saw that angle as wasting a huge opportunity for Edge just to continue shoving Cena down everyone's throat.

     

    The HHH feud was the best thing that ever happened to John Cena, and though it looked bad at the time, I think we should retrospectively give HHH and the writers a lot of credit for being ahead of the curve on that one. HHH just kind of took what was there and went with it instead of fighting the current. It helped Cena develop the "I don't give a fuck what anyone thinks" aspect of his character and you could tell it was a big weight off his shoulders to be in a situation where being booed didn't look terrible (like the Angle and Edge feuds). Then he went over HHH clean at Mania to cement himself and prove he could "wrestle" with the best. They followed it up with the RVD feud which was another good spot for Cena at the time, and things just settled into place after that.

  11.  

    3.) He got spectacularly lazy in the ring, and was matched with guys who were clearly working circles around him.

     

    When did this happen?  I've never thought Cena was overly lazy and I'm not sure there's anyone in the company I'd agree "can work circles around him".

     

     

    I think he might be referring to pre-2006 Cena. I don't think Cena was lazy at all, but he certainly didn't have it all together in the ring and you'd be hard-pressed to find too many quality Cena performances before Mania 22, which I would say is part of the reason people got tired of him at the top. Guys like Rey, Finlay, Eddie, and Benoit were working circles around him in 2004-5, and don't think even Cena himself would argue that.

     

    Now if this is referring to after 2006, I have no idea. Since then Cena has mastered his character and has consistently been an elite worker, including a few WWE MOTDC level matches.

  12. I still think Cena will have an awesome past-his-prime heel run that lasts about 6 months or so a la Austin, but that's on hold until Bryan gets back at the very least. There's no one else that can carry the face side of things right now. Maybe Ambrose or Reigns can get there, but they're still a ways off. Bryan was the only guy since 2006 that looked like he could take Cena's spot (unless you count those 2 weeks of CM Punk in 2011).

  13. Del Rio's legacy is being the king of "almost but not quite" guys like Kennedy, Carlito, Morrison, etc. He definitely had some great moments, including a couple high-end MOTDC level matches. My lasting memories of him will be the double turn match with Ziggler and that one time he did guest commentary and Micahel Cole ripped him a new one over calling everyone a perro and a gringo.

     

    Del Rio: Here's what I think about (wrestler)...

    Cole: Let me guess, he's a gringo and a perro.

    Del Rio: ...

     

    And later Cole dropped a really annoyed "Yeah, yeah, gringo perro, we get it" or something similar.

  14. Man, Eva Marie has zero natural talent in the ring. She was maybe a half step ahead of Jenna Morasca in her match tonight.

     

    Outside of the rarity of the divas match being the worst on NXT, this was a pretty solid show. I actually kinda like what they did with Cass and Enzo. Both tag matches were solid and Woods/Parker wasn't too bad for a CJ Parker match. Hopefully they don't drag out the losing streak gimmick with Xavier, because that's pure death for any wrestler. Adam Rose continues to be 100x better in NXT than on any of the main shows and Sami is Sami. For a slopped together "we have no idea what to do with you guys" team, they could be pretty good.

  15. Taking a break from WCW, I decided re-watch Cena/Lesnar 1, as promoted on Raw.

     

    Still easily the match of the decade and an all-time great WWE match. Brock looks like a monster in every way, from all the super stiff strikes to the innovative ways he tries to hurt Cena to picking up an unconscious Charles Robinson with one hand like a duffel bag, everything he does looks fantastic. The match layout is refreshingly different from most big WWE matches, including all of Lesnar's since. The opening sequence with the intentional hardway blood really set the pace and even the parts with the cut doctor that should've been annoying fit right in as the only way to keep believably keep Cena from being killed in the first minute. Cena's never-say-die attitude was in top form here, as he really came across as someone desperate to stay alive, let alone win when he couldn't string more than two moves together. WWE probably regrets Cena going over here, but in the context of the match it was a perfectly sensible finish. They built up the chain as Cena's only hope, and Lesnar went out of his way to lean into the shot busting himself open as well. Brock already had a visual pin off the F5 when the ref was down, and an AA on the steps is pretty credible following a blood-drawing chain shot, so no one came away looking bad. Lesnar spent most of the match toying with Cena, who was just desperate to get out of there in one piece. The hype around Lesnar coming back, the brutality of this match in 2012 WWE, and the perfect character work by both guys make this one a classic.

  16. For me, it's actually been harder to think of worst booking.

     

    For as good as the NWO was in 1996, there a couple obvious examples of terrible booking afterwards that played a noticeable role in the company's downward spiral. Of course, there was Starrcade 97, which was the easiest thing in the world to book, but Hogan had to be protected for some reason. All you had to do was have Sting kick Hogan's ass for 10 minutes, with Hogan getting a couple minutes of offense by cheating, then Sting comes back for a clean, decisive win. Instead we got a match where Hogan controlled most of it, and a screwy finish that wasn't even executed well and the biggest WCW show ever only served to drag out their biggest angle instead of blowing it off.

     

    The other one is the fingerpoke of doom incident, which was the nail in the coffin for me as a WCW fan at the time. Nash beating Goldberg was questionable, but not necessarily terrible by itself. Following it up with this, however, was. The fake arrest on Goldberg, Tony's "butts in the seats" comment, and all the shenanigans surrounding the match and post-match were awful. Any angle that makes you stop watching a promotion entirely has to qualify as one of the worst ever.

  17. Fall Brawl 96 and Sting going crazy was amazing stuff, and hits so many subtle notes for human psychology. The first beatdown on Luger in the rain was damn near cinematic, and actually provided some cover for Luger not being able to tell the NWO Sting was obviously a fake. Then Luger gets it in his head that Sting turned and poisons his reputation in the locker room and nothing Sting says can convince anyone otherwise. Then he shows up in Wargames and wipes out the NWO by himself before leaving team WCW in a lurch because they wouldn't give him the time of day for no good reason. Luger's slow crawl up the ramp begging Sting to come back, before the NWO finished him off was a rare perfectly-acted Luger moment. The fallout was dead on too, with Sting becoming more and more of a recluse, while the rest of Team WCW (instead of introspecting on where they went wrong) just proceeded to blame each other, allowing the NWO to entrench themselves at the top even further (and also a series of surprisingly great Luger/Arn matches). Really, the whole of the NWO from Memorial Day 96 through Starrcade 96 was almost flawless, but that angle with Sting and the booking around Fall Brawl stands out among everything.

     

    One of my other faves is Nigel's heel turn in ROH as champ. The match with Bryan in February of 2008 was a thing of beauty. The milking of his legitimate injuries finally went overboard with Bryan doing everything he could to be an upstanding competitor, and the crowd reacted perfectly. The finish with Nigel using his head that Bryan so valiantly went out of his way to avoid to nail Bryan's lingering injured eye that he never complained about was absolutely perfect. Then he added the elbows for extra dickishness and took a pass-out victory off an "injury" to his opponent. I honestly didn't follow the rest of Nigel's reign too closely, but this one match was about as good as it gets for in-ring story-telling.

    • Like 1
  18. Has there ever been a good lumberjack match? Ugh. Not to mention, any kind of "enclosure" stipulation doesn't make a lot of sense here, because Rollins hasn't really been running from Ambrose, he's just unsurprisingly tired of Ambrose stalking him. Rollins has shown multiple times he's willing to mix it up with Ambrose and even invited it at MITB. This feud really needs a street fight or falls count anywhere type of wild brawl. Obviously that could still happen down the road, but who knows how painstakingly dragged out the feud may or may not be when they get to that point. Strike while the iron's hot, people.

     

    God damn it, a fucking lumberjack match, really? I seriously don't think there was a worse choice. A normal match or some fucking object on a pole match would've even been better. A normal match is the logical continuation of Battleground, something on a pole could at least somewhat convey the threat of serious injury... Hell, even an evening gown match would've accentuated Ambrose's crazy character.

     

    I'm not sure I've ever been more pissed reading spoilers. Completely ruins one of my most anticipated matches of the year, and not with some obvious chickenshit heel booking that's supposed to get negative heat. It's the supposedly crazy face beating the odds and coming up with the most limp-dick revenge stipulation imaginable.

  19. The best referee in the business is Pro-Wrestling NOAH's main event referee Shuichi Nishinaga. He's always in the right position and is ridiculously consistent, but his best quality is that he's always making sure the wrestlers are okay after a bump.

     

    I was going to post the same thing, except I never caught the guy's name. It's hard to pinpoint what he was doing since I've never worked in wrestling, but he always came across as the most natural, "true professional" in that position, similar to a ref for a legitimate sport. He had the perfect balance of keeping the heat on the wrestlers, but still selling big moments by reacting like a normal person who didn't know what was planned.

     

    On TV, I think a big thing is how the announcers put over a ref doing his job well and calling him by name (eg "Referee Mike Chioda was in great position to see that foot on the ropes). WWE went through this weird phase where they didn't want to call refs by name, and it just made everyone look silly. You want to create the illusion that the matches are being competed fairly and at a high level, so acknowledging the presence of the ref when appropriate is a big help.

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