Thursday, 11 November 2010

I Actually Watched Something This Week. For Realz

CM Punk v Undertaker (WWE Smackdown!, 9/10/10)

Thought this was good, albeit a little disappointing. I don't really have much clue what's going on in terms of storylines/feuds in WWE right now, but I was aware of the whole "Undertaker's a turnip" angle and how he'd wrestle his matches around this time like he was more "human" now that he'd just come out of a coma. He's really good in that "weakened demon" (well that's the stupidest shit I've said this week) role, great at showing vulnerability, desperation and apprehension. Thought Punk was very good in his own right, trash talking and going after him like a douchebag shark that smells blood. I especially liked the duelling arm-work, although it sort of seemed like a few minutes' worth of filler since it never went anywhere. Some cool spots where 'Taker would fuck up something that he normally wouldn't because he isn't 100%, like his attempt at Old School where he ends up crotching himself and setting up Punk's run of offence. Awesome nearfall at the end as well - I thought it was over after that chokeslam. Finish keeps the loser strong in defeat. Definitely prefer Punk's Smackdown! match with Rey from February, and there's a bunch of other stuff from guys like Mysterio, McIntyre and Christian that I liked more as well, but you can't really ask for much more in a TV match than this.

Midnight Express v Brian Pillman & Z-Man (WCW World Championship Wrestling, 3/10/90)

If this match made me long for anything, it's the "loaded weapon" is pro-wrestling. Jim Cornette's tennis racket is a fucking awesome loaded weapon. I mean, this arena goes bat shit nuts when he goes to town on Pillman's throat with the racket. One minute it's a regular tennis racket, then you bang it on the ground a couple times and it's a deadly weapon. That's pro-wrestling, motherfucker. The actual match before the attempted murder is good, which shouldn't surprise anybody. Actually, this is pretty much a perfect ten minute TV tag with a terrific post-match angle all rolled into one. Pillman rocks so hard as FIP here, taking a bunch of offence like a king and firing back with well timed hope spots. Dude's always a great FIP, though. Zenk is a shitty partner but he throws a nice enough dropkick and high fives a lot so whatever. Lane and Eaton are more business-like here than I'm used to, so there's hardly any heel stooging, but they're complaining, cheating assholes and that's good enough for me. I also feel compelled to mention it any time someone gets chopped in the face, and Pillman reacts to Stan Lane's shitty karate here by chopping him in the chin. It was a definite highlight.

Ric Flair, Arn Anderson & Barry Windham v Sting, Brian Pillman & El Gigante (WCW Power Hour, 4/28/91)

This is pretty much a ten minute squash with the heels getting in practically no offence to speak of whatsoever. Instead we get a ton of stooging and bumping and backpedalling and begging for mercy and so on and so on. Flair gets mauled here, taking 3 of his top rope bumps, 2 gorilla press slams, backdrops out of the corner, etc. He has a wicked chop battle with Pillman as well; Pillman really carves him up with those Hashimoto style overhands. Not much Windham in this at all, but there's one great Arn moment where Flair has a crazy turn and decides he wants a piece of El Gigante, and Arn's trying to talk Sting out of tagging him in, crumbling to his knees on the apron when it falls on deaf ears. "Awwwww fuck, it had to get worse, didn't it?" I knew beforehand that this was only about ten minutes, so when I saw nine minutes had passed I was expecting a cheap heel victory at any second, so you can imagine my surprise when Pillman pins Arn clean as a whistle. Not sure bitching out 3 of your top heels (one of which is the World Champ, another the TV Champ) a few days before a PPV is the smartest thing to do, but what do I know? I definitely dug this for what it was, though.

Steven Regal v Brad Armstrong (WCW Saturday Night, 8/28/93)

A ten minute TV match between these two seemed to me like a can't fail prospect on paper when I realised it was on Will's Regal set, and I wasn't disappointed. This certainly wasn't as gritty as the match Regal had with Windham in April that year, but I did get the same uncooperative vibe from it. I wasn't watching it and thinking they were blatantly sandbagging each other or anything, but there were no silky smooth pre-planned stand offs or shit here; if one guy wanted to take the other guy down to the mat, he had to fucking TAKE him down. I'm sure some people will think it looked sloppy or disjointed at times, but I'm generally a fan of it. Regal throws some nasty looking forearms here. I especially liked how he'd get fed up with the matwork - which he was losing - and just loosening Armstrong's jaw with an elbow. "Fuck this shit; let's FIGHT." There's a match with Scorpio next up on the disc which I'm pretty psyched about.

No comments: