Having been bequeathed free tickets from someone who accidentally won a radio giveaway, I drove like the wind to Greenville's Bi-Lo Center for the taping of Velocity and SmackDown. I'm from the area and have caught a few live shows right here, in this very arena.
VELOCITY ~Someone allegedly from Greenville (Andrew? Ante? The name was buried by the audience pop for the word "Greenville") vs. Lodi~ Yes, LODI. From the halcyon WCW days of Lenny Lane, Raven and a whole crapload of wasted performers who went to the WWF and won the world title. Quick little match, highlighted by a cringe-inducing Lodi DDT by Lodi and a corkscrew crossbody pin by "the local guy."
~Chrissy Something vs. Jade Taylor~ Never heard of either. Sloppy, sloppy match. Jade wins with a neckbreaker.
~Paul London vs. Billy Kidman~ Kidman's theme song is wondrous to behold. As is his ring jacket. This is the long-awaited rematch for Kidman almost killing London with his fearsome backflip pin from the top rope (The Shooting Star Press). London works the whole match, flying around like fresh gossip. He eats the railing, and Kidman works him over. He misses the SSP, and London hits the 450 (a front-flip pin from the top) for the win. The crowd hated Kidman like he owed them money.
~Cruiserweight champ Spike Dudley vs. CW Anderson~ Anderson is almost carried out of the building to the local gallows for bringing his faux Anderson shtick to Horsemen Country. Seriously, the crowd is railing against him before we even learn who his opponent is. And Spike, the bad guy, is cheered like a noble conqueror. Spike and his Elongated Goatee of Dastardly Evil spend a good amount of time bouncing off the mat. A Dudleydog is reversed to a spinebuster, which the crowd cheers despite themselves. CW hits a shocking half-nelson german suplex. He later smacks Spike with a superkick that wows the crowd. Spike lives, however, and gets the DudleyDog off the ropes, making it a Stratusfaction in reality. He wins and practically strokes the goatee like the sensei in Kill Bill. No sign of his brothers.
~Luther Reigns vs. Hardcore Holly~ Holly, ladies and gents, is over with the crowd. He is much beloved, and we can only wonder why. This is a brawl, with nary a wrestling move until five minutes in (a backdrop suplex). Holly stalls a lot to milk the crowd. Luther does NOTHING beyond kicking until he hits the twisting neckbreaker for the win. Holly thoroughly carried this match. Luther attacks post-match and Holly hits the Alabama Slam. Looks like he torqued his wrist in a ringpost spot.
We get a video of the divas set to Jetís ďBe My Girl.Ē
SMACKDOWN WWE champ John Bradshaw Layfield and his Cabinet start the show in the ring. JBL protests mightily about Sundayís pay-per-view four-way match. Undertaker interrupts to clear the ring. These two men represent the most and least loved on the whole show. Weíre just as loud for both. The cheers for Taker almost shake the building.
~Cruiserweight battle royale Paul London vs. Akio vs. Nunzio vs. Funaki vs. Shannon Moore vs. Billy Kidman vs. Chavo Guerrero~ The winner gets a shot at Spikeís belt on Sunday. Chavoís entrance is marred by the wrong video (Kenzo Suzuki lusting over Torrie from last week). Akio quickly tosses Nunzio by kicking him off the top. Kidman eliminates London with an ambush. Moore springboard-kicks Akio out and is likewise ousted by Funaki. Chavo and Kidman tie themselves up in the ropes, and Funaki charges to ditch them and win. Funaki is your top contender. Canít tell whoís more pleasantly shocked, him or us.
Charlie Haas sports a bloodied eye from the attack by Jesus last week. He faces him tonight in a street fight. We learn Hassíll referee a match Sunday between his fiancťe Jackie and Dawn Marie, who claims to have a little somminí somminí with Haas. How can he be impartial? Does he want to be?
~Street fight: Haas vs. Jesus w/ Carlito Cool~ Referee Charles Robinson makes Carlito go backstage and is given the apple-spit twice for it. Haas attacks quickly, but Carlito drags out Jackie, distracting Haas. Jesus nails him from behind with the chain around his fist for the sudden KO. Seriously, the match couldnít have been a minute from bell to bell. The two women stare each other down over Charlie and help him back to the locker area.
Luther tells Joy to warn The Big Show to watch his back.
JBL tries to leave, but SmackDown GM Theodore Long stops him to ban the Cabinet from ringside on Sunday. JBL discovers his limo has been jacked. In the ring, Eddy Guerrero displays a stolen tire and promises to get his belt back on Sunday.
The Tough Enough contestants stumble their way through backstage promos. Truly amateur.
Suzuki sends flowers to Torrie, who is creeped out and calls him a jerk. Suzukiís wife Hiroko overhears and strips Torrie to her pink underthings. Torrie chases her through the backstage area and rips off her clothes. Hiroko stumbles away and is horrified to discover herself at ringside. Torrie gives chase but is cornered by Suzuki and fellow tag champ Rene Dupree. Sheís saved by Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio. GM Long says heís so upset at being interrupted when trying to drink his Playerade that heís making a tag-belt match right now.
~Tag team title match RVD/Rey vs. Suzuki/Dupree~ Rey and RVDís double-teams are things of beauty. The crowd cheers lustfully for both. The heels take over when Suzuki blocks RVDís Five-Star Frogsplash. We get to see the French dance. The match breaks down, and Rey rolls through a Suzuki powerbomb for a victory roll. RVD helps him secure the pin, and you gots yourself new champs. Hot, hot match. Suzuki is deadwood out there, but Dupree is almost cartoonish in his selling of moves.
The Tough Enough guys make their entrance. Justice Smith is cut, leaving Miz and Puder to fight with inflated battle sticks in the ring. Puder wins the bout easily.
Booker T customizes JBLís cowboy hat. And there was much rejoicing.
Kurt Angle, Mark Jindrak and Luther hit the ring, followed by two local cops. Angle is prepared to face a local native in another of his invitational lock-ups. But the South Carolina native tonight is The Big Show. Jindrak is forced to face him instead and gets creamed. Angle wallops Show with a chair and then the steel ring steps. They bounce off Show as if they were flimsy aluminum. And they are. Hope you didnít drive to town to see Angle; heís gone in ten minutes. We never do learn whatís up with the cops.
Paul Heyman tries to escort John Heidenreich out of therapy but John doesnít want to leave the safety and support of the institution.
~Handicap match: JBL/Orlando Jones/Basham Brothers vs. Edy/Booker/Taker~ The Bashams have stolen the double-B logo from Buckaroo Banzai. Their evil knows no bounds. The heat from Bookerís entrance pyro can be felt clear across the arena. The faces clear the ring to start. Booker is the least over of the three. Easily. Heís popular but nowhere near what Eddy and Taker are getting from us. The Eddy chants are almost painfully loud. He gets worked over for a long time. He fights off the Bashams before eating a JBL clothesline. Taker chases him into the crowd. Eddy is again given the once over to the scary chants. Thereís obviously every confidence from the fans that he can hold the belt again. JBL tries a ragdoll slam, but Eddy reverses to a DDT. He tags in Taker. Taker goes ballistic on the Cabinet. JBL fails to swat Eddy with the belt and finds himself trapped by the faces. Orlando stops a Tombstone on JBL and is whupped for it, taking a Booker kick, Eddy frogsplash and a Tombstone for his trouble. Whatís left of him is pinned. The winners stare each other down for the belt. JBL sneaks in with a chair but is caught and thrashed. The faces slowly leave and the Cabinet drags LBL out afterward. The audience was hitting top decibels the whole match. Lots of energy from the performers.
A really fun show with a number of happy endings for the fans.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
So by WWE logic, the massive face beatdown on JBL means he'll (sigh) retain the title again. Good God.
Is Big Show/Angle even officially scheduled for the PPV?
I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff Leo McGarry insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it okay to call the police? Here's one that's really important because we've got a lot of sports fans in this town: touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you? One last thing: while you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, in this building, when the President stands, nobody sits." --- President Jed Bartlett, The West Wing
I'm not one of these ROH-type marks or anything, but shouldn't they really have put the return Paul London-Billy Kidman match AT LEAST on SmackDown? I mean, I know his big return already happened (also on Velocity), and I'm not saying London is a big superstar or anything, but he at least deserves a nice return revenge match instead of relegating it to the depths of Velocity....
Yeah, I'm not thrilled that they did the big return match of Kidman-London on Velocity either. Plus, just last week they did the Chavo/Kidman blowoff (a feud that was 4 months in the making) on Velocity as well.
Maybe they're tyring to build up Velocity as the place to go if you want to see cruiserweight action. Or maybe Vince just thinks it's funny.
The answer to WWE's financial problems...
Never 'Wiener of the Day', and is actually quite bitter about it.
To me, the company's handling of the cruiserweight division these past few weeks has been much more of a fumble than the whole Puder/Angle thing. They have two really strong heels in Spike and Kidman, ready-made feuds involving Chavo and London just WAITING to be exploited (the London one they set up themselves, fer cryin' out loud!), and they give the PPV title match to...Funaki. And that's after Spike has been absent from Thursday nights for the last three weeks. It's some of the most jaw-droppingly bad booking of the last coupla years, and that's saying something.
Once upon a time in China, some believe, around the year one double-ought three, head priest of the White Lotus Clan, Pai Mei was walking down the road, contemplating whatever it is that a man of Pai Mei's infinite power contemplates - which is another way of saying "who knows" - when a Shaolin monk appeared, traveling in the opposite direction. As the monk and the priest crossed paths, Pai Mei, in a practically unfathomable display of generosity, gave the monk the slightest of nods. The nod was not returned. Now was it the intention of the Shaolin monk to insult Pai Mei or did he just fail to see the generous social gesture? The motives of the monk remain unknown. What is known, are the consequences. The next morning Pai Mei appeared at the Shaolin Temple and demanded of the Temple's head abbot that he offer Pai Mei his neck to repay the insult. The Abbot at first tried to console Pai Mei, only to find Pai Mei was inconsolable. So began the massacre of the Shaolin Temple and all 60 of the monks inside at the fists of the White Lotus. And so began the legend of Pai Mei's five point palm exploding heart technique.
Speaking of the London/Kidman bout, the crowd was into the match from the very beginning. May have had something to do with London's entrance, as he stormed the ring to wallop Kidman. Even the casual "Bring out Trish! Where's Stone Cold?" fans suddenly stopped doing Hogan impressions with their frat buddies to notice, match-wise, there's a riot goin' in.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Yeah, they have pretty much killed any heat on Chavo, Kidman, Paul and the CW title. That storyline could have gone to Wrestlemania and been a potential fued of the fued now its an after thought to putting more green guys over with titles, women who can't wrestle and a champ who can't sell out a building.
I don't know what they plan to do at Armaggedon with the U.S. title, but puttig it on Jesus would be stupid. Cena should be coming back full time after this month, so I say let him drop the title at the Rumble, but then enter the Rumble and win. Its corny, but I still say its better than throwing it on Carlito and Jesus, they have proven to be injury prone to put the belt on them. Samething happened to Batista and Orton two years ago, thats why I never liked putting the belts on newbies, chances of injuries are very high.
"All faith reguires is giving into the possibility of hope."
Looks like Velocity is the show to watch again this week. Out of all the people to face Spike, they pick Funaki? I like Funaki and all but I could have sworn that Shannon Moore pinned Spike on Velocity two weeks ago?
That's ok, they just sealed any hope they had of me wanting to buy the PPV. What could anyone possibly be looking forward to on that card? I'll just save my money for the 2 PPV's in January.
"When did they pass a law that says the people who make my sandwich have to be wearing gloves? I'm not comfortable with this. I don't want glove residue all over my food; it's not sanitary. Who knows where these gloves have been?" - George Carlin
Originally posted by RingmistressI'm just curious. Did Hiroko look....fit in a bra and panties? I'm thinking she's in shape despite the frumpy stuff she has to wear all the time.
She indeed looked fit, but not overtly muscular.
She wore a matching black unmentionables with red accents, I believe. Not as demure an outfit as what Molly was shone to wear (Lawler: "Granny panties!") but neither was it a string thong outfit.
Haha, well, thanks to WWE.com, the mystery is solved. As I thought, she has a great body under there (though the facial expresion kinda threw me off). These japanese ladies are known for their great diet, and well, we have more evidence of that. But wow, if they have a night that they even swerve a T&A Match, I seriously worry about where the WWE's head is at.
On balance, I'd say that the Daniels/Styles confrontation was marked with an economy of storytelling, particularly when juxtaposed with the earlier segment, which I believe point more toward the problems with TNA.