and for some reason I forgot to mention the oddness of Chuck Zito up in the WWE box joking around with Eric Bischoff. I was wondering if they were going to set up a Zito vs. Van Damme angle.
PAS: Phil Schneider TKG: Tom Karro-Gassner LB: Lee Benaka
PAS: No Hat Guy in the front row. Even after he was put over on Heat. I like that he was the only guy with integrity. "I AM NOT WORKING THIS CORPORATE ABOMINATION, HAT GUY KEEPS IT REAL"
PAS: Psicosis bumps like a freak for his 5 minute Thunder match with Rey Jr. Rey didn't do much outside from the dive and this wasn't particularly good or anything, but goddam did Psic take some crazy bumps.
TKG: John Bradshaw Layfield is actively the best heel not named Eddie Guerrero in WWE. His Fred Sanford impression ruled.
PAS: I am happy that Eddie actually worked heel instead of doing a shitty ECW counter wrestling clap off match with Beniot. Still this had the feel of low end WCWSN match between these two guys, low end WCWSN match is still better then high end ECW match, but this was disappointing.
TKG: Yeah this was better than I expected although not as good as their match for the troops. I also really liked Eddie working heel. Crowd ignores the wrestling to chant at Edge. Eddie actually gets crowd back into the match by doing a Zbyzsco stall. Amazing.
LB: The blood running into Eddy Guerrero's eye as he lay on the mat early in his match.
PAS: Mike Awesome and Masato Tanaka kicked out of way too much stuff, but Awesome looked better then he did in years. Out of all the guys on the show he was the only non-WWE guy who looked like a star. I am sad that Awesome cut his mullet, I always loved the fact that Awesome's wife was a Vice President at Bank of America and her husband had that haircut. I can just imagine that guy in a suit at a corporate retreat.
TKG:Yeah that was fucking odd. Awesome vs. Tanaka matches have always been all about Tanaka. but here Tanaka's bumps looked all awkward, while Awesomes bumps and stuff all looked really great. I wonder what Horace looks like today?
PAS: I got to give Tommy Dreamer some credit for showing love and getting a ton of guys some paychecks. How the hell did he convince Vince that they needed to cut a check to Big Guido and Roadkill. How did he sell that "This isn't an ECW PPV with out a Danny Doring promo?"
TKG: I wasn't as impressed with Big Guido being there. I mean Mabel was part of the FBI too, and he's under contract. Where's Sal E Graziano? I mean if Ulf Hermman came out in his FBI shirt than yeah, I'd be praising Dreamer too. but Big Guido ain't gonna make me do that.
PAS: I was amused by the multiple IWA Japan reminiscence by Foley. I hope that means that he will be doing the match with Onita.
LB: The aborted Roadkill/Danny Doring promo; I can only hope it appears as an Easter Egg on the DVD.
PAS: Wow Sabu needs to check himself into a hospital before every show. He looked great here, really pretty dives, big bumps, everything you want in a Sabu match.
TKG: This was way better than I expected and Sabu is back. Really want to see his match from night before. This wasn't as good as him vs. Mossman from same building, but this whole show wasn't as good as the MLW one here. But still dug this.
TKG: Richards on the mic was fun and I enjoyed the main Dudleys vs. Dreamer/Sandman clusterfuck. Sandman looked really good in it as all his leg take downs and side russian leg sweep were really nicely executed. It was a shame he had to spend the match matched up opposite D Von. Dreamer's execution and stuff looked pretty garbage and it was mistake to have him work the opening section...although Buh Buh did an admirable job trying to carry him. Still it would have been a better match if they did more matching of Sandman and Buh Buh. who would have thought, most impressive work on this show would be Mike Awesome and Sandman?
LB: Buh Buh Ray Dudley collapsing from a loss of blood moments before Beulah was able to brutally DDT him--that's keeping it real.
PAS: Sandman came off as a real star here, and he looked kind of sober for much of this. Stuff looked good, took nice bumps. My favorite part of this whole PPV was him cursing at Austin "I SAID I NEEDED A BEER, GIVE ME A BEER"
LB: Steve Austin exclaiming, "Jesus Christ!" as he shoved a beer into the Sandman's hand, much like I feel like saying when my children whine at me in stereo for the fifth juice box of the day.
TKG: Hey Meanie put his weight back on. I mean not as much as he had before but still put enough to look fat enough for the gimmick to work.
PAS: I liked that too, good too see Meanie working himself back into ECW shape.
LB: The ECW v. WWE standoff in the ring, which reminded me of some of my favorite comic book covers, including Avengers 141.
TKG: Unfortunately wasn't able to see what Regal was doing. And unfortunately CW Anderson seemed matched up with the lesser Basham. However, really dug Tracy Smothers working over JBL.
What Didn't Work
PAS: Jesus that opening clap off wrestling section looked like it was done in a vat of vegetable oil.
TKG: I think I liked the Jericho vs. Lance Storm match more than Phil. I mean yes it was god awfull, but I really like New Japan rookie matches that are built all around dropkicks and single and double leg crabs. this was the absolutely worst New Japan rookie match I've ever seen. I mean was I think even Nagao knew how to run the ropes and do standing switches. Easily worst Anzawa vs. Goto match I've ever seen. When Jericho and Storm weren't drop kicking or doing crabs this was AWFULL. I normally am I guy who is really into pregnant chicks as they normally look really glowing...all fertile, sexualized and angelic. Dawn Marie is the one woman who looks even skankier pregnant.
PAS: Crash Holly? but no Bobby Duncum Jr.? Where is the love for the West Texas Redneck?
TKG: Canadian Tiger Mike Lozansky was always a personal favorite of mine and it was nice to see his name up there. But no Louie Spicolli, No Pillman, no Rude? Someone want to explain the politics going on here.
TKG: I don't know if I dug the Rey vs. Psicosis match as much as Phil did as it was longer than a Thunder match but felt more like a low end meaningless Super Calo vs. Lizmark jr. WCWSN Super Calo would bump like freak in those too. Although the rube Disney was smart enough not to boo headlocks. "BOOO Stop wrestling, we want spots!!" the shitty explanation of Psicosis taking off his mask in front of the crowd as show of respect for them and why Rey jr. isn't called junior anymore was ridiculous. If the WWE isn't going to have him wearing the mask why have him use the Psicosis gimmick?
PAS: Emotional Joey Styles is even worse then selling me coins Joey Styles. Since when was the legacy of ECW slobbering cry fests.
PAS: 3-way dance was basically one spot. It was a nice spot, but I would rather see a match. Good to see Tracy Smothers though, if they could bring in Big Guido, couldn't we see Big Don? Plus how come Crazy doesn't get an entourage, couldn't you bring in Super Calo, Juvi and Mosco?
LB:Joey Styles--as RVD began his promo, I wearily commented, "He's going to shoot," and approximately 2.5 seconds later, Joey Styles squealed, "He's shooting!"
PAS: I guess this isn't an ECW show with out a pudgy drug addict doing a shitty shoot promo. Douglas is TNA, so RVD has that role. Oooh he said script. I do like how he still put over Vince, there is shooting and there is shooting
TKG: I guess this isn't an ECW show with out a pudgy drug addict doing a shitty shoot promo. Douglas is TNA so Heyman has that role. Oooh he said Matt Hardy. I do like how he still put over Helmsley, there is shooting and there is shooting.
I am kind of surprised by who they chose for their leadoff show. I understand not wanting to blow all of your big names right off the bat, but really none of the guys who truly are the top guys for ROH were there. No Danielson, no Nigel, no Briscoe.