Okay the title sucks, but there was a blizzard in Montreal allegedly, so what the hell? You ladies can post your thoughts (from a woman's point of view) of No Way Out here. My opinions are already in the "No Way Out Thoughts In Progress" thread on the main board, so enlighten us all!
Proper planning prevents piss poor performance" William Regal
I seriously considered not getting this PPV, but it turned out to be a pretty good one all around. I had anticipated many more bathroom breaks than I took--I stayed interested throughout with only minor exceptions. Austin didn't do anything particularly offensive, but I didn't pay much attention to him.
Jeff Hardy looked like he really wasn't trying, and poor Jericho didn't look happy in the least. The match picked up a little at the end, however. Thrown together at the last minute, of course. Not a good thing.
Tag championship was OK. Storm and Regal are not my favorite guys to watch. Competent, experienced, and not very exciting. What are they hinting with Kane's mask? I am not sure that he should lose it, but he keeps having major trouble because of it. Perhaps the only intention is to turn him heel on RVD, which would probably work for me.
Taker/Big Show was about ten times better than I projected. Really good job, frankly. It worked all around, the brawling made sense for a grudge match, and Taker sold like crazy to emphasize the idea that Show is just too huge to handle. Show is more credible now than he has ever been before. He is still a long way from my favorite wrestler, but he's moved up several notches. And Taker pulling out that plancha over the ropes--WOW. I shot straight out of my seat for that!
Only problem was A-Train. I really don't know about this guy--he's had a few good matches, but he simply isn't appealing to me. If it's Taker/A-Train at WM, hear me groan. But it wouldn't be the first time that Taker has had to handle some big stiff--he seems to specialize in that. I had the same trepidations about this Big Show feud, and the match turned out well even after all those plywood boxes in the ring. They have handed Nathan Jones to Taker for house shows lately and are hinting at a feud--when they have a possible problem with a superheavyweight, they always send it straight to Taker, as the guy with the balance and experience to handle it, not to mention the size. He does not get enough credit for that, I think.
The five-man tag match was a lot of fun--not match of the year, but very watchable. Team Angle is the best stable they have going out of several new ones. I like that trend--stables make sense out of a big roster. I want one of those warmup suits. Everyone in this match is good, and some are brilliant. It's a joy to watch great wrestlers wrestling. Quick and sharp and snappy--poetry in motion.
HHH/Steiner was better than last time. Not saying much, of course. Didn't register on my radar to any great extent. Both of these guys, having wrestled so little outside of PPV, seem rather irrelevant right now.
Hogan/Rock was possibly the match with the best buzz, and it did a lot to establish the new heel Rock. I'm interested, definitely. Though how long Rocky will stick around after WM is a question.
I think I'm omitting something, but that's all I have time for...
I was overall pretty happy with it too. That whole "meeting (or exceeding) expectations" thing that Ringmistress mentioned over on the main forum really is a key point. I think everything in the first hour-n-a-half (through Team Angle) exceeded my expectations, & the rest was just about exactly what I'd expected. (If you lead me on & then disappoint me, that's when I get unhappy.)
Very little extraneous stuff, which was a nice change from the Al/Dawn era. The backstage vignettes that we did get were all pretty useful & short. The overall pacing & organization of the show were dead on -- there weren't any points where I felt the presentation drag.
No women's match. That's probably a bad omen for them, but let's just chalk it up to "full card".
I haven't seen anybody mention the announcing! I was astonished that JR let Coach call a PPV. (Yeah, JR -- putting over the younger talent!) When Coach first came out with Lawler a few weeks ago, he was a bit too hyper; however, he's really settled in. They've also calmed down Lawler -- maybe he just doesn't get so rev'd up without JR going on, maybe it was the absence of puppies. At any rate, I really enjoyed them last night. And this is the first time in a long time that I don't remember once getting distracted or annoyed by the Raw commentators. They were actually paying attention to the matches!
I didn't see the same Jericho/Jeff Hardy match that Madame Manga did at all. I thought they were both very "on" & into it. Everything was very clean, nothing obviously blown. Really good flow, pacing, & psychology. Coach said something to the effect of, "I think that's what Shawn Michaels has been trying to teach Jeff Hardy -- that everything has to have substance." I buy that.
Shawn wasn't sure what he was going to get from the crowd, & the crowd didn't seem sure what they should give him. He moved them around goooood. Really good closing stare. :-)
Evolution in leather! Yummy.
RVD/Kane vs Regal/Storm was good too. Again, they seemed to be really "on", & "feeling each other" better than often happens. This is about the happiest I remember ever being with RVD -- clean transitions so that the spots looked more natural, like they had a purpose, & no fakey-fake looking punches or kicks. I think Regal got legitimately rung on that one bump. Lance seemed psyched to be there -- some nice athletic stuff, plus sassing the ref to show some personality. Kane was looking particularly good too, for some reason. Dunno where they're going with the mask thing -- whether we're planning to turn him or Rob, or just get him unmasked altogether. Hopefully we'll have advancement of that tonight.
I like Kidman quite a bit more than the average Wiener, & thought he & Matt did a good job. Billy had 3-4 very pretty moves in there, they also did really nice match flow, & the Twist of Fate from the top was a good finish.
The backstage frenzy over Edge was well done -- brief, concise, not too much melodrama from Tazz & Cole.
I did see exactly the same Undertaker/Big Show match that Madame Manga did -- my sentiments exactly. I loved the several times when Taker stopped & did the "OK, now what?" look. "OK, let's try this." :-)
I typed someplace else today that I'm good with Albert/A-Train. The word "appealing" is not my adjective of choice, but I think he does a much better job than he sometimes gets credit for.
Same ol', same ol' from Team Angle vs. Benoit & Brock. :-) The positioning in the card after the deliberately paced Taker/Show match was brilliant. Have we ever discussed the long-term psychology of the Angle/Benoit story arc? I just love how they keep figuring out each other's moves, developing counters & reversals, so they have to keep adding in more stuff. Killer good. And aren't the baby boys doing exceptionally well -- if you think about it, the cumulative years of experience in that ring is probably less than any other matchup all night.
After Scott Steiner's showing at Rumble, I really wasn't expecting much from his match. HHH again gamely ((arr-arr)) did his best trying to keep Steiner in the game ((arr-arr)), but there's only so much even he can do. The thing that saved this for me was the crowd -- thank you, Montreal! :-) And I always love it when HHH & Earl get into it.
(Ringmistress, was I mistaken, or were those slightly smaller trunks on HHH than usual? I don't remember the logo drifting down quite where it was. And speaking of tan lines...)
Austin was pretty much as expected. Although both those shorts and the knee braces looked awfully tight to me. (And I don't mean that in a good, HHH way.) There was some discussion on the main board about Austin looking so fit & trim -- he wasn't a blimp, but "trim" also wasn't the word I'd use.
Rock vs. Hogan was also right there with my expectations. I wasn't expecting great wrestling, but I was expecting great showmanship, & they definitely did deliver that.
So, yeah -- don't disappoint me, & I'll be a happy girl. :-)
Dang, I forgot all about Matt Hardy! I didn't see the first three-quarters of the cruiserweight match, that's why. The right finish and some good work in the last moments, IMO. I want to see where they go with this, especially if Rhyno does end up joining Mattitude.
I'm willing to believe that my husband and I saw a different Jericho/Jeff match than many people did. We've both been a little down on Jeff lately. He looks ill and strung out, he blows spots way too often, and he generally needs a long vacation. Perhaps he wasn't as bad as he seemed to us on first viewing. I'll have to watch the tape again.
Austin was buff, but tubby. He's been working out AND eating. And his return excited me just as much as I thought it would. Not much.
Speaking of vacations, it ought to become standard policy to give every upper-card guy three months off in a year. I think we would see fewer injuries, less burnout, better conditioning, fewer drug problems and fresher characters. Lower-card guys probably want the exposure more than they want the rest, and they don't need the rest quite as badly as someone who wrestles constantly. Why do they have to wait for real injuries to let the guys recharge? Why not do a little preventive maintainance?
I'll answer that: because wrestlers, especially upper-card ones, are very driven people. They won't rest if they are healthy, and they won't risk slipping out of the public consciousness by leaving for any length of time if they don't absolutely have to. Only if they are in agony or in deep Dutch will they ever stay home. Standard vacations are about as probable as a wrestler's union, IMO.
I caught bits and pieces of both shows, and really liked what I saw. I may be forced to start taping the weekend shows. The Stevie interview was one of the best backstage segments I have ever seen. In my mind, the pink fuzzy hat is his GM hat.