Look, I realize how obscure something like this is. However, it was a recently posted torrent courtesy of ortonweb.org, and seeing as how most of these are fairly decent matches, I figured it was worth the time.
I do have real stuff on the way. I got a copy of the ECW DVD for the weekend, so that review is forthcoming. As well, WCW Spring Stampede 1997, ROH Death Before Dishonor 2: Night One, WWE Armageddon 2004, and WWE Jukebox: January 2005 are all either already completed and sitting in the can, or are NEARLY done and will be in the can shortly.
And let’s get to it!
RANDY ORTON vs. MICK FOLEY (for the WWE intercontinental title in a hardcore match)
According to JR, Orton’s due a restaurant quality beatdown - but whether that closely resembles a five star or McDonalds remains to be seen. Funny spot: Orton brings his idea of “hardcore weapons” to the ring, including a flimsy two by four wrapped in barbed wire. Foley then completely upstages him, swinging a baseball bat tightly wrapped in LOTS of barbed wire like a madman. Orton decides it might be wise to run away after blocking the initial baseball swings with a trashcan. Outside, Foley continues to swing for the fences, but misses and winds up taking a drop toe hold into the steps. Orton grabs the bat, but Foley blocks the attack and steals it back. Orton goes to his busted trashcan from earlier and slams Mick over the head three times, causing the bat to fly elsewhere. Foley blocks a fourth shot with a big boot, then slams it back over Orton. Back in, Foley hits a running kneelift, and follows with a big leg drop for 2. A baseball slide dropkick sends Orton back to the floor, and he takes Randy down with a swinging neckbreaker on the mat. Foley heads up to the top rope, threatening an elbow, but Orton quickly rushes up the ramp to safety. Mick is more than happy to meet him there, but that proves to be an error when he takes a backdrop suplex HEAD FIRST to the steel ramp for 2. Backslide gets 2. They fight back to ringside where Foley is sent face first to the steps, and they roll back in. Orton grabs the massive barbed wire bat and tries to shred the forehead of Foley, but Mick blocks it the only way he knows how, and says hello to Randy’s little friend. Orton takes a clothesline, and it’s Socko time!!! However, Mick’s polite, and first asks the crowd if they prefer the sock or the barbed wire. You can only imagine which they pick. And, seconds later, Orton’s eating the barbed wire across the face and starts to bleed! So Mick drops an elbow with the bat to make it worse, and pounds at the open flesh wound. A running knee to the head hits, and we go back to the bat. Cheese grater action on Orton works its magic, and then we get the ULTIMATE barbed wire shot when it’s placed on Randy’s gonads, and a leg is dropped on top of it. I’m guessing we won’t get a fourth generation out of this wrestling family. Foley starts digging around under the ring for something more sadistic, and comes up with a gasoline can!!! He dumps it all over the baseball bat, and whips out a lighter!!!! However, RIGHT before he lights it, ERIC BISCHOFF heads out to the stage and tells him if he sets fire to the bat the Fire Marshall will shut the show down. Foley, sadly, listens to Bischoff, prompting a loud “BISCHOFF SUCKS!” chant. It’s okay though, because after stopping for a quick shot in the form of a cookie sheet, Foley goes to his backup plan: the full body board of barbed wire. Mick throws a series of shots to try and knock Randy back on to it, but Orton throws powder into Mick’s face, and then slams him on the board. A “HOLY SHIT” chant is right there of course, and Randy gets 2. Orton sets up the board in the corner, and we see Foley’s arms are a bloody mess. After a series of reversals, Mick is sent FACE FIRST into the barbed wire board. Orton turns his attention to a bag he brought to the ring with himself, and sprinkles thousands of thumbtacks into the ring!!!!! He pounds on Foley, goes for the RKO, but Foley blocks and it’s ORTON who hits the tacks!!!!!!!! He comes out of that with tacks all over his face, in his hands, his arms, and bleeding all over! Foley rolls him up for 2. Orton pulls them out of his hands, and heads up the ramp for safety. He and Foley brawl to the backstage area for a couple of seconds, but immediately re-emerge, and Foley sends Orton right off the stage through ringside debris!!!!!!!!! JR says this one is getting way out of hand, but he has no idea, because Foley then drops an ELBOW through that, onto Orton, while he still has thumbtacks in back!!!! “WE ARE WITNESSING A HUMAN DEMOLITION DERBY!!!” shrieks JR, and for once, he’s NOT exaggerating. Foley rolls over and gets a 2 count in the mess. Back to the ring they go, and Foley hits Orton with a double arm DDT for 2. Frustration starts to set in, and he sets the barbed wire board back up in the corner. However, as he goes to get Orton, he gets hit with the barbed wire bat in the face, and then three more times in the back and stomach. Orton goes for the finishing shot, but Foley whips out Socko and applies the Mandible Claw!!!! Randy fights that off with a low blow, but it’s immediately re-applied! So now his escape is an RKO, but Mick kicks out of that at 2! A second RKO onto the barbed wire bat though finishes at 23:05! ****3/4 This wasn’t as good as Wrestlemania’s main event, but a quarter star aside, I still voted this one as Match Of The Year because the brawl had me FAR more intrigued, and the build up was better. RIC FLAIR and BATISTA haul their bloody friend to the back.
EDGE vs. RANDY ORTON (for the WWE intercontinental title)
Lawler wonders if the following pieces of info cancel each other out for who the favorite is: Orton’s undefeated on PPV, while the IC title has changed hands more times in July than in any other month. The fans chant “LET’S GO ORTON” right off the get-go, which is not a good sign for our friend Edge. A shoulderblock takes down Orton. JR compares Orton to The Rock. Gag me. Edge hits a second shoulderblock to heel heat. Orton stomps on the back of Edge and applies a headlock. JR lets all the ladies know that Orton’s single. Criss-cross, but since that spot is about 15 years old, the fans let loose with boos. They don’t let up either when Edge hits another shoulderblock and works a headlock on the mat. “LET’S GO ORTON!!!” Edge hits another trio of shoulderblocks, since apparently that’s the only move he knows tonight, and Orton rolls out. He heads up the ramp, saying goodbye to the fans, but Edge stops Orton short and pulls him back to ringside. Back in, Orton quickly dumps Edge back over the top. Edge is sent face first into the ring apron, and then suplexed back in for 2. Orton delivers a European uppercut, while Lawler just talks about all the women that want Randy Orton. WE GET IT, ENOUGH! Orton pounds at the chest of Edge, and follows with a snapmare. Orton works a chinlock, but Edge fights away while the fans break into “BORING!!!” Edge clotheslines Orton over the top rope. Orton skulks around the ring, and casually heads over to grab the IC title. On his way in, Edge spies him, and hits a baseball slide dropkick - driving the belt into Randy’s face! Edge quickly follows with a clothesline off the apron, and rolls him back in. The Orton chants return. Edge perches on the top rope, waiting for Randy to wake up, hits a missile dropkick, and gets 2!!! He calls for the spear, but Orton blocks with a knee to the face! A backbreaker gets 2. Edge rolls outside to safety, but Orton isn’t letting up and drapes Edge over the apron. Orton throws a number of uppercuts and elbows before heading back in. Lawler says the fans won’t make up their mind who to cheer for, but I have yet to hear a peep for Edge. Orton legdrops Edge for 2. Edge hits Orton with a big boot, but Orton comes back with a knee to the midsection, then drops one onto Edge’s throat. He lets Edge up, connects with a standing dropkick, and scores 2. Back on the mat, Orton works the chinlock once again, but Edge fights out of it. A quick hairpull drags Edge back to the mat, and a legdrop gets 2. The “BORING” chant returns when Orton puts the headlock back on. Edge starts to fade, and Orton starts wrapping his legs around too - with the move starting to resemble a rear naked choke. The referee checks the arm, but Edge remains alive - and fights back to his feet. He hits a crossbody, and gets a surprise 2. A rollup gets 2. Orton fires back with a clothesline, and up he goes. Whatever he’s trying though is blocked with a dropkick to the ribs! Edge applies a front facelock, which they fight over, and Edge wins with a neckbreaker! Both guys are down and out, but get up at 8. A slugfest erupts in the middle of the ring, and Edge gets the better of that, allowing him to hit a side Russian legsweep for 2! Orton goes for a dropkick, but Edge hooks the ropes and avoids it. A catapult sends Orton face first to the buckle, and it’s 2 for Edge! To the top, but Orton stops Edge short, and he goes up. Edge blocks the superplex attempt with a crotch job, and goes for the crossbody. Orton rolls through the move though, and gets 2! Orton jabs his thumb into Edge’s eye, and undoes the turnbuckle. The referee goes to put it back together, but Edge packages Orton for a LONG 2. Edge argues the length of the count, and gets rolled up for 2. A dropkick from Randy gets 2. They fight over a move, and Edge wins the battle, hitting the Buzzkiller...for 2!!! Edge makes his Crazy Face that he’s mastered so well since turning heel, and goes for the 10-punch count-a-long. He’s given snake eyes at 6, and rolled up with Orton’s feet on the ropes for a 2! The RKO is attempted, but Edge shoves him off. He goes for the spear, but misses it and hits the turnbuckle!!! Orton tries another RKO, but it’s reversed into a backslide for 2!!!! They fight over a whip, which Edge wins sending Orton back first into the bolt he exposed earlier, and Edge follows with a spear immediately, and finally scores the win and gets the title at 26:37! **3/4 The first 18-20 minutes were slow and boring, and the fans let them know it - but they were ON during the last few minutes, and the fans responded accordingly. Orton bursts into tears after the match.
RANDY ORTON vs. CHRIS BENOIT (for the world heavyweight title)
EARL HEBNER gets a loud “YOU SCREWED BRET” chant, as usual. Orton kicks and punches at Benoit, but then he seems to think he can outwrestle Chris, and wins up getting caught in a drop toe hold. Benoit works a headlock. A test of strength is fought over, and Orton NEARLY wins, but Benoit hits a back heel trip and takes Randy down. Orton tries the same thing, and when Benoit falls Orton goes for a kneedrop, which he misses by about 8 feet. Benoit works a wristlock, and suddenly the fans remember Hebner’s presence, and go back to chanting about Bret. Benoit hits an armdrag and hangs on. It’s released, and Orton tries a dropkick, which he misses once again - and Benoit goes for a Sharpshooter. He can’t get it on, and Orton puts on one of his own, and you can ONLY imagine how well that goes over in Canada. Benoit escapes and reverses. He releases, goes for a Crossface, but Orton crawls to the floor and brings Benoit with him. He throws Chris face first to the ringpost a couple of times while the crowd now starts on about “SPANISH TABLE!!!” Back in, Orton tries a pinfall with the ropes, but Hebner sees it and won’t count. Orton works on hyper extending the elbow, releases, and drop a knee on it. Benoit escapes and starts chopping away, but Orton hotshots him across the ropes. They fight over a suplex on the apron, which degenerates into a glorified slugfest, and Benoit wins when he DDTs Orton on the apron!!!!! Back in, Benoit gets 2. Orton rolls out, and is immediately hit with a baseball slide! That’s followed by an attempted tope...but Orton sidesteps, and Benoit crashes face first into the security wall! King of the timelines, JR mentions that Benoit is “a year or so removed from neck surgery”. He went in for that in June 2001, and returned June 2002, you do the math. Back in, Orton hits a neckwringer and applies a camel clutch. Released, Orton uppercuts Benoit, and follows with an inverted neckbreaker for 2. To the headlock. Benoit tries to claw out, so Orton bites them to make him stop that. Benoit escapes and starts chopping away. Both guys come off the ropes simultaneously and bump heads mid-ring. They start trading forearms. Benoit adds a headbutt, and a flying forearm shot to take Orton down. A backdrop gives him the control he was seeking, and he follows with a Northern lights for 2! To the top rope, Orton tries to fight Benoit off, and does. Orton takes a chance, hits a crossbody, and scores 2! Orton goes for RKO, but Benoit shoves him off and goes for the Sharpshooter. That’s blocked, but a release German suplex is not! And after that move, Orton can’t block the Sharpshooter!!! Orton starts to fade, but manages to make the ropes. Benoit says “fine then”, and hits Orton with 6 consecutive German suplexes!!! Thumb to the throat - and up we go!! Benoit soars with the headbutt...but Orton moves, throws his feet in the way, and Benoit eats them face first! Orton rolls over for 2, but Benoit was playing possum and locks him in the Crossface!!!!!! Orton escapes by rolling through, and hits the RKO from nowhere, and wins the belt cleanly at 20:05. ***1/2 JR calls this a serious heartbreaker for Benoit, noting that he had won on 7 consecutive pay-per-views prior to this. Benoit demands that Orton shake his hand. “BE A MAN!” Orton does so, and both guys cry for awhile.
I'm thinking this may be Flair's last hurrah. Flair chops away at Orton off the get go, but Orton comes back with a backdrop. Flair tries to climb to safety, but Orton follows right next to him and tells Ric no. Flair pokes him in the eyes and dumps Randy back in. To the corner, Ric chops away, and follows with a legal low blow! Flair tosses young Orton face first into the face, and that busts him open! Flair hammers away, and sends Randy back into the cage javelin style! We get a face rake, and is followed with a kneedrop. Flair shows off Orton's blood on his fist, and even licks it. UGH! Flair starts chopping again, but Randy starts no-selling. He tries to fight back into the match, and sends Flair into the cage. Orton pounds away, and now Flair's busted open! Flair tries to escape, but Orton grabs a hold and we get a full moon! Ric is send head first over and over and over into the steel beam, and he collapse, crotching himself back in, bare ass still staring at the world, and falls to the mat. The referee helpfully pulls up Ric's shorts. Orton grabs Flair and starts a 10-punch count-a-long, but Flair stops THAT with a lowblow. Orton falls, but gets right back up and pounds at Ric on the mat. Orton brings the cheesegrater action next, and then dropkicks Flair into the cage. Flair tries to climb out again, but Randy's right there and tosses Flair back to the middle. Orton heads to the top turnbuckle, and hits an awkward crossbody for 2. An inverted backbreaker gets 2. Flair fights back with chops, and crawls towards the door. Orton grabs him by the feet, and pulls Naitch back to the middle. Flair reaches into his tights and whips out a pair of brass knucks. A shot levels Orton, but it only gets 2! Flair decides to head for the door again, but Randy stops him short a second time. "AHHHHH! AHHH, MY LEG GOD DAMMIT!" Flair reaches, and grabs a chair that was sitting near the door, and allows Orton to pull him in. A big swing...but he misses, and Orton hits the RKO for the pin at 11:36! ***1/2 Worlds of fun, though I wish Flair had gone over. Orton's a bloody mess, but gets his arm raised as the victor. Flair and Orton square off after the match, and Ric offers his hand. They shake, and then Randy adds a hug. Flair doesn't appear to care for that, but humors Orton.
CHRIS BENOIT, CHRIS JERICHO, and RANDY ORTON vs. BATISTA, TRIPLE H (with Ric Flair), GENE SNITSKY, and EDGE (in an elimination match - winner controls RAW for a month)
This was during the 2 months they were properly booking Snitsky, and it really disappoints me they’ve managed to fuck him up because he could EASILY be in the Batista spot right now. Edge and Benoit start. They slug it out, as you might expect. Benoit chops him down, and Edge takes a powder. Back in, Edge is quick to tag in Snitsky. Benoit’s not really sure what the hell to do with him, so he turns things over to Orton. THIS should be some high comedy. Orton beats him down with his crappy punches, then does his pose to JEFFHARDYSQUEEEEEAL!!! In comes Jericho. As designated whipping boy, he takes a clothesline. Orton and Triple H tag in. Orton beats him down in the corner, but Triple H comes back with the high knee. Bring on Big Dave! He shows Mr. RKO how to throw a punch, then delivers the shoulderblocks. A powerslam gets 2. Edge enters and mocks the Orton pose. Why won’t he just reunite with Christian already??? He beats on Orton, and gives him a drop toe hold, followed by an elbowdrop for 2. A dropkick hits the mark, but Orton comes back with an uppercut and clothesline. Benoit tags in and beats on everyone. That’s my boy! Snap suplex for Triple H. German suplex for Snitsky! German suplex for Batista! Three German suplexes for Hunter!!! Thumb to the throat, snap suplex for Edge ON to Triple H, and Benoit heads up! A flying headbutt hits both Edge and Triple H, getting a 2 count on Hunter before Snitsky saves. Jericho brawls with Snitsky and dumps him outside. Meanwhile, Benoit locks Triple H in the Sharpshooter! He’s caught in the middle of the ring, but Snitsky makes the save with a clothesline. Now Benoit puts Edge in the Crossface, but Batista breaks that one up. Triple H gets in a Pedigree on Benoit while Snitsky distracts the referee, and Edge gets the pinfall at 7:27. Crowd is NOT thrilled with that after the total one man beating Benoit laid on Team Hunter. Jericho heads in with Edge, and takes a swinging neckbreaker. He tags out, but both Hunter and Snitsky think they got the tag, and both want in. So that leads to an argument, and you do NOT want to piss off Gene. He shoves Triple H on his ass, which brings in Big Dave, and we get us a series of f-bombs dropped in this exchange, as you might imagine. While they argue, Jericho’s put Triple H in the Walls, and none of the heels except Ric Flair apparently notice. Dave finally sees it and breaks it up, prompting Randy Orton to rush in and attack Batista. Jericho goes for the Lionsault on Triple H, but Flair trips him off, and the referee throws him out of the building. Flair that is, not Jericho. Jericho and Orton double team Batista while Flair tries to re-rush the ring, but to no avail. Batista kills both faces with clotheslines, and dumps Orton. Jericho takes the spinebuster, Dave drops more f-bombs, but Orton clocks him with the World Title. Jericho hits the running enzuigiri, and that’s it for Batista at 10:40. Dave wuz robbed!!! Jericho hits Edge with a springboard dropkick, propelling him into Snitsky, knocking both out. Batista’s still upset about losing though, and clotheslines Jericho on his way out to say goodnight. Snitsky tags in, and stomps like crazy on Jericho. A backdrop is followed by a choke, and the fans start in on a “Y2J” chant. The referee reprimands Gene for holding the choke so long, and Snitsky yells “I’VE GOT 5, SHUT UP!” Brilliant! Edge is in, and he tees off on Jericho. Chris comes back with a neckbreaker, so Edge tags out to Snitsky. Gene knocks Orton off the apron, but that just pisses Randy off. So he comes in to attack...and Snitsky manhandles him, and dumps him outside again. Now THAT’S high comedy. Triple H and Edge double team Orton outside the ring, but Snitsky takes a DDT from Jericho. MAVEN wanders out, a bloody mess, but he wants to be part of the match. He tags in, and takes it to Snitsky. Give me a break. He hits the flying jalapeno, and then takes down Hunter and Jericho. Snitsky rolls out, apparently BUSTED OPEN BY MAVEN?!? Fuck off... Triple H takes a top rope bulldog from Maven, so Snitsky casually enters and SLAMS Maven over the head with a chair. So he takes a DQ at 16:03, but he doesn’t care and hits Jericho as well. He rolls outside, jabs the chair into Orton’s midsection, then smacks him over the head. Hunter then rolls over and pins Maven at 16:49. Good. Triple H picks Jericho up off the mat, and rolls him in to Edge who’s waiting. He covers, but only gets 2. That’s an easy way to get Edge worked into a frenzy. Triple H tries to Pedigree him, but gets backdropped. So Edge spears Jericho instead, and pins him at 18:06. 2-on-1, and naturally Triple H and Orton make up 66% of that trio. Edge gets a funny look on his face, and just waits for Orton to pull himself back into the ring. Orton dares them to come get some...so they do, and stomp the shit out of him. I could watch Randy Orton get beaten on all day. Edge gives him a backdrop suplex for 2. Triple H heads in and slaps him around. A DDT gets 2. Edge comes in, but Orton starts throwing punches at both Hunter and Edge. Edge takes a powerslam, and they’re both down. Back up, Orton dropkicks Edge into Triple H, knocking him off the apron, and rolls Edge up for 2! He throws a series of punches at Edge, so Triple H enters and gives him a spinebuster. Edge goes for the spear...but hits Triple H by mistake! Edge turns around, right into an RKO, and he’s pinned at 23:01. Bah. As usual, we’re left with Triple H and Orton, and the fans are chanting “RKO”. He goes for it...but Triple H gives him a lowblow to block it. He goes for the Pedigree, but Orton reverses it, hits the RKO, and wins the match at 24:33. ***1/2 Decent elimination match, but I could have lived without seeing Orton go over again, although the alternative would have been Triple H going over again, so we were stuck either way.
RANDY ORTON vs. TRIPLE H (for the world heavyweight title)
I don’t even get why they’ve added this one, but whatever. Royal Rumble 2005 is our stop here.
The boys talk trash pre-match, and it leads to a bitch slap. No, really. Orton tries a backslide for an early 2. He backdrops Hunter and tries the RKO, but Triple H slides out to the floor. If he didn't add that idiotic jump first, maybe he'd hit the move once in awhile. Back in, a dropkick gets 2. Triple H tries to fire back with the 10 punch count-a-long, but winds up taking a snake eyes. Orton decides again to go for the RKO, so this time Hunter uses his flying momentum to send Randy to the floor. For good measure, Triple H whips Randy into the steps and does Orton's pose. They head back in where Hunter chokes Orton out. An audible "RANDY SUCKS" chant breaks out while Triple H clips Randy. Orton: "Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit..." Triple H clips Orton a second time, and Orton's just squealing now. Hunter starts working over the leg, and Randy's counter is to...pull hair. Is it any wonder why the fans are turning on him here? Speaking of which, Orton sneaks in a small package for 2 - and the fans boo it. They don't boo Triple H's figure four, and in fact encourage it with a round of "WOOOOO!" After about 2 minutes, Orton manages to reverse, and Triple H makes the ropes for safety. After fighting off Triple H a little, Orton hits a backbreaker, and the fans are happily booing the hell out of him now. A pair of neckbreakers gets 2. A powerslam gets 2. Hunter tries going up, but he gets armdragged off the top - and Orton follows with a top rope crossbody for 2. Next, Triple H tries a Pedigree, but he winds up getting catapulted into the corner. Orton tries an RKO for the third time, and for a third time he's shoved off, and then hit with a running kneelift for 2. And Triple H joins the Lame Finisher game, by having the Pedigree countered a second time, this time with a clothesline. A series of punches have Triple H teetering, but Orton can't hit ANYTHING because his DDT attempt is blocked with the ropes, and Randy crashes hard. The announcers speculate that Orton's got a concussion from the impact with the mat, as Randy gazes off into...nothing. Triple H avalanches Orton, and hits the referee simultaneously before kicking him out of the ring. Bring on the sledgehammer! Before the hit, Orton does manage to give Triple H a drop toe hold - sending him nose first to the steps. Orton continues to stagger around though, completely out of it. He walks right into a hard clothesline. Seconds later we get the Pedigree, and Triple H retains his belt at 21:28. **1/2 This was the feud that was supposed to set the world on fire in Wrestlemania's main event, just a couple months ago, huh?
And that wraps it up. Not a bad collection of matches, and it certainly showcases what Randy Orton’s made of...which at this point in his career is mid-level stuff. Foley managed to carry him to what may wind up being the best match in Randy’s career if he continues on the path he’s currently on - but who knows what good the impending heel turn might do him.
Give it a look, if you can find this strange collection.
Welcome, everyone, to the latest edition of Inside The Ropes. I'm Canadian Bulldog, known to many as the toughest S.O.B. in the IWC (Prove me wrong, Ryder!). We have a ton to get to this week, but first, a quick poll: