WWE VELOCITY WORKRATE REPORT – May 1 & 8, 2004 Times changed. Days passed. Wives graduated. In-laws visited. Sleep was lost. Yet all these syndie shows remained unwatched on my TIVO. Time to play catch up. Two weeks of Velocity now. Two weeks of Heat later. YOU have to figure out what was on what week.
WHAT WORKED Jamie Knoble vs. Rey Misterio Jr. was the classic “We will run this one match that you enjoy and then you will have to watch your tape over and over again because Knoble will be jobbing to a returning Shaniqua for the next 48 weeks.” There used to be a time when Rey Misterio Jr. being stronger and able to control his opponent would be an enormous gash in the non-reality that is professional wrestling as Rey Rey should never be the stronger of two wrestlers. Now, I am starting to expect it as gassed out of his gourd Misterio has more muscle mass and probably rage than they guys he is going to be pitted with in the cruiserweight division. Jamie Knoble was working real simple with his offense, which would be the “let me try and take Rey’s arm home with me” game plan. Knoble, the tremendous dick, is going to win all hearts and mind. I thought Misterio breaking out the knee/kick combo was going to be my favorite part of the match but instead it turned out to be where he cock teased the audience with the bronco buster (that would have turned me against this match. The return off that spot is not appreciated. Especially since steroids equal tiny package for Rey to slap his opponent around with. Thus the move becomes less effective. Fuck, maybe I should give Rey Rey credit for realizing this and not doing the move) and instead did a great dropkick into the corner. The 6-1-9 has so reached W-O-R-M level of exposing the business and annoyance as not only do guys have to oversell their time on the ropes but they actually have to stand up as to take the giant back flip sell required of them to get themselves into position for the springboard legdrop.
Jamie Knoble vs. Spike Dudley was perfectly fine. I thought Spike Dudley – master of the roll-up was…. Interesting.
The entire Guerrero family proves that they can sell and get over an angle better than 94% of the entire WWE roster.
Teddy Long gets to work the mic each week… sadly it is wasted on Mark Jindrak and his package.
Funaki, constant company man, does the huge blade job for the good of the lackluster challengers to Eddie Guerrero.
I enjoyed Orlando Jordan vs. Akio. It was a much better way to do little guy vs. big guy (as opposed to the other 594 matches the last two weeks – see below). Jordan had the advantage on the power moves and Akio used his quickness and the underhanded dealings of Sakoda to get the momentum. SHIFTY~! The baseball slide dropkick on the outside looked really nasty. Plus, Akio took the really Black Out (I think it was the Black Out. Aww... just look up the name of Jordan’s finisher and insert here. Do some work for once) well as he made it looked nasty without actually having to take it directly on his head. A full Worldwide point.
Lordy, lordy was the Rico/Charlie Haas vs. Paul London/Billy Kidman match a nice throw back to the Saturday Night “Here are a couple of random tag teams having a good match” days. This is a perfect example of how you can have a match based around the goofy and yet still bring the wrestling. Y’all used to love the Michinoku Pro 6 man’s when Gran Naniwa would do the crab walk, arm rack his own partner and then do the spinny dance jump thingy. This is the same thing just with Rico trying to stick his tongue down people’s throat. Charlie Haas is great as guy who loves the title so much that his is willing to battle his own sexual confusion to keep the titles. Haas has super facials (no pun intended) selling the disgust with Rico’s fun-loving actions, right down to the 6th grade catching the blown kiss in his hand and throwing it away in disgust spot. What makes this perfect though is that as the match progress, Haas starts to realize that tapping into the freakdom that is Rico will actually help as he is not disgusted when Rico kisses London (Earlier in the match, he was just as disapproving of Rico trying to work French with London as London and Kidman were) because it helped gain the pin (on a real swanky suplex). His love of the gold even allows him to accept the hug from Rico in celebrating the win, as he is able to embrace what is non-traditional to him because it allowed him to achieve his ultimate goal. Haas as receiver.... of the hot tag.... was outstanding as Haas took the tag, channeled all the pent up energy and came with the errr.... thunder. The umm... Exploder... suplex was great. (Sometimes, you don’t need any help when writing these things.) London and Kidman were real fine in playing their roles of subtle heels not really wanting to deal with the flamboyant guy but trying to impress his beard. London did one of the better blocks of a kiss spot that I have seen. He really should talk to Fit Finlay who can then pass it on to the Divas of the fed. My favorite spot of the match was Kidman having the presence of mind to absorb the dog and pony ride thingy that Rico was doing and lead Rico over to get his teeth kicked in by London. It was like “Okay, I can tolerate the back door loving a little longer because soon you are going to be the submissive one”. Or something. My only problem with the match is that for a lot of the booking to work you have to accept that Jackie is really the object of affection for many a man. Yeah – that ain’t going to happen. There are like a million people who would work some much better doing this. What does Malia Hosaka have to do get some work? Someone throw her a bone.... hmmm... that might have been an unfortunate choice of words.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK Well, so Velocity moved times so they decided to have folks who normally don’t wrestle on the show to trick the gullible loners who are home at 7 pm on a Saturday into thinking that these stars show up every week. Of course, I don’t think pimping JBL wrestling is really going to matter much. Or that the gullible loners who are home at 7 pm on a Saturday want to see anything other than the Divas commercial without volume over and over.
John Cena squashes Akio with potentially the worst Death Valley Driver ever. Cena has that entire offense based on goofy hand signals and business exposing moves that is going to make me hate him just a little bit more with each passing week. Would it have killed them to put Sakoda in the match and not Akio? Well… only Akio would actually bump for Cena.
Since Jindrak is really living the Luger gimmick, how long is it before he beats the hell out of his girlfriend and then watches her OD? Just asking...
Aww.... I am watching this show so long after it aired that Godsend and Envy have both already bombed. Poor little cloned kid. He will never find out who his real test tube is.
So the new Velocity is basically “Let’s have lots of big guys shit all over the little guy”? Bradshaw over Funaki, Jindrak over Shannon Moore. Jindrak over Scotty 2 Hotty. Yeah, I remember not liking this the first time this happened in WCW.
The production quality continues to irk me. The breaks into commercials are harsh. They continued to do close-ups of the announcers when they aren’t doing anything. The most glaring example was during the Misterio/Knoble match when Hugh Morrus was babbling about how great the action was and what fine athletes the wrestlers are. He was really fired up. Of course, as you are hearing this, there is a shot of him sitting at the announcer’s table staring vacantly into space, lips not moving, like he was trying to remember if he had turned the oven off. Actually, the worse example is when he is “disgusted” by Bradshaw beating up Funaki and the camera shows the same passive expression. Seriously, does ANYONE watch this show before they send it to Spike? Fuck, send it to me. UPS can get it here overnight and Linda McMahon keeps harping on what a cash cow they are. Spend the $10 and clean this up.
So what if it's not even Christmas yet? For this column, I've decided I'm going to stop ripping off other columnists, and go straight to WWE Magazine. It's time to look into the crystal ball of the future to see what will (and won't)