The Way Too Long Review of The Best of Smackdown: Disc Two
by Charlie Reneke on October 7, 2009

Let’s continue, shall we?

Moment #69: Mr. Kennedy

Highlights of Mr. Kennedy doing his own ring introductions.  Ooooh, what a star.  Of course, once the match started he was beyond atrocious.  But who cares… HE CAN SAY HIS OWN FUCKING NAME!  TWICE!  What a star.

I’ve actually enjoyed his youtube videos, which makes me think he should be doing something with his life other then wrestling.  Maybe be a stand-up comedian or an actor in a sitcom.  Because his wrestling technique was very limited and, quite frankly, very boring.  Just think, if not for one of the worst timed injuries ever in wrestling he would have been the World Heavyweight Champion.  Now his name is listed alongside David Von Erich and Magnum TA in the ‘shit happens’ file.

Moment #68: Rough landing (September 9, 1999)

Awesome day, as it was the launch of the Sega Dreamcast and one of the last cool times I had as a kid.  I had bought the machine and my friends had all kicked in enough cash to make sure we had every launch game.  We then proceeded to spend nearly five days straight playing it.  Soul Caliber was the undisputed highlight, although Ready 2 Rumble Boxing and Sonic Adventure got a lot of love.  I think there was some NFL 2K action as well, though I admit I’m not a big football fan.  It was a cool time.  A dozen or so guys just having fun with the latest technology.  I moved out of Oregon a couple months later and haven’t even most of those guys since.  Some have even died.  You can’t go home again.

Eh, you guys didn’t come here for me to wax over my childhood, so back to the DVD.  Big Show & Rocky are taking on Big Show and someone else in a buried-alive match.  I didn’t catch who.  It doesn’t matter, as the highlight of this segment is Big Show tossing Foley off the stage and into the grave.  Pretty amazing visual and one of the last incredible bumps by Foley during his run as a regular performer.  This is the kind of stuff they should have been showing instead of food fights, fake funerals, and Mr. Kennedy doing his own ring introductions.

Moment #67: Stephanie’s the Champ (March 30, 2000)

Vince McMahon gets pissy with his daughter and puts her in a match with current women’s champion Jacqueline.  Oh, and the title is on the line.  BUT WAIT~!! because Steph has DX on her side as well.  Then Tori comes in and hits a DDT on Jackie to give Steph the pin and the title.  Believe it or not, this was the final push made for the Wrestlemania 2000 main event.  I can’t imagine why the show was such an artistic failure.

-And then a bit of unintentional hilarity, as Michael Cole notes that it was on of the darker times in the WWE.  Heh.  You know, 2000 was actually one of the most entertaining eras the company ever had, and yet Wrestlemania that year was on of the very worst the series has ever seen.  They got everything right in 2000 EXCEPT the biggest show of the year.  I’ll get to that in March when I do a Wrestlemania marathon at Pulse.  I actually already have every one of them reviewed except X7 and X8, which I don’t own.  If anyone out there wants to help me out with getting the official discs for them, let me know.  I have some stuff I could trade for them.  I’ve got a sealed Eye of Judgment for the PS3, with the camera.  Anyway, we move on to…

Moment #66 is…

Match #8
Hardcore Holly vs. Randy Orton
4/25/02 Smackdown

This is Randy Orton’s debut.  What a lot of people don’t know is that the WWE had intended to for the fans to turn on Randy right out of the gate, just like the fans did for Rocky Maivia.  That’s why they threw around the same buzz words for him, like “Blue Chipper.”  Only this time, the fans didn’t really react the same way.  Of course, the reason for that was Rocky Maivia was shoved down the fans throats and the fans were outright told by the announcers “if you don’t like Rocky, there is something wrong with you.”  They didn’t go quite that far with Orton.  They had intended for him to take the IC title in similar fashion that Rocky did, but then he got injured.  So they changed things up and started doing those RNN news updates and the “Get Well Randy” drive.  It did work, but not on the level that Rocky did.  Because when the fans turned on Rocky, it wasn’t planned and the crowd reaction was authentic.  Even if the writing had been spot on, the WWE couldn’t artificially create the same environment for Orton or anyone else.  It had to be something the fans chose.  Plus the landscape of 1996 was different then 2002.  In 1996 the WWE had a significantly weaker roster, and having Rocky get a mega-push out of the gate despite the fact that he hadn’t showed a lot of flare in the ring was seen as a slap in the face on top of all the other problems the WWE had.  In 2002, the WWE had just beaten WCW and had  more major stars then any wrestling company had ever assembled.  Thus if the fans were not happy with Orton’s push, it meant less because there were more TV shows and more wrestlers to get into and they could avoid watching him if they so chose to.

To the match.  Holly was chosen for this match by the evil Mr. McMahon because Holly had a well-known dislike of rookies.  They trade waistlocks to start, then Orton gets a takedown.  Shoot off by Orton and he eats a shoulderblock, then pops up and fires off and armdrag.  Face-buster by Orton gets two.  Clothesline of the stiff variety by Holly, then some stiff punches.  Holly is intentionally being a total cocksucker in the ring, not even trying to protect Orton.  Seven years later and Orton is one of the biggest stars in the company, while Holly is a long-forgotten footnote.  Holly preps Orton on the ropes and punts him in the nuts.  More stiff punches by Holly, then Orton gets a hotshot.  Shoot off and Orton ducks a clothesline and hits a dropkick for two.  Holly charges into a back-elbow, then Orton climbs and hits a crossbody.  Holly rolls through it and it gets two.  Oklahoma Roll by Orton finishes.
** Okay match that was not given enough time to warrant a recommendation.

Being an insecure little bitch didn’t do much for Holly’s career.  He always had to prove what a tough guy he was.  Then he sand-bagged Brock Lesnar and got his neck broken.  And I don’t blame Brock one bit for it.  When you go out there and someone tries to make you look bad, that person gets what they deserve.  Holly can claim he did nothing wrong, but given his attitude and track record I don’t think he has any credibility to say he wasn’t trying to make Brock look bad.  Plus you can look at how the rest of that match went.  Of course the WWE has no balls and didn’t fire him while he was recovering despite the fact that he got his neck broken while trying to take one on with the biggest star in the company.    Hell, the WWE kept rewarding him for being a twat.  They gave him access to blatantly try to injure trainees during a reality show.  They rewarded his lack of professionalism that got his neck broken with a title shot on a major pay-per-view, all because he was a ‘loyal veteran.’  Loyal my aching ass.  The only reason he didn’t just ship to WCW is because they had no use for Sparky Plugg.

Moment #65: Angle Wins Gold (February 10, 2000)

Angle wins the European Championship from Val Venis and has the most over-the-top celebration for a title win ever.  Michael Hayes notes that Kurt’s greatest talent was his ability to over-celebrate.  “He could get a box of girl-scout cookies in the mail and make you think he had just won the world series.”  Everyone mocks him for it, except Santino Marella who notes that winning titles is a very emotional thing.  “In fact, I want to challenge for this title… where is it?”  You know, I think I saw it defended on TV last Tuesday…

Moment #64: New Tag Champs (December 16, 2005)

Rey Mysterio and Batista win the tag titles from M-N-M in memory of Eddie Guerrero.  Yes, it was a loving tribute.  And then it wouldn’t end.  Mysterio would later dedicate the following things to the memory of Eddie Guerrero:

-His Royal Rumble win
-His Wrestlemania title win
-His morning bowl of Lucky Charms
-The time he stubbed his toe while getting out of bed at the Ramada Inn in Dayton, OH
-When he had to piss at 1:43AM on January 13, 2007
-The time he drank an entire jug of milk without getting sick to his stomach
-His wellness violation

Anyway, everyone talks about how genuine that moment was, and how Eddie was a champion with them.  I don’t see why they didn’t just go all the way with it and have someone on the roster become possessed by the ghost of Eddie Guerrero.  Might as well have done it with Paul London.  They weren’t doing anything else with him.

Moment #63: Heidenreich Poetry (September 16, 2004)

Seriously?  Hayes notes how weird stuff tends to happen more on Smackdown.  Heidenreich kidnaps Michaels Cole so that he can have someone to read poetry to.  Everyone cringes instead of actually commenting on it, except William Regal who notes it was disturbing.  This was a truly bizarre angle that could have worked if the wrestler with the gimmick wasn’t one of the worst in history.

-Michael Cole needs to go off and cry, so Matt Striker talks about the Dudley Boys, then the Rock, and thus we get this.

Moment #62 is…

Match #9: Handicap Tables Match
The Dudley Boys vs. The Rock
3/09/00 Smackdown

Rocky slugs it out with the Duds on the ramp.  He brawls Bubba around the ring-side area and slams him onto a table, then slams D-Von into him.  Rocky grabs the ring bell and slams it into both of them, with a ‘ding’ edited in for added effect.  He chairs both of the Duds, then brawls Bubba into the crowd.  D-Von catches him, only for Rocky to hiptoss both over the rail and back to ring-side.  The Duds attempt to bail on the match, but Rocky clotheslines them both on the ramp.  Fans are super hot for this.  Vertical suplex on the ramp to Bubba, then he tosses D-Von into the ring.  The Duds fight back with a back-suplex and the Wazzup Drop, sans the Wazzup part.  D-Von holds Rocky for some free elbowdrops from Bubba.  Rocky ducks a clothesline and takes out Bubba with one, but D-Von instantly hits one of his own in a good spot.  Rocky fights back and takes out D-Von, then hits a Samoan drop on Bubba.  Spinebuster to D-Von, but Bubba stops the People’s Elbow with a clothesline.  Bubba gets a table and preps it in the ring.  They set up the 3-D, but Rocky wiggles out of it and hits the Rock Bottom on Bubba through the table.  Now he needs to put D-Von through one.  Rocky bails to grab another table and preps it in the ring, but he takes way too long to get it right.  Bubba comes in and stops Rocky, then the Duds 3-D Rocky through the table to win the match.
***1/4 Very entertaining TV match that lost some mojo when Rocky was trying to prep his table.  The speed went from “Fast” to “Stop” and even though all that was left was the ending, it still hurt the overall product.

Moment #61: Lethal Dose of Poison

Vince McMahon is pissy that Ric Flair owns part of the company and decides to kill the WWE by bringing in the original nWo.  Given how well 1995 went for them, he should have just signed Kevin Nash and put the title on him for a year.  That would have saved 66% of the money he spent for this ‘poison.’  McMahon’s facial expressions *are* really spooky here.  The nWo logo on the back of his chair was pathetic looking, but my understanding is all this stuff was booked at the last second, literally minutes before it was time to start filming.

Moment #60: Parking Lot Brawl (September 11, 2003)

John Cena and Eddie Guerrero have a brawl in the parking lot, surrounded by a circle of cars.  Lots of random brawling, then Chavo gives Eddie a hand.  Eddie fires off a frog splash onto a car to win.  They could have just forgot about this silly count-down stuff and given us three discs worth of matches.

Moment #59 is…

Match #10: Cruiserweight Championship
(c) Matt Hardy vs. Rey Mysterio
6/5/03 Smackdown

Matt Facts: Matt is taller then Rey Mysterio.  You and everyone else.  Matt also despises traffic.  Hey, if you don’t like it, move to Russia.  This is in San Diego, and shockingly it seems that Rey is not on job duty as a result.  Rey starts the match by quickly getting a school-boy for two.  They trade wrist-locks and Hardy sends Mysterio into the corner and clotheslines him in the back of the head.  To the ropes, where Matt chops at Mysterio, then Rey fights back with some chops of his own.  Snapmare by Mysterio, followed by a dropkick through the ropes and a splash for two.  Matt counters a head-scissors and sends Mysterio to the apron, where Matt counters a springing move with a clothesline to send him to the floor.  Crash Holly and Shannon Moore, the MFers, stomp away at Mysterio and get ejected from the match.  Matt Hardy goes to bitch about it and gives Mysterio enough time to hit a seated-senton off the top rope and to the floor as we cut to a commercial.

We’re back and Matt kicks Rey in the gut and goes for a splash mountain, but Mysterio wiggles out of it.  He goes for a neck-breaker, but Matt kicks him in the balls.  Rey’s groan had been previously injured, so Matt kicks away at the injury and ties up Rey’s legs for a cruncher.  Half-crab by Matt, then Rey makes it to the ropes.  Rey kicks off a figure four and Matt ends up prone for the 619, but Rey is too injured to run for the move.  Matt ties Rey up in the ropes and tries to knot up Mysterio’s leg.  Rey kicks Mysterio off, but he can’t climb up the ropes.  Matt preps Mysterio in the tree-of-woe, but misses a charge and eats the ring post.  Rey goes for a diving moonsault, gets caught, but still turns it into a tornado DDT for two.  Bulldog off the ropes gets two.  Scoopslam by Matt and he climbs, but Mysterio catches him.  Matt fires off the side-effect off the ropes for two.  Matt has a huge booger hanging out of his nose.  Cradle by Rey gets two.  Twist of Fate by Mysterio gets two.  619 by Mysterio to set up the West Coast Pop, which Matt catches.  Mysterio turns this into a rana over the ropes that sends Matt to the floor.  Double-KO follows, and Matt nearly gets counted out.  He grabs the title belt and the referee goes to jaw with him, leading to the MFers coming out to give Mysterio a reverse DDT.  Matt drops the belt and climbs.  Legdrop off the top rope hits… for two.  Fans totally bought that as the finish.  Mounted punches and Matt is freaking out.  He loads up the twist of fate but Mysterio pulls his legs out and covers with a jack-knife for the pin and the championship.  Rey Mysterio’s son has a priceless reaction for his daddy.  His wife is also very tearful.  Of course, according to the storylines Mysterio’s son was really Eddie Guerrero’s, which means his wife was having an affair.  So much for happy moments.
**** Likely the best single’s match of Matt Hardy’s career.  Good pacing and use of psychology, and a pretty good false finish.

Moment #58: The Sincerest Form of Flattery

We get various clips over the years of wrestlers doing impressions of other wrestlers.  The Rock mocking Big Show.  Kane doing Hulk Hogan.  Edge doing Hulk Hogan.  Edge’s is actually quite hilarious.  “I hoped on the back of a great white shark, with the largest arms in the… with some pretty big arms.”  Then Hogan walks in on him doing it.  Edge & Christian bring out two older versions of the Hardy Boys.  They could have shown more then they did here.

Moment #57: Superhuman Strength

Big Show is very big and very strong, and we have the clips to prove it.  Matt Hardy says if Show wasn’t a wrestler, he would be an X-Men.  We get clips of Show tipping over various cars.  Yea?

Moment #56: “You’re Hired!” (April 11, 2002)

Vince McMahon interviews various candidates for a personal-assistant job.  Of course, this can’t be done with backstage skits.  Oh no, this has to be done in the middle of the fucking ring.  Stacey Keibler ends up getting hired after doing a sexy dance for him.  Was this necessary?

-We end up talking about the WCW Invasion and running down a brief history of it.  Steve Austin joins the Alliance and, in an attempt to motivate the team, declares that he will give a title shot to the next person who walks through the door.  In walked Rob Van Dam.

Moment #55 is…

Match #11
(c) Steve Austin vs. Rob Van Dam
9/6/01 Smackdown

Well, despite what Striker and Cole said, this is a non-title match.  RVD was also the hardcore champ at this point.  The Alliance was supposed to be made up of heels, but RVD is very much a fan-favorite.  Stone Cold is the WWE Champion and does not deserve this, so he jumps RVD to start.  He stomps a mudhole, then grinds a knee into RVD’s head.  More stomping and a chokehold.  Austin goes for the KICK WHAM STUNNER~!! but RVD catches the boot and hits the step-over kick.  Van Dam brawls Austin into the corner, but Austin rakes the eyes and chops the shit out of him.  Austin charges into a back-elbow but RVD gets pushed off the top rope and sent to the floor.  Out there, Austin tosses Rob over the rail and into the stands.  Van Dam fights Austin off and spin-kicks him over the rail and back to ring-side.  Slam on the table by RVD, then he tosses Austin back in.  Austin bails, then clotheslines RVD on the floor.  Ram into the post by Austin, then a stomp with the foot.  Back in, Austin covers for two.  Austin preps Van Dam on the top rope, cuts off a comeback, then loads up a superplex.  He fires it off relatively quick and covers for two.  RVD fights back and shoots off Austin, but Stone Cold holds the ropes and Rob whiffs a dropkick.  Austin climbs, then gets down and stomps RVD instead.  Awesome heelish move there.  Both guys seem to be at a loss of what to do next, so Austin drags Van Dam out of the ring and loads up a suplex on the floor, while facing the entrance ramp.  Can you figure out what happens next?  I’ll let you ponder it.

Time’s up.  If you said “RVD reverses the suplex and Austin bounces off the ramp” you lose… Austin didn’t actually bounce.  RVD misses a clothesline on the floor and Austin crotches him on the rail, then clotheslines him off it.  Back in the ring, short-arm clothesline gets two for Austin.  Chinlock by Austin, then RVD fights back and they slug it out.  KICK WHAM STUNNER~!! is countered by RVD with a dropkick.  Cart-wheel moonsault is met by Austin’s knees and he crawls out of the ring and grabs a chair.  Can you figure out what happens next?  I’ll let you ponder it.

Time’s up.  If you said “RVD hits the Van Daminator on Austin” you win.  Tell them what they won, Bob.  “Why they’ve won Legends of Wrestling: Jerry Lawler & Junkyard Dog.  Ouch.  Back to you, Charlie.”

Thanks, Bob.  Van Dam shakes it loose and climbs for the five-star frog splash, but Austin catches.  RVD knocks him off and goes for the splash, but Austin rolls out of the way.  KICK WHAM STUNNER~!! hits, but Austin decides instead of getting the pin he’s going to slap on the ankle lock.  BUT WAIT~!! because Kurt Angle’s music hits.  Austin is momentarily distracted and RVD rolls him up with a school boy for the pin.  RVD doesn’t even have time to celebrate the win because Angle’s music hits again and Angle comes out, but we don’t see where it goes from here.  This led to a three-way match at No Mercy.  RVD would take another four years to become the champion, though everyone thought he would be on top in short-order following the Invasion.
**** Very good match, easily better then anything RVD ever did in ECW.  A few wonky spots held it back a little bit.

Moment #54: Edge & Vickie

Highlights of the Vickie Guerrero/Edge relationship.  I actually dug Vickie Guerrero’s run in the company, and it’s a shame an actual wrestler in today’s environment couldn’t dream of having the amount of heat Vickie had.  I actually love this segment, as everything is so over-the-top.  The WWE doesn’t often do parody very well, but these moments were gold and anyone who has a problem with that can kiss my ass.

Moment #53: Austin Stalks DX (October 28, 1999)

Steve Austin, a couple weeks before he ended up having to leave the company for a year to have his neck fused, hunts down each member of DX one by one.  He catches Jesse James in a bear-trap, which in reality would likely be a career-ender.  He dumps beer on the wound for added effect.  He catches Billy Gunn with a rope snare.  He causes the ceiling in the locker room to collapse on X-Pac.  It looks like it’s mostly Styrofoam falling on him, but then again that would still be enough to crush someone the size of Sean Waltman.  Seriously though, the ceiling bit looked terrible and killed the whole thing.  So after all this, DX limps out to the ring and demands Austin come out and accept a beating.  Austin does come out and drops a net on them.  Kane and Rocky join Austin and DX gets an ass-whipping.

Moment #52: Debra’s Cookies

Another AWESOME moment from Austin’s 2001 heel run.  I wish the WWE would release “season sets” that show every match, promo, and skit a wrestler had over the course of a year.  The WWE actually did have this planned and ran one such set, the “New and Improved DX”, which bombed in sales.  Maybe because it was a three disc set that was given a premium price for no apparent reason.  Anyway, if the WWE actually had the balls to release “Steve Austin: The Complete 2001″ year I would be all over it like moles on grandma.  His heelish gimmick, usually known is “My Name is Stone Cold Steve Austin, I am the WWE Champion, I Do Not Deserve This” is my favorite gimmick ever.  EVER!

Anyway, here Austin gets Debra to bake cookies for the McMahons and various other people.  Apparently Debra couldn’t cook.  Some really funny stuff.  Kurt Angle spits his out and says they suck.  Vince McMahon chokes back tears and says he likes them.  Austin then says “I think they suck.  I skip them across ponds.”  Booker T ate some, then Austin tells him that he ended up crapping for three days straight when he ate them.  But he’s sure Booker will be fine.  Austin says that Debra puts too much sugar on them.  Insert wife-beater joke here.

Speaking of which, here’s a quick male-chauvinist joke: How many men does it take to screw in a light bulb?  None, the bitch can cook in the dark.

Yes, terrible.  Sorry.  My father was a longshoreman.  I think telling tasteless jokes is some kind of genetic trait from that.

Moment #51: Stinkdown!

Various clips of Rikishi giving people the stinkface.  Horrible choice, especially considering that the stinkface was what killed his career.  There was a period in 2000 where it looked like Rikishi really was going to end up with the WWE Championship at some point in the immediate future.  He was very over, he was actually a pretty good worker for a guy his size, and he had the coolest new move on the roster: The Rikishi Driver.

And then the WWE banned “moves that can potentially compress the vertebrae.”  Also known as piledrivers.  And thus Rikishi lost one of the biggest factors in his immediate success.  For anyone out there who says one move doesn’t make a difference, there you go.  No matter how talented a wrestler is, having a bad finisher can make or break you.  If Stone Cold Steve Austin wrestled exactly the same way as he always did, but never changed from the Million Dollar Dream to the Stunner, he does NOT become the biggest star in the history of the business.  So here we have Rikishi, with an insanely over finishing move, and the WWE takes that away from him and says “Okay, instead of this high-impact, visually spectacular move, what if you just rubbed your fat ass in people’s faces?”  And sure, marks ate it up, but the immediate result was Rikishi was never again a serious contender for the world championship.  Mind you that he was so over after he debuted in 1999 that within three months he was given serious consideration to be in the main event of Wrestlemania 2000, and possibly later win the WWE title at Summerslam.  It’s really sad actually.

Rikishi’s fire-thunder driver was relatively low risk among all the other piledriver variations out there.  And the banning of piledrivers and various other scary neck-related moves had a more devastating long-term side effect.  Moves like the German-suplex and the spinebuster became more common place.  Within a couple years of the piledriver being banned so that the wrestlers would be protected from neck-injuries, you suddenly had an epidemic of stars having to have their necks fused.  Kurt Angle, Edge, Shane Helms, Chris Benoit, and so forth.  And because of the spinebuster, injuries to the groin, which are pretty freakish and quite rare, became more common place.  Unlike many wrestling holds, the spinebuster is usually a move that you really can’t do anything to protect yourself with, and neither can the person doing the move.  But it’s fine, as long as it’s done in moderation.  Having nearly every guy from the mid-card up, and even some of the chicks, doing the move night in and night out, making it almost certain that you’re going to take the move at least once a match, was insane and irresponsible.  Sadly common sense rarely prevails in wrestling.

Anyway, we get to see highlights of Rikishi rubbing his ass in various faces.  They should have called it something else.  The Samoan Mating Ritual perhaps.  Booker T sold it the best by far, even legitimately barfing all over Michael Cole.  The Rock somehow ends up in a position for Vince McMahon to have to kiss his ass, but he brings out Rikishi instead.  And man alive, did he stick Vince’s face in Rikishi’s ass.  Matt Striker ruins my dinner for me by saying “I think I saw Vince picking corn out of his teeth.”  Fucking ewwwww… remind me to pick Striker’s wallet if I ever run into him.  He owes me $2.99 for the can of Chicken Corn Chowder that I can’t eat now.

Moment #50 is…

Match #12: WWE Tag Team Championship
(c) Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri vs. Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas
5/29/03 Smackdown

Eddie’s low-rider this week: a pick-up truck, with the hydraulics that shake it from side to side.  The heels jump the champs as they get into the ring.  They take Tajiri out of the ring and stomp away on Eddie.  Things settle down with Eddie and Charlie.  Eddie gets a back-elbow on Haas, then brawls him to the corner.  Charlie gets a backdrop and dumps Eddie between the ropes.  Shelton stomps away on the outside, then gets the tag.  He brawls Eddie around, then eats a dropkick off a backdrop attempt.  Tag to Tajiri, who fires off his big kicks.  Snapping rana by Tajiri and a sunset flip into California roll for two.  Dropkick and some elbows, then a side-headlock.  Tajiri sticks the landing on a backdrop, then both guys kick each-other down as we cut to a commercial.

We’re back with Tajiri getting a dropkick to Shelton’s face.  Charlie catches a kick and Shelton kicks him in the leg.  Haas takes advantage and hooks in a leglock.  Spinning-legdrop to the injured leg of Tajiri and a side-leglock.  Half-drop by Charlie and a tag to Shelton who drops an axe-handle to the leg.  Leg-stretch by Shelton, then a tag to Haas who goes back to the leg.  Hey Legacy, watch tapes of this and take notes.  Half-crab by Charlie, then Eddie comes in and makes the save.  The referee gives him a cussing and slaps on half-crab without the tag.  The referee asks the fans if a tag was made.  They say no, so he tells Charlie to come back in.  Haas saves the hot-tag and slaps on a standing leglock.  Shelton makes the tag comes over the top rope with a cruncher for two.  Tajiri is selling this very well, then he fires off a head-scissors for a double-KO.  Tag to Charlie, hot tag to Eddie.  Kick over the ropes by Eddie and a back-suplex.  He side-steps a blinger splash and monkey-flips Shelton into Charlie.  Kicks for all and he dumps Shelton, then fires off the three amigos.  Eddie is feeling froggy.  He fights off Shelton and hits the Frog Splash… for two as Shelton makes the save.  Damn, I bought that as the finish.  Side-kick into a jack-knife by the heels gets a very close two as Tajiri nearly blows making the save.  Tajiri is still selling the leg injury.  Eddie fights off both the heels and tries to make the tag, then turns a double-flapjack into a double-DDT.  Hot tag to Tajiri.  He punches away because his legs are still injured, then hits an enziguri.  Tajiri goes for a tornado DDT but Charlie turns it into a northern-lights suplex for two as Eddie saves.  Shelton gets back-dropped over the top, then Tajiri kicks Charlie down with the bad leg and crumbles in a heap of pain.  Eddie climbs and takes out Shelton on the floor with a cross-body.  Both guys crash into the guardrail in a sick bump.  Tajiri misses the buzzsaw kick and Charlie slaps on the Haas of Pain.  The bell rings and Charlie thinks he has won, but that dastardly Eddie Guerrero was actually the bell-ringer.  Charlie tries to get the referee to raise his hand, then the ref gets into it with the time-keeper.  Eddie brings the tag belt into the ring and gets into a tug of war with Haas.  He lets Haas win, plays like he was hit by it, and the referee DQs the heels and draws the most insane pop I’ve ever heard for a scrubbing.
****3/4 Awesome free-TV match and the new top-dog of this set.  Excellent use of psychology and really good selling and continuity from Tajiri.  The clever ending was a good stepping stone towards Eddie’s rise to the main event as well.

Moment #49: Rock & Busta (July 11, 2002)

The Rock sings “Under the Boardwalk” with the Busta Rhymes.  I think they’re gay for each-other.  Well, that was boring.

Moment #48: Fate Fulfilled (December 19, 2008)

Despite the fact that there’s only eight moments to go on this disc, it appears that the disc is not yet half way done.  Weird.  Anyway, this is highlights of Jeff Hardy’s post WWE Title win celebration.  I’m seldom shocked by the ending to a match, especially so for a title change, but Jeff Hardy winning the title at Armageddon absolutely stunned me.  I truly believed there was no chance in hell the WWE would give a known junkie with two wellness violations the belt.  Especially considering that he had burned them twice already and that if he got that third strike he wouldn’t have been allowed to drop the belt in the ring.  It turns out Jeff earned it by keeping his nose clean, figuratively and literally, just long enough to ride out his contract.  What a pointless segment though, as all it shows is his pyro and confetti going off.  What a waste.

Moment #47: The Marriage of Billy & Chuck (September 12, 2002)

You know what I loved about this?  Honest to god news outlets bought it.  There was nothing else going in the news that week, besides the first anniversary of the attacks of 9-11.  So Billy & Chuck were featured on the Today Show and various other talk shows.  But news outlets treated this like Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo were homosexuals who were about to get married.  It would have taken about five minutes of research on the internet to figure out that it was just another wrestling angle.

And then it turned out this whole thing was designed to get 3 Minute Warning over.  You get the full wedding segment here, and it’s funny.  The fans are shitting all over it, but I must admit that it starts off slow, but it finished off okay.  Rico shows a video highlight package of the Billy & Chuck love story… and then it gets funny.  The justice of the peace asks if anyone has an objection.  Everyone in the stadium objects.  I was actually present to such an objection at a friend’s wedding in 2003.  If you think such crap only happens in Hollywood, think again.  It was quite hilarious as one of the bride’s ex-boyfriends, very drunk and looking the part, objected and threatened to stalk her until she admitted that he loved her more.  Then the police took nearly an hour to get there and drag his fucking ass out.  Nobody wanted to touch this guy because he had a habit of starting fights, losing them, and then having the person who defended themselves against him arrested without actually getting in trouble himself.  Why?  Because his father was a cop with over twenty-years under his belt, naturally.  Anyway, the police arrived and he ended up assaulting one of them and doing time as a result.  Then the wedding continued and the preacher got the biggest laugh of the night with “Where were we now… if anyone has any cause why this couple should not get married… um, you don’t have any other ex-boyfriends here, do you?”  Big laugh.

Oh yeah, the gay wedding.  So after everyone in attendance objects, the Godfather shows up.  Rico gets pissy that the Godfather and his ‘good time girls’ as he calls them interrupted.  Rico threatens to get security and sends them packing.  Billy and Chuck are like “Wait, what?  That wasn’t the plan.”  Rico says to go to the end.  This is the only time ever that Billy Gunn didn’t suck.  The fans are chanting “JUST SAY NO!”  Billy says yes, but he’s looking seriously freaked out.  Chuck is asked if he does.  Rico is all serious and psychotic looking.  Chuck is like “Rico…” Rico is like “Don’t get cold feet.”  Chuck says yes, then Billy and Chuck both stop him.  Billy says it was all supposed to be a publicity stunt, and they’re not gay.  Big pop for that.  They has nothing against gay people.  In fact, if he was gay he likely would marry Chuck.  Rico gets pissy about this and says that all of his hard work is down the pooper.  The justice tells them that a commitment is a very special thing.  Billy and Chuck have a sacred bond that will never change.  It could last fifty minutes, sixteen months… or three minutes.  The fans don’t pick up on the ‘three minute’ cue, but it doesn’t matter because the justice is actually Eric Bischoff.  I give props to the WWE for shelling out enough money to make up Eric Bischoff in a way where you could not tell at all that it was him.  Very impressive.  They would later do the same thing with Stephanie McMahon a week or two later, but they didn’t use the same people to make her up and you could tell it was her.  Rico kicks Billy in the balls while Bischoff holds Stephanie McMahon.  3 Minute Warning shows up and kills Billy & Chuck, then Umaga gives Steph a Samoan Drop.  The Smackdown locker room, heels and faces, come out to make the save and the Raw guys bail.  And thus legitimate news gets to eat crow via WWE.

Moment #46: A Tribute to Eddie (November 18, 2005)

So Eddie Guerrero died, and it just happened to be during a WWE supershow where the whole roster was assembled.  Thus the tributes also poured over to the Smackdown tapings as well.  A lot of people felt it was in bad taste to have Batista come out in a low-rider and talk about what Eddie meant to him.  Well, smarks in general like to hate on Batista.  The truth is they had grown very close to each-other.  There is a long-standing rumor that Batista was going to drop the World Heavyweight Championship on this episode of Smackdown to Eddie if he hadn’t died.  It’s not true.  Batista had lobbied for it to happen, but was shot down by creative.  He talked about this in his book.  It’s an example of where something that was barely under consideration made it’s way to the dirt sheets and they add a lot of untruth to it so that it gives them more readers.  In fact, Eddie was going to drop a few more matches to Batista and then move onto a Wrestlemania 22 feud with, ironically enough, the Undertaker.

Moment #45: Where is Foley?

Foley is the WWE Commissioner and ends up putting his office in the weirdest places.  Everyone talks about how his clothes stink.  Some really funny stuff.  I wish he had stuck around in that role a lot longer.

Moment #44: A Classic Hit (September 9, 1999)

Stop with the 9/9/99 shows already.  It’s making me want to play my Dreamcast and I still have roughly four hours worth of this set to review.  Speaking of the Dreamcast, I have nearly every official game released for it.  There are 250 games released for it in the United States.  I have 244.  I’m not missing any of the super rare ones.  According to most sources, the rarest game for the Dreamcast is “Midway’s Greatest Arcade Hits Volume 2″ even though it’s pretty well known that the game with the lowest print-run was “Industrial Spy: Operation Espionage”  Not sure what the confusion is.  By the way, none of the really rare DC games are worth any money.  The most valuable games for the system are stuff like Marvel vs. Capcom 2 that would be a 3 out of 10 in rarity at the most.

Best Dreamcast game?  Chu Chu Rocket.  Bar none.  Oh why couldn’t more of you fuckers have bought it?  I want an online X-Box Live version of it and I want it NOW!

Anyway, back to the feature.  Jeff Jarrett comes out during his “women suck” phase that carried him out of the company.  He calls the Fabulous Moolah into the ring and asks her if she would ever wrestle a man.  She says the only reason she didn’t is because the men were scared of her, and that she would kick their asses just like Chyna is going to kick his ass.  So Jarrett el-kabongs her with a guitar.  “I don’t know if the dust was from the guitar or from Moolah” says Christian in the only thing he’s done in years that made me laugh.  Well, besides watching him try to throw a punch.

Moment #43 is…

Match #13: WWE Championship, Steel Cage Match
(c) John “Bradshaw” Layfield vs. Eddie Guerrero
7/15/04 Smackdown

What on EARTH was the WWE thinking putting the title on fucking Bradshaw?  And then they kept it on him for damn near a year.  He was an atrocious wrestler and a total bore of a character.  I get that Eddie apparently had issues dealing with the pressure of being champion, but surely there would have been better suited to carry the gold.  You know who I blame for all of this?  Brock Lesnar.  If he had lived up to his contractual obligations and not gotten bored with the business, we wouldn’t have had to deal with fucking Bradshaw as the champion and he would have quietly faded away.  Then again, we wouldn’t have gotten the pleasure of hearing that Joey Styles knocked him tits up, lights out.

Fuck it, that’s not even worth it.  No, JBL should thank his lucky stars that Yokozuna and Diesel were champs during the worst eras possible because otherwise he would be the worst champion ever, without question.

The door is locked shut, but escape rules are still in effect.  Weird.  If part of the drama of a match is if someone is going to exit the cage, why limit the means by which they can do it?  Getting out the door offers more options for making the save then climbing out does.  Anyway, they circle to start and Eddie chops away.  JBL blocks a caging and hits an elbow.  Big brawl follows, with Eddie somehow winning and taking JBL down.  Fucking Bradshaw blocks another caging but eats a back-suplex for two.  Eddie ducks a big boot but gets flung into the cage.  JBL tries to escape but Eddie grabs the leg and yanks him back in by his trunks.  Eddie slugs it out and ducks a clothesline, but gets caught on a crossbody and eats a fall-away slam.  JBL climbs again, and again Eddie grabs a leg.  Eddie can’t yank him down this time, so he climbs as well and they fight on the top rope.  JBL’s head eats the steel and he falls to the mat.  Eddie goes for the frog-splash but whiffs and it’s a double-KO.  JBL is up first and tries to climb out, but Eddie catches him and crotches him on the ropes.  Eddie’s arm is injured but he still covers for two.  Forearms by Eddie and some elbows to take fucking Bradshaw to the canvas, then he loads up the three amigos.  All three hit and Eddie climbs.  JBL catches him and fires off a decent superplex for your commercial break spot.

We come back with JBL hitting a neckbreaker.  He celebrates to huge heat.  He calls for the clothesline from hell, but Eddie counters with a dropkick.  Blatant low-blow gets two for Eddie.  Spinebuster by fucking Bradshaw with a delayed cover gets two.  JBL climbs but Eddie catches him by the trunks and hits the dumbest move in wrestling history, a Russian-legsweep off the top rope.  Why not just strap a bomb to your chest and detonate?  Shoot off reversals leads to fucking Bradshaw grabbing a sleeper hold, then he turns it into a chokehold with the tape on his wrist.  Eddie uses momentum to drive JBL into the cage.  Slam into the cage by Eddie gets two.  Eddie covers again for two.  He charges and gets backdropped into the cage, but his boot catches JBL in the skull on the way down and it’s a double-KO.  JBL slugs it out and hits the clothesline from hell out of nowhere… for two.  And that’s our latest commercial break cue.

We’re back with fucking Bradshaw climbing out of the cage, only to get caught by Eddie, who has nothing left in the tank.  JBL climbs down and slings Eddie down in a nonchalant manner.  He loads up for a fall-away slam into the cage, but Eddie turns it into a DDT.  He slowly crawls over and drapes an arm on top for two.  Eddie climbs and nearly gets out, but JBL catches him.  Eddie gets hung up by the one leg, then knocks back into the ring.  JBL loads up a powerbomb and hits it.  That SHOULD have been his finisher.  It worked for Sycho Sid.  Don’t get me wrong, the clothesline was nice, but a simple powerbomb is the type of dickish move that a heel should have to assert his authority.  If he used that as a finisher, plus had some kind of sinister submission hold (every heel should have a vile submission hold) he would have been acceptable as champion in my mind’s eye.  JBL climbs again, and again Eddie catches him and kicks him off.  Eddie now in a position to climb out, but instead of wanting the title when he has a clean shot at it, he decides to be retarded babyface #8952 and goes for the frog-splash off the top of the cage instead.  It actually hits, but he bounces off of JBL and can’t make the cover.  By time he crawls over to make the cover, fucking Bradshaw has recovered enough to kick out.  Both guys take are out of it and take forever to get up.  I understand that selling a recovery makes the match seem realistic, but fuck that.  This is professional wrestling.  It’s not supposed to be realistic.  Let’s not have our world-class athletes laying around the mat for several minutes at a time, shall we?  Especially when they’re going into the finish of the match.  After a lifetime or two, both guys get up and JBL hits a DDT for ANOTHER double-KO.  Wow, I was totally set to give this a super-high score and they completely blew it in the end.  JBL tries to climb out but Eddie catches him and they slug it out on the top of the cage.  BUT WAIT~!! because here’s some random luchador with a neck built suspiciously like Kurt Angle’s.  He yanks Eddie down and JBL climbs out.  Big time use of canned heat for this one.  El Gran Luchador wants someone to open the door, then tries to climb out, but Eddie catches him and unmasks him.  What a shocker, it’s Kurt Angle, who was the general manager of Smackdown at this point.
**** I was set to give this around ****1/2 to ****3/4 until they got a little too into themselves at the end.  Everything up to the frog-splash off the cage spot was very entertaining and well structured.  Then the pace died with a splat.  Instead of doing what they did, they could have bumped the referee and had Eddie make the cover after the splash, have no ref, and opt to try and climb out instead.  He would be injured of course, and it would be a dramatic climb up the cage.  Then JBL can recover just as Eddie is near the top, grab a leg and then they could have used the same finish.  As a reviewer, I can’t bare sitting around for five minutes while the wrestlers do nothing, and I will score against it.

On a side note, I’m curious as to why the WWE thought fucking Bradshaw could carry the belt as long as he did.  Then I got to thinking.  This was, I think, his third match with Guerrero.  All three matches were very entertaining and JBL did carry his end of program as well.  Maybe they thought “hey, three really good matches and he had big heat on him, maybe he can do it on his own!”  Of course the matches were good.  Of course he had heat on him.  The easiest dynamic there is in wrestling is big heel vs. little babyface.  But following the Guerrero series, he began to stink up the joint every time he came out for a match.  The buyrates crumbled, with the Smackdown-only, JBL head-lining No Mercy and Armageddon drawing the lowest buyrates in the company’s history to that point.  JBL’s title reign was run on Diesel power.

Moment #42: Air Mysterio (October 31, 2002)

Rey Mysterio faces Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship, but Big Show shows up and press-slams Mysterio into the crowd.  The fans catch him.  And that was it.  For real, this needed to be included?  The same spot has been done better a dozen times or more.

Moment #41: Noble & Nidia

We get highlights of Jamie Noble’s trailer trashiness.  “Whoa whoa whoa, if this is about that girl with the monkey pox, I had nothing to do with that!” is a great line.  Todd Grisham is from Alabama and he says that this kind of stuff happens all the time.  Noble ends up inheriting over $800,000 from his aunt.  He buys a double-wide and some sunglasses.  Oh, and a trip to Applebee’s.  Good stuff actually.

Moment #40 is…

Match #14: WWE Undisputed Championship
(c) The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle
7/4/02 Smackdown

Ooooh, interesting choice for the DVD.  In my review of Tombstone: The History of the Undertaker, I gave the Taker/Angle match from Smackdown in 2003 the full five-stars.  Angle still calls it the best television match of his career.  I wouldn’t have faulted them for forgoing this one in favor of that one.  Taker is fresh off his famous ladder match with Jeff Hardy the day before and turned back into a babyface at the conclusion of it.

Lockup and Taker shoves off.  Another lockup and Taker gets shot off into a shoulderblock.  Angle bails to catch a breather.  Another lockup and Taker causally shoulderblocks Angle.  Lockup and Angle snatches Taker down and covers for two.  He then bails to piss off Taker.  Back in, Angle uses fundamentals on Taker to get control.  A drop-toehold and a couple armdrags.  Taker responds by booting him in the face and out of the ring.  Big pop for that.  Back in, Angle fakes frustration, then charges at Taker and spears him down.  Taker pops up and immediately clotheslines Angle down for two.  I actually am totally digging this match structure.  It’s the perfect way to mix a technical wizard with a brawler.  Hard whip by Taker into the corner, then the snake-eyes and the running big boot for two.  Angle counters a chokeslam with a German-suplex for two.  Back-suplex by Angle, then he takes the time to sell his back injury.  He covers for two.  Punches and kicks in the corner by Angle, then a front-headlock.  To the corner where Angle slugs it out.  Taker is using his woozy, John McClane selling, then he reverses Angle and slugs it out.  Shoot off reversal and Taker hits a flying shoulderblock.  Big punches by Taker and a DDT for two.  Taker goes for the Tombstone, then goes for it again, but Angle snags the ankle lock with it.  Taker tries to kick Angle off but it doesn’t work.  Taker flips out of it, only for Angle to barely manage the Angle slam for two.  They nearly botched it.  Back to the ankle lock by Kurt, and this one goes on for a while.  Taker kicks off and fires off the chokeslam, then sells the injury mid-move and collapses with Kurt.  He covers and it gets two.  Undertaker loads up for the Wedgie-Bomb, but Angle turns it into a triangle choke.  They’re both on the mat, and after some wiggling around the referee counts Kurt’s shoulders down, with the three happening at the exact moment that Undertaker tapped.  Weird finish.  Tazz argues that tapping out is admitting you’ve lost the match.  Michael Cole thinks the pinfall would take precedence since the act of it began before the tapping did.

We take a commercial and when we come back they’re still arguing about the finish.  We now have three referees in the ring.  One awards it to Taker, one awards it to Angle, and the actual match referee declares it a draw.  Double pinfalls have been done with some success (not a lot, but some) over the years.  Submission vs. Pinfall was proven to not work here.  But hey, you never know until you try.
***1/2 Good match that didn’t have the time to mean much.  You know, the evolution of Taker and Angle matches is very weird.  Usually if two guys show no chemistry in high-profile matches, they never are able to have good matches.  Angle and Undertaker had no chemistry at Fully Loaded in 2000.  They only fared slightly better at the Survivor Series that year.  In this match, they finally seemed to start to clique together, and from this point forward they had ‘it’ together.  In 2004 they five-starred it on Smackdown, and they also five-starred it or came relatively close to it at No Way Out in 2006.  I’m at a loss to think if any other pairing grew into each-other like Undertaker and Angle did.  I don’t think anyone ever did.  If two guys stink from the get go, it usually never gets much better.  Help me out readers, can you think of another example?

THE STORY THUS FAR: The countdown stuff continues to be mind-boggling in it’s badness, but the matches still deliver.  Sadly, I think whatever quality this set had just ended.  Part Three includes some stuff that makes my blood boil.  No more Mr. Nice Guy




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Charlie Reneke

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  • Reneke is a waste of human skin

    The Way Too Long Painfully Boring And Unfuny Horrible Match Rating Review

  • Red29

    Glazer?

  • Osiris

    Big Show & Rocky are taking on Big Show and someone else in a buried-alive match.

    If you can’t be bothered to read your own shit, why should I?

    And why couldn’t you have been one of the oregon jerks that died?

  • CJ

    “I moved out of Oregon a couple months later and haven’t even most of those guys since”

    “Big Show & Rocky are taking on Big Show and someone else”

    I was kind of interested until two paragraphs in. Proofreading, anyone?

  • DomDom

    Good to see someone else noticing how over-rated RVD was in ECW.

    Is it just me or have you gotten used to the whole commercial thing on this DVD set ?

  • Suffering Sucka’ Tacshe

    Big Show & Rocky are taking on Big Show and someone else in a buried-alive match. I didn’t catch who. It doesn’t matter, as the highlight of this segment is Big Show tossing Foley off the stage and into the grave.

    Rock n’ Sock Connection vs. Big Show and Undertaker (that’s why it was a Buried Alive match). This was a really memorable match for me as I was really blown away by the Chokeslam into the grave. I don’t know why the WWE never chose to preserve this moment, it would look awesome in one of those “Don’t try this at home” montages.

  • Huey Lewis

    Of course, according to the storylines Mysterio’s son was really Eddie Guerrero’s, which means his wife was having an affair. So much for happy moments.

    Don’t worry, it’s still a happy moment. Eddie cheated on Vickie with a ring-rat or a prostitute (I can’t remember which, I suppose she could have been both). Then Eddie gave the child to Rey and his wife (who were having problems conceiving) because neither the Ratstitute nor Vickie wanted to raise it.

  • Commenter

    Do you have a source for any of the information you put in your reviews?

  • Charlie Reneke

    “Do you have a source for any of the information you put in your reviews?”

    Is there a specific thing you want the source on?

    In General: Wade Keller from the PW Torch (who in general makes up a lot less sensational bullshit then the Observer does these days), Meltzer pre-UFC obsession, dozens of books on wrestling and hundreds of shoot interviews or stuff I learned personally, directly from the wrestlers.

    In general, wrestlers are always out to ‘work’ people so when you get one version of any side of a story, you have to sort of wade your way through a river of bullshit to figure out what the true story is.

    If it makes sense, nothing I type is 100% truth and nothing is 100% bullshit, because wrestlers are so busy trying to work fans and each-other anymore that I don’t think anything they say is completely on the up-and-up.

  • Reneke is a waste of human skin

    Talentless

  • El Douche

    …too much to “bare”?

    …seemed to start to “clique” together?

    I like your reviews, but damn, get yo shit together, fool!

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