The SmarK Rant for WWE Cyber Sunday 2008
(So I installed Windows 8 Pro on my new laptop because I got the $15 deal from Microsoft and I had been testing the Consumer Release version on my piece of crap Toshiba since June or so and really liked it. However, with the pre-release version, it wiped out all my settings and was basically a fresh install, and I was a little apprehensive about installing over the shiny new version of Windows 7 that was on this laptop. And as it turned out…it installed perfectly and everything is still there, 100% working fine. WHAT THE FUCK MICROSOFT? How am I supposed to rail against your crappy products if you make well-made operating systems that don’t give me anything to get angry about? Even worse, they made a big deal about Office 2010 Starter Edition not being compatible before I installed, and I was getting ready to get all mad about it and even posted a diatribe on Facebook in advance, and then after I installed Win8…Office Starter still worked fine. FUCK YOU AND THE QUALITY PRODUCT YOU RODE IN ON, JERKS.)
- The time is almost upon us, as Dungeon of Death: Chris Benoit and the Hart Family Curse comes out this week, and you can get your copy from Amazon NOW. (And now on Kindle as well!) It's apparently already shipping from Chapters as well if you're Canadian, and will be shipping next week for those buying it in the UK. You can also pick it up at all the major bookstores. I might be selling autographed copies as well if there's enough interest. (I’ve still got about 20 copies kicking around the house if anyone is in Saskatoon and wants one.) I'm also available for radio show appearances and interviews. (Not anymore. Sorry, too busy with the offspring.)
- Live from Phoenix, AZ.
- Your hosts are Michael, Jim, Tazz, King, Matt and Todd.
Rey Mysterio v. Kane
Your cyber-voted stipulation: No holds barred. Did they really expect anyone to waste $1 voting for 2-out-of-3 falls? Rey tries attacking to start and dodges Kane to put him on the floor, then follows with a somersault plancha that misses by a lot. He grabs a kendo stick from under the ring and goes to work on Kane's leg, but Kane boots him down. Rey takes a goofy bump into the post and Kane baseball slides him to work on the ribs, then bends him around the post. That's like a Jack Evans spot. Shot to the post gets two back in the ring. Legdrop gets two. Rey fights up and Kane boots him down for two and then goes to a surfboard as this match is surprisingly shitty after their good one last month. Kane goes to a backbreaker submission until Rey fights out, and the bulldog allows Rey to make the comeback. Enzuigiri sets up the 619, but Kane clotheslines him down instead and gets two. Kane grabs a chair and Rey boots it back at him ala RVD and follows with an Arabian facebuster for two. Rey goes up and Kane slugs him down for two. Kane brings the stairs in, but Rey manages a drop toehold to send Kane into them, and a springboard butt splash gets two. Rey goes back to smashing Kane's leg with the chair, and tries another 619, but Kane counters out to a chokeslam attempt. Rey reverses to a rana, into the 619, and splashes him for the pin at 10:20. They actually put Rey over surprisingly strong here, although the match was pretty dull stuff and didn't take advantage of the stips. Kane looked lethargic and uninterested to me as well. ** (I think Kane cashed in a MITB contract on Rey a couple of years after this, so maybe he was just biding his time for his revenge.)
ECW World title: Matt Hardy v. Evan Bourne
Landslide win for Bourne, so I guess Matt's campaigning worked. Matt grabs the headlock, but gets dropkicked by Bourne. Evan takes him down into his own headlock, but Matt powers him down with a wristlock for two. Bourne with a rollup for two off that, and a sunset flip gets two. Matt tries the Side Effect, but Bourne gets a SWEET reversal off that for two and kicks him down. Rana, but Matt dumps Bourne and knocks him off the apron. Back in, Hardy follows with a lariat for two. Corner clothesline into a bulldog, but Bourne reverses him into the corner and takes him down with a cross-armbreaker. Matt reverses out and Bourne holds the armbar, then hits him with a great standing moonsault for two. They slug it out and Bourne gets a high kick to put him down, then goes up, but Matt rolls out of the ring and suckers him into trying a quebrada, at which point Matt yanks him down and slams him on the floor. Ah, the cagey vet Matt Hardy, who would have thought it? Back in, Matt gets a yodeling elbow for two. Abdominal stretch as Matt plays the subtle heel to keep Bourne strong as the underdog babyface. Bourne fights out, so Matt clotheslines him down again and follows with a boot to the ribs. Matt tries a Razor's Edge, but Bourne counters out with a rana. Evan fights back with more kicks, but he walks into the Side Effect and Hardy gets two. Another one gets two. Matt goes back up and Evan hits him with a leg lariat on the way down, fighting back with high kicks and a moonsault press for two. Spinkick gets two. Bourne goes up with a flying high knee, and that gets two. I've never actually seen that before. Another spinkick misses and Matt rolls him up for two, using the tights in a nice touch. Bourne with a tilt-a-whirl into an armbar takedown, and he goes up to finish, but Matt slugs him down. Bourne puts him down again and tries the Shooting Star Press, but it misses and KICK WHAM TWIST is reversed into a backslide by Bourne for two, before the Twist ends the dream at 11:03. I daresay I would like to see these two gentlemen engage in honorable fisticuffs at a later date. ***1/4 (Never really went anywhere that I can recall. Bourne had some great matches with Jericho after this, though.)
Cryme Tyme v. Miz & John Morrison
Morrison gives JTG a clean break in the corner to start and grabs a headlock, but JTG elbows him down for two. Miz comes in and gets dropkicked, allowing JTG to whip Shad into Miz with a corner clothesline for two. Shad whiplash slams JTG onto Miz for two. Over to the heel corner where Morrison and Miz do some double-teaming, but Cryme Tyme dumps Morrison and tosses Miz onto him to follow. Shad presses JTG onto them, but sadly doesn't follow with his own dive. Back in, Shad gets two. M&M cut him off with a shot to the knee, however, and Miz goes to work on the leg in the heel corner. Morrison with a half-crab, but Shad powers out, so Miz comes in and legbars him. Shad powers out again it's over to JTG, as he hits Miz with a necksnap and a neckbreaker that's like something out of the Def Jam games. However, Morrison manipulates the ref and JTG is YOUR thug-in-peril. Double gutbuster and heels take over with some choking. Morrison with a boot to the head for two. Miz with a corner clothesline for two. We hit the chinlock as the crowd just isn't getting into this one. Miz tries a catapult, but JTG hits Morrison on the way up and makes the hot tag to Shad. M&M sell like crazy, bumping all over for him, and a forearm shot gets two on Morrison. John dropkicks the knee, however, and gets two. Shad with a spinebuster for two and it's BONZO GONZO, but Miz kicks the knee out and Morrison rolls the dice for the pin at 10:25. This never got out of first gear for whatever reason. ** (Because Cryme Tyme was not very good and neither was Miz at this point?)
Intercontinental title: Santino Marella v. Honky Tonk Man
Pretty even split here, although I thought they'd hold off on the Honky Tonk Man payoff until longer into the Honk-A-Meter. And really, hearing Honky's music just shows how lame and generic all the theme music these days has become. Kind of weird seeing Honky getting a babyface reaction and somehow going from running joke into legitimate "greatest champion of all time". They have a dance-off before Santino attacks, and apparently Honky is wrestling with the suit on. Probably best for everyone. Honky works on a headlock to start and pauses to dance, but Beth trips him up for the DQ at 1:05. LAAAAAAAME. Piper and Goldust head out and add a beating to Santino as well. At least they didn't do the rumored payoff of Charlie Haas dressing up as the winning challenger. (Santino wasn’t long for the belt at this point. Honky, wisely, vetoed doing anything here that would jeopardize his indy bookings.)
- Next Monday, the 800th episode of RAW, which gives them another excuse to do a special three-hour show. Not that it isn’t impressive, but it seems like every few months there's some other special celebration and it just doesn't feel particularly special any more. Especially when they're constantly and insecurely comparing themselves to shows like ER and the Simpsons because they're so hung up on gaining mainstream acceptance. (But what about RAW 1000?!?)
Undertaker v. Big Show
The stipulation voted in is Last Man Standing, although Vickie announces it as "I Quit" because live TV is not her forte. I'm not generally a fan of this match type, although Taker and Batista had a good one last year so there's always hope. They slug it out on the floor to start and Show tosses Taker into the front row. Taker comes back with a chairshot and a pair of corner clotheslines, but Show puts him down with a clothesline of his own. Show slugs away in the corner and puts Taker down with a headbutt, and a legdrop draws the first count. They fight to the floor again and Taker rams Show's throat into a chair by using the post, which draws an 8 count. Taker gets the legdrop on the apron and they head back in, where Taker slugs away until Show clotheslines him down again. That draws a count of 8. Show fires away and headbutts him into the corner, but Taker slugs back and tries a chokeslam. Really? Show tries his own, but UT reverses him into a DDT for 9. Show removes a turnbuckle, but Taker sends him into it and puts him down with the flying clothesline, that gets 9. Taker charges him, however, and hits the STEEL turnbuckle before bumping to the floor off that. Show pounds away and preps the announce table, but Taker slugs a chair back at Show. Show gives him a weak chokeslam through the table in response, which I think was supposed to have more impact than it ended up having. It sounded more like a thud than a smash. This whole thing has been in slow motion anyway. That gets a 9 count for Show. Back in, Show slowly slugs away, but Taker gets a DDT. He goes old school, but Show chokeslams him to counter and that gets 9. Knockout punch draws the best reaction of the match, but Taker does a zombie situp to recover. A chairshot puts him down again, but Show goes in for the kill and Taker catches him in the Googleplex and chokes him out for the win at 19:22. Boring ass slow motion match, good finish. **1/4
Smackdown World title: HHH v. Jeff Hardy
They were fooling themselves if they were expecting anything other than Hardy to win in a landslide. Kozlov getting an embarrassing 5% is pretty telling, no matter how much they want to do that match. (Yeah that monster push didn’t last long.) Hardy works the arm to start and HHH reverses to a headlock, but Jeff goes for a Twist early, and HHH counters to a Pedigree attempt before they both back off. Hardy takes him down with an armdrag, but HHH runs him into the corner to break and then shoves him off the top rope. Back in, HHH stomps away and runs him into the post a couple of times, into a rollup for two. Hardy fights back with a lariat and a seated dropkick for two. Hardy with a falcon arrow for two. Corner clothesline, but he charges again and HHH catches him with the spinebuster for two. He follows with the Cerebral Crossface, but Jeff counters into a cradle for two. HHH stomps him out of the ring, but Hardy whips him into the stairs and follows with a flying leg lariat off the stairs. Back in, Jeff gets the Whisper in the Wind for two. Mule kick in the corner gets two. Twist of Fate is reversed by HHH, but Jeff counters again to a rollup for two. HHH tries the Main Event Sleeper, but Hardy reverses to the Twist of Fate for two. Jeff goes up with the swanton, but then tries another one instead of covering, and hits knee. Another shot at the Pedigree, but Hardy shoves him out of the ring and then follows with a pescado that missed by a mile. HHH sells it anyway and they head back in, where Hardy tries again for the swanton, and this time HHH kills him dead with KICK WHAM PEDIGREE to finish at 15:35. They didn't have the mojo going this time quite like they did last time, and I think they've run it one time too many and killed the Jeff Hardy chase. ***1/2 That being said, still a very good match when HHH was able to reel Jeff in and keep him from getting too sloppy. (They had something real with Jeff Hardy and WASTED IT.)
RAW World title: Chris Jericho v. Batista
Your guest referee: Steve Austin. Well, duh. Jericho gives attitude to everyone and runs away to avoid the consequences, but Austin informs us that Batista will win the title if Jericho walks out. Like the real Steve Austin would ever say something like that. So Jericho heads back in and Batista tosses him around and elbows him down, and a suplex gets two. Jericho dumps him to come back and then dropkicks the knee on the way back in and goes to work on it. Batista fights up and Jericho dropkicks the knee again, then goes to a chinlock. Batista fights up, but Jericho cradles for two and kicks him down again. Batista fights up again and gets a corner clothesline, into a powerslam. He tries the powerbomb, but Jericho reverses to the Walls, forcing Batista to make the ropes. Austin drags Jericho off, and Batista gets a Bossman slam for two. Jericho tries a cross-body, but Batista catches him and tries another powerbomb. Jericho hits the leg to escape and comes off the top, but Batista catches him with a clothesline for two. He goes up and a flying shoulderblock gets two. Batista tries a spinebuster, but Jericho kinda sorta reverses into a DDT. That gets two, although it didn't come off as convincing and I think the crowd was confused. Batista tries a shoulderblock and wipes out Austin, and Jericho gets the codebreaker. Alternate ref Shawn Michaels runs in and gives the world's slowest count in a funny spot, setting up a spear from Batista that gets two. JBL then comes out and gets rid of Michaels to set up the next feud that no one wants to see, and Jericho takes out Batista's knee again. Next run in is Randy Orton, as he takes out Austin and Jericho puts Batista down with the belt for two. Austin recovers, however, and it's KICK WHAM STUNNER for Orton. Spinebuster and demon bomb win the World title for Batista at 17:04. Match actually picked up a lot with all the interference at the end, as these two just don't have the main event chemistry. *** But really, while this would have been fine as the conclusion of a long reign for Jericho to finally get his comeuppance, it just cheapens the title further to have them switch it AGAIN after only two months with Jericho as champion. There's just no direction in the main event.
Business as usual with this show. The fan voting stuff didn't really help or hurt, as it was going to be a pretty middling show no matter what the stips were. Nothing terrible, nothing great, just a thumbs in the middle from here.