The Netcop Rant for Unforgiven
– Live from Charlotte, North Carolina
– Opening match: Val Venis v. Steve Blackman. Hey, wow, what a
horrible choice for an opener. I think Val must have gotten hair plugs
or something recently, because his bald spot has completely disappeared.
Maybe he mixed up the Viagra with the Rogaine? Punch and kick match,
with Val getting caught coming into the ring from the apron to give
Blackman control. Blackman methodically works the back. Yawn. Val
comes back with a couple of two counts, Blackman gets one last gasp, and
then Val finishes it with the Money Shot at 6:30. If the idea was to
get the crowd going, it failed. 1/2* Blackman nails Val with the kendo
stick, and paramedics are called in to help by scab ref Steve Lombardi.
Blackman threatens one of the female paramedics, so God of Security Jim
Dotson spears him. Geez, you just knew that guy would get involved one
of these days.
– European title match: Mark Henry v. D-Lo Brown. Mark announces that
he’s got a “brainyeurism or something” after getting slapped by Lillian
Garcia, so they’re won’t be a match. Right. D-Lo attacks and we’re
underway. A quick Rydeen bomb (woof!) by D-Lo gets two, but he misses a
corner charge. Henry goes for his rope-jump thing, but misses and D-Lo
follows him out with a nice top con hilo. Henry gains control and
doesn’t do much, because HE’S JUST TOO FAT and generally useless as pie
(tm Linz). Power stuff keeps D-Lo at bay, but a rana and a flying
forearm cues the comeback. Henry tries the 10-punch count with D-Lo’s
mannerisms, but D-Lo powerbombs him out of the corner (double woof!) and
hits the Lo Down for the pin and the European title at 9:12. Good
booking choice. Now send Henry back to the fat farm because he’s
stinking up the joint right now. *1/2
– Backstage, Chaz gets beat down by other wrestlers for beating his
girlfriend. Meanwhile, the REAL woman-beater, Jeff Jarrett, tells Debra
to mind her own business.
– Intercontinental title: Jeff Jarrett v. Chyna. Big pop for Chyna as
she tries to avenge women everywhere. She dominates early with power
moves and a well-placed low blow. Jarrett posts her (does that work?)
to come back, and she bumps around outside the ring for him. Back in
with a Jarrett cross-body off the top for two. Chyna pulls out a Flair
flip, but gets superplexed. Jarrett is drawing pretty impressive heat
with his gimmick right now. Chyna hits an electric chair, but Jarrett
comes back with a sleeper, which Chyna escapes in babyface manner.
Chyna gets a powerslam and a rana-bomb for two. Jarrett blocks Chyna’s
rana attempt into a powerbomb (see, rana-bomb…I’ll get that one over
yet) and tries a figure-four, but she shoves him to the floor. Back in
the ring and Chyna tries the Pedigree after whupping Jarrett on the
floor, but he reverses into a slingshot, wiping out referee Harvey
(There’s No H In) Wippleman. Jarrett tries for the guitar, but Moolah
and Mae Young come in and try to subdue Jarrett. That’s about as
successful as you’d expect. Debra then follows and smashes the guitar
over Jarrett’s head as he tries the figure-four on Chyna, and Wippleman
recovers to count the pin and give Chyna the I-C title at 11:57. Yeah,
like that’ll stand. And indeed, here’s Head Scab Referee Tom Pritchard
to show the evidence on the video wall, and we have a Dusty Finish at
12:42 with Jarrett getting the DQ win. Cheap, but it was the right
booking, with Chyna getting revenge and Jarrett keeping the title so
that Test can go over clean tomorrow on RAW. I’d bet the farm on that
one, kids. Still, he got a decent match out of Chyna here. **1/2
– The Dudley Boyz v. The Aculytes. Buh Buh’s opening stutter thing is
cute: “D-Von, are they making fun of me?” Crowd: “YES!” Buh Buh
hammers on Faarooq to start, but misses a splash and the Acolytes take
over. Buh Buh gets a senton bomb for two, while Lawler amuses himself
by making jokes about Moolah. Crowd is deeply not into this. D-Von
gets the tag and dominates Bradshaw with some decent stuff, but Faarooq
gets a couple of powerslams. D-Von escapes the Dominator by DDTing out
and the Dudleys hit a double-team neckbreaker (incorrectly called 3D by
JR) for two. D-Von tries a moonsault but gets crotched and suplexed,
but the brawl continues. The Dudleys manage to hit 3D for real, but
Stevie Richards does the inevitable and debuts his Acolyte gimmick,
complete with UPN logo painted on his chest, and Stevie-kicks D-Von for
the Acolyte win at 7:14. Didn’t suck or anything, but it never clicked.
– Women’s title match: Ivory v. Luna. Short and ugly here. Some of
the usual uninspired spots (Including the dreaded XEROX OF DOOM!) and
conveniently placed soft landing areas, but Ivory gets the pin after a
shot with a pipe at 3:38. Tori got involved but didn’t factor into it.
1/2* I was hoping for a LOT more.
– WWF tag team title match: The New Age Outlaws v. Edge and Christian.
Crowd seems inordinately happy to do the catchphrase again. Edge and
Ass do a nice sequence, then the Suicide Blonds double-team Road Dogg.
The NAO Cheat to Win, but the Blonds one-up them and go full heel to
take control as Road Dogg does what he does best, play face in peril.
They work the back, using some GREAT psychology. Edge and Christian are
actually doing a really good job of keeping the crowd into things here,
which is unusual for an NAO match. Road Dogg counters a spinebuster
into a double-DDT and makes the hot tag. Pier-six, but the Hardy Boyz
interfere and take out Christian, then Gunn hits the Fameasser on Edge
and gets the pin to retain at 11:05. Could’ve done without the
screwjob, but Hardyz v. Edge/Christian is all good, and it was a really
good match otherwise. ***1/4
– Kennel from Hell match: Al Snow v. Big Bossman. I’m kinda dreading
this one, but we’ll see what happens. Okay, so you’ve got the big blue
cage around the ring, and over top of that the Hell in a Cell. Between
them, Rottweilers. Yeah. Snow locks Bossman out of the inner cage, and
they fight on the cage with the dogs below. It’s supposed to be
dramatic, but just looks stupid. JR notes that the match has “bowling
shoe tendancies”, making reference to his description of how the main
event could either be a classic or “bowling shoe ugly” in the Ross
Report this week. Al Snow has brought a bag of goodies with him, and he
gets hit with a few of them. Bossman has thought far enough ahead to
pack a pair of wire cutters in his pants, and uses them to cut open a
hole in the ceiling to climb out of. Powder and a stick get involved,
and now Bossman is bleeding. Snow loosens the bottom rope, but nothing
comes of it. Bossman gets some shots with the shovel in, then handcuffs
Snow to the top rope. Bossman tries to climb out over the dogs through
the roof (wow, psychology), but Snow actually snaps the handcuffs (To
quote Bill Cosby: “Yeah. Right.”) to make the save. Snow reaches into
the bag, pulls out Head (oh, lord, not this again), nails Bossman, and
escapes at 11:37. Chalk that one up to experience, and let’s not talk
about it again, shall we? Give ’em * for effort.
– Chris Jericho v. X-Pac. Scamrock is a wuss, so we get a possible
MOTYC instead. Works for me. Quick wrestling sequence to start, then
the chops start. Jericho drops X-Pac on the top rope and chops him in
the corner. X-Pac comes back with his kick combo in the other corner,
but Jericho moves out of the way of the broncobuster and takes over.
X-Factor is countered into the Walls of Jericho, which gets rolled out
of, sending Jericho to the floor, and X-Pac pulls out a springboard
bodyblock to the floor. Ah for the days when Sean was 19 and insane
again. Mr. Hughs runs interference, and Jericho hits a missile dropkick
for two. Jericho with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and slingshot splash
for two. Crowd seems enthralled with something going on in the stands,
so Jericho wisely goes to the chinlock until they get it out of their
system. X-Pac fights out, but Jericho hits the Lionsault for two.
X-Pac misses a move and ends up on the apron, and Jericho contributes
his highspot with a springboard dropkick. Back in and X-Pac with the
leg lariat. Jericho whips X-Pac to the ropes, and on the way by the
other side, X-Pac neatly dropkicks Hughs, then springboards back to take
out Jericho. Niiiiice. Jericho blocks the broncobuster with a low blow
and hits a senton for two. Double-arm backbreaker and to the top, but
X-Pac knocks him down and superplexes him for two. Jericho with the
double-powerbomb for two. Twice. Jericho gets sent to the corner and
hooked in the Tree of Woe, and we get the first ever inverted
broncobuster as a result, with Jericho upside down. But then Mr. Hughs
decks the ref at 13:04 for the bullshit DQ. Road Dogg makes the save.
Dammit, that was the best match the WWF’s done in MONTHS and they ruined
it. Ah well, it was still excellent. ****1/4
– WWF title match: HHH v. Bulldog v. Rock v. Mankind v. Big Show v.
Kane. Bulldog has a better mix for his music, it should be noted. And
Kane has the SWANK road uniform on. Austin does color commentary while
“enforcing”. Rock & Bulldog start. It’s the retarded four-corners
rule, where anyone tags anyone and only two people are legal at one
time. First pin wins. Rock gets some of HHH until Kane tags himself
in. He destroys HHH, but pisses off the Big Slow and gets knocked off
the top. Mick tags in against Kane, and doesn’t get very far, so Big
Show tags in. Kane pulls out the enzuigiri and dropkick and Bulldog
tags in. He tags out quickly, leaving Mick and Big Slow. It quickly
becomes Rock and Bulldog with a well-timed low blow turning the tide for
Bulldog. Mick gets the tag, but won’t fight his buddy so he tags Kane.
Tombstone gets reversed to a legsweep for two. Mick in with a
piledriver for two, as fans chant for Rocky. HHH & Mick brawl on the
floor, and everyone fights down the aisle to join in. HHH gets a nasty
piledriver on the steps from Mick, and Mick & Bulldog end up back in the
ring. Mick stops to allow Rock to get his shots in. Rock does his Big
Slow impression, drawing the big guy in. Meanwhile, the striking refs
are out to jaw at Jim Corderas, the scab. Meanwhile Part II, Big Slow
pounds on Mick for a two count. Rock tags in and takes Slow’s head off
with a clothesline for two. Rock and HHH brawl again. Back in the ring
for Kane & Mick. DDT, but Big Slow tags himself in. Kane with the
tombstone, but the Show is the legal man now. And away with go:
Chokeslam to Mick, but Kane clotheslines Show off the top to block.
Bulldog powerslams Kane, HHH Pedigrees Bulldog, Rock nails HHH, and Mick
finishes the sequence by applying Mr. Socko to Rock! So much for
friendship. Rock reverses to Rock Bottom for two. HHH makes the save.
Big Show headbutts everyone and chokeslams Mick. It’s all over…but
the refs pull Corderas out at two and BEAT HIM DOWN! This is wil d.
Austin decides enough is enough, and goes over to clean house on the
rebelling refs. No wonder they’re on strike. In the ring, Rock DDTs
HHH for two, with Austin reffing now. Rock Bottom and the People’s
Elbow, but Big Show pulls Austin out at two. Bulldog nails Rock with a
chair, Austin nails Bulldog with the same chair, but HHH gets the
Pedigree in the meantime and Ausitn is forced to count it and HHH
regains the WWF title at 20:25. I assume this sets up HHH v. Austin at
No Mercy. HHH gets in Austin’s face, so it’s Stunner and beers all
around. I think we may have our Match of the Year, finally. ****1/2
The Bottom Line: Man, the second half sure saved this sucker from
mediocrity. Just think — two of the matches added on Heat beforehand
(NAO-Blonds and Jericho-X-Pac) turned out to be the show-savers.
Anyway, you had to see the HHH win coming after The HHH Show on
Thursday, but hopefully when Austin squashes him at the next PPV they’ll
give that particular experiment a rest for good.
Anyway, thumbs up here on three great matches.