The Ross Report – 12th September 2005

“You are the suck, Hyatte, you used to be funny about a dacade ago but now your just a washed up nobody who doesnt write about wrestling much and when you do you suck, go and write for scherer or throw your self off a cliff or something

Yours sincerely,
Jim bob”

Dear Jim Bob,

I’m not sure how I ended up with this email, but I guess it comes with the territory. Out with the old, in with the new, especially if the new constitutes better and considerably shinier.

Morning f*ckbags, I’m Ross Williams and this absolutely isn’t the Midnight News, it’s my mid-morning coffee break when I really should be running my company – but let’s not tell anyone about that, eh?

*********************************************

Right then, so we’re going to experiment with the format of this here article until we get it right. I’ve been dropping in over the last couple of months to deliver RAW and SD reports but have found that the lag in getting them on TV makes it very tricky to get a timely article up. So, as a solution, Wid and I have elected to smooge both reports together and run them on a Monday morning as a retrospective of the week that was. With me? Excellent. We’ll also try and cram in a few hot gypsies along the way and give the beginning of YOUR week that little extra pep-up.

*********************************************

Monday Night RAW – 5th September 2005

The Results:

– Kurt Angle beats Eugene with the Anklelock (run in from Cena and Tomko after the match)
– Val Venis and Viscera beat the Heart Throbs
– Ashley Massaro guests on Carlito’s Cabana, which all leads to a Ric Flair run in
– Gene Snitsky pins Matt Hardy (The Big Show does a amble in after the match)
– John Cena pins Tyson Tomko (Angle sneak attacks Cena after the match)
– Torrie Wilson pins Ashley Massaro
– Rob Conway pins Shelton Benjamin (after interference by Gunther)
– Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch beat The Hurricane and Rosey
– Chris Masters makes Shawn Michaels his bitch in the Masterlock challenge with the assistance of a chairshot

The Rankings – Matches

We’re going to count the Masterlock challenge as a match because, well, I want to.

Get this – EIGHT matches. Can you believe it? When was the last time you remember RAW having more than even five or six matches?! It’s just a shame none of them were up to much.

8th – Torrie Wilson vs Ashley Massaro (Grade: E)

Absolutely pathetic – quite why WWE insist on exposing their “stars” is beyond me. Ashley has no place in a ring right now except for being absolutely roasted (like her match with Victoria last week) and you would have thought that Torrie Wilson would show *some* aptitude for wrestling after all this time in the business, wouldn’t you? Probably not as bad as the infamous Jackie Gayda incident but not far off.

7th – Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch vs The Hurricane/Rosey (Grade: E+)

This match was tedious to the extreme and very sloppy. Cade and Murdoch have no real potential in my eyes. I was very disappointed with the Hurricane’s performance here, he’s really letting himself go but, then again, when you’re one of the tag champs and they have you put over a brand new team in their debut – and clean – it’s got to be demotivating. Shocking booking.

6th – John Cena vs Tyson Tomko (Grade: D)

Angle better have his working boots on come Unforgiven, believe you me – give Cena a stiff to work with like Tomko here and you end up with a total waste of time. Go on all you want about other people who run through their moveset in every match but Bret Hart hitting a legsweep, bulldog, backbreaker and elbowdrop from the ropes, Shawn Michaels hitting a flying forearm, nip up, slam and flying elbow from the top strand before their finish is a damn sight more progressive than Cena’s arsenal which basically consists of a glorified hiptoss, a glorified back suplex, a glorified fistdrop and then his finisher – a glorified bodyslam! Awesome, just awesome.

5th – Gene Snitsky vs Matt Hardy (Grade: D+)

Recently, Matt Hardy was quoted as telling us to wait 6 months to see how this all pans out. I’m assuming that, after 6 months, he’ll have been released from his WWE contract and will be happy to tell us about what went wrong and why he ended up losing all of his crowd reaction. I don’t understand it – you’ve actually managed to get one of the boys over as a face on RAW, a show which is seriously lacking in faces, and yet he’s wasted within a month? Once again, very perplexing. I’m hoping the Edge match at Unforgiven can light a fire under Hardy again and get the crowd interested in him to the level they were about a month ago but I’m not going to hold my breath.

4th – Val Venis/Viscera vs The Heart Throbs (Grade: C)

I’m quite embarrassed to have to say this was in the better half of the goods on offer on this particular night. Venis and Viscera might actually be a decent bet as a tag team for a while, although I still prefer the idea of bringing back the Godfather.

3rd – Shawn Michaels vs Chris Masters (Grade: C)

Bless him, Shawn’ll sell for anything these days, won’t he? I’m not sure the bladejob was required but Michaels seems to like doing them so we won’t take away his fun and games. Masters is pea green, but this segment was watchable – just. Unfortunately, I’m going to bring up logic here – why are we meant to take Michaels as a threat to breaking the Masterlock when he’s about 210lbs and not particularly well built? If Masters can make Rosey pass out with said move, you’d think Shawn would be snapped like a twig.

2nd – Rob Conway vs Shelton Benjamin (Grade: C)

The second best match of the night was tedious. The crowd aren’t going for Conway and there’s a reason why – aside from his recent need to use a lot of restholds – and that is because WWE are hedging their bets with him. Sure, they’re giving him the wins, but look at this match – after the decision and what surely must rank as the biggest win of Conway’s singles career, the camera didn’t show him ONCE. All it showed was Shelton trying to emote and Kerwin White beating a hasty retreat on his golf cart. If you didn’t see RAW, you read that right – golf cart. Yeah, and what’s with all the run-ins and interference tonight?

1st – Kurt Angle vs Eugene (Grade: C)

The best match of the night by a small margin and a totally forgettable match at that – Angle is psyched these days, admittedly, and his red, white and blue mouthguard is a lovely touch that makes him look like the most thuggish geek ever, but quick squash matches against Eugene should not be the match of the night.

The Rankings – Performances

RAW MVP of the week: Ric Flair
He didn’t wrestle, but he did grab Carlito by the cock, dance around the ring whilst doing it, lobbed a bucket of apples at his upcoming adversary and dropped a knee AND an elbow on a stray piece of fruit. What’s not to love?

The RAW Wooden Spoon: Ashley Massaro
I can do a sunset flip, love.

Grade B: Ric Flair
Grade C+: Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle,
Grade C: Anyone not mentioned elsewhere
Grade D+: Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch, The Hurricane
Grade D: Tyson Tomko, John Cena, Torrie Wilson, Gene Snitsky
Grade E: Ashley Massaro

OVERALL RAW RATING: D
A very poor show, let down by some dreadful matches and very little in the way of genuine entertainment.

*********************************************

The Book Review of the Week

This week, I read “Piss off, this is a wrestling column” and I thought it was very apt and to the point.

*********************************************

Friday Night SmackDown – 9th September 2005

The Results:

– Animal/Heidenreich beat MNM to retain the Tag Titles
– Ken Kennedy beat Paul London
– Paul Birchall beat Scotty 2 Hotty
– The Undertaker made some stuff combust
– Eddie Guerrero pinned Rey Mysterio in a cage match
– Chris Benoit made Orlando Jordan tap out in 22.5 seconds
– Batista retained the World Title by beating JBL in a bullrope match

The Rankings – Matches

6th – Animal/Heidenreich vs MNM (Grade: D+)

Nitro and Mercury are reasonably bland on offence, so it’s hard to get into their matches when they are on beatdown duty. When you add to this that Heidenreich isn’t much for selling and Animal’s belly is quite offputting, there was a certain level of boredom created by this bout. Melina didn’t help matters by having to scream *before* she tried to hit Animal to alert him to her presence – amateur mistake and WHAT the hell was that T-shirt about? Whoever made that is an idiot. Evidently, they were doing for a t-shirt that said “Most Dominant Diva Melina”, as this is what Cole and Tazz were harping on about, but the T shirt *actually* said “Most Dominate Diva Melina” which means something totally different and if you’re not intelligent enough to suss out what that difference is, I can’t be arsed to explain it to you.

5th – Paul Birchall vs Scotty 2 Hotty (Grade: C)

I quite like this Birchall guy. Good pre-match promo. Not totally stuck up and pompous like the traditional Brit in American wrestling, but a little subdued with a heavy inference of hooligan. Nice story to the match too, what with all the work on the arm setting up the Wakegatami. Shame that a lot of it was about as interesting as watching paint dry but it wasn’t too offensive while it lasted.

4th – Chris Benoit vs Orlando Jordan (Grade: C)

One of the guiltier pleasures of the recent era and you know it – watching Benoit make Jordan his bitch has been enjoyable for all except Jordan himself. You realise that if they’d had a best out of 5 falls match now, the whole thing would have lasted a mere 71.4 seconds?

3rd – Ken Kennedy vs Paul London (Grade: C+)

I’m still not certain how bodes the future for a guy who’s big feud looks to be with the ring announcer and his big catchphrase is saying his own name, but he’s got some charisma, I’ll give him that. His finish is pretty spectacular but contrived to get into, if I were wrestling him, I’d just not bother going up top. Then again, my strategy would probably be to kick Kennedy in the nuts until he passed out and then pin him. This one gets an extra point for the spinny, twirly kick thing that London did, it made me go “oooo” out loud.

2nd – Batista vs JBL (Grade: B)

Why couldn’t they do this at SummerSlam? Just leather the shit out of each other for a good 15 minutes, throw in a cowbell and a bleeding mouth and some twinkly lights and you’ve got yourself some entertainment. Based on the concern that they might actually be thick enough to give JBL back the World belt to show that it’s important to watch Friday Night Smackdown or you’ll miss something big, this match had some nice drama and a good payoff – the best of the JBL/Batista series (I know it’s not saying much but at least we got a good match here).

1st – Eddie Guerrero vs Rey Mysterio (Grade: B+)

Very good match – some nice highspots and good wrestling in between to cohese it all. I really like this “I’ve lost everything” bit they’re doing with Eddie now, it should be just the ticket to elevate him back to the top of the show and actually makes sense to help explain his mammoth losing streak against Mysterio.

The Rankings – Performances

SmackDown MVP of the week: Eddie Guerrero
Whilst not as genital oriented as Flair this week, Guerrero played his character with quite alarming convincingness and worked a good, exciting TV match against Rey.

The SD Wooden Spoon: Animal
You’ve had a good couple of months back on screen, pal, how’s about getting down the gym rather than the burger bar?

Grade B+: Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio
Grade B: JBL, Batista
Grade C+: Paul London, Paul Birchall
Grade C: Anyone not mentioned elsewhere
Grade D: Heidenreich, Animal

*********************************************

NWA TNA: Unbreakable

I don’t get to see this for at least another month until the Wrestling Channel in the UK deigns to grace our screens with the goodness that is purported to be contained in this event, so I can’t offer my opinions on the action therein, but I’ve heard pleasant things. For all those who didn’t see it but want a quick run down of the results, here you are:

– 3 Live Kru beat Elix Skipper, David Young and Simon Diamond
– Austin Aries beat Roderick Strong
– Monty Brown and Kip James beat Apollo and Lance Hoyt
– Chris Sabin beat Petey Williams (run in from Matt Bentley afterwards)
– Abyss beat Sabu
– Bobby Roode beat Jeff Hardy (with interference by Jeff Jarrett)
– The Naturals beat AMW, Team Canada and Alex Shelley/Johnny Candido in a four way tag match
– Raven retained the NWA World Title by beating Rhino (interference by both Jeff Hardy and Jeff Jarrett)
– AJ Styles won the X Division Title by beating Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe in a Triple Threat match.

Sounds like a stormer to me, but I’m still waiting to see Sacrifice (on TWC next weekend, fellow Englanders) so patience will have to be the name of the game.

*********************************************

I think that’s all from me this week, make sure you click on THIS LINK (if Widro helped me out and put it in – otherwise, I’ll look like a bit of a twonk) to zip over and check out Part One of the Top 50 US Based Wrestlers 2004/2005 as written by Iain Burnside and myself.

See you next Monday.