I watched all of these matches deemed unfit for RAW on a tiny screen. Want to hear about them.
Taped in front of a live audience in Anaheim, California
Your hosts are the most dorky announce team in WWE history, Todd Grisham and Josh Matthews.
Charlie Haas vs. Hardcore Holly: The Vanilla Powers Explode Match
The dorks impress me a little by bringing up Haas and Holly’s shortlived days tagging on Smackdown, which is the kind of thing announce teams usually gloss over and take crap for from internet wags. Haas has a black singlet with his name on it, perhaps because he’s not sure whether anyone remembers who he is at this point. Bob dominates with basic mat stuff to start before Haas gets some cheap shots in the corner. Bob takes a couple of those and decides “that’s enough of this selling crap” and unleashes his patented “Stiff, Surly Southerner Chops” in the corner, causing Haas to bail.
He heads under the apron, eventually emerging with a lucha mask and a new pair of tights, which allows him to take over. A stiff kick to the back gets two, and Haas transitions to a bow and arrow from there. That goes on a bit, getting at least one person on camera to chear on Bob by clapping. Grish and Matthews talk about Haas’s strange choice in attire, and somehow get around to talking about Matthew’s apparent love of crossdressing, which Matthews justifies by saying “At least I do it in the privacy of my own home!” They do at least try to make the rest hold sound damaging by talking about all of the parts of the body it’s supposed to be stretching.
Bob fights out of the rest hold with kicks to the gut and gets a falling full nelson slam. Haas reverses a whip and charges but eats turnbuckle. Bob goes up, but Haas slows him down long enough to get knocked off the top rope, losing his mask in the process. Bob follows with a awkward looking crossbody, but you have to give him credit for even trying at this point. A running shoulder block and elbow smash in quick succession lead to Bob’s still very impressive dropkick and a two count. Bob goes back to the chops before eating an elbow on a blind charge. Haas uses the opening to produce another mask, but Bob jumps him before he can get it on, as Matthews makes a Cher reference. That may actually make him more masculine. Bob gets his patented kick to the gut with his opponent hung up in the ropes, and takes the mask for himself. Showing more whimsy than you’d usually associate with him, he puts it on, and the Spinning Alabama Slam finishes shortly after. This was the kind of match you’d expect from two solid hands like these two. Between his luchador gimmick and his legitimate wrestling background, I think Haas could really fit in in the current NWA.
Winner: Surly Bob
Melina vs. Mickie James: Hey Remember When We Were Fighting Over the Women’s Championship? Match
Out of context line of the night so far. Todd: Mickie James is full of spunk. Why yes, I do have the sense of humor of a fifteen year old, why do you ask? They fight over a wristlock to start, with Mickie throwing in a monkey flip before they go to the cat fight portion of the match, trading hair tosses before Melina takes over with a double boot to the gut and a charging knee in the corner. More hair tossery leads to a pretty cool little spot, as a Melina sets her up on the middle turnbuckle and charges, hitting a jumping double knee on Mickie’s stomach. That gets two. Melina locks on a body scissor, then transitions to a sleeper hold while sitting on her back when Mickie tries to fight out. Mickie fights out by standing up and falling on top of her.
They get to their feat and trade forearms, with Mickie winding up on the apron. That allows her to get a neck snap off the top rope and spring in with a headscissor takedown. Clothesline takedown and chop get two. Melina comes back with one of her impressive looking kicks. Mickie fights back by sliding between her legs and hitting a less impressive thesz press. She ducks a Melina clothesline and hits the Implant DDT (complete with yell) for three. Usual solid match between these two. Matthews teases a title shot for Mickie, but I’m guessing that ship has sailed with Candice back.
Brian Kendrick w/ Paul London vs. Lance Cade w/ Trevor Murdoch: Battle To Determine Who’s Shawn Micheal’s Best Student Not Named Bryan Danielson
Kendrick rolls out of the way of a Cade charge and gets some thigh kicks to start, but Cade answers by pummeling him in the corner. He follows that with hard Irish Whip and a backbreaker and stays on the back, hanging him in the ropes in the process. Kendrick fights back, but Cade answers with a backdrop suplex for two, doing his usual great sell job to make it look like he’s almost dead. Abdominal stretch, and we get a look at the goofy sweater London’s wearing under his shirt. Cade clubbers him and the already leisurely pacing grinds to a screeching halt. Cade hits some knees in the back and slaps on another abdominal stretch. It’s right about now that I wonder why I chose this show over Impact.
London tries his best to generate some sympathy on the outside with his goofy mannersims (or at least keep me awake). Kendrick flips out of a backdrop and gets a back slide to a decent pop for the web show. Also; a two. Whip to the corner, but Kendrick gets a boot up and hits a forearm off the second rope. Calf kick gets two. Matthews calls it a leg lariat, but I didn’t waste half my life playing wrestling games to defer to the professional here. Sliced Bread #2 is blocked by a whip, and that’s good, because the sudden shock of how awesome that move is compared to the rest of this match might kill the crowd. Spanky hits a jawbreaker to block… something and follows up with a sweet leaping enziguiri. He drags himself to the ropes in a cool touch and goes up and nails a frog splash! I wasn’t expecting that. It gets a near fall. The commentary team talks about how he overshot it, possibly costing him the match. It never seemed to hurt RVD.
At any rate, Spanky pulls out a straightjacket camel clutch thing, choking Cade out with his own hands, which is pretty cool resthold. Cade powers out, but Kendrick fights back with a kick to the face that would make Chris Sims proud and he heads to the apron. Sprinboard attempt whiffs, and Cade finishes with a sitout spinebuster. This finally got going after being incredibly boring when Cade was dominating on offense, and turned in to a solid David vs. Goliath kind of thing.
Carlito vs. Cody Rhodes: My Dad Could Beat Up Your Dad Match
I wonder if the feud between Rhodes, Holly, Carlito, and Santino will lead to a Mania match, or if Santino will be too busy being angry about his girlfriend being rendered in the nude by a team of photoshop artists to bother with going after the tag titles? It’s more likely they’d be in the dark match, but this could comfortably jerk the curtain, too.
Carlito gets the advantage off a cheap shot and gets all kicky punchy before tossing Cody, who takes the opportunity to skin the cat back in. That’s one of the reasons I have a hard time believing he’s Dusty’s kid. Well, that and the lack of Rhodes paunch. Cody comes back with a nice dropkick and goes for his DDT, but Carlito bails. Rhodes isn’t having any of that and gives him a slap to the chest before tossing him back in the ring. They fight in there, which leads to Carlito eating turnbuckle but responding with a hotshot for two, as the Dorks shill Mayweather vs. Big Show. Well, it worked with LT, but Big Show’s no Bam Bam Bigelow, and the size disparity really doesn’t help, either. Unlike the De La Hoya fight, though, at least he’ll actually have to make contact! Hey, if the announcers can ignore the match, so can I.
Back to the match that’s going on during the free advertising, Carlito hits a neckbreaker for a near fall. Cody fights out of a sleeper and punches away before hitting a quick jumping lariat and tosses Carlito in to the buckle, which seems to be the spot they’ve built the match around. They trade reversals in to a Cody bulldog for two. Whip reversal spot leads to a Backstabber attempt out of the corner, but Cody holds on to the top rope and gets two off of Carlito’s pratfall. Cody whips him in to the rope but puts his head down and eats a kick. Well, at least he has the excuse of being a rookie, unlike everyone one else on the roster. In the time it takes me to type all that out, Carlito finishes with the Backstabber. Another solid match in a string of them.
Other than alternatingly being depressed by the fact that Kendirck is a jobber and being bored by Cade in their match, this was on okay show. Whether you, me, or anyone else needs another 30 minutes of mediocre free wrestling on the web with the 7 hours of it on basic cable, I can’t say, but it does at least lack Leprechaun beatdowns and Karen Angle, so I really can’t come up with an excuse to not recap it.