The Way Too Long Review for Batista: I Walk Alone – Disc Three

It’s time to bring the Batista set to a close.  I’m not sure if there was much of a point in doing this review.  People either despise Batista and thus would never own this set, or they love Batista and waited at Wal Mart until Midnight to pick this set up.  There’s not a whole lot of middle ground.

Match #10: World Heavyweight Championship
(c) King Booker vs. Batista
11/26/06 Survivor Series

Oy.  I’m not exactly a huge Booker T fan.  I never really got the appeal in him, as he always seemed like a very one-dimensional wrestler with an even flatter personality.  This is another match I remember almost nothing about, which means another $40 down the poop chute.  I really should take a lash to my own back for all the money I pissed away on shows I paid little attention to.  Then again, even as a fan of Batista I wouldn’t expect this to be the second coming of Flair/Steamboat.  This also falls under the Hart/Michaels rule: two guys who legitimately hate each other are incapable of having a good match together.  I’m sure my readers and fellow Pulse writers will point out exceptions to that rule, but I can’t think of any.

Teddy Long comes out first.  He announces that Batista signed away the rights to any further title shots if he loses tonight.  Teddy Long decides to even the odds, and says that if Booker gets disqualified or counted out, he loses the title.  Not that it helps the heat.  Booker is about as over the obnoxious drunk who pukes on your shoes.  You dislike him, but you don’t say anything or make any noise at all because you really hope he just quietly goes away and later drowns in a puddle of his own vomit, or maybe that was just what I was thinking.

Batista jumps Booker during his entrance and brawls him around the aisle.  The fans could not honestly care less.  In the ring for a shoot-off and Batista gets a back-elbow for two.  Booker takes it to the corner with various punches and chops, but Batista reverses and hits his own stuff.  He looks like he’s working extra stiff, though I’m sure it’s all in the sense of realism.  Sure.  Vertical suplex by Batista to set up the Powerbomb, but Booker bails.  His wife reminds him he can’t get counted out, so he gets to the apron and tries for a hangman.  Batista blocks this to no reaction and hangs up Booker himself, then hits a backbreaker for two.  Short-arm clothesline as some mild hate-hooing is raining down on them.  A couple more clotheslines get two.  Choke on the ropes by Batista.  Who exactly is supposed to be the heel here?  Booker turns this into a hotshot, and then stomps away.  This match sucks.  Catapult into the bottom rope by Booker, which Batista sells like a smoker who’s trying to desperately try to hack some tar out of his throat.  Thrust kick by Booker gets two.  To the corner where he chops away.  Batista tries to fight back but gets his eye thumbed.  More chopping in the corner, then both guys blow an Irish whip.  That simply needs to be repeated: they blew a goddamn mother fucking Irish whip.  At this point the only way the match could get worse is if Vince McMahon declared that the match needed more incest.

Batista tries to recover from the embarrassing whip botch and hits a sideslam for two.  He then follows up with a horrible looking jackhammer for two as more hate-hooing is heard.  Booker tries to fight back but gets caught in a swinging slam for two.  They somehow end up brawling on the apron, where the referee reminds Booker that if gets counted out, he loses the title.  Um, hello, Batista is on the outside too!  As it turns out, this is just a very brittle excuse for Booker to jaw with the referee while Sharmell runs a flimsy distraction, leading to Batista getting kicked off the apron.  To the outside where Booker slams him on the stairs, then tosses him back in and covers with his feet on the rope for two.  Booker hits some really bad shots and then Batista fights back with some punches.  He charges into a kick for two.  Booker grabs a really horrible looking chinlock, with the arm clutched like a half-nelson.  It looks like poop.  Batista fights out and gets a belly-to-belly for a double KO.  Both guys up and Batista slugs it out and hits a clothesline.  Shoot-off and a really high clothesline that I’m 99.9% sure was payback for whatever happened at that Summerslam photo shoot.  Clothesline in the corner and a straight kick to the face that sends Booker out of the ring.  Batista really rams him into the stairs, and then tosses Booker back in.  Batista climbs and actually hits a flying shoulderblock off the top for two.  Spinebuster gets two.  Booker catches his Rock Bottom out of nowhere for two.  And it’s the WORST MOVE EVER~! because Batista is up right away to hit the Powerbomb.  It gets two as Booker gets a hand on the rope.  Sharmell passes Booker the World Heavyweight Championship and then tries to distract the referee.  Batista loads her up for a powerbomb, then ducks Booker’s attempt at whacking him with the belt.  Booker gets clobbered with the belt himself and we have a new champion.  Everything after the powerbomb was completely unnecessary.
DUD Just fucking horrible.  Absolutely no sense of pacing, psychology and both guys had major timing issues.  The blown Irish whip really says it all.  This was a total abortion and should never have found its way to DVD.

Match #11: World Heavyweight Championship
(c) Batista vs. King Booker vs. Finlay
12/1/06 Smackdown

I guess Booker/Batista was soooooo good the first time around that it just had to be done again that same week.  I can just see what went into booking this one.  “You know what that match needed?  Someone who doesn’t suck.”  You have to feel bad for Finlay here, who’s clearly expected to carry the workload.  That or he’s there to make sure things don’t break apart in the ring.  Booker’s jaw is clearly swollen, which I think confirms theory about that high clothesline in the previous match.  At least the fans are hot.  Or dubbed in.  Either way.

Batista starts by scoopslamming both guys.  He sends Booker to the corner, and then whips Finlay into him.  Finlay bails to the ropes, so Batista slings him off it.  Booker tries to jump Booker and eats another high clothesline to the side of his mouth.  To the corner where Batista chokes Finlay with his foot, then shoots him off.  He lowers his head into a kick, but no-sells it and hits a rolling fireman’s carry.  Michael Cole calls this a ‘new move in his repertoire’ despite the fact that he’s done it off and on since he debuted.  That Sports Legacy thingy should put down Chris Benoit’s brain and start studying those of the WWE announce team, as they all seem to have no ability to retain any information.  Back to the match, where Booker thumbs Batista in the eye and punches him down.  This goes on forever, or maybe it just feels like forever, then Finlay joins him.  They whip Batista and try to clothesline him, but he hits a double clothesline of his own instead, then dumps both guys to give us a good time for a commercial break.

We’re back with Booker in control of Batista.  He hits a Harlem Sidekick for two.  Finlay goes after Booker and elbows him on the apron, then runs after Batista and stomps away.  He slams Batista’s throat on the apron, then hits the point of the elbow on Batista’s throat, which Michael Cole calls ‘skull.’  That’s like someone needing heart surgery and getting their breasts done instead, because it’s close enough.  I guess that’s why Michael Cole is a wrestling announcer and not a heart surgeon.  Then again, maybe he doesn’t realize he’s a wrestling announcer.  Maybe he thinks he’s calling rugby or something.  He’s such a knuckle-dragger that I wouldn’t be shocked if he thinks this whole thing is some kind of elaborate game of Clue and nobody has the heart to tell him otherwise.  Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch.  But let it be said that if he declares at the Survivor Series that “On this night, it was Batista in the Billiard Room with the Candlestick” I fucking called it.

Oh yeah, match.  Booker gets slammed into the stairs by Finlay, who ends up alone in the ring.  The fans actually do jeer him, despite the lack of mega-push like Booker got.  It goes to show that all the ramrodding in the world can’t beat good old fashioned talent when it comes to getting heat in wrestling.  Batista fights back and slams him into the rail, then tosses him back into the ring.  Batista is slow to climb in himself and gets hit with a DDT off the ropes for two.  Chinlock now, then Finlay releases to elbow Batista in the head and kick Booker off the apron.  He goes back to Batista and does a backsplash for two, then grabs a side-headlock.  Batista fights back and hits some shoulderblocks in the corner.  He loads up Finlay on the top rope, and then pulls him off with a fisherman’s buster for two.  Finlay rolls over to the apron, where Batista catches him.  As he leans over the ropes, Booker gets the scissors kick on him and covers for two.  Catapult into the bottom rope and covers for two.  Then Finlay comes in and covers and gets pulled off by Booker.  They have a big stare-down, followed by a slug out.  Booker wins out and stomps Finlay down, while Sharmell chokes Batista.  Booker drags Finlay outside and throws him into the stairs, then turns his attention to Batista.  Spin-heel kick gets two in the ring.  He chokes Batista on the ropes a couple times, and then Finlay gets a shot in.  Finlay rams Batista into the rail, and then the heels conspire to finish Batista.  They double up on him with various stomps, and then Booker covers.  Finlay breaks it up and jaws with him.  Batista fights back, but Finlay gets a drop toe-hold and a crossface.  Finlay turns this into a side-headlock, but Batista picks him up and gets a Samoan drop for two.  Finlay reaches for his wooden cock (thanks whoever came up with that), but opts not to use it.  He should have, because Batista fights back and disposes of Finlay.  BUT WAIT~!! because Hornswaggle is here to run a distraction, giving Finlay enough time to smack both guys in the back of the knee with his wooden cock.  He covers Batista for two.  Oddly enough, the fans seem to have bought that as the finish.  Finlay stomps away at the injured knee and slaps on a half-crab, even though Batista is in the ropes.  He drags Batista to the center of the ring, but Booker knocks him out with a straight kick.  Scissors kick misses and Booker eats a spinebuster.  Batista fights off Finlay and spears him, the powerbombs him for the pin.
*** Much better then the Survivor Series disaster, though my suspicion that Finlay would have to carry the load was absolutely correct.  He tried to keep setting the pace but Booker seemed completely indifferent to the whole thing, while Batista appeared totally lost.  Kudos to him for dragging a decent match out of two guys during a period when they wouldn’t know one if it bit them on the ass, but this was still nothing special.  It managed to drag at times, and maybe shaving about four minutes off would have helped.

Match #12: World Heavyweight Championship
(c) Batista vs. Undertaker
4/1/07 Wrestlemania 23

Undertaker’s entrance is shown in full here.  Easily the best version of it he ever did.  The door from nowhere effect that made it look like he was coming out of the Twilight Zone was so brilliant.  It’s a shame that the production fuckwits didn’t focus more on it.  Batista slugs it out in the corner to start, apparently never having watched an Undertaker match.  Undertaker has had approximately 5,000,000 matches in the WWE.  In 4,999,995 of them, someone tried to slug it out in the corner with him to start, only to get reversed and slung into the corner themselves.  Sure enough, Batista is tossed into the corner and punched around.  It’s right up there with trying to powerbomb Billy Kidman.  I’ve seen guys who have never attempted a powerbomb in their career suddenly decide to give it a whirl while matched up against a guy who apparently is an expert in reversing powerbombs.  What the fuck?  Was there some kind of bet going in the back… you pay $5 and have to land a powerbomb on Kidman, with the first person actually doing it collecting the entire pot or something?  Or perhaps it was something more sinister.  Perhaps Kidman was working with the reptilian people and the Illuminati secret government, using fluoride in water to somehow hypnotize his opponents into trying a powerbomb on him.  Having spent his entire training learning the ancient secrets of powerbomb reversal handed down from the Knights Templar, Kidman needed to insure that even those who had never attempted a powerbomb in their life try so then, because it proved that the New World Order (not the Hall/Nash/Hogan variety) has succeeded in their plan for world domination.


*technical difficulties*

Hi, this is Charlie Reneke.  For real.  The proceeding rant was just a joke.  There is no global conspiracy.  The reptilian overlords are our friends and do not exist.  The Illuminati does not even watch WWE and would never train anyone in the art of countering any move.  Besides, they don’t exist either.  I will try to be more professional in the future.  I will restart the review of this match now.

Batista slugs away at Undertaker in the corner, but Undertaker reverses and slugs it out himself which in no way was part of the master plan by our reptilian overlords who do not exist.  Batista actually reverses Undertaker again and shoulderblocks him in the corner to huge boos.  Shoot to the opposite corner and a clothesline, and then another that dumps Taker to the floor.  Huge heat on Batista for everything he does.  Undertaker drags Batista to the floor and slugs it out, but Batista slams him around.  Batista slings him into the stairs and Taker takes a nasty bump off of it.  Batista throws him in the ring and climbs.  He actually hits a flying shoulderblock off the top for two.  Funny enough, the crowd is so cold to Batista that they don’t react at all to what is a shocking move for him to pull off.  Big boot by Taker but Batista bounces off of it then explodes with a clothesline for two.  This match just got going and it’s already kicking all kinds of ass.  Totally nontraditional style Undertaker match.  Scoopslam by Batista.  Rapid fire punches by Undertaker, but Batista slugs it out back.  The crowd does that hilarious “YEAH!” “BOO!” stuff.  Big running splash in the corner by Taker, and then another.  Snake eyes and the running big boot totally connect.  Fans are nuts for Undertaker.  Leg drop gets two.  Rope walk hits for Undertaker, and he calls for the Chokeslam, but Batista fights it off and knees him in the gut.  Taker botches a flying clothesline a bit but hitting Batista with his full body and almost not completing the flip on it.  That could have ended badly.  It wasn’t horrible looking or anything.  To the floor, Batista gets rammed into the stairs, and then elbowed in the throat on the apron.  Leg drop on the apron makes Batista slide to the floor in a nice looking spot.  No hands plancha, perhaps the best looking one of Undertaker’s career, hits big time.  I fucking love this match.  Taker slams him into the guardrail, and then breaks up the count.  Batista reverses a whip on the floor and sends Undertaker through a bunch of chairs and into the timekeeper’s table, nearly killing Lillian Garcia in the process.  Batista plays his role as an animal perfectly, prepping the table in brutal fashion, wiping out announcers and cameramen tossing shit around.  I mean, when the table prepping is awesome, you know you have something special going.  He preps two tables, and I’m all set to deduct points for telegraphing a Powerbomb attempt that’s countered into a backdrop through a table.  Instead, Batista hoists Taker up on his shoulder and jumps off one table, powerslamming Undertaker through another.  This match is kicking all kinds of ass.  Batista fetches Undertaker and rolls him in the ring for two.  Batista is seriously freaking out.  He loads up the Powerbomb but Taker drives him into the corner and hits some big reverse elbows.  Taker tries to whip Batista into the corner but gets caught in a belly-to-belly suplex for two.  Ten punch by Batista which is of course countered into the wedgie bomb for two.  Another spot that was done in every match since Taker started using the move.  But again, the reptilian overlords are your friends and don’t exist.  Spinebuster by Batista and he’s seriously tweaking out.  Taker ducks a clothesline and hits a chokeslam for two.  Taker calls for the end and goes for the Tombstone, but Batista hits a spear and the loaded Powerbomb… for two.  Nobody really bought it as the finish, and that’s the problem with the winning streak.  In theory, the fans should be worried that it’s going to end.  Instead, they just buy every Undertaker match at Wrestlemania as a foregone conclusion.  Batista goes for a powerslam but Taker tosses him into the turnbuckle and hits the Tombstone Piledriver for the pin and the title.
****3/4 Awesome match, lacking a something I can’t quite put my finger on to make it perfect.  They seem to have lost their steam during the finishing sequence, and that might be it.  And by the way, this is an example of making the best of a bad situation.  NOBODY thought this match would be any good going into it, including those who put together the match order for this show.  Instead of sulking or half-assing it, Batista and Undertaker tore the house down to show them the error of their ways.

Match #13: World Heavyweight Championship, Steel Cage Match
(c) Edge vs. Batista
6/3/07 One Night Stand

Edge quickly tries to bail through the door, but Batista catches him.  Edge wiggles away and tries to climb out, but Batista yanks him down and slams him into the corner.  Shoulderblock by Batista and a back-elbow, but again Edge tries to climb out.  Batista catches him and punches him down, then grinds his foot into Edge’s head.  Camel clutch by Batista, then he drops his weight on Edge.  Shoot-off and a clothesline for two.  Knees to the gut and a shoot off for another clothesline that gets two.  Suddenly my memory perks up and I remember this match as the one where Edge’s mouth got mangled.  Thankfully a quick check of the box confirms that this set is rated TV-14, and thus should be uncensored.  Edge is wobbly but tries to escape anyway.  Batista yanks him down and clotheslines him in the back of the head for two.  Vertical suplex gets two.  Batista climbs but Edge dropkicks him off the cage, then spears him into it.  Edge rams him into the cage, then fires off a low dropkick into it for two.  Edge tries to bail out the door but Batista catches him and yanks him back in, which somehow leads to a small double KO.  Edge seems like he’s gassed.  He kicks Batista in the gut, and then sucks some more wind.  He rips off the top turnbuckle and tries to ram Batista into it.  Batista blocks and goes for a powerslam, but Edge turns it into the Edge-o-Matic for two.  Edge crawls to the corner and tries to climb out.  Batista catches him by the trunks and fires off a superplex for two.  Batista slowly gets up and then tries to climb out, then cuts off Edge from stopping him by ramming him off the top of the cage.  Batista decides to go for a flying shoulderblock, but Edge hits a dropkick to cut him off.  Edge coils down for a spear, but Batista decides to go for a shoulderblock at the same time and both guys wipe out.  Nice spot.  Batista drives Edge into the steel cage and slugs it out.  Batista is bordering on self-exposure as he fires off a fourth clothesline.  Yikes, someone needs advice on new moves, ASAP.  Belly-to-belly gets two.  Shoot to the corner, but Edge gets an elbow up.  He goes for a dropkick off the second rope but Batista swats him away, and then hits a slingshot and a rollup for two.  Edge was NOT in position for the move and had to take the slingshot pretty stiff into the cage, and he legitimately busted his mouth doing it.  Batista loads up Edge and lawn-darts him into the cage, though it was about one-quarter as cool as Nash/Mysterio, which is the barometer for all lawn-dart spots.  Batista charges but Edge pushes him into the exposed turnbuckle and spears him for two.  Edge’s mouth is pretty gnarly looking.  It wasn’t until 2008 that he started to base his character around the Joker from Dark Knight, but the blood around his mouth here makes him look the part.  I’m guessing he had to lay off salty food for a while.  Edge tries to climb out, but Batista snatches him off the ropes and hits a nasty spinebuster for two.  Batista loads up a Powerbomb, but Edge catches the cage, kicks Batista off, and climbs to the top.  He gets over the top, but Batista catches him and slowly drags him back in.  He gets Edge down to the top rope and gets kicked in the balls and crotched for his effort.  Batista realizes he’s in trouble and starts to crawl for the door, but Edge climbs out first to retain the title.
**** Very solid match.  It wasn’t big on psychology, but they cut a great pace and it felt like a grudge match that required a cage, rather then something that was just thrown together at the last second like it was.  I remembered this being not so good, and was pleasantly surprised.

Match #14: World Heavyweight Championship
(c) Batista vs. Undertaker
Special Referee: Steve Austin
10/28/07 Cyber Sunday

Another one that I paid for but have no memory of whatsoever.  For what it’s worth, I legitimately feel bad about it.  No joke.  I often buy stuff and regret it years later, but reviewing this set has both made me question if I’m truly a fan of Batista’s (I sure didn’t seem to pay a lot of attention to his matches) and whether I should turn my credit cards over to someone else.

Batista dives at Undertaker to start, but totally whiffs.  Taker boots him in the face, but Batista pops right up and grabs a headlock.  Shoot-off and both guys get a shoulderblock that fails to knock either down.  Lockup and they circle around the ring, but we don’t see it because they’re busy showing replays of how the match started.  Headlock by Batista, but Taker shoots off and boots him in the face with authority for two.  Taker rams him into the corner and hits a few more shoulder thrusts.  He tries to work the arm around the rope, but Austin forces a break.  Batista takes Undertaker to the corner and hits a few shoulderblocks, then rams him into various corners.  Batista unloads on Taker, and then shoots him into the corner.  He charges into a back-elbow and Taker covers for two.  Triangle-choke by Undertaker, but Batista is too close to the ropes.  Elbow to Batista on the apron, then another boot to his skull.  He covers for two.  Taker wins a slug-off and boots Batista back down, but seems to be at a loss of what to do next, so he ties the arm up in the ropes again.  Hell, this the fourth time they’ve wrestled in a major match this year.  I’m sure they’re running out of ideas.  Then again, if you tell Vince McMahon and his booking team that variety is the spice of life, they’ll tell you that all you need is salt so sit down and lap it up you fucking cow.

Taker gets Batista to the corner and charges for a running boot, but Batista moves out of the way and Taker wipes out.  Batista boots him out of the ring, and then follows him out for slamming on various hard objects.  He rams Undertaker into the apron, and then tosses him back into the ring.  Taker hits a flying clothesline for two.  We get to see a replay of it in the middle of the action, despite the fact that anyone who would pay money to see a WWE pay-per-view has seen the same move every time the Undertaker has a match.  He’s been in the company for almost twenty years.  That’s a lot of flying clotheslines.  It’s no longer a move worthy of being replayed.  Back to the match, where Taker goes for the ropewalk, but Batista crotches him.  He slugs it out, but Taker shoves him down and covers for two.  Shoot to the corner by Undertaker and again he misses the running boot.  This time he ends up going up and over to the floor.  Batista gives chase and sends Undertaker into the stairs, but we don’t get to see it because it’s instant replay time.  You know what the WWE needs to do?  Hire a professional bitch-slapper.  Every time the idiots in the production truck hit the instant replay button when there’s actual action going on in the ring, the slapper gets to knock the fucking taste out of their mouths.  What’s Austin doing these days?  He’s perfect for this job.

Batista did indeed send Taker into the stairs, whether we saw it or not, then takes him back in the ring for two.  He bends over to pick Taker up but gets thrown back out of the ring.  Taker punches him the head, and then drops the leg on the apron.  Another move we’ve seen countless times, yet it’s deemed more important to replay it then to watch the action.  When we get back, Undertaker is clotheslining Batista in the corner.  He hits a snake eyes and goes for the running boot, but it’s not in the cards this match and Batista hits a clothesline for two.  He loads up the Powerbomb, but Undertaker backs him in the corner and slugs it out.  Batista misses a charge in the corner and hits his shoulder against the post.  Taker grabs his wrist and fires off the ropewalk, but Batista catches him coming down and hits the spinebuster for two, which Undertaker turns into the Hell’s Gate, long before the move was over.  The fans totally die in fact.  Batista gets to his feet and presses down on Undertaker to cause a pinfall attempt, and it gets two.  Taker breaks and calls for the chokeslam, but Batista fights back.  He goes for a clothesline but Taker ducks it and hits the chokeslam for two.  Batista hits a spear for two.  He loads up the Powerbomb, but Taker backdrops out of it.  Undertaker charges and gets drop toe-holded into the turnbuckle.  Batista’s brain appears to be damaged and he decides that a ten-punch is a good idea.  Guess what happens next?  It hits (wedgie bomb), but Undertaker has to act dead for a second so that he doesn’t look like a pussy when Batista kicks out at two.  He calls for the Tombstone, but Batista wiggles out of it and hits a spinebuster for two.  Zombie sit-up causes Batista’s eyes to bug out, but he gets his wits about him long enough to hit the Powerbomb… for two.  Batista is pretty pissed about this, along with a small group of fans who hate-hoo this.  He loads up a second Powerbomb and hits it for the pin.  Wow, Taker dropped the match clean?  Get the fuck out.
***3/4 A really good match, but these guys were creatively bankrupt following their epics from earlier in the year.  After having some real memorable encounters centered around Wrestlemania, to have such a basic match here feels a bit out of place.  And yet even if they were just going through the motions, they had enough chemistry to make this totally worth watching.

Match #15
Ric Flair, Triple H, & Batista vs. Randy Orton, Edge, & Umaga
12/10/07 Raw

Interesting choice for the set.  This is from the 700th episode of Raw, and so Lillian Garcia invites all the members of Evolution down to the ring.  Batista is the World Champion here, while Orton was the WWE Champ.  Orton refuses to join them in the ring and bitches about getting beat up by them the last time they were all together.  Triple H says it wasn’t because he won the championship, but because he was a pain in the ass.  Orton invites Edge out to jaw with Batista.  Flair challenges them to find a partner and have a match.  Out comes Umaga, and it’s on.  Jim Ross promises us this will be the ultimate six-man tag match as we cut to a commercial.

We come back in progress with Batista fighting Orton.  Flair and Edge get the tag and lockup, and Edge punches Flair around.  Ric fights back with some chops and a backdrop.  Umaga tags in to smack Flair around and slap on a nerve-pinch.  Flair’s attempt at selling this looks like a yawn.  Yeah, I think it’s boring too.  Umaga gets bored as well and tags out to Randy Orton, then decides to take a nap.  Garvin stomp by Orton and a knee drop gets two.  Shoot to the corner and a backdrop by Orton.  He shoots Flair off and tries for a dropkick, but Flair holds the ropes and Orton wipes out.  Tag to Orton, hot tag to Batista.  Clotheslines for all and Edge gets slung into the ring.  Sideslam to Edge as things break down.  Trips in and we get stereo spinebusters, but Umaga comes in and clotheslines both guys.  Umaga shoves the referee down and the match is scrubbed.  Fuck that.  Umaga tries to spike Flair but Trips makes the save.  Rated RKO bails and leaves Umaga for some intervention.  Umaga gives it the old college try, but runs into a low blow from Flair, a spear from Batista, and the KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~!! from Triple H.  Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler talk about what a match this was.  Really?  I’ve had farts that lasted longer and were more meaningful.  That was the ultimate six-man match?  Yeesh.
No Rating, not really meant to be a match in the strictest sense.  More like a “Flair’s retiring… maybe we should squeeze one last appearance by Evolution before he’s done.”  They should have found something else for the set.

Match #16
John Cena vs. Batista
8/17/08 Summerslam

Back-story: both guys just aren’t happy with one another.  That’s all you fucking need in wrestling.  Why complicate it?  Fans are super hot for this.  Lockup and Batista grabs a headlock.  Shoot-off by Cena but he eats a shoulderblock.  Hiptoss by Cena and the fans are decidedly against him.  Scoopslam by Cena and we have a standoff.  Fans want Cena to die for it.  Stare down and a lockup.  Cena grabs a headlock, and then gets shot off to hit a shoulderblock.  Batista kicks him in the gut and goes for the Powerbomb.  Cena escapes only to get clotheslined.  Jackhammer by Batista gets two.  Fisherman’s suplex by Cena gets two.  Sideslam by Batista gets two.  Cena loads up for the FU but Batista clips his knee.  Batista clubs at the back and hits a half-drop on Cena to set up the figure-four.  Cena tries to pry Batista’s leg off and fails, so he reaches for the ropes.  After a short struggle, he gets it.  He immediately then loads up the FU and dumps Batista over the top and to the floor with it, then remembers to sell the knee.  A double KO follows.  Batista gets back in the ring to eat a couple shoulderblocks and the protoplex.  Jesus, what happened to the heat section of the match?    Cena kind of hams it up in a heelish way and hits the five knuckle shuffle.  He loads up for the FU but Batista elbows out of it and pushes Cena into a big boot for another double KO.  Batista is up and shoulderblocks Cena in the corner.  Running clothesline, then Cena charges into the spinebuster.  Thumbs up, thumbs down, and Batista loads up the Powerbomb.  Cena pushes out of it and hits a leg-breaker, then locks in the STFU in the center of the ring.  Batista crawls for the ropes, so Cena yanks him to the center of the ring.  Fans are just hate-hooing the ever loving shit out of John here.  Batista crawls some more while Jerry Lawler proves he doesn’t suck by pointing out that Batista is in the exact spot in the ring where Triple H tapped to the same move at Wrestlemania 22.  Batista does make the ropes, so Cena loads up the FU.  Batista falls out of this and grabs a rear-naked choke on the way down.  It looks horrible, which is likely the reason Dave doesn’t use this move anymore.  Cena elbows out of it, so Batista waits for him to stand up and spears him down for two.  Batista loads up for a powerslam, but Cena flips through it (think Tombstone Piledriver reversal) and has Batista set up for the FU, which hits for two.  Cena climbs and gets crotched, leading to a slug-off on the top rope.  Cena’s punches look pretty damn solid.  Ted DiBiase could learn something watching this one.  Cena wins and Batista falls off.  He goes for the leg drop, but Batista turns it into the Powerbomb… for two.  Dave is a bit pissy about this, so he loads up another Powerbomb and hits it for the pin.
****1/4 Very entertaining, even though this was so against any normal WWE style match that I’m shocked it didn’t turn into a train wreck.  This actually felt like a TNA match, where the guys aren’t allowed to hit more then two moves in a row before the momentum swings.  Regardless, this had the benefit of actually feeling like a major event rather then something that was just thrown on there because neither guy had anything else to do.  It really should have been saved for the main event of a Wrestlemania.  In a related note, if this match along with Cena/Michaels at Wrestlemania 23 is any indication, the official WWE policy seems to be “face vs. face matches can’t have a heat section in them.”  This is fine, because I’m not sure these guys could have carried the crowd with it.

Match #17
Randy Orton vs. Batista
12/14/08 Armageddon

Orton has Manu and Rhodes with him.  Sadly, there’s one thing he didn’t bring with him: heat.  Credit to Orton and the WWE creative team for reinventing Orton’s gimmick.  The weasel heel only worked for him until around the time Bob Orton got shit-canned from the company.  His new modern version of Jake Roberts’ snake character is both fresh and lends itself more to having good and creative matches.

Long lockup, with Orton getting a headlock.  We end up in the ropes.  Circle and lockup leads to Orton getting a headlock, then a drop toe-hold into a chancery.  We don’t see them break it clean because the fuckwits in production want to show us shots of Manu watching the match.  Shoulderblock by Batista, then Orton shoves him out of the ring to get beat up by the lapdogs.  The referee catches them and ejects them.  Orton tosses him back in the ring and into the turnbuckle, and then wraps his arm around the ropes.  Orton goes to work on the arm, grabbing a pretty lazy armbar.  Batista fights back and clotheslines him from corner to corner, then powerslams Orton down.  He loads up the Powerbomb, but Orton gets out of it and hits a neckbreaker.  Knee drop for two.  Orton with a chinlock now, though he actually makes it look good for once.  Batista fires off a scoopslam to escape, then hits some shoulderblocks in the corner.  Shoot-off and Batista lowers his head into a kick, but then catches Orton charging and tosses him out of the ring.  Batista tosses him back in the ring, but gets kicked in the face coming back in.  Orton loads up the rope-DDT and hits it for two.  Garvin stomp by Orton and a knee drop.  Batista’s head is prone on the apron, so Orton elbows at it, then punches Batista in the ear.  He covers for two.  Now to a chinlock.  Batista snapmares out of it and goes for a clothesline but Orton blocks it.  He goes for the wrap-around neckbreaker but Batista loses his footing.  Orton saves by turning it into a rear-naked choke.  Batista gets up and backs him in the corner, then hits a sideslam for a double knockout.  Slug-out, which is won by Batista.  Clothesline in the corner and a powerslam, but Orton wiggles out of it.  He charges into a clothesline, and then Batista gets pissy and dumps Randy to the floor, then tosses him back in.  He climbs but Orton catches him and fires off a superplex for two.  Spinebuster by Batista gets two.  He loads up the Powerbomb, then Orton goes for the RKO, then Batista gets a swinging slam for two.  Batista goes for a spear but Orton kicks him in the face and hits the wraparound neckbreaker.  He coils for the RKO, but Batista counters into a back-powerslam for two.  Orton is up and fights off Batista with a DDT.  Batista is in position for the punt so Orton goes for it, but Batista snatches him up and puts him in the corner for some shoulderblocks and a ten-punch.  Orton tries to toss out of it, but Batista turns this into the Powerbomb out of nowhere for the pin.
**1/2 I just didn’t dig it.  A really plain match that wasn’t particularly exciting.  Just not a really well structured match, as Orton didn’t get enough time to heat up the match.  The pacing was fine but they had difficulty putting together the parts in a way that gave the match a sense of intensity or drama.  A bad way to finish the set.

BOTTOM LINE: Ignoring the first disc, you get seventeen matches, one of which I didn’t rate.  Of those matches, ten of them received passing marks from me.  Despite the fact that some of them can be found elsewhere, this set gets an easy thumbs up for having a nice variety of solid matches.  Batista is certainly not for everyone, but to argue that he’s worthless to the business is just typical smark venom towards a guy who’s built like you wish you could be, if only you could pry your ass off the couch.  Is he a great worker?  Of course not.  But he can follow the lead of a talented worker and take part is some pretty decent matches.  It wouldn’t be fun if everyone was as good as Shawn Michaels.

Thanks to Brad for editing this, as always.

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