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Talk Wrestling Online Newsletter - Issue 22 - August 3rd 2003


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Talk Wrestling Online Newsletter - Issue 22 - August 3rd 2003

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Hey All,

 

How many of you shelled out for Vengeance last week? I did, and I wasn't disappointed. But for those who missed it, this weeks column is The LiveWire, and will tell you all you need to know about it, from the eyes of Tony Cottam.

 

Besides that, the usual applies. US News, UK News, and the return of International news. What more can you ask for? (Well, besides the obvious.. but nevermind)

 

Any UFC fans? Keep an eye on the mainpage at TWO on Monday I'm told there will be some UFC reviews up and 2 UFC competitions!

 

- Mitchell Jones

TWO Newsletter Editor

 

http://www.talkwrestlingonline.com/forum

 

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Forum Info

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- Are your details up to date in your control panel? (Location, favourite wrestlers, avatars etc)

 

http://www.talkwrestlingonline.com/forum/usercp.php

 

Just to make it clear that anyone who wishes to have the newsletter sent to a different address will have to change their e-mail address in their TWO Forum Profile (see above link). Thank you.

 

- Monthly Wrestling Awards - June 2003

 

Each month, you now have the opportunity to have your vote on the current WWE product. Who was your favourite Diva of the past month? What match was better than any other? Have your say in the US forum, and make a difference.

 

http://www.talkwrestlingonline.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=7518

 

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Talk Wrestling Online News

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- TWO Writers Competition Winners

Congratulations to the following forum members for winning videos from http://www.Simania.co.uk for their contributions to the forums during the competition:

 

UK Scene: Goldy

US Scene: PK (WCW and ECW Fan), Simon and Cactus Jack

PRDZ: Peter

 

And major props to Simania for sponsoring the competition again.

 

- WWE Summerslam Quiz and Chat - With 10 prizes!

As is our monthly tradition here at Talk Wrestling Online, we will be holding our monthly PPV Quiz and Chat night, on Sunday, August 24th. The Quiz will start from 8pm (UK Time) in the chatrooms with Dan returning as your quizmaster for one night only. For more information about taking part in the quiz see: http://www.talkwrestlingonline.com/Quiz/quiz.shtml

Then from 9pm until 1am, why not stay along for a good ol' chat about the PPV with all the TWO regulars? The more, the merrier.

 

Also, a special treat for everyone to celebrate Summerslam, TWO has got together with http://www.Silvervision.co.uk to offer 10 WWE DVD's during the chat! Go to http://www.talkwrestlingonline.com/PPVChat/ppvchat.shtml and find out all about it.

 

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Forum Focus

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- "I think he was just shocked someone wanted his autograph" - Tazzy13 explains why he tihnks Kevin Nash passed out (US Scene Forum)

 

- "The fact that he wins the match with a legdrop following a 20 second pose-with-handclapping-thing while Muta lies on his back kinda negates that though." - Russ on Hulk Hogan trying to prove to Japan that he was the best technical wrestler in the world (US Scene Forum)

 

- "Surely there's a joke to be found in the fact that Stephanie has gotten pretty fat lately, and HHH, who she sleeps with, has a sore groin, but I'll let you work it out for yourselves." - Russ again, this time on HHH's groin injury (US Scene Forum)

 

- "I'd still pump her silly though, even though I hate her SO much." - Simon echos almost every other male WWE fan's sentiments perfectly (US Scene Forum)

 

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US News - By HSM

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-WWE News-

 

WWE has promoted Jim Ross. His new title is Executive Vice President of Talent Relations. Ross was previously just Vice President of Talent Relations, sans the Executive. WWE sent out an announcement of JR's promotion in The Stilwell Democrat Journal, the paper from JR's hometown.

 

While it was previously thought that the stitches Vince McMahon required were due to him blading, they were actually needed to cover up a cut caused by a chair shot from Zach Gowen. The massive bleeding was from that hard shot, not a blade job. The cut required 16 stitches.

 

At this point, it looks like WWE will be going with Kane vs. Shane McMahon for Summerslam. With no other major babyface opponents lined up, WWE apparently feels that Shane would be a good foil for the "monster" Kane.

 

WWE Raw got a 4.2 rating this week on TNN. The first hour did a 4.0 and the second did a 4.3, with the overrun doing a 5.4.

 

WWE Smackdown did a 3.4 rating, which is the same as last week. The show was preempted in Philadelphia which probably cost the rating about .1

 

WWE.com reports that Triple H suffered a groin injury during his post-RAW match with Goldberg this week. The injury is being called a "severe strain." WWE is also looking into the possibility of the injury being a hernia. Triple H is now off the Australian tour and could be out of action for a while. WWE is hoping that he will be ready to go for his Summerslam match against Goldberg.

 

Paul Heyman has been out of action as an on-air manager for Smackdown since the spring. It was also around the time he was removed as head of creative for Smackdown. However, he is set to return to action as a manager on Smackdown soon. WWE management is waiting on his doctors to clear him medically, and then he would be primed for a TV return. Heyman injured his neck taking the F5 from Brock Lesnar on the house show circuit. He had bulging discs in his neck and he has been seeing a neurologist. His on air return would not indicate any kind of return to power in the booking staff, as he would be an on air talent.

 

In surprising news, it appears as if the RAW creative team had a long-term plan for Lance Storm's "boring" gimmick. After several weeks of failing to shed the "boring" label, Storm would apparently seek out a charismatic tag team partner, and then there would be wacky skits with the new partner trying to teach Storm how to have a personality. No word on whether this is still the intended direction for Storm on Raw.

 

Word is that Vince McMahon looked very tired backstage at RAW on Monday and the Smackdown taping on Tuesday. The general feeling is that his match with Zach Gowen, and the big cut he suffered, has taken a lot out of him. Vince is known to be very active backstage so his new demeanour took many by surprise.

 

Miss Elizabeth's cause of death has been established and the following was reported in the Marieta Daily Journal "A fatal of mix of pills and alcohol caused the untimely and accidental April death of the wrestling icon "Miss Elizabeth," according to the final autopsy results released Thursday."

 

Kevin Nash was pulled from Friday's show in Australia by his doctors. Nash was apparently signing autographs in the lobby of his hotel when he fainted. When he came to, he didn't know where he was or what had happened.

 

A recent proxy given out to WWE investors stated that Vince McMahon earned a $1 million salary last year (not including bonuses he got for appearing as an on-air character and stock dividends). Linda McMahon earned a $750,000 salary. WWE producer Kevin Dunn earned $497,917. Jim Ross, Head of Talent Relations, earned $318,333.

 

(Credit: Various Sources)

 

-NWA: TNA News-

 

Very little in the way of TNA news this week so straight on with the PPV results.

 

Jerry Lynn beat Elix Skipper 2-0 in a 2 out of 3 falls match

Sandman bested Edward Chastain to retain the Hard 10 Trophy

Simon Diamond & Johnny Swinger pinned Shark Boy & Norman Smiley

Chris Sabin beat Michael Shane to retain the X-Division Title

Kid Kash over Ricky Morton

Shane Douglas & The New Church beat Raven, Julio & Alexis

Jeff Jarrett beat Joe E Legend in a "bat and a guitar on a poles match"

 

Selected Indy Results

(Provided by Nate Steins Wrestling News)

 

Major League Wrestling

Saturday, July 26 - Orlando, FL

http://www.mlw.com

*"Dr. Death" Steve Williams/The Sandman def. The Extreme Horsemen (Simon Diamond/CW Anderson) to win the chance to compete against The Extreme Horsemen for the MLW Global Tag-Team Crown championship August 22nd.

*MLW World Heavyweight Title Match: champion Steve Corino retained against "Gladiator" Mike Awesome

*Bounty Match: Terry Funk def. Abdullah the Butcher

*CM Punk/Michael Shane (w/ Francine) def. Norman Smiley (w/ GI Ho)/Raven

*"The Perfect Creation" Richard Criado def. Nosawa

*Mikey Whipwreck (w/ The Sinister Minister) def. Sabu (w/ Bill Alfonso)

*Simon Diamond def. The Sandman

*"Notorious 187" Homicide def. Jerry Lynn (w/ The Sinister Minister)

*"Dr. Death" Steve Williams def. "Enforcer" CW Anderson

*Samoan Island Tribe and Da Hit Squad went to a draw

*Josh Daniels def. Richard Criado

*Los Maximos def. Jimmy Yang/Tony Mamaluke

 

Combat Zone Wrestling

Saturday, July 26 - Dover, DE

http://www.czwwrestling.com

Tournament of Death:

*Pane of Glass Death Match: Zandig def. "Spyder" Nate Webb

*Light Tubes Match: Sick Nick Mondo def. JC Bailey

*Four Corners of Pain: Necro Butcher def. Corporal Robinson

*Barbed Wire Board/Light Tube Table Match: Ian Rotten def. Nick Gage

*Fans Bring the Weapons Match: Ian Rotten def. Necro Butcher

*2/3 falls Log Cabin Death Match: "Sick" Nick Mondo def. Zandig

*200 Lightube/Barbed Wire Ropes Match: "Sick" Nick Mondo def. Ian Rotten

*Trent Acid def. Z-Barr

*Ian Knoxx def. Chris Cash, Rick Feinberg, Cory Castle, Niles Young, and Jude (w/ Jon Dahmer as special guest referee)

*Johnny Kashmere def. Nick Berk

*B Boy/Messiah def. Sonjay Dutt/Ruckus.

 

That's all for this week. I shan't be doing the US News next week as I'm off on my TWO promotional visit to Greece for a week so I shall see you all in 2 weeks

 

HSM

 

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UK News - By Goldy

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Hello everyone and welcome to this weeks UK scene wrestling news and results. There's not too much news around this week but as always I'll get straight on with what's gone down.

 

FWA Academy Results - Buckland Community Centre - Portsmouth

Aviv Maayan def Mark Sloan

Stixx & Kaos def Dan James & Harry Mills

Jezz Gardner def Ryan Goulding

Dan Head def Max Voltage

Andy Simmonz def Ian Logan

Aviv Mayaan won a 25 man Royal Rumble

Raj Ghosh def Rishi Ghosh

Paul Birchall def Ross Jordan

Nikita def Eamon Shrahan

James Tighe def Chris Justice.

 

Premeir Promotions - Worthing - 31/7/03

Baxter Burridge def Hade Vanson 2 falls to 1.

Doug Williams def Paul Tyrell 2 falls to 1.

The Superflys (Ricky & Roy Knight) def Hot Stuff & Jimmy Joe Mason.

Doug Williams def Baxter Burridge 2 falls to 1.

 

NWA - Hammerlock - Bognor Regis - 1/8/03

Jon Ryan def Michael Shepherd

Mike Mendoza def Muscles Mansfield

Neil Faith def Mr Vain

Jekkel & Psycho Steve went to a double count out

Jon Ryan def Neil Faith

Mike Mendoza def Jon Ryan

Tony & Dave McMillan def Tank & Danny Williams

The McMillans win a Royal Rumble.

 

Tuesday night sees All Star Wrestling back at Fairfields Hall Croydon. Robbie Brookside will be making his first appearance since returning from his tour of Japan. Brookside will be wrestling against Skull Murphy. Also scheduled for the show is "The Phoenix" Jodie Fleisch who will be taking on Julio Torres. A ladies match is also advertised for the show as well other supporting contests. For more information on All Star or for ticket details please visit http://www.bigtimewrestlinguk.com

 

If anyone is fortunate enough to live by Worthing then this is a fantastic time for you to catch some live British wrestling as Premier Promotions are holding live shows their every week on a Thursday. These shows take place at the Worthing Assembly Halls every Thursday until September the 4th. Some of the UK's biggest stars (literally) will be appearing in the ring over the next few weeks. The UK Pitbulls will be making their Worthing debuts on Thursday August 7th followed by The American Avalanche and Cannonball Glitzy on Thursday August the 14th. As well as the Pitbulls on this weeks show (August 7th) there will be Jace The Ace, Curve, Flash Barker, Superstar Sanders and The UK Kid. A great line up. For details of any of these shows please visit http://www.premier-promotions.co.uk or email wrestling@premier-promotions.co.uk.

 

AIWF - GB have this week announced their next show which will be on Friday the 15th of August at Bidd's in Longton. Featuring several AIWF stars including Dirk Feelgood, Andy Hogg, Jack The Lad, Chris Curtis, Paul Beswick, Mike Weaver, Keith Myatt, Kid Kaos, Simon Feenixxx and Johnny Phere.

 

Now I can't finish without mentioning this years Annual British Wrestlers Reunion. For the past eleven years wrestlers past and present as well as referees, MC's and promoters etc all come together to share a drink, eat and generally take the opportunity to catch up with one another. The Reunion idea was conceived at former superstar Catweazle's funeral, whereby some of the boys were having an unaccustomed tipple with the £1000 that he left to them and the remark was made that wasn't it a shame the boys only got together when one of them died! Since then the event has spiralled into one of the most anticipated events in the UK calendar. The Southern get together will be held on Sunday 10th at a Public House which belongs to former World Heavyweight champ Wayne Bridges and his wife. Now anyone can attend this event, so if you fancy trying your luck for autographs and getting all nostalgic all you need to do is turn up and donate £5 which covers your food. The event kicks off around 12 noon till late at The Bridges Public House, Horton Road, Horton Kirby, Nr Dartford, Kent.

 

Well, that's everything for this week. I will be back next week with all the news and results from the FWA's Northern Tour which kicks off this weekend. Thank you for reading.

 

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International News - By Jungmuta

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Hello all, it's August and it's holiday season……….which means everyone else has vanished, thus it's my turn for a crack at the Puro News and Results section, hope you enjoy!

 

Everyone's favourite Lunatic and part time Senator, Atsushi Onita is scheduled to face The Great Sasuke in a no rope exploding barbed wire Death match. The 2 had a similar match (which was also very good) back in 1995, so this one has expectations to be met. It will be on September 23rd for MPW, results I'm sure to be listed here.

 

New Japan's annual G-1 Climax tourney, gets ready to begin in just under a fortnight, with the favourites including Yuji Nagata, Masahiro Chono, Jun Akiyama, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Osamu Nishimura, and the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Yoshihiro Takayama. Outside bets also on the tag team champions Hiroshi Tanahashi and Yutaka Yoshie. The tournament should boast some excellent matches. Logical booking could see Nagata win to build up an IWGP Title rematch with Takayama, or one of the younger stars (Nishimura, Tenzan, Tanahashi, Yoshie) winning, but then again this is New Japan, thus expect the moronic more than the logical.

 

WWE's recent tour of Japan came off partly successful. Many fans were greatly impressed by the performance of the guys out there, especially Brock Lesnar (so much so in fact, many fans are now dreaming of a Bob Sapp v Brock Lesnar match, keep on dreaming guys). However a lot of the fans were disappointed with, in their eyes, the lack of stars there. No Undertaker, especially, was one of the main gripes.

 

Both All Japan and NOAH announced their up and coming August line ups. They are as followed.

 

8/19 Tokyo, Korakuen Hall

- Gran Hamada vs. Masayuki Kono

- Kazushi Miyamoto vs. Shawn Hernandez

- Masa Fuchi, Taichi Ishikari, & Hi69 vs. Kendo Ka Shin, Extreme Blade, & Alan Funk

- Shigeo Okumura & Nobukazu Hirai vs. Hideki Hosaka & Yusaku

- Keiji Mutoh, Arashi, & Kaz Hayashi vs. The Gladiator, Gigantes, & Red

- Toshiaki Kawada & Ryuji Hijikata vs. Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma

 

8/22 Hokkaido, Asahikawa City Center Gym

- Masayuki Kono vs. Shawn Hernandez

- Keiji Mutoh, Arashi, & Shigeo Okumura vs. The Gladiator, Gigantes, & Alan Funk

- Toshiaki Kawada & Nobukazu Hirai vs. Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma

 

8/23 Hokkaido, Monbetsu City Sports Center

- Keiji Mutoh, Arashi, & Masayuki Kono vs. The Gladiator, Gigantes, & Alan Funk

- Toshiaki Kawada & Nobukazu Hirai vs. Satoshi Kojima & Kaz Hayashi

 

8/24 Hokkaido, Kitami Municipal Center

- Satoshi Kojima & Kaz Hayashi vs. The Gladiator & Red

- Toshiaki Kawada, Nobukazu Hirai, & Ryuji Hijikata vs. Keiji Mutoh, Arashi, & Tomoaki Honma

 

8/25 Hokkaido, Kushiro City's Tottori Dome

- Keiji Mutoh, Arashi, & Hi69 vs. The Gladiator, Gigantes, & Red

- Toshiaki Kawada & Masa Fuchi vs. Satoshi Kojima & Kaz Hayashi

 

8/27 Hokkaido, Sapporo Convention Center

- Arashi & Tomoaki Honma vs. Gigantes & Red

- Satoshi Kojima vs. The Gladiator

- Keiji Mutoh & Kaz Hayashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Masa Fuchi

 

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NOAH card line-ups:

 

8/15 Akita Mountain Camp

- Jun Izumida vs. Haruka Eigen

- Masao Inoue & Mitsuo Momota vs. Takeshi Rikio & Yoshinobu Kanemaru

- Naoki Sano & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Daisuke Ikeda & Takashi Sugiura

- Battle Royal

- Takeshi Morishima & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Akira Taue & Kishin Kawabata

- Kenta Kobashi, Tamon Honda, & KENTA vs. Mitsuharu Misawa, Yoshinari Ogawa, & Yasuhiro Suzuki

 

8/16 Miyagi, Ogawara-cho Arena

- Lottery will be done to determine card the day of the show

 

Unfortunately for all the Japan groups at the moment, ticket sales everywhere are seemingly very low. Just like WWE, the in ring action is fine, it's the booking which seems to be the main problem.

 

However one company which seems to be doing well is Shinya Hashimoto's Zero-ONE. The Fire Festival continued today with it's second to last show. Masato Tanaka probably missed out on a spot in the final after being held to a double countout by Alexander Otsuka. Tanaka is still top of his group, but is the only combatant in Block B without a match left. All Kojima needs to advance is defeat Kohei Sato tomorrow, and he'll be in the final. Yoshiaki Fujiwara made short work of All Japan's Arashi, submitting him in just 5 minutes. Fujiwara still has a good chance of advancing, while Arashi can't go through, also despite being on top, as like Tanaka, he is the only member of his block with no matches left. Satoshi Kojima inched closer to a place in the final following a win over WEW's Tetsuhiro Kuroda, a lariat getting the job done. WEW's other top man, Kintaro Kanemura, was also beaten, losing to Shinjiro Otani, who is making a late comeback. This was Otani's third singles win in a year over Kanemura, but at least this one wasn't three seconds long, like in the last Fire Festival. Otani or Fujiwara seem favourites to advance to the final from Block A, although Kanemura does have an outside chance if he beats Fujiwara.

 

And that's about it for the Japanese News for this week, a slow week, but should be building in the coming days and weeks with the beginning of New Japan's G-1 Climax, and the conclusion of Zero-ONE's Fire Festival tournament, so for now, I'll do an Atsushi Onita and leave you but possible come back, it might be me next week, it might not, who knows, either way enjoy your puroresu.

 

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The LiveWire #85 - by Tony Cottam

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Well, hello. Welcome to the latest instalment of my brain to hit your screens - and don't blame me for that line, it comes from the famous (in his own mind) Andy G. What, you're not complaining? It's better than my usual intro? Oh. Fair enough, I guess.

 

But let's not dwell. Last night was a night of Vengeance - a night for Smackdown to shine on their own PPV, and try and show Raw how it should be done. Could they do it? Read on and find out, gentle reader...

 

A superb choice of opener in Benoit vs. Guerrero got the night off to a storming start. Putting them on first basically gave them as much time as they needed and really let them put on a show. The storytelling was there - Benoit working on the back and shoulder of Guerrero, trying to set up the Crippler Crossface - Guerrero just happy to survive until the opportunity to cheat popped up.

 

People ask me why I like wrestling sometimes. I point them towards matches like this, and the Benoit-Angle classic at the Royal Rumble. This, my friends, is good wrestling. Both men put their all into this and gave the crowd a show to be proud of, and with relatively few "highspots" - a top rope back suplex, a top rope superplex and a suicide dive through the ropes were the only relatively risky spots, bar the frog splash and diving headbutt finishers.

 

Guerrero took the win in the end, with a classic piece of misdirection from Rhyno - once Rhyno hit the ring, I had a feeling that "the turn" was on - and Eddie's reaction to it was priceless. All the ref bumps in this match made sense given Eddie's character, and I felt that the match didn't suffer any for it. A great match, and a great way to showcase the Smackdown brand.

 

Billy Gunn and his new hairstyle were out next, after another dose of backstage antics from those warring McMahons, and thankfully, this one was kept short and packed with action. I loved Tazz and Cole's discussion before the match about Zebras and pinstripes too, as well as Tazz's "He's got your briefcase!" when Billy opened Jamie Noble's "sex case" - more examples of why Tazz and Cole leave their Raw counterparts in the shade.

 

I actually have to give credit where it's due - Gunn didn't look to bad in this one, possibly as good as he ever has... I mean that's not saying a lot, but it's a start. His selling still seems to exist in some form of parallel universe though - he sells the injury about 2 seconds after it happens - check out the "knee injury" he suffered when catching Jamie Noble on the outside.

 

This was the one match I was certain of the outcome - there's no way Vince was going to throw away an angle like Torrie sleeping with someone on Smackdown just to give his pet Gunn a win on PPV. Not as bad as I worried it was going to be either, and you have to give credit to Jamie Noble for some of that.

 

The backstage set up interview for the APA brawl goes down as one of the most surreal things ever seen on PPV - an Easter Bunny hops by, causing Ron Simmons to exclaim "I'll be DAMNED!" - nothing bad about that. Add to that Spanky's dancing on the bar during all the entrance music for the participants, and there's no doubt this was set up for a bit of a laugh, and as a match, it wasn't much, but there's no point looking at this as a proper match.

 

The promo from Brother Love was one of the highlights of the night for me, and seeing Sean O'Haire hit the Easter Bunny with a sucker punch... well, not much needs to be said about that. O'Haire looked like a bit of a star in the match, possibly the only man that shone any, apart from Bradshaw, obviously. Funaki's contribution to the "match" were priceless - he sat at the bar drinking while chaos erupted round him, then passing out.

 

Bradshaw won it somehow, even though Ron Simmons was stood right next to him, but I guess Bradshaw is the chosen one of the WWE, so there's no arguing there then. From Bradshaw drinking, we went backstage to see Jamie Noble leafing through a very worn copy of Playboy talking about his "special Torrie" and how Nidia would get over it... It's about time Noble was given something to do, as he's been wasted over the past few months.

 

Every time I hear the opening to Haas & Benjamin's music, I keep thinking it's about to launch into St. Elmo's Fire - sadly, it doesn't. Luckily, though, the match was a hell of a lot better than both Haas and Benjamin;s music and their name - Both teams meshed well together, and hey, even Kidman put in a few spots of note - top rope springboard shooting star press that he didn't kill himself on - quality.

 

Haas and Benjamin may very well go on to live up to their billing of the World's Greatest Tag Team if this showing is anything to go by. In the ring with two veterans of WCW Cruiserweight tag division - a fact painfully overlooked by the WWE in the build up to this - and they didn't once look out of their depth. Benjamin, in particular, looked like a star in the making.

 

I thought the ending of the match was very nicely done - the blind tag from Benjamin was executed perfectly, and the debate between Tazz and Cole just put it over as being an excellent tag team move - just what Haas and Benjamin need to build up an air of legitimacy around them. All in all, a very good match, second only to Benoit-Guerrero on the night. Smackdown's tag matches continue to highlight Raw's lack of a competitive tag division.

 

Sable vs. Stephanie up next, and to be fair it was just over 6 minutes, short enough not to bother anyone, and had it's fair share of bumps in it, but that's enough about Steph's outfit... It wasn't horrible by any stretch of the imagination, but the A-Train interference was out of nowhere - why A-Train? Why not Vince's hired gun, The Big Show?

 

A handy five minutes to fix up some tortilla chips if nothing else. The only thing now is we have to get Stephanie's selling of the "injuries" on Smackdown, and folks, acting ain't Steph's strength.

 

Credit to Undertaker for even showing up at this PPV after the week he's had, and he came to fight. Nice touch at the start when Taker's bike wouldn't start and Cole and Tazz covered by saying Taker was walking down the ramp to intimidate Cena. Even Cena's pre-match rap was on the money. I expected a brawl,and that's what we got - not a lot of technical wrestling exhibited in this one, but there was no need for it - it had been built up to be a fight, not a match.

 

Should Taker have won clean? In an ideal world, no - but I'm not going to begrudge Taker a win in the week where his father passed away. The only observation I'm gonna make is that Cena threw everything he had at Taker, and it wasn't enough to get the job done, so where do we go with a rematch? Unless they work on the angle that Cena learns from this match and beats Taker at his own game in the next match, there's not much they can do.

 

Taker and Cena put on a wild brawl that really put across the feud between the two, and never erupted into the arena wide brawls that these sort of matches usually become. Cena did look a threat from where I sat, and Taker sold well for him - in fact, Taker bled from the mouth so much, I thought that Ken Shamrock was back in town for a second... Cena's best PPV match yet, and he'll continue to get better working with veterans like The Undertaker

 

The Zach vs. Vince match was up next, and as I thought, Vince was really into his "most evil man alive" gimmick and really worked the crowd over, getting them to hate him even more than they already do. Sadly for Zach, this match more or less exposed what he can and can't do. Yes, he can do a mean moonsault and dropkick - and that's about it.

 

As I said in the preview for this show, all credit to him for overcoming everything he's gone through in his life, but to be honest, this match pretty much sealed the end of his usefulness in the WWE. The shock factor of a one legged wrestler has gone now, and Zach just can't work on a level playing field with everyone else, through no fault of his own.

 

Vince and Zach did make the most of things though - they got the crowd involved in the match, and sustained the interest in pretty much an extended squash match - Zach's comebacks were perfectly timed, and a semi-missed bulldog aside, perfectly executed. I'm not sure if Vince's blood was a bladejob or a hardway cut, either way, it looked nasty, but with Vince getting the pin, I don't really see where Zach can go from here.

 

The crowd gave a nice ovation to Zach at the end, but it looked more like a farewell from Zach than anything like the appreciation that Benoit got at the Rumble. A quick word about the crowd while I'm on the subject here - they were really into every match on the card, and the fact that they were so vocal and enthusiastic about it made each match seem that much better. Well done Denver!

 

And so we come to the main event - and what a main event it was. The inclusion of the Big Show proved to be a bonus, not a burden. The many bumps that the Show took lit this match up - an Angle slam through the Spanish Announce Table from Kurt, an F5 and a running powerbomb from Brock were stunning to see. The actual match itself was as good a triple threat as you're going to see.

 

Angle looked on the money, and really hasn't lost a step from where he was in the lead up to WrestleMania, and his effect on Brock is considerable. Brock vs. Angle part II, with both men fully fit is going to be a hell of a match. Back to this match though, and it had the crowd into it, and me as well - at 3:30am and running on Jack Daniel's and Red Bull, that's good going!

 

I really, really thought Brock would come out of this with the title, and I thought that Show would be the victim for the pin - full marks to the WWE for not hitting the obvious finish and having Angle take the pin on Lesnar.

 

All in all, a fantastic PPV - for once, the UK fans that paid for this REALLY got their money's worth - for my money, this is PPV of the year so far. Quick mention to Ultimo Dragon vs. Kanyon on Heat - why these two weren't on PPV with some heat behind them and an extra 10 minutes is beyond me - the two put on a great 4 minute match that could have been so much better with more time.

 

If you haven't seen this already, beg, borrow or steal a copy of it somehow. Hopefully, this will get a buyrate to match the quality of it, and show Raw how a brand specific PPV should be run.

 

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Contributors

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US News - HSM (HSM@talkwrestlingonline.com)

UK News - Goldy (Goldy@talkwrestlingonline.com)

Int News - Jungmuta (Jungmuta@talkwrestlingonline.com)

TLW - Tony Cottam (Tony@smahwrestling.com)

 

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That's it for this week. Any feedback would be gladly appreciated. Send it, along with any questions or queries, to Mitchell@talkwrestlingonline.com or to any of our contributors. We want your input to help make the newsletter the best we can.

 

With that in mind, have a good week.

 

The TWO Newsletter - "A man walked into a bar... oh wait sorry, can't tell that one"

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