Tuesday, September 29, 2009

9/29/09 ECW

Shelton Benjamin vs. Paul Burchill: *3/4

Christian, Tommy Dreamer, Yoshi Tatsu, & Goldust vs. William Regal, Ezekiel Jackson, Vladimir Kozlov, & Zack Ryder: **1/2

Excellent selling of injuries by Shelton. However, the match was otherwise pretty slow and pretty much one-sided until Shelton hit his finisher.

The real reason for Tiffany's absence tonight was not a car accident (as stated by William Regal at the beginning of the show), but a broken humerus suffered at a FCW taping.

Monday, September 28, 2009

9/28/09 RAW

Chris Jericho & The Big Show vs. MVP & Mark Henry (Unified Tag Team Titles): **3/4

Mickie James vs. Rosa Mendes: -**

Jack Swagger vs. Evan Bourne: *

Chavo Guerrero & Chris Masters vs. Santino Marella & Hornswoggle: DUD

John Cena vs. Chris Jericho, The Big Show, & Randy Orton (Gauntlet): *1/2

The opener was very good. The Divas match was bad...very bad. Everything else was average to below average. If they had actually given the Swagger/Bourne match more time (which they seemingly refuse to do on RAW), the rating would be much higher.

Justin Roberts appears to be the new RAW announcer, taking over for the departing Lilian Garcia. It's likely that either Tony Chimel will work both ECW and Smackdown, or we could see the new announcer (Lauren Mayhew) work one of the shows, or even just one match at first to break her in for television.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

9/25/09 Smackdown

John Morrison & Finlay vs. Dolph Ziggler & Mike Knox: **

Kane vs. Slam Master J: DUD

Batista vs. The Big Show: **

David Hart Smith vs. JTG: *

CM Punk vs. The Undertaker: **1/4

Batista with an ankle lock?! WTF.

9/21/09 ROH

Austin Aries vs. Grizzly Redwood (ROH World Title): *

Erick Stevens vs. Brandon Day: 1/2*

Necro Butcher vs. Jimmy Rave: *1/2

Bryan Danielson, Roderick Strong, & KENTA vs. Eddie Edwards, Davey Richards, & Chris Hero: ***3/4

Thursday, September 24, 2009

9/24/09 Impact

Suicide vs. D'Angelo Dinero (Street Fight): ***

Brother Devon vs. Rhino: DUD

Taylor Wilde & Sarita vs. Tara & ODB (Knockouts Tag Team Titles): **1/4

Samoa Joe vs. Daniels vs. Homicide (X-Division Title): **3/4

Hernandez & Matt Morgan vs. Kurt Angle & Eric Young: *

Bobby Lashley vs. Jethro Holliday: 1/4*

Booker T & Scott Steiner vs. Mick Foley & Abyss (Tag Team Titles): 1/2*

This was basically a hit-or-miss show. Some good stuff, but some ugly stuff.

Foley vs. Abyss? Make it hardcore rules, and we may have something real good.

9/24/09 Superstars

Primo vs. Chris Masters: **

Goldust vs. William Regal: *1/4

Michelle McCool & Layla vs. Melina & Maria: *1/2

Matt Hardy vs. Kane: *3/4

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

9/22/09 ECW

Yoshi Tatsu vs. Paul Burchill: **3/4

Vladimir Kozlov & Ezekiel Jackson vs. Dustin Brady & Brandon Young: DUD

Christian vs. Zack Ryder (ECW Title): ***1/2

I must say, that was a very nice show.

Monday, September 21, 2009

9/21/09 RAW

Triple H vs. Cody Rhodes: *1/4

The Miz vs. Evan Bourne: *1/2

Beth Phoenix vs. Mickie James: DUD

Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger (U.S. Title): N/A

Cedric the Entertainer vs. Chavo Guerrero: -*

Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, & The Big Show vs. John Cena, MVP, & Mark Henry: *3/4

WWE fails again. This episode sucked.

On a sadder note, this was Lilian Garcia's final show after being with the company for 10 years. She may have had some infamous screwups in announcing, but overall she was very good and loved by all the guys and gals in the back. Perhaps later down the road she will make a special appearance or two.

Does this open the way for Howard Finkel to come back to announce on a more regular basis? We'll see.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

9/20/09 No Surrender

Taylor Wilde & Sarita vs. Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne (Knockouts Tag Team Titles): **1/4

Hernandez vs. Eric Young: DUD

Samoa Joe vs. Daniels (X-Division Title): ***1/2

D'Angelo Dinero vs. Suicide (Falls Count Anywhere): **1/2

ODB vs. Cody Deaner (Knockouts Title): *3/4

Kevin Nash vs. Abyss (Legends Title): *1/4

Brother Ray, Brother Devon, James Storm, & Robert Roode vs. Brutus Magnus, Doug Williams, Booker T, & Scott Steiner (Lethal Lockdown; Tag Team Titles): ***1/4

Bobby Lashley vs. Rhino: *

AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle vs. Matt Morgan vs. Sting vs. Hernandez (World Title): ***

Match of the Night: Samoa Joe vs. Daniels

Trash of the Night: Hernandez vs. Eric Young (squash = crap)

Analysis: I was skeptical of having the Knockouts Tag Title match as the opener, but I was proven wrong. It was a good, fast-paced, fun match that had some nice spots. If that was Sarita and Wilde's finisher, that's a great tag team finisher.

Hernandez vs. Eric Young was basically to continue the feud. Squash, and move on.

I loved the Joe/Daniels match. Definitely brought back memories of 2005, enough said. This feud should continue, and I can't wait for their next match.

Dinero/Suicide was also surprisingly good. They had a bit of buildup to the match stemming from last month's Steel Asylum match, but this match was not added officially to the card until today. Good fighting in the back, with nice use of weapons. The finish was decent.

ODB vs. Deaner was another match that I thought would stink, but it turned out to be pretty entertaining. Props to those two for really putting on a good show. ODB should use the TKO more often.

Nash/Abyss was average. Daffney is awesome for taking yet another Black Hole Slam from Abyss. Other than that, the match was pretty forgettable.

Lethal Lockdown was yet another great match. Nice spot on the roof of the cage with Beer Money.

Lashley vs. Rhino was a predictable match. It was very basic to make sure Lashley really didn't hurt himself a bunch, and of course, Lashley had to win. I think Lashley just punching out a charging Rhino to get the three count is a lame finish.

Hernandez cashing in the Feast or Fired briefcase to get into the World Title picture was awesome. I also like that he didn't take the "ultimate opportunist" way out and win the world title sneaking in the back door. However, this was the perfect spot for Eric Young to get involved and prevent Hernandez from winning. I like that feud and it should continue anyway.

But yeah, the World Title match was good. Everyone hit their signature moves, which was nice. I think the crowd, for the most part, seemed out of it; they certainly were not as fired up as in the beginning. It will be interesting to see what happens with AJ Styles and Sting. For those who did not see the PPV, Sting delivered a Scorpion Death Drop to Angle, looked at Styles, then took out Matt Morgan to clear the way for Styles to pick up the win with a springboard 450 splash.

I liked this PPV. It had a couple of lame matches but mostly had some good ones. Certainly better than many TNA PPVs I've seen in the past.

Overall Rating: ***

Friday, September 18, 2009

9/18/09 Smackdown

John Morrison vs. Mike Knox: **1/2

Melina vs. Michelle McCool: *3/4

Tyson Kidd & David Hart Smith vs. JTG & Shad Gaspard: **1/4

The Great Khali vs. Kane: DUD

Batista vs. Chris Jericho: **1/4

Another well-done show. Good stuff.

9/14/09 ROH

Nick Jackson & Matt Jackson vs. Jon Davis & Kory Chavis: **1/2

Bison Smith vs. Sal Rinauro: 1/4*

Colt Cabana vs. Joey Ryan: *1/4

Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico: ***

9/17/09 Superstars

Chris Masters vs. Santino Marella: **1/4

Christian vs. Paul Burchill: ***1/4

Dolph Ziggler vs. Finlay: **

Thursday, September 17, 2009

9/17/09 Impact

Angelina Love & Velvet Sky vs. Tara & Christy Hemme: 1/2*

D'Angelo Dinero vs. Suicide: *3/4

Hernandez vs. Sheik Abdul Bashir & Kiyoshi: 1/2*

Alissa Flash vs. Cody Deaner (Lumberjack): DUD

Kevin Nash vs. Mick Foley (Legends Title): *1/4

Scott Steiner & Brutus Magnus vs. Robert Roode & Brother Ray: *1/4

Taylor Wilde & Sarita vs. Awesome Kong & Raisha Saeed: **1/4

Matt Morgan vs. Samoa Joe: *

Now that it appears Madison Rayne is back in good graces with Angelina Love and Velvet Sky. Thus, it would make sense now for Rayne to replace Love in the finals of the Knockouts Tag Title tournament (if you haven't heard, Angelina Love was released by TNA after visa issues came up; these episodes were taped before Love was released from the company).

Nice to see Melissa Anderson (Raisha Saeed/Alissa Flash) pull double duty, even if she didn't have to do anything in squashing Cody Deaner. It looks like TNA is setting up for Kong to turn on Saeed, so Melissa can be Alissa Flash full-time.

TNA had a lot more matches today than in previous episodes, but the show was still below average. No Surrender coming up in three days; we'll see how that fares.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

9/15/09 ECW

William Regal vs. The Hurricane: *1/4

Yoshi Tatsu vs. Zack Ryder: **1/4

Battle Royal featuring Zack Ryder, Shelton Benjamin, Vladimir Kozlov, Ezekiel Jackson, Tommy Dreamer, Goldust, Tyler Reks, Sheamus, Yoshi Tatsu, & Paul Burchill: **3/4

Monday, September 14, 2009

9/14/09 RAW

Kofi Kingston & Primo vs. Jack Swagger & The Miz: 3/4*

Alicia Fox vs. Gail Kim: *

Shawn Michaels vs. Ted DiBiase: **

Evan Bourne & Hornswoggle vs. Chavo Guerrero & Carlito: *1/2

MVP, Mark Henry, & Trish Stratus vs. Chris Jericho, The Big Show, & Beth Phoenix: *3/4

Batista vs. Randy Orton (No Holds Barred): 3/4*

The show was not really that good. Seeing Trish on TV was great, and she was respectable in the ring after being away for such a lengthy period of time, but the matches were usually average at best.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

9/13/09 Breaking Point

Chris Jericho & The Big Show vs. MVP & Mark Henry (Unified Tag Team Titles): **

Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz (U.S. Title): ***

Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase vs. Triple H & Shawn Michaels (Submissions Count Anywhere): ***1/4

Kane vs. The Great Khali (Singapore Cane): -**

Christian vs. William Regal (ECW Title): ***1/4

John Cena vs. Randy Orton (I Quit; WWE Title): ***3/4

CM Punk vs. The Undertaker (Submission; World Heavyweight Title): 3/4*

Match of the Night: I don't think there's a clear-cut winner here. By a slim margin, I give it to Christian vs. Regal because Regal was kicking ass tonight.

Trash of the Night: Kane vs. The Great Khali is the big stinker tonight. However, Punk vs. Taker was a huge letdown as well.

Three Stars: (1) William Regal; (2) The Miz; (T-3) Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase

Analysis: The night got off to a decent start with the tag team bout. It was nothing really noteworthy. Mark Henry really impressed with holding Big Show up on more than one occasion, but that's pretty much it. Big Show's punch is cool because it's so sudden, but the match seemed so quick, I really can't give it a higher rating.

Miz really impressed me tonight, and his stock can only keep rising. Kingston and Miz work pretty well together.

The Legacy/DX match was very good. The crowd was definitely into the match, although I think it will likely be best noted for the double submission on Michaels than anything else. I liked the Figure Four around the post coupled with the Million Dollar Dream...totally marked for that.

Kane and Khali fought another disastrous bout. The crowd hated it, and so did I.

Why did we have a Pat Patterson and Dolph Ziggler (a.k.a. Mr. Ziggles) segment? Couldn't we have had a Ziggler/Morrison match during that time? And Ziggler was all dressed to wrestle as well. Good grief.

Christian vs. Regal was awesome, and it was due to Regal's performance. Regal yet again showcased why he's likely the best technical wrestler in the WWE today. Great stuff in that match if you are a technical wrestling mark. I don't think Christian's offense was anything special here. Regal totally was the star in that one.

Cena and Orton had a great I Quit Match, but I am not fond of the ending. It really makes Orton look weak as opposed to Cena looking super strong. Many people in PPV title matches take all sorts of abuse and come back. This is why I'm usually not opposed to Cena taking all sorts of punishment and not quitting. However, Orton was booked to lose clean after being cuffed for a few minutes? Orton gets to dish out massive punishment and Cena doesn't quit, but Orton must tap from the STF after three seconds? Unacceptable. Sadly enough, we should expect to see yet ANOTHER match between the two. And Vince wonders why he can't elevate stars on RAW?

Taker vs. Punk shaped up to be Match of the Night, and quickly turned into the Biggest Letdown of the Night. I can understand that this was the toughest match to book (which is why I am not a big fan of themed PPVs). Taker cannot tap because he's the Undertaker. Punk cannot tap because that would kill his heel momentum. Basically, Punk had to win, and because it's Montreal, the screwjob finish was logical. However, just because it's logical doesn't mean it's good.

Many factors led to the match's below-average rating. First, they kept it short. Second, it was booked to make Punk initially tap (and an odd early finish to the PPV, or so it seemed). Third, Teddy Long came out and reaffirmed Taker's Hell's Gate is banned, leading to the awkward restart. Fourth, the quick Montreal Screwjob-like finish. Yeah, sounds like a stinker to me. It only got points because the crowd was liking it at the start and there was some nice action early on.

I'm sure they'll try again inside Hell in a Cell, and I'd actually like to see Punk go over yet again. CM Punk is finally realizing his full potential in WWE, and hopefully WWE allows this heel run to go as long as possible.

A Teddy Long heel turn is kinda neat, actually. It was also cool to see Long dressed in all white, while Taker was wearing all black. Great symbolism.

Overall, we had matches ranging from very good (Christian/Regal) to horribly bad (Kane/Khali). It's not the worst thing ever, but it's still not a PPV I would order.

Overall Rating: **

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11/09 Smackdown

Mike Knox vs. Finlay (Belfast Brawl): *1/2

David Hart Smith vs. The Great Khali: N/A

Chris Jericho & The Big Show vs. Shad Gaspard & JTG: **1/2

John Morrison vs. Charlie Haas: *1/4

Layla vs. Melina: 3/4*

CM Punk vs. Matt Hardy (Submission): **3/4

Mr. Ziggles! Now that is awesome.

9/7/09 ROH

Mark Briscoe & Jay Briscoe vs. Kenny King & Rhett Titus: **1/2

Eddie Kingston vs. Sal Rinauro: DUD

Nigel McGuinness vs. Aaron Scott: 1/4*

Jerry Lynn vs. Tyler Black: ***

Thursday, September 10, 2009

9/10/09 Impact

Brutus Magnus & Doug Williams vs. Booker T & Scott Steiner vs. James Storm & Robert Roode vs. Brother Devon & Brother Ray (Tag Team Gauntlet): *1/2

Taylor Wilde & Sarita vs. Daffney & Alissa Flash: **1/4

D'Angelo Dinero vs. Jay Lethal: **

Angelina Love & Velvet Sky vs. Madison Rayne & Roxxi: *3/4

Abyss vs. Dr. Stevie: 1/2*

Cody Deaner vs. Tara (MMA Rules): N/A

AJ Styles & Daniels vs. Kurt Angle & Samoa Joe: **1/4

I have no idea how to rate that "MMA Rules" match. That thing wasn't really even a match; it was just weird.

Many of you know that Angelina Love had been released by TNA a few days ago due to visa issues and may wonder how come she was on this show. Simply put, this week's Impact and next week's Impact were taped before she was released. It remains to be seen how TNA will remove her from TV, but we may either see something at No Surrender on September 20 or the Impact show immediately afterward.

Homicide heel turn to join World Elite was a good move, considering LAX has been broken up for some time now. I just hope that they really elevate Hernandez to main event status after all the work they've put into him.

Overall, it was an above average show.

9/10/09 Superstars

Kane vs. Jimmy Wang Yang: DUD

Sheamus vs. Yoshi Tatsu: *

Nikki Bella vs. Katie Lea Burchill: 1/4*

Dolph Ziggler vs. Slam Master J: *1/2

Jack Swagger & The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston & Primo: **1/2

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

9/8/09 ECW

The Hurricane vs. Paul Burchill: ***

Shelton Benjamin & Sheamus vs. Yoshi Tatsu & Goldust: *1/2

Zack Ryder vs. Rory Fargo: DUD

Vladimir Kozlov & Ezekiel Jackson vs. Christian & Tommy Dreamer: **1/2

Monday, September 7, 2009

9/7/09 RAW

MVP vs. Chris Jericho: **3/4

Evan Bourne vs. Chavo Guerrero: *3/4

John Cena vs. Cody Rhodes: **

The Big Show vs. Santino Marella (Bodyslam): DUD

Mark Henry vs. The Big Show (Bodyslam): -*

Triple H & Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Masters & Randy Orton: **1/4

A fine show. Bob Barker was great as guest host and the matches were actually decent.

9/4/09 Enter the Dragon

Dragon Gate USA's first PPV
(Taped 7/25/09, and aired 9/4/09)

Yamato vs. BxB Hulk: ****1/4

Fire Ant, Soldier Ant, Jigsaw, & Mike Quackenbush vs. Icarus, Gran Akuma, Amasis, & Hallowicked: ****1/2

Dragon Kid vs. Masato Yoshino: ***3/4

Nick Jackson & Matt Jackson vs. CIMA & Susumu Yokosuka: ****1/2

Naruki Doi vs. Shingo: ****

Match of the Night: All of the above.

Trash of the Night: Dawn Marie's ring announcing.

Three Stars: All the wrestlers share the top spot.

Analysis: Unbelievable PPV. Hands down the best PPV I have ever seen. Dawn Marie was the low point; ring announcing is not in her future. However, I am willing to overlook that. Once you see this PPV, I guarantee you that you will not care as much for WWE, TNA, or even some ROH shows ever again. Dragon Gate USA and its parent company (Dragon Gate) are where it's at.

Overall rating: *****

NOTE: Here are Dave Meltzer's ratings, from the 9/7/09 Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

Yamato vs. BxB Hulk: ****1/4
Fire Ant, Soldier Ant, Jigsaw, & Mike Quackenbush vs. Icarus, Gran Akuma, Amasis, & Hallowicked: ****
Dragon Kid vs. Masato Yoshino: ***3/4
Nick Jackson & Matt Jackson vs. CIMA & Susumu Yokosuka: ****1/4
Naruki Doi vs. Shingo: ****1/4

". . . from start to finish, this is as good a wrestling PPV show as there has been."
- Dave Meltzer

Dragon Gate Infinity #140

7/8/09 Susumu Yokosuka & KAGETORA vs. Takeshi Minamino & Manjimaru: ***1/4

7/8/09 Great Sasuke, CIMA & Gamma vs. Naoki Tanizaki, Makoto Oishi, & Shiori Asahi: ***

Dragon Gate Infinity #139

6/26/09 Kikutaro vs. "Hollywood" Stalker Ichikawa (Open the Owarai Gate Title): -***

6/26/09 Ryo Saito & Genki Horiguchi vs. CIMA & Gamma (Open the Twin Gate Unified Tag Title): ***

First match was a joke. Second match was more like it.

Dragon Gate Infinity #138

6/21/09 Dragon Kid, Taku Iwasa, & Akira Tozawa vs. Masato Yoshino, BxB Hulk, & Naoki Tanizaki: **3/4

6/21/09 Akebono vs. Gamma: -*

6/21/09 CIMA vs. Kenichiro Arai (No Ropes; Open the Brave Gate Title): ***1/2

Akebono is too limited in the ring. I wasn't expecting anything good from that match anyway.

Friday, September 4, 2009

9/4/09 Smackdown

The Great Khali & Finlay vs. Kane & Mike Knox: *3/4

John Morrison vs. Rey Mysterio (IC Title): ***3/4

Maria & Eve Torres vs. Natalya & Layla: *1/2

CM Punk vs. Matt Hardy: **1/4

Yes, CM Punk, bring back the Anaconda Vice! And kudos to WWE for putting the IC belt on Morrison. I just hope he is not a transitional champ to give it to Ziggler, but we'll see.

8/31/09 ROH

Delirious vs. Sonjay Dutt: **

Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards vs. Cheech & Cloudy: 3/4*

Erick Stevens vs. Silas Young: **1/4

Colt Cabana, Brent Albright, Grizzly Redwood, & Necro Butcher vs. Jimmy Rave, Claudio Castagnoli, Ernie Osiris, & Prince Nana (Elimination): ***1/4

Some may say the 8-man tag deserved a higher rating. However, I thought the double countout to take out two of the better wrestlers (Claudio and Brent) was lame. Also, Prince Nana's scant participation hurt the rating. Regardless, it was a fun main event for sure.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

9/3/09 Superstars

Evan Bourne vs. Chris Masters: *3/4

William Regal vs. Tyler Reks: *1/4

JTG, Shad Gaspard, & Eve Torres vs. Tyson Kidd, David Hart Smith, & Natalya: **3/4

9/3/09 Impact

Sting vs. Rhino: *1/2

AJ Styles vs. Chris Sabin: **3/4

Doug Williams vs. Suicide: **1/4

Tara & Christy Hemme vs. Sojo Bolt & Hamada: *

Hernandez vs. Homicide: *1/4

AJ Styles vs. Doug Williams: ***

Sting vs. Hernandez: 1/4*

AJ Styles was the MVP of the show, with honorable mention to Doug Williams. However, TNA should have given more time to both of AJ Styles' matches. Still better than past Impact shows, that's for sure.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

9/1/09 ECW

Shelton Benjamin vs. Zack Ryder: *

Vladimir Kozlov & Ezekiel Jackson vs. Jim Parks & Mike Tolar: DUD

Sheamus vs. Goldust (No DQ, No Countout): *1/2

Tony Atlas is reduced to an Ed McMahon-type role in introducing Abraham Washington?! This is a sad day....

Also, the show featured a video package of the epic WrestleMania 25 match between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. It is one of the very few matches I have rated the full five stars (and I consider my ratings to be pretty strict), so if you can find the full match, go and watch it. For a more accurate experience, it may also help to first find and watch the WrestleMania video package detailing the buildup to their WrestleMania match.

So basically, WWE crammed a lot of stuff into an hour.