Tuesday, March 30, 2010

3/30/10 NXT

Matt Hardy, CM Punk, R-Truth, & Wade Barrett vs. Christian, The Miz, William Regal, & Carlito: **1/4

NXT Rookie Battle Royal: *1/2

The NXT rookie rankings on the first Pro's Poll:
Daniel Bryan
Wade Barrett
Justin Gabriel
Heath Slater
David Otunga
Skip Sheffield
Michael Tarver
Darren Young

Interesting that they had Daniel Bryan at #1 already. Frankly, I would have had him around where they had David Otunga (#5), but we'll see what becomes of this. I also like that they will eventually start cutting people. Maybe this may lead to better matches because then WWE will not have to worry about getting all these rookies air time?

Here are the rookie's records as of 3/30/10:
David Otunga: 4-1
Heath Slater: 4-1
Justin Gabriel: 3-2
Darren Young: 3-2
Wade Barrett: 3-3
Skip Sheffield: 0-4
Michael Tarver: 0-4
Daniel Bryan: 0-6

Basically, you get another loss if you don't win the battle royal. David Otunga won the battle royal and will guest host Monday Night RAW next week. Wade Barrett saw action twice tonight and went 1-1.

3/29/10 Impact

Kazarian & Shannon Moore vs. Doug Williams & Brian Kendrick: *3/4

Tara vs. Daffney (First Blood; Knockouts Title): *

AJ Styles vs. Jeff Jarrett: ***

Jay Lethal vs. James Storm & Robert Roode: 1/4*

Desmond Wolfe vs. D'Angelo Dinero: *1/2

Rob Van Dam, Jeff Hardy, & Eric Young vs. Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, & Syxx-Pac (Cage): *3/4

Monday, March 29, 2010

3/29/10 RAW (HBK Farewell)

Christian vs. Ted DiBiase: *3/4

Kelly Kelly, Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Gail Kim, & Eve Torres vs. Maryse, Michelle McCool, Layla, Alicia Fox, & Vickie Guerrero: N/A

Tyson Kidd & David Hart Smith vs. The Big Show & The Miz: *1/2

John Cena & Randy Orton vs. Batista & Jack Swagger: *3/4

HBK's speech was just so heartfelt and awesome. I urge all WWE fans to watch it. There will never be another Shawn Michaels.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

3/28/10 WrestleMania XXVI

The Big Show & The Miz vs. John Morrison & R-Truth (Unified Tag Team Titles): Not the match I would have picked to start the show. It was your typical average match. No clue what R-Truth was thinking trying to dive onto Big Show. No real suspense whatsoever; crowd had a little life, but not what you'd want in an opening contest. *

Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase vs. Cody Rhodes: Orton got his offense in, but when Legacy got the upper hand, the pace was agonizingly slow. Orton hit virtually all his signature moves, including punting poor Cody in the head. OK crowd reaction and good storytelling, but nothing much to write home about. I have no idea why Legacy had to lose here. Making them lose -- and in such a fashion shown here tonight -- does nothing for their careers. In fact, it only makes Legacy look stupid. Being with Orton all these months now looks for naught. *1/4

Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. Evan Bourne vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Matt Hardy vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Kane vs. Christian (Money in the Bank Ladder Match): This was a great match. Not as many sick spots as in year's past, but still very respectable. Some very creative uses with the ladder, especially Kingston using a broken ladder as stilts. I did not expect Swagger to win the match, but good for him. Seems like WWE really has plans for the All-American American later this year. But man, Swagger really had a hard time unhooking that briefcase. Tsk tsk. ***1/4

Triple H vs. Sheamus: Another very nice match. Definitely one of Sheamus' biggest match to date, showing that he could handle the WM pressure. Good back-and-forth action with some nice counters. HHH may have won, but Sheamus looked very good in the process. **3/4

Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk: If Mysterio lost, he would be forced to join the Straight Edge Society. Mysterio came out with the Avatar-like costume, which was pretty cool. The match did not get nearly as much time as I would have liked, probably because there were ten matches on the card and they wanted to give a lot more time to the two title matches and Taker/HBK. But come on, 6:30?! Really?! However, the match was still very entertaining. The finish was typical of what has gone on for the past few weeks: Serena and Luke Gallows getting involved. But Mysterio this time came out on top. Storyline is not over, but a good match nonetheless. **1/2

Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon (No Holds Barred): And we have the match 13 years in the making that I honestly would never see. Obviously, the storytelling and back story was excellent. But if you were looking for wrestling here, wrong match to view. It was basically Bret beating Vince down for about 10 minutes. I'm real torn on whether to actually rate this. But I will. Just a very lengthy boring beatdown. I would normally give negative stars for this, but the storyline saves it. DUD

Chris Jericho vs. Edge (World Heavyweight Title): Surprisingly, the crowd was not really into it for the first part of the match. We had a couple of false finishes at the end. Saw some nice counters in the match. I liked Jericho going after Edge's Achilles' heel, another way to tell a great story. It really was a toss-up to me as to who would win, but based upon Edge getting a measure of revenge after the match, it seems like the feud will continue anyway. ***1/2

Michelle McCool, Maryse, Layla, Alicia Fox, & Vickie Guerrero vs. Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Gail Kim, Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres: Almost all the divas botched something, topped off by Vickie Guerrero delivering the worst frog splash (or was it a hog splash) in history. An unintentional lifting up of Kelly's shoulders on the pin...fail. Please do not let Vickie Guerrero wrestle anymore. -*

John Cena vs. Batista (WWE Title): Cena's entrance was pretty cool, as it usually seems to be at WM. Slow start to the match, but picked up at the end. Again, a few false finishes pretty much saved the limited moveset of these two guys. Counters were a bit sloppy, but the crowd was into it. I thought the re-creation of that Summerslam 2008 Batista Bomb (catching Cena coming off the top) was good, but could have been done better. Not too much else to really write home about because that's really all we had. Cena wins again, and Cena haters all over the world will be rioting tonight. ***1/4

The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (Streak vs. Career): And clearly this match received match of the night honors. For two forty-somethings to basically give it their all for over 25 minutes is a testament to how respected they are in this business. I'll say it right now: this match was definitely not as good as last year's, but then again, these two would have had to do something completely superhuman to top last year anyway. The tombstone on the outside was pretty cool to see. The storyline was outstanding, the buildup impeccable. I liked the many false finishes and a couple of sick spots they did. The streak remains intact, and Shawn Michaels will forever be Mr. WrestleMania. ****1/2

MVPs: Shawn Michaels gets top billing tonight. What a career. I don't care if Undertaker goes 100-0 at WM. HBK will forever be Mr. WrestleMania.

Overall Rating: A few of the matches were good, but a bunch of matches were either rushed or, in the divas match, very bad. Bret's fight with Vince was not even a match, just a chance for the entire Hart family to take out 13 years of frustration on the boss. I am very happy that WWE learned from last year and put Taker/HBK II last. Unfortunately, Father Time did not allow us to get the full potential of that match. Was it worth spending $55? Maybe. A bunch of matches were at least three stars, but a few were about one star or less. Also, I got to see HBK's last match (supposedly). So I guess long story short, the rating is pretty decent, but could have been better. ***1/4

Saturday, March 27, 2010

WrestleMania 26 Predictions

Drew McIntyre vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane vs. Matt Hardy vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Christian vs. MVP vs. Evan Bourne vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston (Money in the Bank Ladder Match): This is in all likelihood starting off the show, so expect to see some crazy bumps as always. The odds-on favorite to win is McIntyre, although Christian is the dark horse to win. The others are basically in it to look good and get hurt doing it. Winner: Drew McIntyre

Beth Phoenix, Eve Torres, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, & Gail Kim vs. Maryse, Michelle McCool, Alicia Fox, Layla, & Vickie Guerrero: And WM 26 obviously had to put this match in because they wanted a bunch of divas to get their Mania bonuses as well. All I know is that this match has Trash of the Night written all over it. It could be entertaining, and I'm only picking the face divas to win because it's WM and that's probably how it should go. Winners: Beth/Eve/Mickie/Kelly/Gail

Triple H vs. Sheamus: This match will be good to boost Sheamus' career. HHH does not have a good record at WM, from what I read, and I believe this match will be no different. It makes way more sense to have Sheamus go over and fuel his career than have a first-ballot Hall of Famer take the win. Winner: Sheamus

CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio: If Mysterio loses, he must join the Straight Edge Society. I have to be wary of Rey's knee injury which will require surgery at some point. Rey will work through the injury as long as he needs to. The Mask vs. Hair match that many people had heard of was ultimately shot down because no one would believe that Rey would lose his mask (and honestly, I would think Rey would win as well). I could definitely see Punk winning this match because that would be the easiest way to further the storyline. On the other hand, allowing Rey to steal one (i.e. a rollup at the end) could still also continue the feud in some way. I'm picking Punk to win here just because the story would be more interesting if Rey were forced to join the SES. Winner: CM Punk

Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase: I am already ruling Cody out as a winner because of the way he has been used in this storyline. It's either Orton getting his shots in on both, Ted getting his shots in on Orton(or even pinning him in the Chamber), or Cody getting caught red-handed by the ref. This leaves DiBiase and Orton as possible winners. Allowing Orton to win would be fine, since it'll be pretty obvious that a 2-on-1 will ensue for much of the match. But having DiBiase win would make even more sense because that would help his career a heck of a lot more than Orton winning. Cody winning would be a big shock to me, with what I've seen in the storyline. Going with Ted here, fitting since the Million Dollar Man will be going into the Hall of Fame this year. Winner: Ted DiBiase

Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon (No Holds Barred): I think that the buildup for this match has been extremely well planned out, even though there were some things thrown in (i.e. the leg injury angle) that I would not have done. This will not be a technical classic by any means, but it will at least have over 12 years of history and frustration culminating in one match. Bret will win, probably with the Sharpshooter. Winner: Bret Hart

The Big Show & The Miz vs. John Morrison & R-Truth (Unified Tag Team Titles): So basically, since WWE does not want to push Cryme Tyme or the Hart Dynasty, WWE placed two random midcard wrestlers together and hoped for the best. I'm not buying it. ShowMiz wins. Winners: The Big Show & The Miz (retain titles)

The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (Streak vs. Career): If there was ever a match in recent memory that I want to give the full five stars to again, it would be this match. I felt like Meltzer last year should have given this the full five, and I still rate their WM 25 encounter as one of only 12 five-star matches ever (out of thousands I have rated). I am unsure if it will come close to living up to that true classic, but since these two have had epic clashes before (see the first Hell in a Cell Match in 1997), I would bet the farm that these two will go all out.

Taker's streak is not ending. HBK has already reportedly told friends he's retiring after WM 26, and I believe that. And even if HBK wants to pull a Brett Favre and unretire, that could be done. Streaks, once broken, are broken forever. Regardless, HBK has nothing left to prove anymore -- at least not to me. He will forever be one of the greatest in-ring performers of my generation. I really hope that this match is last, because I have a feeling that I will not care about any other matches that come after this -- just like what happened last year for me. Winner: The Undertaker

Batista vs. John Cena (WWE Title): Again, hard for me to call. I want Batista to win this one because I like heel Batista and to pin Cena on the grandest stage of them all would give him a big-time chip on his shoulder. However, I fear that this match will be last, and whichever match is last would usually have the face winning because that's how WM should end -- with all the people cheering and the confetti coming down. That would mean Cena wins, and I'm pretty sure we'll have a bunch of Cena-haters rioting in Phoenix if that happens. I will bank on the fact that this match is not last and Batista wins to keep his heel character going strong. Winner: Batista (still champ)

Chris Jericho vs. Edge (World Heavyweight Title): This is actually a pretty hard match for me to predict. On the one hand, we have Chris Jericho, the World champ for only about a month. That's too short of a time frame for me to want him to drop the title. Also, since he's been getting speared left and right more often than not, one would think Jericho is due to win at Mania. On the other hand, Edge makes his big return at the Rumble, wins the dang thing, and has built nice momentum almost week after week, taking shots at Jericho, spearing him again and again, and to stop that momentum would just plain suck. When it comes down to it, it seems that they want to push Edge as a face champ. And because it won't really hurt Jericho too much in losing the title, I am going with Edge as the new champion. Winner: Edge (new champ)

3/26/10 Smackdown

Kane, Dolph Ziggler, Matt Hardy, Shelton Benjamin, & Drew McIntyre vs. Christian, MVP, Jack Swagger, Evan Bourne, & Kofi Kingston: **1/2

Michelle McCool, Layla, Maryse, Alicia Fox, & Vickie Guerrero vs. Beth Phoenix: 1/4*

The Big Show vs. R-Truth: *

Friday, March 26, 2010

3/25/10 Superstars

CM Punk vs. JTG: *1/4

Rey Mysterio vs. Tyson Kidd: ***

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

3/22/10 Impact

Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne, Lacey Von Erich, & Daffney vs. Tara, Angelina Love, Taylor Wilde, & Sarita: **

Rob Terry vs. Tomko (Global Title): N/A

Jeff Jarrett vs. Mick Foley (No DQ; Loser Gets Fired): **1/2

Matt Morgan vs. Hernandez: N/A

Rob Van Dam & Jeff Hardy vs. James Storm & Robert Roode: ***1/4

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

3/23/10 NXT

Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel vs. Wade Barrett & Skip Sheffield: *1/2

David Otunga & Darren Young vs. Daniel Bryan & Michael Tarver: *3/4

Here are the rookie's records as of 3/23/10:
Heath Slater: 4-0
Justin Gabriel: 3-1
David Otunga: 3-1
Darren Young: 3-1
Wade Barrett: 2-2
Skip Sheffield: 0-3
Michael Tarver: 0-3
Daniel Bryan: 0-5

Factors WWE pros will use when evaluating rookies:
(1) Win/loss record
(2) Strength of opponent
(3) Work ethic
(4) "It" factor

Win/loss record: Heath Slater (4-0) and Justin Gabriel (3-1)

Strength of opponent: May go to Daniel Bryan (faced Chris Jericho and The Great Khali in separate weeks; also faced Wade Barrett with the rib injury)

Work ethic: Seems up in the air from what I have seen on TV, but it could go to Justin Gabriel. Another person people "could" see is Daniel Bryan.

"It" factor: Based solely on what I have seen from the rookies on TV, my frontrunners are David Otunga, Justin Gabriel, and Daniel Bryan.

Monday, March 22, 2010

3/22/10 RAW (Pete Rose)

John Morrison vs. The Miz: **1/4

Kofi Kingston vs. Vladimir Kozlov: 1/2*

Triple H & Randy Orton vs. Sheamus, Cody Rhodes, & Ted DiBiase: *1/2

Shawn Michaels vs. Kane (No DQ, No Countout): *1/2

Michelle McCool, Maryse, & Layla vs. Gail Kim, Beth Phoenix, & Eve Torres: DUD

Sunday, March 21, 2010

3/21/10 Destination X

Kazarian vs. Daniels vs. Amazing Red vs. Brian Kendrick (Ladder): The ideal match to start off the show. These four really bring back the original concept of the X-Division: no limits. I did miss a couple of things in there (the stream cut off here and there), but I caught it on the highlights after the match. Sick spots, no real rest time, and awesome crowd reaction. ***1/2

Tara vs. Daffney (Knockouts Title): It was not a poor match -- that being the best compliment I can give. Daffney showed her wrestling side that fans may not be used to. She even put Tara in one of those painful holds that really showcased Tara's flexibility. Crowd was into the match more than I would have thought. Anyway...next! *1/4

Rob Terry vs. Magnus (Global Title): Well, this was basically a glorified squash match. Magnus barely got any offense in, and the point was to establish Terry as champ. N/A

Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley vs. Jeremy Buck & Max Buck (Ultimate X): And ladies and gentlemen, this is yet another match that, while just another great outing for Sabin/Shelley, proved to be another defining moment for the Bucks in TNA. Hard-hitting match, flashy moves, and excellent crowd reaction. Job well done. ***3/4

Scott Hall & Syxx-Pac vs. Kevin Nash & Eric Young: And in the most predictable match of the night, the Band get TNA contracts. Yup, Nash turned on Young. Ho hum. 1/2*

Doug Williams vs. Shannon Moore (X-Division Title): Williams was the favorite to win this anyway, but really? Hitting Moore with a brick to win? The match was above two stars until the end. At least Williams' tactics garnered some nice heel heat. *3/4

James Storm & Robert Roode vs. Matt Morgan & Hernandez (Tag Team Titles): Match lagged a lot, but told a great story. Although Morgan keeps helping his team out, he is the arrogant one, holding Hernandez down in order to celebrate. Full Morgan heel turn is working very well, in my opinion. *3/4

Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson: Very good match. This storyline appears to be going for a bit longer, and I like it. This will help establish Anderson as a star in TNA, although I hope that it does not lead to what happened to Desmond Wolfe. Sad that Chelsea (Wolfe's valet) had more air time than Wolfe -- who was really nowhere to be found until the end of the show. ***1/4

AJ Styles vs. Abyss (World Title): The match was definitely more entertaining than I thought it would be. Styles had not used the Spiral Tap in a long time, so that was a nice sight to see. I don't like those no-contest finishes, but it was really the best option. Styles needs to be champ, and Abyss needs to look strong. Chokeslamming Styles through the ring was cool. ***

MVPs: X-Division comes alive tonight!

Overall Rating: I thought the show was good. We had our stinker matches, yes, but we had two very nice matches to offset it. The Angle/Anderson storyline is also progressing extremely well, as is the Morgan/Hernandez situation. And hopefully we will not have to see the Band wrestle too many more matches, even if they are under contract. ***1/2

Saturday, March 20, 2010

3/19/10 Smackdown

Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger vs. Matt Hardy & MVP: *1/4

Beth Phoenix & Tiffany vs. Michelle McCool & Layla: *1/2

John Morrison & R-Truth vs. Tyson Kidd & David Hart Smith: N/A

Luke Gallows vs. Rey Mysterio: **1/2

The Undertaker vs. Drew McIntyre: N/A

3/18/10 Superstars

Kane vs. Shelton Benjamin: **1/4

Brie Bella & Nikki Bella vs. Jillian Hall & Katie Lea Burchill: *1/2

Christian, Mark Henry, & Yoshi Tatsu vs. William Regal, Jack Swagger, & Zack Ryder: **1/2

Huh?! A nice divas match? Must be dreaming....

3/15/10 ROH

Eddie Edwards vs. Colt Cabana: **1/4

Kyle O'Reilly vs. Tony Kozina: **

Davey Richards vs. Delirious: ***1/2

Thursday, March 18, 2010

3/15/10 Impact

Brian Knobbs, Jerry Sags, & Jimmy Hart vs. Brother Ray, Brother Devon, & Brother Runt: 3/4*

Kurt Angle & D'Angelo Dinero vs. Desmond Wolfe & Mr. Anderson: *1/2

Angelina Love vs. Daffney: -1/4*

Scott Hall vs. Kevin Nash: N/A

James Storm & Robert Roode vs. Hernandez: 3/4*

Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles: **1/2

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

3/16/10 NXT

CM Punk & Darren Young vs. Matt Hardy & Justin Gabriel: **3/4

The Great Khali vs. Daniel Bryan: 1/2*

Heath Slater vs. Michael Tarver: 1/2*

Wade Barrett vs. Skip Sheffield: *

Here are the rookie's records as of 3/16/10:
Heath Slater: 3-0
Darren Young: 2-1
David Otunga: 2-1
Justin Gabriel: 2-1
Wade Barrett: 2-1
Skip Sheffield: 0-2
Michael Tarver: 0-2
Daniel Bryan: 0-4

It will be interesting to see how WWE keeps Daniel Bryan in the competition (should they want him to remain in NXT). To me, it's clear that WWE always markets time for Otunga and Bryan, building the show around them in some form, so the pro evaluations likely include factors other than win-loss records.

I like Otunga's arrogant style in the video package. He should be a great heel.

Monday, March 15, 2010

3/15/10 RAW (Stone Cold)

The Big Show vs. John Cena: *

Sheamus vs. Evan Bourne: N/A

Maryse vs. Kelly Kelly: 1/4*

Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho: **1/4

Triple H vs. Randy Orton: *1/2

Batista vs. Kofi Kingston: *

Saturday, March 13, 2010

3/12/10 Smackdown

R-Truth vs. The Miz: *3/4

Drew McIntyre vs. Aaron Bolo (IC Title): N/A

The Big Show vs. John Morrison: *

JTG & Shad Gaspard vs. Tyson Kidd & David Hart Smith: N/A

Tiffany vs. Michelle McCool: 1/4*

Kane vs. Luke Gallows: *1/4

McIntyre match was a squash, no rating. Cryme Tyme/Hart Dynasty was basically a chance for Undertaker to come in and nuke everyone.

3/11/10 Superstars

Dolph Ziggler vs. Shelton Benjamin: *1/2

Mike Knox vs. Goldust: *

Zack Ryder vs. Santino Marella: *1/4

Christian & MVP vs. Carlito & Chavo Guerrero: **1/2

3/8/10 ROH

Kevin Steen vs. Rhett Titus: *3/4

Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli vs. Harlem Bravado & Lance Bravado: *1/4

Skullkrusher Rasche Brown vs. Caleb Konley: 1/4*

Kenny King vs. El Generico: ***1/4

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

3/9/10 NXT

R-Truth & David Otunga vs. The Miz & Daniel Bryan: **1/4

Heath Slater vs. Carlito: **

Justin Gabriel vs. Wade Barrett: *1/2

Skip Sheffield was the only rookie not used tonight (Darren Young was in a video package and then a skit with the Straight Edge Society).

I am liking this show. It's sad that the matches on this show are generally better than RAW, in my opinion.

Here are the rookie's records as of 3/9/10:
Heath Slater: 2-0
Justin Gabriel: 2-0
David Otunga: 2-1
Wade Barrett: 1-1
Darren Young: 1-1
Skip Sheffield: 0-1
Michael Tarver: 0-1
Daniel Bryan: 0-3

Daniel Bryan and David Otunga are the only two rookies to wrestle on each show so far. So it is true that WWE is trying to incorporate these two as much as possible. However, as one can see, Otunga and Bryan have different results. While I like Daniel Bryan's storyline with Miz, something tells me Bryan will probably have an off-the-charts match later in the season to thrust himself back into the mix to win the competition. Justin Gabriel has stood out, but can he do something impressive other than the 450?

Surely WWE will have the pros take the wrestler records into account when they make their decisions? Maybe not, but we'll see.

3/8/10 Impact

Abyss & Hulk Hogan vs. AJ Styles & Ric Flair: N/A

Doug Williams vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Kazarian (X-Division Title): **3/4

Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne vs. Taylor Wilde & Sarita vs. Tara & Angelina Love (Knockouts Tag Team Titles): 1/2*

Rob Van Dam vs. Sting: N/A

Eric Young vs. Syxx-Pac: 1/2*

James Storm & Robert Roode vs. Jeff Jarrett: 3/4*

Abyss & Hulk Hogan vs. AJ Styles & Ric Flair (No DQ): *1/2

The Beautiful People will be able to defend the Knockouts Tag Team Titles under the "Freebird Rule," which allows any two of the three members to defend the titles.

3/8/10 RAW (Criss Angel)

Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly, & Gail Kim vs. Maryse, Katie Lea Burchill, & Alicia Fox: 1/4*

The Big Show & The Miz vs. John Morrison & R-Truth: N/A

Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase vs. Randy Orton: *1/2

Evan Bourne vs. William Regal: 3/4*

Vince McMahon vs. John Cena: *

I actually went with a friend to see this live in Portland. I am happy to report that the crowd was pretty lively, especially when Undertaker, HBK, HHH, and Cena made their appearances.

The Criss Angel skits were cool. I'd give him a thumbs up as guest host, and he did a respectable job as the guest ring announcer for the main event. Apparently some people near us did not care for the skits, however (they were chanting "Boring!" during that time).

There was one dark match after the show where Triple H & John Cena faced Batista & Sheamus. A funny moment happened during the match when HHH's music started playing (perhaps giving away the ending as to who would score the pin). HHH played it off extremely well, getting a few laughs from the crowd. Sure enough, it was HHH hitting the Pedigree for the win. If I had to rate that match, it would be around *1/2.

Monday, March 8, 2010

3/5/10 Freedom Fight

(taped 1/23/10; aired 3/5/10)

Jigsaw & Mike Quackenbush vs. CIMA & Super Crazy:
This was an extremely solid opening contest. The chain wrestling was top-notch and the end was very solid. I tend to boost the rating a bit more when moves such as planchas, suicide dives, and somersaults over the top to the floor are used at the end because the wrestlers, by that point, are way more fatigued than at the start. Thus, only conditioning can really allow the flashier spots at the end to take place. ***1/4

T.J. Perkins vs. Gran Akuma: This was a decent match with your typical nice spots. It was very well worked, with a few near-falls, but nothing really stood out at me to give it that extra boost in the rating. **1/2

Brian Kendrick vs. Jimmy Jacobs: Now that Jimmy Jacobs has shaved his facial hair, doesn't he look a lot like Jeff Hardy? This match had a good amount of action in it for such a short match -- at least by Dragon Gate standards. However, the feel of the match was just not clicking for me. It was good, but not great by any means.

To be fair, having Lacey interfere on Kendrick's behalf told a good story because Lacey has had relations with Jacobs in the past. For those unaware, Lacey and Jacobs were an on-screen item in ROH starting in January 2006, teaming together in a few matches. Eventually, Lacey was written out of storylines in 2008; by this time, Jacobs was in his Age of the Fall stable with the likes of Tyler Black. **

Davey Richards vs. Masaaki Mochizuki (FIP World Title): Holy crap. I've never heard of Masaki Mochizuki prior to this, but these two had an outstanding match. For you WWE fans, just think of having a match between Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle, and then toss in the hard-hitting kicks Tajiri possesses. You basically have this match, and then some. Richards sold his leg injury extremely well, and he showcased his wrestling IQ by going back to the left arm of Mochizuki over and over again. The two do have history with one another. Mochizuki had beaten Richards for the FIP World Title, and now it's Richards going over Mochizuki to reclaim the gold. Call me a sucker for submissions, counters, and hard-hitting action, but that's me. Definitely a match-of-the-year candidate in my book. ****

Masato Yoshino & Naruki Doi vs. Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson vs. Shingo & Yamato (Elimination): The chain of wrestling head scissors resulting in the world's longest sharpshooter was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Everyone played a significant role in the match, although I'm on the fence with having Yoshino score both falls for his team. I must admit that I was sad when the Bucks got eliminated first. Regardless, we saw extremely fast-paced action and a lot of fun spots. The crowd really liked this match as well. I just wish it went longer and had more false finishes. Seeing so many complex spots and the effortlessness all six guys showed is beyond comprehension to me. While some people might put this match above Richards/Mochizuki, I really cannot decide. ****

BxB Hulk vs. Dragon Kid (Open the Freedom Gate Title): And of course, Dragon Gate USA must close the PPV with another excellent match. A lot of impact-filled moves in an above-average paced match. While the crowd again loved this match, it just was not as good in my book as the previous two matches. Main events should be just that: the match that everyone pays to see. The main event should get the largest favorable crowd reaction and the most time to let the participants go all out. While the match was main-event caliber, compared with the undercard, it was just average. ***3/4

MVPs: Richards and Mochizuki deliver a match of the year candidate, and the world's longest Sharpshooter must have mention here.

Overall Rating: Overall, we had four of six matches scoring at least ***1/4, and three matches scored at least ***3/4. So one can see it was a successful show. However, the crowd was not into the PPV as much as previous PPVs. That should not totally take away from the great pure wrestling action one gets in Dragon Gate USA, but I place greater weight on crowd reaction than any other factor. Therefore, the rating must reflect that. ***1/2

Friday, March 5, 2010

3/5/10 Smackdown

Matt Hardy vs. Drew McIntyre: *3/4

Shelton Benjamin vs. Dolph Ziggler: *1/4

Ezekiel Jackson vs. Jimmy Wang Yang: 1/4*

Rey Mysterio vs. Luke Gallows: **3/4

John Morrison & R-Truth vs. Tyson Kidd & David Hart Smith vs. JTG & Shad Gaspard: *1/2

Edge vs. The Big Show: *1/2

3/4/10 Superstars

Kofi Kingston vs. Chavo Guerrero: **

William Regal vs. Evan Bourne: *1/4

Kane vs. Mike Knox: 3/4*

Chris Jericho vs. Goldust: **1/4

Thursday, March 4, 2010

3/4/10 Impact

James Storm & Robert Roode vs. Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley vs. Max Buck & Jeremy Buck vs. Hernandez & Matt Morgan: *

Sean Morley vs. Jeff Jarrett (No DQ, No Countout): N/A

Rob Terry vs. Doug Williams: 1/4*

Jeff Jarrett vs. Tomko: *1/4

AJ Styles vs. Desmond Wolfe vs. D'Angelo Dinero vs. Abyss (World Title): *1/2

I guess you could call the Morley/Jarrett encounter a match, but I think it was just a backstage segment that just happened to be a one-sided beatdown.

With Impact moving to Monday nights starting next week, ratings will probably be posted on Tuesdays.

3/1/10 ROH

Jon Davis & Korey Chavis vs. Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards: **1/2

Steve Corino vs. Bobby Dempsey: 1/2*

Skullkrusher Rasche Brown vs. J-Sinn & Lance Lude: 1/4*

Sara Del Rey vs. Portia Perez: *

Austin Aries & Kenny King vs. Tyler Black & Roderick Strong: **1/4

Five matches on one show? I believe that's the most ROH has had so far when on HDNet.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

3/2/10 NXT

Darren Young vs. David Otunga: *

Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan: 1/4*

Matt Hardy & Justin Gabriel vs. William Regal & Skip Sheffield: *1/4

1/4* for Barrett/Bryan. Barrett went after Bryan's injury and Bryan sold it well.

Michael Cole fails again. Skip Sheffield had not even been on WWE TV for 15 minutes and I heard "Vintage Skip Sheffield!" Come on...on a rookie? Fail!

Monday, March 1, 2010

3/1/10 RAW (Cheech/Chong)

Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase: *1/2

Jack Swagger vs. Santino Marella: DUD

MVP vs. Zack Ryder: DUD

Eve Torres vs. Kelly Kelly vs. Gail Kim vs. Maryse vs. Jillian Hall vs. Alicia Fox (Pillow Fight): -*

The Big Show & The Miz vs. Triple H & Shawn Michaels (Unified Tag Team Titles): *1/4

Updated WM 26 card:
Taker/HBK II (Streak vs. Career)
Jericho/Edge (World Title)
Batista/Cena (WWE Title)
Money in the Bank Ladder Match (Christian, Dolph Zigger, Kane, Shelton Benjamin, Jack Swagger, & MVP qualified so far)
Bret Hart/Vince McMahon

Sheamus/HHH (all but confirmed)
Orton/Legacy (seems like this is what WWE will go with)