Saturday, July 30, 2011

This Week in DVR: I'm a Good Guy Now, Fella

It's a fellabration!
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I watched what I couldn't watch live on my DVR and the Internet this week. Here's what stood out:


Colt Cabana vs. Joey Ryan on NWA Hollywood - Solid main event with a lot of good storytelling vis a vis Adam Pearce as the guest ref. I thought some of the TV editing cut off a good bit of this, going to commercial when Cabana was shoving Pearce. There was one flubbed spot on Cabana doing the Asai moonsault (which I can't criticize too badly because it was COLT CABANA DOING AN ASAI MOONSAULT), but the action was really good throughout. Some great brawling, and nice showboating tactics from Ryan. The DQ finish left me a little flat, but it was still a decent match.

Heath Slater vs. Trent Baretta on Superstars - Wow, who knew Heath Slater could work? Maybe he didn't get as much of a stage to shine as well as he did in this match, or maybe he did some overtime in FCW, learning from guys like William Regal and Big Dust. Either way, wow, what a match. Slater brought it on offense, which is good, because it's the first time I've been impressed with him when he was bringing the heat, and the first time I've been impressed with him overall since WrestleMania:

That will never get old. Ever. I think where I started to feel this match most was when Baretta ran to the corner and anticipated Slater coming in behind him. He did a leapfrog, but Slater just sidestepped him and kicked him in the gut. Really clever spot. I like his spinebuster too. Baretta was a great opponent for him too, because the former Dudebuster bumps well and has such reckless abandon. He's a great nouveau-style jobber. Solid finish with a good sequence in the corner going to Baretta whiffing on a corkscrew and Slater dropping him with an inverted DDT. Really good stuff.

Chris Masters and Santino Marella vs. Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga, non-title, on Superstars - No, it's not a typo. Otunga has made the honor roll. I think that's a credit to WWE that they've found a role where they can hide his deficiencies well and put him with a guy who can carry the load, even if McGillicutty is a little green himself. Of course, playing off two of the best workers in the company will do a lot to help that along as well. Masters didn't spend a lot of time in the match, but that's okay, because how about Santino? The more I see him, the more impressed I get with him as a total package guy in the ring. He just plays the crowd so well, and his expressions and bantering in the ring is second to none. He even has some cool moves, like that spinning fireman's carry takeover he did earlier in the match. I thought it was good tag fare.


NWA Hollywood - Okay show this week. The undercard stuff was underwhelming but alright, excepting the blindfold match. I really don't think it's possible to do a good blindfold match, to be honest. The main event stuff was well done, and this Erik Watts guy has a real good look. Very imposing. The injury angle with Cabana getting spike piledriven was okay, and I'm guessing they'll push him and Pearce as two guys with neck injuries going forward.

Superstars - Another really good show this week... baaaaaht, chu already knew that. It looked like they went with all extended length matches, which is good, because it lends itself to some good action. I thought that the first two matches were really good, and the main event between Jack Swagger and Alex Riley was just okay though. Riley is still really green, although he has some promise. When he learns how to work some basic psych into his matches, he'll be a lot better, but I pray to God that he ditches that awful "grenade" spot. Let's just forget for a second that Chuck Taylor's introduction of imaginary grenades into wrestling matches is so sublime that it renders anything else, imitation or not, just the very definition of moot. The gesticulations involved with Riley's grenade are just too drawn out and bad. And this is coming from someone who grins and bears it every time Cena goes into a Five Knuckle Shuffle. That grenade makes the FKS look like the People's Elbow and the People's Elbow look like a tombstone piledriver.

Impact - The show was mostly based on "Joker" Sting, Immortal and Kurt Angle as characters, centered around obtaining "stroke" and using the Network to engage in a power struggle. So therefore, I didn't much care for this week's Impact. About the only thing that was really enjoyable to me was the promo segment with Alex Shelley, Brian Kendrick and Austin Aries, but you probably already knew that.

Smackdown - Decent show with underwhelming wrestling. Triple H's segment to start was okay, not as good as Monday's. I liked seeing more Zack Ryder, but I hope this doesn't mean he's not wrestling anymore. The out-of-ring segments were stronger than the matches on the whole, especially the ones involving Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett and the confrontation between Mark Henry and Sheamus. I like that Sheamus is going face too. People have been sporadically cheering him for a year or so, and I really look forward to a series of slugfests between those two big hosses.

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