Saturday, August 20, 2011

This Week in DVR: Common Barbarism

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I watched what I couldn't watch live this week on my DVR or online. Here's what stood out:


The RockNES Monsters (Johnny Yuma and Johnny Goodtime) vs. Erik Watts and Joey Ryan on NWA Hollywood - Neat little tag match. It started to catch my eye early on, when Goodtime was doing the back leapfrog spot over Ryan. Ryan tried to catch him, but Goodtime used momentum to throw Ryan back into the turnbuckles with his legs. The follow up was pretty good too, using the corner as a weapon effectively. Watts got a "You can't wrestle!" chant, but it wasn't deserved. He was serviceable here. Good team synergy by both squads here.

Scorpio Sky vs. SoCal Crazy, NWA Be the Star Television Championship Tournament Finals, NWA Hollywood - Really good good guy vs. good guy main event. It was very much a formula match, with mat wrestling and simple submissions to start into a quickening into teasing bad blood going into the big finish. A lot of really cool moves here, even if some of the selling was a bit questionable. I liked the knee twist/seated ab stretch that Crazy busted out, and that snapmare driver that Sky broke out was slick. Good cap to a very notable tournament.

Wade Barrett vs. Trent Barretta, Superstars - Fun little pseudo squash match. Barrett came off his best match with another strong performance, playing the bully role, while Barretta did what he always does well, bumping, flying and bouncing around. That corkscrew senton thing he did off the guardrail was pretty epic. Good little opener.

Santino Marella vs. Primo Colon, Superstars - This match served as the palate cleanser from the two squash-type matches into the main part of the show, and it worked well in that regard. Again, Santino showed why it's not just all about workrate or MOVEZ. I loved the sequence of hip toss blocks. Primo snuck in some really, really good psych there by working the Cobra arm over after Santino showed his hand mid match. Solid stuff.

Zack Ryder vs. Drew McIntyre, Superstars - This one started out a bit slowly, but they started dropping bombs on each other, and the finishing flurry was pretty epic. Around where McIntyre used a spinebuster to acquaint Ryder's back with the ring apron is where it picked up for me. I also loved Drew Mac's counter of the Rough Ryder into a powerbomb. More than any other match on Superstars this week, this one felt like it could have been on PPV, or at least as a RAW main event.

Mark Haskins vs. Alex Shelley vs. Robbie E vs. Zema Ion vs. Jesse Sorensen vs. Tony Nese vs. Kid Kash vs. Austin Aries, X-Division Gauntlet, Impact - Pure junk food. A little bit of sloppiness, and no one was really able to get their oeuvre going except Sorensen and Aries, but it was a pretty good sampler platter. Aries coming in at the end after Kash took out Sorensen was a really good touch.

Cody Rhodes (c) vs. Ezekiel Jackson, Intercontinental Championship Match, Smackdown - Shortish match, but it had quite a few really good nuggets. I really liked Rhodes exiting the ring, and the incensed Zeke following him out, which lead to Rhodes dropkicking the ring steps into Zeke's leg. I might have liked it more if it went a couple more minutes, but it was decent. Don't sleep on Zeke as a wrestler.

Justin Gabriel vs. Tyson Kidd, Smackdown - Again, it could have used a few more minutes, but Kidd is becoming that sort of high level squash-but-not-squashed opponent for guys they've got high hopes for. He had a good match with Daniel Bryan two weeks ago, and this was a nice display too. Gabriel's going to be an exciting guy to watch in singles. Love his 450.

Daniel Bryan vs. Alberto del Rio, non-title match, Smackdown - Wow, the chemistry between these two is amazing. They told a really good story surrounding Bryan's arm and his determination to defeat the Champion. del Rio's arm work combined with Bryan's selling set a strong overtone for the match that didn't falter and went to the very end. Despite that, Bryan showed his moxie and his determination. I think the best part of that trope was Bryan countering the back superplex into a mega press. The finish worked, and despite the increasingly lazy announcing by Cole, with his almost magic switch from NERRRRRRRRRRRRRD to "o hai guise, bryan is bringin it lol", it was a mostly pleasing experience.


NWA Hollywood - Really good show this week. I wasn't crazy about the beginning, even if the brawling on the outside limited Buggy's greenness and provided as something INFINITELY better than the last time I saw them, which was in a never-a-good-idea blindfold match. I guess I didn't like it because it meant this feud was going to continue, but hey, as long as people keep bringing "BUGGY IS HOT" signs to the Showcase, she'll keep getting pushed. Because being hot is all that matters for women wrestlers, amirite guise? The matches after that were pretty decent, although it bums me out that I just watched perhaps the last Joey Ryan NWA Hollywood match ever. Place is going to suffer without him. Hell, they're losing Ryan, they lost Austin Aries and if the rumblings turn out to be correct, they'll be without Colt Cabana before long too. But hey, at least they have Scrap Iron and Scorpio Sky, and I'm not saying that with any twinge of sarcasm. I swear.

Superstars - I really do sound like a broken record when I do this little paragraph. "Wrestling is good. Hate replay of RAW's main event. Lather, rinse, repeat." But yeah, it was more of the same. Again, I'm not sure if the overlap between Superstars audience and RAW's is less than 100% (at least on Superstars' end), but it's still tiring to have to fast forward through wholesale replays, especially when they just released at least one guy that could have given me a pretty good match instead of rehashing what I saw Monday.

Impact - Slow episode, I don't know, the idea of Sting/Flair in 2011 doesn't appeal to me. The idea of Crimson/Angle would be a better-constructed heat source if not for two things. One, Crimson is too green for his push, I think. He's not as bad as the meme says he is, but at the same time, you can tell he can't even spar with serious Kurt Angle (who isn't nearly as good as goofy Angle was back in the day). Two, the shooty stuff here is badly executed. WWE has shown us that blurring the line isn't bad if it's done right, but the difference between Punk and Angle is the difference between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Los Angeles Dodgers right now. I'd have repurposed it to have Angle state that he was tired of the young guys being fed to him so that they'd eventually replace him, rather than being fed to him so he could make them look good. One has an element of reality but still works within a wrestling angle. The other is ham-handed way of trying to be edgy that sounds, at least to me, cringeworthy. I dunno.

Smackdown - When Cody Rhodes came out at the beginning of the show, I got a distinct Chris Jericho vibe, because he was clearly sent to save us from ol' Peanut Head Teddy Long and Randy Orton, whose promos are still a registered controlled substance as a depressant in several states. I loved his scathingly true appraisal of Orton's win over Christian at SummerSlam. "Common barbarism"... it's effective because it's true. I thought Smackdown was a winner this week for the most part. The wrestling was good as shown by the honor roll. The battle royale at the end wasn't the best one they've ever done, but I liked a lot of what Henry was doing during it. The apron jousting between Sheamus and Wade Barrett at the end was a really cool visual as well. del Rio's promo here was really good too, almost as good as Monday's. I love how happy he gets when talking about destroying Mysterio. It's great.

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