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  1. AstroBoy

    [2001-01-08-WWF-Raw] Kurt Angle vs Steve Austin

    This was a blast and sets the tone for some of their future stuff. Austin is so aggressive and rough and despite for the title and he sets a great pace, but things get real great when Angle takes over and starts wearing out Austin with suplexes. In the past I'd had problems with Kurt doing lots of punch kick stuff to fill time on offense and it's so much better with him dropping that to throw suplexes here. Austin is great throwing his body around on offense and defense, making everything seem out of control and intense. Could have done with a finish but this was great. ***1/2
  2. Good energetic trios with Benoit standing out as just so sharp and aggressive. Jericho's hot tag is good and Saturn gets a few nice moments too. Jericho gets the win and the postmatch is all about Malenko and Lita
  3. I like Chavo as a bargain level heel cruiserweight standard bearer in dying days WCW. The match isn't great. No need for 2 chinlock segments from Chavo. But it was fine. Shannon botches a top rope thing, Chavo covers and everything he does is solid before he wins with a great brainbuster.
  4. After a slow started, Samurai gets a DDT on Mandora and this sets off the NJPW team getting meaner and more disrespectful as their control stretches on. Liger has some vicious palm strikes and Samurai rakes at Mandora's face when Liger has him up in a surfboard. They kick off a long finishing run with the moves ramping up, and Delfin finally cradles Samurai for the win. ***1/2
  5. Kash's dive was pretty sweet and all six guys early on had a few fireworks but it's like a prelude to the meat of this with FBI and Unholy Alliance. It's their standard good stuff and they mix up some of their spots, turning the double whippersnapper into tandem armbars for instance. Tajiri, naturally was incredible and electric here. Ultimately Tajiri and Whipwreck tread water with another victory but I echo the thought that Tajiri specifically could be such a bigger thing at this point.
  6. This came together nicely after a somewhat meandering route to get to the heat and they committed to having Doring fight his way through some peril to set up Roadkill cleaning house. Dinero isn't much at all but things mostly clicked here, champs got to hit their trademark stuff, and score a nice win.
  7. This was awesome. Of course the Murakami vs Ishikawa stuff is fantastic but Otsuka brought a lot of presence and some great throws too. Yone kept up and got the submission with a nasty camel clutch. ***1/4
  8. I thought this was a real solid TV match. Robbie struggles on offense and doesn't do much but at least it allowed Dinsmore to make a nice comeback and look good with his execution on everything. Snappy and effective.
  9. I enjoyed seeing a brisk paced LMS match for a change and that was the biggest asset here, plus a well done schmozz finish. I thought Flanagan messing around doing Russian leg sweeps was a little goofy and didn't love his right hands but this was a spirited TV deal.
  10. Really fun match. Rave is kind of sloppy and raw but has some energy and some good spots and Caprice had enough charisma and some seasoning to help carry this off. They escalate hot moves back and forth and keep a great pace before Caprice shuts him down with a cutter. Really all you could ask out of a deal like this.
  11. I thought this was a good take charge Ogawa performance and he left me most impressed, carrying portions are of this with his poise and savvy. I do think Ikeda feels a half step off at moments but it might be his mesh with Misawa here as I found Misawa's outing to be a tad listless. Marufuji does fine getting beaten on and gets a few moments to shine as he progresses little by little before Ogawa shuts him down with a backdrop hold. ***
  12. This was serviceable. Akiyama does a good job punishing Shiga on the mat, grounding Morishima when he gets going, and generally helping out Kanemaru when he needs the tide turned. The ending did feel a bit abrupt but this was mostly good.
  13. Hey this was really good fun. Tracy did a great job kind of keeping things moving and had some fantastic punches on Ian's nasty cut. Sabu did his part and this was just a breezy fun three way. ***
  14. I thought this went too long and really lacked lots of connective tissue to make it very much, but they have some great moments. Rising Son is a graceful flyer but it's Super Dragon here who shines. He escalates things with a pendulum swing into the wall, takes a nutty bump into the wall after missing a corner charge. They do space the spots out really well and that helped this along too.
  15. This was not very good. It's young guys going out and doing a lot of spots with not much at all to hold it together. Reyes in particular looks like a good athlete here but the match never amounts to much, just guys hitting stuff with varying degrees of execution.