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  1. This was decided after Lita congratulating Linda on declaring her intentions of divorcing Mr McMahon - in a long tedious promo, I might add - and he was understandably mad at this so this was made as punishment. And since one isn’t a wrestler, it’s not much of a punishment. HHH and Austin are above the Hardys in levels but it’s still a great opportunity for them to beat the WWF and IC champs. What an odd punishment. Jeff Hardy thought so as well. The match itself was solid. The Hardys put up a great fight despite being out-matched. The Hardys and Lita pull off some big dives, something that HHH and Austin can’t really counter which gives them a small edge. Plus Stephanie isn’t really a trained wrestler, unlike Lita, so they exploit that by separating the men from Stephanie which allows Lita to get the win. Austin and HHH beat her up afterwards with a steel chair… ***
  2. Did Matt Hardy read the post-wrestling thread? For all my talk about how Lucha Underground is flirting with post-wrestling this looks way more revolutionary than anything they've ever done. The sheer absurdity of it is brilliant, but my favourite moments were probably Jeff not dropping selling even when he's shooting fireworks and the finish where Matt took advantage of Jeff's stupidity and predictability. Rating it feels impossible but it was definitely one of the most entertaining experiences watching wrestling I've had.
  3. This ruled! The four way setting fits this type of match much better as you can have wrestlers continue to fight while others set up spots. Sabu's presence helped this a lot, he was the best worker in here, here was a spot where Jeff used him to jump onto Abyss and then offered Sabu to use him to jump onto Abyss as well and Sabu just stomped him and it was the best, the amount of disgusting bumps and insane dives delivered as you'd expect but I also liked how they used weapons to transition and as cut-offs. Jeff Hardy continues to jump off high things and it gets REALLY preposterous here. Finish ruled as well, Rhino hits a Piledriver off the top rope and gets the win but Sabu throws himself at him to break it up only to do so a split second too late. ***1/2
  4. It feels so weird to see Big Show actually work dominant. The match was all him throwing Jeff around, he even killed Matt and pushed the ref around which played into the finish where he went for a Diving Legdrop for god knows what reason to set up the finish with the whole Team Xtreme or whatever they were called all hitting their top rope finishers on him and a quick count. Not much to say about Hardy's performance except that I liked his selling. **3/4
  5. Jeff seems to be pretty good at creating momentum and space for his stuff which is one of the most important things for a WWE babyface. The Whisper In The Wind is a pretty logical counter to have with common irish whips are in WWE. It's like Choshu's Backdrop counter to the Headlock-I can see why some would dislike it but guys are going to go for it in every match so might as well have a ready counter for it. I do need to think of a way to explain how Triple H's Back Body Drop counter is different. Test is a guy whom you see discussion about in terms of missed opportunities, being screwed over by the Triple H-Stephanie real life relationship etc. but I don't remember actually hearing an opinion about him as a worker. I liked the Clothesline cut off to Jeff's jump off the barricade, his Big Boot looked good and he hit the ref with a pretty good right hand. Thumbs up! **3/4
  6. This was the main event for TNA's first 3 hour Sunday PPV, so of course it has Jarrett in it, and while it made sense to have Hardy in terms of his profile, this was during his initial post WWE run where he was pretty dreadful in the ring, probably not helped of course by what he might be doing outside of it. Hardy as a singles guy can be really hit and miss, but when he came back to WWE in 2006 through to the end of the Punk run I thought he was really good. Again, back in TNA you get the infamous Sting match where he's in no position to perform, but overall there was a lot of good stuff, particularly his matches with Austin Aries. Anyway, that's a lot of digressing - bottom line, is that Hardy is all over the place in this match. The storyline going in is that the ladder match stipulation favours Hardy, and that's shown by him dominating the early stages, which makes good sense. Hardy shows good fire. and you can't fault the effort of both guys, it's just they are on different pages. Hardy is trying to run through a greatest hits package of some of the moves he would do in the big tag ladder matches in the WWE while you get all the Jarrett NWA Title match tropes of refs being knocked out and outside interference. Hardy's had some great singles ladder matches, but just like someone like Sabu, that relies on him being on his game and hitting his spots. Here, there are not massive botches, although they mess up a sunset flip powerbomb twice in quick succession, but everything looks a bit odd. Jarrett for the most part's role in the match is just to stagger around and try to be vaguely in the right place while Hardy is throwing himself around. Most of the damage Hardy sustains is by missing big moves rather than anything Jarrett does, although that does play into a narrative of Hardy being a risk taker and Jarrett being a smart veteran. The other storyline going into the match was The Outsiders were in different corners; Hall with Jarrett and Nash with Hardy, although the pre-match video package makes it absolutely certain that Nash is going to turn on Hardy. Hall is fairly heavily involved throughout the match, at various times preventing Hardy from climbing and he actually takes some of the worst punishment in this. The match sort of meanders to the point where Nash comes out with two guitars, telegraphing what the finish from a million miles away. Hardy gets taken out by all three hitting him with guitars and Jarrett retains in the standard TNA way at this point. Post match we see what would soon to be named as the nWo Kings of Wrestling taking out a load of babyfaces, incl. AJ Styles until you get the bizarre and probably forgotten arrival of Randy Savage into TNA, for what would ultimately be one match where he would barely take part. Overall then, this is pretty poor - for a ladder match there are no memorable moments, and it suffers from one having one guy (Jarrett) who isn't natural in this type of match, one guy (Hardy) who is all over the place, and a heavily telegraphed and cliched turn that everyone would've seen coming. Not good (** 1/4)
  7. And this is the first match I've come across during my Jeff Hardy reevaluation that sucks. I had no idea I had an opinion on Al Snow but apparently I do and it's that he's the shits and that he couldn't work himself out of a shoot. His control segments were soooooo dull and uninteresting, you have Jeff Hardy bumping for you and you can't take advantage of it, what the hell man? Booking of this was bizarre and creepy, the worst of the late WCW/TNA gimmick matches complete with the implied rape or violence against women. Bad, bad, go away Al Snow.
  8. I'm not entirely sure why I'm continuing to watch Jeff Hardy's TNA matches. I've already reached a conclusion on how he was as a worker at the time and it's probably not going to change. Maybe I should stop. This was fine. Jeff Hardy was my favourite wrestler when I was 12 and Raven was in that spot when I was 13. MVP was before any of them and inbetween were The Rock and Jericho. Then I discovered puro through my new favourite KENTA and eventually I stopped having a favourite wrestler. As far as this match goes. Some good, some bad. I liked Raven avoiding Hardy's chairshots but literally the next spot had him stand there while Jeff set up his chair jumping. Then Raven avoided Hardy's chair jump spot which I liked but-urgh-why not just avoid it on the first try. You don't have to get all your shit in. This had enough violence in it to keep me interested throughout the whole thing but also some eye-rolling stuff like them doing a top rope-nothing (trust me it looks like exactly it sounds), the ref helping Raven set up tables, a blade job that went on forever etc. I liked the dramatic shots of the women in the crowd turning away, now that I think about it they could've been plants but I don't think TNA would be capable of using plants in such an efficent manner, more likely they had them chant for Kevin Nash or whomever old they signed at the time. **1/2
  9. Here we go again! I actually liked the opening quite a bit, them brawling outside the arena was surprisingly fun, probably because I'd much rather watch them slam each other onto walls than exchange weak punches. Jeff Hardy most certainly jumped of a high place. Match seemed to flow really well until the dreaded obvious setting up of spots began. Lots of things I disliked there: Hardy going for a Twist Of Fate with a different arm to set up a counter, Abyss running the ropes one more time so he could be in position for Hardy to kick him in the balls (I did like that as a counter even if they did give it away), pretty much any time Hardy sets up a chair when he could do the same move he does without jumping on it and it would look better and be more efficient. Aaaaaaaaand doing the Twist Of Fate stunner-style when you're trying to smash someone's face into a ladder is also stupid. I always disliked the "stunner onto a object" spots actually. Looked like it hurt Austin's ass more than the other guy. I did enjoy watching these two take stupid bumps and Hardy's Diving Legdrop in particular looked super nasty. **1/4
  10. Look-I'm giving Jeff Hardy's first TNA run a shot. I like trainwrecks. "Full Metal Mayhem" screams "we wanted to do a TLC match but WWE copyrighted that". This is a garbage match in TNA, is there an unnecessary additional stipulation that accomplishes nothing? You bet there is! I didn't expect this to make sense and it met my expectations, it had the obvious setting up of spots I feared and Hardy even won a ladder-assisted test of strength against Abyss. Lots of walking around that doesn't look like fighting or them fighting while wasted. I'm sure Jeff Hardy vs. Jerry Estrada would've been a classic though. The Twist Of Fate on the floor was embarrassingly looking bad and I'm sure I could pick this apart if I cared enough to do that. Hardy is a maniac that will take insane bumps which prevented this from totally sucking. **
  11. An absolutely awesome, action packed sprint. Really no dull moments, the action remained heated from start to finish. ****
  12. This was such a super fun, energetic back & forth match. Jeff looked very good w/ all of his stuff & Bryan on the offense was an absolute joy to watch. The knee psychology towards the end ruled & Bryan actually getting the win with a Heel Hook is superb. Bring on Bryan vs. Joe next week! ****
  13. The Hardys are mostly known as high-spot guys but here we have them working a fairly basic southern style tag match and it's really good. Cade/Murdoch wrestle like gritty old bastards which is a bit weird considering they're in their mid-20s here but they pull it off. Lots of cunning heelish tactics like cutting off the poetry in motion from the apron spoiling The Hardys signature spots. Jeff has a particularly strong performance here in the Face In Peril role and gets his revenge in the end when Murdoch's distracting the referee backfires. The Hardys 2007 run is definitely worth watching for the "Greatest WWE Tag Team" debate. ***1/2
  14. I was wondering what I'd think of Val, I remember him having some matches against D'Lo Brown I loved but man he looked super good in this, throwing good looking suplexes, slams and whatnot, it was a joy to watch him throw Jeff around. Jeff's Tope Con Giro was beautiful-there's something magical about a sloppy worker like him hitting something just right. It looks like he's taking someone down full force unlike when someone who has perfect control (like Devitt) does it. Ideally you'd have both like Santo but I'll take Sabu and Jeff Hardy over Devitt easily. It's not just the slams-the back elbow, the elbow drop, the clotheslines-Val lays them all in and hits an awesome Blue Thunder Driver to top it all off. Lita has nothing on Gedo when it comes to working the crowd during the heat section, I did like the, uhm, legged-full nelson Venis used during it. And he threw some good punches too! Jeff did fine but maybe I should reevaluate Val Venis next. ***
  15. So, this is for the title. One of the two. Not sure which one. Jeff Hardy is over like hell. Edge is the champ. Pretty good starting sequence, despite neither being particulary smooth. Interesting bit of booking here as Edge loses immediately in a small package spot. Another proof we need more of this as opposed to kicking out of finishers. More on that later. The guys in the pods grinning at Edge losing was a nice touch. Kozlov. Whatever happened to this guy ? He definitely had potential in a Goldbergian way. Looks green but also menacing. Good beating up sequence on Hardy, who's being thrown around like a rag doll. More beating up incoming with the Big Show. Again, nice booking with the two monsters playing oneupmanshpip with Hardy as a crash test dummie, before getting to it themselves. Not the smoothest work, but efficient enough and it's a simple and logic story to tell. HHH is next. He pretty much clears the ring because he can. Looks good doing it too. At this point he really knows the deal, and although there won't be any blood (anymore ?), he takes his share of usual brutal bumps. Taker gets out. House of fire. MMA punches. Taker gets a whole lot of pass for a lot of stuff that actually don't look good. Same thing here. He's old, he looks that way, his stuff looks sloppy (awful snake eyes). He does beat the undefeated Kozlov too. Odd to finally beat Kozlov that way in that context. Big spot of the match, Taker doing a superplex on Big Show and Hardy going swanton off a pod on the big guy. Crowd is CRAZY for the guy, who is having a really good night from my perspective (of someone who haven't seen much of his vaunted "great main event stint"). Clear MVP of the match and... fuck. He loses to Trip. The crowd deflates big time. They wanted to have Hardy win the thing. Tone deaf booking. So, it's Taker vs HHH, "the two biggest stars in the WWE" says JR. What, in 2009 ? John Cena says hello. And so they have this "ending Mania stretch" match, which means reversals, kicking out of finishers (or almost in case of the tombstone, feet on the rope will do) and self-cousciousepicery, which doesn't fit the format to me. Twice now Taker has delivered this kind of stuff here. And really, it's annoying because neither guy is really selling the finishers per say. They sell the *exhaustion*, but after a fucking tombstone and a pedigree, you should have your neck all fucked up. But they never sell that way. To me this is way more "video game pro-wrestling" than doing a tons of move actually, because the hugest move really don't matter that much, the damage is not localized, if you will. Anyway, Trips wins the title. Fuck me. His work was good, but this is 2009. How many did this guy win already ? Overall, very good match (could have clearly been better with a non self-conscious epic finishing stretch) with some interesting twists, but the ending stretch is clearly not of my taste at all and the booking was totally tone deaf and turned toward the past when you had the crowd hot for a newer star. Yeah, patterns...
  16. For a 2-3 minute TV match they sure did cram a lot in here. Hardy did some insane stuff (nothing out of the ordinary in terms of what he did but watching him hit a breathtaking Whisper In The Wind after accepting the move for the mess it is most of the time was unusual for one). I liked the way they set up the finish and I'd much rather have them leave me wanting more than owestay their welcome, especially when it comes to workrate matches. **3/4
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