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Found 100 results

  1. Kurt Angle vs John Cena - No Mercy 2003 Some things never change like people kicking out of the FU. I forgot how foul-mouthed Cena's promos were at this time. He is like the reverse Bob Saget. Total random note, but I watched the opening video package to this PPV and the Vinny Mac & Steph storyline was some fucking dark shit. Really strong fundamentals-based match for the vast majority of this match. It is nothing that really pops, but it is just solid, entertaining. Some Kurt-isms pop up late in the match where he just starts suplexing Cena as his hope spots, but there are no real transitions to the Germans or out of the Germans to get back to Cena on offense. I forgot how crucial the kick to the midsection was in every match from like 1997-2005 in setting up your most lethal move. I think they could have done more with the street fighter vs Olympic wrestler if they wanted to have a classic, but as a meat and potatoes match this was fine. Angle outwrestled Cena early and then got pissed, flipped him off and took fight to him, which I thought would lead to more of a battle of fisticuffs. Angle eats the post (not my favorite transition as it does not put heat on the heel). Cena wrestled a fine heat segment. His clothesline has not changed nor how he sells punches. He was moving around great. It was weird there were no shoulder tackles. Cena went for his leg drop and Angle dropkicked the knee, which seemed like a sound strategy. He did get the ankellock, but they ended up on the apron and Angle took his DDT/apron bump that is needlessly nasty. Spot of the match was Cena finally hitting that legdrop in a way that does not make me roll my eyes. Angle was trying to get back in the ring, head-first and BANG! nailed the leg drop. Perfectly organic. Angle of course snapped off a suplex right after this. It was a fun finish stretch. They kicked out of each other's finishes. I loved Cena going for the chain, the ref takes it away, but he has stolen the gold medals! I did not even see that. Cena, you sly fox! He nails him and that should have been the finish, except Cena was turning face I believe. Angle kicks out nice pop and victory roll into AngleLock gets the win. It was just a very good match. Cena looked fine and had all his mannerisms down. He definitely worked big. Since Cena was not a workrate guy, I think that helped reign Angle in, which was a boon for this match. ***1/2
  2. Going through the WWE Matches of the Year for 2003 pack and this really caught my eye as its midcard heel Cena vs. Biker Taker and gets 15 minutes. The commentary note that Taker has an injured arm that he's delaying surgery for, and that he's here to put Cena in his place after being disrespected backstage. Cena looks like a little punk here in the opening minutes. Can't seem to really hurt Taker at all, the one time he lands a good kick just seems to really piss Taker off and he gets a chokeslam for his trouble. Taker unloads a flurry of strikes in the corner only for Cena to clock his skull with a steel chain, the same way he took out Brock Lesnar 9 years later in their classic. Cena actually looks really vicious here when he gets in control. Relentlessly going for Taker's injured arm first with a shoulder tackle that takes him out the ring, slams it into the barricade, dropkick through the ropes on the arm, stands on Taker's arm atop the steps and stomps his arm into the steps. Taker gets a bit of a comeback going and attempts a Last Ride powerbomb, Cena slips out using Taker's hurt arm and turns it into a cross-armbreaker. Taker's selling is really good in this match. Never stops looking pained after Cena's first bit of control and I like how he occasionally falls into the ropes to recuperate any moment he has Cena down. ***1/4
  3. At the time this felt like one of those rare instances where WWE actually presented a dream match. These two had been kept apart from the time they both ascended to the top of Raw & Smackdown during the build to Mania 21 which made for a truly fresh match. Even with Taker/Edge in a Cell, this still seemed like the real draw at the show. They didn't disappoint, working an oddly compact match in under 14 minutes that's a virtual sprint compared with some main event matches today. They work a basic power match with lariats, powerbombs and slams for Batista while Cena is constantly looking for the FU. A neat wrinkle along the way is Batista borrowing a page from Flair's book as he clips the knee, goes to a kneebreaker and then actually breaks out the Figure-Four. What I loved here is how simple this was. Basic transitions borrowed from the Horsemen like a kick to the gut. Yeah, we had finishers teased throughout but they weren't spammed. They maintained a solid pace as there were no real rest spots or killing clock for anyone to regain their wind, but at the same time they let everything sink in. Every shot and offensive maneuver was allowed to breathe so that its impact registered. One legit false finish at the end on the powerbomb where Batista caught Cena coming off the top for his legdrop that absolute absolutely popped the crowd, and made the finish that followed thereafter all the more satisfying. Still amazing that this was a 100% clean job, although Cena didn't look at all the worse for wear coming out of a match that felt like stage 1 in a prolonged feud. Perhaps Cena's injury had something to do with that but they wouldn't return to it until 2010 when Batista was a true heel. Great, simple match with no real waste. ****
  4. When the build to this match started, my biggest fear was that it would be a 30 minute DRAMATIC™ finisher nearfall -fest forced epic, but MY GOODNESS it wasn't anything like that! The whole angle building to it with Cena on the crowd, coming out to thinking he'll face Taker, Elias coming out, Cena destroying Elias etc was tremendous & once Taker's theme finally hit, Cena sold that tremendously. He had already accepted that Taker wasn't gonna show up, and because of that he wasn't ready at all for the match - that was the story of this under 3-minute sprint squash; Cena wasn't ready for Taker & Taker just absolutely wrecked him. Awesome angle, awesome match. ***3/4
  5. This match for the WWE Heavyweight Championship made me a little bit sad. The story going in is that the Authority wants to screw Cena out of the title by pitting him against 3 other guys - the typical situation where he doesn't even have to take the fall in order to lose the belts. Orton and Kane work together early on, with the latter making sure the former's pinfall attempts go without interruption. However, the crowd doesn't really care, because while the heels get their heat on Cena, they are chanting for Roman Reigns. They are hot for the interactions between Cena and Roman, and they teased them duking it out twice in the match before it finally happened. And well, what can I say other than Reigns is clearly the MVP in this match? During a stretch later in the match where he takes on the other 3 competitors, the crowd is pleading for Roman to win this. But in the end, it's an AA from Cena to Orton (with Kane being the landing spot) that seals the deal. He outsmarted everyone and retained the titles. It's sad. Roman was clearly one of the most over people in the company at that point. And now...
  6. So the WWE decided that this week, they're gonna put together close to two hours of just real good solid wrestling and what a shock, it was awesome! Seth and Roman start the match, getting some good exchanges going with Roman really bringing the tightness and stiffness to the match. Roman's timing and character work really is something else. Something as simple as standing up to a charging Rollins says so much and really creates a very heated moment that ups the intensity of the match. Exciting and hot finishing stretch that protects both guys but does a lot to help out Seth Rollins. Seth takes on John Cena next. Seth jumps Cena to start forcing Cena to work the opening minutes in his neon green shirt. Cena comes with methodical heel-esque Cena. I like this iteration of Cena personally. The guy's been on top for over a decade and he shows it. He saves energy by really picking his spots against Rollins and even taunting Rollins, giving Rollins a good heel character to play off of. They show a lot of chemistry in the finishing stretch as they exchange big moves and let Rollins get a clean win on Cena. The crowd is all the way behind Rollins at this point. Elias rushes in to charge Rollins and goes after the bad leg allowing him to pick up the pretty quick win over Rollins. At around this point, the match starts to dip as we get some in picture simultaneous promos to the competitors who've just finished. I didn't mind it so much as it was a nice way to fill the time as the highlights of the match were pretty much done. Balor comes in and him and Elias have some decent exhanges. Elias is just a very good wrestler with his basics. Snug strikes and good energy. Here's hoping he goes a long way. Balor able to get to the win until Miz comes out and picks the bones and uses The Miztourage to get the win. Miz with some amazing facial reactions when he realizes Strowman is last and then we get the Braun Strowman Murder Hour. Always a good time. That standing dropkick is ridiculous. This was just very good television all the way through with two incredibly great matches to open and an all-time performance by Seth Rollins. ****1/2
  7. I gotta say that this one never fully clicked for me. There were stuff that I enjoyed; AJ Styles being the bumping & selling machine that he is, Baron Corbin coming in & destroying people, The Miz doing his Daniel Bryan shtick, Styles & Cena interactions when they + Wyatt were the final 3 - BUT in between those moments that I enjoyed, there were lots, and I mean LOTS of dull action that did nothing for me, which is why I can't rate this highly overall. Solid match, but far from the best Chamber match that I've seen. Great performance by Styles. **1/2
  8. The most interesting things here are not in the match itself, which is a mostly snoozefest. What strikes me is that the same exact match could be presented today, in 2018. Eight years later. There's almost zero difference in the presentation, the announcing (except it's way worse now with the social media shit and Orwellian corporate talk) and even most of the workers, who already have been champions a thousand times by that time. It really paints the picture of how stale the company has been in the last 10/15 years. Stale also describe this match. Orton, in full Viper mode (meaning he does ridiculous overplayed maneurisms). Sheamus, who was the World champ back then already (!!!). Ted DiBiase Jr. (yeah, sorry, can't call him just Ted DiBiase). Three guys with zero charisma, dull look, dull work. The noughties black hole in all its glory. Kofi Kingston is there to bring another flavor I guess. He's like a worst RVD there. Crazy he's been in the company that long and having his best years with the New Day. Not too good sequence with Sheamus. HHH comes in and gets a big pop. He's clearly the biggest star next to Cena. Otherwise, the crowd really doesn't give much of a fuck. Trip is also the second best guy here. Behind Cena. Orton. ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz DiBiase. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz No blood hurt. No sick bump. No use of the gimmick really (except for that time where Orton & Dibiase tried to... hang Kofi on the fence ? Mmkay... that was awkward). Trip is taking the biggest bumps on the steel too. Old-school trooper. Cena finally brings life to this debacle of nothingness. Who cares about the order of elimination at this point. He wins. Then they re-do the old "Cena has to face a guy after winning the Chamber and lose his title". Wow. Creativity zero. Worst chamber match easily. Boring as fuck. Cena was the MVP. Followed by Trip, who put him over at the end. Post match was stupid and rehashed. (this is also the first time I really noticed annoying camera work... and Cena looking at the Mania sign... yeah, the 10's are there, for bett... well, for the worst)
  9. Which ones of these names are not like the other ? Damn, the match already sucks and we're only about the intros. Ok, it'll only get better. Cena vs Michaels to open the match, which is quite the great match-up. Damn, the crowd HATES Cena at this point. He still displays way more poise and charisma than Roman Reigns though, not to mention he works way, way better. Either of these two guys end up being the MVP of the match. Carlito comes in. Seriously ? Well, he does try to kill himself a few times in the structure, so that kinda makes up for the fact he's a goon and not a main-eventer by any stretch of the imagination. He's ok here. But who can believe he can win ? Angle inside his cell works better than Carlito. When he gets in, he gets into a frenzy of suplexes which gets tons of heat. Well, the match can only go down from here. Especially when Angle actually gets eliminated. Damn. So, Kane, without the mask, gets in and do what he does best, kills his opponent, the match and the heat. Then does the job. Hey, this guy made a career out of putting the fire out, which is kinda ironic considering his gimmick. So basically we get Masters & Carlito putting heat on the two tired babyfaces. Shawn also bleeds like it's Mid-South. Well... Masters & Carlito actually display ok work, but again, what's the point ? Ok, so Shawn actually does the job for Carlito. Holy shit. He has so much to be forgiven for. Cena does a masterful job out of selling (and bleeding too) for these two, as we're informed that they are the three youngest in the match also. Ok, so, New Generation and shit. Cena really is getting a real Hogan moment here, being double teamed by two goons who have no chance in hell of winning. I get why it can work though. Finish is actually pretty fun with Carlito betraying Masters and getting pinned in a craddle move himself too, a-la Bret Hart, by an exhausted Cena. Refreshing in an "only finishers matter" era. Well, really when you put everything together, despite the useless Kane spot and the lack of star power on the heel side, it was pretty well thought out. Especially since it leads to Edge cashing in on Cena and getting the title, which really came off as a hot moment. So yeah, I'd say overall, maybe the third best as a match but certainly was much better booked than the Goldy/HHH debacle, so I'd put it above this one. Surprisingly good, with two strong showings by Michaels & Cena and Angle delivering the hottest sequence. This gimmick can't seem to go wrong. Right ?
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