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Found 6 results

  1. Nothing says peak wrestling like two old out of shape dudes doing a tribute to the Battlarts/BJW feud at Wrestlemania. I liked this way more than I expected, the sloppiness made it feel really gritty like I like my pro wrestling to be. Ideally you'd want workers to know how to sell but the next best thing is for them to just get old enough where they're hurt for real and that's what we get here. I think my problem with a lot of WWE epics is that they try to be these super serious matches when they're actually super ridiculous but this match is such a trainwreck that the fact it's so preposterous and Michael Cole is trying to spout his usual bullshit somehow adds to it. It also features exactly zero nearfalls which is mindblowing for an Undertaker Wrestlemania match. Glad Undertaker was a UWF fanboy, those submission exchanges were a sight to behold and Shane managed to make The Rock's Scorpion Deathlock look like Choshu's. Shane's insane bump was great but it was maybe my fifth favourite thing about the match. Shane trying to cut the cell door and failing miserably was hilarious and so many offence in this match was just them slammig each other on the cage door, steel steps, hitting each other over the head with TV monitors etc. However insane it may sound I'm going with ***3/4 for this one. The finish couldn't have been more symbolic, Shane asks Taker to go at it some more and Taker's reaction is "fuck you it's not 1999 anymore we're going home".
  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. 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
  4. I usually don't review stuff when I watch it live at 5/6AM, and this probably deserves a rewatch, but I have some thoughts on it that I want to get out. My first impression was that it was a great match. The opening wasn't much but as soon as they found focus it became awesome, usually Undertaker's strikes are just a shallow gimmick that feel like a nod to his ego so he feels better about the MMA classes he takes, but here they actually looked good for a change AND had a build that made them feel important. It's not like every punch Undertaker threw was suddenly Sangre Chicana level but when it mattered (the apron counter and the sudden jab) they made for huge momentum shifts and looked great. Reigns is no stranger to ramping up the violence levels, and the no holds barred rules and Undertaker's sheer age made this really feel like a spectacle, you have a jacked man in his prime conditioned destroying a fifty year old man with chairshots, the visual is just so much stronger when it's two guys who looks identical doing the same. Even when you could see the spots coming (like when Undertaker got Reigns on the table) the execution was so good it hardly mattered or the set up was so phenomenal they made you want to see the spot you know was coming (Reign's consecutive punches to Undertaker and the way he got in his face before the Last Ride). And for matches that have a lot of nearfalls I think this one really got it, doing what RINGS and the high end juniors matches do in that it set up an ongoing narrative and then had the final spot be something extra that really made you think ok, THAT'S it and it should be and it was. And Reigns punching Undertaker out before running the ropes five times and spearing him was exactly that. I would have had it around ****. I've seen some people complaing about the post-match, but I don't really know what they were expecting. I think it perfectly fit into the match, Undertaker failing to kip-up was an amazing spot and his character ends his journey on a more humanizing note with embracing his wife and going out. Maybe some would have liked to see some mystical transformation into the ether with only Undertaker's hat remaining in the ring, but I don't think that would have complimented the match as well.
  5. WWE Champion Kurt Angle vs The Undertaker - Smackdown! 9/4/03 Another Kurt Angle match, I thought could have been a classic, but just veered off the tracks. I thought this was an absolutely fantastic Undertaker performance. He is clearly an MMA mark and loves wrestling Brock and Angle. I saw the pre-match promo to this and loved it. Taker says he will let Angle break his ankle and that he will combat Angle with his fists and then tap him out beating him at his own game. I loved how focused this was on strategies. I am such a mark for strategy-based pro wrestling and I think Undertaker was committed to the striker vs the wrestler in this. Angle was fine in the early going. I thought they did a great job putting over Taker's raw power early, but Angle was able to take him down at will. Then that huge soupbone that floored Angle. I loved Angle's selling of this and it really felt like a game changer. Taker goes to work using that power. Angle desperately grabs a sleeper, but Takers uses power again to counter with a slam. Taker runs through a hot series of moves only for the dreaded AngleLock to rear its ugly head. They trade minor finishers (Chokeslam, Olympic Slam) for a while and pepper in the AngleLock. i did like Taker's counters into an armbar and Triangle Choke at least they were unique and paid off that Taker wanted to make Angle submit. Lots of AngleLock reversals eventually Taker does get Last Ride, but Brock runs in. Really dug the opening wrestler vs striker and loved the commitment from the Taker promo, to commentary (Cole actually opened with asking Tazz about strategies) and Undertaker. Angle seemed content with just throwing shit out there and let his AngleLock reversals get cheap pops. Could have been great, but finish run and Brock run-in hurt this. Still a really entertaining TV match and great Undertaker performance. ***1/2
  6. The Background - Not many know this, but The Undertaker is hugely popular in India. Like, Bret Hart-in-Germany level popular. He has always been. So, they got Brian Lee to play The Undertaker in a Hindi movie, matching him up against one of the industry's most popular action stars, Akshay Kumar. He essentially played The Undertaker, a wrestler in an underground wrestling business. In this clip, he takes on Crush, who is sadly uncredited, in a fight literally to the death. It is a fun little match, although the psychology is all wrong - a Tombstone is treated as less dangerous than a drop toe hold, for instance. But it is worth checking out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3nPu5x9pLc P.S - I do not know if Pro Wrestling Mostly is the more appropriate forum for this, so if a moderator wants to move it to that forum, I will not complain.