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Loss

[1998-07-24-OMEGA] Hardy Boys vs Venom & Shane Helms

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Venom is DVDVR favorite Joey Abs, and now I can finally see him and see what all the hoopla was about at the time.

 

I thought this was a great, if flawed, tag team match given plenty of time to develop. The Hardys dominated for a long time in the early part of this match, to the point that I think the Heel In Peril stuff may have gone a little long. But once this got cooking with Jeff as FIP, it really got cooking. These guys are definitely working for heat, but they aren't pandering for it, and they are also incorporating modern highspots into the usual tag formula. This was looking like a group of young guys that had a different outlook on heat and athleticism when it started, one where the attempts to do the heel/face stuff are very much still there, but because kayfabe is eroded, it has to be more subdued than it would have been ten years earlier. But then they brought in a table for the finish and lost me. I'll give them credit for at least making it a finish when they did the big table spot, but a well-worked 30-minute tag team match laid the groundwork for a finish much different than that.

 

This is excessive, but not in the way people often associate 90s wrestling with excess - this is less guys doing a bunch of stupid stuff and more guys who are obviously full of ideas and overreaching in some ways because they are so enthusiastic about what they are doing. The stuff they're doing is great, but they are cramming ideas that would get them through three or four big matches into one match. I still loved this in spite of that. I even found it endearing, if only because it felt like they were making a statement. But I'd be remiss if I didn't point it out.

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Really long tag match where I got a MX vs.. RNR vibe from in the structure with the faces getting a long SHINE and then a huge FIP segment. It drug at points but it was admirable seeing this type of tag worked on the indies and mixing in athletic spots likes Jeff's dive to the outside that got the crowd going crazy. Venom also wiped out huge on a dive from the top. I didn't love chunks of this match but I really appreciated the work going into it and thought it was really good overall and kept my attention for the durations. (***1/2)

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They ruined (or at least diminished) a good tag match with that ridiculous table spot. Why bring the action to a screeching halt after Matt Hardy took the hot tag? I agree this was the first time, at least in our '90s review, that the Hardys' potential was fully evident. They could have trimmed some fat from the first 10 minutes of the match, but their double-team stuff looked good, and Jeff already made a compelling face in peril. I just can't get past that wretched decision at the end. I agree with Loss that the bad choices were more indicative of young guys trying to be great than of total cluelessness. But the result was the same. At least the match ended with the big spot.

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This just kept going and going and going for me, and while I understand these guys are all young the sloppiness and lousy fundamentals ended up taking me out of the match. They had a sense of a story structure here, to their credit, and ended things at the right time with the big table spot to a big pop. It probably says more about me than about OMEGA that I'd rather watch 500 matches involving those Anderson clones from the earlier indy match than another match of these four.

 

Edit: Venom takes time after the match to address JEFFREY NERO HARDY. Ha! The endless mic spots both before and after the match further killed my mood, though.

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