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[2000-07-03-WWF-Raw] Jeff Hardy vs Val Venis

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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. ***

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Jeff’s shirt is an embarrassment. Heel in my book just based off of that. They are really trying with Val and the revamping of this character but the crowd is just not responding at all. He mixes in some nice looking shots to the stomach of Jeff and Jeff is able to generate some sympathy but the match overall was not much. Lita and Trish go after each other again and Tazz interjects himself into the match taking out Jeff. Val ends up winning with the Money Shot. Still no idea where they are headed with the Tazz storyline. *1/2

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I don't know. Venis is just not terribly compelling. His work is fine and well-executed but it's right about the crowd just not coming around on him. Jeff starts out crazy and hits a fun dive then kind of botches a rail run thing before getting hotshotted onto the steel stairs. The crowd is super into Jeff and this kind of breaks down toward the end with shenanigans but this was okay. Jeff has shown between this and the Benoit match that he can at least be serviceable at this point playing a sympathetic fiery babyface kind of in over his head against more established guys or superior "wrestlers."

 

**1/2

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Not sure what happens on the opening spot, it looks like one was supposed to go for the lock up while the other ducks under, but as it is both duck under and the spot just looks plain wrong. Dropkick by Jeff, as he runs at Val to follow up on it though he gets hotshotted across the top rope which is becoming a staple spot in the WWF at the moment. Val with the charge, but Hardy backdrops him over the top and to the outside. Somersault senton to the floor! Whip into the ring post was reversed and Jeff was supposed to leap off the ring steps and onto the barricade, run around the railing and nail Val with a clothesline. Unfortunately he doesn’t manage it, slipping off the railing and failing at the first hurdle. Press slam by Val dropping Jeff chest first onto the steps before he suplexes him back into the ring. Some ground and pound from the ‘Big Valbowski’ as the commentators talk about his new found aggressiveness. He slaps on a version of the full nelson, using his legs instead of his arms, but when Hardy rolls back and turns it into a pinning predicament, he’s forced to let go of the hold. Nice double underhook suplex for a two. Jeff fires back with some rights and the crowd wakes from their slumber. Sleeper hold that Val counters with a ‘Blue Thunder Driver’ for a razor thin close fall. There’s no-one home on the middle rope elbow and after an Arabian moonsault Val puts his foot over the ropes to stop the count. Inverted ‘twist of fate’, ‘Swanton bomb’ and Trish is up on the apron distracting ref Teddy Long. Lita is around and pulls her down, but while Long is dealing with the women on the outside, Tazz has sneaked into the ring and chokes Jeff out with the ‘Tazzmission’. ‘Money shot’ by Val and he picks up the win.

 

I found this night and day away from Jeff’s match against Chris Benoit and it goes to show that he’s still got some way to go as a single. The opening was really scrappy and I found parts of this dull, especially Venis’ control section. It felt like the audience agreed as they were dead to all this, only coming alive on Jeff’s comeback. Kane the other week, Jeff Hardy this, Tazz has clearly got a bee in his bonnet about something as he continues to interfere in matches and attack the faces.

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