Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the dreamiest, ultraist, technocoloriest reviews in all the land, Cewsh Reviews! Now tonight we have a more than special treat for you as we do something that neither we, nor anyone we’re aware of, has done before. We gave Cewsh Reviews readers just like you the opportunity to submit matches that you wanted to see us review, and we stuck all the matches into Optimus Spud. After a vigorous shaking or two we were left with 8 matches to comprise our dream card review. Then we got our good buddy D1 to compile it all into a big ol’ show for us all to enjoy together. A show which you can download and enjoy in its entirety for yourself by following the handy download links here, here, and here.
So here you have it. You guys picked the matches, you guys made the card, and now you guys can sit back and watch with us as we take a tour through crazy town. If nothing else, it should be one helluva ride.
Cewsh: Wrestling is rarely compared to art.
Not that that is very surprising, really. The leading connoisseurs of the activity are predominantly young men who spend absurdly large portions of their time on the internet staring at oiled up men touching each other in familiar ways. It doesn’t exactly speak to the poetic soul of humanity. However maybe wrestling would be best described as a performance art. A pseudo sport where they attempt to tell you a story through their complex movements and graceful expressions. Most wrestlers would probably not like to have themselves confused with ballerinas, but in reality, they’re in the same line of work, separated only by status and violence.
Though if you’ve ever seen ballerinas fighting for the last celery stick after a long practice, you might not even see much of a difference at all.
The point I’m trying to make is that there are times when wrestling truly can aspire to artistic value. Sometimes it’s through telling a story that leaves white hot trails across your soul. Sometimes it’s by producing a work of such barbaric depravity that it is beautiful as a picture of pure, unrestrained chaos. And then there are some times when the simple grace of the performers themselves elevates the concept as a whole. And this is one of those times.
Here we have Rey Mysterio (pre-steroids) and Psychosis (pre-insanity) going head to head for probably the 8 billionth time in their lives. As a result of their familiarity and Rey’s once in a lifetime mix of daring and grace, these two put on a spectacle that has to be seen to be appreciated. Every move is perfectly executed, every leap is perfectly measured and every spot is so carefully orchestrated, that what you get is, indeed, a ballet.
They dance together for about 16 minutes, leaving plenty of time for the fans to go nuts and the announcers to get completely befuddled by what they are seeing.
And that’s another thing to consider here. This style of wrestling was so unique in the United States at this point in history, that they had to bring in an extra commentator with knowledge of lucha libre simply to develop the vocabulary to describe what they were seeing. A few of them (Tony Schivone and Dusty Rhodes) rise to the challenge by providing enthusiasm to cover their ignorance. Bobby Heenan just remains Bobby Heenan, and the mix of enthusiasm with Mike tenay’s backing narration leads to an even more exciting way to watch the match than usual. You truly get the feeling that the announcers, the professionals, are in awe of the great new thing right alongside you, and it’s a really fantastic thing to behold.
Ultimately Rey Mysterio wins this match with a spectacular reversal of a top rope crucifix powerbomb into a reverse hurracanrana, and if any of that makes sense to you than you’ve got the wrestling bug to an incurable degree. It was a spectacular conclusion to match that, while devoid of story or improvisation, is a testament to what wrestling could be on the other end of the spectrum from the accepted way. Wrestling this clean and neat will never be perfect, or even truly great. But it can be art. And here, it is.
88 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Vice: Aaah what a fun way to start a show.
This is the Rey Mysterio I grew up with and loved. He was tiny, he had awesome music, good look, mask, flew around the ring as if he was weightless, and he was just a treat to watch. At this point he was really young, so he wasn’t a very good worker at the time. It’s fairly obvious, because any time he isn’t flipping around, he’s absolutely clueless. He just stands around waiting for Psicosis to guide him. It’s very awkward at times, because Rey will get hit with something, spring right back to his feet, and literally just stand there as Psicosis slowly gets back to his feet, and then continue to stand there until he eventually gets a kick to the face. It’s pretty painful to watch, but..
..who the fuck cares? This match was super fast and fun, and there was so much goodness to it. I remember loving Psicosis because of his ridiculous look and how fluid he was in the ring. I also remember being let down by him because he could never ever win a match. And the first time I ever saw him win, it was for the title and I was quite shocked to say the least. I had high hopes that he’d hang onto the belt for a while, but he dropped it the following week. I was a sad Vice that day.
This match was ridiculously fun. Story-wise it wasn’t a masterpiece, but these two fucks were just flying all over the place and killing each other with ridiculous moves. It really did take me back to when I was a kid and in awe by the cruiserweights. Totally makes me wish that WWE and TNA would have a ton of luchadores to kick off every show.
And I really wish this Rey would come back. He’s a smarter worker now for sure, but shit, I hate his matches because they all just revolve around him awkwardly putting people into ridiculous positions so he can attempt to hit an absurd move. It’s painful. Truly painful.
Cewsh: I’m going to be honest with you here off the top. I have no idea why this match was requested, but we’ll attack it as viciously as any other. To arms!
Now this match is from the ECW days, and happened shortly after Sheamus’ debut into the WWE. One of his first feuds (if not his first) was with the wily veteran Goldust who didn’t much appreciate his brash attitude towards his elders. Sheamus is a complete unknown to the audience at this point, and him wrestling Goldust is sort of a big deal for him. Which is funny, since he’ll be main eventing pay per views just a few shorts years after this.
You can clearly see the building blocks that amounted to the Sheamus we know and love today here, as he does some wonderful cocky young heel work, throwing Goldust all over the place and gaining dominance with the vim and vigor of youth. However Goldust is one step ahead of the young ‘un at every turn, and with every offensive move that he lands, Dusty gets DEAFANING cheers from the crowd. I mean seriously, this match gets so much crowd reaction, that you would close your eyes and expect to see The Rock and fucking John Cena in there as Sheamus antagonizes them to death, and Goldust keeps their hopes alive.
After several minutes of Sheamus shutting him down at every turn, Goldy finally fires up his come back, peppering Sheamus with lefts and rights and all manner of unorthodox offense, but just when Goldy goes in for the kill, he gets absolutely wasted by a Pump Kick from the Celtic Assassin, and then he is put out of his misery with a vicious Uranage Backbreaker over one knee. The crowd absolutely explodes into boos and stops just short of throwing shit into the ring as Sheamus walks off with a big victory. One that he would continue building on until he became WWE Champion much sooner than anyone could have expected.
This was a really good television match. Sheamus looked like a star in the making, and the crowd made Goldust look like Stone Dust Steve Austin. It was limited, inevitably, by only getting television time, but these guys really had a surprising match here that really showed what both of them could be when given the chance.
So in summary, I don’t know why this match got chosen, but whoever chose it has some good taste.
75 out of 100.
Vice: It was very fun going back and watching this. When I first saw Sheamus, I thought he’d be gone in a few weeks. Then he stuck around a bit longer and I thought he was pretty lame. Then he took the title off of Cena via WHOOPS, which as much as I enjoy Cena not being champion, I thought it was way too soon for him to win it, and he wasn’t very over, nor did he have much star potential. But since then, he’s become a star. Now here’s the interesting part. Watching this, it could be like I was watching it live. It was the Sheamus of today and he looked and acted like a star in this match. So.. what the fuck? Was he a star this entire time and I was too much of an idiot to see it? Now that he has become a star, has it somehow skewed the way I see him? Who knows, but Sheamus was awesome here.
I was also insanely impressed b y Goldust. I’ve always enjoyed his character and of course his entrance/theme, but I’ve never thought much of him as a worker. And for years I thought he was in fairly bad shape, especially in TNA. It was awful. I had heard good things about him since this return, but hadn’t actually seen him. I was absolutely shocked. Has he ever been in this good of shape? Seriously, he looked phenomenal out there. And he was wrestling awesome. It was all sorts of weird watching this.
This was everything you could want in a TV main event. They get a good amount of time, and both guys came out looking like a million bucks. When I saw this match suggested, my initial thought was “..uh.. really?” but it turned out to be very enjoyable and would have made a very solid PPV match.
What is plotiplop you may ask? Why, it’s the sound of my BRAIN EXPLODING IN MY SKULL FROM THE SKULL FUCKING IT RECEIVED WHILE WATCHING THIS MATCH.
I can’t believe this match ever took place. No, I can’t believe this idea ever came to fruition. NO, I can’t believe that a brain synapse actually fired that communicated that this was a good fucking idea, much less the ones that had to agree and work on it to make it possible. Right now, ladies and gentlemen, you are staring down what I believe to be the single worst wrestling match ever contested. There has never been another 0 awarded in Cewsh Reviews history, and frankly I doubt that there will ever be again. This is the bottom of the curve. The match by which all other matches will be compared. The absolute bottom of the wrestling barrel now and forever.
So how does a match get to be called the worst match of all time? Well there are a number of factors. Let’s tick them off.
1. The feud. These two people are fighting because The Big Boss Man stole Al Snow’s dog, killed it, and fed it to Al Snow without his knowing until it was too late. Process that for a moment. Boss Man MURDERED A PUPPY AND FED IT TO THE OWNER. Fuck a wrestling match, that shit would have PETA so far up his ass that they could use him as a sock puppet to terrify children. That, of course, led to…
2. A cage match inside of a Hell in a Cell, with the intervening space surrounded by vicious attack dogs.
Now perhaps if you directed 8 seconds of thought at this idea you could begin to pick some holes in the logic. Like “Hey Cewsh, how do you fake vicious attack dogs assaulting you?” To which the answer is apparently…
3. The attack dogs are in no way vicious. Not only are they not vicious, they’re downright friendly. Especially the ones that randomly start humping mid match, and the one who decides it is the perfect time to evacuate its bowels all over the mat. In fact, they’re SO not vicious, that at one point Al drops to the floor RIGHT NEXT TO THEM and runs away terrified, only to look back and see that they hadn’t even noticed him.
So with the dogs not cooperating, they improvise by having…
4. The most boring match of all time. Punch. Kick. Punch. Kick. Are the dogs mean yet? Fuck. Punch. Kick. Punch. Kick. Alright let’s get some weapons. Chairshot. Kick. Chairshot. Kick. Climb the cage. Randomly stop for no reason. Kick. Naturally, of course, this match is improved by Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler…
5. Trying desperately to make this seem like a life and death situation. JR tries so hard to make this all seem like a big deal that he comes off as completely delusional, or at the very least blind. King tries help him out for awhile before finally having a nervous breakdown and totally ignoring the match to talk about what the dogs are doing. Which is fine because…
6. Dogs fucking is more fun to watch than this match, When it finally ends after about 8 years, everyone involved involuntarily burst into tears. We have seen the void, and it stared back into us, making us feel…
7. So cold. So, so cold. I’m scared, Vice. Hold me.
0 out of 100.
Vice: I’m going to get this out of my system right now. TNA gets shat on a ton for having silly gimmick ideas that go down rather poorly. However, no matter how bad they are, both in concept and execution, they will never, and I mean ever, be as bad as this. Steel cage matches are generally pretty good and it’s a match type that’s been around for decades. Hell in a Cell? Awesome. You can do a lot within the cell. Put the two of them together with the right participants with the right story, and you could have something truly epic.
By right participants and the right story, I don’t mean Al Snow and Big Bossman fighting over the fact that Bossman killed Snow’s dog Pepper and fed it to him. I honestly wish I was making this up. Oh yeah, did I mention that there were ATTACK DOGS between the cage and the cell? Yeah. Why did Snow and Bossman get a match like this? And who thought it was a good idea?
Now, about the dogs, there is one thing I liked about the concept of them. Nowadays 99% of things in WWE are planned and choreographed to absolute perfection, which I think sucks most of the time, but in this match they went with a variable and something that they did not have complete control over. And I liked that. Sure it backfired to a laughable degree, but hey.
This right here was just everything wrong with wrestling. While watching it, I got flashbacks of IWA:MS main events featuring amazing indy phenoms like IAN ROTTEN and VIPER. Man, the dogs were the dumbest thing in the world. All they did was piss, hump, and actually run away from the wrestlers. I don’t think a single one of them even barked or tried doing anything other than shamefully hide their own faces, realizing just how fucking stupid this match was. That’s right. THE FUCKING DOGS WERE EMBARRASSED TO BE A PART OF THIS MATCH. DOGS. EMBARRASSED. These are creatures that constantly slobber, hump inanimate objects, bury their faces in everyone’s crotch, eat whatever you throw on the floor, eat out of the trash can, eat the feces of other animals, and roll around on the floor fellating themselves in front of guardians and strangers without a hint of shame. But they were embarrassed to be a part of this match. That is how bad this was.
Not a single person in the arena gave a shit, and I give props to JR and King for their commentary, because if I had to commentate this, it would have turned out very differently.
Vice: Watching this match took me back to when I truly stopped giving a shit about ROH, because this is right about it. Danielson was magnificent in ROH, and I despised Gabe booking the age old title vs. career match with Homicide. Homicide wasn’t going anywhere, so he was going to win it. And I’ve always thought he should be the Tommy Dreamer of ROH in a way, in that he’ll always be so over that he doesn’t ever need the belt, and you can build fantastic stories about how close he gets. So yeah, Homicide takes the title which ends Danielson’s reign of title defenses that were so good, that they make you believe in god. Or if you already believe in god, you point your finger at Danielson and say “hey! there he is!”. Homicide wins the title and then gets utterly spanked by Takeshi Morishima. It pissed me off because he was a nobody in ROH and it was basically just Gabe fulfilling his Japanese fantasies. See, Gabe was just a giant mark for Japanese wrestlers. He’d constantly bring them into ROH, have them take down all their top guys, along with the rest of the roster, and then they’d go back to Japan and that’s that for the most part. It was such bad booking, because as good as he was at making their guys look like the absolute best in the world in their promotion, ANYONE else just happily walks in and destroys them. So, fuck that. Morishima should not have won the title.
One very important thing to note here is that this is a 20 minute match, and within like 5 or 6 minutes Danielson takes a nasty kick to the face which more or less shatters his eye socket and actually detaches his retina. Immediately after the kick, you can tell that he’s in legitimate pain and isn’t just selling really well. They could have easily wrapped the match up within a minute or three, making Morishima look like the monster he needed to be, and sparing Danielson’s health to which the fans would 100% understand. However, Danielson wrestles another 15 minutes with the big man from Japan and isn’t afraid to take nasty forearms and clubs to the face, along with a number of other power moves. It just goes to show how passionate he is about wrestling and how goddamn professional he can be. When he’s not choking a bitch with a tie and spitting in the face of WWE’s golden boy, of course.
This was a match that got a ton of praise back when it first came about, even earning the coveted Match of the Year award by Meltzer/Wrestling Observer in 2007. So you can imagine that this is a pretty damn good match.
Or was it?
Aside from Danielson’s courage adding a ton to the match, I actually found it really boring and tedious this time around. Not that I thought it was amazing the first time I saw it, but it hasn’t aged well at all in my eyes. There’s definitely some good stuff in here, especially how stiff these two are at times, and these two tell a fairly good story.. but there’s just nothing that really made me FEEL, which I find absurd considering that Danielson is legitimately in a lot of pain and fighting his heart out.
I was very underwhelmed by all of it, which makes sense because these kinds of things drove me away from ROH, which used to be my favorite wrestling company by a gigantic margin. Shame.
If this is the best match of 2007, then 2007 was a really bad year.
Cewsh: So Vice tells me that this was the Wrestling Observer’s Match of the Year for 2007. Which is weird, because I knew Dave Meltzer was a hack, but I didn’t know that he actively smoked crack. I guess THAT is a wrestling scoop that you can say that Cewsh Reviews broke first.
Now this match happened at an interesting time in Ring of Honor’s history. In my opinion Ring of Honor, as a promotion, peaked a few months earlier with the epic push and eventual championship crowning of Homicide, as the heart of ROH finally won the title that had always eluded him. He beat Danielson and it was one hell of an emotional moment, and the end of the first chapter in ROH history. Then about a month later Homicide got totally jobbed out to some fat Japanese guy who nobody had ever heard of before, and who then proceeded to run roughshod over the entire promotion for months to come. This is the turning point in ROH history, and the moment that people (namely me) point to as being the beginning of the absolute freefall in the promotion’s quality that would lead to the mega push of Tyler Black and the mega firing of Gabe Sapolsky.
The other story to go along with this match is the fact that about 2 seconds into it, Morishima knocks Danielson’s eye out of the goddamn socket, and Danielson spends the rest of the match as Petey the One Eyed Wrestler. Not that either guy takes this as a sign to wrap thing up or stop having Morishima hit Danielson directly in the face with elbows and clothesline or anything. They go ahead and have a 20 minute match that was anything but exciting, and which featured everything that turned me off about ROH in the first place.
I know I’m biased here. I admit it from the get go. But this whole “Let’s have a 20 minute match with 8,000 near falls in every title match forever no matter what or who is involved” thing ran thin months (if not years) before this match took place, and Danielson’s eye eyedness and Morishima’s relative inexperience make this a slow paced awkward affair, with nobody leading and nobody following, and no destination in sight. This was not a good match. I’ve seen these two have good matches, and this was not one of them. Whether you attribute that to me not drinking the Kool Aid, or to me not liking the ROH philosophy after 2005 is something for you to decide for yourself, but if you’re going by my score avoid this match.
Flavor Flav once suggested that I “Don’t Believe The Hype”. In this matter, as in so many others, I will do as he says. I suggest you do too.
56 out of 100.
Cewsh: Let’s go to the photographic evidence.
Cewsh: Man, how weird is this?
Part of the fun of reviewing old matches and shows is coming face to face with people who are prominent now back when they were in their larvae stage. So when this match came down the pipe, I was beside myself with excitement to go back and see how all four of these huge stars from today looked and wrestled back in the day. Boyyyyyyy have things changed. Jeff is sober, Matt is skinny, Christian has that ridiculous long hair, and Edge is a fucking stick figure. Totally bonkers.
Anyhow, down to business. This match is the finals of a best of 5 series between these two tags teams where the winner will get $100,000 and the, ahem, services of Miss Terri Runnels. This is also, to my knowledge, the very first tag team ladder match ever contested on PPV. ALSO there’s the small story in the background where Edge and Christian used to be members of the Brood, but were uprooted for Jeff and Matt, son Gangrel supports his new boys for all of 10 seconds before he gets ejected and is no longer a factor. But at least we get the entrance!
Once these guys get going I can’t even begin to relate to you all the things that they do. Every move in their arsenal is incorporated with ladders, and they come up with some spots that I’m still shocked by 11 years later. Jeff’s seesaw attack with the ladders propped up still makes my jaw drop, and his sky high leg drop jumping from one ladder over another is an image I’ll never forget. These guys destroy themselves to give us the ultimate car crash, and no matter how many times you see it, it just never loses its luster. This is an entirely insane thing to behold, and is made even more incredible when you consider how absolutely botch free the entire thing is. The chemistry and preparation here is so strong that it is almost shockingly smooth. This is the ladder match perfection that every such match has been chasing ever since.
They didn’t tell a story, and they didn’t need one. This is the match that made four stars that we still watch every week to this very day. Name another match off the top of your head that you can say that about. This match is a piece of history.
And Gangrel was fucking rad.
90 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal Of Approval.
Vice: This match makes four people in under 20 minutes. When the match starts, no one in the arena gives much of a shit. With almost 19,000 people in the crowd, you’d think there’d be at least SOME noise. But no. It shows how little the people really cares about these guys at the moment. I once played a game of chess against a random guy in a park with about 5 people watching, and those 5 people made more noise for a pawn getting taken out than 19,000 people made for these guys beating the shit out of each other with ladders. Entirely true story, too. I’m actually fairly good at chess. And, ladies, I’m single. Call me xoxo.
It’s only a matter of time, though, before the crowd starts waking up. And not only do they wake up, they catch fire, and erupt for EVERYTHING that happens as they are now completely eating out of the hands of each contestant in this match. Every single person was silent at the beginning, and every single person was jumping up and down screaming and giving standing ovations at the end. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an incredible change in the span of a single match before.
This was just a damn good ladder match. I think as wrestling fans we’ve all been conditioned for ridiculously crazy spots in these kinds of matches that going back and watching a match like this can seem fairly.. underwhelming. There was nothing HUGE that happened here. No 20 foot ladders. No craziness. When the match was over, I just kind of said “..oh” in my head and sat there with a blank face as I tapped my finger on my desk. Then about a minute and a half later, as if a large animal whacked me in the balls with its paw, it just hit me how great the match was. It didn’t rely on holy shit moments, super contrived spots, and all the other things that plague a lot of gimmick matches these days. It was just well amazingly executed for what it was, and four stars were created here, and it helped shape the future of WWE.
It’s also amazing to see how sane Jeff Hardy looked (all things considered), and how fucking thin and in shape Matt is. Wow. I’ll take this Matt Hardy over the Fatt Hardy of today. Ugh. He just looks so slimy. In a number of ways.
Cewsh: Oh boy. Booker vs. Buff. The very first WCW match ever aired on WWE television (technically). To hear the rumors tell it, this was the match that the entire Invasion angle was banking on. See, the theory is that WWE intended to give WCW their own show, and let the WCW get themselves over on their own program, leading to supercard match ups down the line at Wrestlemania and the like. It was never proven that that was the plan, but if it was, then this is generally considered to be the match that fucked the whole thing up. This whole affair is viewed by smarks as some kind of cross between David Arquette winning the WCW title and Buff Bagwell taking a dump on your mom’s chest (that’s totally her thing). So now, thanks to a malicious match suggestion, Vice and I are forced to view this abomination in wrestling history.
Wanna hear a secret?
Are you sure?
Are you suuuuuuure?
This really isn’t bad at all.
I know, anathema to the internet wrestling fan that it is, the reality is that it is just a pretty good tv match. Perhaps it needed to be this grandiose thing to justify the enormously ridky direction that they allegedly wanted to go with it, and obviously Buff Bagwell is the wrong guy to sell anyone on anything, including Buff Bagwell. But what actually happened on my screen was Booker T being the great babyface that I know and love from the era,
and Buff being so ridiculously over the top that I couldn’t help but grin watching him.
Of course the WWE guys come out and beat up Booker, and Buff randomly joins with them to kick Booker’s ass. Which doesn’t make any sense really, but hey, why not?
People have a ton of very strong feelings about the WCW Invasion angle. I get that. And there isn’t a whole lot that my opinion may do to change that. But when it comes to the match that happened in that ring on that night, I think we need to let go of some of our ridiculous memories and see what was actually there.
Or maybe everything seems just better after the Kennel From Hell.
64 out of 100.
Vice: AND HERE. WE. GO.
When people think of terrible matches that are an embarrassment to this [strike]sport[/strike] soap opera, one that’s generally towards the top of the list is this match right here. This is a historic match because it was WCW having the main event slot on Monday Night RAW after being bought out by WWE. Lots of people trash the Invasion angle because the lack of big names that came from WCW. Hogan, Sting, Goldberg, Flair, Nash, Hall, Savage,.. all of them were nowhere to be found for one reason or another. Booker was the biggest star, and basically everyone below him was a jobber. Buff Bagwell happened to be the guy challenging Booker T in the main event. Yes, the best they could do was Buff Bagwell.
And these two go out and completely stink up the place with a dreadful match tha– wait a tick. Where was the awful match here? Serious question. Yeah it’s shit that Bagwell was one of the representatives of WCW, but these two guys didn’t actually put on a bad match. It wasn’t a good match by any means, but it sure as hell isn’t the absolute stinker that everyone else makes it out to be. Kinda baffling, really.
Sure it basically foreshadowed how clunky the Invasion was to become, but hey, these guys shouldn’t be punished and ridiculed. They put on a perfectly acceptable TV match, which was hurt by the crowd not knowing much about them and thus not really giving a shit. And correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t they going to be in HOTLANTA the next week, where the WCW guys would have been treated like heroes? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to have WCW main event that show? Then again, that’d be smart and it wouldn’t be sabotaging WCW.. so.. yeah. Made sense for them to have this match when they did.
Cewsh: What a fun goddamn match this was.
Here he get our second dose of Edge, and this one is even older than the last, as this is back in the days when he was being pushed as a mysterious singles wrestler who wore eyeliner and was, well, mysterious. Here he’s wrestling his first really high profile match against Owen Hart on PPV, and while I think Owen is technically supposed to be some sort of heel here, the people don’t give a fuck and are cheering the FUCK out of him. As well they might. Unfortunately they wouldn’t get the chance to enjoy him for much longer.
The action here is fast and furious, and really puts Edge on the map almost immediately, as he dominates the majority of it.
I really can’t think of a time from that era where an up and comer was given 17 minutes to tell a story and get themselves over in the ring like this, so it’s really cool to see Owen absolutely putting Edge over as his equal, and having a fantastic match in the process. Towards the end, Edge appears to have the upper hand until a mysterious figure (guess who!) with long blonde hair and glasses steps out of the crowd and stares coolly at him, allowing Hart to steal the victory. And just like that they’re made a new star and introduced an interesting new character in one segment. I may be sort of generally anti-Attitude Era, but that, boys and girls, is great booking.
Great match, great booking, and good times. That pretty much tells you everything you need to know.
84 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal of Approval.
Vice: I really have to go back and watch more Owen. I saw him weekly back when I watched RAW as a lad, and I thought he was pretty great. I was at a house show one time and he was cutting a promo, and I yelled out “SHUT UP, NUGGET” at the top of my lungs and he turned around and looked in my direction with a little smirk on his face. It was great, and the first time I ever really “interacted” with a wrestler. Later I’d give a nod to Tony Mamaluke on his way to the bathroom, have Rocky Romero tell me he hated me, and have Homicide throw someone into the guard rail I was sitting next to, bashing it into my knees that are held together by duct tape.
Owen is a fantastic wrestler. I’d say he was just as good as Bret in the in-ring department, plus a ton more charisma and personality. And better music. Sure he broke Austin’s neck, but hey, it worked out for both.
This was a really fun match. Nothing spectacular, but just really entertaining to watch. Plus at the end, Christian shows up for the first time and stares at Edge in a very simple, but extremely effective debut. More people need to debut like that. They don’t have to be family members or anything, but just have some crazy new person come out and eye someone else down. That or just have them debut and go undefeated for a few months! That worked nearly a decade and a half ago with Goldberg, so surely it’d work now.
Good shit here. RIP, Owen.
Vice: Originally the Halo match between Matthew and I was going to be a part of this event as a bonus feature because his lawyers intervened and demanded it be put on display for everyone, but guess what? We have better lawyers, and they ruined his lawyers as badly as I ruined him in that game. Eat it, Matthew.
Cewsh: I concur.
Cewsh: Ah, the Hell in a Cell. Long has it been pretty much the definitive WWE gimmick match, and they seem like they’ve been around forever. Yet here we have the very first one, and it’s only just a teenager. Ah, memories.
Now while you may remember the match, what you may not remember so crystal clear is the storyline leading into it. See, at this point Shawn Michaels is a cocky heel champion who is pretty much an insufferable prick both on and off screen. He has D-Generation X off and running with Triple H, Chyna and Rick Rude, and Bret Hart has been packaged off to WCW, so things are pretty much looking up for him in the company. Little did he, or anyone else really, know that this feud would cause him to need serious back surgery and would end his career for a good long while, much less that the Undertaker would OFFICIALLY end his career in the space age year 2010. Man history has a funny way of sneaking up on you.
Anyhow, so Shawn is a huge twat, so the Undertaker manipulated him into a match of Taker’s choosing, and he chose the debut of this Hell in a Cell concept, so that DX couldn’t interfere and so that Shawn couldn’t get away. I’m sure he’s glad he did, too, because for the better part of this match, Shawn tries his damndest every which way to escape the Undertaker’s wrath to absolutely no avail, including a plunge through the announce table while hanging off the cage that was the biggest bump of the decade, before Mick Foley trumped it by a billion a year later.
If you’ve seen these guys wrestle before, you know that the chemistry has always been there. Shawn takes every bump like he’s getting shot out of a cannon, and the Undertaker is such a rare combination of size, speed and presence, that it feels like Shawn is fighting for his goddamn life out there. They go back and forth in an absolutely epic contest, until the lights go out and Paul Bearer emerges trailing the Undertaker’s much talked about, but never seen brother. Kane.
Taker seems in awe of the spectacle of this big red bastard, and Kane wastes no time making an impression, as he rips the door off of the goddamn cell and climbs into the ring.
With Taker still clearly shaken by his appearance, Kane takes the opportunity to shoot some flames and Tombstone his brother, allowing Michaels to get the afterthought pin and remain the champion. For today at least.
This has long been heralded as one of the greatest matches of all time, and almost indisputably the best Hell in a Cell match of all time. Now I don’t necessarily agree with either of those assertions, the this really illustrates the best that the Attitude Era had to offer. Two over wrestlers with complex characters meeting in a great match (one of the handful from the day), and some shenanigans that only added to the story that the match was telling. Finally topped off with an ending that left you with more questions than answers and a burning need to see what happens next. This is a strong, strong, strong match, and probably my favorite from the time period, and the history that comes after it, only serves to add another layer of importance and meaning to an already excellent match experience.
So, in closing, it doesn’t suck.
93 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Download Seal Of Approval .
Vice: This match was given five stars by The Meltz and is generally regarded as one of the best matches in WWE history. Some go on to say that it is THE best match. To that I say no. I wouldn’t even consider it the best hell in a cell match, because I still think Lesnar/Undertaker is better. However, I’ve seen this match two or three times now and it does get better with each viewing, so maybe I just need to watch it like 10 more times to fully get it.
There’s a ton of goodness here, though. Since it was the first hell in a cell, everything about it was fresh at the time and it’s still fresh now, which shows how good it is and how well they worked with the gimmick. It was put together amazingly creatively. When I was talking with Cewsh as we watched this, he mentioned how they had no idea how to film such a thing, because there were wacky camera angles, the camera men kept getting in the way, and it generally just felt like a mess. To me, this is awesome and showed just how fucking crazy this match really was. It wasn’t perfectly produced like the cell matches these days. No, this was just all over the place and made the match seem so much more barbaric and chaotic.
Plus, it actually worked into the match very well. At one point, Shawn gets flung into camera man and it looks like it’s a complete accident at first, but then Shawn goes nuts and starts beating the shit out of the poor guy while he’s down. This leads to the ref being escorted out, which means that Shawn can get the fuck out of there and they can go on top of the cell and all of that. It was just so perfectly done, and Shawn plays it perfectly. The second the door is opened, you can practically see his exact train of thought and his desperation to escape, because let’s face it, nobody wants to be stuck in a cell with Taker.
I loved the use of the chair(s) in this match. It’s what got the feud going, and they made damn sure to hammer it home. Weapons were kept to a minimum, which was nice, because it was about Shawn not wanting to be in there and not both men wanting to kill each other. It’s kind of crazy to think that it was only a few months ago that these guys were main eventing Wrestlemania together, and just how much fucking history and how many great matches these two have put on together.
So yeah, this match was pretty much perfect for what it needed to be, and was executed very well. It holds up amazingly well even after so many years that it really cements itself as an all-time classic. Oh yeah, and some big dude clad in red shows up here for the first time. It’s gotta be Kane! Ripping the cell door off was rather immense. I giggled when he did the tombstone piledriver though. I think it’d have been more effective had he just tombstoned the shit out of Taker, but instead he did the Tommy Dreamer piledriver. You know, the one where Dreamer picks up the girl in the short skirt and sniffs her thongy camel toe (and nip slips) to each side of the arena and then drops them down. Kane is a perv. Man I miss old Kane though. Such a great look, such great mannerisms, everything. Ugh. I was such a huge mark for the bastard.
Cewsh: What a fun experiment this turned out to be.
We got to see some stuff we never expected, and we got to set the record straight on a few things from the past. And, naturally, WE HAD TO WATCH DOGS TAKING A SHIT FOR YOU BASTARDS.
Ahem. Err, I apparently have a new set of anger issues stemming from this. But that’s besides the point. Remember tonight’s overall show score, because the next time we do one of these go rounds, we’ll be comparing the two shows that you guys created and grading YOU on your booking abilities. It’s a two way street, baby, and we’re inconsiderate drivers.
Vice: Overall, this was a very good fan selected show. When Cewsh and I planned this out, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. You guys had the opportunity to completely torture us, but thankfully that was kept to a minimum, and instead gave us some really good fun matches. For that, I thank all of you. I’m hoping we get to do this again.
And seriously, everyone should thank d1 for compiling all the matches. He did a fantastic job and not only gave you all something spiffy to watch, but, well, he also saved me a ton of time putting it together and rendering/uploading it, and saved us a lot of time trying to hunt all these matches down. Thank you, d1. The Mega Man DVD is yours if you want it, good sir.
Well that’ll do it for us this week boys and girls. We hope you enjoy the show that you made yourselves, and we hope it got you charged up to do another one in the future, and we’ll keep you posted on when. Next week with have something altogether unexpected, as we review Ring Of Honor’s Death Before Dishonor VII, main evented by none other than Tyler Black, Davey Richards, and Gabe Sapolsky’s erection. The reason we are subjecting ourselves to this is because people have been screaming from the rooftops that those two had one of the best matches in years, a feat so unlikely that they may have flown off on magical wish granting dragons afterwards. So we’ll cover that and let you decide for yourself, and in the meantime make sure you keep reading, and be good to one another.