Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

WWE TV That Wasn't Good Enough for Phil to Talk About, 11/2/09-11/19/09

So for a while WWE was putting out enough good-great matches every week to justify a "Fab Five WWE MOTW"...well, that stopped sometime in mid-October. The TV hasn't necessarily gotten bad, the matches just weren't up to the previous months' quality. So Phil lost interest in WWE TV (he's too busy watching that oh-so-difficult-to-understand brand of wrestling: lucha), but I kept on a-watchin'. So if you were wondering what WWE TV might have been worth checking out over the end of October to mid-November, look no further. I'll be doing one that also covers mid-November to the end of '09.

~Jamie Noble vs. Sheamus (Raw, 11/2/09)

Yeah, a lot of people don't like Sheamus. I have no issue with him, though. Yeah, he is really white and kinda transparent, and his hair sticks up and he has a manicured beard and is a creepy ginger. Yeah, that shit'll happen. Sometimes people bitch about seeing the same old guys in main events, then bitch when a creepy ginger guy gets pushed into the main event because he's smart enough to know who to fucking lift with. Whatever. This is just a squash, but I thought it was really great in establishing Sheamus. Noble was a freak here and it might have been his last match. He took a bunch of moves really dangerously, including a post match powerbomb on the floor that was really gross.

~Fit Finlay vs. Chris Jericho (Superstars, 11/5/09)

I think this ranks right up with the best of the Mysterio matches (and I was at the Bash match live). I think Jericho's best ring work since his return last year was his early-year matches with Jeff Hardy, and ever since then his work has been slowly dropping. I think he's a perfectly good worker, and he does his job fine, he's just not one I get as excited for anymore in singles matches (I do like the way he plays off Big Show in their tag team). But this was a fine singles match. Finlay is so damn good at making people's offense look killer, and really great at tiny little things. Jericho grabs a headlock takeover, Finlay doesn't just somersault into it, he goes down with some struggle, and really looks like he's fighting while in that headlock. Jericho grabs a dragon sleeper, Finlay punches his way out, like Couture stuck in Nogueira's d'arce choke. The way Finlay takes all of his offense really makes this work, and Finlay's fighting comebacks are a pure joy. This match gets almost 11 minutes, too, and Finlay for 11 minutes is guaranteed to rule.

~Mike Knox vs. Rey Mysterio (Smackdown, 11/6/09)

I love how these two match up. It's too bad Knox's little push seems to have evaporated. Rey is really great at having rad matches with really big guys, and this is no different. Knox mixes things up by absolutely leveling Rey early with his crossbody, this time on the floor. Every big move just levels Rey. Big shoulder blocks, big clothesline, abdominal stretch that really contorts Rey. And Rey is game for all the comebacks, and the crowd always responds. My beard is slowly but surely getting to Knox levels, much to my mother's chagrin (she wants to see my handsome face).

~C.M. Punk vs. R-Truth (Smackdown, 11/6/09)

Last year I was not a big fan of C.M. Punk. He was easily one of my least favorite workers in WWE. I could not get behind him and his really poor, ugly looking offense. But one heel turn later, and suddenly his ugly offense is totally awesome when combined with a bunch of smarmy looks and cocky mannerisms. Also like Scott Armstrong fast counting him because Punk was being a dick. Armstrong's facials were really strong.

~Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton (Raw, 11/9/09)

This was only 5 minutes and I wish Henry didn't have to lose so clean, but these guys matched up great for 5 minutes. When Orton tones down the rape-y stares and nose breathing he is really good, and Henry is just a beast. I'm constantly impressed by how great Henry makes opponents' offense look. Henry misses a huge elbow drop leading to the Orton stomp and that ruled. Henry also used a lot of really cool headbutts in this one. The finish was really neat, too, as Orton went for an improbable sunset flip, Henry grabbed him with both hands around the throat and dead-lifted him up, which Orton turned instantly into the RKO. Had that cool "out of nowhere" effect that people loved about the Diamond Cutter. Henry had this big smile like he was going to lay a furious beating on Orton as he dragged him up by the throat, then BAM.

~Matt Hardy vs. DH Smith (Superstars, 11/12/09)

Finally the return of the excellent 8-10 minute Matt Hardy weekly singles match! It's been all fucking year and they've only happened like three times, as opposed to 2007 and 2008 where they happened almost weekly. Hardy has had a kinda lousy year. Had a really great ECW match with Jack Swagger in January...then....a bland feud with Jeff? Maybe? I think there was a good match against Punk...anyway, THIS match was awesome and was right back to classic Matt Hardy TV Match Formula. Good nearfalls, good overhand rights, crowd heat. What more could you want out of a MHTVMF (<--no way is that catching on)?

~C.M. Punk vs. R-Truth (Smackdown, 11/13/09)

These two apparently match up well together. I don't remember enjoying any other Truth singles matches in WWE, yet here are two just a week apart from each other. I don't remember which one was better.

~Fit Finlay vs. Drew McIntyre (Smackdown, 11/13/09)

Yeah, it's kind of bullshit that it's only two minutes, but damn this was two hot minutes!! This felt far more complete than a lot of way longer matches. This was a heated brawl, and is Fit the only person on the brand who understands how awesome it is to punch your way out of submissions? Everybody else just kinda...stands up out of them, Finlay just fights his way out. McIntyre dishes the shillelagh beatdown afterwords and Finlay sells attacks to the stomach better than anybody.

~Undertaker vs. Chris Jericho (Smackdown, 11/13/09)

This was worlds better than their match a couple weeks later where Jericho applies the limpest chickenwing/chinlock I've ever seen for 2+ minutes of the total match length while Taker looks bored as shit while sitting in the worlds limpest chickenwing/chinlock for 2+ minutes. This had a bunch of fun moments and built nicely. I like Jericho cockily going for a tombstone, only to naturally be instantly reversed.

~Big Show/Chris Jericho vs. Undertaker/John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels/HHH (Raw, 11/16/09)

This was the best possible version of one of those "send the fans home happy" matches that I always leave early during to beat traffic. I would've stayed during this one, just to see if Show would get to punch Michaels. But this was fun, the fans were way into it, and we got some big time finisher exchanges. About as harmless as you can get, but it's nice when you can tell the workers are all having a fun time in a match.

~Mark Henry vs. Cody Rhodes (Superstars, 11/19/09)

Alright assholes, please find something to hate about Henry in this match. This match is based around Henry overpowering Cody, Cody working some real weak leg work (those stomps are some of the weakest in a major promotion), Henry making the leg work somehow look engaging, Henry selling a leg better than any other 400+ pounder I have ever seen (better than almost any person of ANY weight I have seen this year), and the crowd at MSG being CRAZY into Henry's perseverance. This was an awesome match, one of the best Henry singles of the year.


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