Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

WWE Road Report, 3/14/10, San Francisco

As usual, since Vince is a big fan of IWRG write-ups, he floated a couple free tickets our way (he is a shockingly huge Arlequin fan, go figure). I've had some pretty fond memories of wrestling at the Cow Palace, from Eddy winning the title from Brock at No Way Out, to an awesome Rey/Eddy house show match, to that spectacular disaster that was the '07 wrestling convention that ROH came out for. Good times. One thing that I'll always cherish about that No Way Out event, is that it drew 11,000 people...and the Cow Palace didn't start letting people into the building until about 15 minutes before show time. Ah, memories. The line wrapped alllll the way around the very large parking lot and was probably the most impressive line I've ever waited in. So imagine my surprise and glee when we walk up to the Cow Palace...only to find the exact same line greeting us!! There weren't 11,000 people at this show, yet somehow the line started at just about the same place. We were cutting it pretty close and got in line with about 15 minutes to show time, and I was getting really panicky that we would miss the Goldust match. But hey, things worked out, we got to our lovely seats halfway through the first match, and we were surrounded by a whole bunch of kids who love the professional wrestling. There is no better people to be surrounded by at a wrestling show than kids. They're way into the product, their excitement is contagious, and they don't make smart mark comments. I was able to record a few of the matches for YOU the loyal reader, so enjoy!

1. Hart Dynasty vs. R-Truth/John Morrison

We were walking in during the last 3 minutes of this one, so I don't have too much to report on it. Morrison, to the shock of nobody, overshot Kidd with the Starship Pain for the finish. If I was Morrison, and I overshot my finisher for the 55th straight time, I'd like to think by time #56 I would move my opponent like ONE FOOT farther away from the corner before doing it again. But I have a lot of growing up to do I suppose.

2. Goldust vs. Dolph Ziggler

Now THIS is what I was banking on. The Goldust resurgence it really quite spectacular. The guy is in ridiculously good shape, looking in better shape in his early 40s than in he was in his early 20s. The kid behind me gets my brain working towards the idea that children of my own might not be such a bad thing, as before the match starts he's disappointed that there haven't been "any big stars yet", to which his dad says, "What do you mean? We got to see John Morrison!" to which the kid replies, "Yeah...I guess."

But onto the match, it was everything I had hoped it would be on the drive to the Cow Palace. It got almost 10 minutes and was just a real great show. Tons of peaks and valleys, with Goldust gettings tons of mini comebacks that Ziggler kept cutting off. Goldust starts off in control and hits a great butt bump followed by a nasty uppercut, then sets up the Shattered Dreams. Ziggler takes a powder and Dust follows to the floor and hits a great punch. Ziggler foils him getting back into the ring and takes over for a while, hitting a nice punch of his own to a prone Goldust. A great sequence follows of Goldust making a comeback from his knees, hitting two great uppercuts until Dolph cuts him off by raking his boot laces across Dust's face. That move needs to be done more. I remember Arn Anderson regularly using it, but it doesn't seem like it gets used much anymore. Shame.

Goldust gets the crowd into another comeback like few in wrestling can, and breaks free from a headlock and starts throwing bombs, just backing Dolph into the corner with an awesome flurry of punches. He threw Ziggler into the corner to set up the running bulldog but Ziggler ducked it and countered with the famouser. Goldust sells the Curt Hennig running neck snap better than anybody I've ever seen, really put over nicely a move that usually doesn't look that good. Goldust gets worked over and then makes another comeback, getting the crowd into it again. He does his awesome drop to the knees uppercut followed by his bulldog, which Ziggler does a ridiculous-but-great 360 spinning bump off of. Great finishing sequence follows as Ziggler flips out of the Curtain Call, into a sleeper, which Goldust reverses into a snapmare. Ziggler rolls through and charges straight into Dust's awesome snap powerslam. Ziggler kicks out, retreats to the corner where Goldust misses a corner charge and gets rolled up! I completely thought the roll up was the finish as Dolph really had it locked in, but Goldust barely kicks out and hits the awesome spinning vertical suplex for the win. I don't know what it's called, but it was a cross between a vertical suplex and a spinning neckbreaker and Dolph went totally ragdoll on it and really put it over.

THIS was a great fucking match.

Goldust vs. Dolph Ziggler

Goldust v. Dolph Ziggler
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3. Matt Hardy vs. Ezekial Jackson

Ezekiel clubs and mauls his way through the victorious Goldust and that brings out Matt Hardy. If there's one thing kids love, it's the Hardy Boys. I don't know why, as they regularly look like the uncoolest dudes on any given show, but the kids love them. This match was real fun. A couple adults in the section were playing devil's advocate for the kids who were way into Hardy. "I don't know, I just don't see how Hardy can beat a guy this big." "That would have gotten the 3 count, but Zeke probably let Hardy kick out at 2." It got the kids real riled up and even more into Hardy...but I think the guy was doing it because he assumed Hardy was going over. When Zeke went over clean I think it made the kids grow up a little, realize that their heroes were always going to fail them, that dreams fade. Or something.

Hardy gets to control the first few minutes, always staying one step ahead of big Zeke. Finally Hardy misses a elbow and Zeke transitions to offense with a nice bearhug. Hardy breaks free with some nice punches, then gets too greedy and tries a slam. His back is just too damn weak from the bearhug though, and Zeke takes over again. Zeke keeps working the back with all sorts of holds and forearms, and the kids are frothing for a comeback at this point. The adults keep egging on the kids whenever Hardy only gets a two count ("Nope, not good enough!") and one kid finally just says, "You like Ezekiel? But...Hardy is WAY better..." It's a testament to either Hardy being smarter than he looks, or kids being dumber than they look, that the Side Effect still is totally bought as a match finisher. The last time the Side Effect finished a match was probably on a 2004 episode of Sunday Night Heat, but the whole arena just comes unglued when Hardy hits it. Hardy gets a roll up that I AGAIN think is going to be the finish, but Zeke kicks out. The finishing reversal sequence is really well done. Hardy hits the twist of fate, but Zeke pushes off, GRABS Hardy's hair as he's pushing him away, throws him into the turnbuckles, then nails the Rock Bottom. Kids all over the arena no longer dream of being pro wrestlers or astronauts or video game testers or baseball players. They all realize that they're going to settler for a factory job, marry the girlfriend they don't love, raise children they didn't want to have, and likely die of heart disease. Big Zeke: Crusher of Dreams.

Matt Hardy v. Ezekial Jackson

Matt Hardy v. Ezekial Jackson
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4. Jimmy Wang Yang vs. Tyler Reks

Wasn't expecting much out of this one. You might remember Reks for being arguably the worst member of the ECW roster last year. You might be surprised to know that he is still a member of the active roster. Speaking of people you're surprised to see on the active roster, Jimmy Yang has been on the roster for almost 4 straight years now. I know he and Jesse had some fun tags at the end of '09 vs. the Hart Dynasty, but with recent roster cuts I just kinda assumed he was gone.

And this match was actually real fun. Yang looks to be in real good shape, and he was just the perfect babyface here. Reks got the biggest "Who!?" reaction of the night when he came out, and really held onto that reaction the whole match, laying in a devastating variety of chinlocks and headlocks and abdominal stretches and crummy punches. Yang held it all together though, hitting some real nice highspots and somehow keeping the fans engaged during their first and hopefully only Reksperience. Yang deserves some real credit for this one.

5. Kane vs. Drew McIntyre

OK, if you thought little kids loved the Hardy Boys, then you ain't seen nothin'. Kane merely walking to the ring was making every kid squeal with glee. This match was also way better than it looked on paper. Kane threw a bunch of the one thing he does well, his uppercut, and McIntyre had a smart plan by working over Kane's hand to prevent the chokeslam (hitting it against the turnbuckle, ring steps, stomping on it, etc.). It ends in a double count out, and a few of the kids are pissed as EVERY one of them was convinced Kane was walking away with the IC title here. One kid was even explaining why to his father, who wasn't totally convinced a title would change hands without cameras recording it. He even pointed out to his son, "Look, there are no cameras here at all. If they thought someone had a chance to win a title, they would want it taped." And the son explained, "Well, if Kane wins the title, they would just re-do the match on this week's Smackdown, and Kane would just show that he could beat him again." Fuck, makes sense to me! Count out finish said differently though, and the kids were piiiiissed. It didn't help when one of the adults tried explained what a smart strategy by McIntyre it was to keep Kane out of the ring. What McIntyre didn't realize though, was that Kane has the ability to no sell a whole matches' worth of hand work, and he can still hit a chokeslam after the match. Kane didn't even use a different hand! If McIntyre knew that, he probably would've come up with a different strategy.

6. Mike Knox vs. Shad Gaspard

This one was the only disappointment on the whole card. Mike Knox has improved leaps and bounds since his run on the initial ECW broadcasts, generally getting better and better as his beard and belly get bigger and bigger. Shad Gaspard is no longer the worst worker in the promotion, so that counts for something. All I know is that there was a black guy and his girlfriend sitting next to me, and they could not have cared less about Cryme Tyme. If they can't connect with the brothers, then why do I have to sit through Cryme Tyme matches!? Knox threw some bad punches, and Shad threw one of the better ones he's ever thrown (he used to be sub-Diva in his punches), and they just did a whole lotta nothing. Knox did hit his glorious crossbody, but this stank.

7. Michelle McCool vs. Beth Phoenix

Michelle came out working the STICK and it was awesome. I'm admittedly kind of a McCool mark, but she was great here. On TV she has a really bad voice, but it worked in the live setting. She was getting into it with fans, coming up with quick comebacks, shoved Tiffany the ring announcer, swung at a kid that reached out and hit her during her entrance, just awesome stuff. No Layla which is a shame, as I think she's the real money of the team. But McCool got the crowd right hot for Phoenix and played perfect cowardly heel. Finish came out of nowhere but was much better than the normal spontaneous roll-up business. Phoenix was getting back into the ring and McCool just kicked her right in the face. It drew a big reaction from the crowd, and it got the pin. Nobody expected it, but most seemed to go, "Well, it was a kick right to the face, soo...makes sense."

8. CM Punk/Luke Gallows/Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio/Undertaker/Edge

And now the main. After reading the Stockton report which said the match only went 10 minutes, I wasn't expecting too much. The day after this show whomever sent in the report to Meltzer said this match only went seven you can see for yourself that it went a nice 18 minutes.

Punk came out with the S.E.S. and cut a great promo, with great back-up from Gallows and Serena. Fans were throwing tons of trash into the ring, which is something I've never seen before at a WWE show. This isn't Nitro for goodness sakes! Punk was just gleefully trotting around the ring, egging people on, catching stuff they threw and throwing it back, pointing out people for security to throw out, soooooo awesome. Jericho came out and continued egging people on, encouraging people NOT to do something which of course will get the opposite response. Jericho was hilarious on the stick, "If ONE MORE THING gets..." *cue something immdiately getting thrown* *cue Jericho slamming the mic down instantly and bailing. Just played an old gag to perfection.

Fans were jacked to see Undertaker and Rey, and to a lesser extent Edge. Match itself was hot and awesome from bell to bell (except for the moments when Edge was on offense, where everything just....kinda....died....a little...inside). I'm not going to bore you with all the gory details, as the full 18 minutes of awesomeness was recorded by yours truly and available to view right here, so you can see for yourself how great it was. But some of my favorite moments were:

~Undertaker doing the greatest apron work I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. Taker was always reaching out as faaaaar as he could, and then the moment when Rey is about to get the hot tag, Taker douses himself with a bottle of water, runs up the length of the apron, and then makes it back in time for the hot tag. So. Fucking. Amazing.
~Luke Gallows throwing some great haymakers
~Jericho tripping over his own feet when Taker came into the match and Jericho hadn't seen him tag in
~Punk tripping Rey and immediately hopping up to the apron to do the "Who, ME!?" routine
~Rey's gigantic hot tag where he does the springboard Thesz press into a springboard crossbody
~Rey getting nastily dumped upside down in the corner and getting choked by Serena while hung up
~All the little kids around me getting a "Si Se Puede" chant started in the whole arena, and all the white kids chanting it and just knowing that while they had no clue what they were saying, they at least knew they were helping Rey

The match was an absolute blast and this really was the best overall house show I've ever been to, and better than most of the TV tapings I've been to. We'll be going to the giant Raw/NXT/Superstars/Smackdown super taping in San Jose this coming Monday, 3/22, so if there's anything worth writing about there, I'll likely do it.

CM Punk/Luke Gallows/Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio/Undertaker/Edge

Undertaker/Mysterio/Edge v. Punk/Jericho/Gallows WWE 3/14
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw this i was at the top but i had a view and this was my first house show ever. i hope they come back soon.i loved that last match it was awesome!!!!!!!!!

2:26 PM  

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