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Dr. Tom's WrestleMania XIX Report, March 31, 2003
Guest_TSMAdmin_*
post Jun 19 2003, 04:00 PM
Post #1





Guests






WWE WRESTLEMANIA XIX

This report is brought to you by Serio’s Pizza, Yuengling Light, Smirnoff Ice, and Berger’s “Chocolate Death” cookies. Yes, I’m open to whoring myself out for endorsement deals, if you’re a suit from one of those companies.

Keep an eye out for Dames' Diatribe on this show, which shouldn't be too long behind this report.

Snowflakes are in effect instead of the usual x/10 rating system, since this is a special occasion and all that.

Ashanti kicks the show off with “America The Beautiful,” including the rarely-heard second verse, interspersed with stills of the troops in Iraq.

LIVE from Seattle, this is BAH GAWD WrestleMania XIX. Your opening bobbleheads are Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lecher, who quickly pass things off to Michael Cole and Taz(z).

Opening Match, Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio vs. Matt Hardy v1.0 (with Shannon Moore). Matt facts: This is his fourth Mania, and Matt often wonders how they did these shows without him. Before Matt even gets settled in the ring, Rey sends him packing and hits a quick corkscrew plancha onto him and Moore. Back in, that gets 2. Rey boots Matt on a charge and ‘ranas him coming out of the corner. He tries the sunset flip powerbomb to the floor, which would have been hella cool, but Matt blocks it and Moore kicks Rey for trying such a nifty spot. Back in, Matt gets 2. Matt gets 2 off the Ricochet and chokes Rey on the ropes, allowing Moore to do the same when the ref comes over. Matt misses the straddle and gets rolled up for 2. A Side Effect coming out of the corner gets 2. Matt snapmares Rey and puts him in a surfboard. Rey fights out of it, and Matt posts himself on a misses charge. Rey takes him down with Bombs Away, and a springboard crossbody gets 2. Rey does the tornado DDT in the center of the ring, also for 2. Moore trips him when he goes for the 619, giving Matt a chance to hit the Twist of Fate ... for 2. Matt puts Rey up and goes for Splash Mountain, but Rey ‘ranas out of it to counter. He covers for 2, as Moore puts Matt’s foot on the bottom rope. Rey then grabs the nefarious Moore, only releasing him when Matt charges into the fray, inadvertently hitting his young MFer. Rey hits the 619 this time, but Matt ducks the West Coast Pop which follows it. He catapults Rey into the ropes, then rolls him up with the help of those ropes for the pin at 5:36. I can’t believe that’s all the time they got. Actually, I can, since it’s just more for the HOSSES, but still. This was a good Smackdown match, but on a show like Mania, it’s simply above average. **1/2
(Winner: Matt Hardy, pinfall via rop-assisted rollup at 5:36)


Meanwhile, The Miller Light Catfight Girls arrive in a limo and tease a catfight over their favorite match.

Earlier tonight, Nathan Jones was punked out by The Big Slow and A-Train after Nunzio stole his wallet. Y’know, if they’ve suddenly come to the conclusion that the guy sucks a big one in the ring, why book him on the biggest show of the year to begin with?

Limp Bizkit plays, and after wondering why the holy fuck they’re bleeping the curse words on a PPV, I decide to take a potty break.

Suddenly a Handicap Match: The Undertaker vs. Team Slow Train. It’s nice to see that the bait-and-switch bullshit appears even on the biggest PPV of them all. We’ll see how long it takes Jones to get back into this one. Slow defiles Taker’s bike by playing with the mirrors, so UT sends him packing for his insolence. Chokeslam to A-Train, but just for 2 as Slow pulls Taker off. Taker lays in the beats, and the heels have to regroup. A brawl starts, with Taker fighting off both men in their corner. This is getting a bit thick, Jeeves. Train shouldberblocks UT down, but gets hiptossed and takes the ropewalk. Taker cheap-shots Slow off the apron, but turns around into the Derailer. Slow introduces UT to the post and drops him on the wall. Back in, Train gets 2 off a stungun, which Cole has decided to rename the “Decapitator.” Train goes to the choking, which must be called the “Conductor.” I don’t want to speculate on what “The Caboose” would actually be. Slow tags in and brawls with Taker, which is never a good idea. He goes for the chokeslam, but UT turns it into a Fujiwara armbar. Train runs in and promptly gets locked in a cross armbreaker. Slow drops the beefy leg on UT, brother, and the heels enjoy some double-team stomping. Slow goes to the abdominal stretch, then Train comes in for more of the same. Taker fights out and reverses the move, however. What an exciting sequence that was. I hope you people can spot sarcasm when you see it, btw. UT takes Train down with a back suplex, but eats a clothesline for 2. Train talks shit to UT and slaps him around, so Taker beats his ass and DDTs him for 2, as Slow makes the save. Taker goes postal on Slow and hits the corner clotheslines on each man a couple times. UT goozles Slow, but has to boot Train out of the way, so he settles for a clothesline. Train bicycle kicks UT, settling up the chokeslam from Slow. Here comes Nathan Jones, of course, as Slow goes out to see the world’s shittiest wrestler in person. Jones double-clutches on a spinkick, taking Slow out, while Train covers UT for 2. Jones gets in the ring, and Taker whips Train into his big boot. That’s apparently not a DQ, for reasons none of us realy comprehended. The TOMBSTONE~! finishes A-Train at 9:45. Watchable for a big man match, which is about all we could hope for. I’m wondering if they’re ever going to pull the trigger on putting Nathan Jones in the ring, though, or just cut their losses for now and send him to Cornette for a few months. *
(Winner: Undertaker, pinfall via Tombstone piledriver at 9:45)


Meanwhile, the catfights girls, Torrie Wilson, and Stacy Kiebler form a Mutual Admiration Society. They certainly have MY admiration.

Earlier, on Heat, Lance Storm and Chief Morley retained the Tag Titles No One Gives A Shit About with help from Thoze Damn Dudleyz. Sorry, we didn’t watch Heat, but I get the feeling I’m no poorer for having missed this one.

Triple Threat Women’s Title Match: Trish Stratus vs. Jazz vs. Victoria (with Steven Richards). Trish and Jazz gang up on Victoria, and Jazz doprkicks Trish for 2. She works Trish over, bridging on a neck submission, but Trish comes back with the LOU THESZ PRESS BAH GAWD and unleashes the rights. Victoria drags Trish out and tosses Jazz, so they go at it on the floor. Victoria gets into the fray and does a flipping legdrop coming back in. Jazz sends her out and legdrops Trish for 2, brothe ... er, sister. Trish takes a double-team shoulderbreaker and the heels slug it out. Victoria powerslams Jazz for 2. Trish rolls her up with a bridge for 2. Nice visual, I must say. Trish breaks out the Chick Kicks, but Jazz nails a Michinoku Driver on her for 2. Trish noggin knocks the heels, and ducks Jazz’s spinkick, which takes out Victoria. Trish gets a victory roll for 2, then a high kick on Jazz for 2 as Victoria saves. Victoria goes up, but Trish takes her down with the handstand ‘rana. Jazz grabs a half-crab on Trish and turns it into an STF near the ropes. Richards runs in and tosses Jazz out when it looks like Trish is going to tap out. Trish shoves Victoria into Jazz and gets a rollup with tights (YEAH, Terps!) for 2, which Victoria reverses for 2. Jazz hoists Trish into the flying hammerlock and drops her on her face. Victoria kicks Jazz down, but misses the moonsault. Great form on it, though. She recovers to dump Jazz, and in comes Richards with a chair. He misses with his swing, hitting himself on the rebound off the ropes. Trish takes him out with the Stratusfaction. She fights out of the Widow’s Peak, and Kawada kicks Victoria for the win and the title at 7:19. This was a very compelling match from the girls, who all brought their A games to Mania. It was almost as good as the opener, in fact, which is a testament both to how good this was and to how disappointing the opener was. **
(Winner: Trish Stratus, pinfall via Kawada kick at 7:19)


Meanwhile, Coach is with The Rock, who quickly and mercifully silences him with the hand. Rock dismisses “the people” as the same people who booed him last year and booed his concert. There’s just no accounting for taste. Rock says the people hurt him, which must be why he got that tattoo. It’s a self-destructive pattern, and it’s all YOUR fault. Rock doesn’t really say anything important here.

Triple Threat WWE Tag Title Match: Los Guerreros vs. Team Spinal Fusion vs. Team Angle. An old-fashioned Pier Six kicks things off, leaving Haas and Chavo as the legal men. Chavo suplexes Haas and dropkicks him, and Haas tags in Benoit. I’ve never liked that anyone-can-tag-anyone rule in these matches. Why would you WANT to tag someone on another team and give them a chance to win? Chavo armdrags Benoit into an armbar and takes him down with a back suplex. In comes Eddy with the slingshot senton. He works Benoit over in the corner, but Benoit brings the choppage. In comes Rhyno, and Eddy kicks away at him and works him over. Rhyno stops that with a powerslam for 2, and Benjamin tags in. He kicks Rhyno and back elbows him off the ropes for 2, then tags Haas. Team Angle does a double-team dropkick for 2, as Chavo has to save. Benoit tags in and works Haas over with Rhyno’s help. Snap suplex gets 2, and Benoit adds a high back suplex, also for 2. Rhyno slugs away on Haas, who turns the tide and tags in Benjamin. Rhyno spears him in the corner and suplexes him. Eddy comes in off a blind tag and goads Rhyno into a standing dropkick. Nice. He pounds away, but Benoit comes in and does some pounding of his own. Eddy suplexes Benoit and goes up, but they fight over the top rope and Benoit comes down with a superplex. Why he does some of these moves with a fused neck, I’ll never know. Benjamin pulls him off at 2. Benoit flapjacks Eddy into an immediate Crossface on the way down. That was massively cool. Haas breaks that up. Eddy brainbusters Benoit, and Haas has to save another fall. Chavo and Haas both tag in, and Chavo sends him to the floor posthaste. He legscissors Benjamin and cheap-shots Rhyno, but Benoit gets all pissed off and hits four rolling Germans. Benjamin comes in and superkicks Benoit, forcing Eddy to make the save. Eddy and Benoit collide for the double-KO, and Benjamin capitalizes with a leaping legdrop, which Eddy stops at 2 by nailing the Frog Splash. Well, his team’s not winning. Chavo blind tags in, but walks right into an overhead suplex from Haas. Rhyno hits the GORE GORE GORE on Haas, then another GORE GORE GORE on Chavo, but he gets pulled out by Eddy. Benjamin sneaks in and steals the pin at 8:48. This was certainly a solid match, but disappointing overall, considering the talent of the six men involved. ***
(Winners: Team Angle, indirect pinfall via GORE GORE GORE at 8:48)


Meanwhile, Torrie takes the Catfight Girls’ picture with Stacy. Torrie and Stacy argue, but there’s no catfight. Then the catfight girls get into it, and decide to settle their dispute in bed. I volunteer to arbitrate.

Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels. Shawn looks like a big flamer in that outfit. I’m just saying. A somber Jericho flips him a subtle bird during his long walk to the ring. Nice touch there. Headlocks and holds establish parity, and Shawn declines to recline atop the corner. He hiptosses Jericho, who kicks him, and some more holds and counters establish parity again. Shawn takes him over with a headlock, getting 2. Jericho shoulderblocks Shawn, but loses a slugfest and gets dumped. Jericho ducks a pescado, but Shawn manages to hold onto the rope and slip back in the ring. He baseball slides Jericho while Chris is acting all impressed with himself. Back in, Jericho rolls thru a crossbody and gets 2. Jericho wins a brawl and tries a bulldog, but Shawn tosses him into the corner. Shawn puts on a figure-four for no reason I can fathom. It’s not like there had been any leg psychology to this point. Jericho reverses it, so Shawn breaks the hold. He gets a kneecrusher on Jericho and goes for another figure-four, but Jericho kicks him into the post. Jericho dumps Shawn, who skins the cat and takes Jericho to the floor with a headscissors. There’s the pescado, which connects this time. Shawn tries a dropkick on the floor, but Jericho catches it and locks him in the Walls. Jericho posts the back twice, and hits a nice springboard dropkick while Shawn struggles to get back onto the apron. Back in, Jericho suplexes Shawn for 2. He hits the chinlock, adding a knee to the neck, but Shawn fights out. Jericho rakes the eyes to regain control, and backbreakers Shawn for 2. Shawn DDTs him on a backdrop and slugs away. Jericho hits the flying jalapeno and strikes an HBK pose, but Shawn kips up behind him and does an inverted atomic drop. A moonsault gets 2, which segues into a pinfall reversal sequence. They fight over a German suplex, which Jericho wins by hitting a Northern Lights suplex, for 2. Shawn bridges out and they fight over a backslide. Jericho bulldogs him and gets 2 off the Lionsault. He covers again, still getting 2. Shawn tries a ‘rana, but Jericho turns it into the Walls. Shawn struggles to the ropes. He cradles Jericho on another Walls try, for 2. Jericho takes him down with an underhook backbreaker for 2, then hits a flying reverse elbow for 2. Jericho warms up the band and steals Shawn’s move with a superkick (and a beauty, too) for 2. Jericho slugs away, but Shawn crossbodies him for 2. Shawn catapults Jericho and rolls him up for 2. Jericho puts him up and tries a superplex, which Shawn turns into a crossbody for 2. Shawn goes up, so Jericho cleverly kicks the ref into the ropes to crotch HBK. Jericho goes up now, but Shawn blocks a superplex and throws him down onto his face. A Savage Elbow follows. Now it Shawn’s turn to warm up the band, but Jericho ducks the superkick and locks in the Walls. We all thought this would be the finish, but Shawn crawled and struggled to the ropes. Jericho pleads with the ref, wanting a tapout, but no dice. He charges and eats a superkick, and Shawn does a slow cover for 2. Shawn does a Flair Flip into the corner, then flips out of a suplex try and rolls Jericho up for the duke at 22:35. I’m not a fan of rollup finishes in big matches like this. It seems pointless to put Shawn over here, even considering Jericho going over at the Backlash rematch. Mania’s just a bigger stage. This was a great match, though, with some excellent antics from Jericho and top-notch psychology when it was on. ****
(Winner: Shawn Michaels, pinfall via rollup at 22:35)


Meanwhile, that dastardly French ref (Sylvain Grenier?) enters Vince McMahon’s dressing room.

A commercial airs, hyping Goldberg for Backlash. He’s debuting on Raw tonight, if you haven’t already heard. Let me just say that I think this signing is a bad idea. Goldberg hasn’t meant dick to North American wrestling in three years, and any pop he gives the ratings will only be temporary. The guy’s a sloppy worker and doesn’t have love for the business, which should make the Raw locker room interesting. Besides, why give away his return like that? The post-Mania Raw always draws ratings, so have him show up in a “surprise” appearance as a coup for Bischoff. It’s not complicated.

Limp Bizkit plays again. This must qualify as cruel and unusual punishment somewhere in the world.

Tanya Ballinger and Kitana Baker (the Catfight Girls, in case you didn't know) climb onto a large bed on the stage for their catfight. Before they can start it up, though, Stacy Kiebler interjects herself into the fray. Not to be outdone, Torrie Wilson tosses her hat into the ring ... er, onto the bed. Torrie and Stacy roll around on the stage while the Catfight Girls unenthusiastically go at it on the bed. With the pillows, you sick freak. Coach gets pantsed, and the lesson learned is that eight magnificent breasts > two balls. I’d just like to go on record as saying I’d spend a long holiday weekend boning the shit out of Kitana Baker. She’s the brunette, BTW.

Fake World Title Match: Triple H (with Ric Flair) vs. Booker T. A lockup ends up in the corner, where Booker lays in the chops. He backdrops HHH, but eats an elbow on a charge. H goes up, only to get armdragged back down. Hasn’t Flair taught him anything? HHH bails and gets sent into the post by Booker. Back in, HHH shoulderblocks Booker but gets clotheslined for 2. Booker goes to the high kicks and gets tossed out, but stays on the apron. H sends him into the post, then smashes his head into the steps. HHH abuses Booker on the apron and neckbreakers him for 2. A spinebuster, done properly, gets 2 for HHH. H clotheslines Booker hard in the corner and goes to the choke. Booker escapes a suplex and DDTs HHH, leaving both men down. Booker controls a brawl and takes HHH down with a sidewalk slam. H goes to the sleeper, but Booker rams him into the buckle to break it. H hits the high knee off the ropes, then a facebuster. Booker gets a spinebuster of his own, for 2. Booker eats an elbow on a charge and HHH goes up. He decides to come down with the Please Counter Me, though, so Booker obliges him with a superkick to the face. That gets 2. Booker misses a high kick and spills out to the floor. Flair considerately tries to help him back into the ring, but Booker slips out of his grasp and lands knee-first on the steps. What a horrible accident ... Booker must be clumsy. Back in, HHH takes the Indian Deathlock out of mothballs, but Booker fights out. H goes back to it, though, and Booker struggles to the ropes. HHH works over the knee, which Booker sells to the point of falling in a heap on a simple Irish whip. That’s some dedication to your craft right there, that is. Booker escapes the Pedigree and rolls HHH up out of the corner for 2. HHH kicks him in the knee, but Booker elbows him down and hits the scissors kick. A slow cover gets only 2. Booker goes up, fights off both Flair and HHH, and comes down with the Harlem Hangover. That gets 2, as Flair surreptitiously puts HHH’s foot on the ropes. He was so much less obvious about it than Shannon Moore was in the opener. Booker falls coming off the ropes, and HHH capitalizes with the Pedigree. It’s a slow cover, giving HHH enough time to sip a few cocktails and take a leak, but he picks up the pin at 18:49. So Booker’s finishers do nothing when he can’t cover right away, but HHH could hit the Pedigree and wait to pick up the pin after a commercial break. It’s so good to know that. Slow match, but it was good in spots, and I’ll maintain that the wrong man went over. OMG RACISM~! **3/4
(Winner: Triple H, pinfall via Pedigree at 18:49)


Street Fight: Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon. When they say this is one for the ages, they REALLY mean it. Seriously, when the combined ages of the two alleged wresters is 107, the jokes tend to write themselves. Vince starts things off with the MIGHTY SLAP, so Hogan takes him down and wails away. Hogan puts the boots to Vince and chokes him, but Vince comes back with a clothesline. Vince works the arm with some kneedrops and cinches in a hammerlock, then posts the arm for good measure. I fail to see the point of it, since Hogan’s left arm means nothing to his 1985 offense. If anything, work on the right leg so he can’t use the warty legdrop. Anyway, Vince kicks Hogan down a few times on a long test of strength. Vince tosses Hogan and shoves him into the barricade. Hogan goes into the post, but ducks the resultant chairshot. Hogan sends Vince into the post and whacks him with the chair. Vince blades, and Hogan wails away. He gets another chair and gives Vince a couple of cracks across the back, then wallops one of the Spanish announcers after Vince ducks. Damn, that’s definitely taking one for the team. Vince lowblows Hogan and chairs him, and it’s Hogan’s turn to blade. Vince beats on Hogan and tosses him onto the table. He sets a ladder up between the announce tables, clubs Hogan with a TV monitor, and drops the leg from atop the ladder. That draws a “Holy Shit!” chant from the crowd, for reasons I don’t understand. I know they’re both AARP members and all, but come on, it was a legdrop from six feet in the air. Back in, Vince gets 2, and covers again for another 2. He gets a lead pipe, and we get a good shot of Vince’s bloody face with one of those patented maniacal looks. Hogan lowblows Vince in the ring, leaving both men down. Rowdy Roddy Piper runs in – well, as much as he could run with the beer gut he’s sporting, at least – and kicks Vince before waylaying Hogan with the pipe. At least he made the right choice. Vince gets 2, and tosses ref Brian Hebner in frustration. The evil French ref runs to the ring as Vince clobbers Hogan with the pipe and legdrops him .. only for 2, as it’s time for Hogan to Hulk Up. Hogan KO's Vince and tosses the French ref, who managed to surrender before hitting the floor. I guess he’d also call for more weapons inspectors to find that lead pipe. Anyway, Hogan no-sells Vince’s punches, hits the three right hands and the big boot, then finishes with not one, not two, but THREE legdrops for the win at 20:47. Of course it was overbooked, but what did you expect of a McMahon street fight? It still told a story, though, and ended up being compelling despite the men in the ring. ** Post-match, Shane-O-Mac comes down to tend to dear old dad, but doesn’t do anything of consequence. A bloodied Vince flipping Hogan off was a good visual, though.
(Winner: Hulk Hogan, pinfall via legdrop trifecta at 20:47)

The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin wins the initial slugfest, and Rock bails on the quick Stunner. Austin clotheslines Rock on the floor, then introduces him to the wall and the steps. That’s no way to treat a movie star. Rock gets dropped on the wall a couple of times, then whipped into the steps. Back in, Austin puts the boots to him. A back suplex gets 2, and Austin comes out of the corner with a clothesline. Austin chokes Rock on the ropes, and while he pauses to bicker with the ref, Rock seizes some offense with a chop-block to the left knee. Austin bails, so Rock chop-blocks him again. He works the knee outside, and back in for more of the same. Austin’s knee gets posted, and Rock goes to the Sharpshooter. I was hoping for a figure-four there, really. Austin makes the ropes. Rock posts the leg again, then goes outside to don Austin’s vest. It looks pretty snazzy on him, actually. Back in, Austin controls a brawl, setting up a mutual clothesline that JR described as “serious-ass impact.” It’s off the hizzle for shizzle now, nizzle. Austin recovers and hits the LOU THESZ PRESS BAH GAWD, with the requisite series of rights. He adds the FU elbow, with a few extra middle fingers, for 2. Austin stomps a mudhole in the corner, but there was no walking it dry. Rock kips up, but Austin has the Stone Cold Bottom ready, which gets 2. Rock catches a kick, flips Austin off, and gets a KICK-WHAM-STUNNER of his own. That gets 2. Rock unleashes the punching spree, but the spit punch gets turned into an Austin Stunner, for 2. Rock lowblows Austin and congratulates himself on his strategy. He misses the Hollywood Elbow, so Austin goes for another Stunner, but Rock counters with a spinebuster. The Hollywood Elbow connects this time, but only for 2. Rock Bottom gets another 2. Austin elbows out of a second Rock Bottom, then Rock hits it anyway, getting 2 again. A third Rock Bottom is the charm, putting Austin away at 17:54. A good match, to be sure, but nothing like their epic X7 encounter. Rock did a lot of the work in this one, which wasn’t the case at X7. I like Austin as much as the next guy, but I think age and his various injuries (and his neck is pretty bad right now) have caught up with him. ***1/2
(Winner: The Rock, pinfall via Rock Bottom troika at 17:54)


Main Event, WWE Title: Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar. I just hope Angle doesn’t die during the goddamn match. He’s apparently considering a different surgery option, similar to what Scott Hall had done, that would only force him to miss a couple months as opposed to a year (or more). As long as he can wrestle without anymore risk than anyone else would have, I’m all for it. They lock it up, and Brock bulls Angle into the corner. They exchange fireman’s carries and armbars, kicking off a nice chain wrestling sequence. Brock shoulderblocks Angle down, only to wander into a single-leg takedown. Brock busts out the amateur takedown and armdrags Angle into an armbar. Angle knees the taped-up ribs in the corner and pounds away on Brock’s lower back. Brock elbows Angle down and does the shoulder rams in the corner. Angle elbows Brock on a charge and powerslams him for 2. Angle hits a German, a move I didn’t think we’d see in this match considering the shoddy state of Angle’s neck. Brock clotheslines Angle and the champ bails, suckering Brock into chasing him and getting the better of him back in the ring. Brock shrugs it off and hoists Angle for a press slam. Angle boots the ribs on a charge and Germans Brock right into the corner, which is just a nasty bump. Outside, Angle rams Brock into the barricade and abuses him on the apron. Angle gets a back suplex for 2, then a vertical suplex for 2. Angle locks in a rear naked choke, which Brock finally fights out of by getting to his feet and ramming Angle into the corner. Brock gets in some kicks, but Angle takes him over quickly with an overhead suplex. A running knee to the back sends Brock to the floor. Back in, Brock hits a pretty filthy spinebuster, leaving both men down. They brawl until Angle rakes the eyes, but Brock rallies with a flying forearm and the shoulder rams in the corner. Brock hits a nice overhead suplex on Angle, and I’m just wincing at watching him land. It was a nice flat-back bump and all, but all he has to do is land just a little wrong. Another overhead, and now we’re all wincing. Brock covers for 2. Angle counters another try with a quartet of rolling Germans, which is just painful to watch. Brock blocks the Olympic Slam and tries the F5, but Angle turns that into the Anglelock. Brock briefly touches the ropes, so Angle drags him back to the center of the ring and maintains the hold. Brock tries the rolling kickout, so Angle switches to a half-crab. The third I in action, friends. Brock makes the ropes for real this time, and Angle pounds away on him. Brock dumps Angle after one too many knees. Back in, Angle misses a charge but nails an absolutely nasty German suplex on Brock, flipping him completely over. That gets 2. The Olympic Slam gets another 2. Angle tries it again, but Brock grabs an inside cradle for 2. He hits the F5, but the slow cover gets 2. Angle cinches in another Anglelock, with a heel hook this time, forcing Brock to literally drag him to the ropes. Angle cradles Brock on an F5 try for 2. Brock escapes an Olympic Slam and hits his second F5 of the match. He goes up for the Shooting Brock Press that we’ve read so much about, but it looked like he slipped on takeoff, and lands ON HIS HEAD as a result. Holy shit, that looked bad. Angle improvises a cover for 2, and we learned Brock was still alive when he kicked out. Brock hits F5 #3 to put Angle away at 21:08. The Shooting Star Press was obviously supposed to be the finish, but they worked off the botch quickly enough. This was a great match all around, even with the blown finish, and it was especially great considering the limitations Angle was working under. Kurt Angle is GOD, and this match is just more proof of his divinity. ****1/4
(Winner: Brock Lesnar, pinfall via F5 at 21:08)


The breakdown:

The Good: Several matches qualify here, basically all of them starting with the triple threat tag team match. I’ll even include the Geritol match in there, since it managed to tell a decent story in spite of the “workers” in the ring. The ladies also put on a good match. Nothing on the card actively sucked, which is always a plus.

The Bad: The bait-and-switch with Nathan Jones was irritating, even if the guy is as bad as he’s rumored to be. Don’t put him on the card if you don’t think he can do the job. I also have to quibble with some of the booking decisions. Maybe there will be a couple of rematches at Backlash, but that still doesn’t explain putting HHH and Shawn over on the bigger stage.

The Ugly: Nothing to see here.

Overall: While it wasn’t a blowaway great show like X7 was, this was still a good show. I think the potential was there for it to be better, with some better time allocations and a few differences in booking. I won’t complain overmuch, though, since this was an easy PPV to sit and watch. Call it a winner and keep a couple of the matches in mind for Backlash. 7/10

Remember, no Smackdown! from me this week (you'll see JHawk filling in for me), so unless I make it to the movies sometime this weekend, I'll see you millions of loyal readers next week.

Dr. Tom
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