Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Random Thoughts on WWE Matches

So after taking several days off from blogging I decided to get caught up on some WWE TV I missed last week, namely the shows worth watching, Superstars and Smackdown.

Superstars 8/12

The Usos v. Goldust/Yoshi Tatsu

The Goldust revival has been fun to follow for a number of reasons. In particular I really enjoy watching him work fast paced, rope running exchanges with rookies as he always outclasses them. He also shows more fire than any of the fiery young babyfaces on the roster. Here he was in all of his glory as they let him work an offensive showcase of sorts against the Usos who were surprisingly game here. Really loved Dustin mixing up his staple spots in this and I was impressed by the big spots from the Usos as well. Finishing run was nice and definitive though you really wish the Goldust/Tatsu team would get a run with the belts.

Chris Masters v. Chavo Guerrero

Masters has been tremendous this year and Chavo has been back to solid form so it was expected that this would be a good one but I don't know that anyone could have predicted this would be as good as it was. In general Masters is a great bumper, who sells his ass off and has sound psych. Earlier in the year he was really getting a lot of mileage out of structuring his matches around the Masterlock. Had a good match with Ted Dibiase, a good triple threat match, good match with Orton, great match with Ziggler, and an earlier match with Chavo all essentially built around that "deadly move." Here we have Masters working a sort of slugfest/highspot intensive style that I really hadn't figured as a strong point for him and yet it worked very well. Seriously there were some great spots in this from both guys. At one point Master's chops Chavo in the face. Later Masters takes a back bump on the floor and Chavo falls up with two rolling sentons. They do a spot where Chavo goes for the three amigos and Master's stops him and hits a fucking jackhammer of all things. Masters also hits a nasty spinebuster in this. Masters ribs are getting worked over throughout and he does a solid job selling. This eventually leads to a brilliant spot where Chavo has Masters in a bodyscissors. Masters turns over and is in Chavo's guard (Lessons of 2006!) and starts raining elbows. As Chavo starts to defend himself Masters seamlessly climbs to his feet and in one motion delivers one of the most realistic slingshot spots I've ever seen with Chavo propelling himself at a dangerous pace into the turnbuckle. Really a brilliant spot, and Masters working Tony Charles/Bill Dundeesque matwork exchanges is not something I thought I'd ever see. Finish here was great as Chavo fought off a superplex attempt with a diving hotshot that Masters took an insane bump off of. Chavo quickly ascends to the top and hits one of the better frog splashes I've ever seen out of him for the finish. I thought Masters clotheslines looked sort of odd here but other than that this was an excellent performance from both guys.

Smackdown 8/13

Kane v. Kofi Kingston

I wouldn't call this good because Kofi is truly terrible and Kane is Kane. But this was better than expected. Kofi's "Trouble In Paradise" kick looks like shit when he is doing it to a human, but it looked amazing when he was doing it to a ringpost. Kane's follow up legwork was surprisingly spirited as well.

Cody Rhodes v. Christian

Cody is someone who has certain tools but lacks a sense of ring generalship and will occasionally do really stupid shit as a result. But this is a Christian match so you know it's going to be all about Christian selling his ass off and that's what we get here. Really Christian selling the arm has become a near guarantee for a great match over the last couple of years and this was no exception. In particular the finishing run with Christian unable to get the Killswitch set up because of his arm, and the corner bump leading to the Cross Rhodes was really great stuff. Christian has had a really great month or so, and this was icing on the cake.

Drew McIntyre v. Matt Hardy

This was an abridged version of their truly great match from a month back. It's strange to say, but Drew McIntyre has sort of taken the place of Finlay as the Smackdown British Isles worker who wrestles hard hitting, heavyweight matches, with good structure and big bumps. Hardy is a good opponent for him because Matt has a few really nasty looking offensive moves and is willing to take the requisite bumps necessary to make these matches come across as truly brutal affairs. Spear through the ropes looked really reckless in a good way here and I thought the finish with the ring steps was a nasty play off of their previous wars. Funny that the only intentional "blood" shown in WWE this year was on the sock of Matt Hardy. Usually I tell kids to read the novel, but this is a case where the Cliff Notes are a nice compliment and everyone should check out both.

Dolph Ziggler v. Rey Misterio

These guys have had a couple of great matches in the past so I had high hopes coming in. Ziggler has been entertaining to watch this year as he has evolved from a great bumper who could be carried to a legitimately great wrestler with a real understanding of match structure. This stands out less than the other really great matches between these two because it doesn't have any real "Holy Fuck!" spots and it's essentially a throwaway match but it was still really good. Less 619 heavy than a lot of Rey matches, Ziggler's pinballing was fun, and I thought the finish was really clever and protected Dolph.

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