Sunday, 13 June 2004

7th-13th June 2004

Monday, 14th June, 2004:

It was a long, bloody, and at times quite brutal, but what looks like the final match in the long-running feud between Triple H and Shawn Michaels headlined the WWE's latest pay-per-view offering, Bad Blood.

Lasting nearly fifty minutes, the Hell in a Cell encounter was a time riveting and entertaining, but like the many fans in attendance, I found it a little wanting towards the end.

In other matches, Eugene once again proved how over he is with the masses with a good showing against the Coach, Chris Benoit defeated Kane to retain his World title in another good match, which once again showed that Benoit is truly deserving of his current spot on the Raw roster.

But match of the night went to the two young lions. Randy Orton has become one of the highlights of the WWE, as has Shelton Benjamin. It's this kind of match that has helped the Intercontinental title return to it's lofty status.

Later that night and we see the final part of the Raven shoot interview, which again left me wondering if anyone has ever left the employ of Vince McMahon with any good memories. It appears that Raven didn't. As entertaining as this interview was, I still had the feeling that I had missed something when I watched this interview.

Tuesday, 15th June, 2004:

After deciding to forgo the clash of the giants between Holland and Germany, I turned over to TWC at 8pm to get my first dose of CMLL action in a number of weeks. But what do I find? Old Herbie has swerved us again! CMLL has been moved back two hours, swapping places with Pro Wrestling NOAH. Curses on you TWC! CMLL now clashes with the gods of Fantasy Football!

So one hour later, I return to TWC to see a hard hitting New Japan bout pitting the legendary Masa Chono against his former student, Yuji Nagata. Despite his advancing years, Chono continues to impress me. However, Nagata was perhaps even more impressive, and it's not surprising to me that he was booked to win the recent IWGP title tournament.

Wednesday, 16th June, 2004:

We should have seen it coming.

During the main event of tonight's TNA flagship show, The Gathering, Julio Dinero and C.M. Punk, turned on their mentor Raven as they fought a bloody steel cage match against the Red Shirt Security team and the monster Abyss.

The fact is that irregular viewers of TWC may have been confused anyway. Punk and Raven have been going at it in Ring of Honor, FWA and other shows on the channel, but have been the best of buds in TNA. Now their long standing war will be one of the highlights of Wednesday nights as well.

This show also featured another strong outing from X Division champ Michael Shane, defeating the hard-hitting Low-Ki.

One thing that did bother me was the angle where various wrestlers are now siding with either NWA Director of Authority Eric Watts or NWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett. It made me think of WCW a few years back, and of Eric Bischoff's ultimatum to the WCW stars when he was revealed as the chief of the New World Order.

Thursday, 17th June, 2004:

Well, we did it. It was a nervy performance at times, but England came through to defeat Switzerland 3-0, and thanks to the draw between France and Croatia, we now only need a draw to go through.

What? This is a wrestling column? Oh yeah. Erm.....FWA show.....Alex Shane is a big coward.....good match between James Tighe and C.M. Punk, etc, etc.

Now back to the important news of the day.....

Friday, 18th June, 2004:

Over the past few weeks, whenever I've written about Raw, I always find myself writing about one man over and over again - Eugene.

The reason for this is simple - by a long way, Eugene is the most entertaining aspect of the Monday night brand right now. It's quite remarkable the turnaround in people's thinking.

The other memorable moment from Raw concerned Kane's attack on Shawn Michaels, which saw old HBK driven away in an ambulance. It's these two segments, and others of their kind, which make Raw one of the most watchable wrestling shows on television at the moment.

So don't get me started on the Lita pregnancy thing.

Saturday, 19th June, 2004:

When I found out that today's World of Sport show was featuring a match between Jim Breaks and a young Davey Boy Smith, my plans were made. Breaks has been one of the highlights of these shows, and I just couldn't miss the chance to see a pre-Bulldogs Davey Boy in action.

For almost an hour, we saw a perfect example of excellent, old school, traditional British style wrestling. If I continue to write about how good this match was, I'll end up using a truck load of superlatives. It was that damn good.

Then it was on to Smackdown. The hype for next week's Great American Bash continued. An improved showing from the lesser of the two WWE brands, and once again, I'm forced to ask the following question - am I the only man in the western world who finds John "Bradshaw" Layfield entertaining?

Sunday, 20th June, 2004:

It's Supercard Sunday time again, and after I decided to forgo the derby match between Portugal and Spain, I tune into my first ever dose of IWA Mid-South with their "Stylin' and Proflin'" card.

Match of the show was the bout between TNA stalwarts Michael Shane and A.J. Styles, However, what was a mostly entertaining night of wrestling was spoiled by the main event, a triple threat so-called "death match" between Corporal Robinson, Necro the Butcher, and Mad Man Pondo.

I'm left wondering just what the appeal of this sort of match is? I thought back to the recent Foley/Orton match, then went back to this match, and realised just how wide a gap there is in professional wrestling at times.

To put it simply, this match sucked. There were no actual wrestling holds, just plenty of big spots featuring men who looked like they had no business in a wrestling ring tearing at each other's flesh with all manner of sharp implements. To me, it was only a few notches above backyard wrestling.

I can see why IWA-MS has gained quite a following, but if this is the best they have to offer in their main events, then this writer won't be tuning in again the next time this federation is shown.

Highlight of the week - Jim Breaks v Davey Boy Smith.

Lowlight of the week - The so-called death match in IWA-MS.

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