Sunday, 6 February 2011

Fusion Debut Show - DVD Review

As I continue to look outside of my normal comfort zone I’m going to go back to December 2004 and a show featuring some who had already made big names for themselves and some who would go on to greater things. The show in question is Fusion’s debut show.

After a short introduction from Evan Karagias it was on to the show opener, a tag team affair pitting David Hansen and Silas Young against the Solution, Papadon and Havok.

It was an entertaining match, nothing overly spectacular, with some solid work from Papadon and Havok. Hansen, supposedly the nephew of the great Stan Hansen, looked a little lost at times though.

The end came when the Solution took Hansen down with a power bomb/neck breaker combination. Nice move .

The first singles match of the show saw Ryan Drago taking on Jay Lethal.

This was a much better match. When Lethal and Drago began with some great technical exchanges it was obvious what sort of match this was going to be.

It stayed technical throughout. No heels or baby faces here, just two wrestlers putting on a great display of action, with Lethal taking Drago down with a dragon suplex for the winning pin.

Then it was on to Xavier going up against Dan Maff.

As with the previous match this one began with some great sequences. Xavier and Maff, despite the slight difference in size, knocked seven bells out of each other as it turned into a compelling, hard hitting back and forth affair.

Sadly no winner in this one. After Maff connected with a clothesline that took both him and Xavier over the top rope the two of them began brawling around the ring, failing to notice the referee counting both of them out.

Maff wasn’t too happy with the decision as he got back into the ring and went to chop the official. Luckily he managed to get out of the way.

A promo from Tommy Dreamer followed in which he extolled the virtues of the indy wrestling scene, bringing out Chris Hamrick to make his point. They exchanged a few choice words, which brought New Jack onto the scene as he attacked Hamrick, beginning the next match.

This was basically Jack taking Hamrick to the cleaners, beginning with a staple gun shot to the head, followed by a spike to the head, and a staple gun shot to the groin.

From there Jack threw Hamrick out of the ring, threw him across the ringside chairs twice before hitting him with more chairs. Hamrick got in a few fleeting moments of offence, but apart from that it was all Gangsta as Jack took the win with a chair shot from the top rope, the pin thankfully ending an overlong brawl. Why someone with Hamrick’s talent wasn’t allowed more offence I’ll never know.

Normal service resumed with four way action between Justin Idol, Brian XL, Sonjay Dutt and Sean Waltman.

Fast paced action was the order of the day in another match I will compare to TNA’s X Division. There was some nice work throughout from all four men, with Waltman in particular putting on a good performance.

Indeed it was Waltman who would go on to dominate the match. After Dutt eliminated Idol with a 450 splash he put on some great sequences with Waltman, who eventually got the pin after the X factor.

This left Waltman with XL, and even though XL countered the bronco buster Waltman soon took the pin after a second X factor.

Then it was back to singles action as Frankie Kazarian went up against Justin Credible.

Lots of jaw jacking at the beginning of this one as Kazarian took offence at the anti-TNA sentiments from the crowd.

We then got the TNA-like brawl through the fans after Kazarian tried to leave early because of Credible’s dominance. When they returned to the ring Kazarian worked over Credible’s leg for a while before the inevitable comeback, with Credible taking the win after a tombstone pile driver. Not bad, but it was certainly nothing special.

The penultimate match was a battle of the veterans as Scott Hall faced Marty Janetty.

This one featured more taking than actual wrestling. First Hall reminded Janetty of his slight more successful former tag team partner, before he went on to some verbal exchanges at ringside with the famed Green Lantern fan.

As for the match it only lasted a few minutes. Janetty looked good as he took a few bumps, but Hall looked terrible as he no-sold every one of Janetty’s moves.

The match came to a quick end when, for some unknown reason, Janetty decided to pose on the second rope. Hall walked over to him, lifted him up, and took him out with the razor’s edge for the win. He then engaged in another bout of verbal sparring with Green Lantern fan before Sean Waltman came out to take him away, ending what has become a typical Scott Hall performance over the past few years.

The final match of the show saw Joel and Jose Maximo, the SAT, facing Ultimo Dragon and Fuego Guerrero (Amazing Red under a mask).

After the previous debacle this was just what the doctor ordered. It began slowly, with some nice chain wrestling from both teams before it developed into a fast paced encounter and the inevitable mass exchange involving all four men.

Plenty of near falls followed as everyone pulled out their big moves before the Maximos finally got the pin after taking Guerrero down with a reverse tombstone. Nice stuff.

In conclusion - overall this was a good show with some very impressive performances, especially from the likes of Jay Lethal, the Maximos and Ultimo Dragon. They certainly gave the fans value for money.

Sadly the same can’t be said for two of the matches. Chris Hamrick’s brawl with New Jack once again proved that while he can cut a great promo and tell a great story he’s been doing exactly the same thing in the ring for years, and when you see Jack stapling someone’s head it gets less entertaining the more you see it.

As for the Scott Hall/Marty Janetty embarrassment, Hall was clearly having an off day, and he looked even worse than in his last TNA stint, and that’s something I never thought I’d see myself writing.

Also, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Janetty. I would probably have been better to put him in with someone he could have had a half decent match with.

So in all Fusion’s debut show (did they have any more?) gets the thumbs up, especially if you fast forward through the New Jack and Scott Hall matches.