Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Date: January 28, 2012
Location: The Westin Los Angeles Airport, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Excalibur, Marty DeRosa
I’m not completely sure on the name of this show as I’ve seen it as both WrestleReunion VI and Pro Wrestling Superstars: Los Angeles but I’ll take the one with Roman numerals. As you can probably guess, it’s a big time indy reunion show featuring a bunch of wrestlers from years past, which can make for some interesting matchups but often some lackluster performances. Let’s get to it.
Here are Mick Foley and Mike Tyson to open things up so there is certainly some star power. Foley talks about his history with Tyson and mentions being a guest referee tonight. Now usually he promises to call a match right down the line and tonight he’s refereeing the New Age Outlaws vs. the Steiner Brothers. This time though Foley needs our help “because Rick Steiner has never liked me and Scotty is out of his f****** mind.” I’ve been watching Mick Foley for about thirty years and I don’t think I can remember three times I’ve heard him use an F bomb. I mean he’s right, but it’s rare.
Usually he’s going to get physically involved, but tonight he isn’t crazy enough to do that. This time though, he has Mike Tyson watching his back so he’s safe to head to St. Louis for the Royal Rumble (that gets a heck of a pop). Tyson takes the mic and talks about various wrestlers he likes, including Billy Graham and Sid Vicious. I really can’t make out most of what he’s saying, but that’s Tyson for you.
We get our first commentary and…..well actually Excalibur is quite good at this kind of show so it should be fine.
Arik Royal vs. Adam Page
This is one of the things I love about watching old shows because Page is 21 years old here and absolutely nothing. Excalibur tells DeRosa to calm down a bit and save some energy, which makes me chuckle for reasons of the future. The bigger Royal goes after the arm to start as commentary actually talks about something interesting, with a discussion of the pressure of having to follow Foley and Tyson.
Royal hits a headscissors into an armdrag but misses the backsplash, allowing Page to miss a standing shooting star. We get a standoff for a bit until Royal nails a spinwheel kick. Royal goes up but dives into a dropkick to the floor. Page tries a running shooting star off the apron and hits Royal’s chest with his head for a nearly terrifying landing. Page takes his necklace back and goes inside…..but we’ve got VADER. I think we’ll call this a no contest at about 4:00 as this is going to be a massacre.
Rating: C-. The ratings are going to be a little bit lighter this time around as this is a one off legends show and not about the match quality. I’ve seen Royal before and he did fine in both matches so he seems to have a little something going for him. Then there’s Page, who would go on to become a huge star on national television. That’s one of the things I love about watching a show like this: seeing someone who is nothing here but would go on to bigger things. Not much of a match of course, but VADER, so we’re fine.
Royal jumps Page post match….and then decides to go after Vader. Well maybe that’s why Page became a bigger star. Vader runs him over so Page tries to come in for a German suplex. Excalibur: “ARE YOU ANTONIO INOKI PAGE???” Destruction ensues but Royal gets up to help double team Vader in the corner.
A double suplex isn’t happening though and Vader mauls Royal again. Royal manages to trap Vader’s arms so Page can go up….but then Vader breaks free and hits Royal in the head. Page gets caught on top and it’s there’s a Vader Bomb. Royal gets chokeslammed and Page gets powerbombed as the Vader stuff went on a good bit longer than the match itself.
New Age Outlaws vs. Steiner Brothers
The only meeting ever here, with Mick Foley (“The hardcore legend and friend of Mike Tyson!”) as guest referee. Road Dogg does his usual stuff and hands it off to Billy Gunn to take it home. Gunn: “IF YA SMELL……” Hang on because that’s not right. Gunn knows he screwed up so let’s try it again. Gunn: “AND THAT’S THE BOTTOM….” No again, but he gets it right on the third time. You can tell he’s serious here too because he’s in the Kip James trunks. Then we get very serious because Scott Steiner grabs the mic and drops his first homophobic slur of the night.
We get a few F bombs to the fans and it’s time to go. Actually hang on because Foley realizes that he’s in over his head here and says he’ll be cowering in the corner. Billy and Scott finally get things going with Scott unloading in the corner. Well at least hitting some slow knees to the ribs. Billy fights out of the corner by punching Scott in the face and it’s off to Dogg. Rick comes in with a double clothesline though and we get the old Steiner Brothers pose.
The Outlaws bail to the floor (Wouldn’t you?) until we settle down to Rick biting Dogg’s pants in the corner. That’s enough to send Dogg outside to ring the bell because he isn’t standing for Rick’s tongue going…..uh, somewhere. Dogg: “I’m not saying we can’t have a drink later and talk about it, but in here, I’m not standing for it!” Ring announcer: “Ladies and gentlemen, referee Mick Foley has just informed me that he is authorizing tongue in the a** for this match!”
We settle back to Rick backing Billy into the corner, with Gunn’s trunks coming down a good bit in the process. Gunn gets in a right hand but misses a charge in the corner, allowing Rick to bite him right in the middle of the back of the trunks. That sends Gunn over to grab Dogg around the waist, giving us the expected reaction. It’s off to Dogg, who wants Scott for no logical reason. He has to stay with Rick, who he drives into the Steiner corner so Scott can come in for some shots to the ribs. Well he got what he wanted.
Dogg’s bouncing punches manage to put Scott down for two, with the fans saying YOU STILL GOT IT. I’ll let you figure out which one they’re talking about. Scott is back with a spinning belly to belly suplex and Rick gets in some choking from the apron. Foley: “MIKE TYSON FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHERE ARE YOU???” Scott suplexes Dogg and goes into the pushups, earning a cheer despite not being so nice earlier in the night.
Rick slaps on the crossface of all things as Marty gets his Mike Tyson history wrong (by saying that Mike Tyson called Steve Austin “Cold Stone” on Raw when it was at the Royal Rumble). Dogg fights up and gets the hot tag off to Gunn for some house cleaning. The belly to belly cuts that off and it’s time for Scott to get in Foley’s face. That means Mr. Socko…..who goes flying after a single Scott glare. The distraction lets Gunn hit the Fameasser for a pretty fast three at 11:32.
Rating: C. All things considered, this was not half bad whatsoever. They were actually working a bit and while of course it wasn’t great (they’re old and mainly retired), they did some goofy stuff to bridge the gap. The Foley being scared stuff helped a lot and I liked it well enough. For a one off dream match, I’ve seen far, far worse.
Post match Rick finds Socko and has some Alex flashbacks (look it up).
Colt Cabana vs. Fit Finlay
Under World Of Sport (British) rules and a fan who won an auction gets to handle the introductions. There are three five minute rounds and you can win by pin, submission or knockout. There are no closed fists allowed either, which probably won’t make that much of a difference but it’s certainly a rule. Another fan gets to be Cabana’s corner man but Cabana says we’re about two minutes away. The referee goes over the rules, with Cabana asking if a kick low is legal (Cabana: “WHAT ABOUT A KICK TO THE D***?”).
We get the bell to start the first round, as commentary still hasn’t actually explained the rules here. Finlay grabs Cabana’s leg so Cabana bails into the corner in a hurry as commentary explains the idea of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. A shot to the face rocks Cabana again and the corner man has to check on his face.
That seems to be ok so Finlay takes him down into a toehold. Finlay grabs a nerve hold and ribs at Cabana’s face because he’s kind of an awesome villain. Back up and Finlay starts in on the arm, with commentary almost calling Finlay a grizzled young veteran (like that would ever work for a UK wrestler). Cabana finally comes back with a headlock takeover and one fan calls it boring. Round one ends but Cabana doesn’t want to let go of the headlock that he worked so hard to get in the first place.
After the corner man gives Cabana some water and towels him down, we’re ready to go with round two. Some uppercuts rock Cabana as Excalibur says he suffers from knowitallism. Finlay stomps on the fingers and kicks him in the face before sending Cabana outside for a needed breather. The corner man adds some slaps (despite NOT being in the corner) and we get some Cabana sneering. Finlay heads outside to yell at a fan so Cabana tells the corner man to slap Finlay in the face.
Thankfully that isn’t going to happen so Finlay doesn’t get to do something so horrible that I can’t come up with a good metaphor for the level of violence. Back in and Finlay hits some elbows to send him outside, setting up a whip into the barricade. They get back inside for some arm cranking/stomping into a keylock to keep Cabana down. The round ends with Finlay evening things up by not letting go of the arm either, which does not seem good for Cabana either.
Finlay goes extra evil by jumping Cabana during his meeting with the corner man. The Fujiwara armbar goes on to start the third round but Cabana fights up. That earns him an arm first whip into the corner and it’s back to the armbar with a knee in the shoulder. A Jake Roberts short arm clothesline sets up the running seated senton but Cabana reverses into a sunset flip for a creative counter. The Flying Apple (which might not have been named yet) connects but it’s too early for the Billy Goat’s Curse. Finlay kicks him shoulder first into the post and then does it again for a bonus. The Celtic Cross finishes Cabana at 15:16.
Rating: C. This didn’t really feel like some kind of special British match as it was really just Finlay working the arm and the a regular finish. The rounds didn’t change much either and I was a bit disappointed with the whole thing. It was fine as a regular match, but they seemed to be going for something special here and it just wasn’t there.
7OH!4 vs. Unholy Alliance
7OH!4 is Caleb Konley/Cedric Alexander, with commentary saying they are the next CM Punk/Colt Cabana or Motor City Machine Guns. Eh they were names but hold on a second there. The Alliance is Tajiri/Mikey Whipwreck, former ECW Tag Team Champions but unfortunately minus James Mitchell/Sinister Minister. Konley grabs a wristlock on Mikey to start but he’s right back with a hiptoss into a headscissors despite not being the size of a guy you would expect to use a headscissors.
We hear about some rookie named Zack Ryder to come out of Mikey’s school as Tajiri comes in to a rather big reaction. Tajiri misses a swinging kick to Alexander’s face so it’s a hammerlock to take Alexander down instead. Back up and Alexander’s headlock doesn’t work and Tajiri starts firing off the kicks to the arm. Mikey comes in to pick Alexander up so Tajiri can nail a dropkick to the face. There’s a double gutbuster to Konley and stereo kicks to the head have him on the floor as the fans are rather pleased.
Mikey’s slingshot dive takes out both of them and the referee begins a rather slow count. Tajiri however won’t dive so Mikey comes back in and gets enziguried into a Downward Spiral for two (with Excalibur getting in the beta version of combiNATION, because I can’t escape the thing). Konley grabs the cravate to hold Mikey down for a bit, followed by the basement clothesline to give Alexander two. Tajiri spits at Alexander (with commentary thinking it’s Konley) and it’s a double Russian legsweep to drop Mikey for two.
Hold on though as Tajiri comes in to….pull Mikey’s pants up and then head back to the apron. Well at least he’s polite. Embracing the power of raised pants, Mikey superkicks Alexander (THE PANTS WORKED!) and it’s back to Tajiri to clean house. Everything breaks down and Tajiri’s superkick gets tow on Konley. Mikey snaps off a pretty nice Frankensteiner on Alexander and a low makes it worse. The referee checks on Alexander and Tajiri mists Konley, setting up the Whippersnapper for the pin at 10:19.
Rating: C+. I know Mikey and Tajiri were a big deal in the dying days of ECW but they were a rather nice team who still looked good here. You don’t get something like that very often and it was fun to see them working so well. Alexander and Konley were still really young here so losing to a team with some credibility, even if it was twelve years old at this point, was fine. Pretty good match here too so well done on a little surprise.
Demus 3:16 vs. Mascarita Dorado
Minis match and Dorado is better known as El Torito. Demus is a good bit bigger and is probably about Rey Mysterio size. A wristdrag takes Demus down to start and frustration is already setting in. Demus knocks him down without much effort so Dorado starts rolling around as we hear about the WWF Light Heavyweight division. Dorado pulls him into the cross armbreaker but Demus powers him up with ease because the size difference is a bit much here.
Back up and a rather spinning headscissors sends Demus outside, setting up the big suicide dive. Dorado manages to throw him back inside for a fireman’s carry, which is a little more impressive than you might think. A fireman’s carry slam sets up a moonsault but the second moonsault only hits raised boots. Demus grabs a tilt-a-whirl into a Dominator (cool) and there’s a giant swing to send Dorado down again. They head outside with Dorado being dropped onto the timekeeper’s table and Demus takes him back in for a pop up powerslam.
There’s a heck of a toss as Excalibur talks about Wolverine debuting back in the 1960s. Dorado bounces up out of the corner with a double springboard headbutt, followed by a crazy spinning (as in he spins around Demus about ten times) into a headscissors to the floor. That earns the HOLY S*** chant, setting up the top rope hurricanrana to take Demus down again. Back in and a top rope hurricanrana, with Dorado landing on his feet because, sets up another very spinning hurricanrana into a small package for the pin at 8:04.
Rating: C+. Yeah this was fun and Dorado is one of those things that has to be seen to be believed. He can do all kinds of stuff out there and makes it look easy, which is about as cool as you can get. Demus was a good target for Dorado as he is so much bigger, allowing Dorado to do all of his spots out there. Throw in getting in and out fairly fast and this was a lot of fun. Not great, but it was the kind of match that fit in perfectly on a show like this.
Dorado having a salsa version of the Mission Impossible theme makes it even better. The fans throw in the money so Dorado slaps him in the face with a dollar. That might seem rude, but Demus picks the dollar up and, ahem, cleans himself with it so Dorado is better….I guess?
Tommy Dreamer vs. Kevin Steen
Street fight and for you younger people, Steen is better known as Kevin Owens. The fans seem split here and it’s an exchange of hammerlocks to start. Dreamer’s shoulder bounces off of Steen (Steen: “IN YOUR DREAMS!”) and it’s time to hammer on Dreamer for a bit. Steen drop toeholds him down and hits the flipping legdrop to the back of Dreamer’s head. Back up and Dreamer kicks him low in the corner to send Steen outside, setting up the running flip dive off the apron.
A bottle of water to the head rocks Steen again but Dreamer gets crotched on the barricade because Dreamer spends too much time pointing at the crowd (as Dreamer tends to do). They brawl through the crowd and Steen hits him over the back with a well stolen crutch. Dreamer gets taken up onto a camera table and gets knocked down onto (not through) another table in a big crash. Back into the crowd with Dreamer hitting him in the head with a Steen DVD.
Dreamer sends him into the barricade and then heads backstage to grab the usual assortment of weapons. A hockey stick to the back rocks Steen again and there’s….something made of wood over Steen’s head. Dreamer gets sent into a plastic tray in the corner and Steen hits him in the knee with a stick. The Sharpshooter goes on (because Steen is Canadian) but is broken up in a hurry. Dreamer misses a charge into the post so Steen puts a stop sign over him to set up the Cannonball, which is not the brightest move in the world.
That lets Steen tie him in the Tree of Woe and this isn’t going to end well. Indeed, as Steen hits a running dropkick to a chair in the face. Commentary starts making Steven Segal references as Dreamer catches him on top with a superplex. Dreamer wins the big slugout so Steen goes low in a smart move. The Even Flow gets two but Dreamer catches him on top to break up a moonsault.
Now it’s Steen in the Tree of Woe so Dreamer can hit him low with a stick. There’s the running basement dropkick to drive a stop sign into Steen’s face and now it’s time to grab a piece of barricade. That takes too long though and Steen superkicks him off the apron. The fans want to see someone use a hammer but they settle for Dreamer kicking a rope for a low blow. With nothing else working, one of the fans gives Dreamer a HUGE hammer, which he uses to crush the bell between Steen’s legs. Steen is fine enough to shove Dreamer onto the piece of barricade inside and a Swanton finishes Dreamer at 19:24.
Rating: B-. This was a pretty hard hitting street fight, though it did run a good bit longer than it should have. What mattered here was the idea of the old hardcore legend vs. the new breed and that worked out rather well. I’m not wild on these matches most of the time but this one was pretty fun, which is about all you can hope for in this kind of a situation.
Post match Steen is ready to say something to Dreamer but Raven runs in to hit Steen low and DDT Dreamer for old times’ sake. Steen to Raven: “You’re a f****** a**hole!” Steen to Dreamer: “Thank you.”
Intermission, which is cut from the video.
Roderick Strong vs. Jake Manning
Manning is an adult Manscout and comes out to a John Cougar Mellencamp song, which I believe was used in the Waterboy. After Manning gives the referee some lessons on how to properly call a match, he takes Strong down to the mat for a headscissors. They grapple on the mat for a bit with Strong getting the better of things but that is broken up in a hurry. Manning takes him back down by the arm as commentary talks about how it might be difficult to find footage on Manning, who rarely leaves the southeast.
Strong is back up with a shot to the face and unloads with the chops in the corner. A belly to back suplex sets up a chinlock on Manning but he’s right back up with a kick to the face. Manning drops an elbow for two and drives Strong into the corner for the choking. They head outside with Manning sending him into the apron for two, setting up the next chinlock. That’s broken up as well and they go with a pinfall reversal sequence for some near falls each. Strong is back up with a dropkick and they’re both down for a breather.
It’s Strong up first with a bunch of running forearms into a belly to back suplex for two more. Manning comes back with an (oddly appropriate for reasons that I can’t figure out) airplane spin. Strong isn’t having that and hammers away but Manning is right back with a backbreaker into a Downward Spiral for three. Only two of them count though due to the foot being on the rope though, meaning Strong can come back with an enziguri. The Angle Slam gets two and it’s the backbreaker into the Sick Kick to finish Manning at 11:04.
Rating: C+. This is the kind of match that I like to see on a show like this, as Strong is a much bigger name than Manning but they went back and forth well enough here to make you believe that Manning could pull it off. The match worked well as Strong can have a good match against anyone and Manning held up his end despite being known for little more than his gimmick. Good stuff here, with a nice battle of the generations.
Davey Richards vs. Harry Smith
That would be Davey Boy Smith Jr., freshly released from WWE, and this could be interesting. They go with the technical exchange to start (shocking I know) with Richards getting him down into a modified surfboard and rolling him up for two. That’s broken up for a standoff and they lock up, with Smith absolutely towering over Richards. It’s back to the mat with Smith grabbing a short armscissors and rolling him around a bit.
That’s reversed into something like an Indian Deathlock from Richards to crank on the leg. Make that a Muta Lock with commentary thinking Richards would do well at Subway. Smith slips out and cranks him down by the arm, setting up a full nelson. That’s broken up as well as Richards rolls out with an armdrag, only to get pulled into a spinning belly to belly for two. More arm cranking has Richards down again but he sends Smith to the floor. There’s the running kick to the chest from the apron, setting up the suicide dive.
Back in and a missile dropkick sends Smith into the corner. It’s time to start working on the leg, with Davey kicking away and grabbing a Trailer Hitch. Richards stomps on both knees at once and it’s a dragon screw legwhip into a half crab. Now it’s an STF as the fans start shouting various things. Smith fights up and kicks him into the corner, setting up a powerslam for two.
Smith crotches him on top and grabs a delayed superplex for a slightly delayed near fall. A superkick and a powerbomb give Smith two more each but Richards kicks him down again. The top rope double stomp gets two and we hit the ankle lock. That’s broken up with a roll into the post, allowing Smith to grab a cross armbreaker. Richards rolls into another ankle lock, which Smith reverses into one of his own.
The grapevined version is countered into a Sharpshooter, which Smith reverses into his own Sharpshooter. Smith grabs a small package for two but Richards BLASTS him with a knee for the same. Back up and Smith tries a powerbomb but Richards reverses into a sunset flip. Smith sits down on it ala his dad against Bret Hart, only to have Richards slip out into a cradle for the pin at 17:26.
Rating: B. It was good action throughout and Smith looked good in defeat, but egads I had forgotten how hard it is to get invested in a Richards match. He is so ultra serious all the time, though at least he wasn’t doing his “get kicked in the head and scream a lot without selling anything” and writing it off as strong style. This got the crowd going and I certainly didn’t hate it though, which is some high praise for a Richards match.
Post match Richards says he can’t believe the people up north let Smith go. Richards talks about the similarities between the two of them, including idolizing the same people growing up. Respect is shown and Smith says it’s better to hear these fans chant his name instead of Michael Cole every Monday night. Wrestling will always be #1 for him, even if he jumps into MMA (which he didn’t).
El Generico/Great Sasuke vs. Young Bucks
The Bucks are actually young here and come out to MMMBop, which is rather frustrating. Matt does the Randy Savage finger spin and Nick parodies the Spinarooni (there’s your 90s reference). The fans go NUTS for Generico and it’s a shame that he retired so soon after this. You know Excalibur is right there with all of the Sasuke history because this is his thing.
Generico reveals a half Generico/Sasuke mask and takes Nick down to start. An exchange of wristlocks goes nowhere so Nick drives him into the corner and starts in on the arm again. We hear about how completely and utterly amazing the Bucks are as Sasuke comes in to headlock Nick. Some kicks to the ribs have little effect on Sasuke (the only time Sasuke and Rick Rude will be compared), who elbows Nick in the head. Generico comes back in and gets taken into the corner so Matt can talk a lot of trash.
A few quick armdrags have Matt in trouble as we hear about Sasuke making a documentary about mouthwash (or something). Generico hammers away on Matt in the corner and fires off chops against the ropes for a bonus. Matt is back with the headscissors to hold Generico in place, allowing Nick to kick him in the mask and into the barricade. Back in and Matt laughs at Generico, setting up the slow motion stomping.
We hit the front facelock until Nick comes back in for some shots in the corner. A handspring rake to the back sets up a slingshot hilo as Excalibur talks about how the Young Bucks have a supernatural feel for the DMZ on the thirty third parallel in the ring. Generico rakes the Bucks’ chests to escape but it’s still too early for the tag. Matt’s waistlock keeps Generico in trouble but he manages the exploder suplex into the corner.
That’s enough for the hot tag to Sasuke to clean house as everything breaks down. Sasuke dropkicks Nick through the ropes and Generico hits the big running flip dive to crush Matt. Back in and a Blockbuster gets two on Matt and Sasuke takes a LONG time to go up for a Ram Jam (from The Wrestler), allowing Matt to roll away. The Bucks take turns kicking Sasuke in the back of the trunks but it’s back to Generico for the Blue Thunder Bomb to Nick.
The Helluva Kick is broken up but Nick kicks Matt in the head but mistake. Sasuke crushes Nick with a springboard missile dropkick, only to have Nick low bridge him to the floor. A wheelbarrow faceplant gives Matt two on Generico and Risky Business gets the same. More Bang For Your Buck is countered into a half and half suplex and Sasuke is back with a powerbomb to Nick. Matt superkicks Sasuke though and everyone is down again.
Nick comes back in to knee Sasuke off the apron but Generico sends Nick’s kick into Matt’s head. You know the Bucks aren’t selling that though and it’s a double superkick into the assisted Tombstone for two on Generico with Sasuke making another save. Nick misses a moonsault and Sasuke hits a big flip dive onto Matt on the floor. That gets the fans back into it and Generico’s Swanton gets two on Nick. Now the Helluva Kick can connect to set up the brainbuster onto the buckle to finish Nick at 21:12.
Rating: B. This was better than I was expecting and it was nice to see the Bucks actually lose for a change. You don’t usually see the dream team beating the regular partners so this was quite the surprise. It really is a shame that Generico retired, as he is quite the star. You can see how influential he was too, as a lot of people would copy his style, almost down to the move at times.
20 man Royal Rumble and Ken Shamrock is a ringside enforcer. Matt Classic (I hear Colt Cabana is a big fan) is in at #1 and Lanny Poffo is in at #2 for one of the most unique matches I can remember seeing in a long time. Commentary makes it clear that entrants will be STRICTLY timed, after an apparent issue last year. Classic slowly hammers away at the back and grabs a claw but misses the bottom rope splash. Poffo actually manages the moonsault (not bad for 57) and goes for the mask.
Rock Riddle (the original Mr. Wonderful, who I’ve never actually seen wrestle) is in at #3 as we seem to have 90 second intervals. Riddle doesn’t actually get in the ring as Classic and Poffo continue their slow motion fighting. The timing is already a bit off as Carlos Colon (The Youngster!) is in at #4. Colon gets to hit both guys in the head as commentary continues its running joke of Classic feuding with every old wrestler ever. Riddle finally comes in (I wasn’t betting on the flower print gear) for a few shots of his own as Gangrel is in at #5.
Brawling continues as Gangrel (getting a rather strong reception) bites Poffo in the corner. The clock is even further all over the place as Jesse Hernandez is in at #6. Classic gets beaten up some more but gets choked in the corner by Gangrel. Mando Guerrero is in at #7 and gets quite the reception as he beats on Classic. They finally start teasing some eliminations (and no you cannot expect any kind of serious quality out of this) until Kevin Sullivan is in at #8.
Stick shots abound until Colon headbutts the stick out of Sullivan’s hands. Colon stabs Sullivan in the stomach with said stick and then beats Gangrel in the back. Piloto Suicida (still active today) is in at #9 as the ring is really getting full. The rapid fire entrances (now barely at a minute) continue as Tommy Dreamer is in at #10 (OF COURSE Dreamer is working twice) to hammer on Gangrel as commentary talks about how these two are some of the youngest in the match. Everyone is still in as Dreamer beats on Classic, apparently as payback for all of those boring Madison Square Garden main events.
Robbie E., the reigning TNA TV Champion, is in at #11 and promises to become the youngest ever winner of this match. Then Dreamer tosses him in a hurry for a funny bit. Virgil (to Ted DiBiase’s music) is in at #12 as Poffo, Colon and Guerrero were all put out somewhere. Greg Valentine, coming out to Sharp Dressed Man of all things, is in at #13. Classic is doing Hindu squats as Sullivan hits Suicida with the bell. Valentine has Dreamer in the Figure Four as Gangrel drops elbows.
Konnan is in at #14 to go after Sullivan, with commentary (thankfully) bringing up the Dungeon of Doom. Dan Severn is in at #15 and this could be interesting. Gangrel goes after Severn in a hurry as the ring is too full again. Jimmy Hart, with a lot of padding, of all people is in at #16 and wisely walks around the ring for a bit.
Godfather, with his ladies, is in at #17 and Gangrel eliminates himself to join in. Hart was eliminated off screen and Brutus Beefcake is in at #18 (dang I miss that theme) and goes after Valentine to ruin the Dream Team reunion. Bradley Ray Schreak (an auction winner) is in at #19 as Sullivan is out. Beefcake grabs the sleeper on Schreak as Suicida is out. Schreak gets a haircut, including with the big scissors, as Severn gets rid of Virgil. The match completely stops for the haircut until Schreak wakes up and panics over his hair being gone.
That’s enough for an elimination and it’s Raven in at #20 (with Dreamer waiting on him) to complete the field. The final grouping is Classic, Dreamer, Valentine, Konnan, Severn, Godfather, Beefcake and Raven. Hang on though as Raven doesn’t want to get in, only to have Kevin Steen come out and jump him from behind. Steen throws Raven in for a DDT from Dreamer, who tosses Raven without much trouble. Dreamer, ever the genius, jumps out to beat on Raven some more and beats him to the back with Steen. Classic is eliminated and there goes Konnan.
We’re down to Severn, Valentine, Beefcake and Godfather (I love indy wrestling) but Shamrock distracts Severn, allowing Valentine to toss him. Severn pulls Valentine out and we’re down to two. The Ho Train misses Godfather but he low bridges Beefcake out for the win at 23:12.
Rating: C. Fun. What other word is there to describe something like this? They weren’t trying to do anything serious here and it was all about having people get a quick payoff and come out to a pop. It worked at the Gimmick Battle Royal in 2001 and it works at any show like this. I had a good time with it and that’s the entire point of this kind of match. It’s a lot of fun, and well done on doing what they should have.
The women come in to dance with Godfather, who hits his catchphrase (while clearly having a blast) to wrap up the night.
Overall Rating: B. I’ve seen a good number of these reunion style shows and this was one of the better ones, with a nice mixture of old vs. new and some legends matches thrown in there as well. They had some big names included and while they might have had a better option as the main event (though it did fit the reunion theme), this was a lot of fun. It’s longer than it needs to be (at nearly three and a half hours, not counting intermission), but I had a good time with it and that is entirely the goal with something like this.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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