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Wrestling's 4R's 12.10.12: WWE Smackdown, TNA IMPACT Wrestling, EVOLVE 18 & NJPW iPPV Reviewed
Posted by Larry Csonka on 12.10.2012





How the 4R's of wRestling Work!
Here is a quick explanation of the 4R's. The column will run TWO times a week. THREE if there is a PPV. We will group our feelings on the shows in various categories: The Right, the wRong and the Ridiculous. The Right is stuff that worked very well: a great promo, a great match and so on. PuRgatoRy is a section between the right and wrong. It shows equal traits from both sides that cannot be ignored and needs discussed. It is not a bad place per say, as things can get remedied or go the wrong way the very next week. The wRong is what it sounds like: bad matches, bad or boring promos and so on. The Ridiculous is stuff that had no right on TV: Stupid angles and so on. And there is always a possibility of a 5th R, which is as bad as they come. This column is supposed to be analytical, and at the right time very critical of the shows, it was the whole reason it was created. This is not a "mark" column, nor a "smark" column, our goal is to analyze the show from many different fronts, reward the good and call out the bad. We will not apologize for our opinions, they are as they are, whether positive or negative.






Let's rock…





QUICK THOUGHTS: EVOLVE 18 iPPV

By: LARRY CSONKA


* AR Fox defeated Tony Nese via pin [***½]
* Masada defeated Papadon via pin [**½]
* Larry Dallas and Papadon defeated Marti Belle [SHIT]
* Rick Swann defeated Jigsaw via pin [***½]
* Jon Davis defeated Chuck Taylor via pin [**¾]
* El Generico & Samuray Del Sol defeated The Super Smash Bros via pin [***¾]
* Rich Swann defeated AR Fox, Masada and John Davis via pin [**]
* Open The Freedom Gate Champion Johnny Gargano defeated Sami Callihan via submission [****]

QUICK THOUGHTS

EVOLVE returned to iPPV for their final event of 2012, and at the end of the day it was the same old from the promotion, which is both good and bad. The good was that once again we had a show with good wrestling, including the usual great performances from the usual suspects: Gargano, Generico and Del Sol. The bad was that the crowd was once again not a good one, as they again took away from matches with their lack of involvement and reaction. I do not know if it was because the crowd was more of a "CZW crowd" or what, but this is a problem that the promotion has had through out the year. Also on the bad side was the angle with Larry Dallas. This was just a bad angle that the crowd rightfully crapped all over, and Dallas continues to offer nothing but poor performances and bad angles in my opinion. If I had to name something that has been a negative for EVOVLE-DGUSA in 2012, it is Larry Dallas and the Scene.

AR Fox and Tony Nese had a really nice opener that was the right way to kick off the event. I have really come around on Fox this year, seeing a good bit of his work, and the guy is simply fun. Rick Swann vs. Jigsaw was another fun match, and again, whenever the CHIKARA guys make an appearance, they work hard, and Jigsaw continues to shine when given the chance. Also, you have to love Rich Swann, while he hasn't been booked the best in my opinion, the guy busts his ass and always puts in the effort.

El Generico & Samuray Del Sol vs. The Super Smash Bros was pretty much what everyone expected, just a great tag team match with great work from both guys. Unfortunately, the crowd just didn't react, which took away from things. I do not get to watch Super Smash Bros as much as most, due to the fact that I do not watch the PWG events (due to lack of funds) but what I have been seeing from them has been a ton of fun, and I want to see more. El Generico & Samuray Del Sol have been money in 2012, and when they are advertised, the promotion that has them on the card gets my money.

The main event saw Open The Freedom Gate Champion Johnny Gargano defeating Sami Callihan via submission. This was a very good main event, and once again, Gargano shows why he has been holding the title for so long. The man is their main event, he has been delivering and is one of the very best PPV performers of 2012. I was never a big Callihan guy, but after seeing more of him in 2012, I see why so many people have been high on him.

At the end of the day, another good wrestling card, with a crowd that didn't react well to what was being presented. The thing is, it isn't like EVOLVE is not presenting strong events, they are, but at the end of the day, the poor crowd reaction had a negative effect on the show, which is a shame. But it needs to be said again, Gargano, Generico and Del Sol shine once again, and deserve all of the praise that they have been getting this year.


SHOW RATING: 7.2

What the numbers mean…

0 - 0.9
: Torture
1 - 1.9: Extremely Horrendous
2 - 2.9: Very Bad
3 - 3.9: Bad
4 - 4.9: Poor
5 - 5.9: Not So Good
6 - 6.9: Average
7 - 7.9: Good
8 - 8.9: Very Good
9 - 9.9: Amazing
10: Virtually Perfect

As a reminder, this is not a basic "how good was the show" number like a TV show, as I have always felt that a PPV is very different from a regular show. I have always judged PPV on how they built to a match, the match quality, crowd reactions to matches and angles, the overall booking, how the PPV leads into the future, PPV price and so on and so forth. I have added this in here for an explanation since so many have asked, and I have previously discussed it on podcasts. I understand that this may seem different, but that is how I grade. Obviously your criteria may be different.







QUICK THOUGHTS: New Japan Pro Wrestling's 2012 World Tag League Finals iPPV

By: LARRY CSONKA


~ Minoru Suzuki & Taka Michinoku & Kengo Mashimo & Taichi beat Yuji Nagata & Masaaki Mochizuki & Ryusuke Taguchi & Bushi in 11:41 [**]
~ Yoshi-Hashi & Jado beat Rush & Diamante Azul in 8:21 [*½ ]
~ Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. advanced to the finals beating Togi Makabe & Wataru Inoue in 12:10 [***]
~ Hirooki Goto & Karl Anderson advanced to the finals beating Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan in 14:40 [***½]
~ Manabu Nakanishi & Strongman beat Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka via DQ in 3:50 when Yujiro Takahashi and Masato Tanaka interfered [*]
~ Nakanishi & Strongman & MVP & Benjamin beat Yano & Iizuka & Tanaka & Takahashi via DQ in 7:53 [*½]
~ Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata beat Shinsuke Nakamura & Tomohiro Ishii in 9:20 [***½]
~ Kazuchika Okada & Gedo beat Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kushida in 15:22 [***½]
~ Hirooki Goto & Karl Anderson beat Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. to win the tag tournament in 15:36 [***¾]


QUICK THOUGHTS

New Japan Pro Wrestling ran their third world wide iPPV on December 2nd, and as many expected, it was a bridge show to build to the big January 4th Tokyo Dome show. Being a bridge event doesn't make it bad show, but it wasn't nearly at the level of the first two events. There were a few problems with the show, the first of which being that there were only tag matches on the show. While the show was featuring the 2012 World Tag League semifinals and finals, I really felt that they should have worked in a few singles matches to break things up. Even two singles matches would have made a world of difference as far as the flow of the show goes. While there were Junior Heavyweights on the show, there were no strictly Junior Heavyweight style matches on the show, which NJPW is known for. Again, even one of those matches added into the mix could have made a world of difference.

Despite the complaints, which are valid, the show was a solid one that featured good wrestling. Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Tomohiro Ishii was a lot of fun. Sakuraba has just been so much fun since smartly deciding to end his MMA career, and he got the big win here, helping to set up his match at the January 4th event against Nakamura for the IC Title. Sakuraba even tried to offer his hand to Nakamura after the match, but Nakamura refused.

Kazuchika Okada & Gedo vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kushida was also another good match, which was all about helping to set up things or January 4th. Okada got the win in the match over Kushida, following numerous teases between Okada vs. Tanahashi. These guys are money together, and I cannot wait until January 4th. I have really enjoyed how they did the feud, the title changes, and then the slow burn back Okada winning the title shot, defending, and finally cashing in on January 4th.

But at the end of the day the show was all about the teams of Hirooki Goto & Karl Anderson and Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. Hirooki Goto & Karl Anderson advanced to the finals beating Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan early in the show, in a good match, while Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. advanced to the finals beating Togi Makabe & Wataru Inoue. Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. are the current tag team champions, which set the man event stage for them could they win the tournament and cap off a great run, or would Goto and Anderson score the win and earn a shot at the champions. The smart and simple plan was to go with Goto and Anderson winning the tournament, and setting up the match for the titles on January 4th, and that is what they did here. No bullshit, no swerves, just a god main event with solid booking that made sense to add another match to the big show on January 4th.

Now while the show wasn't at the level of the first two iPPV events the company put on, it had some good wrestling and as strong focus on the big January 4th event, which is what it was supposed to do. As far as a recommendation goes, this is a good show, but if you were not into the NJPW product a ton, I would skip it and make sure you saw the first two iPPVs. But if you follow the product religiously, the iPPV is a good show and a bridge to get to January 4th. The show served its purpose well.

SHOW RATING: 7.0

What the numbers mean…

0 - 0.9
: Torture
1 - 1.9: Extremely Horrendous
2 - 2.9: Very Bad
3 - 3.9: Bad
4 - 4.9: Poor
5 - 5.9: Not So Good
6 - 6.9: Average
7 - 7.9: Good
8 - 8.9: Very Good
9 - 9.9: Amazing
10: Virtually Perfect

As a reminder, this is not a basic "how good was the show" number like a TV show, as I have always felt that a PPV is very different from a regular show. I have always judged PPV on how they built to a match, the match quality, crowd reactions to matches and angles, the overall booking, how the PPV leads into the future, PPV price and so on and so forth. I have added this in here for an explanation since so many have asked, and I have previously discussed it on podcasts. I understand that this may seem different, but that is how I grade. Obviously your criteria may be different.






By: Greg DeMarco

Impact Wrestling 12.06.12 (LIVE):

QUICK RESULTS:
* Devon pinned Samoa Joe to win the Television Championship in 3:56 [3/6]
* TNA Tag Team Champions Chavo Guerrero, Jr. and Hernandez defeated Robbie E and Robbie T in 3:52 [3/6]
* Kurt Angle beat DOC by disqualification in 5:25 [3/6]
* Kenny King pinned Zema Ion to win a three-way that also included Kid Kash to be named #1 Contender to the X-Division Championship in 5:58 [4/6]
* TNA World Champion Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, and James Storm defeated Bobby Roode, Christopher Daniels, and Kazarian with Hardy pinned Kazarian at 15:14 [4/6]

[If you're not familiar with these ratings, it's my own Personal Entertainment Factor. I use a scale of 1-6 (6, in honor of the number of sides TNA's ring should have), so there's no middle rating.]

  • THE RIGHT:
    Opening Promo with Bobby Roode, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian, along with AJ Styles: This didn't sell the PPV, but it did sell tonight's main event.

    Devon cheats to win his title back: This is exactly what Devon should be doing!

    Mickie James: Not her promo (that's later), but just Mickie. Hot-damn!

    Aces & Eights in their locker room: Always a fun time when strippers show up. And "Bullshit" isn't bleeped out. This sort of earns its way into this section thanks to the "so wrong it's right" principle.

    Kenny King vs. Zema Ion vs. Kid Kash: Great way to elevate King, and we'll just have to ignore the fact that they already pushed him over the summer. I am excited for King vs. RVD, even if we all know that RVD won't lose on PPV.

    Bully Ray, Austin Aries, Hulk Hogan and Brooke Hogan promo: Don't get me wrong, I don't care for the love story here. I want Brooke to turn heel and either join Aces & Eights (with Bully Ray) or Austin Aries SO bad. If you're gonna go, go all the way. For what this is, it's making Hogan look weak, which means he's solidly behind everyone involved. We know he supports Brooke, but he obviously sees things in Bully and Aries.

    Now, I know some people might take issue with Hulk Hogan not wanting to make Bully Ray vs. Austin Aries, but hear me out. Hogan is the General Manager—he calls the shots. The continued refusal to make the match is Hogan asserting his power, and making sure the wrestlers know who is in charge. Of course the match is going to happen...it's wrestling. But the reason behind the story they told is solid.

    Bobby Roode, Christopher Daniels, and Kazarian vs. Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, and James Storm: Good six-man tag team match that told a good story and kept everyone strong. Bonus points for Daniels and Kazarian's attire. They obviously get it, and it's awesome.

    Aces & Eights Attack Jeff Hardy: Aces & Eights are no longer outsiders, so them being "for hire" makes perfect sense. And if Daniels & Kazarian got bonus points for their attire, Roode gets super triple bonus points for bringing back the "It Pays To Be Roode" line.


  • PURGATORY:
    Chavo Guerrero, Jr. & Hernandez vs. Robbie E & Robbie T: I liked this match, but for all the wrong reasons! I love E & T, and think we should be pushing The Rob-N-Rob Connection.


  • THE WRONG:
    Velvet Sky interrupts the Mickie James-Tara promo: The Mickie-Tara match needed some build, and was getting it until Velvet Sky—a woman not in the PPV match—has to throw in her two cents. Welcome back, toots. You already reminded us that you can't cut a promo. Apparently in 2013 you intend to remind us that you can't wrestle a match.

    Joey Ryan's promo: The Attitude Era ended for a reason. "The Big Morgan & The Big Organ?" Why not just tell us to "Suck It" and get it over with.


  • THE RIDICULOUS:
    Jeff Hardy's Inner Monologue: Fuck you, Jeff Hardy's Inner Monologue.


    The 411

    This was a solid episode of Impact Wrestling, but there were a few elements I didn't like. Jeff Hardy's Inner Monologue has to go, Hulk Hogan telling Abyss Joseph Park to go to OVW was stupid, and I'm slowly starting to dislike Joey Ryan's character. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that he's too good at it—as if he were actually a douche bag in real life. Hmmm...

    That being said, the TV title change made sense, even if I didn't like it. The X-Division 3-way was exciting, and the main event was highly enjoyable. Anytime I can see people wearing Zubaz pants and acting like it's a serious thing is beyond awesome. Next time they need to wear their Ribera Steakhouse jackets to the ring as well—because you know they both gotta have one! Add in the fact that Bobby Roode reminded us that "It Pays To Be Roode" and this show gets rated a full point higher than it deserves.

    SHOW RATING: 7.2

    As a reminder, I will be going by the 411 scale…

    0 - 0.9: Torture
    1 - 1.9: Extremely Horrendous
    2 - 2.9: Very Bad
    3 - 3.9: Bad
    4 - 4.9: Poor
    5 - 5.9: Not So Good
    6 - 6.9: Average
    7 - 7.9: Good
    8 - 8.9:Very Good
    9 - 9.9: Amazing
    10: Virtually Perfect






    By: Larry Csonka

    Smackdown! 12.07.12:
    QUICK RESULTS
    - Non-Title Match: The Big Show © defeated Daniel Bryan @ 10:30 via pin [**]
    - The 3MB defeated Brodus Clay and the Usos @ 2:30 via pin [NR]
    - Randy Orton defeated Wade Barrett @ 11:00 via pin [**½]
    - The Great Khali and Hornswoggle w/Natalya defeated Epico and Primo w/Rosa 3:20 via pin [The Drizzling Shits]
    - Sheamus defeated Alberto Del Rio@ 12:41 via pin [***]


  • THE RIGHT:
    The Shield: I have to say, that overall I really liked the presentation of The Shield on the show this week. Thus far they have been booked well, and allowed to look strong on WWE programming. This week's beat down of Bryan and then Kane was perfectly fine, and allowed them to continue to look strong. And then there was the video interview…



    Yeah, that one I posted above. I really liked this, mainly because the presentation was so "not WWE." This felt more the style that someone like a Gabe Sapolsky uses on the independent scenes, which fits this perfectly. These guys are essentially some vigilantes, they shouldn't have sleek looking video packages and such. It was that rebel handcam, original ECW-Indy style video that fits these guys right now. The promo was solid stuff, promoting their agenda and the PPV match as well. Finally, and most importantly, they are being VERY careful with these guys, by having them only talk in controlled settings. And what that means is completely pre-produced and recorded, not live. I feel that it is important to allow them time to talk and get over in the not live setting, and then later transition them to that. It is a slow walk with them, establishing them before they are allowed to run on a live mic. In my opinion that shows that WWE is being careful as to not damage something that could be very good for these three guys. Rollins has sounded fine thus far, Reigns sounds like a bad ass, and I feel Ambrose has shined in their limited speaking roles.

    The 3MB vs. Brodus and the Usos: Overall this was a fine segment. While I am not a high on the 3MB as others, that doesn't mean tat it is bad. It is giving these guys something to do and they seem to be serious at the time about getting them over as a solid mid-card act. The team of the Usos and Clay was a good one to put them against, as people still like Clay and the Usos always work hard and have good outings with everyone. The only thing I would like to mention on a slightly negative side is that it felt very rushed, a little more time would have helped it flow better. I would have cut the Khali-Hornswogle bullshit, but I will complain about that later. This was a perfectly fine segment, and hopefully they have a plan for the 3MB.

    When Cesaro Met Truth For Promos: While not the best promo segment I have ever seen (although the Dusty Rhodes thing did help) I loved the fact that they gave Cesaro and Truth promo time to build their TLC match. Coming off of the Main Event show, where Cesaro, Barrett, Truth and Kofi were featured the whole show, this was a great follow up to that. Considering that I have complained forever how the mid-card titles and performers around those titles have been treated, it is only fair that I praise them for the good work that they did here.

    Sheamus defeated Alberto Del Rio: The main event of the show was Sheamus battling Alberto Del Rio. While a match I really wasn't looking forward to watching, because we have seen it so many times, I will say that it was a good main event. They worked well once again together, I liked the added deal with Big Show coming out to watch, and Sheamus looked strong in victory here. I liked the post match angle they ran, where Show, being a completely smug asshole, tried to trick Sheamus into hitting him. Seriously, he was such a bastard that you wanted to see Sheamus kick his ass. Instead, Sheamus kept his cool and grabbed Ricardo Rodriguez, and threw him directly into the groin of the Big Show. This was a good match and a fun ending to the program as Sheamus one-upped Show, even with the agreement that was signed. I have enjoyed their feud, they have had some good PPV matches, and I am looking forward to their next PPV outing.


  • PURGATORY:
    OPENING TALKY BIT: I know, broken record time, I have talked about this in the past, and will continue to talk about it. I am not a big fan of the show opening interview segment. I know why they do it, but it now appears to be a crutch that shows use 95% or more of the time. Sure they set up matches and advance angles, but when I see the show opening interview, unless I am recapping, I tend to fade off and not pay attention, because it bores me. I mean, really, we cannot start off a wrestling show with out the opening show interview? Yes it set up the opener and announced the show's main event, but it is just too much of the same old shit, and it annoys me. It's 2012; we can't open with the occasional match? Now don't get me wrong, the segment was fine, and a nice addition to the feud, and led to the angle after the main event. I just want something a little different.

    Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan: Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan opened the show, and they had a forgettable, but fine match. They work pretty well together, and Show got the win with a chokeslam to Bryan, who was standing on the top rope, and was distracted by the Shield. This led to the Shield beating down Bryan, and then Kane failing to make the save and getting the Shield Bomb through the announcer's table. I was down with everything that happened in this segment, minus the fact that Bryan had to take the pin. The reason I have the problem is because Bryan is now involved in a main event style match at TLC against the Shield. Having him lose again I just feel that it was a poor move. You could have done essentially the same thing by having the Shield run in, allowing Show to leave like they have with Punk, and then do what they did by taking out the tag team champions. I know it seems like a small thing, but I just feel that it was a poor choice to have Bryan take the pin in this situation. But that's just one man's opinion.

    Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett: Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett was a solid wrestling match on this show, although it felt like a replay of Smackdown, because I feel we have watched the match numerous times. Anyway, a solid match between these two, who do have good chemistry together. Kofi was out for commentary, and ended up distracting Barrett, causing him to lose the match. But much like the Daniel Bryan situation, I do not like Barrett taking the loss here. And this is why. As of this time, what is Randy Orton doing for the TLC PPV? Nothing at this time, but he is rumored to face Del Rio. As of this time, what is Wade Barrett doing for the TLC PPV? Oh that's right, challenging for the IC Title at the PPV. I don't care that it was because of distraction, I just feel that it looks bad for Barrett to be dropping pins as he heads into a title shot of any kind.


  • THE WRONG:
    NOTHING


  • THE RIDICULOUS:
    The Great Khali and Hornswoggle w/Natalya defeated Epico and Primo w/Rosa: This is the kind of shit that you hope your non-wrestling fans never catch you watching. First of all, this was just some massive bullshit. Khali can barely walk, and Hornswoggle is completely annoying. The Divas division is all but dead, so we have to waste Natalya as a LOVE INTEREST for Khali. And then, and not to be the guy that said I told you so, but I told you all not to get too excited on the "tag team wrestling is back in WWE" deal. I said it would be a minimal thing, that it would focus on Team Hell No, and that most of the other teams would be shit on. Enter Epico and Primo. These poor bastards do nothing but work hard and have good matches with everyone, so of course they get to be made to look like complete jokes. Yes, I absolutely hated this segment of TV, and the show would have been much better off if they would have given the time to the 3MB vs. Usos and Clay match.


    The 411

    While I really liked last week's show, this one went back to being average. A lot of the show seems like we are watching repeats. Same old opening show promos, along with a lot of the same matches; Sheamus vs. Del Rio and Orton vs. Barrett are prime examples. Again, it is fine TV , but nothing that you have to see each week. With rumors of WWE bringing back some mid-card performers to strengthen the roster and also to freshen things up, I have to say that it is not the worst of ideas.

    SHOW RATING: 6.0

    0 - 0.9
    : Torture
    1 - 1.9: Extremely Horrendous
    2 - 2.9: Very Bad
    3 - 3.9: Bad
    4 - 4.9: Poor
    5 - 5.9: Not So Good
    6 - 6.9: Average
    7 - 7.9: Good
    8 - 8.9: Very Good
    9 - 9.9: Amazing
    10: Virtually Perfect





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