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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

Wrestling’s 4Rs 6.06.14: WWE Monday Night Raw & Dragon Gate on iPPV
Posted by Larry Csonka on 06.06.2014

How the 4Rs of wRestling Work!
Here is a quick explanation of the 4R's. The column will run TWO times a week. 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 need 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.

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It's quite hypnotic….

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Dragon Gate: The Gate of Maximum 2014 – 6.05.14
By: Larry Csonka

1. U-T & Yosuke♥Santa Maria{W} defeated Gamma & Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa{L} (7:11 Lovely Arrow) [**]

2. Open the Brave Gate #1 Contender Match: Jimmy Kagetora defeated Shachihoko BOY (10:16 Gurumakakari) [***]

3. Don Fujii & Ryotsu Shimizu defeated Jimmy Susumu & Mr. High Tension Kotoka{L} (9:10 Kameari Kouen Mae Crab) [**¾]

4. T-Hawk{W} & EITA defeated Masaaki Mochizuki & Dragon Kid{L} (13:31 Night Ride) [****]

5. Tanizaki Naoki Toyonaka Dolphin, Genki Horiguchi, Jimmy Kanda{W} defeated Masato Yoshino, Akira Tozawa, Shingo Takagi{L} [***]

6. Winning side retains Mad Blankey Name: 5 vs. 1 Scramble Elimination Match: YAMATO, Kzy, Naruki Doi, Cyber Kong, Mondai Ryu defeated BxB Hulk
-Hulk (0:18 First Flash) Mondai Ryu
-Kzy (6:37 Skayde Schoolboy) Hulk
*The YAMATO Team retain the rights to the MAD BLANKEY name [**]

7. CIMA, BxB Hulk, T-Hawk, Jimmy Susumu, Akira Tozawa defeated YAMATO, Naruki Doi, Cyber Kong, Mondai Ryu, Kzy after Hulk gets the pin on Kzy after his first flash finisher [****¼]

The Tirade

On June 5th Dragon Gate made their return to iPPV, and put on another quality event. The first stand out match of the night saw T-Hawk & EITA (The Millenials) defeating Masaaki Mochizuki & Dragon Kid. This was a great tag team match, featuring the Millenials being awesome a usual and Mochizuki having his best performance in a long time. Dude was fired up, essentially acting like your drunk/pissed off uncle at a graduation party. The Millenials took the win, and continue to just be great. T-Hawk continues to be the standout to me, but EITA is also very good.

The big angle on the show was BxB Hulk facing YAMATO, Kzy, Naruki Doi, Cyber Kong, and Mondai Ryu in a five on one elimination match. This was set up at the past PPV, where Hulk was leaving the group and they would battle for the name and colors to MAD BLANKEY. Much to my surprise, they ended this early. Hulk got a pin on Ryu, but then was pinned by KYZ to end the match. YAMATO and friends then kicked the shit out of Hulk until CIMA made the save. CIMA laid the facts out to Hulk that he cannot fight alone in Dragon Gate, and that the show could not end like this. T-Hawk, Tozawa, & Susuma joined them to battle the members of MAD BLANKEY in the new main event.

The main event was a great match, basically the usual great tag team match in the Dragon Gate way. Cool sequences and wild spots that got the crowd going. If you're into that wild, off the wall and extremely athletic action, you'll love this.

Following the main event, they set up a match for the next Korakuen show with BxB Hulk teaming with BxB Masa (Masaaki Mochizuki) vs. YAMATO & Doi. Mochizuki will even do the BxB dance prior to the match. Also set for that show on July 3rd is Akira Tozawa, Shingo Takagi and Uhaa Nation vs. T-Hawk, EITA and Flamita as well as Kotoka vs. Chihiro Tominaga in a PUNCH PERM MATCH (loser will have to receive a punch perm hairstyle). WACKINESS!

OVERALL: While the show didn't live up to the lofty standards of the last two shows, especially the Dead or Alive event, this was a quality event. The card was strong, nothing was bad, there were two good standout matches and they set the stage for the next big event on July 3rd. The show was fun and easy to watch, I got my quality matches, and build to the next event. I feel connected with the promotion, even though I only follow through iPPV, so I feel that they are doing something right in that regard.

Score: 7.3

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

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.

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By: Jack Stevenson

Raw 6.02.14:
  • Sheamus & Rob Van Dam d. Cesaro & Bad News Barrett
  • Bo Dallas d. Kofi Kingston
  • John Cena d. Kane
  • Los Matadores d. 3MB
  • Alicia Fox & Aksana d. Nikki Bella
  • Adam Rose d. Jack Swagger
  • The Wyatt Family d. The Usos
  • Alberto Del Rio d. Dolph Ziggler in a Money in the Bank qualifier
  • Rybaxel d. Goldust & Sin Cara

    Devolution is a mystery: Raw opened with Triple H trying to rally his Evolution troops after two straight humiliating defeats to the Shield. Half of his troops quit as a result, so I would say that didn't go well for Hunter. Batista coolly walked out to find his own way in this vast galaxy of ours, and it made for a really entertaining start to the show. Batista's an inconsistent performer, and even his recent heel run, which should have been brilliant, would have been fairly anonymous had it not been for his presence in two outstanding Shield six mans. But he was so fantastic in this! Sometimes he's just so cool and smug and narcissistic and glorious, like Roman Reigns if Reigns was born in an evil Gucci warehouse, and he was all of those things here, he left me thinking he was a giant quitter and also desperately wanting to be him in equal measure. This was a hot and important start to the show, the antithesis of the Raw product in the last few weeks.

    Stephanie McMahon makes more friends: So after a month of tiresome, endless teasing, a concrete announcement was finally made about the WWE Championship- if Bryan's fit, he'll defend against Kane in a Stretcher match, and if he isn't, the title's on the line in a non-Money in the Bank Money in the Bank ladder match. With progress finally made, it was easier to enjoy this segment for its merits- namely, Stephanie McMahon being her usual brilliantly evil self, and John Cena cutting a smooth, self-assured promo. His joke about Steph's breasts was a bit 2003 but the crowd liked it and Stephanie rolled with it and it wasn't as totally cringe worthy as his usual material so hey. I'm a little concerned that this is going to lead to four weeks of Cena railing against the man and trying to tell even more jokes which always ends in embarrassment for us all, but I'm relieved the title situation finally has some clarity and this was a good dueling promo in its own right, so it's going in the right. Oh yeah and John Cena and Kane had a match and not much happened.

    Sheamus & Rob Van Dam vs. Bad News Barrett & Cesaro: I think this was pretty good. I mean, Rob Van Dam was in it, and Rob Van Dam won it, and he did so at the expense of Cesaro and Bad News Barrett, so evidence would suggest it was atrocious, atrocious, atrocious. But I liked the match, I didn't think it was the best work of anyone involved. but it was solid. and felt fairly fresh considering all these wrestlers have wrestled each other in numerous combinations numerous times before. Paul Heyman was really entertaining on commentary. So, yeah, good opening bout.

    The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family: This was rather great. It had roughly 90% of what I look for in the wrestling- hard strikes, furious dives, hot near falls and fine tag team wrestling. All it needed was a terrifying spot involving a ladder and we would have been set. Everyone involved is pretty damn great and they got the opportunity to go out for nearly 20 minutes and hash out their differences through violence and it was just darn terrific, I think every kind of wrestling fan in the world could have found something to enjoy in this. Also the Usos cut a superb, fun, fiery face promo before the match, and the visual of the empty rocking chair at ringside was super cool, and I liked the subtle changes it made to the dynamic of the match, with Luke and Erick having to devise their own strategy, and occasionally look to the chair for inspiration. I liked everything about this.

    Bo Dallas vs. Kofi Kingston: Bo Dallas stumbled a little bit by recycling the exact same jokes that Damian Sandow used to crushingly unfunny effect in the previous segment. Predictably, they were equally unfunny five minutes later delivered in a slightly different ways. The gimmick still has plenty of potential though, and, assuming the crowd's "BO-RING" chant was them getting into the character and the puns. rather than an actual expression of boredom, the sky is looking fairly blue for him.

    Nikki Bella vs. Alicia & Aksana: This was a thoroughly logical and acceptable way of highlighting that Brie, the most attractive human I know who is named after a soft French cheese, will not be around for a little while. It was too short to be worth much and didn't even contain any zany Alicia antics, but it did its job OK.

    A Rose by any other name: Adam Rose continues to quarrel with Jack Swagger. He beat him in a passable match this week and the crowd seem to be warming to him a bit which is deserved. Mildly encouraging.

    Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio: Not a patch on their best work, obviously, but this was a fine undercard bout. I'm surprised that Ziggler didn't pick up the win to move into the Money in the Bank ladder match, he seems an obvious choice to bounce off ladders and I don't think WWE would care all that much if he paralyzed himself. Alberto is good but won't be very noticeable or much of a threat. Still, OK segment.

    I didn't find Damian Sandow funny this week: Maybe it was because I don't follow basketball and had no idea what half the jokes meant, but, yeah, I didn't find this very fun. Damian Sandow doing clichéd 'your local sports team is of a poor standard!' material before the Big Show was trotted out to punch him < raccoon capped southerner Damian Sandow seeming to sincerely believe he was Davy Crockett.

    Los Matadores vs. 3MB: I stand by my belief that Hornswoggle stealing El Torito's tail was a cute idea, and this week the focus shifted to Hornswoggle concealing his newly shaven head with an afro, which was quite a funny visual. But then JBL literally said that Hornswoggle was "almost a person" and yeah this is just a bit uncomfortable isn't it? I mean I guess El Torito and Hornswoggle are OK with it, but I don't know, it makes me feel bad about having enjoyed this feud at all when comments like that are made. Also this was like the 900th time these teams have faced off. I hope this doesn't turn into the not hugely anticipated sequel to Hornswoggle vs. Chavo Guerrero.

    Not Quite the Brotherhood vs. Rybaxel: The concept of this angle is 'Cody Rhodes and Goldust are really shit at wrestling' which to me is deeply flawed at best, not least because Rhodes and Goldust are both really great at wrestling and its disheartening to see them losing every single week for the sake of a boring, counter-productive story when they should be tearing things up with the Usos. Goldust is auditioning new partners and sucking more and more people into this black hole. Generally black holes aren't considered positive.

    Rusev has a shiny medal: I didn't really care for this. It just kind of went on and on without ever establishing what the point was. We all know that Rusev is Russian and that Vince McMahon doesn't like Edward Snowden, now is the time to prove that this character can actually have some relevance in the 21st century and be a part of a rewarding feud. This didn't do anything to achieve that.

    BETRAYAL: So Seth Rollins has turned on the Shield and shacked up with Triple H and Orton and I am in about 6000 different minds about this. I estimate about 3798 of those minds are wholeheartedly against, 1251 are cautiously in favor, and the rest are confused and scared. I think that averages out as me disliking the segment, but not wholeheartedly. Here's the thing- the main reason I really, really hate this is because I am genuinely crushed that Seth has left the Shield so emphatically and with no chance of a reunion any time soon. I loved the Shield, they were my favorite act in today's wrestling world and perhaps my favorite, full stop, since, god, WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero? I was so upset watching the segment unfold. Well, I say watched. My first reaction when Seth clocked Roman was just confusion, and then when he laid into Dean I was like "hey, stop that! Stop that right now Seth! SETH! YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS MAN! WE CAN WORK SOMETHING OUT! SETH! SETHHHHHHHHHH!" and then by the time he was really wearing out poor Ambrose, I couldn't watch. I know it's really, really lame, but I actually couldn't watch, I stopped the show and read the rest of what happened online (so if I missed a brilliant facial expression from Randy Orton or something, apologies.) The Shield have been cut down in their prime. They'd already achieved so much, but they'd only been good guys for three months, and were arguably the hottest and most unanimously popular act in the whole damn company, and were still putting on thrilling matches every time they went out there, so they absolutely could have continued until, say, WrestleMania 31 or even further. Even when it was time for them to pursue singles glory, a full split wasn't entirely necessary, a loose affiliation could still have been maintained. That doesn't mean splitting them was irredeemable, but I think the way they went about it was pretty darn close- Seth's heel turn seems to have been done out of concern of a ratings downturn, and it's indicative of the attitude that creates these disaffected viewers when the reaction to them isn't "better rethink all these tedious midcard angles that go nowhere and look for different qualities in the writing staff and try and book things in a more rich and vibrant manner," it's "better just do a random shocking thing that will help for like a week even though it makes little or no sense." I mean, really, we're expected to believe that Hunter persuaded Seth to turn on his two closest allies and join his hated enemies in less than 24 hours, or that he was wooed over a number of weeks, during which he still continued to throw himself off unreasonably high structures at his possible new friends and generally try to cause them as much hurt and embarrassment as possible. So, yeah, it's depressing and nonsensical. But it's also a bit exciting. It'll be interesting to see how Seth meshes with Hunter and Orton, and he'll have some crazy brawls with his former tag partners, and it gives everyone involved a bit more freedom to face new opponents in new scenarios. It could work. But right now I'm sad and I miss the Shield and I'm holding a candle lit vigil in a mysterious darkened ally and I'm howling "WHYYYYYYYYYY? WHYYYYYYYYYY?" impotently at the sky. So a tentative wrong then.


    The Usos and the Wyatts beat their way into 7th place! Well done them.

    1. 2.17.14- John Cena vs. Cesaro

    2. 3.03.14- The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family

    3. 5.5.14- The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family

    4. 2.03.14- Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

    5. 2.10.14- Sheamus & Christian vs. The Real Americans

    6. 1.27.14- John Cena, Sheamus & Daniel Bryan vs. The Shield

    7. 6.2.14- The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family

    8. 4.21.14- Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett

    9. 5.5.14- Daniel Bryan vs. Alberto Del Rio

    10. 1.13.14- CM Punk & The New Age Outlaws vs. The Shield

    The 411:

    Last week I complained about how boringly OK the show was, and kind of wished for at least a more up and down, noteworthy episode next time out. I sure got that! Lots of things happened, some of it was good, some of it was bad, but there was plenty to talk about. There was still a lot of tedious filler and the Sandow/Matadors segments weren't as lightly amusing as they were last time. It certainly wasn't a wild and crazy episode that you CANNOT afford to miss. But The Usos-Wyatt Family is pretty compulsive viewing, and I guess the Rollins stuff is as well if you've got a heart that doesn't break as easily as mine. Usually I just grade the shows with nice, even numbers, but this week I'm going to be crazzzzzzzy and give it... a 6.8!

    Show Rating: 6.8

    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

    The 893rd edition is over…

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    Have you checked out the Csonka Podcasting Network? If you haven't, you should We run anywhere from 15-20 shows a month, discussing pro wrestling, the world of MMA, the NBA, general sports, popular TV series of the past, bad movies, battle rap, interviews, MMA & Wrestling conference calls and more! Around 10 different personalities take part in the various shows, which all have a different feel; so you'll likely find something you like. All of the broadcasts are free, so go ahead and give a show a try and share the link with your friends on the Twitter Machine and other social media outlets! Running since May of 2011, there are currently over 500 shows in the archive for you to listen to.

    Listen to internet radio with Larry Csonka on BlogTalkRadio

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