Tremendous Tirades 4.04.14: 2014 - A Wrestling Odyssey
Posted by Larry Csonka on 04.04.2014
Gulak vs. Thatcher deliver the first great match of the WrestleMania weekend…
As a reminder, this will not be another traditional recap, but instead it will be a mash up of the Rs, Instant Analysis and my usual Twitter ramblings I would do during the shows; completely uncensored and as the ideas flow unfiltered to the old keyboard. Remember, this is a review; and I am here to review the show. As always, I encourage discussion and even disagreement, just do so in a respectful manner. I will be doing the review for Raw and most PPVs and iPPVs going forward.
The description for the show reads as follows: A Wrestling Odyssey will feature eight main event level matches from some of the top professional wrestling companies in the world.
The show was supposed to start at 4PM ET, but did not start until 4:25PM. I know I'm shocked as well. sarcasm>
Daffney is the host for the show.
WILDKAT Heavyweight Championship Match: Champion Mike Dell defends vs. Steve Anthony : From what I understand WILDKAT is the local fed that helped with promotion of the shows this weekend. Good for these guys to get a spot on the iPPV. I would have to guess that these guys have worked together a fair bit, as they seemed to have good chemistry and have a plan. This was a solid way to open up the show; these guys weren't as crisp as some of the others you'll see later on (Hero and Gulak for example) but did well for themselves. I wouldn't mind seeing Dell get a shot in FIP to see what he could do there. Dell retained with the top rope elbow drop. Match Rating: **½
Non-Title Match: Open The United Gate Champions The Bravado Brothers vs. Joey Ryan & Candice LeRae (Special Referee Maxwell Chicago): The Bravado Brothers are the current Open The United Gate tag team champions. Joey Ryan & Candice LeRae are best known for their work in PWG. Moose is not with the Bravado Brothers, but they are wearing some lovely sweaters that I imagine were crafted by Grandmother Bravado. There was wackiness with dancing and signing, but the Bravados had enough of that and attacked. Candice LeRae is fun to watch, and I get why the PWG faithful enjoy her matches. The Bravados won with the Gentleman's Agreement. I get that this was billed to be comedy, but it gets to a point that it is too much. Last night's Chicago vs. Green Ant match was a good blend of serious and comedy, today not so much. The back and forth eye pokes; low blows and general silliness were most of the match. I get that some like it, but the thing is that I feel the Bravados were the WRONG team to have involved. Their booking has not been good as of late, and I felt that this match only served to make the Open The United Gate Champions look like a pair of clowns. They would have been much better off dropping Chicago and making this a straight up match. Match Rating: *¾
FIP World Heavyweight Championship Match: Champion Trent Baretta defends vs. FIP Florida Heritage Champion Lince Dorado: Only Trent Baretta's FIP World Heavyweight Championship is on the line here. As I have said before, Baretta has been really good on the WWNLive shows, and Dorado has improved and slowly become a more complete performer over the last few years. After the solid opener and lackluster comedy offering, the show needed something good to turn it around. Baretta and Dorado offered a much different match, with a quicker pace and much more spectacular moves. Dorado continues to improve, as his selling has gotten better and he is doing a good job of getting sympathy instead of relying just on MOVES. Baretta was a great base for Dorado's high flying, as I expected, and was also able to make every thing look so clean. The guy is really good, and always seems to deliver. The one thing that hurt the match is at no point did I (or the crowd) believe that Dorado had a chance to win the title. Baretta won with the Dudebuster (Omori Driver), and we'll get to see him on the DGUSA show later tonight, facing off with Low Ki. Match Rating: ***¼
SHINE Tag Team Championship Match: Champion The Lucha Sisters of Mia Yim & Leva defend vs. The S-N-S Express of Nevaeh & Sassy Stephie: Sojo Bolt is on commentary. I am a big fan of Mia Yim & Leva, at the SHINE Title Tournament show they had a tremendous one on one match. Nevaeh is the former tag team partner of Ashley Lane (Madison Rayne in TNA) and is a former SHIMMER tag team champion. The S-N-S Express worked the traditional heel tag spots, ref distracting, false tags, doing the fake tag behind the ref's back, to maintain control over Leva. Yim got the hot tag, ran wild and then we got the mini finisher-fest to wake up the crowd a bit. The Lucha Sisters retained after a sliced bread #2 from Leva and the Lionsault from Yim. This was a fine quality match with hard work from all four, but I was hoping for more. It felt as if something was either missing or being held back. Match Rating: **½
SHINE Championship Match: Champion Ivelisse defends vs. Jazz : Sojo Bolt is on commentary. I am a huge fan of Ivelisse, and still contend to this day that TNA dropped the ball by not signing her. We have some back-story here as Jazz had defeated Ivelisse to get into the SHINE Title tournament, but then had to pull out due to injury. She's been out for around a year or so. I do want to mention that I question putting the women's matches back to back. I would have done the tag match earlier in the show myself, but that's just me. I loved the start as they immediately made sure that their match was different from the other matches. They did the slow and methodical start, featuring a lot of mat wrestling, which worked as the crowd appreciated it. Jazz eventually took the heel role by breaking the "pure wresting clinic" and taking shortcuts. Mid-match Ivelisse was going for a springboard, but had an issue (slipped) but Jazz was able to cover it well with a pinning combo. They were laying the groundwork for what as looking to be a great match, and then Ivelisse hit an enziguri out of nowhere for the finish. Very anticlimactic. Jazz is 40 years old, and while not in the shape she was in WWE, does all of those little things that add to a match and make it good. It's unfortunate that (don't hate me) they weren't given the chance to shine out there. Match Rating: **¾
CZW World Heavyweight Championship Match: Champion Drew Gulak w/Chuck Taylor defends vs. Timothy Thatcher w/Biff Busick: This is British rounds rules. Six, five-minute rounds. Two pins, two submissions (or a combo of one of each) or one KO decides the winner. No closed fists, you may not advance on a downed opponent once contact has been broken; and if you break a rule, you get a public warning. If you get three warnings, you get disqualified. Daffney's mic was not working, so she had to explain the rules without it. They then got her a working one, so she read the rules again. Once again, I love the fact that this is going to be completely different from anything on the card. Two dudes in boots and tights, no kneepads and no bullshit, just wanting to put on a grappling match. I actually dig the round format, and it is one thing I loved about the short-lived AWF from the early 90s. Tito Santana vs. Bob Orton from that one is something to track down. Round one was even, back and forth stuff. Round two saw Thatcher get a submission on Gulak. Gulak got a pin in round three. Thatcher was a beast in round four, looking for the KO with European Uppercuts and then working submissions. The dude is really good. Thatcher working body shots, and then looking like a caged animal as the ref counted on Gulak (because he had to follow the rules) was a great touch. They did so many little things to make the rules mean something, which is what had to be done. You know the work the guys is doing is very good when the crowd starts chanting "PUBLIC WARNING" when Thatcher broke a rule. He also got a second for not breaking a submission at the bell. They have done the rules so well, and Thatcher has been so subtle in the heel things he is doing that it comes off so well. Gulak battled back and made Thatcher submit in the final round. This will not be for everyone, but if you are a fan of hard hitting, basic wrestling where everything seemingly means something for once, then you will love this. In my opinion, they guys are awesome and this was a beautiful match and completely different from anything you'll see this year in pro wrestling. Match Rating: ****¼
Note from SHIMMER on tomorrow's iPPV event…
Unfortunately, Barbi Hayden will be unable to appear on SHIMMER 62 tomorrow due to travel issues. However, Shine's Ivelisse has been added.
Anthony Nese came out and complained about being left out of the match. He's now added to the match. Well that was way too easy.
EVOLVE Title Sprint Match: Champion Chris Hero vs. AR Fox vs. Anthony Nese: RULES: Match Goes For 20 Minutes, Whoever Wins The Most Falls Is The Champion, If There Is A Tie There Will Be A Sudden Death Overtime. Commentary actually said, "I guess it is just that easy to get yourself an EVOLVE Title shot". That's not a good thing. It's one thing when Fox was the fighting champion and giving everyone title shots because he wanted to prove himself, and refused non-title matches. But Nese, who lost clean to Ricochet last night, just gets a title shot because he wants one. They did some very fun stuff early, and worked hard not to be a slave to the two in and one out formula. There were some very fun spots with all three involved, which is appreciated. Nese played his role well, at one point Hero hit the rolling elbow to the back of Fox's head, but Nese tossed Hero to the floor and stole the pin. Then Fox hit a 450 on Hero, and Nese stole that pin to go up 2-0-0 in the first 10-minutes. It's not my favorite booking, but Nese is a slimy heel who didn't deserve to be in the match, so at least it made sense. Hero evened things up with Nese, but in the final five minutes I felt that they lost the crowd as they didn't seem to react to much of what they did. Hero scored the pin on Nese in the final seconds to win the match. It was a fine match, but felt as if it peaked too early. Match Rating: ***
Thanks for reading.
I personally loved the idea of this show. It's like a WWNLive sampler plate, with some CZW tossed in (although Gulak works a lot for WWNLive). I think that it is a great idea to do a card like this once a year, as it gives people who aren't watching the WWNLive products (EVOLVE, DGUSA, FIP) the chance to buy a show at a reasonable price to sample the talent that you'll see on the shows.
As for the show as a whole, it was a fine event. The opener was solid, the comedy match was what it was, but then the FIP Title match brought things back. The SHINE matches were good efforts, but felt rushed and needed a bit more time to deliver. They worked hard and things were going well, but again, they needed more time. Thatcher vs. Gulak stole the show with ease, and is something I think most fans should go out of their way to see. The main event was solid, but could have been better. The stipulation is ok, but not something I want to see all the time.
Again I think the concept of the show is a good one, and hope that they do it again next year.
Show Rating: 6.5
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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Larry Csonka is a Pisces and enjoys rolling at jiu jitsu class with Hotty McBrownbelt, cooking, long walks on the beach, Slingo and the occasional trip to Jack in the Box. He is married to a soulless ginger and has two beautiful daughters who are thankfully not soulless gingers; and is legally allowed to marry people in 35 states. He has been a wrestling fan since 1982 and has been writing for 411 since May 24th, 2004; contributing over 3,000 columns, TV reports and video reviews to the site.