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 411mania » Wrestling » Video Reviews

Ring Crew Reviews: Top 50 Matches from 2013 (Part I: 50-43)
Posted by Jack Bramma on 02.03.2014

• In case, this is your first time reading. I did a similar year-end column last year, though it was much shorter with only my 20 favorite matches of 2013. You can read more about that here: part 1 (Odds and Ends), part 2 (#21-14), part 3 (#13-8) and part 4 ((#7-1)

• As a general principle, I tried to see as many matches from as many different promotions as I could, though I hope it goes without saying, that I didn't see every great match and may have left out your favorite in the process.

• Final note: this is technically 52 matches, so I just rounded off the bottom three in a tie for 50th place.

***3/4 Matches.

50t. CHIKARA Grand Championship: Icarus vs. Eddie Kingston (c). CHIKARA Aniversario: Never Compromise. 06/02/2013. After Kingston failed to show up for an event, Chikara's Director of Fun Wink Vavasseur told Kingston that instead of stripping him, he would have to defend the belt at every show until the Anivesario. Kingston successfully defended against Green Ant, Mark Angelosetti, and Archibald Peck. Meanwhile, Icarus had been edging into tweener territory which caused Johnny Gargano and Sugar Dunkerton to leave the FIST stable. With no one left to turn to, Icarus got Marty Jannetty to join his corner.

• Dueling chants at the intros but NO MARTY JANNETTY TO BE SEEN! Still, Icarus's Rockers-esque gear is fantastic. Lockup spins them around the ropes and Kingston gives the clean break. Kingston with a hammerlock and a snapmare to show up Icarus. They go to the knuckle lock up on the second go round and Kingston easily overpowers Icarus. Icarus tries to power up but Kingston goes to the gut to avoid. Kingston keeps tries a headlock TO but Icarus keeps headscissoring out. Icarus telegraphs the spot and Kingston counters by shooting for the ankle in a nice spot. Strangely, Kingston bails out to take a breather even though he had the advantage. Back in, Kingston teases a lock up before yakuza kicking Icarus into next week. Icarus no sells to come back with a headscissors and a Spear for 1, 2, only 2. Kingston cuts Icarus back off with a backbreaker. Kingston goes to chops in the corner and rakes the back. Another backbreaker and Kingston bridges it into a submission. Cover gets 1, 2, 2 ½. Kingston whips him hard into the corner but Icarus gets the elbow up. WINGS OF ICARUS! Icarus wants a plancha. NO! Kingston cuts him off with a waffle. Kingston goes for the plunder and comes up with a wrench but the ref pulls it away from him. Kingston no sells some chops to POKE ICARUS IN THE EYE! WOOOOOOOOO!

• Kingston drives him into the apron and the rail. Kingston follows up with a inverted DDT on the apron. Back in, cover gets 1, 2, no. Icarus fires up but Kingston cuts him back off with a nice STO. Cover gets 1, 2, foot on the ropes. Kingston whips him hard across and Icarus eats it hard on the back. Kingston hooks in a Dragon sleeper variation that goes nowhere so he stomps Icarus on the back. Kingston fishhooks Icarus's mouth to disrespect him and then headbutts him. Icarus tries to fight off a whip so Kingston goes to the KOBASHI CHOP RAMPAGE! Now, it's whip time. NO! PEDIGREE FROM ICARUS! Double KO spot. They back into each other and Icarus grabs him for the SHIRANUI! Icarus is reeling and can't make the cover. Dueling chants again after a BEST IN THE WORLD chant for Icarus(!). Icarus now with the Kobashi chops and a rana for 1, 2, 2.999. Step up enzuigiri and a BRIDGED GERMAN SUPLEX! 1, Icarus can't hold the bridge because of the back work from earlier. I LOVE that. Kingston cuts him back off with a uranage and a LARIATO. Cover gets 1, 2, kickout. Kingston calls for the American D but Icarus counters to the BLU-RAY! 1, 2, HAND ON THE ROPES! Double KO spot. They both pull themselves up and Kingston hits a enzuigiri and a Wild Bomb. 1, 2, 2.99. Kingston is staggering but says it's over. He goes for another powerbomb but Icarus counters so Kingston counters back going to the back with a TIGER SUPLEX! ONE, TWO, THREEOHNOHEALMOSTGOT'IM! Kingston goes for a yakuza kick but gets caught up in the corner. He counters another Pedigree and dumps Icarus out to the floor. Kingston is blown up and can barely muster a good beatdown right now. Kingston shoves Icarus into the ref in a horrible spot and then lands the Spinning Back Fist. Crowd chants for MARTY as we get a close up of the chair.

 photo marty_zps1fdf4472.png

• That's one of the saddest things I've ever seen. Kingston gets the chair and hooks it free from the velvet usher ropes. Kingston waffles Icarus to the back with the chair. BUT WAIT! Icarus no sells so Kingston blasts him down again. A third and Icarus is toast. Kingston hits American D as the ref recover. Cover gets 1, 2, 2.99999999999999. Kingston folds him up with a Saito Suplex. 1, 2, kickout. Kingston goes for the Spinning Back Fist but Icarus counters. Again and another counter into a headscissors for Quack's CHIKARA SPECIAL! Kingston tries to fight his way free but can't make it. One raise 1! 2! BUT WAIT! CONDOR SECURITY HAVE COME OUT! They clear the ring including the ref and it's a no contest at 19:42.

• Post-match, Crowd boos that finish out out of the building as Condor finish tearing down the set and the curtains.

• Good psychology if a bit soft in spots. Kingston looked blown up about half way through and it hurt the drama a bit. I loved Icarus selling the back all the way through the home stretch pulling out every move in his kayfabe and mark arsenal including the Pedigree and the Chikara Special trying to get the win. It didn't have to win with Icarus getting the belt, but the non-ending hurts it. ***3/4

50t. Four Way Elimination Match for the WWE World Tag Team Championship: Big Show & Rey Mysterio vs. Rybaxel vs. The Real Americans vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust (c). WWE TLC. 12/15/2013.

• Ryback and Cody to start. He throws down Cody and Hulks up. Cody flips out of a back suplex and hits the Goldust uppercut. Ryback tries a press slam but Cody escapes for a missile dropkick to clip the knee. Goldust in for a knee drop for nothing as Ryback powers out. Axel tags in with a Bluechipper dropkick to mild jeers. Goldust sends him off into another Bluechipper dropkick. An armdrag over and Goldust goes to work on the arm. Show tags in and now Axel begs off only to try a cheap shot. Show shrugs off his stuff and armdrags him down. SHHH chops follow as the crowd chants One More Time twice to make it an odd three. Rey in with whatever and Ryback tags back in for a delayed splash for 1, 2, only 2. Ryback mounts for the GnP. RYBACKRULES! Axel in and he and Mysterio collide on crossbody attempts. Ryback back in and he hosses Mysterio down but Goldust blind tags in for some clotheslines. Goldust uppercut and a spinebuster and Goldust dumps out Axel as well. Ryback comes back with a kick but Goldust rolls him up for 1, 2, 3 and thanks for coming at 6:12.

• Ryback takes Goldust out with the Meathook after the bell to boos. Swagger in and he pounces on Goldust to more heat. WTP work some quick tags as Swagger goes to a headlock. WETHEPEOPLE says the crowd. Swagger cuts off the ring and tags in Cesaro to hit the taunt as well. Swagger takes down Goldust with a clothesline on the floor. Back in, Cesaro stops Goldust with the Karelin Deadlift for 1, 2, only 2. Zeb meanwhile literally twirls the stache. Goldust sells a shot to the ribs like he's dying as Swagger comes back in for choking. Swagger then applies the REAL AMERICAN AMERICAN BEARHUG! Show then gets a rally clap going for Goldust strangely. Goldust tries a roll up but Swagger kicks out at 2. Goldust stumbles into the face corner but Swagger cuts him off at the last second only to eat the springboard back elbow. Beautiful stuff from Goldust. Cesaro tags in for the BIG SWISS SUPERMAN SWING! Only 9 rotations but then he's springboard into the Greco Roman TD from Swagger. Cody in to break up the cover and that distracts Swagger. VaderBomb and a slingshot double foot stomp gets 1, 2, 2 ½. Cesaro goes to the chinlock. Goldust hits another Code Red on Cesaro and dumps out Swagger. Hot tag to Cody! NO! Swagger pulls him off the apron. Goldustcanrana on Cesaro as Show decides to enact some justice of his own and he tosses Swagger into the first row. Mysterio calls for the tag now but Cesaro yakuza kicks him back into semi-retirement. Powerslam from Goldust and he FINALLY tags in Show of all people. Show has clotheslines and a flapjack for Cesaro. He tosses Cesaro across for a big shoulderblock. Show calls for the goozle but Swagger runs in to eat a WMD! Cesaro flies off the top. ANOTHER WMD! Show covers Cesaro for 1, 2, 3 to eliminate WTP at 14:42.

• Now, it's Show-sterio against Goldust/Cody. Show shows some sportsmanship and lets Goldust get to his feet but JBL sees through it. JBL: “THAT WASN'T A GOOD SPORTSMAN! BIG SHOW'S HELPING HIM UP, MAKING SURE GOLDUST STARTS BECAUSE HE KNOWS CODY'S FRESH! SO HE HELPS HIM UP AND SAYS GO AHEAD GOLDUST START THE MATCH, SO I CAN BEAT YOU FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP!” Show with a big shoulderblock and Goldust bumps to the floor. Back in, Goldust gets up the boot for another crossbody for 1, 2, 2 ½. Show goozles him but Goldust counters to a DDT. Cover gets 1, 2, only 2. Tag to Cody for the double suplex on Show. Cool spot. Cody goes for the gamengiri but Show swats him down casually. Tag to Mysterio for a headscissors on Cody and the seated senton. Cody tries a sunset flip but Rey rolls through for the enzuigiri. 1, 2, 2.99. Rey springboards back but Cody catches him and drops him for the Beautiful Disaster. Cover gets 1, 2, no. GET UP! Rey counters Crossroads with knees. He ranas Cody and Goldust into the ropes to ring up 619. He hits it on Goldust and then Show trashes him into the barricade. Cody tries a dive but Show catches him and after they botch it, Cody slides behind and posts Show. Cody springboards in but Rey counters to the LOW DOWN BOMB! 1, 2, 2.99999999. Rey tries the wheelbarrow bulldog but Cody catches him for Crossroads. NO! RANA! 619! NO! ROLL UP FROM REY FOR ONE, TWO, THREEOHNOHEALMOSTGOT'IM! Cody spins him around and nails Crossroads for 1, 2, 3 at 21:07.

• Very good match but not as good as the Battleground match or the title change on RAW or the triple threat at HITC or the survivor series elimination match or... Despite some enthusiasm, Rybaxel was dead weight and the match was mainly a showcase for the awesomeness that could be individual feuds with either Cody and Goldust/Real Americans or Cody and Goldust/Show and Mysterio. I'd prefer WTP but based on the recent booking it looks like face/face with Show/Mysterio getting the nod for the time being. The heat on Goldust by WTP was by far the highlight of the match. ***3/4

50t. Johnny Gargano vs. Kevin Steen. PWG BOLA: Night 2. 08/31/2013. This is in the quarterfinals of the tournament. Dueling chants to get us started. Steen goes to a waistlock but Gargano works it down to the mat to counter to a wristlock. Steen considers countering but goes to the ROPE BREAK! SMELL THE HELL! Gargano steals Dragon’s old 5 count taunt so Steen, never one to be upstaged, smacks him down. They fire up and it’s slug it out time. Steen grabs a headlock and torques it. Gargano steps over into a hammerlock. Steen elbows out and counters to one of his own. Gargano gets back on top so Steen headscissors his way free and we’re square. Steen goes to the chops and he’s fired up. Gargano comes back with forearms of his own. Steen tries to trip him up but Gargano drops down into Gargano Escape but Steen escapes to the ropes again. Steen takes a breather to sell the shoulder as well. Steen breaks the count to Larry Z it up. Gargano tries a baseball slide but Steen avoids. Gargano tries to cut him off with the Spear but Steen avoids that as well. Senton and Steen is a step ahead. Cover gets 1, 2, only 2. Another chop and a slam for another 2 count. Steen grinds the elbow into his back. Steen: “C’MON, JOHNNY BOY!” Steen with more chops and Gargano is outmatched in the strength and power department thus far. Steen sends him across but runs into a boot and then gets dumped out. Gargano gets to the apron for the running kick but Steen LARIATOS his legs and then tries a powerbomb but Gargano gets to the apron for a senton on Steen. Gargano beats him into a chair and then goes for the suicide dive. NO! STEEN CATCHES HIM! F5 INTO THE POST!

• Back in, Swanton gets 1, 2, 2 ½. Gargano ducks behind but Steen elbows free. Gargano follows behind and rolls Steen into an enzuigiri. Steen pops up (which is odd) for the next spot – a rana into another DR FG enzuigiri. Cover gets 1, 2, kickout. Fans think it’s awesome but I’m not sold yet. Double KO but when both guys are finally up. Steen clubs him down in the corner for the Cannonball. Cover gets 1, 2, 2.7. Steen gets him into a fireman’s carry but Gargano slides out and floats into the Gargano Escape. Slick. Steen gets the ropes. Steens powders out again as both guys are milking the hell out of the spot. Gargano finally up to counter Steen into an enzuigiri. Gargano wants a tornado DDT but Steen picks him up on the apron. Gargano out again for a few yakuza kicks. Steen tries to fire back but Gargano overwhelms him with a dozen or so forearms. Gargano fires up for the Spear through the ropes outside to the floor a la Edge on Foley. More dueling chants. Back in, Gargano slingshots in with a DDT for 1, 2, no. Gargano Escape. Steen struggles but drags backward and makes the ropes. Both are just selling for absolutely every ounce of rest. Gargano hits a few kicks in the corner and tries Sliced Bread 2 but Steen shoves off for a SLEEPER SUPLEX! Delayed cover gets 1, 2, 2.99. Steen fires up for the Package Piledriver but Gargano flips out for a superkick. Another. STEEN SPITS IN HIS FACE! LOW DOWN BOMB! Steen wants the PP. NO! GARGANO ESCAPE! Steen taps and the place loses it at 17:08.

• The mano-y-mano chain stuff at the beginning is fine and Steen laying into the chops is good enough for the first stretch. Steen’s cutoff with the F5 into the post and the Swanton was great. The Spear off the apron is a nice addition. The best part of the match is the last minute or so with the Sleeper Suplex and then the counters out of the Package Piledriver. I liked it but their rhythm was a tad delayed in the counters and there’s just a lot of downtime before certain spots which is probably because of the tournament setting. ***3/4

49. Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles. Slammiversary XI. 06/02/2013. This was essentially a battle for the soul of TNA. With both TNA and Aces ‘n’ Eights making offers for AJ’s services, he attacked both Angle and the Aces choosing neither.

• AJ shoots for a quick single and Angle laughs it off. Taz calls Styles a “dead man” for declining Aces 'n' Eights. AJ tries again and again Angle is simply too quick. Angle this time outwits a kick. He blocks another kick and sweeps the leg but AJ quickly bails out. Angle follows to the floor and AJ trashes him with some chops and tosses him into the apron. Suicide baseball slide and Angle is reeling. Back in, AJ sends him across for a burrito in the corner. Angle fights back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Angle stomps AJ around and chokes away. Angle sends him off for a backdrop to a mild pop. AJ kicks Kurt’s heavily taped up knee and Angle backs off to a neutral corner. The knee was injured by Styles when he worked over Angle with a steel hammer as he teased joining Aces. AJ charges in but Angle dumps him to the apron. Angle still favoring the leg which allows AJ to springboard in and dropkick the leg. AJ pulls Angle to the middle and starts working over the leg. AJ kicks the hamstring but Angle tries to fith back only for AJ to drop down into the CALF KILLER! Angle quickly gets the ropes in pain. Angle sells the leg well as he tries to fight back but doesn't have enough gas and succumbs to a dropkick. AJ applies the half crab to further ground Angle. Angle breaks the hold going for a HEEL HOOK and AJ grabs the ropes. Angle turns AJ inside out with a LARIATO and both are down like it's halfway in to a broadway even though it's been 7 minutes. Slug it out time with Angle going to the Euro uppercuts. AJ fires up for some front kicks. AJ with more strikes and Angle takes over with more clotheslines andd a belly to belly suplex. Cover gets only 1. AJ with an armdrag to escape but Angle ties him up with a T-Bone for 1, 2, 2 ½.

• Angle is favoring the bad knee too much to capitalize and takes a spinebuster. Lionsault gets 1, 2, kickout from AJ. Angle tries a suplex and lands one. He wants the Rolling Germans and hits 2 and a third that flips AJ. This is good but moving at ¾ speed. I get that Angle is selling but it's still really slow. AJ bails out to sneak Kurt with a Stun Gun. He springboards back in with an elbow drop for 1, 2, no as the crowd is near dead. Crazy. AJ heads up but Angle follows up for the POP UP TOP ROPE RELEASE GERMAN! NO! AJ LANDS ON HIS FEET! INCREDIBLE! AJ rushes back in only to take a belly to belly buckleplex. Cover gets 1, 2, 2.99. AJ levels Angle with a strike combo and he clips the bad hamstring again. AJ springboards back in off the apron but Angle counters with the YAMBAG kick which AJ no sells to counter with a go-behind. Angle counters back to the AngleSlam. 1, 2, 2.9999. Angle drops the straps for the AnkleLock but AJ counters with a roll through. They struggle for the spot and AJ finally rolls through for the Calf Killer. Angle considers tapping but rolls back over in a slick reversal to another AnkleLock. AJ lunges for the ropes but Angle pulls him back to the middle and GRAPEVINES THE LEG! AJ rolls him over and breaks the grip rather casually. Fucker. AJ sidesteps a charging Kurt and hooks him in the Tree of Woe. IED to the breadbasket and Angle is crushed. Ribbreaker and AJ springboards for the 450 but eats mat. School boy gets 1, 2, no. Angle Slam is countered to a roll through so Angle stacks him up for 1, 2, 3 to take it at 15:44.

• A good match elevated by AJ's athleticism and Angle's tainted but still shades of awesomeness. I was digging the story of Angle's wily veteran instincts and skill against AJ's newfound viciousness and Angle's selling, but the match simultaneously slowed down and became spot-heavy. The spots were awesome but the pacing was slow and labored between them. Also, as a general purist, I think the leg grapevine should be one of the most protected finishers in history and shouldn't be broken unless it plays into the finish. Still, really good but a notch or two off what they were capable of in their primes together. ***3/4

48. ROH World Tag Team Championship: The American Wolves vs. reDRagon (c). ROH Supercard of Honor VII. 04/05/2013. reDRagon defeated the Wolves in a gauntlet match to go on to become number 1 contenders. They went on to defeat the Briscoes for the belts and this is long-awaited return match.

• EE and DR chants at the bell from the fans. Davey and Kyle to start. FUCKEMDAVEY as he lands a spinkick to the gut to back Kyle into the ropes. Davey goes to the headlock and then a shoulderblock but runs into an armdrag. He floats quickly into the headscissors and it's a stalemate. EE and Fish tag in. EDDIEEDDIEEDDIE. Kelly nicely brings up that EE and Fish team together in Japan and know each other very well. Fish with a TD and some paintbrushing. Nigel: “That's a helluva mustache he's been working on.” Another lockup and Fish grabs the headlock for a leap frog but EE chops him down. Davey back in and he knocks Kyle off the apron for a double back elbow and a knee drop for 1, only 1. Another quick chop for kicks and chops in the face corner. Kyle gets dumped off the apron again. That goes nowhere as Fish cuts him off for Kyle to tag in. Kyle in for some kicks of his own in a neutral corner. EE blocks and smacks him around to tag in DR. Davey with kicks and stomps. Davey hooks in a Tequila Sunrise Cloverleaf. Fish tries to come in and the ref cuts him off so EE can come in and DOUBLE THE DEAPSEAT!

• Kyle recovers with a combo and doesn't sell a damn thing and tags in Fish. That was less than satisfying. Fish with a slingshot senton for 1, 2, only 2. Fish mocks DR and tells him to tag in EE. Nigel: “They say, 'You play with a wolf and you'll get bit.'” Fish with a snap suplex and Kyle back in for some knees and he drops the pad for another knee for 1, 2, no. Kyle applies a body triangle but DR blocks the OrtonLock. DR rolls him over and counters into a Lawnmower but Fish in to break it up. That was slick. Fish tags in as they try to isolate DR. Fish is coming off a strained MCL from the title change with the Briscoes. Even though he has a brace, I doubt it'll play into anything from this match. Fish with some kicks and Davey tumbles into the corner to get choked some more. Fish flips off Eddie as Davey tries to fire up with forearms. DR hits the Damage Reflex to crickets. Lukewarm tag to EE and he's in for yakuza kicks and chops for both heels. Fish gets the boot up but EE no sells for another chop. Fish rushes in to the corner but EE avoids for an enzuigiri on KYLE and a Codebreaker on Fish. Nifty. EE collides with Fish on a shoulderblock so he comes back with a knee to the gut. Double knee to the face and EE hits the Fisherman Buster for 1, 2, 2 ½. EDDIEEDWARDS. Fish tries a go-behind but EE blocks only to get attacked from behind by Kyle. Fish knocks DR off the apron and it's double team for the heels but EE dumps them to the floor.

• The Wolves attacked with double running kicks but the Dragons come back with double forearms. Double ranas from the faces to set up double suicide dives. Back in, powerslam and combo diving headbutt get 1, 2, 2 ½ on Fish. Wolves tries a double team but Fish fights them off with Kyle's help. Fish flies out with a slingshot senton OVER the post and Kyle flies out as well with a BUSAIKU knee off the apron. Awesome stuff there. Dragon double teams but Fish botches it and causes Kyle to COMPLETELY ghost EE on the curb stomp. That wasn't so cool. Fish covers for 1, 2, no. Fish with a running knee and tags in Kyle for a knee drop for another nearfall. EE fights off both and flips Kyle with a back suplex onto Fish. Tag to DR and he's got a missile dropkick for both and he kips up. Davey fires up for kicks on both as he sidesteps Kyle and stacks them up. YESYESYESYES says the bots. Davey hits the running forearms and IED on Fish. Kyle no sells for a yakuza kick only to run into an enzuigiri and a BRIDGED GERMAN SUPLEX! 1, 2, no. Crowd chants for DR as the Wolves team up for a Boston Knee Party into a roll up for 1, 2, 2.7. Kyle fires up for a strike combo on both reminscient of KENTA. The Wolves set him up for a combo Alarm Clock but he counters into a double DSLW. Now, it's time for Fish and Kyle to double team. Lots of kick cutoffs but DR catches Kyle in to the rolling AnkleLock. Kyle tries to block so DR rolls him over into the Indian Deathlock but Fish breaks it up. DR no sells to reapply in a stupid spot. They repeat it because DAVEY. The only redeeming quality is that on the third he catches Fish in the double submission applying the AnkleLock as well. Kyle makes the ropes but big boos from all. DR FG time from the namesake. Kyle blocks only for a RegalPlex but he eats a knee from DR to counter out. EE in for the Alarm Clock. The Wolves want the superkick into the German but Kyle ducks and EE lays out DR with a superkick. EE eats a knee as well and Kyle rolls him into a DR FG. Kyle and DR both go for enzuigiris and both land but only Kyle lands. Davey no sells but Kyle cuts him off with the BOMA YA~! GERMAN SUPLEX! Davey completely no sells a spot that fucking kayfabe KO'ed Sakuraba earlier this year to double foot stomp him. Fucker.

• Final both collapse to sell. Crowd is loving it at least. Fish pulls the ref in to distract him to cause him to miss the tag to EE. EE gets punted away by Kyle. The Dragons taunt DR but he of course no sells to headbutt and chop both. ReDRagon comes back with an Alarm Clock of their own and a RegalPlex for 1, 2, nooooooooo. EE is again knocked off the apron as the heels preps a combo move. Davey fights them off and sends Fish across to crotch Kyle. Davey tosses out Fish but Kyle blocks a superplex. Davey elbows Fish's strained MCL(!) in a nice spot but it's a little late. EE springboards in with an AWESOME double jump rana on Fish. Davey pops up for the top rope superplex rolling into an enzuigiri/brainbuster. Cover gets 1, 2, 2.99999999999999. Fish is dumped out again. EE with a super double foot stomp. Wolf Howl time as DR hits the same. 1, 2, 2.99999999999999999. Kyle counters to a reverse rana on EE but collides with Fish on miscommunication. DR with an O'Connor Roll for another nearfall. Enzuigiri on DR from Fish. Kyle rolls him up with a handful of tights for 1, 2, 3 to retain at 21:08.

• Pretty good stuff, but I feel like when Davey wants to really give it his all and throw out all the stops, I like the match less rather than more. If he could just rein in some of his Davey-ness, he'd be more awesome... like Eddie but that's another story for another day. I would have liked some more selling all around. I get that their going for strike-heavy, no selling puro, almost faux-MMA stuff but I've never entirely warmed to Davey and by extension's Kyle's version of it. The first half is fine but with the ref allowing plenty of blatant double-teaming with little retribution. Things heat up with the senton and knee off the apron and pick up toward the stretch if you look past the particular brand of psychology. ***3/4

47. No Disqualification Match: Mr. Touchdown vs. Archibald Peck. CHIKARA All the Agents and Superhuman Crew. 02/09/2013. This all started when Veronica, the cheerleader, dumped Archie, despite his turn as Mixed Martial Archie, for the brash Mark Angelosetti. Angelosetti would switch to a football jock, Mr. Touchdown.

• Pre-match, Archie teases the intense short promo but thinks better because Archie is verbose if anything. Archie says that ultimately, it was Veronica's choice and he won't hold cheating against Mr. TD, but he will hold being a bully against him. TONIGHT, THE PLAYING FIELD IS LEVEL!

• The ref drops TD's football and draws his ire. TD: “YOU ARE THE LAST PERSON I WOULD EVER PICK FOR MY FOOTBALL TEAM!” Archie comes out and he's a house of fire as they meet in the middle and slug it out. Archie takes over with a shitcan. He teases a dive out but stops to march around and he's drum majoring up. TD tries to sneak him so Archie crossbodies him down. MARCHIN' ARCHIE! He blocks a whip and drop toe holds TD into the turnbuckle. Archie follows up with a running back elbow. TD tries a dropkick but Archie sniffs it out and drops the Bret Hart Low Blow headbutt. TD gets some distance with a headbutt but Archie yakuza kicks him out. Archie flies out with a plancha to get things going. TD catches him though and drops him on the apron with a backbreaker. TD: “MOVE! ALL YOU IDIOTS!” The faithful clear out of the front row and TD dumps him with a World's Strongest Slam on a chair. TD taunts everyone and then slides Archie back in for some GnP. TD goes to a few knees and a running elbow to the lower back. TD: “YOU'RE A NERD! YOU! YOU! ALL OF YOU!” That's pretty funny if cheap as hell.

• Archie tries to fire up with rights and lefts but runs into a flapjack. TD goes for a Camel Clutch as the fans now retort that it's he, not they that is the nerd. TD: “So I'm a nerd, huh? Well, let's put the glasses ON THIS NERD!” TD then gives Archie Beer Goggles while in the Camel Clutch. Archie powers out overcoming the work on his injured back and makes the ropes. BUT WAIT! MR. TOUCHDOWN DOESN'T BREAK BECAUSE IT'S NO DQ! AHHHHH WOOOOOOOOOOO! Archie keeps fighting and bites TD's finger to fall to the floor. Archie goes under the ring as TD does a good job selling the finger. TD: “I OUGHTA KNOCK YOU OUT, NERD!” OK OK. Back in, Archie fights back with a spinkick. BUT WAIT! ARCHIE'S GOT THE SPARRING GLOVES! IT'S MIXED MARTIAL ARCHIE! He starts pounding down TD and stomping away. TD blocks a kick for a single leg and an elbow drop to the stone. NO! Archie catches him in the armbar/triangle combo. Slick. Archie: “DON'T WORRY, YOU'RE DEAD, TOUCHDOWN!” TD stacks him up for the Rampage BuckleBomb.

• They jockey for position in the corner and TD slaps the nerd Archie down. He pulls the gloves off and tosses them in his face. TD: “YOU ARE A NOT A FIGHTER!” TD goes to a choke and a knee drop. Dunkerton: “SHADES OF HARLEY RACE!” Archie comes back with a desperation enzuigiri and heads up top but TD crotches him. Superplex from TD gets 1, 2, kickout. Snap suplex as Dunkerton begins using football and basketball analogies that Bill Walton would call confusing. TD fires up for the breakdown that killed Sapphire, Archie's parrot. TD interrupts his sequence for the dreaded TEBOW! Archie with a Flair Flip out of the corner and a Stun Gun. He springboards back in for a flying clothesline. Ace Crusher but TD rolls through into a Snow Plow. Cover gets 1, 2, 2 ½. ARCHIEARCHIEARCHIEARCHIE. TD flips . out of a suplex for the Flea Flicker for 1, 2, kickout. TD bails out to go looking for his plunder and comes up with shoulder pads. Archie tries to cut him off but gets knocked off. Superfly Splash gets 1, 2, 2.99 from TD. Archie cuts him off with a yakuza kick but gets dumped out with a Cactus Clothesline. Dunkerton: “THEY'RE ABOUT TO GET A LITTLE IMAX! IT'S ABOUT TO GO BEHIND 3-D!” On the floor, TD goes to the chops on the front and back.

• BUT WAIT! THE MYSTERIOUS AND HANDSOME STRANGER! While on the floor, Archie came from under the ring under a hood in a nice character moment. TD begs off and refuses a shake. Peck with the LARIATO for 1, 2, 2.999. Archie springboards in but gets caught in the Spinebuster for 1, 2, no. TD un-masks Archie and mocks. TD has a heart-to-heart with the mask and goes looking under the ring. He comes up with a TAXODERMIST SAPPHIRE! YOU SICK FUCK! Crowd: “YOU'RE A MONSTER! YOU'RE A MONSTER!” TD parades around the statue and preps a waffle. BUT WAIT! SAPPHIRE HAS COME OUT! SAPPHIRE IS ALIVE AND IN A WHEELCHAIR! TD commandeers the wheelchair and shoves over the nurse. TD takes the neck braced-Sapphire and puts her in the bag. NONONONONO! Archie recovers for a BLATANTLOWBLOW! GO TO TWEET! 1, 2, 2.999999999999999999999999999999999! Archie rescues Sapphire back to the wheelchair. Archie heads to the back to bring out the bass drum. TD cuts him off with a Spinebuster for another nearfall. Double KO spot as Veronica throws the baton in the ring but it lands in the middle. TUG OF WAR! TD not pulls it free from Archie goes to the rib cage and gets the baton. BUT WAIT! VERONICA DISTRACTS! SPEARSPEARSPEAR! NO! Archie sidesteps and Veronica takes the Spear. BASS DRUM WAFFLE! ARCHIEARCHIEARCHIE! He heads up top for a Drum Major Splash and covers for 1, 2, 3 to take it at 25:50.

• The story goes a long way and includes a lot of layers and throwback. Archie channeling each of his CHIKARA iterations like he's Mick Foley trying to take down Triple H is pretty awesome if perfectly poetic. Sapphire coming back and playing a part in the victory is welcome as well, but it's the kind of thing that either works for you or doesn't like much of CHIKARA. ***3/4

46. Christian vs. Randy Orton. WWE RAW 08/26/2013. This was part of the AWESOME mini-feuds that Orton had with Christian, the entire Rhodes family, and Miz all while being built up for rematches with Dragon. Orton is heel champ but this is non-title. These two obviously had a heavy feud of the year contender back in 2011.

• Christian with a quick school boy for only 1. Orton laughs it off and plays to the crowd. They lock up again and tumble into the ropes but Christian sends Orton off. Orton with a strong shoulderblock and Christian takes a moment to regain his composure. Orton goes to the headbutts and Euro uppercuts but Christian blocks and drops him into the ropes. Christian slingshots out to the floor for the anticlimatic punch but Orton blocks(!) so Christian blocks that to backdrop him to the floor. Good sequence showing how well they know each other. Christian takes Orton down with a DROPKICK SUICIDA. Back in, falling reverse DDT gets 1, 2, only 2. Christian flies off the top but Orton ducks under for a Bluechipper dropkick. Orton mounts for GnP and stomps the taste out of Christian's mouth.

• Orton chokes and drops Christian on the ropes and then knee lifts him to the floor. Orton postures for the crowd and then POSES like a face. Back in, Orton goes to the Malenko/Garvin stomp and drops a knee for 1, 2, only 2. Orton applies a chinlock but Christian slides behind for another reverse DDT only to get headbutted again. Orton nicely sells the headbutt as well and then pulls Christian's hair and forearms him across the chest. Back to the chinlock and Christian smacks his way free so it's slug it out time. Christian gets the elbow up in the corner but Orton takes a step back and just fuckin' shoves Christian off the top rope to the floor in a cool spot. We take a break and are back to chinlockery galore. Christian punches his way free and gets the boot up. He heads up top but Orton cuts him off with headbutts and a Euro uppercut. Orton nails the superplex but it's a double KO spot. Orton recovers and moves in for the kill but Christian sneaks him with a small package for 1, 2, 2 ½.

• Orton is fired up and pissed off for the Orton-lines. He tries the powerslam but Christian stops short and uppercuts him into the corner. Christian mounts for the 10 punches but Orton comes back with another Orton-line. Christian peels off with a Stun Gun to the apron. Christian flies off with a crossbody for 1, 2, 2.999. Christian tries another but Orton catches him in a jackknife cover for 1, 2, NO! ROLL UP FROM CHRISTIAN! 1, 2, KICKOUT! Orton goes back to the headbutts and wants the Apron DDT but Christian counters and wants the Killswitch. Orton shoves him off but Christian gets the boot up. TORNADO DDT! 1, 2, 2.999. Anticlimatic uppercut but Orton no sells for the Apron DDT. Orton hears voice in his head and wants the RKO but Christian shoves him off. Awesome counters all around. Christian wants the Spear but Orton leapfrogs. Christian comes right back with a SPEAR! 1, 2, NO! Orton sidesteps and shoves him into the corner. RKO! NO! KILLSWITCH! NO! Orton shoves him off and hits the BLATANTTHUMBTOTHEEYE! Christian is blinded and eats an RKO for 1, 2, 3 at 12:57.

• The fact that two guys this evenly matched with great chemistry and a great history can put on that caliber of match on free TV and it doesn't even register as an also-ran shows the high quality the Fed has been putting on in-ring lately. Awesome counters all the way with nary a moment of downtime other than the usual Orton chinlocks. ***3/4

45. The Undertaker & Hell No vs. The Shield. RAW. 04/22/2013. The night after WM, UT tried to give his annual farewell in dedication of Paul Bearer and celebration of beating CM Punk, but the Shield were having none of it. A six man tag was set up for the supershow in London, England. Earlier in the night, The Shield, in a badass touch, arrived via helicopter like elite Rainbow Six tangos. Afterwards, they would take out Hell No from behind apparently leaving Undertaker alone to fend for himself.

• UT enters first and The Shield encircle him from the sea of humanity. JBL: “I hate to see Undertaker go out like this, but this may be his last stand.” The Shield move in for the kill. BUT WAIT! TEAM HELL NO ARE HERE! The faces clear the ring to a raucous series of YESYESYESYES chants. We take a break and as we return the bell rings to officially start the match.

• DB and Ambrose to start. DB goes to work with kicks in the corner early. Ambrose blocks so DB sends him off for a knee to the gut. Another DR FG gets a 1 count. DB brings him down for an anchor hold and tags in Kane. Kane with a basement dropkick for another fleeting 1 count. He tags in UT for some soup bones and shoulder surges. UT covers for 1, 2, only 2. Crowd starts chanting for UT as he preps Old School but Ambrose crotches him. Ambrose sends him across but runs into a boot. UT ratchets up the arm and gives Old School another go and hits it this time. Cover gets 1, 2, no. Kane back in as the Londoners tell UT that HE'SSTILLGOTIT. Ambrose escapes to tag in Reigns. He runs into a quick uppercut and Kane stomps a mudhole. DB back in for a combo IED on Reigns. Dragon covers for only 1. Kane slams him and hits a short elbow for a 2 count. Kane slows things down with a chinlock as the crowd chants for UT. Reigns cuts Kane off and burritos him down. Cover gets a quick 1 count. The Shield hit triple kicks as Rollins brings up the rear for a 2 count. He chokes Kane for a bit as JBL says that The Shield will go down as one of the greatest factions in WWE history. Ambrose boots Kane around and stupidly gets into a slugfest with him. Kane tries to escape the corner but the numbers over and he's distracted. Ambrose with a few eye gouges and tags Reigns back in. JBL: “Their ego is in the team. There's no individual egos, not in the Shield. That's what makes them so dangerous. They think as one, they act as one.” Reigns goes to a chinlock of his own. Kane counters out with a back suplex. Rollins tags in but leaps into a Kane uppercut. DB in with the YES kicks. He flips up and over and hits a flying burrito that flips Rollins. More DR FG's from DB and a DR FG enzuigiri. Cover gets 1, 2, nearfall. Rollins charges in but gets backdropped to the floor. DB follows with a suicide dive. JBL: “A flying goat.”

• London wants to tell us that THISISAWESOME which seems a bit much so far. DB flies off with the missile dropkick and wants another IED but Rollins ducks and NOW, WE GO TO SCHOOL, HELICOPTER ASSASSIN STYLE! We take a break and are back to Reigns working a chinlock. DB tries to fire up but gets pounded down. Reigns covers for 1, 2, 2 ½. Rollins stomps away and then Ambrose chokes behind the ref's back. Rollins whips DB into the turnbuckle hard for the Bret Hart bump. One more and Rollins is in ecstasy: “YOUR TIME IS UP, DEADMAN!” UT is all YOU DONE FUCKED UP NOW and gestures for the THROAT SLASH! Cole: “I don't know how wise that is to be talking trash to the Dead Man.” JBL: “That's the one man you want to keep on the apron. One of the reasons I'm a commentator is because of that guy.” Ambrose in with some big headbutts and a short arm clothesline. Ambrose drops an elbow for 1, 2, 2 ½. Ambrose rolls DB into a bow and arrow and Rollins flies off with a knee to the gut. SWEET! Reigns tags in to bring the pain. He whiffs on a Stinger Splash and DB makes the tag to UT. He cleans house. Clothesline for Rollins, hairtoss for Ambrose, and a haymaker for Reigns. Ho Train on Ambrose and Snake Eyes. BOOT OF FEAR! Leg drop gets 1, 2, no. UT wants the ChokeSlam and goozles Rollins and Ambrose. REIGNS WITH THE SPEAR! 1, 2, 2.999999! Reigns is in disbelief and tags in Rollins. UT hits a flying clothesline for 1, 2, nearfall. UT tags in Kane for some big boots and a side slam. Kane heads up top for his go-home clothesline and a ChokeSlam attempt to very mild enthusiasm. Rollins escapes out and hits a pseudo-Pele. Ambrose tags in only to land in the ChokeSlam himself. Cool sequence. DB in but REIGNS CROTCHES HIM! THAT IGNITES THE DEADMAN! A HUGE BRAWL HAS ERUPTED HERE IN LONDON! DB goes for the diving headbutt but comes up dry. Ambrose cradles him and hooks both legs for 1, 2, 3 at 16:03 of shown footage.

• I really wanted this to creep into MOTYC or maybe just TV MOTYC, but it never gets there. All the pieces were in place – a badass helicopter entrance, UT wrestling on free TV, The Shield's streak, a hot London crowd, DB's weak link storyline, UT and Kane both having the residual Bearer unity going, etc. – but once the novelty wears off, you've just got a regular Shield match. Other than a few cool touches – UT's reaction to Rollins's trash talk, Kane missing the ChokeSlam on Rollins only to hit it on Ambrose, UT kicking out of the Spear – this is the usual and probably even a step below the Shield's match against Hell No and Kofi. ***3/4

44. Ladder Match for $20,000: Generation Me vs. Bad Influence. One Night Only: Hardcore Justice 2. 07/05/2013 (03/19/2013). Generation Me is The Young Bucks. They were released from TNA back in 2011 but are back for... one night only. Daniels takes an apple-tini to the face pre-match to heel it up. They crowd chants for the Bucks literally. Kazarian ironically calls for a pre-match shake and it goes off without a hitch except for that part where BI pounds them down. Kazarian and Jeremy can't get on the same page on a jawbreaker and it's fugly until Max flips over with a neckbreaker. They send off Daniels for a double dropkick. Kazarian fights back with a clothesline and BI teams up for a leapfrog/clothesline on Jeremy. Kazarian gets hiptossed onto Jeremy. They team up on Max as well with an elbow drop. DANIELSSUCKS says the crowd. BI gets the ladder but badly telegraphs a baseball slide spot. Thankfully it's a reversal followed by a ladder shot on Jeremy. Max flies out with a baseball slide suicida into the ladder into BI. He sets up the ladder to climb but Kazarian pulls him off for a Flatlinter. Crowd is DEAD. Kazarian starts to climb but Jeremy trashes him off with a ladder. STO from CD on Jeremy. CD gets the ladder for the old Terry Funk/Bubby Ray projectile spot actually called correctly by Tenay. Jeremy ducks and drop toe holds CD into the ladder in a cool spot. Jeremy now puts the ladder back around CD's neck for stereo superkicks. Kazarian cuts off the Bucks climb and sprints up himself to match Jeremy's climb. CD sends Max into the turnbuckle. Jeremy and Kazarian battle up top only for Kazarian to hit a DIAMOND CUTTER OFF THE TOP! NIIIIIIIICE!

• Crowd is lukewarm but fuck 'em. CD is now climbing up but Max Russian leg sweeps him off the ladder. Max sets a ladder up in the corner as a bridge. Max wants a snap suplex but CD fights him off only to get backdropped on the ladder in a cool spot. Kazarian rushes in but also gets monkey flipped into the ladder by Max. Kazarian: “OH GOD!” Jeremy works over CD on the floor and Kazarian is sent into the rail. Kazarian slides under the ladder off another whip and kicks it back into the Buck in another cool spot. Max still takes him down with a SPEAR under the ladder in a TLC2 call back. CD avoids a backdrop in the ring and pulls Max over to the apron but Jeremy blocks for a spinning back elbow. Max hooks him in a headscissors and Jeremy dropkicks him onto the ladder. Jeremy heads up top but Kazarian sneaks in to crotch him. Borash: “Generation Me scouted this.... OHHH! Didn't scout that.” Kazarian Stun Guns Max and tries a suplex back in but Max blocks. Max counters and DROPS KAZARIAN ONTO THE LADDER! BRUTALLLLLLLLLLL!

• Back in, Max sets up the climb but CD cuts him off and tosses him into the turnbuckle. CD climbs up but the Bucks alley oop Jeremy onto the ladder. Max suicide dives out on Kazarian but CD shoves the ladder. BUT WAIT! JEREMY LANDS ON THE TOP ROPE AND SPRINGBOARD FLIP SPLASHES TO THE FLOOR ON KAZARIAN! CD is distraught but still climbs up. Max in with a superkick on CD and a Bucklebomb/enzuigiri combo. Kazarian pulls Jeremy to the floor for a FIERCE LARIATOOO! Max climbs up but Kazarian springboards in with a dropkick on the ladder. Crowd is complete shit and is outright killing the match. CD sends off Max and they collide on a double clothesline. Kazarian baseball slides the ladder into Jeremy on the floor. Quadruple KO spot. Back in, Jeremy slingshots in but Kazarian catches him in the FADE TO BLACK! BME! BAD! INFLUENCE! They are super confident and set up the ladder for the climb. Kazarian tries to fight off Max but he eats a superkick. Max pulls off CD for a DIAMOND DUST! Max and Kazarian both climb up and slug it out. CD recovers to throw the Appletini in Max's face. He eats it to the mat and Kazarian pulls down the check at 13:26.

• Awesome stuff from all involved except the crowd. They are actively a drag on the match's entertainment level as all four guys are out there destroying themselves and no one gives a shit. The cutter off the ladder, the suplex from the apron on the ladder, and the springboard flip splash are just incredible stuff even if some have been seen before. A little better finish would have put this over the top. ***3/4

43. Seth Rollins vs. Daniel Bryan. WWE RAW 06/10/2013. In the build-up to WWE Payback, the Fed split up Hell No for Orton/DB to go against the Shield. Vickie decided to let the fans vote on singles matches – Orton got Roman Reigns which ended in a no contest and Dragon got Seth Rollins.

• Rollins pounds down DB to start but rushes in for a blind charge only to be outsmarted with the flip up and over. Burrito time and Rollins is down. DR FG's and Euro uppercuts all around. Knee to the breadbasket and DB follows up with several DR FG's and MMA elbows. MOARMMAELBOWS! YESYESYESYESYESYES! Cover gets 1, 2, only 2. Dragon wants the Mexican Surfboard but Rollins gets the ropes. Dropkick sends Rollins to the floor to recover. DROPKICK SUICIDA and a BUSAIKU knee off the apron from DB. Cover gets 1, 2, only 2. Rollins gets some time by driving DB into the turnbuckle. DB fights back only to get Flatlined into the turnbuckle. Cover gets 1, 2, only 2. Rollins applies the Mexican Surfboard and paintbrushes DB around. Rollins rolls him back but DB powers up and sits up to counter. He turns it around and fishhooks Rollins into the same hold. DB owns him back into the Dragon Sleeper but Rollins escapes by going to the eyes.

• We take a break and are back to Rollins working an arm-in chinlock. DB elbows out but runs into an elbow for 1, 2, only 2. Back to the chinlock for Rollins. Rollins: “ASK 'IM, CHARLES!” They get back to their feet to slug it out. Rollins goes for an enzuigiri but DB ducks under and catches him in a HALF CRAB! TAPTAPTAP! Rollins makes the ropes. DB stacks him up for the series of IED's in the corner. Cover gets 1, 2, only 2. More DR FG's from DB but Rollins ducks the enzuigiri to land one of his own. 1, 2, 2.99. Rollins with a few kicks and wants a German suplex but DB lands on his feet(!). He tries a rana but Rollins catches him for a BUCKLEBOMB! 1, 2, NO! NONONONONO! Rollins sets him up in the corner but gets backdropped out to the floor. DB tries the suicide dive but Rollins cuts him off. He heads up top but DB rolls through for Chaos Theory! DR ENZUIGIRI! 1, 2, 2.999999. DB heads up but Rollins crotches him. Rollins follows him up but DB now crotches him. SUPER BACK SUPLEX BUT ROLLINS FLOATS OVER FOR THE CROSSBODY! DOUBLE KO! Roman Reigns tries to distract but Orton trips him up. Small package gets 1, 2, 3 for DB to take it at 12:39.

• Post-match, Rollins eats an enzuigiri right into an RKO. PLAY ORTON'S MUSIC! Fuckers.

• Good stuff but every single match they had against each other in ROH is better, even if WWE has boiled Black down to the perfect encapsulation of whiny douchebag that is Seth Rollins. They cut the first half out of a great match for the rapid fire last half as there was all back and forth, no heat. ***3/4

The 411: *10.0 is a default rating for the best of the year.
411 Elite Award
Final Score:  10.0   [ Virtually Perfect ]  legend


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