Velocity Valuation: March 11th, 2006
Posted by Chris "KC" Bacon on Mar 17, 2006, 08:51
It wasn't all that long ago that Velocity was the show to watch. Smackdown and Raw were hit and miss, but generally Velocity was worth watching. The underutilisation of the Cruiserweight division meant that you were just as likely to see good workers in good matches on the 'B show' as you were on Smackdown. Everyone remembers the London/Akio series fondly of course. There were plenty of hidden gems besides those other the relatively short run Velocity had. And, then, it along with Sunday Night Heat became an internet exclusive show on WWE.com. So instead of the simple task of setting a video recorder (which, ironically, is why this is so late), you have to deal with connection speeds and other computer stuff I don't quite understand.
Luckily for those of us in the U.K, especially those like me with terrible internet connections, Velocity remains televised and remains worth tuning in to. The idea of being able to watch matches from Velocity and Heat individually is a convenient one, but half the fun of watching wrestling is sitting through the bad stuff. At least, that's my opinion. If you're not like me and don't want to waste your time watching bad wrestling though, you'll want to know what's worth watching and what's not.
So, instead of worrying about piddly little things like workrate and psychology, this is purely going to be rated on entertainment value. ***** would be a 'definate download', where as a DUD would be a 'don't waste your time'. I'm not sure what a minus star rating would indicate, but hopefully we'll never find out. Fingers crossed.
Simon Dean -vs- Super Crazy
And Velocity kicks off with my favourite heel on the roster, Simon Dean. YYEEAAHH! Simon rides to the ring on his patented "Dean Machine", but not to be out-done, Super Crazy is on the equally patented Mexicool Mobile. But wait a minute, as Simon cuts into his intro on the microphone. Simon runs down "Super Lazy" for being so out of shape that he has to ride to the ring on a lawnmower, before implying that Crazy should be in better shape because of all the "running, jumping and swimming he did to sneak into the country". Well, that was hardly needed. Simon suggests Crazy call him up and get himself some Simon System produce, but he curiously doesn't tell him what number to phone. That's just bad advertising.
Crazy takes exception and sprints to the ring, but can't get to Simon Dean because referee Charles Robinson is being used as a human shield. Eventually Simon's ready and there's the bell. Lock up, which Dean works into an arm wringer. Crazy tumbles his way out into a wringer of his own, but Dean uses his vaunted 'amateur wrestling background' to apply a side headlock. Into the ropes he goes. Drop down by Crazy, nip-up and he wields the fist, which is enough to force Dean to put the brakes on. He's a heel, see. Dean offers a handshake, only to sneak in a boot...caught! Told you he was a heel. Crazy spins Dean around, ducks a clothesline and whips Dean in. Another drop down and this time, Dean takes a hiptoss. Following up, Crazy hits a que se dora, which for you non-Lucha people is a wheelbarrow into an armdrag. Middle rope springboard dropkick by Crazy gets 2 and forces Dean to slides from the ring. Crazy fakes a dive but lands on the apron, then fakes again and rolls back into the ring. The desperate Dean grabs him by the foot though and eventually pulls Crazy's head through the ropes for a hard kick to the shoulder. Old school elbow drop for 2. BOOTSCRAPE~! Weak whip to the corner by Dean and a short drop toe hold, which goes into a modified Indian Deathlock, after a couple of rolls. Using the hair equals break the hold though. Crazy starts fighting back now with fists and goes for another wheelbarrow, but Dean shoves him off. Curbstomp by Dean! But only a 2 count and somewhere, Super Dragon weeps. Dean chokes Crazy with his own arm then throws him to the mat. Feet to the face by Crazy sends him stumbling though. Crazy in the corner and Dean charges into a back elbow and a superkick right to the throat! And now, it's Babyface Fire time! Standing dropkick! Spinning Wheel Kick! And Crazy is firing up. Dean blocks a sunset flip though...but misses the Rikishi 'hip' drop and lands on his butt. Ouchy. Crazy rolls through and lands a basement dropkick to the face! Uno...Dos...no, only Dos! Crazy goes up for the Moonsault, but Dean blocks and sets Crazy up top. Headbutts and punches are exchanged. And Crazy gets the advantage, tumbles and hits a less than fluid Sunset Bomb for the 3 count!
An okay match and some nice action, but it seemed a little disjointed the whole way through for some reason. I'm sure Nova and Crazy must have worked together before somewhere, but it seemed a little awkward in places.
Hey, there's Josh Matthews and Steve Romero. And coming up later on Velocity, MNM take on Paul London and Brian Kendrick! Presumably, non-title. But up next, it's Smackdown recap time as Finlay took on Lashley in a Money In The Bank Qualifying Match. Which is the perfect way for me to talk about Smackdown without actually recapping the entire show!
Finlay tries to jump Lashley during his entrance with shillelagh in hand, but gets speared into the ring apron. Trouble is, Finlay then starts smacking him in the face with said stick before putting a beatdown on the bigman. Poor Charles Robinson gets shoved on his keister before Finlay goes back on the attack. Lashley fights back before referees pile out to pull these two apart. I forget why they hate each other exactly, but they do. Finlay is pulled away eventually...but gets brutally football tackled by Lashley in the entrance way. By the magic of TV, the two are brawling on top of a car fifteen seconds later. Who says wrestling isn't believable! Long story short, Lashley starts tipping the car over and Finlay 'almost' gets squashed, but is luckily pulled away.
My first thoughts watching were Rock/Mankind and how the spot at the end of the Empty Arena Match looked ridiculously staged. The car-tipping part of this segment wasn't much better. Smackdown being a taped show does it no favours in these situations, because they go nuts with camera cuts and sound effects. Other than that though, I have to say I'm a fan of the feud. Finlay has done a great job in making Lashley look a threat and at the same time, it hasn't been a complete squash which does no-one any favours (see Simon Dean). Considering how shoddy Lashley's push was before he got involved with Finlay, it's lucky it started when it did.
Incase you didn't know, Sherri Martel will be a Class Of 2006 Inductee into the Hall Of Fame. No real arguements here.
Kid Kash and Jamie Noble -vs- Funaki and Scotty 2 Hotty
Wow, the people still love Scotty. In the spirit of giving the WWE ideas, Kid Kash and Jamie Noble as The Redneck Messiahs would be a great addition to whatever tag division exists anymore on Smackdown.
Kash kicks things off with Funaki. Funaki applies a quick hammerlock, which Kash escapes from, into a side headlock. Into the ropes and Kash with a shoulder knockdown. Kash runs in again, but Funaki counters with a legsweep and a quick 1 count. Clothesline ducked and Funaki reverses a hiptoss into one of his own. Dropkick to Kash. Dropkick to Noble. And an arm wringer slows things down. Tag to Scotty, who chops down on Kash's arm for some reason. Arm wringer, Kash lands a forearm though, sending Scotty into the corner and tagging in Noble for some double mudholing. Noble lands a hard forearm to the side of the head, then whips Scotty to the corner, but Scotty lands an elbow. Over runs Kash. Clothesline is ducked and he's knocked to the floor. Noble then takes a boot to the jaw, but Kash trips up Scotty from the outside and Noble quickly drops a knee. Stompfest from Noble before he hits a neckbreaker for 2. Knee strike by Noble. Scotty tries for a tag, but Noble knocks Funaki off the apron. Tag back to Kash, who stomps away some more. Noble back in again. Double whip to the corner...Kash misses a charge though and Scotty gets a sunset flip on Noble, which Kash breaks up. Kash now tries to pin Scotty, but he's not legal so its a dumb move. Legdrop by Noble for 2. Tag in for Kash who kicks away at Scotty. Hard right hand. Whip to the corner reversed, but Kash vaults to the middle rope and kicks Scotty in the jaw. Kash then vaults to the top with the old MeroSault and lands on nothing but knees! Double tag is prevented by Noble however as he holds Scotty by the foot. Trouble is, Scotty's wearing trainers (or sneakers, whatever) meaning he can make the tag. There have been worse excuses to start an "Eddie" chant than that, but nothing here. Funaki lands a slingshot crossbody on Noble, punches Kash, backbody drop for Noble and an enziguri for Kash! Scoop and a slam from the fired up Funaki, who goes up top. Crossbody...is broken up at 2 by Kash. Here comes Scotty with a facecrusher though, setting Kash in perfect position. Oh goody. Scotty starts to W.O.R.M Like It's 1999. Noble tries to cut him off, but Scotty evades and lands a Superkick! Kash has recovered though and pitches Scotty to the floor. Funaki dropkicks Kash out. But as he turns around, Noble is waiting. Fireman's carry...into a double knee gutbuster, Roderick Strong style...and that's enough for the 3!
Perfectly acceptable is probably cliché, but that's what this was. Good, but short. Can't help but feeling that Noble in particular could be doing so much more and if the WWE can remember back as far as Noble's reign as Cruiserweight Champion, they surely know he can elevate the belt and/or division.
It's Cruiserweight Champion versus United States Champion, as Gregory Helms took on Chris Benoit. We join the match in progress as Benoit lands a series of forearms to Helms. Irish whip into the running...er, 'Benoit Attack' I guess. Right to the broken nose. Benoit goes for the snap suplex but Helms counters into the move formerly known as the Eye Of The Hurricane for a 2 count. Helms calls for the Shining Enziguri, but Benoit ducks, applying the Sharpshooter. Helms manages to reach the ropes however and then makes a sharp exit because he's a heel now. Helms doesn't get very far though, because 'the cruiserweights' stop him. I say 'the cruiserweights' because Michael Cole, expert commentator that he is, doesn't see fit to mention any of them by name. And you wonder why they're not getting over, eh? For reference, it was Noble, Kash, London and Kendrick. Yes, two heels and two faces. Don't ask. They pitch Helms back in and it's a German, followed by a Swandive, followed with a Crippler Crossface to the broken nose that gets the victory for Benoit.
It's not just lack of TV time and the mythological 'WWE style' people are talking about when they say cruiserweight wrestlers are under-utilised. Not only do they not get mentioned by name, they don't even get character continuity. Kash and Noble are heels. Heels. I know it's supposed to be 'everyone hates Helms', but they were laughing and joking with London and Kendrick. What are people who don't even know Noble has his job back (which, considering how badly he's been used is probably more than you think) supposed to do when they next see him? Cheer, boo, sit on their hands, what? It's insane.
The WWE were in Australia and New Zealand for the Road To WrestleMania tour. Long story short, some chick on a beach liked Bobby Lashley's muscles, while a lot of girls tried to kiss Randy Orton. Looked like they got packed arenas though, so it's all worth it.
Tatanka -vs- Frankie Ciasto
Whenever I hear Tatanka's music, I can't help laughing. That's not a good thing by the way. The jobber's name is probably wrong, but he's a jobber so who cares, right?
Frankie jumps Tatanka while he's putting his tomahawk under the turnbuckles. But Tatanka doesn't feel it because he's too busy dancing around the ring. Big chop from Tatanka. And another. Whip, reversed, but Tatanka lands the shoulder blocked. And another. Frankie tries a hiptoss, but Tatanka blocks and hits one himself. And a third chop of the match. Tribal yelp thing. No offense, but I could get by without ever hearing that again. Overhand chop. Scoop and a slam, followed up with a leaping elbow drop. Vertical suplex. Whip and a standing dropkick. That was kinda impressive. Scoop and a slam, again, this time with a legdrop to follow. I think we know where this is going. Kicks and chops in the corner, before Frankie gets whipped into some buckles. Frankie gets a boot up though and gets in some offence! Don't get too excited though, because Tatanka can't feel it! And the moral of the story is, next time you're in a fight, start hopping around like a Native American and you won't feel a thing! Tatanka lands some shots and another scoop slam. Atomic drop...and another chop. Whip, backbody drop. Tatanka circles the ring and lands a tomahawk. Trail's End and that's 3, finally.
Squash and one that went too long to boot.
Mark Henry and Randy Orton versus Rey Mysterio and Kurt Angle and we join it with Henry pushing Nick Patrick around. And not just pushing, but avalanching him in the corner. That's a DQ if ever I saw one. Daivari grabs a table as Henry pulls up Mysterio, headbutting him down. Daivari sets up the table and Henry sets up for a big splash off the second rope to Rey, face down. Luckily, Angle makes the save and punches away at Henry's mighty gut. Orton saves and lands a European uppercut. RKO! Henry is still on the ropes and now Orton sets Angle on the table, screaming at Henry to "SQUASH HIS ASS!!" And that he does...not literally...as Henry lands a Big Splash off the second rope, through the table and through Angle! Orton puts the badmouth on Angle and we get a replay of the squashing. But, wait a minute, we can't let Randy have the last word when THE UNDERTAKER is around. The lights go out and The Undertaker comes over the P.A System, putting on his worst B-movie delivery voice to challenge him to a Casket Match at WrestleMania.
Anyone want to see Mark Henry and Undertaker at Mania? Not me.
Non Title Match
MNM w/Melina -vs- Paul London and Brian Kendrick
London and Kendrick aren't wearing the weird masks to the ring this week, as they have new hoods which vaguely resemble fencing masks, only they're purple and black. Crazy! Josh Matthews gets in line of the night towards Melina: "We had a divas match last week on Smackdown and I'd love to see Melina wrestle, but I'd like it even more to see her box." Take THAT, censors.
London tries to get some clapping going to start, but gets jumped with a boot by Nitro for his troubles. Side headlock. As always, push off into the ropes and Nitro lands a shoulder. Melina screams. Whoever decided that'd be a good addition to her character needs punching in the face, hard. Drop down by London...ACTUALLY WORKS, as he trips Nitro up! Armdrag into an armbar and in comes Kendrick. Double whip. Double hiptoss. Double elbow, double kip-up...and a double dropkick to Mercury. Kendrick now looks to whip in Nitro, but it's reversed and Melina grabs the leg. Kendrick argues with Melina and blocks a slap, but gets booted in the head by Mercury. He's thrown back in and Nitro gets just a 1. Tag by MNM. HARD double whip to the corner. Northern Lights Suplex gets a 2. Right hand by Mercury. And now mounted punches. Melina screams. Ugh. Another exchange by MNM and Nitro is in. Another hard double whip to the corner, but this time Kendrick goes upside down into the turnbuckles! Choke on the middle rope by Nitro. Another tag. Double delayed suplex by MNM and I really wish Melina would stop screaming. Mercury gets three seperate 2 counts, so tags Nitro back in for a punch to the gut. Capoeria legdrop by Nitro and a pose that'd make David Hasselhoff envious! Cover only gets 2 though as London saves. Rear chinlock applied by Nitro, maybe even a sleeper. Kendrick escapes into a front facelock and looks for a tag...backdrop to Nitro and there's the tag! But the referee doesn't see it allowing MNM to stomp on Kendrick. MNM try a double back suplex. But Kendrick escapes, rolls under a double clothesline and THERE'S the tag! London launches in and clears house on MNM with some forearms. Dropkick to Mercury. Whip to Nitro and a backbdoy drop! London fires up and now goes after Mercury. Frankensteiner! Nitro tries to attack, but London blocks and hits a Dropsault, landing on Mercury with a pin for a close 2 count! London pulls Mercury up. Mercury over top, switch, elbow. Mercury goes for an O'Conner roll but London shoves him off. Here's Nitro though, dropping London across the top rope. Roll-up with the tights...and London kicks out! MNM go for the Snapshot, but Kendrick lands a crescent kick on Nitro and London escapes Mercury's grip into a small package. The referee is dumb though and argues with Kendrick, missing the pin completely. London looks lost momentarily. He manages to shock Mercury with a wheelbarrow roll-up, but now Melina's on the apron. Nitro dropkicks Kendrick out of the ring and slides out himself. Mercury and Melina manage not to collide, but London is waiting on Mercury. Side belly to belly, little weak. Nitro tries to save Mercury from the 450, but the ref stops him. So, of course, Melina shoves London off the top and into a Nitro Superkick. Snapshot, 1, 2, 3 and London and Kendrick get screwed.
Enjoyable tag match, maybe a little short. By rights, this should lead to a rematch and it should have been on Smackdown to build towards a Tag Title match at WrestleMania. Of course, the WWE doesn't work like that though. Ah well.
And, that was Velocity. A decent show with two pretty enjoyable tag team matches, but nothing really to write home about. MNM/London-Kendrick was the pick of the bunch and proof that there's no reason why a credible tag team division and a credible cruiserweight division can't be built. Then again, we've been saying that for some time now. In the meantime, I guess I'll have to keep watching Velocity and relying on that. And, as such, the next edition of Velocity will be here next week...hopefully sooner than Friday. Keep an eye out for it, people.
All feedback, criticism, suggestions and other tidbits should be directed to [email protected]