WWE Velocity review
January 1, 2005
Aired on Spike TV
Report by Mike Roe, PWTorch.com's second favorite Velocity reviewer
Happy New Year's Day, everyone! Your New Year's resolution should be to watch more Velocity!
We kick things off with the intro that has the Rock but no Paul London. Talk about false advertising. Once again, no pyro, and you have to think they're getting chintzy with Velocity.
(1) Kenzo Suzuki (with Hiroko) defeated Paul London.
Pre-Match Analysis: Torrie Wilson walks down to the ring wearing a black top with silver around her neckline, chest and stomach, with some tall silver boots going up those legs of hers. The silver actually makes a figure eight. Neat! Torrie was looking good, but not nearly as good as Phil of the Future's Alyson Michalka from the Disney Channel. Whoo! Torrie wishes everyone a happy new year and asks if anyone wants to "party" with her. Apparently she doesn't mean "party" in the way you would think. She introduces Kenzo Suzuki, with Hiroko, not acknowledging her history with Kenzo at all. They show that Hiroko running around in her bra and panties was on the back page of a Tokyo sports newspaper. They also didn't acknowledge Suzuki's connection with Dupree at all, and it seems like that tag team has been erased from the collective WWE memory, based on the announcers also not talking much about Kenzo during Renee's match on Smackdown. Paul London comes out next, running and actually sliding all the way across the ring and out of it in a pretty slick move. London seems to be acting a little wacky tonight, stomping his feet in the ring as he prepares to start the match.
Match Analysis: After London did his stomps, Suzuki went on the attack. London hit a pair of dropkicks, followed by an armdrag into an armbar. Suzuki moved to a standing base, throwing right hands at London's head. London ducked under a clothesline and came back with a forearm for a two count. London armdragged into another armbar on Suzuki's left arm. Suzuki moved to a base and went for London's solar plexus with some quick boots. London kept up the striking offense, taking London to the mat with an open hand. Suzuki slammed London's head into the turnbuckle, pressing London into the buckle and hitting a chop to the chest before hitting front kicks to London's solar plexus. Suzuki taunted the crowd before Irish whipping London into the opposite corner and taking him down. The fans broke into a big USA chant before Suzuki set up for his clawhold STO finisher. London countered, but Suzuki responded by slamming London and hitting a knee drop to London's throat. Suzuki went for a cover, but only a two count. London was selling like Ricky Morton for Suzuki. Suzuki draped London's neck over the top rope from the outside before coming back in to work on London's left shoulder with a submission move. The crowd broke into a big USA chant. London armdragged out of the submission, going after Suzuki and attacking him into the corner with punches and kicks. London moved to the second rope and went for a ten punch. Suzuki took him out of the corner while London continued to punch, but Suzuki slammed London. Suzuki then hit his clawhold STO/side Russian leg sweep for the finish. After the match, we saw a recap of the finish and Suzuki blew a kiss to Torrie. Hiroko acted horrified, Torrie acted... well, she didn't really act as all. Josh Mathews asked Steve Romero if he liked girls, since he wasn't paying much attention to Torrie Wilson being nearby during the match. Sounds like someone doth protest too much.
Match Grade: C+. London sold wonderfully, and he's smooth as silk in the ring, but while Suzuki has improved, he's still not a lot of fun to watch. London getting jobbed out to Suzuki was pretty crazy. London showed a lot of fire, though he seems to be going a goofier direction with his character based on the beginning of this match. Torrie was pretty awful before and after this match.
Tonight: Hardcore Holly and Charlie Haas take on Angle's alliance of Luther Reigns and Mark Jindrak.
Tonight: Chavo Guerrero and Billy Kidman, again! For those of you who missed it, these two faced off on Velocity before a month or two ago, and it's insane that WWE isn't promoting this on their main show.
Promo time: Apparently, the World Title is the most prestigious prize in sports entertainment, according to the Elimination Chamber commercial. Um, what about the WWE Title? Oh, right, that doesn't belong to Triple H, so it doesn't count.
Commercial break: You know, I didn't really think about why Metal Gear Solid 3 was subtitled "Snake Eater" until I started playing it. I realized that it was because you're in the jungle and have to, um, eat snakes. Duh.
Promo time: I think that cable companies have to be run by the devil, like in that movie starring that guy. You know the one I'm talking about. Stop pretending you don't. Why do I think this? Because nobody I know has WWE 24/7. If any of you do, I am a jealous, jealous man.
Smackdown last Thursday: Romero and Mathews introduced this segment by talking about the Night of Champions. We cut to John Cena introducing the concept of calling his challengers "the Chain Gang." We then saw Cena's match against Rene Dupree, where Cena won a fairly decisive victory for the U.S. Championship. We then saw Funaki defending his Cruiserweight Championship against Spike Dudley. Funaki's victory was less decisive, getting a surprise win with a sunset flip. We then saw RVD and Rey Mysterio telling Josh Mathews that they had chosen to face Dawn Marie and Torrie Wilson, before Rey revealed that they would actually be facing Booker T and Eddie Guerrero. Eddie lied, cheated, and stole, doing a spot involving making it look like Rey hit him with one of the title belts. However, this distraction allowed Rey to win via rollup. We then saw JBL talking about the potential opponents he could face, as he would be drawing a name from a fishbowl containing all the other WWE wrestlers. Instead of Big Show or Undertaker or Kurt Angle, though, it turned out to be Shannon Moore, previous victim of the JBL squash. JBL won a quick, decisive victory. General Manager Theodore Long came out and took a look at the fishbowl, though, and discovered that every name was Shannon Moore. Poor Shannon. What a Moore-on. Theodore Long said that, due to this, he was making a triple threat match for the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble, with JBL versus Kurt Angle versus the Big Show.
Up next: Chavo Guerrero versus Billy Kidman, proving once again why Velocity is the best show in the WWE television stable.
Promo time: Smackdown is coming to a town near you, but I was too distracted noticing a random clip of Dawn Marie to remember exactly where these Smackdown shows will be.
Commercial break: I think this "Voiceover!"/"Online!" debate between Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson is actually making me stupider every time I watch it. Please, go away. I never thought I could hate two hot women in a cat fight stripping each other's clothes off so much, but I do.
Promo time: Forget all you wrestling purists. I like the Royal Rumble commercial. It's funny. No, it's not traditional, but it's memorable, so someone who might not have had the Rumble on their mind might remember this commercial and go "Oh, yeah!"
(2) Chavo Guerrero defeated Billy Kidman.
Pre-Match Analysis: Uhhh uh, yeeeeah yeah, uhhhh uh, yeeeah yeah. Run, run, run, you can run if you want to (run, run), but you can't-- Oh, sorry, I was just getting lost in Billy Kidman's awesome entrance music, no matter what a certain Smackdown reviewer whose last name rhymes with Riebink might think. Chavo Guerrero came out next, to a nice pop from the crowd. Josh and Steve put over how Billy Kidman took out Chavo Guerrero for 55 days. They talked about their last Velocity match, where Kidman stole a victory from Chavo with his feet on the ropes. Chavo looked for cheers from the crowd as the match was starting.
Match Analysis: Chavo and Kidman locked up, with Kidman having the advantage going into the corner. It looked like a clean break, but Kidman went for a cheap shot. Chavo fired back with a big armdrag. Chavo dusted his hands off after doing the move. They locked up again, and Chavo with a go behind, but Kidman had a go behind of his own. Josh and Steve did a nice job on commentary putting over how Kidman had tried to use his finishing move to take out Chavo, causing him to spend 55 days out of the ring, and talked about the impact that could have had on Chavo's family if it ended his career. Chavo rolled it over into an armbar on Kidman's left arm. Kidman stood up and Chavo took it into a side headlock. The announcers also referenced Kidman's feud with Paul London, where Kidman hit a devastating Shooting Star Press to his former tag team partner. Chavo hit a big shoulder into Kidman. Chavo posed afterwards. Chavo hit a headscissors coming out of the corner, followed by a pair of uppercuts in the opposite corner. Kidman got slammed into the top turnbuckle, but came back with a dropkick to Chavo, hitting him right on the button. Kidman choked Chavo in the ropes. Kidman attacked Chavo in the corner, into a snapmare into a chinlock. Chavo called for fan approval and tried fighting out from a vertical base, but Kidman wasn't having it, hurling Chavo into the turnbuckle. Kidman covered for two. Kidman went into a surfboard submission, applying pressure to Chavo's arms and torso. Chavo didn't sell this much at all, to the point where Steve Romero had to acknowledge that the submission hold wasn't working. Chavo went to the vertical position and fought out. Kidman countered and went for a clothesline, but Chavo ducked and went for a forearm, but they ended up crossbodying one another. Referee Charles Robinson went into the double count, but Kidman got up at eight. Romero and Mathews put over the cruiserweight division, reminding everyone of how it was Smackdown/Velocity exclusive. They went to exchange punches, but Chavo got the easy early advantage, hitting away on Kidman before delivering a series of boots to Kidman in the ropes. Chavo hit a back bodydrop, followed by a clothesline and a shoulder block. Chavo hit a flying forearm and then went for a cover, but he only got two. Chavo took Kidman up, but he slipped out and hit the BK Bomb. Kidman dragged Chavo over for the Shooting Star Press to a chorus of boos from the crowd. Kidman went for the SSP, but Chavo rolled out of the way. Chavo kicked Kidman in the back of the head and went for a cover for a three count, despite Kidman getting his shoulder up because the referee wasn't in proper position, which the announcers pointed out. Chavo pointed to his head after the match, showing almost a heelish cockiness, although I don't think that was intentional.
Match Grade: B+. Good match. It loses a couple points for the odd finish, but the body of the match was well done. They worked "new style," but they did so in a way that didn't look like boring resthold after boring resthold. They used moves to transition into submissions, and they didn't just use your standard headlocks and chinlocks, but used various modified armbars and other more unusual submissions. Chavo doesn't come across as a real sympathetic babyface, and he didn't sell as much for Kidman as I would have liked. The Shooting Star Press used to seem like a real killer finisher, but that seems to have created the converse problem that Kidman can't hit it because they've made it seem so devastating that they don't want him using it on anyone.
Up next: Heidenreich goes over to a casket that was brought down to the ring, only to be freakin' surprised when the Undertaker popped out. Idiot.
WrestleMania Recall: We saw a clip from Shawn Michaels versus Bret Hart at WrestleMania 12 in 1996, with Michaels hitting the superkick to win the world title, with Vince McMahon declaring that "the boyhood dream has come true for Shawn Michaels."
Commercial break: What am I supposed to "go ask Alice" about? The movie Resident Evil: Outbreak? The DVD? What time it is? Why she's in such a dumb movie series? I have no idea.
Promo time: The Rise and Fall of ECW is on DVD, and if you haven't seen this yet, go buy it. Now. Don't worry, the review will still be here when you get back. I saw this, and it was absolutely incredible. Whether you're an ECW fan or you've never even heard of it before, you will enjoy this DVD.
Smackdown last Thursday: Steve Romero introduced this segment. We cut to Heidenreich in the ring, asking who at the arena thought that he had fear in his heart. Tazz and Cole acted like total tools and talked about how they knew he didn't have fear in his heart. Heidenreich said that he feared nothing, saying that he gave Undertaker a way out of this feud through the match in Iraq, but that he wants to come back for more. Heidenreich said that the Royal Rumble would be Undertaker's final resting place, and reiterated that he feared no man, living or dead. Then, of course, the Undertaker's music hit and the lights went out, before those blue lights came on. Undertaker came on the house speakers and said "Heidenreich" is such a goofy voice that I burst out laughing when I first heard it. He went on to see that, at the Royal Rumble, Heidenreich woudl rest in peace. Heidenreich did his crazy head shake as a group of druids brought a casket down to the ring. No, seriously, WWE thinks this is the way to sell a match. Heidenreich was down on his hands and knees like a dog in the ring, shaking his head at the casket before moving to one knee and hitting himself in the head, because that's how he rolls. Heidenreich began crawling ever closer to the casket, showing that he obviously was afraid and is not to be taken seriously at all and why are we still watching this? Heidenreich cautiously approached and acted afraid to touch the casket, like it would electrocute him or give him rabies or something. Heidenreich finally touched it and ran his hand along the casket before saying "OK! It's OK!" Yeah, you touching it makes it OK. Right. Of course, Undertaker pushed open the casket and revealed himself, sitting up and staring down Heidenreich, who puffed out his cheeks at the site of Taker, much like a blowfish. Heidenreich pointed at Taker like "Hey! I know that guy!" Michael Cole on commentary asked if this meant it would be a casket match. Gee, thanks for the expert commentary, Cole. Romero and Mathews then ran down the Royal Rumble Smackdown card thus far, including the casket match and the triple threat WWE Title match.
Up next: Charlie Haas and Hardcore Holly are teaming up for no apparent reason to face Luther Reigns and Mark Jindrak.
Promo time: WWE Smackdown magazine is giving you a preview of 2005 in WWE. Well, not a good one, but a kayfabed one that five or so people will buy into. Great.
Commercial break: The guy from Halo 2 says he needs a weapon? What, they're not giving you weapons in these video games these days? Screw that!
WWE Rewind: Daniel Puder introduced himself to members of the locker room before Hardcore Holly came over and complained about Puder knocking over Hardcore's stuff. Puder said that he would be in the main event of WrestleMania, since he already had his spot in the Royal Rumble.
(3) Luther Reigns and Mark Jindrak defeated Hardcore Holly and Charlie Haas when Mark Jindrak pinned Charlie Haas.
Pre-Match Analysis: Hardcore Holly and Charlie Haas came out together, and because WWE has no faith in Charlie Haas, they played Hardcore Holly's music. WWE has more faith in Hardcore Holly than in Charlie Haas. Yikes. Luther Reigns and Mark Jindrak came out next, to Luther's music. They cut to a shot of WWE's own sign guy, the guy in the red baseball cap and white and blue work shirt, holding up a sign that said "Mark and Luther wish there was mistletoe over Kurt's butt." Josh put over the sign as being funny.
Match Analysis: Hardcore Holly and Reigns started things off. Mathews referred to Reigns as "the Demon from the Desert." Reigns took Hardcore into the corner, but Hardcore countered and hit fists to Reigns' back and neck. Reigns fired back with a big fist. Hardcore schoolboyed Reigns for a quick two count. Hardcore hit a pair of backhand chops to Reigns in the corner. Hardcore baseball slid between Reigns' legs and hit an armdrag into an armbar on Reigns, but Reigns fought out and tagged in Jindrak. Hardcore had the advantage as he tagged in Haas, who armdragged Jindrak into a modifed arm submission. The announcers put over Jindrak's vertical leap. Jindrak choked Haas using the ropes for extra leverage. Romero actually referenced the Dawn Marie and Miss Jackie storylien which has been largely ignored. Haas worked some amateur style moves on the mat, rolling Jindrak over to Haas's corner, tagging in Hardcore, who kept up the pressure and hit an armdrag into an armbar. Hardcore then tagged in Haas once again. Haas punched Jindrak then tagged in Hardcore. Haas set up Jindrak for the Alabama Crunch, which Hardcore hit in the ropes to the "solar plexus" before hitting his top rope clothesline to Jindrak. Reigns tried to interfere, but Hardcore took him down. Hardcore had Jindrak up for the Alabama Slam, but Reigns stopped it from taking place as we headed into break. I can't believe they're giving this match two segments while Chavo and Kidman get the midcard spot. Oh, that's right, "cruiserweights can't draw." I forgot.
Commercial break: Open Water is out on DVD, and if you've heard how they filmed this movie, you'd know that everyone involved is absolutely certifiable. I don't care how much I was getting paid, I don't think I'd be that comfortable being that close to that many real sharks for that long. I like my arms.
Welcome back! Reigns had control of Holly, working a chinlock, which Mathews made the point about that it worked on Holly's surgically repaired neck. Reigns hit a modified reverse DDT into his knee. Jindrak tagged in and kept up the assault on Hardcore, suplexing him and nipping up, then signaling for the elbow drop. Jindrak then hit two elbow drops, then a Val Venis-esque hip gyration, into another elbow drop. He went into a cover, but Hardcore kicked out. Jindrak locked on a headlock, but Hardcore made his way to his feet. Jindrak hit a big slam to Holly, tagging out to Reigns. Reigns hit a series of big crossfaces on Holly, hammering the side of his head. Reigns tried to take out Haas, which distracted the referee. Jindrak tagged in and hammered on Hardcore. It looked like this was a setup for a double team, but they didn't really do any double team moves. Hardcore managed to get to his feet, but Jindrak retained control, hitting Hardcore on the back. Hardcore reversed and hit the best dropkick in the business on Jindrak, setting us up for the supertag. Hardcore tagged in Haas, who went to work on Jindrak, hitting a big back bodydrop, dropkick to Reigns, continuing the assault with several big moves, including a release suplex on Reigns and a side suplex on Jindrak into a cover, but he only got a two count. Jindrak sent Hardcore to the outside. Jindrak went for a dropkick, but Haas caught him and was about to go for a catapult, but Reigns grabbed Haas' neck from outside the ring and hung him up by the back of the neck from outside the ring, allowing Jindrak to score the pin on Charlie Haas.
Match Grade: C. A decent main event with another so-so ending, particularly because Haas was standing there forever before Reigns interfered. Luther doesn't seem to have a well-defined personality in the ring at this point, without enough signature spots and mannerisms. Jindrak isn't a great worker, but unlike Luther, he does have a clearly defined ring identity based on his "Reflection of Perfection" gimmick. Haas is a solid worker, but he's not such a standout that he could take this match to the next level. Hardcore Holly has a great intensity in the ring and was actually probably the most fun to watch out of any of these four guys.
Final Show Grade: B-. We did get the strong Chavo/Kidman rematch, but the opening squash and the main event weren't that great. We also, on the plus side, got a two segment main event, but unfortunately, the workers in it didn't give us much reason to be excited. Jindrak and Reigns seem to be taking over Jindrak's old spot of being Velocity dominant, winning several matches on Velocity over the last month or so. Here's hoping that Paul London doesn't wind up in Funaki's old spot as cruiser Velocity jobber, and that Chavo and Kidman get to settle their feud on the main show or, better yet, pay-per-view, so that someone else besides me gets to see it. Also, although I'll probably still be riding him pretty hard, Romero is already starting to improve on commentary, and while he's no Bill DeMott, he's no Al Snow on color commentary either, and that's a good thing.
On Smackdown Vs. Raw for PlayStation 2: Josh Mathews: You know, Steve, I've got to do something with that Smackdown Versus Raw game. I, I think I've got a plan for that thing. Steve Romero: You've got an idea? Mathews: I've got an idea.
- They then went on to never, eeever explain what the F Mathews was talking about. See, Bill DeMott wouldn't have let something like that go.
On Mark Jindrak and Luther Reigns: Josh Mathews: These guys, they're the size of redwoods. For the people in the midwest, they are the size of skyscrapers. Steve Romero: There you go. Mathews: I like to be nationally, um, what do you, um, helpful. That was the word I was looking for. Romero: Regionally descriptive. Mathews: There you go.
- This was the first time that I really saw Mathews and Romero starting to develop a rapport like Josh had with former color commentator Bill DeMott. They still have a long way to go to develop that same comfort level with one another, but they're on their way.
On Mark Jindrak's vertical leap: Steve Romero: Josh, you and I were at a basketball gym the other day, and you and I saw Mark Jindrak, his athletic ability, what he was able to do. Josh Mathews: Yeah, you know, I said to Mark Jindrak, I said, hey Mark, you think you could jump up and, and touch the back of the square that's on the backboard there, and he said naw, I'm not really warmed up, I don't think I could do it, and then we turned around, and there, and there Jindrak was, just slapping, almost the top of the entire backboard. Romero: Like four inches above the white square. He could dunk down a twelve foot hoop. He's got that fort - that forty inch vertical jump. He showed it to us. Mathews: Mark Jindrak with the highest vertical leap in the WWE.
- Josh it's "WWE," not "the WWE." I'm just saying. Also, this was a nice example of a story told in a semi-believable fashion instead of drawing attention to itself like, say, the stories Michael Cole tries to tell about four legs and twenty shoe size, or other dumb stuff like that.
On Josh Mathews' point about Charlie Haas's tactics against Mark Jindrak: Steve Romero: Exactly. Great point, Josh. Josh Mathews: Thanks, Steve! Romero: There you go. Well, every now and then, I've got to let you know.
- Talk about a homoerotic moment. Also, I'm pretty sure that "there you go" is what Steve Romero says when he can't think of anything else to say.
Mike Roe is the junior WWE Velocity reviewer for PWTorch.com. He's also a Gumgod Pledge and the president of the Dusty Giebink fan club, Dusty's Finishers. He also writes regularly on all sorts of fun stuff on his blog, Tap Out. If you have questions, comments, complaints, or just want a warm body to talk to, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on the Torch VIP forum.
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