TV REPORTS 7/16 WWE Velocity Review: Over 20 minutes of Benoit vs. Regal!
Jul 18, 2005 - 5:18:00 PM
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By Barry Kasten, Torch Contributor
WWE Velocity review
July 16, 2005
Aired on Spike TV
Report by Barry Kasten, Torch Team Contributor
What the Christ? Someone is actually getting promo time on Velocity! We are introduced to “The Future” Frankie Kazarian. Kazarian talks about the history and current scene of wrestling and name drops Hogan, Bret Hart, HHH, Batista, and Angle to get the crowd to listen. Passable promo where Kazarian lets everyone know that he’s the future and part of the next wave of stars. Thumbs up for the promo time. They should be doing stuff like this weekly to get some of the inexperienced mic guys promo experience in front of a limited audience. That’s partially OVW’s job but some practice along the way doesn’t hurt either. Some people come up from OVW and don’t get the chance to cut promos for a while and I can imagine it’s pretty easy to get rusty. It’s like when you have training at work for a task that you’re not going to be completing for another year. By the time you get around to doing the thing you were trained for, you forgot everything.
(1) Frankie Kazarian defeated Nunzio by pinfall. I wasn’t quite as high on this match as Dusty was in his Velocity review. I thought these two were having trouble meshing and a lot of things had some obvious choreography. It’s to be expected with guys that have never worked with each other before though. Kazarian looks bulkier than the last time I saw him work in PWG. Kazarian should either just wrestle with his hair flying everywhere or cut it. Nothing looks worse than a man with a ponytail. I don’t mean to be all negative but this wasn’t much more than restholds. Kazarian hit a cool dropkick in the corner that had some kids in the front row going nuts. He finished Nunzio off with a fisherman’s buster (Perfect Plex). They gave him the mic afterwards as well. I am again shocked and very pleased at the promo time given.
(2) Simon Dean defeated Mike Kruel by pinfall. Dean comes out and calls the crowd fat in so many words. He lets Kruel know that he can either voluntarily eat the Simon System health bar or get it forced down his throat. Kruel pushes the bar away and it’s on. Dean jumps him and they trade control for a bit. You may recognize Kruel as a newer member of The Embassy in ROH. Which reminds me, Prince Nana is fantastic and should be a mouthpiece in the WWE. Dean lands an STO (think Kenzo Suzuki’s finish without the claw). Mathews breaks babyface announcer code and starts gushing over Dean, going so far as to say he’s falling in love with him. Yeah, that will help quell the gay rumors. Dean’s pushup choke is glorious. The worst Curb Stomp I’ve ever seen is used by Dean. Super Dragon is under his mask fuming right now. The squashtacular match ends with Dean hitting the Simonizer (Golden Gate Swing) for the uno-dos-tres. We used to hang with a guy we called the Simonizer and now I get to think of him every week that Dean is on Velocity. Paging Dibiase. Kruel is force fed a health bar as a final signal of disrespect.
From Smackdown: The worst booked champ ever, Orlando Jordan, faces Batista in a Champion vs. Champion match. With the amount of interference they gave JBL, I figured they would give OJ a cheap victory to get some heat but I guess not. Batista gets beat down for ages and makes the comeback to win. A sneak attack is perpetrated by JBL after the match and he holds up the big gold belt as the announcers ponder if that will be the closing scene at the Great American Bash. There are so many good wrestlers that they could have good program surrounding both belts but they never want to do anything with the US Title. I know the reasoning for this is that they don’t want to overshadow the main title but it does provide a good alternative program if fans aren’t digging what’s going down up top and can help propel guys up the cards.
(3) Chris Benoit defeated William Regal by submission. Wow. This was a fun ride. I read the reports that this match was good and when Regal backed Benoit out of the corner with stiff forearms to the face, I knew it would be. The fellas trade headbutts in the feeling out process and Regal comes up bloody. The way Regal works with the blood on his face is a sight. He’s constantly concerned about his head being busted open and wrestles accordingly. Smashing as the Brits would say. I would run through all the highlights of the match individually but that would take ages. Instead they’ll get the summary treatment: Benoit busting out a Dragon freaking Suplex, Regal’s running knees, Regal almost locking in the Regal Stretch, and Regal locking in the Liger submission that I can only describe as a reverse guillotine with the legs locked.
There were two commercial breaks during this match, which I don’t recall happening in ages. Benoit lands a Sharpshooter right after they returned from the second break. Regal really struggled in the move and finally made the ropes but looked extremely frustrated that he couldn’t break free earlier. Surprise, Regal’s facial expressions are godly. There is an awesome sequence with Regal trying to hold onto a double underhook, Benoit reversing with Regal holding on, and Regal going on to hit a butterfly suplex. I can’t explain it, but I mark for any move that involves a double underhook. Finish came when Benoit reversed a Regal piledriver attempt into a shoulder breaker and finished him with the crossface, playing into the early arm work by Benoit and the late shoulder breaker. If you have the capabilities to download this match, you should do so. Or get it on a compilation from your favorite dealer.
Summary: WWE took another step towards realizing my dream of turning Velocity into WCW Saturday Night circa Jimmy Hart. They gave a new guy promo time, which is unheard of on this show, and gave him a good push. Underutilized workers were given a spotlight match and came up aces. I feel that Kazarian stumbled out of the gate a little bit but the booking is definitely in the right place and hopefully Frankie gets more comfortable and will put on better performances. Feed me more Benoit and Regal please!
Barry Kasten welcomes any comments you may have about his review or Velocity in general. He is ready for the summer long humidity festival in Wisconsin to end. Our softball sponsor picking out black shirts for us to wear was a bad choice. It feels like you’re running around with a wet towel on. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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