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2/28 Velocity review: Tajiri vs. London, A Train wrestles, and then so does Hardcore Holly

Feb 29, 2004 - 3:51:00 PM
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By Dusty Giebink, Torch Team Contributor

WWE Velocity review
February 28, 2004
Taped 2/24/03
Aired on Spike TV
Report by Dusty Giebink, Torch Team Contributor


Opening montage airs, and Josh Matthews and Bill DeMott welcome us to the show. Josh informs us that we finally found out why exactly Kurt Angle turned on Eddie Guerrero, but since it happened on Smackdown, and no one watches that show but rather watches Velocity to get the highlights, we will be seeing that footage again tonight. Well, he didnt say that in so many words, but it could properly be assumed.

(1) Tajiri (with Sakoda & Akio) defeated Paul London.

Match Analysis: I hate that London is still using Spankys old, terrible entrance music. (Hey Yooooooouuuuuuuuu!) London hits the old school, Super Mario Brothers-style Mushroom stomp onto Tajiri. Matthews provides the Nintendo soundtrack to the move, and there is no question in my mind who the best wrestling announcer right now is. Tajiri hits a legsweep on London, with London on the top rope that was somewhat sloppy due to, I think, miscommunication. With London on the outside, Tajiris henchmen get involved all illegal-like. Tajiri works the leg, and the fans chant U.S.A. Good, because Tajiris a heel, but I cringe at that type of thing every time. London fights his way out and hits a dropsault. However, hes too injured to capitalize on this momentemum, and tastes some more of Tajiris stiff kicks.

London counters the handspring elbow, but hes still too hurt to take advantage. DeMott points out the earlier interference by Sakoda and Akio, whereas certain announcers would have forgotten about that by this point. London counters the Tarantula with a sitout inverted powerbomb, which gets a two count. Beautiful move. London drops Akio as he was trying to get involved, but then misses a moonsault, which does further damage to his already injured leg-area. Tajiri then hits one of those stiff, I wouldnt wish that upon my worst enemy, but maybe the guy that took Boston Common off the air, stiff kicks for the victory.

BILL DEMOTTS TURNING POINT~!, causing everyone to think outside the box (ahem) for a moment or two, tells us that the key to this match was Sakoda and Akio interfering and injuring Londons knee while Tajiri distracted the ref. Me likely the Turning Point~!

Match Grade: A-. This was a very good match, and an extremely fitting way to kick off Velocity. Velocity, as I have said many times in the past, is the exclusive home to cruiserweight action for the Smackdown brand. This match was no exception. The stuff with Akio and Sakoda was well done, as well, and entrenched Tajiri has a talented heel, who nonetheless would do anything it takes to get the victory. London really reminds me of a young Rick Steamboat.

Im sure Final Fantasy is a great game and all, but the commercials for it are so bad, that I dont even want to bother buying it anymore. Way to go, Final Fantasy. Also, a JOHN HENSON PROJECT~! commercial airs. Love that!

(2) A Train defeated Shannon Moore.

Match Analysis: This feud must continue~! A Train pie faces Moore, and then chokes him with his boot. Train charges at Moore in the corner, but Moore gets his boots up. Train catches him and tosses him to the outside. Where was the bell for the disqualification, I ask you? Nowhere to be heard. Train misses a big, yelling elbow. Moore attempts to fight back with some forearms and such. Train catches him coming off the top rope with a whip of some sort. The announcers dont even care enough to call this. Train does an extended hang time butterfly suplex for a two count. Train tosses Moore into the corner and then hits some wild, swinging punches at him. Train starts talking some trash, saying hell never beat him and such. Moore hits a drop toehold on Train into the middle turnbuckle, but Train cuts off his momentum quickly. Moore reverses something into a sunset flip for a two count, but Train again cuts off momentum with a shoulder tackle. Train hits the Useless Oaf (Vader Bomb, announcers didnt call it) for the victory.

Match Grade: B-. Shannon Moore is a great work, and would be an asset to any cruiserweight division. That said, WWE does not intend on ever getting behind their cruiserweight division. If there was even one shred of question about this before this match, there is no longer. This was as good as many A Train match could ever hope to possibly be, and for that, I consider Moore a miracle worker. Or, at least, a good seller.

Ive got serious issues with the Ninja Gaiden commercial. I dont want to know about some old lady, about the age of my grandmother, wanting a pound of wieners. I absolutely, positively did not need to hear that/see that.

From last Thursdays Smackdown, it was John Cena & Rey Mysterio vs. Big Show & Chavo Guerrero. Show missed a charge and went flying over the guardrail and among the humanoids. Meanwhile, back in the rizing, Mysterio hit the 6-1-9 and was able to successfully pin Chavo. After, Chavo Sr. entered and immediately began pounding away on Rey Rey. Cena got all up in the ring again and hit the F-U on Chavo Sr. Big Show recovered and hit a big time chokeslam onto Mysterio, and then Cena. Will this be what happens to Cena at WrestleMania? Well, it is certainly entirely possible.

Speaking of WrestleMania, I bet youre wondering what the matches are going to be for that particular show. Well, wait no longer, as I am about to tell you. Big Show vs. John Cena for the U.S. Title, that would be one match. Im sure therell be a more detailed rundown later in the show, because if they only have one match booked, its going to be an awfully short show.

Segment Grade: A. I always love the Smackdown highlights on Velocity, and this was no exception. If you missed Smackdown, Velocity always does a fine job of getting you caught up on what youve missed. Two thumbs way up!

One more week of Castrol GTX exploding all up in your area. Big ups to them, they have staying power. I should further note that if I couldnt swim, I wouldnt get into the water in the first place where I knew that I could potentially drown. Its called common sense.

(3) Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin defeated Matt Cappotelli & John Hennigan.

Match Analysis: Haas and Benjamin, for this week at least, had new matching black, red and white singlets. Different, but still impressive. Now, they need a new, shorter team name and they will be all set. Josh reminds us that Matt and John look familiar to some of us because they were the most recent Tough Enough winners. OH~! DeMott reserves the right to take back credit on helping to train them, depending on how well they do in this match. Gotta respect honesty. Hennigan does a sloppy-as-all-get-out flippy-do and then some various sloppy high flying aerialisticness. I should note that the referee for this match is the greatest man to ever live, Nick Patrick. Well, besides Jim Cornette, of course.

Hennigan locks on an armlock, trying to keep Benjamin down. Matthews points out this is less than stellar strategy, as Benjamin has an extensive amateur background. Hennigan does another sloppy flippy-do to get out of something by Haas, and then tags in Matt. Haas misses a clothesline and tastes a dropkick. John tags back in. Oh boy. Haas distracts the ref, which enables Benjamin to choke out Hennigan with the tag rope. I always liked that spot. Hennigan tries to fight his way out of the corner, but Benjamin hits the Exploder (T-bone, I believe) suplex for a two count. Haas and Benjamin do the double team backbreaker spot for a two count. I love that move. Haas does a singular backbreaker on Hennigan, holding onto it for added emphasis. Matthews points out that this move is effective because it gives Haas some time to breath, while it does nothing of the sort for Hennigan. John finally makes the hot tag and Matt is on 12 different kinds of fire. Matt hits a spinning, 360 back elbow on Haas, but Benjamin breaks up the pin attempt. Benjamin, coming in from the outside, hits a superkick out of nowhere onto Cappotelli. Haas locks on a leg submission for the victory.

Match Grade: B+. After the match, Matthews pointed out that Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty should be on the lookout, as this match would certainly elevate the stance of Haas and Benjamin as far as title contention goes. Nice touch. Matt has some talent and does some innovative things, including and especially that 360 back elbow, but John just doesnt have it yet. Id put money on him getting there eventually, though, because you can just tell he wants it. Kids got heart.

From last Thursdays Smackdown, we are informed that Eddie Guerrero went into the show looking to confront Kurt Angle and nothing else. In the scuffle, he inadvertently knocked down Dawn Marie. An enraged Paul Heyman rightfully kicked Guerrero out of the arena. Later in the show, Angle announced that it was only a matter of time before Guerrero fell off the wagon again, because thats what all drug addicts do. Angle felt the need to take action when he saw that Guerrero won the WWE Title, due to destroying the morals that were the foundation of the title and the company. He didnt want to do it, and in fact prayed over it extensively. He made a deal with the devil (Heyman and the Chavos), but he felt he did the right thing. He is doing this for Guerreros and the fans own good, and one day they will thank him for it. He is going to be a champion that they can all be proud of.

As Angles music resounded in the background, Eddie came out of no-freakin-where and immediately attacked Angle. Heyman and a pack of officers exploded onto the scene, and Heyman demanded that they arrest Guerrero immediately for being an unwelcomed guest at the arena, and for assaulting Dawn Marie and Kurt Angle. I love wrestling. Heyman said Guerrero makes him sick. Fast forward to the cops throwing Guerrero into one of the squad cars, with Angle taunting him every step of the way. Angle got into Guerreros face (with the glass of the car window in between them), and called him an embarrassment.

So, at WrestleMania, its going to be Kurt Angle vs. Eddie Guerrero for the WWE Title. Also, Torrie & Sable will take on Miss Jackie & Stacy in the first ever Playboy Evening Gown match. Matthews pointed out that he didnt know the rules for this particular contest, but that they really dont matter. Hes got a point there. Furthermore, it will be Big Show vs. John Cena for the U.S. Title, Undertaker vs. Kane, and Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg with Stone Cold Steve Austin as the special guest referee. However, for zero dollars, if you stayed tuned to Velocity coming up next, you will get to see Hardcore Holly & Orlando Jordan take on Chuck Palumbo & Johnny Stamboli. Who needs WrestleMania, I ask you?!

Segment Grade: A. I love how wrestling is basically simulated assault, and is considered perfectly legal at all times from a storyline perspective. So, we have to believe that at certain times, for no discernable reason, this simulated assaulting is illegal, and thus grounds for arrest. As proof, I give you the above-described Guerrero angle. That said, it was good, and another case of Velocity telling you all you need to know about Smackdown if you missed the past weeks episode. Interesting, on a side note, that when running down the Mania card, they didnt mention the Triple H match at all. Huh.

Still not sure if I like the Burger King commercial where the guy copies the other guys special way of getting his Whopper. I think I do. Its cool. I know for a fact that Burger King is better than Hardees. At least it is where I come from.

(4) Hardcore Holly & Orlando Jordan defeated Chuck Palumbo & Johnny Stamboli.

Match Analysis: So, Johnny Stamboli and Chuck Palumbo are tied for my second favorite wrestler this week. As I said last time, I like Kurt Angle first, and then whoever is facing Hardcore Holly on any given week is number two. No me gusta Hardcore Holly. I actually like both of these guys, Palumbo in particular, so its not too much of a stretch for me. Stamboli hits a big time slam on Jordan, and then slips into a headlock. Jordan works the arm on the Bull, and then tags in Holly, who actually gets a halfway decent crowd response. Whatever. Im fairly certain Stamboli can stand toe-to-toe with Holly, so this ought to be interesting. They seem to work pretty stiff against each other here. Holly works some chops in, but Stamboli plows Holly into the wrong corner for some double team action. Holly hits the Alabama Slam on Stamboli, but a Palumbo right hand, the best right hand in the business, drops Holly like a ton of bricks.

Back inside the ring, Palumbo gets two on Holly. Palumbo hits a nice back suplex on Holly for two. That was a nice move. Palumbo works the arm and neck area. Matthews points out that Palumbo has slowed the match down to a grinding halt. Holly fights his way back with some punches and chops and such, but Palumbo thwarts the momentum. Palumbo hits a nice kick to the ribs, but the action is relatively slow motion at this point. Palumbo works in an inverted headlock, working on Hollys surgically repaired neck in some nice strategy. Stamboli is still selling the Alabama Slam at this point, which is a nice touch. Palumbo cuts off a Holly tag attempt just in the nick of time. Stamboli finally tags back in, and works a headlock of his own. Holly hits a desperation dropkick, which Stamboli sells really well. Holly makes the lukewarm tag and Jordan hits a flying forearm (shades of Tito Santana~!) and some other basic wrestling 101 stuff like backdrops and such. OJ hits a flying bodypress, but Palumbo rolls threw it into a pinning combination of his own. Match turns into complete chaos. Jordan hits the Freeway Chase powerslam for the three count. Show abruptly fades to black and its time for some Confidential.

Match Grade: B. This was a decent match, and the finish actually surprised me. I thought for sure Holly would insist on getting the pinfall victory himself. I would have put over Palumbo and Stamboli as another legitimate contender for Keesh and Scottys tag belts. Oh well.

Final Show Grade: B+. This show was a step down from last weeks stellar edition, but it was still pretty okay. Again, the Smackdown highlights were top notch. Match of the show honors go to the opening match, with Tajiri vs. London. However, the presence of two of my least favorite perfomers, Train and Holly, slightly detracted from the overall enjoyment level. I like how Haas and Benjamin won their match to help elevate them in title contendership, and a part of me wishes Palumbo and Stamboli would have won also. Overall, a very good show, although not as good as in weeks past.

Dusty Giebink can be contacted at dustygiebink@yahoo.com or WisconsinDream on the VIP Forum, if you have something to say.


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