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3/6 Velocity review: London vs. Noble, and Billy Gunn vs. Rhyno in the main event

Mar 7, 2004 - 10:18:00 AM
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By Dusty Giebink, Torch Team Contributor

WWE Velocity review
March 6, 2004
Taped 3/02/03
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 are eight days away from WrestleMania 20, which is going to be the biggest show of the year. Live! From Madison Square Garden! Buckle up, enjoy the ride.

(1) Jamie Noble defeated Paul London.

Match Analysis: New week, same old theme music for London. Same old push, too. Velocity is, of course, the exclusive home for cruiserweight action in WWE. They trade holds early, working on the arm. Noble gets the early advantage, but London counters nicely. DeMott points out that this aggressiveness is out of the norm for London, and that each week we learn a little something new about London, the wrestler. They trade chops, and London hits a rather stiff kick to Nobles back, Bendin It Like Beckham. London hits a flying knee off the second rope, and it gets two. Dos, in Spanish. London attempts something off the top rope, but Noble catches him and tosses him to the arena floor. The show cuts to a commercial break.

Back from break, and Noble is control, but London fights his way out of a headlock. Noble tries to toss London outside the ring, but London attempts to skin the cat. Noble wisely hits a dropkick while London is skinning. Nice spot. Noble hits a short arm clothesline, but then just goes for the cover and doesnt hit the DDT or anything. Im getting old. Noble tries multiple covers in a row, and thats one of my least favorite spots in wrestling. Try something else before you go for another cover. Something, anything. Noble works a reverse chinlock-looking headlock, and DeMott points out that London hasnt been the same since getting tossed to the outside from the top rope. Good announcing. The announcers talk about how much time Noble spends studying videotape and preparing for his opponents. London makes his comeback and hits a dropsault for two. London hits an inverted sitout powerbomb for two. Noble hooks in his Pay Dirt submission hold, but London hits a Northern Lights suplex. Noble is able to hold on to the submission, roll through the suplex and get the victory.

BILL DEMOTTS TURNING POINT~!, causing everyone to think outside the box for a moment or two, tells us that London was doing alright for himself, until Noble catches him trying something off the top rope, sending London spilling to the arena floor.

Match Grade: A-. This was a very good match, and a most righteous way to start off this edition of Velocity. DeMott was totally right that London seems to improve every week. And Noble is no slouch either. This match was a great example of Vinces and WWEs new philosophy of having the matches be worked at a slower pace, and telling a story. An onus was put on submission holds, especially coming from Noble. This makes perfect sense, as London is a high flyer and it would be in Nobles best interests to keep him grounded. London, in turn, had to change up his gameplan to counter this. Good match, and everything made sense.

WrestleMania Recall brings us back to WrestleMania 16, where it was Triple H vs. The Rock vs. Big Show vs. Mick Foley in a Fatal Four Way. Theres a McMahon in every corner, and of course they were the focal point of the match. Vince nails Rock in the head with a chair, helping Triple H keep the title.

We get a rundown of the WrestleMania lineup here, which I will transcribe for you, my loyal readers, right this very instant: Eddie Guerrero defends the WWE Championship against Kurt Angle, Big Show puts the U.S. Title on the line against John Cena, WWE Tag Team Titles on the line as Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty defend against Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin, The Basham Brothers, and The APA, the first-ever Cruiserweight Championship Open, where Chavo Guerrero Jr. puts his belt on the line against Rey Mysterio, Ultimo Dragon, Billy Kidman, Shannon Moore, Jamie Noble, Tajiri, Nunzio~!, Akio and Funaki~!~!, Rock & Mick Foley take on Ric Flair, Batista and Randy Orton, Chris Jericho vs. Christian, Victoria defends the Womens Title against Molly Holly, Booker T & Rob Van Dam defend the Tag Team Titles in a Fatal Four Way against La Resistance, Garrison Cade & Mark Jindrak, and a team to be determined on Sunday Night Heat~!, Triple H defends the World Title against Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit in a three way dance, Undertaker rises from the dead to take on Kane, the first-ever Playboy Evening Gown Match will see Sable & Torrie Wilson take on Miss Jackie & Stacy Keibler, and Bill Goldberg takes on Brock Lesnar, with Stone Cold Steve Austin as the referee. That covers nearly everyone on the roster except like Orlando Jordan and Paul London. Good job to fit everyone in. This might be the longest paragraph I write during the whole show review, and it was just listing matches for the show.

From last Thursdays Smackdown, the old familiar Stone Cold music played, and Brock Lesnar came down to the ring in Austins four wheeler. Possession being nine-tenths of the law and all, it was now Lesnars vehicle. Hes going to be beating the heck out of Hardcore Holly on this given night (which is always good), but first he talks some trash to Steve Austin. Lesnar brags about appearing on Raw two weeks and giving him (Austin) the F-5. They show a clip of it, because you just know Austin, watching at home, wanted to see it again. Since he knows he can handle Austin, Bill Goldberg is next. Hes going to beat Goldberg senseless at WrestleMania, because hes feeling pain and nothing but without his World Championship.

Segment Grade: A-. Well, I always enjoy the Smackdown highlights on Velocity, because they do a good job of showing people what happened on the show if they missed it the first time. However, this one seemed, obviously, more geared toward selling WrestleMania. Thats very important, dont get me wrong. But running down the match list and showing a Lesnar promo isnt the best Smackdown highlight Ive ever seen, so its graded slightly worse than the A I normally give the Smackdown highlights. Plus, it would have been beaten to show some clips of Holly getting pinned, or something along those lines, so I could rip him again. Oops, too late.

(2) Orlando Jordan defeated Nunzio.

Match Analysis: Is it bad when I hear the F.B.I.s music every single week, and still dont have a clue whos about to come to the ring when I hear it on any given week? Yes, yes it is. Nunzio makes Jordan chase him around the ring, but back inside, Jordan still gets the advantage. Jordan shows off his amateur boxing background with some stuff. So, is that his gimmick? Does he have a gimmick. Nunzio snaps Jordans neck over the top rope, and then looks out to the crowd, saying, That was fair. Nunzio locks on a chinlock, and then tries to drop a knee on Jordan with his kneepad down, but Jordan gets out of the way. Jordan hits a schoolboy for a two count. Nunzio hits a spinning neckbreaker for a two count. More stuff happening in this match than the first one.

Nunzio locks Jordans head in a figure four-type maneuver, then uses the ropes for leverage, but the ref catches him and makes him break it up. Im sure the grabbing onto the ropes was accidental. Nunzio would never willingly cheat like that. Nunzio slaps the uncalled-by-the-announcers chinlock back on, and Jordan gets the advantage back. Jordan hits the Freeway Chase dropkick, and it gets a two count. OJ hits the Bruno Magli flying forearm for a two count. Nunzio attempts the Arrivederci Stone Cold Arm Stunner, but Jordan counters and hits the White Bronco of Doom powerslam for the victory.

Match Grade: B+. Even though, like I said, there was more stuff going on in this match than the previous one, it just wasnt as good as the first one. That said, Nunzio sells everything like a million bucks. I just have to question why Nunzio, who is going to be on WrestleMania, challenging for a title belt, would lose this match, while the guy not even scheduled to be on the show would get the victory. Turn off your mind, relax. Turn off your mind, relax. Turn off your mind, relax. Turn off your mind, relax. Turn off your mind, relax. Turn off your mind, relax. Turn off your mind, relax. . .

THE ENZYTE COMMERCIAL OF SEVERE DISCOMFORT plays. The only things more offensive to me than these commercials are every single Janet Jackson album, because of their poor quality, and the fact that Rob Feinstein can just park his car in the middle of the road like that. Disgusting.

From last Thursdays Smackdown, we are shown parts of the Kurt Angle interview, which supposedly took place from Angles home in Pittsburgh. I should further note that Angle was extremely metrosexual on this given night, with that form fitting, loud red shirt. Later in the evenings festivities, Eddie Guerrero is taking on Paul Heyman with his hands handcuffed behind his back. Eventually, Heyman has had enough and begins to run away. I would have done the exact same thing. Well, the only difference is that I would have done it before the bell even rang. But, to each his own.

As Eddie is chasing Heyman to the back, out comes Metrosexual Kurt. This is bad, as Eddie still has his hands tied behind his back. Eddie yells for a key, but no one seems to have them. Turns out, theyre in Heymans pocket. Something tells me hes not about to come back out and help Eddie out, so Eddies stuck. Angle stalks Eddie around the ring, and eventually trips Eddie up. Angles just playing with him here, and using the three Is in the process. Of course. Angle fights off Eddies valiant attempts at saving himself, and slowly, methodically, and slowly goes to work on Guerrero. Angles chest hair is rather distracting, but a necessary evil to convey his heelness, I should think. Angle begins to berate Eddie, saying hes no champion. In fact, in Angles humble opinion, he is nothing. Angle slowly executes Eddie, and then goes to the outside and grabs the championship belt. Cole has a mini-bird, saying Kurt has to wait ten days in order to have a shot at the belt. Eddie spits in Angles face, which only serves to enrage our humble hero. Angle nails Eddie with the belt, and then celebrates with it.

In case you werent paying attention before, Eddie Guerrero defends the WWE Championship against Kurt Angle in eight days at WrestleMania.

Segment Grade: A. Now, this is what Im talking about. What a great highlight segment. If you missed Smackdown, and/or missed reading about Smackdown, this was exactly the type of segment they should have played to help get you back up to speed. The major angle involving the major championship in the company. It was all very well done, and the match itself is going be, technically speaking, off the heezy for sheezy.

(3) Billy Gunn defeated Rhyno.

Match Analysis: Following in the long litany of Velocity main events, such as Bradshaw vs. Rhyno, we are given Billy Gunn vs. Rhyno. This will rank right up with other shows that were going along just dandy, until we were given a mediocre, completely forgettable main event. Such as Bradshaw vs. Rhyno. Or, now, Billy Gunn vs. Rhyno. You get the idea. Crowd chants ECW, and Matthews acknowledges that the crowd appreciates Rhynos past. DeMott wonders what that says about his future. Nice. Rhyno hits a nice spinebuster to shift momentum to his side. He does thing where you jump up, using the second rope for leverage, and drives the knee into The One.

Rhyno locks on a bearhug on Gunn, and a sleeper hold on the crowd. Fans are only slightly more behind Gunn than they are behind Rhyno. That ought to teach them to employ Gunn. Gunn sloppily (and the Dust means sloppily) tosses Rhyno off the ropes and hits an actually very nice dropkick. Rhyno measures Gunn with some well-placed punches. The referee for this match is the Little Nature Boy, Charles Robinson. Just wanted to mention that because I really like him. Rhyno hits the Snake Eyes on Gunn, tosses him into the top turnbuckle. Rhyno readies himself for the non-Al Gore, but Gunn goes up and over it, showing he was ready for it. Gunn hits the Fameasser, and thats all she wrote. Whoever she is. Matthews hard sells WrestleMania one more time as Gunn celebrates his victory, and the show fades to black.

Match Grade: B+. Okay, Im not going to go out of my way to watch this match again any time soon. But, it was decent for what it was. Gunn has a lifetime contract, and so WWE has a vested interest in doing at least something with him every now and then. Slapping him on Velocity in the main event is, in fact, something. Along with Gunn, other WWE performers with lifetime contracts include Mark Henry, Rikishi and the Undertaker. Just in case youre scoring at home.

Final Show Grade: B+. This was the second week in a row where the show was very good, but not at the level it has reached in past weeks. The questionable booking of the Nunzio vs. Jordan match detracted from the final grade, as did the less than stellar main event. All in all, though, it was another solid, thumbs up edition of the real A-show of the Smackdown brand of WWE. The extended highlight segments, along with the longer-than-average opening match, served as the biggest pluses of the show. I cant wait for next week~!

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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