Velocity in Buffalo, NY
Reported by Eric Zuckerman
The opening montage runs, the pyro goes off, and Velocity is officially underway.
1. Billy Kidman & Funaki vs. The World’s Greatest Tag Team
No more of this Self-Proclaimed stuff here; truth in advertising wins out. Haas and Benjamin rush to the ring (straps down?!) eagerly. Funaki hangs with the fans on his way down, while Josh calls the face team “makeshift.” HA! Way to bury the team before they start. But at least he’s accurate. Shelton and Sho start. Fistfight kicks it off. Amateur theatrics, par for the course. Funaki dropkicks the leg and pins for two. He hits an armlock and tags Kidman, who does a springy sunset flip into the ring for a two-count. Shelton hits back and tags his partner. Charlie does his thing with a wristlock, but Billy leaps and does a flying mare. Charlie reverses a corner whip but gets taken for a spin by a floatover-headscissors. Unfortunately for the fans, the great submissionist seizes the opportunity to jump both foes. Kidman floats over a bodyslam and tries a waistlock, which is reversed. He tries to get a bodyscissors on Haas, but Haas drops him on the ropes, and Benjamin runs in for the Broken Arrow (their leapfrog move). Leg drop on the ropes by Haas, and it gets two. Benjamin comes back in and does a backbreaker into a backbreaker stretch. Double-arm sleeper on Kidman, who knees out, ducks a clothesline, and gets some momentum with a crossbody. Shelton prevents the tag and drags Billy back to his corner. A hard turnbuckle whip gets the announcers talking. Charlie then bodyslams his man and pins him, but Kidman kicks out. He locks in a bearhug. The fans power Kidman out momentarily, and Kidman gets his obligatory dropkick when all seems lost. The ref starts the double count. Kidman gets the tag, and Funaki slaughters everything in sight. He sets Haas up for the Rising Sun, and he gets it. Shelton stops the pin, but he can’t stop Funaki…or can he? Benjamin gorilla press drops him onto Haas’ knee. Kidman stops that pin. A fracas goes on for quite some time. Eventually, we see Shelton near the turnbuckle with Mr. Allentown climbing the ropes. SSP time? Not quite, as Haas runs in and meets a missile dropkick. Funaki tries a pin, but Charlie gets a shady kick out. Shelton tries some tricks on the outside, but Billy knocks him away with a baseball slide. Double-team in the ring now, but Charlie reverses an Irish whip and back body drops Kidman. Funaki runs underneath for the Backlund Bridge, but the referee is too busy getting rid of Kidman. Superkick from Shelton allows Charlie to reverse the roll-up for the three-count. Aesthetically good, but BK and Funaki need to work on some new moves. Their offense is nice, but the curse of overexposure necessitates variability in the moveset. All told, the mission – make Team Excellent Wrestling look good – was accomplished. ***1/4.
Winners: The World’s Greatest Tag Team
Footage is shown of Chavo using some selfish methods to inspire his uncle, and Eddie Guerrero lies, cheats, and steals a victory over the Bashams in a handicap match. Next week, it will be Los Guerreros vs. The Basham Brothers for the tag belts. Sad, though, that Eddie should beat the S&M duo by himself while he and Chavo as a team will, in all likelihood, lose twice to them. What does that say about Chavo?
2. Paul London & Spanky (“The Sugarhigh Soldiers”?) vs. Shannon Moore & Kanyon
This is officially All Makeshift Teams’ Eve. London and Moore begin things, doing the collar-and-elbow tie-up dance. Shannon slaps his man and crows like a rooster. He gets the advantage with a wristlock, but Paul gets out and gets a headlock on. Spanky tags in, they do a double armdrag, and Spanky assists Paul in a standing moonsault. Spanky follows a pin with an armlock, only to be dropped by Shannon. Kanyon tags in and receives his own armlock. He tags London after hot-shotting Kanyon’s arm. London gets to the top rope and does a senton onto Kanyon’s arm. Spanky tags back in with a springy Oklahoma Roll for two. Spanky hangs onto his hiptoss and cinches in an armlock. Moore pulls Kanyon over, allowing for a double hot-shot of sorts. Shannon comes in and works Spanky. Full leg drop on the ropes by Shannon (perhaps since Matt isn’t there to claim the move). Heel double-teaming in the corner doesn’t put off Kid Kendrick, but a spinning neckbreaker from Kanyon puts him down. London makes the save on the pin. Kanyon does his spinning bulldog from the corner. He cheap-shots Paul, and the heel double-team follows. Red-tail snapper suplex by Moore, but Spanky kicks out. Bow backbreaker lock by Shannon elicits a few screams out of Spanky. He dodges Moore in the corner, but the heels stop the tag. They can’t hold out, though, as London comes in with some serious offense. Frog-splash crossbody and the dropsault stand out in the house-cleaning. Kanyon tries to drop him out of the ring, but he hangs on. From out of the ring, London pulls him down and does an in-ring Asai moonsault. Moore makes the save, doing his own house-cleaning. Spanky saves the day, but he meets a Kanyon Bomb. Spanky’s not the legal man, however, so legal London rolls him up for two. The heels regain the advantage, though, Kanyon destroying London with an adapted Flatliner. Once more, Spanky saves. It’s a huge melee in the ring now. Double superkick ends Shannon. Kanyon keeps going after illegal Spanky, and he pays for it by catching an Exclamation Point (though Josh calls it “Get Well Soon” this time). London pins him for three. Well done. ***1/4, as Paul has heeded my advice about that moveset, the Sugarhigh Soldiers are cementing themselves as a solid team, and Moore/Mortis didn’t do too badly for themselves either. Telling a story in the ring isn’t dead.
Winners: Paul London & Spanky
3. Sean O’Haire vs. ‘Showtime’ Eric Young.
Finally we see O’Haire. Okay. He breaks out of Young’s preliminary waistlock and pounds away. O’Haire gets out of an armlock and hits his tossing body slam, followed by the Spinal Tap (we’ll always have that, won’t we Josh?). Young slips out of another bodyslam, trying to offend the big man with a jawbreaker and a dropkick. Yet a stiff, stiff clothesline mauls Showtime. Two-count on the lax pin, though. Another Spinal Tap on the poor jobber, and then a kick to the front of the chest. A single punch sends Young reeling. O’Haire chokes his opponent on the ropes. Kneeling bearhug by Sean, and Showtime looks to the fans for power. They’re not giving it to him, so he takes matters into his own hands. He breaks out, but he runs into a back elbow to the gut, a knee, and the Widowmaker. Referee counts it, and an agitated kickboxer stands in the winner’s circle. Eh, fine. No serious problems with it, but it didn’t stand out among some of Sean’s other squashes. *1/4. Give this guy a real opponent.
Winner: Sean O’Haire
Footage is shown of the events leading up to and including Team Lesnar vs. Angle & Benoit match, which the good guys would have won via submission had not Big Show ended it with interference. Geez, how are we supposed to take the Survivor Series match seriously if Angle and Benoit could single-handedly wipe the floor with four out of the five members of Lesnar’s team? The heels got their revenge, since Bradshaw and the apparent fifth member John Cena try to even the odds unsuccessfully. Team Lesnar stands victorious. So at Survivor Series, it’s ostensibly Brock Lesnar, Big Show, Matt Morgan, Nathan Jones, and A-Train vs. Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Hardcore Holly, Bradshaw, and John Cena.
Team Lesnar vs. Team Angle
Jamie Noble vs. Tajiri (good job on making me want to see a match I’ve seen before)
Undertaker vs. Mr. McMahon (can’t say the same as above)
4. Rikishi (w/Scotty 2 Hotty) vs. Chuck Palumbo (w/Johnny Stamboli)
As Josh would say, this is their thousandth encounter, and they’re at 500 wins apiece, this being the rubber match. The happy team enters first. Rikishi moves pretty slowly, at least by comparison. FBI meanders down next. Chuck looks ready to go. The bell rings, and both ‘managers’ seem reluctant to leave the ring. The wrestlers lock up, Chuck putting Rikishi in the corner and taunting him. Kish isn’t happy, so he fights back, but Chuck puts on a headlock. He goes to the ropes, but Rikishi shoulderblocks him. Some right hands follow, and a mis-communicated hiptoss leads to a clothesline. Palumbo falls to the corner for a splash, then falls to Stinkface position. The Bull gets him out of the way. Chuck recuperates outside. Chuck gets some shots in the corner on the inside, and the numbers game hurts Kish as the ref pulls Palumbo away. Mafia kick drops Rikishi for two. Italian offense continues, and he does a rope choke. Chuck waits long enough for the Samoan sumo to fight back. However, Palumbo stays on top with some brute force. Reverse chinlock. S2H gets the fans to wake up the drowsy Rikishi, and the big guy breaks out. Palumbo tries a second rope sunset flip, misses, but Kish misses a posterior drop. Hard right hands and a discus to Rikishi. One, two, but Rikishi kicks out. He puts his foe in the corner but misses a big shoulder charge. Rikishi beats him down and hits a savate kick. Chuck’s in the corner, and he dodges a splash. Big boot gets a two-count. Scotty runs in for no reason or possibly because he was spit on, and the FBI screws up a double team. The ref removes Stamboli, allowing Scotty to hit a superkick of his own. Rikishi tries the Rump Shaker but meets knees. He rolls up the Samoan for two. He tries his superkick but catches the ropes and then a Stinkface. Rump Shaker hits for three. Scotty does the Worm, and that’s it. *. Fully watchable, except for some blown spots. Nothing special.
*Okay. There was definitely some tag team gold tonight. Good in-ring stories, too. But the rest was just punch-and-kick, really. Little to say about it, so I won’t waste your time by saying more. -EZ