TV 14 DLV CC - various people (from PPVs - mostly WMs) sing America the Beautiful over stills of current day wrestlers with military people. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the courageous men and women of the United States Armed Forces."
entertainment open - I keep thinking about typing this but I figure they'll redo 'em post WM anyway - fireworks. That black bar is still there and I doubt it'll ever be going away; just add it to the "crap you must deal with to get to the stuff you actually like" pile, which seems to be getting quite large.
Nunzio (w/FBI, 201 pounds) vs Tajiri (Japan, 206 pounds) - Has Nunzio lost his hometown? You announcers are the Cat (dressing down as to not attract attention) and Josh. "What would you feel like if somebody beat up your grandma?" "My grandma's pretty tough." I'd give you context but I'm still not sure. Brian Hebner has a pre-match discussion with Nunzio - ah, he's throwing out Chuck and Johnny! Nunzio tells something to Chuck and Johnny, who leave while taunting the fans. "There's a lot of love in the FBI. Those guys love each other." Okay, about :30 in, we're ready to start for real. Circle. Lockup, Nunzio with a waistlock, switch, Nunzio with an armbar takeover (thanks Josh), Tajiri with a the headscissors reversal, Nunzio kips up and out. Locked up again and Tajiri with a waistlock takedown, front facelock, spin out by Nunzio, spin out by Tajiri, spin out by Nunzio, break and stand off. Josh did a really nice job of keeping up there. Nunzio with a shove but turns to taunt the crowd as Tajiri kips up. Cat: "That's a front kick!" - he's happy because it's the first move he's been able to call. Nunzio to the outside as Tajiri waves to the crowd. Nunzio makes his way back in to receive a kick to the midsection. Elbow to the head by Tajiri. Hard slap to the back of Nunzio's head. Tajiri grabs him in headlock, Nunzio pounds hi w ay off, Nunzio shoot him off, over, and Tajiri a shoulderblock. Off the ropes, hiptoss is blocked, Tajair's clothesline is blocked, Tajiri's right is ducked, Nunzio tries the hiptoss again, Tajiri opts to reverse into a backslide this time, Nunzio flips out on to his feet, Tajiri kicks, Nunzio catches it, turns Tajiri down and pulls him down by the hair one two no. I'll give myself a breath here and note that Cat and Josh have deduced that if the Cat were to go buy a drink and popcorn and give it to Kurt Angle at any time during his match at Wrestlemania, Kurt Angle would forfeit the title. Stomp by Nunzio. Forearm to the back of the head. Shoving him in the corner. Corner whip, Tajiri kips up and out, Nunzio out into a wheel kick one two NO. Tajiri stomp, chop. Whip, no quick reverse, clothesline is ducked, Nunzio off the ropes, Tajiri with a tilt-a-whirl but Nunzio reverses it to an armbar takedown into Fujiwara - perhaps not as sharp as they wanted it to look but a wonderful idea. Crowd does not react. Nunzio tries yelling it in. Tajiri getting to the ropes - and he's got it. Nunzio stomp. Yell at the crowd. Stomps to the shoulder, working the shoulder with forearms. Top wristlock. Tajiri trying to get something form the crowd, but they're not in the giving way. Punching the the midsection his way out of it - Nunzio miss with a right, Tajiri back suplex but Nunzio lands on his feet, forearm to the back of the neck and waistlock, Tajiri back elbows his way out of it, to the ropes and back with a handspring elbow one two no. Tajiri with a kick to the midsection, corner whip, Tajiri charges into a knee. Nunzio quick to the second rope and there's the Sicilian Slice one two NO. Lowering my knee pad knee drop one two no. Stretching the arm around the ropes, Nunzio's forced to break so he backs up and charges to the corner, Tajiri backdrops him to the apron, Tajiri's right is blocked and Nunzio ranks that left arm over the ropes. Nunzio back up to the apron but Tajiri NAILS him with a back thrust kick. Cat points out that it was a nice looking kick but it doesn't help Tajiri if Nunzio is out while outside the ring. Tajir with a forearm, but his turnbuckle smash is blocked and Nunzio hits one of his own. Missile dropkick to the arm! Nunzio's smart. Cross armbreaker attempt by Nunzio but I think Tajiri is way to close to the ropes. Yep, he spins his lower body to get a foot on the ropes before Nunzio really can extend the arm. Arrivederci - no, pushed off and crotched. Tajiri ties him in the Tree of Woe and hey, it's the sliding corner dropkick to the face, we don't get you much around these parts nowadays. Both men a little slow up, and now it's a striking battle - open hand slaps versus forearms. In the end, Nunzio's forearm misses, Tajiri's back thrust kick doesn't one two NO! Tajiri sets up Nunzio in the corner and then up on the turnbuckle - chop, chop, going up with him but gets pushed down. Tajiri back up quick but gets smacked. Nunzio sitting Tornado DDT? No, shoved off - Nunzio charges Tajiri in the corner but Tajiri kips up and it's Tarantula time. Tajiri keeps it on for four and sets up for the kick, but perhaps it's the distraction from the pain in his arm that causes him not to kick while Nunzio's still in position. Instead, he waits till Nunzio is all the way up - big thrust kick is blocked and Nunzio immediately hits the arrivederci one two three. (7:29) Wow, that was good and long. And reversal nutty.
Still to come - Vince and Hogan
Next - Angle Angle Brock
03/25 - San Jose, CA [SD]
03/30 - Seattle, WA [WM]
04/01 - Spokane, WA [SD]
Interesting that they're using the calendar style here, but not for RAW stuff. Or perhaps not.
Lugz Benoit beats Benjamin
Brock and Kurt (9:07)
20 Years In The Making - Jesse Ventura
WM Moment is Hogan beating Sgt. Slaughter at WM 7. GROAN
Josh lets us know that WM is 4 hours and some tickets will be put on sale on Wednesday. And the Miller Cat Fight Girls. And Limp Bizkit. And maybe some wrestling? No no Undertaker/Jones vs A-Train/Show does not count. Triple H vs Booker? Maybe. Matt Hardy vs Rey Mysterio, that's what I'm talking about. Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho. Chris Benoit/Rhyno vs Team Angle vs Los Guerreros. Trish vs Victoria vs Jazz. Mr. McMahon vs Hulk Hogan. The Rock vs Stone Cold. Kurt Angle vs Brock Lesnar. With four hours, you think we might have room for a catch-all match or two? Perhaps yet - I count 9 matches, at least 1 song and 1 bad skit - should be time for more (though they didn't mention Cena here, hmm.) You know, in one of the smartest moves EVER, they had Cat reading the names of the participants and Josh giving the hype blurb - the opposite of the normal way and much much better with these two.
WWE Press Conference and other junk (2:12)
Slam of the Week: Brian Kendrick beats Shannon Moore thanks to that vial cheater Rey Mysterio Jr.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Matt Hardy (Version One, Cameron, NC, 220 pounds, 2, w/Shannon Moore) vs Nova (218 pounds, already in the ring) - Matt is the star of the Hardy Boyz book and he has a valuable Spider Man comic book collection. I bet this other guy does too! This could be fun. Cat is still wondering about Matt's weight. Lockup, Matt forces Nova in the corner, double jab into the midsection. Josh's list of stuff Brian did trying to get a job, trying to build it up as so tough, ends with Cat butting in: "and then he beat the hell out of Shannon Moore! [pause - awkward silence] with the help of Rey Mysterio." Lockup, armbar, twist, Nova spins free and gets on his own, twist. Matt pulls him down by his hair - I guess that haircut didn't help after all! Nova tells him to come bring it on. Waistlock by Nova, Matt looking for a way out, back elbow will work. "8 days away, there's a lot of hamburgers and doughnuts you can eat between then." Whip, hiptoss is blocked, Nova hits his own. Nova with a nice dropkick one two no. Armbar, crank, Matt stopping that with punching, now he's got his own armbar, back into a hammerlock, Nova with a snap mare, and then a grounded reverse bodyscissors, rolling Matt over into a cover one two no. I thought he was going to do a Farmer's Roll there which would have been quite awesome. Nova with a whip, Matt grabs the ropes, Nova charges, Matt backdrops him, Nova to the apron, right for Matt, slingshot - no Shannon grabs him by the legs, just enough so Matt can get it right. Turnbuckle smash, another. Suplex in one two no. Nova drapped on the bottom ropes, then choked around the top rope, and Shannon goes for the trifecta with the distraction choke on the middle ropes. Matt finished with a running sit on Nova, they've really got this down. Ricochet one two no. Snap mare, foot in the back surfboard. Cat has no idea what the Undertaker sees in Nathan Jones. Nova turning it around, kick to the midsection kick, kick is caught and Matt with clubbing rights to knock him back down. Corner whip, Matt charges in but no one's home. Nova with a forearm, forearm, whip, running back elbow. Jumping enizguri one two NO! Phew. Nova charge Matt in the corner, jumping forearm. Bulldog out - both me and Josh thought it looked like it was blocked at the last second but the two guys in the ring act like it worked as normal. Taking another look, it was more of a bulldog into a facecrusher that's tough to pick up if you're not used to it. Corner whip, Nova charges into a back elbow. Matt slams him - "now we go there!" Downfall Raindrop oh no he punched before he could do it. Nova punching but Matt punching back. Josh: "Cat, you're looking at me very strangely now." Cat: "I want to punch you in your mouth." Second rope Side Effect! Cat's calling it - Matt yells - Twist Of Fate (5:36) Will Rey suffer the same? Oh I hope so
Up next, the contract signing
20 Years In The Making - Bobby Heenan
Hogan and Vince (6:35)
20 Years In The Making - Doesn't Bob Costas have something better to do
A-Train (Boston, MA, 350 pounds, w/Big Show) vs #1 SmackDown Announcer Funaki (Japan, 208 pounds) - ah, NO. I didn't even like this match when Funaki could possibly win. Funaki runs through the ring (good enough for the bell) as Cat wonders why someone's not getting thrown out in this match too. Funaki trying to beat A-Train as he comes in but it's all a matter of him being caught. Cross body is caught, Train Wreck, one two three (:36) Hey, I think I rather they gave the time to the other matches, so this is fine with me. Cat does his JR impression, but I don't think he meant to.
WM is 8 days away! Confidential is NEXT.