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WWL 6:05 The Reunion PPV Review

Posted in In My Head by Jack at 20:46, Apr 30 2006

By Slartibardfast

The fine folk at World Wrestling Legends, (WWL), take us on a trip back in time with their 6:05 PPV. The 6:05 name is a tribute to the start time of wrestling programming on Ted Turner?s television networks, where many of tonight?s stars were made. The card brings us a number of legends from the past, along with a few of today?s active competitors thrown into the mix. I?ve never seen a WWL show before, so I?m not quite sure what to expect, but there are a lot of familiar names on the card that I haven?t seen in years, so I?m looking forward to a pleasant trip down memory lane.

The show opens up with a dance routine by former WCW Nitro Girls Shae, Spice, Chiquita, and Fyre. The girls look as good as they did in the past, (something that can?t be said for some of tonight?s competitors), and their short dance routine was a nice tip of the cap to the glory days of WCW. We are then introduced to the announce team of Jim Cornette, Lance Russell, and Ron Niemi. After a brief introduction of the three, we are taken to the first match of the night.

Match 1 ? Nikolai Volkoff w/The Iron Sheik vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan
I have not seen Nikolai in several years and he looks much more like a grandfather than a wrestler. Despite his appearance, he has not forgotten the things that made him so hated during his WWF days. He and the Sheik did their trademark schick of waving flags and singing the soviet national anthem. Unfortunately singing and flag waving would be the highlight of Nikolai?s performance tonight. Having irritated the crowd, Duggan?s entrance was greeted with cheers and applause by a crowd ready for another USA vs. Russia wrestling match. What they got however was an extremely short contest that saw Nikolai throw a few unconvincing punches and knees, followed by a short Duggan rally and his 3 point stance football tackle for the win. The entire match may have only lasted 3 minutes, and it was obvious by how slowly and gingerly he was moving, that Nikolai really shouldn?t be in the ring anymore. It was however nice to see Hacksaw again. Had he been working with someone in better condition he might have been able to have an enjoyable match. Sadly, that would not happen on this night, as this outing was sub par, even for a legends match.

We then go backstage where Corey Maclin has Rick Steiner standing by for an interview. Steiner gives a short rambling promo about how well the Steiner brothers will do tonight before we are taken back to ringside.

Match 2 ? Vergil vs. Rick Steiner
Apparently these two saw the previous match and liked it so much they decided to duplicate it. In another extremely short match, a not quite so in shape Vergil and Steiner square off for about 3 minutes. As in the previous match, Vergil throws a few punches and kicks before Steiner rallies, hits a few Steiner Lines, blows a suplex attempt, and then gets the win via Fireman?s Carry slam. This is the second disappointing match of the card. These two obviously could have gone longer, but instead had a ridiculously short match. If you pack a card full of legends, but only have them in the ring for three or so minutes are you really giving the fans what they want?

After a brief video package showing old highlights from Memphis Wrestling we are taken back to ringside for the third match.

Match 3 ? Disco Inferno vs. Koko B. Ware
I have not seen Disco Inferno in the ring since the early days of TNA, but he certainly seemed to have kept himself in shape, and so I though perhaps we will have the first long match of the night. That thought immediately left my head when Koko B. Ware entered the arena. To say that Koko has put on some weight since we saw him last in the WWF would be an understatement. His weight gain did not escape the watchful eye of Jim Cornette who made several fat jokes throughout the match. Koko?s weight kept him grounded for the night and perhaps his days of drop-kicks and high flying are over for good. However, I must admit that without his trademark high flying antics, Koko greatly stepped up his in/out of ring psychology. He played to the fans better than anyone else tonight, and despite an offence limited to punches and kicks, worked up the crowd several times during the match. Disco helped as well in this respect, doing all the little things to ensure the crowd wanted to see him lose. The match itself was rather bland as both men basically brawled their way through it. In fact it was Koko?s ability to connect with the crowd that stood out more than any of the actual ring work. In the end Koko hit a bulldog to get the pin on Disco, (I had hoped to see him win with a drop kick from the top rope, but it was not to be). This wasn?t a great match, but Koko?s charisma combined with an acceptable match length made it much more palatable than the shows earlier performances.

We go backstage once again were Corey Maclin interviews Jimmy Hart, Greg Valentine, and DNA. Jimmy and Greg give the standard ?Were gonna getcha? promo before we are taken back to ringside.

Match 4 ? Greg Valentine w/Jimmy Hart vs. Jimmy Superfly Sunka
Matches like this one justify why legends matches should be considered as valid as any other in the sport. Though they were both much slower than they were in their prime, these two worked a very good match. Each man did an excellent job in both delivering and selling the offensive moments of the night. Additionally, the use of in ring psychology added to the matches perfect flow and feel. Though there were no high flying moves, only basic punches, chops and elbows, and a slow pace, it didn?t detract from the in ring action. These were obviously two guys who know how to work a slow style of match, and tonight they did it brilliantly. The end of the match came when Jimmy Hart got disqualified for coming into the ring, giving the Superfly the win. Things are starting to get better, and I?m hoping the momentum continues.

Next we are treated to some classic WWC footage before the next match.

Match 5 ? Eddie Colon w/Carlos Colon vs. Vampiro
From the looks of things, I guessed that this match was booked to add some speed to the in ring action. I have never seen Eddie Colon, (Carlos?s son), but he?s certainly built like a speedster/highflier. Vampiro looked as he did in his WCW days, and brought his considerable size and weight advantage into the contest. Though I had high hopes for this match, they were not realized. Although each man worked hard, they just did not seem to flow well together. Vampiro seemed the smoother of the two, while Eddie?s spots looking more like a string of individual moves rather than natural flowing action. With the exception of a few head scissors, this match maintained a pace much slower than I would have expected. The ring work was solid but the match had a mediocre feel, that would just not go away. With a clothesline and a little help from the ropes Vampiro got the win, however before he could celebrate, he found himself on the loosing end of a father and son double-team.

A Kamala video package is then played prior to his match.

Match 6 ? Kamala w/Friday vs. Jake The Snake Roberts
If matches like Valentine vs. Sunka make people want to pay money to see legends matches, offerings like this one may make them change their minds. While this was certainly not a bad match, it defiantly felt like two guys just going through the motions. What each chose to do in the ring was fine, but the way they went about it somehow seemed half-hearted. The match itself ended in a disqualification when Jake DDTed Friday and let his snake out of the bag.

Next we take a break in the action as Bruno Sammartino, Dory Funk Jr, and Mike Graham come to the ring and express their appreciation of the fans and each other. This meeting of the mutual admiration society is too much for J.J. Dillon to stomach, and he leads David Flair and Tully Blanchard to ring side. The two are challenged by Graham and our next match is set.

Dory Funk Jr. & Mike Graham vs. David Flair & Tully Blanchard
Just as Valentine and Sunka did themselves proud earlier, Graham and Blanchard do the same here. I was quite surprised at the speed and energy both men showed in this match. The best moments of the contest were when the two found themselves locking up together, and they made these exchanges quite physical. Flair and Funk put in acceptable performances, but the stars here were clearly Blanchard and Graham. Driven by the performances of these two, I found this to be a very enjoyable match. In the end Dillon?s shoe to the head of Flair allowed Funk to get the pin.

There is no break following this match and we go straight to the next match on the card.

Match 7 ? Kanyon vs. DDP
I?m not quite sure what to say about this match. Both DDP and Kanyon showed up in shape and ready to wrestle. Both worked very hard, and the two functioned well together. The match moved at a good pace, and the action flowed very nicely. But I just wasn?t very entertained by these two. While watching these two work, I felt as if I had seen this match a thousand times. I suspect that what I was feeling was caused by DDP. This match seemed to be exactly like the last few matches I have seen him in. I would not be surprised that if you watched several of his matches simultaneously, that the same spots would come at the same times in all of them. Others may have found this match quite enjoyable, and perhaps I?m being hyper sensitive, but this one just felt like a re-run. A Diamond Cutter got the win for DDP, and shortly thereafter what may go down as the most infamous/famous moment in recent wrestling history took place. In a post match questioning, DDP asked Kanyon to respond to rumors that Kanyon was gay. Kanyon then admitted that they were true, and that he was proud to be the first openly gay competitor in the sport. His announcement was greeted with applause from the fans.

Again we go straight to the next match without a break in the action.

Match 8 ? The Midnight Express w/Jim Cornette vs. The Armstrongs w/Bobby Henan
This six man tag features Beautiful Bobby, Sweet Stan, and the Loverboy against Bob, Brad and Scott Armstrong. Prior to the start of the match, we are treated to some excellent mic work by Jim Cornette. Once the match got going it became quickly apparent that this was going to be another slow paced outing. Though nothing went wrong in this match, it just didn?t seem to flow very well. The participants all performed adequately, but the match never really captivated me, in spite of the solid work put into it. Bullet Bob wins the match for the Armstrongs following a tennis racket shot to Beautiful Bobby. Seeing the Midnight Express again was enjoyable, though their in ring work, though competent wasn?t inspiring.

Again we go straight to the next bout.

Match 9 ? Scott Steiner vs. Buff Bagwell
In what has been a reoccurring theme in the show, this match is also filled with solid in ring work, but somehow only delivers a mildly entertaining match. Again, nothing went wrong in this match, but nothing exceptional happened either. This encounter would have been expectable on a weekly free TV show, but for a PPV I expect more out of a match. If you ever seen a Bagwell or Steiner match, then you saw everything they offered here tonight.

So there you have it, the 6:05 The Reunion PPV. At an event with younger, bigger, faster, and stronger guys, it was Valentine, Snuka, Graham, and Blanchard that stole the show. Though their matches weren?t? the fastest paced, or the most diverse offensively, these four showed that outside of hulking physiques, and daredevil stunts, there is an intangible element to an entertaining wrestling match. I can?t describe what that element is, but I know it when I see it, and I saw it in these four men tonight. That being said, two standout matches do not make a PPV. Unless you just have to see what your favorite wrestlers from the past look like today, I say save your money, it will be better spent elsewhere.

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