Welllll… it’s time to give the people what they paid for. That’s right, here at EWTorch I am PROUD to let you all know that I, Morton Murphy, have found the time throughout my busy days as a road agent at LoC (you wouldn’t believe how many grapes I need to peel for Shawn Jessica Hart) and HIRE A DVD!
That’s right folks. The money I’m on, I’m not joining in on buy-rates for Pay-Per-Views, I’m giving Blockbuster my coin. So, without further adieu I look at what the Championship Wrestling Organisation gave to those who exchanged their hard earned dollars for airwaves in…
Live! on DEE-VEE-DEE: cWo’s Total Control ‘09 (Link)
Okay, for those of you at home I’m writing this column with my DVD remote in hand and speaking to as the action unfolds on DVD.
– I’m not one for long drawn out introductions, but cWo are onto something here right off the bat. I had no idea the premise of this PPV, or the idea behind it but within moments I knew that the hold ideal behind Total Control ’09 was the fans get to vote on something. I don’t know what they get to vote on but it’s something and dammit… that’s worth a shit in this biz! Joel Nelson kindly lets us know that we voted for the matches. Robbie Hart mentions that now Obama’s in office we’ve already reduced America to communism. I’m told that for the first match the fans voted to have a traditional match. Either these are a work or the Championship Wrestling Organisation have smarter fans. God forbid the WWE let their fans book their cards. (Or HWF – sssssssssNAP!)
Johnny Vandal v. Victor Emmitt
Vandal came out and got on the stick, he tells the fans that he through his name in the fray for the TV title as a joke. (I can smell sore LA-HO-SA-HER!) He told us it was all ploy to get Emmitt in the ring and that he used his pull to make sure this match happened. Didn’t the fans vote for this match? Emmitt offers the handshake and ZOMG! VANDAL SHAKES HIS HAND! The cWo fans are easy to please. Vandal clobbers Emmitt true heel style then punch, whip and a reversal got Emmitt back on top before locking Vandal in a rest hold. Vandal makes with the suplex then spear for a quick 1.5 count. Scissorkick get Emmitt back in the game. These guys are toing and froing with momentum. Reminds me of sex as a teenager. They shift momentum a little more and Vandal locks in a sharpshooter. Rope break and another sharpshooter. I despise the sharpshooter. But that’s probably because I’m anti-Hitman. Oh wait… I love it too because I’m pro-Owen. *sigh* AAAAND another rope break. Referee argument runs into an Emmitt TNT (finish him~!) and a 2 count. Emmitt from up high with a Mosh Pit before they switch momentum again. A superkick gets Vandal a 2.9 nearfall. Cue referee argue. Cue butterfly lock. Cue the rope break and momentum change. An Emmitt huricanrana turned into a reverse Death Valley bomb and Vandal gets the pinfall.
Verdict? These guys couldn’t decide who was being put over here. I don’t know if they were trying to put over everybody and call it a WCW Cruiserweight gig but the continuing change of momentum was frustrating. I wanted to get behind Emmitt but every time he mounted an offence he took the crowd out of it with a submission hold. The whole thing stank of Vandal getting the victory and I didn’t like how it came about. I would have preferred seeing Vandal mount a big lead and Emmitt struggle to get back from it, building that momentum then a quick squash from Vandal. This didn’t push the angles or do any favours for either guy. (¾*)
– Commentary team do a great job of keeping new viewers in the loop. They give you the history of the storylines, titles and goings on in cWo. They’ve really put a good television team in place and my only critique was Tiger was unnecessary. He really seemed to be the only dancer falling behind in the conga line. We find out that Jack Gibson’s Television title is the former Deep South Wrestling WORLD title. Ain’t that a slap to the face of DSW. Did they BUY them out? Did they save some cash in a liquidation sale?
Jack Gibson © v. Thaddues Walker
cWo Television Championship match
Headlock and takedown by Walker to kick things off. Walker boxed the ears and gave me a semi- Morty love old school heels. WOOOOOO! Thaddeus stuns him with a couple jab-jabs and misses with a Gentlemen’s elbow. Tiger explains that padding your elbows and knees stops them from being hurt. Thank-you, Captain Obvious. Or maybe cWo’s demographic is lower than I thought. A nice moment of a missed punch leading into a Full Nelson slam got me a little razzed and got Detroit Jack a 2. Jack with follows a hammerlock with a backdrop and comes up empty on the knee drop. I’ve never seen Walker before and loved the Alley Oop. I dunno what they kind of move you’d call it but it’s kind of like a powerbomb turns into a modified flapjack or something. He seems to have a real character in the ring. Walker spins Gibson on his shoulders before flying with the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Elbow and a 3 to take the title off of Detroit Jack Gibson.
Verdict? The match was short, but then again it was for a lower card title match. I’ve no issue with length (ask my wife) if that’s the case. Both guys were given a chance to shine and both took that opportunity to do it properly and show people what they’re about. My own gripe is I could have watched them work together a little more, they seemed to have a nice chemistry. (**)
Barrett Hawk v. Mr. Rich
– Things start off with Mr. Rich being wheeled out. Yes. Wheeled out in a wheelchair, folks. After the commentators updating us last week on television he was outed as a fraud, Mr. Rich proceeds to tell everybody he has a team of lawyers working away at making sure cWo is a Pants Free Zone – coz he’sa gunna sue the pants off’ve them! Rich challenges Hawk to run the gauntlet to face him another day. Hawk gets the cheap pop from saying he’s gonna kick Rich’s crippled ass TO-NIGHT-AH!
Now it’s… Barrett Hawk v. three security guards gauntlet
The stink of Attitude is in the air and I love it. The first match went for a little long. Hawk took control and the guard got a little back before a Texas Cloverleaf was locked in for the tap. The second match went for too long as well but I figure this was just a ploy to give the fans a taste of every trademark move Barrett Hawk has to offer. Of the three, we all knew the third would count the most and they really booked the third match well. Interference from the previously defeated guards. Mr. Rich trying to argue with officials. Full Nelson (a security guard never leaves home without it apparently) has Hawk in a bit of strife. The Full Nelson escape was great and innovative. Got us the momentum shift we wanted, as fans. Springboard clothesline and a Tombstone piledriver seals the deal for Hawk to get that W.
– Barrett Hawk chases down Evette and Mr. Rich who are trying to desperately to escape. Takes Rich to the ring and RO-SHAM-BO! Rich kicks Hawk in the nuts. Hart claims there’s a miracle. Nelson no sells the miracle. Although, with the miracle of editing we’re all of a sudden in the ring (damn Production team) and Mr. Rich hits Hawk with his wheelchair. AAAND we’re out of it again. A little confusing with the editing here but in the end we finally have…
Barrett Hawk v. Mr. Rich
Mr. Rich rolls Hawk into the ring and calls for the bell. Makes the pinfall. It’s elementary.
Verdict? They were really playing up Mr. Rich. Everyone knew he would walk, it was just a matter of when he’d rise from that chair. To be honest, if they end this between Hawk and Rich now, it’d be a travesty for all the work that this PPV spot has done. It was classic old school heeldom and whilst the wrestling wasn’t anything Teddy would jizz lob over, it’s something that got a grin on my face. Great job on the Sports Entertainment. Wrestling was the only downfall but this match was clearly not about the wrestling. (*¾)
Bellatrix Drake v. Mad Maddie ©
cWo Women’s Championship Match
I like gimmicks, but Celtic battle armour? What is this? GCW? Is this that Elf’s missus? Fists fly at the bell before Drake locks on a bearhug. The complimentary Mary Joe delves under the curtain mysteriously while Maddie gets a big boot. At the last minunte Mary Joe slides a steel chair into the ring right in the path of a Full Nelson slam from Draker. Bell sounds. Referee throws this one out. Mary Joe gets on the stick and tells Drake it’s not her turn and she needs to play by Mad Maddie’s rules.
Verdict? A waste of PPV space. They could have let this match go on for a little bit longer since they booked it on a pay-per-view, but instead it was one minute. It was a waste of advertiser money and waste of my eyesight. Save it for Driven, cWo. Most people don’t care for Women’s wrestling anyways… no point rubbing it into their face that they don’t want to see it. (-**)
– Mac Johnson and John “IT’S NOT A TUNA” Pilchard hit the ring. They complain about a democracy that can enable a black man into office is the same America which votes Devon Dice into a US title match. The cavalary arrive, in Tony “Totally” Awesome (Mike is turning in his grave) and he says since the fans get to vote do they want to see Mac and ASM wrestle. They pop accordingly and let it be said… let it be done… it’s BOOKED!
ASM v. Mac Johnson
A McFlurry of punches from ASM puts him in the lead before a blatant choke. Big man v. big man. A formula for awesome or a formula for spewsome? Choke broken by the ref followed by another then a thumb to the eye from Johnson. Mac smashes ASM’s head into the turnbuckle but he no sells and tosses Johnson into the corner. Kicks and elbows. Short arm clothesline brings the first fall for a cover and a 1. A waistlock captures Mac and stops him escaping, the commentators let us know the history that Mac has had his turn at the brawler at Warfare. Waistlock into Russian legsweep as the commentators tell us ASM is beating on a man seventy pounds heavier. Cover on the legsweep for another 1. A big boot to Mac and he perfectly times his fall to slink through the ropes to the outside. ASM leaps off the apron and after a warning from Pilchard, Mac sidesteps and slams ASM into the stepsies. Mac shoves ASM into the rails then rolls him into the ring. Elbow drop for a 2. Mac with the sleeper (just like this match?) Tiger no sells an unconventional break of the sleeper. The big guys play the sleeper of doom trick with referee checking ASM’s ability to hold his arm up. ASM gets his feet and loses Mac on the ropes. Whip and a ducked clothesline, ASM turns for a cross body just like Johnson and they collide mid-air. They get up and ASM nails 1,000,000 million clotheslines before whipping Johnson into the ropes only to be reversed into neckbreaker. Mac goes to the top for a little air-time and goes for the Axe-assasinator (PLEASE! That’s the worst move name in history~!) but is caught with a chokeslam and ASM gets the 3-count.
Verdict? Maybe Johnson and ASM have a clause that say they’re not allowed to miss a PPV but they could have saved this for Driven. Two straight television matches on a PPV equals bad buy-rate. The pair seemed to have a decent chemistry with each other but it certainly wasn’t PPV quality. Big man v. Big man only works if you’re Kane and Undertaker. This was like watching Khali dancing the Foxtrot with Spike Saunders. (½)
Muru © v. Devon Dice
cWo United States Championship Match
Straight into the action with Dice taking control choppy-style. Hart seems to have gotten a little frisky and creepy. Big knee to the belleh then a double axe-handle from rope number two. Cover and a 2. Muru floats over on a vertical suplex attempt and rolls up Dice. Long 2 is kicked out of. Muru lands a flying crossbody for another 2. Euro uppercut by Muru and a CHARGE~! but Dice flips him out of the ring and to the outside. Dice with an elbow from the apron which Muru avoids. Nothing but ouchies for Dice. Legdrop from the crowd barrier by Muru. Take it to the inside again, Dice ducks a spinning heel and clotheslines Muru. Dice hits a Hard Eight thanks to a missed punch by Muru. Only gets a 2 on the cover. Dice goes up high for the Aces Full but fistdrops canvas only. Muru locks in an armbar on that now sore wrist. Dice tries to escape to have Muru drop a leg across the arm. Muru with a dropkick and then a moonsault but Dice avoids it. Muru lands on his feet and rushes Dice to eat turnbuckle, Dice covers for a 2.5. Dice sells the sore wrist on some chops. Dice rushes to get an elbow for his troubles, Muru with the tornado DDT. Covers for a 1. Dice with a powerslam and an elbow then some strange push the head onto the chest move. I dunno. I’m not Teddy. Muru powers out for a headlock. Dice denies the bulldog and goes for a belly-to-back. Muru kicks the turnbuckle and floats over and hits the Spilt Milk for a 2.9999999. Muru chops and sets up the suerplex to be shoved off the turnbuckle. Dice flies for a double axe-handle to get kicked in the guts, Trip Around the World and Muru covers for the longest 2 ever! Dice has a foot on the ropes. Muru sends Dice to the ropes and telegraphs the back body drop. Dice clings to ropes for Muru to charge. Pulls them down for Muru to topple outside. Baseball slide stops Muru climbing in. Dice with the suicide dive. They sell a long eight count-out. Dice putting both back into the ring. Muru blocks a Hard Eight for a Russian leg sweep. Muru goes high and flies with the MuruSplash but Dice lifts his knees. Dice grabs momentum by the scruff of the neck. Chops and kicks and superplex time but Muru miraculously twisted in the air for a Spilt Milk and a retaining of his championship belt. Dice denies Muru the sporting gesture of a handshake to finish things off.
Verdict? This match made those last two really look TV worthy. This was a PPV match through-and-through. Friend v. Friend (or once upon a time anyways) they both seemed to have answers to each other’s assaults. The fans were really getting into this as they threw them some nice high spots here and there. There’s a real chemistry. Neither really got a run with momentum but I think that was what this match was about. Really sold the story and the high-spot, Spilt Milk modified from the suplerplex attempt… they must’ve been practicing that for weeks coz I dunno how they did that. The match seemed to be building up to a high spot and needed one to finish it off. I don’t think this is the end for this pair. (***¾)
Notorious JON v. Johnny Serious ©
cWo World Championship match
Well the five-time cWo World Champion goes up against the current and two time champ. Notorious JON voted in as the opponent by you, the fans. Strength test to kick off and Serious drops to knees then JON drops to knees. These guys sure know how to test strength. Serious sends Notorious from corner to corner then eats turnbuckle with a missed splash. Elbow drop, leg drop and then 5-Time Notorious makes the cover. These commentators really like to let us know how many times JON has won the belt. He gets a 1.5 before Serious kicks out. We find out Serious got a head smackin’ last week on Driven with a steel chair by Jacob Baxter. This guy is clearly in some sort of program with the World champion but is left out of a PPV? Interesting. Rope whip then a big boot to knock Serious outside. Kick to the head to play up those chair shots on TV. Back in the ring at six. DDT and a cover to get Notorious JON a 2.2. Notorious JON building up the momentum with a spinebuster and another cover. 2.6 for the kick out. cWo really like to book the one move and a cover. We’ve been seeing it all night. Notorious with a swinging neckbreaker then locks Serious into the Bret < style=”font-weight: bold;”>Verdict? This was clearly the match of the night. Both John varieties really took it to one another. The momentum build ups worked. It put over the veteran ex-Champion posing him as a potential threat and left you wondering either way which way it would go. It really seemed as if this was a match the fans wanted to see. The commentators really built this up. I’d have liked to have seen this go for a little bit longer but I guess that’s what a good match does. Leaves you wanting more. (***?)
Match of the Night? Main Event, sneaking over the US title match. Their top tier titles were presented in the right light in both matches. I didn’t expect to see any major title changes at a “Fans Vote” event but was pleased that they booked the matches to think that they might do.
Wrestler of the Night? I have to go with Notorious JON. The veteran didn’t just put himself over but he put over the cWo World Champion. Most folks might be inclined to think Serious was the top performer but he wouldn’t have been anything without the heroics of JON putting him on his shoulders. (Honourable mention to Thaddeus Walker.)
Would I buy the DVD? Hrmmm… the only thing that really put me off was the start and middle. Three out of six matches were special. That’s 50% of a PPV. Is that what cWo wants? A 50% success-rate? I don’t think I would buy the PPV at retail, but I’d certainly pick it up if it were on sale. Those middle matches really hurt the show. I think the Women’s title match hurt the division. There was no point in it going on the PPV. Who cared about ASM and Mac Johnson? Not me. That was a made for TV match-up that nobody who forked their monies out needed to see. The opener wasn’t anything I’d book to open a show… the TV title match would have been far better opening a Pay-Per-View. I don’t know if the bookers were caught off-guard by the whole Fans Vote BS but I definitely wouldn’t go there anytime soon again. There was some great moments on the show and I’d watch a cWo Pay-Per-View again. Based off this product I’d wait for it to get to DVD, I’d definitely not participate in the buy-rate. Was the product half-assed because it was Fans Vote? I’m saying yes. I’ll wait for the next one to make it to DVD.
Rating – *½ (those matches REALLY hurt the rating)