Wrestler of the Day – June 1: Dudley Boyz

Today we’re going with the newest inductees into the TNA Hall of Fame: the Dudley Boys.

I know there are about 10 different Dudleyz, but we’ll be looking at the only two most people care about.

After a long run as part of the Dudley Boyz stable, consisting of a bunch of odd characters, D-Von showed up and made the Dudleyz a serious group. This led to Bubba Ray and D-Von forming a regular tag team who won several Tag Team Titles. One of their many title shots was at Hardcore Heaven 1997.

ECW Tag Titles: Dudley Boys vs. Gangstas

The Dudleys get no intro again. They’re joined by Big Dick Dudley, Sign Guy Dudley, Joel Gertner, and Jenna Jameson. Joel talks about how tonight….wait a minute. JENNA FREAKING JAMESON??? HOW DID THEY GET HER??? That makes little sense but whatever as she looks epic. Joey knows her before anyone introduces her. That’s not going to go over well at all methinks (stolen from X).

Anyway, Joel does the really long intro, including a great line of “One fall, fifteen minute time limit, your referee in charge is bald.” That’s a lot better than it sounds. Jenna looks like she’s having fun, which is far more than Pam Anderson could do. The Gangstas aren’t here tonight apparently, so the Dudleys win by forfeit. Instead we get this.

ECW Tag Titles: Dudley Boys vs. PG-13

The challengers are more commonly known as the white guys from the Nation of Domination. They were like 15 time tag champion in Memphis so whatever. They’re white rappers with the same amount of talent for wrestling that Vanilla Ice had at rapping. They’ve been talking all of ten seconds and I already hate them. They’re naturally the heels since they’re from Lawler’s company.

The one that talks is trying to be Jerry Lawler and it’s just failing all around. Oh and everyone wants to screw Jenna, and who can blame them? They must want to die from the clap or something like that. So after 8 minutes of intros we start with D-Von against Wolfie D. I wonder if he’s related to Desmond Wolf. You can shoot me at the end of the review. His partner is named JC Ice. That sums them up as well as anything I can say.

We get our first sexual assault on Jenna as JC hits the floor to kiss her. Ok correction: PG-13 aren’t bad. They’re just REALLY annoying. I really want to just smack the tar out of both of them 2 minutes into the match. In an amusing spot, Bubba has one of the white guys in his evil clutches but as he’s handing him to D-Von for some cheating, JC reverses it to give Bubba’s arm to D-Von, who keeps ramming it over his shoulder while all of his managers try to get his attention.

Once he finally gets the point he’s slammed the arm down about 9 times, drawing him a massive YOU F’D UP chant. Actually, the Dudleys are the heels here, which is a tribute to their heel drawing abilities. The Dudleys are FAR bigger than the other guys. It’s really funny looking. Jenna looks incredible. Every time she jumps there’s a huge pop.

They pick up the pace a lot and it turns into a free for all, which is how most tag matches in any company end so no problems there. PG13 is something like the Briscos if you’re an ROH fan, just minus the flair and the gimmick. 3D on Wolfe and that’s it. That came out of nowhere. The announcer says still 3 time tag team champions, which they could have been if they had lost.

Rating: C+. This was slightly better than your average tag match which means it wasn’t that bad. It’s about ten minutes long and is a run of the mill power vs. high flying match, meaning that it’s decent enough. It’s no classic, but I’ve seen far worse matches. Yeah that’s all I’ve got.

Here’s a rare non-title match from Wrestlepalooza 1998.

Dudley Boys vs. Tommy Dreamer/Sandman

Sandman cuts off the always funny Gertner entrance but the song makes up for it a bit. Beaulah is about as close to perfect as you can get. This is another “grudge” match where the grudge was developed between PPVs with no explanation as to what started it or any useless information like that. I get that Sandman’s entrance is cool, but they need to cut a minute or two out of it as it just goes on forever. Yep this is going to be a massive brawl because it’s been a full 4 minutes since we saw one of those.

And there’s the first table and my eyes roll immediately. This of course devolves into a massive brawl that has no semblance of anything noteworthy at all. We get some great shots of Beaulah and that’s about it. Sandman leaves because of his neck and after about five minutes of Tommy being murdered, Spike more or less replaces Sandman. He gets a 3D for trying to save Beaulah but Sandman comes back in a neck brace. Yeah because he was able to see the doctor and the doctor released him inside of five minutes I guess. A pair of DDTs end this and the Dudleys lose.

Rating: D-. Only reason this isn’t failing is I’ve always thought Beaulah was beyond sexy. This was just ridiculous as Dreamer survived what should have killed him to come back and be fine. It was just a total mess and it wasn’t entertaining for the most part. They had no idea what to do with the Dudleys at this point.

Over the years, one of the Dudleyz’s favorite pastimes was torturing their half brother Spike. The only thing Spike could do was get a partner to fight back. Here’s an example of that from Heat Wave 1999.

Tag Titles: Dudley Boys vs. Spike Dudley/Balls Mahoney

Something tells me this is going to take awhile to start. Bubba talks about how these are the only belts that mean anything. That explains them jumping in less than 5 months. Gertner is still selling the injuries from the missed fireball. Joey says he looks like the Invisible Man. Joey, you fail. This is a fairly infamous promo as Bubba more or less has the crowd on the verge of rioting with how much heat they have on them.

This is where he says there’s a *insert gay slur here* in the front row and a mother who taught her daughter to suck dick. The Dudleys say that if the fans won’t come to them, the Dudleys will come to the fans. This is intense stuff if nothing else as a woman spits on Bubba. Now it’s time for Gertner to talk. He makes sex jokes based on the names of movies in theaters at the time to really date the show.

Ok he gets in a great line to make up for it. “Whether the girls are at home or here in Dayton, or back at home and masturbating”. Yes he’s awesome. They’ve been talking for ten minutes now. Ok, we get it already. FINALLY Balls’ music kicks on. And now Balls talks. He says it’s a street fight with falls count anywhere. Wow I’m stunned. Naturally it’s a massive mess.

Seriously did you expect anything else? We get the cheese grater and I already hate this match. Seriously, what does this have to do with tag team wrestling? You never see more than two people on screen at once. D-Von and Spike are in the crowd doing whatever. Since there’s no referee with them, it’s rather pointless to follow them isn’t it? It’s just a big brawl with blood and random strikes. Spike dives off the balcony. Yeah I don’t care either.

Now I’m stunned as all four guys are in the ring at once. Holy goodness. The fans chant for flaming tables. Being put through one of those sounds pretty good right now. D-Von just goes off on Mahoney in the corner with punches. Ok that was kind of cool. The faces hit their finishers at the same time and of course the Dudleys kick out. And it worked so well the first time that we should just do that all over again!

So of course the four finishers don’t do it so they win with a schoolboy. Wow that’s riveting. The Dudleys do the beatdown afterwards and the table is lit up. Make that two tables. What a waste of fake wood. The powerbomb on Balls is botched. Yeah there’s nothing unsafe about that. Spike goes through. And since this was an idiotic match, here’s New Jack to really cram it home. As I’ve said, he is the epitome of everything wrong with ECW. This celebrating goes on forever as we kill more time.

Rating: F. The camera work sucked, there was zero wrestling, the ending was idiotic, it’s the same match as last month and the same feud for four months and New Jack was involved afterwards. What do you think I’m going to give this? Thankfully this was about it for the team in ECW as there was nothing left for them to do.

It would be off to the WWF soon after this and the Dudleyz would be successful in a hurry. From No Way Out 2000.

Tag Titles: Dudley Boys vs. New Age Outlaws

So the Outlaws are more or less the biggest team ever at this point and this is just another title defense against the Dudleys who took the company by storm. Think Sheamus vs. Cena from TLC. Lawler randomly barking at Road Dogg is rather funny for some reason. After the normal intros we start with a big brawl of course.

The crowd is pretty hot but you can tell they’re saving themselves for the main event. Billy beat Bubba on Thursday and put him through a table. Road Dogg does his dancing punch and Bubba does what someone with intelligence would do (the irony of that stuns me) and DUCKS.

We get a What’s Up but it’s not named yet. This match is very short, as in like 5 minutes long. The Dudleys dominate for the most part until the required big brawl at the end. On the floor, Bubba blasts Gunn in the arm with a pipe. That legitimately injured him, putting him out of action for about 8 months.

When he got back Road Dogg was with K-Kwik (R-Truth) and Gunn got a singles push. Therefore unless there was some random reunion, this is the last New Age Outlaws match. Bubba realizes something is wrong and runs into the ring for 3D and the tag titles. This was a legit shock as more or less NO ONE thought the Dudleys had a chance.

Rating: D+. Way too short to be much of anything which I’m pretty sure was because of the injury. That happens so you do what you have to do. This would set up the triple ladder match at Mania and the first TLC match at Summerslam as wrestling started the HOLY CRAP period of gimmick matches. Yes I know ECW did them first but theirs were far sloppier and became clichéd as all goodness. Ok to revise it so I don’t get complaints: the chant started in the mainstream. There.

Next up was the start of the most famous period in tag team wrestling in the WWF. From Wrestlemania 2000.

Tag Titles: Edge and Christian vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Dudley Boyz

The Dudleyz are defending and this is a triangle ladder match rather than a TLC match. That would come in September. This is when Edge and Christian still came through the crowd and somehow hadn’t won the tag titles yet. As the Dudleys pose in the aisle on a ladder during their entrance, the Canadians jump the only actual brothers in the match. This is going to be one of those matches that is almost impossible to keep track of. Bubba chops away at Jeff in the ring but gets caught by Whisper in the Wind. A Bubba Bomb puts Jeff right back down and they all head to the floor.

Christian sets up a ladder in the ring but Matt makes a save. Everyone gets back inside and there’s a second ladder. Matt throws one into the corner at Bubba for a sick thud right before D-Von is slammed onto a ladder and hit by a middle rope elbow. Jeff puts Bubba on the ladder but misses a 450, giving us a SICK looking crash. Bubba puts the ladder on top of Jeff and actually hits the middle rope backsplash to crush both of them. Edge rides a ladder out of the corner to crush another ladder onto Matt.

D-Von takes Edge down and all six guys are on the mat or floor now. Bubba is up first and we get the put the ladder around your own neck and spin around in a circle move. Edge and Christian finally dropkick the ladder into Bubba to put him down and there’s a double flapjack into the ladder in the corner on D-Von. Christian climbs a ladder and dives onto Matt and Bubba on the floor. This is all happening with almost no breaks in between. Jeff climbs the ladder in the ring but Edge jumps off the top with a spear. That would be topped by about 1000 next year.

Matt hits a crucifix bomb on Edge before trying to climb, only to be slammed down by D-Von. D-Von goes up, only to have Christian throw the ladder at him to bring him down. There are now three ladders set up in the middle of the ring and it’s Bubba with a Cutter to Christian off two of them. Awesome looking move there. With Bubba down, the Hardys hit a splash/legdrop combination off the top of the ladders. D-Von tries to climb but the Canadians suplex him off the ladder.

Everyone but the Dudleyz climb up but they all come flying down due to a facebuster and a Russian legsweep in another spot that would be topped next year. The Dudleys are back in now and the fans want tables. Now all six guys climb three ladders and as you can guess, they all go flying down. Christian and Jeff get the worst of it, crashing out to the floor. Bubba lands on his feet and shoves the other two ladders over, leaving him alone in the ring. D-Von is back up too but here’s Christian back to his feet, only to get crushed between two ladders.

Edge comes back in and gets caught in the original 3D, with Bubba running for the cutter instead of just standing there. Bubba loads up a table as is his custom and D-Von gets one of his own. There are two ladders set up in the ring and the Dudleys are all alone, but instead of climbing they make a scaffold out of a table between the tops of the ladders. The Hardys get back up to make the save but are easily dispatched. Again the Dudleys screw up though by setting up another table under the scaffold and a third on the floor.

Bubba powerbombs Matt through the one on the floor but D-Von misses a splash through Jeff on one of the tables back in the ring. Jeff tries to run the rail but Bubba pelts him in the face with a ladder. Bubba loads up the super ladder in the aisle before setting up a table in front of it. I can smell wrestling law #1 from here. Jeff comes back and takes Bubba out before putting him on the ladder. In the famous spot from this match, Jeff climbs to the top of the super ladder and hits the Swanton through Bubba through the table to put both of them out.

Back in the ring D-Von suplexes Christian down and goes for a climb but here’s Matt to break it up. The Twist of Fate takes D-Von down and now it’s Matt and Christian climbing the ladders. They both wind up on the scaffolding that was set up earlier but here’s Edge from behind. The brothers throw Matt through the table, allowing Edge and Christian to pull down the belts for their first titles.

Rating: A-. There are two problems with this match. First of all, the match the next year blows it away. Second, and far worse, the last ten minutes were spent setting up spots instead of actually going for the belts. Take the big spot of the match for example. Why in the world would Bubba do that instead of for the sake of doing that spot later? Same with all the other tables set up. There was no logic to doing that, but they did the spots anyway. Still though, excellently fun match.

We’ll jump ahead a bit to Royal Rumble 2001 when the Dudleys went after the titles again.

Tag Titles: Edge and Christian vs. Dudley Boys

The Canadians have the titles and the Dudleys have concussions. It’s a brawl to start with the champions trying to bail very quickly. We wind up with Edge vs. D-Von to start as the challenger gets two off a neckbreaker. Off to Christian who is elbowed down for two of his own. Bubba comes in as Jerry makes fun of the Dudleys’ injuries. A side slam gets two on Christian and it’s off to D-Von vs. Edge again.

Christian finally goes for the back of D-Von’s injured head to give Edge control and we get into the meat of the match. Christian gets the tag and starts pounding away on D-Von’s head, followed by a neckbreaker from Edge for two. After a quick chinlock Edge hits a neckbreaker for two more as Bubba looks like he’s about to cry. Since it’s a Dudleys match, the fans want tables. Lawler wants gumbo.

D-Von breaks up a spike piledriver for reasons of wanting to stay alive, catapulting Edge into Christian. Edge and D-Von clothesline each other and the referee misses the ensuing hot tag. A Conchairto misses D-Von and there’s the seen hot tag to Bubba. A pair of hot shots takes down a pair of Canadians and there’s a Bubba Bomb to Christian. What’s Up hits Edge but wouldn’t that hurt D-Von’s head even more?

D-Von goes to get a table and the distraction lets Edge get a title belt. Bubba ducks the shot and gets a VERY close two off a rollup. 3D is broken up by a spear to Bubba and a DDT to D-Von but Bubba kicks out again. The champions try What’s Up but the Dudleys escape and the 3D on Edge gives us new champions.

Rating: B. This is one of those annoying matches where it’s really good and therefore there’s nothing to make fun of. These guys had some of the best tag matches the WWF has ever seen and this was no exception, with all four guys looking great out there. Notice something about Edge and Christian and the Hardys: they came from tag teams but they were allowed to grow up in said tag teams, meaning once they made the transition to singles matches they had a far easier time. That NEVER happens today which is why tag teams don’t make good singles wrestlers anymore. The crowd is white hot tonight too.

Then the InVasion happened and someone thought putting the Dudleys in a main event match made sense. From the InVasion PPV.

Inaugural Brawl: Team WWF vs. Team WCW/ECW

WWF – Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, Kane, Undertaker
WCW/ECW – Booker T, Diamond Dallas Page, Rhyno, Dudley Boys

All three Alliance bosses get entrances. Now Vince gets an entrance. It’s been over 12 minutes since the last match ended and we’re not even to the wrestlers’ entrances yet. So yeah for you trivia buffs, this is the other non-ECW PPV that the Dudley Boys main evented. Kane and Taker were still kind of tag partners at this point but not really. So apparently Taker and Kane are balanced out by the Dudley Boyz? Ok then.

Oh and this is just a ten man tag. No special rules or anything like that. And pay no attention to the fact that both Taker and Kane (albeit as a jobber) used to work for WCW. Rhyno makes it the third ECW guy in a row. Talk about a push that died after this. Next is Jericho, who is about as opposite of Rhyno after this show as you could ask of anyone. Stephanie and Jericho was one of the funniest feuds I can ever remember.

Booker is US and World Champion at this time but he would hand the US Title to Kanyon soon after this. This just feels entirely thrown together. Sting is mentioned on a WWF PPV for likely the only time ever. Stephanie dancing to Booker’s music is just hilarious. Angle gets a HUGE pop despite going the wrong way down the ramp.

The level he reached about two months from now was insane. DDP is apparently the biggest deal in the Alliance. Dang did they ever jump the gun here. The 9 mentioned start fighting in the aisle and we have Austin. Notice a certain one sidedness here?

Austin and Rhyno start us off. Austin hits a superplex off the top. Sweet goodness. Jericho gets a NICE pop for the tag. Booker, the only one of the WCW/ECW guys to get a legit push in WWF comes in. Angle gets another great pop. This was after the peak the company had a few months earlier, but it was still a huge deal. This evolves into your standard big time tag match with various people beating on each other with no one really controlling for a ton of time.

DDP hits a Stunner on the top rope on Taker to finally get something resembling control. Austin works on a wristlock on Booker. There’s something you don’t see everyday. We’ve been at this for about ten minutes now and there hasn’t been any long term control. There isn’t much to say here either though as it’s exactly what you would expect it to be. Heyman is awesome at being completely evil when he has to be.

Angle is in some trouble here and the Spinarooni hits. Page hits a spinning powerbomb on Angle which is one of my favorite moves. So after nearly 20 minutes we get to the traditional face in peril sequence of the match. We go old school with Austin getting the tag but the referee didn’t see it. I love things like that. Diamond Cutter on Angle and it gets NO reaction. Cole of course calls it a neck breaker while Ross, 10 seconds after it, says the name right.

And here is the brawl that you knew was coming. Rhyno hits the Gore on Booker and Taker finally gets his hands on DDP again. Chokeslam to Page. Booker and Austin fight on the floor while the WCW referee gets a Last Ride. Taker and DDP go into the crowd while Austin’s knee is messed up after going into the steps. Kane is fighting both Dudleys.

That’s how you can tell Taker is a bigger deal than Kane: when Taker did that, they got their own match. It’s table time. Kane hits a chokeslam through the announce table on D-Von. He got him UP there too. Rhyno and Bubba put Kane through the Spanish Announce Table. Good to see a tradition still alive. Jericho puts Rhyno through the table the Dudleyz set up. Booker and Angle are the only guys still conscious. Oh and Bubba also.

The referee is still looking at Austin’s knee. Yes I’m listing a lot of play by play but you have to here so you know what’s going on. Angle fights off Booker and Bubba with an ankle lock and the Angle Slam, back when it was a good finisher, respectively. And there goes the referee. Cue the finish. Vince grabs the WWF Title and throws it to Angle. Shane gets it though and down goes Vince.

It’s Booker vs. Angle now. Angle hits his pair of finishers on him, Austin throws the referee in, kicks Angle in the head, Stunner, pin, WCW/ECW wins. Austin turned heel again, shocking JR despite him having done the same thing TWO AND A HALF MONTHS EARLIER. Austin and the three Alliance leaders have beers to end the show.

Rating: B. This did something I didn’t think it did: it made the far weaker WCW/ECW team look legit. This was all about making WWF look like they were in danger and it did that. WWF never had the advantage in the whole match until the very end. WCW/ECW controlled this as they should have. Austin turning heel had to be done given the totally rushed nature of this angle but that’s neither here nor there. The match wasn’t terrible either, so I’d say this was a success. Not a classic or anything, but a success.

During the InVasion the titles changed hands pretty regularly with the Brothers of Destruction getting them later in the year. Only one team could hang with them and the Dudleyz got their chance on Raw, September 17, 2001.

WWF Tag Titles: Undertaker/Kane vs. Dudley Boys

Why not for both titles? Because this way if they change hands they can have ANOTHER title match that means nothing on PPVs, because that’s what they needed to fix things right? EVEN MORE TITLES! Kane and D-Von start and Kane’s arm is STILL bandaged. Hasn’t that thing been hurt since April now? Kane takes him down with ease and no sells his punches. Sidewalk slam puts D-Von down and Kane drills Bubba so he can hit the top rope clothesline for two.

Off to Taker who has an American flag on his singlet now. D-Von takes him down with a shoulder block and brings in Bubba. Taker knocks down the future Bully almost immediately and hits Old School. Bubba comes back with a belly to back suplex for no cover. Kane comes in and grabs both Dudleys for chokeslams at the same time but D-Von hits him in the arm to break it up. What’s Up Kane?

Here comes a table but it doesn’t get set up. Kane is in trouble but manages to powerbomb Bubba out of the corner and tags Undertaker. A legdrop gets two on D-Von as Kane and Bubba fight on the floor. There goes the referee and cue Kronik. High Times puts Kane through the table and the 3D gives the Dudleys the titles.

Rating: D+. It was another mess but getting at least half of the titles off of Undertaker and Kane was a good thing because you had to have them get cheated to have them lose. That makes their defenses boring because you know no one is going to be able to get a clean win on them. Unfortunately this set up the Brothers vs. Kronik which was horrible.

We’ll have to jump a good bit ahead now due to the Brand Split breaking the team up for awhile. When that bombed, the team reunited at Survivor Series 2002 and got a title shot at Royal Rumble 2003.

Raw Tag Titles: Dudley Boys vs. William Regal/Lance Storm

Regal and Storm are defending and Regal is STILL doing the brass knuckles thing. Storm and Ray get things going with Lance working on the arm, only to get powered down with ease. Bubba hits one of his LOUD chops in the corner and takes Storm down with a kind of chokebomb. In something I’ve never seen him do otherwise, Bubba hooks a standing Figure Four. Actually I can’t think of anyone who has ever used that.

Off to D-Von for a dropkick (what’s gotten into the Dudleys tonight?) and here’s Regal to get slammed down immediately. The champs double team D-Von down and we get into the standard tag team formula. Storm takes D-Von to the mat and it’s off to Regal for a front facelock. Lance comes back in with a cravate into a sleeper as this continues to meander along.

D-Von rolls Storm away and makes the tag to Bubba who speeds things up. The guy has emotion if nothing else. A big running splash in the corner crushes both champions and a side slam gets two on Storm. The American hits a German on the Canadian for two, followed by a spear to the Englishman. The Bubba Bomb gets two on Lance and Regal takes What’s Up. A double flapjack (stupid fans: “3D!”) gets two on Storm and here’s Chief of Staff Sean Morely. Regal finds the brass knuckles but walks into the 3D. D-Von hits Storm with the knuckles for the pin and the titles.

Rating: D. This didn’t work for me. It felt like a Raw match that was trying to be a PPV match but never got near the hump they were trying to get over. The ending was stupid on top of that, as they had Regal beaten with the 3D, so why use the knuckles? Also it didn’t help that Bubba single handedly beat up the tag champions for about two minutes straight. Bad match.

Another title shot, from Unforgiven 2003.

Raw Tag Titles: Dudley Boys vs. La Resistance

This is a handicap elimination tables match as La Resistance have Sylvan Grenier, Rob Conway and Rene Dupree. This was supposed to be a 6 man but the heels botched a table spot on Spike on Raw where the threw him over the top and missed the table entirely other than the back of Spike’s head smacking into the table in a SICK looking spot. And we have tags in a tables match. Sure why not?

You can tell this is a long time ago as they’re only 16 time tag champions here. Sweet goodness that’s ridiculous sounding. D-Von and Grenier, who is by far the worst of the three, start us off. And now it’s Conway. Thank you for wasting our time like that. He’s an American that is a French sympathizer. We get the eternal question of why do the French love Jerry Lewis movies. That’s a great question and I’ve yet to get an answer to it.

For a tables match there is a severe lack of tables in it so far. It’s just a handicap match with the Dudleys being way ahead. The double neckbreaker hits and so does What’s Up. Still no tables. There are no disqualifications in this, yet they have to tag. I’ll never get that. Ah here we go. D-Von gets sent through so it’s only Bubba left. They’re not eliminated though. Bubba is WAY over here which is odd to an extent. There are a ton of tables here.

Bubba, from his knees, slaps the heck out of Sylvan’s chest. That sounded GREAT. He goes through the table so it’s 2-1 I guess you could say. Wait…are they eliminated? Oh does it really matter? Well there’s D-Von and the referee is fine with it so I’m thinking no. Wait it’s No DQ so it doesn’t matter if they’re eliminated or not.

Conway goes through it and in nearly the same spot he hurt Spike in, he hits HIS head on the table. FREAKING OW! It’s Bubba vs. Dupree here more or less and since it’s both Dudleys vs. him, what do you expect? Actually Rene wins for the most part and gets to set up a table. He’s 19 here but walks into 3D to give the Dudleys the belts.

Rating: D+. Well this wasn’t that bad but it could have been on Raw. Well maybe not as it actually got over ten minutes. This wasn’t anything special but it made the Dudleys look strong here which is the right idea. It’s nothing special but it’s fine for what it was supposed to be so I can’t complain that much.

And one more from Royal Rumble 2004, in a rematch from Evolution being a last minute entry to the tag team turmoil match the previous month.

Raw Tag Titles: Dudley Boys vs. Evolution

Flair and Batista are defending here and this is a tables match. Coach is ticked off at the Dudleys for putting him through a table six nights ago on Raw, because if there’s one man you need to give a reason to be a heel, it’s COACH. Batista makes fun of the Eagles because he hasn’t broken through to the other side of the glass ceiling yet. The fight starts in the aisle as you would expect. This is one table to a finish, meaning only one guy has to go through to end it.

Bubba slides in a table but shoves it hard enough that it slides across the ring and hits Batista in the ribs on the other side of the floor. Flair gets double teamed to start and caught in a powerslam by D-Von. There’s a table set up in the ring but Batista moves it before Flair gets suplexed through it. D-Von hits a Cactus Clothesline on Batista as Flair chops Bubba against a table in the corner.

Big Dave comes back in with some clotheslines to clean house but misses a charge into the post. The belly to back neckbreaker from the Dudleys puts him down and it’s Flair getting double teamed again. According to JR, the Dudleys are the only team to win the (non-vacant) world tag team titles at the Rumble. Coach heads to the ring to distract the Dudleys and prevent a 3D to Flair. Flair saves Coach and Batista hits a spinebuster to put D-Von through a table to retain.

Rating: D. This match fell into the same trap that all bad tables matches fall into: the dull set of spots that fail until one works for the win. You rarely get something that gets around this through sheer carnage such as the match at the 2000 Rumble, but this was just terrible. I have no idea what they were going for here as the fans were disappointed and they only had four and a half minutes to get into it. Also: real smart WWE. This is the right way to start a show in Philadelphia: have some of the most famous ECW guys ever lose.

The Dudleyz would be sent to the sidelines for awhile as their contracts came up. They were the only choice to main event an ECW reunion show though, so here’s their match from One Night Stand 2005. I’ll throw in the awesome post match stuff as a bonus.

Dudley Boys vs. Tommy Dreamer/Sandman

Ok, so this is more or less by far and away the most famous and popular part of this show as the match won’t start for about 15 minutes or so. This was the first time the Dudleys had been seen in months on end and they would be gone and in TNA rather soon. Foley sums up a lot very easily: There are guys like me that absolutely love ECW and everything it stood for but at the end of the day consider themselves WWE guys.

Then you have guys like the Dudley Boys that work for WWE but in their hearts are always going to be ECW guys. That sums up this whole show better than anything else could I think. Dreamer gets a pop and a half. You can tell Dreamer is WAY impressed and really in awe of this. The music hits and so begins the most famous entrance in modern wrestling history at least.

Enter Sandman (original, not that Motorhead nonsense) hits and he’s in the crowd. The fans sing the song for his entrance in what is an awesome moment. He’s on his second beer and he’s still on the top floor. Hey he’s at the railing! His entrance is at 3 minutes now. Bubba gets beer spit at him. Tommy and Sandman have beers with CW Anderson and Chris Chetti in the front row before pouring one on two girls’ chest and licking it off, one of which is Elektra.

D-Von dancing to Metallica is funny and the cane gets jacked off. Five and a half minutes now. Hand pounds all around…and there’s the BWO. The reaction from Foley is hilarious. Think Ray from Ghostbusters when he says “It’s the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man”. Just cracks me up every time. Match hasn’t started yet. Stevie looks good here actually. Joey sums up the BWO perfectly: “If any gimmick never deserved to make a dime and made a whole boatload of cash, this is it.

And the best is they couldn’t sue us because it was a parody.” For those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about, the BWO is the Blue World Order: Big Stevie Cool, Da Blue Guy and Hollywood Nova (Simon Dean). They were a parody of the NWO which wound up being ridiculously popular so they ran with it.

Stevie says they’re taking over and kicks Sandman in the face. Let the brawling begin. Kid Kash is here, having just been fired from TNA, marking I believe the first and only time it was mentioned on WWE programming. He does nothing and here are Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten: the Hardcore Chair Swingin Freaks.

They beat up the BWO so the interfering people are fighting the other interfering people. Nova gets the heck chaired out of him. Joey: that’s more painful than having to be Simon Dean on national TV. Everyone brawls in the aisle and Kash has the referee get on all fours for a HUGE front flip onto all of them. Bubba busts out the trashcans. Remember the match hasn’t started yet. Oh hey there it is, 14 minutes after the Dudleys’ song started. Dreamer has a cheese grated.

The fans chant for Cactus Jack which Foley kind of laughs off. Cheese grater across Dreamer’s head is SICK! Oh he’s busted bad so Bubba rubs it on his face. Joey: Tommy’s skin looks like cabbage in a coleslaw. In case you can’t tell, I freaking love this. Foley calls the grater comical. Sometimes I’d pay to be inside that man’s head. Sandman brings in the ladder. We get probably my all time favorite comedy line in wrestling.

Joey says he was going to compare Dreamer wrestling tonight to Gehrig’s last at bat at Yankee Stadium but Gehrig didn’t whip out a cheese grater and start mutilating people with it. And that my friends is why I love wrestling. It’s so insane that to us it makes sense, but when you compare it to something else, it sounds ridiculous. However, in wrestling, there are three words that make things magical: It Could Happen.

That is why I love wrestling: you never know what you could see. Naturally this is just a wild brawl all over the place. Bubba hits a frog splash on Sandy which has to be better than some forms of execution. D-Von takes the White Russian legsweep and we get a double figure four on the Dudleys but the Impact Players run in. Sandman gets a That’s Incredible on barbed wire and here’s Francine.

Beaulah makes her return for the CATFIGHT CATFIGHT CATFIGHT!!! Dreamer saves her and they have their big reunion with Dreamer’s face covered in blood. The Dudleys get DDTed by the two of them, making me smile. WHERE ELSE BUT IN WRESTLING COULD YOU GET THIS? Beaulah gets two on Bubba and she’s hardcore according to the fans. Joey is told in his headset that he can’t say balls, which he makes fun of of course.

Sandman goes through a table for two. 3D on Dreamer, and it’s the old style, not the crap one now. We have another table and here’s Spike who is seeing COLORS! Yep, the table is on fire and there goes Tommy. In a spot that makes me cringe, Tommy’s head is tilted towards the mat and blood just pools up from his head. That’s a great visual. Bubba actually dives on him for the pin.

Rating: N/A. Can’t give this a fair grade as it wasn’t a match by any definition of the word. Make no mistake about it though: this is the highlight of the show and as much fun as I can remember having watching wrestling perhaps ever.

Post match (oh like you didn’t expect something else to happen) the Dudleys go after Beaulah and get the tar cained out of them. In a spot that always makes me chuckle, Spike comes back again and Sandman turns around and just canes him again before going back to what he was doing. He looked like he was paying a parking meter or something. Sandman looks at Tommy and says someone….someone…SOMEONE GET ME A BEER! Joey: screw the beer, get him some plasma! “Somebody get me a beer!”


Yep, Austin (in a freaking XFL jersey of all things) is here. He calls out the whole locker room and says he wants to see a fight. Yep he calls down the crusaders and you know what’s coming. The heat is awesome here. The sight of everyone on their own side of the ring looks great. The crowd chants WE WANT TAZ and guess who shows up. Yep it’s old school Taz, as in the machine Taz. Bischoff is on commentary.

The fight is on and Taz and Angle hit the floor. After a bit of a scuffle, Taz chokes him out. Now the interesting thing is this: in the back of the ring you can see JBL going CRAZY on someone. It would turn out to be Blue Meanie and JBL was legitimately beating him until Tracy Smothers and a few others picked up on it and helped him. This started a legit feud between them with Smothers calling JBL out for a real fight anytime anywhere.

Anyway, other than that of course the ECW guys clean house and run the WWE guys off. After they leave, Austin gets on the mic (wearing JBL’s hat) and says to Mick Foley to bring Bischoff to the ring. The fans kind of collectively gasp as they know what’s coming. This was a wet dream for them to say the least. The funny part is that he can’t go into the crowd because he’ll get hurt worse out there.

Bischoff takes a 3D, the flying headbutt from Benoit (complete with Austin telling him to kill him), a 619 (booed loudly) and a Stunner as the fans are in awe. The Dudleys literally throw Eric out of the building and the party is on. Joey screams ECW LIVES to end the show.

With nothing left to do in WWE, it was off to TNA, where the team actually spent more time than anywhere else. The team would be put into the main event scene very soon and be in one of the featured matches at Destination X 2006. They’re now Team 3D due to some legal issues with the Dudleyz name.

Jeff Jarrett’s Army vs. Team 3D/Ron Killings/Rhyno

The Army is Jarrett, AMW and Abyss. Jackie Gayda is being held against her will due to something about a video tape. At least Gail Kim looks hot here. So in other words, Jeff has had Debra, Gail and Karen. Not bad at all. It’s so weird to hear What’s Up on a TNA show. This is just a big street fight. The non Army (Navy?) hits the ring and we’re out of the ring almost immediately.

Truth would be the captain of the team for lack of anyone better. They’re in the aisle, the stands and the stage all at once. Rhyno tries to Gore Abyss off the stands but Abyss gets a boot up. Bubba ACTUALLY HITS THE BACK SPLASH (minus the rope) on Storm I think. Jarrett and Truth go to the Spanish table. D-Von and Harris are finally found in the stands. Rhyno pops Abyss with a chair. If this sounds all over the place, there’s a reason for that.

Jarrett gets some chair shots into Truth and since they’re the only ones you can see clearly we stay on them for a bit. We finally can see everyone and it’s Storm vs. Rhyno in the ring at the moment. Rhyno actually tags in D-Von and even the announcers make fun of it. The Dudleys try a Doomsday Device but Harris saves, allowing Abyss to chokeslam Ray.

Off to Jarrett vs. D-Von now with Jarrett in total control. And scratch that as Storm comes in and down he goes. The future Bully comes in and cleans house. Rhyno adds a spinebuster for two. Abyss hammers on Rhyno a bit now and the slug out goes to Abyss. Jarrett gets a dropkick and it’s off to Storm. Uh make that Harris. We have a chinlock in a WAR. I give up.

Yep it’s a boring match now. They managed to take a huge brawl that was pretty cool to start off and turned it into another boring tag match. Rhyno vs. Jarrett now and both guys go down. Harris comes in to make sure nothing exciting happens here. Perish the thought. Killings FINALLY comes in to clean house. He avoids a splash from Abyss in the corner and gets that suplex into a Stunner to Storm for two.

The Dudleys come in and it turns into a big brawl again. Guitar comes in and Jarrett has to hide it from the referee because this is a stupid match. Gore takes Jarrett down but a Black Hole Slam does the same to Rhyno. Gail breaks up What’s Up so Jackie comes in and it’s a double What’s Up to Gail and Jeff. D-Von goes to do the chest slap to Jackie and pauses in a funny spot.

3D takes out Abyss but AMW takes out Team 3D. Death Sentence to D-Von and Killings gets taken down by a double team as well. I hear handcuffs but Truth apparently has experience with them as Harris winds up cuffed to the ring. Axe kick gets two as Jarrett pulls the referee out. Jarrett and Truth slug it out a bit and the Stroke ends this rather quickly.

Rating: C. Leave it to TNA to take their WAR and make it boring for a large part of it. They started in an actual war then went to a regular match and then to a big decent fight. Of course TNA managed to take what could have been a good match and get the whole order of it screwed up. Match was just ok and the feud would continue for the most part next month at Lockdown.

At the end of the day though, the Dudleyz have to go after Tag Team Titles. Here’s one of their first major shots, from Lockdown 2007 in an electrified cage match for no apparent reason.

Tag Titles: Team 3D vs. LAX

No Konnan to start. This gets big match intros as it’s basically the first of two main events. The lights are dimmed for this so it’s almost blue. Apparently the current going through the cage is only on in certain places at certain times. They don’t have to tag because when the cage is electrified, tagging is pretty stupid. Team 3D controls to start. This is a hard match to call because they’re moving around kind of strangely here, due to trying to avoid the cage. It’s not bad per se, but it’s not the most exciting thing in the world.

What’s Up hits and at least D-Von was very tentative about going up due to being next to the cage. LAX takes over and uses whatever cheating methods they can. D-Von is busted and Homicide’s hand touches the cage to give us the first electrocution in the match. I didn’t expect to have to write that. Hernandez is busted too. He goes up but D-Von manages to crotch him. Homicide is crotched as well and we get nearly stereo superplexes.

D-Von beats up Homicide, hitting a powerslam for two. Konnan has been wheeled out. Whoever wheeled him out beat down the outside referee and gave Konnan some rubber gloves. Hector Guerrero, the Spanish announcer, jumps that guy (we can’t see who he is) and stares down Konnan. Apparently the guy who wheeled Konnan out was trying to get the key to the door. Hector unlocked it and the door is open. It’s hard to tell what’s going on due to the light. Bubba yells at him to hand him an F’ing table.

The delay allows for LAX to get a quick takeover but Hernandez stops to yell at Hector, so Hector slams the door on his head. The double neckbreker gets two on SuperMex. Bubba Bomb gets two on Homicide. Samoan Drop gets two on D-Von. Top rope elbow gets the same. This has gotten a good deal better. HUGE layout powerbomb gets two on Homicide by Bubba.

We get the first big electrocution spot as Hernandez Border Tosses D-Von into the cage and he vibrates like a fish on a fish frying plate. He’s COVERED in blood, which would be more effective if you could see it. The fans aren’t that thrilled with this as they chant Fire Russo. A middle rope elbow gets two for Bubba. D-Von is apparently fine after the MASSIVE ELECTROCUTION as a Doomsday Device gets two.

The table gets loaded up and D-Von is placed onto it. Hernandez puts some rubber gloves on but takes forever to do it. He climbs to the top of the cage but since he took FOREVER, the splash through the table misses. Looked awesome though. The Dudleys take over on Homicide, throw him into the cage, botch a 3D off the cage and then hit the 3D for the pin and the titles.

Rating: D. Yes it was bad, but it wasn’t THAT bad. I mean, if you compare this to the blindfold match it’s a masterpiece. The cage stuff was stupid and I’m really not sure what the point of the lights was. Maybe the cage sucked too much electricity out? Anyway, not a horrible match but it was probably way too much for the payoff they got out of it.

In something that has almost never worked before, TNA decided to have a Winner Take All tag match at Victory Road 2007.

TNA World Title/X Division Title/Tag Titles: Team 3D vs. Kurt Angle/Samoa Joe

And remember, AJ and Daniels had a tag title shot, but we can’t have them as main event guys. Team 3D is FAR more believable as world title contenders. As you likely guessed, this is little more than Angle and Joe trying to one up each other and Team 3D is just in the way. With the simple problem of NO ONE believes they have a chance of winning a singles title, this is rather just about who wins the tag belts.

Joe has his Samoan fire breathers and dancers and whatnot. Angle tries to get Serotonin to help him. They laugh at him. He beats them up too. That riser is just awesome. So after about 10 minutes of intros, the match is nothing special at all. TNA fans doing the You Suck chant just isn’t right at all. We get the required Team 3D tension that no one cares about at all. It just doesn’t work. Let it go.

Bubba starts to leave and then doesn’t as we desperately search for drama of any kind. Can we get to the end of this please? We all know that the Dudleys are losing here so why pretend otherwise? Angle has disappeared for some reason. Oh ok he just wanted Joe to get beaten up. We hit the required insanity and I just want this show to end. ANGLE HITS THE MOONSAULT!

Even Tenay makes jokes about him hitting it. Not really funny but kind of cute. Both singles champions hook ankle locks but Bubba gets out and Angle hits Joe by mistake. 3D on Angle and D-Von gets the cover. And here’s Rick Steiner to break things up. Scott Steiner blasts Bubba with a pipe but Angle breaks it up so he doesn’t not win the tag titles. Angle hits Bubba with the Angle Slam and Joe steals the pin to get the tag belts. Holy pointless run ins Batman!

Rating: C+. Again, it’s ok but it’s not like there was ANY drama at all here. They just blew it with Team 3D having the belts here as with AJ/Daniels, who they had a legit chance to put them on 3 days before this. This was ok but it was just about Angle or Joe which made it rather boring and at nearly 20 minutes, just WAY too long. Not a smart nor particularly good main event.

Time for a dream match! From Bound For Glory 2007.

Steiner Brothers vs. Team 3D

They point out that the Steiners now reside in Atlanta to HAMMER in the face push. Big brawl to start as you have to get two table put throughs out of three to win this. Well it’s better than a regular table match. I’m not sure how but it prevents winning on a fluke I guess. Rick thankfully is in a shirt as we get the Steiner pose. The Dudleys try to leave and that goes nowhere.

Beer to the face of D-Von as they’re in the crowd. Granted this isn’t so much a waste of time as you can go through a table anywhere. Big brawl in the stands where not a lot is going on as there are no tables in sight. Scott and Bubba are brawling as are the other pair. There’s the first table brought in but it’s not set up yet. We’re back around the ring now.

In the ring now and Rick goes through one on a 3D. Scott is on the floor and there aren’t any eliminations it seems which I like better. Scott fights out of a super bomb and hits a Frankensteiner where he does nothing and Bubba has to jump for the flip, hitting the back of his head on the edge, more or less breaking through the table with his neck. FREAKING OW MAN.

It’s tied up at one here as D-Von misses a splash. How was Steiner a world champion in WCW? I think you can count him as another example of a guy making money and getting as far as he did because WCW was in the place it was rather than his talent. Bubba whips Scott with a big leather belt as Rick has apparently disappeared.

Scott is put on a table and it just kind of collapses which doesn’t count as it’s not a guy being put through it which makes sense. Scott has his beard braided which looks stupid as all goodness. The Dudleys put him on another table and go for his injured throat. The Guns run down for the save. D-Von misses a chair shot and the Steiner Bulldog ends it.

Rating: D+. Well they were trying out there but it didn’t work that well. The two old teams going at it were supposed to comprise a dream match but it didn’t work. Why should I want to see either of these teams rather than the Guns who had a run in here? It’s more old guys that aren’t worth much doing their thing. That’s rarely a good thing and this was no exception. Having the 2/3 thing was a nice little twist though and it helped it a good deal.

The Dudleyz would then enter a war with the X-Division, which somehow led to a match about fish at Destination X 2008.

Fish Market Street Fight: Team 3D vs. Shark Boy/Curry Man

West and Curry Man dance before this starts. This was when Shark Boy was a parody of Stone Cold, drinking clam juice, talking about how that’s the fishing line, giving him a shell yeah and having Austinesque theme music. It was awful in case you couldn’t get that. Bubba yells a lot and D-Von weighs in at….some undisclosed weight under 275lbs. Bubba allegedly makes it too, thereby ending this idiotic angle.

And now Devine, the X-Division traitor, hands them candy and they eat but get jumped. This is a glorified hardcore match but with “comedy” added to it. The Dudleys get run off early on and try to leave. I don’t like where this is going. There are big crated of frozen fish around the aisle. See what I’m dealing with here? Yes, they’re beating each other with frozen fish. Mike gets the HOLY MACKERAL line in.

Curry Man puts a Ding Dong on a fishing pole and goes Ray hunting. Oh of course it works. This is making my soul ache. Honestly, who thought this was a marketable idea? Who thought someone would want to see this? Ray throws fish into the crowd and the announcers say this was expected. Uh, why? Ray bites a fish as I would be so embarrassed if someone knew I was watching this.

We get some actual wrestling just so we can be told there was wrestling in this. What’s Up on Curry Man with a fish. It’s returned by Shark Boy and this is awful. Oh but hey, according to Meltzer, the triple threat at Survivor Series was worse. Yeah keep telling yourself that buddy. Stereo X-Factors and Tornado DDTs on the heels get two. Shark Boy kicks out of a Doomsday Device. Bubba gets blinded by powder and accidently hits 3D on D-Von to end it. The Dudleys get into it with some guy from Survivor that no one cares about.

Rating: F-. I’m not even going to bother explaining why a match involving beating on each other with fish is a failure.

Let’s get back to serious with a four way Full Metal Mayhem match at Bound For Glory 2008.

Tag Titles: Matt Morgan/Abyss vs. Beer Money vs. Team 3D vs. LAX

This is Monster’s Ball and Beer Money have the belts. Steve McMichael of all people is the guest referee. He looks OLD too. The intros here are freaking ridiculous. Basically this is a four way street fight/hardcore match but I’m not sure if the pins have to be in the ring or not. WAY too many people in the ring here.

You know at this point, is Mongo the most successful singles wrestler in there? Ah that’s right Abyss is a former world champion. Not that we’re ever told that anymore or anything though. Bunch of high spots including a tope con hilo from Homicide. We break out the weapons and its really nothing special at all. Homicide has a fork for no apparent reason and stabs D-Von’s head with it.

Abyss is on his anti-weapons thing here. Cheese grater comes out as I feel like I’m on Emeril or something. That doesn’t sound bad actually as I’m a bit hungry. Bubba suplexes Hernandez from the middle rope and the fans want tables. Blockbuster by Roode which makes me smile a bit. Total weapons thing starts up here as Mongo steals the tacks from Storm.

Mongo is FAT. We get a football sequence complete with helmet and football and Beer Money goes down of course. Morgan does a big dive to the floor to take out a bunch of people. This is such a huge mess. Johnny Devine comes out and pops Abyss with a kendo stick a few times. Table and lighter fluid are brought in on the stage. Abyss goes through it off a double chokeslam from the Dudleys.

Homicide in control now. I’ve never seen this ring genius or whatever that he’s supposed to be. Sweet goodness Mongo counts slow. Sit out powerbomb by Hernandez gets two. Elevated Gringo Cutter gets two due to Jackie getting the save. Apparently the Dudleys and Morgan have like died or something. Ah there’s Morgan. Border Toss to Morgan as Bubba brings in a table.

Supermex makes the save for Homicide though as this is probably getting close to the end. Mongo helps lay out the tacks on the table and Hernandez hits a 3D on the table on the tacks but Beer Money runs in to steal the pin.

Rating: B-. It certainly was violent, but it was just a big long weapons match. This is the longest match of the night, getting over twenty minutes. Mongo hurt this a lot as he counted so slowly that it appeared that he was shortchanging everyone with the cadence of his counts. This was pretty good but at the same time it was nothing we hadn’t seen before. Also having 8 guys out there was just too much. Still fun though.

They would pick up the IWGP Tag Team Titles around this time and since they’re Japanese, TNA decided the fans cared about them. This led to a unification match at Lockdown 2009.

TNA/IWGP Tag Titles: Beer Money vs. Team 3D

The idea here is a Philadelphia street fight, as in you can come and go from the cage as you please, defeating the entire purpose of the cage at all. Bubba knocks the steps away from the cage door which does nothing at all for the most part. They’re in the cage to start and the door is shut despite them talking about it being the open cage thing the whole time.

And so much for that as they’re on the floor now. They might have been in the cage for about thirty seconds. The fans want tables as we head into the crowd. We go split screen as we’re in the crowd. They each get a quarter of the screen as half of it is a big Lockdown logo. Storm vs. Bubba and Roode vs. D-Von but they merge in a luxury box.

Falls count anywhere apparently. The required ECW chant starts up even though the crowd can’t see them for the most part here. West thinks the crowd is 98/2 for Team 3D. Thank you for that excellent analysis Mr. West. The fans still want tables. Just sit stuff on your laps guys. Back to the ring now as Storm uses the cage door as a weapon. Storm gets a table out which should be done by the face but why would that matter?

The heels climb onto the steps and give D-Von a double suplex through the table. Bubba is busted open and it’s 2-1 inside the cage. He gets a double clothesline to take down both guys that aren’t wearing shirts. Again I need more ways to tell you who does what without saying their names over and over. Roode takes a Bubba Bomb from the top rope. Dang that must hurt him worse than a prostitute screwing a blind guy.

The other 3D gets two on Roode. So he’s kicked out of two almost finishers while Storm has taken nothing. Why doesn’t Roode leave him at this point? The fans want more tables. Sweet goodness how much stuff are they carrying? D-Von gets a top rope clothesline for two. What’s Up to Roode. Here comes the second batch of tables.

Beer Money comes back and hits what we would call the Mooregasm on D-Von for two. So apparently Ink Inc is better than Beer Money? Too many dead spots in here where they’re just setting other stuff up rather than actually doing anything. Storm accidently slams the door onto the head of Roode, allowing 3D through the table to end it.

Rating: C. It wasn’t bad and was probably the best match of the night thus far but this still wasn’t great. The Dudleys win another tag title. Why is this supposed to mean something? It was an ok match but it really wasn’t anything all that great. Like I said there were too many dead spots and it was too long at 15 minutes. Not bad at all though.

They would be back in the main event scene for Lethal Lockdown at No Surrender 2009.

Booker T/Scott Steiner/British Invasion vs. Beer Money/Team 3D

It’s Wargames: start with a person per team for five minutes then another from one team comes in for a 2-1 advantage for two minutes then it’s tied for two minutes and so on until we’re at 4 each. Then the roof comes down with weapons and it’s first fall wins. The heels, Steiner/Booker/Brits, have the advantage. The Mafia members are TNA Tag Champions and the Brits are IWGP Tag Champions because TNA thinks most Americans care about those titles. Douglas Williams vs. James Storm to start us off.

Williams leaves the cage to try to jump Storm which doesn’t work at all. Into the cage now as the fans are behind Storm sort of but other than that they’re rather quiet. Storm gets a reverse tornado DDT but he can’t cover since not everyone is in. This is more or less just a slow paced one on one match here with no one really taking over. Granted that might be because there’s no need to have this be in Lethal Lockdown.

Eye of the Storm (spinning release Razor’s Edge) sets up some choking but Williams kicks him low to reverse the momentum again. We have a minute left and Williams’ team will get the next man in. In second is Brutus Magnus so it’s 2-1 for two minutes. Storm wisely dropkicks the door onto his face before he can get in but Williams sends Storm into the ropes, allowing Magnus to slam the door onto Storm’s back to take over.

The Brits like to shake hands a lot. A lot of time is wasted here as we’re almost at two minutes and Storm is busted open. It’s been two minutes and there’s no clock. Ah there’s the countdown but it was more like 2:15. In next is Robert Roode to make it a tag team cage match which again shows THERE WAS NO POINT TO THIS BEING LETHAL LOCKDOWN. Some nice double teaming by Beer Money gives them the advantage as the crowd only kind of seems to care.

The annoying Impact Zone fans count down the clock from like 30 seconds because they need to be a part of the show right? Anyway in next is Steiner which kind of surprises me. Steiner busts out come clotheslines and suplexes so Tenay makes a small wisecrack about that being all he does. Taz takes exception to being criticized for only using suplexes in a slightly funny moment. Frankensteiner (or what is now called that) kills Storm and the beating is on.

The clock is on as one of the problems with this match comes into focus: it takes about 15 seconds for someone to come from the back and get into the cage. That doesn’t sound like a long time but when you only have two minutes before the next intro and the countdown clock comes on at 15 seconds to go, you have about 1:30 to do your thing with the focus on you. However, about 45 seconds of that is just you hitting random moves on everyone at a fast pace, leaving you with about 45 seconds to use teamwork. It’s very fast paced and something that wasn’t as much of an issue in WarGames with everyone on the floor.

Anyway D-Von and company take over as we wait on Booker and Bubba to get here to even the numbers out. Also, one ring with eight guys in it is WAY too crowded. I think one year there were only six people in this match and it worked far better. Here’s Booker as not a lot happened in D-Von’s time. Booker walks even slower, showing off the tag titles. He took about 40 seconds to get there and somehow none of the faces were standing there waiting on him. How can you not pick up on that?

Steiner hits the floor and chokes Roode with the cage door as we’re waiting on Bubba with about 20 seconds to go. The clock is extended a bit more this time as Booker got about 2:15 in his period if you can call it that. Ray comes down but Rob Terry jumps him in the aisle and then nails him with a chair. Terry then yells at the guy that controls the roof of the cage to come down and here come the weapons.

Ok so now it’s first fall by either pin or submission. Well at least there are only seven people in the ring which helps a tiny bit. On the floor Ray avoids another chair shot and takes Terry out with a shot to the head. He’s in now with the chair, drilling all heels with some WEAK chair shots and here come the good guys. A trashcan gets put on someone’s balls and Bubba drills it with a crutch, prompting Tazz to yell YAMBAG YAHTZEE!!!

Brutus and Beer Money go to the top of the cage and it’s a double team suplex to Magnus. I’m terrified of heights so I’d be scared to death up there. BEER MONEY is shouted up there and it’s 3D to Steiner from….well from 3D. Does that mean they can charge more for not much of a difference in the visual aspect of it? Book End takes down Bubba but it’s time for heel miscommunication. Blockbuster by Roode to Booker and DWI ends Williams for the pin.

Rating: B. Lethal Lockdown is a match that automatically gets a higher grade to start and this is right about in the middle for one. The biggest problem is obvious: there is zero reason this needed to be Lethal Lockdown at all. This should have been a pair of tags or maybe a Survivor Series style match. Not much of note but again Lethal Lockdown on its own is inherently cool so it gets a good grade.

Then the Nasty Boys were brought in as a joke on the fans, but the fans had to sit through this match at Against All Odds 2010.

Nasty Boys vs. Team 3D

So now people are being asked to pay to see the Nasty Boys. Good to know. That lounge music is REALLY annoying. No one in TNA has ever taken it to Team 3D like the Nastys? REALLY? Sags looks slimmer and nearly in shape. Knobbs…not so much. 3D runs them off and I guess they’re the faces? It’s been 2 minutes so they might have turned since then.

We get to a regular tag match with Sags vs. Bubba. Both guys have pants with their team name on it. Is that in case they get lost? Sign in the front row: pipe down nerds. That’s rather funny. The fans want to sit down and eat. What else could they want tables for? This hasn’t been as bad as I expected, but it’s nothing compared to the Nasty Boys doing science experiments like they did in 1995.

You have to see that clip if you don’t know what I’m talking about. SuperBrawl 1995, opening of the tape. Go find it as it’s just bizarre. Oh look: Brooke Hogan is here. It has nothing to do with the show or the match, but it needs to be noted: Brooke Hogan is indeed HERE. The Nastys take over now. Taz says lifting Knobbs is like lifting a small foreign car. That’s rather funny. Sags takes 3D and JIMMY FREAKING HART makes the save. Are you kidding me??? His helmet is slammed into Bubba for the pin. Love that voice.

Rating: C-. I’m very surprised as this wasn’t terrible by any means. It wasn’t particularly good but it was far from bad. I do not get the point in the Nasty Boys being on TV but having Hart there is never a bad thing. Allegedly the Nasty Boys were a rib from Bischoff and Hogan, so enjoy paying to give those two a laugh at our expense.

With nothing else to do, the team said they would retire after one last match. From Turning Point 2010.

Tag Titles: Team 3D vs. Motor City Machine Guns

After a lot of standing around looking at each other, D-Von and Shelley start. Pre-match handshake is always nice to see. They start with some technical/mat stuff and not a lot is going on so far. Dueling chants begin. We’re told that Dreamer, Raven and Tazz started the Dudley Boys which is only technically true as the Dudley Family, who didn’t start off as Bubba and D-Von, were based on the brothers from the movie Slapshot. Ah ok they mention that at least.

They get to say Dudley Boys here which is surprising. Sabin vs. Bubba now. Big boot cuts the head off of the small one. Back to the starters now with the Guns in control. Shelly might have hurt his knee off a top rope move but his knee seems to be ok as it gets worked on by Bubba. They’re going for the big match here and it’s working to an extent.

Back off to Sabin now and some modified Poetry in Motion and double teaming sends the Dudleys to the floor. Sabin misses a dive though and eats floor. Bubba goes into the post and DIVES under the ring. Shockingly when he comes back up he’s busted open. The fans want tables. Shelley bends Bubba’s fingers back which is a freaking ow move if there ever has been one.

They’re trying to make the Guns wrestle heel here because this is a rather stupid company. Top rope Batista Bomb gets two on Sabin. Nice one there. Bubba’s facial expressions are kind of funny. Shelley kicks D-Von while he’s on the apron to a few boos. Sabin and D-Von both come in off hot tags as the cranking up thing here isn’t really happening.

Sabin gets beaten down for awhile while the other two are on the floor. D-Von catches Poetry in Motion and throws Shelley onto Sabin which was cool. All Dudleys here as D-Von hits the top rope headbutt on Shelley for two as Sabin makes the save. What’s Up hits and it’s table time. This version is in the corner if you’re curious. HUGE table chant.

As per the laws of table usage, the person that set it up, Bubba in this case, goes into it. Skull and Bones hits D-Von for only two. That gets kicked out of every time. 3D to Sabin but it only gets two as Sabin kicks out. That’s not something you ever see so I can give it points there. Skull and Bones to Bubba end it soon afterwards to set up the big send off.

Rating: C+. They were going for the big and epic match here and didn’t really get there. This was good but at the same time it’s just another title win for the Guns, which is the right move at least. I don’t buy them leaving at all but that’s neither here nor there. This wasn’t a classic but it was by far the best match of the night so far. And yes, someone has kicked out of the 3D before: Masato Tanaka in ECW.

Since nothing is forever in wrestling, the team reunited for the One Night Only Tag Team Tournament. Here’s their match in the finals.

Tag Team Tournament Finals: Team 3D vs. Austin Aries/Bobby Roode

This gets the big match intros as more time is killed. For some reason the lights have been turned off and there are only spotlights on the ring. Ray takes the mic from JB to make sure the intro is perfect, despite having a bit of a disagreement over how much they weigh. He challenges Aries to do a better intro if he can, leading to a weight dispute between the other team as well. Aries of course mentions beating Roode for the title before saying they don’t need a team name because they’re just that great.

The match starts with a brawl on the floor as the fans aren’t sure who to cheer for here. Who thought heel vs. heel was a good idea here? Aries takes over on Bully while D-Von and Roode stagger around ringside. D-Von is sent into the barricade as Aries hits an ax handle from the apron to Bully. Ray comes back with a low chop to take Austin down while D-Von chokes Aries against the post.

The pairings switch off and Aries takes over on D-Von. No one has actually been in the ring yet. Ray chases Hebner with a chain before bringing Aries inside for What’s Up, only to have Roode make the save. Aries gets in a low blow to Ray as we finally have some starters. Roode comes in to stomp on Ray’s ankle before Aries comes in for a top rope knee drop. A Hennig neck snap puts Ray into the wrong corner but he chops Aries from his knees.

Aries puts on a front facelock as the fans still aren’t sure who to cheer for here. They pick Ray at the moment, even though he’s the top heel in the company. Ray makes the tag to D-Von but a Roode distraction means it doesn’t count. Roode comes back in for a chinlock but Ray belly to backs his way out. Aries stomps away in the corner as the announcers talk about Howard Stern and Jesse Ventura running for President.

Ray fights up and collides with Roode, setting up the ice cold tag to D-Von. He cleans house for a few seconds before Aries and Roode double team him down. Aries loads up the foreign object but hits Roode by mistake, setting up the 3D for the pin. Tenay of course acts like this is the least interesting thing ever.

Rating: D+. The match wasn’t bad but the booking made next to no sense. Ray spent his previous two matches being the biggest jerk he could possibly be but we’re supposed to cheer for his team in the finals? The logical move would have been to put Joe and Magnus over by DQ or countout to protect the champions and give us a basic heel vs. face final, but instead they went with this and the crowd didn’t know what to do. The lighting was weird too.

Yes they got annoying, yes they stayed around too long, yes they were shells of their former selves late in their run, but that many title reigns is just ridiculous. They’re the most successful tag team of all time, but I definitely wouldn’t call them the best. Give me a good Steiner Brothers marathon any day. That being said, they’ve been one of the few constants in wrestling over the last nearly twenty years and you can’t pass that up.

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