Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment House Show
From: Melbourne, Australia
Opening Contest: Rob Conway vs. Shelton Benjamin: A slow start to the match with Benjamin getting out of a top wrist lock and Conway stalling whenever the match is about to pick up the pace. Shelton fights out of the corner but is met with a kick to the gut and dropped across the top rope throat first. Benjamin is on the apron when Conway hits a suplex into the ring for a near fall. Conway whiplashes Shelton back down to the mat to maintain control of the contest. Shelton hits a springboard forearm shot and runs over Conway with clotheslines and a back breaker. Benjamin goes to the top and hits a clothesline! Shelton continues but misses a splash and is kicked after jumping off the middle rope. Conway gets caught with the t-bone suplex and Shelton wins the match. (*. I was expecting a much better match between these two and was disappointed instead. The stalling approach by Conway took up most of the match and prevented Benjamin from shining, though he got his stuff in at the end anyway. This is an example of two good wrestlers not having a good game plan to provide entertaining action.)
Second Contest: WWE Tag Team Champions Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch vs. Val Venis & Viscera: Cade and Viscera start the match with Viscera using his size advantage to get the better of him. Murdoch tags in and tries to scoop slam Viscera, which doesn’t work at all and instead Viscera connects with a scoop slam of his own. Venis enters to come off the top and drop across Cade’s arm. Venis focuses his offense on the left shoulder. Cade works over Val in the corner with stomps and strikes. Val fights back with several knee lifts and a side Russian leg sweep. Venis backdrops Murdoch and continues his work over Cade in the corner. Trevor shoves Venis off the top to the floor to help Cade. Venis gets stopped with an atomic drop and neck breaker from the champs. Venis continues to be worked over by the champs. Venis kicks Cade and both men are down as the fans are behind Val to make the tag. Val gets the tag to Viscera who slowly enters and cleans house on the champs. Viscera backdrops Cade and plants Murdoch with a swinging side slam! Viscera big splashes Murdoch and humps him on the mat for a near fall. All four men are in the ring brawling at this point. Viscera accidentally splashes Venis in the corner and is met with a chop block/clothesline combo and is pinned. (**. Not a bad tag match between these two teams. Seemed like Venis/Viscera combo had some promising moments and the fans were into the bout. A good clean win for the champs.)
Third Contest: WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus vs. Torrie Wilson: Late in the match, Victoria comes out and distracts Trish, but is met with a springboard bulldog for her troubles. Stratus pins Wilson shortly afterward with the Chick Kick to retain the title. After the match, Ashley Massaro comes out and helps Trish fight off both Wilson and Victoria.
Fourth Contest: Tajiri vs. Gene Snitsky: Gene uses his obvious size advantage to work over Tajiri and taunts the fans while doing so for a few minutes. Gene gets out of the tarantula attempt and runs over Tajiri with a clothesline. Tajiri nearly wins after a super kick. Snitsky drops Tajiri with a big boot and hits a swinging side slam for the easy win.
Fifth Contest: Carlito & Chris Masters vs. Shawn Michaels & Big Show: Carlito acts like he is going to start but instead bails and tags in Masters as he doesn’t want to deal with Show. Show chops Masters in the corner and Carlito refuses to tag in by pretending to yell at some fans. Shawn punches Masters from the apron as the Masterpiece finally rolls to his corner and surprises Carlito with a tag. Show slams Carlito back into the ring from the apron. Michaels gets tagged in and continues to work over Carlito with some chops. Michaels gets trapped in the corner and is double teamed by Carlito and Masters so they can get control of the bout. HBK regains control rather quickly and drops Masters a chop. Shawn tags in Show who stands on Masters. Show leg drops Masters and gets a two count thanks to Carlito breaking up the cover. Masters gets a shot in on Michaels and Carlito enters only to be met with a swinging neck breaker.
HBK gets stopped by Masters on the apron with a knee lift and Carlito gets a two count following a back breaker. Masters returns to the match and gets a near fall after a scoop slam. Michaels is taken down with a double snap suplex as well. Carlito taunts Show to get in the ring and that allows Masters to enter and double team HBK briefly. Masters keeps control of Michaels for several moments while Show is stuck not the apron stomping his foot. HBK gets the tag, but Carlito distracts the referee and that leads to a double team again. Masters powers Michaels up and hits a press slam before taunting the fans. Masters is going for the Master Lock but HBK avoids the hold and chops him before hitting a leaping forearm smash.
Michaels and Masters crawl to their corners and both men make the tag. Show cleans house with clotheslines and head butts. Show sends both men to the corner and hits a splash after waiting a moment. Carlito is sent over the top by Michaels and Masters is slammed down. Michaels heads to the top rope and hits an elbow drop! Carlito pulls HBK out of the ring and chop blocks Show to allow a double team and avoid a choke slam. Show delivers a double clothesline and choke slams Carlito while HBK super kicks Masters. Show covers Carlito and gets the three count. (**1/2. Not an awful tag match as they stuck to a formula that a lot of tag matches follow. A rather basic match but some solid action provided by the guys involved.)
Sixth Contest: Kerwin White vs. Eugene: I have very little interest in a singles match between these two guys. Not that they aren’t decent in-ring guys, but rather because it’s been a long time since they had done anything worthwhile. Plus, this is right after intermission so it’s just filler before the two main event matches. This is just a brutally slow match with Eugene doing his not so funny anymore comedy routine. Kerwin chokes Eugene with his shirt while the referee was out of position. White nearly wins after a back suplex but it sounds like the fans are crapping on this match at this point. White knocks Eugene to the floor and delivers an uppercut while the fans are chanting boring towards the two guys. Eugene fights back with several strikes and a spine buster. Eugene goes for and hits the People’s Elbow but White kicks out at two. Eugene does an airplane spin and gets dizzy as does White who falls to the apron. Kerwin flips back in and avoids a Stunner but not a Rock Bottom! Eugene covers but White gets his foot on the bottom rope. White stops a charging Eugene with stuff animal and rips it apart. Eugene is heartbroken and rolled up to give White the win. (DUD. That was a brutal match to watch and the finish is just ridiculous on so many levels. Reasons like that finish are why I quickly soured on the Eugene character. Chavo is rather boring with his new character as he isn’t going to wrestle the fast pace style he had previously.)
Seventh Contest: WWE Intercontinental Champion Ric Flair vs. Triple H: It looks like Flair has a bandage on his forehead. Flair opens the match with several chops causing HHH to go to the floor where Flair goes to follow anyway and continues the chops. Flair sends Hunter shoulder first into the ring steps. HHH tries to get away by flipping over the railing but Flair continues his pursuit and sends HHH into the steps towards the bleachers. Flair backdrops Hunter over the railing back to the ringside area. Back in the ring, HHH stops the Nature Boy with a spine buster. HHH follows up with a knee drop and that might have opened up Flair’s cut. Well, if that didn’t the repeated shots to the forehead sure did. Yeah, Flair is busted wide open. HHH’s offense is very simple and mainly strikes to open the cut more. Flair is on the apron and is brought back in by Hunter with a suplex for a near fall. Hunter delivers another knee drop and taunts the fans afterward. Hunter has the figure four locked in right in the middle of the ring. Flair rolls over and reaches the middle rope. Flair avoids a figure four by kicking HHH to the corner chest first. Flair hammers away on HHH in the corner. Flair heads to the top rope and actually hits a forearm strike for a near fall! Flair follows up with a vertical suplex for a near fall. Flair continues with a chop block and locks in the figure four right in the middle of the ring! HHH gets out of the hold and they go to the floor where they continue to brawl with Flair sending Hunter back into the ring. HHH nearly wins with an inside cradle but Flair comes back with a stumbling back suplex but HHH kicks out. They start to hammer away on each other until Flair delivers a low blow to stop Hunter. HHH blocks a backdrop attempt and hits the Pedigree and wins the match. (**. Well, it was an okay match between two former friends, but the brawling just left a lot of be desired. Flair has never been overwhelming great when he has to do a lot of offense and that proved true in this one as well. After watching this match you’d never thought they had great brutal matches at Taboo Tuesday and Survivor Series.)
Main Event: WWE World Champion John Cena vs. Kurt Angle in a street fight: Angle takes Cena down quickly and locks in a headlock on the mat. Cena is shoulder blocked but comes back with a hip toss and scoop slam for a two count causing Kurt to bail to the floor. Cena shoulder blocks Angle a few more times and Kurt again bails to the floor. Kurt returns and delivers an uppercut to work over the champ. Angle has Cena on the mat with a waist lock as the fans are getting behind Cena. Angle takes Cena over with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Angle goes to the floor and gets the ring steps. Cena nearly rolls Angle up for a two count. Cena continues to get a few near falls. Angle fights back with a German suplex for a near fall. Cena hits a shoulder block and knocks Angle down a few times. Cena attempts the FU but Angle counters with the Olympic Slam and nearly wins. Angle has at the ankle lock on Cena but Cena breaks free and side slams Angle. Cena delivers a fist drop but can’t keep Angle down for a three count. Angle clotheslines the referee in the corner on accident and Cena drops Angle with the FU but there is no referee for the pin fall attempt. Angle hits Cena with a chain it seems like and covers but Cena kicks out. Angle grabs the ring steps and smashes Cena in the face but again only gets a near fall on the cover attempt. Cena drops Angle face first onto the ring steps but Kurt kicks out at two! Angle low blows Cena and grabs a chair from the outside but misses Cena and hits the top rope in turn hitting himself with the chair. Cena drops Angle with the FU and wins gets the three count. (**1/2. A standard main event to close the show. It felt like a quick main event but it was a rather disappointing match between these two. There matches in 2003/2004 seemed to deliver pretty well but since then they have struggled to put together quality matches. This one isn’t overly surprising since it’s just a house show. A house show with a big crowd in a market they go once a year, though.)
Nothing on the show was exactly thrilling nor would it be classified as being good, but there was a lot of average wrestling and aside from the Kerwin/Eugene match the show didn’t feature too many dull moments. It’s certainly not a show I’d been thrilled to watch had I spend some serious cash, but a nose bleed seat and $15 would have been suffice. Watching the show now was rather boring and I found myself easily distracted since nothing kept me invested.
Thanks for reading.