Before The Camera Rolls: Volume #2

Sometimes action is just for the live TV audience and not for everyone at home.

Chris Chetti gets another tryout in a match against former ECW tag team partner, Nova. OVW Southern Tag Team Championships are defended! Plus, Randy Orton in action against Rico!

Match #1: Chris Chetti vs. Nova
Date: March 20th, 2001
Reason Reviewed: They teamed together in ECW and I’d imagine have some decent chemistry together. I seem to recall Nova getting some serious attention from the WWE to be a star of the future for them, but that never panned out. In the description of the video, it says that Chetti signed a developmental deal with WWE before the end of ECW, but I don’t remember that.

It appears that both guys are known by the crowd, with Nova getting a bigger pop and showing more intensity and charisma. They trade wrist locks in the opening moments of the match. Nova gets out of a head scissors quickly. Chetti elbows out of a waist lock and dumps Nova to the apron. Nova comes back in and arm drags Chetti a few times. Nova kicks Chetti to get out of a full nelson and basically misses a swanton coming off the ropes. Chetti boots Nova in the corner and plants Nova with a reverse DDT. Chetti drops Nova with a series of kicks and gets a two count. Chetti continues to work over Nova with strikes and a scoop slam. Chetti heads to the top but misses a leg drop. Nova hammers away on Chetti followed by a running dropkick. Nova pummels Chetti in the corner and delivers another kick. Nova drives Chetti down with a sit down power bomb but Chetti kicks out at two. Chetti drives Nova down with a Death Valley Driver and that’s good for a three count! (**. I thought it was a little sloppy and they didn’t work a style that I think fans were expecting and thus it took them a little while to get the crowd to react to their moves. Chetti earning the win was a surprise.)

Match #2: Tommy Dreamer & Billy Kidman vs. Bobby Roode & Kingman
Date: March 18th, 2002
Reason Reviewed: Mostly to see how Roode has developed as a performer over the past 15 years. He’s still just about two years away from even arriving in TNA. I’ve never heard of Kingman before.

Dreamer and Roode kick off the match trading hammerlocks until Dreamer takes Roode down with a fireman’s carry. Of course, the fans chant ECW for Dreamer. Dreamer comes off the ropes with a shoulder block and hip tosses Roode followed by a scoop slam. Dreamer decks Roode with a clothesline. Kidman enters and performs the Hart Attack on Roode for a two count. Kidman completely botches a hurricanrana and gets power slammed for his troubles. Kingman tags in and works over Kidman with overhand blows. Kidman head scissors Kingman and decks Roode off the apron. Kidman runs into a big boot and Roode tags back in. Roode gets a two count after a double forearm shot. Roode pummels Kidman in the corner with right hands. Roode rams Kidman into Kingman’s boot in the corner. Kingman botches a power slam on Kidman but recovers to perform the slam. Kingman with another power slam and covers Kidman with one arm. Kingman runs into a big boot in the corner. Kidman comes off the middle rope with a dropkick. Dreamer gets the tag and hammers away on Roode followed by a power slam. Dreamer takes Kingman down with a side Russian leg sweep. Dreamer spikes Roode with a DDT but Kingman breaks up the cover. Kidman runs over and takes Kingman over the top to the floor. Roode kicks Dreamer in the corner but Dreamer comes back with a sit out spine buster for the win. (*1/2. Kingman must be a really green wrestler because he came across really sloppy. Roode did well in the match and seemed far more prepared than his partner.)

Match #3: Minnesota Stretching Crew vs. BJ Payne & Shooter Schultz
Date: April 16th, 2001
Reason Reviewed: I mostly wanted to see Brock Lesnar and Shelton Benjamin teaming up together very early into their careers.

Benjamin and Payne kick off the match with Benjamin getting the advantage with an elbow strike and an arm drag. Lesnar gets tagged in and takes Payne over with a double suplex. Lesnar tosses Payne across the ring with a hip toss. Payne stops Brock with a jaw breaker and Shooter enters to hit a back suplex. Shooter ducks a clothesline but gets caught on a cross body and Lesnar hit a fallaway slam! Benjamin tags in and elbows Shooter but Shooter gets the advantage with several strikes. Payne tags in and attempts a backdrop but Benjamin lands on his feet and hits a super kick for a two count. Benjamin gets tripped by Shooter and eventually power slammed by Payne. Shooter tags back in and drives Shelton down with a back breaker and a side slam for a two count. Payne plants Benjamin with a twisting gut slam but the cover is broken up by Lesnar. Benjamin plants Payne with a spine buster to get momentum. Benjamin spin kicks Payne and Lesnar gets the hot tag cleaning house with clotheslines and a power slam on Payne. Shooter breaks up the cover and all four men are involved now. Lesnar hits a back breaker on Shooter and Benjamin hit a 450 splash but only gets a two count as Payne broke up the cover. Payne attempts a power bomb but Benjamin counters with a DDT. Lesnar goes to the top rope and hits a shooting star press! (*1/2. A really basic match for all four men. I’m fairly certain that this was when Lesnar was convinced to not do the move again until a big moment like WrestleMania 19 where he almost broke his neck. Lesnar and Benjamin really came across like stars here far more than their opponents.)

Match #4: Rico Constantine vs. Randy Orton
May 14th, 2001
Reason Reviewed: Within a year of this match both men would be on WWE television. Rico has been able to show his in-ring ability instead of his charisma like he would when he was just Rico with Billy and Chuck.

Rico elbows Orton in the corner and delivers a few chops to keep control. Orton comes back with a kick and several stomps followed by a right hand. Orton knee lifts Rico in the corner and hip tosses him followed by a dropkick. Orton actually did a dropsault dropkick landing on his midsection. Orton drops Rico across the top turnbuckle face first. Rico drop toe holds Orton into the middle turnbuckle and slams Orton down by his ankles. Rico continues to stomp on Orton followed by a kick to keep Orton on the canvas. Rico backdrops Orton and tosses him back first into the corner. Rico drives Orton down to the mat with a back suplex. Rico delivers a few knee strikes to the upper back but only gets a two count. Rico side slams Orton for another two count. Rico clotheslines Orton in the corner and taunts the fans. Rico power slams Orton and gets a two count. Orton knee lifts Rico but misses a clothesline and Rico spin kicks him. Rico heads to the top rope but is stopped by Orton. Orton tries to go for a superplex but Rico punches him off and misses a top rope moonsault! Orton decks Rico with right hands and an atomic drop. Orton clotheslines Rico followed by a backdrop and a running forearm smash. Orton nearly wins after a tilt a whirl back breaker. Orton wins the match with a wheelbarrow German suplex. (**. Orton really got over by the end of the match it seemed like. It was an average match but both men were solid in there and I was interested throughout.)

Match #5: Minnesota Stretching Crew (Brock Lesnar & Shelton Benjamin) vs. OVW Southern Tag Team Champions Disciples of Synn (BJ Payne & Damian)
May 15th, 2001
Reason Reviewed: This is actually a title match for the OVW Southern Tag Team Championships. So, that’s kind of unique to see for a dark match.

Tony Chimmel messed up the introduction as he stated that Synn and Damien would be wrestling when in fact Synn is the manager of the team. Benjamin and Damien kick off the title match with Benjamin getting the crowd into the match. Damien shoulder blocks Benjamin but gets kicked to the canvas for a two count. Benjamin spin kicks Damien right on the chin before tagging in Lesnar. Lesnar delivers an elbow drop to the back for a two count. Damien eye rakes Lesnar and gets tossed across the ring a couple of times with suplexs. Lesnar hip tosses Damien across the ring again before tagging in Benjamin. Damien gets slammed by the challengers but Payne comes in and power bombs Benjamin to get the cheap advantage. Payne takes Benjamin over with a power slam. Payne continues to work over Benjamin with right hands and tags in Damien. Damien clotheslines Benjamin in the corner followed by a bulldog out of the corner. Payne plants Benjamin with a nice DDT and chokes Benjamin over the bottom rope. Payne takes Benjamin over with a snap suplex. Payne drives Benjamin face first into the canvas. Damien heads to the top rope hitting an elbow drop and tags in Payne. Payne drives Benjamin down with a twisting slam for a two count as Benjamin breaks up the cover. Benjamin comes back with a sunset flip on both guys. Lesnar gets tagged in and clotheslines the champions. Lesnar power slams Payne for a two count. All four men are in the ring with the challengers controlling the action. Lesnar has a sleeper hold on Payne and Synn tries to use some spray. Lesnar ends up slamming her to the canvas. Lesnar sprays Payne and Benjamin hits a slam on Payne. Lesnar comes off the top to hit a shooting star press and they win the tag titles. (**. So much for that whole not using the shooting star press, huh? That must have been later on and I just can’t remember. I thought it was a solid tag match. The focus was seemingly alway son Lesnar and Benjamin. WWE must have figured those two were stars in the making.)

That wraps up the second installment of the series. But, don’t worry there is plenty more coming. On the next installment the following matches are scheduled to be covered.

– Rico teaming with Steven Richards to battle Ron Waterman and Randy Orton.
– Jeff Hardy steps into the ring with Ron Waterman.
– Brock Lesnar appears in singles action against Albert.
– In what would eventually become a dream match for some, Randy Orton battles Brock Lesnar.
– Brock Lesnar competes against Rico in singles action.

Thanks for reading.

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