Before The Camera Rolls: Volume #3
This installment features a lot of Brock Lesnar getting some tryouts for the main roster. Lesnar battles the likes of Albert and Randy Orton! Plus, Jeff Hardy competes in a singles match against Ron Waterman.
Match #1: Rico & Steven Richards vs. Ron Waterman & Randy Orton
Date: November 13th, 2001
Reason Reviewed: This is an example of seeing a veteran in Steven Richards working with three unexperienced workers and seeing what he can put together.
Rico and Orton kick off the match with Rico hitting a shoulder block. Orton comes back with a head scissors a couple of times to control the match. Waterman gets tagged in and Rico backs away tagging in Richards. Waterman yanks Richards down to the mat by his head. Waterman hip tosses Richards out of the corner to keep control and tags in Orton who came off the top with a double axe handle. Orton continues his offense with a dropkick. Orton goes to the ropes and Rico pulls the ropes down to cause Orton to crash to the floor where Rico rams Orton back first into the apron. Richards takes Orton over with a snap suplex and Rico enters to work over Orton with strikes to the back. Orton is double teamed with a double suplex and Richards controls Orton with a full nelson. Richards connects with a side Russian leg sweep for a two count and tags in Rico. Rico power slams Orton and goes to the top rope missing a moonsault!
Waterman and Richards gets tagged in with Waterman running over Richards with clotheslines and a backdrop. Ron works over Rico in the corner with elbow strikes and plants Richards with a spine buster for a two count. All four men are brawling in the ring at this point. Rico and Richards clothesline their opponents and Rico spin kicks Waterman. Richards dumps Orton to the floor and slaps Waterman as Rico holds him. Richards goes for a super kick and hits Rico on accident. Waterman press slams Richards for the win. (*1/2. Nothing to great of a match or anything, but the guys looked like they at least knew what they were doing. Waterman had a few moments where he looked a little lost, but it was kept basic and they worked it fine enough.)
Match #2: Ron Waterman vs. Jeff Hardy
Date: November 20th, 2001
Reason Reviewed: I don’t believe I’ve seen Ron Waterman compete in a singles match before. He is a guy who got a lot of attention in various wrestling magazines growing up. I’m thinking Jeff Hardy bumps around enough for him to make for a good match.
Waterman starts off showing off his strength by tossing Hardy to the canvas. Waterman takes Hardy down to the canvas but Hardy quickly regroups to get to his feet. Ron goes for a power bomb but Hardy counters with a hurricanrana. Hardy comes off the ropes and is met with a clothesline. Waterman continues to work over Hardy with strikes in the corner and Hardy crashes to the canvas after hitting the turnbuckles hard back first. Waterman tosses Hardy with an overhead suplex for a two count. Waterman slams Hardy for another near fall. A few fans are chanting “Hogan” towards Waterman since he kind of looks like him. Waterman clotheslines Hardy again for a two count. Ron keeps Hardy on the mat with a modified STF but isn’t able to get a submission. Hardy avoids Waterman managing to send him to the floor. Hardy baseball slides Waterman to knock him to the floor. Hardy continues with a slingshot cross body to the floor! Hardy ducks a clothesline and clotheslines Waterman. Hardy goes to the top and hits the Whisper In The Wind after avoiding Waterman in the corner. Hardy wins with a Swanton Bomb. (*1/4. Waterman isn’t very impressive at all. At least Hardy kept the crowd into it, I guess.)
Match #3: Albert vs. Brock Lesnar
Date: November 20th, 2001
Reason Reviewed: Several years later I recall these two having a match in NJPW that got plenty of hype. It’s interesting to see how Lesnar worked with main roster guys before his debut. Plus, Albert being a trainer now and seeing how handled young talent should be interesting to see. I think this could be a good big man match, too.
Oh, this is when Albert was kind of a dancing fool with Scotty 2 Hotty. Neither man is able to get a control of the match as they locked up and just staggered in the ring. Lesnar runs into a back elbow and Albert scoop slams Lesnar followed by a big splash for a two count. Albert elbows Lesnar but Lesnar takes Albert over with a belly to belly suplex showing off his strength. Lesnar hit a middle rope shoulder block to knock Albert down. Albert clotheslines Lesnar and stomps on Lesnar in the corner. Albert misses a middle rope splash and Lesnar sends Albert chest first into the corner followed by several shoulder rams to the back. Lesnar takes Albert over with a back suplex for a two count. Lesnar is annoyed with only managing a near fall and puts Albert in a chin lock. Albert reaches the ropes and Lesnar is forced to break the hold. Lesnar quickly drops Albert with a clothesline and delivers a knee shot to the lower back. Albert sends Lesnar face first into the middle turnbuckle and delivers a big boot. Albert continues by running over Lesnar with a shoulder block for a two count. Albert connects with a running bicycle kick. Lesnar elbows a charging Albert but gets finished off by a Baldo Bomb. (**. A decent match between these two big men. I might check out their Japan match to see them in a more serious situation.)
Match #4: Randy Orton vs. Brock Lesnar
Date: November 27th, 2001
Reason Reviewed: So much for their SummerSlam match being their first ever encounter, right? This was an easy one to check out considering they both became two of the biggest stars WWE has to offer these days.
The screen is a little shaky and there’s no sound due to there being an issue with the satellite feed. Lesnar rams Orton into the corner back first very quickly but gets kicked away by Orton. Orton avoids Brock in the corner and hits a dropkick followed by several stomps and works on Brock’s left arm briefly. Lesnar tosses Orton with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Orton arm drags Lesnar out of the corner and keeps control with a cross arm breaker. Lesnar shows his power managing to power bomb Orton with one arm. Lesnar works over Orton in the corner with shoulder rams in the corner and a back breaker. Lesnar hits a running power slam into the corner and puts Orton in the tree of woe. Lesnar stomps away on Orton and chokes him upside down. Lesnar goes to the floor and pulls back on Orton’s head before returning to the ring. Lesnar rams Orton into the corner after ducking a clothesline. Lesnar continues to work over the lower back of Orton with shoulder strikes. Lesnar drives Orton down with a back suplex for a two count. Brock controls Orton with a camel clutch but isn’t able to get a submission. Lesnar catches Orton but is sent into the corner and Orton hits a swinging neck breaker. Orton goes to the top rope and hits a flying cross body for a near fall. Orton nearly wins with a backslide soon botches a rollup attempt out of the corner for a two count. Lesnar stops Orton with a power slam and that’s good enough for a three count. (*1/2. The action wasn’t all that incredible, but you can see how these two are promising wrestlers in the system for WWE.)
Match #5: Brock Lesnar vs. Rico Constantino
Date: December 4th, 2001
Reason Reviewed: Brock is the obvious answer, but also because Rico has shown to be a really capable wrestler that I’m not sure he was ever able to showcase when he became so flamboyant on the main roster.
Lesnar drives Rico into the corner and sits him on the top turnbuckle where Rico is prepared to block any strikes and instead leaps off to hit a dropkick! Lesnar misses a splash and gets kicked a few times. Lesnar pulls Rico down by his hair a few times but Rico pops up. Rico gets caught on a cross body attempt and Lesnar hits a press slam. Lesnar rams Rico back first into the corner and chest first across the ring into the corner. Brock connects with a back suplex but pulls Rico up on the cover attempt. Rico takes Lesnar down with a rollup for a two count and gets elbowed by Lesnar. Brock hits an awful looking dropkick as Rico was too close after running the ropes. Brock scoop slams Rico but misses an elbow drop. Rico punches Brock followed by a dropkick and a spin kick to stop a charging Lesnar. Lesnar comes back with a running power slam for the win. After the match, Lesnar picks Rico up and hits another running power slam. (*1/2. A really short match and I’m almost certain that Lesnar has never thrown a dropkick again after this match. Rico seems like a good guy to use to get other bigger names in the system over.)
That wraps up this installment of the series. The next installment will feature the following matches.
Perry Saturn vs. Jon Heidenreich
Michael Modest vs. Donovan Morgan
Island Boys vs. The Haas Brothers
Lita vs. Jazz
Tajiri vs. Funaki
Thanks for reading.