This installment features Kurt Angle, John Cena, Shelton Benjamin, Kanyon and Shark Boy!
Match: Kurt Angle vs. Meat (Shawn Stasiak)
Date: August 9th, 1999
Reason Reviewed: Should be rather obvious that this is getting reviewed because it’s one of the first matches Angle had in the WWF.
Angle takes Meat to the canvas with a headlock and comes off the ropes with a shoulder block. Meat kips up and soon drives Angle down to the mat with a neck breaker. Meat continues to work over Angle with right hands and rams Angle face first into the corner. Meat runs into an elbow in the corner and Angle comes running out with a clothesline. Angle continues with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Meat connects with an F5 but has Angle land in front of him. Stasiak stands over Angle taunting him before delivering right hands. Meat hits a snap suplex for a near fall. Angle tries to fight back but is met with an eye rake and stomps in the corner. Meat drives Angle down with a side slam out of the corner for a near fall. Meat controls Angle on the mat with a headlock. Angle ducks a clothesline and goes for a sunset flip. Meat punches Angle to avoid being taken down to the mat. Meat drives Angle face first into the corner and follows up with right hands. Meat scoop slams Angle and slowly heads to the top rope. Meat gets crotched on the top by Angle. Angle takes Meat down to the mat with a superplex! Angle delivers a flurry of right hands a forearm strike. Angle follows up with a backdrop and a power slam for a two count. Terri gets on the apron and Angle soon misses a charge in the corner. Meat plants Angle with a reverse DDT for the win. (**. It’s actually not a bad dark match, though the crowd was kind of flat for it until Terri got on the apron. Angle showcased some good offense and Meat wasn’t too bad in there, either. The argument could be made that this was Stasiak’s biggest win in a singles role in hindsight.)
Match: Prototype (John Cena) vs. Scott Vick
Date: June 10th, 2002
Reason Reviewed: As I’ve noted before, there was apparently a lot of buzz around Scott Vick to possibly be a big star for the WWE. Prototype ended up doing pretty well for himself.
Vick shoulder blocks Prototype but is quickly controlled with a headlock. Jacqueline is actually the referee for the match. Vick lands on his feet for an attempted hip toss. Vick goes back to working over Prototype with a headlock. Vick nails Prototype with a spin kick for a near fall. Vick misses a splash in the corner and Prototype knocks him down with a clothesline. Prototype stomps away on Vick and chokes him on the mat. Prototype sends Vick hard back first into the corner. Prototype chokes Vick over the middle rope and kicks the rope against his throat. Prototype clotheslines Vick for a near fall. Prototype takes Vick over with a snap suplex for another two count. Prototype keeps Vick on the mat with a sleeper hold. Vick comes off the ropes but is met with a spine buster for a near fall. Vick stops Prototype with a jaw breaker and ducks a clothesline to deliver right hands. Vick backdrops Prototype followed by a belly to belly suplex for a near fall. Vick springboards off the middle rope to back elbow Prototype for a near fall. Prototype runs into a big boot in the corner but hits a twisting side slam for the win. (**. Another rather decent dark match. Vick showcased some good agility and Prototype had developed a good heel attitude to get the crowd involved a little bit.)
Match: Prototype (John Cena) vs. Shelton Benjamin
Date: June 17th, 2002
Reason Reviewed: Prototype is an entertaining heel character on these dark matches. Shelton Benjamin went on to have a good career and it’s fun to watch early career stuff.
The ring announcer is actually put on camera because it’s a tryout for him. Who is the ring announcer you ask? Well, it’s Justin Roberts. He ended up working for the WWE for over ten years. Prototype quickly goes for a go-behind but Benjamin takes him down to the mat and Prototype quickly gets to the ropes. Prototype gets out an arm lock by backing Benjamin into the corner but Benjamin delivers an arm drag. Prototype hammers away on Benjamin and comes off the ropes with a shoulder block. Benjamin takes Prototype over with a hip toss and a fireman’s carry. Benjamin works over the left arm of Prototype but is met with a clothesline. Prototype works over Benjamin with stomps and a forearm strike after sending Benjamin into the ropes. Prototype takes Benjamin down to the mat with a delayed vertical suplex for a near fall. Prototype keeps Benjamin on the mat with a sleeper hold but Benjamin breaks free with a jaw breaker. Benjamin backdrops Prototype followed by a hip toss. Benjamin pants Prototype with a spine buster for a near fall. Benjamin runs into a big boot in the corner and ducks a clothesline. Prototype blocks a kick but Benjamin swings his leg to deliver a kick anyway. Benjamin misses a splash in the corner and Prototype nearly wins with the spinning side slam. Benjamin counters a suplex by driving Prototype face first into the canvas for the win. (**1/2. They really got the crowd invested into the action and this was a fun five minute match.)
Match: Billy & Chuck vs. Shelton Benjamin & Randy Orton
Date: February 18th, 2002
Reason Reviewed: When I first saw this match as a possible match to review, I thought that Billy and Chuck could carry Benjamin and Orton to a solid tag match. They appeared to get over seven minutes of time, so this could be pretty decent.
Chuck and Orton kick off the tag match. Orton ducks a clothesline and goes for a rollup but only manages a near fall. Chuck gets control of Orton’s left arm and decks him with a right hand. illy tags in and is met with a drop toe old. Benjamin gets tagged in and Billy is double teamed with a double elbow shot. Billy works over Benjamin in the corner with jabs. Billy comes off the ropes and is hip tossed by Benjamin followed by a dropkick for a two count. Chuck knee lifts Benjamin from the apron but is punched. Billy drives Benjamin down with a neck breaker and Chuck continues to work over Benjamin with a spinning right hand. Chuck puts Benjamin over the top rope and kicks Benjamin to the canvas. Chuck rams Benjamin face first into Billy’s boot in the corner and Benjamin is double teamed thanks to Orton distracting the referee. Chuck tags back in and keeps Benjamin on the mat with a chin lock. Chuck knee lifts Benjamin coming off the ropes and punches Benjamin into the corner. Chuck runs into a big boot from Benjamin in the corner. Shelton tries to tag out but is stopped by Chuck holding his boot. Benjamin spin kicks Chuck and both men are on the canvas. Billy gets tagged and so does Orton. Orton cleans house with right hands a clotheslines. Orton dropkicks Chuck and hits a middle rope leg lariat on Billy. Orton comes off the top rope hitting a flying cross body on Billy for a two count as Chuck broke up the pin. Benjamin and Chuck brawl until Chuck backdrops Benjamin to the floor. Billy finishes off Orton with the Fame-Asser. (*1/2. Not really that good as it was fairly basic. I will say that Orton displayed more moves in this one match than I think I’ve ever seen him use. It’s clear he found a pattern and just stuck to it throughout his career.)
Match: Kanyon vs. Shark Boy
Date: March 11th, 2003
Reason Reviewed: I’ve been a big Chris Kanyon fan dating back to his WCW days. His offense was always fun and he tried new things all the time. Shark Boy is an interesting character and was popular on the independent scene. Oddly, it’s one of matches I’ve been most interested in watching for this series.
Kanyon is brought to the ring by Jackie from Tough Enough. I’ve never heard of any kind of association between them. That might have been an OVW thing. Kanyon is getting a lot of heat from the crowd, probably the most I’ve seen in these matches. Boy works over Kanyon with a hammerlock turned headlock. Kanyon stops Boy with a shoulder block. Kanyon backs Boy into the corner and is met with right hands from Boy. Kanyon misses a clothesline and is kicked in the gut. Boy dropkicks Kanyon into a corner and plays to the crowd. Kanyon beats on Boy with a few strikes and taunts him by making a shark taunt. Boy bites the butt of Kanyon around the ring. Kanyon misses a clothesline and Boy hits a neck breaker for a two count. Boy splashes Kanyon over the middle rope but is tripped by Jackie. Kanyon gets up and hits an Attitude Adjustment before it was famous. Kanyon hammers away on Boy in the corner. Kanyon clotheslines Boy in the corner dropping him to the canvas to keep control of the match. Kanyon baseball slides Boy gut first into the ring post. Kanyon nearly wins with a side Russian leg sweep turned cradle for a near fall. Kanyon keeps Boy on the mat with a sleeper hold for a few moments.
Boy attempts a hip toss but Kanyon counters with a neck breaker. Kanyon heads to the top rope and misses a moonsault. Boy heads to the top rope and hits a missile dropkick for a near fall. Boy counters a wheelbarrow attempt in the corner with a bulldog for a near fall. Kanyon cuts Boy off with a forearm shot and puts Boy over his shoulder before hitting a forward slam for a near fall. Kanyon puts Boy on the top turnbuckle but gets knocked off to the canvas by Boy. Kanyon staggers to his feet and Boy hits the Deep Sea Drop! Boy has the cover but Jackie puts Kanyon’s boot on the bottom rope. Kanyon plants Boy with the Flatliner for the win. (***1/4. Holy smokes that was an enjoyable dark match. Kanyon was great here and got the best crowd reaction I’ve seen thus far. I’m not sure how or why he wasn’t on TV.)
The seventh installment of this series will see me cover the following matches:
– AJ Styles vs. Rick Michaels
– Kidman vs. Funaki
– Brock Lesnar vs. Rico
– Brock Lesnar vs. Funaki
– Stevie Richards vs. Matt Cappotelli
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.