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Retro Wrestle Respawn – Random Velocity Matches #1

After looking at the debut episode of WWE Velocity last week, I decided that I would look for more matches from the show on YouTube. I enjoyed watching Velocity back in the day as it provided a stage for some of the less pushed Smackdown talent to have a chance to get some TV time and exposure. YouTube is full of fun Velocity matches, so over the next few weeks I’ll be picking matches at random and recapping them (Whilst also posting the links to give you a chance to view them yourselves should you wish)

5th of June 2004
WWE Tag Team Championships
Champions: Charlie Haas and Rico w/ Miss Jackie Vs Akio and Sakoda

Haas and Rico randomly won the titles on an episode of Smackdown and were doing the wacky mismatched partners deal. For instance, Rico and Jackie strut down a special run way for the match, whilst Haas can’t really bring himself to join in and has to walk down the regular ramp instead. Akio and Sakoda had debuted in 2003 as muscle for Tajiri but their bosses move to Raw in early 2004 left them without a purpose. Sakoda demands that Jackie gives him a spanking pre match, but it ends up being Rico instead because

Thanks, Cenk.

Anyway, Rico toys around with both heels before tagging in Haas for a double hip toss, which gets the champs a count of two. Sakoda causes a distraction and Akio is able to cut Haas off with a spinning wheel kick, before locking in a sleeper. Akio and Sakoda work Haas over in their corner, illegally double teaming when the opportunity presents itself. Haas fights out of a chin lock and makes the tag to Rico, who runs wild on the challengers with kicks. The challengers reply with a double enziguri, but Rico is able to kick out at two. Haas sneaks a blind tag and comes in with a German Suplex on Akio not soon after for the victory.

WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: CHARLIE HAAS AND RICO
RATING: *1/2

A tad too much comedy, but once it got down to the heat segment it was fine.

8th of February 2003
John Cena Vs Bryan Danielson

Before he was Daniel Bryan, Bryan Danielson worked quite a few matches on the weekend shows as enhancement talent. This match is a semi-famous one due to it being included in the Showcase mode on WWE 2K19. Cena was a heel at this stage in his career and had only just started doing his rap gimmick. Sadly there’s no rap from Cena prior to the match.

We have some mat wrestling to start, with Danielson working over Cena’s arm with an assortment of holds. Cena hangs with Danielson reasonably well on the mat and goes to a knuckle lock, which Danielson counters into a monkey flip. Unhappy by being shown up, Cena turns Danielson inside out with a clothesline before delivering a hard Irish whip into the corner.

Cena gets two off a back elbow before cinching in a bear hug. Danielson fights out of that and hits an enziguri before firing off some European uppercuts. Danielson knees Cena in the gut and follows with a big kick to the back for two. Wow, they actually gave Danielson a near fall there, that’s pretty awesome! Danielson makes the mistake of running at Cena in the corner however and ends up taking a boot to the face for his trouble before eating a Protoplex for the three count.

WINNER: JOHN CENA
RATING: **

Decent little match there, as Danielson was actually given a fair bit of offence before eventually getting polished off by Cena. Hey, maybe when these two have more experience WWE could book them in the main event of a major pay per view together? I’m sure that would be brilliant!

25th of October 2003
Nunzio, Chuck Palumbo and Johnny The Bull Vs Rey Mysterio, Billy Kidman and Ultimo Dragon

Wow, that babyface side is an All-Star collection of Cruiserweight legends! Dragon didn’t have an especially great run in WWE, being relegated mostly to Velocity and doing jobs whenever he made it to the main Smackdown show. Nunzio and Dragon start us out, with Dragon taking down his Italian foe with a leg sweep before bringing in Kidman for a double back elbow. Nunzio is able to tag out to Johnny, who ends up on the wrong end of a flying head scissors and a clothesline.

Palumbo gets involved however and attacks Kidman from the apron, which allows Johnny to cut him off. Palumbo goes to a chin lock but Kidman is able to fight out and then follows up with a dropkick to floor Palumbo. Kidman tries to make the tag but Palumbo pulls him back before delivering a big Samoan Drop for two. Kidman manages to counter a Palumbo powerbomb attempt into a rana and finally makes the tag to Rey, who runs wild on Nunzio.

Bull tries to help, but gets low bridged out by Rey. Palumbo also tries to interfere but Rey drops the dime to get rid of him. Rey sets Nunzio up for the 619, but Bull pulls his boss out of the way, which allows Palumbo to cut Rey off for the second heat period as we take an advert break.

COMMERICAL

Back from the break, The F.B.I are working Rey over in their corner. The heels make quick tags to stomp away on Rey whilst keeping a fresh man in the ring at all times. Josh Matthews on commentary think Rey is showing solidarity with the Italians by wearing red, white and green. That is until Michael Cole reminds him that is also the colour of the Mexican flag as well. The F.B.I continues to mug Rey in their corner, whilst the ref keeps the other babyfaces at bay.

Rey finally manages to counter a move from Bull and crawls to his corner to make the hot tag to Dragon. Dragon unloads on Nunzio with a kick combo and floors Palumbo and Bull with a dropkick and head scissors respectively. Nunzio grabs the ref to avoid more punishment, which allows Palumbo and Bull to run in and hit Dragon with an H-Bomb. Nunzio makes the cover from that but Kidman is able to break the count at two.

Heel miscommunication from Palumbo sees him clock Bull with an errant punch, which allows Rey and Kidman to run wild with a dropkick in the corner and a bronco buster. Rey tries to dive out onto Bull, but gets caught and rammed into the ring post ribs first. Palumbo sends Kidman outside as well, before clocking Dragon with a Jungle Kick for the Nunzio pin fall.

WINNERS: NUNZIO, PALUMBO AND BULL
RATING: ***

Good heel tag chicanery from The F.B.I there with a pretty hot closing sequence. Dragon’s offence and positioning was a bit off, but aside from that this was an enjoyable 6 man tag.

21st of September 2002
Shannon Moore Vs Randy Orton

Both men were babyfaces here but would eventually end up as heels by 2003. Orton would move to Raw and join Triple H’s “Evolution” faction, whilst Moore would become a “Mattitude Follower” and lackey for Matt Hardy Version 1.0. The opening mat wrestling segment ends as a stalemate, with both men shaking hands at its conclusion.

Moore delivers an arm drag before hitting a spin kick for two, which seems to annoy Orton somewhat. Orton replies with a snake eyes to the corner and heads up top with a cross body, but Moore rolls through for a one count. Orton pops up with a big clothesline and starts stomping away on Moore, showing signs of his eventual heel persona.

Orton rams Moore into the corner a couple of times before going to an arm bar to wear him down. Moore fights out of the hold and then grabs the ropes to block an Orton DDT attempt. Moore hits a dropkick and rolling neck breaker, but Orton is able to kick out at two. Moore gets a cross body from the second rope and covers for another two, as Orton looks to be in trouble.

Orton is able to catch Moore with a powerslam, but it only gets him a two count and he’s visibly frustrated. Orton sets Moore up on the top rope for a back drop, but Moore fights him off and follows with a twisting body attack for a near fall. Orton fights back however and hits the O-Zone (MVP’s “Play of the Day” move) which nets him the three count.

WINNER: RANDY ORTON
RATING: *3/4

Just a basic match here, which told a good story of babyface Orton getting more and more frustrated with his smaller and quicker foe. It was interesting to see the prototypical beginnings of Orton’s heel character here as well, as he celebrates his win and doesn’t go over to check on Moore.

1st of June 2002
Albert and Hugh Morrus

Ah yes, these two. For those not aware, Matt “Albert” Bloom and Bill “Hugh Morrus” DeMott were regulars on Velocity back in its early days. After slaving away for months in weekend purgatory, they both eventually got a chance on the main Smackdown roster in late 2002. Albert would make better use of the opportunity by reinventing himself as the “A-Train” and getting matches with The Undertaker at both WrestleMania and Summer Slam. DeMott didn’t receive as hearty a push however and he ended up transitioning to a role as commentator where he would call the action on, you guessed it, Velocity!

Morrus is the babyface here, and eats a few right hands from Albert before getting flattened with a body attack. Morrus replies with some open hand chops and big powerslam, but Albert is able to kick out at two. Albert fires back with a thrust to the throat and sets Morrus up for a superplex. Morrus is able to fight Albert off but, when he goes for a second rope axe handle smash, Albert takes him out of the air with a bicycle kick. Albert slugs away in the corner before locking in an abdominal stretch.

Sadly Gorilla Monsoon isn’t calling the action to complain about how he’s not applying the hold correctly. Albert sneakily grabs the ropes to intensify the pressure on Morrus, but the referee catches him and makes him break the hold. Morrus floors Albert with a pair of shoulder blocks before heaving him over with a release German Suplex for two. Morrus heads up to the top rope and comes off the turnbuckle with a big elbow drop for another two count. Morrus heads up for the moonsault this time, but Albert moves out of the way and there’s no water in the pool. Morrus is hurt from the missed moonsault, but his able to get a boot up to stop a charging Albert. Albert won’t be denied however and drills Morrus with a Baldo Bomb for the clean win.

WINNER: ALBERT
RATING: **

Decent big blokes match there, as they fought the match at a frenetic pace and left it all in the ring. Morrus coming off the top like that was pretty impressive. I think WWE missed a trick of not teaming him up with Mike Awesome and pushing them as a powerhouse team who could also fly. It probably would have gotten over, although Paul Heyman was booking Smackdown at the time so I doubt he was willing to do much with Awesome seeing as he left ECW high and dry in 2000 whilst holding the ECW Title.

16th of July 2005
William Regal Vs Chris Benoit

This match was quite the hot topic amongst the smark community around this time, as they basically let two long time veterans Regal and Benoit go out there and beat the humus out of each other on an episode of Velocity for no other reason than it would be a great match. Both men were actually babyfaces here and you can tell they’re jazzed to have a chance to cut loose. Benoit gets a nice surprise pop from the crowd, who probably weren’t expected to see a former World Champion working Velocity like this.

Josh Matthews mentions that Regal and Benoit had an excellent match at the 2000 Brian Pillman Memorial Show, which apparently went a long way to getting Regal a job with the WWF after his last run in 1998 had ended abruptly due to personal demons. Both men feel each other out to start, trading holds like the two supremely skilled grapple merchants they are. Benoit takes down Regal via the arm and Regal sells it as we take an ad break.

COMMERCIAL

Back from the break, Regal has Benoit in a knuckle lock and is trying to break Benoit’s bridge so he can pin his shoulders down. Benoit powers up and reverses the situation, but Regal nips up to get out of that, so Benoit clocks him with a big head butt to bust him open. Regal manfully struggles on despite the blood but ends up on the wrong end of a release Dragon Suplex for a double down. Benoit viciously works over Regal, trying to open up the cut, and delivers some nasty knees to Regal’s head.

Regal gets up to his feet but Benoit flings him across the ring with a release German Suplex. Benoit is slow getting up however, and this gives Regal a window to clock him with a knee strike and go for the Regal Stretch. Benoit makes Regal fight for every inch and eventually manages to grab the ropes to break. Undeterred, Regal goes to a cross face chickenwing, but can’t get his hands clasped, so he segues into a surfboard stretch instead. Regal turns the surfboard into an excruciating looking Dragon Sleeper, but Benoit starts fighting out of it as we take another break.

COMMERICAL

Back from the break again, Regal does the Johnny Saint counter to get a school boy, but Benoit is able to kick out. Benoit takes Regal down and locks in a Sharpshooter, but Regal refuses to submit and reaches for the ropes. Benoit drags Regal back into the middle of the ring but Regal continues to hold on and finally manages to drag himself to the ropes to break the hold. Both men used up a lot of energy in that struggle, but Regal is able to take advantage first by delivering some big knee strikes to Benoit before taking him down into a chin lock.

Regal tries for an underhook powerbomb, but Benoit is able to bridge out to counter it. Regal tenaciously holds on however and fights back up to drill Benoit with an underhook suplex for two. Regal keeps going for covers but Benoit keeps forcing his shoulder up, so Regal breaks out the heavy artillery with a dropkick for two. It’s such a shame that Regal had to retire, as I would have loved to see him get in there and wrestle someone like Minoru Suzuki. It’d probably be incredible. Regal tries for a Tombstone Piledriver but Benoit is able to counter it into a shoulder breaker before locking in the cross face for the immediate submission win

WINNER: CHRIS BENOIT
RATING: ***1/2

The multiple ad breaks took me out of the immersion a bit, but this was an excellent match and way above the usual standard for Velocity. What I liked about it was that is felt like a struggle between two men actually having a fight. Both men had to tussle and fight for every hold and move they performed. It didn’t feel like two men cooperating to put on a show, it felt like two men really going out there and wrestling one another. What I liked about it as well was that once Benoit got the cross face on, Regal tapped instantly, because that’s his finish and once it was on Regal knew he wasn’t getting out so he tapped right away to save himself the agony, just as you would in something like an MMA fight. Fantastic stuff, what a great match!

Well, that’s your lot for this week, I’ll see you all next week for more!

Whilst you’re here, why not read our review of Red Dead Redemption 2? Dom has given it a right seeing too and you can find out what he thought be clicking right HERE

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