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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Showtime Allstar Wrestling TV Review - Episode 65

Courtesy of Larry Goodman:

Airing October 11, 2008 in Nashville on Comcast 74
Taped September 12, 2008 in Millersville, Tn at the SAW Mill

Opening with a brief Raven promo touting his SAW debut in 7 day. He was sitting in the forklift again. Raven said he was coming to hurt people, win titles and bring excitement. He better bring more excitement than these first two promos have.

Michael St. John and Reno Riggins did the stand up for what MSJ described as one of the most anticipated episodes of television in SAW history, Jerry Lynn’s final shot at Kid Kash with the SAW title on the line in a 30 minute Ironman Match. MSJ said we were going to talk to some of the fans and wrestlers about the match.

Cut to Hot Rod Biggs getting predictions from two fans. They both went for Lynn. Christina said Lynn would win because he was pretty. Nothing from the wrestlers.

SAW Summary: MSJ noted their shared past in ECW. He narrated clips from the three previous matches in this series. Their first encounter ended as 15+ minute draw. The second, with a one hour time limit, saw Kash used the banned piledriver for an intentional DQ. That led to a no DQ match in which Kash got counted out.

They put up a tale of the tape graphic during the intros. Kash’s record in SAW was listed as 112-2 while Lynn was 89-3, as if they had been wrestling 7 nights a week.

1 – 30 Minute Ironman Match for the SAW International Championship: Champion KID KASH vs. JERRY LYNN

A bare minimum of action in the opening minutes with Kash employing the tactics he’s used throughout this series – stalling, complaining and most of all, bating the fans. At one point, Kash pushed a fan into the wall as he was attacked from behind by Lynn. Later, he dragged a fan out of his seat and wrestled him to the floor (same guy he tore a shirt off of a couple of months ago). Lynn came out and scuffled with Kash. Kash tried to cut off Lynn’s reentry with an elbow drop, but came up empty. Lynn started working an armbar.

[Commercial break]

Kash stunned Lynn with knees to the gut and reversed into an armbar with a twist. Lynn kicked Kash off. Kash went back into stall mode. Back inside, Kash broke a test of strength with kicks to the gut and gnawed on Lynn’s hand. They traded punishing armbars with Kash using back rakes and more biting to gain the advantage.

[Commercial break]

Lynn locked his hands to block a cross armbreaker attempt by Kash, but came up grabbing his elbow. Lynn used a series of kneedrops to set up a mirror image cross armbreaker with Kash going for the block. Kash bit Lynn’s leg to break the hold. Lynn decked Kash with a forearm shot. Lynn rammed his shoulder into the turnbuckle trying to follow up on an Irish whip. Kash applied a short arm scissors. Lynn maneuvered into a pinning predicament to force Kash to release the hold. Lynn got back on the arm, so Kash went to the ropes. Lynn got two with a small package. With an armbar locked in, Lynn pulled Kash to ring center to prevent another ropes break. Kash reversed into an ankle lock forcing Lynn to the ropes. Riggins brought up Ken Shamrock. Lynn came up limping and immediately took Kash down with an armdrag.

[Commercial break]

Lynn was working a keylock, but Kash resorted to his pet counter move – biting. Lynn retaliated with closed fists. Kash looked spent. He pulled ref Kurt Herron down by his pant leg, and then caught Lynn off guard with a toss through the ropes. Cut to a close up of Lynn on the floor clutching his arm. Krull gave the 15 minutes gone call. Kash did a huge number on Lynn’s elbow here, stomping it on a chair and wrapping it around the ringpost. Back inside the ring, the dissection of Lynn’s arm continued for several minutes, punctuated by a series of leg kicks and a Kash lariat for a near fall. Lynn rolled out to the floor after Kash stomped his groin.

[Commercial break]

Kash rolled Lynn back into the ring and got back on the arm. Lynn fired up. Lynn started firing right hands. Lynn countered a body slam with a reverse DDT. Lynn sunk his teeth into Kash’s hand for some payback. Lynn with a pair of shoulder blocks and a flying lariat. Cover and Kash barely kicked out before the three. Lynn ate a back elbow charging into the corner. Kash climbed the ropes, but Lynn cut him off with a punch in the face. Lynn hit a top rope huracanrana and followed with the TKO for the first pin of the match (and this series) at 22:25. Lynn covered again. Kash kicked out and went to the floor to buy time. Lynn wasn’t having it. He nailed Kash with a baseball slide and then a rolling senton off the apron. Riggins said Lynn wanted to pad his lead. Lynn rolled Kash inside the ring. Kash crawled into the far corner, caught Lynn with a boot and pinned him with his feet on the ropes at 23:45. It’s 1-1.

[Commercial break]

Kash was staggering around at ringside trying to catch his breath. Lynn came out to rake Kash’s back and pound on his head. Back inside, Lynn went for the TKO, but Herron got clipped by Kash’s legs as Lynn went to drop him. Kash delivered a low blow and pinned Lynn at 25:28. Kash immediately pinned Lynn again to go up 3-1. Lynn was still in agony as he rolled out to the floor. Kash was feeling it now. He gave Lynn a beating on the floor. St. John said Lynn needed three pins in less than five minutes to win the title. Lynn reversed Kash sending his head into the post. 2 minutes to go. Lynn rolled Kash back into the ring and climbed to the top. Kash hit the ropes to crotch him. Kash hit a top rope huracanrana and Lynn rolled through for the pin at 28:45. They exchanged headbutts with both men sprawled on the mat. The announcers started talking like Kash had it won. Kash covered for a two count. Lynn kicked out of a sunset flip and folded Kash up but only got a two count. Kash went for another sunset flip, but Lynn sat down on it and hooked his legs to tie the score at 3-3 with 10 seconds remaining. Double knockdown on simultaneous haymakers as the time limit expired. Fans were chanting for five more minutes. Kash crawled over and grabbed the belt from Herron. Junior Official Jesse Fields had a talk with Herron, who took the belt away from Kash. Commissioner Morton had called for a sudden death overtime. Lynn got a pair of near falls before Kash knew what hit him. Kash pinned Lynn with his feet on the ropes, but Fields waved it off. Kash went after Fields and Lynn rolled him up again. Kash got in Herron’s face, and Lynn caught him with a reverse roll up, but Kash rolled through with a handful of tights. Lynn kicked out. Kash hit a german suplex. Lynn lifted his shoulder. Kash did not. Game over.

WINNER: Lynn 4-3 to win the SAW International Championship at 1:15 of Sudden Death overtime.

Riggins called it right away. Kash raised his hand, but Herron gave the belt to Lynn. Kash was furious to where he ended up being dragged away by security. Streamers and confetti dropped from the ceiling. The crowd gave Lynn a sustained standing ovation. Biggs and the babyface wrestlers came into the ring to congratulate Lynn. They replayed all of the falls in the match, then cut back to the ring for closing shots of the wrestlers and fans congratulating Lynn.

Closing Thoughts: In a word: disappointing. It wasn’t a bad match by any stretch. I was just expecting better. They had done such a beautiful job of setting the stage – three matches with neither man scoring a fall, really strong promos all along the way by both men, a great recap segment before the big finale. Surely, this would be the time when they pulled out all the stops. Instead, we got a match that looked like an extended version heir previous matches. The matwork and submissions were cool. They got the grueling effects of a long match across well, especially Lynn’s awesome job selling the elbow. I loved it that not once did Kash pin Lynn fair and square. But they never kicked it into high gear for more than the occasional short burst. I found myself agreeing with a lot of the points made in TVD’s review. Bating fans is one thing, but Kash attacking a fan in the middle of a championship match was ridiculous. It makes it tough to suspend disbelief with stuff like that. The layout of the final minutes was flawed. Based on his strategy throughout the series, it was completely illogical for Kash to be aggressively going for pins during the last two minutes. I didn’t have a problem with the Commissioner springing the sudden death stip on Kash. Considering that Kash had subverted the intent of every stipulation the promotion had put in place, it was poetic justice. But there had to be a better way to get there. The miracle babyface comeback was too predictable. Perhaps less early stalling and starting the pins before 20 minutes gone, then Lynn dramatically claws his way back to even the match with a few minutes remaining, then Kash shamelessly stalls out the clock thinking he’s put one over on SAW once again, only to find out differently. The second ref reversing the decision on Kash during the overtime was overkill. Besides, Lynn had already been victimized by that move once in the match. I liked Lynn winning by outsmarting Kash, since Kash thinks he’s so crafty. For the sake of making the babyface champion as strong as possible, I would have liked a clean undisputed pin or submission even better…Those preposterous win/loss records were hilarious. Then too, they claim Kash has defended the title all over Europe. I guess that stuff might fly in foreign syndication…The postmatch celebration with the replays, etc. was well done. They really let the title change sink and made it feel important. Overall, Kash/Lynn was a solid and very interesting program. Given who was involved, it almost had to be. But in the end, it was like several of SAW’s big storylines; the story turned out to be better than the match it was building.