Review - "605 The Reunion" PPV
So with nothing better to do last night, I ordered this one up, hoping that this would be the next "Heroes of Wrestling" in terms of laugh-out-loud comedy. The good/bad news? It wasn't.
The "605" by the way, refers to the 6:05 start time for WCW Saturday Night on the Superstation years and years ago; unfortunately, they couldn't use anything with a WCW name for legal reasons. So in other words, a bunch of semi-retired guys and people that TNA hasn't (or in two cases, hadn't yet) picked up. Sounded like a train-wreck waiting to happen on paper. Oh, and this took place from the Hard Rock Cafe in Universal Studios, Florida, so I was really hoping for some "TNA Idiot Fanboy" participation.
First thing, the commentary was VERY good for something like this, well exceeding what I expected. Lance Russell hasn't lost a step from his WCW Worldwide days, including his patented "Therrrrrrrrre he goes" comments, etc. Jim Cornette was on top of his game, even if his jokes are as stale as the Jerry Lawler joke book. The other two, Ron Niemi and Corey Macklin, weren't great but weren't terrible, either.
The producers of this show were smart in that they put the shittiest matches on first, and kept them super-short. Absolutely nothing wrong that formula, if you have two work with aging wrestling legends to begin with... Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the opening featured some of the skankier, lesser-known Nitro Girls.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Nikolai Volkoff (with Iron Sheik)
Hey, since when did Nikolai ever work for WCW? Sheik and Volkoff are doing the foreign terror gimmick, yet Nikolai is wearing his USA/Russia flag jacket, and Shiekie has his WWE Hall of Fame T-Shirt on. This match is over in just a couple of minutes, thankfully. Duggan won. Hooooooooooooo!
Rick Steiner vs. Mr. Jones
Jones is Virgil, though I guess they can't announce him by any of his myriad nicknames. Yet the ring announcer (David Penzer) still calls him Virgil. Sweet! I should point out that, for old times sake, Doug Dillenger is head of security, and the referees are Earl and Brian Hebner. Anyways, Steiner (wearing a T-Shirt the entire match) wins with a clothesline in like two minutes. Again, the right decision here.
Koko B. Ware vs. Disco Inferno
Anyone else remember this classic WCW feud? Yeah, me neither. Disco looks pretty much the same, while Koko has green hair, an airbrushed "Frankie" T-Shirt, a white jacket, his High Energy taxi sweatpants and white gloves, quite the fashion statement. Cornette comments that Koko probably ate Frankie - hey at least they're having fun with out of shape some of these guys are. Koko wins in another short-ish match, though the crowd is into this one, to be fair.
Superfly Jimmy Snuka vs. Greg Valentine (with Jimmy Hart)
Pre-match, Hart, Valentine and some Test-wannabe named DNA have an interview in which Hart claims that "DNA is the newest member of our brand-new organization!" Huh? And Jimmy Hart is wearing a baseball cap, a sure sign that The Mouth of the South's hairline is going North. Anyways, after all that, DNA doesn't accompany Valentine to the ring. Did he, like, get lost in the 10 seconds between the promo and the ring entrance?
An okay match, and both are in okay shape, but nothing special. The finish was kind of screwed up, though, as the referee (and then security guards) stop 'Fly from splashing Jimmy Hart, and then the match just kind of ends. What the fuck? So after all that, DNA comes out and points at Snuka, as if that match is EVER going to take place (or another PPV by these guys). Oh, and shouldn't they be calling this 11:30 The Reunion, considering most of these have Saturday Night's Main Event rematches?
Eddie Colon (with Carlos Colon) vs. Vampiro
Eddie is the son of Carlos who isn't Carlito, though I can see some facial similarities. This match truly embodies WCW. Oh, wait, it doesn't. Still... you know what? This was a very good match at times -- both Eddie (whom I'd never seen wrestle before) and Vampiro had their A-Game on. Vampiro won. Oh, and Eddie came out to Chavo Guerrero's old music -- I guess Jimmy Hart kept the rights to a lot of his old songs, as they're in full force here...
Jake The Snake Roberts vs. Kamala (with Friday)
They show the classic Memphis intro video for Kamala (although without the awesome "KIMALA!" voiceover. Kamala still looks exactly like he did 20 years ago. Jake, not so much. Cornette comments that Jake has lost weight and is in great shape? Time to get new specs, Corny. Well, he DOES look better than Heroes of Wrestling, and appears to be less drunk/stoned than from that fiasco. Nothing special here. Kamala loses by countout, fleeing the ring when the snake came out of the bag. Yeah, okay. Oh, and this was another SNME rematch, for those keeping score at home.
Bruno Sammartino comes out next to thank the crowd and LORD is he looking old. Then Dory Funk and Mike Graham, who thank Sammartino profusely for coming to this show. Then J.J. Dillon comes out with David Flair and Tully Blanchard (who likes like the 60 year old next door neighbor who's always working on his lawn; his hair is now a grey horseshoe). This sets up:
Dory Funk and Mike Graham (with Bruno Sammartino) vs. David Flair and Tully Blanchard (with J.J. Dillon)
Yeah, I have very little to say about this match. I mean, it wasn't horrible given that the average age in the ring here is 83. But it was nothing special either. Sammartino wallops Dillon at the end, and the faces (really old faces) get the win.
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Kanyon
Hey, an actual WCW match at the WCW reunion!! Its actually a decent brawl, going in and out of the ring. Both guys could still put on a decent show in either of the big two. This went on slightly long (maybe 15 minutes) but it wasn't bad. DDP won with the diamond cutter.
Post-match, both guys are exhausted and Page cuts a "shoot" promo, saying to Kanyon "I heard this rumor about you. I gotta know - are you gay? Not that there's anything wrong with that" I swear - that's pretty close to how he put it! Real sensititive, Page. You couldn't have waited till you guys got backstage to ask him that if you "had" to know? Anyways, Kanyon looks like he's going to cry, and then finally admits to the two people who still care about this that yes, he IS the "first openly gay athlete who's still active and fought Diamond Dallas Page at the 605 Reunion PPV" or something dumb like that. DDP calls him "the toughest gay SOB he's ever met" or something lame like that and they raise each others arms. The crowd kind of boos. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Bullet Bob, Steve and Brad Armstrong (with Jim Cornette) vs. Dennis Condrey, Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane (with Bobby Heenan)
Another WCW classic! I didn't even know Heenan and Cornette were feuding; guess I don't watch enough ROH.... Anyways, this one is decent but a little long. Heenan, who looks like he REALLY doesn't want to be there tonight, tosses the tennis racket into the ring to give the 400-year-old Bullet the win over the Ancient Express. Ehhh.
Buff Bagwell vs. Scott Steiner
Hey, another LEGIT WCW match, although not really what you'd want a main event to be. Both guys do mic work to open things up. Mistake! Steiner has unknown woman with him who never even gets introduced. This one is about as good as you'd expect from Steiner and Bagwell - again, definitely not main-event material. Steiner wins in just a few minutes after submitting to the Steiner Recliner. Hey, it was better than Bagwell/Booker T; I'll give it that...
Post-match, Steiner invited unknown valet into the ring, then HE leaves and she's about to get clobbered by Bagwell when the show suddenly goes off the air. Now THAT part reminded me of Heroes of Wrestling.
Would I recommend this PPV? No, simply put. But credit to the producers for avoided a Heroes of Wrestling scale disaster. If this promotion "World Wrestling Legends" puts on some more shows, it wouldn't be the absolute worst thing in the world.