Date: October 7, 2005
Stipulation: Winner gets a Cruiserweight Championship title shot at No Mercy
Roster (7): Funaki, Juventud Guerrera, Brian Kendrick, Paul London, Psicosis, Scotty 2 Hotty and Super Crazy
My choice for this update was going to be one of two matches. Either an X-Division Royal Rumble type match from 2004 TNA or this 7-man battle royal from Velocity. While the TNA one had some pretty cool spots and LA Park was there, I didn’t find there to be all that much to talk about. Velocity, on the other hand, gives me an excuse to talk about Tazz and his best commentary.
Velocity was a wonderful shelter away from Vince McMahon’s meddling, especially in the commentary sense. Just about everything terrible on WWE commentary these days is because of McMahon talking into Lawler and Cole’s headsets. Cole burying the roster, Lawler making jokes about Vickie Guerrero’s weight, the blatant fake laughter as a way to insist that Hornswoggle is so damn funny are all McMahon’s doing. At the same time, there’s always going to be the D-list show that he gives zero shits about, meaning he doesn’t find himself micromanaging. These days, that would be NXT.
That means you got a show that featured awesome matches alongside Tazz and Josh Matthews talking about God knows what. Their banter was absolutely weird, but entertaining as all hell. Did you know Tazz hates the solar system? Tazz can’t stand the solar system.
Unfortunately, I found that Tazz isn’t doing commentary for this match. Ah well. That doesn’t change his stance on the solar system, though. This is during a nearly forgotten time in WWE history where the Raw/Smackdown roster separation was in such full swing that they had PPVs that were independent from each other, outside of the usual big shows like Wrestlemania and Survivor Series. You can tell because Josh Matthews is trying to hype up a PPV match that involves Simon Dean.
At the time when the Cruiserweight division is healthy, the champion is Nunzio, heeling it up with Johnny the Bull as his enforcer. Interesting thing here is that of the seven guys involved in this #1 contender battle royal, three of them are in the same stable. Super Crazy, Psicosis and Juventud are the Mexicools, one of the all-time most racist gimmicks in professional wrestling.
As everyone makes their way to the ring, Nunzio and Johnny the Bull show up to watch the proceedings. The bell rings, everyone starts pounding on each other and over the next few minutes, it becomes apparent why I enjoy this one more than the X-Division showdown. With the bigger ring, these guys have more room to do their thing and it’s far less sloppy. Every elimination as well as plenty of spots are incredibly crisp and easy on the eyes.
Amidst the chaos, the first elimination comes from Brian Kendrick as he and Psicosis go back and forth with some high-flying offense and counters. Out of nowhere, Kendrick forces Psicosis into the ropes, steps back and then lariats the HELL out of him to the outside. Despite Kendrick’s size, Psicosis makes him look like a Serpentor-style clone made out of JBL, Stan Hansen and Nigel McGuiness’ DNA.
Now we’re at an even number and we get everyone pairing off. The next elimination comes a few minutes later when Funaki tries to do a Tornado DDT on Super Crazy. It doesn’t work out for him.
Kendrick throws Scotty out, but Scotty skins the cat and comes back in. Super Crazy sees this from the other side of the ring, runs around the others and nails him immediately with a clothesline, finishing the job. We’re down to four men in the form of two tag teams. London whips Juventud at Super Crazy, who instinctively backdrops him over the top. Juventud saves himself and is notably pissed at his apologetic partner. It’s okay, though, as Super Crazy gets his.
The final three fight it out and Kendrick and London have no problem going at each other. There’s not much of a team-up aspect here. Just a couple minutes of sweet every-man-for-himself action only with less gravity involved. Kendrick sends Juventud into the corner and does one of those running backflip moves, only London sees it coming, dashes over and shoves him in mid-air, sending Kendrick flying. London shrugs at his buddy as Juventud stands in the opposite corner, pointing at his final challenge.
This is a little over a year before Undertaker and Shawn Michaels had their legendary finale to the 2007 Rumble, so it was still pretty new to see the finalists in a battle royal have a lengthy back and forth tussle where either side can win. As Nunzio watches in amazement, London and Juventud are completely evenly matched. Lots of cool spots that lead to the two both staring up at the lights at the same time.
The final moments come from the two fighting in the corner. London tries to throw Juventud out, but he holds on, powering through London’s kicks. He tries suplexing London out, but London saves himself and the two brawl on top of the corner post, both in danger of an easy elimination. Superplex and powerbomb attempts go nowhere and London ends up stomping down on Juventud, trying to drive him to the floor. Juventud gets up onto the apron, the two collide and both wrestlers hang with both hands on the top rope. As they dangle, London keeps swaying and kicking Juventud in the stomach.
Juventud simply picks his spot.
Juventud wins and goes on to defeat Nunzio for the Cruiserweight Championship at No Mercy. Juvi would lose and regain the title over the next couple months and unfortunately get released in early January. Apparently, he didn’t listen when they told him not to keep doing that flippy move that broke Paul London’s face.
Tune in tomorrow as we see the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection that didn’t work out so well.