Tag Archives: Jeff Hardy

Spaceman Frank’s Top 10 WrestleMania Moments: #1 – Human Demolition Derby

by Frank Lucci

Welcome to Spaceman Frank’s Top 10 WrestleMania moments! Rather than just create another generic Top 10 list, I will be discussing the greatest moments from WWE’s biggest show of the year and explaining why I consider them the cream of the crop. This is based on in-ring quality, storyline quality, meta quality, as well as my own unique bias. Be prepared to read about triumph, heartbreak, and above all else, some truly unique moments in this unique form of entertainment.

The Moment: TLC II, WrestleMania X-Seven

While writing out this list I have seen some amazing moments in wrestling. I have seen moments that crowned careers and rejuvenated others, I have watched legends go out in a blaze of glory, and I have seen matches that will never be seen again. So how do you top legends, icons, and five-star performances? You lay it all on the line to make a statement, and that’s what happened at WrestleMania 17 with TLC 2.

This match has it all – including death-defying stunts that WWE has wisely chosen to avoid in recent years. You have kayfabe stakes as all three teams are willing to throw themselves off ladders and through tables just to get the Tag Team Championships. It seems inconceivable that WWE would ask tag teams in 2017 to do the same to this degree, which just goes to show how important it was to have any belt in this era. You have meta importance of six men trying to elevate themselves and make them stand out among the Rock’s and Stone Cold’s of the day.

One of the biggest outcomes and legacies of this match is the fact that in the years since half of the people involved have won the top prize in WWE, and five out of six won world championships if you include TNA titles (poor Devon Dudley, but last place here is being half of the most decorated tag team in history and a behind the scenes role in today’s WWE is not too shabby). Finally, you get an emotional roller coaster as you watch three teams that endured themselves for their fans to cement their status as the future of the industry in a match that was never seen before or since.

I could give a blow by blow of this match, but words cannot do justice for what transpires. I cannot fathom how nobody was seriously injured here (besides Spike Dudley who lost a few teeth), and even more amazing  it is that half these guys are still wrestling today. Hell, Edge was the first to retire, and that was a solid decade after this car crash of a match.

The only complaints I have this match are purely aesthetic. There are three extra people that make run-ins during the match, which is three too many. Second, instead of a video package we get shots of production people pulling out ladders and tables for the match, which does not exactly sell people going in cold why they should care. Also, I wish commentator Paul Heyman would be a little biased towards The Dudleys and Rhyno, or at least mention that he was their boss in ECW and sell them more as the killers they are.

Instead of immediately going for crazy spots, everyone builds up slow here. It starts off with some brawling, and the first big spot involves Jeff using his brother as a springboard to dropkick Edge off the ladder. The Hardys then do a tandem splash/leg drop on Christian off the ladders, and it makes sense that the daredevil brothers would be the first to go to extreme lengths to hurt their opponents. Edge and Christian are the cowardly heels and The Dudleys are more likely to just hoof you through a table, so Matt and Jeff setting the bar in terms of extreme risk first is a nice piece of psychology.

The Dudley’s take control, and it’s up to them to set up the toys for future spots later. They make the four table stack as well as three ladders in the center. Soon enough all six men are on the ladders and as flashbulbs go off all six take a dive. A special mention goes to Christian for falling completely out of the ring and view, making it look like he may be the first real-life casualty of this match.

Now we get to the run-in portion of the match. Even these Superstars have gotten a certain amount of respect for their involvement in this legendary match. Spike Dudley is out first, delivering a Dudley Dog to Christian through a table on the outside. Spike is one of my Boys as the excellent OSW Review defines them (one of your favorite wrestlers who never won a world championship), so seeing him get involved always makes me happy. Rhyno is up next to destroy people much more effectively, and being the smart cookie/ future Michigan House of Representatives candidate that he is, he wisely drags his compatriots towards the ladder he sets up in the center of the ring. Finally, to the biggest entrance pop (including for the people actually in the match) comes for Lita, who jogs awkwardly to the ring.

At this point things go too fast to recap properly and you just have to watch it unfold. It is beyond belief what these guys do here, and another special mention goes to Jeff Hardy for being involved in the biggest spot of the match. Sure, he failed in his big leapfrog spot involving three ladders, but considering he jumped off a giant ladder to the floor through two tables about 90 seconds before, I will let it pass. Edge hits the most perfect spear of his career in midair, sickeningly spiking his own head into the canvas. The match almost ends anti-climatically as Christian grabs the belt as Devon just kind of stops trying to climb the ladder.

Somehow everyone walks out of this match, moving gingerly around the debris and human bodies left around the ring. I’m not sure how these six men did it, but they survived something that could have gone much, much worse. Above all else, at the end of the Attitude Era WWE established a future crop of main eventers that not only WWE, but other wrestling companies would rely on for the next decade. Sure, they had to put themselves through hell during this match, but what would you pay to punch your ticket to immortality?

To get to the top of an industry that had just shifted seismically in the wake of WCW and ECW folding, the six men here did what they needed to do to prove they were just as worthy of that spotlight of the legends already in it. For paving the way of the future, delivering something never before seen or replicated, and the physical toll that even the stoniest of hearts can appreciate makes TLC 2 my favorite WrestleMania moment of them all.

For more of Spaceman Frank’s antics, check out Spacemanfrank.com and listen to our pro wrestling podcast, Manopera!

Advertisements

Manopera! Episode 25: CWC Finale, Delete or Decay and Backlash 2016 Review

wwe-backlash-dean-ambrose-aj-styles-wwe-network-645x356

Chris and Spaceman Frank discuss the Cruiserweight Classic finale, TNA’s Delete or Decay and the revived WWE Backlash pay-per-view.

Spaceman Frank Calls The Final Deletion

13549502_250117728701008_181635530_n

by Frank Lucci

The world sat in amazement as Matt and Jeff Hardy dropped the now infamous contract signing video for their Full Metal Mayhem match at TNA’s Slammiversary Pay-Per-View, but that proved not to be the final chapter in this feud.

For you see, “Broken” Matt Hardy challenged Brother Nero to another match – this time at the Hardy estate that would be shown on what turned out to be the most-watched episode of TNA Impact during their Pop TV run. What follows is 17 minutes of pure nonsense that Spaceman Frank cannot possibly ignore. This is….THE FINAL DELETION!

Like all good wrestling videos, this one begins at a children’s birthday party. The child in question is Maxel Hardy on his very first birthday, and parents “Broken” Matt and (probably not broken) Reby Sky celebrate with their admittedly cute baby. Constant scene stealer/gardner Senor Benjamin shows up to deliver with gift (an “EXTRAORDINARY” xylophone) and question Matt’s mental health.

We’re roughly two minutes in and already several quick questions arise. One: Why did they set up this elaborate birthday party when only three people showed up? Two: Every parent will tell you that musical gifts, while they seem like a good idea, become positively evil in the hands of a toddler (Good luck trying to do anything listening to that kid bang away on that xylophone for hours on end). And three: What’s with the El Generico balloon??? He’s helping orphans in Mexico, Matt!!! I know you’re broken but come on!

Reby Sky asks where Matt’s gift is (despite the big gift labeled “From Mommy and Daddy” right behind him). Rather than simply turn around and give the kid his present, Matt decides to answer by standing up and turning 90-degrees to face the camera instead of his spouse. He declares that his gift will be destroying the “evil enigma” Jeff Hardy and expunging him from the Hardy line. The broken one breaks the fourth wall to let everyone know they’re filming this so that it can be “documented for historical purposes.” He then orders Senor Benjamin to prepare the battlefield…FOR MASSACRE!

This is already better than Savage vs. Steamboat at ‘Mania III.

See?

Meanwhile, Jeff Hardy skips his nephew’s birthday party to make lawn art (Maybe that’s why Senor Benjamin turns on him later, bitter and enraged that Jeff does his own lawnscaping instead of hiring him. The tale of Senior Benjamin has many layers.) We get a faux-Terminator style filter and booping noises to let us know that a drone is looking for Jeff. Hilarious pause button jokes include labeling Jeff’s Twist of Fate as phony and his various aliases Jimmy Jack Tompkins and “The Masked Mountain” (Please let there be a story behind these names). It turns out there’s not just one drone but a whole fleet, but Jeff quickly takes them out with his trusty acoustic guitar.

So that’s where TNA’s budget went…

Matt Hardy goes full Sith Lord by showing up as a hologram on one of the drones to make the match official (Funny how the hologram conveniently shows up behind a blue wall so that it would be easier to edit in). Jeff gives chase to Vanguard 1 (the head drone) on a dirtbike, while Matt takes this opportunity to be a dick and destroy Jeff’s lawn art (For Senior Benjamin!). Fun fact: Number of words said by Jeff Hardy at this point in the video -six (“What the hell?” and “Oh Hell no!”).

TNA sneakily adds a few ads letting people know that Impact is moving to Thursdays (probably to counteract WWE SmackDown! going live on Tuesdays). These are pretty lame and interrupt the excellent action. Moving on.

Senor Benjamin is preparing the battlefield for the aforementioned massacre, which includes getting a garbage can full of fireworks and digging a big pit by himself. Sky shows up to once again as Matt arrives with gasoline to dump into the pit. She seems slightly turned on by Matt and Senior Benjamin’s murder conspiracy. True relationship goals right there.

Six minutes in and we finally get to the wrestling (almost). A confused referee drives up to the ring, which is where we find Matt playing a terribly out of tune violin to “summon” Brother Nero. Matt issues a DNR order on Jeff, which is probably not legally binding. More hot nonsense as Matt says the violin he has was given to him by Antonio Stradivari (who died in 1737). Jeff shows up, just as Matt “knew” would happen. Before we get to the actual action, here comes a shameless plug from “Cowboy” James Storm to remind us that Impact is moving (You know, in case your mind has collapsed watching this and forgot the previous ad a few minutes ago). I feel like Matt found an actual copy of Robert W. Chambers’ “The King in Yellow,” which would explain his madness and the quality of this feud.

The Final Deletion finally starts at around eight minutes in with a church bell instead of a ring bell, which is actually kind of cool. What follows is action on par with Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit, (just kidding, the in-ring action is so choppy it’s hard to even consider it a real wrestling match). Clubbing blows turn into a superplex by Jeff, who then grabs a flimsy piece of wicker fence to throw Matt into (Seriously, all the shit under the ring and you go for that? Unless the ivy on it is poison ivy…take notes, Peyton Royce). The wicker spot only gets a two count, with the ref giving the “metal horns” two count hand sign to signify how much this match”rocks.” Matt counters with a Twist of Fate which only gets a two, probably because there are still several more minutes of “historical documentation” to go. Kendo stick and ladder shots follow. Matt chokes his brother with the ladder while yelling “DELETE” over and over again.

Jeff eventually rallies by hitting his famous Twist of Fate/Take shirt off/Swanton Bomb combo, but it only gets a non-metal two. What follows is one of the most infamous spots of the match, where Jeff climbs a tree for an epic Swanton which….does not go well at all. He misses Matt and clips the ladder, which gets a solid dent in it from the impact from his spine (Definitely a big “oh shit” moment in between some laughable stuff. I’m guessing Jeff took a few minutes to rest between takes on that one). The big spot still only gets a two (even though the music became somber and everything). Matt recovers and brings out a fireworks cannon, blasting it at Jeff (and probably setting the lawn on fire). Jeff blocks the legit dangerous spot with a garbage can lid and finally breaks double digits in terms of words spoken (“What’s wrong with you??”).

After the smoke clears (you know, so they could keep shooting) Matt goes looking for Brother Nero. In my favorite spot of the match, Matt finally drops the accent (or accents, considering how often it changes) and drop yells “OH SHIT” when he realizes Jeff found the fireworks gun. Brother Nero shoots vaguely at Matt, who takes cover behind a dilapidated boat (I guess he’s too good for the trashcan lid).

The ref finally starts showing concern for the participants in the match by asking Jeff if he submits to a sleeper hold. Matt emerges first after they fall into a pond but in a shocking twist (of fate) Willow Emerges! Jeff’s alter ego attacks Matt’s neck with a flag and our ears with his high pitched shriek. Senor Benjamin, pissed that these two idiots burned up his precious lawn with fireworks, tasers Willow (Side note: wouldn’t this also cause Matt and Senor Benjamin to get shocked since they’re all standing in a pond?) After stumbling around Matt finds Willow and gets the three count but another shocking twist (of fate!!!) reveals that WILLOW IS SOMEHOW SENOR BENJAMIN!!!

At this point I expect somebody to say “Three minutes,” Eric Bischoff takes off his referee mask and Jamal and Rosey beat everyone up. Kind of like a certain infamous WWE segment that did nothing for any of the parties involved and angered the LGBT community in 2002.

Yes, that one.

Anyway, the pinfall doesn’t count and Jeff just kind of shows up again so they can fit in the gasoline pit spot. With the sun beginning to rise (and the crew tired and wanting to go home) Jeff climbs a giant Hardy symbol. Matt gets Maxel’s birthday candle from Reby and lights the structure on fire (which looks like it should have set Matt on fire too. Three cheers for continuity, people!) and Jeff…just kind of falls off. Matt is nice enough to move his brother away from the flames before scoring the victory. The broken one poses and the video ends.

While it’s easy to see why this video has gone viral, hopefully TNA doesn’t put out more of these. There’s no doubt The Final Deletion is entertaining, but it walks a fine line between “so bad it’s good” and “so bad TNA shuts down.” We’ve already seen WWE try to do the same thing with The Wyatts vs. The New Day with terrible results and I don’t trust TNA to strike lightning twice. The Hardys and TNA should celebrate this accomplishment, but keep in mind that this is supposed to be about wrestling – and the actual wrestling portions of this video are pretty godawful. Watch this video for a laugh, but please God don’t make this type of wrestling videos a thing. Stick to the stuff inside the squared circle.

Manopera! Episode 21: Balor, Nakamura and the Wyatt Family Deletion

cngx73xwaaa5pds

Chris and Spaceman Frank analyze the infamous “Final Deletion,” The Wyatt Family vs. The New Day, Nakamura and Finn Balor’s epic encounter and way more in a heavy-hitting podcast.

 

Manopera! Episode 19: NXT TakeOver – The End (Sort of)

takeover-poster-e1465082064557

Chris and Spaceman Frank discuss NXT TakeOver: The End, Will Ospreay vs. Ricochet and the bizarre TNA Slammiversary angle between Matt and Jeff Hardy.

Spaceman Frank Special Report: Matt and Jeff Hardy TNA Slammiversary Contract Signing – The Movie!

g585836952622

by Frank Lucci

I don’t follow TNA, but still keep up with the various going-ons within the company (mostly to see the latest “LOLTNA” moments that they’ve become synonymous with).

On the latest episode of Impact we got perhaps the best example of why the company is subject to so many “going out of business” rumors. This Tuesday night, we got the epic mini movie for the contract signing between Matt and Jeff Hardy – a piece of cinema so great they put out a director’s cut for those needing to see even more of the intense Hardy acting. Naturally, Spaceman Frank could not help but deliver a blow-by-blow of this masterpiece.

– To kick things off we get opening shots of the Matt Hardy estate, one of which includes a sweeping crane overhead (Isn’t TNA broke? Did they spend their evening’s budget on this or did they just hire one of the Hardy’s friends to climb a tree with a camcorder? Also, who is the director of this movie? I suspect his name rhymes with Shmatt Shmardy).

– Seth Rollins’ dad welcomes us to MTV Cribs! Oh wait, it’s just a rough (and I do mean rough. Don’t do drugs or fall off ladders, kids!) Matt Hardy stepping out of his McMansion – complete with white picket front patio. The house and reality TV establishing shots totally do not line up with the sweeping orchestral score and Matt’s Hot Topic pirate garb.

– Matt invites “all of you, plus the world and Brother Nero,” here in an opening narration while he stands on his walkway making random faces with his arms up (Doesn’t the world pretty much count for everyone already Matt? Or is “all of us” the 33,000 plus people who have watched this YouTube clip?). Halfway through the narration it switches to Matt actually talking (probably due to a passing truck honking its horn during the first part of the speech). Did I mention Matt went from sounding like a good ole boy to putting on a faux posh accent for this movie? Now that’s ka-rayy-zyy!!!

– Jeff Hardy is riding his dirt bike around his admittedly sweet looking property (and smaller McMansion) before driving up to Matt’s (Two questions here. One: Are dirt bikes road legal, or this this how we figure out that Jeff is a rebel? And two: FOR GOD’S SAKE, WHERE THE HELL IS YOUR HELMET JEFF!?). Here come more crane shots of Jeff driving with a heavy metal soundtrack as he pulls up to Matt’s house, which hilariously has a big “H” on the front gate like he’s fucking Batman.

– Reby Sky (Matt’s wife) is there to meet Jeff, who mumbles something about it being a trap. Sky doesn’t have time for that though, because Matt is acting ka-rayy-zyy and she’s getting the hell out of here. Jeff is super upset about this, despite the fact that she’s getting her infant son out of the way of a “crazy” guy and is actually being a responsible human being. Jeff storms into the building, where Matt is playing piano – the craziest of all instruments (besides the piccolo). Matt gives another monologue about how this is not about the contract signing, but about how Jeff needs to see that Matt is solely responsible for the success of the Hardys (because it was Matt’s daredevil antics and good looks that lead to him becoming WWE Champion and having an amazing feud with CM Punk…oh wait…).

– Jeff responds by shouting a whole bunch (you know, to add drama). Honestly, despite Matt’s accent changing roughly every scene he’s a better actor than Jeff because he’s at least trying. Tommy…err, Matt decides that to settle this once and for all, the contract signing for their match at Slammiversary needs to happen at “the sanctuary of our genesis” aka an old ring in a barn. Epic music plays as Matt walks to the barn and stops to say hi to his gardener, which makes me immediately flash back to this infamous scene from “The Room” (below). Jeff ignores the gardener, most likely because he keeps getting smash-cut to different places.

– Matt’s in the middle of the ring, until Jeff storms the barn. As Jeff gets close enough to the squared circle Matt attempts to roll out of the ring but clearly has trouble doing so. Matt looks less than graceful here, especially with the contract and his coat flopping around audibly in the massive barn. A conveniently placed table is next to the ring and is literally the only other thing in this room. Matt signs the contract, but Jeff wants to get it on with “Big Money Matt” and his “sarcastic ass.” Anyway, the camera does a 360-degree shot of the two (or at least attempts it before the cameraman realizes he can’t go all the way around the brothers with the table being too close to the ring and then he just kind of starts going the other way). TNA: Combining immaculate storytelling with quality camera work for 14 years.

– Things get taken up another notch on the ka-rayy-zyy scale as Sky comes back and throws Jeff her baby, but it’s a fake (OH LAWD, SOMEBODY CALL SNITSKY!!!). Matt then blast Jeff from behind with some sort of green bottle – in this massive barn where we just established was completely empty aside from a wrestling ring and a table with a contract on it. This leads to the epic climax where Jeff takes a Side Effect off the ring apron onto the table – in slow motion. Honestly, the bump looks painful as the ground is concrete and the table is a regular roundtable that just breaks at the base instead of in half; but the slow motion effect kills this moment. Matt recovers and declares that “Brother Nero is over” as we fade to black.

Final thoughts: Wow…just wow. I really want to know whose idea this was. They could have filmed this at the Impact Zone on the cheap and it would have been much better. Smash style editing, hokey music, hammy acting and a nonsensical story makes this a hallmark of TNA badness. At this point, I’ve had my fill of TNA for the rest of year but chances are I’ll see Dixie Carter and company in 2017 when we get the sequel they’ll claim we “demanded.”