Match Of The Day:
Kendrick & London (c) vs Regal & Taylor vs The Hardy Boys vs. MNM
Four-Way Ladder Match For The WWE Tag Team Championship
December 17th, 2006
I livetweeted this match and I completely forgot that this was THAT MATCH, in which one of the grossest injuries I have ever seen anyone sustain in the ring occurs. It’s a really really great match, but yeesh, poor Joey Mercury’s face.
The Brian Kendrick on The Price Is Right, 2011
One of the people included in this video is a WWE Hall of Fame Inductee.
The other is a professional wrestler.
Match of the Day:
Paul London vs Brian “Spanky” Kendrick
WWE Friday Night SmackDown!
January 5th, 2007
THE NIGHT SMACKDOWN GOT INDY-RIFIC
I’m a big fan of Brian Kendrick, Paul London and/or London & Kendrick. I think they’re both fantastic wrestlers, capable of working multiple styles, and perhaps just as importantly, they’ve got boatloads of charisma between the ropes. And, I won’t lie, I always kind of hoped someone would wisen up and tell those guys to run a full-on Bill & Ted gimmick.
To be honest, I never really understood their gimmick as Tag Team Champions in WWE - with their masks, baggy shorts and clown imagery, they looked a teensy-weensy too much like the unholy spawn of Slipknot and Insane Clown Posse. But despite that, as aforementioned, I really liked these guys, and I went nuts one Friday night when the two faced each other in a Beat the Clock Sprint on “SmackDown.”
Batista was holding the World Heavyweight Title, and the Sprint was being held to determine a new No. 1 Contender. It was pretty clear to anyone with a brain that neither London nor Kendrick ever had a chance of challenging for the title - not only were they already enmeshed in the Tag Team division, but neither seemed in line for a main event push.
Thing is, these guys were super, super talented, and you don’t need to look any further than their match together on “SmackDown” to see it for yourself. While the outcome of this match may not have mattered from a story perspective, I was immediately sucked into their 10minute back-and-forth, which utilized just the right blend of traditional pro-wrestling, lucha libre and puroresu. That’s because while neither guy might be a traditional main-eventer, they know their craft incredibly well, and were able to use a quick succession of near-falls, pin-combinations, mat-wrestling and even submissions to raise the drama to shocking heights.
What’s perhaps most impressive about the match is that it looked very little like your typical WWE-style contest, and more like a bout in Ring of Honor - full of fast-paced early pins, deliberately-paced submission reversals and bits of character acting to occasionally slow things down further. At the time - early 2007 - there was little less marketable in WWE than an indy-rific match between two guys with non-Herculean physiques. Fortunately, that’s not exactly the case anymore.
Today, CM Punk, an ROH alumni, has held the WWE Championship for a shocking nine months. Meanwhile, an even smaller, younger ROH graduate, Daniel Bryan, remains entrenched in the Main Event scene. When the two collide, they have the exact type of instant-internet-darling matches you would expect, but they also bring that type of match aesthetic to their other contests, whether they’re working with John Cena, Sheamus or even Kane.
I don’t know the exact reasons that London and Kendrick ended up parting ways with WWE, and I don’t care to rely on the Dirt Sheets or Shoot Videos to find out why. That said, I can’t help but wonder what type of careers they’d have up in Stamford if they’d just managed to hold out a few years until the tide started changing in favor of the type of grappling they bring to the table.
In other news, I was a way huger fan of The Brian Kendrick than I probably should have been. Remember when people thought that Ezekiel Jackson was the smart money in that combo? Sigh.
If this happened in ROH, you’d all love it.