Folks, we have developed the latest and greatest in wrestling technology. The Wrestle Randomizer 5000 is the most advanced randomizing machine in the known universe. It’s an efficient, brilliantly engineered device.
It cranks out a series of random matches from a random date. Across the world, across promotions, across decades.
You will not get to see it at work as it is stored in a secret lab protected by armed security. You will, though, get to see the results here.
We have run it for the first official time following a series of tests. After much processing and humming and blinking lights, the Wrestle Randomizer 5000 has chosen July 9. That gives us bouts from WWE, Ring of Honor, Japan Women’s Promotion (JWP), the NWA and the Midwestern indie promotion Adrenaline Ringside Wrestling to watch and analyze.
The Midnight Express vs. Danny Little and Ryan Wagner
NWA World Championship Wrestling (1988)
Every inch of this takes me back to my childhood: the film quality, the studio wrestling set-up, stars and jobbers existing on different planes.
This was a warm-up match for Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane before their big NWA US tag title match against The Fantastics at The Great American Bash. It’s supposed to show off how formidable and hateable they are, and boy does it do its job.
While The Midnight Express are known for their tag team cohesion and in-ring psychology, this bout gives us a chance to take in their ass-kicking skills. Eaton absolutely spanks a jobber who looks a fan the bookers threw into a singlet at the last minute.
There’s a nasty edge to all of Eaton and Lane’s offense. They eat up the lesser competition with sadist pleasure. The one-finger pin is….chef’s kiss.
This is also a match that gives youngers fans a reminder that Jim Cornette was a highly effective motormouth manager before he was a miserable git.
Mayumi Ozaki vs. Dynamite Kansai
JWP Thank You (1992)
Ozaki and Kansai are two of the toughest, most intimidating wrestlers of all time. For fear of getting walloped by either one, I’m nervous to type out how underwhelming this was.
There were some violent and intense moments, from Ozaki rattling off forearms to Kansai returning fire. Some of the grappling has a nasty edge to it. The smaller Ozaki brings some maliciousness to many of her kicks.
Overall, though, there is a lot of empty space between the highlights.
They grapple on the mat for a lot of the bout. Not all of it as dramatic as you’d like to see.
The story they are trying to tell is clear—two fighters grinding each other up as their animosity simmers. It’s just not either Ozaki or Kansai’s finest work.
If you like what either does here, seek out Ozaki’s hardcore styling with FMW and Kansai’s battles alongside Ozaki in AJW or their street fight against each other in 1995.
This does get a boost in rating because they grab each other’s hair and glare at each other after the bell. Hair-pulls over handshakes every time.
CM Punk vs. Roderick Strong
Ring of Honor, Escape from New York (2005)
It’s an interesting trip back in time to see Punk as a red-hot heel and ROH’s public enemy number one. The barely-tatted Punk is great at being a dick here. I can appreciate the art of his heel work, but I didn’t enjoy it per-se.
There are a lot of headlocks and Punk avoiding Strong, it whips up the crowd but doesn’t lead to much action.
Mostly, this is a bout that stays in first gear.
It’s all crisp and well done, but you’ve seen far better Roderick Strong matches and you’ve seen far better CM Punk matches.
You get to see Punk’s bare ass for a good minute or so. Not sure if that sways you one way or another.
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
WWE SmackDown (2013)
Taped on July 9, Aired on July 12
In the midst of a really good match, I found myself wondering why I drifted from WWE. This is good wrestling, I thought. Then all of WWE’s worst tendencies hit me in the nose and jogged my memory.
Heading into the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, two of the men competing in the event’s big ladder match face off here.
Orton is his usual smooth self. Sheamus’ hard-hitting style rocks. These dudes have nice chemistry. They start to ramp things up in the middle and the race for victory gets intense.
Big yes to all of that.
But the commentary is so focused on promoting the PPV that Sheamus and Orton gets ignored for long stretches. Most of what Michael Cole says is about the upcoming ladder match, not the one on the screen.
And just when the drama reaches its highest high, WWE inserts a bunch of other guys in service of hyping the PPV. Sheamus or Orton getting a big win isn’t enough of a story.
Instead, Daniel Bryan runs in, smacks both guys with a ladder and makes this a no-contest. Then Christian runs in and everyone is climbing the ladder to grab the MITB briefcase for a “symbolic” win as Cole explains.
The match is a means to create a moment. All the action is the precursor. The real goal is the image of Orton holding up a trophy that has no value.
Wade Evans vs. Max Holiday
Adrenaline Ringside Wrestling, Summer Games (2022)
I’m walking in blind to this one. I’ve never seen either wrestler or the promotion. That’s always an exciting feeling.
It’s like popping in a random movie off a streaming service with no idea if you’re about to see wet garbage or some hidden gem you’ll hold dear.
The lighting and camera quality is better than your usual low-rate indie, so I’m hopeful out of the gate. Then a dude with a Bane mask on appears as Holiday’s second. My expectations lower in a hurry.
The announcers do a fine job of setting things up for us; Holiday is part of a group called Scumbag Army who is in a feud with Evans and The Workhorses (who are very much not menacing despite their best efforts).
Evans and Holiday are two beefy men. The latter seems like the far better worker. He wallops Evans all over the place until he hurts his hand, opening the door for his foe to work over that appendage.
A solid in-ring story starts to play out, but only briefly. Then it’s all distractions and sneak bodyslams behind the ref’s back. Holiday holds off the cheaters amid the milquetoast level chaos.
The match is about four and a half minutes long but tries to be an epic. Doesn’t work for me, brother.
Side note: I don’t think I spotted a non-white person in the audience.
The Wrestle Randomizer 5000 has done its job. It gave us good wrestling. It gave us forgettable wrestling. It led us to times and places in the wrestling universe we may not have traveled to otherwise.
The great machine now rests and resets, until we run it once more.