Impact, Indies, and Insanity: May 26, 2022

Tonight on Impact: the trio of Violent By Design face Josh Alexander and the Brothers Briscoe; AEW Frankie Kazarian walks through the door to take on Chris Sabin; Jordynne Grace battles Chelsea Green; it’s an Ultimate X Qualifier between Trey Miguel and Alex Shelley; Masha Slamovich gets her first real test against Havok; Raj Singh and Shera face Bhupinder Gujjar and unlikely partner W.Morrissey; and on the pre-show, Black Taurus takes on Laredo Kid.

Tonight, TNT has Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals between the Warriors (3) and the Mavericks (1).  Meanwhile, ESPN has a hockey doubleheader as New York (2) and Carolina (2) play a pivotal contest, while Edmonton (3) looks to go to Calgary (1) and seal the deal.

Let’s check out those indies, starting with a special tripleheader:

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Hoodslam: FTF X

Date: October 4, 2019
Location: Oakland Metro Operahouse, Oakland, California
Commentator: Joe Brody

This is from Hoodslam, and to give you an idea of what is going on here, one of the company’s mottos is “don’t bring your f****** kids”. In this case, the FTF stands for F*** THE FANS and this card features Drugz Bunny and the Stoner Brothers (Rick and Scott). I have no idea what I’m getting myself into here so let’s get to it.

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(No) Money in the Bank

WWE has officially moved the Money in the Bank show from Allegiant Stadium in Vegas to the smaller MGM Grand due to poor ticket sales. Is it safe to say WWE will be dead by Independence Day?
AEW sure didn’t have any trouble selling out without Cody.  Cody is the anti draw confirmed by SCIENCE. 

Jericho Society vs Blackpool Combat Club

Hi Scott. 

The Blackpool Combat Club is awesome. That's just a fact. But other than them having nothing better to do, why are they suddenly in a massive hardcore, anything goes type match with Jericho's team? 

They have done nothing to build up to this blowoff and haven't even been able to face a decent 3 man team yet?

Related side question: Is it true that the reason AEW have delayed the 6 man tag belts is because there is an agreement with Omega that he gets to introduce them or be the first holder? 

I can neither confirm nor deny but it would make sense.  
As for the BCC, I think this is a holding pattern until they can get the tag titles on them.  

If Bruno had stayed 1987-88


I hope you are well.  If Bruno Sammartino had not left the WWF in August 1987 could he have played a role in WrestleMania IV WWF Title Tournament?  The crowd at Mania IV would have been a Bruno crowd.   Would Bruno as Champ for one or two loops around the big markets have worked?  
With Randy Savage as I-C Champ on the B shows and maybe an Andre The Giant vs. Bruno confrontation in certain markets?

No, he was reluctant to even do the shows he did at the time.  He looked good for his age but clearly they’d be going backwards at a time when they were desperate to keep moving forward and erasing the past.  

Coliseum videos


Love the Coliseum rants.  Takes me back to renting the same 4 videos time and time again when I was a kid. 

In terms of a revenue stream. Was this lucrative for the Fed?

Oh for sure.  It was a huge secondary revenue source and also guideline to drawing power for a decade.  

The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 05.25.22

Hey, as usual if you want to help out the blog and order Double or Nothing on Fite.TV, the link above gives me a piece of the action.  And if you haven’t signed up for a FREE Fite.TV account yet, hit the link below to use my referral code and get $5 towards the price of a PPV order!

On with the show…

The SmarK Rant for AEW Dynamite – 05.25.22

Live from Las Vegas, NV

Your hosts are Excalibur, Tony Schiavone & Jim Ross

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Dynamite – May 25, 2022

Date: May 25, 2022
Location: Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone

It’s Double Or Nothing weekend and that means it is time to get in the last Dynamite before the pay per view. Therefore, we nee to find out who will be in the finals of the Men’s Owen Hart Foundation tournament, which should make for some interesting action both tonight and on Sunday. It’s also the third anniversary of the first AEW show so this should be good. Let’s get to it.

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The Wednesday Night Commotion Thread

… featuring Spaniels.

Tonight is the GO HOME DYNAMITE for AEW Double or Nothing! And it’s also the THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF AEW. (And they were supposed to be dead by Labor Day!) Not to mention the season finale for USA Temptation Island. I cannot imagine a greater night in the history of sports entertinment. Here is a run down of Dynamite tonight, courtesy of my Rampage report on the Wrestling Observer:

  • Kyle O’Reilly v. Samoa Joe in an Owen Hart Tournament Semi-Final.
  • Dr. Britt Baker v. Toni Storm in an Owen Hart Tournament Semi-Final.
  • FTR v. Roppongi Vice for the ROH World Tag Team Championship.
  • Jungle Boy v. Ricky Starks v. Swerve Strickland
  • Shawn Spears v. Wardlow in Steel Cage w/ MJF as referee.
  • Adam Page and CM Punk face off.
  • Not in my report is Jon Moxley & Bryan Danielson v. Private Party, but that has been added to tonight.

My report also has the current line up for Double or Nothing, which I won’t reprint here.

The real main event of the night is Hania v. Ash in their final bonfire on the season finale of Temptation Island, which is (I believe) HEAD TO HEAD with Hour 2 of Dynamite. So I’ll be watching on Peacock tomorrow. But, here is a preview of the final bonfire.

Talk about it all here!

New York Wrestling Connection Psycho Circus 17

Psycho Circus 17
Date: February 23, 2019
Location: NYWC Sportatorium, Deer Park, New York
Commentators: Christopher Andrews, Matt Striker

This is from the New York Wrestling Connection, a promotion out of New York (shocking I know) that has been around for almost twenty years. As is usually the case, I know nothing about the show coming in and that can make things fun. Granted I’m not sure how much fun a show called Psycho Circus is going to be but let’s get to it.

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What the World Was Watching: WWF Superstars – February 9, 1991

Vince McMahon and Roddy Piper are in the booth, closing out the television tapings in Huntsville, Alabama.

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Monday Night Raw – November 19, 2007

Monday Night Raw
Date: November 19, 2007
Location: Bank Atlantic Center, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Attendance: 7,000
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We’re done with Survivor Series and the big Raw story is that Randy Orton retained the Raw World Title over Shawn Michaels. That means Orton is going to need a new challenger and as luck would have it, the SAVE US deal is going to be revealed tonight. That could mean….ok even the fans are already chanting the name so this isn’t much of a surprise. Let’s get to it.

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Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Buddy Landel (and other Dream Matches)!

Mid-Atlantic Gateway: Buddy Landel Passes Away

“Mom, can we see Ric Flair?”
“We have Ric Flair at home.”

Welcome back to more Dream Matches! Today, we’ve got a wild mish-mash of WWF stuff, as we get the weird time when Buddy Landel was a regular WWF guy until an ice patch, not his own demons, caught up with him! And Buddy gets a shot against the WWF Champion, Bret Hart!

Then it’s the true debut of “Team Extreme”, as Matt Hardy takes on Essa Rios (w/ Lita), and Essa’s had enough of his manager! Then we have Marty Jannetty vs. The Repo Man as Marty gets ready to face Shawn Michaels at the Royal Rumble! There’s also an interesting jobber match, as the Steiner Brothers take on Al Green and a very young Mike Awesome! Vincent vs. Damian on WCW Saturday Night, as they continue to give VINCENT of all people a mini-push on that show!  Then it’s one of those throwaway Nitro spotfest matches, as Psychosis, La Parka & El Dandy take on future Dragon Gate guys CIMA Nobunaga, Tokyo Magnum & Judo Suwa!

(WWF Mania, Jan. 15th 1996)
* Yes, it’s the hilariously short time BUDDY LANDEL was in the WWF- an ill-timed injury slipping on ice ended this, what could have been his most lucrative run ever. Though he jobbed to Ahmed Johnson in like 45 seconds on PPV, so I don’t think they had high hopes for him. His “Ric Flair Wannabe” gimmick was in full effect, with fancy robes and he even used Flair’s WWF entrance music! This is actually taped before Buddy’s injury and aired after it- he was only in one-off WWF matches after this.

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Mike Reviews – All Japan Pro Wrestling at the Tokyo Dome (1st May 1998)

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Today we’re going to be looking at some matches from All Japan’s big show at the Tokyo Dome in May of 1998. I’ve had a peruse on YouTube and managed to find five of them, so that’s what we’ll be watching today. I’m not sure if the full card ever made it to TV or not. I could have probably found more but these five matches are enough to fill close to two hours and that’s more than enough for the Wednesday review slot.

All Japan had stayed away from running the Dome due to Giant Baba having a previous bad experience back in 1990 when he’d promoted a show also featuring stars from New Japan and the WWF. All Japan was probably past its peak by the time 1998 rolled around from the insane hot streak it had experienced since switching to clean finishes in big matches at the end of the 80’s, but they still had a big moment of Toshiaki Kawada finally getting his big singles Title win over Mitsuharu Misawa, along with Vader coming in from the WWF to work the semi-main.

Being that it was All Japan, they eschewed a lot of the bells and whistle that companies like New Japan put on whenever they ran a big show in a venue like this, and instead just presented a match focused All Japan show in front of a near 60,000 crowd.

The playlist for these matches can be viewed by clicking HERE

In a quick aside, according to the Wrestling Observer from this time period Paul Heyman was trying to arrange some ECW involvement to help All Japan fill out the card. He was basically happy for ECW guys to be booked and used in any way All Japan pleased in exchange for getting an ECW Title match between Shane Douglas and Hiroshi Hase where Hase would put Douglas over. Heyman’s thought process was that Hase would be fine with doing a job because he was basically semi-retired at this stage and he’d also be able to carry Douglas to a great match, thus allowing Paul to show the match on ECW television in order to make ECW look important. Sadly that deal never went through though and there’s no ECW involvement on this show as a result.

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Booking Formulas

Good morning Mr.  Keith.  Hope all is well and safe.  I'm officially footing for Edmonton as the only people who root for florida or carolina hockey teams are transplants from colder states. 

Anyway, as much as i love AEW and hope they grow, I find there are simple solutions to some of their issues, and in this case, the booking from 1 ppv to the next. And being a wrestling fan since the late 80s, i still find the best booking format was from Nxt Black & gold Takeover Era.  

6 ppvs/specials, 2 months was the PERFECT time between them.  Nothing felt exhausted, And they just revolved the talent matchups that every show felt like fresh showdowns. There was barely ever rematches. AEW has the talent pool to make this work with the 3 hours of weekly tv.

What was your favorite booking/writing formula, no matter how short it was?

Pretty sure we're hurtling towards a Colorado-Tampa final no matter what happens in the other series.
I still like 89 WCW.  A couple of big PPVs, a couple of big Clashes in between them to heat things up on free TV, and some solid TV from week to week. 


Hi Scott hope you are safe and well. I was reading an article where Flair was being critical of Savage for the way he worked. Flair felt Savage was not talented and could not improv a match, particularly Wrestlemania 3. I don't agree with Flair as I think you can work both ways as planning a match ahead or working by feel. With that being said, do you think Savage would have been a good Producer?  Also, was it a rib that Macho Man came out to pompom circumstance, yet Lanny wore the Cap and Gown when he became the Genius?

Yeah I saw that Twitter meme too. 

I don't think Savage would have worked very well as a producer because he tended to be an insane perfectionist and that doesn't lend itself well to teaching.  Maybe he could have booked?  

One Man Gang


In your 1982 reviews of Mid South, you note that OMG is very green and very not good. I seem to remember that by 1985 in Mid South, and then when he went to WWF, he was good enough for a big man. Was I just a mark in 1985, or did he significantly improve with time?
He got a lot better working with the guys he did.  That's how wrestling used to work!  But yeah, specifically by the time he was UWF champion, he was definitely a passable big man.