Meekin On Movies On…Reality TV

The Unreality of Reality TV: An Opus

(Author’s
Note: As someone who has worked on his fair share of Reality TV, I
figured I could help explain the process that goes into making those
sorts of shows)

(Second Author’s note: The third part in the editing pro-wrestling series is on hold until I obtain the hard drive.)

Introduction

I’m
of the firm belief that reality TV is the new soap opera. It’s also the
new educational television. It’s also the new game show, geekshow, and
travel show.  As the world grows and changes and new forms of media and
entertainment obsolesce older ones, it’s becoming readily apparent that
audiences crave “reality”. “Pawn Stars” may be about history, but it’s
also about three tough-guys in Las Vegas. “No Reservations With Anthony
Bourdain” may be a travel show, but it’s also about one tough S.O.B’s
love of cooking, boozing, culture, and fun. “Keeping Up With The
Kardashians” may be a vapid, banal, and ultimately pointless show, but
it’s about four very real women who have very real lives and make very
real news.

But
how real is “reality”? Are Kim Kardashian and Co. secretly reading a
script outline before heading to shop for clothes? Has Rick from Pawn
Stars been told what he’s going to pay for a Civil War musket? Is
Anthony Bourdain’s attitude a function of the production? Well, the
question is complicated.

And I know the answer.

In
much the same way pro wrestling becomes infinitely more fascinating
once you’re “in the know”, Reality TV becomes a triumph of editing,
cinematography, directing and perhaps most importantly, producing once
you understand the process. It’s really easy to film a bunch of people
doing things and call it a reality show. It’s incredibly difficult to
coordinate meetings, locations, camera crews, and audio people and still
give the audience the feeling that they’re a fly on the wall at a lunch
between Harvey Pekar and Anthony Bourdain.

In
what I hope will be a successful series of articles, I hope to educate,
entertain, and explain the process that takes place when it comes to
shooting a reality television show. I will hit on the history of the
genre, the various sub-genres, and ultimately tackle the question of
whether, by and large, the genre is “real” or “fake” (Spoiler: Somewhere
in between).

I
will do this using the knowledge afforded to me by my fancy pants degree
in Television Production, my experience working on a variety of reality
TV shows, and for flavor, relay to you the times I was on “Jerry
Springer” and “The Judge Pirro” show – and how those shows bend
“reality” for the purposes of good television.

A
couple of notes here: I can’t 100 percent guarantee the factual
accuracy of my claims and research. It’s mostly coming from wikipedia
sources, my own common sense, and things I’ve read or heard throughout
the course of my life – plus I’m writing this for fun on a niche
pro-wrestling blog. So feel free to yell at me if I claim a show was
“groundbreaking” when an obscure show in Germany did the format first,
that’s cool,  but in general I’ll be writing this from the perspective
of the general consensus of American audiences. Sorry Canada.

But lets dive in.  

Part 1: History
Docusoaps, reality competition, and PBS ruined everything.


If
America felt so inclined, they could blame reality TV on PBS. In 1973,
“An American Family” aired on the Public Broadcasting System, compiling
300 hours of footage into a single 12 episode season. Initially intended
as a “fly on the wall” (or Cinema Verite) look in at your typical
American suburban family, the Louds, the filmmakers actually ended up
capturing something a bit more compelling – namely an affair by the
patriarch of the Loud clan, and one of the Loud family’s sons coming out
as a homosexual (and became the first openly gay “character” on
television). Safe to say, this was some pretty spicy stuff. Due in part
to this unexpected drama, the show was a smash.

The press wasn’t as enamored. This article from “The New Yorker” features
a few particularly brutal highlights from the contemporary press’s
reaction to the show at the time, with charming insights like referring
to the gay son (Lance) as  “camping and queening about like a pathetic
court jester, a Goya-esque emotional dwarf.”

The
Loud family weren’t pleased about how this whole thing turned out,
either. At the time, the Louds claimed the footage was unethically
edited to make their lives more compelling, to focus on the “drama” and
“negative” aspects of their lives at the expense of how things played
out in reality (sound familiar?).

Creative
editing is a staple of the documentary process, and is probably the
most important tool in turning hours of footage into a compelling
30-minute TV show. Take a look at this silly trailer I made for my family and friends (Yes I know about the typo).
Judging by the trailer you’d assume my life was filled with parties,
booze, kittens, marijuana, and bald-spots. While this is a trailer and
not an actual reality show, it’s safe to say that if you watched that
trailer and didn’t know me or my family, you’d assume we’re a bunch of
party animals. What you don’t see are the numerous weird looks I got
from following my friends and family around with the camera, and endless
amount of boring footage of me driving in my car or filming birds. To
keep things entertaining, you need to cut the fat – even if the finished
product is less than a true-to-life interpretation. Unfortunately it’s
the price of doing business.   
Equally
as unfortunate – the aftermath for the Loud family wasn’t pretty. The
aforementioned Lance Loud eventually became addicted to Meth, and died
from HIV at the age of 50. It was filmed for a PBS special in 2001.
Whether or not being America’s first “Reality” TV family contributed to
the downfall of the Louds will never be answered. Was the scrutiny of
the media, and the camera, and the american public so much that it was
impossible for the family to ever be normal again? Who knows.

But
lets fast forward two decades when MTV green lights “The Real World” –
which took a similar approach to “An American Family” but replaced a
single American family with angsty young adults from all walks of life –
throwing them into a house with limited bedrooms and ample alcohol. It
debuted in 1993 and has thus far produced well over 500 episodes. It
covered a whole bunch of taboo topics including homophobia, racism, HIV,
homosexuality, domestic abuse, and how much coconut rum it takes to put
a person into a diabetic coma (lots).

While
the series initially started as a fascinating social-experiment, as the
show went on (and audience numbers waned) it morphed into a combative,
sexually charged, vulgar, and trashy ghost of what “The Real World” once
was. The hyper-charged “Docusoap” was born.  

Which
brings us to the Heisenberg effect, which more-or-less states that the
very act of observing something changes the outcome. Did the Loud family
change their actions or act differently because cameras were
documenting their every move? Did Lance Loud become addicted to the
fame, and when it was gone, replace that addiction with Meth and
unprotected gay sex? You can’t really say.  

What
I can say with some authority is that the cast-mates on “The Real
World” (at least the newer seasons) are very obviously playing to the
camera, supercharging fights, partying, and their perceived “personas”
in an attempt to be the most engaging and outlandish personality in the
house. Controversy creates cash, after all.  

“The
Real World” ultimately begat “Road Rules” which was essentially “The
Real World” on wheels. It followed a buncha people in a giant winnebago
as they competed in challenges in an attempt to win a prize of some
sort. The shows would regularly cross over for the “Real World / Road
Rules Challenge” which unintentionally invented (or popularized) the
concept of a “Reality TV All Star” and the sub-genre “Reality
Competition”.

Both
the “The Real World” and “Road Rules” helped pioneer the use of the
“confession cam” where the show’s “characters” would talk directly into
the camera about their situation, their roommates, and a variety of
other subjects. In fact it’s impossible to watch any reality TV show
these days and not see a confession cam. It is here that the line
between reality and Reality ® blurs.

These
confessional interviews are generally made to look like off-the-cuff
comments. Very often, however, there are producers encouraging the cast
to speak about a specific subject, person, or event in the household,
often times not-so-subtly suggesting ways a cast member can incite drama
or rage amongst his house-mates. These sorts of conversations between
producers and cast members are instrumental in creating “quality”
“reality” television for the masses.

Ultimately
“The Real World” and “An American Family” paved the way for the
sub-genre of reality TV that is largely responsible for the trashy
stigma associated with the format. From “The Real World” you can pull
out well over a dozen shows that have used a similar format, or opted to
follow a select group of people during their day-to-day lives. There is
no “Jersey Shore” without “The Real World”.

“Docusoap”
Reality TV is popular and ever-present for a few reasons. First of all
it’s far cheaper to produce than most forms of television entertainment –
a 26 week run of “The Real World” is likely shot in a little over a
month or two, where as a standard drama or sitcom takes 7-10 days to
shoot and edit a single episode in addition to months of pre-production.
Additionally there is a sense of fidelity that comes with watching
“real” people do outlandish things. It’s far easier to become engrossed
in the acts of a “real” person who jumped into a pool naked with two
bottles of tequila in her hands than it is to invest in the antics of
Ray Romano on a set with a canned laugh track.    

But
to really understand what made Reality TV is what it is today, we need
to get tropical. “Survivor” debuted in the summer of 2000 and was an
immediate smash and cultural phenomenon. It averaged about 28 million
viewers per episode, with the finale pulling in just north of 50 million
eyeballs (well technically 100 million eyeballs). By comparison the
Super Bowl that year was watched by about 88 million folks.

Hell, it’s 12 years later and people still know who Richard Hatch is and I had to look up who played in the 2000 Superbowl.

Following
“Survivor” reality TV was off to the races. American Idol, Big Brother,
The Bachelor Fear Factor, Dancing With The Stars, The Surreal Life, and
about six dozen other shows ushered in the era of competition reality
television. MTV launched “Making the Band” which combined the theatrics
of “The Real World” with the competition element of “American Idol”.

There
was a reality sub-genre for everyone. “Project Greenlight” appealed to
our inner filmmakers, “Last Comic Standing” for our funny bone, “The
Bachelor” for our inner romantic, “Joe Millionaire” for our cynic, and
so on. One part human drama, one part game show, it was easy to see why
these shows attracted massive audiences – some became invested in “the
game”, others in the people, and most, if I had to guess, watched these
shows as guilty pleasures. By and large, these shows are…okay.
“Dancing With The Stars” might as well be America’s personal USO show,
and after 12 years “Survivor” is so slick it’s impossible to *not* be
enthralled by the challenges, locations, characters, and competition.

As
Reality TV boomed like never before, chances and experiments were taken
regularly. A&E launched a show about the day-to-day lives of
Airport employees, as well as a show about the workers at a funeral
home, they also launched the delightfully trashy “Dog The Bounty Hunter”
in 2004. Discovery Channel chimed in with “American Chopper” in 2003,
and followed it up with the incredibly popular “Deadliest Catch” in
2005. The “workplace reality show” was coming into it’s own – and as the
2000s turned to the 2010’s, they’d come to dominate the reality TV
landscape.


Next time:

The “unreality” of “reality” – The tricks of the trade you won’t notice unless someone tells you about them, and the ethics behind them.

Also: the creation of “reality” – inside my production documents for my own reality TV show, “The Good Samaritan”

The Only Review Of WWE’s Top 50 Finishers DVD That You’ll Ever Need

I love releases like this.
I know some people think they’re stupid, but there are few things I dig more
than a wrestling documentary. I pop something like this on and time flies by. Having
said that, this documentary is a great one. If you read my reviews, you know
that I don’t really review the documentary, but I talk about my own personal
experiences regarding the subject. 

The Razor’s Edge. That was the first finisher I
ever fell in love with. It was my go-to when people would say wrestling was
fake. “What? Fake? No way. You COULD NOT fake The Razor’s Edge! That would
hurt!” Beyond that, one of the joys when you’re a kid and a wrestling fan
is when you and your friends or brothers try the moves on each other. I have
countless memories of us watching our tapes and pausing them to figure out how
to get the Sharpshooter right. Then, when you’d lock it in, the recipient would
scream and tap out, but you’d always hold it a bit longer just because of how
cool you felt. I’ve been put in them all, and I can say without a doubt that
the Ankle Lock hurts the most. When I first had it put on me, I ripped the door
off a cabinet as I was thrashing about. I grew up with friends who were all
athletes, including a few wrestlers. Well, as friends do, there are always a
few bouts of wrestling. One of them was ranked here in Washington in wrestling,
and was so mad that I made him tap out he got directly up and punched me in the
face. Good times. 

The King of all Finishers, for me at least, was
the Stone Cold Stunner/Diamond Cutter. I was absolutely obsessed with this move
growing up and would constantly try to put people in the move. I tell you, it’s
really not a move that’s very effective unless you catch someone off balance,
then you can dish out some pain. 

I’ve broken three beds in my life time due to
wrestling moves. The first one was due to me powerbombing my brother on it too
much. The second was because my friend told me it was OK if I gave his bed a 5
Star Frog Splash. He was pretty mad afterwards that his bed lost that fight.
The third was the result of a Macho elbow. Of course, that was a bed that
belonged to my friend and he swore up and down that it was a tank, and wouldn’t
break. Pssh. 

I do have a few beefs with the listing. First off,
where’s The Scorpion Death Drop? Back in the day, that move was DEATH. If Sting
hit someone with that, it was game over, and you could get a 30 count if you so
desired. I also thought it was stupid that his Scorpion Death Lock and
Sharpshooter were both on the list. It’s the same exact move. I was really
pissed to see the Diamond Cutter so far down the list. That move was over on its
own. There are countless YouTube videos you can find that are compilations of
all the awesome ways DDP hit the Cutter. It was always cool to see how DDP
would catch the guy this week.
Before we get to disc 2, here’s the list:50. JBL – Clothesline
49. Vader – Vader Bomb
48. Dusty Rhodes – Bionic Elbow
47. Million Dollar Man – Million Dollar Dream
46. Kerry Von Erich – Iron Claw
45. Ravishing Rick Rude – Rude Awakening
44. Lex Luger – Torture Rack
43. Dudley Boyz – 3-D
42. Bam Bam Bigelow – Moonsault
41. DDP – Diamond Cutter
40. Mankind – Mandible Claw / Socko
39. Honky Tonk Man – Shake Rattle and Roll
38. Yokozuna – Bonzai Drop
37. Flash Funk – 450 Splash
36. Sting – Scorpion Lock
35. Lita – Moonsault
34. Kevin Nash – Jack-knife
33. Jerry The King Lawler – Piledriver
32. RVD – Five-Star Frog Splash
31. Big Show – Chokeslam
30. CM Punk – GTS
29. Brock Lesnar – F-5
28. Bob Backlund – Chicken Wing
27. Batista – Batista Bomb
26. Mr. Perfect – Perfect Plex
25. Kurt Angle – Ankle Lock
24. Chris Jericho – Lion Tamer / Walls of Jericho
23. Edge – Spear
22. Iron Sheik – Camel Clutch
21. John Cena – Attitude Adjustment
20. Scott Hall – Razors Edge
19. Goldberg – Jackhammer
18. Rey Mysterio – 6-1-9
17. Road Warriors – Doomsday Device
16. Bruno Sammartino – Bearhug
15. Sgt. Slaughter – Cobra Clutch
14. Jeff Hardy – Swanton Bomb
13. Eddie Guerrero – Frog Splash
12. Macho Man Randy Savage – Elbow off Top Rope
11. Randy Orton – RKO
10. Bret Hitman Hart – Sharpshooter
9. Jimmy Superfly Snuka – Superfly Splash
8. Nature Boy Ric Flair – Figure Four Leg Lock
7. Hulk Hogan – Leg Drop
6. Shawn Michaels – Sweet Chin Music
5. Jake The Snake Roberts – DDT
4. The Rock – Rock Bottom / Peoples Elbow
3. Triple H – Pedigree
2. Undertaker – Tombstone Piledriver
1. Stone Cold Steve Austin – Stunner

 SGT Slaughter demos the Cobra Clutch. 
As a kid, I always thought it was weird that a G.I.
Joe had his move named after Cobra. I also thought the people who drew
Slaughter’s character in the World of G.I. Joe were rather generous. The
person that Slaughter is demonstrating the move on is apparently named Tony
Anthony. Or Tony Tony. As Slaughter details the move, he clearly shows
how the Clutch and The Million Dollar Dream are the exact same thing. Slaughter
of course won’t let up when the kid starts to tap. This was much better
than a match, I’ll say that much.

Rick Rude vs Jack Roberts – DDT vs. Rude Awakening
Match – Madison Square Garden – October 24, 1988

Rude does deserve his own 2-disc set. He had a
perfect gimmick. I miss the old-school MSG entrance of the face. It always
started some ways back behind the curtain. Cheryl Roberts is actually
pretty attractive, looking like Tawny Kitaen’s sister. Funny moment when Rick
Rude is in a wrist lick, we get a nice shot of his back, which looks
like all the stars in the sky because of his steroid use. Some guys get
side-effects worse than others. Later, when Rude has Roberts in a
sleeper, Jake digs his nails into Rude’s back and digs downward. I imagine Jake
was digging puss out of his fingernails for weeks. A decent match that’s
nothing extraordinary, and just about what you’d expect.
Jake hits the DDT for the pin at 13:02 | ***

Mr. Perfect [C] vs. Kerry Von Erich –
Intercontinental Championship – Dayton, OH – January 13th, 1991

I understand putting this match in here, since
they’re both on the countdown, but c’mon. Mr. Perfect is one of the best sellers
of all time. I mean, it’s almost Shawn Michaels-esque in its goofiness, but
it’s Perfect. Oh snaps! We’re about to see a Perfectplex! However, Kerry
kicks out. Earlier, he had Perfect up against the pole outside, and went for
the Tornado Punch. Perfect ducked, and Von Erich decked the post, which would
shatter the absolute shit out of his hand and hurt like hell. Then again, that
would defeat the purpose of putting somas on your cereal, wouldn’t it? We end up getting a DQ, and I’m not sure why. I
think it’s because Kerry had Perfect in the dumbest move ever, The Carrey Claw,
and Perfect pulled the ref into the both of them. Match was alright for
what it was. I still feel bad for Kerry. 
Ref calls for the DQ at 8:30 | **1/2

Bob Backlund vs. Bret Hart [C} – WWE Championship
– Superstars – July 30th, 1994

Honestly, the crazy Backlund deal is pretty
ingenious. Being that I’ve never seen a Backlund match, he’s one hell of a
wrestler. Tons of really interesting near-falls at the beginning, as
Backlund shows this won’t be easy. I’ve never really seen a match like this.
It’s probably the most technically-sound bout I’ve ever seen, it’s
fantastic. I mean, wow. If you haven’t seen it, you really need to. Especially
since Backlund was the most white bread babyface of all time. I’d like
to see the whole angle on a DVD. Really interesting match, that’s the best way
to explain it. You have to love how at the end, Backlund just snaps. I
can only imagine how crazy this was to older fans watching at the time. Since I
only started watching in 1995, I only know the crazy, head-shaved, suit-wearing
antiquated-term-using Backlund. 
Bret Hits an inside cradle for the pin at 14:27 |
****

Hall & Nash [C] vs. The Giant – WCW Tag-Team
Championship – Superbrawl, February 23rd, 1997

Dusty of course is already in the throes of
brilliance. Hall & Syxx are wearing shirts that say ‘Aztecas’ and Dusty
says “You see what their shirts say, ‘Alcatraz’….does that say
Alcatraz?” “No, it doesn’t” “Ah…I was just testing you!
Ya’ll was looking over there!” Man, Dusty is awesome on commentary. Man alive, it’s absolutely
night and day between Big Show of late 90s, and today. He’s doing dropkicks,
moving quickly, it’s incredible. Nice botch where The Giant is hanging on the
middle rope and Syxx does a spin kick towards his head, but misses it by a
mile. Thankfully, Tony doesn’t try and convince us of The Giant’s second,
invisible head that rests behind his first, visible head. Soon after, Nash hits
the powerbomb and it’s damn impressive looking. Luger shows up, in
street clothes and cast. He tags in to rack Nash, and win himself and The Giant
the belts. Of course, the next night on Nitro, they had to give the
belts back due to Luger not being cleared. See, this is a perfect example of
everything that did and didn’t work with the nWo. This match is fine, I enjoyed
it. There were no slow spots, the drama was there, and you were wondering if
The Giant could take both of ’em. Then at the last minute, Luger shows
up to make the save for the good-guys. But then, it’s all reversed, like
nothing happened. Once? Sure, that’s acceptable, but this is the SECOND
time in two months they pulled some BS like this. Still, for just the match,
it’s fun. 
Luger racks Nash for the win at 9:04 | ***

Mankind vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler – King of the
Ring – June 8th, 1997

It’s a shame the match-up from later, HHH vs.
Mankind isn’t on here. That’s one hell of a match. Another shame is that kids
these days just see the kindly, smiling King, because he really was a
fantastic heel in the 90s. One of the best cowardly heels ever, that’s for
sure. As for the match, this just never picked up. Lawler just beat the
hell out of Mick for the entire match before he fell to the claw. 
Mick clamps the claw on Lawler for the win at
10:28 | **

RVD vs. 2 Cold Scorpio – Living Dangerously –
March 1st, 1998

I’m still unsure if RVD calls himself that because
of how much he looks like JCVD. The crowd is being pretty merciless, giving out
“this match sucks” and “boring” chants, during the
first 10 minutes. The match starts to pick back up, as Scorpio brings an innovative
display to his offense. He does one move that I’ve never seen before. Rob is
laying in the ring, Scorp goes out, looks like he’s about to do the Eddie
ploncha, but instead does a full 360 splash after whipping himself into
the ring. Incredible. I really wish I could say that the match continued
upward, but Scorp and RVD just have no chemistry. There’s a ton of botches, a
lot of stumbling and no real flow. I’ve seen a hell of a lot worse, but
I just expected so much more. 
RVD hits a roll up at 27:10 | **3/4

Ric Flair [C] vs. DDP vs. Hulk Hogan vs. Sting w/
special guest ref Macho Man – WCW Championship – Spring Stampede – April 11th,
1999

Geez, look at all that star power in there. This
is basically their version of the 6 man HiAC from 2000. After the match gets
going, Hogan is taken to the back because of a knee injury. I HATE stuff
like that, because isn’t that the point? Isn’t said wrestler trying to hurt another
said wrestler in order to make him submit? Moving along. Awesome moment
where Flair has Sting in a sleeper, then DDP had Flair in a sleeper, as Sting
drops down, causing a double jaw-breaker, getting Macho so excited that he does
a spinning finger-twirl. Seriously, I can’t see any reason for Macho Man to not
always be the champion of any company he was working for. For no reason at all,
he drops an elbow on Flair while he had Sting in the figure-four. No
complaints. A lot of people complained about DDP winning the match, but
I don’t see the big deal. DDP works his ass off, has great matches and feuds
with everyone, and I think he deserved it. Of course, if there was ever
a time for him, it was probably in 1997 or so, but hindsight is 20/20. In the
end though, this match was clunky, and really didn’t pick up until the
end. The Hogan thing is still a mystery. 
DDP hits Flair with the Diamond Cutter for the pin
and the title  at 17:27 | ***

DISC 3

Chris Jericho & The Rock vs. Stone Cold &
Kurt Angle – Smackdown – November 15th, 2001

I think it’s no surprise when I say this is a hell
of a match. Angle and Stone Cold make for a great team, as they cut the ring in
half and keep Jericho constantly in need of a tag, doing their absolute
best to keep him from getting it. Would have been nice to get a real finish out
of this, but since it was Survivor Series in a few days, Alliance vs.
WWE, that wasn’t going to happen. I will say, however, it’s one hell of an
ending. Taker comes out to prevent Angle and Stone Cold from killing
Rocky, then Angle takes out Taker, Booker shows up, Jericho gives him the
Lionsault, only for RVD to show up and deliver a 5 star to Jericho,
which then allows Kane to arrive and chokeslam RVD, as Shane flies out of nowhere
and hits Kane with a chair, giving The Big Show a chance to get into the
ring and punch said chair into Shane’s face, allowing Kurt to give Show the
Angle Slam, which distracts him long enough to have Rock give him the
Rock Bottom just before Stone Cold drops him with a Stunner. 
Match never really ends, as Stone Cold throws the
ref out and everyone runs in. About 10 minutes | ***3/4


Brock Lesnar & Eddie Guerrero vs. Bubba Ray
& RVD – Monday Night Raw – June, 3rd, 2002

Lesnar is a beast, plain and simple. He’s the type
of guy who should never be a face. Speaking of face, around the middle of the
match, Bubba aims to put a table in the ring, but Eddie baseball slides
it right into his grill. The match doesn’t go for long, but what we do get is
hard-hitting and fast, a perfectly fine addition to the set. Proof again
why Lesnar became champion so damn fast. 
Eddie hits the Frogsplash on RVD for the pin at
9:00 | ***

Chris Jericho & Christian vs. Jeff Hardy &
Shawn Michaels – No-DQ – Monday Night Raw – February 17th, 2003

As Jeff comes down to the ring, JR says he’s tried
to get into Jeff’s head, but was never successful. Dixie Carter succeeded where
Jim Ross could not. Great spot where Jeff does his rail run and Jericho catches
him mid-air and turns it into a powerslam. Soon, they handcuff Shawn to the
bottom rope and proceed to annoy me by then beating on Jeff in the ring one
at a time while the other stands on the apron. It’s no DQ, c’mon, quit bein’ a
couple of fair bears! Eventually, Shawn gets the key and unlocks himself, but
waits at the ropes for Jeff to tag him. I know it’s petty, but things
like that annoy me. Really, this was more about progressing the storyline with
Jericho and HBK at the time, it didn’t need to be on this DVD
Jeff hits the Swanton & pins Jericho at 6:20 |
**

Triple H, Ric Flair, and Randy Orton vs. The
Dudley Boyz & Spike – Monday Night Raw – July 14th, 2003
Spike is the first to go after an RKO. A little
later, Randy goes up for a 3D, and before he goes down he’s shaking his head no
while he screams it. I thought that was a nice touch. Hunter hits D-Von with a flag,
then places Randy on top of him for the pin. After a little while, Triple H
hits the Pedigree on Bubba, allowing Randy to get the pin once more. I’ll assume
this went down as some sort of punishment for misconduct backstage. The Dudleyz
probably brought their wives/girlfriends around, Randy made extreme sexual
advances towards them and the Dudleyz were yelled at for bringing their
wives/girlfriends backstage. An alright match, nothing special. 
Randy gets the pin after HHH hits the Pedigree on
Bubba at 11:38 | **



Trish Status [C] vs. Lita – Women’s Championship –
Monday Night Raw – December 6th, 2004

I’ve never seen this match, so I’m looking forward
to it. Pretty nasty landing for Lita when she does a suicide dive to the
outside towards Trish. She lands mostly on her face, and flips forward.
Gnarly. Is there anything hotter than heel Trish? It’s rhetorical, there isn’t.
A shame this match didn’t get another 5 minutes or so, because it’s great, and
was really picking up a good amount of steam near the end. I think some
more near-falls, and Lita really struggling to put Trish down would have helped
the match out a lot. However, what we get is still damn good stuff, and
places it as one of the best women’s matches I’ve seen. 
Lita hits the moonsault, nabbing the pin & the
title at 7:12 | ***

Randy Orton vs. HBK vs. JBL vs. Randy Orton –
Monday Night Raw – December 29th, 2008

Match gets off to a great start, especially when
it’s Jericho and HBK. Great series of moves as JBL attempts the Clothesline,
Jericho ducks it, hits the Codebreaker, goes to pin but Shawn makes the save.
Jericho puts JBL in the Walls, unknowing that Shawn got a tag, as he Superkicks
Chris right in the face and scores the pin. Randy is soon put down with Sweet
Chin Music as well. Now that Shawn and JBL are left, Bradshaw demands that
Shawn lay down for him. The angle with JBL hiring Shawn was great, it’s
just too bad that Bradshaw was God-awful in the ring, and that not even Shawn
Michaels could have a decent, non-hardcore match with him. Pretty awesome
ending with Shawn not being able to lay down for him, so he asks to be knocked
out. Again, great angle, terrible payoff. This match was fine, nothing
too spectacular, and would have probably been something great if it were on
PPV. 
JBL pins Shawn after the Clothesline From Hell at
18:04 | ***1/4

Undertaker [C] vs. Batista vs. Rey Mysterio vs. CM
Punk – World Heavyweight Championship – Bragging Rights – October 25th, 2009

It’s funny, every time Taker goes to slap on Hells
Gate, it’s like he doesn’t know how. Punk is like a scavenger in this match.
He’s constantly breaking up pins, and then running in to take other
people’s pin attempts, it’s great. I’ll say this, main events like this annoy
me. Well, I should say the time limits do. I understand that Taker is limited,
but there are three other guys in there who can go, so they should be allowed
to. It’s for a major title, with FOUR guys, it shouldn’t be lasting only 10
minutes. 
It’s an OK match, and I understand its inclusion.
Unfortunately, the match doesn’t have the awesome interview afterward where
Batista calmly says to Rey “I’m gonna rip your head off”
Undertaker hits the Tombstone on Batista at 9:55 |
**3/4


Sheamus [C] vs. John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs.
Chris Jericho vs. Edge vs. Wade Barrett – WWE Championship – Six Pack Challenge
– Night of Champions – September 9th, 2010

Jericho is eliminated first rather quickly after
an RKO. Bummer. For some reason, the entire match shuts down over this. All the
wrestlers watch him walk to the back. It literally takes about three minutes of
the match to watch Jericho walk to the back. Did I miss something? Was
there a stipulation that the first person eliminated is killed with a pair of
nail clippers or something? Edge is second to be eliminated after he receives
an AA, with Cena soon following after Barrett hits a Wasteland. Nexus comes
down to help him out, but they can’t keep him from eating an RKO followed up by
a pin. Sheamus and Orton battle it out for a minute, but Orton gets the
RKO. They don’t do a lot of matches like this because they’re hard to pull off,
but with this much talent, it wasn’t a problem. Great match
Sheamus eats an RKO, a pin, and loses his title to
Orton at 21:23 | ****


Showcase Showdown: The documentary portion is
great. I know some people don’t care about watching these sorts of list
programs, but I love the hell out of ’em. They’re great to have on while I’m
working, or going to bed. The match selection is interesting, with some awesome
choices, but also leaves you wanting more. Some choices are only put in because
it’s two guys or more from the list fighting it out. However, with gems like
Bret vs. Backlund from Superstars, and Jericho and Rock vs. Stone Cold &
Angle, I’d say this set is definitely worth it. Honestly, if you wait another
month or two, you can cop it at Walmart for a cool $10. Worth it. 4 Head-Butts
out of 5.

For those curious, here’s what’s available on the blu-ray:
Triple H & Undertaker vs. Big Show & Edge
SmackDown – 6th February, 2009

Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy & The Great Khali vs. Edge, Dolph Ziggler & Chris Jericho
Raw – 22nd June, 2009

No Disqualification, 6-Man Tag Team Match
Mr. McMahon & D-Generation X (Shawn Michaels & Triple H) vs. Randy Orton & Legacy (Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase)
Raw – 24th August, 2009

Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match
Team Mysterio (Rey Mysterio, Big Show, Chris Masters, Kofi Kingston, & MVP) vs. Team Alberto (Alberto
Del Rio, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, Drew McIntyre, & Tyler Reks)
Survivor Series – 21st November, 2010

John Cena & Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk & R-Truth
With Special Guest Referee Bret “Hitman” Hart
Raw – 23rd May, 2011

Thanks to my editor, Steven Ferrari. There was a time once when the President was kidnapped by ninjas. So, he and I were called upon to save him. We donned our sweatshirts & tank-tops, because we’re bad dudes. 

For more Caliber than you can shake a stick at, head on over….
Str8 Gangster, No Chaser – Horror, wrestling, list articles, old 80’s stuff from when I was a kid, fighting ninjas on moving semi-trucks. Man Movie Encyclopedia articles. Remember when this website said he was going to kill you last? It lied.
WCW In 2000 –  Read about the adventures of Tank Abbot, see how well the reboot of WCW is doing, and find out just how wrong you were when you thought having Double J as Champion was a stupid idea.   
Man Movie Encyclopedia – Science has shown reading this book can cause a 2nd bout of puberty. Constant 5 star reviews, endorsed by Scott Keith & Maddox, as well as fellow BoD’ers. It’s only $2.99! That’s less than three dollars!
email: [email protected]

These are some things I’ve got in the wheel house, figured it best you guys decide what you’d like to see next. If there’s something I haven’t put in there you guys would like to see, just let me know in the comments. If it gets enough up-votes, then we’ll roll with that. Till then, thanks for the support, buckshots.

What Would You Like Reviewed Next?
Ric Flair and The Four Horsemen DVD
Money in The Bank 2012
Spring Stampede 1999
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Sgt Slaughter

Was Slaughter brought back in 1990/1991 with the sole objective to lose the title to Hogan? Or was something else planned?

He was technically brought back to do the big traitor gimmick with a different slant where he just kind of hated America, but the Iraq war proved too tempting for Vince not to tie into and the character got altered into the version we saw on TV.  The plan was always to shoot him to the World title and then job it to Hogan, absolutely.  

NWA-TNA Weekly PPV #22

November 27, 2002
Jeremy Borash is in the ring and introduces Goldylocks as the sings “God Bless America.”
Tenay runs down the card:
Ron Killings vs. Jeff Jarrett for the NWA-TNA World Heavyweight Title
AJ Styles vs. Jerry Lynn for the X Division Title
Briscoe Brothers vs. Divine Storm w/Trinity

Tenay refers to the Briscoe’s as twins, which is false as Jay is a year older. Jay and Quiet Storm start thing off. They do a nice, fast-paced sequence that ends in a stand off. Both men tag out and Mark and Divine trade off moves. Dropkick by Mark then a dozen or so counters ends with Mark getting a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Jay makes the blind tag as Mark gets dumped by Divine. He does the Cactus Jack clothesline as both men fall to the floor. Mark goes back in and trade shots with Storm. The camera seems to have missed a cue as it ignores the action in the ring. Then, in a bad looking spot, Jay and Divine get knocked off the apron and Mark and Storm follow out with somersault planchas. Well, Divine was way out of position so Mark landed on his feet and hit him with a clothesline as a faint “You fucked up” chant breaks out. Trinity runs off the apron and takes Mark down with a rana. In the ring, Jay hits Storm with a gordbuster, getting two. Mark makes a blind tag then hits Storm with a springboard missile dropkick after he missed a clothesline. Mark hits a few European uppercurs then in another bad looking spot, goes for a discus Euro uppercut but Storm catches him in  a backslide position then hits a  sitout powerbomb, getting two. Both men tag out but the crowd is silent as they have yet to establish which team is the face. Mark and Divine trade punches then hits a terrible looking move, similar to that off a double pancake, as Divine fucks that up too. Storm fights off the Briscoes but gets drilled with a super kick from Jay. Mark then takes Storm off the top with a stunner and Divine breaks that move up. That looked sweet. Mark rolls outside and gets hits with a quebrada from Trinity, which draws a “Holy Shit”reaction from the crowd. Divine floats over Jay in the corner and attempts a headscissor takedown but it gets countered into a powerbomb. Jay hits the Crucible (Falcon Arrow) that is broken up by Storm. He trades stuff with Jay then hits the Storm Cradle Driver (Half-Nelson into a Michinoku Driver) for the win (6:09) *1/2.
Thoughts: Some nice stuff by the Briscoes, especially from Jay, but the match had a lot of miscommunication and no flow. It was a series of spots with some nice looking moves. Chris Divine is rather terrible as a worker. He messed up a lot here. After being most of the focus last week, Trinity only did her one move.

Tenay addresses the audience about how the past five months in TNA has been the most enjoyable of his career. He puts over TNA but says how he does not like what Vince Russo stands for, stating how he will not sit by and let Russo take over TNA with his “Sports Entertainment.” West chimes in and was unaware of the animosity between the two. Good stuff from Tenay as his dislike for Russo was known and I believe during this show he was not following a script and speaking his own thoughts, which makes it seem believable. Too bad WWE doesn’t follow that formula anymore.
Video Recap of last week’s title match between Jarrett and Killings.
Tenay is in the ring and calls down Jeff Jarrett for an interview. However, Vince Russo rolls in the ring as the lights go out and demands the music gets killed. He yells at Tenay and mentions how Tenay said he would quit if he came to TNA. A “Russo” chant breaks out from the crowd. Russo shows Tenay the door and tells him he can be replaced by a chimpanzee with more personality. He then suggests he goes home and pout like Sean Waltman. Tenay goes back to the booth as Russo introduces himself as the “Anti-Christ of professional wrestling.” He said that he kept a low profile but that he needed to come back before “this business” goes further down the shitter. He tells the production team that he will “slap the shit” out of anyone who cuts off his mic and talks about Jeff Jarrett. He tells us that he met Jarrett while he was doing a “bullshit” gimmick in the WWF and that he still befriended Jeff because he was genuine, unlike the others in the company. He then mentions how one night, that “piece of shit” Jarrett leaves out of nowhere to jump to WCW. The camera shows an intense-looking Tenay. Russo says he got Jarrett back to the WWF after he begged him. He says how a week after he left for WCW, Jarrett got beaten by Chyna and then calls him again, begging him to get into WCW. He says he made Jarrett the WCW champion as a “Hogan Sucks” chant breaks out. He thanks god that WCW got bought out. Jeff called him again and asked him for help making TNA cutting edge. Russo calls Jarrett a dope, stating that TNA meant “Tits and Ass” not “Total Nonstop Action.” He then says how Jarrett was led around by an “old, piece of shit” whose name he cannot mention because it makes him nautious. He then tells us how he came to TNA on his own as he was sick of waiting around. He says TNA and WWE suck and he is here to save the day. He will give Jarrett just one opportunity to join him as there will be a drastic change in TNA starting next week and he will help him win this week and demands an answer. He leaves the ring afterwards as Tenay tells us that Russo is everything that is wrong with wrestling today and rants about how he killed WCW. I will say this about Russo, he can deliver a good promo. Better than most wrestlers today. As an on-screen character, he is far from the worst and this entire segment was compelling. Tenay was also good in this, looking pissed off and showing emotion. It was probably his best performance in TNA.
Mortimer Plumtree is shown backstage. He mentions a Mike Moriarty, who won the TNA auction to manage a wrestler against Plumtree then a Mark Morano, who won the right to manage AJ Styles and says that $700 is not enough and demands no less than a $1,000. The first of many plugs for the silent auction tonight.
Video package of last week’s terrible Bruce/Lenny/Lawler/April/Goldylocks segment.
America’s Most Wanted vs. Hotshots
Storm beats on Stevens as Tenay still rants about Russo. Stevens hits a leg lariat after O’Reilly distracts Storm. Hotshots beat on Storm in the corner and hit a double slingshot suplex, getting two. O’Reilly chokes out Storm but gets caught attempting a handspring elbow smash and Storm hits an overhead belly-to-belly. Tag to Harris and he pounds on O’Reilly as Tenay plugs an interview with Dory Funk Jr. tonight. Harris clothesline the Hotshots but they pull down the rope and he falls outside. Stevens roughs him up outside and tosses him back in the ring. Storm breaks up a pin attempt after a double superkick. The Hotshots continue to neutralize Harris with double-team moves. Harris gets his knees up on a Lionsault attempt and Storm tags. He kills Stevens with a super kick then gets the Hanging Noose and Eight Second Ride on O’Reilly. Catatonic by Harris then they hit the Death Sentence. James Mitchell and Belladonna are on the ramp and AMW make their way towards them and they get counted out (5:17) *1/2. They grab Belladonna and roll her in the ring. They set her up for the Death Sentence but Mitchell runs around and distracts them, allowing Lee and Slash to run in for a sneak attack. Security runs in and breaks up the action. Bob Armstrong runs in and Tenay states how BG James will team up with Curt Hennig to face the New Church for the Tag-Titles next week. Tenay says he will address the situation with Sean Waltman later tonight.
Thoughts: Match was alright but this was all about furthering the AMW/New Church feud, which is really the only feud of note this company has going on right now.
Goldylocks is with Jeremy Borash as they do some lame comedy bit about the auction.
Goldylocks is with Dory Funk Jr. He is in front of Jarrett’s door and says he is unavailable as he is preparing for his match tonight. Goldy asks if he is managing Jeff, and he says is has a “vested interest” in this match. Dory was quite awful here and this whole segment was pointless.
NWA World Tag-Team Title Match
BG James & Curt Hennig vs. New Church (Champions)
Tenay informs us that Syxx Pac, who was billed last week as teaming with James tonight, did not appear due to Vince Russo. Mitchell talks about the battle for traditional wrestling vs. sports entertainment but he is just interested in evil and it will ensure the New Church victory as the crowd starts an “Evil” chant. Slash and Hennig start things off. Hennig gets a slap and a pair of atomic drops. Tag to BG and he lands a few clubbing forearms before Slash breaks up that with an eye rake. Tag to Lee and he chokes out BG. Lee no sells a few shots but gets taken down with a flying forearm. Slash goes flying out of the ring and BG gets a kneedrop for two. The faces then work over the legs of Lee, tagging in and out. They beat on Lee in the corner as the faces are pulling the hair. Lee then goes low on BG and tags Slash. He gets a back elbow smash and drops the knee before choking out BG. Jawbreaker by Slash and he tosses BG to the floor. Belladonna and Mitchell deliver a few cheap-shots. Lee then goes out and chokes him out with his foot. He rolls him back in and Slash goes back to work. BG makes a comeback but ducks his head and gets caught with a DDT. Lee tags and gets two off a knee drop. The New Church use illegal double team tactics behind the referee’s back. Slash gets BG in a Cobra Clutch for a while. BG is able to break but walks into a sleeper. BG breaks that up with a back suplex and both men are down. Hot tag to Hennig and he goes to work using basic offense. HE sets up Lee for the Hennig-plex but Slash breaks that up. He is then able to hit it on Slash as Lee breaks that up. The match breaks down and Lee takes down BG with a boot as he was going for the pumphandle on Slash. The ref counts to two but AMW run in and attack the New Church for the DQ (10:33) *1/4. AMW continues the assault until Hennig and BG break it up. They are pissed at AMW for costing them the match then they brawl for a bit. AMW runs after the New Church and they brawl on the ramp. New Church retreats as the camera shows BG and Curt pointing at AMW.
Thoughts: A slow, basic match. Hennig looked like he got himself into better shape but was still useless in the ring. BG is also in poor shape and he was only 33 years old at this point. He looks and wrestled like he was in his 40’s. Like the prior tag match, this was mostly about continuing the AMW/New Church feud, although they also had some tension between AMW and Curt/BG, as AMW cost them the match.
Don West and Mike Tenay are backstage. West plugs the silent auction in the most manic way possible, as Tenay tells him to slow down. West then goes back into overdrive. God bless Don West. Sure, he wasn’t the best but he never lacked enthusiasm.
Alyx Winters vs. EZ Money
Winters was trained by EZ. He is short with a slightly stocky build. Tenay tells us that he is a three year pro as EZ takes him down with a snapmare. Winters reverses an Irish Whip and takes EZ down with a side bulldog. He charges at EZ but gets booted and EZ then hops on the apron and hits the Money Clip, getting two. Standing Moonsault gets two. EZ pulls up on a dropkick then puts Winters in the pendulum swing. Winters attempts to float over EZ the corner but lands nutsack first onto the knee of EZ. Holy shit did that look painful. Running basement dropkick and Winters rolls to the floor. EZ rolls him back in the ring and Winters tries to make a comeback but gets hit with a move that looks like the Curtain Call but ends with a powerbomb. EZ breaks the count and waits for Witners to get up again before hitting him with the Cha-Ching for the win (3:19) ½*.
Thoughts: A squash match but Winters could bump like a pro. He looked a lot more polished than half of the roster, IMO. EZ looks to be getting a bit of a push and continues to look good in the ring.
Goldylocks is with Bruce, who is dressed in a baseball cap and a man’s shirt. He says since the shower with April, he is no longer Bruce, but Alan Funk. He says seeing Lawler treat her badly made him console her and it led to sexual tension. Goldylocks tries to be funny but fails miserably. Alan was not too impressive on the mic. A waste of time but the end of the “Bruce” character is a positive.
Crimson Dragon vs. Sonny Siaki
Siaki looks irritated as he heads to the ring. Dragon is wearing different attire, making it look like he is from Japan. Much better than the low budget stuff he wore last week. They start with a criss-cross spot that ends with a dropkick from Dragon. He walks into an armdrag from Siaki, who then works the arm. Dragon fucks up a Mexican armdrag and they trade off stuff before ending in a face-off. Dragon extends his hand but gets slapped. Siaki gets kicked off the apron and Dragon then dives through the ropes feet first to deliver some poor excuse of a clothesline. Back in the ring, Siaki bounces Dragon off the ropes with a drop toehold then tosses him to the floor with a pumphandle suplex. He slams Hamrick’s head off the table with a giant swing. He rams him into the steps then rolls him inside. He covers and gets two. Dragon gets caught with a kick coming off the ropes and Siaki hits a slingshot atomic drop. Dragon floats over and lands a few kicks. Siaki ducks a Yakuza kick and slaps the Dragon, who was out of position. He hits the suplex stunner then takes down Siaki with a Yakuza kick, getting two. He heads up top but Siaki knocks him down and gets a super belly-to-belly. Crowd starts a loud “TNA” chant and Siaki gets the Siakalypse for the win (5:17) ½*. After the match, Siaki takes the mic from Borash and says if the NWA does not want to give him decent opponents, he does not want to be here. He then states how he should only be in title matches and main events.
Thoughts: Dragon sucked, blowing a lot of spots and fucking up moves left and right. Siaki was just alright here and the post match speech from him is not going to get him over. Didn’t the Big Show do something similar to this at one point? The crowd only sees him as a “Rocky ripoff” at this point. He badly needs to go in another direction as he is almost getting go-away heat when he appears on TV.
Goldylocks is with April. She tries to say that Bruce/Alan is gay and she is faithful to Brian. April says the sounds jealous and Goldy walks off angry, stating she does not need this “bullshit.” Another horrible segment.
Brian Lawler is introduced to the crowd. He walks out looking sad. Lawler tells us that he gave everything she had to a female, then in a hilarious, tells some kid to “please shut up,” as the crowd laughs. He says that he was made to look a fool and runs down the men she was caught with and then had an affair with Goldylocks, which the crowd cheers. He says he hasn’t been able to sleep, eat, or drink and then announces that he is quitting the “wrestling business.” The crowd cheers that decision, as they should. He then does his overacting and makes a crying face as he calls April a “nymphomaniac” before walking away crying. West says this is the most bizarre thing he has seen. They cut back to Goldy, who is with Priscilla. She consoles him and they walk away with Lawler grabbing her ass. At this time, Jerry Lawler was dating Priscilla in real life. To recap, the son of a man in his 50’s, grabs the ass of his dad’s much younger girlfriend in a wrestling segment. That is the Lawler family for you. Any segment ending with Lawler promising to walk away is a positive in my book.
Video highlight package set to AJ Styles theme song.
Highlights from Last week’s Jerry Lynn/Amazing Red match.
NWA-TNA X Division Title Match
AJ Styles w/Mortimer Plumtree vs. Jerry Lynn (Champion)
Tenay says that if Styles wins, he will become the first ever three-time X Division champion. This company has been in existence for five months mind you. They do the boxing style introductions for this match. They start the match off by brawling. AJ gets an eye poke but taken over by Lynn. He gets a snapmare and dropkicks AJ in the back of his head. Crowd chants for Jerry as the two slug it out some more. Lynn picks us AJ and throws him outside. Plumtree attempts to drag Lynn out but gets kicked into AJ. Lynn goes out and slams AJ’s head off the apron before rolling him back inside. Plumtree holds Lynn and AJ knocks him to the floor. AJ lifts up the mat to set up for a piledriver but Lynn counters with a backdrop. AJ then DDT’s him on the floor and Plumtree busts open Lynn’s forehead with a foreign object. AJ rolls Lynn back in the ring and gets two. AJ works on the cut as Plumtree yells him instructions. Lynn fights back but gets tossed back to the floor. Plumtree gets a few more shots on Lynn before he goes inside. AJ goes up top but Lynn stops him. He goes up but falls on the apron. AJ tries a sunset powerbomb but Lynn stops that with a kick to the back of the head. AJ tries a rana off the apron but Lynn sends him into the guardrail. Lynn goes after Plumtree and AJ attacks from behind but gets tossed into the guardrail, again. Lynn rolls AJ back inside and punches away. Lynn ducks a quebrada and takes AJ’s head off with a clothesline. Flying back elbow smash gets two. Lynn charges but AJ uses his momentum to throw him to the floor. More cheapshots by Plumtree. AJ covers Lynn for two then reverses a tilt-a-whirl into an inverted DDT. That gets two as Plumtree yells at AJ how he needs the belt. Running Powerbomb by Lynn gets two. Suplex gets two. AJ ducks a clothesline and gets two off a sitout facebuster. He places Lynn up top for a superplex but Lynn reverses into a front suplex. Plumtree tosses AJ the knux and distracts the ref but Lynn grabs them and nails AJ for the win (12:29) **1/2.
Thoughts: Probably the worst AJ/Lynn match to date. Too much of this revolved around Plumtree. The match got repetitive at times and the crowd was basically quiet. These giys really need to move on to other feuds and TNA needs to bring in better guys for the X Division.
BG and Curt plug the auction items. Curt says no one can beat him in golf, playing off of his Mr. Perfect persona, and BG will go out to eat with you at Chuck E Cheese and demands coins for the video games. He was kind of funny here and I imagine if you wanted to play video games with him, just wait outside of the arena after the show and bring a few joints.
Don West does the rundown for next week’s show:
Spanish Announce Team vs. Divine Storm
Chris Harris vs. Brian Lee
James Storm vs. Slash, if AMW beats his opponents, he will face AMW in a bullrope match.
A double elimination match for the X Division Title featuring AJ Styles, Amazing Red, and Kid Kash among others.
Sonny Siaki vs. Jerry Lynn for the X Division Title
Mike Tenay in a pre-taped interview with Dory Funk Jr. Funk says the highlight of his life was winning the NWA Title. He plugs his school, the Funking Conservatory. He calls Gene Kiniski a “tough, son of a gun” who was a father-fgure towards him. He calls Jack Brisco an incredible athlete. The graphic reads “Jack Briscoe.” Calls Harley Race tough and a competitive man. Giant Baba, he calls, a great teacher. He then says the NWA-TNA World Championship match is the most prestigious title in wrestling. He says Vince Russo should stay out. Interview was alright I suppose in that it fit with the theme of Traditional Wrestling vs. Sports Entertainment theme of the night, but a vast majority of the viewers have no clue about Dory or the people he is talking about.
Killings kills some time by rapping in the ring.
NWA-TNA World Heavyweight Title Match
Ron “The Truth” Killings vs. Jeff Jarrett (Champion)
This match also gets the boxing-style ring introduction. Jarrett gets a mixed reaction from the crowd. Jarrett starts by getting a shoulderblock. They trade arm wringers until Killings gets a Thesz Press. Jarrett gets his feet up on a charging Killings and gets two off of a sunset flip. They then do a pinfall reversal sequence that ends with applause from the crowd. This has been paced wonderfully so far. Killings jacks Jarrett’s jaw but takes too long and Jarrett catches his foot on a scissor kick attempt and gets a figure four. Killings quickly reverses it and Jarrett rolls outside. Killings dances in the ring then hits Jarrett with a plancha. He chokes out Jarrett with a chain before rolling him back inside. Frog splash gets two. Killings floats over but Jarrett pulls up when Truth does his split and dropkicks him down. Killings catches Jarrett with a sleeper. Jarrett eventually fights out but gets caught with a sit-out powerbomb. Killings heads up top but Jarrett cuts him off. They slug it out and Jarrett hits him with a superplex as both men are down. Jarrett gets an enziguiri for two. Jarrett stops a backslide attempt with a low blow and gets two off of a small package. The ref yells at Jarrett for his low blow and Jarrett goes out and grabs a chair. He wedges it in the corner but Killings reverses and sends him into the chair. That gets two. The crowd is pro-Jarrett at this point. Jarrett rolls away from a moonsault then hits the Stroke but Killings is able to kick out. Jarrett removes a turnbuckle pad then goes outside after Killings. He tosses him into the crowd and they brawl. Jarrett places him on a table and climbs the tower. Killings gets up and climbs, hitting Jarrett with a low blow then they brawl some more before they both crash through the table. The ref counts in the ring and it ends in a double count-out. As soon as that happens, Bob Armstrong comes out and says that he, the crowd, and NWA wants to see a winner and orders the match to re-start. They brawl towards the ring and go inside. Killings catches Jarrett and hotshots him on the exposed buckle. That gets two. Jarrett blocks a suplex but Killings reverses a Stroke attempt and accidentally hits the ref as he lifts Jarrett for the Truth or Consequences. Vince Russo is shown holding a guitar and gives it to Jarrett. He motions to the crowd then smashes it on the post. Russo and Jarrett yell at reach other as Killings gets a quick rollup for two. Jarrett then hits Killings the three consecutive Strokes for the win (13:49) ***. After the match, Jarrett heads up the ramp as Russo grabs the mic and demands an answer. He tells Jarrett that next week is a new day and he can be with him or against him. Jarrett is about to give an answer then the shows goes off the air.
Thoughts: Match was going along well until the last few minutes. Killings and Jarrett have good chemistry in the ring. TNA teases us by cutting off the show when Jarrett is about to give his answer to Russo, which was supposed to happen at the end of this match.
Final Thoughts: Russo appearing made it a bit intriguing and he actually cut a decent promo. They also appeared to have written off the “Bruce” character and Brian Lawler, which is a plus. It almost seemed like a reset show in that regard. However, this company has nothing else going on right now besides a feud for the tag-titles. They have a depth problem, specifically in the heavyweight and X Division. The Traditional Wrestling vs. Sports Entertainment theme seemed fine but they spent more time putting over the silent auction than they did for that. Lastly, at the end of the day, it is still Vince Russo in charge of booking a wrestling company. A feud between him and Jarrett is not going to make this company a viable threat. Also, Jarrett seems like a face by default in all of this, yet has not turned face to the fans.

Irony

———- Forwarded message —— > Billy Gunn is now training wrestlers for WWE. I don't have words.
>
> – Joe
>
> Sent from my iPad 2! Imagine all the advice he can offer about being tall!  "And here's how you throw a really shitty punch.". But let's face it, we knew this was coming as soon as he got back on TV again.  Blame yourselves, America. Sent from my knockoff Android tablet!

The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact–12.13.12

The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact – 12.13.12 Just want to throw out a plug for my favorite bus-ride-killing podcast, The Place To Be (http://placetobe.podbean.com), this week featuring a look back at WWF Unforgiven ’98. Justin and Scott (not me) go over the show match-by-match, featuring their remembrances about it and whatever tidbits of info they can add as well. I listen, so should you! Taped from Orlando, FL Your hosts are Todd Keneley, Mike Tenay & Taz Bobby Roode is out to start, and he’s kind of confused as to why he’s not the World champion right now. Devon and the Aces come out and reveal that someone has “outbidded” him for their services. This brings out Jeff Hardy and James Storm, and they’re here to FIGHT. Devon is not and runs away. So in addition to the mystery of who Aces & Eights are and what they want, we now have a mystery of who hired them to take out Bobby Roode. Perhaps they should resolve one storyline before starting another. Madison Rayne v. Velvet Sky Velvet is now wearing a catsuit that’s like something out of a cosplay convention. Velvet gets a seated dropkick and tries a Pedigree, but Rayne escapes and yanks on the hair to take over. Velvet makes the comeback and gets a bulldog, having still not learned to run the ropes properly. That Pedigree finally hits and finishes at 3:06. Same old Velvet. ½* Meanwhile, Kurt Angle gives Brisco & Bischoff a peptalk and some energy shots. Those Five Hour Energy shots they’re constantly shilling taste like bottled DEATH. As someone who consumes ridiculous amounts in caffeine in energy drink form, they’re easily my least favorite. On an interesting (to me) sidebar, those shots and most other energy drinks are packed with guarana, and science doesn’t actually have a clue what it DOES, only that it seems to positively affect absorption of the caffeine for some reason. Robbie E & Rob Terry v. Wes Brisco & Garrett Bischoff Brisco gets worked over in the Jersey corner to start, but Robbie E does the “land on the foot” spot and Brisco makes the hot tag to Garrett. Flapjack for Robbie, but Terry gets a cheapshot. Bischoff gets a jawbreaker and Brisco comes in with a blind tag and finishes with a high cross at 3:20. This was like generic indy tag match #19439, but the crowd is so stupid they’re still cheering for the babyfaces and haven’t clued in their shocking secret, so they were hot for it. *1/2 It’s just impossible to predict how this Orlando crowd will react to anything. One of the masked men attacks Angle afterwards, injuring his knee. Meanwhile, Joseph Park visits OVW’s training facility. This doesn’t go well for him. Meanwhile, Tara visits Brooke and wants to make sure there’s no hard feelings when Jesse beats Bully Ray tonight. Brooke as usual is a huge stuck up bitch despite Tara being nothing but polite to her. Jeff Hardy & James Storm v. Aces & Eights It’s Doc and Knox this week. Can we just unmask someone else already? We already know 90% of the guys playing the parts, why not just move forward about 500 steps and get it over with? The babyfaces double-team Doc in the corner, and then Jeff slugs away on Knox and dumps him with a headscissors. Jeff follows with a dive off the apron, and we take a break while he dances. Back with Jeff in his natural state, taking a beating from the heels while the announcers try to find a way to name Mike Knox without using a name. Nothing exciting as Hardy gets the heat via punches and stomps and the Aces keep cutting off the ring in classic fashion. A sympathetic babyface getting punched repeatedly in the face by big ugly heels ALWAYS WORKS. That’s why I love tag team wrestling. Doc with a splash for two and James Storm has HAD ENOUGH, but of course that just allows more punishment from the Aces. Jeff finally comes back with the whisper in the wind, but Doc cuts him off AGAIN as this heat segment reaches epic proportions. Finally, it’s hot tag Storm, who comes in with a high cross on Knox for two. Corner clothesline and Hardy teams up for Poetry in Motion, and Doc takes a double suplex. More Aces run in and the faces clean house, and hit their finishes to end it at 15:00. That’s the first Aces match I’ve completely enjoyed. ***1/4 Simple formula that works. Devon reveals that Austin Aries paid them off. AJ Styles is out to let us know that he’s tired of being “the corporate janitor” and always doing the right thing, so from now on he’s doing his own thing. Meanwhile, Daniels & Kazarian celebrate AJ’s fall from grace and argue over Christmas presents (“I already got you that gift certificate!”) Rob Van Dam v. Kenny King They have gotta get that belt off RVD. It’s killing the division. Rob wins a battle of THE MARTIAL ARTS with a kick, but King tosses him in heelish fashion. Back in, he gets two. Snap suplex and he slugs away on the mat, and follows with a running splash in the corner, but Rob puts him down with a spinkick and hits the moonsault for two. King comes back with a spinkick and necksnaps him on the top, then springboards into a Buff blockbuster for two. Another charge misses and Rob misses his moonsault, but recovers with a northern lights suplex for two. Awkward sequence sees Rob legdropping him and everyone out of position, and they head up where Rob gets a high cross, which King rolls through with his feet on the ropes for the pin at 5:46. So King is suddenly a heel, and these guys have NO chemistry. ** Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan does not approve of whatever relationship Bully Ray and Brooke have, even though we don’t actually know what that relationship is. Bully clarifies that there’s no relationship, and she was just apologizing to him on the couch because Hulk is such a jackass to Bully. Bully Ray v. Jesse Bully is in a bad mood and pounds on Jesse to take it out, but Jesse gets a cheapshot to hold him off. Bully no-sells his chops and puts him down with a big boot. He abuses Jesse with chops in the corner, prompting Tara to come in and beg for mercy. Of course, Jesse attacks from behind and finally gets some offense, throws forearm shots and a low dropkick. As annoying as Jesse is, I gotta feel bad for the guy given how red and swollen his chest is. And then Bully hits him AGAIN, so Jesse puts him down with a clothesline that looks pretty stiff. Jesse’s showing some FIRE here! Jesse slugs away in the corner and Tara adds some choking, and Jesse gets another dropkick and poses. Taz notes that it’s not the time to pose. THERE’S ALWAYS TIME FOR POSING! Well, OK, so Bully hits the Bubba Cutter and pins him at 6:05, so maybe THIS particular time wasn’t the right one, but in general there’s always time for posing. I really enjoyed this match, actually, probably thanks to the greatness of Bully Ray, but Jesse surprisingly held his own here. **1/2 Oddly, the aspect ratio switches to 16×9 after the match before returning to the normal 4×3 following the break. Austin Aries admits that yes, he paid off Aces & Eights. He feels very betrayed by Hulk Hogan after doing his dirty work for him against the Aces. Oh crap, is TNA booked by Jesse Baker now? Jeff Hardy comes out and promises that all Aries has to do is ask for a title shot. Aries is skeptical and asks if he has to build an apparatus around the ring for a “Dragon’s Lair match” in order to get a shot. Instead, Hardy challenges him to a title match NEXT WEEK on Championship Thursday. Aries doesn’t want to do what the fans want, and Hardy lays him out with the Twist of Fate before Aries runs away to end the show. The Pulse As usual, a couple of good matches bail out the idiotic storylines, making for another enjoyable show.

NXT – December 13, 2012

NXT
Date:
December 13, 2012
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:
Tom Phillips, William Regal
It’s
finally time for Mahal vs. Rollins II, which is annoying as things
have changed a lot since this was filmed. Anyway, the match last
time was fine but I wish there was more of a reason for these two to
be fighting instead of just over the title. All we’ve really heard
is “I’m the champion” and “I want the title.” That’s not
exactly enough to hook fans with a guy treated as a jobber in WWE vs.
a member of a team whose gimmick doesn’t exist in NXT yet. Let’s get
to it.

We
open with a recap of the title situation and Mahal attacking Rollins
recently.
Paige
vs. Sasha Banks
Apparently
Banks is debuting here and has been in the New England indies for a
few years. I really have an issue with two people in a match being
younger than me. It makes me feel old watching this. Banks isn’t
bad looking but Paige is WAY over with the fans here. Paige takes
Banks to the mat with a headscissors and rolls her around with it in
a move I haven’t seen before.
Sasha
nips up to escape and hits a Sin Cara armdrag out of the corner for
two. Paige goes into banshee mode with her screaming and the fans go
NUTS. A fisherman’s suplex gets two for Paige and it’s off to a
double chickenwing. Sasha escapes with a pair of rollups for two but
Paige hits that snap Angle Slam kind of move called the Paige Turner
for the pin at 4:03.
Rating:
C. Nothing too bad here as
Paige continues to impress. She’s clearly very comfortable in the
ring and can do whatever is needed of her. Her looks are just a
bonus at this point, but unfortunately she likely would get messed up
on the main roster because of her pale skin color. Anyway, decent
match here and Sasha looked decent enough.
Roman
Reigns brags about the size of his watch but gets a phone call and
leaves.
We
recap the end of last week’s show where Regal saved Kidd from Kruger
and Ohno.
Ohno
and Kruger are gunning for Steamboat, Kidd and Barretta. Kruger’s
voice is pretty awesome here. Oh and if Regal gets involved in their
business again, Regal can join them in the ICU.
Oliver
Grey vs. ???
Before
the match, we get another awesome Bray Wyatt promo about love and
power. Wyatt brings out his son, who is a big bald guy with an
awesome beard whose name I couldn’t understand. The guy is big and
muscular and he kicks Grey in the face to start. He looks like he’s
in green prison garb for lack of a better description. Wyatt is
sitting in a rocking chair on the stage. The guy slams Grey down and
puts on a bearhug where he whips Grey from side to side. A big side
slam ends Grey at 2:00.
Post
match Wyatt says the man’s name is Rowan and says to follow the
buzzards.
Here’s
Commissioner Dusty Rhodes to hype up the main event. However, he
also wants to talk about Vickie Guerrero. Vickie is welcome here any
time, but there are no bounties allowed in NXT unless it’s run by
Dusty. The bounty is officially revoked and here’s Camacho to
protest. He calls Dusty jefe (boss) and Dusty says it’s either
General Commissioner or…..Camacho: “El Capitan?” Dusty: “I
LOVE THAT!” Camacho says the bounty has to be on because he has to
get Hunico out of Mexico. If Dusty doesn’t reinstate the bounty then
Camacho is going to reinstate it on Dusty.
This
brings out Big E. Langston, and Dusty makes a handicap match with
Camacho and whoever he picks against Langston. Big E. is cool with
that. Again: Dusty isn’t out here long and he makes something happen
while advancing a storyline. Dusty was there about four minutes,
which is the longest time he’s been on camera yet on this show.
Big
Show is answering Bo Dallas’ challenge. He says that he’s going to
knock out Dallas so that Dallas never makes it to the main shows.
That’s next week as well.
NXT
Title: Seth Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal
Mahal
is now in 3MB, which is annoying as all the promos and videos tonight
have had Mahal in his old attire. After some big match intros we’re
ready to go. Mahal immediately heads to the floor for a few seconds
to mess with Rollins’ head. Back in and the champion (Rollins) goes
for Mahal’s arm, sending him to the ropes for more stalling. Rollins
hooks a headlock which goes nowhere so Seth peppers him with
forearms.
They
head to the floor and Rollins hits a HARD chop. Back in and Seth
hits some kicks as Mahal is in trouble. Jinder sends him to the
apron and shoves Seth off the ropes to finally take over. We take a
break and come back with Mahal choking in the corner. A suplex on
the floor gets two for Mahal and it’s off to a double arm hold. That
doesn’t last long so a backbreaker gets another two count, as does a
knee to the face.
We
hit a quick chinlock but Rollins fights out with some shots to the
ribs and a backdrop. Seth tries to go up top but is almost
immediately crotched. A clothesline gets two for Jinder and it’s
back to the chinlock as we take another break. Back with Rollins in
a reverse chinlock which is transitioned into a regular version.
Rollins fights up and hits a big enziguri to put both guys down.
Back
up and Seth dropkicks Mahal down and fires off right hands on the
mat. They slug it out until Mahal gets clotheslined to the floor.
Rollins hits a suicide dive and Mahal is in trouble. Back in and
Seth hits a springboard knee to the side of the head for two. Seth
puts him on the top and kicks Mahal in the head, but his super rana
is countered into a sunset flip for two.
Jinder
comes back again with a sitout slam for two but jumps into a
dropkick/knee to the ribs from Seth. This is a very back and forth
match. Rollins misses a splash in the corner and Jinder pounds away.
Seth counters out of it and hits the running buckle bomb on the
opposite corner. The full nelson slam is escaped so Mahal hits a
knee to the back of the head and hooks the camel clutch. Seth
immediately gets to the rope and comes back with the low superkick
(Avada Kedavra) and the standing Sliced Bread (Skywalker) for the pin
to retain at 15:20 shown of 22:20.
Rating:
B. No complaints here as these
two have some solid chemistry together. Thankfully this wasn’t a
comedy match for Mahal and he was just in different attire instead of
being completely goofy. Rollins winning these come from behind
matches is the perfect way to build up a guy like him and the match
worked very well overall. Good stuff, especially for a TV match.
Corey
Graves gets in Rollins’ face to end the show with a sarcastic clap.
Overall
Rating:
A. Good match, decent
Divas match, good character stuff with Wyatt and Rowan, setting up
the next title feud, promo addressing the end of last week’s show and
two big matches announced for next week. What else could you
possibly want in a one hour wrestling show?
Results
Paige
b. Sasha Banks – Paige Turner
Rowan
b. Oliver Grey – Side Slam
Seth
Rollins b. Jinder Mahal – Skywalker
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com

Early UFC

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: "Kerry" > Found this on ESPN, and knowing your love for UFC, just wanted your take on the various "storylines" in the article. Also, TANK ABBOTT wrote a book?
>
> (Also, I'm pretty sure someone's sent you this/you've already seen it by now. I'm still curious.)
>
> http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=eightmenout You were the first one actually.  Interesting read!  On a totally unrelated slant, I'm also currently engrossed by Sean Howe's book about Marvel Comics, which somehow makes you feel even WORSE for Jack Kirby and Jerry Siegel.

Monday Nitro – July 22, 1997 (Tuesday Nitro)

Monday
Nitro #97
Date: July 22, 1997
Location: Jacksonville
Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Mike
Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko
This is a special show
on a Tuesday for reasons that weren’t given. Anyway the main event
tonight is a match I remember pretty well for some reason as Benoit
and Flair challenge the Outsiders for the tag titles. Other than
that we get to hear if Luger’s challenge to Hogan for a title match
at Road Wild is accepted or not. Let’s get to it.
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We open with the Nitro
Girls of course. They’re certainly better looking than Tony and
Larry.
Here are Hogan and
Bischoff to really get things going. They have a microphone and are
standing in the ring, so Tony deduces that they obviously have
something to say. You can’t buy analysis like this people. They
decide to lay down on the mat and take it easy for this interview.
Hogan says that most of the people in this arena and in the back are
here because of him. Now that we’re in the 90s, he sets the pace for
wrestling.
Hogan talks about how
Konnan is another step of the way closer to world dominance. I
wouldn’t exactly call it that but it’s his company I guess. Luger
wants what Hogan has, because Hogan is the best. Hollywood says he’s
smarter than Luger is and he wants him in a title match one on one.
He accepts the challenge for Sturgis. Hogan seemed to be rambling a
lot more than usual here which is weird for him. He may sound crazy
most of the time but he usually makes it sound decent.
Konnan vs. Tsubusa
I can only find two
other matches for Tsubusa, both of them in six man tags in Japan.
He’s a masked guy with a shiny cape and that’s about it. The 187 and
Tequila Sunrise make Tsubusa tap out in about 25 seconds.
TV Title: Ultimo
Dragon vs. Steven Regal
No entrance for either
guy and Regal is defending. The champ cranks on Dragon’s arm but
Dragon speeds things up to escape. Dragon has the awesome black and
gold attire on tonight so you know he’s going to be on his game.
Regal gets kicked hard by his challgener before doing his headstand
in the corner. Steven takes him down and pounds away on the mat
before putting dragon on the top, only to get taken down by a sunset
bomb. A reverse suplex puts Dragon down so Dragon comes back with
the kicks and a Dragon Sleeper to win the title out of nowhere.
Rating: C+.
Dragon is one of those guys that had the skill in the ring and was
better than most of the other cruiserweights, but the lack of
personality always held him back. Now that being said, this was
solid stuff because it was what Dragon was best at: matches where he
had someone solid to work with and you got a good match out of it in
the process. Solid stuff here, especially for a four minute match.
Here’s Flair to
announce who the next Horseman is going to be. The choice
is…..Syxx? Yeah that Syxx. Syxx comes out and makes fun of the
Horsemen for being old (the announcers actually bought Syxx as the
new member of course) and Flair says Syxx almost cost him his job.
Ric belts him in the face and Benoit comes out to stand between Syxx
and Flair. Syxx promises Outsider revenge and that’s that.
More dancing.
Giant vs. Great Muta
They circle each other
for a bit, Giant no sells some dropkicks and grabs Muta by the
throat, and Muta mists him for the DQ.
The NWO (Vincent and
Savage in this version) comes out for a beatdown but Giant shrugs
them off. Luger comes out to help but Giant grabs him for a
chokeslam….but puts him down before he chokeslams him. He was
blind for that fight and the near chokeslam on Luger. I’m not
entirely sure what the point of the Luger stuff was there.
Dean Malenko vs.
Steve McMichael
Mongo throws him down
to start as we hear about the Nitro Parties, which is exactly what it
sounds like: a bunch of people watching Nitro and filming it. Mongo
puts on a headlock followed by a shoulder to take Dean down, but a
knee drop misses. Steve blocks a sunset flip out of the corner and
hits a kind of World’s Strongest Slam for no cover. Malenko comes
back with a good German Suplex which pops the crowd a bit.
Another powerslam kind
of move puts Dean down and here are Debra and Jarrett for a
distraction. Mongo goes after him but gets guillotined on the top
rope, allowing Dean to hit a dropkick and one of the worst looking
small packages of all time (Mongo’s fault) for the pin. This was
supposed to be an upset because of the size difference, but does
anyone buy Mongo as a bigger talent/star than Dean?
Rating: D.
The best way to sum this match up is in four words: Mongo bad,
Malenko good. Really that’s all there is to it. McMichael tried but
he just never got better no matter how long he was in the ring for.
He couldn’t even get rolled up without it looking terrible. When
Dean Malenko can’t carry you to a decent match, it’s clear you’re not
that good.
Post match Gene asks
Malenko why he’s associating with Jarrett. Dean doesn’t answer
because Mongo comes up. Security takes him off and Jeff pitches a
partnership idea to Dean. Malenko says ok and Debra runs her mouth
because WCW feels we haven’t suffered enough tonight. Jarrett runs
his mouth a bit more and apparently Dean is going to think about it
some more.
Eddie Guerrero vs.
Hector Guerrero
Hector takes him down
with a headscissors but a dropkick misses. Eddie starts stomping but
we head to the floor for a chase. Back in and Hector uses a side
roll to roll Eddie around the ring about four times for two. Eddie
comes back with some biting but another headscissors sends him to the
floor. Hector hits a big plancha on the floor but back inside, Eddie
powerbombs him down and hits the Frog Splash for a fast pin.
Rating: C.
This is the same problem I’ve mentioned before: Hector is a talented
guy, but other than his name, he doesn’t mean much to most WCW
audiences. I get what they were going for here with the sibling
rivalry thing but it’s hard to care here because Hector isn’t a guy
we know as far as his stuff in WCW goes.
Post match Dean comes
in to beat up Eddie. He puts him in the Cloverleaf but Hector breaks
it up. Dean then beats up Hector as well.
Hour #2 begins with no
pyro again.
JJ Dillon says he’s got
a major talent acquisition to announce. Dancing Stevie Richards
comes up to say that he’s signed a contract. JJ wants to talk about
Raven so Stevie says he needs to go see Raven in the front row.
Dillon offers Raven the contract, saying that everything he wanted is
in the deal. Raven is confused but Richards says that he negotiated
Raven’s contract himself. Apparently Bird Boy is almost making as
much money as Richards and gets a rental car with a tape deck. Raven
goes on another rant and rips up the contract. Oh and he hits
Richards too.
Lex Luger vs. Scott
Norton
Bagwell and Vincent are
here with Norton. Luger hits a hip toss to start but Norton comes
back with a clothesline to take over. Luger comes back and here’s
the NWO run-in to give Lex the DQ win.
Luger cleans house and
Racks Vincent. Lex talks a bit until Hogan comes out to exchange
some brief insults.
The Outsiders arrive
and Konnan is here to meet them.
La Parka/Psychosis
vs. Mortis/Wrath
Tonight it’s Hall/Nash
vs. Benoit/Flair, presumably for the titles. Before the bell, we cut
to the back to see Hennig and Flair talking. Apparently it was
supposed to be Hennig coming out earlier when Syxx appeared. Wrath
and La Parka start things off with the skeleton man (La Parka) taking
over with some kicks. He goes up but jumps into an elbow so it’s off
to Psychosis vs. Mortis. Mortis stomps away in the corner but
Psychosis breaks free and goes up…..and falls without being touched
at all. Ah the perils of live TV.
Psychosis comes back
with a dropkick and everyone falls to the floor, where La Parka hits
a big corkscrew plancha to the floor. Psychosis slides in to try to
dive on Wrath, only to get caught and slammed onto the floor. Mortis
suplexes Psychosis back in for two but misses a top rope backsplash.
Onoo and Vandenberg get in a fight, as do Wrath and La Parka.
Psychosis rolls up Mortis for two but there’s no referee to count.
Wrath picks up Psychosis for a powerbomb and Mortis makes it a
powerbomb/neckbreaker combo for the pin.
Rating: C+.
This was WAY better than you would have expected and got pretty
entertaining by the end. The botch was bad but it happens every now
and then and there’s almost nothing you can do about it. La Parka
and Psychosis didn’t look like jobbers here, but rather a tag team
that got beat by a better one. This was a surprisingly fun match and
I liked it way more than I was expecting to.
Post match La Parka
breaks a wooden chair over Mortis’ back but Wrath kicks his head off
to stand tall.
Buff Bagwell vs.
Booker T
This is before Booker
means anything as a singles guy. Buff armdrags him down and things
speed WAY up, resulting in a hiptoss to take Booker down. He
immediately spins up and kicks Bagwell down to take over before
knocking Buff to the floor. Back in and Bagwell chokes away a bit
and slaps Booker in the back of the head. A clothesline turns Booker
inside out for two.
Bagwell and referee
Nick Patrick get in a shoving match and Bagwell hides in the corner.
HHH and Earl Hebner used to do the same spot at house shows. Booker
comes back with a big forearm to the face and some atomic drops for
no cover. The Harlem Side Kick gets two but Patrick gets hit in the
side of the head. Norton clotheslines Booker down and the
Blockbuster gives Buff the pin.
Rating: C-.
Bagwell was a low level NWO guy but he had a pretty good finisher
which I would like to see make a comeback as someone signature move.
Booker would get way better in the next year or so before becoming
the company’s top star in just a few years. Decent match here but it
was a little boring.
Mysterio is here on
crutches, saying he’s refused surgery on his bad knee. He talks
about how he’s not scared of anyone or anything, but here’s Konnan to
kick the crutches away. Some luchadores come out to defend Rey but
Konnan says he’s got the Wolfpack watching his back.
Curt Hennig vs.
Michael Wallstreet
Wallstreet is still
doing his “I hate WCW thing”. Of all the people you waste an
idea like that on, you pick Wallstreet? The fans want DDP who hasn’t
been here tonight I don’t think. It’s officially Hennig vs. Page at
Road Wild. The PerfectPlex wins this in about 35 seconds.
Here’s Page to slug it
out with Hennig but Page gets sent into the buckle to give Curt the
advantage. The PerfectPlex is countered into a Diamond Cutter and
the place goes nuts.
The Nitro Girls dance
to Alex Wright’s music.
Tag Titles:
Outsiders vs. Ric Flair/Chris Benoit
I’m pretty sure this is
a title match. Tony says it is, and while this is probably a bad
idea, I’ll go with it. Pay no attention to the Steiners winning like
84 #1 contenders matches in a row prior to this. We start with a
brawl and Flair vs. Hall get us going in the ring. The Horsemen
stand tall (not as tall as the Outsiders but tall in the metaphorical
sense) until we officially start with Benoit and Hall.
Scott tries to pound
him down but Benoit hits a dragon screw leg whip and a northern
lights suplex for two. Hall bails so it’s off to Nash for a try at
the Canadian. Actually make that the Carolinian who is immediately
shoved down by Big Kev. Nash does all of his usual stuff in the
corner but Flair comes back with punches to the face. Syxx pops
Flair in the back of the head, giving Nash two off a side slam.
Back to Hall for the
fallaway slam for two more. Nash comes in for some more high quality
choking and the running crotch attack while Flair is throat first
across the middle rope. Hall hits a running clothesline in the
corner to keep Flair in trouble. Nash hits a big over the shoulder
Snake Eyes on Flair before it’s back to Hall. Flair grabs a sleeper
out of nowhere but Hall reverses into one of his own, only to have
Flair quickly suplex out of it.
There’s the hot tag to
Benoit who cleans house on both Outsiders. Clotheslines put both
guys down and Flair stops Syxx from breaking up the Swan Dive. The
headbutt gets two on Hall until Nash makes the save. Benoit punches
out of the Jackknife but a Hall distraction lets Nash hit the big
boot for a pin out of nowhere.
Rating: C+.
I remember this match being a lot better. The ending seemed very
rushed and likely happened because they were out of time. If you
gave this match another five to seven minutes, it could go way up in
quality. Benoit getting a chance to shine is always a good thing, as
he was really starting to come into his own at this point. Not a bad
match but nothing great either.
Syxx puts Flair in the
Buzzkill on the bad arm until Mongo makes the save. The Steiners
come out to stare at the Outsiders as we go off the air.
Overall Rating: C+.
This was a better episode of Nitro as you can see Road Wild’s card
coming together pretty well. Tonight had some good action and a lot
of it too, as we had ten matches on a single card. This worked
pretty well as WCW is starting to roll a bit heading into the biker
PPV. Pretty good stuff here tonight.
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com

Quick Randoms

Scott,

Some random questions for you…

1. Was Scott Norton ever a target for Vince & the WWF?  He seems like the kind of power dude they love.  He looked like a legit tough guy, had a good heelish look, and had the lumbering, roided power offense Vince loved in the 90s.

Good question.  He could have had Norton any time he wanted when the AWA was on their deathbed, so I'm presuming that there wasn't any interest in him.  

2. Are there any guys you think should have been tag team partners (that could have actually happened, time-wise).  At a glance, Rick Martel & Paul Roma made sense to me as a pretty boy heel team ("Not in the face!").  Boss Man & Virgil teaming up against Money Inc., Nasty Boys, Disasters in '92 sounded logical to me at the time too.  The Crush/Adam Bomb 'New Demolition' thing could have been cool in '94 as well.  In '98, I loved the prospect of Benoit & Malenko vs. Jericho & Guerrero, when Dean & Jericho were feuding.  In 2000, a teaming of Saturn & Tazz could have been cool, especially with how deep the tag team ranks were that year.

I think Rick Rude and Randy Savage in 1989 would have been pretty awesome.

3. What one guy would you have liked to see absorbed during the WCW acquisition?  Several guys were left out; any glaring omissions?

AJ Styles.  He'd probably be a main eventer today for WWE if they had brought him in instead of cutting the contract loose and letting him go to TNA.  But really who knew that a random guy in the cruiserweight tag team division would turn out so awesome?

4. Was Hogan vs. Warrior II ever actually slated for a particular show (not the WCW version!)?

Wrestlemania VII.  It was pretty much planned from even before Warrior won the title in the first place.

5. What was Vince's fascination with Warrior?  For all the erratic behavior, contract/money demands, Vince had no problem getting rid of him a couple times, but he ends up back in '92 and '96.  For a guy who 'didn't draw' well enough to replace Hogan, what was the deal with WWF going back to him repeatedly?

He projected the air of a superstar and was juiced in as a main event guy. That's how it works.  

6. What ever happened to Dan Spivey?  Sid became a multi-time world champ in both promotions, but Spivey never really became anything.


Too many injuries, not dependable, wanted to work Japan.  Take your pick.  

7. In relation to the above question, is there an example of an established tag team having BOTH guys end up really successful?  One guy always ends up a bigger star (Hart Foundation, Rockers, Skyscrapers, Edge/Christian), but I guess the Hardys both did fine for themselves?

Yup, Hardys both did good, although Jeff is clearly the bigger star.  You could say Windham and Luger, I guess.  Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch both did well for themselves.  

8. I remember it being mentioned in 2000 that, of the Radicalz, it was Perry Saturn the WWF really wanted to push.  Was that ever a 'thing'?  Benoit & Guerrero did well right out of the gate, but Saturn never really made it big.

I also recall hearing that they basically wanted Saturn and took the other three as bonuses.  

9. Along the lines of Saturn, are there any wrestlers you think were just best-suited for tag team work?

Jeff Hardy.  I'm glad he's doing well for himself, but every time he plays face in peril in a tag match it makes me wish he had stayed down that path instead.  

Oldest WWE footage used on DVDs?

Scott,


What is the oldest WWWF (or whatever) footage you can recall seeing on a DVD? Either as a short clip, or a full match? 

Well the short clip from their (former) opening montage is the oldest existing footage of wrestling, and I believe Karl Stern mentioned it was shot by Edison and just recently discovered and reconstructed. The clip as you see it is all there is.  As far as more "modern" stuff goes, there's tons available on YouTube, most famously the Caddock/Stecher match which was the previous champion of oldest surviving footage.  After that, there was tons of cheapie black-and-white compilation tapes of the 50s and 60s you could buy in the Wal-Marts and such while VHS was still a thing.  I saw quite a few good Sammy Steamboat and Argentino Rocca matches on those, in fact.  I think it was stuff taken from the DuMont shows, but I could be totally wrong on that.  
Does any footage from the company's days as Capitol Wrestling Corporation exist? 

It was all taped over or lost, as far as I know.  Certainly there's almost zero footage of Bruno's first title reign because they didn't really start saving tapes until the 70s, because otherwise you would have seen it all released in some form by now.  

Also; in this opening what era/federation is the very first bit of footage (during the "Yes sir, we promised you a great match" voiceover)? 


As noted, that would be two nameless guys shot by Thomas Edison in what would have to be the late 1800s.  

I Have Issues (18)

Are You Ready?

Everyone seems to be under the impression that world will either end or everything will go on as normal on December 21st. However no one seems to be talking about the third possibility… Post-Apocalyptic Nightmare! If you have ever played Fallout then you might have a leg up on the competition (hope you’ve been saving those bottle caps.) but comics have been trying to prep us for some nightmare scenarios as well. I’m a firm believer in looking on the Bright side but it also pays to be realistic as well so without further ado we visit the first scenario.
Y: The Last Man
So a plague comes along and kills every man but you and now you have to disguise yourself as a woman just to make it down the street without getting attacked.
Before you start thinking that maybe this is a future you want to happen you need to remember something, the reality is going to be less like an Axe commercial and more like Black Friday and you’re a buy one get one free! 
Also there is a group known as the Daughters of the Amazon and they believe that the plague was mother Earth wiping the Earth clean so they are constantly after you but not for your skin flute, no they want you dead like the rest of your former fantasy football buddies.
Upside:  Well it’s obvious isn’t it?
Downside:  The nagging, dear God in heaven all the nagging!
The Walking Dead
Okay you don’t need to read the comic or even watch the show that it’s based on to get ready for this. I mean Hollywood has been preparing us for zombies for so fucking long it would almost be a disappointment at this point if we don’t get to use some of our survival skills.
If this happens the first thing I’m doing is finding a katana because I have always wanted to swing one of those at someone!
Upside:  Getting to finally cut loose with some cool ass weapons for realzies!
Downside: You will probably end up a zombie and people taste like chicken (or so I have heard) so if you don’t like chicken, this might be a deal breaker.
Judge Dredd
Nuclear conflicts have made the majority of the Earth completely uninhabitable. So you are either a radioactive disfigured mutant that lives in the desolate Cursed Earth very similar to the Mad Max movies or you live in a violent and overpopulated Megacity.
In the Mega city you are forced to live in a Block stacked on top of or around people. If the extremely violent criminals don’t get at you then just dropping a piece of lint on the ground can get you a life sentence from the Judges who have absolute authority.  
That’s also if a major conflict doesn’t come about such as the Dark Judges paying the city a visit and killing millions on a whim until Dredd kicks them back to their dimension. Nobody even bats an eye at the deaths because overpopulation is such a huge problem!
Upside: Finally the justice system is moving at a good pace!
Downside: Fuck up once with even something small like jaywalking and you can kiss your ass goodbye.
Days of Future Past
Speaking of mutants what about a universe where it’s illegal to even be one? With the Mutant Registration act having just passed, all mutants are now going to concentration camps. If you put up a fight then you will meet a posse of Sentinels who will either capture or kill you, depending on how much of a fight you put up.
The X-Men are mostly dead and any hope of them saving the world this time is all but dead along with them.
Upside: Only if you’re not a Mutant.
Downside: Downside? What downside? That sounds like mutant talk and you’re not a mutant… are you?
Age of Apocalypse

When Legion goes back in time to kill Magneto he accidentally kills his own father, Charles Xavier which if you know your Back to the Future science means that the universe skews into an alternate tangent reality.

In the AOA reality without Xavier to stop him, Apocalypse has triumphed in turning the world into a nightmare where only the strong mutants survive and the only ones who stand against him are the X-Men led by Magneto. Apocalypse has “culled” more than 80% of the world’s human population and carved up the United States for himself and his four horsemen.

In this reality even being a mutant isn’t safe because Apocalypse doesn’t want any pussies in his universe.

Strict no pussy policy.

Upside: The skies may be dark but look at those costumes, damn they are colorful!

Downside:  Apocalypse puts the A in asshole!

Kingdom Come

All the well-known responsible heroes have decided to hang up the tights and left the door open to a bunch of wannabe poser mall kid heroes. 

Fucking mall kids!

Also if you live in Kansas you are probably dead now thanks to this asshat.

But don’t worry because Superman is due back any day now!

Upside: Even you might end up being a superhero and responsible for the worlds safety!
Downside: The world might have to count on you? Forgive me for not feeling safe.

So the moral of this article is don’t worry about what might happen because it can always be worse… or better.
Was that a moral or a lesson?
I don’t know, I just like comics.
J. Ryan Buck ([email protected])

Previous installments here http://lostscribe0.blogspot.com/

Speaking of kayfabe…

http://www.avclub.com/articles/storage-wars-is-totally-fake-alleges-new-lawsuit-t,89787/

Apparently Dave Hester was absent from all of last season on Storage Wars because he got fired, and now he's suing the show and alleging that the entire show is a fabrication by the producers.  Next you're gonna tell me that Barry Weiss isn't really good friends with Brad Whitford and the drummer from the Police, too.  
Man, between his and the restaurant hidden camera shows, reality TV is really letting me down lately.  I least I know that Parking Wars has to be 100% real, right?  Ponytail wouldn't stand for disingenuous productions!

87 Slammys

Scott, 


I watched the 1987 Slammys the other day and noticed that credits list the director as "Kaye Fabe."  My question, does the term "kayfabe" come from an actual person, or is this just another case of people in the wrestling business trying to have a laugh?

-Jon

Short answer, yes, they were trying to have a laugh.
"Kayfabe" is a very old term from the carnival days, like early 1800s or so, which is basically pig latin for "fake" and was used as a kind of code word among early workers that someone not hip to the business was around and they needed to keep things quiet.  So like a couple of wrestlers would be working out the details on a match and a mark (fan) would be nearby and they'd say something like "Let's go see our friend Kayfabe" or just "Kayfabe" by itself to indicate silence was needed until they left.  
Later, into the TV era, the word "kayfabe" just came to mean maintaining character in general.  Now it basically means nothing since the fourth wall has been shattered anyway.  

WWF Championship Wrestling 6/9/84

June 9, 1984
Mean Gene is our host tonight. Vince is not here for the next three shows as his father passed away two days prior to the tapings. He tells us that this week’s featured matches are Tony Garea vs. Paul Orndorff and Terry Daniels vs. Iron Sheik.

Tony Garea vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Gene welcomes Lord Alfred Hayes on commentary. As bad as he was, he has nothing on Okerlund in terms of sucking. Orndorff starts by yelling at the ref and taking off his coat slowly, which irritates the crowd. They do some matwork to start things off. Garea ducks a clothesline and hits an atomic drop then works on the arm. Orndorff knees down Garea but misses an elbow drop. Garea goes back to the arm and Orndorff breaks but misses a charge in the corner. Dropkick by Garea and he gets Orndorff in a small package but that is reversed and Orndorff gets the win (5:42)
Thoughts: There was no reason for Orndorff to sell this much for Garea. Speaking of Garea, I have no idea why they tried to protect him in defeat. Hell, they protected Garea better here than they do 85% of the roster today. Orndorff should have destroyed this clown with a piledriver in under three minutes.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. This week’s spotlight is on Tito Santana as we see a clip of him giving Charlie Fulton a flying forearm. They then show a photo of Tito with some kid in Pennsylvania who won a contest that allowed him to have lunch with his favorite WWF superstar. I have to say, this was lame, even for 1984 standards.
Okerlund is on the Piper’s Pit set. The studio is empty as he warns us about what we are about to see. They show us Piper’s Pit with Jimmy Snuka as the guest. This was filmed a few months before it was aired on WWF TV. Piper tells Snuka that he wants to make him feel like he is at home then proceeds to give Sunka a pineapple, coconut, and a banana. Piper then apologizes for not bringing Snuka a tree for him to climb. That is a line you can not get away with today. Snuka tells Piper that he is not afraid of him and Piper’s hits him off the head with a coconut from behind. Piper mashes the banana in his face then takes off his belt and whips Snuka, calling him “Boy” several times. Piper then yells how everyone wants to be big time as Snuka slowly gets up. Piper leaves out the door and slams it shut as Snuka is beating on the door and going crazy. A few other wrestlers come out and hold back Snuka, who is just irate. A tremendous segment and one of the best ways to kick off a feud. Both men were great here, especially Piper, who was one of the better agitators in the history of pro wrestling.
SD Jones vs. Jesse “The Body” Ventura
Ventura returns to the WWF after a few years. Jesse stalls for time by taking off his earrings. He backs SD into the ropes and breaks cleanly. Jesse then knocks him down and works the arm for a long time. He pulls down SD by the hair and stomps away. SD makes a brief comeback but misses a charge in the corner. Jesse chops him down and puts on a front facelock. SD escapes and gets in some token offense before Jesse takes him down. He hits SD with an inverted atomic drop then drops the elbow of the win (4:51). After the match, Jesse does several poses, which pisses off SD. He chases after Jesse then they work a criss-cross spot that ends with Jesse pulling up on the ropes and falling down before rolling away. The crowd popped for that.
Thoughts: Not much of a match, Jesse wasn’t a good worker to begin with, but he could work the crowd well. His re-introduction to the WWF went well though.
Piper’s Pit with Capt. Lou Albano. He presents Piper with an achievement award from the “Rowdy Roddy Piper” fan club. Piper thanks him then states how he called Burt Reynolds and other celebs and promises that Cyndi Lauper will be here next week. Albano then yells about Dave Wolff, calling him “Dave Dog” as the crowd gets excited. Good segment and It made you intrigued to see next week’ show.
Plug for the WWF Magazine
Terry Daniels vs. Iron Sheik w/Freddy Blassie
Okerlund says that Sgt. Slaughter has some travel problems and still hasn’t made it to the arena. Sheik yells at the crowd to start things off. They do some matwork to start and Daniels gains the advantage, to the delight of the crowd. The camera shows Slaughter, dressed in a “Cobra Corps” shirt standing in the entrance way. Sunset flip by Daniels gets two. He ducks his head off of a whip and Sheik kicks him in the face and Okerlund calls that a “controversial move.” And people think Michael Cole is the worst. Sheik slams Daniels then mocks the military salute. He proceeds to slap Daniels repeatedly in the face. Suplex by Sheik and he spits on Daniels. More slaps from the Sheik then he slams him again. Sarge moves closer to the ring as Daniels is getting destroyed. Sheik sends Daniels halfway across the ring with a forearm smash then heads up top. Sarge then shoves him off as the ref rings the bell for the DQ (4:37). Sheik and Blassie bail, with the Sheik yelling “Iran number one” into the camera. Sarge checks on Daniels and raises his hand as the crowd applauds.
Thoughts: Good advancement of the Slaughter/Sheik feud. Daniels was a decent worker but did nothing of note besides this in the WWF. Sarge is insanely over with the crowd. I still wonder what would have happened had he not left the WWF.
Salvatore Bellomo vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton
Bellomo is booed by the crowd, which makes sense because he is terrible. They start by trading off working the arm. Orton gets a drop toehold then boots Bellomo in the face. Slam by Orton and that is followed by an elbow drop. He puts Bellomo in a headlock as Hayes puts him over on commentary as one of the best wrestlers in the company. Bellomo fights back with terrible looking punches. He charges at Orton but gets tossed to the floor. Orton climbs up top and hits a forearm to the back. After a brief struggle, he suplexes Bellomo back into the ring and gets the pin (2:33)
Thoughts: Orton destroyed Bellomo, which is always enjoyable. They are starting to push him and he really was one of the better workers in wrestling at this time.
Next week’s matches include Bob Orton vs. Tito Santana in a non-title bout and the featured bout, which is B. Brian Blair vs. David Schultz. Also, the Wild Samoans and Jesse Ventura will be in action and Cyndi Lauper will be on the Piper’s Pit.
Final Thoughts: This was a decent show. Thy kicked off the Piper/Snuka feud and advanced the Lauper angle and the Sheik/Slaughter feud. Ventura had a decent return and nothing was horrible. They are starting to push the newer talent ahead of the old guard, which was desperately needed.

What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – June 9, 1997

by Logan Scisco

Vince McMahon and
Jim Ross are in the booth and they are live from Hartford, Connecticut.

Opening
Contest:  The Legion of Doom & Ahmed
Johnson defeat The Nation of Domination (w/D-Lo Brown & Clarence Mason)
when Ahmed pins Faarooq after a Pearl River Plunge at 6:06:
Savio doesn’t care to give the Nation’s salute prior to
the match and that creates a beef between he and Faarooq.  The crowd is hot for this opener and the
booking of the match helps as the faces dominate much of the action.  The match continues the storyline of the
Nation falling apart as Savio and Crush are too distracted to tag in to help
Faarooq because they are jawing too much with Mason and walk out on Faarooq
after he confronts them.  Faarooq also
gets some nice hang time when taking the Pearl River Plunge from Ahmed.  This was a really entertaining squash to
start the show.  Rating:  **
Hunter Hearst
Helmsley, carrying the King of the Ring crown, and Chyna are interviewed by
McMahon.  Helmsley says that he should
have been the King of the Ring last year, but missed out because of McMahon’s
politics.  Helmsley says that it’s his
time to rise to the top of the World Wrestling Federation.  He issues an open challenge to the locker
room and Mankind appears on the Titantron. 
Mankind asks for a rematch from the King of the Ring and comes out, but
gets attacked with the crown by Helmsley. 
Helmsley did okay with this promo time, but some of his exchange
demonstrated his lack of acting skills at this stage of his career.
Sunny models as
Raw is War t-shirt, which you can buy for $25 (plus $6 shipping & handling)
by calling 815-734-1161!
Footage of the
British Bulldog winning the European championship in the winter is shown
.
European
Championship Match:  The British Bulldog
(Champion) and Goldust (w/Marlena) wrestle to a double count out at 7:14 shown:
This is the first European title defense on RAW and
McMahon hypes it as a big deal.  I
suppose that the booking team realized that it made little sense for the Bulldog
to have a title that was never defended on television.  This is a methodical match, which has been
the Bulldog’s forte when he’s not facing a technically gifted opponent, and it
ends with a really weak double count out, as both men mindlessly brawl after
Goldust ends up outside of the ring following a body press.  Rating:  ½*
After the match,
the Bulldog hot shots Goldust on the steps and goes to hit him with a chair,
but Marlena gets in the way.  As the
Bulldog tries to decide whether to use the chair, Ken Shanrock rushes the ring
and slams the Bulldog and the two tease a confrontation before the Bulldog
decides to leave.
Dok Hendrix is
outside of the Nation of Domination’s locker room and we can hear them arguing
in there.  Faarooq storms out of the
locker room and tells Hendrix that he is going to the ring to talk.  Hendrix goes to talk to Crush and Savio Vega
and Savio rants in Spanish and Crush tells Hendrix that the Nation is fine
.
Ross interviews
Faarooq and some black members of the Nation. 
Faarooq says he rescued Savio Vega and Crush’s career, but they just
stabbed him in the back so he fires them from the Nation.  Faarooq then fires the other flunkies in the
Nation except D-Lo Brown, which includes Clarence Mason.  Faarooq promises that a new Nation will be
formed that will be more powerful and loyal to him.  Faarooq challenges Ahmed Johnson and the
Undertaker to a tag team match on next week’s show so that they can become the
first victims of the new Nation
.
Footage of Steve
Austin “Pillmanizing” Brian Pillman’s ankle in October 1996 is shown
.
Call
1-900-737-4WWF to hear more about what is going on between Shawn Michaels and
Bret Hart!
Paul Heyman and
Tommy Dreamer are shown walking through the crowd
.
The Headbangers beat
Doug Furnas & Philip LaFon after Thrasher pins Furnas when LaFon
inadvertently splashes Furnas at 3:34:
Furnas and LaFon are continuing their “most exciting team
in the history of the WWF” gimmick, which is just incredibly lame and
unbecoming of the structure of their team. 
I’m really not sure what the logic of giving them this gimmick was other
than the WWF just giving up on both guys and realizing that they weren’t going
to make it in the tag division.  If
anything, LaFon and Furnas would have been nice additions to the Hart
Foundation, but they are really out of place in a heel role without a manager.  There isn’t anything wrong with this match
except for the finish, which is botched since Thrasher and Furnas are too far
from the opposing corner.  Rating: 
*½ 
Jerry Lawler is
with Rob Van Dam in the back and Lawler tells McMahon that ECW doesn’t want Van
Dam to compete, but he’s going to tonight
.
Clips of the
infamous gun incident between Pillman and Austin from late 1996 are shown.
McMahon and Ross
recap the entire show thus far.
McMahon interviews
Steve Austin, who comes out to an explosive reaction.  McMahon says that Austin’s attack on Brian
Pillman last night at the King of the Ring was unbecoming, but Austin says it
brought a smile to his face.  Austin says
he’ll kick Pillman’s ass all over the ring tonight and he volunteers to be part
of the five man team to face the Hart Foundation at the Calgary Stampede and
that he’ll wrestle the Hart Foundation five-on-one if he has to.  This is a great promo because it sets up two
matches and appeals to the American fan base, which sees Austin as a hero, and
makes Austin come off as a heel to the Canadian audience, which was the Hart
Foundation’s center of fan support
.
In an interesting
piece, the WWF uses pieces from its AOL website to show how great the King of
the Ring was.  It’s like Twitter before
there was Twitter
.
Rob Van Dam
(w/Jerry Lawler) defeats Flash Funk with a split legged moonsault at 4:28:
During Van Dam’s entrance, Dreamer tries to attack Van
Dam with a chair, but is held at bay by WWF officials.  Funk is falling into Koko B. Ware territory,
as he’s an entertaining act that hasn’t won a match over a significant opponent
for a while.  Both guys showcase their
aerial offense, which is a refreshing change of pace on the show, and put
together a solid match that would be more than acceptable by Nitro
cruiserweight standards.  Rating: 
**½
After the match,
Heyman hopes the guardrail to attack Lawler, but Lawler beats him down and
Dreamer hops the barrier and brawls with Van Dam.
Ken Shamrock comes
out to do commentary for our next match.
Non-Title
Match:  Sid pins Owen Hart
(Intercontinental Champion w/Jim Neidhart) after a chokeslam at 4:13:
This is a match that was made following the King of the
Ring six man tag, where Owen pinned Sid to win the match for his team.  Sid makes one guy’s day who has “Sid is God”
painted on his chest by giving him a fist bump. 
Owen works the leg, which is the only strategy he can realistically try,
and when Neidhart interferes Shamrock is outraged, so he gives Neidhart a
belly-to-belly suplex on the floor which is an impressive sight and generates a
big crowd reaction.  Left to his
longsome, Owen can’t fight off the “Master and Ruler of the World.”  I’m puzzled by this booking because Sid was
on his way out of the company, but it did make Shamrock look like a bad
ass.  Rating:  **
Sable comes out to
model the Raw is War t-shirt.  However,
Marc Mero comes out and gets her after she’s nearly finished her seductive
dancing routine.
The final part of
Mankind’s interview with Jim Ross is shown and Ross said that he felt really
helpless at the end of the interview and wished he had not taken the
assignment.  Mankind says that he wishes
Vince McMahon took him while he was good and he thinks of that when he applies
the Mandible Claw to an opponent.  It is
a rather dark interview, as Mankind talks about pain and suffering.  This is the interview where Mankind puts Ross
in the Mandible Claw at the end and Ross sells it like death
.
Rockabilly (w/The
Honky Tonk Man) beats Bart Gunn with the Shake Rattle N’ Roll at 2:53:
So we go from something very serious to Rockabilly.  Talk about the contrasts in 1997 booking.  The alleged storyline here is that the Honky
Tonk Man got the match signed so Rockabilly could move on to other feuds.  See, that’s what made this particular era
nice.  Nearly every match had some type
of issue behind it and didn’t appear random. 
A slow, glorified squash that gives closure to the Smoking Gunns feud,
which has to constitute one of the most subdued blowoffs to a feud in WWF
history.
The Hart
Foundation is shown talking strategy in the back before they chase off the
camera man
.
Steve Austin
“Pillmanizing” Brian Pillman’s ankle on Superstars in October 1996 is the Super
Soaker Rewind segment
.
Steve Austin comes
down to wrestle Brian Pillman, but the Hart Foundation attacks him.  Mankind runs out and makes a small save and
then runs into the ring and starts to wrestle Pillman, which sets up this bait
and switch match…
Mankind defeats
“The Loose Cannon” Brian Pillman by disqualification when Owen Hart interferes
at 5:12 shown:
You can tell throughout this match that the crowd is not
happy that they did not get Austin-Pillman. 
The match is a train wreck, as it builds little momentum for either
guy.  The reception of the match is so
poor that McMahon and Ross are forced to acknowledge it on commentary.  Mankind applies the Mandible Claw, but the
Hart Foundation intervenes and Austin and Shamrock come out and force the Hart
Foundation to flee.  Rating:  ¼*
After the Hart
Foundation flees, Austin gives Mankind an evil eye and gives Shamrock a Stone
Cold Stunner as we go off the air
.
The Final Report Card:  This show was building nicely until the
swerve at the end that was disappointing for all parties.  The WWF was really testing some of its fans
by hyping Austin-Pillman twice but not delivering the match.  There were some good points of storyline
development throughout the show, with the Nation of Domination breaking up and
starting a reformation and Ken Shamrock starting a grudge with the Hart
Foundation, but there wasn’t much else to report.  I might’ve gone thumbs up before the bait and
switch at the end, but instead I’ll go neutral this week.
Monday Night War Rating:  2.2 (vs. 3.4 for Nitro)
Show Evaluation:  Neutral