Big Show

Do you think the reason the select few who didn’t like Survivor Series or Big Show being back in the main event is that they’ve never seen him in person?  I mean, he looks big on TV, but it pales in comparison to being a part of the WWE Universe at a WWE Live Event and seeing him up close.  He is simply enormous.  That has to be the only logical explanation for why someone wouldn’t have enjoyed Survivor Series.

I sort of think they would have mentioned something about that on TV by now if it was important.  

WWF Championship Wrestling: June 15th, 1985

June 15, 1985

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon.
In action tonight are Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake, Tito Santana, Ricky Steamboat, and Paul Orndorff.

Dave Barbie vs. Tito Santana
Barbie shoves Santana twice off of a lockup. Tito then goes behind him and from that hits a slam and a dropkick. Barbie ducks outside for a breather for a moment then comes in only for Tito to take him down. Tito ducks a clothesline and they have some miscommunication before Santana takes him down with a leg whip. Santana knocks Barbie down with some forearm smashes, which prompts Vince to remind us of his “Latin temper.” The crowd chants for Tito as he works the arm of Barbie. Tito gets backed into the corner but fights right back. He hits a backdrop then attempts to put on the figure four but Barbie seemed to not be able to take the hold and from there, Tito drops a knee right on his chest before putting him away with the flying forearm (4:30).
Thoughts: Tito seemed pissed at Barbie, who was out of position on more than a few occasions. The announcers hyped Tito, referring to him as one of the greats in the company.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week, the subject is Jesse “The Body” Ventura and how he has been taunting Bruno Sammartino.
B. Brian Blair vs. Steve Lombardi
Blair makes his return after a nine month leave. They start by trading go-behinds until Blair grabs hold of the arm. He hits a shoulderblock then uses a drop toehold. As Blair works the arm, Finkel does a voiceover for a local show in Fitchburg, MA that will feature newcomers like Randy Savage and Jim Brunzell, who we will be seeing in the upcoming weeks. Lombardi fights out and even manages to hit a backbreaker but Blair fires away then slams him down. He hits a clothesline then heads up top before hitting a double axe handle then drops the elbow for the win (4:08).
Thoughts: Blair was a little less boring than usual but still doesn’t show much at all in terms of personality. At least is was a good worker but I cant help but think that if he hadn’t been thrown into the Killer Bees gimmick, he would have been on the same level as guys like Lanny Poffo and Rick McGraw during the rest of his run, due to the complete lack of personality
Jack Reynolds runs down the June 25th show at the Boston Garden before welcoming the Junkyard Dog, who will be facing Greg Valentine for the Intercontinental Title. JYD said the last time he was in Boston, he got his pocket picked then calls Jimmy Hart a mouse. JYD also promises that Big John Studd will bite the dust after facing Hulk Hogan.
Rene Goulet vs. Ricky Steamboat
Steamboat leapfrogs over Goulet then hiptosses him out of the corner. He hits some sort of karate kick, which looked pathetic, that sends Goulet to the floor. Back inside, Steamboat hits a flying headscissors and Goulet goes back outside. The announcers put over his agility as he grabs a side headlock. Goulet catches him with an inverted atomic drop then puts on the claw. The ref counts to two then Steamboat fights back. He takes him down with a chop then does some karate poses before hitting the flying body press for the win (3:25). After the match, Goulet attacks Steamboat from behind but that doesn’t last as Steamboat hits a backdrop that has Goulet scrambling outside.
Thoughts: I give Steamboat all of the credit in the world for pulling off this goofy martial arts gimmick. He somehow made it work, despite his goofy kicks and poses.
Reynolds is with Freddy Blassie. He says that Windham & Rotundo have no chance at getting the belts then does an impression of JYD before saying he will lose to Valentine. He also promises that Studd will beat Hulk Hogan.
Jim Young & Bobby Leon vs. Barry O. & Moondog Spot
Spot beats on Young as Finkel does a voiceover promoting the first ever “King of the Ring,” which took place at Sullivan Stadium in Foxboro, MA, which was the former home of the New England Patriots. Barry is now beating on Young, who makes the tag to Leon. The heels work over Leon in the corner until Spot drops him right on his head after performing a shoulderbreaker then Barry hits a knee drop from the middle rope.
Thoughts: I am shocked that Leon got up after that move and when he did, he was dazed and confused. Barry O. was an average wrestler with little personality and would be a permanent jobber when Rex made his return.
Piper’s Pit with guest host Bobby Heenan. He says that Piper is home resting his vocal cords and comments on Orton’s watch, which he said was a gift from Piper. As this is going on, the Missing Link is pacing all over the set like a maniac while Heenan tells the crowd to take a look at the man who will collect the $25,000 bounty on Orndorff. Link growls into the microphone at the end of the interview. Link is not really getting over and his gimmick was more of a hit in the 1970’s than here.
A.J. Petruzzi vs. Paul Orndorff
Orndorff comes out to some generic 80’s rock music and the crowd goes nuts. Orndorff backs Petruzzi into the ropes then hits a shoulderblock. He drops an elbow, which prompts Vince to say “vintage Orndorff.” Orndorff hits a running knee smash then a kneelift before tossing him over the top rope. Orndorff follows him out and slams him on the floor then goes into the ring and poses before hitting the piledriver for the win (2:28).
Thoughts: Its funny how despite turning face, Orndorff continued to wrestle the same way he did as a heel. You rarely saw babyfaces in the 1980’s toss job guys out of the ring then slam them on the concrete.
Mario Mancini & Paul Roma vs. Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake w/Jimmy Hart & Luscious Johnny Valiant
Both men take turns beating on Roma. Mancini tags and gets the same treatment. Mancini tries to fight back but Beefcake rakes the eyes then tags Valentine, who beats on Mancini. He also knocks Roma off of the apron before he can make the tag. Beefcake hits a flying knee smash then Valentine softens him up before applying the figure four (4:16).   
Thoughts: They are putting over the team of Valentine & Beefcake strong. Their opponents didn’t land any offense at all.
Reynolds is with Jimmy Hart, who briefly says that JYD has nothing. Heenan and Studd then come out afterwards and talk about trophies as Studd holds the bag containing Andre’s hair.
Next week, Tony Atlas & Ivan Putski will be in action. Plus, the Missing Link, Brett Hart & Jim Neidhart, and Ricky Steamboat will be in action.
Final Thoughts:  The action was decent enough but not a whole lot happened here as the Pit segment with Missing Link didn’t go over well and the return of Brian Blair was also pedestrian. There isn’t a whole lot of direction right now, with Hogan out of the storylines and Piper at home.

What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – February 9, 1998

by Logan Scisco

The presidential
sex scandal parodies continue, as Sunny is dressed like Marilyn Monroe and
sings “Happy Birthday” to Classie Freddie Blassie.  It was Blassie’s eightieth birthday.
The D-Generation X
beatdown of Steve Austin on last week’s show is recapped in a video package.
Jim Ross, Kevin
Kelly, and Michael Cole are in the booth and they are taped from Evansville,
Indiana.  I will be really happy when we
get rid of this three man commentary team in hour one.  Listening to it is like Ross fighting a
verbal handicap match.

Steve Austin comes
out with a white bag and calls out WWF Champion Shawn Michaels, but D-Generation
X appears on the Titantron.  Michaels
says he calls the shot in the WWF and Austin will face him on his schedule.  Michaels says that Austin needs to give him a
reason to come to the ring and Austin says he should because he has the WWF
title.  Michaels blows that off, but
realizes that a toy belt is in his bag and becomes irate.  Austin says that he will be easy to find if
Michaels wants his belt back.  Sometimes
the simple stuff is all you need to do to in order to tell a great story and
that’s all this did.  1 for 1
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to get your RAW is War varsity jacket for $199.99 (plus $21 shipping & handling)!  I really want to know how many people bought this thing at that price.
Sunny comes out to
do guest ring announcing duties for our next match
Contest:  Jeff Jarrett & Barry
Windham (w/The Rock N’ Roll Express & Jim Cornette) beat The Legion of Doom
by disqualification when Bradshaw interferes at 4:59:
The announcers barely talk about the Legion of Doom
losing to the NWA faction two weeks ago and Cole tries to sell this match as
some kind of new attraction.  Of course,
Jarrett and Windham lost on last week’s show to Bradshaw and Flash Funk, so
they don’t seem in line for a push.  The
LOD’s storyline continues to be “are these guys too old?”  When all hell breaks loose, Hawk ends up on
the arena floor and the NWA faction works over his knee before tossing him back
into the ring.  Jarrett proceeds to apply
a figure-four, but Hawk is not going to submit to break character so Bradshaw
does the predictable run-in and although he never touches anyone in the NWA
faction that costs the LOD the match by disqualification.  That makes no sense to Sunny, who seems confused
announcing the result.  With the piped in
crowd noise, you would think this was the main event of WrestleMania.  Rating:  *½ (1 for 2)
D-Generation X is
shown talking about a plan to get the WWF title back from Steve Austin
Henry Godwinn
(w/Phineas Godwinn) pins Pierre (w/Jacques) when Phineas hits Pierre with a
slop bucket at 4:24:
The Quebecers and Godwinns began a small feud on the most
recent edition of Shotgun Saturday Night and are booked to face each other at
No Way Out, so this offers a preview of what is come.  Of course, why these teams are booked against each other makes little sense, since both are heels and are not over.  Pierre nearly kills himself with a plancha
and he hits a flying leg drop, which Kelly says he stole from Brian
Christopher.  To be fair, Pierre was
technically a pirate in 1995, so that’s not a stretch.  This match is decent for a big man match, but
the finish is silly as Jacques trips Henry and Henry conveniently puts his head
through the ropes to get hit by a slop bucket. 
Phineas then hits Pierre with his bucket after Jacques distracts the referee
by running from Phineas.  Got that?  Rating: 
*¾ (1 for 3)
Chyna walks in on
the Los Boricuas poker game and speaks to them in Spanish about helping out
with Steve Austin.  Lost in this
translation is how to cheat the paying customer and replace Savio Vega with
Shawn Michaels in the eight man tag match main event at No Way Out.
Shawn Michaels
yelling at Steve Austin last week is the Western Union Rewind segment
“Too Sexy” Brian
Christopher & El Pantera beat Taka Michinoku & Aguila when Pantera pins
Michinoku after a flying headbutt at 5:28 shown:
Now, you might remember that Pantera beat Christopher two
weeks ago and Lawler slapped him, so it would make little sense for them to be
partners.  However, on a recent episode
of Shotgun Saturday Night, Pantera turned against Michinoku since they are
facing each other for the light heavyweight title at No Way Out, so they are
teaming up now.  You can tell that all of
this is booked on the fly because Pantera debuted two weeks ago, so they should
have just made him a heel and avoided these problems.  This has a fast start, but Christopher makes
sure he slows that to a crawl when he gets involved.  This has a good finish, as Christopher’s
attempt to hit Michinoku with a foreign object fails, but Pantera puts it in
his mask, makes a blind tag, and headbutts Michinoku to capture the victory and
set himself up as a threat for No Way Out. 
This had its moments if you exclude Christopher’s involvement.  Rating:  **¼ (2 for 4)
Kane and Paul
Bearer come out and Bearer complains about Vader using a fire extinguisher on
Kane last week.  Bearer gives Kane a
Vader clock and Kane uses his magical powers to set it on fire.  Bearer promises that the Undertaker will not
be at No Way Out because the Undertaker is gone.  If the clock fire had been more impressive
I’d give this a point, but it was pretty weak sauce.  2 for
The Rock hitting
the Rock Bottom on Tom Brandi on Shotgun Saturday Night is the Footaction Slam
of the Week
Jerry Lawler joins
Jim Ross in the booth as we enter hour two
The Rock &
Faarooq (w/The Nation of Domination) beat Ken Shamrock & Chainz (w/The
Disciples of Apocalypse & Ahmed Johnson) when Faarooq pins Shamrock after
the Rock hits Shamrock with a chair at 4:21:
This is our last exhibition bout before the “war of
attrition” ten man tag match at No Way Out. 
Before the match, the Rock makes clear that he is in favor of cloning as
long as it is done very, very selectively and that means no one in Evansville
should be cloned.  In fact, the Rock says
only he should be cloned because he’s the “best damn Intercontinental champion
there ever was.”  They should have just
booked the Rock against the Honky Tonk Man to settle that question once and for
all.  Chainz finds himself in peril and
when Shamrock gets the tag he cleans house and puts Faarooq in the ankle
lock.  However, the referee is busy
sorting out a fight between the factions at ringside and the Rock gets a chair
and delivers a sick shot to help his team win. 
After the match, Shamrock snaps and suplexes the referee and Chainz and
his team has to restrain him.  Rating: 
** (3 for 6)
Footage from the
WrestleMania XIV press conference is shown. 
Vince McMahon announces that the main event is Shawn Michaels defending
the WWF title against Steve Austin and Mike Tyson will serve as the enforcer of
the match.  Tyson puts over Bruno
Sammartino and how much he loved him as a kid. 
Shawn Michaels chews out a reporter who puts down wrestling and Austin
and Michaels have a confrontation and Tyson has to get between them.  This looked like a fun press conference
Los Boricuas and
Chyna are shown looking for Steve Austin in the locker room.  Chyna finds a jobber in a towel and tosses
him into a locker.
Steve Blackman
defeats Recon (w/Sniper) via submission to an armbar at 4:33:
This is when they gave Blackman glowing sticks and had
him put on a martial arts display before each match.  Amazing how that didn’t catch on.  Seconds into the match, the Jackyl’s music
hits and he descends from the rafters on a platform and cuts a promo refuting
the idea that he is a sociopath.  The
promo makes it impossible to pay attention to the match, which is a shame
because it is pretty decent.  Jackyl is
upset that Recon loses and slaps him. 
Recon is upset, but the Jackyl turns his back and Recon backs off.  I won’t rate the match, but the Jackyl’s
promo was not very entertaining and neither were the post-match antics.  3 for
1-900-737-4WWF to hear what former NWA champion is having negotiations with Jim
Cornette about coming into the WWF!
The New Age Outlaws
come out in University of Kentucky t-shirts and discuss how they are getting
chills near the entrance because of last week’s dumpster incident.  Billy Gunn wants to recreate it so they pull
out a dumpster and the Road Dogg narrates last week’s events.  They push the dumpster off the entrance and
Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie blow up dolls are inside.  Billy does CPR to the Cactus one and they
promise to hurt Cactus and Chainsaw at No Way Out.  This segment effectively put over the Outlaws
as cocky, arrogant heels that you wanted to see destroyed by Cactus and
Chainsaw.  4 for 8
Los Boricuas and
Chyna continue to look for Steve Austin in the back, but after Los Boricuas go
through some double doors, Austin chains them shut.
Thrasher (w/Mosh)
pins The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust (w/Marc Mero, Sable & Luna
Vachon) with a schoolboy at 4:28:
Goldust has become partial to the Marilyn Manson persona,
as he is doing it again for this show. 
This is another preview of a pay-per-view tag team match since the
Headbangers will face Goldust and Marc Mero at No Way Out.  When the crowd starts chanting loudly for
Sable, Mero, Luna, and Goldust order her to the locker room.  This match drags on until Sable comes back
out and gets into a shouting match with Luna. 
When Goldust tries to confront Sable she slaps him and Thrasher takes
advantage to win.  After the match, Mero
has to restrain Luna before she can mix it up with Sable.  The match was not very good, but the angle
behind it had some good heat.  Rating: 
*¼ (5 for 9)
D-Generation X
comes out and Shawn Michaels demands Steve Austin return what belongs to
him.  Austin comes out with the title
belt, but DX flees and the New Age Outlaws wander out.  Chyna grabs the belt from the canvas as
Austin faces four-on-one odds, but Chainsaw Charlie cuts through the canvas and
he and Cactus Jack come from under the ring. 
Owen Hart joins in as well and DX and the New Age Outlaws flee.  Nice closing segment that wetted the
audience’s appetite for the pay-per-view main event.  6 for
The Final Report Card:  A decent “go home” show for No Way Out and I
am surprised that the eight man tag team match did not get more build in the
weeks leading up to the show.  Tonight
was really the first sustained hype of the main event.  Regardless, the last segment did what it was
supposed to do and the Austin-Michaels storyline for the evening was well
executed.  The Sable-Mero storyline is
arguably the second best one that the company is doing right now and its
beginning to segway nicely into a mixed tag match for WrestleMania.  The next RAW was held on a Saturday, February
21st, so we will recap No Way Out of Texas and go to that episode.
Monday Night War Rating:  3.2 (vs. 4.6 for Nitro)

Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Up

A+ Match of the Day

This is a match that’s gotten around on the net in the past few months and is probably on one of HHH’s DVDs. Here is the “authority” on WCW Saturday Night as Jean-Paul Levesque taking on the great Ricky Steamboat. FWIW I was looking for a JPL-Sting match but couldn’t find one. Can’t find a Sting/Mean Mark match either. Fucking WCW man, all these dream matches and they never took ’em.

Anyway I’m curious to hear what you guys think about this one.

RF Video Shoot Interview with Dustin Rhodes, Volume 2

This was filmed in 2005. I runs just under two hours long.

Rob Feinstein is not the interviewer for this and I have no idea as to who the replacement was either. Dustin is wearing a hoodie and has is actually wearing the hood throughout the interview.

This starts with Dustin being asked about Vince buying WCW. Dustin said that he was under contract for WCW at that time and thought he would get paid but was called the day before the deadline by the WWE and told that they were cancelling it and he ended up only getting paid for the rest of the year.

When asked, Dustin didn’t think that WCW failed but rather it was Vince’s ego wanting complete control that lead to the buyout.

He is then asked if his father gave him any advice about the business and Dustin snapped at the interviewer before saying he told him to stay away from drugs and politics. He said that Dusty was anti-drug and once kicked his ass as a kid when he got caught smoking a joint.

They talk about Dusty’s promotion, Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling, as Dustin talks about how a majority of the independent promotions fail due to no financial backers, saying you need money to make money. Their goal was to get the company to be as big as possible.

After that, he got hired back by the WWE when Jim Ross contacted him before the Royal Rumble and asked him if he was in shape. After the show, Dustin went to TV the following day and worked out a contract with Ross.

He was asked how the locker room changed since his first run and Dustin’s response was that it is happy when business is good but when it is down, Vince is pissed off and everyone else is frustrated. Dustin then said that he always tried to keep morale up by being funny.

Dustin said that he got in shape for this WWE run by running on the treadmill daily and eating a no carb diet a month and a half before his return, resulting in a 30lbs weight loss.

He is now asked about his team with Booker T. Dustin said there was an instant connection between the two and that it was originally supposed to be a one-shot deal but the company saw the chemistry and decided to go with it as a team. He also brings up that the quarter ratings would go up during their segments.

Dustin said that he always got along with Johnny Ace but that he and Jim Ross never saw eye-to-eye. They had some “personal issues” but Dustin does not want to say anything bad about him.

Dustin puts over Brian Gewirtz as a writer and said that he and Booker worked with him on their skits.

When asked about HHH, Dustin said that he saw less of him in his second run. Dustin then says that he was cordial with him and calls HH a good worker but also mentions that played politics and kissed ass too.

He is now asked about scripted promos. When referencing his skits with Booker, he said that they had a lot of fun and at most, their pre-taped stuff would require two takes. He also mentioned that they ad-libbed on occasion.

Dustin is asked if he had any interactions with his ex-wife, Terri. He said that they saw each other at TV and would make small talk but that she spent most of her time in the women’s locker room.

At this time, he usually traveled by himself but would sometimes ride with guys like Booker, Kane, Christian,  and William Regal.

He was not surprised to see Eric Bischoff appear on WWE TV and puts over Eric for giving him a contract in WCW.

Dustin is asked about his involvement in the nWo angle. He said that it was very brief but that he liked the Darth Vader skit. He then calls his Crocodile Hunter skit his favorite one of all-time.

He is now asked if it was difficult to stay clean on the road. Dustin said that he only took prescription pills at that time and would have a few beers after the show but that was all.

They talk about Kevin Nash for a minute. Dustin said that he was a friendly guy and was right near him when he tore his quad. The interviewer then brings up a quote from Nash in a recent interviewer about Dusty, saying that he was using “rural wrestling” instead of “urban wrestling” and that at age 46, Nash said he was the hippest guy in the room. Dustin’s response was that Kevin was a creative guy and not everyone agrees with his dad.

He says that the Undertaker is Vince’s guy then comments about how he was the only one to ever beat him in a casket match. He puts over Taker as a great guy with a good sense for business. He recalls a story of the night before Brock Lesnar got his big push, Taker asked Dustin backstage if he felt that he was ready and Dustin said that he was, then Taker agreed. Dustin also puts over Brock as a friend.

The writers are discussed next and Dustin’s asks if they were approachable. He said that some of them were but that most of them only talked with the top guys. He said that they were good to him until they wanted to give Booker a singles push, then he became an afterthought. Once again, he puts over the fact that he does not engage in backstage politics. Dustin also mentions that the writers were all young and usually in their 20’s.

On the subject of the wrestlers today, Dustin said that a lot of the guys being pushed can’t even lace their own boots. He puts over that he is not able to watch the show today due to him no longer being able to afford cable, but hears that they are not doing a good job and that the product itself is bad. He puts over Stephanie McMahon for having a great head on her shoulders then says that they only need a few writers instead of fifteen, as there are way too many ideas being floated around.

He is asked about competiveness. He brings up Stevie Richards, who he felt never got the push her deserved, and how he always busted his ass constantly on “Sunday Night Heat” then ended up getting his face caved in by a guy who barely knew how to work (Chris Masters).

Dustin is asked about his Tourettes gimmick, He said the whole thing started around 1997-98 when he was at the airport while in the WWE. He saw the “Jerry Springer Show” on TV and they had a panel comprised of people suffering from Tourettes so he started to act like that and the other guys started to laugh. He then brings up how he used to do that on the plane rides and some of the other wrestlers would get in on the act. He brings up how Val Venis would play along and when Dustin was acting like that on the plane in front of regular passengers, Val would ask him if he took his medication and even tell the other passengers that he had Tourettes.

He is asked about the guys today, like Randy Orton and Batista. He puts them both over, saying that few guys are able to catch on right away like Orton as then says that while he still needs to learn, Batista continues to improve. He also puts over John Cena as a guy who caught on quickly.

Dustin said that he is going to open a wrestling school in Oklahoma. He says that there are a lot of people out there who want to be wrestlers, citing the amount who tried out for “Tough Enough” as an example, and hopes that one day, he could be a developmental territory for the WWE.

Dustin then is asked about performing the Tourettes gimmick on the “Howard Stern Show.” He said that they still play the clips today and had no idea why the WWE did not promote his appearance on TV.

He ended up hurting his elbow in a match teaming with Lance Storm against Christian & Chris Jericho while touring Australia. He was told that he needed four weeks off to heal. After that, he came back and noticed that he was not ready and asked for an additional two weeks. He said that he did the match anyway and landed on his injured elbow after taking a slam from Mark Henry. After that, he was out for six more weeks and after that, he got released. Dustin said that you cannot work with a bad elbow. He also said that he was told that if he could come up with any ideas, he could stay. Dustin claimed that he submitted eight ideas within 24 hours but got cut immediately.

He is asked about drugs again and Dustin said that he has been prescribed pain pills since 1993 and that he only takes them as prescribed. He mentions that he can barely get out of bed if he does not take them.

Now, he discusses the “plane ride from hell.” Dustin discusses how there are a lot of rumors as to what happened and brings up a lawsuit filed by a stewardess that was dropped due to a lack of evidence. He claims that he was sleeping for most of the flight but does mention a few things that occurred, such as a stewardess wearing nothing except for Ric Flair’s robe (with Flair yelling “woo!!!” as she walked down the stairs), Bradshaw punching out Michael Hayes, and Brock Lesnar and Curt Hennig wrestling in the aisle. Dustin said that he was accused of groping the stewardess who filed suit. He then said that he spilled the cup that he spit his dip into and that Jim Ross fined him $5,000, which was used to clean up the plane. Dustin says that he dips 4 tins daily. He then closes this out by saying you cannot believe everything on the internet.

Dustin then puts himself over as a worker today, saying that while he cannot do flips, he is in the top ten in terms of in-ring psychology.

He currently says that he is applying for a job installing cable. He says that wrestling is all he knows though. He also says that he is not going do take a job in which you cannot make a living, like a fast-food worker.

Dustin talks about his younger brother, Cody, and how he is living in California trying to make it as an actor. He says that while Cody claims he does not want to be a wrestler, he can see it in his eyes and wants to help break him into the business.

He is asked if there was any heat on him in TNA for being the booker’s son. He said that he was well respected by the other wrestlers but also saw others kissing ass backstage and talks about that is a common occurrence.

When asked about teaming with his dad in Japan at a show for the Hustle promotion, he said that it was tough because he put the whole match together and was nervous about wrestling a Japanese style. He then notes how the more nervous you get, the easier you blow up in the ring and that his dad told him how he looked like he was going to have a heart attack. He then blames himself for the match sucking.

He talks about wrestling Raven in TNA. He said that during their straight-jacket match, he had a legit panic attack and after the match, he ended up kneeling down backstage and started to cry. He later apologized to Raven for the match being awful and Raven told him how very few guys would have the balls to do what he did. Dustin then puts over Raven as a wrestler.

They now move on to Chris Candido, who passed away shortly before this interview. Dustin becomes tearful when discussing Candido, noting how he finally got clean then died due to a freak accident. He recalls how they taped a match that was supposed to air after his death but instead, they put up a graphic of the Naturals and Candido with the Tag-Team Titles as the last shot.

Dustin puts over Dixie Carter as a “sweet” person then says that TNA will thrive on Spike then move on to Monday Night. He also puts over the Jarrett’s for bringing in the Carter family to TNA.

The interviewer brings up Vince Russo and a quote from Jerry Jarrett’s book in which he referred to Russo as a “fraud.” Dustin said that while Russo wrote a lot of scripts for his Goldust vignettes, he was the one who performed them. He also said that Russo “shunned” him at the end of WCW but states that he will not say anything bad about him.

Dustin is asked if the Southern-style of wrestling can get over today. He said that it can but you have to realize that it is a new generation of fans and that the storylines need to reflect that. He also says that he believes that he can cater to the new generation of fans, claiming that he knows what they want to see.

He then talks about going five years without speaking to his dad. He said that they eventually met up and hugged, crying for a half hour. He also said them splitting up will never happen again.

Next is how he left TNA. He said that he was with his girlfriend at the time, who had been drinking and drugging all day long, while his 11 year old daughter was with her. He said that at the hotel, she was getting belligerent with him and after noting that his daughter was almost asleep, he told his girlfriend to leave. She started to scream and yell some more so Dustin picked her up by the waist and brought her outside, where she called the police and Dustin got arrested for assault. He spent 72 hours in jail and his dad covered for him with TNA, telling Dixie that he got sick. When Dustin got out of jail, he checked his cell phone and the girlfriend had left some death threats. He was found not guilty after a trial but states that his ex-wife will now only allow supervised visits with her daughter until his anger management courses are complete. At this point, he is crying and states that someone should have slapped him before meeting this girl. He stays angry for a few more minutes, replying to the next few answers about “One Night Stand” shows as he didn’t give a fuck about them.

Dustin is now asked if he could have cut it in “Tough Enough.” He said probably not but that he paid his dues by driving around making $20 a night while getting the shit kicked out of him. He said that “Tough Enough” is a Marine Corps. type of deal before saying “fuck that.”

On the subject of steroids, he said that he was never pressured to take them but did once in 1990 and just ended up getting fat as he drank on them. He also said that he became mean as hell.

When asked if he is prepared for life after wrestling, he said no and that he needs to figure that out soon.

He says that he is not making any money on the indies and that his truck will most likely be repossessed in a few days and his house will probably be foreclosed on shortly after that.

Dustin says that in terms of getting color,” you should only do that at the top of the card and use it based on the crowd reactions.

About guys in TNA that he likes, he puts over Bobby Roode, saying that he has “it,” and Kid Kash. He also loves America’s Most Wanted and thinks that they should become heels. He calls Cassidy Reilly a good worker who deserves a bit of a push. He is also a fan of the X Division, noting that it is different from everything else.

He closes by saying not all of the rumors on the internet are true and that he loves the business.

Final Thoughts: I thought this shoot interview was okay. Dustin, who even though looked like he did not want to be here at all, was still willing to talk. However, this interviewer was the absolute worst I have ever heard from a shoot interview. He kept on trying to get Dustin to talk about drug use and his ex-wife Terri but used questions that were just awful. He didn’t even ask him about the rumor of approaching Terri on the “plane ride from hell” and would instead just flat-out ask him about his drug use, almost as if he was an addict.

The other part of this interview I will address is how it came across. Dustin seemed like he was on the verge of losing everything. It was harrowing, actually, and the whole interview had a depressed tone, right down to the fact that it was filmed in a dark hotel room. Talking about his truck getting repossessed and losing his house was sad, as he left the WWE and TNA not that long before this interview. You can also tell that he was really shaken up by his arrest too as his whole mood changed as a result of bringing that up. Luckily for Dusitn, he was able to turn his life around and eight years later is in the middle of an incredible comeback.

Overall, I give this a very mild recommendation but if you want to watch a shoot interview, you can find a much better one somewhere else.

The SmarK RAW Rant–11.25.13

The SmarK RAW Rant – 11.25.13 Live from Long Island, NY Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler So my pre-show rant for the day: I feel like this company has fallen into living out The Bridge on the River Kwai with this Authority deal. They’re all about “telling stories”, but they have literally ONE (1) story they’re telling, which is “HHH and Stephanie are bad people and Vince returns to get revenge at Wrestlemania.” Except Vince was never betrayed or wronged by them on TV, he just kind of disappeared. And they don’t actually know what match is being built to. And they don’t know how they’re getting to that match. And they don’t know when Vince is coming back or why. But BY GOD, the storyline that people have craved for a year is FUCKING VINCE MCMAHON V. COO HHH and if fans chant for Daniel Bryan it just means we’re in “bizarroworld” or it’s a smark-heavy city or the football game was big competition or it’s a holiday show and we just don’t understand how important it is to have 5 (five) authority figures running RAW every week to build to the incredibly important, once-in-a-lifetime HHH v. Vince showdown that we already saw twice in 1999. And now that we’ve burned through all the possible World title contenders (Ziggler, Bryan, Big Show, Kane, Del Rio, Punk, Ryback, Henry) and there’s literally nothing left to fill time until YOU WILL GET HHH V. VINCE AND FUCKING LIKE IT, now we get a “title v. title” ladder match between Orton and Cena after four straight months of screwjob finishes in PPV main events, because there’s no one else left to main event. And even then they can’t call it a unification match, because they’re compelled to screwjob that up as well because it doesn’t matter until we get to HHH v. Vince, which you will FUCKING LIKE OR FUCK YOU, which is the most importantest thing in the history of sports entertainment. For some reason. But maybe that’s just me. Randy Orton joins us to start, and oh boy, there’s gonna be some talking. So Orton brings out HHH & Steph, and they couldn’t be more proud. Orton, as usual, is annoyed with them, because that’s his character motivation given to him on a napkin before the show started this week. The fans chant “Daniel Bryan” and turn on the segment before it even gets going. Orton goes on and on about how great he is, but John Cena interrupts because that’s exactly what this show needed. Do they even realize what a self-parody they’ve become? People complaining about the same guys getting pushed all the time, so we get Cena and Orton both carrying belts around and fighting each other. Cena’s theory about why fans chant for Bryan: They’re sick of “administrative BS”. Alternative theory: They want to see Bryan. So anyway, HHH makes Orton v. Cena for TLC in a TLC match with both titles on the line. With three weeks of buildup. On the December PPV. And of course, once that match has been made between the two biggest champions in wrestling to supposedly unify the belts, it’s HHH’s music that plays to end the segment. HOLY SHIT could they make me any more pissed off to start this show? The Shield v. Cody Rhodes, Goldust & Rey Mysterio Goldust quickly gets cut off and worked over in the heel corner, but he catapults Ambrose over the top, only to fall victim to a series of increasingly cartoonish hard luck frustrations while trying to tag. Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb. And we take a break. Back with poor Dustin FINALLY getting the hot tag to Rey. Rollins escapes the 619, but Cody comes in and hits Ambrose with the whiplash slam for two. Reigns destroys both Goldust and Rey with spears, leaving Ambrose to finish Cody with the bulldog driver at 9:49. I like how they’re dispensing with pretense and just having Goldust go out and start getting the heat right away. **1/2 MizTV, with Titus O’Neil dressed up as Michael Strahan even though he’s supposed to be a babyface now, which goes off the cliff really quickly. This brings out the real Strahan, and he’s here to make a crappy tag match for the main event tonight. Because god knows we didn’t already have enough people making matches on this show. Wow! Take four guys in a program and randomly stick them together! Props to the crowd for booing ALL FOUR GUYS. Truly a slow clap is deserved for that one. And then this somehow gets WORSE, as Strahan bickers with Miz over who can do a hiptoss, and then they do some hiptosses on each other, and everyone dances together to end the horrible segment because they’re having FUN and WWE is so much FUN and stuff. Holy god this was bad. I don’t even know if Miz is supposed to be a face or a heel at this point. Big E Langston & Mark Henry v. Ryback & Curtis Axel Big E gets worked over in the Not-Heyman corner, but fights out of a Ryback chinlock and makes the hot tag to Henry, who is now a smiling babyface again after failing to destroy Cena. He finishes Axel quickly with a JYD tribute and Strongest Slam at 2:28. Hamptons Hardcore Match: Damien Sandow v. Dolph Ziggler Why are these two even feuding? So they brawl around ringside doing silly garbage wrestling while the announcers are like “Oh man, this is just like the Attitude era, all you stupid jaded fans who keep wanting it back!” We take a break and return with literal garbage brawling, until Dolph turns the tide with the faithful fire extinguisher spray to the face. Fameasser gets two as this drags on and on going nowhere. The crowd takes the opportunity to turn on the show again, chanting for Randy Savage and then booing security for harassing the guy DRESSED as Randy Savage. And this is the match THEY LEFT IN THE SHOW!! Much like the crowd I stopped paying attention to the match two or three chants ago. Sandow mercifully ends it with Uncle Slam onto a garbage can at 12:32. Time to read the writing on the wall, Dolph. Do like Morrison and go pursue your acting dreams for a while, or whatever Zack Ryder did once he left WWE. ½* Daniel Bryan & CM Punk join us for some meta-humor (“Is it completely weird that we all have our own microphones and Renee Young isn’t asking us any questions?”) and we get Colt Cabana’s name dropped IN THIS VERY RING. Nice to see SOMEONE having fun tonight. Is it too much to hope that Renee becomes the Elizabeth for the IndyPowers before they explode? Because she’d be awesome at it. Daniel Bryan & CM Punk v. The Wyatt Family Harper gets caught in the babyface corner and worked over, but Bryan gets nailed by Bray and beat up. Over to Punk, who dumps Rowan and hits him with the knee into the railing. Back in for the Macho Elbow, which gets two. Sadly, he stops to gloat and gets tossed out of the ring and, say it with me, we take a break. Back with Punk getting worked over in a lengthy heat segment, and after the hot tag to Bryan we get one of my all-time least favorite finishes, with the referee calling for the bell due to the heels kicking too much ass at 15:00. Match was fine, but the finish was lazy and stupid. **1/4 Bryan gets kidnapped by the Wyatts, and then Punk is randomly speared by Reigns and powerbombed by the Shield. And so our heroes go their separate ways, I guess? Talk about throwing shit at a wall. Meanwhile, Cena jokes around with Strahan while the Wyatts KIDNAP HIS FUTURE BROTHER-IN-LAW. What an ass. John Cena & Big Show v. Randy Orton & Alberto Del Rio I bet Show feels stupid for dropping that lawsuit now. Show dominates Orton and chokes him out on the ropes as we take a break. OH MY GOD could this show get any more cookie cutter? Back from a break and I don’t even give a shit anymore while I’m told I’m supposed to get excited about watching the 14-time World champion face the 11-time World champion to determine who will get to hold all the World titles at the same time. Oh, and now Big Show has a concussion or something. Hopefully it’ll be one of those HHH concussions where he just shakes it off by the next week, rather than a Ziggler concussion where they blame him for it and destroy all his momentum before turning him into a jobber. Speaking of which, Cena taps Del Rio with the STF at 18:00 to end this. The doctor, meanwhile, is checking on Show for possible career-threatening head injury, but Cena has to keep going and win the match himself anyway. Orton lays him out and holds up both belts, which Cole notes “is symbolic of what might happen.” YOU THINK? THANKS FOR EXPLAINING THAT DEEP SYMBOLISM FOR ME! Because apparently I’m stupid. The Pulse THIS WAS WHAT THEY DIDN’T CUT OUT OF THE SHOW THIS WEEK!

BoD Daily Update

Dave Meltzer on Steve Austin’s Podcast

Kayfabe Commentaries Releases 1963-69 WWE Timeline with Bruno Sammartino

Layla Update

Layla is not out with an injury, so her absence from TV is due to another reason

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Radio


So I was digging around on YouTube, and shortly before Montreal, Ken Shamrock had RAW matches against both Bret and Shawn… not only are both matches well above average for a Shamrock TV match (not surprising), but both matches end with a distracted ref missing it as Shamrock forces Bret and Shawn to tap (more surprising). Were there main event plans for Shamrock at the time? Because otherwise it's kinda weird to have him pretty decisively beat (even if technically both matches ended in DQs) two of the three biggest stars in the company within a week or two of each other. 

If there were plans, what happened to derail them? 

Well I mean, he DID main event the December PPV against Shawn, and there were vague notions of putting the belt on Shamrock when the whole Bret thing was going down, but the PPV match was weak enough that I don't think anyone would continue to push Shamrock at that level.  

The PG Era Rant: Raw, 11-25-13

When last we left our heroes, an
Ultimate Showdown appeared to loom. After brushing aside Alberto Del
Rio, John Cena set his sights on Randy Orton. But why? He’s already
a champion, and one title isn’t better than the other, is it?
Meanwhile, what happens in the undercard, with CM Punk and Daniel
Bryan taking out the Wyatts, Roman Reigns dominating his match, and
Big E Langston and the Miz winning their singles bouts? Has Survivor
Series any long-term impact?
The look-in ad informs us that we have
special guest host Michael Strahan and will talk about the Show/Orton
match, opening with the WWE Champion, whomever it may be.
– The PG Era Rant for Raw, November 25,
– Live from Long Island.
– Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL, and
Jerry Lawler.
– This show is dedicated to the memory of
Mad Dog Vachon.

– And now, Randy Orton joins us to
confirm he won last night. Apparently Big Show lost to the
Distraction Finish on Pay Per View. Ha ha! Tonight CM Punk and
Daniel Bryan will face off against all three rednecks of the Wyatt
Family. Orton starts by asking for an apology from all the doubters
because he’s still the champ. Orton introduces us to The Authority,
just so we know who’s important on this show. JBL and Cole are 4
minutes into the show and already JBL is resorting to threats. HHH
says the Authority is pleased with what Orton achieved last night.
HHH says he hand-picked Orton to be the future 10 years ago, and now
they take credit for motivating Orton. And hey, it’s nice to prove
the McMahons right. Orton says what we’re all thinking: why is this
about you? Orton says he didn’t need their help, but he got it and
he doesn’t like it. HHH makes sure to emphasize physical in physical
interference as the crowd DEMANDS Daniel Bryan. Orton and HHH ignore
the crowd (until Orton tells them to stop with the YES chant) and
Orton says he can take care of himself. He can handle Big Show
“unlike somebody else I know”. Orton, the face of the company,
WON. Orton is the greatest superstar in the WWE’s 50 years, and
nobody can take it away from him. This is the Orton I miss. But
before HHH can rebut, The Other Champ Is Here! Cena pretends to
introduce himself to Orton. Stephanie stops their discussion before
it gets heated. Stephanie doesn’t like wastes of time, so what does
Cena want? For them to listen to the fans! Cena stands up for
Daniel Bryan and says the fans are sick of administrative BS. They
hate entitlement, and they hate Orton being a little boy. But enough
of that: who’s THE Champion? After all, there are TWO champs. Cena
uses this time to call for a title unification match. Cena cuts off
Orton talking to HHH, and he demands that Orton himself answer. Cena
wants the match TONIGHT! The crowd loves the idea, and even
Stephanie admits it’s a good idea. Orton says the Authority’s in
league with Cena, but HHH tells him to grow up. Really? HHH eggs
Orton before making the match for TLC: the unification match in a TLC
match. Orton hates this idea, but he agrees to do the photo op. If
they’re teasing a Cena/Orton double turn, it’s done well, but I don’t
see them following through because Cena’s their cash cow. Although
does anyone else find it interesting that John Cena started by
pointing out the love for Daniel Bryan and ended by getting himself
the title match?
– Tonight, Rey Mysterio and the Rhodeses
face the Shield.
– Shield v. Rhodes Brothers and Rey
Mysterio. The announcers point out that Roman Reigns tied Diesel’s
record from 1994 with four eliminations. Shield jump everyone to
start, which allows Reigns to attack Goldust to start. Rollins
continues with the stomping before bringing in Ambrose, who gets the
power drive elbow and big stomp. Enter Rollins, who floors Goldust
with a gut punch and dropkick. Ambrose back in, and Goldust gets
wishboned. Ambrose rakes Goldust across the middle rope and tries a
dropkick only to get catapulted to the apron. Ambrose rolls back in,
but is hit with the kneeling uppercut. Rollins in, who cuts off the
hot tag but gets dumped over the top. Rollins springboards into an
inverted atomic drop, but Reigns with a lariat to stop the hot tag.
It gets two as we go to break. We return with Goldust trying to
fight out of an Ambrose hold, only to get a knee to the gut. Reigns
in, but Goldust DDTs both men and looks for a tag. Rollins knocks
Cody off the apron, but Goldust backdrops him and it’s hot tag Rey.
Rey sticks and moves on Rollins, but his tilt-a-whirl is caught, only
for Rey to send him into the ropes. Both men do body presses and go
down. Now Cody’s in, and he missile dropkicks Ambrose. Brisco
rollup on Ambrose gets two. Alabama Slam, Reigns saves. Rey in on
Reigns, low-bridging him. Rollins is set up for the 619, but Reigns
returns and spears the hell out of Rey and Goldust. Cody dropkicks
Reigns out of the ring, following with the Disaster kick on him.
Rollins is set up for Cross Rhodes, but Ambrose with the bulldog
driver to win at 8:26. WAY too short to have a commercial break.
– Up
next, Michael Strahan. Plus, Dolph Ziggler and Damien Sandow will
face off in a WWE App match. Is it hardcore, street fight, or
lumberjack? And aren’t two of them the exact same match?
– MizTV
is on the air. Miz gets the honors of talking to Michael Strahan.
Only not really: it’s Titus O’Neil pretending to be Strahan. Lisp
and all. Miz asks “Strahan”: what’s with the gap in his teeth?
O’Neil says it shows life – especially when he smiles. Miz: “That
gap’s wider than the one between the Giants and the playoffs.”
Yes, Miz is a BAD PERSON now. “Strahan” talks about how great
O’Neil is. But before the joke an go any further, the real Michael
Strahan emerges. Strahan fires up the crowd and thanks Titus and Miz
for being entertaining, though their jokes were WEAK. He tells Titus
his Gap routine is weak. Strahan says he wants to have fun tonight,
and hams it up. He then says that “on very good Authority” there
will be a “Double Team Tag Team Main Event”. It will be Randy
Orton and Alberto Del Rio (“Oh, you don’t like them. Okay.”)
against Big Show and John Cena. Is Strahan trying to be cool or is
he always like this? Miz compliments Strahan on being a host, but
Miz is a host AND a wrestler. He asks Strahan if he thinks he can
hack it? Strahan: “I think Kelly Ripa’s tougher than you.” Now
it’s O’Neil playing peacemaker between the two as the crowd chants
for Kelly Ripa. Seriously. Miz offers to give Strahan a hiptoss,
which Strahan agrees to. Did I miss something? Is there a point?
Strahan blocks the hiptoss (“He was stiff”), so O’Neil decides to
step in. Strahan blocks O’Neil too. At least I assume they’re
blocking. Miz asks Strahan to pretend Miz is Tony Romo (even O’Neil
thinks that’s a mistake). O’Neil hypes up the crowd… and Strahan
reverses the hiptoss on the Miz. O’Neil and Strahan dance… until
Strahan hiptosses O’Neil too. But no hard feelings.
Congratulations, you’re now on daytime talk TV and all you had to do
was expose the business.
– Curtis
Axel and Ryback v. Big E Langston and Mark Henry. That title already
looks cooler around Langston than it ever did around Axel. Langston
and Aexl start, with Axel punching away. Langston reverses a whip
and rams Axel in the gut, following up with multiple rib busters.
Ryback tags himself in and gets a spinebuster and splash for one as
the crowd keeps up the Goldberg chant. Military press follows for
another one. Axel is back in, and he throws the elbows and goes
ground-and-pound. Ryback returns and hooks a vicious… chinlock.
Langston fights out and catches Ryback in a Greco-Roman throw. Hot
tag Henry, who steamrolls Axel and gets the Junkyard Headbutt.
Running powerslam and Langston knocks Ryback away. World’s Strongest
Slam to Axel ends it at 2:31. Nothing to see here, but welcome back
to Henry. 1/2*
– For those of you who loved that Divas
match last night, we’re doing it again tonight! For the rest of you,
– Let’s look back at the opening segment
and talk about tonight’s main event and stuff.
– Team Total Divas v. Team True Divas.
Eliminations count. Aksana starts against one of the Bellas – I
think Brie – and shoves her away before ducking out of the ring.
Brie with a Russian legsweep and rollup for one as the crowd asks for
Tamina of all people. Brie spanks Aksana and gets the faceplant to
eliminate Aksana at 0:55. Rosa is dropkicked and dragged to the
Total corner, bringing in Nikki as they get Double Trouble for the
pin at 1:17. Tamina and Naomi jump in, and the Funkadactyls get a
double suplex on Tamina, followed by a double split legdrop. Naomi
does a Rube Goldberg stunner to Tamina, but gets superkicked hard for
the pin at 2:19. Cameron dives in, but Tamina rolls through and
(eventually) gets a Samoan drop to pin her at 2:45. Natalya’s in
with a cradle for one, but Tamina clotheslines her. Tamina stomps
away in the corner and gets the JACKET THROW OF DOOM. Blind charge
misses, and Natalya with a discus lariat and suplex. Slam to Tamina,
and JoJo comes in to pin at 3:37. Alicia Fox misses a high kick and
gets cradled for one. Rollup for one as JoJo looks for quick pins.
Alicia with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and JoJo’s out at 4:07. Eva
Marie in to big boos as she takes over on Alicia. Fox goes for the
Brisco roll, but Eva Marie blocks it for the pin at 4:29. Natalya
and Kaitlyn now, and Natalya gets out of a headlock to run into a
shoulder tackle for two. Natalya with a kick, discus lariat misses,
and Kaitlyn with the gutbuster try. Natalya gets out, and eventually
tries the Sharpshooter, hooking it to get the tap at 5:31. AJ enters
now as Natalya is HUNGRY for more. She jumps into Natalya’s arms as
the crowd is on AJ’s side. Sunset flip by AJ is blocked. AJ avoids
the Sharpshooter and pins Natalya with the tights at 6:09. She
taunts Natalya, so Brie enters and gets the facejam to pin AJ at
6:30. It’s 3 on 1 now on Summer Rae, who is none too happy with this
development (JBL: “She can count!”). Summer Rae tries to dance
for no discernible reason, so Nikki dances the Worm. Summer Rae
tries it (it’s more of a spastic tantrum) and tries to leave, but Eva
Marie won’t let her leave as the fans ask her to twerk. Brie and Eva
Marie won’t let Summer walk out, so Nikki gets a torture rack drop
for the pin at 8:19. Well, if you HAVE to give the Divas ten minutes
on Raw, I can think of worse ways to do it. 1/2*
JBL and Lawler ask Cole to do the Worm.
– We
look back at the Broadway Brawl from last week, including the Double
J homage. This is our way of saying we have a WWE App rematch.
– The
Slammys are coming December 9.
– Before
we can have the WWE App Match, Damien Sandow says he’s above this
sort of thing. He calls the match “circus-like”, and it’s hard
to argue. Where were we?
– Hardcore
Match (37%): Damien Sandow v. Dolph Ziggler. All three choices got
at least 30%, which goes to show that maybe there’s no interest in
any of them. Ziggler is in a Tavares Islanders jersey. And yes, the
weapons are the upper-crust props because it’s called the HAMPTONS
Hardcore Match. Really. Well, that and a garbage can. Sandow
charges with the nine-iron but gets dropkicked. Dolph goes for a
club, but Sandow knocks him down as it sounds like the crowd wants a
Ryder run-in. Sandow punches away in the ropes and slides Dolph out
of the ring, as we see why – Dolph’s wearing Ryder’s T-shirt.
Sandow rips THAT shirt off too and throws Dolph into the trash can on
the outside. Dolph reverses Sandow into the timekeeper area and
clotheslines him into the area as JBL and Lawler exchange rich jokes.
Sandow uses the house mic on Dolph as Cole references the Mean
Street Posse. Sandow dives off onto Dolph, but Dolph climbs out of a
pick-up and puts the trash can on Sandow before dropkicking it/him as
we go to break. We come back with Sandow choking Dolph with his boot
as we see the weapons are gone. Sandow continues stomping away and
empties a trash can, but Dolph gives him a Rude Awakening on the
refuse. Dolph with the YACHTING OAR OF DOOM, but Sandow cuts him off
and throws knees before slamming him down. He puts the jersey over
Dolph and lands the Cubito Aequet as the crowd appears to be asking
for Ryder again. Dolph crawls halfway under the ring and finds a
fire extinguisher, and Sandow gets a face full of CO2. Back in,
Dolph leaps onto Sandow in the corner for the ten-punch count-along
into a neckbreaker. As this is a hardcore match, no one tries a
near-fall. Dolph smashes Sandow with the oar and gets a Rocker
Dropper for two. I hate being proven wrong. Sandow crawls out of
the ring, with Dolph following but running into a trash can. The
crowd is losing patience and begins a Randy Savage chant. Sandow
sends Dolph into the steps as security appears to be escorting
someone out and the crowd cares about that. Sandow stomps and
punches away. He gets a tennis racket, but Dolph catches him with
the high jump DDT on a chair for two. Stinger Splash misses, and
Sandow breaks an oar over Dolph’s back before hitting the full nelson
slam on a trashcan for the pin at 11:35. You know, the Hardcore
matches of the Attitude Era were quickly descending into self-parody,
and this doesn’t help matters at all. *3/4
– The
Miz is in a made for TV movie on ABC Family. And here’s the star of
the show in the audience!
– Meanwhile,
Santino and Michael Strahan are having a fun talk we know nothing
about, but Santino freaks out because Erick Rowan is in the picture.
He offers Strahan a sheep mask. Strahan puts it on, feeling
pressured to do so. They both look to the camera and back at each
other as Rowan leaves. Strahan is as unsettled as Santino… who
attempts to tie this into Thanksgiving with a lamb’s mask turkey.
Strahan is as confused as the rest of us. Had they done the Wyatt
cut-out when they looked to the camera, that would’ve been perfect.
– It’s
going to be a special Thanksgiving SmackDown on Friday, and they’re
all but promising a food fight.
– Renee
Young is in the ring and will interview CM Punk and Daniel Bryan.
Punk starts by feeding the crowd some questions that have YES
answers, with Bryan answering. They survived last night, and now the
deck is stacked against them because Bray Wyatt’s in it. But they’ll
get their hands on the false prophet Bray Wyatt in Long Island.
They’re ready for a fight. Also, it’s weird that they have their own
microphones and Renee’s doing nothing. CM Punk than asks what their
team name should be, which throws Bryan because the answer isn’t YES
or NO. Punk says most people would be afraid of the Wyatt Family.
Handicap matches are the Authority’s way of fixing problems (“Good
thinking, HHH. Real creative.”). Punk then starts naming random
team names (and all of Colt Cabana’s ring names) as opponents. Also,
the Ring Crew Express gets a name check. But Punk and Bryan will
burn them all to the ground. I think Punk drank WAY too much Pepsi
tonight. Bryan says he’s stared Wyatt down and knows he’s not done
and won’t stop until Bryan and Punk are done, but that WILL NOT
HAPPEN. Bryan asks what time it is, and now Punk answers. And here
comes the opposition.
– Wyatt
Family v. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. Rowan and Punk start. Punk
kicks away, but Rowan throws him down. Punk throws forearms, but
Rowan mauls him in the corner and pulls him out by the ear for a
slam. Punk bails out and kicks the legs away. Bryan in, and he
keeps the kicks up. Rowan throws Bryan into the ropes and gets a
back elbow. Bryan is caught in the wrong corner, and Harper comes in
with headbutts. Bryan does the corner flip and clothesline to
Harper, bringing Punk in. Punk tries a snapmare, but Harper blocks
and sends Punk into the corner. Blind charge misses, and Punk works
Harper over in the corner to bring Bryan in. They kick away on the
hamstring, with Bryan getting a dragon screw. Bryan with a European
Uppercut series. Harper returns in kind and wins the exchange.
Wyatt demands in, and Harper obliges. Wyatt slaps the taste out of
Bryan (“YOU ASKED FOR THIS”) before casually kicking away on
Bryan. A headbutt follows as Wyatt keeps taunting, then a falling
headbutt. Rowan enters with a kick to Bryan’s head, then a slam.
Rowan picks Bryan up by the beard and headbutts him. Big boot in the
corner misses, though, and Punk gets the tag. Diving clothesline to
Rowan, but a few more are needed to knock him over as a leg lariat
does it. Running knee to Rowan in the ropes sends Rowan to the
floor, and Punk follows with a tope suicida before climbing the
barricade to celebrate. Back in, it’s Punk’s floating neckbreaker to
set up the Savage Elbow. It connects for two. Punk calls for GTS,
but Harper cuts it off. Rowan is able to get up and FLINGS Punk out
of the ring face-first and at Harper’s feet as we go to break. [For
those curious why I interchange names for the flying elbow, remember
this: Randy Savage would tuck the elbow to his body when he flew.
Shawn Michaels would extend the elbow outward and lead with it. So
when Punk overestimates his flying capabilities and has to compensate
by extending the arm, it’s the Heartbreak Elbow, not the Savage Elbow
like it was tonight. I love having commercial breaks for these
sidebars.] We return with Rowan beating up Punk and applying a
chinlock. Punk elbows out, but gets clubbered. Wyatt tags in and
kicks away, adding headbutts. He boxes Punk in the corner and slams
him down. It gets one. He puts his weight on Punk to stop him and
tags Harper in for the Gator Roll into a side sleeper. Punk punches
his way free, only to get his eyes raked and receive an uppercut.
Rowan in, and Punk gets whipped into a bearhug by Rowan. Punk elbows
out to get free, then tries a sunset flip, but Rowan picks him up
only to get roundhouse kicked. Harper and Bryan both in, and Bryan
clears out Wyatt before punching away on Harper. A dive to Wyatt and
Hotshot to Harper leads to a missile dropkick on Harper and kip-up.
YES kicks are next, but the exclamation point is missed, so Bryan
hooks a rana and the YES lock. Rowan saves. Bryan avoids a charge
and goes coast-to-coast with dropkick on both men. Harper catches
Bryan with a Michinoku Driver for two, Punk saves. It’s BONZO GONZO
now as the ref tries to clear the ring a little before DQ’ing the
Wyatts at 13:27. LAME. Punk is disposed of by a Harper discus
lariat as Wyatt and Rowan throw Bryan into the barricade. The Family
picks Bryan up and carries him off away from Punk, so expect him to
be in a suit and the Authority’s stooge in three months. Punk sees
this and tries to do something, but Roman Reigns and the Shield cut
him off with a spear. They throw Punk back into the ring and
surround him, hitting the Triplebomb. The crowd is numb. Good match
that needed a finish before they did that heel beating, but other
than that, TV gold. **3/4
– Meanwhile,
Miz and his co-host talk about their TV movie and Miz’s match later
that night. She wishes him good luck.
– Kofi
Kingston v. The Miz. At least there’s logic behind the linear
booking here. I approve. As a reminder, during the pre-show last
night, Miz won by reversing a roll-up, but Kofi refused a handshake.
Kofi offers it to start tonight, but BOTH men try to slap the other
in a neat spot. A long lockup spot as Miz gets a headlock and Kofi
reverses out into a headlock takedown. Miz to the scissors, Kofi
slides out, and both men get quick one-counts and reverse hiptosses
back and forth. Kofi even calls back to Strahan. Kofi lands on his
feet out of another one, but Miz avoids a big jumping kick. Kofi
with the back waistlock, but Miz reverses, so Kofi reverses, so Miz
with a snapmare but walks into a dropkick and gets dumped. Kofi
fakes a dive to the outside. Kofi with a trip into a front facelock.
Miz fights out, but Kofi tries a headscissors only for Miz to get a
knee to the gut and running kick for one. Miz HITS THE CHINLOCK as
the crowd doesn’t care much. Neither do the announcers. Miz goes to
knees to the gut, but Kofi avoids a back suplex and blind charge and
chops away on Miz, landing a dropkick. Leaping lariat follows to set
up the Boom Drop. The crowd is dead and won’t even do much of the
clap to build up Trouble in Paradise. Miz catches it, Kofi avoids
the Figure-FOur, and Kofi with the SOS for two. Miz runs into the
pendulum kick from Kofi, who springboards in with a bodypress for
two. Miz with a crucifix to get the pin at 4:58. Not a bad
five-minute match, but the crowd just plain didn’t care. **
– Mick
Foley does some WWEShop stuff. As all of his personalities. Well,
sort of – I guess Cactus Jack has been subsumed into regular Foley.
– Jerry
Lawler talks to the winner of a benefit auction – Charles “The
Kosher Butcher” Tebele. Even R-Truth is caught off-guard. But he
recovers to do his shtick. He and Brodus Clay decided to give a
brother a chance. So, the Funkadactyls will join Xavier Woods on
their way to the ring to Brodus Clay’s music. This is just silly
enough to get over.
– Xavier
Woods v. Heath Slater. Slater with a waistlock. They trade arm
holds as the crowd chants… something… and Woods gets the
advantage. Slater fights out and corners Woods, but Woods gets out
with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and BIG chop. Slater catches Woods
trying to jump over him and delivers Snake Eyes. Slater stomps away
on Woods and hits the chinlock on the ground. Slater nails a leg
lariat for two after Woods fights out. Slater keeps in control in
the corner, but a blind charge misses. Woods uses the left hand
repeatedly, followed by a headbutt and discus punch. Comeback is on
as Slater goes into the corner and gets hit with the Honor Roll.
Lost in the Woods finishes at 3:18. Woods goes to celebrate with the
auction winner from earlier. Everybody looked like they had fun, so
I’ll be generous. *1/2
– A
look into the History of WWE’s chapter on Saturday Night’s Main
Event, which had better ratings than SNL! Of course, those were
SNL’s dark days, but honestly, it’s still nothing to sneeze at.
– The
Bella Twins are fangirling over Michael Strahan. Strahan signs
footballs for them, even IF they like the Eagles. Then the
Funkadactyls get their footballs signed and do some flirting. And
then it’s Eva Marie’s turn… but she thinks SHE’S the celebrity.
And then Goldust is the next Diva. He snarls at Strahan. Goldust
just saved Michael Strahan’s appearance.
– We
look at WWE 2K14 and at the Rock/Cena series, the Rock/Austin series,
and Rock/Hogan. The WWE dot-com crowd said Austin was Rock’s
greatest rival. Of course.
– Backstage,
Strahan meets John Cena, and the two laugh about his appearance on
Kelly & Mike earlier. This is to let us know the tag match is
– We
get a videogame ad disguised as a package on Randy Orton’s kayfabe
– Randy
Orton and Alberto Del Rio v. Big Show and John Cena. Wait, was
Fandango on Superstars? His silhouette was clearly visible above the
ring on Orton’s entrance. And by the way, why is JBL yelling “VIVA
LA MEXICO”? First off, it’s Viva Mexico, no article. Secondly,
JBL was Zeb Colter before Colter was Colter. It was his whole thing
during his feuds with Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero. Are we
supposed to forget that? Show races (if you can call it that) to the
ring and chases the heels away. Show and Del Rio start as JBL
finally says what I’m thinking: why was Big Show distracted? Show
backs Del Rio into the corner and slugs away, including a CHOP OF
DOOM. Show throws Del Rio into the corner and hushes the crowd
before adding another megaCHOP. Del Rio tries to fight out to the
gut, but Show runs him over. Back in the corner again, but the crowd
ignores Show’s calls for quiet. Not that it matters, as Del Rio
avoids the CHOP only to get headbutted down. Show throws Del Rio to
tag in Orton, and Show boxes him down too. Big shots to the gut and
another CHOP OF DOOM as Show hasn’t sold a thing. Crowd asks for One
More Time, and Show obliges. Show with a headbutt to Orton to floor
him, then a slam and elbowdrop for two. Show chokes Orton away on
the ropes like the Hogan disciple he is as we go to break. [For
those who are new to the PG Era rant: I hate Big Show and think he
needs to retire.] We return with Cena as face-in-peril as Del Rio
kicks Cena in the legs and DDTs his foot. Del Rio with punches to
the side of the head. He hangs Cena in the Tree of Woe and grinds
his forearm into Cena, but a diving charge misses. Cena goes up top,
but Del Rio catches him with a step-up enzuigiri for two. Orton in
with European uppercuts, and Del Rio adds a cheap shot. Orton gets
two off of it. Kneedrop gets two. Orton goes straight to the
chinlock now, but Cena back suplexes out of it. Del Rio charges into
an AA, but escapes and gets a DDT for two. Del Rio mocks Cena, but
does his out-of-the-ring miss (I like that spot). Del Rio is VERY
slow to recover, and that allows the hot tag to Show. Show beals Del
Rio in and clotheslines him over repeatedly. Backdrop follows, but a
blind charge misses and Del Rio gets a basement dropkick as Show
finally sells something. Superkick follows, and Del Rio wants the
armbar. Show is dazed as the official looks at him, but Del Rio does
a boot rake to keep on the pressure. Orton enters and stomps away on
Show’s head, getting two. Del Rio in with another thrust kick,
getting two. Show tries to tag Orton in, not sure where he is, then
crawls into a dropkick by Del Rio. Orton drops a knee on Show’s head
for two. The doctor runs in at this point to check on Show and make
sure he’s okay, and we can hear Show say he doesn’t know where he is.
Show insists on continuing, so Orton jumps him to continue the
match. Show shoves Orton aside and wants the chokeslam, but Orton
gets a DDT. Del Rio wants the Punt, and Orton is ready to give it.
But Show is able to catch him with a spear for a Double KO. Hot tag
Cena, and he runs over Del Rio with his comeback. Five Knuckle
Shuffle is set up, but Del Rio kicks Cena and gets a tilt-a-whirl
backbreaker for two. Big Show is still dazed. Del Rio with the
armbreaker, but Cena gets the STF as a counter for the tapout at
15:33. This match was a Hogan match. **1/4 Del
Rio nails Cena from behind and stomps away, kicking Cena. He goes
for the armbreaker, but Cena avoids it and gives Del Rio the AA, only
for Orton to nail him with the belt. Orton then grabs Cena’s title
and poses over Cena with BOTH belts to end the show.
I need to be more optimistic than normal, but I can’t find anything
that stood out on this show. Even the big announcements could have
been handled better. The Authority is played at this point; Orton
doesn’t seem like a strong champ, and they’re teasing a switch from
Orton to Cena pretty hard in a way that doesn’t make sense from a
meta-standpoint. The Strahan segment seemed like they just wanted
material for The Soup rather than Raw, and it didn’t seem like it
helped anyone involved. Which showed, because Miz had no heat
against Kofi. Even the handicap match, a guaranteed crowd-pleaser,
went nowhere because of a bad DQ finish. I have nothing against
ending that match with a DQ, mind you, but for excessive attacking?
It just doesn’t work.
Hardcore stuff between Ziggler and Sandow really don’t benefit either
man because they’re so goofy and against the strengths of either man.
Reigns has been given the big look in the past few shows, but as
long as the Shield are together, the fans are going to believe
Ambrose is the best of the three by virtue of being champ. And don’t
get me started on Big Show basically not selling anything short of a
catastrophic injury in this match. It annoyed me a ton, and it
doesn’t do anyone any good.
to Orton for a second: the Authority’s existence seems to be hurting
his character development. Is he a cowardly heel hiding behind the
men in the suits, as HHH segments would have you believe, or is he a
vicious champion who can destroy anyone, as his actions in the ring
dictate? It’s the kind of schizophrenia that guarantees he won’t be
taken as seriously as a threat as he should be. How can you look at
him as a vicious threat to the safety of everyone if he cowers behind
a retired man in a suit? Randy Orton – and I felt this before I
got this job, before SummerSlam, when he held the briefcase –
could’ve easily rebuilt himself by cashing in in the right way.
Instead, he’s nothing more than HHH’s avatar. How do you take that
now, with Orton questioning HHH’s loyalties, I’m worried the
Cena/Orton match will be about the Authority’s loyalties rather than
about, say, the title unification. And what’s the fun in that? Why
would you make your main event, whatever the stakes, as a backdrop to
the run-in? This is what WCW would do all the time, and it led to
their demise. Of course, it got the Kliq over in WCW, and look who’s
in charge in WWE now.
know, shows like this made people hate my recaps because I was
cynical and sarcastic. But really, what am I supposed to like about
the main event scene? About the midcard? About anything?
serious, by the way: if you think I’m too negative today, please post
in your reply what the bright spots of this show are. And I’m
someone who tries to get the bright spots.)
TIME: 68:07 over eight matches
MATCH: The handicap match
MATCH: Langston/Henry v Ryback/Axel
MVP (kayfabe): Roman Reigns
SCORE: 2. I hated this show, though maybe I’m just in a bad mood.
Still, I can’t find much of a bright spot out there, especially with
the main event for TLC having Orton’s mixed loyalties hanging over
Thanksgiving, everyone. I’ll see you in December. Tommy, hold the
fort down until I get back.  Mad Dog Vachon, you deserved better than this show.

Shameless Blog Self Promotion

Hey Scott,

Inspired by the recent post with the Austin/Rock serenading promo, I wrote a short article on my blog:

Now that we have the shameless self-promoting out of the way, I'd like to throw the same idea out to you and the rest of the blog. Given today's environment in WWE's creative and corporate structure, do you think many of today's legends would even make it to the top if starting today? How many would be buried for trying to get themselves over or having more fan support than they should have? Do you think any would still get over regardless, such as The Rock?

Basically, how do you think many of wrestling's (or at least WWE's) legends would be treated today if they were just starting? I shudder to think of how, say, The Undertaker would handle starting today.

The ropewalk spot wouldn't be approved in developmental, he'd get shit for not having a good body, they'd make him do goofy promos because he couldn't talk without a manager and they'd want to rib him, and then he'd get saddled with a Rhinestone Cowboy gimmick because he's from Texas and acts like a tough guy.  Think I'm close there?

Monday Night Open Mic

Howdy Blog O’Doomers!

Well the Survivor Series is over and it seemed to go as expected, which is to say it wasn’t very good. The crowd rightfully dogged the main event because, at the end of the day, not many wanted to see it in the first place.

So now we move on and who knows where we go. The main storyline has been a failure on all fronts. I truly believe they don’t know where to go next and they don’t appear to know a direction that will help cover up the mistakes that have been made.

It’s hard to believe how this has played out given how strong the booking was in the summer. Even the short programs like Mark Henry-John Cena were well done, tightly booked and had proper payoffs.

The good news is the undercard has gotten a little more interesting and we can now count the days before Roman Reigns’ push to the top begins.

There’s also a …eh….Monday Night game on. The Redskins kind of suck this year but I just find joy in watching RG3 and we’re about at the one-year mark from when Colin Kaepernick jumped onto the scene.

Anything else? A full night of hockey? Sure. Not much pro basketball but if I search hard enough I can find a good college game. Probably need to scour the food network site for a good rice dish to serve as part of Thursday’s feast. Do you guys fry your turkeys, bake them, roast them, spin them on the rotisserie? Favorite sides? I need to know these things.

10 mins until bell time so enjoy the show and come out swinging but try to keep it clean and for the holiday season let’s treat each other with a little kindness…ok? 🙂