NWA-TNA Weekly PPV #60

September 3, 2003

Your hosts are Don West and Mike Tenay

The show starts with a lengthy video to promote the
“Wednesday Bloody Wednesday” match between Jeff Jarrett & Raven & D’Lo
Brown & America’s Most Wanted vs. AJ Styles & Shane Douglas &
Christopher Daniels & Simon Diamond & Johnny Swinger.

The Super X Tournament also takes place tonight. The
contestants are Nosawa, Juventud Guerrera, Teddy Hart, Johnny Storm, Jerry Lynn,
Chris Sabin, Frankie Kazarian, and Michael Shane.

Lazz vs. Mad Mikey

Lazz wears face paint and a women’s shirt, using a
flamboyant homosexual gimmick. He also liked to rub himself, a lot. Mikey comes
out pissed and that doesn’t change when Lazz gropes him. Lazz humps Mikey after
hitting a Thesz Press then humps him from behind in the corner. He kisses Mikey
but gets knocked down as Mikey takes control then wins with a double underhook
DDT (1:50) ¼*.

Thoughts: I am guessing this was done to fill time. They
were giving Mikey a bit of a push with his gimmick, which was actually
entertaining for a lower-card comedy act.


Tenay and West plug the one-night “Super X “tournament as
the camera focuses on the trophy. Here is the bracket:

Juventud Guerrera vs. Nosawa

Teddy Hart vs. Jonny Storm

Jerry Lynn vs. Chris Sabin

Michael Shane vs. Frankie Kazarian


Terry Taylor is with Dusty Rhodes. He puts over the violence
that happens in War Games matches and that he will be holding the key to the
cage. He said that War Games makes him think about how many times he has kicked
Arn Anderson’s ass.


Super X Tournament Quarterfinals

Juventud Guerrera vs.

Nosawa had a similar look to Tajiri but covered in ugly
tattoos. Juvy got a good response from the crowd. They have a fast-paced
sequence that ends with Nosawa ducking outside. Juvy hits a springboard move
then chops him hard. In the ring, they have a reversal sequence that ends with
Juvy getting a nearfall off a spinning heel kick. Nosawa flattens Juvy with a
super kick and they work another lightning-quick sequence that Nosawa wins.
Buzzsaw kick gets two as Tenay lets us know that Nosawa has tattooed the ICP
record label on himself and that he is the Juggalo Champsionship Wrestling champion.
That is something to tell your grand kids about. Juvy chops Nosawa in the
corner and sets up for the Juicy Elbow but that only gets two. Nosawa comes
back with a basement dropkick but Juvy then hits him with the Juvy Driver and follows
that with the 450 for the win (4:31) **1/2.

Thoughts: That was all action and it was a blast. Nosawa was
a fairly decent worker and could have stuck around as a Tajiri knockoff.


is with James Mitchell. He says that he promised Raven he was going to teach
him about real pain and loss by taking away his self-image, which is his hair.
Glen Gilbertti interrupts and reminds him that Shane Douglas is part of a team
including his guys. He then tells Dusty that he will be watching out for him.  


Super X Tournament Quarterfinals

Teddy Hart vs. Jonny

This is the TNA debut for Teddy. Storm has been on TNA
several times. Hart stomps Storm to start. Storm comes back with a DDT and a
dropkick then flies out and hits Hart with a double springboard senton. Hart
catches Storm with a cutter and locks on an armbar. Hart then hits Storm with a
top rope quebrada that has the crowd chanting “holy shit” as he holds his
wrist. Back in the ring, Storm misses a moonsault then Hart comes off the tope
rope and hits the craziest DDT I have ever seen before putting Storm away with
a shooting star press (2:58) **.


Thoughts: Good stuff and Hart looked like a star. Too bad he
is a flake because he had a boat load of talent.


Sonny Siaki and Trinity are with Terry Taylor. He goes
through all of his nicknames then tries to start a cheer with the heel side of
the cage match but just pisses them off. Douglas then cuts a decent promo about
the match. They have yet to give up on Siaki.


Super X Tournament Quarterfinals

Chris Sabin vs. Jerry

Sabin beats on Lynn
before the bell. Lynn
fights back and acts aggressively but Sabin stops that with an eye rake. Lynn gets two off a
sunset flip powerbomb and stomps away. Lynn
yells at the ref before punching away. Lynn
sidesteps a charging Sabin and ends up on the floor but is able to snap his
head off the ropes. Back in the ring, Lynn
hits the TKO but Sabin is able to get his foot on the ropes. Lynn
goes mental and puts the ref in a chinlock as Don Callis comes out and tells Lynn he will lose his job
if he hurts him. Sabin then comes from behind and kicks Lynn in the balls then rolls him up for the
win (3:31) *1/2.

Thoughts: The match continued the feud between Callis and
Lynn more than anything else. Fine for what it was.


is with Raven. He tells Taylor
that is dream isn’t over, just postponed. He vows to eliminate Shane Douglas
and Jim Mitchell as CM Punk & Julio take care of the New Church.
He said that he is a lot more dangerous now. Good stuff from Raven.


Super X Tournament Quarterfinals

Frankie Kazarian vs.
Michael Shane

They go back and forth to start. Kazarian hits a few
dropkicks in the corner but Shaen comes back with a back suplex. Tenay notes
that if Kazarian beats Shane, he will probably be the number one contender to
the X Division Title, pretty much telegraphing the outcome of this match.
Kazarian gets a few nearfalls then hits some clotheslines. He eats boot off a
charge but is able to catch Shane with a powerslam. Shane gets two off an
enziguiri. They dodge each other’s finishers and Kazarian gets the win with a
hurricarana (3:25) **.

Thoughts: Good stuff and it sets up for a feud between the
two for the belt.


Terry Taylor is with AJ Styles and Vince Russo. AJ says that
no title is on the line and shouldn’t be in the match. Russo puts over AJ for
fighting every challenger and says that TNA is trying to hurt AJ by putting him
this match as everyone is out to get him.


Super X Tournament Semifinals

Teddy Hart vs.
Juventud Guerrera

They start off at an incredible pace that ends with Juvy
hitting a tornado DDT. Juvy comes off the top but Hart catches him with an
armbar in midair. That was sweet. Hart maintains the armbar after Juvy tries to
escape as the crowd goes nuts. Hart eats boot on a charge and Juvy comes back
with a flying headscissors. Hart pulls Juvy outside and hits a rana off the
apron. He then hits a moonsault off the guardrail but Juvy pulls him off the
apron then hits a springboard crossbody. Juvy chops down Hart on the floor then
they fight on the apron. Hart gets crotched on the top rope and Juvy takes him
down with a rana. This match is just great as they are going at a super-fast
pace and everything is clicking. Hart then hits a beautiful twisting 450 off
the top rope that gets two and a replay. Juvy takes a breather but Hart hits him
with another quebrada then sells his knee. In the ring, Juvy rolls through a
sunset flip then kills Hart with a basement dropkick. Uranage gets two.
Spinning powerbomb gets two. Hart goes up top and hits a DDT that gets two. He
heads up again and hits a shooting star press but sells the knee after he
lands. Juvy then hits the Juvy Driver and heads up top but Hart cuts him off.
They fight on top and Juvy hits a top rope Juvy Driver for the win (9:59)

Thoughts: Excellent match. You would have thought that Hart
earned a TNA contract after that match but he really blew it after an
altercation with CM Punk several months later when they fought outside of a


The Interrogators with Red-shirt Security, Ryan Wilson and
Kevin Northcutt. Nothing of note happens and Northcutt does all the talking. I
wonder why Northcutt never made it because he was a huge guy and a decent


Super X Tournament Semifinals

Chris Sabin vs.
Frankie Kazarian

They start with a slugfest. Kazarian hits a pair of
dropkicks then they mistime a spot badly as Sabin takes control. Kazarian gets
tossed to the floor but meets Sabin on the apron then hits him with a DDT then
shortly after that, he sends Sabin to the floor with a sunset powerbomb. That
was fucking dangerous. Back inside, Sabin catches Kazarian with a German
suplex. Sabin gets two off a Tiger Suplex then works a neck tie. Both guys
struggle to gain an advantage until Kazarian hits the Wave of the Future. That
only gets two. Sabin kicks Kazarian on the top rope and hits the Back to the
Future but that only gets two. They head up top and that ends with Kazarian
hitting a one-man Spanish Fly as both men are down. Kazarian goes for a victory
roll but Sabin rolls through and gets the win (7:31) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Good stuff but it did not compare to the previous
match. After the one mistimed spot in the beginning, both guys did fine.


Taylor interviews America’s Most
Wanted. Kid Kash and Abyss interrupt, with Kash giving an insincere apology to Taylor then slaps him
across the face. Red-Shirt Security breaks up the melee. Looks like we will
have Kash face off against Taylor soon.    


Super X Tournament

Chris Sabin vs.
Juventud Guerrera

The crowd loves Juvy. Tenay notes that TNA officials want to
make the Super X Tournament a yearly tradition. They trade slaps then end up in
a standoff after a quick sequence. Juvy catches Sabin with a heel kick as these
two are wrestling at a lightning-quick pace. Juvy grounds Sabin then they have
a sequence that ends with Sabin dropping Juvy directly on his head with a
powerbomb in a scary spot. Sabin gets two off an enziguiri then works on Juvy
in the corner. Sabin eats boot on a charge then ducks outside, where Juvy hits
him with a pescado. Back inside, Juvy gets two off a slingshot elbow drop. He
locks on an abdominal stretch but gets caught with a wheelbarrow German suplex
that gets two. Sabin works a chinlock for a bit then heads up top. Juvy meets
him then nails Sabin with a basement dropkick after rolling through a sunset
flip attempt. Sabin takes control and puts Juvy in a surfboard. Juvy escapes
then hits an Ocean Cyclone Suplex that gets two. Both men then engage in a
series of counters that leads into one of the better pinfall reversal sequences
you will ever see. That ends with both men down and the crowd applauding. Both
men get up and engage in another reversal sequence that has the crowd going
nuts. They were trying to hit their finishers this time. The crowd is chanting
for Juvy and he hits a springboard dropkick. Sabin floats over on a Juvy Driver
attempt then hits a Twisting DDT from the rack position for two. Juvy fights
back and hits the Tiger Driver, dropping Sabin right on his head but that only
gets two. Sabin counters a Juvy Driver mid-move with a DDT and gets two off of
that. Sabin heads up top but Juvy dropkicks him in midair. Juvy goes up top
this time but Sabin cuts him off and hits a superplex but that only gets two.
They trade rollups then Juvy hits the Juvy Driver and sets up for the 450 but
Sabin gets his foot on the ropes. Then after a brief struggle, Sabin hits the
Future Shock for the win (14:46) ****1/2.

Thoughts: Incredible match. My one small complaint is that
after all of the huge moves these guys hit, the match was won with a fisherman’s
buster. The tournament made Juvy look like a huge star. Sadly, after the match,
there was no presentation to give it that important feel.


A sneak preview of the Roddy Piper Interview is shown. He is
still pissed off.


Don West plugs next week’s one-cent PPV. It contains the XXX
vs. AMW cage match and the details on the September 17th PPV, which
is two weeks away.


Wednesday, Bloody,
Wednesday Match

AJ Styles & Shane
Douglas & Christopher Daniels & Simon Diamond & Johnny Swinger vs.
Jeff Jarrett & Raven & D’Lo Brown & America’s Most Wanted

Before the match, Erik Watts comes out and replaces the ring
attendant, announcer and timekeeper with 3 Live Kru. The rules for the match
are that it is Wargames style, with the first two wrestlers going at it for
three minutes then a wrestler enters every 90 seconds, with weapons hanging all
over the cage. All ten men must be in the cage in order to win the match. The
first two wrestlers are Christopher Daniels and Jeff Jarrett. They start
brawling all over the arena and eventually go into the cage. Don Callis comes
out to join the announcers and says he smells money in this match. Not much is going
on in the ring and the crowd is not responding either. Jarrett beats on Daniels
with a kendo stick until AJ Styles enters. Jarrett beats on AJ with various
weapons then is unable to overcome the 2-1 advantage. Chris Harris is the next
entrant and shows some fire for a minute. There are just too much meaningless
weapon shots in this match. Jarrett gets put through a table by AJ and Daniels
then Diamond enters the cage. Jarrett is busted open but fights back using his
belt. D’Lo is next into the cage to even the sides. The match is getting really
tiresome by the way with nothing of note going on at all. Shane Douglas is next
into the ring and goes after D’Lo. The weapons are really taking away from the
match. The heels are standing tall after Douglas
takes out the faces with a bat. James Storm is in next and takes his time
getting into the ring and goes after Diamond. Jarrett hits Daniels with a
guitar from the top rope. Johnny Swinger is next and blends in with everyone
else. The faces are all on the mat, setting up for Raven to come in and clean
house. He is limping to the cage then comes in and uses a tray to fight off
everyone but the crowd is just immune to all of the weapon shots and are not
reacting at all. Russo and Dusty are yelling at each other outside the cage as
this is dying. Everyone hits a big move as bodies are lying all over the place.
Jarrett hits AJ with the Stroke from the top rope and gets the win (20:48)
*3/4. After the match, Joe Legend runs out and attacks Dusty. 3 Live Kru gets
involved as does Erik Watts. Red-Shirt security come out and this is the biggest
clusterfuck for a brawl that I have ever seen in TNA, which is saying something.
In the cage, Douglas is beating on Raven as the New Church
and James Mitchell enter. They hold Raven while Douglas
cuts his hair and that ends the show.

Thoughts: This was not good and just way, way too long. The weapons
took away from the match and you could barely move in the ring. It was also too
predicatble that Jarrett would win and the fans at the Asylum are starting to
turn on him. I thought it would have made for sense for Raven to win then get
his hair cut afterwards.


Final Thoughts: This
show was easily worth the price for the Super X Tournament alone. The action
was incredible and it was a success. The main event stunk but the tournament was
the attraction anyway. If you have never seen this show or hadn’t in a long
time, I would definitely seek it out.

QOTD 13: Which makes Grand Theft Auto poetic…

(Note: what follows is a mostly spoiler free post about Grand Theft Auto V’s narrative themes and subtext, while I will mention details from various missions and specifics, I won’t mention how they fit within the story and plot, instead talking about them abstractly – proceed at your own risk)
Yup, we’re talking about this again, but in a different context, specifically as it relates to ‘Grand Theft Auto”s particular brand of delicious cheap-shot satire. As I mentioned in the feminism thread, ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ is a troll. What I mean by this is that while ‘GTAV’ is technically about three different characters, it’s in reality, a whip-smart deconstruction about why, exactly, the player likes causing all this mayhem.


On its surface ‘GTA V’ is a high quality
game about low quality activities: stealing, murder, drug use,
manipulation, materialism, and chaos. But a little below that surface is
the fact that ‘GTAV’ knows this sort of thing is an absolute blast in a consequence free environment, and continuously pokes the
player in the ribs, dancing around the question of *why*
you enjoy these despicable acts.
This question is illustrated in a bunch of ways, through the three main protagonists of the story. During Micheal’s therapy he’ll admit to ‘killing a guy on the way over’ to the office and simply not caring (because you probably did, and definitely don’t), by the way Franklin will constantly agree to doing dastardly deeds then bemoan the fact he can’t say no (because if he said no, there would be no game), and the fact that Trevor is a completely unlikeable, (sexually) predatory madman, who is the only character of the three you could see enjoying the wonton slaughter of hundreds of people. By giving us two somewhat sympathetic anti-heroes who are compelled by the player to do nasty things, and one wholly despicable character who engages in those same actions for kicks – like we do while playing, we start to understand “GTAV” is trying to say something to gamers who want to think critically about it.
And for the record you don’t have to think critically about it. You can enjoy the story, the jokes, the boobies, the customizable cars, the fact we finally see Lazlow in the digital flesh, and have a blast – accepting it as purely escapist entertainment. I have friends that enjoyed ‘The Sopranos’ this way, and love it to death. There are people who love ‘South Park’ simply for the gross out humor and miss out on all the satire and subtext and nuance of that show, too. But when you dig deeper into what this game is trying to communicate beyond the surface level plot twists and turns, there is a lot to chew on.
Lets take a look at a mid-game mission where you’re required to torture someone. I won’t give the context or the reason why, but lets just say it’s brutal, you’re forced to do it, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll feel really gross about it. In a game where you’re allowed to go on massive rampages, killing dozens if not hundreds of people in the name of pure carnal joy, when one of these nameless citizens suddenly has a name, a job, a personality, and fear in his eyes, things start to hit too close to home. Being forced to select a torture implement, and watch this detainee squirm and scream and cry and beg for his life is unbearable, and in a very subtle way, turns a mirror on the player. This whole murderous rampage thing isn’t as fun when you’re up close and personal with it, now, isn’t it? This scene confirmed the suspicion I had all along. ‘GTA V’ knows it’s sick, thinks you’re maybe a little sick for wanting to play it, and wants you to question your humanity with every trigger pull and flattened pedestrian. 
The world Grand Theft Auto V creates is one devoid of political correctness. Radio advertising directly needles at personal insecurities, whereas in real life those same insecurities are preyed on subtlety and subconsciously. Whooshing news flashes include phrases like “Penis news!” where as in real life they’d be under the context of something like ‘health watch’ despite having the same exact content. The short films in the theater are grotesque and hard to quantify, featuring cliche just long enough to subvert it. There is simply no such thing as political correctness in Los Santos, everything is communicated directly and honestly. In a bizarre way, GTA’s America is a far less complex one than our own.  
So what does it mean? No doubt about it, Grand Theft Auto V is fun. Really fun. It is the apex of all things interactive media: Graphics, scripting, writing, game-play, variety, and world building. But what does it say about our society that the biggest games are hyper violent? What does it mean when the apex of this console generation is a game that features the ability to to pour gasoline over a series of cars and light them all on fire with people in them if you so choose?
Thus I think ‘Grand Theft Auto V”s purpose is to challenge the boundaries of the human soul in a soulless world. Nothing we do in ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ really matters. Even that character you torture is ultimately a collection of 1s and 0s, with a perfectly healthy actor reading lines. But regardless, when you look in his eyes and see real fear, you can’t help but question if you’ve gone too far. Political correctness exists to protect our feelings, to prevent us from feeling bad, or challenged, or unhappy – unless we’re being marketed too.Grand Theft Auto rips that away from us like a band-aid we’ve been wearing too long, and forces us to ask ourselves what part of the soul does a game like this fill, and should it be filled at all?
WHY is this fun? WHY do we enjoy escapist fiction that lets us channel our inner domestic terrorist? AM I the only one thinking that this game is trying to really say something beyond a B-movie style action-comedy-tragedy?  


Blog Otter Award: Project Blue for the Unsolved Mysteries love. Your Stackalicious award can be found here.

1. I really cannot get over the quality of the satire on display in GTA. It’s ‘South Park’ meets ‘Naked Gun’ meets “American Dreamz” which is a great little move I think like 4 people saw.

2. Now that we’re adults, does it disturb you that 10, 11, 12, and 13 year old kids are going to be playing this game in the same way we did back in the day? On one hand I think exploring ‘mature’ content as a teenager is an important part of growing up – sneaking into an R-rated movie, catching cinemax late at night, whatever, but at the same time I don’t think it should be condoned. I feel part of the maturation of growing up is kind of ‘getting away with it’ in much the same way you’d go over to a friends house to play Mortal Kombat, or get a friend’s older brother to get you into “The Matrix”. Perhaps a different topic for a different day.

WWE House Show – September 20, 2013

took in the WWE house show tonight at Rupp Arena in Lexington,
Kentucky. I know I said this about the TNA show I went to over the
summer, but this might have been the most fun I’ve ever had at a
wrestling event. The crowd was red hot all night and the matches
were all at least decent. There was even a nice surprise that I’ll
get to in a bit. Let’s get to it.
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

tickets didn’t cost anything as I beat a wrestling expert on the
local radio station in a trivia competition to win the seats. We
were in the second row on the first level above the floor seats,
which is where I’ve sat many times before. The view was great and
you could easily see almost everything save for some brawling on the
floor or in the aisle. I’m horrible at guessing attendances but I’d
guess there were a few thousand people. The entire upper deck was
empty but Rupp arena holds well over 20,000 people so a packed house
was out of the question. As usual the empty sections started filling
up as the show went on.
note that I’ll be lighter on the ratings tonight as this is a house
show, not a major show.
Sandow vs. Zack Ryder
possibly the biggest shock, Zack Ryder might have actually received
the ovation of the night. I mean the place exploded for him and
didn’t stop cheering for him for nearly half of his match. It was
like 2011 all over again and it was a very nice surprise for an old
Ryder fan. Before the match Sandow asked up to stand for My Old
Kentucky Home (state song) but said we weren’t worthy of it. He also
promised to drive 65 miles to Louisville to be with a real basketball
team before trying to start a Let’s Go Cards (hated enemy of the
Kentucky Wildcats who play at Rupp) chant. He also said God bless
Rick Pitino (Cardinals coach) to really tick them off.
match was what you would expect, though there was some nice
psychology included. Ryder missed a charge and got his arm tied up
in the ropes. Sandow spent the majority of the match working over
the arm which is such a basic move but so many wrestlers just miss it
anymore. Ryder hit the Broski Boot and sent Sandow face first into
the buckle, setting up the Rough Ryder for the pin in about 6:00.
C. Fine opener and the crowd is
very hot tonight.
fans voted for the Divas tag to be a dance off instead of a match.
vs. Funkadactyls
Layla turn her back on AJ recently? Anyway AJ got a high pitched pop
before refusing to dance. Layla did the usual comedic dancing before
slipping while going to the corners. The Dactyls did their usual
routine but AJ/Layla jumped them to start a match. I sat through
this entire thing and absolutely nothing happened that deserved to be
written down. Horrible boring stuff and the fans didn’t care at all.
Cameron pinned Layla after about 7:30 with a not horrible DDT.
Dactyls danced afterwards.
Swagger vs. Sami Zayn
this is an ultra conservative state, Swagger was relatively over.
Zayn was the one guy I was hoping would be here who wasn’t
advertised, though he came out to crickets. Remember that for later.
This wasn’t as good as their NXT match but it was still one of the
better matches of the night. A few fans behind us chanted OLE which
seemed to confuse many fans around us. Colter wasn’t there either as
was recently announced.
was a nice match with Swagger controlling for the most part. Sami
came back with his high spots, including a big flip dive over the
ropes to take out Swagger. Sami’s top rope cross body looked great
too. He tried a second one but got caught in the second Patriot Lock
of the match, only to roll Swagger up for the pin at about 10:00.
The important thing to note was that while Sami came out to crickets,
he had the crowd invested in the match after just a few minutes.
Zayn made them care about someone they didn’t care about, which is
really difficult to do. That’s a good sign for his future.
B-. This was really fun stuff.
Kingston/Usos vs. Wyatt Family
Wyatts was the advertised appearance I was looking forward to most.
First of all though, the Usos’ entrance got a HUGE reaction. They
always get a solid reaction on TV as well, which makes me hope that
they get a stronger push soon. The Wyatt entrance got a nice
reaction too and the reports are correct: they’re just chilling in
person. Bray sat in his rocking chair while the other two were in
the ring when the lights came on. I’ve seen Undertaker, Kane and Big
Show in person but those two were even more imposing. Rowan, the one
with the mask, stood perfectly still during the pre-match staredown
and stayed there until the opening bell. It worked really well.
stayed on the floor at first before bolting into the ring to beat
down an Uso, revealing some bright red pants that you have be a brain
washing swamp preacher to pull off. Bray is downright eerie in
person, walking around the apron with this psychotic look on his
face. They worked a regular formula match here with I think an Uso
getting beaten down for the most part. You just couldn’t take your
eyes off Bray though as he was so creepy. The big spot of the match
was a triple suicide dive from the good guys.
was quickly forgotten though as Bray came back in and did the spot
where he leans over backwards in the corner, only to drop to his
hands to do the upside down on all fours walk from the Exorcist. JBL
freaking out when he sees that on TV will be quite a sight. Anyway
Kofi got the hot tag and everything broke down with Kofi hitting
Trouble in Paradise on Harper, only to get caught with Sister Abigail
for the pin at about 12:00.
B. REALLY fun match here with
the Wyatts, Bray in particular, totally stealing the show.
Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam
wasn’t much to talk about here. Alberto worked on the arm, Rob came
back with kicks. Del Rio went after the arm and got the armbreaker,
only to not break when Van Dam got to the ropes for the DQ, just like
at the PPV. Match ran just under 10:00 and was nothing special at
all. Not bad, but these two have don’t have much chemistry.
got up and kicked Del Rio down, drawing out Sandow to tease a
cash-in, only to be kicked in the face by Van Dam. Van Dam went
around shaking hands as we went to intermission.
vs. Santino Marella
we get to the comedy portion of the evening. Ryback insisted that
the referee hold the ropes open for him, only to say those weren’t
the ropes he meant and that the referee had to open the other set.
Ryback was then introduced at 305lbs, which he insisted be described
as ALL MAN. Santino was ticked off about the bullying and said
Ryback was just a bully, just a mean person and….much bigger than
he looked from the floor.
tried a series of shoulder blocks to start the match but kept
bouncing off Ryback and falling to the mat. He hit the ropes again
but stopped short of Ryback, said “allow me” and fell on his back
without being touched. Santino couldn’t execute a nip up or slam
Ryback, so the big man destroyed him for a bit instead. Santino came
back and hit the nip up and slam to big pops because they had been
built up. Again, simple idea but no one does it anymore. Santino
loaded up the Cobra but Ryback bit his fingers to block it and put on
a bearhug, only to have Santino escape with a wet Willy. The Shell
Shock ended Marella in 7:40.
C+. Fun comedy squash here and
there’s nothing wrong with that.
Punk vs. Curtis Axel
was kind of confusing as the match had been advertised as for the
title, then as No DQ later in the show. Axel said that Heyman (not
here tonight) had found a rule saying that Axel didn’t have to defend
the title if he had defended it in the last 30 days, so this was
non-title. Axel also said there would be DQ’s, because apparently he
just has that authority.
really wasn’t much to this match and it was mainly punching and
kicking. Punk did his usual spots, including the dive through the
ropes and the Macho Elbow, but there were no weapons at all in the
match. At one point Axel even grabbed a mic and said he wouldn’t be
using a table so stop asking for one. Punk won with a GTS in
approximately 15:00 (I forgot to time it). Not much of a match but
the fans were into Punk.
C. I’m guessing Punk is moving
a bit slowly due to the injuries from the PPV.
Bryan vs. Randy Orton
this is where we’ll get to the interesting part. Orton got a solid
pop but Bryan…got the same at best or maybe even a bit weaker one.
The fans got on their feet and did the YES chant and the finger
point, but it definitely wasn’t an explosion or even a huge pop. My
buddy Josh suggested that a lot of the fans aren’t so much into
Bryan, but maybe just joining in because everyone else is doing it.
I read a report from I want to say Wade Keller from a Smackdown
taping a few weeks back and he said about the same thing: the fans
cheered for Bryan, but he doesn’t get the same reaction that other
superstars get. There’s time to change that, but it’s very difficult
to overcome.
was about what you would expect as Bryan got in all of his usual
spots. Bryan is incredibly talented, but he’s getting to the point
where he’s using a lot of the same sequences. Those sequences are
very entertaining, but other than the running knee he hasn’t changed
things up in awhile.
interesting part of this was Orton might have lost a tooth due to a
running dropkick in the corner. Something very large flew out and
Orton was holding his mouth and nearly writhing around in pain.
Bryan got the YES Lock but Orton got to the rope. Bryan missed a
dive to give Orton control, meaning a lot of chinlocks. Bryan made
his comeback and hit his signature spots before hitting the running
knee out of nowhere for the pin at 16:50. I don’t even think Orton
loaded up an RKO.
B-. Good match but it wasn’t
great by any means.
went around to shake hands to end the show.
A-. This show was a
blast with only the Divas match being bad, but if the worst thing I
have to sit through is Layla basically wrestling in a bikini, so be
it. The fans were on fire all night, most of the big stars were
there, and the matches were all solid. I believe the seats we were
sitting in cost about $20-30 and they would have been more than worth
the price. I was at the show in Louisville a few months back and
wasn’t very impressed. This was the polar opposite and one of the
most entertaining shows I’ve ever been to. WWE is on fire at the
moment and at a level I haven’t seen in a long time. Great show.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:

Match of the Day: 23rd Anniversary of Battle Kat’s WWE debut

This has it all!  Brady Boone in a stupid gimmick!  Jobber extraordinaire BOB BRADLEY!  Gorilla Monsoon shilling Hulk Hogan’s vitamins!  Actual vitamins, not just the metaphorical ones.

Fun fact:  Boone got shitcanned and they wanted to keep this retarded gimmick for some reason, so it went to… Bob Bradley.  For like two weeks and then they really did cut it loose for real.  And now you know.

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT–09.18.13

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 09.18.13 Taped from Orlando, FL Your hosts are Tom Phillips & Alex Riley I was gonna take a shot at ROH Death by Dishonor because it was free and all, but the stream died on me for minutes at a time and was basically unwatchable when it was working. Even at free, NO BUYS. Sami Zayn v. Curt Hawkins I’m starting to wonder which of the Edgeheads got the worst deal after the split. Zayn tries some mat wrestling, but Hawkins slugs out of it and Sami takes him down with armdrags instead. Sami slugs away in the corner and gets two off a clothesline, and a crucifix rollup gets two. Zayn with the chinlock, but Hawkins slams him and drops an elbow for two. And we hit the chinlock. Zayn elbows him down for two, but heads to the apron and gets sent into the ringpost as a result. And we take a break with that exciting cliffhanger. Back with another chinlock, and this is a thing that is happening very frequently in this match. Zayn fights up and they clothesline each other, and Zayn comes back with a crossbody for two. Hawkins hits him with a Pele kick and gets two, and an Impaler DDT gets two. Sami fights up and the excitement is so exciting that my Hulu stream nearly pulls an ROH, but they fight through the buffering and Hawkins slaps him around. This gets Zayn all fired up and hits the big boot into the tornado DDT to finish it at 17:00. This was…long. ** Not Zayn’s most thrilling hour. Aiden English v. Michael Cuellari Aiden actually sings his own classical Broadway theme on the way to the ring, and he’s damn good! English squashes the shit out of him and finishes with a neckbreaker at 1:28. And then we get the encore. This gimmick is MONEY. Meanwhile, Bo Dallas is still skeptical about Sami Zayn’s credibility as a challenger. Conor O’Brien, Rick Victor, Tyler Breeze & Leo Kruger v. Adrian Neville, CJ Parker, Xavier Woods & Corey Graves The babyface side works Kruger over for a bit, before Graves gets caught in the wrong corner and beat up, and the crowd wants to see Tyler Breeze. Instead we get Xavier Woods, who hits Kruger with the Honor Roll before the heels bail to regroup. The babyfaces follow with dives and we take a break. Back with Victor hitting Woods with a spinebuster for two and Woods is the face-in-peril. And finally Breeze comes in for the HUGE babyface pop, gets one cheapshot, and tags out again, shaking his hand in pain. Awesome. The crowd agrees. Woods tries to fight out of a Kruger sleeper while the crowd is totally preoccupied with Breeze, so he tags in again and goes to work. And of course Woods gets one shot and Breeze tags out again. So great to see someone firmly embracing the prissy heel role. Breeze tags in again and gets suplexed, allowing CJ Parker to come in off the hot tag. Parker is the last person I would want as my hot tag man. Conor quickly destroys him and it’s BONZO GONZO, and with Parker near death now it’s time for Tyler Breeze to ascend to glory. He only gets two, sadly. And now Parker comes back and the other heels walk out on poor Tyler, leaving him to get HIT IN THE FACE! Repeatedly! Neville puts him out his misery with the shooting star press at 18:00 or so. That was so, SO fun. *** I’m of course a sucker for good tag matches and old school goofiness and this had both. The Pulse Although the opener was dull as dishwater, the rest was great fun, and thankfully last week was an aberration.

Smackdown – September 20, 2013

September 20, 2013
US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
past Night of Chapions and the main story is that there’s no WWE
Champion. Bryan won the title on Sunday but has been stripped of it
due to an alleged conspiracy between he and now fired referee Scott
Armstrong. On Raw however, the roster finally came together to fight
back against HHH and the Corporation, giving us an interesting battle
for the first time since this began, which was somehow just over a
month ago. Let’s get to it.

open with a look back at Night of Champions and Raw, set up through
an interview with HHH. He compares the scandal with Armstrong to
Pete Rose hypothetically conspiring with an umpire to fix the World
Vickie to open things up. She says she has a thrilling and exciting
show planned for us tonight, but first she has to introduce the
laughing stock of the WWE. Bob Backlund held the WWE Championship
for over 2,000 days, but this man held it for less than a day: Daniel
Bryan. Daniel says he’d rather be champion for one day than being a
shrill corporate suck-up for his entire life. Vickie gives him an
opportunity to come clean but Bryan says the truth is he kneed Orton
in the face for three. It could have been a twenty count because
Orton was out cold.
says he should still be champion but Vickie says he should be fired.
Daniel says everyone is grateful that Vickie has no real power, but
Vickie would rather talk about the people that got involved at the
end of the night. Those people would be Ziggler, the Usos, R-Truth,
Justin Gabriel, Zack Ryder, the Prime Time Players, Kofi Kingston and
Rob Van Dam. Tonight it’s going to be an 11-3 handicap gauntlet
match. The idea is all eleven of them will come down to face the
Shield 3-1 until Shield has defeated them all. Bryan is lucky enough
to go last.
vs. AJ
Natalya is on commentary and talks about how AJ is riding the
coattails of the Total Divas who have revolutionized the division.
AJ easily takes Naomi down and hooks a cravate as Natalya calls AJ an
opportunist for how she kept the title on Sunday. A running back
elbow gets two for the champion, though Natalya is FAR more
entertaining, trying to make the Total Divas sound like good people.
Naomi comes back with a dropkick and the Rear View for two. AJ’s
sleeper is quickly broken up but she grabs the Black Widow for the
submission at 3:25.
D+. The match was nothing but
this story is ranging anywhere from so bad it’s hilarious to horrible
depending on how you look at it. The problem is the whole angle
hinges on no one ever watching Total Divas, because there’s no way to
cheer for any of its cast, but AJ is being presented as a stuck up
villain who lords her title over everyone in sight.
Swagger vs. Santino Marella
tells Santino to take the ravioli out of his ears and asks if he has
the proper papers to own a reptile. During Santino’s entrance, JBL
and Cole hype up Billy Gunn as the guests on their show by saying
Road Dogg’s catchphrases. Swagger throws Santino down and shouts at
him a lot before hooking a double armbar. Santino comes back with
his usual sequence before hooking a backslide to pin Swagger at 2:02.
When I’m feeling sorry for Jack Swagger, it’s a bad sign.
vs. Nick Nardone
is OVW Champion Jamin Olivencia. Before the match, Heyman talks
about Punk giving him all he could handle at Night of Champions, but
only one of them could come out on top. Ryback says Heyman doesn’t
deserve to be picked on by a bully like Punk, so he’s going to treat
Nick like he’ll treat Punk. It’s a fifty second match with the Meat
Hook and Shell Shock ending Nardone, as you would expect.
Orton with something to say. He talks about Bryan and Armstrong
taking the title from him at Night of Champions, but that was 100%
his own fault. He never should have been in that position but he’s
spent two years repressing who he really is for the fans. Orton
locked away the Viper because that’s what everyone wanted. But then
Monday night on Raw, HHH and Stephanie showed Orton what he really
should be. We get a clip of the attack on Miz from Raw, which Orton
calls a warning to anyone who gets in his path. At Battleground,
he’s going to end the war with Daniel Bryan and be his own WWE
vs. Usos/Prime Time Players/Justin Gabriel/Zack Ryder/Kofi
Kingston/Rob Van Dam/Dolph Ziggler/Daniel Bryan/R-Truth
3-1, one man at a time, no tagging. Darren Young is first and it
goes exactly as you would expect with Reigns getting the pin via the
spear in 41 seconds. Titus O’Neil is in next and has a bit better
luck by throwing the smaller guys around a bit. Reigns runs him down
though and the big beatdown is on. Rollins grabs a guillotine with a
body vice and the beating continues. The TripleBomb ends O’Neil at
1:57 (all times total).
Ziggler is in third but he charges in like a nitwit too. Ziggler
speeds things up as fast as he can but Rollins and Dean finally get
him to the ground. Reigns gets to take his shots including a
headbutt. Ambrose takes too much time talking though and Dolph gets
in some solid offense, low bridging Reigns to the floor and hitting
the Fameasser on Seth. A Cactus Clothesline puts Ziggler and Ambrose
on the floor for a second but Rollins knees Ziggler to the floor.
Reigns spears Ziggler down and he can’t beat the count at 5:39.
Kofi Kingston to try his luck but Rollins comes to meet him in the
aisle for some reason, allowing Kofi to snap the other twos’ necks
across the top rope. A quick Trouble in Paradise gets a near fall on
Reigns but the numbers catch up to Kofi. The bulldog driver gets rid
of Kingston at 7:13. Rob Van Dam is in next and Reigns is still
banged up Rollins and Ambrose jump Van Dam but he kicks both guys
down as things speed up. Ambrose is monkey flipped down and Reigns
is kicked back down to the floor. Rolling Thunder hits both Rollins
and Ambrose at the same time and Van Dam loads up the Five Star on
Dean….as HHH comes out to call the match off at about 9:00.
C. The non-finish hurt this a
lot because I was starting to get into it at the end. The idea of
Shield fighting off everyone at once but slowly getting beaten down
made sense and felt like something out of a video game. It was
really doing a good job at building drama to seeing how far anyone
could get without getting beaten but the ending stopped it cold.
break HHH yells at Vickie, asking what in the world she was thinking.
After what Vickie did tonight, ten more of them would revolt next
time, then ten more until we had a full scale revolt. Vickie says it
was good for business, but tonight needs to be about fair
competition. HHH demands Vickie to make the Usos/Daniel Bryan vs.
the Shield, therefore again making Bryan the focus of the show after
saying for weeks that there was no way we could have Bryan as the
focus of the show.
Raw ReBound covers the Dusty Rhodes story.
and Gabriel come in to see HHH and he gives them a match for no
apparent reason.
Ryder/Justin Gabriel vs. Wyatt Family
gives Ryder a freaky look to start but Zack fires off a forearm in
the corner. A big boot takes Ryder down for two as everything breaks
down. Gabriel is sent to the floor and Harper hits a buckle bomb on
Ryder followed by the discus lariat (JBL: “GOOD GOD!”) for the
pin at 1:12.
hits Sister Abigail on Ryder post match and talks about keeping his
has a banged up elbow but HHH comes in and gives him a world title
match against Del Rio at Battleground. HHH leaves and Del Rio comes
in to beat RVD down, including the low superkick. Cole thinks it’s
odd that Del Rio was right there at that given time.
vs. Alberto Del Rio
again. Truth pounds away in the corner to start and gets two off a
suplex. The ax kick misses though and Del Rio hits a quick
Backstabber for two. Off to a reverse chinlock but Truth comes back
with some kicks to the ribs. The front suplex is good for two but
Alberto hits the corner enziguri for the same result. Truth rolls
out of the armbreaker and hits the ax kick for two, only to be caught
with the low superkick and the armbreaker for the submission at 3:34.
D+. This was about what you
would expect out of these two. Truth is a jobber to the stars
anymore but at least we don’t have to put up with his matches being
set up by dancing anymore. Del Rio still has nothing to his
character other than being from Mexico as the money has been phased
out, keeping him as average of a heel as you can be.
vs. Usos/Daniel Bryan
starts by firing off kicks in the corner to Rollins’ chest before
dropping a knee for two. Rollins tries the jumping knee but gets
caught in the surfboard instead. With the hold still mostly on it’s
Jey in off the tag with a clothesline, only to get caught in the
Shield corner and punched by Ambrose. Jey comes back with a backdrop
and brings in his brother who gets two off a clothesline.
to a hammerlock but Dean fights into the corner, only to have Jey
come back in with a big chop for two. The Usos drop a double elbow
for two but Jey is driven into the Shield corner again for the tag
off to Reigns for some stomping. Jey stays out of trouble by pulling
Roman into the corner for the tag off to Bryan. Kicking abounds
until Reigns takes Daniel down with an elbow to the jaw and a tag off
to rollins for a chinlock. That goes nowhere as Daniel jawbreaks his
way out and tags in Jimmy.
does about as well as a career tag team wrestler fighting off three
guys who have been defeating main eventers for over a year now as we
take a break. Back with Jimmy fighting out of a Rollins chinlock and
making the hot tag off to Jey. A few rooms of the house are cleaned
but Rollins enziguris him down, allowing for the real heat segment to
hits a running dropkick against the ropes and holds Jey in place for
a slingshot hilo, giving Rollins two. Back to Reigns for a jumping
elbow drop for two and we hit the chinlock. A huge clothesline gets
two for Roman and it’s right back to the chinlock. Jey fights up
again and fires off right hands all around followed by a Bubba Bomb
on Rollins. The hot tag brings in Bryan for the real house cleaning
by knocking Reigns and Rollins to the floor.
running corner dropkicks set up a hurricanrana to Dean for two.
Jimmy dives over the top to take out Reigns and Jey does the same to
Rollins. Dean clotheslines Bryan down but gets caught in the YES
Lock, right in front of the ropes. Jey superkicks Ambrose into the
running knee from Bryan at 14:00 shown of 17:00.
B. This was the same thing that
you’ve grown to expect from every Shield match: great action, a bunch
of saved near falls and a hot finish. On top of that the Shield
doesn’t lose anything here given that they were coming in at a
disadvantage. Good match here but did you really expect anything
C+. This was a hard one
to grade. The gauntlet match was really fun but it was pulled
halfway through for some reason. A solid main event helps of course
and we got some story development, but this show felt like it was
over before it started. I’m not sure if that was a good thing as
only the gauntlet match felt like anything special. Still though,
fun show overall and a good use of two hours.
Lee b. Naomi – Black Widow
Marella b. Jack Swagger – Backslide
b. Nick Nardone – Shell Shock
vs. Usos/Prime Time Players/Justin Gabriel/Zack Ryder/Kofi
Kingston/Rob Van Dam/Dolph Ziggler/Daniel Bryan/R-Truth went to a no
Family b. Justin Gabriel/Zack Ryder – Discus lariat to Ryder
Del Rio b. R-Truth – Cross Armbreaker
Bryan/Usos b. Shield – Running knee to Ambrose
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:

QOTD 12: After Dark…

Howdy Blog Otters, seriously quality discussion yesterday. So serious I completely forgot to post today’s QOTD…well, more like QOTN, until now. But, it being so late, I started to think about how we’ve all had experiences with late night TV that either blew our mind, confused it, angered it, or all three at the same time.


What are your Late Night TV memories, and what’s the most bizarre thing you’ve ever seen after Midnight on television? Bonus points for links.

I remember being a kid and stumbling across Anime for the first time without really intending too, becoming scarred for life at a young age after watching ‘Akira’ and having no clue it was going to be so violent and mentally disturbing. Similarly I saw Pearl Jam’s ‘Fear The Revolution’ and Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ this way, both things I thought would be typical cartoons then turned into ridiculously horrifying experiences for a kid who still dug Power Rangers at the time.

I also remember coming across quality movies like The Shawshank Redemption, Casino, Goodfellas, and Scarface on basic cable late at night, staying up far too late to experience the magic of these basic cable classics for the first time. Basic Cable Classics is a QOTD for another day, though.

Of course then there’s infomercials and religious programming, a favorite of mine being “Virtual Memory” and “Generation Cross” both programs that bring such energy to the religious proceedings you almost wanna go to church. Almost.


Blog Otter Award: Everyone for yesterday’s thread. While we all share different opinions on the matter, very little of the thread turned into name calling and yelling, which I appreciate. Your award can be found here.

1. Sorry for the late post again, I’ll endeavor to post this earlier.

2. I didn’t mention Liquid Television or Beavis and Butthead as I knew about them before I stumbled across them first, but talk about mind fucks, right?

The Top 10 Greatest WCW/JCP Matches

I mistakenly pressed “publish” during my first draft of this. Foolishly, I was sitting there wondering how people were viewing it when it was a draft. Then, I finally figured out that I published it. Yep, that was my dumb moment of the week. So if you were one of the people who read it, and then wondered where it went, now you know.
I am drawing a blank once I passed the Top 10 part of the list again. Just soooo many worthy matches deserve to be on the Top 20 list. Thus, I am just going to leave it at 10. However, the good news is I have honorable mentions, and I am going to try to, possibly, make a list of the greatest in American wrestling history if I have the opportunity.
Honorable Mention: Great American Bash 1996, Chris Benoit vs. Kevin Sullivan –
 Benoit and Sullivan had a never-ending feud that dragggggeedddddd. It overstayed its welcome and resulted in a lot of terrible matches, but they were feeling it on this night. This innovative, well-structured and stiff brawl escalated all over the arena, even in the goddamn men’s bathroom. It was also a star-making performance from Benoit. You know that guy everyone thought would become a top-tier star in WCW. However, the Hogans, Nashs, Halls, and Savages (yes, literally, savages) did not want to give up their place, so WCW never pushed him to the main event despite him (and tons of others) being liked by the fans. Well, at least WWE was smart enough to push him to the moon. On second thought….
Honorable Mention: Great American Bash 1990: Southern Boys vs. Midnight Express –
Everyone talks about the Midnight Express and Rock and Roll Express matches. People need to start talking about this more. Why? The amount of energy and intensity is off the chains. They were bouncing like those giants bouncy rubber balls someone played with as a kid off the ropes. The Southern Boys were nearly coming out of their boots after getting a hot tag. The countered and reversed trademark and clichéd spots were ridiculous, and I never knew what was going to be reversed or what was not going to be since everything was based the match off the crowd’s response. They played them like a yo-yo. Jim Cornette also said it was one of his favorite Midnight Express matches ever. Enough said.
Honorable Mention: SuperBrawl II, Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman –
The spots do not age as well as Arn Anderson did, but both men’s ability to read the crowd surely does age well. Reading the crowd is so difficult to pull off so it never gets boring. They also did a compelling job of speeding and slowing the pace down at the right times. The difference between this and most high-flying match is this tells a lucid story, and it makes this come across as an athletic competition rather than a contrived-looking stunt show.
10. WCW Nitro 1999: Bret Hart vs. Chris Benoit – 
This was the  first time Hart wrestled since his brother’s horrifying death, and it was just one of those matches where someone had to watch it live to appreciate it fully. I will not lie; this competition was one of the few things in wrestling that made me almost shed a tear. Real men do cry. This was also scientifically sound as it was a chess match with hard strikes, chain wrestling and, of course, unparalleled emotion.  
9. Great American Bash 1987, Opening Match: WarGames –
This is the greatest gimmick match ever, hands down. It is all thanks to Dusty Rhodes, the brains behind this amazing concept. It was a match that had two rings near each other and a cage with a top surrounded them. It starts off with two opposing wrestlers facing each other for five minutes. Another wrestler enters after the five minutes are up. Oh, and a coin flip is what decides which team gets the man advantage. (Spoiler alert: the heels always win, except in TNA of course because well they can never do anything right). Once everyone enters the ring it then becomes an “I Quit” match. Its purpose was to blow-off a long feud between two teams that hated each other.
This is an all-out warfare with tons of insanity, but what was so remarkable was it never feels disjointed. It used a formula that just worked: The heels would get the heat on the outnumbered babyfaces and then another babyface would enter the match to save their teammate.  The crowd just ATE this up with forks, spoons, knives, and even their mouths. I mean they popped HARD every time the babyfaces would beat the holy hell out of the heels.
It was well-structured, innovative, historic, and barbaric.
8. Crockett Cup 1987: Barry Windham vs. Ric Flair –
This was an unheralded feud. Everyone talks about Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat, Sting, Terry Funk, and so on, but not many people talk about this. I do not understand why. Maybe because Windham wasn’t the most charismatic guy? Nevertheless, this feud resulted in great matches, although this has to be my favorite one. Both the pacing and timing were on key. Flair, as usual, tried to cheat his way to victory, but Windham was just countering everything, including the kitchen sink. That was until Windham rolled up Flair, but the Nature Boy reversed it with a roll up of his own and then proceeded to grab onto the tights. I never understood why that was illegal, but at least it gives heels more rules to break, right? It was a very entertaining match.
7. Starrcade 1985: “I Quit” Cage Match, Tully Blanchard vs. Magnum TA –
If this is not an underrated gem, I do not know what is. These two had HATED each other, so they settled their feud in the first ever “I Quit” cage match. I am not exaggerating when I say this was not for the weakened heart. There have been matches that try to be grueling, but not many of them are as dramatic or horrifying as this was, and this did not even have much blood. Deception is the reason this worked so much as it was the illusion that they were trying to kill each other. I just loved how they screamed in agony; it added so much gut-wrenching drama.
This also could be a great example of how less can be more for the young wrestlers out there, too. They did not do a bunch of fancy spots to get the fans into it. They instead got people emotionally attached by selling the drama via facial expressions, body language, mannerisms, and selling. Pay attention Davey Richards.
The finish is one of the great shock moments in wrestling, and it made me somewhat squeamish. TA broke off a piece of wood from a chair that Baby Doll threw in, and viciously stuck it in Blanchard’s eye, causing him to squeal in pain. Grosssssssssssss. That spot is truly an excruciatingly awesome moment.
6. Halloween Havoc 1997: Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio Jr –
Rey Mysterio Jr had to put his mask on the line to get a shot at the Cruiserweight Championship. This was an amazing display of splendid athleticism with state-of-the-art moves and inventive spots. More importantly, the spots were integral to the story being told. Telling a story is what a lot of high-flying wrestlers struggle with, but these two never struggled in that department. They were masters at it.
Guerrero had more experiences, power and technical expertise, and he was not afraid to lie, cheat, or steal. Those combustible elements played a big reason in why he had the advantage for most of the match. However, Mysterio had something that overcame all that: miles and miles of heart. He played that type of  face-in-so-much-peril plucky underdog so well that made nobody want to cheer against him.
By the way, Mysterio was not fighting just for the Cruiserweight title; he was fighting for his legacy. Nobody wanted to see poor Rey lose his mask. Oh, and I have to give credit where credit is due: Tenay did a great job of elucidating how significant the mask was to a luchador. This was just a dramatic roller coaster ride with a heartfelt ending.
5. Wrestle War 1992: WarGames –
Paul Heyman’s Dangerous Alliance was becoming dangerous (pun intended), so a few protagonists decided to form an alliance to put a stop to their Triple H power trip. Ha, I made fun of HHH without him even being mentioned. Andy PG would be proud. Both teams settled their problems like men: inside the most demotic and unforgiving structure ever constructed. Taking into account the story, this was more superior to the original. It was also a textbook example of how to end a feud that has the villains getting their well-deserved comeuppance for tormenting the protagonist for so long.
The heat segments were ruthless; the babyface comebacks were energetic; the psychology was realistic; the momentum swings were tense, and the ultra-hostility just puts the icing on the cake. Even Shakespeare would have been impressed with the culmination of this struggle between good and evil.
4. Chi-Town Rumble 1989: Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat –
Flair was the king of the mountain. Sorry, Jeff Jarrett, you were never the king of everything. I would consider you may be the king of the hill, but you do not sell propane. Nevertheless, Flair was the man and overcame everyone who faced him. That was until a mystery opponent pinned him. Who was it? It was Ricky Steamboat. This set up the first chapter of their epic set. The bout was a chess match, with feeling out processes, lots of heat segments, and hope-comebacks, and around-the-clock action. At the start, both wrestlers worked over a body limb Flair worked Steamboat’s the leg over to set up his figure-four, and Steamboat worked over Flair’s  arm.
Seriously, though, I thought Steamboat was going to make his entire comeback at least three times. That was how good the teases of a comeback were. In fact, the entire match pretty much had me guessing, and the finishing sequence is so mentally exhausting that it drained the life out of me. Most wrestlers dream of having a match this good, and this was only their third best one. Scary, huh?
3. Clash of Champions IX: I Quit Match, Terry Funk vs. Ric Flair –
People were starting to cheer for Flair because they realized he was one slick dude, so the committee turned him face. They made him into a sympathetic one by having Terry Funk unmercifully pulverized him right after his hard-fought battle against Ricky Steamboat. Funk puts a cherry on top on the beat down by pile driving him on a table. (In case you are not aware, this was a time where angles and moves had a lot of meaning and a purpose. A piledriver was a very dangerous move that usually was used to write someone off TV. They even ended people’s careers, so you can imagine how scared the fans were for Flair’s wellbeing.)
 Easily, this is a top-five feud of mine. The unalloyed hatred among the two was sharper than a knife, and their detailed promos did a great job of vividly describing what they were going to do to each other. In the match, Funk’s coldhearted actions, as he tried to rupture Flair’s wounded neck, made this quarrel somewhat disturbing. They injected EVEN MORE hostility in this by yelling and screaming at each other and trying to persuade the other one to quit.
“Flair, don’t you remember your neck? Don’t you, don’t you wanna quit… before I, before I… hit you?!”

Funk used neck breakers, forearm clubs, piledrivers, and other moves injury Flair’s impaired neck even more. However, Flair retaliated by attacking Funk’s knee, prompting Funk to limp away like a scalded dog. Then, Funk ended up saying those famous five words as the pain from being in the figure-four leg lock had been just too much to endure.
This was just a fabulous display of selling, hatred, intensity, storytelling, psychology, and prodigious booking.
2. Clash of Champions VI, Two out of Three Falls: Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat –
This is just another stroke of genius from these two. They both reached their apex around this same time and created matches that are talked about today. This was just about 60 minutes of nonstop action, with no down spots or noticeable blemishes. Everything done had a purpose in the context of the story being told.
Flair cheated to gain control, dictating the pace by methodically working over Steamboat. However, Steamboat would not back down. He kept putting up a fight, but Slick Ric kept countering his offense.
There were so many layers to this masterpiece, with each one building to a high spot of the match. After they got the response from the crowd they wanted, they started rebuilding a new subplot. The effort, characterizations, execution, psychology, pacing, and timing are all top-notch, and this served its main goal by creating eagerness for their last match.
1. Wrestle War 1989: Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat –
I was not sure which match I liked more: this one or the two-out-of three-falls match. All three matches were similar to a book as each chapter led to the upcoming one. I decided to go with this one just because it was the culmination of this exemplary series.

What makes this match so exceptional?  Everything. Just absolutely everything.
You have Ric Flair, the deceitful loudmouth that was born with a golden spoon in his mouth, going against the Ricky Steamboat, the family oriented, diligent everyday man. In the match, both men stayed true to their characters, and used them to articulate an in-ring story.
Honestly, its simplicity is why it is evergreen and why it would get a rise out of a sold-out crowd even today. It is just a textbook demonstration of how to wrestle a compelling match. Above all, nothing is forced. There are not any convoluted spots, swerves, bells or even whistles. Everything felt natural.
It holds up to this day because they did moves that would never lose their essence; after all, they are malleable and fit into the context of any story. The most important reason even to this day people do not get bored of it is because of the way the moves are executed.
For example, look at how Flair took an arm-drag, flying way up in the air, traveling post-to-post, and then coming. Look at how Steamboat sprang off the ropes. Look at how they sell everything and make every move look impactful. Look at how they bump. It is all extremely well done. 
These two knew exactly when, where, and why to do something. They knew the best time to get the heat on the babyface. They knew where to inject a hope-spot or full comeback. And they knew why to speed or slow the match down. Simply put, they MASTERED the fundamentals of wrestling psychology.
This truly had everything in it, and it is no wonder why people call it the greatest match ever.

Breaking News from ROH about Death Before Dishoner XI–

Directly quoted from ROH’s Facebook
Ring of Honor Wrestling “DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR XI” FREE on iPPV Tonight

Ring of Honor is pleased to announce that “Death Before Dishonor XI”
will be streamed for FREE in real time this Friday evening, September
20th at 8:00 pm. In the tradition of the event, this too will go down
in the history books! Tonight we will crown a brand new Ring of Honor
World Champion as Kevin Steen takes on
Michael Elgin and Adam Cole battles Tommaso Ciampa in a pair of
semi-final match-ups! Later in the night, the winner of those two bouts
will then collide with the winner being crowned new ROH World Champion!
This event will only be broadcast live and will not be posted for

Go Fight Live (GFL) has approached ROH to
demonstrate its new and upgraded technology which promises to present a
flawless stream for the viewing pleasure of ROH fans.

To watch “Death Before Dishonor XI” just go to GFL.tv for information and log in instructions.

Thanks for your support and we look forward to presenting one of this
year’s premier Ring of Honor events absolutely FREE Tonight!!

You can’t do better then free, so if you have even the faintest passing interest in ROH or Indy wrestling now is the time to check it out!  Assuming the stream works…

UPDATE: Stream didn’t work, opportunity to win new fans lost AND the live crowd sucked.
Way to go ROH, Way to go!

The full card after the jump

Former ROH World Champion, Jay Briscoe will present the new champion with the ROH Championship belt.

Adam Cole vs. Tommaso Ciampa

“Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. Kevin Steen

reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish), Matt Taven, & Michael
Bennett w/ Truth Martini & Maria Kanellis vs. Adrenaline RUSH (ACH
& Tadarius Thomas), Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander

Special Interview with BJ Whitmer

Ricky Marvin vs. Roderick Strong

American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) vs. Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov) (c)

Silas Young vs. Jay Lethal


BoD Daily Update

SummerSlam Buyrate Numbers

The show did 186,000 domestically and 112,000 Internationally

Credit F4WOnline.com

TNA Cancels More House Shows

The 10/4 show in Wichita and 10/5 show in Topeka have been cancelled

Credit F4WOnline.com

Kevin Nash Rips TNA via Twitter


New RoH Heavyweight Champion to be Crowned Tonight at “Death Before Dishonor XI”

The semi-final matchups include Kevin Steen vs. Michael Elgin and Adam Cole vs. Tomasso Ciampa, with the winners facing off in the finals