A Quick Daniel Bryan Idea

Okay, I just thought of a brilliant idea that would make WWE ridiculous amounts of money:
Selling pairs of Daniel Bryan foam fingers for "YES!" chants.

I am legitimately shocked that no one in marketed has attempted that one yet.  An arena full of foam fingers would look crazy on TV, and as noted, make them a shitload of money.  

WWF Wrestling Classic PPV

November 7, 1985
Live from the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago, IL
Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Vince McMahon. Jesse Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon are the announcing team.
The 16 man tournament features the following: Ricky Steamboat, Adrian Adonis, Tito Santana, Bob Orton, Ivan Putski, Randy Savage, Junkyard Dog, Paul Orndorff, Terry Funk, Moondog Spot (subbing for Missing Link, who left the company), Corporal Kirchner, Don Muraco, Davey Boy Smith, Dynamite Kid, Nikolai Volkoff, and the Iron Shiek.
Also, the main event features Roddy Piper facing Hulk Hogan for the WWF Heavyweight Championship.
Plus, the winner of the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud Mach 3 is announced.

Vince shows us the brackets, which were drawn at random today. There is some hot chick named Susan who shows us the results and here they are:
Adrian Adonis vs. Corporal Kirchner
Dynamite Kid vs. Nikolai Volkoff
Ivan Putski vs. Randy Savage
Ricky Steamboat vs. Davey Boy Smith
Iron Sheik vs. JYD
Moondog Spot vs. Terry Funk
Tito Santana vs. Don Muraco
Bob Orton vs. Paul Orndorff
Here are some pre-recorded bits from the drawing, including Savage yelling at Elizabeth for selecting Ivan Putski, telling her that she screwed up again.
Vince now takes us to Gene Okerlund, who is with the WWF President, Jack Tunney. He is excited about the show and lets us know that you have to win your match in the tournament in order to go on to the next round.
FIRST ROUND
Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Corporal Kirchner
Adonis and Kircher battle in the corner to start. Kirchner then hits a pair of armdrags before grabbing a side headlock. Adonis counters with a back suplex then hits an elbow smash. Adonis grabs a chinlock but Kirchner fights back. He goes for a suplex but Adonis counters that with a DDT and gets the win (2:35) *.
Thoughts: Decent enough action. They really gave up on Kirchner quickly, who after weeks of vignettes became a lower card worker rather quickly. He really lacked the charisma to make the role work. Adonis could still go in the ring but he was getting really heavy and had bigger tits than Elizabeth at this point.
Dynamite Kid vs. Nikolai Volkoff
As Volkoff sings the Soviet National Anthem, Dynamite climbs the top rope. After the bell rings, Nikolai turns around and gets hit with a missile dropkick and Dynamite scores the pin (0:06).
Thoughts: Man, the crowd popped huge for this. A well-known moment that has been featured on multiple compilations.
Ivan Putski vs. Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth
Jesse tells us that he prepared Savage for this match. Savage stalls to start things off. Putski shows off his power as Savage is pissed. Putski hits Savage with a turnbuckle smash but Savage rakes the eyes and goes to work. Putski shoves off Savage and beats on him in the corner. Savage knocks him down then puts his feet on the ropes for leverage as he scores the pin (2:45) ½*.
Thoughts: Not much happened here but Savage was on top of his game at this time with his heelwork and that made it enjoyable.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. Davey Boy Smith
This is billed as a “Scientific Matchup,” which was the term given when two babyfaces went against each other. The match starts at a quick pace with both guys going back and forth. They fight over a bridge and Steamboat gets two off of a backslide. Davey catches him with a press slam for two then works a front facelock before hitting another press slam. He goes back to the front facelock but Steamboat hits a delayed vertical suplex. He goes for a splash but Davey got his knees up. He hits Steamboat with a pair of dropkicks but misses a crossbody and crotches himself on the ropes, causing the ref to ring the bell and award the match to Steamboat as Davey was ruled injured and unable to compete (2:53) **. After the match, Steamboat checks on Davey
Thoughts: Terrible finish aside, this was the best match under three minutes that you will probably ever see. These guys got to show off their skills here and it was a fun bout.
Iron Sheik w/ Freddie Blassie vs. Junkyard Dog
Sheik attacks JYD as he enters the ring, choking him out with his own towel. JYD fights back and knocks down the Sheik with a headbutt. Sheik takes a breather outside after another headbutt then goes back in and puts JYD in a full nelson. JYD overpowers of that then hits a terrible-looking clothesline. He misses a falling headbutt as the Sheik locks in the Camel Clutch. The Sheik then breaks the hold after JYD tried to escape and hammers away in the corner. The Sheik tosses the ref away and JYD hits the Sheik with a heaadbutt and gets the win (3:23) ¼*.
Thoughts: Not much happened here but JYD was one of the more popular wrestlers in the company and it was no surprise that he won.
Moondog Spot vs. Terry Funk w/ Jimmy Hart
Before the match, Funk grabs the mic and says he doesn’t want to wrestle Spot and asks him if he wants to wrestle him and suggests they leave the ring and settle for a draw. Spot agrees as they go outside. The bell rings then Funk attacks Spot as they head up the aisle. He goes into the ring but Spot catches him. Funk shakes him off and Spot falls into the ring and as Funk climbs in, the bell rings for the countout and Spot wins the match (0:10). Funk assaults Spot until he rolls out of the ring. Funk and Hart are pissed
Thoughts: Not much happening here but it was fun to watch Funk get his comeuppance. He was awesome during this run and it was a shame that he didn’t stay longer.
Tito Santana vs. Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji
Muraco starts by beating on Santana all over the ring. Tito ducks a clothesline and hits a crossbody block for two. He then gets nearfalls off of a sunset flip and a backslide before he starts to unload on Muraco. He sends him into the corner with an Irish whip then stomps away. Tito works the arm until Muraco picks him up and drops him throat-first on the ropes. He then hits a clothesline and drops a knee for two. Muraco then hits a powerslam and the ref counts to three but Tito’s foot was on the ropes (this was not shown on camera). The bell rings anyway then Tito rolls up Muraco with a small package and gets the win (4:13) *1/2. Even the crowd boos the decision of this match.
Thoughts: The match was fine but the ending was awful. These two had a good feud two years earlier too and had solid in-ring chemistry.
“Cowboy” Bob Orton vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Before the match, Heenan cut a promo on Orndorff stating that he believes he will payout the $50,000 bounty tonight. Onrdorff works the arm then sends Orton into the corner with an atomic drop. He goes back to the arm until Orton takes him down with a side headlock. Orndorff regains control and goes back to the arm. Orton gets his knee up on a charge then drops his throat across the top rope. Orndorff takes over Orton with a sunset flip after pulling down his tights but that only gets two. Orton takes control and uses a chinlock then switches to a headscissors. They fight over a bridge and Orton turns that into a backslide for two. Orton whiffs on a flying headscissors then Orndorff fires away in the corner. He hits a back elbow smash before sending Orton to the floor. He walks around dazed as Orndorff follows him out. As the ref talks to Orndorff, Orton adjusts his cast on the apron then smashes it off of Orton’s head and goes for the cover but the referee rings the bell for the DQ (6:29) **. They brawl after the match with Orndorff gaining the upper hand.
Thoughts: Solid match. Not a whole lot more to add to that, really.
Vince and Hayes go over the second round matchups, which include:
Adrian Adonis vs. Dynamite Kid
Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat
JYD vs. Moondog Spot
Tito Santana vs. Paul Orndorff
QUARTER-FINALS
Dynamite Kid vs. Adrian Adonis w/ Jimmy Hart
Adonis starts with a shoulder block but Dynamite has Adonis rolling out for a breather after a pair of armdrags. Back inside, Adonis sends Dynamite into the corner with a slingshot as Jesse leaves the booth to talk with Savage. Adonis gets two off of a suplex then uses a chinlock. Dynamite escapes by using a back suplex but he misses a falling headbutt and Adonis goes to work on the leg. Dynamite manages a sunset flip for two but Adonis goes right back to the leg. Both men are down after Dynamite sends Adonis into the corner. Dynamite comes back with a clothesline then a kneedrop off of the second rope for two. He hits a snap suplex then a falling headbutt before going after Hart, who was on the apron. Adonis gets two off of a reverse rollup then Adonis gets shoved into Hart and Dynamite covers for the win (5:23) **1/4. After the match, Hart and Adonis start to pitch a hissy fit in the ring.
Thoughts: Solid match. The post-match antics from Adonis were new and seemed to be leading to something down the road. The win puts Dynamite in the semi-finals, which is a bit surprising when you consider the rest of the field.
Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage w/Elizabeth
Before the match, Okerlund interviewed Jesse, who stated that he was going to be in the corner of Savage from the announcer’s table. Savage uses Elizabeth as a shield before putting her aside to attack Steamboat from behind. Steamboat slides underneath Savage and comes back with some chops. They fight in the corner until Steamboat takes Savage to the floor with a headscissors. They brawl on the floor until Steamboat hits an atomic drop. Back inside, Steamboat chops him down. Savage ducks under a chop and hits a back suplex as Jesse rejoins the announcers booth. Steamboat catches Savage with a shot to the mid-section as he comes off the top. He suplexes him back in the ring from the apron. Steamboat hits the flying body press but only gets two. He hits a few more chops but Savage reaches into his tights and grabs something then when Steamboat lifts him up for a suplex, Savage hits him in the face and gets the win (3:22) **1/2.
Thoughts: This was all action and really fun while it lasted. This now means that Savage will face Dynamite Kid in the semi-finals. Savage has been the star of the tournament so far.

Moondog Spot vs. Junkyard Dog


Spot attacks JYD as he enters the ring, without a referee present. He misses a knee drop from the decond turnbuckle and JYD hits a pair of crawling headbutts then headbutts him again and covers Spot, counting to three by himself and the bell rings, with JYD getting the win as the ring judge was present an awarded him the match (0:27) DUD.

Thoughts: Another awful finish but it was not like Spot had a chance to begin with and the quick match was probably for the best. At the time, Meltzer gave this match a -***** rating. For me, it was too quick of a match but the god-awful ending deserves a DUD rating.

“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff vs. Tito Santana


Both guy shake hands before the match as Jesse cracks ethnic jokes at the expense of Tito. They lockup and Tito takes Orndorff over with a side headlock. They fight over a wristlock then Tito works a headscissors on the mat until Orndorff counters that with a rollup then they end up in a stand off. Orndorff works a hammerlock until Tito reverses and they end up in another standoff as Jesse constantly talks about Orndorff reverting back to his heel persona. Orndorff hits an atomic drop as Tito is in pain on the mat. Orndorff goes to work on Tito’s leg, which was taped up with the story being that he got hurt in his first round match against Muraco. Tito fights out then Orndorff knocks Tito to the floor with a forearm shot. He follows him out and they brawl on the floor as Orndorff rams Tito into the post and they continue to brawl until the match is ruled a double-countout (8:03) **. They continue to brawl after the match then finally stop as they are both now eliminated from the tournament.

Thoughts: The match was okay but it was mostly restholds. Orndorff, who still wrestled aggressively even as a face, was a bit more so than usual here but his heel turn didnt start until several months after this bout. JYD now has a bye and goes right to the finals.

WWF Championship Match
Roddy Piper vs. Hulk Hogan (Champion)


Piper attacks Hogan before the bell and tosses him outside. Hogan then drags Piper out as they brawl on the floor. Hogan tosses him over the steel rail before bringing him back into the ring. They trade eye rakes as Piper works on Hogan in the corner. Hogan comes back with a clothesline then fires away. He hits a back suplex and a slam before hitting a pair of elbow drops. He punches at Piper in the corner and as the ref steps between them, Piper hits Hogan then takes control of the match. Hogan is able to catch Piper in a bearhug but it is broken up with an eye poke. Piper gets a nearfall then places Hogan in the sleeper. Hogan just raises his arm before the three count then he takes Piper through the ropes with him. They have a stare down as Piper retreats when Hogan no-sells his punch. In the ring, Hogan hits an atomic drop but after that , Piper uses Hogan’s momentum to shove him into the referee. Piper goes outside and grabs a chair and whacks Hogan in the back. Hogan then stops a shot to the throat and they struggle over possession of the chair. Hogan then locks Piper in a sleeper as Orton runs in and decks Hogan with the cast. They double-team Hogan until Orndorff runs out and they take off (7:15) **3/4.

Thoughts: Fun match that could have been even better if it went longer. The post match stuff means that they are continuing with the feud between these four men.

SEMI-FINALS




Dynamite Kid vs. Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth


They brush each other off and show off their speed as Savage ducks outside due to frustration. They lockup and go all over the ring until Savage cheap shots Dynamite, who fights back. He hits a shoulder block at rapid speed that has the fans applaud loudly. He hits a backdrop then gets a nearfall with a crossbody. Savage blocks a sunset flip with a sitout splash then ducks a crossbody block. Both men collide at full speed and are on the mat. The camera shows a concerned Elizabeth as Savage heads up top. Dynamite cuts him off with a dropkick then hits a superplex but Savage turns it into a cradle and gets the win (4:50) **1/2.

Thoughts: Both guys went a million miles an hour in this short bout. This could have been a classic if it got more time. Still, it was incredibly fun.

Howard Finkel introduces the Rolls Royce contest but before that, he brings of Jack Tunney and Basil DeVito speak briefly about all of the entries that they received. Hayes then introduces the winner, Michael Hambly from Batavia, IL. This segment was useless.

Mean Gene is with Orndorff & Hogan in the locker room as they challenge Piper & Orton to a match at the next “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”

FINALS




Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth vs. Junkyard Dog


Savage stalls outside and throws a chair at JYD, who proceeds to catch it then motion for Savage to step inside. JYD shoves away Savage a few times before hitting an atomic drop. He puts Savage in a bearhug until it is broken up with an eye rake. JYD hits Savage with a few forearms and headbutts to the back. Savage gets caught in the ropes as the ref steps between JYD. Savage comes back with a clothesline at a charging JYD then covers and gets two. He knocks JYD outside and hits the double axe handle from the top rope then does it again before choking him out against the guardrail. In the ring, Savage tries another flying axe handle but JYD catches him with a shot to the mid-section. He hits Savage with several headbutts. Savage charges and JYD sends him to the floor with a backdrop and Savage gets counted out as JYD wins the match and the tournament (9:42) **1/4. After the match, Jesse leaves the booth and confronts JYD, stating he is protesting the decision as JYD got a bye in the semi-finals, before leaving.

Thoughts: Another awful finish. The match was fine, as Savage did 90% of the work JYD was blown up two minutes into this match. I guess they thought they could protect Savage with this lost and send the fans home happy with JYD as the winner but they seemed burned out at the end of this long show.

Final Thoughts: There was some good matches here but the show dragged at points and some of these finishes were just plain terrible. Savage was the star of the night though and you can make an argument that he should have won but at the end, it didnt really mean anything either way as the tournament was a stand-alone event and did not factor into then storylines. I would seek out a few matches in this tournament but for the entire show itself, it was too long and I would pass. Also, I believed this show did not do well at all in terms of a buyrate. 

Draws

Hey Scott:

I know you have more knowledge than most people regarding pro wrestling and have been a fan of yours for some time.  I'm curious about this…

Whenever I read about who is a 'draw' and who isn't, it seems to come up as that CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, based on their wrestling ability, are pushed by WWE yet are not consider 'draws' meaning that they don't seem to be able to pull a high rating or improve buy rates. 

So my question is, considering Randy Orton, being WWE champion, is he not the same in those categories, and who would you say are the so-called 'draws' in WWE today?  I hope this question makes some sense.  Thanks.

1.  John Cena
2.  The Undertaker's streak.
3 – 150.  Everyone else
151.  Zack Ryder
Really, it's only the WWE name that draws anything and everyone is just kind of a mish-mash of midcarders.  

Extreme Rules 2012

Dear Scott:
So I recently rewatched the main event to Extreme Rules 2012. What was up with that weird promo John Cena cut at the end of the show? It was an oddly placed speech about going home and getting in trouble with the boss, but I remember Cena doing pretty much the same things Cena always does soon afterwards. Any ideas on why that promo happened or what it was supposed to accomplish? 

Far as I can remember it was just Cena going into business for himself with the vague idea of taking a few weeks off and building to a rematch.  Here's the Observer on the subject:
"In addition, when he was given the finish, he was told he was being protected because he was destroying Cena, that Cena would get the win, collapse, and have to be helped out of the ring and left for dead. Instead, Cena did a weird promo that based on what we were told, he was not authorized to do. Everyone backstage, including Vince McMahon either had no idea what he was doing (and it was not in the script for the show), or maybe Vince knew and was pretending. But given how it turned out, I’d bet on the former. In the interview, Cena talked about how much he gave for the match, and he did, how he was now going on vacation for a while. He talked about how everyone in WWE, good guys, bad guys, big guys and small guys, do everything they can to entertain you people. He said he was proud he could have a match like this in Chicago, and that if he’s leaving for a while, he wouldn't want to have gone out any other way."
Clearly that time off didn't happen.  Maybe he was just knocked goofy?  I don't think it was ever established for sure what the intention was.

OVW Christmas Chaos January 31st, 2001

January 31, 2001
Your host is Jim Cornette
The show was supposed to be held on December 13th, 2000 but was cancelled due to a snow storm. It was held the following month at the Louisville Gardens and drew 5,000 fans.

Minnesota Stretching Crew vs. “Smooth” Johnny Spade & Sly Scraper
For those of you who do not know, the stretching crew consists of Brock Lesnar and Shelton Benjamin. Lesnar was sporting a singlet here. Scraper was better known as Sylvester Terkay. Spade was a skinny cruiserweight who acted cocky and facially resembled Kid Kash. He was wrestling in OVW as recently as seven months ago. Lesnar and Benjamin were rookies at the time too. Spade starts off by spitting at Benjamin then gets backed into the corner. Spade scapes and tags Scraper, who works the arm of Benjamin. After a minute, Benjamin shows off his athleticism to escape then climbs on Scraper’s shoulder but they completely botch a rana, with Scraper seemingly having no clue on how to take the move. Benjamin kills him with a super kick, busting Scraper open in the process, then tags Lesnar, who drops an elbow. Lesnar knocks Spade off of the apron after getting hit but walks right into a spinning heel kick. Spade tags and gets two off of an elbow smash. Lesnar tosses him off then kips up and catches him with a press slam. He hits him with a belly-to-belly suplex then tags Benjamin. They knock Scraper out of the ring and Lesnar follows him outside. Scraper then pulls down the top rope on Benjamin and he falls to the floor. Spade holds Benjamin in place as Scraper comes off of the top with a headbutt to the groin. He then hits a pumphandle suplex before he picks up Spade, who splashes Benjamin. Brock breaks up the count then Spade goes to work on Shelton. Both men collide attempting crossbody blocks and are down on the mat. Both men tag and Brock runs wild. He hits Scraper with a tilt-a-whirl slam then he tags Benjaimn and they hit a double uranage. Spade breaks up the pin with a top rope leg drop. He rakes the eyes of Benjamin, who lands on his feet after a monkey flip attempt. Spade taunts the crowd then walks into a vicious super kick. Scraper breaks up the cover but Benjamin lands on his feet after a backdrop and hits a knee smash and is momentum carries him to the corner as Spade backdrops him to the floor. Brock then climbs up top and hits a shooting star press halfway across the ring. Holy shit was that beautiful. Spade breaks that up at 2.9999 but Brock catches him and hits a backbreaker then Shelton comes off of the top with a 450 splash for the win (8:02) **1/4.
Thoughts: Sloppy at times but Lesnar and Shelton were just oozing potential here. Some awesome stuff from those two. Scraper was very slow and cumbersome in the ring and did not look too good at all. Spade was competent but very much the definition of an “indy” guy with a bad look and average physique.
Slick Robbie D. vs. Randy Orton
Robbie D. passed away about a year after this match when he committed suicide shortly after being arrested due to sleeping with an underage female. He had a lot of other trouble with the law too. Here, he was billed as having a 48’ inch vertical leap. Orton was also a rookie, as was the referee for the match, Donna Derring. Robbie takes him down with a shoulder block then stomps away before taunting Orton with a dance. That might have gotten over on the main roster, actually. Orton comes back with a hiptoss and a dropkick before going to work on the arm. Orton stops short on a leapfrog and hits a sweet wheelbarrow slingshot suplex for two. He should do that today as a signature spot. Robbie leaps right to the top and comes back with a sunset flip, getting two. Super kick gets two then he argues with the ref. Robbie hits a slam then follows that with a leg drop, getting two. He sends Orton over the top rope with a dropkick then follows out with an beautiful tope that cleared the top rope. He rolls Orton inside and heads up top but plays to the crowd and that allows Orton to get up and cut him off. Orton climbs up and hits a superplex as both men are down. Orton gets up first and fires away. He hits a backdrop and a clothesline before getting a nearfall with a T-Bone Suplex. He tries for his finisher, the full nelson slam, but Robbie escapes then quickly after that, Orton hits the move for the win (7:19) **1/2.
Thoughts: Both guys looked very impressive. Even as a rookie, you could see the potential in Orton. He sold like a champ when he had to and seemed to be in the right spots. Robbie was a freakish athlete and had not only wrestled in Memphis before signing a developmental deal but also acted as a stuntman in Hollywood. He held his demons in check, he probably would have gotten to the main roster.
UFC Rules Match
“Ironman” Rob Conway vs. Ron “H2O” Waterman
The rules are the match is won when you make your opponent submit or tap out. Waterman was a former UFC competitor prior to signing a developmental deal. He had a great look but never made it to the main roster. Conway stalls for a minute then they lockup and go right through the ropes. Conway is limping around the ring as Waterman tosses him back inside. Conway fights back and hammers away in the corner. Waterman comes back with a few suplexes before putting him in a Boston Crab. Conway fights out and ducks outside before going back and landing a few shots. Waterman catches him with an inverted atomic drop before taking down Conway with a poor excuse of a clothesline. He hits a back suplex but eats boot on a charge and Conway takes control. He works on the injured arm of Waterman for a minute. Waterman comes back and hits a backdrop. Conway rolls outside and ducks a clothesline, as Waterman hits the post with his injured arm. In the ring, Conway puts on an armbar and Waterman refuses to tap out then Waterman becomes unconscious as the ref rings the bell (7:10) ¾*.
Thoughts: The match was slow and plodding and there were barely any submission holds applied, making the UFC stipulations ridiculous. Waterman performed poorly in the ring, just looking slightly better than Scraper did.
The Suicide Blondes (Rip Rogers & Jason Lee & Derrick King) vs. Sean Casey & Chris Michaels & Phil Phair
The stipulations of this match were that if the Blondes lost, they would have their head’s shaved in the middle of the ring and if Phair’s team lost, he would have to kiss the ass of every member of the opposing team. Phair comes out with a neck brace and states that he hurt is neck by slipping on gravy in Kenny Bolin’s dressing room and introduces his replacement partner, “Nature Boy” Buddy Landell. Lee starts off the match by beating on Casey. The blondes use quick tags as Michaels tags and catches King with a slam. He heads up top but King cuts him off then takes him off with a hurricarana. He tries a float over in the corner but Michaels catches him with an Alabama Slam. Landell tags and chops down King. He catches him off of a crossbody attempt and hits a backbreaker before tagging Casey. King gets double-teamed by Casey & Michaels as the pace remains fast. King comes back with a facebuster as both men are down. King makes the tag to Lee and he goes wild. He hits a moonsault on Casey but Landell breaks that up as the match breaks down. Lee goes after Phair on the ring then Rogers hits Phair with a noogie punch and they all cover him for the pin (4:41) *1/4. After the match, Phair kisses everyone’s ass in PG fashion.
Thoughts: Quick match that had some decent action. Lee & King were guys that kicked around the southeast indies for a while. Casey was under a developmental deal at this time and had worked as a jobber on “Sunday Night Heat” and “Shotgun Saturday Night” but never got called up to the WWE. Michaels was almost 40 years old at the time and oddly enough, wrestled in the Suicide Blondes in ECW, when it was known as “Eastern Championship Wrestling” along with Johnny Hot Body and Chris Candido. Landell looked huge, he wore what looked like a prison jumpsuit, but could still go in the ring and his punches looked fantastic. After this, he wrestled a few matches for NWA-TNA during the first few months of the company with Rick Michaels.
Ten Count Match
The Damaja vs. Russ McCollough
McCullough was billed as 7’0 and looked similar to Kevin Nash. He carried a New York Jets helmet to the ring as he allegedly played for them. The Damaja was better known as Danny Basham. McCullough beats on Basham before tossing him outside. He then knocks him off of the apron before Damaja comes back in and hammers away. He uses his quickness but McCullough overpowers him. He picks him up but Damaja counters that into a DDT and McCullough gets up at the 6 count. Damaja fires away in the corner but gets shoved away. McCullough hits a powerslam then drops the leg as Damaja gets up at 8. McCullough knocks him back down but Damaja fights back until McCullough hits him with a powerbomb and Damaja gets up at nine, only for McCullough to clothesline him back down. He tries for another powerbomb but Damaja escapes then hits a flying headscissors. He hits a rana and heads up top and connects with a missile dropkick that has McCullough get up at 8. Damaja hits a corner splash then hits the Brain Damaja (sitout chokeslam) as McCullough just beats the ten count. McCullough kicks Damaja in the groin then hits him with his helmet as Damaja cannot get up at the ten count (6:16) ¼*.
Thoughts: The worst match of the night, IMO. McCullough was awful and the Damaja was dull and together, they had a boring match with a crappy ending. McCullough was another big guy who had the look the WWE loves but was awful in the ring with shitty ring presence and never made it to the main roster. Who knows what happened to him.
Hardcore Match
Flash & Trailer Park Trash vs. Rico Constantino & Mr. Black w/ Kenny Bolin
Rico was ripped and sported long hair, looking like a star. How the WWE thought bringing him up as a homosexual stylist was a good idea I will never know. Flash wrestled as Kobain in TNA for a match as part of the Disciples of the New Church. Mr. Black was a fat guy and I do not know much about Trash. Anyway, the Flash & Trash combo bring a ton of weapons to the ring then use trashcan lids on their opponents. The camera shows Mr. Black hitting Trash with weapons outside of the ring. The camera work is awful here as the arena is dark enough as it is and having them brawl outside means you can barely see anything. Trash brings a bowling ball into the ring and rolls it into the nuts of Mr. Black. Flash sets up Rico on a table outside of the ring and puts him through it with a springboard leg drop. Trash hits Mr. Black with a DDT then lays a door across of the ring and guardrail. He tries to suplex Mr. Black but gets shoved and falls through the door. In the ring, Rico rolls away from a moonsault by Flash then we have Black hanging Trash over the ropes. Black then hits Flash with a frying pan as Trash brings a tire into the ring. Rico puts the tire around Trash’s neck then hits him with a super kick. He goes outside and beats on Flash with a cane before choking him out. Mr. Black smashes a mailbox over Trash’s head as Black catches Flash with a side slam. Rico slams Flash on a chair as Mr. Black climbs up top but Trash comes in and tosses him off. Trash now goes after Rico as Flash whiplashes Black off of a chair for the win (9:42) *1/2.
Thoughts: The production values were horrendous. The clipping was more noticeable than ever in this match too. Rico stood out far and above anyone else in this match though and just looked great in everything he did. The match was a basic hardcore match but performed competently at least.
Mark Henry vs. Big Show
Henry was a heel here, being led to the ring by a guy pretending to the Randy Savage that was tossing Slim Jim’s to the crowd. Henry gets in Show’s face then they have a shoving match. Show takes him down with a drop toehold then a big boot that showed a ton of light. He whips Henry into the corner then punches away before knocking him down with elbow smashes. Show had quite the gut at this point in his career. He no sells a few clotheslines from Henry then connects with a super kick! Show knocks down the Macho Man impersonator from the apron but that allows Henry to attack him from behind. He yells that it is football season before booting Show in the ribs. Show shoves Henry into the Macho Man guy’s briefcase then gets the win with the chokeslam (2:56) ½*. After the match, Bolin runs in and Show nails him with a punch but Henry gets up and hits Show with a belly-to-belly suplex and attacks the ribs. He hits a few splashes
Thoughts: I think this was done to write off the Big Show from the OVW storylines as he returned to the WWF at the Royal Rumble just before this show took place. He was in OVW at this time to lose weight and improve his cardio. Henry was also sent to OVW around this time for the same reason. The match wasn’t much at all.
The Hardy Boyz & Lita vs. Disciples of Synn
This version of the Disciples were Damian, Payne, and Synn (The current wife of Jim Cornette). The crowd goes crazy for the Hardy’s and Lita. Damian and Matt start off the match. Matt hits a discus punch and a clothesline to start. Payne tags and they double-team Matt for a bit until Synn tags in and slaps Matt a few times. Matt rolls her up as the crowd chants for Lita and the crowd goes nuts as she tags but Synn escapes and tags Damian. Jeff tags and he and Matt double-team him for a bit. Jeff connects with a flying forearm and that gets two. Jeff gets clotheslined by Payne behind the ref’s back as the Disciples neutralize him in the corner. Damian gets two off of a spinebuster. Payne tags and chokes out Jeff before ripping his head off with a clothesline. They continue to work over Jeff as the crowd chants for him to make the tag. Jeff counters a tilt a whirl with a facebuster on Payne then kicks him off before tagging Matt. He runs wild as the crowd is eating this up. He takes them down with a double clothesline then hits Payne with a leg drop off of the second rope that Damian breaks up. Matt and Payne clothesline each other as the crowd tags for Lita. Synn tags first but misses an elbow drop. Matt tags Lita and she hits a hurricarana on Lita but Payne kills her with a clothesline as she made her way toward Synn. Lita gets roughed up by Synn but she is able to slam her off of the top rope. She takes her down with a spear then slams her head off the mat. Lita heads up top and hits the moonsault but Damian breaks up the pin. As the Hardy’s deal with him, Payne hits Lita with the Sky High then calls for a table. Damian brings in the table and they set Lita up as he goes up top for a leg drop but Jeff knocks him off the top rope and Matt takes out Payne. He and Lita hit Synn with a double DDT then put her on the table as Jeff hits the Swanton for the win (11:40) **1/2.
Thoughts: Decent match. Payne and Damian were competent in the ring at least. Payne, who also wrestled as B.J. Payne, kicked around OVW for a few more years. I have no idea what happened to Damian though. He looked like a backyard wrestler to be honest but better than half of the OVW guys in the ring anyway.
OVW Heavyweight Championship Match
Chris Benoit vs. “Mr. Wrestling” Nick Dinsmore (Champion)
Benoit makes himself a heel by cutting a promo on the crowd before the match. It was surprisingly good too. He goes to work on the arm until Dinsmore reverses. Benoit then works a headlock then a test of strength. They then have a pinfall reversal sequence that looked pretty good. Dinsmore hits an arm drag and connects with a dropkick. Benoit takes a breather then puts on an armbar before switching to a surfboard. Dinsmore backs him into the corner and escapes with a mule kick. He takes Benoit down with a dropkick, who rolls outside for a bit then comes back in and works the leg but Dinsmore reverses. They have a nice Irish whip sequence that ends with Benoit booting Dinsmore before suplexing him onto the ropes. Benoit gets up and taunts the crowd, who boos him. He is doing a good job as a heel here. He lays into Dinsmore with chops in the corner then takes him halfway across the ring with a hiptoss. He sends Dinsmore outside with a baseball slide then follows him out and roughs him up. Back inside, Benoit gets two off of a snap suplex. Dinsmore surprises Benoit with a small package and that pisses of Benoit, who lays into him even harder with chops. He works a side headlock until Dinsmore escapes. He gets another rollup for a near fall but Benoit comes back with a clothesline. He whips Dinsmore into the corner then tries it again but Dinsmore ducks and gets another nearfall with a rollup then Benoit hits him with another clothesline. He stomps away on Dinsmore until Dinsmore takes him down with a leg screw. Benoit takes him back down with a drop toehold but Dinsmore comes back with a sunset flip. Benoit takes him back down with a clothesline and heads up top but Dinsmore cuts him off and chops away before hitting a superplex as both men are down. Dinsmore fires away then puts his foot up as Benoit charges at him. He hits a backdrop and a clothesline, setting him up for a super kick. Benoit blocks the move but Dinsmore comes right back and hits him with the move. He heads up top and connects with a missile dropkick, which was the set up for his finisher, the German suplex. He hits the move but Rico runs in and breaks up the pin for the DQ (15:14) ***1/2. Rico kicks the shit out of Dinsmore until Benoit gets pissed at Rico for costing him the match then punches him in the head.
Thoughts: Good match. It was a bit one-sided but the match was laid out well, with Benoit taking Dinsmore lightly and letting him hang around until he almost lost the match. Dinsmore was good in the ring and it’s a shame that he is no longer wrestling on television today.
Jim Ross comes into the ring to interview Steve Austin. He sucks up to the crowd for a bit then says how OVW has the WWF superstars of the future. The crowd explodes when Austin enters the ring. JR asks him about becoming the WWF Champion at WrestleMania X-7 as Austin says that he is coming back and will kick HHH’s ass. Someone tosses him a beer as he runs down Vince McMahon until JR asks him about Rico Constantino. Austin does not like him as Rico and Bolin come down to the ring. Rico tells Austin that he was an American Gladiator and demands that he looks at him when he speaks, which causes Austin to call him a jackass. Rico goes on for a minute and tells Austin that he will kick his “hiney” when he comes up to the WWF and shortly after that, he eats a Stone Cold Stunner. Austin then pours a beer all over him before getting in his face and flipping him off.
A hype video for the Leviathan (Batista) airs, followed by a video for Kane. Leviathan was undefeated in OVW at this point.
Leviathan w/ Synn vs. Kane
After a staredown, they trade punches. Kane tosses Leviathan in the corner and hammers away. He ducks his head for a backdrop attempt and gets tossed down. Kane ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own in an awkward spot. He hits a side slam but Leviathan fights out of a chokeslam and hits a belly-to-belly suplex. He clotheslines Kane to the floor and follows him out. Kane fights back and rams his head off of the guardrail but Leviathan fights right back. Back inside, Kane gets beat down until Kane comes back with a DDT. He charges but Leviathan catches him with a spinebuster. After an obvious edit, Kane is slugging away in the corner. Leviathan slams Kane but misses an elbow drop and they have a slugfest. Big boot by Kane and he heads up top for a clothesline but Leviathan fights off a tombstone attempt and shoves Kane into the ref. Kane hits a chokeslam but the ref is still out as Synn runs in and whips Kane, who gets right up and corners her. The Disciples run in and the numbers game catches up with Kane until the Hardy’s and Lita run in to even the score. Austin then runs in and stares down Leviathan. He flips him off and ducks a clothesline before hitting him with the Stunner. Kane is up and looks around as Leviathan is up walking around but Kane catches him with a choke slam and grabs the ref and he counts to three (7:09) *1/2.
Thoughts: This was heavily edited but what was shown was alright. Batista was still green in the ring but had a good presence, unlike other guys like McCullough or Waterman. This was fun and a good way to send the crowd home happy.
Final Thoughts: The show suffered during the middle but overall it was okay. Just looking at the card it shows how stacked developmental was at this time. You had Lesnar, Orton, Batista, Benjamin, Conway, Dinsmore, and Rico. Slick Robbie D. looked to have worlds of potential too but his personal life go in the way of that. Hell, even the Damaja made the main roster. Also, it was sad to see how the WWE could not figure out a way to make Conway and Rico appear bigger on television. They made them look like jerkoffs. I think Cena debuted in OVW very shortly after this show. Looking at the NXT roster today, they pale in comparison to this roster in 2001. There is no one there today who is impressive as Lesnar, Benjamin, Orton, or Conway. This was part of the golden age of OVW too. If you want to see guys before they became stars, then check out their matches otherwise I would give the rest of this a pass.

Bobby Fulton of the Fantastics is going blind and needs some help.

Hi Scott,
I came across this on Bobby Fulton earlier today accidentally. It doesn't seems to be getting much press. I thought I would pass it along to you.
Here is the link:
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-professional-wrestler-bobby-fulton-of-the-fantastics-from-going-blind
Thank you and keep up the great work on the Blog. It's a daily visit for me.

Yeah, I had read about it before, and it's a real sad thing.  Hope this helps him out.  

Thunder – September 24, 1998

Thunder
Date:
September 24, 1998
Location:
Scope, Norfolk, Virginia
Attendance:
8,858
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Lee Marshall
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The
main story tonight is the Horsemen being back in Horsemen country
despite Bischoff ordering them not to show up. Other than that the
big deal from Monday is Warrior turning Disciple to his side which is
big because it involves Hogan and the lack of the story making sense
is just a detail. Let’s get to it.

The
announcers welcome us to the show and run down the highlights
tonight, including Goldberg vs. Kanyon. Bischoff is in Japan
tonight. Heenan thinks a WE WANT FLAIR chant is for Goldberg. What
exactly is in that cup?
Rick
Steiner vs. Hugh Morrus
Morrus
has hacked off most of his hair since we last saw him. Steiner
quickly slams him down and decks Jimmy Hart for fun. A clothesline
puts Hugh on the floor and Hart gets chased because that’s what he’s
around for. Morrus gets in a few shots from behind to take over and
scores a slam of his own, only to miss a Macho Elbow. Rick goes
straight up and the bulldog is good for the fast pin.
LONG
recap of the Hogan vs. Warrior nonsense from Nitro. Nonsense is the
right word for it. The story was about a man talking about a
revolution and kidnapping and brainwashing a former barber now known
as a disciple through the use of magic smoke that sometimes puts
everyone to sleep but sometimes doesn’t and babbling incoherently.
Ernest
Miller vs. Nick Dinsmore
Miller
holds up three fingers and Marshall points out that it’s not the sign
of the Horsemen. He does the five seconds deal for Dinsmore but Nick
fires off forearms and gets two off a northern lights suplex. Miller
comes back with a variety of kicks and stomps before the superkick
and Feliner are good for the pin.
Psychosis
vs. Saturn
Feeling
out process to start with Saturn trying to take it to the mat but
Psychosis fighting him off with a dropkick and some chops. A cross
armbreaker from Saturn doesn’t last long and Psychosis drops him with
a clothesline, only to walk into a superkick a few seconds later.
Cue Lodi with a “Saturn Ruined My Life” sign, triggering a
discussion about Saturn’s honor. Marshall says the fans in Norfolk
must understand what that means due to Saturn being a former Army
ranger. I’d hope no one in the arena heard that as Norfolk is a Navy
town.
Saturn
goes after Lodi and the distraction lets Psychosis hit a nice dive to
the floor followed by a missile dropkick back inside for two. A
regular dropkick works as well but Saturn comes back by dropping him
ribs first on the ropes. Psychosis comes right back and clips the
knee before sending Saturn outside again. He tries the guillotine
legdrop to the floor but Saturn gets out of the way and throws him
back inside. Saturn goes up and hits a frog splash for what didn’t
seem to be the planned pin but ends the match anyway. Psychosis
appeared to kick out but the referee counted the pin and Saturn
looked confused.
Rating:
C-. Saturn is in a weird place
right now as he doesn’t have much to do after the Flock broke up but
he’s on fire with the crowd. The smart thing would be to send him
after a midcard title and I have no idea why he isn’t going after
Jericho. Saturn vs. Bret would be a very interesting match but it
would mean putting someone new near the top of the card and that’s
just not going to happen in WCW. To be fair though, that would be
quite a jump for anyone to make.
Tony
brings out Alex Wright for an interview but Alex only speaks German.
Schiavone doesn’t understand him so Alex throws out “the pig of a
man” and insults the crowd. Europeans are far better than
Americans but Alex puts all of them to shame. He lists off the other
European wrestlers on the roster and rips them apart, particularly
focusing on British Bulldog, who is old and lazy after living with
Americans for so long.
Video
on the Horsemen.
Finlay
vs. Barbarian
The
bell rings and Scott Hall stumbles out of the entrance and heads over
to the announce table. The camera stays on him so there’s no match
to talk about right now. We switch back to the ring to see the guys
pounding on each other with forearms as Hall rants about Nash not
being his boss and being mean when he drinks.
Barbarian
slams him down and puts on a chinlock as Hall vomits on the
announcers’ desk. Back in the ring Finlay comes back with some knees
to the ribs but walks into a spinebuster followed by a gutbuster for
two. Barbarian takes way too much time walking around though and
charges into a boot, setting up the tombstone for the pin.
Rating:
D-. As you could probably tell,
the match was just there for background noise while Hall did his
thing. They’re making his issues seem very real which is what
bothers me the most about the story. At least we didn’t have to see
what he was doing for the most part. The match was bad even for a
power brawling match.
Video
on Goldberg vs. Page.
Page
comes out for a chat about Halloween Havoc. There’s no hatred
between he and Goldberg but there is the World Title. Page has been
chasing his dream for years and now he has to beat a phenom to
achieve that dream. Goldberg may be the odds on favorite and Page
wouldn’t want it any other way. Goldberg may be unbeatable, but
maybe he’ll feel the BANG. Very simple but it got the point across.
Raven
vs. Villano V
Raven
says he’s going to hurt Villano (pronounced Villain-O) just like he
hurt his brother on Monday. V tries to get in some early offense but
Raven shrugs it off and hits a knee lift to put him down. An early
attempt to get a chair is stopped
by Villano but his bulldog
and atomic drop are shrugged off. Raven
sets up the chair, hits the drop toehold and the Evenflow is good for
the pin.
Even
more Hogan vs. Warrior stuff.
Disco
Inferno vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Chavo
hammers away to start and sends Disco to the floor before playing
with Pepe. Disco fires back with his usual stuff including a running
knee and a neckbreaker. The announcers ignore the match to talk
about Scott Norton winning the IWGP Championship as Chavo hooks a
chinlodk. Inferno comes back with a hot shot and we take a break.
Back
with Disco coming off the top but only hitting mat. Chavo comes back
with a nice springboard bulldog for two but takes too much time
playing with Pepe, allowing Disco to come back with a slam. Chavo
dropkicks him in the back and gets two off a rollup, only to have
Disco score a quick piledriver for the pin. Apparently this was for
the #1 contendership to the Cruiserweight Title, which the announcers
forgot to mention until now.
Rating:
C-. The ending was really
abrupt but it was good enough while it lasted. Both guys got to get
in the air and jump around which actually works for Disco. Chavo’s
Pepe thing is getting a bit repetitive but at least he isn’t acting
as crazy as he was before. Knowing WCW, he’ll be even more insane on
Nitro.
Post
match Juventud Guerrera comes out with a piece of paper, followed by
Nick Patrick with a scale. It
seems that Disco was over the Cruiserweight limit of 230lbs. He has
to weigh in again right now and comes in at 231, meaning he’s
ineligible, making Chavo the winner by DQ and the #1 contender.
Disco blasts Guerrera out of
frustration and is the only one standing tall (in boots, which
probably weigh more than two pounds). In
other words: heavyweights are better than cruiserweights but Chavo is
the best loser we can find to challenge Juvy.
Norman
Smiley vs. Alex Wright
Norman
gets in Alex’s face over what was said earlier. Alex gets on one
knee and begs for mercy with an offer of a handshake, only to take a
swing. Norman will have none of that and clotheslines him, followed
by a nice swinging slam. Wright bails to the floor before coming in
to crank on the arm, drawing a USA chant.
The
fans chant boring so Alex monkey flips Smiley down and nips up into a
nice dropkick to calm them down. A backbreaker gets two on Norman
and Wright sends him outside. They chop it out for a bit until
Wright throws him back in for a stomping. Alex misses a charge and
Norman comes back with right hands and an elbow drop for two, only to
get caught in a neckbreaker for the pin.
Rating:
D+. Pretty dull and slow match
here but Norman was smooth in the ring and fun to watch. Alex
fighting against the rest of the European wrestlers on the roster is
at least something for him to do for awhile that isn’t dancing with
Disco Inferno. The match was better than some of the drek we’ve seen
on this show lately at least.
Here’s
Stevie Ray for a talk. The people here can scream for the Horsemen
all night long, but Eric Bischoff has called him up and said to keep
the Horsemen out of the building tonight. Stevie is officially the
NWO enforcer and the Horsemen won’t be here tonight. Flair and the
Horsemen are in the back and Doug Dillinger lets them walk past.
They come through the entrance and Stevie steps to the side, still
talking trash as he leaves. Stevie goes through a curtain and is
knocked down to the floor. Arn Anderson walks through the curtain
with a tire iron, bringing a smile to the fans’ faces.
Anderson
gets in the ring and says unless there are 15,000 people missing a
thumb, this is a Horsemen town. The Horsemen don’t care what
Bischoff has to say and last Thursday was his lone free day. They’re
a thinking man’s organization and they pick their spots after
calculating. Despite what Bischoff thinks, this company belongs to
the Horsemen.
Malenko
says he hasn’t had the chance to thank Anderson for his faith in him.
Anderson put his faith in another man by the name in Curt Hennig but
unlike him, Dean is a real Horseman. Benoit says Eric needs to
change the first half of his last name. As for Liz, the invitation
to ride Space Mountain comes with an invitation to all the other E
rides. Just let Benoit be the strong and silent one from now on.
Mongo threatens to beat up Bischoff’s entire family.
Flair
calls Schiavone Antonio and says it’s his turn to talk in Norfolk.
The Horsemen are reunited and it feels so good. Flair hasn’t saved
his money over the years and Norfolk is one reason why. The Horsemen
are going to play while Bischoff is away and own Norfolk all night
long. Liz is back at their hotel, and tonight Malenko is going to
get to prove that he’s the man of 1000 positions. “I mean holds!”
Video
on the Diamond Cutter.
WCW
World Title: Kanyon vs. Goldberg
Raven
sits in on commentary and asks what about him during the long
entrance. Kanyon does his
catchphrase and Goldberg spears him down before the bell. The
Jackhammer is the only move of the match.
Overall
Rating:
D+. This wasn’t a good
show but it was miles better than the mess we had to sit through last
week. Tonight took the
focus away from Hogan and his nonsense and put it on everything else,
which is what we’ve been needing for a long time now. The
wrestling was tolerable tonight and at least some of the bigger names
were on the card. I can live with a night of squashes if the winners
are guys I actually care about. Far better show this week but it
still wasn’t great.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Regarding Macho/HOF

> You said the other day that "any HOF that doesn't include Macho Man isn't a real HOF."

>

> My question is….how would you go about inducting him? Do you induct Macho alone, knowing that it is against what he wished and knowing that his family (who should rightfully accept on his behalf) won't attend? Or do you cede to Macho's alleged wishes and induct the Poffo family as a whole (knowing that, at the very least, Lanny has no business in it).

>

> Seems kind of like a no-win situation that is bound to upset someone, so in order to legitimize the WWE HOF in your eyes, what would you suggest they do?

Lanny said that they can do whatever they want, so I would just induct him and be done with it.

Plug: An article on getting the RIGHT training

Hi Scott,
Was wondering if you'd be able to plug my article/interview that I conducted with three UK wrestlers on the importance of training in British wrestling (and wrestling in general, I suppose)? It's bigger message is about getting the RIGHT training…
I'm not sure if this is a problem in the US, but here in the UK there seems to be a lot of people that think that they are wrestlers after having the bare minimum training… it's worrying.
I hope that this article can be seen by as many eyes as possible to spread awareness that not just any Tom, Dick or Harry can do this – you have to really WANT it, COMMIT to it and find training from reputable sources…
http://jimmosangle.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/jimmos-angle-special-interview.html
HUGE appreciation if this is possible to plug!
Keep up the great work on the blog!

It's a huge problem here, in fact.  One of the many things that is slowly but surely eroding the indy scene and thus the potential pool of future stars.  

Why, Vince, Why?

Just curious about something regarding WWE…
I have read your reviews and you mention that WWE often uses 50/50 booking and the dreaded losing streak often.  Why is Vince in favor of their booking methods, knowing as you have mentioned many times that those strategies never get anyone over with the crowd?

Because the shows aren't booked to make money in the traditional way any longer, they're just stuff that happens in order to justify higher TV rights fees.  Which it makes it all the more frustrating as a fan, because they seem to have very little interest in actually building up guys as draws anymore and instead are only concerned with maintaining the general WWE brand.  And with the impending death of PPV it's not likely to get any better.  The worst part is that they KNOW how to rocket a guy and have done so with Roman Reigns.  And last night when they wanted to make Cesaro into a big deal, they knew how to do that too!  So you can only surmise that they just choose not to.