QOTD – June 27th, 2013

Howdy, buckaroos.

First off, thanks to everyone who’s sending in questions. Do keep them coming.

Today I’m going to go with a question I’ve been wanting to ask for a few weeks now, and tomorrow I’ll resume with the questions that have been sent in.

What’s the most surprised you’ve been since entering the realm of Smarkdom? Once you become a smark, hip to the game, it’s almost impossible to be surprised, because news just isn’t kept. However, from time to time it can happen. So, how’d they get you?

For me, it was when DDP was revealed as the stalker. Weeks prior I heard the unaltered voice, and was rather disappointed that Vince McMahon was once again going to be a payoff. Boo to that, I thought. Then I was watching at home, and holy shit, it was DDP. I literally jumped up to my feet in excitement.

Also, when Cena debuted at the 2008 Rumble that was pretty great too.

How say you?

Monday Nitro – February 2, 1998

Nitro #125
February 2, 1998
Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

to my surprise, this is the first time Nitro has ever been in Texas
if the announcers are to be believed. We’re on the way to SuperBrawl
and Sting vs. Hogan II but the main story continues to be the NWO
falling apart. Savage is almost off the team due to fighting with
Hogan and Nash is being fined to death. Let’s get to it.

open with a clip from the end of last week’s show with the NWO
taunting Savage as he was in the Scorpion Deathlock.
Nitro Girls dance to open things up in the arena.
promises that the main event will be one of the biggest ever in our
sport: Sting vs. Savage
Guerrera vs. Psychosis
says San Antonio is the home of the first luchador: Santa Anna, who
rode up and beat John Wayne and Richard Widmark. Psychosis armdrags
him down to start and here comes the Flock to their usual seats.
They’re a very tardy bunch. Juvy takes it to the mat with a
headscissors and another to send Psychosis to the floor as we take a
break. Back with Psychosis in control and putting on a bearhug.
goes up but dives into an atomic drop, allowing Juvy to hit a
gorgeous top rope hurricanrana for two. A victory roll from the top
gets two for Guerrera and they trade pinfall reversals until
Psychosis hits a reverse suplex to take over. Juvy falls to the
floor but dropkicks Psychosis out of the air on a dive attempt. Back
in and the 450 is good for the pin by Guerrera.
C. This was the usual WCW
formula for opening a show: take two cruiserweights and have them do
high spots for six minutes to fire up the crowd. Why WWE never used
this idea is beyond me because it’s something that always worked.
The Texas crowd was very appreciative of this as well.
announcers talk about Page vs. Benoit for the US Title on this week’s
Page with something to say. He sees Benoit as one of the most
underrated wrestlers on the planet and Page respects him. It’s
because of Benoit’s work ethic that Page waned to give him a title
shot. Gene asks if Page is worried about Benoit’s history of
crippling people but Page isn’t scared. Benoit deserves a shot at
the title and since the fans want to see it, Benoit gets a shot.
on the Giant being injured. Nash has been fined $150,000 for the
powerbomb at Souled Out and each additional powerbomb will cost the
Dragon vs. Kidman
jumps him to start but Dragon does his handstand in the corner. The
masked man comes back with his hard kicks including a hard one to the
back. The Dragon Sleeper goes on but a Lodi distraction lets Saturn
break up the hold. Both guys get near falls but it’s Kidman taking
over with a chinlock. Dragon jawbreaks his way out but gets kicked
right back down. They slug it out with Tony calling this a complete
match. That’s an odd way to describe things but it’s hard to tell
what Tony is thinking at times.
gets a boot up in the corner and puts on a half crab but Kidman is
next to the ropes. With Kidman still down, Dragon puts on a
headscissors from behind and takes Kidman to the mat (they’re both
face down) before reaching back to pull Kidman’s arms forward while
holding his neck in place. Basically it’s Cattle Mutilation but with
Dragon rolled forward 180 degrees and Kidman nearly standing on his
own head.
rolls out of the hold and catches Dragon in a sitout spinebuster for
two. A springboard bulldog and a clothesline get the same on Dragon
but he’s able to crotch Kidman on the top rope. The super
Frankensteiner sets up the Dragon Sleeper for the tap out by Kidman.
B-. That submission hold alone
makes this a good match but they were both looking great out there.
I don’t think I ever remember these two fighting before and that’s a
shame given how good these two were together. Dragon has kind of
fallen off the planet in the last few months so it’s nice to see him
around some more.
match the Flock destroys Dragon with Saturn laying him out with a
German suplex.
for Monday Nitro on Playstation. If I remember correctly that game
Nash to discuss the major fine announced earlier. He was sitting in
the back earlier tonight when he saw Kidman use a modified powerbomb
called a tiger bomb (“I’m not Tenay but I think that’s what it’s
called.”) and wants to know where Kidman’s fine is. Kidman isn’t
going to get a fine though because it’s the man instead of the move
that gets fined.
doesn’t really mind though because at Souled Out, he dropped Giant on
his skull and put him out. If WCW wants to fine him, he can pay
anything they ask for. Nash is going to keep using the powerbomb and
there’s nothing WCW can do about it because he’s just too sexy and
too sweet.
#2 begins.
Title: Chris Jericho vs. Super Calo
the match Jericho gives himself a thank you for putting Mysterio on
the shelf. Feeling out process to start until Calo gets aggressive
and pounds Jericho against the ropes. Jericho comes right back with
a suplex and a chinlock as Calo’s offense is already over. The
champion dropkicks the knee and hits a backbreaker for two before
chopping Calo in the corner.
hard clothesline looks to set up something off the top from Jericho,
but Calo shoves him down to the floor and hits a dive to take both
guys out. Calo suplexes the champion back in and gets two off a
springboard dropkick. He goes up again for the top rope headscissors
but Jericho rolls through and hooks the Liontamer to retain.
C-. What’s with the
cruiserweight showcase tonight? Calo was fine for a spot title match
like this as he was one of the resident jobbers of the division but
could still put on a decent match like this. Jericho is starting to
feel it in the ring to go along with the awesome character work at
the moment.
Title: Booker T vs. Steven Regal
cranks on the arm to start before kicking Regal in the face to take
over. Regal realizes that going toe to toe won’t work and grabs a
cross arm choke, only to have Booker roll out and connect with a
flying forearm. Regal ducks another shot and takes Booker down with
a European uppercut before getting two off a rollup. Back up and
Booker hits a spin kick to the face followed by the ax kick for two.
Another flying forearm misses but Booker suplexes him down and hits
the side kick to retain.
D+. The match wasn’t bad but
there wasn’t any real flow to it. They didn’t really click as Booker
was doing almost nothing but strikes while Regal was just doing
random moves. It wasn’t boring but it came off as a series of moves
instead of a wrestling match if that makes sense.
vs. Hugh Morrus
is a face here in one of those turns that just kind of happened when
no one was watching. Morrus starts fast with a delayed gorilla press
slam and Konnan rolls to the outside. Back in and Konnan hits his
rolling clothesline and a low dropkick to put Morrus down.
actually get into a battle of leg trips with Morrus putting him down
and dropping some elbows for two. A powerslam puts Morrus down but a
Vincent distraction lets Konnan powerbomb him out of the corner.
That’s another $150k assuming they actually remember one of the
biggest stories on the show. An armless Pedigree is enough to finish
D. This is the problem with
having three hours to fill: you get to sit through matches like this
getting five minutes. Konnan was one of those guys who wasn’t
interesting in the ring at all and Morrus was just enough of a star
that he wasn’t squashed in quick fashion. The announcers didn’t
react to the powerbomb at all.
are Hall and Rhodes for the survey with WCW winning by a hair. Hall
says that we’re coming up on SuperBrawl VIII so there have been seven
beforehand. Every year, the winner of the battle royal has gotten
his title shot (not exactly as 1995 was for the title and in 1996 the
winner got the shot at Souled Out) but this year Roddy Piper is
messing with the system. Dusty rants about how it doesn’t matter who
Hall fights because the party never stops with the NWO.
Hall vs. Jim Neidhart
the match, Louie Spicolli says he’ll fight for Hall. Scott uses the
distraction to hit Neidhart with the mic and takes over early. He
pounds on Neidhart in the corner but Jim comes back with forearms to
the chest followed by a nerve hold which has Hall nearly out cold
inside of ten seconds. Dusty gets on the apron for a tag and the
distraction lets Hall hit the Edge for the pin.
match the NWO beats down Neidhart until British Bulldog makes the
Luger to talk about his No DQ match against Savage at SuperBrawl.
Luger is all fired up and that’s about it. Seriously this was like
45 seconds long.
look at the Nitro Part Pack winner.
vs. Mark Starr
leg locks, gorilla press into a powerslam, spear, Jackhammer, Starr
is done.
McMichael vs. British Bulldog
is a rematch from last week. Before the match, Mongo says that we’re
in his country of Texas tonight. They immediately brawl to the floor
with Bulldog in full control. Back in and Bulldog clotheslines him
back to the floor before throwing him into the steps. They fight up
the aisle for a double countout in about a minute.
brawl keeps going by the announcer booth with Mongo getting the
better of it.
are Hogan and Bischoff to open the third hour. Bischoff says that he
goes berserk when he thinks about the fines. Hogan says that Nash
watches his back and the fines will be paid no matter what. He says
they’re $50,000 each which goes against what Tony said earlier. As
for Savage, he’s on his own against Sting tonight.
brags about beating Sting twice despite the unfair treatment of the
referees. Why is Nick Patrick suspended when he’s proven how skilled
he is over and over? Hogan wants Nick Patrick to referee the
SuperBrawl match because he was never found guilty of anything.
Hogan guarantees a win and that’s that.
Inferno vs. Raven
says there are two rules: there are no rules, and give someone the
DDT. Disco is sent to the floor as the bell rings and Raven hits a
dive over the top. Back in and Raven armdrags and drop toeholds
Disco onto a chair before sitting in the chair for a rest. Disco
uses his brain and clotheslines the seated Raven for two. A swinging
neckbreaker and a belly to back suplex get the same as Heenan praises
comes back with a belly to back of his own, followed by a third
straight belly to back from Disco. Raven tries a fourth in a row but
Disco falls on top of him for two. Inferno pounds him down in the
corner as Raven smiles some more. Back up and Disco ducks his head
and the Evenflow (now officially named that) is good for the pin.
C. This was better than I
expected with Disco showing some good intensity out there. For a guy
who was a comedy character he did pretty well for himself over the
years. Raven is becoming more and more entertaining every time he’s
out there and is so into the character it’s unreal. This was a nice
surprise after a long stretch of dull and short ones.
Nitro Girls.
Bagwell/Kevin Nash vs. Steiner Brothers
and Buff get things going with Bagwell hooking an armdrag and posing
a lot. Scott runs him over with a shoulder and the release tiger
bomb for no cover. Rick comes in sans tag to make fun of Bagwell’s
poses in a funny bit. Scott cranks on Bagwell’s arm but Nash gets in
a cheap shot from the apron to take over. Nash comes in and chokes
away in the corner before it’s back to Bagwell for a reverse
hits the side slam for two and there’s the big boot for good measure.
Back to Bagwell for another chinlock before Nash comes in to try the
powerbomb. Rick makes the save but Scott still can’t/won’t tag.
Scott knocks Buff down and looks at Rick but turns around and hits a
quick Frankensteiner on Bagwell for the pin.
C. As is the case with most
Steiner matches around this time, this was almost all storytelling
instead of about the match itself. In a strange way, you could argue
Rick is the selfish one. The team wins when Scott won’t tag out, so
isn’t it best for the team that Rick gets to stand on the apron all
the time?
yells at Scott post match.
Savage vs. Sting
Buffer does part of his signature entrance in Spanish. Sting is
billed as being from Huntington Beach, California which is a first
for him I believe. Spotlights go up towards the ceiling as Sting
comes down. Why didn’t they do that at Starrcade? Sting gets to the
ring and Savage immediately bails to the floor and the brawl starts
attire is very weird looking here. He’s wearing tights and a plain
black singlet top with nothing on his arms or hands. He looks like
he didn’t get finished dressing. The Stinger Splash hits the
barricade and Savage rips the turnbuckle pad off. Back in and Sting
no sells a piledriver but the Stinger Splash hits the exposed buckle.
Randy drops the elbow but Hogan comes in to break up the pin for the
C-. This was more of a fight
instead of a match but it was still entertaining stuff. The style
fit Savage better at this point as he was a loose cannon and matches
meant nothing to him at all. The idea of having Sting beaten in the
middle of the ring is another dagger to his importance, but by this
point the moment is passed anyway.
comes out to make the save and stands tall with Sting to end the
C+. This felt like a
modern day Raw. There’s good stuff in there, but the extra hour of
filler stuff drags the good stuff down. The NWO falling apart is
interesting and the cruiserweight stuff at the beginning was more
than enough for good wrestling. Throw in Benoit getting a title shot
in a logical move and the show is good stuff. Again though, the
filler really drags this show down.
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com

Wrestling Retribution Project finally revealed…sort of.

http://vimeo.com/69165195   (password:  "whattooksolongkatz")
So a LONG-ass time after Jeff Katz funded his pet project on Kickstarter and took a bunch of money from people with absolutely nothing shown and no communication to anyone about it, we get a battle royale featuring people who who are now stars in bigger promotions, with different names, plus the usual parade of indy mainstays like Adam Pearce and Colt Cabana and such.  Why Karl Anderson would be slumming it here is beyond me.  
I found the concept interesting when we were first discussing it what feels like years ago, but the thing just looks low-rent and the camera work is horrid.  It just comes across like a male version of GLOW, to be frank.  The name changes wouldn't be so jarring but we KNOW who Colt Cabana is, and we know Chris Hero, and Chris Masters, and slapping silly new names and characters on them is just insulting.  If you take Joe Indy and give him the evil priest gimmick (that was Gangrel, right?) then whatever because it's some guy who can build a new character for himself, but having Chris Hero go out and be Chris Hero but NO, it's Chris Hyde who is a totally different guy…just dumb.  
No buys.  

The Kyle Report: Wrestlemania 29 Review

Wrestlemania 29 was the 29th annual “Grand Daddy of Them All”,
held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford New Jersey on April 7th, 2013. It
drew 80,676 fans according to WWE, becoming the second highest attended WWE
event ever, and about 1,048,000 ordered it worldwide. 

The initial video package
talked about Hurricane Sandy, and it focused on the strong people that assisted
those affected by it. Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey, narrated
the entire thing and then welcomed us to WrestleMania 29.
The wide-shot camera
angles showed the jammed-packed crowd in attendance. An enthused Michael Cole
said there were over 80,000 people there, and the event was sold out. Then, a
video package was shown of some of the classic moments in WrestleMania’s history
and slides of the wrestlers involved in this show.
Your Hosts Are Michael
Cole, Jerry Lawler, and John Bradshaw Layfield.
Match: Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show vs. The Shield (Seth Rollins,  Roman Reigns, and Dean Abmrose)
As usual, the Shield arrived
through the crowd while Big Show, Sheamus and Randy Orton entered separately.
Their entrances foreshadowed the story of the match. The Shield worked
together as a cohesive team, while Big Show, Sheamus, and Randy Orton were
fragmented. The Shield went to hit the three-man powerbomb on Sheamus, but the Big
Show saved Sheamus by spearing Reigns. The problems between Team Sheamus started to happen
when Sheamus tried to tag in The Big Show, but Orton selfishly tagged himself
to be the legal man. Orton cleaned house, while the camera showed Big Show
visibly pissed off. Orton set up for the RKO on Dean Ambrose, but wound up
RKO’ing Rollins, who jumped off the turnbuckle, in mid-air. Out of nowhere,
Reigns speared Orton, allowing Ambrose to pick up the win by pinning Orton. JBL
speculated that the Shield might be the greatest team ever. After the match,
Big Show ended up punching both Sheamus and Orton in the face and then walked away in disgust.
The Shield in 10:37
Thoughts: An adequate, inoffensive opening tag
match. The story of the match was that the Shield worked as a cohesive unit,
while team Sheamus, Big Show, and Randy Orton could not put their differences aside.
People speculated whether or not Randy Orton would finally turn heel, but WWE ended
up not pull the trigger on the turn. Like I said, it was solid, but the Shield
have had much better matches on free TV. ** 1/2
A video package was
shown hyping up the John Cena vs The Rock match
vs. Mark Henry
Henry took control early
on by delivering a powerslam and then a clothesline. Ryback went for Shell
Shock, but Henry pushed him into the turnbuckle. Henry then applied a bear hug. The
crowd then started to chant “Sexual Chocolate”, illustrating how little the
crowd cared about this match. Henry applied another bear hug, only for Ryback to drive
Henry into the corner where he delivered a couple of clotheslines. The crowd
came alive when Ryback executed the “Feed Me More” clothesline. The crowd then popped
huge when Ryback got Henry up for Shell Shock, but Henry countered by grabbing
the ropes and landing on Ryback’s back. Henry proceeded to pick up the win by
pinning him in a very anti-climactic finish. After the match, Ryback hit Shell
Shock, which made Henry’s win rather pointless.
Mark Henry in 8:20
Thoughts: The match was tedious, and the crowd only popped
for the big spots, but it was not as bad as it could have been. They did not try to do more than they could, so neither Henry nor Ryback were exposed
for being less than stellar workers. I still do not understand why Ryback lost
this match because he ended up becoming the number one contender the next
night. I also wonder if WWE has a long-term plan for Ryback losing every big
match on PPV in his WWE career. * 1/4
Team Championship: Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan) © vs. Dolph Ziggler and
Big E Langston w/AJ Lee
AJ kissed Ziggler at the
start of the match. Ziggler turned around only to be kicked in the head by
Daniel Bryan (in what was a convincing near-fall that played off how Bryan lost
to Sheamus last year). Ziggler tagged in Langston and Bryan tagged in Kane. Boo!.
Langston delivered Kane three backbreakers in a row, and then hit a running
body attack. He’s pretty strong, to be honest. The heels made some quick tags and worked over Kane, but Kane fought
back by hitting a sick-looking DDT on Langston. Ziggler pulled Bryan off the
apron, but Kane ended up hitting a sidewalk slam on Ziggler. The pace is really picking up. Kane went for a
top-rope clothesline, but Ziggler moved
out of the way. Ziggler botched a Fameasser and got a two count out of it. Afterwards,
Kane tossed Langston outside the ring, and Bryan nailed Langston in the head
with a stiff knee. Ziggler nailed the Zig Zag and got a close near-fall out of
it. AJ Lee preoccupied the ref, as Kane dodged a briefcase shot and then gave
Ziggler a Chokelsam. Kane tagged in Bryan, and he hit the Flying Headbutt on
Ziggler. It was good enough to pick up the win.
Team Hell No in 8:22
Analysis: The de ja vu spot was a nice play off of last
year’s Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan match, and it was actually very believable
near-fall. All four men worked hard, and thus got the rather silent crowd
engaged into it. Overall, it was a rock-solid, energetic match, with all four
men playing their specific roles well. I just wish they had more time and that Bryan
and Ziggler wrestled together longer. ** ¾
John Cena discussed Make-A-Wish and told us that we can donate $10 by texting 80088.

Jericho vs. Fandango
Fan-dan-go! started by
doing a little dancing, only to get suplexed by Jericho. Bret Hart thought his dancing was more entertaining than a HHH match. Out of
nowhere, Jericho Codebreaker. (By the way, every time I say out of nowhere, Don West screaming on top of his lungs comes to my mind. God, I miss that guy.) Fan-dan-go! fell out of the ring, though.
Jericho then followed up by giving him a dropkick. Back in the ring, Fan-dan-go! started to control the match, but Jericho came back by hitting a double
axehandle and then a Thesz Press. Bah, gawd. Jericho then nailed a cross body block to
pick up a two count. Fandango, however, threw Jericho shoulder first into the ring
post. Fan-dan-go! hit a neckbreaker, and then proceeded to hit his unique Leg Drop
off the top rope, getting a close near-fall. Jericho attempted the Walls of
Jericho, but Fan-dan-go! reversed it and then executed a clothesline. Fan-dan-go! went to the top again, but it was Jericho grabbed the top rope. Jericho went for a
superplex, but Fan-dan-go! countered by hitting a headbutt. Fan-dan-go! went for his top-leg drop, but Jericho moved out of the way. Things got messy when it appeared
Jericho was supposed to hit the Liontamer, but Fan-dan-go! was too close to the
ropes. Jericho tried to cover the botch up by going for the Walls of Jericho,
but Fan-dan-go! countered with a sloppy inside cradle to pick up the win.
Fan….dan….go! in 9:11
Thoughts:  I forgot to breathe in the A’s, I think. Anyway, another decent match. There was a good amount of
back-and-forth action and counter-for-counter wrestling exchanges. Jericho’s
mission was to make Fandango look good, and he did a good job of doing so. Aside
from the sloppy finish, Fandango appeared to have some wrestling ability.
Jericho is so good at being able to adapt with anyone and have a watchable match
with them, though. 

The next night, Fandango received a huge babyface reaction,
but the WWE failed to capitalize on it. The thing is the character never really
pissed people off and people never took him seriously. It was just a whacky,
cheesy, goofy, but rather entertaining character. The fans told WWE this, but they did not want to listen. Now, he is receiving
little-to-no reaction at all. ** ½

Diddy performed, which made me hit
the fast-forward button. I like it when they use a music performer to sing
someone’s theme, but to give them their own mini-concert would be equal to
Diddy allowing wrestlers to wrestle at his concerts. I mean people order WM to see
wrestling, not an eight-minute concert. The time wasted here should have been used for the mid-carders that were short-changed.
Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Jack Swagger
w/Zeb Colter
Zeb Colter cut a promo
on just about every nationality to get cheap heat. Del Rio started aggressively
at the start until Zeb Colter sidetracked him, which allowed Swagger get the
upper hand by throwing Rio into the post. Del Rio got a hope spot in by rolling
up Swagger for a two count but then got a big boot to the face from Swagger. Del
Rio made his comeback by using clotheslines, a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and
then a side kick for a two count. Swagger came back with a shoulder block to the
knee of Del Rio. Del Rio attempted an enziguiri, but Swagger ducked it. Swagger went
for the Swagger Bomb, but Del Rio countered and then hit a Backstabber for a
two. Del Rio tried to end it, but Swagger reversed it with a Gutwrench
Powerbomb for two. The work is solid but the crowd does not care. Swagger locked in the Patriot Lock, but Del Rio reversed it with
his Cross Armbreaker submission. Swagger countered back with the Patriot Lock. We Da People! Del
Rio managed to break the hold by kicking Swagger in the head. Colter put Swagger’s leg on the ropes
while Del Rio was pinning him. Rodriguez chased after Colter on his crutches, but Colter
ended kicking one of his crutches, which made Rodriguez fall to the ground. Honestly, I think Rodriguez and Cotler wrestling would have created more heat than this match. Del Rio was looking at what was going on outside the ring, which
allowed Swagger to attack him from behind. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Del Rio put in the
Cross Armbreaker, which made Swagger tap.
 Winner: Alberto Del Rio in 10:23
Analysis: Solid work, but
nothing remarkable. They had a rather decent scientific match that displayed some
quality mat-work, but the issue was that it just lacked emotion and intensity.
It  honestly felt like they were having an ordinary match, as it just lacked a sense of urgency and desperation and had no heat whatsoever. That could have been because the
feud was too complex for the fans to understand what it was all about. Or, because Del Rio and Jack Swagger’s characters are uninteresting. Or, because they
lacked a great deal of charisma in their particular roles. ** ½
Undertaker vs. CM Punk w/Paul Heyman
Living Colour played Cult
of Personality” and received a big pop from the crowd. The Undertaker’s
entrance was somewhat weird. These goblins were trying to grab his feet but could not. Punk bitch slapped Undertaker in the face early on, only for Undertaker
to come back with a huge boot to the face. Outside the ring, Undertaker tossed
Punk into the security wall. He then threw Punk’s head right onto the announce
table and then into ring post. Undertaker executed a leg drop on the apron on
Punk’s throat. After, Punk took Taker down with an arm drag when Taker went for
Old School. Punk then hit the Old School Clothesline, and Punk dodged the Undertaker’s big boot, sending him knee first into the top turnbuckle. With Taker outside, Punk nailed a
double axehandle off the top to the floor and then inside the ring, he hit a
neckbreaker to get a two count. Undertaker attempted to mount a comeback via
punches, but Punk countered with a swinging neckbreaker for two. Punk went for
the top-rope Old School clothesline, but he was crotched on the top rope. Undertaker
punched Punk in the face, knocking him outside the ring. Undertaker tried
to dive outside the ring, but Heyman got on the apron, which allowed Punk to
attack with a top-rope clothesline.
Later, Punk went to the
top rope and hit the Flying Elbow, although the table did not break. Taker sneaked
into the ring before being counted out. Taker locked in the Hell’s Gate
submission, but Punk answered by rolling him up for two count. Punk locked in the
Anaconda Vice submission Undertaker, which led to a great visual when Undertaker
looked Punk sadistically into his eyes. Punk got out of the way of a Chokeslam
and hit the GTS. Undertaker bounced off the ropes and then hit a Tombstone,
only for two. Great spot. Punk hit a running knee in the corner, but  Undertaker caught him and went  for the Last Ride. Heyman gave Punk the urn,
and Punk nailed Taker in the back of the head. Punk only got a two, though.
Just an awesome exchange there. Punk went for the GTS, Undertaker countered and
hit the Tombstone Piledriver to for win. After the match, Taker walked off the urn that held Paul Bearer’s ashes.
The Undertaker in 22:30
This match was a perfect example of “it is not what you do, it is when and
why you do it”. Everything they did fit the context of the story they were
telling. Both men also had great body language, facial expressions, and
mannerisms, which helped elevate the match’s  drama and also helped transition the match to each different stage. They
also built the match off the audience’s reactions, had them in the palms of
their hands and sent them on a roller coaster ride.
Basically, CM Punk tried to defeat the Undertaker by using a
well-developed strategic plan. He did certain tactics to attempt to play mind games with the Undertaker (which is something that few little people have been able to pull off). Even though it
worked for a good portion of the match, it was not enough to defeat the
immortal Undertaker. 
Also, despite CM Punk going into the match with not a lot of momentum due to him losing four out of the five previous matches, both the Undertaker and CM Punk were able to fool a lot of people by making them believe that Punk had several chances of ending the streak. Just a terrific match. **** ½
Holds Barred: Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman vs. Triple H w/Shawn Michaels
They brawled right off
the bat, as HHH threw Lesnar into the security wall and then slammed him into the announce table. After, Lesnar
went after Triple H on the floor, but Hunter drilled Lesnar with a stiff
clothesline, which literally knocked Lesnar out. Lesnar had a chair in his
hands, but Triple H drilled him in the face with a knee. Outside, Lesnar drilled
a belly-to-belly suplex, and then Lesnar hit vertical suplex into a slam that
broke the Spanish announce table. After that, a lot of boring stuff happened. Brock Lesnar dominated Triple H forever. HBK tried to save his friend, but Brock Lesnar was having none of that, so he F-5’d HBK. Later
on, Lesnar drove HHH into the steps that were in the ring,but HHH applied the
Kimura Lock. He picked up HHH again and drilled him into steps. This time, Triple
H hung onto his head and drilled his head into the steps. Hunter hit Lesnar with a sledgehammer and then a Pedrigree onto the steps, picking up the win.
Winner: Triple H in 23:30 minutes
They worked hard. They really did. The problem was nobody cared. The reason the fans did not care was because: (A) Not many people care about Triple H anymore. (B) They never believed he had a chance of losing. Or (C), the Undertaker and CM Punk match
burnt them out. Whatever the case may have been, the match just lacked that
“career on the line” atmosphere. The match also failed to top their brawl on
Raw, which was way more of a intense and bloody back-and-forth brawl, and most of all, I didn’t know who was going get the upper hand.
In my opinion, though, the biggest problem
with the match were the dynamics. Ass-kicker vs ass-kicker matches are
difficult to pull off, especially with WWE’s violence restrictions. I mean Lesnar is a good big man worker, but it is obvious that his
matches with bigger guys aren’t that impressive. His best matches come with
people who can bump like a fish in the water and take a beating (or at
least give off the illusion that they are taking a bad one). Triple H has been known to
take a good beating in the past, but due how fragile his body has become, he can hardly bump
anymore. So, basically, he was not the right size, character, and he could not take enough sick bumps in order to mesh with Lesnar. ** 3/4
A commercial for The
Rock’s next movie, Pain & Gain, is shown. There were clips from the Hall of
Fame ceremony too. Then Hall of Famers were on the stage.
Championship: The Rock vs. John Cena
Rock avoided a  Five Knuckle Shuffle and then hit a DDT. The Rock went for a Rock Bottom, but Cena countered with a Crossface. Rock countered it with a pinfall
attempt but only got two. Cena hits the spinning slam and then the Five Knuckle
Shuffle. Rock wiggled his way out of the Attitude Adjustment and then delivered a
Spinebuster. Cena locked in a the STF, but the Rock got out of it. Rock then hit a
Rock Bottom in for two. Then Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment for a count. Selling, no? Okay.
Cena went to the top
rope but missed a leg drop. The Rock connected with  Spinebuster and then the People’s
Elbow for a two count. Cena caught Rock in his arms and then went for the
Attitude Adjustment, but Rock hit the Rock Bottom for another two count. Again, really? Rock
wanted another People’s Elbow, but Cena reversed it with an Attitude Adjustment
for two. This is becoming stupid. They exchanged punches, and then Cena hit a Rock Bottom for a two
count. This is like a Davery Richards match on crack. Cena went for the People’s elbow; you
know, the same move that made him lose their previous match. Nice psychology….not. He then went
for the Attitude Adjustment, but Rock countered into Rock Bottom for two. Do they even have finishers anymore? Jesus. They
exchanged finishing move attempts again a few times, but neither guy could hit.
Rock hit a DDT. Rock went for a Rock Bottom, Cena slipped out, and hit the Attitude
Adjustment, which was enough to win the WWE Championship. It’s finally over! After the match,
they shook hands. Respect is earned! 
and new WWE Champion: John Cena in 20:23 minutes
This match lacked psychology, any sort of strategy by either man, a story to follow, and rarely did either John Cena or the Rock played off their previous match at all. There
was no transitional period that elevated the match into the finisher galore stage of the match either. During the beginning, they should have worked over a body part or told some
sort of story. Instead, they used a cheap method to get the fans invested into the match. Trading finisher after finisher just devalued the credibility of their finishers, and it was a very lazy way to put together the supposed biggest match of the year. And, unlike CM Punk and Undertaker, Cena’s victory was never in doubt. I might get some heat for this rating, but I do not care. I
did not enjoy this match at all. * ½
The mid-carders on the show were evidently held down, so their matches would not
overshadow the main events. That would have been fine had the main events
delivered. However, a show should never rely on one or two matches, because this is what could happen. 

In addition, the crowd
was ready to go home after Undertaker’s epic match yet again. I’ve always believed that a title match should go on last, but I think the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania matches have become an exception to the rule. If Taker loses, the streak is
over, whereas wrestlers lose and then win back the title all the time.

in the middle, leaning down.

Tryout: Luigi Evangelista

Hello folks. I’m Luigi Evangelista and I’ve been a wrestling fan since the first Wrestlemania. I’ve got WWE Classics on Demand as part of my cable package and Mr. Keith has graciously allowed me a tryout, so if things go well, I’d be able to review some of the programs on this great station. I hope if and when the WWE Network is up and running, it’ll have similar programming to what they’ve got on demand right now-it’s incredible to think of what’s in the vault. Anyways, this first review is going to be a house show from the Boston Garden on May 18, 1985 under the WWE Old School block of programming. Just a bit of background going into this event to get everyone up to speed. The WWF is just coming off the biggest gamble in the company’s history with the wildly successful Wrestlemania 2 months ago and Hulkamania is one of the biggest things going in the USA. The WWF’s national expansion is in full swing and they are selling out arenas all over the country. In fact, this broadcast is the first wrestling card aired on the NESN regional sports channel in New England and its taking place 1 week after the very first Saturday Night’s Main Event. Your champions as of this date are: WWF Tag Team Champions-Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff WWF Intercontinental Champion-Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine WWF Women’s Champion-Wendi Richter WWF World Champion-Hulk Hogan Now, on to the show! Your commentary team is Gorilla Monsoon and ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund and Gene is already in hard-sell announcer mode that’s going to get old in a hurry. It’s a good thing they came to their senses and put him in the back doing interviews because commentary is just not working for him. First match is Salvatore Bellomo vs. Moondog Spot and the crowd booed the face and cheered the heel, so in case you were wondering-that’s not new. Very slow start with wristlocks and arm bars and the crowd is booing them already. Spot and Bellomo trade headlocks, the crowd is chanting ‘Boring’ and Monsoon and Okerlund acknowledge it. Things finally pick up a little from Moondog Spot as he goes to the 2nd rope with a fist drop on Bellomo and sends him out of the ring, then rams him into the barrier. When Bellomo gets back in, Spot follows up with a chin lock and a reverse atomic drop. Bellomo with a standing dropkick out of nowhere but Spot fights back and catches him off an Irish whip with a shoulder breaker for the pin and the crowd cheers. I’m not sure if they cheered him or the end of the match. Monsoon and Okerlund are struggling to make sense of the crowd’s reaction. Next up is Steve Lombardi vs. Swede Hansen and the crowd goes mild for Hansen. Lombardi takes forever taking off his ring jacket, then stalls by adjusting his kneepads and by doing stretches in the corner. Okerlund passes the time with mother-in-law jokes for your entertainment while we wait. Eventually they lockup and Hansen grabs a hammerlock, then works on the elbow and Lombardi makes it to the ropes. More stalling and the crowd is getting restless. Hansen catches Lombardi in another hammerlock and then to a face lock where he’s lifting Lombardi right off his feet. Steve Lombardi’s facial reactions keep this thing entertaining-like he’s genuinely upset about everything that’s gone wrong for him in this match. Lombardi-ring general that he is-gets a chin lock and keeps the hold on while Monsoon complains about the refereeing and Okerlund comments on a fan wearing a tux at ringside. Hansen eventually traps Lombardi in the corner and the future Brooklyn Brawler looks like he’s just encountered Freddy Kruger in a nightmare. Hansen gets a weak splash for the pin. Monsoon can barely keep from laughing at Lombardi’s reactions at the end of the match. Big John Studd vs. Rocky Johnson is next. Bobby Heenan is managing Studd and the crowd is starting to wake up with big heat for the Brain and loud cheers for Rocky. Heenan talks trash to Johnson and Rocky spits right in his eye. Heenan goes nuts and so far, it’s the most entertainment we’ve had tonight. Rocky hits a body press but then makes a mistake by going for a body slam and Studd takes control. They do a test of strength and the crowd gets really into it when Rocky gets Studd to his knees and stomps his hands. Studd takes back control with a bear hug. Rocky keeps the crowd into it by punching and head-butting his way out of it. Johnson goes for the body slam again and Studd holds onto the ropes, falls on top of Johnson and gets the pin. Monsoon accuses Heenan of tripping Rocky but the replay shows he wasn’t nearby. Quick match but the crowd was into it and you can see where The Rock picked up his showmanship from. He’s like a chip off the old Rocky. Thank you-that took a while to come up with. We have Tito Santana vs. Brutus Beefcake with Luscious Johnny Valiant as his manager. Tito is one of the top faces in the WWF and Beefcake is just starting to develop as a character. In fact, Tito would regain the Intercontinental title in July and Beefcake and Valentine would take the tag titles in August, so both guys are on the upswing of their careers at this point. Okerlund makes fun of Beefcake’s choice of ring attire, comparing him to a Chippendale’s dancer. Okerlund then reveals that Beefcake is no longer from ‘Parts Unknown’ but billed from San Francisco and Monsoon gives a sarcastic laugh at that. At the start Monsoon mentions an attack from Beefcake on Hilbilly Jim that caused a knee injury and put the big guy on the shelf. Santana has a wristlock and Beefcake body slams him. Santana keeps the hold on throughout and Beefcake manages to get to his corner. Back in and Santana and Beefcake trade shots before Beefcake goes back to his corner again. This time Valiant tries to get involved and Tito nails them both with what Monsoon calls a double noggin-knocker. Beefcake recovers with a reverse atomic drop and a body slam, then goes to the good old-fashioned choke after a failed pin. More cheating and Okerlund is screaming at the ref to disqualify Brutus. Beefcake hits a backdrop and does the Barber strut version 1.0 to boos. Beefcake goes to the middle rope and hits an elbow but a weak pin attempt gets Monsoon to take him to task for that. Santana fights back again after Beefcake misses a splash and Tito hits an elbow off the 2nd rope, then a figure four leg lock. Valiant distracts him and all three guys end up outside the ring, where Valiant and Beefcake double team Santana and get him bleeding, but Tito wins by count out by just barely beating Beefcake back into the ring. The crowd really got into it when the guys went to the outside. I’d guess that would’ve led to a rematch at the Garden between these two later in the year. Ken Patera vs. Tony Garea is up next with Bobby Heenan managing Patera. Garea gets on the mic and taunts Heenan for getting fired by Paul Orndorff a week ago on national TV. The “Weasel” chants start up as Heenan loses it again. Just a note: this is 5 months after Patera and Studd cut Andre the Giant’s hair and Ken Patera is still getting big heat from the crowd. Monsoon evens gives him props for retiring him years ago at the Philadelphia Spectrum. Patera gets Garea in side headlock and tries for a quick pin while pulling the tights. The tide turns when Patera poses for the crowd and Garea hits a nice dropkick. Garea getting a little offence but Patera attacks with some cheap shots and chokes him out by the ropes. Patera goes back to choking while Heenan distracts the ref in a classic heel move. Monsoon and Okerlund are both berating the ref for a doing a lousy job while the Patera keeps alternating between a chin lock, a hair pull and a good old-fashioned choke. Patera tosses Garea outside and they end up scrapping out there for a bit before Garea gets control back in the ring. Patera goes for a knee lift but misses and hits a turnbuckle and Garea goes to work on the knee and follows up with an abdominal stretch. A sunset flip into a pin doesn’t work for Garea, so he tries to send Patera into the corner. Patera moves while Garea goes for the attack and drops an elbow and covers for the pin while grabbing the tights like a good heel would. Garea looked horrible in the match and the crowd died halfway through it. By August, Ken Patera would be in prison serving a 2 year sentence for assault. His comeback as a face went over like a lead balloon before injuries started to pile up, so it was interesting seeing the end of his glory days as a heel here. The IC title match is up with Greg Valentine defending against Junkyard Dog in a Wrestlemania rematch. Jimmy Hart is in Valentine’s corner. I’m hoping this will be a better match than what we got at Wrestlemania. JYD has the crowd in the palm of his hand tonight and plays up to them. A standoff between the two ends when Valentine hits JYD with an elbow to the head with no reaction, so he bails outside. Back in and JYD goes to work with an arm-wringer that puts Valentine down. Stalling by Valentine, so Okerlund and Monsoon start talking about the history of Boston wrestling. Valentine gets control with a few elbow drops and some pinning attempts with no success. The crowd is chanting ‘JYD’ and get behind their guy while Valentine keeps working on the arm on the mat. JYD finally fights back by raking Valentine’s face, then biting him and choking him, like a good hero would. JYD attacks with his running head-butts while on all fours and Valentine does a flop, then ends up outside the ring. Hart gives himself a hernia trying to drag Valentine back in the ring, where JYD goes for a falling head-butt that misses. Hart distracts the ref to get Valentine back in it and that backfires when JYD tosses Valentine into Hart. The match ends suddenly when JYD hits a power slam and Valentine rolls it into a pin while grabbing the tights and wins the match. JYD attacks Valentine and chases Hart around a bit afterwards. It was more entertaining than the Wrestlemania match but still not that great. Barry O vs. Ivan Putski is up next and Putski build like a brick shithouse while Barry O is definitely not. Gorilla goes out on a limb and predicts that Putski will win the match. I’d put some pretty big money on Putski here too, Monsoon. Putski with some power moves to start and Barry O tries a full nelson that clearly is a bad idea. In what has to be either a mistake or a very poorly planned spot, Barry O tosses Putski to the ropes but instead of coming back Putski trips into the top rope and chokes himself out. Barry O goes to work but he gets almost no offence before Putski turns the tide, hits his Polish Hammer sledge shot and gets the pin. Okerlund congratulates Monsoon on calling the outcome of the match and Gorilla’s reaction is simply a chuckle and an “Oh my God”. Pete Dougherty vs. Mario Mancini in a sure to be classic is on the docket. Dougherty is loud and annoying and Monsoon thinks he’s great. He’s known as the Duke of Dorchester and he celebrates every move he hits as if he’s won a championship. Dougherty starts off with shots and throws Mancini outside, when he nails Mancini with an elbow and follows up with another attack when Mancini gets back in the ring. Dougherty stays on him with a body slam, a leg drop and an elbow drop and that gets the pin. His celebration was pretty impressive with a jig and a dance afterwards. Main Event time is next and it’s a tag team match between Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Snuka vs. Bob Orton and Don Muraco with Mr. Fuji as their manager. The crowd explodes for the Hulkster before they even see him and all four men scrap in and out of the ring to start, then Orton pairs off with Snuka and Hogan attacks Muraco before the match starts for real. Every move that Snuka hits gets a pop and he attacks Orton’s arm (which has only been broken for about 2 months now). A tag to Hogan results in the champ nailing Orton’s arm with an elbow off the 2nd rope. Back to Snuka with more work on the arm, then back to Hogan with more offence and an atomic drop. Eventually, Orton gets Hogan to his corner where Muraco tags in and the tide turns. Muraco keeps Hogan in his corner where the heels take turns attacking Hulk. Orton back in with more shots to Hogan and a suplex where he holds Hogan up for about 30 seconds and it looks impressive. The action has really slowed down now and Muraco and Orton double-team Hogan and taunt Snuka at the same time. Hogan eventually makes the tag to Snuka who cleans house and attacks Muraco and Orton. Mr. Fuji distracts the ref, and when Snuka goes for a splash, Orton nails Superfly in the head with the cast and Snuka gets cut from that. Hogan gets attacked by Muraco outside the ring and Snuka is bleeding like a stuck pig. It’s so bad that Orton’s cast is turning red with Snuka’s blood. Muraco in and bites Snuka and he’s got blood all over his face. For those of you who watch the show “True Blood’, the opening credits that show a kid with his face smeared with blood is what Muraco looks like here…only with much more insanity in his eyes. Snuka eventually makes the tag to Hogan, but he gets double-teamed by Orton and Muraco. The bell rings and it’s a DQ against Muraco and Orton. The match is over but a melee erupts and all four men are outside with chairs. The police are outside to get control back and Muraco and Orton escape. Gorilla Monsoon and Mean Gene Okerlund recap the night and thank us for joining them for the first wrestling event on NESN. Thanks for indulging me and I hope you all enjoyed the recap!

No more heels/faces?

Given that all the MITB contestants for the WWE title are faces, and all the contestants for the World title MITB are heels, do you think we're moving into an era where there are no faces/heels, just characters? Take also into account the WWE/John Cena himself finally and repeatedly acknowledging the boos he gets, Ziggler and others' heel/face behaviour and tweener status, the fact that they had a hard time turning Punk/Bryan heel, and the fact Sheamus is a huge babyface who behaves like a terrible heel.
Call me crazy, but I think it could work. Just let the characters breathe and be themselves and the crowd can cheer/boo who they want. Or does the super lucrative kiddy market need to be told who to cheer/boo in order to keep watching?


Given that the entire basis of most storytelling is "good guys v. bad guys", I'm thinking they would stupid to do away with the concept now.  That being said, no, heels and faces aren't going anywhere.  I LIKE being told who to cheer and who to boo sometimes, because that's how you follow the storyline if you're not crazy hardcore fans like the people on the blog.  Otherwise you're just Vince Russo, and no one wants that.  

The Wednesday Pull List Thread!

Some people thought this might be a fun idea, so here's a thread to chat about new comic releases this week.  And Holy CRAP what a loaded week this one is.  
DC Highlights:
Batman & Superman #1
Justice League of America #5 (the book itself is shit, but I'm curious how they get out of Catwoman's "death")
Justice League #21
The Dark Knight #21 (A reliably good and creepy title these days)
All Star Western #21 (Jonah Hex + Booster Gold = AWESOME)
Marvel Highlights:
X-Men Everywhere!  X-Men #2, All New X-Men #13, Uncanny X-Man #7, and Wolverine and the X-Men #32
Hawkeye #11
Daredevil #27 (I've really been digging the "Matt's Bad Month" story)
Deadpool #12
And that's not even counting the Image and other indy stuff.  Whew.

QOTD – June 26th, 2013

Greetings, Superfriends. Today we have a daily double. The first is from Jeff Bailey:

“Looking back on Dusty Rhodes’ stint as booker, does the knowledge that
Ric Flair is such a gigantic cock alter your perspective on it?”

Well, not really. I’ve never really heard a bad-word about Flair during that era. It was only when he started to look like a piece of beef jerky with bleached strands of hair coming out of the top that he became a prick. I’ve often wondered what would happen if Triple H from 2003 and Dusty Rhodes from 1988 were in the same company. It would have to implode. Like in Time Cop when two beings take up the same space. 

Second question comes from QOTD Hall of Famer, Mr. Gavin Lee.

"Not a wrestling question today but with the impending release of Star Wars ep7  
What do you want to see or what storyline should they follow? There's rumours 
there bringing back the original cast Luke han leia etc I'm unsure if I could
 belive a 70yr old (!) mark hamill pulling Jedi shit any more hopefully JJ won't 
make a Star Trek clone."

It's no longer rumors, as I believe most of the original cast is returning. I have
no problem believing in older Jedis being able to bring the goods. Look at 
The Emperor. He looks older than dirt and he's the biggest bad ass of them all. Yoda
is ancient, about 2 feet tall and he's feared completely. The Jedi only get stronger as they
get older. 

I always thought they'd just film the Heir To The Empire books, which I read a few
years ago and are great. I'm all about bringing The Emperor back, as he's my favorite
character. There's so much material to work with it's ridiculous. Not only are there
100's of books, but 1000's of comics. There is honestly to excuse for fucking
this film up. There are tried & true stories that are great, and that fans want 
to see. 

I apologize for the font, blogger is a piece of crap and believes letting you
choose your format is something of an antiquated notion. 

WWF Madison Square Garden: November 26th, 1984

November 26, 1984
Your hosts are Lord Alfred Hayes and Gorilla Monsoon

Charlie Fulton vs. SD Jones
According to thehistoryofwwe.com, Fulton replaced Samula in this match. SD backs Fulton into the corner. SD goes for an armdrag but falls, then takes down Fulton. Gorilla mentions how Fulton was in Vietnam as both men counter their moves as the crowd is bored. SD works a side headlock as the announcers talk about tonight’s Tonga Kid vs. Roddy Piper match. Fulton catches SD with a clothesline and grabs a chinlock. He hits a legdrop before going back to the chinlock for a long time. The crowd starts chanting for SD and he catches Fulton but falls down and Fulton goes back to the chinlock. SD picks him up and hits an inverted atomic drop. He hits another atomic drop and punches away. SD kicks him down then gets two off a headbutt. SD hits several more headbutts and knocks him down with a left. They trade punches until Fulton rakes the eyes. He misses a charge in the corner and SD hits a headbutt for the win (10:40) *1/2.  
Thoughts: Bland match but pretty much what you expected out of these two. Despite his status, SD was quite over with the crowds. Too bad his offense consisted of headbutts and punches. Fulton was always a solid worker and went on to train guys like Raven, Chris Harris and Johnny Swinger.  
Jose Luis Rivera vs. Moondog Spot
Rivera is subbing for Billy Jack, who left before his debut. Gorilla and Hayes talk about how ridiculous it is that someone can be announced from parts unknown. Spot doesn’t break cleanly and Rivera is pissed. He works the arm after Spot misses an elbow drop. They do that spot again as Rivera works the arm forever. He gets two off a sunset flip before going back to the arm. Spot misses a corner charge and Rivera goes back to the armbar, again. God, does Rivera suck. Spot breaks and ducks his head but Rivera kicks him, getting two. Even the announcers make fun of Rivera for going back to the armbar. Rivera charges but Spot kills him with a superkick. He gets a kneesmash then a splash from the second rope. Rivera gets tossed in the corner and Spot destroys him. Shoulderbreaker gets two as Spot pulls him up, so he can put him in a chinlock. Press slam by Spot and he hits the splash from the second rope but pulls him up and tosses him to the floor. Rivera fights back from the apron. He hits a dropkick and attacks Spot in the corner. He eats boot on a charge and Spot hits a clothesline from the middle rope for the win (9:16) *1/2.
Thoughts: Rivera was terrible and this match could have been better if Rivera could do anything besides punching or applying an armbar. Spot was a good worker and the match was better when he was on offense.
Salvatore Bellomo vs. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Both men shake hands to start. Heenan yells at the crowd then both men lockup. Heenan punches Bellomo then ducks between the ropes. Bellomo punches him back and slams his head off the turnbuckle. Heenan gets whipped in the corner and goes upside down. He ducks outside. Back in the ring, they fight over a wristlock. Bellomo dropkciks Heena,n, who is sprawled across the ropes as the crowd is going nuts. Bellomo stomps away and Heenan goes outside. In the ring, Heenan grabs a chinlock. He hits a backdrop then drops the knee. He yells at Bellomo to get up and they proceed to pull of the single worst double collision spot I have ever seen. Bellomo is up first and fires away in the corner, to the delight of the crowd. Heenan dumps Bellomo to the floor then knocks him off the apron. Bellomo tries a sunset flip but Heenan punches him and covers for the win (8:56) *.
Thoughts: Heenan was bad in the ring but at least he knew that the fans were dying to see him get his ass kicked so he put himself in positions that would get them to go nuts when he was attacked. Bellomo was the same as usual
Mr. Fuji vs. Angelo “King Kong” Mosca
Fuji does his pre-match ceremony to start. Fuji asks for a clean break and gets that but chops Mosca, who chops him back. Mosca uses a single leg takedown then fires away. Fuji is pissed off in the corner then loses a test of strength. Fuji kicks down Mosca then headbutts the groin. Mosca chops back but Fuji work a nerve hold. Mosca hulks up and take down Fuji with a shoulder block but gets chopped down. Fuji goes back to the nerve hold and Mosca escapes. He beats on Fuji in the corner and hits a shoulder thrust. Fuji pulls a salt package from his trunks but Mosca takes that and dumps it on the ring. Fuji begs for mercy as Mosca catches him with a sleeper. Fuji reaches down his tights and pulls out another salt package and throws it in Mosca’s face for the DQ (8:01) ½*.
Thoughts: Fuji was really struggling to get around at this point but this wasn’t as bad as you would think. Mosca was a tiny bit better in the ring than he was on commentary.
“Cowboy” Bob Orton vs. Swede Hanson
Swede puts Orton in a bearhug then a wristlock. Swede puts on a headlock as Orton is unable to escape. The announcers put over Orton as the bodyguard for Piper as he takes control. Swede counters a neck vice with a front facelock and headbutts Orton in the corner. He puts Orton in a chinlock as this match is really dragging. Orton fights out and floats over Swede. He punches away in the corner as we see a replay of the float over. Orton continues to punch away but Swede continues to walk towards Orton then chops him in the corner. He gets a scoop slam and goes up top but Orton got a knee up and hits the Vader Bomb for the win (8:51) DUD.
Thoughts: Orton tried hard but wrestling against Swede is like wrestling a wall. Swede would do a few matches here and there but was not with the WWF in a full-time capacity.
Tonga Kid w/Jimmy Snuka vs. Roddy Piper w/Bob Orton
The crowd goes apeshit when Snuka comes out, causing Piper to go mental. He heads towards the locker room then goes back to the ring. Snuka is wearing a shirt that reads “I Want Piper.” Tonga and Piper have a stare down. Tonga no-sells three slaps then hits Piper. Piper calls for time and attempts a cheap shot but Tonga was ready and fires away. The crowd is berserk as Tonga is firing away on Piper, who is on the apron. Tonga drags him back in the ring by the hair and continues his assault. Piper chops Tonga after a leapfrog then taunts Snuka but takes his eyes off Tonga, who fires away. Piper gets a back suplex then tosses him out of the ring a few times. He calls Tonga then gets two off a throat thrust. Kneelift gets two as Piper is using arrogant pin attempts. He catches Tonga in a sleeper and drops him to the ground. Tonga hulks up then elbows out. He sends Piper into the ropes but Piper regains control. Tonga no-sells a few turnbuckle smashes then fires away. He tries a crossbody block but Piper catches him and dumps him over the ropes. Orton runs over and decks Snuka then attacks Tonga. Piper goes out and grabs a chair but Snuka pulls it away. Snuka is getting double teamed by Orton and Piper until Tonga makes the save. The match breaks down as the ref rings the bell for the DQ. The heels get dumped and retreat as the crowd is still going insane as the match is ruled a double disqualification (7:03) ***1/4. After the match, Snuka grabs the mic and challenges Piper.
Thoughts: Good stuff. The crowd was loving the feud between these men. Tonga did great and this looks to set up for a tag match in the future. Its amazing how this feud elevated Tonga from a lower mid-card guy to a star seemingly overnight.
Barry Windham is backstage by himself. He says that Madison Square Garden is the big time and is making his MSG debut against Moondog Rex. He states he will show Rex what its like to be a wrestler.
Moondog Rex vs. Barry Windham
Rex shoves Windham off a lockup. They do it again and Windham gets a hiptoss and a dropkick. The crowd has certainly deflated since the last match. Windham works the arm. Rex comes back and grabs a headlock. Windham catches him with a slam then goes back to working the arm. The announcers are talking about everything else but this match as Windham now works a headlock. Rex goes to the apron but Windham drags him and Rex’s feet are on the ropes. Windham drops him down just before the five count and that actually gets the crowd to make noise. Rex lands a few punches then drops a knee. Rex throws some forearms before catching him with a knee. Windham fights back and punches Rex through the ropes. Rex then fights back then starts biting the forehead. Windham is sent to the floor with a shoulderblock. Back in the ring, Rex drops Windham neck first on the top rope then uses clubbing forearms. Backbreaker gets two. He rams him in the corner then grabs a lengthy bearhug until Windham escapes. Rex sends him down with an elbow smash then picks him up for a body breaker. Windham escapes and backdrops Rex as both men are down. They then trade punches but Rex hooks the ropes on a dropkick attempt. He gets two off an elbow drop but Windhm punches him in midair after an axe handle attempt. Rex shoves Windham in the corner but misses a splash and Windham hits the running bulldog for the win (12:11) **3/4.
Thoughts: This was a really solid match. It was put in a tough spot, following the Piper match, but these guys were able to bring the crowd back into the show. The Moondogs, the Rex & Spot version anyway, were a solid and underappreciated team. Windham looked good too and you could tell right away that he had everything it took to become a star. If Windham was focused for his entire career, he could have been one of the all-time greats.
Tony Atlas vs. The Executioner
The Executioner attacks Atlas before the bell and pounds him in the corner. They then do a slow-motion Irish whip spot that ends with Atlas getting a dropkick. He hits another dropkick and stomps away. Atlas gets the fans going then hits the press slam and finishes him off with the splash (1:48) ¼*. After the match, Atlas tries to take off the mask of the Executioner, who manages to escape.
Thoughts: A quick win to build up Atlas. He was heavily into drugs at this time and wasn’t really around the WWF all that much after this match. There was a rumor that he was going to win the IC title when he came back but that never happened and probably for the best.
Rocky Johnson vs. David Schultz
Schultz tries to bait Rocky with a handshake but he isn’t having that. Schultz then does some more stalling tactics as Rocky is getting pissed. This is starting to really get old as Schultz will gesture towards Rocky then retreat and this spot gets repeated constantly. We are now four minutes into this match and no contact has been made. Finally, the two men lockup and Schultz knocks Rocky down after refusing to break cleanly. Rocky fights back but Schultz retreats. More stalling ensues as the crowd is chanting for Rocky. Schultz boots Rocky after going for a test of strength. Rocky escapes but Schultz retreats and the ref steps between them. Schultz hits Rocky from behind then the ref steps between them again. The fans are throwing trash into the ring at this point. Rocky fights back and knocks Schultz down with a pair of rights. Rocky goes for a slam but Schultz turns it into a rollup for the win (9:25) -***.
Thoughts: One of the worst matches I have seen, unless you are a diehard fan of stalling for the entire match, only to win by rollup. In regards to this match, Meltzer wrote in the observer that you could “burn more calories by sipping coffee” than Schultz did in this match. I felt that to be an accurate statement. It made you never want to see these two wrestle again instead of seeing Rocky getting his revenge, which I assume was the intention.
Bruno Sammartino is backstage, stating it is great to be back at MSG. He will be in the corner of his son, David.
Ken Patera w/Capt. Lou Albano vs. David Sammartino w/Bruno Sammartino
Patera overpowers Sammartino then starts taunting him. Sammartino picks up Patera and places him on the turnbuckle, which as Albano irate. He catches Patera with a press slam, which has the crowd going crazy. Patera ducks outside for a breather then re-enters the ring. Sammartino fires away but Patera backs him into the ropes and chops him across the chest. He chokes out Sammartino in the corner then uses a mix of brawling and matwork but Sammartino fights back. He knocks down Patera and beats on him in the corner. Patera begs for mercy and catches Sammartino off guard. He boots him outside then slams him on the floor. Patera beats on Sammartino, who is on the apron, then targets the back after he crawls into the ring. Patera tosses him halfway across the ring before hitting a suplex. Sammartino escapes from a bearhug but Patera goes right back to work on the back. Sammartino uses a bell clap to get out of another bearhug as the camera shows Bruno watching from ringside. Sammartino starts hammering away but the crowd isn’t responding to the comeback. He hits an atomic drop then gets two after dropping the knee. Sammartino gets nearfalls off a small package and a sunset flip but misses a charge in the corner, allowing Patera to hammer away. Samamrtino catches the foot off Patera but Albano trips him up. Bruno chases Albano into the ring and the ref rings the bell for the DQ, in favor of Sammartino (12:24) ***.
Thoughts: Good match that was all action. Patera was still solid in the ring at this point. He had nothing left after coming out of prison though. David Sammartino really wasn’t bad in the ring at all but he was not clicking with the crowds and lacked any characteristic that could have made him a star. Too bad, because if he even had a decent amount of charisma, he could have been a lot bigger than he was, seeing that he was Bruno’ son.
Finkel plugs the MSG show on December 28th. Announced matches are Cobra vs. Black Tiger, Tony Garea vs. Nikolai Volkoff, David Schultz vs. Antonio Inoki, Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch defend the titles against the Brisco Brothers, and Bob Orton & Roddy Piper vs. Tonga Kid & Jimmy Snuka. Cyndi Lauper will be presented with a special award.
Intercontinental Title Match
Tito Santana vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine (Champion)
Albano is not with Valentine. Match starts with Tito chasing after Valentine. After some stalling, they trade shots until Santana takes him down with a clothesline. Tito roughs him up in the corner then grabs a front facelock. He works that for a few minutes then breaks so he can ram his head off the mat. He grabs another front facelock but Valentine escapes then beats on Tito. He drags him outside but Tito fights back and rams Valentine’s head off a chair, prompting Hayes to proclaim that it was “vintage” Santana. Now we know where Michael Cole got that from. Back in the ring, Tito knocks Valenitne down with a forearm and slugs away. He goes for the figure four but Valentine reaches the ropes. He doesn’t break cleanly and takes control. He hits a shoulder breaker then drops a knee. He tries to put away Tito, who keeps kicking out. Valentine drops an elbow and wipes the mat with Tito’s face. He goes to work on the knee for a bit. Gutbuster gets two. Kneedrop gets two. Tito escapes from a figure four attempt then hits a flying forearm. Tito rams Valentine’s leg off the ringpost then uses a chair. The crowd is jacked as Tito goes to work on the leg. He tries a figure-four but Valentine yanks him down and attacks. He hits a suplex and puts on a chinlock as the fans are behind Tito. Valentine rams Tito in the corner but gets sent into the post after a charge. Santana boots him in the face and he is now bleeding from his forehead. Santana rams his head off the mat repeatedly then hits the flying forearm but that only gets two. Valentine tries to duck out but Tito pulls him back and hits an atomic drop. He gets two after a headbutt to the groin then both men brawl on the mat. Tito gets a few nearfalls then works on the leg. Valentine ducks out on the apron but Tito brings him back in with a suplex. He ducks his head but Valentine boots him then goes to work on the leg. He takes off Tito’s kneepad but he fights back and gets two off a small package. Valentine ducks outside and Tito pulls him back in by the hair. He puts on an abdominal stretch but the curfew bell rings and the match is ruled a draw (22:23) ***1/2. After the match, the ref holds Tito back as the fans are tossing garbage at Valentine.
Thoughts: Really good match. There was a fair amount of stalling at the beginning but this built up nicely and the crowd wanted Tito to destroy Valentine. This was not as good as their match from the June show, but it was close. This feud, along with Piper/Snuka, is starting to heat up and have been built up wonderfully. Valentine was one of the best workers in the promotion and Tito was really the only face they had who could contend for the IC belt.
Final Thoughts: The first half of the show was forgettable but the second half was pretty damn good. The tag match between Piper/Orton and Tonga/Snuka next month should be great too. Its weird not seeing Hogan on these shows, as he was the champ, but he was all over the place in 1984 and really didn’t wrestle all that much. I will be reviewing the December show in two weeks and next week, will review the December 18th TNT show, which was the Butcher Vachon wedding.

Cena v. Bryan

So sure, is Cena actually going to tap out to Bryan? Probably not. But I still think there’s a good chance Bryan gets a win via some sort of Bret Hart-esque reversal-into-small-package, or Cena passes out in a No-Lock. Something clean that puts Bryan over, but Cena continues to “Never Give Up.”

I think I accidentally downvoted you because I’m still learning to navigate on the iPad keyboard, sorry. Anyway, given my experience with WWE-ese and translating their storylines, I’m actually thinking Bryan v. Cena at Summerslam is going to be split with Vince on Cena’s side and HHH on Bryan’s side, with Vince basically doing like MITB ‘11 and threatening to fire Cena if he loses to midget Bryan.  Because people are gonna boo Cena anyway, so might as well align him with Vince, and as a bonus HHH gets to align himself with hot new thing Daniel Bryan and thus take credit for it.  So HHH can help Bryan win to further his feud with Vince (because Vince has established that he doesn’t want Bryan winning), Cena has an out for a rematch, and Bryan actually kind of gets the rub by being part of the Tippy-Top Guys Club.  By WWE logic, it actually would make sense. 

RoH TV: June 22nd Edition

Sorry about the delay, a combination of Final Exams and unpleasantness in my personal life conspired against getting this out by Monday like usual

Brace yourselves boys and girls, shit gets weird this episode.

We open with a vignette of highlights on the Briscoes before the traditional RoH opening.

Now this is usually where we’d go to an announcer hyping tonight’s card, but tonight there is no card!  Instead we’ve been taken to Sandy Fork Delaware to see the Briscoes at their Chicken farm.  Mark takes us through the chicken coop which houses 30,000 birds and talks about having to clean out the dead chickens.  Jay says sometimes there are so many dead chickens they build a “big ass hole” and throw them in.  Well this is fucking morbid.  There’s then this horribly acted bit like something off a “reality” TV show where they pretend the camera’s not there (you know the type) in which Papa Briscoe throws a fit about Jay and Mark being late to deal with the chickens because they were getting stuff for wrestling together.  There’s lots of swearing and I’m still not sure when this became a bad reality show.  What WOULD the Briscoes reality show be called?  “Homophobes in the Morning”? “Dumbest and Dumberest”? “The REAL house hillbillies of southern Delaware”?

So with that it’s time for the Briscoe Brothers to hit the road!  Mark hops in the Doge pickup but Jay says they shouldn’t take the truck.  oh my god the drama is killing me.  The truck wont start anyways rendering the conversation moot.  Upon Jay’s suggestion they decide to take the RV instead.

Jay says Mark is a fool who thinks he could survive a leap of the Chesapeake bridge.  Mark confirms this and explains his “pencil diving” method; Mark does admit that he’s not a physics expert.  Understatement of the year right there.

commercial break, this may be the first RoH to feature zero wrestling before the first break.

We return with them interviewing Papa Briscoe, as this episode suddenly decides its a documentary instead of a reality show.  Papa says that his sons were always wild kids and crazy competitive.  every Saturday morning at 12:00 the Briscoe kids tuned into the WWF.  In his teenage years Jay converted to being an ECW mutant, and it was getting bled on by Kronus at an ECW show that really solidified that this is what he wanted to do with his life.  well that’s a new one, fuck Hogan, Savage or Steamboat–Kronus’ Hemoglobin inspired me to be a wrestler!

Next Mark talks about him and Jay backyard wrestling on a trampoline before they wore it out and built a ring instead.  Tables, barbed wire, it was ECW they emulated at 15 and 14 as their dad laughs remembering a funny story involving a FLAMING TABLE!  I mean Holy Fuckballs, the Hardys showed more restraint in their backyard wrestling then that.  Mark shows all the buildings around the farm he’s jumped off of and onto Jay.

The Brothers start talking about Mark’s RoH debut.  Jay was on a losing streak at the time as a single wrestler while Mark sat at home because at 17 he couldn’t legally compete in Pennsylvania where Ring of Honor was holding its shows.  This show was in Boston, which made Mark’s participation legal.  We then get footage of…
Jay Briscoe VS Mark Briscoe
Match in progress.  Jay powerbombs Mark and puts both men down. German suplex gets 2.  some countering ends in Mark getting a Dragon Suplex for 2.  Mark continues the offense with a Fisherman suplex which gets 2.  He goes up for the moonsault but Jay rolls out of the way.  Jay gets up and delivers a VICIOUS lariat which turns Mark inside out.  Death Valley Driver only keeps Mark down for 2.  Jay Driller is reversed, but Jay just catches Mark with an Emerald Flowsion instead.  Jay goes up for the senton bomb, but this time its Mark’s turn to roll out of the way.  Jay pulls him self up with the ropes and eats shining wizard up against them.  Mark hits the Cut-Throat Driver which is good enough for the three count.  This was a fun couple minutes.  Any reason we couldn’t just get this whole match instead of all the chicken talk?

Jay says he can’t remember who won that first match against Mark while he drives the RV.  Mark gloats about his victory.

Jay is asked what the craziest in ring moment of his career was by the previously invisible camera man.  He says it’s either Mark getting stretchered out after landing on his head once, or the time Mark lost his front teeth.  Mark makes fun of people who ask what happened to his teeth; “they got knocked out stupid.”  Turns out Jay did it.  They were wrestling some indy team at a small show in 2006 in a No Holds Bared Match.  Jay wound up to hit his opponent with a chair but, and i quote, “Some Redneck Dumbass who was standing behind me”.  Mark says he wasn’t shocked when he lost his teeth because he always knew he’d end up looking like Mick Foley or Chris Benoit.  lets hope for his kids sake it’s the former  They argue* it was each others fault.  They finished the match anyway
*They were interviewed in different places, and edited together to look like an argument

They start talking about the first time they won the tag titles, but now everything is clearly in kayfabe, talking about how it was a breeze winning the match thanks to the leadership of their manager, Jim Cornette.  *insert joke about Arn Anderson here.*  we then go to the match

RoH Tag Team Titles: Jay and Mark Briscoe vs Whoever the Hell the Champs Were.
Seriously, they don’t actually bother telling us who the hell they are fighting!  According to the title history on RoH.com the Briscoes beat “Izzy and Dizzy” for their first reign. Rip Impact called and wants his shittiest ring name title back.  don’t ask me which is which, from here on they are only known as J1 and J2.  J stands for Jobber.  The match is joined in progress with Mark back suplexing J1.  He follows up with a delayed vertical suplex.  Mark keeps the punishment going with a gut wrench suplex and some choking.  J1 dodges a boot and Mark takes out his brother.  J2 is running wild till Mark goes low and shuts him down.  Mark looks to fly put gets sent to the ring mat when he is enzugiried by J2.  J2 dives over the top rope to wipe out Jay Briscoe.  Mark gets up and tries to avenge his brother with a shooting star press to the outside, but he only hits Jay  The match skips forward.  A spring board Ace Crusher on J1 puts him out of commission.  P2 is set up for the doomsday device but gets out with a reverse rana.  Sliced Bread #2 for Mark gets J2 a two count but Jay then breaks it up.  Veg-O-Matic is a homage to Cornete’s old clients in The Midnight Express, but it’s also only good enough for a 2 count.  now J2 eats the doomsday device.  Mark dives out of the ring on J1, while the Jay Driller kills J2 for the three count and the titles.  This was alright, again it’s hard to judge a match soley on the last few minutes.  The supposed champions looked completely out of their league in retrospect, I don’t know how seriously they were taken 10 years ago, but looked ridiculous here.

Jay and Mark start talking about the Steenerico feud and seemingly Kayfabe has been dropped.  Next the show a montage of The two teams tearing into each other in all kinds of Hardcore matches.  Jay describes what those 4 did to each other as “some dumb shit”.  Mark talks about the bittersweet feeling of knowing that the Ladder War they had was they end of an era for them–the final blow off of a year long blood feud.

Ladder War 1 for the Tag Team Titles: Jay and Mark BriscoeVSKevin Steen and El Generico      This match is, shockingly, joined in progress.  El Generico is taken out with the doomsday device and both Briscoes start climbing.  Steen brings in a ladder and hits both Briscoes with it.  Steen makes a bridge of the ladder that goes from the turnbuckle to the ladder.  Steen tries to power bomb Mark, but he rolls through and hits a pair of super kicks on Mr. Wrestling.  Mark starts climbing, but Kevin brings him back down onto his ladder bridge.  Steen hits the package piledriver right through the ladder and ends Mark’s night.  Generico stumbles back into the ring and starts climbing, but Jay makes a ladder bridge in the corner opposite Steen’s and brings him down.  Generico wants the Brain Buster onto the ladder, but Jay counters and puts him through it with a Jay Driller.  Well that’s two wrestlers who are done for the night.  Steen and Jay climb either side of the ladder and get into a slug fest up top.  Steen goes down and Briscoe gets the strap undone but cant pull the belts down.  Steen climbs back up, probobly to ask Jay what is taking him so damn long as he’s been dinking around with the belts for a good minute at this point.  Steen is slugged down again and Jay finally pulls the belts down to retain the titles.  A Huge match of the year chant breaks out at this point.  The end of a classic match–but all we get here are the final two jaw dropping spots.

Next there is a random clip of the Briscoes beating WGTT.  no one addresses the clip or explains it’s significance–it’s just there

Papa Briscoe talks about the angle he did with his sons that culminated in The Kings of Wrestling battling the Briscoe clan.  I genuinely enjoyed hearing how enthusiastic Pops was to take part with his kids.  If there is a reason to watch this episode this interview is it.

Jay, Mark, and Papa Briscoe vs The Kings of Wrestling and Shane Hagadorn
So this match is joined in progress.  Papa rolls out side the ring and Sara Del Ray comes after him as the Kings manager.  He then uses the most overused RoH spot ever, as he forces a kiss on Del Ray.  Why does every match with a female manager have that spot?  Bennett has lost like a dozen matches in that fashion with Maria being SEXUALLY ASSAULTED as a distraction, it’s embarrassing.   Papa climbs back in the ring and takes a rolling elbow from Chris Hero.  That was a damn fine elbow, that Kassius Ohno clown should take notes.  The Kings set up KRS-1.  Jay and Mark break it up and then Papa delivers a Stone Cold Stunner to Claudio.  Papa scales the ropes as Claudio is hoisted up.  He hits the diving clothesline to complete the doomsday device and give the Briscoes the win.  Papa looked really good for a non-wrestler old man.  Another match I’d like to see the rest of.

Recap of Jay Briscoe becoming the RoH World Champion.

Various members of the locker room are interviewed on who will win the Brother vs Brother match at BitW.  Nigel takes Jay.  Rodderick Strong thinks he’s better then both, but Chicken will win.  Elgin thinks they’re both losers, because whoever wins, has to face him.  after that we get a final promotional video for the Briscoes World title match and we’re done

This was weird.  Part Documentary, Part Clip show, part Reality TV, 100% a commercial for BitW.  I’ll say give it a watch if you want to see the strangest episode of RoH TV to date, or if you are massive  Briscoe fan, otherwise missing this show ‘aint missing much

Review of Best in the World should be up sometime before Sunday


George Steele on Randy Savage


Kind of fascinating look at one of the underrated programs of 1986, if you ask me.  Also a great look at how bonkers Randy Savage was.


Oh he was crazy all right.  Funny to read that excerpt and think of George Steele writing it.  Not the kind of guy you'd normally think of to be making literary allusions and sly pop culture references.