Most American Wrestlers Countdown

Hey Scott,

In honor of U.S.A.'s Independence Day, I compiled a countdown of the most red, white, and blue style wrasslers in history. Sorry I missed out on July 1…

You have the Patriot at #10 in a list of patriotic wrestlers?  He's THE PATRIOT.  It's right there in his name!  I kid, I kid.

Wrestlemania blunder?

Scott, celebrating the 4th of July by working an ER hospital shift (its terrible).  Since I've got nothing to do I decided to hide out in the doctors lounge and watch some old WWF.  Watched the main event from WM 16 for the first time since watching it live, and I LOVED it.  The crowd was pretty hot for it, Foleys return added a nice niche to the match (I know he wasnt retired very long), HHH was finding his role as a top heel, and Rock was super over as usual.  The McMahons involvement was a little over done at times, but they were at the apex of their powers as on air characters so it didnt really detract from the match that much.   Plus HHH and Rock put on a great singles match for 15 minutes.

Why is this main event panned as one of the worst ever?   Went back and read your review on it and you gave it 2.5 stars and pretty much shit on it.  Thanks

Foley pretty much shit on it too.  And Meltzer gave it *** so I don't think I dramatically underrated it or anything.  The HHH and Rock portion is great, but then that's what it SHOULD have been in the first place.  The Foley/Show eliminations are weak sauce and the match drags until the HHH v Rock portion that everyone wanted to see.  But given that it's the fourth of July, I would once again remind everyone that it's a free country and if you thought it was a **** classic, more power to you.  

QOTD – July 4th, 2013

Greetings, Members of the Dwight Schrute Army of Champions

Today I have a question I was saving, and today might as well be the day. I always enjoy reading about these stories, because some are funny, some are sad, but I think people learn from them.

Worst experience with dating/relationships. Oh, and I’ve never asked this before, but I want our fearless leader, Mr. Scott Keith to answer the question as well.

Mine, well, mine is a bit of a tale, but here we go…

I had a friend, we’ll call him Polly. He has the name of a
bird, so we’ll go with Polly. Anyways, him and I were as close as
friends as you could be, you know? I would have taken a bullet for him,
and vice versa. I loved the guy. Anyways, he had a sister, we’ll call
her Andrea. I was 19, she had just turned 17. Now, over the years she
had just been my best friend’s younger sister, but as I grew older, I
started to notice how incredibly beautiful she was. I mean, she’s
stunning. Not just that, but she had this incredible personality. She
had all these fantastic quirks that I picked up on, and adored. Goddamn,
I sound like such a bitch right now, but it’s true. At one point, my
friend’s parents were leaving for a week long vacation, and asked me to
babysit the house. You see, there was a younger son, he was about 7. He
needed a ride to school every morning, and my pal worked all the time,
and so someone needed to be there to take care of the little guy. Well,
me being the most trust worthy man alive, and also Polly’s best friend,
they hired me to stay there and watch the house.

Well, over the
week I spent hours and hours with his sister. We had everything in
common, it was unreal. I’d never met anyone like that. Well, after that,
my feelings just got worse, to the point that I fell in love with her.
It was absolutely horrible. I was mopey all the goddamn time, I couldn’t
listen to ANY song talking about a girl because it would depress the
fuck out of me.

I asked all my friends, and people I knew well if
they’d let me date their sister. It was a resounding yes. I’m a very
trust worthy guy. I’m the perfect motherfucker you’d want to bring home
to mom. So, I thought, my best friend just HAS to say yes. However, I
felt there was no way she’d dig me, because at the point I was at my
fattest, and was a total goof. I’d dye my hair all sorts of colors. Red,
blue, green, yellow, black, all types of shit. I never worked, I just
sat at home and played guitar all day. What on Earth would a girl like
her want from me?

Then one night at a party, I got to talking to
one of my friend’s ex girlfriends. I was drunk, and let it slip I had a
thing for the sister, and she couldn’t believe it. Because, apparently,
the sister would talk about me non-stop. Non-fucking-stop. She was
really, really into me apparently. Thought I was the cat’s pajamas, so
to speak.

I couldn’t believe it. It was like, the greatest high
I’d ever had. It was such an incredible feeling, I couldn’t f’ning
believe it.

So, that was all I needed to hear. My friend HAD to
say yes…he just HAD to. Everyone else said they would, and this guy is
my best friend. He knows me better than anyone, and why wouldn’t you
want your best friend to date your sister? It’s so much better than just
some random creep.

So, I approached my friend, I got really high
on vicodin before hand so I’d have the nerve. He told me he really
appreciated the fact I came to him, gave me a hug, and said we’d talk
about it. Whoohoo, good news, baby.

We went to a Greek restaurant, that we always hit up, for lunch. He then gave me his answer.


fucking said no. I couldn’t believe it. How could he? How fucking could
he? He gave me no real reason, and just left it at that. I’d never felt
like that before. I was beyond heart broken, man. How could he do this?
It took a lot for me to not break down and cry right there, I was so
upset. I sound like such a fucking sissy saying all this, but, oh well.
How fucking DARE he do this to me? Well, I was beyond bummed for a day
or two. How could my so called best friend shoot me down like this? A
guy I’d take a bullet for, say no?

Well, a few days later I did
something a little stupid. I called her and asked her out. All I wanted
was to hear her say yes. That’s it. I just wanted to hear her say yes. I
wanted the yes. I wanted that to be all mine. I wanted my own proof
that for one moment, her and I could have been. So, I called and asked
her if she wanted to hang out next week, have a pizza and watch The
Goonies [her ideal date] and she said yes. I told her that I’d have to
talk to her brother, get his approval, and if he was cool with it, then
we’d be set. If he wasn’t, then it couldn’t happen. She understood.

my plan was to call my friend and resubmit my case. To make the
motherfucker understand I’m not some back alley rapist or something. The
asshole. I’m his all time best friend, he had to hear me out and
understand where I was coming from. That I was in love, and very serious
about it. So, I called him and left a msg. Then left another. I didn’t
hear from him the whole weekend.

So, Monday morning arrived. And,
with it. A very, very pissed off friend. He got in my face, screaming
his fucking head off about how I went behind his back, and went against
his word and just did what I wanted anyway. He never gave me a chance to
explain. To tell him that I would have never gone through with it if
he’d shot me down a second time. That all I wanted was to just hear her
say yes. My best friend, in the whole world, never gave me a chance to
tell my side of the story.

I’ve maybe spoke to him once since then. He got married and everything.

instead of being with the girl of my dreams, I lost that, as well as my
best friend. Really, this was the exact opposite of everything I was
shooting for. Not exactly a slam dunk. Oh, and at one point I think she
ended up dating a guy who use to hit her. So, my friend made the right

Monday Nitro – February 9, 1998

Nitro #126
February 9, 1998
Haskins Center, El Paso, Texas
Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall

inching closer to Souled Out with the core of the card already set.
As for tonight we’ve got the Outsiders vs. the Steiners for the tag
titles for the 87th time along with Hogan vs. Savage for
the 870th time. That’s a very stacked show for a Nitro in
early February. Let’s get to it.

open with a recap of Savage vs. Hogan.
no Larry Zbyszko and Tony doesn’t know where he is.
are Hogan and Bischoff to open things up. The fans want Sting but
get to hear Bischoff saying he won the war against WCW by following
the rules. Not Turner’s rules or WCW’s rules, but Hollywood’s rules.
Hogan says he’s tired of fans talking about the NWO falling apart
but he’s even more tired about hearing Savage is taking over the
team. Tonight is about family business and he’s going to teach
Savage a lesson in the ring tonight. Savage is up in the crowd and
accepts the challenge, saying he’ll take Hogan’s spot at SuperBrawl.
get a quick video recapping Mongo vs. Bulldog.
vs. Steve McMichael
Spicolli has jumped into the commentary booth and is carrying bags he
says belongs to “his friend” Larry. Still no word on where Larry
is. Glacier tries to jump the Texan from behind but gets slugged
down to the floor with ease. Back in and Glacier pounds away, only
to send Mongo right back to the floor. They head back in again for
Glacier to fire off his basic karate stuff followed by a snap suplex.
Glacier jumps into an elbow, gets forearmed in the head a few times
and the Mongo Spike (tombstone) ends this very quick.
match Mortis runs in to attack Glacier because this feud can’t die.
Mongo makes the save for no apparent reason and says Bulldog is next.
Smiley vs. Konnan
sequence to start with Konnan rolling out of a full nelson but
getting dropkicked out to the floor. Back in and Norman stomps
Konnan down before cranking on the leg in one of those holds that
only old school wrestlers like Smiley know about. After a rope is
grabbed, Konnan finally comes back with a clothesline and the low
dropkick as the announcers ignore the match to talk about the main
DDT puts Norman down again and the fans are WAY into Konnan in a rare
sight. Konnan charges into a knee in the corner and Norman gets two
off a PerfecPlex. For a jobber who hardly ever did anything, Norman
could go in the ring. Back up and Smiley charges into the 187
(cradle DDT) and the Tequila Sunrise is good for the tap out.
D+. Not a great match or
anything but it was a smart idea to have Konnan get the one good
crowd reaction he’s likely to get this year. Smiley is another in
the long line of jobbers that WCW could throw out there and get a
decent match out of at a moment’s notice. The 187 looked good too
and I’ve always been a fan of that move.
Tenay interviews a guy from WCW Motorsports. As always, the fans
don’t care.
Girls again.
Patrick is out to referee the next match but JJ says not so fast my
friend. Nick: “I’m not guilty!” JJ: “Don’t care!” Nick:
“Lawsuits!” JJ: “Security!” This story continues to thrill
no one.
Nagata vs. Disco Inferno
immediately jumps Disco in the corner before taking him to the mat
for some kicking. A swinging neckbreaker puts Nagata down but Disco
gets smacked in the face to stagger him back again. Nagata pounds
away even more but runs into an elbow in the corner. Disco goes up
but jumps into a right hand to the ribs to keep any momentum from
starting. A German suplex looks to set up a top rope elbow by Nagata
but it only hits mat, allowing Disco to hit the Chartbuster for the
C-. This was certainly fast
paced and exciting considering who was in there. Disco’s push
continues but there’s only so much you can do against a black hole
like Nagata. Again, I know the guy is talented, but he isn’t doing
anything in WCW and his matches are usually dull to watch. The
problem is there’s no reason to care about him. He’s just Yuji
Nagata: Japanese heel.
match Nagata comes out and lays out both guys with the chair before
says Hogan should be planning for Sting and Savage is crazy for
wanting a No DQ match against him at SuperBrawl. Spicolli leaves to
find who attacked Zbyszko.
Guerrero/Chris Jericho vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr./Dean Malenko
jumps Chavo to start (that’s a very common practice in WCW anymore)
but Chavo sends him into the barricade after Eddie takes it to the
floor. Back in and Chavo rolls out of a tilt-a-whirl and drops Eddie
with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker of his own. Off to Jericho who is
forced to take off the Cruiserweight Title before he can come in.
Jericho runs Chavo over and the fans are all over the Canadian.
Chavo comes back with a springboard bulldog and it’s off to Malenko
who is VERY popular here in Texas.
cleans house on Jericho and they slug it out in the corner. Dean
counters a middle rope dropkick into the Cloverleaf but Eddie comes
in with a missile dropkick to break it up. The fans might like Dean
but the EDDIE chants begin once he gets the tag. Eddie hooks an
abdominal stretch with extra leverage from Jericho but the fans cheer
for him anyway. Off to Jericho for a quick suplex and the arrogant
cover (someone needs to bring that back) for two. Eddie comes back
in with the slingshot hilo and Jericho adds a slingshot splash for
and Eddie each snap one of Malenko’s legs back at the same time but
Eddie brags a bit too much, allowing Dean to throw him into a hot
shot. A belly to back suplex puts Eddie down but Jericho breaks up
the hot tag attempt. The double underhook backbreaker gets two for
Chris but the Lionsault only hits mat and it’s hot tag Chavo. Eddie
and Jericho double team Chavo down but Eddie talks too much, allowing
Dean to pull him to the apron. Chavo hits a German suplex on Jericho
but Eddie shoves Chavo off the top, sending him into the Liontamer
for the tap out.
B. The more I see of these guys
the more amazing it is that WCW did things the way they did. This
was an excellent match with the crowd going reacting to everyone out
there. All four guys looked crisp and on point and the entire match
was at a fast pace. Why these guys never got a shot anywhere near
the top I’ll never know.
on the Steiners’ troubles.
Dandy vs. Juventud Guerrera
takes the arm to start buy Juvy snaps off a quick hurricanrana to
take Dandy down. They head to the apron where Dandy is backdroped up
and over the post and down to the floor. Juvy hits a big dive off
the top to take him out again as the crowd is loving this lucha
stuff. Dandy is sent into the post but comes back with chops in the
ring. A sunset flip gets two for Guerrera but he misses a charge in
the corner. Dandy misses a cross body and walks into the Juvy
Driver, setting up the 450 for the pin by Juvy.
C. Dandy wasn’t much but Juvy’s
high spots were more than enough to carry the match. It’s very
interesting to see a crowd that knows their lucha history and cheers
even louder than the average crowd would for a match like this.
Guerrera continues to be one of the better cruiserweights on the
roster and he should be moving into the title scene soon.
match Jericho runs out and jumps Juvy but gets dropkicked out to the
floor. Jericho wants to know what that was for but Juvy yells at him
in Spanish. He wants a title shot but Jericho wants to know what
Juvy will put up. “What do you have besides a rusted out 68
Camaro? Juvy speaks Spanish and offers to put up his mask which is
fine with Jericho.
Regal vs. Goldberg
a somewhat famous match. Regal takes him to the mat with a cravate
and kicks Goldberg in the back a few times before grabbing the arm.
Goldberg takes him down by the leg but Regal is quickly in the ropes.
They trade arm wringers again before Regal kicks him in the face.
Regal powers out of a headscissors and fires off knees to the head
before Goldberg shoves him into the corner. Goldberg cranks him down
by the arm and hits a belly to back suplex for no cover.
looks for the spear but Regal headbutts him in the ribs instead and
takes out the leg instead. Regal fires off knees and punches to the
face but Goldberg comes back with a botched swinging neckbreaker. A
shoulder block only kind of hits Regal and he blocks some strikes in
the corner to make Goldberg look even more out of it. Goldberg
finally hits the spear (more like a double leg takedown here) and a
Jackhammer with no delay or snap to it at all finally ends Regal.
C. This was definitely more
interesting than a usual Goldberg match but for all the wrong
reasons. Allegedly (Regal has denied this) Regal was shooting on
Goldberg here and most of the match wasn’t planned. It resulted in
Regal being fired almost immediately and eventually becoming A REAL
MAN’S MAN in the WWF. Goldberg looked confused in the match and
Regal easily blocking a lot of his stuff made Goldberg look less
effective than he ever had before.
Nitro Girls.
see the Nitro Party winner of the week.
Spicolli vs. Chris Adams
has a metal briefcase which presumably is Zbyszko’s bag that he
referenced earlier. Louie hits a quick dropkick to start and pounds
on Adams in the corner, only to be caught in a belly to back suplex.
The Flock arrives at a much later time than usual for them. A belly
to belly suplex and a backdrop put Louie down again and the superkick
looks to finish but Louie gets in a shot with the briefcase for the
fast DQ.
Zbyszko comes out post match and chases Louie off before shouting
that the NWO is dying.
those of you who don’t know, Louie Spicolli died six days after this
at the age of 27 due to a drug overdose/choking on his own vomit in
his sleep.
Saturn vs. Ultimo Dragon
has the awesome black/gold attire tonight. He starts firing off the
kicks to Saturn’s back and chest but Perry pulls him down into an STF
to stop Dragon cold. An overhead belly to belly puts Dragon down and
Saturn hits some high kicks to the head. Dragon comes back with a
quick headscissors but Saturn counters a sunset flip into a Tazzplex.
Off to a cross armbreaker on Dragon before Saturn just crushes
Dragon’s head with a boot in the corner.
to another armbar on Dragon before Saturn turns it into a Fujiwara
armbar. Dragon fights up and hits a quick spin kick to the jaw to
take over. They both fight out of German suplex attempts until
Dragon connects with another kick. The super rana puts Saturn down
but he gets to the ropes before the Dragon Sleeper can go on. An
Asai Moonsault press gets two and a Frankensteiner puts Saturn down.
Dragon reverses a suplex into the Dragon Sleeper but Saturn snapmares
him forward into a small package for the pin.
C+. There is some solid
wrestling on this show and this was another good example of it. This
was one of WCW’s strengths as they could take any two guys and throw
them together for a match like this. It’s much better than the WWE
formula of having the same guys fight each other seven times in three
#3 begins.
recap Raven laying out Benoit on Thunder.
Title: Booker T vs. Raven
the match Raven says that Benoit isn’t here because of the DDT on
Thursday. Booker is holding Flock property, in particular to Saturn.
The Flock jumps Booker but he fights them all off until Raven gets
into it. Booker takes them down as well but Raven finally catches
him in the Even Flow. Saturn comes out for the Rings of Saturn on
Booker as Raven shouts to feel their pain.
Hogan vs. Randy Savage
jumps Hogan on his way to the ring and lays out Bischoff as well.
They get inside and Hogan is already begging off so Savage chokes him
with the t-shirt. Hogan keeps crawling away as the fans are
completely behind Savage. Hollywood gets in a thumb to the eye and
pounds away in the corner before biting Savage’s forehead. More
shots to the throat keep Savage in trouble as the fans want Sting.
An elbow drop gets two for Hogan but Savage goes low to get us back
to even.
up and Hogan hits Savage low before putting him down with a belly to
back suplex. Hogan throws Savage to the floor and seems to be
walking in slow motion. Savage sends him into the barricade but the
ax handle from the top hits the steel. Hogan loads up a chair shot
but Liz pulls it out of his hands, allowing Savage to get in a chair
shot of his own. The big elbow connects but here’s the NWO to save
C-. It was a fight instead of a
match, but it’s hard to not smile at a Hogan vs. Savage match if
you’re a child of the 80s. The NWO split is coming to a head at this
point and this was a sign that things are really starting to change.
This match was more feeling than actual substance but it was
entertaining through nostalgia and a big fight feel.
is beaten down post match and Hogan attacks him with a chair. The
NWO walks away but Savage gets up and goes after Hogan as we go to a
Luger to call out Savage but gets Liz instead. Liz begs him not go
go after Savage but Luger says he’s not falling for it this time.
Here’s Savage and the fight is on but Sting makes the save. There’s
the Death Drop on Savage as the NWO comes out…..and a net drops
onto Sting and Luger, allowing the NWO to beat them down. There are
so many questions here, I don’t even know where to start.
get a clip of the Steiners vs. Hall/Bagwell last week.
are the Outsiders for the main event and the survey. We’re in NWO
country tonight and Hall is glad that the band is back together after
a long time apart. They mention Syxx for the first time in months
and say their catchphrases.
Titles: Steiner Brothers vs. Outsiders
Outsiders are defending. For the sake of simplicity, Scott Steiner
will be referred to as Scott and Scott Hall will be referred to as
Hall. Tony says Sting may be injured after that attack. Rick starts
with Hall and the challengers take over early on. It’s off to Scott
but Hall blocks a belly to belly suplex and hooks a chokeslam. Scott
pops back up and hits an overhead belly to belly to take Hall down.
Scott has to go after Nash and Hall takes his head off with a
gets the tag and fires off the big knee lifts in the corner to keep
Scott in trouble. There’s the choke with the foot and it’s back to
Hall for the fallaway slam. Back to Nash for some posing and a big
boot to the face for no cover. Hall hooks the abdominal stretch
before slapping the back of Scott’s head. Nash comes back in and
teases the Jackknife but elbows Scott in the head instead. Back to
Hall who walks into a side slam but leverages Scott into Rick,
knocking the legal Rick to the floor. Hall loads up the Edge on
Scott but Rick comes in with the top rope bulldog for the pin and the
C. The match was a standard
formula tag match but the ending felt very rushed. It was
interesting to see Scott take the long beating instead of Rick for a
change and the match was at least different than the usual encounters
between these teams. At the same time though, can we PLEASE get
another team to hold the titles? It’s been a year and a half and one
other team has held the titles, with a reign of less than a day.
teases turning on Rick due to not getting the pin but celebrates to
end the show.
B-. You can use a lot
of words to describe this show but the first one on my list is LONG.
If this was just a two hour edition it would have been one of the
best shows they ever produced with some big matches, some excellent
action and some good build for SuperBrawl. The problem though is we
had stuff like Mongo vs. Glacier and Disco vs. Nagata doing nothing
more than filling in time. Things are looking good for WCW at the
moment, but where are Hart and Flair? They haven’t been on TV since
the PPV three weeks ago. Anyway good show tonight.
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my website at

Non “Big Two” Wrestling

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Wes A.

Hi Scott,
Long time reader, first time e-mailer. I'm a lapsed WWE fan and over the past few years have turned to other promotions to fill the void for quality wrestling. Over the past year I've been getting my fix through PWG and older Dragon Gate USA DVDs. I know you've watched a few old Ring of Honor shows in the past, but have you ever watched some of the other smaller promotions like PWG, Dragon GateUSA/EVOLVE, Chikara, etc? If so, what have been your thoughts on them? Thanks!
Nah, New Japan is about the extent of my non-major promotional excursions these days.  I still have piles of old ROH DVDs that Gabe used to send me regularly before I ran out of free time and I might get around to those some decade.  I hear that Nigel guy is pretty good.  

The Kyle Report: Money in the Bank 2011 Review

First, I would like to wish all the American readers a safe and happy Forth of July, and I hope that everyone up in Canada had a fun and safe Canada Day. Since Money in the Bank 2013 is just around the corner, I decided to review the greatest Money in the Bank show of all time.

   Event: Money in the Bank 2011
When: July 17, 2011
Where: Chicago, Illinois 
Your hosts: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and incoherent Booker T.

Opening Match, Smackdown Money in the Bank: Daniel Bryan vs. Kane vs. Wade Barrett vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater vs. vs. Sheamus vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Sin Cara.
Daniel Bryan receives a big pop from the Chicago crowd. The big wrestlers fight each other, which allows Justin Gabriel to jump his way to the middle of the ring by using the ladder, but Bryan dropkicks him off.  Rhodes goes up the ladder, but both Kane and Barrett push him off. Gabriel and Bryan fly out onto Kane and Barrett. Slater slingshots onto Rhodes, and Sin Cara executes a plancha onto Sheamus. Barrett sets up a ladder but misses a clothesline onto Bryan and runs into the post. Sheamus Brogue kicks Sin Cara and then powerbombs him through a table. As God as my witness, he is broken in half. I wonder why Sin Cara didn’t sue Sheamus for him becoming addicted to painkillers. Sheamus and Kane fight over the ladder, but Bryan and Rhodes knock both of them out. Sin Cara is stretchered out of the arena. The Core put a stop to Bryan and Rhodes dominance. Wade tells Slater and Gabriel that they should allow him to win. Both Slater and Gabriel let him go up, but then drag him down and go up themselves. Cody pushes the ladder over and hits Slater with Cross Rhodes, and then another one for Barrett. Sheamus then nails Rhodes with a backbreaker. Sheamus and Kane join forces to do a ‘Doomsday Device’ on Daniel Bryan. This leads to a “L.O.D.” chant from the fans. That was a cool spot. Kane goes up the ladder, but Daniel Bryan stops Kane. Sheamus and Barrett spear Slater with a ladder and sling him across the ring. Wow, that was a ridiculous spot. Sheamus goes up, but Kane chokeslams him right onto another ladder. Everyone attacks Kane, and then Justin Gabriel hits a 450 splash onto Kane. Rhodes clotheslines Barrett over, but Bryan locks in a guillotine on Rhodes. Bryan fights off Barrett and then goes up to recover the Money in the Bank briefcase.
Winner: Daniel Bryan in 24:25 minutes
Thoughts: Daniel Bryan winning was a pleasant surprise, but many people believed he would end up being the first person to not win the championship. That did not end up being the case, as Bryan won the World Heavyweight Championship….although he did lose it to Sheamus in 18 seconds at WM 28.
Anyways, that was a terrific opener. There were so many highlight reel moments in it—Sin Cara’s insane spot, the Road Warrior spot, and the tease of reunion of the Core. This was well booked, well performed, and instead of it being a bunch of random high spots, the spots were laced together, and the match told a number of attention-grabbing stories. ****
 WWE Divas Title: Kelly Kelly (w/Eve) vs. Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella).
Kelly has some early offense before Brie cuts her off and goes to work. Brie scores some close near falls, but Kelly eventually hits her finisher for the win.
Winner: Kelly Kelly in 4 minutes
Thoughts: Crowd did not care, I did not care, and WWE did not care about this match. ½*
The Big Show vs. Mark Henry.
This might have been the least anticipated match ten years ago, but I was looking forward to this match. The build-up was very good. Show attacks Henry with chops and then flattens him. Henry slows Show down by attacking his knee and then puts in a Boston crab. Show battles out, though. Show executes a flying shoulder block, but Henry goes after the knee to counter a chokeslam. Henry hits the World’s Strongest Slam but only gets two. He hits two splashes and that is enough to pick up the win. After the match, Henry puts Show’s ankle in a chair and then murders it. Show really sells the ankle well, as the EMTS come running out. The fans were quite rude during well-executed by chanting CM Punk’s name.
Winner: Mark Henry in 5:02 minutes
Thoughts: This was just two gigantic dudes throwing everything they got at each other, and it totally worked. The match had sound selling and psychology to boot. Sometimes a match does not need to be a classic to serve its purpose — something wrestling companies have a hard time understanding, even WWE at times. This accomplished everything they wanted it to. It established that Henry was a force to be reckon with, planting the seeds for his memorable WHW reign, and it allowed Big Show to look credible, even in defeat.** ½
Raw Money in the Bank: Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz vs. Alex Riley vs. R-Truth vs. Jack Swagger vs. Evan Bourne vs.  Alberto Del Rio vs. Rey Mysterio.
Both Miz and Truth fight with the small ladders, but Swagger blindsides them both. Rey jumps off a ladder that is being fought over by Kofi and Bourne and then hurricanrans Swagger to the outside. Riley performs an over-the-top suicidal maneuver and then Bourne delivers the Shooting Star Press onto a flock of people outside. Miz halts Bourne from winning, and then Del Rio tips the ladder over.  Bourne and Mysterio scale the ladder over the top of Truth and Del Rio. Later on, Del Rio tries a spear on Kofi, but Kofi pulls himself up with the ladder, which sends Del Rio to the floor. Rey executes the 619 on Kofi by using the ladder. Amazing spot. Truth kicks the ladder, sending it into Swagger’s face. Eventually, everyone goes after the briefcase, but nobody can grab it. People start dropping, leaving Kofi the only one on top. Swagger goes up the ladder, leading to a spot where both ladders fall over and both land awkwardly.  Miz enters the ring, but Rey stops him. Del Rio halts Mysterio from winning and then unmasks him. He throws Rey and goes up to take the case down.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio in 15:34 minutes
Thoughts: This was just a car-wreck on route 44, but it was so entertaining that I could not look away. There really was not a coherent story being told, just a ton of insane spots, one right after the other. I also liked the finish. Mysterio is more concerned about protecting his identity and the Lucha Libre tradition than winning the future title shot. A character’s flaws, not its strengths, create an interesting persona. *** ¾
World Heavyweight Title: Randy Orton vs. Christian.
If Randy Orton is DQed, he loses the title. Christian tries to manipulate Orton early on to get DQed, but he does not fall for it and beats the shit out of him. The two of them trade punches back and forth, leading to a Killswitch from Christian. Orton, back on his feet, clotheslines them both over. Back in the ring, Orton Thesz Presses Christian and punches him. Christian counters a superplex and nails a diving headbutt for two. Orton misses an uppercut, and they both look at each other for a while in what seems to be a messed up spot. Orton just hits an uppercut. Orton dodges a spear and then executes the body vice into a backbreaker move for two. Christian spits right into Ortons face, which makes Orton go crazy. Orton keeps punching Christian and then proceeds to kick Christian in the nuts for the DQ. After the match, Orton keeps trying to break the table by RKOing Christian but to no prevail. The crowd ate it up, though.
Winner: Christian in 13:30 minutes
Thoughts: Good drama and intensity, and very suspenseful. They told a great story by using the stipulations. Randy Orton’s character is based upon him being short-tempered, so Christain channeled his long time buddy Edge’s “Ultimate Opportunists” gimmick to mentally defeat Orton. This feud was extremely unsung; they never had a bad match together, and their feud felt very personal. The only real reason people disliked it was because Christian’s first title reign was only two days. Both of them ended up having one of the most heated brawls of the PG era the next month. *** ½
WWE Heavyweight Title: John Cena vs. CM Punk.
Interesting fact about this: The road agents did not map out this match. Before the match, Hayes asked what they were going to do. Cena and Punk ended up just about improvised the entire thing. Perhaps that is why the entire thing felt realistic instead of choreographed. Punk counters out of the Attitude Adjustment and then goes for the GTS, but Cena avoids it. Punk counters another FU into a DDT. Outside the ring, Punk gives Colt Cabana a high-five. Punk then puts Cena over the edge of the apron and then hits a flying knee. Back in the ring, a cross body from Punk gets two. Cena suplexes Punk from the apron all  the way to the floor. This match is already avoiding every WWE wrestling cliché. Cena delivers a powerbomb Cena puts in a weird looking abdominal stretch, but Punk hip tosses out of it. They clothesline each other. Cena makes a comeback after Punk misses a knee in the corner. Cena tries the “You can’t see me” taunt, but Punk drills him in the face with a kick before tossing him to the floor. A springboard clothesline by Punk misses, and Cena hits the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. Punk counters out of the Attitude Adjustment by landing on his feet. Punk kicks the shit out of Cena and then delivers a few stiff knees. Cena avoids a kick and locks in the STF, but Punk makes the ropes, though. Punk hits a roundhouse kick. He comes off the top with a cross body, but Cena rolls through. Punk counters, but Cena counters the GTS with the STF. Punk makes the ropes, but Cena drags him into the center. Punk counters that with the VICE. Cena fights back to his feet and counters the VICE with a FU but only for two. Cena blocks the Go2Sleep and hits another FU only for two. Cena sets up for the super FU, but Punk elbows out of it. Punk delivers a GTS, but it sends Cena to the floor. Punk’s face tells the story, as he cannot believe Cena fell out of the ring.  Both Vince McMahon and Johnny Ace come out. Punk looks at them too long, which allows Cena to lock in the STF. Vince calls for the timekeeper to ring the bell and then sends Johnny Ace down to do it. Cena lets go of the hold and drills Ace. Cena tells Vince he is not winning like that. Cena goes back into the ring, only to be met by a GTS  via Punk to pick up the win. After the match, McMahon tells Del Rio to cash in. Del Rio tries cashing in, but Punk delivers a roundhouse kick before the bell rings. Punk leaves through the crowd, while Vince looks on in disbelief.
Winner: CM Punk in 33:00 minutes
Thoughts: Remember when Edge remolded his character from the weasel, chicken-shit into a deranged psychopath to give off the impression that he could defeat the Undertaker in a Hell in the Cell match, but he wrestled the same as he did before, derailing the belief that he had a chance of winning the match? Well, unlike Edge, Punk adapted his wrestling style to his snarky, ahead of the curve persona, who did not fall clichéd tactics (example being when he kept countering Cena’s hackneyed signature comeback moves). Cena’s character also made adjustments to counter Punk’s adjustments by delivering his signature moves ways that we have never seen before. Now, that is both character development and psychology at its finest. 
This had a big match feel to it that I have not experienced in WWE since possibly The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin at  Wrestlemania 17. There was so much to win, and neither man could afford losing. The atmosphere made it feel as if the Chicago Cubs were facing the Boston Red Sox in the World Series
Millions of people gave their predictions of what will happen, but WWE ended up doing the most surprising one—allowing CM Punk escape with the title. We all believed that this was indeed Punk’s final match in WWE for a long time, but they kayfabed us all.
Unlike the Rock vs. Cena II that I trashed, this had genuine, not fabricated, drama, intensity, and heat. And, most of all, Punk and Cena just didn’t do things for the sake of doing them. Everything made sense and fit the context of the story they were telling. Nothing happened that was impractical like, oh let’s just say Cena hitting a DDT, flipping Punk over, and then putting in the STF. No, instead, a spot in the match went like this: Punk went a cross body, but Cena caught him and rolled through. Cena went for aFU, but CM Punk wiggled out. He set him up for the GTS,  but Cena caught Punk’s knee and locked in the STF. Sequences like that allowed everything to feel natural and flow like a harpoon.
This also had impeccable pacing and timing, and they magnificently built the match to its crescendo. The finish also enhanced the drama. Then, ultimately, Cena’s concern for his  “goodie two shoe” image wound up being a character imperfection that caused him to fail. Sometimes, you know, nice people finish last.
Initially, I had this at **** ½ because I thought Punk should have played the face-in-peril, and allowed Cena to control the match, so that the fans would come unglued for Punk’s comebacks. However, the crowd became unglued during the courses of the match enough to not really care about that, and Punk is better at dictating the pace nevertheless.
Additionally, there were some sloppy spots, but on a second viewing, it made me realize that it sold them being both fatigued and desperate better. Further, I was also able to see the subtle brilliance that took place— Cena’s body language showing his nervousness as a result of the atmosphere in the beginning, and then his intense determination toward the end; Punk transforming his wrestling style to mold his character, and the perfect blend of 80s storytelling and psychology and today’s state-of-the-art moves and characterizations.
 When I add it all up, I have to give this the full monty. *****
Final Thoughts: This card delivered top-to-bottom. Not only did the show deliver a collection of great matches, it also progressed the stories that were being told, and both defined and added fresh layers to the wrestlers’ characters. This is easily a top five WWE PPV of all time.

TNA paying wrestlers late

From Lords Of Pain

So they're starting to release seldom-used talent to save money because it's costing them more money to be on the road, and they're also paying wrestlers up to two months late.

Is TNA in worse shape than we knew? What good is having ratings that Spike loves if they're going to have to cut talent down to the bone to be able to successfully tour and they can't even run regular monthly Pay-Per-Views?
Hogan and Bischoff don't come cheap.  I wouldn't call it much of a surprise, given that we've known for a while that TNA was late paying talent and creditors and yet there was still this bizarre urban legend about them being profitable.  TNA exists only by the grace of Panda Energy and Spike TV, and it's been that way for years now.  

BoD Daily Update

TNA Releases Four Wrestlers

The following have just been released from TNA:

Christian York
Joey Ryan
Taelor Hendrix

It’s possible that more could follow as TNA is cutting back on expenses

RoH World Heavyweight Title vacated, Tournament will be held to crown a new champion

The only announced participant so far is Michael Elgin

Jay Briscoe cut a promo, pissed off about the decision.

Opening segment

If you think this question is stupid, you can refrain from posting it to the blog, but:

You weren't a fan of all the guys in the MITB ladder match coming out to talk about the match at the beginning.  All you could say about it was it was long.  But isn't "hyping up the PPV match" basic booking 101?  You had everyone in the match, all saying they'd win, then they started getting feisty with each other.  It makes people want to see what'll happen when they go full-bore at the PPV.

Is it because you're not interested in the match, or because it wasn't concise, or what?  What wasn't working about it?

Andy PG


f we started worrying about stupid questions on the blog then we'd be down to 1 post per day.  
The issue was that:
a)  It was too long.

b)  It didn't have a point that it was building towards, given that everyone just sort of walked off.
c)  Half the guys were doing bad comedy and the other half were doing intense badass and I had no idea what the tone of thing was supposed to be.  PPV hype or ironic comment on PPV hype?  I don't think Punk even knows anymore.  

d)  I just have no idea what's going on with Daniel Bryan right now because he's not likeable at all.  He's becoming the loudmouthed little overcompensating creep that you just want to shut up at this point.  

e)  RVD wasn't even there.
f)  The speeches just stalled and meandered and didn't build off each other, and basically yes, it was just too long.

QOTD – June 3rd, 2013

Greetings, buckshots.

Today we have a question from Magoonie. Anyone wanting to send a question in, do so at [email protected]

“Hey Caliber, been really enjoying QOTD, good stuff and gets some good discussions going. My question seems a bit morbid because it very much is. Let’s say all the wrestlers who passed away went to heaven or some kind of afterlife (with the exception of one). What would be your ultimate HeavenMania card look like? Thanks and keep up the good work man.”

Interesting question. Instead of drumming up a whole card, I’ll list my three big matches that’ll bring everybody in.

Curt Hennig vs Rick Rude – They’ve been friends forever, always talking about how tough they were. But finally the question is asked, who’s toughest? Who’s the greater IC champion? Who did Bobby Heenan love more?

British Bulldog vs Owen Hart – Bulldog is pissed because when he first got to Heaven, Owen pulled a rib on him that had him thinking he was in hell. Plus, Owen is still sore after losing the Euro Championship from their classic match-up on Raw.

Eddie Guerrero vs Macho Man Randy Savage – The Latino Heat vs the Madness. Both high-flyers, both innovators and former WWE Champions. This one settles who the greatest deceased wrestler is. The Other World Heavyweight Championship is on the line.

How say you?

Wednesday Pull List Thread

A light week, although the Dan Slott Spider-Man franchise continues growing until Jesse Baker’s head explodes… Marvel: – The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #1.  Unwieldy title aside, this seems like fun. – Avengers #13. – Avengers AI #1.  I thought the Hank Pym prequel thing was AWESOME, although Mark Waid isn’t doing this series so I don’t know how the good will translate over.  But I’ll give it a shot. – Venom #37.  The change to Philly has made for an interesting arc, with Flash being a street-level hero and a gym teacher.  DC: – Green Lantern #22.  I wasn’t hugely impressed with the new direction, but I’ll let it play out. – Earth 2 #14.  – Swamp Thing #22. – Detective Comics #22.  I used Morrison’s departure from Action Comics as a jumping-off point and I’ll just stick with Unchained.