97% of the time I don't get annoyed when I see something on pro wrestling that absolutely insults my intelligence.  It's pro wrestling, right?  Who really cares?
But every great while, I have a day like today, where it just randomly struck me how absolutely moronic the "I won't debut until you say my name right" storyline is for Fandango.  The Raw brand basically has 2 authority figures……and these authority figures can book matches with major stipulations, and force even the most rebellious of rebels to compete in matches against their will…….but they can't force a metrosexual salsa dancer to compete in a match?
Major logic gap there…..and sadly, I don't think anyone cares enough about that storyline to even question it.

Oh, it's probably one of the worst storylines right now, because there's no progression and no payoff.  Eventually he'll wrestle and it'll just be Johnny Curtis.  I will say that I thought the Damien Sandow gimmick was a loser for a while before he managed to get it over by sheer force of willpower, and ditto for Antonio Cesaro: Evil Rugby Player, so who knows what will happen once he actually gets into the ring.  

The worst by far is the Swagger push, because it's not over and the guy isn't over, and he's getting pushed to World title level and hasn't done anything to justify the push or differentiate himself in the ring at that level. Even worse, his babyface opponent is even LESS over at that level, giving you a feud between two guys that the crowd doesn't care about over issues no one cares about in the context of wrestling and matches that will probably be pretty shitty.  It's the trifecta of suck.  They should totally make Zeb Colter the GM of Smackdown, however, and have him ban all immigrants from the show to make people actually WANT to see people like Barrett and Sin Cara fight to actually get on TV.  

Royal Rumble 2013 buys

Hey Scott,

Two emails from me in one day! Lucky you.

Just saw that the first estimates of the Rumble buys are in, and, well…huh.

Basically it's around 440,000 buys on the low end, or 498,000 on the higher end. Considering that the previous few Rumbles have hovered around 445,000 buys SANS Rock, I can't see how they aren't let down with this. Obviously something on the lower end of that scale is a absolute disaster, but even if they do end up at around a hair under 500,000 I'd assume that's lower than expectations too. I mean, at best, The Rock brought in an extra 50,000 buys for a singles match in which he was guaranteed to win the WWE Title? They had to have been expecting a bigger bump than that.

So assuming the final number ends up being somewhere in that range, what do you think? Should they be overjoyed to have gotten any kind of bump in this day and age? Or is it a disappointment? And if it's the latter, why do you think the show did such a low number: poor build, declining drawing power of The Rock, Punk being a poor opponent, overall decline in the company's popularity? SNITSKY? Whose fault is it?
-Worst in the World

Yeah, Meltzer was talking about that last night, and it's definitely a crushing disappointment for them.  Don't forget too that 500K is the worldwide number, and they make less money off international buys, so the really important number is domestic.  And there, Rock only boosted things something like 30K.  Normally they'd be like "Yippey!  Highest Rumble and highest non-Wrestlemania buyrate in 5 years!" but Rock is getting a FUCK-TON of money to do these matches, and an extra 30,000 buys isn't getting them anywhere near breaking even on the deal.  Basically they would have been better off leaving Rock off the show and promoting the hell out of the Rumble match itself.  It might have only increased buys a few extra, but they'd make a lot more profit on it. 

Nikita Koloff on crappy reality show?

I know you're a Cracked fan so I was curious if you had "The 4 Least Anticipated TV Shows of March 2013", which is found here? 

One of the shows is called Preachers' Daughters, a reality show for which the title is pretty self-explanatory. I kinda skimmed through the article but what caught my eye was that one of the preacher dads is listed as an ex-pro wrestler. I assumed it was some indy bum but I looked it up and to my surprise…it's Nikita Koloff! The show probably won't even make it a full season but if they want me to watch, just have Nikita go back to kayfabing not knowing English whilst he interacts with all of these people, feature Ivan in a cameo, and maybe have him hit an atheist with a chain. It'll draw MILLIONS!

Here's the AVClub's review of the show:  http://www.avclub.com/articles/preachers-daughters,93536/
What I want to know is what's up with the "Nikita Koloff" thing? I thought he was just going by Scott Simpson outside of his wrestling appearances?  And why is his daughter using Koloff as a last name? Is this like a "Brooke Hogan" deal where they're using the name for TV purposes?  

Lesser of Two Announcing Evils

Hey Scott–

So the Cole/Lawler burying of the Highlight Reel last night got me
thinking: When announcers are put in that position, what SHOULD they

Obviously the perfect world involves scripts that don't suck and
performers who can execute them, but let's throw that out for the
moment. Let's also create a fantasy environment where Vince DOESN'T
scream into headsets.

Should an announcer go the Mike Tenay/Tony Schiavone route of
overselling and gushing over a segment that is clearly flopping,
damaging their own credibility but trying to get the product over? Or
do you bury the segment, saying out loud what the audience is perhaps
thinking, but guaranteeing that the angle bombs?


I dunno, a lot of the trainwreck value of the segment WAS Cole and Lawler talking over it.  If they had just let it play as is, it probably wouldn't have been perceived as being so brutally bad.  Yeah, it was stupid and awkward, but I've seen way worse. Really, there was no reason for the on-screen burial, it was just Vince's whims.  It was totally the wrong role for Barrett, of course, as ironically his push has plummeted since winning the IC title, and Jericho sounded like an idiot hyping a movie clip of two random guys shooting gun at each other as "AWESOME", but I'd consider Zeb's god-awful "Mexicans are stoopid" promo much more insulting and dull.  But see, Vince LIKES  that angle, so we get 5 segments a week with them. 

WWF Championship Wrestling August 11th, 1984

August 11, 1984
Your hosts are Tony Garea and Vince McMahon
This is the first show from the Poughkeepsie tapings. This would be the home for Championship Wrestling until it ended in 1986 and became WWF Superstars. At that point, tapings were done on the road.
Tony and Vince run down the show, which features Ivan Putski, Iron Sheik, Rocky Johnson, and the tag champs, Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch in action. Plus, Piper’s Pit and the WWF Review. They did a bit in which Vince would name someone and Garea would give a brief comment about them afterwards.
WWF Magazine plug, putting over Hogan and Andre mingling with celebrities and also mentioning that Kerry Von Erich beat Ric Flair for the NWA Heavyweight Championship.

Iron Sheik w/Freddy Blassie vs. Jose Luis Rivera
The crowd is quite lively for this taping. Sheik gets some heat by praying as the fans start a “USA” chant. Sheik jumps Rivera from behind then chokes him out with his headdress. Sheik poses to a chorus of boos after a backdrop then hits Rivera with a gutbuster. Sheik takes a break and talks with Blassie before beating on Rivera. He throws him to the floor then bounces a chair off of his head. He pulls Rivera back into the ring and beats on him some more. Rivera leapfrogs Sheik and gets in some punches as the crowd goes apeshit. Rivera ducks his head on a backdrop attempt and Sheik boots him down. Sheik hits a waistlock suplex then makes Rivera submit to the Camel’s Clutch (5:31). After the match, Sheik proclaims that Iran is number one then tosses Rivera to the floor.
Thoughts: The crowd was red-hot all match long. Sheik was getting a strong heel reaction everywhere he went during this time anyway though. No mention of Slaughter on commentary.
Charlie Fulton vs. Rocky Johnson
Johnson has a boxing-style robe and is shuffling his feet more than ever. Vince put over his physique, a trend that would continue throughout the match. Fulton backs him in the corner and gets a few forearm smashes but Rocky reverses a whip and gets a backdrop. He takes Fulton down with a few armdrags, who then ducks outside. He comes back and goes right back outside after escaping from an arm wringer. Back in the ring, they go for a test of strength. Rocky somersaults around and puts Fulton in a wristlock. They do the criss-cross spot and that ends with Rocky getting an armdrag. Fulton gets in a few forearms but Rocky takes him down with a monkeyflip. Rocky goes back to the arm again and does some more somersaults before hitting a dropkick then a sunset flip for the win (6:03).
Thoughts: The crowd remained red-hot throughout the match, which wasn’t much at all. They are really trying to get Rocky over as a singles wrestler, as there was no mentioning of his teaming with Tony Atlas. Rocky did a lot of the feet-shuffling and somersault stuff throughout the entire match. Vince was practically drooling over his physique too.
Jeff Lang & SD Jones vs. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch
The crowd is solidly behind Jones. Adonis starts things off with a shoulderblock but SD takes him down with a hiptoss. He hits a few armdrags on Adonis then on Murdoch, who ran in to help his partner. The tag champs bail as the crowd is going nuts, chanting loudly for SD. Murdoch is now the legal man and gets a knee smash. He misses an elbow in the corner and SD goes to work. SD headbutts both men as the crowd is going crazy. He hits Murdoch with several punches before he goes down. Murdoch catches him with a headlock and punches away. Tag to Adonis and they hit SD with a double elbow smash. Adonis gets two off of an elbow drop and the crowd chants for SD. Adonis goes for an Irish whip but SD reverses it and sends him into the post. He makes the tag to Lang, who gets taken down immediately by Adonis. Tag to Murdoch and he roughs him up for a bit until they hit their finisher, a backsuplex/top rope clothesline combo for the win (5:17).
Thoughts: This crowd was great. They were loud for everything. The match itself wasn’t much at all, the champs sold for most of the match, but the atmosphere for the show is awesome.
WWF Update with Vince McMahon. They show a picture of him with model Susan Anton then show a clip of him walking to the ring, with all of the fans going nuts. They did a similar update for Andre a few months back, but they used a different entrance clip and photo. Nothing to see here.
Piper’s Pit with guest B. Brian Blair. The crowd barely reacts to Blair at all. Piper puts over his credentials then asks him why he wanted to become a wrestler. Blair said he dreamed of being in the Olympics and Piper asks why no one wanted to go this year, mentioning that Russia, Poland and the rest of the communist countries did not go. He then says the only way the USA can win was to have the other countries stay home, which prompts Blair to make a skirt joke then call him a jerk before walking off. Piper flips out afterwards. The Piper’s Pit formula is starting to get too formulaic, with the face responding with skirt jokes and Piper yelling at them.
Ron Shaw vs. Ivan Putski
The crowd is going crazy for Putski. Shaw tries to mimic Putski but gets booed. Putski then poses, drawing cheers, then points to Shaw, which gets boos. Just as the match is about to begin, a jacked-up guy (the future Brutus Beefcake) wearing a shiny vest and a bowtie starts to strut around the ring. Vince’s reply to his appearance was “what is that.” This distracts the wrestlers as Vince tells us he does not know who this man is and he has a great physique. Anyway the crowd boos this guy and the camera cuts back to the action and Putski hits Shaw with the Polish Hammer for the win (2:57).
Thoughts: The crowd was crazy for Putski but the focus of the match was on the unknown guy strutting around the ring. They showed about 20 seconds of in-ring action for this segment.
WWF Review. This week’s segment features the song “I’m Free” by Kenny Loggins and features clips of squash matches from The Spoiler and Nikolai Volkoff. Neither guy had been on WWF TV for several years. One would assume they would be back on TV very soon. They show the Spoiler doing the ropewalk, going across the entire rope, during his clip.
Final Thoughts: Decent show with a red-hot crowd. They were going nuts for everything. A good crowd can really make a show seem better. They are putting over Rocky Johnson as a singles wrestler and seem to be introducing new wrestlers, with the packages of The Spoiler and Nikolai Volkoff, along with the unknown man from the Putski match.

The Only Review of WrestleMania 26 That You’ll Ever Need

Before we begin, allow me to apologize. Sometimes I get a little wild, a little crazy, and I forget how dangerous assigning a certain number of asterisks to a wrestling match can be. I know some of you have friends, families, and careers. Even with this knowledge, I went and, WITHOUT SAFETY, declared that WrestleMania 25 was great. Looking back, how dare I. I know how deeply it affected some of you. Sending shock-waves all through out the World, and basically ruining lives. Some may say “why get so worked up over the rating of a wrestling match?”, but c’mon, they just don’t know. This is serious stuff. This is reviewing pro-wrestling!

& John Morrison vs. ShowMiz – WWE Unified Tag-Team Championship

This match went a whole three minutes and 25 seconds. Easy
paycheck for all involved. There honestly isn’t much for me to say, really.
Morrison eats the WMD from Big Show, and is pinned at 3:25 | *
Ted DiBiase vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Randy Orton

He headlined the previous WM, now he’s the second match on the
card. Greatest WM fall from grace?
The match starts off as a handicap match, with Rhodes and
DiBiase working over Orton. Eventually each man’s greed for the pinfall causes
them to start brawling while Randy gets his second wind. Crowd pops big for the double
2nd-rope DDT. Soon after, Rhodes catches a punt to the face, while DiBiase
sneaks up from behind Orton to slap on The Million Dollar Dream. Yeah, after
watching Orton for 6 years up until that point, the one thing I’d learn is, if
you’re gonna attack Randy, going from behind is your best bet. It’s decent, but
if this had been an actual triple threat, they could have really had something.

DiBiase gets hit with the RKO and pinned at 9:02 | **1/4

Jack Swagger vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Drew
McIntyre vs. Christian vs. MVP vs. Matt Hardy vs. Evan Bourne vs. Kane vs. Kofi
Kingston – Money In The Bank

Great set up as Swagger is under a ladder, then Christian and
Matt Hardy each take a ladder and crush him between the two that they fed
between the rungs. The ladders are then set up as a scaffold between the main
ladder and ropes. Sweet moments on this contraption are everything from Evan’s
Air Bourne, to Matt Hardy being flipped from one side to the other, land back
first on the horizontal ladder. Soon after, a ladder breaks and Kofi uses both
parts as stilts in order to reach the brief case, no such luck, but he gets
close. MiTB matches are just about impossible to screw up, and this is no
exception. Not as great as others, as I feel 10 wrestlers is too many
participants and with that all you get is spot after spot after spot, and that
can get tiresome. Even still, a WM-worthy match, despite the fact the winner
ended up being the biggest waste in the history of the match.

Swagger grabs the briefcase at 13:45 | ***1/2

Sheamus vs. Triple H

This was one of the matches I was looking forward to back in
2010 when the card was completed, and it lived up to my hopes. The story itself
was great, and shows that when you KISS, you can’t lose. The match itself was
hard-hitting and left you wanting more. Sheamus may have lost, but this match
did more for him than the entire 2 months he was WWE Champion. Sheamus went out
there and held his own against Triple H like few get to. Triple H had to work
for this victory, which does a lot more for Sheamus than John Cena tripping
into a table. Sadly, something the E refuses to realize; the belt doesn’t make
the man. It’s a shame the feud only had one other match, because these two mesh
well, and I was looking forward to more knock-down drag-outs. A great match
that deserved to be higher-up on the card.

Sheamus eats a Pedigree, giving Triple H the win at 12:09 |

CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio

Top heel in the company out there with one of the best of all
time and they get a cool 6 minutes! Their match at Over The Limit needs to be
seen to be believed, a 5-star match as far as I’m concerned, with Punk showing
just how great he is, and showing exactly what should have gone down here at
26; which would have cemented it in the minds of everyone as the greatest WM
ever. Honestly though, what we get is no slouch. It’s fast paced, and packed
with some of the best wrestling you were gonna see that year. Two of my
favorite moments: Punk turning a Moonsault from Mysterio into an attempted GTS;
and Mysterio turning a GTS into a hurricarana. If it had only got about 7-8
more minutes, we’d have a sure fire classic on our hands. But it’s OK, they
gave it to us at Extreme Rules & Over The Limit. 
Mysterio hits the 619 on Punk & gets the pin at 6:30 | ***1/4

Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon

The video showing the build-up really showcases the fact that
Vince is one of the greatest heels of all time. Match starts with Vince saying
he has the entire Hart family on his side, which Bret promptly turns on him and
says it was all a ruse. Bret then literally beats the hell out of Vince with a
crowbar and a chair for about 10 minutes before slapping the Sharpshooter on
him. Honestly, this match is terrible. I had no idea going into it that Bret
couldn’t take a single bump, and was rather let down that there wasn’t anything
resembling a match. However, I understand, so they should have simply made this
match about 5 minutes, and given the extra time to Punk and Mysterio. In the end
though, we got to see Bret Hart stomp Vince’s balls, and beat him half to
death, so that’s worth at least something. 
Vince taps-out to the Sharpshooter at 11:09 | *

Chris Jericho [C] vs. Edge – World Heavyweight Championship

Match starts off with Jericho holding the momentum until it gets
to a point where Edge starts doing whatever he can to turn the tide. Including
diving off the apron into Jericho, and delivering an off-the-top-rope face
plant. After all this, Jericho starts doing whatever he can to finish things;
Codebreaker, Walls of Jericho, and the Lionsault. All for naught, as Edge is
able to answer each one. Eventually, both attempt a spear, and both pull off a
counter. Brilliant moment. The match ends a bit abruptly, unfortunately. That’s
the only thing keeping me from giving it the full monty. However, there’s part
of me that wants to give it anyway for the awesome spear through the table
spot, if only that had been in the confines of the actual match. As it goes,
best of the night, and one of my all-time favorites. 
Jericho hits the Codebreaker & pins Edge at 15:48 | ****3/4

Michelle McCool, Layla, Maryse, Alicia Fox & Vickie Guerrero
vs. Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Gail Kim & Beth Phoenix
What is there to say, really? One thing that bothered me is that Vickie had her
catch phrase on her shirt, and her jacket, and still felt the need to say it. I
hate it when people just ride a horse until it’s dead, then turn it into a
zombie horse and ride that bitch too. Even though the move itself was executed
terribly, seeing her pay homage to Eddie like that was really nice. 
Vickie hits the Frog Splash on Kelly Kelly for the win at 3:26 | *

John Cena vs. Batista [C] – WWE Championship

The entrance stage for WM 26 is absolutely
ridiculous. Batista is a savage and is out to do nothing but hurt, these
intentions are displayed clearly while he does things like a running
clothesline to the back of Cena’s head, and a DDT that has John in clear pain
after trying an FU. Cena responds perfectly by refusing to break the STFU once
Batista hits the ropes, or hitting him with a top rope 5 Knuckle Shuffle. These
two just work great together. Nothing flashy, nothing detailed. Just two guys
trying to break each other’s bones. Cena proves why he’s the man as he poses
and smiles with the people in the front row who have home-made Cena Sucks

Batista taps to the STFU at 13:31 | ****1/2

Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker – Streak vs. Career

The video beforehand is proof enough that this is the greatest
WM main event of all time. I’m not saying it’s the best match, but as far as
build and importance, this is it. At no point during this match, do they ever
make you feel like it isn’t. From the get go Shawn is an absolute house of fire
and The Undertaker is doing whatever he can to put it out. The Tombstone on the
outside is fucking ridiculous, and Shawn kicking out of that says more than him
kicking out of 10 in-ring Tombstones. From that point, it just keeps
escalating, it just keeps getting better, creating the very definition of why
we love pro wrestling so much at times. The ending was fantastic. The
Undertaker wants to show Shawn mercy, and Shawn knows it’s over. He knows it.
His career, his attempt at the streak, it’s done with. So if it’s over, then
it’s fucking OVER, and demands Undertaker put the exclamation point on it.

Undertaker gives Shawn the Super Tombstone and pins him at 24:00
| *****

Showcase Showdown: I always knew 26 was a great show, but on a
second viewing it’s even better than I thought. The undercard delivered greater
than I remembered, and the main-events are no-brainers. Just about every match
had the ability to deliver a show-stealer had they been given the time, and
their build-up was main-event worthy on any PPV. 
Other than fantastic matches, the show wasn’t bogged down with rock concerts, a
bunch of dancing grandmas, or an attempt at the dumbest Guinness World Record.
If Vince is so hard up for that, can’t he just go for the longest finger nails
or something?
The color schematic and stage set up for the show was fantastic
as well. The orange and brown was something different, and gave WM26 a very
vibrant, western feel. The giant pyramid of screens at the entrance was as
decadent as a wrestling show can get and it was awesome. It can never be
topped, which we saw when WM27 went back to a more traditional setting.
In the end, the up-coming WM review is what I’ve always considered to be my favorite one, but WM26 may have earned that dubious honor. 
Much thanks to my editor, Steven Ferrari. First time we met was in a hotel lobby where we played Karate Fighter. Turns out we were both there for the Kumite. 
Str8 Gangster, No Chaser
– 4 of the Worst Instances of TV Censorship, Saved By The Bell Archives, Comic Book Films You Didn’t Know Were Comic Book Films, plenty of other goods.
WCW In 2000 – Recently updated with the Nitro after The Great American Bash.
Man Movie Encyclopedia Vol.1
– My book about action films. Endorsed by Scott Keith & Maddox, as
well as some fellow BOD’ers. Constant 5 star reviews on amazon.
A Wrestling Show for the IWC, by the IWC – Episode 1 of the greatest wrestling program of all time. Finally someone repping for the IWC.
Board for the BoD’ers – Some hip cats doing some hip things. 
Roger Malcolm – This is a friend of mine. Director, writer, producer. He’s to film what Scott is to wrestling. Brilliant guy. Do check him out. 
MAILBAG: “Hey Cal. Got a question for your article if you do mailbag stuff like scott. In your review of wrestlemania 25 you said Shawn vs Taker was ****1/2 but a week before you said it was ***1/4 and got shit for it. Why the big change? Was it so people would stop flipping you crap? Because thats a big change”
I don’t know how it goes for others, but there are times when I can watch a match at different times and feel completely different about it. Take Kurt Angle vs Undertaker from NWO 2006 for example. First time I saw the match I had it pegged at **1/2. I watched it again the next day,  all of a sudden ***** to me, and now ranks in my Top 5 of all time. With Shawn vs Taker, that’s just what happened. I felt the need to give it one last go, and sure enough, I was finally digging it. I would never change an opinion because it got a lot of heat, nor would I ever say something just to get heat. Anyone doing that is pretty pathetic.

Thanks for the email, and anyone else that wants to shoot me one for the mailbag, feel free at [email protected] . If you want a direct response, just let me know in the message. Thanks.

Also, if you have a request for a review, please email it to me. Disqus has been causing my browser to crash with script errors a lot lately, so it’s rare I’m even enabling it & checking out the comments. So, if there’s something you’d like me to review, please email it so I don’t miss it.

– Caliber Winfield

WCW Worldwide 6/19/1993

Taped from only God knows where
Airdate: June 19, 1993
Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Jesse “The Body” Ventura
Our monthly installment of WCW Worldwide from Classics On Demand features Sting and The British Bulldog in tag team action. Also another mini-movie from the Masters of the Powerbomb will be shown. Additionally Colonel Rob Parker will be the special guest on “A Flair for the Gold.” Finally, the main event will pit Johnny Gunn and Z-Man against Sid Vicious and Big Van Vader.

Match 1: Sting and the British Bulldog versus The Wrecking Crew

For those unfamiliar The Wrecking Crew consists of former #1 contender to the WCW title, occasional Goldberg opponent, and tag team partner of Kevin Nash Al Green along with Marcus Laurinaitis whose biggest distinction is being the brother of Johnny Ace. Smith and Rage (Green) start the match. In a not so swift manner Rage tries to match strength with the Bulldog. Guess who wins.
A rope sequence culminates with a Smith flying body press for a quick 2. Smith grabs the arm to assert control; however, Rage delivers a forearm to the head and tags in Fury. Even before Fury can enter the ring Bulldog takes over on both men then hiptosses Fury. Sting tags in and the young girls squeal. Fury takes over on Sting in the corner, cross-corner whips him, and nails him with a clothesline.
Sting gets cross-corner whipped again, leapfrogs over Fury, and then gives him a dropkick. He follows up with a monkey-flip and an armdrag. As the crowd chants “Stinger” Sting maintains an armbar and then a wristlock until Fury gives him a knee to the midsection. He whips Sting off the ropes, gets reversed, and receives another armdrag.
Fury comes back with a head butt and a slam before coming off the ropes with an elbowdrop for 1. Rage tags in, and the Wrecking Crew double-team Sting with a whip and a back elbow. Rage cross-corner whips Sting again but comes up empty when charging forward. As Smith tags in Sting delivers the Stinger Splash to Rage knocking Fury to the floor. Smith gives Rage the running powerslam for the pin. *
In our first installment of the WCW Magazine Gordon Solie describes the US title situation involving “Ravishing” Rick Rude and “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes. Highlights of a match between Rude and Kensuke Sasaki from WCW Saturday Night are shown. As Rude gets DQ’ed for using the briefcase Rhodes comes to Sasaki’s aid and brawls with Rude. As Rude’s mercenaries keep Rhodes occupied Rude scampers away with the belt.
Tony and Jesse are on camera and discuss the hunt for Cactus Jack. This week Catherine White is in Cleveland, Ohio. While White lists the zany places Cactus Jack has been spotted (e.g. entering a UFO in Roswell, NM) she mentions a “reliable” source in a letter from young Stephen LeBlang from Shagger Heights (isn’t that where Francine is from?) that Cactus Jack was spotted in Cleveland on skid row. Perhaps the kid was listening to “18 and Life” when he saw him? While White and a cameraman walk through a dark alley filled with hobos their search comes up empty yet again. Meanwhile “Swampy” speaks up and cons White out of $50 and her business card before this segment can end. To make matters even worse she gets her purse swiped. Oh boy.
Match 2: “The All-American” Ron Simmons versus Todd Zane
Upon a collar-and-elbow tie-up Simmons gives Zane a fireman’s carry takeover. Meanwhile we go split-screen so WCW World Television champion “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff can cut a promo on Simmons. Zane comes off the ropes but gets shoulderblocked. They tie up again and Zane takes him to the corner. Simmons no-sells a forearm shot, wheels him around, and goes to work on him. He then double-cross-corner whips Zane and gives him a back body drop. He works on Zane’s back with a punch, a stomp, and a headbutt. Next he gives Zane the spinebuster for the pin. DUD
From “somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico” Sid Vicious, Big Van Vader, Colonel Rob Parker and Harley Race are aboard a boat. Vader and Sid are dressed to wrestle in lieu of wearing summer clothing. Parker is outraged that Bulldog and Sting are partying with some “snotty-nosed kids.” Race points them in the direction of the island where their nemeses are located. An island in the Gulf of Mexico?
Meanwhile Sting and Bulldog are playing a friendly game of volleyball with some kids on the beach.
Race tells Parker that if they don’t accept the challenge from the Masters of the Powerbomb they’re in for a big surprise. He then asks Parker if Cheetum can handle the surprise. Both Sid and Vader offer, but Parker believes Cheetum is the right man for the job.
A shark fin swims across the camera view, but Cheetum is using it as a disguise. After he shoos some little girls away he carries a beverage cooler to Sting and Bulldog’s boat. He removes a bomb and places it in a compartment on the boat.
As Bulldog and Sting continue to play volleyball the landing craft containing the Masters of the Powerbomb arrives. If you look closely Sid is wearing flip-flops. A stand-off occurs, and Race is outraged that his proposal wasn’t accepted. Parker again offers them two tickets to the retirement home of their choice or “suffer the consequences.”
Sting contemplates their offer as Bulldog is stunned and the kids are disheartened. They immediately reconsider by shouting “I don’t think so!” The kids jump for joy and Parker slams down his hat. Race then notifies Sting and Bulldog that they have “signed their death warrant.” Parker informs our heroic duo that they should enjoy their time here as they may be here for a long time. The heels laugh maniacally.
Sting tells Bulldog that “desperate people do desperate things” before returning to their volleyball game. In the meantime Sting talks to the two little girls who spotted Cheetum earlier. As Sting makes his way toward the boat Bulldog questions his whereabouts with the little girls. They tell him that they heard a “click, click, click” from the boat. Bulldog chases after Sting and tackles him off the boat just before the bomb explodes! The crowd is stunned in solemn silence until Sting and Bulldog emerge from underwater! Again the kids jump for joy. TO BE CONTINUED on July 18 at Beach Blast!
Match 3: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat versus Yosha Kwan
Jesse reminds us of “Stunning” Steve Austin’s comments from a couple of weeks ago where he questioned why Steamboat dressed up like a “lizard.” The lights dim and Steamboat blows a fireball. Jesse lets us know that Steamboat’s stunt “…looks like me after a shot of Cuervo Gold.” For those unfamiliar Yosha (or Yoshi) Kwan is better known as Chris Champion, part of the New Breed with Sean Royal.
They tie-up and Kwan ironically gives Steamboat an armdrag. Next they fight to a stalemate. Steamboat executes a leg sweep and a savate kick to the midsection. They trade hammerlocks until Kwan gets a takedown. A hiptoss and an armdrag put Steamboat back in control though. An armbar by Steamboat segues into a belly-to-back suplex for a 2 count.
A wristlock by Steamboat is countered into a headscissors by Kwan. Steamboat counters with a somersault rollup for 1. A short rope sequence culminates with a sharp spin kick by Kwan. Chops are exchanged by both men until Steamboat cross-corner whips Kwan. Kwan reverses and gives him an enziguri. Next he gives Steamboat a snapmare and a standing legdrop.
Kwan gives Steamboat a couple of sidekicks then applies a claw hold. Steamboat breaks it and delivers another savate kick to the midsection. He whips Kwan off the ropes and chops him. He follows that by whipping Kwan off the ropes but gets reversed. Steamboat, however, bulldogs him to the mat and heads to the top turnbuckle. He hits the flying body press for the pin. **1/2
After the match Tony interviews Steamboat. He hopes to be a living legend someday. I believe he achieved his goal.
“A Flair for the Gold”
Ric Flair wastes no time when he comes out by cutting a promo on Barry Windham. He desires to be the champion for the tenth time. He then introduces Colonel Rob Parker who proceeds to talk over last week’s announcement of the Masters of the Powerbomb. He then talks over part of the mini-movie from earlier in the show. Subsequently he offers Flair a cigar. To finish the segment Flair promotes “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes as next week’s guest.
In the second installment of the WCW Magazine Gordon Solie continues his segment on the US title situation. “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes then cuts a promo on Rude.
Match 4: Sid Vicious and WCW World Heavyweight champion Big Van Vader (w/ Colonel Rob Parker and Harley Race) versus Z-Man and Johnny Gunn
For those unfamiliar Johnny Gunn is Tom Brandi aka Salvatore Sincere. Before Gary Michael Cappetta can finish the introductions all four men are hammering away at one another. Out of nowhere Sid chokeslams Gunn. He then tosses Gunn over the top rope. In the meantime Vader hoists Z-Man up for a powerbomb and receives assistance from Sid to add force to the maneuver.
Sid gives Z-Man a double snot rocket as he exits the ring. Some jobbers hit the ring and immediately get powerbombed by both Vader and Sid. Another couple of jobbers come in and get planted with powerbombs. As one of the jobbers lies upon the gurney Vader and Sid give another jobber a powerbomb similar to the one they gave Z-Man.
When both Sid and Vader go to the floor Vader holds the jobber so that Sid can boot the guy in the face. Another jobber gets laid to waste as Sid holds him and Vader clotheslines him off the gurney. They then proceed to turn the gurney upside-down and dump it on the fallen jobber. Neither Tony nor Jesse wants the opportunity to interview these guys. No match = no rating.
Hesitantly Tony gets in the ring with the Masters of the Powerbomb and Colonel Rob Parker offers him a cigar. He must have gotten them wholesale. Vader just grabs the microphone and shoves Tony aside as he refers to his team as the Masters of the Powerbomb. Sid then cuts a promo against Sting and Bulldog. He finishes his promo and the show with “do onto the man as the man would do onto you…but do it first!”
Overall the final “match” was the perfect illustration on how to get evil powerful heels over with the fans. Whether you boo or cheer the heel both Sid and Vader got reactions because of brutality such as this. They are well on their way to Beach Blast on July 18 to face Sting and Bulldog.
At the same time “A Flair for the Gold” was pointless minus the cigar distribution by Colonel Parker. The Kwan-Steamboat match was very evenly matched which I didn’t expect. Actually I fully expected Steamboat to come out on top without any issue. Glad I was wrong on that one.
If I can say anything about the mini-movie it’s that it was colossally over the top. I’m not sure if that was WCW’s intention, but a lot less money could have been spent to get a PPV main event across than what they accomplished here.
While the mini-movie promoting Beach Blast didn’t offend me the Catherine White segment in Cleveland was way too hokey. “Lost in Cleveland” can remain lost as far as I’m concerned. If I can add anything about the Sting/Bulldog versus Wrecking Crew match it’s that while the Masters of the Powerbomb destroyed everything in their path the babyfaces had a little tougher time with their opponents. We’ll see how this all plays out as the time grows closer to those infamous Disney tapings.
Stay tuned to more WCW Worldwide reviews from your resident Rock Star in the coming weeks!

Be sure to visit http://www.rockstargary.com to check out more info on me!

The SmarK RAW Rant–03.11.13

The SmarK RAW Rant – 03.11.13 Live from Indianapolis, IN Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler We start with a wonderful tribute video for Paul Bearer, which will hopefully be followed by a Hall of Fame induction. Undertaker also joins us, paying tribute to the almighty urn one final time…and CM Punk interrupts. Oh man. Punk thinks the silver lining is that Paul Bearer will always remember Undertaker as 20-0 at Wrestlemania, but everyone else will remember the day that Punk beat the streak. Boy, if they wanted a way to make people pay to see Undertaker kick his ass, they found it. During the break, Kane comes out to destroy Punk, but he wisely runs away. We return with Kane beating up random guys in the locker room in anger. See, that’s a relatable and easily understood issue between two guys: Punk insults the memory of Kane’s dead father, Kane wants revenge. Tasteless as it might seem, it’s a totally effective way to reheat Kane again. Big Show v. Seth Rollins Here in Canada on our version of Big Brother, one of the hamsters is a huge wrestling nerd, and has already formed an alliance called “The Shield” with another contestant. So obviously I’m Team Peter. Show, understandably upset after last week, goes after Reigns outside, and the Shield swarms in for the DQ before the match even starts. Show fights off Ambrose, but falls victim to a spear from Reigns and another triple powerbomb. So there’s your babyface turn. Meanwhile, CM Punk complains to Vickie and Maddox about his treatment at the hands of Kane, and ends up with a No-DQ match against him as a result. Daniel Bryan v. Dolph Ziggler Ziggler again gets no entrance as his stock continues to plummet for some reason. Bryan takes him down by the leg and hooks a surfboard, but Ziggler gets a dropkick for two. Bryan throws kicks in the corner for two while Cole points out that Ziggler has from now until July to cash in the briefcase. And they’ll probably stretch it out until then at the rate they’re going. Bryan backdrops him to the floor as we take a break. Really? We already had a commercial in place of Dolph’s entrance. Back with Bryan catapulting Ziggler into the corner to escape the headstand chinlock, and he comes back with a clothesline before missing a blind charge. Ziggler with the sleeper, but Bryan reverses to a rollup for two. They trade forearms and Bryan pelts him with kicks again and gets two. He goes up and Ziggler follows, but Bryan tries a backdrop superplex, which Ziggler counters in mid-air for two. Bryan tries a rana, and Ziggler hotshots him and follows with the fameasser for two. Ziggler pounds away, but Bryan turns it into the No-Lock, necessitating Big E’s interference to get him into the ropes. Ziggler rolls Bryan up for two, but Bryan reverses into the No-Lock again, and Ziggler finishes with the Zig Zag at 12:28. Holy cow, Ziggler wins a match CLEAN! And what a match. ***1/2 Tensai v. Fandango This of course doesn’t happen, as Tensai is once again unable to properly pronounce “Fandango”. This is getting tiresome already. The Rhodes Scholars v. The New Age Outlaws The Scholars do their own version of the Outlaws’ spiel, and Sandow doing air quotes during “down with it” kills me for some reason. You ever get the sinking feeling that the Outlaws are going to end Hell No’s tag title reign at Wrestlemania? Because I’m getting worried. Dogg quickly slugs away on Rhodes, but walks into the disaster kick…and here’s Brock Lesnar. Yeah, I wouldn’t want to be D-X members tonight. And Brock BEATS THE FUCK out of the Outlaws. Quoth Heyman, Brock doesn’t play games, he HURTS PEOPLE. Yeah he does. They’ll take the match with HHH, but Brock gets to name the stipulations…after HHH signs the contract. Kofi Kingston v. Mark Henry Wait a minute, how can Kofi be wrestling here, AND live in the Score studios with Arda Ocal? SHENANIGANS! Henry runs Kofi into the corner and bearhugs him, then puts him on the floor with a kick before missing a charge and hitting the post outside. Kofi mounts the comeback, but Mark catches a bodypress attempt and finishes the World’s Strongest Slam at 2:28. * Meanwhile, Cody attempts to romance Kaitlyn with his mustache, but the Bella Twins return from autograph signing purgatory and mustache-block him. That’s a random storyline development for the Rhodes Scholars. Vickie pops in and makes another match for the Scholars tonight, since the Outlaws match wasn’t much of a workout for them. Ryback v. Heath Slater Clothesline and Shellshock finish at 1:00. Mark Henry is out for the staredown, and there’s your Wrestlemania match. Alberto Del Rio v. Antonio Cesaro Del Rio controls to start, but Cesaro powerbombs him into the corner for two and takes over. Del Rio into the corner for two. Cesaro drops elbows and goes to the chinlock, but Del Rio makes the comeback for a pretty tepid crowd. The low kick gets two. Cesaro blocks the armbar and bails to the apron, but Del Rio gets a backstabber for two. ADR goes up and lands on Cesaro’s SWISS DEATH forearm, but that only gets two. Del Rio quickly comes back with the armbar at 4:38. Does Cesaro beat ANYONE outside of the Miz? He literally loses every match on RAW for weeks now. This was OK, but the crowd isn’t buying the pandering Del Rio act. ** The Rhodes Scholars v. Sheamus & Randy Orton Sheamus overpowers both Scholars, but gets pulled to the floor by Sandow and attacked out there. Back in, Cody gets two and goes to a chinlock, but Sheamus escapes with a clothesline and makes the hot tag to Orton. Exploder suplex on Rhodes gets two, but Sandow saves him from the draping DDT and sends Orton into the post. Back in, the ELBOW OF DISDAIN follows for two. Cody with a front suplex for two. He goes up, but Orton comes back with the powerslam and makes the hot tag to Sheamus, and stereo finishers end it at 8:04. It was what it was. ** The Highlight Reel with Miz and Wade Barrett, as we get to hear about how AWESOME Marine 3 is, and sit through MORE FUCKING MOVIE TRAILERS. This is getting really obnoxious, even by their standards. The interplay is so terrible that Cole starts burying the segment, and then Maddox comes out and stumbles all over himself in brutal fashion, setting up Miz v. Jericho with the winner getting Barrett next week. This was even more terrible than I can do justice here The Miz v. Chris Jericho Barrett is on commentary, and Cole is even more cloying talking about what a “hit” Dead Man Down is, when in fact it’s one of the biggest flops of the year so far. Miz with a big boot for two, but Jericho reverses out of the neckbreaker and follows with the Lionsault, which misses. Miz counters out of the Walls as well and tries the figure-four, but Jericho reverses to the Walls, and Miz cradles for two. Jericho with another Walls, but Miz makes the ropes. They fight on the floor and Barrett interferes for the DQ at 3:57. What a spectacularly bad finish. *1/2 Speaking of bad, Alberto Del Rio spoofs the We The People videos, which is typical WWE by self-referencing something that’s not getting over and patting themselves on the back for being so clever. Jack Swagger v. Sin Cara Zeb cuts an ENDLESS promo while Cara stands there like an idiot taking the abuse, as Swagger continues to not justify this push with any kind of crowd reaction. They quickly hit the floor, and Cara gets the corner kick back in the ring, but dives onto a big boot. Swagger finishes with the anklelock at 1:47. Del Rio runs out for the save, and everyone continues not caring about any of this. CM Punk v. Kane This doesn’t even start until the top of the hour. Jesus, some of us have to get up for work in the morning, guys. So they brawl outside of the ring right away and Kane beats on him, and back in where Punk goes up with the flying elbow for two. And they fight outside as we take A COMMERCIAL BREAK?! I WANT TO GO TO BED, JERKS! Wrap it up already! So, like 20 minutes later, Undertaker’s gong distracts Punk and Kane chokeslams him to get his revenge at 12:38. Yeah, and Punk steals the urn, because THAT’S never been done before. Whatever, I’m done with this show, good night. The Pulse: I SAID GOOD DAY TO YOU SIR. This one fell off a cliff so fast it doesn’t even warrant a bottom line.                                                                         You’re honestly wasting your time scrolling down here. I’ve got nothing left to say.

Road to Wrestlemania Monday Night Open Mic

All right boys we’re less than a month away from Wrestlemania and the card is sorta-kinda taking shape a little.

Is there any doubt that C.M. Punk’s ability on the stick will elevate his match against the Undertaker past Brock-HHH and probably on the level of Rock-Cena II? Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to be placed ahead of either match on the card but Punk will do a good job selling the drama of a match that most of us believe should be pretty predictable. I’m curious to see the how they execute the build for this one.

Otherwise let’s hope for a good show. Come out swinging and try to keep it clean 🙂