Create a ‘Legends House’

So, who’s been checking out Legends House on the Network?

I think it’s some light entertainment. It is what it is. It doesn’t seem as badly scripted/contrived as Total Divas, at least.

Anyway, to the point.

If you could book the next season of Legends House (Which would appear to be an inevitability), who would be your eight contestants?

And don’t forget to include an all important HOST! (Ashley from the Pussycat Dolls in the current series)

I’d probably do a House of Hardcore spin-off, myself:

1. Sandman (Funny/clever guy, full of hilarious stories, amazing chemistry with Levy)
2. Terry Funk (‘Middle-aged and crazy’)
3. Raven (See ‘Sandman’, but up the IQ)
4. RVD (An opinionated, out-spoken guy. Him and Sabu are good pals, but you haven’t seen as much of them two together as Sandman/Raven)
5. Tajiri (Apparently can talk more English then he lets on. Be interesting to get to know him a little better)
6. Sabu (Watched a YouShoot with him and he seemed like a cool guy)
7. Tommy Dreamer (I heard he does a lot of funny shit to ‘pop the boys’. I think that’s kind of what his WWE ‘Jackass’ style gimmick was drawn from)
8. Paul Heyman (Oh c’mon…)

Host – Don ‘Cyrus the Virus’ Callis (Just a fucking great talker. Would be awesome)

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–03.07.94

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 03.07.94 So after a bunch of older reposts, the Network has finally caught up to my archives, so we rejoin the WWF in March of 1994. To prove it’s current again I’ll be sure to make lots of jokes about the Sharks choking and NBA owners hating black people. Also, in a totally random note, I have been using a stopwatch app on my iPhone for months, only to discover that IOS 7 has one BUILT IN. Mind blown. Taped from Poughkeepsie, NY. Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Ted Dibiase. That was always a decent combination. Right behind them in the front row is what can only be the FIRST EVER “RSPW” sign to make TV. The Smoking Gunns v. Owen Hart & Crush Ted Dibiase questions what Crush and Owen could possibly have in common, and Vince notes that both turned on their friends. Of course they share a sadder commonality now. Crush no-sells the Gunns’ offense in the babyface corner and beats on Billy, but the crowd chants “USA” to show their support. Crush is from HAWAII. That’s his whole deal! Wrestling fans really are stupid. Owen comes in with a leg lariat on Billy and drops a leg, and the heels work Billy over in a dull heat segment. The crowd wants Bret. Maybe they should appreciate Owen more while he’s around. We take a break and return with Bart getting the hot tag and it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA, as Crush clips Bart and Owen finishes with the Sharpshooter at 11:00. Pretty good heat for a meaningless tag match in the fourth week of a taping cycle. **1/2 WRESTLEMANIA UPDATE! WITH TODD PETTINGILL! You know, you might think of great wrestling when you think of Wrestlemania, but you are WRONG to do so, because you should also think of the celebrities, like Donnie Wahlberg and Burt Reynolds. Sorry, Todd, I blame myself. Virgil v. Jeff Jarrett Ted Dibiase’s bias is kind of obvious on commentary here. Virgil controls with a hammerlock and Vince has been HANDED A NOTE. Really, he’s got a headset and someone is coming out and giving him notes about the special guest timekeeper at Wrestlemania? Why not wait until the commercial break? Vince and Dibiase argue over the pronunciation of George Stephanopoulos while Virgil is still working on the arm and Vince is all “HE’S A HOUSE OF FIRE!” That’s one deadly armbar. Virgil slugs away and Vince is all about the FISTICUFFS and MIXIN’ IT UP, but JJ hits a DDT to finish out of nowhere at 4:43. I’ve also been handed a note: This match sucked. ½* Doink the Clown v. Iron Mike Sharpe I do believe this is the last appearance of the original Doink costume before Ray Apollo switched to the later design. Sharpe manages to evade the clown, but makes the classic heel error of pointing to his own head to indicate his intelligence. I think the San Jose Sharks did that after game 3, and look what happened to them! Doink tosses him and quickly finishes with the Whoopie Cushion at 2:15. DUD Tatanka joins us to receive a special headdress from Chief Jay Strongbow and Wahoo McDaniel, plus an actual Chief. I have to say, having Strongbow take part in something like this is pretty hinky. At least Tatanka is actually Native American. Anyway, he gives a boring speech about his ancestors and then Vince cut him from the PPV two weeks later. Not such a lucky headdress. IRS v. Mark Thomas Vince and Ted are all “Let’s see what’s in the news this week” to show how totally not taped this show is. Thomas looks like one of the members of High Voltage in terms of build. Irwin slowly pounds away and gets his usual abdominal stretch, and Vince points out the scathing irony of IRS accusing people of tax cheating while HE HIMSELF cheats. That’s deep, man. That’s like hating black people while making millions off a team of black basketball players. IRS finishes with something while I’m making that observation at 3:39. I could rewind but that would imply that I care. ½* Jim Cornette has words for Lex Luger in advance of the March to Wrestlemania Special next Sunday. Next Week: Nothing announced, unless the Network is showing the March to Wrestlemania special, which I somehow doubt.

Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1993 WCW as told by Vader

This was released in February 2014

The interview runs at two hours and ten minutes long

Sean Oliver conducted the interview

JANUARY

On January 8th, just nine days after Vader defeated Ron Simmons for the WCW World Championship, Ron Simmons challenges him to another match. Vader claims that he thought that title was the number one title in America at that time, because Sting, Ron Simmons, and himself were all great workers. Sean asks Vader if there were any plans for him to hold the title for a long time and Vader said Dusty Rhodes gave him “free reign” at the time and that he would tell them if he could work around their schedule.
Vader talks about riding with Harley Race at this time and how he would always hit the governor in the car, which was around 115mph and that Harley always had a beer and a cigarette in his hand and his job was to make sure that he did not run out of either.
When asked if Cactus Jack was better as a face or a heel, Vader said he didn’t think it mattered and feels the same way about himself. Vader, speaking for himself, said that he did not work any different between heel or face.
On January 15th, Paul Heyman was fired from WCW by Bill Watts via fax after Watts claimed that Heyman faked expense reports from April-July of 1992. Vader said that Heyman had him sold about coming to ECW and calls him a great salesman. On the subject of Watts, Vader said that Watts once saw him do jump presses in the gym and after that, Watts was impressed and that he never had a problem with him.
Sean asks Vader about Bill Apter, after the 1992 PWI award show. Vader said that he liked him as a writer and someone who was important to wrestling for providing inside knowledge to the serious fan. Sean then talks about how now the curtain has been drawn back, exposing the business, and how they now know everything that will happen, stating the mystery is gone.
Vader is asked about Erik Watts and if the heat he had on him was warranted or not. Vader said that he always treated him good but the fact that he was a son of a very dominant booker and didn’t have what it took to be a star brought on the resentment. Vader did add that he believed Watts could have been a decent middle-of-the-card guy.
He is now asked the same question about Dustin Rhodes. Vader said that Dustin was a whole class above him as a wrestler and said that he is very talented and can wrestle.
Sean now goes over the “White Castle of Fear” video that aired on the January 30th episode of “WCW Saturday Night.” When asked, Vader said he did not know who came up with the idea but looking back, people remember it well.
FEBRUARY
The Tazmaniac received a tryout at the February 8th “WCW Saturday Night” tapings defeating Joey Maggs but did not get hired by the company. Vader said that he remembered him briefly at that time and said that he had power and explosiveness that made him popular. When asked about the tryout process in WCW, Vader said that it was a tough situation because they had a stacked roster. He goes back to talk about the AWA when he broke in until Sean reins him back to talk about WCW.
Bill Watts resigned from WCW on February 10th. When asked if Watts’ tenure was good, Vader just talked about how he agreed to drop the belt to Ron Simmons, claiming that it was by his choice, as he could have jumped ship to WWF or Japan if he wanted.
Ole Anderson took over for Watts on February 12th. Vader said that he was confrontational then talks about he was the first 400lbs person to perform a moonsault and after that, people tried to imitate him. Vader said that Ole did not want him to do the moonsault because he was 400lbs and did not need to fly around like “Peter Pan.” Vader said at that time, he was drinking and doing other things, so he told off Ole. Vader claims that he is not that person anymore (he is full of shit).
Davey Boy Smith debuted on February 21st by defeating Bill Irwin after being fired from the WWF due to receiving shipments of growth hormones. When asked about the difference between the companies, Vader talks about how he always put legal stuff into his body and never had a problem with tests. Sean asks him about the steroids and if the “black market” stuff was different from what you would get from doctors and what steroids they used and Vader said he was naturally big since birth and used stuff that would help his body produce naturally because if you put other stuff into your body, it can stop producing.
At SuperBrawl III, Barry Windham defeated the Great Muta to win the NWA World Championship. When asked if two belts diminished the WCW World Championship, Vader said he didn’t at the time but looking back thinks it did. He also said that was Ric Flair’s decision as he was running things then talks about how he saw Reid Flair right before he died at an independent show in Rhode Island and from that he talks about Japan for a bit.
Speaking on Flair’s return to WCW, Vader said that at the time he did not understand the politics of the business like he does now. He talks about his feud with Cactus Jack and how it was the hottest in the business and they ended with Cactus having amnesia. He then said that Flair was the best in regards to political savvy.
He talks about his strap match with Sting at SuperBrawl III. Vader talks for a while about building a match and how too much scripting hinders the match and how he did everything on the fly and now the business has changed because they now receive a piece of paper on what do to at all times.
Jim Ross quit on February 25th, shortly after a demotion to a position that had him sell TV syndication. Vader said that it was a big loss, especially for him as he really liked his character. Vader then said that the announcer matters a lot more than the average fan thinks. He also believes that the company was going into a new era and that they wanted to move away from JR’s style of announcing and looks.
MARCH
On the subject of the Hollywood Blonds team, Vader said that he once teamed with Steve Austin against Ric Flair & Steve Austin in a TV match that lasted 27 minutes and how they tore the house down. Vader said that he and Austin had instant chemistry. When asked if Brian Pillman was the best choice as Austin’s partner, Vader said that he was not but they still had a good run.
APRIL
He is asked about the WCW debut in New York City on April 14th at the Paramount Theatre. Vader said that the locker room treated it as another show and did not get excited that they were in WWF territory.
On April 17th after a match on WCW Saturday Night, Cactus Jack wound up in the hospital, requiring 24 stitches and suffering a concussion, after his match with Vader. When asked, Vader said that before the match, Cactus came up to Harley and himself and told him to not wear his gloves and when he hit him, to turn his hand and cut him on each side then puff his nose and slice up his forehead. Vader said that parts of the match were edited off of TV.
MAY
On May 1st, the “Flair for the Gold” segment made it’s debut on “WCW Worldwide.” Flair introduced his wife Fifi and interviewed Harley Race and Vader. He thought that the segment didn’t work and looking back, Vader said that was on him because he kept grunting and growling so Flair had nothing to work with.
Vader defeated Tatsuo Nakano via KO at 3:35 at the UWFI event in Japan. He is asked if WCW management took issue with him taking the match. Vader said that it was in his contract with Bischoff that he could go to Japan a few times a year. He said that eventually, he gave WCW the rights that prevented him to go to Japan when he restructured his own contract but he got more money as a result. When asked about the UWFI “shoot fight” match, Vader said that he was confident in his ability but was legit scared about a guy from Russia who was 6’1 and 340lbs. He said that he only did it for the payday as he was building a shopping center at the time and needed the money to make that happen.
He is asked about Paul Roma joining the Four Horseman but first asked about what happened between Tully Blanchard and WCW. He just said there was friction between cliques within the company. When asked why Roma was considered, Vader has no idea and wonders if he was a friend.
Sid rejoined WCW on May 23rd. Vader tells us that Sid was originally considered for the Vader gimmick but that was over once they saw him wrestle. He could not do a long match with a smaller guy as he could not keep up with them.
JUNE
When asked about Kevin Nash showing up on WWF television after wrestling just three days earlier for WCW, Vader said that he was not much in terms of star power when he left the company but became a major player in WWF then came back as a huge star. Vader said Kevin is a friend and a very smart businessman.
He is asked about the “Masters of the Powerbomb” gimmick when he teamed with Sid. Vader said that was Bischoff’s idea but that the gimmick did not work, citing it was just “too much.”
At the Clash of the Champions, Ric Flair & Arn Anderson defeated the Hollywood Blonds for the Tag Team Titles in the lowest rated Clash of all-time. Vader talks again about how he teamed with Austin and had great chemistry together and thought they should have gotten a chance to feud with Arn & Flair
JULY
On July 7th, WCW taped several months worth of WCW Worldwide shows at the Disney/MGM Studios, revealing future champions to the crowd in the process. He said that the WCW did it to save cash but the crowds were not wrestling crowds and that they did not take into consideration the fact that guys involved in the shows had contracts expiring later in the year.
AUGUST
The Nasty Boys returned to WCW on August 14th. Vader said he always got along with them and they were a pretty good tag team who partied more than they trained but still did a good job in the ring.
On that same day, Harlem Heat made their WCW debut. Vader said that he got along with them and says that he grew up in inner-city Los Angeles around a lot of minorities and played sports, using a rough style. When asked if he saw any star potential in Booker T back then, Vader said he is very good and once he got to show his own personality, he started to shine.
Vader is now asked about the Shockmaster debut. When Vader said it was over once he fell through the wall and starts to laugh for a bit.
He is now asked about the Road Warriors returning to WCW at Clash of the Champions. Sean asked if the gimmick was passé and Vader said their physical presence was awesome and that they were built for power. He adds that their time away from the company may have hurt them.
SEPTEMBER
After New Japan Wrestling took him to court claiming his costume and name, he became “Vader” after originally being called “Big Van Vader.” He talks for a long time about how he was as a star in Japan and then ended with how no one gave a shit about the name change as it meant nothing. A waste of four minutes.
OCTOBER
Vader is asked about Bret Hart burying Ric Flair on a Sports Radio Station in Toronto. Vader said that Flair is a great wrestler and that was not a fair criticism. He also says that Bret is extremely good but not the “Best there was….” He then talks about hearing horror stories about Vince McMahon and said that he was always treated like a gentleman in the WWF, by the employees and Vince, and that the WWF had a lot to do with them being allowed to say anything.
Now he is asked about the incident in which Sid Vicious stabbed Arn Anderson. Vader said that the whole company were all at this lounge, drinking and exchanging a lot of pills. He said that not everyone was doing this but they were all doing this before getting on a plane and he said that one wrestler, who Vader refused to name, got up and fell face-first onto a chair. They get to their destination and they get someone to open up a bar and guys are drinking as the sun is coming up. The next thing he knows, a fight breaks out and that Sid was going into shock and did the “Frankenstein” walk towards him so he grabbed Sid and had blood squirting out of his side. Vader said that he did not know what to do so he stuck is thumb there with a towel and sat him down until the ambulance came. Vader claims to have not seen what happened before that. Sean asks if they were reprimanded about what happened and Vader said he was actually praised for saving Sid’s life.
NOVEMBER
Gene Okerlund makes his WCW debut on the November 6th edition of WCW Saturday Night. Vader said that Hogan was surrounding himself with his people and that the talks of Hogan entering the company were happening. He says that Okerlund is very good.
Vader won the BattleBowl on November 20th. He said that the year before, Sting got a nice ring after he won the tournament but he did not get one when he won, which ticked him off. Vader said that the reason was that Bischoff asked him to take photos for six weeks straight and he didn’t, which he did, then did what Bischoff told him to, which meant he was late to the other place he was supposed to be at and Orndorff flipped out at him, leading to the fight, which Vader said cost him a shitload of money and that if Bischoff had told him where he was at that time, this could have been avoided. Vader then wishes Orndorff well.
DECEMBER
He is asked about the Title vs. Career match against Ric Flair. Originally, Vader claimed that Dusty told him he was going to regain the belt six weeks later in a cage match and that Ric was getting the belt because it was his hometown and the company needed a boost. He said that a five weeks later, Flair took over the booking job and the rematch never took place.
Sean asks Vader about being named the “Wrestler of the Year” in 1993 from three different publications. Vader then promises to tell Sean about his exercise devise which is patent-pending that strengthens your upper body as long as he invites him back for another video. He said the device is tentatively called the “Vader Pump.”
Final Thoughts: This was awful. Vader, who just mumbled through the video, kept going off-topic to talk about himself or something else that was not involving anything that happened in 1993 WCW. I learned next to nothing about this year and everything else I heard from his RF Video Shoot interview from 15 years ago. The purpose of these pieces is to learn about the entire year. This failed at that miserably.

I really like Sean Oliver but he did a terrible job with Vader, letting him go off-topic and not bringing him back to the topic. I also think he got played a bit by Vader, who seemingly used this as a vehicle to promote himself. I mean they all do but this guy didnt even say a single thing of note. He let Vader consume the whole interview with his own ramblings. I thought this was about 1993 WCW and throughout the the two hours and ten minutes of this piece, I heard very little of what happened this year other than Vader harping on the fact that he and Steve Austin would have been the best tag team.

As far as these Timeline interviews go, this was easily one of the worst. I thought the Barry Windham 1991 Timeline was the worst but at least he wasn’t in love with himself like Vader, who was not willing to discuss anyone but himself. He would say that he was “good friends” with people that he liked and if something came up where he acted like a jerk, he would not talk about the situation in detail and just said that he is a different person now, which is full of shit based off of he acted recently while in Europe. My recommendation for this is to avoid at all costs. 

BoD Daily Update

WWE Network Update


The WWE is now planning to roll out the network to the rest of the world by the end of 2014.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter






Bill Goldberg Update


Goldberg is interested in appearing at WrestleMania 31. However, he will only agree as long as the WWE meets his asking price.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter






Brooke Tessmacher Update


The reason for Tessmacher’s absence from television is due to the fact she underwent breast augmentation surgery to correct a botched surgery from a few years ago

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter







Daily Network Thread – 5/1/14

The Network live stream schedule for today:

9:00 AM ET – RAW Flashback – 2/21/94 – Razor Ramon & The 1-2-3 Kid vs. The Quebecers; Bret Hart vs. Tom Prichard.
10:00 AM ET – RAW Flashback – 2/28/94 – Randy Savage vs.Yokozuna for the WWF Championship.
11:00 AM ET – WCCW – 12/26/82 – David Von Erich & The Freebirds go for the WCCW Six Man Tag Team Title; 18-Man Battle Royal Pole Match.
12:00 PM ET – WCW Spring Stampede ’99 – 4/10/99 – Ric Flair vs. Hollywood Hogan vs. Sting vs. DDP for the WCW Championship.
3:00 PM ET – Best of Hall of Fame – 4/23/14 – Pete Rose/Ric Flair.
4:00 PM ET – Best of Hall of Fame – 4/24/14 – Gene Okerlund/Shawn Michaels.
5:00 PM ET – Journey to Wrestlemania XXX: Daniel Bryan.
6:00 PM ET – WWE Countdown – 4/23/14 – Top ten greatest tag teams.
7:00 PM ET – Wrestlemania Rewind – 4/29/14 – The Big Show vs. Floyd Mayweather from Wrestlemania XXIV.
8:00 PM ET – Legends’ House – A bowling competition; the Legends film a commercial.
9:00 PM ET – WWE NXT – NXT Divas Championship tournament begins; Adrian Neville vs. Brodus Clay for the NXT Championship.
10:00 PM ET – WWE Superstars – Sin Cara vs. Damian Sandow; Natalya vs. Tamina Snuka.
11:00 PM ET – Legends’ House – Replay of the earlier episode.

From WWE, try One Night Stand 2005, which was meant to be a tribute-type show to ECW and led to the revival of the brand. Chris Jericho vs. Lance Storm, Benoit vs. Guerrero, yet another Masato Tanaka vs. Mike Awesome showcase and Sandman/Tommy Dreamer vs. The Dudley Boyz. I promise this show is widely available. WIDELY.

TNA and Spike

We've heard nothing yet about Spike renewing TNA's TV deal. 

If Spike drops TNA (since really, Cops gets the same or better ratings), is that the end of the promotion right there? They can't survive on just house shows given the low attendance, right? 
Yup, TNA exists on the whims of Spike TV and nothing more.  Most people think that Spike is just waiting to see how the WWE deal shakes down, and then if they don't get WWE they'll offer TNA whatever they offer and TNA will happily accept and continue surviving.  If WWE goes to Spike, TNA is done.  

REPOST: Clash of Champions XXII

(Apparently this is up on the Network in some form, although you can only find it on computer.  HIGHLY DUBIOUS, BRAIN.  Anyway, assuming Stranger isn’t a big fat lying liar, here’s the original rant for it.) The SmarK Retro Rant for Clash of the Champions XXII: THUNDERCAGE! (Jan 13 / 1993) – This is another one of those shows that I could swear up and down on a stack of Bibles that I’ve already done, but don’t seem to have anything actually done for it. So here ya go, courtesy of reader David J. Mann. – Live from Milwaukee, WI. – Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jesse Ventura. – Opening match: Cactus Jack v. Johnny B. Badd. Badd is subbing for Erik Watts, who was “arrested” after his brawl with Arn Anderson at a gas station. Oh, shucks. Sadly, no prison rape resulted. Then, in an amazing turn of events, they actually put together a BACKSTORY for this match, since Badd & Jack were partners in the Lethal Lottery at Starrcade and broke up to end the match. Jack hammers out of a hammerlock to start and gets into a fistfight, which goes badly. He offers Badd a “bang bang” for his troubles. Jack hammers away again, but Badd leapfrogs him and rolls him up for two. Dropkick and Badd grabs an armbar, but Jack slugs out of it. Badd rams him into the turnbuckles, and Jack runs into a foot and gets punched down. Badd cradles for two. Elbow and Badd goes up and whiffs on the sunset flip from the top, which allows Jack to drop an elbow for the pin at 2:48, drawing a scary face pop. Kind of quick, to say the least. *1/2 – We get a video for 2 Cold Scorpio, who dances for some kids in a basketball court. I was hoping he’d advise them against doing drugs so I get a cheapshot in. – 2 Cold Scorpio v. Scotty Flamingo. If Scorpio hadn’t debuted in the redneck-centered promotion of the deep south, he might have ended up something special. Flamingo grabs a wristlock to start and Scorpio flips out of it and hiptosses him for one. Flamingo grabs a headlock and they do a lucha-esque sequence that ends with Flamingo bailing off a weak kick, and Scorpio follows with a dive off the apron. Back in, Flamingo kicks him down and dropkicks him out of the ring, and follows with a low-rent tope con hilo. Scott must have been feeling particularly frisky. Back in, it gets two, but Scorpio cradles for two. Flamingo stomps him down and gets a nice snap suplex for one. Choking follows and we hit the chinlock. They slug it out and Scorpio comes back with a hiptoss and a dropkick, and goes up with a twisting splash for two. Corner splash misses and Flamingo rolls him up for two and gets a lariat for two. Blind charge misses and Scorpio superkicks him into a legdrop and finishes with the 450 at 4:11. Good action here that was WAY ahead of its time. *** – Chris Benoit v. Brad Armstrong. This was Benoit’s WCW debut as a part of the roster, long before he meant anything. He made his official debut in the NWA tag tournament in a crazy match against Pillman & Liger, but that was intended as a one-shot deal. At this point, as far as WCW was concerned, he was just a promising junior heavyweight from Japan who survived Stu Hart’s Dungeon. They criss-cross off a headlock to start and Benoit dodges a dropkick and gets a straight foot to the gut to set up a powerbomb, which Armstrong counters and they do an insane stalemate sequence, leading to an armdrag from Brad. Yikes. Armstrong works the arm as Benoit tries to escape by kipping up, but Armstrong keeps him on the mat. Into a knucklelock, as Benoit bridges out of it in a spot he can’t do anymore due to his neck, and then Armstrong does the same thing, and suplexes Benoit into an armbar. He stays on the arm and Benoit reverses, and they work off that for a bit until Brad leverages him out of the ring. Back in, they again trade hammerlocks and Benoit tries the same strategy as Armstrong, but Brad goes back to the arm to counter. Benoit takes him down and goes for a crab, but Brad powers out, only to get pounded by Benoit. He suplexes him onto the top rope, putting him on the apron, and then hits him with a springboard clothesline to the floor ala Jericho’s dropkick. That woke up the crowd. Back in, Benoit gets the now-patented clothesline and snap suplex, for two. He starts chopping and headbutting, earning him the Jesse Ventura Seal of Approval ™. Brad fights back with a kneelife, but Benoit pounds him down again, and a backbreaker turns into a submission move. To the top, but Armstrong blocks him. Benoit casually shoves him down and tries the flying headbutt, but misses. Brad comes back with a neckbreaker and drops an elbow for two. Benoit KILLS HIM DEAD with a dragon suplex (full-nelson suplex) for the pin at 9:13. The seeds of awesome were there, all right. ***1/4 – We take a look at some SMW footage of the RNR winning the tag titles from the Heavenly Bodies, setting up the SMW guest appearance at Superbrawl III. – Jesse Ventura holds an arm-wrestling match between Vinnie Vegas & Tony Atlas, because Van Hammer is injured and thus unable to defend his “Strongest Arm” title. Nothing cooler than Kevin Nash in pink jogging pants. As if Nash would last three seconds in a legit arm-wrestling match with Atlas. This goes on forever, left-handed no less, and Vinnie wins a grueling contest to claim the vacant Strongest Arm title. He’s gassed, too. – And just to really amp up the brutal realism of the show, we get Vader’s “White Castle of Fear” video challenge to Sting for Superbrawl III. No midgets in this one, just Vader. – Video package details the US title tournament, which ended up with Dustin Rhodes going over Ricky Steamboat to win the belt. – The Wrecking Crew v. Tom Zenk & Johnny Gunn. The Crew was one of Animal’s brothers and another guy. Zenk grabs a headlock on Rage to start, and escapes a press-slam. He dodges Rage and goes up with a high cross for one, and dropkicks him out. The heels regroup, so Gunn nails them with a tope con hilo. Didn’t see that coming. Back in, Gunn dodges the heels and rolls up Rage for two. He gets caught in the corner, but armdrags Fury. Fury comes back with a clothesline. Backbreaker, but Gunn faceplants him and makes the tag to Zenk. Hiptoss and he pounds away, but Fury gets a gutwrench suplex and stomps him. Truly a technical classic. Sideslam brings in Rage, who gets a bad powerslam and Fury comes back in. Hew whips Zenk around, but comes off the second rope and gets superkicked as a result. Hot tag Gunn, and bodyslams abound. A real bad forearm and some double-noggin-knocker action follow, but Gunn gets cheapshotted and the Crew finish him with a double-team backbreaker at 6:05. Rage & Fury disappeared again after this, perhaps to seek anger management therapy. Ѕ* – Unified World tag title: Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas v. Steve Austin & Brian Pillman. Austin knees Steamboat and pounds away to start, but gets cradled for two. Rollover gets two. Criss-cross and Steamboat gets a bodyblock for two and it’s BONZO GONZO right away. The Blonds bail and regroup. Back in, Austin offers a handshake and then turns on Steamboat, allowing Pillman to come in and start chopping. Steamboat dodges him and gets a dropkick, and the faces pinball him into a Dragon armdrag. Douglas keeps on the arm, and they work it incessantly with cool quick tags. Pillman whips out of it and they criss-cross, but he hurts his knee. Well, better stop the match and call a stretcher. But IT’S A MIRACLE! Pillman slingshots in again, but Douglas powerslams him for two. Austin comes in to try, and Douglas immediately goes to the arm and works on it. Austin escapes, but Douglas goes back to it and brings Steamboat in for some more double-teaming. Steamboat gets the hammerlocked slam and tags back out, as Douglas gets a sunset flip for two. Austin reverses to a rollup for two, and they go into a pinfall reversal sequence that leads to Douglas getting a butt-butt off the second rope for two. Good stuff. Douglas & Steamboat double-team with a hiptoss and Steamboat slams Douglas onto Austin, then slams Pillman onto Austin. He goes back to the arm with a wristlock on Austin, but a quick cheapshot from Pillman allows Austin to slam Steamboat and put the heels in control. Pillman comes in and works the back with a whip into the corner and a slam for two. He suckers Shane in and then tosses Dragon out, which is TEXTBOOK NWA heel stuff. Austin adds a slam on the concrete while he’s out there. Pillman necksnaps him on the way in, but Steamboat fights back, so Austin kicks him in the back to allow Pillman to suplex him back in. That gets two. The Blonds work Steamboat over, and Pillman chops him down. I again wonder why Bischoff couldn’t let them become the Midnight Express of the 90s. Steamboat comes back with a sunset flip, but the ref was busy with Austin. Austin with a gutwrench and again suckers Douglas in, allowing more damage. Ricky fights back, but gets suplexed while crawling for a tag. Austin gets two. Man, you don’t have to ask Steamboat twice to play face-in-peril in a tag match. Austin goes to a body-vice, but Steamboat uses leverage to escape. Austin goes back to it because Steamboat doesn’t have the gas to capitalize, but Pillman tries Air Pillman and hits Austin by mistake. Steamboat gives both of them a flying chop, and finally makes the hot tag to Douglas after one last tease spot to really drive the fans into a frenzy. Douglas keeps it simple, slugging everyone down and dropkicking them, then moving to clotheslines. Belly to belly for Pillman, but Austin nails him off the top behind the ref’s back and then takes out Steamboat. That gets two. Steamboat brawls with Austin outside, and grabs a title belt, which he nails Douglas with for the DQ at 13:34, kicking off an epic feud that ended with the Blonds winning the titles after weeks of great matches. Great match, bad finish. ****1/4 – Thundercage: Dustin Rhodes & Sting v. Vader, Paul Orndorff & Barry Windham. Ron Simmons was eliminated by a pre-match attack from Vader in the previous segment. Rhodes backdrops Windham out of the corner to start and they slug it out, but Windham misses an elbow. Rhodes slugs away in the corner and gets a clothesline, bringing Sting in for a bulldog. Press slam and Windham brings Vader in for a go. Sting slugs him on the ropes, but Vader returns fire with mustard on it. Sting keeps punching and gets an atomic drop, and a DDT finally puts Vader down. Stinger splash and he keeps slugging away, and adds some for the other heels, too. Vader actually does a Flair Flip, but catches Sting with a shot to the head on a charge. He goes up with a flying clothesline and then adds a flying splash from the second rope, which misses. Sting kicks away and clotheslines him out, but Orndorff sneaks in with a german suplex to break up the jubilation. Orndorff comes in and stomps away, clotheslining Sting down and dropping an elbow. He drops an elbow on the lower abs, and Windham comes in with a shot off the top and slugs Sting down. Suplex gets two. Dustin gets suckered in and allows some double-teaming by the heels, and they continue working him over in the corner. Vader splash in the corner and a clubbing forearm put Sting down, and a press slam (with a shot on the way down) follows. That’s so cool. Windham sets up for a superplex , but Sting fights out and collapses to the mat. Hot tag to Rhodes is made, and he valiantly tries it 1-on-3, catching Windham with a lariat and slugging the other two down. Corner clothesline and he slugs away, but now Cactus Jack runs in with bolt-cutters to let himself in, and attacks the heels with his boot, laying them all out. I guess he’s your substitute for Simmons. Orndorff finally tosses him, leaving himself one-on-one with Rhodes, but a piledriver attempt is foiled by a boot to the head and Jack gets the pin at 11:22 to officially turn face. Match was going okay until the non-sensical finish. *** The Bottom Line: This was quite the great wrestling show that kind of snuck up on me. Much like the PPV it was hyping, Superbrawl III. The main event was rushed and disappointing due to substitutions and time limitations, but the tag title match is the usual amazing Blonds exhibition and Benoit’s WCW singles debut is already great stuff. Highly recommended.

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–02.28.94

(OK, last of the reposts from 2011, as they’ll start putting the March 1994 RAWs up on the Network tomorrow and I’ll pick it up here in the present…in the past…whatever.  You know what I mean.)
The SmarK Legacy Rant for Monday Night RAW – February 28 1994
– Taped from Poughkeepsie, NY.
– Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Harvey Wippleman.
WWF World title: Yokozuna v. Randy Savage
Savage’s last shot at the WWF title, as it turned out. Savage gets tired of waiting for Yoko’s entrance, so he attacks before the bell…and gets clobbered as a result. Not smart. Yoko chokes him out in the corner and slugs away, then adds a slam, but misses the big fat splash. Savage sends him to the floor with the high knee and adds the double axehandle, and we take a break. Back with Savage trying to muscle Yoko back into the ring to avoid a countout (take notes, Lex Luger), but Jim Cornette allows Yoko to get a cheapshot and run Savage into the stairs. Back in, they slug it out and Savage wins that one and follows with a flying axehandle. Flying crossbody gets two. Rollup gets two. Yoko finally goes with a low headbutt to make the Macho Man a bit less macho, and he follows with the avalanche. Savage is done, but Yoko drags him into the middle of the ring to gloat, then misses the Hulkbuster legdrop. Savage gets the salt bucket away from Yoko and puts him down with it, and that gets two. He stops to knock Cornette off the apron and goes up to finish, but the big elbow only gets two before Crush runs in for the DQ at 10:57. Well you know that finish was coming, but Savage is so good at building sympathy that you almost thought he might make the big comeback and win anyway. ***1/4 It turns into a big brawl with Crush & Yoko beating down Savage and Bret Hart, but thankfully Lex Luger is there to make the save, long after anyone who actually gives a shit has gotten involved.
Bam Bam Bigelow v. Mike Khoury
Bigelow slugs the jobber down and drops elbows, but misses the headbutt. Khoury comes back with a dropkick, but Bigelow slams him as Vince announces the Doink & Dink v. Bigelow & Luna match at Wrestlemania. Clearly they had no clue what to do with Bigelow at this point, as the Doink feud was blown off months before this with no need for another match. Enzuigiri finishes at 2:35.
Earthquake v. The Black Phantom
The Phantom is clearly a renamed Blackheart, and given Luna’s employment it’s probably Gangrel picking up a few bucks on the side. Quake overpowers him and puts him down with a dropkick (no really, a pretty good one at that). Butt splash finishes at 1:38. Vince notes that originally Quake was supposed to face Ludvig Borga at Wrestlemania, but now it’s Adam Bomb. Have we even seen Borga since his injury?
Meanwhile, Stan Lane (his RAW debut as an interviewer) heads into Shawn’s dressing room, but Shawn gets all offended because he’s underdressed. So in a funny bit, he leaves his towel on and makes sure to put the Intercontinental belt on over it. Why the hell is Diesel hanging out in the dressing room while Shawn is getting dressed, anyway? That’s kinda weird.
Men On A Mission v. Brooklyn Brawler & Steve Smith
Mo pounds Smith down with a dropkick and flying forearm, but Brawler comes in. And gets clobbered. He tries a sunset flip on Mabel, but gets legdropped. Vince notes that Randy Savage is “discontinent” in the dressing room because of the loss tonight. Yeah, he usually sounds that way on interviews. Maybe he needs more fibre. Smith gets hung in the Tree of Woe and splashed by Mabel, and the big fat splash finishes at 3:13.
Next week: Owen Hart & Crush v. The Smoking Gunns! Jeff Jarrett v. Virgil! Doink! IRS! And…the Undertaker?

WWE Drops the Developmental Hammer

I dunno if this has anything to do with the investor's call tomorrow, but they decided to drop Mason Ryan just to be on the safe side.  Which is weird because they have been literally not firing anyone ever and just letting guys ride out their contracts (JTG, Tatsu, Ryder) no matter how much of a lost cause they are.  Ryan in particular got a million chances and was even talked about as replacing Roman Reigns in the Shield when the split was going to happen.  Oliver Grey got SQUASHED by Camacho in his big return after months off, so obviously they were getting rid of him.  Either way, weird timing to just suddenly jettison a bunch of super-cheap guys like that.  

Network Update

Thanks to the sharp eye of fellow BoDer BretHart1987, I can confirm that Clash of the Champions XXII has been uploaded. Go to Search, type in Clash of the Champions, and at the bottom of Page 1, you will find it. I am unable to find where it is via any other method. The show has a one hour and forty five minute running time, so it should be the entire card. Check it out!

Monday Nitro – December 7, 1998

Monday
Nitro #166
Date:
December 7, 1998
Location:
Astrodome, Houston, Texas
Attendance:
32,067
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
less than three weeks away from Starrcade and Nash vs. Goldberg
hasn’t really started to heat up yet. If I didn’t know better I
would think Goldberg would be squashing Bam Bam Bigelow at the PPV
based on what we’ve seen in recent weeks. Other than that we’re
getting ready for Flair vs. Bischoff which I’m sure will be a
classic. Let’s get to it.

Goldberg
vs. Bigelow in a non-title match tonight. The guy isn’t signed but
he can wrestle in a match against the champion?
We
look at a clip from earlier today of Scott Steiner attacking the
Wildcat mascot due to reasons of insanity.
The
Hogan retirement video from last week airs again to shot him beating
up Ric Flair.
Nitro
Girls.
Scott
Steiner comes out to say the only things that come out of Texas are
steers and something censored that rhymes with steers. He demands
that we give Hogan a standing ovation before demanding another match
with Scott Hall tonight.
Nitro
Party winner.
Nitro
Girls.
Kendall
Windham vs. Diamond Dallas Page
We’re
nearly half an hour into this show counting commercials at this
point. Page gets slammed down to start but trips Kendall to the mat
just as easily. A swinging neckbreaker does the same but Windham
comes back with a low blow. Not that it matters as Page comes back
with punches and a big clothesline followed by the Diamond Cutter for
the pin. This wasn’t much but the fans are awake now.
Profile
on a Nitro Girl.
Goldberg
vs. Bigelow package.
Norman
Smiley vs. Prince Iaukea
The
dancing non-Islander takes over to start with a slap to the face and
a nice shoulder block followed by that spinning slam of his. A
delayed double underhook suplex gets two on the Prince and it’s time
for more dancing. Iaukea’s kick to the ribs is caught but Smiley
stops to dance some more, allowing Prince to kick him in the face. A
Samoan drop and top rope splash get two for Prince but Norman calmly
puts on a cross face chicken wing for the submission. This was a
fairly packed match for under three minutes.
We
see the interview from Thunder where Mysterio vs. Guerrera was
announced for next week’s Thunder for a future shot at the
Cruiserweight Title. Eddie Guerrero comes out to and says Silver
King will deal with the selfish Mysterio tonight.
Silver
King vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Rey
takes him down with a headscissors to start and they trade what would
evolve into the 619. They wind up on the apron and Rey snaps off a
hurricanrana to send him to the floor. Back in and King counters the
sitout bulldog before hitting what would become the Eye of the Storm
for two. Rey sends him into the corner before going up himself and
TOTALLY botching a hurricanrana. It wound up looking more like a
spinebuster from Silver King than anything else. Mysterio sends him
to the floor and hits a great looking flip dive to make up for it
before a top rope bulldog is enough for the pin.
Rating:
C-. This was Mysterio bouncing
around the ring for about four minutes which is all you need most of
the time. The botch in the middle really hurt it though as there was
no way to cover up something like that. Thankfully they went home
almost immediately after that so it wasn’t a crippling spot in the
middle of the match.
Hour
#2.
Goldberg
and the championship committee arrive but Nash comes up to meet them.
Nash says the match against Bigelow isn’t happening tonight because
Goldberg isn’t supposed to fight before Starrcade. Goldberg says he
dreams of taking Nash apart.
Wrath
vs. Renegade
Renegade
comes out to what would have been Marvelous Marc Mero’s music around
this time. Must be public domain. Wrath takes him into the corner
for some knees to the ribs as the announcers talk about Goldberg vs.
Bigelow. A side slam puts Renegade down but he comes back with some
kicks to the ribs. Wrath easily shrugs them off and drives in some
elbows. Renegade’s handspring elbow is just shoved away and a
clothesline to the back of his head leads to the Meltdown for the
pin.
Rating:
D. I hate to say it, but it’s
over for Wrath. Yeah the Meltdown still looks cool, but it was clear
that there was nothing more for him after he got beat in his one time
moving up the ladder. Just a few weeks ago the announcers were
making him out to be the hottest thing in the world and now he’s
squashing jobbers again. This is Renegade’s final appearance with
the company. How in the world did he survive this long?
Roger
Clemens of baseball fame is here.
Chavo
Guerrero Jr./Disco Inferno vs. Horace/Stevie Ray
Before
the match, Disco asks Konnan com come out for a surprise. Apparently
Kevin Nash has approved Disco as the newest member of the Wolfpack.
Konnan just rolls his eyes and walks away so the squash can begin.
Horace pounds on Chavo to start with the usual power brawling style
of his, only to walk into a dropkick followed by a rope climbing
bulldog for two. Disco and Stevie come in with Ray easily winning a
slugout, only to walk into a swinging neckbreaker.
Disco
gets two off a top rope ax handle but is easily thrown outside for a
beating from Horace. The announcers at least changes things up a bit
here by talking about Hogan’s retirement. Horace comes in legally
and misses an elbow drop, allowing
Chavo to come in and clean house. The tornado DDT gets two on Horace
as everything breaks down. A spike piledriver catches Chavo out of
nowhere and Stevie gets an easy pin.
Rating:
D. Nothing match here for the
most part and I’m not seeing a reason why Chavo and Disco were paired
together. Disco wanting to join the Red and Black simply can’t end
well but that’s the case for a lot of stuff involving the NWO. It’s
also not a good sign that the yet to be christened B-Team is now
getting squashes on Nitro.
Nash
comes out and says that tonight it’s a three way between him,
Goldberg and Bigelow.
Nitro
Girls again.
Glacier
vs. Saturn
This
is supposed to be Miller vs. Saturn but he’s claiming an ankle
injury. Glacier hits a quick Kryonic Kick to start and stomps away
in the corner instead of covering. Another kick stops a Saturn
comeback and a tilt-a-whirl slam sets up even more kicks. Aside from
all the other reasons, it’s becoming clear why Glacier never went
anywhere. Glacier tries to spice things up a bit with a legdrop but
misses an ax handle.
Saturn
grabs a quick atomic drop followed by a cross body. He hits his VERY
high top rope elbow drop but Sonny Onoo distracts the referee because
someone has to try and make this horrible angle interesting. The
fact that Sonny is one of the reasons it’s awful doesn’t make things
much better though. Anyway, Miller hits Glacier by mistake and of
course the referee sees that because Saturn needs to lose to another
horrible guy.
Rating:
F. I think that’s my official
rating for every time Saturn jobs to some waste like Glacier or
Miller.
Saturn
beats up Glacier and the referee.
Lex
Luger vs. Emery Hale
Hale
is a big muscular guy that ran around WCW forever but never got over
due to not being very talented. They
circle each other for awhile to start with no one going anywhere off
a shoulder. A harder shoulder puts Hale down and he heads outside to
yell at some fans. Back in and Hale takes over with a hard lariat
and a big legdrop gets two. Hale pounds on Luger’s back for no
effect but a suplex puts Lex on the mat. Hale misses a good looking
top rope splash and it’s the forearm into the Rack to give Luger the
submission.
Rating:
D. Hale had a very good look
and could have been a solid midcard monster with some more seasoning
and a gimmick. The match was nothing terrible but it’s hard to get
excited about Luger doing the same match we’ve seen him do with far
more talented people. Not much to see here but Hale didn’t embarrass
himself.
Ad
for Starrcade.
Chris
Jericho vs. Bobby Duncum Jr.
Here’s
a match we’ve seen far too many times now. Before the match Jericho
makes fun of cowboys, causing Duncum to jump him from behind to
start. A hard shoulder and clothesline put Jericho down as Bobby is
all ticked off about the cowboy stuff. For the life of me I will
never understand so many grown men being obsessed with looking and
acting like cowboys.
Anyway
Jericho comes back with a quick belly to back but is thrown to the
floor for his efforts. After a whip into the barricade, Duncum
throws Jericho back inside but gets his throat snapped across the top
rope. The missile dropkick has little effect as Bobby nails a
bulldog and another lariat (as all good cowboys should do). Jericho
crotches him on the top and scores with a superplex before grabbing a
rollup and the rope for a cheating pin.
Rating:
D+. Did I mention I’m not a fan
of the generic cowboy characters? Jericho is another talent being
wasted in meaningless feuds like this one after dropping the title to
Konnan so it can be used in the endless NWO war. Nothing to see here
for the most part, even though Duncum is another big guy with a good
look that could be something in a better gimmick.
Hour
#3 begins.
Giant
vs. Scott Putski
Chokeslam,
pin.
Post
match Giant challenges Page for Starrcade because Page’s fans are all
rednecks.
Konnan
wants a piece of the NWO Referee.
Chris
Benoit/Dean Malenko vs. Kanyon/Raven
And
there’s no heel team as Kanyon is looking for Raven in the back.
Raven refuses to go wrestle because Kanyon is a geek. Kanyon points
out that Raven has driven away everyone that has tried to help him,
including Piper, and blames his recent losing streak on Raven. In
the arena, Kanyon refuses to wrestle because he has no partner. For
some reason he pushes Arn Anderson and has to run away from a
crowbar. Benoit dropkicks him to the floor and Kanyon runs off with
no match.
Video
on Bischoff/Flair.
After
a break the Horsemen are still in the ring and here’s their leader.
Ric tells Bischoff to get off his girlfriend and listen to what he
has to say. He says the
dictatorship is about to end and rants about the history of Texas
wrestling while dropping his usual names. Flair is going to choke
Bischoff and rip his throat out at Starrcade. He’s looking redder
than usual here and runs around the ring looking for something to
chop. At Starrcade, Flair promises to chop Bischoff until he says he
respects Flair before taking his job, his girlfriend and his dignity.
Totally insane Flair here but it worked for the most part.
Konnan
video.
TV
Title: Konnan vs. Booker T.
They
shove each other to start with Booker taking over via some forearms
and kicks. Konnan comes back with a rolling clothesline and dropkick
of his own before they head outside. Back in and Konnan scores with
a bulldog but gets caught by an ax kick. Stevie Ray comes strolling
down as Booker dances to his feet. The side kick connects but Stevie
comes in and jumps Konnan for the DQ.
Booker
yells at Stevie post match but Stevie says Booker should be going
after Konnan.
Scott
Steiner vs. Scott Hall
There’s
no referee and Steiner blames Hall for him missing. Hall hammers on
Steiner and we see the NWO Referee wrapped up in tape (Konnan
threatened to do that earlier). Mickie Jay runs
down, shoves the NWO Referee down, and
comes in to count two off Hall’s fall away slam. Steiner
yells at the referee and Hall gets two off a rollup as the NWO runs
in to end the match.
Luger
and Konnan run in but Giant comes in to take them out. Page hits the
ring and nails Giant with a chair to get rid of the NWO. Well the
Black and White that is. In
an amusing visual, the NWO Referee is still down at the entrance.
Bret
Hart comes out and says Page is a coward. He’s proven himself and
that’s about it. Gene says people should go see Wrestling with
Shadows.
Goldberg
vs. Kevin Nash vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
Bigelow
comes out with no music. Nash hits the ring to go after him before
Goldberg arrives. Here comes the champ and the brawl is on. All
three guys slug it out until security comes out to break it up as the
fans pelt the ring with garbage to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D-. This was one of the
worst Nitros in a long time as almost nothing happened. We’ve got
two episodes before Starrcade and Bigelow is still deeply involved in
the main event scene. There are some matches set for the card, but
the TV Title, US Title and Tag Team Titles aren’t being mentioned,
guys like Luger, Jericho, Saturn, the Horsemen and Raven/Kanyon have
no matches yet, and the main story has a third guy added who probably
won’t be on the PPV either. Sadly enough, this is going to be their
last coherent PPV for a very long time.

Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Lightning Round 463

Everyone loves Lightning Rounds, but how bout something with a bit of a twist to them. Best matches for people who weren’t having them or having them with only a select group of talent (a.k.a Shawn or Bret)….
Davey Boy Smith – Singles Match, Post-Bulldogs Era, Not vs. Shawn, Bret, or Owen
That’s pretty specific.  Probably I’d say one of the Hennig matches on Coliseum video.  

Andre The Giant – Heel run of 1987 and later.
 
Against Bret in Milan?
Brutus Beefcake – Singles Only. I won’t be cruel enough to say “WCW Only”.
 
The Dream Team blowoff against Valentine was good, and I recall him having a really good one against Savage in late 89.
The Undertaker – Pre-Attitude Era, Not vs. Mick Foley, Shawn, or Bret.
 
I’m gonna say Warrior because they were decent enough.  
And how bout some not-so-good’s for the hell of it with the obvious choices of “great” workers:
Worst Bret Hart Match
Any of his shitty Dino Bravo abominations on Coliseum video.  
Worst Shawn Michaels Match
He had some bad ones on TV in 97 when he was high all the time.  
Worst Ric Flair Match

JY motherfuckin’ D in 1990.