Friday Night Party Thread: May 29, 2020

We made it!

Hey, this weekend I start a project for my guys at CRAB Wrestling in Maryland.  Don’t wanna give anything away, but you will see what it is.  So that’s why this is rushed — need to do research.

Tomorrow, Mike returns to review WCW Great American Bash main events!  Pray for him.

In the immortal words of time-traveler Rufus, “Be excellent to each other.”


The ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: May 28, 2020

Folks, my usual glurge goes here: the world has moments when it sucks.  Especially now, it can seem like we’re living in unprecedented bad times. And as such, you may feel like you can’t fix everything, so you can’t fix anything.  I’m here to say that’s bullshit.

I live nowhere near Hong Kong, so China’s takeover is something I can’t impact.  I’m way too far away from the Twin Cities, so it all feels like watching a horrible movie with the added cringe of knowing it really happened.  Seeing reports of people hurt on social media?  Yeah, it sucks, and there’s nothing we can do.  Except… there kind of is.

Just remember this: life is not a zero-sum game.  You can help someone win without forcing someone else, or yourself, to lose.  Or, if you feel that doesn’t work, remember that your loss is less than their gain.  Just an example: the masks.  If you’re asymptomatic, wearing that mask is a temporary inconvenience to you and a potential life-saver to others!  Now apply that to other areas.  Drop a dollar in a street musician’s guitar case.  Ask the old person with the groceries if you can carry a few.  If someone needs correcting, be gentle — teach, don’t preach.  The world will get just a little bit better if you want it to.  Just like your mom will get just a little bit thinner if she wants to, the only difference being she won’t do anything about it.

(That’s my one per week.)

And now, let’s look at some indie wrestling to wile away the time!

Read moreThe ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: May 28, 2020

Daily News Update and Chatting: May 26, 2020

Take it easy and rest your shoulder, Scott — I got your back!

Cageside, hit me with the news and rumors and innuendo!

  • Matt Riddle is getting THE CALL to the main roster.  Expect the match with Thatcher to be how they write him out of NXT.
  • They never fired Drew Gulak; his contract expired during negotiations.  Well, negotiations complete — he’s back!  Expect him on Friday.
  • The reason it took WWE so long to follow AEW’s lead of using wrestlers and staff as an audience is that Vince felt, given how big social distancing measures were, it would be a bad look on TV.  That said, until the governments give the green light to bring fans back in, this is the new normal on WWE television.
  • Matt Jackson’s torso being taped wasn’t part of the angle; according to his family, he actually did/does have a broken rib and powered through it for the Stadium Stampede.

Sunday Night Reset: May 24, 2020

Let’s have some fun today, since tomorrow’s a federal holiday anyway.  I have NFL GamePass and access to every game from 2009-2019.  First person to pick a year, a week, and a team, I’ll watch that game.  If you pick a combo that comes up BYE WEEK, it’ll go to the next person.  I’m flying blind, people!

One more week until northern Virginia tries to re-open a shade.  I want things to be better; I’m afraid, but hopeful.  I’m just glad the public seems to be figuring out their part.

Tomorrow, we have an ECW TV show recap and another Monday Joshi Spotlight!

Enjoy the night.

Friday Night Open Mic: May 22, 2020

…man.  I, uh… geez.

I hate that I have to do this today.  It’s Friday, the US is ready to start a long weekend, we should all be happy.  I want to be happy, I want to feel fun.  Sit down, put on YouTube, maybe play some video games… it’s been a rough week in a string of them, and as I usually say, we’ve made it.

Only… one of us didn’t make it.

I mean, I hate to suck the life out of this place and dwell on it, but it’s kinda hitting me hard, too.  I don’t think of this place as tough, or the people here as bad people.  There’s some I like talking to more than others — no names, that wouldn’t be fair — but I honestly am cool with all of you.  And I know I’m sometimes a jackass here, but I would hope I’m good enough that y’all are cool with me, too.  That’s the place we have here.

And I know all of you were helping.  I trust that in you.  We don’t allow horrible behavior here.  We stop arguments when they get out of hand.  We’re cognizant of the idea of cyberbullying and how words have impact, and honestly, that’s great.  All of it.  Even if you do everything right, when the worst-case scenario unfolds, the pain remains.  And all of us just sit back and look back in retrospect — what was the tipping point?  Did it happen before us?

Those who were around at the right time seem to say it was a decision made that we could not overturn.  That doesn’t make it easier. Because we lost one of us.  The fact that it hit everyone so close to home when this is someone we’ve never met and only know as words on a screen shows the empathy and the camaraderie we have here.  And guys… that’s not going away.

I love you all.

Enjoy the weekend.

The ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: May 21, 2020

Man, I hope by the time this is over I can tell the difference between Covid symptoms and allergies, for my own sake.

Wednesday ratings are in, and the winner between AEW and NXT is… NASCAR, which beat their combined score.  But hey, both networks are happy and so on.

Thanks again to everyone who read my comments on Shad Gaspard’s final, heroic act.  It was especially moving hearing from all the parents out here who have said that they wouldn’t have hesitated to do the same thing he did.  It’s a wonderful sign, especially in times when all you get bombarded with are the horrible exceptions to the rule, that family is still a binding and powerful element, and that almost all children remain in good, safe hands.  Take a bow, one and all.  (Or a curtsy.  I see you, Princess.)

And now, some under-the-radar love with good matches YOU can enjoy from before they were stars and when they were kings.

Read moreThe ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: May 21, 2020

APPRECIATION: Shad Gaspard (1981-2020)

I am not a parent.

I have done sitting for younger neighbors as a teen and tutored them through high school in advanced math concepts.  At work, I look after the kids of other office members when it’s Take Your Child To Work Day assuming I have spare time.  Through the wrestling training and small shows I have done, I’ve watched over when our company champ’s kids play in the ring after a show at the training center.  Those kids were good kids, and I enjoyed seeing them.

But I am not their parent, or anyone’s.

I also have never been in a life or death situation.  There are people I look over at work who need assistance, and there are people in my neighborhood who live on higher floors I would help downstairs, but those are hardly emergency moments.  Everyday life has a lower risk to it.  You don’t want people to fall and break a bone, but that’s preventative, not active.

All of this is a way for me to say I have never come close to the moment on Sunday – a moment that most of us hope never comes for us.  Life or death hangs in the balance, and people you know and love are in danger.  What do you do?  In that split second, what can you do?

Read moreAPPRECIATION: Shad Gaspard (1981-2020)

Friday Night Party Thread: May 15, 2020


Just want to begin by saying thanks to those who chat here on the regular.  It’s a nice place where we can talk just about anything and people don’t stay mad.  Heck, today we came up with the idea for a series of future posts on the Blog (and a reason for me to once again abuse my author privileges)!  So, yeah, thanks y’all for making my life more fun.

News of the day: Rey Mysterio’s contract expires soon; according to Meltzer, it is likely though not certain he will re-up.  The bit on Monday was open-ended on purpose — if he re-signs, Rey/Rollins is a go; if he doesn’t, Rollins injured Rey so badly he left.

Also: With Edge making a return, many people have asked Christian whether he will also return.  Unfortunately, their injuries are not similar, and Christian himself is enjoying retirement, so… no reunion tag tour.

TONIGHT ON SMACKDOWN: What are Otis’s plans for the briefcase?  Who’s in the IC Title tournament?  Has Braun Strowman gotten the Fiend’s attention?  Just who is that hacker?  And why is Charlotte backstage?

All right folks, we went over the rules in the back.  Abide by the mod’s decisions at all times.  I expect a good, clean thread.  Now, touch gloves and come out posting!


The ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: May 14, 2020

Today’s zen koan: Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  There’s a lot of news out there, and a lot of that news is pointing positively.  The news is not where we want it to be, but it is getting there slowly.  It is okay to be happy about going in the right direction, even as you feel frustration about being so far away.  Little victories mean a lot.

Tonight, FS1 is showing the classic Green Bay/Philadelphia playoff game known as “the 4th and 26 game”.

But you are wrestling fans, so here’s some of what Vince would call Such Good Shit.  I’m giving you enough matches to make a full card!  Join me after the jump!

Read moreThe ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: May 14, 2020

Daily Chat Thread: May 13, 2020

One day closer to the end of the tunnel.

Cageside Seats Rumors and Innuendo ahoy!

  • Sting’s contract with WWE has expired.  It is unknown if he will re-sign there or jump to AEW.
  • Before the Money in the Bank match, Otis Dozovic talked about how he’d like to cash in for the tag titles if he won.  He has, so keep an eye out for that.
  • Dave and Bryan believe Styles/Taker II could happen and be an actual wrestling match as opposed to the cinematic.
  • The struggles of Zelina Vega’s crew are — according to PWInsider — going to lead to someone being removed from the group, likely Austin Theory.
  • THIS WEEK IN VINCE: the shorter Money in the Bank runtime is a Vince mandate.  Since there are no fans in the arena to give their money’s worth, there’s no need to do a full 3-4 hours if it can be done quicker.

Now talk, heathens!

Friday Night Party Thread: May 8, 2020

We made it!

Money in the Bank is just two days away, and it looks like they’re going to make the people run all through the building trying to find a way to the roof.  If Vince puts the Shrine of the Silver Monkey in one of the rooms it’s an automatic five stars.

Tonight’s main event is Nakamura/Cesaro/Corbin vs. Bryan/Gulak/X.  With a wide open sixth slot, this match has the potential to oh who am I kidding it’s gonna be Elias.

Make sure to say hi to your mother this weekend, even if it’s over the phone.  Also, German soccer, NASCAR, and golf look to be re-starting soon.  One can only hope the indies re-open before the year’s over.

Folks, we’ve gone over the rules in the back.  Respect the mod’s ruling at all times.  I want a good clean thread.  Now, touch (latex) gloves, get six feet away in your corner, and be ready to come out posting.

Enjoy the weekend!

The ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: May 7, 2020

Today’s pearl of wisdom comes from old-timey acquaintance of mine and Cultaholic presenter Tom Campbell:

“Never compare your behind the scenes to other people’s greatest hits.”

Basically piggybacking off the “everyone is having trouble, don’t beat yourself up for being less together as someone else” conversation.  Hang tough.  Better days are ahead.

Tomorrow on this blog, our Joshi division files a report on Manami Toyota vs The World!  Eh, my money isn’t on World in this one.

Let’s have some fun — who were the world/national level champions on your 18th birthday?  I have Shawn Michaels, Sting, and Shane Douglas.

And now, some viewing.

Read moreThe ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: May 7, 2020

Sunday Night Reset: May 3, 2020

Hey, Night, happy Star Wars Eve!

Coming tomorrow, the Joshi Spotlight focuses on Toshiyo Yamada.  Meanwhile, we’re on the road to Money in the Bank: the Movie!  Who knew Cheatum the Evil Midget was ahead of his time?

Just remember, guys, be careful.  We’re almost ready to emerge from the darkness.  Summer will be here, and the tests are piling up and ready to save us.  Stay strong.

Enjoy the night.

Friday Night ONLINE Party Thread: May 1, 2020

WE MADE IT!  Boy, has this traditional opening sentence never felt more wonderful.

So I was talking on another blog with people about how, frankly, this whole thing has me on the edge of my rope or whatever mixed metaphor you like.  I felt like I was the only one who felt this way while everyone else I saw (on TV, for example) seemed perfectly content and calm at home.  It was then that people responded, no, the mental toll is real and a lot of people have it.  One said “We’re all like ducks right now: calmly swimming above the water, frantic paddling under the surface.”

If this is you, then just know this situation is not unique.  Certainly it can feel like you’re being asked to be useless, to do nothing, to remove yourself from the world. And that’s a horrifying feeling.  But the truth is, what you’re doing is actively helping: you are keeping a plague from being as devastating as it could have been.

It’s unfortunate that we’ll only get the numbers on how many did die and we don’t have Doctor Strange’s ability to look into alternate universes.  Here in the US we’re at 60-65k and counting.  That’s a lot.  But I have reason to believe, from just looking at NYC’s numbers and extrapolating, that we’d be at close to 150k if we tried to let this disease run its course.  That number would be paralyzing to just the US.  That’s our impact so far.

I’m reminded of the story of Truman and the bomb.  We know, from history, that about 220k people died from those two bombs.  Truman asked his generals about what they would have to do to stop the war against Japan (the generals did not know the bomb existed).  It was the US Navy’s estimate that 800k US soldiers — just US soldiers — would have died, and up to 10 million Japanese citizens would be casualties.

It may not be evident, but we’re doing good for the world right now.  We are not alone in this; all of us can take solace in knowing we’re doing this together.  It’s been rough, I know too well, and it will be rough until we can re-open just a little and see friends again.  But the endgame will be worth it.  Life will slowly return, and someday, we’ll look those people in the eye and say “Thank you for helping with my life, or my friends’ lives, or my mother’s life.”

And they’ll respond, “I already thanked your mom last night after stuffing the 20 into her g-string at the club!”  (Much like Jules, there’s my one per week!)

[In all seriousness, as a coda:  Here’s a link my friends gave me that has helped me.]


As for tonight, we know of four matches on SmackDown. Otis Dozovic battles Dolph Ziggler with the winner going to the Money in the Bank Block Party in Stamford.  Meanwhile, Mandy Rose and Carmella meet with the same prize on the offering.  The New Day will test out the Forgotten Sons in non-title action.  And in the main event, Baron Corbin battles Daniel Bryan.  [People forget how good Corbin looked in NXT against Sami, Joe, and Aries — he is carryable to a good match, and I’m optimistic here!]

All right, we went over the rules in the back.  I expect a good, clean thread.  Make sure to respect the mods’ rulings at all times. Now, I want you to touch latex gloves, go to your corners at least 6 feet apart, and come out posting!



The ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: April 30, 2020

Happy N’Sync Day!

Yeah, I went there, my brain’s gone.

ITEM: Cody Rhodes says he’s a big fan of Matt “Long Island Iced Z” Cardona, but it isn’t All Friends Wrestling, it’s All Elite Wrestling.  Make of that what you will.

ITEM: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis thinks sports fans could return in June or July to live events.  Look, I’m sick of the lockdown and want things back to normal and even I think this is optimistic.

ITEM: Brian Gewirtz found a rough draft of an idea in which Vince McMahon would take his illegitimate son Hornswoggle, tie him up in a pillowcase, and throw him off a bridge to drown him.  Let us all get down on our knees and thank the Wrestling Gods that this idea never made it to Vince’s desk.  (As you know, the Wrestling Gods are Lou Thesz, Gorgeous George, Mick Foley, and JBL.)

Fortunately, the aggregators have found some incredible cuts of wrestling to watch if you’re willing to look under the radar.  Let’s go through some of them!

Read moreThe ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: April 30, 2020

Sunday Night Reset: April 26, 2020

Hello friends.  And others.

I hope your team drafted who you wanted this weekend!  And remember, the Patriots drafted better than you and they had a dog doing the drafting.  (This goes double for Jets fans.)

Tomorrow, do the same thing you always do: try to keep yourself happy and remember, there will be a future beyond this.  It may take weeks, it may take months, but we will be back watching a sold-out wrestling show while discussing how crazy this time was.  So take time to do what makes you happy, and never let anyone tell you you’re not important.  (Jules moment done.)

Enjoy the night.

Friday Night Party Thread: April 24, 2020

We made it!

Tonight, on SmackDown, it’s a celebration of Triple H!

…y’all were supposed to cheer that.


Elsewhere, it’s HR Meeting Day 2, as the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft get underway.  Me?  I’m eating Popeye’s and watching the Buttfumble Game.  I think I win at life.

Anyway, you all know the rules.  I expect a good clean thread.  Put your gloves on before shaking hands, and let’s come out being weird!  ENJOY THE WEEKEND!

The Essential Thursday Night Thread: April 23, 2020

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” — Winston Churchill

TONIGHT!  Live non-wrestling-type sports-thingy as the World’s Most Popular HR Meeting gets underway!  This year, it’s teleconference city for the NFL Draft.  Bill Belichick has already hired someone to hack into the Bucs’ draft room and have them try to trade their offensive line for a ham sandwich.  No one leaves the Family.  That’s the Patriot Way.  (“Godfather” music intensifies)

Botchamania Volume 409 has dropped on YouTube!  Go support Maffew!

And while you’re on YouTube, some indie matches for your flavor!

Read moreThe Essential Thursday Night Thread: April 23, 2020

Sunday Night Reset: April 19, 2020

Hello, inmates of inhumanity.

NFL GamePass is keeping me sane as I miss my indie buddies.

It’s good to see the WWE came to their senses and will do tapings.  If the networks are demanding first-run programming, do what you can.  It’s a bad situation, but, well, do what you gotta do.

GOOD NEWS: South Korea reporting that new coronavirus cases have fallen to where you can count them on your fingers!  HUZZAH!

DISCUSSION: which 80s wrestlers, if you could grab them out of a time machine, would be most intriguing in today’s wrestling landscape?  (I’d hold out for Randy Savage vs Johnny Gargano myself.)

Enjoy the night.