The ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: March 26, 2020

Well, with me doing longer hours, the All-Time Supercard that Lawrence and Art helped make may be a few days.  Sorry, guys, and to anyone else who found their match ideas interesting.  I’m working as best I can.

No indie reports, because independent wrestlers actually put themselves on lockdown when told to go on lockdown.

Meanwhile, here’s a match from BEYOND for your viewing pleasure, as WWE longtimer Swoggle goes against AEW Friend Chuck Taylor… in WeeLC II!

Bring at least six feet of insanity!

Sunday Night Reset: March 22, 2020

Everybody at home?  Good.

WrestleMania XXX on ESPN tonight.  I was planning on typing up a “preview” of it, but instead I’m just going to remain as inactive as possible.

This sucks.  Everything about it sucks.  I don’t expect us to start clearing out until May 1.  But if we all do our part, it can suck less.  And then we can ask for Xi’s head on a silver platter.

Enjoy the night.

Thursday Night Talk: March 19, 2020

If you go to IWTV tonight, they’re showing the Trent Acid Memorial Cup.  You know, if you need a fix of wrestling in front of a crowd.

Don’t we all.

In honor of the retirement of Martin Kirby, here’s his finest hour (literally): the WCPW Rumble in 2017.

Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands.  Have fun.

And yeah, bring some insanity — we need it.

Sunday Night Reset: March 15, 2020

Allow me to be the first (I think) to make this bad joke:

CORONAVIRUS 3/16 SAYS I JUST EMPTIED YOUR ARENA!

…there, now you can all feel better about your sense of humor.

I have to go back to work tomorrow because I work in health.  I am scared, and I am worried, because to avoid work would be irresponsible toward those I serve… and to go would increase my chances of sickness.  I know this is why they say social isolation — to protect those who can’t socially isolate like me.  Doesn’t mean I’m any comforted by it.

Oh well… I’ll work on that show tonight we put together.  Might tide us over during the week.

Enjoy the night, and stay in if you can.  And prayers and vibes to those who can’t.  We’re in for a rough ride.

WWE Friday Night Party Thread, Episode 24 — LETHAL LOCKDOWN

We made it.  Everyone take a breath.  Just remember, every day we survive is another day to do good and be good out there.  We are all gonna get through this together.  I’m rooting for all of you.

SmackDown is still on the air, but everyone is appearing in the WWE’s bunker in Orlando.  Jeff Hardy will be making his return to address the thousands of fans he thinks he sees in attendance.

…what, would you rather I make that joke about Paige?

I don’t know what else is gonna happen.  I don’t know where we’re going.  The wrestlers don’t, the staff doesn’t.  Only the voices in Vince’s head know for sure.  And he’s too busy hoping WrestleMania gets burned down for the insurance money.

As for me?  I’ll be putting together the Ultimate Fantasy Card we had in the day thread.  Thanks to Lawrence Talbot and ABoyNamedArt for being primary contributors.  And Scott, consider this your warning: we’re sending the card to you to help us book.  (Hey, I might post a write-up here in the style of Bayless’ old e-fed.  Something to tide us over for the weekend.)

All right, guys, we’ve been over the rules.  I expect you to follow the mods’ instructions at all times.  No hitting below the belt.  I want a good, clean comment thread.  Now touch gloves (latex preferably) and enjoy the weekend!

Thursday Night Talk: March 12, 2020

NBA?  On hiatus.  NHL?  On hiatus.  MLB?  On hiatus.  MLS?  On hiatus.  NCAA?  Going home early.  Most college campuses?  On lockdown.

WWE and XFL?  Not while there’s money for Vince to make, PAL!

I won’t tell you about the indie shows like I usually do because I don’t think they should be running at a time like this.  EVOLVE has already pulled the plug, as has OTT (Ireland’s premier show would have been this weekend, with David Starr against Jon Moxley up top).  Stay safe and do what you always do — hide in your parents’ basement to get irradiated by your computer.

Bring the insanity, everyone.

Elimination Chamber 2020 Thread

Okay, just a thought: people who complain that WWE doesn’t try to make new stars should check this out.  The Street Profits, Humberto Carrillo, and Drew Gulak all have their highest-profile match yet.  I’m not saying they’re going to be given a big push, but this show is about seeing if new faces can resonate with the crowd.  This is the chance for new stars, and that in and of itself is kind of fun.

And then there’s the two chamber matches, which are there.  One is at least going to be a fun trainwreck (the tag one) even if the titles are kind of cold right now, and the other is the most foregone conclusion since… geez, you tell me.

All right, y’all, let’s keep it clean and enjoy the night!

WWE Friday Night Party Thread, Episode 23 — TWELVE ANGRY TAG TEAMERS

We made it!

So the big story for this SmackDown is the match that will likely eat up a lot of the show (that way Vince didn’t have to think too hard about booking): the Tag Team Chamber is holding a gauntlet match!  The winner of this Tag Team Turmoil  — hey, remember when that’s what it was called? — will be the last team to enter the Elimination Chamber match on Sunday.  Now, far be it from me to tell Vince how to run a company, but wouldn’t it make sense to have the champs enter last?  Just thinking.

One of the big mysteries of last week’s show was that The Fiend came out and just ASKED for a match with John Cena.  There was no attack, no stalking, none of that — just point to the sign and let’s get it on.  Why was that?  (Because Vince rewrote the show last minute and Firefly Fun House would have needed to be pre-taped.)  Okay, but in kayfabe why was that?  Hopefully Mr. Wyatt’s Neighborhood can explain something as the Firefly Fun House returns tonight!

The following paragraph is paid for by the New World Order.

Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall (and Sean Waltman for some reason) are the headlining act of the 2020 Hall of Fame class!  Today, the Kliq members will be having a sit-down with Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross on A Moment Of Bliss as we find out their feelings on entering the Hall!  Given the way SmackDown went last week, they may even get a match out of it!

The preceding paragraph has been paid for by the New World Order.

Bayley and Sasha Banks take on Naomi and Lacey Evans tonight… wait, again?  Yes, again.  It appears Bayley needs one of the three people to step up and challenge her, and we all know which one it’ll be.  (Hint: the one who left to tape Star Wars.)  Although she did cheat to beat Naomi, so maybe the proper blowoff is coming at WrestleMania, where OH WHO ARE WE KIDDING it’ll be Sasha because what you do away from the ring matters more than what you do in it.  (Not that Sasha is bad — miles better than Lacey — but the tiebreaker is always the person who gets outside dates in Vinceland.)

I’ll be back later tonight with a Friday Indie Spotlight, where I’ll review what is for now the last show in Basement East history.  Prayers for Nashville, yo.

All right, we’ve been over the rules.  No hitting below the belt, no porn, and no bitchassedness.  I expect a good clean thread.  Please obey the mod’s orders at all times.

Let’s keep it clean and Enjoy the Weekend!

Indies and Insanity: March 5, 2020 no

As of this writing, I’m not sure what show I’ll recap, but it will be something from Southern Underground Pro, in tribute to Nashville.

Tonight, the NBA on TNT has Clippers/Rockets, then Raptors/Warriors (Stephen Curry alert).  ESPN has Illinois/Ohio State, then Wichita State/Memphis.  ESPN2 has Pac-12 After Dark with Washington/Arizona State, then Cal/Oregon.  CBSSN has Houston/UConn, then a pair of Mountain West Conference quarterfinals (New Mexico/Utah State and Wyoming/Nevada — Utah State could steal an at-large bid).  FS1 gives us Nebraska/Michigan, then Wazzu/Arizona.

It’s one of the signature indie show weekends coming up, so let’s take a look!

Read moreIndies and Insanity: March 5, 2020 no

Sunday Night Reset: March 1, 2020

Man, amazing what you can do when you pay attention to continuity.  Wrestling isn’t a variety show; it’s a television show.

Tonight’s XFL Game is Defenders against Vipers, and you better believe I’m on ESPN2 watching that.

Congrats to the Duke women, who beat UNC by 19 to end the regular season 18-11, 12-6, and likely getting into the NCAA tournament.  Let’s bring home the tourney crown!

Enjoy the night.

WWE Friday Night Party Thread, Episode 22 — THE CHAMP IS… WAIT, WHO?

We made it!

And this time, so did the WWE from Riyadh!  Everyone’s back in the USA and coronavirus-free, which means we now deal with the results of In Your Castle!  These glorified Saudi house shows always have intriguing matchups, but it’s a month before WrestleMania so it’s not like they’d throw out all their plans for the prince who wants to… look, what do you want; can’t you see I’m busy?

*whisper in his ear*

They what now?  Yowie wowie, did Vince change his mind again?

Well, at least now we have clear sailing on the road to WrestleMania, and TV can focus on…

*same person whispers again*

…ANOTHER ONE?  Ten days!?

Okay, okay, so things are a little weird out there.  But the important thing is that they’re not pulling any surprises or any other tricks just to pop a rating to… go away, no need to whisper, this one’s a joke.  We all know John Cena’s appearing because it’s Boston, and that’s perfectly fine.

No actual matches have been announced, which means it’s hard to do a preview for this show.

*whisperer returns*

….yeah, I thought of doing some sort of stupid gimmick post, but who’d want to read that?

Okay, guys, we’ve been over the rules in the back.  Pay attention to the mods’ commands at all times.  I want a good clean thread.  Now shake hands and let’s enjoy the weekend!

Friday Indie Spotlight Thing: Saint Louis Anarchy In Your Hall Strong Style

Resolved: tournaments are awesome. So if I see a tournament, I’m bringing it to you in an attempt to see if you can find someone you love. Since the retro stuff wasn’t getting replies, let’s go the up-to-date shows. In this case, it’s a one-night, eight-man tournament billed as a Strong Style tournament.

Strong Style is one of those things I didn’t like as a concept for a very long time because it was based on hitting your opponent harder than normal even though it wasn’t a real fight. But as with all things, evolution happens. The rise of UFC has allowed for a different type of strong style, one where people are strikers instead of grapplers. Let’s see which one is on display here as we look back at one of last week’s signature shows.

The PG Era Rant for St Louis Anarchy’s In Your Hall: Strong Style. Tape runtime: 188 minutes.

From Alton, Illinois, just across the Mississippi River. Show date February 21, 2020.

Your hosts are Sean Orleans, Mac Jackson, and Dylan Hales, with Stepstool Sarah as your ring announcer.

The eight people in this tournament are: Aaron Williams, Brett Ison, Curt Stallion, Daniel Makabe, Erick Stevens, Gary Jay, Jake Dirden, and Thomas Shire.  (In the picture above — Back row, l-r: Stevens, Jay; Middle row, l-r: Ison, Makabe; Front row, l-r: Dirden, Shire, Williams, Stallion.)

Read moreFriday Indie Spotlight Thing: Saint Louis Anarchy In Your Hall Strong Style

Indies and Insanity: February 27, 2020

As I’ve mentioned in a few chat threads, I’M GOING TO WRESTLEMANIA (weekend)!  CRAB Wrestling is part of a group of promotions running out of the American Legion Post 5 “USS Tampa” over the weekend.  The fun begins Thursday afternoon with Prime Time Pro Wrestling and Fightful dot com teaming up for Sean Ross Sapp… Served Tall.  Friday is a tripleheader with CRUX Wrestling, Classic Pro, and us at CRAB.  Then Saturday Night in the After Dark slot, Faye Jackson is running a Gray Sweatpants Battle Royal show!

Hoops me!  Your NBA/TNT doubleheader is Blazers/Pacers, then Lakers/Warriors.  ESPN gives you Temple/Wichita State, then Arizona/USC.  ESPN2 has Wisconsin/Michigan, Ohio State/Nebraska, and Oregon State/Oregon.  ESPNU has Radford/Hampton (Big South), some E:60 documentaries, and UC Irvine/Cal Poly (Big West).  CBSSN gives you Delaware/Charleston (Colonial), Louisiana Tech/Western Kentucky (Conference USA), and Saint Mary’s/Santa Clara (West Coast).  FS1 has a big rivalry game with Indiana/Purdue.

My Friday Indie Spotlight Thing will go to Alton, Illinois, for a one-night tournament.  Tournaments are awesome!  Unless they’re held in Saudi Arabia.

Enough yakkin, let’s get to your Indie planner!

Read moreIndies and Insanity: February 27, 2020

Sunday Night Reset: February 23, 2020

COME AFTER ME!  I’M A MAN!  I’M 40!

(Yeah, I’ve been saving that one for some time.)

But seriously, this is my milestone 40th birthday and I was all ready to spend it with the guys at CRAB when my ride pulled out at the last minute.  To say I’m pissed off about it would be… kind of accurate, really.

XFL going on right now.  Everybody lost in college hoops this week.  And I’m gonna watch WM12 and WM13 to drown my sorrows.  Thank heaven I got tomorrow off as a birthday present.

Enjoy the night.

WWE Friday Night Party Thread, Episode 21 — LA VITA BELLA

We made it!

So it looks like it’s Get People In The Hall Of Fame season.  With that in mind, A Moment of Bliss will have the Bella Twins as their four guests tonight.  (What?  They’re both pregnant.  What did you think I meant?)  It’s been heavily rumored that this will result in announcing them as Hall Of Famers, a rumor that has made people very Mad Online because the Bellas were the old guard the women’s revolution was supposed to knock out.  As a reminder, wrestling is a work.

(Side note: Davey Boy Smith and John Bradshaw Layfield are also said to be going in.  I may have to watch the HOF ceremony just to hear JBL’s speech.  His inductions of the Briscoes, Ron Simmons, and Teddy Long were amazing.  The dude can give a speech, lemme tell ya.)

Meanwhile, it’s official that Goldberg will face the Fiend at In Your Mosque: Riyadh or Die.  (I wish I could remember which of you weirdos coined this so I can give you credit.)  But something like this needs the proper build-up.  And that means Goldberg will be on SmackDown tonight!  He might even be in the building, who knows?

As for the actual roster (what a concept), Carmella and Naomi have a match tonight.  Carmella is the resident #1 contender for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, but she lost her match to Bay Lee Billionaire last week.  So now Naomi wants her turn; why not have the top 2 contenders go at it?  Sounds like a plan!

There’s an NBA doubleheader on ESPN.  Or if you want to kill two hours with wrestling in front of a HAPPY crowd, go check out my review of Hoppy Place before watching it in the IWTV archives!

Internet Burn of the Week goes to CM Punk, who — when someone suggested Saudi Arabia get an XFL team — said they should be named the Riyadh Bone Saws.

All right, everyone, we’ve been over the rules.  I expect you to follow Scott’s orders at all times. No porn, no personal attacks; let’s keep it clean.  Now shake hands and come out swinging. Enjoy the weekend!

LET’S GET IT ON!

Friday Indie Spotlight Thing: NOVA Pro Hoppy Place

When I started this series, I wasn’t always thinking it would deviate from recent shows, but IWTV is so chock full of amazing stuff that basically any recently posted show is like catnip. That’s why I hit the 2018 JT Lightning Invitational. However, I kinda knew I’d reserve this weekend in February for my own amusement. I love wrestling in the DMV, and so I’m doing a DMV show from about a year ago. Why this show? It’s the first time I worked as main ring announcer at a recorded event!

Also, this is the first show hosted by the Old Ox Brewery in Ashburn, which right now is basically the home away from home for CRAB Wrestling. With news that the 2020 CRAB season in Ashburn begins May 2 (and that we’ll be involved in Mania weekend – Saturday show, American Legion Post 5 “USS Tampa”, get your tickets while you can!), I figured I’d go see how Ashburn’s love affair with indie wrestling began. But mostly, I’m here for myself. My birthday weekend, after all.

The PG Era Rant for Nova Pro Wrestling Hoppy Place. Tape runtime: 128 minutes.

From Ashburn, VA. Show date December 15, 2018.

Your host in Jason Heat with a rotating cast of guys helping him out. Your referees are Stephon Smith, Chris Sharpe, Bill Olsen, and Todd Myers. And I, Andrew McHale as I was known, am your ring announcer. I do a little firing up of the crowd (suffering from a voice crack – it happens to me if I try too hard to be loud), and here we go.

Read moreFriday Indie Spotlight Thing: NOVA Pro Hoppy Place

Indies and Insanity: February 20, 2020

Since this is my birthday weekend (I turn 40 on Sunday, god help me), I’m reviewing an old Nova Pro show that I happened to take part in!  Indulge me!

Thursday Night Hoops: your NBA ON TNT doubleheader is Nets/Sixers, followed by Rockets/Warriors.  ESPN gives you Ohio State/Iowa, then Oregon/Arizona State.  ESPN2 follows with UConn/Temple, USC/Colorado, and San Fran/Gonzaga.  ESPNU goes for the little D-1 schools with Vermont/Stony Brook, UNC-Asheville/Radford, and Hawaii/UC-Riverside.  (Thirty points for naming all three conferences these games are from.)  CBSSN has South Florida/Wichita, then a WCC doubleheader with Santa Clara/BYU and LMU/Saint Mary’s.  FS1 completes the whiparound coverage with Sparty/Nebraska.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting to skip over, it’s the Indie Weekend Roundup!  Details after the jump as always.

Read moreIndies and Insanity: February 20, 2020

Sunday Night Reset: February 16, 2020

Next week is my birthday.  Yay.

XFL Main Event tonight is St. Louis against Houston, which is almost certainly going to be the game of the week after a 17-9 yawnfest, a DC shutout (GO DEFENDERS!), and a field goal battle in LA.

(Edit: I wrote the previous paragraph before the fourth quarter.  It’s gone from 9-6 to 25-18.  Shows you what I know.)

CRAB Wrestling is going to be at Mania weekend!  We’ll be performing as part of a mini-Collective with Prime Time Pro, Crux Wrestling, and a special one-off event booked by Faye Jackson.  We’re going to Tampa!

Enjoy the night.

Friday Indie Spotlight Thing: 2018 JT Lightning Invitational Tournament, Night Two

If you’re gonna do the first half of a two-parter, you’re kind of obligated to do the second half too, aren’t you?

The PG Era Rant for the JT Lightning Invitational Tournament, Part Two.

From Cleveland, Ohio, and hosted by AIW. Held May 27, 2018. Tape runtime: 195 minutes.

Your hosts are Matt Wadsworth and Brian Carson, although Carson arrives late and others take his place early on.

Pre-show promos come from Colt Cabana, Tom Lawlor, Andrew Everett, Matthew Justice, and The Besties In The World.

Read moreFriday Indie Spotlight Thing: 2018 JT Lightning Invitational Tournament, Night Two

Indies and Insanity: February 13, 2020

Tomorrow, I’ll look at Night Two of the 2018 JT Lightning Invitational.  Which of the remaining 12 guys takes home the trophy, and will the trophy survive the show?

Sports dial: Just one NBA game on TNT tonight, as the Clippers and Celtics meet just before the All-Star Break.  The NHL has their game on NBCSN, as it’s Flyers/Panthers.  But College hoops is where it’s at!  ESPN is running Memphis/Cincinnati, then Colorado/Oregon (warning: Bill Walton AND Mark Jackson on color).  ESPN2 has Wichita State/Central Florida, then Washington/USC, then Arizona State/Stanford.  ESPNU gives us the deep cuts: Winthrop/Gardner-Webb, Murray State/Austin Peay, and BYU/Loyola Marymount.  CBSSN is finishing up Bryant/Sacred Heart as this goes live, and following that will be Charleston/Hofstra and Marshall/UTSA.  Plus, FS1 will have Arizona/Cal after their coverage from Daytona is up!

And now, after the break, your indie report!

Read moreIndies and Insanity: February 13, 2020