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.

The ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: April 16, 2020

Greetings, fellow house arrestees!

ITEM: Today we said goodbye to Howard Finkel.  Click the link here to read my summary of his career.

ITEM: Cody Rhodes posted on Instagram talking about how much admiration he had for Matt Cardona (aka Zack Ryder).  The two are known to be friends, and speculation has begun of a Major signing heading to AEW.  Get it?  Major?  Right, I’m not funny, sorry.

ITEM: Tommy Dreamer says that given the current situation, fans shouldn’t be mad at WWE or Vince for making roster cuts.  This one was wildly debated in the Daily, and I’ll just say I’m on the side of “Vince did it all wrong here”.  If you want to re-ignite the debate, go for it.

I just wanna watch some matches.  Who’s with me?

Read moreThe ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: April 16, 2020

Obituary: Howard Finkel (1950-2020)

WWE announced on their website and through social media that Howard Finkel, the golden voice known as “The Fink” to many longtime fans, passed away today at age 69.

Finkel worked the WWWF starting in 1975 and was the first full-time employee in the territory hired by Vincent J. McMahon.  Starting in 1980, he expanded his vocal talents to include introducing TV shows and video releases.  It wasn’t until 1984, though, that Finkel became the lead ring announcer in the WWF, a role held for the better part of 18 years.  He was more than a ring announcer, though; he was an idea man, not only coining the term “WrestleMania” but seeing Ricky Steamboat’s vague Bruce Lee resemblance and martial arts skills and nicknaming him “The Dragon”.

Throughout most of his career, Finkel was simply a voice, but a signature one.  His basso profundo became the signature sound associated with the Golden Era of the WWF, including appearances at most WrestleManias.  One thing Finkel always recognized was that a title change was, in kayfabe terms, a big deal.  His emphasis on the word “NEW” has become so well known other ring announcers mimic it to this day.  (He also loved to emphasize “ONE fall!” at the end of announcements, another one that has become practically a meme in today’s wrestling society.)

Not that Finkel was just a background character; there would be times he was allowed to be an important part of the story.  The first memorable one was in 1991, when Ted DiBiase paid him to take the night off.  It turns out DiBiase’s plan was to cost Kerry Von Erich the Intercontinental Title back to Mr. Perfect (a side effect of the DiBiase/Dusty Rhodes feud; Von Erich had taken exception to the Rhodes family being called dumb Texans and attacked DiBiase on the Brother Love show).  Soon after was his most famous animosity, as Harvey Whippleman took a displeasure to Finkel’s announcing style (and the feeling was mutual).  It culminated in WrestleMania X, when a toupee-wearing Fink (don’t ask) knocked out Whippleman moments before Earthquake crushed his client Adam Bomb.

The Attitude Era would see a return of Finkel as more than just a man with a mic.  Jeff Jarrett, embracing his arrogant bully side, took off a few locks of (what was left of) Finkel’s hair to send a statement to his then-rival X-Pac.  When X-Pac in turn beat Jarrett in their lucha de apuesta, Jarrett’s hair had to be cut down; Finkel assisted the degenerate in cutting Jarrett’s long locks and giving him his now-signature flat top.

Inevitably, because this was the Attitude Era, Finkel would act heelish.  The first time came in 1999, when he became Chris Jericho’s sidekick and fall guy in Jericho’s first feud against Ken Shamrock.  One of the more memorable moments was when Jericho convinced Finkel to distract Shamrock while dressed as the Ultimate Warrior.  (Things didn’t go well for Howard that night.)  Later, in 2002, he became offended that Lilian Garcia would attempt to take his place on Raw and adopted a more sexist stance on the replacement.  Garcia, with Trish Stratus’s help, defeated Finkel in a Tuxedo/Gown match and left him in his underwear.

Backstage, Finkel enjoyed a role as the WWE’s chief statistician.  His knowledge of the company’s history was so in-depth that WWE had an online show “Out-Think the Fink” to see if anyone could stump him on WWE knowledge.  In addition to this, Finkel appeared in other online series such as “Legends’ House” and as the off-screen announcer for “The Edge and Christian Show (That Reeks of Awesomeness)”, plus regular appearances on “The JBL and Cole Show”.

Finkel was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009; the Observer inducted him in 2018.  Finkel was involved in one way or another for the first 32 WrestleManias, but stated his favorite professional moment was being in the ring for WrestleMania III and the battle between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant.  His final announcement was at Raw’s 25th anniversary, albeit pre-recorded, when he brought The Undertaker out to the crowd.

We here in the wrestling universe send our thoughts and prayers to Finkel’s family and friends.

Information for this obituary from Wikipedia.


The ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: April 9, 2020

I swear, I’ll be a spokeman for DayQuil if I get famous.  That KOs my headache every time.

BREAKING NEWS: UFC 249 and all other UFC events for the near future are canceled and shut down.  Experts attribute this about face to “someone finally realizing Dana White was clinically insane”.  White said he was ready to go but “things were taken out of his control”, which seems like a fancy way of saying “people finally realized I have more money than common sense”.

I can speak from experience (well, secondhand experience, anyway) that there are some wrestlers who should never be told by management “take all the time you need”.  Gargano and Ciampa appear to be in that category.

Hey, stick around after the jump for some Indie Prime Cuts!

Read moreThe ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: April 9, 2020

The ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: April 2, 2020

…I should make progress on that fantasy card thing.  50-hour weeks in the field I’m in will kill my energy.

Today I am supposed to be in Tampa helping Prime Time Pro with their event while getting psyched for CRAB’s big stage debut.  We were gonna have the Ugly Duckling, GymNasty Boys, Carnies, and Capital Vices in a huge four-way elimination match, plus the Sandman was gonna take on Kevin Sullivan in a tag team cage match (I forget who their partners were going to be).  Alas.

But I’m gonna have some fun.  After the jump, a slew of awesome matches including a few recommended by you the readers!

Read moreThe ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Thread: April 2, 2020

Daily News Update – April 2, 2020

Stay sane, stay safe, and hope for the best.

So let’s help each other, because heaven knows we need it.  I’ll be back tonight with an ESSENTIAL Thursday Night Chat Thread, complete with multiple indie matches so we can support the lifeblood of wrestling when it returns.

On This Day, 1991: Duke beat Kansas to win its first national title.  Go Devils!

Also On This Day, 1985: Villanova beat Georgetown to win its first national title.  Yay.

Talk about life here.  (If Scott wishes to jump in and add a WrestleMania match, he can.  YT is NFF’d for me at this location.)

Sunday Night Reset: March 29, 2020

In case any of you have been wondering about where I’ve been the last two Friday Night Party Threads… the answer is asleep.  I work 10 hours a day now on my job and Friday is merely a recharge.

US federal guidelines have been extended another 30 days, which is what I expected, really.  I’ve always said May 1 is the earliest we’d be out of the woods.

ESPN has a deal to air classic WrestleManias on Sunday night, but instead they’re showing Mania 32.

Enjoy the night, and stay safe.

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.

Sunday Night Reset: March 15, 2020

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


…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!