Best of British – Arena: Masters of the Canvas

I got one or two votes recently in the Doomies and have had some nice comments for my previous British wrestling reviews, so I thought I’d look at something I’ve had in mind for a while.

1991 – British wrestling is effectively long gone from TV, having been cancelled in 1988, but the legend still lives on, and the promotions still active probably were thankful for the WWF having exploded on the scene, meaning that the average punter would just see ‘Wrestling’ on a poster and go see it again regardless of whether it’s Hulk Hogan or Robbie Brookside.

There’s a reason why when you talk about British wrestling it’s still equated to Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks, because those were the big stars during the TV era, but not far behind was the likes of Kendo Nagasaki. In this episode of the long-running BBC arts show Arena (and check out how cool that intro and theme tune is), reporter/producer Paul Yates seeks one of the most desired and hard to get commodities in all of wrestling – a recorded interview with the masked samurai warrior.

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AWA Superstars – Feb 28, 1988 (Rockers vs. Adonis and Orton)

More after and before the WWF action in the AWA. Gotta comment on the overdubbed music for the opening, which sounds like it would be playing in a rave club in Essex in 1989 as opposed to Verne Gagne’s aging product. “Little” Larry Nelson, who seems to have been sponsored by an orthopaedic chair company for this episode, opens the show. He talks about how the AWA Superstars programme is recorded in front a “semi-live” audience, and anyone who’s watched an AWA show knows how accurate that description is. It’s a “Day of Champions” today. Especially topical too with Adonis and Orton featuring on the newly uploaded episodes of Wrestling Challenge.

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AWA All Star Wrestling – Jan. 25, 1987

Continuing on with the Network’s limited AWA run, the only listed TV episode from 1987, featuring an introduction from Rodger Kent against what sounds like the disco version of Star Wars. I have to imagine they’d had this for about ten years or so by this point. Introduced by Larry Nelson and Gary Ron… I’ve never heard of him, either.

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Obscure Jewels!

A match popped up on my YouTube feed that looked far too good to let pass without talking about, so taking a break from the normal shows I’ve been looking at for a mix of different stuff that deserves having some light shed on it, featuring the Sarge, Mr. Wonderful, Sid and Jake and the Undertaker, Bobby Heenan as a “manager” after his retirement, plus more!

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WCW Worldwide – August 29th, 1992

Missing a week, but not missing much.

Before the credits, Cowboy reads a congratulatory message to Ron Simmons at CNN Centre, in a polo shirt, looking like he popped down on his way to the bog. FFS, Bill! Ron says it’ll take an Act of Congress to get the belt off his waist. Careful, Ron, getting political there!

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AEW – Angry, Elderly Wrestling fans!

Thought I’d share this, as Bouncing Beulah the Stunt Granny came up in the Nitro repost. This is a news item on wrestling from 1980 featuring Pat Patterson, doing his best impression of a heterosexual, Ernie Ladd, Phil Zacko, who they probably need to pump up their ratings and figures now, and Ms. Georgette Krieger. Enjoy!

International Championship Wrestling from the IWA

When I became a fan of wrestling while growing up in the nineties, it wasn’t uncommon after the explosion of the WWF in the UK to see smaller video companies releasing wrestling shows on tape to cash in on the popularity. One line of tapes was releases of the IWA wrestling programme International Championship Wrestling. The main promoter was Pedro Martinez, but the money man was Eddie Einhorn, and there was a legitimate attempt to challenge the WWWF with the quality of stars they had, as you’ll see in this funky roll call:

What I love about that video, as mentioned elsewhere, is how Tex McKenzie comes in like a man possessed, then all the life drains out of him in a second.

This episode has just been uploaded to YouTube, so I thought I’d give it a look.

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The 1997 Slammy Awards!

Happy new year!

This popped up in my YouTube suggestions, I guess based off the recent Slammy Awards a fortnight or so ago. I’ve never watched this before, but it’s from the peak of my fandom (1997) and was always said to be a legendarily snarky event, so thought I’d give it a look.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – T-U-R-T-L-E Power!

One more review before I call it a year, unless some interesting podcast or shoot interview pops up in the next week. Will probably put out a post for review requests prior to the middle of February when I have a few days off work again.

Don’t really want to editorialise, but I’m not especially convinced that the last number of the year 2020 going up by one will make that much of a difference in the world, but let’s stay optimistic. This has been the worst year ever for a lot of people, which I can attest to personally as well as for many of my friends, and the same across the world. Fingers crossed things start changing soon.

Until then…

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