A few years ago, Brian Bayless was reviewing shoot interviews, including the first four episodes of Brickhouse TV with the hilarious Brickhouse Brown, God rest his soul. Well, Highspots has uploaded the full run to YouTube, so I’ll bring you the final two from the first season.
A two-for-one here, a tribute to Del Wilkes, the Patriot, who died a few days ago of a heart attack, as well as a themed Independence Day review. Wilkes started off as the Trooper in the AWA’s dying days before becoming THE star of the nascent GWF, subsequently leaving when the money dried up and having a decent career wrestling in WCW, Japan and the WWF. In 1991, as a fan aged 9, I didn’t get to see the GWF in the UK but the magazines we got had me believing he could be as big as Sting and Hulk Hogan. Not quite, but still a star that could’ve really shone.
Although I’m not American, here’s my contribution to Independence Day in the USA, a review of some episodes of an old series called Icons of Wrestling, produced by a fellow Brit called Dale Barnes and featuring the likes of Yukon Eric, Abdullah the Butcher and first up Mr. America, Gene Stanlee.
Seeing as it’s a repost from Scott and I fancy checking out some new/old content I thought I’d give the LPWA another shot, on VHS with the theme of ‘The Good Girls’. Rule of thumb used to be with wrestling on video tapes that it would often promise gold and deliver shit, as anyone who’s watched the likes of Koko B. Ware and the Brooklyn Brawler or Jim Neidhart and Skinner do battle on Coliseum Video, but let’s see.
Great intro with some CGI leopards turning into multi-coloured line art female wrestlers who splash off the top rope into an empty ring.
A review of the Chyna documentary from Vice, although it’s not part of the Dark Side of the Ring series. Chyna’s one of those stars who I wasn’t following on and off for all the gory details of her personal life falling apart, although I knew it wasn’t going well a lot of the time.
Well, Scott couldn’t get GLOW over and Mike Fitzgerald is holding out on reviewing the Super Ladies Showdown, so let me see what I can do with an episode of the LPWA. For the uninitiated, this was a Tor Berg promotion that very close links to the dying AWA and even got a bit of a free advert on a Clash of the Champions show one time. They tried to promote it far straighter than GLOW, as you’ll see from the talent featured. It’s a bit of a cult classic and there’s a sad lack of info out there on it, even episode listings, so today’s review features a bit of a random choice of episode.
I doubt people will be queuing up to review this one, so I figured I’d take it.
For a bit of context, as a kid I didn’t know that Jake Roberts, Sam Houston and Rockin’ Robin were related, nor did I know that their father was Grizzly Smith, the fairly benign, friendly-looking old man who would come out and break up fights in WCW in the early nineties. I obviously became aware that the children were brothers and sisters at some point, either via the nascent internet or wrestling magazines, then in the late nineties I watched Beyond the Mat, where Jake was a featured wrestler in possibly the least flattering way possible and under the influence of crack cocaine he shared the details of his birth and some of the personal tragedies he’d experienced in his family life. That seems light in contrast with this episode.
Seeing as all the talk is about this, let’s have a look.
Just to state my position from the start, I think Pillman is one of those guys who had it all. Looks, body, distinctive voice, could talk, a brain in his head, charisma, interesting life story, could wrestle, could brawl, legitimately tough, respected by the right people, pretty boy babyface, sadistic heel, believable… In an ideal world after the Hart Foundation had left town and disbanded he would’ve been the man that Mr. McMahon hired to destroy Steve Austin, because who knew him better and had more reason to want to take him down? Then, after ingratiating himself he would’ve run his own schemes for his greater overall gain, causing havoc throughout the WWF. But, it’s not an ideal world…
A little May Day bonus today, a WCW show from Oberhausen, Germany on June 21st, 1997, during the peak period of the company. This aired on DSF (Deutsches Sportfernsehen [German Sports TV[), which was the preeminent way to watch World Championship Wrestling in Europe. We had Worldwide on ITV for a few years and then Nitro (and later Thunder) on TNT after Cartoon Network had closed down for the day, but DSF had pretty much every WCW from the big ones to Pro and Main Event plus the pay-per-views, on a little bit of a delay and with German commentary, but when you’re a teenager and you love it you’ll sit through anything under any circumstances, plus the dating and chatline commercials were a pleasure in more way than one while breaking up the action!
I’ve always been somewhat intrigued by what wrestling stars did when they were between gigs. For instance, as much as Jim Cornette has talked about lots of other things, his time between leaving WCW and starting SMW is pretty much unspoken for beyond his LPWA commentary gigs and independent shows for Bobby Fulton.
I became a wrestling fan in 1991 properly, so I was vaguely aware of Ravishing Rick Rude but he was out of the WWF by the time I properly knew him. My first exposure to him was really in the pages of Pro Wrestling Illustrated, where his bizarre for feud in IWCCW with fellow recent WWF departee the Honky Tonk Man was getting some coverage, as well as a short-lived Rude Awakening hotline was being advertised.
So, today I’m going to have a look at some of the things he was doing in his independent year between his big WWF run and his return to WCW as the Halloween Phantom.
I’ve not really had anything of interest to review lately alongside being busy, but have seen clips of this on YouTube and while it may end up being a load of bullshit it at least looks to be entertaining bullshit and clocks in at just over an hour.
Filmed in Las Vegas at the Hammer’s place in the last few weeks for Title Match Wrestling.
I was recently reminded of a lost classic match on this show, and it’s not like Scott will be rushing to review an episode of Thunder any time, so I’ve bitten the bullet on this. Although I was on the internet by this point, which was prompting me more than ever to skip certain shows and just read the reports, I did watch this one without any prior knowledge and was in for a pleasant surprise.
Had a really interesting WCW Saturday Night match pop up on my playlist that I wanted to review, so I figured I’d try and make Saturday Night on Saturday Night a thing. Probably helps with that cool Arn/Regal match I reviewed in the Lords of the Ring article too.
This will take in the pre-Nitro glory days and the weirder days of the late nineties. I’m also avoiding the years that are predominantly collected on the Network.
Yesterday, an episode from the early days of Global. Today, an episode from the twilight year of Global. Not sure on the date, but if anyone wants to do the maths from the episode number they’re welcome to.
Gotta mention the intro, which includes a soundbite from the ugly mug of Black Bart and Tim Brooks destroying someone on the outside with a powerbomb that looks like it ended with the guy’s smacking the concrete plus John Tatum punching geek character Sebastian off the apron and him taking a similarly nasty bump through the guardrail. Well, I guess if you’ve got them on tape you’ve got to use them.
After visiting Memphis last weekend, I’m happy to fulfil a request and head to the Sportatorium this weekend for the GWF. When I first read in wrestling magazines about the Global Wrestling Federation in 1991 as a new fan I was quite impressed, with the Patriot seeming a surefire superstar and a abundance of credible stars and a legendary home base. Didn’t take long to go wrong, though.
Today’s review will be an episode from their first year, tomorrow’s review will be an episode from their last year.