Little Help

Hey Mr. Keith, it is Chris Cucchiara, the humble writer of the book reviews your site used to feature. I know damned well I wore out my welcome towards the end, writing insipid review after insipid review…I was in a bad place life wise. For that, I am eternally regretful, and for you giving me a chance, eternally grateful. Anyway, the source of my consternation and distraction of the time (my pops declining health) is doing much better now. I was hoping you could plug my new site, titansinking.wordpress.com. Shitty name, but it was what WordPress allowed me. God Bless all of your members. I still follow intently and was shocked by Officer Farva's demise. Just looking for a little bump, and I am not above shameless pandering. I do not review books anymore, but shows themselves. Quickly. I would greatly appreciate a plug. titansinking.wordpress.com.

BoD Daily Update

Daniel Bryan Update

Bryan, who was sent home from the European tour, was reported by Bryan Alvarez of “Wrestling Observer Live” to have suffered a concussion after wrestling Sheamus on the 4/2/15 edition of Smackdown. Click on the link below to view the transcript of what Alvarez said about the situation.

http://www.cagesideseats.com/wwe/2015/4/16/8438455/daniel-bryan-reported-suffered-concussion-before-wwe-european-tour


Update on Steve Austin/WWE Situation

According to Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com, WWE sources have indicated to him that there are still problems between both parties. Johnson reports that the WWE sent a cease and desist to prowrestlingtees.com after WrestleMania weekend, which included the website taking down a good amount of shirts that they sell for Austin. There is also talk that John Cena using the springboard stunner is designed as a way to infuriate Austin. It has also been reported that Austin turning down “Tough Enough” was a major factor in the current issues. Austin has said on his podcast that he turned down that role as it conflicted with the filming of “Broken Skull Challenge.”

http://pwinsider.com/article/93102/latest-on-wwe-and-steve-austin.html?p=1

WWE Signing Luchador to a Developmental Deal?

It has been reported that the Laredo Kid, who had a tryout with the company last week, has been offered a deal and is undergoing medical tests and is expected to report to NXT in June as long as no problems arise.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter

TNA Wrestler Leaves the Company

The Great Sanada is apparently gone from the company as he was moved to the “Alumni” section of the TNA website.

http://pwinsider.com/article/93111/another-tna-departure.html?p=1

And make sure to head on over to Place to be Nation as the 2nd Round of the “Greatest Wrestling Theme Song” is underway. You can vote by clicking on the links below:

http://placetobenation.com/ptbns-greatest-wrestling-theme-song-tournament-venice-beach-california-region-round-2-part-1/

http://placetobenation.com/ptbns-greatest-wrestling-theme-song-tournament-venice-beach-california-region-round-2-part-2/

Smackdown – April 16, 2015

Smackdown
Date: April 16, 2015
Location: 02 Arena,
London, England
Attendance: 10,000
Commentators: Michael
Cole, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s time for the last
TV show of the European tour. You can see most of the Extreme Rules
card from here as a lot of the stipulations have been announced. The
main event will see Randy Orton challenging Seth Rollins inside a
cage with the RKO banned. A few things still need to be filled in on
the card though as we’ve got less than two weeks to go. Let’s get to
it.

Opening sequence.
Here’s John Cena to
open things up. Why is he always surprised that a British crowd is
booing a loud American talking about how great his country is and
bragging about being the champion of his country? After a quick look
at Rusev’s attack on Monday, Cena goes over the rules of the Russian
chain match, which is the four corners version. There’s a chance
that he won’t even be in it though because he’s issuing another open
challenge RIGHT NOW.
He gets
Cesaro/Kidd/Natalya, but they’re not here to accept the challenge.
Instead, they’re here to drop FACTS. Cena has been out here
pandering to the crowd (fact!) and saying London deserves a
Wrestlemania (fact!) but that’s a blatant lie. They think the
“please retire” chants should have been directed at Cena, which
the fans here don’t seem to agree with. Cena tells either guy to
bring it on but cue Daniel Bryan to even things up.
Bryan has heard Cesaro
and Kidd calling themselves the greatest champions in WWE today but
he’d like to ask the fans what they think. When he gets to himself
he changes it to being the most handsome man in WWE. That gets a
mixed reaction, so Bryan just asks for the tag match to get the fans
back on his side. Kidd quickly accepts so we can have the Tag Team
Champions lose twice in four days. As a consolation prize, they’ve
got something with that FACT line.
Neville vs. Sheamus
tonight. That would be the third World Champion he’s fought out of
the four opponents he’s faced.
Bray Wyatt vs.
R-Truth
Lawler calls this a
rare in ring appearance for Wyatt. That’s true as it’s been a whole
week since we last saw him wrestle on Smackdown. Truth hammers away
and actually puts Bray down. We get the pelvic thrust but Bray
spiders up and nails an uppercut. The chokeslam is countered so
Wyatt just runs him over and hits Sister Abigail for the pin at 1:38.
That’s the fifth time Bray has squashed Truth on TV in just over a
year.
We look back at the
Divas battle royal on Monday and Naomi jumping Paige post match,
sending her off to film a movie.
This week’s WWE.com
interview is with Roman Reigns, who says he’s going to get back up
every time Big Show puts him down. He’s speaking in just above a
whisper.
Here’s Miz with
something to say. Mizdow got lucky on Monday because he made Mizdow
what he is, just like he made Summer Rae and the Marine 4 into a soon
to be success. Cue Bad News Barrett who says we’re in London
tonight. The fans aren’t here to see a pretend movie star, because
they want to see the future six time Intercontinental Champion.
Miz vs. Bad News
Barrett
Miz spends 27 seconds
taking off his sunglasses and turns into the Bull Hammer for the pin
at 34 seconds. I think the fans have forgotten Monday’s loss to
Cena.
We recap Orton and
Rollins on Raw with both guys winning matches to earn a stipulation
for the title match at Extreme Rules.
Damien Mizdow and
Summer Rae are with Renee Young and celebrate the win on Monday when
Miz comes in. He isn’t cool with Mizdow using his gimmick, but
Summer says Mizdow does Miz better than Miz. Mizdow takes off his
sunglasses and starts imitating Miz again before challenging Miz to
one more match on Monday for the whole Miz character. Summer talks
Miz into taking the match, pretty much guaranteeing that she turns on
Mizdow. She slaps him for good measure.
Sheamus vs. Neville
Neville is now billed
as sensational. Before the match, Sheamus says Neville is a tiny
little man, just like Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler. He brags about
being from the real Ireland and his people don’t like the English.
Neville puts the mouthpiece in and is shoved into the corner for some
forearms to the back. Some front flips give Neville some room to hit
a running hurricanrana to send Sheamus outside for a twisting flip
dive.
Back in and Sheamus
rolls away before Neville can try the Red Arrow. Instead Neville
dives at Sheamus but gets caught in a tilt-a-whirl slam on the floor.
Back with Neville fighting out of a chinlock but Sheamus picks him
up for a suplex and just throws him down in a big crash. The Irish
Curse plants Neville and we hit another chinlock. This one doesn’t
last as long though and Neville avoids a charge, sending Sheamus’
shoulder into the post. A running kick to the face and the standing
moonsault get two for Neville and Sheamus is staggered.
Neville breaks up the
ten forearms and ducks a Brogue Kick before hitting a missile
dropkick. A kick to the head in the corner sets up the Red Arrow but
it’s a middle rope Phoenix Splash for two more instead. Now he goes
up for the Red Arrow but gets crotched down, but Neville counters
White Noise into a sunset flip for two. Back up and Sheamus
clotheslines him out to the floor and drops him onto the announcers’
table for the DQ at 10:53.
Rating: B.
I liked this far more than I was expecting to as Neville continues to
be one of the best pushed rookies in a long time. A few months back,
the rumors came in that he was going to be Mighty Mouse and I think
people too that too literally. They saw it as something like the
Hurricane when it was really going to be more like what Superstar
Bill Dundee saw himself as: a guy who was about 5’7 but saw himself
as 6’4.
Neville
is a small guy who has been thrown out there with three World
Champions and a former Intercontinental Champion but hasn’t backed
down an inch. If they keep
this up and have him start winning some of these matches, such as
this one here, fans are going to stop seeing him as an underdog and
start seeing him as an equal. In other words, they’re going past the
period of wasting him in squash matches and throw him right into the
big time. You don’t see that too often these days but it might work
wonders for him.
The key here though was
Sheamus didn’t squash Neville and then lose on a fluke. Neville was
going move for move with Sheamus here and had some near falls. It
wasn’t like Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick and threw an unconscious
Neville over the table for the DQ. Neville came off like he could
hang with Sheamus, which is quite the accomplishment for someone
headlining NXT house shows a month ago. I’m excited about this guy
and he could be something special if this keeps up.
Sheamus throws him back
inside and drives knees into his head until Dolph Ziggler comes out
for the save. Sheamus bails but Ziggler grabs the mic and says no
one from the Germans to the Bronies to the Irish like Sheamus.
Ziggler is going to stand up to Sheamus but Sheamus tells him what he
can kiss. He means it literally though, because they’re having a
Kiss Me Arse match at Extreme Rules. To recap: Neville vs. Sheamus
and Ziggler were entertaining matches but the match between the two
stars has a comedy stipulation. I think I prefer it that way
actually.
Los Matadores vs.
New Day
Big E.’s entrance: “OH
O2! It may not be the USA but I guess it’ll do!” Diego chops Big
E. to start but gets stomped down in the corner. You can tell New
Day is officially heel now as they’re in the bottom right hand corner
of the ring and that’s where heels always stand. Off to Kofi who
walks into a jawbreaker and springboards into a shot to the ribs.
Fernando gets two off a rollup and everything breaks down. Trouble
in Paradise drops Diego as Torito armdrags Woods. The Midnight Hour
ends Fernando at 2:33.
We recap Fandango
dumping Rosa.
In the back, Fandango
reiterates that Rosa is dumped. He leaves and the Rosebuds run by in
a scene that only makes sense in wrestling or on Monty Python. Rose
says Rosa can be #1 again in a certain somebody’s life. Think about
it.
Here’s Big Show with
something to say. This past Monday proved that English people suck
because they don’t appreciate the fact that he’s the best giant of
all time. No one in the world, including Roman Reigns, can stop him.
Show doesn’t answer to anyone but the Authority because he doesn’t
see Reigns as anything but a victim of an automobile crash.
This Monday, it was the
car getting hit by Reigns and we see a clip of Show throwing him at
the car. Then he kneed Roman in the head, complete with clip. The
chokeslam on top of the car gets the same treatment to really stretch
this out. Show sits on top of the car and shows us a clip of Reigns
walking off under his own power. That’s not cool with Big Show, so
it’s a last man standing match at Extreme Rules. Man, if there’s one
thing that the least interesting feud in the world needed, it was a
six minute segment from one of the most boring talkers in years.
That’s got my money for sure.
Cameron vs. Alicia
Fox vs. Natalya
I sit through a Big
Show promo and my reward is a Cameron match??? Cameron gets double
teamed to start and knocked to the floor. Fox bails to the ropes to
avoid the Sharpshooter but Cameron comes back in with a rollup for
two on Natalya. It’s Fox taking over by running over both girls with
clotheslines, only to get taken down for Natalya’s stepover into the
basemant dropkick for two. A superkick drops Cameron for two but she
gets in a forearm to Fox’s jaw.
Cameron makes the
mistake of going up though and gets caught in the top of a Tower of
Doom to put everyone down. Fox is thrown outside, leaving Cameron to
trade rollups with Natalya for two each. Believe it or not, Cameron
doesn’t horribly botch anything! She’s improving! Natalya puts
Cameron in the Sharpshooter, then does the same to Fox, only to break
it up to throw Cameron outside. Fox kicks her in the face and nails
the ax kick but Cameron throws Fox to the floor and pins Natalya at
4:45.
Rating: D+.
The match wasn’t bad but they’re really pushing Cameron as something
now? Their idea to make us care about the Divas is to have Cameron
and the Bellas getting pushed? Oh and Paige is going on vacation and
Naomi is now a heel. Natalya is heel as well so who in the world is
left as a face? Alicia? Emma? Summer? I’m blanking on anyone
else.
Post
match Alicia throws a fit so I guess we really are down to just Emma
and Summer (I’m guessing until Monday) as face Divas. Really,
who else is there?
Fandango
vs. Adam Rose
Fandango
scores with an early dropkick and clotheslines Rose to the floor for
a slingshot dive. Rosa
comes out to yell at Fandango, allowing Rose to baseball slide him
down. Back in and Adam
looks at Rosa, setting up the rollup to give Fandango the pin at
1:24.
Bray
Wyatt asks what happens when you lose it all. Eventually
you’re going to be all alone with nothing but regret. You
should be more careful because the reaper walks in the daylight.
John
Cena/Daniel Bryan vs. Tyson Kidd/Cesaro
Cena
and his black eye start against Kidd with
John shoving him down. It’s
off to Cesaro for a test of strength but
Kidd gets in a cheap shot from the apron to take over. He
comes back in legally for a front facelock, followed
by a spinning kick to the face for two. Cesaro
knocks Bryan off the apron to break up a hot tag attempt and gets two
off a suplex.
Cena
sends Cesaro into the corner and Kidd out to the floor but Tyson
pulls Bryan off the apron. The
STF on Cesaro is quickly broken up behind the referee’s back and
Kidd hits a low dropkick to Cena for two. Cena
hits a quick backdrop (totally different than the AA of course) and
the hot tag finally brings in Bryan.
A
series of right hands sets up the moonsault out of the corner but he
hits a running boot through the ropes instead of the Flying Goat to
Cesaro. There are the YES
Kicks in the corner followed
by a top rope hurricanrana for two. Both
Tag Team Champs get YES Kicks but Bryan has to yell at Natalya. Kidd
accidentally knocks her off the apron and into Cesaro, allowing Bryan
to YES Lock Kidd for the win at 7:49.
Rating: C.
Oh yeah they’re protecting Bryan. Other than being pulled off the
apron and a rollup by Kidd, Bryan was never hit with any offensive
moves. About 90% of his
offense was strikes and the only high spots were that hurricanrana
and the moonsault. The
match was fine, but they really had to make the champs lose clean for
the second time in a week? You can’t do a countout or something?
Bryan
and Cena celebrate to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-.
Neville vs. Sheamus was good but this was a very skippable show
otherwise. It’s so sad to
see Bryan’s neck flaring up so soon and it’s clear he can’t do much
at the moment. I thought
the worries about the neck were keeping him out of the main event and
if that’s the case, WWE seems to have been justified in not going
with him so soon.
The
rest of the show was nothing much to see, but I’m really interested
to see how they get out of this mess with the Divas. Either someone
is being called up or Paige is going to be very busy in the near
future, as I really don’t think anyone but maybe Emma is still a face
on the main roster and most of the heels were recently turned.
Nothing show here but Extreme Rules is coming up soon, meaning we can
hopefully get away from the Wrestlemania rematches.
Results
Bray Wyatt b. R-Truth –
Sister Abigail
Bad News Barrett b. Miz
– Bull Hammer
Neville b. Sheamus via
DQ when Sheamus threw him ono the announcers’ table
New Day b. Los
Matadores – Midnight Hour to Fernando
Cameron b. Alicia Fox
and Natalya – Cameron pinned Natalya after an ax kick from Fox
Fandango b. Adam Rose –
Rollup
John Cena/Daniel Bryan
b. Tyson Kidd/Cesaro – YES Lock to Kidd
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

BoD Thursday Night Thread

Also make sure to check out the Place to be Nation “Real World Champion” feature as several staff members voted on who was the best North American wrestler by factoring workrate, drawing ability, influence, and general overall presentation. This installment covers the years 1983-88, which features a few write ups from myself. So make sure to check that out and discuss that here too.

http://placetobenation.com/ptbns-real-world-champion-1983-1988/

WCW Nitro: February 24, 1997

One year ago this week: Kimberly and Johnny B Badd share their last carriage ride together before he heads off for browner pastures on the 02/24 Saturday Night. Love is a fickle matter, because by the 02/26 Nitro, she traded in her Frisbee for Booty Shorts, making eyes at Ed Leslie. And, most importantly, over on the 02/26 Prime, Cobra did battle with James Earl Wright, in the war of the feds vs. the state. Click through, enjoy, I’ll still be here when you’re done.
fg76Angry about Hogan winning the way he did. Just wasn’t what it should have been. This should have been the moment the yellow and red Hogan showed up and destroyed Piper or Piper beating the weak heel Hogan. What happened was garbage and I was a Hogan fan.
While I was busy being angry about the Savage turn like it was 1997 all over again, completely lost is the fact that Piper beat Hogan clean as a sheet, in front of the watchful eyes of Mark Curtis. The WCW referees were a class of bumbling idiots, but Mark Curtis always seemed above the rest of them. The guy was exceptionally observant, and keen eyed fans could see his enthusiasm for everything he did. It is positively mind-boggling that this guy, who watched Hogan’s arms drop just 6 inches from his face, somehow let himself be manipulated into believing that hmmm, maybe Hogan’s leg WAS under the rope. I mean, wrestlers wouldn’t lie, would they? If they wanted to pull this garbage they may as well have assigned Nick Patrick to do the job. Instead, WCW looks dumber and dumber with every passing moment.

What’s left for us now? Piper, fighting for his son’s name, got completely betrayed by WCW’s ineptness. Randy Savage, the wild eyed lunatic who was as likely as anyone to put a screwdriver in Hogan’s skull is now his best friend. DDP is fantastic, but as a world title contender? To quote himself, I don’t think so. The Giant’s been done to death. Hacksaw Duggan is too busy searching for “Terry” to be bothered with Hogan. Sting got another knife in the back, so he’ll probably be wiping his tears in the rafters for another 6 months before doing anything about it. The Horsemen and Dungeon of Doom can’t stop obsessing about each other for 5 minutes. It comes back to the same person it’s always been, but that WCW seems hesitant to move on: Lex Luger. Luger has been the hottest babyface in the company for nearly a year now, and in that timeframe he’s had exactly 1 major title shot (Great American Bash). He never loses, the fans are treating him like the second coming of Hulk Hogan, and he’s the only WCW superstar in the company that they haven’t hurt with repeatedly one-sided booking. I think it’s safe to say he’s gonna be stripped of the tag-team titles tonight, and the logical route to take is to bully Bischoff into a World Title shot, with the Giant acting as his bodyguard against any potential shenanigans. Run with this through Uncensored or even Spring Stampede, and you’re printing money.
This is unless, of course, they decide put the rocket on Meng and the Barbarian, in which case I’m done with Lex Luger.
One night removed from a fantastic pay-per-view completely ruined by an awful main event, THIS is Nitro! TONY SCHIAVONE and LARRY ZBYSZKO try and get us up to speed through the popping pyro, but we have no time for Tony to even bring us a single still shot from last night’s show, because the ring is already filling with bodies.
THE PUBLIC ENEMY (4-1-0) vs. JEFF JARRETT and MONGO MCMICHAEL (with Debra McMichael)
Last night, Jarrett pinned Mongo and as a result he’s officially a Horseman, apparently. I still have no idea how the hell this came to be, or how it makes sense. Mongo’s wife is clearly in love with this guy who desperately wants to become best friends with Mongo himself, except nobody likes him, but now Mongo will put up with him because of a match stipulation. Get it? Got it? Good. Rocco starts with Mongo, and he throat punches the big man a few times. Both guys trade out, and Jarrett takes a neckbreaker from a dancing Johnny Grunge. Mongo finally has enough and blindsides Rocco when he steps a little too comfortably near the heel corner, and the Horsemen take over. Jarrett hits a drop toe hold, and Mongo follows with a legdrop. Teamwork from the mortal enemies? Debra’s got a smile so wide that I’m shocked she’s not trying to cool down with a cigarette. 3 point stance gets a big thumbs up from Jarrett, and Jeff hits a powerbomb for 2. Debra hands the Haliburton to Mongo, and he HAPPILY accepts it, immediately waffling Jarrett and the Public Enemy get the win and 4:36. Debra is livid, but Mongo happily owns his actions here. *1/2
ARN ANDERSON and RIC FLAIR join the boys in the ring with “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND. Mongo said he’s been told to treat Jarrett like family, so he’s taken him in like a little brother. And, like all annoying little brothers, he needs to be slapped around. Flair, who’s absolutely pimpin’ tonight, reminds Mongo that he promised if Jarrett could win, he was in. Being a Horseman means being a team player, so he wants these guys to remind everyone why they’re the symbol of excellence. Arn’s even more desperate, reminding us that “The Dungeon is getting stronger” (REALLY?!? THIS is where their attention is?!?), and wants a hand shake right now. Mongo smiles, and tells Jarrett that he might mess with him, but nobody else will, he promises. Fingers in the air!
GALAXY vs. JIM DUGGAN (3-0-1)
Now THIS is the kind of Worldwide match up that really gets my juices flowing! … Unfortunately this is Nitro, and this is kind of ridiculous. I dislike wasted TV time during your most popular show; and this just feels like space to talk about Macho Man, even though we have TONS of time to do that. Duggan beats Galaxy from pillar to post, including a slam on the exposed concrete. Duggan’s always been a giant cheater, and he hides behind the American flag as if to justify himself. Your thumbs up and three-letter catchphrase aren’t fooling me, Jimbo. Galaxy tries a moonsault, but misses by 12 feet, and Duggan goes into the 3 point stance. The taped fist, DIRECTLY in front of the referee is NOT called for a DQ, and Duggan screams “HOGANNNNNNNN” before issuing the punch and getting the win at 3:23. DUD
Duggan continues to carry on like, well, Roddy Piper after a week in Alcatraz, and “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND wants a word. He’s still pretty angry about “Terry”. This is the second time he’s brought this guy up, this guy must have REALLY wronged him. And now, Savage has shown he has a Black Heart. Does that come with a bigger package? Duggan vows never to come through Hogan’s back door (thank goodness for THAT), but he may just be seeing him soon.
JOE GOMEZ  (0-1-0) vs. HUGH MORRUS (7-3-0)
This was actually a dark match last night, and CRZ, who was in attendance that night, reports on what was pretty memorable action: Wikipedia says there were two dark matches which I totally don’t remember.
It’s going to be hard for them to top that kind of response tonight, but let’s see what they bring. Gomez gets completely man-handled, pounded down in the corner with nowhere to go. He eventually manages a leapfrog, and he sneaks in a small package. Larry carries on about the human game of chess being played by Kevin Sullivan. Is this like a LARP thing?
Morrus drops Gomez with a clothesline, and Larry encourages Gomez to Use His Science. Since Gomez is not a chemist, but a Desperado, he immediately falls victim to No Laughing Matter at 3:16.
LA PARKA (2-2-0) vs. ICE TRAIN (2-0-1) (with Teddy Long)
8 months ago, WCW began a series of Latino imports that changed the face of the mid-card for good. Gone were the days of trying to fill space with the never-ending Alex Wright push, and instead, we were treated to numerous high flying aerial displays the likes of which we’d never seen. And now, as highlighted with the Galaxy match earlier, we are entering the next stage of its evolution: Squashing them like bugs against plodding midcarders. Stage 3 will see the imports moved exclusively to Worldwide, to get squashed there instead. Parka throws everything he’s got at Ice Train, who stands there laughing at our favorite skeleton. Then he starts throwing powerslams and pumping his fist. Parka shocks him with a spinning heel kick off the top, but he kicks out and throws Parka across the ring to remind us He’s Much Bigger. Parka hits a jawbreaker, and follows with another pair of spinning heel kicks. Teddy takes a second to talk his man up, and Train turns around just in time to eat a 360 plancha. Back in, Parka tries a springboard Crossbody, but he gets caught, slammed and hit with the Train Wreck at 3:57. *
CHRIS JERICHO and EDDIE GUERRERO vs. THE FACES OF FEAR (4-2-1) (with Jimmy Hart)
Breathe, Chris, breathe. I’m so damn giddy I can barely control my bodily functions. The fans boo the Faces of Fear because they don’t know what’s good for them. Barbarian misses an early Kick of Fear, and Jericho, realizing the mistakes these guys make are few and far between, dropkicks the man and hammers with everything he’s got. Then he turns things over to Guerrero, because he has no desire to die. Barbarian throws Eddie in the air like a game of Angry Birds, and Guerrero crashes nose first into the mat. In comes Meng, and Eddie hilariously throws punches that causes Meng to stare at him like “you’re kidding, right?” Then he throws a man-sized headbutt and powerbombs Guerrero with enough force to knock the earth off its axis. Back to Jericho, and Team Wiener hits a double backdrop,  before a short senton gets 2. Meng just gets up and gives Jericho a backdrop suplex right to the back of the neck, and Barbarian wants a piece. His fantastic overhead release superplex nearly clears the whole ring, and Barbarian gets 2. Jericho goes for a small package. Why do you insist on upsetting them? It’s like dealing with a bear, just play dead and get it over with. Meng comes in, walking into a springboard crossbody, and he stands up PISSED off, pounding Jericho right into the mat and choking him out while waving his head around like Willow Smith. Eddie gets angry, and the distraction allows an illegal switch – but I don’t think they needed the distraction. If you were refereeing would YOU tell these guys what they are and aren’t allowed to do? Meng backdrops Jericho into the happy arms of Barbarian, and Chris eats a powerbomb. Barbarian sticks out his tongue to remind us he has more charisma in his mouth than you’ll have in your lifetime. Both guys fly off the top like missiles, delivering the double swandive, and only a desperate Eddie Guerrero stops this from ending. Jericho says something to Eddie, and I have to figure it’s “dude, seriously, stop. I can feel the life escaping my body, please just let them pin me!” Barbarian cuts off the ring, and when Jericho tries showing a little fire, Barbarian rakes him in the eyes. Meng tags in and takes his sweet ass time, which has to be like torture for Jericho – not knowing what’s coming next. Meng whips him into the ropes, and Jericho hits a surprise Lionsault. Meng tries to drop an elbow and break his head open like a melon, but Chris rolls away and tags in Eddie. Guerrero throws himself at Meng, who doesn’t budge, but screams to the heavens like a warrior ready to perform a human sacrifice. Eddie dropkicks him, which buys just enough of a distraction for Jericho to come off the top with a crossbody. A double dropkick sends Meng back to his corner, so he just tags in Barbarian. Coleslaw for brains on Team Wiener, I tell you. Barbarian runs over Jericho with a clothesline, but since they’re cheating and keeping 2 guys in the ring, Guerrero dropkicks him from behind. Jericho dropkicks Meng off the apron, and a double suplex has Barbarian down for a second. Jericho goes for the Lionsault, but Meng pulls his dumbass to the floor for a legendary beating. Eddie goes for the Frog Splash, but DEAN MALENKO rushes down for a little payback from last night, shoving Eddie into the awaiting Kick of Fear from Barbarian, and even though they didn’t need the help, the greatest tag-team in the history of the galaxy pick up the win at 7:43. I’m not allowed to post Youtube links on Blogger anymore, but you guys are self-sufficient enough to track this down. ****
Since the US Champion is usually the default #1 contender to the World Title, and since Barbarian just pinned the US Champion, he should be getting a title shot, no? This would make as fine a main event for Uncensored as anything I can imagine. Hogan trying to Hulk Up while Barbarian stands there in complete contempt for the stupid side show before kicking his head into the upper deck would get me to pay $30 to watch it every time I viewed the clip. Infinite money. I’d never be able to retire.
The second hour brings “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN and MIKE TENAY into Tony’s circle of friends. The conclusion from these brilliant minds is that Sting is probably working with the nWo.
JUVENTUD GUERRERA (0-3-0) vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. (7-3-2)
Mysterio is the rightful TV Champion right now, having been handed it by the unworthy Prince Iaukea last night, but Mysterio wanted to “win it” by “pinning him”. A forfeit’s a forfeit, yo, just take it. Juvi DDTs Mysterio and nails a springboard dropkick to knock Mysterio down. Remembering he just had knee surgery, Juvi locks on a grapevine, but Mysterio fights out.  Both guys nearly pin each other simultaneously, and bridge up at the same time for the easily delighted crowd. Both guys trade chops, before Juvi grows bored and just smashes Mysterio’s face with his forearm. A moonsault gets 2, but Juvi doesn’t miss a beat, putting on a chinlock less than a half second after the kickout. Juvi tries to follow up, but Rey spins around his body before hitting a rana with enough force to send Juvi sliding to the floor. Heenan: “It’s like wrestling a helicopter!” Juvi blocks a baseball slide, but Rey just whips his body through with a headscissors takeover that sends the Juice into the guard rail. Back in, Mysterio goes up to finish, but Juvi cuts him off and hits a super powerbomb for 2! Juvi dropkicks him back to the floor, and tope suicida connects! Back in, Juvi goes for a springboard senton backsplash, but Mysterio catches him on the way down and turns it into a powerbomb! The West Coast Pop is academic, and Rey takes it down at 5:37. Juvi probably deserves a lot better, but as long as he keeps putting on fantastic matches with his opponents, his win/loss record is secondary to me. ***
GOLDBERG PAT TANAKA (0-1-0) vs. PRINCE IAUKEA (3-1-0) (for the WCW world television title)
I’ve been hard on the poor Prince. After all, it’s not his fault that WCW is run by a group of legendary chowderheads. As a result, in an effort to try and appreciate Iaukea a little more, I drew up a pros and cons list to see if we can learn to accept him.
Tony continually refers to Prince as a “youngster”, which comparatively to the main event scene is probably true – clocking in at a spry 32. Heenan covers Iaukea’s decision to try and give the TV title away last night: “This guy’s got brains made of coconut!” Iaukea knocks down Tanaka with a karate chop, but he fails to follow up, and takes a leg whip. Iaukea comes back with a clothesline, and does his ridiculous karate poses in an attempt to establish a personality. Tanaka’s having none of it, and powerbombs Prince for 2. Iaukea comes back with a Samoan drop, and follows with a top rope crossbody for the pin at 2:55. “You hit a move, and then I hit a move!” Who needs selling? DUD
THE ULTIMATE DRAGON (8-1-0) (with Sonny Onoo) vs. DEAN MALENKO (9-2-2)
After some chain wrestling, Malenko offers Dragon the hand of friendship. Dragon doesn’t believe him, but Malenko insists, refusing to let it go … and he immediately clotheslines the doof as soon as he accepts. Dragon gets kicked in the back of the head repeatedly, but he manages to avoid a pinfall. Malenko lets him up, and that’s a mistake, because Dragon lays in his rapid fire kicks in retaliation. A dropkick is planted right on the nose, but Dean sweeps out the legs and pounds away on Dragon’s face. A brainbuster rattles Dragon’s cage, and Malenko works a chinlock, driving his knee into Dragon’s spine for extra effect. Dragon throws him off by moving forward, and holds on to rock Malenko backwards in an upside down surfboard. The hold is released, but he just turns it around to work an Indian deathlock! Dean won’t tap, so Dragon releases and just takes to kicking him in the kidneys instead. Malenko backdrops Dragon to make him go away for a second, and he finds the energy to powerbomb Dragon for 2. Dragon smashes Malenko’s face into the buckle, and sends him to the floor. A swinging dropkick makes a nice clapping noise on impact, and Dragon then comes off the top with a crossbody – appearing to hurt his own knee in the process. Back in, Malenko goes for a powerbomb again, but this time Dragon turns it in mid-air and uses a Frankensteiner into a roll up for 2! La Majistral gets 2! Fast and furious now. A handspring back elbow is blocked, and Malenko throws him with an overhead release German suplex! Malenko, frustrated, chokes the hell out of Dragon, and the announcers figure he’s simply lost it over last night. Sonny tries to get involved, but Malenko piefaces him to the floor and goes back to trying to choke the life out of Dragon – getting himself DQed at 8:58. This was about the floor as far as these two guys go, still a *** match.
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND wants answers about Malenko’s behavior, since he’s typically the “consummate professional”. Dean says he’s sick and tired of the lack of respect he’s been getting, and he hasn’t forgotten about Syxx. His bigger issue, however, is that Guerrero is someone he fully trusted, and since he decided to get in his business, he’ll be giving him the business going forward.
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE (7-1-0) vs. DAVID TAYLOR (2-1-0)
The master of the European uppercut! My god how I’ve missed you! Now, in the defense of the Squire, he’s been on the search for Dr. Livingstone for the better part of a month now. You can tell he’s still not completely back to his civilized self, because he mistakes the front row for a pride of lions and prepares to defend himself accordingly.
Page might be picking up a ton of momentum, but he hasn’t faced the wrath of our world traveler. Taylor goes right to the European uppercuts because he is not a man who messes around. Page is rocked with two of them, and it’s bordering on impossibility that he’s actually still on his feet. Page tries a Diamond Cutter, but as a former shark fighter, he summons his training and pokes Page in the eyes. THE OUTSIDERS come out to admire Taylor’s incredible ringwork, as Page picks up Taylor in a fireman’s carry. Out of this move, he hits a Diamond Cutter, and seeing as how Taylor had no counter, I have to believe that’s a completely illegal shoot hold, because otherwise there is no chance he could have connected it against this beast. Before Taylor can kick out, Nash and Hall prevent Page from even trying the pinfall – which is good, we don’t need his finisher killed. Taylor leaves the boys to their business, because he still has uncharted jungle to map out.
RANDY SAVAGE sneaks in behind Page while he’s distracted with the Outsiders, and attacks from behind. Savage shares a little love with his new friends, while A FAN gets the brilliant idea to run in and ask everyone for an autograph. All 3 nWo guys take turns teeing off on the moron, who decides to tuck tail and head for the hills – SECURITY hot in pursuit. Savage tags Page with the spray paint, and puts on his brand new shirt. An elbowdrop cements his spot in the group, and everyone shares Wolfpac signs.
The inconsistencies here are completely wild. Savage, god bless him, has always been more like a Diamond Dallas Page than anything. He’s more or less an independent, not interested in a lot of friends. Watching him “sell out” to the nWo lacks in any kind of believability from what we’ve been taught to know about him over the years. Hogan makes total sense, he’s always surrounded himself with people who bow to the power of Hulkamania. Savage never needed that … or any of them. He made friends with Hogan only once the Hulkster started acknowledging him as a top guy; and the minute he felt threatened, he tore him apart. The story they’re running with is that Savage did this in order to get his job back with WCW, but I’m not buying this. If that were a plausible scenario, Savage should be as uncomfortable as Elizabeth, or at least as “accepting” of his new spot as Mongo is with Jarrett. In a perfect situation, had the agreement been that he helped Hogan retain, and Savage happily agreed (with the intent to seek and destroy immediately afterwards), we would have had a heck of an intriguing storyline. Would the fans have accepted the “sell out” Savage, trying to use the ends to justify the means? Or would they have given him the Lex Luger treatment of last year? Would the WCW guys have been able to trust him moving forward, or would he be on an island unto himself, forced to take on all comers in the name of remaining employed? There were a million directions to take this. Instead, they chose the laziest path available. And this was just the beginning of the “lazy” turns. Strap yourselves in, there’s a million more on the way.
After a commercial break, the trio is still in the ring, where Hall is welcoming the audience to nWo Monday Nitro. Savage is introduced as the newest member, and Hall brings out “another icon” to join them, welcoming HOLLYWOOD HOGAN. Hogan sucks up to the locals (another big problem with this group – constantly fluffing the fans to ensure they picked up all the heat, good and bad). Macho is given his introductory present – a smiling ELIZABETH, with TED DIBIASE and ERIC BISCHOFF. Okay, here’s MORE inconsistencies. Just last year, this lady was running with Ric Flair, tossing Savage’s money into the crowd left, right, and center. Then, out of nowhere, she re-develops her feelings for Savage, and joins the nWo to get a movie role – actions that are counter-productive to each other. Savage, having nothing but hate for the woman, starts crying over her on Nitro to the point you don’t think he’s actually going to be able to fight Hogan because he’s so downtrodden, until he shows up at the pay-per-view and none of this is even brought up. 4 months later, all’s good – and they can be a couple now because they wear the same t-shirts. Maybe I expect too much from my shows, but as recently as Last Summer, they were working their asses off to ensure everything tied together. The Bischoff as the nWo boss stuff was positively brilliant, dropping subtle hints for months until we were clued in. The DDP as possible nWo backer, until it was revealed it was actually DiBiase was a fantastic red herring. And all those commercials to let us know Glacier was Coming really came together when he finally arrived. Now that they’re the runaway clear #1 game in town, it almost feels like they just stopped trying.
HARLEM HEAT (8-2-2) (with Sista Sherri) vs. LEX LUGER and THE GIANT (1-0-0) (for the WCW world tag-team titles)
At this point, it’s probably because I’m already in a mood and nitpicking to high hell, but why are Harlem Heat getting the title shots after Public Enemy won the #1 contender’s match last night? ERIC BISCHOFF runs down to ringside before we get underway, and before he makes his impending announcement, he invites THE NWO to join him as back up. nWo Sting and Masa Chono are missing, but otherwise, the gang’s all here. Bischoff reminds Luger he wasn’t cleared last night, and as a result, they are not the tag-team champions. Shocker. It’s bad when even Tony Schiavone sniffed this one out last night, because he doesn’t catch on to *anything*. Luger refuses, saying he’ll need to be removed on a stretcher before he gives the title belt. Unless – he’s willing to agree to one match. Luger wants every single belt on the line at Uncensored, World, Tag-Team, Cruiserweight, all of them. Bischoff agrees, as long as they hand over the gold immediately.
STING walks out from the back while both sides jaw with each other, and he marches right up into the ring. The ring parts like the red sea, and Sting coldly looks at everyone, before settling on Hogan. He burns a hole through Hollywood, and Hogan responds by giving Sting a big bear hug. Sting steps back … and poses with the nWo. Oh Christ almighty, really?!? Really?!? REALLY?!?!?! Tony speaks for all of us – “I can’t take this anymore, goodnight!” As the credits fade to black, Bischoff can audibly be heard, clearly wearing a loud smile, “Oh I LOVE this!!!”

I bet you do, Eric.

Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1986 WWE as told by George “The Animal” Steele

This was released in 2012

The interview is conducted by Sean Oliver

It runs for two hours and fifteen minutes long

The interview starts with Steele joking around then Oliver asks him about the landscape of the company at this time. Steele talks about he came back to the full time in January of 1986 (he was wrestling part-time for the past few years) as he was teaching and coaching football and got burned out by that. Steele then talks about when he turned babyface on the first ever episode (during the first match too) of “Saturday Night’s Main Event” and how he started to eat the turnbuckles after the match and they sent Capt. Lou Albano in after him and then Steele put his head down in his stomach as the place went nuts for the turn, which Steele never thought would work, and when he saw that it did, he figured that he should come back for a full-time run. He then talks about how he was a cartoon character at that point and how they were selling toys and memorabilia rather than wrestling.

JANUARY

George is asked about Vince’s infatuation with hillbillies as Steele said that it was due to Hillbilly Jim’s popularity and how they decided to give him a family. Steele then tells the story of how Cousin Junior quit. Junior showed up to the arena in a limo, wearing a white tuxedo and smoking a cigar. He got out of the limo and told the agent that he had already made enough money needed for the rest of his life and that he was retiring as he stepped back inside of the limo and drove away.

He is asked about Hogan’s relationship with the rest of the locker room. Steele said he separated a little bit out of necessity but remained “one of the boys.” Steele said that Hogan was the guy Vince dreamed about as he had the look and the charisma and a good but not great worker. Steele said that he would build a company around Hogan as well.

Sean asks Steele about Terry Funk and if he struggled to fit in with the cartoonish product of the WWF. Steele laughs and said that Funk was always a clown and fit right in as he did his character well with the company. When asked if Funk should have been given a title run, Steele said no. Sean asks why as Steele talks about Hogan being so good that it was tough to do return matches at arenas with him because it has not believable that you could leave him laying twice. Steele then goes on about how great workers, like Funk, do not need belts and that the marginal workers do to help give them a jump start.

He talks about “Saturday Night’s Main Event” when he was at the water park as Steele tells a story about how he accidentally called NBC Executive Producer Dick Ebersol “Dave” and how that became a running joke whenever he saw him. Steele said he did it at first by accident because he is dyslexic. Steele then talks about Ebersol changing wrestling as he gave input into the shows such as scripting the matches themselves as he wanted the cameraman to know where the wrestler would be at a certain point in the match. Steele said he always called everything in the ring and how it was a struggle to adapt to this change, even saying that he just did what he wanted most of the time. He also puts over the announcing and guys like Gene Okerlund for helping make them all bigger stars.

On Lou Albano, Steele laughs and tells a story of how in his first run back in the 60’s, he rode around with Albano, who paid for his meals and took care of him. On the last day of his run, Albano gave him a bag filled with all of the bills that he took care of for Steele as a rib. Steele then talks about how Vince loved Albano, especially when he was wild as Steele recalls Vince telling him to get Albano a large bottle of vodka to liven things up when they were quiet.

Steele is asked about Adrian Adonis changing to the “Adorable” gimmick. He talks about how they were close and Adonis came up to him backstage at a “TNT” taping and told him to pay attention as he walked out and gave away his signature leather jacket. Steele said that Adonis thought of the idea himself and while he took a lot of ribbing from the locker room he loved the attention.

FEBRUARY






About his feud against Randy Savage over his love of Elizabeth, Steele said it was Chief Jay Strongbow’s idea. Steele talks about how it was natural as Elizabeth was gorgeous and Randy was extremely jealous in real life. Steele then talks about how difficult it was to work with Randy but not before putting over his work ethic and talent. Steele said he always improvised in the ring and Randy planned everything out. Steele says they clashed over that but part of that was due to the wrestling business changing towards the way Savage was operating. He then tells a story at a SNME taping where Savage gave him a notebook that had pages filled with details for their match as Steele ripped them out one by one and threw the pages in the trash as he told Savage to listen to him and they would have a good match. He talks about how Savage would even step between anyone talking to Elizabeth, during segments or backstage, just so they would not be looking at her.

On Savage becoming the Intercontinental Champion, Steele said that Tito would have made the better champ as Savage was such a good performer that he did not need the belt where as Tito was a great worker but needed a bit of a push. Steele then talks about how Randy and Tito were going to have a long feud but because of the popularity he had with his infatuation of Elizabeth, Tito ended up losing his run to Savage in favor for Steele.

When asked if it was Savage’s idea to make Elizabeth his valet, Steele said that the WWF wanted to bring in a model for Savage, who nixed the idea and said that he already had a model in Elizabeth. Steele then recalls how the first time Elizabeth came to the “Championship Wrestling” tapings in Poughkeepsie, NY, Savage made her practice how to get in and out of the ring without revealing too much of her legs and body about 200 times as Steele said it was brutal and that he felt bad for Elizabeth as he goes into how much Savage controlled her.

Sivi Afi, billed as the cousin of Jimmy Snuka, made his debut this month. Steele recalls standing next to Vince backstage during his Madison Square Garden debut as the place was going crazy as they thought it was Snuka but when the lights came on it revealed Afi and the crowd booed loudly as Vince commented how Afi’s career was now ruined. Steele then talks about how you can never replace a talent, who is over with another talent acting as a replacement, no matter how good a worker they as he says it is also a disrespect to the talent too. Steele said Vince Sr. never made that mistake but Vince Jr. has many times.

On Dory Funk coming into the WWF as “Hoss Funk,” Steele said that it was a case of Vince wanting control as he would tell the guys they could make a lot of money but it had to be done his way. Steele said it never worked and Dory knew that and left rather quickly. Steele then talks about how the business was changing as it was geared more towards television that all of the talent would come in as the TV would act as a monster and chew and spit them up as if you were not able to get over through TV, you were gone. He says the guys that lasted a long time, like Jake Roberts, were able to overcome all of that. Steele then talks about today’s wrestlers and how they are great athletes but lack the showmanship talent.

MARCH






The first ever “Slammy Awards” air on March 1st. When asked if he had fun, Steele said while he resented it at first, he started to have fun and was making more money than ever. When asked if he received any royalties for the “Wrestling Album,” Steele said that he received nothing for both the recording or from royalties but it did pay in the long run as it got them more notoriety.

On Mr. T, Steele said that he had an attitude and did not respect the wrestlers or the business. He even believes that if he came along a few years earlier the wrestlers in the locker room would have destroyed him but at that point the business was changing. He also said that Hogan shielded him away from others in the locker room as well.

Steele talks about King Kong Bundy and how he challenged Hogan for the Belt at WrestleMania 2. He recalls a story of how Bundy, at this time, talked about how he was one of the top guys in the WWF as Strongbow started to laugh as he said top guys had 4-5 years while he had one shot at a top feud. Steele then tells another story of how when Bundy appeared in the WWF in 1985, he was standing next to Don Muraco and asked where they got this guy as Muraco told him that he used to do jobs for the WWF in the early 80’s with his brother and back then did not have a shaved head or eyebrows. It was after that when he went to Texas and Gary Hart managed him and suggested he shave his head and eyebrows when he became a star.

Ricky Steamboat and Bret Hart faced off against each other at the March 8th house show at the Boston Garden. Sean asks Steele why we do not see matches like this, between two great workers, happen more often. Steele said the answer is that they do not sell tickets as you need a hook to draw the crowd in and that babyface matches do not draw and that the Hart Foundation were not strong heels at that time.

Steele is asked about the “All-Star Wrestling” tapings being held in Brantford, ONT as he had no idea why the chose that location but tells a story about the Junkyard Dog taking a job guy and smashing his head off of the wall after a match. Steele and Albano grabbed JYD and asked him why he did that as JYD was pissed about the guy not selling his finisher. Steele said he saw the tape later and JYD was right then when the custodians went to clean the blood off of the wall, Steele told them to leave it there as it was a good reminder for people to see what would happen if they did not want to sell any offense during the match. He talks about how it stayed on the wall for about three shows.

APRIL






They talk about WrestleMania 2 and how it was broadcsted from three different locations as Steele mentions how Vince was ecstatic that all of the different satellite feeds worked as he had a lot of money riding on the show and that he would have been broke if it did not go off. Steele then credits Vince for actually putting his profits into the product, specifically the production values as most promoters did not do that. When asked why Vince chose to have it take place at three different venues, Steele said that he learned a long time ago that in wrestling you have to make people talk and cites an example of how Vince had the Fabulous Moolah win a battle royal once by sneaking behind Greg Valentine and dropkicking him over the top rope as his point was that Valentine winning wasn’t going to garner any buzz and that Moolah would.

Sean asks Steele about the celebrities (as a scroll listing off all 18 of them appears on the screen). Steele had no idea who handled them. He starts laughing when asked about Ray Charles as he went into his room to meet him and turned on the light as Charles told him that he did not need that. Steele said that he was a great guy. On which celebrities got wrestling, Steele said Lou Duva and Joe Frazier got it but he was not around all of them. Steele tells another story of how his wife was at the hair salon and when asked why she was there, she said that she was going to a wrestling show as the hair dresser put her hand on her shoulder to feel sorry for her then a few years later, at the same salon with the same hair dresser, she was asked why she was there as she told them that it was for WrestleMania III as the hair dressser asked his wife if she could get her some tickets.

Steele is asked about his match at WrestleMania 2 against Savage. He said that it was originally supposed to be Savage against Tito but he got into the match due to the popularity of the Elizabeth angle. He is also asked about the main event, King Kong Bundy vs. Hulk Hogan in a cage match for the title as Steele said that he thought Bundy was in over his head. He said the match was alright overall but nothing he would go buy a ticket to see or anything.

He is asked about the Rougeaus as Steele said they were good workers but Jacques could be difficult to get along with. He said Raymond was great to get along with and talks about how he worked with their father.

MAY




He talks about Adonis again and how wonderful he was as the “Adorable” one but got carried away with the “nose candy” and couldnt help himself after that. Steele tells a story of how he wrestled Adonis, who took a bump to the floor and landed hard on his hip, then in the locker room, Adonis was crying due to the pain and had his makeup running down his face and as Steele tried to console him, Pat Patterson would walk up and make it seem like he was about to laugh, which would get Steele to laugh himself, then Patterson kept doing that as Steele talked about how Patterson pulled a lot of ribs in his day.

When asked about Jake Roberts hitting Steamboat with a DDT on the floor during “Saturday Night’s Main Event,” Steele said it was a great angle and talked about how George Scott was booking and overpushed some of the guys he brought in, like Steamboat, who were not getting over and once they held him back a little and started a feud with Jake he began to get more over with the fans.

JUNE






George Scott was demoted from his role as head booker. Steele recalls once during a taping of “TNT,” Scott became disgusted over a segment then told Steele that Vince was going to do things to hurt the business and if he saw something that would in fact hurt it to pull Vince aside and tell him as Steele was close to Vince. Steele said that he wasn’t going to tell Vince then talks about the business was changing and that you could not knock success.

King Tonga (Haku) bodyslammed John Studd on an episode of “Championship Wrestling.” When asked about any stories about his toughness as Steele recalls a story while at a bar in Canada when some guy kept taunting Tonga about how he was not able to slam him. Steele said that a cop was there near the guy but Tonga picked him up anyway and slammed him near the cops foot. The cop then said that the guy was asking for it as Steele noted he didnt want any part of Tonga either. Steele said that he was a good guy who also loved his scotch. He also said that for some reason whenever they went all went out Tonga was the guy that would get challenged by bar patrons.

Steele talks about the Komodo Dragon that Steamboat carried with him as he said that the British Bulldogs would mess around with it and burn it with cigarettes and as a result Steamboat hated to pick it up because he never knew what the dragon would end up doing. Steele also tells a story of how the dragon escaped while in Connecticut and when it finally got caught it was several pounds heavier and the area had calls for missing cats and dogs.

On June 17th, Andre the Giant lost to Antonio Inoki in Japan. Sean asks Steele if Japan had to get permission from Vince for Andre to lose and he said that they did. Steele then tells a story about during a match Andre asked him to try a slam. Steele said he went over and attempted to pick him up but then acted like his back hurt and after that, Steele said that Andre came up to him backstage and put him over and always respected him for that. When asked about guys that Andre disliked, Steele said that he did not like Big John Studd, as Steele said Studd was dumb as Andre would tell him to not do certain spots that he did but Studd did them anyway. Steele said that Andre also hated the Iron Sheik and the Ultimate Warrior as Steele tells a story that happened a few years later when he was the agent for a Warrior vs. Andre match at a house show in Florida that was booked to have Warrior beat Andre in 14 seconds. When that happened, the fans booed as they felt cheated out of a match and started to rip up their Warrior posters and throw them at the ring. Steele called Vince to tell him what happened as he felt this would hurt both guys but Vince told him that they would shove this match down the fans throats and after three months of the same reactions it actually ended up getting Warrior over at the end.

Steele said that Billy Jack Haynes was a tough guy and had a good look but the machine swallowed him up. He then tells a story of how he ribbed Haynes once when he asked him if he was gay as the night before he saw Haynes’ girlfriend in the hotel lobby alone then asked Haynes would he had in his room. Steele said that Haynes blew up and talked about how he beat the shit out of a TV producer in Oregon to which Steele once again asked him if he was gay as Hillbilly Jim was cracking up in the car but also warning Steele that Haynes might actually act violent towards him.

JULY

Harley Race won the “King of the Ring” tournament in Foxboro, MA. Steele said giving Race the king gimmick was one of the biggest ribs in the history of wrestling as Race had to carry the crown and the robe everywhere he went.

About Paul Orndorff turning heel on Hogan, Steele said that he was much better as a heel then talked about how Orndorff was bipolar and always an inch away from going off of the deep end.  Steele does have a lot of respect for him. Steele then talks about how at one point Danny Spivey was going to be considered as a protege of Hogan then end up turning on him as Steele talks about how he helped devise an idea to have Spivey team with Hogan then one day come out with his hair dyed black and slap Hogan as he would then say how he was sick of being in his shadow but the story then went to Orndorff as Steele said that Hogan used some of their idea and brought it to that storyline. After being asked if Orndorff being difficult to work with cost him a run as the champion, Steele said that he gets a kick out of “smart marks” needing to think that the best worker needed the belt and that being in multiple territories also made you great as Steele said that just means you were unable to get over and stay somewhere and that you could put the belt on anyone and have them beat people but you cant make them into a good worker so he feels it is a waste to give a great worker a belt (The World Heavyweight Title).

AUGUST






Steele laughs when asked about Slick as he said the character was a joke but also gives Slick credit for doing a great job with the character.

On whether or not Roddy Piper returned to the WWF with an ego, Steele laughed and said that he had one before he left the questions to find a superstar who made it in wrestling without having a huge ego.

When asked about the Machines gimmick, Steele said they outright stole that from Japan and they were trying all sorts of things at that time.

SEPTEMBER






He is asked about the change from taking the TV tapings from Poughkeepsie to on the road, Steele joked about how there were wires everywhere for cameras and everything else. Steele also talks about how the company was all about the production.

The final episode of “TNT” aired as Steele recalls how much fun he had doing those shows and joked that Vince backed out as host and put Mean Gene in charge so it would fail without him as the host.

Steele then talks about Superstar Billy Graham returning and how that did not work out. He then goes off topic and talks about how when Graham thought he was returning for a run on top, no one could follow Hogan without a big drop then brings up one guy who he thought could have followed Hogan with just a slight drop off years later was Sid Vicious, prefacing that comment by stating how people will probably laugh at him for saying that.

Steele said that the Honky Tonk Man brought in as a face was an instant failure and even thought coming back as a heel would fail as well but credits him or being the best at his gimmick and talks about how he had a ton of heat with the fans and nearly caused a riot in Panama City, FL as a result at a house show.

OCTOBER






When asked about Vince proclaiming Tom Magee as his future World Champion, Steele talks about Vince being one of the best TV people there and great at merchandising but wrestling his just not his thing as he witnessed so many mistakes. Steele said Magee with a nice guy and a good “beer drinker” but thought Vince was on drugs when he thought Magee could be a champion then even questions if Vince said that as a rib as you never knew what he was doing.

Steele said that the Danny Davis as a heel referee worked then talks about how even though it might sound egotistical, Steele himself believes he was responsible for the far out and cartoonish ideas in the 80’s as when he turned and got over by acting ridiculous, Vince took things farther with other performers.

NOVEMBER






Steele laughs when asked about Outback Jack but did say he got over a little bit due to the vignettes but the TV ate him up quickly and also said he began to date one of the girls in the office and that was looked down upon and was the beginning of the demise. Steele also joked how the girl he dated was as attractive as Jack and wouldnt want to see what their children looked like.

He is asked about Tom Zenk as Steele said that he just didnt fit in with the locker room and was the type of guy who blamed everyone else for his failures.

On the start of the Savage/Steamboat feud, Steele said that he had his heart broken a bit being the manager for their WrestleMania III match because that was his hometown and he wanted to wrestle in front of the home crowd.



DECEMBER






He is asked about the finish at “Saturday Night’s Main Event” (filmed in December 1986 but aired on January 1987) where both Orndorff and Hogan hit the floor at the same time after escaping the change and said that Orndorff’s feet really hit the ground first.

Steele talks about how at that same taping, he took Elizabeth backstage during their match but a few nights before, Vince wanted Steele to grab Elizabeth by the ankle and capture that on photo but Savage flipped out and thought that Steele and Vince were trying to rib him by doing that then JYD started to egg on Savage by telling him he should be asking if Steele would be laying on his belly or on his back, looking up her dress as Savage went ballistic. Savage also went nuts over Steele taking her away in the match as he wondered what the fans thought he would be doing to her. Steele then talks about how Savage being off of the wall made him a great worker.

Final Thoughts: Excellent interview. Steele was fantastic throughout and gave great insight mixed in with funny stories and gossip. Steele also displayed a great mind for the wrestling business too. He came off as a personable guy and did not have an agenda or an ax to grind.

As someone who recently watched all of the WWF TV and major house shows of 1986, Steele really was a huge part of the company and the crowd did love him. I thought he was a fine choice as the subject of the timeline. His close relationship with Vince also gave us some details that I have never heard before.

Overall, I highly recommend this interview. It is another fine installment in the KC Timeline Series and you will not be disappointed. Steele is an entertaining guest in general and keeps things moving along.

You can purchase this interview for $20 by clicking on the link below

http://kayfabecommentaries.com/DVD_TL_1986.html

Next week, I will be reviewing the classic RF Video Al Snow shoot interview from 1998.

Three NXT thoughts

1. In this week's tag match, did the team of Sawyer Fulton and Angelo Dawkins not remind you – like a fucking scary lot – like the two marines on trial for carrying out the code red in "A Few Good Men"?

2. I was sort of excited for Alex Riley to come back into the ring because I think he got the shaft after a pretty good feud with The Miz, but this rage gimmick is dumb. You're the goober analyst, and now I'm supposed to think you're a ball of suppressed rage? Get out.

3. Dana Brooke is crazy green. That match against poor Blue Pants was puke. Of course, she'll probably get called up next week because Vince has a throbbing tube steak in his pants watching her flex the bicep that many times in a row.

Thoughts?

​1.  It's at least better than Dawkins' previous gimmick of "nerdy black guy".  I do at least enjoy the attempts to make new teams, however.
2.  I thought that his motivation for fighting Kevin Owens again was spectacularly honest:  "I've got nowhere else to be!"  You tell 'em, A-Ry.  I fully expect vignettes of Riley living alone in Bachelor Arms ala Kirk Van Houten next.
​3.  It's funny, because the vignettes, backstory, and name are clearly babyface​ indicators, and then she came out gyrating and rubbing herself while wearing Beth Phoenix's hand-me-down gear and I was like "Oh, I guess she's a heel then.  Yay."  And then she did the same "rub and pose" routine a bunch more times in case we didn't get the first time at the top of the ramp.  I guess it's part of the issue of the disconnect between the awesome indy show (Owens / Zayn / Balor) and decidedly developmental portions of the NXT brand.  Although with that being said, she's no Charlotte and should not have been put on TV yet.  I do think that continuing to mine the fitness model and gymnast world for new wrestlers is a great idea, though.  
Also, even though they're ass in the ring, I feel like Enzo and Cass would work well in an Attitude-era throwback sense on the main roster.  The Outlaws milked an entrance for years.  And they have Carmella for good measure.  

Scrap the Intercontinental Title

Hi Scott,

With Daniel Bryan seemingly about to go on the injured list again, do you think the WWE should just decommission the I-C Title? The belt has had zero prestige since 1999 or so, and the second half of last year saw The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Luke Harper and Wade Barrett ping-ponging the title back and forth.

In contrast the U.S Title has been very strongly represented by Rusev and now John Cena, raising it to that semi-main event prestige once held by the I-C title. Maybe do a unification match or have Triple-H and Stephanie declare the title retired due to Bryans status (or have Repo Man repossess the title and never be seen from again 🙂

Your thoughts?

​They already tried getting rid of it in 2002.  It didn't stick then and wouldn't stick now.  It'll probably just get bounced back to Wade Barrett and become the same loser title it's been for years again.​

BoD Daily Update

WWE.com Smackdown Preview


http://www.wwe.com/shows/smackdown/2015-04-16/five-point-preview-4-16-15

Daniel Bryan Update


Bryan, who was sent home for precautionary reasons from the European tour, is scheduled to get his injuries checked up when he returns home. It was also reported that the original plan for this past RAW was to have Bryan face John Cena, which was switched to Cena vs. Barrett instead. It is still unclear whether or not Bryan will be able to wrestle at the “Extreme Rules” show.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter






Update on Naomi’s Heel Turn


Naomi spot where she turned on Paige was originally planned for AJ Lee, who was going to turn on Paige in a similar situation.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter






Tamina Snuka Update


Snuka was brought to television last week and was originally scheduled for the European tour but that ended up not happening for unknown reasons.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter






Also, head on over to Place to be Nation and check out the “Real World Champion” series where PTBN staff members vote on which wrestler was the true world champion of North America. You can view the choices for 1983-88 by clicking on the link below:

http://placetobenation.com/ptbns-real-world-champion-1983-1988/

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro–05.27.96

The SmarK Rant for WCW Monday Nitro – 05.27.96 OK, so now that both sides are caught up from the beginning, we can start doing the alternating reviews that I envisioned all along. Until I run out of Nitros again, although current rumor is another dump around June or so. LIVE from somewhere. Kind of funny that the show which changed wrestling forever wasn’t important enough to warrant a mention of the city. Hour #1! Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Larry Z. They’re at ringside, which immediately gives the show a different look and feel. Tony is LEAGUES above Bischoff as an announcer at this point, and immediately the show feels more important and sportlike. The American Males v. Ric Flair & Arn Anderson Fun fact: My favorite color is teal, and Liz’s dress tonight makes it even more so my favorite color. Riggs overpowers Flair to start, but the Horsemen quickly double-team him on the floor to take over. Another great touch from the classic heels: They specifically make sure NOT to tag, just to be dicks and force the referee to do his job. Bagwell quickly has enough of these shenanigans and it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA as the Males clear the ring. Flair bails and goes for a bottle of champagne from the VIP table (paid for the Macho Man’s money, in case you forgot) to regroup, but Arn accidentally punches the post and Bagwell is in control as we take a break. Back with Bagwell fighting off both Horsemen. His timing and presence were improving by leaps and bounds at this point, actually. Over to Riggs, who quickly gets clipped by AA because he’s not very smart. Arn works on the knee and Flair serves the announcers some champagne in between beating up Riggs. That’s class out the ass. The Horsemen continue flagrantly disregarding the rulebook and working Riggs’ knee, but Scotty comes back with an enzuigiri to put Arn on the floor. Hot tag Bagwell, who gets a missile dropkick on Flair for two and a small package, but Arn rolls him over and Flair gets two. Riggs rolls them over again and Bagwell gets two. Perfectplex on Flair, but Arn comes in and kicks Bagwell in the face to break, and then Woman pokes him in the eye and Arn hits a DDT to finish at 11:46. That was some glorious cheating at the end there. *** Flair is so excited that he dumps champagne all over himself and poor Elizabeth can’t help but crack up at it. Afterwards, Arn lets us know that he has no respect for anyone who wears protective gear, and Flair sings “Afternoon Delight” in tribute of the women. Also, he clarifies that Savage’s money makes Liz his Sugar Mama. I’m impressed that Liz was able to keep it together as good as she could with that maniac cutting a nutty promo. Meanwhile, Mongo and Kevin Greene lift some weights in preparation for the Horsemen. They’re coming hard all day long! Sure, anything sounds incredibly homoerotic out of context, I guess. Steve Doll v. The Mauler That’s right, Colonel Parker is now managing Mike Enos, which must be the earth-shattering thing that changed wrestling. Half of Well Dunn clashing with half of the Beverly Brothers! Mauler beats on Doll and hits a fallaway slam from the top, and they fight to the floor where Mauler runs him into the post. And we take a break. Back with the crowd all distracted by Razor Ramon coming into the ring in his Canadian tuxedo, and we know who he is, but we don’t why he’s here. The match just stops as Hall declares war on Billionaire Ted and “dubya see dubya” and promises to return tonight to issue a challenge to “weatherman wannabe” Eric Bischoff. I can see where Titan’s lawyers would take issue with this, because this was clearly Hall playing the Razor Ramon character and insinuating that he was representing the WWF. This was pretty brilliant as an angle, though, because Hall referenced “Scheme Gene” and “The Nacho Man” and all the “characters” that the WWF themselves used as their cheapshots at WCW, and here’s WCW turning it around and making actual money off it. Meltzer’s take on all this: “However, amidst the attempt at a cure for insomnia was the debut of Hall, done in a manner that is almost certain to be one of the biggest money angles of the year.” Even that ended up being a massive understatement. Diamond Dallas Page v. Sgt. Craig Pittman Page and Pittman exchange pushups to start and Pittman overpowers him for two. Pittman has now found his manager in the form of Teddy Long, for those of you who were wondering if that angle ever paid off. Pittman headbutts Page and he bumps to the floor off that, but comes back with a necksnap on the way back in to take over. Pittman quickly takes him down and hooks the armbar, but Page makes the ropes and shoves Long down in the process. Pittman is concerned, and that proves to be his weakness as Page finishes with the Diamond Cutter at 3:00. Fulfilling managerial relationship = loser. Got it. ½* Meanwhile, The Shark has to cut a serious promo against the Giant while wearing a shark costume with his face painted like a shark. HE’S A SHARK! Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan is more than just the greatest champion in history! Well that’s a relief. HOUR #2! The only hour tougher than Chuck Norris. Your hosts are Eric Bischoff and Bobby Heenan. Eric is not even going to dignify the previous attempt at an invasion with a response. WCW World title: The Giant v. The Shark Am I watching a Syfy original movie now? Shark attacks in the corner and fires away with a jumping double sledge, but Giant no-sells it and slams him. They wander slowly around the ring and Giant runs into a boot in the corner, but Shark goes after Jimmy Hart and gets chokeslammed at 4:00. This brings out Big Bubba, who has been repackaged yet again into a cleaner version of a SAMCRO prospect, and he shaves off half of Shark’s hair. DUD World TV title: Lex Luger v. Maxx (Muscle) I’d say that Maxx must be off steroids and has lost his Muscle, but clearly that would be the furthest thing from the truth. Luger is 100% babyface now, finally, and Maxx grabs a headlock and flexes a lot. Luger comes back with clotheslines as Bischoff notes that he’ll have to be careful or Maxx will “eat him up like yesterday’s lunch”. I miss Tony already. Maxx gets a slam for two as you hear Bischoff telling a stage hand off-camera that someone “can wait until the end of the hour” if he wants to talk to him. Oo, nice touch. This boring shitfest continues with Maxx on what you might laughably call offense, reminding me a lot of what Sting and Warrior were like as rookies. Without the potential. Luger comes back with the STAINLESS STEEL FOREARM OF DEATH (which took out Yokozuna, Eric points out) and finishes this goof with the Rack at 5:44. This might have been the worst match I’ve seen in about two months. Maxx literally looked like some guy they found on Venice Beach lifting weights and decided to make into a wrestler. -** Afterwards, Lex points out to Mean Gene that he doesn’t make the matches and didn’t steal DDP’s title shot at the Bash, and also he’s gonna beat the shit out of every big guy WCW has to offer while tuning up for the Giant. Sound strategy. Hardwork Bobby Walker v. Brad Armstrong Clearly this show is already desperately in need of the cruiserweights to fill up the running time if this is what we’re putting out there. Bischoff notes that he’s not going to use any names of any interlopers, so as not to incur the wrath of the WWF’s legal team. TOO LATE! So these guys do some armbars and stuff and no one gives a shit, as the arena is quieter than a Roman Reigns main event. I’m really not seeing the hard work evident in Bobby Walker’s name here. Perhaps WCW should have countersued his racism claim with a false advertising one. Brad with a small package for two, but Walker gets a backslide for two. Walker jumps up to the top rope, nearly slips and breaks his neck and does it again, and finishes with a shitty Buff Blockbuster or shoulderblock or whatever at 4:44. -* Lord Steven Regal v. Alex Wright Wright uses a headscissors to put Regal on the floor and we take a break. Back with Regal working the arm, and pounding away with forearms. Wright fires back as the Bischoff/Heenan commentary duo continues getting worse before our eyes. I think Heenan was pretty loaded on this show, actually. They continue having a boring match and Wright gets a comeback with a heel kick for two, but Regal takes him down in the corner with a bridge for the pin at 10:00. Bischoff and Heenan would NOT SHUT UP about their stupid bullshit for this whole thing and ruined an already marginal match. * Afterwards, Regal notes that here on Memorial Day, his father would be proud of him beating “Junior Adolf” out there. He throws out a challenge to Sting, so that he can get a shot at the circus freak we call a champion. Sting v. Scott Steiner Sting’s hair is fully un-dyed and growing out now. Scott pounds him down and gets a press slam, but Sting recovers with a nice dropkick and an elbow out of the corner that puts Steiner on the floor. He follows with a dive. Back in, Scott catches him with the butterfly bomb and follows with the belly to belly, and Sting bails to escape. Scott follows with a double axehandle to the floor, and gets two. Scott misses a charge, but keeps coming with an overhead suplex for two. STF, which is slightly worse than Cena’s, and then he switches to a cross armbreaker. Heenan is just on some other planet here, mixing up names and completely forgetting the history between them. Scott tries a suplex and Sting reverses into what I believe would be the first Scorpion Death Drop, but the Stinger splash misses. Scott comes back with the dragon suplex as Lex Luger joins us at ringside, as does Rick Steiner. Scott with a samoan drop off the middle rope, but the Frankensteiner misses and Sting hooks the Scorpion. Scott makes the ropes and they trade tombstones, and Sting gets two. They fight to the apron and suplex each other to the floor, which triggers a big brawl between the two teams for the double DQ at 10:18. Really dull stuff. ** Eric and Bobby wrap things up, but Scott Hall interrupts a second time, and he wants WCW to find three of their best guys and have a match. WE’RE TAKING OVER! How true it was. The Pulse Aside from the biggest angle in the history of history launching here, the rest was pretty crappy this week. However, once the luchadors started finding their way into the midcard, the pacing of these shows would get much better.

NXT – April 15, 2015

NXT
Date: April 15, 2015
Location: Full Sail
University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Rich
Brennan, Corey Graves
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
NXT is back home
tonight after last week’s show took us to Axxess weekend. Things are
starting to get back to normal around here and there are some
interesting stories at the moment. Kevin Owens needs a new opponent
for the NXT Title, Blake and Murphy are on a collision course with
Enzo and Cass, Dana Brooke debuts tonight and we have Sami Zayn vs.
Rhyno. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.
CJ Parker vs.
Solomon Crowe
I’m pretty sure this is
Parker’s last appearance. The fans are behind Crowe as Parker
hammers on him in the corner. I love that Crowe has said he wants to
be NXT Champion. Even if that’s not a realistic option (at least not
yet), it’s what a wrestler in NXT should want to be. Crowe takes
Parker down in the corner and threatens a charge, sending Parker out
to the floor. He settles for a suicide dive and Parker is in pain on
the ramp.
Back in and Crowe
charges into a pair of boots in the corner to put him down for the
first time. A backsplash gets two for CJ and we hit the chinlock,
completely with a few LET’S GO CJ chants. Crowe fights up with some
right hands but gets turned inside out by a clothesline. A side kick
gets a near fall on Solomon but another backsplash hits feet. Crowe
goes up for a splash onto the leg, setting up an old Brock Lock
(bending Parker’s knee around his neck) for the submission at 5:09.
Rating: C-.
I’m not sold on Crowe yet but I like the idea of him using a
submission instead of a pin. He’s built a bit like Taz and it’s kind
of hard to buy him throwing punches and coming off the top as a
result. This worked well enough though as he wrestled a scrappy
style and found an opening to win. I’d like to see more development
from him though as there’s something in that hacker character. If
this is Parker’s last appearance, I’m going to miss him. You need
jobbers like him who are over with the fans no matter how many times
he loses.
Post
match, Crowe says the show is just beginning.
Baron
Corbin vs. Steve Cutler
I
had been wondering what happened to Corbin. He was one of the
hottest things on the show and then he was jobbing in a highlight
package. Cutler eats an early clothesline but gets his days ended at
25 seconds.
Sami Zayn isn’t
surprised that he still has a target on his back. Kevin Owens used
him to get to the top but Rhyno isn’t going to do the same.
Enzo Amore/Colin
Cassady vs. Sawyer Fulton/Angelo Dawkins
Carmella is back and
still loathed by the fans. Enzo says he has a spectacular vernacular
and the Michael Jordan of Jargon. Cass says they are who they say
they are and they aren’t gonna fake it. Blake and Murphy have
something they want so they’re just gonna take it. Enzo grabs a
headlock on Fulton to start and takes him down for a walk over his
back. Fulton gets hold of Enzo’s wrist though and hooks a fireman’s
carry takeover. That’s fine with Enzo who brings in Big Cass for a
beating.
It’s quickly back to
Enzo but Fulton crotches him on top. Cue Blake and Murphy with
flowers for Carmella, who seems impressed despite the NO chants from
the fans. Back inside, Fulton goes old school with an abdominal
stretch to Enzo. He’s too close to the ropes though and Amore
escapes, followed by a Downward Spiral Stunner to get a breather.
The hot tag brings in Cass to clean house with the East River
Crossing, setting up a Rocket Launcher to pin Dawkins at 3:48.
Rating: C.
This is one of the things that I love about NXT: they take a really
basic idea for a feud like this one but execute it well enough with
characters that the crowd cares about that it’s easy to get into.
There’s nothing revolutionary here but the fans love Cass and Enzo so
they’re easy underdog challengers. Carmella
turning heel seems to be the next step, but maybe the champs are just
using her and both teams dump her?
Cass
and Enzo aren’t happy with Carmella taking the flowers.
Alex
Riley says he isn’t going away that easily. Not after all those
years of fighting for every inch, because Owens has painted a
bullseye on his back for the rest of his career. He
has nowhere else to go, so he’ll be waiting for Owens in the ring
next week.
Blue
Pants vs. Dana Brooke
Blue
Pants has a recorded version of Cass’ da-da-duh
da-da entrance and is introduced from the clearance aisle. The fans
still love her too and it’s one of those things that can only work
here in NXT. Brooke is a former bodybuilder with a decent rock song
for her entrance. She
shoves Blue Pants down and hammers in some slow right hands.
The
fans don’t seem to like Dana, but it might have something to do with
her being billed as the Total Diva. Graves
sounds like he has a big crush on her for a bit of flavor. Brooke
sends Blue Pants into the corner and stands on her head to choke
Pants with her boot. Blue
Pants comes back with some jobber offense but walks into a forearm,
setting up a Whiplash for the pin at 2:04. Total squash.
Charlotte
vs. Becky Lynch vs. Bayley in a #1 contenders match next week.
Sami
Zayn vs. Rhyno
Sami
dodges a bit to start but gets caught with a right hand to the face.
A headlock works a bit
better for Zayn until Rhyno shoves him away and shoulders him out to
the floor. The fans are
split about 60/40 in Sami’s favor but the Rhyno cheers are certainly
there. Back in and Sami
grabs a headscissors to send Rhyno outside for a second. It just
seems to make Rhyno angrier though so he pounds Sami into the corner
and chokes with the boot.
A
stiff SHUT UP to the fans get the cheers more in Sami’s favor (at
least they’re obedient) and Rhyno chokes on the ropes. Sami
comes back with forearms and a dropkick but Rhyno takes his head off
with a clothesline. Back from a break with Sami fighting out of a
chinlock and bobbing and
weaving to stay in a slugout. That’s fine until Rhyno plants him
with a spinebuster for two.
Sami
can barely get to his feet as Rhyno hits him with a running shoulder
in the corner. Fans:
“BETTER THAN ROMAN!/NO
IT’S NOT!” With the
wrestling not working, Sami gets up and starts firing off right hands
before the Blue Thunder Bomb gets a close two. Rhyno
catches the high cross body and muscles Sami up into a TKO for a near
fall of his own.
Barely
on his feet, Sami slaps Rhyno in the face, earning him a bunch of
right hands to the head. Rhyno
goes up for some reason and gets punched in the jaw, knocking him
down to the floor. There’s the big flip dive from Sami but
Rhyno throws him down with a belly to belly inside. The Gore misses
though and the Helluva Kick gives Sami the come from behind win at
15:16.
Rating: B.
They had the right idea here by having Sami get a warmup for Owens by
facing someone who wrestles a very similar style and with a similar
body type. Sami is back to form here and the fans are going to be
ready for his rematch. That being said, hats off to Rhyno here, who
hasn’t been around the big leagues in a while but he put on a solid
performance here. Getting veterans here who can put over people like
Zayn while still looking good in the ring is invaluable for a place
like NXT, or any wrestling organization actually.
Overall Rating: C+.
This was back to form for NXT as they have a solid show with a good
main event and story advancement coupled with some quick matches to
help fill things out. The
key to this show is that it doesn’t do a lot of stupid things that
drag the product down. They
let the wrestling do the talking and the stories tell themselves
naturally. In other words, they don’t shove things down your throat
and beat you over the head with them. Those key differences are why
NXT work so well and I hope they don’t change anytime soon.
Results
Solomon Crowe b. CJ
Parker – Brock Lock
Baron Corbin b. Steve
Cutler – End of Days
Enzo Amore/Colin
Cassady b. Sawyer Fulton/Angelo Dawkins – Rocket Launcher to
Dawkins
Dana Brooke b. Blue
Pants – Whiplash
Sami Zayn b. Rhyno –
Helluva Kick
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WCW Superbrawl: February 23, 1997

Out on the prison island of Alcatraz, RODDY PIPER, panting like a post-coital dog, informs A SECURITY GUARD that he knows the way. Screaming, he rushes through the gate, looking dishevelled. “I didn’t spend 7 days from hell for NOTHING!” I’d reckon wearing a skirt in prison probably wasn’t the smartest thing h could have done, but there’s not much of this plan that I believe he thought through.
LIVE from San Francisco, this is Superbrawl! DUSTY RHODESTONY SCHIAVONE, and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN are the A-Team tonight. Heenan screams about the escape from Alcatraz, and there’s a mad-man headed for Hollywood. Is everyone under the impression that Alcatraz is an active prison?

SYXX (0-1-0) vs. DEAN MALENKO (9-1-2) (for the WCW world cruiserweight title)
Syxx is wearing the gold, having stolen it from Malenko during last week’s match. I’d probably find it a much more heinous act if Malenko had ever bothered to defend the damn thing, but seeing as how this is the only way to goad him into a title match, good work Syxx. Malenko marches to the ring, completely focused, by wearing the exact same look on his face he always does. Thankfully, his actions are intense, as Syxx takes a man-sized beating right off the bell. Dean has a chance to win early, but opts to pull the challenger up at 2. Syxx throws some weak right hands, and even tries a bitch slap, but Malenko continues the assault, accentuated with a nasty powerslam for 2. The fans start a “1-2-3” “SUCKS!” duel, while he misses a Thesz press and puts himself in a tree of woe. Malenko dropkicks Syxx from the upside down position and goes for the Cloverleaf. Syxx shoves off, so a pissed off Dean sends him to the floor with a crossbody block, Cactus Jack style. Malenko heads over to Dave Penzer and takes his belt back, showing it off in front of Syxx’s face. Syxx tries a jumping spin kick on the floor, but Malenko ducks and decks him again. Back in the ring, Syxx finally hits his first move, with a backwards enzuigiri. Finally, with a chance to embarrass the man, Syxx hits the Bronco Buster, getting an audible groan from the crowd since this is still a relatively fresh move. A sleeper hold is applied, but Malenko drops forward, sending Syxx’s face into the buckle to break. He shakes it off and puts the sleeper back on. A backdrop suplex allows an escape, and Dean gets 2. Both guys are seeing stars, but it’s Syxx who recovers first, laying in some nasty chops. Malenko is laid out across the apron, and Syxx drops an elbow from the top rope, across the exposed throat. A brainbuster gives Syxx a chance to go high risk again, and a guillotine legdrop gets 2. The neck is clearly the target now, so Syxx goes to the sleeper hold one more time, and this time Malenko drops to the mat and is fading fast. Syxx loosens for just a sec, and that’s all Malenko needs to fight to his feet and drive Syxx backwards into the buckle. Malenko slaps on his own sleeper, but he’s still groggy, and they wind up headbutting each other. Syxx is up first and heads up top, but Malenko crotches him to a good pop. Dean tries a backdrop superplex, but Syxx twists mid-move and crossbodies Malenko, turning the impact on the champ. Syxx grabs the belt, but that draws in EDDIE GUERRERO who’s had enough of this kleptomaniac shit. They get into a tug-o-war which Malenko joins from the other side, pulling Syxx’s other arm. It’s Eddie who accidently lets go, and the belt flies back, smacking Malenko in the face HARD! Guerrero can’t believe what he’s done, and it’s made worse as Syxx gets the pin at 12:02. I really want to believe this is the spark the division needs to get back on track, but considering Syxx never really wrestles, I’m not optimistic. Good match, though. ***
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND shills the hotline, carrying on about potential new nWo members he saw having breakfast with Eric Bischoff. If this is legit, shouldn’t the ever scheming Gene do the right thing and report it to his WCW superiors so they can take some sort of action? I’d be real sick of the mustachioed scumbag profiting off my company’s internal dissention when he has information that could be vital in STOPPING it. Anyway, speaking of the nWo, DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE is going to face an unknown member of the gang with Big Bubba on the sidelines. Page figures it’s not as unknown as all that, because Hogan’s busy with Piper, Hall and Nash are tied up with The Giant, Syxx doesn’t have the guts to pull double duty … so basically, a member of the C-team. DDP narrows it down to Buff Bagwell, and Gene gets word in his ear at that very moment in time that yes, that’s exactly who it is. I would have used nWo Sting, he’s gotta be fresh as hell, he hasn’t wrestled in months.
KONAN, LA PARKA, and VILLANO 4 vs. CICLOPE, JUVENTUD GUERRERA, and SUPER CALO
MIKE TENAY bolts out of the bathroom mid-stream at the first whiff of Lucha to join the announce team. I’m with ya Mike, I love a good Latino fly-fest as much as anyone, but I absolutely abhor these random pairings. Konan’s Dungeon 4 Life, and while La Parka would make a fine addition to the legion of freaks, I’m not thinking he’s even had a tour of the cave yet. Has The Master signed off on these new friends? Do they play well with Maxx? On the other side, I can’t begin to imagine Super Calo having anything in common with Ciclope. How is he to wear unmovable sunglasses with just one eye? This simply won’t do. Tony compares Piper’s arrival tonight to that of an earthquake. Really, Tony? In THIS city? Ciclope and Villano 4 kick off our Worldwide special, and they’re both awful. T he fans start to file off to the concessions, so they trade off to Juvi and Konan, generating a small buzz. A tumbleweed clothesline drops the Juice, but Juvi comes right back with a rana. A springboard dropkick catches Konan in the chest, but Konan retaliates with a wheelbarrow suplex. With Juvi down, Ciclope is subsequently killed with a powerbomb. Calo hangs himself in a tree of woe for some reason, but maybe that was the plan, because he moves as La Parka charges, and the skeleton bangs the buckle. Calo, moving fast, hits a springboard headscissors takeover. La Parka misses a dropkick, and flies through the ropes to the floor. Calo is right behind with a slingshot somersault plancha, without so much as moving the sunglasses or hat! A second high flying move completely fails, as is the norm, so Parka puts him on a well placed chair and hits him with tope suicida! Back in, Villano 4 and Ciclope pair off again to be completely terrible for awhile. Ciclope tries a springboard corkscrew plancha, but he slips during his slow climb to the top of the ropes, and promptly slips as soon as he gets up there. This grows cumbersome, so Juvi comes in to liven things up with a Firebird splash on the Villano for 2. Juvi lays in the chops, but Villano just makes angry faces. Somehow, he completely misses that La Parka’s on his way back in with a La Parkinator for 2! He pulls Juvi back up to the top, but Juice shoves him off, crotching Parka on the middle rope before hitting a springboard rana for 2! Konan rushes in, and picks up Juvi for a Hart Attack with help from Villano. They both work a surfboard together, but Ciclope and Calo help their buddy, rolling the pair back into a cradle submission hold. Their shoulders wind up down, so they’re forced to release lest they be pinned. Konan tosses Juvi to the outside with ease, and then with Villano applies a Star on the other two guys. Juvi comes to save, but Parka powerbombs him and locks on the Rito Romero special in the middle of the Star. It breaks up, while Heenan offers $1000 to the other guys to tell us who’s legal. Some combination of the various teams all hit suicide dives on the other three guys on the floor, and I doubt anyone even knows who’s on whose team at this point. Konan and Juvi wind up back in together, where Splash Mountain finally ends this mess at 9:55. Good god what a trainwreck. The biggest problem with a lot of the fancier submission moves (the group ones in particular) is just how phony they look. I don’t think anyone would ever mistake wrestling for MMA, but a hint of realism is nice. The rest was your usual high flying stuff, without the smoothness of a Rey Jr or Ultimo Dragon – and really illustrated the difference between the genuine top international guys, and the phony baloney players who probably would have been best served staying back in AAA where they’d be better appreciated. *1/2
REY MYSTERIO JR. (7-2-2) vs. PRINCE IAUKEA (2-1-0) (for the WCW world television title)
Rey gets a huge pop from the rabid fans, while Prince Iaukea is met with dead silence. During his entrance, if the music hadn’t been pumped up, I’m not convinced someone relieving their nachos in the men’s room couldn’t have been heard reverberating throughout the arena. So, as a means to try and come to terms with WCW’s boneheaded decision to put the TV title on this goon, I checked out Iaukea’s Wikipedia page. First and foremost, Kevin Sullivan is clearly established as the man behind Iaukea’s push, so I’d owe Bischoff an apology for my swear filled rant on Monday, except he signed off on it so fuck him. Secondly, he’s got one of those pages that I’m convinced was written by a family member. It reads, and I quote:
Prince Iaukea debuted on WCW TV in 1996 and quickly made a name for himself with his unique Samoan persona and real submission wrestling skills along with solid pro wrestling ability.
Now, if you’ve been reading along with me for the last couple of years, you’ll know that I’ve recapped *everything*, short of WCW Pro which I simply don’t have access to. In that time, Prince Iaukea has appeared in maybe 3-4 recaps, total, and usually as part of and “Already in the Ring” 3 or 4-man tag about to be destroyed by the Dungeon of Doom. So, unless he tore up the WCW Pro ranks (and I am going to go out on a short limb and say, no, he didn’t), there is absolutely nobody who knew who in the hell this guy was until he defeated Steven Regal. He’s a cruiserweight who doesn’t fly, he’s a mat specialist with no specialty, he channels Superfly at times without even a hint of his charisma, and the only unique character traits that differentiates him from, say, Todd Morton, is his stupid mullet-bun and lei. Now, if they’d played up a disturbing Furry fetish, explaining the Cheetah Kid is actually an extension of his personal choice of kink that he can’t control in the confines of a pro-wrestling ring and sometimes is forced to wrestle under the hood as a means to personal relief, I could get behind this push. In fact, the prospect of a horrified Steven Regal as the Cheetah Kid slowly stalks him, sexually entering to Divinyls is so delicious that now I’m genuinely upset this wasn’t explored.
But – the reality is that we’re stuck with Iaukea and his terrible, colorless matches, so let’s all hope Mysterio puts this to bed in short order so we can all move on with our lives. Tony calls Prince an underdog, which is the understatement of the year. Prince works a hammerlock, but Rey remembers Iaukea has no business in the same ring as him and dropkicks him in the face. Prince fires back with a superkick for 2, and Rey heads to the floor. Iaukea stands around making stupid karate moves (dude, you’re NOT Japanese), before hitting a plancha from the top of the buckle. Prince takes over the offense, while the fans start looking around for Sting.
That’s right, every eyeball in the building has more interest in looking at nothing at all, than Prince Iaukea. Prince hits a backbreaker and goes for the Superfly Splash, but Mysterio dropkicks him in the chest. Prince goes for a powerbomb, but takes a rana mid-move, sending him all the way to the floor. Prince takes his sweet time standing up, and Rey’s waiting, with a swinging dropkick to the face to greet him. Then, in one of the most impressive spots I’ve ever seen, Mysterio somehow does a suicide somersault plancha through the middle ropes, crushing Prince as he zips by fluidly. If you’ve only been watching wrestling these last 5 years or so, you couldn’t even begin to imagine what Mysterio used to bring to the table in his early 20’s. Back in, Rey hits a triple jump moonsault for 2, just because he can. Prince tries a powerslam, but Mysterio slides off the back and nails a spinning heel kick. Split-legged moonsault is up next, yielding another 2. Prince tries a hiptoss, but Mysterio bounces off the ropes and stays in, before heading up. Prince catches him this time with a super Samoan drop, and all the fans stand up as a very smart-looking STEVEN REGAL heads down to ring-side. Mysterio has recovered and sets up the West Coast Pop, but Regal pulls him off the apron, smacking his face into the side of the ring. Regal quickly rolls Rey in, and Prince gets the easy retention at 8:57. Prince refuses to take it this way, and hands the belt to Rey as the deserving champion. Tony: “Have we ever seen, in the history of our sport, a belt that nobody wanted?” Heenan: “Give it to me, it’s gotta be worth something!” Mysterio gives it back, because he’s not interested in giving the people what they really want. I can’t believe this experiment is going to continue another day. Jesus. **
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND reminds us to call the Hotline NOW, and introduces THE GIANT. The Giant is as aware as anyone about how badly the Outsiders drive, because they’re all about The Mind Games. So … it takes an evil genius to be a bad driver? When I blew out my horn from over-use last year, had my road rage been caused by the great minds of tomorrow? Everything’s upside down.
BUFF BAGWELL (1-0-0) vs. DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE (6-1-0)
Page still hasn’t embraced his face turn, continuing to smoke his expensive cigars, and walk around like a self-involved asswipe, which is just getting him even more over as a result. Page starts Buff off with a bitch slap getting a monster pop from the fans who just can’t get enough of DDP these days. Buff heads for the comfort of the ropes, where he jaws with the fans and gets mad heat. I’ll say this for Bagwell; while most of the B-team converts have just continued to play the same characters and have fallen into the background, Bagwell has completely and totally transformed himself and run with the ball during the last couple of months. These two fought over the Lord of the Ring like 7 months ago, to absolutely no reaction – now the fans are hanging on their every move. Buff chokes Page in the ropes and talks trash. A tornado DDT plants Page, and gives Bagwell plenty of time to show off his newly roided physique to showers of boos. Page sneaks in a small package for 2, and an irate Bagwell gets into it with Scott Dickenson. In fact, he shoves Dickenson, who gives him a MONSTER shove right back and the fans lose their collective minds! Dickenson plays it for all it’s worth, backing Bagwell into the corner and just feeding it to him in a glorious display of finger waving, screaming, and basically putting him in his place. This distraction gives DDP plenty of time to get back to his feet, and one discus punch later takes Bagwell off his feet. A super atomic drop has Bagwell hopping around, clutching his groin, and Page hits a powerbomb for 2. A back elbow from Bagwell turns the tide, and he gets 2 with his feet on the ropes. A missed blind charge allows Page to roll Bagwell up for 2. Bagwell tries the 10 punch count-a-long, but Page gives him the snake eyes and calls for the Diamond Cutter. Bagwell counters with a backslide for 2, and hits a Fisherman’s suplex. Instead of a pin, he wants to embarrass Page, asking the referee to count him out instead as payback for Bubba’s injury. Page gets up, so Bagwell goes for a neckbreaker, but DDP reverses into the Diamond Cutter, drawing in SYXXM WALLSTREETVINCENT, and NICK PATRICK for the DQ at 9:49. Page takes off into the crowd, and celebrates with his thousands of new friends, who explode on the announcement that he’s the winner. Something was in the water here, because I thought this was awesome. ***1/2
CHRIS JERICHO (8-1-0) vs. EDDIE GUERRERO (8-3-2) (for the WCW United States heavyweight title)
This should be absolutely fantastic, despite the fact that both guys have the personalities of damp tuna fish. As long as neither guy speaks, we should be in quality shape. Jericho works an armbar, just one of his 1004 holds. Eddie gets loose, and hits a side suplex. Jericho gives it right back with a backdrop suplex, before putting on an abdominal stretch. A bridged suplex gets 2, and while Eddie is able to elevate loose, Jericho uses that to backslide him for another 2. Standing vertical suplex gets 2, and Jericho’s in complete control. The Liontamer makes its debut here, but Eddie snaps loose with his leg strength. A reverse Torture Rack is up next, and Guerrero has nowhere to go. Jericho works it for awhile, before dropping down on the spine, and getting 2. Jericho looks shocked, but carries on. A springboard crossbody misses, and Eddie quickly delivers a NASTY powerbomb for 2! A brainbuster has Jericho in position for the Frog Splash, but Jericho rolls away and throws Eddie all the way back into the turnbuckle with a release German suplex! Jericho intentionally steps on Eddie’s head, showing a little heel buried inside there somewhere. Embrace it, Chris, let it all out. Indeed he does, crotching Eddie intentionally across the ropes, and dropkicking him to the floor. With Guerrero lying prone, Jericho catches him with a springboard splash all the way to the floor. Back in, Jericho goes for the missile dropkick, but Guerrero turns that into an atomic drop! Nicely done! Both guys hit each other with spinning heel kicks, and it’s Jericho up first with a powerslam for 2. Channelling his idol, Jericho is spot on with Sweet Chin Music. A groggy Guerrero fights off the assault from Jericho and goes for a tornado DDT, but with no mustard behind the move, Jericho calmly drops backwards with a bridged slam for 2! Jericho goes for a powerbomb, but Eddie rolls forward with a sunset flip, and scores an unexpected pinfall at 12:04. I actually didn’t see that finish coming, because these guys were bringing it and probably deserved another 10 minutes and a more creative end to the match. Eddie and Jericho hug it out, and while I am just waiting for Jericho to kick him in the pooter, it never comes. Another strong match in a string of them tonight. ***1/2
THE FACES OF FEAR (4-1-1) vs. THE PUBLIC ENEMY (3-1-0) vs. HARLEM HEAT (8-1-2) (with Sista Sherri)
Folks, it’s rare that grand, life changing opportunities present themselves. One of those days is upon us. If you happen to live in the Flushing, New York area, then I need you to hang on tightly to your skivvies because the legendary Faces of Fear are making an appearance for the low, low price of $40. I’m planning on being there as soon as I can convince my wife it’s a great idea to make a 20-hour round-trip drive in the span of a single weekend; but let’s be honest, that won’t take any convincing. I mean, we’re talking about the most savage warriors in the history of mankind. Rocco Rock has shaved his head, and he looks like the focal point of a Bris. Barbarian starts with the human circumcision, and you can take one guess who wins that war. Stevie Ray tags himself in, and he manages to make a press slam look like a shooting star press in terms of difficulty. The bicycle kick means Stevie’s officially out of moves, so he tags in Booker, who hits Grunge with an axe kick. 110th street slam sets up the spinaroonie into the Harlem sidekick, and Booker’s quickly winning the fans over here. That ends abruptly when Barbarian kicks him in the face while standing on the apron, and Meng tags himself in. The Fear start some “HEAVY CLUBBERIN`” before putting Booker on top. Barbarian throws him into next week, because not only is he one of the two greatest wrestlers in the world, but he also defies the laws of time and space. Meng comes back in and starts screaming in Tongan before giving Booker the spike piledriver. The double headbutt cause Booker’s eyes to roll, and they ain’t done by a long shot. A backdrop sends Booker into the awaiting arms of Barbarian, who howls to the heavens like a hungry coyote while delivering a vicious powerbomb.
“WHAT POWER” understates Tony Schiavone, while Stevie Ray saves the day. Booker blindly tags out to Johnny Grunge, but before he leaves Barbarian wishes him a good night by giving him a Kick of Fear over the top rope. Stevie Ray angrily rushes in to defend his brother’s honor, and he takes a Kick of Fear from Meng. Barbarian spies the bald monkey Rocco prepping to do something stupid, so he just picks him up by the legs and starts planning all sorts of unspeakable horror. Johnny Grunge flies off the top, with both guys falling on top of Barbarian, and … gets the pin at 7:46?!?! What the flippity fuck? After a clinic like that from the Barbarian, and his awesome partner Meng, who quite frankly is one of the two best wrestlers in the world, we’re still trying this crap? I hope this stupid company gets sold in 4 years and dies a horrible death. This was easily an 8 and a half star affair before the finish, but that knocked off nearly a half dozen, so we’ll settle in somewhere around the *** range. The US had better pray the isle of Tonga never declares war, because despite having a range of military weapons ranging from birch bark canoes and some fairly threatening poisonous plants, these two alone might be enough to take down the entire nation with their bare hands.
MONGO MCMICHAEL (1-1-0) (with Debra McMichael) vs. JEFF JARRETT (9-1-0)
If Jarrett wins, he’s a Horsemen. If he loses, we’ll continue to run this insipid angle for another 8 months. There are no victories tonight, folks. Jarrett gets cocky, taking a break on the ropes like a hammock, which probably isn’t wise against a loose cannon like Mongo. A powerslam sets up a pair of 3 point stance clips, and Jarrett hits the deck. Mongo’s hot on his tail, but Debra asks him to relax, giving Jarrett a chance to land a cheap shot. Jarrett puts on an abdominal stretch, using the ropes for leverage, but Debra smacks his hands with the Haliburton because she wants a fair match. Mongo hiptosses Jeff away, and after threatening to military slam him to the floor (where a pleading Debra makes him stop), he slams him mid ring and clotheslines him over the top. Debra wipes Jarrett down, but that just draws a super irate Mongo over to choke his ass out with the same towel. Back in, Jarrett dodges a backdrop and hits a faceplant, pointing to his head because he’s a Super Genius. Of course, a Super Genius might know better than to mess with a man’s wife right in front of him – but this was just child’s play before hopping into bed with Karen Angle. Mongo works a sleeper, but Jarrett hits a backdrop suplex to escape, and both guys are out. Debra: “I don’t know which one to help!” Mongo winds up helping himself, hitting a sidewalk slam, followed by a Rock Bottom for 2. Jarrett gets in a cheap shot and comes off the top with a crossbody for 2. During the kickout, Jarrett’s hand accidently decks the referee, and Mongo immediately calls for the briefcase. Debra refuses, so Mongo grabs her by the back of the hair. She throws it wildly backwards, into the awaiting arms of Jeff Jarrett, who waffles Mongo and scores the pin at 8:13. Heenan: “I SMELL DIVORCE!” Jarrett celebrates his induction to the group who wants nothing to do with him, while Debra tries to revive her fallen husband. **
KEVIN SULLIVAN (7-1-0) (with Jimmy Hart and Jacqueline) vs. CHRIS BENOIT (6-3-0) (with Woman) (in a San Francisco death match)
If our creepiness scale with the entire Benoit story needed another layer, here he is with Woman in a Death Match. Woman and Jackie are strapped together, and they start scrapping on the floor to a massive reaction. You know, for all the hate I have for Kevin Sullivan, the heat is off the charts every single time he steps in the ring with Benoit. Benoit chops the old man into North Carolina BBQ, but Jackie cuts him off when he goes for the swandive. Sullivan pounds Benoit with repeated shots to the face, and Jackie comes after her. Woman cuts that off, whipping Jackie repeatedly. Sullivan throws himself in the middle, so Woman uses the strap as a genital mutilator, and Sullivan drops like a rock. Benoit heads over to check on his lady, and Jackie starts whipping him with some ferocity! Sullivan rips the straps off the girls all together, and hangs Benoit over the top rope. I swear to god, if Jackie puts a bible at his feet, I’m going to have to start scrubbing him out of WCW history like a WWE DVD editor. Instead, she punts him in the crotch, while Woman beats down Kevin. The ladies strap themselves back together, and use the leather as a clothesline to take down both guys. Sullivan recovers first, and takes Chris to the floor where he’s sent face first into the guardrail. They both start trading chops, and nothing’s being held back here. The boys start heading through the crowd, and we know exactly where this is headed. But, the boys have a curveball tonight. Instead of moth balls and stale urine, they fight just outside the parking lot, taking turns hitting each other with a giant Rubbermaid garbage can. Eventually they head back down to ringside, and Sullivan ties Benoit to the tree of woe. The running knee sets up the Double Stomp, but Woman starts whipping him to stop any pinfall. He starts to stalk his ex, but Benoit spins him around, and gives him a spike piledriver with some force! The women continue to roll around, while Benoit grabs one of those super sturdy old cafeteria style tables from under the ring. It’s set up in the middle of the ring with Sullivan on top, so Jackie throws herself on top to save her man. Benoit has zero fucks to give about that, and splashes the both of them, where everyone bounces off while the table doesn’t budge! That’ll crack a rib! Benoit lies on Sullivan underneath the table, and that gets the pinfall at 8:35. They tried a new side to their old template, but this didn’t quite have the punch their previous matches did. ***
ARN ANDERSON comes out to survey the carnage, with both Jackie and Sullivan down and out. PAUL ORNDORFF, who we haven’t seen in about a year, also heads down to the ring, and he’s livid. He checks in on Kevin, screaming for help, drawing in … TERRY TAYLOR and LEE MARSHALL. Lee provides all sorts of assistance, such as giving exaggerated points and looking shocked. After several more minutes, 3 gurneys are wheeled down, taking Benoit, Sullivan, and Jackie away for medical help.
THE OUTSIDERS (2-1-0) (with Syxx) vs. THE GIANT (4-0-2) (for the WCW world tag-team titles)
It seems almost illogical that in July, the Giant was the single most dominant force on the roster, yet WCW allowed their 3-man team at Bash at the Beach to be composed of a lottery drawing. Savage had nothing resembling momentum at that point, he could have been easily replaced, and WCW probably wins that match and stops the New World Order from happening before it even starts. Hall wins the Rock, Paper, Scissors draw for the 21st consecutive time, which either means Kevin Nash has the worst poker face on the planet, or Scott Hall is the world champion of Roshambo. Hall sizes up the competition, and decides his best course of action is to throw a toothpick at the Giant. Of course, that only serves to make the big man angry, so Hall’s forced to hide in his corner. Once the heat is off, Hall lays in a bunch of knees, but Giant shrugs him off and knocks him right down to the mat. Hall charges, right into the arms of Giant, who slams him and stares down Nash. Hall walks right up and hocks a massive loogie in the eyes of the Giant, and turns things over to big Kev. The fans buzz, because this was still at a time where the prospect of super heavyweights doing battle was always the most exciting thing in wrestling. Nash lunges, but Giant starts throwing dropkicks at both guys like a 500 pound Cruiserweight, and the ring is cleared while the fans warn Sting he’d best exit the rafters cuz they’re about to blow the roof off. Giant follows them to the floor, ramming Nash spine first into the ring post. Back in, an elbowdrop gets 2, saved by Hall. While Hall gets given a lecture about fair play, Syxx comes off the top rope with a tag-team belt to the face of the Giant. Nash nails a big boot, allowing Hall to hit a bulldog off the top, and Nash dives in for 2. The fans chant for Luger while Syxx holds Giant hostage allowing the Outsiders to take turns laying in shots. Giant continues to fight back, and succeeds in knocking them both down with a pair of big boots. Syxx heads to the top rope, but Giant catches him this time and throws the pipsqueak at Nash like a weapon. Hall grabs the belt and nails Giant upside the head, and Giant falls into the arms of Nash who powerbombs him!!!!! LEX LUGER’s seen all he can stands, but ERIC BISCHOFF’s right behind him, waving his arms to alert him there’s no way he’s getting involved. Luger grabs him by the hair and throws him into the guardrail, and the fans are having multiple orgasms at this point. Luger leaps on the apron begging for a tag – and while history tells me I should be feeling VERY uneasy about this, Luger stays true to WCW and issues clotheslines to everyone! Nash, back destroyed from the powerbomb, gets caught in the Rack, and he taps immediately giving us NEW tag-team champions at 8:56! Just for the hell of it, Giant chokeslams Hall and demands a 3-count before both guys celebrate with the tag-team titles. Sadly, in light of the precedent set last month at Souled Out, they best not get too comfortable with them because you know this is getting reversed on Nitro tomorrow. **
HOLLYWOOD HOGAN (0-1-2) (with Ted Dibiase and Vincent) vs. RODDY PIPER (for the WCW world heavyweight title)
Piper arrives, absolutely filthy. Tell me something, why would his shirt be ripped in a bunch of places? It was just a week for god sakes; I see contestants on Survivor go home looking better than Hot Rod. Hogan cracks me up by stealing Piper’s kilt as soon as Roddy takes it off, and wiping his nose with it. Piper mumbles to himself, which everyone assumes is Gaelic. I think we’ll need to bring in Mr. and Mrs. Murray to get to the bottom of this once more on WCW Saturday Night this week. Off the bell, Hogan decides he’s not much interested in wrestling a man that smells as bad as Piper, and walks away. No kidding! Personal hygiene is just common courtesy. Piper hauls him back into the ring, and uppercuts the Hulkster right in the BrookeMaker. That’s followed by more classic wrestling holds, such as the choke with the shirt, and the gentle chair tap. Back in, Hogan goes low, but to quote Tony Schiavone: “HE DIDN’T EVEN FEEL IT!” Instead, he jumps on Hogan’s back, and paying homage to Lou Thesz, he bites Hogan in the eye. M WALLSTREET rushes in, but Piper knocks him out before he makes it over the ropes. Piper digs deep, remembering the lessons of Pat O’Connor, and pokes Hogan in the eyes. Of course, tributes wouldn’t be complete without harkening back to the days of George Hackenschmidt, where Piper hits a thundering Bear Clap. Hogan tries to leave again, but Piper hauls him back by the tights, revealing Hogan’s milky white ass. Hogan takes an atomic drop setup, but gets dropped on the top rope. STING and RANDY SAVAGE show up in the aisle now, and Savage wants to hit the ring. Sting tells him not tonight, and they turn away … except Sting misses that Savage has simply spun in a full circle and is heading back to ringside. Hogan gets control for the first time, throwing a series of punches, while Sting has continued to stand on the top of the ramp, staring coldly at the ring. Finally, he gets annoyed and leaves, but Savage keeps his position at ringside, cheering Piper on. Hogan rams Piper’s back into the ring post, and starts working over the hip. He heads back in, but Piper’s still got energy, clawing at Hogan’s eyes. Hogan stops him, and locks on a bear hug while talking shit to Savage the entire time. Piper drops, and Hogan decides to go for the Big Leg Drop – but he moves! Piper hammers at the champ, and puts on the Sleeper!! Hogan fights, but he drops to the mat, and Piper squeezes harder! The arm drops 3 times, and Piper is unbelievably announced as the World’s Heavyweight Champion at 10:19!!! But wait – Savage drags Hogan under the ropes AFTER the bell, and somehow the referee decides that, yes, his foot MUST have been under the ropes and thus the match continues. Savage slips a pair of brass knucks to Hogan, and Hollywood decks Roddy scoring the pin and retaining the belt at 11:00. Hogan and Savage break into a huge hug. What … the … fuck.
No. Just no. Hogan spent months torturing Savage with Liz, had his group beat him senseless on multiple occasions, destroyed his self-confidence, and pretty much ruined his life. While I watch Savage drop elbow after elbow on Piper, while Hogan joins in with non-stop legdrops, I’m not confused. I’m disgusted. This is lazy, miserable booking, because they put themselves in a corner where Piper couldn’t lose. And yes, Hogan and Savage are best friends in real life – but they have YEARS to kiss and make up when the wounds of the last war aren’t so bloody fresh. I’ve had enough of the nWo, they’ve literally taken over the company as they promised, but in the process they’ve made the main event angles completely unwatchable.
I’m reminded to tune in to Nitro, and I’ll have to make that decision later because I’m too annoyed.

Oh, and -* for the main event. Both guys should be embarrassed. I know I am.

96 Raw


I watched a few of the episodes of Raw from 96 that you have been reviewing. I know 1996 is known as the greatest era for TV, but have you noticed anything from that era that you'd like to see brought back? (ex. squash matches). When I watched, it wasn't the greatest, but it felt fresh.

Nitro was also incredibly fresh at the time, even as the 96 era was clearly going off the rails week by week.  What I really enjoy about going back and reviewing that era (besides the short running times) is that watching RAW and then Nitro gives you, and stop me if this is too crazy a concept, DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE.  The shows looked visually different and featured different directing styles with different stars doing different types of wrestling. 

As for RAW, what I wish they'd bring back is the more personalized merchandise sales stuff with pros like Dox Hendrix, who knew how to shill.  There's something kind of cool about showing off the newest shirts and merch and then telling you HOW YOU CAN BUY THEM.  These days they seemingly think people are just cruising the website looking for ways to give up their money.  Sell me on this stuff!