Let’s talk about…..the fall of Roman Reigns

Let’s talk about….the fall of Roman Reigns
As he stood under the lights on Monday night, Roman Reigns
passed his first test with flying (well, decent) colors. The newly anointed savior
of our sport stood alone and cut his first main event promo, looking and
sounding like he belonged in front of us. The fans ate it up like a whale at a
buffet featuring all-you-can-eat Jonahs.

So where did this sinking feeling come from?
Let’s establish up front that the push of Roman Reigns has
proceeded rather flawlessly; indeed, the Shield has been handled as well as any
talents we’ve seen in the last ten years at this point. Slowly building Reigns
up, with few jobs and strong victories, his ascension to the top of the card is
nearly complete. We’re several months away from his final coronation, but
barring any injury or unforeseen circumstances, he will be holding the title
aloft at the end of Wrestlemania 31.
Speaking of unforeseen circumstances….
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to
repeat it” – George Santayana
Time for a stroll down the memory lane, don’t you think?
In the past 5 years, we’ve seen the ascension of 2 unlikely
stars to the top of the ranks in WWE; CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. And we’ve seen
the rejection of all of the following stars that WWE has tried to get over into
that spot – Alberto Del Rio, Ryback, the returning Batista, and old card
mainstays such as Cena, Orton, and the Big Show. In each instance, the fan base
has rejected these options in favor of the fan-grown wrestler that the audience
connected with. The booking of Roman Reigns does not fill me with confidence
that this trend will be avoided in the near future.
The fact is, I think that we’re seeing a new breed of fan
that has grown and matured over the last 5 years or so, and that fan is the
informed fan. Not the smark, like us, who analyze wrestling to a ridiculous
degree, but the fan who knows more about what is going on due to the internet
or whatever medium they use than ever before. I believe that the fanbase has
conditioned itself to reject many of the creations that WWE gives ‘superhero’
pushes to; initially, those wrestlers are welcomed as someone new to the main
event scene.
As time goes on, however, there is a real role that the fans
have taken on in determining who they want to receive a push, and not allowing
that push to happen organically is playing with fire. If Reigns is indeed the
long game for ‘Mania this year, the concern that I foresee is the fans getting
tired or restless with his domination to the point that they will reject him
the same way they eventually rejected a wrestler such as Ryback.
“Ryback? Reigns is twice the wrestler Ryback is!” Hmmmm….is
that really true? Reigns has been extremely protected up to this point with
regard to his weaknesses in the ring, which are very real. He fits in well as
the heavy finisher in tag matches, but can he carry a match on his back when he
needs to? I don’t put him in Scott Steiner territory by any stretch of the
imagination, but any wrestling fan can see that he has a severely limited
moveset to put it mildly. Spear, Superman Punch, dropkick to the ring apron. The
rest of what Reigns does in the ring is very basic kicky-punchy clothesline
type wrestling, and that type of wrestling has been a big part of what the fans
have rejected in guys such as Cena and Ryback.
Remember the Ryback push? He was given a pretty big shove
out there, pinning multiple wrestlers at once with big power moves to get him
over as a monster. Much like Reigns has been protected in tag matches, Ryback
was protected with short squashes. He was given title matches with Punk, main
events with Cena, both of whom are excellent workers, and the matches came up
relatively short. He was given a simple catchphrase to get over, which he did.  I think that the similarities are more evident
than people think. The only difference is that, when the time comes, I think he’ll
go over for the belt, whereas Ryback did not.
And that could be a problem. Because the fan’s role in
deciding whether or not he finishes his push at the top when the proverbial
rocket gets him all the way there is going to be determined by the epic nature
of his matches. And I’m not at all convinced he’s ready for that; while we make
fun sometimes of fans who may not know what’s really going on, ringwork has
always gotten people over. Just look at the Steiner/HHH debacle vs the
Angle/Benoit classic on the same show; wrestling fans will buy into good
wrestling . Will he be ready by Wrestlemania? Of course, he could be.
But what happens if they can’t sustain his act that long?
People tired of Cena’s superman act years ago, and have been vocal about that
to the point where it needed acknowledgement on television, something that
never would have happened to a top babyface from another era. Of course, Cena
is a special case, as his merchandise sales and public image for the company
require that he be kept a BINO (babyface in name only), but the boos far
outweigh the cheers. I don’t know that Roman has that type of skill set yet –
the ability to do the intangible things that are needed to sustain that type of
run at the top.
Contrast that with the man getting the second biggest pops
on the show right now – Dean Ambrose.
Ambrose is currently most smarks’ pick for the breakout star
of the Shield waiting to happen, and it’s all in how he carries himself in the
storytelling of his matches and his angles. He comes out and the crowd has NO
idea what is going to happen next. He wrestles like no one else on the card at
this time, sells like a motherfucker, and in general is a complete professional
But the reason that I see Ambrose as the bigger star down
the road is that he doesn’t feel like a WWE creation – he feels like a real
(crazy) person, who has no real equal in the Fed when it comes to both his
character and his unique ringwork. The fact is that if the fans are going to
choose the next main event star, I suspect that they will tire of Reigns faster
than they tire of Ambrose.
And that’s a real problem, because the WWE is going to
forget the history of even the last few years again. 
The rise of CM Punk came
because his character was unique and people were dying to see something that
didn’t look like John Cena up top. The fans rejected Batista because they didn’t
want to see the same thing, they wanted Daniel Bryan, who wrestled a unique and
different style than anyone else at the time, and who had a character that
appealed to the masses as a true underdog babyface, something that hadn’t been
done in a long time. The fact is, Roman Reigns is exactly what the WWE sees
when they look for a main event talent.
And the fact is, the fans have rejected that notion multiple
times over the last several years.
Please understand, I’m not rooting against Roman Reigns in
the slightest. I hope he pulls it together and proves me completely wrong. He
not only has the look, he has the same type of attitude that put Batista over
the top back in the day, the ‘cooler than you vibe’. It might carry him all the
Or that rocket could explode before it clears the
And that fall can kill you.
Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on twitter

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW–10.10.94

The SmarK Rant for Monday Night RAW – 10.10.94 Taped from Utica, NY Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Randy Savage. It’s a special HOLIDAY edition of RAW. Apparently it’s “Columbus Day”. Apparently this is a real thing that Americans celebrate. But then we get “Victoria Day” as a holiday up here, so who am I to judge? Bam Bam Bigelow v. Lex Luger Luger gets distracted by Dibiase’s parade of scrubs and Bigelow attacks and overpowers Lex. Luger slugs back FOR ‘MURICA and Bigelow bails, so Luger brings him back in and goes to the vicious armbar that is featured on the thumbnail for this episode. So that goes on for a while, until Bigelow comes back with a powerslam for two, but the diving headbutt misses. And it’s back to that armbar. And now King Kong Bundy joins us at ringside to really add to the marketability of the worst stable in wrestling history and we take a break. We return with Adam Bomb and Mabel coming out to even the odds, and this like the Survivor Series match from my tequila-and-pizza fueled nightmares. So now Bigelow goes to the chinlock as Vince clarifies that the Corporation is attempting to rid the WWF of Lex Luger. Well Ted Turner’s chequebook certainly accomplished that goal for them the next year. So Bigelow chokes away on the ropes and Luger finally makes the comeback as his steroid cycle kicks in. Bigelow collides with Tatanka and Luger cradles for the pin at 14:47. Bigelow and Tatanka argue over that, although that specific story thread wouldn’t get pulled on for months. This Corporation was just the dirt worst bunch of losers. * Mr. Bob Backlund guests on the Heartbreak Hotel, and Bob’s not so sure that he’d want Shawn Michaels in his generation. Mabel v. Reno Riggins I have to wonder who got the honor of writing all of Vince’s topical banter about sports and pop culture for these taped shows, given that we know he’s about as savvy to the world outside of the bubble as I am. Riggins actually controls after a missed elbow, but Mabel quickly squashes him with the legdrop at 2:00. Meanwhile, Randy Savage is at a parade either for or against Cooley’s Anemia. Either way, it’s very important to give them money. I think the people behind that disease need better PR because I’ve never heard of it. Owen Hart v. John Crystal Owen works on the arm and chokes him out after a dropkick while Vince plays “What’s in the news this week?” and makes jokes so lame that Bret would be forced to give them 1/10. Crystal briefly comes back, but walks into a suplex and the Sharpshooter at 3:39. King Kong Bundy v. Mike Khoury Bundy quickly beats him down and drops a knee for two while Vince talks current movie releases with Savage. Can we just fast-forward through this entire month? Avalanche finishes at 2:49 and they screw up the five-count gag by playing his music too soon. I am kind of curious why Bundy never migrated to WCW during the Hogan era, actually. The King’s Court with Queezy the midget, which is Lawler’s first step in his war of the midgets against Doink. Kill me now. The New Headshrinkers v. JS Storm & Cory Student Barbarian throws Student around and no-sells all of Storm’s jobber offense, then finishes with the big boot at 1:50. They probably should have just gone right to the repackage of Fatu and saved everyone the boredom. Also, Fatu is concerned because Sionne is too violent or something. Later, the storyline would hit another gear when Fatu starting getting booked as being too stupid to figure out how to wrestle in boots. So the best is yet to come. The Pulse This show was only 45 minutes long and felt like a three-hour RAW. And it’s only getting WORSE as the year grinds to a finish! But at least we’ve got Jeff Jarrett v. Doink to look forward to next week.

The Kevin Kelly Show Episode 13 – Featuring Mike Mondo

On episode 13 of The Kevin Kelly Show, Kevin talks about WWE’s Road to SummerSlam, the company’s claim that John Cena is the greatest WWE Champion of all time, the future of Cesaro and much more.

Kevin is then joined by Mike Mondo. Mike talks about his path to WWE, his time training at NYWC, working with the Spirit Squad, his status with ROH and a whole lot more.

Kevin and Justin then discuss the World Cup of Greatest TV Characters, play a game of wrestling urban legend sleaze thread “true or false” and also break down NBA free agency, Brock Lesnar’s path to WrestleMania and the always hot trending stories.

The Kevin Kelly Show Episode 13 – Featuring Mike Mondo

Saturday Night’s Main Event Countdown: #1

(Thankfully I have the entire run of the series done and in good enough quality where I won’t need to redo very much, so we should be able to breeze through these on schedule.  Although at least SNME is short and one of my favorite shows to re-watch, so it’ll be easy enough if need be.) The SmarK Retro Rant for Saturday Night’s Main Event #1 – May 10, 1985 – Well, with the imminent return of everyone’s favorite 80s retro wrestling program to the Saturday night schedule on NBC, I figured that it was only fitting to go back and take a look at the very first one, during the height of the Rock N Wrestling Connection.  (The return of the show was of course a disaster, but good on them for trying.)  – Taped from Nassau, NY – Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura. Opening match: The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff & George “The Animal” Steele v. Barry Windham, Mike Rotundo & Ricky Steamboat. Hard to remember a time when the Animal was a heel, actually. Sheik of course reminds us that Iran #1, Russia #1. But does he have economic data to back that up, and where could I find it? (Maybe from the WWE investor’s call?)  Windham & Rotundo using “Born in the USA”, which was an ironic anthem from Springsteen about how lousy veterans were being treated, makes me think that people in the music department weren’t actually listening to the music. (To be fair, that was a common problem with that song.)  Finally, for those of you who are too young to remember SNME in the first place, Rotundo went onto greater fame as IRS in the 90s. (I hear he has a couple of kids in the business now, too.)  Anyway, onto the match, as Windham wins a slugfest with the Sheik to start and hiptosses him into the face corner. Rotundo and Steamboat trade off with shots off the top, and Rotundo drops an elbow for two. Steamboat comes in and falls victim to the abdominal stretch, but it’s BONZO GONZO and the faces clean house. Back from a break with Sheik still getting clobbered, as Dragon hits him with a missile dropkick and high cross for two. Volkoff fights his way in and gets double-teamed into a Windham dropkick for two. Rotundo drops a leg for two. Rollup gets two. Backslide gets two. Back to Windham, who gets a melodramatic sunset flip for two. Steele comes in and the other heels immediately take off to the back, leaving him to get pinned by Windham in his confusion. (Windham/Rotundo/Steamboat d. Sheik/Volkoff/Steele, Windham rollup — pin Steele, 6:50, **1/4) This had a few moments but was far too quick and the finish was out of nowhere. The heels return to turn on the confused Animal, but former manager Lou Albano consoles him and officially turns him face, where he would remain for the rest of his career. Just a quickie match to deliver a big midcard angle right out of the gate. – Piper’s Pit time, with guest Paul Orndorff. This was the fallout from Wrestlemania, marking Orndorff’s face turn. Oddly enough, he would turn heel again less than a year later for a program against Hulk Hogan and draw millions of dollars as a result. The trash-talking comes fast and furious here, leading to Orndorff telling Piper that he’s been “drinking too much of his own bathwater!” OOOOOOH, you got SERVED, son! Orndorff should have just run down to ringside and high-fived everyone in the front row right then, and possibly joined the Def Comedy Jam afterwards. Note: I am being sarcastic. (In case you couldn’t tell.)  Anyways, the insult is so lame that Piper and Orton have no choice but to beat the crap out of him for wasting their time with it, resulting in Mr. T making the save. – An interview with Hulk Hogan immediately afterwards reveals that in fact he trusts Mr. Wonderful with his life and completely forgives him. See, this is why I was cheering for Orndorff later on. – WWF World title: Hulk Hogan v. Cowboy Bob Orton. Hogan and Mr. T rip off each others clothes to show how pumped they are, as George Michael and Elton John stop having sex backstage and go “Dude, that’s pretty gay”. (That may have been a tad insensitive.) Orton tries the sneak attack to start, but Hogan sees the reflection in his own bald spot and gives him a series of bodyslams. Orton gets advice from Piper, which through the magic of digital reconstruction, is finally revealed as follows: “Make sure to train Randy as a wrestler, wait until he’s a big star, and then call me so we can leach off his talent for a few more bucks.” (Bret gives that joke a 4/10.)  Orton is so distracted by this advice that he runs into the post, allowing Hogan to go after his “injured” arm. Orton comes back with a high knee and pounds on Hulk, and the dreaded atomic drop gets two. You notice that no one ever does the non-inverted version of the atomic drop anymore, unless it’s someone like Eugene doing throwback matches? Kneedrop and elbows to the head leave Hogan down, but not for long. Hulk Up time, clothesline, elbow, but he only gets two. Hmm, that’s a rather odd change from the formula. Orton catches him with an inverted atomic drop and sets up for the superplex to finish, but Hogan blocks and drops the leg instead. Piper runs in for the DQ. (Hogan d. Orton, DQ, 6:50, *1/2) Didn’t really go anywhere, like most of the matches on these shows. The beatdown begins, but Orndorff saves, kicking off a friendship which I’m sure was destined to last until the end of time. – Cyndi Lauper and Lou Albano deliver a double-team interview so stupid that I feel my brain melting just listening to it, setting up Lauper’s “Good Enough” video from the Goonies’ soundtrack. Rather ironic since it wasn’t “good enough” to make it onto her album. It’s the video with all the wrestlers in it dressed as pirates and stuff. I can’t believe that Lauper is now a respected adult contemporary artist. – WWF Women’s title: Wendi Richter v. Fabulous Moolah. Moolah was a spry 102 at this point, while Richter was nearing the end of her title reign, although she didn’t know it at the time. (Oh, TAG!) Again another case of the music department not understanding the music, as Richter uses “She Bop”, Lauper’s tribute to masturbation. Moolah, as befitting someone who was alive during the Crusades, produces a SCROLL from the WWF Head Office declaring that Lauper is banned from ringside. Moolah pushes Wendi down and hairtosses her a few times, but stalls forever and gets dropkicked out. Back in, Moolah dropkicks her for two. Richter does the “pull her off the ropes” spot a couple of times, and reverses a slam for the pin. (Richter d. Moolah, inside cradle — pin, 3:14, 1/4*) Way too short and too crappy to mean anything. – Junkyard Dog v. Pete Doherty. Ah, the Duke of Dorchester. (Worst.  Commentator.  Ever.)  Headbutts, headbutts, headbutts, powerslam, pin, goodnight. Usual squash match for those still watching at 1:30 in the morning. (JYD d. Doherty, powerslam — pin, 3:07, DUD) – And we close with a Mother’s Day celebration, which Fabulous Moolah interrupts. I’d reveal her fate, but I’ll just note that there’s a giant cake on the table and leave you to figure it out. The Inside Pulse: This was the one that set the formula for the show and produced DRAMATIC increases in production values over their usual weekly TV, and it probably has some value for nostalgia purposes and the like. (Yeah, Dick Ebersol was kind of a genius and he pushed them kicking and screaming into the TV production era.  I bet they used a lot of the lessons here when it came time for RAW.)  As a wrestling show, it’s worthless, but then most of the SNME shows were. Recommended for nostalgia and not much else.

Thanks and Last Shameless Plug

Hi Scott,
Thanks for the re-post of my wrestling figures on your blog, it is much appreciated. I hope I'm not pushing my luck, but I was hoping for one last post with links to each auction. Many thanks to you and your readers!
Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart the Hart Foundation w/ title belts: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/301238585238?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649   Terry Funk w/ Branding Iron and Hat: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/301238588618?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649  Hillbilly Jim w/ Hat: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/301238604779?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649   Jake “The Snake” Roberts w/ Python Damien: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/301238608233?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649   “Hot Rod” Rowdy Roddy Piper w/ Kilt: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/301238630267?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649   Outback Jack w/ Hat: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/301237839308?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649   Koko B. Ware w/ Frankie the Parrot: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/301237845462?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649   Cowboy Bob Orton w/ Cowboy Hat: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/301238637423?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649   Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid British Bulldogs: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/301238643106?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649   Captain Lou Albano & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/301238647193?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649   Kamala w/ Moon Belly: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/301238780325?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649   Special Delivery Jones w/ Red Shirt: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/301238635423?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649   B. Brian Blair & Jim Brunzell Killer Bees: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/301238575376?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Evening Thread – Wednesday Edition

TONIGHT! On the WWE Network, catch a Legends House marathon on the live stream. Or, if you’re checking out the free trial, watch some Great American Bash ’89. It’s required viewing if you’re a wrestling nerd.

MLB action, Big Brother, SyFy has a Planet of the Apes marathon (the originals), or just come by and shoot the breeze, whatever. The thread is here for whatever you want it for.

Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuiness – The Complete Collection (Disc 1)

Because we’re all missing Daniel Bryan, I decided to watch and review this DVD. 

A lot of these matches were contested under “Pure Rules”. Here are
the rules:
1. Each wrestler has three
rope breaks to stop either a submission hold or pinfall.
2. There are no
closed-fists, only slaps and elbows are allowed to the face area. If a wrestler is seen using one, he will be warned. If a wrestler
is caught again, a rope-break will be taken away. The wrestler will lose the
match via disqualification if he is caught and has no rope-breaks.
3.There is a 20-count on
the floor instead of a 10-count

ROH World & ROH Pure
Championship Match: Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness, Weekend of Champions
Night 2, 4.29.06

They trade some holds, with neither man gaining a clear advantage.
Danielson grounds McGuinness with a side headlock. McGuinness fights back to
his feet, but Danielson stays in control. McGuinness delivers closed fist.
Sinclair does not see him use a closed fist. He, however, catches Danielson
retaliating, so he takes away a rope break from Danielson. Funny spot.
McGuinness is relentlessly going after Danielson’s arm, locking in a few
different submission holds. He smashes some elbows into Dragon’s head, forcing
Danielson to use another rope break. Dragon tries to fight back, but McGuinness
goes after the arm. Dragon fights back and goes for the Surfboard, but Nigel
fights it off. He decides just to stomp McGuinness’s knees into the mat.
McGuinness comes back by going to work on Danielson’s arm once more. He then
sends him packing to the floor. He tries to suplex Danielson back into the
ring, but Danielson reverses it with a release German Suplex. Danielson hits a
big lariat and then a running forearm in the corner. He hits a suplex and then
a diving headbutt for a two-count. He locks on the Crossface Chicken Wing,
forcing McGuinness uses his second rope break. Both exchange some hard slaps.
McGuinness then delivers the headstand mule kick. McGuinness hits the Tower of
London. Danielson uses his final rope break. Nigel goes for another Tower of London,
but Danielson reverses it with the Cattle Mutilation! McGuinness places his
foot on the bottom rope, using his third rope break.

They skirmish on the apron and McGuinness suplexes Danielson to
the floor! McGuinness tosses Danielson into the guardrail and then uses the
table as a weapon.  Danielson makes it just back into the ring before the
count of 20. McGuinness hits the Jawbreaker Lariat for a two-count, but
Danielson him rolls over into the Cattle Mutilation. McGuinness makes it to the
ropes, but that can’t save him. He slides to the floor to break the hold.
Danielson hits a suicide dive. Back on their feet, McGuinness charges, but
Danielson tosses him over the barricade. Danielson follows him out with the
springboard dive, but McGuinness gets a chair up in his face. McGuinness is
able to get back in the ring before the count and wins the match at
28:30. This awesome match had clever storytelling, hard-hitting moves, and
spot-on timing. The strategic game planning that encircled around the
“Pure Rules” appended some realism/psychology into this too.

ROH World Championship: Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness,
Generation Now, 7.29.06

This begins with
Danielson attacking Nigel’s leg. Nigel attempts to fight back, but Danielson
proceeds to work over the leg. Nigel fights back and goes to work on the arm.
Danielson recaptures the control and locks in the surfboard. Nigel fights back
and locks in an armbar that Danielson escapes with a bridge. Dragons slaps
Nigel in the face. He sends Nigel into the corner, but Nigel hits the headstand
into a kick move. He goes for the Tower of London, but Dragon reverses into a
cross face chicken wing. Nigel escapes. Danielson hits a suplex and heads up
top. He hits a missile dropkick. Nigel falls to the floor. Dragon then proceeds
to deliver a dive onto Nigel. Back in, Danielson hits a stiff European uppercut
off the second rope. He goes for Cattle Mutilation, but Nigel fights it off.
Nigel goes for another headstand, but Dragon kicks him in the face. Danielson
hits a suplex. He goes up top for the diving headbutt, but Nigel counters with
a knee right into his grill.

They go back and
forth with European uppercuts, ending with Nigel hitting a gigantic lariat for
a near fall. Nigel hits the Tower of London for another near fall. He puts in
his Arm Submission, but Danielson makes it to the ropes. Nigel takes a play out
of Danielson’s playbook and uses repeatedly elbows Dragon in the face. Dragon
reverses it and then shows Nigel how it is done. He locks in the cross-face
chicken wing. Nigel breaks out and they start trading stiff headbutts on their
feet. Danielson runs after Nigel and he tosses him over the ropes. Back in,
Nigel nails the rebound clothesline for a near fall. Danielson gets crotched on
the top rope and Nigel hits a demoralizing clothesline from the top rope.
Danielson goes to the floor where he crawls under the ring. He comes out the
other side and rolls Nigel up for the win at 24:25. This was just another
scientifically sound display from these two. It would have been a classic
if they weren’t both heels or if the crowd believed Nigel had a chance to win,
though. *** 1/2

Unification Match: Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness, Unified,

This is
the rubber unification match, and it is contested under Pure Rules. Nigel
McGuiness receives a huge pop from the hometown crowd. Before the bell rings, a
“Fuck ‘em up Nigel, fuck em up” chant breaks out. They lock up ferociously
while the crowd starts a  “Let’s Go Nigel/Let’s Go Dragon””. Danielson
slaps the taste out of Nigel’s mouth. They go back and forth with some chain
wrestling and then McGuinness slaps Dragon in the face, triggering a “You Got
Bitch Slapped” chant to break out. McGuinness attacks the arm, but Bryan fights
him off with a dropkick. Danielson goes after the Nigel’s arm and finds
creative ways to twist and turn it. He hits a butterfly suplex and locks in a
cross armbreaker. This makes McGuiness to use his first rope break. McGuinness
fights back by hitting his trademark “Kick to the Back/Elbow in the corner”
move. Danielson rallies back with a step-up enziguiri. He goes for the
surfboard to the crowds’ delight, but he just stomps on McGuinness’ legs
instead because he did not want to do a crowd-pleasing move. Brilliant.
Danielson deliver a superplex from the top-rope. Danielson goes back up and
hits the diving headbutt for a two-count. He then locks in Cattle Mutilation,
forcing McGuinness to use his second rope break. McGuinness rallies and then
hits the Tower of London. Danielson has to use the ropes to break up the pin
fall. His first one. Adding insult to injury, McGuinness locks in Cattle
Mutilation, triggering Danielson to use his second rope break. Outside,
Danielson reclaims control, tossing McGuinness into the ringside table.
Danielson holds McGuinness down with the table, looking for a count out
victory. McGuinness makes it back into the ring, though. They start exchanging
forearms and McGuinness deliver a huge Lariat for only two. McGuinness tries
the headstand in the corner, but Danielson dropkicks him and hits a roaring
forearm for a two count. Danielson locks in the Crossface Chicken Wing. He
wrestles him down to the mat with a body scissors. McGuinness makes it to the ropes,
but uses his last rope break.

Danielson delivers a
release German Suplex. He tries to hit the diving headbutt from the top rope,
but McGuinness counters it with a boot to the face. With both men on their
feet, they exchange some super stiff slaps to the face. Danielson wins the
mini-exchange and hits a flying forearm in the corner. McGuinness fights back
and places Danielson on the top rope. He goes to the second rope, and he turns
Bryan inside and out with a lariat. This forces Dragon to use his final rope
break. McGuinness goes up. Danielson decides to join him, but he is sent back
down from a headbutt. Danielson brushes it off and hits a dropkick. He goes up
top and locks in a  Crossface Chicken Wing on the top-rope. Awesome spot.
McGuinness battles out and hits the Tower of London, but it only gets two!
 Outside, they both try to smash each other’s head into the ring post.
Danielson pulls McGuinness’s arms into it several of times, causing his head to
smash against the ring post super hard. This spot was utterly gruesome, busting
McGuinness open the hard way. Danielson dropkicks McGuinness, sending him to
tumble over the barricade. Danielson goes back in and springboard dives onto
McGuinness. Awesome spot that creates a “Holy Shit” chant. At the count of 19,
Nigel makes it back into the ring. He hulks up and screams “COME ON, COME ON!”,
sending the crowd into a frenzy. Nigel creeps closer to Dragon, who pulls a Ric
Flair move by begging him not to attack him.

Both start viciously
headbutting each other. Danielson headbutts McGuinness into the middle of the
ropes, allowing him to launch back with a Jawbreaker Lariat! Nigel slowly rolls
over to pin Danielson. At the count of about two and about half, Dragon rolls
Nigel over and locks in Cattle Mutilation. Nigel gets to the ropes, but it
doesn’t matter because he is out of rope breaks. He fights out of the hold.
Dragon tries to lock it back in, but Nigel reverses it into a pin attempt. At
the count of two, Dragon kicks out and then elbows the hell out of Nigel’s
already wounded head! After repeated shots, Nigel is out conscious, so the
referee puts an end to this one at 26:23. 

This was an exquisite display
of fine art. Bryan did a good job of enacting a narcissistic heel
and dictating the pace based on crowd’s reactions. The portrayal of the
night, however, went to none other than Nigel McGuiness, who tremendously
played an empathetic babyface. Without question, the hulking
up/fighting spirit spot where Nigel cries “COME ON”, with pain and
intensity in his voice, is one of the most genuine and compassionate moments in
pro-wrestling history that I have ever seen. It made everyone in the crowd to
rally him on as loudly as possible. This was smartly wrestled match, too. They built and structured this entity
immaculately. In the midst of every transitional period, the strikes became
stiffer, the moves became more forceful, the intensity escalated, the urgency
and desperation continued to augment, and their total hatred for one
another amplified off the charts. This just kept building and layering until it
reached the frenetic summit. Incidentally, they played off their previous
bouts and the crowds’ expectations.They revolved this into an
entirely different direction just when the crowd thought they knew what
was coming next. On top of all of that, there were a lot of awesome
striking exchanges straight out of AJPW in the 1990s, a finishing sequence for
the ages, and a shrewdly booked finish that made Nigel still look like a
warrior, even in defeat. 2006’s MOTY and easily a top 5 match in ROH’s history.

MATCH #4: 2/3 Falls for
the ROH Championship: Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness, Epic Encounter II,

Nigel is aggressive in the early going, forcing Danielson to backs
off. They begin chain wrestling. Danielson puts on a headlock and threatens to
keep the hold on for the entire 60 minutes. He segues it into a headscissors
and then a chinlock. Nigel makes the comeback and targets Dragon’s shoulder.
Danielson fights back with a dropkick and hits a dive to the floor. Back, he
hits a missile dropkick. He uses the Thesz Press and locks in a crossface.
Nigel fights back with a lariat and then the headstand mule kick. Suddenly,
Danielson picks up a pin-fall with a small package. Danielson keeps stalling
the action after this. Nigel tries to fight back, Danielson goes right back to
the side headlock. Danielson dives to the floor, but Nigel gets a chair up.
Back in, Danielson hits Nigel with his own Tower of London finisher. Danielson
goes for the diving headbutt, but Nigel gets his knees up and puts on Cattle
Mutilation. Danielson reaches the ropes. 

Nigel goes for the Tower of London,
but Danielson counters it and puts in Cattle Mutilation. Nigel escapes and hits
the Tower of London for three.  It is now one to one. Nigel hits a big
lariat for two and puts on his New Arm Submission. There is only five minutes
left. Nigel tries everything to pick up a pin-fall, but time keeps ticking.
Danielson starts cranking Nigel in the face with elbows. With 30 seconds to go,
Nigel reverses the elbow and starts hitting his own. The bell rings, signifying
that the match is out on. 60:00 draw. Wow, what were they thinking?  This
had an excessive amount of stalling and downtime. There were, also, too many times
where the crowd was completely silent. This was also affected by
the fact that everyone knew it was going the distance. They just structured and
laid this out in an erroneous manner, which
was unfortunate because these two were thoroughly
capable of putting on a compelling 60-minute match. ** ½

Number One Contender
Match: Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson, Domination, 6.9.07

The crowd is going insane before this even stars.
Both wrestlers shake hands and then begin mat wrestling. They chain-wrestle to
a few stalemates, as neither wrestler can gain the advantage. Nigel starts to
work over Dragon’s arm and shoulder. The battle lingers outside of the ring.
Danielson tips the timekeeper’s table onto Nigel’s head. Nigel comes back with
a rebound lariat sending Danielson over the guardrail into the crowd. Danielson
hits Nigel with a sick looking suplex on the guardrail. Back in, Danielson goes
to work on Nigels’ back by delivering a series of hard-hitting knees into it.
Nigel fights his way back up. Danielson greets him with a sequence of strikes
to the face, but Nigel drills him with a hard-hitting lariat. Nigel delivers a
smashing Superkick and lariat for a two-count. Nigel goes for the Tower of
London, but Danielson counters it. They have a breathtaking sequence of
reversals that concludes with Nigel delivering a powerbomb that only gets two.
Nigel locks in half Boston Crab, but Danielson makes it to the ropes. 

In the corner, Nigel goes for his trademark
headstand followed by a kick move, but Danielson runs at him and dropkicks him
in the face. Danielson hits a super back suplex for a two-count. He goes for
the Chicken Wing, but Nigel fights out of it. Nigel hits the Tower of London.
Both men are selling the effects of the match. They hit each other with some
brutal headbutts, with one of them busting Danielson open! Danielson tries to
clothesline Nigel, but Nigel ducks it and takes his head off with a lariat!
Nigel goes for the Jawbreaker Lariat, but Bryan blocks it. He follows it up
with a Dragon Suplex that only gets two! Dragon tries to segue it into Cattle
Mutilation, but McGuinness rolls Danielson onto his shoulders for a close two
count. Dragon rolls through and elbows him to oblivion. He puts in Cattle
Mutilation and they call for the bell, even though Nigel did not tap out @
24:31. Prazak said the ref called for the bell because Nigel passed

Finally, a match with realistic mat and chain wrestling that also didn’t feel
meaningless. There have been too many matches with laughably contrived chain
wrestling; the kind where it is excessively recognizable that they are working
together, and it usually has no bearings on the later courses of
the match. Both wrestlers had to work hard for each hold and maneuver they
locked in because the opposing wrestler was trying to defend or counter it. The
mat and chain stuff was comparable to some of classical technical matches seen
Britain in the 80s. There was no give to anything they did, either. The intensity was off the charts while every move, strike, or bump was done at full force. This had some
awesome back-and-forth, counter-for-counter exchanges, although this had too much gas in
the tank and the crowd was too into it for it to end so suddenly. Given five
more minutes and a good finish, this is their best match ever. **** ½

Nigel McGuinness &
KENTA vs. Bryan Danielson & Takeshi Morishima, Respect is Earned, 5.12.07

Danielson and KENTA start off by going back and forth for a few
minutes. Both tag in their partner. It breaks down with everyone hopping in the
ring. Todd Sinclair reestablishes order. Danielson and McGuinness are the legal
men. In the corner, Danielson and Morishima beat on Nigel. McGuinness makes a
comeback and makes the hot-tag to KENTA. He unburdens on Danielson and gets a
near fall with a missile dropkick. Danielson recuperates and tags to Morishima,
who hits a missile dropkick on KENTA. Morishima delivers a Boss Man Slam, but
KENTA comes back with a powerslam. Morishima hits McGuinness with a missile
dropkick. McGuinness no-sells it and hits a lariat for a two count. Morishima
fights back and hits a Back Drop Driver on McGuinness. KENTA breaks up the pin attempt.
Morishima goes back to the top rope. KENTA grabs his leg, which allows
McGuinness to hit the Tower of London. Danielson and KENTA are the legal men
and both try to hit their trademark moves and finishers. The fight goes to the
floor. McGuinness goes up top and hits a big dive onto Morrishima, leaving
Danielson and KENTA in the ring. Nigel goes in the ring and the referee does
not even kick him out for not being in legally. 

KENTA hits the GTS Danielson, but Morishima breaks it up. Nigel is
getting his injured arm taped up by the trainers. McGuinness hits a reckless
lariat on Morishima with his injured arm. KENTA nails a top-rope Falcon Arrow
on Danielson for two. Danielson locks in Cattle Mutilation on KENTA. KENTA
fights out and goes for Go 2 Sleep, but Danielson reverses it and puts on
Cattle Mutilation again. McGuinness tries to break it up, but Morishima stops
him from doing so. KENTA taps out at 24:50. This was a very good outing that had a lot of back and forth action and
striking exchanges. I was not a fan of the referee allowing the not legal wrestlers
into the ring. The whole point of establishing rules is so the heels can break
them in order to get heat. Anyways, this was ROH’s first PPV main event ever, so this was them giving
the new viewers a taste of what these four can do rather than the whole
enchilada. In terms of what the mainstream companies were doing at this time,
this entire PPV was a huge breath of fresh air. *** ½

Thumbs Way Up For Disc One

Monday Nitro – February 15, 1999

Nitro #176
February 15, 1999
Entertainment Hall, Tampa, Florida
Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s the last
Nitro before SuperBrawl and things are starting to get a bit more
insane. The main stories coming out of last week are Roddy Piper
winning the US Title and Hollywood Hogan being especially evil. Also
of note is the Tag Team Title tournament, which has a lot of teams
left and only two shows to go before the finals on Sunday. Let’s get
to it.

We open with
a recap of Scott Steiner vs. Diamond Dallas Page with Steiner going
after Kimberly and throwing her out of a running car last week.
announcers tell us that Kimberly is recovering at an undisclosed
Nitro Girls.
Tony updates
us on the tag team tournament. For Benoit and Malenko to win,
they’ll have to win five times in a row this week. Hennig and
Windham are already in the finals on Sunday.
Arn Anderson
destroys Disco Inferno in the back but security takes him out in
Eric Bischoff
is a chauffeur this week. Flair and some businessmen like his little
hat. Bischoff has to open the door for them.
We look at
Piper winning the US Title last week.
Flynn vs. Saturn
Saturn is
still in the dress. Tony keeps talking about the tournament. Benoit
and Malenko will face Dave Taylor/Fit Finlay with the winners facing
Mike Enos/Bobby Duncum Jr. later tonight. They trade hammerlocks to
start until Flynn fires off some kicks to take over. Saturn comes
back with a modified ax kick for two before putting on a leg lock,
sending Jerry running into the ropes. Off to a modified ankle lock
but Jerry makes it to the ropes again. Saturn doesn’t let go so
Jerry crawls up the ropes and kicks Saturn in the head to escape.
They slug it
out until Saturn kicks him down again but can’t follow up. A
legsweep puts Saturn down again and Jerry puts on a cross armbreaker.
Saturn stands up to break it and the fans still aren’t all that
interested. A springboard cross body gets two for Saturn but he gets
caught by a spinwheel kick in the corner. Saturn hammers away in the
corner but Scott Dickinson gets on the apron for a distraction.
Jericho comes in with a kendo stick, only to walk into a suplex.
Flynn spin kicks Saturn down for the upset pin.
Rating: D.
Why is this feud still going and why in the world am I supposed to
care about Scott Dickinson? The match was more of Flynn using all of
his kicks and not being interesting and then it’s about a crooked and
suspended referee. Why is that supposed to be interesting? I’d love
an answer to that question. WWF
is coming off Rock vs. Mankind in a last man standing match and Big
Show debuting to break up Austin vs. Vince the previous night, and
WCW stars with a freaking referee story while having Saturn wear a
dress and fight Jerry Flynn. This company makes my head hurt.
of stories that haven’t died for some reason, Bischoff is still being
tortured by bad acting from the “businessmen”. This is used as a
tie-in to Will Sasso from MadTV wrestling Bret Hart tonight. Flair
gets a call about Arn getting arrested. With
the privacy screen up, Bischoff calls his “guys”, saying he’ll be
there soon.
of Mongo getting blinded last week.
from MadTV, which we saw last week.
Guerrera/Psychosis/Blitzkreig vs. Super Calo/El Dandy/Hector Garza
Lucha rules,
meaning rolling to the floor counts as a tag. Larry doesn’t like the
rules changing but Tony says rules don’t matter anyway. Blitzkreig
works on Calo’s arm to start but Calo sidesteps a moonsault and
elbows him in the face. Tony tells us about Rey Mysterio getting
beaten up by Lex Luger before the show came on the air as the fans
chant for Goldberg.
A double tag
brings in Garza to face Psychosis with Hector nailing a nice
superkick. Garza misses a top rope cross body but reaches out and
grabs Psychosis for an armdrag. It might have been an armdrag all
along but it looked awesome. Juvy and Dandy come in to trade slaps
before Dandy takes over with a hard right hand. Juvy comes right
back by rolling up Dandy’s body into a faceplant as everything breaks
down for a few seconds. In the melee, Calo gets in a cheap shot to
Guerrera, allowing Dandy to hook a chinlock.
Garza goes to
the corner but gets slammed down, triggering another triple teaming
to the fans’ delight. Blitzkreig comes in and avoids a splash in the
corner as we take a break. Back with Psychosis holding Calo in a leg
scissors on the mat. Juvy comes back in with some dropkicks but he
knocks Calo into his corner for a tag to El Dandy. The jam-up guy
goes after the leg before it’s off to Garza for more of the same.
Hector misses
a charge into the corner and it’s off to Blitzkreig who stomps Garza
into the corner for a tag to Calo. Psychosis comes in as well and
takes Calo down, setting up a powerbomb with Juvy adding a
simultaneous guillotine legdrop for two. Calo rolls to the floor so
it’s back to Garza who ges Stunned across the top rope, followed by a
springboard missile dropkick for two. Dandy is knocked to the floor
but Guerrera botches Air Juvy.
Garza dives
onto Dandy for no apparent reason before Psychosis dives onto Garza
and Guerrera, allowing Blitzkrieg to hit a springboard spinwheel kick
for two on Calo. Bliztkrieg is sat on the top rope but Calo falls
off the corner. Back in and Calo hurricanranas Blitzkreig out of the
corner but Blitzkrieg doesn’t flip and just jumps down to the mat
while Calo goes flying. A Phoenix Splash from Blitzkrieg is enough
to pin Calo.
D. What the heck was THAT?
This match ran nearly twenty minutes and might as well have been a
1970s six man tag for the first fifteen or so minutes. The ending
started to pick up a bit when they weren’t hitting their own partners
or botching spots. Why in the world would you have luchadors do a
bunch of mat wrestling? It’s like hiring LeBron James to paint your
house. You’re wasting the talent. Also the lucha rules were used
like twice. This was a mess and more confusing than anything else.
in the hotel where the Blonde is in a towel and asks the cameraman to
get her fresh towels and lunch. She’s much less sweet here.
helicopter spotlight is on a limo, presumably carrying Flair, the
businessmen and Bischoff. Some Hummers are following the limo but
Flair tells the businessmen that it’s fine. The limo pulls over and
two men in black clothes and ski masks (one is tall with long perfect
hair sticking out of the back, meaning it’s probably Nash) carrying a
pipe come up to the door. Another guy, clearly Hogan, tells the
businessmen to get out. Flair hits Hogan but backs off from Nash
with the pipe.
spotlight is on them as the Hummers circle around them. Hogan gets
back up and nails Flair as five other guys all in black get out and
beat up Flair. Hogan whips Flair with the NWO weightlifting belt as
some of the other guys hold him. They all put their fists together
and Hogan says Flair isn’t making it to SuperBrawl.
of the guys takes off his mask to reveal Buff Bagwell. Nash holds
Flair so Hogan can hammer away as Stevie Ray and Vincent have taken
off their masks too. The beating just keeps going and Hogan has hurt
his hand. Everyone gets in a shot and Nash puts on Flair’s tie.
More whipping ensues and Hogan again says Flair isn’t making it to
SuperBrawl. Flair is left laying after this went on for over ten
Girls. The announcers make no mention of what we just saw, which is
the rule of thumb anymore with these segments.
video on the tag team tournament. This includes talking about teams
that have already been eliminated. The SuperBrawl graphic at the end
also says that the show is “tomorrow, February 21.”
Team Title Tournament: Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko vs. Fit Finlay/Dave
winners face Mike Enos and Scotty Riggs tonight and the losers are
eliminated. Yes Scotty Riggs, as the tournament has been changed
again. Assuming the winners of that face Adams and Horace on
Thunder, Van Hammer and Kaz Hayashi have been eliminated with just
one loss. Finlay drives a shoulder to Benoit’s ribs in the corner to
start before cranking on somehting like a Crossface.
fights back with a headlock before hiptossing the Irishman down. A
double tag brings in Malenko vs. Taylor with absolutely nothing
happening before it’s back to Benoit who gets his arm worked on even
more by Dave. Back to Finlay who drops Benoit throat first across
the top rope and out to the floor where Taylor gets in some shots of
his own. Malenko comes back in and suplexes Finlay down. It’s
strange to have the commentators not mentioning what happened before
the match started.
take a break and come back with Taylor suplexing Dean for two.
Taylor rips at his face a bit before Finlay slams Dean face first
onto the apron. He drops Dean throat first across the barricade like
he did to Benoit with the ropes earlier. Benoit tries to come in,
allowing Finlay to get in some shots of his own. Finlay misses a
charge into the post and the hot tag brings in Benoit. Chris cleans
house with the running clothesline and snap suplex for two. Finlay
picks him up for a tombstone but Dean breaks it up with a dropkick.
Malenko comes back in sans tag and avoids a Taylor charge in the
corner, setting up the Cloverleaf for the submission.
C-. This felt a step off the
whole way through. It didn’t help that the winners were pretty
obvious given that Windham/Hennig are waiting in the finals already.
The match was long again but these guys are more capable of filling
in a match that long. Still not great but this show has been off all
see Kimberly being thrown out of the car again last week.
from a break with the Nitro Girls standing at the announcers’ desk to
talk all serious about what happened to Kimberly. Heenan:
“Are they going to dance?”
recap Bret losing the US Title last week thanks to Will Sasso. This
sets up the following.
Hart vs. Will Sasso
is also due to Hart “breaking character” when filming MadTV and
attacking Sasso. I’ve seen the clip a few times and I thought that
was the joke. Thankfully Tony told me what the real idea was
supposed to be because it was really badly explained. Sasso,
from MadTV mind you, is overweight and comes out with another cast
member named Debra Wilson. Bret
destroys Sasso to start and gets a chair to sit down in the middle of
the ring. Sasso gets beaten up on the floor but Wilson takes the
chair from Hart…..and turns on Sasso by hitting him with the chair.
Back in and the Sharpshooter ends this.
F. What the heck am I even
watching anymore? What purpose did this serve? Better question: how
does this make me want to buy SuperBrawl? This was Bret Hart beating
up a fat guy with help from an actress I’ve never heard of. I don’t
remember MadTV being a big deal at this point, but did it ever
warrant this kind of time on a wrestling show?
one comes out to save Sasso or confront Hart, making this even more
meaningless. Unless I
missed it on an earlier show, the time and date of Bret’s appearnace
on MadTV was NEVER mentioned.
NWO arrives with Hogan still wearing the ski mask. They come in
through the crowd and over the barricade so Hogan can talk about
being from Hollyhood. He
sends the rest of the team to the back to have a party and finally
lifts the mask. Hogan is willing to give Flair his title shot
tonight because Flair is in the back covering up the gray in his
hair. He counts to ten and of course Flair doesn’t make it out.
eight though, Roddy Piper answers the count and says he’s
Hogan’s reality check. Hogan
is fighting him instead and
the match is on right now with the World Title on the line.
World Title: Hollywood Hogan
vs. Roddy Piper
might suggest that this is a match that should be announced more than
five seconds in advance. Then again one might suggest that this show
has been a huge mess but that’s a much bigger problem to solve. It’s
a brawl to start with Piper very slowly driving down to the mat. As
in I thought something was wrong with the video. Hogan is knocked to
the floor and Piper follows him out with right hands before sending
him into the post.
in and an atomic drop has Hogan in even more trouble before a right
hands gets two for Piper. Hogan goes for the leg to take Piper to
the floor for some choking. A hard chair shot to the back has Piper
in even more trouble and Hogan whips him over the back with the
weightlifting belt. Even more choking ensues but Piper comes back
with belt shots to take over. Roddy puts on a sleeper but Hall comes
in with the tazer for the DQ.
D. This was exactly what you
would expect from Hollywood Hogan vs. Roddy Piper in 1999. It lasted
less than five minutes and was a bunch of non-wrestling before the
NWO came in for a disqualification. That’s a great way to treat your
US Champion a week after he won the title, because Scott Hall of all
people needs the title match coming up right?
gets beaten up and Hall puts on the kilt for a little dance.
an hour later, someone in a cowboy hat finds Flair in the field and
carries him to his jeep. The guy doesn’t look like anyone in WCW so
I guess we’re supposed to believe he’s just a random guy.
Steiner is suing Diamond Dallas Page for $1 million.
and Liz talk about Konnan and say nothing of note.
on Piper vs. Hall.
Team Title Tournament: Chris Benoit/Dean Malenko vs. Mike Enos/Scotty
are eliminated. Riggs stomps on Malenko in the corner to start but
Dean stomps away back in the other corner. Scotty comes back with
his dropkick and a running corner splash. Off to Enos vs. Benoit
with Chris easily taking him down with a drop toehold. The Horsemen
take their turns on Mike until he drives Dean into the corner to take
over. Riggs puts on a chinlock followed by a knee to the ribs. Enos
comes back in for his own chinlock before Riggs changes without a tag
and puts on the third chinlock in about ninety seconds.
take a break and come back with the guy that saved Flair working on
his engine. Flair tries to get out of the truck but the driver puts
him back in.
with Benoit stomping away on Riggs’ leg before it’s off to Malenko
for more of the same. Enos gets in a cheap shot to take over as this
boring match continues. Malenko goes up top but dives into a
powerslam for no cover. Instead it’s back to Riggs for the two count
and everything breaks down. Riggs gets another near fall off a
forearm to the back of Dean’s head followed by a belly to back suplex
for the same. The fans seem really bored by this. Riggs misses a
dropkick and the hot tag brings in Benoit. The Horsemen whip them
together and Benoit counters a suplex into the Crossface to advance.
D+. The match wasn’t bad but it
was incredibly boring. At the end of the day, I need someone better
than Riggs and Enos to make me interested in a match, especially when
it’s obvious that the Horsemen are going to win. Benoit and Malenko
work well together, but I really wish we could just have a regular
tournament so they don’t have to waste so much time getting through
these horrible opponents.
truck keeps going. The
announcers haven’t mentioned any of these videos all night.
much more cheerful Blonde is in a short robe on a bed and says next
time will be better than this one.
comes out to announce the main event, even though there are no
matches left scheduled. The NWO comes out in street clothes and
Hogan tells Buffer to get out. He says Flair is hiding in his
dressing room, but he’ll give Flair a twenty count to get out here.
The referee counts and Tony sees the truck pulling up and Flair
falling out of the door.
pulls an axe handle off the back of the truck and staggers into the
arena as Tony is completely lost. Heenan thinks Flair is drunk.
Tony actually uses his brains and sees the bruises, saying Flair
looks like he’s taken a horrible beating. Flair gets in the ring and
swings the handle until Benoit and Malenko come in and try to help.
Hogan and Bagwell beat Flair down on the floor as the rest of the NWO
subdues the Horsemen.
goes through the curtain and says “now you see how it’s done.
Don’t mess it up” before firing up the tazer to end the show.
Agoobwa. This show was
such a mess that I have no idea how to rate it. How could ANYONE
have looked at this show and said it was a good idea? I knew things
were going to get bad but this show sent the company flying off a
cliff, bounced as it hit the ground and lit on fire, setting of an
explosion to send its crispy remains into orbit where aliens blasted
them into the sun. I don’t
even know where to start with the problems this show had.
that make things more entertaining or interesting? We saw the whole
thing and know what happened (which I’ll get to later), but the
announcers have no idea? They don’t see the Blonde in the hotel
either, but at least that (presumably) isn’t stuff that’s happening
live. It doesn’t add anything because the fans live are just as
confused as they are (assuming the videos aren’t shown in the arena,
though that would add even more insanity to this) and the TV audience
knows what’s going on.
lack of wrestling was a major problem tonight too. There were six
matches on the entire show. Two of them were glorified extended
squashes with Benoit/Malenko having to go through two teams that had
no chance. Another match saw Hogan vs. Piper and set wrestling back
ten years. Bret Hart beat up an actor which led nowhere, Jerry Flynn
won a match and the luchadors wrestled a technical, mat based match
until the last three minutes.

in the world WCW thought this was a good idea or would make people
want to buy Sunday’s show is beyond me. Over on Raw, the Rock and
Mankind were having a good ladder match for the WWF Title. In case
you’re wondering, Raw beat Nitro by two full points in the ratings
for the worst drubbing Nitro had ever received when it was three
hours compared to Raw’s two. If this isn’t the worst Nitro to date,
I can’t remember the one that tops it. Absolutely horrible show that
felt nothing like how the show is normally presented and that’s not a
good thing.
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Shameless Plug / 80’s Wrestling Figures

Hi Scott,  

LONG time reader, first time writer. I was hoping I might get a shameless plug in on your blog. Not sure if you’re up to date on news in BC, but there has been an ongoing teacher strike since June. My wife and I are both educators and with no paycheques in over a month (and no end to the strike / lock-out in sight), I have decided to sell off some of my old LJN Wrestling Superstars figures on E-Bay to pay some bills and keep the kids fed! It’s nothing ground-breaking, but I do have some of the sought after and hard to find accessories (Jake Roberts with Damian, Terry Funk with hat and branding iron, Hart Foundation with title belts, Koko B. Ware with Frankie the Parrot, etc.) I have provided a link below to the Funk figure, the others can be found by clicking my username. Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks!

July Classics: Sting vs. The Great Muta – Bash ’89

At this point, Sting was the future of WCW, and coming into this match he was the World Television Champion. The Great Muta was managed by Gary Hart, and they had challenged Sting to something called a “Dragon Shi” match. When Sting accepted the challenge, Hart claimed that Muta wasn’t ready. Sting’s friend, Eddie Gilbert, stepped in and accepted the challenge. At Clash VII, Muta was set to demonstrate “Dragon Shi”, when Gilbert appeared and in response to Muta’s mist, threw a fireball that was meant for Gary Hart into a jobber’s face. Finally, Sting vs. Muta was signed for Bash ’89 for the TV title, and this was the result. NOTE: no Network link for this match because there’s no milestone marker. But if you want to watch Bash ’89, I highly recommend you do so here’s the link for the entire show:http://network.wwe.com/video/v31589169

Here’s a copy of the match itself:

QOTD #19: First Concert

Off topic Wednesdays!
Today’s Question:
What was the first concert
you ever attended?
Answers tomorrow.  If
you want to start talking all about music and skip the rest of this piece, then
scroll to the bottom or hit the “comments” button at the top. Otherwise, stick

Yesterday, I asked you a serious brain teaser. Who was the
best wrestler to never hold any championship gold in the big three? Because of
the rapid world of title changes we live in now where everyone on the main
roster of WWE gets a taste of a championship, it really narrowed it down. In
fact, the majority of you voted for this guy:
Of course, I am kidding. Zach was conspicuously absent, due
to your overwhelming obsession with:
In all seriousness, let’s get down.
a_wrestling_god: Bray Wyatt. Probably not much longer.
Barring injury, end of year seems to be a reasonable
timeframe. Harper and Rowan are likely weeks away from wearing the tag-team
titles themselves.
parallax1978: I got it! There is one and only one true
answer to this… El Dandy! He is a true professional and a jam up guy and
deserved some gold!
El Dandy has been wrestling in the Cruiserweight division
here, please.
Petrock: Extreme loophole here: AJ Styles.
Yeah, I should have called off the Big 4.
Biscuit!: Legit answer: Bob Orton.
BooBoo1782: The way the question is worded does bias the
conversation heavily toward Jake, but there’s another name that we ought to
consider: Koko B. Ware. Yes, I know we balk at him as a Hall of Famer (and with
good reason), but he was somewhat ahead of his time as a worker, since his WWF
run was really at a point where high-flyers were guys you used to pop the crowd
in opening matches and didn’t do much else with. If you transposed his career
to a few years later, High Energy probably would have gotten a tag title run at
some point, and he could have been a bigger star in a cruiserweight division
had it existed at the time.
Koko B Ware was an attraction in his time, who has
diminished his stock by being considered an unworthy HOFer, rightfully so.
Also, he’s kind of a dick outside of the ring. However, looking at his overall
body of work, and the dreadful Piledriver, he’s probably worth a token mention
so good call.
WiffleBat: Bad News never won anything of note in a
major company, unless you want to be pedantic about the NWA Florida Bahamian
Rusty Shackleford:
Hmmm… come to think of it, Jerry Lawler
has got to be up there too. Held a ton of titles but never in the big three if
I recall correctly?
Despite his 35 runs as AWA Southern Heavyweight Champion
(which I am NOT making up), he has in fact never held a WWE title, due to his
arrival in the company well into his 40s and settling into the color role. It’s
sad to see him wasting away at this point as a puppet laughing at El Torito
when he was a vicious, cold blooded heel in his younger day. Long live the
Chris Hirsch: Ernest the Cat Miller.
He was actually on tap for the US Title in mid-1999 when
they ran with David Flair instead. Which is really unfortunate, the Cat would
have been an amazing Honky Tonk Man style antagonist.
Darren: Bruiser Brody. Without question. Top 10
all-time. One of the drawbacks to Vince owning everything: 25 years after his
death, probably 75% of the WWE Universe has never seen him wrestle.
Great choice, and death aside he probably would have
remained title free due to his age. A lot of the hardcore brawling style that
became vogue in the late 90’s can be traced back to him, even if he’s never
given credit for it or acknowledged.
Sweet Lee: The best person I managed to think of that
wrestled for at least 2 of the 3 (counting the NWA as the predecessor to WCW)
is Buddy Roberts. Held the NWA Six-Man – but it was the “Texas
Version” which would be a regional title.
The Alpha Male Monty Brown. One of the
few home grown talents in TNA who had really good charisma, over with the
crowd, was passable in the ring and always seemed to be improving his work. So
of course TNA completely dropped the ball on him by jobbing him to Jeff Jarrett
and then making him do a completely nonsensical heel turn by siding with
Jarrett. Then he had a cup of coffee with WWE being part of the New Breed on
the new ECW before leaving for personal reasons. Such a shame as he could have
been a star in WWE and worse was a star in TNA who never capitalised on it
because TNA!
Amen! Brown had JUST received a title shot after going over
Page AND Nash, before losing to champion Jarrett. Then he aligns with him? This
was nWo levels of stupid. I love this choice because he also fits the criteria
of having held no gold in TNA as well, when it was clear he was hot on its
tracks before they deflated all his heat in about 10 seconds with that stupid
heel turn.
Jobber123: Sin Cara/mistico. I’ve always been a big fan
and I was even touting him back in the live journal days as a guy to check out
based on his cmll work especially from 2006. I was fucking stoked when the wwe
signed him and not suprised at all when they put him right on the main roster.
Then he just didn’t look right in the ring and didn’t get over. I can’t believe
he busted out that badly. And he didn’t even get a tag title reign or anything
like that. He’s my vote just for being a guy I followed who shit the bed.
Jason Clark: This is actually pretty hard if you think of
guys who wrestled during the last 20 years. No title whatsoever, with the
number of titles (HC, European, TV title, etc) in the mid-90’s and the hot-shot
title changes over the era, does not contain many good workers. It might
ACTUALLY be a luchador like Hector Garza…or perhaps Super Crazy…or even La
Parka. I can’t really think of anyone else, perhaps someone extremely handsome,
who fits the bill.
Super Crazy held the TV title, so you can exclude him.
Although, Vince Russo is pretty sure all 3 wrestlers you just named are the
same person.
Ryan Norcross: Poor Van Hammer the only thing close to a
title was the Jesse Ventura Arm Wrestling Contest winner.
There was that one time he barged into Ric Flair’s office
and DEMANDED a title shot because he was against peace, unlike that old hippy
Far Out Van Hammer. He was awarded a TV title shot. Which he lost. Then they
called him Private Stash and he didn’t like it and that was the end of Van
I guess that I’ll throw Gangrel out there
How he managed to be active in 1999 when every belt changed
hands about 18 times a piece throughout the year and STILL didn’t capture one
is incredible. Congratulations to Gangrel!
Mitch, The Godfather:
JTG. Kept a job for that long and
couldn’t get anything. For shame.
I think everyone’s getting tired and we’re long past the
point of seriousness.
BeardMoney: Hillbilly Jim. Since no one has figured it
out yet, I’ll just say it: Hillbilly Jim is absolutely the greatest
professional wrestling star ever to be eluded by WWF, WCW, and ECW gold. So far
that is–the guy’s still in pretty good shape, wouldn’t be surprised to see him
come back one of these days. I know I’d be willing to bet the farm on him!
That was going to be my go-to at the end of the day had
nobody else named it – but I’ll let you take this one and let it ride.
Surprising that he didn’t get mentioned in the thread sooner seeing as how he’s
on Legends House these days and back with a little bit of spotlight.
Extant1979: With the way the question was worded, the
beginning and end of this conversation is Jake Roberts. Shocked he didn’t at
least manage an IC Title run. If Honky Tonk Man doesn’t do his year-plus reign,
Jake probably would have rated something.
This was overwhelmingly the most popular choice of the day.
Jake was certainly the easiest, and best choice, as the highest profile star
never to win a belt. Had his drinking not derailed him in 1996, he probably
would have been given a token IC title run, which really would have left the
rest of the blog scratching their heads – despite some good picks above.
I can’t disagree with the choice of Jake – but since we
spent the day talking about him, I’m going to throw back to one of my favorites
when I was in my last days of high school: Blitzkrieg.
Blitzkrieg appeared during the end of the Cruiserweight
golden age, when the title was being fought for by Juvi, Kidman, and Rey
Mysterio Jr. While a little bit sloppy in the ring, the guy stood out because
he had absolutely no fear, and put the rest of the division to shame with his
car-crash style. He clearly didn’t have a long shelf-life due to his recklessness,
but he was something to watch in the short time we had him, and probably
deserved a run with the Cruiserweight title.
Relive his only pay-per-view appearance with me. Have a
great day, I’ll see you tomorrow.

BoD Daily Update

New Match Announced for Battleground

Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho will take place at the show


WWE To Officially Announce the Signing of KENTA Tomorrow


Kayfabe Commentaries Announces Plans for a Live YouShoot in iPPV

The YouShoot will take place live on August 7th at 8pm with Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne). You can submit questions by clicking on the link below


Question and Comment

(My comments in advance:  Orton’s been protected for years now, and the Network isn’t going anywhere.  Now rant away, angry reader!) Orton Hogan Have you noticed that Randy Orton seems to end up in matches on Raw or Smackdown with someone who is starting to get over in a match completely unrelated to any feud? A match that Orton wins clean 95% of the time. It would be one thing if these types of matches happened all the time but the writing staff has shown no ability to book any kind of matches that are not directly related to each person’s current feud. Expect of course if it involves Orton. That’s why I’m now convinced that Orton comes up with these matches himself. And he’s protected almost as much as Cena. So Orton pitches the match and no one questions it when he refuses to even do a no contest. Take Monday’s match with Ambrose. What purpose did it serve to have Ambrose, a guy who is in a huge feud and is starting to get over big time, job out clean to Orton? It’s not like Orton needed the win. It just doesn’t make sense. Hence my theory that Orton must have learned some things as a youth from Hulk Hogan: How to Destroy People’s Heat 101. Why the Network has made me look forward to PPVs for the first time EVER Do you know my favorite thing about the WWE Network? It’s the first time in my life as a wrestling fan that I actually look forward to PPVs. Pretty much since I started watching wrestling back in 1987, PPVs where always a burden in my life. Since we didn’t have cable growing up it was finding some friend who would order it or go to a closed circuit viewing or find someone who was taping it and would let me borrow the tape. Then once I had money of my own it was either committing to paying the $30 plus a month or getting enough friends to chip in, which got increasingly harder with age as people grew out of or lost interest in the product, and if I did end up paying the $30 plus on the PPV, feeling guilty about wasting that much money on a wrestling PPV. Or it was finding a bar that was showing the PPV, then it was finding some friends who wanted to go, because there is nothing that says loser more than going to a bar alone to watch a wrestling PPV. Then you get to real adulthood and you have a wife and kids and the PPVs are now $45 a month and that is way to expansive and the wife won’t allow you to spend that much money on a wrestling PPV. But there is another way to watch it, which is 100% FREE, but isn’t technically legal and it makes you feel guilty and a little bit paranoid and you may have even gotten a warning from the cable company to not do that anymore. Or I could just skip the PPV altogether which I’ve done many times but it’s really hard to follow the product when you don’t watch the most important show of the month. Since the free TV shows are in essence just a commercial for the PPV. There have been numerous times that I’ve stopped watching the product completely because of the PPVs. When the WWF first went to 12 PPVs in the mid 90s I had to give it up. Finding ways to watch 4 was hard enough. When they added King of the Ring it was that much harder, 12 was impossible. Shit, I never once ordered a WCW or ECW PPV. It was hard enough keeping up with the WWF. Once the price of each month’s PPV went up I had to quit again. I was saying for years that the only way the PPV model would survive was if they lowered the cost of at least the non-big four PPVs. And I thought $20 a month was a good idea. But for one of the first times in the history of the WWF/E they actually gave me something far better than I could have even thought of myself. $10 a month for just the PPVs would be a steal. But the fact that for that much money I get all the PPVs that I had to search high and low to see AND it comes with a shit load of other stuff?! I pay more than $10 every time I eat out. Two drinks at the bar are more than $10. Some places one drink is more than $10. Plus your not as pissed off if the show sucks when you’ve only paid $10 that you would probably pay for the Network anyway. Funny part is none of the shows have sucked so far. They’ve all been pretty good. Money in the Bank was probably the weakest since the start of the Network and it wasn’t terrible. It was just OK.  Finally after nearly 30 years of being wrestling fan I now look forward to every single PPV and I don’t even have to be home to watch it. I can be at a friend’s house, or at work or anywhere. And I don’t have to watch it live. I can wait till I come home and skip over the stupid shit. This is why I hope and pray that this network thing doesn’t fail. Now the only thing I have to complain about is the stupid booking. Like Randy Orton going over Dean Ambrose clean. This Network is honestly the greatest thing WWE has ever done for its fans. So I really REALLY hope they make a shit load of money off of it. Cause I don’t want it to go away.

Southern States Wrestling Power Half Hour June 22, 2014

Good evening ladies and gentlemen.

Yesterday on the Blog of Doom, we presented a special tribute, recognizing the Southern States Wrestling career of LT Falk.  However, some 25 hours later, the facts of this horrific tragedy are now apparent.

Therefore, other than my comments, there will be no mention of Ms. Falk’s name tonight.

On the other hand, tonight’s report will be dedicated to everyone that has been affected by this terrible incident.  This evening marks the first step of the healing process.  Tonight. SSW performers will do what they do better than anyone else in the world.

Cheap Memphis heat.

Southern States Wrestling Power Half Hour
June 22nd, 2014

We’ve got a great crowd in Gray, Tennessee, as history is being made!  Beau James returns to the ring, as the special referee for the match between Jake Booth and Scott Sterling.  Law and order will prevail!  We also have The Death Riders in the ring behind us, so it looks like we’re gonna waste no time with intense SSW action!

DeAndre Jackson vs Chic White

According to Solie’s Vintage Wrestling, both Chic White and his partner Equalizer Krunch are both former SSW Heavyweight Champions in the mid-90’s, so this team has an APA level of star power.

DeAndre Jackson is extremely cautious getting into the ring…but evidently not cautious enough, as he gets leveled by the other Death Rider while in between the ropes.  I’m not sure if he slips or DDT’s Jackson’s head on the apron, but regardless it’s effective, as Chic comes down to make it a two-on-one beatdown on the floor.

Chris Norris tries to make the save, but a rake of the eyes is enough to take him out for good.  Joe Wheeler tries to sell this as something terrible, but seems to have overdosed on his Xanax this morning, and his monotone “things are getting crazy here in southern states” line is uncharacteristically laughable.  Shane Royal also tries to help, but the eye rake of doom puts him down as well.

The coup de grace comes as both Death Riders pick up DeAndre and slam him on the floor!  Never mind that it was so low and gingerly than my grandma could safely take that bump, they slammed him on the solid hard concrete floor!!

I understand why it take Beau James this long to waddle down and help, but what’s Jake Booth’s excuse?  Anyway, they chase the Death Riders away…a good ten feet away, to where Joe Wheeler is standing, as they really test the boundaries of this “arena”.  Equalizer Krunch tells us what this about…Kyle Kool has mailed them a check to take DeAndre Jackson out.  Hey, Krunch wasn’t just throwing the SSW title away from a Crackel Barrel meal, he was securing future business!   And what Jackson said in his promo three weeks ago wasn’t lunacy, it was a premonition!

Anyway, it’s a check with a lot of numbers on it, and obviously Kyle Kool is good for the money, so they haven’t even bothered to cash it yet.  Hell, they’ll take Confederate money, because money is money!  The jobbers cart Jackson away as we get a replay of The Death Riders gently setting Jackson down onto the concrete before going to commercial.

We replay the footage from last week of Misty James regaining the SSW Ladies Title before being beat down by vanquished champion Miss Rachael, her “companion” Kit, and Rebecca Lynn.

Back to live action as Dakota reads from his notes interviews Rebecca Lynn about her actions last week.  This feud with Misty James goes back a long, long time, and is about much more than the title!  And if she’s as big and as bad as she says she is, then she’ll get in the ring with her right now!

Misty James is country strong, of course she’s gonna come out and fight!  They both hit the ring and circle over half of it in a collar and elbow tieup until the former champion Miss Rachael intervenes.  They both team up on her and send her into the ropes, but Misty holds on and bails out, not willing to take on two at a time.  This makes Rebecca Lynn unhappy, and for a second it looks like the heel women are gonna get to clubberin’, but it turns into a comedy segment.  Fortunately, half the crowd is made up of six year olds (some sick kid in the Southern States should make a wish for John Cena to come down here, and make Cena’s wish come true for once) and the schtick goes over well with them.

Foley is coming…Foley is coming…Foley is coming…

Bobo Brown is on the screen and he’s pissed!  He’s pissed because he has to buy time to say his piece, because nobody in production can find time to squeeze him in!  None of you crackers respect him!  His partners lose, not him!  He’s a winner!  And that Jamie Gibson guy is the biggest loser of them all!  And he just happens to be standing right there!  And if he wants TV time, he can step in the ring with him!  Bobo agrees, but wants it to be known that he has more wins than Gibson.  Gibson has no response to that, so he punches Bobo in the head.  Instafeuding at its finest!

Between that paid promo and Samson’s Gym, Beau is rolling in the dough this week!

Oh my God…

Jake Booth vs Scott Sterling – Special Guest Referee Beau James

We’re only 12 minutes into this show.  If they give these guys 15 minutes, that might be the straw that breaks the intergender wrestler’s back.  I’m not sure what the point of putting the heel in a handicap situation is, but let’s give it a shot anyway…

Collar and elbow tie up sends Sterling into the ropes, and a clean break by Jake.  Beau can’t be bothered to wear a traditional referee’s outfit, and indeed looks sloppier than any of the fans.  Stay Classy, Beau.  Dakota is happy with the numbers game, because if things go wrong it will be his family delivering the blow!  I don’t know how to respond to that.  Does this mean that they are breaking me?

This time Sterling backs Jake into the corner.  Sterling goes for a punch, but the referee blocks it, and Jake punches back.  Dakota and Joe Wheeler are having all kinds of fun with this.  Poor Scott.

Dueling armbars give me a chance to take a break.  I don’t rate armbars.  Sterling breaks it up by stepping into the ropes, and the referee smacks his ass because SSW.

And I think the referee also flips him the bird?  That’s not very Christian-like!

Armbar by Jake, and the referee yanks Scott Sterling’s hair to bring him to the mat.  I guess that’s why they didn’t use Frank Parker in this match.  I hate to admit it, but this Memphis heat really plays with the little kids and hillbillies in this crowd.

Another yank of the hair, as Beau James makes Danny Davis look like Tommy Young.

While controlling with the hammerlock, Jake Booth twists the nipple of Scott Sterling. The referee scolds him for not doing it hard enough, and shows Jake the proper way.  That’s wrong in at least a dozen ways, number one of which is that they’re not facing any of the crowd that would react to those moves.

Suddenly Beau starts calling the match down the middle, and Sterling takes over with his SSW Main Event Offense as a result.  It should be noted that nobody has dared climb to the SECOND ROPE OF DOOM since they moved to this shittier venue with a shittier ring ropes last month (I think you have to go back to March when Eric Darkstorm was the last man brave enough to venture to the top rope)

Jake gives me another break with another armbar.

Sterling gets to the ropes, but the referee makes an extremely slow count to give Jake another 15 seconds with the hold.

The next ten seconds are some of the most over-exaggerated fake shit you’ll ever see in a so-called wrestling match.  Jake Booth can do some things when you move at 20% speed to accommodate him.

Like another armbar…

Fuck this, I’m shooting to the end.

Scott Sterling has Jake Booth down in a spinning toe hold, but Jake kicks Scott into uncle Beau, who actually takes a half-assed bump (literally half-assed, I’m telling ya!)  While Beau is down, Sterling slips an international object on his hand and cold-cocks Jake with it.

Beau pulls himself up with all the grace of Andre the Giant in his dying days, and walks over to Sterling.  He’s hidden the evidence, but a fan says that he hit Jake with something in his hand.  Beau searches for the object, but then just blasts him in the head anyway, as it looks like we’re getting our second non-finish tonight (third, if you count the women’s encounter)  About nine minutes and definitely worse than DUD, but I just can’t get myself to watch all of it for an accurate count.

Finally, some justice for Sterling, as his partners Frank Parker and Joe Briggs hit the ring.  All of a sudden the numbers game that Dakota crowed about has turned the other way, as Parker, Sterling, and Briggs lay an SSW Main Event Beatdown on Jake Booth and the beached whale.  Dakota shows an ounce of intelligence by not jumping into the fray, but loses points for his complete lack of emotion of commentary.

But Frank Parker isn’t content;  he wants the whole enchilada.  So he jumps out of the ring, disappears off-screen (because the hard camera can’t swivel that far), and returns with Dakota in tow, heaving him into the ring as one sad fan screams “C’MON DAKOTA!”

There are no impressive moves here, just a large number of punches, stomps, kicks, chokes, and elbows to all of the James clan.  And after the way that they stacked the deck against the Cripplers, you can’t say that they didn’t have it coming.  Joe Briggs does slip in his inverted DDT finisher on Jake Booth.  He’ll likely be scolded in the back for showing up his elders like that.

The three minute assault finishes with Sterling taking the intercontinental object to the small of the back of Beau James several times (unfortunately showing us a large quanity of pasty white Beau gut in the process) before the satisfied trio finally leave the ring, Joe Briggs taking the opportunity to tell the hard camera that they are CRIPPLERS, and that’s what happens when you step in the ring with them!

Joe Wheeler breaks out his “this is serious” voice, as the camera zooms in on a wart on Beau’s arm.  The family squirms on the mat in silence for several seconds…and we go off the air five minutes early?  I bet Vince doesn’t have the balls to do that with RAW!

This show was all about angle progression, with no match going to a conclusion.  It’s almost as if they were trying to throw so much stuff at us that we all forget that a certain she-male ever existed.

Until next time, stay classy Blog of Doom!

The Top 55 Matches.. of the first half.. of 2014 (# 25-16)

A couple Shield matches, a couple Ricochet matches, and a 450 that might be the single most impressive ‘what a maneuver’ I’ve ever seen. #25 was #1 in terms of pure fun. #21 was the last great, completely unleashed KENTA match that we’ll get for a long while. Meltzer dropped a ‘MOTYC’ on #19 because he had friends over, and they thought it was the best match they’d ever seen… and #17 could be MOTY if not for the finish. The crowd’s so worried about the health and safety of blonde dude dying for his art that the finish comes off flat. Gotta stick that landing. But there ya go..

Top 55 Matches (25 thru 16)

Matt’s Main Event Recap: 7/8/2014

Welcome, everyone, to the Tuesday thing where I make little to no sense but, occasionally, use wrestler names so you know what I was trying to say…

This is the Recap.
Hope everyone’s 4th of July was fantastic.

Nothing much in the way of wrestling news except for Sting trolling the shit out of everyone by posting next Monday’s date, making everyone think he’s appearing on Raw for one more match.
Interesting idea, but I believe it’s for the new WWE video game. Cool idea, though. 
A friend of mine had come up with the notion that, if Sting had just one more match in him, he should fight Bray Wyatt or CM Punk. I believe in the notion of just letting somebody retire with dignity. The Undertaker’s match with Brock didn’t work except to give Paul Heyman one more annoying spot.
Anyway, let’s get going…

We are LIVE(!) from Ottawa, ONTARIO, in Canada!

That’s all-caps for Ontario, by the way because Tom Phillips goes out of his way to emphasize the province. Can’t imagine why they did that…

When WWE comes here, it doesn’t say, “San Jose, United States”…just sayin’…

Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton are your guys in the booth.

TONIGHT: Chris Jericho has The Highlight Reel and his guest will be Bret “The Hitman” Hart!

We have Brandi Rhodes (Cody’s wife) in the ring as our announcer and she introduces Sheamus. He comes down to the ring and says he has a nice boot on his foot that will make Del Rio’s face look like a Pinata after it’s been hit. When he beats Del Rio, he’ll win the IC Title and merge it.

Del Rio appears on the big screen and says HE will be the one to merge the title, then starts speaking Spanish. Sheamus interrupts and says that he doesn’t understand Del Rio…this match they’ll be in tonight will be ANYTHING GOES – Kendo Sticks, chairs, ladders, what have you.

Del Rio goes Full Stereotype and says Sheamus has had “too many Cervezas”. Sheamus should kiss the title good-bye. Sheamus tells Del Rio that he’s through talking and wants Del Rio out here NOW.

Del Rio’s music hits and out he comes.

MATCH #1: Sheamus (champion) vs. Alberto Del Rio (challenger) in a Last Man Standing Match for the WWE United States Championship
The two slug away at one another and fall out of the ring. Sheamus toss Del Rio into the barricade and the ref counts to two. Del Rio tosses Sheamus into the ring post but Sheamus is up and the brawl moves to the announce table. Del Rio rams Sheamus’s head into the table. Sheamus responds by hitting Del Rio with the table scaffold, then a Rolling Senton. Del Rio gets up at three and grabs the Wicker Stick of Doom and whacks Sheamus with it as we go to break.

After break, it’s Sheamus laying on the mat as Del Rio belted Sheamus across the face with the stick off the ropes. Sheamus has some nice welts and bruises already as Del Rio hits a sitting dropkick. Del Rio tries for another whack with the stick but Sheamus catches him and slugs away at Del Rio, hitting the Lariat to Kneelift combo. He charges at Del Rio in the corner but Del Rio kicks him and charges. Sheamus catches him and it’s the Irish Curse Backbreaker.

Ref counts again but Del Rio is up at seven. Sheamus has the stick and Del Rio begs him not to use it. Sheamus isn’t having any of that and uses it anyhow. Sheamus goes for White Noise after Del Rio gets up but Del Rio counters with a DDT. Sheamus gets up at four and Del Rio kicks at Sheamus, then charges but falls outside the ring ropes. Sheamus hits Ten Beats 20 times, then shoves Del Rio into the announce table. Del Rio gets up at nine and we take another break.

We get an ad for Wrestlemania Rewind…starring CM Punk. That’s interesting.

Ad for Total Divas…

And we’re back. Sheamus hits a Side Suplex on Del Rio, then goes outside to grab a chair. When he gets back in, Del Rio hits Sheamus with the Kendo Stick, then kicks the chair into Sheamus’s face. Del Rio slams Sheamus in the back with the Kendo Stick. Sheamus gets to his feet and Del Rio hits a knee on a whip into the ropes. Del Rio goes outside this time and grabs a chair. He gets inside, Del Rio swings the chair and Sheamus catches the chair, rips it from Del Rio, tosses it and hits a Powerslam.

He calls for the Brogue Kick but misses. Del Rio counters with a Backstabber. Ref begins the count but Sheamus is up to his knees at seven. Del Rio tries the Mini Superkick of Doom but Sheamus dodges and hits White Noise. Ref gets to nine and both men manage to get up. Del Rio falls back over as Sheamus goes under the ring and grabs a table as the crowd pops BIG. Sheamus sets up the legs and positions it in the corner. He grabs Del Rio who hits an Arm Breaker, then an Enzuguri.

Ref counts again…but Sheamus gets up at eight. Del Rio kicks at Sheamus and hits the Cross Arm Breaker which serves NO purpose except to give Sheamus a chance to pick Del Rio up by the arm and toss him into the table, which is exactly what happens. Both men ar down. Sheamus gets up at nine — as does Del Rio. Sheamus hits the Brogue and the count is on again…Del Rio gets to the ropes, gets to his knees at nine…but falls to his chest and Sheamus retains at 17:07.
GRADE: B-. Not bad. I’ve seen better LMS matches.

Phillips and Saxton talk about the return of The Miz as if anybody cares that Miz is just more of a dick than before. And — question: Jericho wasn’t exactly cornered by The Wyatts and…frankly, nobody ever is…why doesn’t anybody ever roll out of the ring? There’s bravery and there’s smarts. Everyone prefers to get their asses kicked by these guys instead.

AT BATTLEGROUND: Chris Jericho takes on Bray Wyatt

Renee Young is backstage with Jericho who is stoked for being able to fight Bray Wyatt. Jericho repeats his speech on Smackdown — word for word. He calls Bray a spider and he kills spiders. Bret Hart is coming to The Highlight Reel and, after he gets here, it won’t ever be the same.

STILL TO COME: Bret Hart on The Highlight Reel.

Ad for WWEShop.com

RAW Rebound: Cena and Rollins TALK BACKSTAGE!!! Then clips of pretty much the same ending we had last week.

AT BATTLEGROUND: The Fatal 4-Way between John Cena, Roman Reigns, Kane and Randy Orton.

Nikki Bella is out to face 6 Divas. Why don’t they just tie her to a car and drag her around a sharp rock pile at this point? Anyhow, Nikki’s got enormous boobs. So, there’s that.

MATCH #2: Nikki Bella vs. Total Divas (Naomi, Natalya, Eva Marie, Summer Rae, Rosa Mendes, & Cameron) in a 6-on-1 Handicap Match
Mendes starts with Nikki and gets arm-dragged to the mat. Cameron isn’t out here…so why advertise her at all? Nikki gets tossed into the corner and it’s a tag to Summer who hits a suplex with Mendes’s help. Two count.Tag to Eva who clotheslines Nikki and pins her for two. Tag to Summer and it’s a beating in the corner as Phillips is pissed about how “unfair” this is. Saxton proclaims that Nikki is, essentially, paying for Brie’s actions as Brie “disobeyed” Stephanie by quitting. Huh? Anyhow, the match ends at 2:39 when Eva hits a DDT.
GRADE: F. So, Cameron didn’t show up despite being booked and Natalya and Naomi didn’t even get in the match…why didn’t they just make this 3-on-1 and have the Face Divas make the save?

Post-match, the evil Divas celebrate and then just stand around and stare as Naomi and Natalya (who didn’t even bother to get into the match) consoles Nikki. Cameron suddenly appears from a Portable Hole some place and attacks both Naomi and Nikki, then runs her ass off for the dressing room when Naomi chases her. That got a bigger pop than the match we just saw.

It’s Free Preview Week on WWE Network! SIGN UP!

It’s Highlight Reel time…

Jericho loves his Jerichoholics and is thrilled to have The Highlight Reel…RIGHT HERE IN OTTAWA!!! He introduces Bret Hart who looks beyond worn out and old. Hart is happy to be here, in Ottawa. He says it’s a great time to be in WWE because of the Network. Hart talks about Jericho in his dad’s “dungeon” in the basement which sounds creepy no matter which way you slice it. He says Jericho tapped out to his sister and Chris turns red and grins and says that his sister was a tough girl.

Jericho wants to know who Hart considers his great rivals. He lists Mr. Perfect, Undertaker, Steve Austin…but HBK is the one he likes the most and he will never forge–FUCK, IT’S SANDOW.

Sandow comes out in the sleeveless camo and cowboy hat and jeans, dressed like Shawn Michaels. Jericho calls him fat and says his nose and ears have gotten bigger. Sandow insults Hart and says that Hart’s family liked him better. Hart completely misses his cue to punch Sandow, completely telegraphs it after realizing he screwed up…and then finally does it. Sandow sells it like he’s Shawn Michaels against Hulk Hogan and Hart hits The Sharpshooter. Jericho tells the timekeeper to ring the bell — and they do and the crowd is happy.

Hart’s music plays him out and we’re done.

OVERALL: D- show tonight. Danielle says WWE is starting to appeal to the LCD crowd. Though I want to argue that it always has, I have to agree that the quality has taken a severe and worrying nose-dive.

Er…that’s it.

Thursday’s a double feature as Scott Keith will be in with the NXT report along with
Danielle, who will have a Total Divas recap. Tommy will cover you for Smackdown and Andy
PG will start your week off right with the PG Era Raw Rant on

you to all the BoD’ers and, hey, if you wanna read more of our stuff,
please check me out at The Daily DDT (http://dailyddt.com/author/mattlperri/) for all my wrestling editorials and opinion, visit WE HATE YOUR GIMMICK at
http://wehateyourgimmick.blogspot.com and, of course, visit us on
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/wehateyourgimmick/.

Evening Thread – Tuesday Edition

Tonight, on the Network: if you’re enjoying the free preview, jump on the live stream and check out Main Event Live at 8:00 PM EST; Wrestlemania Rewind features CM Punk’s two MITB ladder match wins at 9:00 PM, followed by WWE Countdown at 10:00, which features the top ten “thunderous” returns.

MLB! If you’re interested, tonight is Part 3 of The 90’s: The Last Great Decade.

Main Event/WWE Network question.

Now that the entire point of the WWE product is to sell the Network, shouldn't Main Event be the main weekly show for WWE? Shouldn't WWE be promoting it as a 1-hour weekly PPV? What difference would it make if they had Orton v. Kane v. Cena v. Reigns for the WWE Title on Main Event rather than at Battleground?

Honestly, man, it's the Wild West with the Network and even they don't really know what their business model is at this point.  PPV is dying and they're actively trying to kill it off even further, but Main Event remains a throwaway show where nothing of consequence occurs.  My guess would be that USA would sue them into the Stone Age if they started putting all the emphasis on their in-house show after signing the big fat deal for RAW.  I really hope they figure out what they are soon, either way.  

WWF Championship Wrestling June 28th, 1986

June 28th, 1986

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon

In action tonight are Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff, Tito Santana & Pedro Morales, and the British Bulldogs

The Gladiator & Tiger Chung Lee vs. “Golden Boy” Danny Spivey & Mike Rotundo

Spivey & Rotundo come out to “Born in the USA” and holding the American flag and wearing shirts that read “USA” but were not yet referred to as the “U.S. Express.” Rotundo gets the better of The Gladiator to start. Spivey tags and ends up sending Lee through the ropes with a dropkick after a criss-cross spot. The heels trap Rotundo in the corner as we get an insert promo from the Dream Team and Johnny Valiant talking about how Spivey & Rotundo will have to go through them in order to get a shot at the gold. Rotundo fights out as the crowd starts up a “U-S-A” chant. He tags Spivey and they hit The Gladiator with a double dropkick then Spivey overpowers the Gladiator for a bit. Lee tags and works over Rotundo for a bit but misses a charge then Spivey tags and puts Lee away with the bulldog (3:26).

Thoughts: The crowd was actually jacked up for Rotundo & Spivey and popped huge for the finish, which was a first. Having Spivey essentially act as a Barry Windham ripoff was not going to get him over though.

WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week, the subject is Randy Savage and how he has stiff competition for his Intercontinental Title with the likes of the Junkyard Dog, George Steele and Paul Orndorff. Gene then jokes about Steele and Elizabeth’s chidren looking like either the Fabulous Moolah with a beard or Gorilla Monsoon with a tutu.

Bob Boyer vs. Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji

Muraco beats the piss out of Boyer as the announcers talk about Muraco trying to re-enter the title picture. He then tosses Boyer outside as Fuji hits him with the cane as the referee’s back was turned. Back inside, Muraco targets the neck as Vince talks about Andre’s suspension and that he thinks they have found Andre outside of the country and will give a report next week as Muraco finishes off Boyer with the tombstone (3:27).

Thoughts: Not much happening here. Muraco was continuing his slide down the card and the main thing that happened here was the news of Andre the Giant’s whereabouts.

Ken Resnick talks about the 2nd Annual “King of the Ring” tournament at Sullivan Stadium in Foxboro, MA. He brings out Johnny Valiant and the Dream Team who will be facing the British Bulldogs for the Tag Team Titles inside of a steel cage. This promo actually takes place with the guys behind a chain link fence. Beefcake attempting a British accent to mock the Bulldogs was pretty funny.

Lane Anderson & Al Navarro vs. Tito Santana & Pedro Morales

Pedro starts by working the arm of Navarro then hits a slam. Tito tags and works the arm of Navarro as Bruno talks about what it takes to be a good tag team. Anderson tags as Tito works his arm. Pedro tags and slams Anderson then works on his arm as this match is boring. Tito tags and Anderson then they double team Tito for a bit but he is able to tag Pedro then shortly after that, Tito tags back into the match and puts away Anderson with the flying forearm (3:11).

Thoughts: The crowd popped for the finish but were quiet for a majority of the match. Pedro was really old news at this point and no one really cared about him anymore. His workrate was less than inspired too.

Resnick is with Capt. Lou and the British Bulldogs, who are behind the chain link fence for their promo. No wonder the WWF got Albano to talk for them as Davey Boy was really bad on the mic and Dynamite was twice as bad as him.

Max Blue vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff

Orndorff poses to cheers then does some of Hogan’s taunts. He attacks Blue from behind to start then sends him to the floor. He slams Blue to the floor then rolls him back inside where he flattens him with a clothesline then gets the win with a piledriver (1:36). After the match, Orndorff makes Howard Finkel refer to him as the “Old Mr. Wonderful.” Bruno also says that he was shocked at the tactics that Orndorff used in this match

Thoughts: Orndorff was ultra aggressive and arrogant here, foreshawdowing his heel turn. Even Bruno spent the whole match talking about how he did not like Orndorff’s behaviors.

The Flower Shop with guest Bobby Heenan. Orndorff interrupts as Heenan calls him “Hulk Jr.” and says that he looks tough beating up on a nobody then tells him to sign for a tag match against Studd & Bundy with Hulk Hogan as his partner. Orndorff says that all he has to do is to call up Hogan and he will be here right by his side. Orndorff then leaves and says he is going to call Hogan now as Adonis refers to Orndorff a second-rate guy as Heenan says that Hogan is probably too busy or tired to talk to Orndorff as the crowd starts up a “faggot” chant aimed at Adonis. Great segment as the heels were making Orndorff go out of his mind by calling him a second-rate Hogan.

Ken Resnick is with WWF President Jack Tunney, who is pulling out two names at random that will receive first-round bye’s in the King of the Ring Tournament. The two bye’s will go to Hercules Hernandez and Mike Rotundo. Tunney then draws the 1st round matchups which include:

Pedro Morales vs. Bob Orton (Winner faces Mike Rotundo)
Nikolai Volkoff vs. Danny Spivey
Junkyard Dog vs. Paul Orndorff
Billy Jack Haynes vs. Iron Sheik (Winner faces Hercules Hernandez)
George Steele vs. Harley Race
Don Muraco vs. Roddy Piper

The Menace & Jack Kruger vs. British Bulldogs

No Albano this week. Vince tells us that Orndorff is in the process of calling Hogan right now. Kruger hits Dynamite with a neckbreaker then drops an elbow for two. Dynamite comes back with a snap suplex then a double underhook suplex as we are shown an insert of Orndorff calling up Hogan, screaming at the person on the other end to get Hogan now then ripping the cord out as he was unable to get a hold of Hogan. Vince said it sounded like Hogan was at the gym and could not be reached. Back to the match as the Menace ducks outside as Davey tried to unmask him but the announcers continue to talk about Orndorff and Hogan. Davey places the Menace on the top rope then tags Dynamite, who finishes him off with a super back suplex (3:11).

Thoughts: Dynamite hit a few vicious suplexes but the main focus was the continuation of the Orndorff/Hogan angle as Mr. Wonderful was going out of his mind as he could not reach Hogan at the gym. This was all great stuff.

Resnick is with the Junkyard Dog, who cuts a rambling promo with his jaw grinding all over the place. This guy was coked up to the gills here. When your jaw is grinding like that, you are high. Albano comes out and brings out George Steele who says that Harley Race is “slow.”

As Bruno and Vince wrap up the show, Orndorff interrupts and screams about how Hogan was too busy to come to the phone because he was working out and that their match will not take place as a result.

Final Thoughts: What a tremendous show, all thanks to the Orndorff/Hogan stuff. Even though it was obvious that Orndorff was going to turn on Hogan at some point, everything else tonight was performed to perfection. The heels having Orndorff go out of his mind was great stuff. None of the other feuds were focused on tonight besides the Dream Team/Bulldogs and they drew the lineups for the King of the Ring Show. The next few weeks of TV will be very interesting and I will be back on Friday with a review of the June 28th Philadelphia Spectrum show.