Kayfabe Commentaries Presents: Breaking Kayfabe with Jim Cornette

This is a two-disc shoot that runs for Two Hours and Fifty Minutes

It was released on January 7th, 2014

Sean Oliver starts off by saying how Cornette’s wrestling character is almost identical to how he is in real life. He then jumps right into the beef these two had, dating back two years ago when Sean shot the live “YouShoot” with Vince Russo. Cornette was asked by Sean to contribute and Cornette was on the road with Ring of Honor at the time so he left Sean  a message stating that he would talk to him later but that he wouldn’t help Russo earn a dime for the wrestling business. Cornette said that he never agreed to do anything for the shoot when he left the message. While on his laptop that he had to have in RoH and saw the trailer for the YouShoot, which Cornette saw hints that he had special guests. Sean said during the shoot, he never went over answers with him before hand because he wanted it to appear unscripted when they went live. Sean said that he asked Russo if he expected anyone to ask him something and Cornette, using a Russo impression, describes how Russo said there was a guy from the South with a tennis racket and when Cornette saw that, he was livid that Russo was promising people that Cornette was appearing on his shoot and he was then pissed at Sean after asking him to be on the shoot after all of this aired. Cornette said he was also irritable from being on the road too and called up “Kayfabe Commentaries” and was irate. He then was offended by Sean leading people to believe he was on the shoot, claiming he was practicing the business principles of Russo. Cornette says that he loves him and that they have made up a while ago, admitting that he went overboard during that whole situation. 

Cornette jokes that he is the “retarded uncle at the barbeque” then goes on about Vince Russo, comparing what he does to “child porn” because they are both just wrong. Sean rightfully challenges Cornette as to why he hates Russo, stating how it has to be more than what he has done in wrestling. Cornette confirms that it is all due to wrestling but that was because at that point, wrestling was his whole life. He said that whenever he had any days off while working in wrestling, he would watch tapes from other territories and companies. He also calls Russo a “backstabbing prick” and calls him out for ruining careers and taking credit for the WWF boom period when they had Steve Austin and the Rock. Cornette then says that WCW went out of business when Russo went unfiltered. He then said they first got along when they met but he did not want to learn about wrestling and at one point, Russo admitted that he and Ed Ferrara used to watch Jerry Springer all day and book the show like that. Sean asks how they got along in TNA and Cornette said he was not ranting and raving then and said Russo was hired six weeks after he came to TNA and Cornette his notice at first, stating that it would be bad for business. He said before TNA let him go, he was going to ask for a raise. He then describes his time in TNA, stating that he hated it but got paid for doing very little. He then claims that after Jarrett was sent home after not being truthful about his relaitonship with Karen Angle,  Jarrett called him from home and told him to not let Russo go to far and to take care of things. He then said that Russo got Dutch fired and several others did until they got rid of him, the last person left that Jarrett hired.
Cornette then recalls a story of how he went up to Russo and they put their differences aside and Cornette told Russo that he would help him so that the wrestlers would listen to him since Jarrett is at home and there could be anarchy. They shook hands then the following night, they had a TV taping that Cornette talks about. He got the format for the show, which had Sting against Hernandez, a babyface who Dixie wanted to push as a singles wrestler. Cornette said that he was acting like an agent of sorts for Hernandez at the time, even choreographing some of the spots that he used. During the match in question, Sting had broken ribs from an angle earlier in the show and there was going to be a multiple man run-in attack then called up Russo and told him how it wasn’t going to work and that Eric Young, who was doing a comedy act, should not be running in and taking out both guys. He then says that who can’t write someone else’s story and that he told Russo he was going to help him out and make a DQ, which he hated, and Russo agreed. The next day, Cornette goes into the production meeting, not only have they changed what he talked about but they added even more run-in attacks and they hashed it out again, with Terry Taylor and Taz in the room, with Cornette’s plan being used. He then said of he became not only an agent for his matches but had to go into the truck because the camera guys couldn’t understand the thick accent of Savio Vega and that he had to cover for Brian Armstrong (Road Dogg) due to his “personal issues” making him unable to be an effective agent.
Cornette goes on some more about Russo, saying that he didn’t know what the fuck he was doing because he would only act as an agent during the interviews and let the former wrestler agents take care of the physical stuff. Sean questions him about that being a token of respect, letting the ex-wrestlers handle the in-ring product,  but Cornette says all they ended up doing was try to make sense of Russo’s shitty ideas. He then finally gets to when he got fired by TNA, after he was called an told that he was being let go due to not being 100% behind creative, which Cornette said that they knew the moment Russo was brought on board but said that “they” didn’t think he was a team player so when he asked who “they” was, he was told it was Dixie and Cornette wanted her to call him. He spoke with both Dixie and Terry Taylor, who he doesn’t trust, and told them that he drove from Louisville and worked his ass off and was being let go because of Vince Russo and they told him no, so he wished Dixie luck. The next day, Cornette saw in the “UK Sun” that he was fired for blowing up at Vince Russo during a meeting and questioning why he was pushing Eric Young. Cornette called Terry Taylor, who said that he was upset that this got leaked out then told Cornette that people do not want to disagree with him because he gets so mad then Cornette said they agreed with him and he didn’t blow up at anyone. He then says that Russo probably went to Dixie and told her that Cornette wouldn’t let him do his job and three days later, Ed Ferrara was brought on board. The next day, an online report that came from an “unnamed source” stated that the original report as to why Cornette was let go was untrue then was called by Dixie and told is this what he wanted and Cornette said no.
Sean then brings up Cornette’s anger issues. They bring up politics as Cornette goes on an anti-Republican rant about how they want to preserve your freedoms as long as you are a “rich, white Republican cocksucker.” Sean says that he feels like reaching over and strangling Ted Cruz due to his involvement in the government shutdown but that reason is why he is not a politician, because he probably could not do the job diplomatically. He then asks Cornette about being diplomatic to those in wrestling and if he can’t, why is he in the business? Cornette said that is part as to why he is no longer in wrestling and adds that another factor is that he tries to avoid confrontation and wants to be unnoticed, even going out of his way because sooner or later it will get ugly. He says he is polite and not the first to be rude and when that person makes it impossible for him to be nice to them any longer, he goes from 0-60 and blows up.
Cornette also points out how he is not able to admit defeat. He then said that he finally had an epiphany and that unless he left wrestling, he would end up suffering a heart attack. He said that no matter what, he can not save the wrestling business, stating that there is a sports entertainment business, but that wrestling is dead. He puts over how there are fewer guys making a living at pro wrestling today than at any point in the 150 years of the sport. Sean asks if it was because people have changed but Cornette said that we have somehow fucked up the business because for decades, they were able to figure out how to make money off of people with a mind and some athleticism. Sean points out how people are cynical and that internet took away the businesses control. Cornette then asks Sean that he knows how wrestling his booked and how angles are created but does he know how the guy uses the steamroller to run over Criss Angel? Cornette said that wrestling got too big in the 1980’s and how people figured out how to make money off of it with TV, you had people who didn’t know anything about the business hurting the business as a result. He goes on about Memphis drawing over 350,000 in 1974 in just 51 shows.
He then talks about Vince taking off in the 1980’s and crushing the territories, which has Sean question Cornette as to why he hates Russo for ruining the business but not McMahon. Cornette said he hates McMahon but not nearly as much because he is actually good at what he does. Cornette goes on about the history of wrestling and how the period between 1991-1995 was the worst in modern history in terms of ratings and attendance, which is when he opened up a territory. He then talks about Vince McMahon buying WCW and how it did not lead to 3 million people switching over to the other channel, it led to 3 million people no longer watching wrestling because they were either WCW fans and the new fans that caught on about the wrestling boom left when Austin hugged McMahon, because no one wanted to see that. He compares how in Dallas, when the fans all found out how the Von Erich boys were not at all like the All-American boy personas they portrayed on television, the territory never recovered. He compares the WWE to a “touring holiday on ice”, because it rolls into town every year and no one takes it seriously and says how everyone else is playing catch-up. He then says how wrestling is the only form of sport or entertainment currently today that more people used to like it than they do now. He even brings up how people approach him and say that they no longer watch wrestling because it is either too choreographed, soap-opera like, or silly. Cornette said the parody of wrestling will make sure that it will never come back where as Sean thinks that it will come back shortly due to the cyclical nature.
Sean then brings up the Ring of Honor promotion and asks Jim why he isn’t booking for them any longer. He said that he left because he was probably going to murder the office boy had he stayed any longer. He states that RoH was his last effort to save the business and after twenty years he realized that it had been too fucked up to save. Cornette said that it wasn’t his fault, even though he had accepted the blame, because the company never listened to what he had to say. He said that no one listened to him with how to structure the company. He said that he got brought in after Cary Silkin called him up after he left TNA. He met with Cary and Adam Pearce and saw the matches and felt that there had to be a way to take these talented young guys who have passion but never wrestled in the spotlight and thought if they could expose the product to fans that enjoyed wrestling in the past but not at present time, they could be a credible alternative to sports entertainment because most people now laugh at wrestling, no longer about emotions which is what wrestling was all about at one time.
Cornette then says how he wrote the proposal that led to Sinclair Broadcasting buying the company but that at the end, they never followed through with the proposal. Cornette thought it would never work anyway. He then said that he was never the booker, it was Adam Pearce then Delirious. He then brings up Kevin Steen as the champion, saying that he is perfect person to have as a champ if you want to work in front of 400 people in a recreation center then mentions how Steen knocked his booking without realizing that half of what he accused him of was stuff that Delirious came up with. He also says that Steen would rather cater to 10% of the audience and ignore the other 90% then mentions how he would be asked to cut a four-minute promo and end up doing eight. Cornette said he worked together with Delirious and they never had any disagreements but some people like Steen didn’t get what they were trying to do. Cornette said he really enjoyed working with Delirious, stating he was helping him at the time. He said that since Sinclair purchased the company and he had name recognition, they wanted him as “Head of Cretative” but in reality, they did not change anything and Delirious was the booker. The only thing that Cornette even used that title for was to overrule Delirious about using Grizzly Redwood on television because he didn’t fit the picture of serious wrestling.
Cornette then talks about the types of RoH fans. You had the ones who did not want infringement on their “private club.” He then says that there is a world somewhere in this universe where it is more valuable to have the Super Smash Brothers on television than Matt Hardy or Mike Bennett but if you want to make money, then it is not this planet. He said that to internet fans, it is fine but for regular fans flicking around the TV, they will wonder why two goofy guys are running around in pajamas playing pro wrestler and that is the difference between running in rec centers and a legitimate company.
He then talks about the problems with RoH. He said that they didn’t have the money as WWE or even TNA but had to make a way to look good for regional television. He proposed finding an empty warehouse or department store with plenty of parking that you could turn into a studio. You can make it always look full and by buying lights and running audio cables, you save the costs of doing that stuff on the road since you have your own supplies. You can also have the offices and merchandise supplies. You can also have your editing and run the wrestling school there, pointing out that was how OVW started and it is still around today and then adds how there was more promise with RoH in Baltimore than in Louisville with OVW. They can also have rotating instructors and have the students sell tickets to friends and families for the shows. For some reason, they were not able to come up with the money for this idea.
He then moves on to the RoH fanbase and how he wanted to capitalize on the internet, which is how most of the fans followed the product. He brings up how no one saw the HD Net programming and said how he wanted to broadcast the PPV shows on the RoH site instead of GoFightLive. He questions why split money with another money instead of just running it on your own site. He was really passionate about streaming on the company site and even offered to buy the equipment to make it work, noting how they were using outdated video cameras on the road, but he was denied. 
Cornette now talks about the RoH website and how it was run by college friends of the office boy that Sinclair hired. He then apologizes to “Joe” but says that he wants to set the record straight on what happened. The “office boy” was a 26 year old named Greg and sarcastically says how he was such a genius that after seeing his first wrestling match, told him and Cary on who they should push and how to run the show. He then said Greg was a “flaming asshole” who ran off two ring crews after treating them like shit and also Cornette had to talk Charlie Haas and Ernie Osiris out of kicking Greg’s ass. But, no one wanted to argue with him because of who got him the job. Back to the website, he says that the site was off more than it was run and that was because Sinclair wanted to save money any way possible, including Greg offering a contest for fans to design a new company logo. He then talks more about GoFightLive and how they were incompetent and on occasion would have to stop matches because they went off air or go to Radio Shack to get cables. He hoped that “Final Battle 2011” would be the first PPV to air on the company website but they were never ready for that.
Cornette then said that Sinclair would not allow RoH to open up a wrestling school due to being liable if any injuries occured but they agreed to let Delirious train guys in a warehouse in Bristol with shitty facilities. Sean asks Cornette if he is speaking to Greg about all of these problems that were arising? He said that talking to him was like talking to the air conditioning unit and instead played nice and talked to Joe and relied on his friend Gary Jester. He said that he and Delirious got them the talent and the price they wanted and came off a string of critically acclaimed shows but they still dicked them over and finally got them equipment but it was stripped down and passed down to them from the news department because the factory that made the parts got destroyed in the Tsunami. He then said that Sinclair raised the ticket prices to the live events and decided to only run in TV markets and alienate the other markets, which ended up drawing less in markets that they have only run in for twelve weeks. He said that Gary Jester went through TicketMaster, which Cornette begged him not to because they jacked-up prices, but Jester had been out of the business for a while and didn’t realize how things worked.
He talks about creative and says he was still gung-ho for the first six months as creative was doing well. There plan was to climax at the Border Wars show in 2012. They had a great card and told the building two months before hand that GoFightLive was coming in and during the show, Dave Klarman, who ran GoFightLive, stepped on a surge protector and knocked out the power to the monitors and that it made the audio and video thirty seconds off and Cornette blew up because they didn’t calibrate the equipment correctly. He then says how the director told him that he wished he could get that fucking idiot Klarman in the room and Cornette wanted to know where that fucking idiot was and he looks over and sees Klarman in the corner. Cornette yelled at him for putting him out of PPV because no one would ever buy another one from them. The next day, it was corrected but the neighborhood had a “brownout” and because they used cheap equipment and they got knocked out again. Cornette then said that he learned from Sinclair and GoFightLive that corporate people are afraid of offending anyone. Gee, way to get with the times.
He said that the Border Wars show was a card that anyone would be proud of and it sold 1,500 tickets but no one else saw it because of the technical problems. Instead of talking about great shows, they talk about the fucked up technical problems. He said that “Best of the World” was seen by no one because of problems with the site. Then, a spot show in Providence was turned into a PPV because they wanted to show they could get it right and people blamed him for producing a shitty PPV. They then went to Chicago and went to the arena and was told by the director that they used the company from the Toronto show for this show to do the PPV had never done an event in the U.S. before and did not have the proper paperwork at the border and got sent back so the director pieced together the equipment the best he could.
Cornette said he mentally checked out in June of 2012. A local station in West Virginia told Cornette that they had 22,000 viewers for the RoH weekly show. The station manager was a big fan of the Crockett promotions and that area loved their wrestling and wanted a live show. Cornette said that they sold $28,000 worth of sponsorships and tried to make a market with local sponsors to generate revenue and would give cut-ins on local affiliate broadcasts. He said Greg the Office Boy didn’t understand how they would sell out a 1,000 seat arena in West Virginia when they only sold 700 tickets in Chicago so Cornette told him that they are going to promote the show in West Virginia and the people want to see wrestling and an event around town instead of just another thing to do in a big city like Chicago. So, Greg then sets the general admission price at $25 with the front row at $70 and the behind that at $60. Cornette points out it was cheaper to get into Smackdown then to see RoH at the Charleston Civic Center. He suggested to make the prices $30 front row, $20 behind that and $15 for general admission, reminding Greg that this is Charleston, WV and they do not have that type of money here. Greg got offended and said that Ringling Bros. was just there and charged more for that as Cornette goes on a tirade about how the Circus had been around forever. They end up using Greg’s ticket prices and sell 302 tickets and it was a disaster. He then mentions that he set up a chicken wing eating contest at Hooters after the show as part of the sponsorship deal then rants some more about Greg and never gets to the end of the story.
Cornette tells a story of how he flipped out in the Gorilla position. One day, he saw someone in the Gorilla position wearing headphones and wanted security to come over as he had no idea as to who this was. He was then told that this person was “Bill,” who turned out to be a wrestling student who got injured during training but still showed up to prove his dedication and they ended up having him in the Gorilla position. When asked, Cornette had no idea as to whose decision it was to stick Bill in Gorilla.
He goes back to talking about how after the Chicago PPV in September of 2012, the internet fans were blaming him for the shitty booking and he said the company was as popular as “crotch rot” for the PR nightmares and constant production failures. He said that he spoke with Delirious and decided that he would step down as a PR move, but not work the boys and take himself off of TV as the match-maker. He said that he told Joe, with Greg the Office Boy in attendance, that if he got out of the picture, they could install someone popular as the match-maker, like Nigel McGuiness. He then explains the angle between Jay Lethal and Kevin Steen, where Lethal’s parents were in attendance and they were copying something that happened in Oklahoma where Danny Hodge’s father stabbed Angelo Savoldi during a match so Cornette came up with the idea of Letha’s parents being there, playing up Lethal as not geting his shot and being near is hometown, then have Steen go off on Lethal’s parents after they throw a drink on him, leading to a wild brawl that spills into the locker room. During the melee, Cornette would try to talk down Lethal, who would respond by throwing him over a table, thus injuring Cornette and taking him off of TV. After that aired, they had a PPV in Toronto, with all of the fans praising the show and thinking it was better due to believing that Cornette was not involved, despite the fact that he helped booked everything.

He now talks about the November TV taping in Bell Vernon, PA. Cornette told Sinclair that he wanted to do something big for WrestleMania weekend in 2013 by bringing in the Japanese talent, which would get over huge with the fanbase. He said the cost is the main issue, namely getting the working papers together, which is apparently more than the plane ticket and their payoff combined. Greg the Office Boy said they could sell out on their own and didn’t need outside talent. Cornette then said he leaned over the table and told Greg that he knew what he was fucking talking about, as Greg never heard of Japanese wrestling. At the end, they ended up not getting them.

DISC TWO






We start the disc off with Cornette talking about how at the meeting before the November TV, the had a plan for Nigel to replace Cornette as the match-maker and for Adam Pearce to be the new color commentator. Cornette then says that he is going to back-track here but it will be worth the time. He said his original vision of RoH was to have the announcing duo of Kevin Kelly and Adam Pearce to be the wresting version of UFC announcers Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan. The problem with Pearce was that he left on bad terms as a booker with some of the office guys after sending Cary Silkin an e-mail that bashed two office workers, which caused him to lose his job as booker. Cornette told Silkin that Pearce would apologize and shake hands and do whatever it takes. One guy was fine but the other guy, Ross from merchandise, said that Pearce was a cancer and would not agree to the apology. Apparently, Cornette said that he wanted to do the right thing by having everyone get on the same page but word got back to the office and they did not want to give the job to Pearce, because Ross was going to file a complaint with Sinclair’s Human Resources about not feeling safe at work and that led to the decision. They called Nigel, who was still under contract with TNA, and tried to see if he could get out of the contract. He did but Joe did not like Nigel, stating he was not enthusiastic enough, despite the fact that the fans loved the duo. Cornette tried to go back and get Pearce, gives him a job and Ross gets wind that he is the surprise for the first TV taping of 2013 and complains to Human Resources about feeling unsafe. Cornette believes that Ross was doing this in part to get some money as he wanted out, because sales were down as Greg raised the prices and lowered the quality, which led to Sean mentioning that they were giving RoH a good deal on merchandising at the time but they ended up pulling the rug out from them anyway. Cornette then rants again on Ross, calling him a pussy among other things and laughs at the notion that the guy who sells T-shirts has the power to dictate who does color commentary for a company that broadcasts on 60-70 TV affiliates. He even said that there is still a hole in his garage after he punched the wall due to hearing what happened.

He finally goes back to the Bell Vernon taping. He said that Greg wanted to do the taping there after being in Pittsburgh, which was nearby, after drawing 500 people. Cornette said that it was because Bruno Sammartino was signing autographs. They booked an ice rink for the tapings in a shitty building with the equipment in Baltimore. Cornette said this was done to save about $20,000, which is peanuts for Sinclair. Cornette said that this started his therapy as he was “wrestling crazy.” His wedding anniversary is on Halloween, which is his wife Stacy’s favorite holiday. He told his friend Gary Jester that he was not going to argue with Greg on a conference call as he was going to spend time with his wife before going off on the road for a week, telling him how Greg was alienating everyone as no one could tolerate him at all. He then checked an email, because he was not on the conference call, that read they would have a PPV on Saturday night then tape TV Sunday afternoon in the same building in order to save money, not even bringing up the fact that they would need to do promos on Friday. Cornette called Jester and told him it was a shitty idea, citing the fact that after beating the shit out of each other on a PPV they have to get their the next morning and the production crew would stay in the building for 36 hours, nevermind killing the house of at least one, if not both shows. After asking Gary why they let Greg get away with this, he said it was because he was not on the call and Cornette yelled at Gary and asked why grown men couldnt have stood up to Greg. He says that this news ruined his anniversary as he was livid and got the call that Brad Armstrong passed away in his sleep then Lawler had his heart attack, which had in him a bad mood. They get into the ice rink which had concrete bleachers and a bar with flourescent lights. Cornette was then told that there was no drape to cover the pipes so the buidling was not going to sell out and the drape was to not make it look empty because Greg said it was not in the budget. He was about to snap as Joe from Sinclair was following him around and asked if he was okay. He told Joe that Greg was an asshole and the problem but he would talk to him later as he had a show to put together. They had about 325 people in a building that sat 1,000 and the building was so cold that you could see steam from the tops of people’s heads who were not wearing ski caps. The director was bullshit because it came off as low rent and you saw empty seats no matter where the camera was showing, prompting Cornette to say that he had Smoky Mountain shows that looked better. He learned later that they could not turn the heat on because the ice set up was not like that of a professional rink and it would melt, as the ring was on top of the ice. Cornette then had to give money to the ring crew and some of the wrestlers as they had no gas to get home and he was dealing with Steve Corino who was potentially paralyzed after taking a suplex on the guardrail as everyone else left and after this all happened, he said he broke down in tears and called his wife, telling her he needs to leave as this company was a failure and would never become successful as fans blamed him for the booking and Greg was making it impossible to run a wrestling company and felt like the whole experience was like a giant rib on him. Joe gave him a call and said he couldnt threaten office employees and Cornette told him it wouldnt be a problem and he was going to quit and he could even fire him if he wanted but he was going to go home to Louisville.

Cornette then talks about his “rehab” which consisted of him staying at home. Sean then talks about how he is gad that Jim is calm now because they will be talking about Jim Herd for three hours (Cornette filmed a timeline for 1989 WCW which will be released in early 2015).

Sean then asks Cornette how his marriage was able to work. He said his wife hates wrestling more than he does now and she got into it as a teen because her friends were fans (his wife was Synn in OVW).

He is then asked about being in the WWE Hall of Fame. He said that he would like to go as part of the Midnight Express, stating he would absolutely do it as he felt that it was his best work. He might consider it if he was getting inducted by himself, stating it would depend on who approached him and how it would be done.

Cornette talks about what he now watches on TV. He loves anything that Gordon Ramsey does and calls Family Guy the funniest show on the air. He calls Bill Maher the American he admires the most. He also loves Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire but states that True Blood jumped the shark a long time ago. He also talks about wanting to do a podcast on pop culture, stating he has an entire wall devoted to it at his house. He also loves politics, stating he got involved heavily in 2007-2008 and saw how George Bush fucked everything up and said that working for TNA gave him the free time to study what else is going on in the world and puts over Barack Obama for being level-headed and cannot stand the right-wing lunatics from the right.

He says that organized religion has caused more suffering to the world than any other ruler or natural occurence of any kind and goes off on Bush for starting the war in the Middle East for his religious beliefs. He thinks anyone who believes they will be going somewhere better after they die is scary, because they want to hurry things up so they get there. He says he is prolonging his time here because all he has waiting for him is a box in the ground filled with worms.

The interview closes with the “Final Five.”

Dead or Alive, Person You Would Want to go to Dinner With: Alfred Hitchcock
Most Illegal Thing Attempted: Trying to run over Terry Landell in Knoxville, after he pissed him off
Most Irrational Fear: Flying
One Thing You Would Tell “Young Jim Cornette”: Warn him of all the “stupid shit” that he did
If Went to Heaven, What Would Think Your Maker Would Say: Doesn’t know, wouldnt lose sleep over it though.





Final Thoughts: First off, I do not get why this was a “Breaking Kayfabe” shoot. The stuff about Cornette’s personal life, which is the basis of the series, was just tacked on for the last several minutes of the shoot. This was entertaining but a little too long and they were better off releasing this as a Cornette shoot about Ring of Honor because no one needs to hear more of his rants on Russo.

Speaking of Cornette in RoH, this truly was a failure from day one. Cornette has been in the wrestling bubble for far too long and does not have the slightest clue about how corporate America works. Add that to the fact that Sinclair hired someone who was trying to save a buck in charge that had no concept of how wrestling worked and you have the perfect recipe for failure. Greg the Office Boy also sounds like a huge asshole.

Also, Cornette’s goals seemed flawed to me. Doing local promotion like he did in West Virginia is fine but besides only a few other markets, that isnt going to bring in new fans. This isnt the 1980’s anymore. Wing eating contests at the local chain restaurant will probably only work in West Virginia. Also, it seems like he wanted to book a promotion for people who still believed that wrestling is real. It has changed and Cornette, who at the end of his run in RoH seemed to realized, has been passed by the business. Sports Entertainment is what people recognize now and the fans that left have moved on and will most likely never come back. I actually feel a bit sorry for him in that he nearly drove himself insane in the process.

I recommend this shoot but I do not give it a 10/10 rating like everyone else seems to be giving this. More like 8.5/10. It ran 45 minutes too long and like I said, was better off being a shoot about RoH. I give credit to Sean for challenging Cornette, especially about his hatred for Russo which comes off more childish everytime I hear about it and about his anger management issues in general.

A+ Match of the Day

The 1999 Royal Rumble…Hell most of 1999 WWF in general is very polarizing. I’m convinced you either loved it or hated it and there was no in between.

As I was glancing at the RAW with the DX/Corporation Mini Rumble you had all kinds of crap there in that one show. Some good stories, some odd ones that included trannies. Ryan Shamrock. Billy Gunn being called the best “pure athlete in the WWF”. It was just weird, unpredictable shit.

Anyway if the 1999 Rumble doesn’t bring a wide variety of opinions I’ll be shocked.

For those of you that want to see the DX/Corporate Mini-Rumble here’s that RAW episode:

And of course the 1999 Royal Rumble in full because the Dailymotion link to the match only is really poor video quality.

NXT – January 16, 2014

NXT
Date:
January 15, 2014
Location:
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators:
Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips, Tensai
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
the first show of the new taping cycle so we’re in for some fresh
stories. If nothing else we’ll get to find out who is Bo’s next
challenger, possibly at the live NXT special on the WWE Network. The
only match for this week is Kofi challenging Alexander Rusev to a
rematch after losing two weeks ago. Let’s get to it.

Here’s
HHH to open things up. As most of us know, there’s a new concept
called the WWE Network launching on February 24. Also, on February
27, NXT is going to go live for the first time ever. I believe it’s
just a one time deal though.
Welcome
Home.
Adrian
Neville vs. Tyler Breeze
Fallout
from the lumberjack match a month ago when Breeze cost Neville the
title. Tyler grabs a headlock to start but Neville runs him over
with a shoulder block to send Tyler to the floor. Neville teases a
dive but backflips into the middle of the ring and waits on Breeze.
Back in and Neville sends him face first into the buckle, drawing a
NOT IN THE FACE chant. Instead Adrian kicks him in the chest,
followed up by some loud chops. Neville heads to the apron but gets
caught by a springboard dropkick as we take a break.
Back
with Tyler holding Neville in a chinlock as Adrian fights up. Tyler
takes him down again but stops for a quick photo op. Neville uses
the breather to snap off a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker to get himself a
breather. A spinning kick to the ribs sets up a running dropkick to
the head for two as Breeze is in trouble. Neville loads up a
springboard dropkick but Breeze dropkicks him out of the air for two
of his own. Good stuff so far.
Prince
Pretty is all ticked off now and pounds away on Adrian’s face but
misses the Beauty Shot. A high kick looks to set up a middle rope
Phoenix Splash but Breeze rolls away at the last second. The Beauty
Shot is countered into a sitout powerbomb for two as the fans aren’t
as into this as they should be. Breeze breaks up the Red Arrow by
grabbing Adrian’s foot and crotching him down, but Neville blocks a
hurricanrana attempt, setting up the Red Arrow for the win at 9:20
shown of 12:50.
Rating:
B-. I was digging this match as
Breeze gets to show that he can go in the ring instead of just on the
mic. Neville is a far more complete wrestler than his finisher would
suggest. He’ll be on the main roster someday in a Sin Cara level
role and Breeze could be great as a comedy heel. Good signs for the
future here.
CJ
Parker vs. Jason Jordan
Jordan,
usually a jobber, gets a full entrance. A quick German suplex gets
two on Parker and Jordan keeps the grip to hold Parker on the mat.
Parker sends him throat first into the ropes and hits the Third Eye
(palm strike) for the pin at 1:07. It’s a very telling sign when you
can get the NXT fans to not care about you at all.
Bo
Dallas vs. Mojo Rawley
Non-title.
The much bigger Rawley tosses Dallas back into the corner and tells
Dallas that he isn’t hyped. It works so well that he does it again
but Bo offers a nice smile. A shoulder block sends Bo to the floor
and the smile is gone. Back in and Bo immediately bails to the
floor. Dallas has no idea what to do so he just pounds away on Mojo
in the corner. Rawley runs him over again with a shoulder and
splashes Dallas in the corner over and over. Dallas rolls to the
floor again but Mojo pulls him back inside, only to miss a splash and
let Bo roll him up with a handful of trunks for the pin at 3:49.
Rating:
C-. Rawley looked like a train
here until the very end. I’d have had Bo take the countout as Rawley
could easily be a top challenger for the title in the near future.
They’re also used him far better here instead of having him get
destroyed for the entire match before pulling off a fluke win. Also
is you have to lose, at least lose to the champion.
Kofi
Kingston vs. Alexander Rusev
Feeling
out process to start and Kofi can’t take him over with a headlock.
Some kicks to the ribs have a better effect but Rusev just blasts him
in the head to take over. Kofi scores with an elbow to the jaw but
gets shoved out of the corner to give Rusev control again. Alexander
sends him into the corner and works on the ribs before putting on a
nerve hold.
Back
up and more shots to the ribs have Kofi in trouble but he sidesteps a
charging Bulgarian and sends him to the floor. Kofi misses a
baseball slide but scores with a clothesline off the steps as we take
a break. We come back with Kofi having a chinlock broken up but
managing to avoid a charge. Kofi pounds away in the corner but Rusev
counters into a powerbomb for two. The fans chant FEED ME MORE at
Rusev before changing over to GOLDBERG.
Rusev
drops some elbows and headbutts before going back to the nerve hold.
Now the fans start doing the wave as Kofi fights back with chops and
a dropkick, only to have his cross body caught in midair. Rusev,
still holding Kofi, drives knees into the ribs before trying a Samoan
drop but Kofi rolls him up for two. Kingston avoids a charge in the
corner and kicks Rusev in the face, but his top rope cross body is
caught again, setting up the Samoan drop for two.
Kofi
dodges another charge, though this time Rusev puts on the brakes
because he actually learns during his matches. The SOS gets two and
some hard kicks to the face have Rusev in more trouble. Rusev comes
back with a clothesline but Kofi hits his jumping clothesline to take
him down again. The Boom Drop connects and after a distraction from
Lana, Trouble in Paradise is enough to pin Rusev at 12:09 shown of
15:39.
Rating:
C+. While it’s not as boring as
the fans made it out to be, this was still an uninteresting match for
the most part. Rusev losing is questionable as well as the matches
here don’t mean anything to the main roster so putting Alexander over
wouldn’t hurt anyone at all. Not bad but nothing inspiring at all.
Overall
Rating:
B-. Two good matches, a
major announcement and nothing bad make for a good episode. The
future is incredibly bright for WWE as the class of talent they have
down in NXT is very strong. Rusev, Rawley and Neville will all be on
the main roster at some point this year and they’ll all do well,
assuming the creative team doesn’t screw them up.
Results
Adrian
Neville b. Tyler Breeze – Red Arrow
CJ
Parker b. Jason Jordan – Third Eye
Bo
Dallas b. Mojo Rawley – Rollup with a handful of trunks
Kofi
Kingston b. Alexander Rusev – Trouble in Paradise

Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

BoD Daily Update

How did the Daniel Bryan / Wyatt Family Alliance Come to an End?


According to Wade Keller, the decision to end the alliance came much sooner than planned. Apparently, Triple H isolated Vince McMahon on the flight back from the WWE Network announcement in Las Vegas and talked him out of keeping the alliance continuing. The end plan was always for Bryan to split from the family. They actually tested the angle the day before RAW at a house show in White Plains, NY and it got over huge with the crowd, so the go-ahead was given by Vince to perform the angle for this past RAW.

Credit Wade Keller, PWTorch VIP Hotline






WWE Opening Up Negotiations with Sting, Again


The WWE has started to talk, yet again, with Sting about joining the company. Sting has not renewed his contract with TNA, that expires shortly.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter






Ryback Update


Ryback is now portraying a Brian Pillman-like “loose cannon” character, which explains some of his recent Twitter posts. Ryback also continues to anger people in the company, reportedly over the comment about his voice being hoarse for hanging out with Lillian Garcia (who in the past was called “horseface” by HHH on TV) and has also angered some of the wrestler for backing out of a arm wrestling match against Titus O’Neill, which was supposed to be a money bet with the loser donating to charity. This led to JBL referring to him as “Rybackout.”

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter






WWE Performers Set to Return From Injury This Month?


Both Christian and Evan Bourne have been talked about returning this month. Bourne has been out of action for well over a year and has been cleared to return, but is waiting for creative to come up with something for him.

Credit Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter











Monday Nitro – August 24, 1998

Monday
Nitro #151
Date:
August 24, 1998
Location:
United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Attendance:
17,094
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone, Larry Zbyszko
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
closing in on Fall Brawl and the main event is coming into focus a
little bit more. The main story coming into tonight ties into the
PPV as Warrior is promising to begin a revolution tonight, whatever
that means. He’s officially on DDP’s team to face Hogan and Hart for
the Black and White and whoever is on the Wolfpack’s team. This
three team stuff with one winner idea for WarGames is annoying.
Let’s get to it.

We
open with a black limo arriving with the Black and White coming out.
It’s just Hogan, Bischoff, Liz and Disciple here and we get a long
tracking shot of them coming all the way into the arena. Once
they’re finally in the ring, Eric holds up a pen and says it’s what
lets him keep in charge of WCW and the NWO. He ran Vader and Johnny
B. Badd out of WCW and he’ll keep anyone he wants out as well.
Hogan
takes the mic and talks about how he owns the world of wrestling and
is more powerful than anyone. He can’t wait to get in the ring at
WarGames and take everyone out one by one. Hogan promises to take
the title back from Goldberg for awhile and that’s that. Shortest
opening segment in a long time.
Opening
sequence.
Mike
Enos vs. Wrath
Enos
fires in some knees in the corner but Wrath shrugs them off and chops
away in the corner. They head outside with Enos being sent into the
barricade and chopped even more. Wrath throws him back inside for a
slingshot clothesline for two but Enos comes back with a powerslam
for the same. Mike shoulders him in the corner but misses a second
attempt. Wrath’s Meltdown (pumphandle powerslam) is good for the pin
in a short match.
We
look at part of Warrior’s speech last week, leading into the
announcers talking about WarGames.
The
Nitro Girls dance in the crowd.
Nitro
Party winner.
Kaz
Hayashi vs. Dean Malenko
The
announcers immediately start talking about the Horsemen, despite most
of the team losing almost every major match they’ve had in the last
few weeks. Dean takes Kaz down by the arm and grabs the leg before
putting on a reverse chinlock. Off to a headlock on Hayashi but he
comes back with a knee to the ribs and a quick running senton. Dean
easily takes him back down and puts on a figure four around the neck
as we take a break.
Back
with Dean winning a quick slugout but being sent to the floor. Kaz
hits a very nice corkscrew plancha and gets two off a German suplex
back inside. Hayashi goes up but his moonsault hits knees. A leg
lariat (clearly misses Kaz by about six inches) sets up the Tiger
Bomb and the Cloverleaf to give Dean the win.
Rating:
C. Not a terrible match though
I have no idea why they needed a break in there. Kaz was another in a
long list of talented cruiserweights who got lost in the crowd
despite being able to put on good matches. Malenko looked a bit off
tonight but when you’re as sharp as he is most of the time you can
miss once in awhile.
Video
on the Wolfpack.
Here’s
the Wolfpack minus Sting with something to say. After the
catchphrases, Nash talks about Hogan running his mouth week in and
week out, even though he can’t run with them. Nash says if Hogan
wants a war, he’s got one. He talks about coming here for a war two
years ago and his goal is to run the company. If he has to run off
Hogan and Bischoff and become world champion to do it, then that’s
what he’ll do. That brings him to Goldberg who has speared him twice
in a row now.
After
the first time, they had a beer and everything was cool. The second
time there was no beer so everything isn’t cool. However, if
Goldberg wants to make things right, he can team up with Nash tonight
against someone whose names are cut off by Goldberg’s music. We get
the long walk from the back to continue a motif tonight. Goldberg
comes to the ring and says he’ll team up with Nash if that’s what
Nash wants. Nash wants Hogan and Giant tonight.
Konnan
vs. Jim Neidhart
Konnan
went to the back during the break and comes out again for reasons I
still don’t understand. A headbutt puts Neidhart down as Tenay
explains what Arriaba La Raza means. Konnan grabs an armbar but
Neidhart fights up and clotheslines Konnan to take over. Neidhart’s
straps come down, making his back rakes all the more vicious. A
middle rope knee drop only hits the mat though and the Tequila
Sunrise gives Konnan a fast win.
Tony
brings out Stevie Ray for a chat about the Black and White
surrounding him at the end of Thunder. Stevie won’t comment on what
they were saying to him but he’ll deal with the Giant in due time.
As for the TV Title, Stevie is coming for Jericho soon but here’s an
angry Booker T for his return. Booker says he’s been out of the
country healing so he could come back and give the fans 110%. He
can’t even leave his house to get his paper without people asking him
about Stevie Ray.
Booker
worked hard to get the TV Title and would like an explanation from
Stevie about the title. Stevie says he defended the title because it
got between the team. Booker was out for six months (it’s been like
two) and Stevie did what he had to do. Tony informs Stevie that
Booker is the #1 contender to Bret Hart’s US Title, ticking Stevie
off. Booker says he’s coming for the title and wants Stevie to have
his back.
Nitro
Girls.
After
a break Tony is in the ring and calls out DDP. He has a pen of his
own and wants to shove it through Bischoff’s ear. Page runs down
Hogan as usual and says if someone wants to step up as the third
member of Team WCW, do it right now. This brings out Roddy Piper and
I cringe a little bit inside.
Piper
praises Page for doing a good job lately while he’s been in
Hollywood. While he was out there, Piper heard people at Time Warner
making fun of Bischoff’s power trips. Piper says he’s the only man
that Bischoff can’t fire before implying Hogan and Bischoff are
women. He’ll join Page in WarGames and promises to get Warrior to
join them. Wasn’t he on the team already?
Hour
#2 begins.
Steve
McMichael vs. Riggs
Mongo
takes him into the corner but Riggs actually takes over and stomps
him down into the corner. McMichael is sent out to the floor and
taken down by a clothesline from the apron as this has been one sided
so far. Back in and the announcers talk about Saturn vs. Raven with
the Flock’s freedom vs. Saturn being back in the Flock as the stakes.
A dropkick puts Mongo down again and Riggs stomps away at the chest.

We
hit the chinlock on Mongo who slaps the mat like he’s tapping but the
referee says nothing. McMichael fights up but a knee to the ribs
drops him again. Riggs mocks the Horsemen sign and avoids an elbow
as Mongo can’t get anything going. A boot in the corner stops a
charging Riggs and it’s a pair of three point tackles and the
tombstone to give Mongo the win. Those were the only major offensive
moves he hit all match.
Rating:
D. This was basically a Riggs
squash until the last thirty seconds. The Horsemen losing nearly
every match they’re in sounds like something Bischoff would be behind
to bury the team even further, because why would he care if the fans
keep chanting for Flair? Granted having Mongo in there isn’t helping
anyone. The guy just isn’t that good.
Post
match Horace blasts Mongo in the head with the stop sign and the
beating is on until Malenko makes the save. Saturn comes out as well
but is quickly sent back outside, leaving Mongo and Malenko to hold
up the Horsemen sign.
More
Nitro Girls, this time in leather.
Scott
Norton vs. Rick Fuller
They
trade chops in the corner as Fuller has already survived longer than
anyone has against Norton in weeks. Norton comes back with a Samoan
drop but gets kicked in the face, only to pop back up and chop it out
again. Scott blasts him in the face to take over again and a
powerbomb is enough to end Fuller.
Here’s
Scott Steiner with his doctor to make fun of Chicago and Michael
Jordan. The doctor says Steiner can’t wrestle tonight but Scott
wants Rick out here right now. This of course brings out Buff
Bagwell dressed as Rick as the crowd can be heard groaning. Scott
offers a doggie treat to get out of the fight, causing Buff to roll
over and play dead for the pin.
Lex
Luger vs. Brian Adams
They
finally lock up after about a minute of stalling before taking their
time with some lockups. Luger grabs a headlock as Heenan defends
Bischoff for reasons of general weaselness. Luger sends Adams to the
floor with some posing as the stalling continues. Back in and Luger
hiptosses Adams down but a Vincent distraction lets Brian get in a
right hand to take over. Luger is kicked to the floor and sent into
the steps for two before it’s off to a headscissor choke from Adams.

Back
up and Luger is whipped into the corner but comes back with right
hands to a big reaction. Not that it matters though as Adams
suplexes him down and puts on a nerve hold. Another comeback is
thwarted by a gorilla press gutbuster for two but Adams misses a knee
drop. The clotheslines and forearms are good for two, followed by a
powerslam and the Torture Rack for the submission.
Rating:
D+. Slightly better than the
previous match but that’s mainly because the fans were more into the
hometown Luger. The match was again close to a squash until the
comeback at the end which doesn’t make for the most interesting match
in the world. Adams getting this high of a spot on the card
continues to astound me.
More
clips of Warrior from last week.
Here’s
Warrior to talk about how the Revolution that starts tonight. He
talks about emulating the best in
any field, such as when he emulated Hogan as champion. Warrior rants
about Hogan selling out to mediocrity and self pity which is the most
coherent thing he’s said in a long time. He does get in a good line
by saying Hogan went from being one in a million to being one of the
millions.
After
pausing for no reason in particular, Warrior asks for patience before
he takes out Hogan. Tonight is the beginning of the One Warrior
Nation Revolution, which means he’ll destroy Hogan. A revolution
isn’t based on cowardice and that’s all Hogan needs to know. I have
no idea what this was supposed to accomplish.
Hour
#3 begins.
TV
Title: Chris Jericho vs. Curt Hennig
Jericho
is defending and takes over a minute to get down the aisle due to
jawing with fans about their signs. He takes one away and kicks it,
falling flat on his face in a funny moment. Feeling out process to
start with Hennig grabbing the hair and stopping a takedown attempt.
Curt: “Two points!” They jockey for position until Henig goes to
the ropes for a breather.
Jericho
slaps him in the face, sending Hennig into a frenzy of headbutts and
chops. Chris chops him into the corner as this gets very physical
all of a sudden. Now it’s Hennig with chops of his own, setting up
the Hennig neck snap for no cover. Jericho comes back with a
spinning kick to the chin and some choking in the corner.
Curt
takes out the knee to send Jericho outside for even more chops, only
to have Jericho take him back inside to kick at Hennig’s legs. A
springboard dropkick sends Hennig outside and a middle rope version
of the same move drops Curt inside. Hennig misses a dropkick and
gets caught in the Liontamer but Hennig is right next to the ropes.
The PerfectPlex is countered into a small package for two and they
slug it out as the time limit expires at…..6:10? At least make it
close people.
Rating:
C+. I was digging the heck out
of this match with both guys working hard out there. Jericho seems
like the kind of guy that would have a blast working with a guy like
Hennig and he was on his game tonight. Really fun match which shows
what happens when guys work hard. The lack of time makes me sad for
a change.
Hennig
gets the better of Jericho and here’s Giant for the double team, but
Giant shoves Hennig down instead to save the Canadian. Curt is
furious.
More
Nitro Girls.
Booker
T asks Stevie to have his back tonight but Stevie sounds mad.
US
Title: Bret Hart vs. Booker T
Bret
is defending. Before the match Bret grabs a mic and says he’s tired
of being told he used to be a nice guy. The fans are the ones that
have corrupted the heroes, which is why Bret went to the one man he
could trust: Hulk Hogan. However, there’s a problem in the form of
Sting. Bret says Sting is his buddy, so how can he pick between
Sting and Hogan. The fans are to blame for his problems though.
Booker’s
music plays but he never shows up. We go to a break and come back to
see Stevie standing over a fallen Booker and saying Booker and JJ
Dillon turned their backs on him. Stevie comes into the arena to
take Booker’s place but yells at Bret instead of fighting him. Bret
denies having anything to do with the attack as the NWO comes out
with a shirt. Bret says there’s no reason for Stevie to take his
frustrations out on him before offering Stevie a spot on the team.
Since Stevie is a midcard guy who is starting to get some traction,
he accepts.
Hollywood
Hogan/The Giant vs. Goldberg/Kevin Nash
After
about five minutes of entrances, we finally get down to Nash vs.
Giant but the fans are all over Hogan. Giant shoves him into the
corner to start but Nash avoids a big forearm. A headbutt staggers
Kevin back and a big boot drops him to the mat. Giant misses an
elbow though and Nash hits the framed elbow in the corner. Both guys
hit clotheslines at the same time with no one going anywhere so they
both hit big boots to drop the other.
It’s
off to Goldberg vs. Hogan with the champion shoving Hogan down over
and over. Hogan gets in some knees to the ribs and chokes to take
over but Goldberg shrugs off being rammed into the buckle. A few
shoulder blocks put Hogan down but Disciple hits Goldberg in the back
with the title belt to change the moment. Hogan chokes away in the
corner while Nash and Giant go at it on the floor (Tony calls it
double teaming because he’s not that bright) as Hennig and Disciple
come in for the no contest.
Rating:
D+. This was more spectacle
than match and that’s fine for the most part. They’re clearly
setting up the idea of the team battle at Fall Brawl which is more
than you usually get out of a Nitro main event. I’d still like to
see Giant pin Nash just one time to make up for the last nine months
or so but I can’t imagine it happening.
Luger
and Konnan come out to even the odds until Goldberg and Hennig are
the only ones left. Goldberg spears him down and Jackhammers him for
the pin as this turns into an ECW show for a few seconds. Nash
accidentally knees Goldberg in the face and Giant sends him to the
floor as Warrior, Page and Piper come out to clean house and stand
tall. Goldberg and Nash have a staredown to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D+.
That was a really strong ending actually with an actual focus for a
change. It’s not really surprising that WCW
was actually winning a bit at this time with WarGames coming up and
the Warrior offering something interesting. Unfortunately at some
point he has to actually wrestle and it was all going to come down.
Anyway though, less bad show than usual but all the nonsense earlier
on brings down a good last hour.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Stranger Things Presents: TCW Episode 14-2 Review

Let me start by saying that I have been reviewing some videos for the Best of February PPV column. I have opted to allow you, the BoD Universe, to decide the #1 match. I will be posting a poll sometime in the next week with the candidates. Choose wisely…

Now, to the business at hand. Here is how to watch TCW either online or on TV:

http://www.tcwwrestling.com/tvinfo.shtml

Here is this week’s episode, if you feel like playing along:

Taped from Fort Smith, AR. Straight to the opening video. No in-ring breakdown again this week from Rhodes and Thompson. We start the show backstage, where interviewer Jason Jones is with The Empire. Matt Riviera calls The Empire the most dominant force in wrestling. The Empire is going to take control of TCW. Greg Anthony says that Parker’s Posse has no shot against The Empire. Steve Anthony predicts a clean sweep. The champ, Tim Storm, asks Jones if he had a question to ask, and then promptly cuts him off by telling him to shut his mouth, because no one cares. Back to Riviera, who ends things by saying TCW is good as done. The heel team appears confident, and considering they have been built up by actually WINNING matches prior to the big showdown, that only helps the angle.

We take a break with the promise of Americos vs. Kincaid for the TCW Junior Heavyweight Championship….NEXT!

Match #1 – Americos (c) vs. Kincaid (with Boyd Bradford) – TCW Junior Heavyweight Championship.


This is at least the third match between the two in the last couple of months. Americos is pulling double duty tonight, as he replaces the injured John Saxon in the main event. The last time they faced off, it resulted in the title going to Americos. Kincaid attacks before the bell, knocking Americos from the apron to the floor. Kincaid takes Americos to the rail. Now back in the ring, as the ref calls for the opening bell. Kincaid goes to the top, but Americos throws him off. The two trade reversals before Kincaid gets a cross armbreaker. Americos, while in the armbreaker, rolls up Kincaid for a 2 count. Americos gets an armdrag off a reversal. Americos dumps Kincaid to the floor. Hurrancanrana for Americos from the apron! He’s back in the ring, off the ropes, and a dive is cutoff by Kincaid’s knees. Kincaid takes Americos to the corner. Now with a shoulderblock to the back. Backbreaker for Kincaid, and he holds it there for a submission attempt. Americos gets out of it, and tries a comeback, but Kincaid cuts him off with a knee to the gut. Forearm from Americos, then follows with a big boot. Cover…1…2…kick out. Kincaid with a slingshot Falcon’s Arrow! Cover…1…2…kick out! Kincaid charges and Americos hits a Japanese armdrag to the corner! Both men are down as we take a break. When we come back, Kincaid has Americos in the tree of woe. Kincaid climbing to the top with Americos still there, but Americos sits up, grabs Kincaid and hits a belly-to-back suplex from the tree of woe! Nice counter there. Americos to the top, and the swanton HITS KNEES! Kincaid hits Grave of the Fireflies (a forward inverted cutter with the opponent in his knees). Cover…1…2…kick out! Kincaid misses a springboard dive to the apron, and Americos charges, and reverses a hiptoss into a head shot to the stairs. Kincaid on the floor, and Americos his a swanton from the apron to the floor! Both guys stay down on the floor for a while. Back in the ring, Americos with the cover…1…2…kick out. Back and with with forearms. Now they trade kicks to the head. Kincaid with a clothesline. Cover..1…2…kick out! Kincaid distracts the referee, and now Boyd Bradford climbs to the top, and he drops an elbow on Americos! Kincaid with the cover…1…2…kick out! Kincaid picks Americos up into an airplane spin into a sit out slam! Cover…1…2….kick out! Kincaid to the top, but Americos crotches him. Americos to the top with him. Superplex is blocked by Kincaid, and he drops Americos face first from the top. Kincaid sets himself on the top rope, Sorcerer’s Stomp from the top to the back of Americos! Kincaid covers…1…2…3! New champ! (10:58)

WINNER: Kincaid, your NEW TCW Junior Heavyweight Champion. ***1/2 – Very good match here, with a lot of back and forth. Kincaid has an innovative moveset and Americos certainly did his best to keep up. The finish looked brutal. Hopefully, this ends the feud and the back and forth title changes between these two.

Match #2 – Genetic Perfection (Michael Barry & Alan Steel) and Rich Rude vs. The Hounds of Hell (Cerebus & Roosevelt) (c) and Boyd Bradford – Tables Match – TCW Tag Team Championship.


To win here, you have to put the other team’s manager through a table. The managers are involved in the match. We’re joined in progress with both teams brawling around the ring. Alan Steel comes up behind Bradford on the outside and threatens him with the table, but Roosevelt dives from the top to Steel on the floor to take him out. Now in the ring, the heels are in control. Cerebus hits a running knee to Steel. Whip off the ropes into a back elbow for Cerebus. Cerebus chokes Steel in the corner with his boot. With the ref’s back turns, Bradford gets some choking in. Some double teaming in the heel corner now. Roosevelt hits a belly-to-belly to Steel, and tags in Bradford, who promptly gets in one stomp and tags back out to Cerebus. Cowardly heel manager works for me. With the ref’s back turned, the heels switch off without the tag, and Roosevelt hits a suplex. Roosevelt gets a crossface chickenwing, with Steel trying to power out, and we take a break? In the middle of a comeback attempt? When we come back, a table is in the ring, and Roosevelt and Barry clothesline each other down. Bradford calls out Rude into the middle of the ring, and Rude takes him down into the corner. Meanwhile Roosevelt sets up the table in the corner. Roosevelt takes out Rude from behind and is about to try putting Rude through the table, but Barry spears Roosevelt into the table set up in the corner. But the table does not break. Steel tries again, and AGAIN the table refuses to break. On the outside, Rude clocks Bradford with the briefcase and Bradford is out on the table. Steel is going up top, but Cerebus meets him up there. Cerebus trying a suplex, but here’s Rude with a faceful of powder and Cerebus falls through a table on the floor. Steel recovers and hits the flying splash onto Bradford and through the table! The match is over. New champs! (7:07)

WINNERS: …and NEW TCW Tag Team Champions, Genetic Perfection (and Rich Rude). ** – Not much to this match. It was mostly brawling and not a lot of in-ring work. The heels get their comeuppance, and the faces win the titles to end this feud. The table spots were weak save for the last one that won the match.



Backstage, Col. Tom Parker is giving his team a pep talk. Tommy Dreamer takes over with some words of inspiration, asking them what they’re fighting for. Scott Phoenix says Tim Storm turned his back on the fans. Shane Williams was holed up for eight months because of The Empire. Dreamer name drops Paul Heyman, Dixie Carter and even Triple H as people running the business into the ground and The Empire is no different then those people. Again, he asks them what they are fighting for and they all agree they are all fighting for T-C-W. Good work here from Dreamer.

Match #3 – Parker’s Posse (Tommy Dreamer, Shane Williams, Scott Phoenix & Americos) vs. The Empire (Tim Storm, Greg Anthony, Steve Anthony & Matt Riviera) – Eight Man Elimination Tag Team Match.

We start off with Americos and Greg Anthony in the ring. Americos reverses a couple of moves on Anthony and hits him with a press for the 2 count. Americos tags in Williams, who comes off the middle with a sledge to the arm. Tag to Dreamer, who gets an elbow drop on Greg. Tag back to Williams who comes off the middle with another sledge. Tag to Steve Anthony, who gets armdragged down by Williams. Steve says he wants Dreamer, and Williams complies. Steve gets the upper hand with a hard left and a body slam, but misses and elbow coming off the ropes. Dreamer with some left jabs and a bionic elbow. Dreamer gets hit from behind coming off the ropes, and Tim Storm gets the tag and takes over. Stomps in the corner for Storm. To the heel corner we go, and Riviera is tagged in. He beats Dreamer down in the corner. Now in comes Greg Anthony, and Dreamer is the face-in-peril. Knee drop from Greg gets a 1. Tag in to Storm. Storm gets a whip off the ropes and a back elbow. Cover…1…2..shoulder up. Back to the heel corner, and Steve Anthony tagged in. He puts Dreamer down with a right for a 1 count. Dreamer comes off the ropes with sunset flip for a 2 count, but Steve puts him back down with a clothesline for 2. Tag in to Greg Anthony, who comes off the top and misses the flying elbow drop! Dreamer gets the hot tag to Americos, who hits everybody with dropkicks. Americos to the top in the heel corner, but Storm comes back and pushes him off to the mat. Steve Anthony hits Americos with the Exclamation Point (Death Valley Driver). Cover…1…2…3! Americos is eliminated (8:27) It’s 4 on 3 in favor of the heels.

Scott Phoenix takes over at this point. Phoenix hits a neckbreaker for a 2 count. Phoenix goes for Phoenix Rising (Disaster Kick), but it misses and Steve Anthony hits a HUGE spear! Everybody in the ring now for some brawling. The numbers favor The Empire, and the faces are easily dispatched. Steve Anthony goes to the top, but Phoenix meets him up there. Storm and Greg Anthony also come over, and it looks like we have a log jam in the corner. Storm gets under Phoenix, and power bombs Phoenix from the second rope, while Phoenix hung for the superplex on Steve Anthony! Everybody is down except for Riviera, who was on the floor. We take a break, and come back to Phoenix and Steve Anthony in the ring, and Phoenix hits Phoenix Rising! Cover…1…2…3! Steve Anthony is eliminated. (11:19). The odds are now even.

Storm takes over on Phoenix, but Phoenix comes back with some kicks. He goes for Phoenix Rising again, but miss and Storm hits The Perfect Storm (spinning Boss Man Slam)! Cover….1…2…3! Scott Phoenix is eliminated. (11:54) The Empire has the advantage 3 on 2.

Dreamer on Storm and clothesline himself and Storm over the top rope. On the floor, Storm crotches Dreamer on the guardrail. Willams crotches Storm with the middle rope. Williams gets the FUCKING PILEDRIVER on Storm! Cover…1…2…3! The champ, Tim Storm, has been eliminated. (13:05) It’s now 2 on 2.

Greg Anthony posts Williams hard, covers…1…2…3! Shane Williams is eliminated. (13:17) The Empire now with the 2 on 1 advantage, as Tommy Dreamer is the last man standing for Parker’s Posse.

Anthony and Riviera work over Dreamer in the ring. Anthony pulls out a chair from under the ring but it breaks! TCW shouldn’t shop at Walmart. Riviera continues to beat down Dreamer with stomps and punches in the ring, while Anthony comes back with a non-folding arena chair and sets it up between the ropes in the corner. The legs are sticking out as the heels whip Dreamer into the chair. Dreamer, thankfully, avoided the legs. Riviera whips Anthony into Dreamer, who backdrops Anthony over the top and to the stairs! Dreamer and Riviera face off in the ring, but a busted open Anthony gets back in. Dreamer plants Anthony with a DDT. Riviera comes over with an elbow drop but hits Anthony as Dreamer moves. Dreamer covers Anthony…1…2…3! Greg Anthony is eliminated. (17:01) It’s now 1 on 1 with Dreamer vs. Riviera.

Riviera begs off, but Dreamer dumps him to the floor. Dreamer has water and spits it in Riviera’s face. Now we find a cookie sheet under the ring, and Dreamer nails Riviera with it. Dreamer has a fan hold the cookie sheet and he takes Riviera’s head to it. Dreamer tosses a trash can in the ring. He finds a replica belt from a fan and hits Riviera with it. Now he takes an old lady’s cane and crotches Riviera. Tim Storm is still down on the floor, selling the piledriver like a champ. Dreamer holds Riviera open, and gets a fan to slap Riviera across the chest. Then Dreamer gets ring announcer Tom Simon to slap Riviera across the chest. This has now become a comedy match, in my opinion. Dreamer finally rolls Riviera back to the apron, lays the ring bell on his crotch, and rings his bell, literally. Various weapons make their way into the ring now. Dreamer sits Riviera on top, goes up to the middle rope…..and the lights go out! When they come back on, a man in a hoodie pulled over his face has Dreamer in reverse Razor’s Edge position, and drops him to the mat! Riviera covers…1….2….3! Tommy Dreamer is eliminated. (22:51) The Empire wins! Matt Riviera wins the match for The Empire, who now have control of TCW! The hooded figure reveals himself to be…Lance Hoyt! Lance Hoyt has turned on Dreamer and Parker’s Posse! The rest of The Empire make their way down to celebrate the win, as Hoyt leaves. The Empire is in control, and WE’RE OUT OF TIME!

WINNERS: The Empire. *** – There was some good action in the ring for the better part of this. The rapid fire eliminations in the middle helped keep a good pace. I bring the rating down a notch for the comedy spots with the fans involved. Dreamer didn’t show much here, as he resorted to garbage brawling. Still, the heels were strong coming in. The Lance Hoyt turn does not make sense yet, as he was beat down by The Empire two months ago. But still, with the good opener and a solid main event, this show brings the goods. Title change hands very rapidly in this company. Hopefully, we can get some stability on that front in 2014. See you next week.


Cucch’s Random Awesomeness of the Day

Just to chime in on the WWE Network quickly…they already have a vacuum hose attached to my wallet. Suffice to say, am I getting it? YES! YES! YES! Especially if they have high def versions matches like this. A member of a Facebook group I post on steered me in its direction…its Scott’s dream tag team: Hulk Hogan and Ricky Steamboat squaring off with Randy Savage and Honky Tonk Man, dark match filmed at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, January, 1987

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7RIllKuAmk

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT–01.15.14

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 01.15.14 Taped from Orlando, FL Your hosts are Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips and Tensai. COOHHH joins us to start for another earth-shattering announcement, I would presume. And indeed, he’s here to announce the WWE Network, and that NXT will be LIVE on said network on February 27. So this must be a pretty fresh taping. Adrian Neville v. Tyler Breeze Breeze quickly bails and Neville teases a dive, but just headfakes him instead. The crowd still cheers for Tyler anyway. Back in the ring, Neville pounds on him in the corner, and the crowd wants to make sure it’s “Not in the face”. Breeze gets a cheapshot and dumps Neville to the apron, then follows with a springboard kick as we take a break. Back with Breeze holding a chinlock, and he stomps Neville down for two. Breeze stops for a selfie, the same thing that cost Hackenschmidt the title back in the day, and that allows Neville to make the comeback as Tensai clarifies that he has no problem telling another man that he’s pretty. Neville goes up and gets caught with a dropkick that gets two, as Breeze is angered by Neville’s blatant disregard of his wishes about not hitting in the face. Beauty Shot misses and Neville puts him down with a high kick, but misses a crazy twisting moonsault. Breeze gets two off that. Another Beauty Shot is reversed into a powerbomb by Neville for two. Back to the top, but Breeze cuts him off, so the crowd swings back to Breeze again. Fickle bunch. Breeze tries a rana from the top, but Neville blocks it and finishes with the Red Arrow at 14:30. Clearly Breeze’s best ever match by far. ***1/4 CJ Parker v. Jason Jordan Jordan controls Parker on the mat, but CJ puts him down with a sidekick and the palm strike to finish at 1:08. Parker continues going nowhere with this gimmick. Bo Dallas v. Mojo Rawley Meltzer had an interesting discussion about Mojo a few weeks ago on the radio show, as apparently Rawley is the #1 guy in NXT in their eyes and will be getting the “golden ticket” push as Dave put it. As in the same one Goldberg got in WCW. So there’s some pretty high hopes for this guy. This is pretty early for the Bo Dallas match, so he’s probably going over here. Mojo overpowers him with ease and Bo bumps out of the ring and runs away from a football tackle. Back in, Bo takes over with a cheapshot in the corner, but Mojo keeps bumping him around and Bo runs away again. Back in the hard way for Dallas, but Mojo misses a blind charge and Bo rolls him up for the pin at 3:49. Now’s not the time to be beating Rawley, but really it doesn’t matter until he gets to the main roster. ½* Personally I would have saved him for the big reveal when Bo screws his last challenger out of the title and then issues an open challenge like Honky Tonk Man. Alexander Rusev v. Kofi Kingston Kofi throws kicks on Rusev and elbows him out of a criss-cross, but Rusev throws him off like a child. Rusev pounds away and goes to a nervehold, but charges and gets sent to the floor. Just like the network, he’s over the top! Kofi makes the mistake of following him out there and gets clubbed, but comes back with a dive off the stairs as we take a break. Back with Rusev missing a charge, but Kofi tries slugging away in the corner and gets powerbombed for two. Rusev keeps pounding away while the crowd gets bored and alternates sarcastic Goldberg and Ryback chants at him. Back to the nervehold and the crowd does the wave while Lana tries desperately not to crack up at ringside. Rusev’s samoan drop is countered into a crucifix for two by Kofi, and he makes the comeback, but gets caught with a samoan drop for two. Is this like “Beat up Kofi Kingston in boring matches” week or something? Kofi hits the SOS for two and throws kicks on the fallen Rusev, but takes too long and gets flattened again. He tries the Accolade, but Kofi revives for the Boomdrop before getting distracted with Lana. Even so, Trouble In Paradise finishes at 17:51. Better than the Orton match from RAW at least. **1/2 Not a fan of 50/50 booking pervading NXT, though. Rusev should have continued rolling as the monster before the inevitable callup. The Pulse This was a very wrestling-heavy show, which was fine because both of the long matches were good. Not much else to say about it this week.

In defense of WWE writers…

What a thankless job that must be…I mean, not compared to my horrendous, cheap, and ultra shitty job, bust still.  I feel like they have a pretty tough assignment, all things considered.  They have to write scripts for people who are not actors, create storylines for fans who are probably 40% mouth breathing rednecks, 50% kids, and 10% internet nerds, nearly none of which have any overlap in what they would like to see.  Not only that, but they produce at least 5 hours of TV each week, 3 of which is live.  SNL is usually horrendous, and they are stocked with Ivy Leaguers, and they can't pull off an hour of compelling TV each week.  And yes, I know SNL is an hour and a half long show.  Add to that the politics, having to write around injuries, McMahon family whims, and network heads breathing all over their necks, and it's got to be an incredibly difficult position to be in.  Again, not saying I wouldn't trade it immediately for my crappy job, but in terms of writing gigs, I don't think it would be considered "cushy".

I guess I'm just trying to say I thought the Daniel Bryan thing on Monday night was pretty rad.

Yeah, it's a thankless and miserable job, for sure.  And it doesn't pay for shit, either.  There's no question that shaving 4 hours or more of programming away from the system would help out a ton — just look at NXT.  One person booking one 45 minute show per week, and everything makes sense without things getting dropped for no reason.  Ultimately, the writers aren't to blame for the biggest problems, Vince and now HHH are.  

Ventura on the Network

Hey Scott,

Have you heard how Jesse Ventura's commentary will work on the Network?  If I recall correctly, the issues have been over "home release" of archived shows.  Does this count?

Also, as amazing as the cost is for the Network, I'd actually pay $5-$10/month more for the talent to earn royalties.  Not so much for the current guys, but the stars of the past, and the ECW crew.

Take care man.

I presume there would not be royalties paid because this sort of thing isn't covered by standard PPV and home video agreements.  Which is definitely a concern for guys who depend on Wrestlemania for their yearly bonus and such.  They're already losing out on house show payoffs with the new corporate structure, so I guess this is the next logical step.  

Questions

Just a few random questions that I hope you can answer when time permits.
First, much has been made recently of Vince McMahon constantly being "in the ear" of his announce team. Back in the day, when Monsoon and Ventura were on the mic, was Vince bugging them as much as he does today's guys like Cole and JBL?

I'd say no because Vince was typically already on commentary and would have trusted Gorilla given that he was Vince's right-hand man for a lot of years.  He doesn't seem to have turned into a crazed micromanager until after the Monday Night War began.  

Second, how did Hulk Hogan end up in such poor physical condition? I don't want to come off as a jerk here, as I know that every wrestler takes their share of punishment. However, it always seemed like Hogan wrestled a low-impact, paint-by-numbers style when compared to many others. I mean, it wasn't like he was going through a table or getting tossed from a cage every week.

Well, Timmy, there's these things called steroids, and while they are great for healing injuries quickly, they also add excess water weight to your frame that your body isn't typically equipped to deal with.  Hulk might not have been taking chairs to the head every night, but his hip and knee joints are shot from years of just being Hulk Hogan.   Not to mention landing on his hip with the legdrop 250 nights a year for 10 years.  It might not be a lot of direct injuries, but it adds up quickly.  

Finally, a question that has bugged me for awhile. What was the original plan for Lex Luger in 1990? Would he have still turned face if Sting had not gotten legitimately injured and had to miss time?

It's Lex Luger, he probably would have turned 18 times regardless.  I know the face turn was a desperation move, but I don't know if there was any more specific plans for him outside of that.  The whole booking team changed anyway when Ole took over, so it's kind of a moot point.

A+ Match of the Day

Happy Hump Day Blog O’Doomers!

2012 joins 2009 on the Rumbles on my shit list because I can’t find a clean copy of 2012 either, the one on YouTube is just trash and if I must I will but I’ll wait on that.

So that leaves me with the 2007 Royal Rumble today. Solid roster of workers and an amazing finish, arguably the best finishing sequence of any Rumble because we got like a ***1/2 mini match. One guy got the Diesel treatment and in hindsight I’m sure whoever made the call regrets that this stiff got to dump a lot of good workers in a lame attempt to get over.

But enjoy the match nonetheless, take it away Lillian!

BoD Daily Update

WWE Releasing a Paul Heyman DVD in August

Heyman posted a teaser for the DVD on his website

http://www.heymanhustle.com/articles/news/23-news/168496-paul-heyman

Jim Ross Signs a Podcast Deal

JR has signed on with Podcast One, the same company that produces the podcasts for Steve Austin and Chris Jericho. JR expects that his show will be released on Wednesdays

Credit Mike Johnson, PWInsider.com

WWE.com Posts a Video Tribute For Mae Young

http://www.wwe.com/videos/in-memory-of-johnnie-mae-young-26176024

Solomon Crowe

Not sure how long this will be up for, but it's interesting.  I like the idea of it.

I don't know if Sami came up with the name himself, but "Solomon Crowe" is one of the best heel wrestler names I've heard in years.  He looks like someone who should be making YouTube shows about videogames, which is exactly what they're going for.  There could be potential here.

Daniel Bryan Suffered a Concussion From His RAW Match Last Night

Here is what was posted on F4WOnline.com:

“Details are still forthcoming, but WWE has confirmed that Bryan Danielson suffered a concussion last night on Raw.

Earlier today the word going around at television is that Bryan did not remember a lot of what happened in the cage match and that the concussion seemed to be serious, but all that was confirmed is the diagnosis of the concussion.”

WWF Championship Wrestling September 7th, 1985

September 7, 1985
Your hosts are Jesse Ventura (subbing for Bruno Sammartino) and Vince McMahon
Tonight, we will see footage of the Tag Team Title change from the Philadelphia Spectrum. In action are the Killer Bees, Don Muraco, Randy Savage, and Adrian Adonis.

Tiger Chung Lee & Jerry Adams vs. Killer Bees
Ventura puts down the trunks of the Bees before joking how they need antennas on their heads. He then puts over the bodies and wrestling ability. The Bees work over Lee as Freddie Blassie joins the booth and says that he will win the “Manager of the Year” award as he has votes pouring in from Russia and Iran. He then makes fun of Albano for being fat as Brunzell dropkicks Adams for the win (2:24). After the match, the announcers put over Brunzell’s dropkick.
Thoughts: Not much of a match as it was short and the focus on commentary was about the “Manager of the Year” award.
Vince asks Jesse who he is voting for the “Manager of the Year” award and he says Bobby Heenan, after being told that Elizabeth was ineligible.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. This week, the focus is on Paul Orndorff and how he is destroying all of his opponents.
Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Jimmy Jackson
Jackson has a great physique but doesn’t look more than 5’8. The crowd starts up a “beach bum” chant before the match. Muraco destroys Jackson to start. He grabs a front facelock then takes him to the mat. He then knocks Jackson down a few times before putting him away with the tombstone (2:04).
Thoughts: Dominate squash for Muraco. Surprisingly, no mention of his feud with Steamboat on commentary.
We are shown a commercial for “Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling” cartoon.
Gene Okerlund brings out Hulk Hogan, who will be facing Big John Studd in Los Angeles on Spetember 18th. Hogan says that he talked with his brothers in LA and how he won’t be able to come back home if he loses the match. He will also be “Wired on high-test” and the title will stay with him.
Ron Shaw vs. Cousin Junior w/ Hillbilly Jim & Uncle Elmer
This is the TV debut for Cousin Junior, the former TV jobber Lanny Kean. The Hillbillies slap hands with the fans for a few minutes before the match. Vince mentions that Elmer will be married soon, which has Jesse wondering if he is marrying a sow. The match finally starts and with Junior backing Shaw into the corner repeatedly. Junior hits a clothesline then hits a mule kick for the win (1:21). After the match, Junior danced in a wacky way that had to be seen to be believed.
Thoughts: The match itself was terrible and the crowd didn’t seem to give a shit about it but they were digging when the celebrated with them before and after the match.  
Freddie Miller is backstage with the Junkyard Dog. He says that he is not scared of Terry Funk and wishes luck to Hogan in his match against Studd.
Adrian Adonis w/ Bobby Heenan vs. Mike Saxon
Saxon was a jobber with a jheri curl that did a bad impersonation of Michael Jackson. Before the match, Howard Finkel introduced the Canadian Heavyweight Champion, Dino Bravo, to the crowd. Bravo was in a suit and had black hair, which was his normal color. He was more slender then too. Adonis, on the other hand, as gained a lot of weight since the last set of TV tapings. The crowd starts an “Orndorff” chant at Heenan. Saxon lands a headbutt but Adonis fights right back. He chops him down then works the leg before hitting a running powerslam for the win (1:31).
Thoughts: Adonis could still go in the ring but was really packing on the pounds at this point. He had bigger tits than Elizabeth.
Piper’s Pit with guests Bobby Heenan and Big John Studd. Piper puts over Studd as the true giant in wrestling. He then shows us a clip of the “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling” cartoon before bringing out the action figure of Andre the Giant, wondering why Studd doesn’t have one of his own, when Heenan pulls out a Studd figure from his coat pocket. Piper and Studd then re-create what will happen when they meet, with Studd destroying Andre. Piper was pretty funny here.
Joe Mirto vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth
This is the first time that Elizabeth managed Savage on TV. It is also the debut of Savaage using “Pomp and Circumstance” as his theme song. Jesse is still upset that Elizabeth is not eligible for the “Manager of the Year” award as the crowd goes crazy for Elizabeth. Savage is wearing an American Flag robe with “Savage” written on the back. Savage starts by toying with Mirto. He dumps him outside and follows with a double axe handle before rolling him back inside and getting the win with the flying elbow smash (1:22). After the match, Savage goes back on top and hits another elbow.
Thoughts: Savage was fucking awesome as a heel. Adding Elizabeth added a whole new dynamic too. They were a great act the moment they started.
Gene Okerlund is with Cowboy Bob Orton. He questions Orton about his cast, who is tired of hearing about his cast and lets everyone know that his arm didn’t heal right and he will have to wear it until he quits wrestling. He assures us that Roddy Piper will be sitting on top of the world for a very long time.
We are shown the last few minutes of the Tag Team Title change in Philadelphia when Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake defeated Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo after using Johnny Valiant’s cigar on Windham’s eye.
Now, we are shown an interview from Maple Leaf Wrestling which Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura speak with Valentine & Beefcake and Johnny Valiant.
Final Thoughts: The matches were a lot shorter than usual tonight. It was good to see how the tag titles changed hands too. But other than that, you didn’t really miss much here. My copies of the next two shows are screwed up so I will post the September 28th show this weekend and the Spectrum September house show next week.

What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw – March 23, 1998

by Logan Scisco


Vince McMahon
saying that Steve Austin winning the WWF championship would be a corporate
nightmare on last week’s show is replayed. 
Austin will have a rebuttal tonight!
We are really due
for a new RAW opening because the original video has some guys like Sid
in it that are no longer part of the company. 
To compensate, the company is having to splice in lots of recent
footage.
Jim Ross and
Michael Cole are doing commentary and they are taped from Tucson, Arizona.  This is the go home show for WrestleMania
XIV.

Kevin Kelly
interviews Steve Austin, who says that Vince McMahon cannot mold or break
him.  He says that he respects Shawn
Michaels as a wrestler, but he will go through McMahon and all of his cronies
to get Michaels in the ring and win the WWF title.  Austin says he has lots of “Steveweisers” on
hand and will drink them when D-Generation X and Mike Tyson show up later
tonight.  Commissioner Slaughter comes
out and tells Austin that he will wrestle the Rock tonight on McMahon’s orders.  Despite Austin saying that he will comply,
Slaughter threatens him with making his WrestleMania match against Michaels
non-title and that sends Austin into a rage and he gives Slaughter a Stone Cold
Stunner.  The approaching angle really
makes Slaughter’s role irrelevant, so this is about all he is good for at this
point.  1 for 1
Opening
Contest:  Cactus Jack & Chainsaw
Charlie beat The Quebecers by disqualification when the New Age Outlaws
interfere at 3:50:
Ross spends much of this match hyping the New Age Outlaw
title defense at WrestleMania against Cactus and Chainsaw and explaining the
rules of their scheduled dumpster match. 
During the match, the New Age Outlaws come out in black coat and tie,
set up tables by the entrance, and have dates with Cactus and Chainsaw blow up
dolls.  Very passable match here, as the
Outlaws antics near the entrance receive the most attention and everyone put in
the minimal amount of effort prior to the disqualification.  After the bell, the Outlaws blast Cactus with
a champagne bucket, break their table across Chainsaw’s head, and give Cactus a
spike piledriver on a chair.  Rating: 
¾* (1 for 2)
Shawn Michaels
giving Steve Austin Sweet Chin Music two weeks ago on RAW is the Bop It Slam of
the Week.  It sort of defeats the purpose
of the Slam of the Week if it is something that happened two weeks ago, no?
Jeff Jarrett
(w/Tennessee Lee) beats Steve Blackman when he falls on top of Blackman during
a superplex attempt and Lee holds Blackman’s foot down at 2:24:
Jarrett busts out the electric horse entrance for the
second straight week.  Blackman is a
solid hand, but there is nothing that helps him stand out on this roster and
he’s very bland.  Jarrett cheats to hand
Blackman his first loss and when another referee comes down to correct the
injustice, Jarrett intelligently knocks him out with a right hand.  This match is actually leading somewhere and
starts a two month feud between these two. 
This new gimmick is definitely putting Jarrett on the road to the main
event!
D-Generation X and
Mike Tyson are shown arriving at the arena in a white limousine.
Kane’s rampage on
last week’s show and his confrontation with the Undertaker is replayed.
The Undertaker
cuts a promo by his parents gravesite. 
He asks his parents to forgive him for fighting Kane and he is ready to
burn in hell if he does not defeat Kane. 
Weird promo to see the Undertaker cut, since its more sentimental than
what we usually see.  That said, it did
not add anything new to the feud.  1 for 3
Paul Bearer and
Kane come out and Bearer makes fun of the Undertaker promo we just saw.  Bearer says that Kane has equal powers to the
Undertaker and to prove it, Kane ignites some of the lights in the arena, fries
some of the announcer electronic equipment, and blasts out one of the
spotlights.  Bearer gives Kane free reign
for his last trick and he decides to set a member of the camera crew on
fire.  Pretty hokey segment that turned
into “Kane’s magical illusion show.” 
Cole’s awful explanation of the segment where he keeps telling us that
Kane set a man on fire over and over again also doesn’t help.  1 for
4
The New Midnight
Express (w/Jim Cornette) wrestle The Disciples of Apocalypse  to a double disqualification at 3:33:
It takes less than a minute for the Headbangers to come
down to the ring for a closer look at the Express and the Rock N’ Roll Express
come out as well.  Soon it becomes a
parade of teams that will be in the WrestleMania tag team battle royal, as
Savio Vega and Miguel Perez, Jesus and Jose, the Quebecers, and the Truth
Commission come out.  With all of those
teams around ringside it doesn’t take long for them to start fighting and have
that fight spill into the ring, thereby rendering this match meaningless.  This is only notable because Los Boricuas
EXPLODES as Perez and Jesus fight.  The
crowd works up an “LOD” chant and Ross says that is not going to happen because
they have broken up for good…or have they?  
Not a very good debut for the Express, but that was not really the goal
of this.  Rating:  ½* (1 for 5)
Jerry Lawler joins
the commentary team for the second hour. 
I can’t wait until we get Ross and Lawler on a permanent basis.
D-Generation X and
Mike Tyson come out.  Triple H gloats
about winning the European title from Owen on last week’s show and he says that
even though Chyna will be handcuffed at ringside that won’t change the outcome
of their match.  There is a really slutty
older woman near the front row that is a big DX fan and Shawn Michaels makes
fun of her.  Michaels compares the
Austin-McMahon fight to a catfight and says he does not care about what McMahon
thinks of him.  Michaels says if Austin
wants to win the WWF title he has to go through the greatest champion in history
and he also has to deal with Tyson, who says he will knock Austin out if he
messes with him.  Michaels says that
after WrestleMania D-Generation X will rule forever….forever….Solid promo, but
it repeated all of the same talking points we’ve heard for weeks.  1 for
6
Gennifer Flowers
urges viewers to come out of the closet and announce that they are WWF fans.
The announcers
discuss the wicked chair shot Ken Shamrock took at the hands of the Rock last
week.  Ross says that at WrestleMania if
the Rock is disqualified he will lose the Intercontinental title.
Faarooq beats
Chainz by disqualification when the Rock interferes at 3:36:
Faarooq chooses to fight his own battle without the
Nation’s help and he does not have much to worry about as Chainz gets the
jobber entrance.  The Rock decides to
wander out despite Faarooq’s instructions with a chair and he gets more heat
than anyone on the show, as fans pelt him with garbage as he comes down the
ramp.  Faarooq has the match in hand
after a spinebuster, but the Rock runs into the ring with a chair to hit
Chainz.  Faarooq tells him not to do so
and prepares for a Dominator, but the Rock knocks him out with the chair,
seemingly aiming for Chainz and misses. 
Was he really aiming for Faarooq, though?  Both of these guys tried, but the Rock had
five times more heat than both of them combined and Faarooq loved the chinlocks
in this match.  Rating:  ¾* (1 for 7)
A video package
recaps the Bradshaw-Barry Windham feud.
Bradshaw beats
Barry Windham (w/Jim Cornette) with a school boy at 3:05:
The Rock N’ Roll Express occupy seats near the front row
for this match, which is puzzling because they are talent so they should just
be able to walk out and watch the match by the entrance at the very least.  In the old days this would be perfect midcard
fodder for WrestleMania, but the feud has largely been ignored for the last few
weeks and they must have felt the need to just blow it off here.  Windham actually takes off his entrance gear
for this one, so you know it’s important. 
The Express threaten to come over the guardrail after Cornette and that
distracts Windham, enabling Bradshaw to win in the weakest way possible.  After the match, the New Midnight Express run
down and help Windham do a small beatdown on Bradshaw before the Rock N’ Roll
Express make the save.  I would have given this a
point, but the ending was terrible.  Rating: 
*½ (1 for 8)
Muhammad Ali’s
guest referee performance at WrestleMania I is the M&M WrestleMania
Millennium Moment.
D-Generation X and
Mike Tyson are shown conversing and having fun in the locker room.  The announcers hype DX’s public workout in
Times Square on Thursday.
Sable is awarded a
plaque for making the January 1997 edition of RAW magazine the highest selling
ever.  Sunny is supposed to get one as
well, but is “under the weather,” and the crowd boos that out of the building,
which makes me wonder who the more popular “diva” at this time was among the
fan base.  It’s like the Shawn
Michaels-Bret Hart feud among fans, in that you favored one over the other.  I came down on the side of Bret and
Sunny.  Marc Mero says he is going to let
Sable have her moment and leaves, but that lets Luna Vachon run down and nail
Sable with her plaque and rip her dress. 
This segment was notable at the time because it exposed Vince Russo and
“Vic Venom” as the same person.  Venom
was a smarkish writer that wrote columns for WWF and RAW Magazine and had a
short-lived newsletter along the lines of the Wrestling Observer.  Russo was the WWF Magazine editor at the
time and while people have problems with elements of his booking, his editing
made WWF Magazine a great read in the mid-1990s.  In fact, Russo wrote a column in WWF magazine
after this where he blasted fans for fooling them with the Venom character,
which I swear was what informed the “It was me all along!” part of the Higher
Power angle of 1999.  2 for 9
Non-Title
Match:  Steve Austin beat The Rock
(Intercontinental Champion w/The Nation of Domination) with the Stone Cold
Stunner at 8:25 shown:
Somewhat interesting that the main event of WrestleMania
XV is the last RAW match before WrestleMania XIV.  Austin shows that the little things can work
a crowd as he flips the Rock off when granting a clean break in the
corner.  This is a surprisingly bland and
barely average match, with lots of stalling and deliberate strikes.  Austin actually rolls out of the way of the
People’s Elbow, something that rarely happened,
and launches a comeback to finish off the Rock. 
Since this still got a good crowd reaction I will give this a point, but
it is probably the worst Austin-Rock match that I remember seeing.  Rating:  ** (3 for 10)
After the match,
D-Generation X comes out and Michaels tells Austin that he will beat him at
WrestleMania.  Michaels feigns coming
into the ring to confront Austin, but Triple H convinces Michaels not to do it
as we go off the air.
The Final Report Card:  On my scale, this is one of the worst RAW
episodes in a while.  It is not that the
angles are not hot, but most of them have run out of steam without having a
match take place, so this show was everyone treading water before WrestleMania.  The only one where that does not apply, the
Bradshaw-Windham angle, had an awful finish on this show too, but that is what
I have come to expect from the NWA angle.
Here is our finalized WrestleMania XIV card:
*WWF Championship Match:  Shawn Michaels (Champion) vs. Steve Austin
with Mike Tyson as guest enforcer
*Intercontinental Championship Match:  The Rock (Champion) vs. Ken Shamrock and if
the Rock is disqualified he loses the title
*WWF Tag Team Championship Dumpster
Match:  The New Age Outlaws (Champions)
vs. Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie
*European Championship Match:  Triple H (Champion) vs. Owen Hart with Chyna
handcuffed at ringside
*Mixed Tag Team Match:  Marc Mero & Sable vs. The Artist Formerly
Known as Goldust & Luna Vachon
*WWF Light Heavyweight Championship
Match:  Taka Michinoku (Champion) vs. Aguila
*15 Team Tag Team Battle Royal
Monday Night War Rating:  3.6 (vs. 4.6 for Nitro)
Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Down