Just curious about something regarding WWE…
I have read your reviews and you mention that WWE often uses 50/50 booking and the dreaded losing streak often. Why is Vince in favor of their booking methods, knowing as you have mentioned many times that those strategies never get anyone over with the crowd?
Why didn't the Waylon Mercy character get over in the mid-90's as the Bray Wyatt character has gotten over today? They are essentially very similar characters, although the Wyatt character is better constructed.
WWE Releases Podcast Titled “30 Years of WrestleMania”
The first show is hosted by Renee Young and features Shawn Michaels as a guest.
WWE Network Launch Update
As of right now, the entire network will be launched at 9:00am EST on February 24th. Originally, the plan was for the network to have the library available at 9am then the original programming to launch after RAW.
Credit Bryan Alvarez, Figure Four Weekly Newsletter
How Will the PPV’s Be Edited on the WWE Network?
After speaking with someone close to the network, Bryan Alvarez reports that he was told all of the PPV’s that will be airing are shown from the master tapes and the only time “WWE Home Video” will be used is when there is a spot in the master tape that is damaged. If music was used that they do not have rights to, that will be changed. Also, any matches featuring choking and or hanging will have a disclaimer at the start of the show and will be given either a “TV-14” or “TV-MA” rating.
Credit Bryan Alvarez, Figure Four Weekly Newsletter
TNA Signs Two Wrestlers
TNA has signed Florida independent female wrestler Santana Garrett and Lucha Libre star Extreme Tiger .
Credit Mike Johnson, PWInsider.com
You marks are all kidding yourself if you think that Orton putting him over clean as a sheet and the announcers treating it as a big deal will have ANY effect on his rise to the next level. No one pays attention to that SOUTHERN RASSLIN shit. It’s the fact that he is now just Cesaro that will determine his main event fate. GENIUS.
Also, burying this on Smackdown and putting yet another Orton-Cena match that means nothing on RAW? GENIUS.
Also, I think Ellen Page was taking the “mutants as metaphor” aspect of the X-Men movies a bit too seriously. There’s method acting and then there’s taking it too far.
Also, more like ROBOFLOP, am I right?
That’s all I got tonight.
It has been said before that WWE doesn't try as hard on PPV like they used to because PPV is not the basket where they're putting all their eggs in anymore. Does the same hold true for their DVD releases? I can't say for sure they are intentionally tanking them but the match listings for the past few sets have been pretty weak, almost to the point that it looks like no effort was put into picking the matches. Thoughts?
1. Was the original plan for late Summer really Austin-Jarrett? Instead of HHH's ascension or as well as?
2. If Austin didn't need time off,what would have happened with Austin-Rock-HHH at Survivor Series?
3. Why was Test pretty much phased out of the Vince-HHH story straight away?
Wouldn't a Test-HHH match at the December PPV made more sense than what we got?
February 14, 2014
Citizens Bank Business Arena, Ontario, California
Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Valentines Day and we’re getting a nice gift in the form of Cesaro
(now minus the Antonio) vs. Randy Orton in the fourth part of Orton’s
Elimination Chamber gauntlet. Cesaro is rapidly gaining popularity
and it would seem a face turn is imminent. Other than that we might
get more on the Daniel Bryan vs. Kane feud. Let’s get to it.
vs. Daniel Bryan/Christian/Sheamus
and Rollins get things going but Seth quickly takes him into the
corner for the tag off to Reigns. Roman catches a cross body attempt
but gets popped in the face with a right hand. Sheamus comes in for
the big power showdown and they slug it out for a bit before Sheamus
hits the rolling fireman’s carry for two. Reigns comes back with a
knee to the ribs and brings in Ambrose who gets taken down by a
running ax handle.
fans demand Bryan and get their wish, followed by some rapid fire
kicks in the corner. A top rope hurricanrana gets two and there’s
the YES Lock but Shield comes in for the save and we have a standoff.
Back from a break with Bryan fighting out of a chinlock and sending
Rollins into the top turnbuckle, allowing him to tag off to Sheamus.
pale one slides to the apron and comes back with the ten forearms to
the chest but the other Shield members get involved to take over.
Reigns does that awesome dropkick from the floor to the apron before
LAUNCHING Sheamus into the barricade. That’s not something you see
too often. Ambrose comes back in to stomp away in the corner before
it’s off to Reigns again for hard shots to the head and ribs.
hit the front facelock for a bit but Reigns lets it go to knock Bryan
off the apron but walks into the Irish Curse. Rollins comes in and
takes a swing at Christian but only hits air before missing a
backsplash to Sheamus. Hot tag brings in Christian to face Ambrose
and a tornado DDT gets two on the US Champion.
breaks down and Bryan takes out Reigns with the FLYING GOAT. Rollins
takes him down with a suicide dive of his own though and it’s
Christian hooking the reverse DDT for two on Dean but the Brogue Kick
misses Ambrose and takes out Christian. Reigns spears Sheamus down
and Ambrose pins Christian at 12:45.
C+. This was more about the
good guys building drama amongst themselves before they head into the
Chamber in a little over a week. There weren’t any problems for
Shield this time which is a good thing before their big six man tag.
This was the usual Shield six man so it was fine all around.
Colter asks Vickie Guerrero to be his valentine but she’s not falling
for it. Colter wants an Intercontinental Title shot for Jack Swagger
but Vickie says he has to beat Rey Mysterio. That’s fine with Zeb
but Vickie makes it a fourway with Kofi Kingston and Mark Henry
filling the other spots. Vickie shoves the chocolates into Zeb’s
chest, meaning she’s a face now?
(officially without the Antonio) says he’ll win tonight and then take
the title at Elimination Chamber.
Hall of Fame video.
Swagger vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Mark Henry vs. Kofi Kingston
fall to a finish and the winner
gets Big E. (on commentary) for the Intercontinental Title at
Elimination Chamber. Henry quickly throws Swagger
to the floor but gets taken down by Kofi and Rey. The two speed guys
get to have a showdown with Rey dropkicking Kofi for two but they
have to eliminate Swagger again. Kofi dives over the top to put Jack
down again and Rey hits a running seated senton from the apron.
Henry is back in and loads up a dive of his own, only to have Swagger
take out his leg.
straight Vader Bombs have Henry in trouble but Jack has to
clothesline Rey down for two. Mysterio
comes back with a top rope seated senton for two followed by the
sitout bulldog for two more with Kofi making the save. Rey is sent
into the post before Kofi bounce up the ropes and dropkicks Swagger
down before hitting the Boom Drop. Rey gets knocked off the apron
again and Swagger loads up Kingston in a superplex. Henry tries to
make it a Tower of Doom but Kofi holds on, meaning it’s only a
powerbomb to Swagger.
cleans house but Swagger takes out the leg again and puts on the
Patriot Lock, only to have Mark kick him off. Rey hits a 619 to
Mark’s ribs and Kofi adds Trouble in Paradise but Jack is on his feet
again. Kofi grabs a German
suplex on Rey but Jack suplexes both of them at once in a nice power
display. Kingston is sent to the floor but slides back in to break
up a 619 attempt. Henry makes the save but gets kicked to the floor
by Kofi. The distraction lets Swagger catch Kofi in the Patriot Lock
for the submission at 8:35.
C+. Nice match here with everyone doing their job perfectly. I
didn’t see the Mysterio knee injury but I’d guess it was on the
seated senton from the apron as he went off camera for a few minutes
as a result. Swagger getting the shot is a good enough choice as he
was the only heel here and Henry vs. Big E. does nothing for me.
ReBound covers Betty White and the Outlaws.
News Barrett says American women are going to gain several pounds by
tomorrow morning and be ashamed of what they see in the morning. Is
there a point to this character coming anytime soon?
Rhodes/Usos vs. Ryback/Curtis Axel/New Age Outlaws
and Goldust get things going with Gunn taking an atomic drop and the
uppercut for a quick two. Off to Road Dogg vs. Cody with the sunset
flip out of the corner getting two on Roadie. A clothesline gets the
same and it’s off to an armbar from Rhodes. Jimmy comes in off the
tag to stay on the arm and a double elbow gets two for the twins.
Road Dogg takes Jey into the corner and it’s off to Axel for a
dropkick. Ryback comes in for some driving shoulders in the corner
and a hard slam as we take a
with Ryback elbowing Jey in
the face and handing it off to Billy again. The Stinger Splash hits
buckle and a double tag brings in Road Dogg and Jimmy. Everything
breaks down with Jimmy cleaning house and hitting the running Umaga
attack in the corner. Cody dives over the top to take out Axel but
Ryback throws him into the barricade, only to walk into a Golden
cannonball off the apron. A double superkick drops Road Dogg, Jey
dives on the other heels and
Jimmy hits the Superfly Splash for the pin at 11:00.
C-. This did its job but wasn’t the most interesting match in the
world. Most importantly of all though it gets us closer to the Usos
getting their Tag Titles which they earned about two years ago.
Ryback and Axel have nowhere to go at this point and I have no idea
what’s next for Goldust and Cody. The tag division has a lot of
names in it right now but it’s not a very deep talent pool.
Orton says this gauntlet is just to make him better and all that
matters is him being champion. Tonight, Cesaro gets the Viper.
says Alexander Rusev isn’t coming to make friends.
Young vs. Damien Sandow
O’Neil is on commentary. Young catches Sandow in a quick atomic drop
and clotheslines him out to the floor. Back in and Damien gets a
knee to Darren’s ribs but You’re Welcome is countered into a rollup
for the pin by Young at 1:07. So much for rebuilding Sandow.
goes after Darren post match but Young rips his pants off. I’ll let
you make your own jokes.
Bellas show us how to use the WWE Network.
vs. The Miz
dropkicks the knee out to start and rains down left hands in the
corner but Fandango comes back with an atomic drop. A nice dropkick
gets two and we hit the chinlock on Miz. It’s
quickly broken and Miz fights back with some basic stuff and the
Reality Check but gets kicked shoulder first into the post. This
brings out Santino and Emma for a distraction and a cat fight
between Emma and Summer. Distraction, Skull Crushing Finale, pin on
Fandango at 3:47.
D. At least it was the better
finisher. I’m not sure how I’d react if we got through a week of
shows without the distraction finish. Santino and Emma are a decent
enough cute pair but Emma is going to have to get away from him if
she wants to get over. Santino is going to overshadow whoever he’s
with due to how over the top he is and there’s not much of a way
vs. Randy Orton
the sitdown interview of the week, HHH said he thinks Cesaro might be
the wildcard in the Chamber. Cesaro chases Orton to the floor to
start but doesn’t go after him. They do the same thing again before
Cesaro takes him to the mat and hits the gutwrench for two. A
running European uppercut in the corner gets two more and they both
head outside. Orton reverses a whip into the barricade and
clotheslines Cesar as we take a break.
with Orton ramming Cesaro into the announce table and taking him
inside for a chinlock. The fans chant WE THE PEOPLE and Cesaro
fights out, only to lose a fist fight and get elbowed to the mat.
Cesaro rolls outside and catches Orton with a big clothesline of his
own and counters the Elevated DDT into the Swing. Randy can barely
get to his feet but is able to backdrop out of the Neutralizer.
Cesaro lands on his feet but runs into the powerslam for two.
the Elevated DDT connects and Orton points to the sign to make this
serious. He spends too much time walking around though and it’s
Swiss Death for two. They head to the corner where Orton tries a
superplex but Cesaro counters into a sunset bomb. A discus uppercut
sets up the Neutralizer for the completely clean pin at 12:44.
B-. Well you can’t give much
more of a rub than that. However I’d be much happier with this if
Kofi Kingston hadn’t gotten the same kind of a win just a month ago.
Cesaro is a guy that could be world championship material with a good
push (meaning getting away from Swagger) but I have a feeling this is
just for the Chamber and then it’s back to nothing for not-Antonio.
waves to Orton to end the show.
Rating: B. Another good
Smackdown tonight with some nice action and angle advancement which
is all you can ask for anymore. Unfortunately I don’t think tonight
is going to mean much. Cesaro isn’t winning the title and while
Sheamus and Christian had some problems, I can’t imagine it’s anyone
but Orton, Bryan or maybe Cena walking out of the Chamber with the
title. Randy has to be the
favorite even though he’s lost three out of his last five matches and
might even lose to Sheamus on Monday, making him look like a lame
duck champion heading into Wrestlemania.
rest of the show was good stuff with a nice six man, a good four way,
a watchable eight man and a short Miz match that involved good
looking women fighting. That’s
not bad at all when you consider what Smackdown means in the grand
scheme of things anymore. Cesaro winning made me smile, but I can’t
imagine it’s anymore more than false hope.
more note: the spoilers I read said there was an Eva Marie vs. Alicia
Fox match taped with Eva winning via rollup but there was no sign of
it at all here.
b. Christian/Sheamus/Daniel Bryan – Ambrose pinned Christian after
a Brogue Kick from Sheamus
Miz b. Fandango – Skull Crushing Finale
Swagger b. Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio and Mark Henry – Patriot
Lock to Kingston
Rhodes/Goldust b. New Age Outlaws/Ryback/Curtis Axel – Superfly
Splash to Road Dogg
Young b. Damien Sandow – Rollup
b. Randy Orton – Neutralizer
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:
A look at the first year of the Philadelphia based independent wrestling company ran by the Blue Meanie and Jasmine St. Claire.
Pro-Pain Pro Wrestling was created by the Blue Meanie and his then girlfriend, porn star Jasmine St. Claire. They ran their first show on February 15th 2002. Every show in 2002 would run at the ECW Arena. Next year there would be an issue regarding the venue, but we’ll get to that when the time comes.
For the most part, there first show was not one to be remembered. The show featured a lot of unknown talent that I’m sure if I were to name most people would have no idea who they are today. Blue Meanie does take credit for being the first guy to bring over CM Punk and Colt Cabana to the East Coast. The main event for the first show saw Steve Corino make his only appearance for the company winning a three way dance against the Sandman and Steve Corino.
It would take the company three months before holding a second show on May 18th. Notably, the show featured a young Colt Cabana winning a match against Chris Hero, the Public Enemy returned to the ECW Arena defeating the young team of Christian York and Joey Matthews. The main event for the show ended in a no contest. The match was a three way body bag involving New Jack, Sabu and the Sandman.
They returned to action the following month on June 29th. The company continued to use younger talents new to the independent scene. Those men included Josh Daniels, who wrestled very similarly to Chris Benoit and a man named Rob Eckos (currently Robbie E in TNA). Public Enemy and the team of Axel Rotten and Ian Rotten had a tag match on the show, which was your typical hardcore fun and is probably the best the match had up to this point. The main event saw Sabu and Tod Gordon defeat the team of Sandman and Bill Alfonso. Alfonso ended up turning on Sandman at the event.
The biggest show for 3PW in its early existence came on August 24th when they held an eight man single elimination tournament to crown the first 3PW Heavyweight Champion. The tournament involved Joey Matthews, Christian York, Danny Doring, Blue Meanie, Gary Wolfe, Rocco Rock, Devon Storm and Chris Chetti. In the end, Gary Wolfe would become the first ever 3PW Heavyweight Champion when he defeated Christian York in the finals of the tournament. The main event of the show saw three legends collide when Kevin Sullivan defeated Dusty Rhode and Bam-Bam Bigelow. Oh, by the way, porn star Ron Jeremy made an appearance. It took the company five shows to get a commentary team, which as much needed for the DVD releases.
Sadly, Rocco Rock passed away prior to the next show on September 21st. 3PW named the show This Ones For You in honor of Rocco. The show saw the return of CM Punk and Colt Cabana to 3PW. Cabana won a match between the two. 3PW Heavyweight Champion Gary Wolfe won a quick match against Dead Man Walking. Abdullah the Butcher and Kevin Sullivan wrestled to a no contest. The main event saw Sabu lose to Syxx-Pac in what was the best match 3PW held up to this point without question.
3PW continued to honor Rocco on October 19th with a show named A Night For Flyboy. All the top names on the show were in the ring to pay tribute to Rock as Johnny Grunge gave a heartfelt speech regarding his bestfriend and tag team partner. The event was highlighted with NWA-TNA World Champion Ron Killings competing in singles action where he lost to Syxx-Pac. Curt Hennig made his only appearance for the company wrestling a losing effort against Jerry Lawler. The main event saw 3PW Heavyweight Champion Gary Wolfe lose the championship to Sabu. From top to bottom, this was 3PW’s best show.
November 23rd saw the debut of Matt Striker, who would have several memorable moments in the company later on. Joey Matthews has been on a winning streak as of the late few shows and is being presented as a major player for the company sooner rather than later. Ron Killings and Kid Kash had a good match which Killings was able to win. Abdullah the Butcher lost to Dusty Rhodes in a bull rope match. The main event saw 3PW Heavyweight Champion Sabu retain against Syxx-Pac, who noted that he had a spinal injury and apologized for his performance.
The final show for 2002 took place on December 28th. Dusty Rhodes, Ron Killings and Too Cold Scorpio no showed the event. Joey Matthews, Rob Eckos and Matt Striker formed an alliance with Matthews being the leader of the group. Syxx-Pac lost to Kid Kash on the event and revealed that he was once again not 100% and would not return to 3PW until he was 100%. Abdullah the Butcher beat Bam-Bam Bigelow in a falls count anywhere match. The main event saw Gary Wolfe regain the 3PW Heavyweight Championship defeating Sabu.
There is no mistake that from an in-ring perspective 2002 was not a great year for the company. Like most companies, you have to try things out and see what works and what doesn’t work. They started off using a lot of former ECW guys, but towards the end of the year, it was apparent that 3PW was focusing more on the young guys they had, such as Joey Matthews.
I like how 3PW would bring in legends like Curt Hennig, Jerry Lawler, Dusty Rhodes and Bam-Bam Bigelow. Yeah, the matches are not good but having notable names help the shows.
Gary Wolfe as the 3PW Heavyweight Champion is something I can’t understand. He is best known for being part of the Pitbulls and was never presented well in a singles role. Honestly, every time I saw a main event involving Wolfe it lost a lot of creditability and interest from me.
It’s was at best an average year for 3PW, but they had a few bright spots involving Kid Kash, Syxx-Pac, Sabu and Ron Killings.
The best is yet to come for 3PW.
Matches confirmed for tonight:
Antonio Cesaro vs. Randy Orton
Daniel Bryan & Sheamus & Christian vs. The Shield
Cody Rhodes & Goldust & The Usos vs. New Age Outlaws & Ryback & Curtis Axel
Sting’s biography on the new WWE Network by leaving that information alone.
After all we want to read about the wrestler Sting and not so much the person
Steve Borden, right?
Let’s turn the clock back to 1985 when Borden started wrestling
in the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) with a bleach blond flattop, rat
tail, and face paint and called himself Flash Borden. While in CWA he was
partnered with Jim Hellwig as The Freedom Fighters. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6pFj_dRiQY
) Since they were unable to get over as babyfaces they turned heel, changed
their team’s name to the Blade Runners, and changed their own characters to
Sting and Rock. Unfortunately, the Blade Runners fizzled in CWA so they moved
on to the Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF).
Championship Wrestling (WCCW), Sting remained and joined the Hotstuff and Hyatt
International stable captained by “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert and Missy Hyatt.
Partnered with Gilbert, Sting won the UWF tag team titles twice in 1986 and once
with Rick Steiner in 1987.
Sting’s days as a heel ended when he was attacked by Gilbert
during his match against Terry Taylor. “Gentleman” Chris Adams rescued him then
questioned his loyalty. Sting chose to align himself with Adams and became a
was recognized as a rising star by booker “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. In
order to showcase Sting, Dusty partnered him in a six-man tag match with
Michael P.S. Hayes and Jimmy Garvin against Gilbert, Steiner, and Larry Zbyszko
at Starrcade ’87. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3u38c_sting-the-freebirds-vs-r-steiner-l_sport)
From there his star
shined brightly during his segments on World Championship Wrestling. Regularly
he would excite the crowd with what would become his trademark howl.
Additionally the Stinger Splash and Scorpion Deathlock (sharpshooter) became
his trademark moves. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmBFZqZ4d4Y)
faced his toughest challenge to date—NWA World Champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair.
Their 45 minute match ended in a time-limit draw and is considered a ****1/2 to
***** classic. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeCECLyF8vs)
Throughout the rest of 1988 Sting was embroiled in feuds
with the Four Horsemen among others. At the Great American Bash he teamed with
“The Russian Nightmare” Nikita Koloff to wrestle against NWA World Tag Team
Champions Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson to a time-limit draw. At Starrcade
’88 Sting teamed with Rhodes to face the freshly heel-turned Road Warriors for
the World Tag titles but only won by disqualification (DQ). (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npNaYbpnBig)
Rotundo for the NWA World Television title. He would hold the title until the
Great American Bash in a fantastic match against the Great Muta. Due to a
controversial finish the title was held up. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2WfqXNwQ0U
During the main event Sting rescued former adversary Flair
from a post-match beating orchestrated by Terry Funk and Muta. Sting and Flair
would settle that feud with a victory in a Thunderdome cage match at Halloween
Subsequently Sting joined Flair, Arn, and Ole Anderson as a member of the Four
Iron Man tournament making him the #1 contender for Flair’s World title. Consequently
this did not sit well with the other Horsemen, and Sting was summarily booted
after a vicious beating during Clash of the Champions X. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2W63rYGcQI)
In the show’s main event Sting attempted to climb the cage
to get to Flair; however, he suffered a severe knee injury which not only knocked
him out of action for several weeks but also cost him his title shot at the
WrestleWar ’90 PPV. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sN_yLrCvHYM)
event to show support for his friend Lex Luger. Nonetheless Ole Anderson
attacked him causing Luger to lose the match by countout. Sting would be
tormented again by the Four Horsemen at the Capitol Combat PPV although he
would astonishingly be rescued by RoboCop! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuAKfG9JOns)
Finally upon his recovery Sting defeated Flair for the NWA
World title at the Great American Bash. While the victory seemed predictable the
pop for Sting was tremendous. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI2fN_4s8YI)
At Halloween Havoc Sting defended the World title against Sid Vicious. In a
mysterious twist it appeared that Sting had been pinned; nevertheless, Sting
re-emerged from the back having been tied up and defeated Sid.( http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4of8m_halloween-havoc-1990-sting-vs-sid-v_sport)
In addition to those shenanigans Sting also
dealt with an enigma called the Black Scorpion.
Black Scorpion in that they didn’t cast the character properly. Originally the
character was supposed to be played by Al Perez. In fact Perez challenged Sting
at Clash of the Champions XII under the Black Scorpion disguise; however, he
quit the promotion before the angle ran its course. Jeff Ellis and The Angel of
Death filled in as the Black Scorpion at house shows. But for Starrcade ’90
Flair stepped in to fill the shoes of the Black Scorpion and was unmasked after
the cage match with Sting to blow off this hokey feud. (http://www.wwe.com/videos/sting-vs-the-black-scorpion-starrcade-1990-nwa-world-heavyweight-championship-st-26025573)
Less than a month later Sting dropped the NWA World title to
Flair in East Rutherford, NJ, but the loss didn’t take anything away from his
shining stardom. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dGtW31X83s)
In fact at the inaugural SuperBrawl he teamed with Lex Luger to challenge the WCW
Tag Team Champion Steiner Brothers in what turned out to be one of the greatest
matches in wrestling history. (http://www.wwe.com/videos/the-steiner-brothers-vs-sting-and-lex-luger-26009312)
in a Russian chain match at Great American Bash ‘91. In August he won the
vacant US title by beating “Stunning” Steve Austin in the tournament final (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x71bnf_sting-vs-steve-austin-u-s-title-cli_sport)
and would hold the title until Clash of the Champions XVII when he lost to
“Ravishing” Rick Rude. (http://www.wwe.com/videos/sting-vs-rick-rude-clash-of-the-champions-november-19-1991-26055937)
At Starrcade ’91 Sting won the Battlebowl battle royal and
the prize of the #1 contender’s spot to the WCW World title. He would face Lex
Luger at SuperBrawl II and win his first WCW World title. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3ssoz_sting-vs-lex-luger-wcw-title_sport)
Interestingly the victory occurred while Sting was involved in a feud with Dangerous
Alliance managed by Paul E. Dangerously. The feud culminated in a WarGames match
at WrestleWar ’92 which was both a bloodbath and a classic. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xz7btc_01-92-05-17-wargames-wrestlewar_sport)
would have legendary encounters—Big Van Vader. Sting would lose the WCW World
title to Vader at the Great American Bash. Rebounding quickly he defeated
Cactus Jack in a thrilling match at Beach Blast. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai0oOwQZ_XA)
Later that year at Halloween Havoc Sting would be included
in what some would call a “dream match” with Jake “The Snake” Roberts; however,
WCW supposedly didn’t gimmick the wheel. (http://www.dailymotion.com/playlist/x142i3_JustPosting_halloween-havoc-1992/1#video=x6pomq)
So they faced off in a Coal Miner’s Glove match, but the dream became a
nightmare in spite of Sting’s victory as the match felt flat. At Starrcade ’92
Sting would avenge his earlier loss to Vader in the final of the King of Cable
World title from Ron Simmons and challenged Sting to a strap match at
SuperBrawl III. Although the title was not on the line Vader defeated Sting. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihwAbLHpMRw)
Later that summer Sting was associated with Davey Boy Smith in a banal mini-movie
to hype their match against Vader and Vicious. (http://www.frequency.com/video/wcw-beach-blast-1993-countdown-show/108371839/-/5-885)
At SuperBrawl IV Sting was intertwined in a six-man
Thundercage match with “Flyin’” Brian Pillman and “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes
against “Stunning” Steve Austin, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, and “Mr. Wonderful”
Paul Orndorff. Sting’s team won; however, Rude slammed the cage door on Sting’s
face and gave him a Rude Awakening. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUPUwUGeJDU)
International World title. Sting beat Rude for said title in April, but “lost”
in May in a match that ended up costing Rude his career. In lieu of being
handed the title, Sting defeated Vader at Slamboree to fill its vacancy. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5mduq_slamboree-1994-sting-vs-vader_sport)
For Clash of the Champions XXVII WCW wanted to unify their
World titles and pitted Sting against WCW World Champion Flair. Using excellent
psychology on the part of Sherri Martel, Flair defeated Sting. (http://www.wwe.com/videos/ric-flair-vs-sting-clash-of-the-champion-xxvii-wcw-world-and-international-champ-26009634)
Doom (which included another US title reign) Sting met Flair again on the very
first Monday Nitro but lost by DQ due to interference by Arn Anderson. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fk7Dr3Qfsw)
As a result of the interference Flair asked Sting to assist him in a tag team
match against Pillman and Anderson at Halloween Havoc.
Considering the history of bad blood Sting had with Flair
since ’88 he remained skeptical. Surprisingly he gave Flair one last chance
being the nice guy that he is. However nobody ever accused Sting of being smart
allegedly. So, in an angle considered old school even for 1995, Sting tagged
with Flair, but Flair turned on him recreating the Four Horsemen with Brian Pillman,
Arn Anderson, and Chris Benoit. Definitely
check this out: (http://www.wwe.com/videos/ric-flair-sting-vs-arn-anderson-brian-pillman-halloween-havoc-1995-26009446)
War 3 the bad blood continued to flow until Starrcade where Sting would meet
Flair and Luger in a great triangle match to determine the #1 contender to the
WCW World title. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1a488r_sting-vs-ric-flair-vs-lex-luger-wcw-starrcade-1995_sport)
By 1996 Sting began altering his appearance by growing his
hair longer and darker but maintained the face paint. While tagging with Luger
they traded the WCW World Tag Team titles with Harlem Heat. But the best was
yet to come.
WCW and wanted Sting, Luger, and “Macho Man” Randy Savage in a tag match at
Bash at the Beach. In a match that changed wrestling history Hulk Hogan who
seemed to be rescuing the WCW wrestlers turned heel and became the leader of
the nWo. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO9zxsRzN-M)
Following the formation of the nWo Sting was being courted to
become a member. In fact, the nWo orchestrated a ploy to con WCW wrestlers into
thinking Sting had become a member and attacked Luger; however, Sting was being
impersonated by Jeff Farmer. Since Sting felt he had been besmirched by fellow
WCW wrestlers he walked out in the middle of the WarGames match against the nWo
at Fall Brawl. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x74rxa_wargames-fall-brawl-1996-part-2_sport)
became a “free agent.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dit0sfMCYpI)
Sting would not reappear to the WCW audience until October 21 when he attacked
nWo Sting with his new move The Scorpion Death Drop—an inverted DDT and turned
down the offer to join the nWo. Sting’s appearance changed further in this
episode as he donned a black trench coat and wore white face paint with black
As 1997 began Sting joined “blackballed” Randy Savage in the
ring on Nitro to oppose the nWo. On subsequent Nitros Sting and Savage would be
seen in the rafters leading up to SuperBrawl. At the event Savage turned his
back on Sting and joined the nWo. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x15yu25_hollywood-hulk-hogan-vs-rowdy-roddy-piper-wcw-heavyweight-title_sport)
the nWo. In an epic moment his allegiance to WCW had been cemented. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcMHSvnbS28)
With the exception of the buffoonery played by Commissioner JJ Dillon everyone,
including the audience, knew Sting wanted to face Hogan. Knowing it had quite
the marquee matchup WCW did everything in their power to keep the two goliaths
from meeting until Starrcade.
Meanwhile Sting periodically repelled from the ceiling to
assist WCW in their war against the nWo. Most times he succeeded; however,
other times they got the best of him. Sting became so popular that WCW decided
to create a mask for Sting fans. These masks would prove to be extremely
popular insomuch as the nWo masqueraded as Sting in high-profile matches. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1nz3s_hogan-vs-piper-hh-97-prt2_sport)
faced a conundrum. Eric Bischoff, President of WCW at the time, was known for
creating controversial storylines. By December of 1997 WCW’s main competitor, the
World Wrestling Federation (WWF), had unceremoniously turfed Bret Hart out of
the promotion weeks prior to Starrcade creating a tremendous amount of
controversy for themselves in an attempt to garner attention as well as ratings
and away from WCW.
A clean finish by Sting over Hogan was the logical choice
but not the proper choice in order to create controversy in order to keep the
paying customer around longer. In theory this makes sense while in practice the
controversy contained mixed signals. Let’s go over the particulars:
Hogan’s butt for 10 minutes, and winning the WCW World title in dominant
fashion, Sting simply walked through the entrance, received the brunt of the punishment
of the match, and was pinned due to a “fast count.” Second, referee Nick
Patrick allegedly “forgot” to make it a fast count; therefore, it looked like
the match was over.
Third, Bret Hart debuted for WCW as a special guest referee
for the Bischoff-Zbyszko match. Upon seeing the “injustice” of the questionable
pin Hart decked Patrick, restarted the match, and counted Hogan’s submission to
give the WCW World title to Sting. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhZbjpZQ4S8)
To make matters worse WCW purposely “ran outta time” (tm Tony
Schiavone) keeping the audience watching at home in suspense for the debut
episode of WCW Thunder. Lastly, due to the controversial finish in this match
Dillon vacated the WCW title until SuperBrawl VIII. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4nnx9_nitro-29-12-1997-sting-vs-hulk-hoga_sport)
All in all an 18-month storyline that should have concluded with Sting looking
strong and triumphant instead made his character really weak because of all of
the extra-curricular activity spun within.
Regardless, at SuperBrawl Sting successfully regained the
WCW World title but again did not dominate Hogan. In a unique twist Savage, who
had been a major player in the nWo, interfered on his behalf tainting Sting’s
champion by questionable means the WWF crowned a new World champion at
WrestleMania XIV clean as a whistle further destroying the credibility of
Sting’s title reign.
In an effort to improve said credibility and maintain strong
ratings, Sting repelled from a helicopter at WCW Spring Break Out ’98 in
Panama, City Beach, FL. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwa4kQI3nZ4)
But the following month at Spring Stampede Sting lost the title to Savage due
to interference by Kevin Nash. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gF2hvZgcMYE)
Sting joined their group alongside Luger and Konnan comprising the nWo
Wolfpack. To better suit his Wolfpack affiliation Sting wore red face paint
instead of white. Meanwhile Bret Hart joined the nWo Hollywood faction and
attempted to psyche out Sting by first associating with him and then double-crossing
him. Their differences would be settled at Halloween Havoc. Sadly Sting lost in
another disappointing dream match where Bret put Sting on the shelf for the foreseeable
Sting would not return to WCW until March 1999 once again in
white and black face paint. The next month at Spring Stampede he wrestled in a
four corners match for the WCW World title against Hogan, Diamond Dallas Page
(DDP), and champion Flair. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc2YtxTB27U)
Fifteen days later on Nitro in a great match and ratings ploy Sting would
defeat DDP for the title (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xl9443_sting-vs-diamond-dallas-page_sport)
only to lose it back to him in a four-way match that included Goldberg and
Previously in the year Hogan turned babyface and won the WCW World title, but
Sting questioned his integrity. The two squared off at Fall Brawl where Sting
turned heel for the first time since 1985 and won his last WCW World title. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xnctxo_sting-vs-hulk-hogan_sport)
In spite of his heel turn the WCW fans didn’t want to
support Hogan in their feud thus making Sting’s turn a flop. Exit Eric Bischoff
and enter Vince Russo. What would transpire for Sting would be storyline over
substance as the rematch for Halloween Havoc became Russo’s first worked shoot
in WCW. Hogan came out in street clothes and laid down for Sting rather than
wrestle him. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x21p1y_hogan-vs-sting-hh-99_sport)
match and lost. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBUey17ES1o)
Remarkably, the title would be vacated on Nitro and a tournament to crown a new
champion was announced. Expectedly Sting would enter the tournament and defeat
Brian Knobs, Meng, and Luger to reach the semi-finals at Mayhem.
In the semi-final Sting lost to Hart due to Luger’s
interference. After the match he shook Hart’s hand to become a babyface again.
At Starrcade he would face Luger, and despite losing, in a shocking swerve he
showed some intelligence. Sensing Elizabeth’s disloyalty Sting gave her a can,
supposedly of spray paint, but when she turned on him she sprayed silly string
at him instead. (http://www.ddtdigest.com/updates/pictures/1999123p018.jpg)
Sting beat Vampiro. However, at the Great American Bash Sting lost in a Human
Torch match as a stuntman played Sting and was set on fire. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xkn5ua_sting-vs-vampiro-human-torch-match_sport)
To say 2000 was a bad year for WCW storylines is like saying the people who
flew on the Hindenburg had a bad day.
On March 26, 2001 the final episode of WCW Monday Nitro aired.
In the main event Sting faced his long-time nemesis Flair in a lackluster match
with a predictable finish. In spite of that it was a nice nod to WCW history
and the two legends that made WCW great. (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x555nb_ric-flair-vs-sting-last-nitro-ever_sport)
of his contract with AOL/Time-Warner. In 2002 and 2003 Sting spent time in
Australia working for WWA. He would claim the WWA World title on December 13,
2002 but lost in a unification bout to NWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett on May
From there Sting would sign with TNA. Although his initial
stay was brief, he would return in early 2006 to wrest the NWA World title from
Jarrett. At Hard Justice Christian Cage turned heel and cost Sting the title. However,
at Bound for Glory, Sting successfully defeated Jarrett to win his second NWA
World title. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JeY7XSQg2c)
Only 24 days later he would lose the title to Abyss.
ways with the NWA. Later that year at Bound for Glory Sting met Kurt Angle for
the TNA World title. Despite interference from both Karen Angle and Kevin Nash Sting
pinned Kurt Angle and became champion. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOnBYWHpFpk)
Again Sting’s title reign was short due to a loss to Kurt Angle at the next TNA
In 2008 “The Icon” Sting won the TNA World title from Samoa
Joe with the help of Kevin Nash at Bound for Glory. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfN7RPvuxO4)
Amazingly Sting would hold the title for 189 days until he lost to Mick Foley
at Lockdown 2009 in a “Six Sides of Steel” match. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4becmaXrvM)
the TNA World title but lost when AJ Styles pinned Angle. Thereafter Styles
offered Sting a title match at Bound for Glory and won in a well-worked match.
On January 4, 2010 during a live edition of Impact Sting was
shown in the rafters in the same fashion as his 1997 stint in WCW. On August 5
Sting donned the nWo Wolfpack red face paint in support of Kevin Nash. On March
3, 2011 Sting defeated Jeff Hardy to win the TNA World title for a third time. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apMyZXAMsQY)
Victory Road against Jeff Hardy. Disastrously Hardy was in no condition to
wrestle that night. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2V6ulxTRSDc)
At times Hardy looked lost and confused especially after he suffered the pin. Sting
would hold the title until he lost to Mr. Anderson at Slammiversary in June. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK0VGinSEe8)
By this time Sting adopted a more menacing persona similar
to the Joker from The Dark Knight.
His surname would be adjusted to “The Insane Icon.” In fact Styles, James Storm,
Frankie Kazarian, and Robert Roode (dubbed Fortune) along with Angle dressed as
clowns to assist Sting in winning the TNA World title from Mr. Anderson on July
Angle at Hardcore Justice. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw2rhNCBmcI)
On June 10, 2012 Sting was announced as the first member of the TNA Hall of
Fame and enshrined on October 6 at Slammiversary. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eh5IY-_ONc)
For over 25 years Sting entertained fans all over the world
whether it was in the NWA, WCW, WWA, or TNA. While he may not have been the
most technically gifted performer Sting’s charisma and high-impact style carried
him to legendary status. I certainly hope that upon his introduction to WWE
fans that they realize just who “The Icon” truly is.
For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.
WWE.com Smackdown Preview
Steve Austin’s Message to the WWE Locker Room
From Wade Keller:
“(An) interesting atmosphere backstage,” Austin said. “High degree of professionalism, but afraid to speak up and piss someone off. Hopefully these cats will start taking chances – or taking chances within reason… Now, it’s true that the Powers that Be do not believe in certain people. It’s up to the talent to make management believe in them. There is a pretty thin roster of talent in that locker room. There’s a lot of guys and gals. But, when talking about the cream of the crop, you’re talking about the best… The doors are wide open.”
Credit Wade Keller, PWTorch.com
Antonio Cesaro Update
Between increased crowd reactions and John Cena taking a liking to him, there is specualtion that Cesaro will be line for a babyface push following WrestleMania
Credit Wade Keller, PWTorch.com
The “NXT Arrival” show, which airs on 2/27 on the WWE Network during the free preview week, will be presented as if it was a PPV. Internally, it is said that HHH is treating the show as a very big deal and has sent out invites to both Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels to appear on a “legends panel” during the show.
Credit Wade Keller, PWTorch.com
Before the WWE Network starts up, I’ve been watching Raws from 1999 (yes, I’m an Attitude Era kid and I couldn’t wait!) and it’s dawned on me that things built for a hell of a lot longer back then than they do now (yes, I’ve realised this for a while now, but watching these old shows back REALLY highlights it).
For example, X-Pac is teaming with Kane, who may or may not be realigning himself with The Undertaker again. At the same time as this, X-Pac and Road Dogg are feuding with Billy and Chyna over the DX rights. AT THE SAME TIME as this, Billy is helping Triple H beat on The Rock at every opportunity – which in turn leads to a Rock/Billy feud and match at Summerslam (the attempt to elevate Billy that didn’t seem to work out).
As history shows, X-Pac would go onto team with Kane against Undertaker and Big Show (who Kane was feuding with around the time of the previous paragraph’s events)… this all ties up really nicely, makes sense and was exciting. All of that stuff happened in July ’99 and led to things in late August ’99… this just doesn’t seem to happen now…
So, I suppose my question(s) is why do we not get that sort of build now (apart from the main feud of the day e.g Cena/Orton)? Why do we get these short-term things that last for a few weeks instead of a couple of months of a feud that grabs our attention? Why do we not get things connecting and intertwining anymore? Is it just assumed that we can’t keep up with something that twists and turns before a satisfying pay-off?? Or have the writers got too many hours of TV to cover (y’know, that excuse)?
Keep up the great work,
Just read an article on Wrestlezone.com (by Chris Cash, I think) regarding Dolph Ziggler being close to getting the tag of ‘buried’ (I realise that everyone ignorantly uses this term from time to time about everyone) and it got me thinking of the last few weeks.
For a long, loooooong time now Dolph has been losing more often than not, but it seems that since his WWE App rant he’s been punished even more – FED to the Wyatts on Raw; FED to The Shield on Smackdown; FED to Del Rio on Raw; apparently, losing in the dark match of Smackdown this week, too…
In your opinion, was Dolph’s promo a shoot or worked shoot (would he have been allowed to vent in such a way)? It would seem that it was an actual release of frustration; then he seems to have been punished in the above ways since…
Will that promo go anywhere? Is Dolph being punished for it? Is the talk of a disgruntled Dolph/Miz team a possibility? What do you make of Dolph’s recent past?
Keep up the good work!
> Scott –
> Here is Our usual holiday video bag of fun wrestling memories. Thanks!
> To celebrate Valentine's Day, we've pulled together all our favorite "romantic" wrestling clips. Check out our romantic box of wrestling memories!
am looking for specific matches that took place at WrestleMania that looked
terrible on paper but they ended up being good or even great. By the
way, unlike last time, it doesn’t matter if you saw it live or not. You can
pick any match that you want, as long as it initially looked terrible on paper but ended up being good.
are some of my selections off the top of my head:
Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan 6: Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior had a couple of
good matches in the past, but they came with superior opponents that had
the abilities to cloud Warrior and Hogan’s deficiencies and limitations. They also had roughly 10 moves between them, which made
me think to myself before watching this, “What the hell are they going
to do?” In addition to that, their characters seemed too similar: Both played invincible baby faces that made miraculous comebacks.
all, most intriguing matchups
are predominantly between characters that are complete opposites.They are rarely between ones that are essentially identical.
Long story short, this just looked like it was going to be an in-ring train wreck.
Magically, it was not a train wreck. It was actually an awesome match. It has
been said that a road agent (I think it was Patterson) constructed
this literally almost move-for-move. I hope whomever put it together
was given a raise for doing such a masterful job. They created
an exquisite narrative about a battle of immortals. It
was parallel to watching Superman fight Batman to establish who’s the better superhero.
though the match was highly choreographed ahead of time, the performers should get credit for executing everything at a high-level. They demonstrated their unparalleled charisma and it brought out all sorts of emotions from
the fans. They truly had the type of charisma that could not be taught. It was the kind that just comes naturally and instinctively.
Hogan vs. The Rock 18: So, I guess this makes Hogan an
overachiever at WrestleMania. In 2002, it seemed almost impossible for anyone to get a
good match out of Hogan. He had been stinking up joints left and right. Rock, albeit being very good, wasn’t really notorious for being a miracle worker.
didn’t think building this up as a dream match was good enough. They had to add
a heavy dose of
They overcame everything and ended up having a historical match. Some
have said this is a bad match without any volume, although that would be
like calling a horror scene unsuspenseful without any volume because the
music is what makes most horrors scary.
I mean, crowd psychology is one
of the most crucial factors of how
good a match is, and these two succeeded at just that by keeping the
crowd utterly captivated and bringing them on an extraordinary journey.
The two most surprising things about this, however, were its flow and
transitions. It had nearly zero downtime and kept building towards the crescendo.
I cannot name another Hogan match from this era that accomplished those two
This was just an unexpected gem.
Batista vs. Undertaker
23: Fans were outraged
that this was going to co-main event Wrestlemania. Even though
Undertaker ameliorated his
in-ring style to a more pseudo MMA style, Batista’s resume of good matches was
smaller than the amount of fans he has in 2014. Batista was distraught over so
many people questioning why he was given such a big spot at Mania. With a
chip on his shoulder, he exhibited something that most people did not think he
had – vehemence.
They surprised us all by pulling of a great
heavyweight power/slugfest match, with back and forth action, suspense and
drama. This isn’t even their best match together, either. They developed
chemistry together and topped this one. I think facing Undertaker was the best
thing that happened to Batista, because he learned a lot about
wrestling psychology after their series of matches.
Well, there are the first three that popped in my head. Balls in your court now.
Most people who follow me on facebook know three undeniable things about me. One is that I am a diehard Yankees fan. Second is that I am a rabid wrestling fan. These first two facts obviously net me a gross amount of groupie love from all the pretty females patrolling social media. The third thing is that, in the last year or so, I have become reacquainted with all things 24, almost to the point of unnatural obsession. You see, as 2012 turned to 2013, the Audience network offered by DirecTV started airing marathon blocks of the show, chronologically beginning with season one. Every Tuesday night, they would show four straight episodes of whatever season they were airing in a row, with the only commercial coming in between episodes. So for my then unemployed ass, Tuesday nights, 8pm to 11pm became a sort of appointment for me…an appointment that I could not break, much like Jack Bauer’s word, because those 3 hour blocks became one of the more effective forms of therapy for this recovering. Over the course of the last year plus, I have painstakingly combed through the 24 archives, procuring every season on DVD and watching them ad nausem. And with 24: Live Another Day right around the corner (premieres May 5th), I figured now was as good a time as any to try to stoke any old flames past fans like myself had for the show…to actually reignite them, to build towards a fever pitch. To remember what made the show so great in the first place. And I cannot think of a better way to do that than to rank the Season finales of the show. So lets get at it and proceed.
And if you are not down with that…blame the Audience Network.
Not Rated: 24: Redemption: 24: Redemption was a two hour mini movie that basically tried to describe Jack’s journey from Season Six, where he more or less is a wanted man in his own country due to some of his interrogation tactics, to Season Seven, where he faces a Senate Grand Jury for those questionable torture techniques. As it is only a 2 hour mini movie of a series that generally spans 24 forty minute episodes, you can not hold any of this up to the other 8 Season Finales.
8: Season 7: Let’s get one thing perfectly clear: Season 7 of 24 sucked. It was undeniably the worst season the show ever produced. So it stands to reason that the finale of Season 7 was the worst of the lot. The episode begins well enough, as Jack is trying to escape Evil Soul Patch Tony from submitting him to the Prion Cabal as a human guinea pig. Tony captures a weakened and diseased Jack, but reveals his evil plot is just to gain revenge against the man, Alan Wilson, who was responsible for his wife’s death. The portion where Tony actually gets hold of Wilson is just incredibly hokey for 24 standards, as Tony tells him that the reason he has turned to the darkside, the reason he has taken such amazing character jumps from the Tony Almeida most fans knew and adored, was the hackneyed plot device that when Michelle was killed, she was pregnant with Tony’s child. Gag. Now, that all happens within about the first 15 minutes of the episode. The remaining 45 deal with the lame First Family saga and Jack embracing death. The Taylor Family nonsense is pure hot garbage, as they are easily three of the worst characters the series has ever seen. No need for them dominating the finale, especially when the Jack and Kim parts are just so emotionally powerful. A total airball by the writers here. Blame the writers’ strike of 2009, I guess.
7: Season 6: Most 24 fans malign Season 6. I am not one of them. Was it their strongest season? No. Was the Bauer family saga a little forced? Certainly. But, for the most part, the season was fairly good, with a strong heel in Abu Fayed. The problem was, Fayed was killed almost 7 hours before the final act. The end heel ends up being Jack’s father, Phillip Bauer, and the main bargaining chip of the last episode proves to be one of my least favorite 24 characters ever, Josh Bauer, Jack’s nephew. Add into the fact that Ricky “Silver Spoons” Schoreder was the prime CTU badass in charge of supervising the exchange…which he fucks up royally, of course…and it just came off as flat, even with the spectacular F-15 bombing of Phillip Bauer’s oil rig. What saves this from dead last is one thing: the very end. Jack’s confrontation of Richard Heller, in regards to seeing Audrey, was outstanding. The ending with Jack, after realizing what Heller was telling him was true, after letting go of Audrey and his past life, was amazing. Jack standing on Heller’s estate, with him symbolically throwing his gun into the ocean, with a pained, saddened look on his face, let you know just how damaged the Jack Bauer psyche was. And with good cause.
6: Season 1: SACRILEGE! I am sure many of you are saying that right now. Fact is, as good as Season One’s finale was…it just doesn’t hold up. Teri dies, we know that. Nina is exposed as the mole and traitor. Don’t get me wrong…it is great television…especially when Jack just ups and mercs the fuck out of an unarmed Victor Drazen. As good as it was, it was just a taste, a teaser, of some of the finales we were about to experience. Call it the test case, patient zero of the finales of the series. It would only get better…or in the case of 6 and 7, worse.
5: Season 3: Anyone who knows me knows that Season 3 of 24 was my favorite, for it was when I started watching the series as event viewing. I still adore it to this day, and no one can tell me otherwise. That said, the Finale felt a little flat after a TREMENDOUS build. Saunders gets killed by Gael’s wife. Some random dude has the last vial of the virus, and Jack and Chase (I still maintain Chase was Jack’s best sidekick) have to chase Random Evil Guy to a grade school. Now, there it is fun, as Chase engages the mysterious Dr. X in a fist fight…which X (Arthur Raburn…I know, I know) defeats him. But Chase locks the virus device on his arm, allowing Jack to emerge and bullet fuck Raburn. The caveat was that the locking mechanism Chase activated around his wrist could not be broken. So, after failing to disarm it via the wiring, Jack has to chop Chase’s thumb off with an ax, then run the virus down to a teacher’s room and throw it in their refrigerator. From there….fairly mundane. The Chase sequence was great, but as compared to some of the seasons upcoming here…nothing special. But still my personal favorite season of the show.
4: Season 4: I just finished watching Season 4, so I viewed the finale about 2 hours ago. It is criminally underrated. Whereas most seasons of the show have 2 or maybe 3 main antagonists, Season 4 had just one: Habib Marwan. For what feels like an eternity, Jack and CTU track and attempt to trace Marwan…only to find one well placed road block after another. Marwan succeeds in melting down a nuclear power plant, shooting down Air Force One and gaining possession of a portion of the nuclear football. It all leads to Season Four’s crescendo, where Jack finally, and ultimately, gets to the terrible Turk. Jack gets to Marwan through a character only true 24 fans would really relate to, Mandy, and is able to track Marwan’s chopper to the Global building in downtown Los Angeles…minutes before Marwan’s missile, armed with a nuclear device, would hit its payload. However, as Jack engages Marwan on the roof of the enormous structure, he slips and falls off the edge…only to be saved by Jack, who just wants to know the who, what, where, why and MAYBE how of the missile about to impact the continental United States. He holds Marwan by his hand, for which Marwan repays Jack by slicing the ever living fuck out of it, just so an already weakend Jack can let Marwan drop to his death, a martyr to his cause. But Jack and Curtis Manning are able to locate and shoot down the device, saving millions of innocent lives. There is a caveat to that, though: to obtain Marwan’s position, Jack had to, unlawfully, enter the Chinese Consulate and kidnap a Chinese foreign who had the backing of his government, even with the shady shit he was perpetrating. It caused a fire fight where, while Jack’s US soldiers used non lethal force, China used VERY lethal force, resulting in the friendly fire death of their consul. After the missile is disabled, former President David Palmer alerts Jack that, not only do the Chinese want to take him as a suspect in the death of their consul, on their soil (watch it and look up the name BERN…biggest bitch in the history of the series), but someone inside the White House wants him dead, for fear that he may expose secrets that would be detrimental to United States National Security. To that end, Jack fakes his own death and disappears. A fantastic, forgotten finale.
3: Season 8: After Season 7, I was not expecting much from Season 8. Boy, was I wrong. The last few hours of Season 8 revolve around Jack trying to get revenge for two things: The death of his love, Renee Walker, and to prove that President Allison Taylor was totally delusional in trying to bring peace to nations that clearly had no peace. In the buildup, he eviscerates the man who killed Renee. He impales the Russian Ambassador with his own sword. Jack just goes fucking off the grid bonkers…and it is a glorious site. The finale sees Jack with his sniper trained on epic baddie Charles Logan, telling him to bring the fucking PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA, into his view…because Yuri Suvarov is the man behind everything in Season 8…so Jack can kill him. That is pretty heady stuff. Now, Chole talks him out of it, and the episode DOES include Freddy Prinze…but trust me. This was just an awesome finale, the series finale. It reaches critical mass one wet blanket…I mean President Taylor realizes she has fucked up and orders Jack’s recovery. Charles Logan is just deliciously evil. Fun stuff for all 24 wonks…like myself.
2: Season 5: The Charles Logan Season. For episode after episode, you try to figure out who is the main heel within the White House…is it Walt Cummings? Is it VP Hal Gardner? Maybe Mike Novick? Nope. It was the Grand Poobah himself, POTUS, Charles Logan. Jack figures it out…that is what Jack does. He interrogates the Prez…but gets nowhere. Logan figures he has won, after all the ignominy he has shown the office. It takes his mentally unstable wife, Martha, to bring the whole thing down…and it is glorious watching evil scumfuck Logan being led away by Secret Service as David Palmer’s casket is being readied to be flown to DC. A truly epic episode that ends with Jack, as always, doing the right thing, but paying the most ultimate of costs.
1: Season 2: Number one with a bullet. Season Two of 24 was probably the best the series has ever pumped out (Season 5 was damned fine as well), but no finale has come even close to matching Season 2’s sheer brilliance. From the time Jack is tortured by Kinglsey’s men, from his arrival at Alex Hewitt’s loft, from the unexpected appearance of Sherry Palmer…if you want to introduce a friend to the 24 Franchise…this is the episode. After Jack is tortured to death, then revived, he counts on a computer programmer and the ex wife of the President to help save the country from entering into an unnecessary strike against innocent nations. It sees Jack Bauer use Sherry Palmer as bait, at the LA Coliseum, no less, to lure out the true madmen behind the day’s events. The final episode of Season 2 is television at its finest. We are all indebted to the Gods that are John Cassar and Kiefer Sutherland for this very episode. It is one of the main reasons I cannot wait for 24: Live Another Day. And its the reason you count down the days as well.
The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 02.12.14 Happy Valentine’s Day! Or as most wrestling fans know it, Friday. I have to say, I’m starting to get a real bad feeling about the direction of this show ever since the main WWE monkeys noticed that it’s a thing that exists and is airing on their new network. Nothing good ever comes from that, but hopefully it’s an aberration that ends once they get it out their system with the live show next week. Taped from Orlando, FL. Your hosts are Tom Phillips, Alex Riley & William Regal Natalya, Bayley & Emma v. Alicia Fox, Summer Rae & Sasha Banks Emma gets a sunset flip on Summer for two, and she runs away from Nat and brings in Sasha. Sasha gets a kick out of the corner, but Nattie takes her down with a suplex for two and follows with a dropkick. The announcers have a wonderfully wacky conversation about how Alex would marry Emma and take her last name, and Tom incredulously notes “She doesn’t have a last name!” That was pretty funny. Even better is Renee Young’s disgust with the whole deal, and then fawning over Regal immediately after. The characterization on the announce team is even better than most of the characters on RAW right now. The heels take over on Bayley and we go to a break. Back with Summer working Bayley over and Fox coming in with a lengthy facelock to build the heat, and Summer chokes her out while doing stretches on the ropes. Summer boots her down for two, but Summer fights back with a suplex and it’s hot tag Emma. Alicia wants no part of this action, but the BFFs walk out on her and the EmmaLock finishes at 12:05. Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling. **1/2 Aiden English v. Colin Cassady Cassady slams English out of the corner while Regal now fawns over Aiden with a man-crush. “Look at his body…it’s like he’s carved out of ONYX!” And yet we still get JBL on two of the main shows. English misses a legdrop and Cass makes the comeback with the SAWFT forearm smash, but English takes out the knee and finishes with the Director’s Cut at 2:21. Cass should really do a running forearm and call it the SAWFT Touch. So English wins this feud, and it was fine for a time-filling deal. * Sami Zayn joins us, and the Antonio Cesaro loss is EATING HIM ALIVE. So Mr. Cesaro comes out for his reply, and notes that Zayn can look forward to a great career…down here. (Crowd: “Oooooooooh!” What is this, a Chuck Lorre sitcom?) Sami reiterates how far back they go and how cool it is that Cesaro spends time in NXT when he doesn’t have to…but he’s kind of a coward for not fighting him. Cesaro is curious about the state of Sami’s knee, because he doesn’t want there to be any excuses this time. The crowd wants a pinky promise, so Sami obliges…and then Cesaro kicks him in the knee anyway and still refuses. And then HHH comes out and ruins all the fun by being deus ex machina and forcing Cesaro into the match. What a buzzkill. I watch this show to AVOID omnipotent authority figures coming out and making matches. See, this kind of thing is exactly what I mean by a bad feeling about the direction of the show, as they were having a great back-and-forth segment and then HHH came down from the mountain to just settle things for them like they were children or something. And isn’t JBL supposed to be the GM on the show? It’s bad enough we have to wade through the layers of fake authority figures on RAW as it is, now we have to add NXT to the giant convoluted flow chart that is the WWE chain of command, too. Tye Dillinger v. CJ Parker CJ gets a quick senton and airplane spin, and finishes with the Third Eye at 1:19. Just pull the plug on this guy already. Parker cuts an angry promo afterwards about how he recycles and loves the environment in his fuel-efficient car and the crowd is incapable of love. That’s a start. The angry pretentious environmentalist hipster douchebag is actually a surprisingly untapped resource for wrestling heels. I feel like a better direction would be if he started acting all passive-aggressive as well, but this is a start and at least it’s a real character. The Wyatt Family v. I Dunno, Some Guys. Harper finishes one of the geeks with a lariat at 0:50, as you’d expect. Oddly enough, the new episode of New Girl featured Jess’s sister…Abigail! COINCIDENCE? Probably. Or maybe THAT’S WHAT THE MACHINE WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE. The Pulse Man, HHH really harshed my buzz, as CJ Parker would say. OK show otherwise, although obviously they’re just going all in with the live special and basically cruising through the buildup to it.
February 13, 2014
Manchester Arena, Manchester, England
Taz, Mike Tenay
UK tour continues as we head into England for the first time this
year. The main stories coming out of last week are Samoa Joe
officially being #1 contender over Bobby Roode and an MVP vs. Dixie
summit that went absolutely nowhere. Lockdown is less than a month
away so odds are we’ll be hearing about Lethal Lockdown and the rest
of the card soon enough. Let’s get to it.
open with a recap of MVP standing up to Dixie for all of her evil
deeds in the last few months and promising changes to end Dixie’s
time is wasted on getting to Dixie this week as she and her cronies
are in the ring to start the show. Dixie says she clearly hasn’t
lost a wink of sleep over MVP’s threats and the odds of him taking
over the company are about as good as her having a bad hair day.
Dixie brags about Magnus but Ethan takes the mic and says he’s the
one that ended the career of Kurt Angle.
takes the mic as well but has to wait for a YOU SOLD OUT chant. It’s
nice to be back in Manchester because it means another year before he
has to be back here again. People like Manchester make him feel
ashamed to be British because he’s not from the north, nor is he a
paper champion. He’s a man who recognizes opportunity and there is
no opportunity in Manchester, other than a chance to be smacked in
the face by the world champion.
fans aren’t impressed so Magnus shifts his focus to MVP. He doesn’t
care what jail cell MVP came from but we need to get the pecking
order established. It’s Magnus on top, Dixie second, everybody else,
and then MVP. Magnus isn’t for sale but here are MVP and Joe with
something of their own to say. MVP sucks up to the crowd and says
that Joe will be challenging Magnus at Lockdown, which seems to take
the champion by surprise.
brings out Gunner with the Feast or Fired case, which will be cashed
in next week on Impact. Dixie says not so fast, because Gunner has
to face Ethan Carter for the briefcase tonight. MVP one ups her by
putting EC3’s Tag Team Title briefcase on the line as well, but makes
it a ladder match with both briefcases on the line. MVP tells
“C-3PO” that if anyone tries to cheat in this match, he’ll be out
here to level the playing field.
vs. Ethan Carter III
they’re not wasting time tonight. Carter heads straight to the floor
to start but Gunner is waiting for him and heads back inside for a
running knee and a fallaway slam. Gunner goes to get a ladder but
Carter dropkicks him off the apron and sets up the ladder himself,
only to have Gunner send him into the buckle.
ladder is sat in the corner and Carter is sent flying into the steel,
only to have Gunner get the same treatment. He’s still able to
powerbomb Carter down for the save but Magnus comes in and shoves the
ladder over, only to draw in James Storm for the save. This brings
out MVP who makes it a winner take all tag team ladder match at about
D. This is one of the things I
can’t stand about modern wrestling: wasted gimmick matches. Why in
the world did they need to have a ladder match, only to throw in
another one a few seconds later? On top of that, a gimmick match is
supposed to attract viewers, but that usually requires more than five
minutes’ warning. How good
of a ladder match can you have with about four minutes of action?
Storm/Gunner vs. Ethan Carter III/Magnus
in progress with Storm in trouble and Magnus driving the ladder into
Gunner’s back. Gunner is laid across the ladder and splashed across
the back before both heels drop him ribs first onto the ladder.
Magnus rams the ladder into Gunner’s face and loads up the ladder but
Ethan tries to climb. That’s not cool with the champ who wants to go
instead. They get in an argument, despite it not being clear who
gets the case if Magnus pulls it down.
fight lets Storm come back in and clean house and Ethan is double
hiptossed onto the ladder. Magnus saves his partner from the Gun
Rack but Storm hits a Cactus Clothesline to send himself and Magnus
to the outside. Gunner comes back in with a swan dive to Carter and
goes up to pull down both cases for the win at 5:00.
C-. Better match here but man
alive enough with the five minute gimmick matches. We just saw two
ladder matches combine to last under ten minutes and it doesn’t
really solve anything. In short, there was no reason for these
matches to use ladders other than it sounds cool on paper. Pay no
attention to the fact that if you weren’t watching in the last twenty
minutes, you would have no idea they were taking place.
says he’ll win tonight because he has family and we get to see a
picture of his twin daughters.
has divided the office in half and makes sure that Dixie has more
flowers on her side. The Bro Mans come in and want to know what
Dixie is going to do about Gunner and Storm having the briefcase.
Yelling ensues when MVP comes in and says Dixie’s promises mean less
and less every day. MVP says people don’t want to see lawyers and
want to see action in the ring. What would be fair is to strip the
champions of the titles but instead he’ll give them a six man tag
match against the Wolves and a mystery partner, right now.
Mans/Zema Ion vs. Wolves/???
mystery partner is Samoa Joe. Davey starts with a Tajiri handspring
into a kick to Godderz’ head before a few headbutts from his parters
are good for two. Off to Edwards vs. Robbie with Eddie snapping off
a standing hurricanrana and a few chops. A running knee to the face
gets two and it’s quickly back to Davey who gets two off a chop from
Edwards. Zema adds in a knee from the apron but Davey grabs him by
the head and knocks him to the apron.
distraction lets E get in a cheap shot and the heels take over for
the first time. Zema stomps away before it’s back to Robbie for an
elbow to the jaw. Heel miscommunication puts the Bro Mans down and
it’s hot tag to Joe who cleans house. Everything breaks down and the
Wolves hit stereo suicide dives to the floor as Joe makes Zema tap
with the Clutch at 5:37.
C. This was fine though I’ve
never been big on the Wolves. I was hoping the Bro Mans would be
allowed to be a bit more serious, but at the end of the day they’re a
comedy team so this is what you had to expect. I’d be fine with the
Wolves becoming Tag Team Champions but it was nice to have a
non-champion take the fall here.
Sky begs Dixie to avoid a match with Chris Sabin but gets turned
down. MVP isn’t cool with that but Dixie reminds him that he’s not a
wrestler. Spud laughs at him, but MVP says he’s got his gear and
faces Spud next.
recap Eric Young vs. Joseph Park/Abyss. This would be the first
non-Dixie related segment of the entire show and we’re halfway done.
Abyss without the mask to call out Eric Young to see what he’s done.
Abyss is under a hood like Kane was after he lost his mask back in
2003. Eric stops at ringside but Abyss asks him to come closer
unless he’s afraid. Young gets in the ring and says last week he
proved all he needed to prove. Park asked him to find Abyss and
that’s what he did. Abyss holds up the mask and says it’s the
reality of what he did last week. The hood comes back and Park says
he is Abyss but Young cuts him off and says he showed Park who he is.
shouts at Eric and asks who either of them are because Young doesn’t
know. Abyss has destroyed his body and the lives and careers of
others. The scars and blood tell his story but he can’t be that man
anymore. The violence and destruction have to stop but Young says he
can help him. Abyss screams that he doesn’t want Eric’s help and
that he needs to find someone who understands him. He drops the mask
and walks away.
today Samuel Shaw tried to help Christy with her luggage but she’s
nervous. He agrees to keep it professional and takes off his glove
to shake her hand. Shaw looks at his hand and slowly gets on the
was a nice fifteen minute break but now it’s back to Dixieland. Spud
stalls on the floor before the bell while MVP lounges on the top
rope. MVP goes after him but Spud gets in a cheap shot on the way
back in to get things going. He pounds away but makes the mistake of
slapping the boss in the face. A facebuster sets up the Ballin Elbow
and the Drive By kick to the head for the pin at :59. That’s exactly
what it should have been.
Roode is furiously looking for Dixie.
get a creepy promo of a guy in the woods holding a black and white
umbrella, wearing a black and white mask and dressed all in black.
He recites poetry and is apparently named Willow. Apparently this
was Jeff Hardy in a new gimmick.
is on the phone when Roode comes in, demanding a title shot. He
doesn’t like being called a sore loser and says she doesn’t want him
Sabin vs. Velvet Sky
offers her a free shot because this is what Velvet has always wanted.
Velvet kicks him in the knee and goes for the groin but Sabin is
wearing a cup. Like an idiot though he takes it out to show off and
gets hit low again, allowing Velvet to pound away. Cue a big woman
with a bleach blonde mohawk over dark hair to destroy Velvet with a
full nelson. Sabin is very pleased. No match obviously.
goes into Anderson’s dressing room and looks through his stuff,
including the pictures on his phone. He calls Anderson’s wife and
says this is the phone call she’s been dreading her entire life. Ray
says “no, not yet, but he’s coming home in a coffin. Tell the
twins daddy says goodbye.”
is in the back and says he lost it and that this has to come to an
end. It’s over and he can’t take this anymore. He has his jacket
and bag with him, saying he might have something for next week.
Security comes in and says he has to leave which Roode does without
recap Ray vs. Anderson in the casket match. Ray is angry at Anderson
for ending Aces and 8’s and has gotten far more serious as a result,
even threatening Anderson’s children.
Ray vs. Mr. Anderson
match. Anderson has some of the ugliest green tights I’ve ever seen.
Ray takes off his shirt and reveals what I believe is a Liverpool
jersey to anger the fans. Anderson takes him down and sends him into
the corner before dropping him with a neckbreaker. The jersey is
ripped off and stomped on by Anderson before they head outside. Mr.
spends too much time deciding where to throw his shirt and Ray gets
in a cheap shot as we take a break.
with Anderson using a chair to knock a chair into Ray’s face and
sliding in a table. Anderson is bleeding from the mouth and Ray
kicks him in the face to take over. Ray rubs the blood on his own
face and pounds at the cut before throwing the casket into the ring.
Anderson gets crotched on top and superplexed back down but Ray can’t
get the lid on the casket.
raises up a chair to crush Anderson but a low blow stops him cold.
Instead he powerbombs Anderson through the table and earns a THIS IS
AWESOME chant. Ray loads up a piledriver in the casket but Anderson
counters into a Mic Check and puts on the lid for the win at 12:50.
The lid didn’t actually close but it was close enough.
B-. That’s probably high but
after all the garbage we’ve had to sit through tonight I’ll take
anything. Ray has been an awesome heel throughout this story and I
would have liked it more if he had won, but the company is dying for
top faces at this point and Anderson is as good as anyone else they
the back we get even more Dixie vs. MVP with Carter offering him a
buyout. She offers him a contract and MVP is impressed but says no.
Dixie calls him crazy and MVP says he’s a wrestler so there might be
somet truth to that. A proposal is made for Lockdown: Lethal
Lockdown with Team MVP vs. Team Dixie for total control of the
company. Dixie keeps up her Stephanie McMahon style acting and
Rating: D. Impact wrestling is
a two hour show. Tonight, approximately an hour and a half were
spent on Dixie Carter vs. MVP or something directly related to that
story. Here’s what wasn’t related to it: Eric Young/Abyss segment (8
minutes), Christy Hemme/Shaw segment (2 minutes), Ray vs. Anderson
minutes), Sabin vs. Sky (5 minutes) and the Willow promo (1 minute).
That’s it. That’s everything on the show that wasn’t related to a
Immortal didn’t make Impact that much about themselves and I didn’t
think things could get worse than that. Dixie vs. MVP is fine for a
story, but you need SOMETHING that isn’t related to or a result of
that story. There’s some
interesting stuff in TNA, but the same story being pounded into our
heads like this make it a lot less interesting to sit through.
Carter III vs. Gunner went to a no contest
Storm/Gunner b. Ethan Carter III/Magnus – Gunner pulled down the
Joe b. Zema Ion/Bro Mans – Koquina Clutch to Ion
b. Spud – Drive By
Anderson b. Bully Ray – Mic Check into a casket
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