Here’s hoping that everyone had a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Kwazy Kwanzaa and a Righteous Ramadan. Now go out and have a Happy New Year, and if you had a miserable 2013, here’s hoping 2014 is better. If you had a good 2013, here’s hoping you’re knocked down a peg or two.
First, here’s where to find the show on your local TV:
Now, from the Youtube channel, here’s the actual episode, if you feel like playing along:
The final episode of 2013. Taped from the Fort Smith Convention Center (or Centre, for you Canadians) in Fort Smith, AR. In the ring are your hosts, Matt Rhodes and Brian Thompson. They run down this week’s card. New TCW International Champion Scott Phoenix makes his first title defense against “Golden Boy” Greg Anthony! Tag team action has The Magic Men taking on The Syrian Dynasty! The main event has TCW Heavyweight Champion Tim Storm defending against “King” Shane Williams! The show is ready to roll, so hit the opening video!
Match #1 – Scott Phoenix (c) vs. “Golden Boy” Greg Anthony – TCW International Championship.
FYI, for those new to this column, the International title here is the equivalent of the US or Intercontinental title. Lockup to start, with Phoenix backing Anthony to the corner for the quick break. A second lockup results in Phoenix again backing Anthony to the corner for another break. Side headlock by Anthony, but Phoenix powers out into an armlock, but Anthony hits the ropes for the break. Another lockup, Phoenix with the side headlock, but Anthony pushes him off the ropes, and Phoenix bowls him over with a shoulderblock, and Anthony rolls to the outside. We take a break.
When we come back, we’re in the ring with Anthony looking for the old fashioned test of strength. Phoenix takes it, and Anthony kicks him in the gut. Phoenix quickly grabs a headlock. Anthony pushes him off the ropes, Phoenix goes over, then goes over again, then hits another shoulderblock on Anthony. Anthony pulls down the straps! Going for another lock up, but this time Anthony hits a kick to the gut. Anthony now powers Phoenix up into a gorilla press slam. Phoenix no sells the slam as Anthony poses. Phoenix tries to clothesline Anthony over the top and fails, but the he’s successful on a second try, and Anthony is to the floor. Phoenix to the floor for a chop, and then rolls Anthony back in. To the corner, and Phoenix lays in a chop. A whip to the opposite corner is reversed, Anthony charges in, and Phoenix puts up the boot. Anthony catches it, whips Phoenix’s leg through the ropes, and kicks the ropes into the crotch. Anthony choking Phoenix on the mat. Anthony mounts Phoenix in the corner, lays in a few rights, then gets in some biting. Short arm clothesline for Anthony, and we’re to the rear headlock. Phoenix with a jawbreaker to counter, but Anthony puts him back down with a thrust chop coming off the ropes. Cover…1…2…kick out. Second quick cover for 2. Anthony lays in some jabs now and Phoenix is down for 2. Another rear headlock. Phoenix elbows out, and runs the ropes, under a clothesline, but Anthony gets a snap powerslam on the rebound. 1….2…kick out! Anthony grinds the forearm into the face. Now rubbing his face in the mat. Anthony to the top and HITS the double axehandle! Cover…1…2…kick out! Anthony to the top again, but Phoenix cuts him off and gets some rights to the gut. Anthony pushes him off and comes down and INTO A PHOENIX POWERSLAM! Cover…1…and Phoenix rolls off, apparently hurt. Both men slowly to their feet, and Phoenix hits a big boot. A pair of Stinger splashes in opposite corners for Phoenix. Now a back suplex, and Phoenix is fired up. Off the ropes and a big legdrop. Phoenix gets a sit out body slam. Cover…1….2…kick out! Going for Phoenix Rising (Disaster Kick) and it misses, but Phoenix gets the straight jacket neckbreaker! Anthony rolls out of the ring and to the floor. Anthony reaches the apron and he has brass knuckles on his hand! Phoenix pulls him to his feet, and Anthony gets the knux to the throat! Anthony with the cover…1…2…(“not this way!”)3! New champ! (11:30)
WINNER: And NEW TCW International Champion, Greg Anthony. **1/2 – This match started slowly and just got cooking before it ended. Phoenix doesn’t even retain in his first defense of the title. And in this promotion, heels cheat to win. Which is fine with me.
Now The Empire is out to celebrate the title win with Anthony. The leader, Matt Riviera has the stick. He says it’s no surprise The Empire has another title, and gives the mic to the new champ. Greg rips off the Flair classic “with a tear in my eye”. Apparently, Col. Parker wants to go to war against The Empire. Riviera back on the mic, and he states that they have gone to the board of directors and requested and received an 8-man elimination match for control of TCW against a team picked by Parker. The few shows I have seen leading up to this have not built to this angle, so this was out of nowhere for me.
Next week, an Iron Man match between Vordell Walker and Sigmon. Here’s a video recap of this feud.
Match #2 – The Magic Men (Neico and Dallas) vs. The Syrian Dynasty (Prince Al Farat and Akbar Farat).
The Syrian Dynasty are your evil foreigners a la The Iron Sheik in the 80’s. The Magic Men are male strippers. This could be an allegory for the excesses and immorality of the West clashing with the religious righteousness of the Middle East. Or it could just be strippers vs. sheiks. I’m not even going to mention Neico grinding in some fat chicks face. Well, I guess I just did. There’s even a stripping routine pre-match. Dallas starts off with Akbar. Akbar stomps him down in the corner. Dallas comes back with a headscissors. Neico tags in and the strippers do a bump n grind double elbow drop. Akbar takes Neico to the corner for some choking, and then Prince Al does some choking while the referee’s back is turned. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Neico hits a dropkick. Tag to Dallas and some double teaming puts Akbar down for 2. Dallas double stomps Akbar in the back. Akbar comes back with a jawbreaker. Electric chair drop for Akbar. We take a break.
We come back with Neico getting the hot tag. A whip to the corner is reversed, and Neico hits a pretty good springboard flying crossbody for 2. Neico hits a spinebuster. Neico to the top but Akbar crotches him. Akbar goes up for a superplex but is shoved off by Neico. Meanwhile, Prince Al pulls a spike out of his boot, but is dumped outside by Dallas. Dallas to the top, and The Magic Men pull off the top rope legdrop/splash combo to Akbar. Dallas with the cover…1…2…3. (5:24)
WINNERS: The Magic Men. ** – a short but spirited affair. Not much from the sheiks, as Prince Al Farat didn’t even get in the ring. The Magic Men may have a stupid gimmick, but they have potential as a high flying team.
Backstage, Jason Jones is walking into a melee in the locker room between managers Rich Rude and Boyd Bradford, with various heels and faces cheering them on. Col. Parker breaks it up, and decides to make a match. In two weeks, the TCW Tag Team Championship is on the line, Genetic Perfection vs. The Hounds of Hell, and the winning team will be the one who puts the opposing manager through a table. It’s different, but these are two good teams who can have a good match without the managers involved, but….the managers will be involved. Hopefully, it ends the feud.
Match #3 – “King” Shane Williams vs. Tim Storm (c) – TCW Heavyweight Championsip.
Storm shoves Williams to the mat on a lockup. On a second lockup, he shoves Williams to the corner. Shane tries a slam attempt, but Storm counters into a gorilla press and drops him. Storm with the side headlock, and Shane shoves him off the ropes, and Storm bowls Shane over with a shoulderblock, and Shane is to the floor. Shane back in, and gets a side headlock. Storm powers Shane off the ropes, Shane goes under a clothesline, but Storm catches him coming off and hits a fallaway slam. Shane rolls to the floor, and we take another break.
When we come back, Shane is still on the floor. With Storm posing, Shane comes in and starts in with some jabs, while ducking rights from Storm. Storm gets an eye rake, off the ropes and Shane hits him with a nice dropkick. Shane takes Storm to the corner for some rights. Whip attempt is reversed by Storm, but Shane holds on to the ropes and dumps a charging Storm to the outside. Shane follows him out, and lays in with a backrake and some chops. Both men back in now. Shane off the ropes and Storm gets the big boot. Storm with a slam, and then off the ropes for an elbowdrop. Cover…1…2…shoulder up. Storm gets a bodyscissors submission hold on the mat. Shane elbows out and gets in some rights. Storm comes back with a backbreaker, and it gets 2. Storm with another gorilla press, but this time Shane gets out and rolls Storm up for 2, but Storm puts him down with a clothesline. Storm gets in some stomps. Whip off the ropes, kick to the gut, then a forearm to the back. Nice double underhook suplex for Storm, and floating over for the cover..1…2…shoulder up! Storm takes him to the corner for some rights and chops. Shane comes back with a series of left jabs, then a right hand to put Storm down. Shane off the ropes, and into a bearhug from Storm. Shane claps the head to get out, off the ropes, duck under, and Shane hits a leg lariat. Now putting Storm down with a series of sledges. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Shane gets the boot up to put Storm down. Shane to the middle rope, and he hits the fist drop! Shane going for the piledriver, but Storm powers out with a back bodydrop. Whip off the ropes, Storm going for the Perfect Storm (spinning Boss Man slam), but Shane counters into a roll up…1…2..kick out! Back elbow puts Shane down. Whip is reversed into a tornado DDT for Shane! And here comes The Empire for the interference. (11:06)
WINNER: Shane Williams by disqualification. Storm is still the champ. **1/2 – Storm showing off his power here, and Shane playing the plucky babyface. DQ ending brings it down a notch, but what happened in the ring was solid.
The beatdown is on in the ring. The Empire taking it to their former ally King Shane. Scott Phoenix and Americos out for the save, but they suffer the same fate. The Empire going for the spike piledriver on Shane, when the lights suddenly go out. When they come back on, TOMMY DREAMER IS IN THE RING!! He’s cleaning house! Matt Rhodes is telling us that Dreamer is Col. Parker’s fourth man for his team in the 8-man elimination match. Dreamer clears the ring and stands with Williams, Phoenix and Americos. WE’RE OUT OF TIME!
Wrestling-wise, this show was OK. Nothing great in the ring, but nothing was bad. It was a step up from last week’s show. The angle with Col. Parker’s team vs. The Empire for control of TCW came out of nowhere for me, but then again, I’m new to this show and it’s prior angles. Tommy Dreamer’s appearance was a special surprise and added to the entertainment value of this episode. WRESTLING!