ROH TV June 24th 2015

This week’s ROH was taped last month at Global wars, meaning that it reflects none of the results from this past Friday’s PPV–normally I’d mock them mercilessly for this amateur hour move but ROH was FUCKING AWESOME this week, so they get a pass.  Shinsuke Nakamura, The Bullet Club, RPG Vice, and Kazuchika Okada are our special New Japan guests this week for the final crossover episode.  There is a crazy amount of wrestling in this week’s episode so let’s get started with…

“Mr. ROH” Roderick Strong vs Shinsuke Nakamura
This is one hell of an opener.  Nigel compares the streamers Nakamura gets to…the falling of cherry blossoms.  Is that like the only thing you know about Japan Nigel and you just wanted to force the comparison?  Feeling out process to start with Roddy working the arm.  Roderick tries a snapmare but Nakamura cartwheels to land on his feet!  Strong gets a one count of a dropkick.  Strong tries to hook a Bow and Arrow but Nakamura’s limbs prove as lanky as they are charismatic and he fucks it up–he does roll right into a headlock and covers it pretty well though.  Olympic slam gets two.  Nakamura rolls to the apron and suckers Roddy in for some knees to the head.  Nakamura takes Strong and sets him up on the barricade for a running knee into the crowd as we fade to…


Back with both guys in the ring trading STIFF forearms–Strong even gets busted open.  Nakamura gets dumped and dropped by a baseball slide.  Shinsuke ends up in the corner where he takes a jumping knee and and a running elbow.  A beautiful double knee backbreaker gets two.  Strong tries the Stronghold but can’t hold it as it is reversed into a sleeper.  Right When it looked like Roddy was going to power out of the sleeper Nakamura hit a back-stabber.  Strong dodges a Bomaye and Shinsuke goes up.  Roderick brings him back down with a jumping knee and a backbreaker on the top turnbuckle that earns a two count.  Nakamura knees out of a suplex and gets a diving knee (that I thought was a bomaye live but the announce team *really* undersold it if it was).  Nakamura can’t make the cover and both guys are down.  Nakamura rises fist but his Bomaye attempt is turned into the stronghold.  Nakamura makes the ropes to break the hold and they start trading those stiff forearms again.  Strong gets the better of the exchange and nails a Sick Kick to set up the End of Heartache which gets a near fall.  Strong hits a bunch of strikes and tries for the End of Heartache again but Nakamura slips out and rolls thorough to hit the Bomaye.  It only get one!  Roddy fires back with a Jumping knee but his Sick Kick is cut off with another Bomaye that ends his night at 17:05

Rating:**** This match was edited a little for time, but what we saw was great.  Roderick Strong continues his career year with another “Strong” performance and Nakamura is one of the greatest wrestlers on the planet.  Some of the spots were a little rough around the edges but this is just about the best wrestling one can expect to find on free TV.  telivising a loss right after Strong earned himself a title match on Friday isn’t the best way to build his credibility as a challenger, but the loss was to the King of Swagstyle himself–That shouldn’t even count!

“Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs Gedo
Gedo is the head booker of New Japan and an accomplished Jr. Heavyweight. Elgin gets a hometown welcome of crushing apathy.  This guy had nuclear heat in Toronto this time last year, and now he’s got nothing.  Elgin bullies Gedo around with his power and dares New Japan’s head booker to try and shoulder tackle him.  This goes as well as you’d expect and Elgin backfists him.  Elgin plants his feet and Gedo can’t Irish whip him so he just pokes the Canadian in the eyes.  Elgin swings wild and gets poked in the eyes again.  Gedo can’t make anything of his advantage and gets Samoan dropped for two.  Elgin misses an elbow and Gedo escapes to the apron for a moment, but Elgin pulls him back in with a delayed suplex and gets a near fall.  Elgin goes up for the twisting senton he tries every match despite hitting it maybe twice in his career.  Gedo predictably prevents being turned into an Okonomiyaki by rolling out of the way while Kelly Kelly plugs the PPV that already happened.  11/10 promotion there ROH.  Some punches, a jawbreaker, and a superkick get two for Gedo.  They trade reversals until Elgin gets an O’conner Double Stomp.  Bucklebomb into the Elgin Bomb finishes at 8:58

Rating:** This was really more of an extended squash than anything and this deep into the taping no one in the audience gave a damn.  Still, it was serviceable, and Gedo must have been happy because he booked Elgin as a competitor in the G-1 tournament which starts in July.  As one of the few who still likes Elgin it makes me sad to see his Torontonian star sink faster than Rob Ford’s political career did.  I maintain hope leaving for a couple months to wrestle in Japan will do something to revitalize Elgin’s stalling career. 

“Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada and RPG Vice (Rockey Romero and Trent Barretta) vs The Bullet Club (AJ Styles and the Young Bucks)
Okada and RPG Vice are all a part of the CHAOS stable, whose members have had continuing issues with the Bullet Club.  Okada’s most recent IWGP world title reign was ended by AJ Styles and RPG Vice recently lost the IWGP Jr. Tag Titles to the Young Bucks.  We cut straight to commercial after entrances and miss the awesome moment where each guy in the ring got individual chants from the audience INCLUDING Red Shoes the referee who got the biggest pop of the whole TV taping for posing on the turnbuckle.  The constraints of an hour long program I guess.  The match opens with Aj and Okada feeling each other out.  They trade two counts off victory rolls and both the Syles Clash and the Rainmaker are both blocked. Nick Jackson and Trent are tagged in respectively. They have a crazy sequence that ends with Trent? turning a springboard DDT from Nick into a Northern Lights suplex.  Tag to Romero and RPG Vice double team Nick for a near fall.  Trent is tagged back in and he starts egging the crowd on by runngin back and forth on the apron until Matt comes across the Ring to superkick him (#superkick counter:1).  Matt gets tagged in and the Jackson brothers hit a neckbreaker/backbreaker combo that in turn sets up a springborad forearm from Styles.  I don’t know of any trio that triple teams better than these three Bullet Club members.  Matt spits on Okada who has to be restrained by the referee.  Nick is tagged in so he hits a senton before tagging in AJ.  Trent finally looks to fight back until AJ casually suplexes him into the corner.  That looked like it sucked for Trent.  I empathise with the aching in Barretta’s neck and back as we fade to…


 We return with Trent fighting off all three Bullet Club members and driving Nick down hard into the mat with a double stomp.  He tries to make the tag but Matt Jackson pulls his partners down of the apron before he can!  Some Chaos erupts at home and I miss CHAOS getting the hot tag but Romero is a house of fire catching both Young Bucks in a double hurricanrana.  Okada is tagged in and he scores a two count against AJ following a flapjack, DDT, and basement European uppercut.  AJ tries his springborad moonsault inverted DDT but Okada counters.  AJ fires off a snapmare but Okada shows some freaky athleticism and frontflips to land on his feet.  Nick Superkicks Okada to the floor (2) and things get to fast to call again.  Ultimately it ends with RPG Vice hiting a Knee based Doomsday device on the floor to incapacitate Nick Jackson.  Syles and Okada are left alone in the ring and Styles connects with a Bloody Sunday but the Styles Clash is reversed into a tombstone Piledriver, no cover because the tombstone is just the set up for Okada’s real finish, the super deadly Rainmaker LARIATOOOOOO.  Said super deadly Rainmaker misses the mark however and Nick makes the blind tag and takes down Okada who tags in Romero.  Nick hits Romero with a springboard facebuster before sliding out to moonsault onto Okada outside.  Bucklebomb/enzugiri combo and a hangman senton set Romero up for the finish but Trent makes the blind tag in the process of the Young Bucks delivering More Bang For Your Buck, and he blocks the move by german suplexing Mat of the top rope mid move!  Okada comes in from off screen with a diving elbow drop for Matt.  Okada misses with the Rainmaker again and Styles comes flying in to take him out with a flying forearm. Rocky gets superkicked into a sunset bomb (3) but before AJ can finish with the Styles Clash Okada hits one of his famed perfect dropkicks to break up the move.  Now all six guys are in and trading shots.  The Bullet Club hits three superkicks (6), one for each opponent, which chases RPG Vice but Okada no sells and hulk’s up some fighting spirit!  Okada fights all three opponents untill they hit a triple superkick (9) to end his night.  Trent ends up being the last unlucky bastard in the ring alone with the Bullet Club.  An assissted tombstone, Meltzer Driver, Double Superkick (11), and then finally a Styles Clash kills Trent dead at 17:25

Rating: ****1/2.  This was incredible.  I never cease to be amazed by the seamless teamwork of the Young Bucks, and AJ Styles has managed to tap into their wave length every time they’ve wrestled as a trio.  Innovative offense, near perfect timing and execution, a killer finishing sequence, eleven superkicks–I don’t know what else you could ask for out of a Six man tag really.  I usually refuse to go above **** for multi-man clusterfuck matches because of their inherent preference of spots over storytelling, but you can’t argue with wrestling this crisp.

Final Verdict: Far and away the Best episode of ROH TV on Destination America thus far.  There were actually no angels or promos on this episode as it was the only way to fit in all the wrestling.  A wholly satisfying conclusion to the New Japan crossover, this episode is worth seeking out immediately.  The only minor critique is that the Elgin match was a little long for what it was, but it never got boring.  While it is frustrating that ROH couldn’t address the results of Best in the World this week, the show was of far to high quality for anyone to be seriously upset given that things will be back to normal next week.  It was announced at Best in the world that Okada, Nakamura, and Kushida will be returning to ROH in August, so it seems that New Japan talent may be appearing more often in ROH than we thought.  This can mean nothing but good things for fans of either product.

I’ll see you all next week as we find out what the Fallout will be from Best in the World.  It’s the beginning of the Jay Lethal era, and I couldn’t be more excited.

WWF Wrestling Challenge May 24th, 1987

May 24, 1987

From the Sports Arena in San Diego, CA

Your hosts are Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon

Tonight’s featured match is Brutus Beefcake vs. Dino Bravo. Also in action will be Rick Steamboat, Kamala & Sika, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Dino Bravo w/ Johnny V. vs. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake

Beefcake frustrates Bravo to start the match. He hits a slam then Bravo bails as he regroups with Johnny V. Back in the ring as Bravo works the arm then hits a gutwrench suplex. Elbow drop gets two. We get an insert promo from the Rougeaus, who cut some unbelievably lame promo about how after the Barber Shop, the New Dream Team will have to go to the “Rougeau Shop.” Back to the match as Beefcake comes back with a clothesline then hammers away. He hits an inverted atomic drop as Heenan hilariously questions why Beefcake turned on his former team. Beefcake knocks Johnny V. off of the apron then puts Bravo in the sleeper but Greg Valentine runs in and attacks Beefcake for the DQ (3:50). Beefcake gets triple-teamed briefly until the Rougeau Brothers run out for the save.

Thoughts: Nothing more than a segment to continue the feud between all these guys. I will say that the Beefcake turn has yielded positive results.

Ron Bass tells us that it is “Round Up” time as he will be going around the country branding people with his iron. They have now given Bass a gimmick since his feud with Mulligan was all done but the problem is that he still does not have a feud.

Iron Mike Sharpe vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat

Sharpe works over the back of Steamboat to start. Steamboat hits Sharpe after an Irish whip sequence then sends him to the floor with a dropkick. Back inside, Steamboat skins-the-cat then backdrops Sharpe to the floor. We get an insert promo from the Honky Tonk Man asking Steamboat since he claims to be a fighting champion he should give him a shot at his Intercontinental Title. Sharpe works over Steamboat until he gets outsmarted then hit with a flying body press as Steamboat gets the win (2:32).

Thoughts: The story here was that Steamboat was a fighting champion and with the insert promo from Honky it seems that these two would be facing off in the future. This was aired before the tapings in which Honky beat Steamboat for the belt took place.

Gene Okerlund is with Koko B. Ware. He asks Koko about his hometown as he talked about it being small as Koko talks about loving what he does then Okerlund asks him to sing as Koko sings some a capella about “doing the bird.” The main point here was that Koko can sing.

Jerry Monti vs. King Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan

Johnny V. has replaced Heenan on commentary. Race dropkicks Monti then we get an insert promo from Race about how his crown is above and beyond any man. Race beats on Monti as the camera zooms in on the crown then hits a powerslam before getting the win with a cradle suplex (1:36).

Thoughts: Another match to build up Race for his house show run against Hogan.

Okerlund is with the Killer Bees. Just a lame, generic interview to illustrate the depth of the WWF Tag Team Division at this time. The Bees were definitely starting to get phased out at this time.

Carl Schmidt & Terry Gibbs & Dave Barbie vs. Hillbilly Jim & Tito Santana & Billy Jack Haynes

Haynes chops the shit out of Schmidt before taking him down with a dropkick. Jim and Gibbs are in the ring now as Jim hits him with an atomic drop and a slam after getting attacked when offering a handshake. Tito beats on Barbie now then Schmidt tags as Tito puts him in an armbar as Gorilla makes fun of Heenan’s neckbrace. Haynes tags and beats on Schmidt until he puts him away with the full nelson (2:52). After the match, all three faces do the do-si-do. You haven’t lived until you see Haynes and Tito dance around together.

Thoughts: Just a match with three guys thrown together to pop the crowd.

Craig DeGeorge is with Danny Davis, who tells us that everything is coming together as far as him being a wrestler. Davis had arrogance like no one else.

Rick Hunter & “Leaping” Lanny Poffo vs. Kamala & Sika w/ Mr. Fuji & Kimchee

Poffo’s pre match promo is about how Kamala & Sika belong in the zoo. We get an insert promo from Outback Jack and how they look ugly, as Heenan laughs at Jack calling someone ugly. Poffo manages to kick Sika then tag out but Hunter gets knocked down then hit with a Samoan Drop then finished off by a splash courtesy of Kamala (1:31).

Thoughts: Quick squash to put Sika & Kamala over like monsters.

We get a replay of the Superstar Billy Graham segment from “Superstars of Wrestling” where he tells us that despite what the doctors say he will return to the ring.

Steve Lombardi vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Duggan overpowers Lombardi to start the match. He yells “Hooooo!!!!!” throughout the match as he beats on Lombardi until getting the win with a running clothesline (1:49). After the match, Duggan sings “God Bless America.”

Thoughts: The crowd was into Duggan a lot. However, two days after this aired was when Duggan and Sheik got arrested together and that was the end of his mega push.

Okerlund is with Randy Savage, who refers to himself as the “uncrowned Intercontinental and World Heavyweight Champion.” He tells us that he and Elizabeth know that “Macho Madness” has had a minor setback but that he is a rock and everything will get better and better. Savage was in the zone here.

Next week in action we will see Koko B. Ware, One Man Gang, Demolition, Ken Patera, and the Killer Bees.

Final Thoughts: Not much of a show. They pushed some feuds but they were not terribly exciting or anything. I really dont have much more to add other than that.

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 5/30/87
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Al Snow, Volume 1
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 5/31/87
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 6/6/87

WWF Superstars of Wrestling January 24th, 1987

January 24, 1987

From the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, NJ

Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino, Jesse Ventura, and Vince McMahon

In action this week will be Paul Orndorff, Koko B. Ware, Randy Savage, and the featured bout of the Can-Am Connection vs. Don Muraco & Bob Orton

Paul Roma vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff w/ Bobby Heenan

Orndorff is still using “Real American” as his theme song. Orndorff starts the match with a shoulderblock but gets caught with a dropkick then rolls outside and gets some advice from Heenan, who is shown in an insert promo about how Orndorff is the uncrowned Heavyweight Champion. Back to the match as Roma is working the arm. Orndorff clocks Roma in the head then stomps him in the corner. Orndorff catches him with a clothesline then finishes him off with the piledriver (2:29).

Thoughts: Roma looked solid on offense here. Orndorff had nothing much going on but was still using Hogan’s music and they had the gimmick of Heenan saying he was the real champ but his house show run with Hogan was just about over.

WWF Update with Gene Okerlund. This week’s subjects Kamala and King Kong Bundy, who tells Kamala that his splash does not compare to his Avalanche. Seems to be building towards a Bundy/Kamala feud here. They did a few house show matches together but that was all.

Back from break as the referee’s are helping up Roma, Steve Lombardi comes in and tosses him to the floor.

Steve Lombardi vs. Koko B. Ware

Lombardi attacks Koko as he was taking off his jacket. He gets two off of a clothesline as the announcers talk about Lombardi’s new found aggression. Backbreaker gets two. Lombardi chokes out Koko then stays in control of the match. He slams down Koko but misses an elbow drop from the second rope as both men are down. Koko is up first and hits a backdrop. Powerslam gets two. Swinging neckbreaker gets two as Lombardi is still in this match. Koko catches him with a clothesline then a dropkick. He heads up top and connects with a missile dropkick then covers for the win (3:32).

Thoughts: Lombardi dominated most of the match and came out looking a lot better than Koko did, even if defeat. Why the bothered to push Lombardi on this show is beyond me and its especially odd seeing as Koko was pretty over at this point and he looked like a jabroni here for struggling to put away a jobber.

Ken Resnick is with Ricky Steamboat, who will be facing Sika at the February Boston Garden show. Steamboat talks about Savage as he is still selling the effects of his throat injury and will be a lumberjack for his match against Bruno Sammartino and will not be responsible for what happens if he falls in front of him. Great promo by Steamboat here. He showed a ton of intensity and was not as over-the-top as he has been on the mic.

A replay of Steve Lombardi attacking Paul Roma from earlier in the show. We then get a promo by Lombardi directed at Roma, who he tells to stay out of his way. And we are now giving TV time for a jobber feud.

“Cowboy” Bob Orton & Don Muraco w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Can-Am Connection

All four men start brawling before the bell. Orton briefly works over Martel as Fuji whacks Zenk with the cane. Martel comes back with a rana then slams him down as Mr. Fuji is shown in an insert promo stating that after this match the Can-Am Connection will be old and ugly. Zenk gets caught in the opposite corner but comes back with a flying headscissors. He tries it again but Muraco knocks him down from the apron, right in front of referee Danny Davis. The heels continue to double-team Zenk as Davis lets it happen. Martel gets fed up and trips Muraco from the floor and the match breaks down and that causes Davis to ring the bell and rule the match a double disqualification (3:57).

Thoughts: Decent action here and this seems like it will lead to a feud, which it did. Martel was a phenomenal worker at this point in his career.

Resnick is with Billy Jack Haynes, who will be facing Hercules in the Boston Garden. Haynes says that he is in the best shape of his life and he will break his neck with the full nelson. Haynes is a crazy dude and one guy I would never fuck with.

Another Outback Jack vignette as he talks about food and how he will in the WWF soon. Can’t wait.

Tommy Sharpe vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/ Elizabeth

Savage knocks down Sharpe from behind then tosses him to the floor. He hits a double axe handle then tosses him over the guardrail. Savage then rolls Sharpe back inside and hits the flying elbow smash for the win (0:47). Savage wrestled the whole match in his glasses and headband.

Thoughts: Savage was awesome here and this was a complete domination on his part as he is still pissed about Steamboat returning to the WWF.

Piper’s Pit with guest Jack Tunney. Another giant trophy is on the set. Tunney then brings out Andre the Giant to present him a trophy for being the only undefeated guy in WWF history. Piper asks him what he has to say to the fans and Andre says he has only one thing to say but Hulk Hogan comes out and puts over Andre for being undefeated and a great role model. Hogan then puts him over some more but Andre decides to walk off the set as Hogan leads the crowd into applause. Another memorable segment just before their feud kicked off. The more I watch the more impressed I am with how the feud and Andre’s turn was put together.

A vignette of Jimmy Hart and the Honky Tonk Man at Elvis’ restaurant. When asked what he was going to eat, Honky said he was going to have some “honky burgers.”

Hart Foundation w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Scott McGhee & Tony Garea

Before the match we see Davis pat Hart on the shoulder. McGhee takes down Brett and works the arm. Garea tags but Brett hits him in the face then the Hart Foundation take turns beating him down. An insert promo of Matilda is shown as Vince cackles like an idiot when the segment ends. Garea runs over and tags McGhee after a leapfrog. McGhee gets two with an inverted atomic drop. Brett catches him with a backbreaker then after that they put McGhee away with the Hart Attack (2:43).

Thoughts: On commentary Vince was hinting that Davis was in cahoots with the Hart Foundation and that is something to keep in mind.

The Gladiator & Jimmy Jack Funk & “The Outlaw” Ron Bass vs. U.S. Express & Blackjack Mulligan

The WWF debut of Bass here. The match starts as Spivey works over Funk. Vince asks Jesse about his investigation into Andre’s reinstatement as Jesse says he has discovered some information and will share it next week on “Piper’s Pit.” Bass is in and he beats on Rotundo as we are shown an insert promo of him calling out Mulligan. Rotundo plays the face-in-peril as Jesse and Vince talk about what will happen next week. Rotundo finally makes the tag as Mulligan comes in and puts away the Gladiator with a jumping back elbow smash (3:33).

Thoughts: A nothing match that was just the backdrop while Vince and Jesse discussed the news Jesse had supposedly heard about Andre’s reinstatement. Bass’ debut was unmemorable and the fact they are pushing a completely washed up Mulligan is not an exciting prospect.

Resnick is with Randy Savage, who calls out Bruno Sammartino for being old and cuts a promo on Steamboat about how he will be throwing fire at the dragon.

Final Thoughts: Good show with one very memorable segment. And the tease of next week’s installment of Piper’s Pit is must-see TV. The Lombardi mini-push shocked me as well. Never knew that happened. But, the tag division has a lot of solid teams and the top feuds are all doing well so it was still a good time to be a WWF fan

RoH: Honor Invades Boston August 24th, 2002

August 24, 2002

From the Americal Civic Center in Wakefield, MA (Not exactly Boston but close enough I suppose)

Your hosts are Donnie B. and Steve Corino

Low Ki cuts a promo about how he gave it his all, even losing 10 lbs in the one-hour iron man match just for the love of this sport. He says that this is his life and the RoH belt signals his love for professional wrestling. He then AJ Styles that he has the utmost respect for him but he did his heart and soul to become champion and he will prove to him and everyone else that it is not the size of the fighter but the size of the fight that he will bring.

Quiet Storm vs. Amazing Red

They start out with an over-choreographed lucha sequence to start that did not look all that great. Well, this stuff was still en vogue in 2002 so the crowd applauded. Speaking of the crowd, they are jacked for this show. Storm stomps Red in the corner then they trade headscissors. Storm rolls outside and Red hits him with a somersault tope then kicks him in the chest. He rolls storm back into the ring and kicks him some more. Storm comes back and hits a few neckbreakers that gets two. Storm then comes back with the Canadian Destroyer and heads up top but Red turns a diving headbutt attempt into a cutter the goes up top and hits the Infrared before finishing him off with the Red Star Press (6:06) *1/2. After the match, Special K attacks both men until the Spanish Announce Team and Chris Divine make the save.

Thoughts: Some of these moves looked good but they had a lot of timing issues early and this felt like more of an exhibition than anything else. This match did set up the next one though.

Scramble Match
Spanish Announce Team & Chris Divine vs. Izzy & Brian XL & Dixie

The Scramble match rules mean that tags are not necessary. Joel Maximo chops Izzy then they trade kicks until Joel hits a cradle drop  then tosses him to the floor. In the ring, Dixie and Divine work a sloppy sequence until Divine nearly murders him with a brainbuster. Jose and Brian work an awful sequence that ends with Brian getting clotheslined to the floor. Izzy then takes out everyone with an insane springboard moonsault. Brian then almost kills him attempting the Fosbery flop then Elax climbs up and hits a senton and it looked like they forgot to break his fall. Ouch. In the ring, Brian and Joel work an ugly sequence. Dixie tags and gets two with a snap suplex. Discus forearm gets two. Izzy tags and hits an enziguiri then a neckbreaker before tagging Dixie. The SAT’s then work a wacky hold that Corino calls “The Human Taffy Machine.” Dixie comes back with a tornado DDT on Jeol but Divine hits him with a tiger suplex. Jose hits Izzy with a cool looking sitout facebuster. Brian hits his typical sloppy high-flying stuff on Jose. The SAT’s work a stacked powerbomb that I am surprised Dixie didn’t have his neck broken. Divine then hits Elax with a super faceslam and after that, the SAT’s hit Brian with the Spanish Fly for the win (9:12) *3/4.

Thoughts: There was some nice offense here and Izzy in particular stood out but a lot of it looked bad. Brian XL just might have been the worst wrestler in RoH during their first year. He was awful in every single way.

Divine is in the ring and calls out Low Ki for a title match. Low Ki’s music hits and we get a match.

RoH Championship Match
Chris Divine vs. Low Ki (Champion)

Divine chops Low Ki to start. Ki comes back with a bunch of kicks then hits the Tidal Crush, setting up the Dragon Clutch for the win (0:55) NR. After the match, Ki plays to the crowd, who go crazy for him.

Thoughts: I really did not get the point of this but it was short and inoffensive.

Christopher Daniels cuts a promo recorded in an office stating that he is in Japan, showing the world why he is the #1 wrestler in the world. However, he said that the Prophecy will be in Boston and a new member might debut as well. Daniels then tells Ki that he has caused all of his problems and screwed him out of the RoH Championship and will return to RoH on 9/21/02 and help destroy the image of RoH with the help of the Prophecy and it will all be Low Ki’s fault. Good to see them try to establish a heel stable and a feud for the title.

Dunn & Marcos vs. Christopher St. Connection w/ Allison Danger

The CSC toss Dunn outside then beat on Marcos, mixing in some homoeroticism in the process. The CSC use quick tags to maintain control and chop Marcos hard in the corner. Marcos manages to escape from the corner and tag Dunn who cleans house. The match gets clipped as the CSC are making out then toss Marcos outside before hitting Dunn with the Gay Basher for the win (3:42) *. After the match, Danger beats on both men.

Thoughts: The CSC did a lot more wrestling than usual and did not look too bad in the ring. But still, the tag team division in RoH still left a lot to be desired at this time.

Mike Tobin w/ Danny Drake vs. Scoot Andrews

Andrews cheapshots Tobin after the handshake then takes him down with a leg lariat. He then hits a guillotine leg drop and an Alabama Slam that gets two. Tobin floats over on a pumphandle and hits a Russian leg sweep and a springboard leg drop. Tobin heads up top but misses a swanton bomb then pancakes him after a botched move. Andrews then hits him with the Force of Nature for the win (2:03) 1/2*. After the match, Xavier comes out and challenges him to a rematch.

Thoughts: A nothing match and the having a match to set up an impromptu match happen again tonight is lazy.

Scoot Andrews vs. Xavier

They start by going back and forth until Andrews takes control with a facebuster. He hits a dropkick but Xavier sends him to the floor with an enziguiri then flies outside with a split-legged moonsault. Back inside, Xavier rams Andrews into the corner then hits an overhead suplex for a nearfall. Andrews comes back with a clothesline then tries the Force of Nature but Xavier escapes. He tries for a sunset flip but Scoot turns that into the Roll of the Dice. Xavier comes back with a splash mountain then goes up top and hits a 450 splash for the win (4:07) *1/2. After the match, the announcers say that Xavier has to be in title contention after winning this feud.

Thoughts: They were pushing Xavier as a threat on commentary as they set him up to face the winner of tonight’s championship match. I have no idea how someone who lost in the first round of the championship tournament got to be the #1 contender either.

Michael Shane pulls up in a Lexus SUV with Biohazard. He tells him to grab his bags after saying how good it is to win a RoH contract. Shane continues to act cocky and better than the rest of the TWA guys, with Bio-Hazard as his sidekick.

Michael Shane vs. Paul London

Rudy Boy Gonzalez watches the match at ringside. Shane attacks London from behind after the handshake. He gets cocky and taunts the crowd, letting London take him down. Shane charges and London backdrops him outside on to Biohazard then takes them both out with a tope. In the ring, London hits the dropsault for two. He hits Shane with forearms in the corner and they do not look too good. Shane shoves London off of the top rope and he flies outside into the guardrail as Shane poses from the top rope. Christ, London is insane. Shane goes outside and softens up London as Corino cracks a lot of lame jokes at the expense of Rudy Boy. He was trying way too hard to be Bobby Heenan on commentary. In the ring, Shane hits a top rope elbow drop that gets two. He has London in a front facelock as the crowd rallies behind London, who escapes and hits a spinning heel kick and a clothesline. Shane blocks a tornado DDT attempt and sends London into the turnbuckle with an overhead suplex and that gets two. Shane puts on a reverse chinlock then grounds London for a bit. London comes back with a mat slam. He dodges a charging Shane but ends up getting kicked in the face afterwards. They fight up top and Shane takes him down then puts London in the Haas of Pain. London turns it into a cradle. He then gets two off of a rana before taking him outside with a spinning heel kick. London then flies outside with a springboard somersault plancha and Shane sells the ankle, similarly to when Chris Marvel legitimately broke his ankle on the “Round Robin Challege” Show. London rolls him outside as Shane sells the ankle and Rudy Boy comes inside to check on him but Shane quickly rolls up London for the win (12:45) ***. Shane did a great job of selling there. Simply Luscious steps into the ring to offer Shane a spot in the Prophecy on the behalf of Christopher Daniels. Rudy Boy steps in and grabs the mic from her and tries to convince Shane to say no. Shane ends up hitting Luscious with a super kick then does the same to Rudy Boy. Bio-Hazard and Shane now attack London with Shane finishing with his top rope elbow drop.

Thoughts: Good match. Shane was the better worker of the two and came across as a star, with London being the crowd favorite due to his crazy moves. They also pushed Shane as a loner here, with him not needing anyone to get ahead.

American Dragon vs. Donovan Morgan

This was set up a few months ago when Daniels brought in Morgan, who pissed off Dragon by dissing the Code of Honor. They lockup for a minute then Morgan goes outside and wants Dragon to join him but he wants to keep it in the ring. Back inside, Morgan shoves down Dragon, who comes back with an armdrag then grabs an armbar. Dragon gets two off of a dropkick then goes back to the arm of Morgan. Dragon locks on a sleeper but Morgan turns that into a back suplex. He takes Dragon outside and sends him into the guardrail a few times. Morgan takes Dragon back inside and takes him down after a few forearm smashes that looked quite snug. Morgan then puts on a legscissor full nelson that Dragon counters into a reverse surfboard. Morgan then ends up catching Dragon with an exploder that gets two. He tries a suplex but Dragon floats over and hits him with an enziguiri as both men are down. Dragon is up first and takes him down with a forearm smash then gets two with a spinning wheel kick. Dragon fires away in the corner then gets two with a Northern lights suplex. Dragon eats boot on a charge then Morgan jumps off of the second rope and hits Dragon with a DDT that gets two. They trade rollups until Morgan hits an overhead suplex and that gets two. They now trade European uppercuts and Dragon wins that war. He comes back with a snap suplex then heads up top and hits the diving headbutt but that only gets two. Morgan counters a Fujiwara armbar with the Golden Gate Swing but that only gets two. The camera shows Morgan’s busted eye as Dragon puts Morgan in the Cattle Mutilation but the fifteen minute time-limit expires and the match is ruled a draw (15:00) ***1/2. Both guys want five more minutes, as does the crowd, but the referee will not let that happen. The crowd then chants “kill the ref.” Dragon yells at Morgan to shake his hand and extends it out as Morgan stares him down and cheapshots Dragon before hitting the Pedigree.

Thoughts: Damn good match. Both guys hit each other hard and it was a back and forth battle that was enjoyable to watch. Morgan was good in the ring and its a shame that he did not get a longer run with the company.

Da Hit Squad tell the Carnage Crew that they are ready to make the sacrifice.

The Carnage Crew are shown entering the Murphy Rec Center and beating the shit out of two ring boys then tells Da Hit Squad that those were them.

Boston Massacre Match
Carnage Crew vs. Da Hit Squad

This is a hardcore match with the Code of Honor not in effect. They brawl all over the place to start and none of it looks all that good. In the ring, Mafia hits HC Loc with a German suplex. Devito comes in with barbed wire wrapped around his arm and hammers away at Mafia, busting him open. Mafia comes back with a kick to the head and now has the barbed wire and uses that to bust open Devito. The crowd is not all that into this match as it is just garbage brawling that has been done to death. In the ring, Monsta Mack wraps the barbed wire around the head of Loc. Mafia starts screaming in an attempt to rile up the crowd but it fails miserably. Devito opens up Mafia some more then inside of the ring, he hits him with clotheslines and each time Mafia gives him the finger and yells “fuck you.” No one cares. Devito sends Mafia into the corner with an overhead throw then Loc and Mack fuck up a chair swing spot by hitting the chairs together but Mack sells it anyway. The Carnage Crew destroy Da Hit Squad with chairs then Da Hit Squad escapes and goes back to the locker room to grab something and each come back out with a piece of plywood covered in barbed wire and toss it into the ring, where the Carnage Crew are currently standing. They now brawl in the ring as the pieces of barbed wire covered wood are placed in the corners with everyone doing there best to avoid making contact. Da Hit Squad are not over in Wakefield at all by the way. Devito ends up sending Mack into the barbed wire then Mafia spears Devito through the board as the crowd starts a “holy shit” chant then puts him away with the Burning Hammer (11:04) 1/2*.

Thoughts: A garbage brawl that went on for way too long. Da Hit Squad flopped in Boston, who did not respond at all to their antics like the crowds in Philadelphia have been. And those antics were opening match indy-level stuff anyway.

Don Juan vs. Bio-Hazard w/ Michael Shane

Bio-Hazard takes control early on and hits a pair of suplexes. He catches Juan off of the top and hits a Northern lights suplex that gets two. Juan manages a backslide but Bio-Hazard puts him away very shortly after that with a Teardrop suplex (2:12) 1/4*.

Thoughts: Just a showcase for Bio-Hazard, who was alright in the ring and bigger than most guys in RoH. Besides that, he did not stick out at all.

Maverick Wild vs. Alex Arion

These two guys wrestled for New England Championship Wrestling at this time. Wild did some enhancement work for WCW and WWF in the 90’s. They start the match with a rollup reversal sequence then fight over an armbar. Wild hits a backbreaker but Arion locks on an armbar. He hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors before going back to the arm then more or less repeats the same sequence as this match is getting repetitive. Wild comes back with a Russian leg sweep then gets two with a suplex. He hits Arion with a basement dropkick to the back of the neck. He gets cocky with his pin attempt and Arion cradles him for two. They trade chops in the corner until Wild misses a corner splash in a terrible looking spot then Arion hits him with a super kick that gets two. Wild stomps Arion’s foot and hits a spinning wheel kick before chopping him in the corner. Arion is able to catch Wild with a front facedrop then heads up top and comes off with a splash but Wild gets his knees up. Wild then picks up Arion, who turns it into a victory roll for the win (5:49) *.

Thoughts: A basic match. Arion was repetitive in the ring but looked competent as Wild did not impress at all. Arion wrestled a few more matches for the company while this was the only time Wild appeared.

Natural Born Sinners vs. Tony Mamaluke & James Maritato
Mamaluke and Boogalou take it to the mat to start and it all looked solid. The crowd applauds their efforts as now Maritato and Homicide tag into the match as they also take it to the mat. Maritato rolls through a slam and puts Homicide in a leg lock. Maritato tags Mamaluke but Homicide chops him all over the ring then tags Boogalou and they hit a few double-team moves. Boogaloo locks on the Fujiwara armbar then hammers away as Corino puts over his high school amateur wrestling credentials. Mamaluke is able to back Homicide into his corner and tags Maritato. The former FBI use quick tags to isolate Homicide and target his lower back. Mamaluke gets a nearfall with a German suplex but Homicide comes back with a pair of T-Bone suplexes and gets two off of that before tagging Boogaloo, who dodges a pair of attacks. He goes back and forth with Maritato until Homicide comes in and hits Maritato with an Ace Crusher. The match breaks down a bit as Maritato misses on a flying knee attack and ends up on the floor. Back inside, Maritato and Homicide counter each other’s moves until Homicide hits him with the Cop Killer for the win (12:32) **1/2. After the match, Maritato shakes the hands of his opponents then leaves Mamaluke lying down in the ring.
Thoughts: Solid match. This was the last match for Boogalou in RoH as he left to sign with XPW in a poor decision on his behalf as XPW went under shortly afterwards. I think that the Natural Born Sinners could have had a nice run in RoH as they were the most interesting teams in the company. The end with Maritato walking out on Mamaluke also continues their feud. 
Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe
The in-ring debut of Mark Briscoe in RoH. The story here is that Mark is sick of being in his older brother’s shadow but is not able to wrestle him in Phladelphia due to being 17 years old as the athletic commission says you need to be 18 years of age to compete but in Boston, the commission does not exist and he can wrestle. They start the match by taking it to the mat as neither man can get an advantage. Mark gets on top of him and slaps him around but Jay counters and ends up nailing him with crossfaces. They trade off some more stuff until Mark ducks his head on a backdrop attempt and Jay chops him repeatedly. Mark comes back with a Northern lights suplex that gets two as the fans are loving this match. Mark gets cocky and perches on the top rope. Mark bounces off of Jay a few times and they work an Irish whip sequence that ends with Jay booting Mark to the floor. They trade chops outside of the ring and Mark gains the advantage. He sends Jay into the post, busting him open in the process. Back in the ring, Jay fights back but runs into an overhead suplex as Mark goes back to work. He works a headscissors on the mat then breaks and hits a rana before he uses mounted punches. The crowd rallies behind Jay, who is getting destroyed in the corner. Mark plants Jay with a DDT and hammers away. Jay comes back with a dropkick to the knee the stomps his hand after a gordbuster. Mark cuts Jay off as he climbed up top then takes him down with a springboard Ace Crusher that gets two. That looked pretty damn good. Mark is selling his hand then comes back with a kneedrop. Mark then hits a tombstone piledriver but misses a knee drop from the top rope. Jay comes back with a pair of Dragon Screws then targets the knee some more. He places Mark in the Tree-of-Woe then runs across the ring and dropkicks him in the face. Jay then hits a backbreaker from the torture rack position but Mark comes back with an exploder after ducking a clothesline as both men are down. Jay is sent outside but manages to sidestep a pescado as Mark sells his knee. Mark hits a low blow and rolls Jay inside and hits a springboard missile dropkick, selling his knee mid-move. Jay breaks out of a chinlock and tries for the Jaydriller but Mark floats over. Jay then kills Mark with a powerbomb. Mark comes back with a German suplex and a Dragon Suplex but still cannot put away his brother. He hits a Fisherman’s Buster but misses a moonsault then gets turned inside out with a lariat. Death Valley Driver gets two as the crowd is on their feet. They avoid each other’s finishing moves then Jay hits a Screwdriver. He heads up top but whiffs on a senton then Mark hits a shining wizard then hits Jay with a Cutthroat Driver for the win (16:54) ****. The crowd rightfully gives these two a standing applause. After Jay is carried backstage, Mark comes up to him and yells how he is better than him. 
Thoughts: Awesome match that told a good story in the ring. This was the best feud in the company at this point and that is why the match held the crowd’s attention the entire time. Good stuff and a must-see match, especially for fans of the Briscoe’s who are unfamiliar with their earlier work with the company. 
RoH Championship
AJ Styles vs. Low Ki (Champion)
These guys have an impressive sequence on the mat that ends when Low Ki kicks AJ. They now work a test of strength and that ends up into a kicking contest that ends with Ki connecting on an enziguiri. Ki tries to fight AJ from the mat but ends up getting kicked in the back of the head. Ki works a headlock on the mat but AJ switches that into a headscissors. Ki breaks that up with kicks then chops AJ hard against the ropes. AJ tries to kip up and take Ki down with a rana but it gets blocked and Ki kicks AJ in the back. AJ finally hits the kip-up rana then hammers away on Ki for a bit. Ki comes back with a flurry of kicks until he runs into a lariat. Ki gets knocked outside but kicks AJ in the head as he attempted to charge through the middle of the ropes. He rolls AJ back inside and kicks away. AJ ducks a springboard kick and hits Ki with a German suplex then a front facebuster. He takes a breather then tries for the Styles Clash but Ki blocks that and gets two off of a rollup. They trade chops until AJ misses a corner charge. Ki places AJ up top and kicks him before putting on the Hanging Dragon. AJ cuts off Ki as he climbed up top and attempts a Splash Mountain but Ki escapes only for AJ to hit him with a facebuster. He then slams Ki and heads up top but misses the Spiral Tap as both men are down. Ki beats on AJ in the corner but AJ fights back and places Ki in the Tree-of-Woe then connects with a flying forearm and that gets two. They now trade chops from their knees then as they stand up. Ki hits AJ with an enziguiri then a brainbuster but that only gets two. Ki goes up top but AJ gets his knees up on a Phoenix Splash attempt. AJ gets two off of a double pump brainbuster. Ki dodges a charging AJ who bounces off of the turnbuckle then covers and gets two. Ki signals for the Ki Crusher but AJ turns that into a small package for a nearfall. They now are beating the shit out of each other as the fans go crazy. AJ tries for a rana but Ki turns that into a powerbomb and covers with a bridge and that gets two. They then trade counters until Ki gets the win with a Ki Krusher (19:48) ****. Corino then alerts us that RoH will return to the Boston area on November 6th.
Thoughts: Another awesome match. My only complaint, which is a minor one, is that Low Ki took too much of the offense in the match. 
Low Ki walks by Xavier and tells him that next month, all he can do is be ready when he challenges him for his title. You could say that they have done a terrible job at building up Xavier as a legitimate title threat, and they have, but in reality, he never had the ability to be at that level to begin with. 
Michael Shane asks Rudy Boy how it feels to get taken out by the man he trained. He then tells Rudy to get off of his back. He switches his focus to Simply Luscious and says that he does not need the Prophecy watching his back and loves shaking hands because he has confidence everytime he goes into the ring that the referee will raise his hand in victory and his opponent will have to look into his eyes and shake the hand of a better man. He closes by telling Spanky that Shawn Michaels’ blood flows through his veins. Decent promo work from Shane here, who was incredibly cocky and unlikable
Dunn & Marcos call themselves the top tag team in Ring of Honor then stop as they see the Carnage Crew beat the shit out of two other ring crew guys while watching from the balcony. 
Final Thoughts: The first half of this show was pretty bad but the second half was damn good. They continue to build up their wrestlers and feuds, which for the most part are getting over. The “spot monkey” guys in the opening matches and most of the tag division are bad as a whole though and that needs to be improved on but for now, they are shaping up the top of the card quite nicely. 
Sunday: WWF Championship Wrestling 8/23/86
Tuesday: WWF The Big Event 8/28/86
Thursday: Kayfabe Commentaries 1992 WWE Timeline as told by Bret Hart
Friday: WWF Championship Wrestling 8/30/86 (Final Episode)
Saturday: RoH Unscripted 9/21/02

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WWF Championship Wrestling May 24th, 1986

May 24, 1986
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
Tonight’s featured match is between Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff & Killer Bees. Also, Harley race makes his debut. Plus, the Dream Team and Ricky Steamboat are in action and the “Flower Shop” with guests Don Muraco and Mr. Fuji.

Steve Lombardi & Paul Christy vs. “Golden Boy” Danny Spivey & Mike Rotundo
Rotundo returns after several months and still has “Born in the USA” as his theme music. The faces take turns working the arm of Lombardi to start. Rotundo catches him with a back elbow smash then slams him before tagging Spivey. Lombardi makes the tag as Christy lands a few shots with minimal effect on Spivey. Rotundo tags and they hit a double dropkick but Rotundo gets backed into the wrong corner and choked out by Lombardi. Rotundo escapes and a few mistimed sequences follow then shortly after that he catches Lombardi with the airplane spin before Spivey hits a slingshot splash for the win (3:56).
Thoughts: The crowd was into this match. Then again, it was the first show of the taping and sometimes that factors heavily into crowd reaction. They finally found something for Spivey and it was nice to see Rotundo return, as he was a solid worker. But really, this team was just to add depth to the tag team division.
WWF Update with Mean Gene Okerlund. We have a new set and music know too. This week, the subject is King Kong Bundy and how he is a mean guy. In a funny moment, they come back from the clip and a guy with a broom walks behind Gene, who tells him two doors down on the left then the segment just ends. This was not very good.
Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan vs. John Centeno
This is Race’s debut in the WWE. He hits a back suplex on Centeno then tosses him outside and beats the shit out of him. Back inside, Race follows a neckbreaker with a falling headbutt. After a shoulderbreaker, Race beats on Centeno before hitting him with a piledriver. Race drops an elbow then finishes him off with a slingshot suplex (3:09).
Thoughts: Race was quite impressive here and was moving around very well. Not a lot of fanfare for his debut but he was completely dominant.
Ken Resnick is with Nikolai Volkoff, who cuts a promo on Corporal Kirchner hyping their house show match tonight in Boston. It was tough to understand Nikolai here as he sounded like he had marbles in his mouth.
Ron Shaw vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Steamboat catches Shaw with a powerslam then tosses him outside as the announcers talk about his feud with Jake Roberts. Back inside, Steamboat works a reverse chinlock as Vince warns us at home not to try any of the moves. Steamboat hits a reverse neckbreaker then heads up top and finishes him with a flying body press for the win (2:48).
Thoughts: Steamboat was very aggressive in the match as they were hyping him as ultra pissed off over being attacked by Roberts at “Saturday Night’s Main Event.” That feud has been really hot so far.
Resnick is with Hulk Hogan, who said that he hates pre-taped interviews as they take place a month in advance. Hogan calls out his opponent in Boston, Randy Savage, and says that he is not a champion after robbing Tito Santana but rather a bum. He closes by promising to run wild on Savage. Interesting to hear Hogan tell everyone how these promos are taped a month in advance.
The Dream Team w/ Johnny Valiant vs. George Wells & Mike Saxon
Heenan comes out on commentary and interrupts the match, telling us that Andre the Giant has been suspended by President Jack Tunney. Back to the match as Saxon is getting beat down by the Dream Team. Valentine then puts him in the figure four for the win (2:48).
Thoughts: The match just the backdrop for Heenan’s announcement of Andre’s suspension, which was major news. The angle that followed was shit, however.
Flower Shop with guests Don Muraco and Mr. Fuji. You can hear all of the kids in the crowd start up a “faggot” chant aimed at Adonis. Muraco talks about how they look great while “Hulk Hooligan” walks around ripped t-shirts. Nothing much happened and the Flower Shop was a pretty bad talk show segment all around, actually.
We are shown the “Hulkamania” music video. It is always great to see this. I fucking can’t get enough of the video.
Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff w/ Freddie Blassie vs. Killer Bees
The Bees work over the arm of Nikolai to start as the crowd is screaming “USA.” Brunzell takes over Nikolai with a sunset flip but Sheik breaks that up. Brunzell goes after the Sheik and that backfires as the heels double-team him behind the referee’s back. They continue to beat on Brunzell until he escapes. The ref orders the heels back as the Bees put on their masks as the heels are confused. Blair is the one in the ring and locks Sheik in an abdominal stretch then they keep switching behind the ref’s back as he is unable to keep track of who is underneath the mask. Nikolai breaks up a sleeper but eats  a clothesline. Brunzell dropkicks Sheik, who gets pulled out by Nikolai then they head up the aisle and get counted out, as they did not want to deal with the Bees (4:38).
Thoughts: They used this match to get over the Bee’s mask gimmick. The crowd hated Sheik & Volkoff too. A fun match to close the show.
In action next week are Paul Orndorff, Jake Roberts, George “The Animal” Steele, Funk Brothers, Tito Santana & Pedro Morales, and Don Muraco & Bob Orton.
Final Thoughts: Solid show overall. The featured bout was fine and the big news of Andre’s suspension made it a big show. Harley Race’s debut went well and the return of Mike Rotundo got over with the crowd.

WWF Philadelphia Spectrum August 24th, 1985

August 24, 1985
Your hosts are Dick Graham and Gorilla Monsoon
My copy of the show omits the first two matches, which were Steve Gatorwolf vs. Terry Gibbs and Corporal Kirchner vs. AJ Petruzzi
Tonight, Bruno Sammartino appears as a special guest referee for a match between Paul Orndorff and Roddy Piper plus the Tag Team Titles are on the line when the champions, Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham defend their belts against Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake.

“Leaping” Lanny Poffo vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton
The crowd is all over Orton, who starts by backing Poffo into the corner. Lanny comes back and hits a dropkick that has Orton retreat outside. Back in the ring, they engage in a test of strength then take it to the mat where Poffo uses his quickness to his advantage. Poffo hits a pair of armdrags after a criss-cross spot. Poffo kips back up after getting bodyslammed and slams Orton before going back to the arm for a while as the announcers talk about the rest of the card. Orton finally escapes and goes to work in the corner but misses a forearm smash from the top rope. Poffo knocks down Orton and gets two then goes to work on the injured arm. Orton asks for a timeout, selling his arm in the process. He tries to outsmart Lanny but that fails and he gets rolled up for two. Orton walks up the aisle, holding his arm. Back in the ring, Orton takes control. He drives Poffo face-first into the mat then drops him throat-first on the top rope. Poffo is draped over the apron and Orton elbows his throat. Poffo fights back from the apron and slingshots in with a sunset flip that gets two but Orton kicks his ass after that. He hits a slingshot suplex but misses an inverted corner splash. Poffo hits a monkey flip and an atomic drop that has Orton beg for mercy. Poffo hits a dropkick but gets caught with a knee on a charge and Orton hits the superplex for the win (14:10) **1/4
Thoughts: The match was alright, but it had a ton of stalling on the part of Orton. Lanny looked alright and was on offense for a majority of the match. Its been established right off the bat that Lanny was nothing more than a lower card worker. Orton continues to work the angle with the cast and looked okay here but this was the period when he started to get really lazy as a worker.
Special Guest Referee: Bruno Sammartino
Roddy Piper w/ Bob Orton vs. Paul Orndorff
Orndorff comes charging into the ring, nearly falling down in the process. Bruno sends Orton to the locker room and orders each competitor into their corners. Orndorff starts by winning a slugfest. Piper’s foot is stuck in the ropes and Orndorff hammers away, with the crowd going crazy. Piper uses an eye poke to take control but Bruno blocks his punch in the corner and that allows Orndorff to fire away. Piper again cheats to take control then they have a major miscommunication during a neckbreaker spot but Piper just poses afterwards to get the crowd to hate him even more. Piper shoves Bruno then roughs up Orndorff before sending him to the floor. He rams Orndorff’s head off of the table then back inside the ring, he continues his assault. Bruno shoves Piper away after he was stomping Orndorff near the ropes and they go back-and-forth, allowing Orndorff to fight back. He locks Roddy into a sleeper but refuses to break the hold. They spill outside where Roddy throws a drink at his face. He rolls him in the ring then grabs a chair and “hits” Bruno with the chair when he tried to stop him. It was more like a bunt to be honest. Orndorff clotheslines Piper and goes for the piledriver but Orton runs out and attacks him. Bruno gets up and unloads on Orton then the heels retreat as Orndorff wins by DQ (8:09) **1/2.
Thoughts: This match had a ton of heat. It wasn’t a technical masterpiece by any means but the brawling looked solid, if not sloppy at times. Bruno did not do much as a referee but he was really only there to set up the tag match at next month’s show. Piper was awesome as usual here.
Backstage, Gorilla is with Bruno and Piper. Bruno says he is bitter due to Piper and Orton as they have no respect for anyone. Gorilla informs us that Bruno & Orndorff will team against Piper & Orton at the next Spectrum Show, which will be reviewed on the site.
Now, Piper and Orton are with Gorilla. Piper was absolutely hilarious in this segment.
Tony Garea vs. Missing Link
No Heenan tonight. Link retreats after a few punches. He misses a corner charge and Garea works the arm as the crowd is completely silent. Garea works the arm for a bit until Link escapes and takes him outside. He rams Garea into the post twice then tries to bring the ring steps into the ring with him but the ref stops him. Garea fights back outside and basically walks him into the ring post. Back in the ring, Garea rings his bell as the crowd starts to boo as this match is shit. Kneelift gets two. He hits an atomic drop before knocking him down with a forearm smash. He now works on the leg as absolutely no one cares about this match. Crossbody gets two. Garea walks into a headbutt but is able to roll away from the flying headbutt. He gets a few nearfalls but ducks his head and Link hits a headbutt for a win (8:08) -*.
Thoughts: Holy shit was this terrible. Garea’s offense was abysmal and Link just acted like a regular guy here, which was much worse than his character. I have no idea who thought that this should go eight minutes long, with Garea taking 90% of the offense.
Kal Rudman is backstage with Hillbilly Jim and his Cousin Junior (jobber Lanny Kean) who will be facing Big John Studd. The interview runs a little long with Junior playing up that he is a complete moron. The Hillbilly stuff would really go into overdrive in the WWF shortly after this show.
Rudman is with Big John Studd, who runs down all of the Hillbillies and also takes shots at Andre. He calls himself the strongest man in wrestling and issues a challenge to anyone in the WWF.
Big John Studd vs. Cousin Junior w/Hillbilly Jim
Junior had not yet made his debut on television. The Hillbillies start by dancing in the ring. Studd attacks Junior from behind. Junior fights back with a mule kick then hammers away. He sends Studd outside with another mule kick, who teases a confrontation with Hillbilly Jim. Back inside, Studd beats on Junior. He slams him then gets two off of a forearm smash. He then ties Junior’s head in the ropes and the referee signals the bell for the DQ (3:44) DUD. After the match, Jim comes in and knocks down Studd, who retreats to the back.
Thoughts: The match was useless but at least it was short, which is what you want from these guys. Looks like they are also going for a match between Studd and Jim down the road.
WWF Tag Team Championship
Dream Team w/Johnny Valiant vs. Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham w/Capt. Lou Albano (Champions)
The heels jump the champs to start. The faces take control with a double noggin knocker. The match settles down as Valentine and Rotundo are in the ring. Rotundo wins that battle then tags Windham. He hits an elbow smash off of the top rope then uses an arm wringer. Valentine catches him with a knee and makes the tag. Windham dodges an elbow drop and tags Rotundo, who grabs an armbar. The faces take turns working on the arm of Beefcake as Valentine complains to the ref. They hit Beefcake with a double dropkick that gets two. Rotundo puts him in a front facelock but Beefcake makes the tag behind his back and Valentine hits an elbow smash from the top rope. He softens up the leg of Rotundo as the fans start a “USA” chant. The heels isolate Rotundo using sleeper holds, who has the crowd solidly behind him. He finally makes the tag but the ref did not see it happen and orders Windham back to the apron. Rotundo catches Valentine with a punch as he comes off the top rope. Brutus tags in and cuts off Rotundo before applying another front facelock. Valentine tags and goes after Windham, who fires away, but the ref steps in between them. Shoulderbreaker gets two. Rotundo fights off a figure-four attempt but is still not able to make the tag. He collides with Beefcake as both men are down. Valentine outsmarts the ref and Windham by dragging Beefcake on top of Rotundo but that only gets two. He tags but misses a few elbow drops and that allows Rotundo to finally make the tag. The crowd goes nuts as Windham runs wild on the Dream Team. He bulldogs Valentine but that only gets two. He tries it again but Beefcake breaks up the pin. The match breaks down as the ref is distracted, allowing Valiant to slip Beefcake his cigar. He puts it in the eye of Windham then Valentine covers for the win and the belts (19:00) ***. After the match, Windham is rolling around in pain as the crowd is pissed off.
Thoughts: Good match. The second title reign for Windham & Rotundo did not last very long at all. These two were supposed to work a program but Windham quit the company. In his shoot interview, Windham said that he and Rotundo asked for a few days off after being on the road for 96 days and said that after being denied the request, he flipped out on George Scott and Chief Jay Strongbow at a show in Boston and ended up taking a plane back home to Florida. Windham said that the insane travel schedule made them both snap at the time.
Rick McGraw vs. Brett Hart
McGraw looks absolutely ripped here. Hart bails after a hiptoss. McGraw hits a few armdrags and a dropkick before Hart retreats to the corner. He works the arm of McGraw as the crowd starts a loud “boring” chant. McGraw takes control but Hart yanks him down by the hair. Hart takes control after raking the eyes as the boring chants are not stopping. McGraw boots down Hart after he ducked his head then runs his face along the ropes. Suplex gets two. Backslide gets two. Hart holds up on the rope as McGraw attempted a dropkick. Hart hits a backbreaker then drops an elbow from the second rope for the win (5:32) *.
Thoughts: Basic match that the crowd turned on instantly. Bret had no charisma at this point and McGraw never had any to begin with.
Dick Graham, who was awful as an announcer, runs down next month’s card that features Orndorff & Bruno vs. Piper & Orton, Don Muraco vs. Ricky Steamboat, and Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan.
Final Thoughts: The show was memorable for the Tag Title switch and Bruno getting involved with the Piper/Orndorff angle. The rest of the card was completely forgettable but next month’s show looks a lot better at least.

WWF Championship Wrestling August 24th, 1985

August 24, 1985
Your hosts are Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon
In action tonight are the Killer Bees, Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff, and Tony Atlas & George Wells. Also, Randy Savage will choose his manager, with Bruno thinking it will be Jimmy Hart and Vince guessing Freddie Blassie. Plus, Terry Funk will be on Piper’s Pit.

Barry O. & Rusty Brooks vs. Killer Bees
Blair uses his speed to elude Brooks. He hits a flying forearm before tagging Brunzell. Brooks rakes the eyes and tags Barry. They trade arm wringers and slams until Blair tags. He hits a flying elbow smash and the Bees work the arm of Barry, who is able to tag Brooks. Brunzell hits him with a flying knee smash, landing right on top of him when he landed, getting two. Brunzell then slams Brooks and Blair finishes him off with a sitdown splash from the top rope (3:57).
Thoughts: Decent action. The Bees were really good as a team in the ring. In terms of charisma, not that much but there have been a lot worse than them in that department.
WWF Update with Lord Alfred Hayes. The subjects for this week are Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo. They show a clip of them winning the tag titles. The day this show aired, Windham & Rotundo lost the belts to the Dream Team at the Philadelphia Spectrum. I will be reviewing that house show next.
Pedro Morales vs. A.J. Petruzzi
Morales slams Petruzzi, who rolls outside for a breather. Mr. Fuji joins the booth and states his case for winning the “Manager of the Year” award. He says he should win because he is great. Morales slingshots Petruzzi back into the ring, who begs for mercy in the corner. Morales is incredibly lazy here by the way. He sends Petruzzi back outside with some forearm smashes. Back inside, Morales hits a backdrop then puts him away with the Boston Crab (3:09). Loud chants for Pedro after the match.
Thoughts: Most of the focus was on Fuji stating his case for the “Manager of the Year” award. The match was dreadful but the fans still dug Pedro in the Northeast.
Gene Okerlund runs down the September 7th show at the Boston Garden. Hulk Hogan comes out and says that he has “traveled miles to deal with piles of trials” before running down King Kong Bundy not only for being ignorant but also for not saying his prayers of taking his vitamins.
Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff w/ Freddie Blassie vs. Keith & Al Diamond
Volkoff kicks one of the Diamond’s (the announcers couldn’t even identify them) from behind. He beats the piss out of him before tagging the Sheik. He continues the assault then throws him in the opposite corner. The other Diamond tags in and gets suplexed before submitting to the Camel Clutch (1:55). After the match, the jobbers get tossed to the floor.
Thoughts: The heels were ultra-aggressive as they are still angry over losing the belts.
Mean Gene is now with Corporal Kirchner. He talks to Gene about never quitting and going all the way. Kirchner was not very good on the microphone.
Susan Starr vs. Spider Lady w/Fabulous Moolah
Starr kicks the Spider Lady away after she attempted a leg lock. Starr then goes to work on the arm as Moolah is up on the apron. The Spider Lady takes control with an elbow smash as Vince tells us that Savage will surprise everyone with his choice as manager because it is not someone we are familiar with .Moolah chokes out Starr behind the referee’s back then Spider Lady puts her away with a powerslam (2:44).
Thoughts: I don’t know who played the Spider Lady this time (Judy Martin?) but several different woman played her at this time. It was her debut on Championship Wrestling.
Piper’s Pit with guest Terry Funk. He talks about JYD, calling him a clown and a buffoon. Funk then does an impersonation of a cattle getting branded before he and Piper call JYD a “jackass.” Funk ends the segment by spitting tobacco onto the camera lens. This was pretty funny, actually.
Tony Atlas & George Wells vs. Bolo & John Rizzo
Wells knocks down Rizzo, who immediately tags out. Atlas tags and goes to work on Bolo, who bails after Atlas attempts to remove his mask. The faces go to work on Rizzo until Wells gets the win with a flying shoulder tackle (2:36). After the match, Atlas is shown hugging fans at ringside.
Thoughts: This was pretty bad, actually. Wells & Atlas showed absolutely nothing as a team. It was like they hated each other the way they acted as a team. Atlas would flame out soon enough due to drugs.
Hillbilly Jim gives us a PSA, telling us to always listen to our parents.
Jim Young vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage
All of the active heel managers in the WWF are at ringside. Macho beats the piss out of Young before throwing him to the floor. He follows out with a double ax handle then rolls him back inside. He hits a delayed vertical suplex before putting him away with the flying elbow drop (1:46). After the match, he tosses Young back to the floor. Savage grabs the mic and tells us this is the big day and thanks all of the managers for their consideration, giving them compliments in the process, before announcing his new manager. He says they are right behind the door and it opens to reveal a smiling young woman, who has the crowd whistling and Vince going out of his mind. Savage doesn’t reveal her name as the announcers refer to her as a mystery lady.
Thoughts: At the time, I am sure this was a shock. For those who hadn’t figured out, this was the debut of Miss Elizabeth. I wonder how this angle, with all of the hype only to debut an unknown hot woman, would have gotten over today, in the day and age of needing immediate gratification?
Gene Okerlund is with Pedro Morales. He tortures us with a boring interview. Then speaks in Spanish at the request of Mean Gene. Even in his promos, it was clear that Morales didn’t give a fuck at this point in his career.
Bruno and Vince close the show by discussing the Macho Man’s choice of manager. Vince also lets us know that next week, Corporal Kirchner will be making his debut.
Final Thoughts: The theme of the show was finding out who was going to become the manager of Savage. The decision of the beautiful young woman was a shock to the crowd and I assume everyone at home too. You just didn’t see woman who looked like that in wrestling back then. The rest of the matches were basically meaningless but Piper’s Pit was entertaining at least.

QOTD – July 24th, 2013


Today’s question comes from Magoonie, in regards to the literary world.

“What’s your favorite book(s)? And what are you reading right now?

For me, I really enjoy The Dark Tower series as well as The Stand. The Kid Stays In The Picture is fantastic. Aztec and Aztec Autumn are really good too. Another one is The Gospel According To Biff, funny stuff.

As for what I’m reading now, I’m most of the way through The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa In Theory And Practice which is really eye opening. Did you know Mother Teresa was a sadomachist bitch? Neither did I. Also I’m reading Much Ado About Nothing again before I see the Joss Whedon movie.”

My all time favorite author is Brian Keene. He’s a horror/fantasy
writer, and I have absolutely no qualms in saying he’s the greatest of
all time. Besting Mr. King. I know that’s sacrilege, but Keene’s
work just sucks you in like nothing I’ve ever read. He’s absolutely
incredible. As for my favorite books and what I’m reading now, I recently got two new books that I just finished;

Blood On The Page by Brian Keene – it’s a collection of his out-of-print and hard to find short stories. As with all things Keene, it’s great, and as a long time fan it’s great to these stories.

Gilvert by Oriana Small – Oriana Small is the real name of pornstar Ashley Blue. This book is all about her time in the industry with her boyfriend Tyler. There’s a lot of drug use, a lot of sex, and a lot of ‘what the fuck are you doing? Stand up for yourself’ type moments. It’s a good read.

Haha, in regards to Mother Teresa, yeah, I knew there
were some not-right things about her when I saw an episode of P&T’s
Bullshit. They did a piece on her, and it was surprising. Of course, Bullshit is a show with an agenda at times, so I did my own research. I had no idea
there was a book out about her that painted her in a non-favorable
light.Sounds interesting.

Is the Gospel According To Biff written by Biff Tannen? Because I’d read that in a heart-beat.

Oh, and everyone should read my book, The Man Movie Encyclopedia Vol. 1, available for 99cents [which is LESS than a dollar!] at amazon. While you’re there, grab some of the literary works of Scott Keith, and I believe Brian Bayless also has some items out. 

How say you?

QOTD – June 24th, 2013

Greetings all. After seeing the disappointing Man of Steel, I needed to cleanse my pallet, so I finally saw Richard Donner’s cut of Superman II. Man, that’s one of the greatest super hero films of all time. Fantastic stuff. Plus, there’s no ridiculous Superkiss, making the film that much better alone. Anyway, on to the QOTD…

Today we have a question from a returning Gavin Lee.

“If WM30 is indeed going down the route of UT/Cena would that be a good time for the deadman to hang it up? They could even do a angle like if cena beats him the streak is over but UT beats cena his career is over. So that would be an awesome dilemma either take a loss and still have a career or keep the streak intact and retire. Also there has been discussion on the blog lately about the merits of mark Henry going in the HOF would Kane be a better inclusion?”

Oh, definitely. This should absolutely be Undertaker’s last match. I think that should not only the streak be over, but ‘Taker should have to retire. However, there has to be something else for Cena other than retire, because you know there’s no way that Cena would retire. So, perhaps something like Cena couldn’t challenge for the WWE title for a year. Either way, it’d be a hell of a match.

Kane definitely deserves HOF induction. He’s been around for over 15 years, wrestled every name in the business, and been involved in some pretty big angles. Plus, he’s been an absolute class act, and I’ve never heard a bad word spoken about the guy. Hell, he should get the inclusion for having to wrestle as a dentist with bad teeth, and a fake Kevin Nash.

How say you?

QOTD – June 24th, 2013

Today we’ve got a question from a Mr. Gavin Lee. He writes…

” In the UK my sports channel run sports events in 3d ie soccer, golf, 

f1 etc do you think WWE would transcend well in 3d? 
For like a special event such as mania? 
Would it pull more buys if the granddaddy if them all was in 3d?
Also would PPV's in general pull more buys if they were held on a Saturday? 
I for one would be more inclined to buy a PPV if it didn't have to go to work 
on a Monday cos PPV's finish at 4-5 am In my neck of the woods and it sorta 
loses its appeal if your not watching it live."
Honestly, I'm a sucker for some good 3D. I dig it. However, I'd be afraid if 
Vince were to try it,because he'd insist on doing gimmicky things that would 
take away from the match. If they left things alone and did standard 3D, 
then I'd be interested, and I think others too. 
As for the second part of your question, yeah, I always thought PPVs should be on 
Saturday. Especially during the Attitude Era. A good chunk of wrestling fans 
are older males, and the idea of getting together on a Saturday night, drinking, 
having a jolly time, and watching wrestling is a keen one. Also, parents are more 
likely to let their kids stay up late on a Saturday as opposed to a 
Sunday. So, why they haven't hoped on board with this is beyond me. Tradition, I suppose. 
How say you?