So yeah, hearing great things about the show I ordered the replay…only to have the screen promptly go to black as soon as Big Show was introduced, and the signal never came back! I shall be calling Sasktel in the morning to express my displeasure. So here’s what I had done up until that point: The SmarK Rant for WWE Tables Ladders & Chairs 2012 Live from Brooklyn, NY. Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & JBL. Tables Match: Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara v. The Rhodes Scholars Brawl to start as the crowd again focuses on Cody’s mustache. Bunch of jealous hipsters. The heels get tossed and the masked men retrieve a table and abuse Sandow with it. Cody saves his partner and they double-team Cara, but he escapes a suplex attempt and dumps Sandow. Cody comes back with the disaster kick and the heels take over on the floor, with Sandow beating the hell out of Rey and setting up a pair of tables on the floor, but Rey comes back with the senton on Cody and a rana to send him out of the ring again. Sin Cara fires off a sloppy rana and a corkscrew dive on Sandow, clearly in a lot of pain. Cody tries the Alabama Slam on Rey, but gets 619’d instead and Rey puts him on the table. Sandow saves and Cara puts Rhodes on the floor again, but he goes for a springboard and Cody shoves him through the table on the floor at 9:30 to finish it. Great finish, and the fast-paced highspots to end it were a lot of fun. ***1/4 US title: Antonio Cesaro v. R-Truth Cesaro gets a big babyface pop in New York, as you’d expect. Cesaro shoulderblocks him down for two and works a headlock, but Truth rolls him up for two. Another rollup gets two. Cesaro puts him down for the double-stomp and a knee to the gut gets two. He goes to a cobra sleeper on the mat, but Truth comes back with the leg lariat for two. Truth escapes a suplex, however, and finishes with the uppercut and NEUTRALIZER at 6:39 to retain. Pretty standard RAW match. ** Meanwhile, Dolph Ziggler complains about preferential treatment for John Cena. Miz TV presents 3MB. Trainwreck alert. Heath goes after the Rolling Stones and then they threaten the Spanish announcers, which draws out Ricardo Rodriguez and then Alberto Del Rio for an apparent face turn. So we have another match for later tonight. Intercontinental title: Kofi Kingston v. Wade Barrett Barrett gets a pair of takedowns for two and tosses Kofi, but he heads back in and follows with a dive of his own. Back in, Wade with a back kick and backbreaker for two. Middle rope elbow gets two. Kofi comes back with a Russian legsweep and the boomdrop, but Wade ducks the kick. Kofi keeps coming with the SOS for two and he pounds away in the corner, but Wade hits a full nelson slam for two. Kofi with the kick out of the corner and he goes up with the crossbody, but Barrett rolls through for two. Kofi with a small package for two. Wade with the Bossman slam for two. Wade sets up for the big elbow, but Kofi reverses to the wacky kick for the pin at 8:08 to retain. Well that was unexpected. Guess the title’s changing on RAW tomorrow night instead. Fun match! *** TLC Match: The Shield v. Ryback, Daniel Bryan & Kane The crowd boos Ryback and then chants “Feed me more” for some reason. Big brawl to start and Ambrose chops Ryback and goes for the knee, but Ryback slugs him down. The Shield triple-team him and dump him, then abuse Bryan with a ladder, but Ryback saves and does really dangerous things with it. I personally would not trust Ryback to drop a ladder on me and not fuck it up. Kane and Bryan finally unite and double-team Reigns into the ladder, as Bryan has EMBRACED THE YES. Well finally. Kane gets two on Rollins and beats on him with a chair, but Ambrose saves with a DDT onto the chair. A pissed off Ryback spears them into the corners, but Rollins puts him down with a ladder. Ryback comes back again and splashes them into the ladder, then suplexes both Ambrose & Rollins onto the ladder. Reigns saves and we get another beatdown, leading to Ryback getting powerbombed through the poor Spanish announce table. And while they gloat, Bryan hits them with a dive for a giant babyface pop. Back in the ring, Bryan grabs a chair, but the numbers game beats him again and Ambrose slams him on a chair. They set up a table in the corner and run Bryan into the edge in a nasty spot, and TO THE TOP for a double superplex that gets two. Kane saves and now he gets double-teamed by Rollins & Ambrose, but he fights them off and comes off the table with a flying clothesline on Ambrose. He goes after Reigns with a sideslam for two, but Ambrose recovers again, only to get chokeslammed onto a chair for two. And again, they divide and conquer, as Reigns spears Kane through the timekeeper’s area and the Shield regroups for the pack attack. What awesomely smart booking. In the ring, however, Bryan hooks the No-lock on Ambrose and makes the big comeback, getting it on each heel in succession, but once again the Shield is smarter and teams up to fight him off. Bryan fights off Ambrose & Rollins alone with kicks, but Rollins gives him the BLACKOUT onto the chair for two. Ryback suddenly recovers and destroys everyone, dumping Ambrose & Rollins and hitting Reigns with a spinebuster, but again the triple-teaming. He fights off Ambrose with a spear and lariat, and Shellshock get two as the Shield teams up to save again. Ryback gets mugged on the floor now and fights down the aisle with Reigns, and once again the heels team up and clobber him three-on-one. They’re like ninjas in a bad action movie, but SMART. They put Ryback on a table and Rollins goes up a GIANT ladder, but Ryback follows him up and poor Seth goes through the tables. Back in the ring, the other two double-team Bryan and powerbomb him through the table to finish at 22:43. The in-ring ending was kind of a throwaway, but the rest was a hellacious brawl right out of the 90s, featuring some of the smartest heel booking I’ve ever seen. There’s your $55 right there, and one hell of a debut for the Shield. Plus Ryback stayed protected. ****3/4 Divas title: Eve Torres v. Naomi This is quite the contrast to the previous match. Naomi slugs away in the corner and takes Eve down for a legdrop, and Eve bails. Naomi stops for some dancing, but Eve controls with a wristlock. Naomi comes back and goes up, but misses a dive and Eve retains with the neckbreaker at 3:06. Well at least it was something different than Kaitlyn again. *
The post about territories motivated me to ask this…
So in the 90's everyone talked about how there were the Big 2 wrestling promotions: WWF & WCW, later on it became The Big 3 with ECW included…
I know in the 80's if there were a Big 3, number 3 would have been AWA; but UWF (Bill Watts) was making a play for national exposure (I think), so it was kinda/sorta a Big 4. These days TNA is number 2, and some like to say ROH is 3.
So what my question is, is of all time we know WWF/WWE is numero uno, and that WCW/NWA/JCP (including territory stuff from Mid Atlantic, Georgia, Florida, & Kansas City) is the number 2…but past that–of all times–what is number 3 national promotion? Number 4? etc. How many companies even fit the bill of being, or trying to be, a national promotion? I mean I love ECW, but realistically it can't the number 3 national wrestling promotion of all time; where does AWA, TNA, UWF, World Class all fit into the equation? Are there any others I've missed?
AWA was a pretty clear #3, and often #2 depending on who was aligned with who at the time. Plus they were a legitimate national promotion and had Hulk Hogan, so that one's kind of a slam dunk. I'd say ECW was a solid #4 because they had national TV and did some national touring, even for a short time. World Class was the first one to do the big TV syndication thing worldwide, so that's worth something. Then there's also promotions like Paul Boesch's St. Louis one which lasted for DECADES, not to mention Roy Shire's San Francisco promotion which basically taught Pat Patterson how to book.