Stranger Things Presents: NWA EASTERN Championship Wrestling 10/19/93

Roll the opening video. Can anyone tell me what the theme song was for the intro at this point?

Tonight, we get Paul E. Dangerously unveiling a brand new Dangerous Alliance. ECW Tag Team Champions, Tony Stetson and Johnny Hotbody defend against the team of The Sandman and J.T. Smith; Tommy Dreamer makes his NWA debut against The Tazmaniac, an update on Sabu and Badd Company take on The Public Enemy.

Match #1: Badd Company (Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond) vs. The Public Enemy (“Flyboy” Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge).

Diamond and Grunge start off, and we get a little stalling. A lock up takes it to the ropes, and Johnny breaks clean. Anothe lock up, to the ropes again, as Diamond breaks clean, but Grunge hits a right hand. Whip off the ropes is reversed by Diamond, he goes up and over and hits a dropkick, then a Japanese arm drag, a flying elbow and Grunge hits the floor. The show takes a break here. When we come back, Grunge is tagging in Rock and he wants Tanaka tagged in, with Diamond obliging. Lock up, and Rock armdrags Tanaka. Another lock up, and this time Rock gets a hip toss. Lock up again, and Rock hits a body slam. Tanaka comes back and hits Rock with the same, only in very quick succession. They trade kicks, with Tanaka winning that exchange with a foot sweep, which the crowd appreciates. Whip off the ropes, Rock tries to go over but Tanaka hits a sit out power bomb for 2 as it’s broken up by Grunge. Grunge and Diamond tagged in. Diamond takes Grunge to the corner and hits all the buckles with Grunge’s head, then the mat. Whip to the opposite corner, and a leg lariat by Diamond. Diamond working on the arm, stopped by an eye gouge from Grunge. Diamond comes back with a float over DDT. 1…2…broken up by Rock. Tanaka tagged in. Tanaka catches the kick and hits a leg sweep to take Grunge down. Rocco tagged back in, and locks up with a tagged in Diamond, taking it to the PE corner. A double team takes Diamond down. Rocco works Diamond over in the corner now. Diamond goes down, and Rocco lays in headbutts to the knee. With the referee distracted, Grunge works over the knee on the apron. Rocco misses a move, and tags in Grunge who cuts off Diamond trying to get the tag to Tanaka. Grunge takes it to the mat for some leg work. Diamond breaks it up with a series of legs to the head, and an enziguiri puts Grunge down. Grunge quickly tags in Rocco before Diamond can get to his corner. Whip is reversed, blind tag for PE, Diamond dodges a charging Rocco and PE collides. Diamond gets the hot tag to Tanaka. Grunge is taken to the floor, and Badd Company hit the leapfrog guillotine on Rocco. Back suplex for Diamond, but the pin  is broken up by Grunge.  Diamond goes for another back suplex, but Rocco floats behind Diamond, runs him toward Grunge in the corner, but Diamond ducks and Grunge hits Rocco instead. Diamond rolls up Rocco…1….2….3! ***

WINNERS: Badd Company. Good match between these two teams. Standard tag formula applied here, and it was never dull.

“Daddy, we love you! We don’t need a TV star for a father…just you!” -Salvatore, Jr., Mario, Sofia and Antonino, the Bellomos. We see video of Salvatore Bellomo playing outside with his kids. The music is somber piano, while Sal appears to be very happy running and sliding and spinning and running some more. The dude shouldn’t run so much, as it appears that physics is working against him. Physics and biology. Physics, biology and sociology. We close with a get well wish from the ECW fans.

We come back with Jimmy Snuka getting introduced in the ring, and a plea to NOT call the ECW Hotline number, because if you call it, you will hear spoilers for every episode of Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper!

Match #2: Chad Austin vs. Jimmy Snuka.

Lock up, to the ropes and Snuka with a knee to the gut. Whip off the ropes, and Snuka lays in a chop that takes Austin down. Another whip, and a kick to the stomach. Head to the buckle a couple of times. Whip to the opposite corner. Snuka lays in a punch, then hits a power bomb where he quickly let go, almost dropping Austin on his neck. Whip and a thrust to the midsection. Slingshot suplex for Snuka. Foot on the chest…1…2…3. 1/2*

WINNER: Jimmy Snuka. Match was Snuka slowly squashing the guy. There’s the ECW Hotline again. DO NOT CALL! Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper was on for five years! The number is blurred out but Joey provides the number verbally because he’s a big Mark Curry fan.

From the ECW Newscenter it’s a Special Report, with Jay Sulli. Paul E. Dangerously has promised to unveil a new Dangerous Alliance. Joey Styles conducted the interview in the ring, as we cut to said interview. Dangerously has the ECW Heayweight Champion, Shane Douglas, with him. Paul names Sherri Martel as the Director of Covert Operations (like Madusa in the original Alliance). The newest member of the Dangerous Alliance is Sabu! Sabu is wheeled out strapped to the gurney, as Douglas doesn’t like this addition, and says that Sabu is not welcome. Sherri takes umbrage at Paul disagreeing with Shane. Sherri screams some stuff that gets bleeped, and Paul goes to leave with Sabu. We cut to the Matty Cam, courtesy of Matty in the House, and Willie Watts is trying to get the scoop outside the dressing room of the Dangerous Alliance. A lot of arguing going on behind that door. The line appears to be drawn with Shane and Sherri on one side, and Paul and Sabu on the other.

Matty in the House is backstage with Jason Knight, who prefers to be called just Jason. Matty wants to know who Jason is going to be managing in ECW. Jason keeps dodging the question and MATTY IS THE MOST ANNOYING BASTARD. Who the fuck was this guy?

Match #3: The Sandman and J.T. Smith vs. Tony Stetson and Johnny Hotbody (c) – ECW Tag Team Championship.

Terry Funk is in the corner of the challengers. The Sandman in his wetsuit starts off with Stetson. We hit the headlock! Stetson powers out, and he and Hotbody lay in the kicks on Sandman. Double whip off the ropes, and double back elbow. Another whip and Sandman with a crossbody on both guys. Sandman clears the ring. Smith gets tagged in, and Stetson kicks the wrapped knee of Smith. Now we go to the mat for some leg work. Stetson comes off the top with a legdrop on the injured knee. The champs turn their backs, allowing Smith to tag in Sandman. Stetson dumps Sandman over the top rope and on top of Funk outside. We get some weird edit that has Sandman back in the ring with a sleeper on Stetson. Funk gets in the ring with a chair and hits the referee and then hits The Sandman. That’s a DQ. *

WINNERS: And STILL ECW Tag Team Champions, Tony Stetson and Johnny Hotbody Not a good match, and some untimely cuts in the editing. Not long enough to be anything special. Funk is pissed with The Sandman while Smith wants to know “ooooooooweeee, what’s up with that, what’s up with that?”.

Footage from later that week: J.T. Smith had a title match with Shane Douglas. Douglas gets a figure four on Smith with his injured knee. Funk was in Smith’s corner and threw in the towel, ending the match. Smith threw the towel back at Funk’s face, and Funk turns on Smith and proceeded to beat the tar out of him. So, basically, Funk had turned on two babyfaces in a week.

Match #4: Tommy Dreamer vs. The Tazmaniac. 

Early look for Dreamer with the suspenders. Taz still in caveman mode at this point. A body slam for Dreamer and a clothesline puts Taz outside. Dreamer brings Taz back in and hits a back elbow off a whip. Dreamer splashes the arm a couple of times, then hits the armbar. Whip by Dreamer, but Taz catches Dreamer in a sweet looking suplex. Taz hits the rear chinlock. Dreamer elbows out, and gets a sunset flip for 2. Taz with a big clothesline coming back, and another chinlock. Taz hits a powerslam off a whip for 2. Bodyslam for Taz, and another chinlock. Whip off the ropes, and Dreamer hits a corossbody for 2. Dreamer going for a suplex, but Taz another nice suplex. Taz misses the diving headbutt. Flying shoulderblock for Dreamer. Bulldog for Dreamer, but he misses an elbowdrop. Taz dumps Dreamer outside, and whips him into a post. Now a chairshot. Dreamer grabs the chair and wraps the chair around Taz’s head, then hits a DDT on the floor. Back in the ring, Dreamer with an enziguiri for 2. Body slam for Dreamer, and he goes up top. Taz crotches him, and climbs up for a northern lights suplex! Damn! Taz gets the 3! ***

WINNER: The Tazmaniac. Both guys with some nice offense. Tommy was still a little green here, but still made a good showing and Tazmaniac showing the various suplexes that everyone loves.

Tommy leaves to applause from the mutants, with Joey acting incredulous at that showing. And we’re out.

The Post-Game Opinion: A couple of good matches on this show make it an easy thumbs up. Badd Company was a team that was undervalued after their AWA run, as so far in ECW, they have looked pretty good. The Dangerous Alliance unveiling went awry, but it’s leading to a Shane Douglas-Sabu feud for the ECW Heayweight title, as Sabu gets the rocket push from day one. Tommy Dreamer’s debut looked good, and I have never seen the “pretty boy” gimmick before now. These early shows have definitely given me reason to backtrack a little on my overall feelings about the company. Thanks for reading.

Stranger Things Presents: EASTERN Championship Wrestling 10-12-93

A guy from 1993 turning on his TV on a Tuesday night in Philly, sees the opening video: “What is this wrestling show that shows women getting their clothes torn off, guys falling off balconies, and people throwing fireballs? Hmmm, this is different”.

Originally airing 10/12/93. From the ECW Arena in Philadelphia. Your commentators are Joey Styles and Paul E. Dangerously.

Match #1: Abdullah the Butcher, Terry Funk and J.T. Smith vs. Jimmy Snuka, Don Muraco and Kevin Sullivan.

We immediately cut to a brawl in and around the ring between all six guys. Funk and Abdullah are throwing chairs in the ring. Just when it seems like order is restored, Sullivan steps out to the floor and he and Abdullah start to brawl. In the ring, Smith goes at it with Muraco, with Funk and Snuka pairing off. Muraco goes down after a series of headbutts from Smith. Funk is outside and holds Sullivan for a chairshot from Abdullah. Holy fuck, does Abdullah have some deep, deep grooves on his head. Now Sullivan pulls Smith outside, while Abdullah hammers on Snuka inside. Sullivan takes Smith to a pole on the outside. Muraco crotches Funk on the corner post. On the floor, Sullivan whips Smith into a Muraco clothesline, which gets the 360 sell from Smith. Now everybody is in the ring at once. Muraco takes a chair to Smith’s wrapped leg. Muraco holds Funk for Snuka, who gets out the powder. But Funk dodges and Muraco gets the powder in the eyes intead. Smith “rolls up” Muraco in the ugliest inside cradle I have ever seen. 1…2…3! *1/2

WINNERS: Abdullah the Butcher, Terry Funk and J.T. Smith. Just a wild, ugly brawl. J.T. Smith sold like a champ, while everyone else just lumbered aimlessly around. Muraco looked in horrible shape here.

Tommy Dreamer cuts a promo, with the gist being that he makes his NWA debut on the next episode against The Tazmaniac.

Next, we recap Sabu’s debut from last week, putting over his violent nature in the ring. The clip of one fan running THE FUCK away from a chair-throwing Sabu is hilarious. They cut to ECW owner Tod Gordon with Jay Sulli. Gordon says that they have never received more reaction to anyone like the reaction to Sabu. The NWA has stepped in and announced that Sabu has been banned from TV until they review the tapes. Hunter Q. Robbins III shows up and complains of the treatment. Gordon goes on to say that Sabu can appear at non-televised events, just not TV. Now Paul E. steps in and sticks up for Sabu, calling Gordon prejudiced. Gordon recalls a time when Paul E. nailed him with his phone, but let it slide. Paul takes Robbins aside and has an idea, then they leave.

Match #2: Molly McShane vs. Malia Hosaka.

The match starts with some back and forth chain wrestling. Hosaka takes over with an armbar. Mcshane reverses a whip to the corner, but a charge meets a spin kick from Hosaka. That gets a 2. McShane gets off a snap suplex for 2. Now we get the hair whip from Hosaka. They take turns going up and over off the ropes, until McShane gets a takedown. Whip off the ropes, and McShane hits a flying back elbow. Scoop and a slam for McShane for a 1 count. McShane misses a cross body off the top. Hosaka goes up and hits a somersault senton for the 1…2…3. **1/2

WINNER: Malia Hosaka. Not a bad women’s match here. Hosaka was definitely talented at a time when North American women’s wrestling was almost nonexistent.

The Bad Breed, Axl & Ian Rotten, cut a promo on Badd Company, who they are facing tonight. Now, to me, The Bad Breed appear to be Nasty Boy copycats trying to be British anarchists, due to the Union Jack on the tights. However, neither guy speaks with a British accent, which might make them British anarchist wannabes. They should have tried a Sean Connery accent just to confuse themselves even more.

Match #3: Badd Company (Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond) vs. The Bad Breed (Axl & Ian Rotten).

The match starts with Diamond and Ian Rotten. Lock up and we get a clean break on the ropes. Another lock up and they trade arm locks. Diamond flips out but meets a right hand that puts him down. Headlock by Ian, as Diamond pushes him off the ropes, up and over, and a hiptoss for Diamond, then a slam. There’s a slam for Axl who comes in. Then Diamond hits Axl with a spin kick that puts him out. Axl comes in, and Diamond tags out to Tanaka. Tanaka confounds Axl with karate poses, and then gets taken down with kicks. Axl with a side headlock, Tanaka pushes off to the ropes, shoulder block from Axl puts him down. Axl runs the ropes, but Tanaka hits a flying chop to put him  down. Tag to Diamond, who hits a spin kick to Axl in the corner. Diamond hits the armlock on the mat. Axl elbows Diamond in the head then  he and Ian hit the double team elbow for 2. A corner charge by Ian hits boot, and Diamond hits a sweet bulldog off the middle. Tag to Tanaka, and The Bad Breed quickly take over with some corner double teaming. Cover…1…2…foot on the rope. Axl hits the nerve pinch, as he and Ian switch off behind the ref’s back. Corner splash for Ian. Tanaka reverses a corner whip, but puts his head down, and Ian bounces back with a clothesline. Ian hits a Bonzai Drop from the top rope, and then dumps him out, where Axl works Tanaka over. Back in the ring, Ian goes up and misses a splash. Tanaka makes the hot tag to Diamond. He hits a gourdbuster on Ian, and then a DDT on Axl. Double superkick to Ian. Then they hit the doubleteam leapfrog guillotine, leading to Diamond hitting a back suplex for the 1….2….3. ***

WINNERS: Badd Company. I liked this match, as Badd Company hit some crisp double team moves. A good heat segment on Tanaka, and The Bad Breed were able to hold up their end of the bargain with some cheap heel moves. Well done.

Now to The Public Enemy out somewhere in tha hood, near the train tracks, where two white guys probably think people from tha hood hang out. They call out The Headhunters for backing out of a match with them, using the word “stoopid” a couple of times. They have a match with Badd Company next week.

Joey is back with The Rockin’ Rebel, who is shedding some crocodile tears for Salvatore Bellomo, as the fans are upset that he apparently ended Sal’s career. The Rebel tells the upset fans to step up and do something about it.

Match #4: Don E. Allen vs. The Rockin’ Rebel.

Chris Michaels is at ringside in The Rebel’s corner. The Rebel chokes Allen on the mat. Clothesline coming off the ropes, then to the corner for some trash talkin’. Rebel turns his back, Don E. climbs on it, but Rebel shrugs him off. Don E. hits a dropkick, then a second one before Rebel goes down. Rebel catches him off the ropes and hits a backbreaker. Whip off the ropes and there’s a spinebuster. 1…2…3.  1/2*

WINNER: The Rockin’ Rebel. This was just a big squash for The Rockin’ Rebel. Not much offense for Don E. and a couple of power moves for the Rebel.

After the match Rebel and Chris Michaels hit the ring for a promo. Rebel again reminds everyone that he took out Sal Bellomo, and he is sickened by all the kids with the “Get Well, Sal” signs. He even hates Chris Michaels’ kid. “I hate your kid, because he’s my kid and he’s a Sal Bellomo fan”. Can’t argue with that logic. Wait…what? Michaels tries to change the subject but the Rebel still hates the kids. Words get heated between the two, they feign punching each other, then Michaels turns to leave and the Rebel levels him from behind, then hits a short-arm clothesline. Rebel leaves the ring, but is attacked by a charging Michaels.

Then, this is all cut-off by “Matty in the House”? I don’t know who this guy is, but he is sitting in front of a production board stating that ECW wants to show the Michaels-Rebel brawl next week, but he wants to see it now, and since he has the remote, let’s roll it.

Match #5: Chris Michaels vs. The Rockin’ Rebel.

Joined in progress, with the Rebel hitting a clothesline from the apron to the floor on Michaels. Rebels rolls him back into the ring, and hits a swinging neckbreaker. Some heavy chops in the corner from the Rebel. Michaels reverses a corner whip and hits a clothesline on the rebound. In the corner, Michaels with some punches. The ref pulls him off more than once, and while the ref’s back is turned, the Rebel gets out the foreign object, nails Michaels, and gets the 1…2….3.  1/2*

WINNER: The Rockin’ Rebel. Not much to this match. The Rockin’ Rebel was a guy who had some good power, but sucked at promos. This match was about two moves for the Rebel, some punching from Michaels, and then the quick win. Not much else to it.

After the break, The Sandman and J.T. Smith announce they have a shot at the ECW Tag Team Championship against Tony Stetson and Johnny Hotbody.

Joey and Paul are backstage announcing next week’s card, and Paul is excited for Joey to wrap it up because he has some news. Paul says that next week not only will he have an update on the NWA’s ruling on Sabu, but he will announce the all new Dangerous Alliance, and then promptly quits as color commentator.

The Post-Game Opinion: An ugly six man brawl, a decent women’s match, a pretty good tag team match…..and the Rockin’ Rebel. Sabu debuted last week, and is already beginning to become the centerpiece for the whole thing. Paul Heyman had just taken over as head booker, and you can see that he was forming his vision for the company. I have been watching these shows with a 1993 wrestling scene frame of mind, and this was definitely not cookie cutter.

Stranger Things Presents: EASTERN Championship Wrestling – 10/5/93

This is the earliest episode that is posted on The Network.

Joey Styles opens the door for us, welcoming us to NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling, and already in the ring are The Public Enemy, Flyboy Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge. Joey’s broadcast partner is Paul E. Dangerously. Paul was actually the newly-named booker for the company, as Eddie Gilbert split after then-owner Tod Gordon had enough of Gilbert’s craziness. ECW Mutant Watch #1: the guy holding the sign that has Beavis & Butthead on it with “NWA: No Wuses (sic) Allowed”.

Match #1 – The Public Enemy vs. Silver Jet & Gino Caruso.

PE working over Caruso in their corner to start. Rocco misses an elbow drop, and Caruso tags in the Jet. Jet takes Rocco down, and hits an elbow drop. Rocco takes over, and hits a back elbow to the Jet coming off the ropes. Joey and Paul tell us that Badd Company, Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond are coming next week. Rocco hits a crisp springboard moonsault off the middle rope for the 2. Grunge tags in, and hits a powerslam off a whip. Grunge hits a Scorpion Deathdrop (called a reverse bulldog by Joey), then tags in Rocco. Rocco then promptly hits a cannonball from the top, and gets the 3 with the arrogant cover. *

WINNERS: The Public Enemy. Just a squash for the PE, as Joey and Paul built up a confrontation between Badd Company and Public Enemy.


Match #2 – The Tazmaniac vs. Sabu.

Sabu is wheeled out a la Hannibal Lecter, strapped to a gurney wearing the restraining mask. The Tazmaniac is in the ring with Sabu’s manager, Hunter Q. Robbins III,  who warns Tazmaniac not to touch him. Tazmaniac grabs Robbins, which leads to the orders to release Sabu from his restraints. Sabu charges the ring and hits Taz from behind with a spin kick. Sabu with a legdrop to the back of the neck. Taz to the floor, and Sabu hits a springboard moonsault to Taz and we’re into the crowd! Robbins calls for Sabu to be restrained, and we hit a break.

When we come back, Sabu is in the crowd tossing chairs everywhere with people GETTING THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY! Tazmaniac catches up to him out there and the brawl is on. They make their way back to ringside with Sabu bringing a table with him. Sabu puts Taz out to the floor with a spin kick, then hits a somersault plancha to Taz on the floor. Taz takes over with chair shots. Sabu comes back with a springboard flip to Taz on the floor. Back in the ring, Taz hits a rear double underhook suplex (called by Joey) that lands Sabu on his frickin’ head. JEEE-BUS! Then Taz hits an overhead belly to belly. Sabu kicks out at 2. Sabu takes Taz down by the leg, and we have a rest spot. Taz comes back with a clothesline, and he puts Sabu to the floor. Taz puts a table in the ring, but Sabu takes over and sets up the table. Taz gets put on the table, but the TABLE BOTCHES underneath him. Taz recovers and hits a belly to belly. Sabu hits a dropkick, but misses a move and hits the broken table. Sabu reverses a whip to the corner, and goes for a top rope hurracanrana, but Taz doesn’t take it properly. Ugh! Taz climbs to the top and misses a front flip. Sabu hits a sloppy moonsault from the top…1…2….3. **

WINNER: Sabu. This started off as a crazy brawl, but once they tried to hit their spots in the ring, it fell apart in a sloppy cavalcade of crap. I saw where they were going with it, but you need to actually HIT THE SPOT first.

When we come back from a break, Sabu is still in the ring moonsaulting a table for the crazy hell of it. He tries a second moonsault and misses. We get the idea that this guy is nuts, as he screams in pain for our pleasure.

Rockin’ Rebel promo. He’s bragging that he ended Salvatore Bellomo’s career, which would sadden Brian Bayless if Tony Garea wasn’t his favorite wrestler already. The Rebel hopes he gets better soon, so he can finish him off for good. Rockin’ Rebel was trained by The Rock N Roll Express, and apparently they won’t train you unless you’re true rock n roll.  Which means actively wrestling into your 50’s, acting like you’re in your 20’s, and banging chicks in their 40’s.

Match #3 – The Metal Maniac vs. The Sandman.

It’s different to see Sandman in a surfing bodysuit, when you know where the gimmick eventually went. Also, he doesn’t get much of a reaction from the mutants. Go behind and take down by The Sandman. Huh? He wrestles? Back elbow to the Maniac coming off the ropes. Sandman with a dropkick and Maniac bails. Maniac takes Sandman down from the outside and wraps the leg around the post. In the ring now, and Maniac hits a side suplex for 2. Whip off the ropes, and Maniac hits a clothesline. That gets 2. Maniac puts the head down on a whip and sandman hits a kick. Enzuguiri by Sandman. Sandman to the top and he hits a flying clothesline. 1…2…3. *1/2

WINNER: The Sandman. Sandman showed some decent offense here, which surprises me because I have only seen him as the zubaz-wearing goof.

Chris Michaels promo, doing a decent Bullwinkle impression, proclaiming that Eastern Championship Wrestling is no cartoon. Unless you’re high. I added that last part.

Match #4 – Terry Funk vs. Jimmy “Supefly” Snuka (c) – Cage Match – ECW TV Title.

Escape rules for this match, with Funk not getting any more title shots if he loses. Snuka controls early, whipping Funk from corner to corner, apparently snapping the ropes. This should be fun. Snuka with knees and chops on the ropes, then takes Funk to the cage. Snuka hits a pretty sweet piledriver on Funk and then climbs the cage. Funk recovers and climbs up there with Snuka. Snuka hits a headbutt and Funk gets crotched on the top rope. Snuka takes Funk’s head across the cage. Funk makes the fiery comeback with chops. Funk takes Snuka to the cage now, hitting all four sides. Funk hits his own piledriver on Snuka. Funk with headbutts, but no effect on Snuka (of course). Snuka hits one of his own, and chops him down. Body slam, and Snuka misses a diving headbutt from the middle rope. Then we hit a break.

Coming back, they’re on top again, as Funk is hanging upside down. Snuka kicks him down to the mat. Swinging neckbreaker for Snuka. Backbreaker now, and another break. Coming back, they are trading headbutt blows. Then they take turns taking each other to the cage. Funk climbs up and is hanging over the edge. Snuka climbs to bring him back in. Funk kicks Snuka down to the mat, and jumps down for the win. ***

WINNER: And NEW ECW TV Champion, Terry Funk. Surprisingly good match between these two, who were past their primes in 1993. A lot of back and forth offense, with Snuka appearing much more dangerous here than he did in his last WWF run.

Joey is backstage with the new TV champ. Joey asks him how he feels, and Funk is gracious and giving respect to Snuka. Funk talks up the ECW roster, and says that ECW is educating the people on wrestling. A very calm and well-spoken promo from Funk there, as he attempted to put over ECW as a wrestling organization.

Paul E. is trying to coax Snuka out of his dressing room for an interview, but is coming up a little short. You know it’s Snuka’s dressing room because there is a piece of tape with “Snuka” sharpied on it.

Joey is backstage outside Funk’s dressing room where there is a celebration going on. The celebration consists of loud country music, “yahoo’s” and Joey dodging some streamers thrown at him from off camera. Next week’s show was supposed to have Badd Company vs. The Public Enemy, but that episode is not uploaded to The Network.

The Post Game Opinion: I have gone on record as stating that I was not a fan of ECW. I watched this episode with an open mind and came away with a few things. First, it breezed by very quickly, which is good. Second, Sabu was as botchtastic then as he always was, and his character was completely batshit insane and will take some getting used to. Third, this episode made me want to see more. So, we’ll hit the episodes in chronological order as The Network has them, and continue to recap the trail of a little known company called NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling. Thanks for reading.

Stranger Things Presents: Another Great Poll in a Series of Great Polls

So a guy creates a column dedicated to the greatest pay-per-view matches in a particular month’s history, and it gets over reasonably well enough to justify in the continuation of the series. But he runs into a quandary: WrestleMania has been held in both March and April, and there have been other shows from WCW, namely Uncensored and their final PPV ever, Greed. So, I have decided to break Wrestlemania up into two months. The March Wrestlemania’s, and the April Wrestlemania’s. I figured this was the way to do it. With that settled, once again, I give the BoD Universe the opportunity to whip out your figurative BoD app, and vote for what you believe is the greatest match in March pay-per-view lore. To the poll!

What is the greatest match in March PPV history?
Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage – Wrestlemania III
The Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage – Wrestlemania VII
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart – Wrestlemania X
Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels – Ladder Match – Wrestlemania X
Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin – Submission Match – Wrestlemania XIII
Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H – Wrestlemania XX
Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels – Iron Man Match – Wrestlemania XII
Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle – Wrestlemania XX
The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (Part II) – Wrestlemania XXVI
Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko – Uncensored 97 free polls

Yes, it is skewered significantly on the WWF/E side, but WCW did not run a pay-per-view in March until the very first Uncensored show in 1995, and we all know that Uncensored usually did not bring the goods. This list does not signify everything that will eventually make the Top 5, so if you don’t see something here that deserves props, it doesn’t mean it won’t make the final post on March 1. This is to determine #1 as chosen by YOU. Choose wisely, you opinionated bastards.

Stranger Things Presents: The Top 5 Greatest February PPV Matches of ALL TIME!

First thing’s first: if anyone was following the TCW reviews, the reason why you haven’t seen one in the last couple of weeks is due to TCW airing “TCW Classics”, which is basically rerunning their shows from this time last year. My understanding is that production of current episodes has halted for the time being. I have seen the “classics” episodes, and the in-ring product leaves a lot to be desired, so I will return to reviewing the show when new episodes return.

Now, the thread you have all been waiting for. I present to you the Top 5 February PPV Matches of ALL TIME! You, the BoD Universe, had the opportunity to choose the #1 match courtesy of a poll I had posted about two weeks ago. 233 votes were cast, but we did have a clear cut winner; but let’s run down the runners up, shall we, with the Honorable Mention roll.

5. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho vs. JBL vs. Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga – Elimination Chamber Match – No Way Out – 2/17/08.

4. Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair – WrestleWar – 2/25/90.

3. Bret Hart vs. The Undertaker vs. Vader vs. Steve Austin – 4-Man Elimination Match – In Your House: Final Four – 2/16/97.

2. The Rock vs. Kurt Angle – No Way Out – 2/25/01.

1. Cactus Jack vs. Triple H – Hell in a Cell Match – No Way Out – 2/27/00.

Based on voting results, I can see at least one call that people may disagree with in the Honorable Mention roll. To the Top 5, then!

5. Sting/Brian Pillman/The Steiner Brothers vs. Ric Flair/Larry Zbyszko/Barry Windham/Sid Vicious – WarGames Match – WrestleWar – 2/24/91.

14. 91-02-24 WarGames (WrestleWar) by puropwgwwestuff

WarGames makes the list! This is one of the more notorious ones, thanks to Sid and Pillman.

4. Eddie Guerrero vs. Brock Lesnar – No Way Out – 2/15/04.

Here we have one of the more feel-good moments in the last 10 years, as Eddie Guerrero finally gets established as a top guy, and reaps the rewards. Brock was headed to infamy as the guy who quit, but we all know that “I quit” in wrestling is never really “I quit”.

3. Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman – SuperBrawl II – 2/29/92.

09. 92-02-29 Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman… by puropwgwwestuff

One of the greatest PPV openers of all time, and it really helped establish Pillman as a good worker, as he hung with Liger the whole way. Not exactly an underrated match, but it certainly is a forgotten one amongst this list.

2. Steve Austin vs. Triple H – 3 Stages of Hell Match – No Way Out – 2/25/01.

No Way Out 2001 Triple H vs Stone Cold Steve… by EmilMoeller

This was a truly awesome PPV from top to bottom. But the highlight was this match, a masterpiece between two hated rivals. Austin was fresh back from neck surgery, and a Royal Rumble win. Triple H had just gone through 2000 on a famously good run at the top of the card. It gave #1 a run for it’s money for a while, but it’s still a favorite among you, the BoDers.

1. Ricky Steamboat vs. Ric Flair – Chi-Town Rumble – 2/20/89.

03. 89-02-20 Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat (Chi… by puropwgwwestuff

The BoDers have spoken, and you voted this match #1, with 68 of the 233 votes. The first of a trilogy of classics from Steamboat and Flair in 1989. Steamboat had made a surprise return to the NWA after leaving the WWF after WrestleMania IV and taking time off to be with his family. Flair…..was Flair. A contrast between the family man vs. the jet flying, limousine ridin’, kiss stealin’, wheelin’ dealin’, son of a gun. 

Thank you for your participation, and we’ll have another list next month for March, where I will break up Wrestlemania between March and April.

Stranger Things Presents: The Greatest Poll in BoD History

The 2014 Royal Rumble is almost upon us, which means we will all soon be looking past that event and watching what will unfold on The Road to WrestleMania. That also means that another month will be here, and the BoD’s monthly feature called The Greatest PPV Matches in (insert month here). I have decided to make this list somewhat interactive, and give you, the BoD Universe, the opportunity to influence my decision-making, by means other than pitchforks and torches, and switchblades and other weapons of influence.

I present to you……the poll. A most diplomatic way to pick a front-runner. The BoD will pick the greatest match in February PPV history, and I will honor that choice. The remaining Top 5 will be decided by myself through study, review and science. The nominees:

What is the greatest match in February PPV history?
Ricky Steamboat vs. Ric Flair – Chi-Town Rumble
Steve Austin vs. Triple H – No Way Out 2001
Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman – SuperBrawl II
Bret Hart vs. The Undertaker vs. Vader vs. Steve Austin – In Your House: Final Four
Cactus Jack vs. Triple H – No Way Out 2000
The Rock vs. Kurt Angle – No Way Out 2001
Eddie Guerrero vs. Brock Lesnar – No Way Out 2004
Sting/Pillman/Steiners vs. Flair/Zbyszko/Windham/Sid – Wargames – WrestleWar 91
Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair – WrestleWar 90
HBK vs. Jericho vs. Triple H vs. J. Hardy vs. JBL vs. Umaga – Elimination Chamber – No Way Out 2008 free polls

Choose wisely.

Stranger Things Presents: TCW Episode 14-2 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stranger Things Presents: TCW Review – Episode 14-1

First, look here to see if TCW is available in your area:

Second, here is the episode if you feel like playing along:

It’s the first episode of 2014, and we don’t even get a rundown from Rhodes and Thompson in the ring this week, as we hit the opening video immediately. Well, let’s take a cue from TCW and roll the show!

Taped from Fort Smith, AR.

Match #1 – Vordell Walker vs. Sigmon – 30 Minute Iron Man Match.

We kick things off proper with what, hopefully, should be the blowoff for this feud. The rules are simple: the man with the most decisions after 30 minutes of action is the winner. Some jawjacking and showing to start this thing. Walker just picks up Sigmon, carries him around the ring, and drops him with a big takedown. Sigmon rolls outside and paces around the ring. Back in, they lock up into a test of strength, broken up by Sigmon with headbutts. Walker hits a back suplex and then an armdrag. Sigmon heads back outside. Back in the ring, Sigmon hits a forearm to take walker down in the corner. Now some chops from Sigmon. Walker fires back with chops of his own. Sigmon takes over again with a headbutt and some choking on the ropes. Walker comes back with an enziguiri, but misses a corner splash. Sigmon working over Walker in the corner. Now here comes the rear headlock on the mat. Big thrust chop to Walker coming off the ropes. More work in the corner for Sigmon. A chest first bump for Walker on the whip to the corner. Back to the rear headlock for Sigmon. Walker tries to counter out, but Sigmon gets a roll up. 1…2…3! First fall goes to Sigmon. (7:41) Sigmon 1 – Walker 0. Thirty second rest period between falls, and we take a break.

When we come back, the second fall has begun. Both men outside and Walker takes Sigmon’s head to the timekeeper’s table. Back in the ring, Sigmon takes over in the corner and dumps Walker back outside. Sigmon exposes the concrete floor and tries for a suplex. Walker gets out of it and send Sigmon to the stairs, and then hits an EXPLOSIVE belly-to-belly to the concrete floor! Walker tries a charge and hits the post, to give control back to Sigmon. In the ring, Sigmon misses a diving headbutt from the top! Walker hooks the arms, pins the shoulders down…1….2….3!  Walker gets the second fall! (2:50) Walker 1 – Sigmon 1.

Sigmon attacks Walker in the corner before the thirty second rest period is up. Walker tries to come back with some punches, but Sigmon puts him back down. Suplex by Sigmon, cover…1…2…kick out! Sigmon puts on what I can only call a straitjacket hold. Now Sigmon with back-to-back whips to the corner, before Walker reverses a third one, and then nails Sigmon with a stiff forearm. But Sigmon comes back AGAIN with another thrust. Sigmon to the top, but Walker with a HUGE enziguiri to cut him off. Walker climbs to the second rope, but Sigmon catches him and hits a NICE sunset flip power bomb! Cover…1…2…3! Third fall goes to Sigmon! (3:17) Sigmon 2 – Walker 1.

Sigmon again jumps Walker before the thirty second rest period ends. Sigmon dumps Walker to the floor, and takes his head to the stairs. Now a hard whip into the stairs, and Sigmon heads back in with Walker on the floor. We take a break. When we come back, Walker is still out on the floor. Baseball slide for Sigmon hits, and he rolls Walker in. Walker tries to come back with kicks, but Sigmon puts him down with a clothesline, and then hits a falling headbutt coming off the ropes. Cover…1…2…kick out! Walker takes Sigmon to the corner, and then as Sigmon comes out, Walker snaps off a powerslam! 1…2…kick out! EXPLODER SUPLEX!! Walker misses the running knee, and Sigmon hits an enziguiri. Corner charge from Sigmon and he hits Walker with a forearm. A second charge is met with a RUNNING KNEE by Walker! Cover…1…2…3! Walker takes the fourth fall! (3:59) Walker 2 – Sigmon 2.

Ten minutes left with the match tied 2-2. The two men trade forearm blows. Sigmon catches Walker with a huge clothesline that gets the 360 sell by Walker! Cover…1…2…kick out! Walker catches Sigmon off the ropes with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Now Walker picks him up and hits a MICHI-FUCKING-NOKU DRIVER!! Cover…1…2…….kick out!! Damn! Sigmon with a release German suplex! Now he’s up top and hits the diving headbutt this time! Cover…1…2….kick out! They trade forearm blows again. Walker catches Sigmon off the ropes, and gets a tilt-a-whirl into a spinning uranage! Cover…1…2….kick out! The announcers are losing their shit here as Matt Rhodes gives us a biblical swear. Walker to the top, but Sigmon crotches him. Sigmon follows him up and ….sweet fuck…Sigmon hits a GERMAN SUPLEX from the top! Walker does the 360 sell job on the landing! Sigmon hits a clothesline off the ropes, getting another flippy sell from Walker. Cover…1…2….3! Sigmon gets fall number five! (4:56) Sigmon 3 – Walker 2.

Walker power bombs Sigmon onto the top turnbuckle! Now a clothesline puts Sigmon down, and Walker gets the Boston crab. Walker releases and gets the stretch muffler! Sigmon fights it off. Chop block from Walker and now the FIGURE FOUR! Sigmon in pain. Referee counts the shoulders down for a few two counts. Sigmon trying to turn it over. One minute left! Sigmon hanging on and turns it over, but Walker rolls through! Sigmon reaches the ropes, but Walker gets the figure four again! The countdown is on…and the match is over! (30:00)

WINNER: Sigmon, 3-2. **** – This match started slowly, with some pinfalls out of nowhere. But that last 10 minutes they just killed it! Some near falls off high impact moves. This was the best match I have seen in my short tenure as TCW reviewer. After the match, it appears that Walker wants the respect handshake, with Sigmon hesitating before finally flashing the “loser” hand signal at Walker. HEEL!

Col. Tom Parker is in the ring, with Buford and …..Bobo? Bobo is a teddy bear. I have NO idea what the hell this even means. Parker talks about putting up control of TCW against The Empire next week in the eight-man elimination match. Apparently, John Saxon was supposed to be on the team, but The Empire injured him in the lumberjack match a few weeks back. So Parker went to Tommy Dreamer to turn it up a notch. Parker calls The Empire “walk behinders” showing off his impressive vocabulary. Greg Anthony comes out to rebut as the voice of reason. Now that Dreamer is involved, The Empire may not be ready for the match. But it’s just a ruse as The Empire comes out for the beatdown on Parker and Buford. They whip Buford with a belt, and then take turns on Parker. Then, they claim the teddy bear? What the fuck…? Apparently, they are REclaiming the bear. If someone knows what the hell the fucking teddy bear has to do with this, please enlighten me. Because I thought it was fucking lame.

Match #2 – Lance Hoyt vs. Steve Anthony.

We start the match proper with both men already in he ring. Shoving match to start things off. Anthony tries a go-behind, but can’t get it, and Hoyt tosses him off. Anthony with some rights and forearms to put Hoyt down to a knee, but Hoyt hits him with the big boot coming off the ropes. Anthony goes to the floor as we take a break. Coming back, Anthony is in control in the corner. Hoyt hits a couple of back elbows, but Anthony dropkicks the knee to take him down. Anthony with some kicks, eventually no sold by Hoyt. Hoyt with a slam, but Anthony knees him in the gut. Hoyt hits him with a knee and then comes off the ropes with a big clothesline. Cover…1…2….kick out! Anthony with a german suplex but can’t get the bridge. Superkick by Anthony! 1..2…kick out! Hoyt reverses a double underhook into an F-5! Cover…1…2…kick out! Hoyt whips Anthony into the corner, but the referee is there, and when a wrestler and a referee occupy the same space at the same time, the referee goes down. Hoyt misses a corner charge, and Anthony is handed some brass knuckles from Greg Anthony. Hoyt attempts to bring Steve in from the apron, but Steve hits Hoyt with the knux! Hoyt goes down, and Steve Anthony goes to the top. 450 splash! 1…2…3! (6:17) WE’RE OUT OF TIME!!

WINNER: “The Exclamation Point” Steve Anthony. **1/2 – Hoyt carried to a decent match by Steve Anthony here. Heels cheat to win, nothing wrong with that. It makes The Empire look that much better for the big elimination match next week.

Wrestling-wise, this show was great. The iron man match delivered, and exceeded my own expectations. The Empire was shown as a strong heel stable going into next week’s show. But that stupid fucking bear, man! It’s some low-level indy goofiness that I can’t wrap my head around. See you next week.

Stranger Things Presents: The Top 5 January PPV Matches of All Time.

Happy New Year, Little Doomers. It’s January, and that brings us to our monthly look at pay-per-view matches that took place during this month. I only look at the big two, WWF/E and WCW. If you have favorites from TNA, ROH, ECW or any other company, feel free to give them some love here.

For WWF/E, PPV shows have included Royal Rumble (of course), with the pay-per-view version beginning in 1989 running through today. They also had New Year’s Revolution from 2005-2007. For NWA/WCW, they ran a Bunkhouse Stampede show in 1988, Souled Out from 1997-2000, and then Sin in 2001, before their untimely demise. They have been many contenders from these shows, but I have studiously whittled it down to five. But this time, I have decided to include an Honorable Mention section, to show that it was very difficult to decide on just 5. Let’s do this!

First, the Honorable Mention Section:

1. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit – Ladder Match – WWF Intercontinental Championship – Royal Rumble – January 21, 2001.

2. Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle – WWE Championship – Royal Rumble – January 19, 2003.

3. Royal Rumble Match – Royal Rumble – January 29, 2012.

4. The Rock vs. Chris Jericho – WWF Undisputed Championship – Royal Rumble – January 20, 2002.

5. Jushin Liger vs. Ultimo Dragon – IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship – WCW/New Japan Supershow – January 4, 1993.

Now to the A+ GOAT Top 5 match list. Remember, completely subjective on my part, and meant to spark conversation.

5. Chris Benoit vs. Raven – WCW/NWO Souled Out – January 24, 1998.

I could easily have plugged in Benoit/Angle here, but I feel that this match does not get the love it deserves. It’s not a long match, and I think if it had more time, it would be remembered as a classic. It’s probably Raven’s best match, even better than the (“gasp! He’s not going there!”) dog collar match in ECW. But as for Benoit, he was just getting started, as evidenced by the fact that he is all over this list.

4. 2010 Royal Rumble Match – Royal Rumble – January 31, 2010.

Let’s start by saying that CM Punk OWNS the first 1/3 of this match. He was in his Straight Edge Savior phase and was cutting promos while eliminating guys. Until you-know-who shows up. This Rumble had great pacing, the storyline of Shawn Michaels needing the win to face Undertaker, and the surprise return of Edge at the end. I call it a ***** Rumble.

3. 2004 Royal Rumble Match – Royal Rumble – January 25, 2004.

Let’s face it. WWE has gone through painstaking hoops to eliminate Chris Benoit from their history. In my opinion, that is a shame, because he was one of the best in-ring performers of our time. Without dwelling on WHY he is wiped from memory, we should remember the many hours of entertainment he brought to our eyes. This match is probably his crowning achievement, even more so than the WMXX moment.

2. 1992 Royal Rumble Match – Royal Rumble – January 19, 1992.

The first truly great Rumble match. The WWF Championship was up for grabs, so you had plenty of star power with Hogan, Flair, Savage, DiBiase, Piper, Roberts, Undertaker. But the big deal in this one was Flair with an early draw, and lasting to the very end, which had not been done prior to this. Those that had not been exposed to his NWA days would find out, with this match, that he was “the man”.

1. Cactus Jack vs Triple H – Street Fight – WWF Championship – Royal Rumble – January 23, 2000.

Triple H vs Cactus Jack (Royal Rumble 2000… by puropwgwwestuff

I could not, in good conscience, put a Rumble match over a singles match in the #1 slot. Also, when you consider historical perspective, this makes more sense. This kicked off Triple H’s awesome 2000 run of great PPV matches. This is one of those matches that builds slowly, and then comes to a boil, before finally exploding our eyeballs. I’m calling it the greatest January PPV match of all time.

There you have it. Any controversy here? Too many Rumbles? Too much WWF/E? Remember, WCW didn’t run a regular January PPV until 1997, four years before their closing. I welcome your opinions, and as I mentioned, feel free to give love to your favorites.

See you in February with the next list.

Tryout: Stranger In The Alps

BAM! This is happening. First, a quick introduction. I am the Stranger in the Alps, and I have been a long time reader of the BoD, and just recently started contributing to the comments section several months ago. I want to thank Mr. Keith for the opportunity to bring a fresh column onto the blog. Hopefully, it works out, and I can turn this into a weekly gig. We’re all a little tired of WWE and it’s directionless direction, so I’m taking a different approach to reviewing, and I’m going to focus on a little known indy fed with a TV show. TCW – or Traditional Championship Wrestling. They are focused mainly in the southern US like Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee. They have a weekly TV show that I found on The Pursuit Channel on DirecTV (ch. 604) Fridays at midnight CST. Here is a link to their various TV stations, categorized by state: And if you don’t have any of those channels, they have a Youtube channel, and new episodes are uploaded every Tuesday. Here’s the link for that: So you have the intro, now let’s review this weeks episode. Much like WWE, TCW warns you to NOT try this at home. Funny thing is, it looks EXACTLY like WWE’s font for their warnings, with TCW’s logo splashed above it. Taped from the Frank Cochran Center in Meridian, MS. Your hosts are Matt Rhodes and Brian Thompson. Thompson plays the heel announcer. TCW chant from the crowd. Rhodes announces a match between former New Orleans Fight Club partners John Saxon and Steve Anthony. You see, Anthony turned his back on his friend Saxon and joined the dominant stable in the company, The Empire. That match goes down on this episode. Then they flashback to a few months ago to a match between the TCW International Champion Titan and Tarver (the former Nexus member Michael Tarver in WWE). They are having a rematch for the title TONIGHT! Opening video and credits. Match #1: John Saxon vs. Steve Anthony – Saxon makes his way to the ring first, then after a quick break, Anthony makes his way out with mic in hand. Anthony wants to thank the fans for coming out to see Saxon in his last match of his career. Crowd with, I believe, a “Saxon’s gonna kill you” chant. Anthony, sarcastically, says that Saxon is like a brother to him and he loves him. He goes on to say that because of the love he has for Saxon, he can’t get in the ring tonight. Saxon used to be full of aggression, now he’s just full of depression. Crowd: “You’re a pussy!”, Anthony: “No, I’m not. I’m a good friend.” Anthony keeps going, saying that Saxon is in his 40’s, and he’s lost a step and it wouldn’t be fair for Anthony to beat him. As a friend, Anthony has to walk away. Now referee James Beard has told the timekeeper to ring the bell, and the bell rings, but Anthony keeps talking, now disparaging Saxon’s parenting skills. Now Anthony just does a 180 and says that because of the rude fans, he’s going to kick Saxon’s ass. Anthony stalls, of course. The bell rings again, and Anthony slides out of the ring, and grabs the mic AGAIN. He tells Saxon he loves him, and flips him the bird and slowly backs down the aisle. The referee counts to 10, and awards Saxon the match by countout. WINNER: John Saxon via counout at 1:03. This gets NO RATING. Backstage, Col. Tom Parker is the figurehead for the company. He’s talking to someone, telling them that they have done a lot of underhanded things in the past, and what do they have to say for themselves? The camera pans to show he’s talking to Boyd Bradford, head of another stable in TCW, The Bradford Family. He complains of an attack on him by another manager, Rich Rude, during a match. Parker gives Bradford until the end of the day to produce Rich Rude, as Bradford and his Hounds of Hell (Cerebus and Roosevelt) abducted Rude a couple of weeks back, and Rude has not been seen since. Parker threatens them with termination. Bradford states that the only way anyone will see Rude is via satellite, unless Bradford and his men get what they want. They want Genetic Perfection striped of the TCW Tag Team Championship, and have them awarded back to the Hounds of Hell. Parker is adamant with his HELL NO. Instead, Parker grants Bradford’s guys a title shot later in the show. Match #2: Tarver vs. Titan – TCW International Heavyweight Championship. Tarver out first, because champs enter second, baby! Tarver is over pretty good with this crowd. Titan is accompanied by Lily, who is almost a Sunny lookalike. Sunny 1996, not Sunny 2013. Titan is billed as being 7’2″ tall. Your referee is DJ Pitre. Tarver with fist combos to the body to start. Titan with a knee to the gut to counter. Slam attempt reversed by Tarver, and he drops down to take out the knee with a chop block. Tarver with more rapid fire fists to the head this time. Tarver going up top, but Titan meets him there with a fist to the head. Tarver on the apron now, and Titan grabs him by the throat, talks a little trash, and hits a head butt. Tarver with his head in the ropes, so Titan comes off the ropes and butt butts Tarver to the floor. Down on the floor, Titan follows and hits a disoriented Tarver with some fists. Titan takes Tarver’s arm and places it inside the hole on the steps, and then rears back for a kick to that same arm. Tarver, in pain, gets back in the ring, favoring the hand. Titan stalks him to the corner and slaps him around. Now Titan wraps the injured hand around the ropes, as they hit a break. Back from break, with Titan still in control. To the corner, and Tarver unleashes a chop, to no effect. Titan wraps Tarver in the corner, and does The Big Show’s “Sssshhhh” corner chest chop. Basically, Titan is Paul Wight when he was slimmer. Now Titan drapes Tarver across the middle rope for some slaps from Lily. Titan holds Tarver steady with one hand, then nails him with a knee to the jaw. Tarver down to one knee, and Titan comes off the ropes with a kick to the head. Titan standing on the injured hand now. Titan holds Tarver down for a pin attempt, but Tarver gets the shoulder up. Tarver with shots from underneath to attempt a comeback. Irish whip to Tarver, but he ducks under and comes back with a punch. Another duck under, and another punch. Titan is staggered. Some body shots now from Tarver, selling the injured hand. Tarver off the ropes and Titan with a BIG clothesline. Titan drops the knee to the injured hand a couple of times, then switches to an elbowdrop to the chest. Titan presses Tarver’s injured hand into his own chest. Tarver trying another comeback with elbows to the gut. A big forearm from Tarver. Tarver off the ropes, but Titan shoulderblocks him down. Titan talking trash with Tarver down on his back. Titan picks him up, and whips him to the corner and follows with the corner clothesline. Titan with the thumbs down, grabs him by the throat, but Tarver with elbows. Another forearm from Tarver. Forearm again, followed by punches. Tarver off the ropes, Titan with a big boot to put him down. Now Lily distracts the referee, and she has something in her hand that she tosses into the ring while the ref is still trying to get her down off the apron. Tarver grabs the object and it’s brass knuckles. Tarver ducks under a clothesline attempt, and HITS TITAN WITH THE KNUX! Titan is down! Tarver with cover, the referee counts 1…2…and LILY JUMPS ON THE REFEREE TO STOP THE COUNT. She is gouging the ref’s eyes! Now she DDT’s the ref! Lily goes over to the timekeeper’s table and rings the bell herself. Tarver, Titan and the referee are all down in the ring. Lily collects the title belt, and Titan and they are gone. WINNER: No official decision, but assume it was a DQ win for Tarver at around 10:28. Tarver didn’t show much offense outside of punch/kick, and Titan “carried” the match. Screwjob finishes always suck. Call this match * (one star). The announcers verbally recap last week’s doings when The Empire offered #1 contender Lance Hoyt a spot in their group, but when he refused, of course he was jumped. Hoyt’s on his way to the ring right now. Hoyt has a mic and someone covered in a black sheet. He’s excited about something. The Empire is about to get what’s coming to them. He says he can’t be paid off. It’s four on one, but one on one, none of them stand a chance. He has brought The Empire a surprise, and calls out The Empire. Here they come, led by their leader Matt Riviera. (The Empire are Riviera, Steve Anthony, Greg Anthony and the TCW Heavyweight champion, Tim Storm. Hoyt is the #1 contender for that title.) Hoyt asks Riviera if he likes surprises, and then says he has brought someone along that he can trust, a former TCW Heayweight champion. Someone that has had similar problems with The Empire. Hoyt says he won’t tell who it is. Riviera comes back with the old “it’s your mom”. Steve Anthony, in a funny spot, gropes the front of the sheet-covered person and says “Nope”. Hoyt dares him to lift the sheet and see who it is. Instead, Riviera and company decide they want none of it and start to leave. Hoyt pulls out the “chicken” card, and they come back. Hoyt counts down from 10, and The Empire tease the reveal, but start to leave AGAIN. Hoyt makes fun of Riviera’s Arkansas edgucashun. Riviera FINALLY pulls the sheet off and it’s Shane Williams! Now the brawl is on! Shane Williams is a former member of The Empire, by the way. Hoyt and Williams take on all four guys, and The Empire retreats to the back. Williams grabs the mic and proclaims that “The King is back in TCW, and The Empire is going down!”. Hoyt and Williams mock The Empire salute, and we hit the break. When we come back, Jason Jones, the backstage interviewer, is with Vordell Walker. He wants Walker to comment on his feud with Sigmon. He states that Sigmon has been after him since day one. Walker goes on to say that he has met guys like Sigmon all across the globe and none of them have been able to get the job done. He wants to know if he looks like a loser (Sigmon’s thing is that he calls himself a winner, and everyone else losers. Just for context, folks.) Jones interrupts Walker to state that Col. Parker has made a match between Walker and Sigmon for next week. Walker is going to finish the job next week, and they’ll find out who the real loser is. Match #3: Genetic Perfection (Michael Barry and Alan Steel) (c) vs. The Hounds of Hell (Cerebus and Roosevelt) – TCW Tag Team Championship – The Hounds hit the ring first, then the champs enter and rush the ring. All four men in the ring to start. Double whip to Cerebus, and a double back body drop. Roosevelt alone in the ring now, as Barry heads back to his corner. A series of right hands keeps dropping Roosevelt. Steel tags in Barry now. Steel holds Roosevelt for some shots from Barry. Barry takes Roosevelt to the corner and does the 10 count head to buckle, with 10 hitting the mat. Tag to Steel and there’s a Hart Attack! Roosevelt kicks out at two. Roosevelt pokes the eyes and tags out to Cerebus, who promptly walks into a clothesline from Steel. Steel mounts Cerebus and gives him some punches to the head and breaks at five. To the corner, and Steel hits post and falls to the floor. Cerebus out after him with boots. There are two officials for this match. Steel brought back in, off the ropes and a back elbow puts hm down. To the corner, Steel sidesteps and rolls him up, but Roosevelt has the referee’s attention. The second referee, James Beard, comes in for the count, but Cerebus is out at 2. Cerebus puts Steel down with a clothesline. Tag to Roosevelt, and they send Steel to the buckle headfirst, then double chop him down. Roosevelt with the knee across the throat. Roosevelt picks Steel up off the mat then puts him back down with right hand. Tag to Cerebus who spits on Barry to cause a distraction, as Barry is held back by the ref, and The Hounds do some doubleteaming on Steel in their corner. Cerebus cinches in the chinlock. The crowd is trying to rally behind Steel, as they take a break. Coming back, Steel is trying to come back with elbows to the guy, but he is put down by a big forearm to the back from Cerebus. Tag to Roosevelt, who comes off the middle rope with a double axehandle. Neckbreaker from Roosevelt. Cover, and kick out at 1. Now comes the headlock from Roosevelt. Barry trying to get the crowd behind Steel, who hits a jawbreaker on Roosevelt. Steel off the ropes, but he meets a knee from Roosevelt, who then tags in Cerebus. Double team whip to the corner, but Steel goes up to the middle and comes off with a double back elbow to put everybody down. The announcers question the whereabouts of Boyd Bradford and Rich Rude. Hot tag to Barry! Back elbows for everybody. Cerebus gets in a kick to the gut, and a double whip attempt is reversed on Cerebus, who then goes over Barry and into his own partner. Barry with the Samoan Drop on Cerebus. Samoan Drop for Roosevelt. Barry has his whip reversed by Cerebus, but Barry goes for the Sunset Flip. Roosevelt tries to grab Cerebus’ arm to prevent the flip, but Steel comes back in for a Sunset Flip on Roosevelt. Double pin attempt and double kick out at 2. The Hounds recover and each hit a clotheline on their opponents, putting both Barry and Steel down. Cerebus whips Steel, but Steel goes under and comes back with a Superkick that puts Cerebus to the floor. Roosevelt whips Barry to the corner, but Barry gets the boot up and Roosevelt collides with the referee, Rashard Devon, who goes down. Barry powerslams Roosevelt, and now Boyd Bradford and Kincaid (another Bradford family member) wheel out Rich Rude, who is bound and gagged to a dolly, making sure Genetic Perfection see them. Then they promptly wheel him to the back. Barry leaves the ring to go after them, leaving Steel alone with The Hounds. Steel is on top, when Cerebus comes from behind to take him down. Cerebus puts Steel over his shoulder, and Roosevelt grabs a chain, and comes OFF THE TOP, DRIVING THE CHAIN INTO STEEL, as Cerebus drops him. The second referee comes in and makes the count 1…2…3! NEW CHAMPS!! Barry comes running back in with a chair, and The Hounds take their leave, raising the belts high. WE’RE OUT OF TIME!! WINNERS: The Hounds of Hell at 8:01. *** (3 stars). A solid tag team match. I didn’t mind the distraction finish too much, but at least we had match finish on this show. Plus, having a title change hands in your first review isn’t too bad. So, there you have it. An indy fed, with a TV show, and a guy to review it. The slogan for TCW is “Wrestling is Back”. I wouldn’t go that far with it just yet, but I will say that this was a refreshing change of pace, and DIFFERENT IS GOOD, as a wise blog owner recently said to me. I appreciate ALL comments and criticisms. I might be back next week. Rich Rude may not.