The Little Things in Wrestling

The little things?  Wait, are we talking about Seth Rollins here?  HIGH FIVE!  Anyone?  Good afternoon Mr. Keith.  Watching Kevin Owens do his thing, such as stomping a poor sap as he walks by him, had my thinking of other small things that I just don’t see much of in wrestling.  Then again, I’m not watching nearly as much as I used to.  Some of them are: Repeated pin attempts, one after another:  Usually a heel tactic, and I know you’re a fan of this one. Yup, love this one, especially if the heel keeps trying the same pin and gets frustrated and yells at the referee about it.  Being a dick/jerk to some kid as you walk down the aisle for a good second:  Seriously, who does this anymore Unfortunately you are no longer allowed to harass the stupid marks at ringside because then they’ll go on social media and whine about it.  The only people that Stephanie is allowed to demean on TV are her own employees.  As I’ve said before, part of the whole appeal of being at ringside is getting trash-talked by the heels.  As long as nothing physical is involved, everyone should know what they’re getting into.  Music Guitar solo for a big win:  I can’t explain it, But i always knew it was an important/big win when the face won, and the celebration goes extra long you notice the guitar solo as their music continues to play.  Hogan, Bret & Michaels were my faves. Yeah, but all the nu-mutal shit bands that they use for entrance music now don’t do solos.  They need to hire the Darkness or Airborne or someone like that for a theme song.  Trash-Talking/slapping the head during a submission move:  I see wrestlers trash talk sometimes, but it’s just not very funny/heelish what they’re are saying. Another quality heel mannerism.  I always love bad guys who took the time to really demotivate their opponents.  Kevin Owens is leading the charge on this one again, though, and I see good things in the future for the genre.  Simply stepping out of the way of an opponents high flying attack:  Extra points if they smirk afterwards That one is more “breaking the fourth wall” and specific to Samoa Joe, though.  Got any of your own? Using the ropes for a pin attempt, especially if it’s in full view of the referee, and then arguing about it afterwards while choking the guy out with your shin.  Doing a lame submission move like an abdominal stretch, but getting help from your partner from the apron.  Tons of tag team stuff, especially cutting off the ring to prevent the hot tag and build more heat. 

Matt’s Recap: TLC (and Stairs and things) 2014

Here we are, at a Pay Per View that should be
exciting…but has to be one of the most boring cards I’ve ever seen.
It stinks of uninteresting feuds, both new and old with no real velocity
or energy behind them.


Obviously, WWE can’t
wheel out Sting again and Brock Lesnar isn’t gonna be around until the
Royal Rumble next year…so what are we gonna see tonight that’s of any
interest?

Let’s find out…
We begin with gritty footage of WWE superstars inter-cut with footage from a Demolition Derby.
We are LIVE(!!!) from Cleveland, Ohio!!!
JBL,
Cole, and King are the guys at the desk. Marcelo Rodriguez and Carlos
Cabrera are manning the Spanish Desk of Eventual Destruction.
MATCH #1: Dolph Ziggler (challenger) vs. Luke Harper (champion) in a Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dolph
gets a NICE ovation from his hometown crowd. Dolph misses a couple of
Superkicks to start, then both men bolt outside and put some ladders
into the ring. Harper walks around the ring and just tosses Ziggler into
one of the standing ladders outside, then into the Timekeeper’s area.
Harper sets up a tall ladder and begins to climb but Ziggler manages to
run in and knock the ladder over. Harper lands on his feet and boots
Ziggler’s head off his shoulders. Ziggler rolls out and Harper follows
him, attempting a powerbomb into a ladder outside. Ziggler evades this
and rushes at Harper who just slams him into the cement. Harper rolls
back into the ring and sets up another ladder but Ziggler pulls him off
again. Harper just tosses him across the ring and drops a ladder on his
face. He picks Ziggler up and puts him in the corner, then just slams
him with a ladder. Ziggler manages to get up to the top turnbuckle with a
ladder on a comeback but Harper just uses the ladder to knock him
ouside. Then he press slams a ladder at Ziggler’s face. Harper tries a
Suicide Dive but collides with a ladder that Ziggler has set up. Ziggler
rushes inside and sets up a tall ladder. He gets his hands on the belt
but Harper grabs him, Ziggler kicks him away and NEARLY grabs the belt
but Harper gets up and knocks the ladder over, sending Ziggler into the
buckle.
Ziggler
gets to his feet. Harper goes for a Powerbomb but Ziggler counters it,
only to get Powerbombed into a ladder anyhow. Harper slingshots Ziggler
into a rope, smashing his body against a ladder and the abuse continues.
Ziggler is busted open as he rolls outside and doctors check on him.
Inside the ring, Harper sets up another ladder and climbs. Ziggler
suddenly gets up and rushes to Harper, managing to knock the ladder off.
The two men fall but Ziggler gets the worst of it. Harper gets another
ladder. Ziggler grabs it so Harper goes for a Powerbomb. Ziggler
counters with a Facebuster and climbs. Harper pulls him off and Ziggler
falls, hitting a DDT on the way down. Harper gets to his feet and grabs a
ladder and clocks Ziggler in the face. He swings at Ziggler again but
Dolph ducks and hits a Superkick, then knocks Harper off the mat to the
outside area. Ziggler gets to his feet and climbs the ladder. Harper
gets up and shoves the ladder. Ziggler takes a NASTY fall, landing on
his shoulder. The fans chant “THIS IS AWESOME” as Harper sets up the
ladder again. Ziggler gets to his feet and swings across the ring with a
ladder, knocking Harper down and grabbing the ladder. He climbs…but
Harper grabs him. He kicks Harper away. Harper sets up a ladder next to
Ziggler — but Ziggler Superkicks Harper off his ladder! He grabs the
belt! Ziggler’s the new champ!
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Dolph Ziggler
RATING: ***1/4. This was pretty good stuff.
We get an ad for Florida Georgia Line at WWE Salute to the Troops, both of which we must all enjoy or the terrorists win.
MATCH
#2: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) (challengers) vs. The Miz & Damien
Miz-dow (champions) for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Jey
starts with Miz and there’s about 72 counter spots until Jey hits an
armdrag. Jimmy tags in but Miz escapes. After re-entering the ring,
Jimmy is all over Miz, punching at him after a press and chopping at
him. Tag to Jey. They hit a Double Suplex and Miz-dow imitates that.
Then he imitates getting tosses from the ring like The Miz. Naomi
watches from the back as the action goes back into the ring. Miz hits a
DDT as the crowd chants for Miz-dow. Jey pulls Miz into a roll-up pin as
Miz and Miz-dow argue about who should be in the ring. Two count. Miz
puts Jey into a headlock but Jey escapes and hits an Enzuguri. Hot tag
to Jimmy who clotheslines Miz, hits a kick and Samoan Drop. Miz-dow
continues to imitate Miz. Jimmy hits a Rikishi on Miz and goes for one
on Miz-dow who escapes. Miz comes out of the corner and boots Jimmy to
the mat. Jimmy counters and nearly gets a pin but Miz-dow finally
interferes. All hell breaks loose with Jimmy going for a Superfly Splash
which doesn’t happen because Miz escapes the ring, grabs his titles and
starts to leave. Jimmy hits Uso Crazy on Miz-dow, but Miz clocks Jimmy
after that. 
WINNERS: The Usos via DQ.
STILL CHAMPIONS: The Miz’s
RATING:
DUD. Shit from top to bottom. A played-out gimmick, sloppy wrestling,
clunky coreography…this was bad. Miz-dow doesn’t even wrestle anymore.
This is really pathetic.
Byron
has Rollins backstage with Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble. He says that
the Authority isn’t around because of “The Vigilante Known as Sting”
which is his name now, I guess. He says that, tonight, he’s gonna end
all of Cena’s dreams.
Cole
gives us an “Anatomy of the Stairs” analysis which includes interesting
facts like, “The steps are 275 pounds” and “they can withstand 2200 lbs
of pressure” which totally matters in a match like this.
MATCH #3: Big Show vs. Erick Rowan in a Stairs Match
Rowan
is all over Show, splashing him in the corner and hitting a nice high
spinning kick. Show exits the ring. Rowan follows and gets kneed in the
stomach and slammed. He whips Rowan in the stairs and, yay. Stairs. He
rolls Rowan back into the ring, grabs some steel stairs and climbs to
the mat. Rowan dropkicks the stairs into Show’s face and clocks him
after exiting the ring. Rowan starts throwing stairs everywhere and
kicks Show in the ribs. He picks up some stairs and stacks them
vertically, aligning them like a wall. Show grabs him and tosses him
into the ringpost. He puts Rowan on the mat and slaps his chest, then
tosses him into the timekeeper’s pit. Show picks up some steel steps and
tosses it on the announce desk much to Cole’s surprise. Rowan gets up
and starts slugging away but Show knocks him down and uses some stairs
to nail him in the stomach. Show puts more stairs in the ring and then
rolls Rowan in.
Once
in the ring, Show just nails Rowan in the back with some steps and sets
up the steps underneath the top buckle, throwing Rowan into them. He
does it even harder the second time, then clotheslines Rowan for good
measure. He goes for a Chokeslam but Rowan fights out. Rowan lifts Show
up and slams him on the stairs. Rowan goes for the top portion of the
stairs and goes to the second buckle and just misses Show. Rowan rolls
out of the ring. Show follows and knocks him through the wall of stairs
Rowan set up earlier. Back in the ring, Show lifts up some stairs but
Rowan boots them into Show’s face. Rowan rushes at Show who counters and
Chokeslams him into the stairs, then hits the KO Punch and pins Rowan
under the curve of the stairs.
WINNER: Big Show
RATING: **. Big and clunky with a pointless weapon. And why can’t Big Show job to put the new guy over?
We get a commercial for the return of Total Divas.
We get the build-up for Cena/Rollins.
Paul Heyman comes down to the ring so you know this finish isn’t gonna be clean.
MATCH
#4: Seth Rollins (w/ Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury) vs. John Cena in a
Tables Match (If John Cena loses, he is no longer the #1 Contender for
the WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
Brawl
to start, culminating in a bulldog by Cena. Security distracts Cena and
Rollins takes over, stomping at Cena in the corner. Cena comes back
with a clothesline. He goes under the mat for a table as Rollins’
security force looks on. Mercury and Noble pull the table away from Cena
once he gets back into the ring. Rollins beats up on Cena and goes for a
table under the ring but Cena nails him. The table ends up in the ring.
Security goes to get it but Cena pushes them into the crowd wall using
the table. Rollins attacks Cena and sets the table on the top buckle.
Noble and Mercury come in and pull the table off which makes no sense,
but we move on. Rollins attacks Cena and hits a DDT. Rollins goes for a
table under the ring and it doesn’t get stolen, so I guess that’s
progress. Rollins stomps Cena in the corner. He sets the table up in the
corner and tries to whip Cena into it. Cena baseball slides and hits
Moves 1 through 4. He goes for the AA but Security comes in and it’s a
3-on-1 mudhole stomp. Ref does nothing. They set Cena up for a Table
Bomb but Cena kicks Rollins and fights off Security, then just beats the
hell out of Noble. He grabs a crowd gate and knocks down all three men
near the entrance ramp.
Cena
suplexes Noble on the crowd gate and Rollins immediately attacks.
Mercury takes over, punching at Cena, tossing his head into some chairs,
then tossing him into the ringpost. They go to smash Cena with a table
but Cena moves. Cena grabs Mercury and tosses him into the Timekeeper’s
Pit with an AA. Rollins goes after Cena and whips him into the crowd
barrier. He puts a table up outside and then grabs another table,
propping it next to the one he just set up. Cena is inside the ring.
Rollins goes for a Suplex to the outside but Cena reverses it. The two
exchange shots and both exchange counters until Rollins hits a Reverse
Inverted Suplex. Rollins tries to toss Cena into the corner table but
Cena whips Rollins up and over the top rope to the outside. He slides a
table into the ring and goes after Rollins who clocks Cena with the
briefcase. Cena rolls into the ring and Rollins just clocks him again
and again.
Rollins
raises the case in victory, then tosses it aside. Rollins sets up
another table and he tells Cena “Your time is up, my time is now.” Cena
gets up and grabs him for an AA. Rollins blocks it and the ref takes a
bump. Rollins ends up clocking Cena, who falls, face-first on the table.
Rollins sets up for the Curb Stomp but Cena gets up and AA’s Rollins
through the table…but the ref is still out. Suddenly, Noble and
Mercury miraculously wake up and the same time and run into the ring,
attack Cena, get rid of the broken table for some reason, and then try
to help Rollins win the match with another Table Bomb. Cena fights out,
knocks Rollins out of the ring and AA’s the Security through the table.
Rollins comes in and attacks and both men end up going through the
tables outside. The bell rings and two other refs who were absent during the first ref bump
fly into the ring to confer. One of the refs calls Cena the winner while the other ref somehow
calls Rollins the winner, which should make no sense to anybody, sober, crazy, drunk or high. Chiota restarts the match and Cena AA’s Rollins
into the Announce Table. It doesn’t break. Cena gets into the ring and
here comes Big Show who nails Cena and calls for a Chokeslam…but Roman
Reigns’ music hits and he comes out of the crowd, hits the Superman
Punch on Show, Spears him through the table, Superman Punches Rollins
and Cena finishes it by AA’ing Rollins through a table.
WINNER: John Cena
RATING:
***3/4. Overbooking killed a lot of it. Big Show really has nothing to do
with any of this anymore and Reigns should have been the only one making
an appearance.
We get an ad for the Royal Rumble on January 25th.
AT THE ROYAL RUMBLE: Cena faces Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
ON THE KICK-OFF SHOW: New Day beat The Dusts.
Renee and her lisp is back at the WWE News Desk.
Byron
has the Bella Bewbz backstage. Nikki’s sick of talking about AJ. Brie
says that they’ve had their problems…but blood is thicker than water.
Here comes the face turn…
MATCH #5: AJ Lee (challenger) vs. Nikki Bella (champion) (w/ Brie Bella) for the WWE Divas Championship
AJ
hits a Hurricarana, whipping Nikki out of the ring. AJ attacks. Brie
tries to help but AJ ducks and attacks Nikki, sending her into the ring.
AJ corners Nikki who comes back, slamming AJ to the mat and hitting a
backbreaker. Two count. Nikki hits a quick suplex and then chokes AJ
against the ringpost. She puts a Surfboard on AJ, who fights out. Nikki
just whips her to the mat. She locks AJ’s chin but AJ gets to her feet
again. Nikki tries a whip but AJ counters into an Octopus and attempts
the Widow. Nikki rams her into the corner buckle to break it. Both Divas
rush at one another and clothesline each other. AJ gets to her feet and
splashes Nikki in the corner. She hits a Tornado DDT off the buckle as
Brie yells “C’MON NIKKI” until she’s blue in the face. Nikki hits a
dropkick off the buckle and gets two. Nikki sets up for a falling
facebreaker but AJ counters with a standing bulldog for two. AJ hits the
Shining Wizard and gets two because Brie puts Nikki’s foot on the rope.
The ref ejects Brie from ringside. On the distraction, Nikki sprays
something in AJ’s eyes and hits the Rack Attack and we’re done.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Nikki Bella via Rack Attack
RATING: **. What was the point of tossing Brie?
Todd
Phillips has Roman Reigns backstage. He says he’d be back and he’d make
an impact. He took out Big Show and punched Seth Rollins in the mouth.
At the Royal Rumble: he’ll do damage this year.
MATCH #6: Kane vs. Ryback in a Chairs Match
Kane
and Ryback grab a chair each and smack them together. Both chairs fall
and it’s a quick brawl. Kane grabs a chair and whacks Ryback with it. He
props a chair between the buckles but ends up taking the hit on a
reversal on the whip. Ryback hits a forearm and press, then hits a
Splash. He hits a Bulldog Powerslam and goes to the second buckle,
hitting three consecutive body splashes. He grabs a chair and just
destroys Kane with it. He puts a chair on top of Kane and goes for
another splash but Kane lifts the chair up and Ryback hits that instead.
Kane whacks Ryback with the chair and sets it on the top buckle, then
nails him with Snake Eyes. Kane picks up another chair and just whacks
Ryback with it again. Kane goes for a suplex. Ryback reverses but Kane
blocks it. Kane hits a running DDT into the chair for two. Kane goes to
nail Ryback with a chair but Ryback kicks the chair into Kane’s face. He
goes for an axehandle off the buckle but Kane uppercuts him. Two count.
Kane sets up a chair but Ryback fights back. Kane uppercuts him and
then boots Ryback into the chair, which falls over. Kane splashes Ryback
in the corner, then tries again but Ryback hits a belly to belly.
Ryback grabs a chair but Kane just kicks the chair into Ryback’s face.
He takes the chair and hits a half dozen chair shots, then goes outside
and tosses six chairs into the ring. He sets the chairs up the way he
wants and goes for a Chokeslam. Ryback counters and hits a Spinebuster
into the chairs which just doesn’t look as painful as it was intended
because Ryback botched the landing. Ryback hits about 6 or 7 chair shots
and goes for the Meat Hook Clothesline but Kane just throws a 97 MPH
fastball of a chair into Ryback’s face. He hits a Chokeslam from Hell
and NEARLY gets a fall. He calls for a Tombstone but Ryback counters
with a Meathook. He goes for Shellshock and hits it for the win.
WINNER: Ryback via Shellshock
RATING: **. Just by-the-numbers. The use of chairs and stairs is really superfluous.
WWE Week starts tomorrow on USA.
JBL’s excited about WWE Week and says that Y2J will be the host of RAW tomorrow, calling him “Y2-Jizzle”. (DANIELLE: “Oh…are you sure you wanna use that now or ever again?”)
MATCH #7: Rusev (challenger) (w/ Lana) vs. Jack Swagger (champion) for the WWE United States Championship 
Quick
brawl and Swagger barely slams Rusev. Rusev’s ankle is bad and he won’t
let Swagger near it. Swagger chases him into the ring, splashes him,
boots him, then celebrates. He goes for the Swagger Bomb but misses.
Rusev goes for a Superkick but Swagger grabs it and hits the Patriot
Lock. Rusev counters it and hits an Accolade. Swagger breaks it the
first time but Rusev locks it again and we’re do–…wait. Swagger gets
to his knees and fights out of it. He gets to his feet, then counters
into the Patriot Lock. Rusev screams, then kicks Swagger in the face. He
rolls out of the ring, to the floor. Swagger chases and Rusev hits a
Superkick. Rusev gets into the ring. Swagger beats the count at nine,
then enters the ring and gets a Superkick and another Accolade. 
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: #RUSEVWINSLOL
RATING:
DUD. Really? A month of build-up for a second Swagger run and another glorified squash is all we get?
How many more matches is Rusev the Overrated gonna win?
We get the Rollins/Wyatt build-up…this match is going to be about 25 minutes if the 7:45 stop time holds.
MATCH #8: Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match
The
lights come back on, Wyatt sets his lantern down — and Ambrose just
throws a ladder at him, knocking him down. It’s a brawl to the entrance
ramp. Ambrose throws his head into the table and then chases him to the
announce table, hitting a Suicide Dive from the ring mat. Wyatt ends up
in the time keeper’s pit. Ambrose runs across the table and hits a
forearm. They fight into the crowd all the way to Lisp Central where
Alex Riley is sitting. They brawl to the ring again and Ambrose grabs a
chair, whacking Wyatt in the back. He tosses more chairs into the ring
and starts headbutting Wyatt. He sets up a table outside, then grabs
some Kendo Sticks. Wyatt is on his hands and knees, staring at Ambrose.
He tells Ambrose to hit him — then goes for a chair but Ambrose just
nails him in the head and back. He picks up a chair and hits a Flying
Chair Splash on Wyatt. He sets up another chair, then grabs Wyatt,
choking him with the Kendo Stick, then grinds it into his neck. Ambrose
goes top rope but Wyatt gets up and knocks him off the top, into the
table outside.
Wyatt
tosses him into the ring and hits him with a Kendo Stick, then tosses
him, face first, into another Kendo Stick. He beats on Ambrose some
more, then goes outside and gets a ladder. He comes back into the ring,
nails Ambrose with a chair, hits an uppercut and Ambrose lands on the
ladder. Wyatt hits the Reverse Senton and starts trying to choke Ambrose
with the Kendo again. Ambrose gets up so Wyatt clocks him and sends him
flying into the ladder. He tells Ambrose that he asked for this. He
tries another ladder splash but Ambrose moves out of the way. The two
trade punches and Ambrose sends Wyatt into the ladder and splashes him,
then hits a Bulldog. Ambrose props a ladder on the top rope and goes up
top, nailing Wyatt from above and getting two.
Wyatt
leaves the ring but Ambrose grabs a chair, hits him in the stomach and
dropkicks him. Wyatt is left hanging on the second rope and hits a
legdrop, putting Wyatt’s head into the chair for two. Both men get to
their feet. Wyatt tries Sister Abigail but Ambrose counters and runs
into the ropes. Wyatt hits a HUGE clothesline and NEARLY gets a fall.
Wyatt rolls out of the ring. Ambrose follows. Wyatt tosses Ambrose back
in. Ambrose rolls right back out and hits the Comeback Clothesline. It’s
another brawl as Ambrose grabs a couple of chairs, tossing them to the
floor. He sets up a table as the two men brawl. Ambrose places Wyatt on
the table and climbs a ladder, dropping an elbow on Wyatt, breaking the
table. The crowd nearest to them chants “HOLY SHIT”. The rest of crowd
is kinda apathetic. Ambrose grabs Bray again and grabs another table,
setting it up and placing Bray on it. He climbs another ladder, hitting
another elbow smash through the table.
The
crowd chants, “ONE MORE TIME” as Ambrose gets to his feet. He lifts
Bray up and drags him to the ring. Ambrose grabs a rib and goes into the
ring…and runs right into a #SisterAbigailOutofNowhere. Bray nearly
gets a fall. Bray does the Hanging Spider and goes for Sister Abigail
which Ambrose counters with a roll-up. Bray kicks out and rushes Ambrose
who side-steps, sending Bray, head-first, into a chair. Ambrose hits
Dirty Deeds but Wyatt kicks out! Wyatt rolls outside and Ambrose
follows, laughing crazily and grabbing more chairs. Then he pulls out an
LED monitor that is fully functioning. Ambrose laughs his ass off and
goes to the aisle to grab an extra tall ladder. Bray is still
unconscious as Ambrose lugs the ladder and sets it up near the announce
table. He tells Marcelo and Carlos to leave the table so they don’t get
heard and starts taking their table apart.
Ambrose
goes for Bray who gets up and whacks Ambrose with a chair. He headbutts
Ambrose and sets the chair up under his chin but Ambrose blocks and
reverses and sends Wyatt into the chair with the stairs instead. He puts
Wyatt on the table, climbs the tall ladder and hits a HUGE Flying Elbow
into the announce table. Crowd chants “THIS IS AWESOME”. He pushes Bray
back into the ring after getting to his feet. He picks up the monitor
but the TV won’t reach across the ring due to the power cable being too short. He pulls on the TV even harder and it sparks and
explodes in his face like a product from the ACME Company. Ambrose is
blinded, can’t see and walks right into Sister Abigail. Wyatt wins.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt via Sister Abigail
RATING:
**1/2. Needlessly long and mostly dull, save for the big elbow shot
near the end. The TV exploding was completely silly. I can’t decide
which one is worse: the exploding TV or the Wyatt Hologram.
Bray celebrates as we go off the air.
OVERALL:
**. This was a mixture of pointless weapons matches. The only one that
worked had the benefit of good storytelling and surprises.

Er, that’s it.

Andy PG will rant on RAW tomorrow, I’m back Tuesday with Main Event, Bayless and Scott have the retro programming as well as NXT and Tommy Hall will bring you WCW Thunder and Smackdown on Friday.

We are at We Hate Your Gimmick (http://wehateyourgimmick.blogspot.com) so be sure to visit us!

Superstars you didn’t know were related – 5 Things

Cute list, but how the hell do they explain the Blackjack Mulligan-IRS relationship and then completely ignore the more obvious IRS family relationship?  Are we back in the 80s, where breaking kayfabe by admitting that Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas are brothers would somehow shatter our suspension of disbelief and cause ratings to drop even lower?

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.

Up next: THE DEBUT OF SABU!!

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.

Paste Magazine’s list of the ten things you need to watch on the WWE Network

Scott,

Hi!

Over at Paste Magazine is a list of the ten things you should watch first on the WWE Network, written by myself and Robert Newsome, the editor of the Atomic Elbow wrestling fanzine. It'd be awesome if you could post a link at the Blog of Doom.


Sure, and I've love to check out the Network if their billing page would ever stop crashing this morning…

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
  
pollcode.com 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
pollcode.com 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:

http://www.tcwwrestling.com/tvinfo.shtml

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:

http://www.tcwwrestling.com/tvinfo.shtml

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.

Things looking up?

> I don't know about you or the rest of the BODers Scott, but I'm pretty happy and excited about where things seem to be going, WWE-wise. We've got a supremely interesting faction in the Shield who have been booked tremendously, featuring 3 guys who can go on to become huge singles stars. The Wyatt Family is incoming, so that's another awesome faction of guys coming in. We've got Daniel Bryan on the verge of superstardom, Dolph Ziggler who can be the same, and CM Punk returning soon. It was refreshing to hear Vince McMahon mention "overlooked in-ring skill" during the Bret Hart Appreciation night, so we at least know he realises its a thing, and there is a decent amount of genuine wrestling talent being developed in NXT. Plus they seem to be bringing back some long lost gimmick matches like the strap match and 3 stages of hell (well i enjoy them at least). 
>
> What they need to do is freshen up a few existing characters. Sheamus, Randy Orton, The Miz ll need overhauling IMO, and I even think Kofi as a Rock-style heel could work. But yeah, future looks bright. 
>
> What do we think? I too enjoy the Shield and Daniel Bryan.  I hold out little hope of things suddenly getting better in the three hour RAW era, though.

Things That Made You Stop Watching

Scott,


Are there any instances where you just got so made at the product you stopped watching for an extended period of time? Thought it'd make some great blog discussion as well! My personally reason from lapsing from 03-06 was the HHH overkill.

Mike


Well obviously speaking from personal experience I had a bit of a meltdown in the summer of 2006 and basically couldn't watch or especially recap the product anymore due to Cena overkill and a general feeling that the product was passing me by as a fan, but then I had WWE 24/7 to fall back on anyway.  Thank god I did or I probably wouldn't have come back and likely would have just switched over to UFC full-time.  

5 Things ROH Needs To Do To Survive

ROH TV from this past week was another Road Rage, mainly featuring the Richards/Steen main event. That’s been covered in detail so instead of a recap, I’d like to throw in some thoughts about what ROH could do to prop up their company. In the state it’s in, they’re turning off established fans, and they aren’t replacing them with new fans in any significant numbers. The Sinclair deal likely saved the company, but it’s not likely that they’ll continue pouring money into Ring of Honor if they don’t see significant returns on their investment. Former ROH loyalists like Austin Aries have gone on record as saying they don’t recognize the company they once loved anymore, while others are getting snapped up by WWE developmental or will only do occasional shows for the company, like El Generico and Homicide. The Kevin Steen saga has built for several years to the point it’s at now, and all that remains to be seen is the aftermath where he “holds ROH hostage” as he’s been threatening to do, but other than that, they don’t have any decent storylines on the boil. So as the BoD’s resident ROH writer, I present my list of ideas to help revitalize Ring of Honor before they lose their way completely.

.

“I’m
definitely with you on that. It seems weird to me that in a world where
more and more people consume their movies and TV shows through
web-enabled devices, indie wrestling companies are still wary of
embracing the internet. I don’t know if it’s old-school carny mindset or
just a lack of knowledge over how to do things differently than they’ve
always been done. Everyone has a hard on for the idea of a live show,
so they sign up with iPPV companies that can’t handle the demand. They
want to sell DVDs, so they try to police YouTube for unauthorized video.
They’ll air their TV show on their websites, but only if they already
have a regular syndicated deal with a real TV station and only after
it’s already been aired. Shit, tons of people use Netflix and Hulu plus
for streaming, and all you can stream on there for wrestling is WWE
documentaries. 


Why aren’t any of these places creating their own TV specific for the
web? Why haggle for DVDs when you can sell ad-space on a site and
potentially make more than a sluggish DVD sale?  Why fight YouTube when
you can use it to your advantage to spread the word about your product
and use that to build a fanbase BEFORE you start trying to hook them
into spending tons of money on DVDs and live shows? I just think none of
them have thought of it. What little I’ve dealt with indie promoters on
a small scale, I’ve found that most of them just don’t have a keen
business sense or any creative ideas for promotion and basically just
want to try and do things the same way everyone else has, and that isn’t
helping anyone. Indies appeal to niche audiences, and generally niche
products find their audiences on the internet, yet somehow a lot of
these people think they’ll get there by using promoting techniques from
the 60s.”

That was what I posted on the recent “WWE as a Monopoly” thread regarding ROH and other indies. While some of these ideas wouldn’t help ROH, some of it refers to them specifically. Keep all of this in mind as we proceed, because it’s already being implemented in places like Wrestling Retribution Project and they will not be the only ones, mark my words.

1. Let iPPVs Die

–After the problems they’ve had with Go Fight Live regarding the feed cutting out during shows such as Young Wolves Rising and Showdown in the Sun, and then the outright failure to make an iPPV work in-house with Border Wars, ROH is in a shitty place when it comes to their volume of fans. They have just enough people interested in viewing their shows that they’ll crash their regular servers, but they don’t have enough fan base going that they can afford to field a PPV on cable and turn a profit. Rock and a hard place, for sure, but that’s where they are. The easy solution? Don’t do them until you know you can do them right. ROH kept itself alive for years on DVD sales. While that idea has it’s share of dust on it (which I’ll get to), it might be worth it to let a few more shows build up their name on DVD. How many people found means of tracking down Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin from Showdown through illegal means or on replays, which, divided by Ringside Member discounts and everything else, meant people were paying maybe $10 on average to watch what amounts to one or two matches? With the word of mouth that thing built, how much more money would have been made if anyone who didn’t see it live ended up having to buy the DVD for $20 instead? Granted, you’d lose some people over the price point, but ROH built it’s name on those “must see” matches that people paid a mint for. The only other option with iPPVs is to show them on enough of a delay that they can let them air with a smooth transmission, but that will take time to rehab the impression people have that you pay for iPPVs and then don’t get what you paid for, or a rerun.

2. Fire Delirious

–Hunter “Delirious” Johnston has worked for Ring of Honor continuously from 2004. In August of 2010, he replaced Adam Pearce as head booker. Since that time a number of ROH standouts have parted ways with the company: Tyler Black, Austin Aries, Colt Cabana, Claudio Castagnoli, Chris Hero, Christopher Daniels, and Homicide. As Aries said recently in an interview, ROH has turned into “Smoky Mountain of Wrestling”. Some of the unique characters that made up the company’s lifeblood during their peak years have fallen by the wayside, and in exchange, there are a lot of people who make up the “ROH stereotype”. That is to say, the bland, smallish white guy who cuts stoic promos about competition and has great workrate but no charisma. Basically, a whole promotion of Dean Malenkos. While that’s never been exactly true, it’s not far off. What is Eddie Edwards’ character? What about Michael Elgin? What about Adam Cole, who has a bankable gimmick of the “Panama City Playboy” in other indies but is just a plucky young whitebread face in ROH? For that matter, where do the storylines go? Davey & Eddie feuded for more than a year, teasing a heel turn for Eddie, and they just never delivered. Eddie stayed in exactly the same place doing exactly the same things, until it was blown off in a triple threat match that was already being overshadowed by the Richards/Steen program. It built at an unreasonably slow pace, and then everyone was basically in the same place when it ended as when it began. At Young Wolves Rising, it seemed as though Kyle O’Reilly was turning heel, and yet he’s still Davey’s lil’ buddy and playing the underdog. That’s just not how storytelling works, regardless of anyone’s opinions about wrestlings. There’s no payoff and snail’s pace build to most of their storylines. The last 2 years of ROH programs could fit into maybe 9 months of a reasonable booker’s storylines (or 6 weeks of a Vince Russo show). This is killing the enjoyment of the company. While ROH has always been about great matches, they had storylines that were memorable at their peak as well. This needs to come back, and Delirious apparently just doesn’t have the ability to do it.

3. Get Out of the Baltimore Scene and Onto The Indie Scene At Large

–ROH used to be a place where some of the best workers in the world of independent wrestling would coalesce. To a degree, it still is, but now that they’re centered out of Baltimore and the DuBurns Arena, the job guys and featured local talent on their shows all come from Chesapeake-region indies. While I don’t mean to disrespect anyone’s local scene, that’s not where the cream of the indie crop comes from. ROH used to have a huge advantage being based in Philadelphia: most of the best indie workers in the country center around New York, Philly, Boston, or the short drive down from Ontario. Couple that with the alliance with Full Impact Pro, which provided a nice pipeline for the other main place where indie wrestlers gather, Florida, and ROH had access to the best talent in the world. Now, I’m not advocating moving their operations out of Baltimore again, because that’s where their bread is buttered with Sinclair Broadcasting. I am, however, advocating that ROH does more to encourage the best workers from their old stomping grounds to make the trek down to Maryland and pepper them into the shows more. The alliance with CHIKARA is great, because it keeps that option open for this kind of thing. But why limit yourself to The Colony or Eddie Kingston? You could get tons of mileage out of indie “dream matches” featuring Chuck Taylor, Johnny Gargano, Mike Quackenbush, or even Sara del Ray (assuming she’s willing to work with them again, since the last time she was working with ROH she got dumped without so much as a word of notice).They’ll be ok with the roster they have now but they can stretch it a lot further if they run different matches every show.

4. Use The Web To Its Full Potential

–This plays in to what I said in that copy & paste above. ROH is actually better about it than most but still, it feels like they’re trying to fit a TV product into an internet format. The iPPVs are an example of that: who cares if you’re seeing it live online? People don’t gather around in groups to watch shows on a computer screen, so it doesn’t really have that “event” feel that needs it to be live. The TV show is available for free online, but it’s in a diminished format: 5 days late if you aren’t a Ringside member and at least 2 days late if you are, depending. ROH is a syndicated program, so they don’t air everywhere. Asking people to pay just to get a few days closer to seeing something that those in Sinclair markets get for free and sooner? That’s just silly. Sell commercials for the online broadcast, and make that a focal point. WWE and TNA still don’t really know how to make the Net work for them, ROH should try to fill that niche. Their whole audience follows wrestling online, like literally 100% of their audience. Make the show more user friendly. Make it available as an app for smartphone users. Make it prevalent on iTunes and other download sites. Try to get a deal for the old DVDs that are out of print (which is a lot of them, as they sold off a lot of their existing stock of DVDs last year) to stream on Netflix. They’re already good about using the YouTube channel to get characters over and feature promos, so keep going in that vein. The trick is to think like a modern media company, and not in the carny mindset of trying to squeeze money out of every situation where eyes might be on your product. It’s 2012, and people are consuming more and more of their entertainment for free as it is. You aren’t going to convince a large number of people to part with their money, especially in tough economic times, without making a product that suits their needs better.

5. Have More Fun

 

–ROH takes itself too seriously. Always has. Even fun gimmicks like El Generico and, well, Delirious have started as comedy and then made the shift to where they’re basically serious gimmicks. Currently the tag division has the All Night Express, who can get over based on being sex-crazed party boys who can rock in the ring. Instead most of their promos focus on the “we can wrestle all night long!” aspect, and they seem like any other plain as milk babyface team. Certainly some people seem like they’re having fun in promos: Kevin Steen, for sure, and definitely the Briscoes. But it wouldn’t hurt ROH to start bringing more anarchy to their regular show. They’ve long been gimmick-averse when it comes to matches, but why not try it out? Why not have brawls that spill outside like they used to? Why not have comedy matches? Wrestling at it’s best is like a circus: if you don’t like the clowns, the lion tamer is up next. ROH can tend to fall into the rut of being like watching 10 acrobat routines in a row. It wouldn’t hurt them to toss things up more. And cut down on the hour-long matches, for that matter.

In all, these are easy fixes to make. Ring of Honor isn’t going to go out of business tomorrow; but gradually they will lose fans like water draining out of a pool until there isn’t much left to swim in. I’d love to see the company that’s featured the best wrestling in the world for the last decade have what amounts to a “second coming.” Until next week, don’t take my word for it. Go to ROHwrestling.com and decide for yourself.