Tryout: Waiting For The Trades #1

Waiting for the Trade By Bill Miller Spider-man: Death and Dating by Marc Waid, Marc Guggenheim, Roger Stern & Dan Slott Collects Amazing Spider-man 578-583 and Annual #1.Why I bought this: It was in the discount bin of my local comic shop for $6. On the back cover was the Shocker, who is one of my favorite silver age Spidey villains. It also promised an explanation on how Harry Osborn (a favorite supporting character) returned from the dead, which aside from the marriage ending was the biggest change once they started Brand New Day. This is actually only the second Brand New Day era Spidey story I’ve purchased (although I also read the first two trades at the local library so I have a general idea of who all the players are in the new status quo). The Plot: There are basically two types of trades: those that tell a single clear concise story and those that are just a random collection of sequential issues. Generally speaking I prefer the former because if you are buying a trade from some random time period you want a complete story. However, I understand why Marvel would collect every single issue of their flagship character’s book. As this collection has four authors it should not be a surprise that it is a just random collection of sequential issues. There will be spoilers ahead including the identity of the death in the title. The initial story sees Peter trying to catch a train to go visit his aunt when the train derails trapping him underground with several passengers. Pete quickly changes into Spidey and learns a jury for a mob trial is in one of the passenger cars. The Shocker has been hired to kill the jurors and Spidey thwarts him but in the process the cave-in worsens eventually forcing Spidey and Shocker to work together to get out alive. Additionally one of the jurors ends up being the long lost father J. Jonah Jameson. Next we get the origin of Jackpot, a new red-headed female super hero introduced in Brand New Day that was designed to get the reader thinking she was possibly Mary Jane. The short version is she’s not, and she dies that same issue battling a new villain named Blindspot, who can cause temporary blindness in those he touches. This is followed with Spidey taking on the Blank, a D-list villain with a personal force field seen only once before in the early days of West Coast Avengers. Blank robs a bank while Aunt May is there, reminding Spidey of the death of his uncle and causing him to get a mad-on as he tracks the villain down. Next we get to the Harry stuff in which Harry and Pete go off to visit Harry’s ex-wife Liz Allen. While there her super-villain step brother the Molten Man decides to try to kill Harry for what he put Liz through years ago and Spidey is of course caught in the middle. This story is also a checklist of answers to questions that lingered since Brand New Day such as how Harry was resurrected and how Aunt May got her house back since pre-Brand New Day it had been destroyed and Pete, MJ and May had all been living in Avengers Tower. The answers given are for the most part simple non-answers, like “goblin serum,” but they do in a pinch. Finally we have a story from the perspective of Betty Brant as Pete tries to throw her a birthday party and she tries to hook him up in various ways for the “dating” half of the title. Ultimately, neither is successful in their goals. Critical Thoughts: Although there is no through storyline, most of this stuff is entertaining to read if you like Spider-man. Certainly none of these stories are going in the list of all-time classics, but for the most part Spidey is presented in classic form: down on his luck, occasionally funny, and taking responsibility for everyone around him from old-friends like Harry and Betty to casual acquaintances like Jackpot. For what I paid for it, I liked it. I do have some nitpicky complaints in regards to the Shocker storyline. For one I think Spidey wins the initial fight way too easily. I say this not only because I am a Shocker fan, but in general I think silver age villains should be better protected simply because Spidey will be meeting them again until the end of time. Furthermore he wins by crushing Shocker’s gauntlets but Shocker long ago (like in the 1980s) transferred his power source from the gauntlets to the suit itself. I also was at first taken aback by Shocker being a hired killer in this story. Shocker is usually portrayed as more of a safe-cracker/bank robber than a killer; however, on reflection Shocker more than most villains is motivated by profit—there have been stories where he declined teaming up with other Spidey villains for revenge because there is no profit in it, so I could see it being in character for him to take on a mob contract. Still overall I said these are nitpicks rather than criticisms, and some of my initial concerns on Shocker’s portrayed threat level were mitigated in the second half when Shocker and Spidey have to work together and seeing the inevitable double cross that follows. My biggest criticism is probably Spidey’s ongoing internal monologue in the Shocker story that if he saves Jameson Sr., Jonah will have to finally admit he’s been wrong about him. Spidey has saved Jonah himself scores of times over the years as well as saving Jonah’s son dozens of times and all of his employees at the Bugle on multiple occasions and nothing has ever changed so why would Spidey think this time would be different at this point? I’m also not sure why they killed Jackpot off in the same issue we saw her origin. She seemed to have a nice chemistry with Spidey in the scene where they share a coffee, so there could have been future stories there. At the same time if the only point of the character was to tease the Mary Jane thing then once resolved maybe they had nothing more to say. I guess I’m saying while I wouldn’t go out of my way to read more Jackpot stories, I could see keeping her around as an occasional ally like they do with Silver Sable or Cloak & Dagger so her death seemed a little abrupt in that regard. Other than that, I was glad for the answers in the Harry story but felt the telling of it was a little flat, and the remaining stories were one-issue throwaways with obscure villains that don’t require analysis. Overall Grade: C+ – The stories read fine on their own so if you can grab it cheap like I did noting wrong with picking it up, but the lack of a major through storyline and the lack of the importance of these stories prevent me from giving anything other than a mild recommendation.

Tryout: Waiting For The Trades #1

Waiting for the Trade By Bill Miller Spider-man: Death and Dating by Marc Waid, Marc Guggenheim, Roger Stern & Dan Slott Collects Amazing Spider-man 578-583 and Annual #1.Why I bought this: It was in the discount bin of my local comic shop for $6. On the back cover was the Shocker, who is one of my favorite silver age Spidey villains. It also promised an explanation on how Harry Osborn (a favorite supporting character) returned from the dead, which aside from the marriage ending was the biggest change once they started Brand New Day. This is actually only the second Brand New Day era Spidey story I’ve purchased (although I also read the first two trades at the local library so I have a general idea of who all the players are in the new status quo). The Plot: There are basically two types of trades: those that tell a single clear concise story and those that are just a random collection of sequential issues. Generally speaking I prefer the former because if you are buying a trade from some random time period you want a complete story. However, I understand why Marvel would collect every single issue of their flagship character’s book. As this collection has four authors it should not be a surprise that it is a just random collection of sequential issues. There will be spoilers ahead including the identity of the death in the title. The initial story sees Peter trying to catch a train to go visit his aunt when the train derails trapping him underground with several passengers. Pete quickly changes into Spidey and learns a jury for a mob trial is in one of the passenger cars. The Shocker has been hired to kill the jurors and Spidey thwarts him but in the process the cave-in worsens eventually forcing Spidey and Shocker to work together to get out alive. Additionally one of the jurors ends up being the long lost father J. Jonah Jameson. Next we get the origin of Jackpot, a new red-headed female super hero introduced in Brand New Day that was designed to get the reader thinking she was possibly Mary Jane. The short version is she’s not, and she dies that same issue battling a new villain named Blindspot, who can cause temporary blindness in those he touches. This is followed with Spidey taking on the Blank, a D-list villain with a personal force field seen only once before in the early days of West Coast Avengers. Blank robs a bank while Aunt May is there, reminding Spidey of the death of his uncle and causing him to get a mad-on as he tracks the villain down. Next we get to the Harry stuff in which Harry and Pete go off to visit Harry’s ex-wife Liz Allen. While there her super-villain step brother the Molten Man decides to try to kill Harry for what he put Liz through years ago and Spidey is of course caught in the middle. This story is also a checklist of answers to questions that lingered since Brand New Day such as how Harry was resurrected and how Aunt May got her house back since pre-Brand New Day it had been destroyed and Pete, MJ and May had all been living in Avengers Tower. The answers given are for the most part simple non-answers, like “goblin serum,” but they do in a pinch. Finally we have a story from the perspective of Betty Brant as Pete tries to throw her a birthday party and she tries to hook him up in various ways for the “dating” half of the title. Ultimately, neither is successful in their goals. Critical Thoughts: Although there is no through storyline, most of this stuff is entertaining to read if you like Spider-man. Certainly none of these stories are going in the list of all-time classics, but for the most part Spidey is presented in classic form: down on his luck, occasionally funny, and taking responsibility for everyone around him from old-friends like Harry and Betty to casual acquaintances like Jackpot. For what I paid for it, I liked it. I do have some nitpicky complaints in regards to the Shocker storyline. For one I think Spidey wins the initial fight way too easily. I say this not only because I am a Shocker fan, but in general I think silver age villains should be better protected simply because Spidey will be meeting them again until the end of time. Furthermore he wins by crushing Shocker’s gauntlets but Shocker long ago (like in the 1980s) transferred his power source from the gauntlets to the suit itself. I also was at first taken aback by Shocker being a hired killer in this story. Shocker is usually portrayed as more of a safe-cracker/bank robber than a killer; however, on reflection Shocker more than most villains is motivated by profit—there have been stories where he declined teaming up with other Spidey villains for revenge because there is no profit in it, so I could see it being in character for him to take on a mob contract. Still overall I said these are nitpicks rather than criticisms, and some of my initial concerns on Shocker’s portrayed threat level were mitigated in the second half when Shocker and Spidey have to work together and seeing the inevitable double cross that follows. My biggest criticism is probably Spidey’s ongoing internal monologue in the Shocker story that if he saves Jameson Sr., Jonah will have to finally admit he’s been wrong about him. Spidey has saved Jonah himself scores of times over the years as well as saving Jonah’s son dozens of times and all of his employees at the Bugle on multiple occasions and nothing has ever changed so why would Spidey think this time would be different at this point? I’m also not sure why they killed Jackpot off in the same issue we saw her origin. She seemed to have a nice chemistry with Spidey in the scene where they share a coffee, so there could have been future stories there. At the same time if the only point of the character was to tease the Mary Jane thing then once resolved maybe they had nothing more to say. I guess I’m saying while I wouldn’t go out of my way to read more Jackpot stories, I could see keeping her around as an occasional ally like they do with Silver Sable or Cloak & Dagger so her death seemed a little abrupt in that regard. Other than that, I was glad for the answers in the Harry story but felt the telling of it was a little flat, and the remaining stories were one-issue throwaways with obscure villains that don’t require analysis. Overall Grade: C+ – The stories read fine on their own so if you can grab it cheap like I did noting wrong with picking it up, but the lack of a major through storyline and the lack of the importance of these stories prevent me from giving anything other than a mild recommendation.

Tryout: Frankly Speaking

Frankly Speaking By, Frankie P Hello boys and girls. My name is Frankie P. I haven’t done something like this in about 10 years when I used to write this very same column for another website (which has probably gone by the wayside, because honestly it STUNK). Let me tell you a little bit of what this column will be about: It will be about WRESTLING!!! What did you THINK it was gonna be about? Snooki? This will be a mixture of current stuff with retro stuff. I love writing about retro stuff because its fun reliving the memories and mocking some of the ridiculousness of it. Anyway, lets not waste anytime and get right into it, shall we? Ahhhhhh, its that time of year: WrestleMania time. And with WrestleMania comes many memorable moments. This week I will share some memories of the first five Mania’s. Lets see if my once photogenic memory still works. WrestleMania I In the first WM match ever, Tito Santana starts out 1-0 with a huge opening match victory over Playboy Budd…..I mean the Executioner. Any chance of El Matador going undefeated forever at WM are thwarted when he loses every one of his matches over the next 7 years…..It took King Kong Bundy only 23 seconds to squash SD Jones in 9 seconds…..David Sammartino and Brutus Beefcake went to a double countout in a classic that will NEVER be talked about by anyone…..Jesse Ventura kept referring to Gorilla Monsoon as “Gino” which probably confused a lot of people INCLUDING Gorilla…..Lord Alfred Hayes handled the backstage interviews and looked like a deer in headlights. To his credit, he was smooched by The Fabulous Moolah and Lelani Kai. Al, you sly dog…..After Greg Valentine beat the Junkyard Dog by putting his feet on the ropes, Tito Santana came out with a visible erection, which obviously influenced the referee to restart the match. The Hammer refused to get back in the ring, so JYD was awarded the match by countout…..Andre the Giant won $15,000 in his bodyslam challenge match. After the match was over Andre threw most of the obvious fifteen thousand singles that were in Bobby Heenans medium sized duffle bag. Before Andre was done, the Brain stole the bag and whatever money was left in it…..Liberace rang a little crystal bell to signal the start of the main event. He also stared down Hulk Hogan like a lion stares down little children when the are at the zoo. Oh and by the way, Hogan and Mr T defeated Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. WrestleMania 2 Three locations, 12 exciting matches, which meant, if you were there live, you were watching television for 2 hours…..In New York: Guest commentator, Susan St James said “watch this” at least 14 times during the Paul Orndorff/Magnificent Muraco match…..Both Jake Roberts and George Welles made their ppv debut in a match against each other. Guess who never appeared on one again?…..Randy Savage defeated George “The Animal Steele” in a zero star classic. Hopefully Savage will get some better competition at WrestleMania III…..One word: Herb…..Mr T defeated Roddy Piper in a boxing match, when Roddy remembered he was a wrestler and bodyslammed T in the 4th round., getting himself disqualified….In Chicago: My boy Ernie Holmes was upset by 19 other wrestlers/football players in a battle royal that Andre the Giant won.….Velvet McIntyre had the first ever ppv wardrobe malfunction and was quickly defeated by The Fabulous Moolah…..Corporal Kirchner defended the honor of American when he defeated Nicolai Volkoff in a gruelling 2 minute flag match…..Ozzy Osborne resisted biting the head off of a rat while seconding the British Bulldogs as they defeated The Dream Team for the WWF tag team titles…..In Los Angeles: In a match that had “WrestleMania” written all over it, Adrian Adonis overcame the odds and defeated Uncle Elmer. At one point in the match, Elmer his Adonis so hard that he ended up falling on his own ass…..Tito Santana’s one match WrestleMania winning streak came to a screeching halt as The Funk Brothers defeated him and The Junkyard Dog…..In what was probably the least anticipated match of in L.A., Ricky Steamboat defeated Hercules. Hopefully Steamboat will get some better competition at WrestleMania III…..Robert Conrad was one of the many celebrities who appeared during the Hulk Hogan/King Kong Bundy steel cage main event. I have no idea what he did, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t have anything to do with Elvira smacking a battery off his shoulder. WrestleMania III 78,000 people (allegedly) jam packed into 93,173 (allegedly) seats in the Pontiac Silverdome…..King Kong Bundy went from main eventing the previous WM, to bodyslamming midget wrestler Little Beaver in a mixed 6 man tag team match…..Danny Davis took one of the most wicked tombstone piledrivers, that I’ve ever seen from Davey Boy Smith in a six man tag team match where the Hart Foundation and Davis defeated Tito Santana and the British Bulldogs. This match brings Santana’s WM losing streak to two. Jesse Ventura made his way all the way down to the ring before the match began, to be introduced to the crowd, only to have to carry Matilda the dog to the back with him…..…..The highlight of the Roddy Piper/Adrian Adonis haircut match was watching the fan that jumped in the ring, being beat down and arrested in the background while a victorious Piper made his way back to the lockerroom……Ricky Steamboat defeated Randy Savage for the Inter-Continental title, in a decent match that is rarely talked about…..The seeds were planted to humble Brian Blair, as The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff beat the Killer Bees by DQ as the debuting Hacksaw Jim Duggan interfered…..Mel Phillips got cross at Mary Hart when she rang the ring bell too soon right before the main event…..And in that main event, Hulk Hogan defeated the previously “undefeated” Andre the Giant to retain the WWF title. This match totally blew away the rarely talked about Steamboat/Savage match…..Oh yeah, Butch Reed defeated KoKo B Ware. WrestleMania IV Trump Plaza would host this Mania. Donald Trump and his hair were seated in the front row…..This would be the first WrestleMania to top the four hour mark, making renting the video of this show extra exciting because of the double deep tape case that held the TWO videos that Mania was recorded on…..That would be pretty much the only thing exciting about this show…..A 14 man elimination tournament, for the vacant WWF title, won by Randy Savage, was the main event of the show. Tournament highlights included: hmmmm, hold on. I’m thinking. It included…….oh yeah!! It included a Randy Savage/Greg Valentine second round match, instead of a Randy Savage/Ricky Steamboat rematch that no one wanted to see. Honestly this tournament was a piece of crap….. Demolition won their first of three WWF tag team titles from Strike Force, which brought Tito Santana’s WM losing streak to three in a row. Don’t worry Tito, you’ll get’em next year!!…..Bad New Brown won a Battle Royal after double crossing Bret Hart and throwing him over the top rope. Bret then went on to destroy Bad News’ trophy that looked cheaper than the one I won for having the best clown hat during my 4th grade Sports Night (love you nanna, for making the hat for me)….. This show is so boring that Im falling asleep just writing about it…..Brutus Beefcake cut Jimmy Harts hair after his IC title match with the Honky Tonk man……Ok you know what? Lets move on to the next one. I don’t wanna bore you readers to death….. WrestleMania V WWF returns to Trump Plaza for the second year in a row because the crowd for Mania IV was just so lively and chipper…..Instead of defending her title, WWF Womans Champion, Rockin’ Robin did a rousing rendition of God Bless America. Last I checked, it peaked at number six katrillion-zillion on the itunes…..Wrestlers such as Butch of the Bushwackers and Mr Perfect tripped while walking down the approximately 342 steps that lead to the ring…..RUN DMC did the “WrestleMania Rap”. The only two words that were audible were “piledriver” and “bodyslam”…..Hacksaw Duggan had snot hanging from his nose after his 3 minute match with Bad News Brown…..World class wrestler, Terry Taylor because a cock and defeated his former manager Bobby Heenan in a 30 second classic…..Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson defeated Strike Force, when Rick Martel turned on his partner, Tito Santana. Tito’s WM losing streak reaches four. Don’t worry buddy, I don’t blame you one bit for this one…..Brother Love reveals legs whiter than cocaine after he dons a kilt for his and Morton Downey Jr’s appearance on Pipers Pit…..In what must have been a booking error, the Rugged Ronnie Garvin/Dino Bravo match went on seventh instead of co-main eventing like everyone was expecting…..Speaking of the main event, Hulk Hogan scored the upset of the century when he defeated Randy Savage for his second WWF title. After the match Hogan took Donald Trump and his then wife Ivana to a special screening of “No Holds Barred”. Trump wouldn’t be seen again in the WWF for 18 years. Well, I hope you enjoyed my first column a lot more than I enjoyed typing it up. Id like to thank Scott for giving me that chance to do this again. Ive actually missed it. I will be back next week with WrestleMania VI-X. Until next time, I’m outta here Frankie P.

Tryout: Frankly Speaking

Frankly Speaking By, Frankie P Hello boys and girls. My name is Frankie P. I haven’t done something like this in about 10 years when I used to write this very same column for another website (which has probably gone by the wayside, because honestly it STUNK). Let me tell you a little bit of what this column will be about: It will be about WRESTLING!!! What did you THINK it was gonna be about? Snooki? This will be a mixture of current stuff with retro stuff. I love writing about retro stuff because its fun reliving the memories and mocking some of the ridiculousness of it. Anyway, lets not waste anytime and get right into it, shall we? Ahhhhhh, its that time of year: WrestleMania time. And with WrestleMania comes many memorable moments. This week I will share some memories of the first five Mania’s. Lets see if my once photogenic memory still works. WrestleMania I In the first WM match ever, Tito Santana starts out 1-0 with a huge opening match victory over Playboy Budd…..I mean the Executioner. Any chance of El Matador going undefeated forever at WM are thwarted when he loses every one of his matches over the next 7 years…..It took King Kong Bundy only 23 seconds to squash SD Jones in 9 seconds…..David Sammartino and Brutus Beefcake went to a double countout in a classic that will NEVER be talked about by anyone…..Jesse Ventura kept referring to Gorilla Monsoon as “Gino” which probably confused a lot of people INCLUDING Gorilla…..Lord Alfred Hayes handled the backstage interviews and looked like a deer in headlights. To his credit, he was smooched by The Fabulous Moolah and Lelani Kai. Al, you sly dog…..After Greg Valentine beat the Junkyard Dog by putting his feet on the ropes, Tito Santana came out with a visible erection, which obviously influenced the referee to restart the match. The Hammer refused to get back in the ring, so JYD was awarded the match by countout…..Andre the Giant won $15,000 in his bodyslam challenge match. After the match was over Andre threw most of the obvious fifteen thousand singles that were in Bobby Heenans medium sized duffle bag. Before Andre was done, the Brain stole the bag and whatever money was left in it…..Liberace rang a little crystal bell to signal the start of the main event. He also stared down Hulk Hogan like a lion stares down little children when the are at the zoo. Oh and by the way, Hogan and Mr T defeated Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. WrestleMania 2 Three locations, 12 exciting matches, which meant, if you were there live, you were watching television for 2 hours…..In New York: Guest commentator, Susan St James said “watch this” at least 14 times during the Paul Orndorff/Magnificent Muraco match…..Both Jake Roberts and George Welles made their ppv debut in a match against each other. Guess who never appeared on one again?…..Randy Savage defeated George “The Animal Steele” in a zero star classic. Hopefully Savage will get some better competition at WrestleMania III…..One word: Herb…..Mr T defeated Roddy Piper in a boxing match, when Roddy remembered he was a wrestler and bodyslammed T in the 4th round., getting himself disqualified….In Chicago: My boy Ernie Holmes was upset by 19 other wrestlers/football players in a battle royal that Andre the Giant won.….Velvet McIntyre had the first ever ppv wardrobe malfunction and was quickly defeated by The Fabulous Moolah…..Corporal Kirchner defended the honor of American when he defeated Nicolai Volkoff in a gruelling 2 minute flag match…..Ozzy Osborne resisted biting the head off of a rat while seconding the British Bulldogs as they defeated The Dream Team for the WWF tag team titles…..In Los Angeles: In a match that had “WrestleMania” written all over it, Adrian Adonis overcame the odds and defeated Uncle Elmer. At one point in the match, Elmer his Adonis so hard that he ended up falling on his own ass…..Tito Santana’s one match WrestleMania winning streak came to a screeching halt as The Funk Brothers defeated him and The Junkyard Dog…..In what was probably the least anticipated match of in L.A., Ricky Steamboat defeated Hercules. Hopefully Steamboat will get some better competition at WrestleMania III…..Robert Conrad was one of the many celebrities who appeared during the Hulk Hogan/King Kong Bundy steel cage main event. I have no idea what he did, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t have anything to do with Elvira smacking a battery off his shoulder. WrestleMania III 78,000 people (allegedly) jam packed into 93,173 (allegedly) seats in the Pontiac Silverdome…..King Kong Bundy went from main eventing the previous WM, to bodyslamming midget wrestler Little Beaver in a mixed 6 man tag team match…..Danny Davis took one of the most wicked tombstone piledrivers, that I’ve ever seen from Davey Boy Smith in a six man tag team match where the Hart Foundation and Davis defeated Tito Santana and the British Bulldogs. This match brings Santana’s WM losing streak to two. Jesse Ventura made his way all the way down to the ring before the match began, to be introduced to the crowd, only to have to carry Matilda the dog to the back with him…..…..The highlight of the Roddy Piper/Adrian Adonis haircut match was watching the fan that jumped in the ring, being beat down and arrested in the background while a victorious Piper made his way back to the lockerroom……Ricky Steamboat defeated Randy Savage for the Inter-Continental title, in a decent match that is rarely talked about…..The seeds were planted to humble Brian Blair, as The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff beat the Killer Bees by DQ as the debuting Hacksaw Jim Duggan interfered…..Mel Phillips got cross at Mary Hart when she rang the ring bell too soon right before the main event…..And in that main event, Hulk Hogan defeated the previously “undefeated” Andre the Giant to retain the WWF title. This match totally blew away the rarely talked about Steamboat/Savage match…..Oh yeah, Butch Reed defeated KoKo B Ware. WrestleMania IV Trump Plaza would host this Mania. Donald Trump and his hair were seated in the front row…..This would be the first WrestleMania to top the four hour mark, making renting the video of this show extra exciting because of the double deep tape case that held the TWO videos that Mania was recorded on…..That would be pretty much the only thing exciting about this show…..A 14 man elimination tournament, for the vacant WWF title, won by Randy Savage, was the main event of the show. Tournament highlights included: hmmmm, hold on. I’m thinking. It included…….oh yeah!! It included a Randy Savage/Greg Valentine second round match, instead of a Randy Savage/Ricky Steamboat rematch that no one wanted to see. Honestly this tournament was a piece of crap….. Demolition won their first of three WWF tag team titles from Strike Force, which brought Tito Santana’s WM losing streak to three in a row. Don’t worry Tito, you’ll get’em next year!!…..Bad New Brown won a Battle Royal after double crossing Bret Hart and throwing him over the top rope. Bret then went on to destroy Bad News’ trophy that looked cheaper than the one I won for having the best clown hat during my 4th grade Sports Night (love you nanna, for making the hat for me)….. This show is so boring that Im falling asleep just writing about it…..Brutus Beefcake cut Jimmy Harts hair after his IC title match with the Honky Tonk man……Ok you know what? Lets move on to the next one. I don’t wanna bore you readers to death….. WrestleMania V WWF returns to Trump Plaza for the second year in a row because the crowd for Mania IV was just so lively and chipper…..Instead of defending her title, WWF Womans Champion, Rockin’ Robin did a rousing rendition of God Bless America. Last I checked, it peaked at number six katrillion-zillion on the itunes…..Wrestlers such as Butch of the Bushwackers and Mr Perfect tripped while walking down the approximately 342 steps that lead to the ring…..RUN DMC did the “WrestleMania Rap”. The only two words that were audible were “piledriver” and “bodyslam”…..Hacksaw Duggan had snot hanging from his nose after his 3 minute match with Bad News Brown…..World class wrestler, Terry Taylor because a cock and defeated his former manager Bobby Heenan in a 30 second classic…..Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson defeated Strike Force, when Rick Martel turned on his partner, Tito Santana. Tito’s WM losing streak reaches four. Don’t worry buddy, I don’t blame you one bit for this one…..Brother Love reveals legs whiter than cocaine after he dons a kilt for his and Morton Downey Jr’s appearance on Pipers Pit…..In what must have been a booking error, the Rugged Ronnie Garvin/Dino Bravo match went on seventh instead of co-main eventing like everyone was expecting…..Speaking of the main event, Hulk Hogan scored the upset of the century when he defeated Randy Savage for his second WWF title. After the match Hogan took Donald Trump and his then wife Ivana to a special screening of “No Holds Barred”. Trump wouldn’t be seen again in the WWF for 18 years. Well, I hope you enjoyed my first column a lot more than I enjoyed typing it up. Id like to thank Scott for giving me that chance to do this again. Ive actually missed it. I will be back next week with WrestleMania VI-X. Until next time, I’m outta here Frankie P.

Tryout: Frankly Speaking

Frankly Speaking By, Frankie P Hello boys and girls. My name is Frankie P. I haven’t done something like this in about 10 years when I used to write this very same column for another website (which has probably gone by the wayside, because honestly it STUNK). Let me tell you a little bit of what this column will be about: It will be about WRESTLING!!! What did you THINK it was gonna be about? Snooki? This will be a mixture of current stuff with retro stuff. I love writing about retro stuff because its fun reliving the memories and mocking some of the ridiculousness of it. Anyway, lets not waste anytime and get right into it, shall we? Ahhhhhh, its that time of year: WrestleMania time. And with WrestleMania comes many memorable moments. This week I will share some memories of the first five Mania’s. Lets see if my once photogenic memory still works. WrestleMania I In the first WM match ever, Tito Santana starts out 1-0 with a huge opening match victory over Playboy Budd…..I mean the Executioner. Any chance of El Matador going undefeated forever at WM are thwarted when he loses every one of his matches over the next 7 years…..It took King Kong Bundy only 23 seconds to squash SD Jones in 9 seconds…..David Sammartino and Brutus Beefcake went to a double countout in a classic that will NEVER be talked about by anyone…..Jesse Ventura kept referring to Gorilla Monsoon as “Gino” which probably confused a lot of people INCLUDING Gorilla…..Lord Alfred Hayes handled the backstage interviews and looked like a deer in headlights. To his credit, he was smooched by The Fabulous Moolah and Lelani Kai. Al, you sly dog…..After Greg Valentine beat the Junkyard Dog by putting his feet on the ropes, Tito Santana came out with a visible erection, which obviously influenced the referee to restart the match. The Hammer refused to get back in the ring, so JYD was awarded the match by countout…..Andre the Giant won $15,000 in his bodyslam challenge match. After the match was over Andre threw most of the obvious fifteen thousand singles that were in Bobby Heenans medium sized duffle bag. Before Andre was done, the Brain stole the bag and whatever money was left in it…..Liberace rang a little crystal bell to signal the start of the main event. He also stared down Hulk Hogan like a lion stares down little children when the are at the zoo. Oh and by the way, Hogan and Mr T defeated Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. WrestleMania 2 Three locations, 12 exciting matches, which meant, if you were there live, you were watching television for 2 hours…..In New York: Guest commentator, Susan St James said “watch this” at least 14 times during the Paul Orndorff/Magnificent Muraco match…..Both Jake Roberts and George Welles made their ppv debut in a match against each other. Guess who never appeared on one again?…..Randy Savage defeated George “The Animal Steele” in a zero star classic. Hopefully Savage will get some better competition at WrestleMania III…..One word: Herb…..Mr T defeated Roddy Piper in a boxing match, when Roddy remembered he was a wrestler and bodyslammed T in the 4th round., getting himself disqualified….In Chicago: My boy Ernie Holmes was upset by 19 other wrestlers/football players in a battle royal that Andre the Giant won.….Velvet McIntyre had the first ever ppv wardrobe malfunction and was quickly defeated by The Fabulous Moolah…..Corporal Kirchner defended the honor of American when he defeated Nicolai Volkoff in a gruelling 2 minute flag match…..Ozzy Osborne resisted biting the head off of a rat while seconding the British Bulldogs as they defeated The Dream Team for the WWF tag team titles…..In Los Angeles: In a match that had “WrestleMania” written all over it, Adrian Adonis overcame the odds and defeated Uncle Elmer. At one point in the match, Elmer his Adonis so hard that he ended up falling on his own ass…..Tito Santana’s one match WrestleMania winning streak came to a screeching halt as The Funk Brothers defeated him and The Junkyard Dog…..In what was probably the least anticipated match of in L.A., Ricky Steamboat defeated Hercules. Hopefully Steamboat will get some better competition at WrestleMania III…..Robert Conrad was one of the many celebrities who appeared during the Hulk Hogan/King Kong Bundy steel cage main event. I have no idea what he did, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t have anything to do with Elvira smacking a battery off his shoulder. WrestleMania III 78,000 people (allegedly) jam packed into 93,173 (allegedly) seats in the Pontiac Silverdome…..King Kong Bundy went from main eventing the previous WM, to bodyslamming midget wrestler Little Beaver in a mixed 6 man tag team match…..Danny Davis took one of the most wicked tombstone piledrivers, that I’ve ever seen from Davey Boy Smith in a six man tag team match where the Hart Foundation and Davis defeated Tito Santana and the British Bulldogs. This match brings Santana’s WM losing streak to two. Jesse Ventura made his way all the way down to the ring before the match began, to be introduced to the crowd, only to have to carry Matilda the dog to the back with him…..…..The highlight of the Roddy Piper/Adrian Adonis haircut match was watching the fan that jumped in the ring, being beat down and arrested in the background while a victorious Piper made his way back to the lockerroom……Ricky Steamboat defeated Randy Savage for the Inter-Continental title, in a decent match that is rarely talked about…..The seeds were planted to humble Brian Blair, as The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff beat the Killer Bees by DQ as the debuting Hacksaw Jim Duggan interfered…..Mel Phillips got cross at Mary Hart when she rang the ring bell too soon right before the main event…..And in that main event, Hulk Hogan defeated the previously “undefeated” Andre the Giant to retain the WWF title. This match totally blew away the rarely talked about Steamboat/Savage match…..Oh yeah, Butch Reed defeated KoKo B Ware. WrestleMania IV Trump Plaza would host this Mania. Donald Trump and his hair were seated in the front row…..This would be the first WrestleMania to top the four hour mark, making renting the video of this show extra exciting because of the double deep tape case that held the TWO videos that Mania was recorded on…..That would be pretty much the only thing exciting about this show…..A 14 man elimination tournament, for the vacant WWF title, won by Randy Savage, was the main event of the show. Tournament highlights included: hmmmm, hold on. I’m thinking. It included…….oh yeah!! It included a Randy Savage/Greg Valentine second round match, instead of a Randy Savage/Ricky Steamboat rematch that no one wanted to see. Honestly this tournament was a piece of crap….. Demolition won their first of three WWF tag team titles from Strike Force, which brought Tito Santana’s WM losing streak to three in a row. Don’t worry Tito, you’ll get’em next year!!…..Bad New Brown won a Battle Royal after double crossing Bret Hart and throwing him over the top rope. Bret then went on to destroy Bad News’ trophy that looked cheaper than the one I won for having the best clown hat during my 4th grade Sports Night (love you nanna, for making the hat for me)….. This show is so boring that Im falling asleep just writing about it…..Brutus Beefcake cut Jimmy Harts hair after his IC title match with the Honky Tonk man……Ok you know what? Lets move on to the next one. I don’t wanna bore you readers to death….. WrestleMania V WWF returns to Trump Plaza for the second year in a row because the crowd for Mania IV was just so lively and chipper…..Instead of defending her title, WWF Womans Champion, Rockin’ Robin did a rousing rendition of God Bless America. Last I checked, it peaked at number six katrillion-zillion on the itunes…..Wrestlers such as Butch of the Bushwackers and Mr Perfect tripped while walking down the approximately 342 steps that lead to the ring…..RUN DMC did the “WrestleMania Rap”. The only two words that were audible were “piledriver” and “bodyslam”…..Hacksaw Duggan had snot hanging from his nose after his 3 minute match with Bad News Brown…..World class wrestler, Terry Taylor because a cock and defeated his former manager Bobby Heenan in a 30 second classic…..Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson defeated Strike Force, when Rick Martel turned on his partner, Tito Santana. Tito’s WM losing streak reaches four. Don’t worry buddy, I don’t blame you one bit for this one…..Brother Love reveals legs whiter than cocaine after he dons a kilt for his and Morton Downey Jr’s appearance on Pipers Pit…..In what must have been a booking error, the Rugged Ronnie Garvin/Dino Bravo match went on seventh instead of co-main eventing like everyone was expecting…..Speaking of the main event, Hulk Hogan scored the upset of the century when he defeated Randy Savage for his second WWF title. After the match Hogan took Donald Trump and his then wife Ivana to a special screening of “No Holds Barred”. Trump wouldn’t be seen again in the WWF for 18 years. Well, I hope you enjoyed my first column a lot more than I enjoyed typing it up. Id like to thank Scott for giving me that chance to do this again. Ive actually missed it. I will be back next week with WrestleMania VI-X. Until next time, I’m outta here Frankie P.

Tryout: Frankly Speaking

Frankly Speaking By, Frankie P Hello boys and girls. My name is Frankie P. I haven’t done something like this in about 10 years when I used to write this very same column for another website (which has probably gone by the wayside, because honestly it STUNK). Let me tell you a little bit of what this column will be about: It will be about WRESTLING!!! What did you THINK it was gonna be about? Snooki? This will be a mixture of current stuff with retro stuff. I love writing about retro stuff because its fun reliving the memories and mocking some of the ridiculousness of it. Anyway, lets not waste anytime and get right into it, shall we? Ahhhhhh, its that time of year: WrestleMania time. And with WrestleMania comes many memorable moments. This week I will share some memories of the first five Mania’s. Lets see if my once photogenic memory still works. WrestleMania I In the first WM match ever, Tito Santana starts out 1-0 with a huge opening match victory over Playboy Budd…..I mean the Executioner. Any chance of El Matador going undefeated forever at WM are thwarted when he loses every one of his matches over the next 7 years…..It took King Kong Bundy only 23 seconds to squash SD Jones in 9 seconds…..David Sammartino and Brutus Beefcake went to a double countout in a classic that will NEVER be talked about by anyone…..Jesse Ventura kept referring to Gorilla Monsoon as “Gino” which probably confused a lot of people INCLUDING Gorilla…..Lord Alfred Hayes handled the backstage interviews and looked like a deer in headlights. To his credit, he was smooched by The Fabulous Moolah and Lelani Kai. Al, you sly dog…..After Greg Valentine beat the Junkyard Dog by putting his feet on the ropes, Tito Santana came out with a visible erection, which obviously influenced the referee to restart the match. The Hammer refused to get back in the ring, so JYD was awarded the match by countout…..Andre the Giant won $15,000 in his bodyslam challenge match. After the match was over Andre threw most of the obvious fifteen thousand singles that were in Bobby Heenans medium sized duffle bag. Before Andre was done, the Brain stole the bag and whatever money was left in it…..Liberace rang a little crystal bell to signal the start of the main event. He also stared down Hulk Hogan like a lion stares down little children when the are at the zoo. Oh and by the way, Hogan and Mr T defeated Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. WrestleMania 2 Three locations, 12 exciting matches, which meant, if you were there live, you were watching television for 2 hours…..In New York: Guest commentator, Susan St James said “watch this” at least 14 times during the Paul Orndorff/Magnificent Muraco match…..Both Jake Roberts and George Welles made their ppv debut in a match against each other. Guess who never appeared on one again?…..Randy Savage defeated George “The Animal Steele” in a zero star classic. Hopefully Savage will get some better competition at WrestleMania III…..One word: Herb…..Mr T defeated Roddy Piper in a boxing match, when Roddy remembered he was a wrestler and bodyslammed T in the 4th round., getting himself disqualified….In Chicago: My boy Ernie Holmes was upset by 19 other wrestlers/football players in a battle royal that Andre the Giant won.….Velvet McIntyre had the first ever ppv wardrobe malfunction and was quickly defeated by The Fabulous Moolah…..Corporal Kirchner defended the honor of American when he defeated Nicolai Volkoff in a gruelling 2 minute flag match…..Ozzy Osborne resisted biting the head off of a rat while seconding the British Bulldogs as they defeated The Dream Team for the WWF tag team titles…..In Los Angeles: In a match that had “WrestleMania” written all over it, Adrian Adonis overcame the odds and defeated Uncle Elmer. At one point in the match, Elmer his Adonis so hard that he ended up falling on his own ass…..Tito Santana’s one match WrestleMania winning streak came to a screeching halt as The Funk Brothers defeated him and The Junkyard Dog…..In what was probably the least anticipated match of in L.A., Ricky Steamboat defeated Hercules. Hopefully Steamboat will get some better competition at WrestleMania III…..Robert Conrad was one of the many celebrities who appeared during the Hulk Hogan/King Kong Bundy steel cage main event. I have no idea what he did, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t have anything to do with Elvira smacking a battery off his shoulder. WrestleMania III 78,000 people (allegedly) jam packed into 93,173 (allegedly) seats in the Pontiac Silverdome…..King Kong Bundy went from main eventing the previous WM, to bodyslamming midget wrestler Little Beaver in a mixed 6 man tag team match…..Danny Davis took one of the most wicked tombstone piledrivers, that I’ve ever seen from Davey Boy Smith in a six man tag team match where the Hart Foundation and Davis defeated Tito Santana and the British Bulldogs. This match brings Santana’s WM losing streak to two. Jesse Ventura made his way all the way down to the ring before the match began, to be introduced to the crowd, only to have to carry Matilda the dog to the back with him…..…..The highlight of the Roddy Piper/Adrian Adonis haircut match was watching the fan that jumped in the ring, being beat down and arrested in the background while a victorious Piper made his way back to the lockerroom……Ricky Steamboat defeated Randy Savage for the Inter-Continental title, in a decent match that is rarely talked about…..The seeds were planted to humble Brian Blair, as The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff beat the Killer Bees by DQ as the debuting Hacksaw Jim Duggan interfered…..Mel Phillips got cross at Mary Hart when she rang the ring bell too soon right before the main event…..And in that main event, Hulk Hogan defeated the previously “undefeated” Andre the Giant to retain the WWF title. This match totally blew away the rarely talked about Steamboat/Savage match…..Oh yeah, Butch Reed defeated KoKo B Ware. WrestleMania IV Trump Plaza would host this Mania. Donald Trump and his hair were seated in the front row…..This would be the first WrestleMania to top the four hour mark, making renting the video of this show extra exciting because of the double deep tape case that held the TWO videos that Mania was recorded on…..That would be pretty much the only thing exciting about this show…..A 14 man elimination tournament, for the vacant WWF title, won by Randy Savage, was the main event of the show. Tournament highlights included: hmmmm, hold on. I’m thinking. It included…….oh yeah!! It included a Randy Savage/Greg Valentine second round match, instead of a Randy Savage/Ricky Steamboat rematch that no one wanted to see. Honestly this tournament was a piece of crap….. Demolition won their first of three WWF tag team titles from Strike Force, which brought Tito Santana’s WM losing streak to three in a row. Don’t worry Tito, you’ll get’em next year!!…..Bad New Brown won a Battle Royal after double crossing Bret Hart and throwing him over the top rope. Bret then went on to destroy Bad News’ trophy that looked cheaper than the one I won for having the best clown hat during my 4th grade Sports Night (love you nanna, for making the hat for me)….. This show is so boring that Im falling asleep just writing about it…..Brutus Beefcake cut Jimmy Harts hair after his IC title match with the Honky Tonk man……Ok you know what? Lets move on to the next one. I don’t wanna bore you readers to death….. WrestleMania V WWF returns to Trump Plaza for the second year in a row because the crowd for Mania IV was just so lively and chipper…..Instead of defending her title, WWF Womans Champion, Rockin’ Robin did a rousing rendition of God Bless America. Last I checked, it peaked at number six katrillion-zillion on the itunes…..Wrestlers such as Butch of the Bushwackers and Mr Perfect tripped while walking down the approximately 342 steps that lead to the ring…..RUN DMC did the “WrestleMania Rap”. The only two words that were audible were “piledriver” and “bodyslam”…..Hacksaw Duggan had snot hanging from his nose after his 3 minute match with Bad News Brown…..World class wrestler, Terry Taylor because a cock and defeated his former manager Bobby Heenan in a 30 second classic…..Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson defeated Strike Force, when Rick Martel turned on his partner, Tito Santana. Tito’s WM losing streak reaches four. Don’t worry buddy, I don’t blame you one bit for this one…..Brother Love reveals legs whiter than cocaine after he dons a kilt for his and Morton Downey Jr’s appearance on Pipers Pit…..In what must have been a booking error, the Rugged Ronnie Garvin/Dino Bravo match went on seventh instead of co-main eventing like everyone was expecting…..Speaking of the main event, Hulk Hogan scored the upset of the century when he defeated Randy Savage for his second WWF title. After the match Hogan took Donald Trump and his then wife Ivana to a special screening of “No Holds Barred”. Trump wouldn’t be seen again in the WWF for 18 years. Well, I hope you enjoyed my first column a lot more than I enjoyed typing it up. Id like to thank Scott for giving me that chance to do this again. Ive actually missed it. I will be back next week with WrestleMania VI-X. Until next time, I’m outta here Frankie P.

Tryout: Frankly Speaking

Frankly Speaking By, Frankie P Hello boys and girls. My name is Frankie P. I haven’t done something like this in about 10 years when I used to write this very same column for another website (which has probably gone by the wayside, because honestly it STUNK). Let me tell you a little bit of what this column will be about: It will be about WRESTLING!!! What did you THINK it was gonna be about? Snooki? This will be a mixture of current stuff with retro stuff. I love writing about retro stuff because its fun reliving the memories and mocking some of the ridiculousness of it. Anyway, lets not waste anytime and get right into it, shall we? Ahhhhhh, its that time of year: WrestleMania time. And with WrestleMania comes many memorable moments. This week I will share some memories of the first five Mania’s. Lets see if my once photogenic memory still works. WrestleMania I In the first WM match ever, Tito Santana starts out 1-0 with a huge opening match victory over Playboy Budd…..I mean the Executioner. Any chance of El Matador going undefeated forever at WM are thwarted when he loses every one of his matches over the next 7 years…..It took King Kong Bundy only 23 seconds to squash SD Jones in 9 seconds…..David Sammartino and Brutus Beefcake went to a double countout in a classic that will NEVER be talked about by anyone…..Jesse Ventura kept referring to Gorilla Monsoon as “Gino” which probably confused a lot of people INCLUDING Gorilla…..Lord Alfred Hayes handled the backstage interviews and looked like a deer in headlights. To his credit, he was smooched by The Fabulous Moolah and Lelani Kai. Al, you sly dog…..After Greg Valentine beat the Junkyard Dog by putting his feet on the ropes, Tito Santana came out with a visible erection, which obviously influenced the referee to restart the match. The Hammer refused to get back in the ring, so JYD was awarded the match by countout…..Andre the Giant won $15,000 in his bodyslam challenge match. After the match was over Andre threw most of the obvious fifteen thousand singles that were in Bobby Heenans medium sized duffle bag. Before Andre was done, the Brain stole the bag and whatever money was left in it…..Liberace rang a little crystal bell to signal the start of the main event. He also stared down Hulk Hogan like a lion stares down little children when the are at the zoo. Oh and by the way, Hogan and Mr T defeated Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. WrestleMania 2 Three locations, 12 exciting matches, which meant, if you were there live, you were watching television for 2 hours…..In New York: Guest commentator, Susan St James said “watch this” at least 14 times during the Paul Orndorff/Magnificent Muraco match…..Both Jake Roberts and George Welles made their ppv debut in a match against each other. Guess who never appeared on one again?…..Randy Savage defeated George “The Animal Steele” in a zero star classic. Hopefully Savage will get some better competition at WrestleMania III…..One word: Herb…..Mr T defeated Roddy Piper in a boxing match, when Roddy remembered he was a wrestler and bodyslammed T in the 4th round., getting himself disqualified….In Chicago: My boy Ernie Holmes was upset by 19 other wrestlers/football players in a battle royal that Andre the Giant won.….Velvet McIntyre had the first ever ppv wardrobe malfunction and was quickly defeated by The Fabulous Moolah…..Corporal Kirchner defended the honor of American when he defeated Nicolai Volkoff in a gruelling 2 minute flag match…..Ozzy Osborne resisted biting the head off of a rat while seconding the British Bulldogs as they defeated The Dream Team for the WWF tag team titles…..In Los Angeles: In a match that had “WrestleMania” written all over it, Adrian Adonis overcame the odds and defeated Uncle Elmer. At one point in the match, Elmer his Adonis so hard that he ended up falling on his own ass…..Tito Santana’s one match WrestleMania winning streak came to a screeching halt as The Funk Brothers defeated him and The Junkyard Dog…..In what was probably the least anticipated match of in L.A., Ricky Steamboat defeated Hercules. Hopefully Steamboat will get some better competition at WrestleMania III…..Robert Conrad was one of the many celebrities who appeared during the Hulk Hogan/King Kong Bundy steel cage main event. I have no idea what he did, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t have anything to do with Elvira smacking a battery off his shoulder. WrestleMania III 78,000 people (allegedly) jam packed into 93,173 (allegedly) seats in the Pontiac Silverdome…..King Kong Bundy went from main eventing the previous WM, to bodyslamming midget wrestler Little Beaver in a mixed 6 man tag team match…..Danny Davis took one of the most wicked tombstone piledrivers, that I’ve ever seen from Davey Boy Smith in a six man tag team match where the Hart Foundation and Davis defeated Tito Santana and the British Bulldogs. This match brings Santana’s WM losing streak to two. Jesse Ventura made his way all the way down to the ring before the match began, to be introduced to the crowd, only to have to carry Matilda the dog to the back with him…..…..The highlight of the Roddy Piper/Adrian Adonis haircut match was watching the fan that jumped in the ring, being beat down and arrested in the background while a victorious Piper made his way back to the lockerroom……Ricky Steamboat defeated Randy Savage for the Inter-Continental title, in a decent match that is rarely talked about…..The seeds were planted to humble Brian Blair, as The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff beat the Killer Bees by DQ as the debuting Hacksaw Jim Duggan interfered…..Mel Phillips got cross at Mary Hart when she rang the ring bell too soon right before the main event…..And in that main event, Hulk Hogan defeated the previously “undefeated” Andre the Giant to retain the WWF title. This match totally blew away the rarely talked about Steamboat/Savage match…..Oh yeah, Butch Reed defeated KoKo B Ware. WrestleMania IV Trump Plaza would host this Mania. Donald Trump and his hair were seated in the front row…..This would be the first WrestleMania to top the four hour mark, making renting the video of this show extra exciting because of the double deep tape case that held the TWO videos that Mania was recorded on…..That would be pretty much the only thing exciting about this show…..A 14 man elimination tournament, for the vacant WWF title, won by Randy Savage, was the main event of the show. Tournament highlights included: hmmmm, hold on. I’m thinking. It included…….oh yeah!! It included a Randy Savage/Greg Valentine second round match, instead of a Randy Savage/Ricky Steamboat rematch that no one wanted to see. Honestly this tournament was a piece of crap….. Demolition won their first of three WWF tag team titles from Strike Force, which brought Tito Santana’s WM losing streak to three in a row. Don’t worry Tito, you’ll get’em next year!!…..Bad New Brown won a Battle Royal after double crossing Bret Hart and throwing him over the top rope. Bret then went on to destroy Bad News’ trophy that looked cheaper than the one I won for having the best clown hat during my 4th grade Sports Night (love you nanna, for making the hat for me)….. This show is so boring that Im falling asleep just writing about it…..Brutus Beefcake cut Jimmy Harts hair after his IC title match with the Honky Tonk man……Ok you know what? Lets move on to the next one. I don’t wanna bore you readers to death….. WrestleMania V WWF returns to Trump Plaza for the second year in a row because the crowd for Mania IV was just so lively and chipper…..Instead of defending her title, WWF Womans Champion, Rockin’ Robin did a rousing rendition of God Bless America. Last I checked, it peaked at number six katrillion-zillion on the itunes…..Wrestlers such as Butch of the Bushwackers and Mr Perfect tripped while walking down the approximately 342 steps that lead to the ring…..RUN DMC did the “WrestleMania Rap”. The only two words that were audible were “piledriver” and “bodyslam”…..Hacksaw Duggan had snot hanging from his nose after his 3 minute match with Bad News Brown…..World class wrestler, Terry Taylor because a cock and defeated his former manager Bobby Heenan in a 30 second classic…..Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson defeated Strike Force, when Rick Martel turned on his partner, Tito Santana. Tito’s WM losing streak reaches four. Don’t worry buddy, I don’t blame you one bit for this one…..Brother Love reveals legs whiter than cocaine after he dons a kilt for his and Morton Downey Jr’s appearance on Pipers Pit…..In what must have been a booking error, the Rugged Ronnie Garvin/Dino Bravo match went on seventh instead of co-main eventing like everyone was expecting…..Speaking of the main event, Hulk Hogan scored the upset of the century when he defeated Randy Savage for his second WWF title. After the match Hogan took Donald Trump and his then wife Ivana to a special screening of “No Holds Barred”. Trump wouldn’t be seen again in the WWF for 18 years. Well, I hope you enjoyed my first column a lot more than I enjoyed typing it up. Id like to thank Scott for giving me that chance to do this again. Ive actually missed it. I will be back next week with WrestleMania VI-X. Until next time, I’m outta here Frankie P.

Tryout: Frankly Speaking

Frankly Speaking By, Frankie P Hello boys and girls. My name is Frankie P. I haven’t done something like this in about 10 years when I used to write this very same column for another website (which has probably gone by the wayside, because honestly it STUNK). Let me tell you a little bit of what this column will be about: It will be about WRESTLING!!! What did you THINK it was gonna be about? Snooki? This will be a mixture of current stuff with retro stuff. I love writing about retro stuff because its fun reliving the memories and mocking some of the ridiculousness of it. Anyway, lets not waste anytime and get right into it, shall we? Ahhhhhh, its that time of year: WrestleMania time. And with WrestleMania comes many memorable moments. This week I will share some memories of the first five Mania’s. Lets see if my once photogenic memory still works. WrestleMania I In the first WM match ever, Tito Santana starts out 1-0 with a huge opening match victory over Playboy Budd…..I mean the Executioner. Any chance of El Matador going undefeated forever at WM are thwarted when he loses every one of his matches over the next 7 years…..It took King Kong Bundy only 23 seconds to squash SD Jones in 9 seconds…..David Sammartino and Brutus Beefcake went to a double countout in a classic that will NEVER be talked about by anyone…..Jesse Ventura kept referring to Gorilla Monsoon as “Gino” which probably confused a lot of people INCLUDING Gorilla…..Lord Alfred Hayes handled the backstage interviews and looked like a deer in headlights. To his credit, he was smooched by The Fabulous Moolah and Lelani Kai. Al, you sly dog…..After Greg Valentine beat the Junkyard Dog by putting his feet on the ropes, Tito Santana came out with a visible erection, which obviously influenced the referee to restart the match. The Hammer refused to get back in the ring, so JYD was awarded the match by countout…..Andre the Giant won $15,000 in his bodyslam challenge match. After the match was over Andre threw most of the obvious fifteen thousand singles that were in Bobby Heenans medium sized duffle bag. Before Andre was done, the Brain stole the bag and whatever money was left in it…..Liberace rang a little crystal bell to signal the start of the main event. He also stared down Hulk Hogan like a lion stares down little children when the are at the zoo. Oh and by the way, Hogan and Mr T defeated Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. WrestleMania 2 Three locations, 12 exciting matches, which meant, if you were there live, you were watching television for 2 hours…..In New York: Guest commentator, Susan St James said “watch this” at least 14 times during the Paul Orndorff/Magnificent Muraco match…..Both Jake Roberts and George Welles made their ppv debut in a match against each other. Guess who never appeared on one again?…..Randy Savage defeated George “The Animal Steele” in a zero star classic. Hopefully Savage will get some better competition at WrestleMania III…..One word: Herb…..Mr T defeated Roddy Piper in a boxing match, when Roddy remembered he was a wrestler and bodyslammed T in the 4th round., getting himself disqualified….In Chicago: My boy Ernie Holmes was upset by 19 other wrestlers/football players in a battle royal that Andre the Giant won.….Velvet McIntyre had the first ever ppv wardrobe malfunction and was quickly defeated by The Fabulous Moolah…..Corporal Kirchner defended the honor of American when he defeated Nicolai Volkoff in a gruelling 2 minute flag match…..Ozzy Osborne resisted biting the head off of a rat while seconding the British Bulldogs as they defeated The Dream Team for the WWF tag team titles…..In Los Angeles: In a match that had “WrestleMania” written all over it, Adrian Adonis overcame the odds and defeated Uncle Elmer. At one point in the match, Elmer his Adonis so hard that he ended up falling on his own ass…..Tito Santana’s one match WrestleMania winning streak came to a screeching halt as The Funk Brothers defeated him and The Junkyard Dog…..In what was probably the least anticipated match of in L.A., Ricky Steamboat defeated Hercules. Hopefully Steamboat will get some better competition at WrestleMania III…..Robert Conrad was one of the many celebrities who appeared during the Hulk Hogan/King Kong Bundy steel cage main event. I have no idea what he did, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t have anything to do with Elvira smacking a battery off his shoulder. WrestleMania III 78,000 people (allegedly) jam packed into 93,173 (allegedly) seats in the Pontiac Silverdome…..King Kong Bundy went from main eventing the previous WM, to bodyslamming midget wrestler Little Beaver in a mixed 6 man tag team match…..Danny Davis took one of the most wicked tombstone piledrivers, that I’ve ever seen from Davey Boy Smith in a six man tag team match where the Hart Foundation and Davis defeated Tito Santana and the British Bulldogs. This match brings Santana’s WM losing streak to two. Jesse Ventura made his way all the way down to the ring before the match began, to be introduced to the crowd, only to have to carry Matilda the dog to the back with him…..…..The highlight of the Roddy Piper/Adrian Adonis haircut match was watching the fan that jumped in the ring, being beat down and arrested in the background while a victorious Piper made his way back to the lockerroom……Ricky Steamboat defeated Randy Savage for the Inter-Continental title, in a decent match that is rarely talked about…..The seeds were planted to humble Brian Blair, as The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff beat the Killer Bees by DQ as the debuting Hacksaw Jim Duggan interfered…..Mel Phillips got cross at Mary Hart when she rang the ring bell too soon right before the main event…..And in that main event, Hulk Hogan defeated the previously “undefeated” Andre the Giant to retain the WWF title. This match totally blew away the rarely talked about Steamboat/Savage match…..Oh yeah, Butch Reed defeated KoKo B Ware. WrestleMania IV Trump Plaza would host this Mania. Donald Trump and his hair were seated in the front row…..This would be the first WrestleMania to top the four hour mark, making renting the video of this show extra exciting because of the double deep tape case that held the TWO videos that Mania was recorded on…..That would be pretty much the only thing exciting about this show…..A 14 man elimination tournament, for the vacant WWF title, won by Randy Savage, was the main event of the show. Tournament highlights included: hmmmm, hold on. I’m thinking. It included…….oh yeah!! It included a Randy Savage/Greg Valentine second round match, instead of a Randy Savage/Ricky Steamboat rematch that no one wanted to see. Honestly this tournament was a piece of crap….. Demolition won their first of three WWF tag team titles from Strike Force, which brought Tito Santana’s WM losing streak to three in a row. Don’t worry Tito, you’ll get’em next year!!…..Bad New Brown won a Battle Royal after double crossing Bret Hart and throwing him over the top rope. Bret then went on to destroy Bad News’ trophy that looked cheaper than the one I won for having the best clown hat during my 4th grade Sports Night (love you nanna, for making the hat for me)….. This show is so boring that Im falling asleep just writing about it…..Brutus Beefcake cut Jimmy Harts hair after his IC title match with the Honky Tonk man……Ok you know what? Lets move on to the next one. I don’t wanna bore you readers to death….. WrestleMania V WWF returns to Trump Plaza for the second year in a row because the crowd for Mania IV was just so lively and chipper…..Instead of defending her title, WWF Womans Champion, Rockin’ Robin did a rousing rendition of God Bless America. Last I checked, it peaked at number six katrillion-zillion on the itunes…..Wrestlers such as Butch of the Bushwackers and Mr Perfect tripped while walking down the approximately 342 steps that lead to the ring…..RUN DMC did the “WrestleMania Rap”. The only two words that were audible were “piledriver” and “bodyslam”…..Hacksaw Duggan had snot hanging from his nose after his 3 minute match with Bad News Brown…..World class wrestler, Terry Taylor because a cock and defeated his former manager Bobby Heenan in a 30 second classic…..Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson defeated Strike Force, when Rick Martel turned on his partner, Tito Santana. Tito’s WM losing streak reaches four. Don’t worry buddy, I don’t blame you one bit for this one…..Brother Love reveals legs whiter than cocaine after he dons a kilt for his and Morton Downey Jr’s appearance on Pipers Pit…..In what must have been a booking error, the Rugged Ronnie Garvin/Dino Bravo match went on seventh instead of co-main eventing like everyone was expecting…..Speaking of the main event, Hulk Hogan scored the upset of the century when he defeated Randy Savage for his second WWF title. After the match Hogan took Donald Trump and his then wife Ivana to a special screening of “No Holds Barred”. Trump wouldn’t be seen again in the WWF for 18 years. Well, I hope you enjoyed my first column a lot more than I enjoyed typing it up. Id like to thank Scott for giving me that chance to do this again. Ive actually missed it. I will be back next week with WrestleMania VI-X. Until next time, I’m outta here Frankie P.

Tryout: Frankly Speaking

Frankly Speaking By, Frankie P Hello boys and girls. My name is Frankie P. I haven’t done something like this in about 10 years when I used to write this very same column for another website (which has probably gone by the wayside, because honestly it STUNK). Let me tell you a little bit of what this column will be about: It will be about WRESTLING!!! What did you THINK it was gonna be about? Snooki? This will be a mixture of current stuff with retro stuff. I love writing about retro stuff because its fun reliving the memories and mocking some of the ridiculousness of it. Anyway, lets not waste anytime and get right into it, shall we? Ahhhhhh, its that time of year: WrestleMania time. And with WrestleMania comes many memorable moments. This week I will share some memories of the first five Mania’s. Lets see if my once photogenic memory still works. WrestleMania I In the first WM match ever, Tito Santana starts out 1-0 with a huge opening match victory over Playboy Budd…..I mean the Executioner. Any chance of El Matador going undefeated forever at WM are thwarted when he loses every one of his matches over the next 7 years…..It took King Kong Bundy only 23 seconds to squash SD Jones in 9 seconds…..David Sammartino and Brutus Beefcake went to a double countout in a classic that will NEVER be talked about by anyone…..Jesse Ventura kept referring to Gorilla Monsoon as “Gino” which probably confused a lot of people INCLUDING Gorilla…..Lord Alfred Hayes handled the backstage interviews and looked like a deer in headlights. To his credit, he was smooched by The Fabulous Moolah and Lelani Kai. Al, you sly dog…..After Greg Valentine beat the Junkyard Dog by putting his feet on the ropes, Tito Santana came out with a visible erection, which obviously influenced the referee to restart the match. The Hammer refused to get back in the ring, so JYD was awarded the match by countout…..Andre the Giant won $15,000 in his bodyslam challenge match. After the match was over Andre threw most of the obvious fifteen thousand singles that were in Bobby Heenans medium sized duffle bag. Before Andre was done, the Brain stole the bag and whatever money was left in it…..Liberace rang a little crystal bell to signal the start of the main event. He also stared down Hulk Hogan like a lion stares down little children when the are at the zoo. Oh and by the way, Hogan and Mr T defeated Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. WrestleMania 2 Three locations, 12 exciting matches, which meant, if you were there live, you were watching television for 2 hours…..In New York: Guest commentator, Susan St James said “watch this” at least 14 times during the Paul Orndorff/Magnificent Muraco match…..Both Jake Roberts and George Welles made their ppv debut in a match against each other. Guess who never appeared on one again?…..Randy Savage defeated George “The Animal Steele” in a zero star classic. Hopefully Savage will get some better competition at WrestleMania III…..One word: Herb…..Mr T defeated Roddy Piper in a boxing match, when Roddy remembered he was a wrestler and bodyslammed T in the 4th round., getting himself disqualified….In Chicago: My boy Ernie Holmes was upset by 19 other wrestlers/football players in a battle royal that Andre the Giant won.….Velvet McIntyre had the first ever ppv wardrobe malfunction and was quickly defeated by The Fabulous Moolah…..Corporal Kirchner defended the honor of American when he defeated Nicolai Volkoff in a gruelling 2 minute flag match…..Ozzy Osborne resisted biting the head off of a rat while seconding the British Bulldogs as they defeated The Dream Team for the WWF tag team titles…..In Los Angeles: In a match that had “WrestleMania” written all over it, Adrian Adonis overcame the odds and defeated Uncle Elmer. At one point in the match, Elmer his Adonis so hard that he ended up falling on his own ass…..Tito Santana’s one match WrestleMania winning streak came to a screeching halt as The Funk Brothers defeated him and The Junkyard Dog…..In what was probably the least anticipated match of in L.A., Ricky Steamboat defeated Hercules. Hopefully Steamboat will get some better competition at WrestleMania III…..Robert Conrad was one of the many celebrities who appeared during the Hulk Hogan/King Kong Bundy steel cage main event. I have no idea what he did, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t have anything to do with Elvira smacking a battery off his shoulder. WrestleMania III 78,000 people (allegedly) jam packed into 93,173 (allegedly) seats in the Pontiac Silverdome…..King Kong Bundy went from main eventing the previous WM, to bodyslamming midget wrestler Little Beaver in a mixed 6 man tag team match…..Danny Davis took one of the most wicked tombstone piledrivers, that I’ve ever seen from Davey Boy Smith in a six man tag team match where the Hart Foundation and Davis defeated Tito Santana and the British Bulldogs. This match brings Santana’s WM losing streak to two. Jesse Ventura made his way all the way down to the ring before the match began, to be introduced to the crowd, only to have to carry Matilda the dog to the back with him…..…..The highlight of the Roddy Piper/Adrian Adonis haircut match was watching the fan that jumped in the ring, being beat down and arrested in the background while a victorious Piper made his way back to the lockerroom……Ricky Steamboat defeated Randy Savage for the Inter-Continental title, in a decent match that is rarely talked about…..The seeds were planted to humble Brian Blair, as The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff beat the Killer Bees by DQ as the debuting Hacksaw Jim Duggan interfered…..Mel Phillips got cross at Mary Hart when she rang the ring bell too soon right before the main event…..And in that main event, Hulk Hogan defeated the previously “undefeated” Andre the Giant to retain the WWF title. This match totally blew away the rarely talked about Steamboat/Savage match…..Oh yeah, Butch Reed defeated KoKo B Ware. WrestleMania IV Trump Plaza would host this Mania. Donald Trump and his hair were seated in the front row…..This would be the first WrestleMania to top the four hour mark, making renting the video of this show extra exciting because of the double deep tape case that held the TWO videos that Mania was recorded on…..That would be pretty much the only thing exciting about this show…..A 14 man elimination tournament, for the vacant WWF title, won by Randy Savage, was the main event of the show. Tournament highlights included: hmmmm, hold on. I’m thinking. It included…….oh yeah!! It included a Randy Savage/Greg Valentine second round match, instead of a Randy Savage/Ricky Steamboat rematch that no one wanted to see. Honestly this tournament was a piece of crap….. Demolition won their first of three WWF tag team titles from Strike Force, which brought Tito Santana’s WM losing streak to three in a row. Don’t worry Tito, you’ll get’em next year!!…..Bad New Brown won a Battle Royal after double crossing Bret Hart and throwing him over the top rope. Bret then went on to destroy Bad News’ trophy that looked cheaper than the one I won for having the best clown hat during my 4th grade Sports Night (love you nanna, for making the hat for me)….. This show is so boring that Im falling asleep just writing about it…..Brutus Beefcake cut Jimmy Harts hair after his IC title match with the Honky Tonk man……Ok you know what? Lets move on to the next one. I don’t wanna bore you readers to death….. WrestleMania V WWF returns to Trump Plaza for the second year in a row because the crowd for Mania IV was just so lively and chipper…..Instead of defending her title, WWF Womans Champion, Rockin’ Robin did a rousing rendition of God Bless America. Last I checked, it peaked at number six katrillion-zillion on the itunes…..Wrestlers such as Butch of the Bushwackers and Mr Perfect tripped while walking down the approximately 342 steps that lead to the ring…..RUN DMC did the “WrestleMania Rap”. The only two words that were audible were “piledriver” and “bodyslam”…..Hacksaw Duggan had snot hanging from his nose after his 3 minute match with Bad News Brown…..World class wrestler, Terry Taylor because a cock and defeated his former manager Bobby Heenan in a 30 second classic…..Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson defeated Strike Force, when Rick Martel turned on his partner, Tito Santana. Tito’s WM losing streak reaches four. Don’t worry buddy, I don’t blame you one bit for this one…..Brother Love reveals legs whiter than cocaine after he dons a kilt for his and Morton Downey Jr’s appearance on Pipers Pit…..In what must have been a booking error, the Rugged Ronnie Garvin/Dino Bravo match went on seventh instead of co-main eventing like everyone was expecting…..Speaking of the main event, Hulk Hogan scored the upset of the century when he defeated Randy Savage for his second WWF title. After the match Hogan took Donald Trump and his then wife Ivana to a special screening of “No Holds Barred”. Trump wouldn’t be seen again in the WWF for 18 years. Well, I hope you enjoyed my first column a lot more than I enjoyed typing it up. Id like to thank Scott for giving me that chance to do this again. Ive actually missed it. I will be back next week with WrestleMania VI-X. Until next time, I’m outta here Frankie P.

Tryout – Ryan Murphy (ROH TV)

ROH 2/4/12

Ring of Honor has been producing their TV show on Sinclair Broadcasting since this past September. While ROH isn’t anywhere near its pinnacle of the mid 00s, it’s still the top indie fed in America right now, and has always been synonymous with high quality wrestling. The fact that the current WWE and World champions are ROH alumni pretty much says it all, right? So with that in mind, I’d like to start taking a look at ROH’s weekly show. Anyone interested in checking it out should head to ROHWrestling.com. There you can find either a list of Sinclair stations that carry ROH or, if you aren’t in one of those areas, you can register with MyROH and view the show for free on the website.

(General Admission memberships allow you to view it free on Thursdays, Ringside Memberships have it posted on Mondays. If it’s a pressing issue with everyone I can level up my membership and start cranking these things out for earlier in the week, but generally, I watch the show over the weekend and I’d like these columns to be more of a Saturday thing.)

(Also, I’m not much in the way of move-by-move recapping, and I don’t really think it’s necessary since the video is there for everyone to watch online.)

The 2/4/12 broadcast starts out with a video package highlighting some of the action from Final Battle’s 3-way TV Title match between Jay Lethal, El Generico, and “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett. These three have comprised the bulk of the TV title scene for the past few months, with Lethal having won the title from Generico and Bennett feeling he deserves the title. On one of the early ROH Sinclair shows, Bennett and Lethal went to a TV-title-standard 15 minute draw, and while Cornette came out and made the offer for the match to go into overtime, Bennett declined. Tonight marks what I’m assuming will be the blowoff match between Lethal and Bennett, with no time limit.

Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuiness do the in-ring intro, leading us into a Bennett promo. For those unaware, Bennett is a boilerplate cocky heel, sometimes calling himself “The Box Office Smash” and rocking a pre-retirement-heel Batista look, with the mirrored shades and dress shirts. Joining Bennett is his “girlfriend”, Maria Kanellis. Maria is a recent addition to the ROH roster, and it’s a pretty good catch for them. She has WWE experience, she has mainstream appeal due to “Celebrity Apprentice” and Playboy, and she was always really good, IMO, playing the “ditz” character. Bennett says nothing of note, and with that we go to the ring, and we get to see Maria do a little take on the Beautiful People ass shot on the way to the ring.

Lethal is still riding the sympathetic babyface gimmick he was just barely establishing in TNA after he ended the Black Machismo character, and he is of course one of the more talented young wrestlers in ROH. Bennett, unfortunately, is still green. He’ll do nothing but improve if he learns from his fellow ROH talents, but his offense is mainly punches, clotheslines, and power moves. Most of this match is a punch-fest brawl, but Lethal attempts to add some ‘ranas and other flying stuff. Bennett does the heel schtick of hiding behind his second twice in short order, sending his trainer Brutal Bob into Lethal to take a hit and then hiding behind Maria to gain the upper hand. Some of the drama in this match was based around Bennett trying to avoid the Lethal Injection, arguing that the move should be banned. (In this case, the Lethal Injection is a Tajiri-handspring off the ropes into a cutter. Lethal is taking a page from Mike Quackenbush, apparently naming all his finishes the same even though the Lethal Injection has, in the past, been a back suplex-into neckbreaker and a front STO to the knee into Flatliner.) The finish sees an attempt at a rear-lockup result in Bennett and Lethal colliding heads, with Lethal laid out on the mat and Bennett slumped over the ropes. While Brutal Bob had the ref distracted, Maria shoved the unconscious Bennett onto Lethal, attempting to sneak a win for Bennett. Lethal, however, wasn’t all the way out, and rolled up Bennett for the three count. Definitely not a finish I can remember seeing before, and it helps to maybe re-introduce Maria’s “ditz” character, with a more hateable “boyfriend” than Santino. (I don’t take myself to be an authority on star ratings, which I know some people take very seriously, so just take mine with a grain of salt.) ***, since the good finish negated a lot of the punchy-kicky.

Next we have a backstage interview with “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards. It seems like Eddie has been on the slow-burn to a heel turn for a year or more now, and while I thought that we’d finally see that at Final Battle, they’re just now turning up the heat. Eddie cuts a dickish promo calling out Kyle “KO” O’Reilly, trainee of Davey Richards and member of the tag team Future Shock with Adam Cole, for being a wannabe-American Wolf. Eddie is finally heeling it up a little bit here, building off of his sarcastic applause for KO and Davey winning a tag team match. Eddie pretty much calls KO out for being Davey’s bitch, which brings a suitably pissed off O’Reilly out from the far reaches of the locker room to challenge Eddie. Should be a decent match, and I like the potential here: the interplay between Eddie and KO both being Davey’s friends, the potential for Adam Cole to get involved and possibly side with Eddie, maybe a Davey/KO vs. Eddie/Cole match down the line? And the outside chance of Roderick Strong and the House of Truth as the shit disturbers, playing the middle. Could be something cool, but as we’ll see later, most of the involved parties have something else on the boil as well.

Now comes the really exciting stuff: we get a video recap of Kevin Steen’s vicious brawl at Final Battle with Steve Corino. For those unfamiliar with this awesome angle, Steen has spent the last 2 years playing out the machinations of this storyline, where Steve Corino conspired to get inside his head and turn him against El Generico. Steen and Generico’s violent brawl at Final Battle ’10 led to Steen “leaving ROH for good”. Corino, feeling guilt over what he did to Steen enlisted the help of Jimmy Jacobs to gain “sobriety from being evil”. That played out with Corino attempting to get Steen reinstated, to the chagrin of ROH Executive Producer Jim Cornette, so he could make amends. Meanwhile, Steen was doing, basically, what people wanted to see out of CM Punk last summer: he didn’t wrestle for ROH but he would appear outside shows, post YouTube vidoes trashing Ring of Honor, hack the ROH message boards with an ominous video; and when he was an invited guest of Corino in the audience at Best in the World, he said “Fuck Ring of Honor!” and laid out Corino and Jacobs with the Package Piledriver. Finally, Steen managed to gain a match with Corino at Final Battle ’11. It was a vicious hardcore brawl, ending with a Package Piledriver through several chairs. Steen then piledrove Jimmy Jacobs (who was the referee) and then attempted to do the same to Cornette, until everything came full circle with El Generico making the save until Steen gave him a Package Piledriver off the apron through a table.

All this has put Steen over huge with the ROH faithful, and gained him the nickname “Wrestling’s Worst Nightmare”. Steen starts the interview segment by dismissing Kevin Kelly, but not before pushing his gum into Kelly’s hand. For someone who isn’t a native English speaker, Steen is incredibly comfortable on the mic and seems to be really astute at putting over a character that’s both unpredictable and completely plainspoken. Steen plants the seeds for a potential feud with champion Davey Richards, saying that the reason he was kept out of ROH is because he’s hard to control, and wouldn’t suck up to Cornette like Davey. Steen promises to win the title and hold ROH hostage, the way he was held hostage for a year. Cornette comes out with a bevy of ROH security guards and Cary Silkin by his side, just to sell how dangerous Steen really is. They trade fat jokes, and Steen plants another seed for a feud with Davey, saying how he spends his time in a wrestling ring rather than a gym, and Cornette might like him better if he spent time in an MMA gym (ala Davey). Cornette relates the story of being there at Summerslam ’97 when Owen laid out Austin with a piledriver, and how Owen was sorry for what he did, which Steen wasn’t for laying out 3 guys at Final Battle. Cornette bans all variations on the piledriver from ROH (wonder if that’ll come up in a Briscoes match when Jay goes for the J-Driller?) Steen promises to come up with something else to finish off Davey with and tells Cornette he’ll be the nightmare he won’t wake up from. Awesome stuff, all around.

Inside ROH brings us a House of Truth promo, referring back to an 8 man tag from a few weeks ago with Eddie, Generico, Haas, and Benjamin winning out over HoT’s Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin, and the Briscoes. A dispute over the gimmicked-payout for that match apparently is going to lead to a Briscoes/HoT feud. Let me say here that Truth Martini is a stupid gimmick and a blatant imitation of The Jackyll, right down to the look, and that never got over that big to begin with; and Michael Elgin looks like he’s scared out of his mind every time he has to talk. Next we get The Briscoes, who have issues with HoT taking their money. Next week we get Briscoes vs. HoT, fighting over a laughably small $5000. We get Davey next, with an understated and somewhat drab for Davey’s standard, against Jay Lethal, who he will soon be facing in a champion vs. champion match. The All Night Express call out The Young Bucks for causing Rhett Titus’ knee injury, which he’s still out from. Finally we get The Young Bucks, aka Generation Me from TNA, cutting a promo on The Briscoes, whose titles The Bucks are #1 Contenders for. Then, I assume, the regular broadcast would go to a commercial, but on the webcast, it cuts right to The Young Bucks again, saying basically the same things.

Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (who were once the World’s Greatest Tag Team, but are now apparently better than every tag team in wrestling but not as good as Tag Team, of “Whoomp, There It Is!” fame) join us next, to a chorus of boos. This is a result of a double turn with The Briscoes (funnily enough, Briscoes had been heels based off of a double turn with ANX). Haas mentions how their TV time has been cut short due to Steen (even though they just showed two redundant Bucks promos) and says not to bother sending out their opponents, The Bravados. Instead they call out The Briscoes. Cornette first comes out to protest but then relents, declaring it a title match when Dem Boys come out to answer the challenge. It’s mainly just a brawl, with a few cursory tags. One point sees Mark engage in some “hillbilly Kung Fu”, as Nigel calls it, which is a fun gimmick for him to use on the offensive portions of their matches. The match ends when Haas reverses an O’Connor roll and sends Mark into a chairshot from Shelton, in plain sight of the referee. Not much of a match as it was just a quick brawl, but I’ll give it ** just out of charity.

Overall, it was a very fun ROH episode, featuring many of their top stars. Right now it seems like their upper echelon are all involved with different feuds with everybody, and while some are just sparking while others need to be sewn up and filed away, having a bunch of different stories going on is a good direction for ROH to go in. Hope everyone enjoys the review, but remember: Don’t take my word for it, go to ROHWrestling.com and watch for yourself.

Tryout – Ryan Murphy (ROH TV)

ROH 2/4/12

Ring of Honor has been producing their TV show on Sinclair Broadcasting since this past September. While ROH isn’t anywhere near its pinnacle of the mid 00s, it’s still the top indie fed in America right now, and has always been synonymous with high quality wrestling. The fact that the current WWE and World champions are ROH alumni pretty much says it all, right? So with that in mind, I’d like to start taking a look at ROH’s weekly show. Anyone interested in checking it out should head to ROHWrestling.com. There you can find either a list of Sinclair stations that carry ROH or, if you aren’t in one of those areas, you can register with MyROH and view the show for free on the website.

(General Admission memberships allow you to view it free on Thursdays, Ringside Memberships have it posted on Mondays. If it’s a pressing issue with everyone I can level up my membership and start cranking these things out for earlier in the week, but generally, I watch the show over the weekend and I’d like these columns to be more of a Saturday thing.)

(Also, I’m not much in the way of move-by-move recapping, and I don’t really think it’s necessary since the video is there for everyone to watch online.)

The 2/4/12 broadcast starts out with a video package highlighting some of the action from Final Battle’s 3-way TV Title match between Jay Lethal, El Generico, and “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett. These three have comprised the bulk of the TV title scene for the past few months, with Lethal having won the title from Generico and Bennett feeling he deserves the title. On one of the early ROH Sinclair shows, Bennett and Lethal went to a TV-title-standard 15 minute draw, and while Cornette came out and made the offer for the match to go into overtime, Bennett declined. Tonight marks what I’m assuming will be the blowoff match between Lethal and Bennett, with no time limit.

Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuiness do the in-ring intro, leading us into a Bennett promo. For those unaware, Bennett is a boilerplate cocky heel, sometimes calling himself “The Box Office Smash” and rocking a pre-retirement-heel Batista look, with the mirrored shades and dress shirts. Joining Bennett is his “girlfriend”, Maria Kanellis. Maria is a recent addition to the ROH roster, and it’s a pretty good catch for them. She has WWE experience, she has mainstream appeal due to “Celebrity Apprentice” and Playboy, and she was always really good, IMO, playing the “ditz” character. Bennett says nothing of note, and with that we go to the ring, and we get to see Maria do a little take on the Beautiful People ass shot on the way to the ring.

Lethal is still riding the sympathetic babyface gimmick he was just barely establishing in TNA after he ended the Black Machismo character, and he is of course one of the more talented young wrestlers in ROH. Bennett, unfortunately, is still green. He’ll do nothing but improve if he learns from his fellow ROH talents, but his offense is mainly punches, clotheslines, and power moves. Most of this match is a punch-fest brawl, but Lethal attempts to add some ‘ranas and other flying stuff. Bennett does the heel schtick of hiding behind his second twice in short order, sending his trainer Brutal Bob into Lethal to take a hit and then hiding behind Maria to gain the upper hand. Some of the drama in this match was based around Bennett trying to avoid the Lethal Injection, arguing that the move should be banned. (In this case, the Lethal Injection is a Tajiri-handspring off the ropes into a cutter. Lethal is taking a page from Mike Quackenbush, apparently naming all his finishes the same even though the Lethal Injection has, in the past, been a back suplex-into neckbreaker and a front STO to the knee into Flatliner.) The finish sees an attempt at a rear-lockup result in Bennett and Lethal colliding heads, with Lethal laid out on the mat and Bennett slumped over the ropes. While Brutal Bob had the ref distracted, Maria shoved the unconscious Bennett onto Lethal, attempting to sneak a win for Bennett. Lethal, however, wasn’t all the way out, and rolled up Bennett for the three count. Definitely not a finish I can remember seeing before, and it helps to maybe re-introduce Maria’s “ditz” character, with a more hateable “boyfriend” than Santino. (I don’t take myself to be an authority on star ratings, which I know some people take very seriously, so just take mine with a grain of salt.) ***, since the good finish negated a lot of the punchy-kicky.

Next we have a backstage interview with “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards. It seems like Eddie has been on the slow-burn to a heel turn for a year or more now, and while I thought that we’d finally see that at Final Battle, they’re just now turning up the heat. Eddie cuts a dickish promo calling out Kyle “KO” O’Reilly, trainee of Davey Richards and member of the tag team Future Shock with Adam Cole, for being a wannabe-American Wolf. Eddie is finally heeling it up a little bit here, building off of his sarcastic applause for KO and Davey winning a tag team match. Eddie pretty much calls KO out for being Davey’s bitch, which brings a suitably pissed off O’Reilly out from the far reaches of the locker room to challenge Eddie. Should be a decent match, and I like the potential here: the interplay between Eddie and KO both being Davey’s friends, the potential for Adam Cole to get involved and possibly side with Eddie, maybe a Davey/KO vs. Eddie/Cole match down the line? And the outside chance of Roderick Strong and the House of Truth as the shit disturbers, playing the middle. Could be something cool, but as we’ll see later, most of the involved parties have something else on the boil as well.

Now comes the really exciting stuff: we get a video recap of Kevin Steen’s vicious brawl at Final Battle with Steve Corino. For those unfamiliar with this awesome angle, Steen has spent the last 2 years playing out the machinations of this storyline, where Steve Corino conspired to get inside his head and turn him against El Generico. Steen and Generico’s violent brawl at Final Battle ’10 led to Steen “leaving ROH for good”. Corino, feeling guilt over what he did to Steen enlisted the help of Jimmy Jacobs to gain “sobriety from being evil”. That played out with Corino attempting to get Steen reinstated, to the chagrin of ROH Executive Producer Jim Cornette, so he could make amends. Meanwhile, Steen was doing, basically, what people wanted to see out of CM Punk last summer: he didn’t wrestle for ROH but he would appear outside shows, post YouTube vidoes trashing Ring of Honor, hack the ROH message boards with an ominous video; and when he was an invited guest of Corino in the audience at Best in the World, he said “Fuck Ring of Honor!” and laid out Corino and Jacobs with the Package Piledriver. Finally, Steen managed to gain a match with Corino at Final Battle ’11. It was a vicious hardcore brawl, ending with a Package Piledriver through several chairs. Steen then piledrove Jimmy Jacobs (who was the referee) and then attempted to do the same to Cornette, until everything came full circle with El Generico making the save until Steen gave him a Package Piledriver off the apron through a table.

All this has put Steen over huge with the ROH faithful, and gained him the nickname “Wrestling’s Worst Nightmare”. Steen starts the interview segment by dismissing Kevin Kelly, but not before pushing his gum into Kelly’s hand. For someone who isn’t a native English speaker, Steen is incredibly comfortable on the mic and seems to be really astute at putting over a character that’s both unpredictable and completely plainspoken. Steen plants the seeds for a potential feud with champion Davey Richards, saying that the reason he was kept out of ROH is because he’s hard to control, and wouldn’t suck up to Cornette like Davey. Steen promises to win the title and hold ROH hostage, the way he was held hostage for a year. Cornette comes out with a bevy of ROH security guards and Cary Silkin by his side, just to sell how dangerous Steen really is. They trade fat jokes, and Steen plants another seed for a feud with Davey, saying how he spends his time in a wrestling ring rather than a gym, and Cornette might like him better if he spent time in an MMA gym (ala Davey). Cornette relates the story of being there at Summerslam ’97 when Owen laid out Austin with a piledriver, and how Owen was sorry for what he did, which Steen wasn’t for laying out 3 guys at Final Battle. Cornette bans all variations on the piledriver from ROH (wonder if that’ll come up in a Briscoes match when Jay goes for the J-Driller?) Steen promises to come up with something else to finish off Davey with and tells Cornette he’ll be the nightmare he won’t wake up from. Awesome stuff, all around.

Inside ROH brings us a House of Truth promo, referring back to an 8 man tag from a few weeks ago with Eddie, Generico, Haas, and Benjamin winning out over HoT’s Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin, and the Briscoes. A dispute over the gimmicked-payout for that match apparently is going to lead to a Briscoes/HoT feud. Let me say here that Truth Martini is a stupid gimmick and a blatant imitation of The Jackyll, right down to the look, and that never got over that big to begin with; and Michael Elgin looks like he’s scared out of his mind every time he has to talk. Next we get The Briscoes, who have issues with HoT taking their money. Next week we get Briscoes vs. HoT, fighting over a laughably small $5000. We get Davey next, with an understated and somewhat drab for Davey’s standard, against Jay Lethal, who he will soon be facing in a champion vs. champion match. The All Night Express call out The Young Bucks for causing Rhett Titus’ knee injury, which he’s still out from. Finally we get The Young Bucks, aka Generation Me from TNA, cutting a promo on The Briscoes, whose titles The Bucks are #1 Contenders for. Then, I assume, the regular broadcast would go to a commercial, but on the webcast, it cuts right to The Young Bucks again, saying basically the same things.

Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (who were once the World’s Greatest Tag Team, but are now apparently better than every tag team in wrestling but not as good as Tag Team, of “Whoomp, There It Is!” fame) join us next, to a chorus of boos. This is a result of a double turn with The Briscoes (funnily enough, Briscoes had been heels based off of a double turn with ANX). Haas mentions how their TV time has been cut short due to Steen (even though they just showed two redundant Bucks promos) and says not to bother sending out their opponents, The Bravados. Instead they call out The Briscoes. Cornette first comes out to protest but then relents, declaring it a title match when Dem Boys come out to answer the challenge. It’s mainly just a brawl, with a few cursory tags. One point sees Mark engage in some “hillbilly Kung Fu”, as Nigel calls it, which is a fun gimmick for him to use on the offensive portions of their matches. The match ends when Haas reverses an O’Connor roll and sends Mark into a chairshot from Shelton, in plain sight of the referee. Not much of a match as it was just a quick brawl, but I’ll give it ** just out of charity.

Overall, it was a very fun ROH episode, featuring many of their top stars. Right now it seems like their upper echelon are all involved with different feuds with everybody, and while some are just sparking while others need to be sewn up and filed away, having a bunch of different stories going on is a good direction for ROH to go in. Hope everyone enjoys the review, but remember: Don’t take my word for it, go to ROHWrestling.com and watch for yourself.

Tryout – Ryan Murphy (ROH TV)

ROH 2/4/12

Ring of Honor has been producing their TV show on Sinclair Broadcasting since this past September. While ROH isn’t anywhere near its pinnacle of the mid 00s, it’s still the top indie fed in America right now, and has always been synonymous with high quality wrestling. The fact that the current WWE and World champions are ROH alumni pretty much says it all, right? So with that in mind, I’d like to start taking a look at ROH’s weekly show. Anyone interested in checking it out should head to ROHWrestling.com. There you can find either a list of Sinclair stations that carry ROH or, if you aren’t in one of those areas, you can register with MyROH and view the show for free on the website.

(General Admission memberships allow you to view it free on Thursdays, Ringside Memberships have it posted on Mondays. If it’s a pressing issue with everyone I can level up my membership and start cranking these things out for earlier in the week, but generally, I watch the show over the weekend and I’d like these columns to be more of a Saturday thing.)

(Also, I’m not much in the way of move-by-move recapping, and I don’t really think it’s necessary since the video is there for everyone to watch online.)

The 2/4/12 broadcast starts out with a video package highlighting some of the action from Final Battle’s 3-way TV Title match between Jay Lethal, El Generico, and “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett. These three have comprised the bulk of the TV title scene for the past few months, with Lethal having won the title from Generico and Bennett feeling he deserves the title. On one of the early ROH Sinclair shows, Bennett and Lethal went to a TV-title-standard 15 minute draw, and while Cornette came out and made the offer for the match to go into overtime, Bennett declined. Tonight marks what I’m assuming will be the blowoff match between Lethal and Bennett, with no time limit.

Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuiness do the in-ring intro, leading us into a Bennett promo. For those unaware, Bennett is a boilerplate cocky heel, sometimes calling himself “The Box Office Smash” and rocking a pre-retirement-heel Batista look, with the mirrored shades and dress shirts. Joining Bennett is his “girlfriend”, Maria Kanellis. Maria is a recent addition to the ROH roster, and it’s a pretty good catch for them. She has WWE experience, she has mainstream appeal due to “Celebrity Apprentice” and Playboy, and she was always really good, IMO, playing the “ditz” character. Bennett says nothing of note, and with that we go to the ring, and we get to see Maria do a little take on the Beautiful People ass shot on the way to the ring.

Lethal is still riding the sympathetic babyface gimmick he was just barely establishing in TNA after he ended the Black Machismo character, and he is of course one of the more talented young wrestlers in ROH. Bennett, unfortunately, is still green. He’ll do nothing but improve if he learns from his fellow ROH talents, but his offense is mainly punches, clotheslines, and power moves. Most of this match is a punch-fest brawl, but Lethal attempts to add some ‘ranas and other flying stuff. Bennett does the heel schtick of hiding behind his second twice in short order, sending his trainer Brutal Bob into Lethal to take a hit and then hiding behind Maria to gain the upper hand. Some of the drama in this match was based around Bennett trying to avoid the Lethal Injection, arguing that the move should be banned. (In this case, the Lethal Injection is a Tajiri-handspring off the ropes into a cutter. Lethal is taking a page from Mike Quackenbush, apparently naming all his finishes the same even though the Lethal Injection has, in the past, been a back suplex-into neckbreaker and a front STO to the knee into Flatliner.) The finish sees an attempt at a rear-lockup result in Bennett and Lethal colliding heads, with Lethal laid out on the mat and Bennett slumped over the ropes. While Brutal Bob had the ref distracted, Maria shoved the unconscious Bennett onto Lethal, attempting to sneak a win for Bennett. Lethal, however, wasn’t all the way out, and rolled up Bennett for the three count. Definitely not a finish I can remember seeing before, and it helps to maybe re-introduce Maria’s “ditz” character, with a more hateable “boyfriend” than Santino. (I don’t take myself to be an authority on star ratings, which I know some people take very seriously, so just take mine with a grain of salt.) ***, since the good finish negated a lot of the punchy-kicky.

Next we have a backstage interview with “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards. It seems like Eddie has been on the slow-burn to a heel turn for a year or more now, and while I thought that we’d finally see that at Final Battle, they’re just now turning up the heat. Eddie cuts a dickish promo calling out Kyle “KO” O’Reilly, trainee of Davey Richards and member of the tag team Future Shock with Adam Cole, for being a wannabe-American Wolf. Eddie is finally heeling it up a little bit here, building off of his sarcastic applause for KO and Davey winning a tag team match. Eddie pretty much calls KO out for being Davey’s bitch, which brings a suitably pissed off O’Reilly out from the far reaches of the locker room to challenge Eddie. Should be a decent match, and I like the potential here: the interplay between Eddie and KO both being Davey’s friends, the potential for Adam Cole to get involved and possibly side with Eddie, maybe a Davey/KO vs. Eddie/Cole match down the line? And the outside chance of Roderick Strong and the House of Truth as the shit disturbers, playing the middle. Could be something cool, but as we’ll see later, most of the involved parties have something else on the boil as well.

Now comes the really exciting stuff: we get a video recap of Kevin Steen’s vicious brawl at Final Battle with Steve Corino. For those unfamiliar with this awesome angle, Steen has spent the last 2 years playing out the machinations of this storyline, where Steve Corino conspired to get inside his head and turn him against El Generico. Steen and Generico’s violent brawl at Final Battle ’10 led to Steen “leaving ROH for good”. Corino, feeling guilt over what he did to Steen enlisted the help of Jimmy Jacobs to gain “sobriety from being evil”. That played out with Corino attempting to get Steen reinstated, to the chagrin of ROH Executive Producer Jim Cornette, so he could make amends. Meanwhile, Steen was doing, basically, what people wanted to see out of CM Punk last summer: he didn’t wrestle for ROH but he would appear outside shows, post YouTube vidoes trashing Ring of Honor, hack the ROH message boards with an ominous video; and when he was an invited guest of Corino in the audience at Best in the World, he said “Fuck Ring of Honor!” and laid out Corino and Jacobs with the Package Piledriver. Finally, Steen managed to gain a match with Corino at Final Battle ’11. It was a vicious hardcore brawl, ending with a Package Piledriver through several chairs. Steen then piledrove Jimmy Jacobs (who was the referee) and then attempted to do the same to Cornette, until everything came full circle with El Generico making the save until Steen gave him a Package Piledriver off the apron through a table.

All this has put Steen over huge with the ROH faithful, and gained him the nickname “Wrestling’s Worst Nightmare”. Steen starts the interview segment by dismissing Kevin Kelly, but not before pushing his gum into Kelly’s hand. For someone who isn’t a native English speaker, Steen is incredibly comfortable on the mic and seems to be really astute at putting over a character that’s both unpredictable and completely plainspoken. Steen plants the seeds for a potential feud with champion Davey Richards, saying that the reason he was kept out of ROH is because he’s hard to control, and wouldn’t suck up to Cornette like Davey. Steen promises to win the title and hold ROH hostage, the way he was held hostage for a year. Cornette comes out with a bevy of ROH security guards and Cary Silkin by his side, just to sell how dangerous Steen really is. They trade fat jokes, and Steen plants another seed for a feud with Davey, saying how he spends his time in a wrestling ring rather than a gym, and Cornette might like him better if he spent time in an MMA gym (ala Davey). Cornette relates the story of being there at Summerslam ’97 when Owen laid out Austin with a piledriver, and how Owen was sorry for what he did, which Steen wasn’t for laying out 3 guys at Final Battle. Cornette bans all variations on the piledriver from ROH (wonder if that’ll come up in a Briscoes match when Jay goes for the J-Driller?) Steen promises to come up with something else to finish off Davey with and tells Cornette he’ll be the nightmare he won’t wake up from. Awesome stuff, all around.

Inside ROH brings us a House of Truth promo, referring back to an 8 man tag from a few weeks ago with Eddie, Generico, Haas, and Benjamin winning out over HoT’s Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin, and the Briscoes. A dispute over the gimmicked-payout for that match apparently is going to lead to a Briscoes/HoT feud. Let me say here that Truth Martini is a stupid gimmick and a blatant imitation of The Jackyll, right down to the look, and that never got over that big to begin with; and Michael Elgin looks like he’s scared out of his mind every time he has to talk. Next we get The Briscoes, who have issues with HoT taking their money. Next week we get Briscoes vs. HoT, fighting over a laughably small $5000. We get Davey next, with an understated and somewhat drab for Davey’s standard, against Jay Lethal, who he will soon be facing in a champion vs. champion match. The All Night Express call out The Young Bucks for causing Rhett Titus’ knee injury, which he’s still out from. Finally we get The Young Bucks, aka Generation Me from TNA, cutting a promo on The Briscoes, whose titles The Bucks are #1 Contenders for. Then, I assume, the regular broadcast would go to a commercial, but on the webcast, it cuts right to The Young Bucks again, saying basically the same things.

Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (who were once the World’s Greatest Tag Team, but are now apparently better than every tag team in wrestling but not as good as Tag Team, of “Whoomp, There It Is!” fame) join us next, to a chorus of boos. This is a result of a double turn with The Briscoes (funnily enough, Briscoes had been heels based off of a double turn with ANX). Haas mentions how their TV time has been cut short due to Steen (even though they just showed two redundant Bucks promos) and says not to bother sending out their opponents, The Bravados. Instead they call out The Briscoes. Cornette first comes out to protest but then relents, declaring it a title match when Dem Boys come out to answer the challenge. It’s mainly just a brawl, with a few cursory tags. One point sees Mark engage in some “hillbilly Kung Fu”, as Nigel calls it, which is a fun gimmick for him to use on the offensive portions of their matches. The match ends when Haas reverses an O’Connor roll and sends Mark into a chairshot from Shelton, in plain sight of the referee. Not much of a match as it was just a quick brawl, but I’ll give it ** just out of charity.

Overall, it was a very fun ROH episode, featuring many of their top stars. Right now it seems like their upper echelon are all involved with different feuds with everybody, and while some are just sparking while others need to be sewn up and filed away, having a bunch of different stories going on is a good direction for ROH to go in. Hope everyone enjoys the review, but remember: Don’t take my word for it, go to ROHWrestling.com and watch for yourself.

Tryout – Ryan Murphy (ROH TV)

ROH 2/4/12

Ring of Honor has been producing their TV show on Sinclair Broadcasting since this past September. While ROH isn’t anywhere near its pinnacle of the mid 00s, it’s still the top indie fed in America right now, and has always been synonymous with high quality wrestling. The fact that the current WWE and World champions are ROH alumni pretty much says it all, right? So with that in mind, I’d like to start taking a look at ROH’s weekly show. Anyone interested in checking it out should head to ROHWrestling.com. There you can find either a list of Sinclair stations that carry ROH or, if you aren’t in one of those areas, you can register with MyROH and view the show for free on the website.

(General Admission memberships allow you to view it free on Thursdays, Ringside Memberships have it posted on Mondays. If it’s a pressing issue with everyone I can level up my membership and start cranking these things out for earlier in the week, but generally, I watch the show over the weekend and I’d like these columns to be more of a Saturday thing.)

(Also, I’m not much in the way of move-by-move recapping, and I don’t really think it’s necessary since the video is there for everyone to watch online.)

The 2/4/12 broadcast starts out with a video package highlighting some of the action from Final Battle’s 3-way TV Title match between Jay Lethal, El Generico, and “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett. These three have comprised the bulk of the TV title scene for the past few months, with Lethal having won the title from Generico and Bennett feeling he deserves the title. On one of the early ROH Sinclair shows, Bennett and Lethal went to a TV-title-standard 15 minute draw, and while Cornette came out and made the offer for the match to go into overtime, Bennett declined. Tonight marks what I’m assuming will be the blowoff match between Lethal and Bennett, with no time limit.

Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuiness do the in-ring intro, leading us into a Bennett promo. For those unaware, Bennett is a boilerplate cocky heel, sometimes calling himself “The Box Office Smash” and rocking a pre-retirement-heel Batista look, with the mirrored shades and dress shirts. Joining Bennett is his “girlfriend”, Maria Kanellis. Maria is a recent addition to the ROH roster, and it’s a pretty good catch for them. She has WWE experience, she has mainstream appeal due to “Celebrity Apprentice” and Playboy, and she was always really good, IMO, playing the “ditz” character. Bennett says nothing of note, and with that we go to the ring, and we get to see Maria do a little take on the Beautiful People ass shot on the way to the ring.

Lethal is still riding the sympathetic babyface gimmick he was just barely establishing in TNA after he ended the Black Machismo character, and he is of course one of the more talented young wrestlers in ROH. Bennett, unfortunately, is still green. He’ll do nothing but improve if he learns from his fellow ROH talents, but his offense is mainly punches, clotheslines, and power moves. Most of this match is a punch-fest brawl, but Lethal attempts to add some ‘ranas and other flying stuff. Bennett does the heel schtick of hiding behind his second twice in short order, sending his trainer Brutal Bob into Lethal to take a hit and then hiding behind Maria to gain the upper hand. Some of the drama in this match was based around Bennett trying to avoid the Lethal Injection, arguing that the move should be banned. (In this case, the Lethal Injection is a Tajiri-handspring off the ropes into a cutter. Lethal is taking a page from Mike Quackenbush, apparently naming all his finishes the same even though the Lethal Injection has, in the past, been a back suplex-into neckbreaker and a front STO to the knee into Flatliner.) The finish sees an attempt at a rear-lockup result in Bennett and Lethal colliding heads, with Lethal laid out on the mat and Bennett slumped over the ropes. While Brutal Bob had the ref distracted, Maria shoved the unconscious Bennett onto Lethal, attempting to sneak a win for Bennett. Lethal, however, wasn’t all the way out, and rolled up Bennett for the three count. Definitely not a finish I can remember seeing before, and it helps to maybe re-introduce Maria’s “ditz” character, with a more hateable “boyfriend” than Santino. (I don’t take myself to be an authority on star ratings, which I know some people take very seriously, so just take mine with a grain of salt.) ***, since the good finish negated a lot of the punchy-kicky.

Next we have a backstage interview with “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards. It seems like Eddie has been on the slow-burn to a heel turn for a year or more now, and while I thought that we’d finally see that at Final Battle, they’re just now turning up the heat. Eddie cuts a dickish promo calling out Kyle “KO” O’Reilly, trainee of Davey Richards and member of the tag team Future Shock with Adam Cole, for being a wannabe-American Wolf. Eddie is finally heeling it up a little bit here, building off of his sarcastic applause for KO and Davey winning a tag team match. Eddie pretty much calls KO out for being Davey’s bitch, which brings a suitably pissed off O’Reilly out from the far reaches of the locker room to challenge Eddie. Should be a decent match, and I like the potential here: the interplay between Eddie and KO both being Davey’s friends, the potential for Adam Cole to get involved and possibly side with Eddie, maybe a Davey/KO vs. Eddie/Cole match down the line? And the outside chance of Roderick Strong and the House of Truth as the shit disturbers, playing the middle. Could be something cool, but as we’ll see later, most of the involved parties have something else on the boil as well.

Now comes the really exciting stuff: we get a video recap of Kevin Steen’s vicious brawl at Final Battle with Steve Corino. For those unfamiliar with this awesome angle, Steen has spent the last 2 years playing out the machinations of this storyline, where Steve Corino conspired to get inside his head and turn him against El Generico. Steen and Generico’s violent brawl at Final Battle ’10 led to Steen “leaving ROH for good”. Corino, feeling guilt over what he did to Steen enlisted the help of Jimmy Jacobs to gain “sobriety from being evil”. That played out with Corino attempting to get Steen reinstated, to the chagrin of ROH Executive Producer Jim Cornette, so he could make amends. Meanwhile, Steen was doing, basically, what people wanted to see out of CM Punk last summer: he didn’t wrestle for ROH but he would appear outside shows, post YouTube vidoes trashing Ring of Honor, hack the ROH message boards with an ominous video; and when he was an invited guest of Corino in the audience at Best in the World, he said “Fuck Ring of Honor!” and laid out Corino and Jacobs with the Package Piledriver. Finally, Steen managed to gain a match with Corino at Final Battle ’11. It was a vicious hardcore brawl, ending with a Package Piledriver through several chairs. Steen then piledrove Jimmy Jacobs (who was the referee) and then attempted to do the same to Cornette, until everything came full circle with El Generico making the save until Steen gave him a Package Piledriver off the apron through a table.

All this has put Steen over huge with the ROH faithful, and gained him the nickname “Wrestling’s Worst Nightmare”. Steen starts the interview segment by dismissing Kevin Kelly, but not before pushing his gum into Kelly’s hand. For someone who isn’t a native English speaker, Steen is incredibly comfortable on the mic and seems to be really astute at putting over a character that’s both unpredictable and completely plainspoken. Steen plants the seeds for a potential feud with champion Davey Richards, saying that the reason he was kept out of ROH is because he’s hard to control, and wouldn’t suck up to Cornette like Davey. Steen promises to win the title and hold ROH hostage, the way he was held hostage for a year. Cornette comes out with a bevy of ROH security guards and Cary Silkin by his side, just to sell how dangerous Steen really is. They trade fat jokes, and Steen plants another seed for a feud with Davey, saying how he spends his time in a wrestling ring rather than a gym, and Cornette might like him better if he spent time in an MMA gym (ala Davey). Cornette relates the story of being there at Summerslam ’97 when Owen laid out Austin with a piledriver, and how Owen was sorry for what he did, which Steen wasn’t for laying out 3 guys at Final Battle. Cornette bans all variations on the piledriver from ROH (wonder if that’ll come up in a Briscoes match when Jay goes for the J-Driller?) Steen promises to come up with something else to finish off Davey with and tells Cornette he’ll be the nightmare he won’t wake up from. Awesome stuff, all around.

Inside ROH brings us a House of Truth promo, referring back to an 8 man tag from a few weeks ago with Eddie, Generico, Haas, and Benjamin winning out over HoT’s Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin, and the Briscoes. A dispute over the gimmicked-payout for that match apparently is going to lead to a Briscoes/HoT feud. Let me say here that Truth Martini is a stupid gimmick and a blatant imitation of The Jackyll, right down to the look, and that never got over that big to begin with; and Michael Elgin looks like he’s scared out of his mind every time he has to talk. Next we get The Briscoes, who have issues with HoT taking their money. Next week we get Briscoes vs. HoT, fighting over a laughably small $5000. We get Davey next, with an understated and somewhat drab for Davey’s standard, against Jay Lethal, who he will soon be facing in a champion vs. champion match. The All Night Express call out The Young Bucks for causing Rhett Titus’ knee injury, which he’s still out from. Finally we get The Young Bucks, aka Generation Me from TNA, cutting a promo on The Briscoes, whose titles The Bucks are #1 Contenders for. Then, I assume, the regular broadcast would go to a commercial, but on the webcast, it cuts right to The Young Bucks again, saying basically the same things.

Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (who were once the World’s Greatest Tag Team, but are now apparently better than every tag team in wrestling but not as good as Tag Team, of “Whoomp, There It Is!” fame) join us next, to a chorus of boos. This is a result of a double turn with The Briscoes (funnily enough, Briscoes had been heels based off of a double turn with ANX). Haas mentions how their TV time has been cut short due to Steen (even though they just showed two redundant Bucks promos) and says not to bother sending out their opponents, The Bravados. Instead they call out The Briscoes. Cornette first comes out to protest but then relents, declaring it a title match when Dem Boys come out to answer the challenge. It’s mainly just a brawl, with a few cursory tags. One point sees Mark engage in some “hillbilly Kung Fu”, as Nigel calls it, which is a fun gimmick for him to use on the offensive portions of their matches. The match ends when Haas reverses an O’Connor roll and sends Mark into a chairshot from Shelton, in plain sight of the referee. Not much of a match as it was just a quick brawl, but I’ll give it ** just out of charity.

Overall, it was a very fun ROH episode, featuring many of their top stars. Right now it seems like their upper echelon are all involved with different feuds with everybody, and while some are just sparking while others need to be sewn up and filed away, having a bunch of different stories going on is a good direction for ROH to go in. Hope everyone enjoys the review, but remember: Don’t take my word for it, go to ROHWrestling.com and watch for yourself.

Tryout – Ryan Murphy (ROH TV)

ROH 2/4/12

Ring of Honor has been producing their TV show on Sinclair Broadcasting since this past September. While ROH isn’t anywhere near its pinnacle of the mid 00s, it’s still the top indie fed in America right now, and has always been synonymous with high quality wrestling. The fact that the current WWE and World champions are ROH alumni pretty much says it all, right? So with that in mind, I’d like to start taking a look at ROH’s weekly show. Anyone interested in checking it out should head to ROHWrestling.com. There you can find either a list of Sinclair stations that carry ROH or, if you aren’t in one of those areas, you can register with MyROH and view the show for free on the website.

(General Admission memberships allow you to view it free on Thursdays, Ringside Memberships have it posted on Mondays. If it’s a pressing issue with everyone I can level up my membership and start cranking these things out for earlier in the week, but generally, I watch the show over the weekend and I’d like these columns to be more of a Saturday thing.)

(Also, I’m not much in the way of move-by-move recapping, and I don’t really think it’s necessary since the video is there for everyone to watch online.)

The 2/4/12 broadcast starts out with a video package highlighting some of the action from Final Battle’s 3-way TV Title match between Jay Lethal, El Generico, and “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett. These three have comprised the bulk of the TV title scene for the past few months, with Lethal having won the title from Generico and Bennett feeling he deserves the title. On one of the early ROH Sinclair shows, Bennett and Lethal went to a TV-title-standard 15 minute draw, and while Cornette came out and made the offer for the match to go into overtime, Bennett declined. Tonight marks what I’m assuming will be the blowoff match between Lethal and Bennett, with no time limit.

Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuiness do the in-ring intro, leading us into a Bennett promo. For those unaware, Bennett is a boilerplate cocky heel, sometimes calling himself “The Box Office Smash” and rocking a pre-retirement-heel Batista look, with the mirrored shades and dress shirts. Joining Bennett is his “girlfriend”, Maria Kanellis. Maria is a recent addition to the ROH roster, and it’s a pretty good catch for them. She has WWE experience, she has mainstream appeal due to “Celebrity Apprentice” and Playboy, and she was always really good, IMO, playing the “ditz” character. Bennett says nothing of note, and with that we go to the ring, and we get to see Maria do a little take on the Beautiful People ass shot on the way to the ring.

Lethal is still riding the sympathetic babyface gimmick he was just barely establishing in TNA after he ended the Black Machismo character, and he is of course one of the more talented young wrestlers in ROH. Bennett, unfortunately, is still green. He’ll do nothing but improve if he learns from his fellow ROH talents, but his offense is mainly punches, clotheslines, and power moves. Most of this match is a punch-fest brawl, but Lethal attempts to add some ‘ranas and other flying stuff. Bennett does the heel schtick of hiding behind his second twice in short order, sending his trainer Brutal Bob into Lethal to take a hit and then hiding behind Maria to gain the upper hand. Some of the drama in this match was based around Bennett trying to avoid the Lethal Injection, arguing that the move should be banned. (In this case, the Lethal Injection is a Tajiri-handspring off the ropes into a cutter. Lethal is taking a page from Mike Quackenbush, apparently naming all his finishes the same even though the Lethal Injection has, in the past, been a back suplex-into neckbreaker and a front STO to the knee into Flatliner.) The finish sees an attempt at a rear-lockup result in Bennett and Lethal colliding heads, with Lethal laid out on the mat and Bennett slumped over the ropes. While Brutal Bob had the ref distracted, Maria shoved the unconscious Bennett onto Lethal, attempting to sneak a win for Bennett. Lethal, however, wasn’t all the way out, and rolled up Bennett for the three count. Definitely not a finish I can remember seeing before, and it helps to maybe re-introduce Maria’s “ditz” character, with a more hateable “boyfriend” than Santino. (I don’t take myself to be an authority on star ratings, which I know some people take very seriously, so just take mine with a grain of salt.) ***, since the good finish negated a lot of the punchy-kicky.

Next we have a backstage interview with “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards. It seems like Eddie has been on the slow-burn to a heel turn for a year or more now, and while I thought that we’d finally see that at Final Battle, they’re just now turning up the heat. Eddie cuts a dickish promo calling out Kyle “KO” O’Reilly, trainee of Davey Richards and member of the tag team Future Shock with Adam Cole, for being a wannabe-American Wolf. Eddie is finally heeling it up a little bit here, building off of his sarcastic applause for KO and Davey winning a tag team match. Eddie pretty much calls KO out for being Davey’s bitch, which brings a suitably pissed off O’Reilly out from the far reaches of the locker room to challenge Eddie. Should be a decent match, and I like the potential here: the interplay between Eddie and KO both being Davey’s friends, the potential for Adam Cole to get involved and possibly side with Eddie, maybe a Davey/KO vs. Eddie/Cole match down the line? And the outside chance of Roderick Strong and the House of Truth as the shit disturbers, playing the middle. Could be something cool, but as we’ll see later, most of the involved parties have something else on the boil as well.

Now comes the really exciting stuff: we get a video recap of Kevin Steen’s vicious brawl at Final Battle with Steve Corino. For those unfamiliar with this awesome angle, Steen has spent the last 2 years playing out the machinations of this storyline, where Steve Corino conspired to get inside his head and turn him against El Generico. Steen and Generico’s violent brawl at Final Battle ’10 led to Steen “leaving ROH for good”. Corino, feeling guilt over what he did to Steen enlisted the help of Jimmy Jacobs to gain “sobriety from being evil”. That played out with Corino attempting to get Steen reinstated, to the chagrin of ROH Executive Producer Jim Cornette, so he could make amends. Meanwhile, Steen was doing, basically, what people wanted to see out of CM Punk last summer: he didn’t wrestle for ROH but he would appear outside shows, post YouTube vidoes trashing Ring of Honor, hack the ROH message boards with an ominous video; and when he was an invited guest of Corino in the audience at Best in the World, he said “Fuck Ring of Honor!” and laid out Corino and Jacobs with the Package Piledriver. Finally, Steen managed to gain a match with Corino at Final Battle ’11. It was a vicious hardcore brawl, ending with a Package Piledriver through several chairs. Steen then piledrove Jimmy Jacobs (who was the referee) and then attempted to do the same to Cornette, until everything came full circle with El Generico making the save until Steen gave him a Package Piledriver off the apron through a table.

All this has put Steen over huge with the ROH faithful, and gained him the nickname “Wrestling’s Worst Nightmare”. Steen starts the interview segment by dismissing Kevin Kelly, but not before pushing his gum into Kelly’s hand. For someone who isn’t a native English speaker, Steen is incredibly comfortable on the mic and seems to be really astute at putting over a character that’s both unpredictable and completely plainspoken. Steen plants the seeds for a potential feud with champion Davey Richards, saying that the reason he was kept out of ROH is because he’s hard to control, and wouldn’t suck up to Cornette like Davey. Steen promises to win the title and hold ROH hostage, the way he was held hostage for a year. Cornette comes out with a bevy of ROH security guards and Cary Silkin by his side, just to sell how dangerous Steen really is. They trade fat jokes, and Steen plants another seed for a feud with Davey, saying how he spends his time in a wrestling ring rather than a gym, and Cornette might like him better if he spent time in an MMA gym (ala Davey). Cornette relates the story of being there at Summerslam ’97 when Owen laid out Austin with a piledriver, and how Owen was sorry for what he did, which Steen wasn’t for laying out 3 guys at Final Battle. Cornette bans all variations on the piledriver from ROH (wonder if that’ll come up in a Briscoes match when Jay goes for the J-Driller?) Steen promises to come up with something else to finish off Davey with and tells Cornette he’ll be the nightmare he won’t wake up from. Awesome stuff, all around.

Inside ROH brings us a House of Truth promo, referring back to an 8 man tag from a few weeks ago with Eddie, Generico, Haas, and Benjamin winning out over HoT’s Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin, and the Briscoes. A dispute over the gimmicked-payout for that match apparently is going to lead to a Briscoes/HoT feud. Let me say here that Truth Martini is a stupid gimmick and a blatant imitation of The Jackyll, right down to the look, and that never got over that big to begin with; and Michael Elgin looks like he’s scared out of his mind every time he has to talk. Next we get The Briscoes, who have issues with HoT taking their money. Next week we get Briscoes vs. HoT, fighting over a laughably small $5000. We get Davey next, with an understated and somewhat drab for Davey’s standard, against Jay Lethal, who he will soon be facing in a champion vs. champion match. The All Night Express call out The Young Bucks for causing Rhett Titus’ knee injury, which he’s still out from. Finally we get The Young Bucks, aka Generation Me from TNA, cutting a promo on The Briscoes, whose titles The Bucks are #1 Contenders for. Then, I assume, the regular broadcast would go to a commercial, but on the webcast, it cuts right to The Young Bucks again, saying basically the same things.

Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (who were once the World’s Greatest Tag Team, but are now apparently better than every tag team in wrestling but not as good as Tag Team, of “Whoomp, There It Is!” fame) join us next, to a chorus of boos. This is a result of a double turn with The Briscoes (funnily enough, Briscoes had been heels based off of a double turn with ANX). Haas mentions how their TV time has been cut short due to Steen (even though they just showed two redundant Bucks promos) and says not to bother sending out their opponents, The Bravados. Instead they call out The Briscoes. Cornette first comes out to protest but then relents, declaring it a title match when Dem Boys come out to answer the challenge. It’s mainly just a brawl, with a few cursory tags. One point sees Mark engage in some “hillbilly Kung Fu”, as Nigel calls it, which is a fun gimmick for him to use on the offensive portions of their matches. The match ends when Haas reverses an O’Connor roll and sends Mark into a chairshot from Shelton, in plain sight of the referee. Not much of a match as it was just a quick brawl, but I’ll give it ** just out of charity.

Overall, it was a very fun ROH episode, featuring many of their top stars. Right now it seems like their upper echelon are all involved with different feuds with everybody, and while some are just sparking while others need to be sewn up and filed away, having a bunch of different stories going on is a good direction for ROH to go in. Hope everyone enjoys the review, but remember: Don’t take my word for it, go to ROHWrestling.com and watch for yourself.

Tryout – Ryan Murphy (ROH TV)

ROH 2/4/12

Ring of Honor has been producing their TV show on Sinclair Broadcasting since this past September. While ROH isn’t anywhere near its pinnacle of the mid 00s, it’s still the top indie fed in America right now, and has always been synonymous with high quality wrestling. The fact that the current WWE and World champions are ROH alumni pretty much says it all, right? So with that in mind, I’d like to start taking a look at ROH’s weekly show. Anyone interested in checking it out should head to ROHWrestling.com. There you can find either a list of Sinclair stations that carry ROH or, if you aren’t in one of those areas, you can register with MyROH and view the show for free on the website.

(General Admission memberships allow you to view it free on Thursdays, Ringside Memberships have it posted on Mondays. If it’s a pressing issue with everyone I can level up my membership and start cranking these things out for earlier in the week, but generally, I watch the show over the weekend and I’d like these columns to be more of a Saturday thing.)

(Also, I’m not much in the way of move-by-move recapping, and I don’t really think it’s necessary since the video is there for everyone to watch online.)

The 2/4/12 broadcast starts out with a video package highlighting some of the action from Final Battle’s 3-way TV Title match between Jay Lethal, El Generico, and “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett. These three have comprised the bulk of the TV title scene for the past few months, with Lethal having won the title from Generico and Bennett feeling he deserves the title. On one of the early ROH Sinclair shows, Bennett and Lethal went to a TV-title-standard 15 minute draw, and while Cornette came out and made the offer for the match to go into overtime, Bennett declined. Tonight marks what I’m assuming will be the blowoff match between Lethal and Bennett, with no time limit.

Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuiness do the in-ring intro, leading us into a Bennett promo. For those unaware, Bennett is a boilerplate cocky heel, sometimes calling himself “The Box Office Smash” and rocking a pre-retirement-heel Batista look, with the mirrored shades and dress shirts. Joining Bennett is his “girlfriend”, Maria Kanellis. Maria is a recent addition to the ROH roster, and it’s a pretty good catch for them. She has WWE experience, she has mainstream appeal due to “Celebrity Apprentice” and Playboy, and she was always really good, IMO, playing the “ditz” character. Bennett says nothing of note, and with that we go to the ring, and we get to see Maria do a little take on the Beautiful People ass shot on the way to the ring.

Lethal is still riding the sympathetic babyface gimmick he was just barely establishing in TNA after he ended the Black Machismo character, and he is of course one of the more talented young wrestlers in ROH. Bennett, unfortunately, is still green. He’ll do nothing but improve if he learns from his fellow ROH talents, but his offense is mainly punches, clotheslines, and power moves. Most of this match is a punch-fest brawl, but Lethal attempts to add some ‘ranas and other flying stuff. Bennett does the heel schtick of hiding behind his second twice in short order, sending his trainer Brutal Bob into Lethal to take a hit and then hiding behind Maria to gain the upper hand. Some of the drama in this match was based around Bennett trying to avoid the Lethal Injection, arguing that the move should be banned. (In this case, the Lethal Injection is a Tajiri-handspring off the ropes into a cutter. Lethal is taking a page from Mike Quackenbush, apparently naming all his finishes the same even though the Lethal Injection has, in the past, been a back suplex-into neckbreaker and a front STO to the knee into Flatliner.) The finish sees an attempt at a rear-lockup result in Bennett and Lethal colliding heads, with Lethal laid out on the mat and Bennett slumped over the ropes. While Brutal Bob had the ref distracted, Maria shoved the unconscious Bennett onto Lethal, attempting to sneak a win for Bennett. Lethal, however, wasn’t all the way out, and rolled up Bennett for the three count. Definitely not a finish I can remember seeing before, and it helps to maybe re-introduce Maria’s “ditz” character, with a more hateable “boyfriend” than Santino. (I don’t take myself to be an authority on star ratings, which I know some people take very seriously, so just take mine with a grain of salt.) ***, since the good finish negated a lot of the punchy-kicky.

Next we have a backstage interview with “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards. It seems like Eddie has been on the slow-burn to a heel turn for a year or more now, and while I thought that we’d finally see that at Final Battle, they’re just now turning up the heat. Eddie cuts a dickish promo calling out Kyle “KO” O’Reilly, trainee of Davey Richards and member of the tag team Future Shock with Adam Cole, for being a wannabe-American Wolf. Eddie is finally heeling it up a little bit here, building off of his sarcastic applause for KO and Davey winning a tag team match. Eddie pretty much calls KO out for being Davey’s bitch, which brings a suitably pissed off O’Reilly out from the far reaches of the locker room to challenge Eddie. Should be a decent match, and I like the potential here: the interplay between Eddie and KO both being Davey’s friends, the potential for Adam Cole to get involved and possibly side with Eddie, maybe a Davey/KO vs. Eddie/Cole match down the line? And the outside chance of Roderick Strong and the House of Truth as the shit disturbers, playing the middle. Could be something cool, but as we’ll see later, most of the involved parties have something else on the boil as well.

Now comes the really exciting stuff: we get a video recap of Kevin Steen’s vicious brawl at Final Battle with Steve Corino. For those unfamiliar with this awesome angle, Steen has spent the last 2 years playing out the machinations of this storyline, where Steve Corino conspired to get inside his head and turn him against El Generico. Steen and Generico’s violent brawl at Final Battle ’10 led to Steen “leaving ROH for good”. Corino, feeling guilt over what he did to Steen enlisted the help of Jimmy Jacobs to gain “sobriety from being evil”. That played out with Corino attempting to get Steen reinstated, to the chagrin of ROH Executive Producer Jim Cornette, so he could make amends. Meanwhile, Steen was doing, basically, what people wanted to see out of CM Punk last summer: he didn’t wrestle for ROH but he would appear outside shows, post YouTube vidoes trashing Ring of Honor, hack the ROH message boards with an ominous video; and when he was an invited guest of Corino in the audience at Best in the World, he said “Fuck Ring of Honor!” and laid out Corino and Jacobs with the Package Piledriver. Finally, Steen managed to gain a match with Corino at Final Battle ’11. It was a vicious hardcore brawl, ending with a Package Piledriver through several chairs. Steen then piledrove Jimmy Jacobs (who was the referee) and then attempted to do the same to Cornette, until everything came full circle with El Generico making the save until Steen gave him a Package Piledriver off the apron through a table.

All this has put Steen over huge with the ROH faithful, and gained him the nickname “Wrestling’s Worst Nightmare”. Steen starts the interview segment by dismissing Kevin Kelly, but not before pushing his gum into Kelly’s hand. For someone who isn’t a native English speaker, Steen is incredibly comfortable on the mic and seems to be really astute at putting over a character that’s both unpredictable and completely plainspoken. Steen plants the seeds for a potential feud with champion Davey Richards, saying that the reason he was kept out of ROH is because he’s hard to control, and wouldn’t suck up to Cornette like Davey. Steen promises to win the title and hold ROH hostage, the way he was held hostage for a year. Cornette comes out with a bevy of ROH security guards and Cary Silkin by his side, just to sell how dangerous Steen really is. They trade fat jokes, and Steen plants another seed for a feud with Davey, saying how he spends his time in a wrestling ring rather than a gym, and Cornette might like him better if he spent time in an MMA gym (ala Davey). Cornette relates the story of being there at Summerslam ’97 when Owen laid out Austin with a piledriver, and how Owen was sorry for what he did, which Steen wasn’t for laying out 3 guys at Final Battle. Cornette bans all variations on the piledriver from ROH (wonder if that’ll come up in a Briscoes match when Jay goes for the J-Driller?) Steen promises to come up with something else to finish off Davey with and tells Cornette he’ll be the nightmare he won’t wake up from. Awesome stuff, all around.

Inside ROH brings us a House of Truth promo, referring back to an 8 man tag from a few weeks ago with Eddie, Generico, Haas, and Benjamin winning out over HoT’s Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin, and the Briscoes. A dispute over the gimmicked-payout for that match apparently is going to lead to a Briscoes/HoT feud. Let me say here that Truth Martini is a stupid gimmick and a blatant imitation of The Jackyll, right down to the look, and that never got over that big to begin with; and Michael Elgin looks like he’s scared out of his mind every time he has to talk. Next we get The Briscoes, who have issues with HoT taking their money. Next week we get Briscoes vs. HoT, fighting over a laughably small $5000. We get Davey next, with an understated and somewhat drab for Davey’s standard, against Jay Lethal, who he will soon be facing in a champion vs. champion match. The All Night Express call out The Young Bucks for causing Rhett Titus’ knee injury, which he’s still out from. Finally we get The Young Bucks, aka Generation Me from TNA, cutting a promo on The Briscoes, whose titles The Bucks are #1 Contenders for. Then, I assume, the regular broadcast would go to a commercial, but on the webcast, it cuts right to The Young Bucks again, saying basically the same things.

Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (who were once the World’s Greatest Tag Team, but are now apparently better than every tag team in wrestling but not as good as Tag Team, of “Whoomp, There It Is!” fame) join us next, to a chorus of boos. This is a result of a double turn with The Briscoes (funnily enough, Briscoes had been heels based off of a double turn with ANX). Haas mentions how their TV time has been cut short due to Steen (even though they just showed two redundant Bucks promos) and says not to bother sending out their opponents, The Bravados. Instead they call out The Briscoes. Cornette first comes out to protest but then relents, declaring it a title match when Dem Boys come out to answer the challenge. It’s mainly just a brawl, with a few cursory tags. One point sees Mark engage in some “hillbilly Kung Fu”, as Nigel calls it, which is a fun gimmick for him to use on the offensive portions of their matches. The match ends when Haas reverses an O’Connor roll and sends Mark into a chairshot from Shelton, in plain sight of the referee. Not much of a match as it was just a quick brawl, but I’ll give it ** just out of charity.

Overall, it was a very fun ROH episode, featuring many of their top stars. Right now it seems like their upper echelon are all involved with different feuds with everybody, and while some are just sparking while others need to be sewn up and filed away, having a bunch of different stories going on is a good direction for ROH to go in. Hope everyone enjoys the review, but remember: Don’t take my word for it, go to ROHWrestling.com and watch for yourself.