Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Final Matches of Randy Savage

In the days leading up WrestleKingdom I found myself with a few days off and I decided to check out some prior January 4th shows at the Tokyo Dome.  I found some great matches and at times unexpected wrestles.  One of those was on January 4, 2000, then called Wrestling World, where "Macho Man" Randy Savage wrestled Rick Steiner.

Savage in the Tokyo Dome before wrestling Rick Steiner
Two things immediately came to mind when I saw this; I don't think I've ever seen them wrestle before and I don't remember Macho Man wrestling in the year 2000, I thought he had left WCW by then.  That was 20 years ago though, so why would I even remember this.

Using my normal sources Cage Match and The History of WWE plus a few other places I was surprised what I discovered about the Macho Man's finals days in the ring.

His last match in 1999 was on August 14th at the Road Wild PPV when he defeated Dennis Rodman in a hardcore match.  On October 25th he appeared on Nitro in Phoenix, Arizona cutting a promo on Vince Russo and the new blood, saying what they did to Hogan and Flair they could never do to him because he wasn't a punk bitch.  Talk about being a world champion in WWF & WCW and that he was looking to pass the torch to someone.  Savage was 47 years old at this point.

Savage vs. Rodman from Road Wild 1999
His next wrestling appearance came at that January 4th Tokyo Dome show for New Japan, his first appearance in New Japan since 1996.  In this match with Rick Steiner Savage was filling in for an injured Goldberg.

His next match was also filling in for an injured Goldberg, this time against Sid Vicious at a WCW House show on January 14, 2000 in Charleston, West Virginia and was pinned by Sid after a powerbomb.  This would end up being the final singles match of Savages career.

His next WCW TV appearance was on the May 2, 2000 episode of Thunder from this historic Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis, Tennessee.  During the main event number 1 contender Battle Royal Savage made a surprise appearance 20 minutes into the 23 minute match that Ric Flair would go on to win.  This was also Randy's final WCW appearance.

We wouldn't see the Macho Man in a wrestling ring again until late 2004 in TNA.  Well technically he did appear in a wrestling ring on the season 1 episode 14 of Nikki a wrestling situational comedy where he played James "Pretty Boy" Carter and as Bonesaw McGraw in 2002 for Sam Raimi's Spider-Man.  He looked awesome in both.

Savage on Nikki
On November 7, 2004 TNA presented Victory Road their first ever 3 hour monthly PPV.  At the conclusion of the main event Savage made a surprise appearance confronting NWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett.

He appeared on the November 19th and 26th episodes of Impact confronting Jarrett, Scott Hall, & Kevin Nash building towards a six man tag team match at the next TNA PPV.  At Turning Point on December 5th, Savage teamed with AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy defeating Jarrett, Nash, & Hall in a six man tag team match.

I wouldn't say Savage looked bad in the match but he wasn't the Savage of old.  He'd lost a lot of muscle mass and even covered himself wearing a long sleeve shirt and loose pants.  Earlier in the evening Savage was attack in the back and stuffed in the trunk of a car that sped away after.  With a three on 2 advantage Jarrett, Nash, & Hall got the best of Hardy and Styles for over 15 minutes before Savage walked to the ring.

Tagging himself in he went to work with punches on Jarrett, then Hall & Nash.  There was a three way sleeper hold but Jarrett got out of his.  Jarrett then attempted a sunset flip but Savage punched him in the face and then sat down on his hooking the leg for the three count pinning the NWA World Champion.

I've read that this was supposed to lead to Savage defeating Jarrett for the championship at the January Final Resolution PPV and losing it back to Jarrett at the February Against All Odd PPV.  Image Randy Savages name in the history books as a former NWA World Champion.  He and Flair would then be the only ones to hold the WWF, NWA, & WCW World Championships.

Before anyone says but Kurt Angle the answer is no.  Kurt Angle was the first ever TNA World Champion, yes he held the NWA Championship up after defeating Sting and Christian Cage at Sacrifice however, the NWA had stripped Cage and Team 3D of their NWA Championships earlier that day.  Also when Kurt Angle won the WCW Championship, it was in namesake only as World Championship Wrestling had ceased to exist.

It's odd to me that Savage didn't wrestle during that time between WCW & TNA.  Perhaps he had one of those Time Warner contracts that prevented him.  I always think it's sad when a wrestler, especially the one the caliber or Randy Savage, doesn't get the big send off that I feel they deserve.

It's nice that he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015, but it would have been better if he could have been there himself to accept it.

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network.

Until next time!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Let's Wrestle Rumble Live Report 01/11/2020

On Saturday January 11, 2020 Let's Wrestle returned to the American Legion Post 84 in Orono, Maine for Chapter 12, the Let's Wrestle Rumble! 
Mikey joined Canaan and myself, as well as my nephew AJ for our first wrestling live event of the year.  This is actually my nephew's first ever Indy show and also part of his Christmas present as he asked me to take him to wrestling.  I had taken him to WWE last July.

We parked at the venue then walked next door to have dinner with Roy at the OHOP before heading back to stand inline at the venue.  Because Maine winter can be very dumb at times it was 52 degrees so waiting outside for the doors to open wasn't all that bad. 

I had bought front row seats for use and Mikey was going to buy as General Admission at the door, but someone was trying to give away a front row ticket they had and Mikey was the lucky recipient. This is the third time in the last four shows he's been too that he's gotten a free ticket.

Fatal Four Way: Winner get's the number 30 spot in the Rumble match
Aiden Aggro vs. Davienne vs. Scotty Wild vs. "The Prize" Alec Price

Solid opening match with all four wrestlers giving it their all.  The action was fast paced with his great high intensity.  The crowd was really into it as well.  Aggro stole pin on Wild after Price hit his finish on Wild and Aggro threw him out of the ring.

Devin Blaze vs. Danger Kid

I haven't seen Blaze in a while and post match Kid allude to the fact that Blaze hasn't wrestled in two years.  I thought the match was very good with both guys showing us some good technical wrestling before picking up the pace.  The crowd was super quiet for this match and I can't figure out why.  Multiple times though-out the night it was be as quiet as a library in the building kind of threw me off. 

Finish came when Kid was on the apron and Blaze was suplexing him into the ring and Kid reversed it into a small package for the three count.

Post Match: Aggro came out and Kid asked General Manager Torres and Eric Johnson come to the ring.  Essentially MSP challenged The Stigma to a tag team championship match, they said that Johnson trained them, but he hasn't wrestled them in years and as they are now.  Match was made for the next show on February 8th back in Orono.

DL Hurst vs. CJ Cruz
This was a fantastic match and I'm not surprised.  Both of these guys are two to watch here in New England as these guys are going to have a big 2020.  I'm a fan of both of them, but I was hoping Hurst was going to pick up the win.

Again a fantastic match that went back and forth no one having the clear upper hand but both getting in some great moves.  In the end Hurst fell victim to that beautiful missile drop kick that Cruz has.  I don't know what he calls it but Cruz Missile would be cool.

Fan's Bring the Weapons match
Let's Wrestle Champion: "Classic" Kalvin Strange vs. "Mass Hole" Mike McCarthy

Some decent weapons including an umbrella, a couple kendo sitcks, 7 lbs of used staples, and some ass hole that brought a Dolphins helmet.  To the surprise of no one the match quickly got physical with the weapons coming into the play.  To me though the most violent spot in the match was when McCarthy was standing on the apron and suplexed Strange who was standing in the ring onto the floor.

He then  dumped the blob that was the seven pounds of used staples on the floor and bodyslammed Strange on them.  It was wicked!  The match continued back in the ring where Strange for the upper hand with a cane shot to the head and then a headbutt to McCarthy while wearing the Miami Dolphins helmet.  At this point the Mass Hole was busted open.

Strange would have been wise to keep the helmet on because in the end McCarthy jumped off the top rope finishing Strange with a DDT capturing the championship!

We then had an intermission while the ring and ringside area were cleaned up.  AJ got his photo taken with the Maine State Posse.

Ava Everett's Birthday Bash Open Challenge
Limitless Wrestling World Champion: Retro AG vs. Ava Everett

It's Ava's birthday and the open challenge was answered by her boyfriend AG who gifted her a cake that said It Is Your Birthday and a title shot for the Limitless Wrestling World Championship.  Ava used every dirty trick that she could use and cheated as much as she could, but it wasn't enough for her to win the championship as AG retained with his corner pull up piledriver. 

I know what you are thinking, there is a cake at ringside, whose face did it end up in? Why Eric Greenleaf. 

KenneLee: Alexander Lee & Kennedi Copeland vs. Harris County Club: Bret Ryan Gosselin & Malik Logan

Fun tag team match with KenneLee coming out on top when Alexander Lee pinned Logan after a splash off the top rope. I appreciated the fact that Harris Country Club wore their old school matching gear.  I've only seen Copeland live a few times over the years but I must say that she has gotten better and continues to do better.  I really dig the tag team of KenneLee.

2020 Let's Wrestle Rumble
"The Prize" Alec Price won last eliminating CJ Cruz

I think overall this years Rumble match was better than last years.  Mikey was convinced that D'Lo Brown was going to be a surprise entrant, I even brought my cards just in case, but he wasn't.  Mac Daniels was the number 1 entrant and he brought someone to watch his back just in case one of the referee's tried to get one up on him, Jon Alba.  The crowd was pissed!

We got an entrant every 90 seconds, the ring never filled up too much and once it built up kept a good number of people in the ring at a time.  Mac Daniels lasted the longest in the match with Danger Kid lasting the second longest.  Sara Teller has the distinction of lasting the least amount of time.  Daniels eliminated the most competitors with 6 eliminations.

The save of the match went to Alexander Lee who body surged over Eric Greenleaf to avoid elimination.

I loved when Cruz entered the match and he and Price squared off continuing their feud. It was also cool that it came down to the two of them.  I'm very excited that Price got the win,   I think he and McCarthy will have some great matches over the championship. 

The rumble match built two new opponents for Mac Daniels with how he eliminated Greene and how he was eliminated by Cruz. 

Order of Entry
1 Mac Daniels
2 Retro AG
3 Antoine Nicholas
4 "Iron" Rip Bison
5 Sean Vegan (not sure I got this one right)
6 Ava Everette
7 Lil Blay
8 Davienne
9 Sara Teller
10 Channing Thomas
11 Ike the Bite
12 Danger Kid
13 Jeff James
14 "The Prize" Alec Price
15 Doug Wyser
16 Alexander Lee
17 BA Tatum
18 Jacob Drifter
19 Murdock
20 "Bulldog" Dave Dyer
21 Eric Johnson
22 Bret Ryan Gosselin
23 Malik Logan
24 Dojo Student (didn't catch his name)
25 Kalvin Strange
26 Kennedi Copeland
27 Scotty Wild
28 Jon Alba
29 CJ Cruz
30 Aiden Aggro

Order or Elimination
1 Sean Vegan by Ava Everette
2 Sara Teller by Davienne
3 Rip Bison by Daniels
4 Antoine Nicholas by Thomas
5 Lil Blay by AG
6 Ava by Price
7 Ike by Daniels
8 Jeff James by AG
9 Davienne by AG
10 AG by Daniels while Alba was holding AG's leg
11 Thomas by Danger Kid
12 Doug Wyser by Murdock
13 Murdock by Eric Johnson
14 Jacob Drifter by Dyer
15 BA Tatum by BRG
16 Dojo Student by Dyer
17 Dyer by Johnson
18 Logan by Alexander Lee
19 Alexander Lee by Wild
20 Kennedi Copeland by Wild
21 Scotty Wild by Daniels
22 Kalvin Strange by Johnson
23 Eric Johnson by 7 guys left in the match
24 Jon Alba by MSP
25 Danger Kid by Daniels at the same time as Aggro
26 Aiden Aggro by Price at the same time as Kid
27 BRG by Daniels
28 Mac Daniels by CJ Cruz
29 CJ Cruz by Alec Price

Let's Wrestle returns Saturday February 8th in Orono with Maine State Pose vs. The Stigma for the Tag Team Championships and pick your poison as Mike McCarthy and Alex Price will choose each others opponents.

Also Limitless Wrestling returns January 24th in Yarmouth with Flirtin' With Disaster in Yarmouth, Maine.

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network.

Until next time!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Mike's Year in Review

I had composed an awesome year in review post and then a few key strokes from my son, on accident of course, deleted it.  Auto saved did it's job and it was gone.  I considered retyping it all but I became to frustrated with the idea of it so this is the abridged version.  

This was best year in attending wrestling events since 2012 as I managed to take in 23 wrestling events this year bringing my all time total to 248 wrestling events.  Not even close though to my buddy Mikey who has taken in over 50 wrestling events a year for the last half decade at least.

For those wondering:

First event: June 4, 1989 WWF at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine

50th event: February 22, 2002 Eastern Wrestling Alliance in Auburn, Maine

100th event: March 29, 2008 the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony in Orlando, Florida

150th event: March 25, 2012 Big Time Wrestling Augusta, Maine at the Civic Center

200th event: March 19, 2016 Limitless Wrestling in Orono, Maine

At the time of this writing event 250 looks to be Limitless Wrestling in Yarmouth, Maine on January 24, 2020.

I saw 173 matches in person this year in venues ranging from the Fairfield Community Center to Madison Square Garden in three different states and two countries, yes it was Canada but it is another country.  I attended events that were promoted in the United States by companies based outside the U.S. Two New Japan Pro Wrestling events one in New York City and the second in Lowell, Mass, Revolution Pro based out of the UK in New York City, and the Lucha Libre AAA Press Conference held at Madison Square Garden.

The press conference did not feature and wrestling matches but I still count it as a wrestling event because it was an official AAA event where owner Dorian Roldan appeared as well as several AAA talents including Blue Demon Jr, Lucha Brothers, Konnan, and many more.  Footage of Jay, Mikey, & I was used in AAA promotional videos for a few months after that.

My daily consumption of wrestling is greater than it ever has been in the past, of course we have more opportunity to watch wrestling than ever before.  Not just locally but from around the world thanks to the Internet and streaming services.  I watched New Japan on NJPW World, AAA on Twitch, WWE & NXT on the Network, and at the end of the year NWA Powerrr on YouTube and AWE on the TNT app.  Not to mention all the promotions and matches I watched on YouTube and IWTV.

It was an awesome year for professional wrestling all around.

British Tag Team Champions: Suzuki-Gun: Minoru Suzuki & British Heavyweight Champion: Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi and Will Ospreay when Sabre pinned Ospreay at the RevPro UK show on April 5th during WrestleCon was one my favorite matches of the year.  It's the first one to jump to my mind when I think about the topic.  We sat front row, we played air guitar with Tanahashi during his entrance as he stood directly in front of us.  We got to witness close up, Minoru Suzuki physically wreck Will Ospreay not to mention watch ZSJ tie him up like a pretzel.  It was AMAZING!

Before the show we got the opportunity to meet Tomohiro Ishii, Minoru Suzuki, Shibata, and Tanahashi.  Jay, Mikey, & I all get out photos with them and autographs, I got cards signed.  Because of Wrestlecon I got the opportunity to meet and get my photo taken with so many wrestlers like Bob Backlund, Atsushi Onita, WIll Ospreay, Jushin Liger in full gear, and so many more people.

However the one I was most excited about was Faby Apache.  With New Japan touring the US more I thought I'd have more opportunities to meet New Japan wrestlers, but Faby Apache is not in the states often, especially not in my area so this was truly once in a lifetime for me.  I wrote her a nice letter that I had translated into Spanish because I do not speak it.  I also gave her a gift of Japanese wrestling cards of her.  She was very touched by my letter and gift and gave me a hug and kiss on the cheek.  It was awesome!

She was there both days so I found pharmacy with a photo center and had the picture of us printed and got her to sign that the next day. 

I witnessed a lot of other great moments in wrestling this year; attending a sold out Madison Square Garden to witness the first non-McMahon family promoted event since 1960.  It was headlined by Okada reclaiming the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.  

I got to watch Limitless Wrestling grow with near 900 fans attending their anniversary show at the Expo where Anthony Greene defeated MJF to capture the Limitless Wrestling World Championship.  In November at Twilight Zone Limitless streamed live on IWTV and killed it with an awesome card headlined by Ashley Vox & Kris Statlander in a Last Creature Standing Match.  It appears that in 2020 Limitless will be running monthly and I'm excited to be apart of it. 

My favorite show of the year was New Japan Pro Wrestling Fighting Spirit tour in Lowell, Mass.  To me this was a traditional New Japan show, it opened with a young lions match, some great tag team matches, a phenomenal IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match and finished with a star studded main event.  The crowd was tremendous!  When the Rock n' Roll Express came out it was like we were back in the mid 1980's! 

This three show tour sold out New York and the ECW Arena almost instantly buy Lowell was only a near sell out.  I was concerned that this would prevent New Japan from coming back the next time around however I recently discovered this factoid.  Attendance in Philly 1,030, New York 1,776, and Lowell 2,130!  With the biggest crowd which was loud as hell, tells me New Japan will be back!

I can't even begin to talk about all the great shows and matches that I saw televised this year.  Watching televised live is the best way but I love the availability to watch on demand, it allows me to watch even more wrestling.  

In 2020 my plan is to continue to watch as much wrestling as I can, discover new wrestlers to follow, and stay away from the social media negativity.  

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network.

Until next time!