Saturday, May 30, 2015

1987 Slammy Awards

Slammy Awards 1987
December 16, 1987, Atlantic City, New Jersey

This is on the WWE Network so I popped it on to check it out and got sucked in so I thought, let's blog all about it. 

Billed as the 37th Annual Slammy Awards, Howard Finkle did the voice over announcing everyone showing clips from their red carpet arrivals with the theme from Saturday Night’s Main Event playing.

The show opened with Vince McMahon giving a motivational speech before bringing out Jesse Ventura and Mean Gene for the first award of the evening.

Jesse Ventura & Mean Gene present the Best Performance by an Animal
Nominees: Frankie, Matilda, Damian, & George “The Animal” Steele
Winner: George “The Animal” Steele who bit open the turnbuckle that was part of the podium

Honky Tonk Man came out to sing his theme song, which he did sing, however he was not playing the guitar that he was holding, he was strumming, but his hand never moved on the neck.  Jesse Ventura was “playing” the Piano, and they had a group of ladies singing back up. 
At one point the Hart Foundation came out in their wrestling gear, they did this little move where Bret whipped Neidhart across the stage sliding on his back and then Bret ran jumping over him where they both bounced up and down in the catcher’s stance.  What’s most surprising is the only guy on the stage with real musical ability was Jimmy Hart who sat on the back of the Cadillac clapping his hands swaying back and forth the entire time.

Jimmy Hart & The Honky Tonk Man presented the award for Woman of the Year
Nominees: Sensational Sherri, fake Dolly Parton, Fabulous Moolah, fake Yoko Ono, and Miss Elizabeth
Winner: Miss Elizabeth who thanks the Macho Man for making her the woman she is today.

This shows does have an audience most likely made up of wrestlers and WWE employees, it’s great that all the wrestlers are in their gear too, however they clearly have canned audience noise to go with the actual live audience reaction.  It’s the same whistling noise that keeps repeating that set it off.

Commercial for the Piledriver Wrestling Album

“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan to present for best ring apparel
Nominees: Demolition complete with mock shirts and bow ties to go along with the standard Demolition gear, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Honky Tonk Man, “King” Harley Race, & British Bulldogs
Winner: “King” Harley Race – Duggan refused to read his name as the winner the girl handing out the statue did.  Race refused to accept the trophy unless Duggan got down on one knee to present it to him.  Duggan and then Race brawled to the back fighting at what appears to be the make-up area, Gorilla Monsoon called the action.  There’s a guy with a Donkey standing there watching.  Monsoon mentions that Beefcake is on stage awarding the Slammy for “Best Head”, there was a tie between Bam Bam Bigelow and Mean Gene.  Harley goes for a head butt on a prone Duggan who moves sending Harley to crash down through a table. 

We cut to Jesse Ventura announcing the musical act: Vince McMahon performing Stand Back

Vince was actually singing and dancing with some ladies while in the back ground Hulk Hogan was dead center and he looked to be really playing the base guitar.  To Hogan’s left George “The Animal Steel was playing the tambourine while the trio of the Killer Bees: “Jumping” Jim Brunzell and B Brian Blair with the Junk Yard Dog “played” the saxophone.  To Hogan’s right the trio of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Brutus Beefcake “played” the trumpet.  Say what you will, you have to McMahon tones of credit for coming out and doing this.

Cut back to Duggan and Race brawling in the electrical room.  Gorilla Monsoon is now there with Heenan watching it, a llama just walked by.  Finally Race escapes the electrical area and Heenan locks in it.  Apparently one side of the electrical room area was a giant wall of boxes and Duggan pushes over onto the Race and Heenan and he escapes his confines.  The two brawl into the girls changing room and we see some of the dancers in their underwear. 

Hulk Hogan is introduced by Mean Gene to present the Hulk Hogan Real American Award
After a lengthy speech Hogan announces the honoree: “Superstar” Billy Graham
After a short speech, Hogan took and broke Grahams cane then the two had a pose down on the stage, Billy wore is jacket.

Back to Race and Duggan fighting in the back, they are now in the room that was to be the Christmas party for the families, food everywhere, Heenan was body slammed through a table.  Gorilla Monsoon cancels the cast Christmas Party.

Jesse Ventura is out to present the Jesse The Body Award
Nominees: “Ravishing” Rick Rude, “Natural” Butch Reed, Ultimate Warrior, Sensational Sherri, & Hercules
Winner: “Ravishing” Rick Rude who did a strip tease walking up to the stage.  Rick Rude thanked his role model Jesse the Body for creating this award for him to win, he also thanked all the woman of the world whose days begin and end with sweet thoughts of Rick Rude.  He then left the stage with the trophy girl and it was implied they had sex just off camera.

Mean Gene and Jesse Ventura presented a musical tribute package to the Greatest Hits of 1987.  I’m assuming the original music was replaced with some weird generic music because of rights issues while a montage of matches from the year played.

Mene Gene and Jesse Ventura were going to present the award for the Greatest Hit of 1987 when Race and Duggan burst on stage through the video screen.  They were finally separated and the show continued.
Nominees: Andre The Giant, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, The Honky Tonk Man, Bam Bam Bigelow, & Strike Force: Tito Santana & Rick Martel
Winner: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan who came out and accepted his award with one word, Hoooo!

Gorilla Monsoon to present Manager of the Year
Nominees: Bobby Heenan, Mr. Fuji, Jimmy Hart, “The Doctor of Style” Slick.  All the nominees came up on stage as they were introduced. 
Winner: None of the Above

Koko B. Ware and company performed his song Pile Driver on a mock construction site.  Bam Bam Bigelow “played” the baritone saxophone, Koko was actually singing.  The dancing girls where there with a great dance routine and provided back up harmony.  The Ultimate Warrior stood around with a large sledge hammer.  For some reason, during the Sax solo the cut to footage of Ware on a date with a young lady and he presenter her with a single rose that she just went head over heels for.  This was terrible.

Mean Gene to presented the Slammy for Best Personal Hygiene
Nominees: George “The Animal” Steele, Hillbilly Jim, King Kong Bundy, Sika, The Bolsheviks: Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov with Slick
Winner: The Bolsheviks: Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov with Slick

Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart performed the theme for Strike Force, Girls in Cars.  The dancers were in bathing suits with cut out cards on them wearing roller skates.  Some of them, and one on a tryke.  Jimmy did a great job.  Strike Force came out on motorcycles and stole the girls from Jimmy.

“Macho Man” Randy Savage & Miss Elizabeth presented the Slammy for Best Vocal Performance
Nominees: George “The Animal” Steele, One Man Gang, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Junkyard Dog, Jimmy Hart
Winner: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, once again with his one word acceptance

Jesse Ventura and Mean Gene introduce the final song: If You Only Knew by the WWE All Stars.

All the wrestlers were on stage like a choir clapping and swaying back and forth, except Virgil who stood still with his arms crossed.  Everyone lip synched…clearly.

Jesse Ventura & Mean Gene presented the Slammy for Song of the Year
The Nominees: Vince McMahon, Koko B. Ware, Jimmy Hart, The Honky Tonk Man, If You Only Knew
Winner: The heels stole the envelope and opened it, the passed it around and all acted negatively as they looked at the listed winner until Sika ate the card.  I guess you could say this was a no contest.

As the final credits rolled the director was listed as Kaye Fabe

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Random Wrestling: Dustin Rhodes vs. Vader

 One of the awesome things about WWE Network is they have all the Clash of the Champions available to watch.  As much as I watched wrestling growing up I didn’t watch all the Clashes.  Sadly I’ve been burning through them and only have 6 left to watch. 

At this stage I’m in the Hogan years of WCW where, in my opinion WCW started taking a turn for the worse because you had Hogan in the main event and he was bringing in all his buddies like Beefcake and Avalanche to work with taking the WCW product which had always been superior wrestling and making it cartoon wrestling.  I mean sure parts of the show were excellent, but once you got to the main event it just wasn’t enjoyable to watch.  Sure as a kid I loved Hogan, but at this time I wasn’t a fan of his style of wrestling. 

I was watching Clash of the Champions XXIX from Jacksonville, Florida November 16, 1994 and there were 6 matches on this card and only 1, in my opinion, was worth watching and that was “Natural” Dustin Rhodes vs. Big Van Vader. 

Dustin was really on top of his game at this time I was and am a huge fan of this time of his career as “Natural” Dustin Rhodes.   The tone of the match was set in the opening moments when Vader pushed Rhodes into the corner and unloaded with a STIFF right to the face.  Moments later Vader backs Rhodes into the corner again, but this time unleashes a left to the body and then another wicked stiff shot to the face.  Vader took a step back and showing huge disrespect for Rhodes spit in his face. 

Rhodes quickly retaliated double legging Vader taking him to the canvas and just unloaded relentlessly with rights and lefts to the face, even ripping Vader’s mask off and continuing the assault. 

For the next 10 minutes the match didn’t let up putting a fast paced hard hitting strong style match that I have now watched 3 times. 

I cannot emphasize enough that if you are a fan of wrestling you need to watch this match.  It should be a pre-requisite for anyone that wants to call themselves a wrestling fan they have to watch this match!

What’s truly amazing if you watch Dustin in the ring now as Goldust, 20 plus years later he’s still fantastic in the ring putting on some of the best matches on the card.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wrestling Documentaries on You Tube

You Tube has a lot of Wrestling Documentary’s available to watch if you look around a bit. Here is a couple that I recommend you check out:

The Wrestlers: Fighting with my Family

This short 47 minute BBC documentary features the Knight Family and their league WAW: World Association Wrestling.  Shot in 2011 following a few months of the family with old home video footage of the family is intercut through-out.
The Primary focus of the Documentary is that of Saraya Jade and Zak’s WWE Tryouts where Saraya Jade is signed immediately and becoming who we now know as Paige and Zak is told to get in better shape and try out again. 
The Family:
“Rowdy” Ricky Knight
Julia Knight – Sweet Saraya: former Shimmer Champion
Roy Knight – The Zebra Kid
Zak Knight – Zak Zodiak
Saraya Jade Knight – Britini Knight: now former NXT and Diva’s Champion: Paige

Behind the Curtain

This E: 60 Pictures documentary features the WWE’s NXT Developmental Territory in Orlando.  Filmed over two years from the Spring of 2013 to May of 2015 it follows the path of Ray Leppon, Matt Polinsky, & Austin Watson, better known as Adam Rose, Corey Graves, & Xavier Woods.
This is simply a fantastic feature that does an excellent job telling these three men’s stories as well as showing us an inside glimpse of the WWE including production meetings, character development, and more.  Definitely take the 48 minute run time to watch it.  You will not regret it.
Watching the stories of Adam Rose and Corey Graves is heart wrenching at times learning about Roses family and Graves struggles with injuries.

After watching the features check out these bonus behind the scenes short features on Tyler Breeze, and Colin Cassady. 

E60: The Scott Hall Story

This is a wonderful, in depth, and emotional look at the life and times of Scott Hall.  Hall discusses the incident in 1983 when he killed someone outside a nightclub in Orlando.  From there his career is highlighted from his 1984 debut in AWA to the heights of WWE and WCW to his April 8, 2011 appearance for Top Rope Promotions in Fall River, MA which is the epitome of rock bottom.  Also interviewed for this feature was Sean Waltman, Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Cody Hall, Mike Mooneyham, Kevin Nash, his ex-wife Dana, Stephanie McMahon,  Top Rope promoter Steve Ricard, Justin Incredible,
Steve Ricard tried to justify why he sent Hall out to the ring in the state he was in, he never should have been out there. 

I recently saw Scott at a Big Time Wrestling show in Winslow, Maine.  Although Hall was in rough shape physically from the years of abuse he definitely looked a lot better than he did in this feature.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Random Wrestling: WCW Nitro 1/8/1996

 I had some time to kill before work so I just threw on a random episode of Nitro on WWE Network, and it turned out to be a really good one.

WCW Monday Nitro
January 8, 1996 from Charleston, South Carolina
Commentators: Bobby Hennan, Eric Bischoff, & Steve McMichael

Chris Benoit w/ Brian Pillman vs. “Das Wunderkind” Alex Wright
A surprisingly great match between these two; Benoit with his normal intensity and Alex Wright with some odd weak looking European uppercuts.  Wright showed some good high flying offense but in the end a dragon suplex gave Benoit the win.  At one point Wright slingshot Benoit who ended up getting hung up on the top rope before falling to the floor.  The commentators discussed by it wasn’t a disqualification, apparently WCW was still using the “no throwing someone over the top rope to the floor” DQ rule.  I didn’t recall that still being in effect then.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Lord Steven Regal
Two great matches to start this show!  Regal dominated with his style of British mat wrestling while Eddie threw in some lucha style moves before being shut down by Regal.  A really good match that ended with Eddie getting the upset victory with a backslide.

Interview with Sting and Lex Lugar by “Mean” Gene

Sting vs. Diamond Dallas Page
At this point in his career Page hadn’t unleashed the Diamond Cutter and was still the struggling lower mid carder.  Sting had very little offense in the match and it went longer than I thought, but it ended as I expected with Sting locking in the Scorpion for the submission victory.

World Champion: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair & “Enforcer” Arn Anderson vs. Hulk Hogan & “Macho Man” Randy Savage
Quite the main event, but this is one of the reasons WCW failed giving away a match like this and it’s not on PPV.  Charleston crowd loved the Horsemen!  Savage comes out in red and yellow matching Hogan.
Some surprising offense by Hogan as he shows his wrestling ability working the Flair’s arm.  Hogan always applied the figure four quite oddly but it was effective.   Savage played the Ricky Morton roll taking a massive beating from Anderson and Flair who displayed some great quick tag, tag team wrestling.  Then Savage hit the hot tag, Hogan no sold everything, Hulked up from an Arn Anderson spine buster for the formulistic finish of the big boot and leg drop.  However, Dungeon of Doom ran in and The Giant took out both Hogan with a chokeslam. 

A really good and enjoyable hour of wrestling!

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Friday, May 22, 2015

NXT Takeover: Unstoppable

It's time once again for an NXT Takeover special!  These remind me of Clash of the Champions and they have always been solid shows top to bottom.  I realize that NXT is white hot right now I just hope that WWE doesn't ruin it by trying to bring it to RAW and instead leave it the way it is.  I realize that some guys will need to get called up to the main roster and new talent built, but I can see them messing this up.

Finn Balor vs. Tyler Breeze 
for the #1 Contendership to the NXT Championship
Tyler has a special entrance, not to write about.  Balor has his special interest, it's simply awesome.  His paint and costume and different this time.
Great match between these two, was supposed to be a triple threat but Itami is injured.  Balor picks up the win.
Finn Balor in his new costume of NXT Unstoppable
Charlotte & Bayley vs. Dana & Emma
Two ladies matches on the card tonight, that should tell you just how good these ladies are.  Good match, some great teamwork with Bayley and Charlotte.  You can see that Dana is still very green but she did a great job.  Charlotte and Bayley pick up the win and hug it out at the end.

Baron Corbin vs. Rhyno
The veteran Rhyno was up next to take on Baron Corbin in a hard hitting match.  Corbin has only been wrestling a couple years and this is the longest match of his that I have seen.  He looked good and was able to power Rhyno into his End of Days finisher which was impressive and enough for him to take the victory.

NXT Tag Team Champions: Blake & Murphy vs. Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady with Carmella
Great tag team match between these two teams saw a few spots that were messed up.  Crowd is really into Enzo and Big Cas.  I liked the look of Blake and Murphy when they first came on, but now with how they act I’m becoming less and less of a fan.  Blake and Murphy squeak out a victory to retain.

Sasha Banks after a tough title defense
 NXT Women’s Champion: Sasha Bank vs. Becky Lynch
Great match, just a great match.  Some great mat wrestling with both woman working the arm for their respective finishers.  They mixed in some high spots and the crowd was completely behind them as they told their story in the ring.  It really put the shame what is being pushed right now on Raw.  After a very hard fought victory Sasha Banks retained with a submission.  Lynch was given a standing ovation by the crowd.

NXT Champion: Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
Good Lord this match was fantastic!  Zayn dominated and when Owens tried to get on the offense he was shut down immediately.  Suddenly on the floor Owens hit Zayn with a pop-up powerbomb with decimated Zayn and essentially ended the match.  Owens then beat on Zayn while officials and the medical crew tried to tend to Zayn.  Suddenly Samoa Joe came out, to a huge ovation, and after a tense stare down Owens backed off.  Officially a no contest.

Great special, once again NXT has proven to the be a fantastic product that is well worth the $9.99 a month that the Network costs.  Joe is apparently keeping his name as he was a wearing an official NXT t-shirt that said Samoa Joe on it and that’s what the announcers called him.

I have a couple concerns for NXT as a whole.  First of all every show is at full sail university so you essentially have the same crowd that has claimed ownership of the product and have made themselves part of the show which enhances the show as the crowd is loud and raucous!  My fear is that like TNA outside of this controlled environment on tours the product may suffer.  My second fear is the Triple H has control of NXT while Vince McMahon still has control of WWE.  Because of this even is a talent who was hot in NXT comes up to RAW doesn’t mean they’ll get the push they deserve; for example the Ascension.  That being said, at Hell in the Cell, Kevin Owen cannot lose that by pin fall or submission. 

If you’re not watching NXT then you are really missing out on a great wrestling show.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Podcast Rundown May 19, 2015

Episode 249 Kevin Sullivan
The Taskmaster shares how he got into wrestling, experiences over the years working on booking committees, life in WCW and so much more.

Episode 250 Disco Inferno
Disco talks about his time on the indy’s before signing with WCW, his time in WCW and what he did after, why he didn’t go to WWE.  He also talks candidly about his arrest for running and illegal poker game.

Episode 62 Bobby Roode
Great interview with Roode discussing his career not just all things TNA, he was in WCW doing dark matches the last couple weeks they were around before the WWE purchase.

Episode 214 & 215 Shane Douglas Part 1 & 2
Really good interview with Douglas about all aspects of his career, some stories I had heard before and others were new to me.

Family Friendly Show
Episode 217 & 219 Dixie Carter
Candid conversation with the President of TNA, what she did before the wrestling business, how she got into it and her thoughts on the past, present, and future of TNA.  Part 2 also features Jim Ross.

Episode 139 Sheamus
Sheamus talks about his most recent return to WWE, his new look and being a heel.  He also goes into his WWE Tryouts and his early years in the UK.

Episode 140 Billy Corgan
Fresh off signing with TNA as part of their creative team Corgan talks about his role there, Revolution Pro Wrestling and his upcoming tour. 

Episode 141 Paranormal Dean Ambrose
A unique episode has very little wrestling is talked about and instead they discuss Sasquatch, their own ghost and UFO experiences, and more.  Really good one! 

Episode 54 “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey
Piper talks to his namesake about getting into Judo, acting, stunt work, their mutual love and admiration for Gene Lebell, and her recent Wrestlemania experience. 

Episode 110 The Island of Dr. Moreau
It was a good episode but I apparently like this show a lot for Jason Mantzoukas who wasn’t on this episode.  It was good but he could have made it so much better.

Mother, Mommy, Mama, Mom
Molly Ringwald finds herself in the principal’s office with her daughter, a young man navigates life with his single mom, a boy who loves Barbies is terrified at the thought of playing tackle football, and a daughter contemplates how to face her mother’s death with grace.

Monday, May 18, 2015

WWE Payback Thoughts

Payback Kickoff

R-Truth vs. Stardust
We were treated to a bonus match tonight in the kick off show with R-Truth taking on Stardust in a decent match.  I’ve always like Cody Rhodes and not been too keen on R-Truth.  Truth picked up the victory to continue the apparent lifetime angle of Cody Rhodes losing and getting frustrated. 

The Ascension: Konnor & Victor vs. The Mega Powers: Curtis Axel & Macho Mandow
The Ascension were a good team in NXT and had they just come into the main roster as the same guys and not tried to compare themselves to Demolition and the Road Warriors they could be top contenders.  Instead they have basically been buried.   Sandow with another gimmick that he has managed to get over and Axel has gone full blown Hogan look-a-like.  They haven’t allotted much time for this one.  Axel hulks up and hits the leg drop but that’s about the all the offense he gets in.  Mandow tries the big elbow and is instead taken out with Ascensions finish and the pin fall loss.


Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus
Ziggler once again in the opening match which is a testament to the work horse that Ziggler is that he kicks off the show.  The fans continue to rally behind Dolph wanting desperately to see him become the guy in the WWE, as do I, but I just don’t see WWE ever getting behind him, which is unfortunate.
Hard hitting battle between these two and Dolph got his revenge from Extreme Rules with a PG-Era stink face.   Ziggler head butted Sheamus and it busted him open bad, I mean crimson mask bad.  Sheamus got the victory with a brogue kick while Ziggler was on his knees.

2 out of 3 Falls
WWE Tag Team Champions: New Day: Big E & Kofi w/ Xavier Woods vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro w/ Natayla
New Day should just be Kofi & Xavier Woods as a Tag Team, Big E doesn’t fit and he looks awkward smiling and clapping his hands “dancing” around.  I like that WWE has been having more 2 out of 3 falls as of late.
Kidd & Cesaro pick up the first fall quickly with their big spin drop kick combo.  Woods tries to enact the Freebird rule to enter the second fall but it is not allowed, that would have been cool! 
New Day picks up the second fall after Cesaro is taken out from the Big E spear to the floor, and then Big E hits the Big Ending while Kofi jumps off the top rope and does nothing to add emphasis to the finish.  Have I mentioned I think New Days tag team finish is dumb?  Because it is.
Cesaro went for what looked like was going to be Angel’s wings on Big E but he couldn’t pull it off which is odd because Cesaro is freakishly strong.   New Day get the final fall when Xavier Woods slides in and pins Cesaro with a small package.   I really thought this match was going to be better, it was a good match but the time constraints really hurt it from building each fall.
Bray Wyatt vs. Ryback
I really like Wyatt and his gimmick, he’s way over with the crowd, but he is a heel through and through.  Wyatt just did a version of the Pounce taking Ryback down.  I really like Monte Brown and I thought the Pounce finish was really good as it was one of those do to anyone of any size finishers.  Wyatt has that suplex slam that he does that is pretty neat, and it just a slight variation that makes it unique.  Wyatt gets the win with Sister Abigail after Ryback hits the corner chest first that was missing the turnbuckle pad.  Glad to see Wyatt get the win, he needs it to maintain the idea that he’s a threat as he hasn’t had the best win/loss record as of late. 

I Quit Match
United States Champion: John Cena vs. Rusev w/ Lana
I’m glad they were very specific in the introductions that you “literally have to say I Quit” to lose.  No passing out, having the towel thrown in, and ect.  I hate the “tension” between Lana and Rusev, it’s dumb.  Rusev never should have lost the title, I’ve enjoyed Cena’s open challenges every week and the matches he has been having is great, but Rusev should be the undefeated evil foreigner and not the verbally abusive boyfriend.
One of my all-time favorite matches is the 1985 Starrcade I Quit match between Magnum TA & Tully Blanchard for the United States Championship, the level of brutality really raised the bar for an I Quit match, I know this one isn’t going to come close to living up to that, but so far they’ve only brought the stairs into play and haven’t done anything that I would wager someone would quit over.   But then again, Flair beat Funk in his I Quit match with the figure four.
Match hasn’t been that good, it’s been very slow and methodical with big bump, then asking if they quit, the answer is no, then another big bump and repeat with a huge delay between moves.  Finally Rusev has the accolade on Cena, a maneuver were someone could be coaxed into saying I Quit, of course Cena passes out so he can’t say I Quit.  Top rope has been undone, swear to god Cena better not win with the “STF” using the rope for leverage, he’s done that before. 
Cena vs Umaga Royal Rumble 2007, choke not "stf" same difference
That was something; Cena applied that STF using the rope, again, and according to Lana Rusev said I Quit in Russian so the ref called for this bell. 
As an I Quit match, this match sucked.

The Bella Twins: Diva’s Champion Nikki & Brie vs. Naomi & Tamina
Naomi and Tamina got the win when Naomi threw Nikki off the top rope, essentially the body slam Ric Flair has taken ten thousand times, and pinned her.  The match wasn’t very good.  You have the ladies down in NXT just killing it, matches so good that Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte just main evented an NXT house show in Philadelphia, and this is what the main roster is delivering. 

King Barrett vs. Neville
Neville won by count-out and then was attacked after the bell by Barrett.  The post-match beat down was more effective than the actual match.  Neville hit the german suplex, which broke the scepter, then executed red arrow. 

Fatal 4-Way
Champion: Seth Rollins w/ J&J Security vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose
   If Rollins loses the title then Kane is fired from his Corporate position in the authority

Of course J&J and Kane got involved in this match very early on so it was basically a 7 way match, but that’s not a surprise.  At one point they teased a Shield reunion as J&J were taken out and Rollins, Reigns, and Ambrose triple power bombed Orton through the announce table.  Crowd popped big for that.  Then of course Reigns and Ambrose tried to do the same to Rollins through the Spanish announce table, but Kane stopped them.  So they power bombed Kane onto Rollins through the Spanish announce table.  The first attempt the table didn’t break so at the audience’s request they did it one more time and sent them crashing to the floor.  Ambrose and Reigns squared off for a bit before everyone got involved again.  Kane took out Reigns and Ambrose then ate and RKO which allowed Rollins to hit the pedigree on Orton to retain his title.
It was a good match, fun to watch, but I hated the pedigree finish, the curb stomp is so awesome, I mean right after the RKO on Kane if he hit Orton with the curb stomp it would have looked so much cooler than the awkward Pedigree.  Because let’s face it, if anyone but Triple H does it, it just looks awkward.

Pretty good show, I’m sure many will be comparing it to the NXT Takeover special that is this Wednesday.  Best match was the main event, followed by the tag match. 

If you watched the show what did you think?

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

What's Missing from the WWE Network

I signed up for WWE Network when it was first launched and I have been very happy with the service since day one.  In that time WWE has added more content than I could reasonably list here. 

What I want to talk about is what is missing from the WWE Network.  They do have some great classic footage from World Class, Prime Time Wrestling, Tuesday Night Titans, and of course all the Clash of the Champions and Saturday Nights Main Event shows and the WWE Old School section has a handful of classic shows. 

 I would like to see more classic footage.  During Black History month they posted Mid Atlantic Wrestling, UWF, WWWF Championship Wrestling and then when the month was over they took them down.

I’m grateful for what is available but I would love to see them load up with some Mid Atlantic Wrestling, Georgia Championship Wrestling, Championship Wrestling from Florida, and more southern footage. 

Also why is there no AWA or UWF footage on the Network at all?  I realize that ESPN Classic has rights and airs the AWA shows that originally aired on ESPN, but there is plenty of AWA footage else out there, for instance the SuperClash series and the Superclash III PPV, WrestleRock 86, and the Team Challenge Series.

The first SuperClash featured a six man tag with Harley Race and Bill & Scott Irwin battled Jumbo Tsuruta, Giant Baba & Genichiro Tenryu for the Asian Six-Man Tag Team Championship.  Also Ric Flair vs. Magnum TA for the NWA World Championship.

When I watch the network I find myself watching more of the classic NWA footage because that’s the style of wrestling that I’m more interested in.

I read recently that WWE wasn't going to be putting as much classic footage on because it doesn't get watched as often, I hope that this isn't the case.

What would you like to see added to the network?

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Monday, May 11, 2015

My First Indy Show

I recently found the DVD of the first ever Indy show I had ever been to.  I had bought the VHS and converted it to DVD, the quality is not the best.  The event was filmed with a camera on a tripod facing the ring.  No commentary, no graphics, but watchable, you can even see very young Jay & I sitting in the front row. 

Jay and I both saw this show advertised on TV during Nitro and Raw and in the Sun Journal.  Kevin Sullivan was originally advertised but didn’t appear, they announced the Public Enemy as his replacement.  Abdullah was not advertised in any way for this show and I was shocked when he came out for his match.  

Eastern Wrestling Alliance
May 16, 1997
Edward Little High School, Auburn, Maine

Ring Announcer: Rich Palladino
Referee’s: Scott Dickinson & Mike Dube

Light-Heavyweight Champion: El Mascarado defeated Maverick Wild by DQ when the Brotherhood ran in attacking Mascarado.  Baby Black Kangaroo made the save.  

Tre w/ the Brotherhood defeated “New Sensation” Steve Morabito with a jumping butt to the face.
Star Warrior with El’Mascarado & Baby Black Kangaroo defeated Knuckles Nelson w/ the Brotherhood by DQ when the Brotherhood interfered, Mascarado & Baby Black made the save.

The Television Championship match was announced next, but Rick Fuller refused to come out until after intermission.

Baby Black Kangaroo pinned Jose Valenzuela with a splash to the head.

The lead of the Brotherhood, "Boston Bad Boy" Tony Rumble
 “Mr. USA” Tony Atlas w/ Master Sandy pinned Abdullah the Butcher w/ “Boston Bad Boy” Tony Rumble with a round cross body block.  This was the typical Abdullah match with brawling outside the ring and both men getting busted open.   This was announced as Rumble vs. Atlas but Rumble said he wasn’t competing and Abdullah attacked Atlas from behind. 

“Prince of Pain” Kevin Kelly pinned The Storm Trooper with a pump handle slam

Vic Steamboat
Television Champion: Vic Steamboat pinned “Big” Rick Fuller w/ crucifix roll up.  The Brotherhood was banned from ringside during this contest. 

The Public Enemy: “Flyboy” Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge w/ “Big Poppa” Bull Montana defeated The Power Company: Dave & Dean in a wild brawl with the Drive By through a table.

The Brotherhood consisted of “Boston Bad Boy” Tony Rumble, Tre, Knuckles Nelson & “Big” Rick Fuller.

Scott Dickinson was an active WCW referee at the time. 

This card was EWA’s second ever show, the first being the night before in Jay, Maine.  EWA was started by James St. Jean & Bob Staples.  These first two shows were run in conjunction with Tony Rumble’s Century Wrestling Alliance.  They were in fact essentially CWA shows under the EWA name.  The next show that EWA ran, 9/10/1997 in Bath, to me is the true first EWA show as it had nothing to do with CWA and only El’ Mascarado, Fuller, & Atlas appeared at this show. 
I feel very fortunate to have gone to this show as it was the only time I ever saw three guys in person that were significant figures in Professional Wrestling in New England; Tony Rumble, Knuckles Nelson, & Vic Steamboat.  

As far as first time Indy shows are concerned this was a damn good one to have gone to!

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment and like my Facebook page for The Wrestling Insomniac.

Later Readers!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Podcast Rundown May 6, 2015

Podcast Rundown for May 6, 2015

Episode 247 Scott Norton
I was always a fan of Scott Norton and this is a great conversation.  I knew he was an arm wrestling champion but I didn’t know he was briefly in Over the Top and won the Arm Wrestling tournament that the film put on.  He talks about wrestling in Japan, WCW and what he’s doing now. 

Episode 248 Cardiff Live! With Harry Smith, Bob Holly, & Steven Lynskey
Recorded live in Cardiff, Wales in the UK at the Showmasters Comic Con.  Really good interview with Bob Holly and Harry Smith, I learned a side of both of them that I hadn't known before.  Here is the video of the Original Tiger Mask Satoru Sayama "training" his students that Harry speaks of in the podcast.  Bob Holly's reaction is hilarious!

Episode 61 Shawn Michaels
I’m a huge fan of Jim Ross on commentary and Shawn Michaels is one of the all-time greatest, so this podcast has all the potential in the world to be great, but I just couldn’t get into it.  This is a recurring theme with me and Ross’ podcast.  They all seem to deteriorate to how the boys today don’t get the same experience back in the day because the territories don’t exist anymore. 

Episode 62 Bobby Roode
Great interview with Roode about his early career and his insight in TNA.  Ross of course has to bring up home wrestling isn't as good with the territory days and how wrestlers aren't as good as they used to be.  I realize it's his opinion but he brings it up every episode. 

Episode 211 Mark & Chris Bell
Mark Bell is the founder of Super Training Gym and Chris is a documentarian who has released two films to date, the first “Bigger, Strong, Faster” which was fantastic and his upcoming feature that seems equally as interesting, “Prescription Thugs.”  Check this podcast to hear all about prescription drug abuse including Chris’ own battles that he filmed for their flick.  Mark talks all about training tips, how he got into powerlifting and more.  Great listen, well worth checking out.

Episode 423 – Gene LeBell
The legendary “Judo” Gene LeBell talks about the first ever MMA fight that happened in the United States back in 1963 and he was one of the competitors.  He talks about who he trained with, who he’s training now, and so much more about mixed martial arts.  A must listen! 

Episode 138 Lance Storm on Extreme Rules & Larry King
I didn’t listen to the Larry King portion of the show.  Lance Storm provided good insight on the PPV and I always like listening to his recaps with Jericho.

Episode 137 Monday Night Wars - Bischoff vs. Prichard
This Podcast was recorded Live on the day of the Royal Rumble and is a unique talk about the Monday Night Wars that I hadn't heard before.  Bischoff has the worst memory which is about dates and events at times.  I simply can't believe that he didn't know that when Monday Nitro started it was a 1 hour program and didn't go to two hours until May of 1996 and didn't hit 3 hours until December 1997. 

Farms, Fish Banks, and an Iron Roof
All of the storytellers in this hour are New Voices Fellows from the Aspen Institute.  A leading advocate for food security must reassess her won relationship to food, a young man dreams of an iron roof for his family, a pragmatic idealist learns to really listen to her friend, an a marine expert tries to

Parties, Plans, and Police
A Son plans the party of a lifetime for his mother, a cancer patient seeks out the men who have shaped his identity, and a little boy visits his Lieutenant father of the police station.

Crime and Forgivness
A retired pickpocket remembers when he first enrolled in pickpocketing school, a young woman recounts the difficulty of being a Mormon in New York City, and the victim of a random stabbing faces his attacker in court.

Episode 21 Chaotic Wrestling Owner Jamie Jamitkowski
Great listen, learn about Chaotic Wrestling and how they came to be.  Most importantly hear the story of Vince McMahons only independent wrestling appearance.

Episode 666 Eliza Coupe
New Hampshire native and Scrubs alumnus Eliza Coupe stops by the Nerdist Podcast to talk about her life, her upcoming projects, and the fact that she rights every day in an almost obsessive manner.  Great listen!

Episode 108 Con Air live with Seth Grahame-Smith
This episode is awesome! These guys are in love with Nicolas Cage and listening to them talk about it is hilarious. 
Episode 109 Face Off live with Randall Park
Again this is an awesome episode, they love this movie with passion and still manage to point out it's faults. 

La Celebracion De Cinco De Mayo WWE Network Special review

 For Cinco de Mayo WWE Network aired a two hour special called “La Celebracion De Cinco De Mayo”, which was a tribute to Lucha Libre hosted by Los Matadores and El Torito. 

They open talking about the special and taking a look at what Lucha Libre is, my first thought was a video package from back in the WCW days that Mike Tenay did the voice over on that talked about Lucha Libre.  It was called Lucha Libre and the Mexican Luchadores.  I really liked this video package and even kept a recording of it on one of my many best of compilation tapes, until the flood destroyed it.  Much to my surprise and happiness this exact video package was played, and it’s just as good as I remember!  This package was made in 1997.  I just realized the WCW/AAA joint PPV When Worlds Collide is not on the WWE Network.

We then get a video package on Mil Mascaras, which was his Hall of Fame package, it seems like it was an extended one though.   Next was a match taped June 27, 1981 at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland featuring Vince McMahon on commentary where Mil Mascaras pinned Sgt. Slaughter with a cross body off the top rope.

I actually met Mil Mascaras at a PWS show I Rahway, NJ on June 1, 2012 also where Mil defeated Samuray Del Dol now known as Kalisto in the WWE.  This was the show I went to, to meet the Great Muta.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get my picture taken with the legendary Mascaras.  I don’t care how bad he is or was in the ring or egotistical he allegedly is, you can’t argue with what he accomplished in wrestling.  His match with Samuray wasn’t the greatest, he was 69 years old at the time, but was quite impressive considering, and much like a Muta, I never thought I would ever see him wrestle live. 

Los Matadores talk about Mil Mascaras influence they talked about how Chris Jericho was influenced by it.  A segment talking to Jericho and others about his time in Mexico is shown I would guess it’s from his new DVD.   It then jumped right to Paul Heyman talking about bringing Lucha Libre to the United States with ECW footage shown from the Rise and Fall of ECW. 

Match two is from the ECW Arena on October 28, 1995 featuring Konnan & Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psicosos & La Parka.   Back when I liked Mysterio before he won the 2006 Royal Rumble which is the point when I stopped like anything he did.  This was also when I still like Konnan, I stopped liking him when he went all rasta and joined the NOW in July 1997.  Seriously!  A count-out finish in ECW!?  It was cool that Joel Gertner did the announcing in Spanish.

Next up is a very long package on Eddie Guerrero and the Guerrero family.  It’s a great package talking to the entire family, how they were raised and bringing their style to the United States with match clips from Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, World Class, AWA, WCW, ECW, and WWE.

Part two of Lucha Libre and the Mexican Luchadores WCW segment hosted by Mike Tenay this time talking about the history and significance of the Mask in Lucha Libre. 

A segment on Lita from her DVD is shown about her time in Mexico and why she like Lucha Libre.  They show that wicked powerbomb that Eddie gave her on the floor not too long after her debut in WWE.

Part three of Lucha Libre and the Mexican Luchadores, talking about the upcoming Mask vs. Belt contest pitting Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero.

Match three is from Halloween Havoc October 26, 1997 in Las Vegas.  Belt vs. Mask as Cruiserweight Champion Eddie Guerrero defending against Rey Mysterio Jr.  You might recognize this match as being one of the best wrestling matches ever.  There was just something that night between these two that was just perfect.  The referee in this match is Maine native Billy Silverman.

Part four Lucha Libre and the Mexican Luchadores talking about how there are so many families and second generation wrestlers in wrestling.

Match four from July 13, 1997 Bash at the Beach in Daytona Beach, a trios match with Juventud Guerrera, Hector Garza, and Lizmark Jr. vs. La Parka, Psychosis, and Villano IV.  This match was contested under Lucha Libre style rules, this was also when Mike Tenay would join the announce team only when the Luchadores were in the ring. 

Part five of Lucha Libre and the Mexican Luchadores talking about the high flying daredevil style that is Lucha Libre. 

Match five is from ECW on TNN an Extreme Three Way Dance pitting Yoshihiro Tajiri vs. Super Crazy vs. Little Guido Maritano, and yes it’s an elimination match.   I don’t recall seeing this match the first time around as I watched all the ECW on TNN episodes, but this is a great match just like their other encounters.

A video package featuring Hunico from 2012 where he shows us his collection of Lucha masks, who wore them and what means to him.  I learned something about Hunico that I didn’t know before which was he started wrestling in Mexico in 1999 and he was the first Mistico in Mexico and then later Luis Urive became Mistico, the one we are more familiar with.  Later Urive came to the WWE and became Sin Cara and Hunico became Sin Cara.  This was before Urive left WWE and Hunico became Sin Cara full time.

Match 6 is from NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way on September 11, 2014 featuring The Lucha Dragons: Kalisto & Sin Cara defeated the Ascension: Konnor & Viktor to win the NXT Tag Team Championships.  This was the Ascensions first loss in a long time as they had held the titles for almost a year and were pushed as killers.  Then they got called up to the main roster and have fizzled tremendously.  That has to be so frustrating for them to go from where they were to where they are. 

This was a really good special with some great matches and neat video packages.  I thought there would be a lot of current or recent WWE product but only 1 of the 6 matches were, and that was a damn good match.

This special is in the on demand section of the WWE Network under the category Playlists.  It is very much so well worth your time to check out. 

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment and like my Facebook page.

Later Readers!