Sunday, June 28, 2015

Random Wrestling: Women's Edition

June Byers vs. Cora Combs
Other than the 50’s I’m not sure when this match was.   It’s actually a pretty solid match that was enjoyable to watch, the crowd was into it, which is more than you can see for the current WWE non NXT product.

 Mildred Burke vs. Mae Weston
So that last match made me look for a Mildred Burke match the pioneer woman’s wrestler.  Again this match is from the 1950’s and this has a newsreel feel to it with the background music and commentary.  Burke was pretty damn vicious and dirty in the ring. 

Vivian Vachon vs. Kay Noble
From the early 70’s Vivian is the sister of Maurice and Paul Vachon and the namesake of my cat.  She was also the featured subject in the documentary Wrestling Queen that I own and it is a very good documentary on her and wrestling at that time.  Both Vachon and her opponent Kay Noble stopped wrestling full time in the early 80’s because they had children and only appeared sporadically after that.  
My cat Vivian Vachon

The Crush Girls: Lioness Asuka & Chigusa Nagoya vs. Leilani Kai & Penny Mitchell
March 16, 1986 Madison Square Garden
The Crush Girls were hugely popular in Japan as both Asuka and Chigusa reached megastar status in Japan.  When they came to the States they brought a ladies style that was unseen over here and it blew the fans away.  Most people know who Leilani Kai is.  Penny Mitchell I had never heard of until recently but have watched several of her matches and am a big fan of her work. 

 Jumping Bomb Angels: Itsuki Yamazaki & Noriyo Tateno vs. Devil Masami & Jaguar Yokota
August 10, 2008 from LLPW in Japan
Parts 1 & 2
The Jumping Bomb Angels were popular and successful tag team in the mid 80’s to early 90’s both in Japan and the states, they famously defeated the Glamour Girls for the WWF Women’s Tag Team Championships at the first Royal Rumble in 1988.  Yamazaki had retired in 1991, moved to New York and opened a restaurant with her husband.  This match in 2008 is her return to wrestling.  Noriyo had stated active in wrestling until her retirement in 2010. 
Masami debuted in 1978 and had a very successful career in Japan until her retirement at the end of 2008.  In 1997 Masami became the second and last WCW Women’s Champion winning the vacant title in a tournament final a couple months before the title was abandoned by WCW.
Jaguar Yokota debuted in 1977 a month before her 16th birthday and considered one of the greatest women wrestlers of all time, she is still actively wrestling in Japan. 

Me with Itsuki Yamazaki at Legends of the Ring June 2, 2012 in Monroe, NJ


Sara Del Rey vs. Mia Yim
April 23, 2011, Baltimore, Maryland
RCW presents “The Supremacy”
Sara Del Rey is probably the greatest American Women’s Wrestler of all time. Since September 2012 she has been working as a trainer in the WWE for NXT, even recently being promoted to assistant head trainer.  Good for her that she found a way to live to not travel and make a living wrestling, crappy for us that she isn’t wrestling any longer.  She is only 35 so potentially she could still return to wrestling showing the world how good she is.
Mia Yim was early in her career at this point but it was clear from this match just how good she was going to become, and is.
I had the pleasure of seeing Del Rey wrestle twice in person, both for Chikara.  First time on December 3, 2011 in Everett, MA for JoshiMania where she defeated Tsubasa Kuragaki in a hard hitting match.  Then on July 28, 2012 in Portland for in a losing effort to Grand Champion: Eddie Kingston in an awesome match. 

Myself with Sara Del Rey Chikara in Portland, yup that's the Young Bucks in the background

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Later Readers!


Here are the photo galleries to JoshiMania and Chiakara

JoshiMania Part 1

JoshiMania Part 2

Chikara: The Great Escape

Monday, June 22, 2015

Dusty Rhodes Match Marathon

The other day Cousin-In-Law Paul came over and we spent a few hours remembering the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes by watching some of his matches.  We didn’t watch them in any particular order just played it by ear.    Be warned this is full of spoilers.

I had bought a DVD set from Highspots called ‘The Rise and Fall of Carolina Championship Wrestling” it’s a 5 disc set that is simply fantastic.  You can read all about it here on the Highspots website.   We decided to watch a couple of his most recent matches where Dusty faces  two legends of wrestling, one being one of his biggest rivals.

May 7, 2005
The Middle School           Gaffney, South Carolina
Bunkhouse Falls Count Anywhere Match
“American Dream” Dusty Rhodes vs. Terry Funk
At the time of this match 60 year old Dusty and almost 61 year old Terry Funk were definitely past their primes with Funks horrid knees not helping.  Both of these guys gave it their all battling each other bloody all around the arena much to the delight of the ravenous crowd.

February 12, 2005
Mulberry Rec Center      Lenoir, North Carolina
Bunkhouse Match with Special Referee “Hands of Stone” Ronnie Garvin
Tully Blanchard vs. “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes
This match started with a bang as both men couldn’t wait to get in the ring to start as they battled from the back out to the ring to begin the match.  At 51 Blanchard was in phenomenal shape and proved that he was still a bump machine throwing himself all around for Dusty.  This North Carolina crowd was on their feet to see these get it on one more time.  Dusty picked up the win after Tully was hit by the still devastating right of Ronnie Garvin.

Next we went back in time 30 years and put in the “Best of the Great American Bash” blu ray for two matches.

July 26, 1986
The Coliseum     Greensboro, North Carolina
Steel Cage Match
NWA World Champion: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair vs. “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes
This match is very well known because this is the night that Rhodes captures his third NWA World Championship.   Dusty only held the title for 14 days before dropping back to Flair. 

July 5, 1986
Memorial Stadium           Charlotte, North Carolina
Steel Cage Six Person Tag Team Match
The Midnight Express: “Beautiful” Bobby Easton & “Loverboy” Dennis Condry and James E. Cornette vs. Dusty Rhodes, Magnum T.A., and “Perfect 10” Baby Doll
I don’t ever recall seeing a mixed tag in Crockett promotions much less in a steel cage.  Clearly Baby Doll doesn’t get the credit she deserves stepping into a steel cage as the only woman in the match against one of the greatest tag team of all time.  The baby faces pick up the win when Baby Doll pins Cornette.

For the final matches we turned to the WWE Network

March 18, 2001
Memorial Coliseum         Jacksonville, Florida
WCW Greed
Dusty & Dustin Rhodes vs. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair & Jeff Jarrett
This was WCW’s last ever PPV and even though they didn’t know it at the time, this was also the Dreams first PPD match in WCW since Fall Brawl 1994.
Honestly not much to say about the match, the crowd was super into it with the Rhodes getting the win, after Dusty gave Jarrett a stink face, luckily he wasn’t wearing thong.

November 27, 1986
Starrcade ’86: Night of the Skywalkers
First Blood Match
World Television Champion: “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes vs. Tully Blanchard with James J. Dillon
This is my favorite time frame of wrestling to watch, this along with the Bash matches above, is what I love the most about wrestling.  I remember when my dad rented this tape, was I furious at Blanchard for his cheating ways. 
These two beat the tar out of each other and after a ref bump Dusty ripped Blanchard’s forehead open with a bionic elbow.  While he celebrated and tried to revive the referee Dillon managed to use a towel and Vaseline to stop the bleeding and then loaded Tully’s hand with a roll of quarters.  A quick right hand later and the blood was flowing from Rhodes, which of course the referee saw and awarded the World Television Championship to the dastardly Tully Blanchard. 

October 31, 1989
Kansas Expo Center, Topeka, Kansas
Saturday Nights Main Event
Aired November 25, 1989
“American Dream” Dusty Rhodes vs. Big Boss Man w/ Slick
Rhodes pinned Boss Man with a roll up after a few minutes of action.  This event marked the debut of Sapphire who was unidentified at the time but Rhodes brought her in the ring to dance with.

Definitely not a strong match to finish on, but I felt we needed a WWF match in there.  Had we had another half hour I would have put on his match with Corino in ECW.  It was a great few hours watching wrestling with a good friend as we remember the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes in our way.

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Later Readers!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Podcast Rundown June 18, 2015

Episode 253 Live from Wrestelcon with Magnus, Marty DeRosa, Eugene, Brian Myers, Tommy Dreamer and co-host Freight Train
It’s a mixed bag of stories with Freight Train offering a very unique perspective.  Tommy Dreamer does nothing but tell hilarious Balls Mahoney stories.

Episode 254 Live from Wrestlecon with Brian Kendrick, Excalibur, Tommaso Ciampa, and ODB with co-host Marty DeRosa. 
Again it’s a mixed bag of stories with the always entertaining Colt Cabana

Episode 255 Justin Gabriel
Now PJ Black the former Justin Gabriel tells about getting into wrestling, the tragic death of his father and how it effected him and then his ultimate return to the King of Sports.  This is a must listen!

Episode 60 Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
Valentine doesn’t pull any punches talking about Ric Flair, Honky Tonk Man, Brutus Beefcake and others in this very candid, and rare interview with Valentine.

Episode 147 Kevin Owens
Recorded just prior to Elimination Chamber you’ll hear a very candid Kevin Owens talk about getting into wrestling, learning English, making his way to the WWE and what it was like starting out in NXT.  It’s an awesome interview.

Episode 149 The Tragic Tale of Axl Rotten
Hear all about Axl Rotten’s troubling times when drug addiction and injuries cripple him to the end result of needing back surgery to not need a wheelchair.  Axl is now 5 years sober.  Also hear about breaking into wrestling, what he regrets about his days in ECW and what he wished he would have accomplished.  It’s a great listen.

Episode 151 Bill DeMott
Bill talks about his early days in wrestling and speaks out defending himself against the recent allegations that were raised against him.

Episode 41 “Sure Thing” Mark Shurman & Tk O’ Ryan
Great listen, I always enjoy hearing about the New England wrestlers how they broke into the business and stories relating to the New England wrestling scene.

Episode 68 Bret hart
Parts of this interview are very good, but Ross once again harps on why wrestling isn’t as good as it once was and what the kids today are doing wrong. 

Episode 69 Kimbo Slice and Jim Cornette
Kimbo talks about his upcoming MMA fight with Ken Shamorck.  Jim Cornette speaks on his issues with Kevin Owens and The Young Bucks.  They also talk about the upcoming NWA Legends fanfest and what will be going on  for that weekend.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Episode 652 Ricky Schroder
The former Silver Spoons and NYPD Blue star spends an hour and 47 minutes talking about his docuseries “The Fighting Season.”  Schroder went to Afghanistan and filmed for months with the 18th Airborne Corps.  Listening to his first-hand account of time spent over there is fascinating and needs to be herd to be believed.

The Moth Radio Hour: Pile Vaulting, Comedy, and the Congo
A mother struggles with her son’s choice to have a religious wedding, a high schooler with a funny name becomes a pole vaulter, a social scientist commutes to war torn countries for work, and a comedian confronts a heckler

The Moth Radio Hour: Kidneys, Undergarments, and Cabbies
A college kid has his jaw wired shut, a man receives the best gift ever from the love of his life, a Mormon tries to extinguish her doubts, a daughter consoles her grieving father, and a New York City cab driver has a very bad day.

The Moth Radio Hour: Pizza, Polar Bears, & Rock Stars
A Woman attempts to cross the Arctic solo with a dog team, an Orthodox Jewish boy tests God by eating pizza, and Guns N’ Roses bass player Duff McKagan survives a health scare.

Episode 19 Risk Taker with Sheryl Nicholson
A touching tale of love and heartbreak and taking risks

Episode 20 Random Acts of Kindness with Ron Laker
A story about what you give is what you get

Mike Judge speaks about everything from Beavis & Butthead, King of the Hill, Office Space, Silicon Valley and more.   Interesting story of house he go into animation and working with MTV.

John Cusack talks about his new project “Love and Mercy” and his role Brian Wilson, the music of the Beach Boys.  Also what it was like growing up being an actor as a teenager. 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Returns: JGL talks about his new project “Snowden” his company HitRecord and so much more. 

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Later Readers!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Random Wrestling: You Tube & WWE Network

You Tube

World Junior Heavyweight Champion: Tiger Mask vs. Dynamite Kid
Madison Square Garden August 30, 1982
There is nothing about the matches these two had that hasn’t already been said.  It’s simply amazing and they were far ahead of their time with this style of wrestling in the United States.  This match is both Tiger Mask and Dynamite Kid’s debuts at Madison Square Garden.  I’m also pretty sure this is their debut in the United States for WWF.
This match features Japanese commentary.

“Nature Boy” Ric Flair Returns to Wrestling!
Uploaded November 2, 2009
This is the promo that Ric Flair recorded for his return to wrestling and his upcoming tour and series of matches with Hulk Hogan in Australia in 2009.  I can’t recall seeing this before, it’s a pretty solid piece of business from the “Nature Boy”.

Southwest Championship Wrestling
Heavyweight Champion: Tully Blanchard vs. Eric Embry
Uploaded September 9, 2011
This match features Blanchard making his mandatory 30 title defense against Eric Embry who is brutalized by Blanchard to enhance and extend Blanchard’s feud with Bob Sweetan. This match originally aired on the USA Network. 

Power Uti Press Conference with Super Domino & Super Festus
Uploaded August 21, 2011
If you’ve ever heard the Colt Cabana Podcast featuring Cliff Compton telling his story of his match with Power Uti in Nigeria this is the press conference filmed here in the United States where he and mostly Luke Gallows destroy the no selling Uti with a chair setting up their matches in August 2011 in Nigeria. 

Ultimate Super Kick Party – The Young Bucks
Uploaded January 31, 2015
This is literally almost 10 minutes of the Young Bucks super kicking people’s heads off.  Lots of PWG footage but also, ROH, Japan, Chikara, and more.

WWE Network

Dusty Rhodes
A 1 hour special hosted by Jerry Lawler looking at the life and career of “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes featuring old and new footage of the Dream and his fellow wrestlers.  It is a very well put together special and considering the time they had to put it together it’s commendable.  I would like to see a more in-depth one in the future when they can talk to Tully Blanchard, Magnum TA, and others from the Crockett era.

Battleground 2013
The Shield: Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns w/ Dean Ambrose vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust w/ “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes

This was during the time when Cody was fired for standing up to The Authority and Goldust had just been brought back and after and impressive outing with Randy Orton was resigned to a long term deal.  The Angle was that if the Rhodes lost every one of them would have been out a job.  Great match and great victory for the Rhodes against the at the time indestructible Shield.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Signed Cards: Dusty Rhodes

As most of you know I am collector of signed trading cards and these ones I received from Dusty Rhodes when I mailed them to Florida Championship Wrestling a few years back.  The first is an NWA Wonderama and the second is a Classic WWF one.  

The small photo below was part of a group of them that I bought off ebay from former wrestler Killer Karl Krupp.  It's a photo and not a card, but it's small enough to be mailable in a standard envelope.

"American Dream" Dusty Rhodes

It was a sad day in the world of professional wrestling when on June 11, 2015 the world learned that the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes had passed away.  Dusty Rhodes was a driving creative force in professional wrestling since he debuted in 1968. 

When I was a kid my dad would rent all the wrestling tapes so I saw all his NWA exploits raging war with the Four Horsemen, specifically his matches with Tully Blanchard and “Nature Boy” Ric Flair.  At my first ever live wrestling show on June 4, 1989, it was the WWE at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine, I was 10.

I was shocked when Dusty Rhodes was announced as a replacement for Jake Roberts because he wasn’t in the WWE, he was in the NWA!  Dusty hadn’t debuted on WWE TV yet and was still polka dot-less.  I can’t recall that entire match that night against “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase but I do recall him hitting the bionic elbow and the crowd going nuts.

In early 2006 while checking the burning hammer wrestling forums I come across and advertisement for a new group called Big Time Wrestling having a show in Lynn, Ma at the Armory with the main even being “King of Old School” Steve Corino vs. “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes in a Texas Bullrope match.  I couldn’t throw my money at them fast enough!  I think front row was only $25 - $30!

April 15th was the day of the show, my buddy Rood and I headed south for a loaded day of professional wrestling.  It started with a huge John Cena signing, something like 3000 people showed up, in Burlington, Ma then we headed to Lynn for a stacked card of wrestling. 

On the show was current and future stars Jay Lethal, Antonio Thomas, Talia Madison (Velvet Sky), Traci Brooks, Thomas Penmanship (Tommaso Ciampa), and Legends of the ring: Corino, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Killer Kowalski, King Kong Bundy, Kamala, and of course Dusty Rhodes. 

Dusty never came out before the show or during intermission like other wrestlers did.  I would have loved to have gotten my picture taken with him or something signed but the fact that we never saw Dusty until it was time for his match made it that more special when he did finally come out.

Corino was in the ring first with Bobby Cruise, Ricky Landell, and Jeto.  Then Cruise read a message from Corino where he repeatedly called Dusty fat for various offenses Corino held against Rhodes.   It was quite entertaining. 

Then finally the lights dimmed, The Allman Brothers Midnight Rider rang across the speakers and some smoke kicked up around the curtain and after a few moments there he was, the former 3 time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, the son of a plumber, the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes stepped through the curtain.  The hairs were standing up on my arms and I was marking out big time! 

The match was good with both Dusty and Corino beating the crap out of each other brawling in and outside the ring.  Landell, Jeto, and even Cruise tried to interfere and ate bionic elbows for their efforts.  Rhodes got the victory after hitting Corino with the bell. 

It was a great night and I am grateful that I was able to see this legend in the ring live and in living color!

Thanks for reading

Later readers!