Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Triplemania XXIII review

Triplemania XXIII
August 9, 2015 Arena Ciudad De Mexico
Mexico City, Mexico

AAA’s Triplemania XXIII is the first Lucha Libre PPV to be broadcast in North America since “When Worlds Collide” was on November 6, 1994, however it originated from Los Angeles, California.  Triplemania XXIII is the first Lucha Libre PPV ever to originate live from Mexico.

The American broadcast was marred with technical issues through-out the event.  The commentating team of Hugo Savinovich and Matt Striker didn’t seem to mesh well together and you could not hear Savinovich until the final two matches.  Striker did his best, but unfortunately it was not very good yelling and exaggerated “WOW” and “Nicely Done” instead of calling the maneuvers.  I realize he was the color man and not play by play, but knowing that Hugo could not be heard he should have switched rolls. 

The show featured 6 matches with lots of pageantry and pomp and circumstance in between them.  Also it featured the Hall of Fame inductions of Perro Aguayo Jr. & Hector Garza, both posthumously.  This even also celebrated the retirement of wrestler Villano III and referee Pepe “Tropi” Casas.  They also celebrated the Blue Demon Jr’s 30th Anniversary in Lucha Libre.  All of these events featured what I can assume were wonderful video packages, plus the promo videos that built the matches shown prior to them were all in Spanish.  That is to be expected considering the event, however, with Hugo Savinovich’s microphone not working there was no one to translate what we were watching leaving all meaning gone to me. 

Lucha Libre is a different style than wrestling in America and Japan and I knew that going in.  I haven’t watched a ton of AAA before, however, I have watched a lot of CMLL back when I had cable and it was broadcast on the Fox Sports en Espanol.  The trios matches were very similar to what we saw on WCW when they brought in the lucha libre cruiserweights.  At times there is a lot of tumbling and this can be done well where it looks good and it can be done horribly where is looks really bad, and that was what most of this evening gave us. 

Another oddity was in AAA there do not use a ring bell, they blow a whistle to start the match and the finish is either a 3 count, which is extremely slow, or if a submission the referees wave their hands, once, in the “safe motion” and that signals the end of the match.  AAA uses a six sided ring.

The Matches:

Relevos Atomicos de Locura: Dinastia, Drago, Goya Kong, and Pimpinela Escarlata defeated Daga, Mamba, Mini Psycho Clown & Sext Star. 
This match featured men, woman, cross dressers, a midget, and a transgender.  It was actually a decent match with the typical craziness that comes from a 8 person tag, but even more so considering those involved.  The finish came when Pimpinela Escarlata submitted Sexy Star.   

Los Villanos: Villano III, IV, & V defeated Los Psycho Circus: Monster Clown, Murder Clown, & Psycho Clown when Villano IV pinned Psycho Clown after a low blow.
Villano III & V had lost their masks in the past but were allowed to wear them one last time for this match but had to unmask immediately after the match.  This match rough to watch, the Villanos at 63, 53, & 50 years old and it showed.  There is family history between the two as the Villanos represent the Mendoza family and Psycho Clown the Alvarado family and this match started with a feud between Villano IV and Psycho Clown. 

One of the oddest things I have ever seen in wrestling happened, near the end Psycho Clown was in the ring with a chair while Villano III stood there waiting for him to hit him, Psycho Clown started saluting him and it was explained that his beef was with Villano IV not III and that he respected III.  He did the same thing moments later when he would not complete the pinfall on Villano III breaking the count himself at 2 and more saluting. That’s when Villano IV kicked him in the junk and pinned him, to wish Villano III & V cried foul with IV dismissing them and heading to the back.

Villano III & V unmasked with the remaining men from both teams celebrating in the ring Villano III’s final match. This was also the final bout for referee Pepe “Tropi” Casa and he counted the pinfall.  During a post-match ceremony both Pepe and Villano III were awarded plaques.

Three-Way Trios Steel Cage Match
AAA World Trios Champions: Los Hell Brothers: Averno, Chessman, & Cibernetico defeated Fenix and Los Gueros del Cielo: Jacks Evans & Angelico and El Hijo Del Fantasma, Pentagon Jr, & El Texano Jr.

Nine people is just too many people for this match.  Also the camera work with terrible, the first shot once the match started was to pull back to the corner of the arena where you could not make out what was happening in the ring.  Then we get this view from the top of the cage looking down into the ring at an odd angle so the moves don’t look quite right.  Because there were so many guys there was a lot of standing around also there were 6 rudos (bad guys) and 3 technicos (good guys). 
This match didn’t flow, there were table spots and other high spots that made no sense.  I watched it twice on different days and my account is the same.  To win you had to pull down one of the three belts that were attached to what appeared to be a light rigging over the ring.  Los Hell Brothers retrained when Averno, who is clearly scared of heights, unattached a belt.

Blue Demon Jr & La Parka defeated Electroshock & El Mesias

This matched featured a series of that Lucha Libre tumbling that I wrote about earlier that when done wrong looks bad, and this looked horrid.  I’ve never seen anything more obvious then when Blue Demon and Electroshock were in the ring with each other.   I understand wrestling is pre-determined, however I still like a bit of realism allowing me to suspend my disbelief.  That was impossible with this match up.
Blue Demon and La Parka picked up the win. 

At this point in the production they finally fixed Hugo Savinovich’s audio and we could hear him for the final two matches.

Lucha de Apuestas
Mega Champion: El Patron Alberto w/Fenix defeated Brian Cage w/ El Hijo del Fantasma

This was a non-title hair vs hair match. From what I gather they had been feuding since Brian Cage entered AAA in February pinned Patron in a trios match.  Cage defeated Patron in a non-title match in April.  Then in June Patron defeated Cage by DQ in the title match and it ended with Cage draping the United States Flag on Patron’s unconscious body, which set up this non-title match that was about honor. 

I had high hopes because Brian Cage is a fucking machine and Alberto can go in the ring as well.  It was the best match of the night so far, but not very good.  The seconds interfered in the match several times and the referee, who is Mexican, was apparently a bad guy and interfered on Cage’s behalf, refused to count a pin fall and other over the top evil referee shenanigans that don’t add to a match. 

Eventually Patron took out the evil ref and another ref ran in to call the match via submission.  I feel AAA dropped the ball on this as it was the perfect opportunity for Pepe “Tropi” Casa to amble down to the ring for one more last bid of glory.  Cage could say that Casa was officially no longer a referee and he couldn’t have called the finish thus nullifying the match.

So Cage lost and had his head shaved.  After he charged Patron, ate a powerbomb and got the Mexican flag draped on him.  During the match Patron got busted open and they booth took several chair shots to the head.  Not metal folding, but those plastic folding ones.

The mat was very quiet through-out the event and you could only sporadically hear the wrestlers bumping in the ring.  When you see Cage get powerbombed and when he hits the canvas you hear no impact, it’s loses everything.

Main Event “Dream Match”
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Myzteziz

Billed as the best masked Luchador in the States vs. the best masked Luchador in Mexico to see who is truly the best masked Luchador in the world.  The only real build up is the fact that it was a dream match.  During the introductions they mentioned out Myzteziz started out as Mistico then became Sin Cara and now has become Myzteziz. 

This was the best match on the show, I even liked it.  Rey reminded me of the Mysterio of old battling around the ring using tables and other devices.  Myzteziz was busted open under his mask but managed to get pretty coated in blood.  After a hard fought bout Mysterio picked up the win forcing Myzteziz to tap out to a fujiwara armbar.  I can’t recall ever seeing Mysterio win by submission.

After the match Mysterio went to the floor to celebrate with fans and the AAA President.  Averno, Pentagon Jr. and Joe Lider ran down and bear the tar out of Myzteziz.  Mysterio ran in for the save, took a beating himself but eventually they teamed up and sent the rudo’s packing. 

Mysterio offered his hand to Myzteziz who spit mist in Mysterios face, turned heel and challenged Mysterio to a mask vs. mask match.  Konnan and his crew La Sociedad ran in and attacked Mysterio and the PPV abruptly ended. 

All in all this event was very poorly executed.  I realize that you have to look at this as an event where feuds culminate and feuds begin and not knowing the history it can be confusing.  However, this was the same for NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 9 and they managed to execute an excellent night of matches.

If given the opportunity to watch this, I probably wouldn’t. 

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Later Readers!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Podcast Rundown 8/15/2015

Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling Podcast
Episode 260 Drew Gulak
Former CZW Champion and Indy Standout Drew Gulak talks to Colt about his career and where he wants it to go.

Episode 261 5th Anniversary
This podcast features Colt talking about himself and the direction of the podcast.  Also he airs a portion of a 2012 premium podcast with Keven Steen (Owens) which is interesting based on where Steen’s career was and where he saw it going, especially when you consider where it is.

Episode 262 Truth Martini (The Border)
This episode is similar the Cliff Compton Nigeria podcast as this entire show is Truth talking about is issues getting into Canada for the biggest show of his career for Ring of Honor.  Fantastic!

Episode 263 Edinburgh LIVE Part 1: Gardo, Sha Samuels, Brendon Burns, Carl Hutchinson
No real direction, just Colt talking to a couple wrestlers and a couple comedians, all wrestling related though, at the Fringe Festival.  It’s hilarious all through-out!

WOOOOO! Nation with Ric Flair
Episode 13 Mark Madden
Ric and Mark talk about sports, WCW, and more in a great conversation between friends.  Mark has a unique perspective about his time in WCW and for DDP. 

Jim Cornette Experience
Episode 87: Live from Charlotte
Recorded at the NWA Legends Fanfest in Charlotte, NC

Talk is Jericho
Episode 161 Ian Ziering
Ian talks about he thought both Sharknado and 90210 would flop, clearly he was wrong.  Great conversation that flies by.

Episode 164 “Mr. Belding” Dennis Haskins
This has become one of my favorite’s podcast interviews!  Mr. Belding talks about what he did before acting as a road manager for one of the Alman Brothers.  What the character Mr. Belding means to him and how it doesn’t bother him that he was typecast as the character.

Episode 166 Roddy Piper Memories and New Day
Very funny chat with the members of New Day, well worth the listen.

How Did This Get Made
Episode 115: Sharknado 3 Oh Hell No! (with Scott Aukerman)
I didn’t really find this one funny, but Jason Mantzoukas is always a pleasure to listen too.

The Moth Radio Hour
Kate Braestrup & Pilar Siman
A Warden Chaplain helps others deal with death after facing her own tragedy, and a college freshman falls in love at 11pm Mass.

Camp, Cars, Cockroaches, and the Kremlin
A girl at summer camp tries to keep up with her sophisticated fellow campers, a writer loses a treasured pair of pants, a young man accused of stealing ends up living up of his car, and a writer lands in Moscow on the eve of a revolution.

Live From The Moth GrandSLAM
Taped live on July 15, 2015 in Brooklyn, New York.

Arthur Bradford & Laura Gershman
A man spends his second wedding anniversary in jail after getting picked up on an outstanding warrant from the Parks and Recreation department, and two sisters are dropped off at the mall as part of their mother’s elaborate ruse.

The Nerdist
Stand Up Cluster 2015
A series of stand up acts from Baron Vaughn, Megan Neurigner, Kyle Clark, Cameron Esposito, Carlos Delagdo, Dave Thomason, Al Jackson, Sara Schaefer, and James Adomain.

Paul Rudd
A really great conversation between Chris and Paul about everything from their dead dads and Antman. 

Mystery Show
Case 2 Britney
I first learned of this show listening to the most recent “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” podcast.  Starlee Kine created this podcast after listening to “Serial” deciding that she wanted to solve mysteries that no one else could solve.  Although this isn’t her first case it was the one that they spoke of on “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.”  This episode is about her friend who wrote and book that did not do well and is hard to find, even she the author cannot find it. 
One day her friend saw a photo of Britney Spears carrying her book and wants to know why and if she liked it.

Case 1 Video Store
In this first case Starlee investigates her friends claim that on a Sunday she went to a video store for the first time, signed up for an account, and rented a movie.  When she went to return it the next day the video store was closed, had gone out of business and the inside of the store was empty.  This was in 2005. 

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Later Readers!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Signed Cards: The Young Bucks

Young Bucks: Nick & Matt Jackson

I realize I haven’t done a post on any new trading cards in a while, but I haven’t gotten any new ones.  I suppose I could go back and highlight the other cards that I have any perhaps I will do that in the future. 

On Sunday August 3rd I attended Northeast Wrestling in Lowell, MA on the card that night were the one and only Nick & Matt Jackson, the Young Bucks!  I spoke with both of them for several minutes and they were really nice to talk to.  I had these TNA cards from India of them that they had never seen before so I gave them to them.  Matt immediately took a photo and posted it on twitter. 

This card is from a set called Independent Pro Wrestling or IPW that was released in 2015 by a gentleman in California.  A very limited release I was lucky to get my hands on this one and a few others from this set. 

These two cards I bought on ebay from a seller in Japan.  Put together these cards reveal the finishing move “More Bang for Your Buck”.  They were released in 2014 as part of the King of Pro-Wrestling card game in Japan.

This card I bought from the Young Bucks, I couldn’t help myself as they are known for their Superkick’s and this is a Superkick card.  It is part of the same King of Pro-Wrestling card game in Japan released in 2014. 

 This card is one I got signed at Chikara Pro July 28, 2012 in Portland, Maine.  It’s a TNA Tristar New Era card set from 2010, card 18. 

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Later Readers!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Signed Trading Cards: Mick Foley

Mick Foley Card Collection

Cactus Jack, Dude Love, Mankind, or Mick Foley, no matter what you call him he is one of the most well-known wrestlers around the world.  This set of cards is one of my favorite as it represents 4 different companies under 4 different gimmicks.

These cards I got signed at a Big Time Wrestling event in Augusta at the Civic Center on March 27, 2011.  I had done some postering and other work for the promoter so I able to get my photo taken with Mick three of his books, and these 6 cards signed for free!

This card features Cactus Jack from IWA Japan released by Baseball Magazine in 1995.  I got this on ebay for about $5 and I love it because it depicts the image of what Cactus Jack was in Japan.

These three cards were released in 1998 by Comic Images and depict the famous 3 Faces of Foley of Cactus Jack, Mankind, and Dude Love.  Mick signed each card as the name that is depicted by the gimmick on the card.

This WWF card released by Fleer in 2001 shows Mick Foley as Mick Foley, and he signed it as such. 

This TNA Card released by TriStar in 2009 shows a bloody Mick Foley as TNA World Champion.

After I had the above cards signed I found a WCW card of Cactus Jack.  I wasn’t able to get it signed until July 2, 2015 when Mick made an appearance at a Sea Dogs game in Portland.  I wasn’t able to go by my friend Mikey went and got it signed for me.

This is a Cactus Jack card printed by London Publishing for WCW in 1992 as part of a set that was released in issues of WCW Magazine.

I fully believe that my collection of signed Mick Foley cards is now complete.  

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Northeast Wrestling August 2, 2015

Northeast Wrestling
Wrestling Under the Stars
August 2, 2015 
Lelacheur Park, Lowell, MA

Quick Results:
Chaotic Wrestling Champion: Chase Del Monte pinned Mike Webb
8 Man Tag: Cam-An Connection: Anthony Green & Cam Zigami and Team Friendship: Mark Shurman & Scotty Slade defeated Stamos Syndicate: Frankie Arion & Tag Team Champions: The Battle Brothers: Chris & Anthony w/ Stevie Stamos and “Man Scout” Jake Manning
Brian Anthony defeated Caleb Konley
Mickie James pinned Alexxis
Mick Foley cheap pop promo
Samoa Joe submitted Warbeard Hanson
Donovan Dijak pinned Flip Gordon
The Kingdom: Heavyweight Champion: Matt Taven & Michael Bennett w/ Maria defeated The Young Bucks: Nick & Matt Jackson with a spike piledriver on Matt
Three Way Dance: Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Matt Hardy & Alberto El Patron when Mysterio pinned Hardy

On Sunday August 2nd Northeast Wrestling presented “Wrestling Under the Stars” in Lowell, Ma at Lelacheur Park where the Red Sox A ball club the Lowell Spinners play.  When this show was announced I was interested in going, not for Rey Mysterio, but for The Young Bucks!  They are so hot right now across the country and in Japan.  Also I had never been to a Northeast Wrestling show and have wanted to for some time.

Eventually tickets were bought with Mikey, Roy, & I deciding to go to the show.  We left Sunday morning for the 2.5 hour drive not stopping until we made it to Lowell.  I had wanted to try this place called Elliot’s Lunch Cart that is a Hot Dog joint that has been around for years but they were closed.

We got parked back over the stadium and walked to a place called Brother’s Pizza, it was sketchy so we settled for Lowell Beer Works.  The food was good, but my Burger was deceptively small.  Roy got the breakfast as they serve brunch until 2pm.  The waitress was very slow and we didn’t get back to the park until after the gates opened. 

The meet and greet was set up the worst I have ever seen.  The wrestlers were set up downstairs in a circle and I can see why they thought it would be a good idea.  That way you could go from one person to the next to get your autographs and photos and what not.  If you wanted to get down to the meet and greet they had one line that lead down to it and the first wrestler you came to was Rey Mysterio Jr. Now admittedly the majority of the people there wanted to meet Rey, however if you didn’t want to it didn’t matter because you had to wait for everyone else that did to get by him. 

It was so dumb!  At every other signing I have been to you go into the area where the wrestlers are, they have their tables and you go to who you want to see, not one big line for all.  It took two hours for us to get down to the meet and greet area.  

I got all my cards signed by The Young Bucks, a picture with them.  One with Michael Bennet and Maria, and one with Dijak  Nick Jackson did this video I posted a couple months back called Nick Jackson’s Birthday Bash and when I asked him about it he says it was an homage to a video that Kenny Omega did.

I thought the matches would start late, and they did but only 15 minutes.  They opened with a ten bell salute to “Rowdy” Roddy Piper who had passed away Friday.  The show featured 8 matches and an intermission that stretched to 30 minutes with the show ending at 8pm.  Highspots was there with their variety of merchandise as well as a couple other vendors.  Mikey and Roy picked up 4 – 5 DVD’s each, Roy is quite addicted to buying wrestling DVD’s.

At one point in my life I was addicted to buying everything and anything wrestling.  However, after the flood destroyed my collection I began to realize that having anything and everything didn’t really matter.  I still have quite a nice collection of wrestling memorabilia however I am much more selective of what I spend my money on.

It was a great night of matches, with The Young Bucks vs. The Kingdom & Dijak vs. Flip Gordon being the best two matches of the evening.  All the matches were very good, even though Samoa Joe was just going through the motions.  He’s got a deal with WWE and he’s finishing up his indy bookings so I guess I can’t blame him for not wanting to get injured in front of 2000 people in Lowell on a one off appearance. In the ladies match Alexxis worked her butt off playing the heal while Mickie James was kind of going through the motion as well.

Dijak is a big dude and he’s got a great future in wrestling.  He’s agile and moves like a smaller guy.  He’s gotten a lot better in the ring and we will see him in the WWE one day.  I had never seen Flip Gordon before but he was great in the ring with some awesome aerial offense.  I’d really like to see him again in the future. 

The Young Bucks were fantastic and the hometown boys of The Kingdom were way over.  It looked like Taven got legit injured in the match but he powered through and both team delivered. 

 The main event triple threat was carried by Alberto El Patron who came out to a big ovation and when full heel on the mic before the match.  Rey won after hiding on the outside of the ring for the majority of the match.  The match was better than I thought it would be, but Rey still managed to piss me off.  

After the matches we headed a mile down the road to Jimmy John’s to get Kate her favorite sandwich.  The website said they were open until 10pm but at 815pm the lights were off and doors locked up tight.  We went to go to another place across the street but they had no restroom, that wasn’t going to work for any of us. 

We ended up jumping on 495 North and when I realized that we would be passing the Cracker Barrel just a couple miles down the road, and that it was Sunday I knew that we were stopping.  Not to mention that neither Mikey nor Roy had ever been to Cracker Barrel.  Exit 39 was the exit we wanted, and of course the ramp was closed due to construction.  We had to go a few miles up the road and exit onto 93 which looped us back onto 495 South, but I had Mikey call to make sure they would be open.

Back in 2009 Jay, Rood, and I went to Webster, MA to meet Ric Flair and get out picture taken with him for the first time ever.  On the way home we stopped at this very same Cracker Barrel, it was a Sunday and that was when I learned that the Sunday special is home style fried chicken!  Two boneless chicken breast dipped in buttermilk and breading and fried to golden brown perfection!  It’s only available on Sunday’s which is why I made the executive decisions that this is where we were going to eat. 

Mikey also got the chicken but Roy went with the breakfast sampler.  Roy is a big fan of Breakfast and the Barrel serves it all day every day.  I brought Kate home 4 biscuits and apple butter at her request.  The chicken was so delicious!

We made it back to my house about midnight the end to a great day.  I look forward to our next wrestling adventure.

Later Readers!

Here is the Facebook link to all my photos: Northeast Wrestling Album