Monday, October 26, 2015

Pro Wrestling Illustrated 1975 Match of the Year

 I was surfing around on Wikipedia the other day and I don't recall how I ended up on the page but I ended up on the list of PWI Matches of the Year.  As I'm looking at the list there are several matches I recall watching and I agree with the listings. However one jumped out at me at being on the WWE Network.

One of my favorite sections is the Old School section but they have added very little to it since the launch of the Network.  I love watching the old house shows from Madison Square Garden and other places, including the 70's. Honestly I would love them to post some matches from the 60's if they had any.  

The oldest card on Network is from 1975, which coincidentally features the PWI 1975 Match of the year!

March 17, 1975
Madison Square Garden

Texas Death Match
WWWF World Heavyweight Champion: “Living Legend” Bruno Sammartino w/ “The Golden Boy” Arnold Skaaland vs. Sprios Arion w/ “Classy” Fred Blassie

Referee: Eddie Gersh
Commentary: Vince McMahon

This was the classic silver rope ring that had the two hard cameras, one at ring level and the other angled down from a section or two up from the other hard camera.  I really like this second camera view.

The seconds clear the ring and the referee checks both men, Arion first, then while checking Bruno Arion pearl harbors Bruno with a right hand then delivers a series of kicks and stomps.  The referee backs Arion up and calls for the bell.

Bruno unloads on Arion with several blows then sends him into the ropes for a knee to the gut.  A few more strikes then a body slam and a two count for Sammartino.  Bruno backs Arion into the corner with some shoulder blocks to the mid-section before Bruno applies a bear hug.

Arion breaks the hold with an ear ringer.  Both men exchange blows from their knees then Arion takes control whipping Bruno into the turnbuckle and falling to the mat.   Arion delivers a series of kicks to the back and stomach. 

Bruno gets to his feet and crowd comes alive, Arion continues to work Bruno over with blows to the lower back and mid-section.  Arion with a European uppercut good for a two count.  Bruno takes over with a series of punches and kicks.  Bruno gets riled up and the crowd comes alive again.  Bruno  knocks Arion out of the ring to the floor. 

Arion slowly gets back in the ring and takes over on offence knocking Sammartino to the floor and then blatantly kicks Sammartino in the junk.  The referee allows this.  Some more kicks from Arion then a body slam for a two count.  The crowd is chanting Bruno with vigorous passion.

Bruno reverses an atomic knee drop attempt with a side headlock and punches to the head.  A series of knees to Arion’s back.  One knocks Arion over the top rope onto the apron, Bruno kicks him to the floor.  Bruno gets on the ring apron and kicks Arion into the ringside barricade, Arion takes a swing at fan. 

Back in the ring Arion the kind of lock up with Bruno getting a side choke on Arion, then some more punches and kicks.  The crowd loves it when Bruno kicks Arion in the head while he is down so he keeps doing it. 

Bruno locks in a rear chin lock, Vinnie calls it a Boston crab something very similar to it.  We get a rope break so Bruno stands on Arion’s head bouncing up and down while holding the ropes.  The exchange blows in the standing position.  Sammartino used the corner to kick Arion with both feet. 

Arion knocks Bruno to the canvas and starts a series of various kicks and then punches followed by more kicks.  Arion goes for an abdominal stretch, Bruno reverses into a nice judo throw, followed by a hip toss and a body slam for a two count.

Bruno grabs a headlock, then is sent into the ropes eating a kick to the midsection.  Arion throws Bruno into the ropes who comes off with a kick of his own.  Another bodyslam by Bruno, Arion gets his foot on the ropes but the referee doesn’t see it. 

Arion protests showing the referee what happened, but he doesn’t care.  Arion protest to Bruno, but he doesn’t care either.

The match wasn’t bad, but Match of the Year, seems unlikely.  

I don't normally do match reviews like this with the blow by blow, but as we are talking about a Match of the Year I felt it necessary.  

Thanks for reading, please feel free to leave a comment, follow me on Twitter or like my blog's Facebook page.

Later Readers!

Other matches on this show   

WWWF @ New York City, NY - Madison Square Garden - March 17, 1975 Televised on HBO - featured Vince McMahon on commentary:
Johnny Rodz pinned Bill White at 11:31 with a stomp from the middle rope after White failed a dropkick attempt
Mike Paidousis pinned Jack Evans at 5:43 with a kneedrop after Evans ran into the ropes when Paidousis moved out of the way
Manuel Soto & Pete Sanchez defeated Joe Nova & Hans Schroeder at 22:05 in a Best 2 out of 3 falls match
Chief Jay Strongbow pinned Butcher Vachon at 9:10 with a Thesz Press
WWWF World Champion Bruno Sammartino (w/ Arnold Skaaland) pinned Spiros Arion at 14:51 in a Texas Death match with a powerslam even though Arion's foot was on the bottom rope during the cover; prior to the bout, Freddie Blassie escorted Arion to the ring before returning to the dressing room
Victor Rivera defeated Killer Kowalski via disqualification at 15:58 after Kowalski began biting at Rivera's head; prior to the bout, the Grand Wizard escorted Kowalski to the ring before returning to the dressing room
All American Wrestling - 5/6/84: Ivan Putski defeated the Wolfman via submission at 6:45 with a bearhug (Putski's MSG debut)
Dean Ho & Tony Garea fought WWWF Tag Team Champions Johnny & Jimmy Valiant to a draw in a Best 2 out of 3 falls non-title match; fall #1: Garea pinned Johnny at 1:49 after throwing him off the top rope; fall #2: Johnny pinned Garea at 4:05 with a sunset flip; fall #3: the bout was stopped due to the curfew at 12:13; prior to the bout, Capt. Lou Albano escorted the Valiants to the ring before returning to the dressing room

Thursday, October 22, 2015

WWE Network: Table for 3 and more

Table For 3

Table for 3 is a new show on the WWE Network that features 3 wrestlers sitting around having a meal and talking about wrestling.  How could this not be good right?  Each episode has a different theme and wrestlers appearing are from different times in wrestling.   Each episode is about 22 minutes long, but I would like it if they were much, much longer.

Brass Ring
Kevin Owens, Dean Ambrose, Ceasro
One of my favorites so far with these three talking about their journey and rise in WWE to where they are now.  They also talk a lot about being on the independent scene and how it was there and some of the others wrestlers that they worked with.  Really good show.

IC Champions Club
Daniel Bryan, Ryback, & Dolph Ziggler
They briefly talk about what how the Intercontinental Championship was important to them when they were younger and how that want to make it that way again.   Hilarious stories of them being on the road together, wrestling each other, Ryback hurting Dolph, wanting to impress Bock Lesner, trying to get fans in Russia to cheer for him, calling Daniel Bryan a bully and so much more.  I laughed so much during this episode.

WCW Legends
Sting, DDP, & Vader.  They open up talking about Sting finally getting signed to WWE.  Then Sting and Vader talk about their WCW feud including Vader calling Sting the stiffest pretty boy he’d ever faced. By the way Vader health wise and shape wise looks great!  DDP talks about Sting and his WCW World Title Match on Nitro. 
Other topics include NXT, Sting’s Wrestlemania match, John Cena, Harley Race, Sting getting Lex Lugar into WCW for the debut of Nitro, Ted Turner, WCW memories and more.

WWE 24

NXT Brooklyn
A behind the scenes look at NXT and their sell out show in Brooklyn on eve of SummerSlam. 
This documentary starts back at NXT Arrival in February 2014 taking us all the way to Brooklyn.  They talk to a variety of NXT Wrestlers and Triple H about Florida Championship Wrestling, the Full Sail University crowd, taking NXT on the road, and more about the growth of NXT.
We go in-depth with Finn Balor, Sasha Banks, the evolution of Women’s wrestling, Bayley, and others. 
A very detailed look at the Sasha Banks vs. Bayley match including footage of their mothers at ringside and post-mast celebration of the 4 Horsewoman. 
We get a detailed look at the Main Event Ladder match pitting Champion Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens.
It’s really cool listening to Triple H’s comments through-out as he clearly is a proud poppa when it comes to NXT and “his kids”
A couple things that were not covered that surprised me was nothing about the amazing entrance the Enzo and Big Cass got, Samoa Joe, and nothing at all about Jushin Liger.  They showed three brief clips of him in the final montage of the event.  The final image was Bayley hoisting the NXT Women’s Championship and crowd chanting her name.  Thea doesn’t surprise me as it really felt like they were putting the women’s division over hard, and rightfully so.

A pretty amazing hour and well worth checking out. 

Thanks for reading, please take a moment to leave a comment, follow me on twitter or like my blog's Facebook page.

Later Readers! 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Podcast Rundown 10/17/2014

Talk’n Shop
Episode 62 Michael Elgin
One of the less chaotic shows with just Anderson & Gallows talking to Elgin about his time in wrestling.

Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling Podcast
Episode 268 Magnus
Nick Aldis was Magnus in TNA, listen as he talks about getting into wrestling, UK Gladiators, his time in TNA and being married to Mickie James

Episode 269 Jim Duggan
We all know who “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan is, but this conversation is about his start in wrestling , his style, and how in his 60’s he’s still able to compete today.

Episode 270 Taz

Colt is in heaven talking to and ECW original Taz about how he got into wrestling and his early days of ECW.

Episode 271 Gary Michael Cappetta
The former Ring Announcer of the WWWF, AWA, WCW, and more talks about getting into the business, why he left, what he's doing with himself since then and more.  I've read his book and it is excellent!  For me I remember him being the voice of WCW as I don't recall him ever being in the WWF but I have seen footage of it.  

Talk is Jericho
Episode 181 Eli Roth Returns
Eli talks about his movie “The Green Inferno” and the trouble he ran into that caused the movie’s release to be delayed a year.

Episode 184 Jericho 25th Anniversary
One of the best podcasts that I have ever listened too!  So much fantastic going on in this hilarious conversation between Jericho, Lance Storm, Don Callis, & Lenny St. Clair.  The rapport between the 4 of them and the stories they share is simply amazing!  I'm going to save this one to listen to it again and again.

Episode 185 Jesse Ventura Returns
The Body is back with more conspiracy's, government cover ups and his plan to run for President in 2016.

Steve Austin Unleashed
Episode 254 Jake “The Snake” Roberts
Roberts talks about getting into wrestling, the art of psychology, his demons, where he is today, and so much more.

Episode 247 Sean “X-Pac” Waltman
I was truly surprised by how great this show actually was.  Talking about Waltman’s early career, his name choice of 1-2-3 Kid, his later issues with meth, and lots of talk about wrestling from the 80’s. 

Episode 255 Edge & Christian
Taped for a WWE Network Special it’s a great career highlight for both men, with the primary focus being on Edge.  

The Ross Report
Episode 81 Josh Barnett

They talk about UFC, Pro Wrestling, the future of both and much, much more

Episode 83 Demolition
Recorded in England JR and Ax & Smash sit down and talk about both of their careers, the different characters they played, Ax's friendship with Andre, and how they came together as a team and if they feel they were knock off's for the Road Warriors. 

The Jim Cornette Experience
Episode 94 Dave Meltzer
Jim & Dave talk about the Jimmy Snuka case, The Young Bucks, MMA, and more, really great show.

How Did This Get Made
Episode 119 Maximum Overdrive LIVE w/ Andy Daly
Another great live episode this time about the only film directed by Stephen King.

Episode 120 Master of the Universe w/ Tatiana Maslan

I really like these guys but man it bugs me when they don’t know the basis for what a movie is based on.  Still the same they were funny as usual and it actually gave me a new perspective on this movie. 

The Moth Radio Hour
Dog Mother, Tour Guide, & Milli Vanilli
A woman becomes a stepmother to a dog, a tour guide in Toronto confronts racism, a mother learns the meaning of “Little Pitchers have big ears” and one half of the pop duo Milli Vanilli tells his side of the famous lip syncing scandal.  Personal note, I love the phrase “Little pitchers have big ears” is one of my favorites from “A Christmas Story”

Holly Hughes & Tara Clancy
Two stories about fighting back: Against the U.S. Congress and against a school bus bully.

A writer makes his dad proud, a preacher’s kid takes money from his grandfather, a high schooler chases his dog out onto the Grand Concourse, and a former child soldier negotiates high school in New York City.

Marie Hershkowitz & Matthew McGough

Baseball Stories, both stories are great but Matthew McGough’s is hilarious!

Live from Boston
A special live edition of The Moth recorded at the Shubert Theatre in Boston.  A New York City cop looks inot the death of a kid he grew up with, a jazz musician dreams of playing with James Brown, and a woman falls in love over the protestations of her family.

The Nerdist
Morena Baccarin
Morena talks about Gotham, Comic Con, Firefly and a lot more a really good show

Robert Rodriguez

We learn a lot about El’ Mariachi and how Robert made this film for no one to see and how it was the catalyst for how his career shaped.  I really enjoyed this conversation.  

Colin Hanks
Hanks talks about his new documentary about Tower Records "All Things Must Pass", fatherhood, being in the shadow of his father Tom Hanks, and a lot more.  

Mystery Show
Case 3 Belt Buckle
A man who found a unique and custom made belt buckle as a child wants to know who the owner is and the story behind it.  

Case 4 Vanity Plate
A mystery for Starlee herself as she wants to know the story behind the license plate she saw a few years ago, “Iluv911”

Case 5 Source Code
Starlee’s friend is desperate to know how tall Jake Gyllenhaal is.

Case 6 Kotter
A Welcome Back Kotter lunch box is the topic, specifically the scene on the cover of a jacket with knots in the sleeves.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

WWE Network Shows

WWE Networks has been putting out some great original programming lately. 

The show “Table for 3” is three people having a meal together and just shooting the shit for 20 minutes to half an hour.  They have aired 3 episodes so far and each could not have been more different from the next.  

Episode 1 “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, & “Mean” Gene Okerlund
This was much too short and it seemed to end just as it started.  Piper tells a funny story about being arrested and forgetting that one of the people in the room actually bailed him out. 

Episode 2 New Day” Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, & Big E Langston
Three friends talking about how they became a team telling loads of inside jokes and genuinely having a great time in each other’s company.  Really fun feel good episode that makes you actually like New Day.

Episode 3 Madusa, Molly Holly, & Ivory
So excited when I heard about this episode, three legends of woman’s wrestling and what is the most interesting is that Molly had interaction with Madusa & Ivory through her career, but Madusa and Ivory never crossed paths in the ring.  The best story that comes out of this episode really finding out about the night Madusa threw the WWF Woman’s Championship into the garbage on Nitro.  

There are some great future episodes featuring Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, & Ryback as well as another fearing Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens, & Cesaro.  

Corey Graves hosts two shows on WWE Network “Superstar Ink” & “Culture Shock” both shows are less than ten minutes. 
“Superstar Ink” talks to the Superstars of the WWE about their tattoo’s, why they got them, and what they mean to them.  
“Culture Shock” features Graves touring around to different Pop Culture or unique places to examiner the odder side traveling.  He visits places like Marvel Comics, The Preakness, X Games, Hardcore Tattoo, Fisherman’s Wharf and more.  I haven’t watched all them yet but the ones I have seen are decent.
Graves makes a good host and I could see him hosting longer episodes of this show.

Renee Young host “Unfiltered” a casual talk show type show that features interviews with wrestlers and Hollywood types in various locations.  The duration of the shows vary from 10 to 30 minutes.  They follow no real format other than Renee asking questions.   I haven’t watched every episode but the Seth Rollins and Steve Amell ones were decent.  

“Legends with JBL” is the newest show on the Network.  The first two episodes are a 2 part interview with Eric Bischoff and were filmed in a cable news channel style setting with both men sitting in chairs sort of facing each other behind a coffee table.  Both parts were excellent with Bischoff going into details that we haven’t heard before.  

WWE Network has what looks to be a great show about NXT showing us the journey of superstars behind the scenes.  

Thanks for reading, please take a moment leave a comment or like my pages Facebook page.

Later Readers!