Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Roy's Review: WWF No Way Out of Texas

February 15, 1998
Compaq Center, Houston, Texas

Match 1: The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher) defeated Marc Mero and Goldust w/Luna Vachon. Solid match but nothing great. Sable was sent to the back by Mero before the match started. Thrasher got his head busted open on the ring steps. Sable came back out near the end causing a distraction which allowed The Headbangers to switch places and get the win. Afterwards Sable and Luna got into a fight.

Match 2: Light Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku defeated Pantera to retain. Solid match but again nothing great. Sunny was special ring announcer for this one. Some good high spots. Brian Christopher was on commentary which made for some good one liners from him and Lawler. After the match Lawler and Christopher tried to attack Taka but he took them out with a cross body off the top.

Match 3: The Quebecers (Jacques and Pierre) defeated The Godwinns (Henry and Phineas). Awful. Jacques did have a sweet bald spot though.

Match 4: Bradshaw defeated NWA North American Champion Jeff Jarrett w/Jim Cornette by DQ. This was a decent match. Jarrett came to the ring with Barry Windham and The Rock N' Roll Express but they were sent to the back because they didn't have a "manager's license." Jarrett worked over Bradshaw's leg for most of the match. Near the end Cornette got involved and was bodyslammed for his trouble. This allowed Jarrett to get the tennis racket and hit Bradshaw causing the DQ. After the match Windham, Morton and Gibson came out and beat up Bradshaw until The Legion of Doom made the save.

Match 5: Ken Shamrock, Ahmed Johnson, Chainz, Skull and 8-Ball defeated The Nation of Domination (Faarooq, The Rock, Kama, Mark Henry and D'Lo Brown) in a War of Attrition Match. This was a surprisingly good match, mainly because the dumpy guys only had minimal ring time. D'Lo did the majority of the work for the Nation.

Match 6: Kane w/Paul Bearer defeated Vader. This seemed like it was the first real test for Kane. Vader did well considering how strong Kane was booked at the time. As for the match, it was kinda boring because it was just a bunch of moves. Kane won with a tombstone. After the match he hit Vader in the head with a huge wrench.

Match 7: Steve Austin, Cactus Jack, Chainsaw Charlie and Owen Hart defeated Triple H, Billy Gunn, Road Dogg and Savio Vega w/Chyna in a Non-Sanction Match. Savio was the mystery replacement for Shawn Michaels. What a letdown. This was a crazy brawl with tons of weapons and everyone taking a bunch of damage. After about 5-7 minutes it settled into a typical tag match, just with weapons. Funk took quite a beating as did Foley. Austin got the hot tag, cleaned house, then hit a stunner on Road Dogg for the win. After the match Chyna shoved Austin multiple times, then flipped him off. She received a stunner for her trouble. If you haven't seen this match before check it out. Its a good fun brawl.

There were a couple dumpy matches but overall a decent show.

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Lucha Mexico review

The other day I stumbled across a new documentary on Netflix called Lucha Mexico.  The Netflix synopsis was simple: The documentary captures the colorful spectacle of Lucha Libre, a form of Mexican pro wrestling performed by masked superheroes and villians.  SOLD!

The film was released in 2016 with a theatrical tour and is available on DVD.  It has a run time of 1 hour 43 minutes and although there is some English in the film it is primarily in Spanish, what do you expect its about pro wrestling in Mexico, so make sure you turn your subtitles on.

The bulk of the movie follows luchador Shocker but also features "Strongman" Jon Anderson, Blue Demon Jr, El Hijo Del Perro Aguayo, Fabian El Gitano, Tony Salazar, Faby Apache, Sexy Star, Kemonito, Damian 666, Halloween, Julio Cesar Rivera, and Giant Bernard, no Matt Bloom the head trainer of the WWE Performance Center.  The primary promotion featured is CMLL, Consejo Mundial De Lucha Libre the oldest wrestling promotion founded in 1933.  Other promotions such as AAA, NWA Mexico, Perros Del Mal, and other independents are also featured.

This documentary is the first that I am aware that really shows the depth of Lucha Libre with Shocker headlining shows for CMLL in the world famous Arena Mexico to tent shows at farmers markets in the rain.  We also get an abridged history of Lucha Libre with wrestlers talking about their fathers and older wrestlers talking about their time in the ring.  We get a peak at the CMLL training center at Arena Mexico.

The time frame of this movie is never specified however based on the matches and contents of the movie it was filmed over a five year period from Fall 2009 until Spring 2015.

Some incidents in the film that show the timeline are:

Fabian El Gitano was murdered in his home from blunt trauma to the head on March 18, 2011

Doctor X was murdered October 11, 2011

Hector Garza
Hector Garza passed away on May 26, 2013 from lung cancer.  At the time of his death he was the Mexican National Heavyweight Champion, the Mexico City Boxing and Wrestling Commission deemed the title inactive.  As of November 25, 2016 it remains inactive.  

Perro Aguayo Jr died during a match March 20, 2015


There are a lot of matches and clips featured in the film, but these are the ones that I could pinpoint down.  Also they are in order by date and not by appearance in the film.

November 15, 2009 
AAA Wrestling in Mexico City La Sala de Armas De La Magdalena Mixhuca in Mexico City
Sexy Star, Billy Boy, Povlo de Estrellas defeated Faby Apache, Aero Star, & May Flowers

Faby Apache
May 23, 2010
CMLL Domingos De Coliseo Arena Coliseo de Mexico City, Mexico City, Mexico
2 out of 3 falls match
Fabain El Gitano, Leono, & Pegasso defeated Los Guerreros Tuareg: Dr. X, Nitro, & Loco Max

2 out of 3 falls match
Shocker, Maximo Sexy, & Strong Man defeated Ultimo Guerrero, Taichi, & Rey Bucanero by DQ

May 25, 2010
CMLL Martes Arena Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
2 out of 3 falls match
Fabian El Gitano, Leono, & Angel Azteca Jr. defeated Bronco, Durango Kid, & Inquisidor

May 28, 2010
CMLL Super Viernes Arena Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
2 out of 3 falls match
Shocker, Strong Man, and Giant Bernard defeated Damian El Terrible, El Texano Jr. & Hector Garza in two straight falls at 10:56

June 6, 2010
CMLL Arena Puebla in Heroica Puebla de Zaragoza, Puebla, Mexico
Giant Bernard, Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000 defeated Brazo de Plata, El Rayo de Jalisco Jr. & Strong Man

July 18, 2010
CMLL Infierno En El Ring 2010 PPV Arena Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
12 Man Mask vs. Mask Steel Cage
Angel De Oro defeated Angel Azteca Jr., Angel de Plata, Diamante, Dr. X, Histeria, Holligan, Monsther, Puma King, Sensei, Tiger Kid and Fabian El Gitano
Fabian El Gitano was eliminated last and therefore lost his mask during this match

Fabian El Gitano just before removing his mask
July 23, 2010
NWA Mexico El Centro Banamex, Mexico City, Mexico
Blue Demon Jr defeated PWR Heavyweight Champion: Oliver John to win the championship

July 25, 2010
Perros Del Mal El Centro Banamex, Mexico City, Mexico
Hardcore Triple Threat
Damian 666 defeated Supreme & X-Fly

2 out of 3 falls match
El Hijo del Santo, LA Par-K & Marco Corleone defeated Halloween, Lizmark Jr, & El Hijo del Perro Aguayo

December 19, 2010
CMLL Domingos De Coliseo Arena Coliseo de Mexico City, Mexico City, Mexico
2 out of 3 falls match
Shocker, Blue Panther, & La Mascara defeated Atlantic, Rey Bucanero, & Ultimo Guerrero two falls to one - this is the match where shocker injured his knee

July 24, 2011
Perros Del Mal El Centro Banamex, Mexico City, Mexico
Six Man Tag Team Match
Blue Demon Jr, Cassandro, & LA Par-K vs. Damian 666, Halloween, & El Hijo del Perro Aguayo ended in a no contest

June 16, 2012
AAA La Plaza De Toros El Pinal, Teziutlan, Puebla, Mexico
Extreme Match
Joe Lider defeats Psicosis

Six Man Tag Team Match
La Sociedad: Dark Dragon, Halloween, & Pete Powers defeated Daga, Extreme Tiger, & Juventud Guerrera

Tag Team Match
El Consejo: El Texano Jr. & Mascara Ano 2000 Jr. defeated Dr. Wagner & Silver Cain

Six Man Tag Team Match
La Sociedad: Chessman, Hector Garza, & El Hijo del Perro Aguayo defeated Cibernetico, Electroshock, & El Zorro

August 24, 2013
World of Unpredicatable Wrestling, Queens, New York
Shocker & Azteca defeated Rey Bucanero & Mystic Aztec

September 13, 2013
CMLL 80th Aniversario Arena Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
several match clips were shown

March 20, 2015
The Crash Auditorio Municipal Fausto Gutierrex Moreno, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
Extreme Tiger & Rey Mysterio Jr defeated Manik & El Hijo del Perro Aguayo
This is the match where Perro Aguayo Jr tragically died

There are a bunch of matches that I recognized luchadores in that I couldn't find when and where they took place.

I really enjoyed this documentary, I have watched it twice.  I'd like to see them do another one focusing other luchadores and  luchadoras as they have barely scratched the surface of the rich history of Lucha Libre.

Arena Mexico is only place I someday dream to go and watch an event.  I doubt it will ever happen but to see realy lucha libre in Mexico would amazing.

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Signed Trading Cards: Santino Marella & Buff Bagwell

Santino Marella debuted in the WWE has a fan challenge to Umaga winning the Intercontinental Championship while the WWE was in Italy, even though Marella is Canadian.

Marcus Alexander Bagwell was a perennial WCW wrestler starting as a babyface upon his debut forming three successful tag teams with The Patriot, Too Cold Scorpio, and Scotty Riggs before turning heel as Buff Bagwell.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Roy's Review: Limitless Wrestling Hogwash 11/19/2016

Limitless Wrestling Hogwash
November 19, 2016
Orono, Maine

Here are the results from Hogwash last night:

Match 1: Anthony Greene defeated Ethan Page. Good opener as always from Anthony Greene. Before the match Page was great making fun of the crowd. The national anthem guitar guy played Greene's entrance theme. Good back and forth action. Green improves to 10-0.

Match 2: Cam Zagami and Tyler Nitro w/Mike Campbell defeated Da Hoodz (Kris Pyro and Davey Cash). Good match. It was kinda weird that Da Hoodz were face since they have always been heel in Maine. Zagami got the pin after he gave both Pyro and Cash low blows.

Match 3: Big Daddy Beluga defeated Davienne. Before the match Brick Mastone came out and told Davienne that someone else wanted to wrestle her way more than him. He told her to sit in a chair and wait. Out comes Mastone dressed as a male stripper and he proceeded to give her a dance. The match was fun and super entertaining. It was nice to see Mastone and not have people chant baby Rusev.

Match 4: Xavier Bell defeated Adam Booker. This was a decent match but nothing really special. Both guys are good but seem to be missing that something. Nice to see Bell get another win since he is super over.

Match 5: The Maine State Posse (Danger Kid and Aidan Aggro) defeated Jeremy Leary and Skylar. Good match. This is the best way to use Skylar. She shined again just like in Westbrook. Good back and forth action. Many good spots. Keep Leary and Skylar as a team.

Match 6: Mike Graca defeated Rex Lawless, Francis Kip Stevens and Space Monkey in a Fatal 4 Way. Decent 4 way but not a match that really jumps out. Lawless is kinda boring. I enjoyed Space Monkey the most in this one which is surprising since I don't really like comedy wrestling anymore.

Match 7: Shane Sabre defeated Kobe Durst. Really good match. I had seen Durst before and knew he was good. This was my first time seeing Sabre and I was very impressed. Great back and forth action and some good spots including a Code Breaker off the top. The only problem with this one is Durst doesn't really have a personality. If he could somehow find one he would be the total package.

Match 8: Troy Nelson defeated Smart Mark Sterling. This was your typical Troy Nelson comedy match that got the crowd going.

Match 9: Ace Romero defeated Brian Fury. Good main event. Fury did some great arm work on Romero. These guys fought hard and gave the crowd good last match for Fury. Surprisingly Romero got the win. After the match there was an excellent show of respect shown for Fury. Greene came in and challenged Ace to a match but Fury interrupted and said he would rather see them team.

Good show and one of the better Limitless Wrestling shows. It had a nice flow and there wasn't a bad match. I'm looking forward to seeing Cody Rhodes in January.

Our buddy Josh chimed in himself...

Here are my scores for it

Greene def Page - 8/10
Zagami & Nitro def Da Hoodz - 6.50/10
Big Daddy Beluga def Davienne - 6/10
Bell def Booker - 6.50/10
MSP def Skyler & Leary - 7.75/10
Graca def Space Monkey, Lawless, FKS - 7/10
Sabre def Durst - 7.25/10
Nelson def Sterling - 5.25/10
Ace def Fury - 8.75/10

Random notes: I think, all around, Page is one of best names brought in. Big Daddy Beluga is hilarious. Francis Kip Stevens is so good. I liked Durst, loved Sabre. Sterling would be a great addition to the roster, bringing him in every so often.

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

NXT Takeover: Toronto

"Glorious" Booby Roode vs. "Perfect 10" Tye Dillinger

The crowd was hot for both these guys, I thought it was odd that they made a point to not announce Roode as being from Toronto, the fans know he is, and then really brought it home that Dillinger was from nearby Niagra Falls.

Couple of funny spots with Roode begging off with both hands and Dillinger turns it into Roode is saying "10".  Then stomping on Roode's hands and the way he shook them off Dillinger again implied Roode was doing his "10" gimmick.
Both these guys are veterans with Dillinger wrestling 15 years and Roode nearing his 19th, I would imagine this night was very emotional for both of them as this must be their biggest high profile match in their "hometown".
A really great match, during some reversals near the end Dillinger locked in a sharpshooter to a big pop.  Roode got the win with the Glorious Drop.  Post match Dillinger got a much deserved standing ovation as he apologized to the crowd for the loss.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament Finals
TM61: Nick Miller & Shane Thorne vs. The Authors Of Pain: Akam & Rezar w/ Paul Ellering

They brought back the classic gimmick of having the manager in a cage above the ring.  Leading up to using this gimmick it was mentioned on NXT TV about the time Ellering was in a cage at the Last Battle of Atlanta.  During the match Ellering would shout instructions to his men.  

There was a structure at ringside that was used to hoist and support the cage.  When I saw it I immediately thought if they didn't do a spot of it it would be a waste.  They didn't wait as moments into it Thorne dove off it onto The Authors of Pain.

Thorne took the heat and made the hot tag to Miller who then cleaned out, I was surprised how much the Authors started bumping for Miller leaving their feet, taking bodyslams and suplexs.  Ellering drops a chain down, somehow the ref doesn't hear it hit the canvas.  Then it flies off one of their hands and into the crowd, no way the ref didn't see that.

AOP hits their finish and win the tournament.  Gotta say though the AOP were not as dominate as I thought they would be as TM-61 easily handled both of them.  Triple H, Dustin Rhodes, and William Regal were on hand for the trophy presentation.

2 out of 3 Falls
NXT Tag Team Champions: The Revival: Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson vs. #DIY: Johnny Gargano & Tomaso Ciampa

Great start to the match, Revival quickly took the first fall when Gargano went for his patented slingshot spear from outside in and got caught with the shatter machine.  In the second fall Scott Dawson with a slingshot suplex!  Sincerely simply outstanding tag team wrestling.  The Revival are so great together, as are Gargano and Ciampa, but there is just something special about the Revival.

Second fall goes to DIY after they sandwich Dawson with a running knee and superkick.  Third fall started quickly after the second.  The action continued hot and heavy with so many reversals and high impact moves.  Gargano went for that rolling kick that he does and he kicks the title belt that Dawson was holding, it also busted Dawson open.  Dawson immediately locked on the inverted figure four that they used to win in Brooklyn, but Gargano made it to the ropes.  I really like that they didn't stop the match to tend to the cut.

Revival went for DIY's finish, but the missed it, DIY hit Shatter Machine for a two count.  There was an unbelievable finishing sequence of pin attempts and reversals until Gargano locked on the Gargano escape and Ciampa the armbar for the tap out to capture the Championships.

I would love to see a return match with these two teams in a steel cage.

NXT Women's Champion: Asuka vs. Mickie James

Fantastic opening lock up sequence with both getting a pinfall attempt in it.  Crowd gave Mickie a "you still got it chant" which is dumb because she's been wrestling steady since she left the WWE.  Action goes to the floor where James is wrecked with a german suplex on the floor.  James really took a beating this match, and she gave it right back.  She looked better in this match than I'd seen her in years.

Asuka got the submission with the Asuka Lock but it really wasn't cinched in tight as usual.  Probably the sequence of rolling around the ring with James attempting to break and reverse the hold caused it.  James offered a handshake, but Asuka heeled her and raised the title in her face.

Crowd showed Mickie some appreciation, she appeared to get a bit emotional from it.  I wonder if this will be a one off for her and will we see her return to either NXT or main roster.

NXT Champion: Shinsuke Nakamura vs Samoa Joe

Nakamura's entrance was insanely awesome with all the violins.  A really good championship match with Joe dominating the beginning of the match.  Joe damaged Nakamura's knee early on in the match and it effected him through-out.  They really beat the tar out of each other, not surprising as Nakamura is the king of strong style.  Joe got busted open and once again they didn't stop it just let the incidental blood flow.

Finish came after both guys on the floor, Joe kicked Nakamura in crotch then slammed him on the stairs.  He then threw him in the ring nailed the muscle buster for the three count.  Not a clean finish due to the nut shot on the floor.  Makes Joe the first ever two time champ and makes Nakamura "human".  Can't say I'm happy with this finish, but with the show in Japan on December 3rd I imagine Nakamura wins the title back in his home country.

The crowd was shocked, and were very quite after it was over.  Seems like they were just as surprised as I was.  Eventually they started  "Joe" chant.

All in all a really good show where even the weakest match on the card was still a solid match.  Seems to be another scenario where NXT is going to top the PPV that follows it.  I know I personally was looking more forward to NXT Takeover than the Survivor Series.

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Roy's Review" WrestleMania XII

 March 31, 1996
Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, California

Match 1: Vader, Owen Hart and British Bulldog w/Jim Cornette defeated Yokozuna, Ahmed Johnson and Jake Roberts w/Mr. Fuji. This was a solid match and was the best choice for the opener. Its to bad that Yoko couldn't lose weight. He was a good wrestler and was super over as a face at this point. The stipulation for this match was that if Yoko's team won he would get 5 minutes alone with Cornette. The end came when Vader squished Jake with a Vader bomb.

Match 2: Roddy Piper defeated Goldust in a Hollywood Backlot Brawl. This is where they started showing the taped portions of this match and the live ending took place before the main event. It was a good brawl but other than that it was kinda dumpy. They mocked the OJ Simpson white bronco deal with Piper chasing Goldust on the highway in a white Bronco. There wasn't a referee so there wasn't really a winner. Goldust just left after Piper stripped his body suit off, exposing women's lingerie.

Match 3: Steve Austin w/Ted DiBiase defeated Savio Vega. This was a decent match but it wasn't really anything special. It was really annoying that during this match they had Piper "on the phone" while he was out chasing Goldust on the highway. Piper's phone kept "dropping the call". The end of this match came when the referee was knocked down and Austin hit Vega with the million dollar belt. He then put Vega in a million dollar dream/chin lock to fool the referee.

Match 4: Ultimate Warrior defeated Hunter Hearst-Helmsley w/Sable. This was a 1:39 squash. They really wanted to bury HHH in this one. Warrior no sold a Pedigree.

Match 5: Undertaker w/Paul Bearer defeated Diesel. This was a good match which kinda surprised me. Lots of good big guy brawling. This match did have one of the worst chokeslams ever. Taker got the win with the tombstone.

Match 6: Shawn Michaels w/Jose Lothario defeated WWF Champion Bret Hart 1-0 in a 60 Minute Iron Man match. This was a good match but not the super all time classic that WWE would want you to believe. The first 30 minutes were really kinda boring because it was 30 minutes of rest holds. I get why it was really slow but that doesn't change the fact it was boring. The last 30 minutes kinda seemed like a different match. It was much faster paced and was very good. Time expired with Shawn in a sharpshooter and him not giving up. Gorilla Monsoon, who was the WWF president, ordered the match to continue as sudden death. This went 2-3 minutes and seemed kinda rushed. Again I get it, these guys had just wrestled for 60 minutes so they kinda get a pass on the rushed overtime period. This match is definitely not for everyone.

This was a decent show and had the Wrestlemania feel. It had some good matches but the show as a whole won't go down as a great Wrestlemania. Apparently Razor Ramon was supposed to wrestle Goldust in a Street Fight but he was suspended for drug use. I would have much rather seen that match than the Hollywood Back Lot brawl.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Blue Steel Cage

I've always been a fan of the Steel Cage match, there is nothing better than two guys settling a feud inside the confines of a "fifteen" foot high Steel Cage.  I am a big supporter of blood in a cage match in fact a bloodless Steel Cage match just isn't a cage match to me. I've seen it done, quite well actually but I stand by the words that it just isn't the same if someone doesn't get color.

Randy Orton vs. Ric Flair Taboo Tuesday 2004
Recently I became curious of the WWE's past usage of the Blue Steel Cage when they started and stopped and the results of that curiosity lead to this post.  Now keep in mind this blog is about the usage of the Steel Cage in the WWE and it's previous incarnations, save information about the first ever recorded cage match.

The first ever recorded Steel Cage match took place June 25, 1937 in Atlanta, Georgia in a chicken wire cage where Jack Bloomfield defeated Count Petro Rossi.

The first Steel Cage match in what we now call the WWE that I can find a record of was January 25, 1969 in Philadelphia, PA at the Arena where WWWF Champion: Bruno Sammartino defeated The Sheik, it states two referees were assigned to the bout.

On March 26th of that year Sammartino once again defeated The Sheik in the first ever cage match in Baltimore and he did so by escaping the cage.  This shows that the WWE's history of escaping as a way to win the match as opposed to pinfall or submission dates back to their first ever cage matches.

The first ever Steel Cage match to be held in Madison Square Garden was contest on December 15, 1975 as WWWF World Champion: Bruno Sammartino defeated Ivan Koloff by escaping the cage.  This match can be found on the WWE DVD release Bloodbath: Wrestling's Most Incredible Steel Cage Matches.

WrestleMania 2 took place on Monday April 7, 1986 in three different venues across the United States.  The main event of the card held at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena featured Champion Hulk Hogan defending against King Kong Bundy in the debut of the Blue Steel Cage.

It was promoted that they needed a reinforced cage to withstand the impending collision of Hulk Hogan and Bundy.

It's hard to figure when they switched full time to the Blue Cage because the majority of Cage matches took place at house shows.

On December 13, 1986 Philadelphia Spectrum in a match that aired on PRISM network Champion Hulk Hogan defeated Paul Orndorff in a standard cage match.  They had been having a series of cage matches at house shows leading up to the one and because of this televised match I feel safe in assuming the others were also in the traditional cage.

However, the very next day on December 14th in Hartford, Connecticut at the Civic Center Hogan wrestled Orndorff in their very famous Cage match that aired January 3, 1987 on Saturday Nights Main Event.  This is the match where both men's feet landed on the floor at the same time with two referees declaring each the winner until it was restarted and Hogan retained.  This was contested in the Blue Steel Cage.

The next recorded Blue Steel Cage match I can find is from October 16, 1987 at Madison Square Garden when "Superstar" Billy Graham defeated "The Natural" Butch Reed.  You can watch it here at Daily Motion.

Traditionally the way to win a cage match in the WWE was to escape the cage either through the door or over the top to the floor.  The first recorded pinfall in a cage I can find took place at Madison Square Garden January 10, 1998 when the Undertaker & The Legion of Doom: Hawk & Animal defeated Heavyweight Champion: Shawn Michaels & Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws: "Road Dog" Jesse James & "Bad Ass" Billy Gunn.  Taker pinned Michaels with a Tombstone Piledriver.

This is where it get's a bit confusing. The last televised cage match of 1998 was at the Breakdown PPV September 27, 1998 at the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  A dirty Blue Steel Cage was used in a match that saw The Rock defeated Mankind and Ken Shamrock in a triple threat match becoming the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship.

Incidentally the last Steel Cage Match of 1998 in the WWE was on November 27th at a house show in Portland, Maine at the Cumberland County Civic Center featuring The Rock vs. Kane with special referee The Big Bossman.  I was there and this was my first ever live Steel Cage match.  The Rock pinned Kane to win the match.  This was the Blue Steel Cage.

The very next Steel Cage match in the WWE after the one I attended was taped January 26, 1999 at the Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona airing February 1, 1998 on Monday Night Raw.  It featured Triple H defeating Kane in a tradition cyclone mesh cage by escaping the cage.

Then at February 14th at St. Valentine's Day Massacre at the Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee "Stone Cold" Steve Austin defeated Vince McMahon in the debut of the Black bar style Steel Cage.  This is the match when the Big Show debuted climbing up through the canvas from under the ring.

He accidentally helped Austin win buy throwing him at the cage, the panel swung open and Austin fell to the floor.

On March 15, 1999 Monday Night Raw from San Jose, CA The Big Bossman fought Mideon to a no contest when The Corporation attacked Mideon.  This match was also contested in the Black Steel Cage.

The next televised Steel Cage match returned to the traditional cyclone mesh style Steel Cage on June 29, 1999 Fayetteville, North Carolina Monday Night Raw aired on July 5, 1999.

This was in the WWE style of escape to win and The Rock defeated Triple H climbing over the top of the cage.

The next televised Steel Cage match is at Rebellion 1999 and was the Black Steel Cage where WWE Champion Triple H defeated The Rock.

The cage matches that followed in the States where the mesh steel cage and it's safe to say that that is what the WWE has used going forward until today.

The only exception is at WWE Rebellion November 3, 2001 in Manchester, England at the Evening News Arena Edge defended the Intercontinental Championship against European Champion Christian in the final televised Steel Cage match featuring the classic black steel bars.

According to a podcast with Edge he stated that this was the only cage the WWE had in England at the time, and that of course the bars were brutal.  Edge won by escaping the cage.

The Blue Steel Cage was a classic signature of the WWE much like the War Games double cage was to Jim Crockett Promotions later WCW.  Next time WWE does a Retro Raw they need to have a steel cage match with the Blue Steel Cage!

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Signed Trading Cards: Ricky Morton

Ricky Morton is primarily known as being one half of the Rock n' Roll Express, one of the greatest wrestling tag teams off all time.  I mailed him these cards with a letter and he graciously signed them and sent me the Wrestling All Stars card.

WCW 1991 Premier Edition by Impel number 102, WCW 1991 Championship Marketing Card number 30, WCW 1992 Topps UK only cards - this is a Richard Morton card from when he turned heel and joined the York Foundation, 1983 Wrestling All Stars Series A number 30, and 1986 Wrestling Stars number 43.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Roy's Review: Starrcade 1999

Match 1: The Mamalukes (Big Vito and Johnny the Bull) w/Tony Marinara defeated Disco Inferno and Lash LeRoux. This was a solid match and a decent opener. All 4 of these guys were super underrated in WCW. The story was that Disco owed Tony Marinara's dad a bunch of money and The Mamalukes were the goons that were sent to collect it but had failed a bunch of times. After the match they put Disco in a body bag, carried him to the back and threw him in the trunk of a car.

Match 2: Madusa defeated Crusierweight Champion Evan Karagias w/Spice to win the title. It wasn't blatantly obvious that WCW was copying WWF by putting a men's title on a women. Despite Madusa being awful, this was a solid 3:30 match. Madusa actually took a bunch of hard bumps. Spice turned on Karagias, costing him the title.

Match 3: Hardcore Champion Norman Smiley defeated Meng to retain. Meng met Smiley right at the entryway and they battled to the back. Brian Knobbs and Fit Finlay got involved, attacking Meng. They beat him down and let. Then Smiley came out from under a table to get the win.

Match 4: The Revolution (Shane Douglas, Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn and Asya) defeated Jim Duggan and The Varsity Club (Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda and Rick Steiner). This was awful. The Varsity Club were Duggan's mystery partners. If Duggan lost he would have to denounce the USA the next night on Nitro. If Duggan won The Revolution would have to take over his janitor duties for a month. Duggan was fighting in his janitor's carhart suit. The Varisty Club turned on Duggan and beat him up allowing Douglas to leave commentary, where he spent the entire match, to get the pin.

Match 5: Vampiro w/The Misfits defeated Steve Williams by DQ. If Vampiro wins he gets 5 minutes alone in the ring with Oklahoma. Before the match, The Misfits had locked Oklahoma in a shark cage and brought it out to ringside. The DQ came when Williams attacked the referee.

Match 6: Vampiro w/The Misfits defeated Oklahoma. Awful.

Match 7: Creative Control (Ron and Don Harris) and Curt Hennig defeated Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray) and Midnight. This was bad. Whichever team won either Harlem Heat or Creative Control would earn a tag title shot. Stevie Ray didn't come out until near the end and didn't help at all. This was the beginning of his 2nd turn on Booker. Midnight got the shit kicked out of her for a good portion of the match. Hennig hit Booker with a loaded fist allowing one of the Harris Bros to get the pin.

Match 8: Jeff Jarrett defeated Dustin Rhodes in a Bunkhouse match. This was a good brawl until Curt Hennig came out and got involved. They beat the hell out of each other. The end came when they battled up the entryway, Hennig distracted Rhodes, allowing Jarrett to hit him with a guitar for the win.

Match 9: Diamond Dallas Page defeated David Flair in a Crowbar on a Pole match. Awful just awful.

Match 10: Sting w/Elizabeth defeated Lex Luger. This was terrible. If Sting won Liz would be free of her contract with Luger. During the match Liz turned on Sting and went to spray mace in his eyes but Sting had foreseen the turn and switched her mace with silly string. Later on Sting was going for the Scorpion and Liz whaled him in the head, hard with his bat allowing Luger to get the win. After the match Luger put Sting forearm in a chair and repeatedly jumped on it.

Match 11: Kevin Nash defeated Sid Vicious in a Finisher Only Match. The first man to hit the powerbomb on the other was the winner. Sid worked Nash's back for most of the match. The referee got knocked down right before Sid hit the powerbomb. Jeff Jarrett then comes out and wrecks Sid with a guitar. Nash then tries for the powerbomb twice but can't do it due to the his injured back, so he just wakes up the referee and tells him he hit a powerbomb. Awful.

Match 12: United States Champion Chris Benoit defeated Jeff Jarrett in a Ladder Match. Good match here. It was supposed to be Scott Hall defending against Benoit but Hall injured his knee so the stripped him of the belt and gave it to Benoit. Benoit didn't want to win the title that way so he put out and open challenge. Insert Jarrett. These guys beat the hell out of each other and had a good 10 minute ladder match. Benoit even did a flying headbutt off the ladder.

Match 13: WCW Champion Bret Hart defeated Goldberg in a No DQ match to retain. This would have been a decent match if not for the shitty booking. First off there are no rope breaks in a No DQ match unless its WCW booked by Vince Russo. Secondly 3 referees were knocked down. What the hell is that. The end came when Roddy Piper came out to be referee #4 just as Bret was locking on the sharpshooter. All Piper did was call for the bell and declare Bret the winner. They were building a good story and Bret was doing as great working of Goldberg's leg but the horrible booking flushed all of that down the toilet.

Horrible, just horrible booking. I wanna get the Nitros and Thunders that lead up to this PPV to see just how bad those were too. 

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Friday, November 4, 2016

AWA Super Sunday

I recently was looking through the vault section of WWE Network in the AWA and found four of their supershows, including the only AWA PPV just listed in the TV section.  The shows are this one here, WrestleRock 86 and Superclash II & III.

Super Sunday
April 24, 1983
St. Paul Civic Center
St. Paul, Minnesota

Commentator: Rod Trongard
Ring Announcer: Gene Okerlund
Duration: 2 hours 13 minutes

Brad Rheigans vs. Rocky Stone
1 Fall 20 minute time limit
As with most off all of Rheigans matches that I have seen, it's very formulaic.  They trade control of the match, Rheigans takes the heat for a while, makes his comeback and gets the win.  This time with a gutwrench suplex.  9 minutes 34 seconds.  Post match in ring interview with Gene Okerlund.

"Mr. Electricy" Steve Regal vs. "Rock N' Roll" Buck Zumhofe
1 Fall 20 minute time limit
Decent match, started out pretty standard then picked up at the end with Zumhofe getting the win after a body slam and a vader bomb. 11 minutes 5 seconds Post match in ring interview with Gene Okerlund.  The primary focus of the match for the commentators and post match interview was about Zumhofe's upcoming Junior Heavyweight title match in May with Mike Graham.

Jerry "The King" Lawler vs. "Golden Greek" John Tolos
1 Fall 20 minute time limit
Lawler was very over with the crowd. Tolos jumps him before the bell and it's pretty much non-stop action.  At one point it looked like Tolos was disqualified for throwing Lawler over the top rope.  The bell even rang, but the referee waved it off.  Lawler came back in the ring, dropped the strap, fist drop, and a minute later a piledriver for a three count. 8 minutes 24 seconds.

For those that don't know John Tolos played Mr. Perfect's manager Coach in the WWE.  I had never seen him in the ring before that I can recall.  He was 53 at the time of this match and looked good in the ring.

NWA Women's Tag Team Champions: Texas Cowgirls: Wendi Richter & Joyce Grable vs Judy Martin & Velvet McIntyre
1 Fall 45 Minute time limit
No comedy match here, straight up wrestling with 4 ladies who could go in the ring.  I don't think Velvet McIntyre gets the credit that she deserves for just how good she was in the ring.  Two very tough ladies in the match in Grable and Martin.

Really good match with a lot of quick tags and great offense by both teams.  After 15 minutes and 28 seconds the Cowgirls retain the titles with their finish.  Velvet comes off the ropes and Wendi back body drops her onto Grable who powerbombs McIntyre then getting the pin.  Post match interview with the Texas Cowgirls with Gene Okerlund

Wahoo McDaniel vs. "Dizzy" Ed Boulder
1 Fall 20 Minute time limt
Boulder is a blond haired mustached Brutus Beefcake.  Wahoo basically beat the crap out of Boulder who wasn't selling very much for McDaniel. Awkward moment in the match was when Boulder was doing the classic choke your opponent with your shin but the referee wasn't recognizing it and just attempted to count Wahoo's shoulders down three times.
Terrible match the mercifully came to end with a chop and then elbow drop at 9 minutes 4 seconds.

Six Man Tag Team Match
High Flyers: Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell and Rick Martel vs. The Heenan Family: Ken Patera, Jesse Ventura, & Black Jack Lanza
Martel and Patera started the match.  Long match, lots of tags, no one really holding the upper hand for any length of time, the match broke down several times with everyone coming in the ring, then calming down again, and breaking apart.  I've never seen so many tags behind the referee's back that the referee forced the guy to leave the ring before.  The match breaks down again with all competitors in the ring when Patera gets the pin on Brunzell at 17 minutes and 3 seconds.  The faces beat up the heels after sending them running. Okerlund then interviews the losing team in the ring.  Brunzell claims Patera used a foreign object to gain the win.

World Heavyweight Champion: Nick Bowckwinkel w/ Bobby "The Brain" Heenan vs. Hulk Hogan
1 Fall 60 minute time limit special referee Lord James Blears
Huge reaction for Hogan. He was in great shape, wicked cut and not all bloated like his WWE run.  Super slow paced match but the crowd didn't seem to care.  The popped for Hogan when he was on offense and chanted "Hulk" when Bockwinkel had the upper hand.  Botch false finish where Blears just stopped counting after 2 before Bockwinkel kicked out.

After near 20 minutes of plodding action we get a ref bumped when Bockwinkel had the sleeper on Hogan and Hogan flips him off his back onto Blears.  Then a second ref bumped when Bockwinkel has the sleeper on Hogan and Hogan backs him into corner crushing Blears.  Then Hogan accidentally sends Bockwinkel out over the top rope, he brings him back in with a suplex, leg drop of doom 1-2-3 new champ!  The crowd went nuts!  Okerlund even announces Hogan as Champion.

Verne Gagne then made the biggest mistake and what I think was the beginning of the end of the AWA when right after that President Stanley Blackburn reverses the decision disqualifying Hogan.  The crowd started chanting bullshit and throwing debris in the ring.  Hogan then beat up Bockwinkel and Heenan up to save a riot.

I wonder what would have happened if Verne would have run with Hogan as champion.  Would the AWA still be around, because clearly he could have carried the company like he did the WWF.

Main Event
Mad Dog Vachon & Verne Gagne vs. Adnan Al-Kaissie & Jerrry Blackwell
They didn't do introductions, made a point of announcing they were not going to do introductions and then did  brief introductions any how.  This was terrible.  Adnan had a cast on his hand and must have hit Mad Dog Vachon a hundred times with it, other than getting busted open it didn't seem to bother him.

To his credit Verne was incredible over and it didn't matter to the crowd everything he did the crowd loved.

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