Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Roy's Review: Limitless Wrestling 2/25/2017

Here is my review of Limitless Wrestling's Do what you love and fuck the rest.
February 25, 2017 American Legion, Orono, Maine

Match 1: Danny Miles defeated Mike Graca
This match was really kinda average and at points kinda boring. Miles is a good wrestler but I find him painfully boring. This wasn't one of Graca's best matches.

Match 2: Mr. Grim defeated Manny Martinez
Decent match but Martinez is really generic. Grim on the other hand is really good and I would like to see him come back. Grim got the win with a jumping tombstone. After the match he put Martinez in a body bag and carried him to the back.

Match 3: Jeremy Leary & Skylar defeated Scott Wild & Jimmy Limits
Good tag match here. Wild works really well with Leary and Skylar. Limits did well himself and I would like to see him come back. Wild hit a vicious flying knee on Skylar that almost sent her flying out of the ring. After the match both Leary and Skylar attacked referee Chris Berry.

Match 4: Xavier Bell defeated Alexander Lee
There was some good ringside brawling but besides that this match was really kinda average. Bell got the win with a brutal piledriver. Nice to see Bell get the win! - Mike

Match 5: Foxx Vinyer defeated Sebastian Cage and Franco Vargo in a Triple Threat Match
I didn't care for this match and it barely kept my attention. Foxx is good as is Cage but this match would have been way better if Vargo wasn't there and it was a singles match.

Match 6: Tyler Nitro w/Mike Gamble defeated Anthony Bennett
This match was really average. Both guys are good but this match just didn't do it for me and it seemed kinda short. I'm not sure if they were under time constraints or not but if this one had been another 8-10 minutes it may have been better. I was kinda surprised to see Nitro get the win.

Match 7: JT Dunn defeated Sami Callahan
This was excellent! They beat the hell out of each other all over the place, including a piledriver through a table. Seemed a little short but it was great despite that. Check this match out.

Match 8: Ace Romero & Anthony Greene defeated The Maine State Posse: Danger Kid & Aidan Aggro
All four guys worked really hard to put on a good match and they did just that. Lots of brutal chops to to both Aggro and Kid. There were even a few moves I had never seen before, like the backdrop into a sit out powerbomb by Ace and Greene on Aggro. Ace got the win after a sick piledriver from Greene on Kid. After the match they teased dissension between Greene and Ace. The crowd was a little dead for the one and I don't think this got the crowd reaction it deserved.

This show scored a 52.25 out of 80 for an overall score of 65.31%. This was a good show where the two main events really stood out. Dunn and Callahan killed it as did the tag main event. 

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Japanese Championships: One Year Champions

When preparing the article I decided to go with what I consider the three top promotions in Japan.

IWGP: International Wrestling Grand Prix Heavyweight Championship

Big Van Vader
August 10, 1989 - August 19, 1990 374 Days defeated for and defeated by Riki Choshu

The Great Muta
August 16, 1992 - September 20, 1993 400 Days defeated Riki Choshu defeated by Shinya Hashimoto

Shinya Hashimoto
May 1, 1994 - May 3, 1995 367 Days defeated Tatsumi Fujinami defeated by Keiji Mutoh

April 29, 1996 - August 31, 1997 489 Days defeated Nobuhiko Takada defeated by Kensuke Sasaki

Yuji Nagata
April 5, 2002 - May 2, 2003 392 Days defeated Tadao Yasuda defeated by Yoshihiro Takayama

Hiroshi Tanahashi
January 4, 2011 - February 12, 2012 404 Days defeated Satoshi Kojima defeated by Kazuchika Okada

Kazuchika Okada
April 7, 2013 - May 3, 2014 391 Days defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated by AJ Styles

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship

Jushin Thunder Liger
January 4, 1993 - September 24, 1994 628 Days defeated Ultimo Dragon vacated title due to injury

February 7, 1998 - March 17, 1999 403 Days defeated Shinjiro Otani defeated by Koji Kanemoto

Heat aka Minoru Tanaka
December 14, 2003 - January 4, 2005 387 Days defeated Jado defeated by Tiger Mask

Prince Devitt
November 11, 2012 - January 4, 2014 419 Days defeated Low Ki defeated by Kota Ibushi

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships

Tencozy: Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima
July 20, 2000 - September 23, 2001 430 Days defeated Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata defeated by Osami Nishimura & Tatsumi Fujinami
Cho-Ten: Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Mashahiro Chono
March 24, 2002 - June 13, 2003 446 Days won vacant titles defeated by Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yutaka Yoshie

Bad Intensions: Karl Anderson & Giant Bernard
June 19, 2010 - January 4, 2012 564 Days defeated Seigigun: Wataru Inoue & Yuji Nagata defeated by Tencozy: Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima

Bullet Club: Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows
January 4, 2014 - January 4, 2015 365 Days defeated KES: Davey Boy Smith Jr & Lance Archer defeated by Meiyu Tag: Hirooki Goto & Katsuyori Shibata

Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship

Jumbo Tsuruta
January 19, 1991 - January 28, 1992 374 Days defeated and was defeated by Stan Hansen

Mitsuharu Misawa
August 22, 1992 - July 28, 1994 705 Days defeated Stan Hansen defeated by "Dr. Death" Steve Williams

January 20, 1997 - May 1, 1998 466 Days defeated Kenta Kobashi defeated by Toshiaki Kawada

Toshiaki Kawada
September 6, 2003 - February 16, 2005 529 Days won vacant title defeated by Satoshi Kojima

Satoshi Kojima
February 16, 2005 - July 3, 2006 502 Days defeated Toshiaki Kawada defeated by Taiyo Kea

August 29, 2010 - October 23, 2011 420 Days defeated Minoru Suzuki defeated by Jun Akiyama

Kento Miyahara
February 12, 2016 - current 377 Days won vacant title

World Tag Team Championship

Taiyo Kea & Minoru Suzuki
June 28, 2008 - January 3, 2010 554 Days defeated Joe Doering & Keiji Mutoh defeated by Masakatsu Funaki & Keiji Mutoh

World Junior Heavyweight Championship

Masanobu Fuchi
January 3, 1987 - January 20, 1989 748 Days defeated Kuniaki Kobayashi defeated by Joe Malenko

October 20, 1989 - May 21, 1993 1,309 Days defeated Joe Malenko defeated by Dan Kroffat

Dan Kroffat
July 12, 1994 - September 10, 1995 425 Days defeated Masanobu Fuchi defeated by Yoshinari Ogawaka

Yoshinari Ogawa
July 19, 1998 - June 16, 2000 698 Days won vacant title, vacated title defecting to Pro Wrestling Noah

Kendo Kashin
April 13, 2002 - February 12, 2004 won vacant title, title vacated due to inactivity

Shuji Kondo
October 22, 2005 - February 17, 2007 483 Days defeated Taka Michinoku defeated by Katsuhiko Nakajima

Katsuhiko Nakajima
February 17, 2007 - March 1, 2008 378 Days defeated Shuji Kondo defeated by Silver King

Kaz Hayashi
February 6, 2009 - January 2, 2011 695 Days defeated Naomichi Marufuji defeated by Minoru

All Asia Tag Team Championships

Rikidozan & Toyonobori
June 7, 1960 - February 3, 1962 606 Days defeated Dan Miller & Frank Valois, defeated by Luther Lindsay & Ricky Waldo

Toyonobori & Rikidozan
Giant Baba & Toyonobori
May 29, 1964 - June 3, 1965 370 Days defeated Caripus Hurricane & Gene Kiniski, defeated by The Destroyer & Billy Red Lyons

Antonio Inoki & Michiaki Yoshimura
October 30, 1969 - December 1, 1971 762 Days defeated Mr. Atomic & Buddy Austin, vacated when Inoki left the promotion

Seiji Sakaguchi & Michiaki Yoshimura
December 12, 1971 - January 30, 1973 415 Days won vacant championship, vacated when Yoshimaru retired

The Great Kojika & Motoshi Okuma
May 31, 1979 - May 23, 1981 723 Days won vacant championship, defeated by David & Kevin Von Erich

Takashi Ishikawa & Akio Sato
June 11, 1981 - January 1, 1983 569 Days defeated David & Kevin Von Erich, vacated when Sato was injured

Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Kenta Kobashi
May 25, 1992 - June 2, 1993 373 Days defeated Doug Furnas & Dan Kroffat, defeated by The Eagle & The Patriot

Doug Furnas & Dan Kroffat
September 9, 1993 - December 5, 1994 451 Days defeated The Eagle & The Patriot, vacated championships

Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori
Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori
January 29, 1995 - January 9, 1998 1,076 Days defeated Fantastics: Tommy Rogers & Bobby Fulton in tournament final for vacant titles defeated by Wolf Hawkfield & Johnny Smith

Arashi & Nobutaka Araya
April 13, 2002 - June 20, 2003 433 Days won vacant championships, vacated titles when Arashi won the World Tag Team Championships with Keiji Mutoh

Katsuhiko Nakajima & Kensuke Sasaki
July 26, 2005 - October 29, 2006 460 Days defeated Shuji Kondo & "brother" YASSHI, vacated when Sasaki was injured

GHC: Global Honored Crown Heavyweight Championship

Kenta Kobashi
March 1, 2003 - March 5, 2003 735 Days defeated Mitsuharu Misawa defeated by Takeshi Rikio

Mitsuharu Misawa
December 10, 2006 - March 2, 2008 448 Days defeated defeated Naomichi Marufuji defeated by Takeshi Morishima

Takashi Sugiura
December 6, 2009 - July 10, 2011 581 Days defeated for and defeated by Go Shiozaki

Takeshi Morishima
January 22, 2012 - January 27, 2013 371 Days defeated Go Shiozaki defeated by KENTA

GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship

Yoshinobu Kanemaru
July 10, 2004 - July 18, 2005 373 Days defeated Jushin Thunder Liger defeated by KENTA

Yoshinobu Kanemaru
October 31, 2009 - December 5, 2010 400 Days won vacant championship defeated by Kotaro Suzuki

Taiji Ishimori
January 27, 2013 - March 8, 2014 405 Days defeated Shuji Kondo defeated by Daisuke Harada

GHC Tag Team Championships

Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa
January 10, 2004 - January 23, 2005 379 Days defeated Yuji Nagata & Hiroshi Tanahashi, defeated by 2 Cold Scorpio & Doug Williams

Akitoshi Saito & Bison Smith
May 23, 2008 - September 21, 2009 486 Days defeated Team Ikko: Naomichi Marufuji & Takashi Sugiura defeated by Kensuke Sasaki & Takeshi Morishima

Killer Elite Squad: Davey Boy Smith & Lance Archer
February 11, 2015 - May 28, 2016 472 Days defeated TMDK: Mikey Nicholls & Shane Haste, defeated by Naomichi Marufuji & Toru Yano

GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships

KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji
July 16, 2003 - June 5, 2005 690 Days inaugural champions defeated by Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Takashi Sugiura 

Yoshinobu Kanemura & Kotaro Suzuki
July 13, 2008 - January 17, 2010 553 Days defeated Taiji Ishimori & KENA, vacated due to Suzuki injury

No One Year Champions

New Japan Pro Wrestling

IWGP Intercontinental Championship

IWGP Junior Tag Team Championships

Katsuyori Shibata 3 time Never Openweight Champion
NEVER Openweight Championship

NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Champions

All Japan Pro Wrestling

Gaora Television Championship

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hulk Hogan's rare TV Matches

Growing up when I was a kid I used to watch Superstars of Wrestling every week and looking back Hulk Hogan never wrestled on show.  Sure he made appearances on talk shows or interview segments to enhance an angle or feud but her very rarely actually had a match on TV.

The only one I can remember is when he teamed with Orndorff against Bundy & Studd and Orndorff turned on him leading to there match at Saturday Nights Main Event.  Sure Hogan wrestled at all the PPV's and Saturday Nights Main Event but never on Superstars, Challenge, or All American Wrestling just clips of matches.

So I decided to take a look and see just how many matches he had starting from when he won the Championship.  Turns out the match I remember wasn't even on Superstars, it was on Championship Wrestling the precursor to Superstars of Wrestling.

This list does not contain matches on shows taped at MSG, Boston Garden, The Spectrum, or Maple Leaf Gardens because I did not get those channels in my area, or Prime Time Wrestling because it was a compilation of everything.

Championship Wrestling

January 14, 1984 Allentown, PA Agricultural Hall, taped 1/3/84
Hulk Hogan & Bob Backlund defeated Mr. Fuji & Tiger Chung Lee when Hogan pinned Lee with the leg drop

April 14, 1984 Allentown, PA Agricultural Hall, taped 3/6/84
World Champion: Hulk Hogan pinned Tiger Chung Lee with the leg drop

August 5, 1984 Brantford, Ontario the Civic Center, taped 7/10/84
World Champion: Hulk Hogan pinned Jerry Valiant with a leg drop

January 19, 1985 Poughkeepsie, NY Mid-Hudson Civic Center, taped 12/17/84
World Champion: Hulk Hogan pinned Johnny Rodz with the leg drop

June 1, 1985 Poughkeepsie, NY Mid-Hudson Civic Center, taped 5/7/85
World Champion: Hulk Hogan defeated Ken Patera with Bobby Heenan & Big John Studd by disqualification when Studd and Heenan interfered, Paul Orndorff made the save preventing them from cutting Hogan's hair

November 9, 1985 Poughkeepsie, NY Mid-Hudson Civic Center, taped 10/22/85
World Champion: Hulk Hogan pinned Rusty Brooks with a leg drop in 36 seconds, Randy Savage attacked Hogan after the match but Hogan cleared the ring

March 29, 1986 Poughkeepsie, NY Mid-Hudson Civic Center, taped 3/11/86
World Champion: Hulk Hogan pinned Moondog Spot with a leg drop

July 12, 1986 Poughkeepsie, NY Mid-Hudson Civic Center, taped 6/24/86
World Champion: Hulk Hogan & "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff defeated The Moondogs when Orndorff pinned Rex with a piledriver, Orndorff refused to tag in Hogan during the match

July 19, 1986 Poughkeepsie, NY Mid-Hudson Civic Center, taped 6/24/86
World Champion: Hulk Hogan & "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff defeated King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd with Bobby Heenan by disqualification when Bundy & Studd wouldn't stop double teaming Hogan.  After the match Orndorff attacked Hogan with a clothesline and a piledriver

All Star Wrestling

April 14, 1984 Hamburg, PA the Fieldhouse, taped 3/7/84
World Champion: Hulk Hogan pinned Afa with Captain Lou Albano & Sika

January 5, 1985 London, Ontario London Gardens, taped 12/16/84
World Champion: Hulk Hogan pinned Terry Gibbs with the leg drop

August 17, 1985 Brantford, Ontario the Civic Center, taped 8/5/85
World Champion: Hulk Hogan pinned Tiger Chung Lee with the leg drop, this match was also re-aired on a best of show on December 28, 1985

Superstars of Wrestling

May 23, 1987 Anaheim, CA Convention Center, taped 5/12/87
World Champion: Hulk Hogan pinned "Cowboy" Bob Orton Jr. with Mr. Fuji with a leg drop, the top rope broke during the match

May 14, 1988 New Haven, CT The Coliseum, taped 4/21/88
Hulk Hogan pinned Boris Zhukov with Slick & Nikolai Volkoff with the leg drop, post match Volkoff and Slick entered the ring, Volkoff was slammed and leg dropped while slick was given an atomic drop to the outside.

March 10, 1990 Phoenix, AZ, Veterans Memorial Coliseum taped 2/13/90
World Champion: Hulk Hogan pinned Dino Bravo with Jimmy Hart and Earthquake with a leg drop, after the match Earthquake attacked Hogan with Warrior making the save.

He had no matches on Wrestling Challenge and only 15 matches on these three primary shows in the 9 years he was in the promotion since his first championship.  That's not a lot of matches because back then you had to go to the house shows to see Hogan live.  TV was used to build the house shows unlike now where TV is the primary and house shows are just an opportunity to see the wrestlers live.

Let's put this in perspective, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair who wrestled in the WWF for 17 months had 15 matches on Superstars and Challenge during that time.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Last Match: First World Champions

George Hackenschmidt
September 4, 1911 Comiskey Park, Chicago, Illinois
defeated by World Champion Frank Gotch in two straight falls

Born in August 1, 1877 in what is now Estonia, Hackenschmidt beginning his wrestling career in 1898 he won his first championship May 19, 1899 defeating Von Schmelling for the Russian Championship.  Over the next few years Hackenschmidt toured around world winning several tournaments along the way.  On May 4, 1905 in New York City at Madison Square Garden he defeated American Heavyweight Champion Tom Jenkins and in doing so became the first recognized World Heavyweight Champion holding the title for 1,065 days.

Hackenschmidt lost the World Title to Frank Gotch April 3, 1908 and their rematch in 1911 both in controversial fashion.  After wrestling Hackenschmidt lived in England writing and teaching physical eduction to members of the House of Lords.  He died February 19, 1968 at the age of 90.

Frank Gotch
April 1, 1913 Kansas City, Missouri
defeated Georg Lurich

Born April 27, 1877 Gotch debuted in 1899 winning his first match against Marshall Green.  After losing a match to Farmer Burns in quick fashion he began training Gotch.  He would trade the American Heavyweight Championship with Tom Jenkins before going on to defeat George Hackenschmidt  for the World Heavyweight Championship.  Gotch would hold the championship until he retired in 1913 as champion holding the title for 1,824 days.

After wrestling Gotch joined the Sells-Floto Circus challenging all comers to last 15 minutes with him in the ring, if they did he paid them $250.  Gotch died from uraemic poisoning December 16, 1917 at the age of 40.

Joe Stecher
July 18, 1932 Los Angeles, California
defeated Henry Garber

This is the last recorded match I could find even though info shows he retired in 1934.

Born April 4, 1893 Stecher began wrestling in 1912.  On July 5, 1915 at just 22 years old Stecher defeated Charlie Cutler to win the World Championship that had been vacant since Frank Gotch's retirement in 1913.  He would hold the championship for almost 2 years before losing it to Earl Caddock.  He would regain the championship twice more, last winning it in 1925 for a near three year run.  In total Stecher was a 3 time champion reigning for a combined 1,959 days.

Sadly, after retirement in 1934 Stecher was institutionalized at the St. Cloud Veteran's Hospital in Minnesota until his deat at the age of 80 on March 29, 1974.

Earl Caddock
June 7, 1922
defeated by World Champion Ed "Strangler" Lewis

Born February 27, 1888 in South Dakota Caddock was trained by Frank Gotch and Farmer Burns debuting on June 8, 1915.  Just under two years later he would defeated Joe Stecher on April 19, 1917 for the World Heavyweight Championship in Omaha, Nebraska.

Caddock entered the Army during World War I serving from August 1918 to June 1919 while still being recognized widely as the World Champion other did lay claim to the title.  Upon his discharge Caddock would challenge these pretenders to the throne and on January 30, 1920 he would face Joe Stecher at Madison Square Garden to declare the real World Champion, a match Stecher would win.  Highlights of this match are available on You Tube here. Caddock would challenge for the World Championship a few more times before his retirement but was never able to recapture it.

After wrestling Caddock sold cars, tractors, and farm machinery in Walnut, Iowa until his death on August 25, 1950 at the age of 62.

Ed "Strangler" Lewis
January 9, 1946 St. Louis, Missouri
defeated by Ed Virag

Lewis was born June 30, 1891 in Wisconsin, debuting at the age of 14 Lewis would go on the win the World Heavyweight Championship four times totaling 3,073 days as champion.  His nickname "Strangler" came from his sleeper hold finisher.

A member of the Gold Dust Trio, Lewis, with Toots Mondt & Big Billy Sandow are credited with the creation of "modern day" pro wrestling.  They established a travelling road show with cards featuring more than one match and were the first to use storylines and created worked feuds between wrestlers.  Lewis was a hooker who was capable of defeating anyone at will in the ring.  He is famed for having trained the great Lou Thesz.

After wrestling Lewis became and ambassador of sorts for the NWA.  Lewis went blind from Trachoma and dies in New York on August 8, 1966 at the age of 75.

Stanislaus Zbyszko
January 29, 1928 Bombay, India
defeated by The Great Gama

Born April 1, 1879 in Poland, Zbyszko performed as a strongman before entering wrestling in 1903 in Russia and Europe.  In 1909 he wrestled Frank Gotch to a one hour draw in New York City.  Zbyszko would win his first World Championship defeated Ed Lewis May 6, 1921 in New York City.  He would lose the title back to Lewis.  His second reign would come in controversial fashion when he defeated Wayne Munn on January 8, 1925 in Wichita, Kansas.  He had originally agreed to lose to Munn, however he accepted a pay off from Joe Stecher and beat Munn then lost the title to Stecher 45 days later.  Zbyszko would be a two time champion only holding the title for 346 days.

After wrestling Zbyszko and his brother Waldek would recruit and train wrestlers on their farm in Missouri including Antonio Rocca, Johnny Valentine, and Harley Race.  He died from a heart attack on September 23, 1967 at the age of 88.

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Roy's Review: Survivor Series 1998

Survivor Series
November 15, 1998
St. Louis, Missouri, Kiel Center

Here is my review of Survivor Series 1998

In Ring: Vince McMahon comes out in a wheelchair with Pat Patterson, Gerald Brisco, Sgt. Slaughter and Big Boss Man. McMahon proceeds to put over Mankind's mystery opponent in WWF Title Tournament big time. Out comes Duane Gill.

Match 1: Mankind defeated Duane Gill to advance in the WWF Title Tournament
This was a massive squash. Mankind wrestled in a tuxedo, trying to impress Vince McMahon and show him he would make a great corporate champion.

Match 2: Al Snow defeated Jeff Jarrett w/Debra McMichael to advance in the WWF Title Tournament
This match was kinda dumb. The end came when Debra stole head and gave it to Jarrett. At the same time Snow got Jarrett's guitar but Jarrett hit him with head before the guitar was used. Snow basically no sold getting hit with head and then hit Jarrett with head for the win. With the win Snow faces Mankind in the next round.

Match 3: Steve Austin defeated Big Boss Man by DQ to advance in the WWF Title Tournament
This match started out hot but then settled down to rest holds and the ending quickly at about the 3 minute mark when Boss Man attacked Austin with the nightstick causing the DQ.

Match 4: X-Pac fought Steven Regal to a double count out in the WWF Title Tournament

This match was boring and didn't really do anything for me. With the double count out finish Steve Austin gets a bye in the next round. This pissed off McMahon so he sent Sgt. Slaughter out to tell Howard Finkel that the match would be restarted and go another 5 minutes but for some reason X-Pac just walked to the back and it was still ruled as a double count out. Awful finish.

Match 5: Ken Shamrock defeated Goldust to advance in the WWF Title Tournament
This was really average and only went about 6 minutes. Shamrock got the win with a ankle lock.

Match 6: The Rock defeated Big Boss Man to advance in the WWF Title Tournament
Rock was supposed to face Triple H but he was injured. They played Triple H's music but Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco came out instead. They informed us of Triple H's injury and that Big Boss Man was the replacement. Boss Man ran into the ring and Rock got him in a small package for the win. What a waste of a segment. Rock advances to face Ken Shamrock in the next round.

Match 7: Undertaker w/Paul Bearer defeated Kane to advance to the Semi Finals of the WWF Title Tournament
Undertaker and Kane both received first round byes because their match for the vacant WWF Title at Judgment Day was a no contest. This match was really average. Undertaker won with a tombstone after Paul Bearer distracted Kane.

Match 8: Mankind defeated Al Snow to advance to the Semi Finals of the WWF Title Tournament 

Mankind was still wearing the tuxedo in the match. They brawl outside the ring for a few minutes then Mankind finds Mr. Socko tied around Head. It was revealed in a split screen that Vince was the one that hid Socko. Mankind gets pissed and attacks Head. He then gets the win shortly there after with a mandible claw.

Match 9: The Rock defeated Ken Shamrock to advance to the Semi Final in the WWF Title Tournament

Some good brawling at ringside to start then they head back into the ring where Shamrock puts on a chin lock. Boss Man comes for his 3rd appearance. Rock fought out of the chin lock but ended up in the ankle lock. He got out of that too and managed to hit a People's Elbow but Shamrock kicked out. Shamrock hit a bell to belly suplex allowing Boss Man to introduce the night stick but Rock intercepted it and hit Shamrock for the win. Rock advances to face Undertaker.

Match 10: Sable defeated Women's Champion Jacqueline w/Marc Mero to win the title
This match was terrible. Sable did manage to hit a Sable Bomb on Mero on the floor.

Match 11: Mankind defeated Steve Austin to advance to the Finals of the WWF Title Tournament
Great brawl that started off hot. Austin stripped the tuxedo off Mankind, inadvertently creating his new ring gear. Midway Vince McMahon is wheeled out by Pat Patterson, Gerald Brisco, Sgt. Slaughter and Big Boss Man. Austin hit a Stunner and had the win but McMahon "recovers" from his ankle injury, leaps out of his wheel chair and attacks the referee, screwing over Austin.

Mankind attacked Austin with a chair but Austin fought back and hit a 2nd Stunner. Shane McMahon comes out to take over as referee but only counts to 2 then flips off Austin. This distracted Austin enough for Patterson and Brisco to attacked him allowing Mankind to get the win after a terrible Brisco chair shot.

Backstage: The McMahons and their henchmen high tail it out of the arena, hop into a limo and exit the arena. Austin chases them, stealing a vehicle and going after them.

Match 12: The Rock defeated Undertaker w/Paul Bearer by DQ to advance to the Finals of the WWF Title Tournament
A slugfest starts the match that spills into the crowd. They fight back into the ring and Boss Man comes out making his 5th appearance of the night. Rock went for a People's Elbow but Boss man prevented it. Undertaker then attacked Boss Man. Taker then goes for a chokeslam on Rock but Kane comes out and hits the chokeslam instead getting Taker DQed.

Match 13: Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws: Road Dogg Jesse James & "The Bad Ass" Billy Gunn defeated The Headbangers: Mosh & Thrasher and D'Lo Brown & Mark Henry in a Triple Threat Match to retain
One member from each team was allowed in the ring which caused this match to be a gigantic cluster. Road Dogg took a super long beating which made the match boring. Gunn got the win with dumpy piledriver on Mosh, thus ending this pile of garbage match.

Match 14: The Rock defeated Mankind to win the Tournament and the WWF Championship
Good main event with lots of good brawling. Midway through Vince and Shane make their way to ringside. Mankind laid Rock on the announce table, then jumped off the 2nd rope but Rock moved and Mankind annihilated himself. Rock hit a People's elbow but only got a 2 count. Mankind gets Rock in the mandible claw but Rock countered into a Rock Bottom but again only got a 2 count. Rock then locks in a dumpy looking sharpshooter and Vince immediately calls for the bell.

In Ring: Vince and Shane celebrate with Rock. Mankind doesn't understand why he lost because he wasn't pinned and he didn't submit. Rock then attacks him. The pan to the entryway where Steve Austin is standing ready to attack. He charges the ring and Vince and Shane run away leaving Rock by himself. Austin beats the hell out of Rock and giving Mankind a Stunner too.

This show scored a 59 out of 114 for an overall score of 51.75%. While the wrestling sucked for the most part, this was still a fun show to watch as the storylines and shenanigans were entertaining. Check this show out because its a fun watch and its historically significance. 

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Ric Flair, Live and in Living Color!

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair for years has been my favorite wrestler.  Admittedly the last couple years his actions in and outside the ring have made it a bit rough to be a fan of his.  However it cannot diminish how awesome he was in the ring and on the mic which made me be a fan of his.

Growing up in Maine the opportunity to see Ric Flair live was simply non-existent as he worked primarily for the southern promotions of the NWA and later WCW.  Even after WCW's closure when he joined the WWE he never worked the house shows when WWE came to Maine.

Here are a list of all the times that I have seen the Nature Boy Live and in Living Color:

Keep in mind the photos taken before December 2005 where with a film camera with only a small zoom and I scanned them to post on this blog so the quality is not the best.

April 10, 1997
WCW Autograph Signing, Natick Mall, Natick, Massachusetts
"Nature Boy" Ric Flair and The Giant

My buddy Jay and I went to Boston to buy Nitro tickets, standing in line overnight.  After getting the tickets we went to the Natick Mall where Ric Flair was scheduled for an appearance at Filene's.  I know, Filene's right.  So we get the the mall, which has a bigger line than the box office at The FleetCenter.  Filene's did good as they aired Great American Bash 1996 on the in house TV's.  We weren't allowed to take photo's with Flair or The Giant, I got an autographed photo from both that was supplied by WCW and Flair signed a trading card for me.

June 9, 1997
WCW Monday Nitro, The FleetCenter, Boston, Massachusetts

Flair main evented the show teaming with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper facing the WCW Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders: Kevin Nash & Scott Hall with Cruiserweight Champion: Syxx in their corner, in a non-title match.  Flair and Piper won after four minutes by disqualification when Syxx interfered.

 A huge brawl erupted with eventually the entire locker room coming out.  Eventually Sting came down from the rafters hooking onto an unconscious DDP and taking him back up with him.  This happened right in front of us.

October 19, 2003
WWE Raw Brand House Show, Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, Maine
Ric Flair managed Randy Orton who lost to Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam

This is the first time I saw Flair in the WWE since he joined them after WCW closed.  He only managed Orton in this match but I had a fantastic interaction with him.  He was cutting a promo putting down Maine and the Boston Red Sox for some cheap heat.  I yelled out, "That's right, give us hell Ric!" Flair spun around, pointed right at me and shouted "Shut your mouth fat boy!" I popped big time even throwing both my arms in the air in excitement.

July 13, 2004
Book Signing, Borders Books, Nashua, New Hampshire

Flairs book had just come out, my buddy Jay and I made the long drive down getting there early, we third and fourth in line.  The guy at the front managed to grab a picture with Naitch, however after that they wouldn't allow anyone else to do the same. Denied again!  I did manage the get not only my book, but a PWI magazine and my Mello Yello can signed.  The soda can was a promotion that the NWA did back 1988.

I've been to a few other books signing since this one, Triple H, & William Regal for example, and this was the only one where the author got a big introduction and they played his entrance music.

February 27, 2005
WWE Raw Brand House Show, Agganis Arena, Boston, Massachusetts
Steel Cage: Batista & Randy Orton defeated World Champion: Triple H and "Nature Boy" Ric Flair

My buddy Rood and I made the trip to Boston for this loaded matinee house show.  I bought tickets the second they went on sale because they advertised Ric Flair wrestling in a steel cage.  There was no way I was going to miss my opportunity to see the Nature Boy inside a cage.  

It was well worth it because Flair was busted wide open! At one point Flair was at the top of the cage and as I snapped a photo Randy Orton pulled Flair's trunks down exposing his ass, to which Rood likes to keep reminding how I took a picture of Flair's naked ass.  This was a film camera so once I got it developed sure enough, there it was.  I did not save the photo.

After this show we went to Barnes and Noble up the street for a Triple H book signing, at this one they had it set up so you could get a picture with him, however he would only sign the book.

May 1, 2005
WWE Backlash PPV, Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, New Hampshire
World Champion: Batista defeated Triple H w/ "Nature Boy" Ric Flair

This is the only PPV to date to be held at the venue, Rood and I manged to get 6th row tickets on the floor next to the entrance ramp.  I believe this was the last time they used the big swinging hook like props on the stage.

Flair only manged Triple H in this WrestleMania rematch with Batista, and his involvement was minimal, but it was nice to see Flair at ringside.

December 12, 2005
WWE Monday Night Raw Live, TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Kurt Angle defeated Intercontinental Champion: "Nature Boy" Ric Flair in a non-title match

A lot had changed since I saw Flair in May.  He had turned baby face and defeated Carlito for the Intercontinental Championship.  This was a good match, and it was great even though Flair lost.  Most importantly I got to see Flair with gold around his waist.  This would be the last singles championship that Flair would hold in his career.

August 20, 2006
WWE SummerSlam PPV, TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
I Quit Match: "Nature Boy" Ric Flair defeated Mick Foley

This is a match I never thought I would ever see as they had legit heat with each other because of comments made in their respective autobiographies.  They used thumbtacks, barbed-wire and an assortment of weapons.  Both men got very bloody, Flair even wrapped his hand in barbed wire delivering a series of chops Foley.  It was awesome!

March 29, 2008
WWE Hall of Fame, Amway Arena, Orlando, Florida
Triple H inducted "Nature Boy" Ric Flair

My buddies Rood, Jay and I bought the silver package from the WWE in July 2007 for this event based on the rumor that Flair was going to retire and we just had to be there for his final match.  Plus it's a big vacation to sunny Orlando for WrestleMania weekend!

Tickets to the Hall of Fame were included in our package, we had great seats, Flair was very emotional and I got emotional about it.  Flair did wrestle again, however this is the only time he individually could be entered in the WWE Hall of Fame and I'm grateful that I was there.

March 30, 2008
WWE WrestleMania XXIV, Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida
"Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels defeated "Nature Boy" Ric Flair in a career threatening match

At the time we thought that this was going to be Ric Flair's final match.  The emotions that we felt that night was immeasurable.  First off the match was just amazing with both Flair and Michaels giving it everything that they had.

Just prior to the finish, and this wasn't on the broadcast as the camera was on HBK, Flair was face down on the mat and was openly crying.  When I saw that I immediately starting crying myself because I knew that it was about to be over.  Then Flair picked himself up and you see that shot of him telling Michaels to "come one" with both hands clenched tears coming down his face.

It's so odd to admit being that emotional about something that you watch, but man it really did me in.

The seats we had were nothing short of amazing.  We were in the first front of row of the first section in the football stands directly on the 50 yard line.

March 29, 2009
Big Time Wrestling, Town Hall, Webster, MA

Jay, Rood, and I made the 200 mile one way drive to Webster Town Hall, we got there about 11am for a 1pm door and were in the front of the line.  The line was tremendously long, especially considering it was cold and drizzling.  The turn out was way more than the promoter expected which isn't that surprising considering this was on of Flairs first appearances of this kind as he was still under a part-time contract with the WWE.

We got in the building and they set it up that you first got your picture taken with Flair and then would go through again to get your item signed.  This way Flair was standing for the photos and then he could sit for the autographs.

I finally got my photo with Flair and I'm not ashamed to admit that my legs were shaking and I was so nervous.  Rood thought it was hilarious!  After getting our photos with Flair they had us sit in order in the seats then once everyone had gone through we got in line again to get our autographs.

I also got my photo with and a signed photo of Reid Flair.

After getting our autographs it was 3:30pm with the matches scheduled to start at 4pm.  Based on how long it took to get photos we surmised it would be close to six when the autographs where done and then the matches, plus we had a 200 mile drive home.  So we left and part of me regrets that because I never had another chance to see Reid wrestle live before his death.

On the ride home we stopped at the Cracker Barrel in Tewskbury, Mass and this is when I learned about the Sunday only boneless Fried Chicken special that they do, and it is amazing!

August 6 - 8, 2009
NWA Legends Fanfest, Hilton University Place Hotel, Charlotte, North Carolina

August 6th Starrcade 25 Years Later with Harley Race & "Nature Boy" Ric Flair

Jay and I made the Journey to the NWA Legends Fanfest in Charlotte.  This was Thursday, the first day of the convention, we flew in, checked in, got out badges and enjoyed a panel featuring Harley Race and Flair talking about their famous Starrcade 1983 match and then some questions from the audience.  After the sessions if you paid it, we could get your picture taken with Flair, Race, and they NWA World Championship Belt that they both wore and defended.

I got this photo op and was not nervous at all, in fact I was so excited that I put my arms around both of them.  Love this photo!

August 7th Four Horsemen Photo Op & Hall of Heroes "Nature Boy" Ric Flair inducted Black Jack Mulligan

Friday found yet another photo op with the legendary Four Horsemen.  In one photo it was myself with Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Barry Windham & JJ Dillon.  It was amazing! Truly once in a life time!  That night at the Hall of Heroes Banquet we sat with Baby Doll who fed me cake and we watch Flair induct BlackJack Mulligan into the Hall of Heroes, accepted by Barry Windham.

August 8th Four Horsemen signing

Saturday was the day we got the Photo ops signed as well as other Autrographs from the Horsemen.  We were entitled to 2 signatures with our VIP badge plus out photo ops signed.  I had Flair sign my picture of him and Harley as well as The group Horsemen shot and the photo of us from the above Big Time Wrestling show in Webster and the poster I made for the show.  Awesome!

A lot more happened this weekend, you can read bout it here: NWA Legends Fanfest 2009

March 24, 2013
Big Time Wrestling, Civic Center, Augusta, Maine
Pre-show meet & greet with "Nature Boy" Ric Flair and he cut a promo to open the show

This show was less than 10 miles from my home, there was no way I could pass this up.  Alex and I went to the Civic Center for this show where I got my photo with Flair and got him to sign a couple trading cards for me.  Flair cut an in ring promo at the beginning of the show that was pretty awesome.

So these are all the times I saw "Nature Boy" in person both in and out of the ring.  I can't imagine I'll ever have the opportunity again to meet him, and honestly I wouldn't go out of my way at this point.  There are so many other wrestlers that I want to see and meet that I same my money for those opportunities.

I know a lot of negative things have been said and written about Flair these last few years, and for some of them he only has his actions to blame.  However, each and every interaction I have had with Flair has been amazing.  He has been gracious, kind, and a pleasure to be around.

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Later Readers!