Sunday, July 30, 2017

WCW's Women's Division

Until the last few years the women's wrestling scene in the United States had been treated like a side attraction instead of a featured contest.  There were times in the WWE like in the mid 1980's with the Rock N' Wrestling era of Wendi Richter or early 1990's with Alundra Blayze where it was a strong mid-card attraction.

The American Wrestling Association revived their Women's Championship in 1984 until the promotion folded featuring Candi Devine, Sensational Sherri, Wendi Richter and others.  It was also around this time that several women's promotions started popping up such as GLOW, POWW, Delta Tiger Lillies, LPWA, and others.

Jim Crockett Promotions and later World Championship Wrestling attempted their own run at a women's division on a few occasions with minimal success.

Misty Blue
In 1986 Misty Blue was brought in, billed as the Women's United States Champion she wrestled Linda Dallas a dozen times and Kat LaRoux once in matches featured at house shows in February, April, & September.  She also made a single television appearance on the September 6, 1986 episode of WCW World Wide.

Misty Blue, Linda, & Kat returned in 1987 with Misty wrestling Linda a half dozen matches in February & April.  In July during the Great American Bash Tour wrestled Kat LaRoux for eight shows.

On August 29, 1987 in Houston Blue was billed at the NWA World Women's Champion defeated Camrade Orga.  On November 26, 1987 in Greensbobo, NC Misty Blue won a 7 women $15,000 Battle Royal, Kat Leroux, Linda Dallas, Jamie West, Venus, Mad Dog Debbie & Whitney Hansen

In February and March of 1988 Misty Blue, Linda, and Kat were back for a few house shows.  December 12, 1988 her whole troupe of girls made it to the WTBS studios in Atlanta for the World Championship Wrestling televisions tapings.  January 1989 they worked two house shows.

Susan Sexton vs. Bambi at Clash of the Champions XII
In September 1990 now under the Ted Turner WCW banner Women's Wrestling returned to TBS with a different group of ladies.  Bambi defeated Peggy Lee Leather on Worldwide and lost to LPWA Women's Champion Susan Sexton at Clash of the Champions XII in Asheville, North Carolina.  The two also faced off four house shows.

February 24, 1991 at Wrestle War 91 in Phoenix, Arizona live on Pay-Per-View, WCW introduced to the world of Joshi Puroresu.  The ladies of All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling; Itsuki Yamazaki & Mami Kitamura defeated Miki Handa & Miss A when the former Jumping Bomb Angel Yamazaki pinned Miss A.  The four ladies faced off at two house shows in Chicago and Georgia prior to the PPV with Miki and Mami switching teams.  Miss A is better know as Dynamite Kansai.

Miki Handa & Miss A vs. Itsuki Yamazaki & Mami Kitamura
These ladies wow'd this crowd as until this time they had never seen women's wrestling like this before.  Hard hitting, fast paced, and exciting the crowd got behind them.

Later that year in October Misty Blue, Linda Dallas, Kat LaRoux, & Black Venus returned for four house shows in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.  It would be there last tour in WCW.

Madusa has been in WCW as a valet for Rick Rude since 1991 and although she never competed in a women's match she did face Paul E. Dangerously in a series of 5 Minute challenges in November and December of 1992.

At World War III Pay-Per-View at the Norfolk Scope, November 26, 1995 women's wrestling returned to WCW for the first time in four years.  Once again they featured the stars of Joshi Puroresu in a cross promotional battled.  Bull Nakano & Akria Hokuto of All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling defeated Cutie Suzuki & Mayumi Ozaki of JWP.  The next night at Monday Nitro in Salem, VA the two teams faced off again with Nakano and Hokuto once again gaining a victory.

Ozaki & Suzuki vs. Hokuto & Nakano
Many wrestling fans will remember Nakano as a former WWE Women's Champion and her matches against Madusa who was known as Alundra Blayze in the promotion.

On December 18, 1995 Madusa showed up on Monday Nitro throwing the WWF Women's Championship in the trash.  Madusa would not return to WCW television until January 29, 1996 when she would lose to Sherri Martel in a short match on Nitro.  Madusa then had a series of matches with Col. Robert Parker in March and April.

In June of 1996 WCW really started stepping up their women's division with Madusa wrestling the likes of Bull Nakano, Akira Hokuto, Debbie Combs, Malia Hosaka, and Leilani Kai.  She even faced Nakano at WCW Hog Wild PPV in Sturgis, South Dakota on August 10, 1996.

Akira Hokuto with Sonny Onoo
November 1996 WCW teamed with the GAEA promotion from Japan to promote a tournament for the WCW Women's Championship.  Akira Hokuto defeated Madusa in the finals of the tournament to win the Championship at Starrcade December 29, 1996 in Nashville, Tennessee.

WCW and GAEA would also crown a WCW Women's Crusierweight Tournament that was won by Toshie Uematsu on April 7, 1997 in Huntsville, Alabama on WCW Main Event.

Toshie Uematsu
The Women's division in WCW from June 1996 until June 1997 was featured on Pay-Per-Views and Monday Nitro occasionally, however the weekend and syndicated shows heavily featured matches from both divisions including tournament matches.  The Women's division essentially came to and end on June 15, 1997 at the Great American Bash when Madusa lost a career vs. title match to Women's Champion Akira Hokuto. This would be Hokuto's last match in WCW.  Later in 1997 the WCW Women's titles were abandoned.

I re-watched that match at the Bash between Madusa and Hokuto was a damn good match.  Hokuto with a relentless onslaught and Madusa fighting back from the bottom until a knee injury slowed her down, but she wouldn't quit and continued fighting.  It was great!  The only downside was Bobby Heenan on commentary talking about how'd he never seen a women take such a beating and fight so hard, and ect.

Madusa would return to WCW in 1999 as part of Randy Savages entourage.  At this point the women in WCW were treated as eye candy and only had the occasional match which was usually a mixed tag, evening gown or other gimmick.

Madusa herself would go on to have matches with several male wrestlers like Benoit, Meng, and even defeating Evan Karagias for the Cruiserweight Championship.  However she did have a few matches with actual women wrestlers like Mona (Molly Holly), Rhonda Singh, Sherri Martel, and Patty Stone Grinder (Leilani Kai).

The best years in women's wrestling for WCW was in 1996 and 1997 but they needed to use Japanese talent to do so.  Also it seems that when it got to it height it just disappeared.  I very pleased that today women's wrestling is where it is on the independents, on the national scene, and around the world.  

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Last Match: The Hart Extended Family

This The Last Match post is a follow up to my one about the Hart Family.  In this post we take a look at the extended Hart family including In-Laws, kids, and grand children.

Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart
March 5, 2016 BCW Night of Legends, Williamsport, PA
with Frankie the Pizza Guy and Koko B. Ware defeated The Cash Masters: Clay Drasher & Shawn Andrews and Nikolai Volkoff.

Married to Ellie Hart they had three daughters including Nattie Neidhart who currently wrestles in the WWE.  This was his first match in three years best known for being tag team partners with Bret Hart as the two time WWF Tag Team Champions: The Hart Foundation.  Neidhart debuted in 1979 for Stu Hart in Calgary

Bradley Joseph "BJ" Annis
April 17, 1987 Stampede Wrestling Calgary, Alberta, Canada
defeated Mike Hammer

Was married to Georgia Hart together they had four children including current independent wrestler Teddy Hart.

Ben Bassarab
January 10, 1992 Stampede Wrestling, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
wrestled Phil LaFleur to a double disqualification

Was married to Alison Hart, they have two children together.  Their daughter Brooke is married to wrestler Peter Minnema who as the ring name "Pistol" Pete Wilson.

“British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith
May 11, 2002 TRCW: Top Rope Championship Wrestling Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Teamed with Harry Smith & Zack Mercury defeating Robby Royce, The Axe, & TJ Bratt

Was married to Diana Hart, they had two children together including current David Hart Smith who currently wrestles for New Japan Pro Wrestling and previously with the WWE a former Tag Team Champion with Tyson Kidd in the Hart Dynasty.

Died May 18, 2002 after suffering a heart attack possibly related to past anabolic steroid use, he was 39 years old.

The Dynamite Kid
October 10, 1996 Michinoki Pro 3rd Anniversary, Tokyo, Japan
teaming with Dos Caras & Kuniaki Kobayashi defeated Mil Mascaras, The Great Sasuke, & Tiger Mask

Tom Billington was married to Michelle Smadu who is the sister of Bret Hart's first wife Julie, also Billington is the cousin of Davey Boy Smith so he's definitely family.

Tom and Michelle had three children the eldest named Bronwyne valets her husband wrestler Dan Vander Griendt.  Together they are known as the Dynamite Duo: Dynamite Dan Myers & the Dynamite Doll.

A Still from Dynamite Kid's final match

Tyson Kidd
June 1, 2015 WWE San Antonio, Texas
was defeated by Samoa Joe

The husband of Natalya Niedhart he suffered an injury after taking the muscle buster from Samoa Joe.  It's unknown if he'll return to the ring but I for one hope that he does. 

"Pistol" Pete Wilson
November 30, 2013 Real Canadian Wrestling, Calagary, Alberta, Canada
with Dan Myers & Teddy Hart defeated 8-Bit Bastards: Evan Adams & Scott Crue and Bobby Sharp

His mother-in-law is Alison Hart, he married her daughter Brooke.  Debuted in 2001 wrestling primarily in Canada he was trained by Bruce, Ross, Teddy Hart, and Tyson Kidd. 

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Limitless Wrestling: Nothing Gold Can Stay Live Report 7/21/2017

Friday night July 21, 2017 Limitless Wrestling returned to the Westbrook Armory for "Nothing Gold Can Stay" that drew another great attendance for the promotion. It was extremely hot in the building this evening, 85 degrees outside and much hotter inside.

Maxwell Jacob Friedman submitted Sami Callihan

It was a good opener, I like both of these guys.  They did an injury angle and Callihan sold it well showing remorse, apologizing to the fans saying he'd come back.  Freidman oversold it with near fake crying that basically screamed I'm faking this.

Friedman snapped Callihan's arm over the rope while faking the injury and then worked the arm for the rest of the match leading to a very surprising submission victory.

Six Way Scramble: Jon Silver defeated "Mind Eraser" Mike Graca, Mr. Grim, Bear Bronson, "New Age Enforcer" James Drake, & Xavier Bell 
This started with two guys in the ring and the other four in corner awaiting a tag.  It quickly broke down to what I thought a scramble is.  It was my first time seeing Bronson and Drake in person.  I was really impressed Drake, his ability inside the ring, how he can move for a guy his size, and his look.

Silver was the star of the match showing some impressive strength german suplexing Bronson whilst he was holding him in a fireman's carry.  I was surprised that after the finish Grim didn't body bag anyone.

Texas Bullrope Match: "Top Shelf" Troy Nelson defeated Wee BL with Syndey Bakabella 
This was advertised at Sydney Bakabella Giant taking on Nelson.  For those that don't recall Bakabella has brought in several wrestlers to take on Nelson in hopes of taking him out.  Nelson has defeated Kikutaru, Dick Justice, & Colt Cabana to date.

Apparently Bakabella did not do proper research as when he thought he was bringing in JBL to challenge Nelson he ended up with Wee BL.  The match itself was lots of comedy, one spot had the rope wrapped around Nelson and when Wee BL pulled on the rope it caused Nelson to hit himself in the face.

The finish was botched, Nelson had hit three corners and has the was going to the forth Wee BL picked up Nelson on his shoulders and walked him across the ring dropping him face first in the top turnbuckle and the referee called for the bell.  The match should not have ended as you have to hit all four turnbuckles in order, essentially Nelson touched turnbuckles 1, 2, 3, and 2.

Bakabella announced that on September 22nd he's bringing in Swoggle to face Nelson.

XWA Champion: Anthony Henry submitted Flip Gordon
I was pretty excited about this match because it had loads of potential and I was not disappointed.

Both guys are pretty evenly matched with Flip's aerial offense and Henry's mat based submission style.  Henry got the submission with a variation of the Regal Stretch that was visually very impressive.

Donovan Dijak pinned Josh Briggs
This is Dijak's finaly match in Limitless Wrestling as he has signed a deal with WWE and is no longer accepting indy bookings.  Dijak got a good send off from the Limitless faithful including the streamer treatment.

My first time seeing Josh Briggs in person, he has not been wrestling long, less than a year but he is already wicked good.  He's a big man himself near 6 foot 7 and he can move!  It was a very good back and for match, not your typical big man match as both of these guys don't lumber around the ring.

Dijak got the win after hitting feast your eyes.  Post match he put over Briggs as being a the next big man in wrestling and the future of Limitless.

At intermission Fenix came out, he didn't arrive until after the show started.  I got both my cards signed a picture with him.  Also I got my Sami Callihan's cards signed and my picture with him.  I snagged a photo with James Drake too.

Le Tabarnak de Team: Mathieu St. Jacques & Thomas Dubois and Buxx Belmar defeated Maine State Posse: Aidan Agro, Danger Kid, & Alexander Lee
This match was awesome!  I enjoyed Le Tabarnak de Team during their last appearance in May, this performance tonight cemented me as a fan of theirs.  Maine State Posse got their normal big reaction as these guys are tremendous fan favorites.  However, something happened part way through the match, almost like Rocky overcoming the partisan Russian fans against Ivan Drago, Tabarnak de Team started getting cheers as the match drew to an end.

On spot in particular, which was awesome saw one member of TDT piledrove Danger Kid onto Alexander Lee who was then hit with two top rope moves from the other members of the team and Lee kicked out.  I was surprised at how much the fans booed when he did.  I get it, it seemed like that should have been the finish of the match if he kicks out of that what won't he.  The answer was when Thomas Dubois got the pin on Lee after an SOS Moonsault.  DAMN!

Both teams looked great in the match and I would love to see a return match between them.

JT Dunn pinned Super Crazy
Really good match.  Crazy looked in excellent shape from the last time I remember seeing him.  It was kind of surreal as I never thought I'd see Super Crazy in the ring here in Maine.  It just seems so random to me.  It was a fun match with Crazy getting the majority of the offense in before eating a couple elbows that lead to the pin.

Luke Robinson pinned Cam Zigami w/ Mike Gamble
Good back and forth match with these two evenly matched competitors.  The finish came when Tyler Nitro made a surprise appearance causing the distraction leading to Robinson nailing the superkick for the pin.

Post match Nitro and Zigami had a pull apart, Zigami announced that they will meet in a match on September 22nd at the two year anniversary.

AR Fonix: AR Fox & Rey Fenix defeated Take Me Home Tonight: "All Good" Anthony Greene & Ace Romero when Fox pinned Romero

Fantastic match!  The crowd was solidly behind Greene and Romero, and they wanted to cheer Fenix but had no issues booing Fox.  Fenix is so damn fast, he'd throws the kicks out with amazing quickness!  Also the height he gets in the ring and the way he glides through the air is impressive!

Much to my surprise and most others, Fenix and Fox got the win when Fox pinned Romero.  This actually ties Romero and Fox with two pinfalls each over the other.  Greene did not take to kindly to being handed his first defeat ever in Limitless Wrestling blaming Ace for being distracted.

The two went at each other with the locker room separating them.  Brian Fury came to the ring, saying he was disappointed in them both.  He said on September 22nd they would face each other and he would be the special guest referee.

Limitless Wrestling returns to Westbrook at the Armory on Friday September 22nd for their two year anniversary show.  Announced so far:
Jack Swagger 
"Top Shelf" Troy Nelson vs. Swoggle w/ Sydney Bakabella
"All Good" Anthony Greene vs. Ace Romero
Cam Zigami w/ Mike Gamble vs. Tyler Nitro

I predict that Swagger will face JT Dunn

Limitless put on another great show in front of some very appreciative and hot fans.  It was nice when after intermission they opened the sally port door and left it up, it really cooled it down in their. 

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Rey Fenix

Sami Callihan

"New Age Enforcer" James Drake

Super Crazy