Wednesday, November 21, 2018

AWA Team Challenge Series on the WWE Network

Recently I found an unaired pilot that the AWA filmed on the WWE Network.  This was centered around the Team Challenge Series and featured wrestling in a studio with no audience.  The wrestlers came to ringside with a very bad green screen showing fans cheering on while a audience noise track was played.  They would cut to canned footage of people who appear to be in a bar.  They might have been watching actual wrestling, but it was not these matches.  Even the camera angles with funky with the hard camera looking down at the ring at an angle and instead of center on the ring it was closer to a corner post.

The opening features bikini clad girls in a ring that keeps say "Yay, yay, yay, for the AWA" with clips of the flag, AWA logo, some mat action, a rock n roll band, and the Beverly Hills knockouts.

Vern Gagne greets us sitting on his dock looking like he's about to go fishing, while his dog sits on his lap.  We then cut to Ralph and Greg Gagne in the satellite base letting us know that this product is nothing like we've ever seen before.  We are going to feel the action, inside the ring.  They are also providing the commentary, which is done in post production.
Tommy Jammer coming to the ring
Tommy Jammer vs. Tom Burton

They circle, lock up, arm drag by Burton
They circle, hip toss by Burton
They circle, lock up, body slam by Burton - we get a slow motion replay
They circle, lock up, arm drag, hip toss, and body slam by Jammer in rapdi succession
Lock up, Burton backs Jammer into the ropes, misses a right hand Jammer with an arm drag then they cut to the "crowd" back to the action we see Burton backing Jammer into the corner, Irish whip is reversed Burton comes out of the corner and Jammer with a powerslam then a standing splash or surfer splash for the three count.  Time of the fall 1:46. We got 11 offensive moves in this match.  In the replay   

Promo with Baron von Raschke of the Blitzers and Sgt. Slaughter of the Snipers talking about how Raschke's team member Paul Diamond taking on Slaughters team member Col. DeBeers.

Promo from the Destruction Crew, Mike Enos & Wayne Bloom. 

The Destruction Crew with Luscious Johnny V vs. Jerry Lynn & Ricky Rice

I figured that this would be a squash match but for the first two minutes Mike Enos took a beating with no offense.  He rakes Rice's eyes and tags in Bloom who takes over where Enos left off getting in no offense as Lynn and Rice work the left arm and shoulder.  Finally the Crew took over on Lynn working the lower back until hitting him with the Doomsday Device for the three count at 4:39.
The Crew took a beating for the first three minutes of the match.

Post match Eric Bischoff conducts an in ring interview with Johnny V & The Destruction.

Promo from Sgt. Slaughter talking about the team challenge main event with Col. DeBeers taking on Paul Diamond in an over the top rope king of the hill match.  Cut to Col. DeBeers talking about his upcoming match. 

Ralph and Greg talk about how the teams are selected randomly which is why we have enemies on the same team.

Beverly Hills knock outs segment is next.  It's basically Foxy boxing, three 1 minute rounds and they have giant gloves.  The ring looks like a 10 foot ring with the everlast turnbuckle pads covering all three ropes.

After the second round the Blonde Bomber takes off her gloves and attacks her opponent with knees to the back, a flying snapmare, and a suplex.  Of course she isn't disqualified and is forced to put her gloves back on for the 3rd round.  Mid way in the round the Bomber attacks again with shoulder tackles and kicker her opponent when she is down.  This boxing match has better wrestling than the actual wrestling matches so far. We are getting a second 3rd round

Ralph and Greg talk about the Team Challenge series, three randomly selected teams where each win gets you points.  The winning team get $1,000,000!

Promo from "Hard Rock" Paul Diamond about his match with Col. DeBeers.

Team Challenge Series King of the Hill Match
"Hard Rock" Paul Diamond vs. Col. DeBeers

You can only win by throwing your opponent over the top rope to the cement floor.  Paul Diamond with a an impressive looking dropkick until the slow motion replay shows that he never came close to hitting DeBeers with it.  Otherwise it was actually a pretty good match.  Finish came when DeBeers set up Diamond for a piledriver and he was back body dropped over the top rope at 5:49.

Sgt. Slaughter vs. The Terminator

This match had a lot of lock ups into side headlocks with push off into the ropes to set up a spot usually a shoulder tackle.  Once Slaughter did a high cross body for a two count.  At the five minute mark Terminator finally got the upper hand by ramming Slaughter's head into the turnbuckle, but forty seconds later Slaughter was back in control.  Finish came at 6:26 when Slaughter got the submission with the cobra clutch.

Post Match: Eric Bischoff interviews Slaughter at ringside.

Ralph and Greg Gagne sign off promising an exciting a hour of wrestling next week.

All in all this was not a great hour of wrestling.  If this was the innovations that the AWA was hoping would bring fans to their product they were sadly mistaken.

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network. 

Later Readers!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Wrestlers on TV Shows: The 70's

The Six Million Dollar Man
Season 3 Episode 16 & 17 The Secret of Bigfoot Parts 1 & 2
Aired February 1 & 4, 1976

Steve Austin is investigating the disappearance of two friends in California who were studying earthquakes and evidence suggests that a Sasquatch was involved.  Bigfoot is played by Andre the Giant.  Not only do these episode feature Austin fighting Andre's Bigfoot, but also space travelers!

Most people know that Andre the Giant starred as Fezzik in the Princess Bride but his first acting role outside of wrestling was on The Six Million Dollar Man.  He also has guest parts on other shows such as: BJ & The Bear, The Fall Guy, The Greatest American Hero, Conan The Destroyer, Micki & Maude, and the 1991 Zorro TV series.

Are You Being Served?
Season 7 episode 5: The Hero
Aired November 16, 1979

After a disagreement between Captain Peacock and Mr. Franco of the sports department they were supposed to have a boxing match, however Captain Peacock chickened out and there were no boxing gloves to fit Mr. Franco.  In the end Mr. Humphries ends up wrestling Mr. Franco, and of course the ring is set up on the sales floor.

Mr. Franco was played by English professional wrestler Jackie Pallo who was a top star on television in the 1960’s & 70’s with his feud with Mick McManus.  Pallo also held the British Heavy Middleweight Championship for a time in 1969.

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network. 

Later Readers!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

ROH Lewiston, Maine Live Report

Ring of Honor finally made their debut in my home State of Maine as part of the Global Wars Tour featuring talent from New Japan Pro Wrestling.

As excited as I was when Ring of Honor announced their Maine debut there was a couple things that surprised me about it; the fact that it going to be on a Wednesday night and at the Colisee in Lewiston.  Nothing against Lewiston, it was a rich history of professional wrestling with the Armory hosting the WWF from the late 60's to the early 80's.  Also I attended numerous EWA events at the Armory in the late 1990's, it's one of my favorite places to attend wrestling.

However, in the last 35 plus years WWE has only had two shows at the Colisee primarily sticking to Portland, Augusta, & Bangor.  WCW only ran two shows in Maine, Portland and Bangor, and TNA's only show was in Portland.

Roy, my daughter Addison, and I headed to the Dirty Lew for a night of wrestling.  We saw some familiar faces we typically see at show here in Maine including my buddy Phil.  My high school chum Ben had the seat behind me, it's always nice running into Ben.

Our seats were fantastic!  The venue was set up for about half a house, out seats were center ring in the front row of the first section off the floor so we were elevated over everyone on the floor even when they stood up.  Not bad at all for $30!  The house was maybe 1,000 people, but they were a lively crowd that were up for all the matches.  I do have genuine concern if ROH will come back, I hope they do.

The matches were really good with some really great talent and everyone work hard putting on a good show.  Unfortunately two times during the night they lost power to their equipment and the fist time the building lost power as well with the emergency lights coming on.

Dark Match
Ryan Nova pinned "Retro" Anthony Greene with the Platinum Hunnies

It was a nice surprise seeing AG on the show.  He got a good pop and was over with the crowd who booed Nova heavily only because they favored AG.  AG got a good ovation after his loss and I'm hoping this is a good step towards him signing with ROH. 

Thursday Night ROH had a show in Lowell where Greene wrestled in the dark match on the losing end of a six man tag.

Main Show - Aired on Honor Club
Commentary by Ian Riccaboni & Colt Cabana

Flip Gordon pinned Eli Isom

Solid opening match.  Flip was over with the crowd and he gave us some flips.  I wasn't impressed with Eli Isom at all, he botched a spinebuster where he just gently layed Flip down on the canvas.  Flip for the pin after a flip five.

Tag Team Champions: SCU: Scorpio Sky & Frankie Kazarian defeated The Bouncers: Brian Milonas and Beer City Bruiser

Great tag team wrestling with the champs bumping all around for bigger team.  I really like Beer City Bruiser.  He is a throwback to 70's wrestlers like The Crusher and The Bruiser.  Finish came when Milonas was in the corner and got caught by the champs for a double powerbomb.

World Television Champion: Jeff Cobb pinned Cheeseburger

Matches started off with Cheeseburger attempting multiple offensive moves and Cobb defending them like it was nothing.  He basically treated Cheeseburger like he was a child.  Eventually Burger did get so offense in that rocked Cobb for a bit, but then Cobb hit tour of the islands for the pin.

World Six Man Tag Team Champions: The Kingdom: Matt Taven, TK O'Ryan, & Vinny Marseglia defeated Dalton Castle & The Boys

For majority of the match Marseglia did his hide under the ring crap which was fine with me until of course he came out.  Overall I enjoyed the match, a lot of wild brawling in and out of the ring with very little actual tagging.   Once Marseglia came out from under the ring he got in a bit of offense before Castle it Bang-A-Rang for a two count.  The match broke down again and the finish came with Marseglia and O'Ryan hit house of a thousand horses on one of the boys for the pin.

I'm waiting for O'Ryan to breakaway from the Kingdom and become the singles star he is destined to be.

The Briscoe Brothers: Mark & Jay defeated Hangman Page & Cody with Brandi Rhodes

This match was fantastic!  All four of these guys are so good and they put on the match of the night here.  Page was the star of the match hitting his apron shooting star press to the floor and buck shot lariat.  He then hit a moonsault from the top rope to the floor on both Briscoes.  Cody hit Crossrhodes on Mark but Jay broke it up.  Cody was sent to the floor and after an attempted second rope rite of passage on Mark, Jay hit Hangman with the Jay Driller and Mark a froggy bow for the pin.

Juice Robinson pinned "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels

This was a good match but I think it had potential to be much better.  Juice for the win with pulp friction,

Bully Ray & Silas Young defeated The Young Bucks: Nick & Matt Jackson

This was great match.  Ray and Young dominated Matt for the majority until he made the hot tag to Nick who came in a house of fire.  Surprisingly though, the bucks took the loss when Matt was hit with a low blow and Silas hit his finish.  The fans were shocked that the Bucks lost and disappointed.

LIJ: Tetsuya Naito, Sanada, Bushi, & Evil defeated World Champion: Jay Lethal, Jonathan Gresham, Chris Sabin, & IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion: Kushida

This match was all over the place!  LIJ and especially Naito was extremely over getting the biggest reaction of the night.  There was a lot of very fast paced action where Sabin and Kushida busted out some great combinations.  Gresham looked damn good in the match and we got the see LIJ get all their shit in.  Finish came when Gresham was hit with destino by Naito for the pin.

It was a fun night of wrestling, best show I've seen in the building and I went to the two WWE shows I spoke of earlier.  I really hope that ROH returns to Lewiston or anywhere in Maine in the future.

I didn't bring my good camera to take pictures, I just used me phone.  I used to bring my good camera and take tons of pictures at shows, now I just want to watch the matches and the only reason why I even take pictures is for my blog. 

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network. 

Later Readers!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Jerry Lynn was the WWF Light Heavyweight Champion?

Listening to the Mikey Whipwreck and Jerry Lynn's new podcast the other day it was mentioned by the host that Lynn was a former WWF Light Heavyweight Champion.  This statement gave me pause because I didn't remember Lynn being champion straight away so I decided to look into it.

On April 29, 2001 from Chicago on a live Sunday Night Heat before the Backlash Pay Per View Lynn made his WWF television debut defeating Light Heavyweight Champion: Crash Hardy to win the championship in about three and a half minutes.

This match was after the closure of WCW & ECW and even though Lynn was in the WWF during the invasion angle he was not affiliated with ECW brand during this time.  This was Lynn's 4th run with the promotion after brief stints in 1989, 1995, & 1997.

Jerry Lynn vs. Rick Martel May 16, 1989 LaCrosse, WI
He debuted on March 25th at a house show in Baltimore defeating Essa Rios.  He wrestled several house shows leading up to his match with Holly including pinning Brian Danielson at the now TD Garden in Boston on April 9th in a dark match.       

He defended the title for 37 days after winning the championship against: Kevin Kruger, Grandmaster Sexay, Crash Holly, Taka Michinoku, Essa Rios, Dean Malenko, Christopher Daniels, Eddie Guerrero, Funaki, and Michael Shane before his loss to Jeff Hardy.

Following the loss he had one rematch and then continued wrestling essentially the same core guys.  He made his Madison Square Garden debut on June 25th defeated Essa Rios with a tornado DDT in five and a half minutes on a taped Jakked that aired on June 30th.

On July 31st in Washington DC he wrestled Hardcore Champion: Rob Van Dam in a short match losing to the five star frog splash that was not anywhere near to the level of their matches from ECW.  This was the only significant match of Lynn's that I remembered from this run and it was a bit of a disappointment considering their history.

His final match was one week later on August 6th defeating Justin Incredible on a match taped for Jakked.  During his short run he wrestled primarily on Jakked with a couple matches on Raw and SmackDown and had no in ring PPV appearances.  At Judgement Day on May 20th he was relegated to making an appearance at WWF New York.

Lynn would go on to have a great career in TNA, Ring of Honor, and on the indies wrestling his last match March 23, 2013 in Minneapolis defeating Horace the Psychopath, JB Trask, & Sean Waltman in a Fatal Four Way.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jerry Lynn just one time on September 5, 2009 in Fairfield, Maine for the indy promotion Pro Wrestling America.  This show had only like 10 fans in attendance and the majority of the wrestlers cancelled or no showed because a rival promotion about an hour north was also running.

Both Mr. Lynn and Sonjay Dutt were booked for both shows.  The worked the first half of the show in Brewer and then drove down to this show.  The first half of our show consisted of four shit-tastic matches with all trainees.  On match was Sack of Tacks match that where no one took a bump in the tacks.

Finally Lynn and Dutt arrived and tore the house down!  Lynn pinned Champion: Mark Moment with the cradle piledriver and in the main even in falls count anywhere match Cameron Matthews pinned Dutt with a piledriver.  

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network. 

Later Readers!