Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Last Match: Stars of the 1950's

It's the return of The Last Match and in this post I take a look at wrestling stars of the 1950's.

Haystacks Calhoun
August 29, 1980 Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada AGPW: Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling
defeated Goldie Rogers

Born William Calhoun on August 3, 1934 in McKinney, Texas he began wrestling in 1955 under former NWA World Champion Orville Brown.  During his 25 year career he captured several tag team championships including the NWA Florida, NWA Canadian, Mid Atlantic, WWA, and WWF tag titles.  He held the WWF titles with Tony Garea for 104 days.   He passed away on December 7, 1989 at the age of 55.

This was his last singles match, he won two battle royals on September 4 & 18 in New Glaslow & Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Gorgeous George
November 7, 1962 Los Angeles, California WWA: World Wrestling Alliance
was defeated by The Destroyer in a Mask vs. Hair match

Born George Wagner on March 24, 1915 and got his start in wrestling at the age of 14 working the carnival circuit.  After becoming a solid in ring worker he debuted his Human Orchid persona in 1941 fast becoming the top heel where ever he appeared.  Sadly George suffered from alcoholism which brought not only is in ring career but his life to and end.  He passed away on December 26, 1963 at the young age of 48.

Antonino Rocca
October 16, 1976 Bayamon, Puerto Rico WWC: World Wrestling Council
with Jose Miguel Perez they were defeated by Higo Hamaguchi & Gordon Nelson for the NWA North American Tag Team Championships

Born in Italy on April 13, 1921 he moved to Argentina before World War II, it was here that he was trained in the ring by Stanislaus Zbyszko.  He moved to the Texas area in the 1940's and in 1949 the New York territory for Capitol Wrestling, the precursor to the now WWE.  He headlined Madison Square Garden and became a huge box office draw in New York during the 1950's.  In the 1960's and 1970's he worked in Japan first as a wrestler and then a referee and was one of the first foreign wrestlers in New Japan Pro Wrestling.  He passed away at the age of 55 on March 15. 1977

Ricki Starr
August 7, 1975 Jersey City, New Jersey IWA: International Wrestling Association
defeated Bull Johnson

Born Bernard Herman in 1931 he became an amateur boxer winning numerous championships before becoming a celebrated ballet dancer touring Europe.  He transitioned this dance style into his wrestling matches when he debuted in 1953.  He was a high flyer long before they became popular.  He toured the United Kingdom as well as Germany, France, Turkey and other countries.  After retiring from wrestling in the 1970's he stayed in he UK.  He died September 20, 2014 at the age of 83.

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. 

Until next time!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

History Has Been Made 2: More Title Changes That I Have Seen Live

Way back in March 2017 I posted History Has Been Made!: The Titles Changes I've Seen which looked at all the titles changes I saw in the WWE, WCW, & Ring of Honor from 1998 to 2016. Even though it's only been a couple years and I'm only talking about two wrestling events, I thought it was time to post an update.

June 23, 2017 Memorial Auditorium, Lowell, MA
Ring of Honor: Best in the World 2017

Dalton Castle and The Boys defeated World Six-Man Tag Team Champions: Bully Ray and The Brisco Brothers: Mark & Jay to win the championships

Dalton Castle's entrance is just amazing!  It's just a fantastic visual when the opens up his cape and it is enhanced by the fans throwing streamers at just the right time!
This match was set up when Castle was teaming with Bully and the Brisco's and the Boys pushed Castle out of the way so Bushi ended up spitting mist in Jay's face causing him to be pinned.  He out to kill The Boys.

The match was great, Bully busted out some comedy that I wasn't expecting.  Dalton had his usual hilarious theatrics.  Once Jay got his hands on the Boys he beat the absolute tar out of them!  I mean he lit them up with chops and you could see the bruises on their chests.

Ultimately it was Jay's anger towards the Boys that cost them the match and the titles.  While he was out chasing them, Bully Ray was trying to talk him down, Dalton rolled up Mark in a small package for the three count crowning new Six Man Tag Team Champions.
The crowd popped big time on this finish with a you deserve it chant breaking out.  It was pretty awesome.

"American Nightmare" Cody Rhodes pinned World Heavyweight Champion: "The Almighty" Christopher Daniels to win the championship

Another great match to close out a night of pretty damn fantastic wrestling.  Cody had his lip busted open early on in the match up but it didn't slow him down.  At one point Marty ran down to help out Cody after referee Todd Sinclair was knocked down, but Frankie Kazarian came out to make the save battling Marty to the back.
Rhodes dodged the Best Moonsault Ever and survived Angels Wings hitting two Cross Rhodes to get the pin and capture the Championship.

I feel very honored, no pun intended, to have been present to see Cody Rhodes win his first World Heavyweight Championship.  His emotional reaction when he won, which I was able to capture on camera, was what I hoped it would be.  He truly appreciates it and it means something to him to be World Champion.

April 6, 2019 Madison Square Garden
New Japan Pro Wrestling & Ring of Honor
G1 Supercard

ROH: World Television Champion: Jeff Cobb defeated NEVER Openweight Champion: Will Ospreay

This was a double titles match that kicked off the main card of the show.  It was an excellent match and it capped off the weekend for seeing Will Ospreay live in three stand out matches.  He wasn't able to pick up the win in this match, which surprised me.

Kelly Klein defeated Women of Honor World Champion: Mayu Iwatani

This match and the aftermatch of it was just okay for me.

Dragon Lee defeated Bandido, and  IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion: Taiji Ishimori

This triple threat match was amazing!  All these guys are so good and the meshed together well.  It's a shame that it only went 9 minutes because I could have watched this all night.  Dragon Lee is ridiculously fast in the ring.

IWGP Tag Team Champions: Guerrillas of Destiny: Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa defeated The Briscoe Brothers: Mark & Jay and Los Ingobernables de Japon: EVIL & Sanada and ROH World Tag Team Champions: Villain Enterprises: PCO & Brody King

This was a fatal four-way for all the tag gold making GOD double champs.  This was another great match that was just two short based on the talent that was in the ring.  I was quite surprised that GOD won the ROH belts as I don't see them working ROH shows ever.

Kota Ibushi defeated IWGP Intercontinental Champion: Tetsuya Naito

This match was beyond amazing!  There was been some tremendous rivalries in wrestling where you don't get tired of watching two guys wrestle each other and Ibushi vs. Naito is one of them.  The fact that I got to see them wrestle each other live and on such a large stage as Madison Square Garden I feel truly lucky.

Ladder Match: Matt Taven defeated Marty Scurll & ROH World Champion: Jay Lethal

This match was awesome, the best pure ROH match on the card this night.  I still can't believe that Matt Taven won the title.  As far as ladder matches goes it in the top ten no doubt.

Kazuchika Okada defeated IWGP Champion: Jay White with Gedo

Tremendous match and a great match to closeout not only the show but my indymania weekend as well.  This was the first time the IWGP Championship changed hands outside of Japan, this also marked the beginning of Okada's 5th title reign.

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. 

Until next time!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Roller Derby: AFA The Inferno live report June 15, 2019

Kate, Wesley, and I made the short drive to Auburn for the Androscoggin Fallen Angels home opening bout of the season as The Inferno took on the Hurt of the Commonwealth from the Worcester Roller Derby League of out Massachusetts.

I'm not privy to insider information but it appears as though the AFA has shifted their home venue from the Lewiston Armory to the Norway Savings Bank Area in Auburn.  I love the Armory, it's a fantastic building but this is a great venue.

Located next to the Auburn Mall behind Shaws it has two ice rinks inside it.  The second floor has a concession stand called the Upper Level Pizza & Grill with a full menu of food and snacks and the prices are very reasonable compared to other venues.  They also have some video games and air hockey plus the old school hockey games.  More importantly though they had a pinball machine, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and I played a couple games.

Another cool thing about the venue is that if you can't go to the bout you can live stream it, or anything they have going on, on just search for the venue.  I'm not sure if it's just a hard camera on the ice, but it's a cool feature.

The bout today was excellent!  Very hard hitting and competitive play between both teams.  Queen Bootycca was on fire today as the jammer.  Many times you'd see her tip toeing around the blockers right on the line to get passed them to score.  It earned her to top jammer honor for the game for her team.  Hoots got the top blocker honor and others that stood out included Taco Badger and Slim Katie.

Standouts for Worcester included Pocket Rocket, the top jammer, and Alysin Wonderslam who were jammers for the team and Nancy Drew Blood was voted the top blocker of the game.  There were a lot of other great players, I'm just not familiar with them all.

I'm not doing the ladies justice with my memory of the bout, as there was a lot of hard hits and some great game play.  The top blocker and jammer awards are voted on by the opposing team, so Infernos voted for Commonwealth and vice versa.

At the end of the first half the game was quite close, but in the second half the Inferno's really turned up the heat and took a strong lead the just kept climbing until the final jam.  The Inferno won their home opener with a score of 141 to 104.

I can't stress this enough as to how much fun it is to go and watch this live.  This is out 4th bout and the more you watch the more you pick up on the little things that go one out there on the floor.  They had a good crowd in the building tonight and they got loud whenever the Inferno took command.

You can show your support for both of these leagues at their links:

The Infernos next bout is at home on July 20th with no announced opponent

Worcester's next bout is June 23rd as their team the Triple Deck-Hers travel to Hoosick Falls, New York to play the Soutshire Roller Derby.

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. 

Until next time!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Hulk Hogan's Rare WCW TV Matches

Back in 2017 I wrote about Hulk Hogan's Rare TV Matches in the WWF that he had on their syndicated programming.  At that time I didn't think much about his matches in WCW because I saw him on Nitro and Thunder frequently.  Recently though, I've been thinking about that time he spent in WCW before the advent of Monday Nitro.

Hulk Hogan joined WCW in 1994 and debuted on PPV defeating Ric Flair for the WCW World Championship at Bash at the Beach.  This list is going to look at the matches that Hogan had on WCW's weekend programming.  I will be excluding matches had on PPV, Clash of the Champions, Nitro & Thunder.  Let's take a look!

March 16, 1996 Dalton, GA
The Barbarian & The Shark with Jimmy Hart defeated Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage by disqualification

October 9, 1994 Atlanta, GA
WCW World Champion: Hulk Hogan & Dave Sullivan defeated Ric Flair & Masked Man (Bunkhouse Buck) with Sensuous Sherri a second masked man interfered and Ed Leslie made the save

August 6, 1995 Daytona Beach, FL
WCW World Champion: Hulk Hogan with Jimmy Hart defeated Kamala with Kevin Sullivan by disqualification after Zodiac & Shark interfered, Sting and Randy Savage made the save.  Michael Buffer did the ring introductions

All matches took place at Disney/MGM Studios Orlando, FL

November 12, 1994 
WCW World Champion: Hulk Hogan & Sting with Jimmy Hart defeated The Bruise Brothers: Ron & Don in 23 seconds with the leg drop and Scorpion Deathlock

taped February 5, 1995
WCW World Champion: Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage defeated defeated Pretty Wonderful: Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma

February 25, 1995
WCW World Champion: Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage defeated Avalanche & The Butcher

May 13, 1995
WCW World Champion: Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage defeated Bunkhouse Buck & Dick Slater

May 20, 1995
Los Dos Amigos fought Ric Flair & Vader with Arn Anderson to a no contest after Renegade and Jimmy Hart interfered, Amigos unmasked revealing themselves to be Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage

I don't remember this happening and I find this so hilarious that I can't believe this hasn't been brought up over the years or isn't in the Hidden Gems section on the WWE Network.  You can find the match on YouTube and I suggest you go watch it.

March 23, 1996
Hulk Hogan pinned Shark at 2:44 after hitting him with a chair twice

Hulk wrestled 9 matches on three of WCW's weekend shows during his six years with the promotion.  All tag matches except for two.  What is but isn't surprising to me is that WCW's flagship show for years going back into the NWA & Jim Crockett Promotion days was Saturday Night.  He appeared on many episodes but only wrestled one match. 

WCW Worldwide, arguably the lowest tiered of the weekend shows was where he wrestled the most matches at six, but these were taped in Florida where Hogan lived.  Hulk Hogan managed to accomplish what many others wished they could.  He reached a level of stardom where he only needed to wrestle a few times a month and make millions of dollars doing so.  Good for him!

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. 

Until next time!

Monday, June 3, 2019

My Wrestling Viewing Habits

I'm going to be 40 years old this month, it's something that is bothering me tremendously even though it shouldn't.  The point being is that a fans availability to watch wrestling has changed tremendously throughout the years.  Before we were subject to what was on our local television and later cable television and now we can stream live shows around the world!

I have been watching wresting on Monday Nights for over thirty years.  It began with Prime Time Wrestling and then Monday Night Raw.  For a few years Raw and WCW Monday Nitro fought for me attention, but I was still watching every Monday night.  After WWE won the war they were free and clear until 2010 and TNA's ill fated attempt at the Monday Night wars.  Raw has been unopposed for nearly a decade.

What used to be a way of life for me has become an after thought.  I haven't watched live Monday night wrestling regularly for a few years now.  I read the results and keep up on the story lines and if I hear about a good match I watch it on Hulu.  Sadly I don't feel like I'm missing out at all.

Here is what I watch for professional wrestling:

World Wrestling Entertainment

I rarely watch the Raw & Smackdown live shows weekly, typically if I am at work I will fire them up on the USA Network app on my tablet as it has a live TV option and I watch it while I'm working.  I like SmackDown better than Raw.  I no longer have cable so until Smackdown is on Fox this October I don't have the option of watching it live at home.  I read the results for the shows and keep up with storylines and watch matches that sound interesting on Hulu the next day.

I do have the WWE Network and I do watch all the Pay Per Views and live network specials.  I don't watch 205 Live every week but I do watch NXT and NXT UK every week without fail.  As well as all the Takeover specials.  My friends and I talk about this after every Takeover and I know many other people agree with us.  NXT is a weekly one hour show that has 2.5 or more months to build five solid matches between PPV's very similar to how it was watching wrestling when I was a kid.

I love the WWE Network because I love watching all the classic and original content.  I've had a subscription since the day they launched.  As much as I love wrestling I really do enjoy watching more than just the matches.  This week alone we got two new specials one about Triple H leading up to WrestleMania and the second about Ronda Rousey and her first year in the promotion.  I don't care if you are not a fan of the current product or not the WWE Network is an amazing resource for classic wrestling.

New Japan Pro Wrestling

I have been a subscriber to New Japan World starting a few months after they launched.  Currently this is my favorite wrestling promotion in the world to watch.  Since the launch of New Japan World the number of English commentary dates have grown to the point that all seventeen shows in the Best of the Super Juniors this year featured live English commentary.  Kevin Kelly has become my favorite guy to call the action and he does it with multiple partners, Chris Charlton being the most regular one.

I just love the style and formatting of the shows.  Tag team matches where rivals get their hands on each other but the finish doesn't involve them it just continues the story.  The team that the world champion is on doesn't always win.  Singles matches mean something.  I watch all the shows, even th ones that don't have English commentary because the wrestling is that good.


Lucha Libra AAA has a twitch Channel as well as uploading shows on YouTube.  They too have expanded their English Commentary on Twitch as along as you watch it live.  I try to catch the shows when I can and if you are familiar with AAA you know that have a uniquely different style and are not afraid to spill some blood on the canvas.  It doesn't hurt that AAA is where Faby Apache hangs her hat and I've been a fan of hers for years.


YouTube has made it so I can follow multiple promotions from around the world by either watching full shows or clips.  I've started watching MLW weekly on YouTube and I'm really enjoying it.  I'm excited that they signed the Von Erichs and looking forward to see if they can bring it like their dad and uncles did.

NWA, Being the Elite, AEW, and other wrestlers vlogs provide behind the scenes look at both upcoming or previous wrestling shows.  Kenny Johnson makes some of the best wrestling documentaries out there today posting them on his channel.

Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

These social media platforms are overflowing with gifs and video clips from wrestling old and new from around the world.  It's tremendous!

Ring of Honor / Impact

Ring of Honor has fallen so far down for me ever since the mass exodus of the Bucks, Page, Cody, & SCU.  They've has some good moments as a whole it's just not great for me.  Impact on the other hand has been getting better and better ever since D'Amore & Callis took over running the shows.  They are producing some solid wrestling.

Progress / Highspots Network

I love Progress wrestling, they put on some great shows and Jim Smallman is a fantastic ring announcer / ambassador for them.  I follow Progress and every few months I will subscribe for a month and catch up on the shows.  Same with Highspots every few months I will subscribe for a month and catch up, usually when CZW has a big show.  

On the audio side of things I listen to a lot of podcasts about wrestling including: Art of Wrestling, Something to Wrestle, 83 Weeks, Talk is Jericho, NJPW English Podcast, Limitless Wrestling, and more.  Some of these I listen to all the episodes and others selected ones. 

This thing is for me consuming this much wrestling is not something that I have to work at, it's something that I enjoy.  And even though how I watch wrestling and what I watch has changed tremendously over the years what hasn't changed is my love for professional wrestling. 

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. 

Until next time!