Entries on 17-April 08
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the Guest Booker DVD series is an idea from KayfabeCommentaries.com where a famous wrestling booker is given the task of booking a promotion or territory form a particular point in time with the idea that things didn’t go exactly as they did in real life and this is their chance to show us what they would have done were they the booker at the time. The first DVD featured Kevin Sullivan booking the WWF from the beginning of 1984 but without Hulk Hogan, who, for whatever reason, never made the big jump from the AWA. It’s a very interesting DVD, and while some of Sullivan’s ideas seem a little out of place, it still gives a lot of insight into the mechanics of booking and you still learn a lot of things about the art of booking that you probably won’t learn anywhere else.
With the concept explained, I shall set out the premise for this version of ‘Guest Booker’;
In late 1989, the NWA and Ric Flair were making a play to bring Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard back to the company, but there was also talk of other names being courted to jump to the NWA, specifically Ted DiBiase, Curt Hennig, Bret Hart, The Rockers, Roddy Piper and Randy Savage. Of course, we know that the only name of all of those to jump was Arn Anderson; Blanchard would have jumped back too but Jim Herd withdrew his contract offer when Blanchard failed a drug test for cocaine, which coincided with his decision to leave the WWF.
But what if Tully and Arn had returned together? And what if those other big names had made the history altering decision to jump to the NWA as well?
How would things have changed?
Well, this is where Guest Booker comes in, and I book the NWA in the 18-month period from August of 1989 to the end of 1990.
There will be six main parts:
NWA World Heavyweight title
US Heavyweight title
World Tag Team titles
US Tag Team Titles
World TV Title
New Arrivals (with each one talked about individually)
It wound up being a pretty long deal, so I'll be posting it in sections to make it easier to digest.
Constructive comment and debate over the decisions made is welcome.
Entries on 27-October 06
TNA's Bound For Glory 2006
X-Division Battle Royal:
At least Austin Starr's gimmick has a chance of letting him stand out, I can say that much about it that's positive. I think Kevin Nash endorsed his own mic, because it couldn't work without help. An X-Division battle royal with a non-X Division wrestler, a one legged man, a woman, a midget and a referee who decided to take part just for the hell of it; yes, Vince Russo is indeed back with TNA. Booking aside, at least this thing got the crowd warmed up.
Four-Way Tag match
Too short to be bad but also too short to be any good. With The Naturals getting a tag title shot, why didn't they win so that, A) They look strong going into their title match, and B) the tag titles are being challenged for by losers. What does it say about the belts that losers are getting a title shot? And if The Naturals gimmick is that of losers, would it not make sense for them to win, have Shane Douglas get excited for them getting into their stride heading into their title shot and then beat them and set up the split with Douglas? I can see them not beating AMW because they are about to turn babyface, and I can see them not beating Team 3D because they just returned, but were the James Gang of such high importance that they couldn't lose? Well, Jeff Jarrett is meant to be teaming with them in some fashion when he turns babyface, so I guess we know why they couldn't lose.
Samoa Joe vs. Raven vs. Abyss vs. Brother Runt
Or Joe versus one person he shouldn't ever wrestle and two guys he shouldn't be in the ring with until he gets the NWA Title. If it's Anything Goes, why does it matter if Joe was in the ropes? You can smack someone across the back with a chair but you'd better make sure he's not in the ropes. Joe beats Raven after Jake Roberts DDT's him. And Joe couldn't win clean because...? Jake was going to use the snake on Raven after the match anyway, so why not leave the DDT until then? That way, Joe wins clean but Jake still gets to lay Raven out. The match was just there, with the only real heat coming when anything crazy happened and when Joe did, well, anything really.
Eric Young vs. Larry Zbyszko
Two weeks ago, Eric Young lost a match that he had to win or he would be fired. Now, here he is wrestling a match where he has to win or he will get fired. Don't forget, the selling point of the main event is that Sting has to win or he'll have to retire. And people wonder why stipulations mean nothing anymore. Very short, not very good, complete with a ref bump after about 90 seconds. Eric wins after using Larry's own foreign object. Again, is there any reason Eric had to win thanks to a ref bump and foreign object? Was there a brilliant reason he couldn't win clean?
Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle brawl again
Ok, here we go. This was pretty much the exact same thing they did on Impact. An angle, I might add, that a lot of people, in their rush to ignore the stupidity of giving away the first Joe/Angle confrontation on FREE TV with zero hype, were proclaiming would get people to buy the PPV to see Joe and Angle go at it. Well, anybody who did just that isn't going to be happy, because they just paid $34.95 to see the same thing they saw for free three days before. Bear in mind, that the people who insisted the angle was great did so because they felt it would get people to buy the PPV to see Joe and Angle collide again. Well, there was what those people paid to see. Can you imagine being happy with that?
Chris Sabin vs. Sen Shi
Now this was damn good. I'd say it was in the ***1/2 range.
Christian Cage vs. Rhino
This had some terrible psychology. Rhino started out the big babyface and the crowd wound up not only booing the guy but cheering the heel for BEATING THE HOMETOWN BABYFACE HERO, which itself was bad booking. Someone, anyone, tell me how any of that is a good thing? Whether Christian had to be kept strong for Sting or not, and now he might not even be wrestling Sting for a couple of months, someone defend the psychology of a match that turned the hometown babyface hero into a heel. There was some decent brawling here, I won't deny that, but the psychology was all fucked up and I guarantee a number of wrestlers backstage were shaking their heads at that.
LAX vs. AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels
Another good match, but since when have the rules of the match been disregarded because the referee said so? When Daniels used the fork in retaliation for Homicide using it, the referee went to stop him but let it go. Why? Because Daniels said the heels used it first. Aren't referee's meant to only call what they see? And if all it takes is claiming your opponents used the fork first to get the rules changed in mid-match, why don't the heels just claim that to begin with? Then they wouldn't have to hide it.
Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett
Tenay claiming this could be the last time we see Sting could carry more weight if TNA hadn't already established that stipulations can be ignored at will if they feel like it. Why is the heel outwrestling the babyface? Since when does it make sense for the heel to cleanly outwrestle the face? If they're going to use the storyline of Sting not wrestling for two months as a reason, fine, but can the heel at least cheat seeing as that is how heels are meant to outdo babyfaces? Why is Kurt Angle getting bumped? Kurt shouldn't be put in a position to sell until the match with Joe. That must have been one hell of a crossbody, because both guys would have been TKO'd if not for Angle attacking the referee. Can Jeff at least make it look like he's raising his shoulder on a cover rather than just lifting his arm up? Jeff should not be using the ankle lock. That spot should have been saved for Joe when he faces Angle. In any event, it would make more sense for Jeff to use Sting's hold, because it would be more insulting for Jeff to retire Sting using Sting's own hold, and Sting is the one he's wrestling. The match and heat was disappointing until Sting no-sold the guitar shot. I know Jeff's turning babyface soon, but couldn't they have held off on praising him so much until Impact? Shouldn't they focus on pushing Sting, the guy who just won the World title and avoided being forced into retirement?
All in all, Bound For Glory had some good action for the most part and the crowd had a good time. The major problems, as always with TNA, were with quality control and the attention to the little details that TNA seem happy to let slide. I know some people, most people actually, here will dismiss them and tell me not to be so negative, but you can't hide from the facts forever. It's those little details that slowly chip away at a company. Stipulations are ignored and devalued when the main event is being sold on one. Guys meant to be pushed strong have to rely on interference to beat a virtual midcarder and someone who need not be protected. The specialness of the first Joe vs. Angle match is lessened slightly each time they brawl. The big hometown babyface not only loses but the match is worked in such a manner that the heel gets cheered as the match goes on and the crowd pop for him winning. Rules get changed in mid-match, simply because a wrestler said so. And Kurt Angle sells for a minor bump when he shouldn't be leaving his feet for anyone who isn't Samoa Joe for a very long time. On their own, they might not be major, but together these small details add up and until someone in TNA actually bothers with attention to detail, then TNA will not achieve the heights they want to and have the talent to reach.
Entries on 24-September 06
UFC 63 Hughes vs. Penn II - Round-by-Round
Joe Lauzon vs. Jens Pulver
Wow. Lauzon stunned Pulver, and most of the MMA world with this one. Lauzon caught Pulver early, and didn’t give him a chance to mount any offense. I think a combination of Lauzon trying to end it early, which was his best chance of winning, and, it seems, Pulver taking his opponent lightly, led to this most stunning of upsets.
Jason Lambert vs. Rashad Evans
Rashad controlled the first round, and while Lambert did fight for a kimura, and somewhat got it, Rashad was never in any real trouble while Lambert was backing up a lot. Rashad wins this 10-9 for me.
Rashad dominated Lambert and took him down easily, en route to a brutal TKO win. Lambert’s biggest problem was that he didn’t appear willing to take the fight to Rashad and was waiting to play counterfighter and it cost him big.
Gabe Ruediger vs. Melvin Guillard
Guillard completely dominated the first half of the round, to where I was anticipating a 10-8 round. Then, things slowed down and Ruediger wound up turning the tide in his favor and was very close to upsetting Guillard. Guillard controlled for longer than Ruediger, but his easing up, and then coming close to losing, makes this round even for me. 10-10.
It started slow and then Guillard struck with a hard right to the solar plexus. A second one soon followed and Ruediger crumpled into a heap and it was all over. Quite the finish to this one.
Mike Swick vs. David Loiseau
First round was pretty methodical, with neither man really advancing forward, but Swick did pick things up in the second half the round and for me he did enough, just, to win the round. 10-9 for Swick.
Round two was very boring round, with neither fighter seemingly willing to be the one to get things going. Swick did try and do a few things late on and while he did give Loiseau a small but, it wasn’t enough for me to give him the round, so I scored it even, 10-10, with Swick ahead 20-19 going into the third and final round.
Round three was mostly slow but both fighters picked up the pace halfway through. Loiseau seemed ready to pounce as Swick appeared to gas out badly, but he never really took advantage and Swick was content to let time run out. Swick got a takedown right at the end, but I don’t view it as enough to win a very even, and none too exciting, round. 10-10 draw, so I have Swick winning 30-29.
The judges all scored 29-28 in favor of Swick.
David Lee vs. Tyson Griffin
Lee tried to start big and it wound up costing him in a big way, as Griffin got him down and kept him there. Eventually, Griffin was able to get a rear naked choke on, and Lee did try to work his way out of it but to no avail and was forced to tap out.
BJ Penn vs. Matt Hughes
Hughes tried to take Penn down almost right away, but Penn showed excellent takedown defense and blocked it. Penn managed to tag Hughes a couple of times, and Hughes’ face reddened up a bit. The poke to the eye was unfortunate, but it didn’t take away from a round that Penn clearly won, through great defense and solid offense. 10-9 to Penn, and Hughes really needs to try something new.
Round two was incredible. Hughes was finally able to take Penn down after a struggle, but things managed to got worse for Hughes after that as Penn fought him off Hughes and was able to get his back. Penn had Hughes in trouble with a rear naked choke but Hughes fought out of it only to get trapped with a triangle choke and armbar combination and he was damn near close to being choked out but he was able to hold on to the end of the round. Penn wins round two as well, and I’d say it was enough to make it a 10-8 win, meaning I have Penn up 20-17 so far.
The third round saw Hughes turned things around in a big way. He got Penn down again and managed to slip past Penn’s guard, grab side control and tie up Penn’s arms. This left Penn open to a barrage of punches, and Penn had no way to escape and eventually John McCarthy had to stop the fight to give Hughes the TKO win, in a fight that he came very close to losing.
As a fight, the main event was really good, but as a story it was incredible.
Eddie Sanchez vs. Mario Neto
The first round was relatively uneventful, and while Neto did get some offense in, it wasn’t enough to win a very sedate round. 10-10
The second round didn’t last long before Sanchez nailed Neto with a strong left hand and, after a couple more strikes on the ground, it was all over.
Overall: This was a pretty solid card of action, with a relatively strong undercard and a main event that more than delivered, which is what you really want out of a PPV. It was better than UFC 62 and was obviously streets ahead of UFC 61, but I don’t know that I’d call it a great PPV. If you judge a PPV by the overall quality, then it was good but great, but if you judge a PPV by how well the main event delivers, then it was off the charts.
Entries on 19-August 06
Ultimate Fight Night 6: Round-by-Round
Josh Koscheck vs. Jonathan Goulet
Koscheck totally controlled the fight and was never close to being in danger. Koscheck continues to show that he could be a title contender down the line. Guess I’m going to have to wait a while for Josh to finally get the shit kicked out of him.
Dean Lister vs. Yuki Sasaki
A very slow start but it turned into a good round. Lister controlled the direction of the fight and clearly won the round, but Sasaki put up more than enough of a defense to avoid being blown out, so I have it 10-9 for Lister.
Round two was again controlled by Lister who tied Sasaki up in knots on the ground, but Sasaki somehow weathered the storm and escaped to get things standing for the last few seconds. The question is does Lister win 10-8 for such dominance, or does he only win 10-9 for not being able to finish? I’ll go with 10-9, making it 20-18 for Lister going into the third and final round.
The third round saw Lister gassed out from trying to put Sasaki away in round two, but Sasaki was equally gassed and was unable to take advantage. 10-10 round, so I have it as Lister winning 30-28.
All three judges give it 30-27 to Lister. There was very noticeable booing from the crowd to that, probably from Lister actively trying to stall during round three.
Chris Leben vs. Jorge Santiago
Round one was even, and neither guy did enough to make me give them the nod so I have it 10-10.
Round two was slow standing up until Leben hit home with a great left hand knocking Santiago out cold.
They showed the punch a couple of times in slow motion and it hit Santiago right in the face and he was out before he hit the ground.
Joe Riggs vs. Jason Von Flue
It went to the ground and Riggs controlled Von Flue en route to a great triangle choke. Von Flue flipped the bird and then quickly tapped out, which was funny.
Karo Parisyan vs. Diego Sanchez
Round one was very heated with the crowd being loud and noisy. Sanchez was awesome with how easily he was able to get Parisyan’s back. Parisyan was cut under one of his eyes, so that may give the round to Sanchez with the judges, but Parisyan was able to take Sanchez down with some excellent judo throws, so I score the first round even.
Round two was all-action and Diego again showed tremendous agility with his ground game. He was able to effectively neutralize Parisyan and dominated the round so I give the round to Diego. It’s 20-19 for Diego on my scorecard.
Round three was exciting with a hot crowd who never let up. Diego was again in command with Karo trying to hang in there, getting limited respite. Karo did get a throw in there, but Diego was just dominating in this round and I’d give it to him 10-8. With that, I have him winning the decision 30-27.
The judges gave it Sanchez with scores of 29-28. 29-28 and 30-26.
An awesome fight, and a real FOTY candidate.
Entries on 4-August 06
Block A has: Jushin Liger, Satoshi Kojima, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Giant Bernard and Manabu Nakanishi
Block B has: Yuji Nagata, Naofumi Yamamoto, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Makabe and Koji Kanemoto
8/6 Niigata City Gym
1. Wataru Inoue vs. Yujiro
2. Ryusuke Taguchi & El Samurai vs. Tetsuya Naito & Minoru
3. Makabe & Koshinaka vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano
4. Akebono & Choshu vs. Black Strong Machine & Giant Bernard
5. B Block: Yuji Nagata vs. Naofumi Yamamoto
6. A Block: Jushin Liger vs. Satoshi Kojima
7. B Block: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Koji Kanemoto
8. A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Manabu Nakanishi
8/8 Yokohama Bunka Gym
1. Mitsuhide Hirasawa & Yujiro vs. Tetsuya Naito & Takashi Uwano
2. Ryusuke Taguchi & Takashi Iizuka vs. El Samurai & Shiro Koshinaka
3. Wataru Inoue & Koji Kanemoto vs. Prince Devitt & Minoru
4. Manabu Nakanishi & Riki Choshu vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano
5. Summer Night Dream Tag Match: Tiger Mask IV & Akebono vs. Jadoh & Gedoh
6. B Block: Naofumi Yamamoto vs. Makabe
7. A Block: Giant Bernard vs. Satoshi Kojima
8. A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jushin Liger
9. B Block: Yuji Nagata vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan
8/9 Osaka Green Cube
1. Mitsuhide Hirasawa & Yujiro vs. Tetsuya Naito & Takashi Uwano
2. Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Prince Devitt
3. Wataru Inoue, El Samurai, & Tiger Mask IV vs. Jadoh, Gedoh, & Minoru
4. Takashi Iizuka & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Ishii & Yano
5. Akebono & Satoshi Kojima vs. Black Strong Machine & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
6. B Block: Koji Kanemoto vs. Naofumi Yamamoto
7. A Block: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Jushin Liger
8. B Block: Yuji Nagata vs. Makabe
9. A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Giant Bernard
8/10 Nagoya Aichi Prefectural Gym
1. Prince Devitt & Yujiro vs. Tetsuya Naito & Mitsuhide Hirasawa
2. Ryusuke Taguchi, Wataru Inoue, El Samurai, & Tiger Mask IV vs. Jadoh, Gedoh, Minoru, & Jushin Liger
3. Takashi Iizuka & Yuji Nagata vs. Ishii & Yano
4. Akebono & Riki Choshu vs. Shiro Koshinaka & Black Strong Machine
5. B Block: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Naofumi Yamamoto
6. B Block: Koji Kanemoto vs. Makabe
7. A Block: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Giant Bernard
8. A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Satoshi Kojima
8/12 Tokyo, Ryogoku Kokugikan
1. Wataru Inoue & El Samurai vs. Prince Devitt & Minoru
2. Ryusuke Taguchi & Tiger Mask IV vs. Jadoh & Gedoh
3. Takashi Uwano & Takashi Iizuka vs. Shiro Koshinaka & Black Strong Machine
4. Naofumi Yamamoto & Akebono vs. Ishii & Yano
5. BLACK REBORN: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Riki Choshu vs. Masa Chono & Milano Collection AT
6. A Block: Giant Bernard vs. Jushin Liger
7. B Block: Yuji Nagata vs. Koji Kanemoto
8. B Block: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Makabe
9. A Block: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Satoshi Kojima
8/13 Tokyo, Ryogoku Kokugikan
- A Block #1 vs. B Block #2
- B Block #2 vs. A Block #2
- G-1 tournament finals
I think the semi's will be Tanahashi beating Kojima and Tenzan beating Nagata to set up Tanahashi beating Tenzan so he can avenge his loss in the 2004 finals. Liger and Yamamoto seem destined to be the respective jobbers of their groups, though one or both might get an upset win, with Yamamoto's being probably over Makabe or Kanemoto and Liger's possibly being over Nakanishi.
Entries on 1-August 06
Best of the NWA on TBS
This is a 13-part 26 disc set that covers the highlights of the NWA on the TBS Superstation from 1985 to 1988. You can get it from infamous trader Bob Barnett at www.bobbarnett.com
The first disc starts off with a segment from World Championship Wrestling, which sees Ric Flair and Magnum TA in the studio and it starts the build of the Flair vs. Magnum TA feud. It’s a short segment, and it sees Flair tooting his own horn in his usual style and Magnum responding with how he doesn’t need all the refined things Flair has, because he does his talking in the ring. The main thing you can tell from this is that Magnum is clearly nervous when it comes to doing an interview.
Next up is the ending of a Ric Flair squash, with Magnum on commentary. After the match, Flair confronts Magnum and offers to face him right there and then in the ring. Naturally, Magnum gets in the ring, and so does Flair, but then Flair leaves to tell David Crockett and Tony Schiavone that Magnum doesn’t need to suffer a major upset right now and because he’s thinking of Magnum’s best interests he’s walking away.
Another confrontation between Flair and Magnum is up, and Flair is chiding Magnum for not keeping his mouth shut and trying to embarrass him. Flair dares Magnum to pay the price and put up or shut up, but that when Magnum is ready for it “I’ll let you know, daddy.” Magnum brings up that Flair was the one who called him out last week but Flair walked away. Flair winds up telling Magnum that he’ll make his chimes ring, and Magnum brings up that he hasn’t yet had his shot but when he does he’ll show Flair what he can do. Three segments, less than 10 minutes, and you’re already wanting to see the match. It’s so simple and yet so effective.
Another Magnum TA promo, and this time he gets interrupted by Ric Flair, who says that Magnum is in line for a shot and we’re waiting to find out of he’s ready to play major league ball. Flair tell Magnum to stick around for a while because Flair s going to show him how great he is.
The ending of Flair beating Sam Houston sees Flair not release the figure four and Magnum TA, who is doing commentary, runs in and breaks the hold and faces off with Flair. Flair backs off and Magnum follows him to the floor but Flair just walks away to the back.
Now it’s the aftermath to a Magnum TA squash, and he and Flair face off again. Flair tells Magnum he needs to dress up and even offers to have some clothes made for him but Magnum grabs Flair and tells him to back off. Magnum goes to the ring and calls Flair out again but once again Flair backs off. They wind up in the ring and Flair attacks Magnum as he enters the ring and beats him up a little before walking away. When David Crockett tells Flair he wouldn’t let him get into the ring Flair tells him to talk his mother.
Tony Schiavone interviews Ric Flair who again promotes himself in the only way he can. Flair says he’s put together a video of the four most memorable moments in his career. The first one his is win at Starrcade 83, the second is his title win over Kerry Von Erich, the third is his win over Dusty Rhodes at Starrcade 84, and the fourth is his attack on Magnum TA the week before. Flair says Magnum lacks class and to show there are no hard feelings he’s had his tailors make a suit for Magnum TA and tells Tony to give the suit to Magnum. Flair then goes to the ring for a squash match and, almost inevitably, Magnum TA comes to the broadcast position. Tony gives Magnum the suit from Flair and tells him what Flair said. After Flair wins the match, Magnum takes the suit into the ring and seems to appreciate it before tearing it apart as Flair looks on in silent anger. Flair goes to walk away before charging at Magnum only to get caught with the belly to belly suplex. Magnum walks off leaving Flair in the ring. When Flair finally gets out he rants at the broadcast position a little before leaving.
Another Flair promo, with Flair wondering if he might not grow old as World champion and have to just hand it to someone. Magnum TA comes out to confront Flair and tells him he doesn’t think Flair can beat him and bets $1,000 that Flair can’t beat him in 10 minutes. Flair accepts and the two go to the ring. The two have a pretty hot match that almost predictably goes the full 10 minutes. The post-match sees Ole and Arn Anderson, who came out to do commentary part way through the match, jump Magnum from behind and they and Flair beat Magnum up before Dick Slater and Buzz Sawyer hit the ring and run them off.
Next up is one of Jim Cornette’s first promo’s on TBS, and it sounds like it came after the debut Midnight Express on TBS. Cornette talks up the Midnights and their success as part of the Cornette family empire. Cornette is on fine form here, getting in a couple of good insults against Tony and the fans.
Another Jim Cornette promo now and this one was later on in the same show. Cornette starts off by insulting the studio fans once again. Cornette tells us that it hurt him to see the jobber the MX had beaten up staggering around hurt after the match so from now on he’s going to have someone at ringside to carry them to the back.
Next is the finish of Brett and Buzz Sawyer versus the Rock and Roll RPM’s, with Jim Cornette on commentary, and one of the Sawyer’s rolls up Tommy Lane for the win. The RPM’s and Sawyer’s fight after the match and the Sawyer’s get another pinfall over the RPM’s. Cornette goes to ringside and tells at the Sawyer’s and Buzz Sawyer tells Cornette to get out the MX. The Midnight’s come out and an impromptu match takes place. It doesn’t last long before The MX knock Bret Sawyer from the ring and leave Buzz Sawyer laid out in the ring.
The pace picks up now as we see Ric Flair confronting Ivan Koloff at the broadcast position during a Nikita Koloff match and the two trade heated words before Nikita attacks Flair from behind and throws him into the ring. Koloff tries to beat Flair up but Flair gets the upper hand until Ivan interferes. The advantage doesn’t last as Dusty Rhodes runs out to even things up. With his clothes torn up, Flair cuts a raving promo and tells Koloff that they’ll meet up again.
Jim Cornette cuts another promo and insults a number of people, including the Sawyer’s, Dusty Rhodes and the Rock and Roll Express, where Cornette makes it clear the Midnight Express are coming after the World tag titles.
Ric is out for a promo and he has words for Nikita Koloff, telling him that “we’ve only just begun”, Dusty Rhodes, telling him not to interfere in his business again and not to think the tension between them is over, and he also has words for Buddy Landell.
We get another promo from Ric Flair, this time hyping a steel cage match against Nikita Koloff in the Omni. In a neat touch, he does it ‘behind’ a graphic of a steel cage that covers the whole picture.
Jim Cornette is out again and, after insulting Tony Schiavone, telling him he looks like an unmade bed, Cornette insults freeloaders and bemoans having to pay taxes to subsidize them. After a break the interview continues, and Cornette again has words for the Rock and Roll Express, the Sawyer’s and Dusty Rhodes.
Jim Cornette is back for another promo, this time building up his feud with Jimmy Valiant and his Street People. Cornette also finds time to insult Rocky King and Big Momma.
A trifecta of Cornette as he’s out again for another promo, this time with insults aimed at Rock and Roll Express, Dusty and Magnum TA and Jimmy Valiant and Rocky King, bringing up that nobody has beaten the Midnight Express.
Once again it’s time for more Cornette as he interrupts Schiavone and Crockett. Cornette talks about all the steamy fan letters that the MX are receiving and Cornette tells the women sending them that he doesn’t allow the MX any extracurricular activity, so they’ll be disappointed.
Fifth Cornette promo in a row now, as Cornette once again insults Jimmy Valiant, his Street People, and Big Momma, building up their ongoing feud.
Make that the sixth promo from Cornette now, as he once again has words for Jimmy Valiant and Rocky King. You can tell it’s the 80s as Cornette calls King, who is black, Buckwheat, which I don’t see happening on television today.
A non-Cornette segment at last and it’s the first big angle of the set as we see the first half of the angle where the Andersons and Ric Flair broke Dusty Rhodes’ ankle in the cage. In this part, we see Dusty run-in and send the Russians, Krusher, Ivan and Nikita, packing and the clip ends with Flair apparently offering his hand up to Dusty. It then cuts to the studio where Jim Crockett is with Tony and Ric Flair and Crockett asks Flair to explain the tape they’ve just seen. Flair doesn’t really answer except to go off on not having any challengers so Crockett walks off. After a commercial Flair is still in studio and Tony is once again asking Flair about what happened in the cage. The perennial babyface announcer David Crockett chimes in and presses Flair to answer. Flair says he is the best but David responds by asking if Flair thinks Dusty is the best and if that is why he did what he did. Flair brings out Arn Anderson, who is the National champion, and Flair parades the belts they both have. They can cut to a taped interview conducted by David Crockett with Dusty’s doctor about the ankle injury. The doctor tells us Dusty suffered a third degree ankle sprain and he describes it as a very serious and injury.
Time for a Ric Flair promo and this time he’s talking about Tully Blanchard in less than flattering terms, so this is clearly before the formation of the Horseman. Flair also has a few word for Buddy Landell, who is in the ring, with his manager JJ Dillon, and he also talks about Magnum TA and Nikita Koloff. Flair finishes up by informing Landell that he’d lend him one of his robes but Landell would get lost in the arms.
Tony Schiavone interviews Dusty Rhodes, in a cast, at ringside. However, the interview doesn’t last long as Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard attack Rhodes, knocking him down and Arn actually steals Rhodes’ World Television title belt.
A Ric Flair promo is next and it’s an expanded version of David Crockett questioning Flair about what happened in the cage where Flair and the Anderson’s broke Dusty’s ankle.
Jim Cornette is out again and talks about Jimmy Valiant having a drug problem in that when he’s in with the MX he gets “drugged from one end of the ring to the other”. A few more insults get thrown the way of Valiant, Rocky King and Big Momma.
The next segment starts up in the middle of an MX squash with Jim Cornette on color commentary off and on. The squash is entertaining as all MX squashes are and Cornette is funny on commentary. After the match the MX keep beating up their opponents, one of whom is Rocky King, so this naturally brings in Jimmy Valiant. Valiant gets beat down before a mysterious lady enters the ring and decks Bobby Eaton, knocking him silly. A post-skirmish promo from Valiant sees him ask for the mysterious lady to get in contact with him.
A Jim Cornette promo is up and Cornette once again tears into Jimmy Valiant and the Street People. Cornette says he’s going to prosecute the mystery woman and he’s going to demand police protection from Jim Crockett Promotions because of the woman.
A change in direction now as we see an angle where Baby Doll offers Magnum TA her business card and he responds by forcing a kiss on her. With babyface announcer David Crockett screaming that Baby Doll likes it, Doll pulls away and TA grabs her tearing her top and then Tully Blanchard jumps TA from behind and the two have a short but very stiff brawl but the action cuts back to the studio before we see too much.
It’s back in the studio again for another Jim Cornette promo and, after bragging about being PWI manager of the year for 1985. talks about an incident between the MX and the R and R Express and we get tape of what went down, with the MX jumping the RnR’s after a squash match where the MX leave Morton laying. Cornette once again vows the MX will be the NWA world tag team champions.
Another Jim Cornette promo again and he complains about not being happy when he should be, after all he’s the manager of the year and the RnR’s have been laid out, because the RnR’s fans have been writing to him and complaining about what the MX did to Ricky Morton.
Ric Flair is out for a promo and he’s accompanied by the sounds of The Wanderer by Dion. Flair talks about a female fan in the parking lot asking him to come out in jeans like Magnum TA does and Flair says he might just do that one day. Flair then talks about, accompanied by the relevant clip, of an attack by Flair, Arn and Tully on Ron Garvin that gets interrupted by Dusty Rhodes and winds up with Garvin knocking Flair out with a punch. Flair gets aggravated by David Crockett and tells him that they have to show the tape simply to show that Flair is a normal human being on his worst day. Flair also tells the girls that if they see him driving along they should turn around, get in line, and the Nature Boy will make them into big girls.
Jim Cornette is in the studio now and he’s got a copy of the Cornette family history and he informs us that the Cornette’s have always been successes. Cornette then talks once again about what they’ve done to he RnR’s and tears into them too.
A squash match is next with Bobby Eaton facing Wee Willie Wilkens, who is as short as his name suggests. With Jim Cornette chiming in on commentary from time to time, David Crockett accuses him of having the singles match so Dennis Condrey can protect Cornette at ringside. The highlight of the match is Cornette yelling moves at Bobby for him to perform on Wilkens. Bobby ends the match with a kneedrop off the top and then he and Dennis beat Wilkens up a little more before the RnR’s hit the ring to run the MX off and, for some bizarre reason, Ricky Morton throws Wilkens out of the ring when you’d think, as a babyface, he’d help the guy up.
Ric Flair promo now and, strangely for Ric, he’s wearing jeans, which he says he’s doing because when you’re as good as he is you can once in a while go against the norm, which is the suits he usually wears. After the fashion shows, Flair has words for Ron Garvin and their imminent encounter and makes reference to Garvin becoming a US citizen and says that when he beats Garvin it means he’s beaten an American.
Another Jim Cornette promo is up and he once again talks about the RnR Express and we see tape of another incident between the two that sees the MX jump the RnR’s after a squash match and Cornette winds up lashing Ricky Morton across the back with his belt.
In preview of a special upcoming ‘dream match’, which will see the Rock and Roll Express defend the NWA world tag titles against the Midnight Express we see the Rock and Roll Express beating Ivan Koloff and Krusher Khrushchev for the belts in July of 1985.
The introductions of the match take place but the match itself is on disc 1-2 and that is where we will pick up later.
Entries on 10-July 06
Yves Edwards vs. Joe Stevenson
A good first round, which I’d give to Edwards. He did a good job of fending off Stevenson for the most part, and he scored with a great looking high kick.
Stevenson totally dominated round two, but the real story was the bleeding from Edwards off the cuts to his head. The canvas was splattered with Yves blood, and was a sight to see.
Going into round three, I have it 19-18 to Stevenson.
The doctor stops the fight, though, and Stevenson gets the victory. No complaints with the stoppage, because that was a cut that just wouldn’t stop bleeding and it was going to impair Yves’ vision.
Frank Mir vs. Dan Christison
Christison did just enough to win a very boring round.
Mir was totally blown up and did very little. Neither did Christison, but he did get an armbar on Mir that came close, so I’d go with Christison again.
Not a very lively round, but Mir did more than enough to win it, but it won’t save the fight for him with me.
I gave it 29-28 to Christison. Mir won it 29-28 with all three judges, and it’s not a decision I really agree with.
Ken Shamrock vs. Tito Ortiz
This has the atmosphere of something special. Hopefully, we’ll see a special ass kicking from Ortiz.
Ortiz wins by ref stoppage in 1:18. I’m not a fan of Ken, but that stoppage was way too premature. A terrible decision by Herb Dean, and I’d be chanting “bullshit” too.
Dana White calls out Wanderlei Silva and then Chuck Liddell and announces that, if Liddell gets past Sobral, which is likely, it will be Silva vs. Liddell in November. Holy shit, I am there.
Josh Neer vs. Josh Burkman
There were some good exchanges in what was a very even round.
Burkman did enough, including a great takedown, to win the round. It goes into round three 20-19 for Burkman.
Third round was even, but Burkman, I think, did enough to win the round and the fight.
I have it 30-28 for Burkman. Burkman wins it by unanimous decision.
Andrei Arlovsky vs. Tim Sylvia
The first round was mostly action, with Arlovsky doing more than enough to win the round for me.
There was a lot of back and forth action in round two, but I don’t think either man did enough to win it.
The third round was dangerously close to being without any merit. Sylvia did get decent punches in, but they didn’t win him the round in my eyes, though. It’s 30-29 for Arlovsky so for in my book.
Round four = snooze. No winner. 40-39 so far on my card.
More of the same in round five.
I have Arlovsky winning 50-48, but I’d hardly call him a winner based on his performance. The judges have it 48-47, 49-46 and 48-47 for Sylvia. This fight was beyond boring as shit. Round-by-round, I had Arlovsky winning, but if I were to judge the fight based on overall performance, I’d call it a draw. Neither man did anything to warrant being called the UFC Heavyweight Champion, and the heavyweight division needs a lot of rehab to overcome this debacle.
Overall Outside of the terrible call in the Ortiz vs. Shamrock fight, the announcement of a possible Wanderlei Silva vs. Chuck Liddell fight in November, and Yves Edwards bleeding like crazy, there was absolutely nothing of note on this PPV, and it had the least merit of any UFC PPV for a long time.
Entries on 3-July 06
I’ve seen clips of the PPV which is all I care to see of it. The Foley/Flair angle looked well execute and as heated as anything WWE have done in a while that didn’t involve John Cena. Flair bled like crazy, which, to be blunt, is about the only thing he can do and not look like the 57-year-old that he is. RVD’s WWE Title match against Edge, apart from being criminally placed in the middle of the card, looked pretty good, and from Jim Ross’s comments after the pin, it seems like Van Dam’s win was booked purely to surprise people because it was felt the original plan was too well known. I ignored the DX vs. Spirit Squad main event, because I have less than zero interest in anything DX-related. It also didn’t help that DX have humiliated and embarrassed the Squad, and Vince McMahon, for three weeks in a row, so quite why they expect people to pay for what they’ve already seen for free I don’t know. The highlight for me was Fake Kane pinning Real Kane clean in the middle of the ring. Why? Well, it’s because of…
Fake Kane storyline gets dropped
Less than 24-hours after Fake Kane beat Real Kane, clean, the entire character and storyline was dropped, due to the complete apathy the Vengeance crowd had for their match the night before. I can’t remember if this has happened before, where a wrestler was put over a big name clean and then promptly got dropped and the whole angle scrapped. What makes it funny is that the deal got dropped because the crowd didn’t care about it. The crowd has crapped on a lot of angles and storylines before but the usual Vince McMahon MO is to push back even harder and force the angle or storyline down peoples throats. My guess on why things happened differently this time is that Vince wasn’t happy with the first angle to begin with, and probably from the get go he was looking for some reason to end it. With the crowd at Vengeance sitting on their hands for the Fake Kane vs. Real Kane match, that gave Vince the out he was looking for, and the whole mess, which was meant to stretch until Wrestlemania, was dropped.
This week, it was revealed that Vince McMahon is going to turn ECW into a complete WWE-style third brand and anything even remotely resembling the original ECW is going to slowly dropped. It seems Vince was upset with how the current ECW is faring and has decided against doing something different with it and instead ECW is going to be more of the same. While it’s not a surprise that Vince is turning ECW into the WWE ‘C’ show, it is a little baffling that this is happening; 4-hours a week of WWE-style programming isn’t exactly setting the world on fire as it is, so quite why another hour of the exact same product is expected to fare any differently, I don’t know. The best thing to have done with ECW, which meant it had zero chance of being done, is to have made it into a ROH/TNA-style product, with the emphasis on the wrestling, with angles and storylines as the garnish to the main course of in-ring action. From a business standpoint, it makes more sense to offer two different styles of product, because then you can draw in the Sports Entertain fans with Raw and Smackdown and you can bring in the wrestling fans with ECW. That way, you’re getting more pieces of an already small pie and you can make more money. With ECW being made into another WWE-style brand, it’s going to attract the same viewers who would have been attracted by Raw or Smackdown, and there’s only so many of those viewers around right now. Instead of gaining new viewers, WWE may either split the viewers they have into three groups, or simply burn them out altogether to where they stop tuning it completely.
Kenta Kobashi has cancer
My thoughts are with Kobashi right now. Kobashi has long been one of my all-time favorite wrestlers and I’m really hoping he pulls through. My first thought on finding out about his condition was what happened with Shinya Hashimoto, who was another favorite of mine. We can only hope that Kobashi’s story has a happier ending.
Entries on 29-June 06
Ultimate Fight Night V
Mark Hominick vs. Jorge Gurgel
I had the first round even, as I don’t think either man did enough to win the round.
The second round was more of the same, and while Hominick might have done a little more than Gurgel, I don’t see it was being enough to win the round, so I call this round even as well.
I gave the third round to Gurgel as he pushed the round more and was more active.
For me, Gurgel wins 30-29. Hominick gets the decision 29-89. The fight was close enough that I don’t have a real disagreement with judges decision.
Stephan Bonnar vs. Rashad Evans
The first round was dominated by Evans, who was able to take Bonnar down three times and was also able to control Bonnar on the ground. 10-9 Evans.
The second round was more exciting than the first, and I gave that round to Bonnar. I think Bonnar was more aggressive on the ground, trying to go for something, and the spinning back kick clearly took a lot out of Rashad. Going into the final round, I have it tied at 19-19.
Rashad physically controlled the third round. He might not have done a great deal of damage, but Rashad dictated where the right went and was able to neutralize most of Bonnar’s submission attempts. I give fight to Rashad 29-28.
The judges gave it to Evans 30-27, 29-28 and 29-29. I don’t know which round the third judge could have ruled a tie, as each round was a clear win for either fighter.
The fight itself was ok, but I could live without ever seeing it again.
Rob Macdonald vs. Kristian Rothaermal
Macdonald totally dominated Rothaermal and outclassed him entirely. It would have been an easy 10-8 round but Macdonald submitted Rothaermal with a nice looking armbar.
Chris Leben vs. Anderson Silva
Silva was on a different level to Leben, who is no slouch at all. Silva was on top form and KO’d Leben in under a minute with a great looking knee.
Luke Cummo vs. Jonathan Goulet
Cummo gave a crotch chop during his introduction. Goulet responded by schooling Cummo for the first round and totally controlling things. Cummo appeared to be very tried near the end, and the round was easily 10-9 for Goulet.
A more even second round as both fighters spent periods dominating the other. Cummo did more damage but Goulet busted Cummo open. I gave that round slightly to Cummo for doing the most damage, even what Goulet did to Cummo was visibly worse. 19-19 going into round three.
Cummo’s girlfriend looked like Rory Singer in a wig for a moment.
Goulet controlled a so-so third round until Cummo had Goulet tied up with a tight rear naked choke with less than a minute to go. Goulet was able, somehow, to get out with seconds to go and scrambled in a few punches to end the round. It was close, but I think the rear naked choke was enough to win the round for Cummo.
I had Cummo win 29-28. The judges had it 30-27, 30-27, 29-29 for Goulet.
Overall, UFN V was a decent night of action, but it wasn’t outstanding and you probably won’t remember anything tomorrow apart from Anderson Silva laying waste to Chris Leben.
Entries on 14-June 06
The first show of the new ECW era was one of the most terrible, mind-numbingly awful one-hours of television in modern wrestling history. Looking like something excreted by Vince Russo after he overdosed on LSD and caffeine pills, the first television show of the ‘new’ ECW could only have been put together by someone with absolutely no real clue or concept about what made ECW. It was filled with the kind of craptacular gimmickry that was the hallmark of Vince Russo, along with the kind of nonsensical booking that is fast becoming, if it hasn’t already, the hallmark of Vince McMahon.
Within ten minutes of ECW restarting, their two faces, Paul Heyman and Rob Van Dam, had been outsmarted and reduced to second tier status in favor of the WWE top guns John Cena and Edge. Edge and John Cena almost effortlessly outsmarted and beat up Heyman and Van Dam, before casually walking off without a care in the world, while the rest of the ECW locker room sat in the back with their collective thumbs up their collective asses. In the next segment, which literally reeked of WWE, we had Heyman rallying the troops and declaring that if WWE wanted to bring it to ECW then ECW would bring it to WWE this Monday on Raw. The first plug for a television program on the new ECW and it’s for a WWE show. How about doing something to plug for the next ECW show first?
The first match featured what could go down as one of the worst gimmicks of the modern era but, fingers crossed, will only go down as a one-night aberration the likes of which harkened back to the dark days of WCW, as The Zombie came shuffling out, complete with powered face and B-movie make-up. When The Zombie started grunting, literally, into the mic, I was immediately reminded of an Ultimate Warrior promo. Thankfully, it didn’t last long as The Sandman, along with his generic sounding uninspiring music, came out and caned The Zombie into the ground and quickly pinned him. That right there was the first ever match of the ‘new’ ECW era, and I don’t think I could come up with a worse way to debut the new ECW.
One of the worst booking disasters was having Paul Heyman announce that, due to what Cena and Edge had done to Van Dam, he was scrapping what he had planned for the rest of the show and was instead going to have a battle royal, under extreme rules, with the winner going on to face John Cena at Vengeance, and also coming with the rest of the ECW crew to Raw on Monday. The major problem I had with this was Heyman shouldn’t be coming on and telling people that whatever he had planned was scrapped because of what WWE did to them. It makes Heyman and ECW look like pussies for caving in to the attack from WWE and abandoning whatever plans he had made to make the first ECW show memorable for the fans. Shouldn’t the ECW fans be dictating what happens on ECW television? Heyman should have come out and said to hell with WWE, we’re doing what ECW does best, an extreme battle royal, and I’m now going to put the winner of that battle royal into a match with Cena at Vengeance. That way, you still wind up with a match set for Vengeance, but it puts ECW over stronger because they’re not seen to give in to WWE and are also the ones forcing Cena into a match. The way it was played out made it appear as if ECW were doing something they didn’t really want and they came across all the weaker for it.
I don’t know what the point of Kelly was. A big-titted bleach blonde bimbo teases going naked and then does one of the least-sexiest dances I’ve ever seen and doesn’t even show her ass or full breast, after two big teases that she would. I know nudity wasn’t going to happen, and the people at home probably knew that the nudity was never going to happen, but why on earth do you tease something like that that you aren’t going to deliver? Sure, it might peak the ratings for one segment, but it sure will leave a bad taste in people’s mouths.
And what was the deal with that vampire-like clown half-way through the show?
Heading into the debut of the ‘new’ ECW, some people were holding up hope that it would at least show that WWE Creative were capable of trying something new, and that there might be a light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel. Instead, we got all that worst elements of WWE, WCW and ECW rolled up into one giant piece of shit.
Guest Booker with HTQ: The NWA - August 1989 to January 1991
TNA's Bound For Glory 2006
UFC 63 Round-by-Round
UFC Ultimate Fight Night 6 - Round by Round
G1 Climax 2006
Best of the NWA on TBS - Ongoing
UFC 61 - Round-by-Round
HTQ's Thoughts - 7/3; Vengeance, ECW and Kobashi
Ultimate Fight Night V - Round-by-Round
HTQ on the debut of ECW on Sci-Fi
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