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Shades of Gray

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Guest TSMAdmin

How about that weather? Hard to believe that (in this area) there was 4 inches of freshly fallen snow on the ground. And it’s supposed to be 22C here on Tuesday! Goodbye, cold weather. Don’t hurry back.


This is Shades of Gray, your sometimes weekly sometimes not weekly source for me talking about nothing in particular followed by recapping a match. Since it’s been 2 weeks since my last post, I decided I’d do two match recaps this week. They both involve Shawn Michaels, with the 2nd one being a bit topical with the possible 6 man tag match at Backlash.




Assorted Ramblings!


WrestleMania: Well, everyone I know was either in another city or doesn’t like wrestling, so this was the first PPV in a long time I had to watch at the local wrestling bar (more on that later!) on my own. It was also the first time since WrestleMania X8 I had seen “Reserved” signs on tables. They were pretty common when I started going there to watch PPV’s in 2001.. well, 2002, but they moved across the street.. all unimportant! Moving on! I, like many people, really enjoyed the show. I look forward to watching Kurt Angle vs Brock Lesnar again as I was too busy closing my eyes and getting nervous anytime Kurt (more on him later!) took a bump. It was a shame the CW title match was only 5 minutes, but I thought it was a really good 5 minute match. Back in February I was sure Booker T was going to win to the point I would be upset if he didn’t, but due to the fact he had pinned HHH twice within 6 weeks (and 4 or 5 times in the past 14 months... Booker has a pretty good win-loss record against HHH that no one remembers), especially right before the PPV, that sealed the deal on Trips (and that’s not a name Eric Sulewzwhatever invented despite his claims, Jericho did 3 years ago) going over. I had braced myself for this and was not as upset by the match result as I should have been. That wasn’t good enough for some people, though, as my good buddy Drew Kelk (who you may remember from the last Shades of Gray’s WrestleMania Preview) felt that whether we knew HHH was going over or not, it was still terrible booking. He didn’t seem to like the show as much as I did (and in fact, after speaking to him in more detail I would almost say “at all”) but he says he liked it enough. As for Michaels going over Jericho, that was a disappointment, but the match was awesome, and Dave Meltzer speculated on the most recent Wrestling Observer Live that Jericho may have actually wanted to lose due to his respect for Shawn.


The Local Wrestling Bar: It closed! I really liked going to The Canada here in Windsor, but a court case about a fatal car accident has caused them to cease operations. If anyone reading this lives in Windsor, Ontario, PLEASE e-mail me or leave me feedback or a message in the forums telling me where you can watch wrestling PPV’s. I’m sure I’ll find a place by Backlash anyway, I’m just wondering if anyone reading this knows of a really great place.


TV Thoughts: I haven’t really had any major problems with Raw these past few weeks, and SmackDown, to me, continues to be a source for some good (but sadly not spectacular as it was last fall) free TV wrestling. Particularly, HHH vs Hurricane, HHH/Jericho vs HBK/Booker, and RVD/Kane vs Morley/Storm vs. Dudleyz for the tag titles were matches I enjoyed on Raw while Team Angle vs Tajiri/Funaki (and then Rey) were both good tag matches and though I’ve never seen a Spanky match, I am LOVING Brian Kendrick’s work on SmackDown.


This whole stupid Willie the Worker business: Ok, so apparently Dave Scherer says in his 1wrestling Premium update that no more Willie columns will appear on the site since he asked some questions any WWE worker should know and Will didn’t. You’d think he’d ask those before the first column, but that’s not where this is headed. See, almost no one believed any of this WTW stuff until Dave Meltzer said on the WrestlingClassics board he believed it was legit. At that point, anyone on the forums here who said it was a work was shown a quote from Meltzer. Well, being curious and nosey, I e-mailed Meltzer to ask about the situation. This was his reply (Let‘s just pretend this is this edition‘s Quote of the Day!)


“I'm guessing first as legit, and him saying fraud to protect the guy at this point since WWE thinks they know who it is.”


Hoax? Real? RVD? The world will never know.




Be sure to check out WrestlingDB for some columns and all the latest wrestling headlines collected on one site.


Random Complaint


Where I live, the channel “SportsNet Ontario” is on a premium tier of cable channels I don’t get, so I was never able to watch Sunday Night Heat (not that it was a huge loss). Well, it’s moved to TNN, so I can watch it anytime I want now... but that’s not the complaint. SportsNet ONTARIO (as in all of Ontario... and I’m sure the ones in other provinces this too) now shows edited down Fanatic Series shows in Heat’s time slot. So how is this reported to 1wrestling? That TORONTO and ONLY TORONTO is having this happen. Toronto is a great city and all, but this is why everyone in Canada rags on them - the majority of people there seem to think they’re in the greatest city on earth (and that April Fools joke in Maxim last year that named several different cities in several different markets the best city didn’t help - some of the people I talked to after the fact acted like it was only a joke in the OTHER cities) and everything revolved around them. I think a line from the satirical news show “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” regarding a small 1998 earthquake that hardly shook Southern Ontario sums it up best - it was said how small and insignificant the quake was, followed by, “However, Toronto insists it was still a world class earthquake”. I admit, I don’t make it sound funny, but I was laughing when I heard that one.


Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, this Toronto self-centring about it apparently only being THEIR SportsNet that airs the Fanatic Series now wasn’t the first time this happened. Awhile back, it was reported on 1wrestling that a Toronto Maple Leafs game would be delaying Raw an hour... but only in the Toronto area. Excuse me? I live 4 freakin hours and hundreds of kilometres away from Toronto... I HARDLY consider that the Toronto area, but the Leafs game was on here too. I e-mailed Scherer about it but he didn’t seem to care and no update on the fact most of Southern Ontario would experience the delay was made. The point? Wise up, Toronto! Specifically one Adam Lebow, the person responsible for this Toronto-only madness. Drew, do me a favour, teach your new Toronto neighbours some Windsor humbleness.


For those of you in Toronto who realize you’re not “all that” and there are other cities out there, I apologize.


Back to the wrestling....


Matches of the Day


Kazaa Lite has been very good to me lately when it comes to downloading matches. I have Diesel vs Shawn Michaels from Good Friends, Better Enemies on the way (I’ve never seen it, heard great things about it) as well as finding the two below matches within the past week. I also downloaded a bunch of stuff between August and October, the first 2 months I had moved from dial-up to DSL. I also watched the Steiner Brothers vs Sting and Lex Luger from SuperBrawl 1 last night, and that match was really sad. The match itself was wonderful, but seeing how great Steiner was compared to the wrestling piece of crap he is today is a real shame. The way he used to do suplexes and double underhook powerbombs without almost killing people (Nowinski) or falling over after doing the move to someone (Triple H) makes me to wonder how good a match between 1991 Scott Steiner and Kurt Angle would be... but it can never be. Anyway...


Shawn Michaels vs Mankind - Raw is War, August 11, 1997


JR notes this is Shawn's first match since June. Mankind comes to the ring with a trash, but Shawn attacks before the bell and puts the plastic can over Mankind and drops an axehandle from the 2nd turnbuckle. This segues into Jim Ross telling Jerry Lawler, who found the previous spot to be a riot, to be prepared for some EXTREME action this Sunday on Pay Per View. Vince notes that's NOT the WWF on PPV... it's "Extremely Crappy Wrestling" says Lawler. Meanwhile, Mankind manages to lock Michaels in the mandible claw while wearing a trash bag, but a low blow breaks that up. Foley rolls outside and moves out of the way of a HBK baseball slide while JR reminds us all Hardcore Heaven 97 is this Sunday at 9pm est.


Vince: "Wait a minute are you doing commentary for that thing or something?"

JR: "Well I should be"


Mankind throws Shawn into the steps...


Lawler: "That's what I'm going to do to Tommy Dreamer this Sunday"

Vince: "If you don't mind, this is the World Wrestling Federation".


Unreal stuff. Mick throws Michaels into the guard rail, but a charge at him results in being back dropped on to the announce table. Shawn follows up with an elbow drop off the apron. Now Michaels is the one throwing Mankind into the steps. Back in the ring, Shawn bodyslams Mick and heads up top and hits THE ELBOW~ which NOBODY delivers like Shawn Michaels whether you like him or not (says JR). Sweet Chin Music is ducked and Foley has the claw locked on HBK again. Both men tumble outside, so Shawn rams Mankind's head into the ring post and follows up with a backdrop suplex onto the announce table. AND HERE COMES THE GAME! Well he was just plain old Triple H back then, and he's with Chyna. A big RAW logo jumps up, I guess because of a commercial, and now Shawn has Mankind's mask while JR and Vince talk about Mind Games in 96. JR wonders if the mystery "insurance policy" Michaels was talking to earlier was HHH while Shawn puts Mankind in a sleeper. Mick backs Shawn into the corner to break up the hold but the blind charge gets nothing. Shawn hits a forearm for two. Mankind takes the advantage with some punching, but Shawn hits and elbow and gouges the eyes to regain control. Shawn walks towards Mankind in the corner but gets taken down, leading Mankind to use the dreaded repeated head bash into the mat move. Jim Ross shades we may be seeing shades of Cactus Jack and not a second later Mick says "Bang Bang!". Mankind hits his running knee to the face as Rick Rude makes his way down the aisle to the shock of everyone. Mankind hits the double arm DDT for two. Chyna distracts the ref and HHH trips Mankind as he runs the ropes. Rude lays in a chair shot to the skull of Foley, which he just kinda takes by walking around, leading to the Superkick for 3. Good TV match, not as good as the Mind Games match (which I think certain people really over rate at *****) but a good match none the less. The match was about 10 minutes.


Shawn Michaels vs Ric Flair - Sometime in 1991, from InVasion 92


For some reason this match has German people (I think) talking over Sean Mooney and Alfred Hayes. I absolutely love Flair's WWF music and I think it's great that WWE dubs it over their commercial releases. I can hear Alfred complaining about Flair's belt being video distorted, so he must be playing Heel Hayes... not that it will matter with the Germans over top of him. Lock up, Flair breaks and WOO's. A note about "woo", if I may. It seems to around Flair's re-debut with WWE, someone decided they would bring a sign that said "It's Whoo, Not Woo!" and perhaps even said morons or idiots on it, I don't remember. Well, before WrestleMania X8, Flair was on Off the Record in Canada and said, as far as he knows, it's spelled "Woo", and you just don‘t argue with Ric freakin Flair. Back to the match! Side headlock into a whip to the ropes, Michaels knocks Flair down with a shoulder block then takes him down with a side headlock. They circle each other again, lock up again, and repeat the spot again except it's Flair taking Michaels down. Michaels gets up, Flair runs at him but gets hip tossed and locked in a headlock. Into the corner, Flair CHOPS~! away and Irish whips Michaels into the opposite corner but misses a charge. Shawn comes off the top with a sweet sunset flip (he had to flip in the air to do it as he was in the Moonsault position at the start) but it only gets two. Back on the mat with a headlock, Flair manages to back Shawn into the corner, but Shawn SLAPS him. Flairs walks around outside, insulted my Shawn's insolence. Another lock-up, another trip to the corner, and some more Flair CHOPS~! Reversed into Shawn Chops! Shawn climbs to start punching, but Flair decides to use the "Reverse Atomic Drop Counter that puts you 3 feet away from my knee so I actually didn't do anything and you can hit me down" counter. Flair is on the apron but gets suplexed back in. Flair begs for mercy and naturally follows up by poking Shawn in the eye. Punches are exchanged in the corner with Shawn getting the upper hand. Irish whip, Flair bounces back and gets back bodydropped. Shawn again Irish whips Flair into the corner, this time Flair does the Flip and falls to the outside. Shawn suplexes Flair on the outside, but Perfect gets all up in his area, so Michaels goes back in the ring. As Flair crawls in, he nails Shawn in the mid-section and tosses him outside. Shawn gets back in the ring by doing the sunset flip off the apron, but Flair doesn't go down, opting to punch Shawn in the face instead... then doing the Flair flop. Backdrop suplex attempt by Flair is reversed when Michaels flips onto his feet and pushes Flair into the ropes for an attempted roll up, but Flair holds on to the ropes, so Shawn hits a dropkick as Flair lets go. Running off the ropes leads Mr. Perfect to trip Shawn which in turn leads Flair to drop the knee on Shawn's face. MORE CHOPS~! in the corner, Shawn reverses with some punching. Another Irish whip into the corner, but this time Flair gets a boot up when Shawn charges. Flair heads up to the top rope and I think we can all figure out what happens next... and as suspected, Shawn tosses Flair back down to the mat. Up until a few months ago, I would question Flair's repeated attempts to try a top rope maneuver, after seeing Flair pin Barry Windham after finally hitting something off the top rope at Slamboree 94, I realize he has a reason to try. Shawn drops an elbow for two, then hits the CRESCENT KICK (it's early name), but it's not a finisher yet to he goes up top and drops the Flying Fist. that only gets two. Shawn clotheslines Flair over the top rope, but his plancha attempt is ruined when Mr. Perfect pulls Flair out of the way. Michaels goes splat and it looks like this is ending in a count out. Flair keeps stopping Joey Marella, so maybe not. Mr. Perfect lays in the boots to Shawn, so Jannetty comes out to chase him off. Marty keeps calling for time out, but I can hear Alfred Hayes complaining. Despite the fact Shawn is knocked out, Marty puts him into the ring, so Flair just covers him (with his feet on the middle rope for good measure) for the three count at 10:14. A good match, especially by 1991 WWF standards. Although this match was from a Coliseum tape, I'm pretty sure I watched this from a hospital bed (asthma attack) on All-American Wrestling on TSN way back in the day, the idea being Jannetty being responsible for Michaels being pinned would further hint at the Rockers break up.


That will do it for this edition.


Feel free to feedback me at [email protected] or in the Forums (Site Feedback, WWE, General Wrestling.. whatever!) or send me a Private Message in the Forums (I’m DrVenkman there). You can also try and find me as SmartMarkSteve on AIM, but good luck with that one.


Have a good one.

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