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Guest TSMAdmin

Best of Slim J

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Guest TSMAdmin

As some of you know, Slim J, probably the second most famous of Rick Michaels's students (behind AJ Styles), as of the last 6-8 months, has literally taken the independent scene by storm, topping off the Wildside Jr. division, and appearing on numerous other indy shows, including Ring of Honor and NWA-TNA. This is basically his best stuff ranging from the beginning of his big push in Wildside, and ending right before he won the Wildside Jr. Heavyweight Title.


You can get this, and many other fine tapes from Melanie McKee at [email protected]. Now, let's go to the matches....


Slim J vs. Kid Kool

(from a Family Friday Night show)


This is a Melanie exclusive match. Interesting dynamic to start, as the crowd heat is generated by a group of little girls who are marking out huge for Kid Kool, as opposed to the usual adult audiences at Wildside shows. The story of the match is Slim working Kool's leg after Kool "landed wrong" on it after a kip-over in the corner. Things seemed simplified as opposed to their usual matches, with a slower pace. The front row of 3rd graders really were into the match, especially as Slim worked over the leg. Unfortunately, during all the hope spots and the finish, Kool no-sold the leg, doing a bunch of flippy moves. Slim won with the Anger Management (tombstone version of the Storm Cradle Piledriver). Fun match, different from most of their other matches, but Kool's selling was iffy.





TV Title Turmoil Gauntlet


If this had been a little longer, I would say it would be the absolute perfect way to do what they did (building up Slim J and starting the Cru Jones/Caprice Coleman feud). Don't get me wrong, it was quite good for story purposes, but the match was way too short. The tape cuts in right after "That Guy" Dustin and Kevin Harden eliminated themselves after going to a 3 minute draw. Slim J and Jeremy V. have a really fast-paced 90 seconds before V. falls to a spin-around front kick. Derek Driver then comes out, gets a little bit of offense in, misses (like always) the Sliced Bread #2, and gets hit with a wrist clutch exploder by Slim for the win. Slim then gets dominated by Sweet Dreams's power offense until Destiny distracts the ref so that then-World TV Champion Cru Jones could clothesline Dreams out of his boots, enabling Slim to hit the 420 splash (Stardust Splash, aka twisting 450) for the win. Slim was selling fatigue big-time by the end, which was Caprice Coleman coming out, and quickly winning with the Thermal Shock (verson of the Diamond Cutter where the deliverer goes down belly-first too). Post-match, Cru gives Caprice his title shot, cradling him up quickly for the win. Had the match been longer, the "Slim's an iron man" story that was told would have had a bit more cred, but everything was effective nonetheless.


WINNER: Caprice Coleman



#1 Contendership to the Wildside Jr. Title:

Slim J vs. Kid Kool vs. Kid Xctasy (aka The Greatest Man Ever Born, Salvatore Rinauro) vs. Derek Driver vs. Jeremy V.


This was better than most of those "lots of rhyme, but absolutely no reason" 4-to-6-way jr. heavyweight matches. The story was that G-Rated, Jeremy, and Derek were buddies going in, and Slim was the heel wild card. Slim tagged out immediately to Xctasy, who did some reversals of reversals of basics with Kool. They then tagged Jeremy and Derek, who had been teaming on TV, in to go at it. Slim comes in to work heel, then they do the usual car wreck spot. Derek got eliminated soon thereafter when G-Rated hit a double reverse DDT out of the tree of woe position. Jeremy V. then eliminated Kid Xctasy with a Gory Special into a facebuster. Kool quickly eliminates V. with a Kool Krusher (kip-over Edge-o-Matic in the corner). Quickly again, Slim gets the win with Anger Management on Kool. It was really fun, and a lot better than most multi-man cruiser matches, though the finishes seemed rushed.





Wildside Jr. Title:

Slim J vs. Jeremy Lopez ©


This was pretty good, as it should have been, considering who was in there. Match starts with a bunch of armbar reversals, ending with Slim needing to break away from Lopez's mat domain by flipping him onto his back. From then on, Slim used his fast, flashy moves to get the advantage, which Lopez then took away with his matwork. Slim speeds things up again, but the whole comeback is for naught when Lopez reverses the Anger Management with a victory roll with two handfuls of Slim's pants for the win. They also played off of the story of Lopez not taking Slim seriously in his first shot at Lopez's Jr. title. Again, it was really fun, though it was shorter than most would like due to the format of TV.


WINNER: Jeremy Lopez



Number One Contendership for the Wildside Jr. Title:

The Amazing Red vs. Slim J


I'm sure you're all gushing over this, just reading the two guys who were in it. Don't gush just yet. This was under expectations. Red's so much better when he's in there with larger guys, since he seems to only be able to tell a "big man vs. underdog" story when he works. Because of that, they basically worked a spotfest, with a couple of bright minutes where Slim slowed down the offense. Red did seem to get over with the audience, but that's because, I'll admit, Red does some flashy stuff that not many guys in the U.S. can do, and that stuff gets over. The hyping of the match during the match on commentary was the one time I'd ever accuse Dan Wilson and Steven Prazak of overhyping, but Red's an outsider, and they had to get him over somehow with the TV audience who hadn't seen him before. Finish came when Red missed his InfaRed (a sort-of Skytwister Press), and Slim came up behind him as he sold on his feet to hit the Anger Management for the win. Again, way under the dream match expectations, but it was a fun little thing, and I think this is what got Slim J on TNA PPV.





Wildside Jr. Title:

Jeremy Lopez © vs. Slim J


From the get-go, the match seems interesting, as both guys are acting quite serious compared to their usual pre-match antics. They start with a clinic of reversals, ending with Lopez shoving away a Slim dropkick, and patting himself on the back, ala Barry Horowitz. Now that was funny. Again, like with the previous match, Slim uses his high-impact, quick, flashy moves to get the upper hand, while Lopez uses his technical skills, size, and power advantages to work over Slim. But, unlike the previous match, Slim was able to use some mat counters to get the upper-hand, putting over the story that Slim's been studying up on Lopez since the previous match. They then go back-and-forth on big moves until Lopez hits his Yakuza kick to the side of the head/floating neckbreaker combo, which led to three lifting elevated double arm DDT's to keep Slim down. Then, the time limit expired. Pretty flat finish, but the match was quite splendid.


WINNER: Jeremy Lopez



First Guy Eliminated Doesn't Get A Match On the Anniversary Show:

World Jr. Champion Jimmy Rave vs. Wildside Jr. Champion Jeremy Lopez vs. Slim J


This did suffer from some of the usual three-way "one guy standing around for extended period of time" disease, but nowhere as bad as usual. They started with Rave vs. Slim, as Lopez stood there, encouraging the fight. Then, Jeremy jumped in as Jimmy sold a kick to the nads. Jeremy and Slim did something very similar to the opening of their previous matches, the reversal clinic. Then, Slim climbed out of the ring and took a seat at ringside, as Rave and Lopez did some familiarity reversals. Slim then ran in when he thought both men weren't looking, and got hiptossed over the top. They then did some of the three-way spots, before Lopez was duped out of the match via a top rope Ace Crusher by Slim on Jimmy, onto Lopez, which Slim pinned Lopez. Slim and Rave then broke out the big spots out of desperateness to get the match over, but without many big reversals due to the face that they hadn't met previously to this on a big scale. Rave eventually won with his Northern Lights Bomb, but done off of the second rope. Really good, especially for the three-way format.


WINNER: Jimmy Rave



NWA World Jr. Title:

Jimmy Rave © vs. Slim J


This match is the afformentioned match at the Third Anniversary that was earned via the previous match. This was quite the good match. Slim showed shades of his old rudo-self, which was quite cool, and Jimmy played hopeful babyface, which he does well. A bunch of mat reversals start the match, but Slim gets the advantage when the match starts to speed up. About two-thirds into the match, Jeremy Lopez, who was beat in a previous three-way dance with the other two to lose his match at this show, comes out. He grabs Jimmy's leg, and Jimmy goes to the outside to attack. Slim hits a moonsault onto both guys. Slim and Jimmy go back into the ring, but the finish comes when Slim goes for the 420 Splash, but Jeremy trips him up, and Jimmy hits the Northern Lights Bomb for the win. This was pretty good stuff; everything made sense (like Slim getting in most of his big moves, but they found a way for Jimmy to kick out of the moves without making them look ineffective), and everyone tried hard.


WINNER: Jimmy Rave



Salvatore Rinauro & Jeremy Lopez vs. Kid Kool & Slim J


First, let me say, whoever's idea it was to put Sal and Jeremy together, you are a genius. Kool and Jeremy start, with Jeremy schooling Kool on the mat, but Kool outspeeding Lopez. Sal and Slim were then tagged in. Slim got in most of the offense here, including a new move where he literally walked up Sal while he was just standing there, and kicked him in the face. Kid Kool tagged back in, and Salvatore got the advantage. The heels get a segment to get heat on Kid Kool, but after a cradle flatliner by Kool on Rinauro, the hot tag goes out to Lopez and Slim. A couple of big moves later, and Slim wins clean in the center of the ring with the Anger Management. Post-match, Slim drapes the Jr. belt on Lopez's chest. Really fun TV match, showcasing Wildside's great mid-card.


WINNERS: Kid Kool & Slim J



Shark Boy, Slim J, & Kid Kash vs. The S.A.T.

From TNA Week ?? (the week after Ron Killings won the World Title)


TNA sucks, and this is proof why. You got six guys, 4 of which are crappy spot workers (Red, Maximos, Kash), one who can sort of put on a good match but he's not a spot-match guy (Shark Boy), and one who's awesome, period (Slim), and they're told to go out there and do a bunch of spots with no rhyme or reason. And they wonder why the X Division is dead. Plus, whoever the hell does the entrance music is deaf. Everyone got crappy WCW jobber music, including Slim getting some crappy guitar riffs. At least have it sort of make sense with the guy's gimmick. Besides for a short segment with Slim and Red, the most enjoyable thing in the match was a sign in the crowd that said, "Raw Spoiler: It's Gonna Suck". Finish comes when the most talented guy in the ring (Slim, as if I needed to tell you) gets nailed with the Spanish Fly, followed by the InfaRed, and pinned by Red for the SAT win. It really looked like a bunch of guys who watched a WCW lucha trios match from 1997 and tried to copy it, only they failed badly.





The tape then ends with Slim's "commercial" for Melanie's tape company.


FINAL THOUGHTS: Again, I really dug this tape. Though the beginning was a little bit average, once you got to Slim's feud with Jeremy, it was smooth sailing from there. The final match sucked, but hey, that's NWA-TNA for you. Overall, you all should send the e-mail to Melanie (again, it's [email protected]) and get the tape. Really good stuff.


Now, it's time for the final matches in the Wildside vs. CZW feud from Combat Zone shows in the fall of 2002. These come from CZW's Ultraviolent Freedom Of Expression, which you can get from Melanie.


Jimmy Rave (w/Jeff G. Bailey) vs. Ruckus


Pre-match, Bailey gets on the mic and bashes the Best of the Best, saying that just because you beat a "bunch of backyarders" doesn't mean you're the best of anything, and that holding the NWA World Jr. Title (like Jimmy did) made you the best Jr. heavyweight in the world. The match itself was odd, in that both guys looked like they were trying to work different matches. Rave seemed focused on working a match that made sense, while Ruckus was doing his own thing, just popping off highspots like they were nothing. Jimmy really tried, but in the end, Ruckus just weighed him down too much. After some brawling in the crowd and a couple of spots with chairs (including a horrendously botched falcon arrow on three set-up chairs by Ruckus, which looked like Jimmy was an inch away from paralysis), the Lost Boys ran in, gave Ruckus the Excommunicator, and got Rave the win, in the weakest form possible, since it seemed like the whole point of the feud was to make Wildside look weak.


WINNER: Jimmy Rave



The H8 Club ran out, which led to....


CZW Tag Team Titles:

The Lost Boys (Azrael & Gabriel) vs. The H8 Club (Nate Hatred & Nick Gage)


This match was located in Squash City, on the corner of Squ and Ash. The H8 Club gave Azrael and Gabriel about 30 seconds of offense, and that was all with Nick Gage on defense. Nate Hatred (aka the illigitimate love child of Jim Hellwig and Test) was dead-set on no-selling and squashing the credibility out of the Lost Boys. They didn't just squash the Lost Boys; they squashed them brutally. Headdrops, stiff shots, knee scrapes, you name them, the Lost Boys got it. Finish came when, again, ala ECW, T-N-T run in to signal the DQ, and the Backseat Boys run out to stop them. For all of those who thought that the H8 Club squash on Chris Hero was bad, check this out. Literally no excuse for giving the LB's nothing.





The Backseat Boys (Trent Acid & Johnny Kashmere) vs. T-N-T (Tony Stradlin & Todd Sexton)


T-N-T seemed to get in more offense here than all of Team Wildside minus the Rave/Ruckus match. A bunch of spots with no rhyme or reason started the match. Then, T-N-T got in the only heat segment of the feud, which, of course, only lasted about 4 minutes, when the chaos spot happened. Everyone was fighting. Sexton and Kashmere went to the stage of Viking Hall, where they teased someone falling off of the stage, through a table. Kashmere finally gave Sexton a Cradlebreaker (fisherman's thingy with a neckdrop on the knee) through the table. The BSB win (I'm an idiot, I forgot how). Post-match, Jeff G. Bailey takes the T-Gimmick and the same quadruple superkick spot from the Softcore Connection that he took at the previous CZW show. Appropoe ending to the feud: with the Wildside guys laid out like always.


WINNERS: The Backseat Boys





Next time, I'll review a special Wildside TV taping in full from August entitled "Heatstroke", and some extras including what, right now, is the best Wildside match of 2003.


Feedback can go to [email protected]


Thanks for reading,


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