Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Wrestling and Pop Culture October 2011


Saturday October 1, 2011

A day packed with sports and entertainment. We went to the annual Monster Fest event held every October at the Chesapeake Library in Chesapeake, Va. I bumped into Luke-Warm Lee Hansen – a friend I have known for over 20 years- sadly this may be the last time I see him for quite some time as he and his girlfriend are moving to Houston, Texas due to professional reasons. We ended up watching a new documentary on the Bowman Body a charismatic TV horror host based out of Richmond, VA for several decades. I enjoyed the movie- but feels that the best movie and way to check out the Bowman Body is in the documentary Virginia Creepers that covers Bowman and several other hosts of late night horror shows.  Bowman Body documentary a little overlong- but still very fun and engaging just like the legendary host. After the movie we went to Chesapeake Pizza and split a Chesapeake special with friends.

 

Mike Williams and I raced across town to Knuckleheads Roadhouse to catch the outdoor wrestling event. I actually took the first bump of the evening as I tripped over the curb walking to the club. Sadly we found out the event would not kick off until 3 pm. The event itself was fine and featured 2 title matches for SPW. The Silver City Assassins lost the titles to the team of Phil Brown and Ray Storm. The reality of the situation: one of the Silver City Assassins could not make the gig due to commitments with his day job- so Sterling Williams tagged up with his manager Shorty and they ended up loosing the straps. Most of the event was spent hyping up their next Scope show on October 22 featuring Jay Lethal versus Sonjay Dutt. It was fun watching wrestling outside and I am glad this event took place on October first instead of the 27th of August as initially planned- it was temperate outside and nice afternoon of entertainment from the local promotion. On the downside I found out the next day that Wild Child Pain shattered his arm in 3 places during the event.
 
 
 
 
 
After a day out I came home to a packed DVr of wrestling and other stuff.

 

The second installment of ROH had technical difficulties during the first half of the show and was a wash as far as watching it. Jay Lethal captured the TV title from El Generico in solid main event that was granted additional time by Jim Cornette. Once again the program featured solid wrestling and also did a good job hyping up the following weeks main event.

 

Masked Warriors : Lucha Libre USA returned to MTV 2 today for their second season – to say I did not miss them is an understatement. I like some of their talents like Rellik- but the skits fall flat and the action never seems to spark real emotion from the audience or me. Lizmark ,Jr captured their heavyweight title with a little help from Rellik.

 

 

 

Sunday October 2, 2011

 

My main event is the Redskins game- the undercard is the PPV tonight- I guess I will watch to see the Sin Caras square off. Redskins won and the Cowboys lost – too bad this was not the case last Monday.

 

It took a day of watching football and then looking up and seeing the Jets playing that I really realized the folly of the Invasion angle of 2001. In the 1960s the NFL had a major competitor in the AFL – eventually the leagues agreed to merge. In the first 2 Super Bowls the Green Bay Packers slaughtered the AFL representatives. The Baltimore Colts were favored to kill the New York Jets. Joe Namath cut a promo that shocked the world when he garuanteed that his team would win the title. IN the end the Jets won and it is a game that still resonates 40+ years down the road. Meanwhile in wrestling the WWE treat the incoming WCW talent as fools and basically inferior losers- and they can’t understand why the idea of WWE versus WCW lost steam so quickly. Invasion needed a Joe Namath – sadly that never happened.

 

Wrestling fans are an impatient lot- we chant boring when the action slows for a second – we want the climax every moment and can’t understand that anticipation makes most everything better from making love to cooking a good meal- if it was microwave easy and backstreet sleazy all the time it looses the true impact. But we want our guy to win and it to be the best match ever –every time- just unrealistic. I am watching football today- there is plenty of downtime, an off season and a week in between games- wrestling is now NOW NOW NOW – we don’t realize that like a drug user that builds a higher tolerance we will either OD or kick- and most kick.

 

2 things consistently draw web chatter and dominate gossip sites- when attractive people start dating and when they break up. I always wondered about that- I mean are guys sitting around going- “ok now that Demi Moore is single again- NOW I have a shot!”

 

 

Point of clarification – I have not been pulled over in years. But when I was pulled over – I hated the cops asking- so –do you know why I pulled you over? Really it sucks that my insurance rates may go up and I am on a limited budget- but now you want me to play multiple guess- seriously- of course they are fishing – hoping I go – you know I run a meth lab like Breaking Bad or deal pot for the Mexican cartel like Weeds- not um I don’t honestly know.

 

I watched the event at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Virginia Beach, Va- the place was half full by the time the main event of the PPV rolled around.

 

WWE Hell in a Cell 2011 from New Orleans , Louisiana

The event starts with Miz and R-Truth sitting in the audience with their tickets. They were confronted by Johnny Ace and escorted from the premises. Sheamus beat Christian in the opening match.  Sin Cara beat Sin Cara. Air Boom retained their tag titles against Vikki’s dysfunctional tag unit Dolph and Jack Swagger Mark Henry defeated Randy Orton in the first of 2 Hell in a Cell matches- a solid match with a well built crescendo to the climax.

   Cody Rhodes came out and cut a promo about the new IC strap he was defending – which is actually a classic version of the belt- then Johnny Ace booked him in a match against John Morrion. Rhodes competed and won in a suit. The match was ruined by a whiny tirade by Michael Cole about Cody wrestling in a suit.

    Beth Phoenix beat Kelly Kelly for the Diva’s strap after Nattie taunted Kelly Kelly and bonked her on the head with a microphone.

  The main event of the evening was the first triple threat match for the WWE title in a Hell in a Cell between champion John Cena  and challengers Alberto Del Rio and CM Punk. After several minutes of back and forth action John Cena was coaxed out of the Hell in the Cell and then locked out. He was forced to look on as Alberto Del Rio won the championship by beating CM Punk after conking him in the head with a lead pipe.

  After the match there was some chaos as Miz and R-Truth came back to beat up Cena – then HHH and several grapplers surrounded the ring- eventually the cops came into the ring and handcuffed the Awesome Truth- HHH attacked them several times as they were being lead away- but he was not also arrested for interrupting a police procedure. Overall it was decent for an event that was only 2 weeks after their last PPV. Sadly another event is coming in 3 weeks- it really is overload. A former co-worker of my wife complained that the event was too short- it did end around 10:40 and she also noted that the ending looked unplanned.

 

It is reported that the PPV drew 180,000 buys.

 

Monday October 3, 2011

Santino Marella returned to Raw after missing 2 months due to a shoulder injury suffered from a car wreck- he beat Jinder Mahal with the cobra in a very short comedy match.

The last match of Raw was very exciting – a 12 man tag match with tons of energy from the Cajun-Dome crowd and tons of highspots from the performers. It was team Cena versus Team Del Rio. CM Punk was on the face team- somehow WWE creative has completely lost track of why CM Punk was so over with the audience- he has lost his edge and went from cool outsider to just another face.

 

The main event of Raw was HHH asking for a vote of confidence from the WWE talent. HHH has been the Chief Operating Officer for WWE most of this summer since replacing Vince McMahon. Miz and R-Truth have been beating refs and announcers up and they got fired a couple of weeks ago. However they got into the arena for last night’s PPV and caused some havoc at the end of the event. The entire roster of wrestlers (ok not entire  crew as John Cena , Randy Orton , CM Punk and Kelly Kelly were conspicuous by their absence)  divas, refs, camera-men, and announcers all left the ring and the arena. HHH while being shunned by all the wrestlers seemed like an underdog face and got cheered.

 

Hank Williams , Jr. compared president Obama to Hitler. ESPN responded by pulling the Bocephus song from Monday Night Football and saying they will make a decision on how long the song will remain on the shelf depending on how contrite Williams is. Seriously- free speech is completely a figment of our imagination- say any little thing that is out there and you find yourself walking the plank. Do I agree with Williams or his odd analogy- no- but he should have the right to voice his misguided opinion.

 

Amanda Knox was acquitted of murder in Italy. The student had been in an Italian jail for 4 years. Today’s stupid blanket statement between the unending war against terrorism, kidnapping in Mexico and my limited funds I don’t know if I will ever travel the world.

 

Office star Jenna Fischer who portrays Pam on the show gave birth to a baby boy. The second episode of the new season was pretty darned funny.

 

Tuesday October 4 , 2011

Impact wrestler Jeff Hardy began his 10 day stint in jail for various drug charges- I wonder if TNA will send grapplers to berate him in jail and film it.

 

Wednesday October 5 , 2011

Former WWE Champion The Miz returned to the CW (Former home of Smackdown) to make an appearance on H8ers – a new show were celebs confront folks that dislike them. This felt so phony and staged that it was a complete waste of time. The WWE fan still hated the Miz at the end of the segment btw.

 

Folk legend Bert Jansch passed away at the age of 67.

 

The Flaming Lips are releasing a 6 hour song – I doubt I will ever hear it. I am still suffering from their concert at the Machine in the mid 90s- which was the loudest show I have ever endured – even in the office it felt like someone was taking a jackhammer to my eardrum.

 

Sometimes there needs to be a beginning, middle and end or a short run. Wrestling should follow these rules of storytelling- but wrestling never ends- it just finds an occasional oasis or plateau and then without stopping continues forward. Some of my favorite TV shows had limited runs – the British version of the Office only ran for 2 short seasons yet is still beloved to this day. If you compare wrestling to sports – there is more than one conference or league and several teams and offseasons. In baseball you have the hot-stove league- meaning during the offseason you can speculate on the effects of trades and free agents- wrestling only has the mismanaged draft. The Monday night wars provided a brief time period where grapplers jumped ship from the big ones like Scott Hall walking onto Raw to the odd surprise of Haku debuting at a Royal Rumble.

 

Steve Jobs the mastermind behind Apple, iTunes and many other innovations died at the age of 56.

 

Veteran character actor Charles Napier passed away – seen in everything from the original Star Trek to Russ Meyers movies and many a fun B-movie, his presence onscreen will be missed. Napier also made his bones by doing voice acting including portraying Duke on the excellent cartoon The Critic starring Jon Lovitz.

 

WWE superstar Darren Young has been suspended for 30 days for violating the WWE wellness policy. Ok maybe his troll-doll haircut was a bit much on NXT- but how do you cut someone’s signature locks without making it a match stipulation or have some sort of pay-off. Either way I hope things work out for Young- but this may be step one on the way out.

 

"Big Money Mike McKiernan” an independent manager for the Ontario based promotion Classic Championship Wrestling passed away at the age of 34.



Thursday October 6, 2011

 Vince Russo has been removed as the head writer for TNA and has been replaced by Bruce Pritchard. At the moment this is a win- sure Russo was writing some of the WWE attitude era and crash TV – but when he came to WCW he altered the product so drastically that it alienated the core wrestling fan from watching that show- since WCW was the wrestling alternative to the smut and promo laden WWE Raw of the late 90s. Since he was handcuffed by censors in WCW – his shenanagens always came off as WWE lite. His sitdown shoot interview with Vince Russo entitled inside the WWE was so boring even I shut it off. It took a lot of willpower to stomach his most recent book. Don’t get me wrong I liked some of the change that Russo forced on WCW – but I could see his fingerprints all over the Nitro product. It was fun, trashy stuff- but he also managed to devalue the cruiserweights and stuff so much non-wrestling into a wrestling show that it became embarrassing to watch at times.

 

One day after the Miz appeared on H8er’s starring Mario Lopez the show was cancelled by the network.

 

TNA kicks off Impact Wrestling promising the retirement of Hulk Hogan. Bobby Roode and Cowboy James Storm cut a mutual respect promo hyping their main event bout later in the show. Eric Bischoff joins the long line of people berating Jeff Hardy for his transgressions- after a month of being told he is lower than dirt Jeff Hardy finally strikes back as he delivers a Twist of Hate to Bischoff. Before Bischoff was assaulted he did tell Jeff Hardy to 12-step his way out of the ring.

The Roode versus Storm match was excellent as the Beer Money tag team partners had a strongly contested matchup with Roode taking the win.

The final portion of the program was filled with Hulk Hogan talking about his retirement-the crowd was cheering Hogan and there was even one little fan dressed up as the Hulkster. After a few minutes of Hogan getting emotional , Sting interrupts and proceeds to show Hogan and Bischoff talking about screwing with the fans and that the retirement was fake. This led to an enraged Hogan challenging Sting to a fight at Bound For Glory.

I always love the hidden camera trick, it reminds me of the brilliant ending to the Elia Cazan film A Face in the Crowd starring Andy Griffith. Griffith is a drifter who becomes a television sensation and then becomes an egomaniac. As the credits roll for his cornpone concoction that is his TV show- his co-worker decides to roll the audio of him talking negatively about his fan base instead of the theme music. This leads to public outrage and more. Used on occasion- like once every 2 years- this is an effective gimmick to show plotting and subterfuge by the bad guys. What is irritating is hearing from different sources that Hulk Hogan makes around 35,000 an episode to be on Impact- I wonder if the TNA office realizes that I tend to skip every segment he is on- I am tired of Hogan. My favorite Hulk Hogan moment was when he portrayed Thunderlips in the Rocky movie. I was still a virgin then- ok TMI – but my point is – his act is stale- sure it was freshened up briefly when he joined the New World Organization (what he first said-lol) in 1996 , but then he ruined that by cutting egomaniacal promos that would drone on and on during Nitro, to the point that I would switch over to Raw or Springer or use the bathroom- but his tirades would last longer than dropping the kids off at the pool and smelled worse. I understand that Hogan is the biggest name in the history of pro wrestling and was a huge draw during the days of Hulk-a-Mania – but that was during the heyday of Rubik’s Cube, big hair and new wave. In the age of on-demand movies, Netflix and X-Box live I simply don’t have the patience to listen to his prattle. I watched his retirement speech hoping that it was true, sadly like Bret Favre for a few seasons it was not true , I just hope we don’t ever see pictures of the little one-eyed hulkster.

  The episode ended up drawing the lowest rating for Impact Wrestling this year, not an encouraging sign going into their top event of the year.

 

Friday October 7, 2011

WWE Smackdown celebrates one year of being on SyFy with a brief mention by Vikki Guerrero during yet another heel gabfest to start the proceedings. Ok to be fair the show started with a well produced video package showing what led up to Monday’s walkout by the WWE talent from Raw and the actual walkout at the end of the Raw broadcast.

When pressed about the walkout Booker T stated he had nothing to do with the walkout, that he was neutral on the issue and he got up because he had to use the bathroom. The incredulous looks on Josh Matthews and Michael Cole’s faces were priceless.

 Sin Cara Negro attacked Sin Cara Azul after his loss to Alberto Del Rio- probably setting a Vengeance rematch or a rematch when Raw is live in Mexico. The Big Show returned after a 4 month hiatus to confront World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry for breaking his leg. He vowed to either get a title shot or cripple Mark Henry. At the end of the show Henry declared that he would not give a title shot to the Big Show. An enraged Big Show lumbered to the ring and attacked Mark Henry- this was the biggest reaction I have heard for the Big Show in a long time- absence always works – and also emotion. After a minute or so of Big Show dominating the World’s Strongest Man- security ran down to break up the fracas. Big Show would not be denied and started throwing around security like rag dolls. Then he attacked and dominated Henry some more and threw him through the announce table. As he was about to Pillmanize Henry’s leg, Smackdown general manager Teddy Long told Show he could have his title shot if he did not break Mark Henry’s leg. Show hesitated – the crowd urged Show to attack. But he walked away. Then he returned and gave a Henry a chair shot and told him he finish the job after he won the World title.

 

Saturday October 8, 2011

 ROH presented another strong hour of televised grappling. Davey Richards won the almost 20 minute-long confrontation for the World Heavyweight Title via submission over former champion Roderick Strong. The show did a good job building to the main event with a video package that highlighted what a smug jerkwater Strong was and how earnest and hardworking Davey Richards is. Although the show only featured 2 matches- I prefer 2 strong matches with proper build-up over 5 2 minute matches with screwy finishes or non-finishes. IF you are not in the current syndicated reach of the Sinclair Broadcast Group you can watch the ROH shows on their website the following Thursday.

Meanwhile the subpar Masked Warriors: Lucha Libre USA continued to air episodes on MTV2.  Petey Williams won the main event with help from R.J. Brewer. I enjoyed this week’s offering from CMLL but since my Spanish is rudimentary at best I can only report that I really enjoyed the athleticism of Dragon Lee (although his team lost).

 

Owner of the Oakland Raiders Al Davis passed away at the age of 82 today. Garbing his team in silver and black and hiring the best players he could regardless of their off the field conduct- he put together a heel football team that inspired hatred among his rivals and garnered fans who wanted something more than squeaky clean role models. His on-going feud with NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle culminated with a lawsuit or 3 in the 80s when he moved the team to Los Angeles. To learn more about his franchise check out this DVD if you can.

 

Oakland Raiders-The Complete History(2 Disc DVD) - Splendid double disc set capturing the swagger, character and drama of one of the most compelling and villainous franchises in sports history. Disc one had a nice retrospective of the Raiders climb from the AFL cellar to consistent winners- it also had several featurettes on some of the greatest moments in pigskin history from the "Holy Roller" play to the Hiedi Bowl. Disc 2 is why I got the disc- it features an hour presentation of the "Ghost To The Post" game - the double overtime game between the Oakland Raiders and The Baltimore Colts-plus featurettes about the Raiders best rivals.  A

 

Sunday October 9, 2011

Former Beatle Paul McCartney got married for the 3rd time today.

 

I watched the episode of the Munsters when Herman became the Masked Marvel in an attempt to get college money for Eddie. The grappling was very stiff- clumsy stiff like Herman and off course the jokes were very dated. It was fun catching this episode for the first time and I want to thank Howard Brody for letting me know it existed.

 

An intoxicated fan threw a hotdog at Tiger Woods while he was trying to putt today. From top of the endorsement pile to being assaulted by a flying frankfurter it has been an odd 2 years for the one time role model.

 

I went to a farewell party for a long time friend. Wrestling was a topic visited several times during the night as he and a couple of our mutual friends have been longtime grappling fans.

 

 

DC has relaunched all their iconic characters with new story arcs.(FIND OUT THE DATE)

 

 

 

Monday October 10 , 2011

Netflix announced today that they will not split up their services into 2 different websites,  so now you will still get the discs and the streaming from one site- Netflix and not have a second site to join, etc. Netflix was humming along as one of the main leaders in delivering entertainment on DVD and streaming. Then they raised their price this summer which annoyed many folks. Then they tried to make things better by proposing to split up their services- that resulted in more people getting upset and many competitors stepping up their advertising and trying to let people know there are alternatives. Qwikster was stillborn out the gate.

 

WWE Monday Night Raw live from Oklahoma Monday October 10, 2011

 

The flagship program of the WWE kicks off with a video package showing the events that led up to the walkout and the talent walking out en masse from the end of last week’s episode. Our first live shot of the arena shows an empty announcers booth. Eventually the camera finds COO HHH emerging from his office and heading to the ring. HHH goes to the ring and blabs on about the walkout and whatnot- Boomer Sooner nation seems to truly love and support the Game. After Hunter’s filibuster squarejawed hero John Cena comes out to lend his support to the Game and saying his loyalty is to the WWE Universe, Sheamus then comes in and says fella and manages to say arse- oh he is also supporting Mr. H’s. The superb late 80s rock tune “Cult of Personality” by Living Color signals the emergence of CM Punk. I then spot my favorite sign of the night “CM Punk is like the Honey Badger”.  CM Punk says that while he is not a “smiley good guy like you 3” he also is staying.

 

“I liked that everyone came out and gave their reason as to why they did not walk out. It made sense for everyone to give their own individual reason why. They’re supposed to be top guys, they should be thinking independently from everyone else.” - Hornet

 

 

 

 In one of the more ironic moments of the night the king of the 24 minute opening promos Triple H says lets do what we do best and “shut up and fight.” He books a match between Sheamus and Cena , anoints himself ref and appoints CM Punk bell-ringer and announcer. After 20+ minutes- the action starts! About a minute later we get a commercial break.

  After commercial break CM Punk states he hopes he can be a good commentator like Art Donovan. About 30 seconds later Vinny Mac’s music hits. He ambles down to the ring to let Trips know that “Watching Raw is a hoot” , he alludes to the Occupy Wall Street movement and that the board of directors have relieved HHH from running Monday Night Raw. The Crowd is very supportive of HHH. They chant “You Suck” at John Laurenitis after he is announced as the interim Raw GM.

  Hometown hero and Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross comes out to a nice ovation after the break. After Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole settle in – Cole compares himself to Norma Rae and Ghandi. A distracted John Morrison looses after taking a spear from Christian (speculation is running wild that Morrison is getting future endeavored soon). After the match Jack Swagger , Dolf Ziggler , Cody Rhodes and Christian take turns beating up John Morrison.

  Backstage Johnny Ace is beaming whilst talking on the phone with someone about looking like an executive, the mood changes when HHH enters the office. After Ace tries to convince Trips that he is doing what’s right – HHH glares at him and proclaims “You ever try to pick your teeth with a bunch of broken fingers?”

 Hall of Pain strongman Mark Henry shows a package of the excellent Big Show/Henry confrontation from last week’s Smackdown. We get another Randy Orton and Mark Henry match – the match is thrown out when Cody Rhodes attacks Randy Orton. He proceeds to put a paper bag on the fallen Apex Predator. Cody picks up the mic and states “When you cut the head off a viper all venom comes out!”

 

 Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres beat Rosa Mendez and Tamina in a tag match – after the match we see the Divas of Doom watching the encounter on the monitor.

 

 Johnny Ace returns to the ring to announce that Alberto Del Rio will defend his title at Vengeance against John Cena. He then fires JR for being an ingrate- once again Jim Ross gets humiliated in his hometown.

 

Air Boom and Mason Ryan defeat David Otunga , Jack Swagger and Dolf Ziggler in a 6 man tag match.

 

The Brodus Clay video package is played again. WWE seems to forget that there is competition for viewers as they waste 4 minutes of time showing a trailer for a new John Cena movie Reunion.

 

Alberto Del Rio arrives for the main event driving a 2012 BMW 650I convertible worth 100 large. At one point Michael Cole reads a tweet from a coleminer- Jerry Lawler states he must “get his tweets from twits.”

 

CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio are having a decent tussle- but then mid-stream Johnny Ace announces that he wants them to tag up and face the newly re-instated Awesome Truth.

 

Punk and Del Rio are doing fine against the Miz and R-Truth when Del Rio decides to leave limping –indicating he is hurt. Punk valiantly battles on until Miz and R-Truth just start pounding Punk into the mat. The match is thrown out and then HHH makes the save for CM Punk – we cut backstage to Johnny Ace hanging out with ultra preppy David Otunga – Ace books R-Truth and Miz versus HHH and CM Punk for the upcoming Vengeance PPV. Credits

 

Honestly they had so much potential with the idea of a strike- while the talent referenced the striking grapplers in the parking lot it was never shown. They could have had scab wrestlers or done so many other creative things. This episode felt like a letdown after the big walkout. On the upside they managed to set up a few matches for the PPV that is right around the corner.

 

 

 

“They messed up it bad with CM Punk. CM Punk was someone special. You could rely on him to tell the truth, to put down whoever and whatever. He called John Cena the New York Yankees in Boston and completely turned John Cena’s hometown against him, something no one had ever done before. He was different. He was not a part of everything else. Here it is not even 2-3 months later and CM Punk is teaming with Cena and HHH, he doesn’t seem special anymore. I really think they dropped the ball big-time with him.”- Roy Lucier

 

 

 

Tuesday October 11 , 2011

Jesse James a/k/a The Road Dog from The New Age Outlaws was hired by WWE to be a road agent for the company.

 

Former WWE and TNA wrestler Tyson Tomko is being held in Florida for robbery. He is accussed of taking Oxy a/k/a hillbilly heroin and then going to a Chili’s and taking the painkillers. There was a brief moment in TNA where it felt like Tomko could get a big push – that evaporated over time- and he eventually left the company and had a brief stint back in the WWE, He had tag team success in Japan.

 

Clemente Marcelino Valencia Nájera who wrestled as Dr. X-Treme was murdered at a house party while trying to break up a fight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Severin Films releases the cult favorite comedy show Snuff Box on DVD in the North American market. This macabre UK sketch show ran in 2006. If you enjoy gallows humor with dashes of pop culture and funny songs this is well worth seeking out. The 2 disc edition includes funny commentary tracks on 3 of the episodes and a music CD with several of their hilarious tunes. Also included on the set is a new featurette with folks like Paul Rudd and Weird Al putting over the fun diversion- a worthwhile addition to any library of DVDs- but best suited for folks that like British humor with a scatological edge. A+

 

 

 

Wednesday October 12, 2011

Dissemination of information has changed so much. Not just in wrestling but everywhere else, we have gone from big long free-form blogs to 140 characters or less on twitter. When news breaks it is all over social media and most home pages within minutes. In professional wrestling we have gone from depending on magazines to get some idea of what is going on outside of wrestling, to the hotlines to now everything is instantaneous.

Gail Kim did a shoot interview on iPPV and the contents of the interview are already being posted online. Rumors had started that JBL may be coming back to WWE to be the new Raw GM- he actually wrote a blog stating that no he was not. There are so many sources of information and with wrestling a business built on misleading or deceiving it gets worse. I sometimes think that the backstage folks will start sending us detailed reports of Vinny Mac’s bowel movements.

 South Park figured out the immigration problem on this week’s episode- basically by convincing Mexicans to have pride in their own country they decided to return to Mexico- ok it is only a cartoon- but another great half hour of satire from the long running show.

 

Thursday October 13 , 2011

Happy 61st birthday to my mother.

 

TNA did a good job with their go home show heading into their main PPV of the year Bound For Glory. The company did a good job following thru with the BFG series and the winner of the competition Bobby Roode. Roode has looked like a world beater in the ring and the video packages are helping build sympathy for this underdog as he gears up to take on World Champion and Olympic medalist Kurt Angle on Sunday. Jeff Hardy came in at the end of the show to a huge pop to help out Roode when he was being attacked by Immortal and Kurt Angle. Although Jeff Hardy was not immediately embraced by Beer Money- the last shot of the segment had them raising the Charismatic Enigma’s arm as they went to commercial. That would have been how I ended the show. They instead had a lukewarm contract signing between Sting and Hogan with Hogan grinding his boot into Sting’s throat as the show ended. Impact also featured 2 strong tag matches, one featuring X-division guys and helping to hype up the match between Adub and Kendrick and another match that had AJ and RVD teaming up to take on Christopher Daniels and Jerry Lynn.

I think this will be a solid event and I look forward to watching Bound For Glory on Sunday.

 The Office has been funnier this season then it was last year, I am glad the writing has picked up. I have been a Steve Carrell fan since he was on The Daily Show, but so far I am not missing the Michael Scott character on The Office.

 

 

 

 

Friday October 14 , 2011

Former WWE and Friends writer and ROH director Dave Lagana has left ROH to join the TNA creative team.

After consistently laughing at the final joke on Parks and Recreation(it’s overrun was always on my TiVo leading into the Office) I have been watching the show on Netflix streaming- very fun show- yeah I know I am late to the party- but seriously a very fun show.

WWE Smackdown started with a 41 man Battle Royal. The announcers billed it as the biggest Battle Royal in history. I am certain that 60 folks participated in World War 3 – that took 3 rings and was in WCW. Either way Randy Orton won the match after eliminating the recently reinstated Miz. Randy Orton’s prize for winning the battle royale with cheese was a title shot of his choosing. He fought Mark Henry again. The match was thrown out when Cody Rhodes attacked Orton for the second show of the week. I am so glad we get fresh content on Friday that mimics the Raw stuff- so happy- being sarcastic.

 

Saturday October 15, 2011

At 5:35 A.M. Hulk Hogan was the number 4 trending topic on yahoo.com due to his new diet plan and video game and Scott Hall was the number 7 trending topic on yahoo.com due to his upcoming story on ESPN’s E:60 next week. n.W.o. Black and White in The HOUSE! The number one topic is also based around Florida sports , Tampa Bay running back LeGaratte Blount is due to miss several weeks because of a knee injury.

 

I went to the Boo Williams Sports Complex in Hampton, Va. to see VCW wrestling. They ran a split show with one event at noon and the other at 2 pm. I missed half of the first show because the concession stand was so inefficient. I did get to see Diamond Victor Griff confront Jay Steele and get thrown into a trashcan for his troubles. It was an odd event- part of a combat sports spectacular with karate, arm wrestling and boxing also part of the event- so folks would wander from event to event sampling different forms of action sports. It was a nice facility – but they were understaffed with their food service- my friend Mike Williams missed the main event of the second card because they had run out of nacho cheese and it took them forever to make his hamburger. The main event for the second event had The Hall*Stars retain their title by DQ over the team of Chatch and Krotch. Some die-hard VCW fans were there including one guy that had made posters for his favorite grapplers. The poster guy loves the indies and thinks that WWE and TNA need to feature more wrestling on their shows. Overall it was a different experience- the small gathering that watched the event seemed to be into it.

 


On Lucha Libre USA Shane Helms made his debut by saving Marco Corleone from the rudos. In the main event of the program right wing anti-immigration grappler RJ Brewer lost a hair versus Mask match against Magno and got his head shaved.

 

Another solid syndicated show by ROH this week, once again only 2 matches with interviews and packages to help build each match. The Briscoes beat the All Night Express in tag bout. Eddie Edwards managed to wear down strongman Mike Elgin to win their match by pinfall. It was a solid hour of wrestling. I enjoyed and will keep supporting the show- but I wonder if ROH will escape the niche it is currently encased in. The funniest moment of the night was when Charlie Haas was asked about the Briscoe Brothers and he said “Up Yours” – wow I am glad he did not go all out and tell them to “Sit on it” – they might loose their over-protective parent demo.

 

Marvin Ward’s AWE Night of the Legends debuted on PPV tonight. I understand the concept for a live show. Showcase veterans that still have name value and match them up with youngsters that are easy fits for their established characters. Mix in grapplers that have an old school appeal like CW Anderson with guys with a more modern approach like Sonjay Dutt with Hall of Famers and legends and if marketed correctly you have sold out shows. Does this translate to PPV , not exactly.

 Each match of the event had the heels cutting promos with Chris Graham in the back and the baby-faces doing the same with Bill Apter before the in-ring action.

 The commentary team for the event is Dutch Mantell , Larry Zybszcko and Chris Cruze.

The night starts off with an anti-climax. Teacher versus student as Terry Funk tries to school Tommy Dreamer. It is a short brawl with most of the action taking place ringside and the pinfall happening after maybe 7 minutes of brawling when Dreamer catches Funk in a small package.

 

 

The match of the night happened next as Sonjay Dutt lost an entertaining back and forth tussle to the arrogant and amusing Jamin Olivencia. Sadly the camera crew missed the finishing maneuver for the match. Perry Saturn made his return to action after not wrestling for 9 years. At one time Saturn was part of the hottest free agent group in the country – The Radicals when Saturn, Dean Malenko , Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit left WCW to join WWE. Sadly Benoit and Eddie are gone- Dean Malenko actually got an agent job with WWE – and Saturn vanished. He reappeared last year and it was discovered he had been hooked on drugs. Now a cleaner and thicker Perry Saturn defeated CW Anderson in his return bout.

 Up next jingoism took center stage as veteran flagwaver Jim Duggan took on Arabic braggart Mohammed Akbar and after a bunch of fisticuffs Duggan beat the youngster clean. The Fischerville, VA crowd ate up Hacksaw’s act and chanted USA for the duration of the bout.

  IN the longest bout of the evening- ok I don’t own a stopwatch – but this match had an injury section where Fit Finlay played hurt knee for over 5 minutes. Fit Finlay took on Alex Silvia who was accompanied to the ring by WWE Hall of Famer Tammy Sytch (Sunny). The match was going well until it looked like Finlay blew out his knee. If it  was legit or not they took a long time trying to determine whether to continue the match or not- finally after being called a coward- Finlay came back and managed to mount an offense on one leg. However he ended up loosing the bout due to interference from Sunny. Sunny looked amazing- maybe not the most downloaded person of the 90s- but better than most cougars prancing about nowadays.

  The second best match of the evening occurred when MCW star Short Sleeve Sampson grappled Abo Shongo. Vertically challenged Sampson picked up the victory after hitting a frog splash on the 5’7 wrestler in facepaint.

 

The MAIN EVENT – a match 10 years in the making – featuring Kevin Nash and a mystery partner (DDP) against the Rock and Roll Express…..

 

My PPV feed froze at 11:15 pm EST and did not come back on until the credits were rolling- so I don’t know what happened.

 

The crowd for the event looked like an old school NWA crowd- older and more southern.

I liked what I saw of the event – I thought booking the young guys with the veterans helped give the young guys the rub- I could be wrong- but I enjoyed seeing new to me talented workers getting a good reaction from the crowd. On the flipside this is not an event I would purchase on DVD or something I would watch again.   C-

 

PS – I found out later that Morton won the main event by countout after Nash powerbombed the smaller, older man  and then left the ring after a conversation between the 2 “heated” rivals – sounds delightful (NOT).

 

Live this would have been a great unique event to go to – watching on PPV it felt like some undercard matches for ROH mixed in with Thunder matchups from the dying days of WCW. The execution seemed similar to the Night of Legends that Smokey Mountain did in the early 90s- but without classic footage or even the inclusion of the promo that sold me on the event- the excellent promo with Marvin Ward in the parking lot with a vehicle with tinted windows saying he had the best tag partner for the event –and out pops Kevin Nash- it was one of the best promos of the year- and it was not even included in the pre-show or the main show- that was a disappointment also.

 

Meanwhile the Texas Rangers destroyed the Detroit Tigers 15-5 to advance to the World Series.

 

 

Sunday October 16, 2011

 

Mexican wrestling legend Mil Mascaras is announced as the first member of the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2012 – the announcement is made during a Smackdown taping in Mexico.

 

It has been announced that the US is now planning to withdraw troops from Iraq by the end of the year. US troops have been occupying Iraq for 8 years.

 

For the second weekend in a row Real Steel starring Hugh Jackman is the number one movie in the USA.

 

Ivory will be one of the honorees at this year’s Cauliflower Ear Club gathering.

 

 

 

Indy car driver Dan Wheldon died today in a 15 car wreck during the last race of the season from Las Vegas. This is a big hypocritical moment – the truth is – I don’t really watch racing- except the Indy 500- so I saw him that race earlier this year and just happened to be flipping by ABC when they were showing the horrific footage of the wreck. Being so desensitized to the wrecks- since most drivers walk away from even the most crazy looking wrecks- I watched the wreck from several different angles and different car cams. I do appreciate the skill of the drivers and have always liked that the drivers race along the edge- going 3 and 4 cars deep over 200 miles an hour- but seeing the actual consequence unfold in front of me is bitter pill to swallow to say the least. I face the same with wrestling – I love lucha style and high spots and even for awhile liked the more extreme action –partially because I knew I would never do such things and partially because it courted disaster.

 

 

 

 

Mexican America retained the TNA tag titles during the free preview for tonight’s PPV by beating Ink Inc.

 

 

 

TNA Bound for Glory 2011 from Philadelphia, PA

Kicked off with an X-Division title match between Austin Aires and Brian Kendrick –the first hour of the show was action packed –sure some of the results were annoying- but the pace of the action and the energy of the crowd kept me hyped up for TNA’s signature event. Austin Aires retained the X-Division strap in a decent match against Brian Kendrick, he gained the pinfall with a brainbuster. The crowd was fully behind the arrogant Aires. Momentum was briefly quelled during a backstage sequence with Karen Jarrett and Tracy Brooks.

 Former ECW rivals RVD and Jerry Lynn returned to the city of brotherly love for a full metal mayhem match. Using a variety of hardware this match garnered several ECdub chants from the Philly fans. RVD won the match by pinning Jerry Lynn with a ladder. After the match the long time rivals buried the hatchet and shook hands.

Next up was mid-card mayhem as former world champion Samoa Joe continues to be booked into obscurity. He lost the 3-way bout to Crimson after Matt Morgan attempted a Carbon footprint and then Crimson speared the Samoan submission machine. I think TNA should trade Samoa Joe for John Morrison- both guys are talented- but they obviously need new homes..

 Anderson Anderson beat Bully Ray in their falls count anywhere match by hitting Bully Ray with a Mic-Check through a ringside table after overshooting on a swanton.

 Eric Bicshoff is seen backstage talking to referee Jackson James. It is revealed that James is actually Eric’s son. This news seems to flabbergast the announce team of Taz and Tenay.

 Things got worse as the knockouts division visited an atrocity upon my screen. Instead of a competitive 4 way match for the Knockouts belt- we got Karen Jarrett playing rudo ref and refusing to help the faces get the win. After several minutes of useless action Jarrett is finally taken out of the match and Velvet Sky manages to get the win and become the new Knockouts champion.

 Long time TNA competitors AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels had an ok “I Quit” match- ok for anyone else maybe- but below the very high standards these two excellent grapplers usually live up to. AJ Styles won the match when Daniels quit and ran when AJ picked up a screwdriver.

Jeff Jarrett confronted Jeff Hardy- this basically lead to an in-ring pull apart with refs and backstage officials. A big D-Lo chant broke out for D-Lo Brown.

 I am not a Hulk Hogan fan- I never quite understood his appeal. But when he is on- he is on and tonight the Philly crowd wanted to share some love with the Hulkster. The actual fight portion of the Hulk Hogan and Sting confrontation was rather lame. The highlight of the early portion of this segment was Ric Flair being Hogan’s second. Sting bounced around for Hogan a bit. The Sting got some punches in. Things got interesting after Hogan submitted to the Scorpion Deathlock. At first Immortal came out and beat the tar out of Sting. They showed Abyss peaking through the curtain- but he did not intervene. The only person that stood up to the onslaught was the ref Jackson James. He was rewarded for his valor by getting a chair shot from his father Eric Bischoff. As Sting was getting dragged down he begged Hogan to help him. Hogan helped Sting – it was the loudest pop of the night – the Philly crowd loved good guy Hogan and went nuts for the team of Sting and Hogan. This was the Hogan moment that TNA had paid for 2 years ago- the Philly crowd simply ate up Hulkamania and loved the moment.

The main event of the evening was the culmination of a 13 year journey by former Tag Team Champion Bobby Roode. He had managed to win the Bound For Glory series and had even managed beat his buddies in Fortune and hold his own start to look legitimate as a contender for the top prize in the company. He battled champion Kurt Angle in a solid match where they traded holds on the canvas and tried to get the other to submit. Eventually Angle won the match by using the ropes for leverage while Roode’s hand was under the ropes. It was an anti-climatic end to a solid PPV.

 Hulk Hogan stole the show- sure he annoys me when cuts 15 minute promos and his matches are not the athletic spotfests that I tend to favor , but tonight he managed to elicit true emotion out of the crowd and made a special moment and memory for the crowd watching in the arena and at home.

Bound For Glory 2011 was inconsistent at times and I was not a fan of finish for the main event – but overall it was a decent show with some good matches and great energy from the crowd. Is this an event I would suggest purchasing –nope- but I do not regret purchasing it myself. I think the event could have been epic if Roode had won the belt- was it his first shot at the belt- yes- but with the summer long build and his tenure and popularity it would have been a memorable ending to solid PPV. Instead the company managed to swerve expectations needlessly – again. Very frustrating. The event ended up drawing about 3,500 folks, rumors swirl that the event ended up being heavily papered.   B-

 

The Walking Dead started season 2 on AMC- compelling show-although the endless hopelessness can be depressing. Zombie Holocaust all around- we follow a small-town sheriff and his ragtag group of survivors as they try to find safety and hope.

 

The St. Louis Cardinals advanced to the World Series tonight by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers.

 

Monday October 16, 2011

One Man Rock Band Heath Slater has extra time to rehearse- well 30 days since he was suspended by the WWE for violating the Wellness Policy.

 

“I DVr them and fast forward through them to find something I like – sometimes I fast forward through the whole show.” – Chris Hamrick talking about how he watches TNA and WWE presently

 

 

Monday Night Raw 10-17-11 from Mexico City , Mexico

The first Raw from Mexico- this is a big deal- you want to make a good first impression – get the crowd happy.

 INSTEAD Johnny Ace addresses the crowd, a guy with negative charisma is your first impression.  Ace taunts the crowd by teasing that Rey Mysterio,Jr. will be there- but of course he won’t be. Ace admits he made a mistake by firing good ole JR and asks Ross to join him in the ring.  After an awkward hug in the ring, Johnny tells JR he will be teaming up with John Cena to take on Michael Cole and Alberto Del Rio in the main event for the show.

 Next up is a 6 man tag team match with Orton , Sheamus and Morrison taking on Cody Rhodes, Mark Henry and Christian. Yet again John Morrison manages to get pinned, this time by the World’s Strongest Champion Mark Henry after the other 4 contestants take their respective fights backstage.

 Once again they show another package highlighting Brodus Clay- an effective monster heel package where he exclaims introductions are not needed – with his opponents.

 Backstage the Bellas butter up interim GM Johnny Ace and kiss him. After they leave Alberto Del Rio and Roberto Rodriguez complain about the main event. Johnny Ace tells them the winner of the main event gets to pick the stipulation for the title fight at Sunday’s PPV.

 Eve Torres actually received a pop from the Mexican crowd en route to her win via moonsault over Nattie.

The Miz and R-Truth belittle CM Punk before Punk’s match with Miz. HHH comes out to be Punk’s second. Midway thru the match Johnny Ace tells HHH there problems with his immigration status and he needs to leave the arena ASAP.

   CM Punk beats the Miz . After the match Awesome Truth take liberties with the abandoned straight edge superstar.

  Alberto Del Rio enters the arena in an Aston Martin. Alberto Del Rio is very over with the Mexican crowd, funny thing since he is from Mexico. He manages to get a fair amount of offense. The tag bout ends when JR applies an ankle lock to Michael Cole after Cole had taken an attitude adjustment

   John Cena announces his stipulation by throwing around the hometown boy and then counting. Cena wants a last man standing match for Sunday’s PPV. So the last image of a Mexican grappler in Mexico- is him laying on the ground as John Cena poses for the camera.

  This was a very frustrating episode of Raw- instead of being something special- it felt very run of the mill and like a missed opportunity. This was another skippable episode of Monday Night Raw. Too bad since the sold out crowd really had good energy and seemed to be hugely into the champion Alberto Del Rio.

 

 

Bloodstained Memoirs is released on DVD thru Amazon UK

 

 

Tuesday October 18, 2011

Condensate by the Original 7ven (The Band Formerly Known as the Time) is released on CD. Nothing spectacular- but tight as all get out and with some funky  tunes I will be happy to hear again like “Strawberry Lake” and “Toast to The Party Girl”.

 

Steel Panther released their sophomore offering Balls Out. Glam metal parody fun rock- destined to offend and that is their stock in trade- think WWE during the Attitude era with guitars.

 

Jim Ross noted on twitter that former WWE employee and NWA wrestler Jerry Brisco suffered a minor stroke.

 

 

Wednesday October 19, 2011

Scott Hall is featured on ESPN’s E:60 a sports news show. They show footage from his disastrous indie appearance in April of 2011, talk about his shooting of another man outside of a strip club in the 80s , and more. They interview Stephanie McMahon, Mike Mooneyham, X-Pac, Kevin Nash, Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan and others discussing the demons that Hall is facing. The piece felt very over produced – but I guess that is modern way to tell a very dramatic story is with mood lighting and other effects- just made it feel too Hollywood and not realistic- although most wrestling fans know the bottom-line – Hall’s trials and tribulations are too real and too tragic.
 
 

 

Red State by Kevin Smith is on Netflix streaming, after some horndog sex talk at the beginning of the movie, it turns into a grim weird cult hostage movie. Interesting and a departure for the director best known for movies like Clerks and Mallrats. Red State also features a solid cast including Oscar winner Melissa Leo, John Goodman and Anna Gunn.

 

WWE has decided to not renew the contract for WWE Spanish announcer Hugo Savinovich. He had been with the company since 1997.

 

 

Thursday October 20, 2011

Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi is dead. Spontaneous celebrations have erupted in the streets of the country that he ruled for several decades. Gruesome footage surfaces of a bloodied Gadhafi being punched and taunted by a mob of rebel fighters- I guess this is our generations Mussolini Headkick.

 

Former WWE wrestler Gangrel posted on Twitter that he was involved in a motorcycle incident and is a little banged up- but he is fine overall.

 

One day after being featured on ESPN Scott Hall turned 53.

 

Gail Kim returned to TNA after eliminating herself from a Divas Battle Royal on WWE Raw on August 1rst.

 

The NFL turkey day game is sullied by Ndamukong Suh utilizing one of the Packers as a stool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impact Wrestling

 

Ok talking matters. I admit to zoning out – but from my count – there was only one short match during the first hour of Impact tonight. Tara and Miss AssMacher beat Winter and Angelina.

Ok seriously – freaking 40 minutes of promos- does anyone speak in soundbites anymore- can’t we summarize – bulletpoints please.

And the pumped in crowd noise is seriously annoying at this point and ridiculously overloud.

Hey at least the Pope gets TV time during the Direct Auto Insurance ad.

I actually like the Karen Jarrett theme – it mixes the screeching guitar riff from JJ’s theme with the drum beat from “Rag Doll” by Aerosmith. The bad part is she came out to talk on Impact- so much verbal garbage tonight and so little wrestling.

Gail Kim returned to Impact to attack Velvet Sky and be a part of the bad girl clique with Karen Jarrett and Madison Rayne.

 Eric Bischoff confronts his son Jackson James- Garrett Bischoff. So we get the McMahon or HHH hogging up time in WWE and in TNA we get this 2 generation confrontation- NO THANX.

 Thanx to internet spoilers I know that James Storm will defeat Kurt Angle for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. The one guy who is really jumping up and down in the front row has a laminate and had his sign torn up by Jeff Jarrett early in the program.

I don’t mind Storm winning- but it just seems damned odd after spending the whole summer to get the audience into Bobby Roode only to have him loose at Bound For Glory.

 

On the other hand my 360 pal Twister was very excited “Who knew that James Storm was going to be champion, this is why I like watching TNA more than WWE.” He seemed excited with the title switch and had several ideas for what will happen next with Beer Money and the Cowboy champion.

 

The Texas Rangers made a comeback in game 2 to tie up the World Series 1-1.

Apparently Albert Pujols is catching heat for skipping out on the post-game press grilling. I don’t blame him. I want to know when and why the post-game stuff became mandatory for athletes- sure some glory-hounds will always be there. But the other guys who simply want to play and then shower and go home – have to sit there and be either boring or figure out when to put in the right faux pas. An NFL player got fined for removing his microphone during a game- it was uncomfortable and distracting him. Ok I imagine it is in their contracts now- but I would be fine not hearing every syllable a player makes in an NFL game or watching the press trying to extract their verbal pound of flesh after every loosing game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday October 21 , 2011

New Orleans Saints Center Ollie Kreutz left the team citing lack of passion for the game.

 

Tyson Tomko has entered WWE sponsored rehab.

 

WWE Smackdown from Mexico

The most entertaining show of the week was highlighted by an excellent mask versus mask match featuring Sin Cara Azul versus Sin Cara Negra. Sin Cara Azul was CMLL superstar Mistico before he signed with the WWE this year. His time in WWE has been spotty at best- but with a cool gimmick and fun moves he has been a top merchandise seller for the company. Between subpar matches with Chavo Guerrero on PPV and being suspended for a Wellness policy violation his tenure with the WWE has been a rollercoaster. WWE bought in an old rival from Mexico to fill in for him while he was suspended. Booker T noticed the difference and commented on the extra muscle mass for Sin Cara. After awhile it was revealed that 2 Sin Caras were running around and the new guy started wearing the garb in black. They had a subpar match at the recent WWE PPV. But this match in Mexico with the crowd chanting Mistico and booing the bad guy was superb on all accounts- giving enough time to really engage the crowd- this was probably the best Smackdown match I have seen in months. And with tangible steaks – a luchadore mask- this mid-card match was an excellent choice for the semi-main event of the evening. A solid back and forth match that featured both highflying spots and submission maneuvers – the crowd was engaged the whole way through and so was I. Sin Cara Azul won the match with the La Mistica his finishing hold from Mexico. Following the stips of the match Sin Cara Negra was supposed to unmask- since he did not do so voluntarily- Sin Cara Azul had to detain him and unmask him.

  Homeslice Alberto Del Rio was also very over with the Mexican crowd as he drove into the arena in a 2011 Mercedes Benz. He took on the Big Show in a match that ended with a DQ when Alberto’s personal announcer Ricky Ricardo attacked the Big Show. After the match the Big Show waylayed Del Rio, Ricardo and Mark Henry with one punch each- with that type of stopping power- why does he not just punch his opponent at the opening bell.

 


 

 

Saturday October 22, 2011

 

Once again another solid hour was provided by Ring of Honor. The show kicked off with the television debut of T.J. Perkins as he defeated Mike Mondo with a La Mahistrol cradle in a good match. In between the 2 matches ROH made judicious of their time continuing to work in more information about their group of grapplers. I love the talk of team Richards. World Champion Davey Richards details his group of training partners and how he is using different disciplines of fighting to stay competitive. It reminds me of MMA training and boxing training camps. In the main event of the show TV champion Jay Lethal battled Mike Bennett to a time limit draw. Lethal asked for 5 additional minutes to wrap up business- but Bennett walked out – this led to Nigel McGuiness proclaiming Bennett may be a bit of a “Nancy”.

  Meanwhile on MTV 2 Masked Warriors :Lucha Libre USA Rudismo captured the tag straps in a fun trios match after a couple of masked mystery men interfered in the proceedings.
 
 
 

 

There is always a fear of going native, embedded spies and narcs and soldiers that get too close to the enemy and then want to help the bad guys. Wrestlers and promoters aren’t bad guys – but they are the subject of this book. I inserted myself into the local wrestling scene in April of this year- local workers know me and talk to me either at shows or on facebook or whatnot. I want them to succeed and without cheerleading or blinders- there are talented folks on the local scene. But there is such a huge disconnect between the indie scene and WWE. Tonight I went to SPW Crossroads. When I pulled up the venue – the parking lot under the venue was full and the lot across the street was almost full when I arrived. Then when I got to the actual arena I realized that the Admirals(local AAA hockey) were playing in the main part of Scope while the wrestling event was in the exhibition hall of Scope, so the traffic jam was not due to local wrestling but instead hockey. The crowd was ok-of course I did not have a financial stake in the evening- but not as many for the event held by the promotion in May-this is a visual and memory estimate only. I do think the no-shows from the last event hurt this event. SPW Crossroads was a solid event highlighted by a good back and forth match between ROH Television champion Jay Lethal and his friend from TNA Sonjay Dutt. Jay Lethal picked up the win.

Other highlights included a 25 man Battle Royal won by Shorty Smalls and Ray Storm and Phil Brown retaining the tag straps.  The main event of the evening was a 3 way dance between Mark Anthony, Ryan Nuzzi and SPW champion Curtis Mack. Mark Anthony won the belt after long time referee Bobby Cruz turned heel and caned Curtis Mack and another referee to assist long time villain “Dustman” Mark Anthony in his quest to regain the gold.
 
 
 

  Ok – if you know any of the names in the last paragraph and you are not related to these folks – raise your hands. I am not trying to be mean spirited- but it is the reality that indie wrestling faces. Folks weaned on the WWE star machine want larger than life stars- regardless of the sick reality of how some folks got to be larger than life and the toll it will extract on the juiceheads down the road. They also equate production value with good wrestling or complain that ROH looks subpar- while ROH is consistently providing the best athletic sports competition on TV in the US right now. Wrestling is entertainment- so are all sports. We tell ourselves differently- but wait until you sit next to some guy who painted himself the home team colors and is sitting shirtless in the cold during a gridiron contest and tell me how that is different than a fan holding up signs at Raw. Every wrestling fan is convinced they know the answer to turn wrestling around- what is wrong and how to fix it. The same goes for most indie promoters and they try their damndest – but it is a rough world out there- they are competing with a variety of entertainment – from videogames to movies on demand to the World Series to twitter, etc. Folks have less free time –unless they one of the millions and millions that are unemployed. So they have to justify either the use of time or the spending of money. If they have been burned by no-shows at indies or worse bad shows at indies- the consumer gets gunshy- so as an indie promoter you have to work 10 times as hard to get that one customer.

 

After ignoring the media after a 9th inning error slugger Albert Pujols hit 3 home runs and knocked in 6 runs while leading the Cardinals to a 16-7 win in game 3 of the World Series.

 

Sunday October 23, 2011

Ankara, Turkey was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. Over 45 buildings have collapsed and early estimates put the death toll between 500 and 1000. Sobering news to start the day.

 

WWE Vengeance PPV

Emanating from San Antonio Texas this lackluster PPV was something I barely watched. Yes I left the house and went to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch it- but in the end I spent as much time talking to friends as glued to the action. Sure it was neat when they repeated the ring implosion spot from Smackdown with Brock and Big Show – this time with Mark Henry and Big Show. The World Title match ended up a no contest since both men were out for awhile and Big Show had to be wheeled out.

This left a main event in a capsized ring. It was interesting seeing John Cena and Alberto Del Rio tussle in lopsided ring with half stable ropes.  John Cena debuted a new shirt for the event embroidered with the slogan Rise Above Hate- less colorful than his usual rainbow of shirts and for the second shirt debut in a row –Cena lost the match. John Cena debuted a shirt that reminded me of the Confederate flag at Wrestlemania this year- he lost that match also. They eventually brawled backstage and took turns throwing each other into furniture and whatnot. After some ringside spots and an announcer table bump Miz and R-Truth came out to help Del Rio win- that was not enough kryptonite to stop Cena and his new t-shirt- so eventually Del Rio clobbered Cena with the belt and got the win. When I say eventually- I mean a bunch of stuff happened – but my notes are always illegible- by the main event – the bar was a ghost town- basically the spot of the night was the collapse of the ring. In undercard action Kevin Nash attacked HHH and powerbombed Triple H awkwardly during the Punk/HHH match against the Awesome Truth.

 

The PPV ended up garnering 130,000 buys reported to be the second worst WWE buy-rate in history. The worst is still the godawful December to Dismember PPV under the banner of the ECW

 

 

Monday October 24, 2011

 

Raw kicks off with Nash attacking HHH with a sledgehammer. Then he attacked HHH again as he was about to be put on an ambulance.

 

Raw ends with John Cena spitting a big glob onto the microphone as he proclaims his love for the Rock. I mean he wants the Rock to be his tag team partner at Survivor Series, which is awesome since they are best buds and often go to the spa together. Strike that- they have been feuding all year through social media and The Rock cost Cena his match at Mania. I loathe the notion of enemies being tag partners.

 

In between these 2 storylines, Michael Cole posted some embarrassing doctored pictures of Jim Ross and some decent wrestling took place. Raw scored a decent rating considering it was up against a football game and the World Series.

 

Michael Buble releases his Christmas album which would end up being the top selling album of the year.

 

 

Tuesday October 25, 2011

ESPN debuts the short film The Real Rocky showing the similarities between the life of Chuck Wepner and Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky movie franchise. It is a good short film and includes footage from the Andre the Giant match against Wepner, Victor the wrestling bear and quotes from Vince McMahon, Jr. Amazing watching life imitate art or vice versa- because segments of the Wepner and Andre match are recreated in Rocky III for his charity confrontation with Thunder Lips(portrayed by Hulk Hogan). As a wrestling fan, boxing fan or even as a human interest story this is a compelling short film and worth seeking out. In the end Wepner and Stallone settled out of court.

 

 

Ironically Stallone is also in the news for being sued for the derivative movie the Expendables for being very similar to a script by someone else.

 

WWE released a 3 disc set covering the rivalry between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels.

Disc one is a sitdown interview conducted by Hall of Fame Announcer Jim Ross.

In between footage and clips showing their respective careers both men discuss their ascendancy in the business, their friendly competition and respect and how they worked each other into a shoot. They discuss the differences and perceived lack of respect between each other. They discuss the infamous Montreal Screwjob. They discuss their eventual reconciliation and more. Given over 2 hours this is an excellent look at one of the biggest rivalries in the pro wrestling industry.

Disc 2 is a good collection of early matches between Bret and Shawn and even includes a match from Tokyo with Japanese commentary.

Disc 3 includes the Hall of Fame inductions for both grapplers, their hour plus match at Mania and Bret’s return to WWE in 2010.

The glaring omission from the DVD set is the infamous match from Survivor Series 1997, sure it is on other discs and has been seen over and over- but given the context of the main interview on disc one it is a shame that this match is only on the Blu-Ray release. This is yet another unsubtle hint that the DVD format is the past.  A-

A good supplement to this disc is Got Heat from RF video it has a 26 minute segment dedicated to the Montreal screwjob and has clips from HBK and the Hitman along with the Anvil and Earl Hebner talking about the screwjob. HBK and Hitman are a little less diplomatic in the unofficial version.

 

60’s grappler Doug Adkins passed away at the age of 69.

 

Wednesday October 26, 2011

 

Nick Dinsmore (A/k/a U-Gene) defeated Jason Wayne to win his 9th OVW championship.

 

Second generation grappler Barry Windham suffered a heart attack and is in ICU.

 

Former member of WWE creative and stand-up comic Patrice O’Neil suffered a stroke Tuesday night.

 

Spoilers ruin another week- I already know that Bobby Roode will win the TNA championship on the November 3rd airing of Impact.

 

Thursday October 27, 2011

 

Impact wrestling started off strong with a nice video package making a case for Cowboy James Storm being their new champion. Christopher Daniels lost to Bob Van Damme after he hit RVD with a toolbox- this led to AJ Styles running Daniels off. Gail Kim cut a whiny heel promo and aligned herself with Karen Jarrett- she then proceeded to have a good debut by streamrolling past Tag Team champion Tara in her first match back with TNA. Jeff Hardy managed to survive a pre-match attack by JJ and then a match with Bully Ray to win his first contest with TNA in 7 months, his first wrestling match since he lost in less than 90 seconds to Sting at a PPV. The main event of the evening was a solid number one contender’s match between Samoa Joe and Bobby Roode. Bobby Roode won the match clean with a fisherman’s suplex. While it would have been neat to end the show with wrestling instead we got the Bischoff family soap opera. Eric Bischoff commanded his first born to enter the ring and apologize. Garrett Bischoff refused to apologize and this eventually led to Ric Flair and Eric Bischoff beating down the former ref as the logo and datestamp rolled across the screen.

 

Beavis and Butthead made their return to MTV – the last time they were on television Bill Clinton was the president. Their return episode had them lampooning Jersey Shore and MGMT along with a porn addict. Simplistic but fun- I have always enjoyed their style. Creator Mike Judge also created King of the Hill and directed Office Space and Idiocracy.

 

 

 

The St. Louis Cardinals extend the World Series to game 7 by rallying to beat the Texas Rangers 10-9 in the bottom of the 11th inning of game 6.

 

 

Veteran grappler Killer Karl Kox suffered a massive heart attack.

 

Redbox sent out an email announcing a price increase. So first Netflix now Redbox- it costs more to see movies at home now.

 

VCW announced today that Roddy Piper will be at this year’s Lutz Cup in Hampton on December 3rd,2011.

 

Friday October 28,2011

GAME 7 of the World Series- sure I will watch Smackdown on the DVr- but honestly a game 7 is something I can’t miss. In retrospect I wish I had skipped it and watched on Sportscenter. Sure everyone talked about how great game 6 was- but honestly I missed the extra innings and only got the recaps second hand. I went over to a friend’s house in Portsmouth and we watched all 9 innings- I guess if I had really cared for either team I would have enjoyed it more. I wanted the Rangers to win since they had never won the championship but the Cardinals won 6-2 at home.

 

WWE Smackdown

A superb Friday night program and more entertaining than the World Series finale- of course I skipped the commercials and the Monday night recaps- so it was easier to watch. The highlight of the night was an excellent match between Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler with Cody Rhodes joining Cole, Booker and Josh on commentary. The in-ring action was spot-on and augmented perfectly by the commentary. It was one of those moments that WWE managed to present everything perfectly. That is what is so frustrating- they have the talent –especially in ring. But when they switch prestigious titles the way Lady Gaga picks out stage gear there is a problem. Sure the title change gets a pop- the crowd eats it up- but at what cost. Sometimes you have to build new people- why diminish Alberto Del Rio by taking a title off of him only to give it back to him less than a month later. I digress. This match featured 2 of the most respected in-ring workers in the industry and while I do get tired of Orton’s schtick – the audience loves it and that is what is important. Orton is predictable- the crowd spoons it up with glee – waiting for the clotheslines into the bodyslam into the mid-rope DDT into the RKO- they just love it- I would be bored of it- but I like the energy of the crowd it is an acceptable tradeoff. Orton wins the match btw- with an RKO.

Smackdown also featured a solid match between HBK pupil Daniel Bryan and the last person trained in the Hart Dungeon Tyson Kidd. The match is sparked up after the wrestlers in the back watch a commercial for the superb Rivalries DVD featuring HBK and Hitman Hart. They take it to the ring and deliver a solid match with Bryan picking up the win via submission and the Labelle lock. Big Show and Mark Henry have a heated discussion about who gets to go to the buffet line first-ok that is wrong not like I am not overweight- but the 2 big men discuss their ring imploding match from Vengeance and discuss the possibility of a rematch. Big Show wants to fight right now- but Henry leaves the ring while taunting Big Show with the championship belt. Hunico cuts an aggressive promo after being unmasked in Mexico and vows revenge on Sin Cara. CM Punk wins the main event of the evening with the GTS and pinfall over Christian.

 

WWE released 2 time Divas champion Maryse today.

 

Former Disney actress and TMZ sensation Lindsey Lohan will be appearing in Playboy she will receive 800,000.

 

 

Saturday October 29, 2011

Lucha Libre: Masked Warriors USA announced this morning on Facebook that they will be going on hiatus and will not be on mTV2, but they will air a match between Shane Helms and Lizmark, Jr. on the internet. I was not in love with their product- but it was starting to finally find a groove and they had some good talent on the roster. I will not miss this promotion but it is always a shame to see an opportunity for the workers go away.

 

Ring of Honor delivered another fine hour of wrestling with superb athleticism and they continue to use vignettes and interviews to help build their characters. Dem Boys from South Fork Delaware The Briscoe Brothers defeated the All-Night Express in the main event of the program to earn a championship match against the World’s Greatest Tag Team.

 

The Huffington Post posted an article about classic Mexican film luchadores and their antagonists as part of their Halloween coverage.

 

British performer Jimmy Savile passed away at the age of 84.

 

The Eastern seaboard was hit by a Noreaster and that led to an early snowfall and over 2 million people loosing power.

 

Sunday October 30, 2011

NO PPV today- I am fine with that- totally fine with that. I ended up watching the Redskins get trounced by the Buffalo Bills in their first international game, another compelling episode of The Walking Dead and another middling final season episode of Desperate Housewives. Desperate Housewives has been saved by Miguel Farrar cameos as a bitter art teacher.

 

Wrestler John Allen’s wife of 25 years passed away from cancer.

 

Kim Kardashian is divorcing her NBA hubby- and I was just getting around to sending them their wedding card – oh well.

 

 
Monday October 31

Monday night Raw kicks off with a pre-taped interview with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson answering John Cena’s plea to tag with him at Survivor Series in MSG against the Awesome Truth. Rock eventually states he will be at Survivor Series- although posters have confirmed as much previously.

 Up next is short match between CM Punk and Mark Henry. CM Punk needs to win this match to get his title shot against Alberto Del Rio.Before the match starts they show footage of the ring implosion from the Vengeance PPV. This was one reason that I would have contemplated buying the DVD- but now I got the best moment of the night for free. Mark Henry wins the match with CM Punk by DQ. Punk got DQed when Ricardo Rodriguez hit Mark Henry with a shoe.

The Muppets are tonight’s special hosts of Monday Night Raw. I did not really grow up a Muppets fan but I understand they are cultural icons and they provided some humor throughout the evening. Their first segment on Raw features Miss Piggy bumping chests with Vikki Guerrero. Other segments include drummer Animal ringing the bell and Beeker and Sheamus conversing about a family reunion.

 I did not mind the Muppets on the show- it was a fun diversion. Was it blood and guts grappling of ye olden times- no- it was a pop culture put-on for fun.

 

“Wrestling is still wrestling no matter what Vince McMahon and his stooges want to call it!” – Smith Hart

 

I had a few trick or treaters I gave out a generic assortment of candy to the costumed youth. One boy had this weird smile and seemed to be frozen in place after I placed his allotment of candy into his bag. It took his grandmother to tell him to get his candy and get out of the way for him to finally move.

 

The number one movie is Puss N Boots a spinoff from the successful Shrek series.

 

 

 

 

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