Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wrestling Six Packs: Best Entrances Currently/From the Last Year

Triple H with his Viking retainers behind him
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Entrances are standard for every wrestler, but some are more memorable than others. Here are six for current wrestlers or one-off entrances from the last year that are pretty impactful. Note, The Undertaker is not listed here because there's only so many times I can see him hobble to the ring with the lights out. It was impressive in 1996. It was nostalgic in 2005. Now? It's tired to me.

1. Triple H from WrestleMania XXVII

My issues with Triple H are well-documented, but even I can't hate on his big entrance at WrestleMania this past year. Just the visual of all the Viking soldiers coming out, huddling their shields in defensive formation, and then Trips in his destroyer get up... yeah it was pretty awesome to look at.

2. Eddie Kingston

As ostentatious and gaudy as Trips' entrance was is how stark and simple Kingston's is. But it fits him to a tee. Every time I hear the opening flourish going into the gunshot, I get goosebumps. Then you get the War King coming out with his bandana over his face to the hip-hop tinged version of Ennio Morricone's "The Ecstasy of Gold", and it just works.

3. Cody Rhodes

As great and fitting as his "Dashing" entrance was, coming out to the bold but cheesy '80s arena rock and looking into the digital mirror, I think his "GROTESQUE" entrance is better. It's just his character drawn out and put on display, from the hood-up jacket, the newspaper headline Titantron and the guys following him with paper bags to the sour demeanor on his face. Just perfection for his embittered, almost Phantom of the Opera-like character.

4. Alberto del Rio

They captured the opulence of del Rio's character in his approach to the ring. The fine cars, the bombastic pyro, the regal-sounding mariachi music. Plus, it's his mannerisms that make the entrance pop. He's got the scarf around his neck and he's celebrating himself, like, "Hey, look at me! Look at how suave I am!", delicately treading the line, staying on the side opposite of self-parody.

5. Archibald Peck

If you haven't seen Archie's entrance yet, well, you will. Basically, he comes out to a marching band rendition of a Journey song (I forget which one at the moment) and marches to the ring with his valet, Vanessa, in full geeked-out splendor. He gets so into it that you can't help but cheer the guy for it, no matter how dickish he acts after his entrance. It's so gaudy, it's so corny, but it's so awesome.

6. The Miz at WrestleMania XXVII

Was the inflatable AWESOME cheesy? Sure, but who said that wrestling and cheesy didn't go together? That, coupled with the video package set to "Hate Me Now" before and Miz rushing out with the WWE Championship, steely in gaze, with Alex Riley giving him the pep talk of a lifetime on his way out to closing his first of what will most likely be many WrestleManias, was sadly one of the best parts of a disappointing main event.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Sabin Out

Via WrestleChat.Net

Chris Sabin will miss the remainder of 2011 with a torn ACL and MCL. The injury was suffered in a match against Anarquia, when the Mexican wrestler was out of position on a Sabin springboard clothesline. On one hand, shit happens, and yeah, it was probably an accident. On the other hand, shit like this always happens in TNA, and I can't help but going back to the story I read on Cageside Seats about Dutch Mantell telling his tag team partner Alex Shelley not to work European to do more SPOTZ~! Ugh.

The timing for this sucks even worse since his aforementioned tag partner just got back from a broken clavicle. The Guns just can't catch a break.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Averno Denying Signing with WWE; Probably Just a Ploy by CMLL to Save Face

Via LuchaBlog

Rebuking reports that he has signed with WWE, Averno has taken to the press to say that he hasn't even tried out with WWE and will be focused on winning the Juicio Tournament Final. TheCubsFan seems to indicate via the tone of his post that this is a smokescreen by CMLL to keep the event from tanking due to a foregone conclusion in the final. At this point, given how little I know about the Mexican scene, I'll concede to TCF's implications here.

Just another example of how chaotic it can be to report the wrestling news. I'll keep tabs on this and see if anything else comes up.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Quick Hits: On Stranger Quick Hits



- After RAW went off the air last night, the RAW GM announced that R-Truth, by virtue of his count out victory over John Cena, deserves another match with Cena for the title at Capitol Punishment under one condition - he has to apologize on the air next week for his "abhorrent behavior" (and given they show two replays of him throwing soda in the "fan's" face after, that's what they're referring to). That should be amusing to say the least.

- ROH has announced when that Eddie Edwards/Davey Richards World Championship match will take place June 26th at their iPPV event The Best in the World, to be held at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. This will be the same event Jay Lethal makes his ROH return at, as well as promised title defenses from both the World's Greatest Tag Team as well as Christopher Daniels. My early feeling is that Edwards wins here to set up Davey chasing a "final" opportunity for the belt to cash in at Final Battle. But that's just me.

- WWE announced today that they're changing the name of their video game franchise from Smackdown vs. RAW to just WWE '(year), starting with WWE '12. You can see the trailer here.

- There was a big deal made of TNA cracking down on cell phone usage in the Impact Zone and spoiler reports, to the point where a correspondent from PW Insider (LOL) was thrown out of the building. In what can only be surmised as a big FUCK YOU to Universal Studios (since they're more the ones who are pushing this rather than TNA itself), F4W Online has spoilers for the next episode of Impact. I've been hard on Alvarez and Co. lately, but this is pretty awesome. Also, I don't usually like posting spoilers without extensive care to hide them, but at the same time? This just goes to show that no matter how hard you try, you're not going to totally prevent the leakage of pre-taped shows. Not at all.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Stop Undermining Titles

Kofi Kingston jobbing to Dolph Ziggler last night was the latest in WWE's offenses against titleholders
Photo Credit: WWE.com
In this past week's episode of Game of Thrones (I'm totally obsessed, I know), Tywin Lannister was having a stern talk with his son, Jaime, about the family legacy and why he was so concerned with things he shouldn't be concerned with. Anyway, the conversation steers towards why Tywin was so concerned about his impish son being held prisoner by another family. I'm paraphrasing here, because I can't find the exact quote anywhere online right now.
Soon, I'll be dead, so will you, so will everyone, but the family name? The legacy? That's what lives on, that's what needs to stay strong.
It's an a propos quote, but what does it have to do with wrestling, since it's clearly not Thursday and I wrote about GoT last week? Well, all you have to do is substitute wrestler names for the Lannisters referenced and "Championship Belts" for family name and you've got something that sticks in my craw. You know from 2+ years of reading The Wrestling Blog that I've always hated when Champions get booked poorly. I even wrote rules for that sort of thing back over a year ago.

Granted, a lot has changed with my outlook on wrestling since then, and I've softened on a lot of my "hardcore smark" points of view. However, one that I didn't go limp on, and one that I'll probably never turn tail on likely, is that Championship belts, and in turn Champions, should be kept strong and should mean something. I've come to understand that the most important thing in pro wrestling is to tell a coherent and entertaining story, wins, losses and the like be damned. However, the Championship belt? Yeah, that is the best storytelling device in all of wrestling. Seriously, they provide easy storylines, ones that can be modified or have devices added to them to enhance them. They also are pretty much the biggest piece of the "sports" side of the proceedings. They're pretty much the thing that preserves kayfabe (even in an era where it's broken repeatedly) and they're the most commonsense thing that binds a wrestler to a wrestling company.

With all that in mind, that's what makes it so maddening that Kofi Kingston drops matches like he's a 1990 Superstars jobber, or when Jack Swagger or anyone else holding the World/WWE Championship loses in a non-title match without all that good a reason other than "that's how we booked it". When a Champion loses a match willy-nilly, then it takes the specialness out of the decision when he finally drops the title. Who cares about the title if the guy holding it loses all the time? Like Tywin said in the paraphrase above, just as the Lannister name is longer-lasting than any person wielding it, the same is true for Championship titles.

Yes, there are wrestlers who are or become bigger than Championships they hold. However, in most cases, the title belt should be something that, because it's bigger and more long-lasting, that can help enhance the guy holding it, and thus enhance the story being told through him and the guy or guys with whom he's feuding. It's not rocket science.

To continue to make Kingston drop matches with the title not on the line or to keep making matches where a guy gets a shot at a Champion by beating him in a non-title match is so short-sighted and it takes a viable story off the table. There are plenty of other ways to build up a title feud without throwing away the long lineage and potential power that a Championship belt brings to the table. WWE Creative, and really, all other wrestling companies too (I've seen this booking run rampant in TNA and creep up in other indie feds like NWA Hollywood), would be wise to be a bit smarter with their booking.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

The One Where TH and Jason Mann Lament the Slow Death of the Abdominal Stretch

Via Wrestlespective Radio

The latest edition of Wrestlespective Radio has dropped, and surprise surprise, it features me! Yep, Jason Mann and I talk about the main event to SummerSlam 1988, the Mega Bucks team of Andre the Giant and Ted DiBiase (seconded by Virgil and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan) taking on the Mega Powers of Hulk Hogan and yes, "Macho Man" Randy Savage (seconded by Miss Elizabeth). We break the match down, as well as veer off into side discussions like why heels don't do subtle illegal submissions anymore and how much Ted DiBiase, Jr. works like his father. It's good listen, so listen!

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Muscles Glasses: World Heavyweight Championship of Eating


Who's in that screen grab? That's Harley Morenstein on the left and Muscles Glasses on the right, notably of Epic Meal Time. I've focused these bad-ass mother[QUACK]ers on here before, and I'll do it again. Why? See what Muscles Glasses is holding? Yep, a replica of the World Heavyweight Championship belt. Because he's the World Champion of gorging, you see. This week's EMT is a massive breakfast sandwich that makes that monstrosity of a debacle known as the Burger King Enormous Omelet Sandwich look like a light snack of tofu and bean sprouts.

Anyway, I wouldn't mind seeing Muscles Glasses take on CM Punk on Punk's cheat night in an eating competition. I think it'd be must-see, what about you?

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Congratulations, Kharma!

Happy happy!
Photo Credit: WWE.com
My wife is currently five months pregnant with our first child, a son. It's a pretty overwhelming feeling, bringing life into this world, but it's a good feeling. So while I can't say I know exactly how Kharma felt last night in the ring, making her announcement to the world, I can say I'm married to someone who does. (Regardless of how equal a partnership men and women have, especially in raising a child, there's no doubt that during pregnancy, the women feel justifiably different because, y'know, they're the ones carrying the kid.)

I think anyone who'd dare to suggest this is a bad thing or something that's ill-timed is misinformed. There's never really a bad time to bring life into this world if you're a gainfully-employed adult. Given that Kharma is getting paid male wrestler money (reportedly) in the highest-profile wrestling company in the world, I'd think she's going to be okay. Given that the WWE gave her mic time not only to pour her heart out but to set up an angle for her return, I don't think they're too concerned about things.

Instead, let's join in wishing her good luck and a happy, healthy pregnancy and birth. Before we know it, she'll be back, stuffing the Bella Twins into lockers and doing everything we love about her in that squared circle.

Oh, and also, another reason why wrestling journalism sucks? The urge to get the scoop was probably impetus for Bryan Alvarez to post that note about Kharma being out for nine months last week, which pretty much kicked off rampant speculation, especially with the "nine months" time frame specifically. Don't tell me that it wasn't intentional either. I want to like Alvarez and Dave Meltzer, but at the same time, both guys do boneheaded shit that make me want to throw them in with the rest of the lot.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Gah, Miz, I Can Hear Your Shirt from Here!

GAWD
Photo Credit: WWE.com

Honestly, I'm not one to rag on a guy for wearing a "feminine" color. I have a pink shirt or two at home, I really do. However, I don't have one as LOUD as the one Miz is wearing. God bless him for his fashion choice, but that is the pinkest shirt I've ever seen a man who wasn't gay or a member of a fraternity wear. It was so loud, it drowned out the crowd.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Instant Feedback: Memorable Memorial Day

If you excuse the technical difficulties and the uncharacteristic clunkiness of the Ziggler/Kofi match, this might have been a pitch-perfect RAW. Just amazing how much of what they did right. I mean, I'm buying more and more of R-Truth as a clinically insane guy one felony away from Arkham Asylum each week, and John Cena this week was a perfect canvas to play off of. Seriously, the main event and overrun were amazing television. Imagine that, Cena gets outsmarted and bothered, and it's great TV. Hmm....

The thing with RAW is that whenever the wrestling is good, the show tends to be better. Let's ignore the US non-title match to start; again, everyone has an off-night, even Dolph Ziggler. The Divas are a non-starter anymore, so I won't even bitch about them here (Although I will later in the week). They gave us a good bit of good wrestling this week. Punk vs. Rey? Awesome. Bourne vs. Swagger? Awesome x 2. Cena vs. Truf? Okay although with a VERY clever finish.

But it wasn't just the wrestling that was good this week. They continued building Alex Riley to the point where I think they may have a burgeoning star on their hands with him. I mean, they are playing the right strings with him, very reminiscent of the Flair/Perfect/Heenan turn saga in 1992. They're actually building an honest-to-God wrestling feud sub-the main event with Evan Bourne and Jack Swagger. They had a match with a clean finish last week, extracurriculars afterwards and then a clean, traded upset win this week? And then the finish to the main event, with Truf doing perhaps the best thing he's ever done and ever will do in WWE, throwing the soda into the face of the fan he was taunting at the top of the show? Holy shit, so good.

But the capper was Kharma's segment. First off, warmest congratulations to Kia Stevens, the person, for her pregnancy. As an expecting father, it's the best feeling in the world to be bringing life into the world. Second, it was amazing they let Kharma, the character, go out there and cut a heartfelt promo. Did it ruin Kharma's mystique? Yeah, it might have. Would it have been better to have her cold-cock Michael Cole or do something else that would have elicited a suspension? Maybe. Were the obviously baiting bully comments by the Bellas over the top? Given that they were the heels in the situation, no. Was it stupid for Lawler to come to Kharma's defense when he was doing the same thing to Vickie Guerrero even earlier in the show? Definitely.

That being said, I thought the segment worked and it was way better than I had expected it to be. It also gives them an earnest babyface that connected with the crowd to bring back in the future. Just the cap on a RAW that was unusually awesome tonight.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Mavs=Boring. Heat=Exciting.

With the NBA finals gearing up to get started tomorrow a couple of observations must be made.  First off, the Heat are in the Finals, I must admit I'm not surprised and Vegas would agree with me on that. I did not expect to see Dallas in the finals this year and was very disappointed when they molly whopped my OKC Thunder.

You couldn't have two teams that are more different facing off in the finals.  You have the flashy, cocky, chauvinistic Heat against the steady, fundamental,  structured Mavericks.  I'm sure you can probably already tell by the adjectives I used to describe either team who I would rather watch play.  I am in no way shape or form cheering for the Heat, and although I consider LBJ to be the most explosive athlete on the planet, I do not adore him the way I did when he played in Cleveland.

Here is a visual example of either teams style, exhibited by Lebron's top 10 plays in 2011 and dirty Dirks:
I'm shocked Dirk can even dunk, 1, and 2, the last highlight he couldn't even catch the pass.
Lebron is the reason why I love to watch basketball.

I want to be entertained and the Heat bring that Hollywood flair to the court while the Mavericks with Dirk, J Kidd and Peja bring nothing but chest passes and jump shots.  I'm not knocking the Mavs, but if I wanted to watch their style of play I would just head to the local Y and watch a bunch of old dudes playing in a Mens league.  My pony is no longer in the race we call the NBA playoffs, so now all I want to watch the pony with the most flair.  Whether that pony wins or loses I'm impartial, as long as I'm dazzled on the way to the finish line.

Fair to Flair Quarterly on Sale Now!

Cover art: Leslie Lee III
Via Fair to Flair

Hey, you like reading The Wrestling Blog? And do you like magazines? And do you think that pro wrestling can be written about on a higher level of sophistication? And do you not mind paying for such content? WELL DO I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU!

The Fair to Flair Quarterly is ready for pre-sale. Now, what is the Quarterly? It's a magazine written by the Fair to Flair crew, including for this issue myself, Jason Mann and Razor, as well as a bunch of other talented contributors solicited by the FtF crew. Now, why is there a charge for this? Everything else on the Internet is free! Well, for one, it's a higher level of writing. It's less blog-quality (not that there's anything wrong WITH blog-quality, but yeah) and more "hey look, this is published" quality. Second, it's edited, like with a fine-tooth comb edited by K. Sawyer Paul. Third, well, if you choose to get it on real, honest-to-God paper, then that and the printing costs money.

Now, there are four different options you could go with. First is order the hard copy now or within the next two weeks for $20. Two, you could get it after two weeks for $25. So if you order it now, you'd get $5 off. Three, you could get a subscription, four episodes a year, for $90, which is a total of $10 off if you were to buy each issue piecemeal. Then, the final option is to get the digital copy for $10, which is a bargain, and it's greener! You can read it on your Kindle or your laptop or whatever other digital device you have, and you're saving trees!

So yeah, gobble this up. I previewed it, and it's got some really good articles. Plus one by me about Sean Waltman and King of Trios... but yeah, you knew I was going to write about Chikara in some capacity.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Can You Take the Bull by the Horns in WWE Nowadays?

Ryder's Youtubage is underrewarded
Zack Ryder is a self-made star, at least on the Internet he is. I doubt that anyone in WWE told him to go on Youtube and create Z! True Long Island Stories, but he did. He has gotten a cult following in the truest sense of the term. If you would believe Ultimate Warrior, Ryder was making his own way and should be on his way to bigger things. Back in the '80s, according to Warrior, via his Randy Savage tribute, they didn't have guys holding their hands, and everyone made their own way. I can believe that, because I believe the business was different back then, at least at the top levels of it.

So, did those changes eliminate the need for self-starters in the wrestling business? I have to think that's the case since Ryder rarely gets off Superstars and has such a low profile with the people who don't follow him in Youtube that he gets dismal reactions at house shows. But why? Ryder gets an organic reaction, which is something the WWE desperately needs. Instead of cultivating that into something the entire crowd at large can either appreciate or learn to hate as a heel, he maybe gets a token high five with John Cena on RAW and a match on the Internet show that barely anyone in the main audience watches anymore.

Of course, this could be a fallacious argument, because aside from Triple H and probably John Cena and CM Punk, it's really unknown how much input the rest of the roster has on their development and their angles. The overly scripted nature of promos nowadays would suggest that it's limited, and if guys came up with their own angles, would there be a need for the extensive writing staff WWE has? I don't know. Still, it feels like the show is just so controlled and inorganic at times that I wouldn't be surprised that the writers might not take kindly to someone doing their job for them, especially icky wrestlers.

So here we are, with the business fundamentally changed. Is it for the better? Given that we see shit like SuperCena, Randy Orton jizzing all over his competition and angles getting start-stopped all the time mixing in too much with the good stories the WWE tells, maybe it's not. All I know is that I do want to see more Zack Ryder. He steals the show on Superstars nearly every week and he's got charisma to spare as shown through his Youtube channel. Maybe initiative needs to be rewarded more often.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

This Week in DVR: Cobra Legs? Cobra Legs.

CROSSFACE CHICKEN WING!
Photo Credit: WWE.com
I watched what I couldn't live on my DVR and on the Internet. Here's what stood out:

Matches

SoCal Crazy vs. Freddy Bravo, Be a Star Television Tournament Qualifier, on NWA Hollywood - Fast-paced opener with a lot of really crisp moves. I really liked Crazy's running roll-up towards the beginning of the match. Bravo throwing a temper tantrum only getting a 2 count off his signature swinging cutter. Nice finish with La Mistica by Crazy.

Lucky Cannon and Tyson Kidd vs. Byron Saxton and Yoshi Tatsu on NXT - I thought this was a great morality play-cum-unintentional handicap match. Tatsu played the face in peril so well, and I liked the limb work from both heels. The chaos at the end was good from a storyline perspective. Entertaining faire.

Santino Marella vs. Zack Ryder on Superstars - This is what professional wrestling is all about. Okay, it's part of what wrestling should be all about, but man, what a fucking awesome match. The oneupsmanship at the beginning was more than amusing. Both guys worked the crowd like pros. I also loved the whole Cobra-to-the-legs spot, which was MADE by Ryder selling it like he pulled up lame. I kinda wished they had gotten a few more minutes, as the Cobra to end the match seemed a bit abrupt, but yeah, fantastic stuff.

Tyson Kidd vs. Trent Barretta on Superstars - Nice installment in their series of matches. I liked Armando Estrada's involvement too. Classic managerial interference. Anyway, a solid overall match, well-worth the Superstars main event slot.

Mickie James vs. Winter on Impact - A shining nugget in the sea of poop that was this week's Impact. I really don't like the whole Winter/Angelina zombie lesbian hypnosis angle, but hey, this match was good, a little stiff but well laid-out.

Cody Rhodes vs. Daniel Bryan on Smackdown - You knew this match was going to be here. Search your feelings, you know it to be true. Be that as it may, as unsurprising as it was that this was a standout match, it still should be expounded upon. This was a mostly strike-and-struggle based match, the kind of affair that Bryan excels at. I liked the surfboard attempt that Rhodes kept blocking. Rhodes landing his Beautiful Disaster kick right out of Bryan's Matrix-corner flip was really slick too. People might rag that Rhodes started tapping to the LeBell Lock way too soon, but I think it shows smart strategy by Rhodes. It allowed him to escape too much punishment so he could attack Bryan afterwards. Really good match.

Ezekiel Jackson vs. Heath Slater on Smackdown - A surprisingly solid match between two guys who are hit or miss for me. Slater bumped well, and what can I say, I like Zeke's bodyslam-palooza.

Sheamus vs. Mark Henry vs. Christian, Number One Contenders Match, on Smackdown - I thought this was a well-laid-out triple threat match by WWE standards. All three guys brought their working shoes, and the story developed nicely. I wonder if the finish of the match is going to play more into Christian's (unwanted) heel turn though, seeing as Orton RKOing Henry caused Lil' Naitch to hesitate just enough to allow Sheamus to kick out. Good stuff though.

Shows

NWA Hollywood - Solid week of television. Again, their recap of the Kaos/Willie Mack feud was top notch. Buggy wasn't even that offensive this week. Good stuff.

NXT - I'm this close from giving up on NXT again. Just dreadful, outside of seeing how the Maryse/Yoshi/Lucky/Saxton angle plays out. The only other thing that was worth watching, the Novak/Regal feud, died when Novak got eliminated. Maybe Season 6 will be better, but this right now feels reheated boring. Also, why was Chavo worried about waiting until the ref turned his back in the main event before he hit Titus O'Neil? It was a no-DQ match! Ugh.

Superstars - Three strong matches, and apparently, Tyson Kidd's managerial search will be an angle on this show for a few weeks. I guess we could do worse. The only way that might have improved the show is if Ryder and Santino got the main event slot with main event time. That being said, it's a minor quibble.

Impact - Impact opened with a match, an albeit boring one but a match, but on the surface it was different. Yeah, the next three segments undermined that. Wrestling matters, guys! I mean, I can't hate on the Disco Inferno/Ken Anderson segment enough. Seriously, let's have a segment with a guy who wasn't involved with Sting at all other than place of employment, use business exposing terms and have fake tension, ending with Disco blading... yep. The EY/Gunner and then ODB and Sky "let's call each other promiscuous bitches" segments afterwards were just as bad. But no, wrestling matters. Just a dreadful show.

Smackdown - Another solid episode. The opening segment followed a tired formula, but the participants, especially Sheamus here, made it work on an alright level. Although, if I were Christian, I'd be pretty pissed off at Teddy Long. He does the crowd applause thing to outright give Orton a title shot at him, but when he gets the same crowd response in the same test for a shot at Orton? Oops, #1 contenders match instead of outright title shot. Seriously, if anyone boos Christian for attacking Teddy Long if it finally happens, they should be kicked in the shins. Regardless of that nitpicky detail, I thought it was a good show. The wrestling was on point, and they got me interested in a full angle surrounding The Great Khali. That should deserve a Nobel Prize in some field... what would it be, literature? Peace? I say go with physics, since I thought it'd be physically impossible for me to care about a tall cripple with chest herpes.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Weekend Wrap-Up: Hey Now, You're an All-Star... Weekend

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Chuck Taylor, shown upside down here, injured this weekend
- The big story from this weekend obviously is PWG All-Star Weekend. The two day event was marked by major shuffles to the card on both days. I noted the first day shuffling, but the second day had to be rearranged as well due to Chuck Taylor suffering an injury in his match against Kenny King. Other than him missing Night Two, I don't know how serious it is, but obviously, I wish a very speedy recovery to the Kentucky Gentleman. I own his tee-shirt, for crying out loud.

Anyway, both Championship entities made it out of the weekend unscathed. Claudio Castagnoli successfully defended against Chris Hero on Night One thanks to a broken top rope into a European uppercut. Night Two, he defeated Low Ki. The Young Bucks defeated both the RockNES Monsters and the team of Austin Aries and Roderick Strong on consecutive nights. Night one was interesting for the tag teams as after their match with the Cutlers, Generation Next got sneak-attacked by the Bucks, eliciting Alex Shelley for the save. Shelley called out the Bucks and challenged them to a six-man tag with a partner of their choosing, completing the GenNext reunion as far as it'll go without bringing Jack Evans back into the American consciousness (and seriously, who wants that?) Shelley wasn't done challenging yet, as after jobbing to Eddie Edwards, he proposed a dream tag match between the American Wolves and the MCMGs. Alex Shelley, man of the people.

Night Two's other matches were rearranged by Taylor's aforementioned injury. Willie Mack went from wrestling Hero to Ricochet (Ricochet won), which freed Hero up to wrestle Akira Tozawa (!!) in what was said to be the match of the weekend. I can dig that. Also reported to be amazing was Edwards going over Generico. Sounds like PWG really delivered, but is that a surprise to anyone? Hopefully, TWB and PWG superfan Tom Ford was able to go to both shows so we can do a proper podcast with him about the weekend this week.

- In the "news item that isn't news at all" department, apparently Jay Leno not knowing about the connection between the Graziano family and Hulk Hogan is news enough to make the F4W site's daily update:


Again, it's rough when you have to rag on the best news site for wrestling out there, but at the same time, Alvarez deserves it. This, much like reporting that Evan Bourne was looking for UFC tickets, is NOT NEWS, GAWD.

- Apparently, some douchenozzle out there didn't like that John Cena wished all the troops out there a happy Memorial Day. It all started with this innocuous tweet from Cena:
CeNation. I know most have a long weekend this week. While you're having fun remember those who have kept this country free.
It got a profanity-laced response from a guy whose handle is @shmikemike. I'm not going to relay it on here, but I fully endorse replying to this waste of sperm and telling him what a dick he is. I mean, yeah, you don't have to like John Cena, and you also don't have to agree with everything our military has been used to do. Lord knows a huge chunk of I've disagreed with both George W. Bush and Barack Obama over the last 10 years has stemmed from use of the military. However, that's what politicians are doing. Unfortunately, the soldiers who signed up for this gig don't decide where we go and stick our noses in, and thus they go into conflicts, whether justified (Afghanistan) or personally unjustified (Iraq), and risk their lives for whatever reason. To me, they deserve our respect and our support with very little condition attached....

...sorry, I'll step off the soapbox. I just really have no patience for people with misdirected angst regarding the wars our country fights.

Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein - Please visit his site to view the plentiful amounts of pictures he's taken for DGUSA, ROH and other indie feds: Get Lost Photography

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

WWE Raids Mexico Again

Via the LuchaBlog

Averno, one of the hottest rudos in CMLL, signed with WWE, following in the footsteps of Mistico (Sin Cara) and Dos Caras, Jr. (Alberto del Rio). He apparently signed in secret and CMLL upper management doesn't know yet, which is lulz-inducing if you ask me. News like that makes TNA's management decisions look continuous and coordinated. Anyway, according to LuchaBlog, he'll be coming in unmasked, and also as a hand-picked opponent for Sin Cara. The WWE is reportedly unhappy with their investment and want more "agreeable" opponents for him. Cara, as Mistico, and Averno have a pretty intense history as in-ring rivals in Mexico.

Anyway, this is big news as the WWE continues to look south for talent. Of course, they'd be well-served to look in the American indies for seasoned talent too, but let's not get too ahead of ourselves here.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Don't get caught in a Silo.

Goodbye, Randy

As I close Macho Week, I'm still floored by the fact that Randy Savage is gone, especially floored that we never got the closure that other WWF/E legends got, some several times over to diminishing impact each time. I guess that's why this video is so a propos. It showed so much hope and promise that hey, maybe Macho was only going to be gone from the WWF for a couple of years and then come back. It was the nature of the business, right? Here we are 17 years later, and we'll never get that. Is it selfish of us to feel bad about it? Probably, given that a mother lost her son, a wife her husband and a brother his own brother. Still, it's natural.

Vince McMahon is an enigmatic figure that the best of psychologists and psychiatrists might have trouble cracking. For all his neuroses and quirks (and that's putting it mildly), at one time, he let his human side come through and let the world know, though his heartfelt-sounding words, that maybe the tyrant was a man after all. By all accounts, he considered Randy Savage a son at one time. Whatever happened to make that feeling go away may be something we'll never know, but there are at least vestiges there, as noted by his obituary for Savage in TIME Magazine. Here is the goodbye that McMahon gave to Savage the week after his final on-air appearance. Little did we know it'd be his final goodbye from WWF/E forever.



Rest in peace, Macho Man. You were, and forever will be, unforgettable. DIG IT.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Don't Mess with Elizabeth



This one was from the aftermath of Macho Man and Liz's wedding reception, where Jake Roberts showed up with a king cobra in a box as retribution for being snubbed from the bachelor party (yes, that was really an angle... I know, I know). All I gotta say is you don't mess with Liz.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Another Cageside Seats Expose: Taylor, Dixie and PWI as TNA's Propaganda Arm

"Resigned"... yeah, good one
Via Cageside Seats

S. Bruce is back again with another piece on TNA, this time talking about the "resignation" of Terry Taylor. It's an interesting read, as they all are. Basically, it confirms that Taylor was fired, the call came from Panda Energy, basically showing that Dixie's influence over the company is waning (Taylor was one of Dixie's closest confidants) and that Panda is getting fed up with the lack of worker safety concern. Taylor has been named in several lawsuits against TNA.

Also noted in the column? Yeah, turns out PW Insider, your favorite spyware-riddled site and mine, is the propaganda arm of TNA:
Why would some reporters be unwilling to reveal the full story? Well, readers should bare in mind that these reporters often have sources to appease in these company, one of which was heavily rumoured to be Taylor himself. There people are, obviously, out to paint the company in the best light possible. Indeed, I noted that when Daffney announced her lawsuit, few reporters said flat-out, "they didn't pay her bills", which was obviously they case. It was just worded as "there were issues brewing over how her injuries where being taken care of." Strange way of putting it. Why not just say they werne't [sic] paying her bills and that's why she was suing? When I noted my suspicions about certain writers, one TNA person insisted to me: "Yes..PWI are in the pockets of TNA. Taylor stooges information to people like Rob Feinstein and PWI all the time. Mike Johnson gets all his information from Jeremy Borash. They settle their little burns with people by passing information along. Eric Bischoff also passes information along...I can tell you, there's a great deal of information that never saw the light of day. The sheets only know what management want them to know." Want to why it took so long for the talent mistreatment issues to come out? Well, there's at least some of your answer.
Yep. So, keep that in mind the next time you want to believe something about TNA when it comes from PWI.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Future Endeavors 5/27 Power Poll: Punk Rulz Guys

1-2 in the polls, but where would they be on my ballot?
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Welcome to yet another edition of the Future Endeavors Power Poll, a poll ranking wrestlers on a weekly basis based on how awesomely they performed or were portrayed on a Tuesday-to-Monday cycle. It is voted by a who's-who of wrestling bloggers, including my blogging Bro-Magnon Man, PizzaBodySlam. I will list the top ten, and then post and comment on my ballot. Here goes:

1. Randy Orton (Last week: 3)
2. Christian (4)
3. Alex Riley (NR)
4. R-Truth (5)
5. Rey Mysterio (NR)
6. John Cena (2)
7. CM Punk (9)
8. Sheamus (NR)
9. Sin Cara (6)
10. Ezekiel Jackson (NR)

And now, my ballot:

1. CM Punk - If just for his RAW performance, paying tribute to Randy Savage and trolling the shit out of Bret Hart in the main event tag match, Punk deserves to get all ten votes on my poll. Alas, I don't think Don would appreciate it that much. Anyway, a true money performer who showed what he could do when given a big stage.

2. Alex Riley - HE's a star, at least for this week he is.

3. John Cena - Never give up, never surrender and all that happy horseshit. Maybe it's because I didn't see him as SuperCena at Over the Limit, but I also don't have the same bias against voting for Cena that I do against Orton.

4. Daniel Bryan - For once, no "Stock Daniel Bryan Ranking" explanation here. He had a great match against Chavo on Smackdown, and yeah, if I can have any excuse to vote for Bryan, I'll take it!

5. Cody Rhodes - Just make him emperor of Smackdown and have put paper bags over Orton's head each week. That would be the best feud ever.

6. Eddie Edwards - A successful title defense and a final "shit or get off the pot" moment of him actually taking the initiative and laying down the challenge to his tag partner Davey Richards gets him on my ballot. The more I observe, the more of a fan I'm becoming of Edwards' title reign.

7. Hallowicked - He arguably got the biggest win of the Chikara weekend by snagging a one-on-one pinfall victory over Lighting Mike Quackenbush in the 12 Large Summit tournament. Getting a pin over Quack is kinda like pinning Hogan in 1988. Y'know, if Hogan were a cool, laid-back awesome wrestler instead of a politicking jerk. So maybe it's NOT at all like getting a win over Hogan. Damn, I failed again :(

8. Vin Gerard - The other winner in last weekend's 12 Large opening matches, he scored somewhat of an upset win over Brodie Lee. Sure, he can't tag with STIGMA anymore, but that may be a plus for both men.

9. Christian - F the haters, Christian is awesome and gets this vote sheerly because of the lengths he goes to to make Smackdown work, even if he doesn't get the kayfabe plaudits to go along with it.

10. Rey Mysterio - He did some serious work in that main event tag match. Punk brought the theatrics and trolling, but Rey's face comeback work was a big reason why it was an enjoyable main event.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

"Will You Marry Me?" ..."Ooooh Yeah!"



Let's forget the fact that Macho and Liz had been married for something like 8 years now in real life. No one knew that and for good reason; kayfabe was still alive for the most part. Following the events of WrestleMania VII, this was the next step in their storybook relationship, tumultuous as it was. Of course Mean Gene was involved, how could he not? I think what really makes this is the commentary between Vince McMahon and Roddy Piper though. Given what we know about the relationship between Macho and Vince at this point, it's not that hard to believe that the exuberance in Vince's voice is real and genuine, and Piper just unbelievably questioning whether Liz would say yes or not. If it were 1998 and Vince Russo were booking, then she'd say no and reveal she had a cadre of brother-husbands, including Hulk Hogan, Ricky Steamboat, Honky Tonk Man and Gillberg, but thankfully, this was still in a time when a feel-good payoff was better than a swerve.

Plus, Liz responding with "Oooh yeah!" and Macho's classic bewildered reaction are just the best things ever.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Paul Bearer Signs Legends Deal with WWE

He's baaaaaack
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Via Twitter

Paul Bearer has signed a Legends deal with WWE, five years with an option for a sixth. Not a whole lot else is known, since they kinda killed his character off in December, but then again, he came back from the dead before in WWE. I also don't know if a Legends deal would preclude him from appearing for NWA Hollywood, but that's only because I have no idea what levels of exclusivity are involved in a Legends deal. Either way, he seems really happy, as he dropped this quote about the signing:
After 20+ years WWE is my second family.
Hopefully, this means the WWE is serious about doing more manager work, because Paul Bearer or even if he appeared as Percy Pringle III, would do wonders for many a vocally-deficient wrestler on the roster.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

History Beckons the Macho Man



Right before his WrestleMania III match, Macho Man cut a short but impactful promo. Here it is. I've been posting a lot of stuff with him and Mean Gene, but there's other stuff out there where he's on his own too. Just one of the great promos ever. Such a command of the flow and pitch, along with being one hell of a wordsmith.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Card Position and Enjoyment

So what if Miz isn't programmed against Orton all the time?
Photo Credit: WWE.com
I saw this on the Wrestling Theory blog the other day:
if a wrestler gets “demoted” to the midcard, then the shit’s okay. It’s okay. That guy will still be on your television. He will still wrestle. It’s fine, for god’s sake.
Pretty bold words for a guy on the Internet. For the longest time, many folks on the Web live and died by how high up on the card their favorite guys are. The thing is, how warranted is the concern? Again, it's well-established that what we as fans care about and what wrestlers care about sometimes are far different. We cry for CM Punk and Chris Jericho, but in those situations where we lament, they're celebrating because hey, they went out and did their jobs excellently.

The latest example, which is probably what elicited this post from WT, is The Miz's latest issue with his pupil, Alex Riley. Many people celebrated it as an entertaining segment, but there are those who are bemoaning this as a "demotion" for Miz, where he now will not be in the main event. Okay, while that may be the case, why should I care? The only reason is if it leads to Miz not being on camera, and I'm not talking "on camera as much as he was during the Cena feud", but I'm talking more a TNA-style "here one week, gone the next two" style of building an angle. If a demotion in card position means I get deprived of Miz, then I'm pissed.

However, what makes anyone think that the WWE is going to suddenly not have Miz on camera? I mean, does Miz being on screen, cutting promos and wrestling matches really matter if he's doing against Cena or Riley? The answer is no, really, unless it bothers you on a metaphysical level that he's not in the tippy-top feud. If that's the case, then again, I wonder why you're a fan. Wrestling is supposed to be an escape from the every day trappings of BS politics and such. It's one thing to hate on a segment because it's unentertaining, but if is enjoyable, then why look for a reason to hate it?

The truth is, The Miz, as well as CM Punk, as well as Jericho all have major job security and they're all locks to be on camera (in Jericho's case, if/when he returns), doing entertaining things. If it's against Cena and it's entertaining, then great. If it's against Riley, great again. Evan Bourne, Daniel Bryan, Sin Cara, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase... hell, even if it's against the Great fucking Khali and they somehow manage to get an entertaining segment out of him, then it's gravy too.

If a wrestler getting "demoted" means you see less of him, then there's a reason to get up in arms, but clearly, after a 180+ day title reign, countless pimping and exposure (to the point of overexposure to some), The Miz is not getting knocked down the card to the point where you're lucky if you see him on Superstars. He's a part of the big show, and will be for as long as the WWE will have him and vice versa.

Besides, with the way Miz has been booked against Cena, why would anyone want to see that kind of program continue? Then again, that's another post for another... oh wait, I already wrote about that this week. Seriously, I bet if you asked Miz what he thought about the last six or seven months he's had, he won't tell you that he's pissed because of the way he's been booked. He won't tell you he's mad at WWE for demoting him to possibly feuding with Alex Riley. No, and you know why? Because he's happy to be part of the WWE, have tons of airtime to go out there and perform and be the best he can be.

So yeah, in closing, I'd have to echo what WT said, and just be cool about everything. Unless Miz's knocking back means he's not going to be on TV, then it's nothing to get pissed off about. Not everyone can have the top program on the brand. Once you start doing that, you end up with TNA, where every program is pushed as the main event, making nothing feel all that important. Just take in the program as a show, and leave the politics to the guys backstage, okay?

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Universal Wants to Fight a Futile Battle, Re: Impact Wrestling Spoilers

Via Ringside XCess

Apparently, Universal Studios sent an edict to TNA/Impact about limiting the leaking of spoilers from tapings with threats of banning from the Impact Zone for anyone who uses a cellphone to tweet/leak spoilers as they happen. Apparently, TNA balked at this, but they were talked into accepting the punitive system, which includes a warning for first offenses, 30 day ban for second, 60 day ban for third, 90 day ban for fourth and for a fifth offense, a lifetime ban.

I can understand this issue from both sides, actually. Where TNA is coming from I don't know, but the possible reasons are a) it's impossible to police cell phone use, especially when smart phones are beginning to gain more and more of a market share, b) TNA loves its viral marketing, and what's more viral than spoiler dissemination and c) logistically, it's almost impossible to stop spoilers anyway because people can just tweet them when they leave Universal Studios. Conversely, spoilers can be the bane of any pre-taped program and if they sound bad (whether they play out badly or not can be regardless, but let's be real here, it's TNA), and bad press is bad press. Then again, where is Universal in the picture here? Are they affiliated with Spike? Do they get a cut of TNA's financials? I mean, I think I'd need to know how their relationship is with TNA if they're going to be this concerned about spoilers getting out.

From a realistic standpoint, there's no way this is going to deter spoilers from getting out. I understand the intent behind it, and I can definitely appreciate it. However, no matter what the reasoning TNA has for not wanting it, I think they're unusually prescient in their hesitance. Seriously, you're dealing with mutants who bitch about the product they see for free not being up to their standards. You don't need to give them even more ammunition. It's a logistical nightmare waiting to happen.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Macho Man Is on a Roll, He Can't Be Stopped



He hit a fork in the road, and he took the road to the right and went straight to the top. Seriously, Savage and Mean Gene have had some of the greatest moments ever together.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Old School AOL-Style Shameless Pandering in the Form of a Reader Survey!

I got this idea from the We Watch Wrestling Tumblr, and because wrestling is a business built on unoriginality, I'm stealing it! After the jump, I'm gonna post this survey, and if you want, fill it out. Hell, even if you don't want to, fill it out. Why? WHY NOT! Actually, it's because I'm interested in reading your opinions about wrestling. That and because I love surveys. It's true.


Location:

How many years have you been watching wrestling?:

What first got you interested in wrestling?:

Favorite company?:

Favorite wrestlers?:

Least favorite wrestlers?:

Number of live events attended:

Favorite moments seen live(if you’ve been to any shows):

How frequently do you watch wrestling?:

Size of your DVD/video collection(if you have one)?:

Three dream matches?:

The pro-wrestler who really needs to write a book is:

If I could watch the matches of only one pro-wrestler, they would be of:

Who’s one wrestler you’d like to see signed by the WWE?:

Who is one wrestler you’re secretly a fan of?

My dream job in pro-wrestling would be to:

What do you look for in a wrestling website?

And finally, why do you love pro wrestling?

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Follow Friday: Jay Lethal

Black Machismo
This week's Follow Friday is in the vein of Macho Week by urging you to follow "Black Machismo" Jay Lethal on Twitter. Lethal, whom you can find @TheLethalJay, may be the world's pre-eminent Macho Man mark, and really, when you're able to get popular playing a tribute gimmick to your favorite wrestler, you know you've done something right. Even if he doesn't have the Macho gimmick to fall back upon, he's still one of the most gifted wrestlers in the world today. Why TNA couldn't find something to do with him, ESPECIALLY after he verbally sparred with Ric Flair the way he did, is beyond me.

Anyway, you can find Lethal going forward in JAPW (where he'd been competing concurrently with TNA anyway) as well as ROH. While you'll have to dig deeper to find him, well, when you do, it'll be in an environment where he'll be given the platform to shine rather than be stuffed away in mothballs. Until then, follow him on Twitter, he's really great to his fans and has some interesting stuff to post now and again.

Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein - Please visit his site to view the plentiful amounts of pictures he's taken for DGUSA, ROH and other indie feds: Get Lost Photography

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Friday Five: "Macho Man" Randy Savage

OOOOH YEAH, DIG IT

1. What was your first memory of the Macho Man?

2. Buy or sell: Randy Savage would be just as over in 2011 if he were in his prime as he was in 1988.

3. Which iteration of Macho Man was your favorite? (ICW, Mid-South, WWF or WCW)

4. What did you think about Macho as the color commentator for Monday Night RAW?

5. Favorite Macho Man match ever, aside from the usual Savage/Steamboat WM III and Savage/Warrior WM VII answers?


Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

BIG Shake-up to PWG All-Star Weekend Night One

Via the PWG boards

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Mr. Wrestling pulling double duty tonight
No sooner do I get done writing my preview and pimping Shelley/Ki and Tozawa/Edwards as must-see matches than this happens. Low Ki will miss Night One of All-Star Weekend 8 due to an undisclosed family emergency. Therefore, two new matches have been made in the fall out. The first one will pit Alex Shelley against Eddie Edwards in a match featuring one-half of each of the best tag teams in the world today (even if the American Wolves are going through bit of a marital spat in ROH right now).

The second match is one that will rekindle the hottest feud in all professional wrestling from 2010 as El Generico will team with Ricochet, the guy he was scheduled to face originally, against Akira Tozawa and Kevin Steen. Whoa. Talk about making the best of a bad situation. Steen was originally slated to face Willie Mack tonight. Okay, so whither Mack? Well, actually, the Steen/Mack match isn't going anywhere. Yep, Kevin Steen will wrestle twice tonight. Now I'm really jealous.

Anyway, here's hoping that Ki's family troubles aren't so serious and that they get resolved as beneficially for him as possible.

Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein - Please visit his site to view the plentiful amounts of pictures he's taken for DGUSA, ROH and other indie feds: Get Lost Photography

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Macho Uses Coffee as a Prop



Warrior claimed in his tribute that Randy Savage was never without a cup of coffee, which would explain his high-strung nature, or at least part of it (more on that later). Here he is actually working it into his career, describing his opinion on Ricky Steamboat's career in this pre-WrestleMania III promo. Again, the constant here is Mean Gene Okerlund. Y'know, Mean Gene and Macho are about as quintessential a duo as Macho and Liz if you think about it.

Just as an aside, it seems an inordinate amount of videos implying that Macho was on coke. That would explain the heart attack at 58 unless he had a high-cholesterol diet that we didn't know about or if he had a disposition towards heart disease. I could buy it, andI have my doubts at the same time, but was this ever confirmed? I mean, does anyone have an admission or a firsthand story of him doing coke? OR is this assumed because of his high-strung style and the fact that, as Bill Simmons noted in his tribute, Savage was '80s incarnate? I NEED TO KNOW THESE THINGS.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

A Medley of tough Music.

Now a days if you're an internet mogul you run entertainment.  The way we receive music is substantially different than even 5 years ago.  Rick Ross is the viral king. I heard about the album Self Made for the last 4 months. The album doesn't disappoint. The Maybach Music Group reminds me a lot of No Limit Records back in the 90's. Just to much hustle.  If you ever feel like hoping in your wheels dropping all the windows taking off your shirt and scaring all the old white ladies in your neighborhood listen to the selection of tracks below.

Parity.

This just doesn't make sense to me.  What do people even really like? It's hard to say now a days.  I'm going to liken this to what Michael Cera said in Superbad.  I want some production value.  Check out this video that has over 12 million views.
Firstly, I wanna see nips, second, seriously? This video doesn't even deserve a secondly.

Now take a look at one of my personal favorite youtube videos with approx. 75 thousand views.  It has everything a good video should have. Production value, a protagonist, Jay Grandin, an Antagonist, the poles and a very intriguing story line with a great twist @ the end.  Watch and see.
People are just so misguided on Youtube it's absurd.

From the E-Feds to Reality: Power Master

For those who don't know, TH is an e-fed enthusiast. Even in years when he wasn't watching wrestling, he was still e-fedding. He ran several characters in several feds at a time at his peak, but now, he resides only in Empire Pro Wrestling with one character. Still, he's handled and seen a ton of characters. Some may work in the real world, some may not. This is one of those characters from the former.

Imagine this, only sillier... I know, it's hard...
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Name: Power Master (handled by NBA podcaster/Philly comedy fixture Gregg Gethard)

What's His Deal: He's an over-the-top caricature of the Ultimate Warrior. How does one parody the Ultimate Warrior? Well, basically, he pretty much did all the crazy things Warrior did - coin words, harken to nature, type out grunts and spits - but did them with such comedic force and with slightly more frequency (remember, Warrior was kind of a caricature of a wrestler himself) that made it just a hoot every time he posted a promo.

Was He Successful in E-Feds: In terms of titles? I'm not sure, but I can tell you there was no comedic character more critically acclaimed than Power Master in the FWC circuit. NONE I SAY YOU.

Could He Get Over in Reality: Here's the thing, there have been a few Warrior knock-offs, but have there ever been any Warrior parodies? Not that I know of, not even anything in the vein of the Huckster and the Nacho Man, the mean-spirited caricatures trotted out in the mid-'90s to battle against the surging WCW at the time. So this might be something novel, well, it would have been in an earlier time, or now in a fed that caters to a slightly older crowd... like Chikara?

But for the right audience, and especially with Gregg writing or even portraying the character, I have no doubt that it'd get over huge. Some of the stuff that he wrote for PM was side-splittingly, gut-bustingly, "I need to take a drink of water before I die laughing like the weasels from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" funny. I think it might even work to an audience that didn't know who Warrior was, even if in either situation, it'd have a limited shelf life.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

From the Archives, Macho Week: Mega Powers vs. Mega Bucks, SummerSlam '88

I watched this match today in preparation for my upcoming appearance on Wrestlespective Radio (PLUG PLUG), and it was a nice tag team main event. If you're looking for dazzling moves or something landmark, well, you'll find the latter although not in the way you'd think. Hint, it involves Elizabeth.

Part 1:


Part 2:


Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

An Event That Lives up to Its Name: PWG All-Star Weekend Preview

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
WAR TOZAWA
The Southern California indie scene has a relatively new player in town in NWA Hollywood. They've generated a good buzz and made the rest of the nation aware that there's more to the greater Los Angeles indie scene than Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Granted, it's using a lot of the same players, but with the TV exposure and the more regular storylines, well, it's the new thing.

That's not to say you can forget about PWG. Oh hell no, there will be no way that the elder statesman of SoCal indie feds should be ignored or diminished, and the big reason is that they produce cards like the one starting tomorrow night at American Legion Hall #308 in Reseda, CA. Yes, it's All-Star Weekend again, the eighth installment of their star-studded all-weekend long affair, and this year's proceedings have a lineup of talent that totally makes the fed justified in the name of their event.

You can find the full cards here, but I'll do you even better and preview some of what I feel will be the standout matches of the weekend. When you've got a talent roster of Claudio Castagnoli, Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, Chris Hero, the Young Bucks/Generation Me, Kevin Steen, Akira Tozawa, El Generico, Alex Shelley, Low Ki, Eddie Edwards, Chuck Taylor, Scorpio Sky, Joey Ryan and Ricochet among others wrestling for you, it would take a lot of aggravating factors for it to turn out to be average let alone bad, so yeah, maybe I don't need to sell you on the matches they have booked, since you could throw darts and create random matches from that lineup. But I am anyway. Why? Because I love PWG and I love writing about it.

Night One, which is tomorrow (Friday), is headlined by two pretty killer title matches. The titular main event is a Clash between Kings. Claudio Castagnoli defends his PWG World Heavyweight Championship. Both Claudio on his Twitter as well as the official PWG preview swear this match will remain friendly, as the two have been nearly inseparable since reuniting in ROH early in 2010. Things can be a bit different in LA-LA Land though, as wrestlers go there to change their images rather than be the same people they are, say, on the East Coast. Is that a guarantee that things will boil over? I can't read it right now, although with all the platitudes going around, I'd say it's a near lock that there'll be some kind of feud coming out of this. That being said, I don't think you could ask for a better Night One title bout than the one that the PWG faithful are going to see tomorrow night. These guys know each other and know each other's limits better than anyone else but themselves. I think this could be a serious MOTY candidate.

The other title match is, of course, the PWG Tag Team Championship match between the Bucks and the RockNES Monsters. While I'm not as sold on Johnny Yuma, the Rock half of the challengers, the NES half of Johnny Goodtime is more than adept at covering for his partner, as he's shown in several episodes of NWA Hollywood, where the Monsters are featured quite prominently. Given that they're in there against one of the best tag teams in the business in a match that should have plenty of heat, I think we have the recipe for what could steal the show or even get the main event slot given how protected the PWG Tag Titles and division on the whole has been. When the Bucks aren't forced to job to Matt Hardy in glorified handicap matches on Impact, well, they shoot fireworks. This match will get time, and I think it'll be really good.

The next two matches are the kinds of dream-type matches that make any PWG card must-see. The first will pit two guys that were riding on top of the world late last year in the big companies only to suffer precipitous misfortunes that ended up benefiting indie fans like you and me (and before you n00bs say anything, re: Shelly, I'm talking more about TNA's bright idea to tease a MCMG breakup, not his clavicle injury). Alex Shelley, still of TNA fame, takes on Low Ki, formerly Kaval, in what will definitely be a hard-hitting match with all the spotlight on it. The last Shelley tilt in PWG I witnessed with my own eyes was at As the Worm Turns against Chris Hero. It was, in a word, epic. Ki will have some big shoes to fill, but if anyone can, it'll be him and his lethal kicks of chest-reddening destruction.

The last match I wanted to highlight for Night One is not El Generico/Ricochet, mainly because if you don't know why that match is going to be awesome, or at the very least exciting if flawed, then you need to jump out of a window. No, the fourth match that I think will knock it out of the park is Akira Tozawa taking on Eddie Edwards. I had always been cognizant of Tozawa, but when I finally saw him live for the first time at King of Trios a month or so ago, the man blew me away with his ability. The Other Wolf is making his PWG solo debut (after making his total debut at DDT4 with partner Davey Richards), and I think he provides a great foil for Tozawa here. Bonus points will be had for this match if Tozawa has the same hairstyle and facial hair for this as he did at King of Trios. All the bonus points in the world will be had if he wears a keyboard necktie to the ring.

Night Two isn't slouching in the match quality department either. The title situations for this card will not be set until Night One is in the books, but all four potential title matches look like the goods to me. First up, Claudio will battle Ki in the titular main event right now, although if Hero wins the title and the Young Bucks retain on Night One, I can totally see the Tag Team Championship match taking the final bow of the weekend. Anyway, this is a classic size mismatch, which worked so well for Ki as Kaval in WWE during his NXT and mostly-Superstars run. The difference is that in this match, Claudio will actually sell extensively for the big-voiced-in-a-small-framed wrestler more than just in token style like Jack Swagger and the like were instructed to do. I expect a very physical, strike-based match with a lot of potential for Ki to bump like a pinball for Claudio's big move offense.

The other potential World Championship match might sound a bit unsure to you, but again, trust me on this one, it should be really, really good. Hero is slated to go against Willie Mack in this match. If you don't know who Mack is, well, he's a great story. He was actually one of PWG's original fans, going to all the early shows in the promotion's history. Then, he went and got himself trained, and now he's turning into SoCal's hottest property. He's wrestled guys like Roderick Strong in PWG and Austin Aries in NWA Hollywood, and now, he has the opportunity of a lifetime to impress the indie world at large, whether it's for the strap or not. Hero is about as big-name an opponent as they come nowadays, and I think that Mack, the guy who has a similar kind of look and style as Samoa Joe had in the indies, is more than game for the challenge.

The first of two potential Tag Title matches is a historic one. Should the Bucks retain tomorrow night, Saturday's match with Generation Next will be for the straps. If you don't know who Generation Next is because you're more of a neophyte indie fan, well, it's Roderick Strong and Austin Aries. Yep, in only their second match after reuniting for the first time in over five years (the first one is Night One against the Cutler Bros., one of my new favorite tag team acts by the way), Aries and Strong may have the chance to capture gold. Honestly, this may turn out to be the best match of the weekend. Bar none. It's must see. Seek out the DVDs for this match, even if nothing else interests you on the card.

Finally, the other potential Tag Title match will pit those RockNES Monsters against the Nightmare Violence Connection teaming of Tozawa and Kevin Steen. First off, can I tell you how much I love their tag name? It's a throwback to the AJPW tag team the Miracle Violence Connection, consisting of Terry Gordy and Steve Williams, and the changing of the first word to Nightmare only proves to perfectly exemplify the wrestling styles of both men. The funny thing is that they kicked so much ass at DDT4 that despite their ruthless heel aggression, they were pretty much got the biggest face reactions of the tournament. Go figure. Anyway, I can't wait to see the interplay between Goodtime and Tozawa here, as well as the sheer amounts of brutish thuggery that the NVC are going to whip out. I have a feeling that this one should be worthy of a classic PWG Tag Title defense should the belts go RockNES' way on Friday night.

As if In-n-Out Burger, the Grill 'Em All Burger truck, the idyllic warm weather year round and the massive amounts of hot women populating the region didn't make me jealous enough of Southern California, PWG takes the cake. If you're there, you need to go to Reseda and buy up a general admission ticket before they sell out, even if it's just for one of the nights. You don't need to be an over-optimist, a PWG apologist or really anything else but a realistic indie wrestling fan to know that your purchase will be well-rewarded, and that All-Star Weekend will more than live up to its name.

Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein - Please visit his site to view the plentiful amounts of pictures he's taken for DGUSA, ROH and other indie feds: Get Lost Photography

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

The Wrestling Podcast, Episode 4: The Macho Man Tribute Episode (f/ Seth Zillmann)

Photo Credit: WWE.com
Episode 4: The Macho Man Who Sold the World

A somber, reflective edition of TWP comes at you, courtesy of myself and other Macho Man superfan Seth Zillmann, who also edits and panels on the A1 Podcast as well as is my co-moderator at A1's wrestling forum. We talk about the life and times of one Randy Savage, including his career, best matches, how he didn't hang on too long and where he belongs in the wrestling firmament.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

You're a Star, Alex Riley!

You go, A-Ry!
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Watching NXT Season 2, there were a few things that were certain. One of them undoubtedly was that Alex Riley could talk. If getting by with a voice and a knack for cutting a promo was one of the requisites for making it, then Riley had that in spades. If he even learned to be passable in the ring, he'd eventually become one of the biggest stars in the company. It was just a matter of when he'd get that star-making moment.

I'd say what happened Monday on RAW qualifies, right?

When Miz fired Riley from his "personal services" contract after several incidences of screwing up in his task of assuring Miz kept his WWE Championship, I thought it'd end with Riley getting his ass beaten and shipped off to FCW. I mean, that's what happens with these NXT alums not named Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, Heath Slater or Justin Gabriel, right? What happened next was amazing. It's not that Riley fought back, it was how well it played out. He looked natural in the brawl with his former mentor, so natural that I'm convinced that he has the physical abilities to be a future star in WWE. The even more surprising thing was the crowd reaction. I don't know whether it was a fluke crowd, whether fans found something in him that made them want to cheer him, or whether it was just a reaction to how much they liked seeing Miz get his, but Riley got an honest-to-God pop when he popped Miz.

In a perfect world, that's where we'd all remember where A-Ry was made. I mean, it was the perfect storm, with everything coming together to create a memorable performance. Sadly, there have been a ton of those moments in WWE that have led to guys going nowhere. Couple that with the fact that neither RAW nor Smackdown have a fully-formed midcard that means anything, and the prospects for a follow-up aren't promising.

However, for a second, let's pretend the WWE has consistently followed up on big moments in the last few years instead of delivering on one out of five or so. If they can put a buzz behind Riley that lasts, I think it pays off. Right now, in this moment, Riley is already a star, and he's a guy that I personally want to see on my TV screen. If the moment is too fleeting then at least we have the moment now, and for that moment, Alex Riley was the brightest new star in WWE.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!