List of PREVIOUS winners : The Golden Noggers RECAP!
2020.09.07 19:38 Victor_Basaldua_CList of PREVIOUS winners : The Golden Noggers RECAP!
It is well known in the OSW community that the Golden Nogger Awards are without a shine of a doubt one of the most prestigious awards that somebody involved in this great sport (or any sport) could win. The coveted Cunt of the Year and Roidy Magoo Award have become a staple in the industry with many personalities doing their best each year just to have a chance to take home the precious statuette. Many people consider the OSW Hall of Fame to be THE only hall of fame in pro wrestling that has any worth because of how dramatically difficult it is to get inducted in it (if you were nominated but didn't win, you can't be eligible to be in it ever again!). So with the next Golden Nogger Awards Ceremony taking place after Wrestlemania 11 i thought it would be a great idea to look back at previous Golden Nogger Award Winners! So it is with my pleasure, and arms wide open, to bring to you the complete list of all previous winners. So sit back , put on your reading glasses and let´s do it to it!
First Ever Annual Golden Nogger Awards Ceremony (for 2013 episodes)
The first GNA had 8 Awards for 8 different categories. 7 in the original broadcast and 1 other that was presented a year later (What Bar!? of the Year Award). 1. Episode of the Year
Virgil as a Nogger (WWE This Tuesday in Texas - OSW Review #25)
4. Quote of the Year
Winner: "Doink Brah! Ya Making Kids Cry, Brah!" - V1
Runner-up: "He is a Nogger" - V1
3rd Place: "What Bar is He!?" - Jay Hunter
5. Roidy Magoo Award
6. Cunt of the Year
7. OSW Hall Of Fame (Lifetime Achievement Award)
Runner-up: Rubbish Ronnie Garbage (Ronnie Garvin)
3rd Place: Virgil
8. Host of the Year
Jay Hunter (43%)
Mr. OOC (30%)
2nd Annual Golden Nogger Awards Ceremony (for 2014 episodes)
The 2nd GNA came with some changes. Now 9 awards are in line and the coveted Host of the Year award was retired! In the 1st GNA, V1 showed his incredible workrate winning 1st and 2nd place for best quote but was snubbed in the Host of the Year category getting a sloppy 3rd place, this obviously lit a fire in V1's eyes and he would become one the most awarded in future years! Fun Fact: this edition is the one with the most episodes to choose from (13). 1. Episode of the Year
WCW Halloween Havoc 1995 - OSW Review 46!
2. Intro of the Year
OSW&YOU: Partners in Freedom (ECW December to Dismember - OSW Review #43)
3. Segment of the Year
OSW run down their BOYS (WWE Capital Carnage 1998 - OSW Review #40)
4. What Bar!? of the Year
Zodiac as a barrrcode (WCW Halloween Havoc 1995 - OSW Review 46!)
5. Best Song Cover
R-O-N MASTRIO (Rey Misterio's 619 cover)
6. Quote of the Year
Winner: "Homer Simpson Ya Fucking Animal, Ya" - V1
Runner-up: JBL Impressions - V1, Jay Hunter & Mr. OOC
Other Nominees: Quarter Past Ten Mike Knox and Thurman Sparky Plugg
3rd Annual Golden Nogger Awards Ceremony
At this point in time The GNA have already become a staple in the industry. The ceremony got mainstream attention and now even movies became eligible to win the awards! The Golden Noggers transcends wrestling! Also, from this point on 10 golden noggers will be awardaded each year! 1.Episode of the Year
WrestleMania X7 (2001) - OSW Review 55
2. Intro of the Year
Acceptable in the 80s Wrestlemania X-7 Story Arc (Wrestlemania X-7 Story Arc)
3. Segment of the Year
XFL Retrospective (WWE No Way Out 2001 - OSW Review 50)
4. What Bar!? of the Year
Big E as a Can of Pussy (WWE SummerSlam 2015 - OSW Review 54)
5. Best Song Cover
It's Tazz! (Tazz's song cover)
6. State of your Hair!
Samurai Cop Wig
7. Quote of the Year
Winner: "Are you Ready to Enter hell?" (V1 to his hospital patients) - Mr. OOC
Runner-up: "I'm fucking not I'll take it in my knees" (Kane Knee Bumping) - V1
3rd Place: "I be lovin' seeing them tits" - V1
8. Roidy Magoo Award
9. Cunt of the Year
Cunt Stephanie Mcmahon
10. OSW Hall Of Fame (Lifetime Achievement Award)
Inductee: Sweet Zombie Linda
Runner-up: Kane's Knee
3rd Place: Tazz
Other Nominees: Limp Bizkit and Foley Book Reviews
4th Annual Golden Nogger Awards Ceremony
There are some surprises here and there in this ceremony, but one thing remains the same: V1 going home with 2 spots in the podium for best quote(4 years in a row now!). Fun Fac: this edition is the one with less episodes to choose from (8). 1. Episode of the Year
The Room (2003) - OSW Film Review!
2. Intro of the Year
Zojack Yesman (Dungeon of Doom Storyline Arc)
3. Segment of the Year
TRI! (WCW Starrcade 1994 - OSW Review #56 / 4 Years in the Making)
4. What Bar!? of the Year
Akira Hokuto as Mr. Sparkle (WCW World War 3 - OSW Review 59)
5. Best Song Cover
MYAH MYAH MYAH! (Black Reign song cover)
6. Best Dressed (replacing State of your Hair!)
7. Quote of the Year
Winner: Lex Selling - V1 & Jay Hunter
Runner-up: "His super pubic fat was muffin-topping out of his onesie" - V1
3rd Place: Col. Parker Impression - Jay Hunter
8. Roidy Magoo Award
The Ultimate Solution
9. Cunt of the Year
10. OSW Hall Of Fame (Lifetime Achievement Award)
Inductee: Lex Luger
Runner-up: Kevin Sullivan
3rd Place: Nick Bockwinckel
5th Annual Golden Nogger Awards Ceremony
Ladies & Gentlemen, the streak is over. After 4 years in a row getting two out of the 3 spots in the podium in the Favorite Quote category, this year V1 didn't even make it to the top 3. However, Jay Hunter does it again winning for the second year in a row and also appearing 2 times in the top 3 for the second time in two years! 1. Episode of the Year
Winner: "Turn off the Tv and don’t fucking touch me" - Mrs. V1 (Bee1)
Runner-up: "I've seen what Bully Ray looks like, that guy has never turn heel on a cheesburger in his life" - Maffew Botchamania
3rd Place: "You make me look bad, that's not good" - V1, Jay Hunter & Mr. OOC
8. Roidy Magoo Award
9. Cunt of the Year
10. OSW Hall Of Fame (Lifetime Achievement Award)
Inductee: Bobby Heenan
Runner-up: Max Moon
3rd Place: Bret Hart
Other Nominees: OOC, The Horse and Trim, County Meath
Before you go here's a little bit of trivia for ya!: Scott Steiner is the first ever to win 2 awards in the same category. Test is the third to win 2 awards in the same category. They are both on the race to have the Roidy Magoo award named after them. Cunt Hogan is the first ever to win 3 awards in the same category, thus the Cunt of the Year is now named The Cunt Hogan Cunt of the Year Award. The prestigious OSW Hall of Fame is composed of: Worzel, Ed Leslie, Sweet Zombie Linda, Lex Luger, Black Reign and Bobby Heenan. Final tally on Quote of the Year: V1 and his strong performance in the Quote of the Year category. And of course, still to this day Jay Hunter is the only one to ever win the Host of the Year award! That's it everyone, and if you read this far, always remember the real winner is you!
2020.08.06 16:56 MatthewMirWWE Network Primer Part 2 - Your guide to every match you should watch on the WWE Network during lockdown/quarantine.
Hi Everyone, You may know me from my Essential Lists post I have posted throughout the last few years - which you can find here shameless plug I know
Unfortunately where I live in Australia is currently in a Stage 4 COVID-19 Lockdown which has given me some spare time to actually work on a new list - that looks at another top 100 WWE Matches.
These collection of matches are my own personal opinion of the another Top 100 WWE Matches; for this specific list I tried to include more forgotten gems and/or matches that I deserve more love from fans. I have not included Dave Meltzer’s ratings like I usually would on these lists but have decided to use CageMatch Ratings. I understand there is going to plenty of omissions of matches but before you comment saying matches are missing – please look at the original listed which I posted a few months ago. Also since a few people have commented on these posts saying 'stop throwing lists at us with no information' so on a few matches I’ve added a little bit of a backstory for new fans/fans of who haven’t seen the matches, some match details do contain spoilers, so you have been warned. I have also tried to add a link to each match as well; all videos come from the WWE Network. Alright, now lets start the list:
Bret Hart Vs Roddy Piper – Wrestlemania 8 – CageMatch Rating: 8.30 - A very underrated Wrestlemania match, this is probably my favourite Roddy Piper match. Great Intercontinental title match that really helped Hart establish himself as a standalone star instead of a tag team wrestler. In the recent ‘True Story of Royal Rumble’ documentary, Piper admits he would’ve preferred keeping the championship for a long time because it’d help bring food to the table for his family, but he was happy losing the championship to upcoming rising star – Bret Hart.
Owen Hart Vs Bret Hart – Summerslam 1994 – CageMatch Rating: 9.20 - The famous rematch from their Wrestlemania 10 match – and it absolutely lived up to hype. This time it was contested in the famous blue steel cage match and the WWF Championship was on the line. It was high stakes between not only both competitors but the whole Hart family was somewhat involved in this feud.
Razor Ramon Vs Shawn Michaels – Summerslam 1995 – CageMatch Rating: 8.90 - This was a rematch of their Wrestlemania 10 match and it lives up to expectations. They change up a lot of the spots and sequences so they don’t copy the match they had at Wrestlemania 10; I believe this match helped more innovative spots for future Ladder Matches compared to their Mania match.
Edge & Christian Vs Dudley Boys Vs Hardy Boyz – Summerslam 2000 – CageMatch Rating: 9.24 - These guys set the standard for a Tables, Ladders and Chairs matces. Brutal, fast paced with well timed-spots very fun match. This was just a tease of what we could see with these 6 competitors. It’s a statement to all six wrestlers that 20 years later that all the spots that they innovated are replicated still to this day.
Triple H Vs Chris Benoit – No Mercy 2000 – CageMatch Rating: 7.75 - 2000 was Triple H’s year without a shadow of doubt; on nearly every PPV that year he was having great matches with established superstars Rock, Foley, Taker, or new superstars such as Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, and now even the rapid wolverine and arguably the greatest wrestler of all time – Chris Benoit.
Kurt Angle Vs Chris Benoit – Wrestlemania 17 – CageMatch Rating: 7.90 - I personally think that Benoit is Angles best counterpart, this match is so much better than their match from the previous Wrestlemania. These two are so evenly matched when it comes to in-ring ability and that’s why every time they compete against each other it’s magic. I feel whenever people reminisce about this Wrestlemania they forget about this match and how great it was between both competitors.
Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit Vs Edge & Christian Vs Dudley Boys Vs Hardy Boyz – Smackdown 24/05/2001 – CageMatch Rating: 9.08 - Many people have claimed that this TLC Match is the best one of all time and also the most underrated TLC match of all time. It’s understandably a fair point it was the original three teams of the TLC and the team of Benoit/Jericho added in as well. It was an all-out car crash from start to finish and easily one of the best Smackdown matches of all time – due to the Benoit MurdeSuicide it’s all but forgotten when discussed as one of the best TLC Matches of all time.
Jeff Hardy Vs Rob Van Dam – Invasion 2001 – CageMatch Rating: 8.16 - This was somewhat a dream match for fans to see happen. Jeff Hardy risk-tasking psycho vs Rob Van Dam another risk-taking psycho. I wont say much, this is fun and this is great. If you get the chance watch them follow it up at Summerslam.
Kurt Angle Vs Stone Cold Steve Austin – Unforgiven 2001 – CageMatch Rating: 7.42 - This match isn't rated higher than their Summerslam match, but for personally I’d have it the other way around. This is one of my favorite matches from 2001. This was a rematch to their Summerslam match, and it was absolutely great. It was a feel good moment for wrestling fans, and a feel good moment for Americans as Kurt Angle in his hometown of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania would go onto win another WWF Championship, as it was just a few weeks after the whole 9/11 Terrorist Bombings. Taking away from that, these two men work very well with each other and it’s a very back and forth match.
Chris Jericho Vs The Rock – No Mercy 2001 – CageMatch Rating: 8.44 - Much like Kurt Angle a new-comer to WWF, Jericho whilst also relatively new had great chemistry with each other. This is one of my favourite matches of Rock, Jericho’s and really of 2001. I highly recommend everyone who sees this list watches this match.
Chris Benoit Vs Kurt Angle – Unforgiven 2002 – CageMatch Rating: 8.44 - In Benoit’s first Smackdown Brand Exclusive feud he got to compete his former arch nemesis – Kurt Angle. These two must’ve loved fighting with each other, because here we are again discussing one of their matches, although this time I would say this match is less known to most fans. It’s still as good as their previous matches against each other, but what helps it more is that it leads to them becoming tag team partners with each other in the next couple of months.
Triple H Vs Ric Flair – Raw 19/05/2003 – CageMatch Rating: 6.63 - This was a special night for Flair, as he was turning face for one night only to face his friend Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship just around the corner from his home. It brings out the best in both opponents and if you get the chance watch the Ric Flair appreciation after the match.
Eddie Guerrero Vs Chris Benoit - Vengeance 2003 – CageMatch Rating: 8.48 - These two are best friends, who just love professional wrestling, staggering throughout tiny promotions, all the way to the big wrestling world of Japan, back to America in companies such as ECW & WCW finally to make it to WWE. This match was the final for the tournament for the inaugural WWE United States Championship. This is close to five stars for me, if this match didn’t include a screwy finish I would award it that. But don’t disregard that as anything bad at all. This is may be my favourite match between the two.
Christian Vs Chris Jericho – Raw 01/09/2003 – CageMatch Rating: 6.99 - Christian & Chris Jericho were some of the best things going on, on Raw in 2003, but it seemed like Jericho was transition into a face role so Stone Cold put him against his partner at the time Christian for the Intercontinental Championship. It wouldn’t be a long ‘face’ turn for Jericho cause as weeks passed he would revert back to being a heel along with Christian. But this is a super underrated match in both mens careers.
Shawn Michaels Vs Triple H – Raw 29/12/2003 – CageMatch Rating: 8.73 - 2003 Raw was quite a rough year with many superstars from different eras (and companies) coming and going; so thankfully when the last Raw of the year was left with Shawn Michaels and Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship we are left with absolute magic.
Chris Benoit Vs Shawn Michaels Vs Triple H – Backlash 2004 – CageMatch Rating: 8.92 - This was a rematch to their Wrestlemania 20 match, and by all means it holds up as just as great as this. They say most rematches can’t live up to what we first saw, but this is definitely exceptional to the rule.
Randy Orton Vs Chris Benoit – Summerslam 2004 – CageMatch Rating: 7.99 - This is Chris Benoit’s swan song as World Heavyweight Champion. He had a decent run as champion with some great matches with some of Raw’s top talents including: Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair and Kane. But this was the first of Randy Orton’s World Championship win; he really has the crowd behind him during this match. This was the start of WWE’s first time trying to build Orton as the face of the WWE, and he certainly earned the respect of Benoit after the match.
30 Man Royal Rumble Match – Royal Rumble 2005 – CageMatch Rating: 8.49 - WWE knew that they had gold with Batista and Cena in 2005, and especially when he won this Rumble match and entered the main event of Wrestlemania picture he was skyrocketed to the mainstream. From the get go of this Rumble it’s fantastic – you have to former world champions and best friends Eddie Guerrero & Chris Benoit start as numbers #1 and #2. This is still one of the funnest Rumbles I love going back to watch. You also have a fun little bit with Shawn Michaels & Kurt Angle which helps lead to their match at Mania. The end of this match ends in calamity when both Batista & Cena accidently both get eliminated at the same time, causing Vince McMahon (who was visually pissed off) to come out and restart the match. However, upon running and trying to slide into the ring he tears both his quads resulting in him shouting demands to referees and the wrestlers.. Whilst sitting on the floor like a kindergarten student.
Undertaker Vs Randy Orton – Wrestlemania 21 – CageMatch Rating: - Randy Orton who portrayed the gimmick of being the ‘Legend Killer’ was set out on one thing, that was killing The Undertakers Undefeated Streak at Wrestlemania. This was the first time really it played into the storyline, thankfully it stayed in undefeated form.
John Cena Vs John Bradshaw Layfield - Judgment Day 2005 – Cagematch Rating: 9.06 – In a match that truly helped to project Cena into the main-eventer position; JBL and him would him would have a barbaric I Quit match which looks like it was directed by Eli Roth with the amount of blood shed.
Shawn Michaels Vs Kurt Angle – Vengeance 2005 – CageMatch Rating: 8.79 - This is a rematch of their Wrestlemania 21 and it’s just as good as their first encounter with each other but somehow always gets overlooked and forgotten.
Eddie Guerrero Vs Rey Mysterio - Smackdown 09/09/05 – CageMatch Rating: 7.84 - One of the best feuds of 2005 was Eddie Vs Rey - they were a tag team that loved each other like family. They had a barnburner of a match at Wrestlemania, but slowly the months after it Eddie would turn heel on Rey. From April until September they would face off against each other on Smackdown, Live shows and PPV’s and Rey would ALWAYS win. But not this time, this was their final encounter in a steel cage match, and I absolutely love it.
Ric Flair Vs Triple H – Taboo Tuesday 2005 – CageMatch Rating: 8.51 - Much like the previous Taboo Tuesday, Flair would face another former Evolution member and former best friend – Triple H. This match is major throwback to the old 1980’s NWA Steel Cage match, much like that much. After Triple H seems like he’s going to win, Flair gets an opportunity on the offense delivering all the same pain that Triple H dished out back on him. It’s a very bloody and brutal match.
John Cena Vs Umaga – Royal Rumble 2007 – CageMatch Rating: 8.86 - This match was in the middle of Cena's 365+ day run and it showed he could still work with bigger men like Umaga. This is one of the best last man standing matches of all time that makes both men look equally strong and helped grow Umaga as a threat for the champion.
John Cena Vs Edge Vs Randy Orton Vs Shawn Michaels – Backlash 2007 – CageMatch: 9.01 - Following Wrestlemania 23 it left multiple people wanting a shot at John Cena for his WWE Championship, and thus three men were awarded the opportunity for it; Cena’s Wrestlemania opponent Shawn Michaels, and former tag team Rated RKO, Edge and Randy Orton. Four outstanding talents that mash well together, perform in one of the best four ways of all time.
The Undertaker Vs Edge – Summerslam 2008 – CageMatch Rating: - This was the culmination of The Undertaker & Edge feud. This feud started back in May of 2007 and ended in August 2008. Undertaker was allowed to return to WWE and in doing so it was announced that he would face Edge one last time. This time it would be in Undertakers favourite match, the devils play ground Hell in a Cell.
Triple H Vs Jeff Hardy – No Mercy 2008 – CageMatch Rating: 8.43 - This was the match that everyone thought that Jeff Hardy was destined to win the WWE Championship off Triple H, that wasn't the case but it is one of his best matches against another top WWE star at the time and helped get him more fans and look forward to him finally winning the WWE Championship.
Jeff Hardy Vs Edge Vs Triple H – Armageddon 2008 - CageMatch Rating: 8.76 - Jeff Hardy’s rise to being WWE Champion was an enthralling story in 2008. In January that year he was placed in a WWE Championship match with Randy Orton, but had lost. Then throughout the rest of the year he was in multiple WWE Championship matches.. which he lost. Until Armageddon, in which is one of the best triple threat matches of all time and totally made it worth being a Jeff Hardy fan. I would say that 2008 and until he left WWE in 2009, were his years and he was putting out some of his best work ever. It’s a bit of a shame Jeff never had a long run as a world champion.
John Morrison Vs Rey Mysterio – Smackdown 04/09/2009 - CageMatch Rating: 8.89 - 2009 Smackdown is honestly one of the most underrated/forgotten eras in WWE history period. Week after week they would put on fantastic matches centered on both their Intercontinental Championship & World Heavyweight Championship. This match is one of the most underrated matches from both Morrison & Mysterio’s long list of matches.
Undertaker Vs Rey Mysterio – Royal Rumble 2010 – CageMatch Rating: 6.31 - This would be the first time that Rey would face Undertaker in his dead-man persona and it is worth the wait in all honesty. These two had good chemistry with each other and it's a very forgotten match before Undertaker would semi retire and go onto having a very limited schedule.
Rey Mysterio Vs CM Punk- Over the Limit 2010 – CageMatch Rating: 6.89 - This was the last match in their trilogy, and it left us fans with not only a great match but also with an interesting ending where CM Punk would get his hair shaved.
Daniel Bryan Vs The Miz – Night of Champions 2010 – CageMatch Rating: 7.73 - The Miz was Bryan’s ‘pro’ in NXT earlier that year and the would argue with each other back and forth so it fit perfect that Bryan’s first feud in WWE would be against him, for the US Championship nonetheless.
The Miz Vs John Morrison – Raw 03/01/2011 – CageMatch Rating: 8.59 - This was in the early stages of The Miz’s WWE Title reign, he would feud with his former long-time tag team partner in the first Raw of 2011 in a fantastic Falls Count Anywhere match – this would be one of Morrison’s last memorable matches in WWE.
Christian Vs Alberto Del Rio – Extreme Rules 2011 – CageMatch Rating: 8.53 - With Edge, Christians real life bestfriend retiring from WWE due to injury, WWE officials decided to give Christian his ‘career-rewarding’ moment, by having him in a main event match against Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Randy Orton Vs Christian – Over the Limit 2011 – Cagematch Rating: 9:01 - Christians career-rewarding World Championship reigned a total of 2 days (5 because it was taped). I was somewhat fine with this, IF they were going to keep Christian a face, and probably make Orton the heel. Nevertheless, that’s my opinion but you guys might not agree. I will say Christian and Orton had a great feud in 2011, I know people will say that Punk feud/storyline was the best of 2011, but I’d even argue that Christians 2011 was a close runner up.
CM Punk Vs Daniel Bryan – Over The Limit 2012 – Cagematch Rating: 9.14 - These two ‘indy-darlings’ would finally meet in a main-event of a WWE PPV only to be overshadowed by the other underwhelming main-event produced by John Lauranitis and John Cena. Although they’d give a us a tease of something that we’d all like to see at a Wrestlemania.
CM Punk Vs John Cena – Night of Champions 2012 - Probably their best PPV match with each other following their match at Money in the Bank 2011, lots of people expected Cena to win this match or Punk to cheat to win this match. With the new alignment of Paul Heyman with CM Punk this match is underappreciated when people discuss their rivalry.
CM Punk Vs Chris Jericho – Payback 2013 – CageMatch Rating: 8.56 – After Punk lost to The Undertaker at Wrestlemania, he would return after taking months off in his home town of Chicago to face an old foe – Chris Jericho.
Daniel Bryan Vs Randy Orton – Raw 24/06/2013 – CageMatch Rating: 7.99 - This match had months of build up between it, where Bryan thought Kane & Orton were weak links in their tag matches, and the reason why they lost to the Shield. But through screwy finish matches and fighting with each other these men put on a great performance on this night. Rumors had started flying around that Bryan was set to get a big push in WWE around this time, after beating the Shield, people expected Bryan to win the Money in the Bank match and challenge Cena at Summerslam (which happened, but with no Money in the Bank involved). I feel like people have really forgotten how great this match really is, I urge people to go back and watch this match.
Alberto Del Rio Vs Christian – Summerslam 2013 – CageMatch Rating: - Christian won a triple threat match against Orton & Rob Van Dam a few week prior to this. This match was actually really good, it’s one of those matches that are really good but because the card is considered great (it also features two 4 ½ start matches – LesnaPunk and Cena/Bryan) that it’s somewhat forgotten. I would say that this is Christians last great singles match before he would retire from WWE.
Antonio Cesaro Vs William Regal – NXT 25/12/2013 - CageMatch Rating: 8.52 - This was one of Regals final wrestling matches and it was against a superstar with high calibre – Antonio Cesaro. The two put on a great performance with each other – I highly recommend everyone gets to see how good Regal and Cesaro worked with each other.
Bray Wyatt Vs Daniel Bryan – Royal Rumble 2014 – CageMatch Rating: 8.55 - Probably one of the best non-Royal Rumble matches of all time. Following Daniel Bryans face turn after two weeks of Bryan being a cult member to Bray, they squared off and what starts 2014 off as a great year for wrestling in WWE. Also the week prior to this match it gave us this moment I’m honestly surprised this match doesn’t get brought up more for how great both these two work together. Something that really does confuse me about the fans backlash for the Rumble match later that night is that they wanted Bryan to be in the match – which is fair enough. But why did no one complain about Wyatt not being put in the match? I mean he wins this match – he earned a place in that match, but hey I’m just complaining and bitching now. Great match in both mens career, probably Wyatts best single match – highly recommend.
Cesaro Vs Randy Orton – Smackdown 14/02/2014 – CageMatch Rating: - Leading up to Orton's WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match he would face the five other opponents in the match, Cesaro still freshly new would actually defeat Orton clean. Great back and forth match and really proved as to why Cesaro is already a talented wrestler in the WWE ring.
Seth Rollins Vs Dean Ambrose – Raw 18/08/2014 – CageMatch Rating: 8.49 - This was their rematch to their match the night before at Summerslam, and arguably is one of their best matches with each other, it was contested in a Falls Count Anywhere match.
Roman Reigns Vs Daniel Bryan – Fastlane 2015 – CageMatch Rating: 8.07 - To say that Roman is a bad wrestler would be a big lie and would just be fans being negative about everything about him. This match goes to prove it, Roman and Bryan worked great with each other – however I do see where the big complaint is in Roman Reigns matches. He plays the Superman role just like Cena used too, but it’s very easy to see. However the fans really believed that somehow, someway that Bryan could win this match and find himself involved in the main event of Wrestlemania 31 for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
John Cena Vs Kevin Owens – Money in the Bank 2015 – CageMatch Rating: 8.99 – I know I might cop a bit of flack for this, but I reckon this their best match with each other. I know their Elimination Chamber match gets lots of praise for Owens’ debut match in WWE and beating Cena clean but I think this is match is a big step up.
Seth Rollins Vs Neville – Raw 03/08/2015 – CageMatch Rating: 7.81 - One of the best Raw matches in 2015, an up and coming NXT Star recently debuted Neville would get the opportunity to face the WWE Champions Seth Rollins in the opening match of Raw; both men mesh well with each other and I hope these two feud in the future.
Roman Reigns Vs Cesaro – Raw 16/11/2015 – CageMatch Rating: 8.16 - This may be one of my favourite Roman Reigns & Cesaro matches, these two absolutely have great chemistry with each other, and if you don’t trust me watch this match between the two.
Shinsuke Nakamura Vs Finn Balor – NXT 13/07/2016 – CageMatch Rating: 8.42 - This was Finn Balors swan song in NXT, it was time for him to move on, and his final opponent would be his friend for Japan – Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura, had to prove himself that he could beat the best, that he could beat icon that he could beat… you (Finn).
Sasha Banks Vs Charlotte – Raw 25/07/2016 – CageMatch Rating: 8.03 - This would be the start of their one-on-one rivalry which would go for the whole year – in shockingly fashion this match started the trend of Sasha winning the Raw Women’s Championship on Raw.
Kota Ibushi Vs Cedric Alexander – Cruiserweight Classic Tournament – CageMatch Rating: 9.14 - In the second round of the Cruiserweight Classic Tournament we were given this masterpiece of a match. This match saw Alexander unfortunately getting a defeat, but after the match the crowd chanted ‘Please sign Cedrick’ which prompted to Triple H to make a surprise appearance to give the thumbs up saying ‘sure thing’.
Cesaro Vs Sheamus – Clash of Champions 2016 – CageMatch Rating: 7.98 - This was the final of their best of 7 series, and I’ve got to say I absolutely love this match. I really enjoyed their whole series, but this was a fantastic ending. Both men took each other to their absolute limits, and yeah people were annoyed with it ending in a draw but I love that idea it allowed them to form a tag team and put on great matches with each other because of the skills, ability and chemistry.
Bayley Vs Charlotte – Raw 13/02/2017 - CageMatch Rating: 7.92 - I still don’t understand why they didn’t wait for Bayley to win the Women’s Championship at Wrestlemania instead of a random Raw match. Either way, this was actually a really good match, and possibly better than all the Sasha/Charlotte matches from the previous year- I really hope people don’t forget about this match when talking about the best women matches of the year.
New Day Vs The Uso’s – Summerslam 2017 Kick Off – CageMatch Rating: - The New Day and The Uso’s feud grew over the summer period of 2017, and these teams had good matches with each other on previous PPV’s and episodes of smackdowns, and even had the segment of the year on an episode of Smackdown which involved a Rap Battle. But this match is easily one of the best matches in all the competitors careers, they were pushed on the Pre-Show for the second biggest PPV of the year, and they arguably put on one of the best matches of the night and tried to prove to people that they should’ve been put on the main show.
Aleister Black Vs Velveteen Dream – NXT Takeover: WarGames – CageMatch Rating: 8.51 - Two months of build up for a great match, that had two polar-opposites work with each other in a way that I haven’t ever seen before. The respect Aleister shows Velveteen Dream after the match, really adds to this.
Buddy Murphy Vs Mustafa Ali – 205 Live 03/07/2018 – CageMatch Rating: 8.97 – I believe this match is one of the matches that helped 205 Live become more popular in 2018. Any time you had Murphy, Ali, Gulak or Alexander compete in 205 they would always turn a quiet crowd into a loud and engaging crowd.
Buddy Murphy Vs Cedric Alexander – Super Show-Down 2018 – CageMatch Rating: 8.00 – I love this match; but I purely think it’s because it’s the best match I’ve ever seen live. It may also be because I had been watching Murphy compete in local promotions such as PCW & MCW – it is a great home country moment for him.
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUSLY:
WWE hit the reset button again with a new storyline assigning general managers to each brand, and it featured the shocking debut of Eric Bischoff. The new storyline will have Bischoff as the heel GM of Raw, while Stephanie McMahon will be the babyface GM of Smackdown, while Vince McMahon will take more of a backseat role and reduce his TV presence. Of course, just 5 weeks ago, Vince panicked and blew up the existing "feuding GMs" storyline between himself and Ric Flair, so now we're re-starting it with new people I guess. It feels like a last-ditch effort to save the brand extension, which has been an utter flop since day one, with no effort to differentiate the shows and only resulting in diluting the talent and falling ratings.
Bischoff and McMahon struck a secret deal about 10 days prior to his debut. Bischoff had talks with WWE last year about coming in during the original Invasion angle, except they only wanted him to do a one-off match with Vince for the PPV (which Vince would obviously have won), but Bischoff turned down that offer. But this time, they agreed to a more long-term deal. Bischoff didn't know he was going to debut on Raw until just a day or two prior, when Vince called him and told him to be there. The whole thing was kept secret and almost no one other than Vince himself knew about it. This is believed to be a unique contract, in which it's a short-term deal with the option to renew it for longer-term if the angle gets over. His only role is as a television character, it's strictly a performance contract. Bischoff is not going to be a part of management or creative.
When Bischoff walked across the screen in the backstage segment, almost everyone in the company was just as shocked as the viewers at home. Bischoff's debut saw him come out and hug Vince, which Dave thinks about is the dumbest possible way to introduce him. Sure, the Invasion angle is over but WCW's corpse isn't completely cold yet. It's only been a year or so. There is probably still plenty of money to be made in Bischoff as an outsider trying to destroy Vince McMahon and the WWE. But as always, that would involve Vince allowing himself or WWE to look vulnerable against an "outsider" and his utter refusal to do that is a big part of what tanked the Invasion. But that's par for the course. Bischoff cut a promo, giving the fake "WWE version" of the Monday Night Wars history (Dave points out multiple inaccuracies that WWE still clings on today, such as claiming they stole Hulk Hogan from WWF. Of course, Hulk had been in NJPW and hadn't worked for WWF for nearly a year at the time WCW signed him. Things like that.). Dave thinks it became one of those promos full of old stuff or inside references where so much of it is about things that the average fan doesn't know or care about. Dave thinks most of this audience in 2002 isn't familiar with Alundra Blayze, they don't know Raw used to be taped instead of live, and they don't care about 83-week TV ratings streaks (Dave also notes that Bischoff said 84 on this show, which is incorrect). And once again, it became one of those promos talking about how much WWE sucks lately, which is something you don't want to keep pointing out to the fans who are still watching because you just make them feel dumb for supporting something that even the people producing it knows sucks. Shit like that is partly what drove off WCW fans. Bischoff also gloated about almost putting WWE out of business, and to the many guys in the locker room who remember that vividly, it wasn't a joke or a storyline. Those are guys who really were fighting for their job against a guy who really was trying to put them out of business. Bischoff has tremendous heat from the locker room, with a lot of people who worked for him in WCW or who resent him from the WWE side....they don't want Bischoff there.
This angle was going to take place regardless, but it's thought that the injury to Kevin Nash may have moved things up a couple of weeks because Vince once again panicked when his plans went down in flames. Nash had surgery last week. Because of the location of the tear, it's not quite as serious as the tear Triple H suffered last year. But Nash is also 10 years older. However, he has vowed to return, noting he doesn't want his career to end like that. With his age and his track record of injuries (this is his 22nd surgery, dating back to his collegiate basketball days), Dave isn't sure how much Nash will be able to offer if/when he returns next year. Also, while nobody wanted Nash to get hurt, the mood in the locker room was said to be much happier this week without him around, as the whole Nash/X-Pac/Shawn/Triple H group isn't very well liked these days (the more things change...)
Speaking of X-Pac, a weird situation with him this week led to him being suspended by WWE. The day of the Raw when Nash tore his quad, X-Pac missed his flight to the show. Why? Well, he was hospitalized earlier that day in Minneapolis. Again, you ask, why? No idea. Sounds like X-Pac sure would like to know also. He called WWE saying he was in the emergency room and had no idea how he got there. He left the ER and made new travel arrangements and he got to Raw 90 minutes before the show started. And then he went out there that night and worked his match (and Dave says looked more impressive than he had in a long time). However, after the match, he still couldn't explain to WWE officials how or why he was in the hospital earlier that day and so they were naturally suspicious. As a result, X-Pac has been suspended and removed from all upcoming bookings until they get a medical report on what the deal is. Dave says X-Pac has been acting out of control for weeks now and it's been well-documented (threatening to quit if match finishes weren't changed week after week). The feeling backstage was that as long as Nash was around to go to bat for him, he was basically protected, but no longer. With Hall fired, Nash out for probably a year, X-Pac suspended, and Hogan a babyface, the feeling within the company is that the NWO angle is dead. Shawn Michaels is still expected to appear at upcoming house shows and Raws in some new role, since much of the advertising for those shows was based around him appearing, but this is probably the end of the road for the NWO. (This kinda flew under the radar, but yeah, X-Pac never wrestled another match in WWE. The match where Nash tore his quad remains to this day the last time X-Pac ever worked a match in a WWE ring. He gets released soon after this and we all know in retrospect that he was dealing with some drug issues throughout this time).
Dave provides some details on Vince Russo's first (and only) creative meeting when he was briefly rehired by WWE last month. Russo apparently proposed a Raw vs. Smackdown feud that would eventually lead to reviving one of them as WCW and reigniting the WCW vs. WWE war. This time, they would have Eric Bischoff leading the WCW side, while Russo suggested Mick Foley as the leader of the WWE side. It was pretty much made clear to Russo during the meeting that if they were to do a Raw vs. Smackdown angle, it would be Stephanie in charge of the WWE side, not Foley, and sure enough, that's what is expected to happen (but without the whole WCW-revival part). Russo's idea was pretty much a combination of the 2001 Invasion angle and the 2000 WCW Bischoff/Russo angle. Dave notes that Russo wanted to essentially start from scratch again, strip everyone of their belts the way they did in 2000, and bring in Bret Hart and Goldberg to be involved as well.
A big recap of UFC's debut show in England, which featured rising star Frank Mir getting beat in what should have been an upset, but word is Mir didn't take the fight seriously and barely trained. As a result, he got murked in the first round. Also, while in England, some people in Tito Ortiz's camp got into a big drunken bar brawl with fellow fighter Lee Murray. Chuck Liddell was somewhere involved too. Anyway, long story short, some people tell the story that Murray knocked Ortiz out. Ortiz denies it (to this day, this is a famous MMA story and both men tell different versions, so depending on who you believe I guess).
TNA's 4th show ended with a strong angle that actually got them some national publicity. It involved Tennessee Titans players Frank Miller and Zach Piller hopping the rail and attacking Jeff Jarrett and some other wrestlers, resulting in a big brawl to end the show. So how much of it was real or shoot? Well, Russo is involved, so who knows. The official story is that Jarrett and Piller were supposed to shove each other from across the rail, but that's it. From NFL sources, Dave has actually heard the same thing. It was supposed to stop at a shoving confrontation, and then Malice would come pull Jarrett away. That was the story as Russo allegedly wrote it. But reportedly, Piller had been drinking and he ended up hopping the rail and straight up overpowered Jarrett like it was nothing and took him down. Whether this was a shoot or a work is still unknown, but it ended up getting them coverage on SportsCenter and Dave says it's possible it was a work that only a few people were in on. If it was a work, nobody else was in on it. Ron Harris, who works backstage, almost rushed to the ring to save Jarrett and Malice (who wasn't supposed to touch the football players) got involved and broke it up quickly. After the show, the players were backstage laughing and joking with Jarrett and Miller has been openly telling people it was all planned and they were told to make it look as real as possible, but it's still unknown if jumping the rail and tackling Jarrett was part of the plan or not. Several other Titans players were at ringside with them and saw it unfold, but mostly didn't get involved. So now after the publicity, TNA is trying to see if they can make a match out of this. Either way, it's starting to feel like an elaborate work that none of the rest of the roster was clued in on, which is exactly the kind of shit Russo used to do constantly in WCW that soured morale among the locker room, and for this to happen on Russo's first night in, with an angle he wrote, sure feels a little familiar.
Puerto Rico's IWA had its most successful show in company history, drawing more than 11,000 fans (without a single WWE name on the card) to see the payoff of an angle with Savio Vega fighting for control of the company. WHO SAID SAVIO AIN'T A DRAW?!
On the other side of things, WWC has postponed its anniversary show from August to September in order to give themselves more time to build up big angles and storylines. Seems like something they probably should have been planning earlier? IWA has become the dominant promotion in Puerto Rico and WWC felt they didn't have the build-up necessary to do a big-money show right now. Especially after this IWA show did such big business, anything less would be an embarrassment.
Bischoff's debut on Raw was a pretty big hit. How big, you ask? During Bischoff's in-ring promo after his debut, Raw added nearly 1.1 million new viewers from the previous segment. Meaning that as soon as Bischoff walked across the screen backstage, tons of wrestling fans started calling their friends telling them, "Holy shit, Eric Bischoff is on Raw, turn it on!" The bad news is that as soon as Bischoff's promo was over, a lot of them tuned right back out, leading to a huge drop-off for the rest of the show. On the flip side, this week's Smackdown, featuring the heavily-hyped return of The Rock ended up being the 7th lowest rated episode of the show in history (4th if you don't count holidays). Rock's not a draw, bet he won't even be in the business in a couple more years.
Kenta Kobashi is finally back in the ring, wrestling undercard prelim tag matches for NOAH. Even though he's in tags and doing limited in-ring work, his knees are said to be already killing him and one of them totally locked up on him after one of his recent matches. But he still hasn't missed any dates.
NJPW announced that Kensuke Sasaki will face Pancrase star Minoru Suzuki at the Tokyo Dome in October. This match was actually planned for the big Tokyo Dome show back in May, but negotiations fell apart because Pancrase didn't like the idea of Suzuki doing a worked pro-wrestling match. Suzuki started his career in NJPW back in 1988 and was being groomed to be a big star for the company, but he quit and joined UWF because he preferred to work shoot-style matches. In 1993, he and a few other guys all started Pancrase, which he's been doing ever since. These days, Suzuki's days of fighting for them at a top level are over and he usually only competes against nobodies or in catch wrestling (grappling and submission only, no striking). Anyway, for those curious, this didn't happen. Not sure why yet, I haven't gotten that far, but Suzuki doesn't return to NJPW until 2003.
Goldberg is said to be leaning very much against going to WWE anytime soon and is instead eyeing his options of working big shows in Japan. He's contemplating an offer to make an appearance at Toryumon's show in Tokyo in September, but only an appearance. He doesn't plan to wrestle until later in the year (don't think the Toryumon appearance happens, but he does end up working a few matches in Japan here soon).
Bret Hart is still hoping to make his scheduled appearance for Jacques Rougeau's upcoming indie show in Montreal. If you recall, Rougeau's big show there last year drew over 11,000 fans and he's got himself another big stadium to fill this year and Bret was expected to be the biggest draw. Whether he'll be healthy enough to make the show, following his recent stroke, remains to be seen but he's determined to try. As of this week, Hart is able to lift his left arm over his head. Just a week ago, he couldn't move it at all. His grip strength is also coming back and he's able to walk short distances. His vocal cords were also damaged but have started strengthening again and he's able to talk again (though he can't cut a wrestling promo yet, Dave says, so he might not be doing much other than coming out and waving to the crowd if he does make it). He's still having some vision problems also, but not too bad all things considered.
Dave says that "no matter what you may hear," a lot of people involved in TNA behind the scenes are very unhappy about Vince Russo being brought in. He also says that a lot of people associate Russo and Ed Ferrara together, but they actually had a major falling out awhile back and hadn't been on speaking terms until now. When it became clear Russo was coming back, Ferrara reached out to Russo and the two sides made up. He goes on record saying for sure that neither Mike Tenay or Bill Behrens are happy about Russo's arrival, among others, but says everyone is being professional.
Notes from TNA Weekly PPV: Crowd of about 1,500, only about half paid. Dave says it was easily the best of the 4 shows they've had so far. About 85% of it was written and booked by Jerry Jarrett and the original writing team before Russo was hired, but Russo did make some changes. Dave says some people are beginning to get tired of Don West on commentary already and he definitely brings a ton of enthusiasm (but nothing else, Dave adds) to the table. During the Ken Shamrock vs. Omori match, the crowd was distracted by one of the cage dancers near the entrance who was apparently showing her ass to the crowd. Former WCW wrestler Crowbar (real name Chris Ford) worked a tag match under the name Tempest and Dave notes that when Ford worked a try-out match for WWE awhile back, he also signed over the name Crowbar to them when he did (guessing Dave is mistaken about this. He never used the name Crowbar in TNA, but he's been using it everywhere else ever since for the last 18 years). Brian Christopher is now going by his real name, Brian Lawler, and cut a promo on Jerry Lawler about being a bad father. It got a lot of heat but now they've made fans want to see a match that they can't deliver. K-Krush faced NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler and got DQ'd. Dave says Krush was absolutely awesome here, actually carrying Sadler to a watchable match. Sadler was awful of course, but the Gayda/Stratus match from Raw was light years worse, so hey, who cares? TNA tried to bring in Hermie's more famous older brother Elliott Sadler, but that fell through because Elliott has some type of affiliation with WWE, though Dave isn't sure what (I did the research and apparently Elliott drove a Summerslam-themed car during a race around this time, so I assume that's it).
More notes from TNA Weekly PPV, since this recap is huge and big, unbroken paragraphs suck: Mark and Jay Brisco worked a brief match until Malice ran in and destroyed everyone (Dave says this was a Russo addition to the show. Dave also says the Briscos will be great some day and notes that on this show, the announcers lied and said both of them are 18, when in fact, Mark Brisco is still 17 and therefore not even allowed to wrestle in many commission states). Former porn star and ECW valet Jasmine St. Claire debuted and gave Jeremy Borash a lap dance, took off her underwear, and was about to strip nude until a big angle stopped it. And yes, in case it wasn't obvious, this was another Russo addition. AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn are the tag team champions and ended up in a big brawl backstage. If you've been paying attention to the show the last 2 weeks, you would have recognized that they were doing a slow build with these two partners having friction, but Russo convinced Jarrett to hurry up and pull the trigger on the split, so here we are. Dave thinks this had no impact at all because it felt completely rushed, the story hadn't progressed far enough yet for these two to already be coming to blows. Another interview with the Dupps saying "shit" repeatedly was, yes, another Russo addition. Try not to cut yourself on all this edginess. Shamrock vs. NOAH star Takao Omori ended in a no contest because of politics. Shamrock was supposed to win clean, but then NOAH decided they didn't want Omori to do a job, so this is what we got. Dave thinks TNA should have said screw them then and just not used Omori because it's not like TNA's fanbase knows who the fuck he is anyway. Omori was said to have been spaced out all day beforehand and looked bad in the match. Crowd didn't care and they pumped in a ton of fake crowd noise for it. Jeff Jarrett ran in and took everyone out with chair shots, including "NWA rep" Harley Race, who ate a brutal unprotected chair shot to the head from Jeff and Dave thinks that's not good for anyone's brain, especially a guy pushing 60. Race was there basically to help Omori since Harley's small promotion in St. Louis has a relationship with NOAH. And finally, the 6-man X-Division #1 contenders match was excellent. Dave thinks WWE really missed the boat on Jerry Lynn and K-Krush. He admits Lynn probably couldn't have ever been a top guy in WWE or anything, but he makes everybody he wrestles look like a million bucks and guys like that are priceless to have on your roster. They also pumped a bunch of crowd noise in for this match, and at one point, the fake crowd noise loop stopped and there was a moment where it went from a loud roaring crowd to dead silence in a blink. Also, a fight in the stands distracted the crowd near the end. But great match otherwise. Show ended with the Titans players angle.
In other news, The Shane Twins have been working as the masked penis wrestlers The Johnsons in TNA but the penis aspect of it has been played down to almost nothing. Upcoming plans were for the team to unmask and revert back to the Shane Twins, but when Russo came aboard, that plan got scrapped and they will remain The Johnsons for now. Because dammit, Russo will get to make penis jokes on TV or he's going to die trying.
Many of the key names in TNA (Shamrock, AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn, Mike Tenay, among others) have now signed 1-year contracts. Scott Hall was rumored to have also signed a 1-year deal, but Hall is telling people it's not true and he's only committed for 4 more dates. Low-Ki is signed through the end of the year.
At the recent K-1 vs. PRIDE show, there was a huge upset when PRIDE fighter Quinton Jackson knocked out Cyril Abidi, one of the top kickboxers in the world. The "plan" was for Abidi to win and then go on to a bigger money match with Don Frye, but that's what happens when you try to plan things around a shoot.
And I'm sorry, I know this ain't an MMA recap, but this is too good: at the UFC press conference for the UK show this week, Dana White showed up with a bag filled with $250,000 in cash and challenged UK boxing promoter Frank Warren to put up any fighter in his stable and White would find a UFC fighter of the same weight to fight him, winner takes all the money. If you recall, Warren made some statements a few weeks back calling UFC fighters unskilled steroid freaks and claiming that his boxers could beat any of them in a real fight. So Dana showed up with a whole bag of cash, doing Dana things.
Notes from Raw: Vince came out to the NWO music and said that's the last time we'll ever hear it and that the NWO is dead, so as expected, that's it for that gimmick. Tommy Dreamer is back to his old ECW gimmick and is already 1000x more over than the jobber-eating-gross-stuff gimmick WWE gave him. There was a Coach/Booker T segment backstage which is when Eric Bischoff walked through the shot, leaving everybody with their mouths hanging open, and then his promo. Another hype video for Rey Mysterio debuting on Smackdown next week. Former WCW wrestler and recent developmental guy Johnny The Bull made his Raw debut winning the hardcore title, and Dave is baffled how he got the call up because he's one of the worst guys they have in developmental and is nowhere near ready. But it's all about how he looks. Undertaker & Lesnar beat RVD & Flair in the main event and afterward, Lesnar turned on Undertaker in a good angle, though Dave doesn't have high hopes for the inevitable match.
Notes from Smackdown: it was a pretty bad show and for a pretty surprising reason. It was all built around Rock and he was awful. Rather than trying to sell a PPV, he came off like he was trying too hard to be a funny, "cool" guy and became a parody of himself. Dave is a huge Rock fan and thinks it was painful. He did a big in-ring promo segment with rapper Busta Rhymes that was just an elaborate plug for his new Halloween: Resurrection movie ("coming out in July?" Dave asks incredulously and, right, wtf?). Even Rock using Angle's own ankle lock against him at the end of the show looked hilariously fake and Dave has no interest in the Rock/Angle match at Vengeance after this show. Edge & Hogan defending the tag titles was a super heated match and Dave can't understand it. The live crowds are still nuclear hot for Hogan, but it's not translating at all into TV ratings or ticket sales. But man, the people who do buy tickets sure do love him. They seem to be slow-burning a Randy Orton heel turn. The Nidia segment at the buffet was great and Dave thinks they may have stumbled across a pretty great gimmick with her.
The crew got a little backstage pep talk before Raw this week, mostly given by the agents (John Laurinaitis, Arn Anderson, and Fit Finlay) as well as Triple H. In particular, Triple H talked about there being too many people in the locker room who think they deserve a push ahead of the newer guys because they've been there longer. He said too many guys are sitting back waiting for someone to give them a push rather than breaking out from the pack and earning the push. He said he got over on his own when management was trying to hold him down after the MSG curtain call incident. Said too many guys are being lazy, playing cards and playing video games backstage rather than watching the matches and learning. He said just because you've had a few good matches on TV doesn't mean you know how to work or deserve a push, and also said everyone needs to work harder at house shows because attendance is down and it was guys like him who worked hard to re-build the company the last time business was down. Needless to say, for a locker room full of people who feel like they bust their asses only to get their legs cut off and hit a glass ceiling (often at the hands of the same guy giving the speech), this went over just about as well as you'd expect with the rest of the locker room. Not that anything Triple H said is wrong. Dave agrees with most of it. But considering who the messenger was, it was not well-received.
Lots of backstage talk about last week's Bradshaw/Trish Stratus vs. Chris Nowinski/Jackie Gayda match, which was among the worst matches anyone has seen in years. Fit Finlay is the usual trainer and agent for the women and usually goes over their matches and spots with them, but in this case, Sgt. Slaughter put together this match. Gayda missed a few spots early in the match and seemed to panic and it all fell apart from there. Backstage, she was fully aware of how bad it was and was said to be extremely upset. There's been talk of sending her down to OVW for more training, but she'll probably still be on TV because she's fresh off winning Tough Enough.
Steve Austin hasn't had any contact with anyone in WWE except for Jack Lanza, who was the agent Austin often worked with for his matches. All that's known now is Austin told Lanza he's still training hard and Lanza felt like he's getting antsy sitting at home and may be ready to return already (I think he's got bigger problems at home). But Austin and Vince still have not spoken and there's still a lot of bad feelings there.
In light of recent events, Dave digs up the transcript from an old Prodigy online chat from 1996, in which Eric Bischoff was asked if he would ever work for Vince McMahon. His response: "I would rather chew off my fingers."
Writer Brian Gewertz reportedly has some heat over Raw's declining ratings. The problem is, no matter who it is (Gewertz, Heyman, Russo, or even Stephanie), the final approval for everything you see on television comes down to Vince McMahon. He deserves the credit when it's good and the blame when it's bad, end of story. It's a common occurrence for Vince to rip up a script and tell the writers to come up with something new, so any bad segment that makes it to TV is on him, and resulting in lots of last minute changes. Some people are even blaming Gewertz for Kevin Nash's recent injury because Gewertz wrote the match into the script the day of the show, so Nash wasn't even aware he was going to be wrestling until a couple hours before they went on the air and I guess he didn't have time to properly stretch and get ready, and ended up tearing his quad 10 seconds in. Same thing with Cena's debut, that was a day-of decision, and luckily Cena was already on the road with the crew working dark matches, so he was available. But again, Dave says you can't blame Gewertz for either of those things because, once again, it's Vince who is constantly changing his mind and forcing last minute rewrites and whatnot every week. How is Gewertz or any other writer supposed to build long-term stories under those conditions? (Man, this sure feels familiar)
Latest on DDP, he and wife Kimberly are planning on moving from Atlanta to Los Angeles to try their hand at acting careers. They've both saved a lot of money from their years in wrestling and can afford to take a chance on this kind of thing I guess. (DDP has done a handful of acting roles, mostly in the mid-00s, but obviously nothing of note. And Kimberly Page did a few movies, including a starring role with DDP in a movie called The Scam Artist that I can't find anywhere, and of course, her most famous role as "chick who's tit fell out" in The 40 Year Old Virgin).
Randy Orton suffered a concussion in a house show match with Batista. Orton was trying to sell a clothesline by flying in the air and taking a big flat back bump, but hit his head on the mat coming down and was knocked unconscious. He should be back in a week or so though, because it's not like concussions are serious injuries or anything. EMT's helped him out of the ring and he walked to the back under his own power but he was knocked clean the fuck out for a bit there.
This week's episode of WWE Confidential featured Big Show and Bradshaw playing a game of HORSE with the winner "getting a shot to sexually harass Linda Miles." So obviously they're out of ideas for this show. (Yeah JBL is on some full-blown Jerry Lawler shit with Miles here).
John Cena is still finishing up in OVW and working the upcoming big Six Flags show in Louisville. Despite being a big babyface on TV, he's still a heel in OVW and is playing a gimmick where his main roster success is going to his head.
The New York Daily News ran a story on the "Sex, Lies & Headlocks" book that is coming out soon about Vince McMahon and noted several revelations in the book, such as Vince being paranoid about his office being bugged in 1993 prior to the steroid trial and how he wouldn't sit or talk near windows because he thought the FBI was listening in. It also talked about how Vince gave a job interview to Matt Lauer to host the WBF Bodystars show but didn't think Lauer had the right look, among other things. When asked for comment, WWE responded "No one in WWE has any interest in reading it. No one cares to." Dave says that's 2002 carny talk for, "Can you get us an advance copy?"
NEXT WEDNESDAY:Raw appears to turn a corner (lol no), WWE making major cutbacks and severing developmental ties, TNA also making major budget cuts, WWE Vengeance fallout, and more...
2020.06.10 18:14 daprice82Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ May 27, 2002
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUSLY:
We open with the death of Davey Boy Smith, who passed away while on vacation in Fairmont, BC this week. Autopsy reports are pending but the cause of death is believed to be a heart attack stemming from a drug overdose. Smith was no longer a member of the Hart family, as he had divorced Diana Hart and was now dating Bruce Hart's ex-wife Andrea (whom he was on vacation with when he died). But he was still considered by many of the Harts to be part of the family and Dave says the Hart family tragedies are similar to the seemingly-cursed Von Erichs. Details are sketchy, but word Dave has is that Smith likely suffered a heart attack in his sleep and choked to death on his own vomit, similar to the way Louie Spicolli passed away. Dave talks about Smith's past drug issues, including a crippling morphine addiction that landed him in rehab on several occasions and led to multiple overdoses and caused his in-ring career to fizzle out in recent years after WWE released him. Dave recaps Smith's career, starting with the British Bulldogs tag team with Dynamite Kid, marrying into the Hart family, working in Japan, returning to WWF, falling out with Dynamite, the Summerslam 92 match with Bret Hart at Wembley Stadium, big singles run and star in Europe, his steroid use, his WCW run, the Hart Foundation, leaving after the Screwjob, WCW again, the crippling back injury he suffered there, WWF again, drug issues, body breaking down, and his life pretty much spiraling out of control the last few years with drugs, drama, and arrests and finally, this. Despite all the huge contracts he signed during his career, Smith was nearly broke at the time of his death. His final matches were for Top Rope Championship Wrestling, teaming with his 16-year-old son Harry on some of their indie shows. Smith's death was mainstream news in both Canada and the UK, though it wasn't as big a story in the U.S. On Raw, they did open the show with a nice tribute to him. There are rumors floating around now that Smith was returning to WWE soon. Dave says it's a nice story and there's no reason for WWE to deny it now, so they won't. But given the state he was in and all his recent issues, there was zero chance he was going to be rehired anytime soon.
Judgment Day, the first PPV of the "WWE" era is in the books, and saw Undertaker win the WWE title from Hulk Hogan, which was pretty much the plan from the moment Hogan beat Triple H for it a month ago. Despite huge pops in most arenas, Hogan's month-reign as champion saw TV ratings continue to fall and business continue to plummet, though Dave says most of the blame for that is on the company, not Hogan. Hogan hasn't been the one writing shitty TV for a year. Edge vs. Kurt Angle in the hair vs. hair match was the highlight of the show, for the second PPV in a row, and probably the best WWE match of the year so far and Dave gives Angle a ton of credit for elevating Edge and helping get him over as a top star here and says it's the best star-making job since Triple H and Mick Foley feuded several years ago, in which Foley basically busted his ass to make Triple H. And speaking of, Triple H vs. Jericho in the Hell in a Cell was very good but people are so used to crazy shit like Mick Foley falling from the roof that it's hard to live up to the expectations people have for that match now.
Other notes from the PPV: for the second time in as one week, WWE promised a huge surprise, only to reveal a letdown when Rikishi's heavily hyped mystery tag partner against Billy and Chuck ended up being...Rico. These days, when you tease a big surprise, fans are expecting a debuting Goldberg or Steiner or a returning Shawn Michaels or something. There's too many big names and free agents floating around out there to have Rico be your big mystery reveal. RVD vs. Eddie Guerrero was fine, but disappointing and Dave thinks RVD's window to break through to the top of the card is rapidly closing after he was so hot just a few months ago. Trish vs. Stacy was just background for a D-Von vs. Bubba Ray feud and Dave thinks its way too early for inter-brand matches. At one point, Deacon Batista bodyslammed Trish for Stacy to cover, but Trish kicked out, which doesn't exactly make Batista look like the monster they're pushing him as. Then Bubba Ray fought both of them off, again making Batista look pretty weak. Loud "Goldberg" chants during the Lesnar match. During the Triple H/Jericho HIAC match, Dave talks about referee Tim White taking the best bump of the match, off the apron into the cage (he doesn't seem to be aware yet that the bump was legit and it fucked up White's shoulder so bad that he ended up having to retire as a referee, which led to the Lunchtime Suicides, but that's another story for another day). And finally, UndertakeHogan was as awful as you'd expect and Dave says you have to go back years to find a WWF PPV main event match this bad.
Former FMW president Shoichi Arai was found dead at a park in Tokyo from an apparent suicide at age 36. He had hung himself with a necktie. Arai had gotten into deep financial trouble over the last year or so in an effort to keep FMW afloat and he owed money to countless people (Dave doesn't appear to know yet, but the primary portion of that debt was to the Yakuza and this suicide attempt was an effort to protect his family, so they could use the life insurance money to pay off his debts. It still wasn't enough, and his family ended up spending years paying off the remaining balance). When FMW started bouncing checks, Arai went into hiding and hasn't been seen much lately. Arai was working on a book about the business that he hoped to publish in order to pay off some debts (the book later came out, you can find English translations online with a quick google). Arai's wife had also recently left him and taken the children. A suicide note, postmarked the day before, was found by police. Dave recaps Arai's history in the business, leading up to him taking over FMW from Atsushi Onita in 1995 but the company floundered when Onita left in 1998 and was doomed when Hayabusa got paralyzed last year. Although he wanted to, FMW and Arai was unable to pay Hayabusa's hospital bills due to the company's mounting debt, leaving Hayabusa on the hook for all the medical costs of his career ending injury.
Obituary for George Gordienko, a Winnipeg (you idiot!) wrestler from the 1940s-70s who died at age 74. I've literally never heard of this dude, but of course, Dave knows his whole damn life story and career history. HOW?! Anyway, this dude was regarded as one of the toughest guys in wrestling history, with even legendary tough guys like Lou Thesz, Stu Hart, and Verne Gagne respecting that you don't fuck with Gordienko. He could have been one of the top stars in the history of wrestling, but while attending college at the University of Minnesota during the height of the Cold War, he was arrested for handing out pro-communism pamphlets and was deported back to his native Canada, never allowed to return to the U.S. again. He spent the majority of his career wrestling everywhere else in the world, especially Canada and Europe, but it crippled his ability to become a true top star in the industry. He later distanced himself from Communism, saying he just made some friends who were involved so he dabbled in it a bit but never really was that political in general. Thesz wanted to drop the NWA title to Gordienko in 1956 but even Sam Muchnick's political connections couldn't get him back in the country so it never happened (and Dave doubts they would have put the title on someone with the "communist" stigma surrounding him anyway).
Raw this week was the lowest rated non-holiday episode of the show in more than 4 years, dating back to March of 1998. The total audience from the peak of the Monday Night Wars 3 years ago has dropped a full 61% since then. That's insane when you look at it like that. WCW died, WWE's product kinda turned to shit, and almost 2/3 of the wrestling fans that watched in 1999 no longer watch. Staggering to see how far the business collapsed in such a short time from the heights it was at.
There's rumors that Dory Funk Jr. is heading to WWC to do a program with Carlos Colon. This leads Dave to mention that, of all the wrestlers who claimed they would never go back to that promotion after Bruiser Brody was murdered, Dory lasted the longest. Well, except Stan Hansen, who stuck to his word and never went back. But otherwise, all the other people who claimed they'd never work there again ended up returning eventually and now it looks like Dory, the final holdout, is going to do the same (he does, but not here. This doesn't happen yet. But eventually, in 2005, Dory does indeed return to WWC to work some matches with Colon).
There is still interest in Japan in getting AJPW back on television before the end of the year. And if Riki Choshu ends up going here (after his recent departure from NJPW), it would make for an even stronger package for the TV networks. The company is currently in talks with Fuji Network there about starting on their network after the baseball season ends.
There's lots of talk that Motoko Baba will retire from AJPW and leave it in Keiji Muto's hands following the 30th anniversary show later this year. Ever since Great Baba died, there has been talks that she was hoping to keep the company alive through the 30th year anniversary and then she might step down (yup, this is pretty much what happens. We'll get there).
There's talk of doing a Chyna vs. women's wrestler Shinobu Kandori match at the October NJPW Tokyo Dome show. Dave is skeptical because a big issue Chyna had in WWF was that she didn't want to wrestle women anymore, only men. When WWA recently made her an offer, Chyna said under no circumstances would she wrestle for them for any price, presumably against women, so that deal fell apart. So it'll be interesting if Chyna will face Kandori. (Nope. She sticks to her guns. Only wants to face men, so she ends up facing Masa Chono on that show. But we'll get there).
Toru Yano, a former amateur wrestling champion, made his NJPW debut, losing in the opening match. Yano is 24 and is a highly decorated amateur wrestler including winning the Japanese collegiate national championships, which is Japan's equivalent to the NCAA championship Brock Lesnar won in America. Dave lists several other championships he's won. Because, obviously, Yano was already the true ace long before he came to NJPW.
Dave has seen the tape of the Chono vs. Misawa dream match from the recent Tokyo Dome show and.....eh. Misawa was clearly the crowd favorite, which was a surprise given that it's a NJPW show, but Misawa drew the crowd. Match went to a 30 minute draw and Dave thinks it was a disappointment, only giving it 2.25 stars. These two guys just aren't capable of having classic 30-minute long singles matches anymore with their shape their bodies are in and all the injuries they've had over the years.
Former ECW wrestler Big Dick Dudley passed away this week at age 34 from apparent kidney failure. Dave acknowledges that this newsletter is becoming almost nothing but obituaries lately, which is probably a sign that something is wrong in this business. Anyway, Dave recaps his brief career and notes that XPW had a big tribute to him on their TV show.
We get another obit for a Crockett-era jobber from the 80s named Ben Alexander, dead from a stroke at 51. The obits keep coming. Are we done yet? Nope....
One last obituary for Eric Kulas, better known as Mass Transit, who was involved in one of the ugliest incidents in modern wrestling history at an ECW show in 1996 with the Mass Transit Incident. Kulas passed away at age 22, cause of death still TBD, but he's been in poor health for awhile. Dave recaps the Mass Transit incident, in which a 17-year-old Kulas lied about his age, got onto an ECW show, and got butchered by New Jack. After the incident, Kulas and his family filed criminal charges against New Jack, but lost. So then they filed a civil suit against New Jack, Paul Heyman, ECW, and several other defendants. Those all got dismissed except for the civil suit against New Jack, which is still pending but probably not going to go anywhere now that Kulas is dead. Following what happened, Kulas swore he was done with wrestling, but he ended up using his notoriety to work a handful of indie matches in later years.
As reported before, NWA-TNA has had talks with former WCW announcer Scott Hudson, as well as Mike Tenay, about being lead commentators for the new promotion. They're also looking to use a guy named "Dan West" (close enough), who is a former Home Shopping Network host who has something of a cult following as a good hard-sell guy. Eric Bischoff had interest in bringing in West back when it looked like the Fusient/WCW deal was going to happen.
Vince Russo is definitely involved with this new promotion. Dave doesn't know how official it is, or what capacity, but as of a few days ago, Russo was definitely involved in creative and pitching ideas. Jeff Jarrett was recently interviewed by Dave and Bryan on the Observer Live show and continued to claim Russo isn't involved due to his ongoing lawsuit with Time Warner over the Hogan/Bash at the Beach 2000 incident. But Dave isn't buying it and has it on good authority that Russo is absolutely involved in some way (proven true soon after).
Speaking of, tickets for NWA-TNA's first show in Huntsville are moving extremely slowly. As of press time (about 3 weeks before the show), less than 300 tickets have been sold and there are still front row ringside seats available. Not a great sign.
UK boxing promoter Frank Warren made some comments about how UFC fighters wouldn't last 5 minutes with any trained boxer. Dana White responded, telling Warren to put anyone in his stable, including WBO champion Joe Calzaghe or Ricky Hatton to accept the challenge and Dana will take a UFC fighter of the same weight and put them against each other. I mean, yeah, Dana's clearly right here. Boxing and MMA are two wildly different skill-sets and in a boxing match or an MMA fight, the advantage is going to go to the person more comfortable fighting under those rules. But if you take a boxer and a UFC fighter and just put them in a pit with no rules and say fight to the death, that boxer is getting murdered.
WWE is trying to set up a meeting with Vince McMahon and Goldberg in an attempt to hammer out a deal. WWE asked for the meeting but as of yet, Goldberg hasn't accepted. He realizes he's kinda in the driver's seat here, because they need him way more than he needs them. WWE officials have been calling Goldberg on a pretty much daily basis and he's playing hard to get. He was invited to attend a TV taping nearby but he declined. He asked that Vince comes to him in Atlanta to negotiate a deal rather than he go to Vince in Connecticut. So that's the kind of mind games they're all playing here. Those close to Goldberg say he's still more interested in working with PRIDE and NJPW than he is WWE. That being said, Dave talks to a lot of people in the MMA world and nobody is taking the Goldberg/PRIDE rumors seriously because everyone recognizes how badly that would go for him and no one believes he's dumb enough to actually do it.
Kevin Nash and X-Pac threw a fit at Raw last week about what the NWO was scripted to do. Vince wasn't there for the show (he was directing the pre-taped Austin/Guerrero angle on-location away from the arena) and they didn't like what was booked for them. Nash reportedly threw a tantrum about it and managed to get the script changed. The original script called for X-Pac to lose twice in different tag matches on the show featuring the NWO but that ended up being scrapped at Nash's demand. Nash hasn't been happy for several weeks. Remember a few weeks ago when Nash returned to TV after being out injured and they showed him getting out of a limo backstage and then.....nothing else? He was supposed to come out later in that show and cut a promo and they ended up scrapping it due to time constraints, meaning Nash flew to whatever city they were in and showed up to Raw for pretty much no reason, only to be shown for 10 seconds getting out of a car. So he was pissed about that. And last week, he was already at the airport checking his bags when he got a call saying he wouldn't be used and was sent back home. (I mean, to be fair to Nash, in a world where the travel is so grueling and takes up so much of your time, that kinda shit is pretty inexcusable. I'd be pissed too). And even though everyone, even Nash, recognizes that firing Scott Hall was the right move, Nash wasn't happy about how they explained it on TV. The NWO is supposed to be portrayed as some kind of outsider group that doesn't obey the rules, so for Flair to have the authority to just fire him in kayfabe doesn't make any sense. Again, kinda hard to fault Nash here. He's right.
Notes from Raw: Dave calls it another show in WWE's attempt to become WCW as fast as they possibly can. He says they're making all the same mistakes. The show opened with a great UndertakeRVD angle, but Dave says that was pretty much the peak. It was all downhill from there. After just starting the angle last week, Molly Holly and Regal are already an on-screen couple and Dave complains that they skipped about a million storytelling steps in the middle in getting to that point. Just lazy writing. Tommy Dreamer was at a barber shop eating hair. X-Pac, Booker T, and Big Show argued over who the leader of the NWO is. They did an angle where Flair ordered Austin home for the night and with the assurance that Austin was done for the night, ratings immediately plummeted for the rest of the show. But even though he was done for the live crowd, they filmed several segments of Austin and Eddie Guerrero in a bar that ultimately led to a brawl. Dave doesn't know why they insist on taking guys with known alcohol issues (Hall and now Guerrero) and putting them in angles involving alcohol. Is it some kind of shitty test or something? Anyway, Guerrero smashed a beer bottle on Austin's head and it led to a whole big thing. And finally, Undertaker beat RVD in a bad match to close the show and Dave says RVD's in-ring work is looking worse and worse lately.
Notes from Smackdown: they opened with Edge confronting Triple H, which later led to a tag team match. Dave doesn't know yet if Edge is the right guy to be pushing as a top star, but they gotta start pushing somebody new and at least they're trying. So it's something. Anyway, in other news, it only took 2 weeks for OVW's Leviathan to become a laughable cartoon as Deacon Batista here on the main roster. Obvious fake crowd noise during the D-Von match with Batista at ringside. Despite the falling ratings, Hogan is still massively popular with live crowds and the pop he got coming out here was unreal, with Dave calling it one of the top 5 biggest reactions he's ever seen (though not quite as big as the night after Wrestlemania pop in Montreal). And the tag team main event was good, with Edge showing that he's much better in the ring than Triple H, who hasn't been very good at all since returning from his injury.
More details on the Plane Ride From Hell. There's strong suspicion that many of the wrestlers were "H-bombed" as they call it. (In other words, someone put halcion pills in people's drinks without their knowledge). That was a common "prank" back in the day but not so much these days. Anyway, Goldust hasn't been fired but he was reprimanded for his actions (getting drunk and singing love songs to ex-wife Terri over the intercom, to her extreme discomfort). He was also punished for allegedly spitting tobacco juice all over one of the plane's seats. Brock Lesnar was not punished, because they felt like he was put in a tough position and was only defending himself against Curt Hennig's provocations. So the rumor that Lesnar losing to the Hardyz last week was punishment isn't true. It was just dumb booking. The flight had an open bar and also was delayed leaving, so most of the wrestlers were already shitfaced before they even left the ground. In the future, drinks are expected to be limited on international flights. Most of the problems here took place during the first half of the flight. By the end, everyone was pretty much calm and passed out.
Former ECW wrestler Nova, in his OVW debut, captured the OVW title from Prototype. This was done as a change of plans because Leviathan getting called up to the main roster with no notice screwed up all of Jim Cornette's original booking. Anyway, OVW is moving its tapings to a new building soon which will seat 600 people (as opposed to the 140 they fit into their current building for TV tapings).
Despite what he's been saying, WWE is going with the assumption that Kurt Angle isnotgoing to wrestle in the 2004 Olympics. Dave says they're going to try to convince him to stay with WWE, but they've given him their blessing to pursue it if he wants. But they're still hopeful to change his mind. With Rock leaving, and Undertaker, Triple H, and Austin all banged up, they really don't want to lose Angle right now.
DDP underwent more exams this week and he has several severely messed up vertebrae. His neck is actually worse than both Austin's and Benoit's were when they had surgery. And it's worse because DDP is also 46 years old. He needs surgery and has been told by multiple doctors that he needs to retire.
Random notes: Scott Hall's ex-wife Dana is attempting to get custody of their children following Hall's latest antics and firing from WWE. After he was booed on Canadian house shows last week, there's already talk of turning Randy Orton heel. In his first match under the new gimmick, Deacon Batista ripped his pants during a match with Hugh Morrus at a house show, which resulted in the crowd laughing through the end of the match. But it happened again the next night at another house show, leading Dave to think it may have been a planned spot. In which case....what are they doing to this poor guy? (eh, it works out for him okay in the end).
There was a story about a stuntman who got a tooth knocked out by accident while working with Rock on Scorpion King. In return, Rock bought the stuntman a gold and diamond studded Rolex as an apology. After that happened, all the other stuntmen began claiming injuries and Rock bought several of them gifts before he eventually realized he was being worked. But he reportedly took it in stride and wasn't upset.
Still no negotiations with Scott Steiner. WWE wants to sign people to a minimum of 2-year deals and Vince McMahon doesn't believe Steiner's body will hold up to a WWE schedule for that long and doesn't want to waste money on someone that won't be able to perform at the level they want.
Gene Okerlund will be hosting the new WWE Confidential show. It said to be more of a behind-the-scenes show, but with Okerlund hosting, Dave expects it to be campy and goofy. The first episode will feature Shawn Michaels talking about the Montreal Screwjob. Dave finds that funny, since just a few months ago, Vince McMahon was doing interviews saying only hardcore internet fans even remember or care about what happened that night.
NEXT WEDNESDAY:more on the death of Davey Boy Smith, the debut of WWE Confidential and Shawn Michaels admitting he was in on the Screwjob for the first time, Chris Benoit returns, and more...
2020.06.07 23:35 ConorCultureRebooking Mick Foley in TNA
The first part of this booking was largely done by u/john14325 but I have edited some of the descriptions and made a few edits. Check out his booking of the Main Event Mafia: https://www.reddit.com/fantasybooking/comments/g6pbps/rebook_tna_the_main_event_mafia/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf where a lot of this booking comes from. Build to Bound for Glory 2008: After losing to Samoa Joe the year before, Angle fought his way to another title shot at Lockdown, where he put his career on the line against Kaz. In a shocking turn of events, Angle turned heel to become king of the mountain. Lambasting those who did not approve of his change in attitude, Angle still referred to himself as a man of integrity unlike TNA's founder. Seeing himself as the most important man in company history, Angle kept insulting Jarrett. This led to No Surrender where Double J returned, costing Angle the World Title against Joe. Owning up to his own reign of terror, Jarrett went on a apology tour, asking for forgiveness of his abuse of powers years prior. Seeing Angle going down a similar past due to him being the highest paid person in TNA history, Jarrett set out to stop Angle from gaining more power. With the rivalry growing personal at an alarming rate, Foley was brought in to maintain order. Mick Foley made his TNA debut and said he was hired by Jeff Jarrett to become the new Commissioner of TNA, the role he always excelled in, because Jarrett believes Mick is the perfect man to run the company and keep things in order in case Angle causes any chaos. Mick tries to bring Angle to the light but he eats an Angle Slam. Mick makes himself the special guest referee, to ensure a fair match and fair result. Bound for Glory 2008: Jeff Jarrett def. Kurt Angle w/Mick Foley as special guest referee That Foley did, as he stopped Angle from braining an already bloodied Jarrett with a guitar before getting into a skirmish himself. Seizing the advantage, Jarrett used the guitar himself to steal the victory over a clearly superior opponent. Build to Turning Point 2008: With the formation of the villainous stable, The Main Event Mafia, all eyes are on Commissioner Foley to see what announcement he makes. He says he met up with A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe, and they personally went around the TNA locker room and assembled a roster of people to fight for TNA against The Mafia. Styles, Joe, Petey Williams and The Motor City Machine Guns all come out and say they are the TNA Front Line, they will fight for justice, and they will fight off the old timers stealing their air time and championships. The week following, the newly formed TNA Front Line come out and get into a huge brawl with The Main Event Mafia. People are thrown into the apron, ring posts, theres fists flying everywhere, no one can be contained. Scott Steiner gets into a fight with Petey Williams, his ex protege. Williams fights for TNA, Steiner isn’t part of him anymore. Petey slaps Steiner, which causes Steiner to brutally assault him some more. Mick Foley says that Turning Point will be the war to settle the score. He will book a series of Front Line vs. Mafia matches, to see who is the better stable. Petey Williams and his former mentor Scott Steiner will do battle for Steiner’s Legends Championship. Petey will not defend his X Division, so there will be an Ultimate X Match to find the #1 Contenders to the X Division Championship. Booker T will take on Christian Cage in a Loser Leaves Town Match, Samoa Joe will get revenge on his former friend Kevin Nash, and A.J. Styles will challenge champion, Sting, for the TNA World Championship in the main event. The battle lines have been drawn. Turning Point 2008: Kurt Angle def. Jay Lethal vs Consequences Creed vs Eric Young vs Homicide vs Sonjay Dutt in a Ultimate X match This match opens the show and it’s a 20 minute spot fest, people flying everywhere and high risks moves aplenty. Mike Tenay says this match embodies what the X Division is all about. Most notable participant in the match is Kurt Angle, as he stays as far out of the match as he can, only climbing the cables when everyone’s down and eventually he goes on to win the match. Booker T def. Christian Cage Booker T manages to defeat Christian clean since Christian was leaving for WWE anyway. Booker attacks Cage after the match, getting some heat for The Mafia as he batters a fan favourite in the last time they will see him again. Scott Steiner(c) def Petey Williams to retain the Legends Championship As Petey Williams is making his entrance, he is attacked from behind by Kurt Angle and leaves him as easy pickings for Scott Steiner but Petey puts up a hell of a fight. The one thing he cannot pull off is a Canadian Destroyer on Scott Steiner, he tries as hard as he can but the attack from early kicks in, plus Steiner is near impossible to lift up. Finally he’s put away by the Frankensteiner from Scott, who retains his Legends Championship Kevin Nash def. Samoa Joe Samoa Joe and Kevin Nash have a hell of a brawl, not doing much wrestling to hide Nash’s inability, just having a good old fashioned fight. They go around 10 minutes and Nash wins after hitting a low blow and three jackknife power bombs onto Samoa Joe. This makes Joe look strong in defeat, only being put away after three almighty finishers. Sting(c) def. AJ Styles to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship AJ Styles - the man who hasn’t held World Championship gold in three years wants to make an impact and silence Sting for good. AJ embodies TNA, he started out as the face of the X Division, something that is very close to TNA. He was a multiple time NWA Champion, he knows what holding World Championship gold feels like. They have a tremendous 25 minute match, Sting is able to pull off the clean victory and Styles offers his hand in a show of respect but is jumped by the rest of Main Event Mafia. The show ends with a beat down, mega heat for The Mafia. Build to Final Resolution 2008: The Main Event Mafia kicked ass at Turning Point, proving an old dog can still learn new tricks and they showed they were dominate over The Front Line. We see a pre taped party The Mafia are throwing in Sting’s multi-million dollar mansion. Champagne bottles are popped, Scott Steiner is with his freaks, Kurt Angle has milk in a wine glass and they are loving life. “Damn it feels good to be on top” Sting says to close it off. That same night AJ Styles, Petey Williams, Samoa Joe and The Motor City Machine Guns come out and they’re pissed that they work their asses off every night to make TNA the best wrestling company in the world while the so called stars are partying and here just to collect a paycheck. They challenge Main Event Mafia to a five on five elimination match at Final Resolution and the winners will hold all the gold, every championship in TNA. Main Event Mafia accept the match and promise that after Final Resolution that the Front Line will learn to respect the veterans. And of course, just because it’s the best heat in the world, The Mafia batter Mick Foley on the go home show. Final Resolution 2008 Main Event Mafia(c) def. TNA Front Line(c) in a Five on Five Elimination Winner Takes All Match to hold all the gold The match is action packed and never slows downs. Everyone put in a great effort before we get down to AJ Styles vs Sting and Kurt Angle. AJ fights valiantly, giving it everything he’s got. Buy the numbers game is too much for him and Sting pins Styles once again. Now, The Main Event Mafia holds all the gold. Sting has the World Heavyweight Championship, Kurt Angle has the X-Division Championship, Scott Steiner has the Legends Championship, and Kevin Nash and Booker T have the World Tag Team Titles. What does this mean for the future of TNA? When will the reign of terror end? Or will it ever? Build to Genesis 2009 Main Event Mafia celebrate their big win at Final Resolution by taking over an episode of Impact!. Sting beats up Mick Foley with the baseball bat before the show and takes his spot as commissioner for the episode. We have that really entertaining episode where Kevin Nash and Booker T are on commentary for the whole show, and Scott Steiner is the ring announcer. Sting all the while makes matches where the Mafia beat up the younger lower midcarders of TNA, just being total dicks. Samoa Joe goes up to Mick Foley next week and demands the rematch he never got for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Foley responds thst he’d love to but they have all the leverage right now and there’s nothing Mick can do. So, Joe launches a revenge campaign against Main Event Mafia and attacks them during their matches. Scott Steiner challenges “that fat out of shape wannabe Samoan” to a match at Genesis and Joe agrees, but not for the title because the only title that matter to him is the World Heavyweight Championship. Mick once again announces matches for Genesis. Petey Williams will invoke his rematch against Kurt Angle for Genesis, while Motor City Machine Guns will challenge Kevin Nash and Booker T for the TNA World Tag Team Championships. Jeff Jarrett steps up, having been gone for a few months while The Front Line and Mafia’s war took place. Jarrett says he created TNA as a platform for young guys to get an opportunity that they wouldn’t get anywhere else. TNA is not a place for old timers to coast of their reputation to collect a paycheck. Jarrett says Foley might not be able to step up, but he sure as hell can. He challenges Sting to the World Heavyweight Championship, since Jarrett still has a stake in TNA, he’s able to pull some strings and enlist Mick Foley as the special guest referee stacking the odds against Sting for once. Genesis 2009 Kurt Angle(c) def Petey Williams to retain the X-Division Championship We have a great opening match where Petey Williams looks great and comes so close to beating Kurt Angle after hitting a Canadian Destroyer but ultimately he succumbs to the Ankle Lock and has no choice but to tap out. Samoa Joe def. Scott Steiner Samoa Joe defeats Steiner in a 10 minute match making him pass out to the rear naked choke. Kevin Nash and Booker T(c) def. Motor City Machine Guns to retain the TNA World Tag Team Championships Nash and Booker retain the titles in dominant fashion. Jeff Jarrett vs Sting(c) /w Mick Foley as the special guest referee for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship We get to the match we’ve all been waiting for. The two are having a good match, everything is going fair, Mick is doing well enforcing the match, when all of a sudden The Main Event Mafia attack Jarrett but instead of calling for the bell, Foley chases them off with Jarrett’s guitar. Jarrett gets up and asks for the guitar, but Foley looks at it for a moment and whacks Jarrett with it allowing Sting to win the match. SWERVE! Mick Foley turns on TNA. As if The Main Event Mafia couldn’t get more powerful, they now have the damn commissioner on their side. TNA is their show now. Build to Against All Odds 2009: Mick Foley joins The Main Event Mafia. Huge news, and the big angle heading into Impact! is “Mick Foley explains his actions”. Mick says ever since he’s came to TNA, he has sympathised with the Front Line big. He formed the group. But he realised why would he be on the losing side? He’s Mick god damn Foley. He doesn’t need to hang out with a bunch of losers who will never be as good as the legends. He is a legend himself, so he decided he’d become one of the boys, and embrace it. Mick runs the show, thanks to Jeff Jarrett, so as long as he’s in charge, The Mafia will rule the roost. Jay Lethal and Consequences Creed both step up to challenge Kurt Angle for the X-Division Championship making everyone think that Angle will lose because Creed and Lethal are tag team partners and they say it doesn’t matter which one of them wins as long as Kurt Angle loses. Jarrett is infuriated about Mick Foley. He wants to destroy Mick Foley, and take TNA back. He doesn’t have full control like Foley does, but he still has some. So he books himself into a Hardcore Match with Foley for Against All Odds. He tries to make it if Foley loses he has to step down, but he doesn’t have the power to do so and Foley isn’t willing to accept that challenge. Jarrett promises nonetheless he will bloody and batter Mick Foley. Scott Steiner is walking backstage when he finds his ex protege Petey Williams. Scott says he put in a hell of a showing against Kurt Angle and offers him a spot in Main Event Mafia, but Williams calls Steiner a traitor. He abandoned the people who shared the locker room with him, he abandoned TNA. All for what? To dick around with a bunch of old dudes. Petey spits on his boots and a backstage brawl breaks out, because Steiner feels he’s being disrespected. This sets up a match for the Legends title at Against All Odds. Samoa Joe is still on his revenge tour and this time he targets Booker T. They have a match at Against All Odds. Rhino is offered a spot in Main Event Mafia but Rhino turns it down as he says after ECW closed, TNA was the only company who took a chance on him and he won’t betray them by joining the likes of Main Event Mafia, which prompts Sting to attack Rhino with a bat setting up a match at Against All Odds. Against All Odds 2009 Kurt Angle(c) def. Consequences Creed vs Jay Lethal to retain the X Division Championship Most of the match consists of Creed and Lethal ganging up on Kurt Angle but when Creed goes for the pin, Lethal breaks it up and they both realise they want to be the champion, and they start fighting. The fight ends with Lethal hitting the Lethal Injection on Creed but as he goes to pin him, Kurt Angle throws Lethal out of the ring and pins Creed to retain the title. The sneaky bastard. Samoa Joe def. Booker T /w Kevin Nash Samoa Joe wins the match and afterwards is laid out by Kevin Nash. ** Mick Foley def. Jeff Jarrett in a Hardcore match** We see a more aggressive and a more sinister side of Mick Foley which we haven’t quite seen yet in TNA, he’s pulling on his hair, he’s screaming at Jarrett, and he practically murders the poor man. He busts him open with several rights and lefts, making him bleed and scream. Foley wallops him with a steel chair, pushes him off a ladder through a table, and at one point hits an Alabama Slam onto a pile of thumbtacks. Foley makes Jarrett pass out to the Mandible Claw to win the match. Jarrett is demolished. Scott Steiner(c) def. Petey Williams to retain the Legends Championship During the build to this match, Steiner targeted Williams knee and it shows in the match because Williams can’t execute most of his high flying offence. He finally he gains the upper hand late in the match and is about to hit the Canadian Destroyer but his knee gives out and Steiner capitalises, nailing a Steiner Screwdriver to win the match and retaining the title. Sting def. Rhino to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship Sting wins the match retaining the title after Kevin Nash interferes and they beat down Rhino until Team 3-D come out to even the odds. Build to Destination X 2009 Samoa Joe wants a match against Kevin Nash at Destination X and if Joe wins he gets a shot at Sting’s World Heavyweight Title. Nash says I’ve beaten you before and I’ll beat you again. Kurt Angle is forced to defend his title against five men in an Ultimate X Match by Jeff Jarrett using the creative control he has. Those men are: Consequences Creed, Jay Lethal, Eric Young, Suicide and Sonjay Dutt. Petey Williams wants one more shot at Steiner’s Legends Championship but to make that happen, he has to go through Booker T at Destination X in order to get his shot. Mick Foley is called out by A.J. Styles as a TNA traitor. AJ says he should have never trusted Mick and that he should have never been signed in the first place. He has no reason to be here other than to collect a paycheck like everyone else in The Mafia. He challenges Mick to an Xtreme Match (weapons based X Division match) at Destination X, which Mick accepts, before attacking him with the Mandible Claw. He tries to do again a few weeks later but he fails. Rhino challenges Sting to a Full Metal Mayhem match and Team 3-D will be at ringside to make sure nothing happens, which will ensure we have a fair clean match. Destination X 2009 Petey Williams def. Booker T Booker T dominates most of the match, but Petey Williams has no quit in him and gets the surprise victory after hitting a Crossbody on Booker T. After the match, Booker T hits a Scissors Kick on Williams for revenge. Scott Steiner comes down and says “I said if you won you get your title shot and that match is happening right now.” ** Petey Williams def. Scott Steiner(c) to become the new TNA Legends Championship** Steiner takes advantage of an exhausted Petey Williams but cannot put him away. Williams is finally able to hit the Canadian Destroyer on Scott Steiner to win the match and the TNA Legends Championship. A.J. Styles def. Mick Foley in an Xtreme Match AJ and Mick go back and forth in a weapons filled war, featuring spots like Mick going through several barbed wire boards, AJ jumping off ladders, and a Springboard 450 Splash to the outside through a table seals the deal and gives AJ the win. Afterwards Mick puts AJ through a barbed wire board. Samoa Joe def. Kevin Nash Nash comes into this match as cocky as ever but is beaten down by Samoa Joe, badly. This match is completely one sided and Joe wins by referee stoppage because he beat Nash so badly. Sting(c) vs Rhino Full Metal Mayhem match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship This match is brutal and we see a lot of blood, Booker T tries to interfere but eats a 3-D through a table. Eventually though, Sting climbs the ladder and retains the title clean much to the dismay of Team 3-D. Build to Lockdown 2009 AJ Styles shows up on Impact!, fresh off his bloody and brutal beatdown at the hands of Mick Foley. AJ arrives to assemble a team to take on Main Event Mafia at Lockdown in a Lethal Lockdown Match. He says the Front Line have returned and he’s got TNA’s best and brightest on his side. His team consists of Jeff Jarrett, Jay Lethal and Petey Williams. Main Event accepts the challenge. The Main Event Mafia will consist of Kevin Nash, Booker T, Kurt Angle and Mick Foley. Sting makes a point of excluding Steiner from the match and Steiner loses his temper which causes him to get attacked by Main Event Mafia meaning Steiner is officially out of the group. During the build, Petey Williams loses the Legends Championship to Mick Foley. Foley is now on a violent streak, trying to take Petey out of the match. We head into the event unknown if Petey will make it back in time for the Lethal Lockdown Match. Samoa Joe will get his long awaited rematch for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Sting in a Six Sides of Steel Match. Lockdown 2009 TNA Front Line def. The Main Event Mafia in a Lethal Lockdown match This match goes 30 minutes and TNA Front Line win big after AJ Styles pins Kevin Nash. Samoa Joe def. Sting(c) in a Six Sides of Steel Match to become the new TNA World Heavyweight Championship Finally, the rematch six months in the making has arrived. Joe has been destroying Kevin Nash at every turn to get here. It comes down to this and the two men go to war with each other. Sting seems to have the match won when he makes it to the top of the cage, but Samoa Joe hurries up the cage and locks in a rear naked choke on Sting and they both fall off the cage down to the mat. The ring caves him but Joe never lets go of the hold. Sting passes out to the hold, once again, Samoa Joe regains the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Build to Sacrifice 2009 Scott Steiner returns from injury and wants revenge on Main Event Mafia and enlists his old protege Petey Williams to help him take down Main Event Mafia starting with taking the World Tag Team Titles from Kevin Nash and Booker T. Kurt Angle has an X-Division Title defense against AJ Styles at Sacrifice. Jeff Jarrett will get a rematch with Mick Foley and this time it’ll be for the TNA Legends Championship. Mick Foley has been violently attacking people for months and has held onto the Legends Championship like it’s his baby. He will not let go of it. Mick demands the match be No Disqualification, and Jarrett is conflicted. He knows in this environment Mick excels, but he wants the Legends Championship. Jarrett, begrudgingly, accepts. Sting invokes his rematch clause against Samoa Joe for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Sacrifice 2009 ** AJ Styles def. Kurt Angle(c) to become new TNA X-Division Championship** AJ and Kurt have an amazing opening match to start off the night with AJ Styles picking up the surprise victory to get the crowd hot for tonight’s show. Petey Williams and Scott Steiner def. Kevin Nash and Booker T(c) to become new TNA World Tag Team Championship Williams and Steiner win after miscommunication from Booker T and Scott Steiner allowing Williams to pin Nash. ** Mick Foley(c) def. Jeff Jarrett to retain the TNA Legends Championship** Despite Jarrett’s best efforts, Mick Foley retains the gold in a brutal hard hitting match. Once again, Mick Foley has defeated Jeff Jarrett. He goes to put Jarrett through a flaming table, but Jarrett puts Mick through it instead. Sting vs Samoa Joe(c) TNA World Heavyweight Championship Joe wins the rematch in a close hard fought battle. Build to Slammiversary 2009 TNA Front Line has been kicking ass for the past few months and things are falling apart in The Main Event Mafia, Booker T and Kevin Nash are at each other’s throats, Mick Foley isn’t taking things seriously, Kurt Angle lost the X-Division Title and Sting has taken a few weeks off after his loss to Samoa Joe. Booker T and Kevin Nash face off in a match to blow off some steam and the match goes to a double count out while they’re brawling outside the ring. Kurt Angle comes out to separate them and tells them “what’s wrong with you both? We need to be united and show these punks in the back who the stars are.” This is able to defuse the tension between Kevin Nash and Booker T. Abyss wants to wreak havoc on the faction that wants to destroy a company he’s been apart of since it’s inception and challenges Mick Foley to a monsters ball match for the Legends Championship. Mick gladly accepts and tells Abyss he’s been doing the crazy shit Abyss does since before Abyss even stepped foot in a ring. We have our annual King of the Mountain match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Slammiversary and it will be Samoa Joe defending against Kurt Angle, Booker T, Rhino and Sting. Slammiversary 2009 ”The Monster” Abyss def. Mick Foley(c) in a Monster’s Ball Match to become the new TNA Legends Championship We get a brutal 20 minute match with blood and lots of weapons. It’s Ric Flair vs. Mick Foley levels of blood and guts. Mick at one point dives off the top rope with a Flying Elbow Drop through a table, we get a kick out. Abyss wins after hitting a Black Hole Slam on Foley onto a pile of thumbtacks. Samoa Joe(c) vs Kurt Angle vs Booker T vs Rhino vs Sting King of the Mountain match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship This match goes 30 minutes and everyone looks good. We notice that Sting has a new sort of fire in his eyes and more of the will to win and he’s fighting more like a face than he is a heel. Sting has the match won and looks to be regaining his World Title. He climbs the ladder but Team 3-D slide in to the ring and hit the 3-D on Sting. Then, Rhino gets up and asks Team 3-D “what are you doing?”, then they 3-D Rhino. They pick up Kurt Angle and help him up the ladder. Kurt Angle wins the match regaining the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Team 3-D have joined The Main Event Mafia. Build to Victory Road 2009 Team 3-D explain that they have joined The Main Event Mafia because they want to be on the winning side. They know what it’s like to be a star and they’re not siding with these curtain jerkers that will take TNA no where in the long run. They challenge that traitor Scott Steiner and Petey Williams for the TNA World Tag Team Championships. Kurt Angle explains that Sting was weak and The Main Event Mafia was falling apart with him at the helm, so with Kurt Angle as the new Godfather of The Main Event Mafia they will reclaim their former glory. Sting wants revenge against Kurt Angle but in order to do so he has to beat Team 3-D in a handicap match tonight on Impact!. We get to the match and Team 3-D have the match won when Samoa Joe’s music hits distracting Team 3-D allowing Sting to roll up Brother Ray to win the match. Samoa Joe uses a steel chair to clear out Team 3-D and he teases using the chair on Sting, but instead he shakes Sting’s hand and at Victory Road it will be Kurt Angle vs Sting vs Samoa Joe for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. We have a six man Ultimate X match to determine the #1 contender for the X-Division Championship but the sixth man doesn’t enter until towards the end of the match. When all men are taken out by Matt Morgan, Kevin Nash walks out in his suit with a ladder and climbs the ladder to retrieve the X becoming #1 contender for the TNA X-Division Championship and the announcers are insulted that Kevin Nash disrespected the X-Division like this. Matt Morgan explains that he was paid off by Main Event Mafia to be their new special enforcer. Booker T and Mick Foley will face The Monster Abyss for the TNA Legends Championship in a Triple Threat Match. Foley says he didn’t even get hurt at Slammiversary, that was a day at the beach for him. He is going to make Abyss bleed and scream like he never had before, and with the help of Booker T, the Legends Championship will be back with The Mafia. Victory Road 2009 Kevin Nash def. AJ Styles(c) to win the TNA X-Division Championship Kevin Nash manages to cheat to beat AJ Styles to win the X-Division Championship and this is to get The Main Event Mafia nuclear heat, because the X-Division is about the guys who put on amazing matches and wrestle a high risk, amazing style, and now their champion is Kevin Nash of all people. Team 3-D def. Scott Steiner and Petey Williams(c) to win the TNA World Tag Team Championships Team 3-D win the title after hitting a 3-D on Steiner through a table when the ref isn’t looking. Booker T def. Mick Foley vs The Monster Abyss(c) to win the TNA Legends Championship As Abyss is making his entrance, Booker T and Mick Foley attack him from behind and they beat down Abyss. Mick and Booker beat down on him brutally, for the majority of the match. Mick hits a Double Hunderhook DDT onto thumbtacks, and rolls out the ring. Booker T swoops in and pins Abyss to become the new TNA Legends Champion. Kurt Angle(c) def. Sting vs Samoa Joe to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship The Main Event Mafia attack Sting backstage taking him out of the match. Now it’s only Kurt Angle vs Samoa Joe and they have an amazing 20 minute match where Angle gets the win beating Joe clean the one thing Sting could never do. Build to Hard Justice 2009 The Main Event Mafia once again hold all the gold and Kurt Angle brags that he beat Samoa Joe clean as a damn whistle, something that Sting could never do and because of that he doesn’t have the need to face Sting because Angle has already proven he’s better than him. Jim Cornette, a new authority figure in TNA, says “not so fast Angle, you will face Sting for the TNA World Heavyweight Title at Hard Justice and everyone is banned from ringside to ensure a fair match and if you’re disqualified or counted out you lose the title.” Kurt is very annoyed. Petey Williams and Scott Steiner invoke their rematch clause against Team 3-D and this time it will be a tables match. Booker T will face abyss in a Last Man Standing Match for the TNA Legends Championship. Mick Foley is still annoyed at Booker T, and with how crazy Mick is, Booker is terrified about Foley going into the event. Mick says he’ll be in Booker’s corner the whole time, watching... Oddly enough, AJ Styles doesn’t appear on Impact and doesn’t invoke his rematch clause for the X-Division Championship instead we see him have private meetings with Jim Cornette and no one knows why, so Kevin Nash further disrespects the X-Division and takes the night off at Hard Justice. Hard Justice 2009 Booker T def. “The Monster” Abyss in a Last Man Standing Match to retain the TNA Legends Championship Booker T wins in a brutal hard fought match retaining his title. Afterwards, Mick Foley attacks Booker T, strangling him and saying that’s his title. He throws Mick off the stage through a stack of tables. Team 3-D(c) def. Scott Steiner and Petey Williams in a Tables match to retain the TNA World Tag Team Championships Team 3-D retains. Kurt Angle(c) def. Sting to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship Kurt Angle and Sting have a brutal, hard hitting 20 minute match with Angle getting the win after hitting an Angle Slam off the top rope. Build to No Surrender 2009 Kurt Angle comes out to brag that he beat Sting with no help whatsoever and that he’s the greatest champion in TNA history. He says The Main Event Mafia will run TNA forever, when outcomes AJ Styles. AJ says that he made a deal with Jim Cornette and they’ve made a kill list. AJ Styles will face ever member of Main Event Mafia individually and if AJ wins they’re out of The Mafia, however if AJ loses he’s fired from TNA. AJ beats everyone from Matt Morgan to Mick Foley until it’s just Angle, Nash and Booker left. Mick Foley takes his anger out on Booker T, while Booker is still in The Mafia. AJ Styles and Sting defeat Team 3D on Impact! to become Tag Team Champions, and AJ defeats Kevin Nash on Impact! too to become X Division Champion. AJ holds two belts now, but he’s going to have to defend both belts at No Surrender. Booker T will challenge for the X Division Championship, and Mick is banned from ringside. No Surrender 2009: Team 3-D def. A.J. Styles and Sting (c) to win the TNA World Tag Team Championships Team 3-D regain their titles and AJ and Sting go their separate ways. A.J. Styles (c) def. Booker T to retain the X Division Championship Despite being tired from early on, A.J. pushes through and successfully defeats Booker T. Afterwards Mick Foley comes out, having stole Booker’s Legends Championship off Sharmell while Booker was wrestling. He says he’s going to keep it forever and Booker will never take it off him. He then attacks Sharmell with a barbed wire bat. Build to Bound for Glory 2009: On Impact!, Mick Foley tries to attack Sharmell again but Booker T saves her in time. Booker then beats up Foley using the barbed wire bat. Booker says he wants to settle this at Bound for Glory, in a Hardcore Match. If he wins, he gets the TNA Legends Championship back, if he loses, Mick keeps it and becomes the official champion. Mick happily accepts the challenge, saying he can’t wait for a Barbed Wire Massacre. Booker T for the rest of the build leading up tries his best to get the TNA Legends Championship back in his hands but every time he tries, Mick attacks him savagely. Bound for Glory 2009: Mick Foley def. Booker T (c) in a Hardcore Match to become new TNA Legends Champion Mick and Booker have a wild, frantic hardcore brawl, capped off with a Scissors Kick reversed into a Mandible Claw. Mick has regaining his TNA Legends Championship. Build to Turning Point 2009: Hernandez and Homicide continue feuding after the breakup of LAX, and Hernandez says he wants the TNA Legends Championship because he is going to cement himself as a TNA legend. Mick Foley is in the ring cutting a promo about how happy he is to finally hold the Legends Championship officially. He wraps the belt in barbed wire and says it’s Barby’s belt too. He uses it as a weapon when Hernandez comes out and gets into a scrap with him. Mick goes to strike him with the title but Hernandez ducks and pounces with a Lou Thesz Press. Neither guy is the face, they just both want to beat each other up and hold the gold. Homicide wins a qualifier to be involved in the Feast or Fired Match at Final Resolution. Homicide doesn’t join World Elite yet, he stays face. Hernandez gets into Homicide’s head by saying he’s going to make sure Homicide gets the pink slip briefcase at Turning Point. Mick Foley then interrupts and says how LAX are meant to be a tough and rugged group, but Mick Foley is the definition of tough and rugged. Turning Point 2009: Hernandez def. Mick Foley (c) to win the TNA Legends Championship Hernandez wins after a Inverted Sitout Side Slam onto the barbed wire wrapped Championship. Build to Final Resolution 2009: After Abyss and Bobby Lashley nearly killed each other at Turning Point, Abyss is forced to go back to therapy with Dr. Stevie. Those therapy sessions just end with Abyss demolishing Dr. Stevie. Stevie then gets someone who can control The Monster, Raven. Raven becomes the therapist for Abyss, and the two seem to have a connection, since Abyss doesn’t act out on Raven like he did with Dr. Stevie. Mick Foley sympathies with Abyss and begins to get closer with him, despite their beef from a few months ago, Foley says in and interview him and Abyss are beginning to understand each other more. Raven proclaims in a promo, that Abyss has been healed....SIKE! Raven brainwashed Abyss into following Dr. Stevie’s orders, and he was working for Stevie the whole time. Foley due to his new friendship with Abyss, is able to convince him not to listen to Dr. Stevie, and not calm down. He needs t embrace his craziness. A Foley’s Funhouse Match, between Mick Foley and Abyss vs. Dr. Stevie and Raven is made for Final Resolution, where fittingly, the feud between Abyss and Dr. Stevie will blow off. Final Resolution 2010: Mick Foley and Abyss def. Dr. Stevie and Raven in a Foley’s Funhouse Match Wild and hardcore brawl from the get go with each guy being well versed in the extreme style. 3/4 of the guys involved are ECW legends after all, and Abyss has made a career out of being impaled by thumbtacks. Mick and Abyss win and share a hardcore hug. Build to Genesis: Instead of Abyss becoming obsessed with Hulk Hogan, and instead of the godawful “Abyssamania” storyline, Abyss becomes obsessed with the “Hardcore Legend” Mick Foley. Abyss and Foley become a tag team. On the 1/4 episode of Monday Night Impact!, Mick Foley is seen training Abyss on how to be more violent. Later in the night, Abyss fights Samoa Joe, but loses. Afterwards, Abyss heats up Joe really badly using weapons. He’s given Janice by Foley which he uses to make Joe bleed. Mick Foley and Abyss get into feud with the newly debuted Fortune. Spearheaded by Ric Flair, lead by Desmond Wolfe, and also represented by Beer Money and Kaz, the two get heated. Wolfe and Abyss are confirmed to have a match at Genesis, but Abyss is under pressure from Hulk Hogan to not use weapons. Genesis 2010: Desmond Wolfe def. Abyss to retain the TNA Television Championship Wolfe gets under Abyss’ skin, mocking him for how he looks and acts. Ric Flair torments him, waving a barbed wire bat in front of his face, but Mick Foley gets into it with Flair. Kaz distracts the referee which allows Wolfe to nail Abyss with a chair shot. This annoys Abyss and Mick greatly, because he just won with what Abyss has been forbidden to use. Build to Against All Odds 2010: The 8 Card Stud Tournament is announced, an 8-man knockout tournament that will entirely take place at Against All Odds, with the winner becoming #1 Contenders to the TNA World Championship, and thus getting a match any time on Impact! Abyss qualifies by squashing a jobber, and afterwards Mick Foley helps him beat up the jobber. Against All Odds: Abyss def. Hernandez to advance in the 8 Card Stud Tournament Abyss and Hernandez have a tooth and nail brawl with lots of hard hits and scary bumps. Abyss wins and advances forth. Kurt Angle def. Abyss to advance in the 8 Card Stud Tournament Abyss and Angle go back and forth for a long while, with Abyss getting so close to sealing that victory many times, but he’s always shut down. His inability to keep the grappler down frustrates him so much, that Angle catches him with an Olympic Slam from outta nowhere to win. Afterwards, Abyss throws another post-Match tantrum, but this is more violent than the last few. At one point, he puts hands on his mentor, Mick Foley. Foley gets hold of Abyss and diffuses the situation, escorting him to the back. First departure: Abyss is still mad and in a promo between him and Foley, he’s circling around the ring in rage. Foley says that he will get Abyss a World Championship Match, but fails to do so. Abyss then snaps, tired of Foley, tired of not being allowed to be violent and wanting glory. He beats down Mick, gives him a Black Hole Slam onto thumbtacks, and leaves him laying. This writes Mick off TV which he had to do in real life, due to him being on his way to exceed the maximum number of dates per year on his contract, at the pace he was making appearances. Return: Mick Foley return to Impact! as part of the ECW Invasion. Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Taz, Sandman, Rob Van Dam, Rhino and Sabu all are in the ring, cutting a promo on how they will takeover TNA and model in the image that should of existed since the inception. ECW is wrestling done right, and they’re going to change TNA. Mick Foley returns and becomes their spokesperson since he’s the best promo of the lot. They demand what they want off Hulk Hogan, and when he says no, they start wrecking shows. Build to Hardcore Justice 2010: Hulk Hogan cuts a promo on the ECW guys, saying he is going to unleash a monster that would of been right at home in ECW upon them all, and then they can decide if they still want to go. Abyss in unleashed. A match is made for Hardcore Justice, Abyss vs. Tommy Dreamer in a Monster’s Ball Match. If Abyss wins; the ECW guys must stop their demands and either leave or be a part of the roster, if Dreamer wins; TNA must give ECW their own brand. Mick Foley is made special guest referee and the big story heading in is will Foley stay loyal to ECW, or does he still care about his former protege. Hardcore Justice 2010: Abyss def. Tommy Dreamer in a Monster’s Ball Match with Mick Foley as special guest referee It’s classic ECW; overbooked, Extreme, blood, guts and a bingo hall. Abyss comfortably wins after a Black Hole Slam onto thumbtacks. Team 3D then come out and powerbomb one of the ECW guys through a flaming table. Mick Foley looks like he’s going to side with Abyss, but he’s then slammed onto the tacks. Foley would apologise for all his actions he’s down, and slowly become more human again. Two years after his debut, he comes full circle, being named Commissioner of TNA alongside President - Dixie Carter, and Hogan and Bischoff as EVP’s. He’d remain in this description until he asks for is release in mid-2011.
2020.05.05 22:48 rosheromilHow would a good Invasion Angle affect the Ruthless Aggression Era? (Part 10)
Welcome the the tenth part of this long-term rebook. So far I have rebooked the infamous Invasion Angle, as well as the Brand Split and the beginning of the Ruthless Aggression Era. In today's installments things heat up for the stars of RAW and Smackdown as we head to Summerslam and beyond... WrestleMania 17 - WrestleMania 18(Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)(Part 4) WrestleMania 18 - WrestleMania 19(Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)(Extra)(Part 4) WrestleMania 19 - Vengeance '03(Part 1) Post Vengeance The biggest party of the summer is next up for both the RAW and Smackdown brands. After, Vengeance, Sting has overcome the McMahon family as he bested Vince in a savage, street fight. He now sets his sights on the title he was screwed out. He appears on Smackdown to call out the new World Heavyweight Champion, The Undertaker. He reminds the Deadman that they are even after their two bouts at WrestleMania and Backlash last year, and that he wants one more match to see whos truly the best. Undertaker accepts the challenge but this time says it will be inside Hell in a Cell, to which the Icon agrees. But there's one more twist, Vince McMahon announces that if Sting loses, he has to leave the WWE. Back on RAW, Chris Jericho shocked many and won the WWE Championship against Shawn Michaels at Bad Blood. Jericho claims that he is the new HBK only far superior. He claims to be better than Michaels in every way and can out do him in any situation. Michaels, who gets his contractual rematch for the title, tells Jericho to put his money where his mouth is and challenges him to a ladder match for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam... Evolution is now the new dominant force on RAW. Triple H, Ric Flair, Randy Orton and Batista promise to run rough shot on the red brand until they have everything they want. They outnumber the Outsiders Scott Hall and Kevin Nash until the Immortal Hulk Hogan returns to save his former allies, turning face once again. The NWO is reunited and they challenge Evolution to a huge multi-man clash at SummerSlam. Meanwhile, on Smackdown, Brock Lesnar and Goldberg’s long rivalry is to be settled once and for all at Summerslam as the two behemoths do battle. Goldberg takes out Paul Heyman in the build up to the match meaning that unlike at WrestleMania, Lesnar has to do it all alone Also, after suffering a mini crisis involving losing the tag titles, breaking up with his tag partner RVD and being told he has gone soft, Kane begins to unleash hell on anyone he sees fit. US Champion and promoter of integrity, Kurt Angle takes offence at Kane’s reckless acts of violence. Kane torments Angle over the coming weeks and even sets his truck on fire with Team Angle members inside. Angle puts his title on the line against the monster but if he wins Kane has to unmask in front of the whole world. Elsewhere, Eddie Guerrero is beginning to win the admiration of the WWE fans due to his resourceful and sneaky nature. Whilst his lying, cheating and stealing is amusing to WWE fans, it isn't well-received by Booker T. Booker is annoyed that Eddie's immoral acts against him are getting cheers from the crowd. The two meet in a rematch from their clash at Vengeance. Also, Chris Benoit defends his Intercontinental Championship against Christian, Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio in a fatal four way match. Summerslam Eddie Guerrero def. Booker T (Guerrero holds the tights to get a roll-up win but Booker attacks him post-match to boos from the crowd) Fatal 4 Way for the Intercontinental Title - Chris Benoit (c) def. Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio and Christian (The Rabid Wolverine continues his workhorse reign as IC champion and taps out Christian to retain) United States Championship (If Kane loses, he has to take off his mask) - Kane def. Kurt Angle (c) (The Big Red Machine is back to his best and dethrones Angle, saving himself from humiliation as well) Goldberg def. Brock Lesnar (Bill finally beats Brock after a intense battle but it takes two Jackhammers to put the Beast down) Evolution (Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista) def. NWO (Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall) (Flair's presence at ringside is crucial in allowing Evolution to pick up a huge victory) Ladder Match for the WWE Championship - Shawn Michaels def. Chris Jericho (c) (A show-stealing affair ends with the Heartbreak Kid finally getting the better of Y2J to reclaim his title) Hell in a Cell for the World Heavyweight Championship - The Undertaker (c) def. Sting (The Phenom prevails in the final chapter of this epic trilogy and the final match of Sting's WWE career) Post Summerslam Summerslam is over and so to is the WWE career of the iconic Sting. The Undertaker bested Sting in an epic Hell in a Cell match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship and the two legends shook hands post match as a sign of mutual respect. With Sting gone from the company, the Deadman needs a new challenge. Kurt Angle who lost to Kane at Summerslam confronts the brothers and challenges them to a 3-on-2 handicap match on Smackdown. The Brothers of Destruction against Team Angle. During the bout, Haas slaps Kane and runs away to the backstage area, goading the angry Big Red Machine to follow him, thus leaving his brother alone in a 2-on-01 situation. Angle's plan works as he gets a pinfall victory over the Deadman and is later announced no. 1 contender to Undertakers World Heavyweight Championship. Former champion Brock Lesnar suffered defeat at the hands of Goldberg at Summerslam and as a result goes on a tear of the Smackdown locker room. This is until he runs into the World Largest Athlete Big Show. Paul Heyman is friends with Big Show and wants the two to get on but during a tag team bout the beasts clash and it leads to an almighty brawl. Big Show forces Lesnar to leave on a stretcher but Lesnar refuses medical help and manages to walk out on his own two feet in the end showing his defiance. As a result, a stretcher match is made for No Mercy. Meanwhile, the World Tag Team Championships are now exclusive to RAW meaning Smackdown needs to crown new WWE Tag Team Champions. Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin of Team Angle advance to the finals where they meet the returning Dudley Boyz. Also on Smackdown, Eddie Guerrero’s Latino Heat lifestyle has seen him get into a bar fight with the almighty Goldberg. Goldberg hospitalises Eddie which causes the fans to turn on the monster and side with the Mexican. Eddie returns against doctors and friends’ advice to challenge Bill to a fight at No Mercy. Also, Booker T challenges the monster Kane for his US Championship... No Mercy (Smackdown) United States Championship - Kane (c) def. Booker T (Kane continues down his new path of destruction and impressively defeats Booker with a chokeslam) Eddie Guerrero def. Goldberg by disqualification (Latino Heat pulls out the old chair trick to get Bill DQ'd, much to the frustration of the powerhouse) WWE Tag Team Championship - Team Angle def. The Dudley Boyz (Haas and Benjamin out-wrestle D'von and Bubba to become the new WWE Tag Team Champions) Stretcher Match - Brock Lesnar def. Big Show (Lesnar bounces back after a couple of big loses with a dominating victory over the Giant) World Heavyweight Championship - The Undertaker (c) def. Kurt Angle (Angle tries every trick in the book including help from Haas and Benjamin but the Phenom prevails) Post No Mercy The next PPV after the Smackdown exclusive No Mercy, is Unforgiven. This is exclusive to the RAW brand. After winning back the WWE Championship in a ladder match for the ages at Summerslam, Shawn Michaels defends against Chris Jericho in a Three Stages of Hell Match. Firstly, they will do battle in a regular singles match, then they will fight in a No Holds Barred Match and lastly a Steel Cage will surround the ring to close out the match should it come to a third fall... Elsewhere, after losing to Evolution at Summerslam, Hulk Hogan has returned to his yellow and red gear for the first time in almost a decade. He is ready for a showdown against Evolution leader Triple H. The two larger than life stars and leaders of the respective groups do battle at Unforgiven. Evolution is dominating the RAW roster. Flair and Batista become No. 1 Contenders to the World Tag Team Championships held by Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. Meanwhile, the young and brash Randy Orton challenges Chris Benoit for the Intercontinental Championship as he looks to bring more gold to the group. Also, Christian’s new found romance with fellow Canadian Trish Stratus is turning heads on RAW. Trish’s problems with Lita has resulted in Christian and the Unamericans targeting Lita’s long time friends the Hardys. They assault and injure Matt backstage, so Jeff looks for revenge by challenging Christian to a match Unforgiven (RAW) Christian (w/ Trish Stratus) def. Jeff Hardy (w/ Lita) (Captain Charisma beats the enigmatic Hardy brother with help from the Unamericans) Intercontinental Championship - Randy Orton def. Chris Benoit (c) (Benoit's reign as champion comes to an end as he is dethroned by the cocky, young challenger) World Tag Team Championship - Batista and Ric Flair def. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash (Evolution's dominance continues as Flair and Batista become the new tag team champions) Triple H def. Hulk Hogan (The Game prevails and Evolution brutally attack the Immortal One, hospitalizing him after the match) Three Stages of Hell Match for the WWE Championship - Shawn Michaels def. Chris Jericho (Jericho gets intentionally disqualified in the first fall to win the second but in the end HBK retains the title) Post Unforgiven Survivor Series is next up for the stars of RAW and Smackdown. Hulk Hogan is gone from the company after being brutally assaulted by Evolution following his match against Triple H at Unforgiven. It's later revealed that the attack was per the orders of Vince McMahon. Vince also announces that an Elimination Chamber match will headline the Survivor Series event. This time it will take place for the World Heavyweight Championship. In the build up to the show, top Smackdown stars competed in various qualifying matches to determine the participants. The Undertaker will defend his title against Brock Lesnar, Kane, Goldberg, Kurt Angle and Eddie Guerrero in a can’t-miss encounter. On RAW, Evolution is running rampant, holding all the gold except the WWE Championship. Champion Shawn Michaels is the no. 1 target of their assault. Michaels forms a team of wrestlers to help him combat the dastardly group. A traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination match is set up. Evolution handpick Chris Jericho to round off their five man team, whilst Shawn Michaels recruits Chris Benoit, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and a returning Mick Foley to join his cause. On the undercard, the thug rapper John Cena is beginning to turn heads on Smackdown. Cena has been rising up the ranks the whole year and is finally getting his first pay per view bout. But unfortunately for the Doctor of Thuganomics, it’s against the World Largest Athlete Big Show. Meanwhile, RVD is back after injury at the hands of Kane. He becomes the first man to pin the Big Red Machine in months and becomes new US Champion. He defends the title against no. 1 contender Booker T at Survivor Series. Team Angle defend their World Tag Team Championships in triple threat action against The Dudleys and La Resistance. Whilst on RAW, the Unamericans rivalry with the Hardys continues. Matt returns to stand alongside his brother Jeff. The two teams meet in tag team action at Survior Series. Survivor Series The Unamericans (w/ Trish Stratus) def. The Hardy Boyz (w/ Lita) (The Canadians win as tension grows between the Hardyz after Jeff accidentally injures Matt's girlfriend Lita) United States Championship - Rob Van Dam (c) def. Booker T (RVD retains the title by hitting a Five Star Frog Splash on Booker after an even fought contest) Triple Threat for the World Tag Team Championships - Team Angle def. The Dudley Boyz and La Resistance (Haas and Benjamin retain the titles after pinning the Frenchmen under the noses of the Dudleyz) John Cena def. Big Show (The Doctor of Thuganomics gets his first big win after somehow hitting an F-U on the Giant) 5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination Match - Team Michaels (Michaels, Benoit, Hall, Nash and Foley) def. Team Evolution (Triple H, Flair, Batista, Orton and Jericho) (Michaels and Benoit are the lone survivors as Jericho clashes with Evolution during the bout) Elimination Chamber for the World Heavyweight Championship - Kurt Angle def. The Undertaker, Kane, Brock Lesnar, Goldberg and Eddie Guerrero (1. Goldberg is eliminated first by Eddie Guerrero after a sneaky roll-up) (2. A furious Goldberg takes his anger out on Eddie who is forced to leave the match due to injury) (3. The Undertaker eliminates Lesnar leaving Angle up against the Brothers of Destruction) (4. Kane shockingly eliminates his brother The Undertaker meaning a new champion will be crowned) (5. Immediately after this, the Olympic hero Angle Slam's Kane from behind to win the belt) Click here for the next installment >>(Armageddon '03 - No Way Out '04)
2020.04.30 01:03 DGenerationMCRebooking 2010 TNA Pt. 2 - Against All Odds
Link to Genesis: https://www.reddit.com/fantasybooking/comments/g9zn5m/rebooking_2010_tna_pt_1_genesis/ D'Angelo Dinero def. Samoa Joe in a 8 Card Stud Tournament First Round Match The Pope scores the huge upset, countering the Coquina Clutch into a pin. Even in defeat, at least Joe can take solace in still being in possession of his Feast or Fired contract for a World Title match down the line. Desmond Wolfe def. Matt Morgan in a 8 Card Stud Tournament First Round Match Similar to how he defeated Abyss at Genesis, Wolfe uses his smarts to sneak past The Blueprint, using an exposed turnbuckle and multiple lariats to advance. Abyss (with Mick Foley) def. Hernandez in a 8 Card Stud Tournament First Round Match With The Hardcore Legend in his corner, Abyss looks refocused as he proves to be the tougher of the big men. Kurt Angle def. Mr. Anderson in a 8 Card Stud Tournament First Round Match Anderson tries his best to get under Angle's skin, taunting him with his own gold medal. However, he is unable to escape the Ankle Lock and must submit. Team 3D def. Scott Hall & Syxx-Pac Originally, it was supposed to be Hall and Nash against Team 3D in a dream match but Big Sexy was "sick," so Syxx took his place. As expected, the replacement took the pin. Desmond Wolfe def. D'Angelo Dinero in a 8 Card Stud Tournament Semi-Final Match Targeting the same arm Joe went after in the first round, Wolfe taps out the gutsy Dinero with the London Dungeon. Kurt Angle def. Abyss (with Mick Foley) in a 8 Card Stud Tournament Semi-Final Match Abyss' inability to keep Angle down leads to Foley being unable to control his protégé, allowing Kurt to mount a comeback and survive with an Angle Slam off the second rope. Once again, The Monster throws a post-match tantrum, but this one is more violent than the last. When Mick tries to calm him down, special guests The Nasty Boys try to pick a fight but are clobbered. Eventually, Foley gets a hold of Abyss and escorts him to the back. AJ Styles(c) def. Tomko in a No-Disqualification Match to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship Following Genesis, Tomko revealed himself as the man who'd been stalking and attacking AJ over recent months. Making the champion angry enough, Tomko gets the title opportunity he feels he deserves for "carrying" AJ when they teamed after much volleying by Styles. The former partners brawl all over the arena until the fight comes back to the ring. Tomko misses a Big Boot, leaving him wide open for a Pelé Kick, which sends him through a table. Styles makes the pinfall to retain and is greeted by Ric Flair, who is on his way to commentate the main event. While hesitant, AJ shakes Naitch's hand and thanks him for the compliment of his match. Desmond Wolfe def. Kurt Angle in the 8 Card Stud Tournament Finals Making many callbacks to their already legendary matches from late 2009, the two technicians go tit-for-tat despite the fatigue and being banged up from earlier. Just when it seems like Angle will emerge victorious again, Mr. Anderson interferes to bust Kurt open with his personal mic. With the ref no longer distracted by him, Wolfe capitalizes with the Tower of London before forcing Angle to pass out in the London Dungeon. As a result of this victory, Mr. Wolfe is the #1 contender to the World Title and will receive his shot in the main event of Lockdown. To reward the victor, Flair brings out a woman named Chelsea to offer Wolfe as the PPV ends with the Brit celebrating.
2020.04.23 18:03 john14325Rebook TNA The Main Event Mafia
Main Event Mafia was TNA’s greatest faction but I feel things fell apart when Samoa Joe joined the faction and took on way too many people forming The Elite Mafia and it really didn’t get the younger guys over like it should have no one really benefitted from the storyline no one was elevated so let’s change that. Everything leading up to Bound for Glory stays the same Sting still beats Samoa Joe for the TNA World Heavyweight Title when Kevin Nash interferes and Scott Steiner still joins the group. Build to Turning Point 2008 Scott Steiner returns from injury and cuts that so bad it’s good promo just like he did in real life but instead of Booker T, Scott Steiner is awarded the TNA Legends Championship. The newly formed TNA Front Line comes out and we have a huge brawl between the from line and The Main Event Mafia and Scott Steiner spares his ex protege Petey Williams but Williams slaps Steiner which causes Steiner to beat down Petey Williams. Main Event Mafia offer Christian Cage a spot in the stable since he’s a former world champion but Cage declines and even insults them saying it was guys like them who held him down in WWE and Booker T challenges him to a match if Christian loses he has to leave TNA. Samoa Joe wants revenge on his former friend Kevin Nash for coating him the title at Bound for Glory. Since X-Division Champion Petey Williams is facing Scott Steiner at Turning Point, Turning Point will host a #1 contenders 6 man Ultimate X match. AJ Styles steps you to the plate to challenge Sting for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. AJ says he used to look up to Sting he always did the right thing in the end but now he’s become the very man he used to rally against, someone who wants glory at the expense of the younger talent. Turning Point 2008 Kurt Angle vs Jay Lethal vs Consequences Creed vs Eric Young vs Homicide vs Sonjay Dutt Ultimate X match This match opens the show and it’s a 20 minute spot fest but most notably Kurt Angle stays as far out of the match as he can only climbing the cables when everyone’s down and eventually he goes on to win the match. Booker T vs Christian Cage Booker T manages to defeat Christian clean since Christian was leaving for WWE anyway. Scott Steiner(c) vs Petey Williams Legends Championship As Petey Williams is making his entrance, he is attacked from behind by Kurt Angle and leaves him as easy pickings for Scott Steiner but Petey puts up a hell of a fight but the one thing he cannot pull off is a Canadian Destroyer on Scott Steiner and finally he’s put away by the Frankensteiner. Samoa Joe vs Kevin Nash Samoa Joe and Kevin Nash have a hell of a brawl and they go around 10 minutes and Nash wins after hitting a low blow and three jackknife power bombs onto Samoa Joe. AJ Styles vs Sting(c) TNA World Heavyweight Championship AJ Styles the man who hasn’t has World Championship gold in three years once to make an impact and silence Sting for good and they have a tremendous 25 minute match, Sting is able to pull off the clean victory and Styles offers his hand in a show of respect but is jumped by the rest of Main Event Mafia. Build to Final Resolution 2008 The Main Event Mafia kicked ass last night and we see a pre taped party they’re throwing in Sting’s multi-million dollar mansion we see Champagne and Scott Steiner is with his freaks, Kurt Angle has milk in a wine glass and they are just beside themselves. That same night AJ Styles, Petey Williams, Samoa Joe and The Motor City Machine Guns come out and they’re pissed that they work their asses off every night to make TNA the best wrestling company in the world while the so called stars are partying and here just to collect a paycheck. They challenge Main Event Mafia to a five on five elimination match for all the gold at Final Resolution and the winners will hold all the gold, Main Event Mafia accept the match and promise that after Final Resolution that the Front Line will learn to respect the veterans. Final Resolution 2008 TNA Front Line(c) vs Main Event Mafia(c) five on five elimination Winner Takes All We get down to AJ Styles vs Sting and Kurt Angle and he fights valiantly, but the numbers game is too much for him and Sting pins Styles once again and now Main Event Mafia holds all the gold. Sting has the World Heavyweight Championship, Kurt Angle has the X-Division Championship, Scott Steiner has the Legends Championship, and Kevin Nash and Booker T have the World Tag Team Titles. Build to Genesis 2009 Main Event Mafia celebrate their big win at Final Resolution by taking over an episode of impact and we have that really entertaining episode where Kevin Nash and Booker T are on commentary and Scott Steiner is the ring announcer just watch that episode you’ll never be more entertained in your life. Samoa Joe goes up to Dixie Carter and demands the rematch he never got for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship to which Carter responds I’d love to but they have all the leverage and there’s nothing I can do so Joe launches a revenge campaign against Main Event Mafia and attacks them during their matches and Scott Steiner challenges “that fat out of shape wannabe Samoan to a match at Genesis and Joe agreed but not for the title because the only title that matter to him is the World Heavyweight Championship. Petey Williams invokes his rematch against Kurt Angle for Genesis. Motor City Machine Guns will challenge Kevin Nash and Booker T for the tag team titles at Genesis. Jeff Jarrett steps up and says I created TNA as a platform for young guys to get an opportunity that they wouldn’t get any where else not for old timers to coast of their reputation to collect a paycheck and he challenges Sting for the World Heavyweight Championship, since Jarrett still has a stake in TNA, he’s able to pull some strings and enlist Mick Foley as the special guest referee stacking the odds against Sting for once. Genesis 2009 Kurt Angle(c) vs Petey Williams X-Division Championship We have a great opening match where Petey Williams looks great and comes so close to beating Kurt Angle after hitting a Canadian Destroyer but ultimately he succumbs to the Ankle Lock and has no choice but to tap out. Scott Steiner vs Samoa Joe Samoa Joe defeats Steiner in a 10 minute match making him pass out to the rear naked choke. Kevin Nash and Booker T(c) vs Motor City Machine Guns TNA World Tag Team Championships Nash and Booker retain the titles in dominant fashion. Jeff Jarrett vs Sting(c) /w Mick Foley as the special guest referee for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship We get to the match and Main Event Mafia attack Jarrett but instead of calling for the bell, Foley chases them off with Jarrett’s guitar then Jarrett gets up and asks for the guitar and Foley looks at it for a moment and whacks Jarrett with it allowing Sting to win the match. Build to Against All Odds 2009 Mick Foley joins The Main Event Mafia and explains his actions by saying ever since he’s came to TNA he sympathized with the Front Line big after being snubbed by them and accused backstage of being in TNA merely to collect a paycheck he realized Main Event Mafia is tight and he says as long as Mick Foley is around, those punks in the back will never win a championship again. Jay Lethal and Consequences Creed both step up to challenge Kurt Angle for the X-Division Championship making everyone think that Angle will lose because Creed and Lethal are tag team partners and they say it doesn’t matter which one of them wins as long as Kurt Angle loses. Jarrett wants revenge and challenges Foley to a hardcore match at against all odds which Foley accepts. Scott Steiner is walking backstage and he finds his ex protege Petey Williams and says he put in a hell of a showing against Kurt Angle and offers him a spot in Main Event Mafia and Williams simply calls him a traitor and spits on his boots and a huge backstage brawl breaks out setting up a match for the Legends title at Against All Odds. Samoa Joe is still on his revenge tour and this time he targets Booker T and they have a match at Against All Odds. Rhino is offered a spot in Main Event Mafia but Rhino turns it down as he says after ECW closed, TNA was the only company who took a chance on him and he won’t betray them by joining the likes of Main Event Mafia, which prompts Sting to attack Rhino with a bat setting up a match at Against All Odds. Against All Odds 2009 Kurt Angle(c) vs Consequences Creed vs Jay Lethal X Division Championship Most of the match consists of Creed and Lethal ganging up on Kurt Angle but when Creed goes for the pin, Lethal breaks it up and they both realize they want to be the champion and they start fighting which ends with Lethal hitting the Lethal Injection on Creed but as he goes to pin him, Kurt Angle throws Lethal out of the ring and pins Creed to retain the title. Samoa Joe vs Booker T /w Kevin Nash Samoa Joe wins the match and afterwards is laid out by Kevin Nash. Jeff Jarrett vs Mick Foley Hardcore match We see a more aggressive a more sinister side of Mick Foley who practically murders Jeff Jarrett busting him open and making him pass out to the Mandible Claw to win the match. Scott Steiner(c) vs Petey Williams Legends Championship During the build to this match, Steiner targeted Williams knee and it shows in the match because Williams can’t execute most of his high flying offense but finally he gains the upper hand and is about to hit the Canadian Destroyer but his knee gives out and Steiner capitalizes winning the match and retaining the title. Sting vs Rhino TNA World Heavyweight Championship Sting wins the match retaining the title after Kevin Nash interferes and they beat down Rhino until Team 3-D come out to even the odds. Build to Destination X 2009 Samoa Joe wants a match against Kevin Nash at Destination X and if Joe wins he gets a shot at Sting’s World Heavyweight Title and Nash says I’ve beaten you before and I’ll beat you again. Kurt Angle is forced to defend his title against five men in an Ultimate X match those men are Consequences Creed, Jay Lethal, Eric Young, Suicide and Sonjay Dutt. Petey Williams wants one more shot at Steiner’s Legends Championship but to make that happen, he has to go through Booker T at Destination X in order to get his shot. Rhino challenges Sting to a Full Metal Mayhem match and Team 3-D will be at ringside to make sure nothing happens and we have a fair clean match. Destination X 2009 Petey Williams vs Booker T Booker T dominates most of the match but Petey William has no quit in him and gets the surprise victory after hitting a cross body on Booker T after the match, Booker T hits a Scissors Kick on Williams and Scott Steiner says i said if you won you get your title shot and that match is happening right now. Scott Steiner(c) vs Petey Williams Legends Championship Steiner takes advantage of an exhausted Petey Williams but cannot put him away and William is finally able to hit the Canadian Destroyer on Scott Steiner to win the match and the TNA Legends Championship. Samoa Joe vs Kevin Nash Nash comes into this match as cocky as ever but is beaten down by Samoa Joe this match is completely one sided and Joe wins by referee stoppage because he beat Nash so badly. Sting(c) vs Rhino Full Metal Mayhem match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship This match is brutal and we see a lot of blood, Booker T tries to interfere but eats a 3-D through a table eventually though, Sting climbs the ladder and retains the title clean much to the dismay of Team 3-D. Build to Lockdown 2009 AJ Styles returns from obscurity to assemble a team to take on Main Event Mafia at Lockdown in a Lethal Lockdown match his team consists of Jeff Jarrett, Jay Lethal and Petey Williams. Main Event accepts the challenge and Main Event Mafia will consist of Kevin Nash, Booker T, Kurt Angle and Mick Foley. Sting makes a point of excluding Steiner from the match and Steiner loses his temper which causes him to get attacked by Main Event Mafia meaning Steiner is officially out of the group. During the build, Petey Williams loses the Legends Championship to Mick Foley. Samoa Joe will get his long awaited rematch for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Sting in a Lethal Lockdown match. Lockdown 2009 TNA Front Line vs The Main Event Mafia Lethal Lockdown match This match goes 30 minutes and TNA Front Line win big after AJ Styles pins Mick Foley. Samoa Joe vs Sting(c) Lethal Lockdown match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship Finally, the rematch six months in the making it comes down to this and the two men go to war with each other and Sting seems to have the match won when he makes it to the top of the cage but Samoa Joe hurries up the cage and hits a rear naked choke on Sting and they both fall off the cage and the ring caves him but Joe never lets go of the hold and Sting passes out to the hold, once again, Samoa Joe regains the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Build to Sacrifice 2009 Scott Steiner returns from injury and wants revenge on Main Event Mafia and enlists his old protege Petey Williams to help him take down Main Event Mafia starting with taking the World Tag Team Titles from Kevin Nash and Booker T. Kurt Angle has an X-Division Title defense against AJ Styles at Sacrifice. Jeff Jarrett will get a rematch with Mick Foley and this time it’ll be for the TNA Legends Championship. Sting invokes his rematch clause against Samoa Joe for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Sacrifice 2009 Kurt Angle(c) vs AJ Styles TNA X-Division Championship AJ and Kurt have an amazing opening match to start off the night with AJ Styles picking up the surprise victory to get the crowd hit for tonight’s show. Petey Williams and Scott Steiner vs Kevin Nash and Booker T(c) TNA World Tag Team Championship Williams and Steiner win after miscommunication from Booker T and Scott Steiner allowing Williams to pin Nash. Jeff Jarrett vs Mick Foley(c) TNA Legends Championship Despite Jarrett’s best efforts, Mick Foley retains the gold in a brutal hard hitting match. Sting vs Samoa Joe(c) TNA World Heavyweight Championship Joe wins the rematch in a close hard fought battle. Build to Slammiversary 2009 TNA Fromt Line has been kicking ass for the past few months and things are falling apart in The Main Event Mafia, Booker T and Kevin Nash are at each other’s throats, Mick Foley isn’t taking things seriously, Kurt Angle lost the X-Division Title and Sting has taken a few weeks off after his loss to Samoa Joe. Booker T and Kevin Nash face off in a match to blow off some steam and the match goes to a double count out while they’re brawling outside the ring and Kurt Angle comes out to separate them and says what’s wrong with you both we need to be united and show these punks in the back who the stars are and is able to defuse the tension between Kevin Nash and Booker T. Abyss wants to wreak havoc on the faction that wants to destroy a company he’s been apart of since it’s inception and challenges Mick Foley to a monsters ball match for the Legends Championship. We have our annual King of the Mountain match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Slammiversary and it will be Samoa Joe defending against Kurt Angle, Booker T, Rhino and Sting. Slammiversary 2009 The Monster Abyss vs Mick Foley(c) Monster’s Ball match for the TNA Legends Championship We get a brutal 20 minute match with blood and lots of weapons but Abyss wins after hitting a Black Hole Slam on Foley onto a pile of thumbtacks. Samoa Joe(c) vs Kurt Angle vs Booker T vs Rhino vs Sting King of the Mountain match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship This match goes 30 minutes and everyone looks good but everyone notices that Sting has a new sort of fire in his eyes and more of the will to win and he’s fighting more like a face than he is a heel and has the match won when he climbs the ladder but Team 3-D slide in to the ring and hit the 3-D on Sting then Rhino gets up and is like what are you doing then they 3-D Rhino and they pick up Kurt Angle and help him up the ladder and Kurt Angle wins the match regaining the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Team 3-D have joined The Main Event Mafia. Build to Victory Road 2009 Team 3-D explain that they have joined The Main Event Mafia because they want to be on the winning side they know what it’s like to be a star and they’re not siding with these curtain jerkers that will take TNA no where in the long run and they challenge that traitor Scott Steiner and Petey Williams for the TNA World Tag Team Championships. Kurt Angle explains that Sting was weak and The Main Event Mafia was falling apart with him at the helm and with Kurt Angle as the new Godfather of The Main Event Mafia they will reclaim their former glory. Sting wants revenge against Kurt Angle but in order to do so he has to beat Team 3-D in a handicap match tonight on Impact. We get to the match and Team 3-D have the match won when Samoa Joe’s music hits distracting Team 3-D allowing Sting to roll up Bubba Ray to win the match. Samoa Joe uses a steel chair to clear out Team 3-D and he teases using the chair on Sting but instead he shakes Sting’s hand and at Victory Road it will be Kurt Angle vs Sting vs Samoa Joe for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. We have a six man Ultimate X match to determine the #1 contender for the X-Division Championship but the sixth man doesn’t enter until towards the end of the match when all men are taken out by Matt Morgan and Kevin Nash walks out in his suit with a ladder and climbs the ladder to retrieve the X becoming #1 contender for the TNA X-Division Championship and the announcers are insulted that Kevin Nash disrespected the X-Division like this. Matt Morgan explains that he was paid off by Main Event Mafia to be their new special enforcer. Booker T and Mick Foley will face The Monster Abyss for the TNA Legends Championship in a handicap match. Victory Road 2009 Kevin Nash vs AJ Styles(c) TNA X-Division Championship Kevin Nash manages to cheat to beat AJ Styles to win the X-Division Championship and this is to get The Main Event Mafia nuclear heat because the X-Division were the guy who put on amazing matches and now their champion is Kevin Nash of all people. Team 3-D vs Scott Steiner and Petey Williams(c) TNA World Tag Team Championships Team 3-D win the title after hitting a 3-D on Steiner through a table when the ref isn’t looking. Booker T and Mick Foley vs The Monster Abyss(c) TNA Legends Championship As Abyss is making his entrance, Booker T and Mick Foley attack him from behind and they beat down Abyss and throws him into the ring and Booker T pins Abyss to become the new TNA Legends Champion. Kurt Angle(c) vs Sting vs Samoa Joe TNA World Heavyweight Championship The Main Event Mafia attack Sting backstage taking him out of the match. Now it’s only Kurt Angle vs Samoa Joe and they have an amazing 20 minute match where Angle gets the win beating Joe clean the one thing Sting could never do. Build to Hard Justice 2009 The Main Event Mafia once again hold all the gold and Kurt Angle brags that he beat Samoa Joe clean as a damn whistle something that Sting could never do and because of that he doesn’t have the need to face Sting because Angle has already proven he’s better than him, Dixie Carter says not so fast Angle you will face Sting for the TNA World Heavyweight Title at Hard Justice and everyone is banned from ringside to ensure a fair match and if you’re dq’d or counted out you lose the title. Petey Williams and Scott Steiner invoke their rematch clause against Team 3-D and this time it will be a tables match. Booker T will face abyss in a last man standing match for the TNA Legends Championship. Oddly enough, AJ Styles doesn’t appear on Impact and doesn’t invoke his rematch clause for the X-Division Championship instead we see him have private meetings with Dixie Carter and no one knows why so Kevin Nash further disrespects the X-Division and takes the night off at Hard Justice. Hard Justice 2009 Booker T vs The Monster Abyss Last Man Standing match for the TNA Legends Championship Booker T wins in a brutal hard fought match retaining his title. Team 3-D(c) vs Scott Steiner and Petey Williams Tables match for the TNA World Tag Team Championships Team 3-D retains. Kurt Angle(c) vs Sting TNA World Heavyweight Championship Kurt Angle and Sting have a brutal, hard hitting 20 minute match with Angle getting the win after hitting an Angle Slam off the top rope. Build to No Surrender 2009 Kurt Angle comes out to brag that he beat Sting with no help whatsoever and that he’s the greatest champion in TNA history and The Main Event Mafia will run TNA forever then out comes AJ Styles he says that he made a deal with Dixie Carter and they’ve made a kill list so basically AJ Styles will face ever member of Main Event Mafia individually and if AJ wins they’re out of the mafia if AJ loses he’s fired from TNA. AJ beats everyone from Matt Morgan to Mick Foley until it’s just Angle, Nash and Booker left. No Surrender 2009 AJ Styles and Sting vs Kevin Nash and Booker T Styles and Sting win. Build to Bound for Glory 2009 AJ Styles vs Kurt Angle is made for the main event of Bound for Glory title vs career with The Main Event Mafia hanging in the balance. Bound for Glory 2009 AJ Styles vs Kurt Angle(c) TNA World Heavyweight Championship AJ wins finally disbanding The Main Event Mafia and Kurt shakes his hand after the match.
2020.04.20 18:06 daprice82Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Mar. 18, 2002
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUSLY:
Going into Wrestlemania 18, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the WWF. While the return of the NWO managed to spike a big buyrate for No Way Out and Rock/Hogan is probably gonna be huge for WM buyrates, it hasn't really affected TV ratings in any meaningful way. And this is the big part of the year. That doesn't bode well for the usual decline in business that always comes after Wrestlemania. From here, Dave just spends paragraphs talking about how bad booking over the last year has tanked the company from the peak they were at the previous year and what they should be doing different. And he's not wrong. In retrospect, with 18 years hindsight, pretty much all of this is right on the money. Way back as far as late '97, Dave was pointing out all the cracks starting to form in WCW and was trying to sound the alarm. Here in 2002, he's trying to do the same with WWF and sure enough, he ends up being right. The next two decades have been one continuous slow decline in popularity, for pretty much all the reasons Dave is warning about here. It's all really interesting, but it's not news. It's just business analysis.
Which brings us to next week's Wrestlemania. Dave says there's never in the past been a Wrestlemania where the world title match had so little buzz going into it. Jericho as the WWF champion has been rendered completely secondary to the Triple H/Stephanie feud. But as of now, that match is still expected to go on last, even though all the advertising and mainstream publicity for the show is built around the Rock/Hogan match. Even Steve Austin, the biggest PPV draw in company history for the last 4 years, isn't being heavily featured in the promotion of the show (and boy, was he salty about it as it turned out). The NWO angle has pretty much been seen internally as a flop and there's not much further for them to go as a group after the show. After Mania is the brand split, which in theory should freshen things up and lead to some developmental stars being called up. But Austin and Rock are supposed to anchor each show respectively and Rock is expected to take a few months off this summer to film another movie (The Rundown) so that's gonna hurt the star power on whatever show he ends up on.
More worrisome is that there have been pay cuts. Several wrestlers were approached this week and asked to take cuts to their downside guarantees. Dave talks about how Vince never wanted to pay anyone guarantees in the first place and only started doing so in 1996 when WCW forced his hand. So far, all the wrestlers asked were developmental stars or former WCW/ECW Alliance members who haven't been used on TV since the Invasion angle ended at Survivor Series. But it's expected more pay cuts are coming, especially for anyone who's contracts are coming due because obviously, no one has any negotiating leverage anymore. Chris Jericho is probably the biggest star who's deal is up for renewal soon and obviously, he's not exactly in a prime spot to play hardball. He's a much bigger star now than he was 3 years ago, so he'll probably still get a raise. But it won't be nearly would he could get if WCW still existed. (For this reason alone, I can't comprehend why anyone would want AEW to fail if you're a wrestling fan. And yet.)
The pay cuts seem to be about $25K-per-year each. So for instance, the guys making $125K per year are being cut down to $100K. Then $100K guys down to $75K. Or in the case of the lowest paid guys, the $75K guys are being cut to $52K. WWF tried to soften the blow by saying that if/when these guys start working on TV and working regular house shows, then they start getting merch money and house show cuts and so they'll probably make more than their downside anyway. But anyone who's ever gotten a pay cut knows that's some corporate doublespeak bullshit. With nowhere else to make a living in wrestling, most of these guys are pretty much forced to smile and take it, but needless to say, they aren't happy. These people aren't rich and a $25K-per-year pay cut makes quite a bit a difference. And it's not like WWF needs to do this. They're still very profitable and they just offered the NWO guys monstrously huge contracts. This is just what happens when you have a monopoly on the industry and you don't have to pay your employees fairly. You could. But fuck them, right? (Man, this sure feels prescient in a world where a company light years more profitable now than at any time in its history just fired a bunch of people when they didn't have to.)
Oh yeah, back to Wrestlemania preview. Dave runs down all the matches and what we know. Rock, Hogan, and Pat Patterson spent all day together at a gym in Florida last week choreographing their match. Apparently during his comeback house show match with Rikishi in Tampa last week, Hogan broke a rib and tried to keep it secret from everyone, but they found out. He's still expected to work Wrestlemania (he wouldn't miss it under any circumstances) but they're concerned about how much he'll be able to do. Also, because this is Toronto and he's so beloved there, WWF is expecting Hogan to get a huge reaction from the crowd (yeah, that's putting it mildly). Jericho/Triple H on paper should be a great match (they've had some classics together in the past) but the build-up has killed Jericho and the result is a foregone conclusion. Austin/Hall should be fine. UndertakeFlair has had the best build and for storyline reasons, Flair should win. But Dave ain't holding his breath. So on and so forth.
Yup, this is definitely a slow news week. Now Dave writes a huge piece on the history of major shows in wrestling and how that led to the birth of Wrestlemania. How Vince gambled everything on the first WM and how closed circuit was such a vital part of the success. Talks about the history of closed circuit with wrestling, with the first national pro wrestling-ish event being broadcast nationally on CCTV was the Inoki/Muhammad Ali match, which featured other wrestling matches on the undercard. The inclusion of Mr. T and Cyndi Lauper were critical to the success of the first Wrestlemania and Roddy Piper's racist promos to Mr. T turned him into an mainstream celebrity along with Hogan. And then WM2 and WM3 and oh god, I'm just realizing as I type this that Dave has written multiple paragraphs about each Wrestlemania. This is fascinating stuff to read as a history buff and I seriously can't recommend it enough if you're subscribed to go read this. But I ain't recapping all that haha.
More news on Jerry Jarrett's planned promotion, with the idea of doing $9.95 weekly PPV shows. Jerry and his son Jeff are now both fully involved with this, with the idea that they would be co-owners. Despite rumors, Jerry has denied that Vince Russo is involved in the company, but others are saying he'll be writing for them secretly (as mentioned last week, Time Warner execs only agreed to represent him in his lawsuit with Hulk Hogan if he doesn't work for any other wrestling company, so he can't openly be working with the company). The idea seems to be to pay the wrestlers $1,000 to $2,500 per show and run about 26 shows per year. In the meantime, the wrestlers would be allowed to work any other indies but wouldn't be allowed to work PPV or TV for anyone else. The problem here is the WWA promotion is still trying to gain a foothold in America and they want to use a lot of the same talent and Jeff Jarrett has involvement in both companies. Jeff is reportedly trying to work out an agreement where they can all share stars and get along but Dave says that's problematic when you have two companies using the same guys and trying to book different storylines and run separate PPVs. Jarrett's new company is looking to sign a core group of names to build around and Dave says you damn well better have them signed, because WWF will pluck away anyone who starts to gain any success. Jarrett is said to be interested in signing Scott Steiner, Eddie Guerrero, and Rey Mysterio for the new company. Anyway, Dave crunches the numbers and being very conservative, this new company would need to make at least $125,000 per week on PPV just to break even. And that's being optimistic. Once you take out the PPV company's cut, Dave estimates they would need to pull 31,000 buys at least to even think of breaking even. And again, that's being extremely conservative and assuming this company runs an extremely low-cost production. To have something with good production values that can be taken seriously as competition, you'd probably have to do double that. And even with national television, WCW and ECW weren't doing that many PPV buys by the end. So Dave is skeptical that this Jarrett promotion is gonna manage it without any TV. Not to mention, where are they gonna tape? Multiple cities? Gotta promote them and draw crowds. Dave thinks you'd have to heavily paper the crowd. And it takes months for PPV money to come in, which means Jarrett is gonna have to eat all these costs at the start. Basically, this idea is gonna be difficult to pull off (yup. If Panda Energy hadn't bailed them out, they were gonna be dead within the first 6 months under this plan).
Big story about how the Vitor Belfort vs. Chuck Liddell fight has been cancelled. Why? Well, Belfort's lawyers sent a letter to UFC officials claiming that the fighter was sick with a malaria-like disease (ended up being dengue fever) and due to the medication he was on, he wasn't able to train properly. Sounds reasonable enough, yeah? Well....turns out Belfort isn't too sick to collect a paycheck in other ways. Belfort is the newest cast member of a Brazilian reality show called "Casa dor Artistas 2" which is basically exactly like Big Brother, in which a bunch of people are locked in this house with no contact to the outside world and are on camera 24/7 online, with daily edited versions airing on TV. So Belfort has now committed to being locked in this house for the next 90 days for a TV show, which means he couldn't make the fight with Liddell, scheduled for May. The winner of that fight was expected to face Tito Ortiz later this year, and Belfort vs. Ortiz is the big fight everyone has been clamoring for, and has already been postponed or canceled two other times (don't end up getting Belfort/Ortiz until 2005, and it ends up being a controversial split decision win for Ortiz).
Former Memphis area wrestler The Dream Machine passed away of a heart attack at age 47. Dave says he was possibly the greatest talker of the last 25 years who never made it big nationally. Dave recaps his career in the 70s and 80s, with lots of quotes from Jim Cornette and Jimmy Hart. I pulled up a promo just outta curiosity.
All Japan Women held its first ever show on PPV this week, while facing an uncertain future. AJW is the 3rd longest-running promotion in the world (behind CMLL and WWF) but they've been struggling financially for years. And at the end of this month, they're losing their TV deal with Fuji Network, which has aired their show for 25 years. Anyway, the PPV was fine but something was missing. Manami Toyota, unquestionably the greatest female wrestler to ever live, stole the show in an excellent match, but otherwise, nothing memorable.
Kiyoshi Sagawa passed away at age 79 this week. You probably don't know Sagawa's name, but he was the largest shareholder of NJPW and was the founder of Sagawa Kyubin, which is basically Japan's version of FedEx. Sagawa was a billionaire and owned the largest percentage of NJPW stock. He alone owned 40% of the company. It's believed Sagawa's shares will be bequeathed to Antonio Inoki, who currently holds 15%. This would give him Inoki a 55% stake in the company. But Dave doesn't expect much to change because Sagawa always backed Inoki anyway, so it's not like day-to-day is going to be any different.
Eddie Guerrero debuted on the latest NJPW tour, teaming with Minoru Tanaka and Black Tiger. It's interesting because several years ago, Guerrero portrayed the role of Black Tiger. This time, it was played by Silver King. During the match, Guerrero and Black Tiger turned heel on their partner and joined their opponents in a 5-on-1 beatdown of Minoru Tanaka. Word is Guerrero looked really good on this tour so far (yeah, he was on fire during this time. Guerrero only works about 10 shows for NJPW on this tour and then WWF re-hires him and the rest is history).
Hayabusa is said to have regained feeling in much of his body and can move his left arm somewhat, after suffering the career-ending injury back in October that left him paralyzed.
Speaking of, Atsushi Onita and former FMW star Kodo Fuyuki are working an angle together over the dead FMW promotion. At an indie show, Onita came out and accused Fuyuki and FMW general manager Sakichi Nakamura of mismanaging FMW and using the company's money to make themselves rich while allowing the promotion to die. Onita also talked about how they stopped paying Hayabusa's hospital bills and used the money to enrich themselves. This is all leading up to Onita vs. Fuyuki soon, and of course Onita is using Hayabusa's injury as part of his angle. Because Onita is the carniest carny to ever carny.
A made-for-TV movie about the life of Nobuhiko Takada and his marriage to TV personality Aki Mukai aired in Japan this week and was a huge ratings hit. Takada of course is a former pro wrestler turned MMA fighter who, frankly, should have stuck to worked fights because his reputation as a shoot fighter has been destroyed time and again in real shoots. He married Mukai, who is the host of a popular morning TV show (she's basically Japan's Katie Couric, Dave says) and she has been battling cancer recently. The movie was a tearjerker story about their inability to have children due to her cancer. The couple is looking to adopt a kid in the U.S. because adoption is apparently extremely difficult in Japan.
Dan Severn regained the NWA title from Shinya Hashimoto at a Zero-One show in Japan this week. NWA president Jim Miller was there and a NWA Jersey (and American) referee officiated the match. The match ended with a screwjob finish, with the American ref fast-counting Hashimoto to give Severn the victory, which the fans haaaaaated and Dave thinks pretty well tarnishes whatever legacy the NWA title still has, in the one country where fans still sorta respect that belt. Dave says the idea here is Hashimoto is such a bigger star than Severn that he couldn't feasibly do a clean job to him in his own promotion. But Hashimoto doesn't want to go to America and defend the NWA title on a bunch of tiny indie shows for 100 people either, so he agreed to drop it back to Severn this way.
Remember that Matrats promotion Eric Bischoff was involved in that sorta disappeared off the radar? It's not dead! Yet. Bischoff, who hates dirt sheets, thinks they're all lies, and has never confided in Dave Meltzer, did an interview with the Wrestling Observer website this week and talked about the plans for the company. It has been renamed Next Generation Wrestling and Bischoff talked as if they still plan to go into production for a TV series later this summer, but he admitted everything isn't yet finalized. Bischoff said the matches won't have pinfalls or submissions but will instead of have ringside judges awarding points for creativity and execution. Dave doesn't seem to be super on board with this concept (yeah, it goes nowhere).
WWA promoter Andrew McManus claimed after the PPV disaster in Las Vegas that he would never again advertise anyone for a show that he doesn't have signed to a contract. So needless to say, the upcoming tour in Australia has names like Sid Vicious, Jeff Jarrett, Road Dogg, Buff Bagwell, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Scott Steiner, Sabu, Juventud Guerrera, and others being promoted. Needless to say, almost none of them have contracts with this company (most of them end up working the shows, but several do not). Speaking of WWA, after claiming they didn't get paid for their appearances at the Vegas show, both Terry Taylor and Larry Zbyszko have now been paid.
Sid Vicious is in a commercial for an Alabama chain of restaurants called Jack's Hamburgers. The commercial shows a guy golfing when Sid comes in and slams him. Then it says "some things don't mix, like golf and wrestling" but then it says some things like the new Jack's bacon and cheddar do mix. The commercial ends with the golfer choking Sid with his golf club. I can't find this commercial, so I'm counting on you Wreddit. FIND THIS VIDEO! I need this in my life.
Remember the story last week about the confrontation at the WWA show between Bischoff and Juventud Guerrera about a petition in WCW that Guerrera signed to have Bischoff fired? Well Dave has more details. The petition wasn't actually to get Bischoff fired, necessarily. After the incident at Bash at the Beach 2000 with Hogan, naturally, Bischoff took Hogan's side and it led to a big blow-up argument between he and Vince Russo. As a result, Bischoff pretty much walked out and said, "Here, let Russo run it and watch him hang himself." Which, of course, he inevitably did. But the point is, when Bischoff walked out, it looked as if there was going to be yet another power-change in WCW. Several of the wrestlers were fed up with their bosses changing on a monthly basis and never knowing who was in charge. So they put together a petition to give to Brad Siegel, basically asking him to give Russo a fair chance to succeed on his own and to let him remain in power in the wake of the Bischoff/Russo split. Bischoff wasn't even mentioned in the petition, it was mostly just a "don't fire Russo yet" petition. Of course, in siding with Russo to be the one in charge, that meant they were siding against Bischoff being in charge, even if that wasn't explicitly spelled out in the petition. Anyway, it apparently worked. Russo got to remain in power while Bischoff went home again. And then Russo spent the next few months booking himself to be WCW champion and screwing up everything else and within a few months, all those same guys were wishing Bischoff would come back. Anyway, a lot of people at the WWA show thought it was funny that Bischoff lashed out at Guerrera over it, because several other WCW wrestlers at the time, including Scott Steiner, also signed it.
XWF's planned house shows for later this month in Michigan and Ohio have been cancelled. Everyone has pretty much been told to sit tight for now until September and have been given hints that a TV deal is imminent. But people have been saying that since this promotion launched (yeah, this obviously never happens. Unbeknownst to anyone, XWF is already dead at this point, they never ran another show).
The plan for now (and it could always change again) is that the brand split will finally take place on the 3/25 Raw the week after Wrestlemania. It was originally supposed to be the very next night but they once again pushed it back a week, so that's where we stand for now. Promotional material for the Backlash PPV is already out and references Vince owning Raw and Flair owning Smackdown (and funny enough, it ends up going the other way) and split house shows are already scheduled for April. Dave still hates the draft idea because when guys (like Hurricane, for example) get drafted 28th, that immediately establishes them in the fans eyes as lower-card nobodies. The idea of a brand split is that it will force them to push new people and create new stars, but they've spent so long telling fans that only 3 or 4 guys matter and everyone else is minor talent. Doing a draft where guys get picked way down near the bottom just hurts them more and makes it harder to rebuild them as major players.
Notes from Smackdown: Flair had a brawl with Undertaker and during the fight, there was a "fan" played by indie wrestler Paul London who got punched. London also worked a dark match against Perry Saturn at the show. Rock returned, with not a scratch on him after being murderdeathkilled in an ambulance by the NWO a couple weeks ago. Rock challenged Hogan to face him right then and there, but of course that didn't happen because c'mon. Vince isn't crazy enough to take Hogan's first televised WWF match in 8 years and just give it away on free TV less than a week before Wrestlemania, right?
Notes from Raw: Dave calls it Raw Is Dog Shit. Oh, this should be fun. Turns out it was literally dog shit. The show was built around Triple H and Stephanie fighting for custody of their dog Lucy and at one point, it pooped on the floor. Stephanie ordered Jericho to walk the dog, because ya know, gotta build up the world champion for his Wrestlemania main event next week. The rest of the show was built around Vince and Flair in a boardroom arguing over ownership of the company with the board of directors. Jericho (while running another errand for Stephanie) accidentally runs over the dog. Riveting television here. They said the dog had a broken leg, which leads Dave to point out that Rock got practically murdered by the NWO a few weeks ago and we never got a medical update on his condition (he just sorta returned and was fine), but we found out about the dog's medical condition just minutes after it happened. As a result, Triple H came out and started attacking Stephanie, pretty much committing spousal abuse while the crowd cheered wildly, leading to Jericho attacking Triple H's quad with a sledgehammer, which would have been a fine angle if it hadn't been proceeded by weeks of making Jericho into Stephanie's whipping boy. And the main event was the 3-on-2 of the NWO vs. Austin & Rock. So yes, turns out Vince is crazy enough to book Hogan's comeback WWF match on a throwaway Raw 6 days before the biggest show of the year on PPV with no buildup whatsoever. It's the first time ever that Hogan and Austin have ever squared off against each other in a match (and it never happened again). Crowd was way into Hogan and Nash as well, since they were in his hometown.
There's a Divas special airing on UPN this week and if it does strong ratings, UPN is interested in doing a whole Divas series. Dave suspects that won't hold up long in the ratings. But for what it's worth, the original idea for Smackdown waaaaay back when it was originally conceived was for it to be an all-women's show based around Sable (who was drawing monster ratings for her segments at the time). They even held auditions for new women before scrapping the idea and making it a second show like Raw.
WWF's recent show in Japan was supposed to air on the TV-Tokyo network but it got canceled and then the network announced it was cancelling all WWF programming on the station. Turns out there was a big misunderstanding. The entire show was filmed by the network and they planned to broadcast it (with Keiji Muto doing commentary). WWF was under the impression that the show was being filmed only so they could air highlights of it as part of a sports recap show or highlight package (basically just a quick few minutes of clips on the news). WWF didn't approve for this show (a house show without all the bells and whistles) to be aired on TV in full, and when they found out, they contacted the network and said.....hey, uh, no. The network was pissed and in response, they canceled ALL WWF programming, effective immediately. This was the channel that aired Raw and Smackdown and this cancellation completely eliminates WWF's only television exposure in Japan.
Speaking of that show, before the event, Antonio Inoki told the media that he hated what WWF had become and expected the show to be a flop. He specifically talked about the Vince McMahon kiss-my-ass club angle, with Jim Ross and William Regal kissing Vince's ass and said that sort of product would never get over in Japan and thus the show would be a failure. As we learned last week, it was actually a HUGE success. In response, Inoki has admitted he was wrong and says that he has lessons he needs to learn from WWF and maybe he shouldn't have been so dismissive of their style. Dave is flabbergasted. He talks about when AAA came to the U.S. in 1993 and outdrew both WWF and WCW by a huge margin for several shows. Can you imagine if Vince McMahon had looked at that and admitted that maybe he could have learned something from it rather than ignoring it? ECW and WCW sure learned from it, and those Lucha Libre stars became a huge part of their success in later years, while WWF still hasn't learned anything from it 9 years later.
Nash and Hall are pushing hard for X-Pac to be included in the NWO and most people in the company figure it's inevitable that it will happen because Nash is pretty much undefeated in backstage political battles. He always gets what he wants somehow. Last Dave heard, X-Pac was expected to interfere at Wrestlemania in some fashion and then join the group the next night on Raw (didn't quite happen like that, but close). Lots of people in the locker room aren't happy about it because, for starters, it proves that Nash is still there to politic for his friends. And also, prior to his injury, X-Pac had fallen to a lower-card nobody status. So there's a lot of people not happy that he's expected to return and leap-frog the entire locker room and be put in the main event faction ahead of everyone else because of who his friends are.
Mick Foley signed a book deal to publish his first fiction novel, which will be titled "Tietam Brown." It's expected to be out in early 2003 and it's not about wrestling. That's all Dave seems to know so far. Foley is also now the full-time host of TNN's Robot Wars show. Foley was also involved in a TV project that was being shopped around in which he would play a former pro wrestler adjusting to real life now that he's retired. Barry Blaustein, who directed Beyond The Mat, was involved and ABC was interested, but they eventually passed and the idea seems to have died (this is basically what that new Big Show show is on Netflix. The Observer Rewind Curious Timing Effect™ strikes again.).
An idea that was pitched for Wrestlemania was for Stephanie to reveal she had been cheating on Triple H with Chris Jericho. Of course, that didn't happen. Dave talks about the Triple H/Kurt Angle storyline from a couple years ago where that almost happened but Triple H nixed it because it wouldn't be "believable" that Stephanie would cheat on him with Kurt Angle....a goddamn Olympic hero and the most legitimately bad ass athlete in the entire company. So of course, it wouldn't make sense for her to cheat on him with Jericho either. Sure, why not?
On OVW television, they hinted that Ric Flair will be coming in soon to team with his son David against Prototype and Sean O'Haire. Looks to be scheduled for next month (indeed, this does happen but for the life of me, I can't find video of it).
Another note from Eric Bischoff's interview with the Observer website, a dirt sheet website ran by a guy who he definitely never would talk to. Bischoff seems to be angling for a WWF job, saying contrary to popular belief, he wouldn't even ask for that much money to do it. He just wants to do something fun. He said they made him an offer last year, right when the Invasion angle was starting, but said he turned it down because he wasn't in good shape and didn't want to appear on TV. That's the story now. At the time, a year ago, Bischoff denied that he was ever given an offer and said he would never consider working for WWF. Dave says, in Eric's defense, the storyline they pitched last year was horrible and Bischoff was right to turn it down (they wanted him to come in and work a match with Vince at the Invasion PPV, get his ass beat, lose, and then that would be it). Adding Bischoff to the NWO angle now would be the obvious idea, but Dave says "invasion" angles never work in WWF because Vince McMahon doesn't commit to them, so adding Bischoff would likely just be another disappointment added to an already disappointing NWO return.
WWF confiscated a "Nash is horrible" sign at the TV tapings this week. Dave doesn't get it. In the past, WWF used to criticize WCW like crazy for "censoring" fans and violating their freedom of expression and all that shit. But then they started doing it too. At first, it was anti-Rock signs that were being taken away, which Dave can kinda understand because he's a top babyface. But Nash is a heel. Don't you want people bringing signs trashing them?
Scott Steiner's WWF physical showed several health issues that still need to be addressed before they sign him. The deal isn't dead yet and Steiner could still come in eventually, but that's the situation right now.
WWF has reached out to both Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio and talked to them about coming in for the new cruiserweight division. Eddie has been busting his ass on the indies in hopes of getting re-hired while Rey has been working in Puerto Rico as of late.
WEDNESDAY:Fallout from Wrestlemania 18, the Hogan/Rock match, Steve Austin walks out (the first time), Vince McMahon talks about failed plan to bring Bret Hart in for Wrestlemania, and more...
This is a follow up of my booking of Austin as a face in 2001 if you haven’t seen it here’s the link: https://amp.reddit.com/fantasybooking/comments/fq3zgi/rebook_stone_cold_steve_austin_as_a_face_in_2001/ Build to Invasion 2001 Vince McMahon comes out and cuts right to the chase we have beefed up security there will be no NWO or Eric Bischoff and we will have a rematch from last night and it will take place inside a steel cage The Rock vs “Stone Cold” Steve Austin for the WWF Championship. We get to the match and it’s going as normal with Rock and Austin going at it for about 20 minutes when we see the Eric Bischoff take a front row seat and the announcers are like how the hell did he get in here this grabs Rocks and Austin’s attention and while their staring at Bischoff the NWO enter through the cage door with lead pipes and beat down Rock and Austin to close the show. The next week on Raw, Vince McMahon comes out and makes security even tighter to ensure that The NWO and Eric Bischoff cannot enter the building but throughout the night guys like Billy Kidman, The Steiner Brothers, Chris Candido and even the WCW World Heavyweight Champion Booker T appear attacking various wrestlers and interrupting matches Vince cancels the scheduled main event between Rock Austin and Triple H for the title and calls out his security team to find out what’s going on when Eric Bischoff comes out and explains that security wasn’t the problem all he had to do was walk in the front door because I own 25% of the WWF yes your son Shane sold his share of the company to me because he sees you as an out of touch old man who will run the WWF into the ground reminding everyone of 1995 and Bischoff agreed to a point but once Shane sold his share he dumped him like the piece of garbage he is and we see The Steiner Brothers drag a bloodied Shane McMahon onto the entrance ramp and Eric challenges Vince to a match at Invasion they will both have a representative and the if Bischoff wins he gets 50% of the company if Vince wins Bischoff and all of his guys will be gone from the company and Vince hastily accepts the challenge. Vince chooses the biggest company man of them all as his representative, The Undertaker and Bischoff is more secretive and doesn’t reveal his representative until the go home Raw when we have the official contract signing and that man is Goldberg who sneak attacks The Undertaker and spears him through the barricade injuring his ribs. Invasion 2001 Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero(c) European Championship Eddie regains the European Title with help from a debuting Rey Mysterio and this confuses everyone why would a WCW guy help a WWF guy and Mysterio offers Eddie a place in the invading WCW saying it’s inevitable that WCW will win the war but Eddie declines prompting an attack from Mysterio. They go 15 minutes having an amazing opener with Eddie retaining but Mysterio’s foot was under the bottom rope and the ref didn’t see it and this continues the feud. Chris Candido vs Jeff Hardy(c) Hardcore Championship Candido debuts and talks about his run in the WWF in the mid nineties and cents his frustration about being underutilized and says that’s why the WWF will fall and he targets rising star and fan favorite Jeff Hardy for his Hardcore Championship. Candido wins after Hardy misses a Swanton Bomb through a table. Lance Storm vs Chris Jericho(c) Intercontinental Championship Lance Storm targets his old thrill seekers partner Chris Jericho for leaving him in WCW and wants to take his Intercontinental Championship. Lance Storm wins the match clean claiming his first gold in the WWF. Mike Awesome vs Perry Saturn We bring in Mike Awesome because he’s great and Bischoff wants Perry Saturn punished for leaving WCW when they were at their lowest and Awesome does just that and destroys Perry Saturn driving him out of the WWF. The Steiner Brothers vs The Dudley Boyz(c) Table elimination match for the World Tag Team Championships The Steiner Brothers attack the Dudleys wanting to take their titles and Scott Steiner cuts a promo about them taking splinters out of their faaaaat assesss like he did in TNA because let’s be honest that was pretty funny. The Dudleys eliminate Rick hitting a 3-D through a table but Rick eventually recovers and helps Steiner eliminate D-Von and Scott eliminates Bubba by hitting a top rope Frankensteiner through a table to win the tag team titles. Ric Flair vs Kurt Angle Kurt Angle and his 3 I’s vs the dirtiest player in the game Ric Flair. Flair is used to cheating his way to victory and hates to see someone goody two shoes like Angle at the top and challenges him to a match. Flair almost cheats his way to victory but Angle reverse a figure four into an ankle lock to win the match. Booker T(c) vs Edge WCW World Heavyweight Championship Booker T declares himself the real worlds champion and wants to defend his title at Invasion so Bischoff books a #1 contenders battle royal which is won by Edge. Edge puts in a great showing but is no match for the 5 time WCW Champion. NWO vs “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock and Triple H Austin and Rock want revenge for the NWO laying them out not once but twice and Triple H still resents his old kliq buddies Scott Hall and Kevin Nash for jumping ship to WCW and trying to put the WWF out of business. But can Austin, Rock and Triple H who have all been bitter enemies for the past couple of years work together to defeat the invading NWO. While Austin, Rock and Triple H are able to work together they don’t have the chemistry that the NWO has and NWO wins clean Hall and Nash hits a double team move on Austin. Stacy Keibler vs Trish Stratus(c) Women’s Championship Trish retains over “WCW’s best” Goldberg /w Eric Bischoff vs The Undertaker /w Vince McMahon Despite having injured ribs, The Undertaker gives it his all against Goldberg hitting him with a choke slam a last rife and a tombstone but nothing puts Goldberg away and he hits multiple spears and a jackhammer to put The Undertaker away. The entire WCW roster come out to celebrate. Build to No Mercy 2001 The fans tune in to see Monday Night Nitro, Bischoff comes out and reveals that he slipped a clause into the contract signing that if Bischoff won that he would have the power to cancel Monday Night Raw and reinstate Nitro but don’t worry WWF parasites you still have Thursday Night Smackdown to look forward to. Eric also addresses the fact that Kevin Nash and Scott Hall beat “Stone Cold” Steve Austin at Invasion and books a triple threat match for the title at No Mercy. On the next episode of Smackdown, The Rock cuts a vicious promo on Booker T about him claiming to be the real worlds champion and challenges him to a match at No Mercy for the WCW Title. No Mercy 2001 Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero 2/3 falls for the European Championship Mysterio wants a rematch because he says Eddie didn’t really beat him and Eddie gives him a rematch to prove he’s the better man. Mysterio wins the first fall when he rolls up Eddie and puts his feet on the second rope. Eddie wins the second falls making Mysterio submit to the lasso from El Paso and the third with a frog splash. Mysterio shakes Eddies’s hand after the match and raises his arm but them swerve he kicks him below the belt and brings out his nephew Chavo Guerrero and gives Eddie one last chance to join them and Eddie spits on Chavo and they proceed to beat Eddie down and hit him with the European Title. X-Pac vs Dean Malenko Light Heavyweight Championship X-Pac turns on X-Factor joins WCW and challenges Dean Malenko for the Light Heavyweight Championship he nearly cheats to win the match but Albert and Justin Credible cost him the match out of revenge for turning on them. Stacy Keibler vs Lita vs Torrie Wilson vs Trish Stratus(c) Women’s Championship Trish wins after Mike Awesome power bombs Lita yes Trish Stratus joins WCW. Lance Storm(c) vs Kurt Angle Intercontinental Championship Chris Jericho gets his rematch on Nitro for the Intercontinental Championship but Goldberg costs him the match and the next week on Nitro Bischoff books Goldberg vs Chris Jericho to punish Jericho for leaving WCW and Goldberg destroys Jericho. Kurt Angle steps up and we have a great technical match which Lance Storm wins. Chris Candido(c) vs Chris Jericho Hardcore Championship Candido targets another rising star who happens to be a fan favorite in Chris Jericho we also play off their history in Smokey Mountain Wrestling, they have a great hard hitting match and once again Candido retains. Goldberg vs The Big Show Eric Bischoff books Goldberg be The Big Show to punish him for leaving WCW and Goldberg destroys The Big Show for another victory. Hulk Hogan vs Triple H Triple H wants revenge on the man who turned his best friends against him and left the WWF the company that made Hulk Hogan. Hogan tells Triple H he’s just mad that WCW didn’t make him a star. Hulk Hogan wins the match after hitting a low blow and a leg drop when the ref isn’t looking. The Steiner Brothers(c) vs The Hardy Boyz World Tag Team Championships The Steiners talk about the last time they were in the WWF the tag team division was filled with real men but then they see skinny North Carolina white trash like the Hardy Boyz and it pisses them off. The Hardy’s give it their all nearly pulling off the upset but are ultimately no match for The Steiner Brothers. Ric Flair vs Shane McMahon Shane wants revenge for being used by Eric Bischoff and Bischoff sets Ric Flair on him and they have a highly physical brawl at No Mercy where Ric busts up Shane and makes him pass out to the figure four leglock with Bischoffs help of course. Booker T(c) vs The Rock WCW World Heavyweight Championship These two have a great back and forth match which Booker wins clean making him an even bigger star in the eyes of the WWF fans. Kevin Nash vs Scott Hall vs “Stone Cold” Steve Austin(c) WWF Championship Kevin Nash is bitter about how his initial WWF Title reign went and wants to rectify that and Scott Hall has never even won the belt and they fight over who gets to pin Austin when Austin capitalizes and hits both men with stunners pinning Kevin Nash. Build to Survivor Series 2001 Eric Bischoff is satisfied with the way things are going most of the titles have gone over to WCW but he doesn’t just want half the company no he came here to have total control and he challenges Vince to a 5 on 5 tag team match at Survivor Series winner takes all. And Vince says no I’m not risking my life’s work against some shady business man like yourself. And Bischoff says I thought you might say that and says that he’s talked to the board of directors and they are ready to install a vote of no confidence in McMahon because of letting WCW kick the WWF’s ass so far and so Vince agrees to put his whole company on the line against Eric Bischoff at Survivor Series in a five on five elimination tag team match. Survivor Series 2001 Chavo Guerrero vs Eddie Guerrero(c) European Championship Chavo wants to prove he is the best in the legendary Guerrero family. They have an amazing 25 minute match which Chavo lies cheats and steals his way to victory. X-Pac(c) vs Dean Malenko(c) Unification match for the WCW Cruiserweight and WWF Light Heavyweight Championships X-Pac brings in the WCW Cruiserweight Championship and starts defending it on Nitro while Malenko defends the Light Heavyweight Title on Smackdown and X-Pac challenges him to a unification match at Survivor Series. Albert and Justin Credible try to cost X-Pac the match but is stopped by Rey Mysterio with a steel chair X-Pac wins the match unifying both titles. Chris Candido(c) vs The Big Show vs Test Hardcore Championship The two giants want to shut this as they put it vanilla midget up for good and they both challenge him to a title match at Survivor Series. Candido retains after his girlfriend Sunny makes her return and low blows The Big Show. Trish Stratus(c) /w Mike Awesome vs Lita Women’s Championship Trish explains that she turned on the WWF because she never forgave Vince McMahon for making her bark like a dog on live TV and Lita tries to make her come to her senses and says in WCW they didn’t even have a women’s title and you think they’re the answer? They have a great match which Trish retains when Awesome interferes. Lance Storm(c) vs Edge vs Christian Intercontinental Championship Storm retains because Edge and Christian can’t stop fighting each other and Storm capitalizes pinning Christian. The Steiner Brothers(c) vs The Dudley Boyz vs The Hardy Boyz vs The APA World Tag Team Championships The APA do all the work eliminating The Hardy’s and The Dudley’s and The Steiners capitalize on the fact the APA did all the work and pin them to retain the titles. Ric Flair vs Vince McMahon street fight Vince wants revenge for Flair bloodying up his son and books a street fight between them for Survivor Series. They have a great match which Flair wins. Team WCW(Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Booker T, Goldberg) vs Team WWF( “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, The Undertaker and Kane) Winner Takes All Goldberg Eliminates Kane. Goldberg eliminates Triple H. Triple H eliminates Scott Hall Goldberg gets eliminated by count out. Hogan Eliminates The Rock. The Undertaker eliminates Kevin Nash. Hogan eliminates Triple H. Booker T eliminates Austin. Sting debuts and hits The Undertaker with a Scorpion Death Drop allowing Booker T to pin and eliminate The Undertaker. Team WCW wins!!!!! Build to Starrcade 2001 Eric Bischoff makes major changes by firing the entire McMahon family and during Jim Ross as Raw commentator and installs Paul Heyman as the new commentator which will give Eric nuclear heat and he cancels Smackdown and replaces it with Thursday Night Thunder and now that Bischoff has full control of the company he has the power to cancel Vengeance and put in Starrcade after all its WCW’s version of WrestleMania and he books a stacked card but first he brings in all of his champions and gives them new belts he gives Chris Candido the WCW Hardcore Championship, he gives X-Pac the WCW Cruiserweight Title, he gives Chavo Guerrero the new WCW European Championship, he gives Lance Storm the WCW United States Championship, he gives the Steiner Brothers the WCW Tag Team Titles. He books a World Title unification match between “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Booker for Starrcade. Starrcade 2001 X-Pac(c) vs Jeff Hardy vs Rey Mysterio vs Billy Kidman vs Tajiri vs Justin Credible WCW Cruiserweight Championship Great opening match, Rey Mysterio wins pinning Tajiri. Chavo Guerrero(c) vs Dean Malenko WCW European Championship Malenko who is close friends with Eddie Guerrero vows revenge on Chavo for the way he has treated his uncle and guns for his European Championship. Chavo retains in a great match. Chris Candido(c) vs Matt Hardy WCW Hardcore Championship Matt Hardy wants to win the belt that Candido took from his brother. Candido retains in a brutal Hardcore match. Goldberg vs Eddie Guerrero Bischoff sets Goldberg on Eddie for that vicious promo he cut on WCW management back in 1999 and for ultimately leaving the company. Eddie almost lies, cheats and steals his way to victory but is no match for the brute strength of Goldberg. Lance Storm(c) vs Chris Jericho WCW United States Championship Lance Storm retains in a great match. The Steiner Brothers(c) vs The APA bar room brawl Basically the two toughest tag teams in wrestling go head to head in a fight to see who’s the toughest. The Steiner Brothers comes out on top. Mr. Perfect vs Kurt Angle Bischoff brings in another wrestler that the WWF underutilized Mr. Perfect and he challenges Angle to a pure wrestling match which Angle accepts. They go 20 minutes and Angle reverses a perfect plex into an Angle slam for the victory. The Rock vs DDP The Rock is cutting a promo and the lights go out and we hear a familiar voice say I’m the real people’s champion and DDP vs The Rock is booked for Starrcade. DDP wins clean to prove his point. Edge vs Christian TLC match They’ve been feuding off and on since Summerslam and they finally settle it in a TLC match which they made famous which Edge wins. NWO vs DX(Triple H, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) Triple H reforms DX to take on the NWO but they fall short when Hulk Hogan pins Road Dogg. Sting vs The Undertaker Buried Alive match Sting wins the match clean because as the American bad ass The Undertaker cannot beat Sting. Booker T vs “Stone Cold” Steve Austin Unification Match for the WCW and WWF Championships Despite WCW interference Austin wins the match. Build to Royal Rumble 2002 Eric Bischoff calls Austin out to present him with the new WCW Title Belt but Austin spits on that belt and stunners Eric and wants to keep his original WWF Belt to punish Austin, Eric Bischoff forces Austin to defend his title in a 30 man Royal Rumble match and Austin will be entrant #1 Royal Rumble 2002 X-Pac vs Justin Credible /w Albert Justin Credible finally overcomes X-Pac in a great opening match. Kurt Angle vs Goldberg Goldberg has been unstoppable since coming to the WWF and Kurt Angle challenges Goldberg to a wrestling match playing off the fact Goldberg can’t wrestle that well. Kurt Angle’s technical brilliance nearly gets him the wins but Goldberg just barely manages to get the win. The Rock vs Ric Flair The two most charismatic men in wrestling go head to head in a dream match which The Rock wins. Sting vs Kane Kane wants revenge on Sting for biting his brother. Sting wins the match reversing a tombstone into a scorpion death drop. 30 man Royal Rumble for the WWF Championship Brock Lesnar and RVD both debut in the Rumble. RVD eliminates Sting after The Undertaker’s Gong goes off and Sting destroys RVD with a base ball bat. Austin goes the distance. Hogan eliminates Hall and Nash causing more dissension in the NWO and Hogan eliminates Austin to win the match and Austin’s Title which gets renamed the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Build to No Way Out 2001 Bischoff brags that WCW has all the gold and the WWF guys have nothing but Austin, Triple H, The Rock and Kurt Angle challenge WCW’s finest to a war games match and those four men are Hulk Hogan, Booker T, DDP and Goldberg. No Way Out 2001 Rey Mysterio(c) vs Jeff Hardy WCW Cruiserweight Championship Mysterio loses by DQ when he hits Jeff Hardy with the Cruiserweight belt. Chavo Guerrero(c) vs Eddie Guerrero WCW European Championship They renew their feud and despite Chavo attempting to cheat Eddie finally beats his nephew to regain the European Championship. Lance Storm(c) vs Chris Jericho WCW United States Championship This is Jericho’s last chance to beat Lance Storm and capture the title if Jericho loses he will never get another shot. Jericho wins making Lance Storm tap to the lion tamer. Chris Candido(c) /w Sunny vs Kane WCW Hardcore Championship Kane wants to see what Candido is made of and challenges him to a match which Candido wins and Kane shakes his hand after the match slowly turning Candido face. Scott Steiner vs Rick Steiner The Steiners drop the Tag Team Titles to the New Age Outlaws and Scott turns on Rick. Scott wins the match and in the process injures Rick Steiner. Sting vs RVD RVD wants revenge on Sting for beating him down at the Rumble and challenges him to a match at No Way Out. It seems like Sting has the match won, but The Undertaker’s Hong goes off once again and RVD capitalizes winning this huge match. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall vs The New Age Outlaws(c) World Tag Team Championships Hall and Nash have something to bribe after being kicked out of the NWO and they challenge for the Tag Team Titles and they win. Team WCW(Hulk Hogan, Goldberg, Booker T, and DDP) vs Team WWF( “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H and Kurt Angle) War Games match The WWF pick up their first big win in ages when The Rock pins DDP. Build to WrestleMania 18 Nitro opens up with every WWF Wrestler entering the ring and basically saying we will take back our company and chaos ensues we see brawling in the ring, the entrance ramp, backstage all of the WCW Wrestlers vs all the WWF Wrestlers and Eric Bischoff cannot get things under control he’s in the middle of the ring watching everyone fight when Vince McMahon’s music hits and alongside him is Shane, Stephanie and Linda and they beat up Eric Bischoff and make him put the company on the line at WrestleMania and we will have 13 matches whoever wins the majority gets control of the company. WrestleMania 18 35 man battle royal Winner faces DDP later in the night RVD wins WWF:1 WCW:0 **Chavo Guerrero vs Eddie Guerrero(c) vs Edge vs Chris Candido /w WCW European Championship Chris Candido wins. WWF:1 WCW:1 Lance Storm vs Chris Jericho(c) 30 minute Ironman match for WCW United States Championship Billed as their final match against each other. Storm wins. WWF:1 WCW:2 Rey Mysterio(c) vs Jeff Hardy vs Billy Kidman Cruiserweight Championship Kidman wins. WWF:1 WCW:3 Scott Steiner vs Brock Lesnar Steiner wants a real challenge at WrestleMania and Brock answers it. Brock wins WWF:2 WCW:3 Trish Stratus(c) vs Lita Women’s Championship Trish retains. WWF:2 WCW:4 DDP vs RVD RVD wins. WWF:3 WCW:4 Ric Flair vs Mick Foley(c) Hardcore Championship Mick Foley comes out of retirement to help the WWF and he beats Candido on Nitro to win the Hardcore Championship and Flair targets Foley calling him a glorified stuntman. Flair wins with a low blow in a gruesome bloody match. WWF:3 WCW:5 The Rock vs Goldberg Goldberg runs right through The Rock to continue his undefeated streak. WWF:3 WCW:6 Scott Hall and Kevin Nash(c) vs DX World Tag Team Championships Triple H brings in the founder of the Kliq Shawn Michaels to straighten out Hall and Nash but they beat him down and Shawn comes out of retirement to team with his best friend Triple H and they beat Hall and Nash to win the titles. WWF:4 WCW:6 *Eric Bischoff vs Vince McMahon * Vince beats the holy hell out of Eric to win the match. WWF:5 WCW:6 Sting vs The Undertaker /w Paul Bearer The Undertaker comes back in his deadman persona and challenges Sting to a match at WrestleMania. Undertaker reverses a scorpion death drop into a tombstone to win the match. WWF:6 WCW:6 Hulk Hogan(c) vs “Stone Cold” Steve Austin WWF Championship The dream match that never happened finally happens and Austin hits two stunners on Hogan to win the match. Hogan turns face and shakes Austin’s hand after the match. This took a while this is how I would have booked The Invasion.
2020.01.24 02:25 DGenerationMCBound for Rebooking Pt. 7 - TNA BFG 2011
Shannon Moore (with Crimson, Jesse Neal and Toxxin) def. Brian Kendrick in a Pre-Show Match Moore followed his longtime friend Jeff Hardy to Immortal, embracing his darker side and using the book of Dilligaf for guidance. Surrounding himself with brothers and sister in ink, he proved turning on his friend Kendrick was the right choice, defeating him. Gunner (with Ric Flair) def. TNA Television Champion Kazarian for the Lethal Lockdown advantage With Naitch's help, the rising Gunner pins Kaz and potentially earns a title shot for a later date. Scott Steiner was originally scheduled to be in Gunner's corner but he was brutally kicked out of Immortal on the go-home show for insubordination, giving hints that all was not well in the group. Austin Aries def. Rob Van Dam(c) in a Falls Count Anywhere Philadelphia Street Fight to win the X-Division Championship In his year-long stint in the X-Division, The Whole F'N Show put aside his distaste for the younger generation "ripping" him off. Following Destination X when he humbly defeated Jerry Lynn in their final confrontation, RVD crossed paths with the returning Aries, who exemplified the disrespectful youth he once aimed to wipe out. Despite the crowd against him and the match type in the champion's favor, The Greatest Man That Ever Lived showed it was his time now, finally becoming X-Division Champion. The Philly crowd gave Van Dam a standing ovation afterwards as Lynn came out and embraced his longtime rival, prompting an ECW chant. Sarita & Rosita def. The Beautiful People (Angelina Love & Velvet Sky) (with Madison Rayne) Following several close calls and breakup teases, the end was nigh for The Beautiful People. After falling to the latina Knockouts following botched interference from Madison, she and Angelina had it out. Velvet did her best to play peacekeeper but it was too late as all three left their separate ways in a huff. Samoa Joe def. Mr. Anderson Anderson's asshole ways earned him the ire of a dangerous TNA original for the second year in a row. What started out as a playful odd couple devolved into Joe playing cat-and-mouse for revenge with his one time partner until catching him and choking him out, getting that elusive victory he'd been chasing for months. Katarina Winters def. Mickie James(c) to win the TNA Knockouts Championship Mickie climbed to the top of the Knockouts Division as expected in 2011. But Katarina arriving in TNA to settle a score was not. Acknowledging their past in which James emerged victorious every time they faced off, Winters exorcised her demons to beat the measuring stick of women's wrestling. Kurt Angle def. Jeff Jarrett (with Karen Jarrett) in a Loser Leaves TNA "I Quit" Match Jarrett's explanation for betraying Angle the previous year and getting him suspending from TNA was chalked up to duress. Before Hogan and Bischoff arrived in TNA, Double J's personal problems left him powerless in the company he founded. With Immortal offering him a spot so he wouldn't be left out, Jarrett joined and did their bidding. While at first reluctant and regretful of his actions, Jarrett' grew bitter and insulted at the sacrifices he'd made for "his" company being ignored all out of sympathy for the Olympic gold medalist. At the behest of Spike Network, Mick Foley brought back Angle from his indefinite suspension to get the World Title off of Hardy in March. Months later at Slammiversary, Jarrett once again followed Immortal's orders and screwed Angle out of the championship. When confronted about his integrity being compromised by Angle, Jarrett made their feud more personal, bringing Kurt's ex-wife Karen into the mix and revealing to the world that they were now together. This led to a summer of mind games where Jarrett used Angle's kids as leverage to get the upperhand on him inside and out of the ring. Having had enough, Angle put everything on the line and challenged Jarrett to a match where the loser would leave TNA for good, as the company could no longer hold them both. The founder used his newly found MMA skills and Karen's interference to slow Angle down but couldn't get him to quit. After getting a taste of his own medicine with a guitar shot to the dome, a barely conscious Jarrett submitted to the most gruesome Ankle Lock ever seen. The five year grudge was over, Kurt Angle had won. Matt Morgan(c) def. Bobby Roode with Garrett Bischoff as special guest referee to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship When Jeff Hardy dropped the ball, losing the World Title and then losing the rematch under the influence, Immortal disowned him and turned to their backup plan, The Blueprint. Reveling in getting the opportunity to shine after being "held down" by everyone smaller than him, Morgan had his talents recognized by Hulk Hogan himself. Roode won the Bound for Glory Series, punching his ticket to a World Title shot. The champion mocked his challenger for wrestling longer than he had but with nothing to show for it. After turning down Flair's last-minute offer to leave Fortune to be groomed like Morgan was for greatness, Bobby refused to remained loyal to TNA and his friends. It seemed like this would be Roode's moment but the shady referee known as Eric Bischoff's son ignored a visible three count, leading to The Blueprint recuperating and ultimately retaining. Sting & Fortune (AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, James Storm & TNA Television Champion Kazarian) def. Immortal (Hulk Hogan, Bully Ray, Abyss, Hernandez & Gunner) (with Ric Flair) in a Lethal Lockdown Match with Garrett Bischoff as special guest referee for control of TNA Sting had not been seen or heard from since BFG 2009. With Hogan and Bischoff wreaking havoc on a new company, The Icon returned to rally the troops. Fortune needed help as they had been led astray since TNA's new regime took over. Their mentor, Flair, was working with Immortal all along. This truth was revealed at Lockdown during Lethal Lockdown earlier in the year as he "accidentally" cost Fortune the match against Immortal. Styles returned from injury to stop the post-match beatdown but Flair low blowed him. With the helping of his rehired friend Daniels, whom Flair refused to let into Fortune in 2010 and had Bischoff fire, Styles fought through Bully Ray to get five minutes alone with Flair at Slammiversary. Times like these made it seem as if the tide had turned but Immortal kept pulling the rug out from under TNA. The resistance's high-power ally Mick Foley was ousted from the company leading to Sting returning and filling the role. Recognizing the poisonous similarities between Immortal and a certain new world order he fought 15 years earlier, The Stinger came back to fight. The competitiveness between Styles and Daniels, the growing estrangement among the shutout Storm and Kazarian were all quelled as Sting brought some of TNA's greatest originals back together on the same page. This time around Flair's interference did not work. Garrett's shifty refereeing would not hold as he grew a conscience and rebelled against his father and called the match down the middle after the original ref was taken out. Once Sting was done beating on Hogan, he offered the remains to The Cowboy, who submitted The Hulkster. Shocked and disappointed, Immortal carried the broken, beaten and bloodied Hulk away as Sting and Fortune celebrated. Like two years before, Dixie Carter entered the ring and embraced AJ. But this time, she also embraced Storm. Then Kazarian. Then Daniels. And finally, Steve Borden, not Sting. Thanking him profusely, Dixie was happy The Icon did not leave for green pastures. She was happy her TNA family was whole again as it stopped darkness from consuming it once more.
2020.01.22 01:35 DGenerationMCBound for Rebooking Pt. 5 - TNA BFG 2009
The Beautiful People def. Tara & ODB in a Pre-Show Match For the second year in a row, The Beautiful People brought ODB together with a rival. Velvet and Madison would go without Angelina Love, who was taken out of the company by Tara the previous month. Despite this, the sexy heels emerged victorious due to their opponents' miscommunication, suggesting that Love was no longer needed for the group to be the dominant force in the Knockouts Division. Amazing Red(c) def. Consequences Creed & Jay Lethal in a Three Way Ultimate X Match to win the TNA X Division Championship Red returned to TNA earlier in the year, breaking up the monotonous student/teacher rivalry between Creed and Lethal. Creed, the defacto heel with his obnoxious persona, fails to regain the title as Lethal has them both take a tumble near the end. Homicide def. Hernandez(c) to win the TNA Television Championship Hungry for championship gold, The Notorious 187 betrays his longtime partner for it with a fireball. Kaz, Christopher Daniels & Eric Young def. The Main Event Mafia (Kevin Nash, Booker T & Scott Steiner) in a Six-Man Tag Team Match Since The Main Event Mafia formed almost a year prior, the mysterious Suicide has lurked, haunting the vets. Every time MEM that they had Suicide cornered, he escaped. Following the theory of multiple men being under the mask, the Mafia faced a ghost from their past. After the self-proclaimed superhero EY and the recently rehired Daniels unmasked in the build-up, the third revealed himself as Kaz, who had disappeared following being found beaten to a pulp backstage the previous year. Back with a vengeance, the former World Champion and the man who ended Samoa Joe's 931-day undefeated streak pointed out Booker and Nash as his assailants. The underdog trio of originals dealt a blow to the MEM with Kaz pinning Booker. The British Invasion(c) def. IWGP Tag Team Champions Team 3D, Beer Money, Inc. & The Motor City Machine Guns in a Full Metal Mayhem Match to retain the TNA World Tag Team Championship Team 3D's quest to be dual champs is snuffed out by the rising British Invasion. Alissa Flash def. Awesome Kong(c), Taylor Wilde & Sarita in a Four Way Match to win the TNA Women's Knockout Championship Flash's alliance with Kong paid off as she successfully used her as a blockade against the pair of tag partners. Stealing the pin from Kong on rival Sarita, Flash would face the wrath of her beast ally soon enough. Bobby Lashley def. Stevie Richards Boycotting the imminent Monster's Ball Match, Richards' plea for Abyss to not fight met a screeching hault as the debuting Lashley steamrolled over him in under 30 seconds. Abyss def. Matt Morgan in a Monster's Ball Match with Mick Foley as the special guest referee Morgan turned on Abyss to show his worth to the MEM, wanting to gain membership. The Monster gets his revenge here with a little help from someone else used by the MEM, Mr. Socko. Samoa Joe def. Sting Since losing the World Title to Sting the year before, Joe went on a warpath. All roads led to getting even with Sting, who got up-ended for MEM leadership by Kurt Angle, who also took the World Title at Lockdown. When The Icon sought to regain the championship at Slammiversary in a King of the Mountain Match, Joe interfered and cost his rival. While TNA's war with MEM was still going, Joe's younger compatriots were not pleased as they would've preferred the exiled Sting as champion than Angle. This alienated The Samoan Submission Machine from the roster as he was consumed by vengeance, leaving his post as resistance leader to AJ Styles. Getting the victory he so desperately wanted, Joe refused to shake Sting's hand after the match and left to a chorus of boos, cementing his heel turn. While disappointed in the result of the match and Joe's actions, a bloodied Sting was thankful for his career, hinting at retirement or at least a departure from TNA. Wishing AJ luck in the main event and putting over the company's future, The Stinger left to a standing ovation. AJ Styles def. Kurt Angle(c) to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship It all came down to this. The greatest in-ring competitor originated from TNA against the greatest in-ring competitor to migrate to TNA. Reistsance vs. Main Event Mafia. Phenomenon vs. Machine. Angle tried to get inside Styles' head, citing he had beaten him in all their previous encounters. The Olympic Gold Medalist bragged that he never fell victim to identity crisis like AJ had, losing his grip as the face of TNA not just to Joe, but also to superstar exports over recent years. Angle was on the highest-paid contract in TNA history while Styles was still trying to earn the trust of carrying Dixie Carter's company as it's main star. The level of competiton in TNA had been elevated since AJ was last champion and Angle didn't believe Styles could rise to the occasion again. In an instant classic with no interference, Styles persevered and became World Champion for the first time in four years. In somewhat of a shock, the fatigued Angle turned AJ around and shook his hand before quickly leaving. Dixie Carter left her seat and embraced Styles, finally showing a public stamp of approval going forward. The final image of Bound for Glory 2009 was of The Phenomenal One carried by the TNA locker room as confetti rained down. The war was over and the prodigal son had returned to prominence.
2020.01.01 01:17 SirAlexHBig Finish (and other EU): Best of 2019 Discussion.
Big Finish Releases 2019
I swear this'll be the last list I post for a while, promise! But we're another year done of EU, another year of audio dramas, of comics, of books and even animations. So discuss: What was the best of 2019? Your must listens? Your must-nots. (And again, I haven't put Candy Jar or Obverse Books stuff in because they aren't my field at all, but feel free to mention them).
Joy Wilkinson; Simon Guerrier; Terrance Dicks; Matthew Sweet; Susie Day; Matthew Waterhouse; Colin Baker; Mike Tucker; Steve Cole; George Mann; Una McCormack; Jenny T Colgan; Jacqueline Rayner; Beverley Sanford; Vinay Patel
Gatecrashers; Journey Out of Terror; Save Yourself; The Clean Air Act; Punting; The Dark River; Interstitial Insecurity; The Slyther of Shoreditch; We Can't Stop What's Coming; Decoy; Grounded; The Turning of the Tide; Citation Needed; Pain Management; Letters From the Front
Voyage of the Damned; Partners in Crime; The Fires of Pompeii; Planet of the Ood; The Poison Sky/The Sontaran Strategem; The Doctor's Daughter; The Unicorn and the Wasp; Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead; Midnight; Turn Left/The Stolen Earth/Journey's End
2019.10.05 00:49 canned-phoenix-ashesTHIS WEEK AT NOVA
This Week @ NOVA– October 7, 2019 Your weekly source for information on NOVA Student Life including campus events, student clubs, intercollegiate athletics, intramural sports and recreation and much more! Look for your campus calendar and a news and events section below. Don't miss the opportunity to meet government contractors who are recruiting interns and employees interested in the tech sector! Plan to attend GovCon on October 23, 2019 at the Loudoun campus from 10am - 2:30pm. NOVA is excited to partner with the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce’s GovCon committee, Loudoun Economic Development, Strongbridge LLC, and Triple Point Security. The GovCon Internship/Job Fair is open to all NOVA students. You will also have the opportunity to learn about the importance of security clearances. Professionals from BTI360, a government contractor that provides software solutions will host a panel discussion at 11:00 a.m. Register in Career Connection. Space is limited! CAMPUS CALENDARS (Event dates are from October 7 - October 11, 2019) ALEXANDRIA (#ALcampus - @al_studentlife) *Monday - Art Club Meeting. AFA 322. 3:00pm - 5:00pm. *Monday - Green Club Plastic Bag Recycling. Bisdorf Cafeteria Patio. 2:30pm - 4:30pm. *Tuesday - Best Buy. Bisdorf Cafeteria Job Recruitment. 10:00am - 3:00pm. *Tuesday - SEAS Workshop: Do it Now! No More Procrastinating. ASC Annex (AA234). 2:00pm - 3:00pm. Do you often find yourself rushing to complete assignments on time, even though you had time to do them earlier? Are you concerned about the amount of work required for college classes? Come to this workshop to learn about why people procrastinate, and get tips and strategies for avoiding procrastination and maintaining focus on the things that are important to you. *Tuesday - Women in STEAM Meeting. AA157. 4:00pm - 5:00pm. *Tuesday – Self-Care Week with Four Directions Wellness: Mind. Student Lounge. 4:00pm - 6:00pm. The first in a series of presentations will focus on our mind and emotions. Students and faculty will explore stress management, self-care techniques, connecting with our emotions and mental dramas and incorporating simple techniques to return to balance and centeredness. *Wednesday - Chinese Intercultural Club Meeting. AA472. 3:15pm - 4:15pm. *Wednesday - iConnect Club Meeting. Bisdorf Cafeteria. 3:30pm - 5:30pm. *Wednesday - SALSA Club Potluck. AA158. 3:30pm - 5:30pm. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by sharing in authentic cuisine and conversation. *Wednesday - French Club Meeting. AA160. 4:00pm - 6:00pm. Movie Night! Join us at 4:30pm for a showing of Le Dîner de Cons. *Wednesday – Self-Care Week with Four Directions Wellness: Body. Student Lounge. 4:00pm - 6:00pm. The second in a series of presentations would be encouraged to explore connecting with our physical bodies. This presentation and experiential learning would include among other topics: Qigong exercises, nutrition, sleep, exercise and key factors for keeping good health and wellness. *Thursday - Hispanic Heritage Movie Series: “Pelo Malo”. AA158. 3:00pm - 5:00pm. *Thursday - Muslim Student Association (MSA) Meeting. AA157. 1:30pm - 3:00pm. *Thursday - Gamers Unplugged Meeting. 2:00pm - 6:00pm. *Thursday – Self-Care Week with Four Directions Wellness: Spirit. Student Lounge. 4:00pm - 6:00pm. The third in a series of presentations and experiential learning will not be religiously focused but rather will define “spirituality” as that within each of us that makes us unique and that ignites our passions. The presentation and experiential learning will include among other topics: meditation, considering and identifying personal passions; along with an overview of how health and wellness incorporates spiritual practices. *Thursday - SEAS Workshop: Top Test-Taking Tips. ASC Annex (AA234). 5:30pm - 6:30pm. Do you get anxious about taking exams? Well, you are not alone! While there’s no quick fix for dealing with test anxiety, this workshop will offer concrete tools and strategies that you can use to prepare for your upcoming exams. We will discuss what you can do before, during, and after your exams to help you put in your best performance. *Friday - SEAS Workshop: Grammar & Proofreading for College Writing. Online. 12:00pm - 1:00pm. Do you make grammar mistakes such as run-on sentences or sentence fragments? This new workshop will provide a quick grammar refresher to explain how to avoid common grammar mistakes. We’ll also share strategies for proofreading, the final stage of the writing process, which checks for grammar errors, misspellings, and typos. Participating in this workshop will build your writing skills and confidence! *Friday - SGA Meeting. AA129. 2:00pm - 4:00pm. *Washington Redskins vs San Francisco 49ers. AA 141. Join us for a trip as the Washington Redskins take on the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, October 20th! You must be currently enrolled to be eligible. You must sign up in person and spaces are limited so they will be first come first serve. To sign up, you must bring your student ID and $10.00 per person. Cash ONLY. The cost covers transportation to and from FedEx Field, one ticket and a $10 food voucher. Tickets will go on sale October 9th at noon. ANNANDALE (#ANcampus)
Monday – Michael Scott Media Monday. We’ve hidden cards with the staff of Dunder Mifflin about campus. Find 1 card and return it to Student Life for a prize! Collect a whole set and win a bigger prize! Follow us on Instagram or Twitter to get the clues every Monday morning (@ANStudentLife)
Monday – NOVA Reads Book Giveaway. Student Life will be giving away free books while supplies last. The book is titled “Beloved” by Toni Morrison.
Monday – Blood Drive. 10am-2pm. In front of CA. For those that missed the opportunity to donate blood on September 18, the Inova Blood Donor Services bloodmobile will be back on campus.
Tuesday – Decorate Your Own Piñata. 12pm-2pm. CF Quad. Students will have a chance to make their own piñatas! The Hispanic Student Union will provide the space and supplies for this event.
Tuesday – Rodrigo Velasquez presents “Latinx: Growing Up Gay, Latino, and Undocumented”. 2pm. CA 302. Seating for this event it limited. Contact Melissa Chabot ([email protected]) for more information.
Wednesday – Piñata Day/Culture Day. 12pm-2pm. CF Quad. Students will smash the piñatas they made the day before on the quad. This is a celebration that will close out Hispanic Heritage Month!
Wednesday – Win-It Wheel. 1pm-2pm. CF Quad. Test your luck and spin the wheel of prizes. You could win some sweet Student Life Swag, or your favorite: a high five from one of our student ambassadors.
Thursday – Club Officer Training. 12pm-12:45pm. CF 213. All Student Organization Officers must attend one Club Officer Training each year.
Thursday – Lunch n’ Learn. 1:30pm-2:30pm. CA 105. You need to register this for this event. Go to CA 105 for more information.
Thursday– Trivia Thursday. 2pm-3pm. CA Café. Come out and compete in teams of up to 4 people in a different trivia topic each week. Each member of the winning team will receive a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble. Don’t miss your chance to play!
Friday – Student Government Association Meeting. 10am-11am. Brault 321.
Friday – NOVA Student Leadership Retreat.
Saturday – NOVA Student Leadership Retreat.
All Week – FAFSA Week. CA 1st floor & CF Quad. If you have not already done so, complete the 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid now! Financial Aid will have pop up tables at the CA 1st Floor and in front of the CF building all week to assist in answering questions.
All Week – October Mystery Bus Sign-Ups. CF 232. Take a FREE trip off campus to somewhere fun October 25th. You won’t know where you are going until you get on the bus. For more info or to sign-up visit CF 232.
All Week – October Service Trip Sign-Ups. CF 232. Student Life is hosting a community service trip on October 17th to CRi. Please visit CF 232 for more information and to register. Space is limited!
LOUDOUN (#LOcampus) *Sign-ups – 2nd Annual Student VS Staff Kickball Game – On Monday, October 21st the competition will KICK OFF once again in the battle of Students VS Staff Kickball Game! If you want to be part of the Student Squad who will be looking to take the crown from a Staff Team that took a resounding victory in the first game, CLICK HERE to sign up! Spots are limited and are first come, first serve. * Monday – Powder Puff Flag Football Interest Meeting – 1PM. Outside HEC 203. Are you interested in being a part of a Women’s Flag Football Tournament? Please stop by and talk to Akeil Robertson and learn more about how you can get involved. If you are unable to attend this meeting you can also email CJ Jackson at [email protected]. *Monday – LGBTQ & Friends Weekly Meeting – 3-4PM. LW 104. *Monday – Loudoun Dance Club – 4-6PM. LR-109B. *Monday – Nighthawks Women’s Rugby Practice – 4-6PM. Loudoun Soccer Fields. NOVA’s newest sports team invites all female students to come learn a new sport, meet some fantastic people and have a lot of fun! It’s not too late to come and get a taste of the sport and feel the team culture. For more information, email [email protected]. *Wednesday – Muslim Student Association Weekly Meeting – 1:30-2:30PM. LR-144. * Wednesday –Nighthawks Women’s Rugby Practice – 4-6PM. Loudoun Soccer Fields. NOVA’s newest sports team invites all female students to come learn a new sport, meet some fantastic people and have a lot of fun! For more information, email [email protected]. * Thursday –Every Nation Campus Ministry – 2-3PM. LW 118. Join ENCM for their weekly meeting. Everyone is invited! * Friday – NOVA Student Leadership Retreat Departs! Loudoun Students will be departing for our Annual NOVA Leadership Retreat! * Ongoing – The Pantry @ Loudoun. The Loudoun Campus is here to support our students and their families. If you need support and feel that you could benefit from grabbing some groceries or hygiene items, please stop by The Pantry in LC 102L. MANASSAS (#MAcampus - @MAStudentLife) *Monday-Friday. Student Government Association Elections. Cast your vote for SGA Senators and Junior Senators! Keep an eye on your email Monday morning for the link to vote. *Tuesday - The Clothesline Project. 9am-4pm. Howsmon patio. The Clothesline Project is a clothesline of t-shirts that bears witness to the impact of domestic violence and sexual assault. Shirts are created by the NOVA community. T-shirts, paints and other supplies are provided. *Wednesday- The Clothesline Project. 9am-4pm. Howsmon patio. The Clothesline Project is a clothesline of t-shirts that bears witness to the impact of domestic violence and sexual assault. Shirts are created by the NOVA community. T-shirts, paints and other supplies are provided. *Thursday - Green Club Meeting. 4-5pm. Parrish 238. Are you interested in environmental sustainability and enjoy hosting events? Join Green Club! Contact Dr. Harvey for more information ([email protected]). *Friday - STEAM Club Meeting. 3:30pm-6:30pm. Parrish 232. Join STEAM club to learn more about upcoming events and ongoing projects! Contact Professor Westerhoff for more information ([email protected]). MEDICAL EDUCATION (#MECampus) *Tuesday- SOTA Org Meeting. Room 116. 1:00pm-2:00pm. *Tuesday- "National Voter Registration Tabling. 2:00pm-3:00pm. 1st Floor. Are you registered to vote? Do you know your polling site? Stop by our voter registration table for more info. *Wednesday - "Title IX Training"- Noon-1:30pm. Room 355. Any student is welcome to attend this training. Mandatory for club officers/student leaders. Please contact [email protected] for more info. *Wednesday - SGA Meeting. Room 116. 2:00pm-4:00pm *Thursday- Student Life Planning Board Meeting. Noon-1:00pm. Room 116. Get engaged! Share your ideas and assist in the process of planning campus activities! *Thursday-MeLT Org. Meeting. Room 116. 1:00pm-2:00pm.
Thursday- Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. 4:30pm. Foley Forum. Please join the Dental Hygiene org and SGA in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month! We invite you to enjoy an evening of culture including food, fun, art and dance. Join the Sentimiento Peruano USA Dance School as they share a few dances native to Peru. We hope to see you there!
Friday – GCU, ODU and VCU Transfer Tables. 11am-1pm. First Floor. Interested in transferring? Just exploring your options? Stop by our tables on the first floor of MEC to get some information. *Friday-Saturday. Student Life Leadership Retreat. CLAGGETT CENTER-BUCKEYES TOWN, MD. OCT. 11-12, 2019. Join your NOVA-wide peers for a 2-day conference in the rolling hills of Fredrick, MD. Sharpen leadership skills/great resume builder, participate in team building/ropes course activities and network with college-wide peers. *You do not need to be a Student Leader to attend.Meals, lodging and transportation included! Contact [email protected] for more info. *Sunday-Lung Force Walk. 8am. Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Washington, DC. As part of the continues celebration of Respiratory Therapist Month, MEC’s RTH org has organized a team to help support a fundraiser for lung cancer research. Registration opens at 8am and the walk starts at 9am. Join our team under “NOVA Respiratory Therapy Club.” If you would like to join the team or help fundraise through the Lung Cancer organization’s link please contact Christy Mejia through [email protected]. *Ongoing- NOVA MEC/Inova Fall Blood Drive October 24. 11:30am-3:30pm. It’s that time of year again to sign-up for our annual Fall Blood Drive. The MeLT organization has set-up a table on the first floor for you to be able to sign-up for the time slot you wish. Donating blood is safe, simple and only takes about one hour. If you are eligible to donate, please schedule your time slot. *Ongoing – Fall Trip Sign-Up. Starting August 26th, 2019 students can register and pick up travel forms from Student Life in Room 116. These forms are required for the Hershey Park Trip on 10/26. In addition to the travel forms, students must submit $30 payment to reserve spot. For a digital copy of the travel forms, please email [email protected]. Friday, Oct. 18th is the last day students can pay/submit forms for this trip. WOODBRIDGE (#WOcampus - Facebook: wostudentlife. Instagram: @wo_studentlife) *Tuesday October 8th - Game Day Nest 11am-1pm *Wednesday - Alcohol Education Nest 11am-1pm *Wednesday - Student Government Association Town Hall Lakeside Theater 12pm-2pm *Thursday - Student Government Association Town Hall Lakeside Theater 11:30am-1:30pm *Sign up for our Hershey Park trip happening Saturday, October 26th! $30/student (cash or check only). Spot reserved with payment and liability paperwork. Pick up forms at the Student Life office, WS 158. NOVA ONLINE (#NOVAOnline - @NovaELIfe - online.nvcc.edu/studentlife/) *Wednesday- Webinar: Transfer Planning. 3pm-4pm. It’s never too early to begin planning your transfer to a four-year college. In this one-hour webinar, discuss with a counselor the basics of transfer academic planning; transfer resources and tools, including discussion on guaranteed admission agreements and articulation agreements; and transfer application tips. No registration required. Visit https://online.nvcc.edu/webinars.htm#transfer, & click the link to join at the event start time. *Thursday- Webinar: Library Basics Webinar for NOVA Online Students. 5:30pm-6pm. In this 20-minute webinar, you'll learn about the library resources available to you as a NOVA Online student. Register Here! *Thursday- Evening Workshop. Top Test Taking Tips. 5:30pm-6:30pm. Alexandria Campus AA234. For a complete list of workshops or to learn more about the Academic Success Center, check out Academic Success Center Workshops *Friday- Webinar. Grammar and Proofreading for College Writing. 12pm-1pm. This online workshop will provide a quick grammar refresher to explain how to avoid common grammar mistakes. Register 24 hours in advance. *Ongoing- October Feature Film - Moonlight. “A look at three defining chapters in the life of Chiron, a young black man growing up in Miami. His epic journey to manhood is guided by the kindness, support and love of the community that helps raise him.” Watch and discuss this feature film in VSU during the month of October. *Ongoing- October Book Club - This month we are reading, “Something Wicked This Way Comes” By Ray Bradbury. A 1962 dark fantasy novel about two 13-year-old best friends, Jim Nightshade and William Halloway, and their nightmarish experience with a traveling carnival that comes to their Midwestern town one October. Register Now to receive your copy. * Ongoing: Alcohol & Marijuana Wise Online Training – FREE! Develop protective behaviors for substance use and learn about alternative care methods. 25 Lucky participants in the program will be selected to receive a Rocket Book!! Sign up here * Ongoing: Diversity Edu FREE Online Training - DiversityEdu is an online diversity & inclusion training course that seeks to teach students skills in addressing unconscious biases and stereotypical thinking. Register Here ATHLETICS & INTRAMURAL NEWS (@NOVANighthawks – NOVAathletics.com) The Intramural and Recreational Sports Program at NOVA wants to encourage the wellness of its campus community by providing opportunities to both students, faculty and staff to engage in fun, competitive and social activities. There are plenty of sports and activities to choose from including soccer, flag football, basketball, badminton and more. For more information or questions about NOVA’s Intramural Sports Program please contact C.J Jackson, College-Wide Campus Recreation Director, at 703-323-3713 or @ [email protected] COLLEGE NEWS National Writing Day is Friday, October 18th! Join us for a panel discussion and Q&A session with leading industry professionals on the importance of writing. The speakers include; Josh White: Editor of the America Desk at the Washington Post, Christy Wallover: Newseum Exhibit Writer, Andrea Jones: Public Engagement Lead at NASA & Member of NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI). Attendees will receive some awesome giveaways! Save the date! October 18th, 11am – 1pm; NOVA Annandale Campus – CE Forum. This event is provided by the Languages, Arts & Social Sciences, Student Life, MSTB departments, Lyceum and The Annandale Provost Office at NOVA. Don’t forget to sign-up for NOVA Alert. NOVA Alert is a free alert system that allows NOVA to contact you during an emergency by sending messages to your cell phone and email. https://alert.nvcc.edu
2019.09.30 15:57 acerod1When a Company’s ‘Path to Profitability’ Turns Out to Be a ‘Dirt Road to Doom:’ Term Sheet
When I was first immersing myself into the world of tech reporting, I was confused as to why on earth you’d invest in a pre-product, pre-revenue, pre-pretty-much-anything-you-need-to-start-a-business company. “God, Polina, it’s about the potential upside of being so early,” they said. Ah. OK. My next question had to do with why investors would continue to back a company when there was no profit anywhere in sight. I was then informed that I wasn’t thinking like a venture capitalist. “It’s not about the profitability,” they said. “It’s about the growth and _the path_to profitability.” We have now seen what happens when that path to profitability is actually a dirt road to doom. Venture capital firms of “unicorns,” or private tech companies valued at more than $1 billion, have a much higher tolerance for valuing fast growth over profitability, but that’s not exactly how things work in the public markets. It turns out idealism is not a good substitute for profit. Neither is purpose, creativity, inspiration, energy, or happiness. I recently wrote about how Oprah-speak has become so common in S-1 filings that it’s practically become its own literary genre. Even so, there’s no alternative for good, old profitability. As _Fortune’s_Alan Murray noted in this morning’s CEO Daily, Peloton shares are trading 15% below their Wednesday IPO price. Seven of the year’s 10 biggest IPOs prior to Peloton are under water, having lost some $45 billion of their one-time value. The biggest losers? Lyft and Slack, down 53% and 42% respectively. The surprise winner: Beyond Meat, which is up 237% from where it started. In the olden days, public market investors have typically expected companies to become profitable within 18 months or so of an IPO. This timeline has been loosened as fast-growing startups make their public debut with S-1s that warn: “We expect our operating expenses to increase significantly in the foreseeable future, and we may not achieve profitability.” It’s somewhat of a celebrated mindset for entrepreneurs to have. Just last week, Peloton CEO John Foley said, “[Investors] want high growth — and in our case hyper-growth — so we plan to delight investors that see that our decision to prioritize growth over profitability is a good one.” On the day of his comments, Peloton’s stock closed 11.2% lower than the IPO price. “In the public markets as a whole, profits do matter more than in the private markets,” Mark Mahaney, managing director at RBC Capital Markets, told me in June. “In the public markets, you’ll see a very broad range of investors — people who are willing to invest purely for growth and others who are looking for capital safety or capital accumulation. The general rule is that the public markets do have a stronger screen for profitability — or a path to profitability — than you have in the private markets.” The average IPO return for 2019 has dropped to 6%, down from 30% at the end of June and 18% from two weeks ago. Recent deals suggest that public market investors have become much more selective about which money-losing companies to back. “People’s radar for yoga babble is on high alert right now,” Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at New York University, told The New York Times_._So if a company’s CEO begins to sound like your “yoga instructor went into investor relations,” think twice before making your bet. DIRECT LISTING HYPE: A group of Silicon Valley elite will meet for an invite-only event tomorrow in San Francisco to discuss “the benefits of the direct listing approach to a public listing.” (The direct listing allows shareholders sell existing stock directly to the public, leaving investment banks to serve merely as advisers in the process and not underwriters.) Notable participants in the “symposium” include: — Barry McCarthy, the CFO of Spotify — Michael Lewis, the author of The Big Short, The Blind Side,_and _Flash Boys — Michael Moritz, investor at Sequoia Capital — Bill Gurley, general partner at Benchmark — David Schellhase, general counsel at Slack — Greg Rogers, partner at Latham & Watkins who worked on both Slack and Spotify’s direct listing My colleague Michal Lev-Ram recently published a feature on the trend. She writes, “Longer term, perhaps direct listings will actually be a catalyst for more companies to go public, or to go public faster, which could have benefits for all involved—VCs, founders, investment bankers, and other shareholders.” Read it here. * More Details Here
2019.09.01 19:14 ConorCultureBooking a WWE/NXT PPV - Part 3 - Fastlane
Monday Night Raw - February 17th 2020 The show opens with Sasha Banks cutting a promo saying that she will use her Royal Rumble clause, to face Shayna Baszler at Fastlane. Even though her and Becky have been having beef, she felt for her when Shayna Won last night. Sasha says that this match with Becky will have to hold on, and she’ll kick Shayna’s ass at Fastlane. Shayna then comes out and generally disses Sasha, then outcomes Becky who says she still has a rematch clause which she wants to use on Shayna. Paul Heyman then announces a Triple Threat for Fastlane! Cedric Alexander def. The Miz to retain the US Title. After the match Braun Strowman comes out and attacks both men. He then holds the US Title over there bodies. Ricochet cuts a promo on Drew McIntyre about the Universal Championship. We see a mysterious promo about the return of Broken Matt nds with the deranged laugh and a glimpse of Brother Nero and Broken Matt flashing on the screen before cutting to black. Samoa Joe has a video promo on how he deserves the Universal Championship over Ricochet and how he is better overall. He then talks about how he’s had to go through so much more than Ricochet has, 4 damn years he’s waited for this shot, FOUR YEARS! Joe then promises that he will kick Ricochet’s ass any day of the week, and hell, maybe the #1 Contendership to the Universal Championship will be on the line. The Revival take on The Authors of Pain in a Grudge Tag Team Tables Match in the Main Event! AoP believe The Revival cost them the shot at the Raw Tag Titles as they were the team to eliminate themselves using dirty tactics. It’s a Tables Match to add a special element to the match and to revive the early 2000’s Tag scene, where they used weapons and specialty matches to wow the crowd. The match ends in a Draw when AoP go for a Double Suplex off the apron through a set of tables to both Revival members, but Revival counter and all four men go through the Tables! Scott Dawson is covering Akam but Rezar is also covering Dash, therefore the match ends in a double pin. SmackDown Live - February 18th 2020 Apollo Crews def. Ali Kevin Owens cuts a promo on Finn Bálor for being a cheap son of a bitch and using outside interference to eliminate me. Finn says he wasn’t responsible for any of that, however he thinks Kevin is just a bit salty that he’s not as good as him. Kevin then calls out Finn for lying and the two nearly get into a fight, when Finn challenges Kevin to a match later in the night. Kevin accepts the challenge and says he can’t wait to kick Finn’s ass. Liv Morgan def. Mandy Rose The New Day cut a promo with their new Six-Man Tag Team Championships! They’re then interrupted by The Viking Raiders who say that they want the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. New Day say that Viking Raiders are entitled to this match and say that maybe next week they face them? Viking Raiders accept the offer and the match is confirmed. While that segment is still going on, a video promo for Imperium plays on the titantron which ends with Imperium saying they’re coming for the 6-Man Tag Team Championships. Imperium then come out and stare down New Day. Eric Bischoff announces the match to take place at Fastlane, If! Imperium can defeat another faction to earn this shot. Buddy Murphy def. Sheamus Becky Lynch def. Charlotte Flair Harper def. Rowan, after the match Bryan and Rowan team up to attack Harper. Bryan grabs a mic and starts screaming “Why!? Why!? Why did you betray us!?!?” Harper pushes Bryan over and heads to the back in response to this. Liv Morgan and Dolph Ziggler have a confrontation backstage. Finn Bálor def. Kevin Owens. Owens hits a Stunner to Finn and Finn falls into the ref. Then from under the ring the same two masked men come out and attack Owens! They scram and in the confusion of it all Finn hits a Coup de Grace! 1..2...3! Finn then celebrates the win with a flabbergasted expression on his face. NXT on USA Network - February 19th 2020 Kushida def. Cameron Grimes The competitors for the Six-Pack Challenge for the Cruiserweight Championship are announced. It’s confirmed the match will be Jordan Myles vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Humberto Carrillo (c) vs. Joaquin Wilde vs. Drew Gulak vs. Mike Kanellis. Bronson Reed def. Jaxson Ryker The Quarter Finals Brackets Of The Mae Young Classic are shown on the titantron. It shows the original First Round and Second Round competitors. I don’t think I said all the competitors yet, so here you go. Sumei Sakai Cheerleader Mellisa Momo Watanabe Madison Ray Jordynne Grace Shotzi Blackheart Allysin Kay Katarina Waters Nicole Matthews Veda Scott Cat Power Sloan Kelly Klein Priscilla Kelly Hotshot Tenille Dashwood Thunder Rosa Barbi Hayden Charlie Morgan Karen Q Kris Wolf Lei’D Tapa Madison Eagles MJ Jenkins Shadia Bsesio Silueta Candy Lee Hana Kimaru Willow Nightingale Mariah May Savannah Evans Chassa McKenzie. Johnny Gargano def. Isiah Scott Dominick Dijakovic def. Dexter Lumis Santana Garett def. Deonna Purrazzo Mia Yim, Candice LeRae and Io Shirai have a Three-Way Promo war once again. Each of them say how they deserve the NXT Women’s Championship, then outcomes William Regal. Regal announces a Triple Threat between all three women in the Main event tonight! And also, at NXT Revolution Two, the winner of the Mae Young Classic and the new NXT Women’s Champion, will be facing all of you in a Fatal 4-Way! Keith Lee cuts a promo on Dominick Dijakovic. Io Shriai def. Mia Yim and Candice LeRae, Io wins after a Chair-Assisted Double Foot Stomp To Mia Yim. Monday Night Raw - February 25th 2020 Cedric Alexander opens the show cutting a promo. The Miz and Braun Strowman interrupt and a Triple Threat is made. The ends with EC3 running down and attacking both men and yelling for a US Title Shot. However Cedric, Miz and Braun get up an all four men get into a brawl. Becky Lynch cuts a promo on Shayna Baszler. Samoa Joe def. Eric Young Samoa Joe and Ricochet have a promo war, which ends in a brawl. Samoa Joe goes wild on Ricochet with a chair and beats the shit out of him. Samoa Joe drags him back into the ring and grabs pulls him up into a Chokehold. He tarts screaming at Ricochet that “this is my title!!! Not yours!!” When outcomes Drew McIntyre! Drew runs down and clobbers Joe!! Drew goes for a Razors Edge to Joe, when Ricochet hits him with a Dropkick from behind sending bot men to floor! Ricochet lays both men on top of each other and hits a 630 Senton! It looks like Ricochet has won the brawl, when from behind. CLLLAAAAAYYMOOOOOORREEEEEE!!!! Drew McIntyre leaves both Joe and Ricochet laying in the ring as he heads to the back with his Universal Championship. Ricochet and Joe both get to their feet but two referees get in the way and stop them from brawling again and escort each man to the back. Street Profits def. The Usos Bray Wyatt in the Firefly Funhouse tries to convince Curtis Axel to ”Join Us”. Bray Wyatt finishes it off by inviting Curtis Axel to the Firefly Funhouse for Dinner! He can meet our brother Bo! Or he can meet Mr. Mickels ( puppet of Mick Foley ) and hear all his great stories! You can meet Ramblin, Mercy, Abby, Huskus, everyone! All he has to do, is LET ME IN. Ruby Riott def. Naomi The Revival def. The Authors of Pain in a 2 Out Of 3 Falls Street Fight. This match would be a clusterfuck brawl, but still tells a story. You can also have pure wrestling action with the 2 out of 3 Falls stipulation, meaning not everything has to be carnage. The match ends with Revival locking in chain-assisted submissions on both Rezar and Akam, ending in a Double tsp to secure them the final fall. SmackDown Live - February 26th 2020 The show starts with a cinematic flashback to the main event last week where the two masked men attacked Owens. We then see Owens walking furiously backstage screaming about them. He then slams the door to Eric Bischoff’s office open and barges inside. He starts yelling at Bischoff to find those men, and reveal their identities. Otherwise you’re only seeing a fragment of the anger Owens will release. Bischoff says him and all the office are doing the best they can to find these men. A quick flash of Bálor smirking pops on the screen before cutting to black. Dolph Ziggler def. Ali Dolph Ziggler then cuts a promo on Liv Morgan, saying that she’s no match for him. She’s just pink hair, blue tongue who can’t hold a candle to Dolph Ziggler. Liv Morgan then comes out and says that all her life, she’s been underestimated. No one ever believed in her, she has worked constantly to get to this spot. She then says that Ziggler had to something similar, but he was just the noodle haired guy who got the big pop 7 years ago. This makes Ziggler lash out and goes for a Clothesline to Liv but she ducks and hits him with a Hurricanerana. Ziggler rolls out the ring and heads to the back looking on at Liv. Another segment for return of The Hardy Boyz plays. It starts with piano music and Reby Sky playing it. She then adds vocals and sings the lyrics “Some men fall, some men rise, some men, are broken. Welcome to the Multiverse.” It then cuts to what is presumed to be the Multiverse, Brother Nero staring into the deep infinite void, and from behind we hear the laugh of Broken Matt. He’s sitting on a Throne behind Jeff, however we don’t see his face. The segment finishes with Matt yelling “I will, DELETE you!” Ember Moon def. Charlotte Flair Buddy Murphy def. Apollo Crews. After the match on the titantron we see Aleister Black in the room. Black calls out Buddy Murphy and finishes the promo saying “The door is wide open. Curtis Axel then cuts another video promo from outside the venue in the rain about Bray Wyatt’s offer. He says he accepts the invite to the Firefly Funhouse, but on one condition. He wants to see Bo at dinner, he doesn’t care about the rest but he wants to see Bo. And not Bo in puppet form, he wants the wall human being of Bo Dallas. ”Give me the address and I’ll be there March 15th the night of Fastlane.” He says. He finishes off by saying “See you there” and walking off. The Viking Raiders take on The New Day for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships In the main event Shinsuke Nakamura gets the upset and defeats Andrade! He celebrates after the match and Andrade attacks him. Andrade hits a Hammerlock DDT and spits on him, asserting his dominance. NXT on USA Network - February 27th 2020 The show opens with 3.0 cutting a promo. They then make the offer for a Tag Team Open Challenge, to anyone in the back! This turns out to be a BIG mistake as outcomes. Malcolm Bivens ( Stokely Hathaway ) and his partner, the 7 ft 3 monster of NXT, Jordan Omogbehin!!! The crowd are stunned by the size of the man, if you’ve never see him before Look him up. Bivens doesn’t wrestle any of the match, this is just a showcase for Jordan. The man is quite limited so this is just a squash. Clothesline, Big Boot, Chop, Powerslam, Chokeslam is pretty much this guys offense but with time he can grow. Jordan and Bivens win the match and in the same spot as that live show from a few months ago, Bivens stands on the middle rope to raise Jordan’s hand and with some cool camera work can be an awesome spot. Gargano cuts a promo on Ciampa. In a backstage segment we see Triple H and Steph discuss how Triple H wants to take NXT head to head with Raw and SmackDown, he’s proved that his guys are the best, with Gargano winning the Rumble and Shayna winning the Raw Women’s Championship. He’s shown that his guys can beat your wrestlers, with NXT starts squashing the main roster foes. Steph then fired back with “fine!” “You want to challenge the Main Roster, go ahead but just know it will only end in failure!” Dominick Dijakovic def. Jordan Myles Raul Mendoza and Humberto Carrillo def. The Forgotten Sons Keith Lee and Dominick Dijakovic have a hype package for their Last Man Standing Match At NXT Revolution #1 to This is a War by The Phantoms. Drake Maverick and Mike Kanellis have a promo war. It ends with Mike Kanellis attacking Drake Maverick and beating the piss out of him. On the outside he hits a Death Valley Driver onto the steel steps! He then grabs a mic and stands over Maverick’s body, and vows to win the Cruiserweight Championship. Maverick raises his head but Kanellis stops down on him again for good measure. Cameron Grimes def. Joaquin Wilde Adam Cole def. Kushida. Roddy nearly cost Adam Cole the match but Cole survived. NXT Revolution #1 Coming to you live from Full Sail, Free on the USA Network is NXT Revolution! Six-Pack Challenge for the Cruiserweight Championship: Jordan Myles vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Humberto Carrillo (c) vs. Joaquin Wilde vs. Drew Gulak vs. Mike Kanellis ( 12 Minutes ) Exciting opener for the show. Jordan Myles ( ACH ) shows himself off in the match as does Joaquin Wilde ( DJZ ). Mike Kanellis looks to impress Drake Maverick in this match to continue their feud, but this almost costs him the match when Akira Tozawa comes from behind and hits an Inverted Exploder for a very close 2 count. Drew Gulak and Humberto Carrillo have a fun sequence, and in the end Drew Gulak manages to lock in a Gu-Lock while everyone else is outside the ring and Humberto taps! Drew Gulak wins and is now a 3 Time Cruiserweight Championship! Tables Match: Dexter Lumis vs. Bronson Reed ( 15 Minutes ) Chaotic match up which kicks off straight away with Bronson Reed hitting a spear followed by a bunch of series of stomps. Both men go through many, many Tables and some cool Tables spots occur. Such as Bronson Reed hitting a Fireman’s Carry Plunge off the top ropes through a table! Dexter Lumis hitting a Superplex off the stage through a stack of tables! The final spot occurs with Dexter Lumis amazingly hitting a Fireman’s Carry Driver through a table! Lumis gets up and looks like he’s going to pin, but Lumis then rips up the canvas of the ring and hits a Fireman’s Carry Driver to Bronson Reed onto the wood!! 1...2...3!!! Dexter Lumis wins the match. Mae Young Classic III Finals for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship: Jordynne Grace vs. Momo Watanabe Really stiff and hard hitting match. Jordynne Grace is a fucking powerhouse and squashes Momo Watanabe like a fly. However at other times Momo Watanabe has the aggression of an unleashed tiger and looks like she’s seriously hurting Jordynne. Nothing gets overtly violent with stuff such as blood and weapons, but violent in the sense of stiff shots and nasty bumps. Nasty bumps like Momo hitting a Facebuster onto the apron to Jordynne Grace, Grace moving out the way and Momo eating shit after an attempted Sommersault Senton. Jordynne Grace wins the match after a Backpack Stunner and becomes new NXT Women’s Champion! Last Man Standing Match: Keith Lee vs. Dominick Dijakovic Similar to the match from earlier on it’s a chaotic and violent matchup but with a story. These two have been trading wins for months now, and this is the final. The way these guys matches work is the fact they’re both massive lads, but work a high flying style. And that’s what this match would be. Every single bump the ring rattles and seems like it’ll break. Keith Lee manages to get the win and the two hug it out after the match. North American Championship: Kushida vs. Isaiah ”Swerve” Scott It’s an amazing match to Main Event the evening put the real moment comes after the match. Isaiah Scott finally gets the big win and becomes the North American Championship in a heartfelt moment. However that moment doesn’t last long, as from the crowd outcomes Randy Orton!!!! Orton beats the shit out of Isaiah Scott, ruthlessly. Commentary scream about how NXT have picked a fight with the main roster, the main roster has fired back! Orton finishes the attack off by hitting an RKO through the announce table to Scott! He then picks up the NA Title and raises it high with a smug expression on his face. He then throws it aside and escapes through the crowd, Revolution ending in carnage. Monday Night Raw - March 2nd 2020 The Authors of Pain def. The Usos and Street Profits A Fatal 4-Way for the US Title is set up between Cedric Alexander, The Miz, Braun Strowman and EC3. The match ends with Cedric Alexander getting the win, but after the match Gran Metalik jumps him, but then Lince Dorado attacks Gran Metalik! All 6 men get into a brawl which ends with Lince Dorado hitting a Shooting Star Press onto everyone. Everyone escapes each other after the massive brawl, Cedric Alexander leaving with his United States Championship. Seth Rollins and AJ Styles have a promo war. AJ however isn’t accompanied by The OC. Seth asks “where are your lackeys AJ?” Which AJ responds with “not important” and continues on. Seth uses this to torment AJ, to which boils Styles up that he attacks Rollins! AJ then says that next week he’ll be meeting AJ again, and he will WISH he never talked out of his ass to him again. Alexa Bliss cuts a promo in the ring how she deserves to be the Women’s Championship. However, outcomes Naomi, Natalya, Ruby Riott, Nikki Cross, Dana Brooke, Nia Jax and Sarah Logan come out and wreck the place. They say they have been underused and underutilized for too long! And they are here to TakeOver this Women’s Division. They’re starting off by taking the Women’s Tag Team Championships, so Fire & Desire, LETS GO! Fire & Desire come out and say that they will gladly wrestle this group of outcast losers, but it’ll have to take place next week. Cesaro def. Rey Mysterio Shayna Baszler cuts a promo on Sasha Banks. Samoa Joe def. Ricochet. These two have been feuding over the past few weeks and how they’re finally having a Match. After about 20 minutes of high octane action, Samoa Joe chokes out Ricochet in the Coquina Clutch and Ricochet fades to black. Paul Heyman cuts a promo about to war between NXT and the Main Roster. Becky Lynch def. Sasha Banks. This would be an action packed 25 minute main event, to give the fans the match that was meant to happen at Mania. Becky gets the win and the two shake ands after an action packed match. SmackDown Live - March 3rd 2020 Apollo Crews def. Sheamus We have another video package for The Hardy Boyz. This starts of with Reby playing the piano, and starts singing about the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. It then cuts to the Multiverse where Matt and Jeff stand together looking into the deep infinite void. Matt Hardy then says poetic rhymes, and Jeff challenges The Viking Raiders to a match, at Fastlane, for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. Both men then turn around and face the camera, Jeff does his Fallen Angel Pose and Matt yells ”DELETE!” The sound of Matt yelling delete echoes around the Multiverse and we fade to black. Finn Bálor def. Ali Dolph Ziggler def. Dominick Dijakovic Daniel Bryan cuts a promo on Roman Reigns Zelina Vega and Andrade cut a promo on Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura interrupts and a match is made for the main event between Andrade and Nakamura. Harper def. Elias Buddy Murphy cuts a video promo on Aleister Black Imperium def. Daniel Bryan, Dominick Dijakovic and Erick Rowan, giving them a shot at the 6-Man Tag Titles. ( Aight so we’re just gonna speed through everything now. ) Fastlane 2020 Pre Show: Apollo Crews vs. Ali ( 7 Minutes ) Blow off to the mini-feud these guys begun. Mainly a way to hype the crowd for the rest of the show. Six-Pack Challenge for the #1 Contenders to the US Title: Bobby Roode vs. Gran Metalik vs. Lince Dorado vs. Braun Strowman vs. The Miz vs. EC3 ( 10 Minutes ) From where we left of, different wrestlers kept interrupting matches for the US Title, trying to insert themselves into the picture. Eventually Paul Heyman announces that there is too much chaos going on right now, so if you wan The US Title then at Fastlane there’s a Six Pack Challenge between all of you for the #1 Contenders to the Championship. It’s high energy action, won by EC3 surprisingly. Main Show: Raw Tag Titles: The Revival vs. Street Profits ( 10 Minutes ) From where we left off The Revival had just completed a mini feud with The Authors Of Pain and are now challenging for the Raw Tag Titles against current champs, Street Profits. It’s fast paced and exciting action to kickoff the main show won by Revival after a cool spot. Montez Ford goes for a Slingshot Attack But Scot Dawson catches, and hits a Powerbomb To onto the knees of Dash Wilder! Wilder then locks in a Submission hold on Montez! Montez taps! The Revival are the new Raw Tag Team Champions! SmackDown Women’s Championship: Asuka vs. Kairi Sane ( 16 Minutes ) This is Kairi’s 2nd Chance to take the SmackDown Women’s Championship off of Asuka. It’s similar to their match at the Rumble but a bit longer and with a bit more energy behind it, Kairi with even more drive to win this match. Asuka manages to get in the Asuka Lock But Kairi Fights it. Not many women have been able to fight the Asuka Lock since Asuka’s run of dominance as Women’s Champion, so this would put over Kairi. Kairi goes for the Insane Elbow, 1..2....KICK OUT!!! Asuka kicks out! Asuka locks in the Asuka Lock again and Kairi fades to black, Asuka retains! SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Viking Raiders vs. The Hardy Boyz ( 12 Minutes ) We left off with The Hardy’s making the challenge to The Viking Raiders for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. The next week The Viking Raiders accept the challenge, and here we are. Viking Raiders come out first, then, then its the Hardy Boyz turn. The entrance starts with Reby Sky playing the piano on the top of the ramp, with King Maxwell at her side. Then we hear Matt Hardy’s laugh on repeat. The piano starts to open up and Brother Nero rises from the piano! He rises on a platform and is in his fallen angel pose. Then the laugh stops and we hear “I will, DELETE you!” And outcomes Broken Matt! Matt and Brother Nero walk down the ramp together to a big pop. It’s an entertaining match won by The Hardy Boyz after a Twist of Fate + Swanton Bomb Combo. Intergender Match: Liv Morgan vs. Dolph Ziggler ( 9 Minutes ) These two have started a rivalry, similar to TK Cooper vs. Candy Floss for Riptide, Of Dolph mocking Liv for not being good enough, and saying she’s just pink hair and weird clothes. Now for PG purposes this match has to go a certain way. It is dumb Intergender Wrestling is seen in a bad light but hey that’s life. This match can’t have big strikes because “Domestic Violence”. So this match would be stuff like Crossbody’s, Hurricanerana’s, Arm Drags etc. Liv goes for the 201 Facebuster, but Dolph catches it and hits a Death Valley Driver! 1...2....3!! Dolph wins. 6-Man Tag Titles: The New Day vs. Imperium ( 20 Minutes ) Similar to their match on SmackDown, I’d give this about 20 minutes and for it to be pure bliss. New Day get the win, ending in all members of Imperium getting pinned at once by The New Day. Everyone shakes hands afterwards and they all go on their merry way. Curtis Axel enters the Firefly Funhouse! This starts with Curtis Axel waiting outside, on the streets looking at his phone. He tells the cameraman, Jonas, who’s coming with him that he just called the Uber. 10 minutes later and the Uber has arrived. They then drive to the Firefly Funhouse. They reach the gates of what seems to be an old broken down mansion. The driver asks what does he do here and Axel says he’ll open them. Axel pulls the gate open and gets back in then the driver continues on. They’re driving along a lake, and they see a man come out of the lake! They start to question what it is but brush it off. When they take a left they then see a giant man with a wagon by his side in the middle of the road! The car stops and Jonas and Axel get out the car. They ask the man who he is, he’s in wet rags with long hair covering his entire face. He tells them “get in” and they hop inside the wagon, where this giant man pulls them along. Once they arrive to the house, JoJo greets them and lets them in. The house is pitch black but JoJo carries a torch around. They walk into the dining room where at the head of the table, is The Fiend. Curtis asks for Bo, and Bo walks out. Bo looks down at the ground and kneels down beside Bray. His hair is overgrown and hanging over his face and he sounds like he’s whimpering. Axel goes to walk over to The Fiend But JoJo stops him, and presses him down on the table. The Fiend then sits up and pushes Bo over. He goes to grab Axel but Axel grabs him first and tackles him to the ground! Axel starts to lay fists into Wyatt. Bo stands in the corner crying as he watches. Axel goes to grab Bo Dallas but Wyatt pulls him back, Tiger Suplex onto the concrete floor! The Fiend, JoJo and The Giant stop down on Axel. The segment ends with Fiend, JoJo and The Giant throwing Axel out the front door and Jonas sprinting out himself. The camera gets one last shot of the inside of the house where Bo tries to run out the door, but The Giant slams the door shut. IC Title: Buddy Murphy vs. Aleister Black ( 14 Minutes ) This would be some amazing striking action, between two of the best strikers in the business. Aleister Black manages to get the win and become new Intercontinental Champion! Raw Women’s Title: Shayna Baszler vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch ( 13 Minutes ) The match starts with Shayna Baszler taking out both women, but then they team up to take down Shayna. Becky and Sasha then stare down and face off between each other, however over the past few weeks have grown a bond over mutual hatred for Shayna Baszler. Over the course of the match Sasha and Becky rediscover their old connection and start to do some Tag team offense. Ronda Rousey gets involved and while Duke and Shafir distract the ref, Ronda takes out Becky with a DDT onto the ring apron! That leaves Sasha and Shayna. Sasha goes for a Disaster Kick, but Shayna ducks and locks in an Armbar! Sasha rolls over however, and locks in a Banks Statement! Shayna manages to power out though, and hits a Bicycle Knee Strike! She then locks in her Submission Finisher! Sasha taps! Shayna Baszler retains and celebrates with the Four Horsewomen. Kevin Owens vs. Finn Bálor ( 15 Minutes ) Owens starts off hot by immediately attacking Bálor with a mighty dropkick. It’s fast paced action throughout, Owens showing a more ruthless side to him. This new Ruthless Edge is shown with Owens hitting an Elevated DDT to Bálor, with Bálor feet on the barricade! Bálor shows his own ruthlessness also, bending Owens over the barricade, then jumping off the apron with a Double Foot Stomp onto Owens!!! The two men show up once again, however Bálor hits a Plancha onto both men! Owens rolls to the outside and hits a Backdrop onto the ring apron to all 3 men. Owens rolls one of the masked men into the ring and goes for a Pop-Up Powerbomb, but as the man comes down he hits a Hurricanerana! Followed by a Rocket Kick! The ref is layed out on the outside by the other man so no DQ can be called! The two beat down on Owens, and then take Bálor’s body from the outside and lay it over Owens, theythen grab the ref, 1....2..3! Bálor wins again! Daniel Bryan ( with Rowan ) vs. Roman Reigns ( with Seth Rollins ) - No Disqualification Match On the go home show both men picked people to be in their corner for the match, and in that main event Bryan took on Harper. The match kicks off with Roman attacking Bryan with a kendo stick, and then grabbing a Chair. He jams the chair into the corner, and goes to throw Bryan into it. Bryan counters however with his own Irish whips and sends Roman into it! Bryan then lays the chair over Roman’s back, he stomps down on the chair! Both men continue this brutal hard hitting action, even at one point Rowan putting Rollins through the announce table! Bryan hits two consecutive Running Knee’s to Roman to win the match and celebrates with Rowan. WWE Championship: Andrade vs. Shinsuke Nakamura These two would put on an utter barnstormer together, so like Black vs. Andrade from Royal Rumble, I’d just give em’ 20 minutes and let magic occur. Nakamura looks like he’s about to win when he lines up a Kinshasa, but Andrade counters with a Hammerlock DDT! He rolls up Nakamura, 1...2....3!!! Andrade retains his title! Three-Way Dance for the Universal Championship: Drew McIntyre vs. Ricochet vs. Samoa Joe Ricochet takes on Samoa Joe in a match to determine the #1 Contenders to the Universal Championship however it ends in a Time Limit Draw. Paul Hyemna comes out and announces a Triple Threat, but not any old Triple Threat, a Three-Way Dance! The old ECW version of the Triple Threat, where the match is under elimination rules. The match is wild and chaotic, with some cool spots. Ricochet runs up the ropes and hits a Shooting Star Press to the outside! Joe hits a Senton onto Ricochet and Drew stacked on top of each other! Joe locks on the Coquina Clutch on Ricochet but Drew breaks it up with a Claymore Kick! Ricochet is the first one out, however it takes both Joe and Drew to eliminate him. Ricochet goes for a Handspring Attack to both men, however they catch and hit a Double team maneuver. Joe and Drew exchange some stiff and hard hitting strikes to each other, but in the end Drew gets the win!
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUS YEARS ARCHIVE: 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000
WWF has once again set a date for the planned roster split and now it's set to take place on the Jan. 7th edition of Raw at Madison Square Garden. Ever since buying WCW, the company has talked about splitting the roster and they have repeatedly made plans for a "draft" only to postpone those plans over and over again. At this point, the idea has been booked and then scrapped so many times that people within the company are doubting whether this Jan. 7th draft will actually happen (nope, it gets scrapped yet again and doesn't happen until March). Of course, at this point, any value that "WCW" or "ECW" had as brands has been totally squandered, which was the whole point of trying to run separate shows anyway. Dave goes through the history of how WWF botched the whole angle, and how the original plans for a separate company to "compete" with WWF kept changing as the angle kept failing, how WCW was going to be its own touring brand, etc. The current plan is still for Raw and Smackdown to run as separate entities, with Rock on one show and Austin heading up the other. One owned by Vince, the other owned by Ric Flair, and eventually each would run its own monthly PPV (thus doubling the number of WWF PPVs in a year). Dave breaks down how all this will completely fuck up the company's touring schedule for house shows. Especially if it happens in January, with lots of arenas already booked that would have to be changed. Dave seems to think they're rushing into this whole thing without really thinking through the logistics of it (yeah they thought so too, which is why they end up scrapping it).
Dave also goes in depth on how various revenue streams might change with a brand split. He doesn't expect too much of a change in house show business. PPV is the big one. By doubling the number of PPVs each month, some people feel like that's too much and people won't spend that much money, Dave disagrees. Not too long ago, both WWF and WCW were running monthly PPVs, often within a week of each other, and both were doing big numbers. And that's not counting the occasional ECW PPVs at the time also. If the product is hot, people will pay for it. So if done right, this could greatly increase WWF's PPV profits. And of course, if done wrong, it could sink all their PPVs. TV ratings will be interesting. By splitting the roster, they're diluting the top stars and spreading the roster thin. Dave could see ratings for both shows going down since they'll only have half the star-power on each. But with more people getting TV time, it gives them a chance to create new stars and if they can do that, then hey, good news! Of course, that depends on WWF creating new stars. And they haven't been so great at that lately.
Former Stampede Wrestling announcer Ed Whalen passed away this week at age 74 after suffering a heart attack while on vacation in Florida. Dave briefly summarizes his life and career, dating back to 1952 when Stu Hart first hired him to be a ring announcer. He talks about how Whalen loved the athletic aspect of wrestling and the goofy funny stuff, but he hated hardcore, violent wrestling and very publicly quit Stampede on 3 different occasions when he felt it had gotten too violent, only to be talked into coming back. He also had a lot of power with the local TV stations and whenever a match got too bloody or violent, he would order the cameras turned off, which frustrated Bruce Hart (who was booking the shows) because these were his most heated angles and matches and they often didn't air on television because Whalen would have them pulled. Whalen was well liked by most people in the company but they also realized he was often bad for business because he was well known for not allowing heels to get heat in interviews if he didn't like what they were saying by just taking the microphone away mid-sentence and leaving them there looking stupid on live TV or saying things on TV that completely went against whatever angle they were doing (how did this guy keep his job?!). By his later years, he was regarded as a pretty terrible announcer (he even won Worst Announcer in the 1989 Observer Awards). But Stu Hart loved him and never even considered firing him, no matter how much it frustrated Bruce. Anyway, Dave promises to have a much longer and more detailed story on Whalen in the next issue.
Not much news this week so far. I've already gone through the top stories section, Mexico, NOAH, AJPW, etc. and it's mostly just show results. No real news to any of it.
NJPW is still trying to put together plans for both Inoki's New Year's Eve show and the upcoming Jan. 4th Tokyo Dome show. The problem is, the main decision makers are Tatsumi Fujinami and Antonio Inoki and they can't agree on anything. So far, they've only agreed on 2 matches total between the two shows. The company is pushing Inoki to work a match at the Jan. 4th show because they (as well as TV-Asahi) want Inoki to come out of retirement to pop a big rating and ticket sales. Others are urging Inoki not to do it because they made such a big deal out of his retirement in 1998 that they don't want him to tarnish his reputation by coming back. Inoki worked a short "exhibition" match with Renzo Gracie last year but NJPW wants Inoki to work a real match, not an "exhibition" (doesn't happen. To this day, Inoki has remained retired and at age 76, I doubt that'll change anytime soon).
Former NJPW referee Pete Takahashi wrote a book this week that is stirring up some controversy because he openly talks about wrestling being fake (in Japan, kayfabe is still pretty strongly protected). Takahashi also wrote about how Andre The Giant was the hardest wrestler to work with because he would never agree to lose to Inoki (he eventually did in 1986, as he was on his way out of the company). He also talks about Inoki doing his own angle where he allegedly almost swallowed his tongue and almost died during a match with Hulk Hogan in 1983, which resulted in Inoki being legitimately rushed to the hospital. The story was carried by all the major news outlets at the time and it was believed Inoki had legitimately suffered a severe injury, but the referee revealed that it was all a work by Inoki.
Mick Foley has been appearing on the Celebrity edition of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire for the last couple of weeks. On the latest episode, he was up to $125,000 (to be donated to the New York Police & Fire Departments). Time ran out so he'll be back on the show next week to continue. Foley answered some fairly difficult questions correctly and came across much smarter than all the WWF stars that appeared on the Weakest Link a couple months ago (he ends up topping out at $125,000, doesn't get any higher than that).
Scott Steiner worked his first match since WCW folded, appearing in Birmingham, England for WWA. Steiner attacked Konnan and Brian Christopher, which led to commissioner Bret Hart coming out and putting Steiner in the main event in a triple threat against Jeff Jarrett and Road Dogg. Word is Steiner didn't do much because he's still really messed up from all his injuries. He mostly stayed out of the way or helped Jarrett double team Road Dogg.
WWA is currently touring all over Europe right now. They're also still having the announcers do commentary live over the house microphones so the crowd can hear it. During a Psicosis match, Konnan was doing commentary and joked that Psicosis "looks like Michael Jackson without the little boys" which got a laugh from the crowd. Other notes from the tour: Brian Christopher, doing his Too Cool gimmick with the glasses and dancing, has been super over because it was such a popular act in WWF and people still love it. Disco Inferno has gotten lots of praise for his commentary. When they were in Ireland, Stevie Ray was supposed to cut a promo bashing U2 (since they're from Ireland) but when he got the mic, he actually forgot the name of the band. In London, Scott Steiner started making fun of former Beatles member George Harrison, who literally died only 4 days earlier. Dave thinks that's pretty scummy even for pro wrestling. Anyway, all of the shows drew fairly well and because of their success in Europe and Australia, they're reportedly looking at running in the U.S. sooner than originally planned. Dave thinks that would be a big mistake and they will get humbled and brought back down to earth pretty quickly if they try. Europe and Australia are starved for major league pro wrestling with top American stars so those shows can still draw there. But Dave can't see this promotion, with this roster, drawing flies in the U.S. right now.
Big Japan Wrestling held a PPV that was apparently shown in America and I only mention it because Missy Hyatt and Joel Gertner did the commentary for it. Dave has gotten a handful of reviews from people who saw the show and apparently their commentary (especially Missy's) was horrifically bad. I'm bummed because I can't find this show. But Missy Hyatt and Gertner doing commentary on death match wrestling is something I kinda need to see.
Ted Turner was part of a big press meeting this week where he said that if he knew then what he knew now, he never would have sold Time Warner in the first place. The Time Warner deal with AOL essentially stripped Turner of all his power in the company. Anyway, this is only notable because Turner said nothing at all about starting a new TV network. A lot of people in the wrestling industry had been quietly hoping that Turner would start a new network with hopes that he would bring back wrestling on it. But it doesn't appear that Turner is interested in getting back into that game anymore at this stage of his life.
Kevin Nash is reportedly looking to work tours with WWA starting in February. The idea is that he would get paid $40,000 per tour, with WWA doing 5 tours per year. Each tour is 2 weeks. That comes out to $200,000 per year for only 10 weeks of work, plus they pay all his travel expenses. It's believed WWF offered Nash a $400,000 per year deal, but they don't pay travel expenses and they obviously want him to work more dates. But that was all just preliminary talks, there haven't been any real serious negotiations between Nash and WWF yet because he can't do anything until his WCW deal expires in January anyway. Ultimately, it's Vince McMahon's call but everyone in the company is said to be pretty negative on the idea of bringing in Nash.
Chyna appeared on the latest Celebrity Fear Factor and it ended up being the highest rated episode in the history of the show.
A 16 year old in Florida is in stable condition after a backyard wrestling stunt gone awry. They poured rubbing alcohol on him and set him on fire. The match was being taped and on the video, you can see that the kid doesn't want to do it and he even tries to call a time out and stop it midway through but they ended up doing the stunt to him anyway. Another teenager, who lit the fire, is facing possible criminal charges (backyard wrestling was such a big thing around this time and man, people were doing some dumb shit).
RF Video, the company that sold all of ECW's old videos, is getting into the wrestling promotion game. They're holding a show in February at the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia. The promotion will be called Ring of Honor. Dave says these guys have an advantage over other indie companies because they have the infrastructure in place already to sell and distribute videos of their shows. They're planning to bring in hot indie stars like American Dragon, Spanky, and Low-Ki as well as Eddie Guerrero (and with that little paragraph, ROH is officially born).
XWF booked their first house shows and whew boy. They booked the 12,000 seat US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee and then the cruel reality hit. Tickets went on sale and they sold less than 250 the first day. It's important to note that these days, the first on-sale date is when the most tickets are sold. Suffice it to say, they're probably not gonna fill up this arena. At this rate, they'll be lucky to fill up 2 rows of it. It was the same story in the other cities as well (Green Bay, Hammond, IN, etc.). The advertising for the shows lists Roddy Piper, Greg Valentine, Nasty Boys, Buff Bagwell, and the Road Warriors as the top stars. It's 2001. Dave has no idea what this company is thinking.
Roddy Piper was on the Mancow radio show and trashed the WWF. He said the WWF isn't wrestling and criticized the Vince McMahon "kiss my ass club" angle they've been doing. He said the wrestlers in WWF are afraid to stand up for themselves and refuse to participate in humiliating angles. He also claimed Rena Mero was fired because she refused to take her shirt off at a show. Dave points out that's not exactly true. She actually quit the company, she wasn't fired. But in her later sexual harassment lawsuit, she did mention that she had been asked to take her top off at a show and had refused. But she wasn't fired for it, nor did she quit until long after that incident.
XWF has had interest in both Jeff Jarrett and especially Road Dogg. The talks with Jarrett fell through but they may still come together down the line. As for Road Dogg, they really wanted him but there's issues with him. On top of his well-known drug issues, which got him fired from WWF, he has also developed a reputation in recent months for no-showing indie events that he was booked for. XWF is trying to steer clear of anyone who might give them bad publicity or won't show up. But if he can get his shit together, they'd love to have him.
Eric Bischoff is meeting with UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta later this week, but Dave doesn't have any details on why (nothing came of this).
Notes from Raw: the show opened with Jericho cutting a promo and for a moment there, Dave almost got his hopes up that they might be trying to elevate him to be a top star. But he's been down this road too many times to fall for that trick again. Big Show is really packing on the pounds and has to be a legit 500 at this point. Dave remembers last year when the company was adamant that Big Show wouldn't be brought back from OVW until he got down to 375. Oh well. Austin beat Jericho clean in 7 minutes, which does nothing to make him look strong going into the PPV, considering Jericho desperately needs it. There was nothing wrong with the match itself under normal circumstances, but Jericho is a big part of the main event angle at the PPV and he looked like a total geek here. During the main event (Rock/Trish vs. Vince/Angle), Vince ended up getting a bloody nose from some stiff shots by Trish. I bet he loved that. Jericho interfered, hit Rock with the lionsault, and Rock still kicked out. Once again, Jericho is heading into this PPV looking like a schmuck (this all works out okay for Jericho next week).
Dave also has spoiler notes from the upcoming Smackdown tapings. For starters, Undertaker cut all his hair off. But the other main thing is Jericho was once again beaten clean (tapping out to a sharpshooter from Rock) and then was beaten up after the match by his own partner, Kurt Angle. Dave has no idea why they're going out of their way this week to make Jericho look like a total bitch right before a PPV where he's in the matches to determine the first undisputed champion (again, this all works out okay soon, but it is questionable booking). Also, the "What!?" chants from the crowd during people's promos is fun for the audience, but it absolutely kills the promos that the guys in the ring are trying to do.
In regards to Jerry Lawler's recent return to WWF, he was offered a 3-year contract by both the WWF and the XWF. And in fact, the XWF's offer was for more money. But Lawler decided to play it safe on the assumption that WWF will still be around in 3 years, whereas XWF might not be (didn't even last 1 year, so Lawler definitely made the right call on that one).
A Yokozuna Memorial Show was held last week that drew a sellout crowd of 1,000 fans and a lot of WWF wrestlers worked the show. Afa Anoi'a (Yokozuna's uncle) promoted the show and a lot of that family was there. Rock wasn't able to make it, but Rikishi worked. It was Rikishi's first match in months following some recent surgeries. Undertaker & Kane beat the APA. Kanyon appeared on crutches (he had agreed to work the show months ago but he's injured now, but he still wanted to appear) as well as Kidman, Shannon Moore, Jamie Noble, and some other indie guys.
Dave lists all the injuries everyone has and there's a lot. Randy Orton suffered a shoulder injury in a pre-Smackdown dark match with Brock Lesnar and it was feared that he might have had a torn rotator cuff, but fortunately it's not that serious (this would be the start of years of shoulder injuries for Randy). Booker T suffered a concussion after an errant kick from, you guessed it, RVD. Rhyno recently had the same major neck surgery that Austin and Benoit had and it's looking to be at least a year before he can return. And the list keeps going. Edge, Christian, Tommy Dreamer, Stacy Keibler, Scotty 2 Hotty, William Regal, Shawn Stasiak, Hugh Morrus, Test, X-Pac, Crash Holly....everybody's got various injuries. Some need surgery, some are working through them. In better news, Triple H is expected to finally return in January. Benoit should be back around March (not quite).
In OVW, Leviathan is now working as a babyface and recently won the OVW heavyweight title (he later loses it to Prototype).
Following his recent heart attack, Russ Haas has been cleared to start training again in about a week. He's been doing therapy and every cardiologist he has seen has given him positive reviews and he's expected to be back in the ring by January (not so much, I'm afraid. He dies about a week after this from another heart attack).
ESPN columnist Bill Simmons criticized the WWF's writing this week in his latest column, writing, "Even Clark Griswold's kids haven't changed as often as the WWF storylines over the past three months. You need to watch three shows a week and keep a scorecard just to be able to follow everything. It's bad enough that wrestling is fake. Don't make us work at following it too." (Man, if he thought 2001 didn't make sense, I wonder if he's still watching these days.)
John Laurinaitis is heading down to OVW and HWA later this week to get rid of some people. It's been known for awhile that roster cuts were coming and he's heading down there to fire everyone in person. Needless to say, lots of nervous folks in developmental right now.
Jim Ross is meeting with Rey Mysterio when they're in town for the PPV next week, so it looks like there is some interest there, despite previous comments Ross has made.
MONDAY:: The final week of the Observer Rewind, WWF Vengeance PPV fallout, Chris Jericho becomes undisputed champion, IWGP champion Kazuyuki Fujita suffers torn Achilles, former referee Billy Silverman talks about leaving WWF, and more...
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUS YEARS ARCHIVE: 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000
WWF has pretty much abandoned all its plans for reviving WCW and instead revived ECW and had them join the invasion angle. Adding ECW to the fold was a last minute decision made partly in response to the disastrous WCW match on Raw last week. Prior to this, the original plan had been for WCW to have some exposure on WWF TV, do some inter-promotional matches at the upcoming Invasion PPV, and then an angle would be done the next night on Raw with Vince and Linda McMahon having a "divorce hearing" and splitting everything down the middle. Vince would lose Raw to Linda, who would in turn give it to Shane, and Raw would then become the WCW show. The week after would have been a draft, so that WCW could take some of the WWF's big names to help carry the brand. From there, WCW and WWF would be kept apart. WCW would began touring regularly in October and have its first PPV in October as well. Meanwhile, WWF would continue on Smackdown with their own PPVs and eventually, once WCW had fully established itself as a strong brand, they would come back together for more inter-promotional matches.
That was the original plan. So what happened? Well the whole angle has been botched from the start anyway. But the horrible crowd reaction on Raw last week, plus similar reactions to WCW stars at house shows this past week, pretty much torpedoed everything. WWF officials were stunned by the amount of negative reaction to the WCW brand from WWF fans. Dave says WWF fans have been trained to hate WCW for years and it all came to a head on Raw. It was even worse on Smackdown but you wouldn't know from watching it because they edited the crowd audio before it aired, which they couldn't do with the live Raw. Also, as of press time, the Invasion PPV is 2 weeks away and isn't sold out yet. It should be sold out or close to it by the time the show gets here, but for the first big inter-promotional show of WWF vs. WCW, the tickets didn't move nearly as fast as they'd hoped (they turn Austin babyface again a week beforehand and the PPV ends up doing huge numbers but we'll get there). Dave says it's hard to fathom how such a surefire moneymaking angle has been bungled so badly, although part of it is clearly the lack of big WCW stars and WWF's refusal to spend big money to get them.
So they started spit-balling ideas to save the angle. Dave says things got so crazy and so many wild ideas were tossed around that there was actually serious discussion about bringing in Eric Bischoff. (Can you imagine?!) One source claimed there was even plans in place for Bischoff to come in for just a short-term angle, work a match with Vince, kick off the WCW thing, and then be gone, but that Bischoff shot down the idea. Bischoff himself denies that he was ever even approached about it and that he would have turned it down even if they had offered (I believe he has since admitted that yes, he was approached). Either way, the idea was at least kicked around. Ultimately, they settled on reviving ECW (with Stephanie McMahon in charge) and combining it with WCW. The best news coming out of the whole thing is that it let Paul Heyman cut some great promos on Raw and Smackdown and Dave says his kind of realism and promos are exactly what this angle needs if it's going to succeed because out of everyone on the roster, Paul Heyman is the guy who can probably get it over. But the depth of WCW star power is killing it.
Scrapping the idea of reviving WCW as its own brand creates a whole new set of problems. Most of the 24 wrestlers that WWF acquired from WCW haven't even appeared on TV yet and if WCW isn't going to be its own brand, most of those guys may be out of luck. They were all lower card guys anyway and if WWF doesn't need to fill a second roster, that puts them in a shitty spot. The number of well-paying, full-time wrestling jobs in the United States is currently at its lowest point since World War II so there's a lot of young, talented cruiserweight-type guys that WWF picked up who may be out of a job soon if WWF doesn't have any use for them. So what next? No one seems to know. Booking decisions are basically being made day-to-day right now instead of long term because all the long-term plans have basically been scrapped. Separate brands, separate TV shows, separate PPVs and touring schedules....it's all up in the air right now and may happen or may not. The Vince/Linda angle where they split the assets on Raw after the Invasion PPV has definitely been scrapped, so at the very least, things are going to be delayed and now it's looking entirely possible that there won't be a relaunched WCW at all.
Meta news time! Dave wants to thank everyone who made the Wrestling Observer Live online radio show so much fun for the last 2 years. But as of last week, online radio host website Eyada has folded and with it goes the Observer show. Dave talks about how the stories of dot-com businesses shutting down is a daily news story these days (yup, this is right as the dot-com bubble was bursting). He compares the Eyada situation to being similar to ECW's dying days. Everyone involved knew the ship was going down and there were occasionally hopes to try and save it at the last minute, but it all fell through and it was forced to close. Dave talks about how the internet is an incredible technological advancement and how Eyada was an idea ahead of its time. The belief was that internet radio was the future and how there was belief that people would be able to listen to it in their cars eventually or buy a device that works with their Walkmans (omg) and things like that. But 2 years later, none of that has happened and internet radio just hasn't taken off like people expected. Plus all the problems that come with it, like sound quality, lagging, getting disconnected, etc. just made it inconvenient for most people. But regardless of all that, the Observer show built a pretty large audience and was often the highest rated internet talk show in the country which admittedly doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things but hey, Dave's still proud of it. Dave thanks a lot of the people involved by name, particularly Bryan Alvarez for his amazing insight and wit. Dave's bummed that it's going away, but who knows, maybe something will pan out in the future...
The latest in regards to Jerry Lawler being rehired by WWF is that the deal is pretty much dead for now. Lawler went on his website and wrote a long post detailing why the deal to bring him back last week fell apart. Lawler was called by Kevin Dunn to work Raw and be the WCW announcer for the Booker T/Buff Bagwell match and had agreed to bring Stacy Carter back with him. Before she was fired, Stacy did not have the typical WWF contract, she was being paid-per-appearance. So WWF agreed to bring Lawler and her back, with Lawler signing a contract and Stacy getting her old per-night deal back. At this point, Lawler pushed his luck and inquired about maybe getting Stacy an actual contract with a downside guarantee like everyone else in the company has. Lawler even volunteered to take a $52,000-per-year paycut so that Stacy could have a $52,000-per-year contract and it wouldn't cost the WWF any additional money. All this negotiation was going on through Kevin Dunn, who in turn talked to Vince and cleared everything. Dunn told Vince about Lawler's request and Vince responded that they wouldn't sign Stacy to a contract because they had no future plans for her beyond her returning alongside Lawler this one time. Begrudgingly, Lawler went ahead and agreed, figuring at least Stacy would have a foot back in the door and if Lawler is there, maybe he can pull some strings and get her back later.
Then Kevin Dunn called Lawler back the next day and told him Vince had changed his mind. They didn't want to bring Stacy in even for the one-time appearance. Only Lawler. At that point, Lawler backed out of the deal. Lawler claims that Bruce Prichard is the one who changed Vince's mind, after the original deal was already agreed upon, and convinced Vince to not bring Stacy back at all. Dave says there was a lot of pressure on Vince because it would look like he had caved to Lawler's demands, which isn't a good look for the boss. And plus, as mentioned, Stacy was deeply unpopular in the locker room and apparently nobody liked her. But whatever the reason, Vince changed his mind, said absolutely no Stacy, and so we're back to square one with Lawler refusing to come back without her (Stacy's about a week away from abruptly leaving Lawler for another guy anyway, which he goes into excruciating detail about in his book if you've never read it, so this all wraps up soon).
NOAH is looking to bring in Dalip Singh, the 7-foot dude who has been working for APW in California. NJPW is also interested in him (that's Great Khali and he ends up in NJPW).
Atsushi Onita officially announced he will be running for Japan's House of Councilors as a member of the Jiminto party, which is the biggest political party in Japan. Onita's platform is big on children's education because he's famous for dropping out of high school and then going back to earn his diploma at the age of 40. As part of a publicity stunt for the announcement, Onita went to Rikidozan's grave site and said he was going to send videos of his famous death matches to Japan's prime minister Junichiro Koizumi. Then he said after he wins the election, he wants to challenge Antonio Inoki to a retirement match "And you think politics in our country is silly," Dave quips. Anyway, spoiler: Onita actually wins.
Kevin Nash did an interview with a Japanese wrestling magazine and had some interesting comments. Nash freely admitted that he was specifically told not to mention Scoff Hall's name on TV in WCW, so in response, he went out on TV and did it every week anyway. He says at one point he was told that if he did it again, they would consider it a breach of contract and fire him, so Nash responded with a big speech about the Constitution and the first amendment and all that stuff. Dave just shakes his head at this dumb shit. But he also says WCW gave him repeated chances and never fired him, so at that point, it was WCW's fault, not Nash's. You can't repeatedly threaten to punish a child when it misbehaves and then not back up your words when they do. Anyway, in the same interview, Nash also said he had considered retiring after WCW closed but he misses the pop of going through the curtain and is now just waiting for his WCW deal to expire so he can jump back in. As for went wrong with WCW, Nash said the bookers (Russo) never understood that you have to lay a foundation for the storylines and have them make sense and that the title should mean something. He said WWF never lost sight of the fact that the world title should be valuable and winning the belt is the ultimate quest, while Russo devalued the belt completely. Also, way too many run-ins in every match.
That Matrats promotion in Canada is running a big show this month and it's a test-run for a planned PPV in October. If you recall, Eric Bischoff is working with this company and his partner Jason Hervey will be the on-air commissioner. As far as wrestlers, the best workers in the promotion are said to be Jack Evans, Teddy Hart, TJ Wilson, and Rene Dupree. Speaking of Dupree, he's only 18 years old and looks incredible and those who have seen him say he could be the next mega star in this business (yeah, everyone thought he would be for awhile. He ends up in WWE, does the La Resistance gimmick, but never really gets beyond that). Joey Styles may end up doing the announcing for this company. Speaking of announcing, Dave says they used to have the most underrated announcer in the business, a guy named Mauro Ranallo, but he isn't working with them anymore.
XPW had a fire spot go wrong at a show this week. Supreme was going against Kaos and Supreme was supposed to get put through a flaming table covered in fluorescent light tubes. Veronica Caine, one of the porn stavalets XPW uses, put way too much lighter fluid on the table and Supreme took the bump face-first somehow and....caught on fire. Then the idiot with the fire extinguisher panicked and started spraying the table in the ring because it was still on fire. Meanwhile, Supreme was over on the other side of the ring, still cooking. Eventually, they sprayed him too. He suffered serious burns on his chest and arms and was on the ground for about 10 minutes before being taken out by paramedics. The fans, respectful as always, yelled things like, "I hope you die!" and "I smell bacon!" It's said that for the rest of the show, the arena smelled of lighter fluid and burnt flesh. Anyway, Supreme is expected to be hospitalized for at least a week.
While all this was going on during the same XPW show, promoter Rob Black was backstage arguing with Sabu and trying to talk him into doing a job for the three-way main event. The match was supposed to be XPW champion Messiah vs. Vampiro vs. Sabu. Also, the Insane Clown Posse were supposed to be with Vampiro and involved in the match, but they walked out after Violent J was pissed because Pogo The Clown stiffed him during an angle earlier in the show, to the point where J reportedly may have broken ribs. Anyway, Sabu eventually agreed to do the job. Sandman was also on the show and he and New Jack both received huge "ECW" chants from the XPW crowd.
UFC is said to be against the idea of bringing Tank Abbott back, who is currently sitting out and collecting on the remainder of his WCW contract. UFC has worked really hard to be seen as a real sport and have fought with the state athletic commissions about how these are highly trained world class athletes. Meanwhile, Tank Abbott is basically just a big ol' beefy street fighter with little formal training who wasn't even in shape for his most recent fights. Basically, he goes against everything UFC is trying to present itself as (he eventually comes back in 2003).
It's pretty much official that Goldberg will not be coming to WWF anytime soon. In order to sign him, it would mean he would have by far the biggest contract in the entire company. As Dave has pointed out before, from an economic standpoint, they should bring him in. A couple of Goldberg/Austin and Goldberg/Rock dream matches on PPV alone would be enough to recoup the cost of his contract. But it would also upset the salary structure of the company and piss off the whole locker room and they just aren't willing to do that. So expect Goldberg to sit out the next 2 years or so (yup).
Buff Bagwell has already been fired by WWF, for "an amazing ability to accumulate heat in almost record time," Dave says. There was the issue with him and Shane Helms that was mentioned last week that left Bagwell needing stitches. Those who know Helms say he's a quiet, hardworking guy and he was only defending himself so there's no heat on him. Bagwell also arrived late for the practice sessions in Stamford almost every day and was said to be the only one not taking the practices seriously. He also arrived late for his first house show. After the Smackdown taping in Tacoma, they did an angle after the cameras were off where the WWF guys came to the ring and ran off all the WCW guys, leaving only Bagwell alone with guys like the APA. It was pretty much another one of those typical "Welcome to the WWF" beat downs from the APA where they beat the shit out of him and gave him a hard power bomb. Also, Bagwell's mother Judy Bagwell repeatedly called the office complaining about Buff's travel accommodations, leading to Bradshaw ruthlessly ribbing him for it. Many of the WWF wrestlers even started a pool, taking bets on how long Bagwell would last. Turned out it was sooner than almost everyone predicted, although Dave says one unnamed wrestler was only off by 5 days. Anyway, he's gone. Dave's been saying it for years, all that immature shit people used to get away with in WCW ain't gonna fly in WWF, and Bagwell has become the first to learn that the hard way.
Notes from Raw: Steve Austin and Kurt Angle continued their hilarious backstage interactions, complete with Angle getting all of them little sheriff badges. Booker T, holding both the WCW world and U.S. titles, beat Kurt Angle, with Booker getting booed out of the building. And of course, the big ECW angle at the end with WCW and ECW joining together and Stephanie McMahon being revealed as the new owner of ECW.
Kaz Hayashi, Yun Yang, Shannon Moore, and Evan Karagis all made their WWF debuts in a dark match that got over big, which is the first time a WCW match has done so since this angle began. Rob Van Dam also worked a dark match, beating former WCW wrestler Johnny the Bull. RVD got over strong as well.
Ad Age magazine ran a story talking about how Vince McMahon wanted to blow up a Honda car during halftime of one of the final XFL games. The reason is because Honda was one of the original XFL sponsors but they pulled out early in the season and bashed the XFL for not delivering the product they were promised. McMahon was pissed about it and wanted to blow up a Honda in response but was talked out of it by NBC execs who were already pretty fed up with this crazy old man and his carny ideas.
Spike Dudley suffered a hairline fracture to his fibula in a match on Smackdown and will be out for about a month. He's using a crutch and a soft cast for now and is still making his appearances. He even offered to tape up his leg and wrestle if needed for weekend house shows.
Steve Austin is still dealing with serious back issues that make even putting on his shoes difficult. He's expected to be back by the Invasion PPV but it's touch and go. Even the little bit of physical activity he has done the last few weeks has caused him to have back spasms.
Mick Foley was on TSN's Off The Record in Canada and once again, host Michael Landsberg delivered a segment that blows away every other wrestler interview, because Landsberg understands the business, treats it and the wrestlers with respect, but he also asks tough questions. Foley was asked about the future of wrestling because of how violent it's getting and all the risks people take. Foley agreed it was too much and hoped it would scale back, and talked about the success of guys like Benoit and Angle as an example of getting over and becoming a star without throwing yourself off cages. Both Foley and Landsberg agreed that WWF is in a bit of a rut right now. Foley blamed it on McMahon focusing too much on the XFL for the last year. They discussed the infamous McMahon/Bob Costas interview and Foley said he actually asked Vince about it and asked if it was a work or a shoot and Vince told him it was for real, he wasn't playing a character during that interview. Foley said he currently has no interest in returning to the ring but admitted it would probably happen eventually. Landsberg argued that if wrestling had a union, Foley wouldn't be allowed to wrestle for his own good. They talked about NHL player Eric Lindros' concussion issues and Foley said during the last year or so of his career, he told wrestlers to take it easy with him because his wife didn't like him taking chair shots to the head.
Dave recaps a recent WWF press release that talks about the history of WWF and WCW. Basically, the gist of it is WCW never accomplished anything on their own and were only good when they stole a bunch of WWF stars. Dave says they own WCW now. The company itself is dead. It serves no purpose to keep burying them. They should be trying to rebuild it rather than talk about how shitty it was and how it only succeeded because they stole WWF stars.
TNN put out a press release bragging about the network's overall ratings increases compared to last year and touting that they're the fastest growing network in prime time. That's true, but it's also ENTIRELY because of Raw. In fact, if you took Raw out of the equation, TNN's numbers would actually be down from last year.
Jim Cornette had hernia surgery last week and will be out for a few weeks, so Kevin Kelly will be handling announcing duties in OVW for awhile.
Speaking of OVW, it was mentioned a few weeks ago that Leviathan has grown his hair out and shaved his face and basically changed his overall look. In case you're wondering why, it's because he worked a dark match at a WWF show and got a huge "Goldberg!" chant, so they told him to change his look.
In regards to Smackdown going live later this year, WWF is publicly blaming the ratings decrease on internet spoilers for taped shows. Dave points out several reasons why this simply isn't true. For starters, Raw's ratings (which is already a live show) have been falling at a faster rate than Smackdown. The ratings decline also started abruptly, just in the last few months since WCW folded. Basically, the product sucks now and wrestling just isn't hot anymore. It has nothing to do with taped show spoilers on the internet. In fact, how can someone even read spoilers on the internet during this time? As soon as the website loads, someone in the other room picks up the goddamn phone and the internet disconnects. Dammit Dad, I've been downloading a picture for the last 45 minutes, it was almost done! Ugh! I HATE YOU! I SHOULD HAVE GONE TO LIVE WITH MOM!
Brock Lesnar was interviewed in an amateur wrestling magazine about his decision to become a pro wrestler, which a lot of amateurs look down on. Lesnar talked about the difficulty of it, saying, "It is a lot harder than I expected it to be. It is more demanding on my body than all my 19 years of amateur wrestling put together. If you don't know how to land right or do a move in the correct way, you are putting yourself and your opponent's life in danger." In regards to amateur wrestlers nay-saying him for it, Lesnar responded, "I fell victim to the amateur people saying, 'Don't watch professional wrestling because it's fake and not real.' I've been trying to get amateur wrestlers like Shelton Benjamin and myself to make a difference somehow in both and professional and amateur world."
There was a segment about wrestling on the Fox News show The O'Reilly Factor regarding the usual is-wrestling-appropriate-for-children debate. Bob Backlund was on to defend wrestling while some doctor who did a study about the effects of wrestling on kids was there to argue the other side. Basically, both Backlund and the doctor debated back and forth, both of them were full of shit, O'Reilly was clueless about wrestling, and they played clips of WCW while talking about violence in the WWF. "As with most things on that network, little was accomplished," Dave says. My man.
Apparently there was an altercation between Hugh Morrus and Mark Jindrak during one of those training sessions. Jindrak reportedly messed up some spots, Morrus tried to help him out and correct him and Jindrak responded by calling him a fat slob who's never done anything in the business and then they were separated before it could escalate. WWF officials were said to be less than impressed with Jindrak's attitude and Jim Ross had a meeting with all the WCW wrestlers to basically remind everyone to check their attitudes at the door because this ain't WCW anymore. (See: Bagwell, Buff.)
Speaking of, there's still a lot of backstage heat between WWF and WCW wrestlers, who are still divided in the locker room. A lot of WWF wrestlers already see this angle as a flop based on the crowd response. Meanwhile, the WCW wrestlers feel like the angle has been bungled from the beginning and even said the real WCW would have been more organized and had a better plan in place for this angle than WWF has so far. But otherwise, the general feeling is that the WWF is so much more professionally run in every aspect of the business and it's been a culture shock to a lot of the WCW guys.
There was some heat on Stacy Keibler for missing some house shows this weekend. Apparently, she had already been told she wasn't going to be working the shows but then they changed their mind and wanted her on the road to practice the bra and panties match that is scheduled for the PPV. Keibler had already made vacation plans since she was originally scheduled to be off and refused to break her plans. WWF allowed her to miss the shows, but it didn't endear her to some in the locker room. God, there is so much petty, clique-ish nonsense happening in WWF right now.
Speaking of, a lot of the WCW wrestlers who haven't been used on TV yet were at Raw in Atlanta this week since so many of them live in the city. And once again, it was the same issues backstage, with WCW wrestlers being accused of not knowing the protocol. They were nervous and shy, didn't talk to many people, didn't shake everybody's hand, etc. So now they've all got bad reps with the WWF guys, because this is fucking high school apparently.
Random notes: Toronto Skydome is looking to be the front-runner for WrestleMania 18 next year (yup). The Invasion PPV isn't sold out and there's still 2,000 tickets left as of press time. Scott Hudson is already done as WCW announcer, but he was only supposed to be short-term anyway.
Chyna did her first interview since being benched by WWF. The only interesting thing she said is that they wouldn't let her win the WWF title and she "has too much experience" to wrestle the women so there was nothing left to do with her character. She did say one true thing. She mentioned that wrestlers who's contracts are coming due soon are going to realize that one man having a monopoly on the business isn't a good thing for the wrestlers.
Al Snow and Dean Malenko were practicing commentary backstage during Raw. WWF is looking for new commentators for the WCW side of things and hey, why not? Dave says Malenko in particular is someone who is said to be hilarious backstage, quick-witted and fun to talk to, but it never translates to TV. Stevie Ray was like that in WCW, which is why they made him an announcer too, but it never clicked.
WWF has a deal with some company to send CD-ROMS to WWF Magazine subscribers which will feature bonus content not included in each issue of the magazine. That is a very 2001 sentence.
Letters section time! An indie wrestler, who chooses to remain unnamed, writes in and is pretty disgusted by the fact that Tough Enough exists. He talks about how just before Tough Enough debuted, WWF pulled out of their developmental deals with several indie companies and cut developmental contracts of dozens of talented wrestlers who were working in those promotions (like Memphis Championship Wrestling, UPW in California, etc.). This guy thinks it's kinda fucked up that so many hard working, legitimately talented developmental guys are suddenly out on their asses while a bunch of nobody reality show contestants are vying for a WWF contract on TV.
Other people write in about the WCW angle. One guy predicts exactly what's going to happen, that WWF is going to bury WCW, nobody will get over, the whole thing will be a flop, and Booker T will likely be the only WCW signee who may have a chance to make it as a WWF star. Dick "The Destroyer" Beyer writes in saying the recovery for the business is going to be tough in the wake of WCW's death and will take a long time.
A former WCW wrestler named Bob Cook writes in and says he was the first wrestler to work with Buff Bagwell for his WCW tryout match back in 1991, which led to Bagwell getting his job with WCW. After watching the Bagwell/Booker T match, Cook writes, "I wish I wasn't such a great worker. Never thought I was, but I must have been to make Bagwell look good enough to get a job in the first place. I would like to say I'm sorry to the fans for helping him get his job."
FRIDAY:Bankruptcy court upset with WWF for using ECW intellectual property they down own, Terry Gordy passes away, tons more WCW updates, plans changing daily, and more...
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUS YEARS ARCHIVE: 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and the first impression of the new WCW was downright awful, to the point that everything is now being reevaluated. Dave calls this WWF vs. WCW storyline "the most important angle in the history of the business" and it kicked off last week on Raw with a Booker T vs. Buff Bagwell main event under the "WCW" banner and holy shit it was bad. Bagwell was terrible and Booker T wasn't much better. The crowd loudly chanted "boring" and "this match sucks" and "Goldberg!" through the whole thing while booing both wrestlers. A large portion of the crowd was streaming towards the exits as the show went on. Fans booed Shane McMahon. They booed the new lighting and look of WCW (which, as of now, is still expected to take over the Raw time slot, but after this fiasco, who knows). Austin and Angle, the top heels in WWF, got a massive face pop for their run-in and attack on Booker T. Dave thinks WWF fans spent too many years seeing WCW as the real life enemy of their fake pro wrestling world and WWF fans simply aren't ready to embrace WCW Raw. They've had months to plan this but the whole thing felt thrown together.
Dave notes that former ECW announcer Joey Styles was previously in talks to be the new WCW announcer but those talks fell through over money shortly before Raw and so WWF scrambled and brought in Scott Hudson to do the commentary gig on Raw. Hudson has already started a new full-time job outside of wrestling and told WWF he couldn't accept the announcing position full-time but was willing to come in for the first few shows since they were in a jam and needed someone ASAP for Raw. Hudson's broadcast partner was supposed to be.....Jerry Lawler. Both sides had agreed for Lawler to return, but then it somehow fell through. According to Lawler, he and Hudson were supposed to be be revealed as the new WCW commentary team and Lawler's wife Stacy Carter would accompany him to ringside. But after the agreement was made, Lawler claims WWF called him the next day and said Vince McMahon wanted to make it clear that they still weren't bringing Stacy back other than this one time, agreed-upon appearance. At that point, Lawler pulled out of the deal. WWF's story is a bit different, saying they had an agreement with Lawler to come in and then he tried to change things and force them to hire Stacy back also and there's a lot of heat on Lawler for the deal falling apart. So anyway, with literally no one else available on short notice, that's how Scott Hudson and Arn Anderson ended up doing commentary for the disastrous Raw main event. Anderson, despite being a great talker, has no experience calling wrestling matches and considering how bad the match was and how much the crowd was rejecting it, the announcing came off bad. Hudson impressed a lot of people backstage with his enthusiasm and his eagerness to do a good job and he was the only bright spot of the whole mess. Beyond that, this entire thing was just a disaster.
As for future WCW plans, there's still consideration of bringing in Mike Tenay for the announcing spot. Former WCW referees Nick Patrick, Charles Robinson, and Billy Silverman were all hired (Patrick debuted on Raw). Several former WCW stars were backstage but have yet to debut on TV (Chavo Guerrero Jr., Shane Helms, Shawn Stasiak, Mark Jindrak, Chris Kanyon and Billy Kidman among others). Unless this flop of a match changes things, the plan is still for the Monday show to become WCW Raw within the next few weeks (the flop of a match indeed changes things).
WWF's annual business report is out and it's interesting. Despite WWF's monumental success, the latest quarter numbers for 2001 made it the first money-losing quarter for WWF since 1997 and it was also the biggest losing quarter in WWF history. All of this is due to the massive losses from the XFL. WWF lost $20.4 million for the quarter. Dave goes into more boring financial details. Live event numbers, merch numbers, home video numbers, etc. All-told, the XFL lost almost $94 million during its one season of existence. Half of that was eaten by NBC, but still. So yeah, the XFL tanked their profits for the year, but the wrestling numbers are still strong. In fact, even factoring in the XFL numbers, the WWF still had a total profit of almost $16 million on the year, which is still double the profit margin of any of the Hulk Hogan-era 1980s golden years. They also talked about plans to operate WCW as a separate full-time touring brand and how that's expected to increase income next year, along with 4-7 additional WCW branded PPVs (with the first one scheduled for October) and so on and so forth. Of course, we know how that all turns out.
During a conference call with investors during the business report, Linda McMahon said some interesting things. She talked about Smackdown planning to run live shows on Thursday later this year (rather than taping it on Tuesdays). She also said that by going live, it will prevent internet sites from posting the results ahead of time and claimed that was the reason for the decline of Smackdown's ratings. Dave argues that websites have been posting Smackdown spoilers since day 1, it's not a new phenomenon and it doesn't explain the very sudden drop in ratings that just started recently.
A really interesting note from the report is just how much WWF paid for WCW. There's no exact numbers, but it appears WWF bought the company for a shockingly low price. During the dying days of WCW, Bischoff and Fusient had offered $48.3 million, while Jerry Jarrett and some investors he was working with offered $25 million. Both Bischoff and Jarrett pulled their offers when AOL/Time Warner made the decision to cancel WCW television. At that point, WCW wasn't worth anything to anybody except Vince McMahon. In the end, McMahon appears to have bought WCW for somewhere around $4.5 million, which is incomprehensible for a company that was once worth hundreds of millions. Dave thinks that just the tape library alone would be a steal at $4.5 million, not even counting the name and trademarks, the wrestler contracts, etc. that came with it. The actual price WWF paid for WCW is less than the 2 years Goldberg has left on his contract. Dave is flabbergasted that they got it this cheap and says it looks like AOL/Time Warner practically gave the company away just to hurry up and get it off their hands. (If I remember correctly, the actual deal was WWF paid $2.5 million in cash and also agreed to spend another $2 million to buy advertising on Turner networks, which is where the $4.5 total comes from).
InDemand PPV announced that it has signed an agreement with UFC which will see UFC return to PPV for the first time (from a cable provider) since 1997 (the shows have still been available for those with DirecTV satellites but that's only a fraction of the PPV audience compared to cable). This news is the biggest thing for UFC since Zuffa bought them and greatly increases the number of homes that can now order UFC PPVs. Dave talks about how successful UFC was on PPV before they were banned, so this is huge for them. The first new PPV is scheduled to be the Sept. show, which they're already planning to promote as the "rebirth" of UFC. Speaking of, Dave also reviews the latest UFC 32 show.
OVW held its latest big show called "Last Dance." It was the final event ever at the Louisville Gardens, which is closing or something I guess. Several WWF stars were scheduled to be part of it but a couple of them had to pull out. Mick Foley had to back out to go to England to do commentary for a new TNN show called Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors, while Kurt Angle had to pull out due to injury. Kane, and DDP went in their places. The original main event of Undertaker vs. Leviathan was changed to UndertakeKane vs. Leviathan/DDP. OVW champion Flash Flannigan beat Chris Jericho to retain the title and "prove to Jim Ross that he deserves a WWF contract" in storyline. Big Show and Mark Henry teamed up to beat Prototype and Mr. Black. Randy Orton beat Rico Constantino. Orton had his father Bob Orton in his corner. Brock Lesnar teamed with Brian Keck (since Shelton Benjamin is injured) and they defeated Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko. Dave thinks this is a sign of how much things have changed. Even though it's their developmental territory, there's no chance in hell just a few years ago that WWF would have let a genuine star like Chris Jericho lose to the local talent at an indie show.
Various Mexico notes: Konnan returned to Mexico to work a show for the first time since his WCW contract expired and drew a pretty big crowd to a show in Tijuana. AAA head Antonio Pena complained to athletic commission members and even the state Secretary of the Interior to try to keep Konnan from being allowed to wrestle. Dave talks about how those 2 have a longstanding hatred of each other, a total Vince McMahon/Bret Hart-type of relationship (but more petty) where neither of them can seem to let go of their dumb past beef with each other. Anyway, Norman Smiley also returned to Mexico because his WCW deal just expired as well. He went under his old Black Magic gimmick. And Dave mentions offhandedly that the 2 biggest draws in Mexico right now are El Hijo del Santo and La Parka.
Dave reviews the Keiji Muto vs. Genichiro Tenryu match from a couple weeks ago. It's the match where Muto, an NJPW star, won the AJPW Triple Crown title. People called it the best match of the year. Dave doesn't quite go that far but it was close. Tenryu is 51 and held his own but Muto (in his 40s) was the star of the show. It's not so much his moves or athleticism but more about knowing how to work the crowd, how to switch gears when it's time, his selling, his body language, etc. Dave thinks every young wrestler needs to watch this match to see how Muto is able to get so much more out of doing so much less. Dave thinks it will still win MOTY in Japan because of the historic nature of it. Muto being handed the 3 belts of the AJPW Triple Crown was one of those historic scenes that will probably be replayed for years to come and the reaction from the fans was incredible. Dave gives it 4.5 stars. The plan was for Muto to drop the title back to Kawada later this month, but AJPW seems to be second-guessing that now because Muto's win got over so strong. So he may hold the title for awhile (yeah he holds it for the rest of 2001 before losing it to Kawada in 2002, only for Kawada to have to vacate it due to a knee injury a month later).
All of the women's promotions in Japan are interested in bringing in Chyna. She's actually kind of a big star there because the woman vs. man gimmick is a real big novelty in Japan. So her winning the IC title or being in the Royal Rumble...that stuff always got big coverage in Japan, for more than most WWF stuff does. Either way, Chyna is having to sit out the rest of her WWF contract so she won't be available until December and it's thought that she'll probably want more money than most of those companies can afford (she ends up working a dozen matches or so for NJPW in 2002 but that's it).
Ric Flair still has 20 months left on his Time Warner contract. His attitude right now is essentially, if things work out and he's able to get back into wrestling, cool. And if not, he's satisfied and he's had a great career (lol no. Flair will be in WWF before the end of this year).
Sports Illustrated had an article about Wahoo McDaniel, covering his wrestling and football careers and talking about how he's in need of a kidney transplant and things like that. He talked about the money he made in wrestling and football and how wrestling was tougher than anything he did on the football field.
Various other notes: Superstar Billy Graham is suffering from Hepatitis C which has slowed him down on writing his autobiography that he's been talking about for years. Bobby Heenan is also working on an autobiography and Dave thinks that if Bobby can write stories as hilariously as he can tell them, it should be a classic (it came out in 2002 but I never read it so I don't how good it is). And finally, remember that story last week about wrestler Jack Evans in Canada getting injured on a hurricanrana gone wrong by Nattie Neidhart? Turns out that was a work, he was fine.
Remember Dusty Rhodes is running his own promotion in GA called Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling? Well he is. Anyway, this week's show was headlined by Dusty (age 55) vs. Larry Zybyszko (age 47). Dusty's youngest son Cody made his debut as a referee on this show (Cody was still a teenager in high school at this time and sadly, I can't find video of this).
Hollie Adkisson, the 16-year-old daughter of Kerry Von Erich, will be a contestant in the Miss Teen Texas beauty pageant. She regularly speaks at schools and other events about drug use, openly talking about how it led to the death of her father and uncles. She's also the first member of the Von Erich family to admit publicly that David Von Erich died of a drug overdose, which they've always tried to hide and attribute to other causes even though nobody really ever bought it (Hollie never got involved in wrestling but Kerry's other daughter Lacey spent some time in TNA a few years later).
Chris Benoit underwent neck surgery last week in San Antonio by the same surgeon who operated on Steve Austin. The surgery was more extensive than first thought. Benoit will be out of action until at least January or February. Benoit felt great coming out of the surgery, saying he felt no pain and had full flexibility of his arm again. They removed two damaged discs from Benoit's neck and replaced them with a piece of bone taken from his pelvic area. And in the most depressing sentence I've ever read, Dave writes that, at least Benoit "will get to spend time at home watching his son grow up" while he recovers. Ugh. Anyway, they had a segment on Sunday Night Heat talking about the surgery and his wife Nancy was shown with Benoit as he talked about the injury. They blamed it on Steve Austin at King of the Ring for storyline purposes but in reality, the injury was an accumulation of years of doing diving headbutts and shit like that. Harley Race, who popularized that move, has been telling Benoit for years to stop doing it because of the damage he did to his own neck. On TV, they said Benoit won't be able to return for a year, but word is that's just the kayfabe timeline so that his sooner return will be more of a surprise (nope. He really did miss an entire year).
Kurt Angle is banged up but his test results for everything came back negative so he's just resting up for a bit but should be back in the ring soon. He does have a meniscus tear in his knee and will eventually need arthroscopic surgery but he's just working through it for now. Steve Austin, on the other hand, may be out a little longer. His back is in rough shape and he's been in a lot of pain.
Rob Van Dam has officially signed with WWF. He hasn't completed his physical yet so he isn't licensed to wrestle yet but that should be taken care of soon and he should debut in the next couple of weeks. Tommy Dreamer hasn't signed yet but is expected to by the time you read this (well shit, it's 2019, I should hope so...).
Notes from Raw: Kane, Undertaker, and even Taker's wife Sara all beat up on DDP, continuing the utter burial of him since the day he showed up. Torrie Wilson and Vince kept trying to find places to make out during the show but kept getting interrupted and Dave thinks it got creepier by the segment. The backstage interaction with Kurt Angle and Steve Austin was, once again, hilarious. And then, of course, the huge flop of the WCW main event.
A lot of WCW wrestlers were brought in every day last week to Stamford to train in WWF rings, which are larger and have different ropes than the WCW rings they're all used to (we'll hear more on these training sessions in just a moment...).
Dave musings on the most recent episodes of OVW TV he's seen: Rico Constantino is main roster ready and most in WWF agree. But he's pushing 40 so his age works against him and he's also small by WWF standards. Being small isn't an automatic killer in WWF like it used to but you usually have to be a hell of a talent to overcome it (Angle, Benoit, Guerrero, etc.) and while Rico's ready for the big stage, he's not that good. Leviathan is growing his hair out which makes him look more like a generic bodybuilder rather than the demon gimmick he's supposed to be.
Lots of interesting dynamics going on in the WWF locker room lately. As you might expect, a lot of the WCW guys are still seen as outsiders and there's some hard feelings going on. It's said that a lot of the younger WCW guys in particular have no grasp of locker room etiquette or how to conduct themselves and walk round acting cocky. Buff Bagwell in particular already had lots of enemies and a bad reputation before he even arrived. Bagwell was one of the ones brought to Stamford to train in the new rings and he was late to every single session and also arrived late for a house show in Spokane, which was his first match in the company (the disastrous Raw match the next night was his 2nd, and turns out to be his last). Bagwell also got into an altercation with Shane Helms during one of the training sessions. The 2 got into an argument and Bagwell slapped Helms, who responded by throwing a water bottle at Bagwell and blasting him in the face with it, which left Bagwell bleeding and requiring stitches. Dave says WCW had a reputation for having no discipline or consequences for misbehavior, but that shit don't fly in WWF (yeah, Bagwell finds that out pretty quick). There was also heat on Booker T because they felt he didn't protect Austin during his run-in at the PPV where he threw Austin over the table, which caused Austin to injure his hand. And also because Booker didn't wait at gorilla to check on Austin after the match, instead leaving the arena without talking to him (Booker has spoken about this since and it was pretty much just a misunderstanding).
On the show Extra this week, they had the woman who does make-up for Playboy and she claimed her best work ever was with Chyna. Then, as an example of how good this make-up artist allegedly is, they showed a pic of Chyna in Playboy next to a "before" picture of her from 1998, before she had all the facial surgery and lost the muscle mass. Dave thinks that's a pretty unfair, shitty, and mean-spirited comparison.
David Flair signed a developmental deal and will start in OVW making $500 per week which is a whole lot less than he was making in WCW.
WEDNESDAY:WCW plans scrapped, ECW joins the Invasion angle, more Jerry LawleWWF news, Buff Bagwell fired, and more...
2019.05.30 01:44 skeeter1980New Zealander Dave Rennie firming for Wallabies head coach job
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/rugby-union/new-zealander-dave-rennie-firming-for-wallabies-job/news-story/d1cbdc348f5fa12de9e860bd0f3e3f6f New Zealander Dave Rennie is firming as favourite to take over the Wallabies head coaching job from Michael Cheika following the World Cup in Japan in September-October, though rumours of an imminent announcement appear wide of the mark. The Rugby Australia board meets in Sydney on Friday but there is no intention to discuss the Wallabies coaching position and certainly no appointment could be made until the directors have signed off on it. The 55-year-old, who coached the Chiefs to their first two Super Rugby titles in 2012 and 2013, is understood to be highly regarded by RA’s new director of rugby, Scott Johnson, who until recently worked with him in the Scottish system. Rennie was in line to succeed Steve Hansen as All Blacks coach but, with New Zealand Rugby intent on appointing a coach before Christmas following a “quick but thorough” review of their World Cup campaign, he apparently ruled himself out by signing a one-year extension with Glasgow Warriors that will take him through to the middle of next year. At the time of re-signing with Glasgow, who lost to Leinster in the Pro14 final 18-15 on the weekend, Rennie strongly suggested countries such as NZ and Australia would not be interested in him because he would not be available for another 18 months but that does not appear to be an issue for RA. It is seemingly prepared to wait for Rennie — or other possible contenders — to arrive in May-June next year, much as Robbie Deans did not arrive to take up the Wallabies coaching position until June 2008, after he had taken the Crusaders to another Super Rugby title. There has been some suggestion Australia will defer its coaching appointment until after the All Blacks have appointed Hansen’s replacement following the World Cup, then pounce on one of the losing candidates. The general expectation is that if New Zealand wins a third successive Cup, the All Blacks coaching appointment will be internal — almost certainly assistant coach Ian Foster. But if another country wins, an “external” coach such as Warren Gatland would come seriously into play. While there is some logic in waiting, snapping up New Zealand’s discards is an uncomfortable look. Although Deans never viewed his Wallabies job in this light, it was often hinted that he viewed coaching Australia as a consolation prize until the All Blacks job opened up. It’s possible that by waiting, a Gatland or a Foster could drop into the Wallabies’ lap in November but if that plan came unglued in any way, Australia could be left scrounging for a head coach at a time when almost all the quality candidates had been snapped up. But even if an appointment is made shortly, RA will be reluctant to make it public given Cheika has indicated he would stay on only if the Wallabies win the Cup. That’s regarded as optimistic in the extreme, but RA can hardly go shooting that prospect down by announcing his replacement before the tournament even begins. Jockeying for positions in the 31-man Wallabies Cup squad is intensifying and it would be difficult to imagine Rebels five-eighth Quade Cooper could earn a place if he is comprehensively outplayed for a second time this season by the Tahs’ Bernard Foley in Melbourne on Friday. Cheika has stayed out of the way of the Super Rugby coaches but now Queensland are out of the finals race, former Australian coach John Connolly believes he must intervene in the Reds’ selections to play the Jaguares on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium to ensure Lukhan Salakaia-Loto is picked in the position for which he is being groomed for the World Cup, blindside flanker. All indications are that Reds coach Brad Thorn will choose him instead in the second row to replace Izack Rodda, who is overdue for a Wallabies rotation. But Connolly is adamant Salakaia-Loto must be given further experience at No 6, especially since Harry Hockings is returning from suspension and could easily partner Angus Blyth in the second row. “The backrow has been Australia’s achilles heel for several years but now, with Salakaia-Loto at blindside flanker and Isi Naisarani at No 8, it’s possible for Cheika to finally pick between David Pocock and Michael Hooper at openside flanker,” Connolly said.
2019.05.29 18:01 daprice82Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ May 7, 2001
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUS YEARS ARCHIVE: 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000
Remember Johnny Valentine died in the last issue but Dave didn't have time to write up a proper obituary? Good lord, does he correct that this week. This sucker is LONG. Valentine died nearly broke and Dave rants about how the wrestling industry doesn't take care of its own after they're done giving their bodies to it. Valentine's long-time rival Wahoo McDaniel is in poor health but he's been fortunate to collect a pension from his years playing football for the AFL which was later absorbed into the NFL. Other wrestlers are part of the Screen Actor's Guild due to having small movie roles, which provides them insurance and things like that. Valentine was paralyzed from the waist down in the plane crash back in the 70s (Dave says these days, if that happened, he likely would have collected some big legal settlement but that didn't happen back then) and the medical bills piled up and left him broke. Dave includes a quote from Ric Flair here, talking about how messed up it is that the business doesn't have a union or health insurance or something to prevent this from happening to past stars. Dave talks about all the heartbreaking stories we never hear about from these older wrestlers who fade into obscurity after retirement and end up destitute because there's no pension, no 401K, so on and so forth and the savings they build up during their career goes away pretty quick when it's time for these old guys to get those knee replacements and neck surgeries and whatnot with no insurance. There's a lot of quotes in here from other wrestlers here talking saying that the business abandoned Valentine, who was one of the top stars of his era and it's pretty sad. And unfortunately, little has changed in the 20 years since.
Anyway, other obituary stuff. Dave recaps a story from Lou Thesz's book about Valentine who once went to a bull-riding show and decided to try it but got thrown off. According to Thesz, the bull then charged Valentine and Thesz thought he was for sure a dead man. But Valentine stood his ground and punched the bull right in the face as hard as he could, stunning the bull long enough to make it turn away for a minute so he could escape. Valentine was notorious for being an incredibly hard hitter, legendary feuds with McDaniel, and on and on. Man....this is a REALLY long and good obituary and absolutely worth reading but I can't recap all this haha. Dave goes into detail on pretty much every major angle or moment of Valentine's career and it's incredible but it's not news and this issue is long enough already.
WWF's Backlash PPV is in the books and it was...fine. Dave almost feels like it's unfair to compare it to recent PPVs because the last few WWF PPVs have been off-the-charts awesome. This one was still good but it felt like a let-down in comparison to the last few months. Dave thinks the Benoit/Angle 30-minute submission match was good but not as great as expected and without near falls, it dragged too long. Same with the main event, good but too long. They announced it as the 18th consecutive sellout in a row in Chicago, which isn't exactly true. 17 of the last 18 Chicago shows were indeed legit sellouts, but one of those shows didn't, so it's not 18 in a row. But hey, still impressive! And at least it wasn't like the XFL, where they repeatedly announced sellouts despite most of the stadiums being 3/4 empty for every game.
Other notes from the PPV: Jerry Lynn made his TV debut on the Heat pre-show, winning the light heavyweight title from Crash Holly. Lita also worked the pre-show and Dave says it's clear they're preparing to do a Lita vs. Chyna angle for the women's title (yup, but they only had 1 match before Chyna leaves the company). Raven vs. Rhino was the sleeper match of the night, way exceeding expectations. Shane McMahon took another crazy bump from the top of the TitanTron, as he tends to do. Triple H became the 2nd grand slam champion ever (behind Shawn Michaels) having now held the World, IC, European, and now tag team titles. And the cameras missed part of the finishing sequence of the main event, leading Dave to ask, "how in the WCW does this happen?"
Jim Ross spent the past 2 weeks in meetings with WCW talent to put together the roster for the new WCW that's now expected to launch next month. As of press time, the plan is for the first episode to air on June 16th, and TNN will be bumping their "Grand Ole Opry" show to make room. Ross met with Rob Van Dam and his agent for the first time and described the meeting as very positive. Several years ago, RVD rubbed many in WWF the wrong way when he and Sabu refused to do a job on TV during the ECW invasion angle. No word on a deal being made yet, but it's looking more likely now than it did before. Ross also met with an agent who represents several former WCW guys like Booker T, DDP, Billy Kidman, Kanyon, and others. Ross made it clear that if any of these guys want to come in, they will not be offered anywhere near what WCW was paying them as far as guarantees go, but if they're successful, they will still make really make good money based on incentives and whatnot. Most of the people who have met with Ross praised him and said he's been very honest and forthcoming in the negotiations and isn't trying to fill their heads with lies about how much money they'll make and stuff like that. Plus WWF wrestlers earn a portion of gate money and WWF runs a lot of successful live shows, although the relaunched WCW brand won't be running house shows, at least not at first, so that's obviously something they have to take into consideration.
Booker T has close to 2 years left on his WCW deal, at $750,000 per year and would be giving up a lot of money if he accepts a buy out to sign with WWF, but he's made it clear to people around him that he still wants to go. WWF has pretty much given up on pursuing Goldberg because he's got nearly 3 years left on his WCW deal and will make more than $6 million by simply sitting at home, and WWF has no intention of offering anywhere near the same amount. DDP has about 9 months left on his WCW deal which will net him more than $1 million but like Booker T, he's also made it clear that he wants to work for WWF even if it means losing out on some of that money in the short-term. Kidman has more than a year left on a $300,000-per-year deal so he's probably going to sit it out also. Same with Ric Flair, 2 years left on his big money deal and doesn't seem anxious to give it up. Several other wrestlers who were on 90-day contract cycles will officially become free agents in July and the biggest name among them is Rey Mysterio, who WWF allegedly has interest in but haven't spoken with him yet. All the rest will likely start working indies or in foreign promotions in Japan, Mexico, or Europe. We're beginning to see how the deaths of WCW and ECW left so many people scrambling to figure out how to put food on the table and pay their mortgages.
Ross also had meetings with Reno, Chavo Guerrero, Chuck Palumbo, and Sean O'Haire. Then he went to the UPW show that night in California and met with Nathan Jones, John Heidenreich, and former XFL player Josh Wilcox. Ross was high on Wilcox and there was talk of using him to cross-promote the XFL if they end up having a 2nd season (lol). Speaking of, around half of the XFL players have requested contract releases so they can negotiate with the NFL and several have already signed NFL deals. Wilcox is said to be pretty good in UPW, especially with his mic work. Anyway, the plan is to finalize a WCW roster in the next 2 weeks and then put together the non-wrestling crew (agents, referees, announcers, etc.) a few weeks later before the re-launch. The main names being considered for announcers are Scott Hudson, Mike Tenay, Joey Styles, Mark Madden and, believe it or not, Jerry Lawler, though he's a long-shot. Lawler reportedly still won't come back without his wife and Vince McMahon is pissed at him for the things Lawler has said and done since walking out, so there's some fences that need to be mended there. Vince is reportedly not willing to budge on bringing Lawler's wife back. The idea is to tape on Wednesdays, near whatever city Smackdown is taping in on Tuesdays, since they will use the same production crew and production trucks. The WCW group will have its own writing team, but they will work with the WWF writers to make sure they don't conflict with each other's angles (for instance, both shows promoting a major cage match during the same week or things like that).
Dave has examined the ECW chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in detail and it shows a realistic picture of what kind of shape ECW has been in during the last two years. In 1999, ECW grossed $5.8 million in income (WWF grossed $259 million while WCW grossed more than $160 million during the same year). In 2000, same kind of situation. Long story short, while many people considered ECW a strong candidate for the #2 promotion in the U.S., the reality is that the wrestling industry was pulling in roughly half a billion dollars during those years and ECW amounted to less than 1% of that market share. WWF, NJPW, WCW, and even PRIDE ran numerous single shows that grossed more than ECW did in those entire years. ECW's income drastically declined in 2000 (though not as bad as WCW's) which is interesting because that's the first year they ever had a national TV deal. The problem is, that TV deal came with enormous costs that TNN wouldn't cover and ECW essentially went broke trying to fund it themselves. ECW was owned 85% by Paul Heyman, with the Acclaim video game company owning the other 15%. At the time they folded, ECW was facing numerous lawsuits from around the country for nonpayment of bills and left tons of other unpaid bills in its wake that they weren't yet sued over. The bankruptcy filing included a list of all the people or companies ECW owed money to. Wrestlers, Heyman's family, radio stations, business partners, lawyers, travel agencies, credit card companies, loan companies, even the company that makes wrestling title belts. There was also a clear lack of comprehensive bookkeeping. On the recent Observer radio show, Tommy Dreamer talked about how some last ditch efforts to raise money for ECW failed because ECW couldn't provide any verifiable financial records. Many of the debtors listed in the bankruptcy are rounded off estimates rather than exact figures. Many wrestlers were listed as being owed money, but the amount was listed as "unknown."
Among the people/companies owed money: Acclaim is owed $1 million. Heyman himself was owed $128,000 in back-pay from money he spent out of his own pocket to keep things afloat. Heyman's father, who funded the company for many years, is owed $3.5 million while his mother is owed $226,500. MSG Cable is owed $244,000. InDemand is owed $150,000. And WWF is owed $587,500. And that's just a few of the companies. As for the performers:
William Alfonso (Fonzie) - $5,000 Scott Antol (Scotty Anton) - unknown Joseph Bonsignore (Joey Styles) - $50,480 Mike Bucci (Nova) - $4,000 Don Callis - $12,000 Lou D'Angeli (Lou E. Dangerously) - $7,000 Michael DiPaolo (Roadkill) - $21,250 Joseph Dorgan (Swinger) - unknown John Finnegan - unknown Francine Fournier - $47,275 James Fullington (Sandman) - unknown Terry Gerin (Rhino) - $50,000 Matt Hyson (Spike Dudley) - unknown Francisco Islas (Super Crazy) - $5,000 Mike Kehner - unknown Patrick Kenney (Simon Diamond) - $9,000 Tom Laughlin (Tommy Dreamer) - $100,000 Jerry Lynn - unknown James Maritato (Little Guido) - $25,000 Troy Martin (Shane Douglas) - $48,000 Jim Mitchell (Sinister Minister) - unknown James Molineaux - unknown Dan Morrison (Danny Doring) - $2,100 Peter Polaco (Justin Credible) - $7,990 Dawn Psalpis (Dawn Marie) - $9,000 Jon Rechner (Balls Mahoney) - $4,000 Ken Reininhaus (Jack Victory) - $3,000 Robert Szatkowski (Rob Van Dam) - $150,000 Yoshihiro Tajiri - $5,000 John Watson (Mikey Whipwreck) - $12,000
More bad news on the "professional wrestling is bad for kids" front, as a new study from Wake Forest found that teenagers who are wrestling fans are more likely than their peers to have violent romantic relationships. The story was picked up and carried in newspapers nationwide and basically found that a higher percentage of teens on dates are more likely to get into physical altercations on dates and be abusive in their relationships. A WWF spokesman responded saying WWF is not a children's show and that the parents should determine what's appropriate and yada yada. The usual response. Long story short, teens (particularly boys) who watch wrestling tend to be meaner and more physically abusive to girls, and it blames the way women are portrayed and demeaned every week in wrestling on TV. Interestingly enough, girls were also found more likely than boys to be violent and do drugs if they were wrestling fans. Dave breaks down all the numbers on this and discusses what it means, the flaws and cavets involved in a study like this, etc. but regardless, it's pretty clear that wrestling (and WWF in particular) seems to be having somewhat of a negative influence on teens and this isn't the first study to say so.
Throughout his tenure in WCW, Rey Mysterio occasionally headed down to Tijuana to work indie shows with other big name Mexican stars, but as of this week, Time Warner informed Mysterio he can no longer do that or he'll be in breach of his contract. And like everybody else who is still collecting big money WCW deals, he doesn't want to lose that so no more Mysterio in Tijuana for now. Dave talks about how Tijuana is a pretty hot city for wrestling right now, with several companies all running weekly shows there and drawing big crowds.
Hey there. Guess what? I have the flu! Yup, as I write this, it's Dec. 6, 2018 and I'm siiiiiiick as shit. I've been cooped up in my house, sweating through the mattress for four days now, shivering like a newborn baby lamb. But my entire body aches from laying around for 90-something hours and I just can NOT lay around and sleep anymore. Also, did I mention my wife is also sick? She caught it from me the next day so we've both been lumbering around the house like feverish zombies. And oh man, I just can't begin to tell you how delightful she is to be around right now. A sheer joy, I must say. So much so that I decided I needed a break from it, lest I be overwhelmed with gratitude. So I have come upstairs to my quiet office to reflect on how lucky I am. I'm so lucky. Right? RIGHT?!
5/29/19 Update: I'm okay now.
The AJPW vs. NOAH war has reached a new level of petty. Last week, NOAH announced that they would be holding a Jumbo Tsuruta tribute show in his hometown in June. Not to be outdone, a few days later, AJPW announced they were going to do their own Tsuruta tribute show, and they're doing it in May so they can beat NOAH to the punch. Jumbo Tsuruta was one of the biggest stars in AJPW history but he retired and left the company almost immediately after Giant Baba passed away in 1999. Tsuruta died last year right around the time AJPW was splitting up and had made it clear to everyone that he was on Misawa's side (I think it's come out in the years since that Motoko Baba pretty much fired Tsuruta right after Giant Baba died. Seems like the 2 didn't exactly get along).
When Vampiro's WCW contract expires in a few months, he's expected to start working in AJPW (yeah, he's worked a few tours there off and on over the years).
Antonio Inoki was in the U.S. a couple of weeks ago and when he came back to Japan, he showed the media 2 photos of himself with Mike Tyson, in order to "prove" that his negotiations with Tyson for a match against Naoya Ogawa weren't just a bullshit claim. Apparently Tyson and Inoki met in Las Vegas at the end of April, but Dave doesn't say if there's anything to the negotiations. One of the photos was of them shaking hands and the other was of Inoki pretending to choke Tyson (I can't find either of these pics anywhere and googling "mike tyson antonio inoki" just pulls up a billion pictures of the Muhammad Ali vs. Inoki match).
Dave talks about 21-year-old Japanese female wrestler Meiko Satomura and says she's the most promising young female wrestler in Japan right now. In case you're wondering, she's 39 now and she absolutely stole the show in this year's Mae Young Classic. So yeah, she's dope.
Stu Hart is going to have surgery to have a pacemaker put in due to his recent health issues. Former manager Sir Oliver Humperdink also had a heart bypass surgery recently.
Don Callis was on the Observer Live show and said he's going back to school to get his MBA. He said he never wants to end up in the same position he's in now, where circumstances beyond his control left him with no job. Soon after ECW folded, he was supposed to go to the Eric Bischoff-owned WCW, but then that fell through too and suddenly he had no other wrestling options (yup, he got his MBA in 2003 and now he runs Impact Wrestling).
UPW wrestlers Prototype vs. Frankie Kazarian headlined a recent indie show in Massachusetts (I'm only mentioning it because I found the match. Spoiler: LOLPROTOTYPEWINS).
Former ECW valet Elektra recently did a photo shoot for an upcoming issue of Playboy (it was actually part of a larger thing. Throughout her time in ECW, she also appeared as an extra on Sopranos in several episodes, as a stripper at the Bada Bing strip club on the show. The Playboy shoot was a "Girls of the Bada Bing" type thing, with her and a bunch of the other strippers from the show).
The lines between MMA and wrestling are even blurrier than normal in PRIDE, because this week they announced the upcoming PRIDE event later this month will feature NJPW wrestler and current IWGP champion Kazuyuki Fujita vs. NOAH wrestler Yoshihiro Takayama. To make it even more interesting, Takayama challenged Fujita to put the IWGP title on the line in the fight, but NJPW has made it clear that ain't happening on a PRIDE show in a shoot match.
UPN is reportedly looking to follow NBC's lead and no longer air XFL games, which puts the chances of a 2nd season into even further doubt. UPN only had a 1-year deal to carry XFL and it was by far the network's lowest rated show. That would leave TNN as the only network still on-board to carry XFL games and XFL president Basil DeVito has already said that the league wouldn't be able to continue if TNN is their only TV deal. Long story short: XFL is almost certainly dead.
OVW wrestler Randy Orton worked a dark match against Billy Gunn, and cut a promo before the match (here's video, but the audio is super low for some reason).
When reviewing Smackdown, Dave gets a pretty good dig in at Russo. There was a segment during the show where Grandmaster Sexay was talking about fat women. Dave jokes, "See, this proves Russo's point. WWF was allowed to call women fat and that's why they still draw sellout houses." If you recall, last year in WCW, the standards and practices people nixed a segment where Russo wanted to have Roddy Piper call a woman fat and Russo threw a fit about how the Turner S&P people were the reason why he wasn't able to turn WCW around. It's obviously a ridiculous argument because it's not like calling a woman fat was going to boost Nitro's ratings an extra 3 points or anything, but that didn't stop Russo from throwing a temper tantrum about it every time and using it as an excuse for why he totally could have saved WCW if only his oh-so-brilliant and creative mind hadn't been handcuffed by the censors.
Talent agent Barry Bloom's agency has filed a lawsuit against Chyna for failing to pay commissions they say she owes them. Bloom's agency represented Chyna for most of the last 3 years and negotiated her WWF contract as well as consulted and advised her on many outside business dealings including her autobiography, her Playboy shoot, acting gigs, etc. Chyna apparently owes them somewhere between $150,000 and $250,000. The lawsuit says she hasn't responded to numerous attempts they've made to contact her and she has refused to pay.
Jerry Lawler was recently on Mancow's radio show and made some waves by implying that Bruce Prichard and Stephanie McMahon were sleeping together and that he wouldn't care if Vince McMahon died in a car wreck. Lawler later went on his website and tried to clarify that he was just joking, but the internet picked it up as serious news and it spread like wildfire. In the website post, Lawler said everything on the Mancow interview was said in jest and that he doesn't hate Vince McMahon and was sorry if anyone took his comments about Stephanie and Prichard seriously (On his podcast, Prichard has talked about this and said it actually caused some problems at home with him and his wife because I guess he had been unfaithful in the past and his wife already didn't fully trust him. So Lawler saying this really ruffled some feathers for Prichard's home life). Lawler also said he has over a million dollars in cash and has no interest in begging for his WWF job back and said he doesn't even know if he'd go back even if Vince begged him to now. He said WWF's lawyers had told him that he's burning his bridges by talking about this so much in the media but Lawler said he's not saying anything that isn't the truth and if the truth hurts, it's their problem not his. He also said WWF wrestlers and developmental guys have been told they'll be fired if they talk to Lawler and and that some indie wrestlers had been told they'll never have a chance to work in WWF if they work any shows Lawler is booking. Lawler also thought it was bullshit that WWF pulled their developmental deal away from Power Pro Wrestling just because Lawler was part of that show, saying it was unfair to PPW and the other wrestlers there. Lawler also claimed that when he was still with WWF, he had talked to Hugh Hefner about his wife Stacy posing in Playboy, but WWF threw a fit because they felt it was their decision to decide which of their women should be in Playboy and that Lawler shouldn't be trying to pursue those kinds of deals for his wife on his own. Stacy has since tried to get a Playboy photoshoot but was rejected by the magazine. However, Playboy did send a letter basically saying that they would reconsider if their relationship with WWF were to ever come to an end, so basically, she's even blacklisted from Playboy because of WWF. He also claimed that he hasn't gotten paid for the artwork he did on Mick Foley's Christmas Chaos children's book (published by WWF) and that he's planning to write an autobiography. And finally, Lawler said he's had talks with Hulk Hogan about coming in to Memphis and working some matches together, which would likely do pretty big business.
UPW had a big show last week and Dave was there. In fact, they hosted the Observer Live show from right there in the building before the wrestling show began. Edge & Christian worked the main event, beating Frankie Kazarian and Nova. Molly Holly also came in and put over WWF developmental wrestler Victoria. The match was bad but Dave thinks Victoria has some real star potential. UPW champion Samoa Joe beat Tommy Dreamer. Later, in the big angle of the show, they had a thing where Samoa Joe and a bunch of other heels attacked Prototype and broke his arm with a chair to write him out of the promotion because he's leaving for OVW in a couple of weeks. Eventually Tommy Dreamer ran in and saved him. Fun fact: the Rock was supposed to show up as a surprise to save Prototype from the beat down because he's currently staying in Los Angeles right now taking acting classes. But some scheduling issues at the last minute kept it from happening. Another match featured the tag team of Nathan Jones and John Heidenreich. Dave thinks Nathan Jones is almost a sure thing to become a big star unless injury or his age gets in the way (he's starting pretty late, at age 30). Ring wise, he's obviously still green, but he's got the look, charisma, and all the athletic credentials and WWF had signed him to a developmental deal before he even wrestled his first match (turns out he could never quite get the whole in-ring part down and he ended up quitting WWF because he didn't like the travel). As for Heidenreich, he's got the look but not as much charisma. Other notable names on the show: Luther Reigns, Rocky Romero, and Mike Knox. Interestingly enough, Christopher Daniels was the one running the show backstage. Jim Ross and Paul Bearer were also there, scouting talents. (This paragraph has just about the most eclectic list of names ever, from all different eras and promotions that would eventually go in all sorts of weird directions, all under the same roof for one show. 2001 was wild y'all).
Big Show did an interview recently talking about a few things. Regarding his recent stint in OVW, he said Jim Cornette would fine guys if faces and heels were having dinner together and would blow a gasket if they were even in the same place, like a bar or night club, even if they weren't socializing together. After the big Louisville Gardens 30th anniversary show awhile back, there was a big party in a private room at a night club that was closed off to the public and for that one night, Cornette reluctantly allowed the wrestlers to socialize and party together but he was still pissy about it because there was a door to the room where people in the public part of the club were hanging out and for those brief few seconds every now and then when the door was open, people outside could see inside and that drove Cornette bonkers. Classic. Also, in regards to the segment that was bleeped on TV a few weeks ago, Big Show said he called Kaientai a couple of "goofs" but the people in the truck misheard it and freaked out and bleeped it, which made everyone think he had used the other racial slur, but he swears he didn't.
Boxer Butterbean did an interview talking about his WM14 match with Bart Gunn. Butterbean said that Rock and Austin had a backstage bet on who was going to win. Austin was apparently foolish enough to pick Bart and needless to say, Rock won that bet. He also said back in 1998 that Vince McMahon had made him a huge offer (near 7 figures, although Dave says he finds that hard to believe, but then again, Butterbean was a huge cult star at the time) to come in as a full-time WWF wrestler. But Butterbean turned it down because he wanted to continue boxing (since he was already making big money doing that) and Vince's offer wouldn't allow that.
FRIDAY:NJPW holds a disastrous Fukuoka Dome show, WWF Insurrextion PPV fallout, WWF ratings in major decline, and more...
Scott Foley Doesn't Think He's Sexy - But We Do People
Not on My Watch PSA With Scott Foley
Not on My Watch - YouTube
Scott Foley TV Roles
Who’s Jennifer Garner Dating? Jennifer Garner Dating History
WCW Nitro Nash finds a partner ? (The Insiders) - YouTube
Scandal Cast on the View 05-14-13
Scott Foley in Felicity [S01E02] Noel & Felicity - part 3
The 'Scandal' Cast Reveals Their Secrets - YouTube
Scott Foley has appeared in many shows over the years. This includes Dawson's Creek, Felicity and more! TV Guide's official YouTube channel brings you behind-the-scenes access to your favorite ... Scott Foley in Felicity [S01E02] Noel & Felicity - part 3 t00sweet4you. ... Grey's Anatomy: Real-life Partners 2019 Revealed ⭐ OSSA Radar - Duration: 12:52. OSSA Recommended for you. Scandal Cast Interview with Kerry Washington, Scott Foley, Guillermo Diaz, Darby Stanchfield - Duration: 33:27. Anne Mavity 176,913 views WCW Nitro 11/20/2000 Nash finds a tag team partner. The formation of 'The insiders' against Natural Born Thrillers Ellen played a special game with the cast of 'Scandal,' in which they had to guess each other's secrets! But first, Kerry Washington had a BIG secret to reveal! Actor Scott Foley took on the role of care partner after his mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when he was 11 years old. He witnessed his mom's ovarian cancer return multiple times (also known ... Scott Foley presents Shonda Rhimes (Scandal) ... 10 Celebs Who Are WAY HOTTER Than Their Partner - Duration: 12:27. TheTalko Recommended for you. 12:27. Scott Foley is Team Fitz? ... Actor Scott Foley took on the role of care partner after his mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when he was 11 years old. He witnessed his mom's ovarian cancer return multiple times (also known ... Join me as we take a look at actress Jennifer Garner Dating and relationship history. #jennifergarnerandbradleycoopet Jennifer Garner and Scott Foley Jennifer Garner and Michael Vartan Ben Affleck ...