KING OF THE MOUNTAIN~! finally breaks RIPPA~! DEAN~! loves himself some BIG SWOLL~! CURTIS GRANDERSON~! is as good as being a special enforcer as he is at playing centerfield! DAMIEN WAYNE~! is a fucking man! WORLDWIDE~! DON MURACO~! LADY APACHE~! LOS GUERREROS~! A DEATHMATCH IN A HOUSE~! So many people with DEATH WISHES~!
WELCOME TO DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVIEW ISSUE #179
This has been sitting for awhile as I kept just adding little bits to it here and there and finding random old DEAN writings in various archives thinking “Yeah – there probably isn’t that much here” and then realizing we were at 10,000 fucking words. So this fucker is getting published and my dream of DVDVR #200 marches on. Maybe DEAN will love wrestling again by then.
For those who print and read while taking a dump – here is the PDF
RIPPA REVIEWS EVERY KING OF THE MOUNTAIN MATCH – 2004
As started in DVDVR #178, I am reviewing every King of the Mountain Match because I am an idiot.
RHINO vs. BOBBY ROODE vs. CHRISTIAN CAGE vs. BOOKER T vs. SAMOA JOE – TNA SLAMMIVERSARY 2008 (06/08/2008 – TNA World Heavyweight Championship, King of the Mountain Match)
(by PHIL RIPPA)
Ooof – special enforcer Kevin Nash already means that there is going to be nonsense at the finish so why should we even bother. (Remember that the “special enforcer” is just the fancy name for the guy who is supposed to hand people the title to hang up) I am just gonna declare LET THE SPORTS ENTERTAINING BEGIN~! to get it out of the way now. Samoa Joe is the champ coming into the match and is kinda sorta being mentored by Nash.
Each guy gets a neat little video blurb as the come out in addition to each getting a WALKING~! Spot. I guess Booby Roode is going as Robert Roode during this period but fuck that Bobby sounds better. I forgot the knockoff theme that TNA used for Booker T.
It is funny to think that two of the guys in this match are now retired, one is one half of a WWE Tag champ and the other two are in WWE “development”. Of course – it is funny to think that TNA is still operating.
This year, the folks laying out the match decided to not have someone start the match by jumping off something so it is already different. It starts off as just a brawl with Booker pairing off with Joe and Christian and Rhino working over Roode.
Good Lord – Instant Classic Christian Cage instantly takes a horrible bump as Booker shoves him off the top rope. I know you wanted to make it look good to write yourself out of the match for a while but it didn’t have to be THAT realistic. And then Christian is back two minutes later showing no ill effects so nevermind then.
LOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGGGG Joe highlight section to no reaction from the crowd. Poor poor Memphis already being bored. NOW YOU KNOW HOW WE FEEL WATCHING YOUR WRESTLING!!! Booker finally cuts Joe off and then hits a really sloppy Book End on Rhino to be the first guy eligible. Nothing happens after that outside of Booker and Kevin Nash jaw jacking.
There is no flow to this match. It really is the worst of everything you hate about multi-man matches. Heck – there isn’t really an attempt to tell a story either. And of course – as I am typing that to emphasize my point, Joe and Christian do dives for the sake of doing dives. But TNA! TNA! TNA!
The dive segment allows Christian to set up all the plunder for the next section of the match. Roode smashes a chair into Christian while he is holding a ladder to allow him to get the pin. But 10 seconds later Rhino school boys Roode to send him to the penalty box too. Oh I see – we needed a segment that allowed Nash to flex his nuts.
Fuck this match layout. Now we are rushing through finishers and pinfalls because fuck the last 10 minutes of your life that you will never get back. Joe has Booker T in the Kokina Clutch. They just lay there because Christian needs to get released from the penalty box, climb to the top of it and dive off onto both guys. That breaks up the submission AND Christian gets eligible by pinning Booker. So the story they decided to ham fistedly go with is that Joe – as the champ – is the only one not eligible to win.
Six fans start chanting This Is Awesome!” after Joe gives Christian a cutter off the top of the ladder. Yes the chant is infuriating eight years ago as it is now. Yes – it is really really awesome this over minute of guys just laying on the mat breathing.
And here is the official LET THE SPORTS ENTERTAINING BEGIN~! call as Booker grabs the belt and hits everyone, including Nash with it. He then stares at his hand for a bit because he needs to kill time before Nash can lumber into the ring and give him the jackknife off the ladder.
Rhino gores Christian over the ring apron and through a table. So that is two guys who will be sitting out the rest of the match. Actually – it is three since Rhino was just thrown out to the floor. There is no reason for him to be injured for the rest of the match but he will be. Anyway – Joe and Roode fight until Joe gives Roode the muscle buster to get the pin and become eligible. Joe then just climbs the ladder and wins in probably the most anticlimatic win ever.
JAY LETHAL vs. ALEX SHELLEY vs. CONSEQUENCES CREED vs. CHRIS SABIN vs. SUICIDE – TNA SLAMMIVERSARY 2009 (06/21/09 – X-Division Title, King of the Mountain Match)
This is the first ever X-Division King of the Mountain match. Not sure why they really felt the need to throw that stip in but here we are. They also decided to go with two tag teams vs the X-Division champ in Suicide. (Lethal Consequences which is Jay Lethal and Consequences Creed aka Austin Creed aka Xavier Woods and the Motor City Machine Guns who are obviously Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin.)
MCMG come out wearing the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Titles or as TNA calls them “New Japan Tag Champs”
HA! I totally forgot about Curtis Granderson being on a TNA PPV. He is the special enforcer and on commentary. Well this is in Detroit and I should mock all the Tigers in the crowd. Don West proclaims that Granderson is his best friend and then tells us about the lineup of his fantasy baseball team. Yup – it is gonna be that kind of match.
Okay – to double back for a second. The reason it is Suicide vs. All the Tag Teams is because Lethal Consequences and the MCMG are convinced that Suicide is Christopher Daniels (which it was). So someone thought that having four faces bully a guy was totally going to work. Yeah… no.
So what we are getting is all four guys beating on Suicide until Suicide gets flash offense to stun everyone. He slams Lethal onto a ladder and pins him. So Suicide is the first guy eligible and everyone else goes back to beating on him while Lethal is in the penalty box. The good news is that because now that there is someone eligible – Granderson leaves the broadcast booth. The verdict on his announcing. Better than Otunga. Worse than JBL.
Man – I haven’t watch Shelley and Sabin in a minute so I had forgotten how irritating their offense is. So much pointing and elaborately set up kicks. I think I prefer the no-selling to that nonsense. Anyway – Suicide gets another round of flash offense and this time pins Alex Shelley with a botched version of a Code Breaker. I guess Suicide just constantly pinning guys is one way to go with the story. It isn’t a particularly compelling way to go with it but it is a way.
Oof – this is just brutal. Suicide takes an unprotected chair shot because Sabin a dick. He then gets slammed into a chair. All the guys expect Shelley (since he is still in the penalty box) fight over the pin attempt until they do a big dog pile for the three. So everyone is celebrating since they are all acting like they are eligible now. Ref Rudy Charles stands around with his thumb up his ass for far too long before finally saying that only Lethal is eligible. And that is the moment where the teams start fighting each other.
More pointing and yelling until Creed hits his version of a TKO outta nowhere to pin Shelley. So both members of Lethal Consequences are eligible. Creed celebrates this fact by doing a dive where everyone REFUSES to catch him. Oof… good job guys.
MCMG end up in the ring by themselves so Sabin takes the dive to allow Shelley to become eligible. Shelley then goes to win but Suicide dropkicks the ladder out from underneath him in ANOTHER spot that could have gone horribly wrong. Daniels is clearly trying to live up to the gimmick’s name.
Jay Lethal then tries to die on a catapult spot (which took a comically long amount of time to setup) as he rotates over at the last second before landing right on his neck. Sabin comes out of the penalty box, nails a dead Lethal with a Tornado DDT and he becomes the final man eligible.
Point. Build something. Spot. Lay Around. Repeat. If you hate indy spotfest, you will loathe this match. The indiest spot is Sabin laying across a ladder propped up between the ring and barrier. Lethal does the elbow off the top rope… and the ladder doesn’t budge. Whelp that clearly sucked for both guys. Actually the indiest spot is Shelley giving Creed Sliced Bread #2 onto the ring apron.
ACTUALLY the indiest spot is the fucking finish which required Lethal and Creed having to act as part of a fucking bridge so Suicide can jump off of them. You really need to watch it because I can’t properly describe the ridiculousness. And then with the crowd booing the entire time – Suicide then needs three attempts to win the match because depth perception and that mask do not go hand and hand.
So that match happened and we still have another King of the Mountain match later this show.
AJ STYLES vs. JEFF JARRETT vs. MICK FOLEY vs. SAMOA JOE vs. KURT ANGLE – TNA SLAMMIVERSARY 2009 (06/21/09 – TNA World Title, King of the Mountain Match)
In terms of “names” this is the biggest King of the Mountain they have done yet. That being said – there was already a lot of stupid bullshit surrounding the match that also involves Jim Cornette. Meanwhile – they are doing some sort of TNA ORIGINALS~! Thing with AJ and Joe since they are the only two guys around who were on the first TNA PPV. Boy – the clearly have a complex about this since Jeremy Borash brings up everyone’s length of service and how Jarrett formed the company.
Ooooohhhhh…. This is Main Event Mafia time. Okay – now I get it. AJ is also the TNA Legends Champ.
This is also Joe with the terrible face tattoo time. In the video intro blurbs they make a big deal about Joe being the only guy who retained his title in a KOTM match which would have been great if Suicide hadn’t just done it in the opening match of this very show. Anyway, Joe has been taking out members of the Main Event Mafia so he is focused on taking out Kurt Angle.
Jeff Jarrett gets the HE HAS NEVER LOST A KOTM MATCH!!!! Treatment so he clearly is not winning tonight. As mentioned, Angle is the Main Event Mafia rep and he comes out wearing a Sidney Crosby jersey since the Penguins had just beaten the Red Wings and the Detroit crowd is cranky… well at least as cranky as a TNA gets.
Finally – you have heel champ Mick Foley. And you know you love watching broken down Mick Foley matches. God do I not have a good feeling about this.
Slick Johnson is back and juiced to the gills. There is also no special enforcer for the match. HOW WILL THEY EVER GET THE BELT TO HANG UP NOW?!?!?!
LET THE SPORTS ENTERTAINING BEGIN~! And I am not even kidding this time. They have Samoa Joe throw on a Red Wings jersey (which the crowd goes wild for) and starts beating the hell out of Angle. Slick Johnson decides that because of his actions, Joe will go in the penalty box and that Angle is now eligible.
Then… THEN!!!! Foley grabs Jarrett and puts him on top of himself to give Jarrett the pin and Foley goes to the box. This is for reasons that they really don’t explain outside of meaning Foley doesn’t have to wrestle. Now all of this is the plan but Slick Johnson fucks up the count THREE FUCKING TIMES!
Fuck Slick Johnson. It’s pretty clear that his juiced to the gills is because he has something on underneath his ref shirt. I hate this match so much.
Also… ALSO!!!! Joe puts the Kokina Clutch on Foley and Foley passes out. I mean this is one way to keep Foley from working. Again this is all the plan but the camera cuts away before Foley passes it out. (Now to be fair it is to show Jarrett take a crazy ass bump over the ring barrier).
The scorecard is that Joe, Angle and Jarrett are eligible. Joe goes to hang the title and Foley pushes the ladder out from underneath him and Joe takes a sickening bump onto the bottom of the ladder which he clearly wasn’t supposed to do. Fuck – let’s cut that spot out of the ladder matches okay fellas.
Foley also kicks Joe in the face to fully make sure he has a concussion. Not to be topped in the unprofessional department – Jarrett flings the broken ladder at Angle on the outside (who dodges it in time AND totally no sells it). Ooof – things have totally broken down since everyone but Styles is gassed out of their minds. That means off course Styles takes a wacky ladder bump to put him out of the match for a while.
Jarrett and Angle battle over a guitar spot. Angle proving that he is an idiot puts Jarrett in the Ankle Lock and then just watches Double J squirm over to the guitar, doesn’t realize the hold and then stares as Jarrett smashes the terribly gimmicked guitar over this head. Jarret and Foley fight over who will hang the belt (which is also stupid since Foley has totally forgotten he isn’t eligible yet) and Styles dropkicks them both off the ladder. But since this is the way the match is going – the ladder falls straight back and lands on AJ’s face.
Oh Dear Lord – Foley climbs onto of the penalty box. And Styles climbs up there with him. This is so not going to end well. They tease a suplex through the announcers table but instead Styles gets hip tossed into the ring. So Jarrett hits the Stroke on Joe into a ladder but before he can go for the pin, Angle slides in and hits Jarrett with an Angle Slam. Jarrett kicks out and Foley instantly drops an elbow from the top of the penalty box on Angle to pin him and make himself eligible. Angle lays in the fetal position in the box and that makes me laugh a lot and I can’t tell you why.
We are not supposed to see the refs running around giving everyone time queues but we do. We are also not supposed to see Foley completely whiffing on catching Styles on a tope con hilo but we do. We ARE supposed to see AJ pin Foley on the floor but of course the cameras don’t show a second of that. But, yeah, AJ becomes the final of the five to be eligible.
Speaking of time queues – they are now doing a countdown for when Foley gets out of the box which they haven’t done at all during the match. I guess that is one way to try to tell guys to take it the fuck home. This is by fucking far, the longest KOTM I have suffered through yet.
I really shouldn’t be constantly watching the ref frantically tell people what spots they need to be in but it is impossible to unsee. That doesn’t mean I miss LET THE SPORTS ENTERTAINING BEING!!! PART TWO!!!! Which is the finish where Joe has a clear path to win but instead stops, hands the belt to Angle and lets him win and thus Joe joins the Main Event Mafia. (The announcers try to force a “Joe fakes an injury angle” but since the cameras missed it you would have no idea.) It makes zero sense with the story they told over the like last month or even in that match but there ya go.
CHRIS SABIN vs. CURRY MAN vs. JIMMY RAVE vs. JOHNNY DEVINE vs. KAZ – TNA IMPACT (05/27/08 (Taped), 06/05/08 (Aired) – King of the Mountain Match, Winner gets Future TNA World Title Shot)
This match is out of order chronologically because A) I didn’t know it existed until I checked Wiki and B) it took me longer to find it online.
Oh TNA. This was aired three days before Slammiversary (and the “real” KOTM) so that means they ran a 10 minute sprint that is the first KOTM match that isn’t for a title and features the X-Division guys before their PPV. NBD guys. NBD.
Since this isn’t for the title – they have the guy’s attempting to hang the big Giant X they use in the Elevation X matches. On some levels that makes more sense than trying to hang a title belt.
By the way, I am not kidding when I say a sprint. A minute in and there has already been a ring apron bump, a tope and Johnny Devine doing a moonsault off the penalty box onto Kaz and Chris Sabin. Oh and because it is on Impact. COMMERCIAL BREAK~!
Even better – they have Jimmy Rave pin Curry Man during the break AND Curry Man serving his entire two minute penalty. Now that Rave is eligible and we are back from commercial break – he finally attempts to win the match. This time, Sabin dropkicks Rave off the ladder and it is slightly less terrifying than the Joe bump that was covered in the 09 match.
Sabin at least takes advantage of said terrifying bump by pinning Rave with a wacky lucha-esqe rollup. Sabin and then Kaz orderly set up ladders next to each other because it is more important to set up for your big spot than give off the illusion that this is a real competition and one guy is trying to stop the other from winning.
Now said big spot is two-fold. First part is Kaz giving Sabin a Wave of the Future into the ladder. Fine. But the second part is one of those “You guys I can totally take this bump safely… oh Holy Fuck! I can’t moments” as Curry Man monkey flips Kaz into the ladders and Kaz lands oh so ugly.
Build. Build. Build the ladders! Oh, Sabin with a hesitation dropkick into a ladder and Johnny Devine’s face and… COMMERCIAL BREAK! Because we can only handle three minutes at a time. (Side Note – the match is longer than 10 minutes. I didn’t realize there were breaks when I started writing. Looks like real time was 17 minutes but there was a lot of downtime during the commercials. So quasi-sprint.)
We come back to a Tower Suplex by three of the guys and Kaz and Sabin fighting on top of the penalty box. They tease and tease and tease some moves and then Kaz teases the Flux Capacitor off the box into the ring (which might be the worst idea in the history of bad ideas considering how far it would take to clearly the ring posts and turnbuckles. Thankfully in 2008 they were smart enough to only tease. You and I both know in 2016, some fucker would actually attempt that move.) Sabin dives off the box onto Curry Man and Kaz rides a ladder down onto Rave. So Kaz pins Rave and then Devine rolls up Kaz. Two guys into the box and Devine is now eligible. I am going to ignore how silly it was that Kaz stayed down for that pinfall but that is one of those things we have been accepting of as long as we have watched wrestling.
The finish was creative albeit flawed. Since we only have three guys in the ring, Curry Man hits Devine with the Spice Rack (which is the world’s safest Burning Hammer) and pins him. So now there are technically three guys in the penalty box. Curry then lays waste to Sabin and tosses him out of the ring. He is all alone in the ring and going for the win. Kaz sees this and starts frantically trying to break out of the pen while they are trying to stuff Devine into it. His time runs out, races into the ring, knocks Curry off and gets the win for himself. It would have been better if the timing was tighter as Curry had to kill a good 30 seconds in trying to climb before Kaz got out of the box and Kaz also felt the need to rebound off the ropes just so he could climb the ladder which was ridiculous.
TNA sure loved to give Kaz title shots won via goofy matches. He got a title match via the Fight for the Right tournament. He got a title shot at Sacrifice 2008 via winning a TerrorDome match. Those were both before this so that is THREE title shots in basically a year. Oh and he failed at all three.
FOUND WAS LOST
WCW SATURDAY NIGHT AUGUST 28, 1999
(by DEAN RASMUSSEN)
VAMPIRO, LARUE, JUVENTUD, NORMAN SMILEY, THE ARMSTRONGS and STUFF…
Man. The minute Fat Tony stops reviewing WCWSN, they decide to trot out stuff worth writing about- including the Armstrongs in the Main Event. Also, I got Operators Manual by the BUZZCOCKS yesterday- NEW!- for ELEVEN DOLLARS!!!!!! Goddam, the song GET ON OUR OWN is worth four times that alone so I was already a happy, happy man. It also has that song from that Toyota commercial….
Fast Forwarded throught the Load Of Shit That Is Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
Vampiro and Lash LaRue had a little match and they upped the stiffness to the point of making this quite the transcendent match for young Lash. If Lash jumps on the WCW Neuvo-Norte Americano Superstiffness bandwagon that was started by Benoit, Regal and Finlay back in the day in WCW- and if Lash joins Vampiro in celebrating the value of fabulous stiffness, LaRue becomes quite the More Celebrated Barry Houston and major asset to suddenly re-existent Cruiserweight division- at the LEAST when all is said and done. Vampiro is SO weird. He was so amazingly mediocre in Mexico everytime I saw him on tape and I think it was because his style is the antithesis of Lucha Libre- in that his watchable matches are built on stiffness and a slower psychology than what Lucha calls for. As Vampiro figures out the WCW UPSCALE in-ring style of Benoit, Guerrerro, Regal, Hart, Henning, and Juventud (as opposed to WCW’s suckass in-ring style of Sting, Syd, Hogan, Nash, Knobbs, I could go on…) ((and on…)) and begins to adopt more of it, he will become what his good pal Juventud has become- A wrestler who for some reason does his best work in the US and not in Mexico or Japan. The match itself ROCKED because Vampiro wasn’t afraid to kick LaRue right in the face and LaRue was man enough to take it and Lash wasn’t afraid to punch Vamp right in the face and Vamp was man enough to take it and sell it. I also loved the Large Man Out Of Control Plancha by Vampiro and Lash’s shot at a Doctor Bomb. Anyway- HEY! It’s Lash’s first WCWSN Classic!
The No Limit Soldiers are actually weirdly over as motherfukcers and the feud with the First Family is just what the doctor ordered to keep the First Family away from the Revolution. Swoll- despite his comically pathetic legal problems- seems to have more potential than any other WCW rookie heavyweight they have come up with- in that he works circles around Chase Tatum and sells better than Goldberg. Not nearly enough Brad Armstrong.
The Juventud vs Smiley match was really good despite the extensively botched looking ending. I was talking to Phil because he is a dope who forgot to tape it (thus ensuring that there would be lotsa stuff he’d wanna see- as the general rule is that ANY wrestling you forget to tape NEVER had Erik Watts vs Al Green on it.) and I was telling him that I was wondering if this was going to be one of those 18 minute Norman Smiley matches where it’s good but nothing actually happens. The weird thing to those matches were that Smiley- who is full-blown Lucha and was in UWFi- decided that he would forgo freaked-out lucha matwork or
Puroresuian pseudo-shoot and instead opted for a Puerto Rican version of Lucha Libre matwork thus recreating some very fine TNT vs Ron Starr mat sequences. I mean, I was all over the mega match length and the Old School psychology of the whole thing and all but it was just kinda weirder than good, considering all things involved. I remind him of the six marathon Prince Iaukea vs Norman Smiley matches from earlier this year and that it is at this point that Phil reminds me that Juventud Guerrera is a 400 times better than Iaukea and I concur and watch the GRAPPLING MAGIC…. Juventud and he take it to the mat and it’s quite funfilled- if a bit Ole Anderson vs Paul Jones in it’s Drop-toe-holdness into a reversal into an armbarization. The rest was all high impact stuff and low-grade lucha that added up to some fine, fine free US wrestling.
WCW continues to dole out the hard seedy women to face Mona and I’m digging the trailerparkiness of Dee Dee Venturi the most. She should come out with a four pack of wine coolers and a manager who wears Member’s Only jackets and I would be in Southern Redneck LAAADDDIIES Wrestling Heaven. Though not as amazingly heated as the Brandi Alexander match, this was quite acceptable Memphis wrestling. Yeah, yeah, yeah – Japanese women blow this away, but Japanese women blow away ANYTHING in North America that isn’t EMLL- so what’s the point? I dunno. Chicks wrestling, I just dig it.
The main event was fricking FABULOUS as Malenko and Douglas decide to allow the Armstrongs to look like the fucking awesome tag team that they are. Schneider has a beef with the usually overchatty Shane Douglas but he seems to be quite more at home in the more 80’s US Pro style confines of his spot in WCW than at the top of highspot heavy, preposterous-bump-laden ECW so he’s feeling it here the most. A lot of little things I loved about this: Steve Armstrong’s Full Nelson, the countering of the Armstrong finisher- a point of psychology lost on anyone who hasn’t seen the Armstrongs win with it on WCWSN and WORLDWIDE- so I appreciate the effort, the intricate finish, the whole deal. The Revolution is over like fuckers everywhere but Las Vegas, it seems. They need to push the SANDANISTA! aspects more.
DAMIEN WAYNE WRESTLES YOUR TNA DARLINGS
DAMIEN WAYNE vs. GUNNER (02/23/13 – NWA National Heavyweight Title)
(by PHIL RIPPA)
Damien Wayne coming out to DJ Khaled (in North Carolina no less) will never not be funny to me.
Man – I still don’t have a read on Gunner. This is mainly because I have never been able to get past all his terrible tattoos. Like I see him and my brain goes “Redneck Randy Orton” and since we all know my feelings toward Randy Orton – he has an unfair uphill battle to make me care about him. I think US Indy Gunner is probably a whole heap better than TNA Gunner so that will be a start.
Wayne is working heel so that is already a plus for this match because God Damn do the North Cacalacy kids love themselves some Gunner. They also love the entire Gunner works over Wayne’s nether region section too. (Wayne also spends a huge chunk of the match selling his cock and balls and it makes me realize that if we were doing a 500 in 2013, he would have been Top 20 and no one would have talked me out of it.)
Wayne sells hurting his hand chopping Gunner’s chest because he has giant pecs and I love fucking indy wrestling. Long heat section on Gunner which is he doing and admirable job selling. God Bless – him is selling the arm that Wayne is working on like he dislocated something – even doing a one armed comeback. Yup – Gunner is aces is my book now. Fuck yes – he even drops Wayne on a body slam attempt because of his arm. This is the Gunner would could have seen when he wasn’t having a do fuck all. (It is also frustrating looking through his TNA matches list because he apparently had really good opponents on the random TNA house shows that no one fucking attended).
Anyway – the kids are super into the Gunner comeback. Which is doubly awesome because when Wayne hits his top rope elbow drop the air is sucked out of the room. But Gunner kicks out at two and the Mocksville residents are fired back up. And then the handheld cuts out and when we get back Gunner is covering Wayne for the 3. Wait.. WTF??? HA! THE ARE DUSTY FINISHING THE FUCK OUT OF THIS!!!!
The ref claims that Wayne’s foot was on the rope and restarts the match. Sure – I have no idea if that is true or not due to the cut away and super closeup on this handheld (Kevin Dunn would be super impressed). Wayne grabs the distracted Gunner, chucks him into the ring post and then rolls him up (while holding the tights) to retain the title. The number one and the best part is the lady dead center of the crowd who popped like a monkey for the Gunner win, which turned to distraught when the match was restarted, which turned to her just disgustingly putting on her jacket WHILE Wayne was rolling up Gunner.
Gunner hits his finisher on Wayne to send the crowd happy all while selling his arm as he walked to the back. Okay – new priority is to watch some more Gunner in non-TNA matches.
DAMIEN WAYNE vs. MAGNUS – AML EPISODE #10 (May 2015 – No DQ)
(by PHIL RIPPA)
For those who aren’t familiar – AML is America’s Most Liked Wrestling and since they tape in Winston-Salem, they use a TON of the guys we get in Virginia too and they are all awesome. It is one of those indy Youtube shows you should really already be watching (along with CWF Mid-Atlantic and NWA Smoky Mountain).
Since this from AML TV – the open with promos from Magnus and Wayne and Magnus calls Wayne “a young man” and I laugh and laugh and laugh. The match is declared a No-DQ match for reasons. Wayne cuts a promo to ensure he is the heel (not that it is really needed). Lots of GO BACK TO ENGLAND, LOSER! From the guy standing right next to the camera.
Wayne works fine as a face but he is better as a heel. However, his face work is best when he is with a strong heel and Magnus certainly is hateable. It appears the No DQ stip was put in just so they can wander around brawling through the bar. It does turn nasty when Magnus gives Wayne a back breaker onto a row of chairs… and then we go to commercial.
Good Lord – this break was like five minutes long and showed a preview for the match next week. That was weird.
Back in the ring – Wayne gets his hope spot and promptly misses a top rope elbow. Magnus follows up with a Michinoku Driver. Sadly, it wasn’t a Falcon Arrow so I can start the Falcon Arrow count in Dean’s absence.
Finish makes no fucking sense as it is all backwards. Wayne hits the top rope elbow and does a lazy arrogant cover which Magnus turns into a crucifix for the pin. Why they had the heel win that way makes no fucking sense. Just like why Magnus needed to go over. Guess he needs to go the pay window to keep Mickie happy.
Yeah – this was disappointing.
DAMIEN WAYNE vs. RAVEN – VANGUARD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING (10/03/09 – VCW Heavyweight Championship Match)
(by PHIL RIPPA)
Totally stretching on this one but I need a third TNA guy to complete my theme so here we go. Basically – the first two minutes are the end of a match which is Raven defending the VCW Heavyweight Championship against CW Anderson. Very sports entertainy with Q-Sic – playing the role of Stevie Richards for Raven – interferring multple times and the ref getting bumped. Raven eventually hits the Evenflow DDT on CW and gets the win. He then issues an open challenge because that match was too easy. (The caveat on the open challenge is that you have to go through Q-Sic first).
Damien Wayne – selling the effects from an earlier post match beatdown – hobbles out with his ribs taped and selling his arm. Raven eggs Q-Sic on to take out Wayne. Well Wayne rolls up Q-Sic immediately so Raven charges in and hits Wayne with a belt shot. The commissoner then announcers that this is indeed a title shot. Wayne reverses the Evenflow, hits his own and wins the title.
This really came off like Raven came in and swindled VCW under the premise that this was an awesome idea but then went “Naahhhhh…. this is more a Maryland Championship Wrestling idea” to which the VCW booker went ” We’re twice as smart as the wrestlers of MCW! Just tell us your idea, and we’ll vote for it!”
FOUND WAS LOST
WCW WORLDWIDE SEPTEMBER 26, 1998
(by DEAN RASMUSSEN)
A EULOGY FOR WORLDWIDE
Just watched the last episode of Worldwide and it was a fitting last show. It had the strong points of show for the most part- with the good little match between Saturn and GLACIER of all people, the cool vest of Atlantis and subsequent AJW-rookie-match amount of dropkicks. The Death Of Worldwide poses some questions that need to be answered- Is mat wrestling officially dead now that there is no place to have a Norman Smiley/ Jerry Flynn match where the crowd won’t yell BO-RING when two guys take it to the mat and start trading submissions? The weirdly GOOD thing about Worldwide was that it was in front of basically an Infomercial audience. There wasn’t a need to cater to their needs, so WCW could book ANYTHING it wanted to. This would suck a lot of time but
also meant that some REALLY cool wrestlers could be spotlighted (like Juventud when he first came in as they did with Psicosis, Villanos, and Chavo Guerrerro Jr- plus it showcased the True Future of Wrestling: Ultimo’s Groupo Revolucion Trainees.) Also, since NOONE wanted to end their career getting injured on Worldwide, when good wrestlers were on the show, the match would become something really offbeat- Rey Misterio Jr and Alex Wright had a REALLY great low-impact, mat-based eight minute match- showing how good Rey Misterio can be without any highspots- which is really great; Fit Finlay and Chris Motherfrickin Benoit DON’T beat the crud out of each other but have a mini-New Japan Junior match as they take it to the mat; Groupo Revolucion boy Sumo Fuji and the real future great Judo Suwa has a great match straight US style tag match with Juventud Guerrera and Psicosis as Juvie and Psicosis sell for the
youngsters and then hit every Midnight Express move variation I can think of. I dunno. I’m gonna miss the weird littleness of the matches on Worldwide. I hope that WCW Saturday Night can bring an even better change of pace from the total Casual Fan Friendly atmosphere of Nitro and Thunder. On to the New Cult! Rest In Peace Worldwide- sometimes, you were pretty damn good.
Dean Rasmussen, OhtaniHEAD!
FOUND WAS LOST
(by DEAN RASMUSSEN)
DRIVERETTE 8/22/2008! LARRY ZBYSKO~GEORGE THE ANIMAL STEELE~DUSTY RHODES!
Driverette. 8/22/2008. Dean Rasmussen. Richmondish. Virginia. Random wimpy Crowded House song.
BACKSTORY: Napping and staying up later is still making the New Viewing Regiment a bit dicey. Napping before dinner helps me make it to 11 but I’m still fading fast. I feel better though during the day so I’ll keep this sleep schedule for a while.
THE WRESTLING: Call me an idiot but I really dig the Lumberjacks in AWA. I was always a closet Scott Norton mark and here he is looking like he is actually having fun. I always had more tolerance for John Nord than most- mostly because I dug his late WCW run where he would bump gigantic for Bobby Hardwork Walker or Chip Minton for no apparent reason. THUS, I watch their matches and joyfully cheer them to victory. Though AWA at this point is so depressingly into the heart of their death throes, they do still average a watchable match a show- which is only a slight downgrade from a VERY GOOD match a show from the beginning of their death throes, 1986-1989. The Zybsko vs DJ Peterson match was as a good of a Champion Defending match as you will see from any other established US touring champion. Hell, dye Zybsko blond and I would recognize that Hackneyed Finish To A Mountainous Carrying Of Game Muscle Boy anywhere- Flair versus Luger, Flair versus Sting, Flair versus anybody. Except Zbysko looks completely out of control when he bumps big and thus adds to coolness of the match.
The mini-Royal Rumble was fun but is completely overshadowed by the Buck Zhumoff/Von Raschke promos. Jesus, SOMEONE needs to make a movie about Zhumoff and Raschke hanging out and trying to pick up chicks- Zhumoff trying too hard, playing the REO Speedwagon Hi Infidelity too loud from his Kenwood speakers in his candy apple red Monza. She frowns and shows disgust as she receives his invitation, “HEY BABY! You wanna WINIIINE COOLAH!?!? OH YEAH! ROCK AND ROLL!” The Baron quickly pulls up beside just as she speeds up her pace. She stops suddenly and looks over at the Baron looking dapper in a black turtleneck and swastika armband, he begins speaking smoothly while placing his monocle slowly and deliberately on his right eye. “Fraulein, ve have vays of making you LOVE ME.” She giggles and hops into Raschke’s Dodge Aspen and onto a night of light S&M and a hearty breakfast at Denny’s outside Mankato. He then converts her to the Lutheran church and having accomplished his duel mission of Sex and Faith, he pulls out of the Mankato Holiday inn and drives all day to the Shostakovitch 8-track until he gets to Pierre to do it all again.
I watched the first of the WWF at MSG on MSG and it was from 1977 and it was pretty great. So the strong point of Superstar Billy Graham was his ability to sell. He is awesome selling Big Dust’s armwringer. These two were made for each other because Graham’s Sleeper and Bearhug both look really legit so Dusty can play off it all better. Dusty’s Rufus R Freighttrain Jones-isms are mixed in with some really fucking crazy bumping so this is a different animal than what I would witness every month 12 years later.
Wait a minute. In 1977, George the Animal Steele wrestled EXACTLY like post 89 Terry Funk? MAAAAN, I gotta get more of THAT. The match against Maivia was really fucking awesome and it was all Steele flailing all over the place. Who knew?
EDIT: I totally glossed over the Youth Of Minnesota toasting a viscous load over their Hershel Walker jerseys onto their Husker Du “New Day Rising” SST singles while watching the gigantic buttockses of Magnificent Mimi and Candy Divine bounding about the ring. I was fixing to bludgeon thelummox just for old time sake. Women of the AWA were better than five Club magazines in the pre-internet days.
FOUND WAS LOST
(by DEAN RASMUSSEN)
DRIVERETTE 9/19/2008! DON MURACO~LADY APACHE~RAY motherfucking STEVENS~!
Driverette. 9/19/2008. Dean Rasmussen. Richmondesque. The radio.
BACKSTORY: Figured out a way to watch DVRed wrestling while watching football so I am as prooud about this as the time I figured out how to easily get my pants on after I got to fat to fit in them anymore. I watch wrestling during commercials and when the team I’m rooting against are on offense. As for the WVA vs CU game, where I could really give a crap about either, I watched three hours of wrestling. And seem to have missed about seven straight three and outs.
THE WRESTLING: CMLL on FSE was actually watchable this week. The six-man with Rey Bucanerro and Grey Shadow was more like a traditional lucha match with actual mat work and workrate and not just shitty and listless psuedo-brawling. The main event of Amapola defending her belt against Lady Apache was perfectly fine also- though it had a really nice fast lucha matwork section it really goes straight to hell by the end of the first fall, as they screw up about every spot from that point. The last two falls were a lot more basic- as I assume Lady Apache scrapped any attempt at trying anything tricky after the experience of the first fall- and Amapola bumped her way back into my heart. Lady Apache is Cinthia Moreno of CMLL – best luchadora in the company- so I assume this will become a feud with some legs and I am actually excited to watch.
The WWF at MSG had the FIRST DON MURACO MATCH I HAVE EVER ACTIVELY ENJOYED!! He and Pedro Morales really the living fuck out of each other and this was the Muraco match I have been waiting for. Morales has perfectly fine punches, but Muraco’s punches are positively Murdockian in their awesomeness. Both bump hard to the floor and they brawl like motherfuckers on the floor. Muraco was AWESOME after the double DQ being a total dick. I wept.
The Ray Stevens versus Jimmy Snuka was really fucking great. Jimmy Snuka was my hero when I was a child. It breaks my little heart to realize that he kinda… sucked. Stevens was the Flair blueprint and he does like five things that Flair appropriated- Flair flop, the kicking while selling, the elaborate kneedrop and the being launched from the top buckle. And especially the flying over the toprope after being shipped into the corner. Flair even punches like Stevens. Flair could also carry Jimmy Snuka to a watchable match and that what you got here. Ray Stevens fucking ruled.
I watched the beginning of the Hogan vs Earthquake match and I think the IWC needs to have an agonizing reappraisal of John Tenta. He was fucking fabulous in this- especially his very nasty fat man elbow drop.
I’ll be busy this weekend returning to ECW arena to see the ROH and seeing Kensuke Sasaki again (I saw him wrestling the Man Whose Name We Cannot Speak at WW3 in Norfolk.) Hopefully I will see you there.
SINGLES GOING STEADY
BOB BARAGAIL/THE CRYPT KEEPER vs. TAKASHI OKANO/SHOJI NAKAMAKI – IWA JAPAN (05/18/95 – House Death Match)
(by PHIL RIPPA)
Not to be confused with all the Bath House Death Matches that you perverts loved to watch, IWA Japan ran Death Matches at actual houses. This is the first of its kind and I don’t think we ever talked about it. God Bless did Dean miss out.
Bob Baragail was one of Victor Quionnes’ boys and when you see him without his shirt on, it is easy to see why. At some point, he decided that the stripped tights and body builder look wasn’t cutting it and decided to start doing all the monster gimmicks that all the sleazy Japanese feds wanted in the 90s (ie: Boogie Man, Freddie Krueger, Jason the Terrible). The start of this clip (at least the Veoh version) is Baragail looking like he stepped right off the set of Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo and right up to Takashi Okano and Shoji Nakamaki’s house
Bob Baragail showing up outside your apartment with a boombox is the undeniably best way to start a wrestling match. pic.twitter.com/rukA8qInYT
— Chris Harrington (@mookieghana) May 29, 2016
He starts spray painted FUCK YOU on the door. Meanwhile, the Crypt Keeper wind sprints (well as much as you can call a guy in a rubber mask, skullet, wrestling boots and a semi-pro softball uniform swinging a barb-wired baseball bat can sprint) down the street to the house. He gets to the house and he and Baragail just start breaking windows and doors and shit. All while Takashi Okano (who is a pre-Winger Winger) and Shoji Nakamaki are just chilling eating their soup. (God I really wanted to make a pho joke but I need some wrestling from Vietnam to make that work.)
Random children are seen running, Peeping Toms are peeping and there are so many jump cuts that Paul Greengrass would blush. Baragail has smartly put his shirt back on – I guess to prevent splinters and not because of the totally inconsistent editing. Nakamaki comes down looking like a Japanese Walt Kowalski and it is on.
Oh man – the added sound effects! I wonder if my laughter is translating through my keystrokes. You haven’t till you see Crypt Keeper giving Okano a swirly and looking to make sure he is in the right position so the camera can get the best shot. You also haven’t lived to you see all the random neighbors – who CLEARLY weren’t smartened up to what was going on – observing from the street. It totally is like the time my Dad decided to have some trees removed in the backyard. We had lived in the house 30 years, met like two of the neighbors. Suddenly some trees start coming down and they are all coming out of the wood work “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!?!?!?!?!” Good times.
Fuck – Okano and Nakamaki have no fucking furniture. Are they squatting? I am also making the assumption that the ref was having lunch with them when this all started. Otherwise – I got no explanation as to why there is a ref.
Oh Nakamaki is bleeding and every time Baragail elbows him they decide to go with the fist hitting meat sound effect. God Bless Nakamaki – he makes sense he leaves a forehead blood mark on everything his head slams into.
It is seven minutes in before we get to our first teasing of a guy being tossed off the balcony (in this case not yet Winger is trying to push Crypt Keeper off). Then we cut to Nakamaki still getting his ass kicked in one of the bedrooms that is decorated with ONE IWA Japan show poster. That is so half assed effort in the decorating department. Cut back to Okano who now has CK in a figure four which now might be my favorite thing of the match because sure why the fuck don’t you try and win with a figure four in a House Death Match.
The film is being aired in slow motion because Nakamaki taking a door to the head was that traumatic I guess. The slow motion is perfect… well at least for seeing all the cameraman getting in the shot. I mean this is nearly 23 minute clip and we aren’t 10 minutes in yet. Maybe that is how they are filling time.
HA! THERE IS SUDDENLY A NARRATOR!!! WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?!?!?!?!
It is as close as you are going to get in wrestling to Nakamaki *record scratch* *freeze frame* “Yup. That’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation.”
AWESOME! Some old lady has returned with her camera presumably to present to the cops. Maybe it was her distracted that allowed the faces to begin their comeback because I got no other way to explain why they are suddenly beating on people. As they are getting their shine – young not yet Winger finds the only weapon in the house – a toilet brush. That didn’t work out to well for him. No matter though Nakamaki hits a couple of DDTs and pins Baragail.
Japan is weird.
SPUD VS. “CHARMING” DON CHARLES – SAS (08 – “Bring Your Own Jeans” Street Fight)
(by PHIL RIPPA)
So here is the thing. I watched this match and took notes. I then promptly forgot about here. Hence I have the foggiest memories of what happened. My notes are as follows.
- Baby Rockstar Spud.
- Wrestling in whatever the UK version of an Elks Lodge would be.
- One of the refs has amazing hair.
- In ring ref is wearing his jeans.
- Spud appears to be wearing a Rod Stewart wig.
- Coward heel stalling. Is he heel authority figure?
- Baby Dave Mastiff shows up – his body is EXACTLY like Rusev’s now
- Whip Spud with shrubbery
- Mastiff is Dave Moralez???
- So Spud’s hope spot is cut off by Jack Storm hitting the ring
- Some dude named Jake comes to help Spud
- HA! And then he dies
- Martin Stone eventually shows up
Yup… I remember there were about 37 run-ins. It was to the point that Paul Heyman would be “Yeah – you might want to ease off the throttle there, hoss”.
OH! I also being really irritated that the ring announcer wasn’t wearing jeans. Like where the fuck is your commitment to the bit?
Basically – Spud was not taken seriously and then he Hulked up and because he beat down a non-wrestler type dude he evolved into a real wrestler. God it was weird. But, yeah, Mastiff looked EXACTLY like Rusev so I was excited about that.
RICKY MORTON vs. BOBBY EATON – UWA (2006 – Cage Match)
(by PHIL RIPPA)
Man – I have no idea why I put this in my “Watch Later” list outside of the “Why the fuck are Ricky Morton and Bobby Eaton having a God Damn cage match in 2006?” factor.
Bell to bell is less than 8 minutes and there is heel ref shenanigans afoot (because that is what this match needed – the Southern Tirantes). Basically – Morton throws a punch and goes for the cover and the ref refuses to count. Eaton throws a punch and goes for the cover and ref fast counts. It only works because I could watch Eaton and Morton throw punches till the cows come home. I mean I do get a kick out of the person close to the camera who is very Team Bobby Eaton (the best being when Morton comes out you hear him go “Here comes the has-been”.
Anyway – the cherry on top of this shit sundae is that a shirtless Tom Pritchard emerges from the ether and hits Morton with some knuckle dusters and Eaton wins. Oh well – at least the cage is constructed really well for an indy show.
BLACK ANGEL/SUPER NINJA vs. EDDIE & HECTOR GUERRERO – PRO WRESTLING FEDERATION (05/22/98 – PWF World Tag Team Championship)
(by PHIL RIPPA)
THE CONTEXT YOU DIDN’T ASK FOR
This match is for the PWF World Tag Team Titles (based on the title histories of dudes names Black Angel and Super Ninja). This PWF is NOT the current Premier Wrestling Federation. Instead it is (or I should say I can’t think of any reason it isn’t) Pro Wrestling Federation which was That Italian Stallion’s fed in the 90s (which I think George South was either promoter or booker or some shit with too.) That would explain being able to get Eddie Guerrero in 1998. And on that subject – I think, THINK, this was during that period when he was doing his worked shoot with Eric Bischoff. I know that was 98 but fuck all if you expect me to remember exact months.
Black Angel is the poorest poor man’s Iceman King Parsons (not that that is necessarily a bad thing). Super Ninja is sadly not Kenji Mutoh, Rip Oliver, Shunji Takano or Ron Reis. He is also most assuredly not from Nagasaki. Don’t pull that shit Mr. Ring Announcer.
Whatever community college arena in Wheeling, West Virginia this is taking place is full of kids who dig all four guys since Angel and Ninja are the local faces and Eddie and Hector are motherfucking Guerreros.
THE REVIEW OF THE MATCH YOU DIDN’T ASK FOR
Tag team wrestling is the best kind of wrestling. One that allows to tell so many stories and add so many layers. I say this because Eddie Guerrero might be one of the most forgotten great tag team wrestlers. Obviously not forgotten as a worker because many will claim he is the greatest of all time but you rarely hear folks focus on his tag work.
With this match – you have Hector playing the face trying to be all nice and keeping things technical. Meanwhile, Eddie is pacing on the apron screaming at Hector to start beating the shit out of their opponents. So Hector tags out to Eddie – who pounces on Ninja like a feral dog. It is all sorts of awesome. But what kicks it up a notch is Ninja starts making his comeback and Eddie does his scalded dog scamper back to the corner to seek safety with Hector. Hector is all What The Fuck? And he slaps the shit out of Eddie and tells him to get it together. Hector then goes basically “Watch this” flips the switch and starts heeling the fuck up. The next 10 minutes are just a master class from the Guerreros in ref diversions and beat downs and choking. Everyone of those minutes is a masterpiece and you realize that Eddie is dead and then you are sad again.
Still – I could watch various versions of the Guerreros cheating to win till I am blue in the face (well maybe not Chavo Jr because fuck Chavo Jr).
The finish is somewhat of a train wreck as it is clear that Ninja and Angel are way out of their leagues in attempting to keep up with Eddie and Chavo. They do hit a Top Rope Hart Attack out of nowhere which was unexpected. Still – Eddie makes a blind tag that wasn’t so blind and Hector hits Ninja with a power bomb and the place becomes unglued as Eddie climbs to the top for the Frog Splash (which again is really funny since again they have been heels for the rest of the match. Again – Q rating trumps the face/heel structure all the time.) Los Guerreros are the new champs and you can see on Eddie’s face how much joy he got out of working with Hector.
Viva La Raza.