Saturday, January 26, 2008
I lost the “Announcer of the Year” poll in the 2007 RasslinRiot voting, so this year I’ve decided to become a columnist on the site to ensure that I have a better chance of winning something. Alright, I’m just kidding, but I thought you would all get a laugh out of that.
This week, I want to discuss what a “good wrestling match” is.
For those of you who have followed the business during the past 20 years, you have seen some incredible matches. Let’s go way back to 1987. Many consider the Ricky Steamboat – Randy Savage match for the WWF Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania III to be one of the best of all-time. I would certainly agree.
Likewise, the series of matches between Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat over the NWA World Title two years later still stand up as mat classics.
The difference between the two? The Steamboat-Savage match was mostly pre-planned while the Flair-Steamboat bouts were called on the fly.
I prefer calling matches on the fly out in the ring. I used to try to remember a bunch of different spots when I was managing early in my career. I was so preoccupied with remembering every little detail that by the time I got to the ring, I was nervous and I gave what I feel was a lackluster performance. A few years later, while I was managing Bobby Eaton on various cards across the country, we typically came up with a couple of spots to do and let the rest happen. It feels so much more natural and it comes across to those watching as being more natural. A lady once stopped me in a Wal-Mart in a town I managed Bobby in and said, “You always cut promos and do things with such conviction.” I told her it was because at that time I AM that character. I believe in what I’m doing and it translates to the audience.
Back to my point. I can’t say that the Savage – Steamboat match was bad because it was laid out beforehand. However, keep something in mind. Both Savage and Steamboat were great in-ring generals and at the time they were working 300 shows a year for the WWF. They were also working each other around the loop and had a chance to test out some of the things they planned for Mania III on house show cards. By the time they made it to March 29, 1987 at the Pontiac Silverdome, they knew that what they set up would work. I’m sure they eliminated some of the things that they discovered didn’t work in other cities. So while the match was “laid out beforehand” it was also “worked out beforehand.” It wasn’t like they delivered something and just crossed their fingers hoping it would work.
Now, I want to tie this in with something local. While I was booking Chris Bryant’s WFAC promotion for a brief time in Newport, Arkansas, a worker asked me if it would be a good idea to review the previous week’s card and tell everybody who had the best match and why. It was a valid request. However, as a booker I have to think about something when it comes to “rating” matches.
My main concern is did the combatants do what I asked them to do?
Go back to the Savage-Steamboat, Flair-Steamboat matches. If EVERY match on the card was similar to their battles, then their match wouldn’t be remembered so vividly and wouldn’t mean as much.
Let’s say on a card with Flair-Steamboat, you also had a tag match with the Midnight Express and Fantastics. In addition maybe Paul Jones vs. Jimmy Valiant. Add in the Road Warriors vs. Powers of Pain. Maybe a couple of other undercard matches.
Here’s my point. Not all of those matches are going to be like the Flair-Steamboat bout. From a pure workrate standpoint, the Midnights-Fantastics match will come close. Then you are going to have the entertainment aspect of “Handsome” Jimmy and the big brawl, power moves fest of the Warriors and Powers. It’s a good balance.
Not everyone enjoys just plain wrestling or even good solid wrestling. So you throw in a match that is fun and a power bout and you have a great mix.
I’m not going to pretend that in Newport we had anyone who could deliver Steamboat-Flair. That would be stupid on my part. But I designed the card to feature my heavyweight champion in more of a wrestling match, struggling to keep his title. Underneath I had two risk takers going at it and somewhere in between there was some comedy with a stupid gimmick that I really didn’t love, but based on the guy’s in-ring ability it was the best way to get anything positive out of him.
So who had the best match? It’s not really fair to chastise the guys in the entertainment/gimmick based match for not having the classic of the night. They did what they were told and accomplished the goal. That to me makes the match “good” in that sense.
If the boys work hard and give the booker what he asks then I think everyone who did this should be praised. The boys should all work hard to do their best, but trying to overwork and be called the “best” just for the sake of it can hurt the overall card.
As a booker, those of you reading this need to remember to give a complete package. It’s like a baseball lineup to use that analogy. I’ll pick the St. Louis Cardinals, my favorite MLB team that should be your favorite team. Albert Pujols is arguably the best all-around hitter. He strikes out only a few times and delivers good power numbers. So when you see him batting third instead of clean-up this year, remember that manager (or for our purposes “booker” and please never use that stupid term “shot caller” around me) knows that Albert can’t bat for everyone. So the manager will place him in position to deliver the best results. He’ll have a good batter following him to “protect” Albert.
I think we all get concerned about our own performances and being the “most over” that we forget that fans in this area buy a complete package. No promotion in the Mid-South can rely on having a brand name like “World Wrestling Entertainment” and even TNA or ROH to a lesser degree. We have to have a package of matches that fans will care about. We have to have a team of guys who want to see the whole meal as delicious. Not a good entrée and then crappy dessert. It all goes together.
So my definition of a “good” match is this – one that delivers on the goals of the event, has good wrestling in the sense of its placement on the card and makes the whole show better overall and not just the individual performers in that particular contest.
Now that I’ve mentioned food, I think I’ll go cook some! Take care all!
(Brian Thompson may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Check out Monday's show with Mid South legend "Nightmare" Ken Wayne. We'll talk to Ken about all kind of stuff covering his career, his wrestling school, and his son's rookie year and how he feels he's coming along. If you've got a question for Ken you can call in live during the show or email me at email@example.com
Be sure to check out all the past interviews at the website!
Friday, January 25, 2008
When we started booking WrestleReunion I thought that it would be interesting to use The Ultimate Warrior. I had met Jim Hellwig several times when he first started in the WWF. I actually found him pleasant to be around and had no problems with him at all. I knew all these years later the chances of him remembering me were ZERO. I had heard all of the stories about him but hadn’t been around him since the mid-eighties when he wrestled The Honky Tonk Man on a show in upstate NY. I knew it would be a challenge but I thought I was prepared for it. After multiple conversations and multiple deals being consummated this guy then demanded one hundred percent of his money in advance. I would never agree to such a thing and told him so. At that time we came to our final agreement that Warrior would not be appearing at WrestleReunion. I can tell you that I had 95 cooperative people. I would not be willing to have Warrior alone cause me more trouble than the rest of the talent combined. It was a shame, I have been around a headache free Ultimate Warrior and a headache filled Warrior. Oh the good old days.
I was a referee the night that The Ultimate Warrior wrestled The Honky Tonk Man. I can remember working with The Hart Foundation with “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart in their corner as faced off against The Rougeau Bros. I didn’t know several of the guys at that time since as I had been away for awhile. I was a NY State Athletic Commission referee in those days. It was not great to be a commission referee because they had reputations of being clueless except for very few of them like my friend Billy Caputo, Mike Torres and Jack Lotz from my hometown of Yonkers NY. It was clear to me that Jim Neidhart was not happy that we were booked on the show. I could tell that he was looking to catch me on a slip up and nail me. I also had to deal with the paranoia of The Rougeau’s who kept going over and over the finish. It was getting annoying but I went along with it. At the end I was supposed to go with Jimmy while Bret and Jim were double teaming one of The Rougeau’s. I was told when Jimmy jumped off the apron turn around and make the three count. I went with Jimmy as told but he was holding my shirt so tight that I couldn’t turn around if I wanted to. When we got to the back I got a totally different attitude from Neidhart and everyone else was happy too. I did approach Jimmy Hart and say "Brother I wasn’t going to turn around until you jumped off the apron". He said "Listen if anything went wrong this way the heat is on me and not on you." I can say that almost twenty five years later Jimmy hasn’t changed a bit and I think back on that night many times as a good moment in my career.
It appears that Wrestlemania still has tickets available. I realize that it should sell out that isn’t the issue. If truth be told, its pay per view buys that matters and if the buzz for the live gate isn’t what Wrestlemania normally is, a quick sellout I believe that will transfer to the PPV numbers. They still have time to make something special happen for Wrestlemania but these guys are like chefs without a recipe or ingredients. They are like a choreographer with no music or dancers. I think someone there had better start working or lay offs will be coming. If you are going to go into panic mode anyway why not do it now when you have a chance to make a positive impact instead of when it’s too late to do anything but say we will get em next time.
The picture in this article is from an autograph show that took place in Manhattan. In the picture from left to right you see Jimmy Hart, Yvonne Craig (Batgirl from the original Batman TV Series), Myself and “The Living Legend” Bruno Sammartino.
This has been a piece of my mind
Credit: Thanks to KC for the "heads up".
There will be a show Tonight at the Valley View Fire Station in Jonesboro, Arkansas. This card, which I assume is under the All-Star Wrestling Federation (ASWF) banner, is set for 7 p.m. and will benefit the Valley View Fire Department.
Wrestlers on the card include Austin Lane, Chuck Fears, Nikki Lane and the American Degenerates.
101.9 Kiss FM's Brandon Baxter and Booger will also be involved.
Tickets are $6 and children ages 4 and under will be admitted free.
The show had decent advertising in the area with spots on some Jonesboro radio stations and a brief in yesterday's sports section of the Jonesboro Sun newspaper.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
----Just wanted to note that the Bobby Jaggers interview will continue when I can find rest of it. LOL No kidding..I should have made sure it was all in one stack of junk before I starting posting it, but we will conclude it ASAP.
----The bad news is that Memphis Wrestling reruns look like they might settle in to doing the same ratings as the first run shows. This is not good for the local guys that go there every week to do the tapings. Why would Corey Maclin spend money on doing tapings when he can just air shows he already has in the can and make the same amount of money??
----The “What Was Memphis Watching” number [highest rated program in the wrestling time slot] dropped 21% from last weekend, but the wrestling rating only dropped by 8%.
-Replay of angle
-Hart gives Maclin a watch
Sexy Assassins angle
1st Quarter 3.1 [52,550 viewers]
-Hennig vs Lawler clip
2cnd Quarter – 3.5 [58,762 viewers]
-Mable vs Pancho
-Battle Royal [start]
3rd Quarter – 3.1 [51,878 viewers]
-Battle Royal [finish]
Lawler/Brian C/Hart angle
4th Quarter – 3.2 [53,221 viewers]
12 Week Average: 3.0 [50,045 viewers]
12 week low – 1.9 [31,395 viewers] 12.22.07
12 week high – 4.0 [66,484 viewers] 11.17.07
From start to finish: [+671 viewers]
What was Memphis watching??
Action News 5/News Channel 3/CSI Miami
8.2 [136,998 viewers]
TALENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE - PLEASE CONTACT ME IF SOMEONE SHOULD BE ADDED TO YOUR SHOW!! IF I MISSED YOUR SHOW, PLEASE CONTACT ME!!
----FRIDAY NIGHT for USWO @ Stadium Inn in Nashville, TN… Kid Kash, LT Falk, Mark Anthony, Chris Michaels, Michael Jablonski, Anthony Cevantes, Quinton Quarisma, Gigolo Jay Phoenix, Xavier Mustafa, Shawn Hoodridge, Tim Renesto, New York Gangster, Damien Payne, Kevin Dunn, Petey Wright, JC Crowe, and more.
----FRIDAY NIGHT for SAW in Millersville, TN Gary Valiant [w/Miss Boogie],Hammerjack, Arrick Andrews, Big Rig Bully, Sean Casey [w/Samantha], Chris Bomb, J-5, Indian Outlaw, Mason Raige, Nore Havoc, Hammerjack, Kory Williams, Vic the Bruiser and more.
----FRIDAY NIGHT in Osceola, AR for MCW with MCW Champion Frankie Tucker, TW Justice, The Medic, Jackhammer, Bad Luck Lucky, The Hambone Express, Tank, Pimptacular, White Lightning, Tojo Yamamoto Jr, Suicidal Youth, Kilo. Mr. Excitement, Hillybilly Nate and more.
----FRIDAY NIGHT for LAW Rector, AR Derrick King, Flash Flanagan, Slim Pickens, Tommy Redneck, Stan Lee, Psycho, Arnez, Dell Tucker,Idol Bane, Jeff O’Dell, “The Golden Boy” Greg Anthony and many more.
----FRIDAY NIGHT for The Future of Wrestling has a show at the TFW Arena on No. Eason Blvd. (Auburn Rd.) in Tupelo, MS with Max Steele,Nick Grymes, Josh Matthews, Neil Taylor, Shawn Reed, Chris Styles, Anita Page, "Bad Attitude" Tony Dabbs, LSD, Chris Chaos, T-Byrd, The New Age Cowboys ("Southern Thunder" Chris Kilgore & "Son of the South Josh Holly), Devon Raynes, Crazy-n-Sexy (J-Kid & Curly Moe), Bless, Chazz, Chop Top the Clown, Uncle Vinnie the Blade, Hunter Montgomery Jackson, and much more. Tickets are $5. Doors open at 6:30 and the show starts at 8:00.
----Saturday night for USWO/ATL in Nashville, TN at the Stadium Inn with Kid Dynamite, Dyronic, Chris Norte, Kevin Dunn, JD Fluffy, The Nazi Terror, Damien Payne, Lee Cross, New York Gangster, Tommy Capone, Boy, Richard Lowe, Homo Hillbilly Quincy, Xavier Mustafa, Shawn Hoodridge and more.
----Saturday night for RWA in Jonesboro, AR at the King’s Sportatorium with Main Event: “The Posse” [Lil Chris/Simon Reed] vs Reno Diamond/Bishop…Ali Stevens vs Cameron Cage…Rodney Mack VS Gary Diamond…Jazz VS The Prince…Jamie Jay VS The San Francisco Treat…Deadly Dale/Abs VS The Loose Cannon/Medieval with Rotten Randy.
----Saturday night for National Wrestling Federation – NWF Marmaduke, AR…Marmaduke Community Center with The Hambones, Tank, Ryan Lee, BoneCrusher, Farmer Billy Hills, Leonard Dome, 2 Ton Tommy and more.
----Saturday night for JWS in Booneville, MS with David Cox, Damion Rage, Dustin Burcham, Robert Rose, AC Styles, Dalton Storm, Chris Stevens, Izzy Rotten, Fusion, Brett Michaels, Justin Rhodes, Chris Fontaine, Casanova Kid, Dirty Sanchez, Neil Taylor, Bonecrusher, Buzz Harley and more.
----Saturday night in Ripley, TN with TLCW Washington ST, TGB Greg Anthony, Flash Flanagan, Derrick King, Tatt2, Tim Grind, Albino Rhino, Tommy Redneck, Dell Tucker,Ike Tucker, Brian Steele, Shannon Lee, Allan Steele,. “Black Label Society” [Void/Robbie Douglas/AJ Bradley], “Naughty By Nature” [Pokerface/Rude],Sue Young and much more!!!
----Saturday night New Blood Wrestling @ Country Nights 1901 Saint John Ave - Bell time 8:00 PM in Dyersburg, TN Kilo, Mark Justice, Tim Edwards, Tank, Dustin Starr, Jeremy Moore, Gaylon Ray, Motley Cruz, 187, Psycho, Arnez, Pappy,John "Biscuit" Roberts, and more.
----Saturday night ALL TICKETS $1!!! TIWF @ True Force Arena 256 Gill Street Jackson, TN at 7:00 PM in Dr. Doom vs Iron Jake Johnson, Dazzlin Dixie vs Kingpin, Danny B Goode vs Gaylon Ray…Steve Rampage vs Dr’ Black….TIWF Title Match: Lawman Williams vs Hardknocks Hooligan…Ravishing Randy, Jon Seymour, Hotrod, Wildside, Big Boy Bob, The Outlaw, JR Rich, Spyder and more.
---- Saturday Night ASWF - At The Valiant Arena 201 Hwy 67 N Tuckerman Ar. (870) 349-2050 Belltime 7pm. Tickets: All Seats $6 Brian Edwards, “Prime Time Playboys” [Zane Richards/Tommy Wayne], Acid,Scott Fury, Austin Lane, Nikki Lane,Cody Murdoch, Jamie Jay, Chuck Fears, Seth Sabor, Wild Bill,”American Degenerates” [X-Kaliber/Morgan Lane], San Francisco Treat with Rottn Randy and more.
I checked the message board for a post several weeks ago about the promotion. If this is the same group, which I'm sure it is, this will be a Genuine Championship Wrestling show at the King of Clubs on Hwy. 49 in Helena. The post at the time said to call Rent a Center in Helena for additional details.
If I discover any additional details today, I will pass them along.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Updated C.H.R. Schedule
Jan. 28- 10am- Guest: "Nightmare" Ken Wayne
Feb 1 - 10am- Guest: Izzy Rotten PART 2
Feb. 4- 10am- Guest: "New Nature Boy" Kevin White
Feb. 11- 10am- Guest: "J.C. Ice" Jamie Dundee PART 2
Feb. 18- 7pm- Guest: Randy Hales
Feb. 25- 10am- Guest: United Wrestling League's Michael St. John
Mar. 3- 10am- Guest: T.B.A
Mar. 1o- 10am- Guest: "Above Average" Mike Sanders
Anyone that has ever attended a wrestling show knows what I'm talking about. You drive trying to find a building, sometimes in a blight-like state, and you maybe see a homemade sign saying "wrestling" on it, but for me the real indicator is when you see 'em lined up. Yep, that's them, no other group looks quite like them, you have stumbled upon the not so rare, but oh so rank, Rasslin' fans! You know it by the dirty clothes, the obviously questionable hygiene, the missing teeth, just the group of misfits that have decided to attend a wrestling show, and here you are among them. What does that say about you I've often asked myself. I've often wondered about their case histories, their family histories, some have obviously been mental patients at some point in their lives, it's a Jeff Foxworthy redneck buffet. Many of them clearly aren't "wrapped too tight". What draws them, and myself to pro wrestling is another question I ask myself. Back in the early 1970's the New York Times did an unflattering article on pro wrestling, and called it "ballet for the retarded". I grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The paper there did an article on pro wrestling in the early 1980's, I remember laughing when it said "Many of the fans sitting on the front row looked like they couldn't afford to sit on the front row". So the dregs of society migrating to wrestling events is hardly anything new.
Sitting among them during a show is another "treat". I've sat beside creepy old men who kept hitting my leg to tell me something I didn't care to hear. I've sat besides really weird women, and gay guys hoping some wrestler might notice them, and brag about the time Billy Joe Travis actually waved at them. I've sat close to a nearly homeless looking couple who would bang on pots and pans they brought to the show as a way to rally a babyface, and "yell" at a heel. There is a very famous fan in the Nashville area known as "Chicken Hat Charles", Charles is famous for spazzing out at heels, to the point he grabs chairs, and whatever else he can get his hands on, and starts swinging. "Security" takes him down, and tries to calm him down, is he ejected? Hell no, this is not unusual behavior at all, in fact it's considered normal, and everyone laughs. Once during one of these fits of anger at a show, I was too close to him and he hit me on top of the head. What was funny was he then looked me and in a soft, meek little voice said "sorry", then went right back to his uncontrollable angry fit again.
Since I mentioned "security" as it is at some of these shows, that's another issue. Some shows have kids, or really scary looking people themselves doing "security". One show had a guy who was kicked out of another show for pulling a knife on someone doing "security".
Some of their conversations about wrestling are so funny because they are so wrong, but in many cases the best plan is to say nothing. I've heard fans swear Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan are brothers, and I've heard fans claim they're somehow related themselves to some wrestler, and in the fantasy in their mind they probably are. I like to look at the area in the crowd that has a few attractive girls sitting in it, they are clearly different then the garden variety wrestling fans. These are wives and girlfriends of the wrestlers, or maybe just rats. I also like to look at another group of young girls, these are clearly wrestling fans, they have the look, but they are trying to "doll up" hoping for an "encounter"(ahem) with a pro wrestler. Wanna be rats in training I suppose, but I strongly suspect given the morals, or lack there of, of some pro wrestlers even the trashiest looking wanna be doesn't remain a wanna be for long, age be damned.
Back when I had a girlfriend, yeah believe it or not I did used to have one, she was at least accepting of pro wrestling, and went to a few shows with me. She became horrified at one show when she saw a trashy looking young girl holding an infant on her lap on the front row and cussing a blue streak, dropping F and MF bombs with alarming regularity. To me it was "normal", because I had seen it done so many times before at a show, but to my then girlfriend, it was beyond disgusting. I think she was actually ready to call child protective services. She told my mother about it, who is a life long pro wrestling hater, and you can imagine the comments I received them about watching, covering and going to "stupid" wrestling.
Now there have been a few times I have spoken up to the vaunted Rasslin' fans. I remember once at a show Tony Falk was so very clearly booking. They had the announcer say like literally 30 times during the course of the night that Tony Falk was suspended from the building tonight. Well, after the 2nd or third time they said it I knew something was up and he was there, I mean they totally tipped it off. I was sitting next to some scary looking folks that night, even scary by wrestling fans standards. They had annoyed me by blowing smoke in my face, so at one point I said, you guys do know that Tony Falk is here tonight don't you? Well, they didn't agree with me at all. The main event came, and out comes Tony Falk doing his "rapper" Tu Falk For Sure gimmick. The Rasslin' fans then looked at me with a look of both disgust and admiration. They said how did you know? Gee, I said, Lucky guess!
Another time at a Bert Prentice show in Lebanon, Tn, there was a match for the North American title between Mike "Colorado Kid" Rapada and Chris Harris. I knew Harris was going to win the title from Rapada because Rapada was going to Florida a few days after that to win the NWA title. The fan sitting next to me that night did nothing at all to annoy me, but for some reason I told him "Harris is wining the title tonight". He strongly disagreed with me. I offered him a 100 dollar bet on it, and I think he was actually considering it, but he did decline, I would have been shocked if he would have had 100 bucks on him. Well, Harris did indeed win the title, the match had no heat at all, and that was the end of the show. When the finish hit, I winked at the guy and said "I told ya so" and I walked out the building, as he sat there looking at me with a shocked look.
A few other "honorable mentions" go to the fan "Chip" at the OVW tapings in Louisville. This wacko had an obsession with womens feet, looking that them in a way that would make even the most decdadent pervert uncomfortable. His mother yelling at him as he was frothing at the mouth while staring at the girls' feet only added to the festivities...
More recently at a show in Millersville, TN a fight broke out in the crowd in a different section that I was sitting in. The guy kicked out after the fight was actually wearing an Adolf Hitler T-shirt, and had scary Nazi tattoos on him. Where in the Hell would a person even find a Hitler T-shirt, let alone wearing it out in public. That same guy then got into another fight in the parking lot.
The worst one I've ever seen though was in Cookeville, TN. This was a Fair show. But the show itself wasn't fair it all, much of it was terrible. I watched it with the current voice of SAW Jack Johnson. This thing lasted like 4 hours, and maybe even a bit longer. During the main event, a strong style match with some weapons used, a long nail or a spike flew into what was left of a thin crowd anyhow, and hit a pregnant girl in the stomach. Was this cause for alarm? Well, it kinda was, they took her away for medical attention, and I can see her now, being real pregnant, and still smoking a cigarette as they took her away, I mean she's pregnant and smoking anyhow, which is horrific in itself nowadays, but she can't even be bothered to put the damned cigarette down after being hit with a flying long nail in her preggo belly. That my friends is Rasslin' fans! Actually, what's funny about that is I found out later she was the sister of one of the wrestlers on the show.
Rasslin' fans.....You don't gotta love 'em...Trent Van Drisse
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The Brooklyn Brawler has become a legendary character. I can remember sitting in a hotel lobby in Allentown PA with Steve Lombardi who had just had his first TV match the night before. As silly as this may sound that I even remember it, he said wow we have to drive thirty miles today. At that point Rocky Johnson looked at him and said yeah that’s far. Rocky then looked at my with a look on his face like, is this guy kidding? Well here it is about twenty five years later. The Brooklyn Brawler is one of the most famous enhancement talents in the history of the business. His alter ego Steve Lombardi has been so many other characters in the business Abe” Knuckleball” Schwartz, Kim-Chee, Doink and the occasional Steve Lombardi. He probably has a job for life with WWE I bet its been quite a ride for a guy who thought thirty miles was far to drive to get from one match to the other. He is now a backstage agent for the company and occasional makes on camera appearances. If the office was smart they would have him work with some of these young kids for a few months straight.
I continue to believe that Hornswoggle is a pure entertainer at heart. I don’t believe that he and Finlay should have walked through The Highlanders last night as they did. I wonder why John “Johnny Ace” Laurinaitis doesn’t come up with the original idea of giving them a flag bearer and giving them a chance to get over as heels? What I saw in RAW last night was several pieces of talent being walked through like they meant nothing. I don’t see how that helps the company. I personally am tired of watching Triple H succeed in situations that are overwhelming. Is this the best that creative can come up with? Did the Umaga match help Umaga or hurt Kendrick? I don’t think it did anything for either of them. It appears that they should give the belt to Jeff Hardy but I just can’t see him as a World Champion. Don’t we all wish that we could be in business and do things that nine out of ten people would think are crazy and still make millions?
I was at the Showboat Casino in Greg Gagne’s hotel room having a meeting before TV was to be filmed for the AWA. It was my first TV for the company and I was very glad for the chance that Ray Stevens gave me. I did learn though how out of touch the AWA was. My first clue was that as the meeting began Greg walked over to a guy who I had known for years and said. I am sorry you will have to leave we can’t have photographers in here for our meeting. It was then that the guy said didn’t Wahoo tell you Greg, I am Paul E. Dangerously. Of course Greg apologized and welcomed him to the company. He was there with New Midnight Express Dennis Condrey and Randy Rose. A little later I was given the two big angles for the night which I will go into more detail about another time. It was later on that Rod Trongard started asking Tommy “Wildfire” Rich about some of the highlights of his career so he could talk about them on TV. I remember Tommy telling him that he was a former NWA World Heavyweight Champion. To say Trongard was shocked was an understatement; he looked at Tommy and said you were? In the most humble way Tommy said yes sir. I was wondering if anyone in the company had any knowledge of the wrestling business.
It would have helped a little if someone in the company pointed out to the new referee where the hard cameras were. I never made that mistake again, I got yelled at pretty good but the truth was that was only a minor issue at best with good camera people and a good director. I was the smallest guy though and Greg quickly apologized he was just upset because the angle went wrong. At the time I only knew a couple of thing’s I was on national TV for the first time I had made it. The other was that in a tag team match Jake “The Milkman” Milliman kept trying to get a reaction out of Paul E by screaming NICE TIE. It didn’t work at all, isn’t it funny that a guy who couldn’t pick up the simplest of cues is now one of wrestling greatest minds.
The picture in this article is from a ROH show that I booked Bruno Sammartino on in Manhattan to make a short speech and sign autographs. He was asked to pose with many people. The ROH Champion Bryan Danielson was someone Bruno and I had never met. He seemed like a very good guy.
This has been a piece of my mind
Monday, January 21, 2008
Superstar Bill Dundee beat Dirty Little Dave by DQ
Demon X, Wild Bill, and Tim Hanson hit the ring for the DQ . Johnny Harper and Casino Kid to make the save. Then acting commissioner Mac Daddy made the six man tag for later in the night. Dundee, Casino, and Harper vs. Wild Bill, Tim Hanson, and they pick Scott Fury for their partner with Demon X in their corner.
Lethal Leprechaun beat AC Styles
Winner get shot in the triple threat ladder match for the X-Division Title next week :“Mr. Pyro” Ray Ray beat Zane Richards- “The Franchise Player” Mike Anthony-Sgt. Shakedown
High paced action lot of big moves but in the end Ray Ray gets the win with a flipping stunner out of corner. Ray Ray moves on to X-title match next week.
Winner gets the other shot in the X-title match next week :Mr. Playboy Tommy Wayne beat Big Al-Seth Sabre-Morgan Lane
They start off by everybody taking turns punching tommy wayne then it goes outside. alot of nice moves but at the end Morgan hits Seth with superkick then Tommy hits highknee on Morgan then Big Al hits Tommy with the big boot then turns into the slice bread #2 by Seth who then gets rolled up for the win by Tommy Wayne.Tommy Wayne moves on to X-title match next week.
Mic Spill with X-Kaliber,Morgan Lane, Big Al, and California Dream. They talk about how they use to be each others tag partners then Mac Daddy makes the match for next week. Old partners reunite for a match. X-Kaliber and California Dream vs. Morgan Lane and Big Al for next week.
Six Man Tag
Casino Kid/Johnny Harper /Superstar Bill Dundee beat Tim Hanson/ Wild Bill w/ Demon X /Scott Fury
They start off with Harper in control and their team keeps control until Fury cheats to take over. They take out all the heat on Casino with the hot tag to Harper and it breaks into a six way. Demon X tried to come in and cheat with the chain but Harper ducks X hits Wild Bill and Harper school boys Wild Bill for the win
“Bigg Rigg” Cody Murdock beat The 1 Cody Only
Cody Only spears Murdock and they start brawling. match is back and forth with both the big men getting some shots in, but Cody Murdock hits a DDT and gets the pin with his feet on the ropes.
Main Event--Street Fight with the fans bringing the weapons. Both the X-division title and Heavyweight Title on the line. If either man gets pinned they lose their belt.
“Mr. Impact” Chuck Fears/Justin The Juice Smart beat “Human Highlight Reel” Austin Lane/Dirty Little Dave
The match starts off with Chuck and Justin Getting the weapons and surrounding Dave and Austin. The match continues all over the building with Dave and Chuck fighting into the concession stand while Austin and Justin stay close to the ring. Justin hits Austin with a 2x4 and Lane juices. DLD hits Chuck with a chair and he juices. Chuck works back into the ring and goes for The Cudagra but Justin accidentally hits him with the STO. Austin then grabs Justin - Dave goes to hit Justin but he moves and hits Austin then Justin throws Dave out and gets the pin on Austin. New ASWF Champion Justin “The Juice” Smart. Austin then invokes rematch clause for next week with certain stipulations. If Justin wins a fan shaves Austin's head, but the catch is Dirty Little Dave is the REF.
----145 paid with 190 in the arena and a gate close to $850…Here are several matches booked for next week.ASWF Heavyweight Title match-Austin Lane vs. Justin Smart. X-division Title Ladder match-Chuck Fears vs. Ray Ray vs. Tommy Wayne Old partners reunite-X-Kaliber & California Dream vs. Morgan Lane and Big Al.
----Corey Maclin & Brian Teigland are announcing this week. They air a clip of Lawler destroying Maclin’s watch “last week”. Jimmy Hart comes out to give Maclin a new watch. It had a crown on it and Maclin tells him to shove it.
----Clip of “last week” of Brian Christopher beating the Sexy Assassin. Sexy Assassins interview. S Assassin Red [Tim Grind] says they want to talk to Brian C. Grind says that they quit working for Brian C. Brian calls them Sexy Assassins #6 & #7 and demands them to keep their masks on. Grind takes off his mask. They end up throwing Brian into the ring and beating him up. S Assassin Purple does not remove his mask.
----Clip of Jerry Lawler beating Curt Hennig for the AWA World Title is shown. The readers of www.rronews.com just a few weeks back voted this the second most important match in Memphis Wrestling history following the Lawler vs Kaufman match.
----Lawler/Hart come out. Lawler tries to offer the watch to Maclin again. Lawler squashes Shane Matthews. He keeps beating on him when Maclin pulls him off of Shane. Maclin-Lawler have a big pull-apart brawl. After the brawl, Brian C asks Lawler to join him as a tag team partner to “take over” the show and help him get rid of the Sexy Assassins. Brian says does not need Hart as a manager. Brian C says that Hart sounds like a girl. This was good and funny.
----Brandon Groom with Ms Summer. Clip of eight man tag airs. Shock comes out and jumps him.
----Mabel interview. Mable beats El Pancho.
----Bill Dundee interview. He talks about getting well. They air a clip of Bill Dundee with Porkchop Cash vs Jimmy Valiant with Wayne Ferris from January, 1978. Dundee wins by DQ when Ferris hits Dundee.
----Jimmy Hart/Shock came out followed by Koko Ware/Tracy Smothers. $1,000 Battle Royal with Lawler & Brian C throwing out Derrick King. Brian C splits the money with Lawler. Lawler and Brian C argue at the end and Lawler says he will make a decision next week to be with Brian or Jimmy.
----Corey ends the show telling everyone that there will not be a show at Mid-South Coliseum. He also talks about bringing in a partner. That would be all the Terry Funk stuff and I look forward to watching that.
----This show originally aired 6.26.04…They had a few thing censored and it was probably dates for the Mid-South Coliseum show…Steele took a bump in the battle royal over the top rope hitting the cameraman.
----If you would like to read the complete Memphis Wrestling TV report from 6.26.04, then CLICK HERE.
Zane over Sgt. Shakedown
Greg Anthony and Brandon Espinosa fought to a No Contest
Rockin' Randy over Arnez by DQ to earn another tag title match next week with a partner of his choosing
Flash Flanagan & TGB over Dell Tucker & Brandon Espinosa
50-60 in the crowd with gate around $250…Jeff O'Dell had suspended both Idol Bane and Derrick King for their actions last week. Flash tried to interfere in the Anthony/Espinosa match but Dell Tucker made the save before Flash and TGB could do any damage. Flash then challenged them for the tag team main event…Randy tossed a chain to Arnez while the ref's back was turned and laid down, when the ref turned around with Randy down and Arnez with chain, DQ'd Arnez…In the Main Event,Flash and TGB weren't working very well together at first but soon got their rhythm with the help of Jeff O'Dell. TGB pinned Espinosa after hitting him with the LAW Championship. Next week will feature The Return of DK, Idol Bane and Rockin' Randy & a partner of his choosing vs Arnez for the LAW Tag Team Titles.
Jan 21rst 2008 Cheap Heat Radio w/Jamie Dundee
Kid-J defeated Devon Raynes (Lt. Heavyweight Champion) in a non-title match.
J-Kid over Chris Chaos by DQ due to interference by Curly Moe & Dirty Rell Mo.
Lil Devil defeated Dirty Sanchez with help from Vinnie the Blade.
"Dangerous" David Cox defeated Neil "the Real Deal" Taylor w/Tony Watts.
Izzy Rotten defeated LSD.
The Southern Saints (Josh Matthews & Chris Styles) defeated The Freakshow (Chop Top the Clown & Vinnie the Blade). After the match Izzy Rotten, Studd, Tony Dabbs, Chop, & Vinnie beat down The Southern Saints and General Manager Joey Lynn, who refereed the match. Joey had announced earlier that this was to be his last time to referee in TFW.
Charlie Brown defeated Curly Moe by DQ.
Max Steele, Fusion, Cassanova Kid, & Chazz defeated The Pink Panty Posse (Brian & Ryan SoFine & Andy2Dandy) & "Prime Time" Nick Grimes."
----120 in the crowd with a gate of around $600…This Friday night's TFW card will include a cage match between Max Steele & Nick Grymes for the TFW Championship, currently held by Grymes. The ladder match between The Southern Saints & Parental Advisory is also on the card. It will be a great show, so don't miss it…Also, Buff Bagwell will return to TFW on 4/11/08.
Credit: Randall Lewis
The King's Sportatorium, which will be home to RWA, is a great venue for wrestling. It will seat approx. 450 people, and it is a very nice building.
The opening match was Cameron Cage w/Rott'n Randy vs. Mercury McCloud. The match was won by Cameron Cage, with help from Rott'n Randy. This was a good, solid opener. I had not seen McCloud in a couple of years, and had not seen Cage work before. Both individuals did a good job.
After the opening match, Jerry Lawler was introduced, but it was not Lawler who came through the curtain, it was Hollywood Jimmy Blaylock dressed as Lawler (crown and all), accompanied by Reno Diamond and Tony "The Weasel" Watts. Blaylock bad mouthed Lawler. Blaylock said that he is the real king of wrestling, not Lawler, and that The King's Sportatorium is named in honor of Hollywood Jimmy Blaylock. Lawler came out of the back and cleared the ring. He gave a history lesson on the history of wrestling in Jonesboro, and told Reno Diamond that he was going to teach him a lesson later on.
Next was Treat Connection (Loose Cannon & San Francisco Treat) w/Rott'n Randy vs. Deadly Dale & Jamie Jay. Dale had to start by himself, as Jamie Jay had not yet arrived at the arena, so the first five minutes or so was a handicap match. About five minutes into the match, Jay did arrive and hit the ring to even things up. The match was won by Treat Connection when Treat pinned Jamie Jay. Treat's feet were on the rope but the referee did not see it.
Next was a ladies match, Jazz vs. Passion. This was a very good match that ended in a double count out.
Ali Stevens defeated Chazz Wesson w/Hollywood Jimmy Blaylockby DQ. Blaylock threw the cane to Wesson while the referee was distracted, but Wesson got caught with it, resulting in the win by DQ for Stevens.
Rodney Mac defeated Jonesboro's own Gary Diamond. Rodney Mac always does a good job, and I was impressed with young Gary Diamond.
Former WWE star Heidenreich defeated Medieval. I have not seen Heidenreich work since he and WWE had a parting of the ways. He has improved a lot. He is a big, big man and was impressive. I had never seen Medieval before, and was very impressed. This guy has a great gimmick and did a good job as well. After the match Heidenreich continued the assault on Medieval. Brian Christopher out to make the save, which set up the next match.
Brian Christopher vs. Heidenreich was a wild match... no, it was more of a brawl, which was eventually won by Brian Christopher. Good match. Heidenreich got a tremendous amount of heat from the crowd.
The main event was Jerry "The King" Lawler vs. Reno Diamond. Reno was accompanied to the ring by Hollywood Jimmy Blaylock and Tony "The Weasel" Watts. Now, when I first heard about this match, I had my doubts about it. Now, I am not taking anything away from Jerry Lawler or Reno Diamond. Both are great wrestlers. I just considered it to be an unlikely match-up with Lawler's size advantage, and the two completely different wrestling styles of these two men. BOY WAS I IN ERROR FOR HAVING DOUBTS! These two guys put on a tremendous match! You could not have asked for a better match. Lawler was eventual winner by DQ due to interference by Blaylock. Lawler then gave Reno Diamond a lesson, and made Blaylock pay for his interference. Blaylock took several major bumps at the hands of Lawler after the match.
This was a very good show. If RWA keeps going in this direction, they will be very successful. I congratulate everyone at RWA on a successful debut. Keep up the good work. To those nay sayers who said Jonesboro would not turn out, you were wrong. They turned out, and they a good time.
Credit: Randall Lewis
BT NOTE: 200 in the building it would be a gate close to $2,000... I am happy to see a good turnout for their debut show. I am one of the “nay sayers” I guess and it will be interesting to see if they can draw on a weekly basis. I hope the best for the promotion. I was told by one of the workers that they were happy with the building and the crew seems to want it to work…The crew was also given waivers to sign to not release any results due to them taping local access TV. In this day, that is totally ridiculous, especially when you got a site like this trying to give them all the free publicity I can give them…I laughed when I read that Blaylock was taking bumps. I really don’t remember ever seeing Jimmy taking a lot of bumps, but I was reminded by a worker – “yes, he takes bumps…but mainly BT-type bumps.” LOL
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Jerkin The Curtain radio w/The Goddess Athena & Booty Call Monday January 21st at 10 PM Central time
Devon Raynes contacted me to tell his side of the story in regards to what Izzy Rotten (referred to here by his shoot name 'Gary) discussed during his recent interview concerning their negotiating what he wanted to be paid to come work shows in Booneville on Cheap Heat Radio. I asked Devon to type it so I could post it here so everyone could read what he had to say----
"I feel that there needs to be a little explanation for the whole money situation with JWS on my part. I called Gary asking about working and I priced him a bill. Now let's back up for a minute about a year ago. I know I'm not worth it but when I left JWS I was booking and my wife was supposed to be garaunteed a set amount. When we brought in another woman for her to work she would get paid the same amount (which never happened just like an explanation never happened). Sammy McGee would either not pay her or pay her half or I would have to get her po from him and he wouldn't be happy about it regaurdless of what the crowd was like. If it was a low night I would understand but that is where he needed to man up and talk to either her or I cuz she was feeling very very very unappreciated by him and the company. He wouldn't talk to her or me about her money so I didn't figure I had to talk to him about his....You know one good yank deserves another. I was training a kid who paid off and Sammy got his cut and I mine and that left $50. I gave that to my wife cuz she was at least owed that. Sammy pitched a fit to everyone but me. There were a couple of more that were training a he/she/family/wife was running off at the mouth about not paying off and said he paid x amount which was a crock. he paid about half of x amount. Sammy knew where that money was going to the stuff bought for the lord of the ring match. I go to the building for training and there is a pad lock on the outside of the door. I called and left Sammy a voicemail and have to hear anything from him. I found out through the grape vine it was about the money so I'm collecting for my wife. As far as Chris Chaos he knows he hasn't been in the business long enough and not paid his dues. This was about a little collecting on my part never about a greendick getting over on the vets. He know's he's not worth $10 yet. I don't ask for more in Tupelo cuz my wife works in Tupelo and I'm already there on Friday nights. I have to drive all the way to Buttvegas from Aberdeen which is about an hour and a half. It would be different if I were having to be in Tupelo. He said something about selling gimmicks which I understand all that crap but the point is when we finished our conversation on the phone I said if you could just gaurantee us $10 each that would be fine and if we made our garauntee on gimmicks then don't worry about it. So Gary needs to tell the whole story or not tell it at all and not drag someone's name through the mud just because he thinks it would earn him some props (which he's good at). Do I hate Gary. No. I just wish his ego would come back down to earth and pull his gator sized head out of his hummingbird butt. And if anyone's got a problem with that so be it for the only thing I have told is the truth and filled in the gaps that Gary ever so quietly left out." -Devon Raynes
So there you have Devon's side of the story. Izzy Rotten will be returning for Part 2 of his interview in February and I'm sure he'll have a response to it. I have no dog in this fight as I like both guys and hope it doesn't turn into an ugly dispute (any more than it has already).
Anyway, make sure to tune in tomorrow at 10am for Cheap Heat Radio w/ guest Jamie Dundee, then next Monday my guest will be "Nightmare" Ken Wayne.
To check out past C.H.R. shows go to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cheapheat
----Trent’s radio show “Jerkin The Curtain” will also become our second official “radio” show of the week. “Cheap Heat Radio” with Gene Jackson has been a real success and I think him and Trent will put on two different types of shows. Finally, Trent is officially a contributor to the site now and he will post his thoughts & plugging his radio shows.
----The YEARBOOK IS DONE!!! Please order your advance copy today!! Below is the schedule of the book so far. I will add more dates and sites to the “Book Tour 2008”.
--1.21.08 – Book is uploaded to publishers.
--1.31.08 – Author copies should arrive.
--2.01.08 – First copy of advance orders should be shipped to RRO
--2.08.08 – All advance copies should be shipped by this date.
--2.08.08 – “Book Tour 2008” LAW Rector, AR
--2.09.08 – “Book Tour 2008” Dyersburg, TN 3:00 PM [location announced later]
--2.09.08 – “Book Tour 2008” TLCW Ripley, TN
----If you are a worker on those shows announced, please shoot me an e-mail if you are planning to buy a copy that night. I will need to get a grip on how many copies to stock for each show.
RassleResults: C-Pro Entertainment, Walhalla H.S., Walhalla, SC 1.19.08 - Alan Steele Works Masters!!
----275 in the crowd. The attendance was boosted by a child gets in free with a paying adult, so there was some papering….Masters did two Masterlock challenges one with a local H.S. coach and one with a local radio DJ. Masters worked babyface…Smothers, billed as the European Champion, worked heel with a lot of cheap heat. The crowd did eat it up, including a USA! USA! chant when he said he wasn't really an American…Group is getting TV in Greenville, SC on WMYA, Ch. 40 on March 1. This card was taped for television. The group is a partnership between Mo (Booby Horne), who is moving to the area, and Dan Holman...This group originally had Mark Justice, Kilo and Jimmy Tidwell on the the show. Not sure what happened there??
Credit: Dan Lark
Photo by KC
Dre’ Black def. Iron Jake Johnson
Danny B. Goode def. The Outlaw
TIWFTV Title Match
Ravishing Randy pinned Danny B. Goode to retain the title after X-3 /Wildside jumped Danny B.
X-3 Def. The High Rollers
TIWF Title Match
Lawman Williams © def. Hardknocks Hooligan by Double Countout
----I can not confirm this, but I have been told by various sources that this group had a major blow up over the week. I did have a chance to talk to PK Ripper yesterday and he stated that he does not work for them anymore. He also said he took his “mic, cam, pa, flags, cpu” and is free to take booking somewhere else. This guy has a lot of potential…I was also told by another source that WayCool, OverKill, Chico Merndoza and J-Smooth also all quit. The next Jackson, TN show – next weekend – will be $1 and will be the LAST Jackson show. The following week they will start running weekly shows in Trenton, TN and monthly shows in Brownsville, TN.
New York Gangster b Tank by DQ when ref Nick White spots Tank with a chain (Tank is a USWO Wrestling Academy trainee, and should not be confused with any of the other Tanks in the area)
Kevin Dunn (w/Lisa Fayzon) b Lee Cross
Nazi Terror b Steve O
Tommy Capone & New York Gangster b Damien Payne & Chris Norte when Capone pinned Norte
Mad Man Pondo & Tony Falk b Mark Anthony & Charming Charles when Falk pinned Charles
Main was quite fun and crowd really enjoyed it. Falk wore one of Pondo's juggalo shirts. Charles brought a guitar to ringside, which Pondo eventually stole. Pondo gave the guitar to Falk, who hit Anthony with it, then hit Charles with Pondo's stop sign and pinned him. Pondo said he was Tony Falk's biggest fan and teaming with him was a dream of his.
----80 with a gate close to $800..
Credit: Jimmie Daniel