Last weekend was the latest NXT Takeover event, NXT Takeover: Chicago, and I have a few thoughts on the event. As with my review of the Orlando event, I’ll be giving the Highs and Lows of each match. (more…)

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So, with some of my reviews, I’ve been adapting them to videos on my YouTube channel. This won’t be one of them, for a large part because wrestling videos tend to get Content ID strikes, and I don’t want to get any more of those.

Anyway, NXT, the WWE’s developmental promotion, has been doing a series of major events in conjunction with the WWE’s big Pay-Per-Views of the year – the Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summerslam, and occasionally Survivor Series. In conjunction with this year’s Wrestlemania in Orlando, we got a NXT supercard to go with it. Spoilers below. (more…)

So, storyline wise, I wonder what’s going on with Miz and Bray Wyatt? The two times he’s come out to interfere was to protect The Miz, plus taking on Ambrose at Miz’ behest. Wyatt didn’t come for the save against Balor again, though, and when Miz went down in the ring to beat down Ambrose some more, he seemed very wary of Bray, attempting to actively give him a wide berth.

It doesn’t feel like they’re planning to have Miz join the Wyatt family. Considering Bray’s promo he cut before Payback and after the Shakeup, had him talking about his plan for Raw, having Bray be Miz’s enforcer would be an unfortunate step down from that. Also, considering how Miz is making a big thing in his promos about the style of an Intercontinental Champion, having Miz go with the grungy swamp Cthulhu cultist as his gun-for-hire seems like a poor fit (which, admittedly, is nothing new for the WWE).

Other than that, I like the feud they’re building with Sheamus and Cesaro vs. the Hardys, and the promo with Golden Truth (which I read about from Scott Keith as it was cut from the Hulu Replay), hopefully will lead to another storyline with the Tag Division outside of the title hunt.

I recently picked up the role-playing game Wild World of Wrestling by Timeout Diversions from DriveThruRPG. The game is from the same people who brought us the underrated RPG WWE: Know Your Role, which I also own and like. As I’m reading through the game, I’m also working on setting up my own little promotion. This is partly with original wrestlers and in a large part with adaptations of real-world wrestlers. But, first, I’d like to do a little world-building and set-up the in-game organization. (more…)

Shawn Michels: From The Vault cover art
Get "Shawn Michaels: From the Vault" from Amazon.com

Now, once again I have another wrestling DVD review this week, though this one takes a different tack from my other reviews, because I’m not doing a match-by-match recap this time. Why? Well, the review will explain.

The Premise:

The DVDs recap some of Shawn Michaels’ wrestling career, from his tag career, to the beginnings of his solo run, to his return to the WWE. (more…)

Alright, we’re on to the next Ring of Honor show after Unscripted. This is Glory By Honor I, held on October 5th, 2002 at the Murphy Recreation Center. As a reminder of who the champions are, all the belts are held by The Prophecy, with Christopher Daniels & Donovan Morgan winning the ROH World Tag Team titles in that tournament, and Xavier beating Low Ki for the ROH World Title. Our hosts are Jeff Gorman and Chris Levi, with Steve Corino having left the announce booth as part of his (concluding) feud with Rudy Boy Gonzalez. (more…)

Get The Worlds Greatest Wrestling Managers from Amazon.com
Get "The World's Greatest Wrestling Managers" from Amazon.com

So, I’m trying to watch some more wrestling stuff, and I’ve gotten a few wrestling DVDs in, which I’ll be reviewing over the next couple weeks. First up is more of a documentary focused DVD, based around various managers in the WWE’s history… as if you couldn’t tell in the title.

The Premise: Hosted by Todd Grisham, we take a walk back memory lane and discuss some of the greatest managers in the WWE’s history, and what made them great, as heels, or as faces. We have interviews with the managers in question, as well as with various WWE Superstars talking about those particular managers, and what makes a good manager in general. The individual mangers who get profiled include Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Captain Lou Albano, Paul Bearer, Jim Cornette, Paul Heyman, Sunny, “Classy” Freddie Blassie, “The Sensational” Sherrie Martel, and “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart, The Grand Wizard Of Wrestling, and The Lovely Miss Elizabeth, as well as a general profile of female managers/valets in wrestling (with particular mention given to Debra, Chyna, Trish Stratus and Rena Mero). (more…)

Get The Best of IWA Wrestling Vol. 2 from Amazon.com
Get The Best of IWA Wrestling Vol. 2 from Amazon.com

Well, after  much delay, I’ve decided to continue with my wrestling recaps and reviews. This won’t be as in depth as my Wrestlemania reviews, and won’t be done as regularly. Nonetheless, I’m gonna give this a try. First up is The Best of IWA Wrestling Vol. 2. As a slight note, this promotion is not the IWA promotion that’s currently active in Puerto Rico and Japan, nor IWA Mid-South. This is a separate promotion that was active in the Ohio area from the 1970s to some undetermined point.

Dates for the matches are not provided, though they’re all from TV tapings. Our commentary team is Lee Marshall and Diamond Dallas Page (from some point in his career between going from managing to actively wrestling).

Match 1: “Hitman” Tommy Stetson vs. “Lil’ Cricket” David Isley.

This is from the first round of the tournament to determine the first IWA Junior Heavyweight Champion. We get some chained standing switches before Stetson reaches the ropes. Isley locks Stetson in a rest hold (a standing headlock), which he chains into a hip toss to ground Stetson. Stetson gets out and tries to build momentum and gets an arm-drag and then a headlock for his trouble. Isley cradles for 2. Stetson and Isley get in the corner and exchange blows before Isley takes the worst of a turnbuckle splash. Rather, it was meant to be a turnbuckle splash but Isley started to come out of the corner before he got hit. Not sure if that’s deliberate or mis-communication. (more…)

Click to get American Dream - The Dusty Rhodes Story from Amazon.com
Click to get American Dream - The Dusty Rhodes Story from Amazon.com

So, World Wrestling Entertainment, which is currently the largest wrestling promotion on earth, also holds the largest match library on earth, the matches from many of the major promotions in what is known as “the territorial era.” To cash in on this they have put out the DVD “The American Dream – The Dusty Rhodes Story”, following the career the one of WCW’s major stars from their early days (and the second they’ve put out a DVD collection about) – “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.

The Premise: Basically, the DVD follows his career from childhood all the way to his last feud in with his son Dustin against Ric Flair and Jeff Jarrett, with a documentary film, as well as lots of matches and promos covering length of his career. (more…)

In the past few days I’ve been trying to unclutter my room. I have various e-books for Role Playing Games printed out single-sided and bound in, three-ring binders and taking up space. So, to try to free up some space, I’ve been getting those books printed double-sided and bound through Kinko’s – but they need PDF documents. So, I’ve taken just about all the articles from the RPG.net Wiki for WWE Know Your Role – match types, maneuvers, and wrestler stats, and using OpenOffice I worked some Desktop Publishing Fu (Table of Contents, adding pictures, etc.) and whipped up a PDF, giving us the Great RPG.net WWE: Know Your Role Netbook!

I am making the netbook available under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike licence version 3.0. This means you can feel free to share it, make changes to it (add content to it, correct content, etc.) but give credit where credit is due for your changes. Make sure the RPG.net wiki remains credited. Other than that, have fun, that’s what gaming is for.

Download the Netbook

Oh, and if you don’t have WWE: Know Your Role, Comic Images (the publisher) has stopped printing the book. However, there are some people selling the game used at Amazon.com and on eBay. Feel free to check your Friendly Local Game Store as well to see if they have a copy.

 

ECW: One Night Stand

Where & When: The Hammerstein Ballroom – New York City, June 16th, 2005.

Commentary: Joey Styles & Mick Foley

We start the show off with the introductions of Mick & Joey. Joey in particular looks rather choked up on his way out to the ring, though he does the cocky-heel foot wipe and kick on his way in the ring – though I can imagine he’s really pumped up. Say, Faith No More Guy is there! Big Joey Chant and a pop for “Oh My God!” Foley comes out to his WWE Cactus Jack music. My god, Joey comes up to Mick’s shoulder. I never realized how tall Foley really is. Either that or Joey’s really short.

(more…)

My apologies for the delay between posts. My computer’s been down for a few weeks, but now it’s back up so now it’s time for a right proper recap, and I’ve got several events lined up – ya see, The G1 Climax tournament happened in NJPW earlier this month, and I’ve got a fair chunk of it (about 5 out of 7 days), so I’ll be recapping that, starting with Day 3, 8/13/2008 (I haven’t gotten all of Day 2, the 11th yet, and I’m missing Day 1, the 9th entirely).

Quick run-down: the G1 Climax is a round-robin tournament, divided into 2 blocks. The winner of each block faces the other in a 1-fall match. Whoever wins that match wins the tournament.
(more…)

Rob Van Dam: One Of A Kind

Host: Josh Matthews.

Disk 1

We get a brief recap of RVD’s run in WCW. He’d already been wrestling in Florida for a year as Rob Van Dam before WCW hired him. At the time Bill Watts was the head booker, and didn’t like the “Rob Van Dam” name and wanted to use something different. As RVD had already gotten some mention in the wrestling press (I’m presuming Wrestling Observer and in Dave Metzler’s magazine) under the Rob Van Dam name he wanted to use something similar ultimately settling on the name Robbie V. Rob was apparently undefeated and didn’t particularly have any programs with anybody.

(more…)

Date: March 20th, 1994
Location: Madison Square Garden
Commentary: Vince McMahon, Jerry “The King” Lawler.

Background notes: Lex Luger and Bret Hart became co-#1 contenders for the WWF Championship after they became the simultaneous final eliminations of the Rumble. Commissioner Jack Tunney ruled that both men would get a singles shot at then champion Yokozuna, with a coin toss deciding who got a shot first (Lex won). Further Bret had also been feuding with his brother, Owen, after a collision between Bret and Owen caused Owen to be eliminated at the Survivor Series the previous year. Other notable feuds were between Bam Bam Bigelow and (sigh) Doink the Clown, Randy Savage and Crush, and a feud between “HBK” Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon over who was the proper WWF Intercontinental Champion.

(more…)

Wrestlemania VIII

Date: April 5, 1992
Location: The Hoosier Dome – Indianapolis, Indiana.
Our hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby The Brain Heenan.

A little background: “HBK” Shawn Michaels has finally, and dramatically, split off from The Rockers by super-kicking Marty Janetty through a plate-glass window during Brutus Beefcake’s talk-show segment, “The Barber Shop”. Also, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair jumped ship from WCW to the WWF, with the Big Gold Belt, and won the WWF Championship, ultimately leading to Randy Savage coming out of enforced retirement to try and win the belt back – well, that and the nekkid pictures of Miss Elizabeth that Flair said he had.

Champions:

  • WWF Heavyweight Champion: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair

  • WWF Intercontinental Champion: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.

  • WWF Tag Team Champions: Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Shyster w/ Jimmy Hart)

(more…)

A little background coming in:

At the Four-Way Iron Man match for the Ring of Honor title (I still need to get that event, by the way), Low Ki came out with the win, and became the Ring of Honor World Champion. Coming into Unscripted I believe he’s gotten a few title defenses under his belt, before facing Xavier (who made it into the quarter-finals at Road To The Title before getting beat by Red).

However, the start of the show is going to be a tournament to crown the first ROH Tag Team Champions – and unlike Road To The Title, we’re actually going to crown the champions at this show!

On the one hand, it’s another tournament show, and as I’ve said before, Tournaments tend to be meh, just because of the nature of the format.

However, since this is a Tag Team tournament, the tag team part may work in the tournament’s favor. I’ll be keeping an eye on this as I watch the event. (more…)

Wrestlemania VII

The Time: March 24th, 1991
The Place: The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
The Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, to be joined by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, a couple of guest commentators.
The Champions:

  • WWF Heavyweight Champion: Sgt. Slaughter (heel)
  • WWF Tag Team Champions: The Hart Foundation (Bret “Hitman” Hart & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) (faces)
  • WWF Intercontinetal Champion: “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig (heel)
  • WWF Womens Championship: Inactive

Being that Wrestlemania is stateside again, we start off the show with a performance of “America The Beautiful,” this time by Willie Nelson. Jesse Ventura split ties for the WWF between the last Wrestlemania and this one, leading to Monsoon going with a series of Guest Commentators over the evening – sort of, we do get one color guy for most of the show, but we have a few guests pop in, like our first match of the evening – with “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan on commentary.

(more…)

Wrestlemania V

I’m doing a few different things with this Wrestlemania recap. By this time Wrestlemania had become a big deal, as had Wrestlemania Debuts, so from here on I’ll be keeping track of Wrestlemania Debuts. A few people of note who debuted at Wrestlemanias prior to this: Bret Hart and “Macho Man” Randy Savage at Wrestlemania II, Ted DiBiase & The Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania IV.

Prior to Wrestlemania V, the gold had gotten between the Mega Powers, with the two men’s egos both backstage and on screen colliding, leading to a heel turn by Savage. Furthermore, the Intercontinental Title, once held by Honky Tonk Man in his legendary title reign, was lost to the Ultimate Warrior in about 45 seconds, completely burying HTM. Finally, the Hart Foundation turned face, and turned on their former manager, Jimmy Hart. Furthermore, Ted DiBiase, after continually failing to win or buy the WWF Heavyweight Championship, decided to introduce his own belt instead – the diamond-encrusted Million Dollar Championship. Also, Demolition turned face when Mr. Fuji turned on them, instead siding with the tag team of the Powers of Pain (The Barbarian and The Warlord).

Now, we come to April 2, 1989, and Wrestlemania V, again returning to Trump Plaza at Atlantic City. Leading us in, singing “America The Beautiful” is WWF Women’s Champion, Rockin’ Robin. While she works her way through the song the song, let’s think for a moment. Rockin’ Robin is the WWF Women’s Champion. She’s not defending the belt. She is, however, singing “America The Beautiful” which has previously been sung by Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin.

Our hosts this evening are once again Jesse “The Body” Ventura on color commentary and Gorilla Monsoon doing Play-by-play announcing, as we go to our opening match. (more…)

After Wrestlemania III, Andre stayed heel, but changed his loyalties from the camp of Bobby “The Brain” Heenan to the corporation of wrestler and manager “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase. Meanwhile, Randy Savage turned face and gained as a close friend and ally Hulk Hogan, forming the Mega Powers. Additionally, Ricky Steamboat lost the IC title to Honky Tonk Man, and the Hart Foundation lost the belts to Strike Force (made up of Tito Santana and Rick Martel).

Now, prior to Wrestlemania IV, in a stunning upset, Andre beat Hogan, winning the WWF Heavyweight title, ending Hogan’s 3+ year reign. In an even bigger swerve for the time, Andre turned around and sold the title to Ted Dibiase. However, coming to the rescue was Jack Tunney, WWF Commissioner, who declared the title change invalid and vacated the title. The new WWF champion would be determined at a Wrestlemania IV in a tournament.

I’ve already given my thoughts on tournaments, with my ROH “Road to the Title” review, and I’ve already mentioned there that they tend to suck, by the nature of the setup – since the wrestlers have to hold back to avoid burning out. That said, “Road to the Title” only got ***. Wrestlemania III, which had Steamboat vs. Savage, only got *** because of the crappy undercard. Yeah. This is going to suck – and I’m all out of booze.

So, kick back and relax, because there’s schadenfreude ahead. (more…)

Wrestlemania III

As of Wrestlemania III, our champions coming in were

  • WWF World Champion: Hulk Hogan – still champion without any breaks in his reign.
  • WWF Intercontinental Champion: “Macho Man” Randy Savage – Randy (which I failed to note in my Wrestlemania II review) won the belt through shenangans involving then-referee Danny Davis.
  • WWF Tag Team Champions: The Hart Foundation (Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart & Bret “Hitman” Hart) – managed by “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart. The Hart Foundation won the belts from the British Bulldogs through shenanigans involving ref Danny Davis. The two aforementioned incidents lead to Danny being suspended as a referee for “Life + 10 years” (kayfabe) with Danny becoming a heel wrestler, managed by Jimmy Hart.
  • WWF Woman’s Champion: Fabulous Moolah.

Also, the feuds of note, coming in.

  • Hercules and Billy Jack Hayes got in a feud over the Full Nelson, with the dispute being over which wrestler was better than the other at performing the hold.
  • Harley Race won the first King of the Ring tournament, started calling himself “King Harley Race” and started demanding that wrestlers bow to him. Junkyard Dog refused, this lead to a Loser Must Bow match between the 2.
  • After taking a leave of absence for a movie, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper found that Piper’s Pit had been replaced by Adrian Adonis’s “Flower Shop” Segment. Piper trashed the set, restarted the pit, and became embroiled in a feud with Adonis and his manager, Jimmy Hart.
  • Last, but certainly not least – in a surprising shock, Andre The Giant turned heel, aligning himself with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and with Andre attacking Hogan, ripping off his shirt and crucifix necklace.

Anyway, this year the event is being held at the Pontiac Silverdome, and, if I recall correctly, introduced the chariot thingies that would be used to carry wrestlers to the ring, rather then having to walk the long distance from the entrance area to the ring. Vince McMahon is in the ring, wearing his Mandelbrot Set tuxedo again, to introduce us to Wrestlemania 3 and introduce Aretha Franklin, who perform’s “America The Beautiful.” (more…)

Wrestlemania II
Part 1: New York

Much slicker opening video package this time, and we go first to Vince McMahon in the ring at the Nassau County Colosseum, in a subtle yet gaudy (if that’s possible) tux, and he introduces his co-color commentator, Susan Saint James. Oh God, this (Mrs. Saint James’ commentary) can’t end well. We then go to Ray Charles singing America The Beautiful.

Then, we go to Chicago and “Mean” Gene Oakerlund at the Rosemont Horizon arena, who introduces our next interview, back in New York, with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper (with “Cowboy” Bob Orton) prepping for his boxing match with Mr. T. Piper promises that if Mr. T knocks him out he will retire from boxing, wrestling, twiddly-winks, and dating girls. Being that this is Piper we’re talking about, he’d probably get himself DQ’d before he let himself get KO’d. Finally, we go back to the ring for our first match. (more…)

Previously On Ring Of Honor…

At Round Robin Showndow: Low-Ki, American Dragon and Christopher Daniels, throughout the night, had their round-robin tournament. Daniels made Dragon tap, but tapped to Low-Ki, who in turn tapped to Dragon, leading Daniels to cut a promo saying that this settled nothing, and refused to wrestle unless the ROH Title is on the line (which is rather tricky since at the moment there wasn’t an ROH title). Additionally, Da Hit Squad squashed Prince Nana and “Towel Boy” Eric Tuttle, with the Christopher Street Connection running in for “the save” ultimately leading to a beat-down on Simply Luscious… again. Spanky gets a win over Jay Briscoe and the difficulties between Divine Storm (Chris Divine & Quiet Storm), The SAT (Joel & Jose Maximo) and Amazing Red and Brian XL after the Ultimate Elimination match at the last show lead to a 3-way tag between the 3 this time (in what is apparently another mindless spot-fest. ).

At A Night of Appreciation (for Eddie Guerrero): We learned the guy that HC Loc was talking to on the phone was fellow ECW Alum Tony DaVito. Da Hit Squad squashes the CSC again (with Luscious getting beat-down again). Jay Briscoe finally gets a win over ECW alum Tony Mamaluke. James Maritato debuts and beats Scoot Andrews and Xavier. AJ Styles debuts and gets beat by Low Ki. Loc and DaVito debut as the carnage crew and squash a couple of jobbers. Paul London makes his debut during the Texas Wrestling Acadamy gauntlet match between American Dragon, Spanky, Michael Shane, Paul London, and John Hope – which Spanky wins. For the main event, Eddie and Amazing Red beat the SAT – and after the match we get a quick Squash between Eddie and Brian XL (who Eddie nicknames Little Bow Wow), after Brian disrespects Eddie.

This leads us to ROH: Road To The Title – a tournament to determine who has a shot at being ROH Heavyweight Champion at the following event. (more…)