Sunday, April 30, 2017

WWE Payback 2017

The pre-pre show hypes up that respect could be BROKEN tonight in the tag title match. King is in a ridiculous green and gold shirt. Enzo and Cass are out for their match with The Club. Thank God we got a nice, long recap video of this fucking feud of all things. Nothing happens, break, post-break armbar! Rocket kick sends Enzo to the floor. Cass hits a boot during the Magic Killer, giving Enzo a win via a cradle. Matt talks to Jeff about framing their victory before Truth and Goldust come in to chat. Well, that really made the Hardys seem like goofs. Sheamus and Cesaro chat in the lunge. Maryse is quite hot thankfully. "BALOR CLUB SAYS NOPE" really does make Balor seem like a goober. Miz asks Finn what he's gonna do and Finn says he'll win his title. Balor kicks Miz's ass and the panel's mics are turned down.

Solid hype video starts things off... and then it's ruined by Papa Roach. Jericho comes out to a huge pop and a Y2J chant while they talk about it being Canada vs. Canada for the US Title. The giant Kevin Owens face on the ramp is hilarious. KO stalls, but gets jumped. Booker T is once again doing a great job of pointing out how old everyone is and how you should be amazed if they can do anything. Booker says that Jericho put Canada on the map. KO tosses Jericho into the barricade for a cannonball that gets an 8 count.

Long chinlocks give KO an edge. Nice chops hit for each guy. Lionsault is met with knees and the cannonball gets 2.5 Walls are on, but KO gets to the ropes with one finger. Jericho goes to break it with a staircase kick. "HE MAY HAVE JUST CRIPPLED THE NEW FINGER OF AMERICA!" Corey is great. THE WALLS ARE ON AND JERICHO WINS! Wow, that's a surprise. I guess KO wins it on Tuesday. I love Jericho signing a fan's list.
Aries comes out for the cruiserweight title match. Not much going on until AA gets crotched. Neville hits a kneedrop and locks on a chinlock. Aries hits a suicide dive. Aries goes for a 450, but it's avoided again and he slaps him down and gets the chancery. Neville grabs the ref and tosses him, so Aries wins by DQ. Booker calls Aries "the kid"...who is nearly 40. European badasses come down to face the broken-down, but not BROKEN Hardys. Matt got his green and gold pants from the same place King got his ridiculous shirt.

A Brother Nero chant breaks out before a DELETE and OBSOLETE chant breaks out. Poetry in Motion to Cesaro gets 2. Jeff takes a nasty bump to the floor and then actually loses a tooth taking a hard shot. Outstanding shot of Sheamus's flying knee - focusing on his crotch and then only showing the knee at the end. GIGANTIC legdrop gets 2. Whisper in the Wind hits the challengers. Swing to Matt leads to Corey saying that he'll be in another universe. SUPER WHITE NOISE GETS 2. Swanton to Sheamus wins. Cesaro and Sheamus raise their hands again before kicking their asses. Matt's eye is busted up and Jeff lost a tooth tonight. Yikes.

Braun says SCARY WORDS. YAY! ALEXA'S TINY NXT SHORTS ARE BACK. BLISSAWA forearm! Lots of chinlocks by Bliss. Sunset bomb gets 2 for Bliss. The double knee backflip misses, leading to a running knee. Mach elbow gets 2.5. Bliss goes for another sunset bomb, but Bayley is sent into the post and the snap DDT wins it! Alexa's the first woman to win both the SD and Raw titles - wow. History made in 9 months!


House of Horrors match is up. LOL @ Orton rolling up to a street fight in a limo. This is a mini-movie that happens to be a wrestling match. THE HOUSE IS HORRORS IS BLUE. Bray jumps Randy in the HAUNTED LIVING ROOM. Bray disappears into a SPOOKY ROOM with antlers. They fight in the kitchen and Randy sadly doesn't attack with a rolling pin. Bray avoids a frying pan shot with a ball shot. He tries to tip a fridge over on Randy, does so - but it misses, and he sells it anyway. Bray howls and leaves. Bray's magic turns all the blue Hue lights red. Bray leaves in the limo and sings that he's got the whole world in his hands. "Randy Orton just had a fridge dropped on him!" THIS SENTENCE IS A CRUCIAL PLOT OF EVERYTHING.

Seth vs. Joe hype video. LOL @ Seth bringing back one of Orton's old poses to get the fans on his side. Joe and Seth start off with hard chops. They trade suicide dives. Joe works on the knee while they talk about how amazing it is he can still wrestle. If Seth's knee is so banged up, he probably shouldn't have a finish that involves a knee strike. Slingblade hits for 2. Seth gets a blockbuster "almost out of instinct!" for 2. Seth can't do the buckle bomb, but can still do a falcon arrow. Frog splash gets 2. Seth kicks Joe, but the Clutch is on-ish. Seth cradles him for 2. Another cradle gets the win. Well, this got no one over.

Bray returns and walks past a toolbox. NEIL'S WORKBOX was the best part of Bray returning. Bray lumbers out. Boy does that white wifebeater really make Bray look fat. Bray turns around and Orton attacks. They brawl around ringside before Orton hits a draping DDT on the floor. "Orton somehow survived having an appliance fall on him!"  Corey is the best commentator around. THE SINGH BROTHERS ATTACK ORTON!  Powerslam to one, RKO TO BRAY, BUT JINDER JUMPS ORTON WITH THE BELT! Abigail ends it. Holy Jesus was all of this delightfully horrible. So now that Bray has beaten WWE World Champion Randy Orton, Orton is prepared to NOT FACE HIM AGAIN and Bray is prepared to win the IC Title from Dean Ambrose.

Long recap of the Braun-Roman feud. Roman comes out all taped up. Astonished that Roman isn't in a full bodycast to try and get sympathy. Roman jumps him, which is okay because "he realizes he has to strike first" LOL at Braun picking up Roman and plopping him on his ass on the apron. Chokeslam to an announce table by Braun. Corner avalanche by Braun! Braun vs. Hogan in his prime would've been amazing. He's being treated like the agile giant Big Show should've been. "WE TALK ALL THE TIME ABOUT HOW TOUGH ROMAN REIGNS IS!"

Roman gets the drive by and avoids a powerslam into a post, sending Braun into it. Spear hits for 2. Spear is met with a boot, but the backbreaker cutter is met with TWO SUPERMAN PUNCHES. HEAD AND ARM CHOKE IS ON! POWERSLAM HITS FOR 2.5. Braun hoists his limp body up and another powerslam ends it. YES!

Cole exposits about their feud when Braun grabs the steps. A THANK YOU STROWMAN! chant breaks out. Braun tosses Roman onto the steps. Steps to the gut lead to a roar and big pop for Braun. Roman coughs up good stage blood before shoving Finlay. "Where are the EMTs at!?" Seemingly, chanting THANK YOU STROWMAN! Roman is doomed. "You can see the damage coming out of Reigns!" Can't say blood? And then it ends. Wow.

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Mid-South Wrestling 12-12-81

When I became a fan of wrestling in '93, MSW was one of the first companies I saw via tape. I went to a toy store called Toy Liquidators and they had a bunch of VHS tapes with drawings of big '80s WWF guys on them, and a ton of Memphis and Mid-South contained on them. I was exposed to Jerry Lawler for the first time thanks to this, along with JYD and got the King Kong Bundy and I think JYD tapes for the series. In hindsight, I wish I had the entire set because the video quality was pretty good and they're probably not easy to find in great shape now.  The Network finally has a ton of MSW in succession, so let's go with 12-21-81 to start things off.

We start off with the usual intro with '80s video filters all over everything. Boyd Pierce is with Ernie Ladd in an astonishing outfit. He hypes up "the little midget girls" and "The Polish Prince" Ed Wiksoski. I don't recall seeing early DeBeers, so this could be fun. Or very plodding. Ladd's brown leather jacket and gigantic yellow-collared shirt are something else. THE MONK starts the show off against Brian Blair as "Bryan Blair". Takedown by Monk leads to an escape by Blair. Ladd talks about Blair trying to make a name for himself. Blair locks on a headscissor while Ladd talks about how he can beat anyone, including Andre - and he beat him before. I love the heel cheating and Ladd talking about how smart he is. Blair gets 2 off a legdrop. A sloppy dropkick gets 2. An abdominal stretch cradle ends it.

I love the finish is replayed before they hype up the next match's graphic. It takes no more air time, but gets finishers over. Tom Renesto Jr. faces King Cobra. Ladd puts over how tenacious King Cobra is. Cobra hits a backdrop and an armdrag. Cobra locks on an armbar and Tom yells "NO!" that he won't quick, so the fans chant yes. IT'S THE ORIGINAL YES MOVEMENT. A pair of shoulderblocks lead to two awful dropkicks. ANOTHER BACKDROP hits and gets 2. The coco butt wins, because of course it did. Jim Garvin faces Ed Wiskowski next. That's a pretty neat little match.

Ed's gear has two stars on the front and back instead of three. Ed dominates with power. Garvin works him down and drops a knee to the arm and back. Ladd says that Ed played football, and I'm shocked he didn't say he won 55 Super Bowls. He deathlocks the arm and bridges back. Garvin gets a Kimura, but Ed lifts him up and slams him into the buckle with a tree of woe. Boyd puts over Ernie Ladd's many accomplishments. Garvin gets a sleeper, but gets sent outside. A slam is turned into a cradle by Garvin for 2. Garvin gets hit with a snake eyes on the ropes and a sloppy gutbuster ends it. Solid match overall - fine David vs. Goliath tale.The slow motion of the finish shows Garvin break his fall with his hands slowly. Oh well.

JYD is shown facing Terry Orndorff from last week. Paul gives Terry something and a brawl breaks out. Terry loads up the mask and JYD is knocked out. Bob Orton Jr. and Terry Orndorff try a switcheroo, despite BEING IN DIFFERENT COLOR TRUNKS and Terry being pale as a sheet. Somehow, JYD is DQed despite five thousand people coming in. Well, that was really stupid. JYD is in shape here, which is amazing.

Ladd somehow equates the JYD loss to a Lions-Cowboys game. Jerry Novak and Aaron Holt face JYD and Mike George.  JYD's replacement theme is solid, and they show a woman smoking in the crowd next to kids. Novak and George start off. JYD and George hit a sloppy double tackle and a Thump ends it. Iron Sheik is next against Buddy Ryan. "Sheik" is of course, mis-spelled because it's MSW. Ryan is a bearded ginger guy and eats a bunch of kicks and stomps. Sheik wins with a nasty German suplex spiking him on his head.
Diamond Lil teams with Rick Ferrera to face Barbie Doll and Tony Charles. Ferrera has giant man boobs and looks terrified to be on-camera. Lil chops Barbie to start. Lil gets taken down for a series of toeholds, resulting in laughing from the crowd. The guys come in and Charles goes for a lot of mat work, but eats a Boston Crab. Barbie is tagged in, so it's back to more comedy. Barbie wins with a bad backdrop and a vertical splash that misses by a mile.


Ted DiBiase vs. Paul Orndorff is next, and that is actually on one of the tapes I own if it's the same match. Orndorff has a hairy chest, but still looks about the same as ever. Yup, this is the match. Ladd makes it so much better with commentary, calling them the Cadillac and the Lincoln. This is technically outstanding, with a quick cradle getting 2 for Paul. Orndorff lands some slick forearms shots. Ted drops down on a sunset flip for 2. Ladd hypes up the figure four counter that Orndorff hypes up, which I loved years ago and love today. Orndorff hits some sick back elbows in the corner that look great now.

Ted recovers and lands a kneelift. A powerslam sets up the figure four. Ted locks it on and grabs Paul's foot to lock it in tighter, but Paul turns over. This goes on for a while and then time expires. This put over the figure four and the counter especially, which I'm sure led to bigger arena matches and more TV matches. Great show overall.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

NXT 4-26-17

Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot start the show off with a big brawl. Security comes out here to separate them in any way they can without actually touching them. An Itami-Roode recap leads to Roode denying a title shot to him - he'll have to earn a shot. Almas comes out and we get a hype video for the NXT book. Drew comes out to face Almas, who dominates a bit to start. A shot to the steps and then a backbreaker/Nightmare on Helms Street gets 1. Almas slaps him and eats a big double sledge. MID-RING CHOPFEST! Drew hits a Scott Steiner-esque mid-air powerslam. Claymore kick ends it! Fun match.
Regal says that Ruby will face Nikki Cross tonight. An incredible Roderick Strong video airs showing more about him than he's ever told before on TV. Roddy says that folks think he had a perfect life, but he didn't. He says his mom had a drug issue, his dad had booze. He shows the trailer where he'd babysit himself - and watch out a window with a BB gun to protect himself. One day, his mom shot his dad and collapsed his lung.
He says that he thought a random guy shot his dad - so to learn it was his mom was shocking. His mom still has the trailer, and it's got Roddy's NXT debut on it in a photo. She is shown at NXT shows and Roddy says that wrestling was the first thing he loved. He had a ring in his backyard and Jim Neidhart trained both his dad and him. We get backyard footage of Roddy, which is a bit surprising on an actual WWE show. He says he knew he was good at it since he was 13. His description of the performance center was "I...can't put a price on it!".
Next week has part of this and they could just air this verbatim on Raw and make him a star. Kona Reeves comes out to be massacred by Aleister Black. A series of kicks and then a Black Mask ends it. This is a solid formula. Ruby is interviewed by a new interview human and says she doesn't conform. Almas leaves to party with an SUV full of hot women.
Nikki jumps Ruby on the ramp. They brawl all over the building and get separated again. So that's it, and then Regal tells Asuka that a battle royal will be held to determine her next challenger. Jack Gallagher comes down to face Tyler Bate for the UK Title. Tyler's game show theme is somethiing else. Jack does a variety of wacky arm locks and gets 2. A monkey flip leads to a neat double bridge.
Slow motion avalanche German by Bate gets 2. Jim Breaks Special by Gallagher! Tyler goes for a dive, but eats a headbutt. Mid-ring, Jack hits another one and it's clear that he's got absolutely perfect timing on the thigh slap - so maybe they should go for a tighter shot. This gets 2.5 for Gallagher. A rolling heel kick leads to the Tyler Driver '97 and the win. Tom hypes up the WWE UK weekly show coming soon.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

WWE SD 4-25-17

Renee is mid-ring to introduce Nakamura. He does his intro, Dolph comes out and is a dick for seemingly ever before cheapshotting him and going for a superkick. This gets turned into an inverted powerslam and that sends him packing. AJ beats Corbin with a sunset flip, which means nothing after a KO and Sami brawl. Charlotte is a bitch to an interviewer and it's beat the clock time for a tag title shot. God, TWO WEEKS INTO THIS SHAKEUP and they have no ideas. The Colons face AA. AA wins in 5:17 with the Grand Ampitude.

 The Viper beats the Vinter in a match that is far too long and wins with the RKO. Jinder and the Singh brothers attack Orton and Jinder hits a cobra clutch slam to lay him out. Breezango beats The Ascension in 2:30 or so to BECOME THE TOP CONTENDERS. A MONTH AGO, THEY WERE JOBBING TO NIKKI BELLA. Naomi faces Charlotte in the main event, but Nattie, Tamina, and Carmella come in for a DQ. God, this show feels like such a pile of nothing.

Friday, April 21, 2017

WWE NXT 4-19-17

Roode comes out with his giant nXt Title that now looks like a good, classy version of the X Title instead of a weird giant X with a film strip. Roode brags about filling the Amway Center for Takeover and talks about how everyone gave Nakamura a sendoff except him. After several eons, which is horrible for an hour-long show, Itami comes down and hits a GTS. Well, if you're going to shoot him to the top after doing NOTHING with him for two years, this is the way to do it.

Tyler chats and will defend against Jack Gallagher next week. Almas is cocky to Drew "earlier today". Almas beats Danny Birch with the hammerlock DDT. Liv and Aaliyah beat the meat girls with a sunset flip. EY and Tye have their big blowoff. EY gets color, which is a bit surprising and hits a giant flying elbow off the top of the cage. THIS ONLY GETS 2 ON FUCKING NXT WITH TYE ON THE MAIN ROSTER. Sanity closes the door on Tye before Ohno and Roddy and Ruby make a save. Sanity comes in the cage, giving Tye a chance to leave. So yet another WWE cage match where the cage really wound up meaning nothing - so why do it? 

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

WWE SD 4-18-17

A memoriam graphic airs for Rosey. Charlotte comes out and wants an SD Women's Title shot, so Naomi comes down and Shane says no, you don't get the shot - you have to beat Naomi. Naomi complains. Carmella and Tamina come in to complain. Jinder wins the number 1 contender's match and he now has flunkies who help him beat Sami. Jinder says America doesn't want diversity, but they'll have to accept him as THE NEXT WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION! Orton says words to him, and then Bray says more words.

A Nakamura hype video airs and then AJ talks to Baron, who he'll face later. Charlotte beats Naomi by kicking her when she goes for SHE CALLS IT THE REAR VIEW and hits the Natural Selection. Shining Stars outsmart American Alpha to win. Wow have they fallen. A Tye hype video airs and he says he's the Perfect 10. KO and his new great Face of America tron are out. He's doing commentary for AJ vs. Baron, and AJ gets tossed into him to set up their post-Payback feud. AJ hits the forearm off the apron and sends Baron into the crowd to win.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

WWF Raw 3-24-97 - Post WM 13 Raw

This is the newest Wayback Playback, and it's a great era of the WWF - so why not? The flaming ring intro is still great. I forgot the Raw is War intro was in use in '97. Headbangers come out, followed by Owen and Bulldog trying to steal the show from each other just walking down the aisle. Solid back and forth action leads to an LOD inset promo. Owen and Davey bicker and Owen leaves, but comes back by the time the break ends. Owen hits a slick gutwrench and a sharpshooter, resulting in Owen eating a lariat. Running powerslam hits, but Owen doesn't want the win - so Davey pushes Earl. Davey and Owen brawl - setting up the Hart Foundation reunion nicely. Davey talks about beating Owen to become European champion before Owen says he'll kick his butt.

Mankind is in the back with patches of hair missing. He calls out for Uncle Paul and is intense, but scared. Bart Gunn is mid-ring, but Bret chats first. He talks on the tron and says he wants a chance to this... Vince looks disgusted, and HHH comes down to Beethovan and NOT Metallica. Chyna is pre-some of her surgeries and looks bored. Still photos recap Marlena being beaten up by Chyna.  Barts hits a press slam, but misses a really sloppy flying elbow. Goldust stares at Marlena's chair in sadness. Eye rake by HHH and Pat and Jim chat about how HHH's forehead is so much bigger now. Chyna posts Bart, slams him, and the Pedigree ends it.

El Mosco, Hysteria, and Abismo Negro are out for a six man tag. Venum, Super Nova, and Discovery. The costuming here is ridiculous, but usually pretty good-looking. Abismo is the only guy I recognize here, and Hysteria is Super Crazy. Venum hits a nice pop-up headscissors before FLIPPING TO THE FLOOR AND LANDING ON HIS FEET. Wow. Super Nova hits a rana off the top to win.

Rock and Rocky do an interview and Pat and Jim talk about their strained relationship. Honky Tonk Man is out looking for his protege. It's amazing how completely out of touch HTM seems in '97. Flash Funk comes down and he's of course a black pimp. The Funkettes or whatever they are are quite hot. Brawler jumps him. Wow. Funk gets a moonsault and Brawler...kinda gets the knees up. Major League was hyped up - and wow has Charlie Sheen aged. I guess he's just lucky to be alive really. 450 hits and wins. Vince hypes up Ken Shamrock being here later. Ken shows up and looks hilarious. He. Talks. Very. Oddly. Ken talks about how "I quit" wasn't said, but Austin couldn't defend himself - so he ended it.

THE WAR ZONE is here and this was all a way for them to bullshit the ratings. Bret is bitter - but not too bitter here. Bret apologizes for what he did to all of his fans...except the ones in the US. Bret calls out HBK for having earrings and tattoos and posing for girly and gay magazines. Crowd chants for Austin. Bret lays out the FACTS to talk about how he's been ripped off and how lawless things are. Shawn comes out in a tan suit walking around fine with fine, flowing hair. Shawn talks about how when he is booed, he didn't complain. HAHAHAHA. HBK says that if a girl goes out with someone you don't like - TOUGH TITTY SAID THE KITTY. Wow is that lame. HBK implies that Bret is gay for looking at his Playgirl, so Bret locks in the ringpost figure four. Sid comes down slowly and Bret leaves. Sid says that Bret ain't shit - which gets muted.

Vince speaks in somber tones about this. We get a recap of the beating. Rocky comes down to mild applause. Leif runs into the apron for some reason. Bret comes down, because we really can't have any wrestling on a wrestling show. Bret does commentary and HBK is taken out of the building with 20 pounds of bandages on his knee. Rock hits the floatover DDT and wins with a crossbody block. Bret jumps Rocky and attack the knee - getting a thumbs up from Leif. This sets up Rock vs. Bret, which is probably coming up pretty soon.

Ahmed Johnson is out and then the NOD comes down. Savio runs in, jumps him and dominates for a bit. Ahmed crotches Savio and then hits a shoulder tackle. Well, that's needlessly dangerous - so of course he did that. Ahmed hits a somersault dive off the top! And then he misses a corkscrew elbow. Savio hits a thrust kick and then DOES A KWANG POSE. Okay, that was great. Savio takes him down with a sleeper. Ahmed does a Warrior jog comeback. Ahmed hits the spinebuster, but Savio is saved from the Plunge. We get a shot of Ahmed's back cross tattoo, and his tights are in super-wedgie mode.

Ahmed challenges them to a match where if he loses, he'll join and if he beats them, they'll disband. Ahmed does the Hogan ear cup and is carrying a 2x4 like Duggan. Paul Bearer is backstage and frantic. Taker carries the belt and the fans are holding lighters up for him - proto Bray Wyatt there. Taker looks good with the Winged Eagle. Paul comes down, Mankind calls for him and then things just end. Well, no overrun. Yeah, that was awkward. This is seemingly the setup to Kane being around.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

NXT 4-12-17

It's been a long time since I've checked out a regular NXT show - but Takeover's hiring of Drew definitely makes me more interested again. A new edgy intro shows off the modern-day roster, and the new theme is pretty lackluster compared to the last one. Aleister Black rises and Hollis just jumps around like a goof. Black kicks his head off and that's it. Now that's how you get a guy over. Tye clips from SD air and Tye says he has unfinished business in NXT - he'll face EY next week in a cage.

Drew McIntyre vs. Oney Lorcan is hyped up. DIY faces a monster named Dylan Miley and Michael Blaze, who looks like a Hot Topic pro wrestler. Miley comes off like a total monster here and hits a nice delayed suplex. Blaze eats a corner knee before they meet in the middle to KO him. Fun stuff. Miley beats up Blaze afterwards with a deadlift chokeslam and a backbreaker rotating powerslam.

Asuka-Ember Moon recap leads to Ember chatting for a bit. Ruby Riot comes down to face Kimberly Frankele. Ruby hits her double knee face driver in the buckle before a wind-up Pele kick ends it. Pretty weak finisher - makes the Eat Defeat seem devastating. The evil girls insult Liv and Aaliyah in the performance center. Peyton gets thrown into a tub and this renders her completely unable to move except to flail around. Okay then. Orney comes down to face Drew, who has his old tron, but a new bagpipe theme that works pretty well for him.

Percy talks about Drew being a tag and IC Champion in WWE before Nigel hypes him up as one of the best in the world. These two beat the piss out of each other and Drew hits an inverted Alabama slam. Orney is busted up big-time and the Claymore hits and ends it with a flip. Nakamura comes out and says goodbye before getting a standing ovation from the roster - this did feel like a perfect reboot show of sorts, and was a lot of fun.

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