Tales from the Eastside Directory -NWA Wildside TV report for 7/31/02.

-Disheartening news involving the 8/24 ROH show in Boston: Spanky vs. American Dragon 2/3 falls has been dropped from the card, since Spanky is working ZERO-ONE in August. Spanky has been replaced with Donovan Morgan, and while Morgan/Dragon could be a good match, it won't be as good as Spanky/Dragon would've been. Also, Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe has been added, and you probably know my feelings on that. I'd personally book that as a time limit draw and have Mark give Jay respect after the match, keeping the Briscoes together and strong as contenders in the upcoming tag title tournament. James Maritato & Tony Mamaluke vs Natural Born Sinners added as well, and that could go either way, depending on the FBI's hard work and how much Homicide feels like trying.

-Wildside intro.

-Close up of an American flag- he's Dan Wilson, he's Steven Prazak. We're finally post-Freedom Fight '02, praise Allah. Prazak shills the FF '02 video, then Wilson goes over the events of last week: Rainman beats David Young thanks to the help of Homicide (who, you'll remember, is suspended indefinitely for attacking Bill Behrens). Tonight, we're promised a 'tasty slice' of Freedom Fight, starting with Jeremy V vs. Slim J.

-Slim J (no entrance) vs. Jeremy V (no entrance). J tries a pearl harbor attack to start, but V sees him coming and lays in the knife-edge chops. Corner whip, J blocks an attempted avalanche but gets hit with a high backdrop. J gets thrown to a corner and V hits an avalanche. Whip, V armdrags J and holds on to an armbar. J gets to his feet and throws forearms to break the armbar. Irish whip and J gets a Mexican armdrag, holding on to that into an armbar. V gets to his feet, J throws him to the ropes, V ducks a lariat and drops down as J comes the other way, then catches J as he comes back with a crossbody into a cover- that gets a two count. J whipped to the corner but he manages to springboard to the top rope, then fly off with the 3'6 Mafia Kick onto V! Snapmare by J, dropkick to the back of the head and he covers for two. Right hand by J, whip, V reverses but gets caught by a tilt-a-whirl headscissor from J. Cover by J and another two count. Pair of right hands, whip by J and he hits V with a dropkick. Wilson: 'Somebody gotsta know the location of Slim J's hos!'. Imagine Dan Wilson, who is about as white as Conan O'Brien, saying that. You'll laugh. Another cover, another two count by J. Scoop slam by J and he does the 'Smack My Bitch Up' pose. Going for a standing moonsault legdrop (!), but V rolls out of the way and nails J with a dropkick to the face! V comes off the ropes with a legdrop, then he covers, getting a two count.

Irish whip, J reverses, V tries to hook a backslide but J counters, looks to be attempting a Gorry Special but J counters that and gets a double underhook- Butterfly suplex hold! J keeps his shoulders from staying pinned to the mat and flips onto V for two, V flips J's shoulders back over from there for two, J flips V back the other way for two but V bridges up. J pulls V right from the bridge into an atomic drop for two. Whew. Nice sequence there. J kindly asks referee Speedy Nelson to look the other way so he can split V's legs and stomp him in the groin. Prazak: 'Sadly, it's not too hard to get old Speedy distracted'. J with a legdrop, right into a cover for two. Measured right and two more right hands from J. Whip and J goes for the Heel Telegraphed Backdrop, which is obviously countered- in this case, V takes J over with a sunset flip for two. J quickly goes back on offense with a gutshot, then comes off the ropes with a corkscrew neckbreaker that gets two. V dragged into position and J stomps him, then goes to the mount- I counted seven right hands in all.

Another right hand from J and he whips V into the ropes, V reverses, J holds onto the ropes and backdrops V outside. V is able to land on the apron and he goes to climb the turnbuckle, but J catches him and punches him off. V takes J to the opposite buckle and tries right hands, but J gets an armwringer and he turns V into a short lariat. V falls to the floor and J follows him out. Pair of right hands by J, V comes back with five rights of his own but gets backdropped on the ramp. J going back in the ring, climbing the turnbuckles- oh my god, DIVING HEADBUTT BY SLIM J TO JEREMY V ON THE RAMPWAY! That was insane. J flew at least ten feet. The production team cleverly sneaks in a shill for the FF '02 video right after J did the sucidal headbutt. Both men down- Security checks J to make sure he's okay. V and J slowly make it to their feet, right hand by V, J responds with one of his own and he rolls V back into the ring. V surprises J with a victory roll, but he only gets two. J quickly makes it to his feet and he levels V with a nasty high kick! J goes for a jumping enzugiri, but V ducks. V then KILLS J with a double-underhook Michinoku Driver II! V hooks a leg, one, two, NO! The crowd is thoroughly shocked. J drags V into position and climbs up top- moonsault! Cover, one, two, J again somehow kicks out! V gets J up for a Crucifix Powerbomb (that's apparently his move), but J drops out and gets V on his shoulders, then drills him with a sick cradle powerbomb! J covers, one, two, three (12:18)!

Very good match. You all must think I'm Slim J's boyfriend or something with the way I hype him, but he really deserves it. He was again the star of the show here, with his usual rudo tactics and crisp moves. Jeremy V has been wrestling for a little while, but this is the first time he's really impressed me. He can take some sick bumps and he's improved quite a bit since his debut.

-Video package for the WarGames gauntlet cage match. This is seriously one of the best video packages I've ever seen, ECW-ish in a good way. The closing visual? Adam Jacobs, on his knees, arm raised, with the NWA Wildside Heavyweight title draped over his shoulder.

-Back to Steven Prazak and Dan Wilson. Discussion shifts to the 'landmark match' between Mark Briscoe and Jay Briscoe. After over twenty minutes, Jay was able to beat his brother following two J-Drillers. The Briscoe Brothers get a standing ovation, but Todd Sexton and Tony Stradlin run in to ruin the moment and attack the Briscoes. We find out that TNT were bitter (what a surprise) about the Briscoes getting so much attention. "They were trained by Van Hammer and we were trained by Shawn Michaels!" Later, it was TNT vs. the Lost Boys for the Wildside Tag Team titles. In another twenty-plus minute match, TNT ended up having the match thrown out due to abusing the referees. They went to break the Lost Boys' necks with stereo stuff piledrivers onto chairs, but the Briscoes ran out for the save. It's been signed for a future TV taping: TNT vs. the Briscoe Brothers (which has already happened). Meanwhile, it's time for another tasty slice of Freedom Fight '02- Caprice Coleman vs. Cru Jones for the Wildside TV title, right now!

-Caprice Coleman (with Sweet Dreams) vs. Cru Jones (with Destiny) for the Wildside Television title. I believe this is Jones' first defense, but I'll have to check on that. It's announced that due to the match stipulation, Destiny has to be handcuffed to Dreams; Slim J's probation officer does the honour of binding them together. Prazak is worried that if Slim J's probation officer is out here, then Slim J is roaming society unsupervised...

Jones psychs himself up by running in place and blowing his whistle, and he draws a "One Bad Homo" chant. Jones jaws with the fans, so Coleman takes the opportunity to slap him in the back. Jones reminds a fan via pantomime that he did indeed once get five touchdowns in one game. Now Jones is getting up in Coleman's face and talking trash; Coleman is offended by Jones' foul breath and he offers him a stick of gum. Jones doesn't appreciate the offer and he punches away. Whip, Coleman reverses, Jones shoulderblocks Coleman down. Whip, Coleman drops down then leapfrogs Jones as he comes back the other way. Armdrag by Coleman, then a Japanese armdrag. Dropkick and Jones bails from the ring. Jones gets dragged back into the ring over the top rope in a headlock. Right hand and Coleman whips Jones into the ropes but telegraphs the backdrop, so Jones hits a Vertical suplex on Coleman.

Jones whips Coleman into the corner and goes for an avalanche, but Coleman moves. Coleman starts up a shuffle and throws eight right hands. Jones tries to backdrop Coleman over the ropes, but Coleman holds on to the ropes and lifts himself back up, then headscissors Jones out of the ring! Coleman lifts himself using the ropes again and goes back into the ring, now up to the top floor- high plancha to the outside onto Jones! Coleman tries to whip Jones into the post, Jones reverses, Coleman manages to avoid hitting the post and he springboards onto the apron. Coleman going for a baseball slide dropkick, but Jones sidesteps and Coleman hits the floor at full speed. Jones slams Coleman's head to the apron and rolls him in, then hits a slingshot elbowdrop. Coleman gets hung up on the second rope and Jones nails him with a crotchkick. Jones makes the international 'screw you' gesture to Sweet Dreams. Coleman is slumped down in the corner and Jones hits him with a nip-up headbutt to the groin.

Jones with a whip and he goes for a tilt-a-whirl slam, Coleman reverses out to an inverted facelock, Jones reverses to one of his own and hits an inverted DDT. Rather lax cover by Jones gets two. Another whip and Jones tries a press slam, but Coleman counters in mid-air to a 'rana! Right to a pin and Coleman gets a two count. Coleman trying a whip, Jones reverses the other way and hits an inverted atomic drop. Jones with an odd taunt, smacking his own ass. Whip, Jones drops down and catches Coleman as he comes the other way with a lariat. Elbowdrop into a lazy pin by Coleman- two count. I bet the always unpredictable Cru Jones busts out the legdrop/lazy cover next! Sure enough, Jones hits a legdrop into another lazy cover and it gets two as well.

Whip attempted by Jones but Coleman reverses into an armwringer, then hits his flippy-flippy Axe Kick. Tumbling senton by Coleman, then he hits a quebrada. Cover by Coleman gets two. Whip, reverse, Jones tries for a Northern Lights suplex but Coleman blocks using clubbing forearms. Jones goes behind and grabs a waistlock, then he throws Coleman with a German suplex! Sweet Dreams and Destiny have wandered into the ring but they're not interfering with the action (yet). Jones hits a Michinoku Driver II, cover, two count. Jones charging at Dreams and Dreams backdrops him, and Coleman flies off the top rope with a legdrop. Cover and Jones gets the shoulder up in time. Destiny throws some brass knuckles to Jones, and Jones hits Coleman with the Power of the Punch. Leg hooked, one, two, Coleman kicks out! Must be the blowoff if we're kicking out of foreign object shots. Jones with a whip and he tries a lariat, but Coleman ducks and hits a neckbreaker. Jones and Coleman are down, and now Destiny and Sweet Dreams are ascending the ropes- Destiny hits a legdrop onto Coleman while Dreams hits one on Jones! Looks like they were both supposed to hit Jones but the move was blown. These shananigans lead Prazak to proclaim wrestling as 'weird'. Referee Speedy Nelson puts on a count, Jones makes it to his feet and goes to pull Coleman up by the hair, but he's caught with an Ace Crusher! That's the Thermal Shock even without the press slam, apparently. Inside cradle by Coleman, one, two, three (9:26). We have a new TV champion, and not a moment too soon. Coleman isn't an incredible worker or anything, but he's a far better choice to hold the belt than Cru Jones.

Nothing horrible here, but nothing that good either. Jones' generic heel offense really gets on my nerves; I could call the entire 'lazy cover' sequence even before he did it. There were some good sequences here, but the goofiness with Dreams and Destiny dragged things down.

-The awesome WarGames promo airs again.

-Just when I thought they'd stop airing these things, we get a sleazy phone sex ad! That's the downside of airing at 1:00 am I guess. Anyway, this one advertises 'wild local babes'; from my experiences with women in Delaware, they are neither hot or wild. That's it, you lying bastards, you're not getting my sixty nine cents!

-Wow, there have been a LOT of commercials here. About seven minutes worth, to be exact.

-Finally, we're back to the show for one more visit with Steven Prazak and Dan Wilson. Prazak claims WarGames was the icing on the cake at FF '02. Wilson hits the highlights for us: David Young gets the first pinfall ever on Iceberg, with an avalanche-style Spinebuster; Rainman gets in the ring with fellow NWA Elite member Adam Jacobs. Jeff G. Bailey tells Jacobs to lay down for Rainman, but Jacobs turns on the Elite and pins Rainman with an inside cradle. The final match saw Jacobs take on AJ Styles (wearing his NWA:TNA X title belt to the ring). Jacobs ended up winning, although we're not told how (another incentive to buy the tape, I guess). Prazak tells us 'It doesn't end there...'

-Post War Games: Adam Jacobs is in the cage with his newly won title belt, and 'The Way I Am' by Eminem starts playing. Out walks John Phoenix, who was Jacobs' old partner in Suicidal Tendencies. Phoenix raises Jacobs' arm, then leads some applause. High five between the old partners, and Jacobs climbs the turnbuckle...only to get slammed off by Phoenix! Vicious lariat by Phoenix and a stompdown. 'Cut that damn music!' Jeff G. Bailey is out to join us. Bailey claims that he made Jacobs, saying he was the 'runt of the litter' and the NWA Elite carried him. Phoenix flies off the top rope with a legdrop onto Jacobs. Bailey tells everyone in the crowd that Phoenix is the man that trained Jason Cross, and that he's going to destroy Jacobs. Phoenix with the mic: 'Jeff G. Bailey always an ace up his sleeve, and you better bet your ass that JOHN PHOENIX is the ace that will make all the difference! (...) Now I watched Jason Cross quit like the (bitch) he is- the (bitch) I've always known him to be!' Phoenix says that Jacobs is no better than Cross because of the way he quit the NWA Elite. 'So to hell with Jason Cross, to hell with Suicidal Tendencies, and to hell with you, Adam Jacobs!' Phoenix with more stomping (Bailey in the background: 'You're nothin, Adam Jacobs!') Phoenix says he's here to bring respect to the Jeff G. Bailey and the NWA Elite, but he's not able to finish that thought as AJ Styles is back out. Styles throws Bailey into the cage. Phoenix tries to whip Styles into the ropes, but Styles catches him with a high backdrop. Phoenix bails as Styles goes to help Jacobs up, and that's the visual we're ending this week's show on.

-During the legal notice we get a graphic: Next week, David Young vs. Iceberg in a rematch from WarGames.

-Thin show this week, but the Slim J/Jeremy V match was good enough to carry things. Also a smart choice of footage to show with the Jacobs/Phoenix/Bailey/Styles angle at the end of the show. Coleman/Jones wasn't good but it's Cru Jones so you have to keep your expectations low. Next week we start seeing stuff from the post-Freedom Fight '02 tapings, which by all accounts were excellent.

While I was looking for my tape of the Toryumon 7/01 PPV so I could review that, I stumbled upon a bunch of MPro tapes from 96 and 97. This is one of my favourite eras in wrestling history, so I'm definitely reviewing this stuff. I'm starting with a review of the 1996 Tag League finals TV show, then 'These Days' and the TV shows leading up to it. Expect those in the coming weeks.

My CZW TV report may be a little late, around Monday or Tuesday of next week, so see you then.