|Tales from the Eastside Directory||
NWA Wildside TV (Episode #187)
Tales From the Eastside by Patrick McGovern
-Well, it's been a long few months but I'm back to Wildside recapping. For the two of you that care of why I went on hiatus, here's the short version: Between Stuart closing down Wrestling Viewpoint in January, my attempts (thus far failed) to get my 'Eastside Wrestling' site up and running and my life becoming increasingly busy, it was just too much of a hassle to do TV recaps for Wildside. I do have TV recaps from July to early November archived on a disk and am sending them to Brandon for archiving on the site as you read this, but sadly the rest of the November and December recaps are lost forever, along with all of my ROH TV recaps. I tried Googling them up, but while that worked once it hasn't been working recently. If anyone, for any reason, can help with getting these recaps I will be REALLY grateful and will send you a tape of your choice from my collection for free. As for the months (from the last week of December through April) of Wildside TV that I missed, I'm planning on doing a big article where I do capsule reviews of all the Wildside TV I've missed. I'd want it to be up next week, but knowing about how good I am about getting things in on time, it'll probably be up by mid-July...anyway, on with the recap!
-Wildside intro (episode #187). Tony Mamaluke's been completely removed, hmm.
-Steven Prazak, as usual, has some uncomplimentary words for our friends up in Stamford..."Tired of your Monday and Thursday endurance tests with the out of touch Wrestling Federation? We don't blame ya." Dan Wilson goes over what a revolutionary show Hardcore Hell was, then Prazak tells us what's on tap for tonight: Project MayHam (hi, Thomas) will take on the Lost Boys for the #1 contendership to the Wildside Tag Team titles, Wilson has a sitdown interview with Jeremy V and Rainman defends his World Television title against Jimmy Rave!
-Matt Thompson vs. Masada. Thompson is a tall (about 6'8"), lanky student from the TWA; ROH fans will remember him as Tony Mamaluke's partner from Scramble Madness. JIP, Thompson ducking a clothesline and hitting one of his own. Back elbow by Thompson and he tries a whip, Masada reverses but Thompson does the armwringer reversal and lands a sidekick, then covers for a two count. Thompson going for another whip, but this time it's Masada with the armwringer reversal and he spikes Thompson with a jumping Death Valley Driver! Tony Schiavone just said "that's his move!" and sure enough, it gets the pin (5:28- 0:35 aired). Masada's too good of a talent to be working in clipped-to-death-for-TV filler matches like this, as he's easily the best out of the current TWA crop and has gotten fairly over with the crowd.
-Altar Boy Luke vs. Salvatore Rinauro for the Wildside Junior Heavyweight championship (Second Defense). Luke is one of the few good things to come out of that which is the ass of life, XPW, and he's worked Wildside once in the past as enhancement talent in a match with Murder One. Oh, and I should warn you, in my absence from reviewing Wildside I've turned into a licensed Salcaholic. JIP, Luke covering for a two count on the champ. Irish whip by Luke is reversed by Rinauro, but Luke comes back with a nice running (!) overhead suplex. Luke to the top floor now, and he lands a big flying legdrop on Rinauro. Cover by Luke and again he gets two. Luke goes to the apron for the Halo (stands on the second rope on the outside, crosses himself and Moonsaults in onto the victim) but Rinauro gets to his feet and shoves the challenger off the apron and into the guardrail! Rinauro jumps off the apron with an axehandle onto Luke, then he runs the holy one into the guardrail back-first. "That's why I'm the champ!" You tell 'em, Sal. Rinauro rolls Luke in and pins him with one foot for a two count. Stomp by Rinauro and he comes off the ropes with a powerdrive elbow. Y'know, Sal invented that move and Keji Mutoh, the dirty thief, stole it from him. Rinauro covers with one hand and again Luke kicks out at two. Blatant choke by Rinauro, then he lifts Luke to his feet in an inverted facelock and takes him over with a nice reverse suplex! Standing splash by Rinauro finds the mark and he covers, but Luke makes another kickout. Stomps by Rinauro and he pulls Luke to his feet for some jabs. Gutshot by Rinauro and a whip, planting Luke with a flapjack on the way back. Rinauro makes a marginally less arrogant cover than before and Luke is still able to kick out at two.
Another gutshot and whip by Rinauro, this time he wants a backdrop but he telegraphs it so Luke tries going over with a sunset flip, but Rinauro counters that with an uppercut to the ribs and he comes off the opposite ropes with a legdrop. Rinauro leans into a cover, not wanting to exert himself (if you hook the leg, you're a mark) and Luke gets the shoulder up. Yet another gutshot by Rinauro (noticing something yet?) is followed by a dropkick to the ribs, then a field goal kick to the ribs follows that. Rinauro heads up top, looking for the flying elbow- and he sticks it, landing right on Luke's ribcage! Rinauro with the cover and Luke makes a late kickout. Rinauro, who was voted "smartest wrestler alive" in ROY Magazine two years in a row, applies an abdominal stretch to Luke and peppers him with punches to the ribs while stretching him. Luke doesn't give, and in fact he starts fighting back with a trio of punches to Sal's face to force a break. Luke quickly off the ropes and trying for a single-leg cradle, but Rinauro drops a knee into Luke's gut to put an end to that. Luke holds his ribs and Rinauro has some sympathy pains, which might be mistaken for mockery by more ignorant fans. Rinauro with another leaning cover, one, two, Luke flips it over and gets a two count of his own! Rinauro is unphased and he gets right back on Luke, planting him ribs-first with a gourdbuster- rolling through for a second- and holding on again, flipping Luke onto his shoulders and dropping him with a Moonlight Bomb (fireman's carry into a faceplant, Ivory did it once or twice)! Rinauro makes the cover, one, two, shoulder up by Luke again. Luke is pulled to his feet and Rinauro measures him for a gutshot and does another whip, but Luke ducks behind and takes Rinauro over with a lightning-quick back suplex! Both men are down, and they're back to their feet by ref Speedy Nelson's five count. Rinauro trying for a gutshot, but Luke finally has it scouted and catches it before clocking Rinauro right in the mush with a straight jab. Cover by Luke, hooking the leg (...mark...) and getting himself a two count. Whip by Luke and he tries a clothesline, Rinauro ducks and comes back the other way with a 'rana but Luke holds on and drives Rinauro down with a Spiral Bomb! Right into a cover by Luke, one, two, Rinauro kicks out. Forearm by Luke and he places Rinauro up top, but we'll never know what he was going for as Rinauro nails some forearms to the face before leaping off the top with a super gourdbuster! Rinauro covers, one, two, NO! Luke *maybe* kicked out at the last second but that was probably a three count; Rinauro justifiably takes issue with Nelson there. Rinauro now tying Luke up in the ropes, he puts him under the second rope from the apron and then bends his ribs around the top rope by putting him in a standing Dragon Sleeper! Luke is, yet again, having the hurt put on his ribs- but he's fighting back! Crossface forearms by Luke force a break from Rinauro, then Luke hotshots Rinauro to put him down. Luke stands on the second rope, makes the Sign of the Cross, and now he lands the Halo OHHH but he hurts his ribs on the landing! Luke clutches his ribs but eventually manages to cover for a very close two count. Luke is still holding his ribs, but he's determined to finish Rinauro off. He pumphandles Rinauro, looking for the Phoenix Fury Legdrop (THIEF! THIEF!) but the pain in his ribs is too much and he can't hold Rinauro on his shoulder. Rinauro drops behind and he's going for HIS move, the Phoenix Fury, but Luke shoves him off into the corner. Rinauro charges right back out with a swift kick to the ribs, then he folds up Luke with- holy cats, that's the Storm Cradle Driver! No way Luke is kicking out of that, and your champion makes another successful defense (9:13- 8:00 aired, 81). Rinauro mocks Luke's hurt ribs some more afterwards, and struts like he's cock of the walk, because he is. Good match, and I hope my Sal fanboyism didn't ruin the review too much for you. Sal really has turned into a great worker to go with his AWESOME persona, and Luke is a fun little worker despite being green and still having the usual indy rookie problems with selling.
-Back to Steven Prazak and Dan Wilson, who have some more Hardcore Hell business to discuss: The fifteen minute Iron Man match between Jimmy Rave and Todd Sexton. Each man got one fall a piece (Rave with his "From Dusk 'til Dawn" corbata into a Crossface, Sexton with the Gamebreaker) so they were tied at a fall apiece when time expired. Sudden death was ordered, which Sexton won (they don't show how, unless it was another Gamebreaker). The real news happened after the match, however, as we all witnessed the return of "that lazy, slothful, disrespectful, whiny...Air Paris." You forgot "alcoholic", Dan. Paris had some disrespectful words for Shawn Michaels, but Wilson says Paris isn't fit to lace Michaels' boots and he's not about to spend anymore airtime talking about another promotion's star, so we quickly cut to-
-Michael Adrian vs. Brandon Knight. JIP (of course); Adrian is not joined by his fellow Swingers. Adrian side Russian legsweeps Knight down, then holds onto the wrist for a second, then holds on again to give Knight a nasty atomic drop on the top rope. Back suplex and Adrian covers, but only two. Knight rallies with bodyshots and he tries a leg lariat, but Adrian catches him with ease and tilts him into a nasty powerslam for another two count. Knight can't even get back to his feet, so Adrian plants him with a SICK Falcon Arrow variant! Adrian slowly heading up top now, he poses- may be wasting too much time here- going for the flying legdrop, he gets great elevation but Knight is able to roll out of the way. Knight is finally to his feet and now he tries going to the top; bad move, as Adrian gets back to his feet and hooks Knight into a single-arm Pearl Necklace (Ligerbomb) which is enough to get the easy three (3:58- 1:30 aired). Just a squash. Adrian looked good.
-Time for that interview we heard about earlier, as Dan Wilson and Jeremy V (clad in a neckbrace and Atlanta Braves T-shirt) sit down backstage and have a talk about V's neck injury...
Wilson: "Fans, I'm here with Jeremy V, one of the rising stars here in Wildside. Of course, Jeremy, it's been a bittersweet seven days for you, comin' off one of the biggest nights of your career. Friday night, Hardcore Hell night one, you had the opportunity to win the Wildside Junior Heavyweight championship in the four-way double elimination matchup. You were counted out, that opportunity evaded you. Saturday night, night two of Hardcore Hell, the 'Italian Monster' Tony Mamaluke no-shows his spot to wrestle for the World Television Championship. The CEO of Wildside, Rick Michaels, handpicks you to challenge Rainman for the World Television championship and you do the impossible, you pin the champion's shoulders, you pin him one, two, three. Of course, Jeff G. Bailey reversed the decision, it was a submissions-only match. The aftermath is what re-aggrevated the neck injury, and according to your doctors things are not looking good."
V: "Um, well, (inaudible- stop mumbling, Jeremy!)...and I don't know when it's gonna be, I mean, they say invasive surgery and I could be out up to a year. Uh, um, I just don't know."
Wilson: From what I understand of your medical records, and from what your doctors told me, is that you may have to have the very prominent double-vertebrae fusion surgery and that surgery is so predominent in the industry right now, it's ending the careers of major superstars- and you're just getting started. If you were out for a year, your quest for the World TV championship would be over and so would all the hard work you've put into it thus far, you'd have to start right back from the bottom."
V: "Yeah, that's not what I wanna do, um, I'm gonna be back, it's just a matter of when, and it's gonna be up to a year. Like I said, but, I mean, the World Television title is the most important thing to me at the moment right now. And, I mean, um, I've dreamed to be a champ in the National Wrestling Alliance my whole life, and to be here and to be this close and to come short, because of somethin' like this...hm."
Wilson: Now Jeremy it's gotta be a heartbreaker, you grew up on the Atlantic Coast, you grew up in Jim Crockett territory, you idolized World Television champions like Tully Blanchard, Magnum TA, Nikita Koloff, Dusty Rhodes, Arn Anderson, and, and y'know ya are, an inch away from bein' there in that elite catagory, and tragedy strikes ya. I mean, I gotta tell ya Jeremy, my, my thoughts and prayers are with ya, best of luck. It's a long road to recovery, we'll find out and with a lot of luck and a lot of faith, you'll be back in the ring soon, and you'll be back fighting for the World Television championship. Good luck to you, buddy."
V: "Thank you, Dan."
This worked well, mainly because of Wilson and the fact that it was probably the strongest angle (and performance) to come out of Hardcore Hell. V showed a definite nervousness and lack of fire here, which I guess is to be expected until he gets more experience on the mic. And they have been calling it the WORLD Television championship a lot lately, huh?
-The entire NWA Elite (Jeff G. Bailey, Rainman, Iceberg, junior official Andrew Thomas) are out for Bailey's post Hardcore Hell address. Bailey spends some time wallowing in his own crapulence, talking about how both Rainman and Iceberg retained their titles at Hardcore Hell. Then, however, "occurred a crime so reprehensible it made the Atlanta Child Murders look like jaywalking!"- Bailey, in his own inimitable way, was referring to Hotstuff Hernandez laying out Iceberg with a spear on the floor and a lariat after his match. "And Hotstuff Hernandez, when Iceberg beats you, he'll end your wrestling career and send you back to your mom's donkey show in Tijuana!" Bailey goes on to talk about how there is no longer a #1 contender to Iceberg's heavyweight title, but CEO Rick Michaels appears on the new Wildside video screen for rebuttal. He sets up a match between Hernandez (the man that laid out Iceberg) and David Young (the first man in Wildside to pin Iceberg) for next week to decide the #1 contendership. Bailey says he doesn't care, since Iceberg will destroy both of them. "Now, the world Television champion wants someone to take out, so send out a lamb for the slaughter, for the Rainman." Play that techno music, but no match yet, since Wildside Continues...
-Rainman (with Jeff G. Bailey and Iceberg) vs. Jimmy Rave for the World Television championship (Fifth Defense). The announcers do a really good job of putting over the story here- Rainman wants to add another victim to his "Dark City hall of fame", the list of victims he's put on the shelf which includes White Trash, Rick Michaels and Jeremy V; Rave, meanwhile, sees a little of himself in V and is dedicating the match to him. Meanwhile, these guys are former training partners under Murder One, so there's some history here, and it's their first ever singles match.
Rhythmic clapping by Rave after the bell. Collar-and-elbow tieup, Rainman with a wristlock and he twists it into a hammerlock, Rave reverses and snapmares Rainman over, then goes to a ground headlock which Rainman breaks with a headscissor. Now it's Rainman with the side headlock, he takes Rave over to the mat and Rave mirrors the reversal Rainman just used. Both men to their feet, Rave with an armdrag, Rainman with an armdrag, Rave tries a punch but it's blocked, Rainman tries the same and Rave likewise blocks and champion and challenger stand off and stare each other down. Rainman gets up in Rave's face and talks some smack, following that up with a shove. Rave keeps his cool so Rainman decides to try some punches, all of which are blocked by Rave who unloads some chops on Rainman. Irish whip, Rainman reverses and goes for a chop, Rave ducks that and also ducks a clothesline attempt on the way back, then he hits a clothesline of his own that sends Rainman to the floor. Rave sprints off the ropes, looks like he's ready for a dive but Rainman has moved out of the way for a strategy session with Bailey. Rainman slowly makes it back in the ring, then he and Rave circle, both men looking for an opening. Collar-and-elbow, Rave with a side headlock and Rainman quickly shoots him off, Rave hits the ropes and Rainman drops down but he telegraphs the backdrop on the way back so Rave kicks him. Rave shooting Rainman into the ropes now, Rave drops down but Rainman catches him on the way back with a nice climbing heel kick! First cover of the match by Rainman and he gets a two count. Right hand by Rainman and he sends Rave into the corner for some choppery. Double underhook by Rainman, he knees Rave in the face a few times then throws him over with the butterfly suplex. Rainman slams Rave's head into the buckle and lays into him with some more rights. Cross-corner whip by Rainman, trying to charge in with the avalanche but Rave rushes under the lariat attempt and Rainman turns around right into an overhead suplex from Rave!
Both men catch a breather on the mat while referee Andrew Thomas puts on a count. Rave slowly crawls over and makes a cover, getting a two count but the momentum shifts right back Rainman's way when both guys get back to their feet, the champ landing a hard spinning heel kick. Blatant choke by Rainman and then a stomp, followed by a forearm drop off the ropes. Rainman to the mount and he wails away with three rights. Rave gets pulled up, then snapmared back down and dropkicked right in the face. Bodyslam by Rainman and he launches a very nice double jump (first buckle to the second rope) Moonsault, but Rave gets the knees up. Rave quickly takes advantage, grabbing Rainman's head and driving it down with a swinging Gravity Killer! Rave with another slow crawl and he covers, but Rainman is able to get the shoulder up in time. Right and a chop from Rave, trying a whip but Rainman reverses and take it away Dan..."SPIIIIIIIIIIIINE SPLITTA". Rainman calls for the end. Hillside Strangler (back mount Cobra Clutch)? No, it's the Dark City Street Cutter (piggyback Stunner) but Rave drops out and tries a whip, Rainman quickly reverses but Rave reverses that and he takes Rainman down with From Dusk 'til Dawn! Rave screams and cranks back on Rainman's neck with the Crossface while Rainman inches, slowly making his way towards the ropes. The bottom rope is so close, yet so far away...until Bailey lends a hand, pushing the rope a little bit closer and putting it within Rainman's grasp. Rave is pissed but he keeps on the attack, going for a Tiger suplex but Rainman does a standing switch, hooking Rave into a sitout Cobra Clutch slam from behind and holding on to turn Rave into the Hillside Strangler! Rainman has his arm right around Rave's throat and he's strangling the air right out of him. Rave gasps for air and crawls, looking for the bottom rope and scratching for it, reaching...reaching...got it! Rainman immediately tries for the Cobra Clutch again but now it's Rave with the standing switch and he tosses Rainman with the Tiger suplex! Rainman's in a heap in the corner while Rave is just trying to get some air. Rave is the first man to his feet and he lifts Rainman- Northern Lights Bomb! Cover by Rave, one, two, Bailey pulls Thomas out of the ring. Rave is pissed again, but this time he decides to do something about it and he goes after Bailey. Bailey sprints away, but uses this as an opportunity to slide the Television title belt back into the ring. Rave heads back into the ring and comes off the ropes, Rainman goes for a beltshot NO Rave ducks, LA MAJISTRAL BY RAVE! One, two, NO!! Crowd really, really thought that was it. Oklahoma roll by Rainman! One, two, AGAIN a kickout! Rave going for From Dusk 'til Dawn again, but this time Rainman blocks in mid-headscissor, spins Rave onto his shoulders and drops him with the Dark City Street Cutter! Rainman covers, and this time there is no kickout (8:26, 85). Awesome match, best Wildside TV match since Mamaluke/Young from several months ago that went 16:00. I'd say "best US TV match" since then as well, but Rave also had a tremendous match with Jay Briscoe on CZW TV last Thursday. This was great stuff, fast-paced from the start with some truly hot nearfalls at the end. Rave continues to impress and show why he's getting lots of bookings all over the East Coast, but Rainman is the real success story here: Look at any of his matches from a year ago, and then look at this. It's hardly the same worker anymore.
-The Lost Boys vs. Tank and Scotty Wrenn for the #1 contendership to the Wildside Tag Team titles. Quick start with Tank and Azrael, Tank snapmaring the smaller man over. Collar-and-elbow, Tank again overpowers Azrael and tosses him away. Tank stares a hole through Azrael, who shrugs off the toss and goes right back to work. He and Tank circle, both men swiping at each other until Azrael lands a gutshot. Side headlock by Azrael, Tank tries shooting him off but Azrael holds on to it, so Tank switches so he has the headlock now. Azrael successfully shoots Tank off, with the aid of the ropes, and he gets predictably shoulderblocked on the way back. Tank off the ropes and Azrael drops down, but Tank uses this to his advantage as he locks a Crossface on Azrael! Azrael manages to fight to his feet before Tank can get the Crossface on all the way and he grabs Tank's arm, twisting it into a wristlock and kicking Tank hard in the chest. Tank returns fire with a kick to the leg, Azrael with knees but Tank throws hard kicks to the leg and chest to send Azrael stumbling back, so Gabriel rushes in for the save with a dropkick. Tank is down so Gabriel comes off the ropes with a dropkick to the face and Azrael does the same. Wrenn is in now, trying a lariat but Gabriel ducks and legsweeps him down, then the Lost Boys follow that up with Head Sandwich dropkicks to Wrenn! Gabriel has magically become legal and he's working over Tank with kicks in the corner. Cross-corner whip, Tank reverses, Gabriel nips up into a headscissor but Tank catches him, going for an Air Raid Crash from there so Gabriel drops to his feet, only to get dropped in a funky inverted DDT from Tank! Cool move there. Tag to Wrenn who throws some hard kicks at Gabriel and goes for a back suplex, Gabriel lands on his feet so Wrenn scoops him up in a press, Gabriel drops out of that too but Wrenn punishes him for all his agility by KILLING him with an overhead German suplex! Azrael is enraged and he tries to interviene, but referee Speedy Nelson holds him back and Wrenn continues to damage Gabriel, this time with a Backdrop Driver. Wristlock by Wrenn and he pulls Gabriel over to the unfriendly corner, where Tank is tagged in and he delivers a kick to the head. Snap suplex by Tank and he shushes the crowd, so they can hear the thud as he soccer kicks Gabriel right in the back. Gabriel back to his feet and Tank sweeps him right back down with an STO, then he cranks away with a Can Opener! Tank quickly converts to a brutal looking cravate with the other arm trapped, somebody call Chris Hero as we have a cravate variant he hasn't used yet. Gabriel refuses to give, so Tank breaks the hold but punches Gabriel in the face for good measure before breaking. Gabriel fires back with some rights of his own, but Tank goes to the eyes to stop that. Tag to Wrenn and he whips Gabriel into the ropes, but he telegraphs the backdrop and Gabriel goes for the sunset flip, only for Wrenn to block and pull him up into a hanging tree slam. Nate Hatred also uses the tree slam, and I've never seen Wrenn and Hatred in the same room. Hmm. Wrenn looks to Tank, who nods his approval, so Wrenn drops Gabriel with a kinda-delayed vertical suplex. Wrenn dispatches of Azrael with a right hand and then heads to the second rope, he hits a legdrop from there but referee Speedy Nelson is busy with Azrael and thus unable to count. This is enough to make Wrenn snap (tick tick and all that) but Gabriel scoops him up in a schoolboy for a surprise nearfall, only for Wrenn to flatten him with a lariat. Wildside Continues...
We're back and Wrenn has Gabriel on his shoulders, calling for a Powerbomb but Gabriel flails away with some rights and drops out, then makes the hot tag to Azrael. Wrenn tries to hook Gabriel up for a Gorybomb (!!) but Azrael saves, and eventually, I don't know how we get there but somehow Wrenn is giving both Lost Boys an overhead German suplex at once! The Lost Boys try to catch their bearings, Gabriel the first man to his feet only for Tank to come from out of NOWHERE with a vicious Chokebreaker! Tank heads out to the apron and Azrael goes for a right but Tank blocks it and boots him in the face, leaving Azrael open for a lariat from Wrenn. Tank going up top now (first Wrenn with a Gorybomb attempt, and now this?) but Azrael has gotten it together and he's kicking Wrenn in a bunch of different ways, and Wrenn ends up staggering into the corner, which crotches Tank. Gabriel kicks Wrenn out of the ring and sprints up top- there's the 'rana- there's the Froggy Elbow from Azrael- that's the Unholy Roller! Azrael covers and Gabriel piles on for good measure, one, two, three! ( 7:24, 77) Lots of chaos and fun moves, and it didn't really feel like a spotfest, but it didn't really flow, I dunno. Fine for a medium-length TV match. Tank was the standout, lots of good strikes and cool-looking, but logical moves. Tank is displeased after the match and he walks off, giving Wrenn a one-finger salute before leaving, while Wrenn makes unhappy faces in the ring. Legal notice and we're done.
-Solid show this week, nothing to complain about and an excellent TV match (Rave/Rainman) that, while not as good as the AMAZING four-way double elimination match from last week, was still really good. The main event had its upsides too, as they kept it fast and did some cool stuff, plus it marks the end of one of my least favorite teams in Project MayHam (with the more talented member- Tank- hopefully moving on into a successful heel role). Add in the usual Sal Rinauro goodness and you have a show that's well worth your time.
I'm sick right now and kinda tired of writing, so that's all you get this week. Next week I'll hope to have the Wildside capsule reviews up, and of course next weeks TV, and maybe (not bloody likely) I'll continue my IWA-MS reviews with a look at the TPI. Until then...