|Tales from the Eastside Directory||
NWA Wildside TV (Episode #190)
Tales From the Eastside by Patrick McGovern
-My goal this week is to get my report out before Larry Goodman finishes his. If I do, that'll be the first time since, like, last summer that I've managed to do it. Wish me luck- and if you're reading this Tuesday morning, feel free to laugh at me.
Oh, and about Jim Cornette in ROH for their Dayton show...it HAS to be some kind of conspiracy against Ian Rotten.
-Wildside (Episode #190) intro...the sound here is really quiet for some reason. I'd blame the production team but normally screwups like this are WGTW's fault.
-"Welcome to YOUR number one pro wrestling alternative, the home of the best athletes in the world- NWA Wildside!" Dan Wilson was referring to Salvatore Rinauro when he said that, I'm sure. Scott Hudson is with us again this week, since Steven Prazak is still off vacationing in the Bahamas (Wilson: "How in the hell he makes enough money here to do that, I wanna know, I wanna invest in that 401k plan!"). Wilson goes over the highlights of last week, when suddenly...
The feed cuts out and we go to a LavaLife commercial. Oh, it's gonna be one of THOSE nights. Maybe WGTW will air this episode five weeks in a row, too! Hey, how come the same four people are on LavaLife every night? And if you're some kind of master chef or a high powered businesswoman, do you really need a pathetic singles line to aid you in finding a partner? Thankfully, after a reminder that we're watching WGTW, it's back to Wildside.
...and we pick up right where we left off, with Wilson talking about Onyx and Hotstuff Hernandez having tension between each other, and the NWA Elite decimating Jeremy V's neck in the main event. Hudson says that this week we'll find out what's going on with Project MayHam (well, he doesn't call them that), the Lost Boys will take on Future Shock (but what about Brandon P's shoulder?) and in the main event, Iceberg defends his Wildside Heavyweight title against a contender mutually chosen by Rick Michaels and Jeff G. Bailey- and we'll find out who that contender is later in the show. Stick around!
-Elite Swingers Inc. (with Michael Adrian) vs. Nigel McGuinness and Chris Marvel. McGuinness is a British worker that has been making waves in IWA-MS recently, challenging Chris Hero for the World title there; Marvel is a TWA worker who is most famous for snapping his ankle in gruesome fashion in his debut match with Paul London on the 3/30/02 ROH show. Vincent I. Pain and Scott E. Smooth Pearl Harbor the newcomers, attacking them from behind and raining down punches. Smooth and Pain get their opponents in opposite corners and whip them, trying to get McGuinness and Marvel to knock skulls but the whips are reversed and it's the Swingers that collide. Smooth ends up on his back and we get an old favorite from the Swingers: The "Pain gets shoved into Smooth's crotch" spot. McGuinness and Marvel both send Pain into the ropes, then catch him on the way back with a double hiptoss. Smooth and McGuinness clear out, so Pain and Marvel are gonna start us off proper. Marvel gets the early advantage with a whip and back elbow, then an armdrag. Another armdrag by Marvel and this time he holds on for the 'bar. Pair of kneedrops to the arm by Marvel, he keeps hold of it and pulls Pain to his feet for some wristlockery. Marvel wringing away on the arm, he pounds away from it with some elbows then drops into a Cross Armbreaker, wrenching away and getting a two count on Pain with it as well. Marvel abandons the Armbreaker rather quickly and goes back to a wristlock, dragging Pain over to the unfriendly corner where he tags in McGuinness, and Nigel leaps in with a double axehandle to the bad arm. Pain trying to change his fortunes with an Irish whip but McGuinness reverses it and throws him with an armdrag, holding on for the armbar- and bridging from there into a pin! Hudson dubs it the "London Bridge" and it gets a two count, pretty cool little move. McGuinness goes right back to the wristlock after the kickout. Pain reverses the wristlock, but McGuinness reverses and chain wrestles into a reverse chinlock. Pain gets to his feet without too much trouble and applies the wristlock again, so McGuinness drops to his back and uses his foot to kick away Pain's hand, breaking the wristlock- very cool, very European. Tag to Marvel and he stays on the arm, wringing it and applying a hammerlock. Pain finally manages to make his way over to his corner and tag in Smooth, forcing Marvel to break the hold. Smooth is full of skinny man fire as he charges at Marvel, but Marvel easily drop toeholds him to put an end to that. I should mention that Wilson tells us who the "mutual contender" is right now: It's Jason Blackman, Rick Michaels' last student who also was the recipient of a chairshot from Jason Cross two weeks ago. Wilson also confirms that Brandon P couldn't get medical clearance to wrestle, so Jay Freeze is gonna go it alone in Future Shock's title defense next. Dan's a fountain of information tonight! Tag to Nigel, there's a double whip and McGuinness & Marvel plant Smooth with a back suplex (McGuinness)/inverted DDT (Marvel) combo! McGuinness covers, but Pain has referee (and senior citizen) Jimmy Rivers distracted. McGuinness takes Smooth to the corner for some punches, then tags Marvel back in. Marvel with a vertical suplex that earns him a two count, and Wildside Continues...
We're back and Marvel has worked the pin on Smooth for another two count. Marvel sends Smooth into the ropes, telegraphing the backdrop so Smooth goes for the sunset flip- he can't get Marvel over, so Pain gives the assist with a right hand and Smooth gets a quick two count. Back suplex by Marvel, followed up with a backbreaker. Marvel holds the backbreaker for a submission, but it's short-lived as Pain is in with a stomp to break that up. Marvel puts Smooth in a front facelock and drags him back to the corner, where he tags McGuinness back in. Smooth is held open for a right from McGuinness, who then takes Smooth over with a NICE snap suplex. Bodyslam by McGuinness and he heads upstairs, looking for the plancha but Smooth scampers out of the way and Rivers takes the bodypress! Smooth is in shock that he actually managed to do something right for a change. Smooth with some of his pathetic punches and he tries a whip, but McGuinness reverses it and drops him with an Anderson Spinebuster on the way back! McGuinness has a sure pin here, but there's no ref to count it. Pain makes his way in the ring but Marvel makes quick work of him with a backdrop. In comes Adrian, and he plows over Marvel and McGuinness with a big double lariat. McGuinness is on the recieving end of an equally large pumphandle Powerbomb, and Adrian tosses Smooth on top of him. Rivers crawls over for the slow count...one...two...three (6:46, 70). Anyway, the armwork to start was fine, but it was never followed up on, and the psych was wierd with the heels taking most of the offense. Nothing actively horrible, and McGuinness looked quite good, but the finish was weak; why give the worst guy in the match the fall over the best one? They could've at least had Pain thrown on top for the pin.
-The Lost Boys vs. Jay Freeze (with Brandon P) in a handicap match for the Wildside Tag Team championship (First Defense). Freeze tells P (who has his arm in a sling) that he can head to the back before the match starts. Gabriel kneels and glares at Freeze, who registers frustration; that can only be compounded by the crowd's "Fut-Ure Suck!" chant. Gabriel and Freeze circle after the bell, Gabriel with several feigns at a tieup to try and throw Freeze off. He eventually does go for the collar-and-elbow, but Freeze quickly counters it with a single-leg takedown. Gabriel kicks Freeze off from the mat and gets back to his feet to apply a wristlock, Freeze reverses that and goes to the full armdrag and twist (no points for guessing where I stole that from). Gabriel breaks the hammerlock by tripping Freeze, then he floats over to a front chancery. Freeze reverses to one of his own, then drags Gabriel to his feet in a wristlock. Gabriel alternates between having Freeze in a headlock and a hammerlock, Freeze tries to stop all the chain wrestling by shooting Gabriel into the ropes but Gabriel makes him pay for it with a chop. Azrael comes in and the Lost Boys double whip Freeze in the ropes, trying a double clothesline but Freeze ducks that, so they look for the Time Warp on the way back, but Freeze flips out of it! Freeze throws some fists to get Gabriel out of the way and then whips Azrael into the corner, he charges in for the avalanche but gets backdropped to the apron, then Azrael lands a stiff kick to send him to the floor. Gabriel looking for a suicide dive now, but Freeze moves before he can take off. Gabriel heads out and Freeze swiftly heads back in, now HE'S looking for a dive but Azrael nails him from behind with a clubbing forearm. Azrael sets Freeze up on his shoulders while Gabriel ascends the corner, and there's a Doomsday dropkick to Freeze! That's a slap in the face, using the same move that P hurt himself on. The Lost Boys each lift Freeze onto a shoulder, setting him up for the ExCommunicator but P is back out and he's got a chair- WHACK for Azrael, WHACK for Gabriel, disqualification for the match (2:45, 61). P swings the chair with reckless abandon while Hudson questions just how injured that shoulder really is. This was kinda disappointing, as I've seen Wildside do some great handicap matches in the past, such as an awesome one with Suicidal Tendencies vs. Todd Sexton that went over fifteen minutes. This was like a match in fast forward, with some fine chain wrestling to start and then they immediately jumped to the very end.
-I'm getting quite sick of that "G-I-R-L" song in all these phone sex ads, so of course now another hotline has to adopt it (not to mention a third one that uses a different, but equally annoying song). Why can't they just play some Billy Mays ads instead? Billy needs the publicity, OxiClean sales are down!
-Scotty Wrenn and Tank are out, and Wrenn has the microphone which is never a good sign. "Tick tiiiiick! Just when you thought Wrenn and Tank were down, we come back! Future Shock, watch out, because we're comin' for ya!" Thankfully that's all Wrenn gets to say, as we're joined by Al Getz and ::sigh:: The Dobbins Brothers via the Wildside video screen. Getz goes into a speech about teamwork, an important quality he feels is lacking with Wrenn & Tank due to someone's ego. "Scotty Wrenn and Tank, there is no I in team! Tonight, Al Getz is gonna teach you a little something about teamwork." We cut away from the video screen as Bulldog Raines (some fat guy who is aligned with Getz) is trying a sneak attack on Wrenn with a chair, but Wrenn sees it coming and makes short work of him. Now Getz and The Dobbins Brothers are out, and Tank has picked up the chair. Can you guess what's gonna happen next? Sure enough, Wrenn is ready for a showdown but Tank blasts him from behind with the chair! One of the Dobbinses sandwiches Wrenn in the corner, then they set him for High Times...but Tank wants to do the honors, so he folds his former partner with a Chokebreaker. Tank applies a brutal stump puller to Wrenn, Raines barking in Wrenn's face the whole time. The Dobbinses do hit High Times on Wrenn, then Tank decides Wrenn hasn't had enough and drops him with another Chokebreaker. High-fives all around while Getz has the stick: "Now that is teamwork right there, Bulldog Raines and Tank! And that right there is trash, and once again we have taken out the trash." Getz leads everyone in a stompdown, but Rick Michaels appears on top of the rampway. "Hey Getz, you got five seconds to take all of those jackasses out of the ring, or you're all fired from Wildside!" Getz and company reluctantly comply while Wilson and Hudson speculate that Tank jumped to Getz's side for the money. Wrenn is hurting afterwards and it takes help from Mike Posey, Speedy Nelson and Jimmy Rivers to get him to the back. Poor Tank, he goes from having to carry one mediocre partner to having to carry three outright loads. Still, this was an effective angle since Getz is so good on the mic.
-Simon Sermon (with Nemesis) vs. Todd Sexton. JIP, the story being that Air Paris no-showed again (it's always happy hour somewhere, you know) and sent another NAWA student to deal with Sexton. Sexton lays into Sermon with a trio of rights, but the Brit goes to the eyes to take the advantage. Sermon tosses Sexton out and distracts the ref, so Nemesis can go to town on him at ringside. Sexton is rolled back in and Sermon nails him with a Euro uppercut. Whip by Sermon, Sexton ducks the back elbow, then he sidesteps Sermon on the way back and sprints into a no-hands tope onto Nemesis! Sexton heads back into the ring and Sermon is right back on him with a punch and snap suplex. Sexton tries coming off the ropes, but Nemesis runs interference again and grabs his foot. Sermon goes for a punch, Sexton ducks but Sermon stops himself before he nails Nemesis. Sexton, meanwhile, regroups and nails Nemesis with a Superkick. A Superkick for Sermon quickly follows, and Sexton gets the duke (3:18- 1:00 aired).
-Kid Kool vs. Slim J for the #1 contendership to the Wildside Junior Heavyweight championship. We get an extra helping of AWESOME before the match even starts, as Salvatore Rinauro heads in from the crowd to do commentary! A dedicated group of Salcoholics even start a "SAL!" chant; it should be the whole arena chanting that, but they'll catch on. Wilson generously steps away from commentary to give Hudson some time to get to know the 2002 Rookie of the Year.
Kool and J slap hands after the bell. Collar-and-elbow, J to the waistlock and he cranks away with it but Kool manages a standing switch. J with a hammerlock escape to counter, and he goes from there to a top wristlock, which Kool armdrags his way out of. J stares a hole into Kool, who is thinking through his gameplan. The two men circle and lockup again, Kool with a side headlock takeover and he works that for a one count. J looks for a way out and Kool shakes his head, but J does find the counter he's looking for with a headscissors, which Kool wastes no time kipping up out of. Gutshot by J and now he takes Kool over with the side headlock. Kool looking to the crowd for support and they give it to him, so he mirrors J's reversal from earlier with the headcissors and now it's J kipping up. J is focused, though, and he goes right back to the ground headlock. Kool manages to fight to his feet, he tries to shoot J into the ropes but J overpowers him and once again takes him over in the headlock. Kool's shoulders fall for a two count while J grinds the headlock in. Kool manages to get to his feet again, this time the shoot-off works and Kool catches him with a bodyscissors (Rinauro: "Naga-setera!") armdrag on the way back, smoothly transitioning to the Cross Armbreaker! J knows he's in trouble and he thrashes to the ropes before too much damage can be done. J with a pair of rights as he gets to his feet and he tries a corner whip, Kool reverses it and then sprints in with a nice climbing 'rana that takes J out of the corner. Kool with the first serious cover of the match, earning himself a two count. Whip by Kool and he dropkicks J right in the face, getting another two count right afterwards. Another whip by Kool and this time he connects with a flying jalapeno, then a third cover gets him a third nearfall. Big vertical suplex by Kool, then (you guessed it) he covers and gets yet another two count. Front facelock by Kool, looks like he's setting up for the Cradle DDT or Cradle Flatliner but J throws some forearms to the side of the head to break that up, he slips out and wheelbarrows Kool, tossing him onto his neck from there with a brutal half nelson neckbreaker! J normally would toss Kool in a half nelson suplex from the wheelbarrow, but he decided to target a body part and go directly after the neck- smart man. Kool is in a bad way but he tries fighting back with a legsweep, J jumps over that and tries a kick, Kool ducks that but he's left wide open for J's signature climbing kick to the back of the head! J is clearly in the driver's seat now, and he covers for a two count. Snapmare by J and he continues punishing Kool's neck with a great rolling necksnap, then he covers but Kool manages a late kickout. Gutshot by J and he runs the ropes, getting a full head of steam and snapping Kool over with a rolling neckbreaker. J covers, making sure to cradle Kool by the neck but Kool again manages to get the shoulder up. Back suplex by J, he holds on for a second Back suplex, then holds on again- to drop Kool with a Blue Thunder bomb! J holds on for the pin, one, two, NO! Kool kicks out in the nick of time, but damn was that close. Rinauro is great on commentary, playing the stereotypical "face announcer" role with brilliant false sincerity ("The heart of Kid Kool is immeasurable!"). J gestures to the crowd that he's going up top for the 420 Splash, but when he goes to pull Kool into position he's surprised with a kip-up 'rana! Now it's Kool heading up to the high-rent district, he leaps off with the Flying Squirrel and lands...right onto J's knees! J hooks Kool up and drops him with a nasty delayed brainbuster, Kool getting spiked head-first on the mat yet again. J covers, one, two, Kool barely gets the bottom rope with his foot. Wildside Continues...
We're back and J is pulling a glazed-looking Kid Kool back to his feet. J knucklelocks one of Kool's hands and peppers him with kicks to the face and goes for the ropes, springboard NO, CRADLE DDT BY KOOL OUT OF NOWHERE! Kool collapses and J's neck hits the canvas, Kool may be dead but he does have J's shoulders pinned, one, two, J KICKS OUT! Kool exhaustedly heads up top, no doubt looking to ends this match while he has the chance. Kool again leaps off with the Flying Squirrel- RIGHT into a Yakuza Kick from J! J covers and the crowd thinks it's over, one, two, Kool gets the shoulder up! So, so close. J to the corner and he pounds on Kool with right hands, now cinching him up top and grabbing a double underhook, Tornado Piledriver by J! This HAS to be it. J covers, one, two, thr-NO Kool kicks out! The look on J's face tells the whole story; how is he gonna beat this man? J has one big move left and he's gonna go for it. He puts Kool on his shoulders, trying to hook the neck for Anger Management but Kool flails away desperately, he uncorks some rights and is able to drop out. Kool sprints to the corner and J follows, not a smart move as Kool drops him with a lightning-quick Kool Krusher! J is down and Kool is up top, will the third time be the charm? Kool leaps off, and this time a goddamn REVERSE 450 SPLASH finds the mark, Kool landing square on J's ribs and driving all the air right out of him! Sweet zombie jesus. Kool covers, and he manages to get a very hard-earned victory (10:07, 84). J is seriously hurt, clutching his ribs and gasping for air; Kool helps him to his feet and a few refs help him to the back. This was easily J and Kool's best match yet, helped by an absolutely nuclear crowd and some spectacular nearfalls. I could've done without the Tornado Piledriver being used as a nearfall and the Kool Krusher spot near the end was a little goofy, but it was done fast enough that it wasn't as contrived as you'd think. Really, this match was an adreneline rush, ten minutes of solid wrestling with a good story and an amazing pace. Kool's selling and kickouts were top-notch, especially on the Cradle DDT where he collapsed on the landing and really looked like a man who was totally out of it but managed a desperation counter. J, meanwhile, showed a ton of focus while working over the neck. I've complained about the seeming lateral movement in the Jr. ranks, with Kool, J and Rinauro always facing each other, but as long as they keep putting on matches like this one, there's nothing to really complain about.
-Iceberg (with Jeff G. Bailey, Rainman and Jason Cross) vs. Jason Blackman for the Wildside Heavyweight championship (Eighth Defense). Blackman has great entrance music: "Sad But True" by Metallica. Everyone remembers when Metallica didn't suck, right? Referee Jimmy Rivers displays the belt to Blackman while Iceberg (wearing what looks like a snazzy new coat) crouches in the corner. Cross reminds Blackman that he doesn't have a prayer before the bell. Collar-and-elbow to start, Blackman tries his luck with a waistlock but Iceberg just shrugs him off. Blackman with a dropkick now- NO SALE. Another dropkick and again 'Berg is unphased, and this time he decides to punish the boy with a big, big lariat. Right by Iceberg and a whip, dropping Blackman on the way back with a spinning sidewalk slam. Iceberg measures Blackman and lands another right. Hard vertical suplex by Iceberg while Wilson coins yet another nickname for Iceberg: the "Human Holocaust". Iceberg chokes Blackman on the ropes and Rivers admonishes him, so Iceberg presses the issue which gives Rainman a chance to get his licks in. Blackman, dazed, makes it to his feet only to get clocked by a massive running forearm by Iceberg that sends him sailing over the ropes and into the guardrail! The Elite, not unlike a pack of dogs, immediately pounce on Blackman with tripleteam stomping. Cross adds a high kick for good measure and rolls Blackman in, where Iceberg lands another right. Iceberg measures Blackman from the corner, then runs out and squashes him with the theigh drop of doom. Blackman is whipped face-first into the corner, and Iceberg launches him out with a German suplex. Iceberg walks over Blackman's carcass and the thumb 'crosses the throat- I think we're almost done here. Sure enough, Iceberg sprints from the corner into the SENTON, squashing the life out of Blackman and successfully defending his belt (3:36). Very effective match, just a total beating. Iceberg calls off the Elite after the match, wanting to give Blackman some respect. 'Berg raises Blackman's hand and does the "You da man!" point (ha!), then folds him in two with a brainbuster. Rainman and Cross are in now, and Rainman adds insult to injury with a ton of stomps (I counted fifteen in all). Bailey's the last man in the ring, and he ejects Rivers before turning his attention to Blackman. Bailey takes off his belt and lashes Blackman with it several times. "This is you, Rick Michaels!" Another four lashes and more yelling. "Make the save, Rick Michaels! Come save your boy!" Hotstuff Hernandez and Onyx sprint out, they're not Rick Michaels but they'll do as their presence gets the Elite to scatter- but now Onyx and Hernandez are having words? Looks like both men wanted to make the save by themselves and there's a difference of opinion that ends with Onyx shoving Hernandez and giving him a long look before departing from the ring. As you might expect, Bailey enjoys this and has a broad grin the whole time. Wilson pleads for Michaels to name a #1 contender while Blackman rolls outside and is helped out by Hernandez and the Referee Corps. "Sad But True" plays again and we're outta here.
-The first three-quarters of this show were pretty drab, with an average-at-best opener (but Nigel did look real good) and the disappointing Tag titles match, not to mention the depressing sight of the Dobbins Brothers being on my TV yet again. The last quarter, however, was really good stuff, with that excellent juniors match and a shockingly effective main event. Normally I wouldn't be happy about a promising young talent being squashed dead, but Blackman's still a really new guy who, realistically, shouldn't be able to put a dent in the Iceberg. This was a good squash in that it made Iceberg look like more of a monster but didn't really hurt Blackman's midcard push. Is it too much to hope that Iceberg gets to squash the Dobbins Bros. in an even shorter, more brutal manner?
The TPI Night One review will be finished by Memorial Day. Also I was able to find some of my old ROH and Wildside TV reviews back from the WV days and will send them to Brandon when I'm not feeling so lazy. Until then...