|Tales from the Eastside Directory||
NWA Wildside TV (Episode #191)
Tales From the Eastside by Patrick McGovern
-"No, it's not the latest reality-based nonsense on primetime TV, it's the best pro wrestling on North American TV, and that makes us NWA Wildside!", so sayeth Steven Prazak; his partner, Dan Wilson, has once again decided to adopt the spacemonkey look, but at least the head shaving was his choice this time. Wilson reviews last week for us, including Tank betraying Scotty Wrenn to join Al Getz and some assorted lardasses, and Iceberg squashing Jason Blackman into a pancake (Wilson dubs it "demolishment"). Tonight will bring us a Rick Michaels "State of Wildside" address, NWA North American Heavyweight champion Jorge Estrada defending his belt against Hotstuff Hernandez, and in the main event, Jimmy Rave takes on Jason Cross!
-And now for an unannounced treat, as your lord and mine, Salvatore Rinauro, has made his way to the concession stand with a clipboard. He has a petition for the restoration of the Phoenix Fury Legdrop, and he'd like the concession stand lady to sign it. "It's your favorite move, I know, I could see a twinkle in your eye when I mentioned it!" Sal pleads his case while the concession stand lady looks uninterested. "So what if I dropped a few people on their heads? It's wrestling, I want to win matches, I need my finisher! I don't want to use the Double Shot anymore, that move's kinda ugly." "Sal...are you gonna buy somethin'?" "BUY SOMETHING?? This is important business! This is my finisher! HOW CAN YOU THINK OF FOO- how much is popcorn?" "A dollar." "A DOLLAR?? I am outta here!" Do I even need to tell you how great this was?
-Dan Wilson is in the ring, reading off an introduction for CEO Rick Michaels to make his "State of Wildside" address. Michaels, who is now able to walk without his cane, shakes Wilson's hand and wastes no time getting down to business: He orders Jeff G. Bailey to make his way out to the ring. Bailey complies, actually walking without any NWA Elite backup for once. "Bailey, there's one reason I don't just knock the crap outta you right now, because I know each and every person in Wildside wants you to get your ass beat, but as the CEO I'm gonna do things by the book. At the last TV taping, I saw what you did to Jason Blackman, you took off your belt and whipped him like an animal." Bailey offers protests, and Michaels quickly tells him to shut up, then says he knows Bailey was trying to get to him through his last student. "Bailey, if you're tryin' to get at me, you don't gotta go through anyone else, I'm right here in front of your face. So if you got somethin' to say, say it bitch." Bailey, of course, is more than happy to voice his opinion: He thinks the wrestling business has ruined Michaels, and he's doing a mediocre job as CEO as a result. Bailey then generously gives Michaels a chance to give him back his job as CEO, or even better, they could work as a team. "Together we could be like Steven Hawking! I can bethe smartest man in the world half, and you can be the worthless cripple half." Now thatwas cold. Michaels says he may only be at 50% physical condition and he can't hang with the guys in the back yet, but he can still kick Bailey's ass...for now, though, he'll let him off. "I'm gonna leave the ring this time, but hear this warning, Bailey. Next time we're in the ring together, face-to-face, I'm gonna stick my boot so far up your ass you'll floss my shoestrings, bitch." Michaels turns to leave, but Bailey LEAPS ON HIM WITH CLUBBING FOREARMS! Whoa. Bailey puts the boots to Michaels then takes off his boot and dishes out some lashes, just like he did to Blackman last week. Bailey manages three lashes before the Lost Boys, Jason Blackman, Slim J and Kid Kool (all Michaels trainees) all rush the ring and Bailey makes a beeline for the backdoor. Tonya Michaels is also quick to hit the ring and check on her husband, who does manage to get up and leave on his own.
I didn't remember this at all from reading the TV taping report, so it was a complete surprise to me, and on top of that it was one hell of an angle. Michaels and Bailey are two of the greatest out there on the mic, and both were at their best here. Michaels in particular was intense and he drew me completely into the angle. Bailey was such a sleazebag here, even more than usual, and having all of Michaels' students run out for the save was a nice touch. An excellent follow-up to last week's main event.
-Air Paris is out for some of what he does best: gabbin'."Now when I was bored last weekend, I checked the Wildside message board, and I read something about me no-showing the past few weeks against Todd Sexton. Well, last I checked, tickets here were ten dollars, and you don't pay ten dollars to see a talent like me. For the three weeks I didn't show up you people all paid thirty dollars, which is about a good enough price to see Air Paris wrestle one match." Paris says that when he finally does show up this week, he finds that Todd Sexton has turned tail and ran. "Todd Sexton, if you're not man enough to be here in person, you can (lick) my (balls)! Now, can I get a ref out here, I wanted a match with Todd Sexton and now I want a countout." What a shock, Andrew Thomas has taken the honors for this questionable 'match', but before we can continue, Todd Sexton has joined us via the Wildside video screen. Looks like he borrowed Paris handheld camera from a few weeks ago as well. Sexton (looking entirely too much like Ric Blade for my liking) talks about how he Superkicked Nemesis a few weeks ago and Superkicked 'Simon Semen' as well, but he hasn't been able to Superkick Paris. Sexton says that if Paris wanted to waste his time a few weeks ago, it's now his turn to waste Paris' time, and they'll have the match when HE wants it. Paris is unphased and still wants his forfeit victory. "Andrew, ring the bell, let's count this piece of chicken crap out."
-Air Paris vs. Todd Sexton. Thomas makes it to six before Sexton makes a surprise entrance through the crowd, sneaking up on Paris from behind and laying into him with right hands. Sexton looks for an early Superkick but Paris bails to the floor, where Sexton gives chase. Paris just as quickly heads back in the ring where he begs off in the corner, then goes to the eyes and lands a sucker punch too. Well, no one ever said Paris wasn't a good cheater (or drinker, for that matter). Paris connects with some more punches and sends Sexton into the ropes, looking for the Superkick but Sexton catches it and drops him with several rights. Sexton follows that up by tossing Paris into the ropes and landing a spinning heel kick for a two count. Another whip by Sexton, he goes for a leapfrog but Paris stops himself from hitting the ropes and UN FOULs Sexton. Paris goes to the rear chinlock, showing that his work ethic remains as stellar as it was back in late 2001. Paris decides to pull Sexton to his feet and takes him to the corner for an open-hand slap, but Sexton switches their positions and lands a slap of his own. Cross-corner whip by Sexton, trying a charging forearm but Paris blocks, then he clotheslines Sexton down and covers for two. Paris heads back to the chinlock as Wildside Continues...
We return to find Sexton fighting his way out of the chinlock, rallying back with elbows to the gut. Sexton throws Paris off into the ropes and goes for a leapfrog, Paris looks to kick him low again but Sexton has it scouted and catches the kick, then gives Paris some groinal abuse of his own with an inverted atomic drop. Both men catch a breather while Thomas puts a count on. Paris is back to his feet at five and he throws a pair of rights at Sexton, Sexton returns fire with a right of his own, then he hits a jawbreaker that sends Paris recoiling off the ropes, right into a clothesline. Paris scrambles to the corner, looking for a break but all he gets is a charging forearm from Sexton. Cross corner whip attempt by Sexton, Paris reverses, Sexton nips up and tries a clothesline, but Paris ducks and there's a Superkick right on the button! Sexton has hits wits about him enough to roll to the floor, but he looks dazed. Paris heads out after Sexton, looking for another Superkick but Sexton moves so Paris ends up crotching himself on the guardrail, then Todd gives him a receipt with a Superkick while he's seated there! Both men are down again, and Sexton manages to beat Thomas' count in time by rolling Paris in. Sexton slowly crawls into a cover on Paris, hooking the leg, one, two, Nemesis pulls Thomas out of the ring! Simon Sermon has also made his way out and he's on the apron baiting Sexton. Todd swings with a right cross but Sermon ducks it and hotshots him on the ropes, then Paris connects with another Superkick to put Sexton down! Paris covers but Thomas is still down on the outside, it takes him a while but he finally gets it together and crawls back in the ring for a slow count, one...two...NO! Sexton kicks out at the last moment. Sermon holds him in position- this never, ever works- sure enough, Sexton ducks and Paris' Superkick clocks Sermon instead. Sexton lunges at Paris with yet another Superkick, and this one is enough to end the match (5:00, 77). Wilson: "A big victory for Todd Sexton, finally silencing the verbal diharrea of Air Paris with a Superkick enema!" Prazak: "How elegantly put." Paris exerted zero effort on offense but Sexton had enough energy to make this work. The dueling Superkicks story was cool concept, and since it was a blowoff the interference didn't really hurt.
-The Dark City Soldiers (sans One Man Posse) are in the ring when we get back, Murder One reminding the crowd of how he's given them the best of himself with ladder matches, four corners of pain matches, and something involving a fat white guy and an SUV (couldn't quite make this one out; anyone want to clue me in here? Jenn? Larry?). One says he's got his greatest idea yet: the "Murder One mixtape". He addresses all the crackas in the audience to direct their attention to the 'Murdatron'. "Cameraman, kick that footage!"
We join One and Jackson in a car, chatting as they cruise rural Georgia. Eventually they stop when they spot Jeff Lewis (still sporting that eye bandage) going to enter a building, sprinting out of their car to pummel him to the ground and stomp him down from there. Jackson suggests, "Let's go before the cops get here!" and the two split, One making sure to add a final stomp before leaving.
Back in the NCW Arena, One reponds to the jeers of the fans by reminding them he doesn't care what they think. One says that was Oscar material and he's ready for his closeup, but his ramblings are cut short by a live feed on the video screen, showing a wrecked Jeff Lewis exiting a white SUV and making his way into the arena! We get a cool tracking shot following Lewis en route to the arena, where he stumbles onto the rampway and takes the mic. "Chains, blunts and now an attack in the parking lot- that's fine. That's fine if you wanna do that, but next time I'm gonna find a partner and we'll see how you like that, you bitch!" One says that Lewis will need some glasses to find a partner, and then he suggests that Lewis bring three people: Himself, a partner, and a seeing eye snake, "so you can crawl on your belly and get the hell kicked out of you again, bitch!" Lewis promises revenge, but he's a smart man and he's gonna take his revenge in the near future, not now. There sure has been a lot of talking on the show this week, but it's all been good and more importantly, it's all leading up to matches in the future. That's a lesson Vince and friends should've learned a long time ago.
-We rejoin Salvatore Rinauro in his quest to get people to sign his petition; this time, he's accosting ticket lady Maria Berry and Mrs. Berry. Rinauro calls Berry's mom "sweetheart, the love of my life...except for you, pookie" and he coddles his Jr. Heavyweight title. Sal talks about how the "evil CEO, Rick Michaels" (we know he's evil because Rinauro makes evil hissing noises when mentioning his name) banned the Phoenix Fury Legdrop, going into a mini-rap about how great the PFL is. Rinauro tells Berry to "make the world a better place and sign". "Sal, do you wanna buy a ticket to the show?" "BUY A TICKET TO THE SHOW?? I am the show! (Sal kisses his Rookie of the Year trophy) Let's go, sweetheart." Anything I say about this will just be blithering Rinauro fanboyness, so we'll just move on.
-Hotstuff Hernandez vs. Jorge Estrada for the NWA North American championship. No clue what defense this is for Estrada, I just know he defended the title against Tracy Smothers in IWA Mid South on night two of the Ultra Styles Clash weekend. Estrada (who was a regular in Wildside back in '00 and '01, btw) disappoints me heavily by having trimmed back his blowout afro. Hernandez and Estrada circle to start, then circle some more before settling on a collar-and-elbow, where Hernandez tosses Estrada away with ease. More circling and another collar-and-elbow, and again Hernandez throws Estrada away. Hernandez lunges for another tieup but Estrada ducks out, waistlock by Estrada, standing switch by Hernandez, Estrada wants the single-leg takedown but Hernandez is too big, so Estrada scoops him up in a schoolboy for a two count. Estrada uses a pair of dropkicks to send Hernandez staggering. Irish whip by Estrada, Hernandez reverses but he telegraphs the backdrop so Estrada kicks him, then sends him into the ropes for an armdrag and 'bar. Estrada stretches Hernandez's arm, breaking it only to keep working it over with some kneedrops. Hernandez still refuses to give to the armbar, so Estrada drags him to his feet and puts him against the ropes for repeated knees to the gut. Hernandez decides to just throw Estrada off into the ropes and leapfrog him, he also does a no-look leapfrog on the way back (!), then takes Estrada's head off with a lariat. Bodyslam by Hernandez, following that up with a press into a Michinoku Driver II! Hernandez kinda lost Estrada for a second there. but it was still way better than any MotherF'NBomb Zandig has ever done. Hernandez with the first cover of the match, getting a two count, then he takes Estrada to the corner. Chops by Hernandez, and he follows with his now-trademark goozle overhead suplex for another two count. Hernandez slams Estrada down and slingshots in with a splash for a third nearfall. Hernandez with a whip, looking for a leapfrog again but this time Estrada counters it with a Rydeen Bomb! Cover by Estrada, Hernandez getting the shoulder up at two but Estrada goes right to a reverse chinlock- more of a ground sleeper, actually. Hernandez gasps for air and struggles, but he eventually makes it to his feet...and Wildside Continues? They normally do that while the resthold is actually on, how odd.
We're back and Hernandez tries coming off the ropes, only to get clotheslined by Estrada for a two count. Punch by Estrada and he whips Estrada pillar to post, sending him into opposite corners and landing a charging forearm each time. Estrada with another cross-corner whip, looking for the charging forearm but the third time isn't the charm and Hernandez moves out of the way. Atomic drop onto the top rope by Hernandez, then he heads up top and lands a missile dropkick that sends Estrada to the floor! Very impressive. Hernandez comes off the ropes and gets a full head of steam, he's ready to dive but Estrada rolls out of his range. Hernandez walks out to the floor instead and Estrada gets on him with chops against the guardrail, then the champ rolls Hernandez back in the ring and lands a missile dropkick for a two count. Right by Estrada, but Hernandez shrugs it off and lands a gutshot before planting Estrada with a Dominator! Hernandez covers, one, two, Estrada kicks out. Hernandez ascending the turnbuckle now, but he takes too much time and Estrada crotches him with a dropkick (Hernandez actually falling to 'crotch' himself a bit soon). Estrada heading up top now, and a nice 'rana sends Hernandez flying to the mat! Cover by Estrada, but Hernandez is able to kick out in time. Estrada signals and heads upstairs, looking for a Moonsault maybe? We'll never know, as Hernandez gets to his feet and hooks Estrada up off the top rope, tossing him from there with the running Awesomebomb! No one gets up from that, and Hernandez gets the pin, becoming your NEW NWA North American champion. (7:58, 75) I heard this was a sloppy match, but if it was one live it didn't look like one on tape; in fact, Hernandez looked more solid than he has yet. Hernandez is improving quite a bit, his transitions and selling still need major work but he's fun to watch and is adding new moves to his arsenal. He didn't have someone as great as David Young to carry him this week and the result was that the match had a fairly weak first half. Still, Hernandez continues to look better with every show and he's being built up very well by Wildside. Just wish he wasn't getting the god push everywhere, but what can you do?
-Jimmy Rave vs. Jason Cross (with Jeff G. Bailey). We learn that Rave is again dedicating his match to Jeremy V. Rave claps rhythmically to hype the crowd, while Cross looks severely unimpressed. Collar-and-elbow tieup, Cross powers Rave to the corner and breaks uncleanly with a slap, then he backflips arrogantly (but fails to point to himself). Rave has no time for this shit and he's all over Cross, slapping him in the face and lacing into him with chops, then sending him into the ropes for a hard lariat. Clothesline by Rave and he sends Cross into the ropes, Cross stops himself from coming back so Rave sprints in and clotheslines him right out to the floor. Rave looks outside and the crowd knows what's coming, Jimmy running the ropes for a dive only for Bailey to grab his foot! Cross tries to surprise Rave with a clothesline from behind but Rave ducks and lands another chop. Whip by Rave, Cross trying a kick on the way back but Rave catches it, Cross tries the Owen Hart enzuigiri but Rave ducks, only for Cross to connect with a reverse enzuigiri. Rave stumbles backwards into the corner while Cross admires his handiwork, then casually walks in to catch Rave in the face with a high kick. Cravate into a snapmare by Cross and he goes to town on Rave's neck, landing a pair of lightning legdrops and finishing the sequence with his awesome somersault legdrop, which earns him a two count. Cross continuing to work the neck, using his forward roll headscissors submission that really needs a name. Cross keeps his legs tightly bent around Rave's neck, but Rave is able to scoot his leg under the bottom rope to force a break. Stomps to the neck by Cross and he sends Rave into the ropes, looking for a clothesline but Rave floats over into a sunset flip (this looked unbelievably cool), only for Cross to use the momentum to catch Rave in the face with a sliding dropkick! Cross covers for a nearfall, then lands a field goal kick on Rave's ribs. Facelock by Cross, looks like Brainbuster time but he decides to taunt a fan, giving Rave the opportunity to rage back with a flurry of forearms and HE plants Cross with a Brainbuster! Cover by Rave, one, two, Cross manages a late kickout. Forearm by Rave and he tries sending Cross into the ropes, Cross reverses, Rave looks for the spinning DDT but Cross throws him off, trying a clothesline but Rave ducks and tosses him over with a German suplex! Cross stares at the lights while Rave gets his bearings; apparently, every match must have a commercial tonight, so Wildside Continues...
We return and not much has changed, Rave slowly making it to his feet while Cross pulls himself up using the ropes. Rave seizes the opportunity and goes to press Cross off those ropes with an O'Connor roll, but Cross grabs the top rope and *pastes* Rave with a kick to the side of the head! Cross pulls Rave up to the corner and sets up for the Idolizer (Cross hooks the victim's arms from the second rope and flips off into a Tomikaze) but Rave pushes him off, Rave looking for an Osaka Stunner now but Cross flips to his feet- and when Cross spends too much time in self-congratulation Rave makes him pay for it by taking him for a ride with a rotating Thunder Fire Powerbomb! Rave holding on to keep Cross' shoulders pinned, one, two, shoulder up by Cross but Rave IMMEDIATELY clamps on the Crossface! Cross screams and Rave is relentless, cranking back on the neck. Bailey lends a hand, pushing the bottom rope closer as referee Speedy Nelson (nice lip piercing, Speedy) isn't looking, but Cross still struggles for every inch before he gets that rope break. Snapmare by Rave and a soccer kick, and now he's pulling off his kneepad. Rave off the ropes, he wants the Trance Rave but Cross counters at the last second with a dropkick right to Rave's exposed knee! Rave is doubled over and Cross comes off the ropes, planting Rave with a STANDING Idolizer (as in, he still lept over and got the same height and velocity he'd get off the second rope)! Cross covers, but Rave gets the shoulder up at the absolute last second! Mah oh mah. Cross hooks rave, here comes the BEST BRAINBU- NO, Rave shifts the pile and spikes Cross with a Northern Lights bomb!! Cover that man, Jimmy! Rave, however, is too fatigued and he's prolly delaying too long, he eventually does crawl into a cover, one, two, NO! Rave registers disappointment but he stays on Cross, cinching him up in the corner. Rave looks for the Gravity Killer but Cross blocks it, gutshot by Cross and then, out of nowhere, he snaps Rave off the second rope with the Triple Cross! Cross covers and he gets himself a surprisingly clean victory (6:43, 85). Cross isn't done after the bell, stomping Rave and then deciding that we're gonna see that Brainbuster after all. Cross calls for the Shooting Star Legdrop and he heads to the top floor, but Jeremy V (wearing the neckbrace again) sprints out with a chair to chase Cross off! V checks Rave and jabs the chair at Cross when he swipes at Rave. Cross exits (to his old theme music, praise allah; I was getting sick of Godsmack) while Wilson announces that as an immediate punishment for Bailey's actions earlier, Rainman will defend his World Television title against Onyx next week. That's all for this week.
Seven minutes isn't a lot of time to have a match in, but Rave and Cross really made the most of their time and put on a blowaway match. While Cross was having some real good matches as a face, his real charisma and skill is as a heel, as witnessed in his great performance two weeks ago in the V & Rave/Cross & Rainman tag and here, where he was such an arrogant asshole. Cross didn't do one move without subtly or overtly preening about how great it was, and it added a dimension to a match that already had a frantic pace going for it. Rave, meanwhile, showed a lot of fire and had the crowd totally behind him, definitely showing himself to be the new #1 face in Wildside (Young isn't around enough anymore, and while Hernandez has his following he's not there yet, especially ability-wise). There were a lot of cool moves in this match, but they all felt built-up to so it wasn't inNOVAtion for the sake of innovation when the standing Idolizer or spinning Thunder Fire were busted out. The two even put in a pair of good submission/struggle spots AND some body part work, all this in six minutes- very impressive. Oh, and yet another match to show any dipshit that wants to say Cross is a charismaless spotfest worker.
-For every show since Hardcore Hell, Wildside has managed to stick at least one very good match on their shows (normally in the main event), meaning even the shows with the dreariest undercards would have something worthwhile. Certainly, they were very light on wrestling this week, but the main event- as usual these days- made it a thumbs-up show, and on top of that the opening angle was extremely hot. Also, Jeff Lewis/Dark City Soldiers angle was well done, Air Paris lost in satisfying fashion, and Salvatore Rinauro got two segments to show why he's better than ten Super Bowls; all in all, a fine week of television.
Alright, time to take Dave Attell's advice and get some sleep...remember, Jesus (or Allah, or Buddha, or Sal, whoever) smiles when you send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.