|Tales from the Eastside Directory||
NWA Wildside TV Report (Episode #195)
Tales From the Eastside by Patrick McGovern
-Wow, this report is out within a week of the show airing! Look at me being all timely and stuff. I promise to do better from now on...really. I missed #194 but Larry Goodman, who really is the coolest man alive right now (aside from Sal Rinauro and maybe Bob Sapp), generously agreed to send me a tape of it free of charge, so a review will be up next week. Anyway, before I get to the actual review, I have a little something to say. It may not exactly be coherant. Feel free to skip it.
-Patrick Hates the Internet: So IWA-MS had their big "Revolution" tournament last Friday, and all the internet was atwitter about it. Then the results came in, and the same people that were all giddy with glee end up trashing the show based on the fact that BJ Whitmer used a loaded forearm. IT WASN'T "STRONG STYLE" (except for the fact that NJPW- what this whole wacky 'Strong Style' indy fad is based on- had Stan Hansen using that same gimmick nearly a quarter century ago, thanks Bix)! ROH WOULDN'T USE A GIMMICK LIKE THIS (except for all those ref bumps and outside interference no contests they've been doing lately)! UNFAIR! WASTE OF MONEY (except for a lot of you that aren't even going to buy the tape, you're just going to bitch about the results on CZWFans)! Wah wah wah whine bitch bitch bitch. Everyone I've talked to that's seen the show has said that it was at the very least a good show, plus it's immeasurably retarded to judge a show *you haven't even seen yet*. Jesus christ. I managed to hold back my whining about everyone else's whining when dipshit ROH fans buried Iceberg because he wasn't shiny and wearing tiny pants and doing STRONG STYLE WRISTLOCKS~!, and when those same fans complained about Iceberg being a white supremicist, I also held back. Lately, though, the bitching has just gotten to me, it's making me regret ever looking at message boards. I'm beginning to wonder if people watch wrestling to enjoy it, or to analyze it and bitch about what doesn't meet their incredibly narrow standards.
If I may paraphrase one of my favorite bands here: "They had a lot to say, they had a lot of nothin' to say..."
Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of ROH's wrestling, but they're doing a lot to encourage this narrow-minded negative bullshit. Listen to some of the company line, on commentary and on the website, and it's awfully close-minded, isn't it? That other company in Philly, they're just garbage wrestling (way to talk about the guys that are helping you out), and lucha libre is bullshit, and some of those cheating tactics may work 'down South', but not in ROH, and of course you need to have a proper look- can't have you looking like some backyarder, so go make yourself nice and shiny and muscular, and then we'll talk. Go check the news updates or the tape commentary, it's all there It's no wonder a lot of the ROH fans are scary, scary people, and the ROH crowd has gone into such decline that morons like Hat Guy seem to be the rule rather than the exception. ROH has great wrestling, it just has shitty everything else. It's that 'everything else' that is bothering the hell out of me, and I cabe alone. I'm sorry if this didn't make any sense but some of this had to be said.
Okay, let me make this real simple to close, because a lot of the people this is targetted at are pretty thickheaded and need things spelled out for them: Shut up and enjoy the wrestling...even the wrestling that isn't 'honorable' with handshakes and armdrags and INDY RESPECT!! standoffs and really tiny pants
With that unpleasantness out of the way, let's get to YOUR (and mine, too) #1 wrestling alternative!
-Wildside intro. One hundred and ninety-five down, five to go...
-Steven Prazak thanks us for joining them, and I'd like to thank you for joining me as well. Prazak talks last week, where the only thing worth mentioning apparently was Future Shock vs. BJ Whitmer and the Unibrow Warrior, Matt Stryker in a match for the tag team titles; Future Shock successfully made their V2 defense of the belts after a SUPER beltshot from Jay Freeze after just under twenty minutes of action. Dan Wilson talks this week: Jeff G. Bailey still has his open challenge for any Rick Michaels' student to take on Iceberg, and the Boogalou Crew are in the house- they'll be taking on Tank and Bulldog Raines. Enough talk, let's get to watchin', maaaan.
-Matt Stryker and BJ Whitmer stand in front of the blue curtain to have a word with you and I; the man with the loaded forearm pad glares while the man with the Unibrow speaks. "Last week, we left beaten, not defeated (...) Future Shock, you got one over on us once, well, that's a one-time deal. Next time we're gonna leave with those Wildside tag titles!" This seemed to set up a return from Whitmer & Stryker and a rematch, which are both things I want to see, but Wildside has been known to occasionally leave things like this hanging...let's hope this isn't one of those times, since the tag scene could use some fresh faces.
-Aguila Negro vs. Don Juan vs. Drew "the Don" Johnson. All three are TWA students, of course; Negro is the new face here, he's a tiny masked flier in...overalls? JIP, Negro being all lucha fiery with a dropkick and springboard jalapeno for Johnson, then forearming Juan off the apron. Springboard plancha by Negro connects with Johnson and Negro holds on for the pin, but it's only a two count. Corbata by Negro takes Johnson over and the Don bails to the floor- and Negro flies out onto him with a spaceman plancha! Juan is in the ring now and Negro joins him, charging in and applying a side headlock, Juan shoots him off, drop down by Juan, leapfrog on the way back but Aguila stops himself and...points to the ceiling? Juan must think "gullible" is written there because he looks up, leaving him open for a slap from Negro. Pair of clotheslines from Negro and he covers for a nearfall. Negro off the ropes again, he does a leapfrog, landing in a bodyscissors on Juan, then swinging from there into Code Red (the high-speed sunset bomb, not the Cross Armbreaker for all you Craig Pittman fans out there)! That gets another nearfall for Negro. Meanwhile, Johnson has finally recovered and he's back in the ring, planting Juan with a Rydeen bomb and getting a nearfall for himself. Juan finally mounts some offense of his own, clotheslining Johnson from the ring and going for a press slam on Negro, but Negro lands on his feet and clocks Juan with an enzuigiri. Negro heads to the top rope...standing there an awful long time, actually, as Juan uses a baseball slide dropkick to cut Johnson off from entering the ring. Negro leaps off the top rope, looking for a flying sunset flip on Juan but the Latino simply sits down, pinning Negro's shoulders- one, two, three! (around 3:00 aired) This was pretty much your typical Wildside dark match, and I guess they needed something to fill time since they had to stretch the taping footage out for three shows. Nothing to see here.
-Masada vs. Jason Blackman. Blackman leads the crowd in rhythmic clapping after the bell. Collar-and-elbow starts us off and Masada armdrags Blackman out of it with relative ease. Another collar-and-elbow and Masada muscles Blackman away. A third collar-and-elbow, and again Masada uses his strength to his advantage and shrugs Blackman off. A FOURTH collar-and-elbow and Masada keeps up his dominance with a hiptoss, then he hits a corner to pose and the crowd disapproves. A FIFTH lockup (do a knucklelock or something!) and Masada continues to control with a bodyslam. Blackman is justifiably frustrated. We have, you guessed it, yet another lockup but this time Blackman is getting some offense in, throwing Masada with a quick armdrag. Blackman follows up with a hiptoss, bodyslam and dropkick in rapid succession and now it's Masada that's frustrated; he takes a powder on the floor. Masada makes his way back in and Blackman meets him with a headlock, Masada shoots him off, betcha a shoulderblock is coming up. Sure enough, Blackman shoulderblocks him down. Masada to his feet and he's not happy with the way the match is going, staring at Blackman and shoving him hard. Collar-and-elbow (seven!), Blackman back to the headlock and he cranks in with it. Masada eventually is able to shoot Blackman off again and Blackman again connects with the shoulderblock. Blackman off the ropes now, Masada drops down and leapfrogs on the way back, looking for a hiptoss to follow that but Blackman blocks and tosses Masada with one of his own. Dropkick by Blackman and he makes the first cover of the match, getting barely a two count. Irish whip by Blackman, Masada puts the brakes on as he hits the ropes so Blackman charges in, only for Masada to put his head down so Blackman ends up taking a nasty header to the floor. Masada smells blood, so he continues his attack by slingshotting out onto Blackman with a somersault (!) pescado! Masada puts the boots to Blackman and rolls him in the ring, where he snapmares him over and connects with a soccer kick. Masada straps on a reverse chinlock, but Blackman starts to rally soon after, fighting to his feet and throwing elbows to break the hold. Blackman off the ropes, but all he succeeds in doing is running into a Masada gutshot. Masada is quick to follow up, coming off the ropes with a Yakuza kick to Blackman's face then snapmaring him over for another hard kick to the back. Lateral press by Masada but Blackman gets the shoulder up at two. Masada heading up to the second rope now, taking time- a LOT of time- to taunt the crowd, that's never a good idea. Masada finally settles on something to do, leaping off with a second rope splash that crashes down right on Blackman's boot! Blackman takes advantage, landing a flurry of punches then whipping Masada into the path of a dropkick. Masada begs off to the corner but Blackman hears none of it and lands a back elbow. Blackman whips Masada pillar-to-post, sending him hard into two corners, then flying into him with his signature handspring elbow. Masada is out on his feet and Blackman heads upstairs. Looks like he's setting up for the reverse Blockbuster but Masada has it scouted, backing up into the corner to crotch Blackman- and we cut to a TNA commercial? No "Wildside Continues" buffer or anything, that's really strange. (? 6:00, 74) No finish to the match airs, instead cutting away to the TNA Xplosion intro. Turns out this was actually a planned move and not WGTW stupidity like I first thought. It's a shame, as this was a good basic match and it was just heating up when they cut away.
-Sure enough, we cut to a sample of Xplosion. Your announcers are Mike Tenay and Don West and your match is...
-Joey Idol (with Dangerously Handsome and V.J. Love) vs. Jimmy Rave. Idol is the former 'Kaos' of XPW, with Handsome being the former GQ Money and Love the former Valentina/J-Love. Rave is the current Jimmy Rave and he deserves better than this. Idol wastes no time putting the boots to Rave, following that up with a trio of chops. Irish whip by Idol and he lands a back elbow, then Handsome sneaks in with a choke. Bodyslam by Idol and he covers for two. Whip by Idol, he telegraphs the backdrop so Rave kicks him, but Idol shrugs that off and plants Rave with a press slam into an Ace Crusher. Hmm, there was another former XPW worker that used that move, whatever happened to that guy? Idol gets another nearfall. Punches by Idol and he goes for another bodyslam but this time Rave drops behind, into an O'Connor roll for a quick nerfall. Gutshot by Rave puts Idol down, so Rave comes off the ropes and takes his head off with the Trance Rave! We're busy looking at Love's breasts so we miss the cover, but cut back in time to see Idol kick out. Snapmare by Rave and he gives Idol a hard kick in the back. Rave takes his kneepad off, looks like he wants a second Trance Rave but Love grabs his foot as he hits the ropes. Rave grabs her and Idol tries to break it up with a charge, but Rave ducks so Idol ends up sending his own valet to the floor. Chops by Rave and he attempts a whip, Idol reverses but Rave comes back the other way with a sunset flip- one, two, no. Rave with From Dusk 'til Dawn, cranking away on Idol's neck, he may be tapping here but Handsome has interjected himself again by taking the attention of referee Mike Posey. Rave releases the crossface and dumps Handsome, giving Idol an opportunity to lift Rave onto his shoulders. Electric chair? No, Rave flies backwards and spikes Idol with a reverse 'rana, the former Kid Kaos landing right on his head (Rave's landing isn't so pretty either)! Of course that's gonna finish things, Rave picking up the victory (2:40, 66). Don West wants a replay of the finish..and he gets it! Lots of action for the time, but that doesn't necessarily make it good action. Rave looked fine, but Idol did not and all the interference from his entourage was more annoying than effective. You simply can't have a good match in under three minutes under most circumstances, plus Rave is not the kind of guy to work three minute specials.
-Iceberg and Jeff G. Bailey are heading out to the ring, ready to answer the challenge of one of Rick Michaels' students. Andrew Thomas is more aggressive than usual in getting Wilson to part the ropes, not even asking before shoving Dan into the ropes so Bailey can make a dignified entrance. CEO Rick Michaels enters, and he brought the microphone with him. "I agreed to it and said you could have one of my students, so Bailey, my student is...THE LOST BOYS."
-Iceberg (with Jeff G. Bailey) vs. The Lost Boys in a nontitle, unsanctioned handicap match. Gabriel totes a ladder while Azrael has a steel chair in tow; Gabriel stands the ladder in the aisle, presumably for later use. Azrael and Gabriel storm the ring, Iceberg tries to crush them with a double lariat but the Boys duck and nail 'Berg with swift kicks to the leg in stereo, then Azrael hits a lightning-quick dropkick to the face while Gabriel connects with one of his own seconds later. Azrael and Gabriel are relentless, Azrael hooking on a bridging cravate so Gabriel can get another dropkick in to the face of the no-pain train. Iceberg, caught off guard by the speed of these kids, stumbles into the corner, where the Lost Boys meet him with more punishing kicks, then each man hits a corner and they charge in with dueling bootscrapes to Iceberg's face! Gabriel nails a springboard leg lariat and Azrael does the same, then the two do their tornado kick doubleteam (Gabriel charges in and Azrael catches him, swinging him around into a roundhouse to the victim in the corner). Shockingly, the Lost Boys have been in total control so far. Both Lost Boys hit the ropes but Rainman is out, lowering the bridge so Gabriel spills to the floor, which also distracts Azrael and leaves him open for a big side slam from Iceberg. Iceberg opens up a chair in the middle of the ring while Rainman has his way with Gabriel on the floor, sending him head-first into the post then slamming his head into the ladder. Back in the ring, Iceberg lifts Azrael up...AND DROPS HIM IN A BRAINBUSTER ON THE OPEN CHAIR!! Dear god, that was just BRUTAL. Rainman gives Gabriel a Spine Splitta on the ramp, but the camera AAAs that one. Iceberg has the ladder now, laying it on Azrael's back and standing in the corner- everyone knows what's coming- there's a massive GROUND ZERO SENTON sandwiching the ladder into Azrael! Iceberg isn't done; in fact, he's just getting started as he lays the ladder on Azrael's back again, grabs a chair and goes crazy, dishing out chairshot after vicious chairshot to the ladder! He lands eight chairshots in all before Bailey grabs his attention. Is he trying to calm Iceberg down? Not a chance- he's got the veggie peeler and Iceberg goes into a trance, knowing exactly what to do. Azrael desperately crawls to the ropes but that's not gonna help him, since Iceberg just sits on top of him and starts carving into his forehead with the peeler. 'Berg stabs it three times to draw blood, then resumes carving into the flesh as Gabriel desperately, weakly crawls into the ring. Bailey with the mic: "There's your student, Rick Michaels! Do you see, Rick Michaels? Get 'im, Rainman!" The Soul Assassin is right on top of Gabriel before he can even try and save his partner, raining down punches while security is finally able to pull Azrael to safety on the floor. Azrael is dripping an insane amount of blood on the floor, forming a puddle of his own blood under himself in a gruesome sight that Bailey relishes. "This can happen to any of you in this building, because when you screw with the NWA Elite, it's attempted suicide! Bring on more victims for the Iceberg! Oh my god, bodies will be littering this arena like it's Jonestown." Bailey gets a good look at Azrael laying face-down in his own blood, and he likes what he sees. "Look at the blood, it's beautiful! There's nothin' better than seein' a man bleed to death on the floor! Rick Michaels, that could be you." Thomas FINALLY makes an official ruling as Azrael is carried out, stopping the match due to excessive blood loss (ref stop, around 8:00).
-Back to the blue curtain for Future Shock to give their opinion on things. Freeze repeatedly mocks the "point to the heavens" gesture that the Lost Boys use while Brandon P talks about how they were supposed to face the Lost Boys, but Azrael is gone. "Who's left, Cutting Edge? Is that the best you got?" Freeze decides to give a direct message to the CEO himself. "Rick Michaels, let me tell you something. We beat the Lost Boys, Wrenn & Tank, Cutting Edge. You had to bring in someone else, Whitmer and Stryker, they're outsiders, they're from up North, ooh, we still beat them one, two, three. Rick Michaels, don't waste our time. As far as I see it, thirty days, we don't hafta do NOTHIN'."
-An emotional Rick Michaels is in the lockerroom, no doubt with some words for Bailey. "Jeff G. Bailey - NWA Elite - now you're makin' this personal. You wanna take out all my students, but Jeff G. Bailey, Freedom Fight is comin', and I have a special surprise for you." Gabriel helps a crying- and still profusely bleeding- Azrael into the room. "For every drop of blood that's droppin' now, JEFF G. BAILEY - YOU - WILL - BLEED."
See, that is how you do an angle. I can pretty safely tell you none of those lines were scripted, and even if the scenario was planned, all of the emotion from Michaels, Bailey, the Lost Boys and Iceberg was all real. Everything was planned out to perfection to advance storylines, from Future Shock's promo to Michaels foreshadowing of Freedom Fight to, of course, the gruesome bloodletting itself. That may not have been a match, but it was something to see, something that was very much worth seeing and something you all should go out of your way to see somehow. The scary thing is, for this feud, the best is yet to come...
-Closeup on the custom "BLC" chair and the camera pans over to show the BLC themselves, Scotty Wrenn and JC Dazz. Somehow I think Wrenn's words here will be a step down from the last ten minutes or so. "I got a message for Al Getz and his four little monkeys: Scotty Wrenn don't got a lot of friends, cuz I got one (points to Dazz) and his associate (points to the "BLC" chair). We don't give a damn! We fear nothin'! We are psychotic, and we will bring the violence!" At least he didn't say "tick tick!" once.
-The Boogalou Crew vs. Tank and Bulldog Raines (with Al Getz). The BLC rush the ring, Dazz spearing down Raines while Wrenn pounds away on Tank with rights, then sends him down with a big lariat. Raines and Tank bail for a strategy session with Getz; apparently that strategy session involved Tank feeding Raines to the wolves, since that's what he does, rolling the Rick Steiner-alike into the ring to get beaten on by Dazz. Punches are thrown by Dazz and he sends Raines into the ropes, Raines tries a sloppy clothesline but Dazz ducks and connects with another right. Armwringer and Dazz tags in Wrenn, who tosses Raines into the ropes and plants him with a hanging tree slam. Dazz wastes no time following up with a lightning legdrop on Raines, then after some more punches he catches Raines in the face with a leg lariat for a two count (no tag?). More rights from Dazz and he comes off the ropes, but his lariat is ducked and Raines drops him with a Rock Bottom. Tag to Tank and he goozles Dazz, throwing him by his scruff into the corner and landing a big right hand. Dazz slumps over and Tank goes to the opposite corner, charging in with a stinging kneescrape. Tank takes off his kneepad, looks like he wants another kneescrape but Dazz sees it coming and he catches the charging Tank with a Euro uppercut! Corner whip by Dazz and he charges in with a hard shoulderblock, but Raines runs in and "hits" a "clothesline". Well, in theory it was a clothesline. Wrenn makes his way in and he pounds on Raines and it's all broken down, if it was ever together to begin with. The Dobbins Brothersmake their entrance here and Wrenn actually skips out on the match to go and attack them, which would piss me off if I was JC Dazz. Wrenn has pretty good luck with the Dobbinses to start, but the pull out mace and spray it in his eyes to even the odds. The ref decides he's had enough of all this and throws the match out (2:40). Too short and chaotic to rate, but aside from the brief Tank/Dazz segments this was pretty bad.
Chaos reigns after the match as Tank and Dazz keep fighting in the ring and end up clotheslining each other down. Tank whips Dazz into the corner and tries an avalanche, but Dazz moves and clocks the sickle-wielding maniac with a Yakuza kick! Dazz ascends the turnbuckles, sizing Chad and Jason up for a plancha but Getz shoves him off before he can fly. Dazz is down and Al Getz Enterprises takes advantage, isolating Wrenn in the ring and commencing with a five-on-one assault. Dazz makes his way in with the "BLC" chair and the Dobbinses, Raines and Tank all scatter, leaving Getz alone with the Boogalou Crew- not a good place to be. Getz is put in the corner and Wrenn holds a chair up to his face while Dazz hits the opposite corner, he's ready to hit the Dazzinator but Getz's team is able to pull him to safety in the nick of time for the second time in a row. Wrenn grabs the mic and yells, saying he doesn't care about the odds and he & Dazz will take all four of them on in two weeks, at the next TV taping. Getz looks indecisive, then takes a mic of his own to reply. "Scotty Wrenn, every time you take the mic you prove your stupidity. You want the two of you-" That's Rick Michaels making his way out to snatch Getz's mic and add his opinion to the situation. "At the next TV taping, you guys are gonna get the chance to kick all four of these boys asses, and Al Getz, you're in the match too, (bitch)!" The Dobbins Brothers look happy with the news, but the other three are pretty morose. Prazak signs off on commentary, but the graphic tells us that Wildside Continues...
-Al Getz Enterprises are in the back and while Getz is a good talker, I don't really feel too enthusiastic about transcribing what he's saying right now. He namedrops Total Destruction, saying his boys will run the Boogalou Crew out of Wildside like the Dobbins Brothers ran TD away. He also says he doesn't care about being in the match, since he's got four of the meanest men in Wildside watching his back, so he won't get hurt. He also mentions that the Dobbinses being in this match means their suspension has to be lifted ::sigh::, which depresses me for various reasons. Best part of this is Raines barking most of the time, and at the end he pants like a dog while Getz pats him on the head and says "There there boy, it's okay". Bulldog Raines IS Rick Steiner!
-Closeup on a pool of blood on the arena floor, and where there's blood and suffering you can bet there's Jeff G. Bailey, backed up as always by Iceberg. "Rick Michaels, you see that blood, I find it so amusing. Even funnier is there's ten more even bigger out by the ring. You see that's Azrael's blood, the "Angel of Death". "Angel of Death" my ass. He nearly bled to death tonight and that's just the beginning. What happened tonight is a preview of whats going to happen to anyone who gets in our way before WarGames. War Games, as everybody knows, is the most dangerous match in professional wrestling. And you, Rick Michaels, wanna talk about you've got a surprise for me, I'm gonna bleed, blah, blah, blah. You can talk all you want because you can't deliver. You never have been able to. Anytime you've screwed with me; this is what has wound up happening." Bailey points to the huge puddle of blood and continues. "Last year at Freedom Fight, you were the one that nearly bled to death. You bring your ass anywhere near that cage this year and it's gonna get worse. Iceberg, you know what to do with that." Bailey hands the veggie peeler to Iceberg, who is immediately transfixed. "Rick Michaels, it's so sweet to have my hands stained in the blood of your students, but your students aren't going to be the only ones to pay. Pick your team. I don't care who it is because by God, it's a proven fact, Nobody in this dressing room can stop the NWA Elite. And this year Iceberg, a new level of brutality, a new level of violence, a new level of bloodshed! War Games: everybody on your team is gonna bleed. Not just a trickle. Not just a face full. THEY'RE GONNA BLEED TO DEATH! I guarantee it, War Games, you're all gonna die. You're all gonna drown in your own blood. "I can't wait to kill every last one of you." That promo speaks for itself, just read it. Brilliant, sociopathic stuff from the master of brilliant sociopathic promos. Bailey sounded even more like a serial killer here than ever before and I didn't think that was possible.
-For actual wrestling, this was prolly the worst Wildside episode of the year. The episode that had no commentary tracks and all music videos at least amended the Blackout/Lost Boys ladder match as a surprise to shore up the wrestling end of things; this had a dark match quality opener, a decent but thoroughly basic match in Masada/Blackman, a lame 'sampler' from TNA Xplosion and a severely underwhelming main event with a nonfinish. However, the Lost Boys/Iceberg/Bailey/Michaels stuff was off-the-charts awesome and made my permanant tape. So basically, most of this you could go your whole life without seeing and not regret it at all, but you should go out of your way to see the Lost Boys angle, or at the very least Bailey's closing promo (special thanks to "NWAEliteFan" at CZWFans MB for helping with the transcription). I'm gonna try and get TPI Night 2 up by the time I have #194 up next week, but I make no promises. Until then...