September 27, 2011

Spare Change Newsletter, volume 2 issue 3

Greetings all pro wrestling fans,

We here at the Spare Change Newsletter are happy to join you again for another issue in this interim between the first and second seasons of the Marshall Matters Show.


Smackdown guys are special because they get personalized graphics next to their names during their ring entrances, even when they’re guests on Raw. Mark Henry’s got a set of weights, Heath Slater has a guitar, Wade Barrett has a Union Jack, etc. Even though it would be fun to see what the Raw people would get as their icons/mascots, I’m still glad that they’re only on Smackdown. It fits more with the theme of the show, which you aptly described in your most recent post as being less serious (in a good way).

Of course, it isn’t always fun and games; I was actually kind of tense this week after it was announced that Mark Henry would have to defend the title in a lumberjack match. It seemed like it would be too convenient an opportunity for the belt to be taken off of him, considering all the guys around the ring who were bound to gang up on him at some point. Thankfully, he fought them all off and retained. He was great again on Raw, when he annihilated Great Khali! That was awesome for two reasons—first, the World’s Strongest Slam on Khali looked mega-cool, and second, we didn’t have to watch an actual match between them. Niiiice!


This week on TNA Impact Wrestling, RVD was attacked off-camera, and was found sprawled out on the floor backstage, and Hulk Hogan made an announcement that he was going to drop a bomb that would change the industry FOREVER… next week. In other words, a classic episode. Vintage TNA. Gaak!


ROH’s new TV show debuted this past Saturday, and it was a pretty good program which showed a lot of potential. It’s an hour long, and has plenty of top-notch pro wrestling. The inaugural episode had two matches, both tag team matches, and each were entertaining. Much the rest of the time was taken up by a review of June’s Best in the World iPPV, which ostensibly served to introduce new viewers to some of the higher profile talents on the roster. There was also a brief educatory video of Jim Cornette explaining how the ROH handshake protocol works. The rest of the hour was taken up by advertisements and promo interviews.

The way ROH works, or at least the way it seems to work, given my limited exposure to it, is that there aren’t dramatized story arcs, at least in the way that we’re used to seeing them. The stories are there alright, but they’re told almost entirely in the ring through the actions and characterizations of the performers. To really get a sense for who you want to root for, you need to watch a few programs to get a sense of what each guy is all about. It isn’t an easy transition to make for a person used to the WWE soap opera style, which clearly delineates the characters, and rarely features any wrestling matches that don’t center around a grudge. ROH is about pure competition, and while much of the roster can be easily identified as babyface or heel based on their entrance, the lack of melodrama is keenly felt, and it takes time for a would-be fan to connect with them. On the other hand, a wrestling fan who follows the program with any regularity will pick up on things, and may grow to appreciate their favorites even more so than with the WWE characters, since the ROH guys can only be judged on their own merit, as opposed to the spot they’re in, or the material they’ve been fed by creative. The in-ring style and ability of each wrestler is the bread and butter of getting over in ROH, but it isn’t just that. Pre-recorded backstage interview promos are scattered throughout the show, and are aired between matches, sometimes a few in a row. Some are introspective, to try and sell a character’s backstory, some are threatening and full of bravado, some are aimed at selling particular merch or events. They make it easier to pick up on the characters and make the overall product more relatable to viewers. This is in contrast to some of their past material, such as the iPPV they produced just two weekends ago, which featured match after match without any promos at all. There was one segment where a wrestler came out, got on the mic and worked an angle, but that only lasted about 5 minutes, and wasn’t exactly a time-out from the action. All the wrestling on the iPPV (titled Death Before Dishonor 9) was good, but without any backstory on the guys, or promos to sell their characters, to me it came off flat. There was one excellent wrestling match that stood out, but the main event of the show was too bloody and spotty for me to enjoy at all. I couldn’t say how ROH themselves felt about it, since they had plenty of opportunity to talk it up on their first TV show, but instead highlighted the far superior iPPV from 3 months ago.

The final verdict on the TV show is that it seems like a really well constructed reboot for a company boasting mountains of talent. The production looks better than it ever has, the commentary benefits from a new color guy- Nigel McGuinness (aka TNA’s Desmond Wolfe), and the crowd is loud and proud, which makes the overall feel of the program strong, fun to watch and to listen to. I think the groundwork is laid for what could be an engrossing pro wrestling show.


This was a really fun episode, despite RTruth and Miz not being around. If you noticed, they were even taken out of the intro videos. Mark Henry replaced Miz in the WWE signature video that opens every program, and Randy Orton, Mark Henry, and Cody Rhodes took their places in the Raw intro theme. Also, I’m pretty sure the Raw intro featured more Del Rio and Punk than it used to. Without the Awesome Truth's regular mid-show interruption, and only one HHH segment, the show actually kept a pretty consistent pace with lots of good old fashioned wrestling action.

The first match saw Cody Rhodes beat the odds to retain his Intercontinental belt, which I was super thrilled for. Not that he’s my favorite guy or anything like that, but I do like the fact that he’s champ. He makes it more high-profile than it has been in a long time. The 10 man over-the-top-rope match featured seven Smackdown guys, plus A-Ri, J-Mo, and Drew McIntyre, who was the first eliminated. Y’know, it wasn’t even that long ago that he was in an Elimination Chamber match for the WHW Championship, and now he can’t even beat Ted DiBiase on Superstars? Frax must be saaaad. :'(

The second match that was super fun to watch was a Teddy Long Special, a spur-of-the-moment 6 man tag with good guys vs. bad guys… vs. Mason Ryan. Well forget about that, and let’s rewind a minute. First, Ziggler successfully defends his US title against Zack Ryder, with the cheatin’ help of his cohort/rival Jack Swagger. This was cool because it means that they are indeed a stable working together, united by a common manager in Vickie Guerrero. I really hope this lasts for a while, and that their personal differences can be set aside for long enough to put their association to good use. When Vickie went back to find a third guy for the 6 man tag, Alice and I were PRAYING that she’d come back with Brodus Clay, who could help them to victory and earn a spot on Vickie’s talent roster as the enforcer of the group. That would’ve been rad, but instead we get to see Mason Ryan getting a cheap pop by (officially) turning face and unleashing his Welsh fury on Swagger and Ziggler, who had burned Ryan by comparing him to a robot last week. Maybe next week Ryan will have a real match on Raw, and be outed as the terrible hack that he is.

Another disappointment was the performance of John Cena, whose match with Christian was highlighted only by CM Punk’s commentary and Del Rio’s interference. John Cena himself was on commentary for the main event, and he was beyond shitty. He kept laying out these inane platitudes in his deadpan super-serious voice, which was incredibly lame. It was only just a few weeks ago that I complained about his lack of ability to build interest for his match at NoC, and now it’s basically the same gripe before HiaC. I’m not trying to hate on Cena too much, because I’m not a “Cena sucks” guy, but he leaves a lot to be desired, and is often frustrating to have on TV at all. He has moments of greatness, but they’re usually separated by weeks of mediocrity. And for cryin’ out loud, I hope he’s never on commentary again.

There were some notable utterances from the announcers on Raw this week. JR referred to the upcoming PPV as being a “bottomless pit of Hell” and Cole re-dubbed the Divas of Doom the “Sisters of Destruction”. But only one phrase resonated with me enough to merit induction into the Hall of Thriving Stubstance, and it was from Smackdown. Take it away Booker T!

It was a fantastic surprise having him on Raw this week in the place of Jerryatric Lawler. I enjoy his commentating so much, it won’t be long before I won’t be able to imagine WWE wrestling without it. Totally iconic. He rules.

Another good surprise was the utilization of David Otunga in a speaking role. He obviously feels comfortable in front of the camera, and what he lacks in in-ring experience he certainly makes up for in verbal skills, not to mention his great true-to-life gimmick. The whole “litigation angle” is about as lame as lame can be, but if it doesn’t take up too much TV time, and something good can come of it, I can’t complain. I’m curious to see where it goes, despite it being the lamest thing that’s ever happened in the history of the world.

One more super-lame thing before I go, and I’ve fussed about this before, but I absolutely HATE it when the “good guys” beat up on non-wrestlers. Cena and Punk punishing Ricardo with their finishing moves might get a cheer from the sea of churls who dominate the audience, but as someone who follows the storylines and buys into the characters, it’s always a source of discontent when the babyfaces send mixed messages by participating in such heelish behavior. I demand maturity and accountability from my pro wrestling, dammit!

Be excellent to each other,

Quarter Marshall

PS. Party on, dudes.

September 21, 2011


Well my friend. I sure have been lazy lately. The old days of weekly podcasts has dwindled to a few a month at best. While you are slaving away over hours of wrestling tapes im off goofin around watching other low brow entertainment. So, to pay you back for your recent finger bleeding posts i have decided to get all old school and TYPE this mothafuckin roster blowout. Just like the old days (about 6 months ago) when we would email our thoughts on wrestling to each other.

After i make myself a cup of coffee we will start with SMACKDOWN.
SMACKDOWN is a show that i have a love hate relationship with. It was the only show i watched back in 1999/2000 for some reason. Also it was the first WWE show that i really liked when i got back into wrestling in 2009. Some people call it the B show but i dont buy that. It's a little more fun, Less serious and has a lot of my faves (i miss you Mike Knox).
Brodus Clay: Last night, because of the bad taste that NOC and RAW left in my mouth, i was dying for some clean, fun and mindless wrestling. So i downloaded Superstars and that's exactly what i got. One of the matches was Brodus Clay against some goofy looking jobber. I love wrestlers like Brodus. Big ass dudes. I really believe that no one could get over on him because he is so huge and mean looking. Sure, his ring gear is not the most flattering but who cares. He can kick ass. I would love to see him on Smackdown teaming up with Sexual Chocolate. They would be killer.
Christian: I cant decide what i think of this dude. He has put on some awesome matches lately (despite the fact that they were against RKO) but i still couldnt care less. I guess he just bugs the shit outta me with all his bitching and his super long program with RKO. I guess that makes him a good heal. Just give him a story without RKO and im in.
Cody Rhodes: I dont think they really know what to do with the Dashing one. His gimmick is super weird and he kinda doesn't fit in with a lot of the roster. I wish he could head a stable if weirdos. But for now he is in a epic battle with Son Of DiBi. Which is a snoozefest. But i gotta say that i love Cody Rhodes and he will remain a fave no matter how crappy his stories are. And thank the good lord he took the Intercontinental belt of Big Zeke, Shit!
Daniel Brian: I have a theory about Mick Foley. I think that he got over so well (other than his talent) because of his look. His physique is not that of the average wrestler. He looks more like a dude you would see at the bottle return of Safeway than a top guy in pro wrestling. I think the fans could relate to a guy like Mick. This theory carries over to DBD. Sure, he is in great shape and can out wrestle almost everyone, but he kinda looks like a normal dude. His entrance isn't as epic as HHH's or entertaining as R Truth. He just walks to the ring with his finger in the air, talks a promo and then wrestles. I love DBD, he was hired to keep people like me happy. I hope he has a long carrier in the Mid Card (not a burn, i just feel some guys need to stay a mid card guy forever. Whats wrong with that?)
Ezekiel Jackson: Oh man, so boring. I'm amazed that he hasn't been suspended yet for violating the wellness policy. So boring zzzzzzzz
The Great Khali: On the other hand, the Punjabi Playboy is pure entertainment. Yeah, he is horrible and stupid and cant wrestle for shit but i find him funny.
Heath Slater: Jesus, maybe it is the B show. Here is another lame dude. Regardless if he can wrestle or not he still comes across as being super lame. He is so southern that i cant take him seriously. And that's coming from a guy who's whole side of his family is from the deep south. This dude would fit in way better on TNA. Without the Corrrrrre or the Nexus he just seems like a midcard on superstars.
Hornswoggle: What the hell do i have to say about this guy? Nothin
The Uso's: I sure hope the WWE get it together and give the tag division a push. I think it would be good for everyone. The Uso's are unique and might just need a real chance. I like the weird intro dance they do.
Jinder Mahal: I got high hopes for this guy. We haven't seen a whole lot of action from ol Jinder yet but i hope they change that soon. After he gets thru his feud with Khali i would really like to see him develop as a singles guy. He is really unique, has a cool theme and a great finisher. I feel like a geek liking this guy so much.
Johnny Curtis: This guy just makes me feel sad. I was just glad to see him on smackdown. Ill bet he felt like his career was about to take off when he won NXT. But then they stomped him down. Bummer.
Justin Gabriel: Altho this dude has had almost exactly the same run in the wwe as the One Man Southern Rock Band I can handle him a bit more. He is less goofy. I still dont really wanna see him on TV much tho.
Kane: Here is another guy ill love forever despite the stupid stories given to him. He is still a great wrestler and you can tell has less of an ego than a lot of the other legends in the locker room. Plus i love that he is one of the last guys left with a supernatural gimmick. After he and the undertaker are gone i doubt we will any more of that old style of gimmick.Mark Henry: I find this very surprising myself but im completely sold on Sexual Chocolate Mark Henry. I believe his attitude, i believe that he can kick anyones ass, I buy it all. I love his intensity and i love his mic skills. "That is the dumbest question ever asked" has to be my favorite quote of the year. Believe it or not I'm really looking forward to more ass kicked and wig split from the WSM.
Randy Orton: Im starting to think that ill never come around on randy orton. I just cant stand the dude. He is not fun in the slightest. He can wrestle well, and thats cool, but i need a little more than that. All the wrestlers i used to hate i actually like now. RKO is the only one i still cant stand. Bummer
Sheamus: Im still amazed how fast Sheamus became a face. It feels like he just switched over night. Regardless of if he is face or heal i think Sheamus rules. He has a great look, is good on the mic and has a good gimmick. I'm hoping his feud with Cristian will be great.
Sin Cara: Sin Cara is one of those people that needs to stay in the mid card. He makes it more interesting and fun. I like his matches and the fact he cant speak english. The WWE could use more luchadors.
Muy Cara: I dont have any feelings on Muy Cara other than that i really like the double Cara story. It's a really weird idea.
Ted DiBiase: What's the deal with that guy? He doesnt really have a personality anymore. It's a bummer. I love daddy DiBi. I hope lil Ted can pull it together and do something interesting. As of right now i couldnt care less about the dude
Trent Barreta: I saw this guy on Superstars. He had cool pants.
Tyson Kidd: Would i say that this guy is in my fav 5? I dunno lemme see... I dunno. I can only think of CM Punk as being a fav. All others except for RKO are ok with me. But i guess i could put Tyson Kidd on the list. I dont see him much so im always excited when he shows up.
Undertaker: Im not even going to talk about the undertaker. All i gotta say is that i hope he retires 20-0. Undertaker is the king.
Wade Barrett: I wish ol' wade was a top guy still. I think he was a great villain for SuperCena. But now he is kinda in a weird limbo. I really hope he can pull himself back up to the top.
Yoshi Tatsu: John Cena is his friend and i cant remember the last time i saw him.
DIVAS: Other than the Divas Of Doom and Karma i couldn't care less about the divas.
So that is Smackdown. Tomorrow we move on to the A show. MONDAY NIGHT RAW!!!

September 20, 2011

Spare Change Newsletter, volume 2 issue 2

Greetings all pro wrestling fanatics,

It’s our pleasure to bring you another heaping scoop of pro wrestling editorials. Not covered this week are NXT and Superstars, since very little happened worth mentioning (not that it ever stopped me before), so I’ve filed away the notes I took on them to be bundled into future commentaries. Also, I went to another ECCW show, and wanted to share some of that with you, but they’ve been real tardy about posting pics from the show, and I’ve been holding out for them. You know I like my illustrative props. Take this little number from Night of Champions, for instance:


The only thing that stood out to me on this week’s episode of Smackdown was the altercation between Daniel Bryan, Muy Cara, and the returning Sin Cara. DBD was looking badass as hell in that match against Muy Cara, and I was very glad that he didn’t lose that match, and I was also very glad (or maybe smug is the right word) that I was right in suspecting that Sin Cara would return to challenge Muy Cara for the undisputed merchandising kickback rights.

I don’t see how Bryan could fit into their program, so I’m looking forward to seeing what he’ll be moving on to.


Impact this week of course featured the continuation of the great Bobby Roode storyline that came to fruition at No Surrender. As per Immortal’s nefarious plan, Roode must face each of the other guys in Fourtune in singles matches over the next several weeks. If the other guys are too easy on Roode, they’ll be dropped down to the very bottom of the standings. If they can beat him, they’ll get top contenders spots for the title after BFG. It’s kind of shocking how well this storyline has been handled, being that it is TNA and all. I’ve been let down by them so many times before, which makes it’s hard for me to open my heart to anything they put on tv, but this one is just too much fun and I’m into it. Excited, even!

The main event of the program was Ric Flair vs. Sting. It was pretty sad. Flair’s still awesome on promos and backstage segments, but he clearly shouldn’t be competing physically anymore. It’s uncomfortable to watch, like a snuff movie of an old guy getting beat up.

In other sadness news, Jeff Hardy went around backstage for two segments that showcased how disappointed he is in himself, and how pissed the other guys are at him. AJ Styles cut one of the most brutal promos on him that I’ve ever heard, and D-Von laid it into him a bit too, though in the end he was forgiving. AJ laid it into him so hard, I can’t say (as I did before) that Hardy is being brought back a babyface. He’s really not face or heel, or a character at all. Everything they’re talking about as it relates to him isn’t related to his ring persona or any gimmicks or anything, it’s all pretty straight-forward “you are a fuck-up and you probably shouldn’t even be here.” I feel kind of guilty for having looked forward to it so much.

But Impact wasn’t all about relationships and old man beating and harsh promos. There was also reason to celebrate, because Madison Rayne is back on tv! The full story involves Karen Jarrett, whose new role on Impact is basically being the GM of the Knockouts division. She reset whatever standings there were, and there’ll be a tourney for the #1 contender’s spot, which will be decided in the coming month, culminating with a match against Winter at Bound For Glory. Madison Rayne’s new hobby is kissing Karen Jarrett’s ass, and she’s super entertaining, as usual. Great to have her back.


I watched 3 weeks of FCW this week, skipping through a lot of it, but paying attention to the rotating cast of characters, looking for favorites and other standouts. After wrestling to a 15 minute draw last month, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins wrestled to a 20 minute draw this month. They even set it up with an in-ring contract signing, which is rare for FCW. Another standout in developmental is Richie Steamboat, the son of Ricky ”the Dragon”. He’s incredibly polished for someone his age (24) and has great presence. He could definitely be a big shot someday. FCW has a lot of horrible wrestlers, but the ones who shine through make me excited for the future. Also, one of my old WCW favorites is a suit on FCW. If you’re not familiar, let me introduce you to the incomparable Norman Smiley.


Sunday saw 5 title retentions (if you include HHH’s job title), but the two big ones changed hands, giving us a new WHW Champion, and an old WWE Champion.

There weren’t any standout wrestling matches on this PPV. None were bad, but there weren’t any memorable ones either. Match of the night would have to go to Punk-HHH, on account of how beat to shit they got during that thing. It was kind of chaotic toward the end there, but they were having a pretty darn good wrestling match before all that started. I should rewatch it. I’m really glad you made that point about how you thought that Punk could stay unburied. If you hadn’t said that, I probably would have gone into this match feeling like it would be a crime if Mr. H’s beat him, but you were totally right, it didn’t even touch him. He was still the man on Raw, he’s got TWO cool new t-shirts, and of course he kicked out after a pedigree and took Nash’s power bomb plus another pedigree before getting pinned. HHH sold the match like Punk took him to the limit, and that’s priceless. So now I’m actually glad that Punk lost, because HHH is still COO, and their story is at this interesting point where you can smell trouble brewing, but you don’t know who or what or how it will come about.

Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I don’t care about a 3-way Hell in a Cell match between John Cena, CM Punk, and Alberto Del Rio. Why not just make it a 4-way, and throw Kevin Nash in there, too? I’m pretty bitter about Del Rio tapping out. Where’s a conspiracy against John Cena when you need it?


I was really happy that Mark Henry won the World title, and that he took it away from that darn Randy Orton. That was probably the best moment of the night for this household; Alice and I said “Yeah!” and high-fived. Great promo afterward, also. Really really hope he retains at Hell in a Cell. Maybe he can injure Orton on tv, so that Orton goes into the PPV with a disadvantage. Whatever it takes.

Speaking of Alice, she and I made predictions for the PPV, and only agreed on one thing- that Beth Phoenix would beat Kelly Kelly to win the Diva’s title. Didn’t happen. This match was actually kind of interesting, with the crowd being so solidly behind Beth Phoenix, the would-be heel. A lot of that was because she’s from upstate New York, but I’ll bet there are tons of people who’d love to see a more athletic looking woman take it to the cheerleaders. However, I can understand why K2 would hold on to the title at least a little longer. Since she seems to be the queen of the skinny Divas, if she was made to look like she couldn’t beat Beth Phoenix, then the rest of the skinny Divas would lose as much face by default. A couple of high profile wins for Kelly Kelly makes the entire female roster look more competitive. Looking at it from one perspective, anyway.

I did like the commentary throughout the PPV. Michael Cole wasn't obnoxious, he was making relevant calls throughout, and Booker T was great on color. On Monday, Josh Matthews replaced Jerry Lawler for the second half of the show, which I wouldn't mind being a more regular gig for him. It was kind of strange having three play-by-play guys at the same time (if Cole still counts as that), but I don't think I'd have noticed if I wasn't looking for things like that all the time.


It seemed like there was a lot of Smackdown action on Raw this week. What makes it really stand out is that the Smackdown guys tend to keep to themselves. Instead of mixing up the matches, almost all are between wrestlers from the same brand. It makes the Smackdown portions of the show seem like a commercial for Friday nights on the SciFi Channel, which I guess it probably is, anyway. It’s a bit much for me, being that I tune into Smackdown come rain or shine. I like Cody Rhodes and Sheamus plenty, but seeing watered-down versions of their characters on Mondays is less than ideal as far as I’m concerned. Though, I guess it would be hard for just Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger to carry the middle hour of Raw, seeing as how Miz and RTruth have been FIRED! Well now, I don’t believe for a second that they won’t be back real soon. If they aren’t on the show next week, I’d be surprised and also would miss them because they’re a riot.

One of the ways which pro wrestling is unique is that there is no other kind of event where people will come in droves to have two guys strut out and sing a rap song about how everyone in the audience sucks. Thinking about that cracks me up every time the Awesome Truth make their new entrance, and I hope they retain their gimmick when they return.

Signing off this week with a question posed by William Regal on NXT:

Something to mull over til next week.

yours truly,

Quarter Marshall

September 13, 2011

Spare Change Newsletter, volume 2 issue 1

Greetings all wrestling fans,

The Marshall Matters Show still suffering from technical difficulties, the writing staff here at SCWO Canada are filling in this week, and possibly next week as well, depending on whether or not I get the new microphone in the mail by then.

Everyone here at SCWO Canada loves Queen, and wanted to relate at the top at the MMShow program how nice it was to hear Freddy kicking off the return of the Rusty Report. Queen was my favorite band as a kid, my first favorite band, and remains to this day a reliable source of positive energy on tap. Now let's talk about some wrestling.


You don't often see Mark Henry in the first match of the night, but his bout with Big Zeke made up for in spectacle what it may have lacked in dynamism. It was cool to see what they looked like next to each other.

Muy Cara officially turned heel this week in a promo in which he pronounced his lack of respect for the WWE roster. I wish the camera panned the crowd more to show the weeping children, and parents looking ticked off ("I just paid $28 for a goddam t-shirt of this guy for my kid and now he's a bad guy? You gotta be kidding me.") As it was, the mood of the arena was palpable even without the crowd panning. You could almost hear the collective shlumping of shoulders. But then DBD comes out, gives a good promo challenging Muy Cara to a rematch, which MC responds to by dropping Bryan like a hot taco, wrapping him up in his own LaBelle Lock. COLD BLOODED! I will be rooting heavily for Bryan (as always) next week, but as I still expect Sin Cara to return to challenge Muy Cara to be the Undisputed Sin Cara, Daniel Bryan's match next week doesn't seem to bode well for him.

Jinder Mahal and the Great Khali broke up this week on Smackdown. Does this mean Mahal will move ahead with his threat to divorce Khali's sister, thereupon sending her back into poverty? Y'know, I don't have cause to say this very often, but it's too bad it's not the attitude era anymore. If this was still the attitude era, or even the 'get the F out' era, this divorce angle would play out like a (reverse) contract signing. A table, lawyers, paperwork, all in the ring, maybe a potted plant or two, Khali standing in the corner in a shirt & tie, looking more like a hulking brute than usual. The husband and wife make separate entrances, each with their own entourage, words are exchanged, voices are raised, and the next thing you know, the ex-wife is going, via powerbomb, through the table, which has by now been set on fire.

I had another funny thought during this match (the match being Jinder/Khali v. Air Boom) that when Air Boom breaks up, it would be great if they tried to do one of those angles where each guy claims that they've been carrying the team, the other guy's worthless, etc. I thought it was funny because of the trashtalk promo's they'd be cutting on each other. I couldn't think of anything they'd actually say that would be funny, it's more just their tones and ways of speaking that don't lend themselves to that kind of promo (or any other kind, really).

Speaking of funny/bad promos, this week Cody Rhodes said some of the weirdest things I've ever heard in a ring. Well, I guess it was mostly the delivery, not as much the words themselves that were weird, though saying that "there's a thin line between... unstable and thriving" is pretty strange. I don't dislike his character, and I think he's a very good wrestler, but the way he's been enunciating comes off as affected. It's not so bad that it detracts from the entertainment of the show, but it does take a lot of edge off of his character to seem as harmless as a B-movie actor. But he and Orton had a nice little wrestling match, after which Mark Henry came down, beat on Orton for a while, put a chair over him, and sat on it. This was really cool visually, and also it made me tense and nervous (in a good way) because I thought that the chair could break under Henry's massive weight.


Started out with a Jeff Hardy video package promoting the idea of redemption. Interspersed throughout the episode were shots of Hardy walking around the building, as if it took him 2 hours to get from the parking lot to the ring. When he finally makes it, it is for the final segment of the program. He comes down the ramp (amid cheers and catcalls) with his head bowed, brow furrowed in concentrated remorse, climbs in the ring, shakes his frowning head slightly to refuse the positive attention from his adoring public. He apologizes, and asks for "one more shot."

Opinion: Should have been fired as a matter of principle.

Eric Young had his first match on Impact for the first time in about 2 months, but the real highlight of the show was an off-the-wall promo from X-Division champion Brian Kendrick. Challenger Austin Aries was in the ring first, and he can talk to beat the band, but the Wizard of Odd stole the show. It served well to hype their match at Sunday's...


Opened with a 9/11 remembrance, which in my opinion was entirely appropriate, but would have come off a lot better if the narrated speech was given by anyone but the monster-voiced TNA narrator guy. Listen to this:

And then imagine that voice saying, "10 years ago today, the most tragic event in American history..."
Well meant, I'm sure, but came off a little too theatrical than was necessary. But now let's talk about some wrestling.

The main theme of the show was the wrapping-up of the Bound For Glory series. Bully Ray was the points leader going in, he had a match against James Storm, and Robert Roode was facing Gunner. Whoever had the most points after those matches would go on to challenge for the TNA championship at the Bound For Glory PPV next month. I didn't have a strong opinion of the outcome of this series going into No Surrender, but the way it was all put together pulled me into the story, and I was really into it by the end.

Bully won his match against Storm. He was now far enough ahead of Roode and Gunner (who were tied) that their match would have to be won by submission to even tie Bully Ray in the standings. (Pin gets 7 pt.s, submission gets 10). Beer Money cut an awesome promo. Gunner and Roode had a great match, each guy desperately trying to trap the other in a submission move. Roode eventually succeeds, which I was cheering for, because Roode in a contender's spot would make for great TV. More Roode promos and wrestling matches=superior Impact. But he hasn't got that spot yet, because he's tied with Bully Ray. So Eric Bischoff comes out and announces that there would be an extra match on the card-- Roode v. Bully Ray. A little while later, Bully cuts one of his killer promos (the second of the night), and by the time Roode and Bully are in the ring with each other the crowd is solidly behind Roode. Roode beat Bully Ray and will be going to the main event next month.

The Roode-Gunner match was a very close second place for match of the night, but that prize would have to go to Brian Kendrick and Austin Aries for the X-Division title. I love both characters, they had a badass match with a high level of intensity; the pace was impressive, and they each took some nasty looking bumps outside the ring. There was a lot of variety in what they did, there were lots of cool moves, and both guys are just fun to watch in general. I'm not describing it as a 'spot-fest', it wasn't like that at all, it was just a damn good wrestling match. The only thing I didn't like about it wasn't their fault, and that was that I already knew who was going to win the match. See, the first match of No Surrender was for the #1 contender spot to face the winner of the Kendrick-Aries match. A babyface won, some new guy named Jesse Sorenson whose gimmick is carrying a football to the ring. Since the champion Kendrick is a babyface, and the challenger Aries is heel, I had to expect that the X-Division title would change hands, and that Jesse Sorenson would be going into a program with Austin Aries, which indeed will be the case.

Also, if you care, Hulk Hogan cheated to help Kurt Angle retain the TNA title versus Sting and Ken Anderson.


I've written so much already, and there's so much left to go, I'll abbreviate this one a bit.
Darren Young & William Regal open show with good promos to set up main event, which was fun to watch, Regal has a million tricks up his sleeves and is a great performer. Ended with Matt Striker blocking JTG from interfering with the match. Maybe next week- Striker/Regal vs. JTG/Young? Dumbest question ever asked.
Yoshi Tatsu has a brand new look, new moves, new attitude. I will definitely cover this more thoroughly in the future.


Mason Ryan debuted his first personal entrance theme, and came out smiling to face JTG. Signs point to --->Mason Ryan being a babyface? That's, y'know, whatever, but he kind of stunk in general. When he came out, he turned around and held out his arms, fists clenched, just like Chris Jericho would do back in his Y2J days. His finisher is some kind of bodyslam with an over-elaborate setup. He did a few different bodyslams during the match, but mostly just did a bunch of lariats and bodyblocks again and again. Still, it's stuff like this that I love watching Superstars for. Newer guys trying things out for the crowd. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Mason Ryan may have sucked, but the next match I loved.

Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks teamed up to face Percy Watson and Titus O'Neil, and it was the first time either of these teams have tagged together. There were some awkward moments that showed their inexperience; while trying to isolate a single member of the opposing team, they'd beat a guy down into his own corner by mistake, etc.
Titus and Percy have a similar look-- they're both bald, black, athletic, ex-NFLers with big smiles. Natural babyfaces with some amount of natural charisma, and decent in the ring considering their non-wrestling backgrounds. Tons of guys who don't "make it" in sports try wrestling, and very few make it through. Percy Watson stands out as a guy who I think could break that barrier, and he just might take Titus on the ride with him if they continue to work together.
Hawkins and Reks made less of an impression personality-wise, but they did have a cool team finisher. Actually, the move wasn't that cool, it was just the fact that both guys were involved in it that made it cool, even though that used to be commonplace. I'm expecting them to show up on Smackdown to support Wade Barrett, which could be great.

Alicia Fox beat Tamina in an especially hard-hitting Diva's match. I really like Fox's wrestling style. She knows how to use her long legs to make it look like her kicks are really painful, and she's got a killer dropkick. She sells well too, so good body language all around. That combined with her slinky entrance, and I think we have my favorite Diva.

Brodus Clay beat another jobber, but no updates for him except that he still rules.

And now we're at the main event for Superstars, which was Daniel Bryan versus Heath Slater, and this match was awesome. There was great back and forth, both guys threw a bunch of moves out there, and paced it very well. It was so good, as a matter of fact, that I'm a Heath Slater fan now. Didn't see that coming! Now, finally...


Opened with Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez being their charming and hilarious bad guy selves, interrupted by Bret Hart who accuses Del Rio of being all style and no stubstance. Del Rio says something funny about illegal Canadians cleaning his house. Then John Cena comes out, and in contrast to ADR, Ricardo, and Bret, he starts acting goofy. He looks at ADR's crotch from a few angles, and says he can't tell from looking if he's got any balls, which was gross and stupid, and I don't remember what else he said, but his tone was light, even spritely, as though their upcoming match was no big deal at all, just another walk in the park. And this was the last show before that match, which happens to be at a PPV for the WWE title! Not to mention that Cena's the challenger and Del Rio's the reigning champ. So Cena ticked me off in this segment, and I'm all the bigger fan of ADR & Ricardo for the way they struggled to keep some gravity in the situation, and to maintain the integrity of their characters and the title.

Another great heel duo will be in action together for the first time since June, when they take on Air Boom this Sunday. Remember when they tagged in June? I don't either really, but I do remember this moment:

They'd just lost a match and gotten their asses kicked by interfering referee Stone Cold Steve Austin, but the Anonymous Raw GM reversed the decision to give them the win. They were cute then, and they were cute this week when they did each others catch phrases. Sorry if the animated image takes too long to load, it's almost 14 megabytes. The one of Del Rio and Ricardo I posted late last night is almost 10, so I apologize if that is difficult to view as well. I just learned how to make those things, and I don't know how to compress them or shrink them yet.

Also, JR referred to Air Boom vs. Miz/Truth at Night of Champions as being the "united champions WWE tag title match-up." which I took a soundbite from, but won't be using.

We learned on Raw how the US title would be defended at NoC this weekend, that being in a four-way match in which Dolph Ziggler will be defending against Jack Swagger, John Morrison, and Alex Riley. The machine seems intent on continuing to push A-Ri, despite sucking real bad lately, as evidenced in the tag match featuring the same four guys. I'm rooting for Swagger personally, he's my favorite of the four by far.

There was a second sucky tag match later on which saw Jerryatric Lawler and Sheamus handily defeat the ExNex. This did nothing but embarrass them further. Sheamus can't get any more over by putting them away, and Lawler might as well be Drew Carey out there for all the relevant wrestling he'll ever do from here on out, so the only ones with something to gain from this match was ExNex. They couldn't even get any heat, they just ate shit on this one. I hope they get some measure of payback, at least Otunga, he can talk and has a gimmick besides "my Daddy..."

And now for the main event, and the only selling point of Night of Champions: HHH - Punk. They had an interesting exchange this week. You could tell it was unscripted, but that they each went out with the intent of going to the very edge of breaking kayfabe, trying to give the feud that "real" feel which it had gotten away from somewhat since Kevin Nash came into the picture. They talked about "opportunities" and HHH even said that to be successful in the business, all you have to do is get "over" with the fans. That was so close to breaking kayfabe that I was was half expecting Punk to reply that he couldn't because he was playing heel. I guess that might have been too far to go, but it still would have been awesome.
There was a part of this segment where HHH gets super serious, gets in Punk's face, and is on the mic talking about how it's personal, and he's staring daggers at Punk, and gets very close to his face. He's very intimidating, very alpha, and Punk just looked right back at him, cool as hell.
I've noticed a few guys visibly lose confidence when Mr. Hs does that to them. It happened about a month ago on Smackdown with Christian. Christian could barely look at HHH, let alone look into his eyes.
I really liked what you said on your show that you thought that Punk could stay unburied against anybody. After seeing how he stands up to HHH face-to-face and on the mic, I think you were right.

What I hope happens at NoC is that there's a swerve where CM Punk's suspicions are correct, and HHH has actually been conspiring with Kevin Nash (and others) to set Punk up for a beat-down. HHH could tell the audience that he fooled them all, and become the villain that Punk needs to work against. It could still be cool if it went the opposite way-- that Nash is on Laurenitis' side, and will knock off HHH during the match so that John L can be the next COO. A COO coup. A cuckoo COO coup, even. That wouldn't be cool in itself, but it would be interesting if HHH and Punk ended up on the same side, so to speak, with a common enemy in the new COO and his minions.
And while I'm at it, I also wish that ADR makes Cena tap in the middle of the ring, no interference.

Even though I couldn't do a proper fake podcast show this week, I can go ahead with one of my plans for it, which was to introduce a feature called The Hall of Thriving Stubstance. Being inducted into The HOTS is a distinction I'd like to give to wacky phrases heard on wrestling shows. I was planning on ending this week's Marshall Matters Show with the inaugural HOTS induction, which I wasn't be able to do as such, but I will be able to do as thus:

Inductions are the promos of Cody Rhodes and Brian Kendrick, each of which are sampled here, plus some commentary from Booker T.

So, from everyone here at SCWO Canada/MMShow International, have a nice day.


Jalapenos Enorme

September 07, 2011


Hold up Playas, it's a new The M M Show!

I threw this one together late in the evening, after losing the first recording of the show to a bad microphone connection. I ordered a new one, one that jacks in with a 3.5mm plug as opposed to the USB mic I've got now. (I read that USB mics aren't as reliable). So, when the new one gets here in a few weeks, it'll be a whole new show! Disco balls, smoke machine, margarita machine are next. And green lasers. This week's upgrade is the addition of the MMS banner image, which is a spoof of this TNA ad:

For any readers who didn't know, the name "Marshall Matters Show" is derived from TNA's "Wrestling Matters Here" slogan, which already seemed like a joke in itself. "Marshall Matters" has nothing to do with Eminem, though I am aware that it sounds like his name. But someday, people will say that Eminem's name sounds like Marshall Matters. And just in the interest of adding some color to this post, here's a MMShow icon that I spent way too much time on:

Doesn't get much tackier... This is the one I said looked like a shitty album cover from 1998. Actually now that I'm looking at both MMShow images, I guess they're both really unattractive. Well, whatever. If you have a preference or opinion, let me know.