May 30, 2012

Raw timemachine 1 25 1993

AND IIIIIIIIII E I, WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOUUUUUU EOHUOUO!!!!! (Number one on the charts at this time)

It's monday janyary 25th 1993. I'm in 5th grade. I really like baseball and Michael Jackson. For some reason i don't remember this time really well. School kinda sucks, my grades are not good and i hate my teacher. Life outside of school is great. My neighborhood is full of kids of all ages. We all play together all the time. The biggest pastime is baseball which we play until we can't see the ball anymore. I don't really watch wrestling anymore. Life kinda revolves around candy and baseball.

Anyway. It's monday night. A school night, and RAW is on!!!!

So what we wanna really grab the audience right away. This is RAW. A totally fresh and new show. So how do we grab em by the balls? The REPO MAN of course! You may have forgotten but Repo still has Macho's hat. And for some reason Macho only has one. Repo threatens to repossess Macho's career while doing his best Frank Gorshin impression. Excitement!

Our commentators for the evening are Vinnie Mac, The Brain and my all time fav Rob Bartlet. They tease the show, which sounds like it's going to be full of technical, 5 star bouts. We will see the Bushwackers! Kamala! And a match by two fat jobbers by the name of Mr. Perfect and Ric Flair. Who cares....

DING DING DING Let us jump right in to a PPV worthy match. Repo vs Macho. Macho caries the match and the two actually do a good job. Savage wins, of course, and gets back his stupid, bright, shiny dumb, cowboy hat. And now all is well in the world. You can sleep well again.

Now that was a hot match. Let's keep the momentum going. Grab a couple masters of the ring and have em put on a classic. I know just the two...

Kamala VS The Brooklyn Brawler. Funny thing about the Brawler, I loved him as  a kid. I didn't understand jobbers or even upper and lower card status when i was little. Everyone was equal (except for Hulk Hogan and Beatlejuice who were gods). So i was always excited to see the Brawler. This match was what you would expect. Kamala, after wrestling for years, for some reason doesn't know how to pin someone.SO the drama came from Kamala laying on Brawler while the Brawler was face down. The audience was surprisingly stoked on this. I was not. I expected more out of these high fliers.

Ok, Flair vs Perfect. This is a loser leaves town match. Funny thing is, i wasn't really interested. Plus it was good so i don't have any funny things to say about it. Stupid good matches... Perfect wins, Flair goes to wcw. And how do you follow such a classic?

You don't. We are outta time. No Bushwackers this week. DANG. But you gotta tune in next week. They tease Doink vs Typhoon which has 5 stars all over it.

 Till next week
Rusty nickles age 10 and a half.

May 29, 2012

Spare Change Newsletter: The Grinding Halt and The Infectious Beginning

Greetings Rybuddies and Backettes,

Is it summer already?  I've heard tell of rumors that describe WWE's summer programming as being somewhat experimental; that it's the time of year when the creative team will throw shit at the wall and try out new things, since viewership is expected to be down anyway.  Well take a look around boys, the floor is covered with shit, the wall's squeaky clean, and I'm pretty sure it isn't even summertime yet.

Culprit numero uno:  Big Show's heel push.

This is not a bad angle.  BS as a bad guy was worth trying out- remember how awesome Mark Henry was?  His finisher (however dumb I think it is) is totally over and has been for a long time.  I can't remember the last match he lost clean, he was just a good guy schlup who'd always get screwed before he could do his big punchy move.  The story isn't what makes this suck.  What makes this angle so disappointing to me is the amount of time and level of importance it's given.  First there was The Segment That Wouldn't Die on Raw a few weeks ago which culminated in the firing of BS by Johnny L.  Then they replayed the entire segment, start to finish, on Smackdown, even though it had no relevance to that show (it aired right before the main event).  The video packages which opened Raw and Smackdown this week were gratuitously long and boring.  The end segment of Raw couldn't have been more lackluster, with BS very slowly beating up Brodus Clay and friends.  However, it only really sucks in context.  The fact that Brodus Clay cut a promo on BS, and got his ass kicked for the first time is pretty cool, and gets some good heat for BS.  What makes it suck is that it was the main event, when it's no more than part of an overhyped mid-card storyline.  The real main event- the part of the show that put butts in seats and eyes on TVs- happened in the middle of the show when CM Punk and Daniel Bryan had another fantastic match.  What was there to look forward to after that?  And this gets into what bothers me most about it- that the most interesting story that's going on in WWE right now is one that doesn't have much on-screen dialogue.  Whatever is being thrown into the mix (Kane, AJ) Daniel Bryan and CM Punk continue to wow the crowds just by wrestling.  They wrestle their hearts out, show what they do best, and you don't have to be a smark or hardcore fan to tell the difference.  There was way more crowd response for the holds and counters during their match than any of the plot device cliches plotted out for BS to act out.  And this is where I'm going to stop, step back and look at some of the other things in this week of pro wrestling, or else this post will just go on forever.  My hope is that there's a long term plan for all this- like a killer setup for Summerslam or something, and it's just not coming together yet.

So Raw didn't have much going for it, but there was that great DBD-Punk match.  The finish with D-Bry cleverly using AJ's distraction in his favor came off really well.  As far as Kane goes, I don't really have a strong opinion either way.  Part of me doesn't want Kane to be a third man in a WWE title match with Bryan and Punk, but part of me doesn't really care because they could get a good match out of Kane, and it might even serve to extend the feud between Punk and Bryan.  As far as AJ goes, whatever.  Punk is really funny around her.  Conversely, Punk was really unfunny while selling video games and making dick jokes.
I like Ziggler and Swagger together, but am totally cool with Ziggs flying solo again.  Better to leave the tag team belts to the real tag teams.  By the way, when I say "real tag teams" I'm not referring to Kofi and R-Truth.  If they don't dress alike, have anything in common, and/or have a team name and unique entrance, they're not a real tag team. 

On Smackdown, it was nice to see Hunico in a match against the Intercontinental champ and have a decent amount of time to work, but I thought the match was overall mediocre.  What happened to the awesome Sin Cara Negro?  Sin Cara Azul is coming back to Smackdown this week, and it makes me nostalgic for the old Hunico.  Similar sentiments for the Usos, who were great to see but didn't end up making an impression.  Ryback's appearance was his best yet, taking on two jobbers at the same time, and Poncho Man, I gotta say that as someone who followed Nitro religiously at the time of Goldberg's rise to the top, I thought Goldberg was an over-hyped second rate cartoon of Steve Austin, and my opinion hasn't changed much since then.  Ryback might be a cartoon of Goldberg, but I can live with that.  The concept of the terminator Ryback vs. the heel jobber army is really funny to me, and I've already gotten more entertainment out of him than I ever did from Goldberg.  Matter of opinion.
The highlight of Smackdown this week was Damien Sandow's promo and match against Yoshi Tatsu.  The promo made me laugh, and the match featured the best side russian leg sweep I think I've ever seen.

For the second week in a row, NXT didn't have any backstage segments or character-building stories going on.  There have been a growing number of Superstars caliber talent making appearances, with six altogether outnumbering four NXT regulars.  The format I'd grown so fond of seems to be a thing of the past.  There's been no mention of the show moving to a permanent location, even though there have already been events in Florida under the NXT banner.  The only good match on the show this week was Alicia Fox versus Maxine, with Maxine employing a few different submission holds before finally making Fox tap to a dragon sleeper/body scissors combo.  Good stuff.

Another good one could be seen on Superstars- a full length rematch between Antonio Cesaro and Tyson Kidd.  It was very fun to watch, and really stuck out as feeling different, as both guys were using so many moves that you wouldn't see anybody else do.  The rest of Superstars sucked.

I got caught up on two weeks of FCW this weekend, and it was all decent, with one real solid main event, made all the better by JR's commentary.

On Impact, there was no continuation of the tournament which I was so pleased with last week.  Instead, throughout the program there were reality show style vignettes with Hulk Hogan eliminating three of the four finalists one by one based on nothing but his own opinion.  Needless to say, I was not impressed.  I did approve of the eventual selection of AJ Styles, who gave it up clean to Roode in the main event.  This was significant because with this win, Roode beat Styles' record to have the longest world championship run in TNA history.  There was confetti.  Then Hogan said something about somebody coming back and changing everything, the lights go black, come back on, and who is standing there but.... Sting.  He had quietly disappeared two months ago after losing a big match to Roode.  Holy shit Impact is stupid.

ROH did a good job of recapping their iPPV from 2 weeks ago, but it really felt like the show should've been last week's episode.  The ROH TV production team must only work part time because on the ball they are not.  The show replayed the entire main event from the iPPV, which would have been super cool if I hadn't already seen it.  The show closed with a post-match promo by the new champ Kevin Steen, all red and sweaty and stuffing sheet cake into his fat mouth, talking about how he's going to hold ROH hostage.  I'm not a big fan of Steen's, but I'm curious as to whether or not a present-day ROH storyline can be any good.

Despite ROH having mediocre storylines, TNA having incredibly stupid storylines, and WWE being boring recently, this week I did watch a whole lot of wrestling that had really interesting angles going on.  I got caught up on the past month of Chikara.  They come out with a new DVD of a live event about every other week.  Chikara is the best thing going right now.  I'd still have to say that WWE is my favorite, because it's got the two best wrestlers in the world, and many other incredible talents, but Chikara utilizes their roster better, has good, sometimes great matches, and has the best angles in pro wrestling today.  You can read all about Chikara at length on other sites, but I'll give you a few examples of what I like about it, in no particular order.
1.  The way angles work.  In Chikara, every year has one main story arc, in the way that some TV shows will have one main story arc throughout a season, with other things going on along the way.  It was really easy for me to pick up on what's going on, and I think it's genuinely interesting.  The stories are told partially in promos, partially in the ring, and partially in the commentary.
2. The commentary.  Usually on commentary there will be two people, and one of them is usually Mike Quackenbush.  Not only do his storytelling skills sell the angles, he's very funny and clever, and knows wrestling inside and out.  The other announcers are entertaining as well.
3. All the wrestlers are well trained.  Chikara actually started as a wrestling school, and they began putting on shows to give the students and alumni a venue to perform.  Much of the roster are obviously less experienced, but they only get pushed when they're ready, and the main event gang are solid.  There are no Mason Ryans or Garrett Bischoffs in Chikara.  Quackenbush was one of the original founders of the school, and remains the head trainer.  He's also head booker and the owner of the company.  Chikara has a very distinct style, and it's because Mike Quackenbush has a vision and knows how to make it materialize.
4. The cast of characters.  The first thing a person is liable to notice about Chikara.  Colorful masks, cartoonish personalities, and wacky stunts.  From a distance I thought they all blended together and looked like one big circus.  After watching one event, it was simple to pick up on the distinct personalities of everyone I'd seen, as each member of the roster has their own unique gimmick, fully formed from the costume to the move set.  Some of them are funny, some are campy, some are magical, some are just tough, and some defy categorization.
5. Championships.  Chikara didn't have an equivalent to a world title until pretty recently.  The idea was that whenever a new promotion starts up, right off the bat they start their own world championship.  Chikara really established themselves before creating the title, with the intention of having the title be more meaningful.  Also, there's a point system for tag teams to earn title shots, which makes every tag match count toward something.  These are examples of some of the good ideas and outside-the-box thinking that makes Chikara unique and cool.

There are many other specific things that I have loved about Chikara.  Gender equality among wrestlers, truly PG content, and web and app goodies are other things I could write a paragraph on.  The bottom line is that everyone involved seems to want to put on the best show possible, and the talent, passion and effort they put forward are plain to see.

If you're interested in Chikara, last month's Hot Off the Griddle was really solid, the best of their shows that I've seen.  Another thing I watched this week was Woodchipper Massacre again, which I had talked Alice into seeing by explaining that it was a gore-less comedy.  She really liked it, and I enjoyed it just as much the second time around.  She refused to watch Chikara with me saying that she'd "only watch one promotion.  Just one."  I put it on quietly while she was reading, and she watched some of it anyway.  Also, I was secretly proud that she knew to call it a "promotion".  Wrestling lingo.

May 27, 2012

Mat Classics: Steamboat-Flair

This match is good clean fun from start to finish, and a much better example of the skills of its competitors than the match I posted yesterday. This is the first of the 1989 series, from a NWA-WCW PPV called Chi-Town Rumble. It features perfect commentary by Jim Ross and Magnum T.A., plus a cameo by Teddy Long.  I could watch it every day.

Ricky Steamboat v. Ric Flair, February 20 1989

A few minutes are edited out toward the beginning, while Flair walks around the ring, stalling to get heat.  My guess is that this version of the match is from a vhs release, which cut some corners here and there to fit the event into a single tape.  As far as I can tell, no action is missing.

May 26, 2012

Mat Classics: Flair-Steamboat

Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat first met in '78 or '79 working for Jim Crockett Promotions when they were in their late 20's.  Their feud, which spanned the 1980's (with the exclusion of '85-'88, when Steamboat was in the WWE) produced arguably the best set of matches between any two guys in the history of pro wrestling.  In 1989, three matches from their series of four with NWA-WCW earned a 5 star rating from Dave Meltzer.  The other match earned six stars, which remains a unique distinction from the Wrestling Observer.  I can't say I regard Meltzer's opinion as gospel, but he's still a good judge of match quality.  The six star match wasn't broadcast on television or pay-per-view, but there is this footage which is from a closed-circuit feed that aired in the skyboxes live during the event, at the Capital Centre in Maryland.
For the first and last time, I'm posting a match I haven't watched yet.  I hope you guys are excited as I am.

Ric Flair v. Ricky Steamboat, March 18 1989

More trivia- Match of the year in 1989 went to another of Flair and Steamboat's matches, the Clash of the Champions 2/3 falls match I referenced in the last MMS.  That match took place on April 2nd, a few weeks after this one, so maybe Meltzer decided the April 2nd match was better, but that the 5-star system should remain intact, and stuff.  The other piece of trivia I want to share is that Ricky Steamboat's real name is Dick Blood.  Go ahead and look it up.

May 22, 2012

Poncho Man's Over The Limit Musings.

Okay, so I've watched 3 Pay-Per-Views in a row. So maybe this little blog here is so much fun that I feel obliged. Who's complaining? Not you two panty waists.

So, Let's see....Christian turned face. I'm confused. Who cares...they're pushing Christian again.

I love Vicki Guerrero. My favorite manager since The Brain. Jack Sagger got a new haircut. Sexay. Pretty decent tag match that I didn't care about. Vicki and Ziggler are soooo much better than everything they give them. All of these guys are decent wrestlers, but I just get this feeling when I watch Kofi of "where did you come from? why do I care about you? why did you used to be Jamaican? why why why?"

A Divas match that was obviously just filling time for when Kharma comes back and feuds with Beth Phoenix. Beth looked like she put on some face fat. Maybe she's upset about the big break-up. I like The Miz. That dance shit was funny, entertaining, and got him a lot of heat when he's facing a character specifically geared toward children. Smart booking. Decent match.

Christian vs Cody Rhoades was good. I liked it alot. Just a solid good wrestling match. Christian just needs time to cut promos and be funny and eveyone would like him.

Ryback is gay. Sorry Mr. Hoons. If you had been around watching month 4 of Goldberg's original would hate this. You would throw things at your tv.

People Power vs Cena Power. Who cares. The fact that this headlined made me sad and sick. Big Show had gained so much good will for me lately. The only way I care is if he has a short run as good as when he was the ECW Champ. That shit was rad. He had a great match with Sabu and a great feud with Hardcore Holly. I forgetting something?


Punk/DBD. How awesome was that? It's pretty hilarious to see a ROH style match at a WWE PPV. Even the crowd was doing the kind of "We like both of you even though one of you is a villian" style stuff. DBD is so over. I hope he stays heel and has a Ric Flair style run. Uber-popular cheating evil little heel. YES YES YES! This will be the only match I remember tomorrow.

So yeah, Those are my musings. Like a big fist from a 7 foot monster; that automatically knocks you out no matter what.

(EDIT) After I posted this, I realized I completely forgot about the 4 way match. Wow I apparently didn't care. I don't care about Orton or Sheamus. Del Rio is good but has no heat for his heel character. Jericho phoned it in. Whatever. No feelings about this at all.

MMS: Redefining History

May 16, 2012


May 15, 2012

MMS: The Touch

May 12, 2012

Dream Matches.

Something I always think about in wrestling is dream matches. The matches you know would never come true. I remember writing a journal entry for my high school English class that had something to do with Ultimate Warrior coming out of retirement to face Undertaker and finish off their ridiculous feud. I loved it when Taker put him in a casket and closed the lid. I'm pretty sure Papa Shango started right around that time too. I was sooooo into that stuff. Get home from church on Sunday's and I'd see voodoo doctors and dead men and then usually Swamp Thing or edited airings of Toxic Avenger 2 would come on. These ones are just randomly on my head while I'm sitting around.

 Sabu vs Samoa Joe. We've seen Tazz take it to Sabu many times and this match is some what similar...but man...with some creative booking this match could be awesome. Imagine the Muscle Buster through multiple tables. Imagine the beating Joe could take from the massive arsenal. What would Joe do against someone Suicidal, Homicidal, and Genocidal.

Barry Horowitz vs Disco Inferno. Just my two favorite jobbers. Maybe you throw Santino in here for more excitement. Norman Smiley as guest referee. Back pats, big wiggle, cobra, and bad disco dancing. Man. I'm hard just thinking about it.

 CM Punk vs Shawn Michaels....Iron Man. As I said before...they had like 2 matches. They were okay. With an hour...this would be the most exciting wrestling ever.

 "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles vs The Great Muta. Don't ask me why but I just really want to see this. Muta was like a monster heel for being a tiny guy. I for some reason just imagine him bringing AJ to a higher level like he did for Sting and Flair in the early 90s. Not just a spot fest like a lot of Styles best matches.

 Vader vs Kurt Angle. How does the Olympic Gold Medalist beat the monster, the most athletic big man I've ever seen. Vader's moonsault is so much prettier. Vader hits harder. Vader has Harley Race backing him up. Does the wiley Angle outsmart him, or just go crazy like he seems to do so often lately. He might have to start wearing his head gear again to compete with Vader's mastodon smoke spitting thing. It's True vs It's Time!

 So...what are some of your dream matches?

May 08, 2012

Spare Change Newsletter: Top of the Slop

I'm coming up empty for anything interesting to say about this dud week of pro wrestling, so I've assembled a few images that highlight some of the cool moments.
 Best Aerial Maneuver: Ricardo Rodriguez

 Comedy High Point: Damien Sandow

 Mark-Out Moment: Paul Heyman

 Best Slo-Mo Replay

May 05, 2012

Mat Classics: Unbreakable Redemption

After railing on Impact on the last Marshall Matters Show, I read an interview with Scott Steiner who was bashing the higher-ups at TNA (being Bischoff, Hogan, and Prichard) and it bummed me out because I used to really like TNA.  It seems so utterly fucked right now that it's depressing.  I've watched this week's Impact, and I certainly won't have anything to say about it on the next MMS, but I didn't want this week to go by without some kind of tribute to the floundering promotion, so here is this: the best TNA match that I've seen.

 AJ Styles vs Christopher Daniels vs Samoa Joe, Unbreakable, 2005

May 01, 2012

Poncho Man's Extreme Rules Thoughts.....

So I watched Extreme Rules. I don’t watch every PPV but this one was intriguing. Thoughts……well I have a few.

1. The booking was spectacular. First time I’ve watched a PPV in YEARS where every match felt like it mattered. Every match had time to actually tell a story.

2. Cody Rhoades is awesome. He had a match where he basically had two moves, got brutalized by a guy 4 times his size and it totally made sense why he won.

3. DBD vs. Sheamus was probably my favorite match. Drama filled. A pretty fitting ending to a feud that WWE always seemed like they wanted to make one sided, and who came out of it more over and more popular than ever?

4. I liked Layla more with shorter hair. She’s my friend Kellen’s favorite diva. Second “Diva Search” winner. I think she was a Laker girl. Which is always hot.

5. The Punk/Jericho match was good. I thought it was much better than their Wrestlemania match. That one I still think was too sloppy for those two guys. The way they set up the chair, the kendo stick, etc. Gimmick prop matches done that well timed etc are some of my favorite things in this business. I explained to Maren when I first met her that I hated John Cena because so many times his matches make no sense. I used an old Edge vs. Cena TLC match as an example. I haven’t watched it in a long time because it makes me mad that the psychology of who set what things up didn’t make sense. Really this whole feud is classic. It’s really smart and using a lot of what Punk did in the indies in front of a much larger audience. Problem is…I really honestly think that Punk and Jericho aren’t perfectly suited for each other. It’s weird because we sometimes think those two guys can wrestle anyone…but really this feud just makes me sad that Shawn Michaels and Punk never got their day in the sun. One or two matches…but never a long feud that would have been the greatest thing ever.

6. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL TRAIN WRECK!!!! LESNAR IS A MONSTER!!!!! BLOOD!!!! WELCOME BACK BLOOD!!! WE HAVEN’T SEEN YOU IN SUCH A GREAT FASHION IN A VERY LONG TIME!!!! Oh…Hello SuperCena. Man, Creative booking made it so even Chicago fans will be excited to see you SuperCena. Gag me with a spoon. Oh and what’s the point of Laurinitis fighting Cena…with Lord Tensai. Does anybody feel SuperCena will lose? What is the point!?! Stop trying to trick me into thinking I care about John Cena. I have an idea. Remember when Vince McMahon exploded? WHY DON’T YOU HAVE BROCK LESNAR KILL JOHN CENA!!! YEAH….ACTUALLY KILL HIM!!!!! RIP HIS HEAD OFF. BREAK EVERY BONE IN HIS BODY. IT WILL BE FUNNY AND EXCITING!!!!! Then SuperCena can come back from the grave ala Undertaker and they might have a fun little storyline that I care about.

7. I’m pretty sure Cena’s “hardway” was pre-cut. If it wasn’t GOOD FUCKING JOB LESNAR!!!!

8. I liked the usage of Punk’s family. Felt like old school Bret Hart matches. Why wasn’t Diana there sitting next to Punk’s sister for no reason. They must be friends….in my mind.

9. After I watched the PPV, I watched an episode of Party Down with special guest Steve Guttenberg as himself. The Gutt is now ripped with really bad hair. He kinda looks like Cowboy Bob Orton. Awesome Huh!

Yeah, this PPV was awesome. Even the Orton/Kane match was good. I don’t care because Orton’s character still makes no sense whatsoever but whatever. But really, just seeing Cena get his ass kicked was rad. So rad that I don’t even really care about the end.


MMS: Extremely Awesome

 After doing this (fake) podcast, I feel like I just said the word "awesome" about a hundred times.


Nuke your Nutella and pull out your Simon and Garfunkel records. It's time for the Rusty Report!