September 01, 2017

The Pedantic Take

What follows is a written version of the inner dialogue I've had with myself this week. I set out to make a five paragraph essay formatted post and I don't think I did a good job as I am out of practice. I should probably start practicing just in case I ever decide to go get my degree in Wrestling Criticism. Enjoy. 

So, I enjoy the fact that you took my challenge so seriously, or at least your creativity so seriously.

What I was really getting at was trying to wrap my head around booking theory. The hows and whys, because there are legitimate reasons for both of them to go over. I think the general idea of booking the match in general was that Vince is scared that he'll lose Cena to Hollywood pretty quickly and wants to use him to put over his "The Guy" (ie Undertaker, The Rock, etc) now rather than later.

So that being said, if we're just booking the finish to this one match (without possibility of a rematch) the winner is Roman, but we know that John Cena will tell us that WWE is his life, and he'll be back any/ever chance he gets. So there will be a rematch. Then real question is... Are we watching a Roman Underdog Story (Roman loses and must fight to overcome The Face That Runs the Place) or a Warrior/Hogan WrestleMania 6 story? Will this backfire like Warrior winning did or does that even matter in 2017 corporately run WWE?

Business is down (Brock doesn't get 'splosions when his arms come down). Isn't Network Subscriptions that name of the game now? Do little kids have big enough allowances to spend 9.99 a month and buy tickets to the live events and t-shirts when they get there? I know that when I was a kid my parents were not interested in wrestling, so I was never taken to wrestling events, and I got to order 2 PPVs (with multiple other kids contributing to the price so it cost about 10 bucks at most). But they did take me to see Shakespeare plays and Weird Al concerts, because my folks had an appreciation of those things. Had Shawn Michaels or Stone Cold been hosts on the Today Show, maybe my first wrestling event would have been in 94 rather than 2000.

Most wrestling pundits think that the crowd hates Roman because he's perceived as the Chosen One that Vince picked. That he's handsome and your girlfriends/wives all think he's super hot. That he's "related to The Rock." That he does tea parties with his "baby girl." I think that's horse shit.

Roman is an above average big man wrestler. He also has an overused "semi" finisher in the spear, and a completely ridiculous "finisher" in the Superman Punch....which is an illegal closed fist. I would also argue that The Drive By is a really cool move and is over with me. There are issues with his move set in general though. Also, he has been saddled with bad promos, and even when he gets a good one....he feels awkward and stilted (and not in a cute Daniel Bryan aw shucks kinda way). He doesn't connect as a character, he connects because of his size, look, and looks.

The only other coherent argument I've heard about the Roman Reigns dilemma is that the crowd hates him because he isn't Daniel Bryan. This one is logical to me. Rey Mysterio was booed at the Rumble because "he wasn't Daniel Bryan." The argument against is that everybody no knows that Daniel Bryan isn't an option (Even though Brie is saying that some guy named Bryan Danielson is imminent) and there isn't anyone else on the WWE product that is over at the same level right now.

John Cena is more "beloved" now and the tone of the audience's hatred is more of the Kurt Angle "You Suck" rather than the venom spewed back in the Cena vs Edge, Cena vs DX, Cena vs Punk days. I would argue that the reason people have come around on Cena is because his character was tweaked to be more like a Daniel Bryan. He started having technically good matches, stopped putting people down with poo poo/pee pee jokes, and hasn't been as much of a dickhead frat boy lately (I think The Marshall refers to the new character wrinkle as "Goofy Smile Cena.") He also isn't extremely over exposed to wrestling fans. He isn't the star of both Raw and Smackdown (kinda, he mostly picks one). He's also funny in movie roles (anybody watch Tour De Pharmacy....he plays a character that is played by Dolph Lundgren when he is old).

This iteration of the John Cena character is at least far more tolerable and probably charming to people that don't have 15ish years of ill will built up in their brain or are easily manipulated (I'm a stubborn obstinate guy). Now more than ever, because of his extra curricular outings, he really is the "Face" that runs the place. Goofy grin and all.

 Why did they book this at No Mercy!? The only good explanation I've heard is a mix of No Mercy being in Los Angeles, the Network changes booking decisions because your end all be all isn't PPV (which doesn't make sense, because Network Subscriptions is PPV), and Vince wants to burn every possible big money match now so Roman Vs Brock is the only coherent thing to book at WrestleMania.

So who wins September of 2017? What outcome is best for business? Is it just simple "Roman gets outsmarted" and pushed to the ends of space to make up for it?  The "shocking" ending might actually be Roman wins clean. Could it be a schmoz? Could Undertaker cost Roman the win?

They have been booking Roman as a heel. He's lost a bunch of matches lately. I think I've talked myself into Roman winning clean. Cena can have an underdog story, and Roman can get heat for beating both Taker and Cena. Lesnar will go into WrestleMania as the babyface that has beaten the two guys Roman can't beat (Strowman and Joe). It will either embolden small children and ladies that love him, and piss off logical rational people.

It's taken me five days to come up with this conclusion. I've been wracking my brain. So congrats WWE on making me think about stupid wrestling all week.

August 30, 2017

Poncho’s Booking Challenge: Q Marshall Edition



Raw 8/28 (as it happened)
John Cena calls Roman Reigns out, says he isn’t good enough at anything to qualify his being “the guy”.  Roman says Cena’s a has-been, and jealous of his success.  GM Angle says “That’s great, now you’re a tag team.”  They win their tag match against the Goodbrothers without an altercation between them.

Raw 9/4
In awkward backstage interviews, small women ask Cena and Reigns (seperately) how they feel about the harsh words spoken the week before.  Roman shrugs, is all like, “whatever, at No Mercy, I’m gonna win.”  Cena’s reply is basically the same, but he has a goofy smile.  GM Angle says that since they did so well the week before, this week they’re going to tag again.  And that match will be against… these gentlemen: Big Cass and the Big Show!  And that match… is right now!  Big Show looks worried because his partner is on crutches and screaming the “S” and “F” words.  Cena and Reigns tag back and forth against Big Show for a little while, but Reigns gets the pin easily when Cass is tagged in.

Raw 9/11
GM Angle annouces that since they did so well the past two weeks, this week they’ll face another tag team.  Against… these gentlemen: Sheamus and Cesaro!  And that match… is right now!  During the match, things are pretty even until Sheamus sees a god damn beach ball in the crowd and goes to fetch it and rend it to pieces, leaving Cesaro unsupported.  Cena pins Cesaro.  Good-natured in their loss, Cesaro and Sheamus shake hands and agree not to do that anymore.  GM Angle announces that next week, Cena and Roman will face these gentlemen: Rollins and Ambrose.

Raw 9/18
Oh boy, now we’re off to the races.  Having the Shield back in the ring together will remind people of how they used to like Roman Reigns, which babyfaces him, but it will have the countereffect of making him seem more heelish because John Cena will seem outnumbered, and there will be the constant tease of a Shield reunion which *SPOILER ALERT* does not happen.  The match ends with Cena being pinned by Ambrose, and tensions between he and Reigns are higher than ever.  Cena comes off as more of a babyface.

No Mercy
Sting is hung over the ring in a shark cage, but he strips to his underwear and jumps into the arms of Robocop, who takes off his visor and reveals is actually Fred Ottman.  Cena wins.  The story is that Reigns got over-confident, and is outsmarted by the veteran.  Roman wins the rematch, the Royal Rumble, and beats Lesnar for the Universal title at Mania.  Oh wait, am I still booking this?  Samoa Joe wins.  The End.

Goodbadguys

Man this is so hard. I just can't figure it out. I am also not the best at this kind of booking stuff. But i will give it a shot. I am excited to see what you think.

I think that Roman is really interesting. I love the push and pull going on with him. The suits push him so hard as a type of guy and the fans just won't buy it. I love that. And you got this guy stuck in the middle, working as hard as he can, and he is obviously frustrated by about it.

Cena is similar and that will never change. But he isn't pissed. He is our Hulk Hogan.

Ok let me take a lame ass stab at this.

Roman would gloat a lot. Real in your face and smirking. I would have him turn into more of a cocky dick. Like "yeah i am getting a big push, you dont think i deserve it? I dont care". I would have cena be cena. The story would be more of the young guy having no respect for the old guy.

And who would go over? Roman, with help from vince. Cena would get screwed out of a win. Has this been done before? Yes. But Roman is so weird and different It WOould BE Awesome.

My Tablet Is Capitalising Stuff And Being Weird. So That Is It FOor Me! Love Yall!!!!!!

August 11, 2017

The Night I Met Jack Swagger, by Quarter Marshall

Believe it or not, the following is a completely true story.



It had been a somewhat stressful couple days around the house.  Not for any particular reason, let's just call it a malaise which had settled like dust on our quiet and generally unremarkable homelife.  I could tell that Alice needed to get out of the house, and being that she's a hard workin lady, deserved a treat, besides.  On a Tuesday afternoon, I texted her that I wanted to take her out for dinner, which was answered with enthusiasm, and we quickly settled on sushi.  Smugly, I put my phone down and resumed drawing G1 Climax 27.  Alice, at work, had a little extra pep in her step for the final hour of her shift.  We don't go out to dinner very often.  Maybe four to five times a year.

About a thousand people live in our town of Seal Rock, though I'd guess at least a fifth or so of that number only stay here on weekends, weather permitting.  The town center is defined by the 200-yard strip of highway which has a decreased speed limit from 55 to 45 MPH.  Here can be found a depot of chainsaw-carved bears, a post office residing within the front of a barely refitted ex-motel (the old rooms are now storage units), and two restaurants: Diner and Yuzen.  I can't speak to the quality of Diner, but Yuzen serves what is possibly the best Japanese food I've ever had, and is definitely the best sushi restaurant for miles and miles around.  I've enjoyed many great sushi meals in my old stomping grounds of Portland and Vancouver BC, but Yuzen is next-level.  However, like the post office, its placement is a bit of a juxtaposition.  Yuzen is housed in a building which was originally some kind of European restaurant, and from the outside it resembles a German IHOP.

 Great care is taken in the preparation of each dish, which means that waiting times are often long.  Alice and I once spent over two hours in the restaurant because we wanted to make a big order to celebrate an anniversary.  For us, the food is always worth the wait, but the pasty local waitresses each carry themselves with the jaded gruffness of a claims assessor, as if they're just waiting to be asked "how much longer will it take?"  To try and make up for other peoples' ignorance, I'm always overly nice to them, and they seem to appreciate it at first, but after the third or fourth interaction they'll just start rolling their eyes at me like I'm some bleeding heart dweeb forcing his unasked-for positivity onto them.  Alice and I got a table, circled five sushi rolls and three nigiri on the paper menu, grinned at our dead-eyed waitress, and "cheers"-ed our shot glasses of sake.

The meal was incredible.  Later that night, I'd be laying in bed, genuinely and profoundly sad, because I wasn't full anymore and I wanted to eat it again.  Since it was a Tuesday, it hadn't been very busy, and we were finished and had our check paid within an hour.  We got our things together, and headed toward the exit, glowing with a tasty radiance.  My happy tummy was sending good vibes to everyone we passed, all different kinds of folks sitting in booths, enjoying their Japanese cuisine, my happy tummy buddies.  There's old guy, there's surfer couple, there's family reunion, there's vacation family, there's hot chick, there's Jack Swagger, ther...Jack Swagger!?  I did a full body double-take and nearly blurted something out but my legs kept carrying my blown mind forward.  It was like, as soon as I saw him I recognized exactly who he was, with the same casual recognition as if I were looking at him on TV.  The next moment was like, oh my gawd, I've only ever seen that person on TV before, not in person!  That was the moment of the double-take, which was maybe a little jarring to him, because his head pivoted sharply towards me and we made eye contact briefly as I walked past.  He was sitting with his wife, wearing a ball cap and a t-shirt.  I think I gave a weak-ass smile and nod.

From the booths, the exit is around a partition.  When we're on the other side of it, as Alice was about to reach out to push the exit door, I touched her elbow and whispered "Did you see who's here?"  Alice stopped to measure the shit-eating smirk on my face.  Seeing how excited I was, she froze.  "What, who?"  "Jack Swagger!"  I hissed in a fevered thrall, pointing in his direction.  She said "No!  Really?"  I whispered, "Yeah, right over there!  You didn't see him?"  And she was like, "What?  No!  I wanna see."  Alice marched right past me, and I got real nervous, I didn't know what to do with myself.  I stood there facing the door, thinking that Alice was going to meet Jack Swagger and here I was, the bigger fan, too star-struck and self-conscious to even attempt to blurt stuff out at him.  It felt like a couple minutes that I was standing there in the entryway to the restaurant, not knowing what to do.  I eventually decided that if Alice was talking to him, I wanted to at least watch her do it, so I walked very slowly away from the exit, every step a deliberate attempt to not fall over, around the corner of the partition.  Swagger was sitting at the nearest table and was facing away from me.  We had been sitting at the furthest booth, and I could see Alice over there, pretending like she had forgotten something so that she could walk past him again, and get a good look.  My first thought was that she must have only left my side about 10 seconds ago, not a minute or two like I'd thought.  Then before I knew it she was back by my side, saying "it's not him" as she walked past me and through the door.

On the car ride home, we compared and discussed our individual experiences.  Alice provided a quite scientific set of qualifying examples of why the gentleman at the table could not have been Jack Swagger.  Her theoretical evidence boiled down to three main points:  1. He was regular-sized, 2. Why would Jack Swagger be in Seal Rock, and 3. That wasn't Jack Swagger.  Now myself, being of a more artistic persuasion, had a less scientific method of argument.  When I saw him, I instantly and without hesitation, 100% completely recognized and accepted that he was exactly the one and only Jack Swagger, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, the Money in the Bank winner, the Probably-Multiple-Other-Championships Champion, the King of Oklahoma, who will forever be a part of SCW culture because the icon for our site (which may only be viewable as a bookmark icon on computers, therefore I may be the only person to ever see it, or to have ever seen it for the past six years) is a pic of him and the Swagger Soaring Eagle hugging each other as they chickenshit up the ramp.  So, since my recognition of him was immediate and without doubt, it couldn't possibly be incorrect.  Regardless of the fact that he wasn't really really tall and/or swole, Alice could not convince me that I hadn't seen Jack Swagger that night.

A few days later, after many hours of fruitless mono-deliberation, it dawned on me that lots of these famous wrestling people share their daily life experiences on the internet, and I looked up Jack Swagger's Twitter.  Turns out he was with his two kids and wife in Palm Springs, which is in Florida and nowhere near Seal Rock Oregon, and for all I know he's never even heard of Yuzen.  So, dejectedly, I put my phone down and resumed drawing G1 Climax 27.  Alice, at work, gently felt through the Great Neural Web that she was right and I was wrong.  But nobody can take away from me the feeling that I felt when I saw Jack Swagger at Yuzen that night.

The end.

July 14, 2017

Drinking at my buddies' Garage. I'm the third wheel to two couples. The ladies were rolling their eyes at my geeking out about Grant Morrison and how he's editing Heavy Metal magazine now. I have a bunch of issues of Heavy Metal now....and I've turned even nerdier (and confused as to why I haven't been reading this for years).

Johnny Gargano is one of my favorite wrestlers of all time. His story is Shakespeare. If he's there......I squeal.

Asuka is amazing. I always compare her to Bjork. Because music is a competition in my mind.

Aliester Black is a great gimmick....and he's slowly getting over. I still laugh that the Marshall compared me to him. I'm way sillier than that guy.

Glorious.

I wanna see Aaliyah. She sucks, but some weird thing on the network made me kinda like her.

Former Evolve Champion. Dreeeeeeeew.
He's pretty cool.

Hideo Itami is a wrestler that I think will be back in Japan (probably NJPW) in the next year, and we should feel blessed to see him. He was smart to head to the US when he got to his "injury riddled" part of his career.  KENTA shall blow minds.

Oh yeah....Kassius Ohno. Rusty seemed disappointed that he would be both of our #1. Honestly...more excited for Gargano...but I don't think he'll be there. Chris Hero is an incredible athelete. I told Rusty that he's "More Athletic Terry Gordy" which is nuts if you think/know about it.

Anyway, beer drinking. I'm not going to edit this post. No idea if it makes sense. See you tomorrow.

nxt nxt nxt

Well guys. I can't tell you how much I look forward to our hang outs. I am so excited that I am actually writing a post! Let's get to it! (Not in order)

1. Heavy Machinery / Authors Of Pain
I just really wanna see how big these guys are in real life. They are huge and dumb and I kinda like that.

2. Auska
I made a joke about Auska's wicked rack in my last post. She is a babe. But beyond that she is a killer wrestler and I am a huge fan. I am already at half staff thinking about her (matches).

3. DIY
These guys ruke. I am pretty bummed that they split them up but I am looking forward to the awesome matches they will have someday. I hope to see Gargano, or as my autocorrect wants to call him, Garbanzo. His facial hair is good.

4. Roddy
Duh

5. Pete Dunn and the other British kid
I think the match these two had at takeover of whatever was my favorite match of the year so far. Pete Dunn is one of my current faves and I can't wait to see more from him.

6. I dunno who else. I Cant Wait! BEed TIime!!! COmputer ISs Getting Weird!

Marshall's nxTop nxTen

Spoiler alert: the #1 thing I'm looking forward to about Saturday is getting together with my SCW bros!  It's always the funnest.  I'm looking forward to seeing you guys so much, it makes this list seem silly.  But it's not, it's totally serious.  These are the top ten NXT roster members I'm looking forward to seeing the most!!!!!

10. Johnny Gargano Almost everyone on this list are wrestlers who I've seen for years on video, but never in-person.  Johnny Gargano is a guy whose career I've followed for maybe 5 or 6 years, being featured on shows that I would've loved to have been at.  He has a distinct energy in the ring that I think will be even better in-person.

9. Heavy Machinery Why would I rank them above Gargano?  Because I really want to see what they look like with my own eyes.  I am fascinated with the aesthetic of Heavy Machinery.

8. Bobby Roode While I've been critical of the champ, calling attention to a perceived juxtaposition between the flash of his character and the meatandpotatoes of his in-ring style, he's still a great wrestler.  I wouldn't be surprised if I felt kinda mark-y if he came out and doused us with a heapin helpin of star power.

7. Hideo Itami The second half of the best Bobby Roode match I've ever seen, and possibly one of the most influential wrestlers of his (our) generation.  At least in the sense of our favorite WWE wrestlers using moves he innovated as their finishers.  Since he's generally been positioned in NXT as a big match guy, I'm very curious what he might do on a house show.  He could have a barnburner with anybody.

6. Aleister Black Has a physical style I'm looking forward to seeing in-person, and I want to see if his gimmick stuff looks as cool as it does on TV.  It looks amazing on TV.

5. Asuka The only wrestler on the list who we saw last year.  Even beyond this short list, if you look down the entire roster of NXT, she's one of (I think) only three who were there a year ago, the others being No Way Jose and Tino "Too Much Taint" Sabbatelli.  Asuka is one the best overall performers in the entire WWE.  Right up there with AJ, Joe, Owens, Charlotte, or whoever.

4. reDRagon It was officially announced on Wednesday that Bobby Fish signed with NXT.  Kyle O'Reilly did a show for NXT but hasn't been officially signed yet.  I don't know if they'll be on the show.  It seems doubtful, but who knows.  If they do show up, individually or as a team, I'm gonna be grinning a big toothy grin like a total moron.

3. Roderick Strong With his stupendous catalogue of work, Roddy will always be a legend to me.  In NXT, the video packages of his life were the best non-wrestling things that have ever been on the show, and even though I was disappointed that he didn't win his title-shot match, I still appreciate that his character is a long-term underdog that's going to get a huge pop someday.  As fans, that can keep us hanging on forever when it's done well.  And Roddy's great.

2.  Nikki Cross Really fun to watch wrestle.  I have never used this idiom before, but I've got "nothing but time" for Nikki Cross.  I'm really not the type to celebrity crush on people, and when I do, they're usually guy comedians that I just really want to hang out with.  That being said, I want to hang out with Nikki Cross.

1. Kassius Ohno At the time he was signed, he was one of my top 3 favorite wrestlers in the world, with AJ and Okada.  I don't watch the NXT show every week, so I've missed some of what he's done there, and I don't even have a firm grasp on where he stands on the card.  I wonder if he (along with Bobby Fish, and maybe even Roddy) is seen by the office as kind of a journeyman dude who's there to help train younger talents how to work, or if they have intentions to push him.  Either way, he can do nothing but improve anything he has a hand in, because he's one of wrestling's greatest assets.


Hey, do you guys remember when Nakamura came out, and we all held hands, and then he did a cool, light comedy match against the Drifter?  Or when Finn Balor did his sexy entrance and the entire arena collectively opened their mouths to receive, and then he had a brawly match with Samoa Joe?  Or when American Alpha and the Revival had a great match with highspots that mattered?  Or when Poncho Man embarrassed the shit out of me by screaming "ANGRY MOM" at Nia Jax?  I can't wait to build more memories this weekend!  I also hope we can spend some quality time catching up and watching some WCW or whatever.  Love u dudes!

July 06, 2017

Goodness gracious.

Sitting at the bar flirting with the bartender. Intermittently writing this. Having someone try to convince you that Game Of Thrones is good is trying. Do you guys watch that shit? Well....here it is. Read it.

Neville vs Akira Tozawa for the Cruiserweight Championship
Is he just Tozawa yet? Grunting got him over. Then he joined the Titus Brand. I've been enjoying 205 Live lately. Not really sure why. I wouldn't recommend it. But I don't mind turning it on and playing on my phone while it airs. Things happen. It's got jokes.

Cesaro and Sheamus (The Bar) vs The Hardy Boyz in a 30 Minute Iron Man Match for the RAW Tag Team Championship
Just what we wanted. A half hour more of these guys wrestling. Delete.

The Miz w/ The Entourage vs Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental Championship
How are we feeling about The Miz these days? Is he doing A level work in a world where I don't give a fuck? More so. Who gives a fuck about Dean Ambrose?

Enzo Amore vs Big Cass
So sad. Kinda upset about this. I wish Enzo could work. He'd be The Rock.

Seth Rollins vs Bray Wyatt
Hmmm. Did you see that Finn Balor doesn't even have a match on this ppv? I was listening to some podcast where they said Kenny Omega should join WWE next year and have a worked shoot feud based on Seth stealing his gimmick. I giggled.

Alexa Bliss vs Sasha Banks for the RAW Women's Championship
Well, hopefully it's good? I doubt they get any time. Alexa isnt the best worker or anything. Just...Dat ass.

Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman in an Ambulance Match
In 10 years are they going to regret "Braun Strowman" as a name? Is he actually over or do people just hate Roman? I can't remember if any of their matches are actually good or if I just get stoked that the dumb guy loses.

Brock Lesnar vs Samoa Joe for the Universal Championship
Aaaaand if you aren't stoked for this you're an idiot. It's been booked masterfully. It's something we want to see. I think Vince is probably just shocked that people are so stoked because "he doesn't see it." Whatever....when something legitimately good comes along...we must embrace. Assimilate.

See you guys soooooon

June 27, 2017

G1 Climax 27 Cribsheet & Doodlefest

Blue skies, sweaty beer, lawn clippings, and working extra hours to cover for vacationing co-workers.  Lady and Gentlemen, it's Summer in America.  Time to cast off the extra layer of clothes that disguise your lovehandles during the other 9 months of the year.  Time to get sunburned while idly daydreaming what it would be like to not exist anymore.  Time to start drinking as soon as you get off work (not to be confused with Winter--same deal, different beverage).  Time to watch a hundred pro wrestling matches between twenty men while other men are screaming about it in a language you can't understand, while you take dictation from it in the form of an esoteric scribbling shorthand that looks like the work of an autistic kindergartner who has an obsession with thighs.  Are we still on the same page?  My friends, it's time for the G1 Climax!

Today, the competitors were assigned to their two blocks of competition.  I've compiled some notes about each wrestler, and have ordered them below without bias (order is from the block listing on my favorite pro-wrestling site, Wikipedia).


BLOCK A





Bad Luck Fale (Bullet Club)  A very traditional heel.  In the sense that he is always a credible threat who almost always loses.



Hirooki Goto (Chaos)  After winning his block last year, and having a run with the Never title, Goto could either keep sailing on in the upper-mid, or slip further into his slump.  I think it has something to do with his character.  Either way, he does great moves and will not win.



Kota Ibushi (Team Tiger Awesome)  Back from his long hiatus (kayfaaaabe!) Kota returns to much hype and excitement.  His not being in the same block as Kenny is my 2nd biggest disappointment about the way the blocks are booked.



Tomohiro Ishii (Chaos)  Coincidentally, Ishii and Okada being in different blocks is my number 1 biggest disappointment.  I know that Omega and Ibushi will hook up in singles again before too long, but it's only in G1 that we get Okada-Ishii.  Still, this takes nothing away from the Marshall-approved "Mr. G1", who has been arguably the greatest performer in the tournament for the past 3 years.






Togi Makabe (Last Lone GBH)  Togi hungry!




Yuji Nagata (Blue Justice League)  With a higher percentage of big bruiser-types being in Block A, I'll be rooting extra hard for Yuji to make some choice upsets.  I don't know for how many more years the Charismatic Enigma De Japon can do this grueling tournament, but I'll enjoy it for as long as it lasts.  (Just looked it up, this will be his final Climax.)



Tetsuya Naito (Los Ingobernables)  A standout performer on every card he's on, but on a similar platform as Goto in terms of likelihood of a slump versus treading water.  I'll be looking for Naito to make some waves in A Block, possible including a revenge win over Tanahashi.

Zack Sabre Jr (Suzuki-Gun)  For me, the most exciting competitor who is new to the tournament this year (there are 2).  He could easily have been in the Junior-Heavyweight tournament instead, as was his arch-nemesis/best friend (depending on what you're watching) Marty Scurll.  It will be amazing to see him trying make a pretzel out of the fireplug-built Ishii, barrel-built Goto, and Godzilla-built Fale.  Or maybe he'll just lose those matches.



Hiroshi Tanahashi (Ace)  Current, fresh-as-a-daisy IC Champ.  Something tells me this tournament is not his, but it could serve to provide him with some fresh match-ups.  Wins over Fale, Goto, and Naito would solidify his return to grace, but losses to Sabre, Ibushi, and Ishii could be blood in the water for possible title defenses.



Yoshi-Hashi (Chaos kid brother)  Personifies the spirit of the G1, because he shows off how even the least utilized NJPW talents know how to have a great match.  On an unrelated note, why isn't Yujiro Takahashi in the G1 anymore?




BLOCK B




Michael Elgin (Peripheral Ace Squad)  I wasn't super excited about his inclusion last year, but he put on quite the performance.  This year I'll be looking to be pleasantly surprised again, though I'll be less surprised.  He's bringing a lot of power and strength to Block B.



"King of Darkness" Evil (Los Ingobernables)  Apparently Laser-Discs used to be a thing.  I remember seeing one, once.  Will the next generation believe there used to be a goatee-stroking, cosplay-scythe-toting, purple-ponytail-bouncing bad guy called Evil?  It's been a couple years, I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.



Satoshi Kojima (Tencozy good cop)  "I took a bus yesterday and took a drive for 7hours. A journey is an important job of a wrestler. I ate a lot of bread."




Kazuchika Okada (Chaos)  I have heaps of praise for so many of the G1 competitors, not to mention my favorites outside New Japan.  Still, Okada is my favorite wrestler working today.  I could do a whole post about it, but it would be embarrassing.  The main thing is just that his style of storytelling always manages to hook me.



Kenny Omega (Bullet Club/Elite)  The biggest match going into the G1 is Kenny's 3rd match vs Kazuchika.  A 1-1-1 record between them would be a great story, and epic ground for a 4th match that (already) has ridiculous expectations.  King's road, baby.




 Juice Robinson (Peripheral Ace Squad)  What is that, a goddamn gummy bear?  And why am I staring at a grown man's muscular tuchus to see if that is or isn't a goddamn gummy bear?

Sanada (Los Ingobernables)  His dragon sleeper got over last year with some high-profile wins.  He hasn't had much singles attention lately, so maybe he'll be like a little viper-ish Fale in G1, picking dudes off randomly.  It goes to show how great NJPW is at booking when you believe a guy might beat anybody in G1 despite not having had a singles run since last year's tournament.



Minoru Suzuki (Suzuki-Gun)  Hasn't been in the G1 since 2014, when he and Suzuki-Gun tore the house down with AJ Styles and Bullet Club.  I'm looking forward to Suzuki's matches more than any other single competitor.



Tama Tonga (Bullet Club/GOD)  I really enjoy watching Tonga's matches, but I really really hope he isn't wearing yoga pajamas this year.





Toru Yano (Chaos)  The ultimate wildcard.  Can make G1 as thrilling as he can make it frustrating, depending on who your favorites and least favorites are.







The tournament will begin on July 17th, a couple days after our SCW reunion.  Stay tuned for more pointless fanposts just for us.  It's going to be a good Wrestling Summer. 

April 29, 2017

Goodness Gracious Payback Preview

So we just turned off the Toyo Province show from last night to write this preview because Rusty reminded me that he likes these here previews. He appealed to my Arrogance™ and gave me a compliment. So I headed on down here, typed the url, clicked the new post button, turned on some Unsolved Mysteries, began typing, drank some tea, covered my mouth while I coughed, sneezed, coughed again, checked my phone, looked at my pork roast timer, blew my nose, and kept typing. (Did your brain do it on it's own?)

Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows on the Preshow
So I've spent the last week sick as a fucking dog. Thought it was allergies (which it might have been), but then there has been signs of strep, sinus infection, generic cold, etc. It's totally sucked because I'm days away from new insurance kicking in. Last Saturday I ran 12 miles; this Saturday I'm hacking up green shit. What this has to do with The Good Brothers and the Jersey Devils? NOTHING! WEEEEE!!!

Neville vs Austin Aries for the Cruiserweight Championship
Seems like these boys made the main show. They had a decent match on the WrestleMania preshow, but who knows if they'll get time here or not. Remember Bob Dole and how he talked with his finger? It was so prominent that Norm MacDonald could to an impression just based on his physicality and the pointy finger thing. I would really love to see a politician who uses a banana like Double A does. That would be fun.

Seth Rollins vs Samoa Joe
So apparently Rollins stole the V Trigger or something? Or he combined it with the beginning of the Rainmaker? Drama. Nice that Joe makes this PPV after somehow having nothing to do at Mania...but it does seem kinda anticlimactic that Rollins already beat the "Big Boss" and is now fighting a minion. Maybe this will lead to a long term feud.

The Hardy Boyz vs The Kilts
The internet is afire with notions that WWE is buying the "Broken" character from the Owl.

Speaking of owls. I did a rewatch of all of Twin Peaks a few weeks ago and read "The Secret History Of Twin Peaks." I'm so excited for the new episodes. I don't know if you guys are fans, but I'm just giddy.

Anyways, I hear that Matt is doing this weird thing on Twitter where he's kinda switching between the Broken character, Version 2, and normal Matt. Seems so odd that he'd be "allowed" to do such things without some truth to the rumor. In other OWL news......BIG POPPA PUMP! Honestly haven't watched any of it, but it made me really excited in theory.

Bayley vs Alexa Bliss for the RAW Women's Championship
This is a fun little mix up of ladies. I am a little torn and don't know who to cheer for. What happened to Blake and Murphy? They seem to have disappeared from the NXT Universe.

My pork roast was cooked well. I wish I could taste it.

Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt in a House Of Horrors match
The belt isn't on the line here. So it's some sort of weird revenge match for the bad guy who got his house burnt down by the babyface? The only thing I liked about their match at Mania was the weird bugs and stuff, even if it didn't make sense and wasn't so tasteful in the amount they used...at least it was new, exciting, ambitious. I'm just hoping this whole thing is guest booked by Kevin Sullivan and it is somehow connected to the Dungeon Of Doom.

Kevin Owens vs  Chris Jericho for the United States Championship (if Jericho wins, he goes to Smackdown)
Well, the blow off is here. It's funny that they're on separate shows now so they haven't really touched since Mania. Did you hear the clip of "Judas" by Fozzy? It had dancing babes in the background with fish eye camera lens. They're playing some festival in Europe where the open the main stage for Aerosmith. I was just happy to read that Orange Goblin is listed after Fozzy.

Roman Reigns vs BRAAUAUAUUUUUUAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNN
Silly stuff. Braun destroying stuff every week is hilarious and fun. Roman is a lost cause. I guess this is the match to find out who faces Brock at....wait for it......Great Balls Of Fire! The greatest name for a PPV ever. Out of touch much? Shocked that Jerry Lee doesn't have a ™ on that one.

I'm excited that I figured out how to do ™. I'm going to ™ everything.

Hope all is well with you guys and you don't feel like death warmed over like I do. Enjoy all the NJPW or the Royal Rumbles you kids are watching. WEEEEEEE

April 06, 2017

MMS: 33 Bustin'


The first episode in about 7 months, but I'd have to look back much further to find the last episode I went to the effort of adding background music to.  This MMS covers ROH Supercard of Honor 11, Joey Janela's Spring Break, NXT Takeover Orlando, Wrestlemania 33, Raw, and Smackdown.  That's something like 16 hours of wrestling condensed into a 45 minute fake podcast.  Get on it and riiiiide!

April 01, 2017

The Ultimate Thrill Ride Of Blog Posts

Hello friends,

As requested, it's the return of the Poncho Man's PPV previews. It's a pretty big show on Sunday. Lots of matches to go over. I'm currently watching the Hall Of Fame and stressing out about watching all the wrestling and trying to "you know" do everything else I should do this weekend. Did Ricky Steamboat always have huge ears or is he shrinking?

So....as the keeper of keeping up with all the wrestling...The question is "How is the Poncho Man feeling about WrestleMania this year?" I went kayfabe only a few months ago, mostly I quit reading dirt sheets and listening to Meltzer (even though I love Observer Radio) and only get "spoilers" by accident on social media. I can't decide if it has made me enjoy the show more or if it's helped in keeping my head in the sand where I only think about the Art and not the asshole that funds that bigger asshole wannabe dictator guy. I'm an addict and have a co-dependent relationship with wrestling.

That being said, WrestleMania doesn't look too bad to me this year. Just long as shit.

ATGBR
Well, Braun and Joe don't have matches. Apparently The Big Show is retiring this year? Sami is in this thing. Sooooo....that probably means that Mojo Rawley with Rob Gronkowski will win this thing. It's on the preshow. So hype. I'm sure you can tell how hype I am. So hype.

The King Of The Cruiserweights Neville vs The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived Austin Aries
So, I kinda watch 205 Live. It's on my tv every week while I've been cross stitching Bob Saget (check out my Instagram). I can tell you that Neville as an angry troll is great. Austin Aries is fantastic as a braggadocious news reporter. Brian Kendrick is a shitty teacher for Tozawa. Rich Swann is a dancer. Jack Gallagher is a weird English gent/Mary Poppins hybrid. Then my maybe favorite character is the lecherous Noam Dar. So yeah, the characters are there. Just haven't cared for the wrestling that much yet. Maybe that's because it's basically Evolve through Vince's filter. Anyway, hope this is fun. It's on the preshow so it will probably get 20 minutes, but have 2 commercials in the middle of it. Weeeeee.

Dean Ambrose vs Baron Corbin for the Intercontinental Championship?
Dopey vs Grumpy. Remember when Ambrose was the best part of The Shield? Remember when Corbin was on that show on the Network where he talked about how he doesn't like people, saw some shitty rock music, and bought taxidermy? Hmmm.

Alexa Bliss vs Every Available Woman On The Smackdown Roster for the Smackdown Women's Title
I love Alexa. I would appreciate her winning. I like how basically every woman on the Smackdown roster has a beef with her. It's GREAT booking. She cheated to win the belt from Becky. She connived her way to take the belt from Naomi. She's always talking down to Natty and Carmella. It's adorable amazing heat. Oh, and this match will feature an appearance by The Big Hog in his first WrestleMania. 

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs Big Cass and Enzo vs Cesaro and Sheamus in a Triple Threat Ladder Match for the RAW Tag Team Championship
Ladderskis. Swisski. Sawftski. No Broski. Well kinda...Good Broskis. Maybe I'm the only one excited to see Enzo's promo on the biggest stage of them all? I'm thinking this will be fun.

John Cena and Nikki Bella vs The Miz and Maryse
If you haven't seen the "deleted Total Bellas scenes" or Talking Smack....or Total Divas/Bellas in general....this match isn't that exciting. For those of us that do watch all this....This match is brilliantly awesome and has had one of the best builds of anything on the card. Wrestling reality shows are hilarious. I hate that The Miz has been doing good stuff. It sucks. Really sucks.

Bayley vs Angry Mom vs Charlotte vs Sasha Banks for the RAW Women's Championship
The booking has been a mess. No clue why Charlotte lost to Bayley last month on the PPV. Bayley gives me the warm fuzzies. Sasha needs to be ratchet. I can't decide if Bayley has been treated with more or less reverence than the other Women on RAW. I guess they didn't want to tell the plucky underdog story again.....which sucks. Because of the warm fuzzies.

Chris Jericho vs Kevin Owens for the United States Championship
This is the obligatory "smart mark match of the night." This story has been a little ray of sunshine on RAW since it started and it's wonderful to have it peak at WrestleMania. Finding out the Jimmy Jacobs was highly involved in all this made so much sense. This had the same sense of purpose and timing as The Flood in Chikara or S.C.U.M. in ROH, while still being fresh and new and never feeling like we were rehashing something from 20 years ago. I applaud all involved in this little piece of business. Yesterday I saw that Orange Goblin is playing the main stage at Download Festival. They are fairly early in the day (opening for Aerosmith), but guess who is directly opening for Orange Goblin?

Seth Rollins vs Triple H in a Non-Sanctioned Match
Slow story building is great. Seth as a babyface isn't. I'm sure I'll still be pumped for this. I wonder what Kevin The Dog is up to this weekend? Someday he'll be in wrestling animal heaven with Matilda, Damien, Frankie, etc.

AJ Styles vs Shane McMahon
Not the match we wanted or deserved. I think I said that I thought Taker vs Shane was strong last year. Told a good logical story. I'm sure this won't be as bad as we think it might be. It's fucking AJ Styles. He could have a good match with Bone Soldier.

And now we start the part of the card where the lines of heels and faces are completely blurred and completely confusing. I feel all the promotional interviews lately have reiterated how it doesn't matter if we love or hate somebody, it's all about the reactions we give them. Apparently we're all dullards because we don't understand such complicated and layered characters and stories.

Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton for the WWE Championship
Randy has a hard time beating Bray so he joins his coven. Once he gains Bray's trust and friendship, he then burns his house down and tortures? his dead sisters' soul. Still trying to figure out what Bray did that was evil and deserves all this. Outside of kayfabe, in all the segments together Randy no sells everything and looks bored the entire time. Oddly, this whole thing isn't a complete awful mess and makes for decent tv. I'm so confuzzled. I guess Bray is a "character babyface" now.

Roman Reigns vs The Undertaker
I'm so sick of being told that Roman Reigns doesn't deserve my disdain. Leati Joseph Anoa'i I have no problem with.

The Main Event

Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship
It's too bad that "smart marks" are probably going to boo Goldberg out of the building. He's been so much fun to me. My fandom is always at it's height when a babyface I like is atop the heap. While Goldberg isn't and has never been my favorite; I've really enjoyed the white meat dominate babyface awesomeness of this run. I'm kinda pumped for this match, and I will probably be excited with whomever wins.

Started this last night, passed out as soon as I finished the Hall Of Fame, finished in the morn. I'm probably going to have to watch Takeover late this evening or early tomorrow. Silly Ducks and their Final Four game. Enjoy yourselves. Have fun. Eat some gummi worms. So hype.

March 29, 2017

Mania Weekend of the Heart

For the past two months, the front page of SCW has featured a snarky, sarcastic, bitter, jaded column which I wrote because I was frustrated with myself for being excited (in my heart) for a WWE PPV which I believed (in my brain) would be a waste of time.  I'm not saying it wasn't funny (I'm hilarious), but for it to be the most recent post for so long has given a tinge of negativity to SCW, and that ain't right.  With this post, I'd like to shine a light on some of the things I'm looking forward to watching this weekend.  Obviously, there will be more shows than I'll be able to watch, including shows from promotions I like but don't follow closely, like Evolve, Chikara and WWE.  :)

ROH Supercard of Honor 11

This is the overall card I'm most looking forward to.  Largely because Silas Young is on it.  Headlined by tag champs the Young Bucks defending against the Broken Hardys, which could be argued is as much of a dream match for smarks as Goldberg vs Lesnar is for marks.  Chris Daniel's World title being challenged by Dalton Castle, and Marty Scurll's TV title being challenged by Adam Cole are great secondary main-event-level matches, the rest of the show looks to be reliably solid.  The Briscoes/Bully vs GOD/Hangman match is the only one that doesn't make sense to me on paper, but it'll probably have its moments.  I'll be looking for Ospreay/Volador vs Lee/White to steal the early half of the show, and the Kingdom vs Young/Bruiser match to deliver huge entertainment value.  I'm curious with that one whether the Kingdom will be finding a third member (assuming that TK ORyan is still injured) so that they can continue to defend their 3-man tag titles.  Silas and Beer City Bruiser cut a promo on ROH tv saying they'd found the perfect guy to join them to challenge for the 3-man belts, so of course I'm very curious who they're looking at.  They did the same promo once before, and Bull James came out, they wrestled a 3-man match together, everything seemed fine, and then they jumped him.  I wouldn't hate it if they worked the same kind of gimmick on somebody else.  I've been thinking about doing another Fave Five list so that I could put Silas Young on it.  Okada, Naito, Styles, Ishii, Young... yeah I dunno something like that.

NXT Takeover Orlando

Right now the wikipedia page for this event only lists 5 matches.  I want to watch all of them.  I don't understand why the team of crazy people are called Sanity, but then again, how much better would the Social Outcasts have been if they were called the Cool Kids?  Nakamura and Asuka could steal this show, and possibly the entire weekend, but DIY and the Revival have stolen shows before, especially when sharing the ring, so that will be another one to watch.  Tommy End will debut as Aleister Black.  Killian Big Damo Dain and Roddy Strong will share a ring.  Heidi Lovelace has a cool new name.  Nikki Cross is my tv crush.

Wrestlemania 33

Neville vs Aries is a world-class badass match.  Wyatt/Orton could be an interesting character thing.  Styles/McMahon will be interesting from the standpoint of being a fan who tends to heavily favor the "workers" (as exemplified by AJ).  Owens/Jericho should be fun, though I would really like to see them be friends forever (hug it out?  hug it out?)  The tag three-way should also be fun, there's a lot of greatness that could come out of that.  The Raw women's match has potential, and they'll be gunning to try and steal the show.  For me, Rollins/HHH has had the most compelling build, and is also the most compelling match-up wrestling-wise, so this will be my most anticipated story to be told on Sunday.  I wish they'd bring in YoshiTatsu to do color commentary for that one, so he could monosyllabically explain how devastating the pedigree is.  The other matches on the card could be good as well, but that's what I'm excited about.

TV shows after Mania

Will Smackdown Live be the new Raw after Raw after Wrestlemania?  I wonder.  I'll be watching both shows and waiting for Finn to come back, and for Nakamura to show up.  If I had my drothers, Shinsuke would be a Raw guy, and Finn would be Smackdown, thought I wouldn't complain unless they just both went to Raw.  Just so long as one of them can wrestle AJ, I'll be happy and at least marginally reinvested in WWE tv.

Another thing I'll be looking forward to is hearing about what shows get a buzz, because that will get me to watch new things that I hadn't planned on or possibly even heard of before.  

Long live wrestling.  Long live friendship.  Long live SCW.

January 24, 2017

Rumblings of the Heart

The Royal Rumble is 5 days away, and unless they announce something on Twitter in that time, all of the Rumble Entrants have been announced.  They are (in order of their listing on wwe.com) the Undertaker, Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, Big Show, Dean Ambose, The Miz, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Big E, Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, Luke Harper, Mojo Rawley, Braun Strowman, Chris Jericho, Baron Corbin, Cesaro, Sheamus, Big Cass, and Rusev.  That's 22 fellas, leaving 8 spots open.

Every year I get really excited for the Rumble match, and every year there are cool moments, but I feel really disappointed with the winner, and the direction of things heading into Wrestlemania.  I think that part of my problem is that I spend so much time thinking about all the super-great things that could happen, my expectations get too high, and there's just no way they could live up to the hype I've built in my head.  Well, this year's going to be different.  This year I'm keeping my expectations low, and to help you guys out I'm going to share those expectations here in blog form.

Surprise Entrant #1: A skinny little chap comes out in an "I [heart] NY" shirt, a Yankees cap, blue jeans, and a camera hanging from a strap around his neck.  It's Danny "Shucks" McCallister, a new tourist character played by the former Finn Balor!  Instead of that tired old gimmick of being an ab god/sex bomb with a leather jacket, and mysterious once-a-month hump monster, now his thing will be that he comes out smiling in bewonderment, taking pictures of the ceiling, and then his opponent (usually a good guy) breaks his camera.  At this point, Danny will get real sad and cry and try to pick the pieces up, but when he has them mostly picked up, the opponent will do a move on him, and the camera pieces will go flying everywhere.  The strangest thing though, is that he speaks with a southern American accent, like a hayseed yokel.

Surprise Entrants #2 and #3: Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows (or, as they're now known in the WWE: Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) limp to the ring, having gotten their asses kicked in the preshow against the announced Rumble entrants Cesaro and Sheamus.  They are thrown out immediately, Bushwacker style, faster than you can say "hot Asian wife".  They don't even get a reunion moment with Danny "Shucks" McCallister because the only ones to greet them in the ring are the past and present tag champs.

Surprise Entrant #4: Daniel Bryan's music hits and he comes out Yessing, and is wearing that cool DB jacket he wore that one time when he was wrestling Punk.  He walks with great purpose to the edge of the stage, runs his eyeballs over the crowd, and turns and walks over to the commentary table.  He goes to take his seat, but then David Otunga's music hits and he comes out all oiled up and slides into Bryan's chair and puts the headset on so it's all covered with his body muscle oil and stuff, so Bryan's just like, "whatever dude, so gross", waves at the crowd apologetically, and goes toward the back around the side of the stage but gets hit by Paige drunk-driving her fiance Alberto Del Rio's Cadillac because she's so fucked up she thinks its 2012.  And Daniel Bryan dies.

Surprise Entrant #5: Because to be Samoan in the WWE you have to be related to Yokozuna and Rikishi and Afa and Sika and the Rock and Roman Reigns, etc, Samoa Joe will be renamed.  The plan is for his character to be the same, but he will make his main roster debut as Pacific Island Joe.  This has been planned out for months.  There is tons of backstage talk about the arrival of Pacific Island Joe.  Eventually, everyone just starts saying P.I. Joe because it's way easier.  P.I. Joe is so over with Vince that he is talking about him all the time, so much so that the character takes on a life of his own in Vince's head.  In Vince's head, P.I. Joe is a tall white guy with short blond hair and combat fatigues and aviator shades, and the gun he carries is legit.  Jack Swagger re-debuts as P.I. Joe, even coming out to Samoa Joe's NXT music, and the crowd boos but Vince thinks its pure magic, and all of Vince's yesmen say what a great idea this was, then turn around and call Samoa Joe on the phone and tell him to go away.

Surprise Entrant #6: Mojo Rawley.  Oh wait, he's already announced?

Surprise Entrant #7: The reanimated bones of Nancy Argentino ambulate grimly and haltingly toward the ring, but the skeleton missteps, falls, and hits its head on the barricade, collapsing in a heap.  The remains are rapidly swept under the ramp by WWE's lawyers, and a few cops.

Surprise Entrant #8: Kenny Omega comes out with the same name, same gear, and cool new music that fits his character.  He has a decent showing in the Rumble and everyone is psyched on him.  He has a good undercard match at Mania, losing against someone more established, but he continues to impress all the right people backstage, and he starts getting into the main event picture.  Challenging for Roman Reigns' world title, he leads some of the best PPV main events that WWE has seen in a long time, though he's still not getting the big wins.  However his contributions do not go unnoticed, and WWE brass decide to make Kenny the marquee player for their new catchphrase-named show, WWE What? Live.  It's like Raw and Smackdown, with its own unique roster, its own unique championships, and since red and blue are claimed by those other shows, everything is yellow.  Kenny spends the next year feuding with everyone Braun Strowman beats on Raw, except Sami Zayn.  Then he will have the honor of losing the WWE What? Live world title to John Cena on the anniversary of his WWE debut.