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  1. A pair of excellent promos by Ron and Tony. As whiny as they were as heels, that's how forceful they are as faces. You'd hardly think Ron in particular was the same man. The only problem was that he accidentally referred to Brian as "Dirty White Boy" at one point, but that was an honest mistake that should have been caught and edited out. The match action was very good. I'm guessing that Kyle was brought back by Tammy as an enforcer/bodyguard, much as he'd been for Corny. I saw neither hide nor hair of Kim at any point in the match clip, whether it was on the apron or the floor. Guys, if we're supposed to see someone laying on the floor in a heap, let's get a camera over to where they're supposed to be laying so we can actually see what we're supposed to see. That's two mistakes in this segment that I'm surprised Corny let slide. Caudle may be starting to slip a bit. He said that Tony's punches knocked both Lee and Candido down when it was crystal clear to the viewers that they hadn't, which is totally unlike him. Hopefully he was just having a bad day, but given that JR would be doing play-by-play by August, I'm thinking that Bob saw the handwriting on the wall and decided to get out while the getting was good, especially since Dutch had left by then. Dutch calling the audience morons in the opening seemed a bit out of place given that he's been portrayed for the last few months as an almost neutral figure, neither babyface nor heel. Maybe he meant it as a term of grudging affection.
  2. I thought this was very good, particularly the part where Shawn literally climbed the ladder as he talked. Anything's better than the lame jokes we get a lot of the time which make match stips laughable. I dimly remembered Levy referring to Vince as "Vic" when I used to tune in ince in a while, so it's nice to see that my memory hasn't totally failed me. Of course, Vince was too busy hyping Mania to pay much attention. Vince must love the "greatest IC champ of all time" spiel. It seems we've heard it for just about every heel champion since Honky. Not that it's out of place for guys like Rude and Michaels to use it, but I always picture Honky in my head when I hear it, even today. I like the kind of ladder match where you have to go outside the ring to get the ladder more than the kind where the ladder's already set up in the ring. Having to go get the ladder adds an extra element of danger and intrigue.
  3. This was a hell of a lot better than those thrice-warmed over videos Memphis showed of ten year-old matches with a soundtrack that the viewers had trouble hearing. Lance and Chris genuinely appear to be having fun, especially when Lance feeds Chris like a bear. It's just a shame that the Seekers' in-ring career in SMW ended up not being worth the hype. I wasn't even aware that the Seekers went on the road; I thought that they only had the one match at Night of The Legends with the Bodies, the one Chris wrestled with a broken arm. I can't remember the story I heard that led me to think that, but I was under the impression that they weren't ready to wrestle for whatever reason at this time, which meant that the vignettes led to nothing. It would have been something to see these guys as heels if Corny had caught on to their attitude problem, but he seemed to only want the Bodies as a full-time heel team, with the Gangstas being the exception that proved the rule. Nice to see Lance playing what I assume was the WrestleMania arcade game. I wonder how the Seekers would have fit in with the WWF at this time. I'm guessing that they would have automatically become the top babyface team right off the bat and had a nice series with the Quebecers for the belts.
  4. My guess is that there was some kind of audio problem in the locker room, so they redubbed Stan asking the questions at Titan Towers. We know that he was physically in the locker room, so that's the only explanation that makes sense. Shawn hit his points, and there were flashes of the HBK we came to know, but he wasn't really a finished product yet. Nash looked suitably tough in his brief appearance, but he would have really looked scary if he'd been pushing around a non-wrestler like Pettengill instead. When he pulls his act with someone who used to be a wrestler, it reminds us too easily that the person being bullied needs to copperate in situations like this. Interesting that Shawn got to keep, or at least wear, the actual IC belt (or at least the one that he'd defended) during this angle. It might have made more sense for Hall to keep the real belt and Shawn to wear one that obviously wasn't.
  5. garretta

    [1994-02-26-SMW-TV] Interview: Dick Murdoch

    Magnum's right; we really need Corny to find other people to go after Bullet Bob. It seems like we're stuck in a loop of the Funks and Murdoch, and while all three are fine choices, switiching things up would give SMW a real shot in the arm. How about Eddie Gilbert? Was Austin Idol still around? The pool of classic Southern heels was dwindling, but it wasn't quite dry at this time. All Corny needed was some imagination (which he definitely had) and a reasonably fat checkbook (which he didn't; that's probably why he's using the same guys over and over again). The actual promo was good, and I want to see how Captain Redneck fares this time around, which means it did its job. I hope this is the last time we see this matchup for a while, though.
  6. Did Lance and Chris actually have to vacate a Canadian tag title of some sort? I didn't think there were any major (or even minor) promotions unique to Canada by this point. These two were obviously going to be the replacements for Rock 'n' Roll, although Ricky and Robert really hadn't slowed down a lot by this time. Actually, I wonder if they may not have been heels in the long run once they got over, because it almost seems like the hype we see here was supposed to grate on the fans' nerves eventually. It's an ingenious strategy, really; push the Seekers, who are about as southern as Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik, down the people's throats until they rebel and start praying for Ricky and Robert to take them down a few notches. If they were just another team to fill the roster, they wouldn't have been hyped to this extent right out of the box, that's for sure. Chris was definitely the better promo of the two, and whose dumb idea was it to stick Lance in that conservative suit, which is about as far away from the thrill-seeking image as one can possibly get? I loved the John Wayne Bobbitt reference from Dutch, but it was strange seeing him as SMW's answer to Todd Pettengill at the press conference. I guess Brian Matthews (their interview specialist) was busy that day. Seeing Tim Horner as a suit reminded me of Corny's stories about how Tim took advantage of his rather modest stardom in SMW to scam every dollar he possibly could, to the point where Corny got fed up and fired him. If you look Corny up on YouTube, you're bound to run into the clip somewhere, and it's not only hilarious but very enlightening.
  7. If you mean "one where he looked overmatched from start to finish, even though he won three big matches", Pete, then yes, this was unique and fresh. I don't remember ever seeing a TV show right before a pay-per-view where a defending babyface champion was portrayed as having next to no chance to not only win, but escape with his body intact, but that's what we saw here. Even Hogan was portrayed as having at least a puncher's chance against Andre at Mania III. I recently read something about Hogan refusing to work with Vader in '94, and I'm beginning to believe that the only reason Flair kept the belt as long as he did was because they knew Hogan was coming in by summer and they needed someone for him to beat. In other words, Vader was allowed to beat Flair from pillar to post, because he really was ​supposed to be WCW's top star, but he couldn't have the belt because Hogan didn't want to work with him. That meant that Flair could look like a total tomato can, which he did all through this feud, just as long as the belt stayed in his possession until Hogan could clear his schedule for long enough to take it from him. So much for keeping champions strong so beating them means something, huh, Easy E? Once and for all, Leon, do you really need Harley? You're a better promo than he ever was, and you do a great job of looking and sounding like an unbeatable monster. You'd do so much better on your own. Let Harley be Bock's assistant commissioner, which is a role I think he'd excel at.
  8. And so Flair's a chump to the end in this whole godforsaken mess of a feud. Look, I couldn't care less about a Bossman-Vader feud that we're only going to see pieces of on this set if we see anything at all. This ​was the feud I heard so much about, that it was Flair's last great program before Hogan came in and ruined everything. Well, as far as I'm concerned, Hogan can come in and take out the trash that is 1994 Flair at his earliest convenience. He's all mouth and nothing in the ring these days, and this match was proof. Will says that he did a disservice to us by not including the whole match. No, Will, you did us a favor. I have no desire to see Flair take on anyone not his own size (250 pounds or under) ever again as long as I live. I also have no desire to see a so-called World champion treated like a no-account bum just so his opponent can start an issue with an upper midcarder like Bossman. Furthermore, I have less than no desire to see Harley Race involved in a match again to the extent he was here. He didn't look this good in his entire in-ring WWF career, for God's sake. The idea of him getting the drop on Bossman at any ​point after 1980 is ludicrous, and I'm fully aware that Traylor didn't start wrestling until 1986. Even with Vader hammering him from behind, Bossman should have still had enough left to split Harley's head open on the cage and toss him out. In fact, I would have had Bossman stun Vader by doing a double noggin-knocker with him and Harley to set up the very spot I talked about. Anything ​but the mess we got. The finish was even worse. Now Flair's so bad off that he can't even put the figure-four on Vader? He looked like a wrestling school reject trying to put the hold on, and while that made Bossman's screwing of Vader stand out more, it also made Flair look like a total joke. If you can't even half-ass your finisher, Ric, get the hell out of this business before you ruin your legacy completely. It had nothing to do with bad booking, either; Flair simply couldn't execute the hold properly. Why even use the damn thing if you think you may have trouble applying it, which with the size of Leon's legs is a possibility? Have Bossman call for the submission with a side headlock or a hammerlock; what difference does it make as long as Vader's screwed out of the title and Bossman's the one doing it? I didn't actually see Bossman kneecap Vader with the nightstick, but I know what it was a reference to, and it's another case of lame copycatting, especially since Tonya Harding and her goons cost Nancy Kerrigan a real-life shot at Olympic gold. You'd think that there would be some lines wrestling simply wouldn't cross, but you'd be wrong, I suppose. I thought Heenan did a great job walking the line of neutrality, which you'd expect considering his history with Flair. He also really got over the screwjob aspect of the finish by talking about how he was close enough to ringside to hear all the conversations taking place, but he'd never heard Vader give up. Tony, of course, was in "get the show off the air on time" mode, so he didn't react to what Bobby was saying at all, and if that's the way he's going to be going forward, I'm going to wish even more fervently than I already do that the Brain had stayed with Vince. His constant referrals to Traylor as "Bossman" was the only thing I didn't like, and he was probably doing it on orders from Bischoff. As a final comment, what does it say about American wrestling at this time that the best promotion in the country (SMW) isn't even seen by three-quarters of the people, and its booker is best known for being Yoko's mouthpiece in the WWF? The so-called BIg Two are damn near unwatchable, and the Little One that Would Be Big (ECW) is even worse.
  9. Again, I'm going to be that ​guy. Sure, the promo was great, but will it equal the match? It seems like they're setting up Vader to pound the hell out of Flair yet again, with Flair somehow going over on a fluke. That's not being the man to me. Being the man to me is Hogan leaving monsters like Bundy and Andre lying broken and beaten at Mania and leaving no doubt that Hulkamania was the greatest force in Vince's universe. Being the man to me is Flair and Steamboat exchanging every hold they know for almost a solid hour, with one of them going over in the end but both men looking like champions. This is Flair being squashed like Randy and Bill Mulkey and holding on to the belt for some reason known only to the crazy-quilt minds of Eric Bischoff and Dusty Rhodes, and it stinks like the doo-doo Dusty used to get out of people's drains once upon a time. So let's review: We have one World champion who's too damn fat and immobile to wrestle (Yoko), another who's being treated like he's back in Verne's training camp (Flair), and a third wannabe World champion who's a hundred and fifty-eight years old and only part-time to boot (Terry). Yeah, the wrestling business in America's cooking with gas. ​Poison ​gas, that is. I mean no disrespect to Will, but if I'd known things were going to be this bad by now, I might not have ordered this set or the '95 one either. Since I have, I'm going to have a good time watching all three promotions try to get out of their various messes, most of which have been caused by their own stupidity. The Russo era may have been as bad as this for its own reasons, but there's no way in hell that it could have been worse.
  10. The contrast between this Terry Funk and the raving madman that we're seeing concurrently in SMW is one of the most startling things I've seen in wrestling. But I'll be damned if it isn't just as good. He was the best promo out of the three by a mile here because he felt and sounded authentic, while Douglas in particular was still a hundred percent in character, which isn't a good thing where he's concerned. "The Franchise" was a good idea on paper, but Shane took way too much advantage of ECW's supposedly lax restrictions on language and such, forgetting that most of the profanities he used still had to be bleeped in order for the show to be worthy of broadcast. A man isn't a good talker when half of his promo is "BLEEEEEEP!" Corny, who's an artist when it comes to blasphemy and profanity, managed to keep his promos clean, without even so much as "hell" or "damn", which by 1994 were acceptable even in the Bible Belt. Douglas knew better than to go off like he did most of the time, and Heyman knew better than to let him, which makes it a mystery to me how ECW had even regional television for close to nine years, let alone national cable and syndication. Speaking of Paul, he obviously had a good time telling the "media" to go to hell, which seemed to be his only purpose. Why even bring Sabu out, since he can't talk? I guess to do the stupid "Don't show him the table!" routine. I have yet to see the match, so I'll probably have more to say in that thread once I do.
  11. I agree with Pete about Bret's promos; he really put across how reluctant he was to step in the ring with Owen, especially just before a World title match. I even sensed that, words aside, he'd rather face a sworn enemy in Yoko than a friend in Luger, although he certainly wasn't going to back down from anyone. Okerlund still does these better than Pettengill, but Todd's better than anyone else they had on the roster at the time. The idea of Gino doing one of these in his current state of competence isn't something I want to contemplate. Does anyone remember reading something on why Mania was so early? Could it have had something to do with the circus coming to the Garden early that year? The Rangers and Knicks had always been gotten around one way or another, so I doubt either one of them was a factor.
  12. garretta

    [1994-02-15-ECW-TV] Interview: Public Enemy

    This had possibilities if Rocco and Johnny had stuck to the original premise of trying to find the contract. But they "forgot" themselves in the middle and started doing a regular promo, which killed the effect and made the whole thing pointless. A rare bit of interpromotional continuity here, as Sully and the Harrises continue their alliance from SMW. They're not the worst match in the world, and I hope that Heyman actually tried to do something worthwhile with them.
  13. Yes, Pete, if ​Vader hadn't handed Flair his ass in a thousand pieces the last three times they met on the big stage, including Starrcade. That doesn't mean that Flair was bad here; on the contrary, this was a great mix of champ Flair and maniac Flair that I wish he'd gone to more often over the years. But Vader's been presented as so vastly superior in the ring that a few well-chosen words don't mean a thing. Hell, even leaving Vader laying may not be enough. Flair's going to have to cripple him to get even, which we all know he doesn't. So Flair asked for Hogan to come to WCW, huh? Talk about being careful what you wish for!
  14. I still say that Dory deliberately chooses to be bland on interviews with Terry so Terry's craziness stands out more. I'm not saying that he's another Dusty Rhodes by himself, but if he was as bad as he comes off here, he wouldn't have been NWA World champion for four years, even in the early seventies when talk didn't mean as much. It continues to amaze me the kind of language SMW gets away with, considering their geographic location and the religiousness of a good portion of their audience. The latest example? Terry using the word "schmuck" to describe some of the many theoretical Armstrong relatives who could come out to help Bullet Bob. There are worse words than schmuck, of course, but that's still a pretty nasty word in the Bible Belt. Let's hope we get some different lines from Terry next week. As good as describing Knoxville as Buttcrack, U.S.A. is, it tends to lose its punch the third time it's repeated (as it will be if he uses it again).
  15. There wasn't a whole lot of Brian on this video, but there really didn't need to be. Would it be insane to call Tammy the best manager in wrestling at this time? Corny's still great, but his feuds are either old (Rock 'n' Roll) or starting to double back on themselves (Bullet Bob). Fuji's been marginalized (in favor of Corny, ironically enough), and Harley becomes less of a fit for Vader with every passing week. We won't even talk about poor Boss Hogg. There's a freshness about Tammy's work that no other manager can claim, and this video shows that in abundance. If only Vince's notions about females in wrestling hadn't been so outdated, Tammy as she is here could have been the top heel in the promotion, instead of a heavily downloaded pinup girl with no value as a nuts-and-bolts worker. The most memorable angle-related thing I remember about Sunny is that she got slopped by the Godwinns. Not exactly something to build a working career on, is it?