Thursday, January 27, 2005

Another day, another show review...

My usual show review had to take a backseat for once to the "Pauly Shoe is Dead" review but since I just KNOW I have some people out there awaiting with bated breath on my thoughts on CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic's 1/22 show this past weekend...well, off we go:

Weather was plenty crappy, with ice and all Sat night which killed our attendance for the most part (although we've run shows at the CSA before with this kind of crowd, but this was the first non-SRO crowd in a few shows). The show was what it should have been with the weather and attendance being taken into account, which is a basic holding-pattern kind of show. Very little of true significance (or greatness) occurred, but was still more than passable and certainly better as a whole than the CSA shows of a year ago.

1. "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel pinned "Rock N' Roll" Matty D in 4:53 - Intriguing little opener as the evilness of Corey Edsel continues to emerge against someone that the crowd was very on the border for as to whether to cheer for or against. Match actually went a touch too long as really, this thing should have been a complete massacre to be in line with the murder of Rob from the last show but aside from that, it was a fine little opener. **

-Rob McBride promo in which he details the history of his relationship with Corey and then swerves the audience by walking out, completely distraught by Corey's actions and apparently calling it quits. Very good promo that will come off better on TV than how the somewhat confused live audience received it.

2. Garry "Madd Trucker" Stevens pinned Chris Amos in 3:15 - Chris Amos could very well be our Mulkey as he double-shots on the show, which is the first time EVER a worker specifically designated to be a jobber has done that. Match was what it was, with the last show's Collins match being the best of the recent string of Stevens squashes. 3/4*

3. Ultra Dragon (with Kid Kazi in his corner) pinned Drake Tungsten in 6:55 -



The above photo comes about 7/10ths of a second before Tungsten's head gets caved in in the undisputed spot of the night. Fine little match that unfortunately went longer than it should have. Dragon got a minute too much of offense at the start and then Tungsten's heat went a minute too long. Fun stuff in pieces though. *1/2

-Gemini Kid's Hotseat: Alex Adonis, Donnie Dollars, and Jay Sinn (with Mikael Yamaha and Brad Stutts). Good little Hotseat segment with Yamaha doing the sneak-attack and covering Gemini's back with yellow paint (for the yellow streak and all, ya know). If this company every goes out of business, I'll be damned if the final match isn't Yamaha vs. Gemini (ala Flair-Sting from the final Nitro).

4. Wild Shane West pinned "Upper Echelon" Matt Houston in 2:24 - When solid middle-aged workers collide! Next on FOX! Perfectly fine little "boom boom boom" TV match...true professionals on both sides and did everything perfectly. God bless them for it. *

5. Jay Sinn and Donnie Dollars defeated the $outh$ide Playas (J-Money and Will B. Smooth) and AWA Mid-Atlantic tag team champions American Steel Ninja and Brass Munkey in 13:20 of a non-title triangle match when Dollars pinned Smooth - God amighty how I hate damn triangle matches and 9 times out of 10, no matter how good the workers are, you're still gonna get a cluster. Booking-wise, it was unavoidable though so it was one of those times where ya just have to suck it up and pray to survive it. Match was forgettable for the most part and went WAY too long. No finger pointing in the sense of "oh yeah, HE fucked it up for everyone"; it was just a 3-way and that is the curse. *

6. Tank Lawson pinned Chris Amos in 1:40 - A million billion stars! Now THIS is a TV squash match! Amazingly better than the earlier Stevens much as Amos jakks up the death bumps a notch or five and makes Tank look awesome. I feared for my life when I saw this added to the lineup, but it actually worked out better than I would have ever dreamed. Future trivia note: This was originally booked not as a squash match, but rather Tank vs. Ring of Honor's Matt Stryker...Stryker ended up bowing out, but just fantasize about that matchup for a second. Whew doggies.

7. Sean Powers defeated Michael McAllister by countout in 3:47 - The assistant commish (and my future spaztastic partner in the team "Spontaneous Combustion") makes his in-ring debut. Powers kicks off the match with a completely unnecessary promo (especially considering the fact that this match didn't need a promo and the overall length of the show was already going on up there). McAllister and Powers then have a fine generic wrestling match until McAllister gets shit canned and counted out out of nowhere. I still don't understand the finish at all as McAllister was more than holding his own in the ring and didn't take enough heat to actually be too dead to make it back into the ring by the 10 count. No interference from Mitch Norris either. Weird, weird ending. A post-match melee sets up the tag title chain match for Feb. 5 with McAllister as the ref, but that could have easily been done with Powers getting a pinfall win too. 3/4*

8. Krissy Vaine battled Amber O'Neal to a draw in 7:41 as a result of a double pinfall in a AWA Women's World Title Contender match - Boy, was this the night of un-CWF like finishes. Due to the weather, Allison Danger (who was originally in this match), can't make it, which results in the non-finish here. K kicks off the match with another unnecessary promo (although I will say she has gotten TONS better on the mic with her delivery). Match was the usual stuff from the girls, with much better and worse both occurring in the past. *3/4

-The Crew confronts Corey Edsel - Gee, Munkey, and Ninja call out Corey to try and figure out where the heck is head is at and get nothing in response. I hate this promo took place after so many unnecessary promos cause the crowd wasn't there for it until Corey smacks the living hell out of Munkey (who showed possibly his best intensity ever).

9. Mikael Yamaha (with Brad Stutts in his corner) pinned "Classic" Chris Collins in 7:02 - Once again, two minutes too long for what should have been a TV squash match (and quiet honestly, these are the types of matches Yam should have been doing when he WAS TV champion rather than pretty much killing the whole random drawing gimmick). Fine stuff for the most part though as Collins continues to try and bring the babyface. *1/4

10. AWA Mid-Atlantic Television champion Jesse Ortega pinned Gregory Vercetti in 8:20 - Ortega's first title defense and a fine little match at that as Ortega seems to finally be coming of age somewhat after a final RGL final with Justice and an even better pure wrestling match here in this one. Vercetti seems to be money more often than not. No complaints here. Everything you wanted in it. **3/4

11. AWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight champion "Slick" Ric Converse pinned Xsiris in 9:56 - The first ever one-one-one matchup between these two comes out of nowhere and seemed to be very autopilot. Could certainly have tore the house down but under all the conditions, seemed to be holding a lot back for future encounters. As 101 as it gets for these two but still solid. **3/4

Overall thoughts: Passable "holding-pattern" like show as stated before. Ran way too long which could have been resolved (as usual) by cutting 10 minutes off on unneccessary promos and another 10 here and there throughout on matches. Would have made a world of difference.

Next week: The first-ever show at the AC Fitness Center in Greensboro (otherwise known as the home of wayward wrestlers). Should be an interesting little show and I'm dying to break out some new cinematography tricks for this show with Troxler's assistance. Love to all!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

A movie so good it gets it's own blog entry

Despite the number of movies I watch, I am actually very disenchanted with the majority of the Hollywood product. I can't stand dramas - most try so hard to make you tear up that they lose the basic point of a film in the first place - which is to entertain. The suspense movie craze (ala "Sixth Sense", "Village", "Forgotten", etc, etc.) is just a poor excuse to try and appeal to the horror film audience without actually making a horror movie (since those are frowned down upon in Hollywood) and still appeal to the mainstream audiences. Horror films have been beaten down to the point that you have to be a modern-day Raimi to make something out of the non-funding, D-budget you're going to be saddled with (and the end result being, at best, a direct-to-video release). Action movies reached their peak way back in the days of the "Die Hard" series and few films nowadays reach any kind of excitement level with the generic "bang bang boom" formula. If I'm going to waste my time with any thing resembling a modern-day action film, then it sure as heck better have the name Raimi or Tarantino attached to it. And then we have the acclaimed Indy world of films, which may provide some nice originality, but all too often end up being more artsy than good. Japanese Imports are probably the best current source for both consistent originality and entertainment, as for the most part, their films are still true enough to themselves and don't bow down to patronize just to gain mainstream appeal. Personally, I've had the best luck with the comedies simply because, more than any other genre, comedies are entertaining. Sure, plenty comedies still suck but a truly amusing film doesn't need tears, explosions, or SFX - it just needs a good script and actors with the proper delivery.

Which brings me to the point of this blog. I have found a true diamond in the rough in today's cinema. A movie who's greatness is to be ultimately ignored and discounted simply because of the man behind the film. A movie which completely enthralled me from start to finish, and in the end I can unequivocally state that "Pauly Shore Is Dead" is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen.



Boy, does that last line ever sound like a typo but I'm completely serious.

I should preface this review by saying that I was never a big fan of Pauly Shore back in his "heydey". I lived during the MTV generation but make no mistake, I was NOT part of the MTV generation. I was without cable until '94 and even with cable, I'm still musically illiterate. His comedy was passable at best with his "greatest film ever" (Son-In-Law) clocking in at probably **3/4 on my scale. So unlike a Bruce Campbell film or a Corey Edsel match, I wasn't going to give this movie the proverbial blowjob just because of who was in it (that one's for you Joey).

I was actually unclear heading into this movie as to if it was an actual "worked shoot" documentary or an acted-and-filmed "worked shoot" movie. It turns out to be the latter of the two as it kicks off in 1997 as Pauly Shore's 15 minutes of fame is coming to a resounding end. What follows are his attempts to reclaim his past glory, but the question is: would he be more successful in doing so if he were dead? The answer is yes, and the attempt to create a legacy greater than the one he actually lived is on.

The film is as deep as any Oscar winning picture that has ever existed. On the surface, it appears to be a lighthearted affair and you never really expect this movie to take the dark turn it does until the gunshot midway through the film at which point you realize that you're off on a decidedly different trek than the one you expected to be on.

It's apparent that Pauly Shore did a lot of soul searching and was able to come to grips with the darkest times in his life to be able to write a screenplay like this. No man could write a film like this without having lived it. You can feel the open honesty that Shore is conveying in regards to his past and even though it's an exaggerated true story, the reality that lies within this movie is all too real.

Every entertainer in every medium needs to see this movie. I think alot of the film's subtext will be completely lost on the general public but for those that have been put on a higher pedestal by that very public will be able to relate to a scary degree at times (whether it be an actor, musician, or athlete). Some scenes that would seem almost comical to the casual viewer (such as the final cafeteria scene), are very complex and powerful with all the different elements that they encompass, from obsessive hero worship to the complexities that a performer faces when it comes to separating the real person from the public persona that they have created in order to become the success that they are. Pauly's struggle between the "Weasel" character and the real man behind the gimmick is something that will hit home for the majority of wrestlers I work with.

If I had the ability to write a screenplay, THIS is what I would want out of my own movie. It's funny, it's entertaining, and for those that understand, it's underlying tones are very, very powerful. It's amazing that in making a movie that's a worked shoot based upon his very own legacy (or lack thereof), Pauly Shore has done the complete 360 by establishing a new legacy, as a filmmaking genius.

I don't expect many people to "get" this movie. But in my eyes, it is as spectacular and as deserving of any ***** movie that's been praised by the other so-called critics. Personally, I just don't give out ***** to movies. Any movie that I've ever given the full monty to before has had a personal impact on my life and has left wonderful memories for me to fall back on (such as Evil Dead 2, and it's influence upon my career or Rocky Horror, and it's relationship with me and my coming of age back in the early '90s). I'm not even sure if "Pauly Shore Is Dead" is a comedy as it attempts to sell itself or actually a powerful drama, but no matter what genre it may fall under it is one thing for sure...and that is *****.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Time to relax

With it being a non-show weekend (and the last of such until mid-Feb at very best), it's time to catch up on various odds and ends around here which include the more trivial aspects of this blog such as movie reviews, shills, and links. Well, I shouldn't say NON-show weekend as TWE was in action in Asheboro although time will tell if my participation with them becomes any more involved than it is now (which is reading the results the next morning).

Before I begin the entertainment portion of this blog, I have to give a word of condolences to the Titus clan who had a good friend pass away this past week in a single-plane accident. I keep up with them moreso via Rick's blog than I do in person and man alive, has that family ever had an undeservedly horrible start to the new year. Our thoughts, meaning me and the whole CWF family that I'm associated with and can speak for, are always with you guys.

Stumbled upon a fine little min-reference site the other day while doing some research entitled "Did He Ever Play...?". One of those lists of pro wrestlers involvement in other sports. Most of this stuff is already known and now that I've ganked some of the info here, I've began to add some more detailed STATs along the way. However, more than the info contained within, the site got my wheels rollin, and it dawned on me that for wrestling fans, that there is a REAL untapped market out there. Throwback football jerseys are one of those seemingly undying fads right now (which I'm fine and all with although if you're 15 years old, living in the hood of Beckley, West Virginia and wearing a Raiders Jim Pluckett jersey and don't even know if the guy is Caucasian or not, get a grip). Anyways, every true fan knows about West Texas State and it's insane rash of great wrestlers to have played football there (Tully, Hansen, Brody, DiBiase, Santana, Windham, Fernandez, and Dory and Terry Funk among others). Much like the Brock Vikings jersey, IF West Texas (now A&M) wanted to, they could easily make a freakin' killing off of reproducing these guys' jerseys. And even if you're not a major football fan, what wrestling geek would not want a West Texas "BRODY" football jersey?? Well, I was actually able to track down the place where you can order such a thing, only problem being is that I have yet to be able to track down the actual jersey #s worn by these guys for true authenticity. I first had this general thought come to me way back at the "Break the Barrier" show at ECW Arena where some random fan just happened to be wearing a Bengals "PILLMAN" #97 jersey. It turns out that he had won the auction for that beautiful thing at the Pillman Memorial Show. Ever since that incident, I've always wanted to have the $ to fork over and order an authentic Pillman Bengals jersey (who's actual playing # of course is known). Anyways, point is, that when I win my million, I'm gonna have every freakin' football-player-turned-wrestler jersey that I can track down.

Before I stray too far from the football theme, I have to give a few thoughts on this weekend's divisional playoffs. Roethlisberger finally looked like a rookie but thanks to the fact that the Jets have no form of offense, the Steelers got very, very lucky and escaped. Michael Vick still shows no form of being a good quarterback, but between his elusiveness as a runner and a horrible DL from the Rams, the Flacons easily advance. Phily convincingly ends the Vikings' extended season (thank god). Don't ya love it how every time the Vikings win we see clips of Moss making an ass of himself and everytime they loss we see clips of Moss leaving the field when he's not supposed to. Boy, I love that guy. And in the shocker (to some), the Colts go down to the insane Patriots defense. I am officially dumbfounded by their greatness as I genuinely felt this was Payton's year, especially with the Ty Law injury. My heart goes out to all Colts fans, as their plight of trying to get over the hump vs. the Pats much like my 49ers suffered through in the early 90s against the Cowboys in the playoffs. Hopefully the Colts can still maintain through the offseason and survive Free Agency to make another run at it next year, because this current team truly deserves to get over the hump and achieve their "one moment in time".

Of course I'm an old school comic book geek as well and thanks to the always informative DVD board and their most recent love for comic book covers, I became aware of the latest comic book cover archive: The Grand Comic Database. Until now, most of us pulled up our old fav covers over at Mile High Comics.com, but quiet honestly, the GCD here loads faster and is quickly overtaking Mile High as the better resource. So, with this resource at my fingertips, I'll probably start including some of my favorite covers from over the years on random blogs here and there just to add some more color to these pages. First off, straight from the DVD board comes this GEM:



And now, one of my favorites from my own collection, starring the TRUE badass of the Decepticons, not damn Megatron:



Finally, various movie reviews to go through here so let's kick it:

Resident Evil: Apocalypse - I went into this one blind as I had never seen the first and am no fan of the video game series so outside of some apparently decent special effects in the previews, I had no expectations. Surprisingly enough, this is actually a pretty fun film and certainly balls out from the opening scene. I still don't really "get it", but as far as a special effects/monster/action movie, you could do a whooooole lot worse. ***

The Village - M. Night Shyamalan's pathetic attempt to make a horror movie without actually making a horror movie. This film is exactly the reason why sometimes watching movies just seems to be a waste of time because the payoff is just THAT bad. Two major "swerves" during the film, one of which they give away halfway through thereby killing ALL the remaining suspense and the second one I actually call ahead of time (despite the fact that it's not even keeping my attention enough to watch for any clues). Shyamalan did fine with Sixth Sense and Signs but lord all mighty, to read that some have called this film "Hitchcockian" PAINS me. I'm sure the dream is to have a finish as half as jarring as "Psycho", but "Scooby Doo" came alot closer to that than the Village does. 3/4* for some fine acting and general cinematography.

Without a Paddle - A petty depressing movie as they've put together one of the most likable casts you can have (with Seth Green and Matthew Lillard) and come up pretty flat. Too "buddy buddy" for it's own good and could have been a TON better if they had just let this cast do what they were capable of rather than draggin the movie down with the morals and male bonding that seem to be the film's focus of attention. Not truly bad, but really disappointing. **

Friday Night Lights - One tremendous movie that they would have had to majorly screw up to get me to hate anyways since it is a football movie. But even in the football sense, it still has to be considered in the upper echelon of sports movies. I have very little beef with the movie aside from a very short "heel to face" turn at the end for one antagonist that came out of nowhere (which seems to be the #1 problem in Hollywood nowadays - to have this ubber heel make a babyface turn just for the close of the picture without ever really providing sufficient reason for him to turn baby in the first place). Anyways, the movie is great and if you ever played football (or athletics in general), it should really hit home, specifically the scenes in which a player's career is being torn away from him due to injury. I've seen far more of that in my life that I want to, and the portrayal of something being taken away from you when it's all you want to do in life is powerfully done. The football scenes themselves are actually very, very good with almost all of the hits looking very realistic. The small town's obsession with their football team reminds me alot of Green Bay and their love with the Packers (which on a side note would make an AWESOME movie if properly done). Very good cast of characters here, aged beyond their years due to the pressure placed upon their shoulders. Non-football fans may not get alot of it, but for those that are, a must see. ****

Mean Girls - Somehow I neglected to post my review of this back when I watched it, which is a shame cause man alive, this movie is SO much better than any guy would ever dream. On the surface it totally appears to be a chick flick and in some ways, sure it is, but only in the sense that it's the ultimate anti-chick flick and ends up appealing to both sexes, amazingly enough. Lindsay Lohan is just hotter than hell in this which obviously doesn't hurt, but the supporting cast is just tremendous, specifically Tim Meadows who just far and away steals every scene he's in. This move actually has a very deep plot about the obsessive quest for popularity (or the quest to destroy those that are) in high school that pretty much everyone can relate to in some form or fashion. ****

Well, that's enough of a pointless blog update for now...love to all and catch ya later!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

More goodbyes and the first show of the new year is one of the best EVER

I made a couple of omissions on a previous blog when talking about my best bud's move to Tampa. We also lost a couple of CWF regulars recently although much like all of those that live for this business, they will indeed return. Off the top of my head, these are the two most notable losses to the promotion since Brad Rainz' retirement last fall.

First off is "Tremendous" Trent Wylde, who packed his bags for Texas. I think I've seen pretty much every side of Trent since I first met him back in 2002. I watched him grow from this seemingly innocent kid to...something else. I don't think I'll ever know which Trent that I knew was the real Trent. More often than not, one on one, he was one of the most humble, respectful guys I had met and the door to our home was open wide for him at one point. But Trent certainly had a darker side as well and when he wanted to be, Trent could be the most evil real-life heel you'd ever want to encounter. But much like his role in the business, it was sometimes hard to tell what was a work and what wasn't. I've referred to Brian Pillman before when trying to explain the individual that is Trent Wylde and the more time that passes, the truer that comparison seems to become. I think Trent still has something special to offer this business, but I'm not sure CWF is the place where he would ever been able to showcase that. The last few months there Trent truly was becoming our version of the "Loose Cannon", not in the sense that he actually did any true shooting in the ring, but the fear of it occurring was really there. Trent is very smart when it comes to the biz although his respectable workrate when motivated won't be able to take him as far in the long run as what the potential that lies inside his darkened mind can. I will miss Trent although the Trent I will miss was the one that lost 25 straight matches, formed the greatest JTTS team ever with Kenny James, spent a week on my living room couch playing N64, and genuinely cared when we awarded him as 2003's Most Hated Wrestler of the Year. Good luck Trent, to wherever your travels may take you...and when you return to the CSA, don't take that Loose Cannon still too literal. ;)

Our other loss was Kamakazi Kid, who leaves us for Florida (like I need yet ANOTHER reason to visit that state). Kazi is a tough one to replace and if I had to run a draft to build a promotion, Kazi would certainly be a top 5 draft pick as the absolute perfect high flying, show stopping, never-say-die babyface that will do absolutely anything in this biz; not for fame or fortune, but simply because he loves it. I see alot of myself in Kazi sometimes if for no other reason, than our obsessive blinded love for this biz. I wish we could have 100 Kazis in the locker room, from attitude to workrate, and even though he would often get carried away in the ring by doing too much, when all was said and done he would still listen. As much as I love Kazi the worker, I think I like Jason the person even more. And that is as high of a compliment as I can give. Despite the move, I'm sure Kazi will be back in the CSA again in the future, to awe the crowd and cheat death once again. More than just about anyone, he just can't stay away.

Speaking of which..Kazi's final match at the CSA for quiet some time occurred at this past Saturday's CWF Mid-Atlantic "New Year's Knockout" and if there was ever a cue for a review...

For the second straight show, we had legit standing room only and the fans were just awesome, bringing the noise that these shows have so rightfully deserved.

1. Gregory Vercetti pinned "Rock N' Roll" Matty D in 9:24:



Matty D (out of VA) makes his CWF debut and has almost the perfect opener you would want in a show. He plays a REALLY cheesy '80s rocker gimmick which you just want to boo, but his charisma and workrate are so strong, it's really hard to. Kicks off the match by moonsaulting off the top, guitar in hand, which automatically makes you go from "groannnn" to "ohhhhhh". Plus he was wearing a damn Gen13 tshirt which automatically earned him some bonus lovin' from me. Of course I've already ranted on my love for Vercetti so not surprisingly, this was all kinds of good once we found out that Matty D was much more than just a gimmick. If I wanted to be picky, I could say they went 1-2 minutes too long for an opener, but it was all so solid, screw it. ***

2. Garry "Madd Trucker" Stevens pinned "Classic" Chris Collins in 6:43: Garry Stevens' open challenge this week brings out 3C who, if nothing else, has one of the best babyface fire entrances this side of Gee. Match accomplished everything it was supposed to and the crowd was there. Actually better than the Garry-Andrews and easily better than the Collins-Spoiler match from last show. *1/2

3. 1/2 of the CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic tag team champions American Steel Ninja pinned Lee McGuire in 4:12: Basically a "exhibition" match for Ninja (who looked fantastic by the way) as he prepares for the title match vs. Converse on 1/29. Match probably went 1 minute too long or so as McGuire, even in the role of obvious jobber, just has no look for the crowd to buy into at all and by the time the ring intros were over, they were already expecting the finish. Nothing bad really, and Ninja's presence and general aura was as strong here as I've seen it possibly ever. 1/2*

4. "Mighty" Orlo Helmer and Rising Generation League champion Kid Justice defeated Tank Lawson and "Upper Echelon" Matt Houston in 9:04 when Helmer pinned Lawson: Whew boy....just a couple of months removed from the crash and burn that this match was (minus Will Smooth, enter Matt Houston), but thankfully for everyone's sanity, this one actually held together fairly nicely with Tank's personality being controlled and Houston-Justice breaking the meat and potatoes down into a watchable little match. *3/4

5. Ultra Dragon pinned Kamakazi Kid in 20:47:



Where to even begin. A match that will live in infamy for so many reasons...Kazi's last hurrah, the birth of a new star, the near deaths on both sides, the ovation afterwards, and just the general insanity that engulfed the CSA for nearly a half hour from start to finish. Kazi calls out his trainee, Ultra Dragon, who first off, has an incredible black-purple look and plays the gimmick to a tee. The only problem being is, that despite the talent, when other areas see the look they will instantly shit on it because they will only see it as an Ultimo Dragon knock-off. Of course, within 10 minutes, that was the last thing on the minds of the fans at the CSA. The setup: Kazi feels his trainee isn't ready for CWF and since he went behind his back to get his first match with the promotion, then Kazi did the same and made sure his first match was with him so he could show him that he was not ready for CWF yet. He wasn't doing it out of spite, but he was doing it to prove a point to the youngster and pretty much guaranteed the kid the beating of his life. The first 5-6 minutes or so of the match were pretty much just that. The trainer beating the tar out of the trainee to what was, for the most part, "Kazi" chants. Then, when Ultra Dragon hit that first reversal and caught Kazi in one of those insane Dragon Kid-like submissions, the place popped huge and from that point on, the "Dragon" chants started to slowly grow, more and more and while by match end, they may not have overtook the "Kazi" chants, it was still strong enough to have a back-and-forth crowd response that only added to the drama that these two were creating. The match's psychology was actually pretty strong for what could have been nothing more than a spotfest with Ultra Dragon taking the beating, coming back and refusing to die, while Kazi was doing everything in his power to just brutalize the kid while at the same time having a far tougher time with him than he would have ever dreamed. They were so many memorable sequences in the match that I'm sure I'm forgetting some: Dragon's shooting star press off the apron onto the floor, Kazi moonsaulting off the ringside fan, and yes, the sickest sound I've ever heard a human head make in my life as Ultra Dragon dives off the top to the outside, lands on Kazi's shoulders, attempts to do a hurracanrana but in doing so, swings down, and smashes his head off the arena floor like a basketball. I honestly thought I had just videotaped death because there was simply no getting up from what I had just witnessed. But, Dragon showing the same crazed mentality that his mentor had showed so many times in the past, somehow lived and got back in the ring to continue the match. The end would come when Kazi missed a 640 splash off the top (yes, you read that right - a 640) and crashed awkwardly on the mat, rendering him, at the very best, unconscious. Dragon then tentatively went to the top and frog splashed him for the upset win that, by that point, was an upset no longer because Ultra Dragon had been totally made into a star. We all hit the ring after the match, some in tears and the rest of us with our hearts in our throats, trying to carefully revive Kazi. He was breathing, but that was about it. He slowly started to come too a few minutes later as we were having him squeeze our hands and wiggle his feet to make sure he had some feeling in his extremities. I haven't put the camera down many times to check on a wrestler, but this was definitely the scariest of the few times I have had to do that. Kazi would eventually be helped to the back and taken to the hospital in front of a tremendous ovation. He was diagnosed with some torn tendons in his neck which, all things considered if you actually saw what those two went through in that match, is great. I was able to sit with Kazi briefly at IHOP afterwards and chat which certainly did me a world of good and as much as I love seeing him work, if he would retire right now I certainly wouldn't be upset. Ultra Dragon in the meantime, has a not-surprising concussion but will be back in the ring far sooner than he should be I'm sure. As far as my feelings on the match: It's pretty much guaranteed a spot in (at worst) a top 5 ranking in my 2005 Most Memorable match list. The greatness of the match is already in question as in many ways, it WAS too much. The final few minutes after Dragon nearly dying on the outside were almost uncomfortable to watch (not that I'm shocked at all that they kept going). You still can't deny the heart, the effort, the psychology, the workrate, the emotion, and the drama packed into this one match. While at times too much, it was simply unforgettable for all that witnessed it. ****1/2



6. Alex Adonis, Jay Sinn, and Donnie Dollars defeated 1/2 of the CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic tag team champions Brass Munkey and the New $outh$ide Playas (J-Money and Will B. Smooth) in 12:54 when Adonis pinned Money : The Money-Adonis war continues with some of the best mid-card intensity going, this time with the Adonis trio getting a much needed win in the series. Much better than the tag match from Battlecade and a fine bit of levity following the previous match. **1/2

-Gemini Kid's Hotseat: In a very surreal moment, Gemini Kid (who has been in forced retirement while the mysterious "Number Man" has been feuding with Yamaha), came out and said "farewell" while wearing Number Man gear (minus the mask). Gemini had actually been out in the gear earlier while attending to the fallen Kazi, but in a heartfelt speech still maintained that he was NOT Number Man while detailing his long history with Yamaha. A fantastic promo that is very hard to relate here as the voice and words of the Gemini Kid during what could have otherwise been a very confusing piece of business, were perfectly chosen and executed.



7. Rob "the Bull" McBride pinned "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel in 11:10: With Corey Edsel having lost the Heavyweight title to Ric Converse at Battlecade (and with the stipulation in place that the loser was to get no title matches for an entire year), Commissioner Cross announces McBride as the #1 contender, thereby receiving a match for the championship at the Greensboro Coliseum. However, for Rob's match tonight and much to the shock of everyone, Corey Edsel himself signed in what appeared to be a tune up for Rob's future title shot. Despite Rob's best efforts towards his "birddog", the crowd was still very hesitant towards Corey after he walked out on Attitude in his time of need at the last show. The match itself was simply fascinating in it's psychology and you could just see the bitterness in the eyes of Edsel during each and every sequence. McBride would end up pinning Corey out of nowhere with a backslide and post-match, the inevitable happened as Corey snapped. In probably the greatest beatdown in CWF history, Edsel beat McBride half to death, blood pouring from Rob's head as Corey wipes the blood of and then smears it on his OWN face under his eyes as war paint. One of the most evil visuals you will ever see and more than anyone, as I knew he could be, Corey Edsel isn't the cool heel, he isn't the comical heel, he is a pure evil sick mo fo heel that has a heart of ice. The match was solid, but will never be remembered because of the post-match. Match was probably **3/4, post-match was *****.




8. Number Man pinned Mikael Yamaha in 13:22 to win the CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic TV title: Thanks to Gemini's promo and the sheer hate for Yamaha, the crowd was STILL with the match despite the draining emotion that we had already sucked out of them throughout the course of the show. This match was actually brilliant as well as Number Man (Gemini) wrestled what basically amounted to his first one-on-one singles match since 2/7/04. His usual methodical scientific style was on display and Yamaha's selling was top notch to help the match tremendously. Numbers would end up chasing Stutts to the back in the later stages and when he came back from the dressing room to avoid the 10-count, Number Man appeared to be...different. A fiery Number Man kicked off a frenetic finishing sequence in which Yamaha somehow survived two STF attempts before Gemini himself (in suit coat) appeared from the dressing room, sending Yamaha into hysterics. A fast roll-up and the crowd went apeshit, not even realizing Yam kicked out at 2 in one of the great false finishes of all-time. Yam got back over, went for the Majistral, which was then countered by "Number Man" in one of my all-time favorite finishers (from the J-Cup tourney) which scores the final pinfall to win the TV title. The in-ring "Number Man" is then unmasked to be none other than Jesse Ortega, in a fine, fine payoff to the months and months of Yamaha-Number Man-Gemini chase. Very sports entertainment in places as far as the finish goes, but it all worked so beautifully well. My apathy towards the Number Man angle in general was all wiped away in this one night because between Gemini's promo and the final payoff, it made it all very worthwhile. ***1/2



Overall thoughts: Arguably the greatest CWF show ever and time could prove it to be just that. A great show with everyone on their A game and the realism just being off the charts. I would say PPV quality, but I'm not sure the last time I saw a PPV this good from top to bottom. Simply awesome.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

NFL Season-In-Review

The following columns is for NFL fanatics only so don't bother wasting time reading if you're not. The NFL regular season has come to a close and here's my notes for each team, alongside my original preseason picks and thoughts (they're in italics) which reflect my brilliance and ignorance throughout. We would always do this back in high school, picking everything that could be picked prior to the start of the season and then hanging on to the results to see who would wear the dunce cap at year's end.

AFC East
New England Patriots: 14-2 (My preseason pick: 13-3)
Then: This team has the potential to be scary good. The SuperBowl champs get BETTER with the addition of RB Corey Dillion. AFC East crown should be automatic and anything less than a SuperBowl will be a letdown.
Now: My original statement still stands true although I didn't expect them to be quiet THIS consistently great for an entire year.
NY Jets: 10-6 (My preseason pick: 9-7)
Then: With a healthy Chad Pennington, the Jets have the potential to squeak into the playoffs.
Now: Yeah, that's pretty much what it took as the Jets do just that and somehow stumble in with a 10-6 record that looks better than what this team really is.
Buffalo Bills: 9-7 (My preseason pick: 8-8)
Then: The Bills provide nothing to get real excited about one way or the other. Bledsoe will keep them in games, but playoffs are borderline at best.
Now: Sure enough, the Bills miss the playoffs by one game.
Miami Dolphins: 4-12 (My preseason pick: 4-12)
Then: In all my years of picking the standings, I have NEVER picked the Dolphins to finish last in the AFC East. Well, thanks to Ricky Williams choosing pot over several million a year and screwing the Fish in the process, that time is now. There's still some decent free agent receivers out there but with Jay Fiedler at QB, that doesn't do ya alot of good since you have to actually get the ball to a receiver in order for it to mean anything. Christ this team is screwed. Good luck Zach.
Now: After finally getting rid of Wannstedt, the Dolphins showed alot more heart in those final seven games and sure give the team something to build on for next year. At least the season ended on more of a positive than it started on, despite the record.

AFC North:
Pittsburgh Steelers: 15-1 (My preseason pick: 6-10)
Then: The Steelers are on the verge of falling off the face of the football earth. I love Bill Cowher and always have as a coach, but I really think this team needs a new face to guide them. They've become just the same old, same old year after year after year with mediocre hopes and even less delivered.
Now: Well, after pretty much nailing the AFC I (and the rest of the world) totally misjudged the Steelers as rookie QB Roethlisberger somehow turns this squad into legit Superbowl contenders (as is probably now one season away from the dreaded Sophomore slump).
Baltimore Ravens: 9-7 (My preseason pick: 8-8)
Then: Bleh...the Ravens will bore you to death on the way to running Jamal Lewis as much as humanly possible cause it's their ONLY offensive weapon. Still have a helluva defense.
Now: Bingo.
Cincinnati Bengals: 8-8 (My preseason pick: 9-7)
Then: Man, could the Bengals go either way. The loss of Dillion really shouldn't hurt them but they haven't added enough firepower to really take control of the division either. Marvin Lewis will prove this year if he is a great coach or it was just a one-year wonder.
Now: Well, I'm not sure Lewis really proved anything one way or the other. A season of high highs and low lows as the Bengals blew some early season opportunities to make a late-season run worthwhile (which they would do) and they also had that great Monday night win over Denver that yes, does indeed make me...BELIEVE IN THE BUNGULS!
Cleveland Browns: 4-12 (My preseason pick: 7-9)
Then: Boy, the Browns are a fascinating team to watch this year with Jeff Garcia at QB. I don't think he has enough alongside him to really make a run, but it could be very interesting.
Now: Holy crap, did Garcia do absolutely nothing for Cleveland and I'm getting the impression that his days in SF will probably be looking back at the pinnacle of his career.

AFC South
Indianapolis Colts: 12-4 (My preseason pick: 13-3)
Then: This very well could be THE year for Peyton Manning to break through. Possibly the most dangerous team in football. If the AFC championship isn't the Colts and Pats again, I'd be surprised.
Now: Yeah, I'd say he broke through.
Jacksonville Jaguars: 9-7 (My preseason pick: 7-9)
Then: A big dark horse that will probably get overlooked alot. The revised Jags seem to have alot of breakthrough potential. Byron Leftwich could be one of the top QBs of the year if all goes well. Still not good enough to make a serious run, but definitely have a few upsets in them.
Now: After an incredible start to the year (and looking like the big dark horse), the Jags fell back to reality but still barely missed the playoffs thanks to the great start.
Houston Texans: 7-9 (My preseason pick: 6-10)
Then: They're still a couple years away from turning themselves from an expansion team to a credible franchise. And playing in this division sure doesn't help. My pick: 6-10.
Now: A respectful year for the Texans to be sure and seem to be one good draft/free agency away from putting together a playoff team.
Tennessee Titans: 5-11 (My preseason pick: 9-7)
Then: Where oh where have my Titans gone? No Eddie George, Frank Wycheck, or Jevon Kearse. Thank god Steve McNair is still there but he has NO ONE to go to now. Last year, this division was a race between the Titans and the Colts. Those days are done. This should be the roughest year for the Titans in quiet some time and I feel sorry for their fans that have such high hopes.
Now: My original review sure reflected a 5-11 record moreso than my wishful thinking 9-7 pick did.

AFC West
San Diego Chargers: 12-4 (My preseason pick: 6-10)
Then: Much like the old days of Barry Sanders on the Lions, here we have LaDainian Tomlinson and that's IT. This guy is awesome but has nothing else to work with.
Now: Easily my "favorite" of my missed picks as Drew Brees really came to life and LT was LT. Still too much competition in the AFC for a serious playoff run but MAN if this team was in the NFC...
Denver Broncos: 10-6 (My preseason pick: 10-6)
Then: Boy, now here's a tough pick. The Broncos go to the playoffs last year and seemingly have gotten better in the off-season but still don't even really seem like a strong playoff team.
Now: Man, as tough as this team was to figure out and I still nailed their final record. And even with the regular season behind us, they still don't seem like a strong playoff team.
Kansas City Chiefs: 7-9 (My preseason pick: 11-5)
Then: Well, defense obviously does win championships cause if it was offense, the Chiefs would be champs now. If this team had ANY form of B-level defense, they could go 15-1 probably. As it is, they'll have another good run and get stomped in the playoffs again by a better overall team.
Now: Man, this team's defense is light years worse than what the Colts even exposed it to be in last year's AFC playoff game cause everyone exposed in this year. Offensively, the Chiefs are a 16-0 team. Too bad on defense they'd be 0-16.
Oakland Raiders: 5-11 (My preseason pick: 6-10)
Then: Hopes may be high in the bay and yeah, they may be better than last years' 4-12 but c'mon, they're too old, and are pretty much the football equivalent of let's see how much shit we can throw against the wall and maybe something will stick.
Now: No surprise at all here. And I don't see this changing anytime soon.

NFC East
Philadelphia Eagles: 13-3 (My preseason pick: 13-3)
Then: Wow...scary good. They go to the NFC championship and choke (again) but then spend the offseason fixing the reason they lost the game by adding Jevon Kearse and Terrell Owens. McNabb to Owens could be the most lethal combination in the NFL in years.
Now: Couldn't have ask for a better preseason vision than that (not that it was THAT tough to figure out).
NY Giants: 6-10 (My preseason pick: 5-11)
Then: I can only hope to take some solace in the fact that I can watch Eli Manning and Kurt Warner both completely crumble in their newfound "promised land". They probably will be improved over last year, but still, this division is too tough for this team.
Now: Due to tiebreakers, the Giants actually end up in second place in this division although let's face it, they suck. And they know it.
Dallas Cowboys: 6-10 (My preseason pick: 11-5)
Then: Jesus....Parcells does wonders with pure crap last year and now he's added Keyshawn and Eddie George. The Cowboys are gonna be pretty darn good no matter how much we hate them.
Now: Wow, this was a shocker. There's a million reasons as to what went wrong here but in short, last year's squad overachieved a year too early and this year's squad underachieved a year too late.
Washington Redskins: 6-10 (My preseason pick: 9-7)
Then: Yes, Washington will be playing catchup to the Eagles and 'Boys, but bringing Joe Gibbs back breaths a whole new life into this franchise. This is one of those teams that would rack up in say, the AFC North, but in this division, it's a different ballgame.
Now: Or not. Gibbs made the fans believe but only racked up one more win than the team had the previous year.

NFC North
Green Bay Packers: 10-6 (My preseason pick: 10-6)
Then: Ahhhh...the beloved Packers. Pretty much the same team as they were last year which automatically should mean Brett Favre = playoffs. It'll be a heck of a race with the Vikings though.
Now: Which it was.
Minnesota Vikings: 8-8 (My preseason pick: 11-5)
Then: This has got to have been the most talented team over the past few years that just never accomplishes crap. Year after year they choke and none was greater than the Week 17 loss to Arizona last year which was one of the most enjoyable moments of divine intervention I've ever witnessed. Anyways, the Viks are a bit better (again) and the playoffs shouldn't even be in question although they always figure out a reason for them to be. Oh, and they have BROCK.
Now: As I've already said a million times, the Vikings are simply the greatest chokeartists in the history of the NFL. 0-4 in the SuperBowl, the loss in the '98 NFC title game, the season ender vs. Arizona last year, and hell, even the season ender vs. Washington this year. Hell of a resume guys!
Detroit Lions: 6-10 (My preseason pick: 8-8)
Then: Oh man am I look forward to the Lions this year. Kinda like the Jags, they're RIGHT THERE and could be on the verge of a huge breakthru. This team could easily be NFC North champs next year. For now, they should have plenty of upset special in them.
Now: A step or two behind the Jags actually as despite tons of talent on the surface, the Lions are (once again) a year away from seeing that talent all come together and put together a serious chase towards the playoffs.
Chicago Bears: 5-11 (My preseason pick: 5-11)
Then: How the Bears even finished 7-9 last year is beyond me. But with the improvement in this division, it sure ain't gonna happen twice.
Now: Bingo.

NFC South
Atlanta Falcons: 11-5 (My preseason pick: 10-6)
Then: Michael Vick annoys me which is weird cause I generally love scrambling QBs. However, if he stays healthy he can probably lead this sub-par squad to the playoffs.
Now: Yep, the Falcons capitalize on a very inconsistent division and build up expectations that are just dying to get destroyed in the playoffs.
New Orleans Saints: 8-8 (My preseason pick: 7-9)
Then: Plenty of upset potential, but nothing really here to get scared about. Could play into the division race though cause the division is so well balanced.
Now: Didn't really contend for the division but did come up from the depths to contend for the playoffs and screw the Panthers which is probably as good of a year as a Saints fan could have expected.
Carolina Panthers: 7-9 (My preseason pick: 9-7)
Then: I still haven't figured out for sure if the Panthers are still THAT good or is my view as a fan clouding my perception. It probably hinges on seeing if Delhomme is as legit as he seemed last year.
Now: Well, Delhomme still seems legit a good 80% of the time and considering the injuries and all, this team has nothing to be ashamed of and they've got to be looking towards the playoffs again next year.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5-11 (My preseason pick: 8-8)
Then: Like I said with the Titans, where oh where have my Bucs gone? I assume Jon Gruden has a vision here for a successful team cause he is one hell of a coach but heck if I can see it. I'll cheer for 'em, but god knows I don't understand them.
Now: The season started with the team playing with heart and losing some close ones and ending with a team that had no heart and had completely given up. This team needs a major rehaul at this point cause it seems as if no one is on the same page.

NFC West
Seattle Seahawks: 9-7 (My preseason pick: 10-6)
Then: One of the best young teams in the NFL guided by Holmgren...what more could ya want? They'll squeak by the Rams for the West crown.
Now: Which they did do, although it still seemed as if they wanted to choke it away (or do we call it "Viking it away" now?)
St. Louis Rams: 8-8 (My preseason pick: 10-6)
Then: All the potential in the world but the infighting has killed the Rams the past few years. Bulger will probably start choking now that Warner is gone. Oh, the irony. Still dangerous though. My pick: 10-6.
Now: Bulger held it together when healthy which was just enough to get this team in the playoffs.
Arizona Cardinals: 6-10 (My preseason pick: 7-9)
Then: A perfect spot for Dennis Green to return to coaching and he has to do next to nothing to actually improve this team. Underrated team that could sneak up on some people.
Now: Which they did, but they should have done more of...2 "should-have-had" wins over the 49ers and a win over the Quincy Carter led-Jets would have had this team at 9-7 and in the playoffs
San Francisco 49ers: 2-14 (My preseason pick: 3-13)
Then: Man, the Fish and the 49ers both in dead last...how times have changed. 10 years ago this was my SuperBowl pick...and for several consecutive years actually. No Garcia, no Owens. Could possibly be the worst team in the entire league.
Now: Yep, they were.

My playoff picks:
Denver Broncos def. Cincinnati Bengals
Kansas City Chiefs def. NY Jets
Indianapolis Colts def. Denver Broncos
New England Patriots def. Kansas City Chiefs
AFC Championship: Indianapolis Colts def. New England Patriots

Dallas Cowboys def. Atlanta Falcons
Seattle Seahawks def. Green Bay Packers
Philadelphia Eagles def. Dallas Cowboys
Seattle Seahawks def. Minnesota Vikings
NFC Championship: Philadelphia Eagles def. Seattle Seahawks

SuperBowl XXXIX: Indianapolis Colts def. Philadelphia Eagles


We shall still have to wait and see on this, although I at least got one AFC playoff matchup right (Denver-Indy) and possibly a second one (Indy-NE), although it would have to happen before the AFC title game now. Three different NFC playoff games are still possible from my original picks as is my SuperBowl which I still stick with although the trek is much tougher for both those squads now than I thought it would be a few weeks back. You can bet your bottom dollar that the dream matchup the NFL is praying to get in the SuperBowl is Peyton (Colts) vs. Vick (Atlanta). That is just a dream for them with the record setting QB vs. their #1 marketing department QB.

I would like to make one final pick though before the playoffs officially kick off:

Ty Law just handed Peyton Manning the Lombardi Trophy.

Ty Law, New England Patriots' star cornerback, will miss the entire post-season with a broken foot. It just so happens that Ty Law was one of the key reasons why the Colts did NOT go to the SuperBowl last year. Without Law to contain any combination of Manning to Harrison-Wayne-etc-etc, the Colts are gonna kill whoever the heck fills in for Law. I'm not saying the Colts are gonna beat the Pats 45-7 or nothing, but Ty Law is the KEY and otherwise, there's just no way the Pats are gonna contain that team. And if the Pats can't, you think they Steelers can? And so on and so forth. Once again:

Ty Law just handed Peyton Manning the Lombardi Trophy.

I'll be back on February 7th to confirm that.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Goodbye big man...

Lots of topics on my mind, but nothing moreso than the events of this past weekend when I said goodbye to my best friend for the past 14+ years as he moves away to Tampa for a better life that he deserves as much as anyone I've ever met. Physically broken down years before his time due to his love for football, he now moves onward towards an office job that will hopefully give him both the financial security and the freedom that he hasn't had before. We had a fine, fine farewell meal (key lime cookies kickass!) at his house on Sunday hosted by his Mom, who my heart goes out to more than anyone as despite any heartache I have in saying goodbye, it's nothing compared to what she's going through. The gathering was fantastic as I got to see a few people I rarely see (Benny, Amy, Neil), a few people I wish I could have gotten to know better before big man's departure, and one goober than I want to strangle every time I see him. Thankfully, Flagler is moving to Florida; a state I love to visit and not somewhere unbearable like New York. I could literally write a book on the adventures and memories Flagler and I have had made over the past 14 years. However, in keeping with the theme of our relationship, I am not allowed to actually be serious for any length of time so I guess I should close this topic for now before big man stumbles upon it once he figures out how to work a computer.

New Year's always proves to be a pretty notable time in my life. I also generally have a "vibe" for the year which more often than not, comes true. Back in '96, I actually had the feeling that something truly momentous was going to happen in my life (which included getting laid and moving to Wisconsin), so there ya go. I didn't have a good feeling at all heading into last year and that certainly came true because it was a disaster for several reasons. I have a really good vibe heading into this year actually as financial problems seem to be slooooowly correcting themselves while certain friendships continue to grow and prosper. New Year's week itself has been pretty notable the past few years as well, going from the near heights of wonderful debauchery to the very bitter, hateful feelings of being shunned to this year's farewell to a friend.

I have a semi-New Year's resolution which I had to tone down a bit. I originally had the theory of a workout motivation goal which would simply to be: over the course of the year, make the trek from my current home to my beloved former home in California - all on the treadmill. The distance: 2,819 miles from doorstep to doorstep. Unfortunately, that averages out to 7.7 miles a day which, with my current schedule, is a bit beyond even my capabilities. I may still "shoot" for that although me ever having time to do that kind of workout per day is somewhat unrealistic. Therefore, my modified 2005 goal is just to simply reach 150 pounds by year's end. I seriously need to put on size and that little amount of weight gain in the right areas would do me a world of good (and anyone that knows me, knows my reasoning for actually putting on size).

I guess I should provide a brief Xmas wrap-up since it got pushed to the back burner due to the passing of #92. In short, lots of love from all family and friends and some true standout moments from the more mentally unstable members of the Sawyer-Starnes clans including the classic line direct towards two very young children: "You have matching sweaters! What do you mean you don't know what to play??!!"

Fantasy Football final wrap-up: As mentioned in a previous BLOG, I got my ass waxed this season, going 4-11. The playoffs would have Gemini Kid's 11-4 Division champion squad losing to Corey Edsel's team by less than 3 tenths of a point in a first round playoff game, which opened the door for Randolph's team (9-6, 2nd place in the regular season) to actually win the championship. In an area where I had FAR greater success, in two separate straight-up pick pools, I finished on top (going 163-93 in one and 161-95 in the other). Randolph went 156-100, Josh went 152-106, Gee went 151-105, and Flagler went 147-109 (who would have finished in second place if not for his undying love to pick the Dolphins).

As far as legit football goes, the Panthers miss the playoffs...barely. Did they deserve to go? Maybe, maybe not. But one thing's for sure: The Vikings sure as heck didn't deserve it. You could argue the same for the Seahawks (who tried to choke as much as the Vikings) and the Rams (who can be one of the worst teams in football on any given Sunday). If nothing else, the Panthers have more heart than ANY team in the NFC except for MAYBE GB. Speaking of which, I just have the feeling that due to the passing of Reggie White, that the NFC championship is just destined to either be Seattle at Geeen Bay (Holmgren goes back home for a rematch of last year's classic playoff game for which would be the first NFC title game in Green Bay since Reggie led Holmgren and the Pack to the SuperBowl in 96) OR Green Bay at Philadelphia (which is the obvious rematch between Reggie's two teams and also a rematch of last year's classic 4th and 26 playoff game). In the AFC, you're looking at the Steelers (maybe) over the Chargers in Round 2 and yet another Pats-Colts classic. Talk about a wide open race. Sometime in the next couple of weeks, I'll copy and paste my preseason picks and thoughts and note the biggest surprises and disappointments for the NFL season.

For the sense of closure, I do somewhat wish I had gone to White's visitation last week here in Charlotte but at the same time, would have been uncomfortable in doing so. Gee did mention taking a trip to the cemetery to pay our respects in the near future, which I may end up doing. I'm horrible at visiting the gravesites of my grandparents because by the time the funeral is over, I'm as at peace with the closure it provides as a person could be.

The night of the visitation, we actually got a visit from Stutts and Troxler and had a fine, fine time just hanging out and shooting the shit and I really hope that our doors are open to more of our friends visiting in 2005. I am eagerly looking forward to the SuperBowl party where we should have a packed house of a good 75% of my favorite people in the world.

The college football season has come to a close once again and amazingly enough, we STILL don't have a true legitimate champion. Yes, college football. The only sport in the world where you can go undefeated and not win a championship. Nice.

I WANT to watch these Bowl games and give a crap, but it's really hard to when a Will Smooth-Orlo matchup has more of a payoff than the NCAA Football Season. When I do care, my rooting interests leans towards Carolina, Nebraska (for Winterstein), Oklahoma, and NC State (the latter two for Flagler). It just boggles my mind to sit and watch one incredible 4th quarter in LSU-Iowa and know that no matter what, both teams seasons have to end with absolutely nothing to show for it. We were all begging for a playoff system 10 years ago and you simply cannot convince me that it's a sponser/financial issue when the NCAA Basketball tournament isn't exactly hurting for revenue. Please, people, for the love of god, give college football a playoff system...I WANT to care!

Tim Blaze and company ran the first TWE (Tarheel Wrestling Entertainment) show this past Saturday in Asheboro which I did NOT attend but have the feeling that I'll wind up there before long. The show looks ALOT like the final days of NEW, being held in their training facility, but some quality stuff was to be had, the most notable of which was the first Corey Edsel-Brass Munkey match in forever. I'm sure that was quality stuff and even as a whole, the show seemed to be a pretty passable affair.

A couple of reviews from the final Flagler weekend: Played the new NFL Street 2 and much like it's predecessor, is passable in the spotty lucha kinda way, but offers zero form of actual football psychology. The graphics aren't really up'd up a notch from the first, but the main concentration was more on the playability and the maneuvering. It's fine and all in spots, but it wouldn't even be close to my first pick when it came to actually playing a legit football game. Speaking of which, it seriously bums me out to know that between big man moving to FL and someone else being emotionally unreliable, I have no one to play football games with anymore. No one else has either a) the interest or b) the patience so if any of my boys in the biz out there can actually maintain a high level of tolerance when it comes to playing Madden or ESPN NFL for hours on end, feel free to give a shout out and bring a damn game system to the Superbowl party.

Oh yes, reviews...these German cookies are pretty dang tasty and you can order them here: HIT Cookies


The final review from the weekend would be for Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle which was simply hilarious and easily one of the best movies in this genre in a loooong time. In fact, I watched it probably a dozen times within the past week. It is a stoner movie by nature, but it definitely appeals to those of us who aren't stoners as well. John Cho and Kal Penn have zero name value pretty much but their chemistry is just great here and their chase for the elusive White Castle (much like Chevy Chase and Wally World) is priceless. A few standout cameos including a hilarious encounter with a "Burger Shack" employee and Neil Patrick Harris in one of the greatest movie cameo roles I've ever seen (well, at least since Bruce at the end of Darkman). The only real low point to the movie is one bathroom scene which seems too low brow for this film and despite it's goofiness, the scene is actually below the standards of the rest of the film. It would be much better suited in one of the other far less original R-rated teen flicks than it does here. Other than that though, a great great time and one of the most FUN movies I've seen in the past year. ****

And that would be that....this weekend, it's "New Year's Knockout" for CWF which looks to be an very solid show and should set a fine, fine tone for 2005. Love to all!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Statmark's Top 25 Most Memorable Matches of 2004

With the year coming to a close and the 5th Annual Indy Insider Awards now behind us, I sit down to attempt the impossible, that being my "Top 25 Most Memorable Matches of 2005". Much like the parents that bear over 300 kids in a year, it's very hard to pick which ones are your 25 favorite. As I did last year, let me again disclaimer this list with the warning that this list is for MY favorites and by no means does this always mean the match was say, GOOD. These were the bouts that for me personally were either the most entertaining, the most emotional, the most real, or simply struck an unforgettable chord in me much like a Bert Tripp entrance. Last year someone actually dared me to do my picks for the worst matches of the year but in reality, that list is an impossibility. You see, the truly BAD matches have charm. The worst matches of the year CAN'T be on a list together as they are the ones that are simply forgettable. Jamaican Joe matches may not be good, but they sure are unforgettable. It should be noted that my first draft of this list where I started combing through all the live matches I saw in person in 2004, I ended up with a list of 50 standout matches, which meant I had to cut the list completely in HALF to make the cut.

To make the process even more difficult, I tried doing this project while making Brass Munkey's comp tape which probably deludes my judgment in good taste. But seriously, it's amazing how much fun 2004 was in the squared circle and the quality provided within. First off, I'd like to start with a few matches that just BARELY missed the cut and I couldn't bring myself to leave them out, even if it is just an honorable mention: CWF Mid-Atlantic TV champion Xsiris vs. Kamakazi Kid (CWF; 1/31/04; Seagrove, NC - the trek of the TV title begins with one helluva contest between old foes in front of a packed house of some 700); "Tremendous" Trent Wylde vs. Mikael Yamaha (CWF; 2/7/04; Burlington, NC - Forgotten by the end of the year but a huge match historically as it ended Trent's record-setting losing streak and drove Yamaha to insanity, provoking the heel turn); CWF Mid-Atlantic tag team champions The Brads (Brad Attitude and Brad Rainz) defeated the Hirydaz (Mikael Yamaha and Gemini Kid) (CWF; 2/21/04; Burlington, NC - Not as much for the match but for the moment Yamaha's heel turn was one of the hottest angles of the year); Kid Justice vs. Kamikaze Kid (CWF; 3/27/04; Ramseur, NC - the first major Kid Justice win ever and a really fun bout from every perspective); Xsiris vs. 1/2 of the CWF Mid-Atlantic tag team champions Brass Munkey in a Johnny Weaver Cup tournament first round match (CWF; 7/31/04; Burlington, NC - the toughest cut of all as Xsiris and Munkey defy all common sense and KILL one another in an unbelievable Weaver Cup match); and CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight champion "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel vs. "Slick" Ric Converse (CWF; 11/13/04; Asheboro, NC - the rematch after "The Next Level" and would have easily made the Top 25 if not for all the other damn Edsel-Converse matches this year).

With that said, here are my Top 25 Most Memorable Matches of 2004:

1. GeeStar vs. Mid-Atlantic TV champion Xsiris (CWF; 4/17/04; Burlington, NC): It was as special of a moment as you get to be a part of in Indy wrestling. The planets aligned just right and for one night, we had the right fans, we had the right angle, and most importantly, we had the right workers to pull off a real-life fairytale ending. From my Awards speech: "You know the toughest thing about these awards is judging greatness. Because really, it is YOU (talking to the crowd) that really determine greatness. It is you that are the final judge, jury, and executioner in what is great and what is not inside this ring. You can make a bad match watchable...you can make a good match great...and a great match? You can turn into magic. And magic did happen one night here in the CSA this year. It was the one night that not only did fans cry...but wrestlers in the back cried...and the promoter behind this said it was his proudest moment ever. You see, when I said that Corey Edsel and Ric Converse shared Match of the Year, I didn't mean with one another...I meant with GeeStar and Xsiris from April 17th."

2. "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel vs. CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight champion "Slick" Ric Converse in a no countout, no disqualification, no time limit match (CWF; 10/2/04; Burlington, NC): And yes, Corey-Ric did indeed get the MOTY nod as well from this night. From my original review: "When so many others have failed, they did it. Surpassing the HYP, surpassing the greatness of all their past battles. It was as if the entire promotion had been booked over the past three years to build to this specific moment. This match was a flawless combination of everything that ever made this series of matches great. The technical start was very reminiscent of the 30:00 draw from last month. Then we segued into the wild outside-the-ring brawl; shades of not only the Explosive Elements match, but also the double-countout match, and in many ways, what I felt was actually missing from the no-countout match. And then the home stretch to the finish. After avoiding the backdrop driver that has always spelled doom before, Corey hits it. And Ric kicks out. Ric hits a jaw dropping, out of nowhere Richter scale on Corey that was as perfect of a desperation finisher that you could ever see. Corey kicks out and you could hear a pin drop in the audience. It was a strange feeling. The crowd built and built throughout the match. Many were cheering for Ric actually...almost 60/40 in their support much like a great heavyweight fight which this match resembled. Corey seemed to be going for the Tiger Driver which he once finished Ric off with but, after all is said and done and with the no-DQ rule in effect, has to resort to the one move that was banned to finally put Ric away: the piledriver. Just beautiful in it's symmetry, dating back to the UNOD-Crew feud last year and the original banishment of the hold. This was everything a heavyweight title match could ever dream to be. The ONLY thing that would have made this match better was if it could have been performed on a larger stage which it deserved."

3. Kamakazi Kid and Kid Justice vs. Mikael Yamaha and Xsiris (CWF; 6/5/04; Burlington, NC): Now, THIS is the way to kill a hero. Kid Justice accidentally cripples himself halfway through the match, leaving Kazi in the role that he was born to play, the never-say-die babyface in a handicapped match. Kazi comes back to win and electrify the crowd just before Yamaha caves his head in with a chair, breaking Kazi's orbital bone. A fascinating story from start to finish with the baby coming back from the depths, culminating in the heels committing public murder. Just tremendous in every facet.

4. CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight champion "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel vs. SWA Heavyweight champion Garry "Madd Trucker" Stevens in a Texas Death, title vs. title, promotion vs. promotion match (SWA; 11/27/04; Mt. Airy, NC):


The final match in SWA history is also probably it's greatest ever as Corey and Garry have simply fantastic balls out bloodbath. Lots of beautiful little things about the match and a year from now, we'll probably look back at it as the match that made Corey a killer again.

5. Kurt Solo and Mikael Yamaha (with Brad Stutts in their corner) vs. Brass Munkey and Redd in a semifinal match in the RCW tag team title tournament (RCW; 10/9/04; Gibsonville, NC): A DUD by any other name but a solid ****1/2 on the personal entertainment scale. Yam almost breaks his foot 30 seconds in when Munkey bumps on it, followed by a hilarious bad headlock sequence, finished up with the hiptoss from hell on Redd which is just a priceless piece of videotape gold. Laugh till I cried...over and over and over...

6. 4th Annual Indy Rumble (9/18/04; Burlington, NC): While not my favorite of the 4 Rumbles by any means, still a very well structured and executed Rumble that left every one extremely happy and will probably be looked back at as Attitude's true breakthrough into a superstar singles performer, casting aside the shadows of Rainz and Converse.

7. CWF Mid-Atlantic TV champion Xsiris vs. Brass Munkey (CWF; 2/21/04; Burlington, NC): As a stand-along match with no angle, THIS was the defining match of the TV title and it's greatest titleholder in 20 years, Xsiris. Munkey beats X from one side to the ring to the other as a good babyface should, with the heel pulling it out at the end. A true 101 to how matches should be booked with the "heel champ going over on hot babyface". Not as death-defying as their Weaver Cup matchup, but on a resume reel...this is the sucker that goes.

8. SWA champion Gary "Madd Trucker" Stevens vs. "Wild" Shane West in a no-disqualification, falls count anywhere, best two out of three falls match (SWA; 5/29/04; Mt. Airy, NC): Before this match I really didn't "get" Garry Stevens. Big veteran, bad knees, good heel presence...but nothing really struck me as in "Oh man, we have GOT something here!" Then Garry and Shane had this three falls battle that just blew me away and by the time it was done I too was praising the greatness of Garry Stevens. Both guys absolutely beat the tar out of themselves and Garry Stevens creates the "1.0 Madd Trucker scale", as the Southern Indy equivalent to the more famous "1.0 Muta scale" (referring to the insane amount of blood that you spill in one match). Horrible, horrible finish but that simply can't negate the "die for your art" mentality showcased here.

9. Kid Justice and "Mighty" Orlo Helmer defeated Will Smooth and Tank Lawson (CWF; 11/6/04; Burlington, NC): A hilarious trainwreck that I have watched over and over, tears in my eyes laughing nearly every single time as everything under the sun goes wrong and the reactions from all involved, the intuitive and the oblivious, are classic.

10. 1/2 of the RCW tag team champions and CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight champion "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel vs. RCW Heavyweight champion "Slick" Ric Converse by countout in a title vs. title match (RCW; 10/17/04; Greensboro, NC):


IF, IF, IF...if this bout had only had a finish (it ended in countout), it would come very close to standing side-by-side their 10/2 classic.

11. GeeStar vs. Drake Tungsten in a "10 lashes to the loser" match (CWF; 1/17/04; Burlington, NC): The 2003 Feud of the Year kicks off 2004 in one hell of a memorable blowoff match that certainly earned Tungsten the right to stake his claim as the region's most despicable heel while on the other hand, was the defining match that Gee proved she belonged in the ring with her male competitors and set the wheels in motion that would lead to her TV title reign. Incredible intensity and drama in the pre-match promo, the match itself, and the post-match festivities which included a babyface Brad Stutts making the save.

12. 14-man Royal Rumble for the vacant WOW title (WOW; 3/13/03; Southern Pines, NC): You want Memorable? From my original review: "Probably as fascinating of a match as you will ever get on the Indy scene. The first two entrants were Slick and Big Law Man, who shouldn't have been near anything EXCEPT for a hospital, much less a ring after their fiasco earlier. But here they are, defying all laws of psychics, kicking off this Rumble. The Rumble is actually booked with all the actual "WOW" workers entering first and pairing off, before the rest of the talent comes in. Tripp and Cold Cash D follow one after another and eliminated one another almost as quickly with Tripp taking an insane fish-flopping bump onto the concrete floor. Then, with only the "CWF" crew left to come out...IT happened. Many are familiar with the famous "Kliq Incident at Madison Square Garden" back in 1996 as four WWF wrestlers threw aside all storylines and "kayfabe". What was about to transpire in Southern Pines was indeed the NC Indy version of the "Kliq incident". Only one of the "CWF" workers were supposed to come out...but all at once, all five appeared, announced as "the Crew"...but this time, something was different. Mikael Yamaha came out, followed by...Mikael Yamaha...and then another Mikael Yamaha...until five different versions of Mikael Yamaha were together...at ringside, prepared to enter the Rumble. The real Yamaha was actually wearing Brass Munkey's pants along with Trent Wylde's singlet while Wylde himself was a near mirror image of Yamaha circa 2001. Munkey and Kamakazi Kid also were dressed in a different Yam-era while Silvia represented the future "G'd up" Yamaha. All five entered the ring at once and immediately battled it out with one another, eliminating one after the other in rapid succession. In total, the insanity lasted just 2 minutes but was simply unforgettable. For those that would question such antics, let me just say that there's a big difference in doing something that makes no sense because you DO know better, as opposed to doing it because you DON'T know better. This would actually be proven in the finish of the Rumble, as Slick goes the distance and wins it, thereby staking his claim as GOD. I believe his next act was going to be to walk on water, but wouldn't you know it, that pesky heel commissioner sneaks up from behind and throws Slick over the top after the match, thus proving that HE is the rightful WOW World Heavyweight champion. Of course, them even promoting the WOW title as a "World title" is about as ridiculous as any of the booking on the show, but that's beside the point."

13. Mikael Yamaha vs. Jesse Ortega (CWF; 4/17/04; Burlington, NC): Make no mistake, the semi-main from 4/17 took a backseat to nothing as it was truly Ortega's coming of age match, the height of Yamaha hatred, just two months removed from the turn, and Amber O'Neal gets a bit of revenge on Kristen in a chaotic post-match melee. Super, fun stuff.

14. "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel vs. CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight champion "Slick" Ric Converse in the Johnny Weaver Cup finals (CWF; 8/28/04; Thomasville, NC): The third Edsel-Converse meeting of the list, thereby instituting the "no mercy" cut-off rule. Different from the others as no title was on the line and the shortest easily (8:42), but still a ton of fun and a fitting end to a tremendous Weaver Cup tourny.

15. Jesse Ortega vs. Brad Attitude in a Johnny Weaver Cup tournament quarterfinal match (CWF; 7/31/04; Burlington, NC): The Weaver Cup has an insane amount of love on this list and in this one, Ortega and Attitude both probably had their best single matches of the year, with the crowd eating it up and biting on every single false finish in a beautifully executed finishing sequence.

16. King of Riders champion Hank the Enforcer vs. Grease (RCW; 4/4/04; Greensboro, NC): Hank vs. Grease is the fourth match that should NOT be on this list as it quickly becomes a disaster in every sense of the word and then continues that way for 7 minutes before mercifully ending. This is one of those matches that you try and throw in the VCR during a party with inhibriated friends just to get a good laugh out of.

17. Brian Hall vs. Brad Stutts in an "I Quit" match (RCW; 4/4/04; Greensboro, NC): The most unusual main event of any show (with legit workers on the undercard) in 2004 as a singer battles a manager in one of the most end-all, be-all gimmick matches that there are. This match takes a strange turn from amusing to serious as the psychology is amazingly tight, including Stutts pulling out an "Arm Stunner!" out of no where, of which I can still hear Corey Edsel's scream of shock on live commentary. Truly the "better than you would have dreamed" Match of 2004.

18. Number Man and Kamakazi Kid vs. Xsiris and CWF Mid-Atlantic TV champion Mikael Yamaha (CWF; 10/23/04; Burlington, NC): From my original review: "The Yamaha/Xsiris vs. Kazi/random partner series of matches this year has just been fantastic. Probably second only to Corey-Ric as far as an outstanding overall series of 2004. Thankfully, Xsiris behaved and worked like the heel that he's supposed to be which added an extra * to the match for that alone. Great old school tag team formula stuff with an incredible finishing sequence hilighted by Yamaha DYING and seconds later almost getting into a fight at ringside trying to take a chair from a fan."

19. Jimmy "Boogie Woogie Man" Valiant, Rob "the Bull" McBride, and Brian Hall vs. Cody Gunn, Brad Stutts, and the United Nations of Devastation (Drake Tungsten and Hugh B. Johnson) in a handicap hair vs. hair match (RCW; 10/17/04; Greensboro, NC):


The match itself probably wouldn't make the top 100 for 2004 but sometimes you just have moments which are impossible to ignore and as Jimmy Valiant said goodbye to Greensboro, with fellow wrestlers surrounding him with hugs and tears, there was to be no denying this match when it came to the word "Memorable".

20. Xsiris vs. Rob "The Bull" McBride (CWF; 7/10/04; Burlington, NC): The phrase "style clash" was just waiting for this match to happen but never got to rear it's ugly head as Xsiris and Rob have one of the best matches of the year (quite fitting when you're talking about the Performer of the Year and the man that came closer to winning that award than even he realizes).

21. Ryin Andrews vs. Gregory Vercetti in a "Rising Generation League" Round One tournament match (CWF; 11/20/04; Burlington, NC): After some definitive uncertainty heading into the 2004 RGL tourny, some relative unknowns from the VA area come down to fill out the tourny and in doing so, put their name on the Mid-Atlantic map in a blow-away opener that totally MADE both guys.

22. CWF Mid-Atlantic TV champion GeeStar vs. Quinson Valentino (CWF; 5/1/04; Burlington, NC): A disturbing match to watch as Gee's first title defense provides the scariest moment of the year as Quinson breaks her arm and the match comes to an abrupt hault. Quinson then solidifies his "Most Hated" award which rest assured, he would have received with a few more appearances in the area, as he ignores the screams and continues the beating. One insane over-the-top match that in retrospect, ended up working TOO well.

23. GeeStar vs. Mid-Atlantic TV champion Xsiris (CWF; 3/20/04; Burlington, NC): Proclaimed by some a better match workrate-wise than the 4/17 classic as their first meeting would have been insanely more memorable if the second one had never happened. In addition, Gemini Kid does the best guest babyface refereeing gig ever and does his part whipping the crowd into a frenzy.

24. Joey Silvia vs. "Tremendous" Trent Wylde (WOW; 3/13/03; Southern Pines, NC): A perfect example of the different between motivated and non-motivated wrestlers as Joey and Trent have what they're always capable of; a Match of the Night, with far less tom foolery than usual as they go all out in 11 minutes of pure heartwarming workrate goodness.

25. "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel vs. Xsiris in a Johnny Weaver Cup tournament quarterfinal match (CWF; 8/7/04; Burlington, NC): To say Xsiris' two Weaver Cup matches were unforgettable is an understatement. He survives death against Brass Munkey in Round one, and then him and Corey go out and put on a far stronger match physiologically, in what was easily the best of the three singles bouts they had this year.

GRANT "STATMARK" SAWYER
NORTH CAROLINA
I was born 8/25/75; although I did attend an Elvis Presley Concert in Greenboro, NC 35 days BEFORE I was born (7/21/75). I Have lived in NC, MO, CA, GA, and WI. I went to high school at Northgate High School in Walnut Creek, CA (89-90) and Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, NC (90-93). Attended one year at the Savannah College of Art and Design as a Video major (93-94). Worked at WAAP TV 16 in NC from 94-96; WLUK FOX 11 in Green Bay, WI from 96-97; and WGHP FOX 8 in High Point, NC from 97-99; doing various duties including Master Control, Directing, Technical Directing, Editing, Camera, and Audio opeartion. Started an on again/off again with Independent wrestling in 1997, holding video production for local shows (which was the early basis of Statmark Video itself). Then, in December 2000, Statmark Video went fulltime, handling video production for various Independent promotions around the state of NC including CWF Mid-Atlantic, the stand-out promotion in the Carolinas that embodies the heritage of the old MA territory. I handle videography, assistant producer, and color commentary chores for them. The broadcast can be seen throughout the Carolinas as well as parts of VA, GA, and NY on various cable outlets.
View my complete profile

ARCHIVES
July 2002 / Oct 2002 / Nov 2002 / Dec 2002 / Jan 2003 / Feb 2003 / Apr 2003 / May 2003 / Aug 2003 / Oct 2003 / Nov 2003 / Jan 2004 / Feb 2004 / Mar 2004 / Apr 2004 / July 2004 / Aug 2004 / Sep 2004 / Oct 2004 / Nov 2004 / Dec 2004 / Jan 2005 / Feb 2005 / Mar 2005 / Apr 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / Aug 2005 / Sept 2005 /

BLOGS BY THE BOYS
Brad Stutts
Randy Hedrick
Mikael Yamaha
"Slick" Ric Converse
Justin Feeche
Kamakazi Kid
Brass Munkey
"Dangerous E" Corey Edsel
"Rock N' Roll" Matty Dee
Jesse Ortega
Jeremy Ryan
Michael McAllister
Jesse McAllister
Katie Kincaid
KC McKnight
Trent Wylde
Tre G
Kurt Solo
Damage Inc
Moses Manson
Zane Dawson
Brad Rainz
Scott Keith
Raven Mack
Incredible Hulk
The Blue haired goddess, Zoe!

OFFICIAL WEBSITES
GeeStar
Brad Stutts
CWF Mid-Atlantic
Indy Insiders
"Dangerous E" Corey Edsel
Brass Munkey
"Boogie Woogie Man" Rob McBride
"Slick Diddy" Ric Converse
"Madd Trucker" Garry Stevens
Kamakazi Kid
American Steel Ninja
Amber O'Neal
Krissy Vaine
Katie Kincaid
Ultra Dragon
Justin Feeche
Tank Lawson
Kid Justice
SouthSide Playas
Gregory Vercetti
Randy Hedrick
Gemini Kid
Drake Tungsten
Trent Wylde
Joey Silvia

ONE-LINE REVIEWS
Mikael Yamaha & Sexton Tyler vs. Joey Silvia & Brad Rainz (11/8/03):
"That seriously is the worst match I've ever been at ringside for and I managed Mark Michaels." - Brad Stutts

"I thought that match was fucking great." - Mikael Yamaha

"A mother fucking Butterfinger beats the shit of a G-D Clark Bar" - Flagler

5 PEOPLE WHO MADE ME WHO I AM TODAY
(well, 6 if you count God...)
Dad
Mom
My stepmom, Peggy
Sam Raimi
Jeff Rudd

MOST SIGNIFICANT DATES IN MY LIFE
August 25, 1975 (I was born, so yeah, it's up there)
July 21, 1987 (become officially hooked on wrestling)
October 17, 1989 (The California Earthquake)
June 10, 1994 (got first job in television)
April 26, 1996 (moved to Wisconsin)
March 28, 1999 (met Gee)
December 30, 2000 (the first CWF show)

TOP 10 THINGS I DON'T TRULY APPRECIATE UNTIL I NO LONGER HAVE THEM IN MY LIFE
1. Inner Happiness
2. Friends
3. Family
4. Affection
5. Health
6. Respect
7. Money
8. Food
9. Sunshine
10. Boobs

TOP 5 FAVORITE WRESTLERS
1. Shawn Michaels
2. Ricky Stamboat
3. Bret Hart
4. Chris Benoit
5. Kurt Angle

TOP 5 FAVORITE FOOTBALL PLAYERS
1. Barry Sanders
2. Steve Young
3. Randall Cunningham
4. Brett Favre
5. Don Beebe

TOP 5 MOST HATED FOOTBALL PLAYERS
1. Troy Aikman
2. John Elway
3. Randy Moss
4. Rob Johnson
5t. Kerry Collins
5t. Michael Irvin

TOP 5 FAVORITE FOOTBALL TEAMS
(somewhat interchangeable depending on circumstances)
1. Carolina Panthers
2. Green Bay Packers
3. Cincinnati Bengals
4. Miami Dolphins
5t. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
5t. San Francisco 49ers

TOP 5 MOST HATED FOOTBALL TEAMS
(somewhat interchangeable depending on who's being a bigger pain in the ass this week)
1. Dallas Cowboys
2. NY Jets
3. NY Giants
4. Baltimore Ravens
5. Washington Redskins

TOP 5 FAVORITE FOOTBALL UNIFORMS EVER
1. Frankfurt Galaxy (1996 NFLE home version)
2. Orlando Thunder (91-92 WLAF home version)
3. San Diego Chargers (powder blue throwback home version)
4. Cincinnati Bengals (basic '90s home version)
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1976-1995 home version)

TOP 5 FAVORITE FOOTBALL GAMES EVER
1. 1994 NFC Championship (1/15/95): Dallas Cowboys (28) at San Francisco 49ers (38)
Notes: After two consecutive heart-breaking losses in the NFC title game to the Cowboys and the constant shadow of Joe Montana hanging over his head, Steve Young FINALLY gets over the hump in the most gratifying payoff to what seemed to be a never-ending chase that I've ever seen. I was literally jumping up and down on the control room table while at work at WAAP and still get chills to this day when watching hilights from the game. It was magic and I'll never forget it.
2. 1996 NFC Championship (1/12/97): Carolina Panthers (13) at Green Bay Packers (30)
Notes: While not a great game by any means, I lived in Green Bay during this one, having moved away from NC the year before and everything surrounding the game just has SO much meaning to me. The expansion Panthers go to where no one ever expected them to be while the Packers try and go to the SuperBowl after having not been there in 30 freakin' years. I do my best to try and cheer for the Panthers knowing that if they win, the suicide rate in Green Bay is going to skyrocket. You had to be in GB then to really understand what this game meant to those people and to their lives and they got their payoff. God bless them.
3. 2003 NFC Divisional Playoff (1/10/04): Carolina Panthers (29) at St. Louis Rams (23) (OT)
Notes: The emotionally draining double OT classic that by the end if it, I could barely cheer as I was about to pass out from exhaustion. Even now I can barely write anything about the game because it was THAT draining.
4. 1992 AFC Wild Card Playoff (1/3/93): Houston Oilers (38) at Buffalo Bills (41) (OT)
Notes: Even if you didn't give a crap about either team, if you watched football in the early 90s, you KNOW this game. I was on the way back from Florida, listening to some of the game in the car on the radio. Houston's up 35-3 in the 3rd quarter so I allow Dad to change the station. We check back awhile later at which point it sounded like OJ was reporting about the Bills victory...but that couldn't be right...could it?? Was the radio signal fuzzy...or was that the crowd? What the hell was going on in Buffalo? Was their a riot after the Bills lost? oh wait...no...they couldn't have.....OH MY GOD!!!
5. Monday Night Football (12/22/03): Green Bay Packers (41) at Oakland Raiders (7)
Notes: In one of the most incredible individual performances you could ever see, Brett Favre decides to not end his consecutive game streak and plays just one day after his father passed away from a heart attack. Incredibly, Favre throws for 399 yards and 4 TDs in a win that would become very vital in sending the Packers to the playoffs just one week later.
Honorable Mention:
SuperBowl XXIII (1/22/89): San Francisco 49ers (20) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (16) - the game that made me a fan for life.
SuperBowl XXV (1/27/91): NY Giants (20) vs. Buffalo Bills (19) - unbiasedly speaking, the best game I've ever seen.
1996 NFC Divisional Playoff (1/5/97): Dallas Cowboys (17) at Carolina Panthers (26) - the official arrival of the Panthers, and could there have been a better team to smack around?
Monday Night Football (12/18/00): St. Louis Rams (35) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (38) - the Bucs' revenge game after getting screwed in the '99 NFC title game.
2002 NFC Championship (1/19/03): Tampa Bay Buccanners (27) at Philadelphia Eagles (10) - The Bucs' finally get over the hump after being ousted by the Eagles in the playoffs two straight years and win the game no one thought they could win. I'll never forget the radio call as Rhonde Barber seals the deal with a 92 yard INT return as dreams had become reality and the freakin' BUCS were going to play in a SuperBowl.
Week 17 (12/27/03): Minnesota Vikings (17) at Arizona Cardinals (18) - All the Vikings have to do is hang onto an 11-point lead over the lowly 3-12 Cardinals with just 2 minutes to go in order to go to the playoffs and win the division. They then procede to pull off the biggest choke job ever, completely blowing it, missing the playoffs, sending a crowd at Lambeau Field 1,000+ miles away into a complete frenzy, with my favorite radio call ever as Arizona's Nate Poole catches the winning TD as time expires with the Vikings announcer screaming "Noooooooooooooo!" Noooooooooo!".

FAVORITE WRESTLING MATCHES EVER
This is a list of MY favorite matches of all-time (well, at least for this week anyways)...yes, there ARE better matches workrate wise in some cases, but these are my personal favs, so quit arguin'.
1. Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat (WrestleMania III, 3/29/87)
2. Bret Hart vs. Curt Hennig (SummerSlam, 8/26/91)
3. Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat (Chi-Town Rumble, 2/20/89)
4. Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat (WrestleWar, 5/7/89)
5. Rick Rude vs. Ricky Steamboat in a 30:00 Ironman match (Beach Blast, 6/20/92)
6. Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham (Crockett Cup, 4/11/87)
7. Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle (Royal Rumble, 1/19/03)
8. 1992 Royal Rumble (1/19/92)
9. Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith (SummerSlam, 8/29/92)
10. Owen Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid (King of the Ring, 6/16/94)
11. Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon in a Ladder match (SummerSlam, 8/27/95)
12. Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart (In Your House, 2/18/96)
13. Brian Pillman vs. Jushin Liger (SuperBrawl II, 2/29/92)
14. Brian Pillman & Steve Austin vs. Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas (3/2/93)
15. Curt Hennig vs. Tito Sanata (Saturday Night's Main Event, 7/16/90)
16. Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind (In Your House: Mind Games, 9/22/96)

FAVORITE WRESTLING PPVs EVER
1. Great American Bash '89
2. SummerSlam '91
3. WrestleMania III
4. WrestleMania XIX
5. WrestleMania XX
6. 1987 Survivor Series
7. Beach Blast '92
8. Canadian Stampede
9. SuperBrawl II
10. WrestleMania VIII

TOP 5 FAVORITE INDY SHOWS I'VE EVER TAPED
1. CWF Mid-Atlantic; April 17, 2004; Burlington, NC
2. CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic "New Year's Knockout"; January 8, 2005; Burlington, NC
3. CWF/FWA-Carolinas "Triumph"; September 28, 2002; Graham, NC
4. CWF/FWA-Carolinas "Ultimatium"; January 26, 2002; Burlington, NC
5. CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic "Night of the Mid-Atlantic Legends"; February 5, 2005; Seagrove, NC

TOP 5 WORST INDY SHOWS I'VE EVER TAPED
1. VCW; March 16, 2001; Mt. Airy, NC
2. Wahoo McDaniel Memorial Show; July 13, 2002; Charlotte, NC
3. NMCW; February 16, 2002; Albemarle, NC
4. SWA 1st Anniversary Show; August 2, 2002; Huntsville, TN
5. Warriors of Wrestling; March 13, 2004; Southern Pines, NC

TOP 5 FAVORITE VACATION SPOTS
1. 1. San Francisco, CA
2. Orlando, FL
3. Green Bay, WI
4. Savannah, GA
5. Los Angeles, CA

TOP 5 PLACES I WOULD LIKE TO GO TO THAT I'VE NEVER BEEN
1. Tokyo
2. NFL Hall of Fame - Canton, OH
3. Cedar Point - Sandusky, OH
4. Honolulu
5. Pontiac Silverdome

TOP 5 FAVORITE AMUSEMENT PARKS
1. Busch Gardens (Williamsburg, VA)
2. Islands of Adventure (Orlando, FL)
3. Universal Studios (Los Angeles, CA)
4. Walt Disney World (Orlando, FL)
5. Universal Studios (Orlando, FL)

TOP 5 FAVORITE MUSICAINS
1. Elvis
2. Me First & the Gimme Gimmes
3. "Weird Al" Yankovic
4. Creedence Clearwater Revival
5. Bloodhound Gang

TOP 5 FAVORITE RESTAURANTS
1. TGIFriday's
2. Applebee's 1. Tecmo Bowl
2. ESPN NFL 2K5
3. Madden 2003
4. Pro Wrestling
5. WrestleMania 2000

TOP 5 FAVORITE NETWORKS
1. NFL Network
2. ESPN
3. FOX
4. Boomerang
5. ESPN Classic

TOP 5 TV SHOWS EVER
1. Dukes of Hazzard
2. Family Guy
3. King of the Hill
4. Incredible Hulk
5. Greatest American Hero

TOP 5 FAVORITE MOVIES EVER
1. Evil Dead 2
2. Dead Alive
3. Army of Darkness
4. Rocky Horror Pitcure Show
5. Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil Subhumanoid Flesh Eating Living Dead Part 2

TOP 5 FAVORITE HORROR MOVIES
1. The Crow
2. Puppet Master
3. Twice Dead
4. The Frighteners
5. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

TOP 5 FAVORITE COMEDIES
1. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
2. Undercover Brother
3. Naked Gun
4. Christmas Vacation
5. Tommy Boy

TOP 5 FAVORITE ACTION MOVIES
1. Kill Bill Vol. 1
2. Con Air
3. Terminator 2
4. Back to the Future
5. Back to the Future 2

TOP 5 FAVORITE ANIMATED MOVIES
1. South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut
2. Space Jam
3. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
4. Lilo & Stich
5. Transformers: The Movie

TOP 5 FAVORITE SPORTS MOVIES
1. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
2. BASEketball
3. Dodgeball
4. The Replacements
5. Major League

TOP 5 FAVORITE MOVIES BASED ON COMICS
1. The Crow
2. Spider-Man
3. Batman
4. Spider-Man 2
5. Howard The Duck

TOP 5 FAVORITE MOVIE TRILOGIES
(or whatever they're called if there's more than three of them)
1. Evil Dead 1/Evil Dead 2/Army of Darkness
2. Clerks/Mallrats/Chasing Amy/Dogma/Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back
3. National Lampoon's Vacation series
4. Back to the Future
5. Nightmare on Elm Street

TOP 5 FAVORITE MOVIES THAT ARE REALLY F'D UP
1. Tetsuo the Iron Man
2. Nekromantic
3. Nekromantic 2
4. Society
5. Motorama

TOP 5 FAVORITE MOVIE FINISHES
1t. Darkman
1t. Psycho
3. Scooby Doo
4. There's Something About Mary
5. Man on the Moon

TOP 5 FAVORITE MOVIE SOUNDTRACKS
1. Rocky Horror Pitcure Show
2. Summer School
3. Cocktail
4. The Replacements
5. Dude, Where's My Car?

TOP 5 FAVORITE ACTORS
1. Bruce Campbell
2. No One Else Matters

TOP 5 FAVORITE DIRECTORS
1. Sam Raimi
2. Kevin Smith
3. Quentin Tarantino
4. Peter Jackson
5. John Woo

MY "TO DO" LIST
(excluding people I actually know for both their own sake and mine)
1. Noki-A (with the mask only!)
2. Trish Stratus
3. Pamela Anderson
4. Jillian Barberie
5. Lindsay Lohan (2003-2004 only!)

FAMOUS PEOPLE THAT I'M PROUD TO SAY I'VE MET IN PERSON
Brett Favre, Reggie White, Desmond Howard, The Rock, Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, Vince McMahon, Mick Foley, Owen Hart

TOP 3 FAVORITE MONTHS
1. March (ACC tourny/March Madness/WrestleMania/Many noteable memories in relationship land from March/Start of Spring)
2. September (NFL Kickoff/Indy Rumble)
3. January (NFL Playoffs/Royal Rumble)

LEAST FAVORITE MONTH
1. December (Start of Winter/The Headache that is the Holidays/The College Football Playoffs...oh, wait...what's that? They don't have any?? Freakin' morons.)

FUCK JOHN ELWAY...25 BETTER RUNNING BACKS THAN TERRELL DAVIS
Barry Sanders
Walter Payton
Emmitt Smith
Earl Campbell
Jim Brown
Roger Craig
Gale Sayers
Billy Sims
OJ Simpson
Marshall Faulk
Thurman Thomas
John Riggins
Eric Dickerson
Larry Csonka
Franco Harris
Ottis Anderson
Marcus Allen
Edgerrin James
Steve Van Buren
Tony Dorsett
Jerome Bettis
Ricky Watters
LaDainlian Tomlinson
Priest Holmes
Eddie George

10 BRET HART SINGLE MATCHES BETTER THAN THAT DAMN OVERRATED SURVIVOR SERIES '96 MATCH VS. STEVE AUSTIN
Bret Hart vs. Curt Hennig (8/26/91)
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (3/20/94)
Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (3/23/97)
Bret Hart vs. Roddy Piper (4/5/92)
Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith (8/29/92)
Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (11/25/92)
Bret Hart vs. Curt Hennig (6/19/93)
Bret Hart vs. Ric Flair (10/12/92)
Bret Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid (7/4/94)
Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith (12/17/95)

RATING THE BATTLECADE MATCHES - FROM BEST TO WORST
Sometime around WrestleMania XIV I believe, PWI put out this major WMania magazine and listed every single freakin' Mania match in order from best to worst (all 100+ of those suckers). So, on a much smaller scale, I present my pointless tribute to that, the CWF Mid-Atlantic Battlecade list of matches, from best to worst (5 Battlecades have been held for those oblivious to what the heck I'm yammering about).
1. "Slick" Ric Converse vs. CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight champion "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel with Brad Attitude as the special guest referee (V)
2. CWF/FWA-Carolinas Heavyweight champion "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel vs. "Nite Stic" Eddie Brown (III)
3. Krazy K vs. Kamikazi Kid in the "Rising Generation League" tournament finals (IV)
4. CWF/FWA-Carolinas Cruiserweight champion Mikael Yamaha, Sexton Tyler, and Amber Holly vs. Caprice "Ice" Coleman and Main Attraction (II)
5. CWF Mid-Atlantic TV champion Mikael Yamaha vs. Xsiris vs. Kamikazi Kid vs. Number Man in a "Fatal 4 Way" match (V)
6. Gemini Kid and Mikael Yamaha vs. the United Nations of Devestation (Drake Tungsten & Hugh B. Johnson) for the vacant CWF/FWA-Carolinas tag team titles (III)
7. John Brooks and David Cole vs. Krazy K and Dexter Poindexter (V)
8. CWF/FWA-Carolinas Heavyweight champion Madd Maxx vs. "Nite Stic" Eddie Brown (II)
9. Kid Justice vs. Jesse Ortega in the "Rising Generation League" tournament finals for the vacant RGL title (V)
10. CWF Mid-Atlantic tag team champions Brass Munkey and American Steel Ninja vs. Drake Tungsten and Matt Houston in a non-title match (V)
11. CWF Cruiserweight champiobn Gemini Kid vs. Hot Property vs. Mikael Yamaha in a triangle match (I)
12. Maxx Madd vs. Ethan Cage in a Hardcore match (I)
13. Brass Munkey and American Steel Ninja vs. "Tremendous" Trent Wylde and CWF Mid-Atlantic Cruiserweight champion Xsiris (IV)
14. The $outh$ide Playas (J-Money and L.A. Cash) vs. Kenny James and Xsiris (III)
15. The Hirydaz (Mikael Yamaha and Gemini Kid) vs. CWF Mid-Atlantic tag team champions Brad Attitude and Brad Rainz in a hair vs. titles match (IV)
16. "Slick" Ric Converse vs. CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight champion "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel (IV)
17. CWF/FWA-Carolinas Cruiserweight champion "Slick" Ric Converse vs. Joey "Spank" Silvia (III)
18. Rising Generation League champion Kamakazi Kid vs. Brad Attitude (III)
19. Garry "Madd Trucker" Stevens vs. Ryin Andrews (V)
20. Joey Silvia vs. Alex Stone (IV)
21. Sexton Tyler vs. Stephen O' Hara (III)
22. The $outh$ide Playas (J-Money and L.A. Cash) vs. Sean Powers and Mitch Norris (IV)
23. Rob "the Bull" McBride vs. "Tremendous" Trent Wylde (V)
24. Tony Platinum vs. J.T. Sparxx (II)
25. Don Kernodle vs. Black Hart (I)
26. The Wild Eyed Southern Boys ("Wild" Shane West & Gary "Madd Trucker" Stevens) vs. Dexter Poindexter and Rob "the Bull" McBride (IV)
27. Lexie Fyfe vs. Amber Holly (I)
28. Carolina Stud vs. Kid Courageous (I)
29. The Spoiler vs. "Classic" Chris Collins (V)
30. Bounty Hunter vs. Malaki (III)
31. The New $outh$ide Playas (J-Money and Will B. Smooth) vs. Alex Adonis and Jay Sinn (V)
32. "Mighty" Orlo Helmer vs. "Red Hot" Tim Blaze (V)
33. Ethan Cage, Kenny James, and L.A. Stevens vs. Granite, Johnny Blaze, and "Playboy" Bert Tripp (II)
34/35. Otto Schwanz vs. Dewey Cheatum and Pat Cusick in a guantlet match (III)
36. Rob McBride vs. Larry Isley (II)
37. CWF/FWA-Carolina tag team champions the Southside Playas (J-Money and L.A. Cash) vs. Otto Schwanz and Jeff Justice (II)
38. Fun Lovin' Criminal and Kozmo vs. Patrick O' Hara and J.P. Fairchild (I)
39. The Russians vs. Chris Collins and Deacon (III)

SPORTING EVENTS I HAVE BEEN IN ATTENDANCE FOR OVER THE YEARS
2/15/88, WWF
Hearns Coliseum; Columbia, MO
Notes: B-level house show with a 14-man battle royal as the main, won by Jim Brunzell as he dumped the Bolsheviks (payback for doing the job in tag action earlier on the show). Match of the night would easily by the Jumping Bomb Angels defending the WWF Women's tag team titles against the Glamour Girls.

3/7/90, WWF
Cow Palace; San Fracisco, CA
Notes: This was a 23-match, 3-week Wrestling Challenge taping and the "Ultimate Challenge Special" that aired on the USA network leading up to WrestleMania VI. The official main event was WWF World champion Hulk Hogan & the Big Bossman defeating Mr. Perfect & the Genius. In other action, WWF IC champion the Ultimate Warrior & Jake Roberts defeated Ted DiBiase & Akeem and WWF tag champs Andre the Giant & Haku defeated the Rockers by DQ.

6/10/90, MLB:
Oakland A's 3, Kansas City Royals 2
Oakland Coliseum; Oakland, CA
Notes: Jose Canseco is on the DL as then second-banana Mark McGwire carries the load. Multi-sport star Bo Jackson strikes out each time at the plate...and breaks his bat each time as well.
The Future: Oakland would go on to win the ALCS before being swept by Cincinnati in the World Series.

3/30 & 4/1/91; NCAA Final Four:
Kansas Jayhawks 79, UNC Tarheels 73
Duke Blue Devils 79, UNLV Rebels 77
Duke Blue Devils 72, Kansas Jayhawks 62
Hoosier Dome; Indianapolis, IN
Notes: Duke pulls one of the biggest upsets in tournament history, knocking off powerhouse UNLV en-route to winning their first ever national championship.

10/30/92, NBA:
LA Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers
Dean Dome; Chapel Hill, NC
Notes: This otherwise forgettable perseason game would actually become fairly noteable as it would turn out to be Magic Johnson's final game before retiring due to the AIDS virus (and subsequent pressure). Of course he would end up returning to the NBA after a hiatus which rendered this game a little more meaningless.

2/17/93, ACC:
UNC Tarheels, Clemson Tigers
Dean Dome; Chapel Hill, NC
Notes: Clemson's Chris Whitney goes 8-10 from the 3-point line but Clemson remains winless 4EVER at UNC.
The Future: UNC would go onto win the 1993 NCAA National championship less than two months later.

2/25/94, NBA:
Atlanta Hawks 111, Milwaukee Bucks 100
Omni; Atlanta, GA
Notes: The Bucks were horrid at the time and the only saving grace to even watch the game was to see Dominique Wilkins play. Then, the day BEFORE the game, Wilkins gets traded to the other side of the country to the LA Clippers.
The Future: The Hawks would tie a franchise record with 57 wins this year and go to the second round of the playoffs before losing to Orlando

12/17/94, NBA:
Charlotte Hornets 111, Denver Nuggets 92
Charlotte Coliseum; Charlotte, NC
The Future: Charlotte would make the playoffs but go out in the first round to the Bulls.

8/15/95, MLB:
Baltiore Orioles 8, Cleveland Indians 3
Camden Yards; Baltimore, MD
Notes: This would be Cal Ripken's 2,110th consecutive game played, 21 before he broke Lou Gehrig's all-time record.
The Future: The Indians would go all the way to Game 6 of the World Series before finally losing to Atlanta.

3/31/96, WWF WrestleMania XII
Arrowhead Pond; Anaheim, CA
Notes: Shawn Michaels realizes his "boyhood dream" by defeating Bret Hart in OT of a 60:00 Ironman match. I can be seen clearly on the "Free-For-All" countdown show holding my "Shawn Is God Here" sign. I also attended the 1996 Slammy Awards, held the day earlier.

6/23/96, WWF 1996 King of the Ring
The Mecca; Milwaukee, WI
Notes: A pivotal show that led to the "boom" as Steve Austin coins his "Austin 3:16" phrase after winning the KOTR tournament. Also, WWF World champ Shawn Michaels goes over on Davey Boy Smith in a frequently overlooked match.

6/24/96, WWF RAW IS WAR
Brown County Arena; Green Bay, WI
Notes: A three-week taping for RAW, most noteably hilighted by the Ultimate Warrior defeating Owen Hart by DQ which would turn out to be Warrior's last WWF match EVER as he bailed on the company the next week. This show was also highlighted by Brian Pillman saying "GD" on live TV and two awesome Shawn Michaels matches, as he went over Billy Gunn and former partner Marty Jannetty in a tremendous outing.

3/23/97, WWF WrestleMania 13
Rosemont Horizon; Rosemont, IL
Notes: The defining WWF match of the boom as Bret Hart and Steve Austin put on a 5-star classic. I also attended the 1997 Slammy Awards, held the day earlier.

5/5/97, WWF RAW IS WAR
Brown County Arena; Green Bay, WI
Notes: This was the episode of RAW where the Hart Foundation would search throughout the arena for Shawn Michaels the whole night. The main event had Steve Austin pinning WWF European Champion Davey Boy Smith in non-title action. In a never-aired match taped for Coliseum Video that was never released, Brian Pillman wrestled his first match in over a year as he teamed with Davey Boy and Owen Hart against Steve Austin and the Legion of Doom.

9/28/97, WWF
Brown County Arena; Green Bay, WI
Notes: House show card main evented by the Undertaker defeating WWF World champion Bret Hart vby DQ. The show is most noteable for the fact that it was Brian Pillman's next-to-last match ever (he was pinned by Goldust) as he would pass away seven days later. Also on the show, Mankind defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley in a falls count anywhere match.

2/5/99, WWF
Greensboro Coliseum; Greensboro, NC
Notes: House show card hilighted by Steve Austin defeating Kane, the Rock, and World champion Mankind in a fatal four way match.

5/10/99, NBA Playoffs Round One:
Atlanta Hawks 89, Detroit Pistons 69
Georgia Dome; Atlanta, GA
Notes: Dikembe Mutombo sets a personal playoff high with 28 points as Atlanta goes up 2-0 in their series.
The Future: Atlanta would win the series 3-2 before losing to the Knicks in the Eastern Conference semifinals. However, this game would be remembered more for getting absolutely trounced in the ratings by RAW which scored an 8.1 to the game's 1.7.

5/15/99, Break The Barrier
Viking Hall (ECW Arena); Philadelphia, PA
Notes: This was the very strong but poorly recorded joint Indy show at ECW Arena, put on by Scoops' Al Isaacs. Very strong show live that was never done justice on videotape.

6/27/99, WWF 1999 King of the Ring
Greensboro Coliseum; Greensboro, NC
Notes: Billy Gunn wins the KOTR tournament. Children cry.

9/27/99, WWF RAW IS WAR
Greensboro Coliseum; Greensboro, NC
Notes: The classic RAW with the Mick Foley-Rock "This Is Your Life" segment. This would also be the final RAW written by Vince Russo as he left the company later in the week. For actual wrestling content, the The Rock battled WWF World champ Triple H to a no contest when Davey Boy Smith attacked both men.

4/23/00, WWF
Greensboro Coliseum; Greensboro, NC
Notes: House show card with WWF tag team champs Edge & Christian defeated the Hardys and the Dudley Boyz in a triangle match main event. Noteable earlier matches were WWF European Champion Eddie Guerrero pinning Kurt Angle after Chyna interfered and the Rock & Chris Jericho defeating Chris Benoit & WWF World champion Triple H when Rock pinned Benoit.

8/29/00, WWF Smackdown
Crown Coliseum; Fayetteville, NC
Notes: Pretty basic SDown taping, highlighted by Al Snow winning the European title from Perrty Saturn and a Angle-Guerrero main event as the backdrop to HHH-Stephanie's relationship woes.

1/22/01, WCW Nitro/Thunder
Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum; Winston-Salem, NC
Notes: Dual TV taping hilighted by the WCW tryout/debuts of Christopher Daniels and Michael Modest in which Daniels nearly breaks his neck. Then on Thunder, Rey Misterio Jr. wins an awesome "Cruiserweight Contender Countdown" match (Gauntlet Match).

7/30/02, WWF Smackdown
Charlotte Coliseum; Charlotte, NC
Notes: Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero surprisingly jump from RAW to Smackdown and then go onto defeat Rock and Edge in the main. In other action, Hulk Hogan defeated Kurt Angle by DQ and Rey Misterio Jr. pinned Yoshihiri Tajiri.

9/16/03, WWE Smackdown
RBC Center; Raleigh, NC
Notes: Brock Lesnar defeats Kurt Angle in a 60:00 Ironman match to win the WWE Undisputed title. In other action, Eddie & Chavo Guerrero defeated Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin to win the Smackdown tag team titles.

10/27/03, NFL:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12, Carolina Panthers 9
Ericsson Stadium; Charlotte, NC
Notes: Bucs K Martin Gramatica hit a 47 YD FG with 47 seconds left for the win. QB Randy Fansani made his first ever NFL start for Carolina, going 5 for 18 with 46 yards and 3 INTs, never to be heard from again.
The Future: Tampa Bay would go on to defeat Oakland and win SuperBowl XXXVII

CURRENT WEATHER FROM MY FAVORITE TOWNS

Chapel Hill, NC:
WXPort

Green Bay, WI:
WXPort

Walnut Creek, CA:
WXPort

Orlando, FL:
WXPort

Savannah, GA:
WXPort

QUICK & DIRTY MOVIE RATINGS
This is an extensive list of the movies I have reviewed since my BLOG originally debuted and the star ratings I gave them, from best to worst
***** - The Incredibles, Pauly Shore Is Dead
****3/4 - Kill Bill Vol. 1
****1/2 - Spongebob Squarepants The Movie, Bubba Ho-Tep, Spider-Man 2
****1/4 - Longest Yard, Saw, Dodgeball, Kill Bill Vol. 2, Shrek 2
**** - Sin City, A Dirty Shame, Friday Night Lights, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, Mean Girls
***1/2 - Freddy vs. Jason, Bad(der) Santa, School of Rock, Club Dread, Dawn of the Dead (2004)
***1/4 - Napoleon Dynamite, Super Size Me
*** - The Grudge, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Elf, Soul Plane, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, 50 First Dates, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Daddy Day Care
**3/4 - Lilo & Stitch 2, Be Cool, The Girl Next Door, Rundown
**1/2 - Seed of Chucky, Fat Albert, Shark Tale, Mr. 3000, The Haunted Mansion, The Ladykillers, Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd, Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Vampire Effect
**1/4 - Team America: World Police, Psycho (1998), Frostbite, Garfield, Lion King 1 1/2
** - Infection, Hitch, The Hulk, Without a Paddle, Eurotrip, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
*3/4 - Barbershop 2: Back in Business, Marci X, Gothika
*1/2 - Guess Who, Dave Chappelle - For What It's Worth, White Noise
* - Racing Stripes, Scary Movie 3
3/4* - Taxi, The Village, Along Came Polly

THE FANTASY SPORTS RESULTS LIST
Starting back in 1992, my buds and I would do random Fantasy Sports Leagues and in tribute to those great moments and friends of years long since passed, here are the all-time results. Fantasy Baseball '92
Chris...15-5*
Grant...15-5*
Ben......10-10*
Dave....8-12*
Devon..7-13
Matt......5-15
Playoffs: Chris def. Dave 4 games to 0
Playoffs: Ben def. Grant 4 games to 1
World Series: Chris def. Ben 4 games to 2
Fantasy Football '92
Chris...13-3*
Grant...11-5*
Matt......10-6
Dave....8-8
Devon..8-8
Ben......7-9
SuperBowl: Grant def. Chris 21-19
Fantasy Basketball '92-'93
Chris...27-8*
Devon..24-11*
Grant...23-12*
Dave....13-22*
Matt......12-23
Ben......7-28
Playoffs: Chris def. Dave 2 games to 0
Playoffs: Grant def. Devon 2 games to 1
Finals: Chris def. Grant 3 games to 1
Fantasy Baseball '93
Grant......16-5*
Chris......14-7*
Josh.......13-8*
Devon.....12-9*
Dave.......11-10
Ben.........10-11
Graham...5-16
X-Team...3-18
Playoffs: Devon def. Grant 4 games to 2
Playoffs: Chris def. Josh 4 games to 3
World Series: Devon def. Chris 4 games to 2
Fantasy Football '93
Chris......12-2*
Dave.......10-4*
Grant......9-5*
Josh.......8-6*
Devon.....7-7
Jason.....5-9
X-Team...3-11
Ben.........2-12
Playoffs: Chris def. Josh 83-62
Playoffs: Dave def. Grant 68-52
SuperBowl: Chris def. Dave 86-72
Fantasy Basketball '93-'94
Grant...13-6*
Dave....11-8*
Devon..10-9*
Jason...10-9*
Chris....9-10
Josh.....4-15
Playoffs: Grant def. Jason 2 games to 0
Playoffs: Dave def. Devon 2 games to 1
Finals: Dave def. Grant 3 games to 2
Fantasy Baseball '94
Grant......15-4*
Dave.......12-7*
Jason.....10-9
Josh.......10-9
Chris......10-9
Paul........8-11
Brian.......6-13
X-Team...5-14
Playoffs: -Strike Cancelled Season-
Fantasy Baseball '95
Grant......16-5*
Josh.......15-6*
Dave.......13-8*
Chris......12-9*
Brian.......10-11
Jason.....9-12
Yoshi......8-13
X-Team...1-20
Playoffs: Grant def. Chris 4 games to 1
Playoffs: Josh def. Dave 4 games to 3
World Series: Grant def. Josh 4 games to 3

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