Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Show Review Central

Time to be a critic on everything in life, starting with the recent shows, going back to the 8/19/05 DVD-exclusive "Friday Night Fights 3" at the CSA in Burlington, NC. Before the show though, I have to recount the misadventures of Mikael Yamaha and myself from earlier in the day, that included Yamaha trying to seek out a mechanic (ironically enough) and suddenly having an out-of-body experience, envisioning himself as the driver in the "Flatout" video game and plowing through an intersection and into another car, attempting to catapult the driver of said car through the roof and into the bullseye board. That was followed up with a rescue mission of a box mattress on the interstate, which we drove backwards on for about 1/2 mile in order to save the mattress. After our possession of it, we spied a series of stalled vehicles ahead on the interstate. Upon investigation we discovered that our mattress had originally been attached along with another mattress on top of a van that had "deposited" both mattresses going 65 MPH along the interstate. However, the additional mattress had become wedged underneath a car trailing the van at that particular time. Thinking between Yam, myself, and the other poor sap wrapped up in this dilemma, we had the strength to pull the other mattress out from under his car, we attempted to do just that and failed miserably. We took a look underneath the car and found the equivalent of a military war zone as each and every spring from the mattress had been ripped out and entangled so horrifyingly bad underneath the car I couldn't help but laugh in a "Dude, you are SO fucked kinda way". Trust me, you HAD to be there to get the full effect of that visual. Anyways, onto the shows and FNF3...

1. Amber O'Neal defeated Lorelei Lee by submission in 5:43 -

A very enjoyable little women's match as I'm a pretty big fan of Lorelei's, especially considering just how green she really is. Fun little match, went the right length, and clicked on all counts. **

2. "Boggie Woogie Man" Rob McBride and Ultra Dragon defeated the Street Sweepers (Gregory Vercetti and Jay Sinn) in 7:33 when McBride pinned Sinn - Passable as a stand-alone match but Dragon too way too much murderous heat to be appearing again in the segment to follow. But that happens almost every time he works Vercetti and Sinn...more to come on that later. **

3. Brass Munkey defeated Donnie Dollars, Mikael Yamaha, and Brad Stutts in 6:12 of a handicap bunkhouse match when he pinned Dollars, thereby winning the right to face "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel in a match of his choosing -

One of the defining matches in Munkey's career. He's had some incredible house show matches in the past but at the CSA we frequently didn't properly capitalize on his character and his desire to defeat Corey Edsel. Make no mistake, this one match showcased that desire and determination better than we could have ever dreamed. The heels make their entrance, Stutts cuts a brief but effectively enraged promo, the lights go out, come back on, Munkey in ring kendo stick in hand, smacking the holy crap out of Dollars, lights accidentally fade back out, come back on again, and Munkey continues brutalizing the heels. As memorable of a 10-second segment as we've had in a loooong time. Munkey goes on to beat Dollars half to death with that kendo stick on a brutality level that had never before been seen in a CWF ring. For fans that are regular viewers of the hardcore style, this match wouldn't have seemed all that impressive probably. But this wasn't hardcore for the sake of hardcore, this was hardcore for a reason. This was the story of a man who was pushed so far back into a corner that he had to go into a near murderous mental state of mind to achieve his ultimate goal. The heels of course, make an eventual comeback, overpowering Munkey with sheer numbers as Stutts brings a stopsign down across Munkey's face as he's hanging upside down over the top rope, with Dollars trapped in a guillotine choke with his legs. The heels try to get their payback but when Yamaha goes outside to get a chair to finish things off, he's interrupted by Ultra Dragon who has an unfinished score to settle from the last TV taping. Dragon traps Yamaha in the christo and in a wild chaotic finishing sequence, Stutts attempts to save Yamaha to no avail, Dragon distracts Dollars only to launch himself backwards from the ring apron onto Stutts and Yamaha, as Munkey recovers enough to lariat Dollars six feet under. 1, 2, 3 and the crowd goes nuts. I cannot even begin to understate how HUGE of a match this was for not only Munkey, but Dragon as well, as for months without proper direction they have been walking the fine line between upper-card player and mid-card heel. Dragon turned the tide with the AWA tourney and the last couple of run-ins with Yamaha. Munkey always brought the heat when it came to Corey, but his determination and heart always seemed lacking when across the ring from anyone else. This one match told the story and shot every single person in the match (let's not forget about Dollars, who more than earned his stripes here) to the next level. It can't be a MOTYC because of the style and whatnot, but it's an EASY "Most Memorable" nominee. ***1/2

4. CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic tag team champions $outh$ide Playas (J-Money and Will B. Smooth with Kiyia Moka in their corner) defeated Tank Lawson and John Kermon (with Cornelius J. Lumpkin III in their corner) in 9:00 when Money pinned Lawson - A rather unusual pairing to vie for the tag straps on FNF3, but one that could possibly work as a regular pairing down the road. Nothing especially memorable here, but solid enough. The heel timing between Lumpkin and Lawson needs some work as far as doing heelish acts at the right time and place, rather than just doing them for the sake of doing them. **

5. Xsiris pinned Caprice "Ice" Coleman in 11:47 to win a shot against AWA World Light Heavyweight champion "Krazy K" Kirby Mack on 9/10 in Wentworth, NC -

Very unusual match as I really expected a show stealing epic here between these two, especially with the sakes being so high. Instead, what we got was more of a prolonged squash with X getting the win out on nowhere. Coleman completely dominated this one and the crowd fell somewhat silent to the display, as their universal "cool guy to cheer whether you're a heel or face mark" pretty much got his head handed to him here. Not a bad match, but not nearly what anyone was expecting. In the spot-fest world these two are capable of living in, it had far less "catch-as-catch-can-action" than the recent X-Justice matches. **3/4

6. CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic TV champion Jesse Ortega pinned KC McKnight in 9:31 -

A rivalry born through internet blogs comes to life square in the middle of a CWF ring for a national audience. And holy crap what a fight it was. Just about as stiff as anything you're gonna see on the Southern Indys as these two lay it all on the line and beat the living piss out of one another from the opening bell. Every chop, every forearm, every kick is IN THERE and then some. Unfortunately, Moses Manson, who was one of the ringleaders in the original angle no-showed due to some unfortunate circumstances at the last second, costing the match some of it's heat. Still, the crowd - who has been very fickle towards Ortega as of late - showed him as much love in this one as they had in months as he fought not only for his own TV title, but out of respect of the home promotion as well. The biggest drawback to the match was KC's unfortunate wardrobe malfunctions, which should be fixed in the editing process, but hurt his credibility in many people's eyes. As much as I'd love to do a long-running feud with these two, I really don't think either man's bodies could withstand it and I'd hate to even attempt to try and one-up the intensity they both showed here. ***3/4

7. "Slick Diddy" Ric Converse and Brad Attitude defeated Michael McAllister and CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight champion Garry "Madd Trucker" Stevens in 10:59 when Attitude pinned McAllister -

On paper, the heat should have been off the charts for this one between all the different aspects of the match. Unfortunately, it failed in a few of the areas, resulting in it not producing a fraction of that it should have. Before the match, Stevens throws out the stip that he's SO confident of his team that if they lose, he'll give the winner of the fall a title shot. This is a bit of stretch logically to say the least as it's completely out of line with Steven's character to just randomly offer this opportunity up without even being goaded into it, especially considering his partner is a non-wrestler and they're wrestling two guys that he definitely does NOT want to face with the title on the line. Attitude wrestles his first match in 6 months and breaks out the old 2002 look, which is a really bizarre thing to see all these years later. Ric and Atty do the obvious hesitation dealio as partners while McAllister plays chickenshit. All as to be expected until the hot tag as the crowd is just baited and ready for Ric murdering McAllister. Hot tag and inexplicably, McAllister becomes just another wrestler as rather than cowering in the corner and being dragged in by Converse to have the proverbial stuffing beat out of him, he charges in full steam, bumps around like any normal wrestler would, heading to the eventual finish where Atty pins him to little reaction with the lionsault. Even though it's formulaic, the inaugural wrestling appearances of non-wrestlers such as Danny Davis, Vince McMahon, etc over the years were always milked to the fullest until that one moment when the babyface FINALLY got their hands on them and ripped them to shreds. That non-wrestler then, over a period of time, would be transitioned into a semi-"normal" wrestler where they would participate in more "formulaic" scenarios. This match completely skipped the golden opportunity of having McAllister getting murdered and put him immediately into that role of "normal" wrestler. *3/4 Not to go on TOO much of a rant here, but the other less-noticeable problem with this match and the ongoing angle in general is the fact that it's completely taken the focus off of what should be without question, the number one priority of the angle, that being the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight title. The Converse-Stevens feud has gone from being an extremely hotly contested battled over the title, to the title being an afterthought to McAllister, Attitude, and little billy. After 7 months totally defining what a modern-day MA champ should be, Converse now seems light years away from another title run between all the other angles and scenarios that have occupied his time. On the other end of the spectrum, Stevens has had one title defense since he won it and that wasn't exactly of championship caliber. Not that this is a hopeless situation, as the ship can certainly be turned and righted with only a couple of weeks worth of quality TV.

Anyways, onto Sat 8/20 for an outdoor house show at the American Legion Ballpark in King, NC. With off-and-on storms throughout the day, the crowd was somewhat sparse although for the show itself, the weather ended up being just fine.

1. CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic TV champion Jesse Ortega defeated John Kermon by submission in 5:35 - Solid straight-up wrestling match as Ortega makes successful title defense #22. I'm tellin ya, when this title run is, no body is ever breakin' that record. And trust me, when this thing started, it was NEVER planned to reach these kind of proportions **

2. Xsiris and Brad Attitude defeated the Street Sweepers (Gregory Vercetti and Jay Sinn) in 8:23 when Xsiris pinned Jay Sinn - A good portion of this show would be the workers just out there havin some fun, which is pretty much all you got here although it was a fun little piece of business. Unfortunately, after the match, Sinn doesn't cross the line when it comes to havin fun, he completely obliterates it by flat out humping Vercetti's "package" (briefcase) in the middle of the ring. Whooo boy. *3/4

3. Mikael Yamaha and "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel defeated Ultra Dragon and Brass Munkey in 12:53 when Yamaha pinned Dragon - Another "4 guys having fun" kinda match although the work contained was definitely a but more on the professional level that the previous one. Action packed, non-stop, and pretty non-formulaic in a good way. Corey-Munkey worked a little that still stayed in line with their blood feud, but didn't give away to much in what otherwise was a meaningless tag team encounter. Yamaha nearly pants Dragon all the way to a NC-17 rating in pulling the tights for the finish. **1/2

4. Tank Lawson (with Cornelius J. Lumpkin III in his corner) pinned "Boggie Woogie Man" Rob McBride in 12:46 - The million-match war continues between Rob and Tank. Once again, Lumpkin's involvement needs some fun tuning as he blasts Rob in the head with a dustbuster during the generic heat portion of the match. Your normal chaotic stuff from these two. **

5. The Shadow, "A Very Handsome Man" Mitch Conner, and CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight champion Garry "Madd Trucker" Stevens defeated "Slick Diddy" Ric Converse and CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic tag team champions $outh$ide Playas (J-Money and Will B. Smooth with Kiyia Moka in their corner) in 15:40 when Stevens pinned Converse - Your usual 6-man action here although Converse takes a pretty shocking pinfall loss to Stevens here on a throwaway show with Stevens' title not on the line... **

My less than enthusiastic reviews to the latter half of the show can be partially attributed to one of my killer migraines being brought on and getting progressively worse during the show's second half. Between the heat, humidity, and a f'd up sleep schedule, I was about to pass the f out on the ring apron. Of course then I can't get in my car to actually get out of King, NC cause Yamaha is bangin some hot blonde in my backseat. Oh well, can't blame him there. We eventually head out and Brass Munkey's aunt makes me feel a million times better by giving me a 5-star handjob, thereby releasing alot of the pressure in my noggin.

7 days later takes us to a double-shot Saturday (8/27), kicking off at Noon...or 1..or 2..or finally 3:15pm with the 2005 Greensboro Bike Rally in the parking lot of a high-class adult establishment. Let's just say that the building itself was the best looking thing about it...yikes. The show itself would be one of those painful ones where the crowd couldn't care less. They weren't disrespectful like the 2/6 Coliseum fans, but they were deathly silent.

1. American Steel Ninja pinned Joey Silvia in 10:16 - Boy, you stick Joey Silvia on a show in the parking lot of a strip club that he already knows is meaningless, and you're just asking for some misbehavior. But surprise, surprise, Silvia and Ninja actually turn out what would be the eventual Match of the Day as they really bust their ass for absolutely zero pop. Yeah, they did go way too long under the circumstances but it was the best singles match either guy has had in a couple of months that I've seen. **1/2

2. CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic tag team champions $outh$ide Playas (J-Money and Will B. Smooth with Kiyia Moka in their corner) defeated Rising Generation League champion Kid Justice and CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight champion Garry "Madd Trucker" Stevens in 10:11 of a non-title match when Money pinned Justice -

Rather oddball pairing to say the least and a rare all-champions tag team matchup. Obviously, Stevens and Justice don't exactly see eye to eye with miscommunication leading to the Playas win. **

3. Tank Lawson and "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel defeated "Boggie Woogie Man" Rob McBride and Classic Rock ("Classic" Chris Collins & "Rock N Roll" Matty Dee) in 9:31 when Lawson pinned McBride - A ton of fun as you would expect with this pairing. Matty Dee kicks it off with the Ultimate Warrior WM8 entrance and then some, running about 1/4 mile or so between start and eventual finish. A bit of exaggeration but you get the point. Pretty amusing triple-train shoulderblock finally takes down the massive heels after the individual efforts fail to do so. Historically, this match will be remembered most for Chris Collins' breaking Trent Wylde's "Most consecutive matches without a win" record. *3/4

4. "Slick Diddy" Ric Converse pinned Mitch Conner in 5:53 - Hey! The only match all day that actually went the CORRECT amount of time under the conditions as Mitch is the only heel to get any form of heat all day and Ric actually gets a halfway decent pop. That's what weekly trips to the clubs will do for ya. **

5. Brass Munkey and Ultra Dragon defeated the Street Sweepers (Gregory Vercetti and Jay Sinn) in 7:35 when Munkey pinned Vercetti -

Boy, if this sucker hadn't been in the aforementioned location, I would absolutely blast certain people for the colorful language and actions showcased here. I'll let that part slide though and concentrate more on how freakin' abysmal this sucker was. For the millionth time, absolutely murderous heat on Dragon by Sinn and Vercetti. Not a lick of psychology to be found and Munkey hitting the backdrop driver to end it was akin to having your balls released from a mousetrap and the relief that would provide. 1/2*

6. Xsiris pinned Brad Attitude in 7:15 - Local club DJ handles the guest ref'ing for this match and actually provides one of the hilights of the day, taking a killer superkick from Atty, selling it like a champ with great facials and all...of course that was probably because Atty really did kick the shit out of him, but it was still great nonetheless, especially considering you just NEVER get that kind of stuff from a newbie ref. For some reason, X and Atty actually try in front of this comatose crowd, including X hitting the swanton from the ring to the ground. He gave his body, crowd gave nadda. Not a bad match though. **

By the time I finally got away from this "mini-show", my brain was petty much fried and trying to even comprehend putting on a watchable TV product just a couple of hours later at the studio seemed impossible. But hey, the show must go on with "Explosive Elements 2005" (not that it was ever called that) for the finals of the 2nd annual Johnny Weaver Cup (including Commish Cross ALMOST calling it the Johnny Weaver MEMORIAL Cup while actually interviewing Weaver himself to kick off the show).

1. CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic TV champion Jesse Ortega defeated "A Very Handsome Man" Mitch Conner by submission in 9:46 of a Johnny Weaver Cup tournament semifinal match - Man alive was the crowd HOT for this opener. Talk about a night and day difference between GBoro and the studios. Far and away, the most support for Jesse in MONTHS as the crowd is rabid and Jesse and Mitch seriously deliver and then some in a fine, fine matchup. Wonderful, wonderful stuff. ***1/4

Gemini Kid's returns with the Hotseat to interview Ass Commish Michael McAllister, which in turn sets up a Gemini-McAllister (!!) match for later in the show (Battle of the Suits!).

2. Tank Lawson and the Street Sweepers (Gregory Vercetti and Jay Sinn) defeated Classic Rock ("Classic" Chris Collins & "Rock N Roll" Matty Dee) and 1/2 of the AWA Mid-Atlantic tag team champions Will B. Smooth (with J-Money and Kiyia Moka in their corner) in 9:01 when Lawson pinned Collins-

Man, Matty Dee and Tank just do NOT wrestle enough. Not too shabby as everyone involved seemed to be a bit more serious than usual and Matty always works better with Sinn and Vercetti than Dragon does. Collins takes Tank's finisher like a champ as well. Crowd still didn't want to care about CRock, but we pulled it out of them by the end. **

3. Marcellus King pinned Rising Generation League champion Kid Justice in 7:51-

Wowzers. Generally, CWF debuts come and go pretty quietly with only time actually providing that original debut with any kind of significance. And I hate to actually shower ANY newcomer with too much praise too soon (after all, how many times have we seen new wrestlers get that treatment out of the gate and then shoot themselves in the foot shortly thereafter)? BUT, as far as a debut match goes, it couldn't have been much more successful than what Marcellus King did here. A massive individual, a menacing persona, and an impressive moveset makes King APPEAR to be a serious contender for bigger and better things down the road. And of course, Justice can make any one look good when he's on as he usual is. Served it's purpose perfectly and did so without burying Justice. **1/2

Up next, none other than AWA World champ Steve Corino himself appears on the InsidersTron, plugging the 9/17 showdown with either Converse or Edsel. Crowd popped big time and certainly got the "Holy shit! This is the real deal!" reaction from any doubters. Commish Cross then comes out to announce that the decision of who the challenger is HAS been made and it will be...

4. "Slick Diddy" Ric Converse pinned Julius Augustus in 7:15 - The warm-up for Corino for Ric actually goes 2-3 minutes too long as he gives Augustus WAY too much, especially considering the road Ric is on here. *3/4 Ric's post-match interview on Corino is pretty solid, and totally makes everyone believe that Ric has a better shot at being Corino than Stevens, as crazy as that is. That being great on one hand, but also one more reason that the actual MA title will be on the back burner for another month.

5. Brad Stutts, Mikael Yamaha, and "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel defeated Brass Munkey, Ultra Dragon, and "Boggie Woogie Man" Rob McBride in 13:09 when Stutts pinned Munkey-

Well, it's a good thing that we did an incredible job with Munkey and Dragon at FNF3 because we just about pissed all the good we ever did away right here. Technically, not a bad match at all as you're only gonna have SO bad of a match when you have this kind of quality in one match. However, it was as counterproductive as anything we could have done and pretty much destroyed every single worker's heat and the general illusion of their character all in one match. To start with, despite Corey and Munkey being on a collision course, their rivalry isn't played up at all despite Munkey just doing everything short of homicide 2 weeks earlier just to get a future singles match with Corey (that being the upcoming 9/10 Stretcher match). Rather than either milking no-contact between the two throughout the match OR have them kill one another off the bat, we do neither and totally kill the believability of their feud. Corey then goes onto bump cleanly from an unassisted DRAGON clothesline, thereby killing THAT monster gimmick. Yamaha and Dragon do some decent stuff to move their rivalry along but Dragon takes WAYY too much heat (yet again) and when he does finally make the tag to Munkey, Dragon tags right back in nearly 30 seconds later, completely fine. McBride meanwhile, (the only babyface in this one that can even afford to take the pin) takes virtually no heat, is shitcanned to the outside for the finish, never to be heard from again. Corey then hits ONE move on Munkey, drags Stutts on top in plain view of the ref, who gets the PIN. Munkey's team not only loses heading into the stretcher match but he himself losses to one move and pinned by a manager even though he took zero heat. This is the kind of match that is downright depressing to watch. I don't expect All Japan-esqu 6-mans, but good lord, I honestly don't think we could have done a worse job. Even I have a hard time caring about the stretcher match now after that. And If I have a hard time caring... *

6. Gemini Kid defeated Michael McAllister by submission in 4:42 -

A complete 360 on the use of McAllister from the FNF3 tag match to here as his character is played perfectly here, being a cunning little a-hole, nearly pulling off a cheap win but Gemini making the comeback for which McAllister has no answer. Perfect execution. **

7. Don and Rocky Kernodle defeated Alex Adonis and Donnie Dollars (with Jay Sinn in their corner) in 10:45 of a no-disqualification match when Don defeated Dollars and Rocky defeated Adonis -

Man alive, one week Dollars is getting beaten with a kendo stick, the next he's havin to face the Kernodles. That dude needs a raise. Kernodle 101 with Weaver running in at the finish to hook up with Jay Sinn as the babyfaces do a triple Weeeeeeaverlock for the finish. Did you expect anything else? *

8. CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic TV champion Jesse Ortega pinned CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight champion Garry "Madd Trucker" Stevens in 13:14 to win the 2005 Johnny Weaver Cup tournament -

Hard-hitting, psychological strong Cup final with what could probably be considered as a mild upset by some (at least going back to the start of the tourney). Unfortunately, the finish itself didn't do anything for Ortega as Stevens is simply distract by Converse, gets crotched on the top rope, and Ortega delivers an over-the-ropes elbow for a 3-count. The finish really jobbed out the MA champ to pretty much a non-manuever and Jesse's Cup win is now tainted because he couldn't get the job done on his own. Very disheartening, especially considering just how much Jesse has busted his ass here lately. Thankfully, post-match ignores that reality and moves onto the celebration with Weaver presenting the trophy and Jesse cutting a very thankful promo (without the word "bastard" anywhere to be found, I might add). A great moment for Jesse and I'm happy for the kid. Argue if you wish, but he deserved it. **1/2

Whew...I'd say that should be enough for now. Probably made a few comments in there that probably won't garner me alot of love, but just keep in mind, that I want to believe in this sport. I want what's best for every single worker in their specific role from the opener to the main. When we stray outside the lines of believability, whether it be in a finish or a worker itself, it hurts the show, it hurts the worker, it hurts their opponent, it hurts our fanbase. I say nothing with no ill will towards anyone. I just wish some guys would believe in their OWN characters as much as I want to.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Stat's 2005 NFL Preview & Predictions

Matty Dee already beat me to the punch this year so feel free to check out his live journal and compare notes between the two previews cause here I go blowin' my load. Hey, we go back a year and I actually sound like I have a clue! So why not go for broke...drumroll please for the 2nd Annual Statmark NFL Season Preview & Predictions! If you don't give a shit about football, stop readin' now...

AFC East
New England Patriots: Well, the champs APPEAR on the surface to be as vulnerable as they have been in a long time. But make no mistake, this is still a very well oiled machine. The defense has been hurt via free agency and injuries so it's gonna be a big challenge, and honestly, probably an impossibility as they go for the never-before-achieved SuperBowl Three-peat. My pick: 11-5.
NY Jets: Their success completely depends on the health of Chad Pennington. If you think it doesn't, reflect back to that abysmal Quincy Carter-led game vs. Arizona last year...yeesh. Pennington is damn good, but I just don't know if he will ever be THAT dependable after being hit so hard with the injury bug this early in his career. My pick: 9-7.
Buffalo Bills: Should definitely be an interesting year as the Bills are certainly solid enough as a whole but just how far can ANY team go with JP Losman at QB? My pick: 8-8
Miami Dolphins: If Nick Saban can get this team to even 6 wins, he might as well walk on water for his next act. This heart and soul of this team (the defense), has been completely raided. There's just no way that Ricky Williams can be the back that he once was. And don't even get me started on the QB issues. My pick: 2-14.

AFC North
Pittsburgh Steelers: Roethlisberger is a PRIME candidate for a sophomore slump now that defenses have the time to actually figure out how to play him. Despite a very solid Patriots-like team (no true stars, just an incredible nucleus), I still feel as if the Steelers played WAY over their heads last year. They should still be around come December, but reality is just a few INTs away. My pick: 10-6.
Cincinnati Bengals: I REALLY want to pic the Bengals to win the division just in case Rod Serling walks into Paul Brown Stadium and it DOES happen. This team is just primed to be the #1 dark horse in the NFL and some "experts" are even placing them in the AFC championship game. Dag, I like the Bengals and all but I ain't nuts either. My pick: 9-7.
Baltimore Ravens: Solid at nearly every position and unlike the Dolphins and Bucs, their defense actually still IS the shiznit. In fact, IF this team had a QB like Tom Brady rather than Kyle "Holy shit! I'm a starter in the NFL??!" Boller, the Ravens could have easily taken the place of the Pats in going for the 3-peat this year. But they don't and they won't. My pick: 8-8.
Cleveland Browns: Cleveland has certainly taken some steps in the off-season to try and improve but let's face it, NOBODY gives up 55 points in one game to the BENGALS and turns around and goes to the playoffs the next year. Improved, but still a whole bunch nobodies that wanna be somebody's. My pick: 5-11.

AFC South
Indianapolis Colts: Boy, isn't this the bridesmaid division. The Colts can't get past the Pats, the Titans and Jags can't get past the Colts, and the Texans can't get past anyone. Ok, that was a little bit of stretch but you get the idea. Indy is still the cream of the crop here by far and yeah, they may have gained some ground on New England in the offseason, but that was more because of all the movement in New England moreso than actual improvements on the Colts. The defense will STILL be suspect and let's face it, Peyton simply can't repeat what he did in 2004 every year until the defense does gets it's shit together. Regardless, offensively, only one team in the NFL (in my opinion) can matchup with them and while the Colts are FAR from being the best overall team in the league, they're still a legit Superbowl contender. My pick: 11-5.
Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jags started off last year with a string of shockers before falling back to earth and medicoring themselves along, just missing the playoffs. They're a well balanced team and have probably the most underrated defense in the NFL. Could definitely be a dark horse but I'm not sure if they can improve much on last year's finish. My pick: 9-7.
Houston Texans: It's season #4 for the Texans which is traditionally when an expansion team starts to go from being just that, an expansion team, to a legit playoff contender (yeah, Carolina and Jax blew that theory out of the water in '96 but still...). There's no reason this shouldn't be the Texans best year yet with only more good thins to come on the horizon. My pick: 8-8.
Tennessee Titans: Well, McNair is healthy this week at least but there's no way that's gonna last. The Titans actually have some flat out awesome youngsters on their team but they're just that, young, and gonna get smacked around by the NFL's elite. Could have some exciting games this year, but I don't see them winning many of those either. My pick: 5-11.

AFC West
Kansas City Chiefs: Let's ignore last year's flukish 7-9 season where a former 13-3 team choked early on and was too injured late in the year to really catch up. This team reminds me of when the Pats won their first Superbowl then only finished 9-7 in 2002, then came back to win two more Lombardi trophies. The Chiefs ARE a 13-3 team, NOT a 7-9 team. And with them adding Kendrell Bell, Patrick Surtain, and Sammy Knight all on defense, you think they're not seriously primed for a Superbowl run, you're sadly mistaken. When the season starts, everyone will be talking about the Pats and Colts in the AFC. By season's end, the Chiefs may have passed them both. My pick: 13-3.
San Diego Chargers: Man, I like me some Chargers and I LOVE me some powder blue Chargers. But let's face it, they played out of their minds last year and the playoff game against the average Jets proved that. SD will still rock some faces off this year but I just don't see them putting up last year's kind of record. This division ain't an easy one and their schedule is gonna be a bitch. My pick: 10-6.
Denver Broncos: Denver, year in and year out, is one of the toughest teams to figure out as they always seem to have a solid squad but nothing to make you go "Oh shit, the Broncos are comin' to town". Actually, I may go "Oh shit, the Broncos are comin' to town" but not exactly in a fearful tone. It'd be said more in the "Oh shit, my mom wants to have a meaningful talk" kinda tone. See, that's well this team has left an impression on me. I'd rather try and make unfunny jokes that actually bother discussing them. My pick: 9-7.
Oakland Raiders:Boy, Oakland is KING when it comes to picking up guys that can make a newspaper headline and totally flake out on the field (Sapp, Moss, etc.). But hey, at least the pressure is off of Janikowski now. Why ANYone would hire someone that walked out on his former team during a game is beyond me. God I fuckin' hate Randy Moss. Kerry Collins to Randy Moss. Boy, there's my dream hookup. My pick: 6-10.

NFC East:
Philadelphia Eagles: Ya know, I've booed the Eagles for years in their NFC title games with the Bucs and Cats, but damn if I don't have a ton of respect for McNabb and Andy Reid for their handling of this TO situation. Major props to them and hell, against this division, fuck it, I'll cheer for them. Plus, Matty Dee likes them and I wanna be just like him when I grow up. However, reality says that the Eagles can't get the same results without TO, not to mention a few recent injuries in the pre-season. In the end, I think the Eagles will be there if for no other reason, to prove a point without TO and the fact that, heck, the NFC sucks. My pick: 11-5.
Dallas Cowboys: It's time for Parcells to right the wrongs of last year and with an aging, but solid, Bledsoe at QB and Julius Jones coming on as the best young back in the NFL, Dallas should be right back in the thick of things this year. My pick: 10-6.
NY Giants: This should be the year where the Giants START to right the ship after the past few years. In Eli's second year with a pretty good crop of young receivers, the Giants could make a minor amount of noise although not nearly enough to match the publicity that they'll get. My pick: 7-9.
Washington Redskins: Anyone else get the feeling that after another 6-10 year Joe Gibbs is gonan go "Fuck it" and take off? My pick: 6-10.

NFC North
Green Bay Packers: The last great hurrah as the NFL schedule itself is booked to say goodbye to Favre in those final fateful weeks if this is indeed it. I hope Favre does announce that this will be the final season to get everyone in Wisconsin ready so they don't have to deal with a crushing playoff loss AND Favre's retirement announcement within a span of 48 hours or so. I mean, the dude doesn't need to contribute to the suicide rate in that state. Anyways, the Pack is gonna be VERY shaky on defense so expect alot of shootouts in Packer games this year. Favre doesn't lose alota shootouts, ya know. My pick: 10-6.
Detroit Lions: The offense is stacked and ready. The defense has stepped up. Now the question is: Can the sum be even greater than the parts? The biggest saving grace for Detroit right now is if Joey Harrington DOES self-destruct and pretty much end his NFL career, at least they have Jeff Garcia as a backup (forget the Cleveland debacle, he proved in San Fran that he can get the ball to the go-to receiver). It's gonna be a hell of a dog race between the Lions, Packs, and Viks with all three very possible making the playoffs. My pick: 9-7.
Minnesota Vikings: Goodbye, Randy Moss. Say hello to your next Fantasy football god, Nate Burleson. I REALLY don't think the loss of Moss is going to hurt the Viks AT ALL. Culpepper is still the most underrated QB in the league, and can get the job done in the regular season. Then there's the off season where NO Vik can get the job done. My pick: 8-8
Chicago Bears: My pick: As if the Bears weren't gonna have a hard enough time in this division, Grossman gets injured, leaving Chad Hutchinson to try and find a way to win. Muhammed will make WHOever is QB look great at times, but despite some improvement, this Bear team isn't going but so far. My pick: 6-10.

NFC South
Atlanta Falcons: I could live with the Falcons SO much better if 1-Michael Vick wasn't the most overrated, overhyped player in the league and 2-if they went back to their kickass black early '90s jerseys rather than whatever those hideous things they were now are. If those things are supposed to be cool, then thank god I'm not. Jerry Glanville would be rolling over in his grave if he were dead. Yeah, the Falcons are good enough to win this division, only for Vick to then be beaten by any of the 30 or so better QBs in the league in the playoffs. My pick: 10-6.
Carolina Panthers: The Cats will be back and they're gonna make the Falcons earn this division title big time. Very good off-season as they're totally preapred for Stephen Davis' career to be esentially over the next time he gets hit and picking up Rod Garner from Washington to fill that #2 receiver spot along with Colbert to try and fill Moose's void was a HUGE step. All Jake has to do is be a slightly above average QB in 2005 and the Cats are going back to the playoffs. My pick: 9-7.
New Orleans Saints: The epitome of a completely average NFL team. Just good enough to both make and miss the playoffs. The Saints bore me. My pick: 8-8.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: As solid as the defense still is, this is a total learning year for the offense which has been in a downward spiral since the Superbowl win. They could get lucky enough to win a few close ones thanks to the defense, but these Bucs are gonna look a lot like the Bucs of the '80s. My pick: 4-12.

NFC West
Seattle Seahawks: With the rest of the division falling apart and the 'Cards at LEAST 1 season away from contention, the division title should be a cake walk for the Seahawks who did everything in their power to choke it away last year. This is a very solid team that didn't play up to expectations last year. My pick: 10-6.
St. Louis Rams: Still not sure how the Rams even made the playoffs last year as they pretty much fell into them. I'd take a playoff-less Texans over a (ahem) "playoff caliber" team like the Rams anyday. Pretty much has to be Mike Martz' final year as head coach. My pick: 8-8.
Arizona Cardinals: 'Zona seems like one of those dark horse teams for 2005 but nothing about them is really scary. Enough solid parts with a great leader that COULD make a semi-run...for something...My pick: 7-9.
San Francisco 49ers: Well, at least they're TRYING to turn things around with a new coach and the QB of the future. But no matter how great Alex Smith may be ONE day, he has nothing to work with yet. Maybe next year, '9ers. My pick: 2-14.

My playoff picks:
San Diego over Pittsburgh
New England over Cincinnati
Indianapolis over San Diego
Kansas City over New England

Green Bay over Carolina
Seattle over Dallas
Philadelphia over Seattle
Green Bay over Atlanta

AFC Championship: Indianapolis over Kansas City

NFC Championship: Philadelphia over Green Bay

SuperBowl XL: Indianapolis over Philadelphia

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Virgos Rock!

I am so ridiculously behind when it comes to posting new blog entries at this point, it ain't even funny...I've decided that rather than do my normal mammoth weekly blog, I really need to just start putting up shorter entries for whatever material I have every other day or so all my loyal readers will at least have something to check out. My life has been a whirlwind this month to say the least in-between my time spent at current home and time spent at hopeful new home. Details forthcoming if that day ever does indeed come...

First off, my heartfelt condolences to Amber O'Neal on the passing of her grandfather. As always, my prayers go out to her and her family.

Major birthday shoutout to Stuttsy as I REALLY wish I was celebrating the same roman numeral that he is this week. And what a way to spend your birthday weekend. It's rare that I'm jealous of Stutts (and that's not a cut on him, I'm just rarely jealous of anyone because I'm THAT content with who I am), but damned if I wasn't all kinds of jealous hearing about the time he had this past weekend at Fanfest in Charlotte. Heck, forget the wrestlers, I just wanna hang out with the History of the WWF guy.

WWE are fuckin idiots. After weeks of some of the greatest heel mic work in YEARS, they turn Shawn Michaels babyface again. I don't know if the original deal was for him to JUST do an abbreviated heel run to sell SummerSlam or what, but that company is just BEYOND lost at this point and don't have a clue what to do with what amounts to pure money making gold lying right in their lap. Fuck, we capitalized on the minor little nugget of KC and Jesse better than they did with Edge and Matt Fuckin' Hardy. Yeah, sometimes the obvious is the toughest but christ all mighty...how many absolutely can't miss opportunities can this company have handed to them and fuck it up each and every time??? I really, really, hope CWF never grows to the point that we become completely blinded and uninspired that we do such generic, forced angles like Matt and Edge that only serve to completely insult both the audience's intelligence and destroy the illusion of believability. Just let mother fuckers fight. Let Shawn be a heel. God knows he's the ONLY one they have that can actually pull it off the way it should be. And they wonder why they're losing their fan base. Cause everytime you actually give in and start caring about their product again, they do take the one reason you were caring and completely fuck it up. Aside from the obvious financial issue, why ANYone would ever want to work for them is beyond me. In a span of 24 hours, I went from completely jakked over the potential for SummerSlam (and honestly, the most interest I've had in that company in YEARS) to utter and complete apathy. Sue, I won a free meal out of it by betting Yamaha that Hogan would go over on Shawn. But on the flip side, I have a fate handed to me worse than death as we also bet on Eddie-Rey with me taking Eddie and losing which means sometime in the next couple of weeks I'm gonna be forced to try and get a spoonful of sweet potatoes down my throat and let me tell ya, just the thought of that makes me want to yak all over the keyboard. And while I'm on the topic, what the hell didn't Dominic not get murdered in that ladder match??? If I was booking that sucker, that kid would at the very least have gotten frog splashed off the top of the ladder by Eddie. Yeah, I wouldn't do it in CWF, but we're talking WWE here who have no restrictions or morals anyways.

T-shirt Hell.com...still rocking my face off after all these years...

See, short and to the point...now maybe I'll actually be back in a day or two with more if you're lucky. Love to all!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

8 + 13 = Kickoff

Since my last blog was pretty much and cut-and-dried tourney recap, let me spend a little time hitting on the non-show doings. First off, gotta give some major love to my fellow Insider Troxler, who beat ME back to my own house a couple of shows back to mow MY yard. Since my lawnmower, much like my cars, does have a steering wheel and four wheels, and therefore HAS to blow up, it did just that and with the grass touching the power lines, it was time to go for some outside help.

After the tourney, Brass Munkey threw a very nice little homecoming party for Kamakazi Kid. Can't say enough just how great it was to have Kazi back, even for just one weekend. Word is it won't be 7 1/2 months next time which is great news for EVERYbody. Kazi just set the standard at such an insane level in so many different facets in the cruiserweight division, that even today, it seems like everyone is still living under that shadow and everything we do is judged against his actions of the past. I'm sure he'll do something at some point again that will make me go "what the hell are you thinking???" but I think he's become even smarter with his work in his absence now that he can reflect on the past few years. Going back to the party briefly, I tell ya one think, for all he has accomplished between ROH and the Inoki Dojo, it's crazy just how freakin' cool Ricky Reyes truly is. He's one of those guys that you would think would have that "I'm a superstar Indy worker" attitude, but hell, he's more humble than alot of the Indy guys we see each week.

The Observer had a mark-out news story for me the other day with "Today's Detroit News has an article that Ford Field in Detroit is trying to get Wrestlemania for Detroit in 2007, noting it would be the 20th anniversary of Wrestlemania III at the Pontiac Silverdome." That would just be awesome and I'm SO hoping it works out. I'm bigger on the Mania "big crowd" feel much more than the 20,000 seat ones and a Ford Field expanded for Mania could hold a minimum of 75,000. Plus, any homage to pro wrestling's defining night I'm ALL for (Perfect time to stick Savage and Steamer in the Hall of Fame too).

Speaking of the Hall of Fame...two of my favorite QBs of all time (along with Favre, Boomer, and Cunningham) went in together this past weekend in Canton. Young and Marino were about as different as two great QBs can be and the discussion of who was the best between the two is a tough one. I think Young may have been the best all-around QB of the two, but there's no question that Marino was the superior passer. It really is hard to believe that it's been 5 years already since these two last played. Makes me feel just that much older because the memories they left are just SO vivid. Heck, Young leading the 49ers over the Cowboys in that 3rd NFC title game is still, and always will be, my personal favorite football moment of all time. Monday Night brought us a pretty fun little Hall of Fame Game between the Fins and the Bears. Even got a Muppets open with Miss Piggy wearing a Zach Thomas jersey and the two old geezers running down the HOF class. Miami's offensive line looked horrid, especially consider that the Bears don't have the scariest defense or nothing. Very disturbing to see Moose in a Bears jersey. I don't know what John Madden was thinking, burying Manuel Wright as bad on national TV as anything I've ever heard. I mean, it's one thing to sit here and tear someone apart on a blog, but to do it when the entire country can hear it, including Wright's friends and family, is completely classless. You gotta love how if it's a player Madden likes he will go on and on about some 300+ pounder being a prime example of "how football should be played" and then turn around and tear Wright apart in his first game in his rookie year for being out of shape. Nice Madden, real nice.

Of course, Madden was good for at least one thing in his miserable life, that being a videogame that came out this week (Now that I've said that, I'd MUCH prefer say, EA Sports presents Walsh 2006 or Lombardi 2006). I won't get to play it till this weekend when I whip Yamaha's ass in it, but that is my segue to recap my newest videogame joy, "Flatout". Keep in mind that I actually don't care for videogames that much...I pretty much find one or so I genuinely love once every 5 years and play it to death (I have the feelin that I'll still be playin NFL 2K5 in 2K15). But man alive, let me tell ya that "Flatout" is one of the most addictive, perverse games I've ever gotten to play. Heck, screw the actual "game", just play the "bonus games" and shooting that helpless sap 100 years in the air and doing a demolition derby in a mud pit are both just plain addictive. Not a football to be found, but a serious **** game. Also checked out NCAA 2006 very briefly (1 half worth) and it certainly seemed acceptable although I don't really "feel it" with college football but I bet ya I'd enjoy it if I spent a little more time with it.

I become more and more disenchanted with fast food restaurants by the day. I don't know if the passing of Dave Thomas has finally caught up to Wendy's or what by my god has that franchise ever hit a downward spiral. My hamburger the other day was actually a "double hamburger" which would have been a good error if the "double" hadn't come from the fact that the patty was so burned that it had severed itself into two equal pieces of charcoal. It is NO exaggeration that drive-thrus in general will fuck SOMEthing up on an order at LEAST 50% of the time. Seriously. I mean, is the mental acumen that great of difference between the guy that takes your order INSIDE and the one that mans the drive-thru counter? I'd say McDonald's actually gets it right a good 75% of the time. Burger King is a borderline 50%. Wendy's would be lucky to hit 33% as I can't even remember the last time I ordered there and they actually got it 100% correct. And if I haven't bitched about it before, will you PLEASE stop asking me if I want cheese on a Hamburger. If I wanted cheese on a HAMburger, I'd order a fuckin' CHEESEburger. Are there actual customers that travel from drive-thru to drive-thru across the country asking for Hambugers and then bitching cause there's no cheese on them, thereby forcing the chains to add this asinine question???

Last Saturday we were back at the CSA in Burlington for a fairly unsupervised-by-the-powers-that-be TV taping that thankfully was a much bigger hit than the last one we did in May.

1. Xsiris pinned Jay Sinn in 6:40 -

What should have been a hot opener revolving around redemption (for X) and revenge (for Sinn) was overshadowed by some questionable comedy revolving around Sinn keeping Vercetti up-to-date on the action with a cell phone. All the spots were fine but the potential was wasted. *

Burlington Slugger: Brad Stutts and Mikael Yamaha attempt to interview the speechless Ultra Dragon with entertaining results, ending with Dragon stomping Yamaha's broken foot and leg lariating Stutts to set up a revenge match for later. Fun stuff.

2. American Steel Ninja (with Amber O'Neal in his corner) pinned Brandon Day in 4:16 - Day, of VA fame, makes his CSA debut as does Ninja with Amber at ringside to really get that relationship going. Your basic TV matchup. *

3. Otto Schwanz pinned Caprice "Ice" Coleman in 7:33 -

Otto makes his appearance for the foreseeable future, taking time due to wife, job, and age. A fine way to go out too as him and Caprice have a seriously solid bout. Even as a heel, crowd has MAD respect for Coleman right now due to his crispness and originality. ***

4. Ultra Dragon defeated Donnie Dollars (with Brad Stutts and Mikael Yamaha in his corner) by submission in 6:17 -

Wonderful finish to the two-part story that started earlier. Dollars of course mauls Dragon, who makes the comeback with the sky twister press, Yamaha makes the save only to get locked in the christo, crowd goes nuts, Dollars then gets locked in the christo as well and he TAPS. Major, major upset and perfectly executed on all levels to capitalize on Dragon's surprising tournament run. **1/2

5. CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic Television champion "El Fuego" Jesse Ortega pinned Rising Generation League champion Kid Justice in 7:04 -

One of those matchups that almost gets overlooked in it's history and importance when compared to many others. Ortega's first match ever was teaming with Kid Justice, Justice pinned Ortega to win the RGL title, a rare champion vs. champion matchup, and Ortega going for his 20th successful title defense. Match seriously paid off to with some great wrestling building to an awesome false finish for Justice and a surprise pin for Ortega. Wish the crowd had been more into it as their continued shitting on Ortega is painful to watch. Still a damn good match though. ***1/4

Post-match brings out Michael McAllister who announces that he has brought in some previously "blackballed" talent to take down Commissioner Cross' golden child (Ortega). Out comes Moses Manson who cuts a fine little promo. Jesse attempts to retort but loses his mind on the mic (let's say because of all the past heat between the two), resulting in the first ever utterance of "bastard" on a live CWF microphone. He gets in Moses' face and out of nowhere gets nailed from behind by none other than the priKC himself. Moses and KC McKnight do a 2-on-1 beatdown on Jesse until CWF flagship Ric Converse makes the save and chasing Moses and KC out the front door. A fine little segment that got the home run across, although I don't think we hit quiet the home run that it could have been. When you have a situation like this, it's very difficult to portray new wrestlers as actual outsiders because that stuff has been done to death in WWE/WCW. Marks think everything's a work now and even though we have a little room to work with in the Mid-Atlantic where some fans DO still believe, it still has to be carefully handled. In a perfect world, Moses and KC should be ripping the AWA sign off the wall and pissing on it but I think that might not make the cut for TV.

6. CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight champion Garry "Madd Trucker" Stevens pinned Brass Munkey in 8:54 of a Johnny Weaver Cup tournament quarterfinal match - Without any crazy overbooking, this was almost a no-win situation as truthfully, no one really expected Munkey to get past Garry here. It's really weird...the crowd seems to have little faith in Munkey UNLESS he's wrestling Corey, the one guy that realistically, he should never be able to beat. Anyways, match was fine for what it was. **

7. Rob "Boogie Woogie Man" McBride, "Rock N Roll" Matty Dee, and CWF/AWA Mid-Atlantic tag team champions $outh$ide Playas (J-Money and Will B. Smooth with Kiyia Moka in their corner) defeated Tank Lawson, "A Very Handsome Man" Mitch Conner, Alex Adonis, and Julius Augustus (with Cornelius J. Lumpkin III in their corner) in 13:21 when Dee pinned Augustus -

Not the complete cluster that it had potential to be, with well-defined team captains (Boogie, Tank) helping tell the story here. I do wish it would have had a little more pre-match direction in order to truly tell the story that needed to be told. Much like Ortega-Manson, the point got across, but not exactly a home run. **

8. "Dangerous E" Corey Edsel (with Brad Stutts in his corner) battled "Slick Diddy" Ric Converse to a 20:00 time limit draw in a Johnny Weaver Cup tournament quarterfinal match -

THE #1 all-time CWF feud renews itself, kicking off with awesome intensity with a ring-entrance brawl, the way it should be. They then settle down into a more traditional pace and go the distance, eliminating both men from the tourney. Certainly different from any of the previous matchups as time has changed many, many things about this matchup. Very good (that goes without saying), and great at points although the non-finish certainly left many let down. ****

Overall thoughts - A very enjoyable show, certainly in segments that will provide for some great TV. I just wish we could have tweaked certain things here and there but not a bad little effort at all.

Man of the House-
Ya know, this sucker was actually pretty good. Tommy Lee Jones' deadpan delivery is pretty damn funny and when you surround him with some smokin' hot cheerleaders, how can ya bitch too much? Sure, the plot is kinda out there and it's a complete waste of time, but it's an enjoyable waste of time. **3/4

Dukes of Hazzard - For the first time in YEARS (Probably since 2/19/93 and the opening of "Army of Darkness"), I actually saw a movie the day it premiered in theaters. As I've gone into detail in blogs long since past, I was a HUGE fan of the show during it's original run. But I'm also not one of those stuck up die-hards that's gonna have a cow at every minor little modernization they do with the remake. I went in pretty neutral in fact, and let me tell, people are gonna HATE this movie. Not because it sucks (which it doesn't), but because they expect more. Critics nowadays want all this story and drama and importance with nearly every single piece of work that is captured on film. Personally, I have no use for a plot getting in my way of having fun at the movies. If these same critics that will shit on this movie could remember back 20 years, they'll recall that the Dukes original TV series was totally panned by critics. But it was a success because it was FUN. And with that, the remake captures the essence of the original perfectly. It's all about FUN. The wild car cashes, the wrecks, the characters...no BS, no tears, no moral, nothing but sheer, unadulterated FUN. And really, that's what it's all about. For fans of the TV show, when the original Waylon Jennings theme hits a few minutes into the movie, you just swell with pride. It takes you back to your youth, makes you smile and in that moment, all is right with the world again. The casting is just superb with the standout almost being difficult to pick out...Burt Reynolds as Boss Hogg. Perfect. Jessica Simpson as Daisy Duke. NO one could have done it better...seriously. Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse. Slight variation on the original, but in his own scene-stealing way, perfect. Johnny Knoxville. Just awesome. Seann William Scott. Hilarious. It just goes on and on. Even by god FLASH has a cameo!!! That's 5-stars right there baby. The only casting that was done in error was Roscoe, who was made out to be an actual badass heel rather than the bumbling goof from the TV show. My only other knock on the movie was that it took me about 15 minutes in to adjust to the cussing. Not that I don't cuss constantly but if you have a history with the TV show like I do, it really throws you off for the first little bit since there was NEVER a swear word uttered back then. The movie will be lucky to gross $100 million, the critics will hate it, most viewers will hate it. But this movie wasn't made for people like that. It was made for people like me, Rob McBride, and so many others that can see past what the movie (ahem) "should be" and accept it for the fun that it is. ****

On a side note, I'm not sure how much of a craze it will truly cause since the movie is somewhat destined to flop at the box office, but good luck getting your hands on a 1969 Charger now that this movie's out. All of us left the theater DYING to own a General Lee and in my internet hop skotch that I do, I stumbled upon a wondrous website that will BUILD you your OWN General Lee (for $35K and up, but what the fuck...if I'm gonna dream, dream big). DukesofHazzardCharger.com will take care of all your 01 needs. I mean shit, I can barely afford McDonald's some days, but I'll be damned if I don't pull one of those out of my ass one day.

Monday, August 01, 2005

YOUR AWA World Light Heavyweight tournament recap

The highest-profile event in CWF history has come to an end after 2 days of action that contained a mind-numbing 24 matches, with hardly a dud in the whole batch. With that in mind, my apologies for the briefness of some match comments because by weekend's end, a lot of stuff, especially from the first day was a complete blur and a star-rating could easily go up or down one full * once I get the opportunity to check it out on DVD which I look forward to doing. Brad Stutts did a flat-out awesome job on commentary, far superior to anything I could have done when it came to handling the non-regulars. He was joined by a wide crop of rotating experts including CW Anderson, Gemini Kid, Brian Logan, Nigel Sherrod, Rick Noon, and more.

1. Gregory Vercetti (Italy) pinned Darrel Kelly (TN) in 6:24 -

Decent little opener that went a touch too long considering that 14 matches were still to follow on Friday night. A little awkwardness due to the unfamiliarity, but still a solid way to kick things off. **1/2

2. Ultra Dragon (Wild Card) pinned Shane Matthews (WV) in 4:01 - Dragon gets a desperately needed win as he had been venturing towards mid-card hell as of late over a fairly nondescript, but passable, Shane Matthews. *3/4

3. "A Very Handsome Man" Mitch Conner (WI) pinned Brass Munkey (Wild Card) in 5:28 - The first CWF-CWF matchup of the weekend brings us the rubber match in this recent series. Munkey looks great early on and is on fire until the cheap screwjob. Perfectly executed and booked. **1/4

4. "Krazy K" Kirby Mack (SC) pinned Kamakazi Kid (with Kid Kazi in his corner - GA) in 7:30 -

The homecoming of Kazi, 7 1/2 months after injury, ends all to quickly as he falls to Krazy K. A fun little match to be sure, but a shocking, and almost painful, first round outcome. I would have much rather seen at least this particular matchup go down in round 2 as Kazi's involvement in the tournament was completely wasted here. **3/4

5. "El Mochi" Damien (with Stevie Slick in his corner - UT) pinned American Steel Ninja (Wild Card) in 3:12 - Damien is easily the most questionable entry in the tournament, seemingly breaking the 220 pound limit, with no noticeable Light Heavyweight repertoire, very generic gear, and wearing a Dr. Wagner Jr. match that each and every smart mark will shit all over once they see the DVD. The match itself was passable in it's brevity. *

6. "El Fuego" Jesse Ortega (TX) defeated Daniel Sigma (Wild Card) by submission in 5:30 - Similar to Vercetti-Kelly in it's unfamiliarity = awkwardness, but still a passable little first round match. **

7. Kid Justice (Wild Card) pinned the Great Malaki (IL) in 8:32 -

The biggest first round upset easily as Malaki appears to be one of the more impressive "outsiders", going up against Kid Justice who, despite being on an upswing as of late, still appeared to be a first round casulty. Just as shocking is the crowd's first TRUE "Us vs. Them" reaction as despite Justice being booked as a tweener into heel has of late, they were 110% behind him, in his effort to best the Illinois representative. Very enjoyable match. **3/4

8. "Mr. 630" Jerelle Clark (FL) pinned Caprice "Ice" Coleman (Wild Card) in 12:48 -

Round one had some seriously good stuff in abbreviated form, but no real chance of break the *** plateau due to time constraints. And boy, did we ever find that out as Round two kicked off as two of the first round byes collide, as Jerelle and Caprice put on an insanely crisp masterpiece that actually received a standing ovation at the end. A vary rare CWF crowd reaction with respectful applause throughout, rather than the more traditional Southern-style heel-face boos and cheers. Jerelle was one of the few outsiders to be actually greeted with love, rather than hate. The match was a perfect example of two premier Indy workers going at it, no BS entertainment to be had, with every move being executed near flawlessly. Fantastic stuff though that I can't wait to see again. ****1/2

9. "Prince of Punk" Shannon Moore (NC) pinned Dexter Poindexter (Wild Card) in 10:00 - Two more first round byes meet up (how the heck did Dex get a bye??). Moore actually turns heel prior to the match cutting a promo on how he loathed to be forced back into dumps like the CSA. It works too, although the crowd still doesn't buy the fact that Dex has ANY chance at all of winning and despite some solid false finishes, the match went WAYYYY too long. **

10. Xsiris (VA) pinned Gregory Vercetti (Italy) in 7:15 -

Say what you will, but without question the crowd favorite to win it all, Xsiris, starts his run in a really fun match with Vercetti, in another CWF vs. CWF matchup. Really solid stuff as Vercetti finishes with a very good 2-match showing and X heads into day two on a roll. **1/2

11. Ultra Dragon (Wild Card) defeated Noah Lott (MN) by submission in 6:39 -

This would become, without question, the biggest "Holy shit!" upset of the entire tourney. As alluded to earlier, Dragon had been in such limbo that making it past the first round was questionable and making it all the way to day TWO was unfathomable. The true great underdog story of the tournament was indeed Ultra Dragon. For Noah Lott's part, he seemed to have certainly fine psychology but his style didn't really resemble that of a Light Heavyweight. I was somewhat overwhelmed initially but he did so much enjoyable stuff on night two, I came to the conclusion that he would actually probably fit in just fine down here not in the true Cruiserweight-sense but in the Mikael Yamaha-more evil-than-style kinda way. And boy, did the crowd ever pop like crazy when Lott tapped out to Dragon's christo. **

12. Ricky Landell (Japan's Zero-1 Max) defeated "A Very Handsome Man" Mitch Conner (WI) by submission in 9:19 -

Solid little no-frills wrestling contest as with these two, you get your basic boots and trunks and that's IT (not a complaint at all, by the way). **1/2

13. "Krazy K" Kirby Mack (SC) pinned "El Mochi" Damien (with Stevie Slick in his corner - UT) in 11:33 - Went way too long as Damien was really out of his element here with this style of wrestling. *3/4

14. N8 Mattson (MI) pinned Kid Justice (Wild Card) in 10:00 - N8 makes his first appearance as the crowd finally begins to die after holding together pretty well for the first 3 hours of day one (including my own fried brain as these last few matches of day one are a blur at this point). Still a solid little matchup though from what I recall. **1/2

15. Rickey Reyes (Cuba) defeated "El Fuego" Jesse Ortega (TX) in 8:52 -

What will go down as the best "forgotten" match of day one, being the last on the show, but a fantastic mat-based match for both guys. Really enjoyable stuff with Reyes surprisingly gong over (to our fans) anyway, via KO. ***

1. "Mr. 630" Jerelle Clark (FL) pinned Ultra Dragon (Wild Card) in 9:57 of a AWA World Light Heavyweight tournament quarterfinal match -

Day two kicks off with the hometown underdog against the show stealer from night one. Extremely fun matchup with Dragon's run finally coming to an end. ***

2. "Krazy K" Kirby Mack (SC) pinned Rickey Reyes (Cuba) in 10:16 of a AWA World Light Heavyweight tournament quarterfinal match -

Another solid matchup as Reyes had firmly established himself as the #1 heel in the final 8. **3/4

3. N8 Mattson (MI) pinned Xsiris (VA) in 9:28 of a AWA World Light Heavyweight tournament quarterfinal match - A HUGE shocker to the crowd as I think if you had actually shot Xsiris in the middle of the ring, that crowd couldn't have been any more stunned than when the ref counted three to end X's quest for the title. That crowd fell deathly silent like it WAS a funeral. It'll certainly be interesting to see where we go from here as X not only didn't win the title, he didn't even get to a spot in the tournament where every single fan thought he was going. **1/2

4. "Prince of Punk" Shannon Moore (NC) defeated Ricky Landell (Japan's Zero-1 Max) by submission in 8:21 of a AWA World Light Heavyweight tournament quarterfinal match - Another fairly basic match with Moore, although certainly fundamentally sound. **

5. "A Very Handsome Man" Mitch Conner, Gregory Vercetti, The Great Malaki, Daniel Sigma, and Noah Lott defeated Kid Justice, Dexter Poindexter, Shane Matthews, Kamakazi Kid, and Eric Matlock (with Kid Kazi in their corner) in 17:25 of a Cibernetico Torneo Elimination match with Great Malaki being the winner after pinning Eric Matlock in the finals. Order of elimination: Justice, Vercetti, Kamakazi, Lott, Sigma, Conner, Poindexter, Matthews, Matlock. - This was flat out fantastic. This was everything I WISH Ultimate Survivor could be every year and honestly, SHOULD be. Non-stop action from the opening bell that had the crowd in a frenzy. FANtastic finishes and got every single guy in it over big time. Personal hilight: About 5 minutes in, Kazi (who everyone is ACHING to see back in the ring after the one and done the night before) FINALLY gets the tag and the roof comes off as he hits his twisting frog splash off the top to pin Vercetti. Then, 5 seconds later, Noah Lott earns his spot in CA history by nearly getting booked out of the building but cradling Kazi from behind, feet on the ropes, 1-2-3. That one sequence took the crowd from the highest of highs to the sheer disgust. Just awesome. The match was a pleasure to watch and one of the most satisfying Indy matches I've ever been witness to. I only hope we can pull one of these out at least every year and maintain this level of quality. MAJOR props to every single worker in it as ALL 10 delivered big-time. Totally different, but up there with Caprice-Jerelle from night one as your "Match of the Weekend." ****1/2

6. "Krazy K" Kirby Mack (SC) pinned "Mr. 630" Jerelle Clark (FL) in 9:35 of a AWA World Light Heavyweight tournament semifinal match -

Somewhat disappointing considering the potential here. Had some fine arm work that would be unfortunately forgotten and no sold seconds later. Some fine spots here and there, but psychology was seriously lacking. **

7. "Prince of Punk" Shannon Moore (NC) defeated N8 Mattson (MI) by submission in 7:12 of a AWA World Light Heavyweight tournament semifinal match -

Despite Shannon's night one heel turn, the crowd started to turn back in his favor here considering N8 had taken out Xsiris, meaning he had about negative 47 on the crowd support level. Solid regardless though. **

8. Team AWA (Shauma Tengo, "El Mochi" Damien, and Noah Lott with Stevie Slick in their corner) defeated Team CWF (Jesse "El Fuego" Ortega, Brass Munkey, and Kamakazi Kid with Kid Kazi in their corner) in 13:27 when Damien pinned Munkey - Without question the single "What the fuck??" outcome of the entire weekend. I can only assume the logic here was that since someone that is viewed as a "CWF guy" was going over for the actual belt one match later (not that he's that at all), then the CWF "side" could afford the loss in the "Us vs. Them" matchup. Crowd was very, very hot for this, and more than any other matchup during the weekend, proved just how strong the CWF fanbase loyalty is when matched up against such outsiders. Nothing against Lott at all, but as a whole, the CWF crew easily outclassed and outshined the opposition the whole way, dominating the matchup and looking like a million bucks. Totally flabbergasting screwjob finish aside, fun matchup and make NO mistake, the wrong team went over. It's a shame that we can't do these types of matchups on a regular basis so we actually COULD trade wins back and forth cause the crowd was rabid for this. **1/2

9. "Krazy K" Kirby Mack (SC) pinned "Prince of Punk" Shannon Moore (NC) in 16:45 to win the vacant AWA World Light Heavyweight title (16:45) -

The final matchup will certainly be questioned by the smart marks on the internet and yes, to some degree, I would be right there with them. But when you look at all the participants in the tournament, and take into consideration availability and passable "name value", the outcome shouldn't be all that shocking. To many, Krazy K will always be remembered for the ROH fiasco; but in the eyes of the AWA, Krazy K is the man to carry the crown in the 21st century. The match itself was possibly the best for both Moore and KK in the tourney (which is exactly what you would want out of the final). **3/4

Overall thoughts - It's hard to complain too much about the weekend when you take into account you've got a joint booking committee and all the political problems that you're gonna automatically have when you try and pull off an event of this magnitude. For every flaw of the tournament had (Kazi's first round elimination and the 6-man match), the upsides (the perfectly booked Cibernetico match, the shocking Ultra Dragon run, etc) made it a wash in the end. From a wrestling perspective, you'd be hard pressed to find many Indy shows this side of ROH to put on such a tremendous effort from top-to-bottom. Personally, I'm VERY VERY proud of our roster. The "Us vs. Theme" theme wasn't even a pushed angle per se, but you could just FEEL it. We ALL wanted one of our boys to win and the crowd rose and fell with each win and loss by our crew. I think it was an eye-opening experience for many, considering a good portion of the incoming talent that is touted as "the best" in their specific territory, were out-worked in many cases by our regulars (and even our regular mid-carders, at that). The DVD release, more than any other product CWF has ever put out, WILL solidify the promotion as a true Indy-powerhouse. The Mid-Atlantic area has been overlooked long enough in favor of all the ROHs, IWA Mid-South, and so on and so forth but THIS event will showcase the simple fact that the performers in the MA area can indeed "cut the mustard" so to speak and deserve as much recognition as any other territory in the country today.

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

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 /

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!

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

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

(well, 6 if you count God...)
My stepmom, Peggy
Sam Raimi
Jeff Rudd

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)

1. Inner Happiness
2. Friends
3. Family
4. Affection
5. Health
6. Respect
7. Money
8. Food
9. Sunshine
10. Boobs

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

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

1. Troy Aikman
2. John Elway
3. Randy Moss
4. Rob Johnson
5t. Kerry Collins
5t. Michael Irvin

(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

(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

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)

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!".

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)

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

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

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

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

1. Tokyo
2. NFL Hall of Fame - Canton, OH
3. Cedar Point - Sandusky, OH
4. Honolulu
5. Pontiac Silverdome

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)

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

1. TGIFriday's
2. Applebee's 1. Tecmo Bowl
3. Madden 2003
4. Pro Wrestling
5. WrestleMania 2000

1. NFL Network
3. FOX
4. Boomerang
5. ESPN Classic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. The Crow
2. Spider-Man
3. Batman
4. Spider-Man 2
5. Howard The Duck

(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

1. Tetsuo the Iron Man
2. Nekromantic
3. Nekromantic 2
4. Society
5. Motorama

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

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

1. Bruce Campbell
2. No One Else Matters

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

(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!)

Brett Favre, Reggie White, Desmond Howard, The Rock, Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, Vince McMahon, Mick Foley, Owen Hart

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)

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.)

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

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)

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)

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


Chapel Hill, NC:

Green Bay, WI:

Walnut Creek, CA:

Orlando, FL:

Savannah, GA:

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

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
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
SuperBowl: Grant def. Chris 21-19
Fantasy Basketball '92-'93
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
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
Playoffs: Chris def. Josh 83-62
Playoffs: Dave def. Grant 68-52
SuperBowl: Chris def. Dave 86-72
Fantasy Basketball '93-'94
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
Playoffs: -Strike Cancelled Season-
Fantasy Baseball '95
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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