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Monday, May 25, 2015

Cagecast #8: An Ode to the Final RAW at the Nassau Coliseum

After a week off to tend to personal matters, the CageCast returns with Jim Williams and Justin Henry.

RAW is in Uniondale. New York for a final show at the Nassau Coliseum and the show serves as the go-home RAW heading into Elimination Chamber.

Check out the whole gosh darn spectacle below.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Slammiversary 2014 Review 5/22/2015

Well she did it. A year after Vince Russo nearly killed us by accidentally CC'ing an email to the wrong personDixie did the same damn thing. Once again, we are without a network. Boy that makes watching Slammiversary's replay tonight pretty interesting. Now we won't bore you anymore with our own impending demise, let's go back to a time when the Royal Rumble winner was hated, a legendary wrestler had a WrestleMania match that half the fans hated, and an email got us kicked off of the network keeping us alive And yes, we will write in the present tense. Onward to Slammiversary.

The FBI warning should be about watching the show. It leads us to highlights of better days. and a few bad ones.

We start with the six-way X-Division Championship match. Then-TNA World Tag Team Champion Davey Richards vs. Then fellow co-Champion Eddie Edwards vs. Tigre Uno vs. Crazzy Steve(of last year's Gooker nominee The Menagerie) vs. Manik vs. Then X-Division Champion Sanada(who did not like being a Great Muta knockoff). From the moment Manik attacked Sanada, this was fast-paced. Tigre tries to face both Wolves before getting a double-team by them. We go to commercial. Guess that means someone will be in a chain lock. When we return from commercial, Destination America censored "Holy s---." Which means the match is Morse code now Crazzy Steve does some weird stuff the ladder that certainly makes Chris Nowinski go "that's not a good idea." Sanada stops Crazzy Steve from grabbing the belt. At this point, Crazzy Steve would be WHC. Sanada attempts to grab his belt before Tigre makes the block. Once more, Davey and Eddie set off the Morse code. The crowd is chanting for Crazzy Steve. At the time we didn't have a lot of options truth be told we would have made a gorilla WHC if we could. Sanada retains after a brutal match. He was likely thinking "this is the high point of my TNA run so far." Sadly, this would be the high point of his run altogether. Great way to start the show.

Next, a qualifying match for the T NA World Heavyweight Championship match later in the evening. Bobby Lashley vs. Samoa Joe. Yes, that Samoa Joe. Even here, you can tell Joe tries despite where the company's devotion lay. Joe dominates early on against Lashley, who is in MVP's MLK stable. Boy does management like to make it obvious why wrestlers are aligned. Lashley begins to battle back against the greatest wrestler we let slip away not named AJ Styles were CM punk or Jon Moxley for El Generico... Anyway, Lashley powers out of a muscle buster to regain control. After a near red-bump, Lashley hits the spear leading to his win. Lashley is the first of two men that will face Then-TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eric Young, who's doing the gimmick of being Daniel Bryan, inside of a steel cage. Not a bad match, we hope that Joe can face that Kevin Steen guy everyone's talking about.

An ad for this year show. Yes we will have one.

Magnus(With Bram[With flair]) vs. Last year's Gooker nominee Willow(With Abyss). This is after Magnus was WHC in a reign that made him look like an absolute chode. To give you an idea how bad it was, the only match the didn't have any interference on his behalf, was the Championship match he lost to Eric Young. Magnus takes control early on against what essentially is becoming Jeff Hardy in a mask at this point. Mike Tenay calls a powerbomb a powerbomb-type move. guess we see were Michael Cole picked up his unnecessary pontification. Willow starts to come back until Magnus rolls out of the way this swanton. Abyss stops Bram from getting involved. He probably could've just said he saw Charlotte naked. Eventually it becomes a brawl between each the cornermen before Magnus and Willow. Bram decides to put down the turnbuckle that he stole and runaway when Abyss this takes out Janice. Strangely enough, many people run away when they see Janice or her daughter. Magnus eventually gets the first meaningful win he's had in a long time.

Current-WHC Kurt Angle is set to announce the next inductee in the TNA Hall of Fame. Do you know who he is? Angle is limping here due to a knee injury. Truth be told, there is rarely a time when he isn't hurt. He says being inducted in the Hall of Fame it says you've reached a level of greatness. We can certainly ask Sting about that when he left to go for the match everyone feared would happen. We notice a sign that says The Real TNA HoF A.J. Jarrett. Shame we never got to induct either man. Angle then reveals that it is the tag team Team 3-D. The crowd goes nuts of the announcement. By the crowd chance "we want tables", we can't help the ponder why these two men who are kayfabe a few months removed from trying to kill TNA are going into the companies Hall of Fame. We find what with our brand of wrestling, it's best not to think. Both men think the fans for this great honor. That "Bully Ray is a Brony" sign really means we should've kicked that man out with the quickness.

The second qualifying match sees fellow MLK member Kenny King taking on Austin Aries. You can believe there's a reason why Christy Hemme is not in the ring for this announcement. They put over several members of the Dallas Cowboys before the cameraman just suddenly swings the camera away. Guess he didn't like Pac-Man Jones was Tag Team Champion. X-Division quality action early in the match shows King has a great natural heel quality that makes you hate when he's in control. When Aries starts to shift the momentum, he starts ramming Kenny Kings head into the buckles repeatedly. No doubt again Nowinski is on the line. King's attempt to use the ropes gets broken by referee Brian Hebner. King getting into face of the referee is an opportunity for Aries to deliver discus forearm into  Last Chancery. Kenny King manages to get out and come back before ultimately falling victim to a brain buster off the top rope. Which time Aries gets the win. This means that now we have a steel cage triple threat match for the WHC.

Next Kevin Von Erich and his sons Ross and Marshall come out to a Tom Sawyer-knockoff song. Years after we signed Kevin's niece, we redeemed ourselves. The sign "Von Erich country forever" says it all. Outcomes  BroMans members Jesse and DJZ. Perhaps they didn't notice that Kevin Von Erich is wearing flip-flops, which means he is technically wearing his boots underneath them. Impromptu match sees the younger Von Erich vs. BroMans. Today brings up that the other volunteers were trained by Harley Race. Training with Harley Race means having to lug his Lincoln Continental up his driveway with the E-brake on. These Von Erichs are actually quite talented we should sign them if we have the chance and/or money. This "Von Erich" chant go without saying. The Von Erichs deliver a brutal assault that BroMans aren't used to. The finish sees Jesse use a chair for the DQ. Unfortunately for him, the Von Erichs fight back. even Seeing DJZ fall victim to Kevin's Von Erich claw. Surely not the last time we'll ever get the chance to work with these great wrestlers.

TNA Knockout Champion Angelina Love defends against Gail Kim. Angelina uses a weird let red light district-style silhouette entrance which isn't that bad considering WWE makes their wrestlers make LGBT jokes in 2015. Angelina starts off by throwing Gail around the ring, even countering a Mission attempting to the sidewalk slam. Angelina tosses Gail out to Velvet Sky who can't quite get the job done and gets a face full of apron. Well, kind of, as she shows a little light. Angelina attempts to capitalize and the distraction before she gets slammed right into the steel steps. Gail starts to control the match, at least until Velvet sprays Gail in the face. No, it's not what you think. This is enough for Angelina to go for her Botox injection, basically a fem-brogue kick, but strangely it only gets a two count. Earl Hebner forces Velvet to the back, and tells referee Brian Stifler to sit this one out. This is short-lived as a Gail dropkick accidentally knocks Hebner out girl then goes for eat defeat. Stiffler somewhat healing it up it's not quite go in in time to count. Already doesn't hesitate with Angelina has the pin. That's right, once again we go for a referee is partial to a particular Knockout angle. Again, we have some baby steps to go through, but but was still better than WWE.

Semi main event. Ethan Carter III vs. Bully Ray in Texas Death Match. Bully channeling Stan Hansen in bringing a cowbell out, not in running over our WHC with a truck. The most important streak in wrestling in 2014 is being decided here. Afterbully dominates EC3 early on, he starts tearing the side mats off like his name is Bill Watts. When Bully has tables set up, that's when EC3 comes out of nowhere to drag him back in the ring. EC3, like Dixie, is on the hit list for Bully to put them through tables. Surely Spike TV's no violence against women policy will hold up. EC3 goes under the ring and picks up a simple chair. With each shot Ethan says one word of the phrase "Over your dead body!" It is here Tenay first tells us the rules of the match which, like a last man standing match, involves reading your part it up until they can't get up for the count of 10. Bully then takes control the match and starts delivering chops on the chest of EC3 that leaves him than the state of Texas. Bully takes out a cheese grater in the tradition of New Jack, except this time EC3 is over the age of 18. EC3 uses a low blow, perfectly legal. E3's attempt to go off the top is interrupted with a superplex landing hip first onto the steel chair. Bully  whips out a Dallas Cowboys trashcan. we're not going to make a Tony Romo joke. He then uses a box cutter to take the ring apron, and the canvas and padding protection, off of the ring floor. The attempt at a piledriver leads Rockstar Spud dressed like Jack Nicholson's joker to come out. Unfortunately for Spud, Bully's like Michael Keaton's Batman. Is Keaton used a kendo stick to smash Joker right in the crotch. Despite a brief rally by EC3, including shards of glass, he ends up landing in a Bubba Cutter #OuttaNowhere Like Bruce Willis with glass in his feet, EC3 dies hard. If only because a run-in from Dixie. This causes Bully to yell "I'm going to kill you b----!" A miscommunication causes EC3 to inadvertently take out his aunt. this isn't on Spike TV after all.Believe temps you go off the apron this causes EC3 to hit them with the kendo would send him through the tables, propelling EC3 into the win column. One definitely sees at EC3, like a Texan named Mark, took a character that seems ridiculous on paper and made it work.

James Storm takes on Mr. Anderson. That's just an even start the ring both mentor slugging each other in the face by the entrance ramp, Anderson smashing Storm's face against steps. Once the match gets into the ring, Storm takes out Anderson's knee. Eventually Storm locks in the figure 4 leg lock. Even with it not a regular move in his arsenal, it's still better than that of The Miz. Anderson starts fighting back, including a clothesline while lightly selling the leg. Storm pulls Anderson by the tights into the second turnbuckle. After enduring an assault, Anderson comes back with his old Green Bay plunge finisher from 2005. Shortly after swinging the fight his way, Storm starts trouble with The Cowboys at ringside. Even giving them the middle finger. After being distracted by these members of the Cowboys, Storm walks into a mic check from Anderson who gets the win. In most fans minds, the Dallas Cowboys turned heel tonight.

Tenay and Taz start typing the triple threat steel cage match, which can only be one by pinfall or submission. The match was slated originally to be a one-on-one match between Eric Young MVP. However, MVP suffered a knee injury shortly after the set of tapings, which meant for three weeks we had to sell him his number one contender even though we knew he wasn't going to wrestle. When we said earlier Eric Young's gimmick is being Daniel Bryan, we were not kidding. He wrestled a match to become number one contender early one evening, and sold a kayfabe arm injury when he won the WHC. It is mainly because he has a scrappy bearded underdog look. Unlike WWE, we didn't have to be forced. Tenay makes a Rob Ford joke. That will remain fresh. Lashley proceeds to dominate early on. Even the periods where Aries or Young control, Lashley finds a way to come back and start tossing them around the ring, and even into the cage. Aries seems to be selling his match with Kenny King earlier in the evening. This factors into a brief rally where he powerbombs Young, and tries to bring the fight to Lashley. Later in the match Eric Young proceeds to deliver an AA with both men on his shoulders. And you thought only John Cena is allowed to have this little "Herculean Moment". After Airesis a hurricana to Lashley off the top rope, Young elbow drops Lashley for a pin. Aries makes the save and delivers  a brain buster to Young. Young kicks out. Lashley spears Aries. Young makes the save. After Lashley goes through the side panel of the cage, it becomes essentially a one-on-one match between Aries and Young. Young uses the side of the cage through versa brain buster into the piledriver to get the win. Hope we aren't asked to have Lashley win the WHC in a few days, when it would make sense to do it here.

Well that was Slammiversary 2014. One of our last pay-per-views, but certainly one that delivered in a year where not a lot from either promotion would. Will we get to hold another event like this, we don't know, but we can say this was possibly the last great event in our promotion's history. Well that's it for us. We will be back here Wednesday, until then, anyone know a company that needs bookers? Send them our way.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Joe Somebody: NXT Immediately Gets the Samoan Submission Machine

I was certain that when Vince Russo went on his tirade about Vince McMahon's inability to create stars, he was attempting some nuanced mode of irony. Granted, McMahon's track record in recent times of building stars is spotty, but the examples Russo cites include Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Neville, who the former WWE crash-TV aficionado claims won't have their debuts remembered in a year. That's more of an 'eye of the beholder' thing, not so much an, "I speak for the group" statement. When you take into consideration that Russo's last tenure with the book did a bang-up job of neutering, in my opinion, one of the most gifted performers that TNA had ever acquired, I really don't think Russo should be talking about the diminished capacity of someone else to build up talent.

TNA is Now More Disposable Than Ever

With the exception of maybe three or four shows, I ordered every single TNA weekly PPV from 2002 to 2004. I was a wrestling-naive pizza delivery driver fresh out of high school, and my extravagances were so minimal that forty bucks a month on a shoe-string budgeted garish-whore cousin to WCW was a worthwhile investment. There was more good than bad in TNA, I reasoned, and I don't regret my purchases.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The End For TNA May Be Near(er Than Usual)

Well, it appears Destination America has, much like Spike TV last year, given us our walking papers. This time it has nothing to do with Vince Russo CC'ing someone in an email. Instead, it has more to do with the poor ratings performance of a show that, while it had been improving, unfortunately had damaged it's name way too much by giving too many people too much control. This caused many people to decide it was no longer worth giving a chance. Basically, we truly have become the spiritual successor to WCW.

Well true a company can deliver such terrible moments in wrestling history like Jennifer vs. Sharmell countless retreads of the nWo, and many things Kent Jones, it should also be noted at least some of the good things that it been done before the whole house came tumbling down such as brilliant X-Division matches with names like AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, and even the recently debuted in WWE Samoa Joe. We also provided fans at least for a time with a welcome alternative to some of the storyline heavy content that most of WWE had become during the unfortunate time of 2002 to 2007. Sadly, those very things that we were held it for over the last few years different figures and management sought to systematically destroy. Whether it was decided that the X-Division just wasn't with the program that favored guys like the Nasty Boys and the aging contingent known as The Band, or the constant need to undercut the pay or pushes of those aforementioned talents, it can be seen that the management failed to see what fans and pundits alike saw in TNA: The promotion that could wake Vince McMahon out of his Rip van Winkle-level sleep, and create a new business war. Whether it was Dixie Carter wanting to say she's running a business(into the ground), or Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff wanting to relive the glory days of throwing footballs over the mountains, either way, the fans had had enough of being insulted, and did what they have started to do on Monday's: Take their business elsewhere.

When one truly thinks about it, as an fortunate as it is for this company to go out of business, for the countless people in front of and behind the cameras it is certainly a painful moment to know that your hard work may not matter soon, maybe, there's something to learn from this. The sad teaching tool of both how not to run a business, and be a reminder of the mistakes that killed WCW, maybe the possible end for TNA may not be a complete loss.

NXT Takeover Unstoppable Review 5/20/3015

Welcome to another week of NXT. This time, it's their takeover special, which is basically the time year when they show us what we can get instead of a regular WWE pay-per-view. We're watching this with some particular nervousness given the Destination America has decided that we may not fit into the format after all. What, we asked Abyss to wear the Bigfoot suit. It's his problem, not ours. Anyway, before our company ends up as little more than a name and part of WWE's video library, we take our minds off of it by watching the one time when you know WWE pay-per-views can't stack up.

The opening about is Tyler Breeze vs. Finn Balor. We get video of Hideo Itami with his previously injured shoulder now being addressed, but Kevin Owens walks by simply saying that's a shame in a manner channeling Jerry Seinfeld. Breeze has an entrance that looks like a fashion world version of Neville. Balor is now evolved to the point where he has wings and spines. Even has an eye pain on his back it is reminiscent of both of Lord of the Rings and Resident Evil 2. Just imagine how freaky things will look if he makes it on the main roster during the Triple-H administration. A divided crowd down the middle for both men. Back-and-forth action sees Breeze break out some more stiff offense to complement his high-flying style, while Balor delivers his usual hard-hitting approach. As much as we would've loved to seen a Itami tear it up with these two at the very least we know can pull out a great match when the situation calls for it. After Sling Blade, Balor attempts to follow up but interrupted by a super kick that gets a 2 count. Breeze takes the padding off the turnbuckle which at one point Balor runs into. Even then, he only gets a two count. Breeze attempts to leave the ring before Balor cuts them off at the pass. Balor climbing the set gets chants of "Please don't die" as he lunges at Breeze. Balor gets breeze back into the ring hits The Coup de grace and wins. We cut to NXT Champion Kevin Owens. Given he's facing Sami Zayn tonight, and United States Champion John Cena in a few weeks, he's got quite the schedule. We see Stephanie McMahon sitting next to someone from Game of Thrones we dare not attempt to spell his name. 

Next footage of NXT in Philadelphia. All we can say is if you were there Justin, you are one lucky bastard. 

We now feature Dana Brooke and Emma vs. Charlotte and Bayley. Bayley dominates Dana early on to chants of evil Emma. Speaking of Emma, when she comes in to match, then her team takes control. Charlotte is able to fend off the advances when she tags in, when going for a double DDT on both of them. Talk of Napoleon Dynamite  sherlocks the figure for on putting a bridge with leads to Bayley fending off Dana with a belly to belly suplex, and Charlotte getting the win with natural selection. 

After a recap of Zayn on RAW We see some of the new Performance Center signees including Uhaa Nation, who again is suspiciously not named.

Baron Corbin vs. Rhyno is next. Corbin is the most tattooed NXT wrestler not associated with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins. The match is fairly hard-hitting actually isn't that bad for some of Corbin's matches. Rhyno mainly on defense during the early going of this match. A double shoulder check puts both men flat on their backs. Rhybo mounts a comeback before he attempts a spear, which is countered into the end of days, which allows Corbin to get the win. Not a great match, but definitely one of the better matches of Corbin's young career.

Recap of Owens attacking Cena leads Owens being interviewed about his great week. The promo he cuts leads us to suspect the very real possibility he's getting called up.

Enzo Amore and Collin Cassidy face the team they dub Team Cottonelle for the straps. Then we get the bizarre epilepsy inducing video and music of Blake and Murphy. Enzo and Big Cass dominate for the early going of this, including Big Cass countering half of Murphy's offense. But the Champions are able to isolate Enzo. He's like Ricky Morton in high-tops and Zubaz. Despite taking an absolute ass whooping, Enzo just keeps coming back. His comeback leads Carmella to start bouncing around. Not that sure if that's a bad thing or not. Hot tag leads to Big Cass tearing down the place. Big Cass is almost Kevin Nash like in the sense of his matches are not great on paper but there's an intangible. But he doesn't quite have the charisma. Alexa Bliss comes out to attack Carmela. Which is exactly what Blake and Murphy need to divide and conquer. After Bliss pushes Enzo off the top rope, Murphy gets the cover to retain. List turn could definitely add some dimension to her other than being the ultra cute woman who looks cute. Look, Eva Marie. Brian Kendrick really needs to release her training videos.

After a video package, we get NXT women's champion Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch. Becky wearing one of Taker's old robes, Doc Brown's Goggles, and Milla Jovovich's hair from the fifth element looks quite different for this occasion. The chants for Sasha for the introductions, as well as a divided opinion of Becky, Provide NXT with quite a problem. Becky bringing quite the fight to Sasha, which leads to Sasha looking about as shocked as that one guy at WrestleMania. Sasha begins to comeback when she drags Becky by the arm down on the apron. Sasha continues brutalizing Becky's arm, including a backstabber into a straitjacket submission hold. It's quite apparent that until this past Monday, the main rosters Women's Championship angle paled in comparison to this one. It still has a tough timekeeping up with it even with a great wrestler like Paige. Given how into the heel champion the crowd is, one swears that Seth Rollins is being told to run out there with the Money in the Bank briefcase.  Becky reverses an arm bar into an electric chair type drop. Becky continues to fight on, pulling Sasha straight into the ring post, hurting Sasha's arm. Becky even pulls off a suplex we're pretty sure caused Brock Lesnar to say "Oh someone's so getting that". Becky locks in the armbar with Sasha having to scratch and claw to make it to the ropes. Sasha eventually forces Becky outside the ring, decide to do a suicide dive through the ropes, but is caught by Becky and launched back first into the steps. When Becky attempts to go off the top rope, Sasha counters into a Bank Statement to get the win. This match is one of the best matches of the week altogether, and shows that Becky is quite an athlete. She even won over some of the divided crowd.

After a video package hyping the main event, we then move on to Zayn vs. Owens one on one. Owens comes out wearing a John Cena T-shirt, which leads us to wonder whether not he's walking into his match against Cena with the NXT Championship. Both of these men go at each other pretty hard, which is quite impressive as a knowing the injury Zayn's wrestling with. They start brawling through the crowd which leads us to think of what these men could've done in the Attitude Era. This includes Zayn reversing the powerbomb, and then tossing Owens back over the railing. Owens kicks out following a blue thunder bomb, he comes back before a suplex by Zayn. When he goes for the helluva kick, Owens close the outside which causes aim to roll out of the ring deliver another Suplex on the outside. Owens starts to turn the match in his favor following the Powerbomb on the apron. The referees have to pull Owens off of Zayn, however that's in vain as Owens continues the brutal assault. William Regal then comes out ordering Owens to stop his assault. When he doesn't, Regal starts to pull him off. Nothing. Then the shock of Samoa Joe not only appearing, but completely averting the name generator. Accompanied by chants of "Joe is gonna kill you", Samoa Joe stare at Owens until the Champion has no choice but to walk away from the fight. Gets chants of "Thank you Joe" the crowd, and from Dixie "F--- you Joe." In any case, we think we should probably send out resumes over to WWE. After all, their main roster creative team does like to book drunk.

So ends another week in WWE's NXT. Given that they signed the one Samoan wrestler not related to The Rock, we can safely say that it makes our second cancellation in a year a bit more painful. We may have to either join Jarrett's organization if it ever gets off the ground, or hope that Tommy Dreamer forgets who we are and hires us to book. Either way, we will crash land on our feet. As a certain tainted Samoan wrestler would say, believe that.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Kevin Owens Survives Day One in Hostile Territory

I'm filled with a little bit of hope when I see the story about Finn Balor, about how Vince McMahon prefers he get called to the main roster ASAP, while Triple H insists that the Irish show-stealer remain in NXT for a considerable time longer. Being that Balor comes with a hefty downside guarantee, he may not be missing out on too much money, and his stay in Orlando becomes justified. It is, however, another case where Triple H seems to be protecting his NXT investments.