Friday, 28 March 2014

Daily Royal Ramble #5 (28th March 2014)

Welcome loyal reader to the fifth installment of the Daily Royal Ramble! Today's Ramble is going to continue yesterday's theme of looking at where I am with a number of wrestling companies. Yesterday I wrote about TNA, today I'm going to take a quick look at Ring of Honor and New Japan.

However, before that I'd like a look at last night's NXT that aired on the WWE Network. The main draw for this episode was an NXT Championship bout with Adrian Neville defending against Bo Dallas. I really enjoyed this bout, some really lovely wrestling, some awfully stiff strikes for WWE and some of the best false finishes I've seen in a while. I honestly thought Dallas had the match won after he got the knees up on Neville's Red Arrow, with Neville kicking out at the last minute I was on the edge of my seat from then on. The finish saw Neville hit a crazy 450 splash to retain his title, it was fast paced and left us with no doubt that Neville's first win wasn't just a fluke. Everything in this one worked for, there were a few sloppy moments and a few moments when it was clear the action had to be cut in post-production, but this still was a splendid NXT main event. I would expect we'll see Bo Dallas turning up on the main roster soon, as it appear like he's done all he can do in NXT, he's more ready than he was fourteen months ago when WWE first tried to bring up to the main roster and with the right storyline I can see Bo flourishing on Raw and Smackdown.

Elsewhere, there really wasn't much else of note for me, Natalya defeating Charlotte by disqualification was a decent storyline continuer, but I'm not completely sold on the Flair vs. Hart story, as it seems like Charlotte is attempting to do a David Flair and piggy back off her father's legacy, whilst Bret Hart looked extremely bored at ringside, at times even a bit lost and confused. (4/10 Bret) It would seem Corey Graves is being primed for a run opposite Neville for the strap, as he squashed Yoshi Tatsu, and will face Sami Zayn next week, in what should be another excellent contest. I'm still not sold on Mojo Rawley, I don't think the gimmick fits the in-ring work, and if Chris Hero was told to get in shape, so should Rawley, he looks pretty flabby out there, he picked up the victory over CJ Parker non-the-less. Xavier Woods continues to go nowhere since turning up on the main roster, the decision to simply give him Brodus Clay's music and gimmick has killed any momentum he had and is possibly the laziest booking decision I've ever seen. He lost to Tyler Breeze this week to close their feud in a decent outing.

Overall a decent edition of NXT, the main event was an entertaining and enjoyable watch, but most of the show didn't match up to it and it's clear there's still a lot of work to do on some of these guys both as wrestlers and characters.

Now, onto where I am with Ring of Honor and New Japan. If you read yesterday's Ramble, you'll remember I started by talking about how I feel I've become to WWE-Centric over the last few months and talked about how I would rectify this (Check it out yourself for the full explanation), so I'm continuing that today by re-considering my stance with both Ring of Honor and New Japan.

Let's kick-off with Ring of Honor. I was, at one point, a subscriber to their website and brought a handful of DVD's. I was rarely disapointed with the match quality, but due to the taping schedule, I never felt an urgent need to watch the TV product, and eventually I fell behind. I also noticed that a lot of the guys at the top in ROH had been there for some time and there was very little upward mobility in the company, with the exception of Michael Elgin and Adam Cole, ROH's main event scene had been pretty stagnant for some time, coupled with a tiring ROH vs. SCUM storyline that ended in a clusterfuck, I really wasn't feeling ROH anymore. Whilst I was always guaranteed some quality in ring action, it would likely be the same few guys, with a weak storyline, I've probably not watched ROH in about eight months or so, and when I look at the cards they put on, they're pretty much the same as when I was last watching, with what seems like the same storylines running. Don't get me wrong, I love a good long storyline, but it needs to be a good idea in the first place!

Now, recently ROH have announced they will be running two iPPV's with New Japan Pro Wrestling, in May. This has piqued my interest for sure, for the simple reason that I've been meaning to watch New Japan for an extremely long time, and this seems to me like a great way to get into the product. This month alone saw three New Japan matches make the top six of our Match of the Month, with a similar result looking possible for February. So, yes, I will be watching on May 10th and 17th and hopefully this will be the start of me following ROH again and beginning to follow New Japan, which can only be good news for the blog.

That's it for today, boys and girls, I hope you've enjoyed my rambling on this fine Friday evening. I'll be back tomorrow with some news of how Kamikaze Pro fans can win a 2 disc DVD at Sunday's Over the Top show. Keep tuned.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

WWE All Star Search #2 - 23rd January 1984 - Adam Ross

Welcome Turnbucklers! It's edition #2 and we are live at Madison Square Garden. This show you may have heard of before...and we'll get to why later. We have a very similar main event to the last edition as well as two title matches. Lots of jobber matches on the lowcard but hey, might be a few surprises, who knows! We also have a handful of blog debuts. Onwards we go...!

The Card:

Tony Garea vs Jose Luis Rivera

The Invaders vs Mr Fuji/Tiger Chung Lee

The Masked Superstar vs Cheif Jay Strongbow

Sgt. Slaughter vs Ivan Putski

Paul Orndorff vs Salvatore Bellomo

Don Muraco (IC Champ) vs Tito Santana [IC Title Match]

Haiti Kid/Tiger Jackson vs Pancho Boy/Dan Carpenter (2 out of 3 Falls)

Hulk Hogan vs Iron Sheik (WWE Champ) [WWE Title Match]

Jimmy Snuka vs Rene Goulet

Andre the Giant/Rocky Johnson/Tony Atlas vs The Wild Samoans

The Show:

We are live from Madison Square Garden and our commentary team is Gorilla Monsoon and Pat Patterson. Not expecting much from Patterson and his awful, awful English.

Tony Garea vs Jose Luis Rivera
Straight into the first match of the show and Howard Finkel proves how old school we actually are by introducing every official there is to introduce. Its the battle of the soon to be jobbers and someone in the crowd REALLY likes Rivera when he's introduced but Garea gets the bigger reaction by far. Garea is supposedly on the look out for a new tag partner so good luck to him! Chain wrestling and a stand off to start us off. Rivera takes control with a headlock followed by a quick cross body. Garea takes control with an arm drag and then puts on an arm bar. 2 Shoulderblocks followed by another arm drag for Garea who is firmly in control. Nice scoop slam by Rivera but Garea holds onto the armbar in a cool little spot. Rivera gets a close two count with a roll up but to no avail. Rivera goes for a monkey flip but Garea avoids it with a cartwheel. More back and forth until Rivera almost slips on a leapfrog and connects with a crap dropkick to big boos. Rivera goes up top for a cross body but Garea rolls through it for the pin and the win. Fast paced, even but dull. Simple as. Match Rating: 1/2*

The Invaders vs Mr Fuji/Tiger Chung Lee
Decent reaction for The Invaders who impressed me last edition so lets see if it's more of the same. I like Fuji and I can't remember much of Tiger Chung Lee but he's a big guy. Last time out we had three of these four in a similar but here Charlie Fulton is replaced with Lee. Should be a decent swap so let us see! Big reaction for The Invaders and for Fuji/Lee which is good for a throwaway tag match. Fuji throws salt into the front rows while Monsoon analyses which Invader has gone fat. Lock up to start with Lee and Invader 1 with Lee taking very brief control until he's suprised with a nice sunset flip for a 2 count. We get that cool Invader spot where they both jump in and out of the ring with extra quick tags while working on Tiger Chung Lee's arm. This goes on for a while until Lee has enough, picks up an Invader with one arm and casually walks over to the heel corner. He looks like he's about to tag in Fuji...but doesn't. He eventually does tag out to Mr Fuji who comes in with his big, evil smile. He's just so cute! He sells a punch to the midsection embarassingly, but none the less, the crowd eat it up. More strange tag tactics by Invaders who now work over Fuji's arm. In comes Lee who regains control for all of...a second...before the Invader hits some nice scoop slam and some decent chain wrestling. I'm enjoying this one so far! Awkward leapfdrop and snapmare attempts by an Invader that the crowd seems not to appreciate. I don't think it was a botch though but I can see how the crowd did. I love hearing Fuji's evil laugh on the apron. The heels isolate an Invader in their corner and use some mean heely bastard tactics behind a distracted ref's back. Fuji in now who delivers some evil headbutts and Lee comes in to work over the arm some more. Lee with a thrust kick to the face then nails a back drop for a 1 count. Fuji back in who sticks on a nerve hold and then nails a suplex. Patterson calls him a tool for not going for a cover and Invader nails a suplex of his own. Invader apparently gets the worst of it though as he didn't let his man go at the right time according to Monsoon. Clever! Fuji heads up top but classic wrestling 101 says...the Invader stops him halfway and throws him off to the mat. Invader makes a tag to...Invader and the crowd love it as they clean house on the heels. Really BRUTAL back suplex by Lee gets control back for the bad guys. Fuji back in with a side suplex of his own but it only gets a two count. Back to a nerve hold by Fuji but Invader escapes...for a second...before being re-grounded with a chop to the throat. Lee back in who works over the back and then locks in a bearhug. The crowd rally behind him and he escapes...for a second. Another bearhug, but the Invader on the outside gets frustrated and just breaks it up. Heels fake a tag and the crowd don't like that! Another nerve hold by Fuji, but Invader escapes for the hot tag to the other Invader who cleans house. Lee back in and Invader 1 goes for a cross body, gets caught and eats an atomic drop and the heels pose instead of covering. Headlock by Lee and the ref gets distracted by the apron Invader while the heels sneakily double team. Invader escapes the headlock, nails a dropkick, charges at Lee in the corner but misses the splash and eats turnbuckle instead for a 1 count. This match should've ended by now I think. Nice dropkick and bridging pin on Lee but it only gets another 1 count. Match speeds up significantly as the Invaders double team Lee's leg over and over and over and over...again. Crowd loves it and Lee finds himself in a leg lock. Tag out to Fuji who finds himself also being double teamed by the Invaders and their amazing quick tags. Fuji finds himself in a weakly applied abdominal stretch, he escapes and tags in Lee...who ends up in a weak abdominal stretch. Ref is distracted by an apparently stupid Invader so Fuji breaks up the Abdominal Stretch...although its not long before its reapplied. All 4 men end up in the ring and the Invaders whip both heels into each other and then apply one of my favourite forgotten moves...the rowboat! Sadly the bell rings for the Time Limit Draw. The Invaders celebrate afterwards as if they've won and then act peeved when they find out they haven't. Someone should tell them the rules. Anyway, I certainly wasn't expecting to enjoy this one so much but it was a solid 20 old school tag team match. The Invaders are awesome and seem to be 2 years ahead of scheduale for the WWF. Teams wouldn't attempt what the Invaders were upto until the Harts and the Bee's appeared and I can't work out why the Invaders weren't more long term in WWF. The heels were also great in this one. Fuji is just so great at wanting to see him get battered and Tiger Chung Lee is a beast of a man and he has the intensity a more comedic Fuji brings to the table. The match could've done with 5 less minutes and a clean finish but hey, this is 1984 WWF, one can dream. Match Rating: ***1/4

The Masked Superstar vs Chief Jay Strongbow
A main event in any arena according to Gorilla but I think I have to disagree. Chief looks really old and we have a slow start here. More talk than action here but we do get a headlock albeit not for long. Chief takes control with more headlocks. More headlocks until Strongbow intimidates Masked Superstar out of the ring. Even I wouldn't be scared of ol' man Strongbow. Back to more headlocks...until he tries to de-mask the Masked Superstar. He almost gets away with it but he eventually fails and leaves the Masked Superstar growling. Kneelifts by Strongbow and back to the mask. Superstar takes over until Strongbow psychs himself up and locks on a sleeper. Superstar escapes out of it and nails Strongbow with a sloppy clothesline for the three count! So many headlocks! These are the matches I don't enjoy, constant restholds, not submissions but restholds! Yawn. Match Rating: DUD

Sgt Slaughter vs Ivan Putski
Out comes Putski first and oh lord does he look so roid-swollen even I ache. Slaughter comes out to some patriotic tune, I'm not American so fuck knows what it is. To be fair his entrance is pretty cool as the camera follows him from backstage. I wish someone would take the ringbell away from who ever has it as they won't stop ringing it! Lots of stalling to start with Putski shadow boxing and Slaughter making fun of Putski. Putski poses and he is certainly a big roid-ball. According to the commentators, he also stinks of garlic. They finally lock up and Putski overpowers Sarge into the corner and levels him with a scoop slam to big cheers. A Polish Power headlock with added scream followed by a big shoulderblock. Another headlock until Slaughter nails a big atomic drop. Backbreaker by Sarge barely gets a 1 count but is followed by another backbreaker for 2. Putski regains control in the corner and Sarge is busted open via the ringpost. Putski works over Slaughter, whips him into the corners and nails some quick punches on the bloody noodle. Putski goes to the turnbuckles again but Sarge reverses it into a nice clothesline. Gorilla tells us its called the 'Cannon'? Sarge goes for a slam but can't get him up so Putski falls on him for the 2 count. Putski nails the Polish Hammer, which looks crap but gets a big pop. Another shot sends Slaughter out over the top rope but he gets his massive chin stuck under the bottom rope on the way down. Way to use what you've got, son! Both lads trade punches on the apron and the bell rings. Putski power whips Sarge into the turnbuckle and he goes flying out to the floor. The fight continues back in the ring and eventually we find out Putski was counted out and Sarge wins. Crowd was into this one but I wasn't too thrilled. Another bundle of headlocks but both men showed enough character to add some edge. Crowd noise and those few backbreakers keep this one from a dud. Match Rating: 3/4*

We're in the back with Mean Gene and he's joined by 'Mr Wonderful' Paul Orndorff. He's facing Salvatore Bellomo tonight but apparently he's nothing more than a spaghetti eater. Orndorff wants more competition and he's better than everyone else. Mean Gene cuts him off but Orndorff finishes on promising to deliver the Piledriver. God bless you, Mr Wonderful!

'Mr Wonderful' Paul Orndorff vs Salvatore Bellomo
Out comes...Rowdy Roddy Piper! He's accompanying Paul Orndorff and not only is this his MSG debut but it's also Piper's MSG return. The crowd give them steady heat but it's nothing compared with whats to come later in the year. Salvatore Bellomo had a noticable match last time so lets see how this one turns out. Piper wants a handshake, doesn't get one and responds by screaming at Bellomo. The heels complain about Bellomo's knee brace and try walking out. Since the bell has already rung, they should be counted out but they aren't. They get back in the ring but stall for an age, I guess because that's what all 1984 heels do. Orndorff eventually pearl habours Bellomo and works him over with vicious punches and elbow drops. A scoop slam and some vicious stomps to the head follow. Orndorff with knees to the back and then a blatant choke in the ropes while Piper screams on the outside. Orndorff with a Big Back Body Drop for 2, tries for a scoop slam but Bellomo falls on him for 2. Orndorff misses a charge in the corner and Bellomo gets some kicks in, finishing with some dropkick. Orndorff misses an elbow drop and Bellomo works on his arm. They trade punches and armdrags and Bellomo comes out on top still while Piper complains about pulled hair. Nice try, Roddy! Amateur suplex throw by Orndorff but Bellomo catches him in a head scissors. A nasty looking side back suplex by Orndorff and Bellomo takes a nasty bump outside. He tries to get back in but Piper screams in his face and Orndorff nails a cheap shot. Crowd heat for Orndorff but we've heard worse already tonight. Scoop slam by Orndorff outside on the concrete! Back in the ring and Orndorff hits a nice suplex and Bellomo attempts to fight back but to no avail. Another scoop slam by Orndorff but misses a knee drop from the top rope! Bellomo goes to work on Orndorff to big cheers but his momentum is cut short by a nice Powerslam by Orndorff. A Piledriver comes next and Orndorff gets the win! Good introduction and return for Orndorff and Piper. Piper I would of assumed would've done more on the card but oh well. If anyone knows why he was just managing, let me know below! Bellomo was a good sympathetic babyface again but nothing spectacular. Match Rating: *

Don Muraco (IC Champ) vs Tito Santana [IC Title Match]
Out they come to decent reactions each. Muraco is with Captain Lou Albano and Tito is....Tito. They lock up to start but neither man can gain an advantage. Another lock up followed by another stand off as the commentators put both lads over. Tito finally manages to take control with a headlock and nails Muraco with some swift punches. A headlock takedown floors Muraco and Santana drives Muraco face first into the mat. Another headlock follows and I am getting frustrated with how many headlocks I've sat through in this show. Muraco finally hits a nice backbreaker to end the headlock but Santana floors him again, drops him on his back and goes back to the headlock. After a LONG time, Muraco finally ends the headlock with a Side Russian Leg Sweep. Muraco starts to work on the back of the head and neck of Santana then nails a stalling Powerslam for a 2 count. Muraco chokes Santana in the ropes and the crowd starts to liven up with Tito chants. Both men trade punches in the middle of the ring, Santana wins the battle and Captain Lou involves himself but only gets a beating for his trouble. Santana goes for a flying cross body but misses Muraco and nails the bottom turnbuckle! They start fighting outside and the bell starts ringing. Its a double DQ and I don't know really why. Both lads continue beating each other after the match until Muraco makes a hasty escape. Far too many headlocks again in that match and it meant both I and the crowd were drained before the match was even halfway through. The last quarter of the match picked up slightly but not enough to save the match. The end result is a stinker as well. Match Rating: 3/4*

Backstage once more with Mean Gene who's standing by with a somewhat aggrieved Tito Santana. He's annoyed at the double DQ and much like myself, can't understand why the bell was ring. Muraco, Tito is coming for you! Ariba!

Haiti Kid/Tiger Jackson vs Pancho Boy/Dan Carpenter (2 out of 3 Falls)
It's this edition's Midget Match now and this is always uncomfortable viewing for me. Its a rematch from Edtion #1 only this time it is 2/3 falls! Once the introductions are done, the commentators let loose on their jokes and quips. I can't tell if Dan Carpenter is a big midget or a small non-midget. We start off with Tiger Jackson de-pantsing Pancho Boy. Patterson quips 'Ain't he cute' which is creepy. Side headlock by Jackson and Pancho has no hair to pull on to escape, d'oh! A monkey flip by Pancho and we have ourselves a stand off. At least the midgets are patronising themselves and not leaving just for the commentary team to do. Hammerlock for Jackson but he's not in it for long as he nails a dropkick and a flying head scissors. Jackson ends up vertically on his hand and Pancho Boy spins him round on his noodle. In comes the Haiti Kid now who cleans house on the heels and then shenanigans ensues. Carpenter manages a leapfrog, thinks he's outsmarted Haiti Kid but gets dropkicked out to the floor for his troubles. Fun spot with Jackson standing on the ropes but the momentum of the bounce caused by Pancho Boy on the other side of the ring propels him over the top rope into the ring. Once Jackson is the legal man, he nails a sunset flip for a 3 count and the first fall. Straight into the second fall here with Haiti Kid and Pancho Boy in the ring. Haiti's head gets slammed into the turnbuckle...but he no sells it and taunts Pancho. In comes Carpenter but he eats an awkward looking suplex. 4 midget criss-cross now, Carpenter falls for the same trick as last edition and eats an airplane spin for 2. Carpenter hits a slam, goes for a pin but its reversed into the longest pin attempt in history...and it still gets the three! That looked bizarre. Either way, somewhat entertaining but overall still uncomfortable. Match Rating: 1/2*

We're backstage with Mean Gene who's with 'Classy' Freddie Blassie (sporting a lovely arabic head garment) and the Iron Sheik. Blassie complains about Backlund being replaced by Hulk Hogan in the following title match but no matter, Sheiky will have it dealt with nonetheless. Sheiky gets a few words in Iranian but tells us in English that he's the best, Backlund is weak and Hogan has no chance.

Hulk Hogan vs Iron Sheik (WWE Champ) [WWE Title Match]
So here we go, title match time. Sheik is already in the ring and we cut to Hogan backstage. He starts walking as the familiar Real American plays. Out he comes to a big pop and plays with the crowd during the introductions. Crowd is on fire now with big boo's for Sheik too. The bell rings and Hogan pearl harbours Sheik in the corner while he is de-robing. Clothesline on Sheik with his head garment and the crowd is exploding. Another clothesline and a knee to the face by Hogan, followed by an eye rake and a standing double handed choke. Sheik thrown into the ropes and gets a big boot to the mush but it only gets a one count. Elbow drop gets two for Hogan but he misses a charge and Sheik takes control. Crowd is deafening at this point as Sheik nails a backbreaker for 2. Sheik picks him up...and takes him down to apply a Boston Crab. Hogan powers out of it but eats a gutwrench suplex. Sheik locks on the Camel Clutch and the crowd is on fire. Hulk powers up, lifts Sheik on his back and slams him into the corner. Sheik goes down, Hogan runs the ropes, Leg Drop, cover, 1,2,3 and the crowd EXPLODES. Wow! Big celebrations are now underway. The match itself was quick but I actually liked it. Sheik got in some offense which was unexpected and Hogan's obvious flaws were well hidden within the pace and basic maneuvers of the match. Either way, Hulkamania has officially started and wrestling will never be the same again.Match Rating: *1/2

Into the back with Mean Gene and NEW WWF Champion Hulk Hogan. Hogan promised us he'd do it and he did it for us and the USA. Cheers Hulk! Andre the Giant appears and showers the champ with champagne as does Ivan Putski!

Jimmy Snuka vs Rene Goulet
I feel I should mention the crowd are still going insane a good few minutes after Hogan's title win so I don't like the chances of the following matches regarding crowd noise. Rene Goulet is already in the ring and I am ready for some old school heel antics! Big pop for Jimmy Snuka but Goulet pearl harbours him from the off and Snuka eats an elbow and a scoop slam. I just noticed there's only 15 minutes left of the show and 2 matches...hmmm. Heel antics by Goulet but Snuka still starts to dominate although not for long as Goulet locks on the dreaded face claw! Snuka finally regains some offense with some chops and leapfrogs. Up top and a Superfly Splash gets the win! That was crap! Match Rating: DUD

Into the back with Mean Gene who's with the Hogan family...mum, dad and baby Hulk. Mr and Mrs Hogan are very proud of their son. Hogan finishes by cutting a promo on his parents!

Andre the Giant/Rocky Johnson/Tony Atlas vs The Wild Samoans
Main event time and out come the Samoans wearing a lovely pink top. They look like savages, but ones in touch with their sensitive time. Out come the tag champs, Johnson and Atlas, followed by Andre. Crowd are more subdued than expected but I don't blame them after the earlier title match. Samula and Atlas start, albeit slowly although Atlas nails a crossbody. They trade wastelocks until they end up in face corner. Andre looks like he's gonna slap the shit out of Samula's chest, but Johnson comes in instead...then Andre gets to do his chop from the apron. A criss-cross leads to some slight embarassment on Samula's part. They lock up again and Johnson nails the Samoans with a double noggin-knocker. Atlas in now who finds himself in a full nelson but not for long as he powers out of it. In comes Andre but he gets nailed with a headbutt. He starts no selling the headbutts, nails one of his own, another double noggin-knocker, a big boot and Andre gets the 3 count. Last editions was better, this one just had nothing really going for it. Andre and the two main Samoans did very little. Match Rating: 1/2*

Wrestler Scores:

  • Tony Garea +2 (2)
  • Jose Luis Rivera +2 (2)
  • Invader 1 +5 (8)
  • Invader 2 +5 (8)
  • Mr Fuji +5 (7)
  • Tiger Chung Lee +4 (4)
  • The Masked Superstar +2 (3)
  • Cheif Jay Strongbow +1 (1)
  • Sgt Slaughter +2 (4)
  • Ivan Putski +2 (2)
  • Paul Orndorff +5 (5)
  • Salvatore Bellomo +3 (6)
  • Tito Santana +3 (6)
  • Don Muraco +3 (6)
  • Haiti Kid +1 (2)
  • Tiger Jackson +1 (2)
  • Dana Carpenter +1 (2)
  • Pancho Boy +1 (2)
  • Hulk Hogan +6 (6)
  • Iron Sheik +3 (6)
  • Jimmy Snuka +1 (4)
  • Rene Goulet +1 (3)
  • Andre the Giant +2 (6)
  • Rocky Johnson +2 (4)
  • Tony Atlas +2 (4)
  • Afa +1 (3)
  • Sika +1 (3)
  • Samula +2 (4)

Daily Royal Ramble #4 (27th March 2014)

Wowzers Trousers! It's yet another Daily Royal Ramble.More thoughts cascading out my mind spaces and entering your eyes like some kind of crazy wrestling thought dragon.

I've notice that I've been very WWE central recently, not only in these early Royal Ramble's but also in general. There are a few reasons behind this, as far as I can work out anyway. The obvious one being Wrestlemania XXX is very close, just over 10 days away, so almost the entire wrestling world is beginning to turn towards New Orleans and that's going to continue until at least the dust settles on the post-Mania Raw. Then there's the WWE Network, which means access to wrestling is a lot easier, I can simply put on the 24/7 stream and leave it on in the background, rather than having to actual search through DVDs or Youtube videos to find something to watch and essentially I am a very very lazy person.

It also doesn't help that WWE's main competition, TNA already has the next few weeks of television taped and ready to go. From a business stand point, it does make perfect sense for TNA to tape a number of shows in one go, but for me as a viewer it makes me far less likely to tune in and check out what's going on, as by the time the show airs, I'll probably know what's going on.

Whilst TNA did seem to be building some steam heading into Lockdown, which in all fairness was a much better offering than their previous pay-per-view Bound For Glory, but after that show I really wasn't that all interested in what Dixie Carter and co had to offer any more. Whilst Gunner and James Storm impressed on the show, as did the six man tag opener, a lot of the booking was almost laughable. After months and months of run-ins and dodgy finishes on television to write out the likes of AJ Styles and Sting, and build the new faction focussed around Dixie Carter and Magnus, the World Title contest needed a crispness to it. With only four PPV's a year, it needed to be made clear that these shows were the ones worth paying for, as you got to see the final chapter of the various rivalries, however this was not to be the case and the majority of stories heading into Lockdown are still running two weeks later.

I did stick around for the next episode of Impact Wrestling, as it went out live and I thought TNA might try and right the wrongs of the previous night. However, I found myself almost completely shut off from the show within half an hour, with very little entertainment value in what I was watching. The decision to announce a World Title match on a live show for a taped show was mind boggling and the return of Angelina Love was one of the most painful segments I've ever sat through. The two people that stood out on the entire broadcast to me were Rockstar Spud and Ethan Carter III, who put together a superb segment that had me both in stitches and wanting to see Spud get his arse handed to him, although not by Willow as later happened.

Two weeks removed from that episode and I have no intention of watching this tonight's edition of Impact, and if I am awake at the time of broadcast, I'll most likely opt to watch NXT on the WWE Network instead. It's a shame because TNA does have a fantastic roster of talent, but just doesn't seem to be able to put all those talent together into a coherent and entertaining two hours of wrestling television, that is consistent enough to keep me coming back each week.

I think that's more than enough Ramble for one day, tomorrow I plan to take a similar look at where I stand with Ring of Honor, as well as New Japan, as well as quick look at this week's NXT (and maybe Impact) depending on what I watch. In the mean time, we'll have the second edition of Adam Ross' fantastic All Star Search going up at 7PM (GMT) tonight, so make sure you catch that. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter also, as soon as we hit 1000 followers, we'll be launching a special competition for a shed load of prizes. is the place to be!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Daily Royal Ramble #3 (26th March 2014)

Hello, and welcome to another Daily Royal Ramble! Number 3 no less! 

Now, I should probably talk about last night's Main Event on the WWE Network, however due to an issue with my bank card I was unable to gain access to the Network (It works fine now!) and therefore have yet to view last night's Main Event (I'll probably catch it on a replay somewhere down the line) 

So instead let's chat about something that I missed yesterday...the WWE Hall of Fame induction of Razor Ramon. Coincidentally you can now vote for ATPW's 4th Hall of Famer at this link:, with the options being Ric Flair, Vince McMahon, Jr, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Davey Boy Smith. Now, check out Ramon's induction video below...

When this video went out on Raw this Monday, there was a lot of discussion about the decision not to include any footage of Scott Hall in WCW or his short WWE return, with the package focusing only on Ramon footage from WWF. Many seemed almost upset about this, "How dare WWE not include any nWo footage!" It was really quite bizarre. 

There are a number of reason that I wasn't at all bothered by there being no WCW footage. Firstly, the best work of Scott Hall was arguably as Razor Ramon. Yes, the nWo was the most revolutionary ideas ever to be stolen from Japan, and for a while it did massive ratings for WCW, but how many memorable singles contests did Hall have in WCW? And didn't the nWo eventually strangle WCW to death? Wasn't it Scott Hall who tasered Goldberg to end his undefeated streak? Yeah, let's just honour Razor Ramon, eh chico? 

Alongside this, it was made very clear that it was the Razor Ramon character entering the Hall of Fame, not Scott Hall...yes, Scott Hall played Razor Ramon on WWF television and then went on to play another character called Scott Hall for WCW and later WWE, but the character and the performer are two different things. It's like getting upset that a video package dedicated to David Arquette's Dewey Riley character in Scream, doesn't feature any footage of Gordie Boggs! 

Finally, I'd also expect that WWE are planning a big induction for the nWo, somewhere down the line, with Scott Hall being a big part of that induction. So the performer Scott Hall would be honoured twice, but not the character of Scott Hall, if you get my drift. Whether, WWE will see fit to induct the entire nWo, or just the original three (Hall, Hollywood Hogan and Kevin Nash) is yet to be seen, but I can't quite imagine them putting the likes of Konnan, Horace Hogan and Buff Bagwell into the Hall!

Rightio, I think that's enough Ramble for today, make sure to check back tomorrow for more musings, as well as the second edition of Adam Ross' All-Star Search! Oh, I'm also writing up another What A Difference A Year Makes this time focussing on The Shield, so watch out for that! 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Daily Royal Ramble #2 (25th March 2014)

Okay, there's a slight name change, but like when Antonio Cesaro became just Cesaro or Prince Iaukea became The Artist Formely Known As Prince Iaukee, it's one for the better (The second one might not be strictly true) 

Before, I get into a quick review of Raw, I'd like to go over the results of our January Match of the Month poll (You can still vote for February here: There were a fair few matches up for this one and this is how it ended up.

1st Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan from WWE Royal Rumble - 50%

2nd Kota Ibushi vs. Prince Devitt from NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 8 - 15%

3rd Chris Hero vs. Ricochet from EVOLVE 25 - 10%
= Hirooki Goto vs. Katsuyori Shibata from NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 8 - 10%
= John Cena vs. Randy Orton from WWE Royal Rumble - 10%

6th Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito from NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 8 - 5%

It would appear that I'm missing out by not watching New Japan with them occupying three of the six top spots here, but it's clear that the majority are also sticking with WWE as Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt's clash at WWE's Royal Rumble takes the top spot with 50%. It was a great match up that the rest of the show couldn't live up to, although it's interesting to see John Cena and Randy Orton's much maligned contest taking a place in the top six as well. 

So, I better give some kind of opinion on last night's Raw, eh? 

For me this was an episode that felt very much like WWE treading water, not much actually happened, did it? I mean beyond the final segment with Undertaker popping out of the coffin (Yeah I marked a bit for that) and battling Brock Lesnar, did anything actually go on? Everything was pretty much where it was three hours before the show started. I imagine we'll see WWE make one last push on next week's episode, which is of course the go home show for Wrestlemania XXX. 

On the whole I think I enjoyed Raw this week, I say I think because my computer ended up crashing a few times so I missed the majority of Triple H's in ring promo (Yes, it crashed for quite a while). I thoroughly enjoyed the Fatal Fourway bout between Christian, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio for a shot at Big E's Intercontinental Championship on this week's Main Event (even if it was revealed earlier that the winner Christian won't be appearing on the show) There were a lot of fun spots, as well as some good psychology addd with Sheamus' injured shoulder, with a clever finish playing on Christian's new heel character. I'm interested to see what the situation with Christian is, as I thought he could have potentially done a lot to help Big E in their singles contest.

There was also the celebrity appearances, kicked with Sin Cara jumping out of The Mystery Machine with a fella dressed as Scooby Doo. Really quite bizarre and surreal, and I'm sure there's many who got all upset about the use of Damien Sandow, but I honestly couldn't care less, this appearances could have been a lot lot worse. Hulk Hogan, Arnold Schwarznegger and some other fella also turned up on Raw to do something. There was a lot of back patting, which didn't really do anything for anyone, before Arnie and that other fella (even Hogan didn't know who he was) asked to enter the Andre Battle Royal, only to be interrupted by The Miz who got his ass handed to him, before Hogan chucked him out of the ring. I have no idea what the point of this was, or what it did for anyone, or whether The Miz is currently a heel or a face.

I'm still trying to get my head around the idea of having the two tag team title number one contenders lose and both get destroyed by The Shield. I understand they needed to keep The Shield looking strong, but there were plenty of other ways to do this. The tag champions weren't even on the show, which could have been used to build a quick programme between them, The Real Americans and Rybaxel. Talking of The Shield, their rumoured contest with Kane and The New Age Outlaws was confirmed, which seems nothing more than a throwaway contest to me, it won't be awful, but I can't imagine many people talking about it afterwards either. We also got the obligatory Diva's bout added to Mania, with AJ Lee set to defend against EVERY diva on the main roster, including Rosa Mendes, who is apparently still employed. Who knew? 

That's probably all I've got to say on last night's Raw....not a lot happened did it? I still dislike JBL (him calling Fandango a "heel" was just mind blowingly idiotic.) but that's a given. I expect next week's Raw to be a lot better, it's going to need to be to get that last push going with Wrestlemania just six days away.

In closing, I'd like to push you towards Marc Pearson's review of Futureshock 74 which featured Jay Lethal taking on Cyanide and Sonjay Dutt against Jack Gallagher, it's fantastic read and can be found here:

There is also just five days left to vote on which PPV's get watched for #ATPSunday in April at this link: Also there is just six days left to vote on February's Match of the Month at this link:

Futureshock 74 Review - Marc Pearson

Just 4 weeks since Futureshock 73 we were back to the Guildhall with a truly ridiculous looking card. The building is sold out, complete and utterly, to the point where there were seats in places I've never seen them including where the commentary table normally goes. I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if people were turned away

PCW ring announcer Joanna Rose was in charge of ring announcing, commentators Mark Adams & Matt Taylor have shared the ring announcing duties since Jenna Ellison left the company 18 months ago and while they both do a good job it's something I've never liked so hope this is a permanent thing, other than calling the belt the FS title (a big no no in the company, it's the Futureshock Title, the owners get very funny if you refer to the company as FSW) Joanna did a great job.

As far as I could tell there was no commentary recorded, I will be VERY interested when I get the year-end box set to see how the commentary sounds because from my own personal experience it just doesn't sound as good if you aren't there live. As a head up to anyone from the company I would happily and willingly come out of retirement to call a Futureshock show!
Having settled into my front row seat and with the place full to bursting we got underway with Joe Vega defeating Mark Massa in a good, short and fast paced match, I think this one went less than 10 minutes but actually felt a bit longer, Massa hit a great looking spinebuster while Vega got a really nice moonsault press and finished the match with a springboard tornado DDT.

Next up, leader of The Uprising, Xander Cooper beat Sonar Dursen in another fast paced short match, both men employing some lovely, deep arm bars in this one. Sonar hit a lovely senton to the outside. He attempted a phoenix splash, a move you very rarely see and one I can't recall seeing in a Futureshock ring, alas it missed allowing Cooper to hit the MXC3 for the win. I got the impression that this was a match designed to make 2013 Trophy Tournament (and therefore, Number One Contender) a competitor who doesn't NEED his Uprising troops behind him to get the win

Zach Gibson & The Models d T Bone & The Blackpool Blondes in a fun, entertaining match. Gibson successfully retained his Futureshock Championship in a very good match last time out so this was a nice little continuation of that storyline. The Models are crazy over in Stockport, A young girl in the front row was giddy with excitement when the men came out and I honestly thought she was going to cry when Hotstuff Hayes slapped her hand! At one point we had a very entertaining moment as The Blondes put Bone in a corner, then put Axel Rage into a tree of woe so he was draped across Bone, they then suplexed James Drake onto the pair of them, certainly an interesting move. I must say I'm still waiting for the moment that Melanie Price turns on her charges, maybe it's just me but I don't like babyface teams with managers and Ms Price is way way more effective in the heel role. The Models hit The Snapshot (3D) then Futureshock champion Gibson hit his Liver Driver (modified brainbuster) for the win.

In the main event of the first half we got an absolute master class of a match between Jack Gallagher and former TNA star Sonjay Dutt. My friends and I were expecting a technical masterpiece between the two and were sometimes that can create a quiet crowd especially with casual fans. We got what we wanted and should not have worried about the crowd one bit. The match was fast and fluid, with both men doing little touches to keep the fans entertained between sequences. For example Sonjay kissing Jack's hand, Jack smiled and without missing a beat wiped the hand on the referee's shirt. Dutt locked an Octopus Stretch, a favourite submission move of mine then Gallagher, later on he went for his moonsault double stomp but Gallagher moved out of the way, connected with a picture perfect dropkick to the jaw and finally hit a Swanton bomb for the win to a standing ovation!

After the intermission the ridiculously over (and one half of the tag team champions) Dave Rayne defeated Noah in a match that not only featured the expected shenanigans but also some really nice wrestling. Noah brings a small, burned teddy bear to the ring with him so before the bell Rayne got on the mic and introduced his tag team partner The Nordic warrior who was holding Little Rayne - a large teddy bear which got a rousing LITTLE RAYNE chant. Highlights of this one were Warrior running in terror from Noah's fearsome scream, Noah hitting a beautiful armbreaker and Rayne winning with his back cracker off the top rope. I'd like to see the 2 of them go at it again in the future.

Next up was the only title match of the evening as Woman's Champion Danni Hunter took on impressive newcomer Lana Austin after Lana had pinned the champion in a mixed tag match at the last show. Both girls looked good in the ring, Danni hitting a really nice spinebuster and letting out a war scream that sent chills down your spine, definitely one not to be crossed. Unfortunately this one was just hotting up when Danni's Uprising companions hit the ring. Lana didn't give a damn about them though and hit Don Meacho with a really nice cross body to the outside, then, as he staggered into the ring she hit her Kiss Of Death (tilt a whirl stunner, a move that has to be seen to be believed) but this left her wide open to a spin kick from the champion for the win. I would have liked at least 5 more minutes as this one felt way too short but I'm sure the storyline is leading to these 2 facing each other again one day! After the bell it looked like The Uprising were going to attack Lana some more but Si Valour and Sparx made the save. Sparx complete with new ring gear made me a happy chappy. They brawled with The Uprising until Valour got on the mic and challenged Meacho and Ryan Hendrix to an impromptu match there and then, which the heels accepted. Sparx had a great big bandage on his left shoulder which any wrestling fan will tell you is just a big target for a man as nasty as Meacho, he picked Sparx up and dropped him shoulder first onto the ring apron! The heels got the win after Sparx stopped Meacho using Xander Cooper's Tournament trophy, then used it himself causing a DQ. Valour did not look happy about this at all and argued with Sparx who tried to protest his innocence all the way to the back.

While the famous Stockport raffle was being drawn Joanna announced that PWG star Drake Younger will make one of his last Indy appearances before joining WWE at the next Futureshock Underground show on April the 19th. I've been an admirer of Younger's for a while so this pleased me.

Speaking of pleasing me the main event certainly did that as Cyanide defeated Jay Lethal in a superb match. The action started hot and heavy as Lethal delivered a superkick the moment the bell rang, this staggered the big man who bailed to the outside, Lethal then hit a suicide dive to Cyanide's manager Chris Egan while the fans roared their approval. Lethal followed this quickly with an attempted cross body but was caught ant dropped into the apron by "The Toxic Terror". Lethal unloaded with punches which just made the big man mad to the point where he unleashed big Vader style haymakers in the corner then caught Lethal attempting a cross body and turned it into a wicked power bomb! Lethal managed to rally, hitting a missile dropkick and a lovely standing moonsault for 2 but when he charged at Cyanide in a corner he was met with a massive dropkick from Cyanide. The fans were at fever pitch by now, chanting this is awesome as Cyanide hit his Cyropracters Dream backbreaker for 2. The match went back and forth and the fans were screaming themselves hoarse as Lethal connected with a hurricanrana, a superkick and his Randy Savage style elbow drop, we thought that was enough but Cyanide still managed to kick out. Lethal called for his Lethal Injection move but as he attempted it Cyanide hit a lariat that turned Lethal inside out, amazingly the resulting cover got a 2 count. With Lethal down Chris Egan brought a ladder into the ring, when referee Darren Bateman tried to stop Cyanide using it he got in the refs face in a corner, Lethal loaded up for a superkick but Cyanide moved and the kick hit the referee square in the jaw, to the utter joy of the crowd. Lethal Injection put Cyanide down but there was now no ref, a second ref came out but only counted 2 as Cyanide kicked out! Egan got up on the apron, Lethal dispatched him with a punch but this left him wide open to a gas Chamber power bomb from Cyanide to get the 3! After the bell Cyanide put the ladder on top of Lethal's broken carcass and threatened to moonsault onto it, but Zach Gibson came out to make the save. Egan got on the mic and demanded a title shot for his charge who not only accepted it but said it will be a ladder match at the next show!!!!!

All in all this was the best Futureshock show in some time, every single match delivered, the crowd were super hot and at no point were they quiet. Both imports were on top form and hopefully will attract some of the casual fans who came to see them will have enjoyed the British guys and will come along again. A superb night!

Monday, 24 March 2014

Daily Royal Ramble #1 (24th March 2014)

I wanted to bring back more content to ATPW, without having to review EVERY wrestling TV show, which let's be honest was a bit crazy! Go check out some of those reviews of random episodes of Main Event, if you wish!

So, I present to you THE DAILY ROYAL RAMBLE! I have to be entirely honest and say I have as much clue about what this will entail as you do, which probably isn't the most reassuring thing to hear in the second paragraph of a blog post. But you've stuck with me this far, so why stop now, eh? I'm like that girl you think you might like, and accidentally marry. What am I saying? You're reading a wrestling blog, you don't know what girls are. Before you come storming out of your Mother's basement, that was a joke!

As today, is Monday, that means we've got Raw just around the corner, and it's the penultimate Raw before Wrestlemania XXX, no less! So it's gonna be a good one right? We've got Arnold Schwarzenegger and some other bloke, which is all well and good, Schwarzenegger is a genuine star, whether he will pull a rating for WWE is yet to be seen, but if he's involved in the action in someway then it'll almost certainly get some outside eyes on the show. However, we'll also be seeing Scooby Doo tonight. Yeah, Scooby Doo, as in the cartoon dog. I have no idea what they are going to do or how they are going to do it, but I'm sure all wrestling fans are currently filled with a sense of dread. Personally, I hope WWE pull a WCW and cross promote a film by giving it's top star the WWE Championship. #ScoobyArquette

Outside of the celebrity appearances, I'm excited to see where the Triple H and Daniel Bryan feud will go next, with two more weeks of content, I'm not quite sure where they can go after the ass whooping Trips handed out to Bryan last week on Raw. We also have Undertaker and Brock Lesnar going "Face to Face", which with each other. I'm not a fan of the "Face to Face" things WWE has had a habit of advertising lately, seemingly they are put there when WWE can't be arsed coming up with an actual storyline and instead just chuck two guys together to cut promos and possibly brawl.

Randy Orton and Batista will no doubt do something. Hopefully we'll see Bray Wyatt in action on Raw, after seeing his Wrestlemania opponent John Cena take on Luke Harper on Smackdown. The storyline is continuing to hold my attention, especially after Cena's interview with Michael Cole on, but it needs that last push over the next two weeks to get me completely hyped for this one. Throw in some more competitors to the Andre the Giant Battle Royal (Better known as "We can't book mid-carder rivalries anymore, so have this instead. YAY BATTLE ROYALS!") and maybe also telling us when The Real Americans and Rybaxel will get their Tag Title shots against The Usos (I wouldn't be against that happening tonight) and this has potential to be another good Raw. (Oh yeah, the divas will do something as well) 

Elsewhere in the wrestling world today, it was announced that Marty Jannetty, synomous with being the least popular member of tag teams, and last seen knocking around WWE with John Morrison and The Miz arguing over which one of them was Jannetty (who knew it was The Miz) is coming to Britain, to wrestle for Southside Wrestling Entertainment in August. Now, I may be completely out of touch as it seemed to get a pretty positive response on Facebook (at least ten people saying "YAY" or the like) but I just don't get the decision to bring him over here. I know imports can be a fairly sore subject in British Wrestling and I need to make it clear that I am not against imports at all, but they need to have a big draw factor and/or be able to wrestle a decent match (the booking is also vital as well). I'm not sure if Jannetty has either of those things. Maybe I'm wrong, and if you think the show will get a higher attendance because of Jannetty's appearance please feel free to tweet me and tell me I'm wrong (and why I'm wrong and with a solid argument), you can find us on Twitter @ATPWrestling or on

I think that'll be all for today, I need to save stuff for the rest of the week, I suppose. So drop by tomorrow, and I'll chuck out a quick Raw review and hopefully some more random thoughts on the wrestling world for you guys.

Don't forget to get involved with all the polls we got going on at the moment as well!

4th Hall of Famer Vote:

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January 2014 Match of the Month:

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Thursday, 20 March 2014

WWE All Star Search #1: January 21st 1984 - Adam Ross

Welcome Turnbucklers! Let's get things kicked off with this Philadelphia House Show. I want to start here for one big reason and that is the fact its pre-Hogan title win. We all know how much Hogan's win changes WWE landscape forever but what was it like before? This supercard features the Iron Sheik as WWE Heavyweight Champion and also features previous title holder, Bob Backlund. We have a multi-man main event two featuring some of the biggest pre-Hulkamania era superstars so let's run down the card shall we...

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The Card:

Eddie Gilbert vs Rene Goulet 

Swede Hanson vs Paul Vachon

The Invaders vs Mr Fuji/Charlie Fulton

The Iron Sheik (WWE Champion) vs Tito Santana 

Don Muraco (IC Champion) vs Salvatore Bellomo

The Masked Superstar vs Bob Backlund

Haiti Kid/Tiger Jackson vs Pancho Boy/Dan Carpenter

Andre the Giant/Jimmy Snuka/Tony Atlas/Rocky Johnson vs Afa/Sika/Samula/Sgt. Slaughter [2 out of 3 Falls]

The Show:

We may be ready to start, but our commentary team Dick Graham and Gorilla Monsoon aren't, Monsoon is still talking to someone by the time the camera's start rolling.

Eddie Gilbert vs Rene Goulet 

Subdued reactions from the crowd during the introductions so I'm pretty sure they are neither here nor there for these two. Eddie Gilbert is your ultra-generic default white meat babyface and Rene Goulet is your aging heel foreigner. Goulet has a cape to emphasize his evil foreign nature. To be fair to Eddie, he's just come back after a horrible car accident that left him with a broken neck! Lots of stalling by Goulet to start that is actually quite funny. You can tell he's traditional. There's an ENDLESS headlock by Gilbert that even a graphic nose picking couldn't wain. Quick sequence for all of ten seconds before back to the headlock! Pace is slow when Goulet is in control but still somewhat vicious I guess. Awkward spot when Gilbert falls out the ring onto a chair with the ringbell on it. Crowd wakes up for Goulet going up top but he decides against it. Gilbert takes another hard fall to the unprotected ringside...and then another a minute later. Decent heat for Goulet and his push ups. Gilbert finally is allowed in the ring and produces an atomic drop which equals a bit too exagerated selling by Goulet...with extra arm flail and face bump. Crowd starting to rumble slightly while Gilbert is on offense. It doesn't last long as Goulet takes back control with more slow motion offense. There's a 4 minute head claw! Jesus! Gilbert takes back control with basic offense but the barely noticable ring bell sounds for the time limit draw mid-momentum. That was incredibly long and boring, especially for the time limit ending. Goulet was great at being his heely self but he's old now and you can tell. Movement was limited by Goulet and Gilbert was far too basic and dull to help matters. Crowd noise was all towards Goulet although it wasn't loud. Match Rating: DUD

Swede Hanson vs Paul Vachon

Straight into the next match as we have a battle of two old heavyweights. Paul Vachon you may know as the Butcher Vachon and Swede Hanson, well, he's Swede Hanson. Hanson comes out waving his Confederates flag and looks like he actually fought in that war. I love Butcher's beard but that's not enough to get me excited for this one. I thought the last match was slow, but this one is something else. Vachon controls for most of the match with some really bad punches and kicks...and thats as far as variety goes. Hanson counters with a Big Back Body Drop and Elbow Drop for the mercifully quick win. This was offensively slow but fair play to Vachon taking that BBBD, he got some decent height for a big (old) man. Crowd seem impressed though. Match Rating: DUD

The Invaders vs Mr Fuji/Charlie Fulton

Mr Fuji is spelled Mr Fugi...don't know why. The ring announcer is someone to be seen. He is what can only be described as flamboyantly styled. Mr Fuji gives us a 'Banzai!' before we start. They announce Fuji as a martial arts expert but his immense gut says different. The Invaders are two masked blokes, one of which has long hair so that's how I'll tell them apart for now. Long haired Invader has some weak ass chops. Lots of quick tags between the Invaders and some fun tag team hijinks and the crowd approve. They pull the ol' switcheroo behind the ref's back but surely he'd notice the flowing locks coming from under this Invaders mask? Apparently not. It makes less sense when they pull the same switcheroo 30 seconds later...and again after that! Who are the heels again? Fuji and Fulton take control and Fuji hits a nice suplex. Fulton has some decent offense but so far is the most unimpressive. The Invaders almost take back control...but don't. Crowd don't like Fuji's dominance. Its only when Fulton comes back in that the Invaders gain some momentum with dropkicks and an awkward cross body for a 2 count. Ref allows the illegal Invader to carry on in the ring and I don't know why, neither do the commentators. Invader 1 hiptosses Invader 2 onto the prone Fulton to get the win and the crowd like that. The Invaders looked good in this one but I can't remember seeing them too much after this. Mr Fuji had good heat and Fulton made up the spaces. Match Rating: *

The Iron Sheik (WWE Champion) vs Tito Santana [WWE Title Match]

Out comes the Iron Sheik with his massive WWE Title belt to major heat! Things are thrown and a disjointed USA chant greet him. Big cheers for Tito who is already in the ring. Tito starts off very hot using Shieks own headdress to take control early. Shieky stalls outside the ring to major heat while he regroups. He still has time to yell at people though. Back in the ring and an Atomic Drop sends Sheiky over the top rope and back to the floor. More stalling with more heat. Sheik back in but its not long before he finds himself in a sleeper. He escapes but eats a right hand by Santana then finds himself back in a headlock. Santana lets go and some quick offense follows. I see Iron Sheik do a leapfrog which I wasn't expecting! Santana covers for two but Sheik rakes the eye. Sheik works Santana over to major heat. Nice image of a crowdmember furiously flipping off Sheiky. Sheik attempts a Senton Splash but misses. Knee lift by Santana followed by a suplex attempt by both men...Santana wins it though but only gets a 2 count. Sheik counters a splash and puts Santana in an Abdominal Stretch. Tito reverses it into one of his own but Sheik escapes. He tries to take control but Tito suprises him with a Sunset Flip for 2 and a Small Package for another 2. A series of dropkicks sends Sheik out to the floor and he grabs a chair and throws it into the ring. Ref stands on the chair but gets shoved. Ref gets bumped during the kerfuffle and Tito hits the Flying Jalepeno but the ref calls for the bell. Its a double DQ for the the kerfuffle with the chair and Sheiky escapes with the belt. Fun match and Sheiky was awesome, so hateable. He just has a hateable face! Tito was his normal babyface self but the crowd were behind him. Match Rating: **

Don Muraco (IC Champion) vs Salvatore Bellomo [IC Title Match]

Another title match on this card! Both men get mixed reactions which is weird. Muraco is sporting a new beard apparently. Gotta say that the IC Title itself isn't very nice to look at, looks cheap to me. Slow start with lots of stalling by Muraco. They lock up and Muraco takes control in the corner and nails a hiptoss across the ring. A double hand slap makes a superb noise that echoes around the Spectrum. Muraco misses a charge to the corner and Bellomo nails him with a dropkick that sends Muraco outside to stall some more. Bellomo is holding his ear which I assume was from that double slap. Muraco controls again once back inside and locks on a head scissors on the mat. Bellomo escapes a second and somehow ends up back in a head scissors. Bellomo escapes again with a nice twisting leg move thing (that's the best I can do) but a knee strike to the noodle sends Bellomo flying out the ring. The crowd seems uninterested in this one on the whole. Muraco attempts a Tombstone Piledriver but Bellomo escapes and goes on the offense. He locks Muraco in the ropes and hits a cross body, nice! Bellomo releases him and works on Muraco's legs. Muraco is now bleeding from the head and is put in a sleeper. Muraco esacpes and Bellomo works him over with uppercuts until Muraco counters to take control. Bellomo sends Muraco to the corner but misses a charge, eats a somewhat awkward Sunset Flip and Muraco gets the 3 count! Decent match and Bellomo got more offense in than I expected. He showed some unique technical ability which was also surprising. Don't think the crowd ever bought into him winning though and they remained subdued throughout. Muraco was OK but nothing special to note in this one. Decent match though. Match Rating: *1/2

The Masked Superstar vs Bob Backlund

Suprisingly, noticable mixed reaction to Backlund in the announcements so I'm assuming the crowd are somewhat bored of his clean cut image. He's freshly unchampioned as of a few weeks ago and I think this is his first appearance since. Crowd does seem a lot louder than the previous match so Backlund must still have something going for him. Both men try to take control but neither really succeeds. This goes on for a while...until Backlund eventually takes control with a headlock aaaaaand Superstar escapes for more stalling to take place. Another headlock by Backlund into some fun counter wrestling on the mat all while the headlock is maintained. Headlock goes on for years until Backlund hits a forearm smash....and INTO ANOTHER HEADLOCK! After more dead time, Superstar gets a Bearhug on Backlund but it doesn't last long as Backlund counters with A HEADLOCK. Superstar escapes again and takes control with punches and forearms. Armbar on Backlund and these restholds are becoming painful to watch, so boring! Superstar works over the arm for a good few minutes until Backlund uses the ropes to escape and he bails to the floor. Despite Backlund being outside long past a potential countout time, Superstar meets him outside and now a countout starts. Both men back in and Superstar works over Backlunds arm somemore. Backlund fights out with big right hands and a headbutt to the goolies, but no DQ. He tries to pull off the mask of his opponent but fails and the Masked Superstar takes control again with a Hammerlock. Backlund escapes and smashes Superstar's face into the mat repeatedly but he sells the arm thats been worked over throughout the match. Good psychology by Backlund. Superstar misses a flying headbutt attempt and Backlund goes back go the mask but the Superstar bails to the floor. Backlund nails him into the ring barrier but Backlund is counted out very quickly. Crap ending, crap match. So many restholds it was like an anaesthetic. One redeeming feature was Backlund selling his arm. Suprised with the finish as I'd assume Backlund would be protected after his title loss but no, he loses this one.Match Rating: 1/4*

Haiti Kid/Tiger Jackson vs Pancho Boy/Dan Carpenter

Its a special attraction match, which is a politically correct version of saying midgets...despite them referring to this also as a Midgets Match. Pancho Boy looks strikingly like Tyrion Lannister. Tiger Jackson is the smallest of the four, and looks like a smaller Christopher Daniels. Pancho and Tiger start and both do some weird gyrating before locking up. The commentators are laughing from the off and this feels a little dirty. Dropkick by Jackson followed by a nice Jumping Head Scissors Takedown. Jackson is spun on his head vertically which looked awesome and he tags in Haiti Kid. A Whoopsie on Carpenter gets a 1 count. Carpenter bounces Kid's head of the turnbuckle but Kid no sells it to big laughs. He takes control with some awkward looking offense and something happens with Tiger Jackson that the camera misses but the crowd found hilarious. Tyrion comes in and uses his bigger gut to ground Haiti Kid, twice, and also Tiger Jackson. The crowd love it! Finish comes with a fun four midget criss-cross ending with all four looking confused in the ring. Haiti hits an airplane spin on Carpenter while Jackson floors Tyrion with a dropkick. Awkward counter pinning sequence ends with the 3 count for Haiti Kid. Interesting to watch albeit slightly uncomfortable. This diminished audio made crowd laughter clear as day. Crowd definitely loved it, I just feel for the wrong reasons. Match Rating: DUD

Andre the Giant/Jimmy Snuka/Tony Atlas/Rocky Johnson vs Afa/Sika/Samula/Sgt. Slaughter [2 out of 3 Falls]

The crowd finally comes alive for the main event. Andre gets the biggest reaction by far and he also still has his long hair at this point. Andre starts us off with a TRIPLE noggin-knocker on all three Samoans. Andre wants Slaughter in who teases getting in and eventually does and locks up with Andre. It doesn't go well as Andre clubs him and tags in Rocky Johnson who puts on a headlock. Atlas in now who works over Slaughter. It looks like he tagged Andre but Andre stays on the apron, still managing to make Slaughter flinch though. In comes Snuka to a decent reaction and the faces work over Sarge in their corner. In comes one of the Samoans but Andre gets a cheap shot from the apron. Snuka with an OK dropkick but gets a big pop for it. In comes Samula but he doesn't get anywhere and the Samoans re-group in their corner. Rocky Johnson back in and he tries another double noggin-knocker but Slaughter puts his hands between the noggins to somewhat prevent it...which he only half manages. If the Samoans have really hard heads...why put your hands between two of them?? Tag to Slaughter and he hits a nice elbow on Johnson. He gets him in the Cobra Clutch until Andre breaks it up with a blow to the back of Slaughter. Tag to a Samoan who gets a headbutt for a 3 count and the first fall with it! Second fall starts with the Samoans working over the now sluggish Rocky Johnson. Nerve hold applied on Johnson while the crowd chants 'Rocky! Rocky!' (sound familiar?). Andre breaks it up and the Slaughter gets a tag but its the other Samoan that comes in and the ref allows it. Scoop slam and a choke on Johnson. Johnson fights back and makes the tag to Andre who cleans house of the Samoans. Everyone comes in for a brawl but in the melee, Andre slams a Samoan and Snuka nails a cross body after jumping off Andre's shoulders for the 3 count and the second fall, 1-1! Crowd are going crazy now! Onto the final fall and Samula and Snuka start us off. Snuka with a lovely chop and Samula flies over the top rope. Snuka cleans house with more chops on the Samoans while Slaughter hides on the apron. Andre tagged back in, but Samula gets a headbutt to take him down. Andre no sells more offense and now everyone comes back in for the big clusterfuck brawl. Andre gets the winning 3 count in the melee but I can't tell you what from as the camera missed it. Decent match and the crowd were buzzing. The heels were basic as basic come but the heat was enormous none the less. Andre looked like he was having fun which is always great. Slaughter did nothing after the first fall had been and gone. Match Rating: *3/4

Equestrian Collections - Everything for Horse & Rider

Wrestler Scores:

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  • Eddie Gilbert +1 (1)

  • Rene Goulet +2 (2)

  • Swede Hanson +1 (1)

  • Butcher Vachon +1 (1)

  • Invader 1 +3 (3)

  • Invader 2 +3 (3)

  • Mr Fuji +2 (2)

  • Charlie Fulton +2 (2)

  • Iron Sheik +3 (3)

  • Tito Santana +3 (3)

  • Don Muraco +3 (3)

  • Salvatore Bellomo +3 (3)

  • The Masked Superstar +1 (1)

  • Bob Backlund +1 (1)

  • Haiti Kid +1 (1)

  • Tiger Jackson +1 (1)

  • Dan Carpenter +1 (1)

  • Pancho Boy +1 (1)

  • Andre The Giant +4 (4)

  • Jimmy Snuka +3 (3)

  • Tony Atlas +2 (2)

  • Rocky Johnson +2 (2)

  • Afa +2 (2)

  • Sika +2 (2)

  • Samula +2 (2)

  • Sgt Slaughter +2 (2)