Sunday, 9 May 2004

3rd-9th May 2004

Monday, May 3rd, 2004;
A national holiday here in Britain, as a great deal of the nation's work get to sit on the backsides all day and do nothing, except for those who have to take their families out on a day trip somewhere, or who are nagged by their wives to do fix that all important shelf in the bathroom.

Such was my day, watching a Bond film in the afternoon before waiting patiently for the second part of the Jim Cornette Shoot Interview, now moved to it's new time slot of 10pm on a Monday.

Once again this interview provided a great deal of entertainment, with Cornette once again lifting the lid on his twenty year-plus career in the business. The vast majority of this part focused on his time in the NWA and WCW, as the manager of the Midnight Express tag-team of "Sweet" Stan Lane and "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton.

There really is too much to tell in the space I'm allowed, but needless to say that I am looking forward to the final part of the interview next week with eager anticipation.

Loved Cornette's rant about Vince Russo as well!

Tuesday, May 4th, 2004;
Everyone knows who Les Kellett is, and if you don't, where have you been living for the past few years? Kellett is one of the true legends of the British wrestling scene, but perhaps recent written history has been a bit unkind to him. Some labelled him a miserable old sod outside the ring, saying that he hated the wrestling business, and that he hated the adoration of the fans.

Whatever the case, there's no doubt that inside the ring, Kellett was a star, and this week's World of Sport shows have given us the albeit brief opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with Kellett's in-ring work.

Kellett was definitely one of the great showmen of his times as well as being one of the great wrestlers of his day. It was a delight to see some of his matches on television again, and I hope that TWC will give us the chance to see him in action in other matches soon.

Tuesday evening now appears to be foreign night on TWC. I managed to catch the last fall of the Vampiro/Black Warrior match. I wish I'd seen the entire match now. Great entertainment here.

And then it's on to New Japan, as Masahiro Chono and Genichiru Tenryu continue their rivalry. Two of the biggest stars in Japanese wrestling history going at it, knocking the living hell out of each other in what was billed as one of the biggest grudge matches of recent times. A good showing from the two ageing stars here.

Wednesday, May 5th, 2004;
It seems that young Teddy Hart has been causing quite a stir lately.

Having "gone into business for himself" at a Ring of Honor show recently, the latest member of the Hart clan to step into the wrestling circle made his debut appearance on CZW's "Fake You TV", and was controversial to say the least.

Young Teddy was irate at having been put in a match with B-Boy, and openly argued with CZW owner John Zandig. Having then been on the end of a pasting from his opponent, Hart refused to work, which not only drew the ire of the fans, but the boss, and almost every wrestler in the locker room. As Hart threw a tantrum, the B-Boy marched to the locker room, grabbed Hart's bag and came back into the arena and threw them into the ring. Moments later, Hart was escorted from the building.

This segment made for compelling television, wrestling drama at it's best. You had a young, hot-headed wrestler coming into a company for the first time, thinking that he was the greatest thing since the introduction of the sliced loaf, and getting steamed over the fact that he was put into a match with someone he considered inferior to him.

However, if this sort of portrayal continues, there may come a time when Teddy Hart is known for his temper tantrums, rather than his actual wrestling ability.

TNA seems to be becoming The Wrestling Channel's flagship program. The new schedule, although it may have it's faults, does have some advantages in the fact that the TNA pay-per-view is now given a three hour time slot, instead of the two hours it had been given in previous weeks. This means that it won't be chopped about as much to accomodate the adverts.

So does this make the show more enjoyable? Perhaps. This show was quite enjoyable. The situation regarding the tag-team titles heated up quite a bit, with three teams, America's Most Wanted, The 3 Live Kru, and Sonny Siaki and Ekmo now wanting a shot at Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger. I'm looking forward to see how this pans out.

And the situation surround the new heel champion, Jeff Jarrett, is being played to perfection, well executed by all concerned. Having seen off the challenge of Jim Duggan and Rick Steiner last week, Jarrett had to face the challenge of Sting. This coupled with the fact that A.J. Styles demanding a title rematch meant that Jarrett's life was proving to be very uncomfortable.

Sting put in a great showing. For a guy who has hardly wrestled since WCW closed it's doors he showed very few signs of ring rust. It was a delight to see this genuine superstar in action, and it's a shame he doesn't wrestle a full schedule any more. Although it's pretty obvious he won't be going anywhere near the WWE, if TNA could sign him up on a more permanent basis, it could only do their company even more good.

So next week's TNA main event offers us Sting & A.J. Styles against Jeff Jarrett and a man who at the time was one of the most controversial figures in all of professional wrestling, Lex Luger. Will it be a humdinger? We'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, May 6th;
Tonight we were treated to a show featuring two of the hardest hitters in British wrestling, as the FWA presented profiles of the Zebra Kid and Flash Barker.

To say that I'm probably the Zebra Kid's biggest supporter on the Internet would be an understatement. Ever since I saw THAT ladder match at Fightmare three years ago, I don't think I've ever seen a bad Zebra Kid match. This evening we were treated to two beauties, as he went up against the hard-hitting Ring of Honor champion Samoa Joe, and Mark "Five Star" Belton.

Both of these matches showcased his talents to perfection. Already the reigning WAW British Champion, many people think that he'll soon add the FWA title to his collection.

As for Flash Barker, another viewing of his ladder match with Jody Fleisch altered my opinion of this match a little. While some parts of it were still a little messy in my humble opinion, it did get a little better on the second viewing. And finally, we were treated to his slugfest with Low-Ki from Frontiers of Honor. From what I gather this was the second best match on the card.

A little tip for everyone out there - if you want to see Flash Barker at his best, try and get a hold of the fan cam video of WAW's October Outrage IV show from October 2002. Flash's shoot-style match with Doug Williams was one of the best matches anywhere in 2002.

Friday, May 7th, 2004;
Tonight, I was left feeling very disappointed by the apparent false advertising on The Wrestling Channel.

Having watched most of Raw, including the once again excellent match between Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels, I switched over the TWC as quickly as I could. The New Japan Classics show listing on the Sky Digi Guide promised what looked to be two great matches - Dynamite Kid v Tatsumi Fujinami for the WWF Junior-Heavyweight title, and Dynamite Kid v Rollerball Rocco.

I knew that Rocco had toured Japan a few times, and I was looking forward to seeing two of Britain's greatest ever wrestlers competing in a Japanese ring.

First came Dynamite's match with Fujinami. Fujinami is best known to be because of his involvement in the first WCW Superbrawl pay-per-view in February 1991, in which he faced Ric Flair for the WCW World title, so I was looking forward to seeing one of the men who had revolutionised the junior-heavyweight scene in the early 80's.

This match was a delight to watch, with both men putting on a great showing, with Fujinami retaining his belt after a true mat classic.

Then it was on to Dynamite v Rocco, and I was stunned. The match was not from a New Japan show, but from a World of Sport show held in Britain. So my question here is - how can a match held in Britain be termed a New Japan Classic?

I've been kind of on a roll as far as watching TWC is concerned. While I'm annoyed at their schedule changes, but having been given some great viewing this week, such as watching Les Kellett in his prime, Teddy Hart throwing a hissy fit in CZW, and the entire TNA pay-per-view. But this was sloppy. If TWC are going to advertise a New Japan Classics show, then you should make sure that they put out a New Japan Classics show. Imagine how you would feel if you tuned into the FWA show and found MLW?

I'm all for a collection of Dynamite Kid matches from Britain and Japan being shown as a special in the Supercard Sunday slot, but don't do this to us again. If you advertise the show as New Japan Classics, then give us New Japan Classics!

Rant over!

Saturday, 8th May, 2004;
I only managed to catch the first twenty minutes or so of Smackdown today, but what I saw didn't make for good viewing.

We all know that at a house show, Eddie Guerrero's mother suffered a "heart attack" in an angle involving John Bradshaw Layfield, in the run in to their pay-per-view match a week tomorrow.

I'm left shaking my head, wondering what the bloody hell is going on with Smackdown these days.

Sunday, 9th May, 2004;
Having seen the excellent CZW Best of the Best II tournament in the Supercard Sunday slot a few weeks ago, I was looking forward to the CZW Night of Infamy II show when it was announced earlier this week.

But I'm sad to say that for the second time in three weeks, I turned over halfway through the show.

This show just didn't capture my imagination in the way that BOTB-2 did. The wrestling seemed sloppy, boring, and at times unimaginative.

Even the man I've become a keen admirer of, Trent Acid, didn't do it for me on this occasion, much like his appearance at 3PW's A Funkin' Classic a couple of weeks ago.

I may watch a repeat showing, but given the channel's reputation for cutting the last hour out of the repeat shows, I probably won't get the chance.

Highlight of the week - Definitely the second part of Jim Cornette's shoot interview. Can't wait for part three.

Lowlight of the week - CZW's Night of Infamy II.