Tuesday, 27 July 2004

19th-25th July 2004

Monday, July 19th, 2004:

"What's your opinion of the Ultimate Warrior?"

"Dun dun dun dun dun....."

Thus began the second part of the Honkytonk Man's Shoot Interview on The Wrestling Channel, as the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time gave his opinions on everything from the Ultimate Warrior, to his time in WCW, to his second stint in the WWF to his views on the wrestling scene today.

Although it was obvious that the Honkytonk Man took a great deal of pride in his work, it was also obvious that he's pissed off with many of the people he's worked with through his career.

Part two of this interview was just as good as part one, even if old Honkytonk came across as a bitter old man at times!

Tuesday, July 20th, 2004:

This was one match I had been waiting to see for some time, one of the FWA's top stars, the Zebra Kid, sought a measure of revenge against the self-styled South City Thriller, Hade Vansen, in a ladder match for the All-England title.

Having seen both men compete against each other before, this seemed like the perfect way to end their feud. Both men pulled out all the stops, and when it looked as if the Zebra Kid was about to regain the title, victory was snatched away from him by the hand of fate, or rather, the hand of a mystery man pulling the title belt away from his grasp!

Two hours later I had the chance to catch Major League Wrestling for the first time in a while. My first taste of MLW came on the very first Supercard Sunday show. MLW Reload was a great show, but this particular show just didn't seem to do it for me.

It may be because the MLW shows, like many of the other shows on TWC, are chopped up versions of larger shows that would fit nicely in the Supercard slot. This probably explains why I enjoy the Ring of Honor Supercard shows more than I do their weekly shows. This particular MLW show just didn't do it for me. The one highlight of the show was the appearance of future WWE star Kenzo Suzuki, competing here in a match against Norman Smiley. It was interesting to see a pre-WWE outing for Smackdown's newest superstar.

Wednesday, July 21st, 2004:

I've only caught brief highlights of TNA's main show in the past couple of weeks, so I was looking forward to seeing what had been happening at the Asylum recently.

Last week, I wrote about how it seemed like the FWA were re-hashing an old WWF storyline. I've also written about how certain storylines remind me of the glory days of the New World Order, and this was certainly the case this week. Jeff Jarrett and Don Callis calling a meeting of the TNA roster at the start of the show was well played out, but I couldn't help but think of years gone by.

One other thing I've noticed about Jeff Jarrett's recent singles matches as well - why do they always break out into an arena-wide brawl? It happened when Jarrett faced Sting a while back, and it was the same when he faced Dustin Rhodes this week.

One final thought - the Sandman/Gathering thing is actually getting quite boring. How many more tag-team partners will the Sandman recruit for his matches with Punk & Dinero?

Thursday, July 22nd, 2004:

They've been hyping this match for weeks on the FWA's TV show, and finally, we got to see the last man standing match between Jack Xavier and Alex Shane.

I've never really paid much attention to Jack, but this encounter certainly grabbed my attention. I've now seen quite a few matches from both of these men, and I have to say that this was by far the most entertaining match I've seen from these two.

Before this slobber knocker we were treated to quite a good bout between Sonjay Dutt and Jonny Storm for the XPW European title, and once again I feel I must ask the following question - why is this title still defended when XPW no longer exits?

Then it was over to Sky Sports for some MMA action with a showing of the recent Cage Rage event. Although the production values were top notch, I was quite disappointed with the overall product. The fights were good, but it would have been better if we had had more in-depth profiles of the fighters, and it didn't help that everything had been squeezed into a one hour show. Maybe for the next show in September Sky will do the decent thing and broadcast the event live.

Friday, July 23rd, 2004:

When Jim Cornette speaks, the wrestling world listens, especially when one of the greatest managers in the history of professional wrestling was interviewed on this week's Bagpipe Report.

Once again Cornette provided a top notch interview, never holding back on any subject, especially with regards to a certain Vince Russo.

However.....

The segment involving this week's studio guest, Mo Chatra, left a great deal to be desired, and after watching this piece, it left me wondering if Blake and Mo were actually in the same studio at the same time, because I don't recall seeing them on camera together.

Once again, The Bagpipe Report showed signs of improvement, but if this show is to become The Tonight Show of professional wrestling, as was promised by The Wrestling Channel powers-that-be some time ago, then perhaps the production staff should watch Jay Leno a few times and try and get a few tips from the master.

Then it was on to this week's edition of Raw. Last week I wrote of how impressed I was with Batista's recent performances. Once again, the big man of the Evolution team impressed me, this time in a non-title encounter with World Champion Chris Benoit.

Granted, it seems that anyone can get in the ring and have a good match with the Crippler, but this should detract from Batista's performance in this match. It's just a shame that he'll continue to be overshadowed by Triple H and Randy Orton.

Saturday, July 24th, 2004;

For the first time in ages I saw both World of Sport programmes in their first showing. First up we saw a couple of classic bouts featuring the man responsible for training Vince McMahon's divas, Fit Finlay.

Watching the Belfast Bruiser in action made me realise just how much of an influence he has on the heels of today. I've seen many of his mannerisms in some of the top British villains currently plying their trade.

Then it was on to one of the great young lions of British wrestling, Danny Boy Collins. Watching these matches, the matches of someone who won the British Welterweight title at the age of just 17, made you wonder if Collins peaked too soon in his wrestling career. Now aged 37, Collins is retired from wrestling, and I'm sure many people would gladly welcome him back should he decide to lace up the boots again.

In years gone by, many fans have accused the WWE of McMahon overload, but when the elder statesman of the clan made an appearance on Smackdown this week, this fan was marking out like hell.

As far as charisma and promo ability goes, Vince McMahon is probably the most talented performer in WWE history. Whether he is the benevolent chairman of evil boss, McMahon has the ability to get even the quietest of crowds going, and this was definitely the case when he confronted Kurt Angle. The majority of the roster could learn a hell of a lot from the man who revolutionised the wrestling industry.

Sunday, July 25th, 2004:

It's Supercard Sunday time again, as this week we're presented with Ring Of Honor's Do Or Die show from March 2003.

A statement of intent as far as the content of the show was given at the beginning, as Homicide, who was challenging Samoa Joe for the ROH title that night, spoke of his desire to win the belt in one of the best promos I've seen on TWC recently.

The matches themselves were kind of hit and miss in my opinion, although some performances, particularly the performance of C.M. Punk, who took part in a scramble match and a four-way, being impressive. However, again I wondered why a talent such as Jody Fleisch was saddled with the awful Special K brigade. The rich stoners still annoy the hell out of me.

But the match of the show was the hard-hitting affair between Homicide and Samoa Joe. This was probably the best match I've seen from Ring of Honor. If I could pick one match as a good advertisement for this promotion, then it would be this one.

A good show, even though it was somewhat lacking at times, and more proof that it's better to watch Ring of Honor when they're on Supercard Sunday than it is to watch their weekly show.

Highlight of the Week - the return of Vince McMahon to WWE television.

Lowlight of the Week - Cage Rage - it really could have done with a longer time slot.