Sunday, 19 September 2004

13th-19th September 2004

Monday, September 13th, 2004:
I'll let you all in on a little secret, shall I? When the WWF re-ignited my love for the wrestling business in 1989, one of the wrestlers I loved to watch was Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake. He was one of those larger than life characters that got me interested again.

Which is one of the reasons I was looking forward to this week's Shoot Interview. Many people will say that the only reason Ed Leslie got anywhere in the wrestling business was because of his lifelong relationship with Hulk Hogan, but tell me this - how many wrestlers do you know who have used their connections to get themselves a break?

So the first man to body slam Austrian legend Otto Wanz gave us some great stories from his time on the road, and inevitably, these stories featured the world's most famous wrestler a number of times.

But at least Mr. Leslie confirmed what everyone else thought - David Sammartino really wasn't that good.

Tuesday, September 14th, 2004:
With nothing much else to do, I decided to take in this week's Ring of Honor High Impact TV, which once again took in matches from the Unscripted show.

Even though I enjoyed the ROH title bout between Low-Ki and Xavier, this was another example of how it's probably better to watch ROH when it's on Supercard Sunday. Coverage was given to the tag-team title tournament, but they only showed highlights from the matches involving eventual champions Christopher Daniels and Donovan Morgan. Believe me, there were some great matches throughout this tournament, it's just a pity they weren't shown in High Impact TV.

Wednesday, September 15th, 2004:
Having seen Low-Ki and Christopher Daniels on opposing sides the previous day, I got the chance to see them on the same side on this week's TNA show, as they progressed in the tournament to crown new NWA champions.

I was impressed by their work together, and it's a shame that they have highly successful singles careers, because if they went on the road together full-time, they would certainly clean up.

I must make my first comment on the Alpha Male himself, Monte Brown. I had never heard of the guy until he turned up on TNA a few weeks back, but his character, as far as microphone skills goes, reminds me of the Rock when he first turned heel.

As well as Raven taking another step towards Jeff Jarrett's title, and still coming across as if he's about to turn heel, we saw the first appearance of Team UK, as the hype began for the third X-Cup tournament next week. In a brief segment, the coach of the team, David Taylor, showed that he's been taking tips from his former tag-team partner. He certainly came across as a William Regal wannabe. Still, it should be interesting to see next week's show, especially
after the bad press the Brit boys received for their efforts.

Thursday, September 16th, 2004:
This week's New Japan Classics featured two great matches, as El Samurai and the legendary Jushin Liger went at it, but for me the highlight of the show was the great man himself, Wild Pegasus Chris Benoit, going up against that other great, Eddie Guerrero, here under the hood as the Black Tiger.

I really can't speak too highly about the Benoit/Guerrero match. Whenever these two face off against each other, they always put on technical wrestling classics. This match was certainly one of the best I've seen from these two.

Then it was on to GAEA, as Ayako Hamada fought a bloody battle against the massive Aja Kong. I hadn't seen much GAEA action recently, but I was glad I saw this show. This was one of the best women's matches I've seen this year, certainly better than anything we've seen from the WWE this year. If you get the chance to see one of the repeats, then do, because you won't be disappointed.

Friday, September 17th, 2004:
In nearly three years working for the World Association of Wrestling, I must have seen Ricky Knight wrestle the Zebra Kid dozens of times, in a variety of matches, in arenas and holiday camps all over Britain. I've even refereed a couple of their matches. But out of all the matches I've seen, this week's match on the FWA TV show was probably the best.

I know I'm going to take a lot of heat for saying this, but this was the best match I've seen on the FWA's show since TWC began. This match had it all, a good build-up, a good story line, some great action from both men, and an ending that was played to perfection.

Special mention must go to Britain's youngest wrestler, Zak Zodiac, for the part he played in the proceedings. The boy done good, even though he looked a tad nervous in the beginning.

But what is it with those backstake segments? It's early days yet as far as this sort of thing goes, but I have to say, most of them were pretty bad. I really hope that the FWA shows don't become a poor man's version of Raw or Smackdown.

Then it was on to the repeat showing of Raw in the early hours of the morning. We had the usual confrontation between Randy Orton and his former Evolution running buddies, and a new alliance with Chris Benoit and the returning Shelton Benjamin, two former Orton foes who saved him from a beating.

But one incident left me wondering just what's left for Kane and Lita. Has the accidental fall by the big red machine cost him his offspring? And will we now see Kane feud with whoever that guy was? Well, he certainly fits the WWE big man mould.

Saturday, September 18th, 2004:
A feast of British wrestling action to start the day, the first time I had seen any classic World of Sport action for a long time.

The first hour was good, but it was the second hour that set the pulses racing. First off, we saw a pre-Kamala Jim Harris go up against the man himself, Big Daddy.

If you accept this contest for what it was, then like previous Daddy singles matches shown on TWC, then this match achieved what it set out to do. It was not a technical classic, but it was highly entertaining.

The following match saw Marty Jones lose his World Mid-Heavyweight title to German grappler Bull Blitzer. If you wanted great technical action in this hour, then this match was it. Jones will go down in history as one of Britain's greats, and this match was a fine example of the main in his prime.

Then it was on to this week's edition of Smackdown, and possibly one of the weirdest things this side of Katie Vick I've seen on a wrestling show.

For the past couple of weeks, John Heidenreich has been scaring Michael Cole to death, threatening to knock seven shades out of Smackdown's top announcer.

So you can imagine my surprise when, having kidnapped Cole from his ringside seat, he takes Cole to a dark room, bolts the door, and.....reads him a poem. The man they have been building up as a tough SOB who was going to kick the crap out of everyone he was going to face kidnapped Cole and read him a bloody poem.

I thought they were building Heidenreich up as the next Brock Lesnar, but after seeing this, it looks like Little Johnny could be making a comeback.

There were some highlights on the show, most notably the return of the man with perhaps the greatest entrance in WWE history, Gangrel. It wasn't all good though, as he brought Viscera along with him.

And one good thing that could come from the premature split between Paul London and Billy Kidman - they could face each other at No Mercy. If they're allowed to do what they do best, and they are added to the card, then that could be a possible showstealer in the making.

Sunday, September 19th, 2004:
I have to admit, I was surprised at Blake Norton on this week's edition of The Bagpipe Report. As he and Bryan Alvarez looked back on last Sunday's Unforgiven show, it was quite obvious that Blake didn't like any part of the show. It was surprising that he slated the show that much.

But I must commend the interview with journeyman wrestler Joe E. Legend, who at the moment is on tour in mainland Europe. For me, this was the most entertaining interview since Jim Cornette appeared on the show.

All in all, a mixed bag this week.

Then, it was on to Supercard Sunday, as this week we were presented with IWA Mid-South's A Shot of Southern Comfort, featuring a tag-team title tournament, a seven man elimination match, with the winner facing champion B.J. Whitmer, and Jerry Lynn going up against Sabu.

Well, the last match I mentioned, although heavily advertised on my Sky EPG, and on the Bagpipe Report, and on The Wrestling Channel's web site, we never got to see, which was a huge disappointment.

But at least we saw some good matches. The encounter between Samoa Joe and Chris Hero, probably the first Chris Hero bout I've enjoyed, was good, as was the tag tournament final between Chris Hamrick and Tracy Smothers against C.M. Punk and Colt Cobana, especially as the underdogs from down south went on to win the belts.

In all, despite the exclusion of Lynn and Sabu, this was probably the best IWA show I've seen on TWC. It leaves me wondering why IWA Mid-South doesn't have a weekly slot on the channel.

Highlight of the week - the technical classics involving Benoit and Guerrero, and Jones & Blitzer. Two of the best matches I've ever seen on TWC.

Lowlight of the week - no Jerry Lynn v Sabu.

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