Sunday, 26 September 2004

20th-26th September 2004

Monday, 20th September, 2004:
A change to the beginning of my viewing week, as I take in a repeat showing of New Japan's weekly show, as they present the best of Bob Sapp. But surely this is a contradiction in terms?

And if we are to see a complete chronicle of Sapp's New Japan career, will we see the moment he tucked his tail between his legs and ran back to America after he lost a shoot fight?

Tuesday, 21st September, 2004:
I'm still having problems watching Ring of Honor's High Impact TV. I've moved past the fact that the shows are two years old. I just wish they didn't edit what looked like good matches so often.

Then it's on to Wildside. Well, at least these shows are more recent. For me, these shows still have a cheap and nasty feel about them, and despite some good wrestling action, especially from Wildside Champion Onyx, and TV Champion Jason Cross, it still made me pine for the glory days of CMLL. Like many fans I would love to see lucha libre back on TWC.

The night ended with Major League Wrestling. Ever noticed how Joey Styles, when telling the viewers where he is, looks around as if he is trying to visually confirm his location? Mind you, he used to do the same when he presented ECE's shows from Paul Heyman's basement.

Watching the MLW show makes you realise how things can change so quickly in the world of professional wrestling. The shows we're currently seeing are a year old, and now the company no longer exists, although rumours of a comeback surface from time to time.

And of course, seeing Steve Williams on the show once again got me thinking. The man who at one time was thought of as the toughest man in wrestling has recently undergone an operation to remove his voice box, in an attempt to cure him of cancer. My thoughts and hopes go out to Steve whenever I see him kicking ass in MLW.

Wednesday, 22nd September, 2004:
It was about six months ago that I read various reports on Team UK's appearance on TNA, as they went up against Team Mexico. Those reports didn't make for easy reading.

And, by and large, those reports were correct. It was hardly a good advertisement for British wrestling.

The various tag-team matches were enough to cover up the failings of the Brits, but the singles matches showed that Meltzer and company were spot on. Dean Allmark looked awe-struck and out of his depth against Mr. Aguila. It was obvious that Heavy Metal just didn't trust Robbie Dynamite after he was dropped on his head and shoulder. James Mason's weight gain over the past year or so means he is now a shadow of his former self. I found it hard to believe that the man wrestling Abyssmo Negro was the same man who took Flash Barker to the limit in Croydon eighteen months ago.

For me the only one to come out with any credit was Frankie Sloan. His match with Hector Garza was probably the best match of the tournament.

But in truth, I can probably think of about ten to fifteen wrestlers who would have done far better against their Mexican counterparts. Was this whole thing the fault of the bookers? Or can it be put down to a clash of styles? I'm sure that now this tournament has been shown on television, the debate will continue.

Thursday, 23rd September, 2004:
The thing about the Shoot Interview series is that many of the subject's thoughts often turn out to be quite prophetic.

Towards the end of the second part of his interview, Brutus Beefcake said that he didn't think WCW would be in business much longer. Seeing as how this was filmed in 2000, and WCW closed down the following year, it's obvious that many in the industry saw the downfall of WCW long before it actually happened.

This week's New Japan Classics again provided some top notch entertainment. Before an appearance by the god Dean Malenko, we saw a great match between Shinya Hashimoto and Satoshi Kojima.

The only downside was that the show was once again shorter than it usually is, the space being filled by another showing of a Tiger Mask/Dynamite Kid classic.

Then it was on to GAEA action. One of the great shames about these shows is the matches of Sakuro Hirota. There's no doubting her ability as a wrestler, it's just a shame that we, as speakers of the English language, have no idea what she's saying. The reaction of the crowd during her matches shows that as a comedy wrestler, she's one of the most popular girls on the GAEA roster. It's just a shame that we aren't all in on the joke.

Friday, 24th September, 2004:
Imagine my surprise when I tuned into this evening's edition of The Bagpipe Report and heard my name mentioned. If you want to read my recent interview with Blake Norton, you can do so in the interviews section of this very web site!

Apart from the praise for yours truly, the highlight of the show was the second part of the interview with Joe E. Legend. You couldn't help but sympathise with the guy about the obstacles that have been put in his path during his career. There is no doubting his talent, but it is obvious that he'll do better on the indy scene than on the big stage. Now that he's relocated to Germany, hopefully we in the UK will see a lot more of him.

Then it was on to my weekly dose of FWA action, and one thing that bothers me about the relationship between the Duke of Danger and his faithful butler, Simmons, is this.

Why does Simmons constantly address his employer as "Duke"? Does he not realise that he should address him as "your grace"? Perhaps young Simmons needs to return to butler school.

Then, on the repeat showing of Raw, we saw a good, old school kind of match between Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels, bringing back memories of their classic at Wrestlemania IX. A shame it was marred by outside interference.

We also saw the next stage of the Kane story line, as Lita suffered a miscarriage. Given the response of Gene Snitsky when he was questioned about last week's attack, it seems as if Kane could possibly be turning face. If this is the case, then it will just unravel most of the work that's been put into the Kane character in the past few months. The ball has been dropped as far as the Shawn Michaels situation is concerned, and if he does turn, what will become of Matt Hardy? Only time will tell on this one.

Saturday, 25th September, 2004:
Another great afternoon of old school British action. Whereas last week's first hour was passable, this week both hours were a cut above the rest.

This week started off with a great bout between Mick McMichael and Vic Faulkner, moved on to another great bout between the two Johnny's, Messrs Saint and Kidd, as well as appearances from Jim Breaks, Kwick Kick Lee, and Skull Murphy. All in all another great example of what British wrestling was all about.

Then it was on to the fifth anniversary of Smackdown. I marked out as we relived some classic moments from the past few years, and even after all this time, the segment where Steve Austin and Kurt Angle tried to cheer Vince McMahon up with a few songs must still rate as one of the greatest ever moments on WWE television.

But as far as the up-to-date action goes, some of it was good, but some left me wondering what the frell was going on. First we had another poem by John Thirdreich, this time dedicated to Vince McMahon. Still no Little Johnny though.

But while watching this segment, I couldn't help but think of everyone's favourite Aussie wrestler, Nathan Jones. Like Jones before him, there were plenty of promos for Thirdreich, and he has spent a great deal of time wandering around backstage, attacking a few others, but not actually wrestling.

The second perplexing incident happened during the main event, which pitted Kurt Angle and Luther Reigns against Eddie Guerrero and the Big Show. This was the best match I've seen on Smackdown in ages, very entertaining, but the ending was kind of weird.

Not since the infamous Brian Pillman incident eight years ago have we seen a gun produced on a wrestling show, and even then it didn't happen in the arena. Watching the Sky One version of the show meant that I saw the watered down version, but still knowing that Kurt Angle shot the Big Show with a tranquilliser gun still made me wonder what idiot thought up this idea.

Mind you, at least we're getting London v Kidman at No Mercy.

Sunday, 26th September, 2004:
I had my first does of rhythm and bruise action for a while with the latest instalment of Memphis Wrestling, and the ongoing feud between Jerry "The King" Lawler and announcer Corey Maclin.

We've seen wrestlers getting involved with announcers numerous times over the years, but there's something different about this feud, and it's not the way the paramedics were virtually throwing Maclin about after Lawler delivered his pile driver on the studio floor.

Then it was on to Supercard Sunday, and this week we were presented with a compilation of the Best of American Dragon.

Brian Danielson is, without a doubt, one of the top stars outside of the WWE at the moment, and even though I had seen most of the matches in this compilation in various other shows, it was still good to see some of these matches again, especially his Ring of Honor match against Paul London.

Highlight of the Week - The Two Sheds Review gets a plug on the Bagpipe Report!

Lowlight of the Week - Kurt Angle shooting the Big Show.