Sunday, 5 September 2004

24th August-5th September 2004

Tuesday, 24th August, 2004:
I must commend NWA Wildside for their efforts to bring back that dying breed of the wrestling business, the manager. However, this commendation doesn't actually go that far.

Take Al Getz for instance. He's a good talker, there's no doubt about that, but apart from his ability to string a few words together, he doesn't seem to have much more going for him. As a manager, he lacks the outrageous mannerisms that made his contemporaries of years gone by so special. It's this sort of thing that is lacking in the 21st century wrestling world.

Wednesday, 25th August, 2004:
Watching this week's Shoot Interview, I cam to two conclusions - Sid Vicious has an incredibly healthy ego, or he's one arrogant son of a bitch.

His claim that he knows he's better than any other wrestler is an incredible boast. Granted, there were times when he was one of the most watchable wrestlers in the world, but was he really as good as he thought he was? My answer would have to be an honest no.

If Sid was as good as he claimed to be, he would probably still be working for Vince McMahon today. The fact that he had troubles with both of the world's major wrestling promotions says it all. His total time as World champion for both WCW and the WWF adds up to less than a year.

Sorry Sid, but you're not the master and ruler of the (wrestling) world.

Last month I was thrilled by the Americas X Cup, putting Team TNA against their counterparts from AAA. It was probably one of the best TNA shows I've seen, which is why I had such high expectations for the second tournament, with the Mexicans going up against Teddy Hart's Team Canada. I couldn't have been more disappointed.

The first match was a good indication of the entire tournament. Teddy Hart may have a strong fan following in certain areas, but it's going to take a lot more to convince me that he was what it takes to continue the great legacy of his forefathers. Numerous missed spots and poor ring psychology spoiled what would have been another great night of wrestling action. For me the only saving grace of Team Canada was Johnny Devine.

And don't get me started on the Juggalo Street Fight or whatever the hell that abomination was. At least next week we've got Jeff Jarrett v Chris Harris as out main event.

Friday, 28th August, 2004:
I tuned into Sky Sports at 10pm this evening in the hope that I would be able to watch a wrestling show this week. This week, Raw was anything but.

This week, in a two hour show, we had just two actual wrestling bouts, and good as they were, they were entirely overshadowed by the soap opera segments that turned this edition into possibly the worst Raw I've seen in the past two years.

An overlong Diva wannabe segment that only served to get the Rock on television for his tri-monthly appearance, what's left of Evolution chasing off Randy Orton, and the continuation of the Kane/Lita wedding saga that made you just wish the girl would do a runner and find the nearest abortion clinic. Screw the Right to Life campaigners, let's start
the Right to Watch Wrestling on a WWE show campaign.

At least the two matches we were given were good. Edge continues to tease us about a possible heel turn during his IC title match with Chris Jericho, and the bout between William Regal and Ric Flair had the purist in me marking out like a good-un.

Let's hope that next week we get more actual wrestling action.

Saturday, 28th August, 2004:
After watching a poor excuse for a wrestling show last night, an afternoon with some good old fashioned British action was just what the doctor ordered to make me feel good about my wrestling viewing again.

It started with some modern day action from the FWA, although this wasn't the best show they've broadcast in the past few weeks. The tag match featuring Alex Shane and Hade Vansen against Ross Jordan and Paul Travell had it's good points, but it wasn't exactly feature match material.

The World of Sport shows continue to be the highlight of the viewing week. Today we saw an excellent match as "Hurricane" Keith Haward defeated "Superstar" Mal Sanders for the European Middleweight title. A good way of warming up for the Superstar's match with Steve Grey in Norwich in two weeks.

It was also good to finally see Drew McDonald make an appearance this afternoon, going up against "Tarzan" Johnny Wilson. It was good to take a look back at one of the early televised bouts of the Highlander's career. It will be interesting to see what the smart marks, who have always had a love/hate relationship with Drew, will make of this match. Newport Moj, it's over to you.

Sunday, 29th August, 2004:
It's Supercard Sunday time again, and this week we're treated to an entire evening in the company of the Fallen Angel, Christopher Daniels, although given the amount of exposure he's received on the Wrestling Channel, it seems like we've spent an evening with Daniels many times before.

As with the A.J. Styles Supercard a while back, after a couple of hours, things seemed to get a little stale. I'm not saying that Christopher Daniels isn't a talented wrestler, but what I am saying is that I wouldn't want to watch a four hour show dedicated to the man.

Then it was a foray into the mixed martial arts world with Bravo's new coverage of the Ultimate Fighting Championships. My first thought when I heard that a third UK television broadcaster had secured the rights to UFC shows was that I wondered if Bravo would be the channel that finally gave the promotion the coverage it deserved. Too many times in the past channels have shunted the shows around the schedule, with very little hype to promote the shows.

The feature contest was for the UFC Heavyweight title, between Randy Cotoure and Rico Rodriguez. The fight was good, but the main thing that stuck in my mind was the fact that Rodriguex had apparently sold his body for advertising space. Not only were there adverts for web sites on his shorts, but large adverts in huge black letters across his broad back. It made me wonder if upon seeing this, Sanjay Bagga will start selling space on that awful
plastic mac of his.

Wednesday, 1st September, 2004:
A return to form for TNA this week after last week's disappointing show, headlined by an NWA World title match between champion Jeff Jarrett and challenger Chris Harris.

This bout was one of the best matches I've seen on a TNA pay-per-view. Even though Harris was clearly the underdog, there were times when you thought that he might actually upset Jarrett and win the title.

Raven's part in the proceedings was also played to perfection, and it reminded me of the role Randy Savage played during the 1991 Royal Rumble. As good as it was though, it would have been better if he had become a fully fledged heel that night.

Thursday, 2nd September, 2004:
The latest Shoot Interview took is into the world of Jerry "The King" Lawler, and after last week's arrogant ramblings from Sid Vicious, this interview was like a breath of fresh air.

As a sucker for old wrestling stories, I really enjoyed this interview, especially Lawler's account of how he broke into the business. He may come across as a babbling perverted fool each week on Raw, but in this interview, he came across as the complete opposite.

The Kind made his second appearance of the night on this week's edition of MLW, although as far as appearances go, he's still a long way behind Christopher Daniels. As the hired gun for the Extreme Horsemen, he took on his perennial foe in the form of Terry Funk.

Although Father Time isn't on the side of either man, it was still good to see these two in the ring against each other, and Lawler's face turn, as he agreed to team with Funk and Steve Williams against the Horsemen in a War Games match was another well played out angle.

But the appearance of Steve Williams on this show reminded me of his current health problems. Once can't help but feel sympathy for the man. Given that this MLW show was filmed just one year ago, it makes you realise just how quickly things can change, not just in professional wrestling, but in real life as well.

Going back to the subject of Raw, with it's new time slot on a Thursday night, I'm afraid that the old habit is certainly going to be a hard one to break, especially as Raw will still be shown in a late night slot the following day.

Friday, September 3rd, 2004:
This week's edition of the Bagpipe Report may prove to be the most controversial edition ever, mainly because of the main guest of tonight's show, Rob Feinstein.

Most law courts would have it that a man is innocent until proven guilty. Given the nature of the world today, we often view things as being the other way round.

Rob Feinstein will go down in history as an innovator in the professional wrestling world. His brainchild, the Ring of Honor promotion, has earned quite a following in it's short life. But Feinstein's name will always be linked to events that happened this past February.

I am not qualified to pass judgement on this situation. Like many of you reading this, I've read the many opinions with regard to this situation. Whether he is guilty or not, it make take years for Rob Feinstein to restore his reputation, and by appearing on tonight's edition of the Bagpipe Report, he has taken the first step on what will no doubt be a very long and very arduous journey.

This week's edition of Raw was a vast improvement on last week's show, no overly long backstage segments, and more time given over to the wrestling matches themselves.

Things are starting to build nicely in the feud between Randy Orton and his former running buddies in Evolution, so much so that the upcoming Unforgiven main event is actually looking promising. This is due to the fact that Triple H v Orton has never been seen on pay-per-view before. The creatives are also doing a good job of building this match up. It's just a shame they don't seem to be doing the same with Smackdown at times.

Sunday, 5th September, 2004:
It's Supercard Sunday time again, and this week's we're presented with an early show from Ring of Honor, Unscripted.

A good show, especially the tournament to crown the first ROH Tag-Team Champions, but what kept annoying me was the fact that the commentators kept telling the viewing audience that everything was "unscripted". If the two guys who are meant to be putting the company over more than anyone else keep telling you that the guys in the ring and the guys backstage are deviating from the script, then it becomes impossible to suspend your disbelief. Ring of Honor have been guilty of doing this sort of thing before, and they were guilty of doing it on this show.

That being said, Unscripted again proved my point as far as watching ROH on TWC is concerned. I always enjoy watching full events like this, rather than the chopped-up highlights we see on the weekly television show. It makes for far more entertaining viewing.

Special mention must go to the street fight between Michael Shane and Paul London. It makes you realise just how London could do so much more on Smackdown if the creatives let him loose a bit more. He could certainly teach Billy Kidman a thing or two as far as the shooting star press is concerned.

Highlight of the past fortnight: A dead tie between the Sanders/Haward match, and the Shane/London match. Two entirely different types of matches, but each special in their own way.

Lowlight of the past fortnight: The August 28th edition of Raw. When is a wrestling show not a wrestling show? Just take a look at this edition, and you'll get the answer to the question.

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