Sunday, 7 November 2004

1st-7th November 2004

Monday, 1st November, 2004:
The week begins with the TWC Spotlight show on Reloaded, this week with a showing of an Irish Whip Wrestling show from 2002.

Having seen this show during the test transmissions, there was really nothing new for me here. Jonny Storm and Jody Fleisch put on one of their better matches, right up there with their CZW Best of the Best match. But what did surprise me was that most of the hard-core action between Chris the Bambi Killer and Michael Kovac didn't seem edited in any way, nothing was cut out, even though I was watching the noon showing.

A slight hiccup with the Shoot Interview this week. We were originally promised Vince Russo, but somehow, the tape ended up in Germany! So instead we got another showing of the Juventud Guerrera interview.

Then it was on to the second showing of The Porn King v The President. Why is this mentioned in this column? The programme centres on the story of former XPW promoter Rob Black and his legal problems. While it wouldn't be in the spirit of this column to discuss Black's situation and it's political ramifications, this certainly made for interesting viewing.

Tuesday, 2nd November, 2004:
After last week's technical problems, the Aviv Mayaan FWA Academy show was repeated this week. Having viewed some of last week's show without any sound, I began to wish that the technical problems were still there.

I have no idea who the commentator was, but his constant botching detracted from the overall enjoyment of the show. Also, this was another example of how, in most circumstances, i.e. unless you are Joey Styles or Kent Walton, a one man commentary team just doesn't work.

Then it was on to the MLW show. The aforementioned Styles is no longer on the team, replaced by CZW's Eric Garguilo, sharing microphone duties with various others. The action was good, but without the likes of Raven, Vampiro, C.M. Punk, and many more of the big-hitters from the indy scene, it just seemed to lack the spark of the previous shows.

Thursday, 4th November, 2004:
I keep hearing a great deal about how wrestling a few years ago is a lot better than it is today, and while some portions of this week's WCW Worldwide (aka WWE Wrestling Classics) made for enjoyable viewing, some of it was quite painful.

Witness the Tom Zenk v Steve Austin WCW TV title match from this week's show. These two have had countless classic matches during their careers, but this one won't go on their highlight reels. A distinct lack of chemistry between the two made for a poor match with some pretty poor execution.

But at least we had a reminder of the great rivalry between Sting and Big Van Vader. At a time when WCW mainstays Ric Flair and Lex Luger were earning their wage from Titan Sports, this feud showed that despite Bill Watts' sometimes awkward booking style, WCW could still present a hell of a match.

Once again going slightly off topic, the Sci-Fi Channel once again showed how a wrestler should look while in a movie, with a showing of John Carpenter's They Live, Roddy Piper's finest hour outside of the wrestling business. If he wants to pick up some tips on how a wrestler should act in a film, I would advise John Cena take a look at this film.

Friday, 5th November, 2004:
After a promising re-debut from CMLL last week, the show reverted to type, which is something that the slightly xenophobic British audience may not put up with. Long promos in Spanish meant that the opening introduction from Mo Chatra didn't start until some ten minutes into the show. The action was still highly enjoyable, but unless TWC again edit the show in the way they do the Japanese shows, CMLL may prove to be something of a ratings disaster again.

The second part of the Bagpipe Report Halloween special showed that Jasmine St. Claire isn't just another bimbo. I had no idea that she was actually the brains behind 3PW. On screen she comes across as nothing more than a cheap slapper, but in this interview, she was articulate and knowledgeable.

Finally, the repeat showing of Raw was probably one of the best Raw shows I've seen in a while, and I think I know the reason why. In the past couple of weeks I've written about how the TNA shows seemed so much better because Jeff Jarrett wasn't the centre of attention.

With Triple H only making a passing appearance on this week's show, the spotlight was on
the other stars, which overall made for a highly enjoyable show, especially the main event tag-team match.

Saturday, 6th November, 2004:
Some have said that this match was the best of his career, and certainly, the FWA have done a good job of building up the rivalry between Alex Shane and Steve Corino. This match has been building up for eighteen months or so, and the pay-of was possibly one of the best things I've seen on the FWA show since it began. Despite all the run-ins, it was great entertainment.

However, the highlight of the show for me was the appearance of Colt Cabana, going up against the returning Jonny Storm. As well as being a great wrestler, Cabana is a comedy genius who seems capable of putting on a great match with anyone he steps into the ring with.

World of Sport again delivered this week. In the past year or so I've had the opportunity to see Steve Grey and Mal Sanders go up against each other when they've competed for WAW, and seeing these two in their youth was just as good as seeing one of their matches today.

We also got the chance to see the Riot Squad team of Skull Murphy and Fit Finlay go up against the Wilson Brothers. Watching Murphy and Finlay's work together reminded me of the great teams that I watched in the WWF and NWA in the late eighties and early nineties. As a team, Murphy and Finlay were certainly ahead of their time.

Sunday, 7th November, 2004:
It's Supercard Sunday time again, this week with another offering from Combat Zone Wrestling, Cage of Death 4, from December 2002. Most of this show had already been shown during the test transmissions earlier in the year, including the Cage of Death match itself between Zandig and Lobo. What did surprise me though was they showed in the
segment where Zandig was attacked backstage. Some of the footage was actually quite graphic, and I have to admit it made for difficult viewing at times.

In all, with the exception of the Cage of Death match, something I've never really been a fan of, the card was okay. I actually found myself enjoying the CZW title match between Justice Pain and the Messiah.

Highlight of the week: Okay, not a proper wrestling moment, but another chance to see the classic "They Live", Roddy Piper's finest moment outside of a wrestling ring.

Lowlight of the week: Steve Austin v Tom Zenk - a poor match from two usually great wrestlers.

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