Sunday, 2 January 2005

27th December 2004-2nd January 2005

A Happy New Year to you all, and welcome to the first 2005 edition on Two Sheds On TV, taking a look at wrestling on television during the last few days of the 2004 and the first couple of days of 2005.



WWE
Sky's reorganisation of the schedules saw the last edition of WCW Worldwide in the Classics slot, dating back to October 1992, and three interesting things here.

The interview with "Stunning" Steve Austin drew my attention first. Austin said that he would undergo a metamorphosis in an attempt to become World Champion. It took him six years or so, and he had to jump ship to the WWF, but he certainly achieved his goal.

The match-up between Shane Douglas and Scotty Flamingo was also interesting from an historical viewpoint. The Franchise and Raven would go on to become major players in the days of ECW, but back in 1992 you had no idea just how successful these two young lions would become.

Finally, prior to their bout at Halloween Havoc 92, the Steiners faced off against Steve Williams and Terry Gordy. I couldn't believe how good this bout was, from two of the premier teams of the early nineties, and it's a shame that these memories of the Steiners are tarnished by Scott's last, almost embarrassing tenure in the WWE.

Both Raw and Smackdown gave us good end of year shows. Raw saw entrants to the New Year Revolution Elimination Chamber battle it out in various bouts to see who would enter that particular bout last. The growing tension between Triple H and Batista was probably the best part of the show, with Edge's frustration with Eugene during their match coming a close second.

Smackdown gave us a Night of Champions, with each champion defending their titles against opponents of their choice, with the tag title match, pitting Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio against Booker T and Eddie Guerrero proving to be the WWE's match of the week, with Guerrero's wrestling ethos working against him.

NWA: TNA
The Wrestling Channel have gone far back into 2003, because of the current impasse between the two companies, back to the time when A.J. Styles was in the middle of his first reign as NWA World Champion, under the management of Vince Russo. Styles defended the title against perennial foe Jerry Lynn, who worked and bled like crazy as he put Styles over. Sadly, Lynn will probably go down in history as a nearly man, whereas I prefer to see him as a star-maker.

The poignant moment of the show saw Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger defend their tag titles against Shark Boy and "Mad Mikey" Lockwood. The former Crash Holly certainly was one of the most colourful characters in the world of professional wrestling during the past few years, and it's sad that he died so young.

Great Britain
It appears that the wrong tape was put in the machine last week. As the festive edition of U.K. Round-Up was shown on New Year's Eve, although from what I understand this edition had already been seen in the weekday repeats slot.

Featuring two matches from FWA shows, the main event saw the debut of Premier Promotions on The Wrestling Channel, as Colt Cabana went up against the veteran, Johnny Kidd, in an excellent old-school kind of match. It really had a World of Sport feeling to it, and kudos must go to not only Kidd and Cabana for their performances, but to Premier for promoting this style of bout.

And praise must also be given to announcers John Atkins and Don Charles. They really did well in the Kidd/Cabana match. Rather than adopt the American style while commentating on this match, they seemed to draw inspiration from the late, great, Kent Walton. Kudos to Atkins and Charles here, although it's a shame that they don't adopt the British style of commentating throughout the show.

Once final comment about this week's show - where was Mo Chatra?

Stepping just outside of Britain, TWC Spotlight gave us another look at Irish Whip Wrestling, and another look at the great bout between Jody Fleisch and Jonny Storm. If you get a chance to see this again, and I have no doubt that it will be repeated, then do so. Forget the Michael Kovac v Chris the Bambi Killer match afterwards. Good as that match is, it does tend to get a bit boring after the umpteenth viewing.

Shoot Interview
Although the current crop of repeats on The Wrestling Channel can be a bit frustrating at times, it does come up with gems sometimes. This week's Shoot Interview was a case in point, with another showing of The Road Warriors Shoot Interview. Animal and Hawk certainly didn't hold anything back, especially as far as Vince McMahon and the WWF are concerned.

Let's hope that during this repeat season, the powers-that-be at The Wrestling Channel see fit to repeat the excellent Jim Cornette interview soon.

Supercard Sunday
The first Supercard Sunday of 2005 looked back on the best of Pro Wrestling NOAH during 2004, with some great performances from the likes of Kobashi and Takayama, but for some reason I just couldn't get into this show. I've watched NOAH on and off since TWC began last March, but I just can't get into it. New Japan just seems a lot better to me.

Highlight of the Week - Has to be the Colt Cabana v Johnny Kidd bout from this week's U.K. Round-Up.

Lowlight of the Week - The end of WCW Classics on a Thursday afternoon.

Wrestler of the Week - This week's award goes to Colt Cabana. This guy certainly went down a storm during his tour to Britain, and I know for a fact that many fans, myself included, would love to see him back in this country for an extended tour again.