Tag Archives: R!V!D!

#ECWWeek: This Fan’s Treasure

Yesterday, Nick spoke about why he, and others, have rather strong feelings about ECW and its legacy that are less than positive. Today, we have a special guest, Gregg Gethard to talk about people who loved  ECW and, more  importantly, why.

For a person who lived it in person, ECW was completely insane live. It was an once-in-a-lifetime experience – we were college dorks who got to be part of something sleazy and dangerous and exciting. I didn’t think anything bad would happen but something terrible could happen. It was what I’d imagine seeing Black Flag or Minor Threat in the 80s was like.

I discovered ECW on a small cable access channel. As a part of the then-burgeoning online hardcore wrestling fan community, I heard of ECW but hadn’t seen it yet. The WWF and WCW mostly sucked at the time – we had to endure things like King Mabel and Isaac Yankem and Hulk Hogan taking on Kevin Sullivan and his neverending string of goobers. But this? Seeing Shane Douglass throw down a title and talking all sorts of shit on Ric Flair? Sabu doing moonsaults off the ropes onto tables in the crowd? The Public Enemy chasing Cactus Jack and Mikey Whipwreck all over the arena? While actual music – not cartoony campy shit like “A Man Called Sting” but actual songs you’d hear on the radio – was playing? This shit was the best.

I made my friends watch some early ECW. 9-1-1 chokeslammed “Jungle” Jim Steele 10 times. Joey Styles said at one point, “I think ‘Jungle’ Jim Steele is dead.” At least four of my friends believed it.

Stevie Richards frequented the hardcore wrestling message board community. I went to college in Philly, so I jokingly send him an e-mail telling him he should come to my college and hang out. To my surprise, he did. We went to some lame ass party and then hung out in the dorm lounge. These mooks were watching god knows what and I asked if we could turn the channel. When one of them saw it was wrestling, he started talking about how dumb it was, how it was all fake, etc. Then came a clip in the beginning of Stevie – literally sitting five feet away from him – being thrown through a table.

The dude turned around and turned a whiter shade of pale, apologized, and left. Stevie dropped some knowledge on me when we watched the episode and revealed how the interviews were all done in Paul E’s mom’s house. The highlight of the episode was the first of the Cactus Jack Anti-Hardcore interviews that still hold up as the best shit ever to this day. Stevie sent me a message the next day telling me he left his gym ID in the security booth and begged me to just let it sit there and to not put his real name out there. Kayfabe lives.

I went to my first live ECW show a few weeks later. I was living in Philly for maybe three weeks, a 17-year-old doofus taking mass transit and walking to the ECW Arena, located underneath an interstate in a virtually abandoned part of the city. By myself. I got down early and sat against the building doing my Economics 101 homework. I hear someone screaming obscenities. I look up. There is a man with an eye patch. He is shirtless and has a swastika tattoo on his chest. He is drinking a 40, carrying another in the waistband of his sweatpants.

I went to about 20 live shows at the Arena (the rest with friends). Their crowd control left a lot to be desired. I always got tickets ahead of time. However, not everyone did. There was one entrance/exit. When the steel gates lifted up, it was a free-for-all to get inside, especially since there were stories of people who owned tickets not actually getting inside. There were never any barricades. There was never any organization. It was a free-for-all.

The Arena was brutally hot. During one summer show, the cattle chute opened and there was a stampede to get in. There was only one tiny door where people could get in if they had tickets or were paying to get in. It became a horrible crowd crush. I am not a big person. I was off my feet at one point and lost control over which direction my body was going to. My friend Mike D. is a lot bigger than me. He, too, was off his feet. He had a forearm placed in the back of his neck, forcing his face to get buried in a man’s dyed blonde mullet. Somehow we both survived.

One time, a woman was leaving the cattle chute. She was carrying a near empty bottle of vodka. She was stumbling. She was being propped up by a 10-year-old child. Who called her Mom. I will let you guess what happened next. And needless to say, I probably shouldn’t have taken that girl from my dorm I had a crush on to see ECW in person.

Some Japanese wrestler I don’t remember (not anyone any good like Sasuke or Taka) was in the ring once. The crowd started a “U! S! A!” chant. I thought it would be funny to say “SUCKS!” after this. I immediately stopped when someone threw something at me from behind and told me to love it or leave it. Then same person threw more garbage at me when I applauded Justin Credible for telling Tommy Dreamer he wished he died instead of his grandfather.

We were giving Kronus some shit on the way out after his match. The same garbage throwing person said to us, “Why don’t you say that to his wife’s face? She’s right there!” He pointed to her. We didn’t say it to her face. Instead, we admired the jewelry she was selling – it was a gold pendant of The Eliminators logo, going for a mere $400.

And if you ever wanted to fight a wrestler, you could have just waited for Bam Bam Bigelow to throw Mikey Whipwreck into the crowd a few rows in front of you and watch what happens when a man starts fighting Mikey Whipwreck for no reason! Security will jump en masse into your section and start randomly shoving fans. Wrestlers from the back will pour out into the section and will do the same. It’s a great way to almost cause fans who understand social norms to get hurt!

Want to make your girlfriend degrade herself, overly tanned bodybuilder with a dripping wet ponytail? Have her stand up and order her to take off her top in front of hundreds of sexual predators! Stand there proudly as the crowd chants things about her breasts and her sexual tendencies and preferences! It’s great!

I was at a show in Asbury Park. I had to run to the bathroom. It was largely empty. Then all of a sudden I hear someone say, “It’s cool, there’s no one in here.” The man who said this was Referee Bill Alfonso. In walks Rob Van Dam in his singlet. He goes to the urinal next to mine. He turns to the side and lifts up the spandex of his right pant leg. He then pees down the side of his leg.

Every time we went to a show, we knew were paying to watch entertainment created solely in reaction to the bullshit corporate nonsense shoved down the nation’s throat, but along with it came a chance that you could get hurt along the way. And a chance to meet the performers on a human level, even if it was in the bathroom. It was the start of something and that’s why ECW was important and vital. Wrestling will never feel that way again. Maybe nothing will.

#ECWWeek: Another Fan’s Treasure

After having so much fun with the stables last month in celebration of the Survivor Series, we’ve decided to turn this December — and all Decembers in perpetuity — into Promotions Month. This week we have Paul Heyman’s Extreme Championship Wrestling. This is Day Three of #ECWWeek, the fifteenth installment of our (patent-pending) Juice Make Sugar Wrestler of the Week Series. As (almost) always, we started by making ECW a Promotion You (Should) Probably Know Better. Yesterday, we gave you the finer points of the company’s oeuvre with some Essential Viewings and today, along with a Highlight Reel, we’re here discussing the idea of ECW and Another Fan’s Treasure. After Hump Day we’ll be quenching your thirst for Listicles with a Juice Make Sugar Top 10 List, before summing everything with a “Difference of Opinion” that will likely be closer to a “Difference in Levels of Disdain”. Let’s get Extreme?

There was some concern at JMS HQ as we were planning out #ECWWeek. For the first time ever, we were highlighting something that we didn’t actually like all that much, and we were concerned that instead of coming off like people who genuinely enjoy professional wrestling, we’d come off as the kind of snobby wrestling fans that have decided that there are right and wrong ways to watch wrestling, and that more importantly, we’d figured out what they were and were going to be as rude as possible explaining it to you.

Even when we’ve had legitimate Differences of Opinion, it was only ever one of us who had any particularly strong negative feelings towards the weekly subject.  As a collective, we’d genuinely liked, or at least tolerated, every single thing we’ve covered. But, as Andy — who is at least on the side of “ECW isn’t terrible” among the lot of us — said:

There’s no such thing as indifference when it comes to Extreme Championship Wrestling.  It’s a promotion that many fans choose to look back on through rose-colored glasses, as the company that changed the face of wrestling.  Nearly as many consider it the group that ruined it.  They’re both probably right.

For those of us on the “group that ruined  it” side, ECW has a significantly more complicated legacy for us than our opposition, who seem to mostly see ECW in the same light they do the Attitude it helped spawn, as totally the best thing ever in the history of wrestling.

And, on some level, they are right. In a very specific way, ECW was transcendent and historically important:  it’s the first and only professional wrestling company marketed entirely to adults. If WWE is Pixar in underpants and baby oil, the early and genuinely revolutionary ECW of Tommy Dreamer asking “please sir may I have another” while being beaten with a Singapore cane or  Sandman pretending to be blinded was every bit as earth–shattering as Æon Flux had been to audiences on MTV just a few years before.

But, unlike Æon, pro wrestling found itself constrained significantly in terms of physicality, the entirely linear storytelling methods available to the performers of the time and, most importantly for ECW, a budget that even the word “miniscule” would be offended by association with.

More importantly, unlike other mediums, the story being told was part of a significantly larger tapestry of other stories simultaneously entirely reliant and wholly separate  from one another, things got recycled  or dressed up in different names much more rapidly than they would in a cartoon. Which meant that, after the third time a performer pretended to be injured only to reveal that their cast was actually a “‘clever’ ruse”  as a subversion of the time-honored trope made famous by men like “Cowboy” Bob Orton, the crowd began to grow tired of the twist and turns that weren’t immediately followed by acts of nearly unspeakable violence, gratuitous nudity and almost irredeemably blatant provocations.

So, in order keep eyeballs glued to the screen, Paul Heyman and company upped  the unspeakable violence, gratuitous nudity and almost irredeemably blatant provocations. In the past few days, Dave and Andy have highlighted many of these acts,  from barbed wire ring ropes to on-air crucifixions, ECW tried it all, even if most almost all of it failed. Which is why, for all the cultural significance — and while “significant”, it was unarguably less than great for the “culture” of wrestling or the well-being of its performers — the promotion was never a real success, at least in terms of competing with the organizations that would eventually put them out of business, WCW and the ultimate victors in ECW’s “revolution”, the WWE.

And because we’ve seen the history of ECW through the WWE’s lens, it’s so easy to remember how many missteps, missed opportunities and near catastrophic mishaps almost singlehandedly took the company down  before Heyman’s lack of business acumen and TNN’s desire to obtain the rights to WWF programming would almost be the death knell for the company.

Even people who found the whole enterprise overwhelmingly gross and distasteful, such as myself, acknowledge what ECW did for the business, however. We’re very aware of what it meant, as storylines no longer had to be simple, even if simplistic storytelling had been the lifeblood of the industry for nearly 100 years because the narrative for whatever was going on in the squared circle has to be easy enough to follow that a wrestling fan can understand it.

What ECW did was show that while it would take considerably more care than Heyman, who of course had to deal with near constant defections and a thousand other  things completely  out of his control as a storyteller, there were parts of the modern and advanced storytelling techniques — taking into account nuances in the fabric of good and evil, meta-narratives and the role of the fan in the performance — that could be interjected into the product to make it more interesting. And, most importantly, it showed how frequently (or infrequently) to use these tools, lessons that WWE would learn long before it was too late.

One only need to look at the end of WCW to see what happened when the unadulterated id of wrestling that Paul Heyman’s ECW could lead to was allowed to roam free, though. While he may not have ever thought of the idea himself, the booking style of Heyman lead to the Pinata on a Pole match that would eventually become synonymous with the demise of ECW and WWE’s greatest rival.

And that’s enough to make a wrestling fan hate anyone.

#ECWWeek: Highlight Reel

After having so much fun with the stables last month in celebration of the Survivor Series, we’ve decided to turn this December — and all Decembers in perpetuity — into Promotions Month. This week we have Paul Heyman’s Extreme Championship Wrestling. This is Day Three of #ECWWeek, the fifteenth installment of our (patent-pending) Juice Make Sugar Wrestler of the Week Series. As (almost) always, we started by making ECW a Promotion You (Should) Probably Know Better. Yesterday, we gave you the finer points of the company’s oeuvre with some Essential Viewing . Today, we’ll talk about the idea of the ECW Highlight Reel and Another Fan’s Treasure before quenching your thirst for Listicles with a Juice Make Sugar Top 10 List on Thursday. Finally we’ll sum everything up on Friday with a “Difference of Opinion” that will likely be closer to a “Difference in Levels of Disdain”. Let’s get Extreme?

There’s something almost all ECW fans have in common. It’s not a violence fetish. It’s not an overinflated sense of self-worth and “smart-mark” attitude. It’s not even Paul Heyman.

It’s their highlight reel. Now, you’re probably saying, but didn’t you just write about this yesterday?

And yes, yesterday, Dave wrote about the Essential Viewing for ECW, but that’s just different than the “highlights” of ECW. Unlike WCW and WWE, ECW doesn’t have decades of rich history. It had a few good years, which were used to justify more than a decade of knockoffs and reunions. So the bright spots of ECW’s legacy stick out like a Red Sox fan at Yankee Stadium.

One of the first things that comes to mind is a mostly-inconsequential tag team match from the 1994 Heat Wave pay-per-view. Cactus Jack and Terry Funk are teaming up against Public Enemy, the team that proved Paul Heyman can make fans cheer even the steamiest pile of dog crap.

And then, magic happened. Mick Foley calls for a chair from the crowd. That’s when the crowd at Philadelphia’s ECW Arena became part of the show…by showering the ring with dozens of chairs. The iconic moment was ripped off several times, in several companies, but it was never the same. This organic moment was one-of-a-kind is classic ECW. And it’s a moment that lives on to this day in countless highlight reels and retrospectives.

ECW was home to a lot of fun, crazy brawls. One that all ECW fans remember was between TV Champion Taz, and Bam Bam Bigelow. The match took place in Bigelow’s hometown of Asbury Park, New Jersey. And the hometown crowd was there to witness one of the most memorable bumps in ECW history. This one explains itself.

It wasn’t all about the violence in ECW. Well, it was. But, if you looked close enough, there was more. It was never more evident than when Paul Heyman called up Konnan, and introduced American wrestling fans to Lucha Libre.

Before WCW decided to bogart the style (and the best practitioners thereof), ECW was THE place to find fast-paced, athletic pro wrestling.

And you can’t mention a ECW Highlight Reel without bringing up RVD and Sabu. In their prime, these two guys put on some incredible, if sloppy, spotfests.

And then there were the promos… A bunch of guys who had been denied a chance to shine in the “big time,” given a live mic and a chance to speak their mind? ECW was full of them. And New Jack. But since this is a family-friendly wrestling blog, I’ll leave New Jack out of this. You’re welcome.

Now, a lot of people choose to ignore WWECW, and that’s their choice. But the One Night Stand pay-per-views did give us some special moments…

As Nick will talk about later today, it’s not for everyone. And even those who are fans, It’s not all perfect. In fact, most of it’s pretty far from it. But it’s all pretty memorable.

Watch and Learn: Bray Wyatt


For every #Kane worthy of his own Week, there is a Bray Wyatt: A young performer hoping to make his mark in the business. Thankfully, we’re here to help them same way we would any other athlete: give him tape He Should Watch. And loving our readers like we do, we have some tape You Should Watch of the work that reminds us of his, and because  what’s more fun than old wrestling videos?

He Should Watch

Bray Wyatt is protected as well as any rising star of the last decade: he has never run off like a scalded dog, never received the beatdown of a righteous babyface, or failed to do anything he promised he would. Even more importantly, he hasn’t been over-exposed on television. Fans tune into WWE TV hoping to see Wyatt rather than expecting it. Because of this mature, old-school booking sensibility, Bray Wyatt feels like one of WWE’s most special talents, even though he’s never held any title or taken part in any real feud out of a (pardon the pun) hot-shotted “Ring of Fire” match with Kane at Summerslam.

The collective feeling is that when a fitting spot opens up at the top of the card, Wyatt will be jetpacked up into it. Is Bray Wyatt really main event ready, though? Surely he’s a talented, intriguing figure, but he would do well to study up and develop his character further before stepping into the big time.

Like Raven.

Raven was a mysterious, cult leader heel just like Wyatt. But Raven did not talk around what his intentions were, taking pains to explain why the outcasts of the world should fall in behind him by using intensely emotional rhetoric. Raven knew how to tell the story of a twisted, tragic past in a way that put people on the edge of their seats. His brilliance, however, was in staying heel. Somehow, he could talk about being abused and bullied, but still keep his face just enough in the shadows that he remained a boogeyman figure.

Wyatt definitely has the charisma to pull off a promo like Raven’s, but he needs to find a balance with the way he speaks and uses body language to present himself in a way that is not just evil, but evil you can believe in(Editor’s Note: Kane). Raven made it believable that he could manipulate his followers into doing anything, but he also took pains to portray a character who was deeply damaged. Just a tenth of Raven’s emotional subtlety would put Wyatt in the category of great star.

Another valuable lesson Wyatt could learn from Raven would be how to get his character across during actual matches. One thing fans have learned about Wyatt in the ring is that he likes to take his time. This is a time-honored tradition of nearly all heels (especially big man heels), but the problem is that Wyatt’s signature flavor doesn’t really come across in any appreciable way during his matches. Crabwalking like the girl from The Exorcist is a nice start, but before Bray Wyatt becomes a main event star, Windham Rotunda needs to figure out how Bray Wyatt would fight someone.

The magic of professional wrestling is that with the right personality and a well-thought-out approach, you don’t actually have to be good at, well, wrestling professionally. Raven was never a “I can’t believe what I just saw” worker, but he understood how to make himself simultaneously mean, desperate, and remorseless. His offense clearly communicated his character’s take-on-the-world fury while his impish cowardice came across in the way he would wail and moan after bumping for his opponent or run and hide behind his lackeys.

If Bray Wyatt can add a dash of Raven’s emotional authenticity to his promos and learn to get his character across in the ring half as well, he will certainly be a main event star for the WWE. As it stands, Wyatt is a talented midcard wrestler, but the potion that will catapult him into the big time is character development, character development, character development.

– Dave


You Should Watch

Waylon Mercy, for one, is a clear influence on Bray Wyatt, but in the way that The Joker was a clear influence for Joker Sting. There’s also, of course, Mideon. Who was as uh, pleasantly plump, as Bray, if lacking sorely in the agility part of the comparison. Which brings us to the Platonic ideal of what Bray Wyatt could be: Bam Bam Bigelow.

A mainstay of great “big man” discussions, Scottie from Asbury Park, NJ was as gifted a behemoth as the world will ever see. Warren Sapp in full body tights, he could — and did — work with anyone on the roster for any type of match. There’s a reason he was the guy they pegged to work with LT, and even more importantly, there’s a reason that match was an actually enjoyable match.

(Hint: it’s not Taylor)

And while there’s surely a decent amount that Bray could learn from Bam Bam, let’s be honest: there’s never going to be anyone like him ever again. A full 100 pounds heavier than Wyatt, the Beast from the East wasn’t just good, he was a revelation. Wyatt could spend the rest of his life watching every single bit of tape the man ever worked on and still might not be able to do 1/3 of what he could do in the ring. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check him out, because if you’ll like what Bray Wyatt does, you’ll LOVE what Bam Bam was able to do during his prime.

Like his matches with Bret Hart, including this one from a show in Barcelona:

and his run in ECW, which included memorable bouts with RVD and of course, the bananas work he did with the likes of Taz, Sabu:

Taz vs Bam Bam Bigelow ECW Living Dangerously… by TheWholefknShow420

Heatwave: Tazz vs Bam Bam Bigelow by TheKingOfOldSkool

Sabu vs Taz vs Bam Bam Bigelow by ROH4ever

and even his Triple Threat partner, Shane Douglas:

Bam Bam vs. Shane Douglas, ECW Title by Stinger1981

While much of his best work came after the bright lights of Hartford, for his most famous match in, the main event of WrestleMania XII, but almost all of it is things You Should, most definitely, Watch.

Essential Viewings: Sabu vs. Rob Van Dam — Hardcore Heaven ’96

Some wrestling matches are great because they feature talented athletes showing off what they can do in the ring. Others are unforgettable because of their theatrics and high-level storytelling. Still more are memorable because of the crowd’s investment in the match. Some matches are all these things. Those are the ones that are truly essential viewings.

It’s Harley Race’s reluctantly agreeing to give up being “the man” and make way for Ric Flair. It’s the real story of Wrestlemania III, when Andre helped Hulk Hogan make as big as he could get by letting him do the impossible. It’s also what Hogan tried to do with the Ultimate Warrior, and would refuse to do for Bret Hart, Lex Luger and even the Undertaker. Whichever popular example you choose, one wrestler “passing the torch” successfully to another rising star boils down to three equally important parts:

  1. Identifying “the next big star,”

  2. Working closely with him, and

  3. Dedicating all possible effort into making him a star.

If you’re looking for a well-executed example of all these steps, consider the following match from ECW Harcore Heaven 1996. Herein you will see an example of the elusive “make job” match, an ECW classic between Sabu and Rob Van Dam.

In the early minutes of the match, commentator Joey Styles refers to Sabu as “wrestling’s human highlight reel,” an apt description of a man who has innovated some of the most spectacularly athletic and acrobatic spots of the last twenty years. However, Styles’ words ring almost too true, as Sabu, while legendary, is a wrestler so many fans know through short clips, “top ten” videos on YouTube, and, of course, Botchamania. The top five spots ever executed by Sabu are among wrestling’s most impressive moments, but he gave his all to a suicidal level, attempting his signature flips and bumps in seemingly every match. Sabu gave every single thing he was a part of “big match” feel, but his body simply couldn’t keep up with being Sabu every night. And that’s why when Sabu, the most innovative performer of an era, was good he was very, very good and when he was bad he was horrid.

Van Dam was famously trained by Sabu and his uncle The Sheik Ed Farhat, so this match represents a fascinating moment in a mentor-student relationship. When his jobber run in Bill Watts’ WCW ended, Van Dam found himself connected to a major player in Paul Heyman’s ECW. Six months before this match, RVD debuted in the territory, and after establishing himself with a few matches, moved right into a hot feud with his teacher Sabu. What resulted was one of the most successful angles of all time, in that Van Dam’s performances against Sabu instantly made him a huge babyface and a made star relevant more than fifteen years later. This match is a testament to both men, but above all, it speaks to Sabu’s immense pride in the brand of his uncle, The Sheik. Sabu trusted that Van Dam could be a top wrestler and had belief in his skills because he had helped trained him. This enabled Sabu to put a degree of energy and thought into his series of matches with RVD that went above and beyond even his own high standards. Sabu helped create Rob Van Dam, who eventually eclipsed the teacher himself, out of old school pride: it was the right thing to do.

Just three months after this match, these two competitors went on to form an extremely successful tag team. RVD and Sabu could have been the biggest babyfaces anywhere because of their athleticism in the ring, but they instead took on the task of playing the heel sell-outs to the invading Jerry Lawler. The teaming worked in that it ensured that both men always had something to do in ECW, even with Sabu’s frequent extended absences from the fed. It also helped build RVD into a bigger and bigger star as he was featured heavily on ECW TV and received the rub of being on WWF Monday Night Raw.

Of course, Sabu was right all along: Van Dam, with his help, Paul Heyman’s help, and Vince McMahon’s help, ultimately became a huge star in the world of professional wrestling. So, here it is, Sabu at the height of his powers trying to get someone over, and Rob Van Dam at the beginning of his big-time run: Hardcore Heaven 1996.

Almost Too Many Yes’s to Handle: Raw Regurgitated, 7/15

Vickie Guerrero will end up as the Wally Pipp to Brad Maddox’s Lou Gehrig. Hopefully Brad Maddox doesn’t die from some bad Beef Wellington.

John Cena is going to be champion as long as he has that shirt. Though, who wouldn’t really enjoy a heel turn where he shows up wearing that it everywhere as he/it gets progressively dirtier, and when people try to explain to them he’s not The Champ anymore, he gives them Attitude Adjustments?

Hey, Randy, yeah, you’ve got something on your face. I think it’s mold, but either way you look terrible. Like late-WCW “What Up, Mach?” Randy Savage bad. Does this mean you’re going to start dating a stripper named “Superstar” Billy Graham?


“Avoids wrestling anyone” Fandango may be great, but watching Johnny Curtis work with Randy Orton after holding his own on the mic with John Cena shows you precisely why he won NXT back when it was “winning NXT” meant “on your way to at least the mid-card” and not “get shit on by Michael Cole for months because talking about women’s wrestling makes him a grump.“

Even if he’ll never be WWE champion, with Damien Sandow becoming the WHC Mr. Money in the Bank (and essentially guaranteeing himself, or maybe, Cody, a title reign), it’s clear they give zero fucks about that “the legacy” of “who can hold” that title — in the best way possible — which means Fandango might be able to be a world champion before he moves on to that big dancefloor in the sky.

Wow, Randy Orton hasn’t been this popular with the crowd since he made a handcuffed Triple H watch him make out with an unconscious Stephanie McMahon…God, wrestling’s messed up.


Does Mark Henry shop at Big and Tall or Casual Male XL?


So, my two favorite wrestlers (Dean Ambrose and Mark Henry) and parts of the show (Mark Henry and The Shield) are going to feud? Can I sign up to follow this around the country like a Deadhead or whatever it is they call the idiots who like Phish?

Mark Henry can be a face if it’s a Randy Orton “You like me because I don’t call you fat, ugly and stupid and my finisher is ridiculously popular but I do not care at all what you think” run or even “Sully from Monsters, Inc,” but if he starts trying to bang old ladies again, I’m quitting this blog.


I don’t appreciate the insinuation that living with your mother is something uncool people do, WWE. No, I’m taking this personally. Shut up.


I thought Ziggler vs. Del Rio was super disappointing on Sunday, but that was entirely because of the non-PPV finish, so even if they wrestled the exact same match tonight, I’d be fine.

Eventually people will realize Alberto Del Rio is one of the best wrestlers in the world, but until then, I’m okay with him making a series of Super White Guys look like they belong in the main event, and I have to assume that Sheamus is next.

We live in a world where a 6’5” third-generation Mexican wrestler is the champion of the largest sports entertainment company in the world and has a German suplex as one of his signature moves. Globalization worked, people.

Dulce Musica de la Barbilla for Alberto’s New Finsher 2013

So, I know @MrBrandonStroud isn’t happy with how they are breaking up Team Rocket, but he’s just being silly. Anything that allows Big E. Langston to do that to Ziggles is A-OK in my book.


Is this like when they give a side character a full storyline in a show just to kill him off? Yes. This is exactly what this is.

Yeah, “What”-ing Bray Wyatt isn’t going to work, Idiots in the Crowd.

***WARNING, SERIOUS WRESTLING DISCUSSION AHEAD, PLEASE KEEP HEAD AND EYES INSIDE KAYFABE*** I saved watching Bray for Raw, and in the 5 minutes he’s been on screen, it’s been absolutely amazing. He, like Mark Henry or even when Jon Hamm as Don Draper, plays everything so straight that it forces you to absorb everything entirely within the confines of what’s in front of you. You don’t ask, “But in real life would ____ REALLY happen?” because it’s accepted that he’s functioning in a completely different universe than the one you live in, even if you are both humans living at the same time on the fundamental plane of existence. Needless to say, I “get it” with Bray Wyatt.***SERIOUS WRESTLING NOW COMPLETE, ENJOY YOUR COMPLIMENTARY SONIC MILKSHAKE ON THE WAY OUT***


The Real Americans is such a beautiful name for a tag team, and the members are fantastic, but it’s kind of a bummer that they seemed to have used the fact that Cesaro is on the team to be even more racist/xenophobic. They are heels, so it’s totally fine if they stay that way, but it seems kind of gross that they are getting people to chant “We the People”, thought more a function of We The People (in the crowd) being terrible.

With matches like this, and crowd reactions like that, it’s clear that while it’s taken a couple of months, and diluting the immense power of the Shield — in a former MVPs to now just All-Stars sense, but still — to build it up, the tag team division looks like it’s in GREAT shape with the Usos, the PTPers, the Shield: Operation Long Hair, The Real Americans and even Tons of Funk. They need less definite articles, but other than that, they look great.


They just flashed tweets from WWE superstars on the bottomline during this Sandow/Christian match, and one of the tweets was The Miz begging John Cena to pick him for the match by bringing up their WrestleMania 27 main event. He has to realize that’s equivalent of asking someone to marry you because they took your virginity, right?

Cody Rhodes will be the first World Heavyweight Champion with a mustache since Rick Rude. That has to feel nice.

There better be an option when you call 1-800-Fella to get Sheamus to spot you for a set at the gym, otherwise there’s just no point.


Vickie Guerrero not getting in the Hall of Fame would be a “Shoeless” Joe Jackson level of injustice.


There’s no pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater than Paul Heyman doing Paul Heyman Real Talk.

The story of Paul Heyman and CM Punk, in song:

I don’t like to talk shit needlessly about TNA, because Dave and I are best friends and I don’t even dislike the organization of the product, but that one segment was better than literally everything they have ever done. Combined. And that’s not even the best CM Punk segment of the last five years.


Speaking of TNA, if crowd reaction is any indication, the Rob Van Dam Redemption tour has been a rousing success so far.

One of my favorite things about Rob Van Dam is that he’s totally cool with Ryback’s airbrushed singlets, and in fact, they use the same airbrush guy. Needless to say, on the list of things that tell you that you do too many drugs, “having an airbrush guy” is at or near the top of it.

Really, Brooklyn? Don’t think you’re laying it on pretty thick with this “This is Awesome” chant? Okay… maybe that moonsault off the apron was. I’ll give you that. But for the rest, “This is Enjoyable/Satisfactory” seems like it’s more apt.