Thursday, April 26, 2012

Devon Nicholson Challenges Kurt Angle: Real Challenge or Real Good Way To Get Your Name Out There?

Anybody ever heard of "Hannibal" Devon Nicholson?...Neither have I. At least, not until now.

From what I understand, he was a Canadian mainstay on the indies and had a dark match or two for the WWE - but that's about it. I'm not shitting on the guy because I don't know him or his work. But at the same time, when you Google his name and read through the Devon Nicholson Wikipedia (that was obviously written by himself, it makes you wonder if he's just another weekend warrior putting himself over as some great worker, yet was never noticed by a major organization.

Again, I've never heard of him - but at the same time, I've been out of the indy loop for a few years now. I do know that he wasn't a name I heard of while i was promoting or booking. And when you invite yourself to the WWE training camp, it doesn't say much about their interest in you. As a promoter, I shale my head when I read someone's Wikipedia and it says, "In May 2009 Nicholson attended a WWE try out camp in Tampa Florida. He was told by WWE agent Pat Patterson that he was the best wrestler in the camp." Sounds like somebody is blowing smoke up their own ass.

The Wiki account also reads - "In 2009, Nicholson was offered a World Wrestling Entertainment contract, but the offer was rescinded, when a medical examination revealed that he had contracted hepatitis C, which he later blamed on his matches with Abdullah the Butcher. He also did a try out with TNA Wrestling in October 2010 in Saginaw, Michigan. Despite impressing TNA management they could not hire him because of his Hepatitis C."

Now that is a story I have heard of, but nothing of value that would make me remember his name. It was always presented tom e as, "Some indy worker got a contract revoked because he has Hep C and now he's talking about taking them to court". It's that kind of simplicity that his name has carried in most circles. If there is any truth to the contract offerings and tryouts, then I stand corrected - but at the same time, what has become of your career since then.

Apparently, Nicholson is now retired and in an attempt to keep whatever is left of his name viable, he's issued an Olympic challenge to Kurt Angle.

Angle pulled out of the recent Olympic trials for whatever reason. Sometimes I just think Kurt says whatever he wants to get some press because TNA is so lousy at keeping him relevant in the industry. Angle is a beast and arguably the best pure wrestler in the world. he doesn't need another run in the Olympics and his body isn't what it use to be in the 90's. Nicholson said Angle's book (also released 15 years ago) was his bible. Which doesn't say much because the book was the shits. But in any case, in an effort to keep his name as relevant as a book that has been forgotten since its release, he's called Angle out and challenged him to an amateur style match.

Angle hasn't responded yet. Probably because he doesn't even know that this video exists. And if he does, he's probably saying to himself - "Who the fuck is this guy and what has he ever done?"

In this era of social media, anybody can make any claim and have it be heard by millions. But does that mean it makes them relevant? Anyone with a video camera can shoot a promo and issue a challenge, but does it mean that it's something to take serious and make news with? Or perhaps, I'm asking the wrong questions. Maybe this is effective because it actually has me writing a post about it. Maybe I didn't know his name before, and now I do. So did I answer my own question on the effectiveness of this video and challenge?

Will Kurt Angle respond? Probably not. Not to mention, he's not gonna have a match with this guy and risk catching the Hep C. But now people know his name. He can make another video and claim that Kurt Angle is a coward and didn't respond to the challenge. He can claim that Kurt is all mouth but no balls, because he is ducking him and refuses to accept the match. On the flip side of the coin, I'm sure if you were to ask Kurt what he thought about the challenge, he'd say - "What challenge? What video? Who the fuck is this guy? I have no idea what you're talking about."

I guess if Kurt Angle responded, then it's a great success. But even if he doesn't, it still has to be some kind of success because WE are talking about it. And WE are the one really awaiting the response. And WE are the ones who got suckered into giving this guy the attention he craves. What are your thoughts?


This post is provided in part by Bayside Coops & Hudson County Exterminator

Dean Ambrose is The Next Big Deal In Pro Wrestling

There aren't many times when I look at a young wrestler and try to predict his future in the business. But there is a new guy about to be called up to the main roster and debut. There isn't a single thing about him that ever needs to be changed. And to think, he's still in his infancy. You are about to witness what could potentially go down as one of the business' greatest antagonists. And you will get to witness it from the beginning, and for years to come. I give to you, Dean Ambrose.

He's not big, but he's tall enough. He's not ripped, but he's solid. He doesn't really look the role, but that will play into his advantage. And he's got a mouth on him that spews a promo like a true traditionalist of the business. A down right gritty renegade who flips the bird to flamboyancy of the entertainment portion but gives his last breathe to finish the fight. When I look at Dean Ambrose, I see Terry Funk in his early twenties.

You may remember him as Jon Moxley, and you may have followed his career on the indy scene in Ring of Honor, to name a few. While his name has changed, his formula and ingredients haven't.

I hold high praise for Ambrose, not for what he has done - but for what he believes. In the early 80's, I found my passion for the business through characters who I believed truly existed in the real world. Later on in life, when I first started to break in - I realized that the magic that made them so effective to my imagination was that the person they were in real life wasn't too far off from who they portrayed themselves to be in the ring. To me, that meant that there was some reality to this business. Ambrose doesn't play it...he IS it!

Recently, Ambrose's debut has been pushed through social media following a series of verbal attacks on hardcore legend Mick Foley. When have you ever heard of a newcomer getting an endorsement from a legend to kickstart his career?

At a house show in December, I saw Ambrose perform in a match against Daniel Bryan. While Bryan's work has been praised as one of the best in the business, it far different from the style Ambrose brought to the fight. It was a clash of two styles which surprisingly, Ambrose garnered more attention. While Bryan's moveset seemed well thought out and better choreographed and designed - Ambrose seemed sloppy, unprepared and trying to adjust to Bryan's dance. You might be asking, "So why are you so high on Ambrose if he looked sloppy?" The answer is, because he designed it that way.

The office has had him touring with the crew and performing at local house shows to evaluate his work and make sure he's ready for TV. He's been winning his matches so that fans get acquainted with him and his style. In one of his recent wins, he finished the match by rolling down his knee pad and planting a bare knee into the face of his opponent. No finishing move needed. A simple heel tactic that hasn't been seen since the 80's. Very reminiscent of Jake "The Snake" Roberts when he first arrived on the scene and stunned the world with his DDT.

Now all that I have written is glorifying Ambrose's ring work. I haven't even begun talking about his promo skills. He paints a perfect picture of how he continues to interpret his feud outside of the ring and into his real life - a trait Don Muraco was legendary for.

If this were a comic book, Dean Ambrose would easily be the character Deadpool. He is an experiment of taking the best qualities out of some of histories best characters and breeding them into one new man. He's a genetic gimmick freak stirring qualities from Funk, Flair, Muraco, Roberts, Arn, Piper, Race - to name a few.

Watch the video above. You are about to witness a legend in the making. I predict, Dean Ambrose will be pro wrestling's next big thing.

This post is sponsored in part by Towers At Waters Edge & Pro Wrestling Blogs

How To Book Ted DiBiase Jr

If I were a betting man, I would have taken a huge loss on this one. If you frequent my writings, you'll see my constant praise for Dolph Ziggler. Well, it wasn't so long ago when I was singing the same praises for a guy named Ted DiBiase Jr.

What the hell happened to this guy? His ring skill was as technically sound as they come! How could you miss with this kid? Not to mention, he's the son of one of the most notorious villains in pro wrestling history - The Million Dollar Man!

Teddy Jr. has been out with an injury for some time, but before the boo boo went down - he was already off the WWE creative radar. I got the chance to see him work a live event in New York in December. I remember being kind of stoked to watch DiBiase give a wrestling clinic for the non-televised event. Then, I hear the fans start chanting something about DiBiase Posse Party....Huh? I don't get it. Who are you? No wonder you're not on TV anymore. Then it dawned on me... DiBiase is stuck in creative purgatory.

So let a real pro wrestling writer (my old job), tell you how to book this under appreciated talent. Are you ready? No need to take notes dipshit, this blog isn't going anywhere...

Book Ted Sr. to sit ringside at a PPV and watch his son lose. Interview Ted at ringside and ask what it was like to see your little boy on the losing end. Ask Daddy if he has any advice for his son on how to make it in such a competitive business, to which ted will simply respond - "Everyone has a price."

A few weeks later, things start happening for Ted Jr. He starts getting title shots, offers, magazine covers. It's almost like he just won the new self-image lottery. But how can this kind of change start happening over night?

He gets a high profile match, and even though he blatantly loses, the referee makes an excuse to restart the match which junior wins after a fast count. The fans are confused. His next match appears to be all but lost when all of a sudden his opponent falls to a mysterious injury letting DiBiase secure the pin. Fans are still confused. Weeks later, we learn that Ted Sr. has been bribing and buying his son's success up the WWE ladder when Daddy tries to purchase a title shot for his son.

Now perhaps this something that could have happened easily in the 80's, but this is 2012 dammit. This warrants a full investigation into bribery, blackmail, extortion. Everyone is pout under the microscope. A black book has been found with names who were paid off for their services. Suspensions are issued, jobs are lost, and the the company comes under corporate scrutiny. DiBiaise has financially shaken up the institution to get his son over. Who is getting paid off? Who is remaining clean like Serpico? Ted Sr. starts managing Ted Jr., and father and son attempt to steal (or buy) the WWE empire from Triple H and The McMahons.

I could go on, but I just remembered that Vince McMahon doesn't have me on HIS payroll. So that's about all I'm willing to offer.

This post is sponsored in part by Hudson County Pest Control & Nassau County Apartments

REPOST: GLOW Revival “Dead On Arrival” Due To Shady Promoter; Several Girls Not Paid

We’ve been on a bit of a GLOW kick here at Ringbelles for the last week or so. Having talked to the utterly charming and intelligent Angelina Altishin (GLOW’s Little Egypt) for the most recent edition of the Women of Wrestling Podcast, we’ve been keeping an eye on goings-on at Cauliflower Alley’s 2012 Reunion, where Lisa Moretti (aka GLOW’s Tina Ferrari and WWE’s Ivory) was honoured, Angelina presented two seminars to atendees, and several GLOW originals made special appearances. Even WWE’s Kharma was spotted on local news, putting over the original GLOW product. However, one thing we haven’t mentioned (other than in passing in this week’s Roundup) was that running opposite Cauliflower Alley, across town in Henderson, NV – there was an attempt to revive the product with a GLOW-branded show billed as “A Night of Fan Appreciation”. There had even been talk that this would herald a GLOW “Season 5″ as a TV product.

It seemed a bizarre day to try and launch a revival, given that anybody in the Las Vegas area with any interest in wrestling would almost certainly be going to Cauliflower Alley – not to mention that with a large number of GLOW originals already committed to be at Cauliflower Alley, even those who were hardcore GLOW fans (if such a thing still exists in 2012) would have had a difficult decision to make. The day after, the best we could cobble together was a partial talent list and a partial set of results – and it became clear that the revival wasn’t exactly a success. We first heard of a crowd of possibly 50 (and that was taking into account local trainees). We’ve even heard an estimate considerably lower than that. That, unfortunately, was only the tip of the iceberg, as we’ve since heard various shady stories regarding promoter Eric Rolphe Nyenhuis. Click through to after the jump for the full story.

At this point, we may as well go right to this YouTube video posted today by Freakshow Wrestling’s Scorch The Clown where he calls for a boycott on any future events promoted by the aforementioned Eric Rolphe Nyenhuis (who calls himself the new CEO of GLOW, under the name Eric Danger Nyenhuis).

Scorch actually makes a lot of points in this video that we’ve been busy confirming ourselves over the last couple of days, and we’re able to confirm that we’ve heard similar stories from various parties involved in the ill-fated reunion. Most notably, we’ve independently confirmed that a number of girls were stiffed on pay and lied to about a number of things. Rather than being put up in the Gold Coast Hotel, the girls were to be put in a sub $40 per night flea pit, the promised “limousine transport” to/from the hotel ended up being a number of people crammed in the back of a van, and unsurprisingly the promise that the venue had paid catering also turned out to be false. Perhaps most damning is the fact that (as mentioned by Scorch), Nyenhuis was caught trying to sneak out of the venue before the show was over to avoid having to pay several of the talent. He then tried blaming investors etc, before jerking around the girls for several hours as they ended up following him around Vegas until his trail went cold. One of the girls had been given a hotel room key, but nobody had told them where they were supposed to be staying – and it was only through the good graces and contacts of Stu Stone (who worked on the show as a manager and managed to pull in some favours) that they were eventually able to find a hotel for the night. The next morning, Nyenhuis was still nowhere to be found – meaning that fly-in talent who had to get back to the airport had to organise their own transport back.

As for the show, the promised “hair and makeup artists” turned out to be Nyenhuis’ girlfriend – GLOW original Roxy Astor and her daughter Kayla (who worked the show as Brittany Astor), the sound guy was Astor’s son, and the photographer was Roxy’s other daughter’s boyfriend. Promotion was non-existent outside a facebook fan page (which has since been taken down by Nyenhuis’ business partner, who was *also* lied to) and the event was described as “unprofessional”. From what we’ve been able to gather, only four matches were put on, and outside of the Legends Battle Royal (which was won by GLOW original Hollywood), none of the other three had a finish. Taeler Hendrix (working as Vanessa Hendrix Wundor – aka VH1) had some sort of a no-contest with Kitana Vera (as Lil’ Figi) (we’ve been unable to determine the exact finish), Buggy Nova (as Donna Dead) went to a Double DQ with Brittany Astor) and Sara Del Rey (as Sara Death Ray) went to a 15 minute draw with Candice LaRae (as Robyn, The Super Hero).

The one thing that we’ve heard throughout from every source is that nobody is blaming or knocking the GLOW girls, either originals or new – and that the utter failure of this project lies solely on the head of this shady promoter, Eric Nyenhuis. It brings us no pleasure to bring this to the attention of our readers – and even though we assume Nyenhuis will disappear off the grid for an extended length of time after this debacle, we believe (and hope) that nobody else should have to put up with the (in the words of Scorch) “Bullcrap” that a number of these performers have had to over the last few days. Please, we urge that any wrestlers who are approached by this man in future heed this warning.

We will bring you more news if and when any develops.

This post is sponsored in part by Hudson County Exterminator & Nassau County Rentals

Passing A Torch With No Flame?

Back in the 90's, when the n.W.o. gimmick started to fade with the overkill of adding older wrestlers who flat out refused to put over the younger talent, I was a huge advocate of passing the torch to the next generation of young stars whop would bare the burden of carrying the success of the industry on their backs. After all, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Bret Hart and Randy Savage only had so much left in them. They were in their twilight of their career and new stars had to be handed the responsibility of keeping the business alive.

Luckily, the young stars that were promoted were names like Chris Jericho, The Rock, Eddie Guerrero, and even a guy like Triple H. Watching this past Wrestlemania, it truly was the end of an era.

So who are the new stars of today? John Cena is a no-brainer. CM Punk has finally found his mojo and will become of the next big stars for the business. But then what...? Who else is there? Jericho's career near it's end. He wants to go out on top, spend time with the family and pursue other projects. How much more can Cena carry on his back? Orton can help with the load and switch back and forth. Who's the next big star? Who will get "the call"? Sheamus? Maybe. I think he's a great worker, but the gimmick is limited. Who else?...I'll wait.

Dolph Ziggler is ready and willing - but I don;t think the office is 100% sold on him right now. They see a work horse looking to steal the show and they figure, "Let's not feed him. The more he starves, the harder he'll work for food." I urge you fans to stick with Ziggler, because there will be a day when he is the hottest thing on the wrestling market.

The one that bothers me the most is Wade Barrett. The WWE invested so much into him with the ill-fated Nexus angle, and then they tried to get him over on his own. Now, he's just a guy who can get the right shoe to fit. He's uncomfortable in the ring, he's uncomfortable to watch, and he's as wooden as Pinnochio's penis.

Barrett has the tools to be a hard nosed competitor and respected in the same breath as William Regal, Fit Finlay and even JBL. He has the same rugged style and approach blended with a a technical twist. So why isn't he getting over? Even when he's out with an injury, it has no effect what so ever with the progress of the show. he was filler material right off the cookie-cutter clone line. Only difference was that he had a little size on him, other than that, same shit as everyone else.

It's almost cliche to hear an old school traditional wrestler refer to themselves as, "The Last of a Dying Breed". But maybe it's true. Remember the dinosaurs? Funny how we refer to Hogan and Flair as one of them, what happened when the dinosaurs no longer roamed the earth? What will happen when the Hogans, Flair, Stings and Undertakers wrestle in the ring? Will it be the end of the wrestling world much like the dawn of time?

Just let them wrestle already. Let the championship be the prize for being the best. Then you wonder why the new kids on the block are so green? Because they are too busy working on their acting skills rather then their wrestling skills. They are more focused on memorizing the script rather than the spots in their match. I look at the business the same way an adult looks at today's youth - "THAT is what is going to lead the world and take care of me in the future?"... I guess it is really coming to an end, isn't it?

This post is sponsored in part by Bayside Condos For Sale & New Jersey Insurance Directory

Put The IC Title Back On Cody Rhodes

It bothers me that WWE creative always seems to drop the ball in the push of their brightest stars. In the beginning it was. Rhodes was paired with Ted DiBiase Jr and Randy Orton as part of Evolution - a trio of kids riding on their family name. But since the "evolution", Orton has become one of the company's biggest stars, and DiBiase..., well, he's still trying to find himself.

Cody Rhodes is much more than a family name. He's a stand alone star. And his morals were nodded in approval when he revived the legacy and value of the Intercontinental title. More so when he brought back the traditional design that was the most sought after title in all of pro wrestling.

The title needs to be wanted again. Young independent workers need to look upon these championship belts as career goals and pinnacles. There needs to be a boyhood fantasy of wearing a title held by the few and chosen. Not a prop in a storyline. A championship of value. And that was something Cody Rhodes was bringing back.

Let the kid do his job and restore tradition and value. Enough with storyline and return matches. Cody Rhodes is the young star who can grow to be a legend and future hall of famer, so why is he doing jobs? Enough already with the cartoon antics on your weekly comedic sitcom. Even in the name sports entertainment, it refers to the sport before the entertainment. Bring back the competitive challenges and give us something to root for rather than something to laugh at. Give us pro wrestling dammit! And it starts with putting the Intercontinental belt back around Cody Rhodes' waist!

This post is sponsored in part by Bayside Condos & Massachusetts Insurance Directory

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DGUSA/EVOLVE offers more bang for your iPPV dollar!

"....New 3 tier pricing plan at for iPPVs? We are going to try it out for the North Carolina iPPVs. It's a discounted $9.99 for the live showing only. The regular $14.99 for live iPPV and unlimited on demand access. A special $24.99 for live iPPV, unlimited on demand access and a pre-order of the DVD."

I wish the bigs would offer something like this. This is your chance to watch the hottest brand of indy pro wrestling around. I have been a supporter of EVOLVE since day 1. These days when every dollar matters, its nice to know that the independents offer this type of value. Go to for more details.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Do I Really Need To Discuss That Pitiful Episode of RAW?

I can't believe that it's Wednesday night, and I keep getting emails from YOU fans asking, - "Aren't you going to make any mention of this week's RAW?" Do I really need to? The fact that I haven't written anything about it should sum it up, shouldn't it?

Well, rather than getting into all the details, let's do like we to the one night stand girls and just hit the right sports and get the hell out of this mess!

Am I the only one who feels that the WWE has lost creative steam post-Wrestlemania? The return of Brock Lesnar was a major shake-up, but it left so many unanswered questions - let alone feeling rushed into a mediocre PPV at Extreme Rules. The show has become a senseless pile up of badly acted soap opera drama and slapstick comedy. Creative storytelling is supposed to toy with your emotions, not confuse them. When you're confused, you easily lose interest, and in a desperate attempt to regain your attention, creative shit is thrown against the wall just to see if it will stick.

This episode of RAW was no different. Outside of the bile stench from the R-Truth as Sherlock Holmes skits, the show was outright dreadful. The matches were poorly chosen, the script was poorly written, and the wrong talent worked the show. With talented workers like The Miz, Cody Rhodes and Alberto Del Rio, why did I have to watch matches with The Great Kahli, Brodus Clay and Zack Ryder?

I think the Punk/Jericho feud is stuck int he mud. A Chicago Street Fight at Extreme Rules will do nothing to help it. In fact, it takes away from the magic these two can put on in the ring. The whole "temptation and family of alcoholics bit" is overdone. It was a good lead in for Wrestlemania, but now it's the same thing EVERY week. Jericho needs to come up with something else, because Punk looks like a deer in the headlights. Perhaps it would have been wiser to sideline Punk after having a bottle smashed against his head. Question if he would ever be able to wrestle again. Let us think he might have to forfeit the title. No I understand the need for a street fight, and I might be willing to pay for it. But nope... he's good to go for the next week!

Am I the only one who thinks Santino has resorted himself to the lame and toddler demographic services of being a Bushwacker? Yeah, he might not walk like a duck to the ring or lick your face. In fact, you'll need to be licking a sweaty asshole to get the bad taste of his work out of your mouth. Santino is a glorified jobber to the roster. A Koko B. Ware of sorts. There is no need to put a championship[ around his waist...Oh wait, that's not a championship belt. That's a "prop" that was decorated by a pre-school to celebrate the fourth of July.

Zack Ryder, I was rooting for ya buddy. You worked for me at NWA Cyberspace and were a great and humble kid. I really supported how you got on the office's radar with your web show. But what has become of you? You're like the nerd who not only drops the ball, but kicks it away too. Like Santino, you're a glorified jobber with his own merchandise. The chicks dig you, so I'd put you into the "Jim Powers" category. Maybe it's time for a heel turn? Or are you just patiently waiting for Santinio to get released so you can take over his spot as number one jobber?

The last thing I want to talk about is the build up for John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules. RAW aired a pre-recorded interview with Lesnar that was scripted perfectly. This is the way promos need to be designed and delivered. Hard hitting facts that need no sugar coating. No bullshit gimmicks or animated hatred. The real type of "best in the world" magic the Punk/Jericho feud needs. It was summed up when Brock stated that Cena is only in the spot he's in now because Brock left eight years ago, and that if he were still around, Cena would be the guy carrying his bags into the building.

My question is, why rush into this feud? If you need to make big money outside of Wrestlemanai, then I can understand. If you were building for next year's Wrestlemania, then it would make even more sense. But to rush it into a gimmick storyline for Extreme Rules? I'm lost. Mark my words - people will buy the PPV to see the return of Brock. Not Brock vs. Cena. But it didn't have the build that Cena/Rock had for Mania. The storyline of "what would Cena be today if Brock didn't leave eight years ago" is enough to carry the weight for next year's mania main event. But instead of the perfect build, you get the answer in two weeks.

This post is sponsored in part by Building A Photography Website and Women of Wrestling

Blast From The Past - Ultimate Warrior vs. Tully Blanchard

Remember the good 'ol days of pro wrestling? You're probably too young. But if you're old like me, maybe it takes you back to a happier time. Ah, I miss those good days. Days when performers wouldn't overkill the roster. And what I mean by that is that in today's pro wrestling product, there is no room for imagination. There is no room to daydream and fantasy book. There is no room for the excitement of a dream match.

I guess that's what made this year's Wrestlemania so special. You had a match that was built up for a year and there was no physical activity that would take away from the magic of two opponents locking up and exchanging moves for the first time in their careers. It was a never before seen moment, and it successfully drew and audience and profits.

When wrestlers are wrestling each other EVERY SINGLE WEEK, over and over again - you have nothing left to crave. There is no want. If anything, you just want it to be over! This video gives you the sense of what it was like to see something that you have never seen before. Something that was different to the eye and to the senses.

At the time, The Ultimate Warrior was the most popular wrestler in the company. Any match he was in held an automatic interest. Would The Warrior squash his opponent in seconds like he did to The Honky Tonk Man for the Intercontinental title at SummerSlam 88? Or would the opponent go toe to toe with the face-painted maniac? But in this case, there was another element that added to the magic.

Tully Blanchard was a seasoned veteran. One who made his name while competing in the NWA and as one of the key members of the legendary Four Horsemen. His arrival in the WWF along with tag team partner Arn Anderson was a happening that real wrestling fans clamored. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and we didn't get NWA programming. I had learned about the Four Horsemen from the thousands of wrestling magazines I had stacked in my room. Those magazines spoke volumes of how good they were, yet all I had were black and white photos of them in action - never getting the chance to see how good they were in real form.

So when they finally arrived in the WWF scene under the guidance of Bobby Heenan, it was a moment for me to finally see what they hype was all about. And in their matches with The Rockers, I can confidently say that I have never seen better tag team matches in history of the entire included!

Sure, Tully had success as a singles competitor in the NWA while holding multiple championships. But my real exposure to him was in his tag team matches when he paired up with Arn. Although it was a dark match, hearing that Tully was tapped for a singles match against The Ultimate Warrior in the WWF completely blew my mind. I would see Tully tough it out on his own without the assistance of a partner. yeah, he had Heenan in his corner - but the best heels in the business had him too. "The Brain" was part of the magic.

Tully could have faced anyone in a singles match and I would have been happy. But The Ultimate Warrior was different. Yes, I knew the Warrior was going to win the match, but I didn't have any interest in the final result. Even at a ripe young age, I knew The Warrior was limited in his ring work. After he shook the ropes, what was left? Would this be yet another squash match because WWF fans only knew Tully as a tag team competitor, so they automatically assumed he couldn't cut it on his own, thus later using the excuse that he's not accustomed to not being able to tag out? Or was Tully planning on running circles around this jacked up fool. Was he about to expose The Warrior for what he really was - an over hyped, brilliantly marketed character from the inner McMahon vision? Was Tully going to stretch The Warrior since it was a non-televised event? How would the Warrior respond to the scholar ring psychology that made masterpieces with Shawn Michaels in tag action? How would The Warrior respond to a match that actually made sense?

The answer is in the play button. Click it and enjoy. I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments section with your thoughts on the match!

This post is sponsored in part by Create A Photography Website and Classic Wrestling Videos

Booker's Reality Wrestling Has Lack of Perception

I'm a fan of Booker T's work...but, not so much of his commentary skills. Yeah it's different, but it has to be one of the worst experiments since the WWE tried to put Superstar Billy Graham behind the stick in the 80's. Luckily, I'm not here to talk about that right now.

I've had the pleasure of working with Booker T on numerous occasions, and he is hands down one of the most humble and giving performers in the business. His insight to pro wrestling and his dedication to perfect the craft is what has helped him become one of the most decorated superstars in the history of the business. But what if the creative weight of the wrestling world fell into his hands? Would a spin-a-rooni be enough to get over? What if Booker T were in a position to put on the best wrestling product to engage a wrestling audience?

As some of you might know, Booker T runs his own pro wrestling school in the great state of Texas. With a school, comes student shows. And with student shows, even a veteran wrestler like Booker T soon learns that performing in the ring and promoting what's in the ring are worlds apart.

The video above is part of Booker T's new project with his school students, entitled "Reality of Wrestling". To be fair, I don't know much about this project at this time - but by watching this video, I've already lost interest.

Promoting pro wrestling hinges on the vision of the promoter. Innovation, engagement, uniqueness and most of all, perception are critical elements. Ever seen the film "Boiler Room"? Ben Affleck lectures the young group of salesmen who are still wet behind the ears, and tells them the secret to success is to "act as if". Act as if you are the boss of the company. Act is if you have a million clients. Act as if you own the most expensive car on the street. Act as if you have 12 inch penis. Just, act as if. Perception is critical.

When you put out a piece of material such as this video, what is your perception? Are you still interested? Does it get the blood pumping? or are you looking at it wondering, "WTF?"

Wht would you build up using these two performers? Why would you build up using sloppy video shooters? Why would you build up letting a pre-school kid edit this on his Fisher Price My First Editing System? This is tragic! A reason to tune out. Most of all, it's a disappointment because you know Booker T is capable of better. You start to wonder if he officially approved this video or if one intern put this out there for public consumption.

Looking at the arena, Booker T has done his part in putting together a local show for his students to perform in front of their families and peers. And maybe he doesn't want to become a strong indy organization in the mold of a Ring of Honor. Perhaps he's content doing what he's doing. But at the end of the day, this is still a business. His business is judged by his perception. When looking at this video, you question the business. You ask where the money goes. You ask why he doesn't hire a better production team. You ask if you're interested in learning pro wrestling from this company or is it just a front with Booker's name on it.

Now don't get me wrong - I'm not saying the Booker T school is a scam at all. Booker is all aces in my book. He is one of the few people in this business you can depend on and trust. Booker is a true man of his word. But this video doesn't help the perception. This video is less than amateur. And without interest you have no growth. Without growth... well, you have nothing. Booker T is more than that, and I have a strong interest in anything he is attached to (except TNA programming... even he couldn't sit through that). But from a man who has achieved so much, we expect better because if anybody, you know better. And this is far from where a Booker T production should be. Now can you dig that, sucka?

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Cena vs Rock - The Wait Is OVER.

*Excerpts from DieHard Pro Wrestling Blog*

The Rock defeated John Cena after the year long build up of the greatest pro wrestling main event of all-time.

"As much criticism as The Rock gets, everyone needs to realize he WAS a pro wrestler long before he became a Hollywood star. And when he was a pro wrestler, he was one of the greatest of all time!....It's not like Brad Pitt or George Clooney came in and Cena did the job for them. The Rock came back "home"."

"It's not like Cena had the entire year off to prep for the match. He worked harder than ever to maintain his status as the face of the company and still stay healthy, strong and focused on the "once in a lifetime" match. Hate Cena all you want, but you better fucking respect him!"

"It was built as the greatest Wrestlemania main event of all time... and I think they're right. The only other Wrestlemania main event that could challenge for those bragging rights would be Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania VI... I think Rock vs. Cena trumped it!"

"The match is everything it was expected to be, and more. Rock and Cena were in full control and they're eyes were locked only on each other."

"Based on their history and bad blood, you wondered how much of the match was a shoot and how much was a work. You looked for hard punches that may have "accidentally slipped"...there were also times where The Rock was being a blatant prick. You can tell on the outside of the ring that he was dead weight to Cena every time Cena tried to powerlift him. The Rock wasn't giving an inch!"

"This match was a clash of passions. It doesn't matter who won. What mattered was that it got the fans engaged. It wasn't designed to entertain, it was designed to get your blood pumping and make you fall in love with pro wrestling all over again.....Regardless of the outcome, the only two words that sum up this match for both The Rock and John Cena is... Thank you!"

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It Really Was An End of An Era

*Excerpts from DieHard Pro Wrestling Blog*

In a match that was defined as "The End of An Era", The Undertaker continued his Wrestelmania winning streak to 20-0 by defeating Triple H in a Hell In The Cell Steel Cage Match featuring Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee.

"As I woke up this morning, I had mixed feelings about this match. Perhaps I expected more. Perhaps I expected a swerve. And perhaps I got lost in creatively booking the match myself in my own mind."

"I had expected to see some sort of one night only DX reunion. But, that didn't happen. Instead, we got a slower paced and more dramatic encounter with Shawn Michaels not really playing a major factor in the final decision."

"This match wasn't about creative storytelling. This match was about saying farewell to what is arguably the greatest era of pro wrestling history - The Attitude Era.... And this match at Wrestlemania, was the one moment where we literally said goodbye to yesterday."

"Had Shawn Michaels gotten more involved in determining the outcome of the match, then it would have opened the flood gates of rumors and speculation that he'd be back for at least one more match."

"The match didn't need physical involvement. The story was told through expression....It was technically designed so that you would be able to hear audio bytes of conversations between the those involved. The close up shots of Taker and clear audio of him saying, "Don't end this match Shawn.. No matter what, don't end the match", were more effective than any swerve... The story wasn't in the punches thrown. It was in the facial expressions. And it's an example of the lost art in this business."

"One problem that I had with this match was the lack of blood...I understand the "no blood" policy for the PG-13 product, but this is Wrestlemania!"

"The finish was somewhat weak. Basic tombstone into a three count... Taker saw the end in Triple H's eyes and put the dying dog out of his misery."

"The final shot of Michaels and Taker carrying Triple H to the back was worth a thousand words. You can't put a price on that type of perfection. And while I feel the match itself didn't live up to the expectations, it told the story it needed to tell and ended one of the greatest wrestling books of all time."

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Did Punk and Jericho Steal The Show?

*Excerpts from DieHard Pro Wrestling Blog*

CM Punk retained his WWE World Title by defeating Chris Jericho.

"I felt this was the match to steal the show. And in my opinion, it did...but barely."

"I don't think the WWE Universe understood what they were watching... Jericho and Punk took us to an early time in their career... What we saw was a Japanese exhibition and a technical clinic where these opponents stretched each other in ways the human body isn't meant to bend."

"...let me go on the record in saying that I think the build up was piss poor. Social media killed this match in late 2011..."

"I started to wonder if Jericho's time away had hurt his value. Was his return strong enough to make an impact? Strong enough to change the game? Strong enough to shake the world? The only thing that shook the world was the weight of the ball WWE creative dropped."

"While watching the match, I was trying to understand the input both men had in the match. I sensed a strong Japanese influence..."

"They were looking for acceptance of a unique style, but those 78,000 fans were only looking for entertainment. 78,000 brainwashed fans who don't understand the science of the business, the magic of a match, and who all have accepted that wrestling is nothing more than a fake show."

"Amazingly, Punk and Jericho never let crowd reaction take over. Sure, they were disappointed but they were smart enough and good enough to switch the match around and have the fans eating out of the palm of their hands."

"I applaud Punk and Jericho for taking that chance, but rather than building up the match based on Punk's father being an alcoholic and his sister a crack head, perhaps they should have talked about their years prior to the WWE....THAT would lend credence to the term "Best In The World"."

"This is an example of WWE creative not being in tune with what the business is about, so they rather stuff some senseless sitcom type of formula down your throat. After all, what other option do you have? TNA?"

"On a side note, one thing I did notice about this match was that Punk is better suited to play a heel....Remember, you first started loving CM Punk when he was a heel and cutting down Cena, Triple H, Vince, and the company. Not now, when his only grip is with John Laurinaitis."

"Overall, neither man was the best in the world that night.... It was still a great match, but it won't be one that is remember as one of the greatest of all time."

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Tag Match Ends With Zack's Sack

*Excerpts from DieHard Pro Wrestling Blog*

Team John Laurinaitis defeated Team Teddy Long to take over control as general manager of the RAW an Smackdown brands.

"This was a typical throw-away match... creative decided to compile 12 roster members into one match as a "thank you for your hard work this year"."

"From the start, it was obvious Team Johnny was going over.... Team Johnny was stacked with some of the top talents on the roster, some who are former champions such as Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger and The Miz. What did Team Teddy bring to the table? An aging Booker T? Kofi "Lost In The Shuffle But Good For Highspots" Kingston? R-"My Promos Sometimes Make Less Sense Than Jimmy Snuka" Truth? And Santino "Glorified Jobber Whose Sock Puppet Is More Over Than He Is" Marella? Seriously, this match was over before it even started."

"...what really pissed me off is that the match concluded with the love affair between Zack Ryder and Eve Torres."

"...what has become of Zack Ryder?.... no rematch for the US title. No feud with Kane for almost killing him. But instead, he's chasing a piece of ass that is way out of his league. Not to mention, Eve had a prominent spot in the divas tag match, so why was she allowed to get double duty by appearing in this match only to attack Zack's nut sack? Prime example of WWE creative making zero sense and throwing shit against the wall just to see if it sticks."

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Big Show Gets Big Moment, But Put Focus Back on Rhodes

*Excerpts from DieHard Pro Wrestling Blog*

The Big Show finally got his Wrestlemania moment when he defeated champion Cody Rhodes to win the Intercontinental title.

" was one of my favorite original concepts of the year... simplicity at its best! Another prime example of less is in fact more!"

"What made this angle work is that most fans forgot how bad Big Show's Wrestlemania track record really was. He truly never had a real Wrestlemania moment. Before this angle, if you were to ask a fan about any of Big Show's matches at previous Wrestlemanias, they'd be stumped to answer you...It's like anytime Wrestlemania season came around, Big Show got bit by the asshole bug."

"The problem here is that Big Show doesn't need the title as much as Rhodes does, and it would be wise for creative to put it back on him as soon as possible. Remember, this was never really about being a championship match. It was simply about Big Show having his moment."

"Well, the moment happened. Wrestlemania is over. Now we need to get the focus back on bringing value to the title and making Rhodes one of the top stars on the roster... There has been talk of pushing Rhodes to the main event level and having him feud with Randy Orton to set him up for a shot at the heavyweight title. In my opinion, it's a mistake."

"...look at Dolph Ziggler...Got his main event match at the Royal Rumble and has been main eventing house shows with CM Punk across the globe. But after doing the jobs, where is he now? .... pushing him to the top only to knock him back down makes no sense at all. And I fear the same fate for Cody Rhodes."

"In this new WWE creative universe, valid history has no part. They may keep track of how many titles you've won, but your win/loss record is meaningless. When you're wrestling every week and doing jobs for the sake of entertainment or cheap pops, matches become meaningless themselves."

"It's like WWE suffers from severe cases of A.D.D. and short term memory loss....The constant flipping of scripts and rebooting of characters doesn't leave much to build a legacy on. The time line of careers is so botched and flip flopped, you'd think you were watching a Republican GOP race."

"In the end, Big Show finally won his moment. But now that Wrestlemania is over, it's time to focus on the future...and it starts with putting the IC strap back on Cody Rhodes."

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Diva's Match Didn't Need "Extra" Hype

*Excerpts from DieHard Pro Wrestling Blog*

Kelly Kelly and host of television's Hollywood gossip show Extra, Maria Menounos defeated Divas champion Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres.

"Not much to talk about here. It's the token boobs and booty match of any WWE event."

'I'm glad that the WWE didn't go over the top like they usually do when promoting a celebrity wrestling appearance at Mania.... nothing more than a slap to the face of the talent that works 340 days a year, and I can easily understand John Morrison's position last year..."

"I don't know how many additional PPV buys and newly converted fans the WWE gained last year by having Snooki on the show - but I sure as shit know that they didn't gain anything from having Menounos appear."

"Overall, the match was treated right and offered the divas a deserved spot on the card...the match proved that the girls can in fact wrestle and don't have to be resorted to yearly gimmick matches such as Playboy Pillow Fights and Lumberjack matches."

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The Monster's Fire Keeps Burning

*Excepts from DieHard Pro Wrestling Blog*

In a surprise to many for a match with minimal build, Kane defeated Randy Orton.

"There was never any real reason for heat between the competitors. It was simply two of the top veteran guys working against each other on the main card."

"Sometimes, drawn out storylines overkill the concept of having an effective match. It compromises the choreography of the match because you have to hit certain spots to make sure the story is properly told. There are times where outside entertainment factors play too much of a role when the match should simply focus on the wrestling."

"Kane needed the win a lot more than Orton did.... Had Kane lost this match, his appeal and effect as a "monster heel" would have been killed."

"The best way to move forward here is to end this feud now. There was no real story or real reason for the program to continue. They are just two guys whose paths crossed at Wrestlemania. One guy lost and the other got his hand, move on!"

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Smackdown Title Loses All Value in 18 Seconds

*Excerpts from DieHard Pro Wrestling Blog:

A new world champion was crowned at Wrestlemania, as 2012 Royal Rumble winner Sheamus defeated defending champion Daniel 18 seconds!!!

"Now this could technically go down as one of the biggest and most surprising Wrestlemania moments of all-time, but I'd categorize it as one of the most insulting and demeaning."

"..the Raw title is the most prestigious championship in all of pro wrestling and no one really gives a shit about the Smackdown title."

"Sure, the office won't say it publicly. They fear the backlash of going on the record and saying, 'He's too small...He has no charisma...He doesn't draw.'"

"A historic moment was at the first Wrestlemania when King Kong Bundy defeated SD Jones in 9 seconds. But it was Bundy squashing a jobber, not a world title match with a guy who can run circles around most of the roster."

"... it's apparent that creative doesn't know how to utilize Daniel Bryan. Now that his title run is over, the chances are slim to none that he will ever regain the strap, let alone the opportunity."

"Unfortunately for Daniel Bryan, pro wrestling is fake...or shall I say "pre-determined"? It doesn't matter how good he is. What matters is how good they make him look with their script-writing. While he has no control over his character or the words that come out of his mouth during his promos, Daniel Bryan's future seems bleak as he resorts to being another one of the creative robots. A championship squash match during the opening of Wrestlemania is a clear indication that creative has nothing left for you."

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