Archive for the 'Wrestlecomics' Category


20 Days of Battle Royals: Day 5

January 11th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Date: October 4, 1993
Company: WWF
Show: Monday Night Raw
Rules: The surviving two competitors will wrestle a week later
Stipulation: Winners to compete for vacated Intercontinental Championship
Roster (20): Adam Bomb, Bam Bam Bigelow, Bastion Booger, Bob Backlund, Diesel, Giant Gonzalez, Irwin R. Schyster, Jacques, “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, Mabel, Marty Jannetty, Mr. Perfect, the MVP, 1-2-3 Kid, Owen Hart, Pierre, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Razor Ramon, “the Model” Rick Martel, and Tatanka.

Shawn Michaels was a very scummy guy in the 90’s and one of the things that shows it off is how insistent he was to not put people over when it came to dropping titles. When it happens once or twice, you can give the man the benefit of the doubt, but over the years, he’s dropped every major title he’s held in some ridiculous fashion that doesn’t involve losing an actual match. One of the first major instances is in late ’93, where as Intercontinental Champion, he is briefly fired from the company. The reasoning has never been clear (rumors include steroids and posturing for a jump to WCW), but in the storyline, he had to vacate the belt due to not defending it within 30 days.

On this Raw, they make the first step in crowning a new champion via a battle royal. 20 men enter and go at it until instead of one winner, there are two. Whoever they are, they’ll have a match the following week on Raw. This is during a time when Raw is only an hour long, so this match actually takes up literally half of it. Strangely, this is chosen for the first half, leaving the rest of the show for squash matches. Why have a half hour battle royal for a major title as the main event when you can just throw on Doink the Clown vs. some guy?

It’s a pretty packed ring in terms of names. It’s arguably a better roster than most Royal Rumbles around this time. While certainly not the best name in there, having Giant Gonzalez in the battle royal is certainly a notable thing due to how his size makes him a kayfabe favorite. Randy Savage enters the ring last and notices how Gonzalez is standing near the corner, facing everyone else while playing it up how ready he is. Savage plays it smart by going right for him.

A bunch of guys help him out and out goes Gonzalez within seconds. This would be his final televised appearance in wrestling. The other 19 make the following minutes without elimination plenty entertaining, most notably when Mabel has Tatanka in the corner, looks straight into the camera and yells, “EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF!” while drooling. Mabel would be the next big threat and his opponents choose to gang up on him. Diesel is the next favorite, though he hasn’t made a name for himself yet in Royal Rumble ’94, and he screws himself over by running full-steam at Mr. Perfect, missing and sailing over the top.

Interesting moment comes when Razor Ramon throws out IRS and starts leaning over the top ropes while pointing at him to leave. If he was a heel, this would be a prime moment for him to be dumped over due to his own stupidity. Instead, it’s used as a perilous moment where Jacque of the Quebeccers almost dumps him out, but Razor barely holds on and gets back in with the help of the 1-2-3 Kid and Savage.

Bam Bam throws Razor out through the middle rope and celebrates, not realizing that he needs to send him over the top. Razor slides back in and takes him out with one hell of a bump.

Things begin to thin out after the third commercial break. One of the competitors is newcomer MVP (also known as Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz), who would go on to do a big pile of nothing in the WWF. Here, he lasts quite a while until Owen Hart flings him out. Owen’s done away with shortly after and we’re down to six. On one side, we have Randy Savage and Razor Ramon. On the other side, we have Rick Martel, the Quebeccers and Adam Bomb. The heels choose to team up together and play the numbers game. There’s some nice commentary by McMahon and Heenan, who come up with reasons as to why these guys would work together. For one, Adam Bomb and the Quebeccers are managed by Johnny Polo. Also, Martel and the Quebeccers are French-Canadian, so there’s a kinship there.

While the French-Canadians triple-team Razor, Savage is able to fight back against Adam Bomb and fireman’s carry him over the top. Bomb is pissed and grabs Savage by the ankle. Bomb’s allies rush him from behind and are able to easily dump him out. Now it’s them against Razor. Personally, I think it would make sense in-story for Martel to try and betray the Quebeccers as due to the rules of the match, he’d be at a huge disadvantage once Razor’s gone, but that never happens. The three proceed to beat down on Razor repeatedly, no matter how many times he fights back.

The three have fun messing with him, like having two hold him back while the other smacks him around. Razor kicks down Martel and the Quebeccers go back on the assault. Jacques holds him back while Pierre tries a clothesline. Razor moves, Jacques takes the hit and gets propelled out of the ring. As Pierre reacts to this, Razor grabs him from behind and eliminates him too. He turns right around and gets ready for Martel, doing his angry stomp taunt. The refs won’t allow it.

The match is over. Razor Ramon and Rick Martel are the winners. The following week has them wrestle for the vacated Intercontinental Championship and to the surprise of absolutely nobody, Razor wins. Regardless, it’s a pretty awesome match. This would be the last hurrah of Martel, who immediately falls back into obscurity and does nothing for the next few months until his release.

Shawn Michaels would come back weeks later and get injected into a Survivor Series match against the Hart Family due to Jerry Lawler’s legal issues. It made little sense and it sucked, but whatever. He starts a feud with Razor based on how he never lost the Intercontinental Championship, culminating in a legendary Ladder Match at Wrestlemania 10. Razor would win and show himself to be the undisputed Intercontinental Champion.

For tomorrow’s installment: Shawn Michaels is still a piece of shit.

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20 Days of Battle Royals: Day 4

January 10th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Date: December 28, 1992
Company: WCW
Show: Starrcade ’92
Rules: Normal
Stipulation: None
Roster (8): Van Hammer, Danny Spivey, Big Van Vader, “the Natural” Dustin Rhodes, Great Muta, Barry Windham, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams and Sting

I didn’t watch all that much WCW in my childhood and I especially didn’t see any WCW PPVs. The concept of Battlebowl always had me interested, though, and it’s something I’d love to see WWE bring back. The first step to it is the Lethal Lottery. A bunch of wrestler names are picked out of a hat to create very random tag team matches. For instance, at this show, Big Van Vader and Dustin Rhodes had to team up to face the Barbarian and Kensuke Sasaki. Vader and Dustin won, each advancing into the big battle royal to end the show. In Vader’s case, it also softened him up a bit for a scheduled match against Sting that he ended up losing.

Sting is the last entrance into the fray and as they hype him up as last year’s winner, Vader rushes out the ring and collides into him. He goes from repeatedly clobbering him to trying to choke him out while Harley Race cheers him on. Refs try to separate the two while the other six go at it in the ring.

Sting and Vader eventually find their way in there and for quite a while, a big pile of nothing happens. It’s made a bit more boring from the fact that whoever’s directing this feels the need to hold back on changing any camera angles. It’s just the same hard camera shot of eight men brawling for far too long. Eventually, they show two more screens of other camera angles, which makes an 8-man brawl look more complicated than it really needs to.

Dr. Death eliminates Van Hammer about five minutes in and finally we’re onto something, but it’s barely noticed as the focus is more on Dustin giving Windham a bulldog on the walkway to the ring. With the eight guys involved, the only two feuds that have any meat on them are Sting vs. Vader and Dustin vs. Windham, who were partners before Windham turned heel. Sting soon after eliminates Spivey and that too is rather underwhelming.

With six guys left, Vader cuts it down quite a bit by diving into Sting and taking them both out in one go.

That leaves Muta vs. Dr. Death while the Dustin/Windham fight keeps on keeping on. Once it’s time to reach the end, Dr. Death repeats the same exact spot as Vader and accidentally eliminates himself along with Dustin Rhodes. That brings us to Windham – who is bloodied from that earlier bulldog – and the Great Muta. The crowd suddenly wakes up at this point and there are huge chants in support of Muta.

Windham works on Muta and holds the advantage for a few minutes. After a nice dropkick, he figures it’s time to finish it and throws him over the top rope. Muta holds on, does the “skin the cat” spot and saves himself from elimination.

He bombards Windham with a couple dropkicks and sends him over the top, thereby winning the Battlebowl Ring in what Jesse Ventura insists is an upset. The place goes nuts and fireworks go off for our Japanese victor.

Keep in mind, this is a pretty mind-blowing finish for the time. Shawn Michaels made it memorable at the 1994 Royal Rumble, but that’s still just over a year away by this point. So that’s cool.

Speaking of Shawn Michaels, tomorrow is all about his absence and the need for a replacement.

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20 Days of Battle Royals: Day 3

January 9th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Date: January 28, 1991 (broadcast on February 16, 1991)
Company: WWF
Show: Superstars
Rules: One man being eliminated counts for his partner as well
Stipulation: #1 contender spot for WWF Tag Team Championship at Wrestlemania 7
Roster (14): The Bushwhackers (Butch and Luke), Demolition (Smash and Crush), the Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal), the Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags), the Orient Express (Kato and Tanaka), Power and Glory (Hercules and Paul Roma) and the Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty)

Here we go. I started watching wrestling in early 1991, so this is one of my earliest WWF memories. At the time, the tag champs are the Hart Foundation and we’re in the final days of the company having a great tag division. It’s been said that the Legion of Doom were the last time Vince really cared about tag teams and this is the first step in their rising up the ranks.

With the exception of Haku and the Barbarian and, naturally, the tag champs themselves, we have the entire tag division duking it out here for a chance at the belts. Kind of cool to see a battle royal for tag teams being used for #1 contenders in a stipulation they still weren’t using for the Royal Rumble by this point. In fact, the first time someone became #1 contender via Royal Rumble, it was also for the chance to dethrone Bret Hart. Huh.

After two minutes of clusterfuck clobbering all over, the Rockers take out Demolition. First they stagger Crush with a double superkick, then they do a double dropkick that sends Smash to the outside. Crush is annoyed that he has to leave and attacks the Rockers for a moment until accepting his loss. Soon after, the Bushwackers are out. What follows is something I’ve always wondered about as a kid. Jannetty holds Knobbs and Michaels goes for a dropkick. It misses and Jannetty goes flying out.

They get over it, but I was never sure whether or not they were trying to lay down the groundwork for the Rockers split-up at this point. Keep in mind, they spent MONTHS building it up through all kinds of screw-ups on either side. Was it just a cool spot or was this the first step in Shawn Michaels’ amazing singles career? I can never figure out just how long-term that booking really was.

Four teams become three once the ever-forgettable Orient Express are done with. That leaves the Legion of Doom, Nasty Boys and Power and Glory. Despite the heel dominance in the ring, Roma spends the last few moments running from Animal, even getting chased out of the ring, only to be thrown back in. His fate is sealed when Hercules throws Roma at Animal and fails to take him down.

Power and Glory are now out, leaving the Legion of Doom to take apart the Nasty Boys with little problem. As Animal sets up the Doomsday Device, Hawk climbs to the top rope. An annoyed Roma gets on the apron and shoves Hawk’s leg, causing him to fall to the floor. Despite Power and Glory no longer being in the match, that still counts as an elimination and the Legion of Doom are done. The focus appears to be more on Animal angrily glaring at Roma and Hercules as they walk off than on the fact that the Nasty Boys are Wrestlemania-bound.

The Nasty Boys would indeed go on to defeat the Hart Foundation, allowing Bret to go off on his own budding solo career. On the same Wrestlemania 7 undercard, the Legion of Doom got their hands on Power and Glory, destroying them in a fit of swift vengeance less than a minute in length. Said match also gave us the most cringe-worthy Hawk quote of all, “Power and Glory? POWER AND GLORY?! When we’re done with you, you’re gonna be SOUR… and GORY!”

Hawk and Animal earned their right to challenge for the belts and their climactic battle with the Nasty Boys took place months later at Summerslam. The Legion of Doom won their first WWF title victory and the wheels started rolling with this match.

Tomorrow, we’ll have a tag team battle royal of a different sort.

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20 Days of Battle Royals: Day 2

January 8th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Date: October 6, 1987 (broadcast on October 31, 1987)
Company: WWF
Show: Wrestling Challenge
Rules: Normal
Stipulation: None
Roster (10): Bam Bam Bigelow, Boris Zhukov, Cowboy Bob Orton, “the Rock” Don Muraco, Hercules Hernandez, Junkyard Dog, Nikolai Volkoff, the One Man Gang, Outback Jack and the Ultimate Warrior

I found this piece of WWF history too interesting not to include. It’s probably the shortest televised battle royal in WWE history at just about four minutes and the roster is a peculiar list of who’s who for the 80’s. Seeing a match between two named wrestlers on Challenge was always a rarity, so despite the short length and the fact that it has nothing to do with anything, this would still be considered a treat, all things considered.

What draws me to this is just how interesting and random a cast of midcarders we have here. All of them are memorable in some way and to see them all in one ring is slightly surreal. From Ultimate Warrior, the newcomer who would pin Hulk Hogan years later, to Outback Jack, a poster boy of Wrestlecrap from that era, the thing is a who’s who of WWF in the 80’s. I should note that Outback Jack was also a replacement for an injured Hillbilly Jim.

Even though he’d be the runner up at the first Royal Rumble months later, the massive One Man Gang is out within seconds thanks to the teaming up of Outback Jack and Junkyard Dog. Then Outback Jack is ousted because he sucks. Already less than 30 seconds and we’re down to 8. Despite the shortness, there’s nothing outright bad about the match. It’s entertaining for what there is. The ring gradually shrinks down over the course of the next minute or so and Ultimate Warrior shows off his super strength by pressing Zhukov over his head and flinging him out of there. Though while he’s doing that, Orton has no problem in sneaking up from behind and throwing him out to join Zhukov.

That leaves Bam Bam vs. Orton and Hercules. Yeah, Hercules reaches the end of two battle royals this year. The two heels corner Bam Bam and prepare to waste him. What they aren’t prepared for is CARTWHEELS!

Outside, Don Muraco has decided to stick around for the sake of cheering Bam Bam on. Eventually, Orton and Hercules get their hands on Bam Bam and work him over. After a moment or two of beating on him and nailing a double-clothesline, the two set him up in a corner and do that bit that never seems to work where someone tries to lift out a guy very slowly against their will. It’s usually a stall tactic for any battle royal, especially the Royal Rumble, but here it’s an excuse for Bam Bam to free himself by conking their heads together via his legs. They release the grip and he takes care of them in one fell swoop.

And Bam Bam wins! It’s kind of amazing how strong the company was behind him before he needed knee surgery. A few weeks later, Bam Bam would be part of Hulk Hogan’s team in the main event of the very first Survivor Series. The match ended with Bam Bam left alone against Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy and One Man Gang. Bam Bam took out Bundy and the Gang, only to hang in there briefly against Andre before being snuffed out. Still, that’s a damn nice boost. Too bad they never did anything with it. The kids in the crowd for this match were crazy into him.

Tomorrow we’re heading into the 90’s for some tag-teaming.

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20 Days of Battle Royals: Day 1

January 7th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Date: March 14, 1987
Company: WWF
Show: Saturday Night’s Main Event
Rules: Normal
Stipulation: None
Roster (20): Hillbilly Jim, Outlaw Ron Bass, Sika, Haku, Tama, Lanny Poffo, Hercules Hernandez, Butch Reed, Paul Orndorff, Billy Jack Haynes, Koko B. Ware, Nikolai Volkoff, Blackjack Mulligan, Demolition Ax, Demolition Smash, Honky Tonk Man, Brian Blair, Jim Brunzell, Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan

Our first battle royal is a bit of a surprise to me. This was before my time and while I vaguely recall seeing a brief clip of this during the hype video at Wrestlemania 3, WWF never really seemed to bring up this Saturday Night’s Main Event bout. Taking place about two weeks before Wrestlemania 3, the big storyline is that Andre the Giant has turned heel and is gunning for Hulk Hogan’s championship after years of friendship. The two are part of this match, making it the real first battle between the two in a WWF ring. What we get is Hogan vs. Andre with everybody else getting in the way.

I should note that Hogan is champ here. It was nice back in the day when people could have a battle royal just because. It didn’t push you into an automatic title shot or give you a role as GM or anything like that. It was all about bragging rights.

It begins with Hogan and Andre closing in and ready to go at it, but then they’re both swarmed by the other 18 guys. From there, the battle royal has four factions: Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, 9 faces and 9 heels. All the heels pile on Hogan while all the faces pile on Andre. For Hogan, he takes a bunch of punishment and occasionally has a spurt of energy that allows him to throw out someone like Honky Tonk Man. Andre, on the other hand, refuses to be overwhelmed and destroys everyone in his way. At one point he even takes Blackjack Mulligan and Hillbilly Jim and effortlessly clobbers them together. The biggest victim of his onslaught is poor Lanny Poffo, who eats a mighty headbutt that splits his head open. He’s tossed out and left on the mat, lying in a pool of his own blood.

Once nearly half of the competitors are done away with at the hands of Hogan and Andre, Orndorff and Hercules get their hands on Hogan. Whether they realize what they’re doing or not, they whip him across the ring and right into Andre, knocking the Giant back a couple feet.

Right there, the two begin to stare down and finally trade blows. Hogan seems like he might have an edge, but Orndorff and Hercules attack him. Though Koko does go after Andre during this, which is hilarious because Andre gives him no notice and smacks him aside. With Hogan distracted from fighting off two of Bobby Heenan’s goons, Andre pulls him in for a headbutt, flings him out of there and gestures a wave of disgust, as if to say, “Good riddance!”

As he taunts the leaving Hogan, who is pulled back by security, Andre is yet again attacked by Koko. Yet again, Andre gives zero fucks.

Once Hogan’s done with, the match loses its flavor because now all the remaining faces and heels join together and overcome Andre. They heave him out of there and it’s down to just a handful of midcarders. It whittles down to Koko and Billy Jack against Hercules and Smash. Koko’s done away with easy enough because he’s Koko, allowing Hercules and Smash to double-team Billy Jack. Ventura laughs at this on commentary because for once, heels are able to beat on the face 2-to-1 and Vince McMahon isn’t allowed to cry about it. Hercules sets Billy Jack up for a double-team attack to soften him up more, but he hops over Hercules and dives into Smash with a clothesline, sending him flying out of the ring.

That leaves it as Billy Jack vs. Hercules, who happen to have a Wrestlemania 3 grudge match set up. Their brawl is very short-lived as Heenan jumps onto the apron. Billy Jack makes a run at him, ends up empty-handed and Hercules uses the opening to flip him out of the ring. Hercules and Heenan celebrate his win, just as they’ll celebrate his eventual victory at the upcoming PPV.

It’s a definite fun match, although it really loses its steam once the main eventers are gone. It’s weird booking to see now, though. I can’t help shake the feeling that if this match happened these days, people would be crying all over about how WWF totally messed up their Hogan/Andre main event by having Andre lose. By showing him to be weak against eight or nine other guys, they’re totally burying Andre and ruining his mystique or some shit.

Tomorrow I’m going to keep it in 1987, only with a far shorter and less important exhibition.

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20 Days of Battle Royals: Prelude

January 6th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Later this month, it’ll be time for WWE’s annual PPV the Royal Rumble. Despite the Rock/CM Punk main event, the real draw for me is – and always will be – the 30-man Royal Rumble match. No matter my feelings on the current WWE product, I’ll always be game for this annual match. I’ve already shown my love for it with a big list of my favorites, so it’s not like I can visit that well again.

Instead, I’m going to talk about the pie that the Rumble is a piece of. It’s an offshoot of the whole battle royal concept and while the “one man enters every two minutes” thing makes it the best version of the battle royal, there’s much to be said about the match type. I have no idea when the first battle royal started, but there’s something so fun about a gigantic match of every dude in the area fighting it out at once to see who’s the best. It gives a real feeling of unpredictability as even though a couple guys in there may have a real shot at winning, the idea that it’s anyone’s game from the very beginning is appealing.

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to begin 20 Days of Battle Royals. No list of worst-to-best like I’d usually do. Just a look, in chronological order, of notable battle royals from the various big wrestling companies. A lot of these I’ve seen and recall fondly. Some are terrible pieces of wrestling history that are worth poking fun at. A couple I’ve never even seen before, but recognize them as notable enough to discuss.

Some honorable mentions that I won’t give full entries to because I’ve covered them in some way before over the years:

– The Royal Rumbles, natch. This includes the 15-man Rumble they had on Smackdown in 2004 to create a #1 contender for Brock Lesnar at No Way Out.

– The ECW King of the Hill Battle Royal, which was like a Royal Rumble only tag teams were allowed to enter together under the idea that if they won, they’d split the winnings. Coincidentally, the first episode of ECW TV I’ve ever seen.

– A ridiculous 108-man Royal Rumble put together on New Year’s Eve by Big Japan Pro Wrestling, Dramatic Dream Team and Kaientai Dojo.

– The Wrestlemania battle royals. I’ve also covered these in my old Wrestlemania Countdown and while I suppose I could touch on the dark match battle royals they’ve done, none were notable enough to make the final cut. Though Heidenreich and Hurricane briefly befriending each other sure was fun.

Look how pumped Simon Dean is!

– The Immunity Battle Royal from Survivor Series 2001. With the main event being WWF vs. the WCW/ECW Alliance with the winning side getting complete control, they had a battle royal of midcarders where the winner was immune to being fired. Alliance member Test winning made the main event even more obvious than it already was.

– The 15-man Brisbane Cup Battle Royal in 2009. I haven’t mentioned this one before and I really don’t know who won and there’s no footage of the entire thing. I only mention it here as an excuse to post this clip.

I’ll start it off tomorrow as we go all the way back to 1987.

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CHIKARA’s Under the Hood: This Sunday on iPPV

November 26th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

As the year reaches towards its end, the dynamic independent wrestling promotion CHIKARA reaches the climactic conclusion of its 11th season. It’s been a year based on dissent and revenge and on Sunday, December 2nd, it all comes to a head in Philadelphia for their iPPV, Under the Cowl. It’s available to stream live at Smart Mark Video at 4pm for $16.99.

Here’s what’s on tap.

Stipulation: Championship Match for the CHIKARA Grand Championship

Who’s Who?

At last year’s season finale, “the War King” Eddie Kingston decisively defeated Mike Quackenbush to be crowned the very first CHIKARA Grand Champion. The gruff anti-hero of CHIKARA has taken his spot seriously and has become a fighting champion, albeit usually defending against those who slight him in order to goad him into a defense. Over the year, he’s succeeded in taking down challengers Vin Gerard, Brodie Lee, Kevin Steen, Jigsaw, Dasher Hatfield, Sara Del Rey and Tadasuke. While insistent on defending the title of the company he loves, his body hasn’t been holding up entirely well over the year and his knee has had a bullseye on it for quite some time.

Tim Donst came to CHIKARA as a positive young kid trying to make a name for himself with his amateur wrestling background. Over time, he became bitter and turned on his friends, joining up with the invading stable, the BDK. He rose up the ranks in the BDK and ended up winning the Young Lions Cup during his tenure with the group. He became obsessed with proving himself to be the best Young Lions Cup winner of all time and this led to a lengthy feud with the original Young Lions Cup winner Hallowicked. Donst pulled every cheat he could and even tried outright murder against his rival, but in the end, Hallowicked won. Donst became a broken shell of a man after that, worshipping Hallowicked like a god, but feeling depressed over his own lack of identity. While the BDK is long disbanded, Donst and personal ring announcer Jakob Hammermeier remained a team together. They were best friends, but after the loss against Hallowicked, Donst has become cold, distant and abusive to the adorable Jakob.

The Setup:

Back in 2007, when Tim Donst was still very new, he was thrown into a match against a villainous Kingston. Back then, Kingston insisted on having a match against then-rival Hallowicked, but it was refused due to several issues. He took his aggressions out on Donst in a brutal match that first showed what kind of damage Donst was capable of fighting through. Over the years, they’ve clashed several times, always reminding of their first meeting. After Kingston’s last title defense, Donst attacked him and came to a realization that Kingston is the crux of all of his problems. Kingston never did get his commuppance for his bullying actions and yet people still cheer him. Donst started a credo that, “Karma doesn’t exist, but Tim Donst does.” The two were forced to team with each other in an 8-on-8 Cibernetico match, where Donst turned on Kingston near the end. When their team won and they were the only two remaining, the rules stated that they had to fight it out. That fit Donst just fine and through some underhanded actions, he took Kingston down with a warning that he’d take the Grand Championship at Under the Hood.

Read the rest of this entry �

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FREE Wrestling is Fun! iPPV Saturday at 7pm

November 16th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

While I talk about CHIKARA all the time, it should be mentioned that recently they introduced a little sibling promotion called Wrestling is Fun!. WiF is kind of a side project based on how much CHIKARA has grown over the years. It’s a place where CHIKARA talent can do matches and run their own little storylines without stepping on the toes of the main roster’s happenings. It’s a place for new guys who need some experience, older guys who don’t currently fit in with CHIKARA’s year-long storylines and current members of the CHIKARA roster who are up for an exhibition.

Saturday at 7, the promotion is celebrating their anniversary with a free iPPV showing off Smart Mark Video’s VOD site.

I guess this is because Smart Mark is going to be taking over iPPV duties for CHIKARA and this is as good an excuse as any to test it out.

The show will feature eight matches. On tap are:

– Mr. Touchdown defending the WiF Championship Banana against Mike Quackenbush

– Hallowicked vs. assailANT

– Gran Akuma vs. Jaka

– Green Ant vs. Juan Francisco de Coronado (accompanied by Manuel Servanto)

– Dasher Hatfield vs. Icarus

– Fire Ant vs. Kobald

– The Estonian ThunderFrog vs. Kodama

– The Devastation Corporation vs. The Flames of Love

If anything, you should watch it because of that last match. It’ll be a 30-second squash, but the Devastation Corporation is made up of guys named BLASTER MCMASSIVE and MAX SMASHMASTER. Those are easily two of the greatest names in wrestling.

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And Here it is: The 1980’s Personified

November 13th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

About a year ago, I went to my friend Bob’s place to watch a wrestling PPV and with an hour to kill before the show, he broke out a bootleg DVD he bought at a convention. The DVD featured two videos starring “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. One was Tag-Team — a failed pilot where Piper and Jesse Ventura were blacklisted wrestlers who became cops — and the other was listed as being just the Roddy Piper Show. Tag-Team was worth a watch, but it was nothing special. Besides, it was nothing new to us. Most everyone in the room had heard of it one time or another.

The other video was pure insanity and the fact that nobody had heard a single thing about it made it even more troubling. Originally known as the Herve Villechaize Show, the special was taken over by top WWF villain Roddy Piper. Few remember, but back in the 80’s-to-early-90’s, Friday nights in the fall would usually include a prime time look at the upcoming season of Saturday morning cartoons. I mainly recall this being on ABC’s TGIF, where you’d see Carl Winslow talking excitedly about the upcoming season of Winnie the Pooh. This special in question is one of those, but increasingly batshit insane.

The version I watched was completely cut to pieces, but I later found out that it was called the All-Star Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Saturday Spectacular. It aired on CBS in the fall of 1985, during the heyday of the Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Connection. The reason behind Piper’s inclusion here is that this is also the year that they would introduce the big WWF cartoon, which featured Brad Garrett voicing Hulk Hogan.

Not only does the show star Roddy Piper and feature the misadventures of ousted would-be host Herve Villechaize, but it also includes such guests asPatti LaBelle, Pee-Wee Herman, New Edition, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hulk Hogan, Captain Lou Albano and Cyndi Lauper. All while showing clips of Muppet Babies and shit. Oh, and Gary “Original Space Ghost” Owens as the announcer.

I’ve always been meaning to do some kind of review of this, but never liked how Bob’s copy would skip around constantly. Luckily, a guy by the name of Ray Boucher found a VHS tape of the show and uploaded the entire thing to YouTube a couple months ago. It’s up there in all of its “Captain Lou doing Shakespeare” glory.

It’s a surreal and entertaining way to spend 48 minutes. Or 96 minutes if you’re like me and have to watch it twice. If anything, you need to see Piper and Pee-Wee argue with sock puppets.

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The “Macho Man” Randy Savage Plus Prop Challenge

October 15th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

It’s become a recent tradition for me to do the Plus Prop challenge every time I make a visit to New York Comic Con. First time it was with Venom and that was fun. Then I used Juggernaut and that worked out well too. This year I wasn’t sure who to use. With so many choices and some reader support, I settled on using the late, great Randall Poffo, known by many names: Bonesaw McGraw, Rasslor, Leonard Ghostal and most famously, “Macho Man” Randy Savage.

And so, I spent much of Comic Con’s four days badgering various comic artists for commissions at Artists’ Alley. The challenge is to draw Randy Savage plus another object. Any object. What that object is is up to the artist and not me. This one ended up being a ton of fun and most of the artists were incredibly into it. Before he even drew anything, Chris Giarrusso and I spent like a half hour talking about how great Savage’s promos were. So sit back and snap into the fruits of their labor.


Randy Savage with Skull
by Jacob Chabot

Randy Savage with Mjolnir
by Chris Giarrusso

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