Jammer's Wrestling Thoughts


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Mid-South Wrestling: The Original Extreme Wrestling

Posted by jammer311 on September 10, 2013 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I haven't wrote a blog for a long time regarding a review for a wrestling video release.  Actually, I haven't wrote a blog about wrestling in general for a long time, but that's not the point I want to make with this.  I have been on a routine as of late to buy the latest WWE DVD releases that come out.  I would buy the Blu Ray versions of them, but Walmart refuses to carry them.  I don't know why either.  But lately I have picked up many that have come out.  And the latest one was the Legends Of Mid-South Wrestling set.

Mid-South Wrestling, had one main title and it was the North American Title.  And the man that held that title was guaranteed a shot at the NWA World Champion when he came into the territory.  It was gritty.  It was dirty.  It was bloody.  It was... extreme?

Mid-South Wrestling became the UWF - Universal Wrestling Federation - in 1986 due to Bill Watts wanting to compete with the WWE, NWA, AWA and WCCW.  He wanted to go national, and he knew he could do it.  He had the stars.  Oh boy, did he ever.

At one time or another, guys like Dusty Rhodes, Andre The Giant, Ted DiBiase, Hacksaw Duggan, Matt Bourne, Butch Reed, Steve "Dr. Death" Williams, The Fabulous Freebirds, Ultimate Warrior, Sting, Eddie Gilbert, Rick Steiner, Shane Douglas, Terry Taylor, One Man Gang, "Big" Bubba Rogers, and the main draw of all time, the Junk Yard Dog, all appeared in Mid-South Wrestling, or the UWF.

That's a loaded crew right there!

And yes, Vince took some for the WWE, and Crockett took some for the NWA, but the UWF kept trying to fight its way with the big boys.  The UWF was extreme.  And don't take it from me, take it from a man who wrestled there, Shane Douglas.

Shane stated in his RF Video shoot in 1997, that the UWF was a lot like ECW.  It was the company that was the alternative to what you saw from New York or what you saw from Atlanta.  And he was right.

I never got a chance to watch UWF wrestling as a child, but I was a fan of it based from the PWI magazines.  Or the Apter mags as the wrestlers call it.  But they covered UWF on a monthly basis.  So I got to read about Terry Gordy getting the best of Hacksaw Duggan in a UWF Title match.  Or how Steve Williams still couldn't beat the One Man Gang to win the UWF Title.  And the UWF to me seemed so cool.  I really wanted to see it!

I would get that chance in late 1987 when Crockett bought out Bill Watts.  The UWF was now owned by the NWA.  So I got to see Steve Williams, Terry Taylor, Rick Steiner, Sting, and others.  As for guys like Butch Reed, Ted DiBiase, Hacksaw Duggan, and One Man Gang, I already seen them compete.  In the WWE.

So I was a bit excited then to hear that the WWE finally owned the rights to the Mid-South/UWF library.  We were finally going to get a DVD release.  And for the first time in a long time, I actually watched all three discs in one day of a wrestling DVD set.  I was that pumped for it.  So with that, I figured I may as well give it a review for the casual fan who is unsure if they should purchase said DVD release.

The DVD is done nicely.  There isn't a documentary on the company, but there is interviews before said matches that makes it seem like a documentary.  So I can't complain how it was set up.  It beats just seeing a 90 minute documentary, then to follow up the last two discs with random matches.

A lot of cool things are shown on this DVD release too.  For example, Andre The Giant being body slammed not once, but twice!  So much for Hulk Hogan being the first to do it, for this DVD says differently.  Afa & Sika body slam him, and Kamala does as well.

We also get to see Ric Flair on the DVD set.  He has a 40 minute match with Terry Taylor - where Taylor tells this great story before the match is shown about how Flair was late getting to the show, and was in no condition to wrestle cause of being drunk and hungover, yet he still pulled out a 40 minute match.

The debut of Rick Steiner, and a tag team called The Blade Runners - being The Ultimate Warrior and Sting.  So those types of matches were cool to see, even though they were squash matches.

Shawn Michaels made the cut too.  He was a jobber at the time, but they had to put a HBK match on this DVD release.  He was no match for Ted DiBiase.

The Rat Pack stuff was great.  For those who don't know what that is, it was a three man stable with Ted DiBiase as the leader, and Hacksaw Duggan and Matt Bourne were with him.  A great heel unit, and monopolized all the title belts there in Mid-South at one time.

The bloodiest match I have ever seen in a while is on this DVD release too.  Ted DiBiase digs a bit too deep into his forehead and the blood shoots out every time his heart pumps.  He still puts on a 15 minute match with Flair, and then takes the most disgusting brain buster I've ever seen on the cement floor by Dick Murdoch.

You get matches with One Man Gang, Steve Williams, Bubba Rogers, The Freebirds, Jake Roberts, Dusty Rhodes, and even long time referee Nick Patrick is on this DVD wrestling.  He was a wrestler before he blew out his knee and had to go with being a referee.

You get to see Magnum TA begin his career there, Paul Orndorff as well, and a special set of matches with The Rock 'n' Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express, and Jim Cornette was just as awesome even then at the start of his managing career.  And you get to see how popular the Junk Yard Dog really was during that time frame.

The only downfall about this DVD is the super show matches that are on it.  I am guessing there was no commentary for them back then, and Bill Watts just video recorded them for the sake of having them.  So Jim Ross does commentary.  Now Jim Ross does commentary in other matches too on this DVD release.... but that was during the time the matches took place!  The Jim Ross you hear do commentary on the super show matches is the Good Ol' JR from now.  Which makes it worse, is that they try to play it off that JR is doing the commentary from the actual year the match was happening.  That part just seemed bad to do for the DVD release.  I actually would have liked to have seen JR and Ted DiBiase, or JR and Duggan, or JR and Hayes do commentary and talk about the match, instead of JR pretending he was there for it.

So over all, I don't think this DVD set is bad.  I do suggest buying it if you want something different to see. And unlike the past with WCCW and AWA DVDs that came out, there is enough guys on this DVD release that you know from the past in the WWE that would make it enjoyable to watch.

So if you are in need to see something from the past that is a bit different and extereme, than pick up the Legends Of Mid-South Wrestling on DVD or Blu Ray today!!


From The Archives: The Main Event

Posted by jammer311 on June 7, 2013 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)

I have always been a wrestling fan.  And even in this day, when I can't stand the product half the time, I still follow it and check out what's happening.  I don't think that will ever change about me.  But when I was a child, my love for wrestling was at its all time high.  I had the LJN rubber wrestlers, I had the Hasbro plastic wrestlers, I had the VHS tapes, I had the Wrestling Buddies, I had practically anything and everything that was wrestling.  So it really shouldn't have surprised anyone when at school, if I was given a chance to write about it, that I would.

The Main Event 1989.

Remember that show?  The incredible drama with Randy Savage being thrown to the outside and crashing down hard on Elizabeth.  The way the Hulkster took Liz and brought her to the back, while leaving Savage to be taken down by the Big Boss Man and Akeem.  The slap to the face by Savage onto Hogan.  Hogan left to defeated Boss Man and Akeem on his own.  And last but not least, the heel turn by Savage onto Hogan in the medical care room.

It was an amazing moment for TV and for Hogan and Savage fans.  And I got a chance to actually write about it!  That's right, for my class was given a chance to write whatever they wanted, and I chose that match.  And luckily, I still have that write up.

I have to post it on here, I just have to.  And not because it's a great piece of work - hell no.  It was horrible.  And words were spelled wrong and the write up didn't even come close to how the match went.  But it was my first true piece of wrestling that I wrote, and after reading it last night, it was damn funny.

So I want to share it with all you - whoever that reads these blogs that is.  And I think you will get a kick out of it too.  Try to follow it, it's hard to do.  I am going to copy it the exact way I wrote it.  Only this time, I will spell the words correctly.  But grammer will be intact!


The Main Event

Coming down the hall by their manager, "The Doctor of Style" Slick, The Twin Towers.  The Big Boss Man and his partner Akeem.  There opponents, managed by Elizabeth, Hulk Hogan and his partner Randy "Macho Man" Savage.

Ding ding ding!!

Looks like Akeem is starting out.  He picks up Savage and body slams him.  He's going to give him a splash.  He misses.  Savage tags Hulk.  Hulk gives him the leg drop.  One, two, woe!  That was close.  Akeem tags the Boss Man.  Hulk picks up the Boss Man and body slams him.  He tags Savage and gives him the elbow.  Hulk gives the leg.  One, two, here comes in Akeem.  They didn't get the pin.  Too bad.  The Boss Man does not no where he is.  Akeem is in there now and so is Hulk.  Hulk body slams Akeem.  He tags Macho and he gives him the elbow.  Hulk gives him the leg.  One, two, three!

Dink ding ding!!

Here are your winners, Hulk Hogan and Randy "Macho Man" Savage.

The end.

Wow.  Dramatic at best, wouldn't you say?

A lot of questions need to be asked now though.  Why was there so many body slams in this match?  And secondly, when Hogan tagged in Savage and gave him the elbow, does that mean Hogan gave Savage the elbow?  Savage gave Akeem the elbow?  Savage gave Hogan the elbow?  So many questions that we will never know.

But I have to say, it's kind of cool to read that over again.  The match clearly didn't go that route, for anyone that has ever seen the actual match, but for some reason that's what I took away from the match when I wrote up about it.

It's clear to say that the chemistry of that match wasn't good.  And I think if that match actually went that way, it would be laughable at best.  But now that I think of it, it's kind of a shame it didn't go the way I wrote about it.  It would clearly make for a great memory to have.

So I hope you enjoyed reading my first ever wrestling related article that I wrote at the age of eight years old.  I would like to think my writing has gotten a bit better since then.  Hopefully.


From Motor City Machinegun To Being A X-Division Machine

Posted by jammer311 on June 5, 2013 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Two years.

It's a long time, right?  That's 730 days.  Unless it's a leap year.  Then it's 731 days.  But give or take a day, it's still well over 700 days from being away from what you do.  Imagine that for a second.  Imagine the one thing you truly love.  The one thing you truly have a passion for.  Now imagine not being able to do it for one day.

Now imagine 700 days.  That's not a fun image, is it?

Well that's what Chris Sabin had to endure for the past two years.  From one knee injury in 2011, to another knee injury in 2012.  The TNA superstar missed out on two years of his wrestling career all because of back to back knee injuries.

And in those two years, many things changed for him.  His tag team partner flew the coop.  Alex Shelley left TNA and chose to not come back.  There goes the greatest tag team that TNA has seen in the modern era that it has existed for.  No more TNA Tag Title reigns now.  For what would Sabin do?

Enter the X-Division.

A division that Chris Sabin dominated in the year 2003, and then again in 2007.  But those were different time frames for TNA.  Gone were the likes of AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Samoa Joe.  They weren't X-Division wrestlers anymore.  Gone were the likes of The Austin Starr, Senshi, Jay Lethal, and Johnny Devine, for over half of those men are not even in TNA anymore.  For TNA had a whole new crop of X-Division stars, and nobody to really lead that division anymore.

Austin Aries.

The guy took the X-Division and made it something special again.  From winning the X-Division Title and defending it against the likes of Alex Shelley, Brian Kenderick, Samoa Joe and others, Aries made the X-DIvision Title cool again.  But that was last year, and ever since Zema Ion won the X-Division Title, and such men held it like Rob Van Dam and Kenny King, it just didn't seem to fit the same prestige that it had years ago.

Hail Sabin!

Chris Sabin made his return and it was pretty much a fact that he would be the face of the X-Division once again.  The guy has 'it' and for those who don't know what it is, just watch one of his matches.  He doesn't need a tag team partner, he doesn't need a 7 foot comedian to back him up, he doesn't even need Russo.  Those days are long gone, and Sabin is well set on proving that now.

Slammiversary proved it this year, for just a few short days ago, Chris Sabin once again became the X-Division Champion, and if that wasn't enough, got the initial rub from the Hulkster himself.  For Hulk Hogan flat out said that Chris Sabin would be getting the TNA World Title shot this coming summer, if he is still the remaining Champion.  Which I am sure he will be.

Will Chris Sabin be the one to end Bully Ray's TNA World Title reign?  For last year Austin Aries was the man to end Bobby Roode's lengthy TNA World Title reign, and it was something that nobody thought would happen.  Can Sabin relive that same magic that Aries had last year?  We will find out come this summer.

So a big congratulations goes out to Chris Sabin.  For the past two years that he missed being in the ring has showed that he hasn't lost a step, and if anything now, he has more to accomplish in the business because of it.

So one last time, Hail Sabin!!  The new X-Division Champion, and the face of that very division.


Extreme Rising: Don't Join This Revolution

Posted by jammer311 on May 30, 2013 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

It's safe to say I haven't wrote here in a while.  Since November as a matter of fact.  But it's just because I have been so busy.  Okay, that's a lie.  It's not that I haven't had the time to write - I do - it's just more so I got very angry at the wrestling industry as of late.  I don't even want to talk about the WWE and the reason why I can't stand it, for I rather talk about something else.

Extreme Rising.

What is Extreme Rising you may ask?  I will tell you.

It is a wrestling promotion that was started by Troy Martin and a few other people.  Now for those of you who are wondering who Troy Martin is, for that is the given birth name to "The Franchise" Shane Douglas.  The guy who was all about being 'extreme' from 1994 - 1999 (forget those six months in 1995, I am sure he is still trying to do that).

So every so often, a little nostalgia hits the air.  Whether it be the WWE releasing a DVD, or some indy promotion signing a few former 'extreme' wrestlers for their show, the three letters that come up still to this day are... E.. C.. W.. 

Ahhh yes, ECW.  Remember ECW, people?  The blood, the guts, the violence, the sex, the women, the attitude.  From such guys like Sabu, to Terry Funk, to Tommy Dreamer, to Taz, to Shane Douglas, to Tony Stetson, to Larry Winters, to... oh wait, I went back too far in my ECW history.  That's a little too Eastern for some fans.

But as that old Christmas song goes, "there must have been some magic in that old bingo hall in Philly" (okay, that's not how the song goes) the ECW promotion became magical.  The fans supported it like no other.  And what was just really supposed to be a wrestling federation for Philadelphia, Delaware, and Jersey, ended up becoming an International name for wrestling.  But it was also at a time where fans wanted something different, they were craving it.

Doink, Adam Bomb, Duke The Dumpster, Fatu - who was making a difference at that time - did not cut it for wrestling fans when the WWE was concerned.  Hulk Hogan ripping his yellow shirt, Hacksaw Duggan marching around with his 2x4, and Randy Savage snapping into Slim Jims did not cut it for the WCW fan.  How can you go from seeing the Hollywood Blondes vs. Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas wrestle for 45 minutes a year earlier to seeing Hulk Hogan vs. The Butcher?  That is pretty brutal.

So somehow, what was happening in ECW got noticed.  Somehow word spread.  And I was lucky to see it first hand in January of 1994 when my local TV station from Detroit Michigan picked up ECW on their syndication.  So all of us wrestling fans became ECW fans, and yes, we did join the revolution, and experience the difference, and all the other catch phrases that Joey Styles and Paul E. Dangerously would spit out at us.

But that was 1994.  And in 2012, Shane Douglas wanted to do it all over again.

But it's simple people, we all know you can't relive the magic that was once something special.  Not with anything.  But Shane thought he could do it with ECW by making Extreme Rising.

It went horribly wrong.  And it's real simple as to why.

It's not 1994, and there is no syndication now.  Well, okay, there is kind of.  ROH seems to have found syndication, but it's not the same as it was 20 years ago.  Everything now is based on cable ratings, and Extreme Rising just isn't going to get that.

Secondly, it's the era of the internet.  You don't have to watch wrestling on TV now, you have the internet.  Miss Raw?  No problem, just download it.  Want to see a clip from Impact?  No worries, just youtube it.  The era of having to have your wrestling show on TV is kind of done with.  ROH for years was making money off selling their shows on their website.  And I often think that if ROH had a TV deal back in 2004, that they would be the second most dominant wrestling promotion right now, and not TNA..

Thirdly, Shane brought back the old ECW crew.  And the word 'old' is right.  If Shane Douglas was 29 years old in 1994 when he threw down the NWA World Title belt, well that would make him 48 years old right now.  Interesting.  Because I remember in 1994, these interviews that Shane would do towards Ric Flair, putting him down, and saying he was too old to be in the wrestling business.  Sorry Shane, you were great, but I think you need to listen to your own words of advice there.  And that's not all, for it's just not him.  Most of those guys from that era are in their 40s now.  Nothing extreme about that.

The only one person who got anything out of it was a man named Michael Manna.

For yes, Stevie Richards finally won a World Title - if you can all it that.  But he was still the head guy in the promotion.  He was their champion, and it's a shame that it had to be for a promotion that was living off past glory on the spirit of what was ECW.

So let's face it.  Extreme Rising didn't have a chance.  As far as I know it hasn't ran a show since late 2012.  I believe the magic is done once again.  The thing is though, and I wish people would realize this, is that the original ECW had a lot of 'right time, right moment' type situations that made it special.

ECW wasn't going to survive on the talent they had at first.  But it wasn't until Paul E. Dangerously came there after being fired from WCW, and it wasn't until Shane Douglas came there after leaving WCW, and it wasn't until a guy like Sabu, who made a name for himself in Japan, or guys like the Tazmaniac and Tommy Dreamer, who made names for themselves in New York.  And to have guys like Terry Funk, Kevin Sullivan, Jimmy Snuka, all who were big names in the 80s being there, to help make new stars, to help give life to that small Eastern promotion, then ECW would have never survived, or still be talked about to this day.

So if one good thing came out of Extreme Rising, it would be this picture right here.  Stevie Richards finally being a World Champion, and respected for his in ring work.  Something that should have been happening years ago.

But I am sure we haven't heard the last of Extreme Rising - or something like it.  For I hear Tommy Dreamer has a wrestling promotion based out of New York running.  Maybe it too will have an ECW feel to it.  Only time will tell, but I will be 'extremely' excited to find out.


WWE: The "E" Means Entertainment

Posted by jammer311 on November 13, 2012 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

"Oh my God, can you believe what the WWE did last night?  Mocking the heart attack, that's such bad taste!!"

I have heard that over and over and over on Facebook, and on forums and on websites all over the internet world today.  And to be honest, it wasn't that bad.  People are taking this way too seriously, and they need to remember that the WWE is just a soap opera.  It really is.  It just happens to take place in a squared circle and consists of men beating the hell out of each other.

I guess I should probably state in what the whole uproar is about right now.  For last night, Jerry "The King" Lawler came back to the WWE, to do announcing at the commentary table.  For this was a big deal, since nine weeks earlier, The King suffered that heart attack on air.  To see Lawler come back, was pretty cool.  I think everyone enjoyed it.  Everyone except CM Punk.

Damn that CM Punk and his evil ways.  Because it wasn't a story line that made him go out and interupt the joyful celebration of Jerry Lawler being back on Raw, right?

Well the fans would clearly think that.

Look, wrestling is entertainment.  It says it in the name.  Sports entertainment.  You can't get anymore obvious than that.  So why are the fans so offended that CM Punk would come out and mock the heart attack?

That's right, for CM Punk saved Paul Heyman's life last night, in a fake heart attack skit.  Was it funny?  Maybe.  Did it cross a line?  Could have.  Did it get people talking?  Absolutely!

Let's take a look at this, people.  This isn't the first time the WWE has done something like this.  Hell, it's not even the first time a wrestling promotion has done something like this.

World Championship Wrestling, September 1997.  Does anyone remember a certain angle where the NWO came out and mocked Arn Anderson's retirement?  Arn retiring was real.  He had to.  Yet, WCW mocked it.  That's no different from the WWE mocking Lawler's heart attack.

Go back to Extreme Championship Wrestling.  Sabu gets a broken neck in the middle of the ring, and what does ECW do?  They replay it on their television show week, after week, after week.  That was real, and they were benefiting from it.  So what's the big deal if the WWE showed footage of Lawler's heart attack and the paramedics working on him in the back after it?  It's good television.

Also, Jerry Lawler wouldn't have done any of that, if he wasn't okay with it.  Lawler knows - and it clearly comes from his time in Memphis - that there is money to be made in wrestling, and the more real the story is, the more money there is to be made.  Simple reason, go back to Memphis, when he had Eddie Gilbert run him over with a car!!!  A real car.  Lawler was okay with getting hit with a car by Eddie Gilbert.  Now that's dedication to making an angle seem real.

Does anyone actually think that CM Punk wants Jerry Lawler to be dead?  If you do, then you are an idiot.  Wrestling has done this for years, and the fact that so many fans find it offensive is a slap in the face of the wrestling fan in general.  For are you saying you rather watch a fake injury in the ring, and hear bogus updates on that individual, thus at the same time having your intelligence insulted, rather than seeing an angle based on a REAL situation like what happened to Jerry Lawler nine weeks ago?

The fact that the WWE had CM Punk mock Jerry Lawler's heart attack was a great move.  It makes Punk more of a heel.  It makes Lawler more of a face.  And it gets people talking about the WWE again.  It's a win/win situation for everyone involved.  So while you fans out there want to sit back and complain about how the WWE has went 'too far' in this, Jerry Lawler and CM Punk can sit back and count their money that they have from this angle taking place.

If it gets people talking about it, then it can't be that bad.


From One Hart To Another Heart

Posted by jammer311 on September 11, 2012 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

I haven't really watched Raw in the last few weeks.  To be honest, it's more like the last few months, and I have stated before on here the reasoning for that.  The whole social media crap that constantly gets talked about on Raw.  But last night I chose to watch Raw because I read that a favourite of mine would be on there.  Bret "Hitman" Hart was going to be on Raw, and Raw was coming live from Montreal - where that little incident happened many years ago called the "Montreal Screwjob" which some times gets talked about.

So I watched the beginning of Raw which starts at 9 pm here in Canada, since we are on an hour tape delay for some reason.  It was good to see Bret started out Raw and had a nice little promo with Punk and Bret talked about how Punk attacked Jerry Lawler.  Now I had my girlfriend over for the evening and I told her how Lawler was the guy in the Man In The Moon movie who fought Andy Kaufman, and told her how he is 62 years old and shouldn't be wrestling.

Well, the WWE universe got to pick who Punk's opponent would be this night and then they announced who Punk's opponent was.

CM Punk vs. Randy Orton?  No thanks.

But it gets better.  CM Punk & Dolph Ziggler vs. Randy Orton & Jerry "The King" Lawler?  No thanks.

I kept going back to Raw from time to time, to see if Bret Hart was on there again with John Cena.  The more Bret the better I felt.  But time and time again, it wasn't Bret.

Daniel Bryan & Kane vs. the Prime Time Players?  No thanks.

So I walked my girlfriend downstairs, since she was leaving, and then came back upstairs and browsed Facebook out of boredom, when I seen various people talking about Jerry Lawler and the condition he is in.

I was a bit intruged as to what was going on, and then I remembered since I was an hour behind the USA for what they seen, that it must be happening at this moment.  So I turned on Raw and Michael Cole was stating that Jerry Lawler stopped breathing and it wasn't good.

So I hit the wrestling forums, and the news was spreading like wild fire.  Everyone had something to say, and all of a sudden it was like everyone came together in hope that Lawler was alright.  It reminded me of the Over The Edge pay per view from 1999, when Owen Hart died doing that stupid stunt that didn't need to be done.  But at the same time, could Lawler's situation been avoided too?

Jerry Lawler had a heart attack.  And he stopped breathing for 20 minutes.  That's what I read on numerous sites, so it must be true.  And today Lawler underwent surgery and had a stent and balloon put in to keep his heart going.  Now we will see what happens.

Being unable to breath for 5 minutes can cause brain damage.  But if it's true about the 20 minutes that Lawler went without breathing, could he now have severe brain damage?  If so, then my heart goes out to him, and his entire family.

Getting back to Lawler being able to avoid this situation though.  Lawler is 62 years old, and will be turning 63 this November.  He had a hard fought match with Ziggler and Punk, and that's not something you do at age 62.  Lawler isn't a kid anymore, he's not a 30 year old superstar who is in his prime.  He needs to slow down, and I hope that this wasn't someone's way of telling him to slow down.  Because it could mean he will never be the same again because of it.

So what was a great night on Raw.  From the hot Montreal crowd chanting obscene things towards CM Punk, to the cheering they did for Bret Hart, to maybe the best promo that John Cena ever gave, which maybe made him a face that everyone could get behind, we have a horrible tragedy in Jerry Lawler having a heart attack.

I hope the King pulls through, and I also hope he takes it easy for now on.  For Jerry Lawler just isn't the King of Memphis, for he is the King of wrestling.


TNA: Making An "Impact"

Posted by jammer311 on September 8, 2012 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Wow!  That's the first word that comes out of my mouth now when I watch Impact Wrestling on Thursday night on Spike TV.  Wow!  And I say "wow" because the last few months have just been off the chart for Impact Wrestling.  They seemed to have found their way in producing good quality television.  And it was a very painful way to get here too.

TNA Wrestling - before they changed their name to Impact Wrestling - had great potential.  From the start in June of 2002, you could see it had a chance.  Though it did start out looking like WCW, it soon changed over time.  For 2003 we saw The Summer of Styles, as AJ Styles won his first World Title and had a four month reign with it.  And for the record, I would gladly take a Summer of Styles over ANY Summer of Punk that happens, whether in ROH or the WWE.

By 2006 things were looking good for TNA.  Their weekly show felt like an ECW show of old, where you didn't know what would happen, and the matches were always entertaining.  You had former WWE guys that could still go, like Christian Cage, Rhino and Team 3D.  You had young guys like Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin and Sonjay Dutt.  And you had the three guys holding the show together, in AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels.  But near the end of 2006 that all changed.

Goodbye Scott D'Amore and welcome back.... Vince Russo.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the stuff Russo did in the WWE during the famous "Attitude Era" that we all remember and love greatly.  His WCW work could have been good, but it got really bad near the end.  So bad that he pretty much chose to leave and not have anything to do with the writing of WCW TV anymore.  But the TNA run he had from late 2006 until just recently was horrible.

We started to see more ex-WWE stars appear.  Jeff Hardy, Booker T, Scott Steiner, Kevin Nash, Mick Foley, Mr. Anderson, Rob Van Dam, and these guys were pushed down our throats.  Gone were the homegrown TNA stars in the main events, and replaced by has-beens from the other company now in TNA.  Perfect example of this was Bound For Glory 2010, when the main event was Mr. Anderson vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Kurt Angle for the vacant TNA World Title.  The end saw Hardy win it, with the help of Eric Bischoff and Hollywood Hogan.  Not really a TNA feel to that now is there?

But over the past year things changed.  We saw James Storm win the TNA World Title, followed by Bobby Roode and now Austin Aries.  We saw main events that had actual homegrown TNA stars compete with each other.  And if the TNA star competed with an ex-WWE star, the TNA star still won.

It felt right.

It looked right.

It was right.

And this Sunday we have a TNA pay per view coming up, No Surrender.  The final four for the Bound For Glory Series will compete in elimination matches to see who gets the shot at the Bound For Glory pay per view.  James Storm vs. Bully Ray, and Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy.  Now my prediction is Storm vs. Joe in the finals, and if that happens, I am gonna be pumped.  I think it's going to be a hard fought match, with maybe some interference from Bobby Roode?  That would be interesting if so.

The Aces & Eights thing that Impact Wrestling has going on, is a reminder of the old WCW vs. NWO war from 1996 in WCW.  And there is nothing wrong with that.  That was some exciting television back then for us fans, and the Aces & Eights does give off that kind of vibe with what they are doing weekly, and how the entire TNA locker room will join forces to stop them.

Austin Aries.

What can you say about the TNA World Champion that hasn't already been said, right?  The guy is amazing.  He is single handedly become my favourite wrestler in Impact Wrestling.  Hands down.  And it seems they can't do no wrong with him right now either.

Kaz & Daniels as the TNA World Tag Team Champions of the World.  I meant to say that.  But Kaz and Daniels have this vibe to them of being like the original DX.  The skits they did about AJ Styles being a dead beat dad and the things they say make them so entertaining.  Kaz calling Sting "Heath" for example was beautifully done.  And this weekend we see in another great tag match, Kaz & Daniels vs. Styles & Angle.  The last few matches they had were amazing so I see this one being just as great!

The Knockouts Division.  Miss Tessmacher, enough said.  She is the hottest knockout happening right now in TNA and I think she will be in the title picture for a long time.

So with all that being said, how did TNA turn around and make their show so damn entertaining?  Could it be that old theory of the moons, and the stars and the planets all being aligned at the right time and making it amazing?  Or did TNA just stumble upon something by freak accident and the fans caught on to it?  Was it months of planning?  Who knows!  All I know is that I will not miss an episode of Impact Wrestling on Thursday nights at 8 pm on Spike TV.  And you shouldn't miss it either!


SummerSlam: Feel The Heat!!

Posted by jammer311 on August 19, 2012 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

The end of summer is soon coming up.  How do I know this?  For it's simple really.  Tonight the WWE is having their annual summer time pay per view, SummerSlam.  Not that I am excited for it or anything.  No, I really couldn't care less to watch the event tonight.  But SummerSlam was always an exciting - yet sad - pay per view for me when I was a child.

Every month we get a pay per view to watch.  Sometimes we get two pay per views a month.  But in the years of 1988 - 1994, we only had three, four or five pay per views a year.  Now Survivor Series, Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania weren't too bad.  You only had two to three months to wait per pay per view until the next one.  The one that seemed the longest to come was SummerSlam.  Especially if Wrestlemania was at the end of March, and you knew you had until the end of August until the next pay per view.  As a kid, that's five months!!  That seems like an eternity when you are eight or nine years old.

When SummerSlam did come around, the excitement was in the air.  The three hours would fly by so fast and then the cruel reality hits that in two weeks, you have to go back to school.  Yuck!

But the reason why we couldn't wait for SummerSlam - or any pay per view back then - was because they weren't a common thing, and because you rarely ever saw big name wrestlers compete against each other on free TV.  Unless it was a Saturday Night's Main Event, or if it meant to create an angle on Superstars or Wrestling Challenge.

So with that being said, I could go through and pretend to be excited right now for the matches tonight....

Or I could just say what some of my favourite memories of past SummerSlam shows.

My first SummerSlam I ever saw live on pay per view, was the 1989 event.  It was a pretty solid show, and the match that I enjoyed the most was the Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude for the Intercontinental Title.  I enjoyed it much more then their Wrestlemania V match they had months earlier.

SummerSlam 90 to me, had the greatest tag team match I had ever seen at that time.  The Hart Foundation vs. Demolition for the Tag Titles in a Best of 3 Falls match.  The match was fun to watch, and for it being around 15 minutes long, it was jam packed.  With a third member of Demolition getting involved, to the Legion Of Doom coming in to save the day, that match was just pretty awesome in 1990.

At SummerSlam 91, the greatest technical match to ever take place at that event happened.  It was Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Mr. Perfect for the Intercontinental Title.  I am sure everyone has seen this match more times than they can shake a stick at (what does that saying even mean anyhow??)  But the match was awesome, and it started the singles career of Bret Hart.

SummerSlam 92 was held in England, and I was pumped to see Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith for the Intercontinental Title.  I just knew Davey Boy would win the belt, being that they were in England, and I was right.  But it was still an awesome match to watch.

SummerSlam 93, SummerSlam 94 and SummerSlam 95 all had some special matches.  Whether it was Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. Perfect, or Diesel vs. Razor Ramon, or Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart, or even Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon in a ladder match, you had some fun, exciting matches to watch.

To me, SummerSlam stopped being exciting in 2006.  Or maybe that was when wrestling started to not be as exciting for me, I am not sure.  But nothing could compare to the early years of the SummerSlam shows.

So with that being said, here is my top 10 favourite SummerSlam matches.

10. Lance Storm vs. Edge for the Intercontinental Title - SummerSlam 2001

9.   Randy Orton vs. Chris Benoit for the World Heavyweight Title - SummerSlam 2004

8.  Razor Ramon vs. Diesel for the Intercontinental Title - SummerSlam 1994

7.  Hulk Hogan vs. Shawn Michaels - SummerSlam 2005

6.  Ultimate Warrior vs. "Ravishing" Rick Rude for the Intercontinental Title - SummerSlam 1989

5.  Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H in a street fight - SummerSlam 2002

4.  Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon for the Intercontinental Title in a Ladder Match - SummerSlam 1995

3.  British Bulldog vs. Bret "Hitman" Hart for the Intercontinental Title - SummerSlam 1992

2.  Hart Foundation vs. Demolition for the Tag Titles - SummerSlam 1990

1.  Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Mr. Perfect for the Intercontinental Title - SummerSlam 1991

So if you never seen any of those matches, or just want to watch them over again, please do so tonight.  For those 10 matches I just named off, will be much more entertaining than what the WWE will be putting on tonight for their SummerSlam show.


WWE 2012: The Social Media Era

Posted by jammer311 on August 15, 2012 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Well first of all, before I gripe on the WWE and their social media crap, I should get this out of the way.  I finally did it.  For I, made a Facebook page.  That's right, for it's Jammer's Wrestling Thoughts... on Facebook, and all you have to do is click that little button that says, 'Like' and we will be friends!!  Or something like that.  But I figured with how the internet is now, with Facebook seemingly taking over every website and every product known to man, it was time I too had a Facebook page.

Now onto my topic at hand.

Remember what the WWE was like in 1994?  It was known as "The WWF: The New Generation" and it was awesome.  At least to me it was.  No Hogan, with his same old routine.  Instead we had Bret Hart, Diesel, Razor Ramon, Shawn Michaels, Bam Bam Bigelow and others doing their thing in the WWE ring.

Remember what the WWE was like in 1997?  It was at the beginning stages of the Attitude Era!!  Bret Hart forming the Hart Foundation to feud with the likes of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels.  I mean there was even a time when Bret Hart and Vince McMahon got into it at ringside in a shoving fight.  Could that be the humble beginning for where Vince and Austin would end up at in 1998?  Maybe.  But the WWE started to get hot during that time frame, and the Attitude Era lasted until 2001.

Remember what the WWE was like in 2002?  It was all about... Ruthless Aggression!!!  And we saw the debut of such stars like John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Batista, Randy Orton and others.  It was a whole new ball game at that time, and with WCW and ECW being out of business, and most of that talent pool being under a WWE contract, it just seemed like an allstar group of wrestlers that time in the WWE.  That Ruthless Aggression lasted a few years, and thus has faded away.

Now after thinking back to better days, take a moment and think of the WWE in the past few years.  And more importantly, think about the WWE in the past few months.  Does your smile slowly fade away?  Do your eyes sadden?  Well it wouldn't surprise me if this is the case, because we are now in the.... Social Media Era!!!

Yes, the Social Media Era.  It's what it is.  You can't say it's not, because every Monday night you hear it.  You hear it a lot.  "Trending world wide", "so and so tweeted this on twitter", "send your video in by touting us," and that is crap we hear for three hours now!  Oh that's right, for WWE Raw is now three hours on Monday nights.  That worked out well for when WCW Nitro did that in 1999 and 2000, right?

So now we get to see two minute squash matches in the year 2012, with guys who aren't actual enhancement talent, and then we get to see five minutes of fans touting in about what the think.  And it's just getting worse every week.  I don't care who's trending world wide, or who tweeted what, or why a 40 year old man had to tout on why Alberto Del Rio won't beat Sheamus for the Title.  It takes away time from seeing new stars get built.

Oh, and don't forget, if a new star does get some fan base, somehow that doesn't matter, because the WWE writers only know who to push by who they have been pushing in the past five years!  So someone like Zack Ryder, who was extremely over - and still is - can't get a break because the WWE doesn't want to push him, they want to push some other jabroni that nobody cares about.  (See Del Rio, Alberto)

I remember a time, when a wrestler started to get over, the WWE wouldn't punish them for that, they would go with it to make them money and to make the wrestler money.  Billy Gunn and Jesse James come to mind in 1997.  They were put together as something to do, and somehow won the Tag Titles and soon became the most popular tag team in wrestling at that time.  Hell, maybe even of all time.  But now a days, if someone got some popularity, it wouldn't mean jack to the WWE.  They have in mind who they will push, and that's that.  No way to change it.

So not only do we get the Social Media nonsense, we get to see guys and divas who we probably would cheer for and enjoy seeing in action, get buried or not put on the card because CM Punk has to wrestle Daniel Bryan for the 100th time on Raw.  And the thing about that is, you get ROH marks saying, "But there matches were so good in ROH, so they will be good on Raw too."

No they won't!!!

The WWE has a certain way of putting on a match, and each wrestler gets their four or five signature moves and that's it.  It's not like ROH people, and if you want to see ROH, I suggest buying old DVDs of them and watch them on that.

So with that being said, I never thought I would say that I actually HATE the WWE product right now.  And the sad thing is, I never see it changing either.  Tweeting, Twitter, Tout, Youtube, Facebook, it will always be there.  Unless a billionaire buys Twitter and shuts it down, you will always hear the words "trending", "tweeting" and "twitter" on Raw and Smackdown.

So for those hardcore fans who still sit through that garbage on Monday nights, I salute you.  For you are now part of the WWE Social Media Era.  Enjoy the show, and tweet your hearts out.


How TNA Became TNA-Double

Posted by jammer311 on August 9, 2012 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (0)

It has almost been a year since I wrote anything regarding professional wrestling, or sports entertainment.  Not that there hasn't been anything big happening in the wrestling world; because there has.  From The Rock returning at Wrestlemania 28, to Shane Douglas starting up an Extreme Wrestling organization, to even ROH seemingly being able to swerve on the border line of bankruptcy.  But what I am here to talk about is TNA and what they have been doing.

Impact Wrestling is now live every Thursday night, from 8 pm - 10 pm, and lately I have tuned in to check it out.  Mainly because of Austin Aries.  A year ago, A-Double returned to Impact Wrestling and quickly became the X-Division Champion.  It was a bit shocking after seeing already two failed attempts of Austin Aries in TNA.  The first one being in 2005, and the second being in late 2006 - early 2007 as The Austin Starr.  But Austin Aries quickly dominated the X-Division scene, and started to get some popularity behind him.  He was then quickly turned to a face and had some good matches with the likes of Bully Ray and Samoa Joe.

But at Destination X, Austin Aries chose to give up his X-Division Title to face the TNA World Champion Bobby Roode for his very title.  Bobby accepted, and the main event was set.  Aries only accepted on one condition though; being that every year at Destination X the X-Division Champion had a choice to give up that title to face the World Champion.  Seems fair.

So after seeing Bobby Roode wrestle and defeat the likes of AJ Styles, Sting, Rob Van Dam, "Cowboy" James Storm, and others, he finally succumbed to A-Double.  And at that Destination X pay per view, Austin Aries realized his dream of being the TNA World Champion.

Now the question remains, is it a smart business move to put someone like Austin Aries as the World Champion?  Being that you have Rob Van Dam, Sting, Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy, Mr. Anderson, who were all either WCW or WWE wrestlers, and have a house hold name.  To answer that question...


Yes, it was a brilliant move to have Austin Aries become the TNA World Champion.

Because it's different.

It's unexpected.

It's not recycled.

It's exactly what Impact Wrestling needed to kick start their organization again.

Now the rumour is out already, that at Hardcore Justice, Austin Aries will lose the TNA World Title back to Bobby Roode.  Is that a smart move to make?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Bobby Roode was an amazing heel World Champion for TNA, and next to Jeff Jarrett in 2004, Bobby may be the best one ever.

I am sure that either way, Hardcore Justice will be entertaining.  Just to see two homegrown TNA guys, competing in the main event for the TNA World Title on a pay per view is rather nice.  So no matter what goes down this coming weekend, Austin Aries it was awesome to see you finally be TNA World Champion, and though I hope you retain it, I wouldn't feel as bad to see you lose it to Bobby Roode, as I would to see you lose it to an ex WWE talent.

So good luck to both of you, and may the best man win!!