Cheap Shots are unfiltered, uncensored opinions, and those opinions reflect only the author!
After some time off for convalescence, I see four words at the top of my flight manifest that make me laugh. As a proud supporter of World Class, there are two chants rattling around my head in a heartbeat. “Go (Von Erich) Go”, and “Go Home Freebird!” In Texas and most places in The South, the latter was viewed as an insult. However, fans of the art form in Ray Gunkel Territory took pride in being a hotbed of Southern Wrestling. Every organization had its flashpoint. Jim Crockett Promotions was no different. Without Atlanta TV, even Ric Flair isn’t the same. Before Crockett had a monopoly on The NWA Gold and Atlanta: Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, and Buddy Roberts claimed it as home. In fact, they gave it a nickname when Saint Richard was in diapers as a champion. Say four words to fans of a certain age and they may start singing. “Bad Street, Atlanta, GA!”
As cruising speeds over Bad Street are attained, Vinnie’s circus is in town for The Go Home Monday Night Raw before the days-long bender in The Big Easy. Show opens with Jonathan Coachman impersonating a parrot in the ring, There is a clothed table with two chairs on each side of him. Why? Guess we need to kill 20 minutes? Steph and Triple H come out first. Daddy’s Little Girl must shake her ass to remind us she works out. After we get done barfing, they walk around the ring, so a cameraman can get a close ground-level shot of them pointing up at the WrestleMania sign. No one forgot! Angle and Rousey follow with their typical baby face entrances.
This was supposed to be a Q&A driven by marks on social media. Good luck with that. Triple H pulled the segment in its true direction rehashing old arguments from The Rumble. “Kurt, why did you ruin her signing?” Again? Who cares at this point? WWE scripting is useless. Angle was repeating one line throughout about Stephanie tapping out. Ronda asked her why she was hired under false pretenses. Steph said it’s par for the course and The Baddest Woman on The Planet doesn’t take losing very well. Ronda asked which her dominant hand was, so she could break the other one!
Coachman tried to save things by going to the pre-fight photo-op. All Rousey has to do to get a pop is move. Steph feigns a handshake. Ronda steps up. Kurt attempts to break it up, He takes a shot from Trips and falls out of the ring. Ronda grabs Paul’s throat while Steph sneaks behind her to give her a choke slam through a table? Steph, you’re not 6’2’’. You look stupid giving the move. Never mind Ronda’s real athletic instincts make suspension of disbelief almost impossible. Someone beats her, it won’t be Stephanie McMahon. Segment felt unnecessary and unbelievable. I genuinely hope they don’t screw up this match for the sake of publicity.
Regular programming begins with recess when Bayley takes on Sonya Deville with the remaining members of Absolute Yawn at ringside. A very solid match was used to spotlight The Women’s Battle Royal at Mania. The Human Elmo won despite attempted shenanigans from Mandy Rose, who jumped her after the match. This prompted The Legit Boss to run down and make the save? HEY VINCE, quit taking logic out of her hands. She could be the best heel on the roster. LET HER WORK! Instead of keeping her out of it, writers wasted another fight because Bayley wouldn’t raise her hand after the brawl last week? Have I mentioned Vince McMahon is an idiot? Unfortunately, Paige’s injury has really taken the spine out of Absolution, and likely cost Sasha Banks her WrestleMania moment. A match between The Pale Rider and The Female Dragon would’ve stolen the show. Now most of these performers are being wasted and none of them will win the battle royal
Oh look, it’s time to give away a PPV match on TV! The Move Set Twins had a very good match which saw Seth Rollins beat The 8-Pack Irishman with a curb stomp thanks to WWE’s booking habits. Seth’s Iron Man performance is still male match of the year. This segment was also notable for The Miz on commentary gushing about his new baby girl. Congratulations Mike! Not only are you stealing money, but they gave you a baby face promo. Don’t do this to us! It’s the rough equivalent to making Flair a baby face before 50. No one outside of Charlotte bought it, and he was only a baby face because he was shoved down our throats for decades. Short answer long. The Miz is not a baby face. They might make him one, but nobody would believe it.
I sincerely hope Stamford cuts down the number of promos on Raw after WrestleMania. If not, at least do a better job paying them off. Knowing Vince’s disdain for smart marks and sheep, they probably won’t. Two wasted segments: First, The Bar comes out for at least the third time asking who Braun Strowman’s partner is for Mania. He cuts them off and comes out to say his partner is in the back and will reveal himself if he can have a singles match with Sheamus or Cesaro. The Bar agrees, only to have Braun come out in a dress shirt and glasses, proclaiming that his name is Brains. When did they hire Vince Russo again? Stop this crap! Speaking of crap, John Cena’s music hits half-way through the show. Okay Vince, Johnny Goodguy can head straight for New Orleans now. Mr. Calloway ain’t comin’ out at 9:00PM! Surprise, no gong or Rob Ritchie! Same promo for a month straight. Only part that woke me up was when he called Atlanta Dallas’ warm-up act. Guessing Michael Hayes had something to do with that line. Thank You Sir! I know WrestleMania needs surprises. Holding these two off until Sunday is not fair to WWE’s normal audience. The McMahon Family hasn’t cared about fair or logical since Montreal.
Enter Woken Matt Hardy and Goldust cutting dueling promos on The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. These Veterans are both fabulous! The Son of A Son of A Plumber says that when he wins, they will make a documentary about him. Woken Matt Says everyone will be DELETED in honor of “Humongous Wonder #8!” God Bless Matt Hardy. Most of his solo stuff is actually getting better. Given his previous stop, that was an incredibly tough ask. He won a match with Goldust. Good as he is, it’s not about wrestling anymore, but character expansion. Stay out of his way and let the man do his thing.
More dueling promos. This time it was Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax. Little Miss Math Class and her BFF Mickie James were rehashing their boom mic promo in Bright Letter Format while Nia got a sit-down interview. She said Alexa’s treatment of her was a flashback to her time in school. She was always different. She is proud of herself. Big Fine is confident in her abilities, and ready to squash Alexa like a bug! Cue a Women’s Tag Match with Alexa and Mickie taking on Dana Brooke and Asuka. After well over a year on The Main Roster can Dana Brooke do no more than copy Chyna? Thank God for Asuka, who made Mickie tap out in less than ten minutes. Afterward, both heels jumped Asuka until Big Fine’s music hit, forcing Little Miss Math Class to run like a five-year-old. Mickie took A Samoan Drop, and Alexa is still dead at Mania!
After being discarded easier then Kleenex earlier in the night, Kurt Angle had nothing better to do than running around backstage worrying about a work because WWE. First it was Paul Heyman, insistent that he would stay positive. Then Roman Reigns who said that despite Brock Lesnar’s lack of respect for everything and everyone, he would hear Heyman out provided The Walrus didn’t say anything stupid. Have you met Paul Heyman in a work? Angle asks both competitors not to wreck the match at Mania. Really Kurt? Don’t worry, neither one is Carmella. Heyman and Mr. Roid Rage are out first. Paul is mid-promo when a human wall forms at the entrance because WWE. Two minutes later, The Samoan Hype Machine asks them why they are protecting the part-time bastard. Good Luck Roman, we’ve been asking for years. Magically, the wall opens allowing Reigns to get to the ring. Five Superman Punches later, Roman takes an F5 and the show is over. I expected more from the go home show to WrestleMania. Sorry for The Blues Bad Street. Y’all deserved a better set. I hope my passengers join me in Nashville tomorrow.
Mad Man’s Spinal Tap & 20 Questions
Back to back weeks we see the Mad Man come to play in our sandbox. Does this article go to 11? Are the retread concepts, just hollow nowadays?
Back to back weeks we see the Mad Man come to play in our sandbox! Does this article go to 11?
When you have decades of experience watching the art form, your eyes and thought processes change. It’s the reason my colleagues can break down pending news and angles we haven’t seen yet. Mr. Meltzer made a cottage industry out of it. A ton of people on The Internet are trying to follow suit. Then, there are fans like me. As much as I love twitter, Professional Wrestling fans were never meant to receive “spoilers” every day.
This is NOT a “Back in my day…” thing. My eyes have changed too. However, I am focused more on WWE’s calendar when watching Stamford’s offering. If I think about wrestling. it’s very simple. My suspension of disbelief is gone for very few performers. In fact, I would say it’s gone for most fans. If we know it’s a work, why are scripts and outcomes still based on the assumption that we don’t? If I have seen a gimmick before, I am VERY hard to impress. Make me believe you can beat somebody; and stand out doing so, or I will chew you up and spit you the Hell out.
For those who say I should keep my mouth shut because I can’t perform and never have, I DON’T CARE! Saint Dave gets a pass, and y’all still watch the current product like his lap dogs and clones, despite “knowing’ the outcome? I don’t watch for the outcome anymore. Based on character development and pushes, I can see that coming. Call me a hypocrite and I will play 20 Questions with you. Can you get me to the finish line without looking like an idiot or a laughable copy of someone else?
Su Yung is 5’6’’ish. Marks and sheep world wide are transfixed and petrified? Make up aside, why? She is impersonating three legends with no unique move set and doing it very badly. Without her zombies, can she beat anybody? Mr. Calloway used druids. He was 6’10’’ and did not need them to kick your ass. Mick Foley put himself and you through HELL before using The Mandible Claw. You had no choice but to take it. The Great Muta was arguably the best Rising Sun performer of all time. He had a move set most American fans had never seen before. The Mist was believable in his hands because audience and opponent were spinning trying to keep up with him. Where is Su Yung’s Mysticism? As much as fans love her, there are no OMG moments in her matches, and her gimmick is predicated on them.
She is far from the only example. Twitter went crazy about a month ago because a top name on the indies put something in her opponent’s mouth during a match. Outside of a prison fight, when would this EVER HAPPEN? Why is this necessary? If this is a work, why would any girl allow someone to do this? Tell me why either woman gets hired again without the parrot response? Same question applies to Joseph. Dude ain’t pickin’ up anybody like that in real life. I dare him to pick my wheelchair up with his finish. He would be in traction.
Tony Schiavone is our crazy wrestling fan uncle. Our memories of him when we were kids and teenagers all ROCK! He is without question one of the best to ever call the action. God Bless Conrad Flair for bringing him back to the art form. Among other fun stuff, he now does commentary for MLW. With tongue firmly planted in cheek; I must say, I have a slight problem with him. I understand that it is his job. He continues to put MJF over because?? I get the gimmick. It’s just OLD! He is ripping off The Miz. One look at him, and you can see that. “I have more money than you.” So did DiBiase. And if you did, you wouldn’t need the $50.00 a night you made before Tony started calling your matches because you’d be paying him. Just wait until Mike retires before you go to New York.
Finally, we arrive at the biggest tent. Vinnie’s circus was on The West Coast in The House of Hot Rod & Billy Jack Haynes. Sheep under 25 are now asking a three-worded question. The only help you’ll get from me is to say that he may have been the father of Modern Independent Wrestling. Sometimes, it wasn’t his choice, and he is still fighting demons today.
Back to this week. Didn’t Spinal Tap all stand in the Center Ring around a month ago and do a babyface promo? “It’s our fault. We’ll do better for you. This is YOUR product.” First, I believe Stephanie as a babyface as much as I believe Saint Richard as a babyface. Shut up and go home as a shoot. Second, as big a moron as Vince is, he’s NOT leaving the person carrying the big top out of WrestleMania! Outside of the obvious, Becky’s leg is a work. SHE WAS LIMPING ON THE WRONG ONE ON MONDAY! Seth Rollins is hurt as a shoot. He WASN’T at Monday Night Raw. If Becky wasn’t cleared, she wouldn’t be on either show. So WHY is everybody going apes*** over this?
Sometimes, I can’t tell which group is Spinal Tap?
Is it the group on stage or the sheep who believe what they’re watching? I truly wish this art form was treated more like real competition.
Mad Man’s Consequences Of Sainthood
Does the lineage of Saint Ric need no explanation?
It’s been a while since Mad Man has landed his Sea Duck in our waters. He has a Flair for gold and the bold! Let’s see where this goes.
Let’s see if I remember how to do this. The Internet Wrestling Community has not seen this from me in months. Something BIG had to happen to get me out of hiding.
I’d say this week at Vinnie’s Circus certainly qualifies. If you’re expecting me to wax poetic about the dudes, take some Nyquil and go back to sleep. The Royal Rumble is both brilliant and flawed at the same time. And yes, it is about effing time the ladies got their shot to steal the show. Although, it can be quite successfully argued, they do so on a nightly basis already. All did a fabulous job last year. Including my girl; Lady Banks, going well past an hour over two nights. Drawing The Shawn Michaels Slot at #1, And then, making a beeline to the ring for a nose-to-nose promo with The Female Muta, Asuka.
The Female Dragon had two words echoing through Philadelphia to kick off Monday Night: “I’M READY!” Those who saw the full confrontation know she was. Who was her opposition in the desert again? The thought of The Rumble being flawed is not new. Especially when its ultimate goal is taken into account. Win the damn thing and Main Event The Showcase of The Immortals! Wait, what did I just say? Back to that shortly.
Blemishes in the execution of this concept make their first appearance innocently enough. The victor in this contest is not based on who participates in it. The Champions headed into WrestleMania dictate the finish. What results from algebra like this? Simple, in most years over 80% of the field is background noise. Most of the time, smarks and sheep alike have a pretty good idea who’s headed to Mania. Overwhelmingly, we don’t mind as long as we get a great match. This changes when the feminine equivalent of Mike Tyson shows up on Vinnie’s doorstep, signs a convoluted contract, and just might bail after the biggest show of the year. Storyline and logic; what little there is in this art form we love, take a beating when Vinnie says Tyson MUST face Holyfield before she runs off to have kids and turn into Brock Lesnar.
What the Hell does he do with the Female Connor McGregor?
The BEST organic baby face in the industry this decade. He turned into Helen Keller on Monday Night. No, you little prick! I am in the wheelchair. You are not disabled! Did he see or feel the crowd in Phoenix? I certainly did. In fact, my neighbors knocked on my apartment door to ask if I was alright. That’s how loud I was. Vince, you haven’t had an honest crowd reaction like that in 20 years, and you wanna pollute it? “Jesus, she wasn’t supposed to be here. You mean these fans AREN’T sheep?” Don’t worry Vince, they’re still sheep and this is still all about Flair and McMahon, DAMMIT! For those laughing at me and saying it’s a work; guess what? It doesn’t have to feel like a work!
I started feeling like something was different about Professional Wrestling in the late ‘80s, when nobody could kick Ric Flair’s ass and get rid of him. First switch of NWA Gold I remember? Ronnie Garvin taking out Flair in Detroit, 1988. As an eight-year-old, I was hardly thinking about math. Why does this matter? Garvin had The Gold six weeks. He had one Title Defense at the end of that window, against Ric Flair. Guess who won? Everybody does cartwheels over his trilogy with The Dragon in 1989, not me. Don’t get me wrong, phenomenal matches, but Ric Flair was always walking out with Championship Gold. Hey Ric, the art itself was a work. Why show us The Gold was too? Spanning from 1984 and Kerry Von Erich to 1993 And Barry Windham, Ric Flair was GIVEN no less than five runs with NWA Gold or its equal because he was Saint Richard Flair isn’t the only idiot in the modern art. During his last holy act with Ricky Steamboat, Vincent Kennedy McMahon walks into a New Jersey courtroom and gigs the business hard way. Exposing it simply because he doesn’t wanna pay taxes on an authentic sporting event. Excuse every child under ten at the time? THANKS VINCE!
Two years later, WWF Gold was held up. How does he deal with this? First, let’s bring Ric Flair in because those in charge of WCW were absolute MORONS! Wait, Vinnie can’t have Hulk Hogan pinned in 1992. “It’s okay, we’ll put Gold on the line at The Royal Rumble. Winner gets The Strap!” Awesome, a boatload of great performers! Did ANYBODY really think Ric Flair wasn’t winning this match? HELL, Hogan pulled Sid Justice out from the floor! At least Flair won in 1992. Flash forward almost three decades. If the concept is, “Winner gets choice of Champion at WrestleMania” Why is Sid Justice going to Main Event Mania FROM THE FLOOR? Hey ass****, if you NEED Tyson/Holyfield, do the Bret/Luger finish! Becky WON the match! Here’s an idea, every televised event from here to Mania is held in an empty arena until we are given a collective Heimlich Maneuver to expel Ashley from our systems. The WWE Universe would never do this because sheep love this circus. If this stands, The Women’s Royal Rumble has jumped the shark just two years in. Vince, we know it’s a work.
Why must you insist on making it THIS! Give Asuka to Ashley. You don’t need to verify Charlotte Flair’s Sainthood. Sasha Banks has seen it three times.
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