Mad Man at the controls once again. My colleagues all did an amazing job covering things in Saudi Arabia. They’re rather jet lagged and need time to recuperate. Speaking of frequent flyer miles, Vinnie’s circus is in the most infamous North American city in the rotation for the first half of a double shot this week. Now that I have the echoes of Cornette’s tones out of my head, I hear French coming from Air Traffic Control. Despite personal lineage, my Parisian recall is extremely limited, so A Giant Ghost must insure the landing. There is no need to reevaluate WWE History here. That has been done ad nauseam. All marks should remember is that Jerry Lawler once called Canada “Bizarro Land.” In truth, Vince has done more to cultivate that reputation than crush it in twenty years. If our neighbors to the north are a strange family, Montreal can imitate their crazy uncle. Let’s visit a friend’s house, shall we?
Monday Night Raw opens as Roman Reigns’ music hits for the typical sheepish reaction. He starts a promo nobody cares about. It is getting to the point where he can’t open a show himself to get a desired reaction and move things forward the way Stamford wants. The Million Dollar Question is: Do they care enough to help him or are they just having fun watching him squirm? This time, help came in the form of Sami Zayn? Why not? After all, the multi-lingual performer is a native of Quebec. Upon receiving the biggest baby face pop of his career, the former masked athlete wants a fight only to be interrupted by Jinder Mahal. He is such a worthless heel that he can’t even elicit a positive reaction from Canadian sheep despite being A Native. It’s okay, the next person out from behind the curtain made up for it.
Another Son of Quebec wants a shot at The Big Dog. Andre The Giant never spoke this much French while on camera for The WWF! This time, it’s Kevin Owens. How does The Samoan Hype Machine get out of this mess? Simple, send Lashley and Strowman down for the save. Geography dictated a lukewarm response to Walking Armageddon; but, even Canadian marks could not turn heel on The Big Man when he started beating up those representing The Maple Leaf. This schmoz was designed to set up a 6-Man Tag later in the evening.
This week’s action starts with Elias mid-ring cutting his tweener promo and lying about his fame as a vocalist. His ability to work in the squared circle is improving though. As evidenced by his victory over Bobby Roode last week. Cue the rematch as Roode’s music literally stops The Guitar Man in his track. Was anyone else surprised that no one on commentary mentioned Roode’s Canadian Heritage last night? Both men are solid workers and neither did anything to change that here. Thanks to WWE’s stale booking, smart marks have become predictably oblivious to certain things. If Elias won last week, Roode was going to win this week. It’s how Stamford works. Not this time. A typical match eventually found Mr. Glorious on the apron where Elias took his head and rammed his throat into a turnbuckle bolt. Thanks to a strategically placed microphone, the bump sounded hideous. Bobby took a flat-back onto the floor. After this, the lines began to blur. I don’t think the referee even counted. The only thing that told me it was still a work? The infamous X never went up. And I was waiting. This was a very solid angle to continue the storyline.
Our next relevant segment finds The Authors of Pain headed to the ring. Apparently, the imposing rookies had been challenged by two tiny French-Canadians earlier in the day because WWE wanted to pay dudes $1000.00 to get crushed. We all know how this goes. The only question was duration, and AOP’s post-squash promos may have been longer. They said The Book of Pain remains open and every tag team on Raw would have a chapter reserved for them. Random thought: If the mythical heel turn of Roman Reins actually happens, he could find worse backup than these boys.
Canada is then treated to an in-ring Seth Rollins promo, and the marks in Montreal were promptly losing their minds. The Architect still held IC Gold after winning a 4-way ladder match in the desert. Throughout the contest, his greatest competition took the form of Finn Balor. The 8-Pack Irishman came out to remind Seth that he was fingertips away from the strap. By Emerald Math, both gentlemen were knotted at two victories apiece and Finn wanted another crack at the championship before Backlash. Seth asks the crowd if they want the match. He Agrees to put the belt up. Before a match can start, The Lost Puppies come out asking both to form The Four Horsemen of WWE…excuse me while I puke. A writer should be fired immediately. Dallas & Axel were turned down flat and quickly dispatched.
Our first recess segment finds my girl being asked her thoughts on Bayley’s recent behavior. Does anyone know why we are dealing with a feud that should have concluded in New Orleans? Oh, I forgot about that stupid Battle Royal. Back to last night’s acid trip. Lady Banks cuts a good promo about Monday Night Raw still being on Boss Time, I WISH! She says, if Ruby wants a riot: “She can Bank on one.” LET’S GO! Except, none of these fabulous matches that Sasha puts on feel even. As an unapologetic Super Mark for The Female Dragon, I can set my watch: Great match, BS finish, Banks loss. It pisses me off! Why is she Dolph Ziggler every EFFING week? Where is her spine? Where is the heel turn? Where is my PISSED OFF Sasha Banks? I will ride with her until she retires.
I guess the new old-school Canadian Marks need an adrenaline rush? Fine, send Natalya Out. The roof’s only gonna come off! Hitman’s Niece & Anvil’s Daughter Brought thunder from the crowd as she came home last night. The Queen of Harts had backup from Ronda Rousey. Whoever had Eve Torres in Announcer Shout out Bingo in 2018, you win! Nattie had a quick match with Mickie James, who had Alexa Bliss for “help.” All Little Miss Math Class needed was her track shoes. She was only out there to run. First, from Ms. Rowdy, who chased her off the apron, around the ring, and up the ramp. Producers were so obsessed with the shot that they almost missed the pin. Bliss wasn’t done running. She was nearly at the entrance when Nia Jax’s music hit! Big Fine chased her through the crowd. When she is scared, (often), there is no one who appears less qualified to work as talent in WWE. Okay, it’s a coin flip between her and Carmella.
Time for the 6-Man Tag. Samoan Hype Machine takes the early advantage, including a Double Drive-By on Owens and Zayn. Lashley gets the tag. After some early offense, all three heels get heat on Lashley. Naturally The Canadians are getting baby face pops for their tactics: “Yay, they spoke French!” Lashley absorbs more punishment here than he did in six months in Orlando. Welcome to New York. Eventually, Reigns makes the tag and starts destroying everyone. He doesn’t see Owens; who gives him one knockdown shot and begins to repeat the same process used on Lashley. Heels keep trading off until Roman gets separation to tag Strowman! The Human Freight Train does not disappoint. Mahal & Owens are treated like pinballs. The heels get lucky when Braun posts himself. However, they are cut from 3 to 1, leaving Braun in the ring with Owens who Superkicked Strowman into the corner and attempted a Cannon Ball. Unfortunately for KO, The Big Man recovered enough to stop him with a running power slam for the clean win. Even Bizarro Land cannot hate Braun Strowman.
The most talked about moment from the desert did not happen in the ring. Titus O’Neil is a former SEC football player at The University of Florida. Big Dude tripped on his way into the match and slid UNDER the ring! Sorry Bro, you will NEVER live that down! He was asked about it last night and laughed it off like a professional. Baron Corbin came and tried to insult him. The Lone Wolf lost his pulse again. Want more proof? He went to the ring to cut a walking promo on No Way Jose and couldn’t get through one line! The two had a rematch complete with Jose’s conga line. This time, the new comer got his win when Titus Worldwide came out to distract Corbin. After the match, Johnathan Coachman had an interesting thought. Why not put Jose in Titus Worldwide? Hey, if you wanna give the kid a chance, I’ve heard worse suggestions.
Here we go with The Main Event for IC Gold. These two have a ton of athletic respect for each other and know their opponent so well. Great chain wrestling and false finishes everywhere. The Move Set Twins certainly put on a show. One of the most memorable spots was The Irishman taking a superplex but reversing Rollins’ Falcon Arrow to deliver it himself! Ten years ago, that’s a consistent finisher. After several tries, Rollins hits The Curb Stomp for the clean victory in preparation for his title defense against The Miz at Backlash. Hope my passengers like maple syrup and escargot because another round of pancakes and snails is ready for SmackDown Live. Meanwhile, I hope the gas man can read the American gauge on the plane!
MadMan: She’s Handing Out Blues Better Than A Namesake Will
Madman decided to follow his blue dragon back towards the titans! Let’s see what black magic he weaves in this edition.
Madman decided to follow his blue dragon back towards the titans! Let’s see what black magic he weaves in this edition.
I may not be in regular rotation, but when they give me a chair, I swing for my fences. As a decades-long consumer of the art, I don’t have many left. The only Home Runs WWE has placed within my scope, can be found in Women’s Division on both Monday Night Raw & SmackDown Live.
The year I began watching wrestling, some very interesting circumstances took place surrounding cable television. WTBS; (Atlanta), WAS the home of The NWA’s Jim Crockett Promotions. At least until “Black Saturday,” which ultimately saw Vinnie Jr. Hijack the famous 6:05 time slot. This nearly cause riots among cable viewers opposed to McMahon’s product and presentation.
Though the million dollar ransom The Crocketts paid to get their flagship spot back on the dial gave the head of Titan Sports the backbone to finance WrestleMania, which helped to wreck most of the territories. Hell, it can be argued somewhat convincingly upon its 30th Anniversary, Vince himself ruined his biggest display’s pristine intentions for two consecutive years with Lesnar beating the streak instead of Bray Wyatt; and, Sting losing his ONLY Mania match because someone else had the right bride on their marriage license.
Despite the objections of both smarks and sheep in certain cases, we must respect the history of this pop culture institution. IF WrestleMania is Woodstock, it is only appropriate that Tito Santana opened the show with a victory!
In recent years, there has been only one person on The Main Roster who has matched the swag of Santana’s initial accomplishment without even trying, and she wrestled in the last Mania Match I cared about. Finally got tired of giving fans The Blues. She’s ready to deal some out in the form of steel chairs and God knows what else.
“Cut Her talent LOOSE!” We kept screaming. “A REAL run with Gold, PLEASE?” Like a kid aching just before Christmas. As with Solis, she was a true pro, until the strangest thing I’ve ever seen in the modern art form washed over us.
Fans and insiders alike FORGOT about Social Media! Don’t get me wrong, it’s still here. Can’t get away from it. Hell, I’m doing a roll-in on the internet right now! If you’ve been fans of us long enough, you’ll realize that last sentence was not a botch! Seriously, this thing felt like the territories back in the day. No one knew a damn thing! Even some of those paid to know were flipping a coin every five minutes. Thanks for the constant stress, you ancient prick!
Come on folks. If you know my current wrestling HEART at all, you KNEW the last Chair Shot on her return was coming from her Super Mark in Middle America! When older dudes at this circus describe what true fandom is like; they’ll often say: “That’s bulls***, that’s bulls***, that’s bulls***, BUT THAT’S REAL!”
For her boatloads of fans and the woman herself, Christmas is here! The Stamford’s latest Blues enthusiast is very real, And WWE’s Black Magic Woman IS BACK! Line ’em up. they’re all falling. Charlotte & Ronda too. To The Man and those in charge of her Twitter Account, thanks for keeping the possibility top of mind when things first got weird. We never gave up, but you will! MISSED YOU LADY BANKS!
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.
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