Cheap Shots are unfiltered, uncensored opinions, and those opinions reflect only the author!
As we glide into a runway at The Nassau County Airport, my passengers and I notice something interesting underneath us. It’s the DeLorean. I haven’t seen this thing in months! Why is it here? Who brought it out of the garage? Given the fact that it’s lunch time within shouting distance of The Big Apple, I can afford a small joyride before heading to the arena tonight. But, where and when was I supposed to go? Upon opening the door and getting comfortable, I find my instructions with two dates and locations.
I am to retrieve two pieces of steel and an empty front row seat before going to the show. The dates and signature inform me of the DeLorean’s purpose. Dates are sequenced chronologically. First is 10/17/83 at the Athletic Cathedral just across The Hudson. It’s Madison Square Garden. The cage is not erected yet. Pieces are being carried to the ring as I type. I must haul ass to an empty front row seat over the railing. Bolt and wire cutters await. Discretely impersonating a crew member, I sneak onto the floor removing a tiny piece of steel from the bottom of the cage. After doing this, I use the bolt cutter to take the empty seat from The Garden Floor. Exiting the building without incident, my instructions say these seeds are to come with me to Pittsburgh 15 years later and repeat the first act again where the crown is handed out. Despite the cage being lowered from the ceiling this time, the effects of the DeLorean enable me to clip the cage in a blink and get out of the venue unnoticed. Remember, mine wasn’t the only section of steel removed on this might. The other is now in the lore of the art form forever. Before I get to last night’s show: Pop Quiz hotshots, who left these instructions for me? The organizer of this adventure was indeed Mick Foley.
Monday Night Raw comes from Mick’s back yard of Long Island, New York. Show starts with our GM Kurt Angle letting us know that Carnella’s creative crutch is next on WWE’s PPV Calendar. The formula for arriving at the numbers and participants in both Money in The Bank Matches has been slightly altered. Despite their most recent offering being an abject disaster, WWE Creative has FINALLY woken up enough to start co-branding PPVs. This time it translates to four participants from RAW & SmackDown; eight in total, will all compete in both of the main drawing matches. How we get there appears scattered and drawn out.
This concept lends itself to on camera politics, which at times can only be rivaled on a pain scale by backstage politics most of us can’t see initially. Basically, everyone not in a qualifying match will beg to be placed in a qualifying match until we get to Chicago. Baby faces are not immune. This brings Braun Strowman down the aisle. The Big Man is getting better on the mic. This time, talking about what happened when he was left out of building a tree house as a kid. It didn’t end well for the others in the neighborhood. This prompts Kevin Owens to come from the back, reprising his obnoxious French-Canadian self. Whining about Angle’s treatment of him the past month and saying the wrong man was pinned at Backlash. Quick question Kevin: Do you REALLY wanna know how many people cared about that match last night? Kurt is pissed at this point. He has two athletes asking for a chance. Fine boys, you want an opportunity? Fight for it! KO tried to win twice by count out. He freaked out each time Braun got back in the ring. Eventually, The Big Man overwhelmed him. Picking up the win in convincing fashion. Strowman will be in Chicago!
Anybody got a blender? Let’s see if we can turn all these promos into a margarita without a hangover. Backstage, Roman Reigns is asked about the challenges in front of him. He says that he is The Uncrowned Universal Champion and Management is holding him back. Come on Roman! Even you don’t believe that? He says all he can do right now is focus on The Triple Threat match in front of him. Jinder Mahal found Angle twice to scream at him. Once before actually winning a match, and once after beating Chad Gable. Mahal felt insulted and rebuffed both times. The Indian Brooklyn Brawler would make his statement later in the night.
More bright-letter format carpenter promos. First Bayley. Yo Elmo, Sasha’s not dead. Handle this properly, then you can talk Money in The Bank. PS: You’re still not winning. Then Breezango “cuts in” mentioning a “new case.” These gentlemen are nothing if not dedicated to this part of their craft. They are still over on the strength of these promos alone. I will not knock them. Did I mention Goldust was asking for his chance too? This margarita is getting weird! KO & Sami Zayn were seen cutting a strained backstage promo revolving around both Sunday’s happenings and Kevin’s Monday loss. Random MITB promo from Alexa Bliss. Your shoulder hurts and Ronda Rousey hasn’t touched you yet, GO AWAY! Even more random segment from The Ascension. Anyone care about them anymore? Gotta pop The Long Island crowd so Zack Ryder gets his turn asking for a MITB opportunity. The only promo that made sense from this concoction was a sit-down Rene Young got with Bobby Lashley welcoming him back to the organization. This was okay. Unfortunately, Stamford is trying to scrub the heel tendencies off of him for now. We know what he is capable of. We know what he did in Orlando. Good luck keeping all this mess down.
In case we all forget, this is wrestling programming. I will try to get back there now. The ladies needed to start their journey toward Money in The Bank in Chicago. I do take great joy that Carmella will not be in this part of the process. Recess was a Triple Threat for the first RAW spot at the PPV. Combatants: Ruby Riott w/Riott Squad, Ember Moon, and Lady Banks. Need a great match? There’s Mercedes! Although, in this case her opponents didn’t need carried quite so high. Ruby Riott is a solid heel. Capable of a lot of good work. Ember Moon is a special athlete who makes separation a dangerous thing. Sadly, promoters have this nasty habit of timing bias. Vinnie was no different here. I could feel Sasha wasn’t gonna win. With Ruby’s crew getting involved twice, it was obvious. Bayley actually ran out mid-match to help her. Relax Elmo, she’s still kicking your ass at some point. At least The Female Dragon didn’t take the loss. The Lunar Lone Star hit The Eclipse on Riott for the pin. Nightfall is coming to Chicago.
Turns out Creative’s coin-flip booking was just a week delayed. This time Elias got through his entire tweener promo and half a song. Fans want to cheer the man. As consistently as he performs, the opportunity to turn him does not present itself obviously in this smart marks mind. Having said that, his chance to be a baby face will show up. At this point, Bobby Roode and his Gloriousness comes out to kill the vibe. After another solid match that saw The Canadian hit his finish for the win. What a surprise! Roode then asked for an opportunity at Money in The Bank.
Welcome to The Jobber Portion of Monday Night Raw. So much for thinking No Way Jose just needed some additional support to turn things around. This presentation appears wasted on him, and the young man honestly looks like he has athletic potential. Jose took an End of Days and the pin from Baron Corbin in a 6-Man Tag. Slater’s kids didn’t matter. Ryno and The Redneck Red Head got crushed by Ziggler and Galloway. The Deleters of Worlds quickly kenneled The Lost Puppies.
Two contests of consequence remain on The Island of Length. Monday Night Rollins came out two cut a baby face promo. It took a little while to find his own voice. But, right now few faces are over like The Architect. He says Money in The Bank is important; however, The IC Gold is important to him and he wants to fight to keep it. Cue an open challenge and enter Mojo Rawley? A month from The Superstar Shakeup, it feels like a reach. The ex jock was decent on the mic and has ability in the ring. It might be too late for him to matter though.
The Samoan Hype Machine, 8-Pack Irishman and Annoying Canadian closed Empire State proceedings with a Triple Threat. Win for the right to climb a ladder in The Windy City. The crowd was still in rare form from the disappointment of Sunday. Roman offense got booed massively while a beat up Roman got cheered massively. Two memorable spots: Balor & Zayn teamed up to take The Big Dog over the barricade and out of the match for a while. Fans behaved themselves once he was incapacitated. Sheep went all toddler after The Hype Machine reentered things though. Especially when a Vinnie’s Boy victory appeared imminent. Except, who remembers a Pissed Off Indian? The next scenario is not a work. Fans exploded when Jinder Mahal came through the audience to grab Roman’s leg preventing a spear and allowing Finn Balor to beat Zayn clean and earn a shot at the briefcase. Awkward show. Felt like bizarro land moved south for most of this episode of Monday Night Raw, Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy has certainly seen better and done better himself. In answer to the question: No there are no Cactus Seeds left on Long Island this time.
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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