Sorry for the delay and sketchy landing from up the coast folks. I can’t see much through the fog of The Inner Harbor of Baltimore. Only one civic landmark is visible at the moment. An odd bedrock of the wrestling community. Especially when fans consider that no matches have ever taken place there. Competition is not the building’s purpose. Family, friends, and some of the best seafood in the country await. Not to mention a decades-long reputation for taking care of fans and performers within the art form. I called ahead and reserved the entire restaurant for us. I’d like to welcome my passengers to Jimmy’s Famous Seafood before this week’s SmackDown Live.
After a solid meal of linguini and clams, I join my passengers for a nice walk over to the arena, and we find our seats just prior to The GM’s music hitting, nice timing! Paige never does a bad promo. She had to mention Sunday’s clusterf*** and she was struggling to save it. Same formula as Monday Night Raw. Two Money in The Bank qualifying matches on the men’s side. One for the ladies. Qualifiers would bookend the show. An old was used to rivalry kickstart things.
Very slowly, Vince is getting better at small stuff, like letting wrestlers wrestle. This time, The Miz and Jeff Hardy were in prime position to show off. When Jeff is clean and focused, he can still put on a great match with anyone. As much as I hammer Mike, he is a decent performer. I guess osmosis works if you stick around long enough. At the beginning, the questions were duration and outcome. A good match for over 20 minutes is always a treat. The hour glass flipped several times. False finishes on both sides; including the final pin, which happened when The Charismatic Enigma hit a Swanton Bomb. Unfortunately for Hardy, the way he pins people sometimes leaves him vulnerable to a counter. Mike pulled Hardy’s shoulders from his chest to the mat for an excessively quick three-count. For this veteran smart mark, it can feel like refs stop their counts or change cadences, I hate it!
Next was a fun backstage segment that led to a match. The Bar and their new t-shirts were talking. For some reason, there was a copious amount of food involved and for some reason it worked. Sheamus was using Lucky Charms as comfort food to cope with his loss to Xavier Woods because he’s Irish and why not? Cesaro was laughing at him until The Celtic Warrior dared him to defeat Woods himself. Right after The Swiss Cyborg agreed to take up the challenge, both dudes open their gym bags to find them stuffed with pancakes! God Bless The New Day! The match itself saw Cesaro get the win after a couple of mini-schmozes.
Okay, if there is one thing I know about history of the art form in the place where SmackDown originated from this week, it is this: Ric Flair OWNED Baltimore throughout his major runs on top. Even Vince McMahon must acknowledge that. With this backdrop, there was no way Charlotte was losing last night. The IIconics have talent and are growing professionally, but Peyton Royce is not a bigger draw. Of course, Charlotte’s going to Chicago and Money in The Bank. PS: Mandy Rose beat Becky Lynch when The Lass Kicker forgot how to hold on to the top rope. Corey Graves had a heart attack and wishes he wasn’t married.
Throughout the night, only two promos are worth reporting on. The ones surrounding WWE Gold. Rene Young actually did her job! Shinsuke Nakamura can speak English! Who knew? When The Con Artist was pushed, he said AJ Styles was ”nuts” and he wasn’t finished with him. Styles’ response was direct. This is about the title. As long as Shinsuke wasn’t done, he would be ready to defend the strap in his house. Paige herself said she mishandled the making of the No DQ Match at Backlash when she didn’t close all possible loop holes. Though it is interesting to hear an authority figure say this. No, she didn’t. ALL millennial sheep bitching about this: LISTEN UP! Before monthly PPVs sped everything up, big programs were booked just like this in the territories to DRAW MONEY! Payoffs couldn’t happen right away. This is nothing more than an old school nod to the territories. I am gladly shocked Vince has gone this far with it. Calling my shot: A Cage Match will close this feud properly. GET OFF MY LAWN!
The night closed with Daniel Bryan facing Rusev in a Money in The Bank Qualifying Match. With Bryan just coming from defeating Big Cass at the dumpster fire known as Backlash, a win seemed almost assured. Stamford hasn’t used The Bulgarian Brute correctly in what feels like forever. The Leader of The Yes Movement was able to get most of his offense in and look alright doing so. I am unsure if it’s a medical precaution to keep Bryan out of a ladder match right now. The SmackDown Live audience; myself included was floored when Rusev went over clean. Daniel looked downright depressed as the show went dark. This could be a very strained and weird summer for Vinnie’s Circus. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must find my passport.
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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