We finally get out of Lady Liberty’s extended shadow as the plane flies along the coast. There is a strong Southern pull surrounding our next destination. Behind me, I can hear the bird’s geometry echoing a familiar refrain. There is no surprise which two letters are rattling the fuselage. In fact, there are a handful of locations where this testosterone driven response is required and justified. Being in the shadow of the old Coliseum is certainly one of them. A handful of exceedingly talented performers tried to pry loyalty away from him. The best candidate to do so was Virginia native, Terry Allen. Tragically, a car accident never gave the one they called Magnum T.A. his true shot on top. The Nature Boy’s supporters may see me do this only a handful of times a year. I am outnumbered. I have no choice. This is heavy Flair Country. This is Richmond, VA. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Let’s have some fun, assuming we don’t fall asleep.
Disjointed segment to kick off Monday Night Raw. Braun Strowman comes to the ring and cuts a solid promo about his opponents in Chicago being in trouble. He told everyone that money had nothing to do with it. “I’m The Monster in The Bank and Brock Lesnar’s gonna get these hands!” Kudos to the ringside camera man shooting this. Half-way through, it looked like he shot The Big Man while laying down. This trick cut the apparent distance between him and the ceiling significantly. Dude could almost reach up and touch the briefcase, well done.
Oddly, this brought out Finn Balor to remind him that he wouldn’t be alone in the match. The 8-Pack Irishman may need a ladder to pull it off. But he can indeed defeat The Monster Among Men. Obviously, Balor was looking for a fight, because he slapped Braun after finishing his promo. This prompted GM Kurt Angle out from the back. “Let’s reset last week’s Main Event.” Did I mention this show was odd? For some reason, Kevin Owens came out to commentary with a mic at his position. Commentary only requires a headset, right? Turns out, The Obnoxious Canadian was allowed to cut an “encouraging” promo on each competitor in the match while using the live mic, because WWE. KO’s temperament gets a pass from me because he can work, but I highly doubt he would put up with his own s***!
Speaking of s***, Balor hit one Coup de Gras after taking a typical beating from Braun. While attempting a second one to overcome The Monster’s enormousness. Owens runs from the table to shove the smaller man from the top rope, mission accomplished. What’s next genius? Pudgy Canadian goes for a ladder under the ring to combat the fact that Strowman hasn’t been dealt with. He tries to hit his biggest threat at MITB with said latter, but he is rejected. Braun pushes hard enough that he sends KO sprawling outside the ring. As the loud mouth stumbles away. Braun launches the steel projectile from the ring. Grazing his target, who was half-way to the locker room.
This forced Owens into a full sprint backstage, looking for his rental car and a quick escape. Angle ended his shenanigans by putting him in a non-descript singles match against Bobby Roode later in the night. It ended in a No Contest. Both Canadians were properly Power Slammed by Strowman, who ended his night standing tall.
Rewinding this episode, we find Elias cutting his classic tweener promo. This one was different though. Dragged on like Charlie Brown’s teacher. Sheep wouldn’t shut up and The Guitar Man wouldn’t sing.
This tug of war went through the break. Bleeding into the contest for IC Gold. Seth Rollins’ music gives us a temporary stay. The King Slayer gets to the ring, tossing Elias’ stool to the floor. The Rejected Hippie backs out slowly, but we wouldn’t have to wait long for payback. First, the title match. As the axiom goes. Seth Rollins can have a fight with a broomstick and make it look good. Despite a decent showing from Jinder Mahal, things were thrown out thanks to excessive use of a steel chair. Monday Night Rollins snapped. Using the weapon to scatter those from The Indian Subcontinent. After dispatching of his opponent, Rollins jumps on the announce table in celebration. WAIT, The Music Man from behind with his guitar, WHACK! Hey Vince, Production might wanna be careful next time they slow a replay down. Even smarks like me could see Seth’s jump after taking the guitar shot was late, just sayin’.
Welcome to Two Squashes & A BBQ. No, that is not the name of a Morning Radio Show. “Mom, what’s a DJ?” Shut up Millennial twerps! The Deleters of Worlds beat The Ascension in about ten minutes. Haven’t we seen this before? Drew Galloway did the same with Chad Gable, YAWN! Gable could be better used. That is not an argument for this post. I have a question. Why does Vince McMahon think a root canal is good for his audience? That’s what I feel every time I watch Dallas & Axel act worse than I WOULD in and around the art form. Sorry Gentlemen, you deserve better. Most sheep probably think its hilarious.
As I’ve established: When it comes to wrestling, I have very little wool left to be pulled. Getting somewhere in storyline should feel as real as the rest of the art was supposed to look back in the day. Unless you are Chris Jericho or The New Day, be very careful. Comedy can turn into pain real quick.
Why does this feel like an old episode of Monday Nitro? Even recess felt weird. Nia Jax had an “exhibition” with a carpenter. The Raw Women’s Champion wasn’t even granted her full entrance. Ms. Rousey’s music hits. She goes straight for the announce table to get a scout on Nia in competition. The South Pacific Queen takes the mic as the match begins to invoke the very heelish tactic of talking trash during a contest. The premise was simple and quite legitimate: “Hey Ronda, it’s not UFC. Can you handle this?” After the demolition, The Next Rowdy One went to confront The Champ with the stare down. Nia called the challenger “cute.” Turning her back as she left the ring. Say nothing for the timing, which is absolutely pathetic. This could be very interesting.
Main Event Recess is always fun. Especially when Stamford actually acknowledges wrestling talent. Gauntlet Match for the final slot in The Women’s Money in The Bank Match. LET’S GO! What’s this? Someone ELSE drew the short straw? Bayley’s out of the chute first with Liv Morgan in the Davey Boy Smith position.
Serious question: Morgan’s been on The Main Roster for months. Do we know if she can do anything constructive? Looks like she can take one bump and lose in ten seconds. I don’t have the same reservations about Sarah Logan, despite her quick loss. Human Scrimshaw was next up. Sadly for Elmo and Dana Brooke, The Riott Kick was locked and loaded. Richmond’s own Mickie James was next. We know how Vince feels about home towns. A spirited effort wasn’t enough to put Magnus’ better half over.
Gee I wonder who’s in the anchor position? The best feminine worker on Monday Nights FINALLY got some tangible respect. After a highly intense 15 minutes; including multiple impressive spots, The Female Dragon got the clean tap out in the face of attempted interference from The Riott Squad. Hey Charlotte, my girl’s got a chance to make Ricky proud. Need I remind you what happened when Flair and Steamboat hooked up in Chicago before? LET’S RUMBLE!
Even though I just gave effusive praise to the final match, most of the show felt very phoned in. Outside of Seth Rollins and a handful of the ladies, Creative must have been inebriated on Monday. From the opening match to the Lashley/Zayn promo no one cared about, along with most of the night: Hendrix and Garcia at Monterrey could have executed a better script. Unfortunately, the money from Fox seems to be having an adverse effect on Vinnie’s thought processes. Hopefully, sheep won’t have to wait for next October to see better effort.
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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