Sunday, May 24, 2015

Wedding Crashers WWE Edition

Per TMZ, a Syracuse couple had three WWE Superstars crash their wedding reception the other night.  SAW favorite, Roman Reigns, his cousin Jimmy Uso, and R-Truth were hanging out at their hotel's bar when they figured out there was a reception happening in the next room.  The went on in where they were warmly greeted and apparently hung out for 45 minutes or so.  The bride knew WWE was in town and sent an email inviting any Superstars to swing by even.  Not surprisingly the three of them had no idea about this email, but dropped in anyway.  Pretty cool visitors to have show up at your wedding reception if you ask me.

Visit the TMZ story to see the three WWE Superstars with the bride and groom. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

ICYMI: May 11th through 22nd

The production here has been lighter than usual as I am dealing with some work stuff.  Nothing negative, but it's just been busy.  Couple that with increased family activities during this time of year and you have a recipe for less SAW output.  I intend to change that this coming week, but for now here's a look at what we've covered since the last ICYMI.
Like I said, I hope to get this place cranked up again next week and even finally get that NWA Smoky Mountain Collision Course 10 review up on the site from mine and Norko's excellent trip to Kingsport, TN.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Destination America Reportedly Cancels TNA

While hopping on Twitter to see the reaction to the big debut at NXT Takeover: Unstoppable, I noticed a comment about TNA being canceled.  After poking around for a bit I didn't see anything so I went to DOT NET to find out what was up and found this story credited to Dave Meltzer.
Destination America has made the decision to cancel TNA Impact Wrestling programming at the end of the third quarter, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The cancellation is expected to go into effect in late September.
Previously, word was that Impact was simply moving to Wednesday nights starting in June because of concerns over summer time ratings on Fridays.  Memorial Day Weekend was slated to have a replay of Slammiversary 2014 instead of a lame duck episode of Impact that didn't really advance any angles, etc.  At that point there were some who said the promotion was in serious trouble.  At that time I didn't really think much of it because the moves made perfect sense.  The issue seemed a bit more concerning when Meltzer mentioned that Destination America had an opt-out in September.  It sounds like they are exercising that option now and TNA would appear to be in serious trouble.

Honestly, I can't say this news concerns me a ton though especially since hometown hero, AJ Styles has long left TNA for bigger and better things.  I like the idea of more competition than less, but that promotion has repeatedly shown  they don't know create a compelling product consistently.   I hate it for the guys there like James Storm, Bobby Roode, Bobby Lashley, etc., but TNA itself has been an afterthought for so long I can't say I'm terribly broken up over its apparent demise.

When something official drops, I will share ASAP.  

Again as the DOT article notes: This original source for this news item is Dave Meltzer of

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Proto Images of Mattel's Defining Moments Sting Figure has new MOC and loose proto images of the Defining Moments Sting figure and it will be a nice addition to my collection.  Here's a nice out of box shot, but the rest of the photos are available here.

FFA: Norm Macdonald Says Farewell to David Letterman

As should already know, David Letterman is riding off into the sunset after Wednesday's episode of The Late Show.  One of my favorite comedians, Norm Macdonald, appeared one last time on Dave's show to perform.  There's some funny stuff here although it's not Norm's best work, but the real hook here is watching Norm pay tribute to a guy who clearly means a lot to him.  It's so out-of-character and genuine and excellent.

Thanks to Rolling Stone for sharing this as part of their "Dave Watch."

Upload Credit: Late Show with David Letterman

Monday, May 18, 2015

Raw Preview: 5-18-2015

WWE's Raw Five-Point Preview is up. As usual I am going to take a look at what they are pushing for tonight's show after a really good Payback show last night.
  1. Is Rollins really as good as he says he is?--In a storyline sense this is the perfect question.  His win last night allows him to chirp that he beat Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, and Roman Reigns.  Of course there were the usual shenanigans, but that's par for the course with him and I love him for it.  He is the perfect weaselly heel champion.  In a real life sense, I'd say Seth Rollins is absolutely as good as he says he is and I've thoroughly enjoyed his run at the top.  Back to the storyline, Kane's future with The Authority seems secure now which kind of surprises me.  I'll be interested to see if something changes that tonight or soon at least.
  2. What ‘I Quit’ Match aftermath lies ahead for John Cena, Rusev and Lana?--Last night's match was stated to be the end of Cena/Rusev so I think the main focus will be on Rusev and Lana's relationship.  I wouldn't be so quick to split them, but that seems to be where we are headed.  For John Cena it appears the US Open Challenge will continue which is always an entertaining part of Raw.
  3. Who’s going into the Elimination Chamber?--New Day found out at Payback that they are going in as part of some sort of WWE Tag Title match.  Competitors for the vacant Intercontinental Title match will most likely begin to qualify tonight.  Elimination Chamber really might be a fun card.  I certainly hope it is.
  4. Heavy hangs the crown?--The post-match exchange after King Barrett and Neville's Payback match was frustrating as it was the worst kind of example of parity booking.  No one got anything out of it and it seemed wholly unnecessary.  The good news is it gives this feud reason to simmer longer and that is a good thing. 
  5. Will Naomi become the next Divas Champion on Raw?--Naomi laid the challenge out there after the show last night.  I guess it has been accepted, but that point doesn't seem terribly clear.  Nikki is awesome and I hope she hangs on to that title for a while even though I do like the Naomi/Tamina pairing as well. 
Looking forward to tonight's show as always.  It's much easier to look forward to it after seeing a show that delivered like Payback did.  With the Elimination Chamber looming and its focus on the Intercontinental and Tag Team titles this show has become far more interesting.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

That's How Daniel Bryan Rolls

Here's an all-time classic.  The Daniel Bryan vs Tyson Kidd match from Saturday Morning Slam.  Fast forward to 5:00 if you don't want to sit through the whole thing.  I'm sure former WCW Executive Vice President, Jim Herd would approve of this gimmick

Tyson Kidd vs Daniel Bryan - Saturday Morning... by Wrestlingfan122

I showed this to my almost 8 year old son for the first time and he got a kick out of it. If you're not aware this Saturday Morning Slam on The CW was targeted at younger audiences so don't hold this up as evidence of how idiotic WWE is compared to Mid-South or whatever. This wasn't meant as a serious wrestling match geared toward the wider audience. It's something to amuse children and in my focus group of one, it worked.

JTG's Muppet Gimmick

Per DOT NET, JTG appeared on the PodNasty podcast with host Alfred Boima Konuwa III recently and discussed a variety of issues such as Alex Riley, Wrestler's Court, and a dropped Muppet gimmick.  The last one on that list is the most interesting to me as I have zero recollection of hearing this rumored at all.  It never appeared on WWE TV, but typically this type of stuff gets out one way or another.  This one doesn't sound remotely familiar.

From the DOT NET recap:
On the Dropped Muppet Gimmick: "I thought I was a rich man. I'll tell you how rich I thought I was. When Vince approved the gimmick, when he told me that he loved it, I took my wife out to Mr. Chow when I got home because I just saw money. It was my idea, the Idea stemmed from this character I used to do in promo class. WWE Superstars, before Raw, some Superstars were called in early to the show—like maybe an hour early—and we would have hands-on classes with Vince McMahon and we did promo classes where it was kind of like improv and working on promos. He would give us an exercise where he would say 'say anything and you have to cut a promo on it.' I can't remember what word he gave me, but there was a few times where I started talking to myself and it was highly entertaining, and I created a new character with a double personality. His name was Self. The idea was for the muppet to look exactly like me. The premise behind the whole Self-Muppet idea was for it to be seen and heard by the WWE Universe, but not seen by anybody backstage. For example, if me and you were talking backstage, Self would be insulting you but you couldn't hear him. Only me and the WWE Universe, he was kind of like my conscience."
While I appreciate trying to think outside the box I cannot say I'm crazy about another gimmick where the TV audience can see a character and no one else does. It's kind of like Hogan and the audience seeing Warrior in the mirror on Nitro, but Eric Bischoff can't. That said, I kind of wish this had made it to TV just so I could see how it was executed.

JTG deserves a big thumbs up for the title of his new book by the way.  It is titled "DAMN! WHY DID I WRITE THIS BOOK?" after his famous Tweet from the day of his release.

If you want to hear the whole discussion with JTG then here's the link to the PodNasty podcast episode on YouTube.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Harper and Rowan Reunited

I have a lot of conflicting feelings about the reunion of Luke Harper and Erick Rowan.  Despite my misgivings about how Harper has been wasted to an extent I generally like the pairing.  Considering the way Harper has been handled and the flop that was Rowan's face run, I think this is the best scenario for these two.  That is assuming they get a legitimate push in the tag division.  How would I do it?

I am not a fantasy booker, but I do occasionally have ideas.  To me this ain't chess, it's checkers.  You have Harper and Rowan tear a path through the tag division.  I'd have them destroy faces and heels alike.  The danger here is that the WWE Universe would get behind these guys, but in theory what happens is you get the build like you had for Superman and Doomsday.  In that story you've got all these groups and heroes trying to stop the seemingly unstoppable force.  In this case you've got Harper and Rowan playing the Doomsday role.  If things work like I would hope the crowds will be clamoring to see somebody, anybody put a stop to their reign of terror.  At that point I think the Swiss Superman would be the perfect foil.  Kidd's flashy style helps, but really it would be the crowd wanting to see Cesaro & Kidd end the streak in large part due to the impressive nature of Cesaro.  The important thing is that I think Cesaro & Kidd actually need to fail in order for this to work.  You build it up to where everyone wants to see C&K end it, but don't give it to them immediately.  I'd even go cheesy 80's movie route and show C&K training after the setback.  It sounds corny until you realize the impressive feats you'd see from Cesaro in the weight room.  In the big rematch Cesaro & Kidd finally get the win and send Harper and Rowan away for a bit. 

Having Cesaro & Kidd vanquish the monsters, Rowan and Harper is a money angle for the tag team division whether the titles are involved or not.  I hope WWE goes with something like this, but I doubt they will.  We know that most midcard acts are stuck in the hamster wheel which is unfortunate, but I think these two teams could really transcend that if allowed. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

FFA: Mad Men Series Finale No Spoilers

There's a conflict this weekend between WWE Payback and the series finale of AMC's Mad Men.  As promised there is no spoiler talk here.  I just wanted to take a moment and say that we started this show on Netflix a couple of seasons in just like we did with The Walking Dead.  Once we got caught up we could not wait until Sunday night to see what happened next in Don Draper's world.  Often you'll hear people complain that "nothing happens on Mad Men."  Now that can often seem the case, but regardless I always find myself interested in the lives of the people on the show.  I consider it a really captivating show.

Anyhow, this video is for the folks who already watch Mad Men.  A quick look at what we are losing come Sunday night.