Sunday, August 2, 2015

RIP "Rowdy" Roddy Piper

“Do you think they would’ve loved you so much, if they hadn’t hated me?”--
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper

 That was Roddy Piper to Hulk "Hollywood" Hogan at Halloween Havoc 1996 when he made his surprise WCW debut.  It was a really great moment and Piper's early-WCW run was excellent in just about every way really.  That line really spoke to what a great foil Roddy Piper was for Hulk Hogan during the '80's WWE Expansion.  He was a phenomenal "Anti-Hogan" that could rile the crowd up.  Dave Meltzer put it this way...



Piper/Hogan and Flair/Rhodes are the first two feuds I think I really remember. For that, Piper always had a special place in my heart as a fan. As great as he was as a heel a lot of my favorite Piper moments where when he was a face such as his WCW debut. Others would be when he came back and doused Morton Downey, Jr. with a fire extinguisher at WrestleMania or won the Intercontinental Title.  Not matter which side of the fence he was on, the guy knew how to push buttons.

Outside the ring my favorite Piper vehicle is the cult classic, "They Live."  The hook for even watching that film was that "Hot Rod" was the lead.  Even better it turned out to be a really cool film with a quote that's currently trending due to Piper's passing.  Seriously, if you haven't seen "They Live" then you need to track that down.  I bought it for Dad on DVD years ago, it really is a lot of fun.

Piper's passing at the age of 61 shocked me, I could not believe it when I read it on Friday night.  Sometimes it feels like we are losing all our heroes and/or villains.  "Rowdy" Roddy Piper was great at both and epitomized "larger than life" when it came to the wrestling business.

Rest In Peace, Roddy.  You are missed. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

WWE's Handling of the Secondary Titles

One of the most often mentioned issue with WWE programming is how they treat their secondary title holders.  It's gotten to the point that many joke that winning the Intercontinental or US Title is punishment.  What's sad is that while it is a joke, it is actually fairly accurate.  Over the years there have been several claims that "WWE is getting serious about bringing respect back to the secondary titles."  Foolishly, we read these things and then against all logic hope and believe they will actually happen.  WrestleMania 31 was allegedly yet another turning point, but Daniel Bryan's injury derailed that to a degree.

What has happened is John Cena has been a strongly booked US Champion.  This makes sense because while Cena has been taken away from the WWE Title scene for a bit (thankfully imho) he's not "just another guy."  So while I'm tired of John Cena, I have actually enjoyed his run as US Champion and the US Open Challenge.  There is a frustrating aspect to this though.  John Cena's run has looked exactly like what we've clamored for with other secondary champions. 

Imagine guys like Cesaro, Bad News Barrett, Sheamus, The Miz, Ryback, Dolph Ziggler, whoever else you see at that level getting a similarly booked US or IC Title run.  It would be awesome.  I mean it doesn't even have to be a situation where they use that to jump to the main event scene.  All those guys who are trapped down at that level would have something important to do and an extended title run would make a huge difference in how they are perceived.  When the title changed hands, it would also be a big event.  The main thing it would do is relieve some of the nonsensical parity booking or even stevens booking you see at that level.  Might as well let a couple of guys shine brightly at that level than just let them all form a huge rat king I figure. 

While I said they don't have to use these runs as a springboard to the next level, it would certainly help those guys be more ready for it.  Basically, they would have some flexibility on what to do with these guys.  Either they get promoted which is great or maybe they linger at that level and gain credibility in an exciting US or IC Title division.  Either scenario is better than using the tired method of building challengers by having them pin the champ in a non-title match.  It's not an invalid way to build challengers, but it is an overused one in WWE.

Ultimately, I'd like to see both titles gain more relevance no matter who holds them.  Whether it's John Cena or Wade Barrett, I think WWE needs to allow their secondary title holders to get some real traction.  I'm not holding my breath though.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Way Back Wednesday- Randy Savage vs Jushin Liger

Today's match that I'm featuring comes to us from New Japan Pro Wrestling from 1996. This was obviously from a time when they used their working relationship with WCW to their advantage, instead of the other way around. 
In this regard they got one of wrestling's greatest names in "Macho Man" Randy Savage to come over for a show. And who did they put him up against? They gave him a legend of their own in Jushin "Thunder" Liger. 
It's definitely a match that would come out of the A1 Cup fantasy tournament, which would end the way most probably would have booked it. No spoilers, but it does end with both men showing respect towards each other.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

POP Figures Go WWE!

One of the things we like to talk about here at South Atlanta Wrestling are wrestling figures. And when you think of them, as a regular reader, your first thought are the ones produced by Mattel or Jakks. Or perhaps you think of the Figures Toys company that will be producing the Ring of Honor figures.
Well, add another to the list. The company behind the Funco POP. They've already produced a "Macho Man" Randy Savage figure and next on their list is the one and only "Nature Boy" RicFlair. This one is set to be a Target exclusive.  Supposedly available now, I haven't been able to find it yet.
On a personal note, due to financial constraints I've had to cut back on what figures I purchase, however, if I find this one on stores, I think I'm going to actually purchase this one. I love the POP figures, and I especially love how they do characters from various properties, from Marvel, DC, Dragon ball Z to now WWE.
Wooo! Target Exclusive Nature Boy Ric Flair Pop Vinyl via Pop Vinyls.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

SDCC: Mattel WWE Q&A with Head Designer, Bill Miekina

I dropped this on Twitter earlier today....
....but before I take some time off I thought I would share this Mattel WWE Q&A with Head Designer, Bill Miekina.




The question about real old school figures was the most interesting to me. Skip ahead to about 8:50 or so to hear Bill Miekina talk about how that endeavor looks. Bruiser Brody is who was specifically asked about and he said he'd love to make that one, but there's nothing on the horizon for him. He did mention that he had submitted a list recently of Legends to WWE, but did not share any of those names. As I've discussed before he basically said that they could dive deeper on Legend figures if the current Flashbacks sell well enough.

As an aside, Noelle Foley isn't great at this gig. I respect her effort, but that's about it.

Oh, and one thing that surprised me was that Bill keeps up with the secondary market to get an idea of which figures may deserve another release/re-deco/etc.  

Upload Credit: Ringside Collectibles - WrestlingFigures.com

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

My Son's First WWE Show

My wife and I took my son (8 years old) to his first WWE show at Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA on July 13, 2015.  We had a great time.  My wife went to her first WWE show as well so she could experience my son's excitement.  At the end of the night I asked if she wanted to go to the Survivor Series in ATL in November and she decided she would.  She may never become a hardcore wrestling fan (she's a casual one now), but I think the WWE live experience definitely won her over.

Notice in the pics below that I am representing the Roman Empire and my wife is rocking the WCW Signature Series Steve Stanley Sting shirt which I bought back in the day.  My five year old will be pretty bummed she didn't get to go I think once she sees this and hears all about it from her brother.  He got an Ultimate Warrior plush and got her the John Cena one which should soften the blow.  Dad here got the Suplex City Atlanta, GA t-shirt which is an excellent addition to the eclectic wrestling shirt collection.

As for the crowd participation aspect of it I had to coax a little bit of enthusiasm out of my son initially, but once he got going it was ON.  He was doing "FEED ME MORE!" with Ryback, etc.   It was great.  The only time he made us old folks nervous was when he booed Brock Lesnar because we know that Paul Heyman says you should never intentional provoke The Beast.  

Anyhow, it was a great time, and money well spent.  Seeing the look of excitement on his face throughout the night was worth it no matter.  I will have more thoughts on the show later hopefully, but for now I just wanted to share this special moment I had with my family. 

We got decent seats I thought.

My son wasn't ready for this one.

That's better!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Heading to Raw in ATL on Monday

I am taking my wife, and son to Monday Night Raw in Atlanta.  This will be the first WWE show for both of them.  My wife went to TNA Bound for Glory 2007 with me, and my son went to an indie show in Tyrone, GA as part of their Founders Day Festival celebration.  Taking my 8 year old son especially will be a nice treat.  I was 19 before I got to go to a show which was the last WCW Monday Nitro in the legendary Omni.

Anyhow, I think the last show WWE show I attended was Hell in a Cell 2013 headlined by CM Punk and Ryback.  This means I have not seen The Shield in person yet and I am looking forward to seeing all three, but primarily Roman Reigns.  I'd also like to catch a Bray Wyatt entrance if at all possible and "The Beast Incarnate" Brock Lesnar is apparently booked for this show as it is the last Raw before WWE Battleground.

I am certainly looking forward to it and can't wait to see the look on my son's face as we get to see WWE live and in living color.  I should have a full review of our adventure up later in the week.  

Friday, July 10, 2015

San Diego Comic-Con 2015 Day 1: Mattel WWE

Wednesday night was Preview Night so Thursday is actually Day 1 for SDCC. Mattel had more figures to debut and so far it's shaping up to be a pretty exciting exhibition out of them.
Not sure how many more reveals we'll have before this thing is over, but so far it's been pretty solid. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Throwback Thursday- Samoa Joe vs Necro Butcher

I had meant to post this on the actual anniversary of the match itself, but sadly, it came on the day of the passing of Dusty Rhodes so I held off on talking about this until now.

Years ago the promotion known as IWA-Mid South had worked their way east into Philadelphia holding a show in the infamous Viking Hall aka the old ECW arena.  And they made their debut in a big way having the main event of Samoa Joe vs the Necro Butcher. It was a very random main event, but it was one that was a very popular discussion topic on different wrestling messageboards and the match delivered.  Quite simply it was an all out brawl.  Even CM Punk came out to do color commentary with Eddie Kingston and Dave Prazak.

San Diego Comic-Con 2015 Preview Night: Mattel WWE

Preview Night at San Diego Comic-Con 2015 was last night and Mattel showed off some of their new figures.  Not a ton that I got really excited about, but there are a lot of nice little things to like.  Here's the link to the full page from WrestlingFigs.com which will allow you to see all pictures by simply scrolling down.  That's why I like that site so well for their SDCC coverage.  I will highlight specific figs below:
I, of course, want that Magnum TA figure that never got released more than anything.  I also want Legends such as Larry Zbyszko, Nick Bockwinkel, Stan Hansen, Bruiser Brody, etc., but this is a pretty solid reveal.

I will have more coverage as SDCC rolls on.  Big ups to WrestlingFigs.com/RingsideCollectibles for their coverage.