Thursday, May 28, 2020

Wrestling Do-Overs: The Invasion Angle, part 11 (Royal Rumble 2002)

A new year dawns, but the Invasion Angle rages on, heading into the 2002 Royal Rumble....


To read this series from the beginning, click HERE

Night After Vengeance

RAW opens with fireworks and revelry as Vince and most of the WWF roster march down to the ring in high spirits.  Vince takes the mic.  "Ladies and gentlemen, in my 28 years as owner of this company I don't think I've ever been more proud than I am at this very moment.  Last night at Vengeance, at long last, the World Wrestling Federation Championship returned home where it belongs, around the waist of a WWF Superstar.  After four months, Hollywood Hogan's reign of terror is over, the WWF and WCW Championships are unified as the Undisputed WWF Championship, our side has also regained the European Title thanks to Edge, and The Alliance controls only two remaining titles, the Intercontinental and the Cruiserweight.  That situation will be remedied tonight, in this very ring.  But first I'd like to welcome the man of the hour, the brand new Undisputed WWF Champion, STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN!!!"

Austin's music hits and he appears from behind the curtain, both championship belts slung over his shoulders.  Suddenly Chris Jericho runs up from behind and waffles him with a broom handle, knocking him down.  Vince and the rest of the WWF locker room are stunned.  Jericho bashes Austin repeatedly and pulls a microphone out of his back pocket.  "Congratulations Austin, you won back the WWF Title.  Well guess what, it's coming home to me next!  Last night I beat a rain check into The Rock's candy-ass, and that makes me the new #1 contender!  At the Royal Rumble Chris Jericho will be the new Undisputed WWF Champion!"  Jericho drops the mic and leaves as Austin crawls to his feet and the show goes to commercial.


Back from break, Austin is being checked out by doctors and Vince backstage, but pushes the doctors aside.  "Get these jackasses outta my face, a little snot like Jericho ain't gonna keep me down."  Vince tries to calm him down but Austin isn't having it.  "Get me Jericho in the ring tonight, damn ya!"  "Fine Steve, fine.  You pick a tag team partner and I'll notify Jericho to pick one as well."

The announcers inform us that Cruiserweight Champion Billy Kidman is up next to defend his title against X-Pac.  They have a whirlwind 10-minute match where Kidman retains by countering the X-Factor with a low dropkick and hitting the shooting star press.

Backstage, Hogan, Bischoff and friends are reeling from their defeat at Vengeance.  Bischoff says they need a new strategy to get back on top.  Hogan says "I have just the thing, brother.  You just wait and see."

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The History of NJPW Dominion (2011)

The Tanahashi Magic Train keeps rollin' on and this would be the final Dominion powered exclusively by The Ace.

Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium - 6.18.11

**NOTE: NJPW World is missing three matches from this show: Koji Kanemoto-Hiromu Takahashi, the Kendrick/Gedo/Jado-Liger/Kushida/Tiger Mask six-man, and the Tenza/Seigigun-Ishii/Tanaka/Iizuka six-man.  Their combined running time is a shade under 21 minutes though, so I get the feeling I wasn't missing anything essential.**

Dominion 2011 was for me kind of a middling show with a couple standouts.  There wasn't anything bad, but most of the card fell into the 2s and 3s for me.  NJPW was still running on high-octane Tanahashi fuel but the Jr. division also featured some of the best talent in the company.  One thing I found odd about these first three Dominions is that Chaos was the top heel stable but wasn't being featured much in title matches.  And strangely absent from this show altogether was Chaos's leader, Shinsuke Nakamura.  This show could've used his presence for sure.

The first match available on New Japan World was Ryusuke Taguchi vs Mascara Dorada for the CMLL Welterweight Title.  This bout started off somewhat methodically with some initial feeling out but both guys pretty quickly brought out the top rope dives.  Dorada nearly killed himself on a botched second-rope springboard, when his foot caught the top rope causing him to under-rotate; the back of his head hit the apron on the way down and it looked like he hyperextended his knee on the floor.  Miraculously he was able to continue, attempting the same move moments later and nailing it, much to the crowd's delight.  The second half of the match had some good lucha-style exchanges, leading to a series of traded victory rolls with Dorada holding one long enough for the three-count.  This match was solid but too short to be much more.  **3/4

Skipping ahead to the fifth match of the night, former No Limit tag partners Tetsuya Naito and Yujiro Takahashi locked horns in a match that started out very heated but settled into an oddly slow pace for a grudge match.  Naito top-rope dropkicked Takahashi at the bell and followed it up outside with a running dropkick on the ramp.  Back in the ring Takahashi took over for a long stretch that was fine but a bit tedious at times.  One thing was evident from this match though - Tetsuya Naito has seemingly always had a recklessness about landing on his head.  Three times during this match he would do a running dive or a flipping bump and just barely avoid breaking his neck.  Late in the match he also took a high-angle Olympic slam that looked crippling.  After about eleven minutes Takahashi won with a Dominator.  This was decent but I expected more given the nature of their feud.  From this match it's clear why Naito became a huge star and Takahashi did not.  *** 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

AEW Double or Nothing 2020 Review - Stadium Stampede!

AEW delivered big again.  Double or Nothing 2020, while probably not their best PPV to date (I think Revolution is still their yardstick), was nonetheless an incredibly entertaining show full of great energy, some damn fine wrestling, and one of the most purely fun main events I've ever seen.  The eight-match card flew by, numerous bouts landing within or near **** range, the company showcasing some of their young talent and even protecting most of the match losers.  AEW once again worked beautifully around the empty arena problem, seating wrestlers and crew around the ring to make noise, and mixing the audio so the "crowd" was louder than the in-ring action.  Thus the absence of an arena full of fans was barely noticeable.  Aside from one match/result I have a gripe about, I loved this show.


The PPV kicked off with the Casino Ladder Match, structured like a cross between a Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank.  SCU buddies Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky drew the first two numbers and had some fun exchanges before Kip Sabian entered with sidekick Jimmy Havoc, who interfered liberally on his behalf.  Next was Darby Allin, who had an insane spot off a ladder with his skateboard.  Orange Cassidy was fifth and asked for clarification on the rules, selling annoyance when told he'd have to climb a ladder.  Colt Cabana was sixth, Joey Janela (subbing for the injured Fenix) was seventh.  Janela did a few crazy things, like hitting a Death Valley Driver on one of the giant poker chips.  Luchasaurus was eighth and ran wild on everyone before the ninth and final entrant, mystery competitor Brian Cage.  At first everyone ganged up on Cage and buried him under a pile of ladders and poker chips, but he eventually shook it off, had a nice big man exchange with Luchasaurus, and finally press-slammed a ladder with Darby on top of it, over the ropes to the floor.  Cage then climbed up and retrieved the prize poker chip to win.  This was a great debut for Cage, who looked like a monster, but also allowed Allin, Janela and others time to shine.  The plan is for Cage to challenge Jon Moxley at Fyter Fest.  A very fun ladder schmozz with some good character moments.  ***1/2

Next up was the best straight-up wrestling match of the night, on a card with a lot of car wreck matches.  MJF and Jungle Boy proved why they're two of the most promising young talents in the business.  This had a fantastic gallant babyface vs. douchebag heel dynamic, with MJF antagonizing and mocking JB early on and even faking an injury at one point to get in a cheapshot.  Jungle Boy matched MJF hold-for-hold in the opening minutes, and these two strung together some really nice grappling.  Finally MJF took over, going after Jungle Boy's arm, which later paid off when JB tried to slap on a submission hold but couldn't.  The most memorable spot of the match came very late when JB hit a reverse rana on the apron that looked like it killed MJF.  But since MJF was on the floor, Jungle Boy couldn't pin him, having to roll him back in and give him time to recover.  The finish came after a series of cradle reversals, and MJF scored a European Clutch to "steal" the win.  This was pretty great and I hope this becomes a perennial feud.  Their chemistry together is palpable and they can help each other grow into big-time stars.  MJF winning this time was the right move as he's clearly being groomed for a major push.  That said, Jungle Boy needs to rack up some wins so people don't forget about him.  ****

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Top Ten Things: Owen Hart Matches

Welcome to a special Top Ten Things, here at Enuffa.com!  Today is the anniversary of what was for me the most tragic death in wrestling history, that of Owen Hart.


For those of you not familiar (by this point that's probably no one), on May 23, 1999 Owen was the victim of a horrific stunt gone wrong, when the harness in which he was supposed to descend from the ceiling released prematurely, causing Owen to fall 70 feet to his death.  Owen was 34 years old.  Unlike so many untimely pro wrestling deaths, Owen's wasn't the result of drugs or steroids or neglect of his health.  Owen was a happily married family man who had planned to retire early from wrestling to enjoy a quiet life as a father and husband.  I've said for years that if I could go back and save one person in the wrestling business from dying young, it would be Owen.  He deserved to live a long, content life and enjoy the fruits of his success.

In the ring Owen was possibly the most athletically gifted of all the Harts, possessing a natural grace and agility surpassing even Bret's.  Bret may have been more technically sound, but Owen seemed innately suited for pro wrestling, employing a mix of grappling and aerial techniques that made him one of the most well-rounded performers of his generation.

Owen toiled in the WWF undercard for a few years before finally getting a big heel push as Bret's disgruntled little brother.  The two had a legendary feud, tearing the house down every time they met, and as a result Owen became one of the most dependable top names in the company, eventually winning every available heavyweight title except the big one (Whenever I'm asked who was the best wrestler never to win a world title, my two answers are always Owen and Davey Boy).  Then in 1997 Bret and Owen, now both heels, reunited to form the new Hart Foundation stable, prompting the best feud of that year which pitted the American wrestlers (and fans) against the Harts (and basically all non-American fans).  On the back of this unprecedented feud, the WWF churned out must-see television nearly every week, and Owen was a huge part of it all.

After Bret's messy WWF departure (along with Davey Boy and Jim Neidhart), Owen was the only Hart Foundation member left, and as an old-school character he struggled to fit into the new WWF Attitude era.  Owen enjoyed modest success for his remaining time in the company, but was repeatedly asked to take part in sexualized angles with which he wasn't comfortable.  The compromise was repackaging him as a dorkier version of the Blue Blazer (his 1989 persona), hence the fateful ceiling descent on May 23rd.

It's a shame the company wasn't able to find something more dignified for him to do, or wasn't willing to release him from his contract when Bret left.  In either scenario he'd undoubtedly still be with us today.

Owen was a one-of-a-kind talent who left the wrestling industry better than he found it, who was beloved by all who worked with him, and who stayed true to himself and his family in a business where such a thing was increasingly rare.  Two decades later, the wrestling business still feels incomplete without him.

Now let's take a look at his best matches.....




Honorable Mention: Owen Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid - King of the Ring - 6.19.94


Yeah I know, this match only went 3-1/2 minutes, but holy lord what a match considering.  These two packed about as much action into 217 seconds as you possibly could, delivering one of only two good matches on this PPV.  Owen made the Kid submit with a Sharpshooter in this semi-final match, on his way to becoming the second PPV King of the Ring.  It's a great illustration of what Owen (and X-Pac) were capable of even with severe time constraints.





10. Owen Hart & British Bulldog vs. Vader & Mankind - WrestleMania 13 - 3.23.97


One of the forgotten WrestleMania gems was this rare heels vs. heels Tag Title match, where Owen and Davey had teased splitting up for weeks.  Owen had become jealous of all the attention Davey was getting, particularly after Davey bested him to become the inaugural European Champion.  Between the champs not being on the same page and the physical dominance of Vader and Mankind, it looked like we might see a title change here, but this wild brawl ended unceremoniously with a double countout, as Mankind subdued Davey with a Mandible Claw on the outside.  A better finish would've undoubtedly elevated this match, but as it was I still consider this one very underrated.


Thursday, May 21, 2020

AEW Double or Nothing 2020 Preview & Predictions

Welcome to another round of AEW Predictions, here at Enuffa.com!


Feels like it's been ages since AEW's last PPV, but this Saturday at long last we'll be treated to the second annual Double or Nothing, albeit in front of an empty Jaguars stadium.  But AEW has adjusted to this empty arena format better than WWE has, so this show oughta be a fun little outing.  The linup feels a bit like a secondary PPV as opposed to one of their flagships, but given the circumstances I get it.  Just like they don't want to have Blood n' Guts in front of no one, it doesn't make sense to put together an absolutely loaded show when there's no live crowd.  But I think they'll do alright here.

Let's get started.



Pre-show match: Private Party vs. Best Friends


This match is for a Tag Team Title shot, presumably on an episode of Dynamite.  So it could go either way.  The match should be a very entertaining sprint.  Private Party have gotten a title match before but I don't think Best Friends have.  I'll pick them this time.

Pick: Best Friends




Shawn Spears vs. Dustin Rhodes


This was just added last night.  Spears failed to beat Dustin's brother last year but now's his chance for some redemption.  I see no reason not to give Spears the win here.  Dustin's 50 and won't be hurt in losing.  Spears needs to pick up some wins in order to be taken seriously.

Pick: Spears




Dr. Britt Baker vs. Kris Statlander


I really like Kris, and Britt is finding her groove, particularly as a heel.  This should be fun.  The company seems fully behind Baker as a rising heel star, so I have to think she wins here.

Pick: Baker

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The History of NJPW Dominion (2010)

Welcome to our second installment of NJPW Dominion History, here at Enuffa.com!

Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium - 6.9.10

Dominion returned to Osaka in 2010 with another solid if not stacked show, with some frankly odd star placements.  Manabu Nakanishi for example, who headlined Dominion 2009 as the IWGP Champion, showed up here in the second match of the night with five other dudes.  Shinsuke Nakamura, another former IWGP Champ, was billed fourth from the bottom in a brief MMA-infused fight with Daniel Puder of all people.  And Tanahashi, the company's golden goose was in the hair vs. hair semi-main event instead of contending for the strap.  Some strange choices to be sure, but the show itself managed to be very watchable and a few bouts were pleasantly surprising.

The 2010 edition opened with one of two six-man tags, with Akira, El Samurai and Koji Kanemoto squaring off against Ryusuke Taguchi, Super Strong Machine and baby Tama Tonga (sporting short hair and a clean-shaven look)! This was not much of a match, running under nine minutes and not featuring a lot of memorable action. El Samurai pinned Tonga with an abdominal stretch rollup thingy.  Moving on.  *1/2

The second six-man was a little better but still just sorta there, as Chaos members Tomohiro Ishii, Iizuka and Gedo faced Manabu Nakanishi, Mitsuhide Hirasawa and a blond-haired Kushida.  There was a big brawl before the bell to kick things off, climaxing in Kushida and Nakanishi dives over the ropes.  Then the match settled into the heels getting heat on Hirasawa after hitting him with chairshots outside.  Eventually Nakanishi tagged in for some big power moves, Kushida and Gedo did some fun Jr. exchanges, and Iizuka distracted the referee while Gedo nailed Kushida with a kendo stick.  Iizuka then choked Kushida out for the win.  Another forgettable affair.  *3/4

The good stuff started next, as Tomaki Honma vaced Muhammed Yone in a solid, super stiff contest.  We got tons of brutal chops, forearm shots and running lariats over the bout's nine minutes and finally Honma hit his big top rope headbutt for a near fall but Yone came back and delivered a muscle buster for the win.  Not too shabby, this one.  **3/4

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Wrestling Do-Overs: The Invasion Angle, part 10 (Vengeance 2001)

As 2001 comes to a close, the Invasion Angle coalesces around a huge Title unification....

To read this series from the beginning, click HERE



Night After Survivor Series

RAW opens with Vince in the ring, beaming from last night's victory.  Vince says "Last night, the WWF took a major step in vanquishing The Alliance, as our Survivor Series squad won an incredible main event.  As a result, all of WCW's championships are hereby defunct.  And a wrestling company without legitimate championships is that much closer to oblivion.  Right now I'd like to call one man to the ring to personally congratulate him.  He's the reason our side has won this major victory.  Ladies and gentlemen, your American hero, Kurt Angle!"  Angle proudly comes down to the ring and hugs Vince.  "Vince, I'd just like to express how thankful I am for the opportunity to prove to all these people that not only am I the best wrestler in the world, not only do I live and breathe the three I's, but I bleed red, white, blue....and WWF!  I am so proud to be your Olympic hero and your Sole Survivor!  And now I'd like your permission to challenge Hollywood Hogan for the WWF Championship so I can bring that prestigious title back where it belongs."  Vince responds, "Kurt, I would be more than happy to grant that request.  Therefore, in three weeks at Vengeance, in this very ring, it will be Hollywood Hogan vs. Kurt--"  Steve Austin's glass shatter interrupts Vince.  Austin saunters to the ring and yanks the mic from Vince's hand.  "Hold on there, ya dumb bastards.  First off Kurt, you ain't the best wrestler in the world.  The best wrestler in the world is the one talkin' at you right now and lookin' at your stupid hang-dog face.  Second, if anyone's owed a damn title match with Hogan it's Stone Cold, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna let you screw this up again.  At Vengeance it's gonna be Hogan vs. Austin, or I'm gonna stomp both your asses down right now."  Hogan suddenly shows up on the Titantron.  "Oh boys....I see you're arguing among yourselves like a buncha little babies, but you're forgetting one thing.  I'm the WWF Champion and I decide who I face at Vengeance.  Oh, and you may have won at Survivor Series, but my main man Booker T ain't giving up his WCW Championship without a fight.  so here's what: how about we have a little mini-tournament at Vengeance?  One of you two idiots can challenge me, the other can challenge Booker, and the winners face each other to determine the first-ever Undisputed WWF Champion?  And I hate to break it to ya, but it's gonna end up Hollywood Hogan vs. Booker T, brother!"  Austin and Angle both nod to Vince.  Vince replies "Fine, Hogan.  At Vengeance it will be....Hogan vs. Austin, and Booker vs. Angle, with the winners facing each other for all the marbles.  But how about tonight we have a tag team match.  Hogan and Booker vs. Austin and Angle!"


Monday, May 18, 2020

The History of NJPW Dominion (2009)

Oh yes, oh yes, the wrestling-obsessed weirdo is back with another PPV History series, here at Enuffa.com!  This time we'll be looking at the decade-long lineage of NJPW's second-biggest PPV of the year, Dominion!

Set the way-back machine for 2009, when New Japan Pro-Wrestling was still in serious rebuilding mode, having weathered the lull of the early 2000s.  They'd hitched their wagon to a dynamic young performer named Hiroshi Tanahashi, and his gargantuan charisma, coupled with his incredible knack for in-ring storytelling, almost singlehandedly lifted NJPW out of its financial woes.  At this point Tanahashi was head-and-shoulders above everyone else in the company, but numerous young stars were being groomed for big things and by 2009 a few were starting to nip at Tana's heels.  The modern New Japan product as we know it was taking shape, with a combination of native stars and talented gaijin, and only a few years later it would start to blow everyone else out of the water from a creative standpoint.  So sit back and let's take a stroll through recent New Japan lore....


Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium - 6.20.09

Things kicked off with a solid little opener, as Jushin Thunder Liger and Akira faced Koji Kanemoto and a young lion named Nobuo Yoshihashi. Everyone worked hard in the seven-or-so minutes alotted. Finally Yoshi-Hashi ate a top rope splash from Akira for the pin.  Shockingly little from Liger in this match.  Not terribly memorable but decent.  **1/4

Next up was Takao Omori and Yutaka Yoshie vs. Mitsuhide Hirasawa and Super Strong Machine.  This was another short match, only five-and-a-half minutes, but it was full of action. Yoshie at 300+ pounds got to show off his deceptive agility.  The match ended with Omori hitting a running STO on Hirasawa. Nothing special here, but this was well worked.  **

The first really noteworthy match was third, as Apollo 55 faced Taichi and Milano Collection AT for a Jr. Heavyweight Tag Title shot.  These guys cut a crazy fast pace for the first few minutes, then Taichi and Milano slowed it down to work over Taguchi.  After the eventual hot tag to Devitt we got a crazy series of big moves and nearfalls, including an outside-the-ring Doomsday Device cross body on Taichi, a Devitt double stomp for a near fall, and a big Tower of Doom spot.  Finally Taguchi pinned Taichi after a (surprisingly safe-looking) vertebreaker and chicken wing face buster.  One thing really struck me about this match: Taichi used to be a worker!  When did that change?  Anyway this was a damn good match.  ***3/4




Awesomely Shitty Movies: Superman II

Welcome back to Enuffa.com's Awesomely Shitty Movies, where I examine what exactly draws me to certain films that so spectacularly fail to live up to their potential.

Continuing with the superhero theme from last time, today I'll be dissecting the only good sequel from the vaunted Christopher Reeve franchise, Superman II!


In 1978 Richard Donner was tasked with directing two epic Superman films back-to-back.  Unfortunately budget and schedule issues would force him to shelve the second movie and focus on delivering the first, lest producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind fail to see a return on their massive financial investment.  Released in December 1978, Superman: The Movie was a huge commercial and critical success, ensuring the intended sequel could now be completed.  But after months of creative tension during the incredibly long shoot, the Salkinds opted not to bring Donner back to finish the second movie (It was estimated that about 75% of the footage was already completed).  Instead comedy director Richard Lester (of A Hard Day's Night fame) was brought in, and in order to officially receive directorial credit he'd need to not only complete the remaining 25%, but also reshoot a third of the already-completed footage.

The result was an immensely entertaining but horribly inconsistent sequel, featuring very divergent visual styles from two completely different directors.  This coupled with obvious continuity problems stemming from the principle actors' appearances noticeably changing between 1977 and 1980 gave Superman II a rather disjointed feel.

So let's take a look at what worked and what didn't, about this beloved Superman sequel!


The Awesome

Christopher Reeve

As with the first movie, Reeve embodied the perfect fusion of wholesome farmboy shyness and statuesque physical presence to bring to life what is still thus far the best cinematic interpretation of the Man of Steel.  This is one of those roles that a particular actor was born to play.  Reeve just captured the essence of this iconic figure and his alter-ego so brilliantly I'm not sure anyone will ever match his performance.

Magnificent.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Parents' Night In #35: Superman (1978), The Movie Review

Kelly & Justin are back to talk about the beloved original epic superhero film, Richard Donner's 1978 classic Superman, starring Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman and Marlon Brando.  Kelly in particular grew up with this film, watching it repeatedly at her grandfather's house and memorizing every moment.  Justin became a fan much later, having grown up with Superman II but never giving the original its due.  But both of us love it now, a throwback to a simpler time when superhero films were still very quaint and the idea of a big-budget blockbuster Superman movie was unheard of.

We'll discuss the making of this film but also its legacy, its sequel, comparisons to recent Superman movies like Superman Returns and Man of Steel, comparisons of Christopher Reeve to Brandon Routh and Henry Cavill, and comic book films as a whole.  So crack open a beer, sit back and join us for this special episode!

Dedicated to John Hartmann (1931-2020), for whom Superman '78 was an all-time favorite.

You can also listen to a podcast version of this episode at

https://www.google.com/podcasts?feed=...

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https://open.spotify.com/show/4qPxkRJ...





Don't forget to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to our channel and click the NOTIFICATION bell to stay updated on future episodes, and don't forget to subscribe to our mailing list, and follow us on Twitter, MeWe, Mix, Facebook and YouTube!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Wrestling Do-Overs: The Invasion Angle, part 9 (Survivor Series 2001)

It's November 2001, and that means the Invasion Angle do-over has reached Survivor Series, where the WWF will do battle with The Alliance!

To read this series from the beginning, click HERE


Night After No Mercy

RAW opens with Kurt Angle already in the ring.  He apologizes to Vince and the WWF fans for letting them down last night.  He tried to reason with Steve Austin to work together and bring the WWF Title home where it belongs, but like a true rattlesnake, Austin could not be reasoned with.  He even offered him half the bounty to take the pin, but a rattlesnake doesn't care about money.  Austin's music hits and he charges the ring, attacking Angle.  Austin stuns him and Angle rolls out of the ring.  Austin takes the mic and demands Vince confront him right now.  "You stuck your stupid little nose in my business again last night and screwed me out of winning back my WWF Title, and now I'm gonna beat it out of ya!"  Vince reluctantly heads to the ring and tries to explain himself.  "I was just doing what was best for the WWF, dammit!  Why couldn't you and Angle work together?  We could've done this together!"  Angle is back in the ring now, backing up Vince.  Austin says "Last time I won the WWF Title I took your help and I damn near couldn't sleep at night for six months because of it.  I ain't never doin' it with your help again."  Austin goes to kick Vince but Angle blocks it and they're in each other's faces.


Hogan, Booker T and Bischoff appear on the Titantron.  Hogan speaks.  "Hello ladies.  Good to see you're still catfighting amongst yourselves.  Meanwhile guess who's still the WWF Champ.  Hollywood Hogan.  And who's still the WCW Champ?  Booker T, brother.  Ya know why?  Because The Alliance knows how to work together as a team to get things done!"  Austin, Vince and Angle stop arguing and Vince takes the mic.  "Funny you should mention teams.  Because in four weeks is the Survivor Series, where it's all about teamwork.  How about this?  You pick your best five, we'll pick our best five, and if we win, the WCW Championship gets absorbed into the WWF Championship!  Not only that, we'll have Intercontinental Champion vs. US Champion.  Light Heavyweight Champion vs. Cruiserweight Champion.  The team that wins at Survivor Series gets to keep their championship lineage.  The losers will see all their titles become defunct."  The WCW guys discuss for a moment.  "Ya know somethin' Vinny Mac?  That's not bad.  I always liked your style.  Since we're all here tonight, why don't we have some fun?  You, Steve and Kurt against Uncle Eric, Bookerman, and Hollywood, jack!"  It's official - Survivor Series will be headlined by a five-on-five elimination match, with the losing team's championships going away, plus a huge six-man tag to headline RAW.

The show features some Survivor Series qualifying matches.  Chris Jericho defeats Test to become the third man on Team WWF.  Sting defeats Ric Flair to earn a spot on Team Alliance.

In the show's main event, the WWF team has trouble getting along and the WCW team controls much of the contest.  Austin bickers with Angle and Vince slaps him from the apron.  Austin knocks tags Vince into the match and knocks him down with a punch.  With Vince loopy, Bischoff tags in and peppers Vince with martial arts kicks, gloating with each one.  Suddenly Vince catches one of them, tackles Bischoff and pounds him.  Vince drags Bischoff into his corner and tags Angle, who hits suplex after suplex.  Angle tags Austin, who hits a Stunner and covers Bischoff.  Angle and Vince run interference as the ref counts three.  RAW goes off the air with a glimmer of hope for Team WWF.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Movies of Disbelief: Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Welcome to another edition of Movies of Disbelief, here at Enuffa.com, where I examine a film that is generally either good, even great, or at least competently assembled, and point out one absurd flaw that had me throwing my hands up skyward.


Today's subject is the Walt Disney classic Sleeping Beauty.  Released in 1959, Sleeping Beauty retells the timeless fairy tale about a lovely princess, cursed by an evil sorceress to fall into a sleeping death before the end of her sixteenth birthday (by pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel, of all things).  In the Disney version there are three good fairies who vow to protect Princess Aurora from this fate, by keeping her hidden from the wicked Maleficent until the timeline of said curse has passed.

**Side note: each fairy bestows a magical gift, the first being Flora's decree that Aurora will grow up to be beautiful, begging the question, does Flora not have any faith in this girl's gene pool?  I'd be insulted if I were her parents.  "Excuse me, I think we're both fairly handsome people, she'll turn out just fine on her own!"  Seems like a waste of a gift if there's even a chance that she'll be a looker anyway.  Come to think of it, so is Fauna's gift of song; how does she know this girl won't naturally have musical ability?  Or at least enough to get by with some practice?  Superficial jerks...**

I'm sorry, these women are morons...

But back on the clock; the fairies quickly whisk her away to a remote cottage in the forest and raise her as a common peasant girl until such time as it's safe for her to return and reclaim her royal heritage.  Solid plan right?  Especially since the fairies have also vowed not to use magic during the girl's upbringing, so as not to rouse suspicions of passers-by.  Princess Aurora, or Briar Rose as she is now known, has no awareness of her regal bloodline or the fact that she is betroathed to Prince Phillip of a neighboring kingdom.  On her sixteenth birthday, the fateful day in question, she meets a stranger in the woods and falls instantly in love, but the fairies spill all the beans, revealing to her that not only is she a princess, she is already spoken for and must never see this strange man again (of course none of the four is aware said stranger IS Prince Phillip).  Rose is crushed at the news and runs to her room sobbing.

Cinema Showdown: Superman Returns vs. Man of Steel

Originally published in 2015...
Welcome to another edition of Cinema Showdown, here at Enuffa.com, where I'll take two movies that are either based on the same source material, present the same story, or just share many similarities, and see which one stacks up better.


Today I'll be talking about the two most recent cinematic takes on the beloved character of Superman: 2006's Superman Returns, directed by Bryan Singer, and 2013's Man of Steel, from Zack Snyder.


Superman is generally credited with launching the superhero genre of comic books, and is an internationally recognized, mythic embodiment of heroism.  The sole survivor of a doomed alien race, Superman arrived on Earth as a baby and was adopted by simple farmers.  As he grew into manhood he discovered his super powers and eventually came to understand and accept the inherent responsibility that came with them, embarking on a lifelong crusade to rid the world of evil and protect the people of his adopted home.

These themes were captured beautifully in Richard Donner's 1978 epic Superman: The Movie.  While far from perfect and frought with production challenges and creative issues, Superman conveyed a sense of wonder and lighthearted optimism in bringing to life this virtuous character, introducing him to a whole generation of filmgoers and creating the superhero movie as we know it.  After three sequels the franchise eventually fizzled, and for nearly twenty years every attempt at a cinematic rebirth for The Man of Tomorrow was aborted prior to production.

Then in 2006 Bryan Singer released Superman Returns, which was presented as a direct sequel to Superman II (1981).  Retroactively nullifying the largely-reviled Superman III and IV, Returns takes place five years after II, whereupon Superman has, well, returned to Earth after a mysterious five-year absence and found that the world didn't necessarily miss him.  At the same time Lex Luthor has been released from prison (largely due to Kal-El being unavailable to testify against him) and hatched a new plan to take over the world using crystals from the Fortress of Solitude.  The plot of this film was eerily similar to that of the 1978 original (Luthor attempts to change the Earth's landscape to create his own priceless real estate, almost certainly at the expense of millions of lives), and while a few of the performances were well-received, the film was a box office disappointment.  Its planned sequel was scrapped, and it was back to the drawing board for The Big Blue Boy Scout.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Top Ten Things: Chris Cornell Albums

**Originally published 5/21/18**

Welcome to a special Top Ten Things here at Enuffa.com.


Chris Cornell's suicide last week has left a ragged, gaping hole in the music world many of us are still struggling to come to terms with.  As my colleague Dan Moore talked about HERE, Cornell was a golden-throated force of nature, whose mindbending vocal range and soulful power were unmatched in rock music.  He rose to prominence as one of the pioneers of grunge but later explored genres as wide-ranging as singer/songwriter rock, adult contemporary, folk, and even dance pop.  Few artists have created such a wildly divergent body of work, and for me no other singer ever wielded his instrument with such effortless agility and emotive grace.  My coping mechanism has been to learn and record as many of his songs as I can and hope I do them even a modicum of justice (You be the judge).

But today I'll be talking about his amazing discography as I count down my ten favorite Cornell albums.  Here we go.....




10. Chris Cornell - Scream


Cornell's most divisive album was 2009's Scream, an electronic pop collaboration with hotshot producer Timbaland that combined Chris's rock songwriting sensibility with a hooky R&B sound.  The results were understandably mixed, but the album yielded some excellently written songs, like the bleakly syncopated "Time," the anthemic, strikingly mature love song "Never Far Away," and the title track, a gloomy ode to relationship strife.  While far from Cornell's best work, Scream showed an artist cheerfully exploring new territory and reinventing himself.





9. Soundgarden - King Animal


Cornell's grunge quartet had split in 1997 but reunited 13 years later for a tour, and began writing new music for their sixth studio album.  The result was King Animal, a safe but fairly triumphant return for one of the genre's earliest paradigms that fit right in with their previous output.  Album highlights included the Sabbathy "Blood on the Valley Floor," the eccentric, off-balance "Bones of Birds," the folky "Halfway There" which would've been at home on a Cornell solo record, and the classic Soundgarden feel of "Eyelid's Mouth."  It was a long time coming, but King Animal would be a worthy Soundgarden record and ultimately the band's final completed work.





8. Audioslave - Out of Exile


After his first solo album's disappointing commercial performance, Cornell was able to reinvigorate his career by forming a supergroup with three members of then-defunct Rage Against the Machine, creating an unusual groove-rock hybrid.  Their second album is our #8 entry on this list.  Released in 2005, Out of Exile may not have been the hard rock powderkeg of the band's debut, but it was a perfectly sturdy followup, providing trademark Tom Morello guitar riffs in songs like "Your Time Has Come" and the title track, and some gentler, more thoughtful tunes like "Be Yourself" and "Doesn't Remind Me."  Out of Exile built on the successful formula of the first record and in retrospect serves as a fine companion piece.



Thursday, May 7, 2020

WWE Money in the Bank 2020 Preview & Predictions

Welcome to another edition of WWE Predictions, here at Enuffa.com!  We're still in quarantine, but that doesn't mean WWE can't make more bad movies....


Well I did it, I cut the WWE Network cord after WrestleMania.  WWE's product has simply strayed so far from what I enjoy in a wrestling show, AEW is providing a much more fun North American alternative, and now with the lockdown continuing it seems we'll be treated to even more pre-taped "movie" matches like Taker vs. AJ.  So why am I still doing WWE predictions, you ask?  Good question.  Force of habit maybe?  I dunno.  I won't be watching Money in the Bank, but I'll try to pick some winners anyway, just to prove to myself I'm still accurate about 70% of the time.  So let's do this...



Fatal 4-Way Smackdown Tag Team Championship: The New Day vs. Miz & Morrison vs. The Forgotten Sons vs. Lucha House Party


Why in the hell did they put the belts right back on New Day?  What was the point of Miz & Morrison's one-month reign?  Christ.  Anyway, this reeks of "filler match," so I don't think the titles are changing again already. 

Pick: New Day retains





Smackdown Women's Championship: Bayley vs. Tamina


Uhh, Tamina?  Really?  Aren't these two both heels?  I know you wanna save Bayley vs. Sasha (for fuck's sake, FINALLY) for a bigger show like SummerSlam (especially when Boston is Sasha's hometown) but was Tamina the only other available challenger?  I don't have much hope for this one.

Pick: Bayley has to retain until the Sasha match happens





Universal Championship: Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt


Yeesh, this isn't gonna be much of a match at all.  I'm still flabbergasted that they spent all that time building up Wyatt, only to have him lose in embarrassing fashion to Goldberg, all so Goldberg could lose to Roman, who then dropped off the WrestleMania card, forcing Goldberg to lose a stinker of a match to Braun.  What a shit show.  So now Wyatt is right back to challenging for the belt instead of in the midst of a six-month reign.  This could go either way, but I'll pick Braun to retain since he just won it, and since it looks like Bray won't be The Fiend this time around.

Pick: Strowman retains 

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Top Ten Things: May PPV Matches

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Things, here at Enuffa.com!  

Today I'll be talkin' wrestling (What a shock), specifically the ten best PPV matches to have taken place in the month of May.  WWE's PPV calendar has only included May for the past 20 years, but those two decades have yielded some veritable classics.  I've also included multiple New Japan matches, from their annual May event Wrestling Dontaku.  .....And that's enough of an intro.  Let's get to it!





10. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit - Judgment Day - 5.20.01


In 2001 the two best technical wrestlers in the WWF began a rivalry that would last nearly two years on and off.  After a 14-minute gem at WrestleMania 17 and a 30-minute Submission match the following month, Angle and Benoit faced off at Judgment Day in a Three Stages of Hell match, where the first fall would be a standard match, the second would be submission-only, and the third would be a Ladder Match for Angle's Olympic Gold Medal.  Benoit would quickly win the first fall (probably too quickly) but Angle came back to take the second and third (with help from Edge & Christian) in a tremendous match.  The two would resume their feud in late 2002 and add several other classics to their respective resumes.





9. Prince Devitt vs. Low-Ki - Wrestling Dontaku - 5.3.12


This Jr. Heavyweight Title match stole the show at the 2012 Dontaku PPV, starting out meticulously but gradually ramping up the intensity and high-risk offense.  Both guys showed why they're more than just small spotfest wrestlers, as this match was full of drama and psychology.  In the second half of the match they broke out the innovative offense and quick reversals, and after twenty minutes (not to mention both guys kicking out of each other's finishers) Low-Ki won with a Ki Krusher.  One of several New Japan classics from the future Finn Balor.





8. The Shield vs. Evolution - Extreme Rules - 5.4.14


One of the best feuds of 2014 culminated in this enormous six-man tag at Extreme Rules, between the dominant anti-establishment trio known as The Shield, and Triple H's reformed stable of former WWE Champs, Evolution.  This rivalry reminded me of the old Road Warriors vs. Four Horsement battles, and this match was a crazy melee that went all over the arena.  The final moments of the match saw Seth Rollins leap off the loge entranceway onto his enemies, in the bout's most memorable moment.  With four of the six men occupied outside, Reigns finished Batista back in the ring with the Superman punch/Spear combination to end a fantastic brawl.


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Awesomely Shitty Movies: Tremors

Welcome to another Awesomely Shitty Movies, here at Enuffa.com!


Today's movie is the 1990 horror-comedy Tremors, directed by Ron Underwood (of City Slickers) and starring Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward.  Tremors takes place in a tiny Nevada settlement called Perfection (population 14) that gets attacked from below the ground by four gigantic sandworm-like monsters that reach through the turf and pull down anything that seems appetizing.  After the only road in or out of town gets blocked by a rock avalanche, the survivors must find a way to the mountains to avoid getting eaten.

I'll level with ya - the word "shitty" doesn't really apply to Tremors.  There's very little about this film I don't like, but I'm including it because it's just a really fun, silly B-movie, one I would describe as a "great piece of crap."  So no offense meant, Tremors fans.  I'm really just here to talk about the film's merits as an old-school piece of drive-in fare.



The Awesome

Val & Earl

Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward have tremendous chemistry as our dual protagonists.  Earl is the grizzled pragmatist, while Val is still holding out hope for a better situation and a new love interest who fits exactly his description of an ideal woman.  Together they're the brains and muscle of the town of Perfection, keeping everyone's stuff in order and doing whatever odd jobs they're needed for.  They're also the audience's guides through this adventure.

Every town should have a Val & Earl


Michael Gross

I've been a huge Michael Gross fan since his Family Ties run, where he played the optimistic, sentimental dad.  For most fans of the show Michael J. Fox was the star, but I always found Stephen Keaton funnier.  Here Michael is a very different character - an over-the-top gun enthusiast/survivalist who never met a firearm he didn't like (or purchase, judging by his vast arsenal).  While Stephen Keaton and Burt Gummer could not be more diametric opposites, Gross delivers excellent performances in both cases.

Stephen Keaton rocks the shit in this movie

Monday, May 4, 2020

Awesomely Shitty Movies: Jurassic Park

Welcome to another Awesomely Shitty Movies, here at Enuffa.com, where I dissect a beloved classic and explain why it doesn't quite hold up for me the way it does for everyone else, while also demonstrating why most of my friends don't like me.


Today it's Steven Spielberg's 1993 megahit Jurassic Park.  Based on Michael Crichton's 1990 novel (also called Jurassic Park), Jurassic Park tells the story of an eccentric billionaire who gets the bright idea to open an ecological preserve on a remote island near Costa Rica.  The rub is that this preserve is populated with DINOSAURS!  That's right, a team of scientists has recovered fossilized mosquitoes containing dinosaur blood, from which DNA has been extracted and complemented with genetic material from frogs to create a whole new race of giant lizards (ahem, bird ancestors)!  The billionaire flies in a team of scientists and a lawyer, plus his grandchildren, to evaluate the park so they can get the go-ahead from their investors to open the place to the public.  Of course all the dinosaurs get out and all hell breaks loose, and what ensues is one of the most successful blockbusters of all time, which spawned four sequels and counting.

So why can't I just sit back and enjoy the goddamn dinosaur movie you ask?  Well, read on and I'll lay it all out for ya.  Here we go....



The Awesome


Fucking Dinosaurs!

Jurassic Park was the first movie in a long time to portray dinosaurs in a realistic way, and it's light years ahead of every film before it in that respect.  The dinosaurs in this film look and sound amazing.  They're scary, they're awesome, they're occasionally funny, and they have little behavioral quirks like real animals do.  The blend of state-of-the-art animatronics and early CG almost totally holds up to this day, and represents one of a long list of spectacular achievements by ILM.  When we sat in that theater in 1993, we were plunged into a world of goddamn fucking dinosaurs and it was incredible.

My god, just LOOK AT IT.




Jeff Goldblum

The one actor who steals the show from the dinos, if such a thing is possible, is Jeff Goldblum as the peculiar, sardonic mathematician (chaotician, chaotician) Ian Malcolm.  Malcolm provides most of the film's humor but also has several great lines and speeches about how dangerous the idea of a dinosaur park is, both in the immediate sense and in the long-term.  From a comedic standpoint he's basically the Han Solo of Jurassic Park, and his character was so popular they made him the lead in the sequel, despite Malcolm having been killed off in the original novel.  Yes, Michael Crichton had to resurrect Malcolm via retcon in the The Lost World so Goldbum could be in that film.  Of course in the second movie he's a total wet blanket and nowhere near as cool as in the first.  Goldblum would essentially reprise this role in Independence Day as well.

You might be cool, but you'll never be
Ian Malcolm backlit by a projector, wearing sunglasses indoors cool.


Friday, May 1, 2020

Awesomely Shitty Movies: Last Action Hero

Welcome to yet another Awesomely Shitty Movies, where I, your faithful Enuffa.com editor, examine an old classic cinema turd and analyze its pros and cons.


Today it's the 1993 Arnold Schwarzenegger flop, Last Action Hero!  Directed by John McTiernan (of Die Hard and Predator fame) and released just a week after the mega-blockbuster Jurassic Park, LAH didn't stand a chance at the box office and it predictably died a quick death.  Last Action Hero tells the story of Danny Madigan, a 12-year-old boy obsessed with Schwarzenegger movies, specifically his fictitious Jack Slater series.  Danny frequently cuts school to visit a nearby run-down theater, owned by his elderly friend Nick.  One night Nick invites Danny to a private midnight screening of Jack Slater IV, and gives him an old-timey movie ticket which was supposedly a gift from Harry Houdini.  Unbeknownst to both of them, the ticket has magical properties, and upon being torn in half, it opens a portal between the real world and the one on the screen.  Danny unwittingly winds up inside the film and becomes Jack Slater's sidekick, and eventually both of them pursue the film's main villain Mr. Benedict back to the real world to save the real Arnold Schwarzenegger.

This is an unabashedly silly premise that had already been much more skillfully explored in Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo, where Mia Farrow's character goes to see a film so many times one of the characters begins interacting with her and escapes the confines of the screen.  You won't find Purple Rose in an ASM column, as there isn't anything shitty about it - it's a very smart, well-made film.  Still, despite being a dumbed down echo of Purple Rose, Last Action Hero is not without its charm; it has some entertaining action scenes sprinkled with satire, plus some fun comedy elements.  But yeah, there's a lot wrong with it too. 



The Awesome

Satire

Going into this movie I was pleasantly surprised by how much the filmmakers satirized the concept of the summer blockbuster.  Last Action Hero pokes fun at the action movie genre at almost every turn (not unlike the way Scream picks apart horror films - RIP Wes Craven), which for a movie nerd like me made for quite a lark.  Arnold seems right at home dissecting the very type of film that made him an international megastar, and it's refreshing to see a mainstream commercial movie actor not take himself too seriously.  Inside the Jack Slater movie Danny is able to consistently predict what's about to happen because everything in the movie is an action film cliche.  And of course being an action movie cliche himself, Jack has no idea; on the contrary, he keeps insisting his world is real.  This all made for an amusing, self-aware tone at a time when the action film genre was in desperate need of a shakeup.


Little Details

This movie is full of fun little moments and in-jokes, like when Danny takes Jack to a video store to prove he's a fictional character played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the Terminator 2 standee they find depicts the T-800 played by Sylvester Stallone instead.  I also found Danny's action movie daydream version of Hamlet as played by Arnold pretty damn funny ("To be, or not to be....not to be," **Cue explosion**).  There are numerous cameos as well, like Robert Patrick as a T-1000, Sharon Stone as Catherine Trammel (from Basic Instinct), Danny Devito as an animated police cat, Ian McKellan as Death (from The Seventh Seal), and others.  LAH is full of little sight gags and Easter eggs.

Heh.....

Parents' Night In #34: Predator (1987) - Kelly's Live Reaction

Kelly has never seen Predator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers and Jesse Ventura, so we decided to record her live reaction to this 80s classic monster movie.  Wait till you hear her reaction to the Predator's hideous mandible-face.  It's Alien meets Rambo as Arnie and his team of elite soldiers face a terrifying beast from another world.  Join us for some fun as I subject Kelly to mandibles, scorpions, entrails, and Jim Hopper "skinned alive!"  And then when we're done, GET TO THE CHOPPA!!!

Please LIKE, SUBSCRIBE, and click the NOTIFICATION bell so you'll always know when new episodes are dropping!

Also check out this episode in podcast form at Spotify, Apple, and Google Podcasts!



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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Top Ten Things: Worst WWE Women's Champions

Welcome to another Top Ten Things, and another in our series examining some of wrestling's worst champions.  


Today I'm looking at the worst Women's Title runs in company history, which includes the original incarnation of the belt, the ill-concieved Divas Championship, and one entry for the current version.  The role of Women's wrestling in WWE has run the gamut over the years, from novelty act to eye candy to piss-break match to legitimate athletic attraction.  Over the past three years they've made some great strides in presenting the women as an important part of the show while excessively patting themselves on the back for their progressiveness in this area (In reality TNA and other promotions were literally years ahead of them).  But I'll take a little disproportionate self-congratulating if it means having a real women's division.  Now if Vince could just let Hunter take the creative reins on the main roster we'd really have something.  Look no further than the difference between Sasha-Bayley in NXT and Sasha-Bayley now.

Anywho, given the wildly divergent approaches WWE has taken with the division, there were bound to be some championship runs that were just plain stinkers.  Here are ten of them, in chronological order....




1. Velvet McIntyre (1986)


For the majority of the original title's existence it sat squarely around the waist of The Fabulous Moolah, who famously held it from 1956 until 1984 (minus several unrecognized title changes).  Moolah was a major draw for decades and when the WWF went national in the 80s her feud with Wendi Richter was a big part of the show (thanks in part to the involvement of pop star Cyndi Lauper).  After regaining the strap from Wendi via the original WWF Screwjob (Vince was a jerk even back then), Moolah dropped the title to up-and-coming babyface Velvet McIntyre at a house show in Australia.  And then won it back six days later, also at a house show in Australia.  Velvet of course never won the belt again.  Velvet's McEntire title run took place on one foreign continent.  See what I did there?






2. Rockin' Robin (1989)


So back to Moolah, she eventually dropped the title for keepsies to Sensational Sherri, which the company touted as a huge deal since she'd rarely been without it for thirty years.  Sherri was built up as a huge heel women's star (for the time anyway), and while not that prominently featured on WWF TV, she kept the title for 15 months before losing it to Rockin' Robin.  Robin however wasn't presented as terribly important beyond her initial win, getting only one major televised title defense at the 1989 Royal Rumble against Judy Martin, with whom she feuded for basically the remainder of the year.  Robin then left the company in early 1990, taking the belt with her, and the title was discontinued.  That's a pretty bad indictment of Robin's lack of importance as a champion when she's barely on television for most of her reign and the belt is simply swept under the carpet when she leaves.






3. Debra (1999)


The Women's Title went through two resurgences in the 90s - Alundra Blayze was the belt's custodian during the New Generation era (before also leaving with the belt and infamously throwing it in the trash on WCW Nitro), and then in late 1998 Sable became the division's new centerpiece.  Considering she was originally a valet, Sable picked up the in-ring game pretty quickly and became a very popular attraction before turning heel that spring.  But backstage she and Vince McMahon had gotten into a heated contractual dispute (allegedly she was asked to go topless and she later sued for sexual harrassment), and she'd fallen out of favor with the rest of the roster.  So in May of 1999 Sable was booked in an Evening Gown match against Debra McMichael, technically winning the bout when she tore Debra's gown off.  But Commissioner Shawn Michaels instead ruled that the woman who'd lost her gown was actually the winner, and thus non-wrestler Debra was now the Women's Champion.  How one can win a championship by literally LOSING a match is beyond me.  Debra dropped the belt to Ivory four weeks later and went back to being Jeff Jarrett's valet.  The whole thing made no sense and was a shoddy contingency plan for the Sable fiasco.


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Wrestling Do-Overs: The Invasion Angle, part 8 (No Mercy 2001)

Kurt Angle gets caught in the middle of the Steve Austin-Hollywood Hogan feud as we head toward No Mercy 2001....

To read this series from the beginning, click HERE



RAW after Unforgiven

RAW opens with Vince in the ring, mic in hand, Kurt Angle at his side.  He starts to say something about Kurt Angle being a fair and impartial referee at Unforgiven but is immediately interrupted by Austin's music.  Austin storms down to the ring and yanks the mic out of Vince's hand.  "Vince, I ain't in the mood for your crap, so piss off, I got nothin' to say to your stupid ass.  I'm here to deal with this lump of garbage you call a fair and impartial referee."  Vince exits the ring and watches from ringside.  Austin berates Angle for not keeping control of the match, Angle keeps saying "I was doing my job."  Austin says to Vince, "You know damn well I'm not through stompin' a mudhole in Hogan's ass, but I want a piece of your suck-up Kurt Angle too.  At No Mercy it's Hogan-Angle-Austin for the WWF Title.  Make the damn match, because Stone Cold said so!"  Vince hesitantly slides back in, Austin hands him the mic.  "Fine Steve.  At No Mercy it will indeed be Hogan vs. Angle vs. Austin, for the WWF Title.  You two resolve your issues however you need to, but above all, one of you needs to win back that championship!  I'll personally put up one million dollars to whichever of you defeats Hogan and brings the WWF Championship home."  Angle shakes Vince's hand, then Austin shakes it, only to lay him out with a kick/Stunner combo.  Angle takes a powder and Austin walks up the ramp as the show goes to break.


Later in the show Hogan (with Booker, Bischoff and others) cuts a promo about The Alliance's continued dominance.  "Booker T made good on his promise last night, jack!  He regained his WCW Title from that Hollywood Hack, The Rock!  And guess what, I'm still the wrestling god.  I'm still the WWF Champion, brother!  But I hafta give a shout-out to the one WWFer I kinda like, Christian, who was Johnny-on-the-spot in my match once he saw Crooked Kurt Angle's officiating.  He was having none of it, and he stuck his neck out to see justice done, man!  Ya know somethin' Uncle Eric?  Booker?  I think we should throw young Christian a bone and give him a match, tonight, for your US Championship!  Now that you're the six-time WCW Champion, how 'bout you give an up-and-coming superstar an opportunity at greatness?"  Bischoff smiles and Booker nods.  "Ya know, Hollywood, I can dig THAT, SUCKAAAA!"

In the main event Booker faces Christian for the US Title.  They lock up and exchange some basic wrestling holds, but then suddenly Christian does a feeble rollup and Booker exaggeratedly waves his legs to kick out but can't.  Christian wins the US Title.  Booker stands up as the referee awards Christian the belt, and they hug.  Bischoff from ringside throws Booker a T-shirt, and Booker unrolls it, revealing a WCW logo, and presents it to Christian, who proudly puts it on.  Christian is the newest Alliance member.  Backstage an enraged Edge trashes the locker room as RAW fades to black.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Top Ten Things: Worst WWF/E Tag Team Champions

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Things devoted to piss-poor championship title reigns!  As you may have guessed from my previous entries (HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE), I like complaining about crappy champions.  So thought I'd continue doing so.  Admit it, you're happy to read more of it.


Anyway, today I'm tackling the subject of weakest WWF/E Tag Team Championship reigns of all time.  The WWE Tag Championship dates back, in some form, to the company's 1963 inception (and even earlier; the WWWF United States Tag Titles were created in 1958).  After a couple different incarnations, the World Tag Team Championship as it was known for decades was created in 1971 and was first worn by Luke Graham and Tarzan Tyler (who captured the titles via a REAL tournament, as opposed to the imaginary ones Buddy Rogers and Pat Patterson won for their respective inaugural titles).  This version of the tag belts was around until 2010 when they were merged with the WWE Tag Team Titles (from Smackdown), and for some reason the current RAW Tag belts follow that newer lineage that began in 2002, while the current Smackdown Tag belts only date back to 2016.  I don't get it either.

Regardless, this particular set of belts has a rich, storied history, and just about every team that was anyone possessed them at one time or another.  For years the longevity record was held by Demolition, who had a stranglehold on the titles for 16 months.  Recently though The New Day eclipsed that record, but again the current set of belts is supposedly not the same as the old one.  I dunno.  Fuck it.

That's all irrelevant, I'm just here to talk about the shitty champions, so here we go, in chronological order.....



1. 1-2-3 Kid & Marty Janetty (1994)


As with the previous Worst Champions lists, there are some entries here that aren't intrinsically undeserving, but made the list due to the way their title run was booked.  Our first example is one such....example.  In January of 1994 this upstart team, fresh off winning their Survivor Series match two months earlier (outlasting fellow team members Razor Ramon and Randy Savage, plus opponents IRS, Diesel, Adam Bomb and Rick Martel) got a title shot against The Quebecers on Monday Night RAW and shocked everyone by winning the straps.  This was an exciting title change for rising underdog Sean Waltman and Shawn Michaels' former sidekick, and it seemed like the company had made a brand new star babyface tag team.  Aaaand then they dropped the belts back to The Quebecers at a house show one week later and were never heard from again as a team.  Pointless.





2. Men on a Mission (1994)


Another short-lived title run in between Quebecer stints took place over a two-day period in England, only two months after Kid & Marty's.  Mo and Mabel, the goofy but sorta dominant babyface tandem who took The Quebecers to the limit at WrestleMania X, finally got the job done at a house show two weeks after 'Mania.  What an accomplishment, and what a treat for the British fans--- oh wait, they lost the belts back 48 hours later.  And like Marty and Waltman, they'd never win them again.  Look, I wasn't the biggest MOM fan by any means, but what is the point of giving a team a championship for two days and never putting them anywhere near said championship again?  And what was with Jacques and Pierre temporarily losing the belts over and over?