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Saturday, June 28, 2008

6/14 NWA Main Event TV Review

Courtesy of Larry Goodman:

Airing June 14, 2008 on Nashville’s ION affiliate WNPX 28
Taped June 10, 2008 at the Nashville State Fairgrounds Sports Arena

For an always entertaining review of Nashville’s weekly wrestling TV shows, SAW and NWA Main Event, check out Jerkin’ the Curtain radio with Trent Van Drisse and Tommy Stewart.

The show opened with a man in a Patriot mask sawing a log. There was a dilapidated shack in the background. “This saw just can’t cut it,” he said. Cut to a shot of the mask, gloves and an “NWA Tradition” t-shirt lying on the window sill.

The NWA Main Event broadcast team Jason James and Tyler Clemens informed us that the masked man was El Jackador.

(1) Shank “The Freak” Barzini beat. J. T. Lightning. Two guys in from Coliseum Championship Wrestling. If your thinking Shank Barzini would be a Mafioso type dude, you would be wrong, as Barzini is a gothic tatted up guy, who looks likes Azrael (NWA Anarchy) with a Mohawk. Mostly Barzini killing his undersized opponent with power moves. At one point, Lightning damn near landed on his head taking a powerslam. At another, Barzini potatoed Lightning to where he was too loopy to kicked out. Barzini let up on the pin and ref Jerry Ryman stopped his count. Barzini went up top high risk with a moonsault. No reward. Lightning made the big comeback. Finish saw Lightning come up short on a twisting high crossbody off the middle rope. Barzini managed to catch him and roll through for a pin that the camera missed.

The first of several ads ran for the Slam Jam 2008 on June 21. They’ve added Marc Anthony vs. Ali Stevens for the NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Title along with the Nick Gulas Memorial Battle Royal. The June 17 card features a contract signing for that match along with L.T. Falk vs. Eric Wayne and Andy Douglas vs. Payne.

(2) Steven Green pinned Damien Payne (with K-9 Kohl) in 7:20. An impromptu match ordered by NWA authority Jeff Daniels to punish Payne for putting the figure four on Green after their match last week. They were putting over Green’s flying, as he was on fire early using a huracanrana and a half-assed Stinger splash to score near falls. Kohl distracted the ref so Payne could use a low blow on Green. Clemens said with the Naturals broken up, Payne and Kohl were the best tag team in the company. Typical heel tactics by Payne. He applied a sleeper. Green refused to go to beddy-bye and broke it with a jawbreaker. Nice dropkick by Green for a near fall. Payne raked the eyes and took his sweet time setting up the figure four. Green reversed it with an inside cradle for the pin.

(3) Steve-O beat “Juicy” J. C. Crow. JIP with Clemens talking about this amazing headstand popout move by O that we did not see. Crow took advantage of O’s aggressive nature with a hotshot variation to take over. Crow either has short arms or a long torso. In any case, a weird looking body with a Dennis Condrey looking head on top of it. Crow launced a relentless assault on the arm with a cross armbreaker, a Fujiwara armbar, a Crippler Crossface and single arm DDT. O hit the the most overused double down move in indie wrestling - the enzuigiri. O was running wild until Crow gouged the eyes. Crow went for a leaping corner splash. O was long gone and Crow ate the turnbuckle. O nailed Crow with a superkick to score the pinfall.

Steve-O cut a promo for his match against Slacker J next Tuesday. Problem being that the advertised card listed Barzini as O’s opponent.

We saw Marc Anthony and Charming Charles somewhere in the bowels of the Fairgrounds Arena. Anthony was still wearing the World War II helmet with the inscription “Ronnie P. Gossett,” but this time, he had a toilet seat around his neck and a can of Alpo in his hand. Anthony said they didn’t listen to Ronnie P., because they weren’t ready for “Atomic Dogg” Ali Stevens, who had come to take Charles’ belt. “Not my belt,” said Charles. Anthony said to beat Stevens, you had to walk in his shoes. Anthony gobbled up some of the dog food and poured the remainder on top of his head. The dog food produced a disgusting, brown residue that ran down Anthony’s face onto the toilet seat. Need I say more. Charles again said Anthony was crazier than an outhouse rat and got the hell away from him.

(4) Andy Douglas & L. T. Falk pinned Shane Smalls & Damien Payne in 12:02. Falk worked most of the way for the face side. Once again, he used a ton of arm drags with flippy lucha flourishes. Falk took the heat with another long segment working the arm and lots of shenanigans behind the back of ref Jamie Ferrari. Falk hit a swinging neckbreaker and hot-tagged Douglas. His house cleaning looked terrific. Douglas hit a flatliner on Smalls and Payne made the save. The heels did a stellar collision spot. It was breaking down, and after being Mr. Law and Order last week, Ferrari had clearly gone soft. Douglas kicked out a double flapjack. Falk kicked out of a double team gutbuster. Smalls and Payne locked arms to block a double sunset flip. Ferrari kicked them apart and made the three count.

An Adam Pearce promo aired for his NWA World Heavyweight Title defense against “Boogie Woogie Boy” Gary Valiant on the June 14 NWA Top Rope show. Pearce managed to disrespect Boogie, the state of Tennessee, Jimmy, and even Big Mama all in the same promo. Sweet.

Falk cut a backstage promo for a match against Barzini next Tuesday instead of his advertised opponent, Eric Wayne.

Smalls cut a promo on J. T. Lightning, raising the production department’s batting average to .333 on promo/match combos. Smalls said he would blow through anybody to get his NWA Mid-America X Division Title back from Falk.

Ali Stevens vs. Marc Anthony (with Charming Charles) was presumably a no contest. Anthony was hiding near the babyface dressing room and attacked Stevens from behind. Anthony was wearing streetfight gear. He was dragging Stevens around by his own chain. There was this awesome spot where Stevens split a table over Anthony’s head. They brawled on the far side of the arena and up into the bleachers. The other wrestlers came out in an attempt to pull them apart. Daniels and promoter Mike Porter were out there. Off camera, Anthony knocked Daniels down. Stevens did a dive off the bleachers. Clemens called it a 10 foot drop. That’s wrestling measurement, so in actuality it was more like 6 feet. Quite a melee.

Assistant Commissioner Gordon and Daniels were backstage. Gordon said George Gulas was going to The Board to get a decision before Tuesday night. Daniels cut a wrestler style promo guaranteeing a contract signing Tuesday night for a match with a stipulation where somebody was going to be get hurt.

A Stevens promo closed the show. Steven admitted he had to have some screws loose to walk around with a 15 foot chain barking like a dog, but Anthony was stupid crazy because he didn’t get the job done.

There are two things you cannot do. You do not fight a man’s women in her kitchen, and you don’t come in a dog’s back yard, cuz you’re gonna get bit, punk.

Closing Thoughts: You could have skipped the first 30 minutes of this show and missed very little of consequence. How hard could it be to either edit the promos out or do a new ad? The second half saved it with two memorable segments, the Anthony vignette and the promo by Daniels. The only good match was the tag bout. Barzini/Lightning and O/Crow were OK matches with lousy finishes. It never ceases to amaze me the way guys will put together a match with all kinds of moves and not take care to hit the most important one- the finish. There wasn’t anything offensive about Green vs. Payne. But nothing especially good either. Green reminds me of Slim J (NWA Anarchy) at an early stage of development. Green should delete the Stinger splash from his repetoire - it's not a move most little guys look good doing. Payne makes me think of 80s wrestler Doug Sommers. The announcers fawn over Steve O like he’s a top level babyface. Based on the last two weeks, I don’t get what they see in him, although his match this week was a big improvement. Airing promos for matches that aren’t happening does not speak well for Main Event’s quality control. Neither did the camera work on this show, as they missed two finishes. Today’s fans have seen so much, it’s tough for anything to generate a visceral response, but the Anthony vignette did it for me. There’s a bizarre and twisted form of genius at work here – a truly memorable segment. I enjoyed Pearce’s promo. As far as TV helping to draw crowds, Mike Sircy’s biggest card of the year featuring the NWA World Title match had the benefit of ads on both SAW and Main Event and drew no better than they did the month before. The tag match had a very good finishing sequence. Falk worked his ass off again. There were points in last week’s match where Falk appeared to be reach beyond the limits of his athletic ability, but not a problem this week. The Stevens/Anthony brawl was not as effective as the clips of their brawl from the previous week. The action was fine, but the segment cried out for a second camera or a better angle or anything to get close to the action. I loved Daniels promo. The guy could always talk. The crucial thing was his personal guarantee of a violent stipulation match for the big show. This was the poor compared to the previous two weeks of Main Event.