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Thank You, Axl Rotten (And R.I.P.)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Showtime Allstar Wrestling – Episode 48

Courtesy of Larry Goodman:

Airing June 7, 2008 on ION Network affiliate WNPX 28 in Nashville

For a comprehensive 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.

Michael St. John and Reno Riggins were befuddled by the chaos on last week’s show. What with the arrest of Dream Team and SAW Champion Damian Adams dropped on his head by Kid Kash, they hardly knew where to begin. MSJ promised they would get to the bottom of both situations. Also coming up during this hour: Chrisjen Hayme vs. T. J. Harley and the debut of Cassidy Reilly, picked up “off the waiver wire” after his release by WWE.

Cut to MSJ with Kash in the interview area. Kash was wearing a black t-shirt with one word: HEEL> Kash was proud of dropping the champion on his head. He was in SAW to win the title and dominate, as he was about to demonstrate on the jibroni in the ring.

(1) Kid Kash beat Josh Crow in 3:10. Kash used a semi-sprawl to block Crow’s takedown attempts. Riggins told the fans to stay tuned because the SAW BOD was about to make changes to the “luck of the draw” to determine title challengers. Crow reversed a hammerlock. Kash went to the ropes. Kash cheated on a Roman knuckle lock and destroyed Crow with strikes. Crow’s comeback fell short of a near fall, before Kash dropped him on his head with the brainbuster.

Postmatch, a fan got in Kash’s face. Kash shoved the guy and then dragged towards the ring. A tug of war ensued with security, so Kash dragged the dude into the ring by his hair. Kash slammed the fan on his head. Damian made the save. They cut to a shot of Riggins trying to get to Kash. Security had to separate them.

NWA Top Rope presents their third anniversary show on June 14 in Lebanon at the Wilson County Fairgrounds: Adam Pearce vs. “Boogie Woogie Boy” Gary Valiant for the NWA World Heavyweight Title. Five title matches in all.

The NWA World Heavyweight Champion “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce was with his manger, C. Edward Vander Pyle. Vander Pyle wanted to know why Pearce was going to Lebanon to defend the title against Boogie. Pearce said he though he was going to Beirut. Vander Pyle admitted he had been to Lebanon and it was nasty. Pearce advised Vander Pyle to deny ever being there. Vander Pyle tried to dissuade Pearce by disrespecting Jimmy Valiant and the almighty state of Tennessee. Pearce told Vander Pyle to stay home and consult with Nick Bockwinkel about the problems he had in Tennessee. Pearce said he would go to Lebanon, pretend it was Beirut, and drop bombs on Boogie.

A fired up Damian was in the interview area with MSJ. Damian said he was tired of Kash acting like he owned the place. Damian said as champion, he was issuing a challenge to the challenger: any time, any place.

(2) Cassidy Riley beat C. M. Sigmon in 4:12.Riggins said the fan was taken to the hospital with neck injuries, and Commissioner Freddie Morton wasn’t going to let Kash get away with stuff like that. Riggins said SAW acted quickly to fly Riley in to Tennessee and sign him up when his WWE contract expired. MSJ brought up Riley’s work in the New Orleans relief effort after Katrina. Sigmon falsely complaints about hair pulling. Riley gave him something to complain about by smacking his face and twisting his arm like a pretzel. Sigmon used hair. Riley answered with an irate series of hair pull slams. The ref got on Riley’s case and Sigmon clubbed him from behind to briefly gain control. Riley’s trademark handspring back elbow was the beginning of the end, as Riley went on to score the pinfall with a DDT.

MSJ came to ringside to welcome Riley to SAW. Riley said it was privilege to be back in the Nashville area, and he was there to go for the gold. “Lace ‘em up boys, because Cassidy Riley is back in town.”

MSJ was in the ring flanked by SAW BOD members, Riggins and Mike Sircy to discuss the Dream Team’s arrest on aggravated assault charges during last week’s show. They went to a video clip of the incident, and were joined in the ring by Boogie Woogie Boy, Arrick Andrews and Miss Boogie. Boogie said when A Team does something to Dream Team, instead of whining and crying, they go straight back at them. Andrews said the promotion wanted people to stand up to A Team, and when the Dream Team finally did, they got hauled off to jail. Riggins said SAW had to protect their brand against lawbreakers, just like the NFL did with Pacman Jones. Paul Adams came out on the ramp to offer some assistance. He had a copy of the SAW wrestler’s contract. Paul said that section 3(b), paragraph 4, sentence 5 stated that a criminal record was grounds for termination. Riggins got pissed at Paul. He was very familiar with what the contract said, because he wrote it. Riggins said he had known Boogie for 20 years and this was one of the hardest things he ever had to do, but the BOD was declaring Boogie and Arrick’s contracts null and void. Cut to A Team on the ramp whooping it up with Paul. Sircy told Dream Team he had done everything he could do, but his hands were tied. Dream Team expressed disbelief that their reward for TCOB and finally getting one up on A Team was to get axed.

Not to sound like Donald Trump, but Boogie and Arrick, you’re fired…I’m sorry gentleman. You can seek employment elsewhere, but as of this moment you have no business in SAW.

Back from the break, MSJ and Riggins discussed the gut wrenching decision the BOD faced in having to fire Dream Team. They should footage of Dream Team’s emotional farewell to the SAW fans. The camera followed Dream Team through the Arena and out into the parking lot. Sircy embraced Andrews and apologized again.

A Team was backstage celebrating. They did another installment of Hammerjack’s obscene cell phone photos. This one had a man under a glass coffee table and woman on top of the table doing something unspeakable. Dillinger said he used date that girl. Paul declared that SAW was now a Boogie free zone. He said Dream Team should have been arrested for murder long ago for killing the ratings. In another running gag, Dillinger had a gallon jug of moonshine, but Paul wasn’t touching that stuff. Paul said they were going to get rid of Outlaw before the hour was over, then it was off to the Sizzler.

(3) T. J. Harley pinned Chrisjen Hayme in 3:39 with the Mindbender. Hayme bailed to avoid the Harley’s big kick to the face. Harley chased after him. Hayme tried to cut him off, but Harley outsmarted him and hit a slingshot elbow for near fall. But the match did a 180 when Harley ate a dropkick as he came off the middle rope. Harley hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a close near fall. Harley caught Hayme with a roll up and a backslide, then ducked an enzuigiri and hit the big kick to the face. Harley was frustrated when Hayme kicked out. Hayme countered Harley’s finisher with the enzuigiri, but nobody home for his springboard moonsault. Harley hit the Mindbender - a fisherman suplex dropped into a neckbreaker across the knee.

Harley was attacked by a barefoot fan out of the crowd. The “fan” stuck a stick in the ringpost, wrapped Harley’s arm around it, and snapped the stick against Harley’s arm. Harley was screaming in pain, as the fan barked like a dog. Reno said the guy just snapped T.J.’s arm. Harley came over the interview area favoring the arm bigtime. Harley said he knew that was Bruno Davis, the same guy that tried to break his leg in Canada, and he was going to break Davis in Tennessee.

(4) Ric Santel (with Paul Adams) pinned Indian Outlaw after a shot with ye olde Tennessee Chain (5:20). Reno said Outlaw had the size but Santel had the viciousness factor. It was a back and forth brawl. MSJ mentioned that referee Kurt Herron had just been named one of the top 10 refs in the world (?). Santel got Outlaw down on the mat and did a number on him. Riggins admitted Paul had outsmarted everyone with the way he rid SAW of Dream Team. MSJ asked Riggins to revisit that part of the contract. Outlaw escaped from Santel’s finisher. Outlaw’s chops turned Santel’s entire chest a rosy red. Outlaw put Santel on dream street with his sliding leg lariat. Outlaw then clotheslined Santel over the top. At this point, Paul slipped a chain to Santel and distracting the ref. Santel popped Outlaw with the chain. Cover. 1-2-3.

Drew Haskins came to ringside and told Herron about the chain. He was attacked by Hammerjack and Dillinger. While the TVA mauled Haskins, Santel set up his finisher on Outlaw. Before he could deliver, Lennox Lightfoot hit the ring. St. John went crazy. The fans popped huge. A Team bailed out looking petrified. There was a great close up of a bug-eyed Paul as the show went off the air.

Closing Thoughts: SAW is on a roll. For episodic pro wrestling as soap opera at the indie level, it doesn’t get much better than this week’s show. They presented two powerful, well-executed angles and capped off the hour with the surprise return of a top babyface. The deal with Kash attacking the fan was a shocker. The match gave every indication of being a standard opening match squash, and suddenly Kash is pulling this fan into the ring, who looked legit unwilling to be there. Reno and Kash getting into it was a nice touch. Kash knows how to bring out the hate. The angle also gave Damian an opportunity to redeem himself from his weak positioning in this feud thus far. He showed some much needed fire on the mic. The firing of Dream Team was terrific stuff. Reno, MSJ and Adams were all very good in their roles. It was the farewell segment, especially the piece that took place out in the parking lot that really drove it home. The key thing was they found a way to ice Dream Team and avoided doing another injury/beatdown angle, because God only knows, there have been plenty enough of those. I’m not sold on Tribal Nation as a top echelon babyface act, but the return of Lightfoot almost made a believer out of me. The crowd popped. St. John was amped and the most of all, the heels sold major fear. This show had comedy as well with another hilarious A Team vignette. Pearce’s promo was also funny stuff. It was so great to see a localized promo for the world title match. There was an awful lot of Reno on this show. A steady diet of Reno being this involved would overshadow the talent, but the situations called for it and he gave a strong performance. The only major drawback was the angle with Harley being attacked by a fan. Two fan-in-the-ring angles in one show is ridiculous and it wasn’t too long ago that they introduced Dillinger in a similar fashion. It was so unnecessary to refer to the mystery attacker as a fan because Harley said he knew the guy from Canada. The snapping noise was obviously the stick and not Harley’s arm. As for the wrestling, there’s not much to say about Kash’s match. It was the postmatch angle that made it memorable. The introduction of Riley was pretty generic stuff. Sigmon is tool talented to stay winless forever. You’ve got to love Reno’s “waiver wire” reference. Riggins and MSJ are wonderfully old school about “perception is reality” when it comes to the size and importance of SAW. Harley and Hayme had a really good match while it lasted. It is a wrestling show, after all, so why not occasionally give guys that can go more time? Santel/Outlaw was better than expected. There were a couple of badly missed spots, but they actually had a pretty decent brawl. Santel’s intensity was a plus. That must have been some kind of chain to put Outlaw out the way it did. Overall, one of my favorite episodes of SAW.