Featured Post

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

Monday, September 22, 2008

Showtime Allstar Wrestling TV Review - Episode 60

Courtesy of Larry Goodman:

Airing September 6, 2008 in Nashville on Comcast 74
Taped August 9, 2008 in Millersville, Tn at the SAW Mill

Michael St. John opened the show with an apology for Marc Anthony's appalling invasion of the SAW Mill last week. MSJ said Anthony endangered everyone in the building including himself and his broadcast partner Reno Riggins, who suffered a beatdown in the process. We saw footage of Anthony laying waste to everyone in sight. Riggins shouldered partial blame. Reno explained that for weeks, Anthony’s agent had been purchasing time during the show for those vignettes and he should have stepped in sooner. MSJ said comments from Commissioner Freddie Morton would be forthcoming later in the hour. Despite his personal feelings, Riggins said he appreciated Anthony’s intensity and an agreement had been reached with Anthony’s agent to put him under contract to SAW.

The opening montage rolled…

Kid Kash and Jerry Lynn are in the ring with fans chanting “Jer-E, Jer-E”

1 – SAW International Championship Match: Champion KID KASH vs. JERRY LYNN – 1 Fall with a 60 minute time limit

We’re off and running and so is Kash. Just like their first meeting, Kash went into stall mode to get under Lynn’s skin. Unlike their first match, Lynn only let it go for a couple of minutes before jumping Kash at ringside as he was jawing at Reno. Kash tried to cut Lynn off on the reentry, but Lynn stormed back with a brisk offensive flurry. Lynn got two with a sideslam. Kash bailed again. Kash avoided Lynn’s baseball slide to the floor, but Lynn beat him to the punch and pummeled him. Kash used a knee to the gut. Lynn answered by slamming Kash’s head into the apron. Back inside, Kash dropped to his knees and called a time out. Lynn wouldn’t give him one, so Kash raked his eyes. Riggins said a vet of Lynn’ stature was not intimidated by Kash’s tactics. Lynn caught Kash with his trademark up and over sunset flip.

[Commercial break- the first of many ads aired for Raven’s appearances at the SAW Mill on September 19 and 20]

Kash tried an up & over, but Lynn stopped short and rolled Kash up. Kash slid out to the floor. Riggins noted Lynn’s mounting frustration. Kash heaved chairs into the ring and complained about Lynn’s cheating. Lynn brought Kash back in the hard way. Kash tried to go for the ropes, but Lynn had a vice grip on an armbar. Lynn used old fashioned kneedrops to the arm for a two count. Kash went to the eyes, then used headbutts to the stomach. Kash did a major number on Lynn’s right eye- biting, gouging, grinding. Lynn ducked Kash’s corner moonsault, but Kash then ducked Lynn’s ropes-mounted twisting crossbody. Kash raked Lynn’s eye along the top rope, then raked Lynn’s chest and back with his fingernails. Kash hit a backbreaker and used a lazy two hand cover. The crowd got behind Lynn. MSJ questioned if Lynn could see out his swollen eye. Lynn fired back with punches. Kash whipped Lynn into the corner, but Lynn avoided Kash’s mad charge and got two with an inside cradle. Lynn bashed Kash’s head into the turnbuckles and played turnabout with an eye rake along the top rope. Lynn hit a DDT, but Kash got a foot over the ropes at two. Kash grabbed the top rope to block Lynn’s TKO finisher. Ref Kurt Herron got trapped in the corner and shielded his eyes, so as not to Kash mule kicking Lynn in the groin. Kash set up for the banned piledriver. Herron warned Kash to stop. Fat chance. Kash delivered the move for an automatic DQ.

WINNER: Lynn via DQ in 11 minutes. This match had more action than their first meeting, but I thought the quality of action was better in that one. The finish was fine for the purpose of the story they’re telling. I love Kash’s by-any-means-necessary mindset about retaining the title. His tactics have been lower than pond scum in this feud.

While an inset showed footage from last week of Anthony leaving carnage in his wake, Commissioner Morton said Anthony was a madman who had been banned by 11 athletic commissions. Be that as it may, Morton said Anthony had obtained legal counsel to ensure his right to compete in SAW. Morton said he attempted to communicate directly with Anthony via telephone, but after about 30 seconds, Anthony said Uncle Ronnie P. was beeping in (That line was priceless.) Morton said he received the following DVD from Anthony.

Cut to black and white footage shot of Anthony kneeling in the Nashville National Cemetery. It’s night time. In the background, a field of headstones is illuminated by white light. The music is “White Rabbit.”

They say I’m a troublemaker, Uncle Ronnie. They say I’m a little crazy. They say I take it too far. But I say to them, and to you, Uncle Ronnie, they have no idea what taking it too far is. They have no idea what trouble is. My brothers and sisters, lying across this valley, would not rest in peace, if they did not know I was out here causing trouble for what they gave their lives for.

Anthony rose to his feet and removed his helmet.

And cause problems I will. I’m by far finished, Uncle Ronnie. We’re by far done. Everybody at that stinkin’ Saw Mill. (giggles quietly to himself) Get ready! Because another bomb is gonna get dropped. Another soul is gonna get taken. Another body is gonna get maimed real soon.

Anthony barked at the full moon. Fade to black.

“Folks, after seeing that, you’re probably thinking what I’m thinking; that Marc Anthony is way out there,” Morton said Anthony was being represented by M3M L.L.C., and had signed an open contract with his debut match to come on next week’s show.

MSJ interviewed Rachel Worthington with that snidely Chrisjen Hayme by her side. Worthington said Shawn Shultz was still at home having panic attacks. She said the battle with TJ Harley was hers, and she could always find a man to take care of a problem.

2 – TJ HARLEY vs. CHRISJEN HAYME (with Rachel Worthington)

Hot start. Reno explained that Harley was out for revenge after Hayme clocked him with Worthington’s purse last week to cost him a match. Harley hit a Thesz Press and more pummeling ensued. Hayme scrambled out of the ring. [Commercial break] Hayme was doing a lot of finger pointing, and using Worthington as a shield. It reminded me of McCain and Palin. Hayme briefly halted Harley’s attack with a chickenshit eye gouge. Harley roared back with crossface forearms and tossed Hayme back inside, but he allowed Worthington to divert his attention. Hayme drilled Harley with a dropkick through the ropes. Hayme launched a wonderfully incensed and totally heelish attack on Harley. MSJ said Shultz was under psychiatric care. Riggins said Shultz was not only having to maintain Rachel, he had the demands of Worthington’s father to deal with as well. They agreed that Worthington could cause a whole roster full of basket cases if she put her mind to it. Huge comeback chops by Harley. Really lit him up before being cut down by Hayme’s lefty lariat. St. John said Worthington had Hayme thinking he hit the jackpot in his search for the perfect 10. MSJ described her as savvy, classy and conniving. Reno said she had been educated in the finest public (surely he meant private) schools. He subscribed to the theory that Ms. Worthington was a woman scorned. Hayme went up top, but Harley cut him off and slammed him ala Flair. Harley with a high knee. Hayme hit a scary looking release vertical suplex, but Harley kicked out. Worthington passed her purse to Harley and distracted the ref. Hayme swung and missed with the purse. Harley hit his flying forearm for the phantom pin. Harley paused to have words with Worthington. With Jess Fields still distracted, Hayme gathered up the purse and clocked Harley for the 1-2-3.

I don’t know if there’s a gold bar in that purse, or it’s the weight of that platinum card, but it gets the job done.

WINNER: Hayme at 6:12. Good match - solid in ring action combined with entertaining commentary that got the story over. St. John and Riggins were at their best. Hayme is growing on me as a heel. I like him better when he doesn’t talk. Ref Jess Fields turned around at the wrong time on the finish. He must be blind not to have seen Worthington’s purse.

You don’t attack a goat from the front, a mule from the back, or a madman from any side, and what you’re looking at, Arrick Andrews, is a madman, “The Madman from Dixieland.”

Paul Adams opened his promo with those pearls of wisdom regarding Matt Dillinger. Adams said he wasn’t too comfortable hanging around Dillinger himself. Adams brought up the incident at the Shoney’s buffet. Dillinger was a raving lunatic. He aimed his pool cue at the camera.

I’m fixing to play a game of nine ball, and Arrick Andrews, your head is going to be my corner pocket, baby.

Adams kept going to his towel to wipe Dillinger’s spit off his face. He said he was willing to forget about all the incidents because Dillinger always got the job done.

Shop Talk with Hot Rod Biggs and his special guest, Arrick Andrews. This was taped outdoors along the Tennessee River with LP Field in the background. Biggs asked Andrews about facing Dillinger in today’s main event. Andrews said Adams was a genius, who always had a trick up his sleeve. “A very devious individual,” said Biggs. Andrews said he had a plan of his own. Biggs ran down the laundry list of problems Adams had caused for Andrews in SAW. He asked if they had a past. Andrews was basically clueless about what made Adams such an ass. He speculated childhood problems. Biggs asked about the moment Andrews’ chose to make his return. Andrews said his goal was giving the A-Team a taste of their own by medicine, costing them their most valued possession, the tag team gold. Biggs asked about the firing and all that Andrews went through to get reinstated. Andrews alluded to the financial hardship. But he had no complaints because a lot of people have it rough these days. Andrews said hiring an attorney was a new experience. He said it took appeal after appeal, but the results were priceless. Biggs asked Andrews if he was still in touch with “Boogie Woogie Boy” Gary Valiant and Miss Boogie. Andrews said they were still good friends. He said Boogie did what was right for him. The only right thing for Andrews was going back to SAW. Andrews said his future was bright in spite of the odds imposed by A-Team. He said Adams was yet to realize he had a never say die attitude, and a heart that would never give up.

3 – MATT DILLINGER (with Paul Adams) vs. ARRICK “The Dragon” ANDREWS

MSJ’s mind-boggling 70’s reference of the week was comparing Andrews to Mad Dog Vachon. Riggins at least got in the ballpark, with a Shawn Michaels comparison. They put Andrews over huge as a pure babyface. Andrews showed surprise at Dillinger’s wrestling ability. But a dropkick by Andrews sent Dillinger into the safety of Adams’ arms. [Commercial break] Dillinger brawled his way into control. Andrews answered with a great series of punches, and Dillinger ran to daddy. Cut to close up of Dillinger tightening the knot on his dorag. Dillinger seized the advantage with a hotshot when Andrews ventured too close to the ropes. Reno made equated Dillinger’s stalling to using the guard in MMA. Wow. Dillinger hit a swinging neckbreaker, and Andrews scooted out at two. A second near fall with a snap suplex. Andrews sold his back. Dillinger cut off Andrews’ first rally and throttled him on the mat. Dillinger smacked Andrews in the head. Andrews got pissed and fired back with more great punches. Adams drew the ref’s attention away from Andrews’ sunset flip. Andrews then hit a tornado DDT. Herron’s count reached seven with Dillinger the first to rise. They exchanges blows. Andrews went down like a ton of bricks after a stiff shot to the jaw. Dillinger covered but Andrews kicked out. MSJ noted time was running down. Andrews made a full-fledged comeback. Nice flying lariat. Dillinger got knocked into Herron resulting in a shaky looking ref bump. Andrews hit a spinning heel kick. As Herron came to his senses, Adams secured Dillinger’s hand around the bottom rope. Andrews charged and ate one of Dillinger’s nasty bare feet. Dillinger hopped up on to the middle rope and hit a flying lariat. The crowd popped when Andrews kicked out. Dillinger was in shock. Moments later, Andrews smoked Dillinger with a “sidecar” double underhook DDT. Adams jumped in and clubbed Arrick for the DQ.

Postmatch: Dillinger grabbed Adams by the tie. “Nature’s Greatest Miracle” Ric Santel came up from behind. Andrews wheeled and drilled Santel with haymakers. Santel bumped like crazy, then ran away from Andrews kill move, the Dragon’s Curse.

WINNER: Andrews via DQ in 12 minutes. Strong workrate match. Props to SAW for matching up their two hottest wrestlers in the main event, and giving them ample time. Except for the ref bump, this was a very good match. Have I been asleep, or has Andrew suddenly begun to throw really great looking punches? Andrews could not have been booked any stronger. What a concept: a babyface that outsmarts and outfights the heels.

They abruptly cut to ringside with MSJ interviewing Andrews. The audio was altered in a bizarre manner. Sweeter it was not. Andrews challenged any member of A-Team to a match next week.

Closing Thoughts: The bar has been raised on the quality of the wrestling here of late. All competitive matches with plenty of action, and all of them given adequate time…No filler on this show. Every minute was devoted to one of the major storylines….I liked Reno’s explanation for why the announcer’s never acknowledged Anthony’s vignettes before his arrival last week. Andrews got one hell of a push in this episode. The match was more effective than the Shop Talk segment. Andrews was too mellow and meandering in that interview, but it did address some lingering questions. The mention of Boogie was especially surprising since he’s currently employed by NWA Main Event. Winds of change, perhaps?...The other talking segments worked better. Worthington has been a pleasant surprise. Adams and Dillinger were awesome as usual. I loved Adams showing fear of Dillinger’s edginess to get him over as an absolute wild man, and just when I thought Anthony and the creative team at SAW couldn’t possibly do a better vignette, they topped themselves...The reffing continues be to one of SAW’s two major weaknesses. Crowd heat being the other one. The refs looked bad in key spots in all three matches…Hot Rod rules. SAW need a man of the people like Biggs in the role of ring announcer/interviewer…By way of the TVD rating system, this show gets a thumbs up.