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Saturday, October 18, 2008

SAW TV Review - Episode 64 And 10/4 NWA Main Event TV Review

Courtesy of Larry Godman:

NWA Main Event
Airing October 4, 2008 in Nashville on ION
Taped September 30, 2008 at the Nashville Fairgrounds Sports Arena

Jason James and Tyler Clemens on commentary.


JIP. Some nice aerial moves by Lightning including a spot on standing leg lariat. Cane used the tights to send Lightning’s head into the middle turnbuckle. Cane grounded Lightning, then used a heelish, brawling style to stifle his comebacks. Cane went to snap mare Lightning out of a neck vise, and Lightning landed on his feet, sort of, and hit a running Rocker Dropper for the pin.

Cane attacked Lightning and left him laying with two piledrivers. The second one got messed up and Lightning took a nasty drop on his head with an accidental Gonzo Bomb. In any case, that move is OUTLAWED in NWA ME.

Winner: Lightning in 4:32 of TV time. They’re both really little guys, so it’s a great match up. Crisp action. Abrupt finish like they cut it short to avoid going over the time they were given. By the numbers booking to set up the rematch.

Cane promo. Said he was going to the top and Lightning was in his way. He invited Lightning to take a beating in Portland tonight.

2 – SHANK “The Freak” BARZINI (with “Solomon King” Walt Barzini) vs. BILLY HARDAWAY

On the first near fall by Hardaway, Solomon King was up on the apron to distract. Barzini kicked the ropes to crotch Hardaway and then gave him a vicious kick in the mouth. Hardaway rallied briefly but missed an ass busting top rope legdrop. Barzini go the pin with sweet looking Death Valley Driver.

Winner: Barzini in 3:47 with a DVD. I’m growing fond of the Freak. He’s a stiff mother. Hardaway came across as a generic jobber.

Solomon King - “The Freak is off the leash.” Barzini - “Because it’s time to get freaky.”

Lightning did a sorry promo for his match against Cane in Portland. He had a towel around his piledriven neck. Clemons was the interviewer, so you had two novices in front of the camera.

Quick promo re-introductory promo by “Mean” Mike Woods, “the man with eyes without a face.”

3 – SNAKE JONES (with Charming Charles & Little Booger) vs. CHRIS PHOENIX

Phoenix is a beefy, powerful looking guy. Clemons said he wasn’t some guy that worked in a gas station and wrestled on the weekends, this was an ex-Marine. Jones administered a sadistic beating with the some outside help from Charles. Jones was using these great karate thrusts to the throat right out of the 70s. Phoenix got his comeback, but Jones sat up from his bulldog. Jones put Phoenix out with Snake Eyes (cobra clutch). Phoenix fought it standing, so Jones added a bodyscissors and it was over. Charles knocked the ref down and pointed at the camera. Snake started to go after Booger when they pulled him off. Clemons said he almost got turned into snot. They got a cool close up of a severely psychopathic Jones in his Hannibal Lecter mask.

Winner: Jones via submission at 4:50 with Snake Eyes. This was the proper way to present a wild, unpredictable, crazy man type monster, who possesses limited wrestling skills.

Charles said Phoenix was an idiot to face Snake again tonight in Portland. He turned the reign over to Booger for tonight, because he had NWA business to tend to. Booger hung his head and the propeller on his beanie started to spin.

4 – Mid America Television Title Match: Champion SHANE SMALLS vs. STEVE-O

The announcers took a veiled shot at the competition stating that Main Event was the only Nashville wrestling show on a network station. Meanwhile, Smalls was being outwrestled and started pulling out all the usual heel tricks – lying to the ref about O’s tactics, going to the ropes, bailing out – before using a blatant eye rake to get the advantage. Smalls used a trio of leg drops and a springboard guillotine leg drop, with O kicking out of multiple pin attempts. Smalls went to the top, but O hit the ropes dropping Smalls on “the babymaker.” Smalls fought off O’s superplex attempt, but the ever tenacious O dumped Smalls off the top with a climbing overhead suplex, despite slipping off the ropes. Smalls bumped huge for O’s comeback. O nailed a dropkick right on the money for a near fall. O mounted the ropes for the “10 punches of doom.” Smalls delivered a low blow that Clemons called the one punch of doom. Smalls went for his finisher, and O countered it with a backslide to score the pinfall.

Winner: Steve-0 to become the new Mid America TV Champion in 7:40. Easily the best match on this show. I agree with TVD, although I haven’t seen as many of his matches- this was the best performance I’ve seen from Steve-0. No doubt some of the credit for that goes to Smalls. His bumping made O’s comeback look like a million bucks. They did a fine job of telling a story in the ring. Smalls got it across the feeling that he knew his time had come.

Promos by “Playboy” Scott Hayes and O for their match tonight in Portland vs. Jeff Daniels and his mystery partner.

An ad aired for Homecoming 2008, a Thanksgiving Day show NWA ME is doing at the Fairgrounds Sports Arena.

5 – Mid America Heavyweight Title Match: Champion ALI STEVENS vs. “The Crippler” JEFF DANIELS

The opening minutes were all about the power and strength advantage possessed by Stevens. At one point, Stevens busted out a Magistral Cradle, which was quite a feat for a 275 pounder. James foreshadowed the title change by saying lightning couldn’t strike twice in the same place.

The match took a 180 when Daniels stepped aside and a charging Stevens posted his right shoulder. Daniels ended up worked on both shoulders, as he switched to the traditional attack on the left side. Looked like a ring positioning problem on the double down - looked like it was supposed to be lariat instead of a collision spot. Stevens was making his comeback when Dominique showed up at ringside. Stevens had Daniels pinned with the Dogcatcher Splash, but Dominique put his foot over the ropes. As referee Jamie Ferrari tried to restore order, Dominique pulled a set of brass knucks out of her top and slid them into the ring to Daniels, who put Stevens lights out for the three count. The announce team went nuts putting over the title change.

Winner: Daniels at 9:50 with an assist from Dominique to win the NWA Mid America Heavyweight Championship. A decent enough match. They worked it in such a way as to pretty well disguise Stevens’ lack of mobility. I got a kick out of seeing referee Jamie argue with his real life mom.

Daniels (with Dominique) closed the show with a gloating “I told you so” promo.

Closing Thoughts: Is it me, or is there was a real disconnect between this episode and where things were when they went on hiatus from the Sports Arena for the road shows? “Boogie Woogie Boy” Gary Valiant’s whereabouts are unknown, at least in the wacky world of NWA Main Event. Lonestar, Tim Renesto and LT Falk were unaccounted for as well. Daniels is challenging for the title for unexplained reasons or maybe there isn’t a reason. It was like the powers that be decided to start from scratch with two title changes…I can’t say enough about how good the announcing was on this show. It went a long way to compensating for a tiny (50?) and not very excitable crowd. The chemistry between James and Clemons made this a very easy show to listen to. They got the story points across in an entertaining way, interjected some clever lines and never got on my nerves…I like the idea of pushing Freak based on the uniqueness of his character alone…It appears NWA ME is in bad need of babyface talent in the midcard. Woods only did a brief promo and didn’t look particularly good in the match that aired last week from Murfreesboro. Phoenix isn’t ready. Letting Lightning’s program with Cane run for a while would be ideal, because of the size issue…Booger reminds me of the Farron White character Farron Foxx did in Memphis back in the day, except he’s added the beanie…The announcers made two references to the guy their not allowed to mention (Marc Anthony)…They’ve upgraded the production to a two camera shoot. If anything, they could have used more shots from the handheld. The kept house lights down. It gave the shots more contrast but have produced a grainier image as well. They need to get a hold of the camera Mike Sircy used for the Murfreesboro show. The image was crystal clear and the color saturation was outstanding.

Showtime Allstar Wrestling
Airing October 4, 2008 in Nashville on Comcast 74
Taped September 5, 2008 in Millersville, Tn at the SAW Mill

Last Week at the SAW Mill… The building was empty with the exception of an ultra grim Paul Adams and Ric Santel, who had his back to the camera. Adams said some very valuable property was damaged and he wasn’t talking about his $150 shirt.

I throw $100 bills down and piss on ‘em just to see the look on Ben Franklin’s face.

Santel turns to the camera and he’s royally pissed off. The camera zooms in for a close up. Santel’s fractured cheekbone is a purple, swollen mess. Santel said Nikki Vaughn sucker punched him. It was inexcusable and Vaughn will pay dearly.

To the opening with Michael St. John and Reno Riggins. MSJ said he was glad to see the place had been cleaned up after last week. Cut to clips of the concession stand brawl involving liberal use of the condiments. As a result, Reno was wearing the official SAW T-shirt (available exclusively at sawonline.tv). Reno said the incident cost him $200 in dry cleaning. They recapped the other major events from last week. This week’s main: Arrick Andrews vs. Chris Michaels (with Fallon). Riggins suggests Michaels and Fallon have a match to settle their differences.

1 – TENNESSEE VIOLENCE AUTHORITY (Hammerjack & Matt Dillinger with Paul Adams) vs. JESSE EMERSON & DREW HASKINS

MSJ on solo commentary because Riggins was said to be working out the details of the final rematch between Kid Kash and Jerry Lynn. Emerson replied to Dillinger’s rudo tactics with a Japanese arm drag and a high dropkick. Tag to Haskins. Babyface double hiptoss for a one count only. Dillinger stomped Haskins foot and leveled him with a lariat. TVA totally abused Haskins, keeping a fresh man in the ring at all times. Dillinger provided the offensive highlights with a slingshot slice ‘n dice leg drop to the outside and a Michinoku Driver. When Hammerjack missed a middle rope legdrop, Haskins crawled toward his corner but never got the tag, as Dillinger creamed Emerson with a back elbow. Dillinger pinned Haskins after a guillotine legdrop/sidewalk slam combo.

WINNERS: TVA in 4:41. A dominant win to reestablish the TVA. Have I mentioned that Dillinger is a hell of a worker? Emerson was protected for reasons that would become clear.

The A-Team was at ringside with Hot Rod Biggs. Adams said he wanted to beat up that schoolboy Haskins in the worst way, but he didn’t have to dirty his hands, because he had the TVA do it for him. Dillinger said the A-Team would rule the world. Santel said he had an agenda in SAW (the title) and Vaughn wasn’t part of it.

Heed this warning: Vaughn, Ric Santel brought you in to professional wrestling, and if need be “Nature’s Greatest Miracle” will take him out.

Adams challenged Arrick Andrews to a match.

In high school, when I played linebacker, they called me The PAULverizer.

Next up was a promo by Raven sitting in a forklift. This was shot outdoors at night. Raven said he would make his SAW debut in two weeks. He liked the name SAW because it conjured up the image of a puppet on a tricycle. He said some mumbo jumbo to explain why. Raven said he came to SAW with a pedigree like no other. “I am a true hardcore legend.” Raven said he had held titles in all four companies, and soon he would hold the SAW title. “I may even saw a lady in half. Quote the Raven, nevermore.”

Cut to Biggs at ringside with Rachel Worthington, Chrisjen Hayme and Shawn Shultz (in his pajamas). Biggs started to ask Hayme about his match against TJ Harley. Referee Kurt Herron informed them that Harley had not been medically cleared to wrestle, so Commissioner Freddie Morton was sending out a replacement. Shultz said he was the fastest healer in pro wrestling and told Hayme to take the night off. Shultz stripped off the pajamas and was in full gear underneath.

2 – SHAWN SHULTZ (with Rachel Worthington & Chrisjen Hayme) vs. SHANE ANDREWS

With Shane in complete control of the match, MSJ said Shultz looked incredibly healthy but might be suffering from some ring rust. MSJ said Shane had a facial resemblance to Mini Me. Quite the compliment. Shane had answers for everything Shultz tried. A burst of offense had Shultz reeling. Shane slammed Shultz in the middle and went up top. While Worthington distracted Herron, Hayme grabbed Shanes’ leg. Shane punched Hayme, but the delay gave Shultz time to recover. Shane crashed and burned on a top rope splash, and Shultz moved in for the kill.

WINNER: Shultz at 5:35 with a DDT after interference by Hayme.

Sigmon brought a gas can and a lighter to ringside for his match.


Smooth chain wrestling to start. Sigmon scored a shoulder block knockdown and criss-crossed the ropes before eating a dropkick. The tide turned when Adkins crashed and burned on a twisting crossbody off the middle rope. Sigmon used a diving headbutt and a vertical suplex for a near fall. Adkins made his comeback. Dropkick for a near fall. Sigmon planted Adkins with a power slam and hit the top rope headbutt for the pin.

WINNER: Sigmon in 2:57 with the Colossal Camelback Headbutt. Crisp match. They’ve worked to together in East Tennessee and it showed.

Biggs interviewed Sigmon at ringside. Sigmon complained about MSJ bringing up his past (in a previous interview). He felt disrespected by the people and was moving back to a place he got the respect he deserved. Sigmon said the American flag didn’t mean anything any more. “But I’m going to show you a symbol that does.” Sigmon picked up the gas can and headed towards the American flag. Emerson confronted him. Sigmon threw the first punch. They traded punches with the fans chanting “USA.” Security intervened to separate them. MSJ said Emerson had made a lot of fans.

Just like last week, as Michaels and Fallon were getting ready to go through the curtain, Michaels placed a set of brass knucks in Fallon’s sling. He told her she only had to do one thing - hold them until he called for them. “All right, me first,” said Michaels, as he disappeared through the curtain. Chase Stevens appeared. “I love it when he says me first. Stevens fished the knucks out Fallon’s sling. “Don’t worry about him, “said Stevens.


Michaels and Fallon were having visible problems. Very deliberate start. They played to the crowd, which was behind Andrews huge. MSJ announced the match had been signed for next week: Kid Kash vs. Jerry Lynn in a 30 minute Ironman Match. Cool. At 2:30, Michaels cheated on the break and went on the attack. Andrews on fire - backdrop-dropkick-lariat over the top. Michaels bumped to the concrete floor selling bigtime. [Commercial break] Andrews in control with side headlock. MSJ said Stangler Lewis had caused men to submit with the hold. Andrews ate a face full, and Michaels posted his shoulder. Andrews fell to the floor, but Fallon defied Michaels order to kick him. Michaels came out and choked Andrews with a t-shirt. Michaels had a stompfest on Andrews’ knee. MSJ brought up Mongolian Stomper. Flying kneedrop to the chest for two. Michaesl jackhammered Andrews’ jaw with short rights. [Commercial break II] They exchanged haymakers. Michaels was the first to go down. Andrews hit the floatover bulldog (called a roll over DDT by MSJ). The ref’s count reached five. Cover and Michaels rolled a shoulder at 2 and ½. Michaels then kicked out of a top rope flying bodypress. Michaels looked out on his feet, but caught Andrews with a spinebuster for a close near fall. Andrews ducked a superkick and whiffed on the Dragon’s Curse. Michaels hit a sloppy looking powerdrive suplex for a near fall. Michaels called for the knucks. Fallon couldn’t produce. Andrews hit the Dragon’s Curse for the 1-2-3.

WINNER: Andrews in 11:10. Inserting two commercial breaks made this match last an eternity. Match itself was OK. They both had better matches of late than this, but the sustained heat was impressive. Fallon was more involved and they did get a close up. I still have hope for her. It isn’t every day that you hear Strangler Lewis, Mongolian Stomper and The Crusher mentioned in the same match.

Biggs informed Andrews that Adams had issued a challenge. Andrews gladly accepted.

Biggs introduced Lynn to a rousing ovation. Lynn said Kash reminded him of today’s fancy superstar athletes, always wanting to call their shots. Kash marched down the ramp. Lynn greeted Kash with a fist in the face and tossed him in the ring. Lynn wrapped Kash up with La Magistral Cradle and made his own three count. MSJ said he had a feeling that’s what was happening on SAW next week.

Closing Thoughts: That awesome opening, a tantalizing ending, another top notch performance from Shultz – that’s enough to get a thumbs up from me anytime. And a hot crowd. Whatever they’ve done to keep the fans at the SAW Mill fired up during these last two episodes, they need to keep doing it. They seized on the opportunity with that opening segment. It always helps when elements of reality can be incorporated into the storyline. Santel and Adams were both incredibly good. There got across a depth of emotion not often seen in pro wrestling promos these days. The closing did a great job of setting the stage for next week. Nothing fancy, short and too the point – the overbearing asshole of a champion with his shoulders pinned to the mat by the gritty babyface challenger. Shultz was terrific, as he’s been in all of the recent segments. More than ever, it felt like he was channeling the great Eddie Gilbert…Is there any cheaper, easier way to get heat than threatening to burn the flag? They picked the right guy for the babyface spot. Emerson had the All-American look and the athleticism. Personality development is the question mark…Biggs really shines in the role of ringside interviewer, and brings a heavy dose of local flavor to the show…The Raven promo was OK –atmospheric form but minimal substance – it felt like a retread…What’s up with Fallons arm? It’s been in that flimsy sling for weeks and she’s still in pain. If it won’t heal up, she need to put that sucker in a cast, or is Michaels evil enough to deprive her of medical care?…This episode did have its negative points. The second half dragged until picking up dramatically with the closing segment. It always feels like something is missing without live commentary, as was the case because MSJ couldn’t make this taping. Reno’s presence on color was sorely missed. They had some technical issues at this taping. The audio on the A-Team promo was downright strange.