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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Showtime All-Star Wrestling TV Review - Episode 74

Courtesy of Larry Goodman:

Showtime All-star Wrestling – Episode 74
Airing on January 3, 2008 in Nashville on Comcast 74
Taped on December 12, 2008 at the SAW Mill in Millersville, Tn

Opening with the footage of a traumatized Miss Boogie shot in the utility closet of the SAW Mill. She was painted up to look like Raven.

The SAW announce team of Graham and Reno Riggins reviewed the highlights of last week’s show. They said that was the state they found Miss Boogie in after prying the utility closet open with a crowbar. Footage of Sigmon’s fireball to the face of Jesse Emerson aired. Graham said Emerson suffered second degree burns, while Sigmon had been heavily fined. Also, we saw the debuting Jon Michael attack TJ Harley and leave him laying with the Brentwood Breaker.

This week’s main event: Chase Stevens challenging Kid Kash for the SAW International Championship.

New graphics for this opening this week set to the music from Georgia Championship Wrestling on TBS.

1 – “The Middle-Eastern Mastermind” SIGMON vs. MAKIL LONG

Reno said Sigmon was willing to take a loss in order to inflict severe damage to Emerson. Back and forth action with Sigmon taking advantage on the breaks. Long got near falls with a tornado kick and a spinning back elbow. Sigmon cut him off with a dropkick and went right up top for the swandive headbutt and the three count.

Winner: Sigmon in 2:05. Crisp work. About as good as it could be within the time constraints.

Natalie Van Eron asked Sigmon to explain his shocking actions last week. Sigmon said he sent Emerson a message. He said the people had a misconception about who he was and where he came from, and that’s why he was going to heat things up.

Van Eron was with SAW Commissioner Freddie G. Morton for a special announcement. Morton said SAW had joined forces with the PGWA to present women’s wrestling on SAW TV. The PGWA Champion Tracy Taylor would also be recognized as the SAW Women’s Champion and make a title defense on next week’s show against Sumie Sakai.

They inring debut of Jon Michael was preceded by the Reno’s revelation that he was Ms. Worthington’s younger brother. Riggins said a member of the SAW legal team ran Michael’s social security number and found out his true name.

2 – “The Trendsetter” JON MICHAEL (Worthington) vs. DREW HASKINS

Graham said Harley suffered a stinger as a result of the assault by Michaels and would be out for at least one month. Reno said Rachel and her daddy were bringing in big brother to take care of business. Haskins tried to quickness and guile against the much larger (6-3, 245) Michaels, but fell victim to a succession of power moves. Haskins collapsed after absorbing a Stinger splash. Reno said Michaels had been “fed with the silver spoon” – a line he credited to Tony Falk. Michaels tried a second Stinger splash, but Haskins got a boot up to start his comeback – a pair of a dropkick and a flying body press for a near fall- before Michael finished him with the Brentwood Breaker (Jackhammer).

Winner: Michael in 4:13 with the Brentwood Breaker. Michael has big league size and impressive power moves. He’s not what you would call light on his feet though. Haskins’ selling was on point as usual. His offense not so much.

3- ‘Livewire” NIKKI VAUGHN vs. TATSU

Vaughn with electric red hair. Tatsu looking especially skinny this time around. The announce team focused on the A-Team’s issue with Vaughn, specifically the disfigurement of Rick Santel’s face. Vaughn overshot a Stinger splash, followed with a spinning back elbow and finished with a carbon copy of the Twist of Fate (the Short Circuit).

Winner: Vaughn in 1:37 with the Short Circuit. This was Vaughn’s shot at redemption. Marginally successful at best. Some unfortunate choices of offensive maneuvers, as we saw far better versions of a corner splash and a spinning back elbow in the earlier bouts.

Vaughn was interviewed by Von Eron. Vaughn said he had been off for a couple of years before coming back to face Matt Dillinger and considered it a lucky win. Vaughn said he was out of shape, so he took 6 weeks off to get back in the gym and work on his timing. Arrick Andrews apologized for interrupting. Andrews said he had Tribal Nation on his side for the cage match against A Team next week. He asked Vaughn to be his third partner. Mr. Modest and Humble suddenly reverted to his mega-amped electrified persona. “Yay-a! I can’t wait to get my hands on the A Team. WHOO! HOO! HOO! HOO!”

Chase Stevens profile. Stevens said he started out as a professional boxer then did a couple of MMA fights. He ran into Dan Severn, who advised him to become a pro wrestler. Stevens listed his pro wrestling trainers as Mike Samples, Tracy Smothers, Kurt Hennig, Terry Taylor, Ricky Steamboat, Tom Prichard, William Regal, Fit Finlay, and Arn Anderson. And with his look, this guy doesn’t have a WWE contract? On his split with Andy Douglas, Stevens said Douglas had some personal problems that led to them going their separate ways. Stevens went on to talk about High Society and the alleged physical abuse of Fallon, and how they (and the man in black) tried to take out his leg. Stevens said he was 75-80% healed and would make a name for himself as a singles wrestler, if he couldn’t hang onto a tag team partner. Stevens called his first match against Kash the biggest match of his life. He called Kash a coward, and said SAW didn’t need a champion like that. Stevens said he was ready for anything Kash could throw at him.

4 – SAW International Title Match: Champion KID KASH vs. CHASE STEVENS

Kash out to the ring wearing a TOK A BOWL t-shirt. Lot of the usual fan baiting tactics from Kash. Graham said that was the way Kash got himself in the zone for his matches. The announce team was looking for Kash to attack Stevens’ injured knee. In the midst of all the shenanigans, there was a really nice chain wrestling exchange. Kash scooted out of the ring and was carrying the ring bell around while he jawed with the referee. Kash took control with a side headlock. Kash with a shoulder tackle. Kash running the ropes. Stevens flipped Kash over the top to the apron. Kash tried a shoulder block through the ropes, but Stevens stepped aside, nailed Kash with a knee to the head and sent him to the concrete floor with a springboard dropkick. Stevens hit a tope con hilo that left both men on the floor. Commercial break. Back to action with Kash in the process of dissecting Stevens’ knee. Kash went to the gutter tactics, driving a knee into Stevens’ groin when the ref’s back was turned. Kash kicked Stevens out to the floor. He tried to smash Stevens head into a chair, but Stevens turned the tables on him. Back inside, Kash applied the figure four. Stevens started to reverse the hold center ring. With both men feeling the pain, the ref broke the hold (for reasons that will remain a mystery). Kash got back on the knee with a vengeance. Kash tried to come off the middle rope onto the knee, but Stevens rolled partially out of the way. Stevens made the comeback on one leg. Stevens hit a flapjack, then a modified Codebreaker, but was too beaten down to make the cover. Kash fired back. Stevens countered with a fireman’s carry slam and stumbled toward the ropes, where the masked man in black clipped his knee. Kash applied an ankle and Steven tapped almost immediately.

Winner: Kash retains via submission at 14:30 after interference by the mysterious masked man in black. As a stand alone, the match was fine. They certainly foreshadowed the finish. Stevens’ selling of the knee was superb. The atmosphere created by a hot sold out crowd gave it a huge boost. In context, it was way too similar to Kash’s other matches in SAW. It wouldn’t be SAW without a ref snafu.

Random Thoughts: This was a good if not totally satisfying show. SAW doesn’t really have bad episodes these days. It all hinged on the title match. They did a beautiful job of building up it up with all the bells and whistles – great clips and well done personality profile on Stevens. The match held my interest, but I keep expecting Kash to do a different match, to do a little more, and it hasn’t happened in SAW. We’ve seen this all before…Stevens looked very good. I really don’t get why WWE has not signed Stevens. The only drawback is he’s only average on the mic, but they’ve got plenty of guys like that under contract that aren’t nearly as good as workers…I don’t have any inside info on this, but I do have strong hunch about the identity of the masked man in black…The other matches served their purpose - showcasing pushed talent by giving them dominant wins. Sigmon’s match was best of the bunch. Michael as Worthington’s brother is an intriguing twist in the story necessitated by the untimely departure of Shawn Shultz…It’s painfully obvious that Vaughn is not at the level of the other talent here. Not only has his work declined, but the quality of the ringwork in SAW has been significantly upgraded over the course of the last year. You have to question Andrews’ judgment choosing Vaughn…I’m digging Graham as a play-by-play guy. He’s really hitting his stride…It was also Von Eron’s best job so far as ringside interviewer…Overall, I Iiked the show. It just wasn’t as good as I was hoping for to where I ended up enjoying 73 more.