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Thursday, February 19, 2009

SAW TV Review - Episode 75

--Larry Goodman

Showtime All-star Wrestling – Episode 75
Airing on January 10, 2008 in Nashville on Comcast 74
Taped on December 12, 2008 at the SAW Mill in Millersville, Tn

Michael Graham and Reno Riggs open the show with Graham saying it had been an exceptionally chaotic day at the SAW Mill.

Cut to Commissioner Freddie Morton upstairs in the office. Morton said Paul Adams had come to him this morning wanting to cancel the cage match because David Young was out of town, and no Matt Dillinger as a replacement because they were still at odds. Morton replied that the match was on and Adams was still in the cage. But there was also trouble in the camp of Team Dragon. Morton got a call from security informing him that Tribal Nation had been found unconscious in catering (the concession stand?) and had been taken to a medical facility. Morton said that the cage match would take place with A-Team consisting of Hammerjack, Rick Santel and Adams vs. Arrick Andrews & Nikki Vaughn.


Graham said it was Worthington’s inring debut. I guess last week didn’t count. Riggins said TJ Harley was still out with a stinger suffered in Worthington’s attack. Hayme was controlling Michaels’ arm with chain wrestling. Worthington punched him in the face. Hayme shifted into high gear with a bulldog for two and an Oklahoma roll. Michaels used a sidewalk slam to turn the tide. Returning from commercial, Worthington was choking the life out of Hayme. Worthington cut off a weak comeback with off with one of Reno’s favorites - a thumb to the eye. Worthington charged and took a belly bump on the top turnbuckle. Both men down. Hayme fired back with forearms. Hayme hit a missile dropkick for a near fall. Hayme avoided a kneelift and hit a german suplex. Hayme set up for a second. Michaels swung an elbow and got caught with a bridging northern lights suplex. Nice sequence. Michaels tried for the Brentwood Breaker but Hayme had it scouted. Hayme did a middle rope moonsault. It barely made contact and Michaels rolled through with a handful of tights.

Winner: Worthington in 5:25. Two guys with bland personalities. Worthington is almost expressionless at times. Hayme’s moveset provided some good action. The finish blew.

Back to Graham and Riggins and more of that annoying canned crowd noise. They recapped the craziness involving “Boogie Woogie Boy” Gary Valiant and Marc Anthony that ended with Anthony locked in the closet with Miss Boogie. Graham said Boogie was at home helping Miss Boogie recover from the trauma. Reno read a letter he received challenging Boogie to another “Anything Goes” match with Anthony. It was signed by Scott Levy, CEO of M3 Productions. Reno made sure the viewers knew Levy was Raven. Reno said Morton would be anxious to sign a match between Valiant and either Anthony or Raven. They cut to a video they received from Anthony.

Anthony was standing in a tiny utility closet that was like Claustrophia City. No army gear. Anthony was shirtless. The “White Rabbit” background music was gone replaced by the sound of the wind. Anthony was telling his imaginary “father” that he could hear the things Boogie’s followers were pondering in their brains, as they tried to figure out what Anthony and Raven were up to. He said wars were not always won on the field of battle.

Sometimes you have to infiltrate the mind of the individual you want to crush. Prince Valiant, you appointed yourself the self the self-righteous savior, the general of the SAW Mill. So therefore, we have infiltrated your mind. We have taken what is so precious to and that is that fair maiden of yours, Miss Boogie, the one that has been slapped by gravity over and over and over again…But I tell you and the minions at the SAW Mill, do not ponder things. Do not think such deep thoughts about what happened in that room. For that very room brings memories to me. It brings memories to the forefront of my mind. And they are not so pretty Prince Valiant. And the more you ponder, and the more you try to open that door, just remember these words of wisdom that give you, sir. To you and all your little Nation, be careful the memories you think of, be careful of the things your ponder, and be careful of the doors you try to open, because what walks out those doors might not be so pretty.

2 – PGWA Title Match: Champion TRACY TAYLOR vs. SUMIE SAKAI

Sakai smiled and offered to shake hands, then refused to let go. Taylor pulled her into a side headlock, but Sakai suplexed her to mat and did submission work. Nice shot of Taylor struggling mightily to gain a ropes break. Taylor countered two german suplex attempts and went to the air. Taylor applied a submission using Sakai’s back as a surfboard. Taylor unleashed a series of strikes. Sakai went to the eyes. A series of high impact moves had Taylor in trouble. Taylor came back with an STO for a near fall. Graham announced that Chase Stevens had been added to Team Dragon for the cage match. Sakai hit a pair of missile dropkicks but Taylor kicked out. Taylor countered a fisherman suplex with a spike DDT and Sakai kicked out. There was a botched Irish whip spot with both looking badly blown up. They traded more near falls until Sakai got frustrated and brought a chair into the ring. They got in a tug of war. Taylor went down. Sakai and ref Jim Kleckner fought for the chair. Sakai shoved the chair edge into Kleckner’s gut. As she did so, Taylor did a sunset flip off the chair to get the pinfall.

Winner: Taylor retains in 9:37. Great effort, bad match. They were overreaching. A few things looked really good. A lot of it did not. And they were asking for trouble by making a SAW ref an intricate part of that finish. I’ve seen pieces of wood more animated than Kleckner.

Josianne interrupted Natalie Van Eron’s interview with Taylor to issue a title challenge. Taylor claimed she didn’t know who the hell she was, but she could have a match any time.

Riggins gave props to the ring crew putting up the cage, mentioning them by name.

Graham quizzed Adams about his possible involvement with the untimely demise of the Tribal Nation and his thoughts about Stevens being added to the cage match. Adams was looking swank in his flag shorts. Adams admitted being in the building to negotiate with Morton, but denied any involvement with the Indians. As for Stevens, Adams said he wasn’t worried about him. It was typical Stevens to try to be the big hero. Adams reminded Stevens that he always had a plan, and it was Andrews that should be having flashbacks of their last time in the cage.

3 – Steel Cage Match: A-TEAM (Hammerjack & Rick Santel & Paul Adams) vs. TEAM DRAGON (ARRICK “The Dragon” ANDREWS & CHASE STEVENS & NIKKI VAUGHN

Team Dragon attacked A-Team at ringside. The bell rang with the cage still empty. Once inside, Adams immediately threw a huge handful of powder into Andrews’ eyes. Andrews was enveloped in a cloud of powder. Hammerjack and Santel beat on the other members of Team Dragon, while Adams played keep away from a blinded Andrews. The momentum shifter was Vaughn hitting the Short Circuit on Santel. Adams tried to climb out of the cage and got his ass exposed to the camera - censored with a black box labeled “TVD”. A little inside joke there. All three members of Team Dragon started pounding lumps on Adams. Smoke began billowing out a hole that suddenly appeared in the middle of the mat. Reno said there was fire. Up came the mysterious masked man.

That’s the man in black, and I don’t mean Johnny Cash either!

The man in black zeroed in on Stevens with a shot to the groin, then wasted the other members of Team Dragon. Graham said this was the plan not the powder. A-Team handcuffed Andrews and Vaughn around the turnbuckles. Adams pulled two chairs out of the hole. A-Team Pillmanized Stevens’ ankle. Riggins said fans were trying to get in the ring. They strangely cut to a crowd shot of some very placid fans. Adams unmasked the man in black.

It’s Andy Douglas! I can’t believe it!

Riggins said Douglas and Stevens were former world champions, but Douglas was showing his true colors, The beatdown on Team Dragon continued. Riggins said fans were trying to get in the ring. They strangely cut to a crowd shot of some very placid fans. Adams and Douglas hugged.

What are his motives and how did the A-Teams get to him? Tune in next week.

Winner: They never said. A no contest most likely. Who cares? It was one hell of an angle.

Random Thoughts: The cage match was the make or break for this episode. Up to that point, there were two forgettable matches. Jon Michael badly needs Rachel with him to spice up that story. The women’s match did not live up to the expectations There was only the one strong segment - the Raven letter followed by the latest disturbing vignette by Anthony. They did what they could to plausibly explain the last minute personnel changes in the cage. When I heard about the changes, I figured this match to be a disappointment. I figured wrong. The match had a frenzied atmosphere that makes for great TV. Fans were so amped to see Andrews get a shot at Adams inside the cage, they didn’t give a rat’s ass who else was in there. It was going to be the Dragon’s revenge. It turned out to be one hell of an intricate angle. The use of the powder was a terrific swerve. It made sense that once Team Dragon overcame that obstacle, it would be clear sailing and Adams was finally going to get thrashed. They had mentioned Douglas often enough, that he had to show up sooner or later, but not like this. It the masked man coming through the ring wasn’t enough, you had the smoke, the handcuffs and the chairs being pulled out. Hands down, one of the most memorable angles ever in SAW.