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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Showtime All-Star Wrestling TV Review - Episode 78

-- Larry Goodman

Showtime All-star Wrestling – Episode 78
Airing in Nashville, Tn on Comcast 74

Michael Graham and Reno Riggins did the ringside open previewing the upcoming hour. The main event: Chase Stevens vs. Andy Douglas. The crowd stole Reno’s line - “and SAW starts NOW!”


The announce team talked about Walker starting the wrestling team at high school in Savannah. Walker manhandled his smaller inked up opponent, hitting a long distance overhead belly to belly suplex, and a killer wheelbarrow suplex before finishing with the STO.

WINNER: Walker in 59 seconds. An impessive display of explosive athleticism from Walker.

The bumper contained footage of in the gym pumping iron with Paul Adams pumping him up for his match against Stevens.

Retreat? Scared? I’ve never run from anything and I fear nothing in this world…

So said Marc Anthony contrary to what we saw on our TV screens last week. This was shot in a grainy black & white with the camera turning every which way. “White Rabbit” was again replace by the sound of whirring wind. Anthony said the plan was underway and the “dark silhouette of a man” would soon join him in battle. A man with a towel over his head (obviously Raven) emerged from behind the camera and they waked away arm in arm.

Graham and Riggins said it had been revealed that Raven aka Scott Levy was the man behind the camera in all of Anthony’s vignettes. Reno announced Raven vs. “Boogie Woogie Boy” Gary Valiant next week.

Next we heard word from the Boogie Woogie Boy. This was Boogie with bared teeth and fire in his eyes. Boogie said last week he had Anthony a rockin’ and a rollin’. Anthony introduced the thumb tacks and the chairs and ended up on the short end of both. He called Anthony a gibroni for taking Raven’s beatings for him. Boogie addressed “The Puppetmaster” Raven. Boogie said Raven sent Anthony to break his ribs and take his wife, but all that had done was to set fire to his ass.

Raven, when you start playing with Boogie Woogie’s family, you start playing with Boogie Woogie’s mind. Raven, you want to play these sick games, these crazy flipped up out-of-your-mind games. Guess what, Raven? Boogie Woogie can play them games, too.


Sigmon jumped Emerson on the ramp and continued to beat on him inside the ring. Emerson came back and started wailing away on Sigmon, who bailed out and went after the injured eye to regain the advantage. Emerson was still wearing a bandage from the fireball incident, but a smaller one than two weeks ago. They traded stiff chops and dropkicks with Sigmon continually cutting off Emerson’s comebacks. Sigmon used the camel clutch. Reno said that as this feud progressed, the usually mild-mannered Emerson was losing his patience and bringing the violence. Sigmon hit a middle rope diving headbutt for a near fall. Emerson hit a spinebuster to spark a full-fledged comeback. Emerson got Sigmon in the corner and wouldn’t stop pounding him. The unnamed ref kept trying to intervene. Emerson kept shoving him away then punched him right in the face. The kid went flying and called for the bell. Emerson was wearing the “I can’t believe what I just did” expression.

WINNER: Sigmon via DQ at 6:15. A good stiff brawl. So much for Emerson being wise to Sigmon’s tactics, but the ambush did provide the motive for his ruthless aggression. Emerson was actually very good here. The highlight, though, had to be the awesome bump taken by referee (and son of SAW Mill promoter) Kevin Weatherby.

The bumper had more footage of Douglas in the gym. Douglas said he was in the best shape of his life, and he was going to pick up Chase’s lifeless body and spike his head into the mat with the Natural Selection.

This was followed by sitdown comments from Douglas wearing a dress shirt and shades. Douglas said that right from his start in pro wrestling, he was successful everywhere he went. He said it was Bob Ryder’s suggestion to team him with Stevens as the Naturals. Douglas said he wasn’t too keen on it, but he was bored with all the easy wins. Douglas again took credit for all of their wins and blamed all of their losses on Stevens’ screw ups, including losing the tag titles in TNA. Douglas said he was tired of carrying that glory hound. Douglas said he didn’t turn on Stevens. The real story was that Paul Adams made him an offer he couldn’t refuse: lots of money AND the opportunity for a shot at Stevens. Douglas he used the mask to get Stevens’ attention. He took Stevens’ leg out (during a title match against Kid Kash). Then, he came through the ring in the cage match to nail Stevens with a low blow. Douglas said now he was the one in the limelight. Douglas said he was out to prove to Stevens and the fans that he was the best of the Naturals.

Graham and Riggins said Stevens had seen Douglas’ comments. Cut to footage of his response.

Stevens said no tag team wins multiple titles (NWA, SAW, IWA) because of one man. He was perplexed by Douglas’ actions. Stevens said he didn’t know if it was money, fame or jealousy. This Andy Douglas was not the man he had known for the past 6 years. It tore him up inside to think about it. Stevens said he had seen the footage of the cage match (cut to clip) and what Douglas did to him. Stevens said he had a bad knee for years, but nobody knew that except Douglas. Stevens said he also had something to prove.

3 – CHASE STEVENS vs. ANDY DOUGLAS (with Paul Adams)

Riggins begrudgingly admitted that Douglas looked like a million dollars. They swapped arm drags, did simultaneous dropkicks and came to a stand off. Douglas rubbed his finger together to symbolize the $$$. When Douglas used a closed fist, Stevens decked him and Douglas took a stroll up the ramp to confer with Adams. Back inside, Stevens sidestepped a dropkick to the knee. Douglas’ face met all four corners and a five knuckle knockdown for two. Stevens was on a roll, so Adams distracted referee Kurt Herron, and Douglas seized the opportunity with a donkey kick to the groin. Douglas went after Stevens’ injured knee. Douglas softened him up with a leg DDT before applying the figure four. Riggins cautioned the kids at home not to put that hold on their little brother. Douglas released the hold and made a lazy cover. Fans got behind Chase. Douglas grabbed the leg again, but Stevens sent him down with an enzuigiri. They came up trading big punches. Douglas ate it charging in. Stevens hit a facebuster style bulldog for a close near fall. Douglas got a near fall with a big powerslam. Douglas signaled for The Natural Selection. Stevens countered out of it. Douglas escaped from Stevens’ finisher. Stevens knocked Douglas off the apron with a springboard dropkick. Steven went after Douglas, who was crawling on the floor trying to gather his wits Adams drew Stevens’ towards him, then scooted into the ring to distract the ref. Meanwhile, Hammerjack tattooed Stevens with handle of his sledge, rolled his lifeless body into the ring, and Douglas threw an arm over for the pin.

WINNER: Douglas in 11:08 after interference by Hammerjack. It had great heat. The action was OK. Stevens’ knee injury was legit and limited how much he could do. Being that the injury was part of the story, it made no sense for Douglas to let Stevens out of the figure four.

Random Thoughts: After being at this taping live, and coming away feeling it was easily the best of the four SAW tapings I’ve attended, this episode was somewhat of a disappointment. Between the interviews and the match, they devoted half of the show to Douglas/Stevens. In the end, it just wasn’t that compelling. I very much like what they’re doing with Douglas. The footage of him working out in the gym was terrific. The interview detailing his motive worked to show just what a jerk Douglas has become. Stevens’ response got across his hurt and confusion but it ran too long. Stevens said he had something to prove, but it wasn't clear just what that was. The match, itself, was decent but nothing special. They did the same finish in the tag match the previous week – Hammerjack interfering with the sledge. Being that this is SAW, I’m guessing there a storyline reason for the repetition…Quite the debut for Walker. He adds a new dimension to the babyface side with his amateur background and all that athleticism…He’s not a great talker, but Boogie came through with a strong interview this week...The Sigmon/Emerson feud has turned out to be a nice midcard storyline. They’ve both made the most of the opportunity…SAW may be onto something with Weatherby – a referee that can actually take a good bump…While the overall production quality is pretty amazing given SAW’s limited budget, every episode seems to feature some type of weird production glitch. This week it was the strange canned crowd noise at the start of the Emerson/Sigmon match.