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Friday, March 13, 2009

Showtime All-star Wrestling TV Review - Episode 80

-- Larry Goodman

Showtime All-star Wrestling – Episode 80
Airing on February 21, 2008 in Nashville on Comcast 74
Taped at the SAW Mill in Millersville, Tn

Cold open showing the conclusion of the previous episode – “Boogie Woogie Boy” Gary Valiant strung up in the crucifix pose while Raven and Marc Anthony applied the face paint.

Michael Graham and Reno Riggins did the stand up from the interview area. They used the adjectives humiliating and sickening to describe the actions of Raven and Anthony. Upcoming would be comments from all the principles.


Riggins said the business with Rachel Worthington had fed Hayme some humble pie to where he was starting to become a fan favorite. A fine display of chain wrestling inevitably led to Sigmon going to the ropes. The kids were letting him have it with a “Sigmon sucks” chant. The pace quickened with Hayme busting out the lucha style. Sigmon brought a decisive end to a series of back and forth counters with a standing dropkick. Sigmon took control with no-nonsense brawling. Sigmon applied a camel clutch that looked like the real deal. Sigmon pulled at Hayme’s mouth. Reno said fish hooking was illegal. Hayme popped Sigmon with an enzuigiri. Both men down for a six count. Hayme started firing back, but the announce team wouldn’t sell it until he laid in a forearm. Hayme got two with a missile dropkick, then hit a cool shadow dropkick for a long two count, then used a fancy roll up for another near fall. Sigmon leveled Hayme with a great looking clothesline. Referee David Williams got bumped. As Hayme was checking the ref, Sigmon clubbed him from behind and pulled a lighter out of his boot to tease a fireball. Jesse Emerson attacked Sigmon, who sprinted to the back with Emerson in semi-hot pursuit. Williams called for the bell. Graham said Williams had awarded the decision to Sigmon, although I’m not sure why since he didn’t see Emerson in the ring. Emerson was upset about costing Hayme the match.

Winner: Sigmon via DQ at 8:32 due to interference by Emerson. Hell of a good match. The announce team did a great job giving it a true sports feel. It was no exaggeration when they complimented the counter wrestling. It was excellent. The finish was another example of a good concept muddled by SAW’s substandard refereeing.

Following highlights from last week’s main event between Raven and Valiant, they cut to a seated Raven. Anthony crawled out from behind Raven chair on his belly. “As the Prince rode in on his white horse (giggles), holding his head high, thinking this battle was his, the wind blew in another direction! Bombs dropped not in his favor. Things are slowly closing in with a tight grip around Prince Valiant’s throat…” Raven said the war was over and Valiant had lost.

Riggins voiced his outrage at the actions of Raven and Anthony. Reno said the question on everyone’s mind was had Boogie had enough?

They cut to Valiant. This was an exact copy of the early Anthony vignettes – shot in black & white footage with “White Rabbit” as background music and World War II newsreel footage spliced in. “They always say when you go into battle, you must get into the mind of the enemy.” Valiant said Anthony and Raven had proven how low they would go, and while he had always told himself he would never stoop to that level, he’s also never backed down from a battle -- “Now Boogie is going to march into your battle.”

2 – HAMMERJACK (with Paul Adams) vs. DREW HASKINS

Hammerjack started giving Haskins the beatdown. Haskins fired back with a series of not so stellar chops. Graham said Hammerjack may have felt that third one. Haskins did a springboard crossbody out of the corner, and it looked like they had their signals crossed bad. Hammerjack took over with a full nelson bomb and a basement dropkick to the jaw. Hammerjack hit a Michinoku Driver, but pulled Haskins up at two to continue the beating. A spinwheel kick by Haskins was good for a one count only. Haskins tried for a Northern lights suplex. Hammerjack stuffed it and pinned him with a driving elbow drop.

WINNER: Hammerjack in 3:32. An off night for Haskins. His selling is usually good. It was nothing to brag about here and his striking is always suspect.

A-Team was at ringside with Dan Masters. Adams said what happened between Flash Flanagan and Rick Santel last week had given him sleepless nights, not to mention material for his therapy sessions. Santel said Flanagan got a fluke win by cheating.

If you’ve got a hair on that fat rotund bottom of yours, you will give me a rematch.

On the other hand, Adams was overjoyed about Andy Douglas finally getting the monkey off his back. Douglas said he gave Stevens the beating of a lifetime. “Chase, you want to know the reason why? Money, power and more money, thank you, Paul.”

Cut to Commissioner Freddie Morton with a prepared statement from the SAW Board of Directors regarding the A-Team. The letter summarized the A-Team’s heinous crimes. “To put it bluntly, we are just about at wits end as to what we’re to do to create a level playing field for a match between Mr. Andrews and the A-Team.” Morton said the BOD was ordering an Empty Arena Match: Andrews vs. Hammerjack AND the undefeated Paul Adams. Morton vowed to do a full search of the building (this ain’t TNA). Nobody would be allowed inside except the participants, the announcers and the camera people.

Hammerjack said Andrews didn’t stand a chance. “There’s no rules and there’s no regulations, and that’s what I’m all about..."

PREVIOUSLY ON SAW…French Canadian Josianne issues a challenge to PGWA/SAW Champion Tracy Taylor. “I don’t know what the heck you just said, but all I know is you want a shot and baby, you got it.”


Joined in progress with that awful canned crowd noise. Taylor wasn’t playing. She was kicking the stuffing out of the 2008 PGWA Wrestler of the Year and slinging her across the ring by the hair. Taylor tied Josianne up with a leglock and used her back as a surfboard. When Graham brought up the empty arena match, Reno took a shot at NWA Main Event.

I hear there’s a promotion down the street that has empty arena matches every week

Taylor blasted Josianne with forearms and landed a pair of dropkicks for a two count. Josianne fired back with big shots of her own. She took Taylor down with a flying lariat for a near fall. Taylor rocked Josianne with a European uppercut, but ate a boot charging in. Josianne rolled Taylor up, but the ref caught her using the tights. Josianne got on the ref’s case. Taylor spun Josianne around, kicked her in the gut and planted her with a DDT.

Winner: Taylor retains in an edited time of 3:26. Much better than the previous women’s matches on SAW. Taylor newfound streak of viciousness was quite becoming.

4 – ARRICK “The Dragon” ANDREWS vs. V-RAD

V-Rad tried to get the jump on Andrews, who made short work of him using a spinning double underhook face plant for the pin.

WINNER: Andrews in 1:15 with Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am.

Masters interviewed Andrews about the Empty Arena Match. Andrews said he wanted this from day one. “No one can get in. No one can get out. This time, Hammerjack, Paul Adams, they’re gonna get their ass whupped.”

PREVIOUSLY ON SAW…footage of Jon Michael attacking TJ Harley and putting him out action with the Brentwood Breaker (Jackhammer) some seven weeks ago.

Harley did a sitdown interview with Masters. Harley said he suffered a stinger. The doctor told him to take a month off, and while he has often tried to come back from injuries too soon, he felt the need to be at 100% to compete with Jon Michael. Harley said Jon never approved of his relationship with Rachel, and like Rachel, Jon Michael thought he was above other people. Harley claimed the last time he was face-to-face with Jon Michael was at the Brentwood Country Club, where he knocked him on his ass with one punch. Harley said he was looking forward to giving Jon Michael another taste of his fist.


Jon Michael got all worked up when Harley put on his leather jacket. Just like at the country club, Harley decked him with one punch. Harley was handing him his ass, so Jon Michael bailed, but Harley pulled him up by the hair and suplexed him back to the inside. Harley went for his finisher, and Jon Michael hooked the ropes to block it. Jon Michael came back with a series of punches to put Harley down. Harley tried to mount some offense, but Jon Michael continued to hammer him, and Harley was looking majorly worse for wear. Jon Michael applied a camel clutch. The announce team pointed out that Jon Michael was stressing that vulnerable neck. Harley powered out, but appeared to have nothing left in the tank. Harley managed to block the Brentwood Breaker. Harley caught Worthington with a swinging neckbreaker to spark his comeback. He mounted the ropes for the 10 punches, but Jon Michael dropped him face first on the turnbuckle. Jon Michael pulled a chain out of his jacket. The ref took it away. Jon Michael pulled out a second, larger chain. Hayme ran down and grabbed it out of Jon Michael’s hand. Harley then pinned a flabbergasted Jon Michael with a rolling prawn.

WINNER: Harley in 7:14 after interference by Hayme. Good match. Nice finish. Harley understand the importance of selling, and Jon Michael is looking a lot better all the way around than he did in his first couple of matches in SAW.

Random Thoughts: This was a good show given that a) it lacked a true main event and b) it was pieced together from multiple tapings. There were no key matches involving either of the current major angles. Rather, the main event was manufactured out of what had been to this point a midcard storyline. They were coming off the big angle with Boogie last week and pushing the empty arena match with Andrews and A-Team for next week. Rather, the main event was manufactured out of what had been to this point a midcard storyline. The Harley interview fleshed out the story a bit. The match was better than it figured to be, because the work was good and they had a solid idea for the finish, although Jon Michael was lucky Harley didn’t notice those chains when he tried on the jacket…Sigmon and Hayme had the best match of the hour…The women’s match was the best Taylor has looked in any of her appearances on SAW TV…As for the talking segments - Having Boogie copy Anthony’s vignettes in detail was sheer genius. If only Boogie’s delivery was up the level of the concept…The Anthony/Raven vignette was OK. Raven’s introductory promo for NWA Charlotte was more inspired than anything he’s done in SAW…I always enjoy the A-Team interviews. Th one this week was more short and to the point than some…Somebody needs to help the referees in SAW get a clue. It looks like they’re being left to fend for themselves and not doing a very good job of it…Just to be clear on the timing, and not to suggest that TNA would steal an idea from a lowly indie, SAW announced their empty arena match on January 16. TNA announced and taped the Sting/Angle empty arena match on February 9.