Help Bill Figure Out What Happened|
A strange fact from the Observer. Gene Okerlund was the lead singer for one of South Dakota's first rock and roll bands, Gene Carroll and the Shades, in 1959.
Announcer, Wrestler, Singer, Hamburger Entrepreneur...Gene-O can do it all.
Now, if he could only do those things well....
My friend just turned on a videotape of Kevin Nash wrestling some dude. And I can't believe what I'm seeing. Kevin Nash is moving faster than I've ever seen him move...he's actually moving about the same speed as Rikishi. Unbelievable, he hit his three knees in the corner and framed elbow in only 20 minutes! I must have one of the rarest videotapes in the world. Kevin Nash is actually stepping up his game a notch.
Now Kevin Nash is actually outside the ring jogging after his opponent. JOGGING! This is money, Bill. Kevin Nash at his rarest form. Wow. Who says he's lazy?
Holy cow....he's going for the jackknife powerbomb. WOW!!! It only took him an hour to do the entire maneuver!! That's record time considering Mr. Nash has to set up the move, fix his hair, look around the ring, do the wolfpack sign with BOTH arms, pause some more, and lift the guy up before dropping him. Only ONE HOUR!! Bill!!
I thought Nash actually selling a move was rare, but this is as rare as it gets!! That's it. Ebay, here I come. Millions and millions of dollars for the rare vintage footage....
Never mind. My friend accidentally had it running in fast forward.
Just a quick note to say thanks for DDT digest -- it's compulsory reading for me, albeit only once a week (we get Nitro here the saturday after it's on in the states, so DDT is something of a sunday tradition). Just a quick arena report -- of a type...
Yes, we're getting Nitro/Thunder down here in Australia, but at $300/ticket (about... hmm.. $US200 maybe..) it's a bit rich..
For the less fortunate, there's Superstars of Wrestling. Read on, but don't say I didn't warn you..
Superstars of .. something
Last night, I had the misfortune to go and watch some wrestling. Now, normally, this wouldn't be a misfortune -- I am, after all, a fairly keen wrestling fan. The event in question, however, was The SuperStars of Wrestling I. I can only pray there isn't a two.
Things didn't get off well when the event itself started half an hour late. It's not a bad technique to get the crowd all riled up, but you need to deliver afterwards for it to have any decent effect. One funny side effect, however, was that when they started testing the lighting rig (and that's all they were doing, testing), the empty ring got what was easily the biggest pop of the evening. If I was being uncharitable, I'd say that it was the most talented performer, but even that wasn't true. More on the plight of the ring later.
Australian announcing legend/drongo Darryl Eastlake was the ring announcer, and, to be fair to Dazza, he didn't do a terrible job. The announcers, however, did. I can't recall the name of the channel 9 guy they had, but he clearly wasn't that important, as I don't recall him making anything more than a single squeak during the evening. Now, normally, the crowd doesn't hear the ringside announcers, but the powers that be decided, for some reason, to broadcast. Their big mistake was in getting Rodney O, apparently a game caller for the Sydney Kings basketball team, to do colour commentary. Rodney's effort basically didn't extend beyond two phrases:
"C'mon referee -- do your job!"
"C'mon referee -- that's illegal"
Now, he tended to call the former relatively correctly -- when the heels had the ref distracted and the face should win, for example. The latter, however, shows that poor Rodney must use an entirely different rule book than the rest of the wrestling community. He called illegal move on some very strange things, including
To be fair, he did once call a headbutt to the groin as an illegal move, and to be strictly accurate, he'd be right; unfortunately, like eye rakes, groin butts are very rarely called illegal, even when the ref is watching. Given that he only called one groin butt as illegal, but seemed happy with all the rest, I still think he was full of crap.
- Use of a table in a tables match
- An inverted atomic drop
- A sunset flip
Now, onto the event itself. After a brief mike spat between Curt Hennig and Dennis Rodman (our main event for the evening), the matches began.
Match One: Public Enemy Vs Road Warriors (Tables Match)
Depressingly, this was probably the best match of the night, if only because it allowed the combatants to do the usual face/heel in peril tag stuff. Only a lot, lot slower than normally. The end of the match provided hilarity, as the PE got slammed through the weakest looking table I've ever seen. How weak? When Animal (or was it Hawk?) set it up in the corner, it wobbled in the breeze. As the PE were charged across the ring, it quivered in terror. I suspect it actually snapped in sheer fright long before the Philly boys got to it.
Match Two: Barbarian Vs Brute Force (Brutus The Barber/Butcher/Zodiac/ etc..) (Hardcore Match)
I've got a soft spot for the Barbarian, mainly because I'm something of a Meng mark. I don't, however, have a soft spot for crap matches, and this was one. There was (shock!) some actual wrestling, but it was eclipsed by the gigantic pool of suck that is Ed Leslie. Barbarian won when he blocked Ed coming off the turnbuckle with a trash can lid.
Match Three: Brandi Wine Vs Sweet Destiny (Women's 'Grudge' Match)
I'm presuming here that the difference between men's and women's grudge matches is that men's matches will feature more headbutts to the groin. Maybe not. These two did put something of an effort in, but spent far too much time just trying to get cheap heat with the crowd. Destiny was the face, and probably the only face that got genuine face heat throughout their match. She won, too.
Match Four: One Man Gang Vs Tatanka
Allegedly this is for the 'Australasian Heavyweight World Title'. Now, the competitors kept referring to it as the world heavyweight title, which I'm sure confused the by-now-very drunk (if old enough) or bored (if a youngster) crowd. Man, the Gang's put on weight. Gimmick looks a little different, too -- imagine the tubby lovechild of Bam Bam Bigelow and The Blue Meanie, and you'd be close. Long, long intro as he waddled to the ring. Tatanka entered, minus blue and red mo' (I feel robbed. Well, more robbed than I already did) but plus a wacky Indian headdress. He mustn't have cared much about it, because he left it at ringside after the match. So much for that proud Indian heritage, eh Chris?
The match itself was slow. And long. And then longer. The only brief bit of interest was when the Gang threatened to leave unless people stopped throwing stuff. Inevitable hail of cups and plastic bottles. One good call from the (very) drunk guys behind us, who pleaded with the fans to stop. Not because they were rabid One Man Gang fans. Oh no. There was a much better reason. It was a waste of good beer.
Gang got truly pelted, got back in the ring, and the pelting continued. They paused for a few minutes to clear the ring, then got right on with sucking. I didn't time the match, but it took forever, and when I glanced down at my watch, I realized that even with the event starting half an hour late, there was only ten minutes left, and still at least one (maybe two) matches to go.
It was in this match that the 'illegal move' sunset flip was used -- surprisingly agile for the general level of talent. It was also in this match that we got a real, full view of how dodgy the ring itself was. There wasn't a lot of high flying, and I'd chalked that down to the skill level of the performers. When the One Man Gang started crashing into the turnbuckles (a pretty regular move), the entire ring shook. For what seemed like minutes. All the turnbuckles seemed more than a little wobbly, which would explain why the action was so slow -- you can hardly whip someone off the ropes quickly if they're just as likely to sag into them and stay there.
One Man Gang eventually won via an international object wrapped around his fist. Now, in theory this could have left two matches left -- Hennig/Rodman, and potentially Paul Orndorff Vs Typhoon. Sure, it wouldn't be a classic, but I would have liked to at least see Orndorff live once. Wasn't to be, though.
Match Five: Curt Hennig Vs Dennis Rodman (Also World Heavyweight Title)
Now, I've gotta admit that Hennig's the reason my butt was in a seat at all. I was hoping that Rodman would no-show, and we'd get a substitute. Given that he didn't work, Hennig vs Orndorff would've been pretty sweet. Alas, it was not to be, as Rodman appeared. Darryl Eastlake stuffed up big time, announcing Hennig as Rodman. Maybe he needs new glasses? Hennig looked mighty pissed, as he had every right to be, as he spent the next three minutes making Rodman look very, very good. This is a tough job especially when your opponent has the wrestling skill of custard, and only knows one wrestling move -- the punch. Yup, this wasn't even on the level of a punch/kick contest. It basically involved Rodman jabbing at air, and Hennig selling like he'd been shot. The match was announced as a falls count anywhere match, so they moved to the announcers table.
Hennig hit it, and bladed, pretty well, too. Rodman then went through it, and, if I'm not mistaken, fell asleep. Now, they were taping this for some theoretical PPV event, and either:
Because they suddenly announced that the match (falls count anywhere, remember, which usually also means no DQ) was a double DQ. Hennig looked confused, then pissed off. He got into the ring to continue, presumably to give the fans in the dome a finish, even if the home fans didn't get one. Rodman was having none of it, though, and so they 'brawled' to the back.
- Rodman was too drunk to go on; or
- They ran out of TV time
And that was it. Now, granted, I wasn't expecting much, and some of them delivered, but between the crappy finishes, the eons long One Man Gang/Tatanka match and the inane announcing of Rodney O, the overall effect of the event was to piss most fans off. I'm very, very glad we went for the cheap seats, as anyone at ringside wouldn't just feel ripped off -- they'd be very ripped off. They're threatening to run another event in March. I can feel my brain saying 'They couldn't screw it up twice, could they?' I think I need help.