2017 Royal Rumble Match: Brawny the Strowman

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As late as ten minutes before the 2017 Royal Rumble match, I was undecided on whether to do a write-up or even take notes. But it has been a while since my last post as I have been experimenting with various podcast formats, none of which will do.

I had high hopes for this year’s Rumble match since 2016 was a return to the kind of booking seen in the past, and with this match loaded with (part time) star power. It’s just a shame I saw betting odds beforehand, which kind of ruined it for me.

A quick comment on earlier matches: I was rather bored by much of it and actually fell asleep during Owens vs Reigns. It’s okay, because Reigns went to the back for a nap in the 2016 match so one good turn deserves another. Cena vs Styles was awesome as usual, but because it didn’t take place in the Tokyo Dome or even the Sumo Japanese Steakhouse in San Antonio, it can’t possibly be as good as any New Japan match according to some. With Cena and Owens as champions, it meant either a face or heel could win. Or maybe even a guy who is both. Just don’t let betting odds spoil it. Continue reading 2017 Royal Rumble Match: Brawny the Strowman

Dispatches from NXT Boston, 11/17/2016

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It was going to be so perfect. NXT was coming to the Boston area again and raise the flag on my old stomping grounds at Boston University. Well, sort of…since Agganis Arena wasn’t there when I was. I took the day off from work too. Then you get a tooth infection, you’re on medication and you desperately try to reach your dentist before seeing him at 4 PM and you schedule a root canal for Monday of Thanksgiving week. Eh, whatever. I was more annoyed about traffic going into Boston, particularly in one rotary/roundabout where cars were moving at 8 different angles.

I must admit I wasn’t too excited about the show on my way in. My cynicism toward WWE and NXT has gone way up since the split in July which led to NXT being decimated. The connection isn’t there with much of the talent. Asuka and Samoa Joe were already stars before they ever got there. The only connection I feel is with Revival since they truly built themselves up in the last 12-18 months. Continue reading Dispatches from NXT Boston, 11/17/2016

Reflections on 1988 Survivor Series

When I was given the opportunity to choose a show for review on The Lapsed Fan Wrestling Podcast, I had a lot to choose from even with all WrestleManias and Starrcades spoken for. I chose the 1988 Survivor Series, a show that I did see live and one that has so many interesting behind the scenes details. It is a show with Hillbilly Jim and Red Rooster in the main event. It is the only time we would see Tully Blanchard wrestle Bret Hart. It was a changing of the guard; Junkyard Dog, Don Muraco, Ken Patera, and the British Bulldogs are all guys who were either gone before this show or immediately afterward. And we see the arrival of The Rockers, The Brain Busters, Mr. Perfect, and Owen Hart as the Blue Blazer. Plus so many random appearances. Let’s dive in. Continue reading Reflections on 1988 Survivor Series

Reflections on 1987 Survivor Series

Once upon a time, the Survivor Series carried a lot of cachet. It wasn’t just a place where guys got pinned off regular clotheslines or where Bret got screwed. It was a Thankgiving “tradition” that was actually a giant middle finger to not only Jim Crockett Promotions, but to other remaining territories that ran big shows on the holiday. (The WWF was famous for NOT running shows on those holidays) I sat down earlier this week and watched the 1987 Survivor Series and here are my reflections: Continue reading Reflections on 1987 Survivor Series

Saturday Night’s Main Event #16 – 04/30/1988

In the 1985, NBC gave the World Wrestling Federation a Saturday late night slot with the idea that Hulk Hogan would generate ratings that were better than Saturday Night Live reruns. But as we hit mid-1988, Hogan is on a sabbatical. His first daughter would be born 5 days after this show aired, and he was filming No Holds Barred in his effort to become the new Stallone. While that failed, how did the WWF cope without their biggest star? For one thing, they would promote the hell out of Randy Savage making his first world title defense. Continue reading Saturday Night’s Main Event #16 – 04/30/1988

WWF Championship Wrestling 01/07/1984

Interim Champion
Interim Champion

The World Wrestling Federation did not just turn the page from 1983 to 1984, they threw out the damn book and created one on their own. Vince McMahon took the WWF out of the National Wrestling Alliance in 1983 with the idea of going national himself in mind. This is ground zero for the beginning of that because we have four debuts on this show: Continue reading WWF Championship Wrestling 01/07/1984

Highlights from J.J. Dillon’s Book: Part 3 (Vince Russo Edition)

Time to put a bow on J.J. Dillon’s 2005 book “Wrestlers Are Like Seagulls”, which at one time was apparently hard to find. So it gives me hope that the much ballyhooed Gary Hart book will make it to e-book at some point.

Of course, guys like Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, who came from the WWF, were accustomed to getting an accounting of what was sold, so they were very suspicious over their merchandise payoffs in WCW.

It seems like EVERYTHING was done by the seat of the pants in WCW. Even dating to the Crockett days, since Dillon mentioned that the company sued the merchandise guy for ripping people off near the end. Hall and Nash were right to be suspicious since it was rumored that everything was rigged toward Hulk Hogan from a merch perspective. Continue reading Highlights from J.J. Dillon’s Book: Part 3 (Vince Russo Edition)

Highlights from JJ Dillon’s Book: Part 2 (Horsemen Edition)

We are back to JJ Dillon’s book from 2005 “Wrestlers Are Like Seagulls” and at the height of the author’s career: his time managing the Four Horsemen.

The other boys used to make light of the fact that it was a good thing that Flair never wanted to touch cocaine, because with his nose being as big as it is, there wouldn’t have been any left for anyone else.

Believe it or not, I had never noticed that Flair had a big nose until I started hearing these jokes made about him. Flair was a legendary partier, but he would not do cocaine and he would not smoke cigarettes because that would kill his whole “60 minutes every night” thing. He would do chewing tobacco and an unlimited supply of Seabreezes (vodka w/cranberry and grapefruit juice) and something like Miller Lite. Continue reading Highlights from JJ Dillon’s Book: Part 2 (Horsemen Edition)

Highlights from Bret Hart’s Book: Part 16 (Career-Ending Edition)

Got a big announcement coming up on the blog in the next week or two, let’s balance that good news with the sadness of Bret Hart’s book as his wrestling career has come to an end.

Unfortunately for Russo, nobody understood it.

If someone who was there and taking part in this nonsense had no idea, what hope was there for the audience to make sense of what was happening? Continue reading Highlights from Bret Hart’s Book: Part 16 (Career-Ending Edition)

WWF In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede 07/06/1997

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Jerry Lawler, Memphis Cowboy

Over the last month, it seems that this blog has become something of a Bret Hart fan site. So as the end nears for the Hitman Book series (finally!), let’s take a look at the all-time high point for the Hart Family and perhaps wrestling in Canada: the July 1997 In Your House from Calgary, which took place in the shadow of the annual Calgary Stampede. Our hosts from the Calgary Saddledome are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, and Lawler’s ill-fitting cowboy hat that covers his eyes. Meanwhile, Ross is going to drive me insane with the pronunciation of “Sasuke” as “Sass-OOH-kay” instead of “Sass-kay”. Continue reading WWF In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede 07/06/1997