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Why Vince McMahon Should Pay for Scott Hall’s Operation

March 12, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Scott Hall has been one of the most unfortunate and pathetic cases in the last decade. Alcoholism, drug abuse, and inability to get out of an environment that enabled him his vices have pushed him near death so many times that we as fans have lost count.

He’s been to rehab so many times as well, none of them having stuck. This time is different though, it seems. He’s under the care of DDP Yoga. Diamond Dallas Page’s yoga program has been a life-changer for many people, and in the case of Jake Roberts, it’s been a life-saver. Hall is making a lot of progress as well, but the yoga alone isn’t going to help him get completely healthy. It turns out that he needs a hip replacement as well.

Years of substance abuse haven’t exactly left Hall with a nest egg, and working in wrestling all your life leaves you with worse benefits than if you were a Starbucks barista. So he’s doing what Roberts did when he needed his surgery. He started a Indiegogo fan-donation driven campaign in order to pay for his surgery. He’s taken scrutiny for even starting the campaign, which has been criticized as tantamount to panhandling. Personally, I disagree with the campaign, but not because Hall is relying on fans to pay for his surgery. I think donating to help a guy get healthy is a way better endeavor than the people who buy stuff for wrestlers they like off their Amazon wishlists.

I honestly think this is an awful development because Vince McMahon should pay for the surgery.

I caught a bit of flak for this opinion. I was told that McMahon doesn’t owe Hall anything. In the legal sense, I guess you could say that view is correct. McMahon is not culpable for anything that has happened to Hall now. In fact, one could say he’s “done enough” for Hall by paying for rehab after rehab. And far be it from me to say what a man should do with his money. McMahon earned that money through his own vision, drive, and determination!

Except that last sentence really is a crock of bull.

Professional wrestling cannot succeed without wrestlers. No one promoter can do a show without talent, let alone carry on a business for the last thirty years like Vince has without wrestlers. He couldn’t have attained the successes he has without guys like Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Mick Foley, Dave Batista, Randy Orton, John Cena, and CM Punk, among others. It’s lost on so many people when discussing businessmen and women in this country that they are the ones who deserve all the money and credit because they started the companies, but almost none of them could get where they get without labor. And yet, in businesses across America, the cabal of owners, CEOs, and corporations try to depress labor costs and deny the fact they could get where they’ve gotten without labor.

It’s especially awful in wrestling because of the tolls these performers put on their bodies. In addition, wrestlers can’t easily get health insurance because their line of work is so high risk, so it’s not a surprise that the rate of attrition has gotten out of control with the escalation in physicality. In a way, McMahon, who has become a billionaire off WWE, may not be legally bound to care for all his former employees, but I feel like there’s a moral obligation that he has to help take care of his former wrestlers. To his credit, he has paid for rehabilitation for countless wrestlers, funeral costs for those who died in destitute conditions, and other acts of charity throughout the years. He has shown an uncharacteristic magnanimity of what is normally attributed to his brash, arch-conservative public image.

It sounds awfully demanding of me to want more out of him, but the harsh reality is that the attrition on wrestler’s bodies is due to McMahon’s own insanity. He’s gone far, but it’s not far enough if Hall is relying on the kindness of Page to get his yoga program for free and is so far in the hole that he can’t afford surgery. It’s fair to assume that a life of being in wrestling, in locker rooms where there was not even a paper tiger Wellness Policy to keep the façade of being on the straight and narrow, led him to his case.

The counterargument is that Hall has to bear the brunt of some personal responsibility as well. I can dig that a lot, but at the same time, the only thing that could have prevented him from that life was likely not working as a wrestler. Sure, he could have picked a different career path, but that statement, while true on the surface, shows a complete lack of empathy for someone who actually followed his heart and did the job that was presumably a dream of his. Plus, by not having a Wellness Policy and by skirting workplace safety issues by incorrectly labeling his employees as independent contractors, McMahon didn’t necessarily provide the best working environment for him.

Furthermore, McMahon has put his earnings under even more scrutiny by offering them up to fund bids for public office. Linda McMahon’s Senate campaigns were mostly self-funded to the tune of $100 million. When you spend that kind of scratch using money earned from wrestling fans such as you and me, you had better believe you open yourself up to criticism from us, since we, the WWE Universe, are basically WWE’s personal Super PAC. As a de facto investor in the McMahon campaign, I myself would feel a lot better if they didn’t spend the money I directly give them through merch and pay-per-views or indirectly through advertising monies earned from watching RAW and Smackdown on such a spurious venture that wouldn’t even benefit me as a resident of somewhere other than the state of Connecticut. I know that since it’s money earned from a business, I don’t have a legal right here other than “not buying WWE stuff” (and honestly, why should guys like Bryan Danielson and Phil Brooks suffer because of the sins of their boss?), but man, I’m not interested in a legal code that is set up to protect corporations at the expense of real people.

But even if the McMahon family never spent a red cent on trying to get Linda elected, it’s still the right thing to do make sure their former employees had major stuff that they couldn’t handle themselves. No matter what anyone says, whether communist, arch-capitalist, or anyone in between, it doesn’t just take a vision to execute a business plan. It takes hard work, and there are very few professions harder on the human body than professional wrestling. It shouldn’t be up to the fans to help pay for Scott Hall’s health, especially since so many of us have our own aches and pains that we have to tend to and might not be able to afford easily.

And since McMahon wants to have presence in Washington to have a say in how they want to handle my money, well, it’s only fair that I have at least an opinion on how he handles his.

Tom Holzerman is a lifelong wrestling fan and connoisseur of all things Chikara Pro, among other feds. When he’s not writing for the Camel Clutch Blog, you can find him on his own blog, The Wrestling Blog.

nWo: The Revolution

WWE: WrestleMania 29 DVD

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nWo: The Revolution WWE DVD Review

January 07, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Much like many consider WWE’s “Attitude Era” the greatest era in professional wrestling history, there’s one specific angle that is considered the greatest angle of all time as well, and that was the monster known as the nWo. In 1996, three wrestlers began a revolution in the sport that lasted nearly 6 years, and helped shape professional wrestling into the monster success it is today. Those three men were Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, the original founding members of the nWo.

This set chronicles the history of the group, and I must say, does a great job. Over the course of the documentary, we see coverage of the entire history of the group, from their historic rise to their less-than-stellar conclusion. Over the course of the documentary, there are comments from men who were involved directly with the group, as well as several who worked for WCW at the time, as well as several others who simply got to witness it as fans.

All of the major angles are covered in the documentary, from the ill-fated “nWo Monday Nitro”, the first Souled Out pay-per-view event, the bringing in of Dennis Rodman, and many more. The reasons behind several of the members of the group being initiated in are explained in detail, too, providing some extra information that some fans might not know. Some of the best stories on the DVD come from, oddly enough, Cody Rhodes and Matt Striker. Although neither were involved with WCW at the time (Cody was only 11 when the angle started), both offer insightful viewpoints.

As the child of Dusty Rhodes, who was not only in WCW at the time, but also a member of the nWo at one point, Cody has many interesting behind-the-scenes stories, kind of from the viewpoint of someone who was there, but because of his age, didn’t understand what was going on. Cody backs this up by recounting many of the stories his dad would tell him about the nWo during that time, with Dusty still hanging onto kayfabe with his own son. As for Striker, yes, he comes off as a tool on television, but the guy is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to professional wrestling, and is probably too smart for his own good. His insights from the perspective as a fan who watched the whole thing unfold are very interesting, and are viewpoints that I think many fans around the world likely shared at that time, including myself.

Hulk Hogan and Scott Hall make appearances on the set, but their interviews are pre-recorded from previous years, same with Eric Bischoff. These are probably pieces you’ve seen before, but they still add a lot to the set. Kevin Nash appears in both new and old interview segments, along with several other original members like Sean “Syxx” Waltman and Ted DiBiase. Nash actually gets a lot of talk time in the set with the new interviews, and he has a lot of candid, unbiased things to say about the nWo. Specifically, he talks about how the first few black and white interview segments were absolutely terrible because Hulk Hogan was still stuck in the 80s, and it was only through an incredible editor that the videos came off better than they had any right to be. He also offers up the opinion that Souled Out was one of the worst events they ever did, which can be backed up with hard numbers.

While several employees from that time in WCW make appearances here as well, including Bill DeMott and Billy Kidman, the best appearance is from Lex Luger. I was honestly extremely surprised to see him appear on the set, due to a rough history with WWE, but that surprise was extremely pleasant. Luger gets quite a bit of talk time here, and comes off as extremely intelligent and insightful, giving a completely unbiased opinion on the entire angle.

I think the best part of the set is listening to all of the stories about the low points of the group’s history. While the nWo was certainly revolutionary and provided a lot of great moments, there were still bad points, just like any other angle or feud in the sport. In addition to the two shows I mentioned, the set focuses a lot of time on the Jay Leno fiasco, the Wolfpack, and even nWo 2000. Booker T offers up the best comments here (and I look forward to the day he gets his own set, BTW), pointing out exactly why these angles didn’t work and where they hit their worst points. While Cody Rhodes and Matt Striker lose me a little in talking about Jay Leno, I still understand their points. While the angle was atrocious, both men make good points about how Leno’s inclusion brought the group even more mainstream attention. Granted, it was the wrong kind of attention in many cases, but as the old saying goes, any publicity is good publicity. Still, the Leno bit was bad for business in the long run (especially since it took place at the annual money pit known as Road Wild), and it really hurt the group’s standing as the unstoppable bad guys who were cool to root for.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot left out of this set, considering the run time of the documentary is only about an hour long. This should have easily been a 3-hour set, and it’s unfortunate it was so short. Having said that, it’s amazing how much information is crammed into the 60 minutes on this set. Nearly the entire history of the group is covered in that time, with a lot of the major players involved getting to speak their mind at length. Honestly. While I would love a much longer set in the future, if possible, I am truly impressed with what was done here in the limited time frame.

So, having covered the documentary, that leaves the matches and bonus features, which cover roughly six hours of run time. These are somewhat hit-or-miss, but considering that the popularity of the angle was the group itself rather than the matches that were had during that time, it’s not surprising. Both Hall and Nash’s debuts are featured here, along with the aforementioned Jay Leno match and the famous in-ring debut of Dennis Rodman. Three matches included on this set are really surprising. The first off is Syxx vs. The Bounty Hunter from “nWo Saturday Night”. In case you have forgotten this, when WCW Saturday Night was on the air, after the nWo debuted, they began getting a weekly match on the show. They would record the match earlier in the day when the fans weren’t allowed in the arena, and they consisted of members of the group squashing random jobbers. This is one of those matches, and there’s no more to it than that.

Syxx squashes the guy, and that’s the end of it. The second one is Sting vs. Hogan the night after Starrcade ’97. I would have thought they would have included the match from the PPV itself, due to its historical significance. Instead, we get the rematch from the next night that not only do most people forget, but wound up being the beginning of the complete undoing of Sting’s title win the night before. The last of these three is the War Games Match from Fall Brawl ’98, pitting Team WCW vs. Team Hollywood vs. Team Wolfpack in a three-way match. This is considered the worst War Games Match in history, and there’s a good reason for it. Not only did it feature scrubs like Stevie Ray in the main event, but the rules were nonsensical. While traditional the traditional version of the match pitted either 4 on 4 or 5 on 5, with the decision being made by either submission or KO, this match could only end in pinfall or submission, and the person who scored the fall would be the new #1 contender for the WCW title. So, even though it was 3 on 3 on 3, it essentially was a 9-way match, making the idea of teams completely useless. On top of that, this was during Warrior’s embarrassing WCW run, and the match was marred with his stupid parlor tricks like disappearing in a cloud of smoke and reappearing elsewhere around the ring (with the help of the late Rick “Renegade” Wilson, playing his double).

Still, with these complaints, I had a good time watching this DVD. Much like The Attitude Era, I really enjoyed this set, as it felt like a trip down memory lane. I distinctly remember being a fan during this time, and because of where I lived, Nitro and RAW came on at different times, which allowed me to stay loyal to WWF but still enjoy WCW’s skyrocket in popularity as a result of the nWo (and many other things, truthfully). Despite watching many of these moments, nearly 20 years later, I had forgotten many of them, and some of the matches included here were ones I had never even seen, which is something I always look forward to on these sets, regardless of match quality.

If you were a big nWo fan, this set should be on your wish list. If not, I still say pick it up, if for no other reason than its historical significance. The cultural impact of the nWo and WCW on a whole at the time can not be underestimated, and this DVD does nothing but enforce that fact. No pun intended, the nWo was a revolutionary concept, and that revolution can still be felt in wrestling today.

DISC 1

Stars Align

Free Agents

The Outsiders

Bash at the Beach

Here’s the nWo

Element of Reality

Fan Interest

nWo vs. WCW

Rivalry versus Sting

The nWo. Goes Mainstream

Internal Strife

Restoration Attempt

nWo 4 Life

Scott Hall’s Nitro Debut
Nitro – 27th May, 1996

Kevin Nash’s Nitro Debut
Nitro – 10th June, 1996

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper confronts Eric Bischoff
18th November, 1996

Hollywood Hulk Hogan confronts “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
30th December, 1996

The nWo’s WWE Debut
No Way Out – 17th February, 2002

DISC 2

The Outsiders vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Sting & Lex Luger
Bash at the Beach – 7th July, 1996

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
The Giant vs. Hollywood Hogan
Hog Wild – 10th August, 1996

WCW World Tag Team Championship Match
The Outsiders vs. Harlem Heat
Halloween Havoc – 27th October, 1996

Syxx vs. The Bounty Hunter
nWo Saturday Night – 9th November, 1996

WCW World Tag Team Championship Match
The Outsiders vs. The Steiner Brothers
Souled Out – 25th January, 1997

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Hollywood Hogan vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
SuperBrawl VII – 23rd February, 1997

Hollywood Hogan & Dennis Rodman vs. Lex Luger & The Giant
Bash at the Beach – 13th July, 1997

DISC 3

Las Vegas Sudden Death Match
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage
Halloween Havoc – 26th October, 1997

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Sting vs. Hollywood Hogan
Nitro – 29th December, 1997

No Disqualification Match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Hollywood Hogan vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage
Nitro – 20th April, 1998

Match for Control of the WCW World Tag Team Championship
Sting vs. The Giant
Great American Bash – 14th June, 1998

Hollywood Hogan & Eric Bischoff vs. Jay Leno & Diamond Dallas Page
Road Wild – 8th August, 1998

War Games Match to Determine the #1 Contender for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Team WCW vs. Team Hollywood vs. Team Wolfpack
Fall Brawl – 13th September, 1998

No Disqualification Match for WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash
Starrcade – 27th December, 1998

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Goldberg vs. Bret “Hit Man” Hart
Nitro – 20th December, 1999

Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash & Scott Hall vs. The Rock & “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
RAW – 11th March, 2002

BLU-RAY EXTRAS

nWo Legends of Wrestling Roundtable Discussion featuring Kevin Nash, Jim Ross, JJ Dillon, & Michael Hayes

*The Beginning
*The nWo Concept
*Hogan Turns his back on WCW
*Putting Vince out of business
*Ratings war
*Pointing fingers
*Goldberg
*Cutting Edge & Controversial
*Downfall
Invitation only
WCW Saturday Night – 27th July, 1996

Nothing Personal
WCW Saturday Night – 3rd August, 1996

Modern Day Gladiators
Monday Nitro – 19th August, 1996

Worldwide
WCW Saturday Night – 7th September, 1996

Room Service
Monday Nitro – 30th September, 1996

It’s Not Easy Being King
Monday Nitro – 20th January, 1997

The Real Hot Rod
Monday Nitro – 17th March, 1997

The Madness
Monday Nitro – 28th April, 1997

All Over But The Crying
WCW Pro Wrestling – 15th June, 1997

As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/xdustineflx ,and if you like Married…With Children, you can follow my Al Bundy parody account at http://www.twitter.com/bundyisms. Also follow my personal blog at http://nerdslikeme.blogspot.com (feedback is welcome). Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out my mom’s official site by clicking the banner below:

Gerri Davis Banner, NPC National Level Heavyweight and Masters Female Bodybuilder

-Dustin

nWo: The Revolution

nWo: The Revolution [Blu-ray]

WWE: New World Order (nWo) – Back in Black

nWo: The Revolution WWE DVD Review

November 14, 2012 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

One of the most anticipated WWE DVD released I can remember has to be this three-disc set. I went out as soon as I had a chance and bought the new documentary, “nWo: the Revolution.” Granted they put out a documentary of one of the most influential groups in the last 20 years about ten years ago, yet I was excited for the new material for this DVD release and a different perspective. Throughout this blog, I’ll be giving some of my thoughts on what was discussed in the documentary.

“We shall rule FOR LIFE!” proclaims the leader, Hulk Hogan in the opening scene of the documentary.

The documentary opens with the explanation of Jim Crockett Promotions being sold to Ted Turner. In 1993 Eric Bischoff came in and took office and the book, and came up with the brilliant idea of the invasion. Bischoff followed a long line of WCW bookers who had very short lives.

Jimmy Hart was interviewed and talked about the heel turn Hogan did at the Bash of the Beach 1996 pay-per-view, when he dropped the leg on Randy Savage and revealed that he was the third man with the Outsiders. Jimmy mentioned that he had been managing Hogan since he came into WCW. He also mentioned that over the two plus years that Hogan’s been getting more and more boos monthly, so in his opinion it was about time WCW gave the fans what they wanted and turn Hogan heel.

In an interview that was done ten years before for the first documentary, the 2002 Hulk Hogan mentioned that it made sense for him to lead the invading group because the Hulk Hogan character was head-to-toe New York made. He became famous up in the WWE in the 1980s and early 1990s and helped make the company what it was before he left. So along with the two former main eventers from the WWE that came down to invade, it’d be best for the guy who helped make the WWE huge to be the leader.

Two surprises for the DVD were two different interviewees I never expected Vince McMahon to bring in to interview, Vince Russo and Lex Lugar. I’m surprised about Russo because Russo wasn’t involved at the start of the nWo (due to working in the WWE at the time as a writer) and the nWo storyline was pretty much finished when he went to WCW. I was surprised to see Lex Lugar because he hasn’t made any kind of appearance, to my knowledge in the WWE since WCW closed up in 2001.

Kevin Nash talked about the evolution of the “nWo commercials,” how he and Hall didn’t want their promos to become just “another wrestling promo,” where he, Hall, and Hogan would come out, Hogan would cut an old-school promo, and they’d leave. One of the producers suggested the black-and-white filmed promos and doing it in the sound-bites fashion. With those two simple changes, their promos became new and set them apart.

One of the biggest things I remember throughout the DVD was how large the nWo became and how it killed them in the end. Lex Lugar mentioned that if they would have kept their numbers down, it would have worked out a lot better than what it turned out to be. In a 2003 interview with Eric Bischoff he mentioned that the reason why the group got as big as it did is because he was hoping to make the nWo its own wrestling company. He wanted to have it separate and looking different from WCW, with two different shows like what Raw and Smackdown did in 2002 (yet with the product looking different).

One thing that made me laugh was when Kevin Nash said that the nWo Souled Out pay-per-view was one of the stupidest ideas ever done, specifically since they had an nWo ref that none of the nWo guys should have lost (a WCW guy even won a title on the card). I heard a review on the Wrestling Observer website reviewing the pay-per-view on the Bryan and Vinny show and both guys echoed that statement.

In the end if you want this DVD in your collection for the historical aspect of it, go out and buy it. I wanted to buy it for the matches on the second and third disc. I was hoping to get more out of the documentary but they already had one release ten years ago which covered everything. If you’re into the documentary itself and not into the bonus material, don’t buy it. I’d suggest the “Back in Black” documentary they put out on the nWo in 2002.

DISC 1

Stars Align

Free Agents

The Outsiders

Bash at the Beach

Here’s the nWo

Element of Reality

Fan Interest

nWo vs. WCW

Rivalry versus Sting

The nWo. Goes Mainstream

Internal Strife

Restoration Attempt

nWo 4 Life

Scott Hall’s Nitro Debut
Nitro – 27th May, 1996

Kevin Nash’s Nitro Debut
Nitro – 10th June, 1996

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper confronts Eric Bischoff
18th November, 1996

Hollywood Hulk Hogan confronts “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
30th December, 1996

The nWo’s WWE Debut
No Way Out – 17th February, 2002

DISC 2

The Outsiders vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Sting & Lex Luger
Bash at the Beach – 7th July, 1996

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
The Giant vs. Hollywood Hogan
Hog Wild – 10th August, 1996

WCW World Tag Team Championship Match
The Outsiders vs. Harlem Heat
Halloween Havoc – 27th October, 1996

Syxx vs. The Bounty Hunter
nWo Saturday Night – 9th November, 1996

WCW World Tag Team Championship Match
The Outsiders vs. The Steiner Brothers
Souled Out – 25th January, 1997

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Hollywood Hogan vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
SuperBrawl VII – 23rd February, 1997

Hollywood Hogan & Dennis Rodman vs. Lex Luger & The Giant
Bash at the Beach – 13th July, 1997

DISC 3

Las Vegas Sudden Death Match
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage
Halloween Havoc – 26th October, 1997

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Sting vs. Hollywood Hogan
Nitro – 29th December, 1997

No Disqualification Match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Hollywood Hogan vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage
Nitro – 20th April, 1998

Match for Control of the WCW World Tag Team Championship
Sting vs. The Giant
Great American Bash – 14th June, 1998

Hollywood Hogan & Eric Bischoff vs. Jay Leno & Diamond Dallas Page
Road Wild – 8th August, 1998

War Games Match to Determine the #1 Contender for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Team WCW vs. Team Hollywood vs. Team Wolfpack
Fall Brawl – 13th September, 1998

No Disqualification Match for WCW World Heavyweight Championship
Goldberg vs. Kevin Nash
Starrcade – 27th December, 1998

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Goldberg vs. Bret “Hit Man” Hart
Nitro – 20th December, 1999

Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash & Scott Hall vs. The Rock & “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
RAW – 11th March, 2002

BLU-RAY EXTRAS

nWo Legends of Wrestling Roundtable Discussion featuring Kevin Nash, Jim Ross, JJ Dillon, & Michael Hayes

*The Beginning
*The nWo Concept
*Hogan Turns his back on WCW
*Putting Vince out of business
*Ratings war
*Pointing fingers
*Goldberg
*Cutting Edge & Controversial
*Downfall
Invitation only
WCW Saturday Night – 27th July, 1996

Nothing Personal
WCW Saturday Night – 3rd August, 1996

Modern Day Gladiators
Monday Nitro – 19th August, 1996

Worldwide
WCW Saturday Night – 7th September, 1996

Room Service
Monday Nitro – 30th September, 1996

It’s Not Easy Being King
Monday Nitro – 20th January, 1997

The Real Hot Rod
Monday Nitro – 17th March, 1997

The Madness
Monday Nitro – 28th April, 1997

All Over But The Crying
WCW Pro Wrestling – 15th June, 1997

Eric Darsie is known as a ‘common-man’ among his peers, at least he thinks so. He works hard with his hands in the heart of Minnesota and on his free time, he thugs and a bugs with his family and friends. Whenever he doesn’t do that, he’s found to be writing. Now more of a rare thing, he’s gems could be found here. If you would like to see more of Eric’s work outside of the professional world, check him out at http://vintagedarsie.wordpress.com/, http://www.writerscafe.org/Darsie/writing/, and on Twitter @IAmDarsie.

nWo: The Revolution

nWo: The Revolution [Blu-ray]

WWE: New World Order (nWo) – Back in Black

WWE.com Ranks The Top 50 WCW Greatest Stars

May 22, 2012 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WCW top 50Here we go again. WWE.com is at it again with another controversial WCW list. In typical WWE fashion their new Top 50 WCW stars list has the typical bias and will inspire debate from now until their next list comes out. If you are looking for objectivity here, you may as well look somewhere else.

While I am not a huge fan of these kinds of lists, they do provide good fodder for pro wrestling fans. Let’s be completely frank here. Any list of top 50 stars when it comes to wrestling is a stretch. Judging how big a star that a pro wrestler is by titles or main-events while fun, is really a baseless argument because at the end of the day it is the booker or creative team that decides how big of a star a professional wrestler will be.

Before we get into the list, the WWE writers laid out the parameters. Here are a few key points to keep in mind.

1 – The list starts when Ted Turner purchased the company in 1988. This is not a list that takes into account anything prior to the 1988 sale.

2 – “Competitors were rated only on their accomplishments while in WCW.” The writers use Bret Hart as an example of an accomplished wrestler outside of WCW who never achieved much during his WCW run.

3 – “Rankings were based on everything from longevity to cultural impact.” The writers do admit that there is some bias involved, as you will see once we get down the list.

Now let’s have some fun and take a look back at WCW thanks to the Top 50 Greatest WCW Superstars. Check out the list in its entirety on WWE.com.

Here are the top 10 in order:
Sting
Ric Flair
“Hollywood” Hulk Hogan
Goldberg
Kevin Nash
Diamond Dallas Page
Lex Luger
Booker T
“Macho Man” Randy Savage
Scott Steiner

Where do I begin with that top 10? Sting as the first choice is a real debatable selection in my opinion. Sting was a big star but his only real successful drawing program was the feud with Hulk Hogan. Shooting him to the top for one big program is a bit of a stretch to me.

Ric Flair coming in at #2 is also a bit of a stretch to me. Remember, this list is 1988 and up. Flair was gone from WCW for a few years and really never had the ball after returning the way he had it before he jumped to the WWE. I love Ric Flair as a wrestler but I think he belongs somewhere 5-8 on this specific list.

Hulk Hogan at #3? Well they do admit that there is bias here. I know there are plenty of Hogan haters but if you are going to make a list starting at 1988 than Hogan has to be the clear cut first spot on the list. His heel turn turned the company around as well as the entire pro wrestling industry. Hogan’s numbers are far more impressive than anyone on the list. Quite frankly he and Sting aren’t even in the same stratosphere when it comes to WCW influence and star power.

The rest of the bunch is fine, but certainly debatable. Booker T was a big star but it was for a very short amount of time. Putting him in the top 10 over someone like Vader is just a case of the WWE propping up their guy. Scott Steiner at number 10? I loved the Big Poppa Pump run but again, it was for a very short run at the top. I would put Brian Pillman, Vader, and maybe even Rey Mysterio ahead of either of those guys in the top 10. Lex Luger is right where he should be and while I know that some will hate seeing Nash up that high, he was a big part of the WCW turnaround with the N.W.O. gimmick.

The rest of the list in order:
Big Van Vader
Scott Hall
Dean Malenko
“Psycho” Sid Vicious
“Stunning” Steve Austin
Ron Simmons
Arn Anderson
Eddie Guerrero
The Giant (Big Show)
Brian Pillman
Rick Steiner
Rey Mysterio
Barry Windham
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Eric Bischoff
Rick Rude
Chris Jericho
Buff Bagwell|
Billy Kidman
Raven
The Great Muta
Lance Storm
Terry Funk
Konnan
Lord Steven Regal (William Regal)
Ultimo Dragon
Cactus Jack (Mick Foley)
Michael “P.S.” Hayes
Curt Hennig
“Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan
Bret Hart
Dustin Rhodes
Saturn
Bobby Eaton
Kanyon
Larry Zbyszko
Meng
Dennis Rodman
Juventud Guerrera
Jeff Jarrett

I have a couple of quick observations here. I was never a big Jeff Jarrett fan but he was a much bigger star in WCW than #50, behind Dennis Rodman, Larry Zbysko, and Michael Hayes. How does Michael Hayes even wind up on this list? Oh yeah that’s right. Konnan, Juventud, and Buff Bagwell are guys that come to mind that were much bigger stars in WCW than what is reflected on this list. I am also surprised not to see Roddy Piper anywhere on the list. He isn’t top 10 or maybe even top 20, but I’d certainly call him one of WCW’s biggest stars of the time period.

What do you think? Did they get it right or is the typical biased WCW list coming from WWE.com?

WWE: The Best of WCW Clash of the Champions (DVD)

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WWE: The Best of WCW Clash of the Champions DVD Review

May 09, 2012 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE: The Best of WCW Clash of the Champions DVDDespite always being given away on free TV, there was a time when Clash of the Champions was considered one of the biggest wrestling events in the world, on par with big shows like Wrestlemania. The shows featured a little bit of everything, from title matches, to great undercard bouts, to main events that were pay-per-view quality.

In existence for thirteen years, the show was seen twice a year or more, clocking in at thirty-five total installments. Currently, it has more installments than any other major wrestling show in U.S. history, a record WrestleMania won’t break for another eight years. The first show went head-to-head with WrestleMania IV in 1988, and was a huge success, main evented by Ric Flair defending the NWA World title against Sting in a classic 45-minute draw, considered by many one of the greatest matches of all time.

From there, the show continued to put on major events several times a year, often featuring World title matches, or at the very least a main event starring the World Champion. Even as it got on in years and WCW’s quality began to dwindle at the end of the company’s existence, you could still count on Clash to be a fun, big time show that would cost you absolutely zero to watch. Even the worst editions of the event still featured one or two excellent matches, matches you could easily see yourself paying for.

This DVD set claims to be the “Best of” and it’s hard to argue with the claim. While some of your favorites may not have made the cut, it’s overall a very good collection of 24 matches spanning the show’s history. Hosting the set is WWE Hall of Famer “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, which adds a nice touch to the set. However, for some reason, his appearances on the set are very, very limited. Despite the number of matches, Dusty only appears on the set seven times, and the appearances are very short at that. It would have been nice to maybe have him introduce each match, as the WWE has done in previous sets, as Dusty is still very entertaining to listen to, and about as good of a WCW expert as you could hope for.

Nevertheless, the collection has some really great moments on it. We get the aforementioned Sting/Flair classic from the first show, and also from that show, a great tag team match pitting the NWA World Tag Team Champions, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, against Lex Luger and Barry Windham. It’s matches like this that make you realize how good Luger really could be in the early years of his career.

Luger gets a second chance to shine later in the set, as he defends the NWA United States Championship against Ric Flair in another great one. The ending, which saw Stan Hansen interfere and cause a DQ win for Luger, takes the match down a little bit, but it’s still very good overall, and Luger more than held his own against “The Nature Boy”. There’s also some rare gems like Ricky Morton vs. Ivan Koloff in a Russian Chain Match, and an NWA U.S. Tag Team Title Match between the legendary teams of The Midnight Express (the Lane/Eaton version) and The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express.

A Clash set wouldn’t be complete without some great heavyweight championship matches, and this set delivers. We get Sting/Flair from 1988, an awesome “I Quit” Match between Flair and Terry Funk in 1989, and a title unification bout from 1994 as Flair and Sting went at it once more. Aside from those, there are numerous undercard title matches, including a pair of great Cruiserweight title matches and a surprisingly good TV title match between Dustin Rhodes and Lord Steven Regal. You also get one of Ricky Steamboat’s last matches as he took on WCW United States Champion “Stunning” Steve Austin in an excellent title bout that ended the outstanding series those two had.

Of course, even great sets like this are going to feature some duds, and this one’s got a few. For starters, we get a match between Cactus Jack Manson (Mick Foley) and Mil Mascaras that is beyond suck. Foley has stated in the past that Mascaras was very unprofessional to work with and that he absolutely hated this match, and it shows. It lasts a little over five minutes, and I am not kidding when I say that Manson got absolutely zero offense in.

The only highlight (if you can call it that) was seeing Foley take a horrendous back bump on the concrete outside of the ring, resulting in just a cringe-worthy “thud”. There’s also a really boring 15-man “Georgia Brawl” battle royal featuring mostly mid-carders no one cared about, and a quick and pointless six-man between the Fabulous Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin, Michael Hayes and Brad Armstrong as horrible gimmick #1,372, “Badstreet”) vs. Tom “Z-Man” Zenk and the Young Pistols (Steve Armstrong and Tracy Smothers).

Capping off the major duds is a match between DDP and Eddy Guerrero. While the match itself is pretty decent, the idea behind the match was completely ridiculous. These two were fighting over DDP’s “Battle Bowl” ring. Yes, a ring. The ring was originally supposed to represent the top contender to the belt, but it became worthless in short order as A) it was a standard ring, so you could barely even see it, and B) DDP, as “Champion”, often defended it against scrubs like Marcus Bagwell and Jim Powers.

Still, the good far outweighs the bad here, and is a great representation of how awesome Clash of the Champions could be. I would have liked to have seen maybe at least a match from each installment of the show, but that might have made the set too long. Oh, well. This is still a great set overall. While some improvements could be made, they don’t take away from the overall quality, which is pretty excellent.

Watching this set, I can give it a pretty high recommendation, especially to old school fans and DVD collectors. The amount of legends featured on this set is incredible, and shows you why they were some of the best of all time. Newer fans may not get into as much if they don’t recognize a lot of the names and faces, but I still encourage them to check out some of the all-time greats that helped pave the way for a lot of today’s current wrestlers. Definitely a thumb’s up on this one.

DISC 1

The Real Story

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Sting
Clash of the Champions – 27th March, 1988

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard vs. Lex Luger & Barry Windham
Clash of the Champions – 27th March, 1988

Why Wait a Whole Year?

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard vs. Sting & Dusty Rhodes
Clash of the Champions II – 8th June, 1988

Russian Chain Match
Ricky Morton vs. Ivan Koloff
Clash of the Champions III – 7th September, 1988

“I Quit” Match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk
Clash of the Champions IX – 15th November, 1989

Mil Mascaras vs. Cactus Jack Manson
Clash of the Champions X – 6th February, 1990

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
Midnight Express vs. Rock & Roll Express
Clash of the Champions XI – 13th June, 1990

DISC 2

To Be The Man, You Gotta Beat The Man

NWA United States Championship Match
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger
Clash of the Champions XII – 5th September, 1990

The Young Pistols & Z-Man vs. The Fabulous Freebirds
Clash of the Champions XV – 12th June, 1991

15-Man Battle Royal
Clash of the Champions XVI – 5th September, 1991

WCW United States Championship Match
Sting vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude
Clash of the Champions XVII – 19th November, 1991

Other Stars On The Rise

2 out of 3 Falls Match
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs. The Hollywood Blonds
Clash of the Champions XXIII – 17th June, 1993

Brian Pillman vs. “Stunning” Steve Austin
Clash of the Champions XXV – 10th November, 1993

WCW Television Title Match
Lord Steven Regal vs. Dustin Rhodes
Clash of the Champions XXVI – 27th January, 1994

Elimination Tag Team Match
Sting & `Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude & Vader
Clash of the Champions XXVI – 27th January, 1994

DISC 3

Here we are Again

Championship Unification Match
Sting vs. `Nature Boy’ Ric Flair
Clash of the Champions XXVII – 23rd June, 1994

WCW United States Championship Match
“Stunning” Steve Austin vs. Ricky `The Dragon’ Steamboat
Clash of the Champions XXVIII – 24th August, 1994

Hulk Hogan & `Macho Man’ Randy Savage vs. `Nature Boy’ Ric Flair & The Giant
Clash of the Champions XXXII – 23rd January, 1996

Medusa vs. Bull Nakano
Clash of the Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996

Match for the BattleBowl Ring
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eddie Guerrero
Clash of the Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996

I’m gonna watch this

WCW World Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match
Harlem Heat vs. The Steiner Brothers vs. Sting & Lex Luger
Clash of the Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996

WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Ultimo Dragon vs. Dean Malenko
Clash of the Champions XXXIV – 21st January, 1997

WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Guerrero
Clash of the Champions XXXV – 21st August, 1997

Diamond Dallas Page & Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall & `Macho Man’ Randy Savage
Clash of the Champions XXXV – 21st August, 1997

35th and Final Clash

BLU-RAY EXTRAS

`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair and Barry Windham vs. Midnight Express
Clash of the Champions IV – 7th December, 1988

Sting and Ricky `The Dragon’ Steamboat vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude and Steve Austin
Clash of the Champions XVIII – 21st January, 1992

Thunder Cage Match
Dustin Rhodes & Sting vs. Big Van Vader, Paul Orndorff and Barry Windham
Clash of the Champions XXII – 13th January, 1993
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Listing March 5, 2012
By A. Pierre
Format:Blu-ray
The Real Story

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Sting
Clash of the Champions – 27th March, 1988

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard vs. Lex Luger & Barry Windham
Clash of the Champions – 27th March, 1988

Why Wait a Whole Year?

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard vs. Sting & Dusty Rhodes
Clash of the Champions II – 8th June, 1988

Russian Chain Match
Ricky Morton vs. Ivan Koloff
Clash of the Champions III – 7th September, 1988

“I Quit” Match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk
Clash of the Champions IX – 15th November, 1989

Mil Mascaras vs. Cactus Jack Manson
Clash of the Champions X – 6th February, 1990

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
Midnight Express vs. Rock & Roll Express
Clash of the Champions XI – 13th June, 1990

To Be The Man, You Gotta Beat The Man

NWA United States Championship Match
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger
Clash of the Champions XII – 5th September, 1990

The Young Pistols & Z-Man vs. The Fabulous Freebirds
Clash of the Champions XV – 12th June, 1991

15-Man Battle Royal
Clash of the Champions XVI – 5th September, 1991

WCW United States Championship Match
Sting vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude
Clash of the Champions XVII – 19th November, 1991

Other Stars On The Rise

2 out of 3 Falls Match
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs. The Hollywood Blonds
Clash of the Champions XXIII – 17th June, 1993

Brian Pillman vs. “Stunning” Steve Austin
Clash of the Champions XXV – 10th November, 1993

WCW Television Title Match
Lord Steven Regal vs. Dustin Rhodes
Clash of the Champions XXVI – 27th January, 1994

Elimination Tag Team Match
Sting & `Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude & Vader
Clash of the Champions XXVI – 27th January, 1994

Here we are Again

Championship Unification Match
Sting vs. `Nature Boy’ Ric Flair
Clash of the Champions XXVII – 23rd June, 1994

WCW United States Championship Match
“Stunning” Steve Austin vs. Ricky `The Dragon’ Steamboat
Clash of the Champions XXVIII – 24th August, 1994

Hulk Hogan & `Macho Man’ Randy Savage vs. `Nature Boy’ Ric Flair & The Giant
Clash of the Champions XXXII – 23rd January, 1996

Madusa vs. Bull Nakano
Clash of the Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996

Match for the BattleBowl Ring
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eddie Guerrero
Clash of the Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996

I’m gonna watch this

WCW World Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match
Harlem Heat vs. The Steiner Brothers vs. Sting & Lex Luger
Clash of the Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996

WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Ultimo Dragon vs. Dean Malenko
Clash of the Champions XXXIV – 21st January, 1997

WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Guerrero
Clash of the Champions XXXV – 21st August, 1997

Diamond Dallas Page & Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall & `Macho Man’ Randy Savage
Clash of the Champions XXXV – 21st August, 1997

35th and Final Clash

Blu-ray Exclusive Content

‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair and Barry Windham vs. Midnight Express
Clash of the Champions IV – 7th December, 1988

Sting and Ricky `The Dragon’ Steamboat vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude and Steve Austin
Clash of the Champions XVIII – 21st January, 1992

Thunder Cage Match
Dustin Rhodes & Sting vs. Big Van Vader, Paul Orndorff and Barry Windham
Clash of the Champions XXII – 13th January, 1993

BLU-RAY EXTRAS

`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair and Barry Windham vs. Midnight Express
Clash of the Champions IV – 7th December, 1988

Sting and Ricky `The Dragon’ Steamboat vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude and Steve Austin
Clash of the Champions XVIII – 21st January, 1992

Thunder Cage Match
Dustin Rhodes & Sting vs. Big Van Vader, Paul Orndorff and Barry Windham
Clash of the Champions XXII – 13th January, 1993

As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/XDustinEFLX, and if you like Married…With Children, you can follow my Al Bundy parody account at http://www.twitter.com/bundyisms. Also follow my personal blog at http://nerdslikeme.blogspot.com (feedback is welcome). Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out my mom’s official site by clicking the banner below:

Gerri Davis Banner, NPC National Level Heavyweight and Masters Female Bodybuilder

-Dustin

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Top Ten Greatest Stables In Pro Wrestling

December 14, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

One of the most fun components of pro wrestling growing up was the faction or stable. Evil managers generally assembled an all-star roster of top heels to organize for one sole purpose, destroy the top hero! Today I look back at the ten best stables in pro wrestling.

Some of the best memories of watching wrestling as a kid came from the stables. Whether it was Captain Lou Albano’s army of rotating villains challenging Bob Backlund, the Heenan Family’s obsession with Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan, or Dusty Rhodes getting jumped in a parking lot by the Four Horsemen, wrestling stables provided some of the best entertainment in the country.

I thought it would be fun to take a look back and countdown some of the best stables in pro wrestling. I compiled this list from a deep memory of old school wrestling, lots of tape watching in my later years, and of course my favorite old school wrestling tool, You Tube. Watch your back and lock the door, because wrestling’s greatest stables may be looking for you!

1 – The Four Horsemen - I checked out a lot of lists online before I finished this article just to see if I missed anyone. Surprisingly I only found a couple of lists that had the Horsemen at the top. To me, this was the greatest of all stables. Yes one could argue the N.W.O., but I think the longevity of the Horsemen makes it the best. For their time, there was nobody better. Personally, my favorite group was the original four of Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Ole Anderson, Arn Anderson, and J.J. Dillon. I don’t think anyone else comes close.

2 – The n.W.o. - Looking over those lists online I found the N.W.O. appearing at the top of just about every list. In terms of money, I don’t think you could deny for a second the financial impact this group had on the entire industry. But if you look back, it was only for about a year where this group remained strong. There was too much turnover and not enough quality opponents to boost this faction at the top of the list in my opinion. I think if they kept the group limited to Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Sean Waltman, this faction could have had a longer shelf life and an even bigger impact. For more on the N.W.O., check out this blog.

3 – The Heenan Family - Growing up and watching the Heenan Family on WWE television as a kid was a real treat. Every week the Brain was on the hunt for the best in and out of the WWF to take out Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant. Like the N.W.O., there was turnover but not nearly as much as the black and white. My favorite Heenan Family of course was the first with King Kong Bundy, Big John Studd, Ken Patera, and the Brain.

4 – Jimmy Hart’s First Family - Maybe it was a recent viewing of Memphis Heat that reminded me of how great this stable was, but I just recently fell back in love with this group through that movie and You Tube clips. Memphis was my favorite territory of all time during my tape trading days and I used to getting my hands on old tapes of Jimmy Hart’s First Family from the early 1980s. From Andy Kaufman, to Austin Idol, to Rick Rude, and more, they all tried their best to take out the King and they all failed in the end. If you want to lay your eyes on some classic interviews and angles, do a search for Jimmy Hart Memphis on You Tube and you’ll be entertained for hours.

5 – Kevin Sullivan’s Lunatic Stable - I couldn’t recall a name for his group (so if any of you old classic fans have one, please leave it in the comments), but the faction that Kevin Sullivan assembled in Florida to take on Dusty Rhodes, Blackjack Mulligan, Barry Windham, and the other heroes may be one of the most underrated of all time. This group was as evil as it gets, using a Satanic gimmick to intimidate their opponents and fans. The core of the group was Sullivan, Mark Lewin, and Bob Roop but others like Superstar Billy Graham and Jake Roberts passed through as well. This group of brawlers and maulers were so dark, that they still give people nightmares thanks to You Tube and DVD trading.

6 – Evolution - How could I leave off Evolution? It bothers me a little when I hear people speak of Evolution in the greatest of all time categories, but for their time period, they were fantastic. Ric Flair, Batista, Randy Orton, and Triple H may go down as the last great heel faction in pro wrestling history. They ran roughshod over the WWE for two years and made life for the WWE babyfaces a living hell. Those days are over but the impact that this group made into young fans of that time period is the same that the Four Horsemen did for me.

7 – The Dangerous Alliance - Once the Four Horsemen disbanded in WCW, Paul E. Dangerously stepped in and took advantage of the opening with the Dangerous Alliance. Dangerously, or Heyman as we know him, created a solid foundation featuring some of the best technical wrestlers in WCW during that time period. Steve Austin, Bobby Eaton, Arn Anderson, and Rick Rude went toe to toe with Lex Luger, Sting, and Ricky Steamboat in WCW during the early 1990s. Arn Anderson once called the group “one of the greatest gatherings of talent ever.”

8 – The Hart Foundation - It was only a year, but it seemed like more than the Hart Foundation led by Bret Hart dominated Monday Night RAW and held their own with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The group comprised of Hart, Jim Neidhart, Davey Boy Smith, and Brian Pillman had it all from brawlers, to technicians, to high flyers, to psychological masters of the ring. No group since the Hart Foundation has been able to polarize two countries like the Hart Foundation did with Canada and America.

9 – Devastation Inc. - General Skandor Akbar tried his best to make the lives of the Von Erich family miserable in Texas with Devastation Inc. The faction had numerous incarnations but my favorite was the group that featured Killer Khan, One Man Gang, Killer Brooks, and the Missing Link. In addition to those three, Mick Foley, Abdullah the Butcher, Killer Brooks, Steve Austin, and Hercules Hernandez are just some members of the Devastation Inc. alumni. Akbar also brought his stable into the Mid South collecting such greats as Steve Williams, King Kong Bundy, Ted DiBiase, and Leroy Brown along the way.

10- The Legion Of Doom - I am not going back to the WWE L.O.D., I am going back to Georgia Championship Wrestling and the first incarnation of the Legion of Doom. I remember seeing this group in magazines and being in awe of their size and viciousness. Paul Ellering assembled this masterpiece which included a young, raw Road Warriors, King Kong Bundy, Jake Roberts, The Spoiler, Matt Borne, the Iron Sheik, the Original Sheik, and Arn Anderson. It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that for the time period!

This article was originally published on December 14, 2011

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Has WWE blown the opportunity to turn John Cena heel?

November 30, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

John Cena RAW promoWhile I don’t consider myself to be a booker or an armchair quarter back, I think that the WWE dropped the ball to turn John Cena heel at the Survivor Series. The company had the perfect setting at the perfect venue with the perfect match, and yet again they continue to keep Cena as a face.

I did not order the event because I felt that there was a 99.99% percent chance that WWE would not “pull the trigger” to turn Cena heel. Yet Cena was practically booed out of Madison Square Garden from what I read on various websites.

Creative could have had Cena turn on The Rock with him (Cena) joining up with The Miz and R-Truth to cause an “injury” storyline, followed by Cena taunting the crowd with how he is booed each week, how he has supported the kids, etc. and then tell the CenaNation they can “stick it.” This would have made their feud and storyline that much more interesting.

It would have made for great television and I would have paid $45.00 just to see that alone if I knew it was going to happen. As of right now, their feud really means nothing to me, and I don’t really care much about it at this point, and it doesn’t spark any interest at this point for me to even consider plunking down the money to order WrestleMania 28.

One reason I thought of as to why WWE didn’t turn Cena heel at Survivor Series was that everyone was expecting it. Then I thought, who am I kidding, the kids and girls cheer him, so in turn they buy his t-shirts. I had some hope, but not much that WWE would somehow turn Cena on Raw the next night, but without an appearance from The Rock, it would make no sense.

It should be expected that The Rock will make some kind of appearance at the 2012 Royal Rumble to further the feud leading into WrestleMania 28 in Miami next April, so WWE has another major pay-per view to either turn Cena heel at the Royal Rumble or have The Rock make an appearance the next night on Raw and do it then.

But then again, is the opportunity to make Cena into a bad guy too far gone and too late at this point in the game? Some may argue yes and some may argue no. With as much heat as Cena receives each week, being booed over and over again, I think WWE has a very prime opportunity to “shock the world” and give their long time good guy who has been the face of the company and Monday Night Raw a new look and a new fresh attitude.

I give Eric Bischoff and Kevin Sullivan credit for is taking that unexpected chance with Hulk Hogan at Bash at the Beach in 1996 when they made him the third member of the nWo. Hogan himself does deserve credit also for making the heel character work as well.

During the original Monday Night War, Vince didn’t have to really worry about competing with Monday Night Football, but however, prior to CM Punk recapturing the WWE Championship WWE’s main show has been more like Monday Night Blah. Raw has potential to be interesting television each week with CM Punk as the top babyface of the flagship show and John Cena as the top heel of Raw.

For more from Jerome Wilen check out his website, Pro Wrestling Ringside – http://prowrestlingringside.blogspot.com

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What was the point of bringing Kevin Nash back? – Inside The Wheelhouse

September 14, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Kevin Nash firedKevin Nash has been (storyline) released from the WWE via Triple H on RAW this past Monday Night and also “future endeavored” on WWE.com for all to see. The “release” on WWE.com prompted many to wonder if he was actually in-fact released from the company or if it was a storyline, if you went with storyline you got that question right.

With all the recent Kevin Nash release hoopla from the WWE and without a single match under his belt during his brief time back on the main roster, one has to wonder…what was the point of bringing Kevin Nash back?

I have always been a Kevin Nash fan. While he may not be the greatest wrestling booker in the world (i.e. “Finger poke of Doom”), he has been a pretty entertaining talent in the world of wrestling the past 15-20 years. Sure you aren’t going to get a 5-star match out of the big man but the guy was still very entertaining and very influential in the landscape of wrestling during his time. But when he came out at the end of Summerslam 2011 and powerbombed CM Punk I had to wonder one thing, “um why is he back?”

I won’t lie I was intrigued with Kevin Nash coming down to interfere and cost CM Punk the WWE Championship at Summerslam. Idea’s of reformations of the Kliq or the road to Triple H/CM Punk being built on the night was something I was looking forward to. Then I watched the next night on RAW…

Kevin Nash, in his prime, was pretty good at cutting promos. He’d be witty, he’d be arrogant, and he was entertaining. All of which he wasn’t when face-to-face with CM Punk in a promo battle.

Sure it had been sometime since Kevin Nash had a live promo battle since he did work at TNA for the last 7 or so years but he looked inferior to CM Punk’s remarks. I don’t know if it was Kevin Nash was rusty or that the creative team’s script for Nash was so bad. Either way it just didn’t transcend well on the screen, especially the whole “text” fiasco that started this whole thing.

Then it appeared we were all lined up for Kevin Nash vs. CM Punk at Night of Champions when at the end of another edition of RAW we saw Triple H cancel the match and shotgun himself right into he & Punk at Night of Champions. A match that if they continued to build correctly, the fans would want to see in a couple months or at a big PPV (Survivor Series, Royal Rumble or maybe even Wrestlemania 28). Instead we get in September 2011 at a mediocre WWE PPV at best.

But why was the Nash/Punk match cancelled in the first place? Turns out the WWE doctor’s saw something in Nash’s physical that prompted them not to clear him (yet) for his return to the ring. Thank god that they kept an eye out for Nash’s health, but don’t you think this is something that should have been addressed before they brought him back and built up a feud between he & one of the hottest stars in wrestling?

Common sense says yes, but it appears WWE gambled on Nash passing some physical and being ready to go. Sadly that wasn’t the case for a guy in his 50s and someone who had a heart problem scare while with TNA. I’m being slightly sarcastic in my comments here as WWE should have done this check before getting so invested in this storyline.

Finally the icing on the cake is Triple H “firing” Kevin Nash on RAW and WWE.com running a “release” story on the website days later. Fans wondered if it was legit and as suspected, it was not. But what reports did say is that Kevin Nash is currently filming a movie and the company doing the movie didn’t want Nash to get hurt so they had him removed from WWE storylines…for now.

So that begs the question why bring back Kevin Nash in the first place?

The move to bring him back for the time being didn’t work at all and weeks after it started they had to cancel his match & remove him from storylines. I guess the WWE really did make the decision during Summerslam weekend to bring Nash in. Either way, there is a little yoke on the faces of the WWE from this whole entire situation as it appears in the long-run they have hurt the star power of CM Punk slightly and also killed any anticipation for a big Triple H/CM Punk encounter which would have been intriguing if built correctly as it was going.

Maybe the WWE should have reached out to Sean Waltman first…

For more on this topic join Eric Gargiulo & myself for the Thursday September 15th edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” and download the show at www.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net.

Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday – Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at www.blogtalkradio.com/thewheelhouse and at www.errorfm.com @ 2am ET/11pm PT

Jeff also co-hosts “The Still Real to us show” with Eric Gargiulo which can be available at www.wheelhouseradio.com and can be downloaded in the “Real Guy Radio” section of the site..”

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(CM) Punk World Order?

August 30, 2011 By: Category: Uncategorized

CM Punk World OrderIf you were watching WWE Raw Monday night, your ears probably perked up when the unmistakable theme of the nWo played as Kevin Nash made his way to the ring. All over Facebook, I saw posts like “Popped HUGE for the n.W.o theme!”, “nWo 2011?“, etc. Then, the match was made; CM Punk vs. Kevin Nash at WWE Night of Champions. As we saw later on, that match was changed to CM Punk vs. Triple H at Night of Champions 2011.

I, like many of you, was wondering why a match of that caliber is being used on a PPV event that’s not one of the “big four”. Then my mind started running & I thought to myself that this may very well be a revival of one of the most infamous stables in the history of the business. WWE.com even has a piece up about a possible nWo resurgence. A good portion of wrestling fans would tell you that things like Kevin Nash, the nWo, & past ideas are a bad thing. When executed improperly, that’s true. But an nWo in 2011 may very well work. Let’s play fantasy booker.

WWE Night of Champions 2011 rolls around. The ref is down. CM Punk locks the Anaconda Vice on Triple H as both men face the stage. Kevin Nash makes his way down to ringside. Punk releases the hold as Nash enters the ring. Nash helps his friend up only to kick him in the gut & deliver the Jackknife. Punk goes over Triple H & stands tall over the COO with Nash as the PPV ends. Next night on Raw, the two reveal they’ve been in collusion the whole time. With new authority in WWE, who’s the most anti-authority personality right now? CM Punk. Punk is revealed to be the mastermind of the nWo in modern day WWE with Nash as his bodyguard. Naturally you’d have to explain why he’d cost himself the WWE Title at some point (a little borrowing of Shane Douglas in claiming that Punk refuses to carry the torch of a company whose best days are behind it could work).

Keep going to Survivor Series. Punk & Nash run roughshod over WWE taking out anyone in their path similar to the Outsiders. Hell, put the Tag Team Championship on them at some point leading into the PPV. At Survivor Series in MSG, you’ve got the nWo in CM Punk & Kevin Nash in a handicap match against Team WWE. The team would consist of Triple H, John Cena, & the Rock (he’s there; might as well use him).

Leading up to the event, similar to WCW, Punk and Nash allude to a third man who will be in their corner. Elimination style, Triple H goes out first. Rock takes out Nash. You’re down to CM Punk vs. John Cena & the Rock. As the Rock goes to put Punk away with the People’s Elbow, the unthinkable happens. The shocker everyone has been waiting for. Right in the middle of MSG, Cena catches the Rock mid run & delivers the Attitude Adjustment. Punk covers Rock for the 3 count. Survivor Series ends with Punk, Nash, & Cena standing tall in the ring as the nWo theme plays them out. After that, it’s full speed to the Royal Rumble & WrestleMania.

What does this accomplish for WWE?

1. T-Shirt sales out the wazoo. You’re looking at classic nWo shirts, CM Punk themed nWo shirts, & John Cena themed nWo shirts. You’re looking at A LOT of money.

2. An interesting dynamic for the nWo. Are they heel? Are they face? Is it still cool to be bad?

3. More potential interest in the John Cena vs. Rock match at WrestleMania 28. Where people are supposedly worried about Cena being booed out of the building, if it’s still cool to be bad, putting him in nWo colors might swing those who were anti-Cena in his favor.

4. Punk is free to resume chasing the WWE Title leading up to Mania.

5. Nash becomes your mid card champion at some point. A victory over Nash for a young up & comer for one of the mid card championships is the rub someone like a Zack Ryder could use.

The nWo, especially spearheaded by CM Punk, can still serve an effective purpose in 2011/2012 WWE. Survey says if done right it’s something that can be too sweet. If executed poorly, you’re looking at nothing more than another failed Nexus or Corre. I’m probably way off the mark, but hey, it’s fun to think about.

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The Still Real to Us Show: Episode #79 – WWE SummerSlam 2011 Fallout

August 18, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Still Real To Us ShowCamel Clutch Blog writers Jeff Peck and Eric Gargiulo host the Still Real To Us podcast every week. The boys talk about all of the latest news and rumors in the world of WWE, TNA Wrestling, Ring of Honor, etc. every week on the podcast. If you enjoy our writings here or Eric’s Pro Wrestling Radio shows, check it out and give the show a try.

On this episode of The Still Real to Us Show, Jeff and Eric talk about SummerSlam and where the WWE goes from here. Is CM Punk better or worse than he was 8 weeks ago? Will Alberto Del Rio be a bigger star in the end than CM Punk? The boys also talk about the return of Kevin Nash with a slight difference of opinion from the hosts. The booking of John Cena, the Rey Mysterio hate, how much credit does Christian deserve for the Randy Orton-Christian series, and more are all discussed on this week’s edition of the Still Real to Us show.

Listen to the Podcast – HERE!

Check out my archived Pro Wrestling Radio shows featuring old shows and plenty of classic interviews at ProWrestlingRadio.com.

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