5 Alternate Realities of Pro Wrestling…That Almost Happened: Part I

by Jeremy Cundiff

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1. Papa Shango In The Attitude Era? What?

Thank you for your bandwidth. You don’t remember me, but I’m responsible for such classics as 6 Great Matches You’ve Never Seen and as being the jaded old prick on the roundtable discussions. Oh, and I e-fed in my spare time. But before I took off from writing about real wrestling about a year ago, I started a second series. And I hate leaving shit unfinished. So let’s finish this.

We all know that pro wrestling is pre-determined. We also know that plans don’t always go the way we, well, planned. This series is a look at five CONFIRMED plans that didn’t go as planned, and what might have happened if the plans did go as expected.

Ah, 1997. Don’t you miss it? I know I do. You know who might not miss it? Charles Wright. In that time period in between Kama Mustafa, the Supreme Who-The-Fuck-Cut-Yo-Hair-Son Machine and The Godfather, he was simply Kama, another black dude in a stable of black dudes whose gimmick were that they were black dudes. That’s right, The Nation of Domination.

As Charles Wright said in this I Met a Wrestler interview full of awesomeness, The Nation of Domination in 1997 was a wonderful place where he and Faarooq had to babysit two rookies, Mark Henry and The Rock, and protect them from the baddies in the locker room. All the meanwhile, Ahmed Johnson was breaking the script so much that if Steelhorse Vachon was around back then, Ahmed would be in prison. Thankfully, Ron Simmons put a stop to that in true Ron Simmons fashion. But none of that almost happened. Instead, we almost got Papa Shango 2.0…

“A lot of people don’t know this, but Papa Shango was going to return in 1997. It was going to be a more gritty, realistic version with a mask instead of paint. They created the costume and the new entrance. But what happened was, the decision was then made to do Kane. I guess they felt there wasn’t enough room for two dark, supernatural characters, and so I became Kama Mustafa and they put me in The Nation. I’ve still got some 8×10 promos of me in the new mask and gear.”

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Those 8x10s aren’t online yet, so here’s the best I can do.

So what if Papa Shango showed up at, say, WWF Bad Blood: In Your House? Well, I see several things immediately that would ripple shit apart, even without delving into the awesomeness that could have been. Number one, no Kane. This means no humanization of The Undertaker through that “burning down the funeral home” angle, which frees the big man up for, oh I don’t know…dropping the WWF Championship to, thus avoiding the Montreal Screwjob? Just a thought. It also means something else: that guidance Rocky Maivia and Mark Henry needed? They might not be getting it. Mark Henry still took years to develop into a decent talent, despite being a very good person behind that curtain. But what could have happened to The Rock? Would The Rock have even happened? Would he have been swept up in the backstage politics? Would he have been sick of it? Could we have seen The Rock in WCW? Could we have seen The Rock in the NWO? Could we have seen The Rock jump ship two years later, and be an even bigger player? Could The Rock have left wrestling altogether?

We just don’t know. And maybe it’s for the best that Rock got some good advice from a good dude…who later made a decent name for himself getting away with pot references every week.

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But we knew what was up.

“I got away with talking about weed so openly on TV because the network executives had no idea what I was saying. They didn’t understand the slang. They had no idea what a ‘fatty’ or a ‘blunt’ was, so I was able to say all this stuff and they had no clue. My friend in Cypress Hill said he was amazed at the shit I got away with.”

So there you go: Godfather chills with Cypress Hill. Papa Shango must have had some killer Cali.

Source: Charles Wright

Photo Credits:

Photo 1: onlineworldofwrestling.com

Photo 2: en.wikipedia.org

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30 in 30 Reborn: Maniac United’s Channel

by Daniel Johnson

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Hello mates! Show some support for inie/foreign wrestling and vote for The Crown J here. Also, go here for details on how to win a free Blu-ray of OMG! Volume 2: The Top 50 Incidents in WCW History. A bunch of details on the 30 in 30 Reborn series can be found here. Contest ends August 23, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.

The full Maniacs United (MU) YouTube channel can be found here.

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Here are the facts about Maniac United’s YouTube channel:

Number of videos: 64

Frequency new videos are added: About every two weeks on average.

Frequency full shows are added: No full shows yet.

Total views of the most popular video: 16,105

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The New Zealand based Maniacs United formed after a bigger New Zealand promotion, Impact Pro Wrestling (IPW) canned female wrestling veteran JPE. The company is a hybrid wrestling school/promotion and launched this channel in February 2012. The first ever clip was of a match that took place during training with no paying crowd, but a storyline worked into it. Since then Maniacs United has gotten larger and started working proper shows having scheduled nine for 2014. As such it is unsurprising that the production has improved on the channel as at minimum the group has acquired a higher quality camera. This results in a better picture though footage tends to be shot either handheld or more often by a fixed camera. Lighting is good for most clips, but don’t expect fancy things like commentary or onscreen graphics. The Maniacs United roster pretty much just features wrestlers from New Zealand including workers from other local promotions like New Zealand Wide Pro Wrestling (NZWPW) and Kiwi Pro Wrestling (KPW). Some names to look out for on the male roster are Dan Stryker and featured wrestlers Stix and Charlie Roberts. The channel also features plenty of  female workers. Aside from JPE some workers include Scarlett, Krystal Kane and OBeast. These days the channel features an array of full matches and shorter bits of abuse.

A recommended clip:

Shadow Ninja vs. Dan Stryker

This clip contains some of the top baddies on Maniacs United’s roster. You have the young heel Dan Stryker, JPE cheering him on and Stryker’s manager, BK3 cheering him on and cheating. Needless to say Shadow Ninja has his work cut out for him.

The fans clap for Ninja early on leading Stryker to demand for quiet. Instead of getting some peace Stryker instead gets hit with two armdrags and a dropkick. Stryker then demands a test of strength, but Ninja is too smart for that sensing he’ll just get kicked in the gut or something. Instead, Ninja looks to accept the test, but then wrenches Stryker’s arm back.

After a while Stryker retreats to the outside leading to Ninja hitting a running crossbody off the apron to the floor. Back inside the ring despite the impressive move Stryker doesn’t sell it much and soon hits Ninja with a Rocker dropper. The influence of The Rockers are not enough to put Ninja away and Ninja takes back charge of this one leading BK3 to grab the referee in a front face lock so his man can cheat. Apparently this isn’t enough for a disqualification in New Zealand pro wrestling. At any rate Ninja comes back and after a while whacks Stryker with a super kick.

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25 and Under: Ace Perry at NEW in Indiana

by Daniel Johnson

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Ace Perry vs. Jacob Johns

Ace Perry is a wrestler who works a high flying style and is great at selling. Wrestling out of Indiana some promotions he has worked for include IWA: Mid-South, Evolution Pro Wrestling (EPW) and New Era Wrestling (NEW). According to his brand new cagematch.net page he has only been wrestling since 2012 and is quite young being born in 1990.

Perry has wrestled a bunch of matches where he works against other cruiserweights, but his match with Jacob Johns was not one of these encounters. Johns is a super heavyweight. After Johns comes out with his manager David Lee (not Roth) he fires away with a bunch of forearms and stomping. Perry only gets to show his stuff when Johns misses a charge and sends himself flying over the ropes. Perry then delivers a suicide dive. It is not the last high flying move Perry scores, but his next one sees him attempt a crossbody and go right into the waiting arms of Johns. The little man soon takes a slam. While in charge Johns performs The Big Boss Man’s old move of hitting his opponent by going crotch first into the ropes while the opponent is hanging on the middle rope.

Perhaps the niftiest move of the match is when Perry attempts a head scissors take down and the big man cartwheels away from it.  It is not the smoothest cartwheel, but impressive for a man Johns’ side nonetheless. While Johns is plenty agile unfortunately even with his moveset he never boogies down the way Boss Man and Akeem did in The Twin Towers back in the day.

The full match can be seen right here:

NEW isn’t currently promoting any upcoming shows, but NEW The Fourth Annual Mark Kuhn Invitational just took place this past Saturday. To check out a poster from that event click here.

For more in the 25 and Under series featuring cuiserweight wrestlers click here and here.

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Random Ramblings: Don’t Get Excited Again About Dolph Ziggler Just Yet

by Daniel Johnson

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At WWE SummerSlam 2014, Dolph Ziggler was victorious against The Miz and earned the WWE Intercontinental Championship for the second time Yet, because of so much yoyo pushing, a weak start and Ziggler just not getting any younger I’m left wondering if Ziggler fans should start getting excited just yet.

The WWE Intercontinental Championship was the first title Ziggler won in the WWE. Well, unless we count his run with the World Tag Team Championship with The Spirit Squad when he just went by Nicky (which we probably shouldn’t). At their best midcard titles can be a great way to push rising talent. Yet, at least since Razor Ramon won his fourth WWF Intercontinental Championship in 1995 too many midcard titles to some extent has been a sign that so and so is not going to the real main event.

Including Ziggler’s WWE United States Championship reign he is now on his third run with a title that is clearly meant to be a midcard title. He’dbe on his fifth if you added his World Heavyweight Championship reigns. Of course, Ziggler did not go from midcard belts to main event ones. His title tenures have shown a crystal clear display of yoyo pushing.

Also, troubling from Ziggler’s latest midcard run is his performance from the latest WWE Monday Night Raw. Instead of facing new competition or getting a decisive win over the man he just beat for his championship, Ziggler lost by countout. To the man he just beat for his championship.

On the plus side at least Ziggler got praised by Ric Flair in a backstage segment. It was a little too on the nose of a way of giving Ziggler credibility. Kind of unneeded too since with his work ethic Ziggler already should have as much credibility as any midcarder in WWE today, if not more.

Not to get too off focus here, but whatever happened to people keeping their allegiances in mainstream American wrestling? For example, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair each turned from fan favorite to heel at least a few times (okay much more for Ric than Hulk), but Bobby Heenan always hated Hogan and at minimum appreciated Flair. Now, Flair is pretty much burying Miz despite Miz being Flair’s protege just around a year ago. Flair is not the only one either. A few short years ago Michael Cole practically creamed himself at the sight of The Miz now he is only all too happy to crap on him.

Sexual fetishism aside, while the Flair endorsement was sort of nifty, a loss is a loss. Although Ziggler and Miz continue to have good matches at some point for Ziggler to excel he’ll need to get beyond Miz. This is tough for Ziggler to convincingly do when Miz is scoring victories over him. Not even particularly cheap victories for the heel either.

Lastly, in this triad of trouble for Ziggler is time itself. Bret Hart was 35 when he won his first world championship in the then WWF. You’ll be hard pressed to find a world champion who got the title for the first time older than that who accomplished more. Ziggler was 30, but his first run with the World Heavyweight Championship lasted minutes (literally) and his second one didn’t even reach 70 days. Also, it wasn’t even the most prestigious championship in the company at the time. Hart on the other hand held the WWF Championship for 174 days when it was the only world title in the WWF around and only lost it in the advertised main event of the greatest WWE spectacle there is, WrestleMania.

If WWE is going to pull the trigger on Ziggler and get the best main event tenure out of him that he is capable of having, Vince McMahon and friends are going to have to do it soon.

To end on a somewhat optimistic note I’ll briefly talk about the other side of the coin, which is much more positive. Unlike Kofi Kingston, Ziggler hans’t had 10 midcard title runs. Ziggler’s current run with the WWE Intercontinental Championship could instead be a rejuvenating midcard title reign, which no less of a force in the WWE than HHH has had. Miz beating Ziggler in his first title defense may have been a bad start, but it is just that, a start. Likewise, with Hulk Hogan teasing an in-ring return at 61, at 34 years-old Ziggler could have decades left to be in the main event.

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30 in 30 Reborn: Ericules Wrestling Promotions’ Channel

by Daniel Johnson

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Welcome friends! Support independent/foreign wrestling and vote for The Crown J here. Also, go here for details on how to win a free Blu-ray of OMG! Volume 2: The Top 50 Incidents in WCW History. Information on the 30 in 30 Reborn series can be found here. Contest ends August 23, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.

The full Ericules Wrestling Promotions’ (EWP) YouTube channel can be found here.

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Here are the facts about EWPs Youtube channel:

Number of videos: 41

Frequency new videos are added: The channel was very active from October 2010 to February 2011 adding around 10 videos each month. However, since then not a single video has been added.

Frequency full shows are added: No full shows have been added and given that EWP doesn’t even appear to be a thing anymore it is extremely doubtful any will.

Total views of the most popular video: 38,842

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Based out of Morristown in east Tennessee, EWP ran shows from as early as 2008 to as late as 2011. This channel almost exclusively consists of full matches run out of the National Guard Armory in Morristown. At the group’s peak they ran two shows each month out of this venue. These days little survives of EWP online aside from their official website, which has long ceased to be updated, and the odd live show report. The EWP roster ranged from old school type heels like Shawn Shultz to whacky characters like “The Bean Station Sensation” Ericules who presumably ran the promotion. After all the non-EWP commercial featured on their channel has his face all over it. Speaking of their local talent, “The King of Kingsport” Beau James may have the greatest wrestling promo pic of all time. In addition to these performers the channel also featured some wider known wrestlers like The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton and Tommy Mercer aka TNA’s Crimson. The video quality for the channel is great with clear picture, good lighting, match graphics and commentary.

A recommended clip:

“Beautiful” Bobby Eaton vs. Shawn Shultz

This clip opens with “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton backstage cutting a promo on Shawn Shultz when Shultz and manager, Tony Lucassio see fit to interrupt him. Shultz puts Eaton over for his match against Ric Flair way back at WCW Clash of the Champions XV: Knocksville USA in the early 1990s, but then puts himself over. Before that segment ends Tommy Mercer tells Eaton he has his back.

Lucassio tries to put his hands on Eaton before the match even starts, but then Eaton starts serving out some strikes. Shultz fights back and when Eaton is on the ropes, Lucassio chokes him behind the referee’s back. Typical Professional Wrestling 101 stuff here. Eaton was well into his fifties when this encounter took place so the big spot of the match is Eaton Irish whipping Shultz and hitting him with a back elbow. Luccasio distracts the referee and Eaton to save his boy allowing Shultz to reach into his tights for some knucks. Shultz decks Eaton and gets the pin. After this Shultz continues the onslaught by hitting and choking Eaton leading Mercer to come out. Mercer then grabs Shultz in a chokeslam position, but gets distracted by the manager. Luccasio gets grabbed instead, but Mercer just lets him go. Well, that ending wasn’t very satisfying.

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Indie Flashback: J-Busta Wrestles LJ Rebel at CTWE Vs. NEW

by Daniel Johnson

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J-Busta vs. LJ Rebel

J-Busta and his manager “Showtime” Stevie Stamos come out prior to the match with J-Busta wearing a Northeast Wrestling (NEW) t-shirt angering some Connecticut Wrestling Entertainment (CTWE) fans. Since this match took place at CTWE vs. NEW, an inter-promotional event with mostly CTWE fans since the action took place in Bethany, Connecticut (a CTWE town), J-Busta gets a, “You sold out” chant. What did he sell out for exactly by jumping from CTWE to NEW? The chance to work a bigger American Legion?

At any rate J-Busta and Stamos form the Platinum Entourage, which was, one of, if perhaps not the most notorious heel entities in CTWE. Thus, newcomer LJ Rebel had his work cut out for him. Before the match Stamos gets on LJ’s case by saying that while J-Busta has women throwing themselves at him, Rebel is just like any other normal joker in the crowd.

I’ve seen plenty of Stamos, but before this match two things in particular stood out to me. First, Stamos has some wicked dark circles under his eyes. Second, he has a great looking suit. So combining those two with the fact that Stamos regularly comes out with an alcohol bottle and bleach blonde hair he looks like Ric Flair with problems. Which is to say he just looks like Ric Flair these days,

J-Busta pounds Rebel from the start and after one dropkick he does some pushups while covering the upstart. J-Busta must have been watching some Scott Steiner matches prior to this one. Although Rebel performs a Russian legsweep a bit later he never looks like a serious threat against J-Busta. Yet, J-Busta and Stamos are still heels so they have to cheat. Stamos distracts the referee then J-Busta wallops Rebel with a good old fashion international object. After the match J-Busta hits three super kicks and a few fans are even chanting for Rebel to eat a fourth.

The full match can be seen right here:

CTWE has closed it’s doors, but NEW’s next show is scheduled for September 7 in North Haven, Connecticut. Click here for tickets.

For the full results of CTWE vs. NEW click here.

For more in the Indie Flashback series from the American Northeast click here and here.

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30 in 30 Reborn: Wrestling Alliance Revolution’s Channel

by Daniel Johnson

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Hola amigos! Give some love to indie/foreign wrestling and vote for The Crown J here. Also, go here for details on how to win a free Blu-ray of OMG! Volume 2: The Top 50 Incidents in WCW History. Info on the 30 in 30 Reborn series can be found here. Contest ends August 23, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.

The full Wrestling Alliance Revolution (WAR) YouTube channel can be found here.

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Here are the facts about WARs Youtube channel:

Number of videos: 396

Frequency new videos are added: The channel was launched five years ago, but don’t let that fool you. Recently, WAR has really stepped up with the amount of videos uploaded to it’s channel. In the last year alone there have been a whopping 143 videos added.

Frequency full shows are added: Full episodes of WAR Superestrellas del Ring appear on the channel split up into parts. Lately, a new episode has been added every few days, but the last episode before that was two months ago and before that a year ago.

Total views of the most popular video: 137,107

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WAR based in Ecuador formed in 2007 and has had heavy involvement from former WWE Spanish language commentator Hugo Savinovich. Perhaps it is then not too surprising that a variety of well known international stars appear on the channel including Sabu, Carlito and Ultimo Dragon. In particular WAR promotes Sabu more like a God than a wrestler. Sabu even carries gold in the company to this very day as the holder of the WAR World Extreme Championship. Outside of big international stars WAR features local talent and outrageous gimmicks. For example, Little Schmidt is a German villain who wears a gas mask and in case you need it spelled out anymore for you his Adolf Hitler salutes should do the trick. What, some people still don’t get it? Well, in case you’ve never heard of World War II, Schmidt is portraying a Nazi, look it up! Also, along the outrageous lines one of the first videos ever uploaded to the channel was of WAR diva, Malena stroking her pussy. Yes, I don’t see too many mainstream American promotions doing that. Speaking of mainstream even by American wrestling standards WAR has excellent production quality for an independent promotion with clips featuring clear picture, commentary, graphics and even instant replay. WAR may be comparable to a higher quality independent promotion in the United States, but it is pretty much a national promotion in Ecuador and WAR Superestrellas del Ring has aired regularly on television in the country.

A recommended clip:

Juventud Guerrera vs. Little Schmidt vs. Falcon

This match is for Little Schmidt’s WAR World Cruiserweight Championship. As for the challengers, Falcon is a local Ecuadorian worked, but the debuting Juventud Guerrera is a veteran of WWE, WCW and ECW, which of course gets mentioned in the clip.

Guerrera comes out in a mask to spice up his entrance, but takes it off. It’s a good thing WAR has more sense than to pretend a man who famously lost his mask in a nationally televised company in the largest wrestling market in the world never was unmasked. In that way WAR has one over on WWE.

To start this action off right Guerrera and Falcon assault Schmidt and only end up fighting each other when they are arguing over who gets to beat up the Nazi. This is the dynamic of the match as Guerrera and Falcon only target each other when Schmidt is out of the picture such as when they toss him out of the ring only for Juventud to suddenly super kick Falcon. Schmidt still gets in some offense and low blows Juvi then forces Falcon to do a Nazi salute. The action spills outside and Juventud gets one last chance to shine in the match with a plancha over the top rope onto his two opponents. Falcon gets the last laugh though because after his version of the best moonsault ever Schmidt is toast.

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25 and Under: La Pulga Wrestles Alex Alligator at PWE in Spain

by Daniel Johnson

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La Pulga vs. Alex Alligator

This match between Alex Alligator and La Pulga took place for Pro Wrestling Euskadi (PWE) based in Bilbao, Spain in 2012.

Alligator was born in 1992 and has been wrestling since 2009. He has a surprisingly grounded in-ring style given his build and the wrestling scene he works in. Alligator is also obviously fond of some of the more popular North American technical wrestlers. The only thing that may be more slamming about him than his highlight video is his somehow awesome, but repetitive theme song.

The slightly older 1991 born La Pulga also debuted in 2009. Most recently he has been heating up the Spanish wrestling scene in ZERO 1 Spain and Revolution Championship Wrestling (RCW) where he has held the RCW Championship.

If taking Spanish in sixth grade taught me anything it’s that La Pulga translates in English to The Flea while Alex Alligator translates to Alex Alligator. On  paper a a flea wrestling an alligator sounds about as unlikely as it does uncompetitive, but these two each get some good spots in.

This match starts with a Pulga chant and in case anyone was unsure if Alligator was a heel he smacks Pulga with a cheap shot during a referee pull apart. Pulga takes Alligator out of the ring with some headscissors then gets on the ring apron and is posed to do an Ultimo Dragon-esque Asai moonsault, but instead gets cut down by Alligator. Later on Pulga shows off a seamless combo when he does Mr.Anderson’s rolling forward Samoan drop then a beautiful second rope moonsault. This doesn’t get Pulga the win and after a while Alligator hits two rolling German suplexes before Pulga escapes and delivers a German suplex of his own. Pulga then performs a 450 splash that brings back memories of 2 Cold Scorpio in the 1990s.

The full match can be seen right here:

I have no idea when the next PWE show will take place or where you can find the full results of the event this match took place at. However, if you have an answer for either or both of these things drop me a line here.

For more action from the 25 and Under series from around the world click here and here.

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Ranking SummerSlam’s Cage Matches

by Daniel Johnson

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WWE SummerSlam has long been home to some of the greatest gimmick matches the promotion puts on each year. Of all the great SummerSlam gimmick matches the WWE has had over the years, right up there at the top, just below or just above the ladder matches (depending on who you ask) has to be the cage matches. To paraphrase Santino Marella though SummerSlam cage matches have driven wrestling enthusiasts to the point of ejaculation, cage match fans have had blue balls come SummerSlam since 2008. In that time the Summer spectacular has had a three on one handicap match, a seven on seven tag match and coming soon even a lumberjack match, but no more cage matches. So WWE supporters can only look back at the past for the time being in if they have a hankering for a SummerSlam cage match. Fortunately, there is plenty worth looking at. In recalling some of the greatest gimmick matches in WWE history, and many would likely argue the history of pro wrestling in general, we can’t help, but pick favorites. As such though there is plenty to debate it is worth a try to rank SummerSlam’s cage matches!.

8. The Brothers of Destruction vs. Diamond Dallas Page and Chris Kanyon (2001)

kane2Unfortunately, in ranking all the SummerSlam cage matches before we get to the great ones we have to go through the not so great ones. On paper Kane and The Undertaker as The Brothers of Destruction taking on two of WCW’s hardest workers in Diamond Dallas Page and Chris Kanyon sounds pretty good. Then you realize the only time when it could have realistically happened and you say to yourself, “Oh yeah.” Yes, this took place smack dab in the middle of the WWF inVasion aka Vince McMahon’s rebranding WCW as the place where the big bitches play. Undertaker and Kane refuse to sell anything before Kanyon runs away and DDP gets planted with a last ride by Undertaker. The WWF World Tag Team Championship and WCW World Tag Team Championship were united in this match, but this is treated like an after thought in the wake of WWE making WCW’s stars look like total jobbers. At least DDP got some chance to shine, just a little, later on in WWE. This was about as good as Kanyon ever got and he deserved better. Well, I guess guys have been treated worse than Kanyon at SummerSlam. After all it’s sort of implied that The Mountie got raped after he ended up in his own cage at WWF SummerSlam 1991.

Take a look at some clips from the Summer spectacular’s worst ever cage match on WWE’s YouTube channel! Click here!

7. Rick Rude vs. The Ultimate Warrior (1990)

theultimatewarriorBefore the days when pay-per-views/special events happened every month top championship matches in front of televised crowds were much scarcer. This was The Ultimate Warrior’s first WWF Championship defense since he won the strap from Hulk Hogan at WWF WrestleMania VI and one of only two defenses he had with that title on pay-per-view at all. Warrior and his challenger, Rick Rude always had good chemistry chiefly due to Rude bending over backwards to make Warrior look good. At this point Rude had been working off and on for well over a year so he had every reason to be sick of it. Perhaps that’s why this match lasted only a hair over 10 minutes despite being the final match on the show. The psychology of this match doesn’t even make sense as Rude had always been a smart heel. Yet, after Rude hits his neckbreaker finisher he delays escaping the cage leading to Warrior retaining. How’s that for a rude awakening? Unsurprisingly, Rude was gone from the WWF about a month later and in WCW by 1991.

Enjoy some footage from this cage match on WWE’s YouTube channel! Click here!

6. Ken Shamrock vs. Steve Blackman (1999)

steveblackmanThis was one of two lion’s den matches to take place at SummerSlam. In re-watching these matches for this list I was dreading the lion’s den matches. After all it is a concept the WWF has not revisited since then so how good could they have been? The answer? Surprisingly entertaining. This match only grabs the number six spot because the competition is so stiff. This is a spiced up version of the concept from the previous year and is a lion’s den weapons match. Steve Blackman uses the weapons to his full advantage by opening the bout with nunchucks until Ken Shamrock grabs Blackman’s leg and clamps on a submission. Yet, it looks like Blackman has the encounter won after destroying Shamrock with a kendo stick. Shamrock ultimately gets the last laugh…or scream rather when he does his version of Hulking up, snaps and knocks Blackman out with the kendo stick before climbing out of the lion’s den.

Watch the closing minutes of this match on WWE’s YouTube channel! Click here!

5. Ken Shamrock vs. Owen Hart (1998)

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This one can throw you off if you’re an MMA fan because given the concept and it’s advertising it was obviously WWE’s attempt at doing a worked version of an MMA fight. Yet, this is nothing like any MMA fight you have ever seen or that likely has existed. Ken Shamrock executes a belly-to-back suplex. Owen Hart delivers his signature enzuguri. Also, you don’t see too many Irish whips in MMA fights, but both men pull them out here. The storyline going into this match was that Hart wanted to beat Shamrock at his own game. He had recruited Dan Severn to train him and a teach him an MMA style chokehold. Actually, the same hold is seen plenty in wrestling. It’s a dragon sleeper. Regardless of the match type it is still Ken Shamrock and Owen Hart wrestling and it is tough to make that a bad match. Shamrock locks Hart in an ankle lock in the final minutes of the performance. Severn motions to throw in the towel for Hart, but instead just walks away leaving Owen to tap.

Watch clips from the WWF’s first even lion’s den match on WWE’s YouTube channel! Click here!

4. Shawn Michaels vs. HHH vs. Bill Goldberg vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Nash vs. Randy Orton (2003)

randyorton3This was only the second Elimination Chamber match ever and also took place during the time when HHH was beating everyone for no reason. Well, one of those times. In any event it’s tough not to at least appreciate any Elimination Chamber because of the complexity that they take to book. For instance, this one made sure to get the marquee value off of Kevin Nash’s name while at the same time having him be the first eliminated so he hardly saw any in-ring time. Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels also start the match during a year when they were working together fantastically. As if those two could work together any other way, right? Despite the planning involved this is woefully a SummerSlam match worth forgetting. After Jericho pins Nash with a roll up, Goldberg is booked to look like a beast. He eliminates Randy Orton with a spear then takes care of Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels with a jackhammer for each. It looks like WWE is going to use Goldberg to his full potential, but they of course never did. HHH pins Goldberg after a sledgehammer shot.

Watch some of the craziest spots from this match on WWE’s YouTube channel! Click here!

3. HHH vs. Mankind (1997)

mickfoleyThis was the opening match of WWF SummerSlam 1997 and one of the strongest first matches for a pay-per-view of all time for the WWF. The two fight for over 15 minutes in a highly physical match. Chyna also gets into the action and slams the cage door into Mick Foley’s head in a scene that reminds viewers of why Foley is retired. Mankind wins this match with an elbow drop off the top of the cage as an homage to Jimmy Snuka. After the match Dude Love’s music plays for a moment that allows Foley to showcase another one of his three major characters (Aside from the genuine Foley of course). It was one of the first times WWF fans in 1997 got a taste of Foley’s goofy side, which would just get sillier over time.

Watch clips from this fantastic start to a pay-per-view on WWE’s YouTube channel! Click here!

2. The Undertaker vs. Edge (2008)

theundertaker2This is the last SummerSlam cage match to date. While it is a shame that there has not been a SummerSlam cage match in six years it makes sense why. No one wants to try to top a match as good as Edge facing The Undertaker in what was one of the greatest feud enders in the WWE modern era. The match may end with Edge being sent to Hell, but the former member of The Brood hits some spears good enough to make any SummerSlam highlight video in this all out brawl. Actually this is more than just a brawl and more than just a cage match. The TLC match veteran inserts tables, ladders and chairs into this affair and takes Undertaker to his limit in this nearly half hour showcase.

Watch clips of a main eventer getting sent to Hell on WWE’s YouTube channel! Click here!

1. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (1994)

owenhartIf you don’t plan on watching WWE SummerSlam 2014 take a look back at this match. While this bout can be nitpicked it is as a whole timeless. This match passes the 30 minute mark and on the first viewing of it a fan would never think the bout lasts that long. The long runtime makes repeat viewings a little more difficult, but that only becomes apparent on the fourth or fifth watch. Owen Hart and Bret Hart proved even to the biggest Hart haters out there that they belong in the main event spot. Oddly enough they did not get it that night. Instead The Undertaker wrestled Brian Lee in disguise as The Underfaker, but the less said about that the better. It is easy to argue that this was the best match either Bret or Owene ever had and each Hart looks like he believably could win it all and walk away with the WWF Championship. Just look at the pain each man sells when the two trade sharpshooters. It is a shame Owen never got the strap, but he gave a showing here that was impossible to follow even if Undertaker facing his clone didn’t stink. No wonder the brothers couldn’t be bothered to play softball before the show.

Check out clips from the greatest cage match from the Summer spectaculr on WWE’s YouTube channel! Click here!

Photo Credits:

Photos 1-5, 8-7: en.wikipedia.org

Photos 6-7: Daniel Johnson / Johnsontranscript.com

 

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30 in 30 Reborn: Mecca Pro Wrestling’s Channel

by Daniel Johnson

30in30rebornlogo

Hi there visitors! Help support indie/foreign wrestling and vote for The Crown J here. Also, go here for details on how to win a free Blu-ray of OMG! Volume 2: The Top 50 Incidents in WCW History. Details on the 30 in 30 Reborn series can be found here. Contest ends August 23, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.

The full Mecca Pro Wrestling (MPW) YouTube channel can be found here.

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Here are the facts about MPWs Youtube channel:

Number of videos: 34

Frequency new videos are added: No new videos have been uploaded since March 2013. Uploads were never that frequent, coming on average a little over once a month.

Frequency full shows are added: No full shows have been added and it is doubtful any ever will. MPW has an active Facebook page, but I’d expect a new YouTube channel for MPW before I’d expect new uploads to be made.

Total views of the most popular video: 547

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MPW is a promotion formed in 2010 and currently operating out of Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. The channel mostly features match clips though three full matches are offered. Smaller name talent is primarily featured with names like The American Barbarian, Joey Valentyne and “The Rage” Randy Berry being some names to look out for. Speaking of Berry he has a segment with by far the biggest name featured on the channel, Rick Martel. It is just a shame that the footage looks like it was shot on a handheld camera from 1995 and has audio that sounds like screaming from an Aphex Twin video. However, YouTube channels should not be judged by one video alone as long as they have more content. The production quality is all over the place on this channel with videos like their DVD trailers being surprisingly cinematic. The full matches don’t have commentary, are quite dark and the video quality leaves room for improvement. It is pretty much just the raw footage shot out of one camera with no onscreen graphics.

A recommended clip:

The American Barbarian vs. Joey Valentyne

If you’re looking for a convoluted independent wrestling clip then here you go! Outside of the core action I’m afraid to explain too much of the happenings. I mean for goodness sakes MPW’s authority figure comes out to “Walk” by Pantera so if I get something wrong he and fellow Pantera enthusiast Rob Van Dam may come and put a beating on me. As this commissioner type would say, “Deal with that, jack!”

At any rate The American Barbarian holds the MPW Championship in this clip where he defends it against heel Joey Valentyne. With a big chain in hand and spouting a “huss” sound a fun game would be to pick out how many hosses Barbarian steals from/pays homage to. Bruiser Brody is the biggest one, but then again any heel worth their salt knows enough to steal/pay homage to him so you can’t hold that against this dude.

Valentyne’s cronies are ordered to leave the ring before the action starts. So being all alone Valentyne tries to gain control of this one by ramming Barbarian’s head into a turnbuckle, but being a barbarian and all the American no sells it. Instead Valentyne takes charge by tackling Barbarian’s legs and putting a hurting on him that way. Before long there is a referee bump and Valentyne’s cronies come back. Another referee replaces the badass commissioner (who is so badass he declared himself the ref too). However, while Valentyne has cheated to get a victory even the replacement referee won’t count for him. After this my mind started to overheat from trying to follow everything else going on. Well, at least the American, being a barbarian and all keeps his part simple and ends the bout with a powerbomb variation.

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