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Shawn Kane
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 9:08am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I still buy PWI. It's not beholden to storylines as it was back in the day but it's still an interesting read.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 10:45am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Haven't read an issue in a while, Shawn. 

I did enjoy it back in the day, plus I loved the spin-off magazines: SPORTS REVIEW WRESTLING, INSIDE WRESTLING, THE WRESTLER, WRESTLE AMERICA.

In the pre-internet age, I appreciated it. A late 1990 issue of SPORTS REVIEW WRESTLING had results and photos (black and white) of Great American Bash '90. As that show didn't get released in the UK until 1991, that was the only way I could "experience" it. 

What do you like about PWI now? I should check out an issue.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 06 June 2018 at 4:03am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Okay, Johnny Polo and Gorilla Monsoon, who did commentary on many 1994 Coliseum Video releases, were an underrated commentary duo.

Right? Wrong? 

Discuss. :)
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John Popa
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Posted: 06 June 2018 at 10:39am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Man, I don't even remember them.  Scott Levy, of course, knows his stuff but I don't think Johnny Polo was a good use of his talents (as we'd discover soon thereafter with the Raven gimmick.)  Gorilla was pretty old hat by then, as well.  Without going back and listening, I'd assume they're not underrated :) 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 06 June 2018 at 11:23am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

They did a lot of commentary for many 1994 releases. That included THE HISTORY OF SUMMERSLAM. Due to Jesse Ventura having successfully sued the WWF for royalties pertaining to the use of his voice, Polo and Monsoon did commentary for the 1988 and 1989 highlights.

I'm not in any way equating Monsoon/Polo with Monsoon/Heenan or Monsoon/Ventura. But in a "Will you stop?" kind of way, there was a good contrast between Monsoon's gravitas and Polo's tomfoolery. I think it's always good when there's a contrast. 

I feel their commentary added something to the Coliseum releases in '94.

I do agree about Polo not being a good use of his talents. Raven is better, obviously. I did quite enjoy some moments, though. On the Coliseum release INSIDE THE WWF, Polo provided much mirth as he toured the WWF's video tape facility. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 08 June 2018 at 10:09am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Okay, here's another debate: what do you think of Kevin Nash's in-ring skills?

I've rewatched a lot of 1994 stuff recently, including WRESTLEFEST '94. And I know Mr Nash gets a lot of flak. But I'll say this: I think, certainly during his early years, he was good at selling. He was probably best at selling during his peak years in WWF.

I really appreciate the believability of a wrestler who protects a certain body part during a match. It erodes credibility when someone doesn't even limp or show that he is hurt. If a wrestler lacks psychology, that's frustrating. They could be put in the figure-four leglock, put through three tables and have a sledgehammer bashed off their ass, but if they walk/movie without pain, the credibility is gone.

During Nash's peak years, I think he sold well. Wrestlers worked on his legs and knees. And he would protect those areas afterwards, wrestling defensively, limping, etc. And it's what gave it credibility.

We've discussed credibility previously. Every little bit helps from selling an injury to having credible commentary. When a commentator puts forward the view that "Bret Hart could be losing the WWF Title to Owen Hart, it may happen, folks!", then, if delivered with conviction, you believe it.

And if wrestlers sell injuries, that works. I'll never forget Randy Savage defending his WWF Title against Shawn Michaels in the spring of 1992 during a European tour. It meant he had to wrestle a different kind of match, but for those of us who like continuity, a limping Savage, selling an injury from bouts with Flair, meant a lot. It gave wrestling gravitas and believability. 
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John Popa
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Posted: 08 June 2018 at 8:02pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I thought Nash was decent during his Diesel run, granted he was mostly working with Michaels, Hart and Razor.  It was tough to have bad matches with those guys. It felt like he was good enough to listen to those guys and do their match which made him look better.  But even working with talented guys that weren't strong leaders like Davey Boy Smith, the results were disappointing.  

It felt when he got to WCW that egos took over and he got worse instead of better, really fast.   
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 June 2018 at 4:25am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I'd agree with you about his WCW work.

Had another thought today as I revisit some old Coliseum Video releases that are on the WWE Network. Back in the day, I was fed up with the "recycling" that those releases did. For a hardcore collector like myself, it was irksome.

Example: Hogan VS Andre at WM III must have been on dozens of tapes. Even the most casual collector of WWF videotapes must have owned it at some point (or rented it). And yet they kept putting it out there. And on DVD releases, too. Yet there were so many unreleased matches that they could have used, e.g. Hulk Hogan VS Rick Rude (which did eventually make a DVD release).

Take 1994, for example: fewer PPVs, obviously (five that year in the WWF). And yet when Razor Ramon got his own videotape, Coliseum Video put the WM X Ladder match and the Royal Rumble '94 I-C Title match on there; surely a collector or fan had seen those or owned the PPVs. Why not include other stuff?

I'm glad we've moved on. Some Blu-rays do attempt to put unreleased matches on there. But Coliseum sure did repeat a LOT back in the day. However iconic Hogan/Andre was, did it need to end up on so many tapes?

And some tapes seemed pointless. I can't recall the title of the tape. but around 1991, Hulk Hogan got yet another tape. But out of four matches on the tape, I know three of them had been released. It opened with the WM III main event (yet again!), had Hogan VS Savage from France, which had been on at least one other tape, and finished with Hogan VS Undertaker from THIS TUESDAY IN TEXAS, which had aired on PPV and was released on SuperTape '92. What was the point?
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 11 June 2018 at 8:22pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

People sometimes bring up that as Diesel Nash was the WWF's lowest drawing champion, as an argument against him. Well, what they also tend to forget is that he wasn't really booked against opponents whose style worked well against his, and some of his opponents were bad decisions on the part of the booking team. For instance, did anyone in their right mind really think King Mabel would draw anything other than flies? Diesel was low-drawing because of how he was booked, not because of anything he did or didn't do.

I was a fan of Nash as Diesel and for quite a chunk of his WCW run after that. But he eventually stopped caring and began going through the motions. Also, his time as booker was abysmal, and he was Big Lazy more than Big Sexy by then.

(Incidentally, the first time I ever saw Kevin Nash was during his time as Oz, live at one of the Clash of Champions shows. But I never saw him as Vinnie Vegas, because I took a break from watching wrestling around then.)


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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 June 2018 at 5:05am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I agree, Brian.

I feel the same about Ultimate Warrior, to be honest, during his WWF Championship reign.

Warrior had feuded with Rude in 1989. He had lost the I-C Title to Rude, but then beaten him decisively at SummerSlam '89. Yet the WWF rehashed the feud for Warrior's world title run. At the time, I thought, 'No, not again.'

True, Hogan was feuding with Earthquake so the 'Quake couldn't be a title contender. But rehashing a 1989 feud so soon after didn't appeal to me, and I don't think their SummerSlam '90 cage match was particularly compelling. I know serious contenders were thin on the ground at the time, but maybe they could have built up someone fresh, such as Rick Martel, as a challenger. Or even had Savage feud with Warrior over the belt for the summer of 1990 (they no doubt had matches, but Savage was pretty much concentrating on Dusty Rhodes during that period).

It was hard to follow six years of Hulkamania. And whilst I am not necessarily saying Warrior could have become the "Second Coming" of Hulk Hogan, the opponents given to him in 1990 might have played a part in his world title reign being greeted with ennui at times. And let's face it, the Hogan/Quake feud was seen as the true "main event" of SummerSlam '90, the enthusiasm seemed to be for that feud. Hogan may as well have been champion.

So, yes, I agree about Diesel. Some of his opponents were bad decisions. I'm not sure why Mabel, rather than Shawn Michaels, was booked to win King of the Ring '95. 

On another note, Diesel and others were still in the shadow of Hulkamania. I mentioned Warrior's title reign above. Well, although there's no doubting Bret Hart had some tremendous bouts once he became WWF Champion, the figures I've looked at from the time suggest it wasn't financially successful (not blaming Bret for that, many factors played a part). Nor, if the figures are to be believed, was Shawn Michael's reign. Diesel was in between Hart and Michaels, so I feel it's fairer to say that was just the state of the WWF at the time.

If the figures I have read are accurate, it wasn't until Stone Cold Steve Austin became champion that numbers and ratings reflected his position. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 14 June 2018 at 9:34am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Question of the day: would WRESTLEMANIA I have worked as well, or taken off as a concept, without celebrity involvement?

Discuss. :) 
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 16 June 2018 at 2:06am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Nope.

I think the presence of celebrities helped...legitimize it, I guess would be the best term. 


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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 16 June 2018 at 5:30am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Good point.

Speaking of that era, does anyone think Roddy Piper should have accepted a pinfall defeat to Hulk Hogan? On a 2002 Hogan DVD, it did seem like Hogan resented Piper for never laying down conclusively. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 21 June 2018 at 6:17am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Big Van Vader has passed away:


Such a talent.

It's a shame the WWF didn't capitalise on his talents (that was a fuck-up on their part). After a great start in 1996 - including assaulting WWF President Gorilla Monsoon - by year's end, he was lower down the card. There were some good bouts in 1997, but by late 1997/98, well they weren't doing much with him.

But I loved his WCW stuff. I'll never forget his "massacre" of Tom Zenk at GAB '90. His feud with Sting was tremendous. For a big guy, he certainly moved and produced unpredictable matches.

RIP.
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Tim Cousar
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Posted: 21 June 2018 at 10:42am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Watch his New Japan and All-Japan matches. The match with Hansen where he nearly lost his eye was still a good one.
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Shawn Kane
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Posted: 22 June 2018 at 7:16am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Vader was an amazing talent for sure. I hope WWE releases some sort of dvd/blu-ray tribute of his career. His WWE tenure was lackluster but it was good enough if coupled with his WCW run. 
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Shawn Kane
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Posted: 22 June 2018 at 7:20am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Robbie,
I guess I haven't checked in on this thread for a few weeks. PWI is still a good read mainly for their analysis of the business. I trust their critiques more so than any of the websites that currently exist. I also enjoy their Indy Reports because they'll mention my local promotion, Primal Conflict Wrestling, quite often. Still not as fun a read as it was in the days of kayfabe.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 22 June 2018 at 9:00am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Thanks, Shawn. Yes, I agree. I love the editorials by Stu M. Saks. The history and prestige of the publication is probably a reason they are still going; in that time, many others have ceased to exist (NEW WAVE WRESTLING, POWER SLAM, etc.).
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John Popa
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Posted: 16 July 2018 at 2:51pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Man, I watched "Extreme Rules" last night, pretty much cold as I don't keep up with the weekly shows, I have to say, the current product is DEAD. Nothing that possibly could have happened last night would have been interesting. There are no compelling character dynamics or anything brewing and waiting to pop. Everyone's over-exposed and basically dead in the water.

The closest to having any kind of heat is Alexa Bliss and Rhonda Rousey, but even that felt over-booked. It should be simple: Bliss talks shit when she's safe and runs like hell when Rousey might get her hands on her. But with Mickie James and Nia Jax in the middle and then the lousy suspension angle with Rousey, they're just working too hard at things that aren't helping the angle.

The crowd even crapped on Rollins/Ziggler. I don't think it was anything against them in particular, more a general boredom at the end of a looong show. The match wasn't epic but I don't think the crowd would have cared if it was.

It's a tough time to be a WWE fan, that's for sure!
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Shawn Kane
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Posted: 17 July 2018 at 5:40am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Raw has been hard to watch lately. NXT is my favorite wrestling product at the moment. I went to ROH Best In The World a few weeks ago and as chaotic as Ring of Honor's booking can be, I still prefer it over Raw.
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John Harrison
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Posted: 18 July 2018 at 8:39am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Man, I watched "Extreme Rules" last night, pretty much cold as I don't keep up with the weekly shows, I have to say, the current product is DEAD

*********

I finally used one of the free promo codes and currently have the network free for a few months.  I also watched Extreme Rules the first PPV I have saw live in a long time.  I barely even register on whats going on anymore w the current product..  The PPV itself boring even w Rousey sitting in the crowd I bought a ticket but I'm suspended nonsense has played out so many times.  But man the last match w the count downs .....amazing the most over character on the show was the clock.  

I think its going to be interesting w Smackdown shifting over to a network on a Friday and staying live.  No way Fox will let it be the B show after forking out a gazillion dollars for it.  

Anyways the only thing interesting to me right now is ALL In with the indies being so hot and so many outside deals being floated to these guys (Bullet Club Young Bucks w Funko. Hot Topic, Pro Wrestling Tees etc) if CM Punk is going to come back and get a final run I cant see a better time than Chicago at All In.  

The network itself I don't really find user friendly.  I cant see keeping it longer than than the promo code. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 19 July 2018 at 2:36am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Problem I have with the current product - which is why I skip some shows or watch them later - is that there is TOO MUCH.

Less is more for goodness' sake. Does WrestleMania really have to be 13 hours long? Or whatever length it is?

I don't watch RAW (I read a recap) because three hours is too long for any show. I like THE FLASH and RIPPER STREET, but if every episode was three hours long, and on weekly, go fuck yourself!

How I miss the days of quarterly PPVs and proper build-up. And where you could catch up on RAW, which was an hour when it started, quickly.
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Shawn Kane
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Posted: 19 July 2018 at 8:04am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Yeah I miss the importance that you felt with Wrestlemania, Summer Slam, the Survivor Series, and Royal Rumble. I liked the importance of Starrcade and Halloween Havoc. NXT will hopefully not keep adding Takeovers because those feel like big shows.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 19 July 2018 at 3:04pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

What WWE needs to realise is that some wrestling fans have OTHER interests in our life. I don't want to put a catheter in and watch 3 hours of RAW. I am not interested in a WrestleMania that is more than 4 hours long.

Less is more. I so wish we could go back to how it was decades ago.
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John Popa
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Posted: 22 July 2018 at 1:13pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

A lot of people have been talking about Bruiser Brody this week, as he was murdered 30 years ago.

Brody's one of those guys that I don't know that I ever saw him wrestle back in the day. Maybe some squash matches or something but, really, he existed to me purely in the old newsstand magazines. He was always bloody and crazed in pictures and I always wanted to see him in show up on one of the programs I watched, but he never did.  

That was the fun of those magazines, really, getting to see guys before they came to your local TV group.  And when they did show up, you at least kind of knew who they were.  
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