March 23, 2004
PPV highlights past, present and future
By JAYA ROOPANSINGH -- SLAM! Wrestling
Aaron Weiss brings wrestling fans the best of the past, present and future of this business. On March 23 he brought three generation of fans together to watch how Sports Entertainment has evolved. However, when looking at it, the past was great, the future looks bright but there is something very wrong with the present.
The one-hour show features bouts from small Independent organizations, including Ontario's Border City Wrestling and USAPro Org. These organizations showcase and highlight what we'll be watching on Monday and Thursday nights five years from now. In the opening match they give us a glimpse into the future pitting Xavier, from Ring of Honor fame, against Red, from the NWA-TNA for the US title.
Xavier VS Red - U.S. Championship Match
These two really shoot for a high-flying classic. They start with a lock up but Xavier shows his strength by completely dominating Red down to the mat. For fans who have watch Xavier, they know he's not a really big athlete and doesn't usually wrestle men smaller than him. However, Red is quick, small, and innovative. It throws Xavier a little off his game.
Red gets an early victory roll but only a two count on the pin. Red attempts to pin Xavier again but is just shrugged off. It looks like Red goes for a head scissors but turns it into a DDT. Xavier gets out of the ring to collect himself but Red goes for the suicide dive and not only knocks Xavier down but he too runs into the steel stairs after flying a little to long. Back in the ring, Xavier tries to keep Red grounded with repeated kicks to the head and knees to the head while he's in the corner. Xavier goes for a high running knee to the head but Red ducks. Red dives outside to Xavier. In the ring flying forearm by Xavier, sends Red outside. Xavier tries to throw Red back in over the top ropes but fails and Red ends up getting hung in the middle rope before rolling back in. Xavier hits a spring board leg drop for a two count.
The Tag Team Champions, Hit Squad, come out to get an up close and personal look at the action. They're set to meet Xavier and a partner at another show for the Tag Belts. Xavier puts on a move called, Rock-a-by-baby. The move is him picking Red up, cradles him back and forth and then slams him down. It didn't look like much of a move or have much of an impact. Red tries a sunset flip, X blocks it, IN MID AIR, Red switches it into sitting powerbomb. That was definitely the high spot of the match but it only gets a two count. Wrist lock tie up and Red gets sent to the ropes and he pulls out a springboard DDT. Another two count on Xavier. Xavier sends him into the ropes, kicks him in the mid section and (I think in a blown spot) Red waits for Xavier who takes a while to run to the ropes and then punches him down while he's bent over. He then hits the "Kiss your X good-bye" which is a modified pump handle into a face buster. The Natural Born Sinners come out and distract the referee, Hit Squad comes in and nails Xavier. Red makes the cover and we have a new USAPro U.S. champion.
"Red VS Xavier gives the fans a look at Red prior to his inclusion into the NWA/TNA family," said Weiss of why he chose this match for the PPV. "Xavier's matches have not been shown on PPV in Canada and he was a former ROH champion."
In the second bout they rewind to the present in a triple threat for the BCW belt. The champion, D-Lo Brown, defends against NWA's "The Franchise" Shane Douglas and Johnny Swinger. These two have met many times in ECW. The plot is Swinger abandoned being apart of the Franchise while D-Lo and Shane are still very close friends. It was more of a two on one than a three way, but we all know Shane Douglas is about one thing and one thing only, himself. This must of been one of Douglas' first matches back from his long absence as it doesn't compare to the matches he puts out in the NWA today.
Shane Douglas VS Johnny Swinger VS D-Lo Brown - BCW Heavyweight belt
Swinger comes out with his accomplice A1 and their valet Natasha. They try to make a distraction but both get beaten for it and then they're band from ringside. D-Lo gets Swinger in a sleeper, then Shane goes off the ropes completely stops his momentum and hits a sleeper on D-Lo. Swinger gets a jaw breaker to loose the hold which makes D-Lo give Shane a jawbreaker to release his hold. It was very weird. They then do the exact same move. Only this time it's Shane on Swinger and D-Lo on Shane. Again, D-Lo bounced off the rope for momentum but stopped to put a sleeper on. Again, three way jaw breaker. D-Lo Irish whips Swinger to the ropes and the boots by Shane. Swinging neck breaker on Swinger. D-Lo goes for pin. Shane breaks it up. D-Lo understands it's about the gold. They continue to work as a team on Swinger. Double flap-jack. Natasha comes back out but again gets dashed around till she's forced to leave again. Shane dumps D-Lo out to the floor. Swinger is at the top but Shane goes for his belly to belly suplex. While Swinger's out on the mat from the suplex, D-Lo has made his way back in and is set up for the frog splash. Pin and the win.
Winner: Still Champion D-Lo Brown
"The three-way serves as a nice contrast to the first bout," said Weiss. "Although, the match is slower than people expect I believe it functions as a refresher course in ring psychology and how to tell a story properly. Shane Douglas cuts a great promo to lead into the match and D'LO puts in a very strong effort considering the fact that he was working injured."
In the third bout we again go into the future with "The Future" Chris Sabin against "Showtime" Eric Young. Usually when you hear Sabin's name you automatically think high flying action is coming your way. Especially since Eric Young is no stranger to the air. However, this match features Young and Sabin's technical ability on the mat as well as their high impact moves.
They feel eachother out with the wrist locks. Young goes down, but gets back up, Sabin goes down but gets back up, they match each other move for move until they knip up together in a stare down. Young gets tossed to the ropes and over but he "skins the cat" to get back inside. They point out his costume's resemblance to HBK and his admiration for him, which is why he wrestles like Shawn used to. Eric goes for the superkick but it's caught. Young gets sent to the corners. Sabin hits a drop kick from the top turnbuckle. Sabin gets Young in a modified abdominal stretch. Young gets sent to the corner and ends up doing a hand-stand on the turnbuckle. Sabin waits to see what he's about to do, but he just stands up there. Sabin then goes in for a move but gets kicked in the head, but Young is still standing on his hands. Sabin then drop kicks his mid section and Young crumples down the corner. Sabin gets a sleeper on Young. He lets go and goes to the ropes, Young trips him and hits a spring board splash. 2 count. Belly to belly off the top and Sabin gets a 2 count. They brawl for a bit and just to remind everyone we're in Canada the announcers call it Hockey fighting. Sabin goes to the top rope and then hits the future shock for the 3 count.
Winner: Chris Sabin
After being rocked by what's yet to come we rewind to the earlier days of wrestling. Ox Baker and Baron Karl Von Krupp VS. Dick the Bruiser and the one and only Andre the Giant. The match was odd because I think Andre was doing more technical mat moves than anyone else. Also, if you fast forwarded anything, you didn't miss any moves. In fast forward, it looked like the Sabin-Young match at normal speed. It was very old school. When Andre is done playing with his opponents he shines that great old smile at the cameras. It's just sweet to watch!
Ox Baker & Baron Karl Von Krupp VS Dick the Bruiser & Andre the Giant
They start out trying to jump Andre from behind but to no avail. Ox then tries to make it up to Andre with a handshake. Andre agrees and almost breaks his hands shaking it. Andre holds Ox for Bruiser but Krupp comes in from behind. The crowd warns Andre that Krupp is in and he turns around. This was perfect timing on Andre's part. You don't see much of that anymore. It was smooth not hesitant as most scheduled timing moves are today. Krupp ends up hitting his partner. Again, it was perfect timing on Andre's part and the crowds for warning him. When Ox gets hit by Krupp Andre just looks at the camera and laughs. Bruiser then gets in to get a few of his hard punches in. Head lock on Andre by Ox but he reverses it. Bruiser comes in with his chops to the chest. Andre then has Ox on his back so he squashes him and Krupp in the corner. Andre has Ox in a bear hug. Tries to fight out. It ends with all four in the ring and the TV time limit running out.
Weiss then takes us to shoot interviews with D-Lo and Shane Douglas. They talk to us about the importance of ring psychology. Douglas believes a part of the reason why ratings are lacking is because fans aren't interested in what's going on in the ring. He says that's lack of ring psychology. It's actually a good take on the business and what wrestlers are really trying to accomplish in the ring.
All in all, if you have an extra $6 lying around, it's a good buy. The show repeats every hour and a half till 12:30am on the 23. On Sunday March 28 it will play all day starting at 7:30am to 4:30 Monday morning.
Other than a few plugs for wrestler's websites, the Can-am school, ROH and NWA, the show really focused on what was happening in the ring. When Shane Douglas came out he did pull a low blow to his former running buddy, Eddie Guererro, when he introduced D-Lo Brown as the master of the Frog Splash. Other than those little glitches and the triple threat, the card was very exciting to watch.
Buy Chair Shots & Other Obstacles by Bobby Heenan
Jaya Roopansingh is new to SLAM! Wrestling but has been a long time fan. She is very happy for the chance to spend her days writing about wrestling. Send her your feedback at email@example.com