AS I SEE IT - 2/21/2002
First some thoughts on the WWF's latest major angle, then alternatives for
those of you who still prefer something different.
Monday night featured the real beginning of the NWO angle for Vince McMahon...and what a beginning it was.
For someone like me who has been so ready to hate this angle, based on what I've been afraid Scott Hall, Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash wouldn't do... I will happily say that Monday night's show featured a moment that many wrestling or sports entertainment fans thought they'd never see... and more importantly... one that paid off.
As a rule, I'm at least as tired as most readers of televised wrestling shows that feature more promos then wrestling. To paraphrase a saying of former Philadelphia wrestling promoter Joel Goodhart: "it's neither sports, nor is it entertaining". It's tough when a family member watching RAW with me said early on "I put the over/under for matches tonight at five"...and is dead on right.
But most people won't remember the fact that Monday's show featured only 5 matches in a two plus hour show.
They'll remember Hulk Hogan and Maivia face to face together, a sight they never thought they'd see...in the ring together making an incredibly electric moment for TV viewers and the live crowd.
To borrow Dave Meltzer's description of it... that was money.
One of the positive aspects of it was Hulk Hogan showing a willingness to play along by taking the Rock Bottom from Maivia. RAW accomplished its purpose like it hasn't done in months by doing an excellent job of setting up what is in effect the main event for Wrestlemania.
One hopes that a night like this means that Hall, Nash, and Hogan will spend more time doing business for the WWF as opposed to doing business for themselves. If they do, Vince McMahon's controversial choice to sign these three may yet prove to have been the right decision...even though McMahon disregarded the advice of most of his company with this move.
I look forward to seeing if it proves to be just that.
Now that I've acknowledged the week's big mainstream news...as I mentioned last week, there are alternatives to "sports entertainment" for those of you who prefer a more wrestling-oriented product. Here are some more such alternatives for you:
Premier Wrestling Federation
For those in the southeastern Pennsylvania area, Premier Wrestling Federation's Wrestlebowl 2K2 will be held this Sunday night, February 24, with a 7:30 belltime at Academy Hall (Academy Road, just off Route 422) in Pottstown, PA.
The matches featured are:
PWF Universal Title: Strong Style Rules
"High Profile" Dylan Night (with Candi) vs. "Old School" Steve Corino
Unification Match: Winner Takes All
PWF Universal Tag Team Champions The Damned vs. UPW/ECWA (Pittsburgh)/PCW Tag Team Champions Evolution (Nova and Frankie Kazarian)
PWF TV Title: Coal Miner's Glove Rules
Guillotine LeGrande (with Fun Athletic Guy) vs. "G3" Gino Giovanni
PWF vs. UPW
The SAT vs. The Ballard Brothers (with Cheerleader Melissa)
Matt Vandal vs. Samoa Joe
PWF Junior Heavyweight Title:
The Amazing Red vs. Johnny Kashmere
"Smooth Criminal" Billy Bax vs. Quiet Storm (with Fun Athletic Guy)
"Hi Flying" Chris Hamrick vs. Jack Victory
The Protege vs. Rapid Fire Maldonado
Ringside tickets $15/General Admission $12/Kids under 12 $6. Tickets available at: Nautilus Connection (610) 489-4321, or over the phone at (215) 793-9797. Visa/Mastercard/American Express and checks are welcome.
Wrestlebowl 2K2 can be reached from Philadelphia by taking the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76). Exit at Route 202; then turn off Route 202 onto US 422 (Mid-County Expressway). Take US 422 westbound until you reach the Armand Hammer Boulevard exit in Pottstown. Continue STRAIGHT when exiting US 422 onto Industrial Highway.
Premier Wrestling Federation/Mid-South
PWF also has two associated promotions in Kentucky (PWF Mid-South) and in Connecticut (PWF Northeast).
PWF Mid-South runs Whitley City High School in Whitley, KY on March 2nd with the following matches:
In a rematch from CZW's Cage of Death III...
Menace vs. Johnny Kashmere
Title for Title:
Robbie Race vs. Dylan Night (with Candi)
Thorn vs. Shane Williams vs. Rich Kavana vs. "Atomic Chronic" Scotty Hanson
Mid-South Tag Team Title Match:
Death Row Inmates vs. The Phoenix Foundation
The nationally syndicated NWA-Wildside airs on America One Network on Saturday nights at 10:00 pm (check local listings), Urban America Television (formerly American Independent Network) Sunday mornings at 1:00 am, and in 21 major markets at varied times (typically late-night).
The promotion features light heavyweights like AJ Styles, Jason Cross, Caprice (Ice) Coleman, Adam Jacobs, the Malenko-trained Jeremy Lopez, JC Dazz, Air Paris, "Stylin" Shane Eden and heavyweights David Young, Rick Michaels, Onyx, Cru Jones and Iceberg Slim. NWA-Wildside features old-style angles, usually featuring one of the few well-done old style heel stables around, the "NWA Elite", managed by Jeff G. Bailey.... whose gimmick could best be described as Paul E. Dangerously on acid.
NWA-Wildside's next major show is Hardcore Hell on the weekend of March 22nd and 23rd at the NCW Arena, the promotion's home base in Cornelia, GA.
Tickets are $8 for the March 22nd show and $12 for the March 23rd show, or $15 for a Two Day Pass that includes a Meet and Greet with the talent on Hardcore Hell. Tickets are available through the merchandise section of NWA-Wildside.com
Fans can travel to NWA-Wildside shows at the NCW Arena from Atlanta by taking I-85 northbound to I-985 northbound, which becomes 365 North to the second light (Duncan Bridge Road), and taking a left to the first light.
Until next time...
(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)