Welcome wrestling fans, and join me as I introduce you to the fantastical universe of CHIKARA Pro Wrestling.
Welcome wrestling fans, and join me as I introduce you to the fantastical universe of CHIKARA Pro Wrestling.
The action is heating up…
In the latest edition of The Wrestling Time Machine!
(Content Warning: Blood, Violence, Weapons)
It’s the latest installment of The Wrestling Time Machine!!!
(Content Warning: Blood, Violence, Weapons)
Snap into your Slim Jims, and shut off your Super Nintendo Entertainment System, it’s time for the latest installment of Wrestling Time Machine!
Grab yourself a bag of Butterfinger BB’s, set your VCR to record TekWar and tune in to the latest Wrestling Time Machine Column, as we flip the switches and travel back to January of 1995!
Hello my precious professional wrestling pals, and welcome to another edition of Wrestling Time Machine! We’ve got the dates keyed in on our time circuits, the Flux Capacitor is a-roaring to go, all to take us to February of 1997*!
Good day my Wrestling Time Travel Compatriots, it is I, your humble docent through this exhibit on the History of Professional Wrestling, and today we will be continuing our journey through January of 1997!
Hello fans!!! I’m your host, Bobby Fisher, and THIS is Wrestling…Time…Machine!!! This is your go-to guide through the low-definition war zone that is the Attitude Era of Professional Wrestling.
Hello fans! I’m your guide, Bobby Fisher and this…is…THE Wrestling Time Machine! So on today’s post, we’ll be talking about November of 1996. I AM going to try to be more active on our eponymous website. So…November of 1996 was an interesting time for both of the Big Two.
Just call me “Bobby Styles” and this…is…THE Wrestling Time Machine!
Allow me to preface by saying this is the first volume of my Wrestling Time Machine blog, something I talk at length about on our podcast that we do here. Today we’re going to be tackling ECW, what I would consider the first year. This first year starts with “The Franchise” Shane Douglas defeating 2 Cold Scorpio with a Pinfall decision, in the NWA World Title Tournament on August 27th 1994 and ends with a real BARN BURNER of a match in what was the final confrontation (in Extreme Championship Wrestling, anyways) between a young Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko. The WWE Network is a smorgasbord of classic wrestling of all kinds, albeit missing some of wrestling’s essential main courses. The WWE Network, while it boasts “Every WWE/WCW Pay-Per-View”, The WWE Network misses out on just about most of the ECW Pay-Per-Views and Specials. This is unfortunate, because Pay-Per-Views provide of course a sense of closure for much of a given month’s events, and where even new stories can be born.
Though all is not lost, if Paul Heyman and the ECW Brass was good at anything, it was knowing that their target demographic may not always be in the market to pay to view, and so many episodes of ECW Hardcore TV were simply highlight episodes, devoted to the most recent Pay-Per-View, devoted to keeping fans not only enlightened of the match highlights, but also of any major story beats and new developments. By far the biggest omission that deserves mentioning is the lack of actually licensed music throughout the whole show. Now…I get it, WWE’s a big company, and ECW was known for using music without necessarily worrying about frivolous things like getting the rights from the artists, etc. You know, the little things, and so it came to pass that WWE is forced to use very generic tunes for the entrances of the ECW performers. Something is lost in the incredibly generic tunes, some of the attitude-the balls of ECW is muted, it feels almost too sanitized. Now granted, I don’t think we can necessarily fault the WWE for this, or even Heyman and whomsoever was in charge of designating entrance music. ECW was, for all intents and purposes, small show, a small organization. They barely (and often times didn’t even) made end’s meat, let alone had the extra cash to shell out for licensed music. This didn’t stop them from trying though…
Let’s get down to thumbtacks, though. The first year
of ECW is…pretty intense. The very first episode I mentioned at the top of the article also featured another pinnacle in ECW history, Tommy Dreamer being caned by The Sandman. This, along with Douglas’ epic speech about what ECW really is, how important new blood was to wrestling , this set the tone for the entire promotion. This wasn’t your father’s wrestling, and that’s what made it unique. ECW had a finger on the pulse of what wrestling could be, and what many fans at the time and even still to this day, think it should be. While ECW dabbled in extremely violent performances, that was simply the icing on the cake, the real substance of the promotion would be found in performers like Shane Douglas, Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko-to name a few-who could put on spectacular matches without the need for barbed wire, or cattle brands. Tazz is another highlight in ECW’s fledgling year, and his first experience on commentary can be heard through the WWE Network’s archive, as he was a guest commentator with Joey Styles for a special match.
While ECW had
few veterans in the form of wrestlers like Terry Funk, the fuel that kept it’s engines running was the
influx of young talent given a stage to shine on that didn’t involve being a jobber to the stars, or relying on silly gimmicks. If I’ve learned anything though, it’s that ECW was no stranger to silly gimmicks. Just ask Surfer Ray Odyssey.
There are many other things to talk about when it comes to ECW’s fledgling first year. The brilliant promo work of Shane Douglas, and The Franchise’s one-sided feud with “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, the formation of The Triple Threat to serve as combating force against The Four Horsemen. The introduction of the mysterious, brooding Raven and his obsessive groupie goofball Stevie Richards. Towards the beginning of July 1995 we see the introduction of The Dudley Boys, and before too long, their ever-expanding family. For Big Daddy Dudley, THE THIRST was oh-so-real. I’d say one of the biggest highlights though, in watching ECW was the surprisingly decent promo work of The Public Enemy. For those not familiar, this Tag-Team consisting of “Flyboy” Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge were essentially WWE’s Cryme Tyme, before Cryme Tyme, and they saw much more success than the WWE duo. Though The Public Enemy had some great matches with The Pitbulls and a feud that could only be described as “Actual War crimes of the 1990s” with
The Gangstas, The Public Enemy would soon depart, like many others, for greener pastures in WCW. Sure, Billionaire Ted’s money may have seemed appetizing, but I would argue that The Public Enemy didn’t get a fair shake (again, like countless others) in WCW, at least on the company’s flagship program WCW Monday Nitro. Rocco and Johnny could deliver decent enough promos to carry a story, and yet, WCW’s Tag Team Division was very much an afterthought, even prior to the N.W.O.’s emergence.
By far, one thing that does bear mentioning when discussing ECW, is the strange weapons opponents sometimes used to inflict pain on one another, even during this first year. Often when reading about ECW, or even watching it, you’ll see the Hardcore standbys-chairs (wooden and steel!), tables, Singapore canes, trashcans, etc. but eagle-eyed viewers will see such strange weapon fodder as plastic dinosaurs and cheese graters.
I suppose I’ll close out this first edition of The Wrestling Time Machine by giving just some final thoughts on the first year of ECW…ECW was a welcome alternative to the then-WWF, and WCW, both promotions which suffered from their own problems. The WWF was struggling to push and build younger talent into main event stars, while still relying on hackneyed cartoon gimmicks based on garbagemen, french pirates and Portuguese Man-o-Wars, while WCW was ramping up it’s cartoon gimmicks to eleven with the Dungeon of Doom all whilst relying on older stars in Hulk Hogan, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and Randy “Macho Man” Savage. ECW focused on just being unique, and what made wrestling good. Stories didn’t need to be larger than life, and opponents that could go out and wrestle with the skilled technician of a brain surgeon didn’t necessarily need to have a built-in story for the match beyond, “These two guys are fighting”. ECW wasn’t afraid of it’s fans, and didn’t push matches, agendas, or stories it knew the fans didn’t want, something any person in the creative field should take away as an important lesson.
Well let’s see here open Wrestling Sites see if there is anything to report………
Adam Rose? Don’t be a lemon, be employed! Oh wow Sandow! Well at least Cody is still he-THE HELL!? Whatcha doin’ wit your life WWE!? Yes, it seems like it’s that time of the year where the talent feels lost in the shuffle of the organization, or simply put you’re not on tv therefore you’re gone. Getting rid of talent doesn’t mean you won’t see them again, what with other Wrestling programs out there, I’m sure they’re bound to show up somewhere or just take time off refresh and return like nothing happened. What else, we just came off an Extreme Rules PPV, which is weird but common for just three weeks between not popular PPVs. That being said, that Fatal Four Way AMAZING!! The main event, good grief! Is there any match that AJ Styles can’t make look good? I mean wow, just wow, this guy is still amazing! Also we got the RETURN OF SETH FREAKING ROLLINS!! Yes, the heel we all love is back and what’s sad is he’ll have to kick a puppy or perhaps dump his father manager to get real heat on him this time, because the crowds just hate Roman. Still, even after putting on a show in two matches with AJ Styles, the crowd just doesn’t like him as champ. Again you know my stance on him-he needs to turn heel or just speak softly and not surfer….So yeah the PPV was fine, the Raw the next day, well it had me scratching my head and saying what!?
So Raw gave us all wrestling fans a star to shine for the next PPV Money in the bank simply by putting in our internet darlings Zayn, Caesaro, Owens, Ambrose and Jericho, which for him coming off of a lost to Ambrose in the first ever Asylum Match which was on for far too long during the PPV, but with two spots remaining, who’s it going to be?…..Also Girly Flair rid herself of Old Man Flair which is aboot time, but also gave her a ton of heat, like a TON. That crowd straight up hated her for yelling at that old man. We also saw the return of the Social Outcast, 3 Man Band baaabay!!! I keed, I keed. Enzo came back with Big Cass and continued their feud with those Damn Dudleys!!!
THIS JUST CAME IN TO THE NEWS ROOM! So starting July 11th on Raw they’re having a WWE draft!! The WWE is also moving Smackdown to Tuesday live!! So two different shows with two different stories? Well, I wonder if they’ll bring back the old Eagle belt? Or the Attitude title? What’s this mean for the current roster? In a way it could be good, it could give a chance for men and women that aren’t in current story lines to shine a little more on a different show. Will they split up the PPVs? Please for the love of GAWD! No, please no! Bragging Rights PPV…OK! This is just my thoughts on it, really I was just about done with this blog, so let’s hope with this change it’ll spotlight wrestlers or NXT talent getting the call up!
Speaking of NXT, Takeover is coming up and I can’t WAIT!!! Joe VS Balor in a steel cage!!! And Aries VS Nakamura!!! Take all of my money, NOW!!!! PLEASE I BEG YOU!!!! Also I hope we see Bobby Rooooooode come to NXT. Well this one is a short one, and I feel that unless something big happens before Money In the Bank, I know Cena is returning this coming Monday, so let’s see what storyline he ends up with…please just let him feud with Rusev, don’t put him in the MITB ladder match!! But it’ll happen unless AJ Styles comes out with The Club…that he said he didn’t need, goes full heel and attacks Cena. Yes, PLEASE!!!! Later down the road Cena can take the title from Hulk Roman brother!! I mean Uce? Uso? How do you spell that?
Well the Ref is calling this one a DQ….until next time, This is Mike E Dangerously saying, “Back To You Gorilla!”
So long time no words eh? Ahhh you smell that? It’s the smell of some really good and some really meh? Wrestling in the past three weeks leading up to the PPV Tomorrow Night Payback which I shall be updating this if any big changes were to uprise….in a demon like way…..
So let’s start by saying holy crap is it awesome to see AJ Styles in a WWE program let alone for the title we know he isn’t going to win and if he does it’ll be all due to the form of the Balor Club….yeah now if you do your internet search you’ll see that New Japan has the Bullet Club with ummm…a few guys from the WWE now I know on last Monday’s Raw Cole was spouting that the two new friends of AJ; Anderson and Gallows were a part of group in New Japan but before that on Smackdown they said the name Bullet Club so more than likely some lawyer called another Law Guy who called Harvey Birdman and now we just have to rely on whatever name *THEY* (meaning creative) gives them….so yes regardless of that whole mess, I see Roman and his mumbling about being guys that are good nor bad persona getting the win… I feel that him winning though will turn him heel…which is what’s best for him.
I mean look at Cena, yeah he’s been a super face for all these years but he will never turn heel…why? The dying kids. Those make-a-wish kids have his ever loving healing factor heart because if you didn’t get the memo-Cena is returning in May. So yeah Roman is like the Surfer Cena he’s all chill and cool cares for his Bros, the Usos which makes me worried for them being with Roman that the fans might turn on them, but regardless they had an impressive match on Monday versus Anderson and Gallows. I think they can come out of the funk if they get the boos.
Another Match I’m looking forward to is Owens Vs Zayn. I’ve seen it a dozen times on ROH, but this is where it’s bigger. I wish they would of made it a stipulation match or at least a Last Man Standing match, just something to get that Chicago town to not utter he who shall not be named….CM Punk….yes the wrestler who was amazing in ECW then just kinda went flat with his ego and personality and left the company-well he’s still their hometown boy and if the fans are bored, then one moron will likely start the chant of his name and other morons will join in….which if you want my advice, no crowd in the history of crowds will ever compare to the old ECW crowds!!! Ahhh the memories…. Which you can watch on the network for just…$9.99…So yes what else happened in these past few weeks???
Samoa Joe is THE NEW NXT CHAMPION!!!…..Let that breath….sounds good right? Then to top that, Eric Young is now on NXT!!? Which is cool and kinda sad, I mean I was hoping for Austin Aries VS Joe but I’ll settle to let Joe destroy Eric then move on to Aries….What else is the WWE doing, you ask? Why they’re doing this behind closed doors tournament for a new lightweight/international feathered King crown champion??? That will be on the network soon or during the summer….I just hope it spotlights Indy guys and gets eyes on them. Let’s also take a moment and pay respects to Chyna who passed a week ago. She was a pioneer, who’s backstage personal life conflicted with her in ring career we will never know the truth as to why she left. We can guess, but boy did she leave an impact when it came to women in the ring first Intercontinental Champion as a woman, and also the first woman to ever enter the Royal Rumble. Here’s to you, The Ninth Wonder of The World. You will be missed.
On a lighter note let’s get some predictions going before the PPV……
Kick Off Show
Kalisto VS Ryback
The Winner: Ryback
Ceasaro VS The Miz
The Winner: The Miz
Baron Corbin VS Dolph Ziggler
Big Cass And Enzo Amore VS The VaudeVillains
Winner: VaudVillains due to a Dudley Boyz Interference.
Charlotte VS Natalya
Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn
Winner:I’m taking Sami Zayn here and hoping it’ll lead to a longer fued
Chris Jericho VS Dean Ambrose
Winner: Ambrose. C’mon, you can’t let one of top faces lose twice can ya?
Then The whole Vinny Mac telling us who’s in or out…YAWN!!…..
Heavyweight Title Match
AJ Styles VS Roman Reigns
Winner: Roman unless the Balor Club forms and helps AJ win…….
Boy, was I off but only by 3 so yeah I can’t wait to extreme rules….where once again Hulk Roman will win once again….sigh….I hate to say it….when’s Cena coming back? Well the ref is given me to the count of ten until next time…Back To You Gorilla!
-Mike E Dangerously