Eric’s Blog: Angles that were better than WWE NXT/Raw invasion

john cena

"God damn, can't I do *anything* right?"

If you’re a PWTorch.com audio listener, you know that Wade Keller’s soapbox has been sold out for days, and for a pretty good reason: the Pro Wrestling Torch editor is up in arms because John “Preacherman” Cena proclaimed in an interview with Sports Illustrated that the NXT invasion of WWE Monday Night Raw two weeks ago was the fourth greatest angle in wrestling history. In fact, Cena listed Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III as the best (not an angle itself, just a match), Hogan vs. The Rock at WrestleMania X-8 (also just a match, and the lead-up to it, including Hogan talking to a cardboard Rock cut-out and ramming an ambulance with a Hummer or something, was awful), Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels at WM25 and WM26, and the formation of the Four Horsemen (assuming he means Arn Anderson making one lucky comment during a group interview).

The ludicrousness here is obvious, not just of including a two-week-old angle (featuring Cena himself) in a small, elite list of all-time wrestling angles, but of playing WWE butt-kisser by listing four cookie-cutter corporate answers (I know Hogan is with TNA these days, but these are still WWE moments that Vince McMahon probably dreams about while rolling naked on top of his money). Somehow, I was able to list about five dozen better angles right off the top of my head, and Dusty added a few to the pile. Do me a favor: Check out these angles and leave a comment on this post a) correcting any of my inaccuracies, b) ranking the real top five angles, and c) tacking on some of your own. Here we go:

NWO forms (Scott Hall appears on WCW Monday Nitro, followed by Kevin Nash; Hulk Hogan joins at Bash at the Beach 1996)

Freebirds turn on Kerry Von Erich (Dec. 25, 1982, Terry Gordy slams Kerry Von Erich’s head in cage door during Von Erich vs. Ric Flair NWA World Title match with Michael Hayes as special referee)

Bruno Sammartino bodyslammed on arena floor by Stan Hansen (April 26, 1976), legit injury turned into angle with rematch (June 25, 1976, same card as Ali vs. Inoki)

Larry Zbyszko turns on Bruno Sammartino (Jan. 22, 1980), draws huge crowd to Shea Stadium (Aug. 9, 1980)

Steve Austin confronts Mike Tyson (Jan. 1998, night after Royal Rumble)

Hulk Hogan returns to WWF, wins WWF Title from Iron Sheik (Dec. 1983-Jan. 1984)

Three-match series with Dusty Rhodes vs. Superstar Billy Graham (1977)

Roddy Piper shoves Cyndi Lauper, leads to WrestleMania (1984)

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Eric’s Blog: Where are Bryan Danielson’s better marquee matches?

bryan danielson

"Are you still talking about ME?"

In a recent PWTorch Livecast, Wade Keller and Jason Powell discussed Bryan Danielson (of course, we all are) and the possibility of him landing in TNA. A caller asked what it would take for Danielson to jump ship (even though he’s not really on a ship right now), and although Keller has said numerous times that Danielson is not interested in working for TNA, he and Powell did mention the names of some current TNA wrestlers with whom Danielson could work. Upon suggesting “Joe, AJ, Angle, even Nigel,” my brain started churning: How good would those matches be? Some of those matches have been done and done again in Ring of Honor, but TNA would give them a greater national platform. And what matchups await Danielson in WWE that would make me part with my money, if any?

Well, let’s run through some possibilities:

TNA main-eventers: Rob Van Dam (I almost worry there would be a clash of styles here, and I don’t know which one would have to adapt his approach to work well with the other), Kurt Angle (oh my god, these two would put on a wrestling clinic; it would be like revisiting the Angle vs. Benoit matches of WWE 2001-2003), Jeff Hardy (Danielson would need to go into this match as a strong heel, which is fine, but Hardy is so sloppy and flip-floppy that their styles could clash as well; their match would almost have to be character-driven, with good wrestling a happy accident/by-product), AJ Styles (I like this match, although I’m continuing to tire of Styles atop TNA).

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Peace Out Trent Acid

You were the dirtiest of hobos.

From Mike Johnson at PWInsider:

I am extremely sorry to report that Michael “Trent Acid” Verdi was found dead this morning by his mother. He was 29 years old.

Under his Trent Acid ring name, Verdi was one of the can’t miss prospects of the Philadelphia independent scene during the early part of the decade, first as one half of the Backseat Boyz with long-time friend and partner Johnny Kashmere and then later as a singles competitor.

Acid held just about every title there was in Combat Zone Wrestling, which was really his home promotion in many respects and later on main evented for Ring of Honor in a great feud against Homicide.

In watching him at that point, there was no doubt he was going to go on to make a lot of money for a larger promotion, but personal problems bogged him down and he never seemed to overcome them.

The early belief is that Verdi’s death was drug-related, but nothing official has been ruled at this time.

I’ll be writing alot more about Verdi in the days to come, but I just don’t have the heart to look back on his career right now. He was someone who, deep down, had a great heart for the business and his friends – all of whom, myself included – were pushing for him to get back to being the performer he used to be and to find some happiness in his life. It really, truly breaks my heart that it’s never going to happen.

I am sure a lot of people are going to write about his drug issues and arrests in recent years, but I’d prefer to remember the Trent Acid who made so many independent shows fun with his antics and in-ring work, the “How is Gee” chants that no one but the old NYC bus trip crew got, the incredible series against Teddy Hart, and a time period where Trent Acid was poised to take on the world. That’s the Michael Verdi I want to remember.

Like I wrote, I’ll have more on this in the days to come, but right now, I just don’t have the heart to write anything more.

I’ll never forget how Gabe Sapolsky hated your guts. Thoughts, prayers. – Dusty

Davey Richards retiring, Bryan Danielson active, Dixie Carter likes drunks

davey richards

This was Davey Richards' paramedic school final to prove his mental and physical toughness: Please Don't Tap 101.

Davey Richards retiring later this year: According to Prowrestling.net, indy superstar and new “best in the world” Davey Richards has said he plans to retire this year. Well, kinda retire:

“I’ve gotten done with paramedic school and have other things I want to concentrate on. I want to get my black belt in jiujitsu and finish the fire academy. I’m married now, too… Ric Flair retires. Lou Thesz retires. For me, I’m just not going to show up anymore.”

Richards has been a Stunt Granny favorite (well, at least of Eric’s and Jeremy’s), and despite the fact that he’s a little nutso, it’ll be too bad to see him go, especially while he’s at the top of his game. Kinda like “Seinfeld.” Congratulations, though, Davey, on having a life. (What are the odds of him beating Tyler Black for the ROH World Title, keeping us all guessing who’ll beat Richards before he retires? Dun dun duuunnnnn…)

Bryan Danielson already booked in a few places: According to Prowrestling.net, Bryan Danielson (recently released WWE NXT Season 1 rookie Daniel Bryan) will wrestle for Chikara in Detroit tomorrow (Saturday) and also is booked for a weekend of WXW shows in Germany on July 3-4, EVOLVE’s show in Rahway, N.J., on July 23 and Dragon Gate USA’s one-year anniversary show in Philadelphia on July 24. Duh, he’s the previous “best in the world,” of course he’ll get bookings. By the way, if you click around on Prowrestling.net, not only will you see a banner ad for HDNet’s “Hottest Girl in America” TV show which is barely safe for work, but you’ll also see stories with thoughts on Danielson’s WWE release from John Cena, Jim Cornette and former WWE writer Dave Lagana. Everyone has opinions on this Danielson story, and Danielson is reaping all the benefits. (*sneaks behind curtain like Jon Lovitz in “The Wedding Singer”*)

Dixie Carter proud of drunk Scott Hall: According to Prowrestling.net, Dixie Carter posted on her beloved and storied Twitter account that she’s lookin’ out for Scott Hall.

“Scott Hall and I talked and together decided he needed time to focus on some personal issues,” Carter wrote. “I am proud of the action he is taking.”

Well good. I’m glad Southern Mama Carter doesn’t mind playing baby-sitter for the Halls, Waltmans, Hardys and Angles of the world. I’m also glad these guys have found essentially a sugar mama who will fork over money every time they need it. Mark. -Eric

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