Eric’s Blog: One of my top 5 favorite matches, Ric Flair vs. Vader, 20 years ago today

Once upon a time, World Championship Wrestling, and Jim Crockett Promotions before it, promoted Starrcade as its most prominent and preeminent event of the year. Originally held Thanksgiving night, pressure from the WWF in 1988 forced WCW to move its flagship event to the week of Christmas, which means if the event were being held today, well, it might be held today.

In fact, 20 years ago today, the 11th Starrcade was held in Charlotte, N.C., with the original plans pitting WCW Champion Big Van Vader against Sid Vicious in a bitter battle of former tag team partners who were, well, thrown together about six months earlier, um, because they were both big and, uh, they both used a power bomb as their finisher.

In December 1993, Vader was 18 months into a spectacular run as a monster heel champion, and Sid was, you know, Sid, the underachieving heel whose babyface turn was predicated on a fumbled, accidental double-cross by his comedic manager, Col. Rob Parker, and who could never connect with a crowd at-large beyond the pop he received on his entrance. (Never mind the fact that Dusty and I think he’s, as Sid himself used to say, “the man.”)

And then came the little issue of the night Sid stabbed Arn Anderson with a pair of scissors 20 times in a hotel in England that October, effectively removing himself from the main event of WCW’s biggest show of the year. This put Eric Bischoff’s team of bookers in quite a pinch, and what did WCW pretty much always do when they were in a pinch?

Paging Ric Flair.

Flair was programmed with Vader beginning at Battlebowl, a half-crocked concept launched by Dusty Rhodes at Starrcade 1991 that, somehow, got its own pay-per-view in November 1993. During the ceremonious final battle royal, Vader attacked Flair outside of the ring, eliminating Flair from the match.

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Stunt Granny Audio #227

Torn ACLJeremy is back on the show along with Kevin. They end up starting the show on Impact Wrestling. It goes from a one subject idea to a three subject segment. The first one is the firing of Jesse Sorensen. How bad is this firing? Does it look better after they look at Sorensen’s Wikipedia page? Could Eric Bischoff help him out in his future endeavors? They move on to Chris Sabin of the two torn ACLs. Are his injuries the only reason crowned TNA Champion? Which host thought it was obvious Sabin was going to win? Which on thought they wouldn’t do it on regular TV? Kevin then wonders if Sabin could cut it in the WWE? Who does he think would cut it from the TNA Roster? When will the whole Stunt Granny crew do another TNA Roster Game? Their final topic for TNA was their management’s failure in budgeting. Should they continue to travel with how much money they’re losing? Would it benefit them to stay in a spot for a year then move along? How much leash is Dixie Carter going to get from her father? Will she ever become competent? Jeremy & Kevin finally move on to the WWE in rapid fire fashion. John Cena vs Daniel Bryan? Check. CM Punk vs Paul Heyman? Check. Mark Henry & the Usos vs the Shield? Check. Who’s going to write about Totally Divas? Did they forget about the fresh face of the Wyatt Family? The Wyatts may be after the Big Red Monster but Jeremy & Kevin finish by talking about the big green monster know as Godzilla. Click on the link below to hear all of that and more!

Stunt Granny Audio Show #227

D.O.C. officially parts ways with TNA #SUNTANBIKERMAN

DOC

#SUNTANBIKERMAN

So I go on a small vacation and in between Margaritas and copious amounts of tacos I return to see that Dixie Carter’s TNA promotion is still up to their same old ways.  D.O.C, Drew Hankinson, via Twitter has announced that his deal with TNA has expired and they have officially parted ways. This shouldn’t be considered a part of TNA “trimming expenses.” This is an idiotic move even for this company. He was a main member of their top heel faction who is also the focus of the entire promotion.  He was in the middle of a storyline with Ken Anderson over the Vice President role inside of Aces & 8’s. Allowing his deal to expire without moving the storyline to a logical close or helping someone else get over on the way out is just business as usual for a company that touts its longevity but failing to realize there has been no growth.

The timing is perfect as it gives WWE the opportunity to correct their mistake in releasing him in the first place. Of course there is no guarantee this is actually going to stick. The working of his tweet leaves the door open for a new contract. When a deal expires you have indeed parted ways. You don’t get paid and they don’t use you. So, this isn’t necessarily the end but it should be. TNA is having financial issues, hence the talent reduction and front office reshuffling (firings if you want to be honest about it).

It is not a problem that TNA does not work out a new deal or part ways with their independent contractors.  What is a problem is the talent they choose to let go while continually overlooking the real issue with the company and their business practices. If D.O.C. does indeed sign a deal with another company then he will be making a decision based on his financial future and stability. If the contract is with another company TNA has blown another opportunity to create some, hell any, homegrown star.  Of course all of that is a different issue and I realize that.  What is important is that D.O.C. can work on his marvelous biker tan and hopefully find gainful employment with another company.  –Jeremy

Joey Ryan on his release from TNA

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So just recently Joey Ryan was on a show called ITR Live on something called Spreaker, which I am just hearing about now, this very second. What follows below is a recap of that appearance, procured from PWInsider.

It’s largely Ryan politicizing himself in effort to possibly someday get his job back, so if you’re looking for something really truly interesting coming out of his mouth, look elsewhere. I post this to say that Ryan has the size and charisma that WWE usually is looking for in a wrestler. He could be somewhere around Rick “The Model” Martel level in WWE if used properly, to further date myself. And WWE used to make their bones on taking guys that the competition didn’t know how to use properly and turning them into stars. So, there you go Vince. – Dusty

How he got in to TNA:

Through David Lagana. I worked with David Lagana in a few places actually Ring of Honor, NWA Hollywood and then he booked me for Ring Ka King in India. Then he got hired to be a writer in TNA and they were looking for guys. He suggested me to Al Snow and Al Snow saw footage of me and decided to make me a GutCheck contestant.

It kind of happened quickly. They called me up and Al Snow asked if I would be interested and I said yes. He said, “Alright, I’ll see you next week”. There wasn’t anything I had to sit on really.

On TNA GutCheck:

They literally don’t tell you anything. I was the second ever guy to do GutCheck. The first GutCheck was Alex Silva. There was that whole thing where Ric Flair changed his decision on Alex Silva. You see, I don’t know how much of that is really a shoot or not. I think they brought me in particularly to be a “No” because they just needed somebody from the indys to make this seem more legitimate and told “no”. I think that was a work on their part.

I think when I wrestled and I had a good match against Austin Aries, thank God I had to wrestle Austin Aries, then I came in and did my promos and stuff like that, even before I was in front of the judges, they weren’t telling me I was going to get a “No”, but I had a few people telling me things. Like Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan came up to me and said, “Hey, we like your look, we think you are good. No matter what happens out there, we want to do something with you hopefully down the line”. They were hinting that I was going to get a “No” vote.

I was already going in there portraying a heel character so I knew going into this that I wasn’t just going to go out there, be told “No” and walk away with my tail between my legs. I’m going to be adamant about it. I was going to be myself, a guy who has been told “No” for the last 12 years by major companies.

After I did that promo, there was talk of me going around. They were saying to themselves, “How can we use this guy?” Before that, there was nothing planned for me.

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Stunt Granny Audio #204

With a Presidential debate and a Major League Baseball playoff game going on around them, our intrepid heroes Kevin and Dusty are focused on one thing, and one thing only: the major happenings of the last week in the world of professional wrestling! The two contemplate who would have been a better choice to lead the Aces and Eights group in TNA. Would anyone in the known universe have been a better choice than poor, mediocre Devon? They talk about the ponderous Hulk Hogan sex tape, and how HH is no longer b-fri’s with notorious wife swapper Bubba the Love Sponge. Is Jeff Hardy the right choice to lead TNA as its World Heavyweight Champion, or is he a ticking time bomb that you should never put in such a prominent position? Dusty makes his sales pitch for Ryback winning the WWE title, and Kevin is *almost* buying. And the fearless duo finishes things off with a Mount Rushmore of Wrestling Tough Guys, as the backdrop to the alleged altercation between Harley Race and Vader this past week. And a whole lot more nuggets of golden awesomeness, so listen!

Stunt Granny Audio Show #204

Possible TNA salary information floating around

Found this floating around on the internets:

Note 1: There was no information received for the likes of Hulk Hogan, Dixie Carter, Bischoff, and Jeff Jarrett. We have to assume that their contracts are tied up in the corporate end, and not through the system that pays performers.

Note 2: Very few TNA performers get generous “WWE style” perks such as first class travel and hotel comps.

Note 3: TNA do recieve merchandise cut bonuses, these are noted where applicable, although exact figures were not made available to us.

Note 4: As you will observe, TNA downsides are MUCH lower than WWE downsides.

Note 5: Kurt Angle and Sting both have contracts wherein, they are only required to work a certain amount of dates per month.

AJ Styles: $390,500 downside/receives a merchandise bonus – 3 year contract
Abyss: $344,280 downside – 2 year contract
Austin Aries: $145,310 downside – 2 year contract
Bobby Roode: $275,000 downside – 3 year contract
Bully Ray: $305,200 downside – 3 year contract (this is believed to be his previous contract which expired last month)
Chris Sabin: $144,500 downside/receives a merchandise bonus – 2 year contract
Christopher Daniels: $183,000 downside – 2 year contract
Hernandez: $174,220 downside/receives a merchandise bonus – 3 year contract
James Storm: $268,470 downside/ receives a merchandise bonus – 3 year contract
Jeff Hardy: $728,450 downside/ receives a merchandise bonus/travel paid for
Kazarian: $141,000 downside
Kurt Angle: $1,000,000 downside/receives a merchandise bonus/travel and accommodation paid for/maximum of 10 dates per month
Matt Morgan: $350,000 downside – 3 year contract (this is believed to be Morgan’s previous contract)
Mr Anderson: $625,700 downside/receives a merchandise bonus
Rob Van Dam: $680,000 downside/receives a merchandise bonus/travel paid for
Samoa Joe: $400,000 downside/receives a merchandise bonus
Sting: $840,750 downside/receives a merchandise bonus/travel and accommodation paid for/maximum of 10 dates per month
Gail Kim: $150,000 downside/receives a merchandise bonus – 2 year contract
Madison Rayne : $77,400 downside – 2 year contract
Mickie James: $177,940 downside/receives a merchandise bonus/contract allows for flexibility with James’ music career
Sarita: $62,100 downside
Tara: $98,410 downside (this is believed to be Tara’s previous contract)

Don’t know how much, if any of it, is accurate, but if it’s available online, then you know it must be the gospel truth. Like this: Last night aliens abducted Jeremy Maes, ripped his heart out, and replaced it with that of a sheep. So now he bleats when he tries to talk. Take it to the bank. – Dusty

Stunt Granny Lunch Conversation: Jeremy & Kevin October 4, 2012

Nothing says outsider like an officially licensed picture.

Kevin:  Are you listening to O&A?

Jeremy:  Cool, Ti West. I liked The Innkeeprs. It had some creepy stuff, especially the end.

Kevin:  Did he do anything else?

Jeremy:  The House of The Devil as well. He is promoting V/H/S. Hadn’t heard of that.

Kevin:  I remember him being on here before but didn’t remember any of his movies

Jeremy:  Only reason I watched Innkeepers was due to him being on. V/H/S looks pretty intense. Some low grade looking stuff but some other shockingly cool visuals too. Hmm, on the list now.

Jeremy:  Hey check this out, According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter , there were wrestlers in the company who had said Garrett Bischoff was going to be a key part of Aces and 8s.

Jeremy:  Holy shit it makes perfect sense. Eric Bischoff is a big biker/ bike enthusiast.

Kevin:  So, judging from the “who had” and “was going” is there a different plan now?

Jeremy:  Not sure to be honest but it does make sense based off of that. Going off of last weeks Impact Wrestling it fits. Remember NWO biker Bischoff used to wear his hat backwards

Jeremy:  I understand it is a small detail.

Kevin:  Could it just be Eric Bischoff’s way to get back at Hulk Hogan for booting him out of power?

Jeremy:  Exactly

Kevin:  Garrett being in the group would make no sense whatsoever. But then again, turn on a dime alliances are a TNA staple

Jeremy:  His involvement is easily explained; they reconciled. Father and son getting back together. After he dumped his dad Garrett has done nothing memorable.

Jeremy:  Hell, Hogan just gave him the boot immediately for the TV title match. Dismissed him like a common whore. Um, so I heard. We will know if Garrett is in the match somehow.

Jeremy:  Makes me wonder if Devon also has something with this.

Kevin:  As in him being in the group or him leaving TNA caused a problem in the story line?

Jeremy:  Part of the storyline.

Jeremy:  Just posted a video on The Stunt Granny Facebook page. It has brought me to tears. Starts slow but stick with it.

Kevin:  So it isn’t Devon then?

Jeremy:  Ahh yes Devon, maybe I am reading too much in to it but since when does a wrestler leaving in a contract dispute become television. Other than Bret Hart?

Kevin:  It would make some sense because even Devon has been crapped after his first month of being TV champ.

Jeremy:  Yeah, can use the champion not gettign a contract thing

Kevin:  So, will the reveal of Eric be at BFG?

Jeremy:  Oh yeah for sure.

Kevin:  I was considering buying it since I still have the $5 off coupons

Jeremy:  I don’t even have it in me for the long Bwahahahahahaha.

Kevin:  Ugh, you are so right on that.

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