Shahid’s Blog: A Ride Down Memory Lane – WWE Network and An Appreciation of WCW

Robocop off duty Cage Destroyer with Sting

When WWE announced its plans for its own network, I was extremely skeptical.  With the current cable climate, a dedicated paid channel seemed outdated. The idea of watching old Raw and Nitros with bargain basement reality shows and the occasional documentary didn’t strike me as a scintillating product; using dubstep in its promo videos didn’t help either.  So of course Vince McMahon presents a revolutionary product – an internet only streaming service, combining its massive library with new material that may actually be worth a damn, plus every future PPV….for 9.99 a month.

I’ve been a wrestling fan for close to 30 years, and I can honestly say this is the most groundbreaking event in my fandom.  Being able to watch a 1992 WCW PPV in HD on my iPad?  Watching World Class on my big screen TV?  Getting WrestleMania and Summerslam for free? Not only would I save money on my cable bill, I could kiss the days of 12 part YouTube videos with crappy resolution good bye.  I won’t discuss the initial hiccups or improvements which could be made.  Right now, I’ll dive into a few things I’ve experienced so far.

One thing I’ve realized during my initial weeks of watching was the in ring quality of WCW.  Say what you want about their goofy and often idiotic booking – popping in a random PPV will usually be an enjoyable experience.  It’s not hard to see why, considering their talent base during the late 80’s to mid 90s – Sting, Flair, The Steiners, Ricky Steamboat, Rick Rude, Gordy/Williams, Steve Austin, Barry Windham, Pillman, Vader……it’s a murderer’s row of talented in ring workers and/or compelling characters.

What also helped was the excellent announcing of Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone and Jesse Ventura, which gave it a sports feel and made every match seemed relevant.  Plus there is an added bonus of red hot crowds, which makes a huge difference to the enjoyment level – listening to Sting/Koloff vs Anderson/Blanchard would make you think it was WrestleMania. Although I could do without the inane stipulations from Bill Watts – how you can bring in someone like Jushin Liger while outlawing top rope maneuvers is mind boggling.

Even without the context of WCW Saturday Night, Clash of the Champions or other weekly shows, WCW PPV’s tend to hold up very well during that time frame…..at least until Hogan came and brought in the era of the Three Amigos (Hogan, Sting and Savage) running roughshod until the formation of the NWO.  But thats a story for another week.  And by the way, to hell with the Shockmaster, Robocop, Johnny Gunn and Paul Roma, Horseman. -Shahid

Booker T Tells the Kettle Its’ Black And Calls Out Ronda Rousey

Pot_calling_the_kettle_black_by_CoelasquidSo when I went to Prowrestling.net, I found a link to this story on Yahoo! Sports that interviewed Booker T about his jail time, helping kids learn English in Singapore and MMA. I found the last topic the most interesting. The delicious irony of Booker T saying

I don’t think the lifespan (of MMA fighters) is very long, and you could get hurt really, really bad doing it…Plus, when it’s over with, where do you go from there?

The day after Adam “Edge” Copeland got the opening segment on WWE’s flagship show Raw, Booker tells us MMA fighters don’t have long careers. Why did Triple H make half a dozen “Stack of dimes neck” references then Book? Because Edge had a long career? Oh no, because he had a short career. I’m sure Steve Austin decided to move along during the height of his popularity because of the huge movie roles that he is landing. That’s right, Austin had to move on because of injuries too. He isn’t landing huge roles either. Austin isn’t doing bad for himself but you don’t hear Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson doing a podcast because he needs some extra change in his couch cushions. I’m also going to guess that Booker thinks that Chris Benoit had a nice long, healthy career.

The second part of the statement shouldn’t go unnoticed either. Booker T, again just last night, was telling Big Show to be professional and not do anything stupid because he needed to support his young daughter and family. If WWE wrestlers are more diversified than your average MMA fighter, shouldn’t you advise Big Show to do what is right because he has a back up career? How about you Booker, what’s your back up career to wrestling? That’s right, it’s being a wrestling personality. And running a wrestling school. It certainly seems like you moved on from wrestling Book. Then he moved on to ripping on Ronda Rousey who

…couldn’t find her way in life and found it through going out and beating other girls up.

From Bustedcoverage.com

From Bustedcoverage.com

So the guy that needed jail time to get straightened out is telling a woman who got into the Olympics at the age of 17 that she couldn’t find her way in life? Who is this guy kidding? Has he even taken as much time as yours truly to read Ronda’s Wikipedia page? Maybe Booker did but I doubt it or else I wouldn’t be able to rip on him. If you get into the Olympics before you can drink alcohol legally, you have found something in life to do. I could care less if it’s beating up people of the same gender. You made a living wearing tights and well, I’ll let him hoist his own petard

Wrestling is Shakespeare. Phantom of the Opera. Romeo and Juliet. That’s what it is – men in tights

At least he laughed after that comment. Hopefully he’ll find a lot of public shaming for some really stupid comments funny too. – Kevin

56 Days of WrestleMania – WrestleMania XIX’s Best Matches: Results

Hard to believe it’s been 10 years since Steve Austin’s last match against the Rock and since this epic Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho match (especially since they brilliantly revisited that feud five years later, which was five freaking years ago). Bask!

56 Days of WrestleMania – WrestleMania XV’s Best Matches: Results

I had to vote for Butterbean vs. Bart Gunn just so we’d have a second match with votes. And rightfully so: This was a pretty lackluster WrestleMania, all things considered. The Steve Austin vs. Rock match wasn’t even the best of their matches that year. Oh well.

56 Days of WrestleMania – WrestleMania XIV’s Best Matches: Results

I’m sticking you guys with only the last part of the Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin match, because the match had been broken up into three pieces on YouTube, with the third piece removed due to copyright infringement and then re-posted on DailyMotion. But you all remember it, so whatever, no big loss. The other best match on the card per your votes was Undertaker vs. Kane, a solid choice of a match between two characters that, in the earliest stages of their careers, you simply would not have guessed would have lasted as long as they did.

56 Days of WrestleMania – WrestleMania XIV’s Best Matches

Get it? dX raided? Because it’s like the show is X-Rated, but it’s been raided by DX? They’re lucky this isn’t 1999 – the worst year in WWF/E history – so they get a pass on this one. A few good matches here to choose from; I’m interested to see what comes in second behind Austin-Michaels.

56 Days of WrestleMania – WrestleMania XIII’s Best Matches

Here’s a tale of two WWFs: One great match, a handful of good matches, a little identity crisis here and there, and some relative stinkers, all while the newly-attitudinal WWF navigates the deep, dark waters of second place. Which match will, alongside Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin, reign supreme?

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