@PrimeWrestling Closes It’s Doors…For Now

fear

I saw a tweet from Prime Wrestling that I had been fearing. They had an official statement from Joe Dombrowski about their product. If you want to read the full statement, go here. These are the highlights for me though.

In the beginning of 2013, Fox Sports acquired SportsTime Ohio, the network we aired on since 2007. Formerly independently owned, STO was undergoing a slow transformation into a more corporate environment. With that change came new policies, rules, regulations and requirements. One of those requirements, in the form of an insurance policy, would have more than doubled our annual budget for producing a television show. By the end of July 2013, the new network structure was in place, and PRIME Wrestling was temporarily pulled from the airwaves until these new requirements could be met.

I’m glad we don’t have to keep an insurance policy for Stunt Granny. Granted, if it doubled our budget, we’d still be at $0.00 so we could afford it.

With that in mind, and a heavy heart, it is my duty to make public & official for the first time, that Wrestlelution 6 on October 20 of 2013 was the last scheduled PRIME Wrestling live event for the foreseeable future.

I had missed the original airing of the show because of a busy weekend and I had planned to review it the following week and talk about it with my usual partner in crime for all matter Prime Wrestling Dan Kuester. Unfortunately, I saw the writing on the wall with many people (Benjamin Boone, Aaron Maguire, Johnny Gargano and even Joe Dombrowski among them) essentially writing a eulogy for Prime Wrestling before it became official today.

I’m very proud of Wrestlelution 6. I feel it was one of our strongest events ever, if not the strongest. It was an incredible “final chapter” for a company and for everyone who was such an important part of it. For the final story to be told to be the handful of members of the “PRIME Foundation” re-claiming the legacy of what they had built from the forces working against them was beautiful and poetic. All usual merchandise shills aside, I really hope all of you who have ever supported us watch that show, be it on DVD or digitally, through us or Smart Mark Video or anywhere else. It means a lot to me, and I hope it means a lot to all of you.

Prime Wrestling does mean a lot to me which is why I’m sure to throw in some money to watch this last show finally and review it instead of being a chicken. It means a lot to me because I started writing the review back during their first season on Sportstime Ohio when we were on the Pro Wrestling Torch. Wade Keller had asked all of us in The DEJ Audio Experience to also do a weekly column. I happened to catch this program and since I hadn’t had much writing experience, I figured a recap was an easy way to bang out a column. We decided to found Stunt Granny because of content issues at the Torch. When the second season of Pro Wrestling Ohio started, Aaron Maguire emailed us at the Torch to ask where the reviews had gone. Realizing we could pull in an audience looking for reviews of their product, I started reviewing PWO on Stunt Granny. That has lasted five years and I’ve met a lot of great people who were connected with the product. Many of the wrestlers would talk to me about my reviews, positive or negative, at the meet and greets which was gratifying to hear. They were also offering of their time to come on our podcasts. More voices could have been heard on this site had I not dropped the ball and forgotten to book them. I have always thought of it as a quality league that was helping up and comers and with a few of them (Zema Ion, Ethan Carter III and Madison Rayne in TNA, Colin Delaney in a short stint with the WWE and now Luke Harper of the Wyatt Family) making it to the national stage. I think a few deserve more than they have gotten already. I’m looking at you, Johnny Gargano. I will miss this product, even if it isn’t as slick as WWE or TNA, and so will our page. To all of you involved, good luck in your future endeavors. – Kevin

Dan’s Blog: I Swiped Dusty’s Mailbag

shrug

While catching up on my reading of all things on the Stunt Granny site I realized that Dusty has been jumping into the mailbag with both feet answering questions that the wrestling intelligentsia needs to read up about. Not being all that creative myself I visited the Stunt Granny World Headquarters (Don’t ever show up unannounced again. -Jeremy) and managed to grab a bag full of mail for myself. Then I stopped off in New York and took a few things off Matt Brock’s desk also (it was interesting that no one seemed to care about taking that stuff but I digress). I tried to figure out how to break into Wade Keller’s email so I could steal some of his “Ask the Editor” questions but he’s got that account triple protected.  I suppose it’s because “Ask the Editor” seem to make up the majority of the Daily Keller Hotlines!

Anyway, I digress.  Speaking of the Torch, let’s jump into Question One.

Question #1: What’s this I hear about super internet phenomenon “zourah” going on a rant about the way the Torch deals with Bill Watts?  Doesn’t this guy know that Watts was the most racist, sexist, homophobic, all around bad person that ever existed in wrestling?  (M.M.—Pittsburgh, PA)

Answer #1:  Yes, unfortunately my rant is still somewhere stuck in Eric Nelson’s phone because he could not figure out how to get a one hour audio from his phone onto the web. I should mention that I have had a very polite discussion with Mr. Keller about my feelings on this particular subject and I now do respect his view on the entire situation when Watts was fired. I still don’t see things the same way myself but that’s fine.

As for the meat of the question, let’s just compare Watts to everyone’s current God of Wrestling Vince McMahon.

McMahon wins the “PC” game for sure in his public statements. Both he and Watts worked with well known figures in the wrestling business who happen (ed) to be gay.  Again, McMahon has worked more closely with Pat Patterson but Watts did work frequently with Jim Barnett and with a few exceptions he worked fairly well with him.

As for acceptance of gays, Watts said some very un PC things to be polite in an interview. McMahon had his baby face tag team leading children in chants of F***** for at least six months in the early ‘90s.  Advantage Watts

If you were/are an African American wrestler who would you want to work for?  Well unless you really hated distasteful language I’m thinking you would be better off working for Watts. I know The Rock is arguably the biggest deal ever in wrestling but Watts promoted JYD as a hero in Mid South while Vince promoted him as someone who could barely speak complete sentences. No promoter has ever given so many African American wrestlers chances to be at the very top of the card than Watts.

In closing, I’d argue that the premise of your question is ridiculous. I can go into great detail about my thoughts on sending that interview to higher ups at TBS eighteen months after the interview was conducted but that’s a topic for another day.

Question #2: That brilliant “zourah” guy hasn’t chimed in much on Prime Wrestling lately.  What’s up with that?  (A.MG – Cleveland, OH)

Answer #2: I think my contributions to the audio side of things lately have not been of sufficient quality to impress the premier reviewer of Prime on the ‘net Kevin DiFrango I suppose. (It’d really help if I stayed current with the product. They’re even going every other week and I’m still slacking off. – Kevin) If you haven’t been reading his reports go ahead and do so before you read this. I’ll wait for you to finish!

I’m pleased to see that they are going to have “Wrestlelution 6” this year as I was starting to wonder. It wouldn’t work so great if WWE said they were having WrestleMania “sometime between April 1 and May 30” but I know Prime Wrestling is not WWE. (Their next taping is this weekend being billed as a “Wrestlelution Prelude” in Parma OH. -Kevin)

There are things I like about the “Evil Vic” storyline. He does have good timing in his segments but man the evil GM thing just seems too derivative for this promotion. I expect better. I do not agree with Kevin on Ricky Shane Page. I’ve warmed up to him and like his promos (although hitting the announcer has no place on TV. Joe should hold himself to a higher standard than that.  What would Gordon Solie do?) quite a bit.  He’s not at Krimson level on the promos but he is quite good. Nicki Valentino is hilarious and adds quite a bit to the show. I really liked his interaction with Bryan Castle a couple weeks ago. We will see what the big event is for WL 6 and I’m sure we will have a good discussion about it.  Aaron Maguire continues to be the highlight of the show on a week in and week out basis. (More on some of these subjects in my Prime Review after I edit that column. -Kevin)

Question #3:  So what else is out there under the radar that I’m missing? I hear that super smart “zourah” guy always watched USWA, SMW, ECW and other indy feds back in the day.  (S.S. – Rockville Centre, NY)

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Kevin’s Blog: Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of Raw

Today's word is passion.

Sometimes, it’s hard to know yourself. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to formulate the beginning of this column but this route seems the best to me right now. My younger brother, who barely watches wrestling, thought it was a good thing to make a weekly column out of the Raw review that I do. Jeremy had told me the same thing before Wrestlemania 27 when I about gave out for the month before hand. My buddy Sean who I refer to often in this blog, said to me as we left the bar (I’m three deep on Great Lakes Dopplerock which is 7.6% alcohol just in case you were wondering) “You’re going to do your review now?” Yes, Yes I am. I think that wrestling is at a low tide but I don’t give a shit. I have a passion for this site to make it the best (Not reviewing a PWO show this  past weekend makes me feel like a failure in this department which I hope to make up for in the evenings coming.) whether it’s my reviews of PWO, t-shirts or this blog. When I bitched that I wanted comments, I suppose I don’t really care about them. I want people to enjoy this feature on the site. Let’s roll.

“Macho” tribute which I hope contributed to our great numbers over the week. God rest his soul. I’m so incredibly pissed at this point. I had a secondary intro about Demitri Martin telling people to “know themselves” because he is similar in age to Jim Norton. Both completely different comics but they know who they are and are both really funny. Anyway, that had something to do with me knowing my column. Since I feel like I can’t replicate my first viewing of the Truth/Cena/Hart segment, lets say they “executed” that well. Truth isn’t in Cena’s league but because of their past, which they acknowledged, it could work.

Big Show & Kane take on the other half of Nexus. Punk is killing on the head sets. No surprise that Show is holding court into commercial break.

By the way, improving this column hinges on me upgrading this shitty ass computer that has lost parts of at least 2 blogs now. I’m sure it has eaten parts of PWO reviews that I can’t remember. Nexus gets a win that is too expensive if you call it cheap. Better champs if well, you thought the tag team ranks were worth it.

I’m not surprised that Luke, Andy & Jeremiah are the final three without watching the last episode of Tough Enough. Randy Orton rocks according to some people.

Show bitches, Del Rio interrupts but gets hit by Rich Rod. I’m confused. Ridiculous to see Kane with “concern” on his face. What a strange segment.

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Stunt Granny Audio #141

So much trash, it looks like my curb on Thursday.

In this Kneejerk Edition of Stunt Granny Audio, Dusty and Eric discuss the recent surgery of John Morrison (and wonder why R-Truth is getting a push out of it), the recent motorcycle accident of Shane Helms (and wonder why Velvet Sky is still being a rat about it), UFC offering insurance to its fighters (and wonder if WWE and TNA will get scared into also doing it) and Wade Keller being on Twitter (and wonder if the internet vegan community is better off for it). They also squeeze in a little talk about Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler, as well as a surprise appearance from Sean Mooney. (Who?) All this and not much more if you click the link below!

Stunt Granny Audio Show #141

Stunt Granny Big 11 – Week Ending 1/22/11

Yeah it's magical.

1. Derrick Bateman – Wow, did he have an awful commercial on Raw. The reason I mention him is because he started out in Pro Wrestling Ohio under the name Michael Hutter. I’m whoring out the PWO, go figure. – Kevin

2. Eric Bischoff – Mr. Bischoff redlined a column by our former boss Wade Keller at the PW Torch. He gave Keller an undressing that made no sense what so ever. Bischoff claimed that they misreported that “TNA is considering scrapping the X Division.” After giving Keller a number of definitions, Bischoff seemed not to realize that the word “consider” doesn’t mean “will definitely scrap.” Well, Bischoff must have allegedly stopped drinking because he’s had the good sense to take the berating down. Check the url – HERE – which now is unavailable. I’m even more entertained by Bischoff’s idiocy. – Kevin

3. Kimbo Slice – Could the former MMA star be the key to creating buzz for WrestleMania? Absolutely. If this were 2009. Hey, maybe that homeless guy with the golden voice can do ring announcing for the main event of WrestleMania 31! – Eric

4. The Core – First it was Nexus and now it is The Core. Wade Barrett and friends team up again on Smackdown and the marketing genius give them that as a name. The fact they broke up Nexus in to smaller units is good but naming them after a shitty Hilary Swank vehicle is ridiculous. I have a name for a new group that I think is way more marketable; how about shittymcfagcunt? – Jeremy

5. Chris Jericho – He was interviewed by Pro Wrestling Illustrated, and his answers to general questions about the wrestling industry as well as specifics about his career, life, books and side projects show that he’s the smartest and most level-headed man associated with wrestling today. If he never wrestles another day in his life, he’ll still go down as one of the greats. – Eric

6. Dave Batista – The guy hasn’t been around for months and has generally been out of the spotlight as well but yet his name keeps coming up as a possible entrant in the Royal Rumble. Jim Ross went so far as to kind of sort of deny it on his blog so take that for what it is worth. Of course Big Dave is pretending to start a MMA career with Strikeforce but we all know how that will turn out. What’s Bobby Lashley up to these days? – Jeremy

7. Randy Savage – The old man is slowly getting back in good with WWE. First he appears a few months back to announce that he is finally getting an action figure worthy of his stature. Now he is featured in a commercial for the upcoming WWE All-Stars video game. Being he was my most prized Hall Of Fame inductee for Atlanta this a good start. But then they have Shawn Michaels as the headliner which effectively killed that idea. Still, seeing Randy Savage in any sort of WWE capacity is good news. Oh, and the old bastard can still talk. – Jeremy

8. Dirty Laundry – That was the title of this week’s episode of iMPACT! Unsurprisingly, it didn’t deliver since Kurt didn’t air any dirty laundry about Karen and Karen didn’t get to say anything before Kurt attacked Jeff Jarrett. Good thing this episode was so boring I got to make my dirty laundry clean. – Kevin

9. Tom’s Snacks – Peep this:

The new sponsor for TNA. Out of all the snacks in the world, Tom’s Snacks are certainly among them. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. – Dusty

10. New Best Match Ever – It’s this:

Dusty

11. I can’t even count to 40 – I had to do something wrestling related this week for the 11 spot since I only got three. I know Eric loves the guy, but Jim Ross recently wrote, in all his resplendid wisdom and glory, “Bitching, moaning & complaining re: 40 man RRumble match underway. When has there EVER been more than appx 10 potential, viable winners?” That is an asininely stupid argument, because that’s *exactly* the reason why adding 10 more non-viable winners is a horrible decision.

Remember the 1992 Royal Rumble? (You should, we just did an audio about it!) Remember how almost everyone in that Rumble could claim some type of legitimacy towards winning the thing? Like even Greg Valentine, you could say, Hey, he’s a former Intercontinental Champion, he’s legit as hell. But then remember Skinner, and how when he got eliminated, Gorilla was all, “Well there’s one longshot we won’t have to worry about”? Well, now WWE is adding 10 more Skinners to the Rumble and expecting us to be excited about it. Smells like fresh fail to me. – Dusty

The All Purpose Twitter Post

It’s a veritable plethora of Twitter madness that has been unleashed lately on the not-really-news-circuit. Let’s cover a couple of these instances, shall we. We shall.

First of all, Eric Bischoff has been mixing a strange concoction that is one part vodka and two parts epic fail, which doesn’t go well on airplane rides:

“Seriously…I get why most people think wresting fans are morons. The dumbest 10% make 90% of the noise and create the perception. Congrats to the challenged few that keep the image alive! While you may never amount to much, at least you have a village. Wade Keller can be the mayor of the Village of Idiots, and when Dave Sherer finds his penis under 50 pounds of fat he can be Barney Fife! FYI: I have enough money, enough success OUTSIDE OF WRESTLING that I dont give 2 sh*ts if I offend ‘wrestling fans.’ Im not bickering, I am on a plane with nothing else to do but entertain myself with this tripe.”

It’s interesting to me that someone who works in the wrestling business would so fervently attack wrestling fans like Bischoff always does, but then again, I’m just a dumb wrestling fan!!! In other news, Gregory Helms also knows how to operate a computer. Here’s Meltzer’s round-up of that mess:

–Shane Helms’ latest on twitter:

“The HOF is great but I take more pride & comfort in the fact that I’ve never “screwjobbed” ANYONE in life or the biz! $$$ isn’t everything.”

Chris Jericho tweeted saying this:

“Shawn Michaels was my favorite opponent & is the greatest performer of all time.”

Helms also replied to Jericho saying:

“BS! Flair did more & got more people over.”

He then continued his rant with these tweets:

“If u got something to say, say it public. Enough ass-kissing. He wasn’t the greatest when he was cussing u out in catering.”

“Flair got over people that absolutely SUCKED!! Shawn hadn’t gotten over anyone but himself in the last decade !! ”

“I’m sorry being honest comes off bad on Twitter, I’m not hating, I’m stating FACTS!! Facts that I would swear by on my life.”

“And wearing a cross doesn’t make u right. Hitler wore one too! Don’t be FOOLED by a TV persona!! I’m always honest. NO ONE can accuse me.”

“If the truth hurts and makes u think differently of me, ur entitled to that. No apologies necessary on either side, we’re all just people.”

“But ignorance is bliss and I’m not gonna lie to my fans just to sell T-shirts. Wrestling talent is not what I was talking about!!!”

“If being a good “sports entertainer” means more to you than being a decent person, then hate on! I’d rather have friends and family.”

Remember the time Flair jobbed to Rico on Raw? Remember all the wonders that very, very meaningful job did for Rico’s career? Meanwhile, the 2000s Shawn Michaels is the finest professional wrestler who ever lived, and his lows (such as the DX nonsense) are at least comparable to Flair’s cartoonish lows. (Mental hospital skits, anyone?) Forgotten in all of this is that Gregory Helms is a waste of human tissue. – Dusty

Eric’s Blog: Ways TNA could actually cross the line

On a recent Bruce Mitchell Audio at PWTorch.com, Mitchell and Wade Keller discussed the presentation of TNA iMPACT! since Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff each grabbed a section of the company’s reins. Keller reminded listeners that Bischoff, on a Torch Talk podcast, suggested he wanted to differentiate iMPACT! from WWE Monday Night Raw by drawing a line down the center of a piece of paper, writing out aspects of Raw on one side, and then sketching out completely different options for iMPACT! on the other side.

Since then, iMPACT! has featured a four-sided ring. Big change.

OK, the wrestling ring is a bad example, as the six sides of hexagoned circle met opposition from the get-go which grew until the day it was replaced with the standard square. Maybe that was a necessary change. But besides the addition of the Hervey-Cam – the documentary-style backstage interviews, which are essentially “more realistic” versions of WWE’s backstage skits – Keller pointed out that Bischoff and Hogan have done very little to present iMPACT! as anything other than a mid-1990s “WWF Jr.”

From the large screen at the top of the angled ramp to the two announcers sitting at ringside, one of whom was a WWE commentator one year ago, TNA iMPACT! resembles WWE Monday Night Raw an awful lot more than it should given Bischoff’s bold proclamation. But Keller’s reminder of Bischoff’s statement made me wonder, just how many ways can a Monday-night wrestling program make itself look different from the 17-year standard bearer? How can Kevin Dunn’s vision be dissected in a way that would bring a shiny smile to Jim Cornette’s Wendy’s-lubricated lips? Well, I took out my pad and pen, drew a line right down the middle of the paper, and I tried to think of Raw’s components and the ways a wrestling company could break from the norm.

Opening montage/theme: Alright, every TV show these days has an opening montage, a collection of clips of its top stars. I can’t vouch for a single-shot opening like “The Dick Van Dyke Show” used to have, or a drawing of a heart like “I Love Lucy.” So let’s stick with the collage of in-ring action. But Raw has featured mainstream radio rock (read: bullshit) as its theme songs for the past 12 years, from Anthrax’s “Thorn in Your Eye” to Union Underground’s “Across the Nation,” from “To Be Loved” by Papa Roach to the current god-awful “Burn it to the Ground” by the atrocious Nickelback. What about some rap? Some clubbin’ dance music? Some punk rock? Pro wrestling theme songs needn’t be the same hard-driving drivel you hear on “LAZER 103.3”

tna pyro

Awww, isn't that cute??

Pyrotechnics/panning the crowd: Fireworks and other pyrotechnics serve two purposes: getting the crowd worked up about something they otherwise wouldn’t be worked up about, and showing off the money you make/jerking off in public. In stark contrast, I propose no pyro, old-school ECW style (save for random Sabu entrances, and boy did that look out of place). And rather than the rapid-fire cuts panning large sections of the entire crowd, slow it down a shade, or just start from a camera at the top of the arena looking down on the “capacity crowd.”

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