By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“A Path Of Destruction… A Night Of Vengeance” was the tagline attached to the next to last Pay-Per-View by World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 2001 before the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) bought them out, which ended what was widely known as the “Monday Night Wars.”
While 2000’s WCW is synonymous with storyline absurdity and embarrassment, 2001 showed graces of promise with the faint smell of overbooking evident.
Gone now were Goldberg and Hulk Hogan, but stars like Lex Luger, Ric Flair and Kevin Nash were still prominent as ever.
Flair plays the role of “evil boss” quite well actually. What also helps this show move along is the breakthrough stars like Diamond Dallas Page (DDP) and the evolution of WCW World Heavyweight Champion Scott Steiner into “Big Poppa Pump,” almost unrecognizable from his look just a few years prior.
Picture Chad Gable becoming Braun Strowman and that was Steiner in a nutshell.
This poster actually plays into Steiner’s “I rushed the legends out” heel character as he boasted victories over Sting, Booker T, Goldberg and Sid Vicious.
The last edition of Superbrawl won’t have anything you’ll find if you’re on the search for WCW’s mark on the industry, but it was a nice tease of what could’ve been had they stuck around a bit longer.
By Anthony Zevoteck
If beauty’s truly in the eye of the beholder, my eyes see much beauty in young Tyler Breeze’s career, even though said beauty can be destroyed by misinterpretation of those in charge.
In 2010, when WWE signed the 22 year-old Canadian superstar trained by Lance Storm, I assumed they didn’t see anything special seeing how there were several different ring name changes.
After vast soul searching, Tyler Breeze was born and WWE fans were introduced to a character that’d teach us the true power of a selfie stick.
While taking countless pictures along the way, Breeze showed us that he had a special set of wrestling skills. The man could fly around the ring while showcasing impressive technical skills. Feuds with top NXT talent like Neville, Sami Zayn, Tyson Kidd, Hideo Itami and current NXT Champion Finn Balor helped solidify Prince Pretty’s reputation as one of NXT’s most well-rounded.
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
With another installment of recent exclusive WWE Network live specials, this time we had the spectacle of seeing Brock Lesnar make an appearance in the “World’s Most Famous Arena” – Madison Square Garden in New York City, in action against The Big Show, a match 13 years revisited in the same arena.
Also on the card was The New Day defending the Tag Team Championships against the “hometown” Dudley Boyz, who were going for their 10th Tag Title reign.
Ultimately, this ended up just being a glorified house show, with nothing out of the ordinary occurring.
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
200th Episode Extravaganza
– With it being the 200th TV episode and go-home show for the Death Before Dishonor iPPV, it made sense for there to be a bold dash of nostalgia and hype, with a fair nod to the past, as matches were shown on TV of past events like The Addiction beating reDRagon for the Tag Team Championships on 4/25/15, Extreme Cage Warfare on 7/26/13, Donovan Dijak-Will Ferrera in the Finals of the Top Prospects Tournament (3/7/15), Tag Wars 2014, Hanson-AJ Styles (11/22/14) and Lance Storm-Mike Bennett (8/4/12).
Pro Wrestling Syndicate has found a new TV home in WLNY/TV 55 and the timing could not be better. In a time where indy world rulers can become WWE and TNA champions within two to four years later, attention should be paid to what’s out there.
Below, you’ll find some random notes and analysis on their television debut episode. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
Kudos To The Carwash Man
– The opening montage seemed awfully generic with the music and “fire” on-screen graphics, but it was hard to ignore all the hardcore action and flips and flops. PWS definitely has potential.
– Right off the bat, David Adams had a Joey Styles-like delivery to him. The production studio behind him looked so fake though, which then obviously shifted to a green screen which showed an image of the ring. That aside… Dude can really sell $5 t-shirts.
– Jushin Liger, AJ Styles, Jeff Jarrett, Bret Hart, Great Muta aren’t names to ignore… PWS does have an established background since it started in 2007. The reunion of Lance Storm and Justin Credible as The Impact Players was definitely smart booking in providing nostalgia and helping younger talent get over.
– Not to mention while PWS boasts an indy darling like Colt Cabana, some other gimmicks make you wonder. One in particular was The Drunken Swashbuckler, which was the worst ring name ever, but perhaps fitting for a pirate gimmick. Who knows. On that note, Starman was such a generic-looking luchador. His high-flying skills may be all he has. See more below.
– The Heavenly Bodies-Reality Check tag team match seemed to be the usual for an indie tag; fast-paced and such. The announcers mentioned that the two teams were in “a blood feud,” but it just didn’t come off that way. For all the big names mentioned, it was good to start the show off with PWS-grown talent. Craven Varro of RC definitely got in some exciting offense and there’s definitely potential in the newest installment of THB. There was also a nice heel swerve from the referee as he was apparently with THB all along, stopping before a three count and counting fast to steal the win away from Reality Check. This was a good immediate followup as the announcers alluded to THB having an “official representation” on social media and we found out who it was.
– Kudos for the “Don’t Forget Your Roots” video graphic with general wrestling facts (and H2O of course)
– The concept of the Suicidal Six Way division screams a copycat of TNA’s X-Division with six men fighting one fall to a finish where the champion needn’t be pinned, but it works as a way of having fast-paced action and getting many guys time to shine on the card. This match – which featured Habib From The Carwash – yes, a real character who sprayed the ropes as he entered them – was shockingly much over with the crowd as defending champion. Also in the mix were Amazing Red, Brian XL, Big Mason (BJ Whitmer if he was more muscular and taller), Matt Macintosh and Joe The Drifter (with the gimmick of a homeless man). There was lots of high-flying action, but may be a bit chaotic for the casual fan to follow. There were some silly spots involving sponges too, but Red shined in this match, even with blood to show for it. One memorable spot included Big Mason doing a flying lariat onto five men below from the top rope. Habib From The Carwash retained with a pinfall over Macintosh.
– There was a weird vignette of scary guys in the woods with bloody face paint and cowboy hats with a child’s voice saying, “It’s only a dream” over and over. Guess the Wyatt family has some illegitimate cousins…
– The highlight package of the “On The Spot Title Shot” 30-man battle royale definitely showcased Tommy Dreamer, Fallah Bahh and Starman. Bahh looked particularly dominant and he even had a mouthpiece in the form of the “fake referee” from the earlier match, revealed to be “Shining” Edward Jackson. Jackson definitely showed off great mic skills and the match was good. No Homicide promo though?
– The PWS Tag Team Championship match between The Team Impact Players and Reynolds Brothers had good action. Lance Storm was still incredibly agile for his age. The Reynolds Brothers were highly regarded by the announcers, but they barely had a presence in the ring. Some good near falls towards the finish, which saw Reynolds Brothers retain.
– The Kevin Matthews promo seemed very Low Ki-esque as he had a hood pulled over his head and he screamed about being betrayed by his former partners Brian Myers and Gavin Tuft. Keyword was screaming. Words you couldn’t really hold on to.
– Hyped for next week was: Dan Maff vs. Eddie Kingston, Matt Macintosh vs. Tony Nese vs. Shynron vs The Amazing Red in a High-Flying Four Corners Match and Fallah w/”Shining” Edward Jackson vs Homicide. Sounds pretty good.
– Could they advertise for a birthday party enough times?
– Dave D-Struction was great on color commentary, providing a few laughs. With some of the gimmicks in this company, it’s not hard to crack jokes on some of them.
– Overall, decent debut for PWS that gave a glimpse into just what this company can offer. Guys like Fallah Bahh, “Shining” Edward Jackson, Habib The Car Wash Man and Amazing Red looked like stars on this episode.
– The Heavenly Bodies def. Reality Check via pinfall
– Suicidal Six-Way Division Championship Match – Habib From The Carwash def. Matt Macintosh, Joe The Drifter, The Amazing Red, Brian XL and Big Mason to retain
– PWS Tag Team Championship Match – Reynolds Brothers def. Team Impact Players via pinfall to retain