By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Back in the Pay-Per-View fold after a year’s absence, the infamous Elimination Chamber was all a part of the blue brand’s WrestleMania build.
With Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton in the wings for a Title shot, six of the best would battle it out to see who he’d face, a few in the first Chamber match of their careers.
On a night where a few undercard talents had their moment, other bouts got lost in the shuffle, but as always, SmackDown delivered when it counted.
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows.
Moving Forward, Looking Back
– If you’ve been following Pro Wrestling Syndicate, then you’ll know the intertwined history of PWS Champion Mario Bokara, Fallah Bahh and Dan Maff quite well. These three squared off sometime ago in a hardcore rules match for the Championship that stole the show and should be considered a Match Of The Year contender. The match embraced the hardcore in many ways – featuring staple guns, thumbtacks and chairs. Even without the action, the three characters all mesh well together in terms of who they are. You have Bokara, who is tough and technically proficient in the ring. You have Bahh, an utter beast in every sense of the word who could just smash you into pieces with his own body if he felt like it. Then, last but not least, you’ve got Maff, who has more than voiced his passion to become PWS Champion, coming so close many times, but falling short. When these three collide, magic happens. With it set to happen again, you could probably view it as a “throwaway clip show” to feature all three men in their “breakthrough” matches, but it also did an excellent job to hype this big encore.
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
* This was PWS Wrestling’s “Season Finale” on WLNY, but future episodes will air on the company’s website. PWO coverage will continue, so stay tuned!
– Sam Roberts’ backstage interview with Kevin Matthews touched up on his attacker, now branded as simply “Helmet.” Matthews brought the aggression and said he’d eventually get his hands on his stalker. Jake “The Snake” Roberts walking in telling Matthews to keep his eyes on the prize was a solid set-up to their upcoming one-on-one match.
Hands On The Merchandise
– Starting things off with The Jackson Family outside a restaurant making light of their opponents in the Tag Team Championship gauntlet match that was 24 hours later (The Reynolds Brothers, Team Espana and The Handicapped Heroes) set the point that they weren’t focused on the goal at hand and just wanted to party. As usual, “Shining” Edward Jackson delivered impressive rhetoric that bordered on offensive when it came to Team Espana, but that was the point. Heels doing their heel thing.
– Cool to see some new additions to the theme montage. Keeps the show feeling fresh.
– The Lifeguard Mike Del (w/Ashley Massaro)-Johnny Howl match was a decent clash of the “howl and the whistle,” as cleverly coined by Sam Roberts. This didn’t seem like the kind of match that would approach the 10-minute mark, but it did so and exceeded expectations. Howl getting the victory was interesting considering he also showed off a new finisher to get the pin. Read the rest of this entry
Don’t Wear Trench Coats Around Kevin Matthews
– Highlights were shown last week of Fallah Bahh retaining the PWS World Heavyweight Championship against Kevin Matthews thanks to Super Motorcycle Helmet Man. Matthews’ promo brought the right amount of ferociousness, necessary for someone who just got robbed of a Championship victory. Read the rest of this entry
The Syndicated Bunch
– Kevin Matthews’ promo on Fallah Bahh brought the right amount of intensity as he sold his credibility as the “guy who ended Title reigns,” an important factor to push headed into this big match.
– Fallah Bahh is a beast of a Champion. Why the constant bathroom humor? Sort of dampens the effect of his “beast” portrayal. Is it to remind us he is a human being who moves his bowels? Perhaps… perhaps. Either way, once we moved past the stall antics, “Shining” Edward Jackson brought it home with another impressive promo, selling his client’s undefeated singles competition record and overall brutality.
– The Suicidal Six-Way Title match with The Amazing Red (Champion), Brian XL, The Drunken Swashbuckler, Bobby Wayward, The Abominable CPA and Darewolf PJ Black was yet another entertaining clash of flashy gimmicks we’ve come to know and love from the Suicidal Six-Way Title bouts. The main focus here – besides the impressive debut of Black – former Justin Gabriel – was the emergence of Wayward in the match. He was the star heel throughout and it was great to see the Belt be passed along to him, especially by way of submission. Lots of crowd-awing spots here in true “car-crash” style fashion.
– Bonesaw’s character appears to be in a “shakeup,” with trimmed facial hair and shortened hair, using it to put himself over as a “lone wolf” of sorts and made it clear his focus was only on the World Heavyweight Championship, eager to shut up his detractors. We like it. He needs a big moment and at the least, changing his look is the right mindset.
– Finally – a new Monster’s Island vignette, keeping the same horror-spiced flavor and showed highlights of their attack on Jay Enterprise. Good stuff.
– The PWS World Heavyweight Championship match between Matthews and Bahh (w/Jackson) was a solid match with a good dynamic of muscles/brains (Matthews) vs. all-out domination/brutality (Bahh). Jackson provided support many times, helping Bahh out, while Matthews came close several times to overcome that. He was given the out to lose when attacked by that mystery motorcycle helmet man, a lot like the way Edge did it on One Night Stand 2006. Also liked that there was no reveal afterwards, as it was all kept a mystery. The obvious choice might be Brian Myers, but who knows for sure?
– The Dan Maff-Mario Bokara segment was an interesting clash – as both guys put over their respect and the power of the On-The-Spot Title Shot Medallion, setting up hype for whenever Maff cashes in, as he is the current man of opportunity. The abrupt ending was a little confusing, but that was probably by design.
– Another solid Myers promo, as he talked about his TV Title Tournament progress and ripped his upcoming opponent in TDS.
– The latest Habib From The Car Wash vignette summed up his journey back to America by boldly showing flashbacks to his happier times. Nice video effects.
– PWS continues its string of brilliant pop culture references – this time in the form of a “Syndicated Bunch” vignette, where the nod was obvious. Wayward bragged about his Title win, Bokara called out Bahh, The Aesthetic Enterprise bickered amongst themselves as Beefcake Charlie was sent on a mission to fetch two more partners to face Monster’s Island, CPA questioned his lack of luck and tax season stress, The Strangler made faces and noises, Bonesaw brilliantly and silently held a “#StillNotReady” sign, Big Deal Craig Steele bought “TV Time” for Nikos Rikos, who continued to put over his Greek homeland, and Steele revealed his injuries, allowing for Sandy Mann to stand up as the guy to take on Chris Payne in their next match. All this on one platform. Literally. Quite entertaining.
– Suicidal Six-Way Title Match – Bobby Wayward def. The Amazing Red (Champion), Brian XL, Darewolf PJ Black, The Drunken Swashbuckler and The Abominable CPA via submission to become new Champion
– PWS World Heavyweight Championship – Fallah Bahh (Champion) (w/”Shining” Edward Jackson) def. Kevin Matthews via pinfall to retain
– The hype video for the Matt Macintosh-Mario Bokara feud pretty much summed up the basis for the feud and it fit both guys – tough, outspoken attitudes angry at the other, with Macintosh – obsessed with sending immigrants back to their homeland a la JBL circa 2005, and Bokara – eager to get back his precious Championship gold, blaming anyone who gets in his way.
– The Macintosh-Bokara match – despite the appearance of a diminished crowd and much-too-shaky camerawork, was good. The broadcast team did a great job of explaining the “opposites attract” mesh of styles of the two, and it showed in the ring, as they worked well and kept up an “anything can happen” pace. The Handspring-Turned-German Suplex spot was particularly impressive. Things were especially good down the stretch, as the momentum swung like a pendulum, until Habib From The Car Wash’s music hit, a somewhat believable distraction for Bokara to take advantage of.
– Big Deal Craig Steele continues to tell anyone that his gear costs more than they make in a year. Luckily for us, here came Chris Payne, clearly feeling a line was crossed. This was a good setup of things to come.
– The Payne-Eddie Kingston Tables match was much too short to be anything magical, but both guys took turns tormenting the other and worked in some decent offense. Of course, the newsworthiness lied in the finish, where Steele helped Kingston win the match, hinting at a likely alliance. Seeing these two work together is new and different. We’ll see where it all goes, but this was a good start.
– The Aesthetic Enterprise has benefited from the TV show, with a number of backstage segments dedicated to their charming umbrella antics, with their publicist Jay Enterprise leading the way of self-obsessed Damian Gibbs and hopeless-but-hopeful Beefcake Charlie. They’re an entertaining trio and we got more of that here, with the sense that Beefcake had earned new matching ring gear while Jay and Gibbs cut good promos to hype the next match.
– The Tag Team Championships Fatal-Four way Elimination Tag match between The Aesthetic Enterprise (w/Jay Enterprise), The Reynolds Brothers Reality Check and The Handicapped Heroes featured a little bit of everything, showcasing the work of the well-built division. Reynolds looked good for the brief time they were in there, but were shockingly the first team to go. The Aesthetic Enterprise looked great in the match, eliminating two teams, almost looking as if they could go all the way, but with The Handicapped Heroes on a new push with the Titles, a win wasn’t likely. While Hush getting the best of Jay Enterprise was cutesy leading to the final pinfall, it made The Handicapped Heroes look like they swooped in last second and ran away with the match. They didn’t look the least bit dominant. Monster’s Island coming out to save the Heroes once Aesthetic Enterprise attacked them post-match was a cool moment. Jay was the latest to feel the burn, per se.
– Next week’s show already sounds fun, with matches advertised like Bobby Wayward vs. The Amazing Red vs. CPA vs. The Drunken Swashbuckler vs. “Darewolf” PJ Black vs. Brian XL for the Suicidal Six-Way Title and Kevin Matthews vs. Fallah Bahh for the PWS World Heavyweight Championship.
– The “wrap up” video was another smorgasbord of random entertaining promos, as Dan Maff confidently spoke about putting his On-The-Spot Title Shot Medallion on the line, Gibbs lit an obscenity-laced tirade against Monster’s Island, Mick Foley was amazed by Johnny Howl (or something of that sort), New Jack explained why he chose to back Delroy, Steele bragged about his gear and Payne vowed to get revenge on Steele while “riding at breakneck speed.”
– Mario Bokara def. Matt Macintosh via submission
– Tables Match – Eddie Kingston def. Chris Payne
– Tag Team Championships – Fatal Four-Way Tag Team Elimination Match – The Handicapped Heroes (w/Hush) (Champions) def. The Aesthetic Enterprise (w/Jay Enterprise), The Reynolds Brothers and Reality Check to retain Titles
PWS Top 10 Rankings: 10) Amazing Red, 9) Delroy, 8) Colt Cabana, 7) Starman, 6) Brian Myers, 5) Bonesaw, 4) Matt Macintosh, 3) Dan Maff, 2) Mario Bokara, 1) Kevin Matthews.
– The PWS TV Title Tournament Round One match between Brian Myers and Takaaki Watanabe was decent at best, with the action constant, albeit at times awkward. Myers was clearly groomed for a push in the tournament here. While he’s known best to TV viewers for his long feud with Kevin Matthews, not much else has been told to us about where he comes from and why his character’s so ice-cold. We know we turned on his former partner, but what else motivates him? It also didn’t help that fighting Myers here was Watanabe, who not much is apparently known about besides his status as a “young up-and comer.” As for the TV Title tournament itself, the concept of the tourney is a great one for the basis of most matches on the show, but it’s not like the broadcast team keeps us updated on the standings or even who is in the whole tournament. You don’t want the feeling that these matches are seemingly happening for fun, but that’s how it can come off.
– The in-ring segment with Mick Foley and The Untouchables was an interesting way to lead to an impromptu TV Title tourney match, with Mr. Anthony Bowens taking on Mr. Gamble, with Mr. Bobby Wayward on the outside, supposedly neutral. The Untouchables have been portrayed as the “angry young guys,” and it works for them in their efforts to get over – screaming injustice at every opportunity. What Foley did here gave them more “vocal fuel” for their claims of disrespect and also had viewers see a match they otherwise wouldn’t. Also loved that there was constant emphasis on Wayward being the Suicidal Six-Way Champion, looking like the group’s sole leader. The finish played around with the idea of Bowens breaking away from the group – as Wayward grabbed him by the leg shortly before he won the match. We believe the turn will be inevitable and Bowens has the look to go places. The postmatch segment brought exactly what we needed to see – Bowens confronting Wayward, and Wayward trying to convince Bowens he was still rooting for him in he tournament, almost rolling his eyes. Brilliant.
– Cool to see the Monster’s Island vignette back again – but throw some new stuff at us, will you? They’ve got a cool look and the video packages are sleekly edited for scarier images and when they appear, it’s newsworthy, but they could be leading the Tag Team Division.
– The main event match between Dan Maff and Bonesaw was entertaining enough while it lasted, before Bonesaw’s blatant DQ. Bonesaw is a name consistently thrown at the top of the card, but he always seems to be screwed over someway, somehow. This is hurting his image and we’ve yet to see a real true “moment” for him on the TV show. Are you going to suggest to us it was the 15 seconds he was World Heavyweight Champion again, before getting annihilated by Fallah Bahh? The stuff with Foley was a decent way to hype their next hardcore match with Maff’s medallion on the line, but why feel the need to put his earned medallion on the line to begin with? Of course, this will put Maff further over by the end, and Bonesaw doesn’t even get as much as a win in the record books.
– The face-off/confrontation between Matt Macintosh and Mario Bokara was well-done. Macintosh sure likes to talk a lot of smack – and we’re okay with that, because he can bring the fire to cut a great promo. Who better to clash against than with Bokara – who talks just as tough? Macintosh’s comparisons of Bokara to Habib From The Car Wash were also fitting. What also helps this feud is that they are essentially fighting over having World Title shots “stolen” from them – making it about the biggest prize in the company. This was great hype for their match next week.
– Nikos Rikos has a generic look to him and is essentially a pissed-off Greek immigrant who refuses to share tips with busboys. The horror. However – it should be cool to see what he does when he emerges upon the PWS TV scene. We for one can’t wait.
– The “wrap-up” video segments to end the show continue to impress – and just about the greatest thing might’ve happened so far in the TV show’s run with their latest one, where characters the likes of Dave D-Struction, Johnny Howl, Starman, Sandy Mann, Chris Payne and The Untouchables all cut promos with the words of famous TV sitcom themes of the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s, all leading to Habib riding on the back of a carriage to the theme of “Perfect Strangers” playing as he held up a sign that read, “America or Bust!” Utter brilliance in every sense. Laugh-out-loud stuff. Payne’s segment portion particularly made this golden.
– TV Title Tournament – Round One Match – Brian Myers def. Takaaki Watanabe via pinfall to advance
– TV Title Tournament – Round One Match – Mr. Bowens def. Mr. Gamble via pinfall to advance
– Dan Maff def. Bonesaw via DQ
Quest For The TV Title Continues
– Smart decision to open up with highlights from last week’s Kevin Matthews-Brian Myers No Ropes Barbed Wire Match, leading into the presumed new PWS World Heavyweight Championship feud with Matthews and Champion Fallah Bahh, with “Shining” Edward Jackson as Bahh’s more than capable mouthpiece. Progression is a good thing in wrestling. It’s great to see that here in the form of new feuds.
– It’s kind of hilarious that Sam Roberts would resort to his own basement to get away from David Adams. The constant shots at Adams by Roberts remains a little highlight of the show, with a “What will they think of next?” way of planning these segments out. The entertainment factor is definitely there.
– The TV Title Tournament Round One match between Big Deal Craig Steele and The Drunken Swashbuckler was an admittedly interesting mesh of styles – seemingly one of the TV Title tourney’s biggest goals, if you looked at the majority of the matches. Kudos to the broadcast team for bringing some background insight on Steele’s character, as the Bam Bam Bigelow comparisons were insanely obvious by his countless ring gear references. Hell, he even kind of looks like him. TDS pulling out the win was a pleasant, yet unexpected turn of events. Perhaps Steele should’ve got the nod here, as his character was seemingly on the rise for a push and TDS has already had his time on the top.
– The TV Title Tournament Round One match between Amazing Red and Starman was another example of the “style mesh,” as this was likely going to be more athletic than technical on paper, yet turned out to be a fair churn of both flavors in one shot. Red’s literal flight into the front row was highlight reel-worthy. The finish was also quite impressive, even for someone of Starman’s stature. Red is probably still feeling that Superkick. Red felt like the guy to root for, but Starman’s prominence as a PWS original made him a favorite to win and go on far into the tournament.
– The Chris Payne hype video was a unique dive into his character; a side we had never seen before, which made him appear down-to-earth, yet tough on the surface. No mention of Tessa Blanchard was also noteworthy to add here, as she had been associated with his character since he started appearing on the show.
– It seems as if Habib From The Car Wash will work his way back to the states, but it’s been that way for weeks. When will he finally make his return? How will it happen? They’ve done a good job of reminding us of this storyline, but not as great with progressing it. Also, whatever happened to the feud between Macintosh and Mario Bokara? Will that also pick up? That feud is more interesting quite frankly.
– The TV Title Tournament Round One match between Delroy-Phillip Simon II was quick and decisive in Delroy’s favor, which was a much better way to showcase Delroy’s rise with New Jack as his mentor. We can forget the On-The-Spot Title Shot Battle Royale performance now. This was the better route for him to go anyway. This gives us more hope he’ll have a tight grip on the tourney.
– The International Dream match between Colt Cabana and Jushin Thunder Liger was a throughly amusing treat. Liger – even at this point in his career, was no pushover, putting everything on the line. Both guys gave signs of behaviors outside their usual characters, from Cabana playing with Liger’s horns to Liger diving on the outside onto Cabana. This turned the competitive dial up a notch and it showed in the ring. The show of respect at the end was also a cool moment.
– The “wrap up” segment continues to keep the humor as a throwback to how ECW used to end their TV shows way back when, as it mainly featured Steele bragging about his gear to whoever would hear (Do we get points for rhyming that?), Sandy Mann continuing to smile and act like an entitled pimp to those who will watch – like Simon II, New Jack and Mick Foley presumably “shooting” about old times, Beefcake Charlie endorsing “two” movements, Delroy bragging about his win and CPA having the perfect comeback for Steele. Bottomline: don’t brag about expenses to an accountant.
– TV Title Tournament – Round One – The Drunken Swashbuckler def. Big Deal Craig Steele (w/Vanity) via pinfall to advance
– TV Title Tournament – Round One – Starman def. The Amazing Red via pinfall to advance
– TV Title Tournament – Round One – Delroy (w/New Jack) def. Phillip Simon II (w/Brother Jesse) via pinfall to advance
– International Dream Match – Colt Cabana def. Jushin Thunder Liger via pinfall