Monday, December 26, 2005


I haven't been posting. I've actually been more busy since getting home than I was at school, just doing all sorts of things and catching up with people. I went to the ROH show in Edison. Excellent show worth checking out. Picked up the Samoa Joe-Kenta Kobashi match at the same show. A heck of a lot of fun, but I think perhaps a bit overrated as a five star classic. Went to Brokeback Mountain today. Good movie, although not great. I thought it would have benefited from a better screenplay. Things just weren't put together right in my opinion. I caught a Caps game the night before last, which was a good 4-2 win. Alexander Ovechkin is amazing. I'm going to another Caps game tomorrow, a Wizards game the night after, Friday is UCLA-Northwestern (2 of my good friends went to Northwestern, so there's added interest there), Saturday is New Year's and Sunday is Pride and the Redskins. It's so nice to see the Redskins rolling. I really hope both they and the Cowboys win this weekend and the Cowboys are shut out with a 10-6 record. That would be so sweet. And don't look now, but the Wiz are playing better. Christmas was nice. I got some cool stuff, and it was nice spending time with family. Congrats to Graeme Cameron on what sounds like a very successful show in Australia. And if you're in DC or Montgomery County, I taped 2 editions of Inside the Squared Circle and will tape another this weekend. Good stuff, with a regular show, then year in review, and next week will be awards. I have no idea where I am going to go with the awards. Maybe it will give me the energy to do a write-up of the year-end awards. I've been very attentive to the domestic stuff this year, although I haven't ordered tapes from overseas in a while. I also may do a write-up on Pride and K1, depending on what my schedule is looking like. I'll get back to regular posting when I get back to school in January. Should be a hectic semester, but fun. Best wishes to everyone reading.

Approval Ratings

I frequently give ESPN crap for its gimmicks, so I think I should give them props for something that I think is a nifty little idea. The ESPN approval rating system is a fun little way of seeing how fans view coaches, and I think over time it will catch on as a way for teams to see the perception of the coaches. Talk radio is frequently so driven by the strongest possible comments, when just taking the overall pulse of large groups of people is a better way of seeing how most people view a coach.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

King Kong

I caught King Kong with some friends after exams today. It got mixed reviews from us. What a weird film. It had just surreal, ridiculous, unintentional humor straight out of Mummy Returns or some similar crap movie. My "internal logic" meter was exploding as we went from one absurd development to another. Some of the CGI was obviously CGI, including a dinosaur stampede where you could just see the actors running in front of a blue screen. And it needed to be edited, badly.

But in spite of all of this, it was still a pleasurable experience, complete with great visuals, an emotional story given the premise, and a real experience picture. Genuinely. It gets a cautious recommendation. I think it's being overrated, but there's enough good stuff in there to make it worth it. And it's definitely one to see in theaters. My favorite films of the year going into December are still probably Crash and Sin City, but that will likely change rapidly as I catch up on all of the movies I haven't seen in the next month.

I'm Back

From my self-imposed exile. Exams are done. Life is happy again. I can get some sleep. And I'm halfway through law school, which is very nice. Con Law II went fantastic, but Evidence was a disaster. When some, lose some I guess. I fly back to DC tomorrow morning. Wonder if I'll run into Batista in the airport again this time?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

PWG 12/03

Another good show, although not one of PWG's stronger ones in my estimation. It was heavier on storylines than usual, and some of the matches disappointed. The best matches were B-Boy/Sabin and a wild Scorpio/Lost brawl. The show was scheduled to start at 7PM and went until 11:40PM, which was a bit much.

Before the first match, Chris Bosh came out and established he's a face and no longer likes Joey Ryan. Kevin Steen came out and sided with Bosh and basically said he would be face for the night against Ryan. This went forever.

1. Christopher Daniels beat TJ Perkins via submission.

2. B-Boy beat Chris Sabin with a pair of shining wizards. Sabin always works really hard at PWG, and B-Boy's a great talent as well.

3. El Generico and Los Luchas beat Alex Koslov, Ronin and Nemesis. Every one of these guys has a goofy gimmick, which led to a rather bizarre but entertaining match.

4. Joey Ryan beat Kevin Steen to win the PWG title. Ryan was going to hit Steen with a chair, but Chris Bosh stopped him and hit Ryan with the chair. Steen had the pin, but Super Dragon came out and gave Steen two psycho drivers and Ryan scored the pin.

5. AJ Styles beat Chris Hero with a rollup. This was a rather dull match but the execution was solid.

6. Super Dragon and Davey Richards went to a no contest with Excalibur and Disco Machine. Excalibur and Disco hit a stuff piledriver on Richards and had him pinned, but Steen ran in and attacked Dragon at two and the ref called the match. That didn't really make any sense, given Steen dislikes Dragon and would presumably like to see him lose the tag titles. Dragon and Steen had a pull apart brawl around the building and Steen challenged Dragon to a guerilla warfare match.

7. Scorpio Sky beat Scott Lost in an I Quit match. This was an entertaining brawl. They threw each other into rows of chairs. Chairs, a chain and a table were used. The finish saw Scorpio give Lost a back breaker onto a chair, a frog splash through a table, and apply the sharpshooter sitting on a chair for the submission. Very nice end to the show.

Next show in two weeks has Kanyon vs. Joey Ryan, Steen vs. Dragon, 2 Skinny Black Guys vs. Jack Evans and Roderick Strong, Davey Richards vs. Samoa Joe, Frankie Kazarian, Chris Sabin, Rocky Romero and TJ Perkins vs. Christopher Daniels, Petey Williams, B-Boy and Alex Koslov, Scott Lost vs. Alex Shelley and Scorpio Sky vs. Colt Cabana. You have no idea how disappointed I am I will be traveling that day back to DC and won't be able to see the show. On the plus side, I'll get to see most of those guys the next night in Jersey.

Armpit Newsletter

A copy of Armpit Newsletter arrived in my mailbox a few days ago, from the Wrestling Professor at It was an entertaining and funny read, and you can see more of that sort of stuff at the website. I've got to give it to WP. It took balls to go ahead and start up a newsletter. I hope it takes off.

As an aside, I can't for the life of me figure out the answer to one of the games, which is irritating me. So go ahead and prove me to be a total idiot. Unscramble this word, which is "related to pro wrestling." FYI, all the other answers are wrestlers (Flair, Pillman, Piper, DiBiase, Goldberg, Anderson).



What a depressing game. Oh well. It sets up a great national championship matchup, so that should be fun. I think I saw the UCLA team coming back from the game. I was driving into downtown LA on my way to the PWG show, and I noticed at one point that there were no cars coming in the other direction. This is not something you see in LA at 3:30AM, let alone Saturday night. After registering that no cars were coming, I figured maybe there was an accident. Then I saw the traffic coming, led by a police escort and four or five busses. I don't know how many other groups of that size would get a police escort at that time back towards West LA, so I can only assume it was the Bruins.

Dodgers Incompetence

While I've criticized the Mets here of late for what I feel is a flawed long term strategy, at least they have a clearly identifiable strategy and vision. That's more than can be said for the LA Dodgers, a truly inept organization by this point. The way they handled the release of their GM and Manager weeks apart reflected ownership that doesn't know what it wants. This is a trend. The signing last year of JD Drew to a big money, long term deal made no sense given his injury history, except for the fact the Dodgers were being skewered in the media for letting Adrian Beltre go. That felt like a move mandated by ownership, and signing Furcal this year has a similar feel of desperation and need to do something. Rafael Furcal might be worth a 4 year, $40M deal. I emphasize might, because he's never hit over .300, never hit more than 15 HR, and never driven in more than 65 RBI. But a 3 year deal for that amount of money (well, $39M), is crazy. This is a truly disastrous contract. That's a higher annual salary than Miguel Tejada signed for just two offseasons ago. The Dodgers have a real dearth of quality players signed to reasonable contracts. Adding Furcal doesn't solve any of their problems, and is a real head scratcher. It makes some of the signings I criticized earlier look much better.

In defense of the Dodgers, though, the inflated salaries this offseason have made me suspicious of most signings. It just doesn't feel like the teams are giving out wise contracts, as opposed to two years ago when it felt like more teams should have been active with a quality free agent class and not a tremendous amount of demand. I think teams in general should be more cognizant of how to build a winning team long term than on small differences in money year to year. That said, the Dodgers are getting less bang for their buck than the Jays (Ryan), Mets (Delgado, Wagner) and White Sox (Konerko, Thome).

Saturday, December 03, 2005


UCLA vs. USC: My heart says UCLA 42-38, my head says USC 49-28 (I know, I know...).

Bernard Hopkins vs. Jermain Taylor: My heart says Taylor decision, my head says Hopkins TKO RD 9.

Kevin Steen over Joey Ryan
Scorpio Sky over Scott Lost
AJ Styles over Chris Hero
Christopher Daniels over TJ Perkins
Davey Richards and Super Dragon over El Generico and Quicksilver
B-Boy over Chris Sabin

Vince Russo

Very interesting interview of Vince Russo by James Guttman at I recommend you check it out. Interesting is the operative word. Russo is a very good speaker, and if you don't push him very hard, what he says will make sense. Of course he's still out to lunch in a number of ways, but he definitely has his points. He's still doing the deal where he says he was turning around WCW in a positive way in fall of 1999, and the ratings were on the rise. He's still under the impression that his time in TNA was good television and not a car wreck. But he also properly sees some of the things wrong with the wrestling business. One point that was kind of weird is he obviously doesn't watch WWE, because his gripe with WWE is that they are producing 70s wrestling and they are stuck in the past and aren't in touch with what fans want today. And the problem is pretty much the opposite. They've lost all touch with the basic tenets of wrestling booking, and have instead handed the reigns over to a bunch of people that can't book wrestling. Of course, they also are out of touch with what wrestling fans want today and with current culture, but that's a second and lesser problem. One thing that's kind of scary is that when Vince Russo briefly returned to WWE, I thought that was like the ultimate sign that WWE had completely lost its way. And yet, interestingly, I'm not sure they wouldn't have been better off with Russo than with the people they have employed instead. Then again, maybe I've just (thankfully) blocked out Russo's wrestling enough to where I don't remember how bad it was. During my break I'll pop in some tapes of TNA PPVs from 2002-2003, and see how they look now. I haven't watched any of them again since their original airings, but I remember I got some of their more "interesting" moments.

TNA Champion

The Observer has a poll as to who should be TNA champion in 2006, and I think it's an interesting question. All the real candidates currently on the roster are listed, so I'll just discuss those there. Of course, they could always sign someone else from WWE that they could make champion, and Bryan Danielson looms large as one of the most talented wrestlers in North America. The lowest vote getter is Abyss, who I actually could see filling a champion role and getting chased kind of like Rhino in ECW. However, his look comes across as minor league to many, and I think you need to spend more time conditioning fans to see him as a threat before you put the title on him. He's still a building block. Second lowest is Jeff Jarrett, who to me is dead last as far as candidates because he unquestionably brands TNA as a "B" group. Raven is next lowest, and while there was a time that building around him is exactly what I would have done, that time is gone. He's a phenomenal talker and he has a connection with people, but what he had previously is what Christian has even more now. So he's out. Styles and Daniels are next, and while I would build around them, making them world champion as opposed to X division champion kind of kills the X division. Styles got more votes than Daniels, but I think Daniels plays the role of champion better and Styles is better at chasing. Right in that range is Monty Brown. Brown would be a bold choice as champion, and would definitely stick out. I think his charisma and putting him in squash matches would get him over. Still, I think he's better off at this stage as a special attraction. That leaves the two largest vote getters, and the two best candidates as well, Samoa Joe and Christian Cage. I think Christian is the better choice. Unquestionably, Joe would work as champion for the same reasons he worked as ROH champion. And I don't think his "look" is a deterrent. I just Christian is an even better choice. This is a guy who without a push was getting huge responses in WWE and was getting peep signs and Captain Charisma signs everywhere. He was over, and he can be a symbol to WWE fans of the sort of talent WWE refuses to push in spite of what the fans want. He's like Benoit or Jericho when they came to WWE. Fans were ready to accept them as stars immediately, because they had been waiting for that for years anyway. And Christian can be cocky and has shown a willingness to put down WWE and say TNA is the best, which I think the champion should be doing. I think he's the perfect face champion for TNA in 2006, and I would start a chase for the belt at the beginning of the year.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Good News and Bad News

I'm going to take a break from the Raw Reports the next two weeks since I have exams both Tuesdays at 9AM. But, all is not lost, as Raw once again will be Shapiro. I know what you're thinking: where's the bad news. Ha ha. Laugh it up.

Classes Done

Exams approach. Doom....Doom.....