“Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life.” - S.D. Gordon
For devout Christians, Easter is all about resurrection, and for children it’s about finding a basket full of goodies. On Saturday, April 7th BCW’s Easter Weekend Extravaganza was not only a resurrection with in ring performances by living legends Tommy Dreamer and “The Franchise” Shane Douglas, but the event also made it easy for children, ages 5 to 99, to find a squared circle full of goodies. Buffalo Championship Wrestling made sure to put its mark on quality sports entertainment with a well balanced card full of surprises. Click here to watch the action packed show finish. With Empire State Wrestling’s loaded BrawlFest held less than a week later, there’s no doubt that Western New York wrestling fans are benefiting from the two feds apparent “Monday Night War”-esque competition. According to BCW officials, the 3 hour show boasted over 200 fans in attendance. Its success has prompted BCW to promise a future appearance by ECW alumni Johnny Swinger and also wasted no time in announcing the next event for Saturday, May 26th at the Lake Erie Italian Club in Lackawanna.
***Heels (bad guys) are listed first, followed by faces (good guys)
Match #1: Bobby Stone VS Rip Impact
Looking like a miniature Big Show, Stone was quickly gained heat from the crowd. While a face, Impact relies on his arsenal of moves to get the crowd into the match. By far one of the best worked matches of the night and a well-chosen opener for the card.
Winner: Rip Impact via pinfall.
Match #2: Jeremiah Bradley VS Evan McCloud VS “The World’s Most Huggable Wrestler” Bryan Castle
By far, the best ring psychology of the night. These three wrestlers were able to effectively play off each other while consistently eliciting cheers and jeers from the crowd. Bryan Castle is like Bam Bam Bigelow meets Colt Cabana, and is certainly one to watch. Bradley boasts Mark Henry sized stature and McCloud is a cross between Fit Finley and Hornswoggle.
Winner: Jeremiah Bradley via pinfall.
BCW Heavyweight Champion “Big League” John McChesney w/ Caesar & Waylon Reavis (lead singer of metal band Mushroomhead) incited Tommy Dreamer to setup the night’s non-title, hardcore rules main event.
Match #3: The Yankee Outlaws (Nick Paradise & H.C. Loc) VS Iron Clad (Frank the Tank & Ron Falco)
Lots of personality in this match. With his experience in ECW and Ring of Honor, HC Loc knew how to work to the crowd. Frank the Tank moved the crowd with his ariel antics, and Ron Falco was arguably the best fit of the roster.
Winner: The Yankee Outlaws via pinfall.
30 Minute Intermission
Match #4: T-Rex Express (Troy Buchannan & “Retro” Rex Atkins) VS “Sik” Rik Matrix in a handicap match
A slow paced match. Matrix has been feuding with T-Rex Express for months, and following the close of the match he stated it’s just beginning. Atkins and Buchannan exemplify tag team chemistry and work well together as heels. Overall, the match was one of the longest of the night and had a classic ’80s feel to it.
Winner: ”Sik” Rik Matrix via pinfall.
Match #5: Krimson VS Mean Marcos
A considerable mismatch in size, but Marcos was able to flawlessly showoff his elaborate technical and high-flying repertoire. A 10 year plus veteran on the circuit, Krimson’s “dark” gimmick gave the crowd something to taunt. Chants of “Vampiro,” “Sting,” and “Papa Shango,” rang throughout the match as a commentary on his facepaint. Some of the most exciting moves of the night were committed in this match.
Winner: Mean Marcos via pinfall.
Match #6: “The Franchise” Shane Douglas VS “Buffalo Bad Boy” Brian Jennings
Chants of “You still got it” rang from the start. Certainly Douglas is a master of the mic. He went from crowd favorite to despised heel in less than 60 seconds. This was a well booked match. Jennings, the hometown hero matched up well in size and experience against the seasoned veteran.
Winner: Brian Jennings via pinfall.
Match #7: “Big League” John McChesney VS “The Innovator of Violence” Tommy Dreamer
As soon as this non-title match added the “extreme rules” stipulation, the fans expected weapons, outside the ring action, and interference from McChesney’s entourage. They weren’t disappointed. Dreamer geniusly took advantage of his surroundings to deliver a truly hardcore yet comical match. Highlights included him shoving McChesney into a hockey net while proceeding to celebrate the goal. The true victim of this match were the refreshments. Countless assortments of soft drinks and snacks were snatched from the audience and used as weapons and at one point Dreamer drowned himself under a box of popcorn for a mid-match energy boost. Filled with plenty of spots, and chemistry, this match was worthy of main event status. Following the match Dreamer celebrated with interuptions from the locker room. Click here to watch the show’s finale.
Winner: Tommy Dreamer via pinfall.
Be sure to check out BCW, announcer/comedian Chris Gullo, and of course Tommy Dreamer, and Shane Douglas.
Follow Crave on twitter @cravevsworld
*** All images and video used with permission from Buffalo Championship Wrestling. Unauthorized use of media is not permitted. ***
“The Innovator of Violence” Tommy Dreamer celebrates his victory over “Big League” Brian McChesney in a hardcore rules, non-title match from Buffalo Championship Wrestler’s 1st Annual Easter Weekend Extravaganza on Saturday, April 7th in Orchard Park, NY.
I haven’t paid attention to WWE for a long time. The last time I really followed the company was over ten years ago around 2000/2001. I feel much more drawn to TNA these days — WWE’s roster and storylines seem quite generic and dull in comparison. But recently, my friend, who’s a big WWE fan, recommended I tune in once and see if I get hooked. And as the old saying goes, “Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it”, so I’m gonna sit through the latest WWE broadcast and blog my thoughts as I’m watching.
Bear in mind I know little about WWE’s current wrestlers or storylines so I’ll be coming at this from a completely fresh perspective. Let’s see if SmackDown from Friday night (April 6th 2012) can persuade a lapsed WWE fan to tune in more often…
DAVID OTUNGA INTRODUCES JOHN LAURINAITIS: It’s apparently “the most important day in SmackDown history” as Otunga introduces Laurinaitis, the new SmackDown GM. But the crowd don’t seem happy. You can tell Laurinaitis was an ex-wrestler with a promo voice like that. The crowd aren’t listening. He’s waffling. Teddy Long is called to the ring. The crowd seem to like him. Teddy interrupts Laurinaitis but he lets Teddy talk. I think it’s funny how wrestlers are civil when they’re holding a microphone. Sometimes I want them to just kick off. Laurinaitis offers Teddy a job on SmackDown but Teddy refuses it to a big pop. But Laurinaitis refers to the fact that the contract for Long’s grandchildren’s education fund is controlled by the SmackDown GM. Laurinaitis is gonna force Teddy to embarass himself if he wants to put his grandchildren through college. Long takes the job.
Interesting opening. I liked it. It started off boring but ended well. The crowd still hate Laurinaitis.
R-TRUTH VS. MARK HENRY AND DAVID OTUNGA: So Laurinitis has called out this first match. Mark Henry looks different to the last time I saw him. This seems like a very unfair match-up… OK, I liked R-Truth’s high impact style, but the squash ending was predictable.
RANDY ORTON VS. KANE: Kane’s really stepped up the evil vibe since I last saw him. Randy Orton’s trying to out-stare Kane. Orton is the kind of generic wrestler I imagine the WWE being full of. Let’s see if he can wrestle well tonight. This is a WrestleMania rematch.
Kane goes flying over the announcers’ table. Nice. Lots of action outside the ring. Some nice loud punches being thrown but also some obviously fake ones. They’re back in the ring now. Kane exposing the steel on the turnbuckle but doesn’t get to use it. Kane’s in control. The big guy was climbing the turnbuckle but Orton stopped him. They’re back outside the ring.
I like Booker T’s commentary. He’s much more colourful than the other guys. Kane brings a chair into play. Now three more chairs. And another. Everyone loves a chair. Orton grabs a chair. ”Could be backfire city.” Haha. Orton drops Kane on a chair but Kane kicks out. Kane now has a chair. I can see him winning now. But Orton uses the exposed turnbuckle and finishes Kane for the pin. Nice.
Good match. Got even better when the chairs came in.
RYBACK VS. BARRY STEVENS: Haha Barry Stevens looks goofy and I enjoyed him calling the crowd “rude”.
Ryback. Apparently it’s his debut. His name sounds like a Pokemon. The commentators are talking him up. I’d put my money on him. On anyone against Stevens actually. He looks weak.
As expected, quick victory for Ryback. “Utter annihilation.”
WRESTLEMANIA RECAP: There’ve been recaps of WrestleMania throughout the show using photo montages. The music choice (Flo Rida) is interesting. I guess it might be because tonight’s SmackDown comes from Florida, but WWE never used to play such contemporary, non-rock music. It makes the show seem slick and modern though.
DANIEL BRYAN PROMO: He looks annoyed. Sounds like he lost at WrestleMania in 18 seconds.
Poor guy, his girlfriend is having to encourage him to speak. Couldn’t she have said all this before they came out? The crowd are chanting Bryan’s name. Looks like this guy needs some counseling. He’s talking again. I feel a heel turn coming on. Maybe he was a heel before this. I don’t know haha. He thinks the crowd are mocking him. He calls them “sheep”. Now he’s blaming his loss on his girl. This guy really doesn’t help himself. The crowd are chanting “18 seconds” haha. Bryan and AJ are having an in-ring domestic. AJ’s about to cry. He broke up with her mid-promo. “Go cry over your disgusting cheesburgers that you love so much.” Haha. She doesn’t look like the cheesburger-eating type. This guy’s funny. She wants him back. He’s shouting at her. Great promo, but I wonder what kind of example he’s setting younger, impressionable fans when it comes to dealing with women.
ANOTHER WRESTLEMANIA RECAP: This one soundtracked by Metallica. Makes up for the Flo Rida earlier.
BIG SHOW VS. HEATH SLATER: With guest commentary by Cody Rhodes. The other commentators are making fun of him for losing to Big Show at Wrestlemania. The humour on this show has been great so far.
Great clothes line from the Big Show. He threw Slater to one side of the ring, bounced off another side himself and performed the move. Never seen that before. Easy victory for Big Show. His theme music hasn’t changed in ten years. Cody Rhodes looks like he wants to get in the ring. Booker T’s advising against it. Rhodes looks scared. Obviously no match for the Big Show. Big Show takes some time to talk to the fans as he leaves. That’s good to see.
RAW RECAP: Chris Jericho is making CM Punk drink whisky. Is CM Punk straight edge? He must be, he had Xs on his hands. Not anymore. Some of that whisky must have gone in. Jericho smashes the bottle over Punk’s head. Interesting angle.
LAURINAITIS/SHEAMUS PROMO: Refreshing to hear something other than an American accent, but Sheamus’s reference to the local mill is perhaps a bit too stereotypical. Made me laugh for the wrong reason there.
NIKKI BELLA VS. BETH PHOENIX: It’s a Divas match. OK, another extremely short match. Also an interruption by Kelly Kelly. Now that’s just lazy naming. Shame it was so short. The standard of wrestling there didn’t look too bad.
CHIEF JAY STRONGBOW TRIBUTE: R.I.P.
DAMIEN SANDOW PROMO: Calling out the people of America for their trashy lifestyle. Reminds me of the promos Bret Hart used to do in the mid-90s, hating on America.
JOHN CENA RECAP: Turns into a re-introduction for Brock Lesnar. That guy looks cool.
SHEAMUS VS. ALBERTO DEL RIO: Del Rio enters in a car. I like his entrance music. His first appearance in six months apparently. There seems to be a lot of debuts/returns lately.
Is Sheamus the whitest wrestler of all time? Mexico vs. Ireland here.
Nice back and forth. They’re outside the ring now. Del Rio is starting to take control. But as the commentators keep saying, “Sheamus will take a beating to give one.” Booker T is saying Del Rio is wrestling well but has a bit of ring rust. Sheamus fighting back now. Sheamus grabs a chair, and gets DQed. That’s a shame. Everyone loves a chair. Sheamus takes the referee out. He needs to control his temper.
CONCLUSION: All in all, I enjoyed that. There were a lot of references to WrestleMania, obviously, but all of the storylines segued away from WrestleMania really well. I’d watch again. The standard of wrestling was high, and it’s all more slick and on a larger scale than TNA. I might tune in to Raw to see what Brock Lesnar does as well. WWE might just win me back yet.
“I don’t think that McMahon thinks very much about the fact that J.R and I have been successful. I don’t think that McMahon thinks the wrestling announcers really have that much to contribute the show.” – Jerry Lawler
Professional wrestling may present a “fantasy world of combatants,” but a major part of its success is how the industry personalizes its shows and creates a product that the public can relate to. There exists an “anything can happen” mentality but that usually only occurs during a match. In order to improve the entertainment value of any promotion, attention must be made to every detail, from the entrance ramp, to railings, and especially to announcing.
If each match is announced by the same person, a sense of routine monotony takes over. On Monday Nitro, WCW employed Michael Buffer and his trademarked “Let’s get ready to rumble” phrase to usher in the main events. Occasionally, WWE will invite a celebrity or wrestler as the special guest ring announcer. Mr. Kennedy announced himself and Alberto Del Rio’s gimmick was vastly enhanced by his own spanish ring announcer.
In order to take advantage of the the seldom tweaked aspect of ring announcing, we journey back to 1996 to the Rosie O’Donnel Show. What was innovative and catchy about this show was how it opened with a member of the audience introducing Rosie. While their mic skills weren’t as impressive as a professional, they added a humble personal touch to the show. It’s time to embrace this same strategy in the world of professional wrestling, especially during TV tapings. Before the wrestling action begins, involve the audience by asking for participants to audition for the role of announcer. Invite a mix crowd, from energetic youth, to sassy ladies, to quirky grandparents. Let the audience select one of them, and then for one of the matches, allow this “fan favorite fan” to take over the ring announcing. It’s probably best to use their services for the opening match to help set a friendly and crowd interactive tone for the rest of the show. Make sure that only your professional announcers handle title matches and main events, this is because you want those to have a professional and heightened mood much like when Michael Buffer announced the main events of Nitro.
Sure this has been before, and in some cases on a regular basis, but it definitely needs to be brought back and executed consistently. While only one person enjoys the spotlight while announcing, it empowers all the fans at home, that they too have the chance to be involved. Whenever there is an opportunity, professional wrestling needs to personalize the experience and involve its greatest asset: the fans.
“Damn referees, I’ll miss them less than anybody.” – Abe Lemons
“A women’s greatest asset is her beauty.” – Alex Comfort
Despite it’s PG rating, WWE relies heavily on eye candy to draw in the 18-49 male demographic. Consequently, they’ve put their T&A specialists wherever there was a spot as: managers, valets, “girlfriends,” interviewers, ring announcers, wrestlers, and even in WCW as dancing cheerleaders. How come those girls haven’t adorned the zebra stripes more often? Aksana, who is clearly years away from becoming ring ready should permanently officiate. She’s done it before and she should do it again. Suddenly a tag match between “whoever” versus “I don’t care” has my attention, especially when she has to get down on the mat for the count.
Is it sexist to feature female referees? Not at all. If anything, it’s forward feminism. The role has been dominated by males, and this way women get to be involved. I’m not saying they should wear long slacks and a polo, but I’m also not abdicating they strip down to a thong either. No matter how you strip it, eye candy equals money. Let the true women wrestlers duke it out in the ring, but there’s no reason to make the hot ones leave. Just delegate them to officiating and everyone wins. In addition, if these pretty ladies want to train to become wrestlers their experience in the ring as officials will only help them.
The bottom line is if I was in charge of any promotion, large or small, I would immediately axe all male referees and install adorable ones in their stead. While some are critical of bringing back a Nitro Girls type dance team, or the sign holders from the early days of Monday Night Raw, adding female referees is cost effective because you don’t have to hire additional workers, since the position has to be filled. Plus, if you’ve got some wrestlers insistent on traveling with their wives or girlfriends, why not plug them in as referees. There’s no need for vocal talent, you just need to move around, avoid contact, smooth communication and dictate orders. It’s not a job you can master overnight, but it’s certainly easier then becoming a wrestler and will 100% guaranteed entertain that all too horny demographic.
Ladies, it’s time we see you in stripes on a full-time basis.
“You gotta have a gimmick.” – Ethel Merman
Picture two hooded figures stalking the ring under the guise of bed sheets. This is not the deep south, we’re not in an attic, and it’s not Halloween. But it sure makes for comedic entertainment. Say “Boo” to DEJA BOO, the newest idea in the Gimmick Garage.
TYPE: Tag Team / Heel or Face
LEVEL: Lowercard, timeline could be a one-time shot or up to a year
COMPATIBILITY: If they’re to be heels, a manager is a necessity. If faces, they will have to be strictly comical and rely on their moaning boos for interviews.
Theme: Halloween / Ghosts
BODY TYPE: any size works, it depends on the effect you have in mind
RING STYLE: Twin magic, much like the Bella Twins
LOOKS LIKE: Two people in lame ghost outfits.
ENTRANCE: Lame halloween party background sound effect music.
FINALE: Possible: Following a victory they use their sheets to engulf their opponents, then after the lights are turned off, all four wrestlers vanish.
ENTRANCE ATTIRE: White bed sheets with black eyes, custom fitted to allow mobility.
IN-RING ATTIRE: Same as entrance.
Move/Finisher Names: Boo Who, Trick or Treat, Boodyslam, Deja Booplex
GIST: While many of my gimmicks are comical, I must defend how wrestling needs to re-emphaize the “entertainment” aspect. Not all wrestlers need a gimmick, and therefore those individuals can function as the “serious” competitors. At first glance Doink the Clown could have been written off as a joke, but as the character progressed, he became a sinister plot-driven heel. While Deja Boo can’t exactly play off their vocal skills or facial expressions, the anonymity of their identity can certainly drive the team into various directions. In addition, one amazing aspect of this gimmick is that it can executed in any wrestling federation big or small. For young guns, custom fitted bed sheets may prove more cost effective then traditional ring gear. In the end though, I will never forget the Zombie from ECW and while I’m not sure if WWE bothered to copyright it, Deja Boo is the next best thing. The gimmick was strong enough to resurrect on the indy circuit at a Pro Wrestling Syndicate show.
Welcome to the Gimmick Garage, where Crave Cravak stores his original wrestler gimmick ideas. If you happen to like any of them, comment below.
Picture a bulging baseball player entering the ring. The bell sounds and instead of putting his bat aside he winds up and hits a home-run on his opponent.
TYPE: Heel (possible face)
LEVEL: Lower card
COMPATIBILITY: Has a baseball manager as a pseudo manager. Could be placed in a tag-team or stable.
Theme: Baseball / Roid Rage
BODY TYPE: Chris Masters / Rob Terry –> Bulky/Bulging but not overpowering or too tall (Batista/Matt Morgan).
RING STYLE: Brawler / Classic wrestling
I was already looking forward to seeing Sting on this tour – it’s been his first visit to the UK in a decade, and probably his last ever appearance here – but then days before the tour began Hulk Hogan announced he would also be making his first visit to the UK since 1994. This was going to be unmissable.
We set off to arrive at the MEN Arena in plenty of time, enjoy a beer and browse the merchandise before watching the show, but we ended up stuck in traffic just outside Manchester. The show’s starting time of 7:30 came and went, and although we were getting constant updates from friends at the show, sitting in the car waiting for the traffic to improve was painful. We eventually made it to the arena around 9, parked the car and rushed down to our seats, just as the interval was ending and the second half of the show was beginning. We’d missed four bouts, including Austin Aries, Crimson, A.J. Styles and Mickie James, but the real good stuff hadn’t happened yet.
The first main event of the evening was for the World Heavyweight Championship, with current holder Bobby Roode up against Samoa Joe. Roode was getting some big boos and Joe was getting just as many cheers, but Bobby managed to successfully defend his title in a well-paced match. Joe stayed in the ring for a while afterwards, pulling out an English flag and showing his appreciation for the fans’ support.
This is one of the last TV shows you might expect a wrestler to show up on, but yesterday Hulk Hogan had a chat with the hosts of Loose Women to promote the TNA “2012 MAXIMUM IMPACT IV” Tour. That’s taking place in the UK over the next three days and I’ll be attending the Manchester show tomorrow, so I’ll have a review to bring you shortly. I’m looking forward to seeing Sting, Kurt Angle and Hulk Hogan in action.
Welcome to the Gimmick Garage, where Crave Cravak stores his original wrestler gimmick ideas. If you happen to like any of them, comment below.
What do you get when you take a wrestler like Drew McIntyre, mix him with a scary looking Superman 2 villain and place him in an arrogant thespian’s shoes as a modern theatre themed incarnation of Goldust? You get…
LEVEL: Midcard, possible one-time shot at a face heavyweight champion
COMPATIBILITY: Could have a theatre themed manager, could also be useful in a bizarre-esque stable, or to form a freakish tag team.
BODY TYPE: Drew McIntyre / Golddust –> Tall, lengthy, athletic
RING STYLE: Technical / Matt Wrestler / Submission Specialist