Saturday 5/19/01

The following is a republished diary/commentary from ProWrestlingRadio.com.

Saturday 5/19/01:

I started out the day before my radio show at home watching the Winger-Trent Acid match once again from last July. If the two were to meet later, I wanted to have as much information as I possibly could. I also watched the best of Jun Akiyama as well, to pump myself up for some good wrestling. I also did some more research on some of the guys and made several print outs of some more Winger and Fujita information.

The radio show went great I thought. Again, calls from start to finish for the hour. I was real scared when WWF became the only major fed here, thinking nobody would care about wrestling anymore. I was wrong as there always seems to be something to talk about. I even got Derek Sabato calling in and putting the tournament over. As a matter of fact, I think I had quite a few calls making predictions. They all seemed to go with Trent Acid.

From there I went home for an hour break between all of the travel. I got to see my niece for a little while, and I played with her some. I ate lunch or should I say, drank a protein shake. I also jumped in for a quick shower. It was pointless, since the hot building caused me to sweat and look like hell anyway later that evening.

As I was riding to the building I received a cellular call from Brian Logan. He asked me who I was riding with and offered me a ride. I would have taken it, plus I like bs’ing with Brian on the rides, however I was on the Blue Route by this time. So I declined and told him I would see him at the show. We made semi-plans to go out to a diner and hang out after the show.

I stopped at the Heritage up the street before I got to the building. They have water 2/$1.00, which beats the $3 per bottle Champs price. I saw Johnny Kashmere and Hitman at the store. Hitman was in a great mood and the three of us all talked about everything other than wrestling. They left, and I was leaving Wifebeater walked in. We talked for a little, and he told me he was feeling a lot better. He also told me he was happy to have off the next tour coming up to rest up. He told me he had not felt better in ages. He then proceeded to buy a big bag of Herrs BBQ chips.

I got to the show around 4:30 PM. I saw Eddie Valentine, Dewey, and John Dahmer outside as I was walking inside. Dahmer told me he had something to tell me, but he forgot. I said “what’s up EV” to Valentine, who thought I said something else and seemed perplexed. Dewey is the man and I am a huge mark for his stuff. We had the usual GLOOW chat and at that time Nick Berk pulled up.

He rolled down his window and said to the three of us as confident as can be, “Don’t worry, I am here now. The tournament can proceed.” We all laughed and I asked him if he worked JAP last night. He said he thought the tourney was going to be a two day event, he canceled his booking there. Quite a sign of loyalty, as many of the other boys canceled their JAP shots for the same reason.

I went inside and walked in with Berk at this point. I walked into the back and the first person I ran into was John. John started singing “Don Crashane” or whatever it is that song is that Nicky Benz sings. It doesn’t matter how pissed off John is, whenever he sees Berk he always breaks out in a big smile. He is almost anticipating him to say something goofy. I walked into the back room and said hello to Justice Pain, Wifebeater, Nick Gage, and to Winger.

I went outside to find my sheets that I had printed up that morning and I was real upset that they were not there. I had forgotten them. It completely threw my mindset off, as I had spent a lot of time preparing.

At this point I went inside and I really wanted to get with everyone in the tournament and get some more background facts. It is real easy to call a match and sound smart once a night, but when the same guy is working 2-4 times that can be difficult. I just wanted to prepare myself for the entire show. I showed up early specifically for this reason. I found the SAT’s. I said hello to all of them. I saw Joe L. going over spots with Trent and I did not want to bother them. Joe L. saw me and stopped and came over and gave me a hug. Trent smiled and said hello also. I saw Adam Flash and jokingly congratulated him on his big MCW title win the previous night. I also saw the Briscoes working out in the ring with Nick Mondo. All three of those guys I have become real friendly with and a huge fan of each. They all were good enough to stop and come over and say hello as well. It is just incredible working there, because it truly is like a family reunion every time there is a show.

I got with all three members of the SAT’s about background info. They really did not have much to give me. I felt like a reporter trying to get a scoop out of them. Joe L. then told me had a boxing background. I asked him what his record was and he laughed and said he did not know. I joked and said 34-0, 33 by knock out. He nodded his head and said yes, go with that. He then proceeded to tell the other SAT’s about his “new” record and everyone laughed at him. Red gave me some information about his background and debut and Jose did the same thing.

I then ran into the RF Video crew. Rob and I joked around as usual and Doug was running around as well. Rob was telling me about the deal he did last night with Lo-Ki. It sounded pretty cool, and I know Rob is a Lo-Ki fan, so he must have enjoyed himself. I felt bad as if I was blowing him off, but I really wanted to get with everyone. I took this tournament real serious, and treated it like the show it was, which was the biggest and most known show that I will ever call. It would also be the most challenging. 14 matches, 4 hours, and just non stop high flying action in each match. It was going to be hard, but I was more up for it than ever. You could not keep me away from this one.

I ran into Ruckus and he told me some of the moves he was going to do. I had been talking to Ruckus in the chat room the last few nights, and he told me he could not sleep he was so excited for the tournament. How is that for dedication and showmanship? He told me about a move he was going to do in dedication to his former trainer Ray Parker. He laughed in telling me the background, but it was noted. I then went to the locker room to get whoever else I could find.

I found Marc Briscoe and got with him for a little bit. I asked him about what he was going to do tonight and if he was going to do any new moves. He started telling me about this cutthroat suplex and he asked Red if he could use him to demonstrate. What better crash test dummy, than the lightest guy in the back. He showed me and it was real impressive. I then asked him about some more background on his athletics. He gave me some football information and also told me a good story I would use during the commentary about their debut. He also told me tonight was the one year anniversary of their debut. I started walking away, when Wifebeater jokingly asked me, “Eric, aren’t you going to ask me if I am doing any new moves?” I laughed and then fed him the line. He then told me that he was, but that I would just have to wait and see. We both laughed on that one and I moved on to Nick Mondo. Nick told me about this Assault Driver he was going to do and than his usual stuff. I spoke with Winger for a little. Talk about pulling teeth from this guy. Every time I asked him something he would shake his head and laugh and politely say, ” I really don’t know.” He could not even figure out what his finisher was. I then got some real good info about his previous matches in the United States.

I then got with Trent for a little bit. He expressed some concern about Juventud not being in favor of the result of their match. He told me that he was assured if there was a problem, that Juvi would just be asked to leave. That is John for you, he always thinks of his family first. He is more of a “mark” for the boys in his locker room, than he is for anyone else. I really think that gives him an edge, and a lot of my respect anyway. He asked me what I had heard about Juvi’s willingness to do business. I told I remembered reading a story in the Observer recently about how he just left AAA because he thought he was jobbing too much. We then discussed his matches, and he told me he was pretty unsure at this point what he was going with Juvi, since he was not there yet. He said that I would know all of his moves, and that if he did anything new he would let me know. He then told me a little bit about his history with Winger and the Jr. belt in Japan.

At this time Smart Mark and RF Video were doing vignettes with Danny Rose. They were doing this deal where he would interrupt everyone’s promo and he would then cut a promo on how he should be in the tournament. Are you thinking what I was thinking? Danny is a great guy and a real solid talent, but why was he getting this kind of push and the biggest question was, does John even know. The tournament was huge, and why tarnish it with this stuff, and why put a guy over who had worked two matches for our company, where there were guys like Dahmer, Ruckus, Valentine, etc., who were more deserving of that. I have a pretty good idea of how John thinks, and I know he was not behind this. Whoever thought of this, should have thought more carefully. They wanted him to interrupt our open for the show, and I refused. The show was too special for this to happen. I did tell a lie and said John told us that he wanted a clean open, but I knew that was how he would have wanted it. We then did this deal where I was too interview Trent Acid and he would interrupt that promo. Trent is an awesome promo, I would have rather done a straight promo with him and the other 11 about the tournament. We did two takes on it, the first was OK, but Trent did not like it and we did the second one where he stole Barr’s line about SAT’s. One of the wrestlers later confided the same sentiments about rather doing a straight promo than this.

I went into the back once again to get any final moves or information from the boys. I got with Jay Briscoe for a bit. He told me about some new moves he was going to do tonight. He then told me that he had lost 15 pounds over the week with the flu. Marc told me at that point he has lost 7. Jay told me he missed a week of school. He also told me about his football background and awards he had received. I told him when I give out the info on commentary about his throwing up and things like that, people think I am making it up. We both laughed about it. Super attitude by these kids.

John, who had left earlier for a while had finally returned. We got together for a few different things about the night. I asked him if it was OK that I kobashed the deal that they had proposed for the opening. He was not aware that they were even doing such a thing, and flipped to say the least. His sentiments were the same as mine, that maybe down the line but not now, especially tonight. He brought in some commemorative T-shirts for everyone in the back. I asked him if I could have one, and he suggested that we wear them tonight. Fine by me. I have to be honest, since this is my diary. I talked to John a lot last night throughout the night and I could not understand a damned word he was saying. His ear is so messed up I think he talked in a low monotone, thinking he is loud. We had many conversations last night and I can’t even tell you what half of them were about.

We were getting ready to start the show. Hitman asked Shock if we could have our own introduction. My thoughts were that we were the announcers and that we should not have one. I saved us an intro by pointing out how ridiculous we would look when after introducing us we go to a corner in the building and not a real table, set up, etc. They all agreed and we were spared. John asked us where we were doing commentary and said that he may come over and sit with us to watch the show and also do some commentary during the six man. He also asked me how Hitman was doing theses days. I told him he was improving a million percent and that the last show we were really on together. I told John that he was really putting an effort in and working hard at getting better, which he is. Read my first diary and you will see the 180 here. Now it was time for the tournament.

At intermission I pretty much hung out in the sound area with John and whoever walked by. Derek Sabato came back with pretzels for us. I was starved. John made a smart ass remark in good fun about eating pretzels at intermission and about the fact he thought I did not eat carbs. I said I was starving, so f-it. I asked him if he still lifted and what his diet was, and he told me doesn’t lift anymore and eats whatever he wants. He said the injuries have just accumulated to the point where he cannot excersise anymore. The funniest part of the night was when John Dahmer walked in to check on the sound. John started laughing and did so out loud and than covered his mouth. He was laughing at Dahmer’s new tights. He was wearing typical wrestling trunks, but between his huge legs and ass, and pale skin color, it was not exactly flattering. It just goes to show you that even with the pressures of running a company and frequent trips overseas, John is still one of the boys at heart and is not in this so much as for the money as he is for the fun.

I would be here forever going through match by match. Let me just say that I was more proud to work this company on that night than ever before. Give me this night with the effort of these kids over calling a show for the WWF any day. What was so special, is how serious every single one of the them took this tournament. They prepared and psyched themselves up as if it was a pay per view for our company. The pay is not the best, and to do this for the 4-500 in the building is truly remarkable. The work ethic in that locker room is something I have never ever seen before. Even in ECW, you would get that one guy that was around and going through the deal. Not here, it is everyone. Trent told me earlier that if when going over the match Juvi just wanted to coast, he said “no way.” This was his, and the company’s Wrestlemania or Monday Night Raw. This was their time to shine. The first round was really unique and innovative. It reminded me of the first time ECW did the 3 Way Dance. Every match in the tournament was like a dream match. The company gets so much bad press about their gimmicks and hardcore stuff, that the true talents never get recognized. I have said a million times, that there is more talent and potential in our locker room than anywhere I have seen. I see a lot of indies and CZW is different. It is more than just an indie, it is like a real competing organization. The crowd were even unbelievable that night. Even when the guys would miss moves, nobody yelled out anything and everyone just went on with the show. When was the last time you saw that? The crowd were just appreciative of the efforts of these kids. At one point during the show, someone yelled “boring,” and the crowd all yelled at this person and needless to say, it was not happening again. To single out anyone as being better than anyone else is hard to do. What was great about the show, was that our boys stole the show. Not Juvi, Winger, or even Fujita (who was damn good), but it was our boys. I have to talk about the Briscoes match. What a spit in the face to everyone that says the kids today do not know how to work or have psychology, or build a match. These kids, both under 18 built the greatest match I have ever seen on a show of this level. They did not go out there and fly all over the place. They traded holds for almost 10 minutes and built and built. Jay did a Tiger Driver during the match, and later it was set up to be the finisher. The kids just went out their and busted their asses for the company and the people. It was amazing to see how far they had come, and as for the “great promoter in Delaware,” how great is he letting these kids go for political reasons? Every show I rave about these kids and tell them at each show how good they are getting and this one topped it off. They are superstars for years to come. The crowd were awesome during the match, just sitting silent at points like a match in Japan, coming alive with the big moves. I was so proud watching these kids tear down the house. These two definitely “got it.”

I was also so happy for Trent Acid. I remember Trent Acid as a 13 year old chubby goof off, who used to help me and Rob Feinstein staple the old RF Video updates for pizza and free tapes. I have known him for about 5-6 years. He truly shined as well last night and seeing him defeating Juventud Guerrera was just unreal. As for Juvi, he came in to a huge pop and it was more of less like he passed a torch. He did great as well, and definitely came to Sewell to work. Nick Berk also had a hell of a match with Fujita. The crowd just absolutely loves Red and the rest of the SAT’s. I cannot wait to see more SAT-Briscoe matches in the future. Real interesting that Ric Blade went out in the first round. You have to wonder after such a great night of wrestling, was whatever he was getting paid by JAP worth it to leave that show? John told me that Ric did not want to leave after his match as he was really into watching the show. Leaving may have done him more harm than good in the future as far as CZW. The fans saw 11 others go out there and kill themselves, and may have lost some respect for Ric. People were booing him and yelling “JAP” during his match. That was the first time I had ever seen him booed in his home town. The angle with Johnny Kashmere was really well done. It does not make a lot of sense from a few standpoints, but it was real good. A fan named Ryan in front of me figured out who it was, and started yelling his name. I poked him and pretty hard as to tell him not to ruin it. Some fans or “journalists” go on the fan board and try and out smart themselves by ruining angles for the fans. They are pieces of garbage and claim to try and help the company and get into the show early, but are really self serving marks. I am not talking at all about Ryan here, but someone else in particular. I felt bad after I poked the kid though, because I was kind of rude in doing so. But, Trent and especially Johnny were working so hard at getting this thing over, why ruin it? After the show I apologized a few times and he seemed to understand. At least, I hope he did. Johnny did great and had the “smart” crowd totally fooled.

After the show was over I was exhausted. I was on my feet for 4 hours and screaming for most of it. The crowd is so loud there, I talk a little louder than usual. I don’t think I was all that great on commentary. It is that whole set up which really sucks and does not allow for us to get into a rhythm. I really hope they do something and get some other kind of set up for us, because ever since we have had that set up, I don’t feel on there. We did a real quick close for the camera and the fans who saw it, seemed to really like it. More fans than ever approached me through out the night and complimented me on the commentary. That is always real nice to hear.

The locker room was like a party. Half of the boys were just blown away by what they had witnessed. I found the Briscoes immediately and congratulated them on their performances. I kind of just chilled in a corner and soaked up the moment. I even marked out for them myself. While some members of the locker room were busy getting pictures with Juvi, I got the Briscoes and got a great pic with them and their plaques. Those were the real stars in that locker room last night. On a funny note, Wifebeater came over to me and was real down about his match. He could not understand why the crowd did not pop or get into the finish like he had expected. I tried to explain to him that the majority of the crowd came prepared to see the juniors and maybe just were not into the hardcore tonight. He then said he wised it was 20 years ago, where the big guys can just grab a hold for 20 minutes and that he joked he’d be a star. He continued to ask me about why the finish came off so bad. I confessed that I did not even remember his finish, and he threw his hands up in the air and fake chopped me and said, “see what I mean!” We both had a good laugh from that one. He then told me his “joke of the show,” which was really funny actually. See, one night in Smyrna this student James was telling absolutely horrible jokes in the locker room. Myself, Beater, Rob Feinstein, and I think someone else were all gathered in a circle listening to him. They were so bad, that they were funny. Smack called for Beater for promos and he replied, “Hold on, it’s joke time.” Ever since then, we have this running joke of just telling bad jokes.

At the end of the night I found John and just thanked him. I thanked him for allowing me to be a part of his company and allowing me to call the show tonight. He also thanked me for recent efforts (I think). We made arrangements to meet this week to discuss the television plans. When this company gets on television watch out. I am sure the production values on our budget won’t even touch WOW. Then again, we also won’t lose 4 million dollars. The shows will blow anything away that is currently on the air. The tapes will become a hot commodity and if CZW can hang in there, we have a hell of a future ahead of us and a company full of stars already. Every time we bring in outside talent, they never quite measure up to what we already have. There were talks about bringing in a currently signed WCW/WWF high profile cruiserweight in for the tournament. I am glad they didn’t, because they did not need him. By the reaction of our crowd and the standing ovation they gave the tournament, every person will be back to see our guys and not outsiders. Unless you were in attendance last night, you have no idea how special last night was. Last year at this time we were talking about a pay per view that fell apart. This year we will be talking about a tournament that came together better than expected for many months to come. This show was truly Unf’n believable. Also, thanks to Dereck Sabato for being my runner throughout the night.

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