Week of 8/01/01

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

Week of 8/01/01:

There are so many topics to cover this week here; I do not know where to begin. I guess I will start out with Saturday’s CZW show, “What about Lobo?”

Going in to this show, it was touch and go. With four of our top guys out of the country, we had to come up with creative booking for Saturday. We always know going in that we can count on the guys in the ring to work their asses off. This last Saturday was no different in all situations.

The main story of the show both in and out of the ring was the return of Lobo. Lobo was one of the pioneers of our company and whether you were there than or just started a few months ago, he has your respect. This man has given so much for this company or his body and heart that it becomes unnoticed sometimes because it is so customary. This was the first show since the public resignation of Ric Blade. It was real interesting to see what the attitudes of the guys he has shared a locker room with were going to be.

Lobo walked in to the locker room for the first time in almost two months to an outpouring of emotion. The entire crew gave him a standing ovation and there were guys almost close to tears. The feeling among most of the guys in our company on the other situation quite frankly is that Ric Blade let down all of us as a company, friends, family, and co-workers. Lobo is in a lot worse shape than Ric and really should not be anywhere near a ring. It was almost disgusting how Lobo’s injury went ignored by many people out of our company, while another man was rewarded for less. I am not speaking for anyone; this is only my take on the situation. The feeling I got was that we all saw a man in Lobo who made us all proud of what we do and whom we are. I really did not get the feeling from everyone that I talked too that Ric is welcomed back in our home. Again, I am not speaking for anyone here as I am only expressing my observation.

It was probably the most tense of a show I have ever had since joining CZW. John, the owner and head booker of CZW is away in Japan. In the past, it was never as difficult to keep things a float without him as it is now, due to the advent of television. Since John was away, several of us undertook added responsibilities for the shows. Just as a wrestler has to prepare for his match, I prepare for the taping and my announcing. It was much more stressful running around and supervising this and that, while I also had to do my job. Trust me when I tell you, I loved every minute of it but it just can get stressful at times. I may have a camera man going over television segments with me in one ear, while I am supervising over a promo in the other and watching something else out of the corner of my eye, with my mind thinking about something totally unrelated.

The good news was that I knew exactly what was wanted as far as everything in the show from the boss before he went away. The bad news was trying to explain that to people who had other ideas. The rule of thumb I was told was that if it is not on the sheet, don’t do it. Sometimes that rule can be pushed, and it is hard to say no.

The crowd seemed about on par with the last show. I definitely noticed quite a few new faces. John House and I did a segment outside with the crowd before the show. The crowd was very rabid and really loud. I knew at that time, it was going to be a good show.

I walked the line once before the show trying to sell the programs. I try to do it often, but on this night I could only do it once. Some very obese fan tried showing off to his friends by “screwing” with the program guy. He quickly realized that he was in for a battle of wits that he did not anticipate. Quite honestly, I made an ass out of him but we all had a laugh about it afterwards as I think I turned a hostile situation in to just good fun. Derek Sabato and Eric Loy were a huge help in pushing the programs.

We had a new set up for the show last Saturday. We changed the position of the hard camera and it looked so much better. They also gave us a background that worked out well. I only had time to squeeze out segments for one television show beforehand. I will say that Fake You TV has been kind enough to document the worst hair month I think I have ever had. I also miss wearing the suit as I did in GLOOW. I will make a push to bring back the Philban look. I think the segments went really well, but the time to judge will be when they air.

The show itself was just great in my opinion. I am just such a fan of our company, I do not know how you can buy a ticket and not be satisfied. I think for a show to be that good; without 4 of our top guys says something about the depth and talent we have in our company. I would put our locker room up against any other non-WWF locker room in the United States. The three-way tag match was one of the best-kept secrets on the show. The match was awesome, and will make for some great television. All six of those guys just really gelled well. They all had a lot of fire and the fans were really in to it. Ruckus’ standing shooting star press was just a thing of beauty. The match of the night without question was the Briscoes-Pain and Kashmere match. The match was just great on all levels. The match told a logical story and was just packed with action. The match just opened up so many doors for this feud. The finish saw Jay have Pain in a position to be beat. That is a whole can of worms we can go with. The fact they were screwed by not wrestling Acid is another. It was just a damn good match and something all four of those guys should be proud of. Another match that proves the critics who say all we are is a blood company, dead wrong!

Now, let’s move on to the final match of the night. I hate making comparisons, but the creative angles month to month in CZW rival ECW in there early days. Lobo came up with the idea earlier in the night to do commentary. I thought it was a great idea and when we did commentary together I planted a lot of seeds. Lobo’s original entrance brought such a crowd response it was almost chilling. Lobo’s turn was everything a great angle should be. It provoked a response from the crowd, and it caught even the most fateful CZW fans off guard. The entire locker room emptied out at one point out of character, which provided a very dramatic moment. I was not aware that was going to happen, so when they all came out I was kind of shocked. The thing worked and it was the best angle I have ever seen in CZW. Another telling sign of the angle was the fact that it has provoked more response on our fan board than any other in company history.

After the show, the people were just eating everything up. Many of the crowd stopped on the way out to just say thanks for a great show. I would be shocked if those fans were not in Sewell next month, with more. I did not hear one person complain, whether it was a fan or an employee. See that Frank, we did not even have to use lawn mowers.

Once everything had calmed down, a few of us had made plans to go eat at the local diner after the show. After most other shows, the employees usually meet at a bar or club to party. We are pretty boring, in that we would rather eat.

I don’t want to blow too much as far as the kayfabe (not that there is any in wrestling anymore), so I don’t want to run names down. But, there were eight of us that went out afterwards. I cannot tell you how much fun we had. I have not gone out to the diner with the boys in about ten months. I will now go every month, because I just had the best time. I am a busy person, as are most of us so getting to spend time with your friends is valuable. Yes, when all is said and done we are all a very tight bunch. The majority of us are all friends outside of the company. The funny thing is that after someone would tell a great story, someone else would say, “that better be in the diary!” I did not realize how over the diary was. Due to the fact I love these guys, I won’t name names. However, there was a story told by someone at the table about a blanket that will live infamy for quite some time. I would imagine there would be many unwarranted inside jokes told about this one. All I will say is that it was a hell of a story and I spit my food out when hearing it.

The time just flew by when we were in there, and the waiters and waitresses were eyeing us up and down to leave. I walked in at 12, and five us did not leave until 4:30 AM/EST. I think it is real important, because as we grow so will egos, rumors, etc. If we can all stay that tight and grounded as a family we will be fine. As hard as it is to believe, if I could make a decent living here I would stay in CZW forever. On top of everything else, I don’t think I will ever work with a crew like this again. Everyone is just so appreciative of the success of Fake You TV right now it’s just really humbling.

Well, the Rock is back. This is it for the WWF in the game. This is their last Trump card that they have in their deck. It worked so far, drawing very high ratings for Monday. They are just killing what could have been something great in this whole WCW-ECW thing though. Just read the results of Raw and Smackdown. To see Tazz jobbed in 3 minutes to open the show was just sad. It just seems to me as if they are not building anything here for any kind of longevity. I thought the Raw show was very predictable this past Monday. I will say, that the Tajiri-RVD match was just off the charts. I love seeing a match when two guys do everything that is so unpredictable. Instead of each guy hitting signature moves, they would counter with something totally different. The sad thing is that this got buried in the show and did not get the justice it deserved. It almost made me cringe when I read that the first RVD-Jerry Lynn match came on a Heat taping.

I want to touch on the Dennis Coraluzzo passing if I can. Well, of course I can it is my commentary. I am really torn on this one, because while I had my differences with Dennis the last few years I had known him for around thirteen years. In my short lived career as an in ring performer, Dennis gave me a huge break. I got the call from Brian Logan about it and I was really shocked. I immediately called Rob Feinstein, who just could not believe that all of these people are moving on.

Dennis was truly a character or parody on himself. Dennis was one of the best storytellers I have ever met in the business. Dennis could crack you up at a table with his anecdotes and deliveries.

Dennis also has admittedly taken pride and joy in screwing with people and companies. Dennis would readily admit that too anyone that would ask him. Dennis would talk about his enemies and competition almost like a mafia Godfather. Dennis has cost a lot of good people money and business for a variety of reasons. Someone said it best when asked about his thoughts on Dennis after his passing when he said, “he is going to have a lot of explaining to do.”

Rather than harp on the bad, I want to relate a humorous Dennis story. I have told this story numerous times, and always get a laugh when I tell it. The one thing everyone says afterwards is that, “I can definitely see Dennis saying this.” Dennis would never back down to anyone that showed him disrespect. I respect Dennis, because he would never allow himself to be taken advantage of if he can help it.

I met Dennis when I would go backstage at the old NWA Philadelphia Civic Center events. Dennis was always real nice to me and talkative, even though I was only a teenager. The locker room was usually a very relaxed atmosphere in the back. Every now and than, Ric Flair would get in a bad mood over something. Ric would take it out on the visitors in the locker room. Several times, he would walk in the guest area and just shout, “everyone out!” He would do this without provocation, no matter who you were. The funny thing is, that once he would clear the locker room we would all come back after the next match. Ric would always forget that he cleared the room, and we would all return.

Well, one night I was back there as was Dennis and a few other people. Ric walks back there for no reason and shouts, “everyone out!” So, we all start to leave except for Dennis. Dennis says to me, “I am not going anywhere, does he know who I am? I am an official promoter.” I tell Dennis that it’s cool and we will just come back in 5 minutes. Dennis’ response was, “F**k that. Who the f**k does he think he is?” I turn to Dennis and calmly say, “Dennis, he’s Ric Flair.” Dennis’ response, “I don’t give a f**k who he is.” Writing this story does not do it justice, as if you know Dennis and can hear this going on in Dennis’ unique voice it was the best. Dennis was escorted out to another area, and vowed revenge on Ric Flair. Dennis was truly one of a kind.

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