Week of 8/15/01

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

Week of 8/15/01:

I have never had more on my mind when sitting down to write a commentary than now. There is so much to cover and I have a lot I want to get off of my chest. I have to be very careful in choosing my words, but I will do the best I can.

Let’s start with Saturday’s show. It was hell from the start. To begin with, none of us were sure there would be a show. I had guys calling me in the morning asking that did not want to drive up there if we were cancelled. As of that time, we were on. As all of you know, I have my radio show on Saturdays. So, chances are for a 3 PM. Show in Smyrna, Delaware is I will be late. I zoomed out of my show and met up with Z Barr along the way. On the way I received a call from Robby Mireno, saying he was going to be late. He said he called Brian Logan who said he was close to the building and would let the crew know. I told him it was fine, because I was just as late as he was. The problem was that I could not find anywhere to leave my car. Finally, I hesitantly dropped it off in an apartment complex nearby. I noticed parking stickers on all of the residents’ cars. My thinking was that these people must have friends that visit, right? So, if I left my car there for a few hours it would not be that bad, right? Well that is what I did and we will get back to it later.

My thinking was that with the bad weather we would not hit any shore traffic. I mean, who is going to the shore with 4 days of predicted storms? Well, I was wrong again. The traffic was horrendous and the worst ever. Once we realized that, I called Brian Logan too since he was so close to the show and he was the only other person’s cell phone I had. Brian said he was almost there and he’d let people know. Than, in a scene that could have been written on a Saturday Night Live sketch, we are just driving a long about a minute after the call. We pull up to a red mustang and I joke that it’s probably Logan and it was. Pretty ironic since he was “minutes” from the building earlier.

Well, the traffic was absolutely horrendous. Normally it would not be that big of deal. Everyone, including John when he is in town gets to that place late. However, I had the format sheets for the show and the promos with me. So, it was really bad because nobody really knew what was going on. Usually those sheets are there ahead of time, but not today. Although, I remember in my days as a ring announcer for ECW when Paul Heyman would not even come up with an entire lineup until minutes before the show started.

I arrived at the building after 3 o’clock, which was the scheduled start time. The show had not started, nor had people been let inside. I was greeted by the fans, which were really cordial in welcoming me to the building. The good news was the sky was gray, but not raining. I arrived at the building and ran right in to Lobo. He was the first person whom I had seen. Since he had the biggest part of all on the show, I gave him my format sheet and talked with him, as I was getting ready. It is just great to see him at the shows. He is a true inspiration for all of the boys in our locker room and he is just a good guy. He just looks very happy too working again. He is so psyched with his new role, he is already making a buzz about returning to the ring, although that is a while away.

I got with certain guys individually as I was getting prepared myself. I went to seek out Glen Osbourne, because this was his first show. In my brief days as a wrestler for the ECWA, Glen was there at the time. I always used to remark how great a guy he was, because he was always available for advice, etc. I honestly did not know if he would even remember me. I found him and if it is at all possible, he has gotten bigger and monstrous. He had a big smile on his face and remarked how it had been a long time. I welcomed him aboard and told him it was great to have him here. He responded that he was happy to be here. He is another great guy to have around our younger guys and I see him as a locker room leader down the line.

I went around to some of the guys and asked if they were OK with what was prepared for them. Everyone seemed cool about it. I then had a conversation with Joe L. from the SAT’s. I will save the details of that conversation for next week, but I am going to be 100% frank with what was said. I think it is important that our boys in the company and the fans know the entire story.

Joe L did inform me that Chris Divine and Brian XL were not there, but he had two other guys. The one guy, Flex was huge. As soon as I saw him I knew that John would like him. I made the call to give them the two open spots and if they stunk it up it was pretty much my ass.

Quite frankly all I did from the second I walked in to the start of the show was run around. It was really important that we got the barbed wire match in, so most of the matches in the first half were cut short. Someone told me about one of our matches having a problem with that. However, when I explained the reasoning behind it they all seemed to be fine.

The show itself was an odd one. The matches were kept short, so nobody got a true representation of what they wanted. I really liked Glen’s debut on the show. The whole thing worked out real well with he and Ty Street. The crowd is just stunned by Glen’s size. What I did not like was during Lobo’s promo a fan just got up and threw something at him. It was harmless, I think dry cereal but it set a bad precedent. The kid that did it was extremely blatant about it. It really upset me that no security guards said a word to this kid. I felt like getting up and going over there myself. Lobo’s promo was dead on and very crisp. He is really settling in to his new persona nicely. The guys in the first match have seen better nights. You really can’t put a ton of blame on them because it started raining as soon as the show started. The SAT tag team match was good, but something we all knew became obvious. While the Spanish Fly is an exciting move, is it a terrible finisher. The only people that can take something like that are light-high flyers. Two guys the size of Boogaloo and Flex are not going to be able to take that and they didn’t. So, when the fans do not see that as the finishing move from a psychology standpoint it is not a good thing. Quiet Storm is just awesome. In my opinion, he has the most outstanding potential from the bunch.

You know, I see Reckless Youth getting a lot of unnecessary heat from people on other boards. I think it is just truly pathetic to pass pre-judgments on someone on something you know nothing about. Unless you were at the show and saw him work, I think it is very distasteful. People are questioning this man’s character and work ethic. Recently, Reckless was injured during a match at an NWA show in Florida. It was a tournament and Reckless worked his next match in a lot of pain. He cancelled all of his bookings afterwards due to the injury. The bookings he canceled were indie shows with no television or long-term angles. 7 of our guys in Japan and we have a very light locker room for the month. Reckless was going to be part of the main event program while everyone was away. More or less, he would be one of several that were going to carry the ball. To remove him completely off the shows would hurt everyone real bad. Reckless is one of the smartest guys I have ever known in this business and is not going to do anything stupid.

He gave us a couple of alternatives to what we could and could not do with him. The gauntlet deal he worked on the 28 really saw him do nothing more than nail his stretch plum on Fujita. Reckless is so damn good, that you forget about that. On this day against Ruckus, I had told him to do whatever he can whether it was something or nothing and take it home as soon as he wanted. The match consisted of Reckless going out there and playing with the fans. Some quick chain wrestling (no bumps) and a count out finish. Now, Reckless is getting questioned on other boards because people are saying that he wrestled on our show. All that shows is commitment and a lot of heart. He knew that the company was counting on him, we were light, he was in a main spot, and it was being built up on TV. Honestly, nobody would have forced him or tried to force him to work. It was all him and I think all of the criticism is misplaced and it can hurt his reputation. It is all uncalled for and factually wrong.

The 3 Way tag team match stole the show and saved a lackluster half. At that point after the quick matches and loads of rain, people were ancy. I really think there is something more that can be done with the Rachies playing kiss-up to Lobo. VD quietly became one of the best tag teams I have ever seen. The Briscoes were on fire as always and it was nice to see them in there with some fresh opponents. Danny and Adam are two of the best workers we have in our company. We have yet to even reach the tip of the iceberg with any of the three teams. VD got a strong win, which will give them a push strong for the upcoming tournament.

Intermission was another story. It started to pour hard and thunder. More than half of the audience seemed to have left before it was over. Most of our crew seemed really down about their matches. John House and myself had to cut promos for television, but we were told that all promos were off due to the bad weather. I kind of just bounced around the locker room until the intermission was over.

The main event saw Reckless come over and do commentary. I would really like at least one wrestler to come over and sit in with us each show. It brings more of a dynamic to their character and to their story. The match itself was one of the most underrated barbed wire matches I have seen in CZW. The psychology of it was tremendous as it was quite a while before they even hit the barbed wire. It almost reminded me of Terry Funk barbed wire matches, because he would tease it forever until he did it. I felt terrible for both Gage and Mondo. Both of these guys really wanted to have a great match and had a lot planned. The pouring rain and the fact that half the crowd left just killed a lot of it for them. From what I have read on the boards most people seemed to have liked the match. I liked it because it was not as sick as the usual death matches in CZW and told a story. There was a great spot planned that never came off, but if it did it would have been something else.

After the show everyone just kind of hung out for a while. I discussed some ideas with some guys for the future. We tossed around different ideas. I tell everyone the best thing to do is to go to the boss. A bunch of us made plans to go get something to eat afterwards. I gave Nick Gage a copy of the program since he was on the cover. He joked that it was about time. I joked back and said, well you finally won something.

Myself, Nick Mondo, Z Barr, and Robby Mireno headed over to the Smyrna Diner to meet up with a few of the boys. Just like the date with Tanya Smith, we were stood up! Thank goodness, because nothing looked that appetizing in the Smyrna Diner. So, the four of us went over to a local pizza place. It was a lot of fun as we all just talked about the future of CZW, road stories, I told some ECW stories, we talked about girls, the whole bit. I must say the customer service from our waitress was great. I always trash Smyrna customer service, so I had to put it over. Although, we had to wait quite a while before she actually did take our order. A few of those guys wanted to go to the MECW show. I had no interest in going. I only wanted to go to see my best friend work on the show, but his thing got scrapped anyway so it worked out.

I remember when I was in ECW; one of the guys went to a local WWF show. This employee was involved in a major angle at the time and sat in the audience. The company and the boys for his actions at that show disciplined the person. . Again, another learning experience for myself. If you are part of a company that has television and 50,000 people are watching every week, it is not a very smart move to go to a local show and sit in the audience. I most likely would have gone to the locker room, which still is not a smart move. I was very curious as to what they had going on, but not curious enough. So I just went home from the pizza place. This move would save me about a hundred dollars and a lot of aggravation.

I drove home with Robby and had a great ride home. We just talked about everything, wrestling and not. It was a lot of fun and I consider him a non-wrestling friend because I have known him forever. Remember what I said about parking my car earlier and saving myself money and aggravation? Well, literally as we are pulling up I see a guy right next to my car on a cell phone or walkie-talkie. I thought it was just a resident that was outside on his phone. The more I watched; I realized he was calling my car in. Once I got out of the car and told him it was my car he was cool about it. So, let that be a lesson to me. If I had gone to that MECW show, I would not have gotten back there for another few hours and my car would have been towed. Someone was telling me something that night.

I got home and had a million messages about the television show. It seemed that a repeat episode had run. I was out all day and night and had no clue about that. I guessed that the violent content of that night’s main event was the reason behind the show not airing. I was right. It is still a learning process for us. It is hard because GTW changes their standards every week. One week we can have something on that is gruesome and the next week something less violent had to be edited. Now I know how Vince Russo felt. I was being sarcastic. So, for all of our fans and anyone else reading this, the show will air Saturday and it will be a new episode.

I heard mixed reviews about the MECW show. From a company standpoint I heard from more than one person that things were disorganized such as the hierarchy in the locker room. It sounded like WCW when nobody really knew who was in charge. They drew a tremendous crowd, but it was free and the next few shows will be a true test. On a CZW note, I had heard that when our guys walked in the door a CZW chant broke out. I think that is really cool, and hopefully these people will come see our live show. JAP is going to have quite a task on their hands trying to draw in that building one week later. I will be curious to see how everything turns out this weekend. I also wonder how the MECW show was allowed to get away with so much blood with Frank Talent in the house.

I loved Raw this week. It was one of my favorite shows in a long time. The continued skits with Steve Austin from start to finish were fantastic. Rock’s mother****** line popped me huge. I love how they are actually focusing on past matches for the first time. The interview in the beginning with Austin was all as a result of the Smackdown matches. I really like how all of those Rhyno wins over Jericho are being brought up. How about RVD? Were they listening to my show this weekend or what? On my radio show I talked about how I felt that RVD is over enough to get in with the top guys and should get away from guys like Test. Well, it sure paid off and the match was good. The main event was real exciting and had a lot of intensity. It was a shame to see Tazz get so punked out in the beginning. I mean this is a guy that has a lot of pride and I am sure he was not too pleased. I hope it works out for him and he comes back with something against Austin.

On a final note, I really think this weekend’s CZW show is going to be a good one. There are a lot of really cool things planned and I think the atmosphere should be off the hook. The tag tournament promises to be 3 great matches, no matter who goes to the finals. A potential final of Briscoes-Rachies, or SC or VD-Briscoes or Rachies can potentially tear the roof off of the place. A lot of guys are getting the opportunity to step up to the plate here and hit a home run. I think we are all confident that it can and will happen. To all of those fans that were chanting CZW at MECW, I think if they come check us out Saturday they will be more than satisfied. The main event of Mondo-Gage-Reckless should be an exciting match as well. Things have not gone as planned for Mondo and Gage and both are chomping at the bit to redeem themselves. The last show we had with a light crew was one of the best ones in a while. I just got done watching the last Sewell show on video and I loved it. I don’t want to come off like a cheap shill because I work for them. Trust me when I tell you this all comes straight from the heart.

See you all on Saturday.

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