Category Archives: Columns

Jim Cornette vs. Cowabunga 8/19/93 Highlights (GIFs)

Some wrestling finds are exciting. This match sort of can be described as exciting…sort of.

Apparently,  Jim Cornette once booked himself against a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle knockoff in Smokey Mountain Wrestling way back in 1993 – I was certain that this would be one of those exciting finds. I had no expectations of a technical masterpiece or anything but surely it would be at least humorous, right?

Before passing too much judgment, here is the original match in its entirety. Watch it for yourself if you’d like. Don’t worry, I’ve compiled the .gifs and written out my comments ahead of time, so I’m good if you want to watch the whole thing. Otherwise, keep on scrolling down.

Did you watch it all? It’s okay if not because holy crap, the whole thing is 18 minutes long. Sure, that includes entrances and post-match stuff, but it somehow feels way longer than 18 minutes. Maybe it’s all the hard to hear banter for the first few minutes.

The wrestling’s fairly boring but I can acknowledge that I’m looking at it from 2016 standards. For a 1993 match and considering that Jim Cornette is one of the wrestlers (no offense to him, it’s just that he made his career not as a wrestler), it probably wouldn’t have been so bad at the time. I would’ve been 11 if I watched this one live so I’ll be honest and admit that I probably would’ve thought this match was fantastic if I saw it in person.

Here are some of the best moments of this gem from 23 years ago, with my own snarky comments to accompany the visuals. Enjoy…

Jim Cornette vs. Cowabunga (August 19th, 1993)

There were lots of shenanigans in the early goings here. The two competitors kept taunting each other and delaying any physical contact, like when Cowabunga tunneled under the referee’s legs to startle Jim. Sneaky, sneaky.

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Okay, the following one IS NOT PG at all. Cornette had his green opponent in a simple side headlock. No worries so far, right? Well, Cowabunga then used only his thumb to escape from Jim’s clutches, inserting it into a very specific orifice. He probably needed to wash his turtle fingers after the match was over.

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Cornette did exercise some ring awareness in this matchup, like when he performed this leg sweep to Cowabunga. The turtle took the roughest bump of the match here, landing accordion-style on the mat.

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You’ve got to at least give some props to Cornette here. He was bumping and throwing hip tosses and made an actual effort to put on a somewhat serious wrestling match. Well, serious in the sense that you still have to ignore the fact that Jim’s in a red full body spandex outfit grappling a dude in a lime green turtle costume. Not enough attention is given to Jim’s getup – why the all red?

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He’s hulking up! Cornette, you’ve done messed up!

This is easily the biggest high spot of the contest. Cowabunga walked the ropes while holding Cornette’s arm a la Undertaker’s Old School, then went all luchador on his opponent with a pretty sweet arm drag.

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At this point, Cowabunga took a body slam from Jim and found himself…turtled. Because of course he did. He is a turtle, after all. That shell probably helps absorbs chair shots but it isn’t going to help with his mobility.

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That Jim Cornette, he’s the type of guy who doesn’t shy away from putting over the younger talent. That green guy better have shook Jim’s hand and thanked him for doing the favors. Something tells me we haven’t seen the last of Cowabunga!

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Final Thoughts

The turtle won. That’s pretty much my conclusion because Jim Cornette wrestling a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle simply is what it is. It’s a strange thing to witness but wrestling’s a subjective artform…or something.

Follow me on Twitter @MitchNickelson.

When Main Events Are Awesome

Currently, WWE is most people’s main source of wrestling excitement. With the Royal Rumble at hand (or already in the books, depending on when this publishes), it might be easy to overlook what many of the alternative promotions are putting out right now.

I started gathering my thoughts for this weekly opinion piece around the intent of writing specifically not about WWE (or at least their main roster). I will be contributing to 411’s roundtable preview of the Rumble and it hasn’t happened at the time of my writing, so there’s really not much I can say about the product at the moment. As I viewed several of the other weeklies one thing stood out this week among them – the main events.

TNA, Ring of Honor, and NXT all put big names in each of their top billings. TNA put their top title on the line in a Last Man Standing match. Ring of Honor featured a Street Fight among three amazing tag teams that was absolutely bananas. Even WWE’s developmental brand paired up a couple of fantastic wrestlers in a I Never Thought I’d See Those Guys Wrestle In WWE Match. Okay, I made up that last stipulation, but it was still a bout I was very much anticipating.

Lets take a look at the final contests on each of these three shows. I’ll discuss what I liked and even offer a few .gifs for those that missed out. At then end, I’ll declare a winner in a week when three promotions really brought their A games.

Career vs. Title In TNA

Thanks to spoilers, I knew that the Matt Hardy TNA World Championship win and heel turn was coming. I wasn’t sure how on board I’d be with TNA also turning Ethan Carter babyface but after seeing it, I’m all in. The match itself was good, peppered with some appropriate dramatic spots throughout. Check out this Twist of Fate on EC3 with a sick chair assist…

Matt Hardy referred to Tyrus’ changing of allegiance as a “business decision.” The interference of Tyrus was necessary for Hardy’s win, which is good because Tyrus is great as a big mean monster. Even Matt’s wife Reby acted the heel and tried to get involved by offering her husband a hammer from a diaper bag during the match. She even spit in Ethan’s face post-match before her husband performed a one-man con-chair-to onto the former champ.

I’m ready for this new era of TNA in which EC3 is now a babyface. He was so good as a heel so I’ll give a try at being the proper face of that company. They executed all of these plot devices in a main event match that was highly entertaining.

Absolute Pandemonium In Ring Of Honor

The Kingdom, reDRagon, and The Young Bucks clashed in a Philly Street Fight this week and it was bananas. This is one you’ll want to go back and watch if you haven’t watched yet. Memorable moments included the Young Bucks Superkicking someone in a shopping cart, Adam Cole doing the Terry Funk ladder twirl, announcer Kevin Kelly getting taken out by a rogue Superkick, and a finishing sequence involving AJ Styles. It felt like non-stop chaos.

The Bucks won thanks to the outside help. I assume that this is the last time we’ll see AJ Styles on ROH TV. I might be wrong about that but I don’t think they record months in advance like TNA and Lucha Underground sometimes do. This was a fun match finish for him to be a part of.

I wish The Young Bucks were joining their Bullet Club buddies’ migration to WWE but they’re probably better off in Ring of Honor for the time being. The Bucks can be themselves in that promotion and would probably clash with whatever expectations WWE might impart on them. Perhaps the WWE landscape will change in the next few years and a Matt and Nick Jackson signing would make more sense. We’ll see how they handle their current Bullet Club (along with Nakamura) acquisitions first, I guess.

Not As Stiff As Ciampa

Okay, I’m being a little negative with the titling of the NXT main event so I’ll cut that out. Samoa Joe and Johnny Gargano fought during the closer of everyone’s favorite WWE Network-only promotion and they delivered. It might not’ve been a match of the year contender but they still went pretty hard. Here’s Johnny Gargano landing on his head to serve as proof…

Ciampa wasn’t just there simply to absorb Joe’s offense. He had a little bit of fire in him and even hit that cool DDT in which he dives from the ropes from on the apron to hit. It was a good showing for Ciampa but in the end, he tapped out to the Somoan Submission Machine. Next up for Joe is a big Triple Threat Match next week to decide the Number One Contender to Finn Balor’s NXT Championship.

My Final Verdict

NXT offered a fine matchup in their main event, but it didn’t feel like it was a four star (or more) match like from the other two promotions. Catch it if you missed it, but prioritize the other two higher in your need-to-watch queue. I appreciate what you did, Joe and Johnny, but you had stiff competition this week.

The real battle here was between TNA and ROH and I have to give the nod to that Philly Street Fight. It felt like non-stop action, the type that you occasionally have to force yourself to catch your breath for. I’m also still marking out a little over the Superkick to Kevin Kelly.

Maybe I’m a little too optimistic but I am hopeful for TNA’s main event over the next few weeks. I wasn’t sure how the double turn would come across on TV but after seeing it all unfold, I think they did it well. I want to tune in next week to see how EC3 plans on responding to his loss, so job well done.

Final Ramblings And Plugs

I should pop back in again soon here at 411 pretty soon to break down the Biggest Winners of The Royal Rumble, and before that to offer my picks for the staff roundtable piece. Even though the past couple of years have been downers for that event I still get excited about it. It’s still a very cool concept after all of these years.

As always, follow me on Twitter @MitchNickelson. Also, follow my wife @km645. She really loves Alberto Del Rio. If you’re a fan of the former MexAmerican despot as well, give her a follow.

Wrestling Date Night is mine and my wife’s podcast. We talk about the upcoming Rumble in our latest episode, so listen to our picks in glorious audio form. Search for us (and subscribe!) on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spreaker…or you can just click on the link below…

http://wrestlingdatenight.podbean.com

Slammy Awards Predictions

This Monday in Greenville, South Carolina, WWE will hold its annual Slammy Awards. Seth Green is the guest host. Without going into too much detail, here’s a quick list of who I think should win. Some of the categories haven’t released the nominees yet so I’ll go ahead and pick who I think should win anyway. I’m getting my list of categories from Wrestling World News. There are more but usually the fringe-ier categories are pretty dumb anyway.

Superstar of the Year

Very hard one to pick. If Daniel Bryan hadn’t suffered an injury then he would be a shoe in. Brock Lesnar, even though he was part of that iconic Wrestlemania moment with The Undertaker and is the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion, hasn’t been around enough to fill this spot for me. Truthfully, I think I’ll go with Dean Ambrose. He’s a rising star that has emerged as a truly top level guy. Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt are in the same boat but I’m going with Dean more out of personal preference than anything.

Match of the Year

While I haven’t rewatched it since Wrestlemania, I think I’ll go with Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H from that night. Other great matches from this year include The Shield vs. Evolution (the first one), Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins (moreso the match on Raw, but their Lumberjack match was awesome), The Usos vs. Wyatts (2 out of 3 Falls, Summerslam I think), John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt (the last one that had the Wyatt Family and Usos involved), and that Fatal Fourway from the last NXT special. I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff, but those were off the top of my head.

WWE Diva of the Year

I guess AJ Lee would win this. She’s helped establish Paige on the main roster and she does a marvelous job at pretending that she doesn’t hear her husband’s name being chanted every time she wrestles. Paige would also be a good choice and I think Nikki Bella is putting in good work, but I’m sticking with AJ.

“This is Awesome” Moment of the Year

I felt like “This is Awesome” was my feeling during the first Shield/Evolution streetfight, so I’ll name that whole match as my “This is Awesome” moment.

LOL Moment of the Year

Damien Sandow’s method actor gimmick should win this. The Mizdow schtick is great and I’m not sure anything comes close to matching his funny. Maybe Enzo in NXT but I’m not sure he’ll be considered.

Extreme Moment of the Year

The part in Hell in a Cell where Ambrose and Rollins both fell off of the Cell and landed threw tables at the same time was the most extreme thing I can remember from the past year.

WWE Tag Team of the Year

I can’t find the nominees at this point, so I’ll name who the top tag teams were for 2014: Gold & Stardust, The Usos, Harper & Rowan, and Miz & Mizdow. It’s been a weak year for tag teams. The Rhodes or The Usos should get it so I’ll pick The Usos since I’m usually hard on them. I’ll throw them a bone.

“Tell Me You Didn’t Just Say That” Insult of the Year

Do podcasts count? Punk calling Ryback “The Steroid Guy” was a big burn. Although Ryback did handle it about as classy as he could have.

Hashtag of the Year

#Bluetista

Rivalry of the Year

I did look up what was nominated for this and out of the list of five I’ll name The Shield vs. Evolution, Daniel Bryan vs. The Authority, and Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins as the top 3. I’ll give the nod to Bryan vs. The Authority because it felt like the most complete story, ending with great wrestling at Wrestlemania 30.

Double-Cross of the Year

This is easy. Seth Rollins betraying The Shield is the winner. Like most people I would’ve picked Dean Ambrose to go heel on his brothers. Not only was this a shocker but it worked out perfectly. Good call, WWE.

NXT Superstar of the Year

NXT has been a great product. Sami Zayn should win this but that’s not to undersell the quality of work put in by countless others.

Raw Guest Star of the Year

Truthfully, I don’t even remember some of these nominees. When was Kevin Hart on? I’ll pick Hugh Jackman though, simply because I found Damien Sandow in a Magneto costume to be mildly funny.

Tweet It! Best Twitter Handle or Social Champion

I know that Ryback isn’t everybody’s favorite wrestler after the comments by a certain Straight Edge former wrestler, but the man is hilarious online. He also owns and very often plays with his own action figures.

A more complete list can be found on Wikipedia and of course you can go vote at WWE.com. Just don’t vote for The Rosebuds as the Best Faction. You’re better than that.


Before you leave, did you catch my most recent edition of my podcast, Mitch Nickelson Radio? I got to talk NXT with Brandon Lasher and we discussed the upcoming Takeover: R Evolution event. Check out by clicking the PLAY button below.

 

Classic Promo Of The Week: Scott Steiner Does Math

(Author’s Note: This series has jumped to TJRWrestling.com, so what gets posted on this site is delayed. To read the most current edition in this series, click HERE.)

“You know they say all men are created equal…But I’m a genetic freak and I’m not normal.”

Welcome back to TJRWrestling’s weekly dose of wrestling promo nostalgia. I am Mitch Nickelson and I’m here to remind you of the dialogues of wrestling past. Some of these promos are truly unforgettable while others we simply hope to forget. Today’s Classic Promo might fall a little more into the latter category.

In the first week of this series, when very early Triple H promos were revisited, reader “danester” suggested in the comments section a promo that I’ve been really excited to tackle. Here is his suggestion…

“Maybe another idea is to close with a completely atrocious promo or just darn right ridiculous one…..basically I just want you to cover the Scott Steiner does math promo”

Today is your lucky day, danester! That very promo where Freakzilla ‘maths’ is this week’s pick. Before we watch the clip together, I want to preface this by saying that I am not in any way a regular TNA viewer. Also, I wasn’t watching much wrestling during 2008 when this apparently took place. I have never seen this clip before writing this article, so I’m watching this for the very first time ever. Will my life be more fulfilled after having watched this? There’s only one way to find out…

WOW.

That is seriously the most convoluted but insanely hilarious thing I’ve heard in a while. I’ve replayed it a couple of times and will probably need to replay it several more to fully process what I’ve just seen.

I feel like I want to try to break down the numbers, but that seems like a HUGE undertaking. A little bit of research shows me that very task has been done before. Good for the fellow that took the time to break down all of the numbers in this impossible equation, but I will pass on going line by line on this. However, I will offer this supplementary video that someone took the time to make…

According to Big Poppa Pump, he had a 141 2/3% chance of winning at TNA Sacrifice in 2008. Did those impossible odds tip the scales in his favor? No, no they did not. Samoa Joe defeated both Steiner and Kazarian for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at that event. (Kazarian was filling in for Kurt Angle, who was pulled from the match due to an unspecified injury.)

While Steiner might have struggled on this occasion to form a coherent equation that would lead to victory, he would later find Championship gold in TNA. In 2009, he became a Tag Team Champion alongside Booker T at Victory Road. And despite a brief return in 2011-2012, his relationship with the company would eventually sour. He expressed his distaste over social media, like in this rant against Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan from 2012…

Lawsuits and counter-lawsuits would later be filed. Steiner would allege that the company not only owed him royalties, but would also claim that he suffered nerve damage as a result of TNA allowing him to perform against an intoxicated Jeff Hardy. Steiner is still active on the independent scene today, but like many, many other wrestlers, there is no happy ending with his relationship with TNA.

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Thanks for reading this edition of Classic Promo of the Week. I love the goofy stuff like this in the wrestling world, so please feel free to suggest these lighthearted promos along with the serious stuff. I’ll try to keep a mix of the two extremes as this series continues on. All suggestions that are posted in the comments section below will be considered for future entries, so please post what you’d like to see covered.

To keep up with all things Mitch, follow me on Twitter @MitchNickelson. I’ve been trying to get my feet wet with podcasting, too. Check out my most recent episode of Mitch and Al Radio (Click on that player below!) and don’t forget to tune in next week. I get the opportunity to interview Amazing Kong and I’m pretty stoked about it. Take care.

Classic Promo of the Week: D-X Parodies The Nation

(Author’s note: I’ve shifted this series over to TJRWrestling.com, the other site I write for. So I typically delay this series. On top of that, I forgot to post this last week. Oops. So expect another entry in this series in the next day or so.)

Welcome to the second edition of Classic Promo of the Week. This is the series where both the famous and infamous monologues of yesteryear get dissected for our pleasure. Wrestling nostalgia runs wild in this series, I hope you’re stoked for it.

Last week, we looked at the amusing beginnings of Triple H’s career in WCW. He was an aristocratic Frenchman named Jean Paul Levesque and a far cry from being anything close to The Game that would later be adored. This week’s promo still includes Mr. Levesque, but it comes from a much better remembered time in his career.

Thanks to a suggestion from TJR reader Strong Bad, this week’s Classic Promo is none other than the hilarious Nation of Domination parody by everyone’s favorite group of reprobates, Degeneration-X. This segment aired on the July 6th, 1998 edition of Raw. Click on the Youtube link below and relive this classic segment…

Road Dogg’s parody of D-Lo Brown still cracks me up every time. Triple H was spot on with his Rock impression as well. This was a highly entertaining era of the business that saw two wrestling icons (Triple H and The Rock) frequently verbally and physically sparring against each other along with their factions.

While most of this skit would be funny in any era of wrestling, there’s one thing I’d like to point out that might not happen outside of the wild and crazy Attitude Era…Sean Waltman in blackface.

While I’m in no way accusing Sean or the WWE of racism with this makeup choice, it’s just worth pointing out how un-PC the 1990s were at times. I don’t even remember any backlash at the time from this, but I couldn’t imagine this happening today without controversy. Plus, his “Hey, Hey, Hey…” line was hilarious.

Another funny part of this skit was the random guy who parodied Owen Hart. I remember watching this as a kid and immediately wondering who that skinny dude with the prosthetic nose was. Well, the man covered in yellow caution tap was a comedian named Jason Sensation. I don’t personally know him from any work other than this D-X parody, but apparently he had at least one other appearance in WWE mocking Owen…

Of all of the bad attempts at humor that WWE has put out of the years, this promo will be remembered as one of the times where they got it right. If you want a more in-depth look at this moment and a more complete story of Degeneration-X during the 1990s, look no further than the WWE Network. The Monday Night Wars has an episode focusing on D-X and their role during that era.

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Do you have any more ideas for a future Classic Promo article? Shoot them to me in the comments section below. And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @MitchNickelson.

Also, my wonderful podcast, SBP Wrestling, has a new episode out this week (as we do every week). Check us out on iTunes (search SBP Wrestling and subscribe!) or click on the player below. Thanks for supporting.

Al’s Match of the Week: Benoit vs. Jericho (Ladder Match 2001)

Chris Jericho vs Chris Benoit Ladder Match – Royal Rumble 2001

Al N Jaxson here. My match of the week is a classic Ladder Match between Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit. Now I know WWE has all but erased Chris Benoit’s career and for good reason. But for all the fans of Benoit, the WWE Network has any Benoit match you desire to see.

Royal Rumble 2001 was one of my favorites. I had this one on VHS and I wore it out. The rumble itself was fantastic with Stone Cold winning but there was much much more to enjoy on this show. The one match I fell in love with was the Y2J/Benoit Ladder match. These two guys went out and put on one Heck of a Show! Easily one of my favorite ladder matches…no, scratch that…one of my favorite MATCHES of all time. Check it out if you haven’t seen it or if you have, watch it again!

Classic Promo Of The Week: Jean Paul Levesque (Triple H In WCW!)

jean paul levesque

(Author’s note: While this is technically the second entry in this series, it has been picked up by TJRWrestling.com. This entry became the official kickoff for that site and is reposted here several days after. It’s a way bigger audience there and I’m happy to have any weekly article on a site so popular. But I’ll keep reposting as this site has been gaining traction and I’d love to see it continue to grow.)

Welcome to a new series at TJRWrestling called “Classic Promo Of The Week.” The concept is simple, I’ll link to famous (or infamous) promos of wrestling’s past and offer up my thoughts on them. Historical context will be added whenever possible and I expet to have fun with this series. I’ll try to take suggestions as well, so let me know what you’d like to see.

This week, I’m delighted with what I, Mitch Nickelson, have dug up for you wrestling fans from the deep, dark recesses of the Internet. (Also, thanks to Chris Jericho. I totally stole this week’s idea from his podcast. This week’s promo absolutely was inspired by the highly entertaining Talk Is Jericho podcast.)

If you’re a regular listener of Chris Jericho’s popular bi-weekly show, then you’ll know that he had one of his biggest weeks ever just last week. Both of his shows featured a two-part interview featuring the heir to the WWE throne, Triple H. Jericho would sing his ratings success all over his Twitter account…

Triple H went in-depth with much of his career throughout the course of the interview, but one segment that stood out was when he talked about how WCW transitioned his Terra Ryzing gimmick into the more aristocratic Frenchman, Jean Paul Levesque. He seemed to put the blame of the gimmick onto Ric Flair, who was booking around that time. Here’s the initial promo to launch this fairly bad gimmick…

Notice how weak the French accent was? It’s because Hunter was born and raised in the Northeast of the good old USA. He probably could’ve nailed a Jersey accent, but Flair thought his last name looked really French. Well, to be fair it does look really French; so he kind of had a point, I guess.

To give you readers even more bang for your buck, here’s a second Jean Paul promo. I’m pretty sure that I found the promo that Jericho aired on his podcast as well. If I recall correctly, Hunter implied that Gordon Solie conducted this interview while being fairly wasted…

I’d say Gordon held his stuff together pretty well. As for Jean Paul, he was NAILING his French accent by this point. (That’s sarcasm, people.) Wisely, WWE would drop the French part of his aristocratic gimmick when he switched companies.

Triple H still wouldn’t find himself on the road to being the breakout megastar that he would later become until he dropped the blue blooded schtick entirely and teamed up with his real life buddy Shawn Michaels. The D-X days had their fair share of memorable promos, but more for the right reasons. Jean Paul Levesque, however, will be remembered for the bad French accent.
                                                                                             

Did you like the promo choice this week? It was definitely more of a funny pick, but still with value when you consider who bore this character. Any requests for future Classic Promos?  I’d be willing to take suggestions. All you have to do is comment below with your ideas of good, bad, and funny promos that you’d like to see in this series. In the meantime, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @MitchNickelson. Take care.