Check out the Bonus Art section for nearly a full of page of sketchbook drawings from the early development of HEAT. It includes the first drawings of Mad Doc Crockett and the Wooly Bully, as well as a redesign of Ron Gould, some action practice, and the PPW Tag Team Title belt.
Archive for ‘Blog’
With the Super Max Challenge Cup looming, it’s time to check in on Prison Pro Wrestling’s top 10 rankings. The qualifying round’s opening contest recently took place on Prison Asteroid 32J, with 32J and 17E both earning a point as Dick the Bastard and Ron “The Con” Gould took Los Gordinflones Negros, the PPW Tag Team Champions, to a time limit draw. But you’re here for the rankings, so let’s get to it.
10. The Wooly Bully
The native of The Shear Peaks has taken quite a tumble in the rankings after a pair of losses to newcomer Dick the Bastard. Previously thought to be a sure bet to challenge for Johnny Law’s Asteroid Belt in the near future, the Bully is going to need to live up to his name if he’s going to get back into the title hunt.
9. “Pretty Boy” Paul Meyers
The self-proclaimed “Pretty Boy” has built up quite a bit of momentum for himself heading into the Super Max Challenge. While his current winning streak is rather modest by wrestling win-streak standards, he’s shown a lot of improvement inside the ring and could be a dark horse pick to excel in the Super Max Challenge qualifying round.
8. Dick the Bastard
While still a rookie in PPW, back-to-back wins over the hairy juggernaut known as the Wooly Bully grabbed a lot of attention. Momentum kept going with a draw against the Tag Team Champions, and rumours are flying that he’s on the short list of call-ups to fill out the 30 participants in Galactic Wrestling’s upcoming Gauntlet battle royal.
7. Ron “The Con” Gould
Despite a recent string of losses with partner Tim Van Patten, Ron Gould’s record and recent partnership with Dick the Bastard (and subsequent near-win over the Tag Team Champions) left our panel of experts comfortable placing him in the number 7 slot. Gould’s tag team wrestling experience should be a valuable asset in the Super Max Challenge.
6. Jack Allen
Jack Allen has been on fire since being traded to Prison Asteroid 32J (who, quite frankly, won the shit out of that trade) for Billy Duggan. Allen’s Tiger Suplex has become one of the most effective finishers in PPW, as not a single wrestler has been able to kick out of it. Teaming with Invincinator hasn’t hurt his record, either.
5. Los Gordinflones Negros
Uno and Dos, Los Gordinflones Negros, have compiled an excellent record on their journey to the PPW Tag Team titles, and have yet to lose a match since winning the belts. The only factor preventing them from ranking higher is their lack of exposure in singles competition. Neither member of LGN has wrestled more than a handful of matches solo.
Invincinator is an oddity on this list, as he’s the only one who isn’t actually in prison. The prison league is a step up from the competition on his home planet, though, and he’s making the best of his new surroundings by compiling an impressive record since his arrival in PPW. Some insiders have suggested that he’s a top contender to make Prison Asteroid 32J’s Super Max Challenge Cup team if they’re able to qualify.
3. El Gangster II
The younger brother of PPW legend – and current HEAT star, after a lengthy stay in Lucha Libre del Muerte – El Gangster. El Gangster II is likely in line for a championship match within the next year or so, although most experts are of the opinion that he’ll be signed by another promotion before that happens. Unsurprisingly, rumours have Lucha Libre del Muerte showing interest.
2. Vinny LaGrazo
As miserable a bastard as we’ve ever seen step through the ropes, Vinny LaGrazo has recently been announced as the number one contender for the PPW Asteroid Belt, although it is unlikely that a match will be arranged for several months due to the Super Max Challenge. Vinny’s climb up the ranks has left a slough of beaten opponents in his wake, most of them bent into shapes not unlike pretzels.
1. Johnny Law
The copper would be PPW’s most hated wrestler even if he wasn’t wearing the Asteroid Belt around his waist. Even the toughest opponents seem to wilt when they step into the squared circle with Johnny Law, and it doesn’t seem like anybody else will be claiming PPW’s top singles prize anytime soon.
Orville Barnum announced in a press conference earlier today that his most notorious charge, the fearsome Mighty Kong, will be the first wrestler to enter the 3010 Galactic Wrestling Gauntlet. Kong will have to outlast 29 other grapplers if he wants to earn a shot at the Galactic Wrestling Champion.
Barnum related to reporters that both he and Kong were pleased with the development, prompting reporters to question the sanity of both parties. While Mighty Kong is easily the largest and strongest competitor in the Gauntlet match, many point to the fact that Kong has yet to wrestle a match longer than 12 minutes and question whether he has the endurance to go for the one hour plus that the first entrant must last to win the Gauntlet. Barnum was dismissive of insinuations that Kong would be unable to last, stating that “you have yet to see what my monster Kong is capable of. When the bell rings at the end of the Gauntlet and Kong’s hand is raised in victory, you will look around the WrestleDome and see the broken bodies littering the arena, and then you will know the true might of Kong.”
Mighty Kong made his Galactic Wrestling debut at SolarSlam 3008 as the mystery opponent that Orville Barnum promised would destroy Buck Hogarth. Kong shocked the wrestling world by dominating Hogarth and eventually putting him out of wrestling for months with a sickening Gorilla Press Drop over the top rope to the floor. Since that classic encounter Kong has been a constant factor in the Galactic Wrestling Championship picture, although he has yet to be granted a match for the title. Barnum hopes to rectify that situation by having Kong win the Gauntlet. Despite the fact that no wrestler has entered the Gauntlet at number one and won since the Living Legend in 2992, Kong is a favourite to win in the estimation of most oddsmakers.
-Percy Watson is only vaguely intelligible, and is eliminated. McGillicutty and Riley’s promos are solid but unspectacular. Kaval’s rap is entirely different from the lacklustre promos he’s been giving so far, so in that sense I approve of it. He clearly forgot a bit of it in the middle, which dragged it down (as did Michael Cole’s jackassery on commentary), but it’s probably one of the better bits of mic work he’s done on NXT. Speaking of which, Husky Harris’ promo was fantastic, and easily the best one he’s cut all season. The reference to Barry Windham’s championship boots was a nice nod to the past, which I always enjoy, and the line about “they say the devil wears cowboy boots. Ain’t that a coincidence?” was a sublime finish.
Michael McGillicutty vs. Zack Ryder
– The WWE isn’t really doing much with him, but I like Zack Ryder. He’s a decent worker with an interesting character that seems to be falling victim to being on star-crowded Monday Night RAW. I’d actually like to see him work with McGillicutty in a situation where they have more time, since this was a pretty entertaining match that kept me engaged throughout its length.
– I enjoy LayCool’s antics (somewhat inexplicably, really), and this added a bit more story to the next match, beyond the one that’s developed over the course of Kaval and Harris’ previous encounters, so in my estimation this segment accomplished what it needed to.
Husky Harris vs. Kaval
– Once again Harris and Kaval work together very well, although the ending of this one got awkward and sloppy-looking. Kaval’s rolling heel kick looked like it caught Harris square in the temple with a substantial amount of force, which could have been a contributing factor. The double-stomp to finish things off looked absolutely brutal. Some wrestling finishers don’t really look like finsihers… that one looked like it would kill the average person stone dead.
Kofi Kingston vs. Alex Riley
– Well that sure didn’t take long. Another match I’d like to see again but with more time. But it’s WWE C-show, so that’s probably not going to happen. I didn’t like it as much as the previous two matches, but it wasn’t bad.
Matt Striker/Michael Cole/Josh Matthews promo
– Michael Cole is a giant douchebag. I can’t even think of words slanderous enough to describe my opinions of Michael Cole and his petty attention-whoring, disrespect towards independent wrestling (you know, the wrestling that keeps new blood pumping into the industry so that you continue to have a job?), and the verbal excrement that he calls commentary. This entire segment is completely unnecessary and did nothing but make me angry.
– Husky Harris is out, which isn’t cool. Cody Rhodes kind of took over the segment, which worked despite the fact that I would have preferred to see if Husky could match his promo from earlier. I liked that it took msot of the pros in a combined effort to take down Husky, and it seems like they could be setting up some kind of angle where Rhodes brings Harris up to the WWE as his muscle (and to protest his elimination, since they’ve developed the most interesting pro/rookie relationship this season).
– Husky Harris’ elimination leads me to believe that Kaval is going to win the show. McGillicutty is a little bland and I don’t think he could hang with the main eventers convincingly like Wade Barrett is doing on RAW right now. Alex Riley is the best of the three on the mic, though, which gives him a strong chance. Actually, that alone might be enough to give him the win. I can see Alex Riley being injected into the Smackdown main event scene and holding his own (RAW’s upper card is far too crowded). Michael McGillicutty and Kaval are both good examples of why managers need to make a comeback. With a Bobby Heenan or a Jim Cornette that could carry the bulk of the promo load, either of those guys could easily find a place in the upper-mid-card.
I had this link passed along to me by the creator of Nightmare Pro Wrestling (which you check out, it’s very entertaining), and figured you guys would enjoy it. It’s an interview with former ECW head and mad scientist of pro wrestling, Paul Heyman with The MMA Hour’s Ariel Helwani. I could write a long-winded commentary about it, but it’s an hour and a half and really, it speaks for itself. Enjoy!
Since I started watching the WWE again regularly in January, Smackdown has been my preferred show. I find it has a much more tolerable wrestling-t0-talking ratio than RAW, which is the primary reason I like it better, but I’m also strongly on board with a secondary singles championship that actually matters and commentary that doesn’t make me want to climb through my TV and kill a motherfucker (I’m looking at you, Michael Cole).
It has become clear that Smackdown got hosed in this year’s draft. Badly.
Monday Night RAW added Chris Jericho, Edge, and John Morrison to a roster already boasting John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus, and now the Nexus. RAW’s main event scene is so jammed that Morrison has been relegated to jobbing to Skip Sheffield (seriously, a clean pin!?) on last night’s episode and Jericho and Edge are just sort of floating around. Adding Wade Barrett to the mix just further crowds the top of the card, and stunts the ability of guys like The Miz and Evan Bourne to climb up the card effectively.
In return, Smackdown got… the Big Show. While RAW has so many main eventers that guys are being left out and underutilized, Smackdown is hurting for top-card talent. Jack Swagger’s World Heavyweight title push petered out after he lost to Mysterio a few times in a row, dropping the belt for essentially no reason, other than maybe to set up some kind of element in the Kane/Undertaker story where Kane took out the Undertaker because he couldn’t beat him for the belt, so he got rid of him so he could take it from an easier opponent. Swagger has had a lot of his, well, swagger taken away while Rey Mysterio, Kane, and the Undertaker are all aging and the Big Show has never really been a consistant main eventer. CM Punk is really the only solid main event piece they have right now, but his Straight Edge Society is kind of dragging him down to the midcard.
Speaking of midcards, Smackdown’s is the highlight of the show right now. Unlike the US Title, which is basically just that thing The Miz wears to remind us that he matters, the Intercontinental Title is almost more valuable than the World title, in my estimation, since it’s the division having the best matches and the most interesting stories. It’s really the only area where Smackdown improved in the draft, with the addition of Kofi Kingston and Christian. RAW has the pieces for a decent US Title division, but they don’t appear to be very interested putting them to use.
Hopefully in the future they dump they either dump the draft or have the two brands draft from NXT, but in the present Smackdown’s main event scene is in depserate need of an overhaul because they got screwed at the drafting table. WWE writers being, y’know, competent might help a little, too.
Courtesy Pro Wrestling Ponderings, here’s Jim Cornette calling out Eric Bischoff for some very prickish comments about Ring of Honor. I can’t find the full text of the Bischoff article, but the gist of it can be found here on PWPonderings’ Facebook page. Jim Cornette’s response is here (also on PWPonderings’ FB page, via the Ring of Honor boards).
I found Cornette’s article more interesting, mainly for his analysis of the current state of the wrestling business and it’s devolution (in my estimation) from “professional wrestling” to “sports entertainment”, of which Bischoff was a part. As unfortunate as it is, championships don’t seem to be nearly as prestigious anymore, and in large part I think that can be traced back to booking moving away from winning, losing, and chasing championships. I think Sheamus’ WWE Championship runs have been a good exemplar of this shift; the WWF Championship used to be “the richest prize in the game” and it alone was motivation enough for one wrestler to go after another. The catch, and the reason why the story worked, was that the holder of the WWF title was tough as nails, too courageous to quit, or a cunning tactician. Sure, everyone wanted his belt, because it meant they were the best in the world… but he had the belt. He WAS the best in the world. To be the man, you’ve gotta beat the man. Now look at Sheamus’ two WWE title runs. The first resulted from winning a table match by accident, which could have led to him having to prove himself against a series of difficult challengers. Instead, he dropped the belt two months later to the same guy he won it from. In his second run, he won the belt by accident again, this time with interference from Nexus in the Fatal Four Way match. And he’s being booked as a giant pussy who only wins cleanly against mid-carders. And will probably drop the belt to Randy Orton tonight at SummerSlam (if he hasn’t already, since at the time of writing SummerSlam has been going for about two hours already).
Now don’t get me wrong, I LIKE Sheamus. He’s not spectacular, but he’s good a good combination of solid speaking and working ability. But the value of the WWE Championship is being lowered during his title runs because the writers aren’t letting him do anything with it. He started as a monster heel and has since been morphed into a cowardly heel despite being built like a truck and being nicknamed the Celtic Warrior. The WWE title belt situation isn’t a case of beating the man to be the man, it’s a case of who can jump on the patsy wearing the gold first (with the Miz lurking in the shadows with his Money in the Bank), but where does that leave the new champion? Diesel becomes a legitimate champion by beating Bret Hart, another legitimate champion, for the belt. What does beating Sheamus accomplish, at this point? It’s actually a KNOCK on the next champion, not an accolade.
And that’s the kind of thing that Jim Cornette is upset about.
The Opening Segment
– Matt Stryker shows off the episode’s challenge with Michael Cole and Josh Matthews. Cole is a walking catalogue for the WWE merchandise line and goes about seems to have embraced the fact that the fans (well, at least internet jerks like me) think he’s a complete douchebag. He storms off like one after Josh Matthews beats him easily. Which really shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody, since the dude is built like a little bus.
Punching Bag Challenge
– They punch the bag. Alex Riley wins, making the dramatic moment at the end of the elimination poll less suspenseful. It’s not the worst challenge they’ve had and, even better, it’s short.
Six-Man Tag Team Match
– I enjoyed this match, and my only real complaint is that there was a commercial break in the middle of it. I don’t like having commericials in the middle of matches when they could just as easily cut down some of the other segments (like the challenge or the opening “here’s how the challenge works” bit). Lucky Cannon lives up to his name, since it looked like he could have very easily broken his arm on that dive over the top onto Alex Riley. I like that this match was noticeably different from the match on RAW, although the fact that this match was longer, better, and on the right show begs the question as to why the six-man was on RAW in the first place instead of Miz/Morrison, which had direct SummerSlam implications.
Morrison vs. Miz
– Good match, wrong show. This should have been on RAW, where it’s ramifications would have had more of an impact on a larger audience. It almost feels like the WWE is aware that Monday’s RAW was a weak lead-in to SummerSlam and were trying to make up for it a bit.
– Lucky Cannon being ousted wasn’t much of a surprise, since he has all the personality of the average coat rack. Even his farewell address seemed like he had no idea where he was going with it. He started off like he was going to take a heel turn, then went into a weird half-snark/half-trying-too-hard-to-be-a-babyface speech. I’m also pleased to see Husky Harris climb the rankings a little bit.
Michael Cole’s Miz-Boner
– Yep, it’s still raging. I don’t understand how the Miz can possibly be considered the best coach in NXT history by any conceivable metric, though. Daniel Bryan had a terrible record, then lost to Wade Barrett. Alex Riley has a middling record and was second last in the pro poll. If Cole is trying to help get the Miz over for his sojourn into main event territory, I’d suggest the best way to do that is to not have him be associated with Michael Cole.
I haven’t seen the full episode for this one (it hasn’t aired yet and I won’t be home when it’s on later tonight), so today’s commentary is based on the clips on WWE.com.
– The Challenge
… was terrible. The WWE.com clip cut out Matt Stryker’s bit at the beginning where he explains what the point of it is (assuming he did one), which I really would have liked to have seen, because I have no idea why anybody could have possibly thought this challenge was a good idea. So the rookies have to kiss a homely woman to prove… something? Lucky Cannon wins immunity, probably because he’s less interesting than the ring post and at risk of getting the boot in the next elimination (although considering the fan vote is only half of the elimination criteria, the WWE can easily preserve whoever they want to remain in the competition with the pro poll).
– Michael Cole & Josh Matthews
I think I’ve made it quite clear that I think Michael Cole is an untalented douchebag. I’ve heard plenty of bad commentary, but this is just ridiculous coming from the biggest promotion in the world. Cole and Matthews have all the chemistry of a third grade science class, and spend more time being complete assholes to each other than actually talking about what’s happening in the ring. The key to good heel/face commentary is a certain degree of subtlety. Whereas Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler bickered and had very different views about appropriate behaviour for wrestlers, but you could still believe that they respected each other and had a certain degree of friendship between them. Cole and Matthews interact like they’re in junior high.
– Matches: Miz vs. McGillicutty, Riley vs. Watson, Harris vs. Kaval, McGillicutty vs. Cannon
The WWE.com clips appear to be out of order, so I’m commenting on the matches in the order I watched them. They also don’t show the entire match, which is a little annoying (yes, I’m aware they have full episodes on Hulu, but I just get a pop-up saying they don’t work in my region).
Miz beats McGillicutty to the surprise of nobody. Cole’s Miz-boner significantly detracts from the match. McGillicutty’s earlier bout against Lucky Cannon is… well it sure did happen. Is the McGillicutter a spinning neckbreaker, or is it supposed to end in a Diamond Cutter? If it’s the latter, that seems like it would look pretty cool if Lucky Cannon didn’t bone the bump.
Husky Harris and Kaval had a very entertaining match (well, the three minutes of it that were online were good, so I’m extrapolating that the rest of it was also good) that featured some cool spots, the best of which was Harris countering a plancha into a powerslam against the guard rail. Kaval countering the catapult into the Warrior’s Way was also very cool, as was the Uranagi/senton combo that Harris used to get the fall.
Overall, I think the challenges need a serious reconsideration if they’re going to continue to be part of the show, because right now they’re just a half-assed nod to the immunity challenges on reality TV shows. Four matches is also a bit much to try to cram into a 45 minute show. I’m also not sure how sustainable the show is in the long term, since the WWE already has problems showcasing their entire roster on TV without adding more guys to it every few months. And if season one is any indication, the bulk of the NXT roster will probably find themselves sticking around. A few of the guys from this season probably won’t be back, but I wouldn’t be surprised if four or five guys ended up in the WWE.
Galactic Wrestling has booked the Galactic Wrestling Championship match which will be headlining the Gauntlet 3010 Pay-Per-View card; Chief Thunderhawk will defend the title against newly minted number one contender, Jebediah Mudd. The announcement put to rest the debate about who should challenge Chief Thunderhawk, one which was finally resolved on last week’s edition of Galactic Wrestling’s Main Event.
After a series of chest-thumping “who beat who” arguments, what was originally scheduled to be a one-on-one contest between “Beautiful” Bobby Wiles and Buck Hogarth became a four-way battle with Mighty Kong and Jebediah Mudd added to the festivities and the winner being granted a title match at the Gauntlet. Mighty Kong and Buck Hogarth quickly renewed the rivalry which began at SolarSlam 3008, and in the resulting chaos Mudd scored the winning pinfall on Beautiful Bobby.
Jebediah Mudd’s addition to the number one contender’s match came as a result of a convincing Pay-Per-View victory over “Beautiful” Bobby Wiles last month at Blackout. Mudd put on a dominating performance in front of a sold out crowd at the WrestleDome which left colour commentator Super Destructo II to speculate during the bout as to whether or not Beautiful Bobby would even get in an offensive move. After beating Wiles so savagely that you’d think he owned him, Mudd put Wiles out of his misery with the Mudd Slide just shy of the nine minute mark.
Mudd, an eight year pro, is still seeking his first major championship, a frustration which has been the driving force of his tenure in Galactic Wrestling thus far. Mudd entered Galactic Wrestling in 3008 and spent most of 3009 in a war with Smashmouth Smith over the Television Championship in which he made an excellent accounting of himself but was never able to capture the title belt. After coming close to wearing the gold so many times, Mudd has set his sights higher and will now challenge Chief Thunderhawk for the richest prize in Galactic Wrestling. The winner of that match won’t have long to wait to find out who the number one contender will be, however, as the winner of the Gauntlet match later that night will earn a shot at the title.