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10/5 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: BRIAN PILLMAN PASSES AWAY, THE FIRST-EVER HELL IN A CELL BOUT, ANTONIO PENA PASSES AWAY, ROH HOLDS FIRST GLORY BY HONOR EVENT, HBK VS. Y2J IN A LADDER MATCH AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2011-10-05 08:00:00

October 5th

On this day in history in ....

1971 - Jumbo Miyamoto & Aiko Kyo defeat Marie Vagnone & Jane Sherill to win the WWWA World Tag Team Title for the second time in Chiba, Japan.

1982 - Judy Martin defeats Yukari Omori for the All Japan Pacific Title in Osaka, Japan. The belt had been vacated by former champion Jumbo Hori when she made the decision to challenge for the WWWA World Tag Team Title. At the time, there were strict rules about not being able to challenge for a title if you were already a defending champion.

1985 - The second WWF "Saturday Night's Main Event" special was shown on NBC, drawing an 8.3 rating for the network. The show featured matches taped on October 3rd in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Here are the results:
- WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan defeated Nikolai Volkoff with a legdrop in a Flag match.
- Uncle Elmer defeated Jerry Valiant in six seconds with a bodyslam.
- Paul Orndorff vs. Roddy Piper went to a double countout as they brawled out of the ring and down the aisle.
- King Kong Bundy & Big John Studd defeated Tony Atlas & Andre The Giant via disqualification when Bundy & Studd continuously double teamed Andre after knocking out Atlas. Hulk Hogan made the save.
- Uncle Elmer got married, despite a mid-ceremony interruption by Roddy Piper, who was run off by Hogan and Andre. The marriage also featured color commentator Jesse Ventura making fun of the wedding, which led to a short feud with Piper & Ventura vs. Elmer & Hillbilly Jim. During the wedding reception, Hillbilly Jim tripped Ventura into the wedding cake.
- WWF Tag Team Champions Brutus Beefcake & Greg Valentine defeated Tony Garea & Lanny Poffo when Valentine forced Garea to submit to the figure four leglock.

1991 - Sasha defeats Monster Ripper for the WWC Women's World Title in Carolina, Puerto Rico. This would begins Sasha's third title reign, and mark the end of the fifth and final run with the belt for Monster Ripper.

1996 - ECW held their "Ultimate Jeopardy" match at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Here are the results:
- Louie Spicolli defeated Doug Furnas.
- Mikey Whipwreck defeated J.T. Smith.
- Taz defeated Johnny Smith in a Submissions match.
- The Eliminators defeated The Samoan Gangsta Party.
- ECW World Tag Team Champions The Gangstas vs. The Blue Meanie & Stevie Richards ended in a no-contest.
- ECW World Tag Team Champions The Gangstas defeated The Eliminators.
- Bam Bam Bigelow defeated Terry Gordy.
- D-Von Dudley defeated Buh Buh Ray Dudley.
- ECW World Television Champion Shane Douglas vs. Pitbull #2 ended in a no-contest after Douglas shook the surgical halo of Pitbull #1.
- The Sandman & Tommy Dreamer defeated Stevie Richards & Brian Lee in an Ultimate Jeopardy match when Sandman pinned Richards. As a result, Sandman won Raven's ECW World Title.

1996 - Cowboy Bob Orton Jr. defeats Tito Santana for the AWF World Heavyweight Title in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. However, AWF Commissioner Jim Brunzell holds up the title due to Sheik Adnan's interference and orders a rematch, which Santana wins. These matches were the only title changes for the AWF strap (Santana was the first champion), as the company closes in December of 1996.

1997 - Brian Pillman, one of wrestling's most controversial figures, passed away at the age of 35. Pillman's body was found in a hotel room in Bloomington, Minnesota (where he wrestled the night before) when he didn't show up in St. Louis that afternoon for a WWF Pay-per-view.   Jess McGrath penned the following look at the life of Pillman for the Wrestling Lariat Newsletter:

Nothing is immune from tragedy.  Not even the sad and often sordid world of professional wrestling.

At 1:09 PM on 10/5, WWF wrestler Brian Pillman, 35, was found dead in his room at the Budgetel Motel in Bloomington, MN, just hours before the WWF presented its Badd Blood pay-per-view, on which he was to be prominently featured.  Reports were that he had last been seen alive the previous evening at about 10:45 PM, after wrestling at a WWF show in St. Paul, MN.

Those who saw him before his death thought he looked out of it, and perhaps intoxicated.  In fact, early reports indicated that he had been sleeping on the locker room floor earlier that night.  No cause of death had been determined, but an autopsy was to be performed on 10/6.

The preliminary reports were that it was probably a fatal mixture of alcohol, painkillers, and muscle relaxers.  In his motel room there were many empty vials of legal prescription drugs (preliminary reports indicate no illegal drugs in the room), which he has been taking to ease the pain in his previously destroyed ankle, and an empty beer bottle.  He passed away in his sleep.

Pillman’s widow, Melanie, was told by the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office that early tests revealed that 50 percent of her husband’s heart was found to be diseased.  The bad heart probably reacted badly with the mixture of drugs he took, and led to heart failure.

The initial reaction within much of the underground wrestling world was one of disbelief.  The first time word reached me, I responded, “It’s a work.”  That in itself is a sad commentary on the mentality of pro wrestling promoters in the 1990’s, and the depths to which they will sink to fool the smart fan, but it’s also a digression from the bigger point.

Pillman for the past three years has been doing a loose cannon gimmick, where nobody knew what he was going to do, and the implication was that he was crazy.  Considering the direction in which the gimmick was going, it would not be too far of a reach to suggest death would be the next stanza.  It would have been a tasteless stanza, one which would have made Fritz Von Erich look like an angel.  Unfortunately for everyone, it wasn’t an angle.  To be able to complain about the tastelessness of a death angle would be a much happier ending than the story which must be written instead.

Pillman, a former reserve linebacker for the 1984 Cincinnati Bengals, broke into the business in 1986 in Stampede Wrestling after training in Stu Hart’s “dungeon”.  The territory was in somewhat of a renaissance in terms of talent.  Owen Hart had entered the sport around that time, and in his first year in the business was top-ten in the world caliber.  Chris Benoit would arrive soon thereafter, beginning a journey that would lead him very close to (if not at) the number-one in the world position in terms of workrate.  Working as a babyface, Pillman formed a tag team with another good worker, Bruce Hart (the brother of Owen and Bret).  Bruce had recruited Brian to become a wrestler when he was playing for the Calgary Stampeders Canadian Football League team.  Nicknamed Bad Company, the duo won the Stampede International tag team belts in the finals of a tournament on April 6, 1987, beating Cuban Assassin and Jerry Morrow.  They did a quickie switch back-and-forth with Morrow and Makhan Singh (Mike Shaw/Norman the Lunatic/Bastion Booger) in November 1987.  For all intents and purposes, though, Hart and Pillman were the top tag team for over a year.  They lost the belt for good to the team of Morrow and Assassin on July 22, 1988.

In early-1989, Pillman made the jump from Stampede to WCW.  Initially, he was pushed as a mid-card babyface, using the moniker “Flyin’ Brian” (with his last name mentioned but not emphasized).  He worked a series of matches with Lex Luger for the U.S. title, including his first major pay-per-view match at Halloween Havoc ’89 (where he was booed out of the building by the heel Philadelphia crowd).  Early in 1990, he was put together with Tom Zenk, and the duo won the U.S. tag team titles by beating the Freebirds in the finals of an 8-team tournament.  They lost the titles to the Midnight Express at Capital Combat ’90: The Return of Robocop, on May 19, 1990, in Washington, DC.

By this time, Pillman had established himself as a very good worker, who was if anything a bit on the uncharismatic side.  He also established himself in another way in the underground wrestling world, by getting into a fight with Sid Eudy at a bar.  In that skirmish, Sid brought in a squeegee to use as a weapon, leading to thousands of squeegee jokes and signs at house shows whenever Sid appeared.

Pillman lingered in the mid-card for most of 1990 and 1991.  At the start of ’91, he ended up being the guy to submit for his team in the War Games match when Sid (of all people) kept powerbombing him, “further injuring” his shoulder.  For the next few months, he did a program with Barry Windham, but it was clear by the finish of their SuperBrawl I match as to where each guy stood in the booking scheme.

During their taped-fist bout, Windham crotched Pillman as he stood on the top rope (a rare finish in those days), then superplexed him to get the clean victory.  While Pillman was a good second-tier babyface, it was evident that there were no plans for him to rise to the next level.  At the Clash of the Champions in June, he and El Gigante lost to Windham and Arn Anderson in a match where the loser of the fall would have to leave WCW.  Pillman did the job for Windham, but a few days later, a new wrestler in a mask appeared, calling himself The Yellow Dog.  The idea behind the gimmick, which was never explained at all on TV, was that Pillman using the Yellow Dog moniker was a dig at Windham, who masqueraded under the same name in the mid-80’s during a program with Ron Bass.

As Yellow Dog, Pillman worked against Windham during the Great American Bash tour that year, usually in War Games.  Frequently during those bouts, Pillman lifted his mask to reveal his face to the crowd, making it abundantly clear who exactly was the Yellow Dog (you would have to have been incredibly dense not to see it was Pillman).

After a few months, Pillman was “reinstated”, and he won a tournament to determine the first WCW light heavyweight champion at Halloween Havoc.  The idea was to build the light heavy division around Pillman and Jushin Liger.  During Christmas week of 1991, Pillman and Liger had the best one-week series of matches in wrestling in years.  Liger won the light heavy title from Pillman at the Omni on Christmas day.   Pillman regained the belt from Liger in a fabulous match at SuperBrawl II on February 29, 1992, in Milwaukee, a bout considered to be the best match of that year in the U.S.

Unfortunately, soon thereafter WCW flubbed the division by dropping Liger, not bringing in any more Japanese guys, and pushing people like Scotty Flamingo (Raven) and Tom Zenk as legit contenders.  People saw the title as a second-tier jobber belt again.  Pillman dropped the title to Flamingo at the Beach Blast PPV in June 1992.

He began a heel turn around that time.  The character they created for him was one of a cocky, arrogant, sneaky heel, almost like the old Memphis heels, but with a harder edge than those guys had.  One of the more memorable angles of that time was at the November Clash of the Champions, where Brad Armstrong was to wrestle Pillman.  Armstrong had been out with an injury for a couple months prior to that and had been on crutches.  Here, though, Pillman came out on crutches and said he couldn’t wrestle.  When Armstrong turned his back, WHAM!  Pillman got a quick pin.  Unfortunately for Brian, he did little else during that period.  Bill Watts was in control at WCW, and in a cost-cutting measure, tried to get guys to agree to a cut in pay, in exchange for which they would receive a push.  If they didn’t take the deal, they could forget a push altogether.

Watts was gone from power by February 1993, however, and direction was given to Pillman’s character.  He was put with Steve Austin to form the Hollywood Blondes.  They won the WCW World tag team titles from Rick Steamboat and Shane Douglas on March 3 in Macon, GA.  Ric Flair had returned by this time, and he was put into a tag team with Arn Anderson to challenge Pillman and Austin for the belts.  The hype for their first match, which took place at the June Clash of Champions, was tremendous, as Pillman and Austin were both given a chance for the first time.  They did a hilarious parody of Flair’s cheesy interview segments, which they dubbed “A Flair For The Old”.  The match ended up being a waste of time, with Flair and Anderson winning in two straight falls, the second a DQ, which allowed Pillman and Austin to keep the belts.  At a TV taping in August, Pillman injured his ankle when he landed wrong doing a spot on jobber Frankie Lancaster.  Shortly thereafter, Lord Steven Regal took Pillman’s place, and the team of Austin & Regal dropped the belts to Arn Anderson & Paul Roma.  The Blondes were broken up a couple months later, with Pillman going babyface, while Austin, managed by Col. Robert Parker, got the U.S. title from Dustin Rhodes.

From then on, it was almost as if Brian Pillman never existed.  He and Lord Steven Regal had a very good match for the TV title at Spring Stampede in April 1994, but his career got trapped in neutral afterward.  There was no question Pillman was a good worker, and made a very natural heel, but for some reason, he was falling through the cracks in WCW.

In late-1995, things started to get going again.  At the first Nitro in Minnesota, he worked the first-ever Nitro match, beating Jushin Liger in a match that came nowhere close to the level of their previous bouts.  But Pillman’s name began appearing more and more.  He did a heel turn, and then started one of the most talked-about angles of the 1990’s.  Pillman and booker Kevin Sullivan started feuding, but they were acting like they were shooting.  During a tag match on Nitro, Arn Anderson was heard on camera telling them to “stop shooting”.  The two worked stiff with each other, and usually didn’t sell either.

It culminated in a strap match at SuperBrawl which ended in less than a minute when Pillman said, “I respect you, bookerman,” (since the stip was that in order to win, one guy had to make their opponent say he respected him) and walked out.  Pillman’s newfound gimmick of the crazy shooter made for some memorable TV, including when Bobby Heenan asked him, “What the f**k are you doing?” during the January 1996 Clash of the Champions (Heenan has a bad neck and Pillman was trying to use him as a shield in their angle).  Did it draw money?  No.  But it reinvented Pillman as a hot commodity in the wrestling world.

Pillman got into a serious humvee accident that nearly killed him shortly thereafter.  In an ironic twist, his life was saved because he wasn’t wearing his seat belt.  Had he been wearing it, he surely would have been pinned under the wreckage of the vehicle.  The result of the crash was a destroyed ankle, which led to him being on the sidelines for over a year, and began a dependence on painkillers.

He appeared at ECW a few times, both before and after the crash.  His last venture to the hallowed halls of Swanson and Ritner was most memorable, because he used the word “n^^ger” during an interview.  New Jack was incensed, and not only cut a shoot interview on Pillman later that night, but also went looking for him in the back.  The incident created a ton of tension in the locker room, and precluded him from any further involvement in the company (if there had ever been any thought of bringing him back anyway).

He joined the WWF, and they tried to come up with anything to keep his name in the storylines.  He attacked the Bushwhackers with a crutch.  He did TV commentary.  He even did his own interview segment.  When Pillman finally returned to action this year, it was evident he was nowhere near the worker he once was.  His legs were extremely tiny, and his ankle remained rather fragile.  It seemed that every time he worked, he would experience pain in, or re-injure, the ankle.

The WWF finally got his character going by putting him in a program with Goldust.  At the Ground Zero PPV in September 1997, Pillman beat Goldust, which allowed him to earn the services of Marlena for 30 days (if Pillman had lost, he would have been forced to leave the WWF forever).  It was expected that a major angle was going to come out of the Badd Blood pay-per-view, and subsequent night’s RAW show, to follow up on the end of the 30-day period.

The death of Pillman is reminiscent of the passing of another wrestler, Eddie Gilbert.  Both guys were smallish workers, very talented in the ring, but for one reason or another, were overlooked for most of their careers.  Both were involved in car accidents which gave them limitations.  Both were doing crazy-man gimmicks at the time of their passing (Gilbert had just wrapped up a very brief stint in Smoky Mountain where he was acting paranoid all the time).  Both guys were on the downside of their careers, just a couple years after their peak as performers.

And perhaps most importantly, both wrestlers had painkillers in their system at the time of death, a sad statement on the state of the business in the 1990’s.  It has become a business in which injury and lingering pain are facts of life, and the methods through which to alleviate those problems can create their own problems, such as addiction and, in the cases of Pillman and Gilbert, death.

It is always sad to report on the death of a member of the wrestling brotherhood.  The pain is multiplied when that performer was taken in the middle of his career.  No one can say for sure what Brian Pillman’s legacy on the wrestling business will be.  But it can surely be said that for a man whose very gimmick was about doing things nobody expected him to do, his final act will be remembered as the one that was the most shocking.

1997 - WWF presented their "Badd Blood" Pay-per-view from the Kiel Center in St. Louis, Missouri. At the start of the show, Vince McMahon appeared on the screen to inform the audience that Brian Pillman had been found dead that afternoon. Tim Whitehead filed the following PPV report for the Wrestling Lariat Newsletter:

The show must go on.  The old show business adage is no less true in professional wrestling, as the WWF put emotions aside and went forward with their Bad Blood: Hell in the Cell PPV just a short time after learning of the untimely death of Brian Pillman in a Minnesota hotel room.  The tragedy forced Titan to make several last second changes in the show, and required the commentators to put emotions aside for the entirety of the PPV broadcast.  Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross deserve credit for keeping a stiff upper lip and doing a decent job on commentary despite the situation.  The “Free for All” broadcast was interrupted early with an obviously shaken McMahon announcing the tragedy.  All promos for Pillman’s scheduled match against Dude Love, as well as references to his on-going angle with Marlena and Goldust, had to be quickly pulled. 

The free show thus consisted of interviews and promos for the other top matches, mainly the Hell in the Cell main event and the Hart Foundation matches.  They did a skit where Michael Cole got drenched in a shower when he tried to interview Shawn Michaels.

As for the show itself, which drew a sellout 21,151 to the Kiel Center in St. Louis (and was the second largest crowd to ever watch wrestling in the city), it came off as a one match show, though that one match was a spectacular gimmick cage match main event.  The Pillman vs. Dude Love match was replaced, again at the last second, by a minis match and an eight man bout featuring members of the DOA and Los Boriquas.

KAMA MUSTAFA & ROCKY MAIVIA & D-LO BROWN defeated THE LEGION OF DOOM in a handicap match in 12:19.  This became a handicap bout when LOD’s scheduled partner Ken Shamrock was unable to compete due to the lung infection problems he’s been suffering in recent weeks.  He wanted to work, but was not able to take bumps so they just pulled him from the match.  There was good heat here with strong “LOD” and “Rocky Sucks” chants.  The early part of the match was surprisingly fast paced but it dropped off quickly after Maivia DDT’d Animal and the NOD team tied him up in their corner.  Kama was awful when he was in. D-Lo and Rocky were okay.  Animal made the hot tag at around the 10:00 mark but the ref didn’t see it so he got pounded some more before making another.  Hawk cleaned house on all three NOD members but Faarooq came out and distracted Animal, enabling D-Lo to clothesline him over.  Kama then kicked Hawk in the head and Rocky chokeslammed him for the pin.

MAX MINI & NOVA beat TARANTULA & MOSAIC in a minis match in 6:40.  All four wrestlers were in at the same time for much of this match.  Jerry Lawler complained about Max Mini sitting in his lap at the last PPV, prompting the one funny line of an otherwise sobering evening as Jim Ross said Lawler’s had plenty of people sit in his lap before and didn’t complain about it.  Match was fast paced but sloppy and the attempts at traditional Lucha high spots didn’t quite come off, and you can’t really blame them since they put the match together on quick notice.  Max pinned Tarantula with something resembling La Magistral.

THE GODWINNS defeated THE HEADBANGERS to capture the WWF World Tag Titles in 12:16.  The Bangers won a spitting contest to start the match.  Thrasher did a less-than-picture-perfect huracanrana on Phinneus on the floor, which the camera missed.  Thrasher then got triple teamed by the three Godwinns (Uncle Cletus was at ringside) for a while.  Mosh hot tagged in and came off the top rope for a huracanrana attempt but missed badly and then Phinneus power bombed him equally badly for the title change pin.  Match had little heat.  The Godwinns did the three-on-two on the Bangers afterward until the ref threatened to reverse the decision.

They did a ceremony honoring legends of St. Louis wrestling, which was ironic since all of the wrestlers were NWA legends who had only minor affiliations with the WWF during their careers.  Still, the ceremony was great and the profile segments, though brief, were excellent with the only glitch being some transmission problems during Terry Funk’s segment.  In addition to Terry, the honorees included Gene Kiniski, Dory Funk Jr., Jack Brisco, Harley Race, Lou Thesz, and noted St. Louis promoter Sam Muchnick.  A well done segment.

OWEN HART defeated FAAROOQ in 7:14 in the finals of a tournament to fill the vacant IC Title.  Steve Austin came out and basically harassed the commentators during the match, even using a wrench to start the match by ringing the bell.  Owen, who has known Pillman since the beginning of his career (Pillman was trained by Stu Hart and broke into wrestling in Calgary), looked pretty shook up and as a consequence didn’t do as much as might be expected, not to mention that Faarooq isn’t exactly an ideal opponent for Owen’s style.  Owen won after Austin walloped Faarooq with the title belt, setting him up to be pinned.  Austin then tossed the belt to Owen before leaving, with the storyline that Austin wanted Owen to win because he wants to take the title from him, though that wasn’t made all that clear.

THE DISCIPLES OF APOCALYPSE defeated LOS BORIQUAS in an eight man match in 9:11.  This was another substitute match.  Jim Ross enigmatically brought up the issue of where Marlena was in reference to Pillman’s death, which was a somewhat misguided effort at maintaining “kayfabe”.  This was an okay match.  Los Boriquas are by far the best of the three “gang” teams in Titan as they all have experience in a variety of styles and are the only group which can go at top speed.  Chainz (Brian Lee) got pounded for much of the match, leading to a strong “DOA” chant.  All eight ended up brawling, leading to Skull pinning Jesus Castillo.

BRET HART & DAVEY BOY SMITH defeated VADER & THE PATRIOT in 21:15.  They added a stipulation to this match which allowed a team to win by capturing the opposing team’s flag.  (Word we got was that the ring crew was not sure if the poles could hold the wrestlers’ weight).  This led to numerous attempts to scale the poles, which in turn led to a plethora of crotch shots, but in the end was not part of the match finish.  All four guys were nursing injuries.  The Bulldog and Bret had sore knees.  Vader had a dislocated elbow and a broken nose from his match with Ken Shamrock on 9/28.  And Patriot was sick all week with a virus.  In the pre-match interview, Vader said “bullshit” on the air.  They brawled before the bell, using the U.S. and Canadian flags as weapons, for about three minutes before the match began.  Vader & Patriot dominated the early going.  Vader nearly pinned Bret after a buttdrop but Davey Boy broke it up.  Bret hooked Patriot in the sharpshooter but Patriot surprisingly reversed it.  Vader got a two count on Davey Boy after a splash. The early minutes of the match were hot but it began to fall apart.  Vader went for a moonsault but landed on his feet when Davey Boy rolled out of the way.  Bret plastered Vader with the ring bell and got a two count on him after a DDT.  Patriot got a two count on Bret with the Uncle Slam.  By this point the match had been running way too long (due to still needing to fill time because of the Pillman situation) and except for occasional high spots the match had gotten boring.  An idiot fan did a run in but was quickly subdued.  Bret finally pinned Patriot after reversing a roll-up and using the tights.  A below average match.

SHAWN MICHAELS defeated UNDERTAKER in the Hell in the Cell in 29:55.  This one was awesome, and blew away WCW's War Games from their last PPV.  After being sealed in the massive cage, Undertaker stalked Michaels on the floor.  Michaels got in a flurry of offense before turning into the incredible bump machine as Undertaker manhandled him all over the insides of the cage.  After getting a couple of two count on Michaels, Undertaker hurled him over the top ropes and he landed hard on the floor on his shoulder.  Ross had a great line, saying, “There’s probably some idiot at home saying, ‘Yeah, but he knows how to fall’”.  Undertaker destroyed Michaels against the cage.  He kept sending him into the cage and then clotheslining him hard as he rebounded.  Michaels managed to return to the ring when Undertaker missed a clothesline but Undertaker came back again with a choke slingshot off the rope.  Michaels knocked Undertaker from the apron and hit a tope, followed by an elbow off the side of the cage.  Michaels used the stairs as a weapon, prompting Lawler to say they weighed at least 150 pounds, which was an exaggeration, to say the least.  Michaels piledrove Undertaker on the stairs and hit him with two chairshots but only got a two count.  Michaels got backflipped over the top and landed on a cameraman.  He responded by beating the cameraman up, which led to Sgt. Slaughter unlocking the cage to rescue him.  Meanwhile, Michaels hit the superkick but Undertaker popped up from it, so Michaels fled out the open cage door with Undertaker following.  Undertaker pulverized Michaels’ face on the outside of the cage, with Michaels juicing a gusher.  Michaels then climbed to the top of the cage and Undertaker followed him for some scary brawling and bumping on the cage top high above the ring.  Michaels started down but Undertaker caused him to fall off and he crashed through the announcers’ table for a terrific bump.  Undertaker then slammed him through another table.  Undertaker forced Michaels back into the cage and hit him with a chokeslam off the top and a brutal chairshot.  Michaels was a bloody mess and Undertaker appeared headed for the win but Paul Bearer showed up with Kane (who, as predicted, was Glen “Unabom” Jacobs), making his long-awaited debut.  Kane tore the door off the cage and ended up tombstone piledriving Undertaker.  Michaels had just enough strength to crawl on top of Undertaker to score the dramatic pinfall victory.  Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna had to help Michaels to the back afterward.  An awesome main event!

1999 - Darren "Droz" Drozdov was seriously injured during a botched Tiger Driver (powerbomb) attempt by D'Lo Brown during a match on a WWF show at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. Drozdov would suffer nerve damage, and was paralyzed from the waist down. Drozdov is still hopeful to one day walk again, although as of 2011, it has sadly yet to happen.

2000 - While in Australia for a WCW tour, Juventud Guerrera is arrested following an incident in a hotel lobby. Guerrera stripped naked and was shouting obscenities at people. Police had to use capsicum spray to subdue him, and it took six officers to hold him down. During the melee, a female officer was taken to the hospital with a chest injury, later found to be a broken rib. The police charged Anibal Gonzales Hernandez with three counts of assault, disorderly conduct, obstructing police and possession of a dangerous drug, believed to be Ecstasy. He pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to two counts of assaulting police, one of assault causing bodily harm and one count each of disorderly behavior, willful exposure and possessing a dangerous drug. He was fined $2,050 and ordered to pay $1,400 to three police officers. His lawyer said that his actions were a result of taking the drug Ecstasy, and Ecstasy was found on his body at the time of arrest. He was not "convicted" because it was proven that he was the sole supporter of his family, and if prevented from traveling, he could not wrestle. WCW sent him home following his court appearance, and later released him. Juventud had previously been busted in the United States for DUI.

2002 - Ring Of Honor held their "Glory By Honor" event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Results from the event:

Here are brief results from the October 6th Ring Of Honor event at the Murphy Recreation Center in Philadelphia, PA.

- Show opened with a moment of silence for Ted Petty.

- Homicide won a 4-team match by himself (his partner, Boogalou, from what I understand, went to work for XPW) over The SAT, Divine Storm and Special H.

- The Backseat Boyz of CZW jumped the rail and challenged Homicide to a match. Homicide said he would team with with anyone from the ROH locker room. Steve Corino came out, leading to a tag match, which the Backseats won when Corino turned on Homicide and walked out on him.

- Rob Feinstein and John Zandig (who was accompanied by several CZW wrestlers) took to the ring and talked about the Philadelphia wrestling scene. They announced that on November 5th, Ring Of Honor will run at the Murphy Rec Center at 5pm, so that fans may go three blocks away and see the CZW show at Viking Hall the same night.

- The Christopher Street Connection & Alison Danger defeated Joey Matthews, Christian York & Alexis Laree.

- Tony Mamaluke defeated James Maritato by submission, winning the rights to the FBI gimmick.

- The Amazing Red defeated Ikuto Hidaka.

- ETW TV Champion Fast Eddie defeated Don Juan.

- Steve Corino defeated Rudy Boy Gonzalez in a Texas Death Match.

- Low Ki defeated Samoa Joe in a "Fight With No Honor". (Note: This was a stiff, brutal match, and the general opinion was that it was the best match on the show)

- Prince Nana defeated Elax.

- The Insane Clown Posse mad a brief appearance for a tag team squash match, and were given chants of "Don't Come Back".

- Jay Briscoe defeated ROH Champion Xavier in a non-title match.

- The Carnage Crew defeated The Hit Squad in a Falls Count Anywhere match.

- Michael Shane defeated Paul London & Spanky in a Three Way Dance for the rights to the "Showstopper" nickname, which he then announced would never be used again.

- Christopher Daniels defeated Doug Williams. Dick Togo, on crutches, made an appearance after the match, hitting Daniels with his crutch.

Jess McGrath filed the following live report:

I was at last night's Ring of Honor show in Philadelphia along with Jim Quigley, Scrap Dog, Buck Woodward, and Mike Johnson. Generally I thought it was a good show but not at the level of some of their previous efforts. There was a sentiment that the show was overbooked and deviated too much from the traditional ROH format. I'd agree with the former but not necessarily the latter. It was a very long show. And I surely could have done without the Insane Clown Posse (tough to complain when they go less than a minute though). But a few of the things I found most enjoyable about the show would not be considered ROH-style stuff: the Hit Squad-Carnage Crew brawl, the run in and beatdown after Jay Briscoe beat Xavier, etc.

The opener was about as hot an opener as one could hope for. Tons of dives and great spots. Only negative to it was that it made it that much tougher for the matches that followed. In particular, I thought Red-Ikuto Hidaka suffered in terms of crowd reaction because they had seen all the big dives and spots in this one, and two guys moved a lot slower than eight. Corino & Homicide vs. Backseats was a very good match. I liked this one a lot. Backseats looked strong, and the Corino turn on Homicide at the end not only was logical, but it got over big. Good decision to move the 11/9 show to 5 PM. It just makes no sense to split the indy crowd.  Mamaluke and Guido was a nothing match. No reason for Guido to risk getting injured when he's negotiating for a WWE deal.   The six-person match had no chance following everything before it. Alexis Laree has a great look and shows good fire. And the Japanese Pool Boy gimmick is one of my cult favorites.  Red-Hidaka, as I mentioned above, didn't get the crowd reactions one figures it would have. I thought it was an OK match but nothing special. I had seen so many highspots in the opener, it was tough to get into them here.  Fast Eddie-Don Juan was short and fine. I loved Steve Corino's promo on Rudy Boy Gonzalez before their match, especially the line about how he sometimes asks Simply Luscious when they're in bed to call him Rudy. Guess the Corino and Luscious real-life relationship is no longer a secret. Corino got some good color. I enjoyed the finish because it was different.

Low-Ki and Samoa Joe, I just didn't think it was stiff enough. Just kidding. Those guys KILLED each other. The chops blew Flair-Garvin out of the water. Both looked seriously banged up afterward. Definitely the best match of the show.

Lots of people unhappy about the Insane Clown Posse being on the show. To me, it was so short, it barely had time to register with me. Their fans were pretty unhappy about the shortness of the match (less than a minute).  

Xavier doesn't do it for me as champion. His big weakness is a lack of fire. Crowd was pretty quiet during his match with Jay Briscoe, though they popped huge for Briscoe getting the pin. The run-in and beatdown afterward was fun. They need to do more of that. Hit Squad and Carnage Crew had their typical entertaining brawl, going all over the building this time. The piledriver off the stage through the table looked great. The challenge for booker Gabe Sapolsky will be to keep this program fresh.

Interesting reaction from the crowd to Michael Shane's win. I got the impression they did not like it, and not in a heat on the heel way. Paul London and Spanky are both super over, and the audience was not happy about both losing. Shane's promo afterward was kind of bland. Chris Daniels and Doug Williams was OK. They were in a tough spot after seeing so many matches and so many moves in one night. The finish was a love it or hate it thing, depending on your opinion of what the product should be.

For the 11/9 show, they announced Christopher Daniels & Donovan Morgan defending the tag team titles vs. Low-Ki & Doug Williams, plus a gauntlet match to determine a number one contender with Red, Shane, London, A.J. Styles, C.M. Punk, and American Dragon.

Boogalou was missing from the ROH show because he took the offer from XPW. He debuted there on last night's ECW Arena show under a mask as part of a team challenging Mexico's Most Wanted for the tag team titles. XPW wanted the Hit Squad to do a dancing hip hop gimmick, which they were not interested in doing.

ROH GLORY BY HONOR THOUGHTS
by Mike Johnson

Ring of Honor's Glory By Honor event last night in Philadelphia was highlighted by a phenomenal stiff battle between Zero-One's Samoa Joe and Low Ki. Words cannot describe how insanely brutal and hard hitting this one was. Think Ron Garvin vs, Ric Flair taken way beyond the extreme. Ki came out the winner in a true must see bout.

There was tons and tons of international talent on the show: The Amazing Red defeated Ikuto Hidaka in a really good match. Christopher Daniels pinned Doug Williams in a bout with a stipulation where Williams can no longer adhere to the promotion's Code of Honor because he lost, therefore he couldn't shake hands with anyone. Williams had his foot on the ropes. Odd they would finish out their first "big" show with a finish like that. Daniels apparently injured a rib during the bout. Dick Togo, who was unable to work because of his ankle injury suffered at MLW on 9/26, hit the ring and broke a crutch over Daniels back to close out the show.

Spanky lost a Three-Way to Michael Shane, with Paul London also in the bout.

Steve Corino, sporting new tights worked twice, defeating Rudy Boy Gonzales in a Texas Death Match that seemed way too short and never really clicked, and a tag match where he and Homicide lost to CZW's The Backseat Boys when Corino turned on Homicide. Corino did mic work before the bout with Gonzales to distance himself from ROH and the Code of Honor to build himself as a freelancer/Zero-One talent. This was a show for you if you live for workrate, dives, and guys being dropped on their heads.

The promotion returns to Philadelphia on 11/9 with a special 5 PM start so fans can attend that night's CZW event at the ECW Arena at 8 PM.

Some various notes to add to Jess McGrath's coverage:

A number of workers came out injured at the Glory by Honor event on 10/5 in Philadelphia. Christopher Daniels is believed to have suffered a broken rib during the main event against Doug Williams, which likely ended the match before scheduled. Daniels felt the rib pop out and back in. Daniels left right after the show for a Japanese tour, so there is no update yet. Bio-Hazard suffered a chipped tooth from a Paul London kick. Ikuto Hidaka suffered a black eye and heavy swelling on his face taking The Amazing Red's Infra-Red off the top rope.

The stiffest bout of the night, Low Ki vs. Samoa Joe saw both men come out with huge bruises on their neck and numerous bruises elsewhere. Low Ki was actually pulled from the show on Friday due to his ankle and rib injuries, but was put back on early the day of the show.

Insane Clown Posse, who were entirely rejected by the Philadelphia fans on Saturday night, were added to the show just 90 minutes before the show began. A representative of the group offered to let ICP appear for free, as they were making an appearance at a haunted house in the area. ICP also offered to bring 25 paying fans. The promotion added them for a quick squash. The locker room was not happy about ICP being on the show and ICP isn't expected back.

There are no further plans at this time for a continued ROH-Combat Zone Wrestling relationship. The promotions made their agreement on 10/3 to have the CZW workers appear and for ROH to move their next event to an earlier start. The Backseat Boys were added to the show the next day as a one-time deal.

Ring of Honor's side of Boogalou leaving the promotion was that he no-showed the event and was fired after stating he would be there and knowing what their plans were for him. He was previously advised by the promotion to take the XPW offer as there were not plans to give him a major push and they want to get behind Homicide as a single.

2005 - A 2 DVD "Director's Cut" of the Jeremy Borash ECW documentary "Forever Hardcore" is released.

2006 - Antonio Pena, founder and owner of Mexico's AAA, passed away at the age of 53 due to a heart attack, although he had not been in good health for some time. Pena revolutioned the Mexican wrestling scene when he formed AAA in 1993, giving a number of stars their first major breaks in the process including La Parka, Rey Mysterio, Psicosis, Eddie Guerrero and Juventud Guerrera.

2006 - TNA broadcast Impact.  Richard Trionfo filed the following TV report:

The buzz over the signing of Kurt Angle has not died down as we found out last week that Kurt would be the special ringside enforcer for the main event at Bound for Glory.  What is the next step as Jeff Jarrett tries to get the NWA World Heavyweight Title belt from Samoa Joe?  What new matches will be announced for Bound for Glory?  Will we see any more legends in the Impact Zone this week?  Will Bobby Roode finally announce his new manager?  Who is the next tag team that Team 3D will face as they move up the ladder?

We start off this week's show with a look back at last week's show when Rhino and Christian fought during an X Division 6 man match; Jeff Jarrett's comments about how he wants his title belt back; Samoa Joe confronting Brother Runt and Abyss; and the announcement that Kurt Angle will be the ringside enforcer.

Jeremy Borash is outside Jim Cornette's office and he talks about Bound for Glory on October 22nd.  He says that we will see the footage of what happened between LAX and the tag team champions, Christopher Daniels and A.J. Styles.  We will also see Christian Cage team with Jeff Jarrett to face Ron Killings and Christopher Daniels.  Jeremy goes into Jim Cornette'ss office and Norman Smiley, Shark Boy, Eric Young, David Young, and Elix Skipper are in there.  Jim talks about how his blood pressure is going up and the problems dealing with management.  Cornette talks about how the champion does not even have his belt because Samoa Joe won't give it back.  Then he mentions that Kurt Angle is coming into TNA and the phone is off the hook with people wanting to come to TNA.  Cornette says that if people want to come in, then somebody has to go.  The loser of the match between the five men in the room will be fired.

Jeremy Borash asks Jim Cornette about the belt situation and Cornette asks Borash if he wants to fight Joe to get the belt back.  Jim Mitchell and Abyss enter the room and he says that he has a solution to the problem.  If he can promise that Abyss will take the title belt from Joe, will he promise Abyss the first title match after Bound for Glory.  Cornette calls Mitchell the sleaziest man that he knows, but if he can deliver, he has a deal.

We are live on tape from Universal Studios in Orlando , Florida and your announcers are Mike Tenay and Don West.

Shane Douglas and the Naturals are at the announce position for the first match of the night.  Shane says that he knew that the Naturals had what it took and it all came together at No Surrender where they beat seven teams to get a title match.

Match Number One:  Frankie Kazarian and Matt Bentley versus Team 3D

Devon and Bentley start things off and Devon with a spinning back elbow and clothesline that send Bentley to the mat followed by a slam and elbow drop for a two count.  Bentley with a knee to Devon and he tags in Kazarian.  Devon with a double clothesline and then he tags in Ray.  Ray with a suplex to Kazarian followed by elbow drops and a chop for a two count.

America's Most Wanted and Gail Kim appear at on the Stage of Heelish Impact to watch the match.

We return to the action in the ring and Kazarian with a rake of the eyes and then he draws Devon into the ring.  While the referee deals with Devon , Kazarian and Bentley double team Ray and Kazarian hits a bicycle kick.

The James Gang appears on the Stage of Facial Impact to watch the action as we go to commercial.

We are back and Bentley hits a drop kick on Ray and Kazarian is tagged in.  Kazarian chokes Ray in the ropes and he gets a near fall.  Kazarian slaps Ray, but Ray chops back.  Ray punches Kazarian and then he hits a suplex for a two count.  Devon and Bentley tag in and Devon punches Bentley followed by a back body drop and side slam.  Devon with an inverted suplex to Kazarian for a two count.  Bentley kicks Ray, but Ray avoids a forearm off the ropes and Team 3D hit a belly-to-back suplex and neck breaker combination on Bentley.  Kazarian falls victim to 3D and Devon gets the three count.

Winner:  Team 3D

After the match, Brother Ray takes the mic and he says that they were going to work their way from the bottom to get back to the top.  This was week two and that is their second win.  At Bound for Glory, Team 3D has no opponents and that sucks.  Whether it is AMW, the Naturals, or "the second best tag team in the world" the James Gang.  Whether it is a tag team from the past, present, or future; they challenge anybody.  He says that they will become the NWA World Tag Team Champions.  Devon tells us to testify.

We go to a video package for Rhino filmed in Detroit .  He wonders if his head will be 100 percent at Bound for Glory.  He dealt with pain every day on the street.  It was war then, and now it is a war.  We hear comments from people who say that Rhino is an inspiration to people in the neighborhood.  Rhino says that this match is not just for him.  It is for the fans, and the guy who lost his job when the factory closed.  Rhino says that everyone will see Christian beg for mercy.  Rhino says that he will show Christian a nightmare that he will never forget.

Jim Mitchell and Abyss are in the ring and he tells Samoa Joe that Jim Cornette has made a deal with the devil to regain possession of the NWA World Title belt.  He says that Joe has two options.  First, he can come out here and peacefully place the belt down and leave in one piece.  Second, he can send the monster to the back to pry the belt out of Joe's cold, stiff fingers.

Samoa Joe's music plays and he comes out with the NWA World Title belt.  Joe lays the belt down in the center of the ring and Abyss chokes Joe.  Joe breaks out of the choke hold and he slaps Abyss.  Abyss grabs Joe and he choke slams Joe on the title belt.  Abyss grabs the belt and holds it over his head.

Jeff Jarrett comes to the ring and he takes the belt back from Abyss.  Abyss grabs Jarrett and Jarrett yells at Abyss.  Abyss punches Jarrett and then Joe and Abyss alternate punching Jarrett as he pinballs back and forth.  Joe with a reverse atomic drop and then he hits a running Yakuza kick on Jarrett.  Joe picks up the belt and gets to the apron, only to be brought back into the ring by Abyss.  Abyss punches Joe and then Joe with a boot.  Abyss comes off the ropes but Joe with a power slam and then Joe gets the belt and leaves the ring.

Don and Mike are at ringside and Mike brings up what Sting might be thinking about Joe having the title belt at this time.  We go to commercial.

We are back and Don and Mike talk about the Six Sides of Steel match at Bound for Glory.  Don talks about the fact that A.J. Styles is not in the Impact Zone tonight.  He talks about the beat down last week in Mexico and we go to the footage.

A.J. Styles talks about how it was great for him to win the trophy awarded at the show.  While A.J. is talking, LAX interrupt and Konnan says that he wants to give A.J. a personal welcome to Mexico .  Konnan gets the first punch in and then a number of people swarm around A.J. as the beatdown continues.

Match Number Two:  Latin American Exchange (Homicide and Hernandez [with Konnan]) versus Tyler Black and Jeff Luxon

Homicide and Hernandez attack their opponents as they enter the ring.  Hernandez tosses Black across the ring as if he was a rag doll.  Homicide catapults Luxon into Hernandez who catches him in a bear hug and then Hernandez with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex from the bear hug position.  Homicide with an Irish whip and running clothesline to Black and then Homicide hits an Ace Cutter from the second turnbuckle.  Hernandez picks Luxon up for a power bomb and then tosses Luxon across the ring.  They get a double pinfall for the three count.

Winners:  Latin American Exchange

Konnan gets on the mic as LAX stands behind the cage door and he says that LAX is coming to bring back the belt.  He says that there are a lot of forces trying to sabotage their success.  He says that it is no coincidence that Jim Cornette put them in an Ultimate X match where all of the advantages were with A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels.  He says that Styles and Daniels will face them in a six sides of steel match at Bound for Glory.  They are going to put Styles and Daniels in a cage where the violence will be taken to a new level.

We are back and we hear comments from Buff Bagwell about the Sting/Jarrett match at Bound for Glory.  He says that if Jarrett beats Sting, it will be a huge notch on Jarrett's belt.  Lex Luger says that if Jarrett can put Sting out of wrestling, it would be the peak of his career.  Luger and Bagwell both say that they think Sting will win the match.

Match Number Three:  Eric Young versus David Young versus Elix Skipper versus Norman Smiley versus Shark Boy in a "Loser Gets Fired" match

The bell rings and everyone is going after Eric Young.  Skipper and David Young with a double clothesline to Eric.  Shark Boy with a rollup on David Young while Smiley with a rollup on Skipper for two counts.  Eric tries to cover Elix, but Skipper gets out of the cover with the matrix and then he hits a back kick on Eric.  Shark Boy and Smiley work over David Young.

Larry Zbyszko walks to the ring to watch the action.  Shark Boy bites Skipper and Elix goes outside the ring.  Smiley gets David Young in a wheelbarrow position and then he does the Big Wiggle.  Outside the ring, Zbyszko rolls Eric back into the ring but Eric grabs Larry's toupee.  Skipper with a clothesline to Smiley and Eric puts on the toupee.  Eric tosses the toupee to Shark Boy and Eric punches him.  Eric tries for the wheelbarrow into a TKO, but Shark Boy blocks it.  While Eric and Shark Boy battle in the ring, the other three men fight outside the ring.  Eric blocks the Dead Sea Drop attempt and Shark Boy tries for a rollup on the ropes, but Eric holds on to the ropes.  Larry returns to ringside and he jabs Eric in the midsection with a golf club.  Shark Boy with a rollup for the three count.

Winner:  Shark Boy

Fired:  Eric Young

After the match, the four men who kept their job celebrate and then leave the ring.  Eric Young is in the center of the ring and he is confused.  We go to commercial.

We are back with a Sting video package.

We then go to the interview area where Jeremy Borash is with Jeff Jarrett and Christian Cage.  Jeremy brings up Bound for Glory and how they are part of two important matches.  He first talks about Christian's match against Rhino in an "8 Mile Street Fight" , and then he talks about Jarrett's match against Sting where the title is on the line against Sting's career.  Jeremy asks about them having to team up.  Jarrett says that he does not even want to talk about this match.  He wants to talk about Abyss and how Jarrett had the belt in his hand.  While Jarrett continues to talk, Christian asks for a mic from off camera.  Jarrett says that he is not leaving until he gets his belt back.  Jarrett says that he will publicly execute Sting's career at Bound for Glory.  Jarrett tells Kurt Angle that if he has to go through Angle, he will do it.

Christian interrupts Jarrett and tells Jeff to shut up for a second.  Christian says that everyone knows that the biggest star always talks last.  There have been a lot of big announcements, like Impact going primetime in November.  Christian tells everyone, "You're welcome."  Christian reminds Jarrett that he won his match at No Surrender.  He next addresses Samoa Joe with the title belt, but Christian tells Jarrett not to worry about Samoa Joe because Christian is the man who beat Jeff Jarrett to win the NWA World Title so that makes him the captain of the team.  He tells Jarrett to follow his lead in their match tonight.

Match Number Four:  Christopher Daniels and Ron Killings versus Jeff Jarrett and Christian Cage

Daniels and Cage appear to start off the match, but Cage tags in Jarrett to start things off.  Daniels with a side head lock but Jarrett works on Daniels' arm.  Daniels get Jarrett back into the side head lock.  Daniels with a single leg trip followed by a jumping leg lariat.  Jarrett with a knee and punch and then he tags in Christian.  Daniels with a drop toe hold and he tags in Killings.  Daniels and Killings with a double hip toss and double elbow drop.  Daniels with a slam and then Daniels and Killings do the Kid & Play followed by kicks to Christian.  Christian punches Killings but Killings does the split to avoid the clothesline from Christian.  Killings with a power slam to Christian followed by a punch to Jarrett.  Christian sends Killings over the top rope to the floor and we go to commercial.

We are back and Jarrett sends Killings in the guardrails before returning Killings to the ring.  Christian with a back elbow followed by a knee and punch.  Jarrett makes the blind tag and he tells Christian to get out of the ring.  Jarrett with a splash into the ropes and then Jarrett struts.  Jarrett kicks Killings and hits a back elbow.  Killings punches Jarrett, but Jarrett with a rake of the eyes.  Killings recovers and gets Jarrett up for a suplex and turns it into a modified stunner and both men are down.  Daniels tags in and he hits a forearm on Christian on the apron followed a back elbow to Jarrett.  Christian comes in and he gets a clothesline while Jarrett gets another back elbow and Christian gets an STO for his interference.  Daniels with a Blue Thunder Driver but Christian makes the save.  Christian tries for the Unprettier, but Daniels is able to avoid the hold and sends Christian into the corner.  Christian with an elbow and then he goes up top but Daniels with a palm thrust.  Daniels sets up for a superplex, but Homicide attacks Daniels with the slapjack while the referee is dealing with Jarrett and Killings.  Jarrett sends Killings over the top rope to the floor.  While Christian sets up for the frog splash, Jarrett makes the cover for the three count.

Winners:  Jeff Jarrett and Christian Cage

After the match, Christian has some words for Jeff Jarrett and then he gets the mic.  Jarrett takes the mic from Christian and he tells Samoa Joe that the games are over and he wants the belt right now.

Samoa Joe comes out and Joe and Jarrett battle.  Joe misses a running boot into the corner and Joe goes over the top rope to the floor.  Jarrett grabs the belt and holds it over his head.  Christian gives Jarrett and Unprettier and then he holds the belt over his head.  Rhino comes out and he GORES Christian and the belt flies out of Christian's hands.  Joe takes the belt and he leaves with the belt.

Bobby Roode says that the interview process is over and he has found the perfect fit.  We go to credits.


2007 - ROH ran Boston, MA.  Matt Brown filed the following report:

The doors opened exactly at 7pm for the most packed I have seen the Reggie Lewis Center since ROH started running shows here. Most of the seats were filled and the bleachers were also pretty full. Pre-show started at 7:30 and here are the results:

*Local wrestler Bryan Fury defeated Sugarfoot Alex Payne via pinfall in a short but good match that got the crowd warmed up

*The second match got billed as The Battle Between Handsome and Sexy (I'm not kidding) as Handsome Johnny defeated The Sexiest Man Alive Rhett Titus. Tons of comedy spots and hard hitting action that got the fans into this match.

The main show starts exactly at 8pm

*Hangmen Three (Brent Albright and Adam Pearce with BJ Whitmer) defeated The Resilience (Matt Cross and Erik Stevens) - Really fun match with great spots by both teams that ended with Stevens
taking the pin after a ton of double teaming.  BJ Whitmer then cuts a promo and calls out Delirious and we have a match...

*BJ Whitmer wins via pinfall with tons of interference by H3.

The Age of the Fall then comes out and cuts a promo that brings out Jay Briscoe.  He brawls with Tyler Black and Jimmy Jacobs out into the lobby.  This makes the four corners match a triple threat match....

*Nigel McGuinness defeated El Generico and Hallowicked - Really fun match that saw Nigel get the clean pin on Hallowicked following the Tower of London

*Claudio Castagnoli defeated Chris Hero - Tons of stalling by Hero and playing to the crowd. Kind of took the crowd out of the match. Claudio wins via European Uppercut.

After the match, Jay Biscoe and Necro Butcher brawl through the crowd.  Everyone was really into it but being on the opposite side of the floor, the people in my section couldn't see the carnage that well.  Their Anything Goes Match ends after Age of the Fall kidnaps Mark Briscoe and Necro Butcher
gives Jay a sidewalk slam through a chair. Post match Jay Briscoe gets into it with a fan wearing all black and a bandana over his face. Tons of screaming back and forth that made a lot of the crowd think the fan was a plant. [Note from Mike: I was told it wasn't by a source.] The altercation seemed heated and some fans thought the two would come to blows.

Intermission

*The Age of the Fall (Tyler Black and Jimmy Jacobs with Lacey) defeated the returning Pelle Primeau and Ernie Osiris in what was a total squash. Post match, Jay Briscoe runs off the Age of the Fall and interacts with the fan again before going to the back.

*Austin Aries defeated Bryan Danielson via submission is what was an off the charts match. This series for the #1 contender will be really fun.  Go out of your way to pick up the DVD for this match.

-Jack Evans, Ruckus, and Jigsaw defeated The No Remorse Corps in what was a really fun and insane spotfest. Match ends after Jack hits the 630 splash on Romero. Crowd was super into this match.

-In the final match of the night, ROH World champion Takeshi Morishima defeated Kevin Steen with the backdrop driver. Steen got a lot of offense in and looked competitive. Midway through the match El Generico comes out to help cheer Steen. Post match, Steen and Generico teased a split.

Final Thoughts: Overall, another strong show in Boston and the crowd keeps growing every time ROH comes to town. Possibly better that Death Before Dishonor show we had last time they came into the market.

2008 - Florida Championship Wrestling debuted its TV series on The Brighthouse Sports Network in the Tampa, Florida area. Richard Trionfo filed the following TV report:

The show starts off with a video package that talks about the history of Florida Championship Wrestling and how it started in 1961. It mentions some of the greats who wrestled for Florida Championship Wrestling.

We are live on tape from Tampa, Florida and your announcers are Todd Grisham and Dusty Rhodes.

Ric Flair is introduced and he comes to the ring. The crowd chants ‘thank you Ric’ and Flair thanks everyone for coming out to the show. There has been a process called developmental wrestling. Flair says that they need to put it on the front burner and have the best people running the product. Flair mentions Steve Keirn, Dusty Rhodes, John Laurintis, Mark Carano and the others in talent relations who have tried to make this product the best it can be. Flair says the guys in the back want to rise to the WWE and they are getting help from the best. Flair says that he wish he had this type of start. Flair mentions that he is an ambassador for the WWE. Flair says that they have the best technical people in the world. They are better than the other leagues. Flair says that he wants to see the building sold out each week. Flair woooos his way out of the ring.

Dusty talks about the magic that is being made and it is great to have Flair be a part of it.

Match Number One: Shawn Spears versus T.J. Wilson
They lock up and Wilson with a clean break with some help from the referee. Wilson with a waist lock but Spears with a wrist lock. Wilson reverses into a key lock and then into an arm bar. Wilson returns to the key lock. Wilson with arm drags and an arm bar. Spears with a punch on the break but Wilson with a forearm. Wilson tries for a rollup but Spears holds on to the ropes. Spears gets to the ropes while Wilson tries to either set up Spears for a Boston Crab or a catapult. Wilson tries to pull Spears out of the corner but Spears with a punch and then he hits a belly-to-back suplex into the turnbuckles. The referee checks on Wilson and Spears tries for a cover but Wilson kicks out. Spears works on the neck and face. Wilson is bleeding from the mouth but he punches Spears. Spears with a kick and neck breaker for a two count. Spears with a boot to the head. Spears with a reverse chin lock as he traps the arm. Wilson with an arm drag followed by a drop kick. Wilson with a reverse atomic drop followed by a series of kicks followed by a drop kick and a Northern Lights suplex for a near fall. Wilson goes to the apron but he misses a springboard elbow drop. Spears gets a two count as he tries to capitalize on the mistake by Wilson. Wilson with an inside cradle for a two count. Spears hits a neck breaker for the three count.
Winner: Shawn Spears

We are back and we see Afa the Wild Samoan and Rocky Johnson in the crowd.

Match Number Two: Sinn Bowdie, Jay Bradley, and Alicia Fox versus Colt Cabana, Ricky Ortiz, and Brianna Bella
Bowdie and Ortiz start off and Ortiz sends Bowdie to the mat. Ortiz gets distracted and Bowdie kicks him. Ortiz blocks a suplex attempt and then Ortiz gets Bowdie up, but Bowdie blocks the suplex attempt. Bowdie gets Ortiz up but Ortiz floats over and Bowdie sends Ortiz into the corner. Ortiz with a slam and Bradley tags in. Ortiz with an arm drag and then Cabana is tagged in. Cabana and Ortiz with a double back elbow and double elbow drop and Cabana gets a near fall. Cabana works on the arm but Bradley reverses. Bradley with a take down but Cabana with a hammer lock. Cabana tries for a rana but Bradley blocks it, but Cabana still takes Bradley over for a near fall. Cabana with a drop toe hold into an arm bar. Bradley with a leg lariat and then he sends Cabana into the corner. Bowdie tags in and he works on the arm and punches Cabana. Bowdie with a hammer lock to Cabana followed by a single leg trip for a near fall. Cabana punches Bowdie. Cabana tries for a sunset flip but Bradley is tagged in and Bradley with a forearm to the back for a near fall. Bradley with a key lock and Irish whip but Cabana moves out of the way when Bradley charges into the corner. Cabana with a punch to Bowdie who is still on the apron and then he makes the tag to Brianna. Bella goes after Fox and Bella with a Thesz Press and we have a catfight. Bella with an X Factor for the three count.
Winners: Colt Cabana, Ricky Ortiz, and Brianna Bella

We go to commercial.

Match Number Three: Nic Nemeth versus Greg Jackson
Nemeth with a single leg take down. They lock up and Nemeth goes for the leg again but Jackson with a rollup for a near fall. Jackson with an arm drag and arm bar. Nemeth pulls the hair, but Jackson applies pressure to continue with the hold. Jackson with another arm drag and arm bar. Nemeth with punches to Jackson. Jackson is sent into the corner but he flips over a charging Nemeth and hits a rana. Jackson goes to the apron and tries for a springboard move, but Nemeth with a drop kick to stop Jackson and Nemeth can only get a two count. Nemeth with boots to Jackson followed by elbow drops. Nemeth with a reverse chin lock and then he uses Jackson’s hair to throw him to the mat. Nemeth with boots to Jackson followed by a slap. Nemeth with a hard Irish whip and Jackson hits the mat hard. Nemeth returns to the reverse chin lock. Jackson with elbows but Nemeth tries for a German suplex, but Jackson lands on his feet and he hits a drop kick and boots to the head in the corner followed by a clothesline but he can only get a two count. Jackson misses a charge into the corner and Nemeth hits Paydirt for the three count.
Winner: Nick Nemeth

We go to commercial.

We are back and John Cena makes his way to the ring. Cena thanks everyone and he says that he is as excited as the fans to be here. Cena makes reference to Ric Flair’s comments and he talked about opportunities for the superstars of Florida Championship Wrestling. Their ticket to the WWE is in the ring. The real opportunity is for the city of Tampa. There has been a lot of money put into the facility to entertain the fans every week. He says that there is a spot to come to bring the family for a good time to be entertained by the best in the company. John says that he is honored to spend this moment with the fans.

John is interrupted by Shawn Spears who returns to the ring. Shawn says that Cena brings up a good point and that is opportunity. Shawn says that there are fifty or sixty guys in the back who are hungry for an opportunity. Spears asks Cena if it is a good idea to be in the ring. What if an FCW superstar tried to make a name for themselves. What better way to get noticed than to knock off WWE’s top dog. Cena says that he did not come here to fight, but if Spears wants to test him, he will knock the maple syrup out of him.

Spears says that Cena has the wrong idea because he is Cena’s friend and is someone Cena can trust. The last thing that Spears would do is try to take a cheap shot on Cena. He is out here as a friend. He tells Cena to watch his back because everyone is hungry. Spears tells Cena that there is one more thing. He tells Cena to remember that Shawn Spears is a bad boy. Spears charges at Cena but Cena with a back body drop followed by an FU. Cena leaves the ring and we go to commercial.

Match Number Four: Heath Miller versus Jake Hager for the FCW Title
They lock up and Hager backs Miller into the corner but the referee pulls him off. Hager with a side head lock and Miller turns it into a top wrist lock and side head lock of his own. Miller with a shoulder tackle. Hager tries for a leap frog but Miller turns it into a reverse atomic drop followed by punches. Hager backs Miller into the corner but Miller kicks Hager away. Hager drops Miller on the top ropes and then Hager hits a running knee lift that sends Miller to the floor. Hager goes after Miller on the floor and then he runs Miller’s back into the apron. Hager continues to attack Miller on the floor by slamming his head into the ring steps. Hager gets a near fall. Hager kicks Miller in the corner and then he puts Miller in an abdominal stretch. Hager runs Miller into the corner and then he hits a running clothesline. Hager misses a splash with the aid of the turnbuckles and then he misses a charge into the corner. Miller hits a springboard clothesline followed by punches and shoulders. Miller with an Irish whip but he charges into a boot. Miller with a spinebuster for a two count. Miller kicks Hager but the referee pulls him away. Hager sends Miller to the apron and Miller punches Hager and goes up top. Hager goes to the turnbuckles but Miller pushes him off. Miller with a sunset flip from the turnbuckles and he can only get a two count. Miller sends Hager into the turnbuckles and when Miller tries for a move to use on Hager’s back, Hager holds on to the ropes to stop Miller. Hager with a gutwrench suplex for the three count.
Winner: Jake Hager

We go to credits with Gordon Solie saying ‘So Long from the Sunshine State.’

Thoughts

I have not seen any episodes of Ohio Valley Wrestling when it was a developmental territory so I cannot compare the two facilities, but this building reminded me of the Techwood Studios in Atlanta but with more seats.

There were a few things that made me feel like I was watching another television product that is filmed in Florida, and that was too many crowd shots for the sake of trying to show the crowd react. I don’t know if it was something that was pre-recorded to be ‘spontaneous crowd reactions’ that we will see six months after people were last in the building. Speaking of that crowd, there were a few people you might have noticed who have been seen on television on Thursday nights.

The commentary during the show provided a lot of history of the Florida territory for people who might not have been familiar with the product. The opening and closing segments with the footage and Gordon Solie were a great touch.

I thought the commentary was okay. When Todd Grisham is trying to have a conversation with his color commentator instead of trying to be too funny, he works well. Having Dusty doing commentary, it reminded me of his work in the NWA in the 1980s. If he is going to do future episodes, I hope he talks about the pay window and being funky like a monkey.

It was strange to see the wrestlers who have been called up using their ‘prior’ names.

The matches were okay and you could see why some of the guys are in the developmental territory.

Sinn Bowdie looked like a mix between Michael Hayes and Adrian Street.

The Flair and Cena segments were good and put over how this was the future of the WWE, but I hope they will let the wrestlers do promos during the show to build their characters as they work their way into the main roster.

2008 - WWE presented their No Mercy PPV.  Mike Johnson filed the following PPV report:

Welcome to PWInsider.com's live match by match coverage of the 2008 No Mercy PPV from Portland, Oregon.

After the traditional video promo building into the show, Todd Grisham welcomed everyone to the show.

ECW champion Matt Hardy vs. Mark Henry (with Tony Atlas)

Jerry Lawler joined Todd Grisham on commentary.  Hardy muscled Hardy in the corner at the onset.  Hardy went for a side headlock but was tossed off and shoulderblocked down to the mat.  Henry took over with several big right hands and kicked Hardy.  The crowd rallied behind Hardy, chanting his name as Henry worked over Matt in the corner.  Hardy targeted Henry's leg with a series of kicks but was clotheslined down.

Hardy mounted a comeback, clipping Henry's left knee and continued to work over the leg.  Henry rolled to the floor.  Hardy followed but was shoved down to the floor.  Henry went to roll back in the ring but Matt grabbed his leg and smashed it against the corner of the ring apron.  Hardy went for what appeared to be a spinning toehold but Henry sloppily kicked him into the corner, nailed a big boot, then covered him for a two count.

Henry climbed to the bottom rope and dropped across Hardy with a Banzai Splash, then covered him for a two count.  Henry wrenched Hardy's neck but Matt mounted a comeback with several elbows.  Henry captured Hardy in a bear hug as he rebounded off the ropes.  Hardy was able to pull himself over Henry with a sunset flip attempt.  Henry tried to sit down on Hardy's chest but he escaped.

Hardy mounted a comeback but was whipped into a corner.  Hardy nailed a big boot as Henry charged in the corner, then nailed the Side Effect for a two count,  The crowd was into Hardy bigtime.  Hardy went for a DDT but was shoved off by Henry.  Henry nailed a big splash but hurt the knee Hardy had been working on.  When he recovered, Matt was able to get his shoulder up at the two count.

Hardy went for a high cross bodyblock but was caught.  As Henry tossed him off, Hardy caught him with the Twist of Fate and scored the pinfall.

Your winner and still ECW champion, Matt Hardy!

Solid opener.  They told a nice story here as Henry went back to selling the knee Hardy worked on and his offense of overpowering Hardy's moves and tossing him off turned into Henry's own worst enemy as Hardy used it to nail his finisher.  The crowd was really into the opener too, which added to the segment.

Backstage, Eve Torres interviewed WWE champ Triple H and Jeff Hardy.  HHH was texting on his phone, voting in the poll over who would win their match.  Eve asked Hardy if he was ready for his own championship moment tonight.  HHH mocked him by saying he was rooting for Hardy tonight.  Hardy told him not to worry about texting but about what's in front of his face.  HHH said he was a big fan of Hardy and told him he had all the talent in the world.  Triple H said he wanted to see Hardy put it all together and be all he can be, so that when he beats Hardy, he knows that he beat the absolute best.  Hardy told HHH to take pride in his performance tonight, because he'll take pride in taking HHH's belt.  Solid segment and a cute way to plug their AT&T texting deal.

WWE Women's champ Beth Phoenix (with Santino Marella) vs. Candice Michelle

The announcers noted that Marella must have somehow talked Phoenix in allowing him to come to ringside after she told him on Raw she needed to concentrate on her winning streak.  Candice dropkicked Phoenix and promptly missed a legdrop.  Ouch.  That was grody.  Michelle scored several near falls early.  Michelle his an enziguiri, and shockingly, Michael Cole called the move.  Michelle worked over Phoenix in the corner but was caught by Phoenix and driven backwards into the corner, while upside down.

Phoenix kicked Michelle in the same shoulder she injured.  Michelle fought back but was run into the corner by Beth, so her strategy is to go after the bad shoulder. Phoenix followed up with a form of the cross arm breaker.  Michelle was really vocal and making decent facials while selling.   She fought her way to her feet trying to kick Phoenix off but was forced back down.  Candice tried to surprise her with a series of forearms then hit a jawbreaker.  Michelle hit several dropkicks and a spinning heel kick for a two count.

Candice went for a Russian leg sweep but Phoenix countered it into a STO variation.  Phoenix went to the top but Michelle nailed her.  Michelle nailed a dropkick, knocking Phoenix off and covered her.  Marella pulled Phoenix out of the ring.  Michelle nailed a dropkick out of the ring on Marella.  Marella, selling the dropkick, caught his arm with Beth's foot as she re-entered the ring.  Phoenix turned her attention to him, allowing Candice to roll her up for a near fall.

Michelle went for the Unprettier but Phoenix turned it onto her face-first chickenwing slam and scored the pin.

Your winner and still WWE Women's champ Beth Phoenix.

They teased after that Phoenix, with the look on her face, had mixed feelings about Santino being there.

An OK match.  It seemed like Michelle came in looking to make a splash with a good performance.  She was trying extra hard to connect with the crowd like selling, but from an in-ring standpoint, it didn't click at all.  Phoenix gave her usual solid work.  I would have liked some Santino mic work, but that's just me.

Somewhere in the bowels of the Arena, Kane promised that tonight would be the end of Rey Mysterio's story.  Kane said that when he unmasks Rey Mysterio, he'll destroy all the fans.  Kane said that when he rips off the mask, it won't just be Rey but everyone and he'll force everyone to see themselves for what they really are - monsters.

Rey Mysterio vs. Kane - Mysterio must unmask if he loses.

Rey went right after Kane at the bell but was shoved away.  Rey went after Kane with shots to the midsection and kicks to the leg.  He knocked Kane out of the ring but was nailed with a big boot as he rebounded off the ropes.  Kane tossed Rey over the ropes but he saved himself, nailed Kane and hit a springboard dropkick.  Kane fell into position for the 619 but as Mysterio charged for it, Kane turned and clotheslined him.

Kane grabbed Mysterio on the mat but Rey began kicking him.  Rey went for a rana but was caught by Kane.  Kane went for a powerbomb but Rey nailed him with a flurry of punches.  They fell forward and tumbled over the ropes.  Rey jumped off the apron on Kane, but was caught.  Rey turned and was able to lock on a sleeper but Kane flipped him forward.  Mysterio bumped over the guard rail into the crowd.

Kane continued to work over Mysterio on the floor before tossing him back into the ring.  Kane cinched in a rear chinlock, smothering Mysterio.  The crowd began to rally behind Rey.  Kane rebounded off the ropes and kicked Rey square in the head.  Kane continued to beat down Mysterio and picked him up for an over the knee backbreaker.  He torqued Mysterio backwards over his knee.  Mysterio nailed several shots trying to escape.  Mysterio used the ropes to nail a kick to the face, then hit an inverted DDT on Kane.

Kane took back over and placed Mysterio on the top rope.  Mysterio elbowed Kane away, then hit a standing moonsault.  They claimed Mysterio's knee smashed Kane in the face, possibly knocking him out.  They each got to their feet with Rey nailing kicks and dropkicks.  He covered Kane for a two count.  Mysterio leaped at Kane, who caught him with a sideslam for a two count.

Kane motioned for the chokeslam but Mysterio escaped, hitting a springboard into a swinging DDT.  Mysterio hit a springboard into a big splash for a two count.  Rey dove off the top rope but Kane nailed him with a punch to the face.  He covered Rey, who got his shoulder up at two.  He whipped Mysterio into the corner, but Rey nailed him as Kane went to the ropes.  Mysterio hit a 619 to Kane's leg, sending him to the floor.

Mysterio dove off the top to the floor, where Kane drilled him coming down with a chair.  The referee called for a DQ.  The crowd booed the finish.

Your winner by DQ, Rey Mysterio!

Kane smiled as he walked off.  Mysterio was caught telling the referees to slide his kneepads down, saying he couldn't feel his legs.

Backstage, MVP was walking backstage on his cell phone, upset he wasn't in a match.  Whoever he was speaking to suggested he talk to Vickie Guerrero about it.  MVP said he would do that.  He knocked on her door and Big Show answered.  MVP asked if Vickie was there.  Big Show said she was and MVP said he wanted to talk to her about how his career is going.  Show told MVP if he really expected Vickie to deal with him after the way she was attacked by Undertaker.  MVP said that he was in pain too after the way his career has been going lately.  Show told MVP that he was focused on the Undertaker but if MVP kept bothering Vickie, he would focus on MVP.  Vickie called for Show and Show slammed the door in his face.

They plugged Cyber Sunday.

As Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler pushed the next PPV, MVP's music hit and he came to the ring.  He took the mic and said he wanted everyone's undivided attention because he had an importance announcement to make.  He said that the big sports franchises don't sit their star players and if you are Vickie Guerrero, you don't not have MVP in a match at No Mercy.  He said that this isn't the first time this has happened and said the entire WWE Universe revolves around him.

Randy Orton's music hit and he made his way to the ring.   Orton introduced himself to MVP and MVP said he knew who Orton was but didn't recognize him without his shoulder in a sling and a folder with his MRI report.  He complained that he's the game maker, but no one is giving him the ball.  Orton said the last time he saw MVP it was Wrestlemania, where he won and MVP lost.  MVP said that he doesn't work on Raw for Mike Adamle, so there's nothing stopping him from knocking out Orton and everyone in the Raw locker room would love him for it.

WWE Tag Team champs Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase came to the ring with Manu.  Rhodes asked MVP if he was really letting Orton's comments offend him, because that's what he does.  The crowd chanted "Boring."  Rhodes said that Orton isn't boring, but he's the guy who graduated High School and coasted on his reputation afterwards.  He said that all Orton has these days is his reputation, so MVP should let him have it.  Orton asked them to ask CM Punk if he's coasting.  Manu said they did the damage to Punk and Orton just picked up the scraps.  Orton said it's obvious they are trying to impress him.  He said that when they accomplish half of what he has, he'll take them a little more seriously.  He walked out.

MVP mocked Orton as he left, saying we'll see him back in the ring in 2012.  MVP complimented the second generation stars, saying he liked their style.  He said if he was ever drafted to the "Red Team" they could do something.  Ted DiBiase said he wasn't in their league.  MVP said he made more money then all three of them combined.  DiBiase said his father was the Million Dollar Man so the last time he worried about money was never.  He told MVP to get out of their ring and they'd see him at the next PPV he's not booked on.

As MVP made his way to the ring, CM Punk and Kofi Kingston came out.  Punk told MVP that he had a small idea even though they never have seen eye to eye.  Punk said that all three of them have dissed them, so there's three of each side.  MVP said he was feeling it, took off his bling and they charged the ring.  Punk and Kingston stopped short, allowing MVP to get triple teamed, then they hit the ring.  Punk and Kingston cleaned house as MVP and Manu faced off outside.  

The segment slowed the show down big-time as the live crowd wanted to see wrestling.

JBL vs. Batista to earn #1 Contender Status to WWE World championship.

They battled back and forth with Batista nailing a clothesline early.  Batista nailed an elbow as JBL rebounded off the ropes for a near fall.  Batista worked over JBL in the corner.  JBL tried to come back with the Clothesline from Hell but was caught with a spear.  JBL rolled out of the ring to save himself.

Batista followed him to the floor, where they battled briefly.  JBL nailed a neckbreaker and dropped an elbow for a two count  JBL locked on a side chinlock.  Batista came back with a back suplex to break the hold.  Batista took control, working over JBL in the corner with shoulderblocks, then hitting an over the shoulder powerslam.  Batista set up the spear but JBL kicked him in the mush.

JBL went for the clothesline from Hell but was caught with a spinebuster.  Batista called for the Batistabomb and nailed it for the pin.

Your winner and new top contender, Batista!

The match was exactly what you would have expected going in from an in-ring standpoint but the entire thing was designed to make Batista look dominant as hell.

JBL took the ring mic and said that this has been a terrible week.  JBL said that he really thought he was going to defeat Batista and go on to win the World title, but to be honest, his heart wasn't in the match.  He said that it's been a terrible week but he wanted to tell everyone that he's the most blessed person in the world because thanks to Congress, his riches have been bailed out because the reality is rich people make the world go around.  He said the Layfield family thanks them all for allowing him to keep his penthouse apartment in Central Park, even if it costs the average family $10,000 each.  He said God Bless America and God Bless me.  Jerry Lawler was ripping on the bailout as well.

Cryme Time's music hit.  Is this a PPV or an episode of Raw?  They popped up on the Titantron.  They said that while the taxpayers bailed out JBL, they were bailing out his limo.  They showed all the Divas dancing their way into the limo...followed by Sgt.  Slaughter, of all people.  That was a funny cameo.  They drove the limo out with Mickie James blowing the "Money Money, Yeah Yeah" line.  JBL looked furious.

Big Show vs. The Undertaker

They immediately began exchanging blows.  Big Show knocked Taker to the floor, where he whipped Taker into the railing.  After seeing the Wrestlemania special a few days ago and seeing Show here, it's amazing how much weight he's packed back on.  Undertaker took control, nailing a guillotine legdrop off the apron.

Back in the ring, Taker hit several big running charges.  Show reversed an Irish Whip but Taker kicked him off.  Show came back with a massive shoulderblock.  Show worked over Taker with punches, slammed him and dropped an elbow for a two count.  Taker began mounting a comeback with several rights.  Taker went for a slam but Taker dropped down behind him and attempted a Dragon Sleeper but was shoved backwards into the corner.

Show went to the middle rope and attempted a splash but Taker moved.  They went back and forth with blows.  Taker nailed the Heat Seeking Missile.  Taker dropped a leg for a two count.  Taker went for a chokeslam but Show grabbed him as well.  Show won the battle and lifted him for the chokeslam, but Taker turned it into a DDT for a two count.

Taker began beating Show again and again in the corner with fists as Show countered.  Referee Charles Robinson tried to get in his way and Taker chased him off.  Show used the moment to remove a turnbuckle pad and slammed Taker into it.  he nailed the dazed Taker with several big right hands.  Taker was down on the mat when Show nailed him with another one.  The referee stopped the match.

Your winner, via Knockout, The Big Show!

Big Show walked out smiling as Undertaker fought to regain his bearings.  You could hear the crowd chanting for Taker.  They closed in on Taker looking all glassy-eyed.

The match was the type of big man bout you would expect from these two but they were working hard.  The finish is obviously designed to build to a situation where fans can vote for the stip on the Cyber Sunday rematch.

They plugged WWE 24/7.  When they returned, Taker was slowly walking up the aisle to the locker room.

They showed Triple H walking backstage on his way to the ring.  They announced that 72% if voters were "rooting" for Jeff Hardy tonight.

WWE champ Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy

They shook hands at the bell but Triple H nailed him the second Hardy turned his back.  Hardy and HHH locked up and H went right after the arm.  They went back and forth with counters early before facing off.  Hardy went for a hiptoss but HHH reversed it.  Hardy rebounded with a side headlock takeover.  They continued going back and forth on the mat with takedowns and counters.

Hardy came off the ropes and nailed HHH with rolling head scissors.  HHH rolled to the outside, where Hardy hit a running clothesline off the apron to the floor.  Hardy went right back to the side headlock takeover, controlling HHH on the mat when they returned to the ring.  HHH backdropped Hardy over the ropes but he landed on his feet.  Hardy went for a shoulderblock through the ropes but was caught in the setup for a Pedigree.   He backdropped HHH over the ropes to the floor.  Hardy went for a forward flip dive to the floor but HHH avoided it and Hardy nailed the floor.

HHH controlled Hardy when they returned to the ring, working on Hardy's injured back.  Hardy began to make a comeback but Triple H nailed a kneelift.  Hardy kicked up at the last second.  Triple H nailed a kneedrop for a two count.  Triple H captured Hardy in an abdominal stretch.  He used the ropes to his advantage.  After breaking it, HHH locked on a sleeper.  Jim Ross namechecked Wilbur Snyder and Pat O'Connor in the same sentence saying Triple H was studying the greats and mastering their strategies.

Hardy made a comeback with several near falls.  He nailed the Cruncher for a two count, then whipped HHH into the corner, where he bumped over the top to the floor.  Hardy hit the forward flip dive to the floor.  The crowd began chanting his name.  Back in the ring, Hardy hit a clothesline off the middle turnbuckle for a two count.  Hardy went for the Twist of Fate but HHH nailed him with a clothesline.

Hardy reversed an Irish Whip into the corner but HHH kicked him off.  HHH came out of the corner but was caught and hit with a faceplant for a two count.  HHH whipped Hardy into the corner.  Hardy tried to rebound off with a twisting bodypress but HHH got his knee up.  He covered Hardy but only scored a two count.  Triple H followed up with a spinebuster.

Triple H set up Hardy for the Pedigree but he reversed it into a catapult in the corner.  Hardy hit the Whisper in the Wind for a two count.  Hardy went for the swanton off the top but missed.  Triple H went for the Pedigree but Hardy turned it into the Twist of Fate.  He nailed the swanton and covered Triple H but at 2, HHH turned it into a Crucifix and scored the three count.

Your winner and still WWE champion, Triple H!

Great match.  They had some mighty fine wrestling here and the best part was that the way they booked the finish, they put over that Hardy could have (should have) won the belt but Triple H eeked one out, as opposed to beating Hardy in a way that killed his momentum.  I can't see how they didn't build interest for a rematch down the line.  

After several replays, Triple H was walking backstage.  Arn Anderson congratulated Triple H and said that he thought Jeff Hardy had him.  As Triple H walked away, Vladimir Kozlov got in his face and told him congratulations.  They had a staredown until Kozlov walked off as Triple H watched him.

WWE World champion Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels - Ladder Match

Jericho walked under a ladder set up in the aisle as he came to the ring.  They were pushing hard that Michaels revolutionized the ladder match at Wrestlemania X.  I was there that night and no doubt it was awesome but it's so sad everyone forgets that great Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart bout that opened the show and is still, to this day, the best opening match in Wrestlemania history.  I digress.

They did a long staredown at the ball.  Michael Cole said, "We are looking at two of the greatest sports-entertainers of all tim."  I hate that term.  They grappled back and forth.  Michaels tried for sweet chin music early but missed.  He whipped Jericho into the corner then missed a charge, his shoulder hitting the ringpost.  Jericho maneuvered Michaels to the mat, where he bridged out.  They went back and forth until Michaels was clotheslined over the ropes and out of the ring.  Michaels landed on the mat where Jericho hit the springboard shoulderblock over the ropes.

On the floor, Jericho tried to throw Michaels into the ladder but Michaels scrambled up and dove off it onto Jericho.  Jericho whipped Michaels into the ringpost.  Jericho grabbed a ladder in the aisle and charged Michaels with it, but Shawn hit a drop toehold and Jericho fell forward onto the ladder.  Jericho came up with a bloody lip.  Jericho smashed Michaels with the ladder and locked on a Boston Crab on the floor to wear down Michaels.

Jericho returned to the ring, dragging a ladder into the ring.  Michaels slammed it as the ladder was halfway through the ropes, nailed Jericho as it swung upwards.  Michaels set up the ladder and went towards the top but Jericho caught him.  He tried to powerbomb Shawn, who rolled through.  Jericho tried to catapult Shawn into the ladder but Shawn landed on the rungs and scrambled up.  Jericho tipped the ladder over before he could grab the belt.  Michaels clotheslined himself on the top rope coming down.

Jericho used the ladder as a battering ram then smashed it over Michaels' back.  He set up another ladder in the corner.  They teased whipping each other into it.  Jericho reversed the whip and Michaels took a bump over the turnbuckles and back into the ring.  Jericho went for a bulldog but was sent into the ladder.  He screamed and grabbed at his knees.  Michaels set up a ladder across the bottom ropes, then dropped Jericho onto it, crotching him.  Michaels then locked on a figure four, which Michael Cole called "vintage Ric Flair."  When Jericho was released, he kicked the ladder in the corner, which bounced off the ringpost and nailed Michaels in the face.

Jericho began smashing Michaels' head into a ladder set up in the center of the ring.  He maneuvered Michaels in between the two sides and slammed it over his head.  Jericho climbed the ladder but Michaels shoved the ladder over.  Jericho landed on his feet and took Michaels out.  Jericho set up a ladder atop one of the corners.  He began peppering Michaels with punches.  He charged Michaels towards the ladder but Shawn saved himself and tossed Jericho atop the ladder.  Jericho bumped to the floor.  Michaels picked up the ladder and dropped it out to the floor on Jericho.

Michaels pulled a huge ladder out from under the ring.  He began smashing Jericho's back with a ladder.  Michaels set up Jericho on the Smackdown announce table, then climbed the huge ladder.  Jericho began following Michaels up the ladder.  Jericho tried to hit a back suplex off the ladder but Michaels turned around into a bodypress as they came down through the table.  In the replay, you could see what a nasty bump it was for both.

Michaels grabbed a ladder and was perched on the top turnbuckle to come down with it on Jericho but Jericho dropkicked Michaels, who crotched himself.  They battled in the corner, teasing a superplex over the ladder but Michaels shoved the ladder backwards with Jericho bumping off of it.  Michaels hit the picture perfect elbow but nailed the ladder as well and began selling the elbow.

Michaels pulled himself to his feet and began motioning for sweet chin music.  As he moved in for the kick, Jericho slammed a ladder into Michaels' face.  Jericho nailed the Lionsault.   Jericho set up a ladder over Michaels' chest and climbed to the top.  Michaels forced the ladder forward and Jericho bumped to the floor.  He grabbed at his knee and the announcers wondered if he blew it out.  The crowd chanted for HBK.

Michaels set up a ladder and made his way to the top as Jericho crawled back towards the ring.  Michaels made his way to the top but Jericho shoved him over.  Michaels crotched himself and was obviously trying to catch his feet in the ropes the same way he did at Mania 10 vs. Razor Ramon.  Jericho set up the ladder and made his way back to the top.  Michaels reached him as Jericho grabbed for the ladder.  They battled atop the ladder with Michaels getting the better of it.  Jericho fell backwards with his leg caught in the ladder.

Lance Cade hit the ring and grabbed Michaels.   Michaels dove off the ladder and nailed sweet chin music.  Jericho got back to the belt and Michaels caught him.  Jericho unhooked the belt and they each ended up with half of it for a tug of war.  They each tried to pull it from the other.  Michaels pulled Jericho towards him and they headbutt each other.  Michaels bumped off the ladder while Jericho remained on the ladder.  Jericho pulled down the belt and retained.

Your winner and still WWE World champ, Chris Jericho!

It was obvious that Jericho broke at least one tooth during the match as he was walking out.

A great ladder match.  Tons of awesome spots and a feeling that they were trying to beat each other, not fit in 10,000 spots.  A really fun main event to close out the show.  The top three matches are all worth checking out.  Overall, a really enjoyable show.

2009 - Highspots.com was contacted by an attorney representing Ric Flair, asking for a 48 hour extension to resolve the matter regarding the original NWA World Heavyweight championship belt. The wrestling retailer planned to auction off the belt to settle a debt with the WWE Hall of Famer, who provided the belt as collateral a year ago.  As it turned out, another debtor already had a lien on the belt, leading to a unique legal situation.  Flair eventually settled his claims with Highspots.com in court, but did not pay the settlement until he was faced with being arrested if he did not do so.

2009 - WWE broadcast Raw with Ben Roethlisberger as the guest host.  Richard Trionfo filed the following TV report:

We are live from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and your announcers are Jerry ‘Why is a Pittsburgh Steelers player in Eastern Pennsylvania’ Lawler and Michael ‘Vintage Happy Birthday Mike Epsenhart’ Cole.

We start off with Ben Roethlisberger coming out. He asks everyone if they are ready for Monday Night Raw. Ben acknowledges that there are some Eagles fans in the building along with the Steelers fans, but everyone is a WWE fan. He says that he has something special. He asks if everyone is ready and his surprise is the Diva Bowl.

Match Number One: Diva Bowl with Guest Referee Gail Kim

Mickie and Rosa start things off but Rosa with an audible and everyone is in the ring. Everyone is in the ring and Gail throws a flag and sends everyone out except for Rosa and Mickie. Rosa had a bit too much Five Hour Energy and Mickie with a kick. Alicia tags in and she kicks Mickie but Mickie with a forearm and kicks. Mickie with an elbow but Alicia sends Mickie to the apron. Mickie with a head scissors and a neck breaker but Natalya breaks it up. Eve with a flip senton. Jillian with an X Factor to Eve. Layla with a neck breaker. Maria with a bulldog. Rosa with a side slam but the Bellas with a double drop kick. Beth with a double clothesline and then Melina with a step over leg lariat. Michelle with a kick to Melina. Mickie with a DDT to Michelle and then Mickie with a victory roll on Alicia for the three count.
Winners: Face Divas

After the match, the new WWE Champions slithers very slowly down the ramp.

We go to commercial.

We are back and somehow Randy Orton made it into the ring during the commercial break. Randy is going to say something . . . eventually. He says that last night at Hell in a Cell, he defeated John Cena and he became a six time WWE Champion. Orton says that the fans say that he needs short cuts and back up to win. Orton asks when he needed back up or to take a short cut. Cena walked into Hell in a Cell and he beat John Cena. Randy says that he expects John Cena to come out to demand a rematch. Orton tells Cena to do what he needs and say what he needs to say. Orton says that knows exactly what he is going to say to Cena.

John Cena comes out and he shows no ill effects from the pooch kick last night. Cena looks like he is ready for a fight but Orton says that Cena looks a little excited. Orton tells Cena that he WILL NOT get a rematch tonight.

Cena says that Orton does not give a damn about the WWE Universe. Cena says that Orton is a WWE Superstar who strives to be the best. Cena congratulates Orton on his win last night. Cena says that he can talk about how brutal and punishing their match was last night. He also says that there was something special before, during, and after the match. Cena says that he saw the fans in Newark on their feet the entire time. Cena says that there were points during the match when they were cheering for each man. Cena says that he realized that Cena/Orton has become THE rivalry. Cena says that he wants one more chance at Orton. Cena says that he does not want to give the fans ‘a match’ but ‘the match’. Cena says that he wants an Iron Man Match. Cena says that he wants sixty minutes to determine once and for all who is the better man.

Orton says that he knows what Cena is going to do. Orton says that he would not give up his chance for a rematch if he loses. Orton says it will end, but it will end on his terms. Orton wants Cena to leave Raw if he cannot beat him at Bragging Rights. Cena accepts Orton’s stipulation. Orton says that he has more. No disqualification and no count outs as well. Orton tells Cena to take it or leave it. Cena says that he never backs down from a fight and they shake hands (as a prelude to the eventual contract signing segment). Cena leaves the ring and we go to commercial.

We are back with a video package for the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation.

Jack Swagger has a mic and he says that he looks and smells like a winner and he is a winner. He says that he did not get pinned last night and he says that he will not lose for the rest of the year. He says that he promises that he will go undefeated.

Match Number Two: Jack Swagger versus Primo

They lock up and Swagger with a front face lock take down. Swagger with a kick and take down. Primo with a back heel kick and a head scissors. Swagger with a kick and hard Irish whip. Swagger with a double jump splash and then it is time for pushups. Swagger with forearms across the chest. Swagger with a belly-to-belly suplex for a near fall. Swagger with a bear hug and then he runs Primo into the corner and connects with a shoulder tackle. Swagger misses a charge and Primo with a rollup. Primo tries for a cross body but Swagger catches him and then throws Primo into the corner. Primo with punches and drop kick for a near fall. Primo with a springboard move from the apron but Swagger with a big boot followed by the Doctor Bomb for the three count.
Winner: Jack Swagger

Big Show and Chris Jericho are in the back and they are talking to each other. We go to commercial.

We are back and did you know a lot of people watched Smackdown’s video packages. (and if you didn’t see the Eddie tribute, you should)

We are in the back and all of the women are still arguing. Santino is in a referee’s uniform and he is doing the echo announcement. He says that nobody likes seeing the Divas fight and he suggests that Mickie and Alicia kiss and make up. Alicia has a better idea and he slaps Santino. We have a lady fight.

We are told by Michael Cole that the winners of the matches will be in a tag match to determine who has Bragging Rights.

We go to Ben’s office and Miz enters. Miz says that Swagger pointed out that he did not get pinned so that makes him the loser. Ben asks Miz what happened and Miz says that he got pinned, but that is not the point. Miz reminds us who he is and that he is awesome. Miz says that Ben is awesome two Sundays of his life while he is awesome all the time. Miz says that he wants a title match against Kofi Kingston. Miz wants a birthday present. Ben says that he can do this as the guest host. Ben makes the match tonight. Ben says that there is one stipulation. Ben says that if Miz loses, he needs to let everyone know that he is awful.

We go to commercial.

We are back with the High Flying Slam of the Week: Chavo attacking Chris Masters after Masters put Hornswoggle in the Master Lock.

Match Number Three: Chavo Guerrero and Chris Masters versus Montel Vontavious Porter and Mark Henry

Masters and Henry start things off and they lock up and Henry sends Masters to the mat. They lock up again and Henry with a clean break. They lock up again and Masters with a side head lock but Henry with a shoulder tackle and a splash but Henry appears to have hurt his knee. Porter tags in and he punches Masters. Chavo hits Porter and Porter punches him on the apron but Masters with a clothesline. Chavo tags in and he hits a Latino uppercut and then he punches Porter. Chavo with a drop kick to the knee to knock Henry off the apron. Chavo with a kick for a near fall. Porter with an overhead belly-to-belly throw followed by clotheslines. Porter with a float over and then he hits a flying clothesline. Porter with the Ballin elbow. Masters tries to break up the cover but he drops an elbow on Chavo. Henry takes care of Masters and Porter gets the three count.
Winners: Mark Henry and Montel Vontavious Porter

After the match, Masters and Chavo have some words and Masters yells at Chavo. Masters with a kick to Chavo and he tries to put Chavo in the Master Lock but Hornswoggle bites Masters. Chavo with a DDT. Chavo and Hornswoggle are in the ring and Hornswoggle does the crotch chop (or something resembling a crotch chop).

Ben is walking in the back as we go to commercial.

We are back and Ben is back out to address the crowd and he comes to the ring. Ben is interrupted by Chris Jericho and Big Show.

Show tells Ben to take it easy and he doesn’t want Ben to be intimidated. He wants to know why they call him ‘Big Ben’. Show talks about Ben’s big offensive line and he wonders how big they are compared to him. Jericho says that they probably aren’t as big as him. Ben brings out his offensive line.

Jericho wonders if they are supposed to be intimidated by the mesomorphs. Jericho points out that this is not a football field, it is a wrestling ring. They don’t wear pads or take time off for turf toe. Jericho says that they are the most dominant team in sports, not the Steelers. They get in a huddle and they line up but Show and Jericho leave the ring.

Degeneration X come out to join the party. Shawn and Hunter high five their host and say hello to the rest of the Steelers in the ring.

Jericho says that a potential Sportscenter moment got ruined by a couple of miscreants who are only out to sell their merchandise while Jericho runs through all of the DX merchandise, including their new book. Hunter thanks Chris for the plug and he says they came out to comment on Chris’ hair tonight. Shawn says that Jericho and Show have faced some great tag teams, but there is one that they haven’t faced. Show tells Shawn to take it easy and he wonders if that was a challenge. Shawn says that he is in pain and he says that it is a challenge. Show tells Shawn to do the smart thing and go home and take care of his wounds for another day because they are not ready to face JeriShow. Jericho says that they are not worthy. Jericho says that DX doesn’t deserve to face them.

Ben wants to know where Chris and Show are going because tonight they will be facing DX tonight. Ben has two words for Jericho and Show.

We are back with the slightly after Halftime Report with a look back at the highlights.

Match Number Four: Kofi Kingston versus The Miz in a US Title Match

They lock up and Miz with a clean break but then he pushes Kofi. Kofi moves out of the way and Miz goes to the floor. Miz returns and they go head to head and Miz with a head butt and a rollup. Miz with kicks to Kofi. Kofi with chops after Miz avoids Trouble in Paradise. Kofi with a near fall and Miz goes to the floor. Miz misses a punch and Kofi with a rollup. Miz with a clothesline to the back of the head for a near fall. Miz with a kick to the head. Miz with elbows in the corner and then he follows that with punches before the referee pulls him away. Kofi leaps into the corner and connects with punches and kicks. The referee pulls Kofi away and Miz sends Kofi to the apron. Kofi tries to go up top but Miz trips Kofi and Kofi hits the apron as he goes to the floor and we go to commercial.

We are back and Miz with a rear chin lock. We see footage from during the commercial when Miz rolled through on a sunset flip and kicked Kofi. Miz tries for a belly-to-back suplex but Kofi counters with a cross body. Miz with a clothesline and then he punches Kofi. Miz with a leg drop for a near fall. Kofi with Trouble in Paradise but Miz rolls to the floor. Kofi brings Miz back in and he gets a near fall. Miz with an inside cradle for a near fall. Kofi with a clothesline and it is time for the Boom Boom Leg Drop but Miz moves away. Kofi with a kick to the ribs and then he hits the leg drop but Miz’s hand is on the ropes. Miz drops Kofi on the ropes and then he hits a knee lift but Kofi with a back slide for a near fall. Miz and Kofi exchange punches. Kofi with a flying forearm and a drop kick. Kofi goes up top for a cross body but Miz rolls through but can only get a two count. Kofi with an STO/DDT for a near fall. Kofi gets caught in the ropes when Miz moves and Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale for the three count.
Winner: The Miz

After the match, the Miz gets on the mic and he points out that he is the new United States Champion and he tells us that he is awesome.

We are back and did you know that WWE is better than HBO and Showtime for original programming?

Jerry Lawler talks about Bragging Rights but we go to footage setting up the main event between Randy Orton and John Cena.

We return to Ben Roethlisberger and Hornswoggle is grunting. Santino comes in and he says that he was slapped by the Divas and he wants Ben Surfandturfer to do something about it. Santino tries to get Ben’s last night right but he fails each time. Hornswoggle slaps Santino and he says it right. Ben and Hornswoggle high five each other.

Big Show and Chris Jericho walk in the back as we go to commercial.

We are back and next week Nancy O’Dell and Maria Menounos are your guest hosts.

Match Number Five: Chris Jericho and Big Show versus Degeneration X

Hunter and Jericho start things off and they lock up with the referee breaking them up. They lock up again and Jericho with a side head lock. Jericho with a shoulder tackle and then Hunter with a hip toss and he works on the arm before tagging Shawn in. Shawn with a chop to Jericho. Michaels with an Irish whip but he runs into a boot and Jericho punches Shawn. Jericho with a slam and then he tags in Show. Shawn avoids Show and then he tags in Hunter as we go to commercial.

We are back and Show with a bear hug. We see footage from the commercial when Show connected with a side slam. Hunter with punches to Show to get out of the hold. Show with an Irish whip and splash and Hunter falls to the mat and Show with a near fall. Jericho tags in and he punches Hunter. Jericho takes some time to raise his fist in the air before connecting with a knee and punch. Hunter punches back and we go with alternating punches until Hunter takes control. Jericho with a missile drop kick for a near fall. Jericho chokes Hunter in the ropes. Hunter moves out of the way and Jericho hits the ropes and goes down. Hunter is able to make the tag and Michaels with punches to Jericho followed by a reverse atomic drop and a chop. Jericho with a hard Irish whip. Jericho with a kick to the back. Show tags in and he drops a leg across Shawn’s chest. Show picks up Shawn with a modified backbreaker and bear hug before he drops Shawn to the mat. Show puts Shawn in the ropes and Show with punches to the kidneys. Jericho tags back in and he punches Shawn and slaps him in the head. Shawn fights back but Jericho with a clothesline for a near fall. Jericho slaps Shawn in the head and then Jericho works on the back. Shawn steps on Jericho’s foot and then gets a near fall with an inside cradle. Jericho puts Michaels in the Walls of Jericho. Shawn tries to get to the ropes or make the tag but Jericho pulls Shawn back into the center of the ring. Hunter attacks Jericho from behind and then he tries to will Shawn to the corner to make the tag. Show tags in and he runs into a boot. Shawn with a drop kick to the knee but Show still keeps Shawn from making the tag. Shawn with an enzuigiri and Hunter tags in and he hits the high knee on Jericho. Jericho with an Irish whip but Hunter avoids the bulldog and hits a clothesline of his own on Jericho for a near fall. Hunter with the facebuster but Show grabs Jericho. Jericho runs into Show and then Hunter with a spinebuster and pose. Hunter tries for the Pedigree but Show grabs Hunter and then he grabs Shawn. DX tries for a double suplex and Show blocks it and hits a double suplex of his own. Jericho with a rollup and his feet on the ropes. Jericho tries for the Walls of Jericho but Hunter powers out of it. Hunter with a kick but Show pulls Hunter out when he tries for the Pedigree. Hunter and Shawn send Show into the ring post and then they take care of Show. Hunter and Shawn surround Jericho and Jericho is right to fight them off but he leaves the ring instead. Before he can get to the back, Ben and the rest of the Steelers block the exit. Shawn and Hunter come up behind him and Jericho knows what is next. They return to the ring and Shawn hits Sweet Chin Music and Hunter gets the three count.
Winners: Shawn Michaels and Triple H

We go to credits with The Steelers and DX celebrating in the ring.

2009 - Playmates Toys issued the following press release:

Playmates Toys Named Master Toy Licensee for Mexican Wrestling Phenomenon Lucha Libre AAA

Cookie Jar Group’s global licensing division, Copyright Promotions Licensing Group (CPLG), the North American licensing agent for Lucha Libre USA and the Lucha Libre AAA league, has signed Playmates Toys, Inc. as the master toy licensee for the popular wrestling brand. Playmates Toys will create a line of toys and collectibles that reflects the energy and excitement of this longtime Mexican wrestling sensation.

For the first time ever in North America, Playmates Toys, will launch the officially-sanctioned, Lucha Libre AAA exclusive toy and collectibles line in Fall 2010. It will include highly-detailed and fully-articulated Luchador action figures, authentic role-play masks and feature rich play sets, so that kids and collectors alike can experience the colorful and exciting action of Lucha Libre AAA.

Lucha Libre has been an unstoppable phenomenon in Mexico for over 75 years. Loved by fans of all ages, only Lucha Libre AAA delivers the high-flying action and outlandish antics of Mexico’s beloved Luchadores. With almost 50 million Hispanic-Americans in the U.S. and an already established professional wrestling fan base, Lucha Libre AAA is a rapidly-growing success on this side of the border. In addition to the upcoming line of toys and collectibles, Cookie Jar Entertainment will distribute the first English-language Lucha Libre AAA television series in the U.S.

“I believe that Playmates’ experience in the action figure business is perfectly suited to meet the expectations of the Lucha Libre AAA fan base. We look forward to seeing our legendary wrestlers such as La Parka, Octagon and Cibernetico on the shelves at retail,” said Louis Silverstein, Managing Partner, Lucha Libre USA.

“Lucha Libre AAA holds a unique position in the exploding entertainment fighting arena with its iconic and idolized masked heroes and villains and the high-energy acrobatic fighting. Playmates Toys looks forward to capturing the gripping excitement of Lucha Libre AAA where fans can relive their fascination with the dynamic sport with its many underdogs turned champions,” said Andre’ Lake Mayer, Vice President, Strategic Alliances for Playmates Toys.

“Cookie Jar Group is excited to have Playmates Toys on board as the master toy licensee for Lucha Libre AAA,” said Kirk Bloomgarden, EVP Worldwide Consumer Products, Cookie Jar Group. “They have created toy and collectible lines for some of the world’s top brands and we believe that they are the ideal partner to help make Lucha Libre AAA a great success at retail throughout North America.”

2010 - The Tri-State Wrestling Alliance issued the following announcement today, touting a pretty prestigious win in the theatrical world:

"Hitman" Tony Stetson (Anthony Matteo), along with John Bellomo, won the prestigious Barrymore Award last night, Monday, October 4, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Stetson won the award in the category of Choreography/Movement for his work in the hit play The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity; InterAct Theatre Company.

Stetson, one of the unsung heroes of the Philly wrestling scene, was a pioneer along with Johnny Hot Body, Larry Winters and DC Drake, all who helped usher in the genre of hard core wrestling. First with the Tri-State Wrestling Alliance (TWA) in 1990 and then Eastern/Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) in 1992, Stetson was a major player in the Philly area that many do not give the credit he deserves for the part he played in helping Philadelphia become a hot bed for wrestling.

In Oct 2009, Stetson came out of a 7 year retirement to wrestle for the resurrected TWA, and has had a great year wrestling the likes of Breaker Morant, "Mr. Wrestling" Steve Corino, "the Beast" Glen Osbourne and others. Stetson also was included in the 2010 edition of Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) Magazine's PWI 500 and was featured with a full color pinup.

Later this month, Stetson returns to the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ on Sat, Oct 23rd with a 4 PM bell time as he faces he latest nemesis "The Beast" Glen Osbourne at the TWA's 1 Year Anniversary Show. For info and tickets visit TWAProWrestling.com or call 609.220.5598.

2010 - Jim Ross had a stent placed in his heart.  On his blog, Ross wrote, "It's good to be home without having to spend a night or two in the hospital. Thanks to all for their positive thoughts and prayers. They are and will always be much appreciated.  My heart procedure has come and gone without having to undergo surgery to place a stent in a heart artery. Once the doctor went through my groin and up the femoral artery to take a look at my heart he discovered that there was only a 20% blockage in three spots which was not a reason for concern. People of my age group, I'm 58, most of the time have some calcium build up in their arteries. I am not in a high risk group and actually have a very healthy heart according to my cardiologist. My heart had improved greatly since it was last throughly examined in 2006. I credit that to weight loss and increased, regular exercise. With that said, I will begin hitting the gym again next week which will allow the puncture in my groin time to heal. The soreness in my groin is my only area of concern and that matter will heal in a few days. I was very blessed to receive the verdict that I did."

2010 - Lost Colony Entertainment announced that they had purchased the television and film rights to adapt the Irv Muchnick book "Chris & Nancy" on the Benoit family tragedy. This basically means that they will have the rights to develop and sell the property or raise the funds to produce the film on their own.

2010 - WWE broadcast NXT.  Richard Trionfo filed the following report:

Someone gets eliminated tonight, but which one of the six will it be? What will happen when Kaitlyn meets her pro in the ring?

We are live on a stream and your announcers are Michael ‘I hate the internet and here I am on the net’ Cole and Josh ‘I have a 28.8 connection’ Mathews. Your host is Matt ‘Max Headroom’ Striker.

Matt is on the stage and he brings out the six rookies. Matt reminds them that this is the biggest night of their careers because the WWE Universe and the pros will determine which one of them will no longer be a part of the competition. Matt reminds AJ that she has won three competitions and is closer to immunity. Kaitlyn, Naomi, and Jamie can still get immunity.

It is time for the first challenge and it is time to get the mechanical bull out for a Mechanical Bull Riding Competition. The person who stays on the bull the longest will win the competition. Matt wants someone to demonstrate so the Bellas volunteer. They ride first and it is on super slow. Then it speeds up and they are finally thrown from the mechanical bull.

Naomi is first and her time is 12.5 seconds. The next rookie is Aksana and her time 17.9 seconds so she in lead. AJ is the next to mount the mechanical monster and after commiserating with Kaitlyn before donning Kurt Angle’s cowboy hat. AJ with a time of 9.6 seconds. Jamie is the next one to go and her time is 10.9 seconds. Maxine gets to be on top . . . of the bull and she lasts 9.8 seconds. Kaitlyn is the final one to challenge the bull and she ends up with 10 seconds.

Aksana get her first win in competition and then she will face Maxine in the ring.

We are back and Did You Know that a lot of children are going to do the Wrestlemania Reading Challenge?

We see footage from last night when Goldust was revealed as the one who left the messages for Ted DiBiase and Maryse because he wants the Million Dollar Belt.

Match Number One: Aksana versus Maxine

They lock up and Aksana with a hammer lock and Maxine with an elbow and forearms. Maxine with a kick and she misses a charge into the corner. Aksana takes Maxine down and gets a near fall. Aksana works on the arm but Maxine with a neck breaker for a near fall. Maxine with a side head lock into a submission hold but Aksana gets a near fall. Aksana with a clothesline followed b a boot to the head for a near fall. Aksana with an Irish whip but Maxine with a clothesline and Aksana floats over and gets the three count.

Winner: Aksana

Michael Cole wants to talk about last night’s Raw when he saw John Cena working with Nexus. Who wants a Raw Rebound?

We are told that there is going to be a Talent Show when we come back from commercial.

We are back and the rookies are in the ring with Matt Striker. Matt reminds us that Aksana rode the bull the best. Matt also reminds us that AJ is in the immunity lead now but Naomi and Kaitlyn can tie her.

Aksana is the first to show her talent and her talent is push ups. Aksana does some unorthodox push ups. Naomi is next and her talent is rap and she goes freestyle.

AJ says that she is going to give Michael Cole some personality and then she says that her talent is flexibility. AJ does some stretching on the mat. Jamie is next and her talent is turning men on. Jamie tells Matt that since the first time she saw him, she thought he was hot and then Jamie kisses Matt.

Kaitlyn is next and her talent is art. She has Striker assisting her with her easel. She shows a stick figure drawing of Vickie Guerrero. Kaitlyn says that she can’t wait to get Vickie on the canvas after putting Vickie on her canvas. Maxine is next and her talent is . . . Maxine says that she wants to apologize to Hornswoggle. She says that they had a little mishap and we see Hornswoggle go down and go down hard. Maxine has a pie and she made it just for Hornswoggle. Hornswoggle stops to hug AJ before going to Maxine and her special pie. She says that she is truly sorry and she gives him the pie she specially made for him. She puts some of the pie in Hornswoggle’s face and then he gives the rest of it to Maxine.

It is time to find out who Topeka liked the most. The winner is Kaitlyn and she has tied AJ with three wins.

It is now up to the WWE Universe to decide who gets immunity. The people of Kansas like Kaitlyn and she has immunity.

It is time for the Make a Wish Foundation video package.

We go to commercial.

We are back and Goldust tells Aksana that he has longed to hold it so tight. Someone from Immigration stops by to talk to Aksana. He tells her that she has four weeks before her application is up for review. Goldust says that she has been here for a while. The agent says that it doesn’t matter if she is the Russian Trish Stratus. Goldust says that they will take care of things and then he comments on the agent’s hair.

It is time to take a look back at the decades long . . . well, weeks long rivalry between Kaitlyn and Vickie Guerrero.

Match Number Two: Vickie Guerrero with Dolph Ziggler versus Kaitlyn

Vickie wants the referee to wait until she has warmed up. Vickie does some stretching and then it is time to wrestle . . . or is it because Vickie’s shoulder is a bit tight. Vickie does some meditation too.

Kaitlyn wants to know what is going on and Vickie pushes Kaitlyn but Kaitlyn with a drop toe hold and Vickie says that she is bleeding from her lip. Vickie yells at Kaitlyn and then she tries to slap Kaitlyn but Kaitlyn blocks it. Vickie connects but so does Kaitlyn. Vickie goes to the floor and Dolph kind of checks on her but Vickie pulls Kaitlyn to the floor and sends her into the ringside barrier a few times. Vickie kicks Kaitlyn as she tells Kaitlyn to get up.

They get back into the ring and Vickie kicks Kaitlyn and she taunts her rookie. Vickie sends Kaitlyn into the turnbuckles a few times. Vickie chokes Kaitlyn in the ropes. Vickie yells at Dolph and then she chokes Kaitlyn some more. Vickie works on Kaitlyn’s back but Vickie cannot get Kaitlyn up for a slam. Kaitlyn slams Vickie but can only get a near fall. Vickie sends Kaitlyn into the ropes and then she tells Dolph to help her but Vickie gets rolled up by Kaitlyn for the three count.

Winner: Kaitlyn

After the match, Kailtyn celebrates with Dolph right in front of Vickie and Dolph pushes her away. Vickie screeches at both of them and then she leaves the ring.

We go to commercial.

We are back and Matt is at ringside with the rookies and one of them is going home, other than Kaitlyn who earned immunity.

It is time for the random Rookie Eliminator 2010 and the unlucky rookie is Jamie.

Jamie gets her last name back before she gives her exit promo. She thanks everyone so much. She says that the WWE has the best fans and the most supportive people. She thanks the Bellas. She tells the rookies that she wishes them the best of luck.