From this author’s perspective, Episode 5 of ECW TV is when things started to look Extreme. There was silliness, innuendo, focus on females and, of course, the debut of a cult leader. Let’s get to it!
It’s episode 2 of DC’s Network Diaries, and wrestlers are wearing flannel, wetsuits and dressed like ninjas! DC is in heaven!
In case you’re a relative neophyte to the DDTWrestling experience, let’s take a minute for some education. Doc Manson and DC Matthews began their online careers as writers, going back and forth in Google Docs. If you can imagine a written version of our podcast, that was essentially it, only without any song parodies or food discussion.
As the podcast grew, the writing dwindled, to the point where I can’t even remember the last time I put fingers to keyboard, as it were. This is a strange feeling – I’m not even sure I remember how to log into ddtpod.com! This could be a disaster…
Regardless, while I didn’t sit down and scribe out resolutions for 2017, I did have a couple of goals in mind. One of them was to dive back into the WWE Network archives. Since the brand split, I haven’t had the time or the energy to watch anything other than the current WWE / NXT / 205 Live product. On the most recent episode of Doc Talk, my partner in crime was effusive in praising my wrestle-nerd-dom, citing my perusal of “The Vault” as his prime example. So, really, I have no choice in the matter.
Springtime for teachers is a whirlwind of assessments, field trips, evening events and counting down the days to summer. Thus, it’s been a little tricky for me to come home and put myself in a writing mood. My apologies for that. However, last night’s Payback had too much going on to be ignored, so let’s get to it. Here are the lessons learned from WWE Payback.
In a little over 24 hours, the stars of WWE NXT will converge upon the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in little ol’ Dallas, Texas. In the two short years the WWE developmental system has been airing “special events” (for goodness sake, they’re pay-per-views) on the WWE Network, this weekend’s Dallas production might just be the biggest show NXT has put on since their Brooklyn card. I promised DC I’d pump out a couple articles about WrestleMania weekend before the festivities really got started, so here goes on breaking down the NXT TakeOver Dallas card!
One of my favorite parts of my quest to watch all the NWA / WCW PPV’s / Clashes has been discovering (or re-discovering) the seasonally themed PPVs. WWE has their TLC, their Extreme Rules and the like, and they even have Summer Slam, but that’s about it. WCW, however, had Spring Stampede, Bash at the Beach, and most importantly for today’s column, Halloween Havoc. In fact, in my year plus on Twitter, I’ve heard numerous people (Magnum and Moltov chief among them) saying that they wish WWE brought back Halloween Havoc as their October “event”, and I agree wholeheartedly.
Halloween Havoc, for those who missed out on the WCW years, was incredibly corny, but that was what made it fun. The announcers in costumes, gimmick matches, dark lighting and really campy promos, it was a thing of beauty. So today, in a return to the DC Diaries (which, I might add, is what got me started as a wrestling writer), let’s take a look at one Havoc in particular, one that I actually would recommend you watch almost from start to finish, Halloween Havoc 1993. This Havoc features a number of present and, in my opinion, future Hall of Famers, and some great matches.
As just about everyone who reads this column knows, I’m in the midst of trying to watch every NWA / WCW PPV (and Clash of Champions) on WWE Network. It’s an arduous task, especially when you consider that the talents and matches at some of these points, and I apologize to the uber-fans like my dear friend Magnum here, just weren’t very good!
For me, though, its not really about the matches. It’s about the characters, particularly the lesser known / mildly terrible ones.
I mean, come on, I’m the guy who spent 10+ minutes discussing New Day on NAIpod this week! I’ve always been drawn to the undercard when it comes to professional wrestling, and boy, does late 80’s and early 90’s WCW have an undercard!
Rather than do a traditional DC Diaries this week, I thought I’d instead introduce many of you to a cast of characters that, in many ways, defy descriptions. The following are NWA and WCW talents that, in my opinion, you should know.
(Honestly, I’m only writing this column for one specific reason. You’ll see what it is at the end. Trust me, its worth the wait.)
One of the best. . . and worst. . .things about professional wrestling is the gimmick match, when some sort of stipulation is added to the bout for intrigue or importance. In some cases, it can be a thing of beauty (the Steel Cage, I Quit and Ironman formats come to mind). In others, it can become synonymous with certain talents. If I say “Casket match”, only one man comes to mind; when I see TLC, I think of three teams specifically.
Then we have the bad gimmick matches.
I dare not list examples, for each one both turns the stomach and truly is deserving of its own Throwback Thursday. Let’s just assume you know the kinds of matches of which I speak.
Today’s throwback came along as part of my quest to watch all NWA and WCW PPV’s in chronological order, and while WWE Network seems to be throwing up roadblocks to stop me from doing this (anyone else getting odd glitches galore?), it did not stop me from entering the Chamber of Horror. . . I’ll repeat that.
The Chamber of Horror!
Over the last few months, a number of cable networks have announced the creation of new streaming services, a la Netflix and Hulu. CBS and HBO, the two biggest companies I’ve heard to be heading in this direction, will start offering the option of a monthly subscription service, outside of cable.
It is the opinion of this writer, with no knowledge of business, television or really much of anything, that this is going to be the future of TV as we know it – Within 10-15 years, I don’t think we have “cable companies”, just a series of networks that stream their services online.
With me? Hold that thought. We’ll come back to it.
My name may be DC Matthews, friends, but I’ll always be The Teacher.
It’s been quite a long time since I’ve written something for this particular blog… Even longer since my good friend Doc Manson and I have written something together, which is really what brought me to the “writing about wrestling” dance in the first place.
You hear that, Doc? I’m calling you out. Let’s do this.
Anywho, onto the column proper.