Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the only review blog that makes you walk like the scurvy dog ye be, Cewsh Reviews! We have a special trea…hmm. Well I guess “special” would be more accurate than “treat” actually now that I think about it. Because I’m going to level with you boys and girls, tonight we intrude upon untouched ground as we review the wrestling highlight of the annual Gathering of the Juggalos, JCW Legends and Icons 2011. We have a motley crew of legends from the 80s, drug addicts from the 90s, various amusing hangers on and, well, Juggalos on tap for tonight to flay us with untold pleasures of the mind until we beg them to stop. It sounds like a great time. I mean the Cewsh Reviews team, and a promotion run by evil, rapping clowns in the same place at the same time. What can go wrong, right?
Vice: This is such a ridiculous card. The show is called Legends and Icons, and all things considered, it’s pretty stacked full of them. Two problems though. One, it’s JCW. Two, very few wrestlers are like Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker where they actually get better and better as time goes on, becoming smarter and more effective in the ring, and showing even more control of the crowd. This show is pretty much packed with old dinosaurs.
Cewsh: We begin the show with our intrepid announcer for the evening and Kevin Gill is apparently this young man’s name, and not only does he compliment, hype and introduce…himself, but he also runs through every Juggalo catchphrase in about a minute flat to absolute no reaction from the people at ringside. I imagine this particular audience is going to be a little difficult to please, and matters are not helped whatsoever by this show not starting until 1 in the morning due to the apparent incredible demand to hear more of the Insane Clown Posse’s many hit songs like “Chain On My Wallet (Let’s Them Know I’m A Badass)” and “Woop Woop! (Yell This Often).” Mick Foley then comes out and takes up his role for the show of attempting to crack enough jokes to make this seem like entertainment. He isn’t successful, mind, but his effort to make this seem like something worth being here for is a life raft to hang on to in the raging torrent of sadness.
Off to a great start!
Cewsh: In it he claims that Greg Valentine gave him surgery years ago, which seems kind of unlikely. The rest is drowned out by the enormously loud music being played by DJ Clay (the Heart of JCW don’tcha know). Its at about this time where I can’t help but begin to get a bad feeling about all of this. I mean, Santana hasn’t wrestled any notable match is years and years. What did it take to get him out of retirement for this? A tuna sandwich? Half of a tuna sandwich? A picture of a tuna sandwich?
Vice: This match sets the tone for the entire night. Before the entrances are even complete. Both men look absolutely horrible, can barely walk, and even have a hard time getting into the ring.
It’s just depressing seeing guys like this go at it. I’m not sure if it’s passion or desperation that causes them to continue going this far past their expiration date, but either way they needed to hang up the boots a long time ago.
What Happened: A horrendously slow, terrible match that utilized the cage just enough to get some blood. There was no intensity. Just two old fucks going at it, barely being able to do any sort of move.
What Should Have Happened: Greg Valentine hobbles out like a cripple, and goes to enter the cage, only to realize that it’s locked. He says fuck it, and walks to the back as Santana is coming down the ramp. He explains the situation, they both shrug, and help each other to the back.
In Their Prime: This could have been really entertaining.
Cewsh: Do you like feeling really bad while watching your favorite wrestlers from your childhood move around painfully? Do you like matches that last less than the amount of time it would take to Wikipedia these wrestlers and find out where they’ve been for a decade? Do you like every single match you see to end in a roll up?
If the answer to all three of those questions was yes, then you may want to consult a physician, because your erection is about to last at least 3 hours.
These two wrestle and have a match only their mothers could love. Then, after the match, it is revealed that all of the winners of these matches will be receiving plaques commemorating their victories. Now in a promotion like Ring of Honor this could maybe be significant with how dead seriously they take their wrestling, but this is a show which is predicated entirely upon the idea that we, as fans, are willing to shell out money to see people have shitty matches. Giving Greg Valentine a plaque so that he can remember this match is like giving someone a trophy for the time they got an erection in front of the class. Why you would want to remember it is a mystery. This takes on an added significance, though, as Valentine throws the plaque to Santana in reference to a similar act that happened rough 25 years ago. Now I sure as fuck didn’t know what they were referencing until the announcer went on about it at length, so I can only imagine what the live crowd was thinking as Valentine plopped the plaque down at Santana’s feet and tottered off, only for Santana to smash it ineffectively against the cage.
I’m pretty sure I know what Santana was thinking though. “Tuna sandwich, here I come!”
21 out of 100
Cewsh: They now take a 10 minute break where Mick Foley and What’s His Name chat about absolutely nothing of note while the ring crew (read: a bunch of fat dudes and one chick) take down the cage that HAD NO REASON TO BE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. This is after a four hour delay before the show started to begin with. So these people wanted to see wrestling, and after 4 and a half hours, they have received 3 minutes of half naked Greg Valentine and at least 750 confusingly errant jokes by Mick Foley. Anyone who paid for this show has not only not gotten their money’s worth, but they have actively devalued the American dollar. Way to go guys, the downfall of the free world is all your fault.
Cewsh: We throw backstage (with completely audible stage direction from the guy in the back) to Bill Aptner who is with the Headbangers. He asks them a question, doesn’t wait for the answer to finish and them promptly says that its time to throw back to the ring. The Bangers angrily ask why the fuck he’s cutting them off, and things are AWKWARD for a minute before they just awkwardly segwey back to Foley.
At this point its not so much about this show simply being bad, so much as it seems like a bunch of dudes showed up and the promoters had smoked all of their plans for the show, leaving everyone to shuffle around confused, having no idea what to do with themselves. I would criticize more, but on the other hand, this was probably the best promo the Headbangers were ever a part of. So, you know, looking on the bright side.
Cewsh: Some of the highlights of this prestigious match include:
– Ronnie Garvin showing up after his music played for about 5 minutes, looking like he just came from a bowling alley.
– Carlito shows up, looking the best he’s ever looked in his entire career. Which begs the realization that if things had gone very slightly differently, he might be a main eventer in WWE right now instead of a midcarder in JCW. Try to grasp the enormity of the difference.
– Jimmy Snuka shows up looking like a member of the walking dead. Legend has it that looking at Jimmy Snuka after midnight and saying “Mayonnaise” three times fast is the easiest way to summon the devil.
– A 100 pound one legged man comes in and is named by the announcers as the odds on favorite to win. I know we give Cena shit for being treated like an underdog even though he’s going to win, but somehow the opposite is even MORE ridiculous.
– Doink appears, looking like the world’s laziest pedophile.
– Snuka grabs a headset and launches into some bizarre commentary, calling everyone geniuses and telling everyone he loves them.
– Foley, inspired by the success of the Snuka interview, now starts asking questions to everyone who gets eliminated. The question always exactly the same. “Hey, do you remember an obscure moment from Raw 5 years ago when Balls Mahoney made a joke about his balls?” “Yeah!” “Me too!”
– Zach Gowen eliminates like 11 dudes in a row.
– Rikishi arrives and is promptly booed out of the building with the very first crowd reaction of any kind. Poor guy.
– Zach Gowen wins by eliminating Big Daddy V. Because why wouldn’t he?
In its way, this had some entertaining moments with some faces that it was nice to see again after so long (Carlito, Rob Conway). But there are points in this match that are among the lowest in my wrestling watching career. From seeing Jimmy Snuka totter down to the ring like a tiger striped zombie to listening to Zach Gowen deliver one of the worst post win speeches in recent memory, the bad faaaaaaaaaaaaaar outweighed the good. Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar.
17 out of 100
What Happened: They have themselves half a Royal Rumble, and it is fucking terrible. Just fucking terrible. Every elimination seems incredibly half-assed. It was kind of cool seeing the absurd collection of people here, but it was dreadful and lasted nearly half an hour. To boot, a one legged man won the whole thing.
What Should Have Happened: If Zach Gowen was destined to win, last eliminating Big Daddy V, he should have gotten his ass kicked to the point where he realized he needed a second leg. The main lights dim, some colorful strobe lights hit, the middle of the ring opens up, and out comes a midget on a platform. Gowen attaches the midget to his stump and punts Big Daddy V into the crowd, winning the match and taking out a few Juggalos in the process.
In Their Prime: This still would have been a clusterfuck. And hell, Carlito IS in his prime which is sad and a true waste. It would have been a lot better though, with guys being able to take actual bumps and whatnot.
Cewsh: This match lasted 36 seconds.
These old men tottered down to the ring, the Rock and Roll Express hit a double dropkick that was more like a gradual aggressive falling over, which picked up the win for them.
They then promptly left.
10 out of 100
What Happened: 36 seconds.
What Should Have Happened: 36 seconds.
In Their Prime: This could have been a fabulous tag team match, which could have stolen the show.
In a 5 minute rambling promo, Funk references cat poop, calls Piper’s mother a whore, insults They Live, and then attacks the camera man.
Looking down at my desk, I appear to have begun carving “Help Me” into the wood with my finger nail. I do not remember beginning this, but now I can’t imagine stopping.
Cewsh: Now see, of all the matches on the show, this one makes the most sense. These guys (barring Douglas) are all in pretty good shape and are all still involved in the wrestling business and look like it. Hell, 2 Cold Scorpio and Rhino might as well have not aged in the past 5 years to look at them and watch them move. Add to that that these guys are heroes to this specific crowd of wrestling fans and it seems strange only that they’ve packed them all into one match here instead of basing the whole show around them.
Now I wish I could spin a humorous story here about how everybody botched so hard that they flew backwards in time and Rhino gored Dr. Who, but I can’t. This was an elimination match, and the eliminations happened so fast that you barely even had time to register what happened to the last guy, much less see what Sabu was trying to do. In fact, it may be more accurate to call this an training session on how to take the Gore than it would be to call it a match. Rhino gores everyone and wins pretty damn easily, and that’s fair enough since he’s the only one who really still wrestles on a regular basis and he actually works regularly for JCW. I can’t help but feel bad for the guys here, though. I never thought that I would say this, but guys like Sabu and Rhino really deserved more time on this show.
Oh god, I just read what I typed. Where’s my bourbon?
48 out of 100
What Happened: A bunch of ECW guys go at it in an ECW style match. So basically, you know what to expect. Nothing revolutionary or even that good, but it was at least something. They had less than 4 minutes to work with, so you can’t exactly expect a lot from them.
What Should Have Happened: The match starts with everyone staring each other down. Rhino hits a gore. Then another. Then another. Everyone eats a gore, as that move is still pretty damn awesome to see and is the only reason Rhino can loosely be called a professional wrestler. With everyone down, Rhino celebrates in the center of the ring with a taunt, but clutches his left arm and falls to the ground. He has a heart attack and dies. After a few moments of “wtf??!?!?!” from everybody, the other wrestlers get to their feet and realize that Rhino is dead. They all hug and smile. Sandman comes out with beer and they have themselves a nice beer bash in the middle of the ring. This goes on for about 20 minutes. Then they pee on his lifeless body. Eventually, the Jiffy Lube crew comes in to haul off their fallen comrade. The others continue drinking beer, Styrofoam heads fall from the ceiling, some awesome music hits, and everyone in attendance has a massive party.
In Their Prime: This probably would have been the same, really.
Cewsh: Wait, what’s this? We’re getting some breaking news. Ah yes, it appears that this show is so incredibly awful and poorly planned that they just spent 5 minutes live on the air attempting to throw to an interview and then FAILED TO PROVIDE ANYTHING OF THE KIND. They sloppily attempt to cover this obvious fuckery by saying that Bob Backlund doesn’t want to talk right now before leaving Mick Foley to tell random stories that have nothing to do with anything until someone’s theme song hits.
This entire promotion is like some weird parallel universe WWE, where instead of everything being overproduced, it just isn’t produced in any way at all. Unless you count giant balloon arcs like at your prom and some barrels with smoke coming out of them to be production, in which case YOU’RE HAVING THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE.
Cewsh: Look, dear reader. I’m not going to insult your intelligence by treating this match as if it ever had a chance to be something positive. These two men began their original feud together in 1980. For those keeping track at home, that was a whopping 32 years ago. For those ALSO keeping track at home, the two people reviewing this show right now are 26. If you factor in the fact that those matches weren’t great to begin with, you’re not exactly laying down the foundation to a platinum seal of approval here.
But with that said, and with those expectations going in, this is STILL a fucking goddamned crack rapping, fish toting, junk explodingly awful match. Whereas the magical formula for the show so far has seemed to be seeing how much two old men can do in less than 2 minutes, this match deviates mightily from the norm by giving them 6 or so minutes to ply their awful trade in. I wish I could tell you that this angered me or caused me to feel bitterness but more than anything I found myself staring incredulously at the screen as Bob Backlund applied his 13th headlock of the match. I realize that the Insane Clown Posse are not qualified as wrestling bookers. Hell, I’m not even sure if it was them who did the booking for this show. But at some point they or someone else sat down to put together a run sheet to time things out for the PPV, and somebody said “Oh hey, we’re going to want to give Backlund/Patera more time than any match on the show thus far.” The captain of the Titanic showed more forward thinking than this.
After Backlund wins this match, by rolling Patera on his back and watching the man squirm around like a turtle since 65% of his body weight is in his shoulders, he promptly jumps into the crowd and stalks around high fiving and berating people by turns. This goes on for 5 minutes and is probably the highlight of the show so far as Backlund has absolutely no regard whatsoever for how anyone is reacting to him. Then Backlund grabs his plaque, which he looks at like your dog would look at the Hadron Collider, and stomps up to the stage where Mick Foley continues his run of journalism excellence by asking Backlund who he voted for for president. Backlund turns and stares right into the camera and utters one awesome word “Backlund!” before darting away into the night.
In summary, wrestling rings should file a collective restraining order against Bob Backlund on the ground of atrocities committed within them, but nobody can ever say that the man isn’t fun to watch outside of it.
9 out of 100
What Happened: Bob Backlund has a terrible match with Patera, but all the blame falls on his opponent being horrendously out of shape and immobile. Backlund wins and celebrates through the crowd. It’s no Jose Aldo at UFC 142, but it’s probably the highlight of the show so far.
What Should Have Happened: No match takes place. Just Backlund celebrating in the crowd for no reason at all. While Guile’s music is being played. It just works.
In Their Prime: I don’t think I’ve ever seen another Patera match before this, so I don’t know how it’d play out. Either way, it’s Bob Backlund.
Cewsh: First and foremost, it needs to be said. Brickhouse Brown looks UNBELIEVABLY good. Not just for his age, like he has a better physique than guys half his age with no problem. It’s ridiculous.
This is a good thing, because the other 3 people in this match have shapes more commonly found in lumps of pudding. This leads me to wonder something else about the thought behind booking this show. How the shit did the people putting this show together choose the talent for the show? Because the idea of putting on a reunion match featuring Memphis wrestlers from the 80s when none of them have wrestled in years is so incredibly random that it boggles the mind. Whatever the reason they were booked, though, it isn’t because they have a run left in them. This match was slow, plodding, sluggish, laggard, drawn out and it wasn’t very fast paced either. At some point the seemingly 150 year old Austin Idol won the match with a roll up and none of the other guys really seemed to notice.
I envy them.
17 out of 100
What Happened: A giant mess.
What Should Have Happened: I should have stopped watching this show.
In Their Prime: I still would not watch it.
Vice: Does my Cewsh Reviews health insurance cover therapy? I think I need some.
Cewsh: Does it cover new eyes? Because I don’t think these ones I pulled out of my head in anguish are going to work very well anymore.
10 out of 100
Cewsh: Despite the varying (and often questionable) drawing power of the various legends booked on this show, this was almost certainly the match most people bought the show to see. The NWO vs. DX feud has been done before on other indies, but this is the most high profile that this match has ever been presented, and I’ll admit that even I was excited to see what would happen when two of the most important teams of the Attitude Era mixed it up together. All throughout the show I kept repeating to myself that this match was still coming and that it would make everything alright. The idea of an epic clash between these two great teams over which is better served me through these dark times and got me to this point.
Frankly, I am hopelessly naïve.
First of all, when Scott Hall and Kevin Nash make their entrance, they bring Sean Waltman with them and together they look like they don’t possess one fully functional knee between the three of them.
Then Hall gets into the ring and announces that he wont be wrestling tonight because….he says so? So Waltman is going to take his place. So while this isn’t the match that people theoretically paid to see, at least its likely to be an improvement over watching Hall try to wrestle at this point. Which brings me to our special referee for this evening, Vampiro. Now allegedly this match was originally planned to be NWO vs. DX with Waltman as the referee since he was the only man to be a member of both. This would have been compelling. But since Hall isn’t wrestling, apparently JCW looked to see who was sober backstage and pulled Vampiro of all people out of their asses. Then the match begins, and to their credit, the former Billy Gunn and Road Dogg really do try. They play the heels as hard as they can, and bump all over the place for Nash and Waltman, and there are moments when Waltman is wrestling Gunn or Dogg where you might juuuuust be able to detect the presence of a good match until Nash is tagged in and it all slips fleetingly away.
Ultimately the end comes and I guess Vampiro sides with the NWO and was on their side all along? Or something? Basically they took the finish planned for Waltman being the ref and just did it with Vampiro to absolute silent confusion from the crowd. Sheesh.
The weirdest thing here for me, though, was that there was a moment in this match where I realized that Billy Gunn was the best part of it. It led me to a worrying realization that I’ve enjoyed a rather great deal of his work. Much to my horror I found myself because a huge Billy Gunn fan just spontaneously, as he did moves and didn’t fall over clutching his hip unlike every other wrestler on this show so far. I was just in the middle of writing him a letter requesting to become the president of the Cute Kip Fan Club when the match ended. Luckily for me, it turned out I was just willing to love the first thing that didn’t make me feel like this show was using my balls as a speed bag. Sorry, Billy.
But hey, a few more shows like this, and it may very well stick.
37 out of 100
Cewsh: We have arrived at our main event of the evening. Terry Funk and Roddy Piper. Perhaps two of the biggest names in wrestling history and certainly two of its biggest personalities clashing at last. In theory this is the kind of match that can steal the show regardless of what age the performers are, since both men have such great charisma and presence about them. Unfortunately this is the main event of a show that has turned bad matches into a kind of manic art form.
Funk comes out first and just starts beating the ring announcer with his towel for some reason which I’m sure made a ton of sense to him at the time. Piper soon follows with his old enforcer Bob Orton with him and ready to wrestle. Funk cuts a promo on both of them, saying that they’re both chickenshit and insulting Piper’s mother several more times in uncomfortable ways. Piper finally has enough and he and Orton jump Funk, subjecting the Funker to several minutes of torment. BUT LO here comes a hero to save the day! Mick Foley comes lurching slowly down to ringside and proceeds to insert himself into this match and make it a tag match with all the authority invested in a big crazy guy with a sock in his pants.
Foley and Funk then take the fight to Orton and Piper, more or less, until Funk rolls up Orton and looks like he’s about to win. Piper comes in and breaks up the pin, though, and apparently the incredible force of his haphazard pin break up was devastating, because Bob Orton then immediately covers Funk and gets the win.
Yes, the pin break up was the finisher to this match.
The really depressing thing about this match is that the two best parts of it were Roddy Piper and Terry Funk. Piper seemed as fit and spry as he’s ever been in the last 10 years, and Funk took a beating just as well as he always does. But unfortunately the two guys the match added to protect them were actually WORSE THAN THEY WERE. Bob Orton was just utterly unnecessary to the match from start to finish and Mick Foley produces his single most face palm worthy wrestling performance as he spent more time trying to run down the ramp and get into the ring than he did actually in the match. If they had actually given us the match that was advertised things might actually have been okay, or at least forgivable. But with the dead weight added on and the unbelievably random finish, this match was dead on arrival.
12 out of 100
Cewsh: I wouldn’t even recommend this show to Egotistico Fantastico.
I came into this fully loaded with the expectation that things would be terrible and embarrassing. But those descriptions can only be applied to this show in the way that “terrible and embarrassing” can describe Battlefield Earth. Those words alone can not properly convey the level of meaningless spite shown to the consumer by the product. Now the interesting thing is that there are people who will actually defend this show, and have, saying that it was “fun” and “nostalgic”. Should you hear someone say something along these lines, please understand that they hate you and want you to experience untold misery. Take my advice and avoid them forever. They’re probably evil robot zombies from the Tentacle Nebula anyway.
Or even worse. Juggalos.
Vice: *dial tone*
The reviewer you are attempting to reach has been disconnected. Please check your number and try again.
Cewsh: Hmm. That’s probably not good. Err…alright. He gave me instructions on what to do in the event that something like this should happen. So in accordance with his wishes, I came to a final score in a way that would honor him. I tossed a dart blindfolded at a picture of John Cena. It hit him in the left testicle region, so I’m guessing that’s about a 14?
Well that’ll do it for us this time, boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed whatever it was that this could be said to have been, and we hope that if you are in fact a fan of the Insane Clown Posse you haven’t taken too much offense to our words tonight. Juggalos are not inherently bad people and I appreciate your enthusiasm in supporting something you love in the face of great adversity. Now, if you happen to be a member of the Insane Clown Posse and are reading this, I would like to congratulate you on not letting illiteracy stop you from reading this article. I would tell you not to quit your day job, but I’d frankly be much obliged if you did.
Anyhow, next week we’ll be getting back to the good times as we begin Women’s History Month here at Cewsh Reviews, with a review of AJW Dream Slam. Joshi women will be doing each other severe harm and we will be more than happy to cover every cringe inducing second of it. So until next time, remember to keep reading and be good to one another.