Wrestling Mayhem Show 651: Cuddly Teddy Bear With Fangs

This week’s episode brought to you by Indy Wrestling USSlice on BroadwayOccupy Pro Wrestling, and IndyWrestling Network!

We made it through the Royal Rumble this past weekend.  But, more importantly, we made it through Week 1 of MayhemMania.  We’ve got Beastman in studio as Sorg, Larry, Mad Mike, and Matt take us through this week in wrestling news, including:

  • Is Becky Lynch the new Stone Cold Steve Austin?
  • Nia Jax entered the men’s Royal Rumble match, which is sparking some new conversation about intergender wrestling.
  • There are two types of wrestling fans: Those who are on board with intergender wrestling, and those who are not. And, there isn’t really any gray area about it.
  • There was a lot of under ring play at this year’s Royal Rumble. Thank you Titus O’Neil?
  • Matt is walking us through some of the Royal Rumble changes we’ve seen lately.
  • If 96% of your body hits the floor in a Royal Rumble, that should count for more than your two feet. – Matt
  • Beastman is discussing what tactics he will employ when he is in the Royal Rumble.
  • Matt is calling for an official BK Broiler rule for Royal Rumble matches. We are currently assembling Dean Malenko, Ric Flair, Drake Maverick, and Drew Gulak to discuss.
  • We’re getting caught up with what Beastman has been up to – including his recent championship win with Fight Society.
  • Beastman was recently at an event with Sami Callihan, Matt Tremont, and Michael Elgin. He’s sharing how much of a change it has made in his career.
  • While in Philadelphia you do Philly things – like run the Rocky steps.
  • Beastman unveiled some new gear while in Philadelphia.
  • We’re learning about modernizing the caveman with Beastman.
  • Beastman is sharing the headband story with us. Bonus!
  • It’s time for MayhemMania – Week 2 with Beastman and the Mayhem Show gang.
  • What did YOU learn from wrestling this week?

Check out some of Beastman’s matches at Indy Wrestling US.

Follow our stable on Twitter: Beastman (@beastmanhusk), Sorg (@Sorgatron), Larry (@MutilatorLarry), Mad Mike (@MadMike4883), and Matt (@MainstreamMat).

If you are in Pittsburgh, you’ve got to go to Slice on Broadway (@Pgh_Slice) and get their food! (sliceonbroadway.com)

You can support the show at Patreon.com/wrestlingmayhemshow!

Go to wrestlingmayhemshow.com for more entertainment!

Check out the Indy Wrestling US Network at www.indywrestling.network.  For a short time, get a 7-day FREE trial to access a growing collection of content.

Thanks to Basick Sickness (@basicksickness) for the awesome intro for the show.

Remember to LIKE and FOLLOW us on Facebook for updates and video.

 

Wrestling Mayhem Show 588: World’s Strongest Soccer Mom

The Locked ‘n Loaded best-dressed guest ante has been accepted and upped.  This week, we’ve got IWC rookie Calvin Couture in studio, and he brought his A-game, replete with his bow tie and sequinned jacket.  He outshines, almost literally, our crew of Sorg, Chad the Shad, Mutilator Larry, and Bobby F J-Town as we talk this week in wrestling:

  • There’s a WWE pay-per-view this weekend! (And, we’re going to play some video games.)
  • So John Cena and Roman Reigns?
  • What was with Roman Reigns pulling out Rock v John Cena promos?
  • Chad is sharing some thoughts about how good WWE teams are these days.
  • When’s the last time we saw a rivalry for something other than a belt?
  • Are we setting up a Wyatt Family v Club feud?
  • Putting it here so it’s in writing: Someone just threw out Goldust as Finn Balor’s dad.
  • Are we going to see an Emma win?
  • Apparently WWE broke Jordan and Gable up too soon. Why?!?!
  • We need some Surf Dudes With Attitudes in WWE.
  • Starcade is happening?
  • Is there a chance we’ll see Cody Rhodes and Dustin Rhodes team up for Starcade?
  • Speaking of Starcade, WrestleCade is also in North Carolina the same weekend?
  • NXT should takeover the old WCW and ECW pay-per-view titles.
  • Crack beers like Stone Cold in Point State Park is an actual event here in Pittsburgh!
  • Sorg is stuck on TNA like a fly on a bug zapper. He just can’t turn away.
  • This week’s Big Question: Who would make a good 2017 addition to the Heenan family?
  • What did YOU learn in wrestling this week?

Follow our stable on Twitter: Calvin Couture (@calvin_couture), Sorg (@Sorgatron), Chad the Shad (@ChadTheShad), Larry (@MutilatorLarry) and Bobby F J-Town (@BobbyFJtown)!

If you are in Pittsburgh, you got to go to Slice on Broadway (@Pgh_Slice) and get their food! (sliceonbroadway.com)

You can support the show at Patreon.com/wrestlingmayhemshow!

Go to wrestlingmayhemshow.com for more entertainment!

Remember to LIKE and FOLLOW us on Facebook for updates and video.

Indy Mayhem Show 164: Eric Van Wagenen of Lucha Underground

This week we chat with Eric Van Wagenen, Executive Producer of The New Celebrity Apprentice – and more importantly to this show – Lucha Underground.  Eric has worked in and around the business for some time, and shares his first memories of wrestling, what it’s like to be an Executive Producer for some of the shows we’ve watched, how reality TV is closer to wrestling than we realize, his WWE Legends House experience, working with Rowdy Roddy Piper, meeting Stone Cold Steve Austin, Lucha Underground Easter eggs, and so much more!

Share your feelings on indy wrestling and tell us who we should talk to on the show via e-mail at [email protected]

Go to wrestlingmayhemshow.com for more entertainment!

 

Wrestling Mayhem Show 554: Canada Dry Jaxon Argos

We’ve got the return of Mayhem Mania for Wrestling Mayhem Show 554.  And, we’ve got the IWC Rookie of the Year, Jaxon Argos, for a live, in studio appearance with Aaron, Matt, Sorg, Mike, and Wheelz.

  • We’re prepping for some WMS Gold! (Which you can get by becoming a member of our Pocky Club on Patreon.)
  •  Jaxon Argos is sticking around for this week’s Mayhem Show with Matt, Aaron, Hot Wheelz, Mad Mike, and Sorg.
  • Jaxon Argos’ merch smells like Tim Hortons…because he’s Canadian.
  • Mayhem Mania returns TONIGHT! (with Matt Carlins)
  • Mad Mike did some science for this week’s show.
  • Aaron weighs in with his 205 Live update and an Umbrella match?
  • Jaxon Argos has an Instagram contest running. Check him out over on Instagram to see how to enter.
  • We’ve got a LIVE interview for Indy Mayhem with Shane Taylor this Sunday.
  • Are you a Patreon supporter of the show? Remember Matt’s special Patreon In The Bank.
  • Aaron is happy that his 2017 prediction CAME TRUE! Kurt Angle will return to the WWE (WWE Hall of Fame)!
  • A Steve Austin podcast with Kurt Angle needs to happen now.
  • Mayhem Bump finally went through for Kurt Angle!
  • We’re speculating on who else will be announced for WWE Hall of Fame inductions this year.
  • Retired wrestlers still do things that make them relevant to the industry.
  • Lance Storm’s WWE Hall of Fame induction speech would be amazing!
  • Tiny British Wrestlers Duke It Out! (WWE UK Championship Tournament).
  • We have some great things to say about the WWE UK Championship Tournament from this past weekend.
  • Good news (?) for Canada: They can find TNA more readily now!
  • Welcome to the recurring segment: Mad Mike’s math segment.
  • Mad Mike talks the amount of talent RAW has, plus an extra hour of programming. What are they doing with it?
  • Who wore it better? Blue spandex. La Luchadora.
  • If you don’t like the wrestling you’re watching, FIND DIFFERENT WRESTLING (there’s plenty out there now).
  • Jerry Lawler is relevant again after tonight! AND WE LOVE IT!
  • Smackdown was so good that even Hotwheelz stood up and applauded!
  • Rizz did his Rizz Plays Games Royal Rumble plays.
  • Mad Mike brought us around to Matt Cross’ tweet of Triple H with a pic with a Lucha Underground cake!
  • WMS presents Smack Talk Theater with Dj Lunchbox COMING SOON!
  • We’re back with this week’s Big Question: What tournaments would you like to see WWE do next?
  • It’s time. It is finally time for THE RETURN OF Mayhem Mania!
  • Rusev is our favorite Total Diva.
  • What did YOU learn from wrestling this week?

Follow our stable on Twitter: Jaxon Argos (@JaXonArgos),  Aaron Parkus (@MutilatorLarry), Matt Carlins (@MainstreamMat), Mike Sorg (@sorgatron), Mike Rohrssen (@MadMike4883), and Erin West (@HotwheelzRWA).

If you are in Pittsburgh, you got to go to Slice on Broadway and get their food! (sliceonbroadway.com/Twitter: @pgh_slice)

You can support the show at Patreon.com/wrestlingmayhemshow!

Go to wrestlingmayhemshow.com for more entertainment!

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“Daddy, Who Is That?” Teaching The Next Generation About Shane McMahon

I’m sitting on my couch with my wife, watching the beginning of Raw. My 6-year-old son is playing with his massive army of WWE action figures on the floor. It’s a typical Monday night, and then…

Out of nowhere, here comes Shane McMahon, roaring back onto WWE television. My wife and I are just as shocked as you are. The crowd is going wild. Crazy. Insane. They are so happy. The energy and excitement is palpable, even on television. Then, my son speaks.

“Daddy, who is that?”

It’s cold, hard slap of reality. A generation of fans who were watching last Monday night had no idea who that man with the gray hair sporting a pair of Air Jordans is.

Has it really been that long since Shane McMahon graced us with his presence? Yes. It’s been 6 long years since he left WWE, and nearly 7 years since his last match.

My son isn’t alone. There must be countless other young fans, perhaps as old as 10 or 11 years old, just like him. They will never know Shane McMahon like I do. I lived Shane McMahon.

There are a lot of fans just like me. Wrestling arrived in our consciousness during the WWF’s glory days of the 1980’s and those first few WrestleManias. We came of age during The Monday Night War, but some of us moved on after it ended. Last Monday night, I was getting messages from friends who haven’t said a word to me about WWE in years. They still remember Shane McMahon.

In the days since Shane McMahon’s return, A number of former WWE employees and professional wrestling “insiders” seem to be struggling to understand why so many fans are so happy to see him again.

To me, it’s simple. Shane McMahon always represented us. Sure, he was the bratty, entitled son of the owner of the company, but there was something more at play. It may sound crazy, but it always felt to me like he represented what would happen to one of us if we were plucked from obscurity and inserted into a very prominant place in the WWE Universe.

Source: WWE.com

Source: WWE.com

If you watch closely, you can spot a very young Shane McMahon in the role of referee or a backstage official years before anyone knew his name. He made his formal television debut in 1998 as part of the storyline involving Mike Tyson heading into WrestleMania XIV. Later, he took on the role of a highly-caffeinated play-by-play announcer on Sunday Night Heat. Shane was an explosion of nervous energy, but was also strangely endearing in a Don West sort of way with his “Yeah Yeah Yeah!” and “Go Go Go Go!” style.

Source: WWE.com

Source: WWE.com

When it was time for him to step into a more meaningful role, he knocked it out of the park. He betrayed his father when he re-signed the formerly fired “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. After revealing his involvement, he delivered a heart-wrenching promo about how nothing he did as a child was ever good enough for his famous father. I’d imagine that was a feeling shared by many young fans who were watching at the time. Whether it was by design or not, Shane drew us in by making us believe we weren’t all that different from him.

Since this is professional wrestling, Shane soon turned on Austin and realigned with his father. No one much cared, because it led to a new dynamic and fun father-son moments. Does it seem so far-fetched to imagine that there were a lot of young men and teenagers watching around this time who would’ve cherished the chance to spend this kind of quality time with their own dad? Shane was living the dream, and we were along for the ride.

Like most us, Shane wasn’t trained to be a wrestler, but he tried. Did he ever try! In just his second match, he won the European Title in a tag team match. He held the championship for nearly four months before discarding it for whatever reason. The point is, Shane’s earliest matches weren’t much to write home about. That is, until he ran into Test at SummerSlam 1999.

In a “Love Her Or Leave Her Greenwich Street Fight”, Shane and Test literally fought over the fate of a young, innocent Stephanie McMahon. The results were spectacular, and the bar for Shane’s matches was forever raised. He seemed more than willing to continue trying to outdo himself.

Shane McMahon’s most significant contribution to professional wrestling history probably came on the final night of the Monday Night War. Everyone knows this one. Vince McMahon, already scheduled to face his son at WrestleMania for prior indiscretions, reveals he has purchased WCW. His gloating backfires, however, as Shane shows up on the site of the final episode of Nitro and announces it is actually he who is the new owner of WCW.

Less than a week later, Shane and Vince McMahon shared another special father-son moment, beating the hell out of one another at WrestleMania X-7. The match exceeded almost everyone’s expectations.

It’s also a rare beacon of light in the history of long-term storytelling in WWE. Multiple storylines reached their climax amid heroic moments for Shane, Trish Stratus, Mick Foley and even Linda McMahon.

A few months later, Shane McMahon was back to face Kurt Angle at King Of The Ring 2001. It was brutal. It was ugly. It was messy. Both men walked away in pretty bad shape, but they had earned a ton of respect from every fan who was watching. This match is a testament to the toughness of both of them.

The less said about The Invasion the better, though it is worth pointing out that it resulted in Shane being written off WWE television at the end of 2001. This was the peak. Shane returned several times over the years that followed, (in 2003, 2006-07 and 2009) and delivered some fun and entertaining moments, but never anything quite as wild and reckless as what he’d previously been known for. Perhaps it’s better that way.

So, now Shane McMahon is back. Fans gave him a hero’s welcome, and he’s training for an impossible match – against the Undertaker inside Hell In A Cell at WrestleMania. Shane is probably training as you read this, and he looks to be getting into pretty good shape.

Just try not to do anything too crazy at WrestleMania. OK, Shane?

Aw, who am I kidding?

How about one more time off the top of the Titantron, just for old times’ sake?

 

WWE At MSG: “Nostalgia Is More Powerful Than Heroin”

The moments are burned into the memories of professional wrestling fans.

The night Hulkamania arrived in the WWF.

The first time “Stone Cold” Steve Austin delivered a Stone Cold Stunner to Vince McMahon.

John Cena’s surprise return from injury to win the Royal Rumble.

Just to name a few.

It seems WWE loves to save its biggest moments for Madison Square Garden.

Which made me wonder why Saturday night’s “Live From Madison Square Garden” special on the WWE Network will be the first event it will broadcast live from MSG in nearly four years. The last one was the 2011 Survivor Series, headlined by The Rock and John Cena vs. The Miz and R-Truth.

“Madison Square Garden is still very special to WWE.”

Graham Cawthon knows a lot about WWE’s history at Madison Square Garden. He’s the founder and proprietor of TheHistoryOfWWE.com, an incredibly dense collection of professional wrestling history. He’s also the author of six books on the history of pro wrestling, including “Holy Ground: 50 Years of WWE at Madison Square Garden”. He says MSG is the most historic arena in pro wrestling, and the most important for WWE.

So, why did WWE seemingly turn its back on its long, storied history at “The World’s Most Famous Arena”? It all comes down to money.

Back in 2011, while The Rock and John Cena were headlining Survivor Series, Madison Square Garden was undergoing a $1 billion renovation. The project altered WWE’s future at MSG. It resulted in higher rent costs and lower seating capacity. Today, MSG is no longer as profitable for WWE as it was in years past, and the company turned another arena into its top choice in the New York metropolitan area.

Since Survivor Series 2011, WWE has broadcast seven live events from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The company gets to draw from the same massive pool of passionate New York fans without paying the high rent at MSG. Also, WWE can pack more than 15,000 fans into Barclays. MSG now tops out around 14,000 (UPDATE: The announced attendance during the “Live From MSG” special was more than 19,000, but paid attendance for MSG events since Surivor Series 2011 was never more than 14,000). It’s a more profitable venture for WWE, which is likely why the company just committed to holding SummerSlam, its third-biggest event of the year, at Barclays Center in 2016 and 2017. There will also be Raw and NXT specials during those weekends.

WWE’s return to Madison Square Garden Saturday night is also the return of Brock Lesnar. He’s had his share of memorable moments at MSG. It began for him back in January 2002. Before Lesnar made his WWE television debut, he made his MSG debut in a dark match before an episode of Raw (It’s the same night Triple H returned from his first quad tear, and received a thunderous ovation).

Less than a year later, Lesnar was back as the WWE Undisputed Champion, but his reign ended when he was defeated by Big Show at Survivor Series 2002.

Then, there’s WrestleMania XX, and one of the most infamous matches in modern pro wrestling history, Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg. It’s the last time Lesnar was inside a WWE ring at Madison Square Garden. Cawthon was there.

“I loved it. I thought it was entertaining.”

The crowd knew both Lesnar and Goldberg were leaving WWE after WrestleMania XX, and they made their displeasure loud and clear.

“It speaks to that traditional Madison Square Garden crowd. You better give them something they want.”

Cawthon loves the texture fans add to the history of pro wrestling. During the 1970’s, it wasn’t unusual to see famous faces in the crowd at Madison Square Garden. Andy Kaufman and Blondie lead singer Debbie Harry were just some of the regulars, according to Cawthon. Long before the days of “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection”, they made pro wrestling cool.

Cawthon hopes Saturday night’s show at Madison Square Garden is the first of many we see on the WWE Network. He’s dreaming of a live broadcast during the holidays. WWE traditionally holds a show at MSG during the week of Christmas. Cawthon thinks it would be the perfect opportunity for another big special on the WWE Network.

WWE has plenty of reasons to abandon Madison Square Garden, but it may have just as many, if not more, to keep coming back. Cawthon seems to know exactly why WWE can’t let go.

“Nostalgia is more powerful than heroin.”

Retirement Doesn’t Always Take…

I wonder if even he believed it was the end...We talked on Wrestling Mayhem Show 212 this week about Shawn Michaels’ retirement and how serious we should take it.  As usual, we take it all with a grain of salt.  And why shouldn’t we?  We have been tempered by retiring wrestlers coming back to crap on their own send off so many times.

  1. Terry Funk – This man is the first you think about when it comes to retirement.  Because he’s done it so many times, he has to be an expert by now.  One of his fabled retirements even occurred for all to see on Beyond the Mat over ten years ago.  In searching, we find his first retirement moment came in 1983.  Funk has been listed to have wrestled as recently as January 2010 in Japan.
  2. Mick Foley – Well, we can look at it this way.  Mick Foley was never retired.  Cactus Jack was.  So we still need to have retirement matches for Dude Love and Mankind somewhere down the line.
  3. Ric Flair – Probably the one that stings the most.  We all watched WrestleMania 24, then the night afterwards, in what was one of the most memorable and well and beyond the call of duty for WWE.  Flair dissappeared, did some insurance endorsements, a round of appearances and autograph signings (including here in Pittsburgh where I was fortunate enough to shake his hand) and a domestic disturbance or two.  This is one that sort of breaks your heart.  For one of the longest running and most successful wrestlers in the business, he has to come back to an Australian tour, and the admittedly smaller presence of TNA, just to make up for all of those divorces.

But lets give props to the people who did it right, so far…

  1. Steve Austin – The guy who knew he had nothing more to prove and made all of the money for the Attitude Era, Austin hasn’t been tempted to come back for that big money match against Hogan everyone wants.  Instead, he’s been able to parlay his success into something of a movie career, while not as big as the Rock’s still lightyears better than Hogan’s.  But he ended with a final match against his greatest rival, The Rock, at WrestleMania, and never really looked back.
  2. The Rock – And speaking of.  Rock may not be quite that finished with wrestling, but lets consider him retired for the time being.  He’s turned into a leading man in a number of movies.
  3. Diamond Dallas Page – Another guy who’s successfully transfered his fame into something of a movie career, and the mind behind Yoga for Regular Guys.

Anyone you can think of that sticks out as a retirement success or failure?