Myers Weekly Wrap Up, 2

Posted By Todd Myers on 02/21/21


I just finished watching Tom Lawler’s Filthy Island, aka this week’s episode of MLW. I understand that they are trying to make weekly television in a pandemic, hence next weeks throwback episode, but this just did not work. I was looking forward to this, but aside from small nuggets like Richard Holiday being repulsed by the setting, a bit of Contra Unit, and a glimpse of Selina de la Renta and Alicia Atout, this show was a letdown, which is actually how my wrestling week started, so I suppose it came full circle. By the way, whomever the poor referee was, good lord. Any current or prospective refs take note, always have a spare pair of pants in your bag. You do not want to ref the rest of a show with the crotch of your pants blown out.

Like I said, my wrestling week started with a major let down, as Monday evening brought the first round in the Japanese bracket of the tournament to determine the number one contender to Hikaru Shida and her AEW Women’s Title. What exactly is the need for a full tournament on two opposite sides of the world anyway? The first match last week featuring Thunder Rosa was pretty good and I was eager to check out these Japanese matches, albeit via YouTube. Not only was I underwhelmed, but I also literally fell asleep watching this. I kid you not, I fell asleep. I had to go back after work on Tuesday and watch the last third of the show and was left wondering why. I took notes on the matches, but ultimately, who cares? There historically has been some insane female talent from Japan, but this was not it. This Joshi stuff just does not translate to average American wrestling fans, but I guess as long as Kenny Omega digs it, then we are force fed some of it. I will not be tuning in next week. Ironically, this show also featured a terrible referee. I am sensing a theme between these two crappy shows. Who is “Tommy?” Furthermore, why was “Tommy” wearing full PPE? Was that tiny ring in that nondisclosed tiny room that risky to work in? Do they even have OSHA in Japan? Tommy’s counts were wildly inconsistent, especially the two counts. I am talking about some lightning fast two counts then just stopping before there was even a kick out. Just bad. Good referees can be awfully hard to find. These two shows proved that. The other day, someone posted a quote from Dr. Tom Prichard’s book in the Facebook group, Zebra Talk. I feel is fitting to be mentioned here. It read, “9. Referees should always act like it is a shoot. A referee must work hard. If you see something and it’s obvious that the fans saw it, call it! It is up to the heel to get in position so he isn’t caught. 10. Don’t bury the referee…” Yes, I am aware that this quote does not exactly fit with the referee critiques previously mentioned, but I just felt it needed to be passed along… I take reffing seriously. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not.

Overall, AEW presented another solid show this week No it was not perfect, but nothing in life is. There were a couple of really good fun matches this week, the first of which being the returning Riho taking on NWA Women’s World Champion, Serena Deeb in tournament action. These two put on a great match. Riho picked up the win in her return, but Deeb should have moved on. She has become a shining star in the women’s division, and I am curious to see where she goes from here. I would not mind seeing her turn heel, angered by this loss, possibly costing Riho her next bout against Thunder Rosa. I think she could play the role well and AEW could use a solid heel atop this division. It is a trip to see the juxtaposition between the two American matches we have been treated to and then Japanese first round matches pushed over to YouTube. Speaking of a trip, what the heck is up with the “training video” they showed with Jade Cargill and Shaq? I am sorry, but is this a wrestling match or a basketball game? Are you kidding me? God lord. This train wreck has been demoted to an episode of Dynamite thankfully, but they should press the abort button on this mess. Two very good tag team matches were on Dynamite this week as Santana and Ortiz challenged the Young Bucks for the tag titles and FTR took on the brother duo of Matt and Mike Sydell. I have said it before and I will said it again, FTR are men amongst boys. Remember when wrestlers used to all look like men? Why do so many now look like boys? A professional wrestler should look like they could rough you up and that is what FTR look like and exactly what they did to the Sydell brothers. What a great solid victory for FTR returning from their two-week suspension. The post-match with Jurassic Express has set up a six-man involving Tully Blanchard and Marko Stunt. The match everyone wants to see if FTR against Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. Marko adds absolutely nothing to the group, the promotion, or the feud, so that begs the question of why he is involved? Things need to matter. They need to mean something. This is like an indie show and some no talent old timer gets used as a manager, when there is zero reason for it, and they do nothing. Skip it. It is a waste. Back to Santana and Ortiz? When was the last time they had a match? What gives? They are a good team! Yet, we must sit through Best Friends, endless Dark Order combinations, and the Jeff Hardy/Adam Page partner of the week. A head scratcher for sure. They showed in their match with the Bucks that they are a top talent team in AEW. They had the match won, only to catch a two count and get schoolboyed in frustration.

During his podcast this week, Jim Cornette gives his take on how he would have booked the angle between Sting and Team Taz. He makes a great case for how and why this was botched and could have been much more effective. I dug the powerbomb that the Stinger took because it gave me hope that he can still take a bump and the upcoming Street Fight can happen live. However, I totally agree with Corny that the bump should have meant more and been an “Oh Sh*t!” moment that got people talking and built towards the match. Instead, it was a bump that meant nothing. Someone in the booking department needs t take a step back and think some of this stuff through. It seems too on the fly all to often. Things need to simmer and build. You know, like having n Exploding Electrified Barbed Wire Death Match in three weeks! What?! Ok, I am intrigued, but they need to bust their butts to build this thing properly and sell it on the mere two shows left before the match. Pointless, cheesy skits to children and lame Michael Nakazawa are not going to cut it. AEW majorly needs to tighten things up between now and Revolution. If they do so, it has the makings to be a really good show. We will have to wait and see how things go here in the home stretch. Come on AEW.

Last Sunday, news came out that WWE had signed Taya Valkyrie and Eli Drake. The Valkyrie signing has me somewhat indifferent because she has never done much for me. Drake on the other hand, is someone AEW should have snagged. He is unique in who his look and is an amazing promo. He certainly would have been an asset to their roster, but I fear he will soon be lost in the shuffle of NXT. LA Knight? Sure thing. Why does WWE feel the need to change people’s names to weird hipster sounding things? Eli Drake does not need tweaking.

I mentioned last week that I dove back into MLW after a lengthy absence. This week, I opted to do the same thing, only with Ring of Honor. Everyone needs to go out of their way to watch the six-man tag involving The Foundation. What an outstanding wrestling match. The premise for this match was that basically, the members of the Foundation were appalled by the fiasco that ensued last week and were out to show us all what real professional wrestling was, and boy did they bring the goods! It does not hurt that two of my favorite wrestlers were involved, in Jonathan Grisham and Fred Yehi. As a fan, I can watch these guys wrestle all day long. As a referee, I cannot think of two guys I love being in the ring with more than these two professionals. Yehi, Tracy Williams, and Grisham went to battle against Jay Lethal, Wheeler Yuta, and Rhett Titus. There were no high spots, they stayed off the top rope, no kicks or punches, just excellent professional wrestling. The finish came when Grisham pushed his partner out of the way and took his ROH World Tag Team Title partner Jay Lethal’s finisher before Yehi was ultimately pinned by Titus.
There is a new documentary available on Amazon Prime, titled Lady Wrestler. It tells the story of some African American female wrestlers back in the golden era. It is a story wroth telling and for that alone, I recommend the doc, as it is a quick watch. There is nothing overly great about the film, but it is a story from wrestling’s past that needs to be told.

Another fun watch was the February 15, 1986 episode of World Championship Wrestling. Each week on the Tony Schiavone podcast they are doing a watch along with 1986 I chronological order. It is exciting seeing this monumental year get going. So many great things happened in ’86 and it is the year I feel that the NWA really exploded and took things to the next level. The first live wrestling event I ever attended was that year, when my dad took me to the Baltimore Arena on September 6th to see a loaded card that was headlined by Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes for the NWA World Title. I recall being literally disoriented from the pop that rang through the building when the Rock & Roll Express entered the arena. Ahh, good time!

Finally, this week, I would just like to send a shout out to everyone over at Highspots.com. I got three killer new autographed 8x10’s this week from them, including a double signed Flair-Steamboat from their trilogy of matches back in 1989. Highspots always delivers with great items and lightning-fast shipping and I cannot recommend them enough.

Until next time. See you down the road!