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From Ringside: The SWF Report #2
Posted by "Grand Slam" Mark Stevens on Nov 5, 2002, 20:53
From Ringside: The SWF Report #2
SWF Dissention - A Look Back at the SWF's Latest Pay-Per-View
by "Grand Slam" Mark Stevens
Hello again everyone, last week the SWF put on our most recent Pay-Per-View extravaganza, Dissention. Now that the dust has started to settle a bit, I thought I would invite a special guest to the column to take a look back at the PPV and see what worked, and what didn't.
Ladies and Gentlemen, you love him, you hate him (well, be honest, most of you hate him), allow me to introduce my special guest, the Suicide King!
GSMS: That's it? That's your big introduction?
SK: Fine. Thanks for having me?
GSMS: Good to see you again. Let's get right down to business what say?
SK: Please, it would be super if we could ignore the awkward small talk.
GSMS: Right... So, after we got past the intro and the pyros and my partner acting like...
SK: Gotta love Riley.
GSMS: No, you don't. Anyway... the first thing we saw was... well let's just call it an interesting exchange between our U.S. Champion Tod deKindes and the business manager of his stable, X-Force 9...
SK: Come after us with your copyright lawyers Marvel, we're waiting.
SK: Nothing... you were saying?
GSMS: X-Force 9's "Business Manager", Sarah Leavenworth. Your thoughts, King?
SK: Well, X-Force 9 has had diminishing fortunes of late. It seems to me that Sarah was just looking for assurance from Tod that the stable was still important to him and that XF9 could count on him in the days ahead. He is the highest profile member of the stable currently, and thus its clear that Sarah's interest is more than just... personal.
GSMS: I can see that. I know Sarah pretty well, and she has been doing a great job as XF9's manager, but it almost seems like the stable is falling apart around her, despite her best efforts to keep it afloat. Too many diverse personalities?
SK: Maybe, or it could just be that they suck. Barring the more than capable talents of Mr. deKindes, of course.
GSMS: Well, its good to know you haven't changed on our account King.
SK: No fear of that happening... in any event its quite clear that Tod's reception of Sarah's concerns was rather cool, if not downright cold. Which, of course, adds a whole new level to his cage match later that night.
GSMS: Well, when you're right, you're right King. And speaking of adding new dimensions to the cage match, we then saw his opponent, the mercurial Annie Eclectic of the Magnificent 7...
GSMS: Right. Magnificent 4... can't really call them "Magnificent" anymore, can we?
SK: No... how about "Fantastic"?
GSMS: Oh sure, we already have our lawyers on speed dial, why not? At any rate, Annie passed a note off to a backstage guy... and we were off to the first match. This was a Triple Threat Match...
SK: A Triple Threat to anyone who enjoys watching good quality wrestling.
GSMS: between Xero, Mercury, and CIA, the Canadian Intelligence Agent. King, I don't what to say about this match.
SK: I have one or two thoughts... WHO BOOKED THIS CRAPFEST???
SK: 6 SECOND TRIPLE THREAT?? We're opening our Pay-Per-View, you know, the one right after our biggest Pay-Per-View of the YEAR with a 6 SECOND TRIPLE THREAT??
GSMS: Uhhh, King...
SK: Not to mention that they let CIA go over Xero and Mercury, two of the longest running members of this Federation, albeit two of the most... how would you say it Mark?
GSMS: Xero and Mercury? Underachieving? Uninspired? Lazy?
SK: I was going to say "incomprehensible", but that'll do. And they let CIA go over them in 6 Seconds? I ask again: Who booked this crap??
GSMS: King! Last time I checked, you're on the booking committee. So I guess the answer is... you booked this crap.
SK: Okay, I booked the match, but I did not book the finish!
GSMS: Who did?
SK: I'd rather not say.
GSMS: Fine. Regardless, the fact remains that CIA won the match in under 7 seconds. ::clears his throat:: Now let us never speak of it again.
SK: Fine by me. Anyway, after the 6 second match we cut to a... oh, I don't know, 89 second promo?
GSMS: About that. Again we catch up with Tod receiving a curious note...
SK: Gee, who could that be from?
GSMS: Annie did. Didn't you watch the show?
SK: No, I was backstage, saw the last match, and needed a beer.
GSMS: Fair enough. It was a postcard from Japan about that Sara girl Annie seems to be tormenting Tod with. Clearly the mind games have begun.
SK: You call that a mind game? That's barely mind-travel-scrabble. But when I came back from drowning my sorrows, I was pleased as ...
GSMS: Punch... keep the cussin' to a minimum...
SK: Right... punch... to see that the cage had been lowered around the ring and that the best-of-five series was about to begin its fourth match in the unforgiving steel cage!!
GSMS: Nice "generic announcer voice" there King.
GSMS: Welcome. Well, this match was a nice change of pace, and a little bit of a surprise too.
SK: True. How many times do you actually see a best-of-five series end in the fourth match?
GSMS: Well, there is a first time for everything. I really enjoyed this match, it looked like Tod and Annie were really in a groove that night. There were some brutal spots and some good, solid cage-match storytelling.
SK: And particular kudos go to Tod deKindes...
GSMS: Who will be receiving the patented "Suicide King Verbal Blow Job of the Night..."
SK: Don't make me cut off your severance package Old Man. Anyway... Tod deKindes clearly emerges as the breakout star of this match. His newfound brutality will serve him well! And God bless little Annie Eclectic for being so willing to bleed.
GSMS: Well, that's all true, to an extent. I agree with you, Tod looked like a monster coming out of this match, and I think the only place for him to go is up.
SK: No baby, the only place for him to go is over the rest of the lower card!! Boo-Yah Grandma!!
GSMS: What did you just say? I'd swear you're not speaking English.
SK: In any event, to sum up, Tod beats Annie and retains his U.S. Title by escaping the steel cage first.
GSMS: Which moves us right along to the spinning of the wheel for the "classic" Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal match between Frost the Icelandic Monster and Ash Ketchum, the "our copyright lawyers will be with you as soon as they get off the phone with Marvel, sir" man.
SK: Ahem. It makes me sick to think that this was Creative Control's wedding present to Ketchum. Anyway, the verbal sparring commenced, the wheel was spun, and lo and behold the gimmick chosen was... Stash the Ash?
GSMS: Stash the Ahs? Not only is it a terrible name, but this is probably the silliest gimmick match I have ever seen IN MY CAREER executed at a PPV.
SK: Wedding present, I say again. You see, Ash was getting married to longtime sweetheart Misty (coincidentally also from the town of North Copyright Infringement) later in the show. But Frost, heartless lovable bastard that he is, decided hey! Why just beat Ash when I can ruin the most wonderful day of his life too?
GSMS: And they say that Frost's heart shrunk three sizes that day.
SK: But in any rate, that all is for later in the show. Stash the Ash means that from the ringing of the bell Ash has exactly ONE half hour to get to the airport where his blushing bride is waiting for him... the catch? Frost can do ANYTHING to stop him from getting there. Ash doesn't make it, Frost wins. Ash makes it, and he gets to do what the rest of America has already done and sleep with his wife.
GSMS: Oh... Oh man...
SK: I know she always called me "The King of Hearts"...
GSMS: Oh Damn man, that's pretty cold. Just... damn.
SK: No, Frost was pretty cold, I was hot...
GSMS: STOP! Enough... moving right along... up next was the Tag Title Defense. The Tag Team Champion Bemani Cross Wizards, Thoth and Ced Ordonez, putting their belts on the line against Perfect Bo and Jay Dawg from Creative Control. I'm sure you have something to say about the champs' name...
SK: Let me defend myself here... market research shows that today's youth prefers Dance Dance Revolution over vast nameless, faceless evil conspiracies.
GSMS: So that's why the former leader of the Clan is acting like a six-year-old Japanese schoolgirl?
SK: ... Yes... at least they aren't called "Chilly Chilly Bang Bang" like our former champions, Frost and TNT.
GSMS: Yes... that makes it all better. Brilliant. Anyway (we seem to be saying that a lot)...
SK: Well quit going off on tangents Old Man.
GSMS: Anyway... after a sight I never, ever want to see again, Bo and JD trying to "get down" on a DDR Machine, we got into what turned out to be an entertaining, if a little short, matchup.
SK: Yeah well, at least it was an actual match. Certainly not the best work from any of the four of these competitors, but even mediocre performance by these guys is better than the best of many others.
GSMS: That's a good point Little Buddy, Thoth, Bo and JD have been around the block a few times and put on some spectacular matches. All of them have had multiple title reigns and have been called by many reviewers the backbone of the SWF.
SK: Yes, and even though this match was a bit hastily throws together, it was still a... good... match. Bemani Cross Wizards retain. Oh, and Mark? Call me your "Little Buddy" again, and I will carve out your freakin' eyes.
GSMS: Dang. Who whizzed in your corn flakes this morning?
SK: There's a reason I'm the best heel ever. And the main reason is not taking your crap Mark.
GSMS: As evidenced by the... several?
SK: Oh, dozens at least...
GSMS: Dozens of Jokers Wilds you've nailed me with.
SK: At least you stopped no selling them.
GSMS: Well, we all make mistakes. And then... the blessed event...
SK: I came out of retirement?
GSMS: No, Ash's wedding you dolt. We went all out for the little guy, red carpet, tuxes, paying royalties to Lucasfilm to use the "Star Wars" music for his dad...
SK: Ugh. Anyway, it was a wedding...
GSMS: Where nothing anyone was expecting, like Frost popping out of the cake, or an old enemy saying Misty was actually pregnant with his kid or something, occurred.
SK: Yes, they swerved us by not swerving us. And then, there was a match!
GSMS: Oh good. Moving along, we find ourselves staring smack-dab into the results of the spinning wheel earlier in the night, a "Stash the Ash" match for the Hardcore Title. I had some real reservations going into this match.
SK: Me too. This thing required a lot of skill to work, and I think Ash and Frost really busted their asses and made it one of the better matches of the night while working with an exciting stipulation.
GSMS: I'll agree with you on the effort and the results, but I have to disagree on the stip. When I saw this on the sheet, I wondered what the heck the booking committee was smoking. This required far too much of a suspension of disbelief, not just by wrestling standards, but also by the standards of the SWF. I mean, why didn't Ash just run right away? Why did he even get into a wrestling sequence early in the match?
SK: Now be fair Mark. As a member of the booking committee, I have to cover our backs. The wheel determined what the match was, and I think we did a good job reacting to it.
GSMS: The wheel determined it? So you had cameras and an obviously custom built police cruiser around "just in case"? I'm not buying it, and I don't think many of our viewers were either.
SK: Mark... ummm... I know we are crossing kayfabe here, but that doesn't mean we should erase the line behind us...
GSMS: Fair enough... but let me give props where they are due. Despite the asinine stipulation, Frost and Ash put on a very entertaining match that told a real story here, and Ash walked away with the Hardcore Title.
SK: Pokemon freak... arg... the fact that he even has a whiff of a belt sticks in my craw... Frost deserved to retain the belt.
GSMS: Yet again, King disagreeing just to be contrary.
SK: No way Old Man! Frost is an up and coming superstar! No way he should ever lose a match to someone as goofy and corny as Ash Ketchum. It offends me on a deep personal level.
GSMS: Imagine that... King is offended by faces...
SK: Not just faces... I hate 'tweeners too.
GSMS: Oh good... I would hate to think you are biased. As that match ended, we got our final look at Mr. deKindes for the evening as he left and had a tense moment with Sarah. I think Tod has a lot of explaining to do to the rest of XF9.
SK: Tod doesn't need to explain anything to anyone Mark. He does his talking in the ring, and what a statement he makes.
GSMS: I'll give you that. And speaking of statements, up next was the Intercontinental-Television Title match between champion Tom Flesher and fellow Magnificent Seven-er Mak Francis. And what a match it was!
SK: Well, when you're right, you're right. Too bad it happens so rarely. Francis and Flesher put on an absolute clinic in the ring; drawing the crowd into it and showing what the SWF talent pool is capable of.
GSMS: Absolutely King. I will go so far as to say it is an early favorite for Match of the Year honors next year at Genesis IV!! These two guys work so well together it is scary. But in the end, it was Tom Flesher coming out on top and retaining his ICTV Title.
SK: And the right man won Mark. Flesher is one of the best workers in the business right now, and with someone as accomplished as Francis in the ring with him, this was a not-to-miss match. They really took it up a notch that night.
GSMS: And we can see the Magnificent Seven start to fracture a little here, as Flesher just tried to humiliate Francis at the end.
SK: Eh, Flesher was just asserting his dominance over an inferior foe. The Magnificent Seven will be fine. With leadership like Tom's, how can they fail?
GSMS: Well, by midway through the match, the crowd made it pretty clear who their favorite was, and it wasn't the "Superior One" Tom Flesher, it was Mak Francis. I think the fans may have started something in the youngster. There's nothing like a huge crowd like we had crammed into the Nationwide Arena last week cheering you on.
SK: Yeah yeah yeah... once you hear it you're never the same; it makes you work harder to earn their respect... blah blah blah...
GSMS: You know, sometimes I wonder how you were ever a face.
SK: Well, sometimes I wonder how in the blue hell you have more belts than me.
GSMS: I think that's obvious... and better left for another column.
SK: It's a conspiracy...
GSMS: Sure it is... on to other things... After the Flesher / Francis extravaganza, we moved right into our long-awaited main event as Fan Favorite and a good friend of mine El Luchador Magnifico got a rematch with the man who took the World Heavyweight Title away from him, Sacred, in a no disqualification match!!
SK: And I have to say here quickly that it is about friggin' time Sacred got the big belt! He has been in and around this Fed since before either of us! He deserved it more than anyone, with the possible exception of me.
GSMS: With an ego that big I am surprised you can fit through the door.
SK: It is a tight fit occasionally...
GSMS: Right. In any case, this was a match not to be missed. Both men gave everything they had to this match and it shows! We had some wicked chair shots, ELM pulling out his trademarked ladder and a brutal Barrio Buster right through the Spanish Announce Table!!
SK: It was a great combination of athletics, technical wrestling and old-school brutality. ELM and Sacred are two of the best, real professionals who give their all for the fans, and it was something to see.
GSMS: Indeed it was, and the final image of the night, El Luchadore Magnifico raising the belt to the heavens for a record tying third title reign was something I'll never forget. On the downside, both men will be feeling the effects of that match for quite a while King. You've been in your share of vicious matches, how long did it take to recover from something like this?
SK: Well Mark, I'll tell you this. It is tough getting out of bed the next morning. Of course, I usually had a little help in that department. Nothing like a full-body massage to work out the kinks after a hard match, eh Old Man?
GSMS: You never cease to amaze me King. Really.
SK: Good to hear. But getting back to the match, the only thing that irked me was the fast finish. A roll-up? After all that, it ended on a roll-up?
GSMS: I've seen finishes a lot worse and more ill conceived than that King. ELM goes over, ties the record, Sacred gets his first title reign, and it sets up a great feud that I am looking forward to seeing at the next Pay-Per-View.
SK: Well, let me just say this, I know we haven't seen the last of this Sacred / Magnifico issue. Call it an educated guess, but if I were a Gambling Man...
GSMS: Oh brother, here we go...
SK: I'd be willing to wager we'll see the tiebreaker in this series as the main event of the next big show.
GSMS: Can I quote you on that?
SK: Sure, as a matter of fact, you can bet on it!
GSMS: Great. Well, that about wraps up our look at SWF Dissention 2002. I'd like to thank the ever-entertaining Suicide King for joining me.
SK: No problem Mark, anytime you need someone to drop by and carry the column, just let me know.
GSMS: ::shakes his head:: Great... I'll remember that. Until then though, you can count on hearing from me each and every week about the biggest happenings in the SmartMarks Wrestling Federation. Next week, the column will feature a look back at two of the most momentous happenings of the past few months. You won't want to miss it; it will be a Home Run!
SK: Is that... man, do I have to read this?
GSMS: Yes, you do, or you don't get paid.
SK: Right. Ahem... "Is that a promise?"
GSMS: That, my friend, is a damn promise!!
SK: I feel like such a tool...
GSMS: Good. And with that, I leave you for another week. Take care all.
- "Grand Slam" Mark Stevens