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Sunday, September 28, 2014

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In Reflection: Worst Gimmicks in Wrestling History

There comes a time in every wrestling fan's life where you reflect..... on the good and the bad. The Attitude Era, the Golden Age, the Ruthless Aggression Era, the Monday Night War Era, the Era of The Extreme, The New Generation Era..... so much greatness within the history of professional wrestling for our time and the most recent generations. Today will not be one of those days that we reflect on the good. Not today, folks. Instead, we will take a look at some of the worst gimmicks and characters in wrestling history. I will not list these gimmicks in order, because it's almost impossible to determine what's the absolute worst(sad I know). Not included on this list? The Shockmaster. Yes, I know, but his debut was so epic while terrible, that I could NOT include him. Sorry, guys. But, without further adieu, let us take a look....................

Johnny B. Badd

This gimmick was absolutely ridiculous. Let's take a look at this shall we? Marc Mero(Merowitz), who I recently found out WASN'T BLACK(this tomfoolery basically made life no longer worth living), played this Little Richard inspired character, who even came out with a Little Richard inspired theme. It was beyond strange to watch a Little Richard ripoff in a wrestling ring. Johnny B. Badd even had some success, winning the TV title, and feuding with Arn Anderson(which I actually enjoyed as a kid). Mero was a talented guy as far as in ring work went, but this gimmick baffles me to this day. This guy was really a Jewish man dressed as a tribute to a black rock and roll legend in professional wrestling. Flamboyant, full of make up and tons of hair products, Johnny B. Badd is one of the worst gimmicks in wrestling history. And this sumbitch isn't even BLACK! The deception.


So this gimmick might not even be remembered much, but man.... was it bad. Nailz has the dubious honor of being one of the true first convict gimmicks to KEEP THE ORANGE JUMPSUIT. Nailz, who had a fairly significant feud with Big Bossman, was not to be taken seriously. The man came out in an ORANGE JUMPSUIT! Not much of note to actually write here, it was just a terrible idea that reeks of Vince saying "it's money, there's a bunch of convicts in the world, how can people not relate, am I right?" and the stooges going "sure, Vince". Terrible.

Kerwin White

This gimmick.............. is just.............. the...... fucking...... drizzling shits. Chavo Guerrero, member of the esteemed Guerrero family was forced(by WWE brass I'd assume) to do this racist/sellout gimmick of a Hispanic conservative golfer who had the catchphrase "If it ain't white, it ain't right" and wore the ridiculous outfit that a 70 year old golfer would. It was embarrassing and degrading on many levels, and I'm still confused on why Chavo would agree to do something like this, considering his heritage and legacy of family, but who knows? Maybe he saw it as a challenge and wanted to try it? I wish he never did. I really wish he never did. One of the saddest gimmicks in history. Just..... TERRIBLE.

"The African Dream" Akeem

This gimmick..... another racist gimmick. If you weren't aware, the One Man Gang was a very recognizable wrestler in the 80s. A pretty big name, so.... It's beyond me why he was put with Slick and giving a gimmick of being an African transplant, with a terrible accent. He also danced badly during some sort of African ritual, and it really was cringe-inducing. WWE has had a lot of gimmicks that are ridiculous, but this was just wrong. I really don't understand the purpose and point, as this never went anywhere, despite having the greatness of Slick attached to it.


Just look at the pictures. Nothing more needs to be said. The fuck was wrong with WCW? I mean, if I HAD to pick a top 3 or so, this might have to be on it.

The Booty Man, The Zodiac, The Disciple, and all Brutus Beefcake related characters

I don't really have to say much about this here either(look at the photos for God's sake)..... I mean, Brutus Beefcake has a legacy in the wrestling world, and the Barber gimmick is definitely iconic for a generation. But, as the 90s came about, it seemed like he struggled to find a different character to get comfortable with. The Booty Man? Seriously? Coming out to the ring with Kimberly Page is never a bad thing, but what a shitty gimmick. The Zodiac? Are you serious? The Zodiac came back to terrorize Hogan during his Dungeon of Doom feud and ended up terrorizing us with this fucking ridiculous character/gimmick. The Disciple? What was the point? Like... where did this seem like a good idea? Brutus Beefcake in the 90s only had Hogan related characters that made him look silly and it just seems the 90s were not good to him. Tough break.

The Zombie(ECW- The WWE Version)

I realize that ECW was coming to SyFy in 2006. I get it. ECW needed a network to hold all the extreme wrestling and maybe even the blood as well. But, REALLY? A fucking zombie? As a wrestling character? Just because ECW was on SyFy? Bad enough, Kevin Thorn was stuck with a vampire gimmick that really seemed out of place with Sabu, RVD, CM Punk, and others, but now this. This is one of the reasons why the WWE version of ECW was due to fail. The Zombie might actually be the worst gimmick of all time. Possibly. It's definitely up there high. I still can't believe WWE signed off on this character actually making it to TV ever.


Dustin Runnels is one of the great minds in professional wrestling. The character Goldust became iconic and legendary. It is still around and one of the more recognizable characters today. However............... WCW, WHAT IN THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING? I mean, sweet baby Jesus, what was the point of this? Who saw this character and thought "oh man, this will be money"? I struggle to see that conversation even happening. While I will always respect Dustin Runnels and his contributions to the business, this gimmick is absurd. WCW was headed down the toilet anyways, but this was the confirmation. At least one of the stronger confirmations.

I'm sure you're reading this and thinking "where's Repo Man, Skinner, Mantaur, Bastion Booger, The KISS Demon, The Yeti, and countless others", right? Well, they are definitely some of the absolute worst as well, but I wanted to take time to look at some of the worst gimmicks that don't always get talked about. Regardless, it's very saddening to see how many of these terrible gimmicks came during the 90s, which is heralded as one of the greatest decades(most say the greatest) in wrestling history. Until next time, it's been real guys. Keep living the gimmick...... or don't. 

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CJ's Top 5: Hell In A Cell Matches

The Hell in a Cell match had long been a favorite of the wrestling community, due to its equal parts violence and potential for great storytelling. With the annual Hell in a Cell pay-per-view fast approaching, I decided to take a look back. So here are my top 5 Hell in a Cell matches of all time.

5. Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar, No Mercy 2002   
Match Length: 27:18 

Winner: Brock Lesnar 

4. Triple H vs. Cactus Jack, No Way Out 2000
   Match Length: 23:59

  Winner: Triple H 

3. Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels, Badd Blood 1997
   Match Length: 29:57 

  Winner: Shawn Michaels 

2. Undertaker vs. Triple H, Wrestlemania 28 

  Match Length: 30:52

  Winner: Undertaker 

1. Undertaker vs. Mankind, King of the Ring 1998 

  Match Length: 17:10

  Winner: Undertaker


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

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All Eyes On: Tommaso Ciampa

All Eyes On… Tommaso Ciampa

Nathan (@Headliner5 on twitter) here, you know me from my weekly Ring Of Honor TV reviews right here on eyesonthering.blogspot.com, but since ROH TV hasn’t been new in a few weeks, I figured I would do something different this week.  Plus it's in effort to keep myself relevant within the site so I figured I'd provide you with the latest edition of our “All Eyes On…” profile with a look at ROH’s very own Tommaso Ciampa.

                                                                    Tommaso Ciampa
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 210 LBS
From: Boston Massachusetts
Debut: January 2005

Tommaso Ciampa was trained by Killer Kowalski and made his debut in January of 2005, making his mark in Chaotic Wrestling, located in Lowell Massachusetts, under the name Thomas Penmanship.  He would stay with CW until 2007, where he then would make his World Wrestling Entertainment debut on the July 14, 2005 episode of Smackdown as Thomas Whitney, ESQ. as one of Muhammed Hassan’s lawyers.  He would confront the Undertaker, which Ciampa claims is one of his favorite moments of his career, where he read a prepared statement from Hassan before being attacked by The Undertaker.  On the August 25, 2006 episode of WWE Heat he would team with Kofi Kingston in a dark match against Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch. 

On February 4, 2007 it was announced that Thomas Whitney (Ciampa’s real name) signed a developmental contract with WWE and was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling.  He would make his debut on February 21st and wrestled as Tommaso, but after suffering an injury, Ciampa was forced to step away from the ring and take on the role of an Anger Management Specialist known by the name Dr. Thomas.  On August 9, 2007 Whitney was released from his WWE developmental contract.

After his release from WWE, Ciampa would make his return to the independent circuit in late 2007.  He worked with Harley Race’s World League Wrestling. He has also worked for MWF the Maryland Wrestling Federation, where on September 29th of that year, Ciampa would win the MWF Television Championship defeating both AJ Styles and Eddie Edwards in a triple threat match. 

In 2011, Ciampa would return to a major promotion with Ring Of Honor Wrestling, making his debut in January of that year. On the January 22 tapings he defeated Mike Sydal (Matt Sydal/Evan Bourne’s brother).  He then joined Prince Nana in Nana’s heel stable known as the Embassy. On July 13, 2011 it was announced that Ciampa had officially signed a contract with Ring Of Honor.  He would make his debut pinning Homicide at Death Before Dishonor IX on September 17 of 2011 in a tag team match. Ciampa was teamed with Rhino while Homicide teamed with Jay Lethal.

Feud With Jay Lethal

Ciampa would defeat then ROH World Television Champion Jay Lethal in a proving ground match to earn a future opportunity at said title.  On March 4 at the 10th anniversary show, Ciampa would receive his match but it would end in a fifteen-minute time limit draw.  Ciampa would continue to feud with Jay Lethal throughout the year.  On April 7, Ciampa defeated Lethal, Adam Cole, and Mike Bennett in a four way final to win the 2012 March Mayhem tournament. On May 12 at Border Wars Ciampa’s undefeated streak was ended by Lethal in a singles match.

Ciampa would receive another World Television Championship opportunity against both Lethal and Roderick Strong. Ciampa would come up short yet again as Roderick would win the match.  After this match (and Prince Nana’s interference) Ciampa turned on Nana after it was revealed that Nana had made a deal with Truth Martini to keep the Television Championship on then champion Roderick Strong. 

The feud between Lethal and Ciampa would reach its conclusion on August 11 at ROH’s Boiling Point in a two out of three falls match.  Five seconds into the match Ciampa would tear his Anterior Cruciate Ligament but he would wrestle the remainder of the match in a losing effort.

Return from Injury

After missing ten month’s of action, Ciampa would return from injury at Border Wars 2013 on May 4 chasing former manager RD Evans and his new associate Q.T. Marshall.  On August 3, 2013 Ciampa entered a tournament to determine a new ROH World Champion after the title was vacated due to a kayfabe injury by then champion Jay Lethal.  Ciampa would defeat Bennett to advance to the semifinals of the tournament but would lose the semifinal match and be eliminated from the tournament by Adam Cole in a great showing even in a losing effort.

At Final Battle 2013 On December 14, Ciampa began his first and only reign (at least to date) as the ROH World Television Champion when he would defeat former champion Matt Taven for the title.  At Supercard Of Honor VIII Ciampa would lose the title to Jay Lethal following outside interference from Truth Martini.  Ciampa’s TV Title reign lasted four month’s.

After being gone due to an extended absence, Ciampa would make his return to ROH on July 19th with a new look having gotten noticeably bigger in size and with a full beard.  He then defeated Adam Page of the Decade and followed it up with a promo where he demanded a ROH World Title shot from the ROH brass but he was interrupted by Silas Young.  He lost to Rocky Romero on August 9th by losing via disqualification after he failed to release the Sicilian Stretch at the referee’s five count.  He would then go on to unsuccessfully challenge the man who at the time was the ROH World Champion in Michael Elgin.  On August 23, 2014, Ciampa was suspended indefinitely in kayfabe terms from ROH for attacking the ring crew and Bobby Cruise (the ROH Ring Announcer) thus completing his heel turn.

There you have it readers, everything you need to know or ever wanted to know about current Ring Of Honor Wrestler Tommaso Ciampa.  I am happy I was able to provide this entry in the “All Eyes On” series as Ciampa is one of my favorite wrestlers currently.  What will the future hold for this talented wrestler?  Keep your eyes on Tommaso Ciampa to find out the answers.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

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Speed on the Beat's Night of Champions Preview

Greetings, Eyes on the Ringers.

True asked me to give my opinions on tonight's Night of Champions PPV (exclusively on the WWE Network for...some price under ten bucks). Let's break down what we know so far.

  • Roman Reigns, who was set to square off against Seth Rollins, is out of commission due to a hernia. So, Seth Rollins is probably off the card (save for, y'know, a "surprise" in the form of Dean Ambrose coming back and kicking much butt). 
  • The Bellas feud has engulfed the PG-rated lesbian-tease angle of Paige and A.J. Lee. Paige and A.J. Lee are yay-worthy. However, the Brie vs. Authority Nikki feud has engulfed the Paige/A.J. feud to the point that Paige must defend her Divas championship against A.J. Lee and Nikki Bella. This will probably lead to Maffew having a ton of new Botchamania material (most likely in the "EVERYBODY TALKS TOO MUCH" segment). 
  • Chris Jericho is prepping for another epic tour with Fozzy, so he's squaring off against Randy Orton (who seems primed to get his "Legend Killer" persona back into the psyche of the WWE Universe).
  • The Usos and the Dust Bunnies Brothers are feuding over the Cosmic Key (the tag team belts)
  • Jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahn Ceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeena John Cena will take on Brock Lesnar with the WWE WHC on the line.
  • Some other feuds that people either don't really care about (Rusev vs. The BlacksMark Henry and America [F Yeah!]), forgot about (Cesaro vs. Sheamus), or are slightly entertained by, even if they don't want to admit it (Damien Mizdow vs. R-Ziggler and The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler)
  • NXT will probably start some sort of angle with the main roster soon (and possibly tonight)
Ok, now for the predictions.
  • Rollins will face off against a returning Dean Ambrose. Rollins, since he's highly pissed off about Dean "rising from the dead" tries to kill Dean again (cinderblocks to the face), but Ambrose counters. This sets up a match for Rollins' briefcase at the next PPV. This, in turn, sets up a former Shield member triple threat.
  • Lesnar wins, even though Cena kicks out at two more times than humanly possible.
  • Paige retains on interference from Brie Bella. A.J. and Paige have a staredown that turns into a makeout session to spoof Michael Sam (since, you know, the WWE don't take kindly to people scorning them to follow their true career paths).
  • Miz wins on interference from Mizdow. Mizdow turns on Miz and has a meltdown about having to partake in drivel (or something)
  • Dust Brothers gain the Cosmic Key (finally) and the Usos start the brother vs. brother feud that was supposed to be for Goldy and Starry.
  • Orton punts Jericho for the win behind the ref's back.
  • Rusev wins, despite a "valiant effort" from Mizark. Show, jealous that Henry split up their team, only to lose to Rusev, turns hell (yes, again) and punches out Henry.
  • Cesaro busts out The Swing and gets the W.
  • WWE has a slew of Roman Reigns announcement replays
  • NXT "invasion" kicks off (again). This time, however, they won't be called the Nexus. The Nexus was for mid-carders--and Daniel Bryan for a couple weeks.
  • Some sort of cryptic tease for this "next generation" crap we keep hearing about.
So, there you go. NoC predictions from Speed--and less trolly than usual. Blame my arm injury (don't ask). Be sure to keep your eyes on the ring--and check out Team DAR's Genesis below (shameless plug).

Sunday, September 14, 2014

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RAW Preview - 9/15/14

Or..."The One Where Lesnar Puts Butts in Seats after The Bellas Force Butts Out of Seats"

Speed on the Beat here with a preview of the upcoming RAW, the go-home show for Night of Champions. Now, in the past couple months, go-home shows have been between slightly craptastic and infinite sadness. I mean, any time Brie and Stephanie close a show calling each other female dogs, you've got a problem with consistency. Apologies for any cynicism in advance.

What We Can Expect:

A.J. Lee and Paige will continue their Mickie James/Trish Stratus angle while fanboys cream themselves over a feigned kiss between the two and hate CM Punk for marrying A.J. Lee.

John Cena will give another rousing promo. 

This promo will include: 
  • the idea that he's the voice of the voiceless Make-A-Wish kids
  • the idea that anyone who isn't named John Cena is not able to be John Cena (duh)
  • the idea that Brock Lesnar is Satan because he's a part-timer and not John Cena
  • jokes about Paul Heyman (way to be a star, John)
  • how he's going to leave Brock in a pile of...red liquid, and pee-pee, and puke
  • at least one "bitch," "damn," or "ass," to make him edgy and happening
Rusev and one of the blacks Mark Henry will have some sort of ridiculous schmozz because they don't want Rusev to lose a match (I mean, how else will they feed him to Cena and/or Reigns as a Bulgarian all-you-can-bury fest?)

Because, apparently, we all serve the same purpose in today's WWE.
Beekeeper Kane Malibu Kane Summer Beach House Kane Corporate Kane and Randy Orton getting involved with Roman Reigns.

Seth Rollins feuding with Roman Reigns because Dean Ambrose is over as all hell and is filming a WWE Studios movie (see the sense this makes?)

Something, something, something, Bella. Something, something, something, slap. Something, something, something, I turn to Monday Night Football and/or shoot my TV because I'm tired of this sadness.

So, there you have it. Speed on the Beat's Five Six Points for RAW. Now, keep those eyes on the ring and if my premonitions come true...pray for our souls.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

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NXT Takeover 2 Preview

NXT TAKEOVER 2 Preview Article 
by Nathan Neumann and Jonathan Dortch 

 Jon:  First, I want to thank Nathan (@headliner5) for once again joining me in predicting yet another WWE special event. I’m hoping to do better at my predictions this time around, as I failed miserably at Summer Slam.  NXT has been touted as the premiere brand for the WWE Network, as it is one of the most viewed shows on the network. NXT features the young talented wrestlers of the company and actually emphasizes the wrestling. Don’t expect NXT Takeover 2 to deviate from that successful blueprint.   

NathanThanks for the intro Jon, it's great to be predicting a show with you once again and this one looks to be one hell of a line up.  NXT always excites me even when RAW and Smackdown aren't delivering.  I know that WWE is still capable of knowing how to run a proper wrestling company, and WWE NXT is proof of that.  My only gripe with the show is actually the name of it.  They have already taken over so to speak,so having Thursday's event being called Takeover 2 is a bit counter productive but I'll learn to look past that.  Anyways lets get to predictions shall we?  

Bayley vs. Charlotte (C) 
NXT Women's Championship Match  

Jon: Charlotte has been impressive as champ, showing an aggressive side and ring savvy in her matches. Bayley might be all about warm fuzzy hugs, but she isn’t a push over. She has also been impressive with her consistent improvement in the ring.  Charlotte is a Flair, so she’s been bred for success. She just might be ready to make her introduction to the main roster, but I look for her to retain her title.  

NathanCharlotte is a special performer to say the least and she just had to be, given who her father is. She has been put under a lot of pressure to be a great in ring performer, and while she's not great at it yet, she's on her way to being a solid female wrestler, which is what the diva's division desperately needs.  I'm going against Jon on this one because I feel the time is right for Charlotte to lose the title and go on to bigger and better things (the main roster). Bayley will fit the role as NXT women's champion going forward quite nicely.  

Mojo Rawley vs. Bull Dempsey  

Jon:  Bull Dempsey wins… not much more to say than that.   

Nathan: I'll be a bit more wordy than Jon on my response, but I do in fact believe that Bull Dempsey will win this match.  I really don't care who wins the match because both guys are very forgettable, but I hope it will at least be a decent match.    

Kalisto and Sin Cara vs. The Ascension (Viktor and Konnor) (C) 
NXT Tag Team Championship Match 

 Jon: Contrast of styles should make for an interesting match. To call The Ascension a dominate tag team would be a gross understatement: they have laid waste to every challenge that has been put before them. Sin Cara and Kalisto are in for a physical match and although they are a new tag team, they have great chemistry and an exciting move set. This will be the upset match as somehow Sin Cara and Kalisto will become new NXT tag team champions  

Nathan: For once in a very long time I find myself actually looking forward to an Ascension match.  They have been the NXT tag team champions far too long (longest reigning tag team champions in history) and they have only wrestled jobbers.  They haven't had any real competition until this coming Thursday at Takeover 2.  This match will be a battle of The Ascension's power countered with the Speed of Kalisto and Sin Cara.  As in the women's title match that we covered earlier, I see the tag titles changing hands from the Ascension to Kalisto and Sin Cara. Then the Ascension will probably make their way up to the main roster at which point they will bore me to tears, because quite frankly they already are doing that.  

Sylvester Lefort vs. Enzo Amore 
Hair vs. Hair  

Jon: Really don't care for both of these guys so picking a winner is difficult.. flipping a coin heads for Enzo and tails for Lefort .. My magic coin has spoken, Enzo Amore wins and keeps his hair.   

Nathan: This match seemed to be added last minute as a filler match, but it's a match that I'm okay with them adding.  Sylvester Lefort has been great in his role and Enzo has been killing it every week with his promos and matches.  Sylvester already shaved off half of Enzo's beard this past week on the show leading up to this one, so I expect Enzo to exact revenge and shave the head of Lefort.  I could be wrong and they could go a complete different way with it by having Lefort win and having Amore be the one who gets his head shaved, but if they do that it will be a huge mistake in my book.  

Sami Zayn vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Tyler Breeze vs. Adrian Neville (C) Fatal Four Way Match for the NXT Championship 

  Jon: All four participants have been stellar in recent weeks on NXT. The personal rivalries between all four men will come to a head in this match. Kidd has been displaying a more aggressive yet jerk like heel persona and in previous weeks, crowd chants of “Nattie’s Husband” have brought out this side in him. Tyler Breeze, the beholder of all things pretty, Prince Pretty has shown that he’s not afraid to take a shot in the face, and still look good in beating any opponent. He’s been the #1 contender to Adrian Neville since Takeover and due to interference from Kidd, he’s yet to get a true one on one shot at the champ. Then you have Sami Zayn, "OLE OLE OLE OLE OLE OLE", there’s no denying that he’s a NXT fan favorite.  He is at the point where he needs to win the title for his own personal confidence. He’s taken some losses even though he has put on some of the best matches in his NXT career. The Champion Adrian Neville has taken on all comers and no matter how big or small, he has come out of every fight on top. This fatal four way will be a test to see if he can overcome any odds and retain his title. I think Neville will retain when it’s all said and done.   

Nathan: I'm looking forward to this match more than any other match on this show, which is why I am sad that I wont be able to watch the event live.  Like Jon said, all four of these guys have looked great in the previous weeks leading up to this match.  Tyson Kidd is even filling his role quite nicely as the jerk heel, and the "Tyson's Chicken" and "Nattie's Husband" chants by the NXT crowd are personal favorites of mine.  Sami Zayn is an all around solid performer and you would know that if you saw any of his work in Ring Of Honor. While I don't see him winning this match, he will put on a performance in it that we will not soon forget.  The current number one contender, Tyler Breeze, has been absolutely fantastic. His gimmick is one of a kind, it reminds me a lot of the old Rick Martel Model gimmick we saw in the late 80's early 90's, but this is far better in comparison.  The current champion Adrian Neville has been killing it every week as well with his fantastic matches, and he's really come into his own ever since he won the belt back in February at NXT Arrival.  This match can go multiple ways because it has four possible outcomes, but there is only one outcome that I will accept and that is Tyler Breeze winning the NXT Championship because the guy deserves it as a reward for his outstanding performances throughout the years (back to FCW).  If the match were to have Sami Zayn win I would be fine with that as well, but I don't think he needs the belt because he's already a fantastic performer and some guys just don' t need to be champion in this day and age.  

Well that does it for Jon and myself and our preview of NXT Takeover 2, I hope you enjoyed it and I look forward to seeing how we both did in our predictions come this Thursday when the show airs live on the WWE Network.  Even though I'll be watching it on a delay, I am still looking forward to seeing how the show will turn out in the end.  So until Thursday be sure to follow myself on Twitter @Headliner5 and follow Jon as well @BigJonDaLegend and to keep your eyes on the ring and be sure to visit http://www.eyesonthering.blogspot.com/ for more great articles from myself Jon and the rest of the Eyes On The Ring writers.