Cheap Pops - Wrestling News & Views: April 29, 2015

FTC Statement: Reviewers are frequently provided by the publisher/production company with a copy of the material being reviewed.The opinions published are solely those of the respective reviewers and may not reflect the opinions of or its management.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. (This is a legal requirement, as apparently some sites advertise for Amazon for free. Yes, that's sarcasm.)

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
StumbleUpon icon icon
Reddit icon
e-mail icon

by Chris Delloiacono, Mike Maillaro and Jeff Ritter

This week!

  • Ring the bell for Verne Gagne

  • Extreme Rules Results

  • NXT Results

  • Pro Wrestling Syndicate - Spring Breakdown Results

  • Best in our world - Favorite Finishers

Mike: From outside Dudleyville, I’m Dudley Fuji!   These fine gentlemen here are Ari Dudleystein and Carney O’Dudley.  We are the Dudley Cousins!  Basically a crappy spinoff that no one asked for, but were created purely for merchandising purposes.  Buy our action figures and t-shirts.

Chris: Woot!

Jeff: I’ve given up trying to figure out what’s wrong with Mike. Must be something in the water in The Garden State. Or maybe it’s just what’s in his garden? I’m just sayin’, knowhatimsayin’? Fahgetaboutit! How you doin’?

Rest in peace, Verne Gagne

Jeff: The legendary wrestler and promoter from Minnesota Verne Gagne has passed away after a tough battle against Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 89. The AWA Territory was a very respectable competitor to the then WWWF and the early Vince McMahon Jr. era of the WWF. The AWA was shown on ESPN in that network’s early days. Gagne was a pretty solid hand in the ring too. Here’s a match of his against one of my favorites--Nick Bockwinkle. The quality isn’t the greatest, but I thought it was a nice match to showcase Verne in the ring. The guys he brought into the business, The Iron Sheik, Curt Hennig, Scott Hall and Hulk Hogan just to name a few, speak to his competency as a promoter with an eye for talent. My best wishes to his family, friends and colleagues through the years.

Chris: I've spoken wistfully about the AWA in this column.  Verne wasn't performing in the ring by the time I got into wrestling but he was still an authority figure on camera and the owner behind the scenes.  Some of my favorite childhood memories revolve around the old Minnesota territory.  Oddly, Larry Zbyszko told me a Verne story just this past weekend.  I'll save that for later in the column.  Without a doubt, one of the greatest has left us!

Mike: Yeah, it was definitely sad to hear this.  Like Chris said, we had just spoken to Larry Zbyszko about Verne Gange on Saturday, so I was real shocked to find out that he had passed away.  A very talented man who will be missed, but at least he leaves a terrific legacy.

Extreme Rules Results

  • Neville def. Bad News Barrett with Red Arrow

  • Chicago Street Fight: Dean Ambrose def Luke Harper

  • Kiss Me Arse Match - Ziggler def Sheamus, but Sheamus beats down Ziggler after the match, refusing to Kiss His Arse

  • WWE Tag Team Title Match: The New Day def Cesaro and Tyson Kidd.  NEW CHAMPIONS!

  • Russian Chain Match for the WWE United States Title: John Cena def. Rusev

  • WWE Divas Title Match: Nikki Bella def. Naomi with Rack Attack

  • Last Man Standing Match: Roman Reigns def. Big Show

  • Steel Cage Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title: Seth Rollins def. Randy Orton

Mike:  For our predictions,

Jeff - 3

Chris - 5

Mike - 2

I should feel bad for such an awful score, but I haven’t really watched the product on a weekly basis, and I will stick with my picks as the better choices from a booking perspective.  

Sucks that Daniel Bryan was unable to compete, but I’m glad they gave Neville the spot instead!  I think Neville can be a major superstar in the WWE if they give him a shot.  He does things you just don’t see in the WWE.  I also hope that his success will open the door for more NXT guys to become big names.  Too many NXT guys just have gotten lost in the main roster.

I am VERY excited to see John Cena fighting Rusev for the fourth PPV in a row, he says sarcastically.  I really don’t see the point of this.  Rusev won the first one with a low blow...lost the middle two, which already makes him look like a chump.  Win or lose this FINAL match, he’s already taken some serious damage to his career at this point.

Chris: I don't deserve any credit for getting five matches right.  The product stinks and there's no subtlety whatsoever.  Only real shock was Zigs beating Sheamus.  That was a stunner.

I was happy New Day won, since they've been pretty amusing as the guys that don't want to be heels but are.

Other than that, the show did nothing for me.  Nothing I feel like talking about.  It was as forgettable as any PPV I can remember.  

Cena seems to have Triple H's proverbial shovel as there's no way JC is saying "I Quit."  What a joke.  Rusev is a gelding now.  He might as well get to feuding with Ryback, Fandango, and Adam Rose on the list of depushed.

Jeff: YAAAWN! Uh...what did I miss? Did I sleep through it, or did I really watch the most embarrassingly bad PPV since the fall of WCW? No booking plan whatsoever. The Irish Albino comes up with this stupid stip and then loses to a guy who can’t get pushed to save his life any other time? In what world does that make sense? Bad News Barrett is the #1 contender for the Intercontinental Championship and he can’t beat the latest call up from NXT? Don’t get me wrong, Adrian Neville should be the WWE Champion some day, but if Barrett can’t beat him then what good is Barrett? And why does he deserve a shot at any title? Since when do American idiots need light poles to show how many turnbuckles a wrestler has touched in a Russian Chain Match? Stan Hansen probably clotheslined his television off the wall in disgust. Cesaro could probably beat all three members of New Day by himself, so of course his team does the job and drops the titles. Where does he go? How can he grab Vince’s mythical gold ring and become the next megastar in the WWE when they book him into the ground? Street fights are STREET FIGHTS, not street races--NEVER, EVER put both combatants in a car and have them drive off for a match or two. That’s so damn stupid and was played out in 1988. Vince McMahon must retire, and he can take WWE Uncreative with him.

Best in Our World - Favorite Finishers

Chris: Favorite finishers is such a great topic!  There have been so many cool moves over the years, this one is going to be hard to whittle down.  So, let me try my best.

1) DDT by Jake Roberts - The DDT is a move that changed wrestling.  It was so different from anything else at the time, and it seemed legitimately dangerous. Jake Roberts will forever be linked to the move because it fit his character so well.  From the spin of the hand to signal it was coming, and the move itself, served to "KO" an opponent and leave the door open for the Damian to slither and slide in the ring. There's nothing better.

2) Perfect Plex by Mr. Perfect - It was just a fisherman's suplex, but when uncorked by Curt Henning, it was an unbeatable finisher.  

3) Chasing the Dragon - reDRagon's finisher consists of a karate kick to the head by Bobby Fish followed by a brain buster from Kyle O'Reilly.  It looks like it does serious damage, and nobody gets up once it's been hit.  

4) Package Piledriver - Whether it's Kevin Steen or Pentagon, Jr., curling your opponent up into a ball and hitting a piledriver looks gruesome.  The only thing missing with Kevin Owens (Steen) in WWE is the loss of this killer move. The power bomb is cool, but it's been done to death.  WWE needs to unleash Owens with his real finisher.  Package Piledriver Everyone!

5) Red Arrow - Lanny Poffo did the first moonsault I remember, then Owen Hart did it better as the Blue Blazer.  Jeff Hardy took it to another level with the senton, but Adrian Neville puts a literal spin that nobody can touch.  I hope WWE gives him a chance at that brass ring that Vince babbles about.

Honorable Mention: Boma-ye knee, Sister Abigail, Lariat, figure-four leg lock, slingshot suplex


  1. 3D (Dudley Boyz) - I am a sucker for a good tag team move...and the 3D (Dudley Death Drop) is a great one.  What I really like is that even though it seems like it would require a lot of setup, the Dudleyz were often able to hit it so quick that it seemed like it came out of nowhere.  With or without putting someone through a table, I mark out for this move every time.  

  1. Diamond Cutter/RKO (DDP/Randy Orton)- One thing Diamond Dallas Page and Randy Orton both do so well is hitting this move from a wide variety of positions and situations.  It’s fast, can be used on anyone, and looks devastating.  I really can’t ask for more out of a finishing move.  

  1. Ego Driver (Kevin Matthews) - I will admit, I have PWS on the brain when I am writing this list.  BUT, that said, the Ego Driver is just an awesome move that should not be physically possible.  It’s set up like Power Bomb, but instead of just dropping the opponent on the matt, Kevin Matthews basically jumps up and hits a backstabber on his opponent on their way down.  I cringe every time I see Matthews do it, because I have no idea how he doesn’t cripple himself and/or his opponent when he hits it.  

4) Macho Man’s Flying Elbow - When I started watching wrestling it was mostly WWF in the mid 80’s.  I really don’t remember a lot of wrestlers having real flashy finishers at the time.  A lot of them used submission moves, or something fairly simple.  But, not Macho Man Randy Savage.  Randy would climb up to the top rope, point both hands to the sky, and just fly through the air with that elbow drop he did so beautifully.  Yeah, these days, there are a lot more elegant and complicated top rope finishers (like the 450, the Red Arrow, Starship Pain, the Shooting Star Press, and on and on), but for me, the best flying finisher will always be that elbow drop.  I am glad CM Punk would do it every now and then in homage.  It deserves to be memorialized.

5) Tombstone Piledriver (Undertaker) - I will admit, this is probably the least impressive finisher on my list, but something about it has always had a ton of appeal to me.  I think it’s just all about the theatrics around it.  Taker slicing his finger across his throat, the crossed arm pins, it just creates the perfect atmosphere to me to end the match on.  I actually hate that kicking out of the tombstone became a regular occurrence.  Once they started doing that, it completely cut the balls of this move for me.  Kane kicking out of 2 Tombstones was such a big deal….these days, Bray Wyatt can kick out of one with no ill effect.  I love Bray...but he has basically never won a feud...and yet he can kick out of what was once the most feared move in wrestling.  

Jeff: I’ll tell you what it isn’t: The Big Boot. I don’t care if McMAhon makes a Frankenstein's Monster out of Andre the Giant, Big Show and Great Khali, nobody should ever beat anyone just by sticking their foot up so somebody can run into it. big wrestlers are so often so damn lazy…

1) The Jackhammer. So simple--a vertical suplex held aloft for a few beats just to show how mighty Goldberg was...and then, BOOM! Twisted into a powerslam that just looked like it hurt, every time. I’m surprised other big, muscled men, like Roman Reigns, perhaps, haven’t used this. It’s like the nutmeg of finishing moves, highly underutilized.

2) Running Lariat. Oh sure, scoff at the erstwhile clothesline if you want. You stand right there and let John Bradshaw Layfield run you over. Or Stan Hansen. Or Terry Gordy. Or, believe it or not, Hulk Hogan. The “Axe Bomber” was the move that knocked out Antonio Inoki and gave the Hulkster the first ever reign as IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. In Japan they can kick out of a piledriver from the top rope, but a hard running lariat is death. Like the Diamond Cutter it can come from anywhere at any time. FEAR IT!

3) Greetings from Asbury Park. Bam Bam Bigelow was one of the most gifted big men I ever saw. This version of a piledriver was fast and looked devastating and yet I’d wager it’s probably safer than most to execute. Rikishi had a version too, which I’d much rather take than a big Pacific Islander ass to the face.

4) The Bank Statement. I’ve always been a mark for submissions, as long as they look decently painful. The Figure Four is a universal constant. They teach it in martial arts. The Rock’s half-assed Sharpshooter was so weak-looking that I’ve always assumed the pained expressions from his opponents had more to do with having to sell that than it actually hurting, and yet it’s still heads and shoulders better than John Cena’s spectacularly bad STF, or as I call it, the WTF. NXT Diva’s Champion Sasha Banks has the best submission in the WWE today: The Bank Statement. A Carlito-style Backstabber flipped into a side choke, almost a Crippler Crossface submission. I have to think William Regal had a part in that--his Regal Stretch is another favorite of mine. It looks almost as great as Sasha herself! Bank on that!

5) Canadian Destroyer. The first time I saw Petey Williams hit this I had to leave the room. Surely that poor schlub on the receiving end was dead! I marvel at the gestalt nature of this move--it takes a bit of timing and cooperation from both parties to pull it off, I have to think. But when it’s done right, well, like Ron Simmons says: “DAMN!”


NXT RESULTS from 4/22/15:

Finn Bálor def. Tye Dillinger

Jeff: Finn’s entrance was longer than the match.

Chris: Too many squash matches lately.  I don't mind a match like this, but at least give the guys a chance to work.

Becky Lynch def. Bayley & Charlotte (NXT Women’s Title No. 1 Contender’s Triple Threat Match)

Jeff: This division is endlessly entertaining. Charlotte has nothing to prove but they don’t seem too interested in getting the belt off of the Bella that has it on the WWE level right now, so what else is there for her to do? Bayley’s had a shot. Now it’s Becky’s turn. Good times are gonna be had.

Chris: As has been the can a lot lately, the women had the match of the night. I loved the finish with Charlotte putting the Figure-Eight on Bayley and Becky crawling on top for the pin.  I keep saying the main roster Divas have shown improvement, but they aren't anywhere near this level.

Hideo Itami def. CJ Parker

Jeff: CJ Parker LIVES! Hallelujah! His record is still abysmal, but he’s starting to grow on me. I hope he sticks around long enough to see what the crowd reaction is if he ever gets a push. I don’t even think I know what his finisher is.

Chris: That really is CJ's last TV match with NXT.  They just taped episodes last week, and CJ has been gone since Mania.  Good match, for sure.  I'll miss CJ, but Itami has been showing his talent so much of late. He finally seems comfortable in NXT.

Rhyno def. local competitor

Jeff: The local competitor will be buried at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, after a short visitation. (Okay, he’s not dead, but when the Man Beast nails The Gore you probably wish you were.

Chris: Is this the third or fourth time in recent months we've had to waste our time with a Rhyno squash?  Give the couple of extra minutes to a match that matters.

Kevin Owens def. Alex Riley

Jeff: I thought this was a better match than Riley vs Owens-I. Riley got a little more offense in, and by and large it was a solid match. It wasn’t Zayn vs Neville, but both these two are a different style of worker than those aerialists. If there was a secondary title for NXT, a TV title, for example, Riley might be a good candidate for that.

Chris: This match was a little better than the last one, but a waste of Riley.  Why bring him back to get squashed twice? Riley deserves better.  NXT did wonders elevating Tyson Kidd, but I don't know if Riley gets the same rub.  He needs to be competitive.

Pro Wrestling Syndicate - Spring Breakdown

-Mario Bokara (c) defeated Fallah Bahh by DQ


- Handicapped Heroes (c) beat Reynolds Bros. & Team 3D

- Habib From The Car Wash (c) defeated Craven Varro, Bobby Wayward, Matt Macintosh, Johnny Howl, & Eddie Kingston when he pinned Howl

-The Heavenly Bodies beat Kevin Matthews & Jake "The Snake" Roberts

-Aesthetics Enterprise defeated Larry Zbyszko & CPA

-Danny Maff pinned Brian Cage

-Triple Threat: Shynron beat Amazing Red and  Brian XL

-Monsters Island crushed Bonesaw in a 4-on-1 match

-Team Espana defeated Philip Simon III & Sandy Mann

-The Lifeguard pinned Devon Moore
-Brian Myers defeated The Drunken Swashbuckler
-Starman pinned Delroy with New Jack
-Chris Payne beat Anthony Bowens

Mike: Top to bottom, this was one entertaining show.  Chris and I had bought VIP passes which were supposed to include a backstage tour, and pictures and autographs with Mick Foley, The Dudleyz, and Terry Funk.  BUT, Funk has pneumonia, so they replaced him with Jake The Snake.  Sadly, there was no backstage tour, and Jake The Snake was a bit of a jerk, but I still thought it was worth it. Last time I went to a PWS show, I spent a small fortune to meet and get autographs with everyone I wanted; this was a lot easier and cheaper.  

Chris: I'm glad Jake has turned his life around, but he's a very gruff person.  I don't take it personally, yet he could be a bit more cordial.  Still, getting a pic with him was pretty amazing.

Mike: Mick and the Dudleyz were great.  I had met Mick at Virgin Megastore when his first book came out, and while he definitely looks worn down, he was still extremely cool.  

Chris: Mick just oozes charisma even at a time when his body is breaking down.  It's so clear from chatting with him why he was such a success.  How about Bubba, he's got that crazy sarcastic energy.  It was a thrill to talk with three hardcore legends.  The fact that Bubba and Mick each mentioned your Vaudevillains shirt was very cool.

My favorite moment might have been chatting with Larry Zbyszko.  I cut my teeth on wrestling when he was in the midst of his martial arts gimmick.  What a great story about the nunchucks and how he used to warm up backstage with them.  Promoter Verne Gagne asked what they were, and the rest was history!  We even got to chat with him about his NXT work.  Just a marking-out moment, for me.

Mike: I admitted to Larry Zbyszko that I hadn’t seen a lot of his in-ring work, but I did think his Hall of Fame speech was the highlight of the night.  He seemed very amused by that, “Everyone keeps telling me that...but I couldn’t even remember what I said at the time.  I was just so overwhelmed by everything.  Arnold Schwarzenegger told me that my dramatic pauses were perfect...hell, I just didn’t know what I was going to say next.”  

On top of the great meet and greet experiences, it was another great show.  For such a small promotion, Pro Wrestling Syndicate always has great production.  Its a small crowded venue, but everything always feels well organized.  The wrestlers are very accessible, and know a lot of the regular fans by name.

And the wrestling is always top notch.  What I love about Pro Wrestling Syndicate is you always get a great variety.  The local PWS wrestlers are very talented.  There are several like Chris Payne and Kevin Matthews that I am amazed are still in the indys.  Both guys have the look and talent to make it huge.  

Chris: Agreed on both men.  I know Matthews was signed to WWE developmental several years ago.  How he didn't make the main roster, man, I don't get it.  Like you said, he's got the look, can talk, and is excellent in the ring.

Another PWS homegrown talent to watch is "Lifeguard" Mike Del.  He has the chops to put on good matches and lives his gimmick.  An evil Lifeguard could be death, but Del pulls it off with a flourish. Everything from the slo-mo walk, zinc cream on his nose, and the endless blowing of the whistle.  Plus, he does this spot where he surfboards on the opponents back and then comes down with a huge elbow. Most importantly, the guy draws heat, and that's the business.

Mike: Amazing Red, Brian XL, and Shynron put on a great high flying match.  Mario Bokara and Fallah Bahh put on more of a traditional strength vs strength match.  You got to see old school veterans like Larry  Zbyszko and Jake The Snake.  And some big indy names like Cage and Eddie Kingston.  And there was even some great comedy moments like Brian Myers and the Drunken Swashbuckler having an impromptu “sword vs cane” duel during their match.  

Chris: Myers is a guy that comes in and month after month steals the show.  He plays the snarky, jerk heel beautifully.  I can't believe WWE didn't do more with him.  It sickens me.  Yet, I guess it's a good thing, because he's a key player in PWS.

Mike: Yeah, Myers used to be Curt Hawkins in the show, I got a great signed picture of him and Zack Ryder.  I usually pass on pre-signed autographs, but it was the Major Bros!

While there were some unpolished spots and promos, but on a whole, it was just a terrific show.  BUT, the real highlight of the night was the Dudleyz.  

Chris: I'll say.  Not only did they come in, hit all their spots, cut a great promo, plus get the pop of the night, but they brought our pal Rob's son into the ring after their match.  After putting one of the Reynolds Bros. through a table, they pulled Anthony from the crowd and gave him a chunk of the debris.  It's one of those moments that happens to other people, not my circle of friends.  To be honest, this would have been awesome whoever it happened to.

Mike: Yeah, that was just incredible.  That kid was a rock star that night, and it was so awesome.  

My other favorite Dudley moment was when Bully yelled midmatch (about one of the Handicapped Heroes who has Cerebral Palsy),  “What are you afraid of him for, he’s got a gimpy arm?”  He started to get booed so he points out to the crowd, “Oh get over it, the other arm’s fine!”  Also his attempts at communicating with Hush (who is deaf).  Only Bully can be such a beloved crowd favorite...and a total jerk at the same time.

Chris: So true.  How can you be lovable and making fun of the handicapped?  Just ask Bubba!  If he was in a corporate job I bet he could get out of the hottest water with HR!  I wish I had half his charisma.

Mike: Pro Wrestling Syndicate just announced that Bully would be back for their June 6 Supercard to face off against Colt Cabana.  And Terry Funk and Bret Hart will be there!

We already got front row seats for that one!

Mike: Sorry for the lack of Lucha Underground results this week.  I am way behind on my wrestling.  

Unfortunately, by the time WWE announced they were doing King of the Ring, we had already basically put this column to bed.  I have some thoughts on King of the Ring on a whole, and the way they brought it back, but I will save those for next week.