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The Caliber Winfield Super Terrific Happy Hour - April 18th, 2013

Today we discuss what needs to go in the World of Independent Pro-Wrestling, biggest pops, and there's Trish vs Mickie in the VS. Dig it.

Professional wrestling is the sport that never sleeps. Always in season, always moving forward, and always evolving. Unfortunately in life, most people have the mind-set that if 1 is good, 100 is better. The pro-wrestling scene is no exception to this thinking.
Every sport has the pros and the minor leagues, and the minors of pro-wrestling are everywhere. In any given state, you can locate 10 promotions without even trying. Every weekend, you can find any one of these promotions and their weekend-warriors performing in front of small crowds in bingo halls, high school gyms and parking-lots. Although the scene seems to define the word “minor,” it's actually a large part of the world of pro-wrestling. It's where the up and comers learn their craft and, most importantly, pay their dues. In some cases, a promotion can be a farm system for WWE or TNA. The minor leagues are integral to the survival of pro-wrestling, and in my opinion just as important as the majors.
As I stated earlier, wrestling is always evolving. While it's always good to continue to grow, there are aspects of the sport that don't always need the spotlight. In the late 90s, hardcore wrestling became a focal point. Every week on WWF and WCW programming, you'd find guys crashing through tables and beating each other with chairs. What was once a niche' aspect of the business now had it's own national championship.
That soon gave birth to idiots doing back-flips off their roofs and crashing on to their prone friend who was laying on a piece of wood held up by two saw-horses. Eventually, we had federations like CZW [Combat Zone Wrestling], where people would crash through thousands of light-tubes after being smashed over the head with plates of glass, while the ring was littered with tacks and barbwire. It's absolutely pointless. The audience is being desensitized, and the performers are constantly forced to try and one-up what went on. People no longer work on their craft, because all they do is jump off a ladder and wonder why the bigger companies don't come calling.

Recently John Cena and CM Punk had a match on Raw that was instantly recognized as a MOTYC. One of the moments that had people buzzing was when CM Punk delivered a piledriver to Cena. A simple piledriver. It's something we no longer see, and when it happened, you knew Punk meant business. It honestly had far more impact than if Punk had thrown Cena through three tables, simply because we don't see it every week.
Hardcore-style matches used to be reserved for blow-offs to a feud. It's when the rules went out the window and each wrestler was going to risk life and limb to put the other down. Matches like the steel cage, scaffold, and I Quit were huge draws for the NWA in the late 80s because they just weren't done that often. You think Starrcade 1986 would have been called Night of the Skywalkers if the Road Warriors and Midnight Express were doing those types of matches every week on NWA TV? No. Absolutely not.
Thankfully, TNA and WWE have scaled back their hardcore aspects significantly, saving them for special occasions. I hope one day that the minor leagues will pick up on this, because it's a win-win situation. Careers will last longer, stipulations will mean more, and people will be more likely to spend their money to see such things that only happen once in a while.
The other thing I see as a major problem is how almost every wrestler today wants to be all style and no substance. You see guys doing moonsaults, 450 splashes, massive dives to the outside, back-flips off the middle rope and a wide variety of other things they saw the likes of Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio do. However, they don't take the time to realize that those types of wrestlers used these sort of things as tools, they didn't use them as a work-bench. What's the point of doing your stupid moonsault when you can't even throw a punch? Or call a match on the fly? So many of them are incapable of getting out there and just having a wrestling match.
It also bothers me how often these guys are hurting themselves and others for something so completely pointless. I've never seen a match and thought “Wow, I'd have liked that a lot more if it had 20 moonsaults, back-flips, dives to the outside and plenty of other pointless, flashy moves.”

I was watching a Botchamania the other day and some guy went for a ridiculous move and landed on his face. Thankfully he wasn't hurt, but he could have been. Now, do you think if he'd landed that move that it would have made any difference? No. It wasn't going to make the match any greater. It's a completely pointless endeavor that has absolutely no pay-off and comes with 100 percent risk.
I don't want to see Cirque du Soleil choreography in the ring. I want to see wrestling. That's it. I want to see guys who can work. Sin Cara is the king of this kinda BS, and is he over at all? Does anyone older than 10 dig this schtick? Has the guy ever been in a match that was over ***? No. He's an absolute flop who focuses on the most ridiculous crap I've ever seen, and would cause any person flipping through the channels to laugh. Of course, he'll be around forever because someone backed him, and he's never wrong. WHHHo that is, I don't know.

Alright, let's get into a countdown. The three biggest pops I've ever heard.

3 – DDP debuts on RAW
June 18th, 2001
From what I heard, DDP was interested in doing a feud with The Rock. Sort of a People's Champion vs. People's Champion feud. However, a lot of people felt DDP wasn't on The Rock's level. Listen to that pop, The Rock hadn't received one like that in years. So instead, DDP gets stuck with The Undertaker. And not just The Undertaker, but Bikertaker, one of the absolute worst wrestlers of all time, with this feud being a classic example of why. 'Taker never sold anything, and completely crushed DDP from beginning to end. It was pathetic. They could have done something great with Page, who's loved by the crowd, is extremely passionate about the business, and busts his ass with anything he's given.
Of course, I must mention the fact that one of the reasons this was so surprising is because the gargled voice of the stalker was revealed to be Vince after some audio work, so I and many others were set to be bummed the hell out when he was revealed. Also, the person who released the clip showing it was Vince was originally slated to be Sara's stalker, and also demanded to be part of the nWo reboot; Mr. Scott Keith.

2 – Sandman returns to ECW
October 23rd, 1999
After wearing rubber-tipped barbwire in WCW, Sandman decided it was time to return where he could be a big fish in a small pond: ECW. This pop is not only nuclear, but it's sustained. The crowd goes beyond 12 inch voices for the entire time Sandman was out there rescuing Dreamer and Raven from The Network. Another big surprise was just how in shape Sandman was. After looking like a meth-head who owned stock in Zubaz for most of his career, he actually looked like a threat when he returned.

1 – Stone Cold helps Mick
January 4th, 1999
One of the biggest dates in wrestling's history, as both Foley winning his first WWF title, and the Finger Poke of Doom went down in the same night. On the WWF side of things, it looked like The Rock might win again, when all of a sudden Stone Cold Steve Austin showed up. He'd been gone for a few weeks, and once the glass broke, the entire place lost their fucking minds. I can't do the response justice in text, you just have to see it to believe it. Unreal. Oddly enough, this moment isn't on youtube, and trying to encode DM vids here isn't working.

This Week In VS:

Mickie just released a new music video that happens to co-star the former object of her obsession, Trish Stratus. Trish is often considered to be the Holy Grail of women's wrestlers, and to be honest, I wouldn't disagree. However, when we boil it down to just looks, I feel Mickie is the hottest of all time. I'm more partial to thick brunettes, so it's no surprise. Anyway, I thought I'd open up the discussion here.

This Week's Video:

In the World of comic book fan films, Batman and his surrounding canon are the leader in quality. There's one production company known as Bat In The Sun that has made quite a few films that are studio quality. This week, I thought I'd show the one that brought my attention to the world of fan films as a whole, the trailer for Grayson. It really has to be seen to be believed. Plus, it features Kimberly Page as Catwoman, before she became unrecognizable in The 40 Year Old Virgin.

This Week's Recko:
Payback [1999]
Payback is Mel Gibson's last great action movie. Although to be fair, one should just call it Mel Gibson's last great movie. He stars as Porter, a super-burly dude who has two emotions: Pissed off, and really pissed off. He's a crook that's been double-crossed for $70,000, and now he's going to beat the shit out of or kill whoever he needs to in order to get it back. He's a man of principal. It's a throwback to the gritty crime noir films of the 70's, while at the same time implementing a contemporary style. If you heed my advice on this, make sure you get the studio's version. There's a Director's Cut out there, and it seems odd to say this, but it sucks. In what has to be the only time this has ever happened, a movie studio had far better judgment with the picture. So, avoid what's known as the 'Payback Edition', and get the one that has ultra-bad-assed Kris Kristofferson as the crime boss.

No mailbag this week. I had a few emails, but they seemed like more direct questions than ones that would be entertaining here. Anyone else wanting to see their name in the bright-lights of my column, send any question, and I'm serious, ANY question; could be about relationships, working-out, wrestling, TV, movies, drug abuse, hell, you name it, I bet I can help. My dream is to one day be the Adam Carolla to someone's Dr. Drew on a Loveline type show, so why not help peeps here, no? I'm serious, send'em in.

As always, props to my editor, a Mr. Steven Ferrari. I met him while I was at this institution for troubled teens. Anyway, he came in as a special counselor, and said he knew about bad-dreams, and that even he had faced the man from my nightmares before. Well, from that point we became Dream Warriors. And baby tonight, baby tonight you'll be gooonneeee...

Str8 Gangster, No Chaser - I've started a new article series known as Man Etiquette, so you'll know how to act in certain situations, I pay tribute to the burliest of the burly from the 8-bit era, talk about people who shouldn't use the internet [all of them], Saved By The Bell Archives, Comic Book Films You Didn't Know Were Comic Book Films, plenty of other goods.
WCW In 2000 - Recently updated with the infamous Bash at the Beach 2000. You know what's shocking? The PPV is GOOD. No joke, it's seriously good, and features the best match of WCW's 2000 year so far.
Man Movie Encyclopedia Vol.1 - My book about action films. Endorsed by Scott Keith & Maddox, as well as some fellow BOD'ers. Constant 5 star reviews on amazon. I mean, CONSTANT. Non-stop. Around the clock, baby.
Board for the BoD'ers - We average about 50 people a day stopping by, a constant cast of people posting, and you can talk about anything you want. 

Any requests, questions, comments, send'em to

Coming up next, WrestleMania 29.

- Caliber Winfield


  1. Read this on Cracked 6 months ago.

  2. Read it on 411 every week.

  3. The VS thing immediately reminded me of Greg DeMarco from 411. Good column but either axe that part, rename it or something...don't need another Cracked fiasco...

  4. Jason Vorheers in that picture looks like a strawberry.

  5. I'm bummed Caliber didn't mention his cameo in my Booking Revolution review.

  6. I really don't know how WWE perceived DDP not to be on the Rocks level but Booker T was? DDP was a far more over guy than Booker ever was.

  7. I thought you were already the Adam Carolla to MY Dr. Drew!

  8. nice work, but if you could insert proper paragraph breaks it would make it easier on our eyes.

  9. Sorry about that, Brian. I had proper breaks, but blogger can be a real bitch when it comes to formatting. Sometimes when I let the article sit for a little while I can redit and it actually obeys me.

  10. I always thought of us as Tango & Cash. I'm Stallone, and you get to be Kurt Russell who has the Gun Boot.

  11. You know what bums me out? The fact I didn't even notice it. I pride myself on being a guy who catches the smallest thing, but that totally passed right by me. I read the review, too. I gotta say, with exception to the hair, you got me spot on. Matter of fact that's exactly how I look as I type this, ring gear and all. I appreciate the cameo, it's rad as hell, and I hope my character, with the spot on eyes of "angry", went on to do great things and wasn't fired for constantly sexually harassing the divas. And John Cena.

  12. Only column I read is the QT hush-hush one. Got no idea who writes it. Anyway, there's a nerd group on facebook and I started doing this VS stuff years ago there. But, it's not really getting over in the column, so I'll find something else. I appreciate the kind words and the suggestion.

  13. I don't know too many strawberries that can walk down Times Square and kick a boom box, Mr.

  14. I agree, plus DDP was involved with two of, if not the two biggest angles WCW ever did, publicity wise.

  15. ah yes, I think I recall you mentioning blogger formatting issues before. That sucks. still, nice job and thanks for the article!

  16. Like 2/3 of the biggest pops thing. What about the Hart Foundation at Calgary Stampede? Or Austin at Mania XIV?

  17. Trish did that segment with Shelton Benjamin where he gave her the cold shoulder. Blame Shelton.

  18. I found this:

  19. I grew up with a kid named Ryan Yoder, and for some odd reason I was thinking about him the other day. I don't suppose you're a blonde kid from WA who went to Pinewood, are you?

  20. That's not me, sorry. I'm from Ohio.


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