Thursday, November 30, 2006

Georgia on my Mind

From Georgia Championship Wrestling, circa 1983.

Other than Tommy "Wildfire" Rich and "Mad Dog" Buzz Sawyer, who engaged in a series of incredibly sadistic and bloody battles across the state of Georgia (climaxing with the legendary Last Battle of Atlanta in October 1983), I am not sure as to who is feuding with who, let alone the nature of the grievances, in this brief yet chaotic brawl.

Quick summary: As Gordon Solie and Rich call the action in the ring, Sawyer ambushes Wildfire at the announce position. The fight spreads quickly out to the ringside area, interrupting the no doubt riveting scientific clinic being put on between two of the territory's finer enhancement talents (see "BAR, STANDING ARM" at the six second mark of this clip for more information). Then, all HELL breaks lose as Kevin Sullivan (as a face!?), Ole Anderson, Roddy Piper (in full Scottish regalia), "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes (sans a Baby Doll or Sweet Sapphire at his chubby side), and George "The Animal" Steele charge the ring and escalate the conflict. Steele all of a sudden goes into full on berzerker mode -- smashing Piper's head into the post one minute, reigning blows down upon Ole Anderson the next.

Like any good pro wrestling angle should, this clip provokes more questions than it provides answers. Why did Kevin Sullivan rush to ringside to go after Sawyer? And why exactly did Ole attack Sullivan? And what provoked the Animal to assault Piper so ferociously? Was Solie's remark that the Animal Steele was the most awesome individual he had ever seen in his life an example of his celebrated dry wit or proclivity for getting hammered on the job? Is the American Dream really that slothful in person, or does the camera add 20 (or in this case 50) pounds? Most lingering to this author, after Jobber #2 made it to the ropes, would Jobber #1 have released the arm bar, BEFORE the count of five? Frustratingly, this last question will forever remain shrouded in uncertainty... the focus of intensive inquiry, analysis, speculation, and debate apt to confound scholars and pundits alike for generations to come.

Roddy Piper: Dalmatian

The Arabian Facebuster staff send our deepest sympathy and support to Mr. Piper in his battle against Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Please get well soon and get back to cutting promos like the one featured above from his feud with Canadian Citizen (and sometime colleague of Streetfighter Tim Flowers) Bad News Brown.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Separated at Birth?

While watching the new breed unleashed on Sci-Fi last night, I couldn't help but notice the uncanny resemblance between ECW referee Scott Armstrong and former-GBV frontman Robert Pollard. Are the prolific singer-songwriter and the man assigned the unenviable task of maintaining some semblance of law and order in the Extreme Elimination Chamber on PPV this Sunday night both descended from the now steroid ravaged loins of "Bullet" Bob Armstrong? After placing a phone call to the authoritative Black Jack Brown, gathering an abundance of circumstantial and often contradictory evidence in the back issues of Man Splat, posting numerous inciting and rumor mongering messages on the ECW bulletin board under multiple user names and IP addresses, and submitting a paternity test of questionable contents to the Maury Povich show, the Arabian Facebuster Institute for Genealogic Studies concludes, irrefutably, "YES!"

However, this inexorable outcome begs the question: How come Bullet Bob's flawless genes were not passed down to this man?

iMPACT! is Decadent and Depraved Part One

It is a strange and disorienting thing to take one's enthusiasm for professional grappling out into the public eye. Safe in the confines of the living room, bellowing drunkenly at the screen, the constraints of modern society fall away. It is not unheard of for our team of correspondents to descend to the level of common beasts, howling and shrieking, leaping about the room like those apes at the beginning of 2001. Sure, we're just doing our Randy Orton impressions, but things can still get pretty nutty. It's easy to forget that there is a civilization outside the squared circle.

Thus, our first week without cable was rather difficult. RAW and SmackDown, we could live without. ECW? Pah. I'm beginning to get hoarse from scoffing at those jackasses. TNA, however, was an altogether different matter. Despite a certain jitteriness (to put things delicately) in their booking, they still put out the best TV wrestling show on the market, and their move to Prime Time was not to be missed. We were especially excited by the promise of the Christian/Rhino barbed wire (!) cage (!) match. Tired and jaded we may be, but massive lacerations and bloodshed still count for something in these modern times.

So it was that the Arabian Facebuster Editorial Staff found ourselves slouching into "The Barn," a rustic-looking drinkery in the posh environs of North Portland. As the saloon door slammed, we were greeted by a thick haze of smoke and a trio of soused Irishmen bulling their way through "Danny Boy." As they ramped up for the coda, one of the lads tottered over to the cluster of old-timers watching CSI at the bar.

"Can you please fuckin' turn off that fuckin' CSI so's we can hear this great fuckin' song?" he queried. "Just fuckin' turn it off for ten fuckin' seconds so we can fuckin' drunk talk jobble jobble mutter sluuurrrrr...."

Things looked grim for anyone wanting to watch a cage match in this joint. We grabbed our drinks and scuttered furtively into the back room, where a second TV towered. It gleamed majestically, gloriously unwatched. We waved the bartender over and began lobbying for our program. She seemed quite amenable, even going so far as to hit the "on" button, but then the St. Patrick's Parade in the next room boiled over. One of the inebriates took it upon himself to purge the Devil CSI and began attacking the television. The bartender raced into the front room to chastise him.

We sulked. The TV was on, showing some unwatchable police procedural. Perhaps it was a "Law and Order" or perhaps a "Homicide." It was certainly not a cage match. We tried flipping the channels ourselves, but who could make heads or tails of this damn satellite business? Why couldn't this bar get magic pixies trucked in along a length of cable like normal people?

The bartender returned, her knuckles bruised and a knot of red hair in her fist. The lads in the next room fumed along to a Pogues/Thin Lizzy medley. A quick stab of a button, and there was Spike TV. And no wrestling.

"Oh," the bartender said, "The satellite's on Eastern Time. Your show started at six." With that, she clomped off to the bar, leaving us to blink awkwardly at the Japanese game show confronting us. We lapped miserably at our beers. There was nothing left to do but get drunk. We ordered another round and began to discuss which road would best lead us to oblivion.

It was decided that, in the interest of adventure, we should investigate the establishment across the street.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Yr Old Skool Tag Team Photo of the Week

Jim Cornette, "Beautiful" Bobby, and "Loverboy" Dennis . . .
The Midnight Express celebrate after defeating the Rock & Roll
Express to capture their first NWA World Tag Team
Championship, Atlanta GA, February 1986.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Unstoppable...The One Man Gang Is!

I'm unsure to whether the title of this post is supposed to be an allusion to Yoda's syntax or those Citizen Echo Drive commercials. Regardless, here some more sweet sweet old skool goodness, brought to you by the Arabian Facebuster Historical Preservation Society. This clip has got it all: a classic bodyslam challenge angle, a 450 pound behemoth yet to discover his rich African heritage, a manager who gave back to the community by mentoring underprivileged ginger kids in his spare time, a very green (despite already being in the business for 7+ years) Zodiac, and an incredibly geeked up Boy from New York City, with an aide to right wing ideologue and former North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms narrating the action.

This clip comes from Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, circa 1983/84. For some unspecified and likely pointless reason, Sir Oliver Humperdrink offered anyone in professional wrestling $5,000 if they could slam his meal-ticket, and the most corpulent white man to ever roam the mean streets of Chicago's South Side, the One Man Gang. The Gang wears a black t-shirt with his name ironed on the front, likely the product of either unbridled narcissism or a seemingly innocent rib involving his gym bag and Bob Orton Jr's feces that spiraled out of control.

Anyways, after failing the week before, Dizzy "The Booty Man" Hogan makes another gallant but ultimately futile attempt to slam the Gang and collect the money. Suddenly, out comes Jimmy "The Boogie Woogie Man" Valiant. Between Valiant, the Gang, and Humperdink, the collection of mangy hairdos and unkept beards in the ring are truly a spectacle to behold. After a pathetic first try, Valiant demands the sound guy in the back to cue his music, presumably to his get his adrenaline flowing and enhance the rail after glorious rail of coke he snorted seconds before charging the ring. The sound guy obliges. As the AM soft rock stylings of Tony Orlando blare over the PA, Valiant lifts the Gang high into the air; but before he can drop the Gang onto his ample posterior, Humperdink intervenes, the Gang comes crashing down onto the hapless Valiant, and the beat down is muthafuckin' ON!

Dizzy "The Barber" Hogan finally gets his wits about him and makes the save, but it is too late. Valiant is convulsing on the canvas, his body in shock from the devastating 747 splash exacerbated by the toxic quantity of yayo in his system.


Yr Old Skool Survivor Series Photo of the Week

Mean Gene Okerlund interviews The Gobbledy Gooker at the 1990 Survivor Series.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Off the Wagon!

To my fellow Arabian Facebuster illuminati: My sincerest apologies for my lack of postings over the past three months. I went on the wagon. No, I didn't quit drinking . . . give up alcohol? C'mon now, you know me better than that; I gots a lifestyle to maintain.

Rather, I needed to free myself from the mediocrity, unfulfilled expectations, and consistent disappointment that is the current state of modern day sports entertainment programming. From Joey Styles predictably grunting "OH!" after every Mike Knox back body drop and Test boot to the face; to the trailers for The Marine week after agonizing week regardless of what brand I was watching; to redundant Extreme Rules matches; to finding valuable television time and a meaningful program for K-Fed but not for Shelton Benjamin; to the Great Khali in ECW, let alone having a job in professional wrestling; to the RAW Diva Search; to the narcissistic comedy stylings and change the channel inducing escapades of D-Generation X; to Matt Hardy defeating Gregory Helms in a non-title match for the 114th consecutive time; to the hyperactive, manic, nonsensical booking in TNA (even more so than usual it seems); to Matt Stryker's 'curtain jerker at the high-school gymnasium' gimmick, ring attire, mike-work, moveset and in-ring psychology; to the Miz NOT being repeatedly stabbed by a nameless assailant and left for dead in the parking lot prior to a house show; I couldn't take it anymore. I was disaffected. I needed a sabbatical. So I avoided the television on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights and quit blogging on the ONLY professional wrestling site that matters.

So why am I once again embracing my addiction to THE modern day professional wrestling, despite its sheer crappulance!? Well, I learned some hard lessons over the past few months: (1) Watching the same old botched Lex Luger interview over and over again on YouTube was not a sufficient, long-term replacement for fresh, unabashedly scripted and awkwardly delivered promos by RVD and Sabu; (2) Despite booking that makes them often look weak or foolish, I genuinely enjoy watching the likes of Chris Benoit, Samoa Joe, Christpher Daniels, Finlay, and even The Monster Abyss for their innovative matches and willingness to give as much (if not more) as they take; (3) It is imperative to look towards/at the present in order to more fully appreciate the past goodness and simplistic brilliance of Crockett Promotions/NWA, World Class, the UWF, the original ECW, etc; and (closely related) (4) I would rather watch DREADFUL episodic professional wrestling/sports entertainment and voice my frustration and disdain (in blog form!) with its content and direction than abstain altogether.

So I hope you'll welcome me back, my giddy Arabian Facebuster multitude. If you do, I promise to keep bringing the old skool photos of the week, 80s video clips, Apter magazine excerpts, and sporadic yet measured commentary on the current state of pro werestling affairs. In short, I vow to stay off the wagon, for good.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Moment Of Clarity.

So. I sat. Bottle in one hand, cable bill in the other. Monday Night RAW blaring inanely (is there any other way to blare?) in the background. I tallied up the costs. Basic cable. On Demand. Pay-Per-View purchases. And, god help me, I even contemplated dropping another ten bucks a month for WWE 24/7. I dropped both bill and bottle (the slow glug of sauce hitting hardwood tapped out a gentle rhythm), put my head in my hands, and wept.

My family fortunes were drained. My once-vast real estate empire lay in ruins. The yacht, in flames, slid beneath the icy waters of the Willamette (which, I suppose, quenched the flames. I wouldn't know. I was at home, drinking and crying and watching wrestling, remember?). What had I become? WHAT HAD I BECOME?

More to the point, what had WRESTLING become? RAW was a shiftless morass of (sports) ENTERTAINMENT, a resurgent Eric Bischoff riding roughshod over my cherished Warzone. ECW, once the brightest gem in the wrestling heavens, had become less than a ghost of itself, gleefully hoovering up whatever pitiful crumbs Vince McMahon let fall from his never-ending Shit Buffet. Smackdown, tragically, remained Smackdown.

Even my beloved TNA had forsaken me. "Bound for Glory" mired itself in mediocrity, and with Vince Russo at the helm, the course seemed set. TNA would gradually squander all that made them beautiful, hitching themselves to a surgically-reduced God Botherer and a pilled-up lunatic with a death wish. Even the LAX/Chertoff feud had ended, giving way to an unpromising dust-up with a pair of underperforming gay cowboys.

In this flat gray landscape, so destitue that I could no longer buy brandy, was I seriously considering spending MORE money on wrestling? It seemed that I, or perhaps the world, had gone mad.

I lifted my tear stained face, and looked to Monday Night RAW for what cold comfort it could offer. There, John Cena railed against his new foil, Kevin Federline (Ay! Mi Estomago!). He discussed experiencing a "moment of clarity." Then and there, I had my answer.

No more cable. No more On Demand. No more PPV. No 24/7. Cold turkey. If I must howl my critiques into the void, then Smackdown would be my muse. It was free. It was two hours long. It was not really THAT much worse than RAW or ECW.

I felt a tremendous weight lift, and the sun (metaphorically) appeared through the clouds. My life gained a monastic focus and simplicity. I was filled with a burning creative drive, a sense of righteous purpose. This was a wise thing I was doing. I felt saintlike. I felt Christlike. I felt like (rapture of raptures!) STING.

There you have it, gentle reader. My Road to Damascus moment. From this point on, Arabian Facebuster will be a leaner, hungrier beast. We will give you the finest wrestling coverage that No Money can buy. FREE WRESTLING FOR A FREE WORLD!

Except for TNA Impact!, which the Facebuster staff will be watching at The Barn in North Portland every Thursday. Oh, and we're buying the ECW Pay-Per-View, too, but that's the last one, EVER. I PROMISE.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Sting: Before.

I know, I know, the "blog chronology" of these two posts is all off. Whatever, nerds. It's called a "scrolldown," if my intern is to be believed. I caught him huffing the color ink from my printer cartridge last week, so his opinions are rather suspect.

The saddest part of this whole (alleged) Sting Fat-Sucking coverup is that dude was in pretty decent shape anyway. A bit doughy, to be sure, but fit as hell for a forty-seven-year-old man. Damn you, Extreme Makeover. Damn you to hell.

BTW, what the fuck is up with these ridiculous pouches Sting always has over his crotch? This one looks like a turtle's beak.

Sting: After.

TNA did a pretty nice job photoshopping Sting's scar out of most of the "Bound For Glory" shots, but that shit's looking pretty inverted right here. Maybe they assumed nobody would even look at a picture of Jeff Jarrett applying a headlock, but they underestimated the tenacity of the Arabian Facebuster Research Institute.

Anyhoo, the left nipple appears to be where they removed 20% of the Sting from their federation. You know what I call that?

A damn good start. God, I kill me.