JCW Legends & Icons 8/12/2011
Written by: Colin Rinehart
August 12th, 2011
Oh those crazy clowns. Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that the Insane Clown Posse has been a very successful music and wrestling act over the years from their humble beginnings in Detroit to their appearances on WWF. WCW. and ECW PPVs as performers, they’ve made a splash in both the music and pro wrestling industries. A little over a decade ago they started their own promotion, Juggalo Championship (or Championshit depending on who you ask) Wrestling and they’ve managed to carve a very nice little niche for themselves in the indy wrestling community by bringing in tons of former big name talents for their shows, and by cross-branding those shows with their annual “Gathering of the Juggaloes” festival. Now, personally, I’m not a fan of their music really but I always thought they were competent enough in the ring during their short wrestling careers and they’re clearly lifelong fans of wrestling just like we all are, so I’ll give them a shot here as this will be the first JCW event I’ve ever seen. What sold me on it, you might ask? Pretty simple really…look at the crazy stacked card for this show. Tito Santana vs. Greg Valentine, Roddy Piper vs. Terry Funk, the Midnight Express vs. The Rock and Roll Express, and the New Age Outlaws vs. Kevin Nash and X-Pac? Those are some big-time matches that would (and in some cases did) draw big money if the participants were all still in the prime of their careers. Nostalgia goes a long way though, so this should be entertaining nevertheless. Enough with the preamble, onto the review!
Your hosts are Mick Foley and Kevin Gill
We open the show with Kevin Gill in the ring to hype up the crowd for the show tonight. He introduces DJ Clay off-camera and then introduces us to his broadcast partner for tonight, none other than the legendary Mick Foley! Foley comes down to the ring in a cheesy leopard-skin dress shirt with an ICP Hatchetman t-shirt underneath. The crowd gives him about as positive of a reaction as you can expect from Juggaloes I guess, as the crowd seems to be pretty complacent. Foley puts over the Cactus Sack nickname he was once given and then puts over the Rock and Roll Express/Midnight Express tag match. Foley says he couldn’t believe the card when he saw it and had to get involved. I can’t tell if these fans are even wrestling fans or not, because they seem to be booing pretty much everything that Gill or Foley try to say.
We cut backstage to Bill Apter of all people, who is with Tito Santana to ask him about his match against Valentine tonight. Tito says he’ll never forget the feud he had with Valentine and the shit he put him through, and actually seems fired up believe it or not. Foley claims Bill Apter did his wedding video and photos, which is pretty funny if true.
Greg Valentine vs. Tito Santana
Good god, Valentine has a massive set of man-tits on him. These two had one of my all time favorite wrestling feuds in the 80s over the IC strap and had many classic battles across the globe, so this is a real mark-out match for me personally, regardless of the actual quality of the wrestling itself. Just to get this out of the way now, the commentary is absolutely hilarious all night long. By far the best thing about JCW is the commentary. Anyways the bell rings and we’re off as Valentine lays in some lazy forearms on Tito. The cage here is the old-school small chain-link kind, which I always liked. Tito rams Valentine’s head into the cage and then uses the chain link fence like a cheese grater on Valentine’s head, busting Valentine open barely a minute into the match. Valentine tries for the figure four, but Tito fights it off. Valentine does the old Flair flop after a big right from Tito and Santana tries a figure four of his own, but Valentine reverses with a sloppy cradle for two. Valentine fights Tito off in the corner and then rolls him up and puts his feet on the bottom rope to get the dirty pin at 3:44. That was it’s own kind of awful and both guys looked ancient, but it was mildly amusing to see them in the ring together again. 1/4*
After the match someone hands Valentine a wrestling plaque he once won and he tries to give it to Tito to make up for the match, but Tito will have none of it and breaks it into pieces against the cage. Okay then, that was certainly….something.
Foley recounts a tale of ordering his own books using the Amazon Kindle and trying to return them under the grounds that he found extra copies laying around and didn’t need them anymore. Gill kisses his ass a bit more and they high-five.
Cut back to backstage where the Headbangers are with Bill Apter and claim that they’re going to win the big Battle Royal coming up. They play with Apter’s comb-over a bit and we’re ready for the next match as Foley keeps giving out shout-outs to Jeremy Borash on commentary.
15 Man Rumble-Style Battle Royale Match
(Featuring Jim Duggan, Headbanger Mosh, Headbanger Thrasher, Ronnie Garvin, Carlito, Tony Atlas, Jimmy Snuka, Big Daddy V, Rob Conway, Zach Gowen, Doink the Clown, U-Gene, Brutus Beefcake, Disco Inferno, and Rakishi)
Dave Penzer is handling the introductions tonight by the way, to add to the nostalgia. The first two participants are Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Headbanger Mosh. Mosh flashes Duggan his underwear and then applies a nerve hold on him as the next man out is Ronnie Garvin in street clothes (crowd has no clue who he is either). He locks up with Duggan loosely for a moment before they both try teaming up on Mosh. Next out is Headbanger Thrasher to even the numbers. The Headbangers take it right to the senior citizen crew with dastardly back rakes and forearms. Carlito is next out with a beer in his hand. He finishes it and hands the empty container to someone at ringside and hops in the ring. Garvin is the first man eliminated by Duggan as the next man out is a shirtless Superfly Jimmy Snuka, who loosely resembles a topless grandmother at this stage in his life. Foley recounts his infamous story of seeing Snuka leap off the cage at MSG and the crowd and wrestlers give him a minor standing ovation as Duggan eliminates Mosh. Next out is Mr. USA, Tony Atlas! Sadly Abraham Washington is nowhere in sight. Carlito and Snuka lock up in the corner and the next man out is Big Daddy V, who actually appears to have lost a little bit of weight. V dumps Duggan out and Carlito tries to dump him next to no avail. V eliminates Thrasher with a clothesline as Rob Conway makes his way out as the next participant. Atlas is eliminated off-screen and Conway is the first person tonight who actually shows a bit of fire in the ring, taking it to Carlito with big forearms. Tony Atlas joins the commentary team briefly to call this the greatest show ever and promises to return to the Gathering next year. Zach Gowen is out next with a false leg, so of course Conway rips the leg off for some cheap heat. Carlito eliminates himself with a double axe handle out of the ring on Conway as Doink the Clown (Matt Borne) makes his way out next. Foley puts over how awesome heel Doink was in the WWF while trying to call Carlito over to the commentary table, but Carlito’s too busy getting another beer. Snuka gets tossed out next back in the ring. U-Gene is the next man out, and he doesn’t look half bad! Everyone seems to be teaming up on Zach Gowen as Snuka joins the commentary table for a patented cocaine-fueled rant from the master of them. Remember kids, this is why you don’t do drugs. Brutus Beefcake is out next as Doink gets tossed. Beefcake looks like an elderly Mr. Kennedy here with his bleach blonde hair. Doink is going OFF on commentary right now and cuts an insane curse-laden promo that puts most of the promos you hear in the WWE and TNA to shame. Next out is Disco Inferno as U-Gene gets eliminated by Gowen and V dumps Beefcake out. The last man out is Rakishi, who gets the best pop of the night so far. We have a battle of the big men as Rakishi and Big Daddy V square off in the middle of the ring with forearms and headbutts. Rakishi does a bit of dancing and hands out a few weak superkicks and the crowd pops huge for Rakishi as he gives Disco the Stinkface. Daddy V eliminates him moments later to vocal boos. The crowd chants “Bullshit!” as Conway and Disco eliminate each-other at the same time, leaving Big Daddy V alone with Zach Gowen. He gives him a huge Sky-High powerbomb and Gowen does a great job of selling the beating he’s taking here. Rakishi puts over JCW on commentary and then we get a funny moment as Disco Inferno tries to do some commentary but he’s the only guy Foley doesn’t want to talk to. Gowen and V manage to screw up the finish TWICE before finally Gowen is able to low-bridge the ropes enough so that V can fall out over him, giving Gowen the win at 28:46. Spectacularly bad battle royal, even by the low standards by which I tend to grade them on. The messed the finish up twice and it really exposed the match for the poorly worked paycheck-match it was for everyone involved. Fun for the commentary though. As a match, pure shit. DUD
Backstage Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson, complete with receding hairlines, are interviewed briefly by Bill Apter about whether the feud with the Midnight Express will ever end. Not until they’re all dead Bill. So probably two months from now.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Robert Gibson & Ricky Morton) vs. Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Dennis Condrey)
Everyone here is obviously so old that they can barely walk, let alone bump, so this winds up being about 30 seconds long. Gibson and Morton hit a double dropkick on Condrey and score the pin at 0:34. I’m not really sure what the point of this was. I mean, if you’re going to bring them in for nostalgia then have them go out in the Battle Royale and do a few spots, don’t do a 30 second tag match. I hate rating nostalgia matches like these so low, but I have no choice. DUD
Backstage Bill Apter is with Terry Funk and asks him if he’s ready for a fight tonight. Funk, god bless his soul, still puts his heart and soul into every promo he cuts even at 67 years old. Funk talks about how idiot horses breed more idiot horses and then calls Piper’s mother a whore and his father an idiot. Funk and Piper actually squared off in another legends battle royale a few months back on a PWG show, so it’s not like this feud is coming out of nowhere. Funk trashes They Live (I love you Terry Funk, but you are flat out wrong man. They Live is an awesome flick and one of John Carpenter’s best films that isn’t named “Halloween” or “The Thing”). Funk calls Piper a faker and then calls himself the real deal as we cut back to the ring.
Philly Madness Match
Raven vs. Balls Mahoney vs. Shane Douglas vs. Sabu vs. 2 Cold Scorpio vs. Al Snow vs. Rhino
“Philly Madness” is just another word for calling this an ECW style match. This could wind up being moderately entertaining or a clusterfuck of doom. Foley gets in the requisite Al Snow jokes much to my amusement on commentary. We start off with Sabu, Douglas, and Rhino in the ring so of course they have to work in the triple sleeper spot from the infamous three-way dance at The Night the Line Was Crossed. Douglas and Rhino trade roll-ups and Sabu tosses a table into the ring already and sets it up in the corner. Sabu hits a springboard double back elbow on Douglas and Snow and Scorpio tags in. Scoprio hits a nifty Asai moonsault on Sabu and Balls tags in to do his one and only spot, the “Balls” punches. Michinoku Driver from Mahoney on Sabu and Scorpio tries to hit the 450 on Balls but winds up landing feet-first on Balls chest on the second rotation for a two count. Belly to belly suplex from Douglas, but he walks right into the Evenflow DDT from Raven. Al Snow cleans house with Head before getting a chair shoved in his face by Sabu. Sabu puts Rhino on the table and then tries for a legdrop, but Rhino moves out of the way and Sabu crashes through the table, allowing Rhino to pin him for the win at 3:49. Somewhat competent for the most part and so far the match of the night, but still crap. Rhino gives Scorpio the Gore on the rampway after the match just to be a dick. *
Bob Backlund vs. Ken Patera
One of the most underrated and unfairly forgotten feuds is brought back to life here and Backlund looks great for his age. We get a respectful handshake to start and the crowd actually applauds them for it. Backlund stalls a bit and they go for the old Greco-Roman knuckle-lock test of strength spot, and Backlund rolls right out of it in a nifty reversal. Damn, Bobby can still work. Patera works the absolute weakest bear hug I’ve ever seen on Backlund for what seems like an eternity, but is actually only about two minutes. Backlund can’t lift Patera up and he gets stuck in the Full Nelson hold by Ken, but Backlund counters into the Chickenwing briefly. He rolls Patera up (sort of) sloppily and gets the win at 6:13. Another atrocious match obviously, but it was fun seeing these two rivals in the ring again and Backlund still looks good well into his 60s. 1/2*
Memphis Five Way Match
Dutch Mantel vs. Koko B. Ware vs. Brickhouse Brown vs. Doug Gilbert vs. Austin Idol
Koko is rocking some kind of weird parrot hat that wouldn’t look out of place in Lady Gaga’s closet. The sheer idea of names like Brickhouse Brown and Austin Idol on iPPV in the year 2011 is pretty amusing. Foley flips out seeing Brown here as he apparently hasn’t seen Brown in nearly 20 years. This is Idol’s first match in 12 years apparently. .Everyone teams up on Austin to start before splintering off into groups. Idol applies the figure four to Gilbert, but Dutch breaks it up. Idol rolls Dutch up for the win at 2:43. Well that match…existed. Nostalgia can only get you so far guys. DUD
Tracy Smothers vs. Tommy Rich
It’s like a Smokey Mountain reunion or something here! Isabella Smothers is with Tracy. Penzer comes to the commentary booth and Foley asks him about the rumors that he started tonight about Penzer being a poor man’s Jeremy Borash, which Penzer agrees with. In the ring both men lock up and Rich avoids a clothesline. Smothers lays in a few shots and then pins Rich with his feet on the ropes with the help of Isabella to pick up the cheap win at 0:38. The less said about this “match”, the better. DUD
New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) vs. Juggalo World Order (Kevin Nash and X-Pac)
This match could have probably made some serious money if it were taking place about twelve or thirteen years ago. Road Dogg is great on the mic as always and manages to actually get some sort of reaction out of the fans while going into the whole usual pre-match classic catch-phrases. Scott Hall is out with Nash and X-Pac, thankfully not wrestling. This should probably be your workrate match of the night, believe it or not. Hall grabs a mic and does his usual “Hey Yo, survey says” spiel. Hall doesn’t appear to be obviously high or drunk, so that’s a plus. All of a sudden Vampiro is introduced as the special guest referee for the contest. Sure, why not. Nash and Dogg start us off with a lock-up before Nash starts laying in the trademark knees in on him in the corner. Big elbows from Nash, but Dogg ducks a clothesline and does the old Jive and Juke punches before tagging Billy Gunn in. Foley and Gill start talking about how pot should be legal (I’m with you there!) while Gunn works a chinlock on X-Pac before taking him down with a shoulder-block. Big dropkick from Waltman on Gunn, followed by a spinning heel kick. Pac hands out one to Road Dogg as well. Waltman is already easily establishing himself as the worker and MVP of the night so far. He hits a Bronco Buster on Road Dogg, but Gunn takes him down with a clothesline. X-Pac is almost put to sleep by the Road Dogg and when he goes for the cover, Vampiro notably counts slow for him. X-Pac ducks a double clothesline and takes out the Outlaws to tag Nash back in. Nash cleans house with big boots and then gives Billy a chokeslam for a two count. Road Dogg gets in Vamp’s face, so Vampiro superkicks him, drapes Nash’s arm over Gunn and then fast-counts him to give Nash and Waltman the win at 6:25. We have our match of the night so far folks. This was nothing special at all, but it was fun to see all of these guys in the same ring again and Waltman brought more energy to this match than anyone else involved int he show tonight, so they get bonus points there as well. Vampiro joins the JWO afterwards. The crowd is too busy being completely asleep to be shocked. *1/2
After the match Nash comes to the commentary booth and both he and Mick put over how great X-Pac looked tonight. They both agree that he’s got one more run left in him in this business, and Foley jokes about texting John Laurinaitis in-between matches for them. Waltman comes up to the booth and Foley puts him over but Waltman plays modest, saying he’s blown up already. Foley says again that he’s going to text some people about Sean, this time apparently being serious. They all agree that Bob Backlund is batshit crazy as we prepare for our main event.
I Quit Match
Terry Funk vs. Roddy Piper
Piper is accompanied to the ring by Bob Orton and gets a great reaction. Funk grabs a mic and continues to put down Piper and his whole family in classic heel Terry Funk fashion. He calls Piper an idiot, a phony, and a faker. Piper and Orton both jump Funk as the bell rings to officially start the match. Piper whips Funk with his belt at ringside and tries choking him over the barricade. Piper low-blows Funk and then pokes him in the eye (MY EYE!). Back in the ring Funk lays in some right jabs and then locks a sleeper hold onto Piper. Orton jumps in to interfere in the match and god bless his soul, he’s still wearing a cast nearly 30 years after the damned angle that inspired it. Funk is busted open and Foley starts getting upset as the crowd chants “Foley!”, prompting Foley to come down to the ring and I guess we have ourselves an impromptu tag team match, unofficially ending the first match in a no contest at around 2:46. No contest, so no rating.
Terry Funk/Mick Foley vs. Roddy Piper/Bob Orton
Foley hops into the ring and it’s on. Fans chant for Cactus as Funk is bleeding pretty badly now. Piper lays some boots in on Foley while Orton lays in closed fists on Funk. Piper sends Foley into the ring post and then breaks up a pin attempt by Funk back in the ring, rolling over on top of him for the pin at 1:31. Crowd chants “Bullshit” and I’m not sure I blame them. This was probably the only match of the night to have any kind of heat whatosever, so that saves it from DUD territory just barely. 1/4*
After the match Mick Foley grabs a mic and jokes about tripping on his way into the ring and then puts over the fans for being patient and respectful all night long. The fans sort of cheer them, and then boo them. Not even magnets could have made these fans interested in the show that went down tonight. We close out the show with Brickhouse Brown giving Foley a big kiss on the cheek. Whoop-whoop!
Bottom Line: You should know going into this show already whether you’ll enjoy it or not. Hint: if you’re looking for competitive and entertaining, athletic wrestling matches, this is not the show for you. If you’re looking to see a bunch of old legends in the ring together and listen to two and a half hours of awesome commentary from Mick Foley and Kevin Gill though, there are worse ways to kill two and a half hours. Perversely entertaining in a bad B-movie kind of way and the commentary was very informative and entertaining as Foley and Gill both just had fun talking about all the great history these wrestling legends made in this business, but as a “wrestling show” I can’t in good conscience give this a positive review or recommendation. Steer clear unless you’re in the mood for bad wrestling with great commentary, otherwise it’s a Thumbs Down (sorry juggaloes).