Friday, March 09, 2007

March Matchups: I Love It When You Call Me Big Poppa!

Hello everyone and welcome back to the "Rangers In Seven" Arena. Please join me at this time to remember Chris Wallace, also known as the Notorious B.I.G., who was gunned down ten years ago today. R.I.P. Biggie(May 21, 1972-March 9, 1997)...Before we move on to today's match, let me mention that unfortunately an ugly incident occurred in a nearby arena last night, the Nassau Coliseum. All those who never pay attention to hockey will get on their high horse today, I'm sure, and bash the N.H.L. What New York Islanders' forward Chris Simon did to New York Rangers' winger Ryan Hollweg was obviously disgusting. But it was an isolated incident. We don't need shrinks and quacks or dogs yapping about it being something bigger than what it was. Case the way the Rangers won, 2-1, in a very exciting game. One more note, congratulations to Rachel Fuller and Pete Townshend for their song, I'm One, being victorious. For more refer to yesterday's post! OK ladies and gentleman we now continue with "March Matchups" and a most intriguing battle we have today: Ric Flair's arrival to the W.W.E. vs. the "Original" Midnight Express' entry into the N.W.A.

The Battle of the Arrival Storylines:
Ric Flair (W.W.E.) vs. the "Original"Midnight Express(N.W.A.)

Many wrestlers during the 1980s left the N.W.A./W.C.W. for greener pastures, also known as the W.W.E.; Dusty Rhodes, Ron Garvin, Arn Anderson, and Tully Blanchard, to name just a few. But the idea of Ric Flair wrestling for Vince McMahon was ludicrous. Flair was about as anti-W.W.E.(W.W.F. back then) as there could possibly be this side of Bruno Sammartino. So when Ric Flair was fired by W.C.W. in the summer of 1991, most experts believed the perennial World Champion would head to the Far East. That's why tongues were wagging the day manager Bobby"The Brain"Heenan appeared on W.W.E. television holding what he called, "The real World Championship belt."

You see Flair was owed a deposit on that belt by the W.C.W., which the champion gives when he "wins" the title. That particular World Championship, is a beautiful gold belt with a removable panel, where the current champ's name is imprinted. McMahon had been raiding the N.W.A./W.C.W. of its talent vigorously, but this was his biggest score. Flair would sign with the W.W.E. and the gold belt would be blurred on W.W.E. television. Eventually the title went back to W.C.W. and so would Flair, although not before two reigns as W.W.E. Champ and memorable feuds with Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage.

Some of you may be aware of The Midnight Express the movie, and perhaps were not familiar with the name being synonymous with tag team wrestling. Well, for a short time Dennis Condrey partnered with Randy Rose in World Class Championship Wrestling (W.C.C.W) to form the Midnight Express managed by the tennis racket-wielding loudmouth, Jim Cornette. Rose was soon ousted in favor of the younger and quicker Bobby Eaton. The two, Condrey and Eaton, went on to great success in the southern wrestling territories before reaching the pinnacle in the N.W.A.

In February 1986 they beat the Rock and Roll Express for the tag team titles. Later on while still in the N.W.A. - shortly after dropping the belts - and in a deft move by Cornette, he would replace Condrey with the more athletic Stan Lane. Eaton and Lane were guided to the top of the N.W.A. by Cornette, engaging in memorable feuds with the Rock and Roll Express and the Road Warriors.

Meanwhile, an up-and-coming manager would emerge carrying a cordless telephone - which would often illegally come into play during matches - I speak of, Scarsdale's favorite son, Paul E. Dangerously (later in his career he would go by his surname, Heyman). Paul E. united the ostracized members of the Midnight Express, Dennis Condrey and Randy Rose, to form the "Original" Midnight Express. The duo rose to the top of the A.W.A. winning the tag team belts in 1988.

However, they along with their manager, were ready to go to the next level of competition. So let's move forward to one Saturday night on World Championship Wrestling. Stan Lane is wrestling in singles competition, while Bobby Eaton stood at ringside with his arm in a sling. The two had just days earlier been mauled by the Road Warriors, who usurped Cornette's boys as tag team champs. The show was taped in a small television studio in Atlanta, GA., and while manager Jim Cornette assisted Tony Schiavone on the play-by-play, Lane took care of business in the ring. Cornette, was undeniably in a foul mood over his tandem dropping the titles. "Incredibly" a telephone had been placed on the podium that Schiavone and Cornette were broadcasting from. The phone rings and a miffed Cornette answers, and after a few seconds he begins yelling into the phone, "Yeah, well anytime you guys are brave enough just come on down here!" Cornette then hung up. Schiavone asked who it was, to which J.C. shot back, "No one important!" At precisely that moment, some kind of white powder was thrown in the face of Stan Lane who had just won his match, while Bobby Eaton was knocked onto the concrete floor from behind. Meanwhile, Cornette got struck in the head with a cordless telephone and lay bloodied; the Midnight Express and Paul E. had arrived.

Schiavone described the scene in complete and utter shock, only very believably yelling, "These guys don't even wrestle here!" This event touched off a decent feud between the two tag teams who both used the same moniker. But that initial moment was perfect played out.

It's always hard for me to go against Ric Flair, however, I was and am a big fan of Paul E. and this was the type of angle that would be acted out in E.C.W. years later. So the winner of this bout goes to...the arrival of the Midnight Express!

No comments: