Is Joe Wheeler and John Wheeler the same guy? Did Meltzer misspell Joe as John? Are they related? There is a Wheeler running wrestling in Tennessee and another running it in Carolina? Worked Wheeler? I think I know the full Fuller/Golden family tree. Someone want to make me a Wheeler one.
Bobby Eaton's pompadour is great.
Pritchard vs. Shultz was good Pritchard by numbers. Eddie Golden vs. Pritchard was kind of disappointing as felt they could have done more with the match. This was designed to be one step up from Pritchard by numbers (Pritchard vs. higher level of competition) but not yet BIG MATCH Pritchard. Wanted to see Golden get in more offense and he needed to kick out of one more neck based piece of Pritchard offense (the Enziguri that he used vs. Winters in CCW maybe) to give it the big match feel. I'm the last guy to want more 2.9 near falls but really felt like you needed one more near fall between the neckbreaker/elbow drop near fall and the piledriver finish. Still match itself was good and post match kicked all kinds of ass.
I liked Jihad vs. Brad Thomas and Jihad and Jiheed vs. Shultz and Thorn. Thomas impressed me most of the three faces as he did nice job working young underdog with spirit. Thorn and Shultz really did very little for me in their tag but the Turbanators have a nice formula worked out. Jiheed has the better chops and the really nice clothesline. The Turbanators do a nice job working real non-technical wrestling Mongols/Manchurians style throat and eye attack offense. And their finisher is sweet and doesn't feel out of place with the rest of their moveset.
All the mic work is really great. Condrey is just awesome on the mic as are Smothers and Morton. Kind of disappointed in the tag name change as I really loved Town and Country and Tennessee Volunteers is name too close to Reno Riggins/ Steve Dunn. But still mic work ruled. Man I hadn't really been paying attention to the political temperature of the country lately but first OVW mic work takes shots at Bush being ill-prepared war leader and then this Knoxville fed has their faces yelling at the heels that they should go back to the Middle East and Texas in the same breath. The times they have changed. Also really dug Eddie Golden's really great respectful humble youngster babyface facial expression while his mother's brother spoke. I'm used to seeing Eddie work veteran so neat seeing him work that kind of humble youngster facials.
WHAT DIDN'T WORK:
Tony Basillio's commentary was really a mess on these two episodes. the only thing I remember him doing annoying on last two was blowing the Fuller leg lock call by calling it a roll up (thats a pretty serious mistake as it fucks whole story of match) but still that was only glaring thing I remember. Here he just was a mess. Constantly working the "shades of" line into his commentary...which is a thing I really dislike on commentary. But to add to it he didn't know who the wrestler was demonstrating "shades of". " that really feels like shades of someone". Someone? "He has a really youthful face that is full of youth". WHA? Basillio harped on the "irony" of the Turbinator working spiked boots ala the Iron Sheik and Pritchard being trained by the sheik. Thats not irony...coincidence, not irony. "He knocked him away like a struggling piece of debris"...Don't read Wordsworth before doing wrestling commentary, it will always cause problems. Basillio was just really off his game these two episodes.
The Turbanators wear spiked boots ala the Iron Sheik. They're running an angle about petitioning the commisioner to force the Turbanators to wear regulation wrestling boots. That angle only works if the Turbanators actually are using the boots for heelish purposes in the matches... if they put out a jobbers eye post match or something. The angle doesn't work at all if the Turbanators aren't using the boots as part of their offense...and focusing on the boots when they have nothing to do with the match pacing hurts the matches.
Tracy Smothers and Ricky Morton looked really great in their tag match...and I dig me some Stan Lee (the wrestler...I could live a happy life without the comic book editor who claims to be a writer)...but damn Angel of Death's spine collapsed and he looked like he hasn't figured out how to work since the spinal fusion. The awkwardness of Black Scorpion keeps this match on the bottom side. This match might have made the top side if it was a RAW match...but I expect better out of the Black Scorpion then I do out of Michaels.
He'd made a personal commitment to XPW in his first run in early 2000 (the "My Bloody Valentine" event), promising to "hoist XPW on his shoulder, like he did ECW, and make it a goddamn player in the sport of professional wrestling".