The Best Non-WWE Wrestling Match Of All Time

There have been countless phenomenal wrestling matches to have taken place outside of a WWE/WWF ring over the years. The likes of AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura at New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 10 and Kazuchika Okada vs Kenny Omega from NJPW’s Dominion 6.11 event come to mind from recent years, as do a vast number of classic matches from the sport’s territorial days. However, in my humble (but correct) opinion, the greatest wrestling match to ever take place outside of World Wrestling Entertainment took place in Smoky Mountain Wrestling at their Night of Legends show in the year 1994. The show, which took place at the Civic Coliseum in Knoxville, Tennessee, featured an incredible showcase of talent which was presented to a sold-out crowd. Smoky Mountain Wrestling is probably the most underrated and undervalued wrestling promotion to exist in the last 30+ years. The Night of Legends 1994 show is absolutely deserving of its own article discussing all of its greatness and, if I have anything to say about it, it will eventually get one. But ultimately, one match stands out above the rest from the super-card booked by Smoky Mountain. That match is, of course, the classic tag-team bout between The Heavenly Bodies (Gigolo Jimmy Del Ray and Doctor Tom Prichard) and The Thrillseekers (Chris Jericho and Lance Storm).

The match was the result of an angle built up by Smoky mountain in the weeks leading up to the Night of Legends show. The basic premise of the feud was that the Thrillseekers, the babyface team, were viciously attacked in a parking lot by The Heavenly Bodies, the storyline’s heel faction. This attack garnered instant heat with the fans, as at previous Smoky Mountain show, The Heavenly Bodies had come out on the losing end of a “Loser Leaves Town” match. Seeing the polarizing team back in the promotion loaned instant credibility, as well as an immense amount of heat. To allow The Thrillseekers to get their revenge following the attack, the Smoky Mountain promotion decided to lift the “loser leaves town” sanctions against The Heavenly Bodies for one night only: The Night Of Legends.

 

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The Thrillseekers: Lance Storm (left) and Chris Jericho (right)

The match itself begins with The Heavenly Bodies entering the Knoxville Civic Coliseum with their manager, the great Jim Cornette. Before The Thrillseekers make their entrance, Cornette cuts a short, but epic, promo. After this short segment, a racecar pulls up to the entranceway, which is portrayed as being driven by The Thrillseekers. however, the lights go dark and the tag-team enters from the back entrance and immediately begins striking at The Heavenly Bodies. On commentary, the legendary Jim Ross is quick to point out that Thrillseeker Chris Jericho had suffered a broken arm in a “motorcycle accident” within 24 hours of coming to the ring to contest The Heavenly Bodies. While Jericho had actually suffered a broken arm within 24 hours of the bout, it was actually sustained while doing in-ring training prior to the Night of Legends event. Jim Cornette, who was also the owner and booker of Smoky Mountain Wrestling, discussed the utter shock and panic caused by Jericho’s injury in a later shoot interview with Kayfabe Commentaries years later. In what I found to be an immensely funny moment, Cornette addresses the added panic he felt when he realized that the arm Jericho had broken was the arm he would use to blade himself in the match, referring to it as his “juice gettin’ arm”. Regardless of how the injury was suffered, it added an incredible amount of drama to the match and Smoky Mountain was brilliant to use it to add to the Thrillseeker gimmick and to use it to enhance the storytelling of the match.

 

 

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The Heavenly Bodies: Dr. Tom Prichard (left) and Gigolo Jimmy Del Ray (right) managed by Jim Cornette (middle)

The next several minutes of the match are characterized by a great amount of action. The Thrillseekers and The Bodies seem to trade the upper-hand back and forth as several tag-ins, spectacles of impressive teamwork, and of course, Jim Cornette shenanigans make this sequence immensely entertaining. Just shy of the 13-minute mark of the match, Chris Jericho is thrown into the ringside barricades by Doctor Tom Prichard. It was directly following that spot when Jericho bladed his forehead. What followed was one of the goriest, and yet most inspiring sequences of events in professional wrestling history. Unbeknown to the crowd, and most of those involved in the show, Jericho had taken an aspirin prior to the match. The blood thinner paired with a sloppy, broken-armed blade job led to unimaginably heavy bleeding from Jericho. As the bleeding continued, The Heavenly Bodies began to truly take the upper-hand as The Thrillseekers were seemingly reduced to hopeless underdogs. After a brutal beat-down of Chris Jericho, the referee stops the match out of fear for Jericho’s health. However, after impassioned pleading from Chris Jericho and epic commentary from Jim Ross about Jericho’s toughness, the referee decides to restart the match. Jericho, bloodied to the point of no recognition at this point, is quick to deliver a martial arts kick to Gigolo Jimmy Del Ray. Jericho covers the Gigolo and a 3-count follows. Jim Cornette and The Heavenly bodies are absolutely stunned by the turn of events as an almost lifeless Jericho is helped out of the arena by his partner, Lance Storm.

 

 

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Chris Jericho being helped out of the arena following the match’s conclusion

I do not possess an adequate amount of words to describe my love of this match. The storytelling is simply superb. The underdog babyfaces being attacked by an iconic heel team and then being able to seek their revenge at the biggest show of the year is just great. The Heavenly Bodies are an absolutely iconic team and their pairing with the infinitely talented team of Chris Jericho and Lance Storm was a phenomenal booking decision. Lance Storm’s amazing talent can sometimes be overshadowed in this match because of Jericho’s legendary performance. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He is a spectacular wrestler and his abilities are showcased perfectly in this match. While the match may not be a technical masterpiece (one of the participants had a broken freaking arm, after all), it was still an amazing piece of entertainment. I can’t recommend this match enough to anyone who enjoys professional wrestling, or even just great entertainment. It truly is one of the better wrestling matches of all time.

 

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out some of the other great articles by me, as well as the rest of the guys at Mid-American Culture!

My Twitter: @BigRedAFerg

Mid-American Culture Twitter: @M_American_C

 

 

The Best and Worst of WrestleMania 34

Sunday night’s show was certainly a mixed bag. This year’s edition of the Showcase of the Immortals delivered some truly great matches, and, unfortunately, some definite disappointments. Here are what I consider to be the two best and two worst matches from Wrestlemania 34.

Continue reading “The Best and Worst of WrestleMania 34”

Cincinnati Reds and… Music???

As long as I can remember, I’ve been a Cincinnati Reds fan. Also as long as I can remember, I’ve been a fan of music. Would you imagine these two things being correlated in any fashion? I know it may seem weird, but there exists quite a lot of music related to the Reds. I got laughs out of them, so I thought I’ll share some today. Let’s begin. Continue reading “Cincinnati Reds and… Music???”

NBA 1st-Team All Badass

Hello, everybody and welcome back to the Mid-American page. I going to bring back a topic due to some people asking me to do it. In today’s game of basketball, it is best described best by Kobe Bryant as “softer than Charmin”. There is no more hand checks, body checks, or even a friendly shove without there being a huge repercussion. So this is to those who simply didn’t give a shit.

Point Guard: Isiah Thomas

Obviously there has to be AT LEAST one member of the Detroit Bad Boys on this list. Thomas was highly talented point guard, but what made him a badass was he feared absolutely nobody.

https://youtu.be/nN9RSTguCN4https://youtu.be/nN9RSTguCN4

Shooting Guard: Reggie Miller

One of my personal favorites. Miller knew how to hush a crowd fast, just ask Spike Lee. In my opinion, I as thought Reggie Miller was crazy underrated, but aside from his talent, he was a badass. From fist fights to learning French just to talk shit to an opposing player, you either hated or loved Reggie

Small Forward: Ron Artest By far the least talented player on this list, but, nonetheless, this is a well deserved spot. When you think of a badasses of the NBA, you think Ron Artest. Artest was an OK player, but was more known for his antics than his game. Used to love Artest until he gave my boy Harden that nasty elbow a few years back.

Power Forward: Rasheed Wallace

Another personal favorite. I remember being at my Grandma’s house watching the Pistons (my old favorite team), and Wallace could light up any team any given night. By light up I mean he could score 40 or beat the living shit out of an opponent.

Center: Shaq

Big. Diesel. If you do not love Shaq, you’re probably equivalent to Hitler. Shaq may be one of the greatest to ever do it and be a badass.

Coach: Greg Popovich

The best coach ever, in my opinion. Pop has won many titles and is now the coach for team USA. Pop is much for words or overthinking, and loves the game for what it is.

6th Man (Guard): Allen Iverson

Short man. Big Attitude. AI is an absolute treasure and feared no man. He is in my top five favorite players of all time. Iverson is another one who can score 40 and whip your ass.

6th Man (Forward/Center): Bill Laimbeer

An absolute badass. This guy was Ron Artest before Ron Artest. He could score a little better, but he couldn’t be over Rasheed. Laimbeer was an anchor for the Bad Boys and definitely deserves to be on here.

Thank you for reading and spending a time with me on this Friday. What do you think? Is there a player more deserving? Let’s us no in the comments. As always, stay tuned for more fresh daily content from myself and the rest of the Mid-American crew!

Predicting The First 10 Picks of The NFL Draft

We are just over a month away from the 2018 NFL Draft. Draft time is my favorite time of year on the NFL calendar. I genuinely think I take more joy in the offseason, and particularly the draft, than I do with the actual games. I love the analytical and behind the scenes aspects of the game so much. Every year, I try to predict how the first ten or so picks will play out. While my list very well may change, and I very well may upload another mock draft before the April 26th draft date, here is who I believe will be selected in the top 10 of the 2018 NFL Draft.

1. Cleveland Browns-Sam Darnold

USC v Washington

Sam Darnold is the best QB prospect in this draft, hands down. He towers at 6’4 and has the physical build to take the beatings that the Cleveland O-line is sure to put him through. He makes throws that others simply can’t. Colin Cowherd said it best when he referred to Darnold as “the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck”. While sometimes his decision making leaves you scratching your head, his good moments are absolutely brilliant and if done properly, Darnold could be developed into an elite level NFL quarterback within a few years.

2.New York Giants-Saquon Barkley

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All signs point to the Giants drafting Saquon Barkley. Before I go on the mini-rant I am about to go on, let me make myself very clear when I say that Saquon Barkley is extremely talented and very well may be one of the best running back prospects in the last decade. With that being said, taking a running back this early in the draft is completely idiotic, especially if you need a quarterback as badly as New York does. Running back is a dying position. You could get most of the value you get from a guy like Saquon Barkley from a 2nd or even 3rd round running back. If I were the Giants GM, I’m drafting whichever remaining quarterback I like best (personally, I like Josh Allen) and not thinking twice. However, the Giants organization, as well as the fans, seem stuck on Eli Manning. He’s likely going to be sticking around for a few more years and the Giants will be drafting the Penn State back to accompany him in the Giants backfield. I like the Giants to be strong contenders for the 1st pick in next year’s draft.

3. New York Jets-Baker Mayfield

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While this is another pick I don’t like even a little bit, I like the chances of Baker Mayfield being the second quarterback off the board. Baker Mayfield is the off-field trouble of Johnny Manziel paired with the skillset of……… Johnny Manzeil. The guy is basically Johnny Manziel. While I was a big fan of Manziel, it was clear that his problems deeply impacted his ability to play the game at a high level. The same will happen to Mayfield. With that being said, he’s an exciting player with a big personality that is fit for New York. It isn’t hard to understand why the Jets will take him at 3.

4. Cleveland Browns-Minkah Fitzpatrick

CAM160903020_Alabama_v_USC

I think Minkah Fitzpatrick is the most talented player in this year’s draft. He will be an instant contributor to the Cleveland defense. He does not have the blazing speed that I generally like to see in defensive backs, but the Alabama safety is the definition of a defensive anchor. I envision Fitzpatrick being the defensive captain of the Browns within two seasons. He’s that good of a player.

5. Denver Broncos-Quenton Nelson

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Quenton Nelson is one of the most talented linemen I have ever seen coming out of college. In preparation for writing this article, I looked up his dimensions and I was stunned. While he isn’t mind-blowingly tall, he is absolutely huge in terms of his arm length and his overall girth. He has the skillset to completely move opposing defensive linemen off the line. My only complaint is that his slightly shorter stature will prevent him from playing the tackle position and I like my linemen to be interchangeable. Other than that, I feel that Nelson is an absolutely incredible prospect.

6. Indianapolis Colts-Denzel Ward

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In my humble opinion, Denzel Ward is the most under the radar player in this year’s draft. Indianapolis lost its standout cornerback Vontae Davis this offseason. Ward is a perfect replacement. I would trust him to cover top corners in the league immediately. While the secondary certainly isn’t Indy’s biggest problem, it still certainly needs to be addressed. Denzel Ward is a great pick for the Colts at 6.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Bradley Chubb

chubb

Simply put, Bradley Chubb is a man. Watching him play this past season was incredible. I have not seen a pass-rusher of this caliber since Jadeveon Clowney. While Chubb is no Clowney, he is still immensely talented and Tampa Bay is in desperate need for a viable pass-rusher. Chubb is an excellent fit for Tampa. Paired with newly signed defensive end Vinny Curry, Chubb could lead a defensive resurgence in Tampa Bay.

8.Chicago Bears-Calvin Ridley

ridley

Alabama’s Calvin Ridley is the only highlight in this abysmal receiver class. Ridley is an extremely dynamic player who can immediately make an impact on the perimeter. While I worry deeply about the guy who will be throwing to him, the Bears believe that they have their quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky. It makes sense to draft him a viable weapon and Ridley is the best available weapon at the 8th spot.

9.San Francisco 49ers-Tremaine Edmunds

edmunds

The 49ers need to beef up their linebacking corps in the worst way possible. Reuben Foster has gotten himself into trouble already this offseason. There is no telling if he will be available for the 9ers to utilize next season. Even if he is, Edmunds is an excellent addition to the defense who can contribute from either side of the field.

10. Oakland Raiders-Derwin James

derwin

The Oakland Raiders are a viable defense away from being serious Super Bowl contenders. The secondary is probably Oakland’s biggest hole. Derwin James is an elite prospect with All-Pro potential. Jones would have easily been the best safety in this draft if not for Minkah Fitzpatrick. While the Raiders need a corner much more than they need a safety, James is simply too good of a player to pass on at the 10 spot.

*I conducted this mock draft without any trades. I think it is strongly possible that at least one, but probably two teams trade into the top 10 at some point to draft a quarterback. I like Josh Allen to Buffalo and Josh Rosen to Miami or Arizona. I think that there almost certainly be at least 3 quarterbacks taken in the top 10.*

My Twitter: @BigRedAFerg

Mid-American Culture Twitter: @M_American_C

The Weirdest Uniforms In Sports History

Hello everybody, and welcome back to the Mid-American Culture page. Today I am going to discuss the thing people may pay attention to the most in sports, the uniforms. Uniforms can be awesome if designed the right way, but if not, well you could end up on this list. Rather you are a sports fanatic or the lady who won the March Madness challenge by picking what team had cooler colors, you should enjoy this list.

The 2012 New Orleans Hornets

Image result for hornets 2012 mardi gras jersey

New Orleans dug deep into their history to try and influence a nice jersey, but all they did was make a mess. While everything about Mardi Gras is cool, these jerseys were not and either was their 27-55 record.

The 2012 Montreal Canadians

Honestly, I think these jerseys are pretty cool, but it kind of gives me a headache. The Canadians were paying homage to their team from 1912, and it led to this cool, migraine inducing jersey.

The Current Cleveland Browns

Image result for the browns all orange uniforms

To all the Browns fans out there, I am sorry. Your team is taking an L today because these bad boys are just so damn ugly. I like the inspiration for it, but however, the design was botched and seeing these jerseys on TV burns my eyes.

Mexico’s Goalie 1994-1998

I get it, the 90’s were a wild time, but the goalie, Jorge Campos, jersey was pretty damn ugly. Not only is it ugly, but they have nothing to do with the country nor soccer. This jersey may be the definition of a 90’s design, but, unlike the other 90’s design, this one sucks

2004-2005 Quad City Mallards

Image result for quad city mallards western jerseys

I have mixed feelings about these. They are kind of dope, but at the same time it feels like I am watching Woody from Toy Story play hockey.

The 2007 Fresno Grizzlies

Image result for fresno grizzlies price is right

I don’t know why they did this, but they did and I love it. Yes, I did knock Mexico’s goalie for his jersey not having anything to do with the team, but these are just cool. The jersey itself flows really well together and I think it was a huge success.

The 1976 Chicago White Sox

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These jerseys are cool as hell, but ugly at the same time. I believe these were the only uniforms in baseball to ever have shorts. As a former baseball player, I would have hated to play in these uniforms. Nobody wins when you slide in shorts, the catchers knee guards would rub, and taking a cleat as it is is not fun. The team has retrod these jersey and wore them again, but with pants.

The 1944 Brooklyn Dodgers

Image result for the brooklyn dodgers satin

While these receive mixed opinions, I think these are ugly. I just thank God that Jackie Robinson did not play in these because, well, look at them. These jerseys remind of those very ‘thot’ like articles of clothing you see the local ‘thot’ wearing or being advertised on Twitter.

What do you think? Are these jerseys dope or ugly? And what jerseys do you think deserve to make the list? Let us know down in the comments! I hope you all enjoyed this article, and as always thank you for tuning in on this fine Friday. Stay tuned for fresh daily content from myself and the rest of the Mid-American crew.