Saturday, 8 October 2011

JCW Legends and Icons - Retro Review

How many of you remember the infamous Heroes of Wrestling pay-per-view? For those of you who don’t know it brought various wrestling legends together such as George “the Animal” Steele, the Bushwhackers, the Iron Sheik, Abdullah the Butcher…..and Marty Janetty.

But the most infamous part of the show was the performance of a drunken/stoned Jake “The Snake” Roberts, in which he gave a mostly incoherent backstage interview before going to the ring and pretending his snake was a part of his anatomy.

Last August none other than Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope of the Insane Clown Posse jumped on the bandwagon as their Juggalo Championship Wrestling promotion presented the internet pay per view Legends and Icons, which for some reason was held at two in the morning at the annual Gathering of the Juggalos.

The show began with a steel cage match pitting Tito Santana against Greg Valentine. I wonder how much more extra money the Hammer demanded for this appearance.

As the old saying goes this was bowling shoe ugly. Lasting about five minutes all we saw here was the two protagonists punching and kicking each other, with the action only broken up when they rammed each other into the cage.

Then, from out of nowhere, Valentine pulled Santana’s legs from under him and took the pin with his feet on the ropes. Not good.

After it took an age to take the cage down it was on to the next match, an Eliminations for Generations Royal Rumble kind of match featuring Jim Duggan, the Headbangers, Ronnie Garvin, Carlito, Jimmy Snuka, Tony Atlas, Viscera, Rob Conway, Zach Gowen, Doink the Clown, U-Gene, Brutus Beefcake, Disco Inferno and Rikishi.

So what can I say about this one? With the wrestlers entering every 60 seconds when the old guys entered they spent most of the time circling each other and eyeing each other up. It really wasn’t that pretty to watch, and the best moments came when Conway and Carlito went at it, and Conway ripped Gowen’s false leg off him as he lay at ringside.

Gowen and Viscera were the last two in the ring, and the ending was really messy. Viscera went to charge at Gowen, with the one legged one pulling the rope down. The only problem was that the big guy didn’t fly over the top rope.

So seconds later they tried it again, and exactly the same happened. But as the old saying goes if at first you don’t succeed.

It was third time lucky as Gowen pulled the rope down again and Viscera finally went over the top rope. Not good. Again.

Tag team action followed as the Midnight Express, Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey, took on the Rock ‘N’ Roll Express, Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton.

This one lasted less than two minutes. Condrey attacked Gibson and Morton as they entered the ring, but seconds later Gibson and Morton took him out with a double dropkick. Three seconds later and it was all over, with both Rock ‘N’ Rolls pinning Condrey. Not good. Yet again.

Then it was on to the Philadelphia Madness match, featuring Raven, Balls Mahoney, Shane Douglas, Sabu, 2 Cold Scorpio, Al Snow and Rhino.

The rules for this one were simple. It was one fall to a finish, with three men in the ring at a time, and they could tag in those on the ring apron at any time.

This may have been short, but it was a lot better than anything that had gone before. All of those involved looked okay, with some better than others as they all pulled out their big moves.

The end came when Sabu, who surprisingly didn’t miss any spots, tried to put Snow through a table. But Snow moved out of the way, only to get gored by Rhino for the winning pin.

It was back to singles action for the next match as Bob Backlund faced Ken Patera.

This wasn’t too bad I suppose. Patera was moving around like an old man, but Backlund looked quite good.

No punching in this one though as they tried to outwrestle each other, with Patera using his power to good effect, putting Backlund in the full nelson at one point, before Backlund got the awkward looking pin with a roll up.

More multi-man action followed with the five way Memphis Madness match featuring Dutch Mantel, Koko B. Ware, Brickhouse Brown, Doug Gilbert and Austin Idol.

This was another of those short matches in which the participants basically punched and kicked each other, beginning with Idol getting attacked by the other four guys while I was posing in the middle of the ring.
That was basically it, with Idol breaking out the only wrestling hold in the match when he put Gilbert in a figure four. Moments later he took the pin with a roll up on Mantel.

And I swear that Idol looks more like Jimmy Saville than Ric Flair does these days.

It was back to singles action next and a battle of Full Blooded Italians as Tracy Smothers, accompanied by his illegitimate daughter Isabella, faced Tommy Rich.

Another quickie saw Rich get in some offence before Smother picked him up and got the pin with his feet on the ropes. Not good. Yet again.

The Tag Team Dream match was next as the New Age Outlaws, Billy Gunn and Road Dogg, went up against Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman, accompanied by Scott Hall, with Vampiro as the special referee.

Originally it was meant to be the Outlaws against the Outsiders, but for obvious reasons he was replaced by Waltman, who was originally meant to be the special referee as he was a member of both D-Generation X and the New World Order.

Before the match began Hall grabbed the microphone and took us back a few years by taking a survey. As far as DX and the NOW were concerned it was about 50/50.

As for the match it actually wasn’t that bad. The Outlaws looked like they hadn’t missed a step as a team, while Waltman looked great and Nash used his usual half dozen moves.

Vampiro was heavily favouring Nash and Waltman, making extremely slow counts whenever the Outlaws went for the pin. A few moments later, when Nash went to pin Gunn after a choke slam the count got faster.

Road Dogg complained, but ended up on the end of a Vampiro super kick before the special referee dragged Nash back on to Gunn and made a fast three count, before revealing that, like Hall, Nash and Waltman, he was now a member of the Juggalo World Order.

The main event saw Terry Funk taking on Roddy Piper, accompanied by Bob Orton, who was still wearing that cast on his arm after all these years.

Funk began by criticising Piper’s acting ability before going on to lambaste his parents and his wrestling ability. Piper responded by saying that he funked Funk’s mother.

When the match finally began Piper and Funk began punching the hell out of each other, but when Funk put the Rowdy one in a sleeper hold Orton attacked the Funker from behind, busting him open moments later.

It was then that Mick Foley left his spot at the commentary table and joined in the action, making this a tag team match.

A couple of minutes later and it was all over. Foley was sent crashing into the ring post, and after Piper broke up Funk’s pin on Orton the Cowboy returned the favour and pinned Funk himself.

In conclusion - when I decided to watch this show I knew I wasn’t going to see any classic matches, because I was watching this mainly for it’s novelty value.

It was a lot better than the Heroes of Wrestling show, but then again that wasn’t difficult.

It was pretty poor though, with the majority of the matches lasting less than five minutes, with the only saving graces being the ECW themed match and the DX vs. NWO encounter.

The production side of things did leave a lot to be desired. There were quite a few times when announcers Kevin Gill and Mick Foley didn’t know what was happening as far as the running order was concerned, and at other times they had to fill in for long periods, such as when the cage was being taken down.

What perplexed me about this was that JCW had another internet pay per view the following night. Surely it would have been a great idea to air a video package to advertise the show instead of mentioning it in passing.

So after all that you’ve probably realised that JCW’s Legends and Icons show doesn’t get thumbs up. If you get a copy or you can download it from somewhere then by all means watch it for it’s novelty value, but don’t expect any five star classics here.