TVFDH #64 – Bathurst & RCW

THE VIEW FROM DOWN HERE #64

 Sport is in slight abeyance, between seasons, with only a little really happening. So I went to a good wrestling show…
            Oh yeah, and Australia’s premier car race was held. Guess what I did all day Sunday?
            Still, with no sport to speak of… this is a long one. Hope y’all enjoy!

Cricket
Domestic season starts this week, so Sheffield Shield, one day, twenty20 and hopefully women’s results will be posted here.
Ford Ranger Cup
This is the one-day series in Australia.
Western Australia v Queensland
            Queensland 9/161; Western Australia 8/162 (49.3 overs)
Western Australia won by 2 wickets

Australian Rules Football
AFL – Trade Week
At this time of the year, players become commodities and clubs use them like they would trading cards, swapping not only players but draft picks for the upcoming season. This is the last uncompromised draft for a long time as we have two new teams allegedly entering the competition (one definitely – Gold Coast in 2011 – the other we’re not sure about, in Western Sydney, a place with no history of Australian Rules or anything even hinting they might like Australian Rules… but that’s another story describing how money is destroying sport yet again… I digress).
            The biggest news out of trade week is Carlton bad boy (and Coleman medallist for most goals scored this year) Brendan Fevola was off-loaded by his team for constant acts of a naughty nature. Brisbane took him in a trade that smacked of desperation by Carlton to dump him, but now Fevola is on Queensland with more alcohol and a better night-life than Melbourne. Ooh, good, move everyone!
            So, anyway, a heap of players were traded, a few refused to go as they were still under contract, clubs jockeyed and vied for position and everyone went away unhappy. And then when players leave for better climes or tell their clubs they want out and the clubs bemoan the lack of loyalty, they appear as hypocrites. But we cannot blame the clubs wholly and solely. The AFL forces clubs to be involved in this. If a club wants no change to their list, bad luck. They have to delist a certain amount of players and they have to pick up others. The AFL is forcing their hand. Why? They say it is to even up the competition, but that was what the salary cap was designed for. But there is no real reason for it except the AFL cares very little about the welfare of players and their families.

Autoracing
V-8 Supercars – Race 18
Bathurst 1000

            We start with the pace car coming out after just one lap! With all the controversy during the week concerning Ford Performance Racing and their apparent cowboy attitude to everyone else on the track, we expect plenty of fireworks here.
            Some highlights:
            One of the pre-race favourites Mark Winterbottom had his car catch fire as it entered pit lane, ending his race. It could have been nasty apart from the quick work of everyone from all teams in pit straight.
            Quite a few near misses when the rain restarted, especially one about 3 hours in when a car was spun around 180 degrees. I do not know how the others missed it.
            The rain came down so heavily at one stage that visibility at the top of the mountain was reduced to black flag conditions.
            Coulthard’s car also caught fire.
            The Tanders – husband and wife – raced against one another.
            Johnson almost lost his left front wheel, and had to keep driving on it to get back to pit lane. Looked quite scary, actually.
            Whincup’s dangerous driving near the end caught the notice of a few observers.
            The weather was more entertaining than half the racing! One minute torrential downpour, literally the next bright sunshine.
            It was basketball-like, in that every time it was getting exciting out would come the pace car and slow the whole thing down again.
            Look, it was 6+ hours, 161 laps, 1000 kilometres of cars racing. Not that exciting and yet there I was and a spatula couldn’t move me from the lounge-room.
Results:
1st Toll Holden Racing Team – W.Davison/G.Tander (Holden Commodore VE)
2nd Team BOC – C.McConville/J.Richards (Holden Commodore VE)
3rd Garry Rogers Motorsport – M.Caruso/L.Holdsworth (Holden Commodore VE)
            (Holden took out 9 of the top 10 placings, their best race all season by a long stretch.)

Soccer
International
Australia 0 drew with Netherlands 0
            Australia did well holding the European power team to a nil-all draw.
A-League – Round Ten
Melbourne Victory 0 def by Sydney 3
Perth Glory 1 def Adelaide United 0
Central Coast Mariners 1 drew with North Queensland Fury 1
Brisbane Roar 0 def by Gold Coast United 1
W-League – Round Two
Perth Glory 1 def Newcastle Jets 0
Canberra United 1 def by Sydney 2
Melbourne Victory 0 def by Brisbane Roar 1
Central Coast Mariners 2 def Adelaide United 0

Basketball
NBL Round Three
Cairns 83 def Gold Coast 66
New Zealand 79 def Melbourne 74
Perth 89 def Gold Coast 84
Adelaide 90 def Townsville 89
            Wow! What a match! Close and fast.
Melbourne 68 def by Townsville 103
Wollongong 71 def Cairns 59
WNBL Round Two
Logan 60 def by Canberra 63
Adelaide 76 def Bendigo 62
Sydney 73 def Dandenong 65
Townsville 79 def Canberra 78
Bulleen 110 def AIS 40
            This is embarrassing.
Perth 58 def by Bendigo 85

Netball
International Netball
World Netball Series
Round 1
Samoa 16 def by England 36
Australian Netball Diamonds 31 def Jamaica 26
            This was good match, close, especially in the first half. Australia were a little lucky here.
New Zealand Silver Ferns 27 def Malawi 22
Round 2
England 24 def New Zealand Silver Ferns 21
Samoa 22 def by Jamaica 30
Malawi 19 def by Australian Netball Diamonds 31
Jamaica 28 def by New Zealand Silver Ferns 37
Round 3
Australian Netball Diamonds 25 def New Zealand Silver Ferns 22
Malawi 33 def Samoa 16
Jamaica 24 def by England 27
Australian Netball Diamonds 37 def Samoa 18
Round 4
Malawi 22 def by England 33
Samoa 14 def by New Zealand Silver Ferns 34
Malawi 25 def by Jamaica 30
England 25 def Australian Netball Diamonds 19
            An upset of sorts here.
Elimination Round
Semi-Final 1: England 22 def by Jamaica 33
Semi-Final 2: Australian Netball Diamonds 17 def by New Zealand Silver Ferns 27
5th place play off: Malawi 28 def Samoa 20
3rd place play off: Australia 23 def England 18
Final: New Zealand 32 def Jamaica 27

Professional Wrestling
Riot City Wrestling
Trial By Stone 2009
First, this show received some very harsh, negative reviews but that is unfair. While not a blow away show, it was still a very good show with good matches top to bottom. But there is one nagging point throughout the show which I will touch on later which did make things confusing. It might be booking into a corner, it might be trying things a little too radical, but it did make some of the matches – especially the endings – confusing.
            Match One: Fuzion (with Brad Smythe) v Brett Reynolds (with Brodie Archer)
            Hot opener. The two young members of Hang Time were really over with the crowd. A good back and forth match with the rookie taking it to the veteran. Smythe interfered on occasion and it was only at the end that Brodie got involved and held Brad off, and it looked like Reynolds might get his second upset win in a row. However, during the match Fuzion kept on going back to the arm, and he got the submission out of it with a nasty looking hold. Good psychology.
            Smythe and Fuzion attacked Archer afterwards and cleared the ring. Brad got on the mic, abused the crowd and promised to win his match. Cliché 101, but the crowd ate it up. TJ then came out from under the ring, decked Fuzion and then hammered Smythe to a huge pop.
            TJ announces that if he wins tonight he gets to choose the stipulation for match three in the series. Okay, this told the crowd exactly who was going to win, but it really didn’t matter.
            Match Two: Plasma (with Marvel and Del Taurino) v Luke Santamaria
            An evenly matched pairing, and one of Luke’s better matches for a long time. Plasma was helped a little by the masked men, but the good ol’ powder in the face spot backfired and Luke speared Plasma for the pin.
            A new masked man with a hat came out – El Presidente. He talked about respect for masked wrestlers and called for a revolution. He then clotheslined Plasma as a revolution casualty and they de-masked him and destroyed him. It was slightly underplayed  – especially the beat-down; needed to be more over the top. And it will be interesting to see where the masked faction goes now with a mouth-piece/manager, but the rest of the night indicates it is going to have to be played much better to get these guys over as legitimate threats and not become a joke faction.
            By the way, before I get too negative about it, huge kudos to Dan Stazer who refereed every match tonight for the entire three hour show.
            Match Three: Jacko Lantern v Voodoo
            Jacko got something akin to a face pop when he came out! The match started before the bell and the first part did not let up s they went at each other, including a huge tope by the 6’9″ Lantern. The fight went to the outside, then back into the ring. Jacko’s comedy persona did not mesh well with Voodoo’s high intensity, never-let-up style and they did not quite gel. It almost felt at times like a face v face match. They ended up outside again where Voodoo DVDed Jacko on the floor, but it resulted in a double count out of the ring, so there was no winner. Voodoo left the arena not happy with the result while Jacko was tentative leaving, and receiving almost a pop as he went.
            Match Four: Del Taurino (with Marvel and El Presidente) v Brodie Archer (with Brett Reynolds)
            Problem at the start – neither member of Hang Time showed any signs of having been beaten down by Fuzion and Smythe. At the least Reynolds should have had a shoulder taped or something from the work on the arm. Having said that, it was a good match with Taurino hitting hard as normal. One highlight – Taurino hit a cannonball off the apron onto both members of Hang Time and the little kid in front of me said to his friend, “He’s killed them,” in such a dead-pan it made us laugh. El Presidente then took out Reynolds while Archer missed a top rope moonsault. Taurino hot the Taurino bomb for the win.
            I’ll put this here. The masked faction is a good idea. But now that they have a manager, every member of the faction does not have to come out. The whole Heenan Family did not come out with Bobby ‘The Brain’. Jimmy Hart came out with his wrestler at the time, not his whole stable. Even the Four Horsemen came out just to wrestle. Afterwards, sure, they all rushed the ring and did the beat-down, but during the matches it was just the wrestler or wrestlers in the ring. And the constant interference from the outside actually makes the wrestlers in the ring look weaker instead of building them up. Okay, rant over…
            Match Five: Key To The City Match Two: TJ Rush v Brad Smythe (with Fuzion)
            Again, the match started before the bell, with a fast and furious, high-flying start with lots of counters to each other’s moves. It moved outside where TJ missed a springboard move (Fuzion taking the brunt of it). Smythe slowed it down. TJ took over with a top rope psychorama (!). TJ missed a standing moonsault, hits the second, but a low blow turned the tide. A fast sequence ensued, ended by a Brad side kick. His top rope sunset flip was blocked and TJ capped this off with his corner cannonball splash for two. Fuzion lost it at this point. Brad threw TJ out to the ramp and the move out there seemed to hurt both of them. Brad managed to get back in, but at the count of 9 Fuzion stopped TJ. Brad went for the attack, TJ moved and Fuzion copped it before leaving to the back. TJ’s shooting star press only got 2. He and the crowd were stunned. Then he went up and this time hit the corkscrew 450 splash – the phoenix splash – for the 3 count. Match of the Night.
            TJ then got the mic and told Brad to wait while he explained the stip for match 3. He went backstage and then returned with a ladder which he climbed. Brad looked absolutely terrified and alone.
            Intermission and we needed it.
            Match Six: Mimic v Marvel (with Del Taurino and El Presidente)
            Long feeling out process to start, back and forth. It started out technical, with lots of reversals and some nice chain wrestling. Marvel ended up outside to regroup and Mimic hit a suicide dive onto all three of the masked men. Back in and more chain wrestling, then Marvel threw Mimic outside and distracted the ref while El Presidente and Del Taurino worked the former champ over. This then happened a second time. Mimic lifted Marvel for a move but he slid around and locked in a dragon sleeper type move which Mimic broke at the ropes. Some more reversals, but Mimic manages to hit a top rope Spanish Fly. Del Taurino went onto the apron to distract the ref, but Mimic attacked him and went to the top where El Presidente dropped him in full view of the ref. Marvel hit a head-scissors takedown, but a second was blocked into a power-bomb. A double pump-handle power-bomb by Marvel and then he then strung together a nice series of submission moves before Mimic hot a half-nelson suplex out of nowhere. A Sega Mega Driver was reversed to a submission hold by Marvel but Mimic made the ropes. Sega Mega Driver again, Del Taurino distracted the ref again, then entered the ring in full view of the ref. Mimic kicked him out, turned into a Marvel low blow and suplex into dragon sleeper. Marvel locked his legs and Mimic tapped.
            Now, this was a good technical match, but so overplayed. The stuff in front of the ref should have been a DQ or the other two masked men sent to the back. That would have been fine because with Marvel’s streak and after last month’s hardcore match, the win over Mimic would not have been a surprise. But now it seems he can’t get it done without outside interference, making him look weak after being so strong recently. It does not need all the extra stuff; these two are more than capable of blowing the roof off the place (even if the douchebags from last month can’t appreciate good wrestling because it’s not WWE enough for them) without the crap that went around this match.
            And the ref seeing things and not doing anything is what I alluded to earlier. DQ, send to the back, something, but it is becoming almost NWO like in that the heels team up and do what they want and get away with it and the faces are seen by the crowd to have not a hope in hell because the heels get what they want. And there is not that strong face to stand up to them all in RCW so there is no-one for the crowd to pin the hopes on (at least NWO had DDP and Sting in opposition). The crowds – which was another near sell-out this month – have been great lately, but they will dwindle if they have to leave every month having seen the bad guys win all the important matches or get away with stuff that they should not be getting away with over and over. Rant number two over.
            Match Seven: Grudge Match: Savannah Summers v Miami
            This started with Savannah’s heel turn, and this match just went out there to cement that. The match itself started with Savannah refusing to let the ref check her (another DQ-able offence), then she took it to Miami. Miami came back well, hit some nice power moves. The end came when Miami had Savannah pinned, but Fuzion’s music hit and the ref was distracted by the music! And he was distracted for a long time. The enabled Savannah to get some hidden brass knuckles (Fuzion and Smythe’s weapon of choice for months), deck Miami and then get the pin.
            Match Eight: GD Grimm v Matt Silva
            Grimm put out an open challenge which Silva met. Before the match, Silva’s entrance went on way too long before his appearance. This was a hard match with Silva taking everything Grimm gave and then giving it back. End came when Grimm intentionally knocked the ref down and hit Silva with the belt. But Silva managed to get hold of the belt, the ref saw it in his hands and then awarded the match by DQ to Grimm. But that makes no sense! The guy intentionally hit the ref three times and he wins?
            Silva beat up the ref after the match, then turned on the crowd, delivering a heel promo and attacked the ref again before TJ, Mimic and Voodoo made the save. Andy Cruz then, quite suddenly, resigned as commissioner of RCW.
            So, 8 matches, one no result, 2 faces over, 5 heels. And a heel turn. Last month 7 matches, 1 face over, 6 heels. Just saying.
            Alright… it was a good show with some really good wrestling. But other factors were at play to make it not a great show.

Politics
            Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize? What the…? Look, I’m glad he’s president and all that because without Bush in the White House the world feels somehow safer, but a peace prize? He can’t even get medical care for everyone in his own country! In Australia we have that. I destroyed my knee 6 years ago and it cost me nothing to have a compete reconstruction. How many tens of thousands of dollars would I have been up for (being non-insured) in the USA? It’s insane, especially with people saying it will destroy lives. That makes even less sense. He rules a country where some parts of the nation use the Bible as a science text book. US troops are still in Iraq, still in Afghanistan. There’s still war between Israel and everyone else in the Middle East. Gaddafi and Iran are still sabre rattling. North Korea is still making nuclear weapons. Who should have got the peace prize this year? How about NOBODY! Tell the world that what they’re all doing sucks. But, no, award it to a populist president. The Norwegian politicians who make this choice should be taken into a quiet room and have it explained to them just what this prize is meant to be all about.
            Oh, and Obama could have refused the honour, by the way.

And that’s the view!

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