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Csonka: An Isolationist’s Guide to The WWE Network (Great Shows)

March 20, 2020 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Csonka An Isolationist’s Guide to The WWE Network (Great Shows)

Hey guys, so things kind of suck right now. I hate to see that, I know it hurts a lot of you in various ways. I also know that your looking for something to make you feel better, make you forget, or just pass the time. Wrestling is an escape for many of us, and while no wrestling needs to happen right now, the wrestling we’re getting certainly helps. I can’t tell you that everything will be ok, or that I could fix things, but all I can do is do for you what I’ve been doing for the past 16-years, try to deliver you, the fine readers of 411 the best and most consistent wrestling coverage possible. So today I hope to start a new series of columns, which I have titled An Isolationist’s Guide to The WWE Network, where I will break down some must see things from the WWE Network’s vast library of content for you to enjoy. Today I start with the GREAT SHOWS, consider this homework kids, and stay safe, Larry loves you. I hope I can continue to be here like you guys have been for me…


WWE Evolution 2018: I loved the look of this show; it felt like a Triple H produced project with the darker crowd, simple presentation, similar to an NXT Takeover. Overall, WWE Evolution 2018 was a very good and fun show that didn’t go too long and with the ladies delivering in the ring in front of a hot crowd, and putting on one of the more enjoyable main roster PPV shows of the year from a pure enjoyment perspective as outside of the battle royal, everything was good to great. The show was a success, and unfortunately, a one off at this time.

The WWE Cruiserweight Classic Finals 9.14.16: Say what you will about what the division and what 205 Live have become, back in 2016 the Cruiserweight Classic Finals was one of the best WWE shows of the year of not the best. This was an amazing show and the perfect culmination to the tournament, and came off about 100 times better than I could have hoped for..

NXT Takeover: New Orleans 2018: It only lasted a year, but NXT Takeover: New Orleans 2018 was my favorite Takeover show for that time until NXT Takeover New York unseated it. this was a show that locked me in from match one, with an all time great opener (NXT North American Title Ladder Match: EC3 vs. Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream vs. Lars Sullivan vs. Killian Dane vs. Ricochet), a very strong middle and then closed out with a five star classic from Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano

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WCW Spring Stampede 1994: I love this show, the booking in early 1994 was both interesting and really good for WCW. Flair bringing Steamboat back to the main event scene gave them an instant classic PPV main event without any effort at all (they basically did 4.5 in their sleep) and even left it open for a second match. The undercard was also doing something for a change, as we had a crazy tag title match, the wild brawl from Rhodes & Buck and the super heavies (Vader & Big Boss) busting their asses made the undercard REALLY enjoyable and gave you a purpose to care. Everything else at least had a little energy

NXT Takeover New York 2019: Never doubt an NXT Takeover special. NXT Takeover: New York was a sexy and stacked card on paper, and absolutely delivered the goods more than I could have hoped. Not only did this show steal WrestleMania weekend for me, but it was my favorite show of 2019 and honestly my favorite NXT Takeover of all time, featuring three absolute classics in Cole vs. Gargano, Ricochet & Black vs. War Raiders, & Dunne vs. WALTER; it’s an all timer.

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WWF In Your House 16 – Canadian Stampede: For the longest time, many years as a matter of fact, this show was my favorite WWF PPV event and I thought that nothing would ever defeat it, but it was eventually taken down by some Takeover events. Make no mistake, this show is almost perfection. It’s a WWF show in 1997 filled with all four star and above matches; you get a hot opener, a great light heavyweight match, a badass big man brawl for the WWF Title and a five star main event with an absolutely molten crowd. For the longest time, this was the best wrestling show that the WWF had done from top to bottom as everything clicked.

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WCW Clash of the Champions I: WCW Clash of the Champions I is a classic event, mostly remembered for Flair allowing Sting to take him to a time limit draw and making him a star. While that’s what it’s most remembered for, it’s not even the best match on a great show. Most important and star making sure, but if I am being honest, Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard vs. Barry Windham & Lex Luger is more of a banger and The Midnight Express vs. The Fantastics smokes them both. The show only takes place because Vince tried to screw (successfully) with the Starrcade buyrate by putting on the Survivor Series in late 1987. So, to screw with Vince’s big WrestleMania IV show, Jim Crockett decided to put together a supercard of his own.

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WCW SuperBrawl III: WCW SuperBrawl III is an all time WCW event, with an excellent Sting vs. Vader strap match (one of the best of that stip I’ve ever seen), the return of Flair, Cactus Jack vs. Paul Orndorff & Chris Benoit vs. Too Cold Scorpio delivering and the Rock & Roll Express vs. heavenly Bodies putting on a tag team classic. There are some rough patches, but overall I really love this show and comparatively to what WWE was doing at the time (WrestleMania 9 I’m looking at you) it was a show that kept me loyal to the NWA/WCW branding.

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WCW WrestleWar 1992: The undercard is a bit rough at times, but the real success of this card is the final three matches: The Steiner Bros. vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Takayuki Iizuka & Brian Pillman vs. Z-Man going 4.25 each and closed out by the 5 star main event WarGames match with Sting, Barry Windham, Dustin Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat & Nikita Koloff vs. the Dangerous Alliance, which started the fall off the Alliance. If the undercard is stronger, this is a best of all timer contender.

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WCW Great American Bash 1989: There was a time where the WCW Great American Bash 1989 was considered one of the best PPVs of all time, and while it doesn’t quite hold up to that today (due to some flat undercard at times) it’s certainly a great event that I feel all fans should watch. But Flair vs. Funk is absolutely great, the WarGames match is great, Luger & Steamboats is absolutely great, and Sting vs. Muta delivers. While the undercard is all fluff, and adds very little, there is still a lot to love on this show.

ECW One Night Stand 2005: From an in-ring perspective, this show probably shouldn’t rank so highly with me, but it’s one of those rare events that just hits all the right notes. When you take everything into consideration, though, it’s an all-time great. When it was all said and done it did feel like an old time ECW show. Paul E got to do his promo, which was great, the WWF guys shit talking throughout the show worked and culminated at the end, and we got to mark out for Sabu, the Sandman’s entrance and other things. Mike Awesome, for at least one night showed that he could go like a crazy man as he and Masato Tanaka put on another great match in their series of great matches. As a stand-alone event, it was excellent and is something that was fun as hell to watch.

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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 99. On the show, 411’s Larry Csonka is joined by Steve Cook. Jerome Cusson, & Kevin Pantoja to talk the big news of the week, review the latest episodes of NXT & AEW TV, & do a retro review of WCW Uncensored 2000. The show is approximately 201-minutes long.

* Intro
* News Roundup (Coronavirus based cancellations, Mania to the PC, Gronk to WWE, Alberto Returning or Just Bullshitting?, More): 6:45
* AEW & NXT Reviews (3.18.20): 39:35
* Jerome Cusson talks ROH looking to rebound in 2020, the possible damaging effect on Mania week event cancellations due to Coronovirus, & more: 1:23:07
* Retro WCW Uncensored 2000 Review with Kevin Pantoja: 2:17:06

* iTunes
* Spotify
* Stitcher
* Google Play

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.