Tuesday, December 3, 2013

RoH Border Wars 2013

Nothing says timely like a review seven months after the show happened. I might have a review of PWG TEN tomorrow depending on if I get my highspots.com delivery tomorrow or not.

ACH & Tadarius Thomas vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander

Fast paced tag opener to start the match and Coleman and Alexander pick up the win after Coleman leaps up to the top and hurrincanrannas ACH off the top and Alexander hits a springboard frog splash. A fine match from all involved and a good way to start the show. I don't dig the team of Coleman and Alexander, they are just too similar as wrestlers. ACH and Thomas are both high flyers, but nothing like each other with ACH being flippy and super charismatic and Thomas with all his capoeria kicks.

Roderick Strong vs. Mike Bennett

Another solid match in the show between these two guys. I've really enjoyed Bennett since he came back from the break he took. He's really cut down on how much heel stuff he does outside of the ring to jaw jack with fans, but still has that slow heel style that works well. These guys do some good brawling on the outside and Bennett hits an impressive spinebuster from the floor onto the apron. Some shenanigans at the end, but Roderick picks up the win with the sick kick and that's the important part, Strong winning.

Rhett Titus vs. BJ Whitmer (I Quit Match)

Despite the stipulation this is pretty much just a standard brawl between these two guys. They do it well, but with an I Quit Match you want something more and it never happens in this match. Plus the ending is horseshit. Titus grabs some zip ties, but Whitmer stops him and then ties Titus to the ropes. He grabs a chair to wallop him, but Corino comes out to take the shots and instead Titus quits which is immediately followed by Jacobs and Compton attacking and then right into the next match. Why didn't they attack before Titus quits? Or free him? I don't know and I don't think anybody does. Just a blah match all around.

Jay Lethal & Michael Elgin vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Cliff Compton

It's all Lethal and Elgin to start the match and it starts hot and they do some awesome brawling on the outside before going into the ring and the RoH team keeps the advantage and Elgin gives both SCUM members a delayed vertical suplex. Lethal does a suicide dive and hurts his leg and is helped to the back. Elgin keeps the advantage all on his own for a bit, but eventually the numbers turn on him. Elgin has Jacobs on his back with a sleeper hold but Elgin doesn't care and grabs Compton and hits a deadlift german suplex and crushes Jacobs as well. Steen comes out and becomes Elgin's partner and comes in hot. Steen goes for a package piledriver, but Jacobs cuts his knees out and rolls him up for a quick three count. An exciting good match from these men. Elgin looked very impressive as he always does.

Eddie Edwards vs. Taiji Ishimori

This match was awesome. Hard hitting, athletic, and tons of near falls, everything I like to see in a wrestling match. Ishimori's chest gets lit up and is a nice bright red color from Edwards chops after the match. Ishimori hits an awesome meteora from the top and lands perfectly to stay on top of Eddie for a two count. A nice sequence of hard kicks from each other that ends with Ishimori hitting a reverse hurrincanranna that Edwards stands up from and delivers a lariat that leaves both men down on the mat. The finishing sequence is Edwards hitting Ishimori with everything and then some including a hurrincanranna from the top with them both standing up on the top. Ishimori then kicks out of a powerbomb followed by a sitout powerbomb so Edwards hits the Die Hard Driver for the win. Just great stuff from both men and so far the best match of the show.

Matt Taven vs. Mark Briscoe

I'm pretty sure Matt Taven is a good wrestler, but from his title defenses I haven't been able to find out. Mark Briscoe beats the shit out of Taven for almost the entire match all of Taven's offense comes in after Martini interference. Taven works Briscoe's right arm for a bit, but Briscoe doesn't give a single fuck and when he starts his comeback it's all about red neck kung fu with his right arm. The ending comes when the Hoopla Hotties get on the apron and makeout so Taven gets an Oklahoma roll with a handful of tights for the win. Just a squash where the guy getting squashed picks up the win after shenanigans. RoH is not doing Taven any favors with this title run.

Davey Richards vs. Paul London

This match is awesome. Davey accepts that people hate him and plays dick heel well. They start off with some nice chain wrestling and then both men do what they do best. Richards kicks really hard, and London does some cool high flying. I want to say the ending sequence has some cool stuff, but since London get's legit fucked up during it, I'm not a huge fan of it. London goes to headscissors Richards out of the ring and lands on his feet holding Richards for a tombstone then Richards flips over and hits a tombstone on the outside. London gets onto the apron and Richards goes for a double stomp and one of his feet misses the chest and hits London in the face and concusses him. But still they go to the top and London flips over Richards with a powerbomb then goes for a shooting star press and takes knees to the chest and Richards rolls over for the pin. Great to see London back in RoH and a fun match to watch knowing London ends up being okay afterward.

Jay Briscoe vs. Adam Cole

A good match between these two with Cole working the leg of Briscoe to setup the figure four. Briscoe does a good job of selling the leg and gets his hope spot when they fight onto the apron and he hits a big DVD there. Briscoe keeps starting comebacks, but Cole just gives him a shot to the knee and takes back over. The end closes in as Cole hits a top rope german suplex, then delivers a superkick, followed by a superkick to the back of the head, and then the bridging straight jacket german suplex for a two count. Cole goes for the figure four but Briscoe pushes him off and into the ref. Corino comes down and offers Cole a SCUM shirt, but Nigel trips Corino on the top rope and hits the Tower of London. Cole turns around and Briscoe hits the Jay Driller for the win. Just such a shitty fucking ending to this match.

I don't know how I feel about this show. It does have two really good matches in Richards/London and Ishimori/Edwards. The main event is really good until a shitty ending, and the SCUM vs, RoH tag match is good, but it's pretty okay stuff and not great. I want to say pass on it, but the two great matches are just so good. So if you've got the disposable income for lots of wrestling pick it up, but if not you can find better wrestling in PWG and other RoH shows.

RoH has been the biggest indy promotion for so long and they still can't balance their cameras so the lighting doesn't look completely different on every camera, it's infuriating. Or they do the lighting poorly, I don't really know which it is. I hate Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuiness on commentary. I'm also tired of how much interference there is in RoH matches. I know the idea of what RoH is has changed, but goddamn just give me the best wrestling without all these horse shit finishes.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Major League Wrestling: Reloaded Tour Day 1

Stampede Bulldogs vs. Bobby Quance & Puma

A fun back and forth match between two good teams right here. Puma plays the face in peril and Quance gets a nice hot tag. Puma and Quance get a close near fall with a tombstone from Puma and a follow up shooting star press from Quance before Harry Smith makes the save. The Bulldogs end up with the win after a springboard blockbuster sitout powerbomb combo for the pinfall. An exciting way to open up the show.

Shane Twins vs. Criado & Chad Hart

Then we get this where the Shane Twins use their power to dominate the match until one of the Shane's misses a running clothesline in the corner and Chad Hart rolls him up and has his feet on the ropes for the three count. Quick match, not much too it, and not much fun to watch.

Chayson Rance vs. PJ Friedman vs. Matt Martel

Really short match between these three, but it had some nice comedy of Friedman and Martel beating up Rance and pulling each other off from making the cover. Friedman hits Martel with a sick exploder suplex and then Persephone gets on the ringside and hits Friedman with her heel and Rance rolls him up for a quick pin. Super short match, but had some nice spots.

Roderick Strong & M-Dogg 20 vs. Dark Fuego & Pete Wilson

A back and forth match between these two teams that gets a lot of time. Wilson looks pretty weak on offense, like he doesn't really know what to do, but when it's Strong lighting him up with chops and throwing him around it is glorious. They do some brawling on the outside which is highlight first by how Wilson ends up out there which is Strong nailing him with a powerbomb then picking him up and flipping him out of the ring and onto Fuego, and then after some brawling Fuego and Wilson go up on the second level and moonsault off onto Strong and M-Dogg. The ending is a little weak as Strong and M-Dogg go for a big boot on Fuego, but he ducks and they kick each other then Fuego and Wilson hit 450 splashes for the win. Good work from all these guys taking a match where the crowd was booing some decent back and forth technical stuff from M-Dogg and Wilson to the beginning to making the crowd super hot for everything they were doing. Lots of fun to watch.

Chad Collyer vs. Chris Hero

Wrestling! Exactly the kind of match you'd expect from two awesome technical wrestlers and they do some smooth chain wrestling at the beginning before kicking it up a notch. Everything is crisp and just looks really good. Hero picks up the win when he counters a vertical suplex into the Hero's Welcome. Chad Collyer is a wrestler I love to watch and I wish he had gotten a big break in one of the bigger indy promotions.

Sonjay Dutt vs. Jack Evans

We get a flippy spotty match from these two and it's one of those nights where Evans isn't on his game and it's pretty sloppy. Even the ref gets in on botching the rollup finale so Dutt hits a standing shooting star press to get the three count. Not a bad match, but nothing that good either.

Havana Pitbulls vs. Los Maximos

Solid match from these two tag teams as Los Maximos were on their game and didn't mess up any spots, but they didn't go for any high spots so that definitely helped them out. Finish comes by way of Reyes hitting a Maximo with a backbreaker and then Romero comes off the top with a knee drop for the three count.

American Dragon vs. Teddy Hart

Oh God! Teddy Hart beats Bryan Danielson by submission, I'm so sad. Still it's a good match between these two and it's really intense from the get go with awesome back and forth chain wrestling and Danielson laying in some stiff looking shots. Danielson controls the match until he rips off Teddy Hart's stupid pants and then Hart starts a come back and hits a corkscrew plancha followed up by the shooting star DDT that Danielson avoids into the cattle mutilation, but Hart escapes and gets the submission by armbar.

Jerry Lynn vs. Mike Modest

Decent back and forth between these two before Homicide interferes and distracts Lynn so Modest can roll him up and get a pinfall with a handful of tights.

Steve Corino & Sabu vs. Raven & Vampiro (#1 Contender Match)

This is the dumbest fucking match ever. So Corino is the champ and whoever gets the pinfall gets a title shot except for Raven because Corino used his stroke as champ to stop him from getting that. And whoever gets pinned can't fight for the belt for six months. Corino keeps laying down for Raven and the tag partners keep fighting each other. The match ends when Sabu legdrops Corino through the table and then Vampiro DDTs Raven and puts him on top of Corino so Raven wins, but doesn't get a title shot and then Vampiro beats the shit out of Raven after the match and demands they go one on one at some point in the future. Just a bad concept for a match, although everything is done well it's just too convoluted and takes away from the wrestling.

Homicide vs. Low Ki

And then we get to the main event and these two do what they do which is good stuff. They bring the physicality and go all out for this match. Homicide hits his tope con hilo and kicks a fan as he goes over the guardrail, but it's cool he gives her a hug before going back to beating up Low Ki. Ki escapes the cop killa a couple of times and the second time locks in the dragon sleeper, but Homicide rolls him over to get the three count while still in the submission. After the match there are shenanigans. Jerry Lynn comes out for revenge, but Low Ki stops him because he and Homicide and buddies and just wanted to see who was the better wrestler. But then Gary Hart comes out and has Homicide and Ki beat the shit out of a 'fan' and then Homicide hits Court Bauer, the promoter, over the head with a broom and then they spit on him a bit and talk about how they don't care what he wants he's bringing violence to MLW.

Overall it's a pretty solid show from MLW. In general every MLW show has way too many matches for the amount of time the show lasts, but this time it cut short the matches that deserved to be short and the good matches got enough time although I would have liked to see Danielson vs. Hart and Collyer vs. Hero go for a bit longer. So if you can find this bad boy for cheap think about grabbing it. It's worth the time spent watching it even for an almost ten year old indy show.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Lucha Libre Thoughts

I haven't been watching whole shows, at least not with the intent of reviewing them lately so I've been pretty quiet on here, but I have been watching wrestling so I should write something. I've watched the three PWG DVDs that have come out, those being TEN, and BOLA Nights 1 & 2 so I'll get reviews of those soon. And of course I watch RAW and sometimes Impact if I'm not at work. The biggest addition to my wrestling watching schedule has been CMLL on Fridays at 9:30 PM that you can stream on terra.mx The actual link changes every week and if you can't read Spanish it's probably tough to find so you have to follow people on twitter with the link, which I do. I also retweet the link when I see it pop up so if you want to watch you can follow me here https://twitter.com/magell2 Or just follow me until a Friday when I retweet the link and you can go right to the source.

I'd love to do full reviews of the shows, especially the 80th anniversary show which was the first one they streamed and the one that got me watching, but I don't have the background in Lucha Libre to really know how to do that, but I do enjoy the style and I'm hoping I'll pick up enough watching the part that they stream which tends to be about an hour and a half to two hours. I'm still getting used to the wrestlers and identifying them, but it's interesting. The biggest adjustment is the style of Lucha as it is quite different from US and Japanese wrestling, it always seems a little more fake as the moves require more work from both men, but I still enjoy it a lot.

Everybody is a high flyer of some kind in this style and the wrestling is very smooth and fast paced and it's a nice change of pace to watch every once in a while. I haven't watched a lot of lucha before this, some random matches on youtube and a couple of matches from Rey and Eddie DVDs WWE put out. The CMLL 80th anniversary show was a good introduction, although my reaction toward getting La Sombra vs. Volador Jr, probably because I didn't know what was promoted ahead of time until learning about the tag match winners getting to face each other, and the fact that I loved the matches Sombra had against Shinsuke Nakamura. You can watch the Sombra/Volador match here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0S4qD4Py4Q8 and I recommend you do because it was great. If I read things correctly this was also the show where they debuted the new Mistico and he did really well and the crowd reacted positively for him. I really enjoyed this show as a whole, and I think it being my first foray into Lucha really helped that. I like being able to follow CMLL fairly regularly so I hope this stream thing continues, because it is one of the best streams I've watched and I've had almost no problems with it which is impressive for a free stream and my bad internet connection.

CMLL has a couple of things that bother me about the product and neither is the fault of the wrestlers. First is the fact that every match is two out of three falls and follows a pretty basic formula. Rudos get fall one, Tecnicos get fall two, and then somebody gets fall three after a bit. The first two falls are also pretty short. That aspect is made worse by the fact that there are lots of six man tags and those require that a fall requires either the captain or both other members of the team be pinned or submitted, although there are lots of simultaneous pins/submissions for a team. The second and much bigger problem is the refs. First of all the counts for pinfalls are super slow and drive me crazy, it really takes a lot of emotion out of near falls. Secondly they don't seem to give a shit about any rules. A whole team will come in without any tag to beat up a tecnico and the ref won't stop them and the other tecnico's just hangout on the apron. I guess it's just a quirk of the product I'll have to get used to even though it drives me crazy. Even crazier than ref's in US Japan ignoring a face tag because they didn't see it and then allowing a heel tag they didn't see.

I regularly listen to the MLW podcast which you can find at mlw.com which features the booker of the now defunct MLW promotion Court Bauer, Konnan, and Mister Saint Laurent and is generally pretty interesting. Konnan is the booker for AAA or maybe a booker I'm not completely sure, but he is important in the company and they are definitely coming to the USA next year and from what I've heard March is the target date and I'm excited as it should mean Lucha on TV and an actual alternative to WWE and not just the pretend alternative that TNA is. I haven't watched a lot of AAA because they don't have an easy way for me to watch in in America like CMLL does, but I'm always willing to give new wrestling promotions a chance and I'm looking forward to its debut.

Friday, August 23, 2013

TEW Fantasy Draft

With my cousin, brother and sister we have created a four player draft of all the wrestlers going and each of us got 25 to create our cult level promotion in the addicting and awesome game of Total Extreme Warfare 2005 which you can download here http://www.greydogsoftware.com/tew/ and then you can download real world stats here http://www.ewbattleground.com/index.php?%2Ftopic%2F92076-tew05-real-world-update-july-2013%2F I'll probably throw updates for how the game is going every time we get through a month as the person who gains the most popularity and makes the most money will get to sign a free agent. So now I will present the drafts. The order went Jeff (brother), Emily (Sister), Rob (Cousin), Kevin (Me) based on our knowledge of wrestling. The order alternated by rounds so with numbers it went 1,2,3,4,2,3,4,1,3,4,1,2 and so on that way so everybody got first pick in some rounds and second in others. Everybody also got to use a tag team pick once where they go both members of a tag team, but then lost their next turn.

So for background on all of us to figure out how we made our picks. Jeff hasn't watched wrestling in a long time until I came up with the idea to do this so he mostly used old knowledge and then searched rosters and apparently picked either popular or big wrestlers.

Emily has been a wrestling fan for almost a year because she lives with me and my force of will made that happen. Her picks are largely influences by how attractive the wrestlers are, and also she thinks Kane is cool.

Rob is good wrestling fan so he knows what he's doing, but is a little weak in Japanese wrestling.

Kevin watches too much wrestling. That's why I have a blog dedicated to the wrestling I watch.

1. CM Punk
2. Jeff Hardy
3. Randy Orton
4. Cody Rhodes
5. Dean Ambrose
6. Jay Briscoe (Tag Pick)
7. Mark Briscoe (Tag Pick)
8. The Miz
9. Bully Ray
10. Sheamus
11. Christian
12. Curtis Axel
13. Gunner
14. Ryback
15. Abyss
16. TJ Perkins
17. Kazarian
18. Rob Terry
19. Titus O'Neill
20. Darren Young
21. Mr. Anderson
22. Zack Ryder
23. Sting
24. Jey Uso
25. Jimmy Uso

1. John Cena
2. Antonio Cesaro
3. Seth Rollins
4. Roman Reigns
5. Magnus
6. Wade Barrett
7. Sin Cara
8. Kofi Kingston
9. Kane
10. Davey Richards
11. Alberto Del Rio
12. Takashi Sugiura
13. Shelton Benjamin
14. Justin Gabriel (Tag Pick)
15. Tyson Kidd (Tag Pick)
16. Caprice Coleman
17. Masaki Mochicuzi
18. Johnny Gargano
19. Curt Hawkins
20. Mike Bennett
21. La Mascara
22. Matt Morgan
23. Rey Mysterio
24. Santino Marella
25. Yoshi Tatsu

1. Daniel Bryan
2. Austin Aries
3. Kevin Steen
4. Dolph Ziggler
5. Mark Henry
6. Bray Wyatt
7. Luke Harper (Tag Pick)
8. Eric Rowan (Tag Pick)
9. Chris Sabin
10. Chris Hero
11. Damien Sandow
12. Kyle O'Reilly
13. Bobby Fish
14. James Storm
15. Hiroshi Tanahashi
16. Rocky Romero
17. Alex Koslov
18. Christopher Daniels
19. Kazuchika Okada
20. MVP
21. Kenny King
22. Tomassa Ciampa
23. William Regal
24. Fandango
25. Karl Anderson

1. Samoa Joe
2. AJ Styles
3. Michael Elgin
4. Nick Jackson (Tag Pick)
5. Matt Jackson (Tag Pick)
6. El Generico
7. Bobby Roode
8. Roderick Strong
9. Alex Shelley
10. Eddie Edwards
11. Adam Cole
12. Ricochet
13. Rich Swann
15. Colt Cabana
16. Shinsuke Nakamura
17. Naomichi Marafuji
18. Samuray Del Sol
19. Kota Ibushi
20. Paul London
21. Brian Kendrick
22. Player Uno
23. Stupified
24. Jimmy Jacobs
25. Kurt Angle

I don't know how Kurt Angle fell of Jeff's radar. Rob forgot he was an active wrestler and I was mad at him because I was playing some TEW earlier with the TNA roster and he wouldn't job to Samoa Joe so I was made at him. I wanted to take Brian Cage so I'd have the farthest apart tag team connection with Elgin and Cage, but I couldn't not take Angle. I overestimated how little Rob knew about Japanese wrestling and lost out on Tanahashi so I made sure I got Nakamura. I also let TJ Perkins go too far. I only drafted one WWE wrestler and that is El Generico from NXT. I also went for a lot of tag teams with the idea of creating stables like Dragongate has.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

NJPW G1 Climax 23

Last week New Japan Pro Wrestling had their G1 climax and I've slowly been making my way through the shows that they've presented and I haven't been making awesome headway, but I have been making headway. So far I've watched Day 2 and Day 4, and I started with those because of the early hype for those shows and they live up to it. I've seen a couple of matches from Day 1 as well. My major thought coming out of those matches is that Tomohiro Ishii is the shit and I am now a fan of his. I've seen three of his matches and all of them were awesome. Day 1 vs. Lance Archer was a match where I didn't expect much from either man and it was just fun to watch. Day 2 vs. Tanahashi was fucking awesome and fit the main event perfectly. Loved to see Tanahashi play the heel and there were so many near falls which I love before Ishii won with the Steiner Driver. Day 4 had the match vs. Shibata which Meltzer gave 5* and while I think it was a good match I wouldn't go that far, but only because I liked a match on that same show better.

And that match is Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kota Ibushi. Nakamura is just awesome with everything he does in the ring and the way these two played off each other was awesome. Nakamura was a dick to Ibushi earlier playing to his size and strength advantage, and that made it all the better when Ibushi took control of the match and did the same dick shit to Nakamura. Near falls abounded in this match and then we get my favorite finish in all of wrestling which is the sequence of moves which are all finishers before getting the pinfall. Nakamura hits two flying knees off the top rope before just hitting the running knee he is known for to get the three count and it is just phenomenal.

Not everything is about having the absolute best match on the show and everybody on these shows is delivering. Toru Yano has been entertaining me a lot with his delightful cheating to win matches. His match against Takahashi was a delight of the two of them trying to out cheat each other and the crowds enjoyment of that. On a similar note I really enjoyed the Tanahashi vs. Devitt match. Captain New Japan's shenanigans to counter Fale's shenanigans were awesome. The best part was obviously Tanahashi coming to the ring on Captain's shoulders like Devitt does on Fale's, but he just made it a more fun match.

Naito has had some good matches, but both were flawed. His match against Ibushi was awesome except Naito spent a lot of time working Ibushi's leg and then Ibushi made his come back and was like, fuck that shit I'm not selling my leg, but still it was a lot of fun with a great finishing run. Then Naito's match against Suzuki was similar, but with Suzuki working Naito's leg and Naito not wanting to sell, but except for the inability to sell the leg injury during the match the action was good and had a hot finish and was fun to watch, which is always the bigger concern, although I would prefer to see damage sold than not.

Overall everything I've watched has been solid to great and that's impressive considering I've watched 7 hours of wrestling from the tournament so far. Even the short matches are well done. Shelton Benjamin vs. Karl Anderson was only like 7 minutes, but it perfectly sold a story of Benjamin knowing the ace crusher is going to finish him and avoiding the move whenever Anderson tries it. If you like wrestling watch these shows. If you don't like wrestling and want to see why people love it watch all of Day four of this tournament and you'll know.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

TNA: Righting the Ship

Don't worry this isn't going to involve any fantasy booking just the dumb shit TNA is doing in the name of saving money when there are much better ways to save money. I think one of the problems with TNA is that they came into existence to fill the void of WCW as competition, but really they were the new ECW, but have always assumed they are WCW and as big as WWE which just isn't the case. They didn't worry about building a model for their business. Once they got tv they just started running monthly PPVs because that's what wrestling companies did so they have to as well, which wasn't the right way to do things. They don't really build up their PPVs well and they can't get away with it like WWE, because they never earned fan loyalty they just kind of assumed that the casual wrestling audience that was there for the Monday Night Wars still exists and would start buying TNA PPVs with wrestlers they've built up, but never spotlight anywhere, and ex-WWE and WCW guys.

The first two steps have to be running in smaller buildings that they are going to fill up instead of huge buildings and getting rid of the huge entrance they have. Pare it down to something that you can fit in a semi with the rest of the cameras and equipment like that. It doesn't have to be that fancy. It might come across as a jarring transition on tv, but they don't need big time production stuff like WWE does, because they're not WWE. Something functional that looks good and still has the screen above it for replays and pretapes will look fine on tv, and when you cut out that huge entrance area you can fit more people into smaller venues as well so it's good all around.

Then they have to deal with the idea of roster cuts in a smarter way than what they are doing now. Right now they are getting rid of guys with small contracts that they don't feature on the show, which I guess saves money, but really they need to shed the big contracts for people that don't do anything for the company and the show. The first step in that is ending the Aces & 8s because that is a repository for nobodies, who being ex-WWE guys probably make too much money. This is the only fantasy booking part to get rid of their major storyline. Main Event Mafia vs. Aces & 8s in a 6v6 elimination match losing team disbands. Aces & 8s lose and all of those guys get released except Bully Ray, because he's awesome now. So that gets rid of Devon, Anderson, Knox, Brisco, and Bischoff all of whom are getting paid too much money for what they provide.

They keep Sting until his contract ends, but don't resign him. Brooke Hogan has got to go, she is awful. Eric Bischoff and Hogan can get tossed as well, even if Spike pays for their contracts. I feel like those guys are stuck in a mindset that doesn't work for TNA. Mickey James can be let go as well. I think she'd be better off having to wrestle in Shimmer or Japan again and then maybe bring her back. Chavo, Hernandez, Gunner, Robbie E, Rob Terry can all go as well and TNA can get rid of the TV Title which they've already seem to have done. Christy Hemme can go, she probably gets a good pay day and isn't even good at her job. I'd let Borash do ring announcing and replace Tenay on commentary as well so you get rid of his paycheck as well.

The key thing is then going to be bringing in Indy guys to fill up some spots and being able to pay them less than those other guys. The thing is going to be building up divisions and making them important.

Remaining: Gail Kim, Taryn Terrell, Velvet Sky
That shit is pretty light, although they may have other Knockouts signed I just haven't seen in forever. So they need to do what WWE is doing and raid Shimmer for talent. Mia Yim is number one on my list of people to pick up. Cheerleader Melissa is the second and then they can cherry pick other people from Shimmer. But with the core of those five the Knockout Division will be strong again and worthy of main events.

Tag Team
Remaining: Bad Influence, Aries & Roode
Fuck that Aries and Roode team, those guys are going to the World Title scene in my mind so we have no tag teams now, but that ain't a problem because the indies are full of great tag teams. Young Bucks, SSB, and American Wolves is the new base of this division. It's a lot of contracts to take on, but I think it's still going to be cheaper than what they are paying a lot of guys already so it makes sense. You can make all three of the new tag teams with a 3-way ladder match for #1 contender, or make it a four way ladder match for the belts. It doesn't matter these guys are all awesome wrestlers and a focus on that will get them all over.

Remaining: TJ Perkins, Kenny King, I don't know who has real contracts and just shows up for the matches.
Right off the bat stop making every X-Division match a three way match. That's not helping anybody. Sonjay Dutt, Jigsaw, Petey Williams all get real contracts. I'd also try and sign any American that works for Dragongate, preferably Ricochet.

World Title
Remaining: Samoa Joe, Bully Ray, James Storm, Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, AJ Styles, Chris Sabin, Kurt Angle
A division where they don't need to pick anybody up and should be the strongest thing the company has. Bully Ray will be awesome again because Aces & 8s are gone and can just be the asshole he was before that whole thing started. Everybody in that list is capable of awesome matches and a commitment to wrestling and these guys would make the company really strong and show how good wrestling can be and how they really are the alternative to WWE.

TNA has to remember they need to build a fan base and focus on being the alternative to WWE again. Now every episode of Impact is treated like a PPV. Every belt has to be defended once a month, they'll have four titles and four shows a year. A title match headlines every tv show and you showcase that and make it important. They should also take a lesson from Japan here and start booking lots of six man or eight man tags on tv so that everybody is on tv and can get over with their wrestling without blowing big matches without promotion. You can have a #1 contender's match for the title defended on the next show as the semi main event, or the main event if TNA doesn't feel strongly about letting the Knockouts main event a tv show.

All of my ideas having been laid out on the table, I actually have no knowledge of anything TNA pays people or if this stuff will save money, but I think it will, and I know it will make for a better product that has a chance to get people excited and make them buy PPVs instead of just being WWE lite.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

NJPW Kizuna Road Akito 7-20-13 Impressions

I tried to watch the NJPW PPV last night, but it was late and I feel asleep after the preshow match, but I did watch the replay this morning so good enough. It was the best quality wrestling stream I've watched and worth the price especially for an over four hour show.

The opening eight man tag is a fun match without a lot of substance to it, but it's does what it's supposed to do which is open the show and get you excited. KUSHIDA does some cool stuff. Jado or Gedo I don't remember which, and I'm not good at telling those two apart to start with, does a much quicker version of the rope drape DDT than Orton that looked super smooth. The crowd loved Nakanishi so he hit his trademark moves and gets the win.

Forever Hooligans vs. Taka Michinoku and Taichi was a great match and Taka and Taichi were cheating dicks in the best way throughout the match. They started it off well by letting Koslov sing the Russian anthem then start singing the Japanese anthem and jump the Hooligans halfway through. Everybody gets to look good in this match and when Koslov is isolated, Taka and Taichi do a great job of ruining hot tags by pulling Romero off the apron. The Forever Hooligans' finisher is a thing of beauty and I'm glad they keep the belts here.

Ishii vs. Suzuki is the kind of match people envision when they think of Japanese wrestling two guys hitting each other as hard as they can and dropping each other on their heads occasionally. At one point Ishii backs Suzuki into the corner and then delivers a violence party that lasts for at least half a minute. Suzuki gets the win, but his mouth is bleeding and his cheek is cut so you know it was hard fought. I really enjoyed this match.

TenKoji vs. Yano & Iizuka was a well planned out match. TenKoji is winning when it's a straight up wrestling match and they can do their thing, but when Yano and Iizuka do their crazy person thing and have all the weapons they want they get the advantage, but that can't last forever and Kojima wrecks both of them with lariats then uses Yano's handcuffs to lock him up in the corner and they Tenzan hits a moonsault for the win.

Tanaka vs. Naito is another good match with Tanaka bullying the smaller man for a lot of the match and of course it back fires on him and Naito puts on a good performance for falling. Naito took a sick kendo stick shot straight to the head at the beginning before Tanaka splashed him through a table. The match goes back and forth after that until Tanaka dumps him on his head with a german suplex and then with a lariat. It takes two diving lariats to the seated Naito to finish him off.

La Sombra vs. Nakamura is my favorite match of the show. Hard hitting action, high flying, and Nakamura being Nakamura. Best spot of the match was Sombra climbing the metal framework that holds up the lighting structure at least as high as the ring post and does a moonsault onto Nakamura and lands on his feet. Nakamura also pulled out a spinning Pescado which I didn't know he did, it was awesome. Nakamura's charging knee to finish the match was fucking brutal.

Bullet Club vs. Tanahashi, Makabe, Liger and Captain  New Japan was solid but nothing more. It had it's moments, but it had a lot of big guys hitting their big spots and then some semblance of faces in perils and hot tags, but it lets all the good guys get one over on Bullet Club and with Tanahashi pinning Terrible, who isn't really a member of Bullet Club, they don't really lose too much of their heat.

Goto vs. Shibata was another one of the hard hitting, head dropping matches and they are going at it from the word go with lots of back drop drivers and hard hitting. I wasn't a huge fan of this match and it ending with a double KO after a headbutt didn't do a lot for me. I think they had a match earlier in the year that also had a double KO finish so I assume they're building to something, but it's still kind of blah. Unless you like watching people hit each other really hard, which I occasionally do. Ishii/Suzuki did this better in the night for my tastes.

Nagata vs. Sakuraba is another match I wasn't a fan of, but more because it's not my style. It's a worked MMA fight essentially and the two men can both do that. I like MMA, but when it's worked there's so much that goes against how fighting works in MMA and wrestling that it drives me crazy. They do good submission scrambles and Nagata has some slick throws in the match as well.

Okada vs. Devitt is the main event and it feels like it. Devitt plays the dastardly cheater in this match and does it well. Bullet Club gets involved in the match, but not to too great of a degree and I think it works well in the match. Loved how important the exposed corner becomes especially as I forgot about it after the first spot into it. The crowd was booing Devitt well and cheering very loudly for Okada most of the match which was awesome. Devitt got a bunch of near falls after countering a tombstone into one of his own and then delivering a double stomp with a chair on Okada. Devitt also countered the Rainmaker a bunch of times before Okada hit him with a tombstone and then connected with the rainmaker for the win. A good match that I'll probably like better when I rewatch it without crazy high expectations I had going into it.

The show kind of dragged for me after the intermission until the main event, but I can see those matches working well for people who like that style more. I really enjoyed everything before the intermission and the main event felt like the big match it was so overall I was happy. Definitely a show worth checking out.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Live at Monday Night Raw

I finally went to a live televised WWE event after many years of being a wrestling fan. I've been to two house shows, and RoH show, and a local indy so I'm not completely new to live wrestling, but this is on a whole different level. The Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids isn't a huge place, but it was the biggest I've been to and the way it's set up looked awesome and even up in the second level I had a good view of the ring.

I almost balked at the price of tickets for far away seats, but I'm glad I didn't. Granted this was a really good episode of Raw, but I think the experience still would have been awesome with just a standard Raw.

It was especially awesome to be there live for the return of Christian who's return I've been awaiting a long time and I'm a big fan of his. He pulled out a lot of high flying offense, and seeing somebody jump off the top rope to the outside looks good on TV, but it looks crazy in person.

It was fun to be part of a loud crowd, even at the times where I disagreed with their opinions especially concerning Sheamus and Randy Orton. I was really bummed how much louder the crowd was for Orton over D-Bry. Although I had the loudest, most annoying Randy Orton fan sitting right behind me, and all her fandom was because he's attractive. Ending of the match came off weird without commentary, but other than it was a good match, but I'm a huge D-Bry fan so of course I liked it.

It was cool to see William Regal in action, and even better to see Cesaro wrestle as I'm a huge fan of him and he looked good in this match. Curtis Axel vs. Sin Cara was a fun match as well, and I'm still behind a Sin Cara push. His initial debut was a little rough with botches as a lot of wrestlers weren't familiar with his style, but that's not the case anymore and he looked great against Cesaro last week.

The Mark Henry faux retirement speech was amazing especially coming after Cena's typical Cena victory speech. The tears and everything he said was perfect and I was hoping he was going to turn on Cena, but I don't like Cena. I was really expecting it when he gave the belt back to Cena he'd just clobber him. The tears sold me on everything being real though so when the World's Strongest Slam happened I was surprised and happy and it was just a fucking perfect segment.

The main event was wonderful. Like most people I'm a big fan of CM Punk so him taking on Del Rio was a nice treat. A nice match from those two before the ending which was well done, but still a disappointment. I can't wait to see those two get together again for a big match. Ziggler leaping off the stage onto Del Rio after the match was fucking awesome to see. Of course that is overshadowed by the appearance of Brock Lesnar which was awesome. That dude just has a presence that's so great. Him facing off with Punk and faking like he's going to talk to hit the F-5 was phenomenal. I'm excited about that feud and how Heyman plays it during it.

After Raw went off we got to see Cena vs. Ryback in a table match. Solid match with several nice table teases before Cena hits an AA through the table for the win.

The Pyro is really goddamn loud when you're in the arena for it happening. Makes it seem even more intense. The crowd reactions for Punk, Cena, and Ziggler were off the charts and awesome. Kaitlyn got a really good pop for her music and entrance which is funny that it was immediately followed by a "You tapped out" chant. A really awesome night and it's definitely up there with seeing RoH's Throwdown live. Suffice to say I'm glad I did it and I'm going to have to pay attention to when WWE shows up in my area so I can get better seats and maybe plan on getting a hotel instead of making a 6 hour round trip in one day.

There was an eight year old boy sitting close to me who was the most excited person I have ever seen. He was jumping around and cheering for his favorites the whole time and it was so awesome to watch.