The Pro-Wres Digest for August 27th – September 2nd
The legendary Dr Wagner Jr. was finally unmasked at AAA’s biggest show of the year, TripleMania XXV, after losing in the mask vs. mask main event to Psycho Clown on 26/8. The match was a typically AAA blood-filled wild brawl with insane levels of nuclear heat. Pyscho pinned Wagner with a Code Red in 28:42 and the 30-year veteran removed his famous mask during an emotional post-match ceremony. Wagner revealed his identity as Juan Manuel Gonzalez Barron, 52 years-old, from Torreon, and handed his mask to his son, El Hilo de Dr. Wagner Jr, who was visibly sobbing in the ring. Hilo de Wagner Jr gave his father’s mask to Psycho Clown in what looked to be a set-up for Wagner’s son going after Psycho’s mask in the future. Wagner had previously defended his mask successfully on nine occasions, taking the masks of Jungla del Norte, Drago (not the current LU/AAA luchador), Green Demon I, Mascara Ano 2000 Jr., and Carta Brava Jr & Soul Rocker. He also took the hair of Brazo de Oro, Rey Misterio, Pierroth, and Mascara Ano 2000 in successful Lucha de Apuestas outings.
Wagner Jr started his career as “El Invasor” and gained experience without the pressure of living up to his father’s already legendary name. He made his debut under the Dr Wagner Jr name on April 7th 1986 and on April 27th was booked to team with his father – the original Dr Wagner – against Angel Blanco (Wagner’s former tag team partner) and his son Angel Blanco Jr. On the way to the show, the car carrying Wagner, Angel Blanco, El Solar, Mano Negra, & Jungla Negra crashed when one of the tires blew. Blanco was killed and Wagner suffered irreparable damage to his right leg and spine which confined him to a wheelchair and he was forced to retire. In the Observer this week, the payoff Wagner received for dropping his mask was reported as 4.5 million pesos or $255,000. Psycho Clown was willing to lose his mask for 500,000 pesos, $28,000, however AAA decided it would be worth him keeping the hood. According to the Observer, Wagner & Atlantis were offered $37,000 to lose their masks in 2007 but both declined. Wagner & L.A Park wanted $77,000 to drop their masks for CMLL in 2012, however they couldn’t come to terms with the promotion. Wagner ended up making nearly three times as much for losing his mask at TripleMania this year. The show drew 17,000 fans overall, with 14,000 paid, for a gate of $625,000, which is lower than AAA were hoping for.
The other big news coming out of TripleMania was a bizarre and unsavory situation involving Sexy Star shooting on Rosemary during the Reina de Reinas four-way title match and legitimately injuring her arm with an Armbar. The story goes that Sexy & Lady Shani began shooting on each other during the match – this wasn’t like a Rikidozan/Kimura type deal and instead just looked like the two were not cooperating with each other – and as the match wore on Sexy became increasingly difficult to work with for the other women too. Sexy no-sold offence and looked like she wanted to be anywhere else in the world then during the finish she committed the ultimate sin for a pro-wrestler by purposely injuring her opponent. Understandably, there was a huge uproar backstage with Shani and several other women wanting to fight Sexy, who had to be escorted out of the building for her own safety. Rosemary commented on Twitter that Sexy did not apologise afterwards and said Sexy tried to claim she “didn’t know” she was applying too much pressure. Rosemary called Sexy a “liar” and thanked the other women in the match, as well as Vampiro for calming the situation in the back. Countless wrestlers have spoken out against Sexy Star’s actions, many of whom are not even working for AAA, however it will all be down to how AAA decide to deal with the situation. Vampiro commented on his Facebook page that “the situation is going around will be dealt with very ethically and professionally. Vamp also found it necessary to take a shot a Dave Meltzer for some bizarre reason, probably in regard to how the Taya/Johnny Mundo stuff was reported. Rosemary issued a final statement on the matter on 30/8 and noted she had suffered a strained tricep/bicep with some swelling around the area, which is thankfully less severe than first anticipated. She also talked about wrestlers taking care of each other and said she wanted people to remember all the good stuff that happened in wrestling over the weekend. Sexy Star eventually spoke about the incident on 31/8 when she appeared on Multimedios Bailadmios – SuperLuchas has a full transcript here. Sexy showed zero contrition and portrayed herself as the victim in the situation, claiming she did what she had to do and also accusing Rosemary of not really being injured.
Samoa Joe missed RAW on 28/8 in Memphis due to suffering a knee injury at the house show in Jonesboro, AK, on 26/8 while working with John Cena, whom Joe was scheduled to face in the main event of RAW this past Monday. Joe also missed the Sunday house show in Tupelo, MI, which caused the card to be shuffled with Cena facing Bray Wyatt instead. The Wrestling Observer reported that Joe will likely be out of action for six weeks or less.
Xavier Woods also suffered a knee injury on the SmackDown house show on 28/8 in Texarkana, AK, while working a tag match against The Usos. Woods went for a Torando DDT and his leg went out when being put put down by one of the Usos. Here is video of the incident. He underwent a medical evaluation on 29/8 and it turned out to be good news as he does not require surgery. Woods appeared on SmackDown on 29/8 in the corner of Big E & Kofi Kingston and came out with a sign that said, “It’s Sore.” There was a more comprehensive update on 30/8 when Woods revealed on his YouTube channel that he had sprained his MCL. Becky Lynch was on the show with him and said it took her about a month to recover from the same injury. Xavier also Tweeted about his injury being an MCL sprain.
All Japan ran their biggest show of the year, Summer Explosion, at Sumo Hall on 27/8 and drew 6,550 fans – more than DDT did for their Peter Pan show in the building (5.900) a week earlier. (12) Main Event saw All Japan’s top singles star Kento Miyahara regain the Triple Crown Championship from Shuji Ishikawa, who took the title from Miyahara back in May of this year. Miyahara won in 24:39 with the Shutdown German Suplex and offered Ishikawa a rematch in the future, before declaring to keep driving All Japan forward.
(11) Semi-main had Satoshi Kojima over Suwama in 11:15 with the Western Lariat; Joe Doering attacked Suwama before the match. (10) Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi beat Naoya Nomura & KAI to win the vacant World Tag Team Championship after Okabayashi pinned Nomura with the Golem Splash in 17:31. (9) Ultimo Dragon downed TAJIRI to capture the World Junior Heavyweight Championship in 15:57 with the Asai DDT; Masanobu Fuchi & Hiro Sato presented Dragon with a new belt afterwards. (8) Jun Akiyama, Takao Omori, Minoru Tanaka & Koji Iwamoto beat Joe Doering, Zeus, The Bodyguard & Kotaro Suzuki in 6:13 after Omori hit the Axe Bomber on the Bodyguard. (7) Taichi downed Yuma Aoyagi in 13:19 with the Last Ride. (6) Black Tiger VII & TAKA Michinoku beat Atsushi Aoki & Hikaru Sato for the Asia Tag Team Championship in 10:35 when BTVII pinned Hikaru with La Magistral. (5) Caristico beat El Diamante with La Mistica in 8:19. (4) Osamu Nishimura retained the BANG! TV World Heavyweight Championship in a battle royal at 8:24, featuring: Naoshi Sano, Yutaka Yoshie, Abdullah Kobayashi, Rikya Fudo, Kazuhiro Tamura, Rey Poloma, Carbell Ito, Atsushi Maruyama, Aizawa #1, Dinosaur Takuma, Kotaro Yoshino, Mitoshichi Shinose, Akiyori Takizawa & Great Kojika. (3) Dory Funk Jr & Hiro Saito beat Masanobu Fuchi & The Great Kabuki in 10:16 when Dory put Fuchi in the Spinning Toe Hold. (2) Ryoji Sai, Masakado & Ishikiri beat Massimo, Danny Jones & Sam Adonis in 7:40 when Sai hit the Nachi no Taki on Jones. (1) Yohei Nakajima & Fuminori Abe over Takuya Nomura & Yuya Aoki in 4:18 after Yohei hit the Tobiushiro Mawashigeri on Yuya. (0) Second Dark Match had Saori Anno & Natsumi Manki over Tae Honma & Miyuki Takase in 6:28 when Anno pinned Honma with a Blockbuster. (0) Opening Dark Match saw Keiichi Sato pin Yusuke Okada in 3:04 with a German Suplex.
NOAH’s Summer Navigation Vol 2 at Korakuen Hall on 26/8 drew 921 fans and in the main event Eddie Edwards became the first foreigner to win the GHC Heavyweight Championship when he ended Katsuhiko Nakajima’s 307 day title reign. (7) Edwards pinned Nakajima with the Die Hard to become the 29th champion and Naomichi Marufuji appeared as the first challenger after the match. Edwards will defend against Marufuji on 1/10 in Yokohama. (6) Semi-main had Go Shiozaki & Atsushi Kotoge over Naomichi Marufuji & Maybach Taniguchi to win the GHC Tag Team Championship in 23:19 when Kotoge hit the Killswitch on Taniguchi. Muhammad Yone & Quiet Storm showed up to challenge the new champs afterwards. (5) HAYATA & YO-HEY beat Taiji Ishimori & Hi69 to capture the GHC Junior Tag Team Championship in 14:44 when HAYATA pinned Hi69 with a Crucifix Hold. (4) Kenoh downed LEONA in 5:25 with a Double Foot Stomp and cut a post-match promo about LEONA needing to up his game or he will keep losing quickly. (3) Quiet Storm beat Cody Hall with the 50cm Lariat in 9:57. (2) Muhammad Yone & Masa Kitamiya defeated Daisuke Harada & Tadusuke in 7:32 when Yone hit the Kinniku Buster on Tadasuke. (1) Hajime Ohara, Hitoshi Kumano & Masao Inoue beat Akitoshi Saito, Yoshinari Ogawa & Seiya Morohashi in 13:01 when Kumano submitted Morohashi with an Argentine Backbreaker. Also on the show, Shiro Koshinaka, Tatsumi Fujinami & Hector Garza Jr were announced for October 1st in Yokohama.
TAKA Michinoku & Taichi packed Shinjuku FACE with 509 fans on 28/8 for their TAKA & Taichi Produce Season 2 show. (5) Main event saw BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi beat TAKA & Taichi in a Two-out-of-Three Falls match: Taichi pinned BUSHI with the Gedo Clutch in 8;13, but LIJ came back to take the next two falls when BUSHI used the Bushiroll on TAKA at 13:05 then Hiromu pinned TAKA after a double team MX at 15:44. (4) Semi-main event was the 21st Anniversary of Yoshinobu Kanemaru’s debut and he lost to his Suzuki-Gun leader, Minoru Suzuki in 15:12 after the Gotch Piledriver. (3) Yuma Aoyagi downed Kyu Mogami with the Rock Star Buster in 6:07. (2) Bambi beat ERINA with the BamLock in 4:49. (1) Opener saw Kaji Tomato, Taishi Takizawa & GO Asakawa defeat Kotaro Yoshino, Dinosaur Takuma & Marines Mask in 6:08 when Kaji hit the Red Eye on Mariens.
ZERO1 ran Korakuen Hall on 31/8 for their “Dream Series Midsummer Battle”. (6) Main event saw the ZERO1 World Heavyweight Champion Masato Tanaka go to a 30:00 time-limit draw with Kenoh. Kenoh said he wanted a rematch with Tanaka but next time in a NOAH ring; Kazushi Miyamoto has the next shot at Tanaka on 30/9. (5) Daisuke Sekimoto, Shogun Okamoto, Yutaka Yoshie & Kazushi Miyamoto beat Yusaku Obata, Kohei Sato, Hideki Suzuki & Super Tiger in 9:51 when Okamoto pinned Kohei with a Backdrop. (4) Kotaro Suzuki retained the NWA World Junior & International Junior Double Crown over SUGI in 12:28 with the Tiger Driver. Sean Guinness appeared afterwards to challenge Kotaro for the Junior crown. (3) Ikuto Hidaka & Takuya Sugawara retained the NWA International Light Tag Team titles over Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Keisuke Okuda in 12:19 after Hidaka hit Okuda with a Norainu high kick. (2) Shinjiro Otani & Koji Kanemoto beat TARU & Voodoo Mask in 9:42 after Otani gave Voodoo Mask the Face Wash. (1) Opener had Sean Guinness over Yoshikazu Yokoyama in 6:08 with a Double Foot Stomp.
TAKA Michinoku’s 25th Anniversary show is on 4/9 at Korakuen Hall. Here’s the full card:
(*) TAKA Michinoku 25th Anniversary Special Tag Match: TAKA Michinoku & Kota Ibushi vs. Kazuchika Okada & Gedo.
(*) Minoru Suzuki vs. GO Asakawa.
(*) Michinoku Legends Special 6-Man Tag Match: The Great Sasuke, Super Delfin & Dick Togo vs. Ricky Fuji, Kotaro Yoshino & Dinosaur Takuma.
(*) Daigoro Kashiwa & MIYAWAKI vs. Hi69 & Yasu Urano.
(*) Bambi & ERINA vs. Io Shirai & HZK.
(*) Kaji Tomato, Taishi Takizawa, Shiori Asahi &Yuma vs. Tank Nagai, Ayumu Honda, Kunio Toshima & Kyu Mogami.
Two of the biggest independent tournaments of the year will be taking place this weekend, as PWG have the Battle of Los Angeles in Reseda, CA, while CHIKARA’s King of Trios will emanate from Wolverhampton in England. Both tournaments will run from 1st –3rd September and here is all you need to know about both events.
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla “Battle of Los Angeles 2017” – September 1st–3rd, American Legion Post #308, Reseda, CA.
Participants: (1) Brian Cage. (2) Desmond Xavier. (3) Joey Janela. (4) Sammy Guevara. (5) Rey Fenix. (6) Rey Horus. (7) Donovan Dijak. (8) Trevor Lee. (9) Flash Morgan Webster. (10) Marty Scurll. (11) Jeff Cobb. (12) Sami Callihan. (13) Matt Sydal. (14) Penta El Zero M. (15) Matt Riddle. (16) Michael Elgin. (17) Jonah Rock. (18) Zack Sabre Jr. (19) Mark Haskins. (20) Travis Banks. (21) Flamita. (22) Ricochet. (23) Keith Lee. (24) WALTER.
CHIKARA “King of Trios 2017” – September 1st–3rd, Starworks, Wolverhampton, England.
Participants: (1) Casa Dorada [Juan Francisco de Coronado, Cornelius Crummels & Sonny Defarge]. (2) House Attack [Chief Deputy Dunne, Jim Obstruction & Lee Obstruction]. (3) House Bike Cops [Donald Kluger, Jasper Tippins & Officer Warren Barkside]. (4) House Bodyslam [Emeritus, Michael Fynne & Vasyl]. (5) House Calamari [Chris Brookes, Elijah & Kid Lykos]. (6) House Fight Club [Kyle Fletcher, Millie McKenzie & Omari]. (7) House Furies [Fire Ant, Solo Darling & Travis Huckabee]. (8) House Rivival [Jody Fleisch, Johnny Moss & Jonny Storm]. (9) House Rot [Frightmare, Hallowicked & Kobald]. (10) 2016 Winners: House Sendai Girls [Meiko Satomura, Dash Chisako & Cassandra Miyagi]. (11) House Seven Seas [Cajun Crawdad, Hermit Crab & Merlok]. (12) House of Sport [Danny Boy Collins, James Mason & Mal Sanders]. (13) House Strong Style [Pete Dunne, Trent Seven & Tyler Bate]. (14) House Throwbacks [Dasher Hatfield, Mark Angelosetti & Simon Grimm]. (15) House WhiteWolf [A-Kid, Adam Chase & Zayas]. (16) House Xyberhawx [Nytehawk, Razerhawk & Sylverhawk].
KUSHIDA won the What Culture Pro Wrestling World Cup on 26/8 in Newcastle, England, when he defeated Will Ospreay in the final. The most watched match of the tournament was the Rey Mysterio vs. Will Ospreay match from the 23/8 show in Milton Keynes.
CMLL had an influx of foreign talent recently. The big Arna Meixco Firday night show on 25/8 saw Juice Robinson, Michael Elgin Matt Taven defeat Diamante Azul, Ultimo Guerrero & Volador Jr. On 26/8, Juice Robinson defeated Shocker in the main event of the Arena Coliseo, while Michael Elgin teamed with CMLL regulars Marco Corleone & Matt Taven to defeat Rey Bucanero, Terrible & Vangellys. The next night on 27/8, Matt Taven beat Euforia in the main event and the team of Juice Robinson, Michael Elgin & Marco Corleone beat Ephesto, Luciferno & Mephisto. The main event of the 2/9 Arena Coliseo show will be Caristico, Kenny King & Valiente vs. Satoshi Kojima, Shocker & Terrible.
In the main event at Arena Mexico on 1/9, CMLL ran their Gran Prix tournament match, which is actually a 16-man elimination match with two teams – Team Mexico & Team Rest of the World. On the Mexican side was, Diamante Azul, Dragon Lee, Euforia, Mephitso, Rush, Ultimo Guerrero, Valiente & Volador Jr, while the World team had Johnny Idol, Juice Robinson, Kenny King, Satoshi Kojima, Marco Corleone, Matt Taven Michael Elgin & Sam Adonis. The match went 54:17 and ended when Diamante Azul pinned Michael Elgin with a German Suplex.
Octagon is advertised for CMLL’s show in Puebla on 4/9, which is noteworthy since he left the company in 1992 to help Antonio Pena & Konnan start AAA causing Paco Alanso to ban him from Arena Mexico for life. Octagon did eventually make it back into Arena Mexico in 2015 during the time Elite were given permission to run shows in the building, however CMLL had not directly worked with him for 25 years.
Rush & Pierroth make their debut for The Crash in two weeks on 13/9 in San Luis Potosi. The father & son team will be in the main event in a four-way tag match against Daga & Penta El Zero M, Mascara & Maximo, and Bestia 666 & Hector Garza Jr. Also on that show, Fenix (working under the name The King) will face Flamita for The Crash Cruiserweight title.
RAW on 28/8 did 3,304,000 viewers, down from last week 3,404,000. 8pm did 3,384,000, 9pm did 3,364,000 and 10pm did 3,163,000.
SmackDown on 29/8 did 2,455,000 viewers, down from 2,690,000 last week.
Lucha Underground on 30/8 did 92,000 for the 8pm first-run and 49,000 for the 9pm replay, for a total of 141,000. That’s way down from last week’s number, which was the highest first run number in history, with 177,000 and 44,000, for a total of 221,000 viewers.
Impact on 31/8 268,000 viewers, down from 296,000 last week.
The Dr Wagner/Psycho Clown mask match from TripleMania, which aired immediately after the Mayweather/McGregor fight on Televisa Ch.5 in Mexico, did a monster 22.8 rating – around 10.6 to 12.3 million viewers. Making it one of the most watched matches of the last quarter century.
Thanks for reading, everyone! We’ll see you next week.
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