Cubed Circle Newsletter 206 – Ben’s Supreme Carry Job
This week Ben carries the issue with coverage of not only RAW and Mid-South from 1982, but also NJPW’s King of Pro-Wrestling show from this past week, the final major push to the Tokyo Dome, plus the news of the week including Mistico wackiness, Sami Zayn, and Jerry Lawler versus Terry Funk in 2015!
– Ryan Clingman, Cubed Circle Newsletter Editor
The Pro-Wres Digest for October 11th – October 17th 2015.
There weren’t many details of Luis Urive appearing on the Lucha Libre Elite show on 9/10 at Arena Mexico when we went to press last week, however since then there have been several major developments. The story goes that AAA, who were running a TV taping in Hidalgo at the exact same time, got wind of Urive being at Arena Mexico from somebody in the building. Urive worked on a AAA show the night before on 8/10 in Xalapa, Veracruz, which is very reminiscent of Lex Luger walking out on Nitro after working a WWF house show the night before in 1995. People inside AAA have kept mostly quiet, expect Dorian Roldan (Marisela Peña’s son-in-law) who called Urive “Judas” in a tweet which he hastily deleted, and finally sent out a press release on 13/10 acknowledging that Myzteziz is no longer working for them after Urive no-showed the AAA show on 10/10 in Veracruz. Dave Meltzer noted in the Observer and Dr Lucha corroborated a story about Urive trying to recruit a bunch of AAA talent to make the jump to rival promotion CMLL, which understandably the AAA brass were none too happy about. On Monday 12/10, Urive’s brothers, Argos and Argenis, both “left” AAA, however they seemingly made up pretty quickly because it emerged on Friday 16/10 that they would both be staying with AAA along with their other brother, Mini Murder Clown. As for Urive himself, he held a press conference on Friday and claimed he was not returning to CMLL and revealed that his new name would be “Mystic 2.0.” Hilariously, Urive tried to act like he was the good guy in all of this and said that he couldn’t understand why AAA are not using him for his remaining dates as he believed he left the promotion on good terms. It’s surely a matter of time until Mystic 2.0 showed up in CMLL for a nombre vs. nombre match with Mistico, however Paco Alonso and CMLL are likely trying to avoid a lawsuit and appear to be keeping out of this mess for the time being at least.
It seems that the WWE/Evolve relationship isn’t just a one-way street with guys getting shots in NXT at the recommendation of Gabe Sapolsky. On Monday, Evolve announced on their website that Sami Zayn will be appearing on their shows in Queens on 17 & 18th October. Zayn, who is currently off NXT TV due to his shoulder surgery, will be signing autographs and appearing in the ring for presumably a promo. His live in-ring appearance will only be for the fans in attendance and will not be shown on the iPPV broadcast. I guess it is nice of WWE to send a guy that the Evolve fans will love to sign autographs and sell gimmicks, but not letting Zayn appear on the iPPV for even a simple promo tells you that WWE are still calling the shots in this fledgling working relationship with Sapolsky. On Thursday 15/10, Evolve sent out a press release addressing the relationship with WWE, however it was bizarrely vague. “You want to know what’s going on with WWE and The WWN Family. This is the absolute truth. There are no answers. Yes, there is obviously a growing relationship. What direction it will take is unknown.” Clearly, Sapolsky wrote this thing, or at the very least dictated to someone else what to say. Gabe probably knows more than he is letting on, however it is easy to believe that right now the relationship is fairly informal. The statement goes on to say: “There are rumors and speculation, but this relationship changes and develops almost weekly. This is a road that has never been traveled before. There is no precedent. We don’t know what to expect nor what is possible. All this means is that anything can happen. There are infinite possibilities. The only sure thing is that this will be a wild, unpredictable and thrilling ride. We will all find out where this road goes together. There is no telling what will happen next.” On Thursday, WWE.com ran an article about the 5 Evolve wrestlers you need to know; the guys they picked were: Timothy Thatcher, Johnny Gargano, Tracy Williams, Anthony Nese, and Zack Sabre Jr.
WWE must really hate Tuesday mornings, because for the third week in a row the ratings for Monday Night RAW were atrocious and they hit an all-time new record low in terms of viewers. The term, “Non-Holiday RAW” gets thrown around when talking about the low ratings, because shows on July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas etc., do much lower numbers than a regular RAW with a bad number. Basically the holiday episodes are anomalies because, believe it or not, people have better things to do than watch RAW on Christmas Eve, and a low rating is pretty much guaranteed. Well, with competition from the NFL and the World Series, plus WWE’s utterly cold and horrendous product, the 2.32 rating the 12/10 episode of RAW did was also pretty much guaranteed. The 2.32 rating with 3.27 million viewers is the worst number since the October 27th 1997 show which did a 2.3, with the Christmas Eve show from 2012 being the ONLY exception at a lowly 2.2. Hour one did 3.52 million, second hour was 3.25 million and the third hour tanked to a shockingly low 3.08, which is the second lowest third hour of RAW ever, just ahead of the 3.02 set on 7/9. It seems like it is only going to get worse for WWE, as John Cena is talking some time off after Hell in a Cell and with no number two babyface ready to set in to the top role, they will be lucky if the third hour of RAW doesn’t drop below 3 million viewers for the first time ever.
Alberto El Patron lashed out on Twitter against German indie promotion, WXW, on 14/10 after cancelling a booking he had for them on 17/10. Alberto, and his brother who works as El Hilo de Dos Caras, were advertised for the WXW show in Mannheim, Germany but sent the company an email notifying them they would not be making the show. Alberto’s main point of contention it seems, is down to WXW not honouring an agreement to fly the Rodriguez brothers in Business Class. Alberto even accused the WXW promoters of treating him as a “sub-human”, which seems a little excessive. Economy Class isn’t that bad, is it? WXW officials commented that it would have cost $7000 to upgrade the two to Business Class and noted that they would not be booking Alberto, or presumably his brother, again. On Thursday 16/10, WXW announced that Jeff Jarrett would be replacing Alberto on the 17/10 show and also a SWE show that Alberto was also booked for on 16/10.
This week’s Observer also had a story about Alberto’s future with Lucha Underground being uncertain. Season Two of the show will begin filming in November and word is that Alberto may not be coming back due to him not being happy with the extent of his push. Dave Meltzer reported that Alberto was the highest paid guy in Lucha Underground and he felt like he was promised the promotion would be built around him, which if you watched the show wasn’t exactly the case. Alberto is still the AAA Mega Heavyweight Champion, so as long as he is with AAA there is always a possibility a deal could be reached. If however, Alberto decides to leave AAA, which would be a huge blow after the Mistico deal, there are still several options open to him. When he left WWE in 2014, there was talk of Alberto getting back into MMA, however at 38 years old that seems like a bad idea. New Japan and TNA were apparently interested in him, but the state TNA is in at the moment I seriously doubt they could afford to bring him in. New Japan would be a great fit for Alberto in my view, although due to their relationship with CMLL Alberto would certainly have to leave AAA for that to become a reality.
Speaking of Lucha Underground, Rey Horus, Flamita, Speedball Mike Bailey and Will Ospreay are some names that have been thrown around for the new season. Flamita is an outstanding talent and would fit right in. Bailey and Ospreay are interesting, since Konnan and Rey Mysterio Jr were at the final of PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles and must have seen something they liked. They watched the entire 4 hour show from the stage where the hard camera is set up, so they got a great view of Ospreay and Bailey, both of whom had great performances that night, especially Bailey, who made it all the way to the final. They are also interested in the Young Bucks, but the seven year exclusive TV contract was the main reason why the Bucks didn’t appear in Season One and it is likely that the same obstacle will get in the way this time.
The biggest joshi group in Japan, and arguably the world, Stardom, will be running their first ever shows in the US on 16/10 and 18/10 in Los Angeles, CA. Some of the names advertised are:
Cheerleader Melissa, Io Shirai, Kairi Hojo, Mayu Iwatani, Act Yasukawa, Chelsea, Reo Hazuki, Kris Wolf, Hudson Envy, Starfire, Thunder Rosa.
In 2015, the never ending feud of Jerry Lawler vs. Terry Funk will headline a professional wrestling show. On 24/10, Lawler and Funk are the main event of the USA Championship Wrestling show in Jackson, TN. Also appearing on the show will be Lance Russell, Bill Dundee, The Rock & Roll Express, Rocky Johnson and more legends of the Memphis area. It doesn’t look like there will be anyway to see the match unless you are in the Oman Arena that night. USA Championship Wrestling are not a big enough independent to offer such things as a video on demand service on their website, which by the way doesn’t exist – they just have a Facebook page, nor do they produce DVDs of their events. Due to the fact this is FUNK vs. LAWLER in 2015, you would think someone will record the match and upload it to YouTube at the very least. Funk and Lawler were working matches together in Memphis as late as 2004 and even back then they were billed as “last time ever” matches. But at 71 (Funk) and 65 (Lawler), this really has got to be it.
Interestingly, John Cena vs. Seth Rollins in a 30:00 Iron Man match for the U.S. title will main event the weekend house showson 18/10 in Lubbock and 19/10 in Abilene, TX. Other matches on the Texas shows include Kevin Owens vs. Ryback for the IC title, Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev and Dean Ambrose vs. Big Show. While the other crew will be running three shows in Mexico on 16/10 in Merida at Coliseo Yucatan, 17/10 at Arena Mexico in Mexico City and 18/10 in Monterrey at Arena Monterrey. The Mexico crew features Undertaker, Ric Flair, Kane, Roman Reigns, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Chris Jericho, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, King Barrett, The Lucha Dragons, New Day, Paige, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch.