Cubed Circle Newsletter #56: Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame Class of 2012, New Japan iPPV Preview, Turning Point Go-Home + Much More!

For a full-colour PDF click here 

 

Cubed Circle Newsletter

 

We have a big newsletter for you this week, covering a bunch of different shows and topics. Hopefully this is a harbinger of things to come for the next few months in regard to content. In this newsletter we cover the Diamond Ring show from October 7th, the October 25th and 27th New Japan house shows, a preview of the upcoming New Japan iPPV, RAW, the rating, the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame class of 2012, the Turning Point go-home show and Ben Carass covers SmackDown and NXT! A rather large newsletter that I hope you enjoy.

 

Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame 2012 Results

 

The balloting results for the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame for 2012 have finally been released in this week’s Observer. There were a whopping six candidates that made it in this year, the majority of whom were, at least for me, very unexpected.

 

Something that I found even more surprising was the amount of people that got within one or two percent of getting in, which could have made this class even bigger.

 

The candidate who garnered the largest percentage out of anyone on the ballot this year was a British wrestling star, but probably not the one that you were expecting. It wasn’t in fact Big Daddy, who dropped from 44% last year to 23% this year, which was really surprising considering the amount of debate that went into Big Daddy’s legitimacy as a candidate. No, instead it was one of the biggest stars in British pro wrestling for two decades Mick McManus.

 

This came as a surprise to me, because I was expecting Cena, Tanahashi, the Rock and Roll Express, Hans Schmidt, the Assassins and either Big Daddy or Bill Apter to get in. I am not too knowledgeable on the subject; although from what I have seen and read McManus seems like a great inductee. He garnered 78% this year up from last year’s 56%.

 

Next was Dr. Alfonso Morales, a Mexican announcer that I have absolutely no knowledge of. I wouldn’t have been able to predict his induction this year for anything, because his induction came almost completely out of the blue, up a huge 51% from last year’s 23%.

 

John Cena, who practically everyone expected to get in did, with 71% and nothing else to compare it to, because this was his first year on the ballot. Cena who is the closest you will get to a lock for the Hall of Fame in North American wrestling today would have gotten a higher percentage, but his biggest detracting factor was the fact that he his still active as a maineventer – and even though it isn’t mentioned on the ballot, many people are reluctant to vote for younger wrestlers.

 

Hans Schmidt who unfortunately passed away earlier this year was also inducted into the Hall of Fame. He came very close last year with 58%, coming 2% shy of the 60% minimum. His induction this year was probably a result of his name being recognized more because of his death and the fact that some new information has surfaced on his career. He was a mainevent heel during the 1950s and was one of the top heels of the 1950s; so I have no complaints there.

 

Lou Albano also made it in this year. Considering the fact that he had 56% last year it isn’t that much of a surprise that he made it in; although many people, including myself, failed to even mention him as a candidate for one reason of another. He was an important manager during the WWWF days and also during the early 80s and WWF.

 

Then there was Gus Sonnenberg, someone that wasn’t on the ballot as far  as I know, but was inducted by a select group of historians, I believe. This is a good step forward as there are many historical candidates that should be in the Hall of Fame; many of whom are from the pre-World War I era.

 

A few people showed a very large increase in votes this year, namely Dr. Wagner Sr. who was on the ballot for the first time this year. He garnered 59.7% of the vote, which like the Assassins last is pretty crushing for people that voted for him. I don’t know much about lucha, but from people that I have spoken to and things I have heard he is a lock for the Hall of Fame.

 

Jesse Ventura came 1% short up 7% from last year. I found this pretty strange for no other reason than there was nothing to warrant the increase. I don’t viewVenturaas a Hall of Famer, but obviously a lot of people do.

 

Kensuke Sasaki came within 1% as well and is a strong candidate. He went from 45% last year to 59% this year. Carlos Colon was up by 4% this year also coming 1% shy of induction, which still baffles me, as he seems to be the largest non-Japanese or American oversight.

 

Ivan Koloff saw some improvement along with Enrique Torres. This is almost certainly due to Koloff moving into the historical category from this year onwards and I would like to see him inducted in the coming years.

 

Some candidates that I had my eye on showed some change. Bill Apter, a person that I really think should be in the Hall of Fame showed an extremely significant increase rising from just 28% last year to 52% this year; a vast improvement. The Rock and Roll Express dropped down 4% from last year to 48%.

 

The person that many call the measuring stick for who should and shouldn’t make it into the Hall of Fame, Dick Murdoch, showed some increase this year rising from 42% last year to 45% this year. The Assassins sadly didn’t make it in and dropped from their impressive 59.6% to 46%; hopefully they make it in at some point.

 

Mike and Ben Sharpe on their first year on the ballot got 45% of the vote, which is respectable; although I can see them being one of those candidates that just can’t make it in.

 

Hiroshi Tanahashi who is also on the ballot for the first time this year only garnered 39% of the vote, and with all things being equal should have made it in this year. Cena made it in and Tanahashi is certainly New Japan’s equivalent and probably the best worker in the entire business. He should be inducted in the next couple of years, especially with the way his career is going.

 

Masahiko Kimura one of the biggest and most important stars in the early days of Japanese pro wrestling garnered a respectable 28%. It is going to take strong discussion or a vote among historians to get him votes in, at least in my view; although he really is worthy of the Hall of Fame.

 

Brock Lesnar another first time candidate garnered only 24% and unless he lights the world on fire with a hot angle at some point, I highly doubt that he will make it in.

 

Probably one of the most surprising occurrences of this year’s Hall of Fame results was Big Daddy. After the heated debates, and everyone getting riled up he actually dropped substantially in votes. He dropped from a very respectable 44% last year to 23% this year, almost halving his percentage. I don’t know if people were simply put off by the debate, or if the people opposed to Big Daddy won some people over, but this was surprising. Then again guys like Big Daddy often sway in and out of favour, which is a trend with a lot of guys on the ballot.

 

Then talking about favour, and everyone that knows me knows that I favour this person more than most of the ballot; Volk Han did not in fact make it in. No, in fact he dropped 5% from his 47% last year, which really brought pain to my soul. In my view Volk Han is far and away one of the greatest technical and most believable wrestlers in the history of the business and so should be awarded as such.

 

One RINGS wrestler did do more favourably; in fact he was one of Volk Han’s most famed opponents. Kiyoshi Tamura gained a hefty 18% leaving him at 40%, which is really respectable for a person in a position such as his.

 

Unfortunately, every year there are people that are removed from the ballot and this year was no exception. Jeff Hardy, Kane, Buddy Rose, Perro Aguayo Jr., Marty Jones and Chief Jay Strongbow are all off of the list. Strongbow is someone that really surprises me considering the fact that he past away earlier this year. Buddy Rose should be on the ballot still, as he was a big draw inPortland. In fact, I have never understood why he doesn’t get in the upper 40% range.

 

There are a few people making it onto the ballot next year, some of which I am very happy about. Jimmy Hart, Jim Crocket Sr., Dave Brown, Yuji Nagata, Stanley Weston, Brad Armstrong, Takashi Matsunaga and Ken Patera are all being added to the ballot.

 

I am particularly happy about Nagata, who I talked about a few weeks back. I honestly believe that he is a decent candidate, and while he probably won’t make it in at this point, him getting on the ballot is definitely a positive. Jim Crocket Sr. is another really strong candidate.

 

I don’t see Stanley Weston getting in, because even though he held a higher position than Apter, Apter would probably get in before Weston and Apter isn’t going to get in for a while.

 

As a whole I am really happy with this year’s class. I can’t complain about any of the inductees, which is the case almost every year. Volk Han didn’t make it in, but then again that has to do with my personal obsession and nothing else. One negative/positive is the fact that Big Daddy didn’t make it in. I didn’t think that he was a Hall of Famer, but now we have to deal with more senseless debate.

 

Still, I look forward to what next year brings, including the debate, because after all that is in someways the best part of the Hall of Fame. Even if in cases like Big Daddy’s people get out of hand.

 

Diamond Ring Osaka Tournament October 7th 2012

Osaka, Japan

Overall Thoughts

 

I really wasn’t expecting much out of this show and pretty much got what I was expecting. My main problem with the show was the fact that the undercard was so lacklustre and the top two matches weren’t all that strong. However, the Nakajima match still delivered as I suspected it would have, considering it was Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masato Tanaka. The tag match really wasn’t on the same level as their singles match from a while back, but then again that wasn’t what I was expecting.

 

This is probably the third Diamond Ring show that has surfaced that I know of and only the second that I have seen and considering that I haven’t really seen much of guys like Namazu Man and Kikutaro, I wasn’t fond of their act. I have nothing against them, but that kind of comedy simply isn’t for me; although I assume some people enjoy it.

 

The mainevent was good; although it really wasn’t anything spectacular. As a whole the show was completely missable apart from the Nakajima match, which isn’t must see by any stretch, but was still very good.

 

1. Hide Kubota & Yasu Kubota vs. Kikutaro & Namazu Man

 

Namazu man and Kikutaro did some comedy. Hide and Kikutaro faced off. There was some stalling on Kikutaro’s part, but he was proud of himself landing a shoulderblock. Both men posed and Hide knocked Kikutaro down with an actual shoulderblock. Hide went to make the tag, but was pulled back by his shirt. He landed the people’s elbow style elbow and made a very light tag to Namazu. Namazu landed some slaps to the chest and was caught with a low blow. Hide pulled Namazu’s legs apart to reveal a hole in his pants. What is this? Yasu came in and he landed a body slam. Hide was tagged back in landing a double foot stomp. Namazu took a break on the outside, but was eventually kicked and thrown back in. Hide locked in aBostoncrab, Kikutaro taunted some interference, but decided against it. Namazu landed a couple of slaps to the chest of Yasu, which the fans clapped along with. Namazu walked the tight rope, was hung up, but sprung right back up with an armdrag. Kikutaro was back in and he landed a few lariats. They were no sold and he knocked Hide to the outside and landed a Death Valley Driver on Yasu for two. Kikutaro yelled something that the fans found amusing, but was caught with a suplex from Yasu. Hide landed a couple of atomic drops and a chinbreaker. He stayed on his feet however and landed a dragonscrew. Namazu flew in after a tag and landed a leapfrog and tiger kick. Namazu landed a bodypress and followed it with some slaps. He went for something, but was hung up by Yasu who landed a couple of back splashes with Hide and a guillotine legdrop for two. Hide and Yasu sent Namazu and Kikutaro into each other and Hide landed the angels’ wings for the win. I have absolutely no idea what to make of this.

* ¼

2. CHANGO & Satoshi Kajiwara vs. K-ness & Kenichiro Arai

 

K-ness and Arai jumped CHANGO and Kajiwara before the match. K-ness was caught with a flying head scissors by Kajiwara. He blocked an Asai moonsault from Kajiwara and a brawl broke out. They brawled over the arena. They eventually landed up on the balcony and K-ness attempted to throw Arai over, but they were counted out. K-ness and Arai seemed incredibly happy with this. CHANGO and Kajiwara eventually got the match restarted. K-ness and Arai were in control of CHANGO wearing him down. Arai landed a suplex and grabbed a two count. CHANGO landed a missile dropkick and went to tag in Kajiwara, but he was kicked off of the apron. CHANGO landed a flurry of elbows on K-ness and almost made the tag, but Arai was once again thrown to the outside. They continued to wear CHANGO down Kajiwara was finally tagged in and he landed an Asai moonsault onto both men. Kajiwara landed a missile dropkick on Arai for two and exchanged chops with K-ness. K-ness lowblowed Kajiwara and rolled him up for two. Kajiwara landed a facebuster and front kick for two. K-ness went for another low blow, but Kajiwara blocked and locked in an abdominal stretch. CHANGO went after Arai and landed a big dropkick on K-ness. Kajiwara then landed a Death Valley Driver for two. Kajiwara went to the top rope, but Arai hit him with a bucket! K-ness and Arai initiated another brawl. K-ness locked in a figure four on the outside and Kajiwara almost made it back in, but was cut off with a bucket shot for the double count out.

**

3. Mitsuhiro Kitamiya vs. Ryouji Sai

Kitamiya locked in a hold on the arm. Sai locked in a headlock and Kitamiya respond with a dropkick. He went for a slam, but Sai blocked it and landed a bodyslam of his own. Sai slammed the chest of Kitamiya and this led to a battle of slaps and elbows. Sai got the better of the exchange and locked in a chinlock and then transitioned to a camel clutch. Kitamiya made his way to the ropes and was kicked in the back for the count of two. Sai locked in aBoston crab and then went to a single legBoston crab wrenching back on the knee. Sai landed a couple of stiff kicks in the corner, but was caught with an elbow from Kitamiya. Kitamiya landed a missile dropkick. Sai responded with some kicks to the chest, Kitamiya landed a flurry of elbows and knocked Sai down with a big strike. He teed off with running forearms and finally knocked Sai down after the third try. Kitamiya went to the top rope, but was caught with a stiff vertical suplex for two. Sai landed another suplex, but Kitamiya kicked out at two. Sai then landed a double knee gutbuster for the win. This was the first legitimate, serious match of the night. There were no holds in either man’s tights and certainly no buckets.

***

4. Katsuhiko Nakajima & Tsurugi vs. Masato Tanaka & Magnitude Kishiwada

Tsurugi and Kishiwada started off. They exchanged shoulderblocks, neither man would budge, but finally Kishiwada knocked Tsurugi off of his feet. They exchanged chops and Tsurugi got the better of that exchange. Nakajima and Tanaka were tagged in. They continued from where they left off in their previous match with a huge elbow exchange. Nakajima landed some big kicks, Tanaka blocked one, but was caught with one big kick to the chest. They exchanged some holds on the mat and worked back up to their feet. Tsurugi was tagged in and he wore Tanaka down further. Tanaka knocked Nakajima off of the apron and tagged Kishiwada in. He went after the mask of Tsurugi and landed a bodyslam and back senton. Kishiwada and Tanaka stomped Tsurugi in the corner. Tanaka landed a few elbows and followed it with a flying forearm. Tsurugi blocked a suplex and landed one of his own. The tag was made to Nakajima and he knocked Kishiwada off of the apron. Nakajima landed a few kicks, these fired Tanaka up and they had an elbow exchange. Nakajima landed a yakuza kick, Tanaka a lariat and Nakajima took Tanaka down with a big boot. Nakajima landed a kick to the chest of Tanaka and hung him up allowing for a boot to the outside. Nakajima landed a kick on the apron and they slapped and chopped each other on the outside. Nakajima landed a suplex on the floor. Back in the ring Nakajima landed a missile dropkick for two. Nakajima pulled back on the arms of Tanaka and locked in a headlock. Tsurugi was tagged back in and he locked in a single legBostoncrab. Tsurugi and Nakajima strangled Tanaka and landed a scoopslam. Nakajima landed a few more kicks for two. Tsurugi was tagged back in and he landed a suplex. Tanaka cut him off with a lariat and tagged Kishiwada in. Nakajima ran in, Kishiwada went for a suplex, Tsurugi broke it up and Kishiwada landed a double lariat. Kishiwada landed a moonsault and he and Tsurugi went at it. Tsurugi landed a lariat and a suplex for two. Nakajima was tagged in. He landed kicks to the back and chest of Kishiwada and a dropkick to the knee. Nakajima locked in a crossface, Kishiwada made it out, Nakajima landed a flurry of strikes, but Kishiwada landed a German and tagged in Tanaka. Tanaka landed a couple of lariats and Kishiwada landed a top rope powerbomb. Both men went to the top rope and landed dual splashes for two. Nakajima landed a boot on Tanaka and he and Tsurugi landed  a lariat boot combo on Tanaka. Nakajima landed a suplex for two and a back suplex. Tsurugi landed an elbow and Nakajima a kick. Nakajima got a brainbuster, but Kishiwada broke it up. Nakajima landed a flurry of superkicks, Nakajima missed a spinkick, but Nakajima landed a big boot. He was cut off by Kishiwada who landed a powerbomb and Tanaka landed a sliding-D for two. He landed another for the win. This was a very good match; although it did go long.

*** ½

5. Kensuke Sasaki & Kento Miyahara vs. Kohei Sato & Yoshikazu Yokoyama

 

Miyahara and Yokoyama started off. They had an athletic exchange and transitioned into a chop exchange. They exchanged some elbows and Miyahara got the better of the exchange. Sato and Sasaki were tagged in. They engaged in a battle of strength and exchange some chops. Yokoyama was tagged in and he landed a flurry of chops. Yokoyama landed some strong chops, but they were no match for Sasaki’s. He made the tag to Miyahara. He landed some elbows to the back of Yokoyama and Sasaki landed a suplex. Yokoyama landed some chops, but he was knocked to the mat by Sasaki. Miyahara was tagged back in and he went after Sato who was not the legal man. Sato fought back with some kicks on the outside and landed a shot with the chair. They exchange elbows and Sasaki and Yokoyama went at it in the ring. Sato got the better of Miyahara and threw him back into the ring. Yokoyama was in control of Miyahara in the ring. Sato and Miyahara exchanged elbows in the ring. Sato made the tag to Yokoyama. Yokoyama locked in a single legBostoncrab on Miyahara. Sato and Yokoyama continued the heat. Sasaki was finally tagged in and he unloaded on Sato with chops. Sasaki landed a lariat, a knee and a DDT and knocked Sato down with a big lariat. Sasaki and was knocked down by Sato and Yokoyama was tagged in. He landed a flying forearm on Sasaki for two, Yokoyama was caught with a chop and Miyahara was tagged in. They exchanged elbows; Miyahara landed an elbow for the count of two. Yokoyama landed a backsuplex again for two. Sasaki was knocked off of the apron. Miyahara was caught with a top rope kneedrop from Sato and senton from Yokoyama for two. Miyahara landed a superkick and powerbomb for two. Miyahara fought away from a double team attempt and made the tag to Sasaki and he landed a huge lariat on Yokoyama for the win.

*** ¼

NJPW 40th Anniversary Road to Power Struggle Toyohashi October 25th 2012

Toyohashi, Aichi, Japan

Overall Thoughts

 

This was a standard New Japan house show. There was nothing bad on the show, but nothing really spectacular either. The crowd wasn’t all that big with roughly one thousand people in attendance, but they were hot for everything so it really didn’t matter all too much. There were some empty seats, but I would say that 80% of the visible seats were full.

 

I would recommend the show if there is nothing else going on and if you are interested in some fun pro wrestling, but there was nothing on here that was worth going out of your way for; except for the awesome finish to the Suzuki-gun match, but that is more of a personal fascination more than anything else. The show ran just under two hours, but you get easily get through it in one and a half, as there were a lot of breaks and commercials.

1. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Takaaki Watanabe

 

They started out in a lock up, but Ishii quickly overpowered Watanabe. Watanabe looked to engage Ishii in a battle of strength and landed a couple of elbows. Ishii blocked a powerslam and Watanabe landed a shoulder block knocking Ishii off of his feet. He got Ishii up for a bodyslam and this time landed it. He landed some chops, but Ishii no sold. Ishii responded with chops of his own, which Watanabe sold really strong. Watanabe fired back with strikes of his own, but was knocked back down to the mat with a forearm. Watanabe slapped Ishii and followed it with a few shops and shoves. Ishii proceeded to take Watanabe down with a forearm and bodyslam. Watanabe landed a flurry of forearms with Ishii letting him take shots, but he was hastily knocked back down. Ishii landed a few more shots in the corner, but couldn’t get Watanabe down for the three count. Watanabe fired back with shots once again, but was caught with a big forearm; sending him back to the mat. Watanabe went for a lariat, but was caught with a shoulderblock. Watanabe fired back with a couple of dropkicks. He landed a backsplash in the corner followed by a bulldog and landed a release double underhook suplex for two. Ishii landed a vertical suplex and landed a huge lariat in the corner for two. Ishii landed a flurry of elbows, but Watanabe was able stay on his feet and connected with a flying forearm knocking Ishii to the mat. A heated elbow exchange ensued, but Ishii cut Watanabe off with a slap. Watanabe kicked out just before the three count and was caught with more elbows upon making his way back up, but still he kicked out at two. Ishii went for a forearm, but was caught with one by Watanabe. Watanabe grabbed a nearfall, but Ishii kicked out and landed a huge lariat for the win in 09:02.

 

This was a fun match. Watanabe showed his young lion fire and Ishii played the part of the veteran trying to stop the young babyface at every turn. This formula worked fine here; although it really was one being elbow exchange – something that I really didn’t mind.

** ¾

2. Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov & Rocky Romero) & Gedo vs. Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA) & Tiger Mask

 

KUSHIDA locked in a wristlock on Romero and went after the arm. He rolled through on the up and over and landed a few shots. He got a quick combination of armdrags and a dropkick before Romero scurried to Koslov for the tag. KUSHIDA tagged Tiger Mask in. Koslov bowed to Tiger Mask, but when Tiger Mask was distracted with Romero Koslov landed a cheap shot. Koslov proceeded to shout “we’re the f****** champs baby”. Tiger Mask landed a kick or two, Koslov lifted his hand, but Tiger Mask noticed Koslov’s shtick and landed a kick. Koslov slid over to Gedo who met Shelley. Shelley landed a flying head scissors, knocked Forever Hooligans off the apron and he and KSUHIDA landed some quick double teams. Shelley went for something, but Gedo threw him to the outside where he was picked apart by Koslov and Romero. Romero and Koslov tagged in and out on Shelley. Koslov threw around a few more expletives and tagged Gedo in. He superkicked Shelley in the stomach, taunted KUSHIDA and raked at the face of Shelley in the ropes. Koslov was tagged back in and he landed his lariats in the corner. Gedo and Koslov were upset that he wouldn’t let them in and this led to an argument and subsequent hug between the three. Koslov landed the Kazatzka kicks and tagged Romero back in. Shelley finally landed an enzuigiri and made the tag to Tiger Mask. He landed a couple of dropkicks and a few kicks in the corner followed by the Tiger Driver for two. Tiger Mask went for the tombstone, but it was broken up by Koslov. Tiger Mask landed a mule kick and made the tag to KUSHIDA who ran wild until Romero got the knees up on a standing moonsault. Romero landed his assisted lariat and knee in the corner, and Gedo landed a superkick for two. Shelley yelled out “f*** you” and landed a missile dropkick and tandem superkick with KUSHIDA. Tiger Mask landed a topé and KUSHIDA and Shelley landed double highkicks on Gedo and the sliced bread doomsday device for the win in 12:18. This was pretty much your typical junior six man tag.

***

3. Jushin Thunder Liger, BUSHI, & Negro Casas vs. Low Ki, Jado & Brian Kendrick

Jado and BUSHI started off. Jado landed some chops; wooing. He moved out of the way of a BUSHI dropkick and wooed some more. BUSHI executed a rolling cradle for two and Jado sold his dizziness by doing the Flair flop. Liger and Kendrick were tagged in. Kendrick locked in a front facelock, but Liger countered and locked in a guillotine. Kendrick made it to the ropes and Liger was forced to break. Liger locked in an inverted surfboard and choke combination. Casas and Ki were tagged in. Casas locked in a leg lock, Ki countered and went for an armbar, but they then transitioned to their feet. Ki landed a kick to the gut and basement dropkick to the back of the head for two. Casas unloaded with kicks and did his strut. Ki was not impressed and landed a big dropkick. Jado was tagged in. Jado landed some chops and raked the eyes of Casas. This was followed by the tag to Kendrick after all three men had strangled Casas in the corner; Kendrick locked in a sleeper with a body scissors. Kendrick landed a big lariat in the corner for the count of two; this led to Kendrick yelling expletives. Casas landed duel chops on Jado and Kendrick followed by a double dropkick. This led to the tag to Liger who went after Kendrick, he was cut off by Jado, but cut both men off with a double clothesline. He landed a backbreaker on Ki and a powerbomb for two. Kendrick landed a leg lariat and BUSHI was tagged in with Ki. He landed a flying head scissors and Ki landed some stiff chops. BUSHI cut Ki off with a highkick and a missile dropkick. The heel team was knocked off of the apron and Casas, Liger and BUSHI landed lariats in the corner. Jado ran back in. Ki landed the liger kick on BUSHI and Jado and Kendrick landed a dropkick leg sweep combo. A light brawl broke out. Ki went for the Ki Krush, but was head scissored into the turnbuckle. BUSHI went for a 450 splash, Ki moved and landed a running dropkick and the double foot stomp for the win in 13:06.

***

 

4. Shinsuke Nakamura, Takashi Iizuka & Toru Yano vs. Karl Anderson, Wataru Inoue & Captain New Japan

 

Anderson and Nakamura started off.Andersontook Nakamura down with an armdrag and went after the arm. They had an athletic exchange, Nakamura missed a stomp and they had a faceoff. Nakamura mockedAnderson’s machine gun taunt while strangling him in the corner.Andersonlanded a back senton yelling “gomen nasai” or “I’m sorry” in midair.  Inoue was tagged in and he went after Yano. He landed a flying forearm and some kicks. He followed it with an elbow and reverse over the shoulder piledriver for two. Inoue was thrown to the mat and then to the outside. He was destroyed by Iizuka and Yano knocked his partners off of the apron and down to the floor. Inoue was thrown into an exposed turnbuckle and Iizuka followed it with an Irish whip into the same post. Iizuka then grabbedAndersonand he suffered the same fate. Iizuka chocked Inoue with the buckle rope and covered him for two. Nakamura was tagged in and he landed his big running knee in the corner. Iizuka unloaded with stomps on Inoue, went for an Irish-whip, but Inoue landed one of his own. He almost made the tag, but Yano ran in and knocked his partners off of the apron. Finally Inoue landed a double spear and made the tag toAnderson. He landed a leg lariat on Nakamura and neckbreaker on Yano. Iizuka went for the pedigree, butAndersoncountered. Iizuka landed an atomic drop and made the tag to Nakamura. He landed kicks and an enzuigiri.Andersonfought out of something, but was caught with another enzuigiri. Nakamura missed the knee in the ropes and was caught with a knee and spinebuster fromAnderson. NewJapanwas tagged in and he landed a big shoulder block on Nakamura. Nakamura blocked a suplex and landed a knee, but was caught with an exploder. Nakamura’s team was knocked off of the apron and all three members of team Anderson landed lariats/knees in the corner. NewJapanlanded a chokeslam and taunted for what felt like years. He locked in theCaribbeandeath grip, it was broken up, but he landed a bodyslam. He went to the top rope, but missed the headbutt. This led to Yano landed a chair shot from through the ropes and Nakamura landing the Boma Ye for the win in 13:08.

 

This was a fun house show tag, but as always there were wacky shenanigans with Iizuka, Captain New Japan and Yano. It doesn’t detract from the match, but it is certainly limiting, because for all intense and purposes this was the same match as we always see – make of that what you will.

** ½

5. Minoru Suzuki, TAKA Michinoku, Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lance Archer & Taichi vs. Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Prince Devitt & Ryusuke Taguchi

 

Devitt and Michinoku started off. Devitt locked in a hold on the arm, but Michinoku made it out with an eye poke. Taichi came in and was caught with an Apollo 55 double team. A brawl broke out on the outside and Taguchi and Devitt feigned some dives. Tenzan and Smith were tagged in. Tenzan landed some Mongolian chops and a shoulderblock. The tag was made to Kojima and they landed their slingshot elbow legdrop combo. Kojima landed the machine gun chops, which brought a delightful smile to Kojima’s face. It was short lived however as Suzuki-gun ran in and knocked his teammates off of the apron. Smith and Archer landed their backbreaker legdrop combo and Archer was tagged in. They landed double shoulderblocks and a splash/legdrop combo. Archer landed a bodyslam and covered Kojima with one foot across the chest. Taichi was tagged in. He landed Mongolian chops mocking Tenzan and even did some light machine gun chops mocking Kojima. Michinoku landed a knee and Taichi a lariat in the corner. Suzuki was tagged in and he landed some chops in the corner. He locked in a kimura and landed a few knees. He went for a boot, but was caught with an ace crusher from Kojima. Nagata was tagged in and he really did run wild. He landed a big boot and exploder on Suzuki. Suzuki landed a knee, Nagata sat up, he landed another, but Nagata sat up again. Suzuki teased another knee, but instead like a great member of Suzuki-gun he landed a very short, very brief kick. Taichi was tagged in and he saluted Nagata, but he was caught with a knee. Suzuki-gun took the other team to the outside while Taguchi, no the legal man, was doubleteamed. Taichi was a victim of the inverse. Taichi tore the pants off, but Taguchi ducked the highkick and landed the underhook facebuster. Suzuki ran in with the Gotch piledriver and threw Taichi half way across the ring for the win in 12:51.

 

The match really wasn’t anything special apart from the Suzuki and Nagata stuff, but the finish was just so incredibly awesome. Suzuki runs in and hits a piledriver for Taichi, but instead of letting him crawl to the pin he threw him through the air onto Taguchi. If nothing else the Suzuki-gun antics were fun as always.

***

6. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto & Togi Makabe vs. Kazuchika Okada, Yujiro Takahashi & YOSHI-HASHI

 

For one reason or another HASHI came out with a Dragon Ball/Journey to the West style red extending pole. Before the match Takahashi cut a promo on Tanahashi. Tanahashi’s hair was a lot lighter than usual.

 

Takahashi and Tanahashi started off. They had a battle of strength, but Yujiro bit the hand of Tanahashi. Tanahashi landed a springboard bodypress and made the tag to Goto. Okada was tagged in by Yujiro. Okada was taken down with a headlock, Okada fought out, but was knocked down with a shoulder block. They had an athletic exchange, which culminated in Goto going for the rainmaker which the crowd popped for. HASHI was tagged in and he landed some chops and boots. Goto fired back with a hip toss and kick to the midsection. The tag was made to Makabe who landed some lariats in the corner and unloaded on HASHI. Makabe landed a double underhook bridging suplex for two and knocked Okada off of the apron. However, the distraction allowed HASHI to throw Makabe to the outside and a brawl broke out. Okada went after Goto, Tanahashi after Yujiro and HASHI after Goto (strangling him with his Dragon Ball pole). I liked the idea of this brawl, because it helped build to Power Struggle. HASHI strangled Makabe in the corner and tagged in Okada. Okada locked in a headlock and made the tag to Takahashi. Takahashi took a cheap shot on Tanahashi and booted him off of the apron. HASHI, the now legal man, landed some boots on Makabe back in the ring. Okada was tagged in and he landed a basement dropkick. Makabe landed a powerslam on Okada and made the tag to Goto. Goto landed a couple of kicks, was caught with a boot from Okada, but fired back with a big lariat. Okada’s partners were knocked off of the apron and Goto landed a backdrop driver. Okada got off of the shoulders of Goto and landed the belly to back over the shoulder over the knee neckbreaker. Their partners brawled on the outside and Okada landed an elbow drop. He wet for the rainmaker, but Goto countered with a big German suplex. Goto went for a suplex, Okada went for the rainmaker, Goto countered, but Okada landed one of his huge dropkicks. Takahashi and Tanahashi were tagged in. Tanahashi landed a sling blade and landed a senton for two. Both men exchanged elbows, but Takahashi gained the better of Tanahashi with a belly to belly suplex. He landed a fisherman’s buster and went for Tokyo Pimps, Tanahashi countered, but he landed a backbreaker for two. He went for the deadlift German, but Tanahashi countered with a sling blade. Tanahashi went for the tag, but HASHI was tagged in and he broke it up. Tanahashi fought back with an elbow, but was cut off with a clothesline. Okada, Takahashi and HASHI landed shots in the corner with HASHI landing a suplex and a neckbreaker for two. HASHI set up for a senton, but Tanahashi moved out of the way. He was cut off by Goto, he was in turn cut off by Okada, but Makabe ran in with lariats clearing the ring. Finally Tanahashi landed the sling blade and highfly flow for the win in 16:31.

*** ¼

 

NJPW 40th Anniversary Road to Power Struggle Niigata October 27th 2012

Niigata, Japan

Overall Thoughts

 

In many ways this was just a revised version of the October 25th card. Most of the matchups were similar and the opener even had some of the similar spots. Still, it was a better show. This was in part due to some of the unique matches on the show. I found the Suzuki-gun versus Iizuka/Yano tag match phenomenally entertaining; with both teams trying to one-up each other when it comes to heelish tactics.

 

The mainevent was also better on this night and I think that was due to no YOSHI-HASHI in the match; instead he was relegated to a match with Captain New Japan and even that was fun in its own way.

 

Although the “only watch this if you have nothing else” philosophy reigns true for this card, it does to a far lesser extent, because there really were some quality matchups and moments on the show. It wasn’t the greatest thing in the world, there were no great matches much like the show on the 25th, but it really was fun.

1. Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov & Rocky Romero) & Gedo vs. Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA) & Negro Casas

 

Casas and Gedo started off with some mat work after a battle of words between both teams. Both men exchanged quick pins and this led to a fiery chop battle. Gedo landed a few elbows thinking he got the better of Casas, but Casas landed a big flying elbow and sent Gedo to his partners’ corner. Koslov and Shelley were tagged in. They exchanged a few forearms and Shelley landed a head scissors. KUSHIDA was tagged in and he landed a back elbow into Koslov’s teammates, this allowed for Shelley and him to land a double team. KUSHIDA was distracted with Romero and this allowed for Koslov to take advantage. Romero and Koslov wore KUSHIDA down on the outside and Koslov tagged Romero in for their atomic drop clothesline combo. The tag was made to Gedo and he raked his boot over the face of KUSHIDA. Romero did his usual lariat shtick in the corner and this led to a shoving contest and of course, a hug. Romero made the tag to Koslov who came in with a springboard splash. He then grabbed his hat and did the Kazatzka kicks. Koslov locked in a front facelock and made the tag to Romero. KUSHIDA fought back with an enzuigiri and handspring back elbow. The tag was made to Casas and he no sold the chops of Romero, who got the better of the exchange with a front kick. This didn’t stop Casas for long however, he landed a flying head scissors and got a rollup for two. Shelley was tagged back in and he landed a big enzuigiri on Romero. He went for sliced bread, Romero countered with an enzuigiri and made the tag to Gedo. He landed a superkick to a grounded Shelley for the count of two and Gedo was sent into Koslov by Shelley. KUSHIDA flew in with a standing moonsault on Gedo and he and Shelley double teamed Koslov. They landed their front facelock dropkick combo and followed it with dual highkicks. They then landed the sliced bread doomsday on Gedo for the win in 11:39.

 

This was a very similar match to the junior tag on the October 25th show. However, I enjoyed this one more only to a slight extent; mainly due to Casas.

***

2. YOSHI-HASHI vs. Captain NewJapan

 

HASHI strangled New Japan in the corner. NewJapanfought back with a shoulderblock, but was taken back down with a suplex from HASHI. HASHI took New Japan to the outside, grabbed his pole and proceeded to beat New Japan with it! He landed a basement dropkick to the gut of New Japan and locked in an abdominal stretch. HASHI landed a few chops and knocked New Japan to the mat with an axefist for two. NewJapanfought back with a big suplex and proceeded to take HASHI down with a shoulderblock. NewJapanlanded a splash in the corner and an exploder. He then signalled for theCaribbeanchoke hold, but HASHI got the better of New Japan with strikes. NewJapancut HASHI off with a body slam and went to the top rope. He missed the headbutt and HASHI landed a lariat for two. HASHI then landed the swanton bomb for the win in 08:19. It was what you would expect.

**

3. TAKA Michinoku, Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer vs. Jado, Takashi Iizuka & Toru Yano

 

Iizuka came out rampaging as usual and Yano was hawking his new best of DVD; pointing to hit with his water bottle. Archer and Iizuka had a great faceoff before the match, with Archer wearing a wacky helmet with one horn and Iizuka holding a chair. Iizuka and Yano ambushed Suzuki-gun before the match – standard fair. Jado was in control of Michinoku in the ring, throwing him face first into the exposed turnbuckle. The tag was made to Yano and Michinoku was bumping all over the place. Iizuka strangled Michinoku with the rope and Michinoku sold it like Justin Roberts would a necktie. Jado landed a few chops and Michinoku snuck behind him poking his back and making him dizzy. Jado Flair flopped for the tag, but landed just short. This resulted in Suzuki-gun knocking his partners off of the apron and a brawl broke out on the outside. Michinoku choked Jado with his foot in the ropes and did the peace sign into the camera. Archer walked towards a lady with a child and they cowered. Smith was tagged in and he and Archer double teamed Jado. They landed their splash/legdrop combo and rammed the referee into the turnbuckle. Archer landed a splash in the corner and Michinoku landed a high knee in the corner for two. Michinoku locked in a sleeper hold and Jado rolled Michinoku up for two. Michinoku made the tag to Archer and he and Smith knocked Yano and Iizuka off of the apron once again. Jado somehow outsmarted Archer and Smith and sent them crashing into each other making the tag to Yano. He tried to move Archer, but couldn’t. Yano offered him a handshake and locked on a hard grip. Yano got this loock on his face like he had outsmarted Archer, but Archer locked on a stronger grip. However Yano pulled Archer down by his air and rammed Archer into exposed turnbuckle for two. Iizuka grabbed a cheap shot and Yano landed a low blow. However, Archer fought back with a double clothesline and it was time for Michinoku/Jado part two. Jado landed a knee and a neckbreaker/legsweep combo into a crossface. Archer broke it up and this led to a brawl between Yano, Iizuka, Archer and Smith once again. Finally after a heated exchange Michinoku grabbed the win with an eye poke and shove on Jado in 12:08.

 

This match was tons of fun. The match was basically about who was dirtier, Suzuki-gun or Iizuka and Yano. This resulted in a really entertaining game of one-upmanship. It was filled with your usual antics, but because you had two heel teams in there it didn’t feel stale at all.

** ¾

 

4. Minoru Suzuki & Taichi vs. Manabu Nakanishi & BUSHI

 

Suzuki and Nakanishi started off. Suzuki called for a test of strength, but soon crumbled down in a heap. Suzuki landed a few chops and shots and Nakanishi responded with a bodyslam. He landed some chops of his own and took Suzuki down with a lariat. BUSHI was tagged in, but Suzuki shot in with a boot on Nakanishi and a brawl ensued on the outside. BUSHI landed a flying head scissors on Taichi followed by a corkscrew plancha. Suzuki locked in a guillotine in the second rope on Nakanishi, but even though neither man was legal the referee forced for a break. Taichi grabbed a chair and landed shots on BUSHI on the outside while Suzuki went after Nakanishi. BUSHI was thrown into a wall and Suzuki detached the entire barricade. Taichi began to undo BUSHI’s mask on the top rope and was eventually pushed off. Suzuki came in with a big kick on BUSHI and stood on his face. Taichi was tagged in and he landed a kick to the gut for the count of two. Suzuki landed some shots in the corner, but BUSHI responded with a big missile dropkick. Nakanishi thought that BUSHI had made the tag, so he got ready to dash through the ropes, when the referee informed him that the tag was not made; he had to go back to the apron and get tagged back in. Nakanishi landed a flurry of chops and ran wild with a big suplex regardless. Nakanishi landed a kneedrop and landed his big lariat. He went for the torture rack, but Taichi ran in to break it up. However, Nakanishi fought him off and locked it in anyway. Suzuki countered into a sleeper and went for the Gotch piledriver, but BUSHI broke it up. BUSHI caught him with a running dropkick and was tagged in along with Taichi. BUSHI landed a highkick and missile dropkick. He grabbed a rolling cradle for two, because Suzuki was there to break it up. Once again he went at it with Nakanishi on the outside. Taichi ripped the tights off and was caught with a dropkick to the knee. He went for a suplex, but BUSHI landed a DDT and bodypress for two. The referee was pulled out of the ring by Michinoku and Suzuki locked in the sleeper hold. Nakanishi broke it up, but Suzuki caught him with a sleeper. Taichi then grabbed the Taichi Clutch for the win in 11:48. After the match BUSHI was unmasked and covered his face with a town. Taichi wore the BUSHI mask after the match. I assume this will lead to something down the line.

** ½

 

5. Prince Devitt, Ryusuke Taguchi & Karl Anderson vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Low Ki & Brian Kendrick

 

There was a pull apart and shoving contest between Devitt and Low Ki before the match and as soon as the bell rang they went at it. Devitt landed a dropkick on Ki, but was cut off by Kendrick. He and Taguchi took Kendrick to the outside and both feigned dives. Kendrick and Taguchi were tagged in and Kendrick offered him a handshake. Finally, Taguchi accepted but was kicked in the gut for his trouble. Taguchi grabbed him by the hair and they and they had a brief exchange. Taguchi landed an armdrag and both men landed dropkicks. Nakamura and Anderson were tagged in. They too had an athletic exchange andAndersongrabbed an armhold.Andersonlanded a leg lariats, a few shots and tagged Taguchi in. Taguchi landed a springboard bulldog and landed a few chops. Taguchi did some wacky Shawn Michaels, sweet chin music style taunts, but was cut off by Nakamura who landed his knee in the corner. Nakamura landed a knee on Taguchi and tagged in Ki. Taguchi fought back with a flurry of elbows, but Ki landed a mule kick for two. Kendrick was tagged in and he locked in a camel clutch,Andersonran in to break it up and Nakamura was tagged in. Nakamura landed an enzuigiri and tagged in Low Ki who locked in an abdominal stretch. Taguchi landed a missile dropkick and finally made the tag to Devitt who sprung off of Ki’s back into Kendrick with a dropkick. He ran wild on both men. He landed a topé con giro onto both men and dragged Ki back into the ring. He went for a double foot stomp, Ki moved, Kendrick ran in, but was taken out by Taguchi. Devitt went for a pelé, but couldn’t get the height and it looked sloppy. Anderson and Nakamura were tagged in. Nakamura landed a facebuster and missed his knee in the corner allowing forAndersonto land a powerbomb for two. He went for the fireman’s carry gunstun, but Nakamura got out, landed a kick and made the tag to Kendrick. Kendrick landed a big tornado DDT and a superkick. He then landed the sliced bread, but Devitt and Taguchi broke it up.Andersonlanded a running dropkick and went for the gunstun, but Kendrick grabbed a backslide for two.Andersonfinally landed the gunstun out of nowhere for the win in 14:32.

*** ¼

6. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, & Togi Makabe vs. Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii & Yujiro Takahashi

 

Tanahashi and Takahashi had another faceoff before the match. Tanahashi locked in a kimura on Yujiro and they fought in and out of holds. Takahashi pulled Tanahashi’s hair and bit the hand of Tanahashi. Takahashi landed a jumping knee, but Tanahashi responded with a dropkick to the knee of Takahashi. The tags were made to Makabe and Ishii. They had an elbow exchange and went at it nonstop for about a minute and a half. Makabe landed a bodyslam and Ishii made the tag to Okada. Goto was tagged in. Goto landed a flurry of kicks and Okada responded with an uppercut and flapjack. Ishii and Yujiro knocked Makabe and Tanahashi off of the apron. This led to a brawl on the outside. Okada locked a chinlock, but Goto made it to the ropes. Takahashi was tagged in and he landed a few shots on Goto. Tanahashi had the audacity to be on the apron and he was forcefully booted off. Ishii chopped Goto in the corner, but Goto fought back with slaps. Once again his partners were knocked off of the apron and he too was knocked down with an elbow. Okada was tagged in and he landed a really quick basement dropkick. Goto landed some elbows and a slap, he went for his neckbreaker, but Okada fought out and landed his belly to back over the shoulder over the knee neckbreaker. Okada was caught with a German suplex and the tags were made to Tanahashi and Yujiro. Tanahashi landed a bodyslam and followed it with a top rope senton. Tanahashi landed a dragon screw on Ishii and Yujiro. Yujiro landed a couple of elbows, Tanahashi responded with some of his own, but Yujiro landed a belly to belly suplex and Olympic slam for two. Yujiro went for the deadlift German, but Tanahashi fought out and landed a sling blade. He went to the top, but was caught by Okada and a belly to belly suplex from Yujiro. Ishii was tagged in and landed jabs and elbows on Tanahashi, but Tanahashi was able to land a springboard splash. Tanahashi made the tag to Makabe and he knocked Ishii’s teammates off of the apron and started landing some shots in the corner. He landed a northern lights suplex, but Ishii kicked out at two. Ishii landed a snap powerslam, Tanahashi broke it up, but he, together with Goto, were taken to the outside by Takahashi and Okada. Ishii landed a superplex, but Makabe kicked out. Ishii went for a lariat was intercepted by Goto, who was caught by Yujiro, Tanahashi came in with a sling blade and Makabe landed a couple of lariats. Ishii landed a big lariat of his own for two, but Makabe set up for the King Kong knee for the win in 16:11.

*** ½

 

After the match there was another faceoff between the six.

 

New Japan Power Struggle This Weekend

 

New Japanis broadcasting its second international iPPV on Sunday the 11th live from the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium inOsaka,Japan. After their last internet-pay-per-view ‘Kings of Pro Wrestling’ being what will almost certainly be the best pro wrestling show of the year, expectations are high. Will it be better than that show? Maybe, but the mainevent cannot be that great.

 

The opener is for the Junior Tag Team championships with Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov & Rocky Romero) versus Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA). I am expecting a really fun match. They already wrestled on the last iPPV, but they have had more build to this match and both teams are really colourful. I am expecting Forever Hooligans to retain, simply because the Junior Tag Titles haven’t really been on a stable set of champions in some time.

 

Jushin Liger, Tiger Mask, Manabu Nakanishi, Negro Casas & Captain New Japan faceoff against Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, Jado, Takashi Iizuka & YOSHI-HASHI. I know exactly what to expect going into this match and that is your standard Yano/Iizuka fair. There will be brawling and chairs, but I can’t promise much else besides some wacky Jado bumps. I am not saying it won’t be fun, but it could very well be something that we have seen before.

 

Minoru Suzuki & Taichi will battle against the team of Yuji Nagata & Ryusuke Taguchi. While it isn’t a dream tag team match or anything, I am really looking forward to this. Suzuki and Nagata should have some great spots in store and the possibilities with Taguchi and Taichi are plentiful. I can guarantee some of your usual Suzuki-gun antics like Nagata being punted by Suzuki, sitting up a couple of times and then only getting taken down by a light kick and quick cover. This should be very fun.

 

In the Killer Elite Squad’s (Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer) first defence of their newly won IWGP Tag Team championships they face off against TenKoji looking to reclaim their titles. I would suspect that Killer Elite Squad will retain, since it is only their first defence and I think TenKoji as tag team champions have run their course. I don’t expect much out of the match, even though their match from the last internet-pay-per-view was much better than I expected.

 

Then in what should be the best match of the show, Prince Devitt attempts to reclaim his IWGP Junior Heavyweight title against the defending Low Ki. While their match from earlier this year was great I expect this match to be even better. Devitt and Ki are building up hatred towards one another and from what I’ve seen from the New Japan house shows that have surfaced they really do have something here. I think that this match could not only be the best match on the show, but one of the best junior matches of the entire year.

 

In a match that I am personally looking forward to Togi Makabe & Wataru Inoue face the invading team of Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata. This is a rematch from their Kings of Pro Wrestling match, which I was a big fan of. Even though there were worries about Sakuraba in particular he has been great, probably due to the fact that Shibata, who is a great worker, is able to handle the majority of the match.

 

Laughter 7 will be winning and of that I am almost certain; I can’t see it going any other way. They will probably destroy Inoue for most of the match and then move onto Makabe.

 

There is then the first of the Triple Mainevent matches that all have a sixty minute time limit. Kazuchika Okada defends his title shot at the Tokyo Dome against Hirooki Goto. I am really enjoying the Okada briefcase act and definitely think that he will retain here. Their match for the IWGP title was at the ‘**** 1/2’ level and so this match could be nearly as good, especially because it will probably get a lot of time.

 

Then for the IWGP Intercontinental championship Shinsuke Nakamura defends against Karl Anderson. The IWGP title has become an important fixture in New Japan, with strong booking and very strong wrestlers going after the title, so unlike the WWE intercontinental titles this match means a lot. Nakamura almost always has good singles matches andAndersonis a great worker in his own right. They had a ‘****’ match back in April and that match didn’t even get a lot of time. Now with the title on the line and time presumably not being a factor this should also be a candidate for match of the night

 

Finally in the mainevent Hiroshi Tanahashi defends the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Yujiro Takahashi. The way that New Japan has built this match has been masterful. Takahashi got two pinfall victories over Tanahashi in tag matches and one in a singles match; so he got the shot. Tanahashi has still been just as strong, but they have really built up another contender in Takahashi.

 

This match won’t be as good as Suzuki/Tanahashi, I don’t see how it could be. However, with that being said, Tanahashi has not had a bad match all year and Takahashi is a good worker. Therefore the match should be great; I don’t know if it will be the best match on the card, but it will certainly be a contender.

 

Simply put if you are a fan of pro wrestling order this show. It is available on U-stream and will probably feature four ****+ star matches and that something you simply don’t see anywhere else. Not only that, but every single match on this card is different and that is something that has become New Japan’ trademark over recent months. This will be a great show – order it now.

 

WWE Monday Night RAW November 5th 2012

Birmingham, England

 

Overall Thoughts

 

The good news about this show was that the crowd was exceptionally hot; the bad news was that even they were killed off by the three hour blues. There were a total of ten matches on this show and that is a lot to sit through, especially when a lot of it isn’t that good.

 

The Barrett angle made no sense whatsoever. Barrett joined Team Punk, but then Team Punk became no more and now where does that leave him? Plus, what happens to Mick Foley now? Punk is out of the match and therefore there really isn’t any point in putting him in the match. Honestly when things like this happen I am convinced that they changed their minds halfway through the show.

 

I liked some aspects of the Maddox angle and the fact that they are building up to a match next week, but I don’t know how things are going to work out from there on. Overall this was another three hour RAW, there was some good, some bad and a lot of mediocre.

 

The show opened up with an Impact style recap. It honestly feels like WWE creative is stealing ideas from Impact. Miz was backstage with Heyman. Miz complained about how Punk fled last week. Heyman said that it was the art of war and everyone on Team Punk had to be on the same page. Miz said that Heyman and Punk were in it for themselves and quit. They then cut to another soap opera style intro, this time with the Cena/Vickie angle together with the Brad Maddox reveal. I really hope this was just for theUKtour.

 

1. Rey Mysterio, R-Truth & Sin Cara vs. Antonio Cesaro & The Prime Time Players

 

They aired some tOuts from Cesaro and R-Truth. Sin Cara landed a flying head scissors and made the tag to Truth. The tag was made to Young. Mysterio landed a leg drop and a flurry of elbows in the corner, but he was thrown into the turnbuckle. The tag was made to ‘O Neal as the fans chanted for Sin Cara. The tag was made to Cara and he and Mysterio landed stereo highkicks. Truth was tagged in. After the break Truth and Cara were wearing down Young. Sin Cara flipped Young indiscriminately and botched the springboard armdrag; simply walking on the second rope. Mysterio went for the 619, but Cesaro tagged himself in and intercepted with a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker in a great spot. ‘O Neal was back in and he landed a few backbreakers and tagged Cesaro in. Cesaro landed a suplex and locked in a front facelock halting Mysterio from making his way to the corner. Mysterio reversed a backbreaker into a DDT and made the tag to Truth. He ran wild. ‘O Neal was bridged to the outside and R-Truth landed a chinbreaker. Sin Cara dropkicked Young to the outside. Sin Cara landed a flying head scissors on Cesaro, allowing for the 619 and Truth landed the Lil Jimmy for the win.

 

Some tweets from Vickie Guerrero were shown and a commercial aired for the return of Jerry Lawler next week. A recap aired of last week’s Cena/Vickie segment.

 

Vickie came out to a sea of boos. She said “hanky panky was not allowed”. The fans chanted “quite” and Vickie aired some more clips, all of them were pretty innocent. Vickie said it didn’t end with Cena walking AJ to her room. Just then Cena’s music hit and he too came out to boos.

 

Cena said Vickie running a clean show was like him learning another wrestling move. Cena talked about Vickie’s inappropriate relationships with Ziggler and Edge, which is something that they should have mentioned from the start. Cena called Vickie a “swamp donkey”. Vickie aired some “hotel security” footage. AJ was in a robe knocking at a door and she stepped into a hotel room, but no one was shown on the other side. Cena said it didn’t mean anything. More footage was shown this time “of the same room” with Cena in a towel putting a “do not disturb” sign on the door. This was better than any line Cena could have said as the crowd just erupted in “oh” and “yes” chants. Cena said they were different cameras and Vickie was just manipulating the truth. Vickie asked for AJ to come out and Cena implored her to do so. The crowd chanted “we want AJ”, but she only appeared on the tron.

 

She said Vickie didn’t want her to go out there, because she was going to give Vickie the beating of her life. She would be out of a job and wouldn’t be able to do what she loves to do. Ziggler came by and said “we all know what you love to do”. Vickie laughed and said “thank you” while Cena walked off to the back.

 

This really was Claire Lynch level; nobody took this seriously including the crowd. The crowd was in fact the only part of the segment that really was entertaining, because anywhere else this would have been hideous.  It’s all fine and well that heels are deceptive and therefore don’t have substantial evidence, but when the lies are this blatant everyone involved just looks stupid.

 

Heyman was backstage talking to Barrett about how cowardly the Miz was. He said that team Punk needed someone like Barrett. Barrett said he refused Heyman last week and he didn’t trust Heyman. Barrett said that he would join the team on one condition – that Heyman trust him.

 

2. Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes

 

Bryancame out to thunderous “yes chants”. The crowd continued on when the match started with “Daniel Bryan” and “Yes” chants.Bryandid his up and over and landed a clothesline. He landed the “no” kicks with the fans being really into them.Rhodescountered and was dropped to the outside where he was intimidated by Kane who was attacked by Sandow.Bryanthen landed a topé on Rhodes after missing a baseball slide on Rhodes, whichRhodessold regardless.Rhodesthen landed a disaster kick off of the distraction and Cross Rhodes for the win. This match really could have gone longer and they could have still had the distraction and Kane match.Bryanwas so over, why not capitalize on that?

 

After the match Rhodes cut a promo saying that Sandow could beat Kane just as easily has he beatBryan. Sandow was angry thatRhodesmade this statement and this led to us joining the math in progress after the break.

 

3. Kane vs. Damien Sandow

 

Kane wore Sandow down after the break. Kane landed some strikes in the corner and was caught with a boot. Rhodes was pulled off of the apron and attacked byBryan. Both men ran through the ring and this led to Bryan and Rhodes being thrown out, which led to no chants. Sandow was staring anxiously at the departure ofRhodes. This led to Kane landing a splash in the corner and backbreaker. Kane landed the flying clothesline and landed a chokeslam for the win.

 

Brad Maddox was brought out. Cole aired a slow motion clip of the Maddox low blow. He was asked for his reasoning given to the board of enquiry and if he was working with Heyman and Punk. He said he wasn’t working with them, he faked some tears and said it was his plan. All he had ever wanted was to be a “WWE superstar”. The crowd chanted “feed me Punk” and gave him the “what” treatment. He said that he had sent tapes everywhere, had been to try outs to try get his foot in the order. He once paid $2000 for a try out. He was given a developmental deal, but he wasn’t given a contract. He asked if it was because he was 6-foot tall, wasn’t a freak or couldn’t do three flips in the air and land on his feet. The crowd chanted “you can’t wrestle”. He said WWE officials told him that he would never make it to the main roster, but his dream didn’t die. He wanted to be somebody. He would do whatever it took to get to the WWE and that’s why he became a referee. He needed one chance to make an impact. He said Punk had no idea and he was just as surprised as Ryback and the fans. The fans chanted “feed me more”. He said people know his name everywhere now. He wanted a contract and a match with Ryback, because no one would forget who he was now. He then said “thank you”. Out came Vince for a big pop.

 

Vince said it was one thing to be famous and another thing to have a death wish. He thought that he, Punk and Heyman were intertwined. He would give him a million dollar contract if he could beat Ryback next week and told him to leave the ring.

 

He dragged Vickie out and asked if it was alright to offer the contract. She said “yes sir”. Vince asked if he was involved with Punk and she looked confused. Vince asked why Punk wasn’t going to defend the title at Survivor Series. He asked her to say who he was going to defend the title against and she said Ziggler. Vince said it wasn’t Ziggler, but rather someone who got screwed at Hell in a Cell. Vickie said Ryback and Vince said it wasn’t good enough and it would be a triple threat match. He asked her to make the third challenger and if it was Ziggler he would fire her. She said that it wouldn’t be a good idea, because “he” was involved in a scandal. Vince asked if it was the guy who stepped aside and went to a draw with Punk at Night of Champions. Vickie said it was Cena. Vince congratulated Vickie and she left.

 

I think that the direction they are going with Maddox would be a good idea if he was a babyface, but I as of right now I really don’t understand what he is supposed to be. From what Vince said it seems that we still aren’t supposed to be believe that he acted on his own, so there could be some interference from Punk next week. Still it is an interesting idea and the fact that they actually built something for next week made me happy.

 

4. Sheamus vs. The Miz

 

Big Show came out after Miz and went to go sit at the announce table. Sheamus locked in a headlock, Miz made it out and was caught with a clothesline. He went for the clubbing blows on the apron, but Miz slid off. Sheamus dropped some elbows in the ring and Miz landed some shots in the corner. Sheamus responded with a rolling senton, but Miz landed a front kick and clothesline for two. Miz landed some shots on the mat and locked in a headlock. Sheamus landed some clubbing blows on the apron on Miz who dropped to the outside. Sheamus stared Big Show down and was subsequently thrown into the announce table by Miz. Miz landed a big boot in the ring, but Sheamus kicked out. After the break Miz landed a clothesline in the corner and an axe handle. Miz then threw Sheamus into the steps on the outside. Miz locked in a headlock and took Sheamus down to one knee, but Sheamus landed a backpack chinbreaker. Miz landed the backbreaker/neckbreaker combo and stood on the throat of Sheamus. Miz taunted, went for the clothesline in the corner and was cut off with shoulderblocks and clothesline. Sheamus landed the Emerald Flowsion and went to the top landing a shoulderblock. Sheamus went for the belly to back over the shoulder piledriver, but Miz reversed and landed a DDT for two. Miz missed a boot and Sheamus went for the cloverleaf, Miz countered, Sheamus went for the brogue kick, Miz went for the skull crushing finale, but was caught with the belly to back over the shoulder backbreaker. Sheamus then landed the brogue kick for the win. Show then lifted the belt over his head for a stare down.

 

Vickie said that Ziggler was now leading his own team. Punk came by and said that the reason he was the captain was, because Vince was trying to screw him. Punk said that Vince was an ego maniac and it was unfair that he had to defend the title in a three way. Vickie then made Punk and Ziggler versus Ryback and Cena.

 

There was a vignette for Fandangoo, who is simply Johnny Curtis of NXT fame with a dancer gimmick – sure to end well.

 

Sheamus and Regal were talking about how great it was to be in theUK. Sheamus thanked Regal for helping him and told Regal to keep his aspirations for the title. Regal then invited Sheamus to have a pint with him. There was a recap of the AJ segment from earlier in the show.

 

5. Eve & Aksana vs. Layla & Kaitlyn

 

Aksana was rolled up by Layla and spanked. She was caught with a shot with Layla’s rear end. She went for a springboard back elbow, but was clubbed by Aksana leading to Layla falling into the ropes. Aksana landed some terrible offense. They rolled around a bit and Aksana kept crawling awkwardly on the mat. Eve locked in a front facelock and kicked Kaitlyn’s hand away. Layla go a rollup, but was caught with some more kicks. Eve did her wacky gyrating dance and Kaitlyn was tagged in. She landed a shoulder block and Layla caught Aksana with a stiff highkick. Kaitlyn then landed the final cut for the win. This match went far too long. Kaitlyn and Aksana simply can’t go this long (five minutes) and the match was awful because of it.

 

Del Riobumped into Mendez backstage and was shown walking to the ring.

 

6. AlbertoDel Riovs. Kofi Kingston

 

Del Riolocked in a headlock and was knocked to the mat.KingstoncaughtDel Riowith a back elbow and locked in a front facelock.Del Riotransitioned it into a facelock of his own, butKingstonwent to the wrist lock.Kingstonlanded some shots in the corner and grabbed a two count following an uppercut.Kingstonlanded a hurricanrana and was distracted by Rodriguez; allowing for him to be knocked to the outside.Del Riopulled at the hair ofKingstonand landed a backbreaker for two. He landed a foot stomp and suplex, going back to the body scissors.Kingstonfought his way out and grabbed a rollup for two.Del Riocaught him with a superkick and a couple of stomps.Del Riokicked the arm and strangledKingstonin the ropes.Del Riocontinued to wearKingstondown with an armbar in the ropes.Kingstonbegan to make his comeback sendingDel Riointo the post shoulder first, landing some strikes and a boom drop.Kingstonwent for Trouble inParadise,DelRio went for the armbreaker, butKingstonlanded the SOS for two.Kingstonmissed a springboard splash and signalled for the cross armbreaker when Orton’s music hit. This allowed forKingstonto get the rollup. After the match Orton landed the RKO from behindDel Rio.

 

A recap aired of the Maddox segment.

 

7. Primo & Epico vs. Zack Ryder & Santino Marella

 

Primo locked in a wristlock and Marella did some comedy. Marella did his wacky walk across the ring and went after the arm of Primo. Ryder was tagged in, which the fans were really happy about. Ryder landed a flapjack and the fans got behind Ryder. Epico and Primo worked over Ryder in their corner. Ryder grabbed a cradle, but the referee was distracted. Epico went back to the headlock, Ryder fought out, but was brought back to the corner of Primo and Epico. Ryder finally landed a neckbreaker and made the tag to Marella. He ran wild and landed the cobra on Epico for the win.

 

8. Wade Barrett vs. Brodus Clay

 

The crowd was obviosully extremely behind Barrett and booed all of Clay’s offense. Barrett landed a huge spinning side slam and shots on the mat. He landed some big knees to the head of Clay from the apron. Clay landed some clotheslines and a headbutt. Clay landed a splash in the corner, but Barrett moved out of the way of a second attempt and landed a superkick to the gut and short arm forearm for the win.

 

9. Heath Slater vs. Jey Uso

 

Slater wooed, but was caught with an uppercut and bodyslam for his trouble. Uso landed a flurry of shots in the corner, was reprimanded by the referee and Slater capitalized on the distraction. Slater locked in a headlock and landed a big superkick for two. He went back to the headlock wearing Uso down. Uso landed a superkick to the knee, an uppercut and a superkick to the face. Uso went for a splash, but Slater got the knees up and landed a facebuster for the win.

 

Before the match Punk came out and recapped the fact that he defeated Ryback. He said that he didn’t have anything to do with Maddox, just like Maddox said. He talked about how he was no longer the captain and Vince would continue the tradition of screwing his most talented performer. The wanted to take away what was his for 351 days, for those 351 days he was better than everyone in the arena, in the back or around the world that wanted to lace up their boots. He set the bar at an unattainable. At Survivor Series he would celebrate 364 days as champion. He would continue to provide documentation and fact that he was the best in the world.

 

10. CM Punk & Dolf Ziggler vs. John Cena & Ryback

 

While Ziggler made his entrance Punk posed on the turnbuckle along with him, attempting to steal his spotlight; a nice touch. Cena and Punk started the match off. They exchanged some holds and the crowd chanted for CM Punk. Punk made the tag to Ziggler who was taken to the mat by Cena, who pulled away at the arms. Cena landed a bulldog on Ziggler and Punk was tagged in. Punk took Cena to the mat and landed some stomps. Ziggler dropped what must have been ten plus elbows. Punk landed a high knee in the corner followed by Muay Thai knees. Punk went for the GTS, Cena went for the AA, but Punk landed a highkick for two. The fans dual chanted while Punk had a front facelock; out of nowhere Cena landed an AA and it was underplayed by everyone. Ziggler was tagged in and he halted Cena from making the tag. Ziggler strangled Cena in the corner and said “I have til five” which was pretty awesome. Punk was tagged in and landed a kick to the gut. He locked in a head scissors, but Cena powered out with an electric chair. Still, Cena was halted from grabbing the tag. Punk landed a Mongolian chop and the tag was made to Ziggler who landed a dropkick. Ziggler went for a missile dropkick, Punk shouted for him not to do it, but Cena moved and the tags were made to Ryback and Punk. Ryback ran wild killing Punk and Ziggler. Ziggler was thrown into the corner and hit his head so badly on the post that the ring shook. Ryback then landed the big clothesline and marching Samoan drop for the win.

 

Ryback chanted feed me more at Cena and they had a stare down to close the show off. The crowd and Ryback chanted feed me more. Cena cuts a promo for a guy and this is how you repay him?

 

RAW Rating for November 5th 2012

 

This week’s edition of RAW did almost exactly the same as last week in terms of viewership and only slightly down in regard to its rating. It did a.2.78 rating or 4.07 million viewers with the amount of people watching TV at the time being slightly up. This was almost identical to last week’s 2.95 or 4.09 million viewers I don’t know if this is the ceiling for your everyday three hour RAW, but I would suspect it is.

 

The show was going against decent competition in the Philadelphia Eagles/New Orleans Saints football game, but it wasn’t incredibly strong. It did a 9.54, which is pretty average. After all, two weeks ago they went against the presidential debate, baseball game and football game.

 

The opening tag match and Cena/Vickie segment did really well gaining 313,000 viewers. I am not all that surprised, because soap opera style storylines often draw well in the ratings, but don’t draw any money. I can see the same being true for this angle; regardless it did well.

 

The Team Hell No/Rhodes Scholars matches, together with the latter half of the Vickie segment lost a combined 92,000 viewers. This was followed by a decent gain of the Brad Maddox/Survivor Series reshuffle, which was in the 21:00 growth spot and gained 341,000. This was more or less the same as last week’s growth in the same segment; a growth of 373,000.

 

The extra viewers really didn’t stay all too long as the Sheamus/Miz match lost 355,000 viewers. It was then, like last week, followed by another loss of 190,000 viewers with a cluster of backstage segments including Sheamus/Regal, Punk/Vickie and Dolf Ziggler. This doesn’t really mean much since last week there was a far worse loss in that segment.

 

Surprisingly the Diva’s match gained 96,000 viewers, something that the Diva’s matches haven’t done for a while now. The Kingston/Cesaro match lost 49,000 viewers in the 22:00 segment, which used to be a big growth spot, but has sadly atrophied since the move.

 

The three matches in a row Barrett/Clay, the Ryder/Santino tag and Heath Slater match lost 173,000 viewers, which really isn’t surprising considering that nobody cared about these matches, with the exception of the crowd in the Barrett match. They were also placed late in the show, which means that people were already burnt out. This led to the lowest quarter of the show, a 2.48. This was slightly down from last week’s low point of a 2.70.

 

Finally the John Cena & Ryback versus Punk & Ziggler tag match in the mainevent that they built really well throughout the show gained a very good 1,084,000 viewers to a 3.22 overrun. This was probably also helped by the novelty of Cena and Ryback tagging together. There was a 370,000 viewer difference over last week’s Punk/Foley team reveal, which gained a respectable 708,000 last week.

 

This week’s rating was decent for three hours; although the same message comes through on practically every show – three hours is too long; it simply isn’t worth it to viewers.

WWE SmackDown – November 6th 2012

LG Arena: Birmingham, England.

Ben Carass.

 

It’s Super SmackDown “Live” week and finally us regular viewers get a Friday night without uttering the words: “I’ll be there after wrestling”.

             The new Impact-style voice over man recapped the events from Raw then Josh Matthews kayfabed us right away by welcoming us to a “live” show which was not live at all. In the ring, Michael Cole introduced Sheamus for an interview; Cole reminded everyone of Sheamus and William Regal’s arrangement to meet for a “pint” after Raw then said there was some videophone footage of an incident that took place.

              Footage of Regal and Sheamus drinking in a pub rolled; The Big Show stormed in and began to beat up the two. Sheamus empathically told Cole it was not a good idea to be in the ring and Cole made a hasty exit; The Great White stated that a part of him respected Big Show for “throwing hands” on his own turf, but could not respect the cheap shot to Regal. Sheamus challenged Show to come down to the ring and said at the Survivor Series it was all about the World Heavyweight Championship, but now it’s about kicking Show’s “giant arse”.

              Big Show appeared on the Tron and claimed he did Sheamus a favour by holding back just enough for the challenger to make it to the PPV; the World Champion then declared he would not come out, because he had nothing to gain by fighting tonight.

              Instead, Wade Barrett showed up on the ramp and informed Sheamus to concentrate on their match on Main Event, not on fighting the Big Show. Barrett vowed to leave the Irishman in no condition for his title match at the Survivor Series; Sheamus invited Barrett into the ring for a fight and Wade headed down the ramp. Barrett did the old heel walk out and turned his back, before heading up the ramp to the back.

 

Not a bad opener; well, compared to last week’s train wreck. Babyface challenger calls out the heel champ and the heel refuses to comply; basic stuff, but this show is always in need of a little logical pro wrestling story telling. Barrett’s walk out was also textbook, however WWE seem to resort to this booking technique far too often for their heels and it draws little to no heat. I remember TNA using the camera phone gimmick a year or so ago when Samoa Joe beat up Crimson, also in a bar; WWE is making it extremely hard for me to believe TNA does not exist at the moment.

 

A graphic hyping Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio in a falls count anywhere match aired.

 

I would like to apologise for an error in last week’s report; I stated Orton would wrestle Wade Barrett in the falls count anywhere match and criticised the stupidity of the booking. The show last week burned me out to the point where I clearly had gone insane, so forgive me loyal readers.

 

A split screen of The Miz and Kofi Kingston in the back rolled; JBL erroneously said Miz was invoking his rematch clause next.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Wade Barrett was in the back; Booker T approached him and confusedly remarked, “I thought you never backed down from a fight”. Wade affirmed he never has and Booker T made Sheamus and Regal vs. Barrett and Big Show for later in the show.

 

Miz came out and Josh corrected JBL’s mistake by explaining the pinfall over Kofi last week was the reason for the title match. Footage of Miz pinningKingstonfrom last week aired then Kofi hit the ring.

 

Intercontinental Championship Match: Kofi Kingston (Champion) vs. The Miz

 

Kofi sent the challenger over the top with a clothesline early; Miz avoided a baseball slide then tried to send the champ into the barricade. Kofi landed on his feet and walked the rail, before coming off with a big chop;Kingstonfired up then threw Miz back inside the ring. Miz crotched Kofi on the top rope and wrenched his knee;Kingstonsold his knee on the canvas.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Miz was working over the leg when we came back; footage of Kofi taking a kneebuster into the steps during the break aired. Kofi fought up from a toehold to score a roll up for two, but was shut down by a dropkick to the knee. Miz worked over the leg some more then applied a standing figure-four; Kofi battled out and executed a big double-leg takedown.

                 Kingstonbegan a comeback with some chops then nailed the boom drop; Miz was able to avoid the trouble in paradise and went for the skull crushing finale. Kofi countered with a roll up, but Miz reversed into a pinning combination of his own and held the tights for a two count. Miz applied a single-legBostoncrab, which Kofi managed to break by reaching the bottom rope;Kingstonhit a shoulder block from the apron then went to the top rope.

                  Miz cut off the champion with a shot then went for a superplex, which Kofi fought out of; Miz went back up for another attempt, only to be sent to the canvas again. Kofi came off the top with a big crossbody for the three count.

 

Kofi Kingston defeated The Miz via pinfall, at 11:33.

 

Miz looked glum after the match and Kofi celebrated; Bradshaw put overKingstonfor having Miz’s number. Miz extended a handshake to the IC Champion, but Kofi rejected the gesture and took Miz out with a dropkick.

 

This was pretty decent and had a nice story with Miz going after the leg; their match from Main Event is still remains the best encounter between the two. I’m not sure what the deal was after the match. Where we supposed to feel sorry for Miz or what?         

 

A graphic hyping Regal and Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett and Big Show aired.

 

Josh and JBL talked about The Prime Time Players and Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara; a graphic hyping the PTPs vs. the hoodies aired. Josh said the match would be next.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Sin Cara made his entrance and Mysterio followed; The Prime Time Players were already in the ring.

 

Sin Cara & Rey Mysterio vs. The Prime Time Players

 

Darren Young took control of Sin Cara with some shots and delivered a stungun type move then a belly-to-back suplex for two; Titus came in off the tag to hit a European uppercut and a big boot. Young tagged back in and locked in a cravat; Sin Cara fought up to land a tornado DDT to create the separation.

                 Titus received the tag and tried to prevent the babyfaces from tagging; Sin Cara scored with an enziguri then made the tag to Rey. Mysterio caught O’Neil with a dropkick to the knee then came off the top with a seated senton; Rey set up Titus for the 619, but Young caused a distraction from the outside. Titus nailed Rey with the sky-high, sit-out spinebuster for the victory.

 

The Prime Time Players defeated Sin Cara & Rey Mysterio via pinfall, at 3:28.

 

Matt Striker appeared in the ring for a word with Young and O’Neil; Titus blew a whistle and dismissed Striker, because Titus wanted to conduct the interview himself. Titus asked Young what the victory meant, Darren said “millions of dollars”; O’Neil then asked his partner what the PTPs would get when they win the Tag belts, again Young said, “millions of dollars”. Titus then asked Striker what pops into his head when he sees the Prime Time Players walking down the ramp; Striker looked befuddled and O’Neil whispered in his ear. Striker tentatively replied, “millions of dollars” and Titus said he earned the right to do their dance gimmick. Striker stood in the middle of both guys while all three performed the dance; Titus buried the announcer for having no rhythm and a bad moustache.

 

The match was quick and painless; the in ring stuff with Striker was unfortunately neither.

 

Footage from Raw of AJ and John Cena going into hotel rooms aired; JBL and Josh blabbed about it for a while then we were shown a tweet from Vickie Guerrero. Apparently Vickie has more evidence for us on Monday.

 

Great, maybe she will bring out a doll all gimmicked up with Cena merch.

 

Booker T and Teddy were in the GM’s office; they talked about the “controversy” and “scandal” on Raw then Teddy said he was looking forward to the upcoming tag match. Booker asked his advisor if he thought Vickie Guerrero could come up with a match like this one; Teddy hesitantly said “she might”. Book appeared displeased with his buddy and Teddy began to back pedal, he said, “Vickie has not got the vision to put together a match like this”. Book called Teddy a “suck up” just like everyone else and said he didn’t hire him for that; Teddy looked worried, but the Booker man began to laugh. Booker admitted he was just messing with Teddy and the good friends got ready to watch the tag match.

 

Wade Barrett came out and Josh claimed his home town ofPrestonwas a, “stone’s throw away” fromBirmingham.

 

It’s actually about 110 miles north or Birmingham; I realise America is an enormous place, but on our little island that is practically a road trip.

 

JBL said Wade had renamed his finish” the bullhammer” in tribute to bare knuckle Gypsy fighter Bartley Gorman. Big Show meandered down to the ring to join his partner.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Footage of the bar fight rolled again. Regal came out and got a nice home country reaction; this time Josh claimed Regal’s home city ofBlackpoolwas “only 200 miles” away fromBirmingham.

 

Only 200 miles? Again, that is quite a long distance over here; it’s actually more like 125 miles. But still, there is not even 100,000 square miles of land in England.

 

After his music hit, Sheamus charged down to the ring and proceeded to clear house with Regal; Show and Barrett stalled on the outside and the bell finally rang when both teams had a man inside the ring.

 

Sheamus & William Regal vs. Wade Barrett & The Big Show (World Heavyweight Champion)

 

Barrett and Sheamus traded shots then Regal tagged in to land a European uppercut; Regal and Sheamus continued with frequent tags and maintained the advantage over the heel team. Barrett sent Regal into the heel’s corner and Big Show delivered a headbutt from the outside, behind the referee’s back. Show got the tag and executed a bodyslam then dropped an elbow; JBL said the elbow was the biggest since Haystacks Calhoun.

 

I think Bradshaw was trying to reference legendary English wrestler Giant Haystacks and mistakenly mentioned one of the biggest drawing cards of the “golden age” in Calhoun.

 

Barrett hit Regal with some illegal knee strikes from the outside and Sheamus chased off Wade; Regal fired back with shots in the ring, but Show cut him off with a tackle. Big Show continued the heat with an armbar/nerve hold combination.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Wade kept the heat on after the break and worked over the arm of Regal; Show tagged in and prolonged the assault on the arm. Regal sold like a man possessed for the giant and took an overhand chop then a big boot; Barrett tagged back in to drop a knee for a two count. Regal fought up from a front facelock then hit an exploder suplex and a big elbow strike; Regal got the hot tag and Wade tagged in The Big Show.

                Sheamus came in with some axe-handles then scored with a knee lift, before coming off the top with a big shoulder block to the Big Show; Sheamus set up for the Brogue kick but Barrett caused the distraction and Show hit a spear. Regal tagged in and connected with a big running knee to Big Show, who absorbed the blow and hit the WMD for the victory.

 

Big Show & Wade Barrett defeated Sheamus & William Regal via pinfall, at 12:56.        

 

This was a solid match with great psychology displayed all around:  the match started off with a brawl after Show’s attack in the bar, the babyfaces kept the advantage until the heels resorted to illegal tactics (usually the heels just start getting the heat after some basic transitions and don’t get over the idea that the babyfaces would have been able to win, if not for some heelish action), Regal sold his arm like crazy, Barrett shut down the hot tag shine with a distraction and Regal tagging back in at the end gave the impression of an old veteran in his home country wanting to prove he still could contribute at a vital moment in the match. If you can’t tell, I was high on this match.

 

Josh and JBL hyped the Orton/Del Rio main event then showed footage of the brawl in catering from last week.

                  Alberto and Ricardo were in the back; Matt Striker approached the two and asked if last week’s fight would be a harbinger of things to come.Del Riosaid the only reason Randy was able to take advantage of him was because he attacked him from behind. Alberto claimed to be the new Apex Predator again then called Orton a “little girl”; Rosa Mendes showed up and wished Alberto good luck.

 

So it looks like we’re going to see Rosa jiggle in a semi-main event capacity. Seriously though, Del Rio doesn’t really need a valet. I suppose Rosa would help with the “dog and pony show” aspect, but Ricardo is so damn good, he can do it all on his own. Plus it will not help Primo and Epico one bit if Rosa deserts them.

 

A graphic of Vinnie Mac and Brad Maddox from Raw aired then Josh and JBL talked about the “rouge official”.

 

The Raw Rebound aired and a graphic hyping Maddox’s “million dollar” contract match with Ryback rolled.

 

Randy Orton was with Matt Striker in the back; Randy said he was not worried aboutDel Rio’s mouth and was going to show the world how “sick and twisted” he really is later. Orton then made his entrance for the main event.

 

Commercial Break.

 

A Fandango vignette aired then they plugged some show for SyFy; it looked like a cheap(er) version of Fear Factor with no Joe Rogan. Ricardo Rodriguez introduced Alberto and footage of Orton hittingDel Riowith the RKO from Raw aired.

 

Falls Count Anywhere Match: Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio

 

JBL said this match would be like Mayweather/Pacquiao with no gloves. Orton started out with some shots andDel Riofought back with boots in the corner. Ricardo handed Alberto a chair, but Orton landed a shot and neutralised the weapon.Del Rioset the chair up between the turnbuckles and Randy sent him to the outside with a dropkick. Orton sent his opponent into the announce table and then apron; Randy went for a suplex over the barricade but Alberto landed on his feet. Orton tried for the hangman’s DDT off the rail, butDel Rioescaped and fled through the crowd.

            Orton chased his foe down and the two brawled in the equipment area;Del Riosent Randy into a steel cargo case. The pair then fought to the back, near the concessions stands.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Del Riogot a two count backstage then set up a cargo case; Orton countered and sent Alberto into the steel case. Randy delivered some mounted punches then got the cover for a two count; they brawled back through the people, into the arena andDel Riotook a bump into the security rail. Orton went for another hangman, however Alberto countered and dropped Randy over the steel barricade.

              The brawl spilled up the arena stairs and Orton got a two count on the steps; the pair fought down to ground level again thenDel Rioscored with a superkick. Ricardo gave the aristocrat a chair and Alberto drilled Randy across the back for a two count.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Back at ringside,Del Rioslid the steel steps into the ring then sent Orton into the ring post and the barricade for a near fall. Randy fired back with punches, as the battle headed up the ramp; Alberto took a backdrop on the stage then Ricardo jumped on Orton’s back. Ricardo was sent flying and Randy threw the ring announcer into the phone booth that was set up on the stage;Del Riofled back down to ringside, but Orton followed and threw him inside the ring.

                Randy began his patented comeback then sent Alberto into the chair he set up earlier; nobody on commentary put this over. Orton delivered a chair shot to the spine for a two count then set up for the RKO;Del Riocountered with a double-knee backbreaker and got a near fall. Orton rolled to the apron then tried for a suplex to the outside, where a table had been set up; Alberto fought out and hit an enziguri that sent Randy crashing through the table.Del Riomade the cover, but only got two; Alberto then grabbed the mic and told Orton he is not the Apex Predator and to get ready to tap out.

                 Del Riolocked in the cross armbreaker inside the ring; Randy broke the hold with a shot to the head with the microphone. Alberto recuperated and sent Orton’s shoulder into the ring post then attempted to deliver Randy’s hangman’s DDT; Orton escaped, but took a face bump onto the steps.Del Riowent for a conchairto type chair shot and Randy moved out of the way to hit and RKO on the steel steps. Orton made the cover for the victory.

 

Randy Orton defeated Alberto Del Rio via pinfall, at 21:51.

 

The show closed with Orton celebrating his victory on the ropes.

That was a good main event, it started off a little slow but as the match progressed it picked up nicely; the finish was emphatic and should mark the end of the feud, giving Orton a great transition to a programme with Barrett. That being said, we all know what these people are like and I expect Del Rio to still be in the mix with Orton until at least Survivor Series; after all they are on opposing teams.

                 Overall Super SmackDown “live” wasn’t bad, we got two great matches and no unnecessarily long in ring segments, however generally the show came off as moderately flat. The crowd was a little burned out towards the end and I have a suspicion Vince and his team had their attention diverted elsewhere tonight; perhaps by a certain $100 million crusade. 

 WWE –NXT

November 7th 2012 – Full Sail University, Florida.

Ben Carass.

 

A snappy video recap of the Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre, Justin Gabriel and Bo Dallas dispute over the number one contendership for the NXT title, kicked off the show.

           Tony Luftman welcomed viewers and hyped the four-way main event. Kassius Ohno came out for the opening contest and footage of the Ohno/Barreta finish from two weeks ago aired. Trent Barreta came down for the rematch.

 

Trent Barreta vs. Kassius Ohno

 

Barreta took control early by out manoeuvring Ohno and landing a few shots; Ohno stalled on the apron thenTrenttried for a slingshot sunset flip to the outside. Ohno held onto the top rope and tied up Barreta’s head in the apron skirt and stomped his opponent’s skull.

              Back inside, Kassius locked in a Dragon sleeper, whichTrentfought out of, only to be taken back down with a front head chancery. Barreta got to his feet and countered a backdrop with a sunset flip for a two count;Trentscored with a clothesline, but Kassius blocked an attempted enziguri and got a near fall. Barreta went for a tornado DDT, however Ohno put on the breaks;Trentused his leverage to deliver a DDT, which led to a two count. Kassius ate a springboard back elbow in the corner, but cut off Barreta as he hit the ropes with a clothesline.

               Ohno went for a suplex, which was countered into an inside cradle for two; Kassius caughtTrentwith a big boot and got another two count. Barreta was set up on the top rope by Ohno, who looked to go for a cravatbuster off the top;Trentpowered out and nailed a missile dropkick. Kassius rolled to the floor to escape the Busaiku knee; after a short chase, Ohno lured Barreta back inside and hit the roaring elbow for the victory.

 

Kassius Ohno defeated Trent Baretta via pinfall, at 6.11.

 

After the bell, Ohno went for the roaring elbow again; this time Trent ducked and sent Kassius to the outside with a dropkick. Ohno retreated up the ramp.

 

A good opener from two extremely talented performers; their effort two weeks back was slightly better, but anytime these guys work together, you are going to get a solid match. No appearance by Steamboat, but I assure you, the feud with Ohno is still alive; the rivals will square off in two weeks.

 

A graphic hyping the number one contender four-way aired.

 

 Commercial Break.

 

A Corey Graves vignette aired; Graves stated all of his tattoos told a story, but instead of wasting time telling those stories, he said, “I could get right in your face and show you”. Graves then showed us his knuckle tat, which read “stay down”.

 

Big E. Langston came out with some new music; Memo Montenegro was already in the ring and was introduced to the crowd. Regal said he knew nothing about Memo and advised him to run away.

 

I’m sure everybody is well aware that Memo is the younger brother of Alberto Del Rio, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this fact.

 

Big E. Langston vs. Memo Montenegro

 

Big E. repeatedly chanted “five” then drilled Memo with some shots to the gut; Langston hit Memo with a Vader-style body check and hit his inverted front powerslam for the three count.

 

Big E. Langston defeated Memo Montenegro via pinfall, at 1:01.

 

Big E. told the referee to count to five, but instead the official just raised Langston’s hand; Big.E hit his move again then covered Memo once more and counted to five on his own. The crowd chanted “one more time”, but before that could happen, Vickie Guerrero appeared on the screen. Vickie said what happened last week was not funny and declared it was “open season” for Big E. Vickie offered $5,000 to anybody that could put Langston on the shelf then cackled uproariously. Regal may have come out with the greatest line in history: “I’m as broke as the Ten Commandments, but I’m not going to try get that five grand”.

               Chad Baxter hit the ring and the announcers put over that he was trying to earn the money; Big E. made short work of Chad and took him out with his finish then counted to five again.

 

The match was a standard Big E. squash; the stuff after was enjoyable, as we’ve not had a good, old fashion bounty angle for a while. However, I don’t see how Vickie will be able to appear in future shows while she is in charge of Raw.

 

A graphic hyping the four-way main event rolled.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Jason Jordan was in the ring waiting for his opponent; Bray Wyatt made his return and came out onto the stage. Wyatt said he was “awake now” and did his preacher gimmick; Jordan challenged Wyatt to take the place of his scheduled opponent, but Bray claimed to be too strong for Jordan. Wyatt ended by saying, “I’m never alone” and Brodie Lee came out to face Jordan; the announcers acted like they had no idea who they were watching.

 

Jason Jordan vs. Luke Harper

 

Harper took control with ease then hitJordanwith clotheslines and splashes in the corner;Jordanavoided a big boot and landed some kicks to the knee, before executing a single-leg takedown. Harper kicked himself free and delivered a Traylorslam for the victory.

 

Luke Harper defeated Jason Jordan via pinfall, at 2:21.

 

After the match, Wyatt introduced Harper as, “the first son of the Wyatt family”.

 

A fairly lacklustre debut for Harper; the crowd had no idea who he was and didn’t really care about Jordan either. I like the idea of Wyatt building a following of redneck looking types, as it will help establish his gimmick, although they could have picked a bigger name than Jordan to make an impact.

 

Footage of Roman Reigns debut from last week aired. Byron Saxton was on the stage; he introduced Roman, who came out and instantly dismissed Saxton. Roman suggested everybody felt better now he had entered the building then called himself “the man” and there was nothing he could not do. Reigns finished by stating, “everybody wants to be Roman Reigns”.

 

A graphic hyping the four-way rolled.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Justin Gabriel was out first and Jim Ross joined Regal on commentary; JR informed us it was an elimination four-way. Drew McIntyre hit the ring and was followed by Jinder Mahal; Bo Dallas was the final man to emerge for the main event.

 

Number One Contender Fatal Four-Way Match: Justin Gabriel vs. Bo Dallas vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal

 

McIntyre and Gabriel paired off in one corner, while Jinder and Bo fought it out in another; Bo sent Jinder to the floor with a backdrop and McIntyre ate a double dropkick from the faces. Dallas caught Drew with a baseball slide, but took some shots from Mahal; Gabriel flew over the top rope with a plancha that wiped out everybody.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Jinder got a two count on Dallas following a snapsuplex; Drew and Jinder double teamed Bo with stomps. Mahal executed a side-Russian legsweep and the heels worked over Bo some more; Drew and Jinder went for a double clothesline, but Dallas held onto the ropes. Instead, Jinder nailed Drew with a clothesline; the heels had a brief exchange, until Gabriel took out McIntyre with a springboard crossbody. Gabriel hit an STO on Dallas then went for a springboard moonsault; Bo moved, however Justin sent him to the outside with a clothesline. Gabriel caught Drew with a tilt-o-whirl DDT and delivered a blue thunder bomb to Jinder; Mahal took the 450 splash, but McIntyre broke up the pin (I have no idea why) and sent Gabriel to the outside. Dallas drilled McIntyre with a spear for the three count.

 

Bo Dallas eliminated Drew McIntyre via pinfall, at 4:36.

 

Gabriel went for a springboard crossbody; Bo caught him in mid-air with a spear and got the pinfall for the elimination.

 

Bo Dallas eliminated Justin Gabriel via pinfall, at 4:48.

 

Seth Rollins appeared on the stage for the remainder of the match.

 

Commercial Break.

 

Bo was in control after the break and scored with a flying forearm; Jinder went to the outside, where he sent Dallas crashing into the steel steps. Back inside, Jinder got the heat on Bo and shut down a comeback attempt.

               Dallas dodged a splash in the corner then hit a forearm strike; Bo took Jinder over with a powerslam and landed in a lateral press. The young babyface got right back up and didn’t go for the cover.

 

I guess he can’t want to be the number one contender that much.

 

Bo went for a spear, however Mahal side-stepped and Dallas got his throat hung up on the second rope. Jinder locked in the camel clutch and got the tap-out.

 

Jinder Mahal eliminated Bo Dallas via submission, at 13:25 to become the number one contender for the NXT Championship.

 

Jinder applied the camel clutch once again after the bell; Rollins came down to save Bo, but Jinder stomped the Champion and gazed at his belt lustfully. Rollins got back up and unloaded on Mahal, who fled the ring and escaped to the outside. Seth posed on the ropes with his title and stared down Jinder.

 

The main event was somewhat of a mess and there was some heavy editing involved in post production. I didn’t like how the match was put together; I realise they are trying to build Dallas, but he needs a lot more refinement before he is ready to work long main events.

            The show as a whole was decent as always, Ohno vs. Barreta was good and is building nicely for when Kassius is done with Steamboat. We got an intriguing debut from Luke Harper, which has the potential to become a great gimmick with Wyatt. Also, we got a set up for a title match; this week NXT again gave us good value for money with an hour’s worth of pro wrestling. 

 

TNA Impact October 8th 2012

Impact Zone, Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida

 

Overall Thoughts

 

Once again this was an acceptable impact. It was absolutely nothing special by any means, but it definitely wasn’t as bad as it has been in the past. The opener was fun and I thought the Hardy/Aries stuff was good; although there wasn’t that much of it. I also liked the fact thatYorkmade it in on Gut Check, given the fact that they really need fresh talent.

 

There was a lot of Aces & Eights on the show as always and all of it was indeed stupid. I wish they would focus on Ray andDevonmore, simply because that has worked best out of everything in the entire Aces & Eights angle. The Doc stuff was really stupid and the fact that the best they could think of was Doc should tell you something.

 

The ODB/Tara/Jesse stuff was what it was and really didn’t take up that much time. All in all this was a fun show, once again overpowered by the Aces & Eights, Hulk Hogan and the like, which has no become standard fair.

 

The leader of the Aces & Eights reprimanded Gallows. He was upset that everyone could see him now and everyone could see his face. They could have just covered him up again; no one would know who he is anyway.Devonsaid that he had to prove himself and he said that he would “make it right”. A graphic aired for Gallows andDevonversus Sting and Angle together with one for the six-man tag.

 

James Storm came out and sat down at the commentary desk.

 

1. AJ Styles vs. Bobby Roode

 

Roode took Styles down and locked in a front facelock. Styles went for his dropkick, he was cut off, but Styles landed it regardless following an up and over. Roode halted a pescado, but Styles threw Roode into the steps. Styles landed a big knee to the face and Roode landed a few shots in the corner. Styles fought back with some shots of his own and landed a back bodydrop. Roode was whipped into the turnbuckle, but avoided a splash and cut Styles off with a clothesline. After the break Styles landed a shoulderblock in the corner, but he was caught in an up and over and hung up on the top rope. Roode went to the top rope and landed a neckbreaker from the second rope for two. Styles landed some shots to the gut of Roode, but Roode responded with a big Irish whip into the corner. Roode worked over the neck of Styles and Styles fought out landing a pelé. Styles landed some chops in the corner; Roode was dropped onto the apron, but landed on his feet. He was hung up on the top rope however and landed a frankensteiner. Styles went for the Styles clash, but Roode fought out and landed a spinebuster. He went for a spear, but was thrown into the post by AJ. He went for the Styles clash, Roode fought out, Styles went for the pelé, but Roode moved and landed a fisherman’s suplex for two! Roode grabbed a chair from outside and Storm left the booth. This led to Roode dropping the chair and being caught with a springboard bodypress. Styles went for the springboard forearm, but was distracted by Storm and was knocked down by Roode who got the pin. This was a really fun TV match with a good finish; even though AJ could have injured himself.

 

Aries approached Hogan backstage. He said that they weren’t friends anymore. Hogan reprimanded Aries for stealing the title. Aries complained about the ladder match, but Hogan said that Aries wasn’t the general manager. He said that if Aries didn’t hand the title over by the end of the night he would find a new challenger. When Hogan walked off Aries remarked how Hogan had been drinking the “Jeff Hardy cool-aid”. Some graphics looked like they were being hacked on air. I thought it was some kind of angle, but it was in fact a commercial for Halo 4.

 

Angle was backstage talking to Wes Briscoe about timing. Sting interrupted and went crazy rambling about their match with the Aces & Eights that night.

 

Joe Park was in the ring. He went on about how injured he was from last week, but he talked about the rush he had from removing the mask. It wasn’t about being an attorney or wrestler, it was about being a man and he wanted his match with the Aces & Eights. Park begged for a shot and for Hogan to stand by him. Out came Hogan.

 

Hogan told Park how proud he was of him. He said it was better to be lucky than book and Park was lucky last week. He didn’t want himself to be held liable. Out came Bully Ray.

 

He said he didn’t want to interrupt Hogan, but he knew that he was going to say no. He knew this because he had been telling him “no” for two months. He put Park over as tough and a man with heart. He wanted him to get the shot, because he had a lot to prove against the Aces & Eights. He wanted them just as much as everyone. Hogan said that he was running the company and Ray just wanted Hogan to trust him for one second. He believed in Park and the people believed in Park. Ray said they were Hogan’s fans. He said it would “feel so damn good to say yes” and the crowd chanted yes. Hogan then shook Park’s hand saying it would be just that once.

 

Tarawas backstage with Jesse. He talked about how he had hit a shooting star press and a double tiger driver; he was bound for the Hall of Fame. ODB ran in to challenge them to a two on one handicap match and they accepted. AJ was going crazy backstage saying that Storm had no right to come out for commentary. Storm said that he made the call and asked what it would feel like for Styles’ face to get kicked in.

 

2. Tara & Jesse vs. ODB

 

ODB landed a clothesline onTaraand fended off both opponents. She rammed them together, but was cut off with a double back elbow.Tarachoked ODB and she fought back with a few clotheslines. Apparently this was a tornado tag, because Tara and Jesse didn’t have to tag in and out. She landed a body slam on Jesse and another onTaraonto Jesse. She landed a splash on Jesse in the corner and droppedTarainto his groin. She then landed a double bronco buster and she landed a spear onTarafor the win. After the match Jesse teased a shot from behind, but he was only a distraction for a shot with the flask and a Widow’s Peak fromTara. Jesse then poured ODB’s whiskey onto her. This match just baffled me. It madeTaralook so bad losing with a handicap; I understand where they wanted to go with this – it just didn’t work at all.

 

ODB was backstage sending a voicemail to Young and wanted him to team with her at Turning Point. It was announced that all the Gut Check contestants would be at Turning Point. There was Gut Check discussion backstage. Taz was really happy withYorkand they debated why he hadn’t made it yet.

 

3. Kurt Angle & Sting vs. Devon & Doc (Luke Gallows)

 

I cannot believe that the best they could come up with was Doc “The Director of Chaos”. They brawled on the outside. Sting took Doc into the ring and landed a DDT for two. Devon and Doc gained control andDevonunloaded in the corner. Doc dropped a flurry of elbow drops. He locked in a headlock, Sting made his way out, but he was quickly cut off and the tag was made toDevon. Doc landed a splash, but Angle broke it up. Sting fought back with some shots, but was cut off by Doc. Sting and Doc collided with a clotheslines. The tags were made to Angle andDevon. Angle ran wild; he was cut off by Doc, but landed a dropkick and suplexes on both men. Angle then landed an Angle slam onDevon, but Doc broke it up. Sting landed the scorpion deathdrop and locked in the scorpion deathlock. However,Devonran in with a baseball bat for the DQ.

 

Bully Ray ran in and tookDevonout with a clothesline. Ray then grabbed a table and went for the Bubba Bomb through the table, butDevonfled. Doc went after Sting, Sting landed a low blow and went for a powerbomb through the table. However, the Aces & Eights ran in and Sting was struck with a hammer and he was chokeslamed through the table. Doc then landed hammer shots to the mid section of Sting and the hands. They were pretty believable. Chavo, Hernandez and Joe ran in to make the save. Sting was checked on by medics and helped to the back. This took a few minutes.

 

Yorkwas brought out for Gut Check.Yorksaid that he put forth his best effort and the fans thought so too. Taz talked about how he had the “it factor” and gave him a yes. Pritchard brought up the fact that he hadn’t “made it to the big leagues” and they asked what stopped him from making it there.Prichardsaid that he probably didn’t have a chance up until this point and he said yes. I am happy with this; after all they need fresh faces on the roster.

 

Aries was backstage; he was talking to someone about finding a loophole in the ladder match stipulation. He walked by Ray and walked on by. Taz and Mike Tenay plugged DNA headphones. They aired a video package for Aries versus Hardy.

 

Hogan was backstage talking about how he was in trouble with Sting being hurt. He was met by Ryan and asked for congratulations for his X Division title win that will happen on Sunday. He said that Morgan wouldn’t be at ringside. Morgan said that Hogan didn’t know what was going to happen. They then cut to Hogan and he said “but I do know”. This “I am just manipulating you brother he he” stuff is getting very strange.

 

4.SamoaJoe, Hernandez & Chavo Guerrero vs. Magnus, Christopher Daniels & Kazarian

 

A brawl broke out before the match. Chavo and Daniels started off. Chavo was in control of Daniels, but he landed a knee and made the tag to Kazarian. Chavo immediately cut him off with a drop-toe hold and made the tag to Hernandez. He was caught with a leg lariat and Kazarian ran to Magnus. This led to Joe chasing Magnus around the ring, Joe’s leg was held by Daniels and Magnus landed some shots. Joe started to tee off, but was held again and Daniels stomped Joe. Joe landed some big jabs in the corner and landed a leaping highkick. He landed a big kick to the chest of Daniels. A graphic aired with the new TNA Hurricane Sandy t-shirts, with 100% of proceeds going to the Red Cross, which is a really nice thing to do. Hernandez landed a big release belly to belly suplex and tagged Chavo back in. Daniels and Kazarian were knocked off of the apron, but Daniels landed some shots on the outside and made the tag to Kazarian. They were back in control. Magnus was tagged in and landed some jabs in the corner. Daniels was tagged in and he did the Gangnam style dance, which someone is bound to make an animated GIF of. Kazarian was tagged in and he pulled back on the arms of Chavo. Chavo landed a head scissors and made the tag to Hernandez. He ran wild with some shoulderblock and clotheslines. He landed the pounce on Daniels and went for the border toss on Kazarian, Daniels made the save, they went for a double suplex, but Hernandez countered into his own double suplex. Joe was tagged in along with Magnus and landed a big snap powerslam. He landed a uranagi out of the corner and Hernandez landed his big dive to the outside onto Daniels. Chavo landed a bulldog on Magnus and was knocked to the outside by Magnus. Joe then went for the muscle buster, Daniels interfered. He locked in the choke, but Daniels and Kazarian landed a variant of total elimination and Magnus landed the elbow for the win.

 

Aries was backstage on his way to the ring. Roode talked about how happy he was that Styles and Storm were at each other. He said that Turning Point would be his turning point.

 

The crowd chanted “we want Hardy”. Aries said how the terms “best on planet Earth” and “best in the world” were over used. That was fine however, because he is the “best wrestler in the universe”. He said that Hardy couldn’t beat him again in a pro wrestling match and he called him the greatest risk taker in wrestling. He used the ladder match as a metaphor for Hardy’s life and said that Turning Point would be the fall that Hardy wouldn’t recover from. The crowd chanted “what” and he told them to shut their mouths and listen. He was going to take keep the real title and melt Hardy’s down into a belt buckle. To make that happen he had to hand it over. He said he wouldn’t hand the belt over to Hardy, because if he wanted to he would have to take it from him.

 

Out came Hardy and they battled. Aries went for the brainbuster, Hardy went for the twist of fate, but Aries slid to the outside. His title then dropped from the ceiling. Both belts were lifted up and he posed at the top of the ladder. However, this led to Aries kicking the ladder out from under Hardy. He then pinned Hardy under the ladder and took the belts down.

 

Next Week’s Issue

 

We have another big newsletter coming up next week featuring the New Japan internet-pay-per-view, Turning Point, the follow up to that show, RAW, the rating, news, SmackDown, NXT and more!

 

Contact

 

Twitter: @RyanClingman

Subscriptions: Subscriptions@cubedcirclewrestling.com

Any Site Questions: Admin@cubedcirclewrestling.com

General/Questions/Feedback: Ryan@cubedcirclewrestling.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CubedCircleNewsletter

 

Ben Carass’s Twitter Account: @BenDosCarass

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.