Exclusive Ring Rust Radio interview with former IWGP Heavyweight Champion and international pro wrestling superstar AJ Styles
hosts of Ring Rust Radio – Donald Wood, Mike Chiari and Brandon Galvin –
recently had the chance to speak with former IWGP Heavyweight Champion, former
TNA World Heavyweight Champion and international pro wrestling superstar, AJ
Styles. After recently challenging Jay Lethal for the ROH World Title at Final
Battle in Philadelphia, Styles now sets his sights on the IWGP Intercontinental
Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 10 on January 4. In addition to those matches,
Styles discusses his opinion of TNA and his time in the company, his dream
matches in professional wrestling, if he would ever consider a run in WWE’s NXT
brand and more.
can listen to this entire interview on the YouTube link below or you can
continue past and read the interview right here.
Ring Rust Radio:
On Friday, you are scheduled to square off against Jay Lethal for the world
title at Ring of Honor’s Final Battle. What are your expectations for your
match against Lethal and what kind of atmosphere are you expecting inside the
old ECW Arena in Philadelphia?
AJ Styles: I have to tell
you man, I love it when I get butterflies. The more you wrestle the fewer
butterflies you get and you need that extra energy, know what I’m saying? You have
to get pumped before your match. Just talking to you guys I am getting excited
about it. Jay Lethal is one of the best in the world. You are not the Ring of
Honor champion because you suck. This guy is amazing and I have watched him
grow as a pro-wrestler and a human being. He is going down a different path and
I understand it, I have been there before. I think it is going to be an amazing
Ring Rust Radio:
What do you expect from the Philadelphia crowd?
AJ Styles: They probably
are one of the best crowds on the planet. These guys know what wrestling is,
they respect it and when they see something great, they go crazy. That’s what I
want. Every time I have been in front of a Philly crowd they have been amazing.
Ring Rust Radio:
Recently, there have been rumors of you working through a back injury. Can you
talk about what kind of injury you’re dealing with and how it will impact your
status for Final Battle and New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom?
AJ Styles: I’m not going
to let it have an impact. I’m going to be wrestling at Final Battle and Wrestle
Kingdom and I will find a way. I’m not missing these amazing events for
anything. I am going to be there, I have been hurt before, and I just work
through it. Everyone has at some point; it’s just what you do as a wrestler.
You ignore the pain and when that adrenaline starts running it doesn’t matter
what’s bothering you, you will put on the best show you can.
Ring Rust Radio:
The demand for you is as high as any wrestler in the world right now. You're a
top guy in both ROH and New Japan, and while that's great for exposure, I
imagine it can be taxing on the body as well. At this point in your career is
there any consideration given to pulling in the reins a bit or taking less
dates to preserve your health?
AJ Styles: Maybe less
dates because I have been going hard ever since I left TNA. I have been rocking
it. Maybe less dates is something that I should look to, but as far as slowing
down in the ring; no way. I have one gear and it’s all or nothing with me. That’s
the reason why I came home early from the tag tournament over in New Japan. If
I got back in the ring, I would have hurt myself worse because I just can’t
slow down. It doesn’t matter how many people are in attendance, you are always
going to get everything I have.
Ring Rust Radio:
I've been a huge fan of yours since I first saw you in WCW and was excited when
you joined TNA in 2002 and they quickly pushed you as one of the top talents.
Do you recall knowing TNA would look to make you the face of the company when
you signed with them, or were you surprised when this happened since you were
still just a few years into your career? Also, what are you fondest memories of
building TNA in its early years?
AJ Styles: It’s funny
cause when it first started I thought it was just another indie. I didn’t worry
about what they would do with me; I just knew I was there to put on killer
matches. As it grew, I had to ignore rumors that they were going out of
business and that I might be done there after I felt like I was part of the
company. I don’t know that I was shocked that they were giving me a title.
Jerry Lynn, Low Ki, and myself were always having the best matches on PPV. So
it wasn’t a surprise they wanted to put us in the main event. As many bad
things that did happen at TNA, there were plenty of good things as well. As I
walk down to my man cave, I have old posters of TNA. Sometimes I think I should
take them down, but then again I’m not ashamed of what I accomplished there. It
is what it is and despite where TNA is now, when I look back it was a very
positive thing for me and I learned a lot there.
Ring Rust Radio:
You have spent almost two years wrestling in New Japan. What has it been like
working as a top heel in front of the Japanese fans?
AJ Styles: You try to be
the biggest turd you can be over there. The fact of the matter is if you put on
a good show they are going to respect you either way. While they are going to
go crazy for Tanahashi, Okada, or Nakamura, it’s funny that I still get praise
in the same light as them even though I am a heel. It’s because they respect
wrestling so much and they really enjoy it. So it’s really fun being over there
and you try to be the best heel you can be, but sometimes you just give up and
are this grey area of the wrestling world.
Ring Rust Radio:
Wrestling from America and Japan is very different. How have you managed to
find so much success during the transition to the New Japan’s unique style?
AJ Styles: I think it’s
not really a style I wasn’t accustomed to; it’s the same style I have always
wrestled. You get in there and do your best and do what you can go entertain
the people in front of you. They respect that over there. They are quiet and
you can hear everything, but that’s great because I can tell the little girl a
couple of rows back cheering for Okada to shut up. I get such a reaction from
that. It really is a great place to work from the talent to the office.
Ring Rust Radio:
You're perhaps best known for your long, successful stint in TNA. A lot of fans
feel like the TNA product has been moving in the wrong direction for the past
few years. As someone who was there for the ups and downs, where or why do you
think things might have started moving in the wrong direction, and what
ultimately led to your departure?
AJ Styles: I think around
2009-10 they were headed in the wrong direction. They were trying to be
WWE-lite and you can’t do that, you have to be different. I think that’s where
the biggest mistakes were made and they didn’t trust the guys that got them to
the ball game in the first place. They had all the talent they needed and
didn’t need to bring in other talent. I think people were misinformed about
what they could get out of it. The dial never changed when they brought in this
higher talent as they thought it would. I will say Christian Cage when he came
over was such an asset; he was the start of it. Then they brought in Kurt
Angle, which was unbelievable, and they could have stopped there and we would
have been fine. They have got to be different and turn it up. If WWE can’t do
something because they are publicly traded, then there is your advantage. That
just doesn’t apply to TNA, that applies to ROH as well. Everybody can do
something different than WWE. I will say ROH wrestling is out of this world and
nothing can compete with that. TNA they just have to change it and be
Ring Rust Radio:
Many fans consider you the pound for pound best wrestler in the world. What
does that mean to you and who do you feel is your strongest or biggest
competition for that honor?
AJ Styles: It’s tough to
even accept something like that because you are only as good as the guys you
get in the ring with. For them to say that it makes me feel good. There are so
many guys out there that I think are better like Samoa Joe, Nakamura,
Tanahashi, Okada, Jay Lethal, these guys have earned that right to be called
the best. Not to proclaim it themselves, but for others to give them that name.
It’s an honor, but I don’t think I can accept because there are so many other
great wrestlers out there.
Ring Rust Radio:
Many wrestling fans would love to see you in WWE’s NXT brand. There have been
recent rumors about your interest level, but is a run with NXT something that
interests you and would seeing several familiar faces booked well make the jump
AJ Styles: I’m going to
be honest with you guys. The thing that makes wrestling most interesting to me
is going to be the business that occurs after the match is over. A lot of
people frown on that and say money isn’t everything. Well I say it depends on
how much you have saved. My goal when I retire is to not be in a wheel chair or
walk with a limp. Wherever I go, I will do my best, work harder than anybody
there, and that’s just what I do. I only have one gear and if someone is
looking for that and I can support my family while doing it, then that is what
I will do.
Ring Rust Radio:
A lot of wrestlers look at WWE as the ultimate goal, and maybe feel like
there's a void in their career if they don't make it to that point. From your
perspective, what more do you need to do to ensure that your career's complete?
Is WWE part of that equation?
AJ Styles: It’s not, it
really isn’t. I get to work in the Tokyo Dome on January 4th in front of
thousands and thousands of people. That’s pretty awesome. I don’t know about
you guys, but the first time I watched New Japan and saw them walk down that
long ramp to the ring it was unbelievable. The fact that I get to do that, that
is my wrestling moment. I wouldn’t say I would never go to WWE, but if it
didn’t happen I wouldn’t go, “Oh man, I missed out. I’m the one guy that missed
Ring Rust Radio:
There are a lot of dreams matches fans would love to see from you, but if you could
or could have wrestled anybody in history, which would be your top choice? What
is your ultimate dream match?
AJ Styles: I think I am
going to get the opportunity to have one of my dream matches. I have never
wrestled Rey Mysterio one on one. We are going to be in England at Five Star
and we are finally going to get the chance to lock up. I’m looking forward to
that match, I think it’s going to be fun, and it’s going to be entertaining.
It’s Rey Mysterio, this guy is amazing. To be able to step in the ring with
him, it’s kind of a dream come true for me. Not because I have watched him for
so many years, but he is such a great guy and I never had the opportunity to
have that match with him. I would have loved to wrestle Eddie Guerrero, but
obviously that can’t happen. I think Rey Mysterio is definitely a big one for
Ring Rust Radio:
What are your impressions of Lucha Underground and is that something that you
may be interested in working for?
AJ Styles: Again, where
ever the business takes me that is where I will go. Lucha Underground does
great and crazy stuff over there, and it’s a little bit of what we talked about
with doing something different. Wherever the business takes me, that’s where I
am going to go.
Wednesday Wrestling Minutes - Your Weekly Source for NXT, Lucha Underground, Ring of Honor and Independent Wrestling News
Enzo Amore and Big Cass
with Carmella open NXT TV this week and they are uncharacteristically silent
and serious on their walk down to the ring. They take on Corey Hollis and John
Skylar, who actually get an entrance with music and everything. They are
wearing torn up denim vests, sorta like what Scott Dawson used to wear when
they were known as The Mechanics. Graves makes the same observation a moment
Big Cass in first and
wearing down Skylar in the corner. Enzo tags in and does much of the same with
a big forearm and then a standing dropkick. Cass big boots Skylar off the apron
and then rocket launcher Enzo onto him for the win. After, Enzo cuts a promo
about how he and Big Cass have been teaming for longer than anyone else in NXT
and that Cass is family to him. Dash and Dawson tried to take them out, and
stop them from putting food on the table for their families and the only people
who determine their future are in the ring now. It’s a very good, impassioned
promo from Enzo with a lot of real feeling and not just his usual lines and
funny rhymes. Cass cuts a promo and it’s much of the same, not quite as good as
Enzo but still good and says they’re walking out of Takeover as the new champs.
Tom Phillips talks to
Dana Brooke and Emma about Emma facing Asuka in London. Emma says she isn’t
worried. She knows Asuka was a big deal in Japan, so what. This is NXT and Emma
has been there since before anyone heard of Bayley, Sasha or Charlotte. Before
there was a Divas Revolution, there was an Emma-lution. Then Dana says they
might check out Asuka’s match later, just cause they can.
Asuka out next. She
takes on Deonna Purazzo, who actually gets a last name this time. Deonna is
doing all she can to try and stay away from Asuka but it’s no use. Asuka is
easily controlling the match, fluidly transitioning into a cross arm breaker,
but Deonna shows a lot of heart and fights to get her feet on the ropes.
Not long after that,
Emma’s music hit and Emma and Dana Brooke head to the stage. Asuka turns her
back on Deonna to look at them, then as Deonna moves on in, Asuka spins around
with a huge roundhouse kick, knocking out Deonna. Emma and Dana look pretty
concerned and the ref calls the match because Deonna is out cold.
Zack Ryder and Mojo
Rawley backstage promo. Rawley does most of the talking and it seems like their
gimmick is just what they do on Breaking Ground, Ryder tries to explain things
to Mojo, who is far too hype to care. I don’t remember what they were talking
about and it kinda doesn’t matter. Blake and Murphy, I think?
Alexa Bliss, Blake and
Murphy backstage promo. Alexa says Blake and Murphy embarrassed her when they
lost to the Hype Bros. And that Blake and the Murph are the reason she didn’t
beat Bayley for the Women’s title because their failure threw her off. They’re
pretty upset but the sudden accusations but say they’ll beat the Hype Bros to
get back in her good graces.
Alexa Bliss, Blake and
Murphy are also wearing green and red, Christmas-esque colors. And Alexa and
Blake have ripped sweaters on that make them look like Christmas Freddy
Krueger. They take on the Hype Bros, who came out first, but whatever.
The Hype Bros easily
control the match early on, keeping one or the other guy isolated and wearing
him down. Ryder hits the Broski Boot on Blake but then Murphy hits him in the
back and the tide starts to turn. Blake picks up Alexa and rams her foot into
Ryder’s face. Blake and the Murph are working over Ryder in their corner and
giving him no chance to tag. Mojo is trying to rile up the crowd and they are
really responding, but it doesn’t really help Ryder too much.
Ryder counters the
numbers game and Mojo takes out everyone. Blake and Murphy rake Mojo’s eyes and
superkick to nearly get a 3 but Ryder breaks it up. Then the Hype Bros hit the
Hype Ryder for the win.
Samoa Joe and Baron
Corbin talk about how they might not like each other but like their opponents
less. Corbin says he doesn’t like where Apollo Crews comes from and what he
represents and calls him a rookie. Joe says that Finn Balor claims Joe betrayed
him, but Joe says Balor betrayed him by not giving him a title shot. Corbin
finishes with they’re gonna beat them so bad they won’t make it to Takeover.
Bayley out next, she
takes on Peyton Royce as we’re one week away from Takeover London. Peyton is
actually getting the better of their exchanges early on and then knocks Bayley
down with a running knee. Royce is looking a lot more calculated and deliberate
in her offensive movements and showing an aggression we haven’t seen from her
Royce locks in a tight
chinlock on the mat but Bayley works out of it and starts to work her way back
into the match. Then almost out of nowhere, Bayley hits the Bayley to Belly for
Then as Bayley is
celebrating, Nia Jax’s music hits and she and Eva Marie make their way to the
ring to be awful. So awful it makes my Network stream crash and I have to
restart the app before the episode will play again. Eva has a mic and the crowd
is incredibly loud before she can start talking. Eva is awful on the mic and
Nia is only a hair better, so still pretty bad. Nia says Bayley is lucky that
she didn’t get here sooner, or Bayley would never have won the title. She also
says shes been destined for greatness since day one and it’s like, duh, The
Rock, we know.
Apollo Crews talks to
Finn Balor in the back about their match next. Crews says he’s been calling
Balor all week and hasn’t heard back so he just wanted to make sure their minds
were in the right place and Balor says Crews doesn’t need to worry about him,
just the match tonight. Crews likes that but also says that once they take of
business in London, Crews is coming after the NXT Title. Crews picks up the
belt and puts it on Balor’s shoulder before he walks out and Balor looks kinda
upset that Crews put his hands on the belt.
Ever since Joe turned
on him, Balor’s attitude has kinda changed and he’s seemed a little more
standoffish than he was before. At first, he seemed like an easy-go-lucky kind
of guy and easy-going champ but now he seems different.
Main event time now –
Apollo Crews out first followed by the champ Finn Balor. Corbin and Balor in
first but when Crews tags in, Corbin wants nothing to do with him and he tags
in Joe. Crews taking care of Joe and he wants Corbin, but neither Joe or Corbin
seem willing to oblige.
Back from a break, Joe
is helping Corbin beat down Crews in their corner. They are both working over
Crews for a while, surprisingly. But then Crews starts to make a comeback and he
and Corbin tag out and Balor goes right at Joe. Joe nearly gets the Muscle
Buster but Balor gets out and nearly gets to the top for the double stomp but
Corbin knocks him off into Joe’s arms, who plants Balor and then chokes him out
with the Kokina Clutch and the ref calls for the bell. Joe stands over the
still out cold Balor with the title belt as the episode ends.
NXT hosting Takeover: Dallas on April 1.
Tix on sale 12/19
Saw on Ivelisse’s
Facebook that LU will return to El Rey Network on January 27!
As you may know, I
attended Lucha Underground’s tapings last weekend and there is a small write up
about it at the end of this article.
Ring of Honor
Opening this episode,
Silas Young, the Beer City Bruiser and the Boys head to the ring first to take
on reDRagon. It seems like the Boys may be being indoctrinated by Silas. One of
them anyway, the other seems resolute.
The crowd starts a
Dalton Castle chant and Silas looks annoyed. Fish starts with Bruiser but gives
up a lot of size. It's not long before the team experience of reDRagon takes
over. Silas and the Bruiser actually start to gain some momentun, hitting a
series of moves on O'Reilly in their corner, and the Boys are celebrating!
What? Are they actually cheering for Silas and BCB? Stockholm Syndrome?
Just about then, Adam
Cole walks to ringside to join commentary, to watch O'Reilly get beat down.
Kyle creates separation and makes the tag to Fish who beats up Silas and locks
in the Fish Hook but Bruiser makes the save. Kyle takes out Bruiser and a Boy
with a plancha and as Silas hits Misery on Fish, the other Boy distracts the ref
from making the count.
ReDRagon comes back and
O'Reilly has a deep guillotine choke on BCB but Silas breaks it up. ReDRagon
Two Man Smash Machine on BCB then Chasing the Dragon for the win. Cole is
pissed that reDRagon won and O'Reilly gets in his face and they push and shove
to the back.
Match was good, little bit of progression for the Boys. Ending was a little
sloppy cause Bruiser is alot to handle but nothing glaring.
Afterward, Silas makes
the Boys kick the ref and DDT him. One looks pumped about it but the
other, not so much. Silas tells them to be proud of themselves and shakes their
hands. Then Dalton Castle hits the ring out of nowhere! He says Silas has
something that belongs with him! Silas sicks Bruiser on Castle but he easily
sidesteps Bruiser and knocks him down with the mic. Dalton motions for the Boys
to join him, and they almost do, but for some reason they decide to stay with
Silas (remember the one being more influenced by Silas than the other) and
Dalton can't believe it.
Chris Sabin in the
ring, complaining that someone stole their gimmick (the KRD guy distracting
them) and mentions several times that it's a member of the ROH lockerroom,
meaning you know it isn't (it's Alex Shelley). That this person has cost
his friends The Addiction the titles, and are in the WTL at the moment, and
also has been doing Sabin's moves. Hmm...who could it be? (It's Alex Shelley)
Sabin is pissed this
person has framed him and calls him out. He's hijacking the show until they
show themselves, but he doesn't have to wait long. The guy shows up almost
immediately, gets in the ring and takes off his mask and it's Alex Shelley!
Sabin can't believe it's his old MCMG tag partner and Sabin walks out with his
hands on his head.
Next up, Samson Walker
takes on Roderick Strong for the TV title. Sounds familiar. Kevin Kelly says
he's won gold in Puerto Rico and been around the world. Dude is jacked so he
may give Roddy some problems. Bobby Fish on commentary since he has a TV title
shot at Final Battle. Roddy tries to start fast but Walker uses his size to
weather the initial attack and overpower Roddy, slamming him into the posts and
the guardrail. Walker has a bear hug and Roddy fights out but then get put down
with a spine buster and Walker gets a 2 count.
But Roddy won't stay
down. He hits a series of forearms and an Olympic Slam for 2. Fish grabs the TV
title belt and sits with it at the table, saying he just wants a closer
look. After a double knee gut buster and a Sick Kick, Roddy gets the win.
Commentary keeps talking about Roddy vs the World so it seems like he's gonna
be defending the TV title against all comers.
Afterward, Fish gets in the ring and he has the TV title belt on and Roddy is
pretty pissed. He takes his belt back and things start escalating until refs
Mandy Leon does a recap
of the Survival of the Fittest, where Michael Elgin pinned Jay Briscoe with a
Burning Hammer. And Elgin says he wants his title shot in Japan.
Main event time, the
Young Bucks out first to take on the Briscoes. All Night Express on commentary
for this one. Handshakes all around beforehand, but it isn't long into the
match before egos take over and they're all pushing and shoving. The Bucks
throw a Superkick Party for both Mark and Jay and level them with topes. Matt
gets in the faces of ANX so it seems like tempers are rising all around.
Back in the ring, the
Briscoes are in control. ANX talks about being apart for so long but not
missing a step and that they were never pinned to lose the tag titles years ago.
Also that they had the Bucks pinned in a match before, for 14 seconds, but the
ref didn't see, for 14 seconds, and neither kicked out, for 14 seconds. Even though
the Bucks won that match.
Briscoes nearly get the
win after a Froggy Bow from Mark then they set up for a Doomsday Device. Mark
hits the clothesline but Matt flips out and lands on his feet! Nick back in and
superkick Jay then both superkick Mark. Bucks Indytaker Mark but Jay breaks it
up at 2.99. (Hmm seemed kinda like a Briscoe botch and didn't quite get there
in time). Evade Jay and take him out and More Bang on Mark for the win!
ANX gets in the ring,
telling Nigel they just want to congratulate the Bucks, but all 3 teams start
shoving then brawling. Security and refs try to break them up but they're all
getting taken out.
Next week, RPG Vice vs
ACH and Matt Sydal and an appearance by former ROH champ Jerry Lynn.
This week ROH TV
Adam Cole vs Corey Hollis
War Machine and Dalton Castle are in action
Kevin Kelly talks to former ROH champ Jerry Lynn about the World title match at
And RPG Vice faces ACH and Matt Sydal
ROH Final Battle
Live on PPV
ROH World Title
Jay Lethal (c) vs AJ
ROH Tag Team Titles
The Kingdom (c) vs War
ROH TV Title
Roderick Strong (c) vs
Adam Cole vs Kyle
Six man tag
Alex Shelley, ACH and
Matt Sydal vs The Addiction and Chris Sabin
Dalton Castle vs Silas
Michael Elgin vs Moose
ROH Tag Title #1
The Briscoes vs The All
Night Express vs The Young Bucks
Cheeseburger vs Brutal
ROH Final Battle PPV on
PS4 (with a discount for Playstation Plus) members, through Live Event Viewer
ROH’s biggest show of
the year is now even easier to watch for fans with a Playstation 3 or Playstation
The live PPV can be
ordered and watched through the Live Event Viewer app for the cost of $34.95
and those who are Playstation Plus members get an additional 20% off, making
the show a few cents below $28.
Long story short, the
agreement will allow for exclusive contracted ROH stars like Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly,
the Young Bucks and others to "compete on a select number of PWG shows per
Honor Rising: Japan
New Japan Pro Wrestling
recently announced the official name for the events that they will co-promote
with ROH in 2016. The shows will be titled “Honor Rising: Japan 2016” and will
be held on Feb 19 and 20 at the legendary Korakuen Hall.
No matches have been
announced yet, but I’m very excited for some prospective match ups between ROH
guys and NJPW guys who don’t make the trip for the annual Global Wars/War of
the Worlds shows. It’ll be great to finally see Shibata and Ishii get matched
up against ROH guys, not to mention the great up-and-coming Young Lion talent
like Jay White, David Finlay, Sho Tanaka and Yohei Komatsu who will no doubt
get a chance to shine.
New Japan Pro Wrestling
World Tag League finals
-Yohei Komatsu and Sho
Tanaka def. Juice Robinson and David Finlay Jr.
-Mascara Dorada def.
-Tiger Mask IV and
Ryusuke Taguchi def. Jushin “Thunder” Liger and KUSHIDA
-TenKoji, Yuji Nagata
and Manabu Nakanishi def. Bullet Club (Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, Yujiro
Takahashi and Tama Tonga)
(A video aired showing
Truth Martini talking to Jay Lethal, about Lethal wanting to defend the ROH
World title at Wrestle Kingdom 10 on January 4)
-The Kingdom def. The
-Shinsuke Nakamura and
Toru Yano def. Bad Luck Fale and Cody Hall
Michael Elgin, Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata def. Kazuchika Okada,
Tomohiro Ishii, Kazushi Sakuraba and Yoshi-Hashi
World Tag League finals
-Tomoaki Honma and Togi
Makabe def. Los Ingobernables
(Honma won with the
Kokeshi diving headbutt on EVIL and it seems they will challenge Bullet Club at
Kazuchika Okada is the
Enuhito reported last
week that IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada was voted the 2015 Tokyo
Prowrestling MVP. Not only that, but voted the Kazuchika Okada vs Genichiro
Tenryu from the Tenryu Retirement Show as Match of the Year. I didn’t watch
that show, even though it is on World, but I heard it wasn’t great. It’s not
surprising though, since Tenryu is 65 years old but it’s also not surprising it
was voted MOTY because Tenryu was a pretty big deal and therefore so is his
retirement (and saying he was a big deal is probably underselling his legacy a
-The annual big January 4 NJPW Tokyo
Dome show is quickly approaching and many matches have been announced
IWGP Heavyweight Championship
Kazuchika Okada (c) vs G1 Climax 25
winner Hiroshi Tanahashi
IWGP Intercontinental Championship
Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs AJ Styles
NEVER Openweight Championship
Tomohiro Ishii (c) vs Katsuyori Shibata
Hirooki Goto vs Tetsuya Naito
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
Bullet Club (Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson
and Doc Gallows) (c) vs 2015 World Tag League winners Tomoaki Honma and Togi
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Kenny Omega (c) vs KUSHIDA
ROH World Championship
(If Jay Lethal retains against AJ
Jay Lethal (c) vs Michael Elgin
Toru Yano, TBA and TBA vs Tama Tonga,
Bad Luck Fale and Yujiro Takahashi
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team
reDRagon (c) vs Young Bucks vs RPG Vice
vs Ricochet and Matt Sydal
Annual New Japan Rumble (a battle royal,
usually just a fun way to start the show, using older vets to pop the crowd.
Also on the NJPW site, this match is called the “New Japan Rambo”)
Michael Elgin, Sami
Callihan and ADAM COLE BAY BAY made returns at PWG ASW 11 N1. And N2, Kyle
O'Reilly returned during the main event.
All Star Weekend Night
-Chuck Taylor def. Mark
-Ricochet def. Marty
-The Unbreakable F’n
Machines def. The American Wolves
-Sami Callihan def.
said he had been locked in a cage for the past 2 years but now he is back to
prove he is the best in the world)
-Trevor Lee def. Will
-Kenny Omega def.
“Speedball” Mike Bailey
-Young Bucks retained
the PWG tag titles against Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa
retained the PWG title against Matt Sydal
(After the main event,
the Bucks joined Strong but they were attacked by Speedball and the World’s
Cutest Tag Team. The lights went out and
Super Dragon appeared but he had a mic and yelled “SUCK MY DICK!” and
did a brainbuster on his knee to Candice, then took off his mask to reveal
himself as Adam Cole! Cole had not been seen in PWG since May of 2014 and it
seems that he is aligning himself with Mt Rushmore 2.0. Though, Strong, the
current leader and world champ, seems to be at odds with the returning former
leader of the group.)
All Star Weekend Night
-Chuck Taylor def.
(This was only a few
minutes, Kikutaro asks for another match, Chuck agrees because he is a
-Chuck Taylor def.
(Mt. Rushmore 2.0
attacked Kikutaro afterward)
-Timothy Thatcher def.
-Unbreakable F’n Machines
def. Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano
-Ricochet def. Mark
-Trevor Lee def. Matt
-Kenny Omega def. Will
-Chris Hero, “Speedball”
Mike Bailey and the World’s Cutest Tag Team def. Mt Rushmore 2.0 in a Guerilla
involved, Kyle O’Reilly made his return to attack Mt. Rushmore and Hero got the
pin on a Buck after a roaring elbow with a thumbtack elbow pad)
Jan 22 at Mid-Hudson
Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 23 at Rahway Rec
Center in Rahway, NJ
CZW Cage of Death XVII results
-Desmond Xavier won a scramble match
involving Poseidon, Chip Day, Eddie Smooth, Conor Claxton, Lucky 13 and
Brittany Blake to earn a spot in Best of the Best
-Lio Rush def. Joey Janela to win the
CZW Wired Championship
-The Amazing Gulaks def. Beaver Boys
-Greg Excellent def. Tony Nese
-George Gatton def. DJ Hype
-TV Ready (BLK Jeez and Pepper Parks)
def. Team Tremendous to win the CZW Tag Team Titles
-Joe Gacy def. Tim Donst
(Donst said “I Quit” before Gacy threw
him off a scaffold, but then Gacy threw him off anyway)
-Danny Havoc def. Ricky Shane Page
-Sami Callihan def. David Starr
-Matt Tremont retains the CZW World
Title in the Cage of Death against AR Fox, Masada and Devon Moore
CZW vs Smash Jan 16
Combat Zone Wrestling has a long history
of working with other notable indy companies to help raise the profile of both
companies. Back when I was going to CZW regularly in the mid-2000s, I had the
chance to see CZW work with smaller companies like IWA-MS, Chikara, and IWS as
well as PWG and Ring of Honor before
they became the massively popular promotions they are today.
CZW being an east coast showcase for the
best indy wrestling talent on the scene today still hasn’t changed and in 2016,
CZW will be teaming up with one of Canada’s most popular companies, Smash
Taking place on January 16 in Toronto,
Canada (I’ll be REAL annoyed if they don’t do a joint show in Philly or at the
Skate Zone), the event is advertised as Team Smash vs Team CZW. I haven’t been
able to find a card yet (one probably doesn’t even exist yet, since CZW
probably wanted to get through COD before looking to 2016) but I will be sure
to pass it along once I find out.
Joe’s Journey to the West
I plan on doing a much more extensive
write up about my trip to LA to see PWG and Lucha Underground, but for now,
enjoy the short write up I did for Ring Rust Radio:
Last week, I took my
first ever trip to Los Angeles to not only attend season 2 tapings of Lucha
Underground, but also to attend my first PWG show, night one of All Star
Weekend 11. – As fun as the Lucha tapings were, nothing could ever compare to
the atmosphere at a PWG show. The crowd was raucous all night long, even as
temperatures inside the American Legion Hall in Reseda neared triple digits. –
Several wrestlers returned to PWG at ASW N1, including Michael Elgin, Kenny
Omega, who was last in PWG for the 2014 Battle of Los Angeles, and the American
Wolves, who hadn’t teamed in PWG since 2011. – There were also many surprise
returns, like Sami Callihan, who defeated Drew Gulak and cut a promo saying
that he has been locked in a cage for 2 years but now he’s back to prove why
he’ the best in the world. –Adam Cole returned as well, who rejoined Mount
Rushmore after dressing like Super Dragon to attack Candice LeRae. – Also, it
was recently announced that ROH and PWG had reached an agreement that would
allow contracted ROH stars such as Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly and the Young Bucks
to work select PWG dates going forward.
The Lucha Underground
taping was an experience completely unique from any other wrestling show I’ve
ever attended. – El Rey Network creator Robert Rodriguez played music with his
band during the taping, as well as even filming some of an episode. “Machete”
star Danny Trejo and producer Mark Burnett were also in attendance. – After
having been inside the Temple, the interior looks much bigger on TV than it is
in real life. And since it is a television show and not a taped wrestling show,
the production staff is much larger than any show I’ve seen, besides WWE. –
Also, the “backstage areas” are scattered around nearby the ring area. For
instance, the “gym” setting was right behind my seats, which were to the right
of Cueto’s office. – And even though it may be obvious, Pentagon is easily the
most over person in LU and he gave me perhaps the hardest high-five ever. – In
terms of what I saw at the tapings, without getting into spoiler territory I
brand new to season 2
-The return of a very
-A title change
-And an Aztec Warfare
Also, Lucha Underground
now has a shop on ProWrestlingTees.com and it was announced last week that
Lucha Underground Season 2 will begin on January 27.