The Delco Elbow Drop

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wrestle Kingdom 9 Guide: An Intro to New Japan's Biggest Show of the Year

With Global Force Wrestling presenting New Japan Pro Wrestling’s “Wrestle Kingdom 9” in America live on InDemand Pay-Per-View, it will give American fans a chance who have heard about Bullet Club, Hiroshi Tanahashi or Kazuchika Okada to see them first-hand at New Japan’s biggest show of the year.

  I don’t follow New Japan as closely as some do, but after watching a majority of the 2014 G1 Climax tournament, I became a big fan of the product and of many of the wrestlers themselves. But whether you follow New Japan or not, Wrestle Kingdom 9 will be a great show to watch as it’s the company’s biggest show of the year and all the main titles will be defended. Also, legendary pro wrestling commentator Jim Ross will be calling the show along with Matt Striker for the English broadcast of WK9.

  There are a few distinct differences between New Japan Pro Wrestling and WWE that new fans will want to be aware of going in.

January 4 Dome Show
  It wasn’t always called Wrestle Kingdom, but the January 4 Tokyo Dome Show has been a tradition for New Japan Pro Wrestling since the early 90s. This is the Japanese version of Wrestlemania and is available in America live for the first time ever this year thanks to Global Force Wrestling.

  Almost everyone in New Japan are part of some faction. Though, unlike American promotions, these faction affiliations aren’t very prominent. You’ll hardly ever see members of CHAOS or Great Bash Heel interfere in matches or accompany other members to the ring for matches.
  In New Japan, the overriding desire to display good sportsmanship means even heels and heel factions don’t generally interfere in each other’s matches. However, Bullet Club eschews those traditions and functions much more like an American pro wrestling stable, which is a big reason why they’ve made such an impact in New Japan. Bullet Club is an all gaijin stable (with the exception of Yujiro Takahashi) and gaijin basically means someone who isn’t from Japan.
  The most important factions to keep an eye on in at Wrestle Kingdom 9 are CHAOS, Bullet Club, and Suzukigun.
  The Global Force Wrestling website has a great write up with even more detail about the factions of NJPW here.

Tag teams
  As WWE seems to be moving away from giving tag teams a prominent role on their show, tag team wrestling is still a very important part of New Japan. The company features two different tag team tournaments each year and several different tag team titles are defended regularly in New Japan, such as the IWGP heavyweight tag team titles, IWGP junior heavyweight tag team titles and NWA tag team titles.
  New Japan stars also regularly team up to form new and interesting tag teams outside of established teams like Killer Elite Squad, The Time Splitters or The Young Bucks. For instance, the team of Katsuyori Shibata and Hirooki Goto won the recent World Tag League tournament, after feuding for much of 2013.
  New Japan also utilizes the larger tag formats (like 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 man matches) more often than WWE. I remember listening to an interview with Chikara’s Mike Quackenbush who related larger tag team matches to painting a picture with different colors and why use only two or four colors when you can use more.
  Global Force Wrestling also did a nice write up of tag team wrestling in New Japan and you can read that here.

The Wrestle Kingdom 9 card
reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish) (c) versus The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) versus The Time Splitters (Alex Shelley and KUSHIDA) versus The Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero and Alex Koslov)
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships
-reDRagon defeated The Time Splitters for the IWGP Jr tag belts at Power Struggle on Nov. 8 and recently defeated them to retain the ROH tag titles at Final Battle on Dec. 7. But with the Bucks and Forever Hooligans involved, it will be tough for reDRagon to retain. I wouldn’t be surprised to see The Time Splitters regain the belts here, though it’s entirely possible for any of these teams to win the titles.

Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Jeff Jarrett and Yujiro Takahashi) versus Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima and Tomoaki Honma
-Tencozy (sometimes written as TenKoji) along with tenacious underdog Tomoaki Honma will take on the gaijin stable Bullet Club at WK9. Tencozy are multiple time NWA Tag Team champions and though Honma hasn’t won much in New Japan, his hard-working style and tenacity has endeared him to the fans (he didn’t pick up a single win in the most G1 Climax tournament as a late replacement for Kota Ibushi). Bullet Club is still going strong but haven’t been the dominant force in NJPW they once were. A loss here could really affect their status, despite GFW founder Jeff Jarrett now being attached to Bullet Club.

Mikey Nicholls, Naomichi Marufuji, Shane Haste and Toru Yano versus Suzukigun (Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lance Archer, Shelton X Benjamin and Takashi Iizuka)
-Suzukigun takes on a makeshift team featuring CHAOS member Toru Yano and three Pro Wrestling NOAH wrestlers Mikey Nicholls, Shane Haste and the current GHC Heavyweight champion Naomichi Marufuji.  Haste and Nicholls are and Australian tag team (TDMK, The Mighty Don’t Kneel) trained by Marufuji and will help Yano as he takes on Suzukigun and former tag team partner, Takashi Iizuka.

Minoru Suzuki versus Kazushi Sakuraba
-This match between two heavy-handed strikers who are also well-versed in submissions will be a knockout or submission only match. Sakuraba teamed with Yano in the recent World Tag League tournament and as he’s facing the leader of Suzukigun, this match is almost an extension of the previous 8-man tag. Suzuki is a no-nonsense badass but Sakuraba is a world-renown MMA fighter, having spent time in the early days of UFC and in Pride Fighting Championships. The rivalry began when Sakuraba came to the aid of Yano after Iizuka turned on him. Both Suzuki and Sakuraba have extensive training in legitimate combat sports and I wouldn’t be surprised if this one looked more like an MMA fight than a pro wrestling match.

Tomohiro Ishii (c) versus Togi Makabe
NEVER Openweight Championship
-Ishii regained the NEVER title from Yujiro Takahashi at the King of Pro-Wrestling event on Oct. 13. I don’t think this match is based on a feud or rivalry but it should be hard-hitting none-the-less. Both Ishii and Makabe are bruisers and will beat the hell out of each other. There have only been 5 NEVER champs and Ishii is the first two-time champ so I don’t see him losing it so soon after regaining it. Aside from Suzuki/Sakuraba, this will most likely be one of the stiffest matches of the night.
(I also looked into the NEVER belt a little bit. NJPW originally created it to be the championship for a new promotion which highlighted younger competitors and outside talent and have it defended exclusively on NEVER shows, but that didn’t really pan out. Now the belt is basically an undercard title for NJPW and has been won exclusively by established guys [Masato Tanaka won a tournament, defeating Karl Anderson to win it, followed by Tetsuya Naito, Ishii, Takahashi and finally Ishii again]).

Ryusuke Taguchi (c) versus Kenny Omega
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
-Taguchi defeated KUSHIDA for the Junior title at Destruction in Kobe on Sept. 21 and subsequently defended it against El Desperado despite constant interference from Desperado’s stablemates in Suzukigun. Kenny Omega recently joined NJPW full-time after several years in DDT. Though in the press conference announcing his jump to New Japan he said he wouldn’t join Bullet Club, he debuted at Power Struggle on Nov. 8 as a member of the gaijin stable, saying he lied at the press conference and he only cares about the money and the Junior title. A funny note about Omega is although he’s fluent in Japanese, he has only been cutting promos in English as a member of the Bullet Club.

Bullet Club (Doc Gallows and Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson) (c) versus Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata
IWGP Tag Team Championship
- Gallows and Machine Gun have held the IWGP tag belts consistently throughout the year after winning them at Wrestle Kingdom 8. They’ll take on Goto and Shibata who are on a hot streak right now after winning the World Tag League tournament. Goto and Shibata actually went to the same high school and have been battling ever since but since ending their feud at Wrestle Kingdom 8 (which Goto won), they formed a tag team with their sights set on Gallows and Machine Gun. They’ve defeated the champs in non-title matches but haven’t been able to unseat them for the gold. Though Shibata was also on a quest to win singles gold this year in the form of the IWGP Heavyweight or Intercontinental titles, Goto and Shibata defeated Gallows and Machine Gun in the finals of the 2014 World Tag League to set up this match. Bullet Club won the belts at the last Wrestle Kingdom – will they leave WK this year with them?

A.J. Styles versus Tetsuya Naito
-2014 was a banner year for Styles. In his first match in New Japan, he defeated Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight title and aligned himself with the Bullet Club. But at King of Pro-Wrestling on Oct. 13, Styles lost the title to Hiroshi Tanahashi. Naito beat Styles in the 2014 G1 Climax, which Styles insisted was a fluke, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he wanted this match to prove that fact. But if Naito gets a win over the former IWGP Heavyweight champion, that would have to put him in the running for a title shot in 2015.

Shinsuke Nakamura (c) versus Kota Ibushi
IWGP Intercontinental Championship
-If you only watch WWE, you might think the New Japan Intercontinental title also doesn’t mean a whole lot. And you would be wrong. Nakamura has done an exceptional job of making the title feel important and many hold it in as high a regard as the Heavyweight title. Nakamura is a four-time champion, the only person to hold the belt more than once, and defeated Bad Luck Fale to regain it at Destruction in Kobe on Sept. 21. After defending the title against Shibata at Power Struggle on Nov. 8, Ibushi attacked him, setting up this match. The returning Ibushi was formerly in the Junior Heavyweight title picture but on his return looks to get into IC and Heavyweight contention. (Fun fact: MVP, former WWE and current TNA star, was the first NJPW IC champ, defeating Toru Yano in the finals of an 8-man tournament at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia).

Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) versus Kazuchika Okada
IWGP Heavyweight Championship
-Tanahashi versus Okada is perhaps the biggest rivalry in New Japan right now. Think Flair/Steamboat, Misawa/Kobashi, Hart/Michaels, Triple H/Rock and you’ll start to get a picture of this feud. And that isn’t just lofty praise – it’s been backed up in the ring with some of the best matches of the past decade. These two met several times throughout 2012-2013 in singles matches and produced not one but two 5-star matches in that time. Okada won the recent G1 Climax tournament, guaranteeing him a spot in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 9 against the IWGP Heavyweight Champion. At the time, that man was A.J. Styles – but Styles ended up losing the title to Tanahashi at King of Pro-Wrestling on Oct. 13. Tanahashi is the most prestigious IWGP Heavyweight champion, in his seventh reign, with the most title defenses and most combined days as the champion. But Okada is determined to take his place as the new ace of New Japan. The rivalry will be renewed at Wrestle Kingdom 9 and with a global audience watching, you can bet that Tanahashi and Okada will go all out to deliver a spectacular match.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, December 29, 2014

Exclusive Ring Rust Radio interview with Jeff Jarrett on Global Force Wrestling and the upcoming Wrestle Kingdom 9

The team at Ring Rust Radio – Donald Wood, Mike Chiari and Brandon Galvin – have another huge, exclusive interview for all the fans out there with former WWE and WCW wrestler and the founder of Global Force Wrestling, Jeff Jarrett! With GFW presenting New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestling Kingdom 9 event this Sunday, January 4 live on Pay-Per-View, this is a huge opportunity to hear from the man who made it all possible. You can listen to the interview on the YouTube link below or continue on to read the entire interview.

Donald Wood: Global Force Wrestling will host the North American presentation of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s “Wrestle Kingdom 9” live on Pay-Per-View on Jan. 4. How would you describe the event to casual wrestling fans who have never seen New Japan wrestling or Wrestle Kingdom?

Jeff Jarrett: How would I describe it?  I would have to say that this is a can’t-miss event and that’s really taking on a lot of ground.  It’s hard to say in this day and age with so many events and so many Pay-Per-Views. We have all the stars aligning:  It’s in the Tokyo Dome, over 50,000 fans, Jim Ross is going to be calling it, the New Japan the promotion is red hot, the Bullet Club is the hottest faction, and the addition of the Flips app it has become the most widely distributed live Pay-Per-View wrestling event in the history of our business.  And that really says something there.

Mike Chiari: Global Force Wrestling already has global partnerships with many top-level promotions including both New Japan and AAA among others. Once GFW has its own product and roster how do you plan on using that your advantage? Could we see things like talent exchanges, super shows and things of that nature?

Jeff Jarrett: Absolutely.  That’s all part of the Global Force Wrestling plan; establish and get the brand awareness.  Over the years, if you rush it to market and it’s not ready it’s a sure sign of failure.  So we are taking our time and methodically rolling it out and establishing our brand.  The philosophy of us partnering with New Japan is to set up a talent exchange.  I think it’s healthy for promotions to work together as oppose to against one another.

Brandon Galvin: Your family has been the industry for decades and you've seen every side of the business. When it comes to the creative and storyline building of a company, what do you think resonates most with fans and what they're looking for? And how will you look to relay that to your audience in GFW?

Jeff Jarrett: In this day and age, this show is a perfect example.  Jim Ross with several of our promotional videos said ‘don’t over think things.’  This business is built on championships, hard hitting action, and larger than life personalities.  With the videos we have rolled out, we used what I like to call docu-style.  With the wrestling fan now, they are so knowledgeable and it’s such a small world.  Just today I talked to the Australian fan base and Dublin, Ireland. I’ve done wrestling podcasts promoting Wrestle Kingdom 9 in Brazil, Portugal, United Kingdome, Germany, and South Africa.  The wrestling fan is so much more connected and much more knowledgeable than in the past.  They want to see that hard hitting action, the very best of professional wrestling, the larger than life personalities, and that’s what we’re going to present.

Donald Wood: When we spoke to Jim Ross in October, he talked about his interest in announcing for a wrestling promotion again. It was announced just a few weeks later that he would be the play-by-play commentating for the Global Force Wrestling pay-per-view. What does adding Ross to the announce team do for the credibility and mainstream marketability of Wrestle Kingdom?

Jeff Jarrett: When New Japan and Global Force Wrestling solidified our relationship and we made it public back in August, our next step was how are we going to bring New Japan to the North America market?  It became real obvious that the Dome Show is literally on par with WrestleMania.  So when we finalized the Pay-Per-View contracts, we said to ourselves, ‘Who is going to be the English speaking announcer?’  Jim Ross is the voice of today’s wrestling generation, so when he was available it was definitely a no-brainer.  I’ve worked with his management people in the past, they are straight up, stand up, and honest guys.  We came to an agreement and got him on board.  I knew he would take this event to another level, but it has far exceeded my expectations.  Just the media requests alone over the last three weeks have gone through the roof.  Jim is doing main stream media already like Fox Sports, Grantland, and other promotions like that.  Everybody wants to talk to Jim about this event because he is the voice of today’s wrestling generation.  When you talk about a talent in this business, you think of a Hulk Hogan.  He came on the scene in 1983, had a 20 plus year career, and a main event mega roll.  Well, Jim Ross is exactly the same.  He is the best of the best of the best.  Dating back to the WCW Clash of the Champions and roll through all the WrestleManias Jim has been a part of, when he says this may be the very best main event he has ever called, that’s strong words and that resonates with me.  When Jim Ross says things like that, it makes people stop and really think about it.  Then you start to see how things are adding up it really has become a can’t-miss event.

Mike Chiari: Ring of Honor is going to have a presence on the Wrestle Kingdom 9 card, and there has been a great deal of speculation regarding GFW and ROH potentially having a working relationship moving forward. Firstly, has any progress been made on that front? And secondly, how vital do you believe ROH involvement could be to GFW’s success?

Jeff Jarrett: The overriding philosophy of Global Force Wrestling is to not only recognize other promotions but help promote them as well.  Ring of Honor’s Pay-Per-View a couple of weeks ago, we used our digital space and social media presence to help promote those guys.  What Ring of Honor and Global Force have agreed to is to really focus the matter at hand:  January 4.  reDRagon have phenomenal talent and possibly the show stealer.  Their match is 2015 wrestling and beyond.  The Time Splitters, The Young Bucks, who I believe is the best tag-team in wrestling today, and the Forever Hooligans is going to be a four corners tag match.  No doubt that it will be a potential match of the year and an awesome match.  Ring of Honor and Global Force are taking it step-by-step, having patience, and focusing on January 4 at this time.

Brandon Galvin: Jeff, some of the best wrestlers in the world are currently working the independent circuit and making waves throughout the industry.  As you scout talent for GFW, are there any specific wrestlers that have caught your attention as a promoter and fan of the sport?

Jeff Jarrett: Well those types of specific talents I hold close to the vest at this time.  I said it back in January of 2014, I feel like the business is on the cusp of a real boom period.  With Lucha Underground on Del Rey, New Japan coming to Axis, congrats on TNA going to Destination America, and Ring of Honor syndication.  You know we are gonna have our roll out in 2015 and I’m very excited.  Back to your point, I know the indy guys, I think that’s almost a negative condensation, I call them the free agent market.  I think the free agent market is as healthy as it has ever been with established guys that had their runs on TV and the national presence.  Much more important, the undiscovered talent is through the roof.  It is a really deep talent pool.

Donald Wood: Let’s talk about Global Force Wrestling. There has been plenty of talk about you starting another promotion as you did with TNA, but wrestling fans have yet to see an original in-ring product. Do you plan on making this a weekly television show and is there any timetable for a possible television or pay-per-view debut?

Jeff Jarrett: In 2015, the roll out will continue.  I can tell you one weekly show will not get it done in this day and age.  The brand awareness needs a constant touch point with your fan base.  If not on a daily basis then an hourly basis.  With the roll out that we are doing with Wrestle Kingdom 9, the videos leading up to January 4 are going to get much more match specific talking about the exact match ups.  We really focused on presenting this product in a new manner.  I believe it’s going to be much more of a weekly show.  The digital age has consumed with entertainment going online like the WWE Network and New Japan World.  But it’s not just wrestling, Major League Baseball has such a strong online presence and other forms of entertainment.

Mike Chiari: With the exception of WCW, no wrestling company has given WWE a true run for its money since the territory system broke down. With GFW’s partnership announcements a lot of people are comparing it to the territories. Do you view it in a similar light? And do you believe you have a business model that is capable of providing WWE with some legitimate competition?

Jeff Jarrett: The territory model those days are gone just because of technology.  The partnership and respect of we will help you guys promote this if you help us promote that. I believe rising tide brings all ships up.  I believe that’s a philosophy that proves to be successful.  When you talk about competition, that’s such a close-minded mentality.  It’s not about competing against WWE, we need to worry about our success and our bottom line.  In the music business, Taylor Swift can sell out Madison Square Garden seven nights in a row, but three weeks later Garth Brooks can come in.  Are they competing against each other?  Maybe the press will say this guy sold more tickets or downloads, but I say no.  There are different forms of music and entertainment.  New movies come out every week but they aren’t in competition they are still in the entertainment business.  That’s how I see the wrestling business.  WWE has probably 85 or 88 percent U.S. market share in the wrestling space.  I want to do everything in my power with Global Force Wrestling to break and get some market share.  That’s the real focus.

Brandon Galvin: When you appeared on Jim Ross’ podcast, you discussed your thoughts on the TLC PPV event.  Your perspective of watching a wrestling event must be far different than ours.  Could you explain to us as a promoter and owner what it is that you look for when you watch another company’s event?

Jeff Jarrett: Well, I believe you probably missing the most important factor when you say that I look at it differently.  I need to do everything in my power to look at it through the fans eyes then I’m missing the point.  Are they really enjoying it?  Why are the enjoying it? And you listen for the reactions.  You listen with a trained ear over the years for how they are responding and what is that response.  When I watched that PPV, Dolph Ziggler tore the house down, and as a wrestling fan how can I walk away and not like it?  It was off the charts.  I still have to look at it through the fans eyes and say to myself, ‘Did I enjoy that, will I keep spending my money on it, will I keep going to the website, will I continue to support the promotion?’ those are the most important things.  Me being in this business and my family being in this business since back in the 1940s we realized that.  The wrestling fan so to speak has put groceries on our table for over 70 years and that is very important to me.

Donald Wood: One of the biggest pieces of news from the past year was you joining New Japan Pro Wrestling's Bullet Club stable. As a member of heel stables in the past, what do you think makes the Bullet Club so successful and how do you think your inclusion has impacted the group?

Jeff Jarrett: It’s real.  When you hear Karl Anderson sit down and talk about it, it’s like, I get it.  The original club, the building blocks of it, was four guys in a dojo, and that’s not an easy way to come up in the business.  They all organically rose up and came together.  Prince Devitt and Karl were real brothers and the people knew it.  When they approached me with it they said, ‘Jeff this is right up your alley.  We do what we want, when we want, where we want.’  When Devitt left and AJ Styles stepped in, I don’t think the timing could have been better.  No disrespect to Devitt who will be a household name in the years to come, but AJ has come off a strong run with a worldwide company and he fit right into that slot.   He became the champion, and the Bullet Club went to another level.  They found out that Global Force and New Japan were cementing their relationship, they approached me and said, ‘Hey, we want you to be a part of it’. How do you turn that down?  They are the hottest faction when I’m talking to Sydney, Australia and Dublin, Ireland, and you go to independent shows and see Bullet Club shirts everywhere that speaks volumes.

Mike Chiari: The vast majority of wrestling fans would probably agree that TNA was at its best when you were at the helm. With TNA transitioning to Destination America and essentially rebooting its product what are some of the main things you believe TNA needs to do in order to reestablish that success?

Jeff Jarrett: No comment on that.  I wish those guys nothing but the best, but I want them to figure it out on their own and they will.  They got a good group assembled over there and I wish them nothing but the best.  I’m happy with them getting a deal with Destination America there is so much there that nobody knew before.  It’s healthy for the industry for them to stay afloat.

Brandon Galvin: A lot of wrestlers today appear hesitant to reinvent themselves.  How important is it for a wrestler to keep reinventing themselves and have wrestlers ever reached out to you for advice?

Jeff Jarrett: Wrestling is my passion.  I love God first, my wife second, my kids third, and wrestling fourth.  I love giving advice even though it’s not always good all the time but I try.  As far as reinventing yourself and characters it comes from being around the business for so long.  You get wrapped up in the character.  You have to look at it through the fans eyes you know?  The fans love something new and something fresh.  You may be in love with a certain part of your DNA in your makeup and your character, that doesn’t mean the fans always will.  The audience will tell you certain things they like and don’t like.  You have to listen and be able to learn from that.  It’s not major overhauls of characters, it’s tweaks.  I think that’s what makes a really successful character and a run.  Guys like the Undertaker over the years has been a master at it.  Goes without saying Hulk Hogan went from the red and yellow to the black and white and that gave him an enormous tenure run so you have to know how to tweak things.

Donald Wood: As a wrestler, you achieved serious success in WCW, WWE, TNA, AAA and other companies around the world. Looking back through the years, what would you consider your proudest achievement in the ring and why?

Jeff Jarrett: That’s tough to say any one thing, you know like we said you evolve.  My early days I was very proud of a match I had with Nick Bockwinkle in the first or second year I was in the business.  I had a couple of matches with Kurt Henning that went 40 - 45 minutes and I was proud of those.  Then you move into the first time I won the Intercontinental title against Razor that was a proud moment.  The first time you win the world title of course that has to rank right up there to the very, very top because that’s a reason you get into the business is to be the world champ.  Winning the Triple A heavyweight title and be the longest reigning non-Mexican wrestler to hold that title in my opinion is a heck of an accomplishment for me especially at my stage in my career.  The series of matches I had against Kurt Angle were some of the most brutal and intense matches I have ever been in and I really enjoyed that.  Go back a few more years and the series of matches I had against Shawn Michaels.  It’s hard to say one and it’s fun to reminisce but I have to look toward the future.

Mike Chiari: One of the more controversial moments of your career was the WCW Bash at the Beach 2000 incident that saw you lay down and lose the world title to Hulk Hogan. Looking back at that situation now how do you feel about the decision to kind of air backstage dirty laundry in front of the fans? Do you have any regrets about how everything went down? 

Jeff Jarrett: I worked for a company, and that company was in shambles, and it was a true microcosm of how that company was being run at that time.  There’s not any one person to blame, it was the corporate environment and culture.  You talk about football teams, like my beloved Tennessee Titans who have had a terrible year, you can’t really put that on any one individual.  There’s new ownership, new General Manager, player personal, new coaches, new assistant coaches, and new players.  I think it’s the environment it’s the culture and I think on the flip side of that you have to create a culture.  Obviously the Green Bay Packers, they have been winners for years, and their culture is a winning culture.  You look at the New England Patriots, it’s a winning culture.  There are baseball teams and production teams and movie houses that do things right consistently.  That 2000 Bash at the Beach the culture was toxic.

Brandon Galvin: One of my favorite feuds you had was against Raven in TNA for the title.  Are there any rivalries or feuds that you enjoyed working on than anyone else?

Jeff Jarrett: Well I've touched on a few of them like my matches with Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle.  Early on in my career, Jerry Lawler, who was a child hood hero, we had a series of matches against the Moon Dogs, it was the hardest of the hardcore and I really enjoyed that.  It was a really intense feud.  You want me to comment on that night?  You could feel the electricity that night.  It was really magic that night.  When Raven and I built up to that title match, we turned away people, we had more people outside the building than inside.  It was a good night that night.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, December 26, 2014

NXT, Lucha Underground and Indy Wrestling Minutes - You weekly source for independent wrestling news

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and I’ve got a special present for you – independent wrestling news!

NXT TV, 12/18
  NXT TV opens with video package recapping NXT Takeover. Shows Sami Zayn being carted away on a stretcher with the NXT title on him, which they didn’t show on Takeover itself.
  Commentary team tonight is Jason Albert, Rich Brennan and Corey Graves. Hopefully this means no more Alex Riley but he’ll probably switch in and out with Albert. Luckily, Graves is pretty good on commentary, much better than Riley.
  Adrian Neville comes out first. Seems like he’s squarely back in the face territory. Crowd chanting “Thank You, Neville” for some reason. He puts over Zayn, saying the better man won and he deserves to be NXT Champ. And it should be Sami Zayn out there right now, saying he wishes he could shake his friend’s hand but he’s not here tonight thanks to one person - Kevin Owens.
  Adrian says he hopes Owens is proud of what he did and it isn’t long before Owens hits the stage and heads to the ring. Neville says what he did was shameful and keeps saying shame on you to Owens and the crowd starts chanting it.
  Owens says he doesn’t care what Neville has to say, that his opinion is irrelevant to him. He cares that he is finally here and cares that Zayn isn’t here because he is. He doesn’t have a problem with Neville and he’s here to get to the absolute top. If Neville wants a fight, he’s got a fight.
  Seems like they are really trying to push Owen’s catchphrase as “I’ll fight anybody and everybody” but I don’t know how well it’s working. I like the sentiment but the wording in clunky and I don’t see it really getting over with the crowd.
  Devin Taylor is backstage with Becky Lynch. Becky says Sasha Banks opened her eyes to the fact that isn’t doesn’t matter if the fans are cheering if she’s losing every week. Becky takes on Bayley next.
  Bayley is wearing a brace on her left knee after being attacked by Becky and Sasha. Bayley takes advantage first, keeping on top of Becky with hard shots and clotheslines. Becky keeps trying to attack the knee but Bayley reversing her attempts and staying in control. It seems like Bayley might win until Becky reverses a roll up and locks in a submission on Bayley’s knee for the win. Albert says she calls it “The Four Leg Clover.”
  Charlotte cuts sort of an odd promo with Renee Young, trying to sound like a face but definitely saying heel things about how she’s the best Diva in WWE and that she’s genetically superior. Next week, Sasha gets a rematch for the Women’s title.
  The Vaudevillains talk to William Regal in his office and they get a black and white film effect while on screen. They show Regal a video clip that even though Gotch got pinned in their match against the Lucha Dragons, he wasn’t the legal man. They want the match tonight but Regal says no way, but they will get one eventually.
  Bull Dempsey up to squash some jobber they don’t name. Probably some local dude. He doesn’t get any offense in before Bull smashes him with headbutts and knees before pinning him with a flying headbutt.
  Bull heads up the ramp but before he gets to the top, Baron Corbin’s music hits and he makes his way out. Bull is still on the ramp and he stares down Bull as he walks by. It’s kinda cool how Bull and Baron are feuding without actually saying a word to each other.
  Corbin punches his jobber once and hits the End of Days and wins in 14 seconds. Bull still on the ramp as Corbin walks up and Bull shoves him but before Corbin can do anything, Bull jumps off the ramp and backs away with a smirk on his face.
  Enzo and Big Cass (with Carmella) make their way out to the ring. Enzo has such amazing charisma. Just give that dude a mic on Raw and he’d be over immediately. They’re taking on The Ascension. Commentary says they jumped Enzo and Cass, but I don’t remember when that would’ve happened. Enzo and Cass do a little rendition of the “7 Days of Christmas” about what they’re gonna give Konnor and Viktor.
  Big Cass starts against Viktor. Viktor pushes him to the corner first but Cass soon takes advantage. Enzo tags himself in after Cass takes down Viktor and runs across the ring to forearm Konnor who just stands there. Enzo seems like he’s trying to get the attention of Carmella by being a tough guy in the ring but she doesn’t pay attention to him. Viktor STOs him and get the pin before Cass can get in the ring and Konnor knocks Cass off the apron.
  Am I sensing the beginning of a break up between these guys? Is Carmella gonna be a wedge between them, whether she’s actively trying to break them up or not? Cass seems annoyed that Enzo tagged himself in to try and get Carmella’s attention and then lost the match. I sure hope that’s not what’s happening.
  Viktor on the mic says they’ve been the best in NXT for years and what happened at Takeover was beginners luck and that this war between them and Itami and Balor is far from over.
  Graves says Neville and Owens will step in the ring for the first NXT.
  Albert says he doesn’t get why Owens can just show up and be in the main event scene. That he needs to pay his dues. That Zayn worked for 14 years and waited his turn.
  Owens starts the match by jumping outside and not engaging Neville. Classic heel maneuver. Neville go behind pushes him into the ropes followed by a leg lariat and Owens rolls out as he hits the mat. Back into the ring, Owens takes him down with a single forearm. He hits a few strikes before Neville hits a big rana and Owens runs away again.
  Commentary mentions they wonder if Owens can breathe with that broken nose and I was wondering that too.
  Owens gets in but right back outside and this time Neville pursues. Owens dodges the baseball slide and hammers Neville with a clothesline to the back of his head. Smashes him on the apron a few times and draws boos from the crowd. Kinda crazy how Neville is just right back into face territory again after being a huge jerk to Zayn for so long.
  Owens flattens Neville with a cannonball senton but gets a two count. Owens talking trash in the ring. “Nothing I do makes me shameful” and “You were the champ for a year - you’re a joke!”
  Neville sidesteps Owens in the corner and hits a big head kick which stuns Owens. Follows up with quick strikes and a 2 count from a springboard missile dropkick. Goes up top and seems like maybe for the Red Arrow but Owens blocks him. Neville springboard and gets caught on Owens’ shoulders who drops him down into a big gutbuster (I was like, Deep Sea Diverticulitis?!) followed by a senton but only gets a 2.
  Owens puts Neville on the top rope but Neville sends him crashing to the mat with some forearms. Neville perched on top but Owens hits the ropes and knocks him down. Owens drapes Neville’s feet on the corner and spikes him with a DDT but only gets a 2. Owens keeps breaking out crazy looking, heavy handed offense that he didn’t use last time.
  Neville wiggles off of Owen’s shoulders and pushes him into the ropes and uses the momentum to take him over with a German suplex. Owens rolls outside and Neville rebound into a twisting dive to the outside but struggles to lift Owens back into the ring as the count rises. Owens pushes Neville into the ring post and neither can get back in the ring before the 10 count for a double count out.
 The ref tells Owens it’s over and he looks furious. He pushes the ref away and powerbombs Neville onto the apron as doctors rush out to check on Neville.

Lucha Underground - Episode 8
  Looks like LU is bringing a bit of the multiman flavor to the show. Cueto asked 10 luchadores to come to the ring to start the show. Cueto has big sunglasses on, not doubt to hide the black eye Johnny Mundo gave him. The winner of each match will be rewarded he says. But not money. Something much more precous than money he says.
  Thought it was a tag match but it’s not. Just a giant clusterf*ck. One pin to win between Drago, King Cuerno, Pentagon Jr., Fenix, Mascarita Sagrada, Big Ryck, Prince Puma, Super Fly, Son of Havoc, Mariachi Loco.
  Everyone but Drago and Cuerno gang up on Ryck to start (they’re hanging back in opposite corners, watching each other). Ryck throws everyone aside and Sagrada is left, ineffectually punching him in the stomach. They tie up and Sagrada goes behind with a hammerlock and starts kicking his legs out. Ryck snapmares him onto his face and Drago leaps up and over Sagrada into Cuerno.
  Fenix bounces off several ropes hits a drop kick on Ryck. Mariachi springboard dropkick on Ryck and a final dropkick from Pentagon sends him out. Pentagon Slingblade on Fenix, Drago attack Pentagon, throws him off and big corckscrew onto Cuerno on the outside.
  Vamp really hates Sagrada. Every time someone hits him, he wants them to do it again. Almost too much going on at once, it’s hard to follow who’s fighting who.
  Havoc fakes a dive to the outside and tells off the fans who boo him wanting to see a dive. Puma steps up to fight him, even though he has his ribs taped up from the ladder match. Vamp says it’s no doubt Konnan making him get back in the ring so soon. Lots of flippy stuff from Puma and Havoc. Puma two backflips and a headscissor take Havoc outside and hits a senton onto Fenix and Pentagon outside.
  Ryck takes on Fenix, Drago and Mariachi at the same time, throwing Drago into Fenix and Mariachi. Puma and Fenix gang up on Ryck to take him down and out of the ring. Then Fenix and Puma trade kicks into the corners and Fenix takes down Puma with a superkick. Fenix goes up top but Puma follows him and sets up for a super plex. Cuerno sets up to powerbomb tower of doom style and Mariachi and Pentagon slide out of the ring taking Cuerno’s legs out.
  Havoc hits a huge shooting star press on Fenix but Super Fly breaks it up. Drago uses that pin combo (the Dragon’s Tail says Striker) on Super Fly but Cuerno kicks him in the face to break it up. Cuerno, Mariachi and Pentagon all get near falls with their finishers and Sagrada back in to break up Pentagon’s with a mini Mafia Kick.
  Pretty much everyone but Fenix, Puma and Ryck do big dives to the outside. Puma hits a 630 senton on Ryck and goes after Fenix who sets him up for a Tornado DDT off the top. Fenix flips Puma up onto his shoulder and hits a Greeting From Asbury Park type piledriver for the win.
  The next match is a Boyle Heights Battle Royal. Cortez Castro, Cisco, B-Boy (Bael apparently), Famous B, Ricky Mandel, Sexy Star, Pimpinela Escarlata, Johnny Mundo and Mil Muertes. Oh and Chavo is number 10.
  Star goes under the second rope to jump on Chavo to start the match. Mundo tries to eliminate Cisco but he gets back in. They show that Asian chick in the crowd watching this match. Famous B eliminated first. Pimpinela springboards on the ropes with a knuckle lock on both Cisco and Bael and takes them down. Then Star drop kicks Pimpy from behind.
  The Crew eliminates Ricky Mandel. Pimpy with a knuckle lock on Mundo and up to the top. Mil knocks them both over, spears Pimpy and throws him over the ropes. Star jumps Chavo from behind and starts pounding on him but he snapmares her over. He drags her around by the hair, picks her up and Codebreaker. Chavo in the corner, Star runs in and Chavo puts her up over the top. Shoulder to Chavo and Star up top with a cross body but Chavo catches her and dumps her over the top rope.
  Mil, the Crew, Chavo and Mundo are left. The Crew works over Mundo while Mil goes to choke Chavo in the corner. The Crew pick him up and throw him over the top but Mundo hangs on to the top rope. On the apron he’s fighting them all at once. Basement dropkick tries to knock out Mundo but he hangs on with his feet somehow and the Crew don’t see it.
  Mundo takes Cortez over the top rope, Chavo tosses Cisco and Mil spears Bael and throws him out.
  Chavo catapult Mundo and he hangs onto the rope again. Mil wants a German but Chavo holds on. Mundo shoulder to his gut and sunset flip on Mil who Germans Chavo. Mil tries to eliminate Mundo who springboards in and dropkicks Mil. Mundo crotches Chavo and Mundo springboards off the ropes and a kick to the face eliminates Chavo. That Asian chick is still in the crowd (and Vampiro is still losing his mind over her).
  Mil spears Mundo. Mundo escapes the apron again and back in the ring, Mundo hits some quick moves off the topes to take down Mil. Mundo hits a running knee on Mil and lifts him, trying to take him over the ropes. Both guys on the apron, Mil stomping Mundo into the mat and Catrina pulls him over a little. Mil standing on Mundo’s next as he hangs off the apron but holds onto the bottom rope with a leg. Mundo slides back in through his legs and sets up for the End of the World but Mil gets the knees up. It hits Mundo’s knee somehow and clotheslines Mundo over the top rope to win.
  Fenix and Mil are facing off in the ring. Cueto comes out of his office and with him is a title belt - a Lucha Underground championship belt! Looks kinda plain though. Cueto says the lucha who wears the belt will be the greatest fighter in the world. Cueto says he’s invented the most brutal, innovative match in the world - Aztec Warfare. (Guerrilla Warfare?) In three weeks, first show of 2015, whoever survives Aztec Warfare will win the belt.
  Fenix and Mil have a match tonight. Winner gets into Aztec Warfare last and loser goes in first and has to fight 19 other luchadores to win. So it’s like a Royal Rumble match?
  Fenix avoiding the big rushes of Mil and catches him in a go behind. Fenix getting the best of mil with big dives and a corkscrew over the top. Mil just barely makes it back in before the 10 count.
  Mil spears Fenix and lays him over the ropes allowing Catrina to choke him as Mil distracts the ref. Mil drops Fenix with a big DDT but only a 2. Mil hits a big running powerslam but only a 2. Fenix tries to build some momentum but Mil powerbomb for a 2.
  Fenix hits a handspring into a cutter but gets a 2. Fenix walks the top rope and leaps onto Mil but he drops him with a big uppercut. Mil picks him up by the throat and drops him with a Flatliner to win. Mil will be 20 in Aztec Warfare. I don’t think Mil has lost yet in LU. Catrina licks Fenix’ face and Mil kisses her as the episode ends.
  As the episode ends Cueto talking about the belt and how it has gold in it from the 7 Aztec tribes. That it’s not just impressive but powerful. Sounds like he’s talking to someone and says “I’m sorry I can’t let you touch it, I know how you like to destroy pretty things.”

Partial cards for EVOLVE 36 and 37

Ybor City, FL – January 9, 9pm
Open The Freedom Gate Title Match
Johnny Gargano defends vs. Caleb Konley with Su Yung

Non-Title Grudge Match
EVOLVE Champion Drew Galloway vs. Roderick Strong

Ricochet vs. Timothy Thatcher

Special Challenge Match: Biff Busick vs. Trevor Lee

Winter Park, FL – January 10, 9pm
EVOLVE Title Match
Drew Galloway defends vs. Ricochet

Special Challenge Match #1
Roderick Strong vs. Timothy Thatcher

Special Challenge Match #2
Uhaa Nation vs. Biff Busick

Special Challenge Match #3
AR Fox vs. Trevor Lee

  A new “King of the Indies” tournament was recently announced, the first tournament since 2001. Going to be held somewhere in California (not sure where – San Jose?) on March 27 and 28 and is being hosted under the WWNLive banner (Evolve, DG USA, etc).
  Three participants have been announced – B-Boy, Rey Horus and Jody Kristofferson.

Other notes
  Adam Pearce announced that he is retiring from in-ring competition and his final match was against Colt Cabana at Championship Wrestling from Hollywood. It’s believed that Pearce will now work as a producer and trainer at NXT.

  New Japan Pro Wrestling will begin on AXS TV starting Friday, January 16 at 9 p.m. The series will be 13 episodes comprised of some of the best matches in the company’s history and former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett and long-time combat sports commentator Mauro Ranallo will provide English commentary.

  Pro Wrestling Syndicate, which runs out of Rahway, NJ, is getting a weekly TV series on WLNY starting on January 3.

  Also during the show, Chikara announced that they are touring the United Kingdom in April, their first shows in the UK. The tour starts with two nights in Wolverhampton on April 3 and 4. The next night they are in Cardiff followed by the final show in London on April 6. Check out more information at

Labels: , , , , ,

My Photo

An avid gamer and long-time pro wrestling fan, stay tuned to Grizzly Gaming and the Delco Elbow Drop for game reviews and pro wrestling news.

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]