The Delco Elbow Drop

Friday, January 9, 2015

NXT, Lucha Underground and Indy Wrestling Minute - Your weekly source for independent wrestling news

  The Lucha Dragons open the New Year’s Day edition of NXT TV. They take on Jason Jordan and Tye Dillinger. Dillinger and Jordan are a pretty good team. They work well together and have a good look but they just need a little something extra to put them over the edge, for them to really connect with the crowd. Jordan and Dillinger along with Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy are definitely the next break out tag team in NXT – the next generation of stars after the Lucha Dragons and Vaudevillains.
  Dillinger starts against Kalisto. He gets a big chop in but Kalisto eventually uses his speed to avoid the next one and catches Tye in a knuckle lock, spring boards up the ropes and arm drags him into his corner where he tags Jordan. He tries to dive on Jordan but gets caught and Jordan tosses him with a fall away slam.
  Dillinger and Jordan start tagging in and out quickly, using their size to ground Kalisto. Eventually, Kalisto tags in Sin Cara and clears Jordan from the ring. Sin Cara botches a step up head scissor (it must be the Sin Cara mask that just creates botches) but pins Dillinger with a Sunset Bomb. As the Lucha Dragons celebrate, they are attacked by the Vaudevillains who put Kalisto down with the Whirling Dervish.
  In the locker room, CJ Parker is pacing around and Bull Dempsey comes in to talk to him. Parker has a match against Baron Corbin tonight. Dempsey says Parker needs to humiliate and maim Corbin but Parker says he doesn’t care about what’s going on between Corbin and Dempsey. But as Dempsey says that Parker doesn’t get it, it’s not about that, it’s about the greater good - whatever that means.
  In two weeks, NXT is moving to Wednesday night, since Smackdown is moving to Thursday. Wednesday is packed now. NXT, Lucha Underground and TNA. (TNA is actually moving to Friday night in a few weeks, I found out)
  Enzo and Cass are out now but they aren’t wrestling. They introduce Carmella who still has the worst music ever. I kinda hate how she’s a heel and Enzo and Cass are both so well liked.
  The crowd starts cheering for Blue Pants before she hits the ring, because they know that she’s the only one who Carmella ever fights. Enzo taking that Generico rub and says “Inspired by Sami Zayn’s Road to Redemption at R Evolution” and Cass gives Blue Pants a big introduction and sings her to the ring with the Price is Right contestant music.
  The crowd is really behind Blue Pants, with a “Let’s go Blue Pants” chant. They tie up and Blue Pants shoots her into the ropes but Carmella takes her down with a shoulder block, hits the ropes and takes her down by the hair. Enzo gets on the apron the chide Carmella about “not giving her the real 1-2” and Carmella pushes him to the floor. When she turns around, Blue Pants catches her in a small package for the win. Enzo looks stunned on the outside.
  I just now realize that Cass wasn’t singing her to the ring – that they actually recorded him doing the Price is Right song and play it for Blue Pants. They play it after Blue Pants wins and Cass clearly isn’t singing it this time (they didn’t show him on her entrance). Cass looks equally stunned that Carmella lost. Carmella starts attacking Enzo and Cass has to pull her off him.
  Parker out to face Baron Corbin now. Bull Dempsey shows up at ringside to watch the match. The crowd starts doing the counting gimmick for Corbin but I feel like this match will be a little longer. I hope so at least.
  But it’s basically just a repeat of his match from R Evolution. Lifts up Parker, drops him on the turnbuckle followed by a big boot. He hits the End of Days for the win while staring down Bull (crowd time, 34 seconds).
 Corbin grabs a mic? He says to Bull “Are you gonna stand there all day looking scared? Or are we gonna do this?” Drops in and gets out of the ring moving toward Bull and pulls him over the guardrail and they start trading punches until the refs come out to break them up. The crowd is solidly behind Corbin, who is in the ring, trying to goad Bull into attacking him again.
  William Regal is with Devin Taylor to announce that next week, Sami Zayn will return to NXT and update everyone on his status. Just then, Curtis Axel walks up who is upset that Regal never called him back about recharging his career in NXT.  Regal gives him a match, next week against Hideo Itami.
  Charlotte out now. Looks like she’s just talking to Devin Taylor in the ring. Taylor asks her what’s left for her and the crowd chants for Blue Pants. But she yells at the crowd that no one chants while the most genetically superior Diva in NXT is talking. So I guess she’s solidly back to being a heel again? These NXT face/heel turns happen on like a weekly basis – especially for the Divas. But I guess it’s just getting her ready for the main roster where the Divas rarely ever stay face or heel for long.
  She’s all happy and smiling, putting over NXT (saying it’s revolutionizing women’s wrestling) and Sasha Banks, saying she’s the toughest Diva she’s ever face, but also telling the crowd to shut up? Be a face or a heel! Pick one!
  Sasha Banks comes down the ramp with Becky Lynch. Sasha says it doesn’t matter how many times Charlotte has beaten her because she’s about to get the beatdown of her life. They split up to corner Charlotte but Natalya’s music hits and Sasha and Becky back off.
  The Vaudevillains get their NXT Tag Title rematch next week.
  Next is a Sami Zayn video that looks like was shot on a 10 year old phone. He’s home for the holidays recovering from Kevin Owens’ attack. Says people have wanted to talk to him about his NXT Title win but all he can think about is the one guy whose name has been synonymous with his career and who he should’ve trusted the most and he doesn’t know what to say right now. But when he’s back, he’ll say it to the NXT fans and to Kevin Owens personally.
  Now, Kevin Owens sits down with Renee Young for an interview. Renee says it’s fair to say Owens stole Zayn’s moment at R Evolution. Owens looks annoyed and says Zayn had his moment and that they aren’t lifelong friends - he’s 30 and known him for 12 years so he doesn’t know where Renee got her math and he leaves.
  The Ascension are out now for a rematch with Hideo Itami and Finn Balor. Balor sporting some new trunks and a new entrance video. The crowd is really into Balor too, much more than Itami. And I really hate that short backstage segment where Itami is like “Finn is something different about you?” and looks all clueless at the camera. These two should not be doing comedy shtick. Just be badasses.
  The bell rings and all four men start trading punches. Balor and Itami get the advantage first and set up for dual corner basement drop kicks but the Ascension roll out and meet up outside before getting back in the ring where Viktor and Balor square off.
  Balor and Itami start working over Viktor in their corner, Itami kicking him relentlessly, tags in Balor who leaps over the top rope with a big stomp. Balor and Itami are really taking it to Viktor, until Balor starts getting too flashy, leaping over the ropes to attack Konnor and gets knocked to the ground with an uppercut by Viktor.
  Now Konnor is working over Balor, slamming him on the mat outside and in the ring but only getting a 2 count. Viktor using that uppercut to floor Balor and keeping him in their corner, tagging in and out fast with Konnor.
  Balor trying to fight back after being in the ring for a long time getting beaten down, but Viktor keeps the advantage and tags in Konnor. Balor evades Konnor and uses the Pele Kick to stun Konnor and makes the tag to Itami who uses kick style to take down Viktor who tagged in. A Sick Kick only gets him two.
 Cool move as Itami sets up for a tornado DDT but guillotines Viktor over the top rope and then hits him with a clothesline from the top rope. Itami stays in control, kicking Konnor through the ropes to keep him out, but walks into an STO from Viktor and kicks out at 2. They tease the GTS out of Itami again but Viktor wriggles out of it. Itami kicks Konnor who rushes the ring and Balor takes him down with the Tanahashi Sling Blade. Konnor rolls outside and Balor diving double foot stomp on him from the apron.
  After Balor takes out Konnor, Itami hits a big spinning head kick on Viktor to get the three.

Ring of Honor 
ROH TV taping results from Nashville
Show One
-Roderick Strong beat Mark Briscoe.
-Nigel McGuinness announced a number one contender’s match between Michael Elgin, Tommaso Ciampa and Hanson as the main event of this show.
-Will Ferrara pinned J Diesel in a first round Top Prospect Tournament match.
-The Number 1 contender’s match went to a no-contest after the ref was knocked out.

Show Two
-Kazarian beat Cedric Alexander.
-Donovan Dijac beat Jake Dirden in a first round Top Prospect Tournament match.
-Alberto Patron debuted by doing an interview with Kevin Kelly.  He said he was there to win the ROH Title.  Jay Lethal came out and they faced off.
-Nigel did a promo with Jay Briscoe where Jay said he didn’t need a number one contender, he would face Hanson, Elgin and Ciampa at Las Vegas and Nigel would consider it.
-Jay then pinned Matt Taven.  Mike Bennett attacked and Mark Briscoe made the save.

Show Three
-It led to a match where The Briscoes beat Kingdom when Maria got involved.  ODB made the save.
-Beer City Bruiser pinned Mikey Webb in a first round Top Prospect Tournament match.
-Alberto El Patron  beat Christopher Daniels. Jay Lethal faced off and Alberto hit him.  House of Truth attacked, Kazarian and Daniels made the save.

Show Four
-Moose pinned the Romantic Touch.
-The Decade beat three local wrestlers.
-Ashley Sixx pinned Dalton Castle in a first round Top Prospect Tournament match.
-Adam Cole stalked around the ring area and left.
-Jay Lethal beat Matt Sydal and ACH in a three-way to retain the ROH TV Title. After the match, Lethal beat on ACH until Alberto made the save.
Very good show.

  Also, it seems like tickets for Ring of Honor’s return to The Arena on Royal Rumble weekend in Philly are almost sold out so if you plan on going, better order tickets soon because ROH says they probably won’t be selling tickets at the door.

  Lucha Underground returns on January 7 where a champion will be crowned in the Aztec Warfare match. We know two entrants in the match - Fenix will enter first an Mil Muertes (who is still undefeated in Lucha Underground) will enter last.

New Japan Pro Wrestling – Wrestle Kingdom 9
  I don’t know where to even begin with this show. It was amazing all around. Each match was high energy, told a story, and looked more like a convincing, real athletic contest than a majority of what WWE or TNA puts out week after week.
  The show opened with an awesome four-way tag team match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight tag team titles where reDRagon defeated The Forever Hooligans, The Young Bucks and The Timesplitters to retain the titles. I wasn’t sure if Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish would retain but New Japan must really like these guys to put them over three other talented, decorated teams. Was a bit of a spot-fest at times, but still a great match.
  The next two matches felt like a little bit of filler, just there to continue storylines but were still pretty good.
  The biggest things to come out of these matches were Bullet Club losing, Jeff Jarrett hitting Yujiro Takahashi with a guitar (by accident), Suzukigun losing, Marifuji and the Pro Wrestling NOAH guys winning the match and having a great showing, Yano getting a win over his former tag partner Takeshi Iizuka and oh yeah TOMOAKI HONMA WINNING A MATCH WITH THE KOKESHI HEADBUTT!
  After the six-man and eight-man tag matches, Minoru Suzuki and Kazushi Sakuraba had an absolute war in a UWFi rules knockout or submission match. Suzuki, who usually wears black boots, black trunks with black hair and comes out in a black towel came out in all white boots, trunks, towel and hair. Sakuraba got the advantage early, tearing up Suzuki’s arm with a kimura and making it seem like he was going to break it off. But Suzuki fought back through the pain and choked out Sakuraba. This match had more of an MMA feel to it than a traditional pro wrestling match but it really drove home the idea that contests in New Japan are all-out wars and that each wrestler is a dangerous martial artist as well as professional wrestler.
  While the previous match was something akin to an MMA match, the next match was one of the stiffest brawls you’ll ever see. Tomohiro Ishii and Togi Makabe literally tried to break each other in half with chops, forearms, clotheslines and headbutts in one of the hardest hitting matches I’ve ever seen. Seeing as how Ishii only regained the NEVER Openweight title a few months ago, I was really surprised that Makabe won. Hopefully Ishii gets his shoulder fixed now (which he separated during the G1 Climax during the summer and has been working through ever since) and comes back in contention for the Intercontinental or Heavyweight titles.
  Kenny Omega is one of, if not the best wrestlers in the entire world. Dude has charisma for days and is crazy athletic. I had every confidence that he would beat “The Funky Weapon” Ryusuke Taguchi, who’s gimmick is about as good as Fandango but without the hilarious persona of Johnny Curtis. And after Gallows and Machine Gun lost the IWGP tag titles, Omega is the only one in Bullet Club with gold. Will this lead to a power struggle between him and Styles?
  Like I mentioned, Luke Gallows and Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson lost the IWGP Heavyweight tag titles to Meiyu Tag (Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata). The match was pretty good but nothing really stood out to me. The best part of it was finally seeing Goto and Shibata win New Japan gold. The two have been friends since high school and wrestling each other since then and though Shibata has had eyes on singles gold, Goto really just wanted any belt so I’m glad to see New Japan show some confidence in these up-and-comers.
  AJ Styles proved that Tetsuya Naito’s win over him in the G1 Climax was a fluke, defeating him with a Styles Clash from the second rope. Styles is really hitting his stride in New Japan and becoming legitimately one of the best in the world. I hope he gets back into contention for the Heavyweight title, especially now that Okada’s spirit seems to be broken (more on that in a bit).
  In what was easily the match of the night, maybe the match of the year (yes, only four days into 2015, I’m not sure what could top it), Shinsuke Nakamura faced Kota Ibushi in an absolutely amazing match for the IWGP Intercontinental title. Nakamura is “The King of Strong Style” and many call him “Swagsuke” and just watch his entrance in this match and you’ll see why. This match started off with Ibushi and Nakamura feeling each other out but once Nakamura started trying to take liberties with the younger wrestler, it was clear Ibushi took exception to Shinsuke’s antics and things really got into high gear. Lots of insane action, stiff shots and great pacing, plus perhaps the move of the night as well when Ibushi got on the second rope and hit a deadlift German suplex on Nakarmura, who was on the apron. Nakamura retained the IC title but Ibushi looked really strong even in defeat and is a great addition to the main event scene of New Japan.
  I’ll admit, I really saw Kazuchika Okada defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi in this match. But I guess they don’t call him New Japan’s John Cena for nothing because Tanahashi left this match with the IWGP Heavyweight title around his waist (after about 20 minutes of air guitar, that is). This match was really good but just a bit overshadowed by Nakamura/Ibushi. The big story coming out of it is that Okada had promised a victory, claiming he will be New Japan’s new ace, but couldn’t handle three High Fly Flows from Tanahashi. Afterward, Tanahashi got on the mic and rubbed it in Okada’s face, saying “You’re still very far away from ace!” and as Okada left, he was visibly broken by the defeat with tears streaming down his face. Where he goes from here will truly show the mettle and resolve of Okada.
  Also, I watched the English PPV, Global Force Wrestling presentation of Wrestle Kingdom 9 and thought that Matt Striker and Jim Ross did a pretty good job on commentary. Striker did a really good job as the play-by-play guy and is obviously really knowledgeable about the product, though sometimes it felt like he could’ve pumped the brakes a little bit because his talking was almost nonstop. And at times, it seemed like JR was out of his element with how long he would go between speaking (though it could’ve just been because Striker was talking so much). I feel like they could’ve done a little bit better job explaining the build-up to each match and why certain things were happening or important (for example, I don’t recall either guy commenting on why Honma’s win was important) but that’s just my own personal nit-picking.
  Overall, Wrestle Kingdom 9 was an amazing show, probably one of the best pure wrestling shows you’ll see all year – whether that year be 2014 or 2015. You should go out of your way to check it out if you’re anything but the most casual pro wrestling fan. You can catch replays on PPV all month long but there are other, less costly ways to check it out too (coughwatchwrestling.chcough).
  Colt Cabana tweeted that for every superkick the Young Bucks do at Wrestle Kingdom 9, he’ll donate $10 to @ChanceforChase, a charity for a young Ohio wrestling fan who was diagnosed with NF2, which causes tumors throughout his body, mostly on his nerves.
(Didn’t count the superkicks at WK9 but there were a lot of them)

  Also, at New Year’s Dash, the New Japan show held the day after Wrestle Kingdom, the Bullet Club introduced Cody Hall, son of Scott Hall, as their new “young boy” (which is a term in Japanese wrestling used to describe the trainee or student wrestlers in the dojo). It’s cool to see Cody Hall going out in the world to make a name for himself instead of just relying on his father’s legacy to get him an easy job in WWE. Some are saying that Bullet Club is jumping the shark with this one (or jumping yet another shark, depending on how jaded a wrestling fan you hear it from) but I think the addition is pretty cool.

Indy tidbits
  House of Hardcore 8 tickets went on sale recently for their 3/7 show at The Arena.

  Evolve is hosting two shows this weekend (1/9 and 1/10) in Florida, with an FIP show before the show on Saturday.

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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.

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