The Delco Elbow Drop

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

WrestleMania 31 and the Raw after WrestleMania

WrestleMania 31 is officially in the books and I gotta say, I was a lot more entertained by the show than I thought I would be. Maybe it’s because I went in with low expectations but I was very pleased with the way WM31 was put together. Granted, there were some finishes I didn’t like, which I’ll go over below, but that’s to be expected. Still, the set was very cool and the day time setting of the show was actually kinda cool. Kept to a once in a seldom while thing, a show in full daylight like WM31 can be a great change of pace.

Also as has been in the past few years, the Raw after WrestleMania is almost as important as the annual event itself – and this year was no exception. With lots of great matches and surprises (not to mention a hot crowd), Raw from San Jose on March 30 was one of the best in recent months.

WrestleMania 31 Pre-Show
It’s weird that a 4-hour show needs an hour pre-show, since it just feels like it diminishes whatever is on it, like it wasn’t good enough for the show proper. Regardless of that, the pre-show saw Cesaro and Kidd retain the tag titles and Big Show win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.

Kidd and Cesaro retaining was the right choice, especially since one of the Usos is injured and the other teams were The Matadores (who only show up on TV around Mania season) and the New Day, who the fans actively hate with every fiber of their being. (I like all the members of New Day – Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods – but I can’t deny the New Day gimmick is less than pointless and they’ve done nothing with it so far.) And not to be overlooked, Natalya is killing it lately with these leather, dominatrix-type outfits.

The Battle Royal came down to Miz, Mizdow, and Big Show. Miz demanded Mizdow eliminate himself and Mizdow finally fought back and eliminated Miz. Though, this was before they thought to team up and take out Big Show. Mizdow put up a good fight but couldn’t take out the giant. I really, REALLY hope they feud Mizdow against Big Show in the coming weeks/months in a David and Goliath feud to keep getting him sympathy heat, now that a feud with Miz seems to be kicking off. Because if they just kill any kind of push for Mizdow, what was the point of having Big Show win?
Sandow, you're the real people's champion

It was cool to see Hideo Itami in the Battle Royal (and swerve everyone who thought Adrian Neville was a lock to win the spot) but I think that someone like Ryback or Mizdow should’ve won the Battle Royal. Someone younger on the roster who could use any kind of accolade to propel them forward a little bit.

IC title ladder match
The show opened with a bang with the Intercontinental title ladder match. Almost everyone in the match had a good shot of winning the belt (sorry, R-Truth) but in the end it was Daniel Bryan who walked out with the gold. His first IC title win, this makes Daniel Bryan the 26th Triple Crown Champion in WWE history, winning all the titles he’s eligible for. Not even John Cena or the Undertaker are Triple Crown winners (both needing an IC title reign).

Then Bryan had his first title defense the very next night against Dolph Ziggler. It was a great singles match, one of the best seen on Raw in a long time. Afterward, Wade Barrett attacked Bryan and Ziggler but Sheamus ran out to make the save – only to (gasp) turn heel and Brogue Kick both Ziggler and Bryan. They’ve been teasing his return for some time now and there’s been speculation that he would turn heel upon his return and it looks like he’ll be a major contender for the IC title now too.

Seth Rollins vs Randy Orton
This was a solid match but the highlight was the finish, where Orton popped Rollins into the air while he went for a Curb Stomp, only to bring him crashing down in an RKO. Orton got the win but Rollins would be the biggest winner of the day later in the show. 

Sting vs. Triple H
“Shenanigans” is the only word that comes to mind when I think about this match. The entrances were ridiculous, to start. I didn’t really get why Sting had a band of drummers open for him. I thought a small orchestra set up like in the WWE 2K15 commercial would’ve been much better and fit his character. And the Triple H entrance…oh my god the Triple H entrance. I’m still torn about it. On one hand, it was pretty cool but on the other hand it was super cheesy. But Triple H as a Terminator made a lot more sense once the match was over.

Along with the Terminators, Triple H had soldiers during his entrance, played by (from left) Enzo Amore, Scott Dawson, Dash Wilder, Buddy Murphy, Solomon Crowe and referee Drake Wuertz.

In a big surprise, the DX appeared (Billy Gunn, Road Dogg and X-Pac) to try and help Triple H but it wasn’t long before nWo (Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) hit the scene to even the odds. Then from nowhere, Shawn Michaels appeared to Sweet Chin Music away any hope Sting had of winning. I thought it was an odd move to sign Sting and push this months-long angle since Survivor Series only to have him lose but it made more sense once I heard JBL yell, “We win again!”

It’s very apparent Vince put this whole angle together as one more “up yours” to WCW – WWE won the Monday Night War and refuse to let anyone ever forget it. I don’t know what Sting will do now but I’d hope he stays around. Coming into WWE to have one match and lose doesn’t seem like a great way to end your career. But Triple H being a Terminator made more sense after he won, seeing as how WWE likes to rewrite the past and kill any threats to their dominance that they possibly can.

AJ Lee and Paige vs The Bella Twins
I don’t remember a whole lot from this match, other than Paige’s awesome new pentagon ring gear and the Bellas losing. It didn’t make much sense for this tag match to exist – shouldn’t it have been a title match with all four of these Divas competing against each other? Granted, it would’ve been a pretty terrible four-way to shove into the barely 6 minutes they got at WM31.

The six-Diva tag match the next night on Raw was really great though as Paige, AJ and Naomi faced The Bellas and Natalya. Teaming Natty with the Bellas doesn’t make much sense but hey, anything is better than her feuding with El Torito.

Rusev vs John Cena

United States Championship
Rusev’s entrance was easily one of the best visuals of the entire night. Rusev in a tank?! It couldn’t get any more perfect for the Bulgarian Brute, the Hero of the Russian Federation.

And though I would’ve liked to have seen Rusev win, I think he still looked pretty good in defeat. Everyone knew that Cena was going to win because CENAWINSLOL. I just hope that Rusev’s previous year of domination is enough to propel him forward and that his current friction with Lana will pass because they work really well together.

The Rock and Ronda Rousey vs Triple H and Stephanie
I don’t remember the impetus for this segment (I think it was for Trips and Stephanie to gloat about beating Sting? Maybe?) but eventually The Rock interrupted them and he got a much better reaction than he did at the Royal Rumble.

What I do remember from this segment is that Steph slapped The Rock who said he doesn’t hit women but he knows someone who does – and brought in UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey from the front row into the ring. The Rock beat down Trips and Rousey gave him a judo throw. Steph tried to slap Rousey who immediately realized she had made a huge mistake. Rousey showed restraint and didn’t obliterate Steph or rip her arm clean off, unfortunately.

I’ll be really interested to see where this goes. Rousey is a huge fan of pro wrestling, has appeared on WWE segments before (at Summerslam I think) and has been seen at PWG before. But I don’t think she has any training so it will be interesting to see what her involvement is going forward. I’m assuming this was just another way to promote the new Fast and Furious movie which she and The Rock are in but here’s hoping for more Rousey in WWE.

Bray Wyatt vs The Undertaker
This is another match I’m really split on. On one hand, I think Bray did a great job in the match itself but an even better job carrying the feud itself, since Taker didn’t show up until WrestleMania itself. There’s also the sentiment that just being in there with Taker makes him look better.

Although, I don’t subscribe to that feeling. In my eyes, Bray should have won that match. He carried the entire thing going into Mania and if he had beaten Taker, would have legitimately been seen as the new “Phenom,” the new supernatural entity in WWE. But he was booked to lose and because of that, looked even more foolish for wasting his time for so many weeks calling out Undertaker only to lose.

Bray has had enough adversity in getting to the top of the card without losing matches he really should have and needed to win. Losing a feud with Cena and getting the Family taken away from him has really hindered his advancement. He won a nothing feud with Ambrose and had he defeated Taker, would’ve immediately been seen as a main event player. But now he’ll have to pick up the pieces all over again.

Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns
WWE Championship

Before Mania, everyone thought Reigns was a lock to win since it seemed like Brock was on his way back to UFC. But with the announcement on ESPN that he was staying in WWE, telling who would win this match became a lot more cloudy.

Brock started out this match brutalizing Roman, hitting several F5s and numerous suplexs, taking Reigns to Suplex City. But Roman stayed in it. And despite his efforts, the crowd still hated him. Hated him like you wouldn’t believe. Then something glorious happened. Seth Rollins cashed in.

In a WrestleMania first, Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. The match turned into a triple threat and with Roman and Brock both beaten down, Rollins was able to Curb Stomp Reigns after he had speared Brock and Rollins pinned his former Shield teammate and tag partner to become the WWE World Heavyweight champion.

The night after on Raw
After a better-than-expected WrestleMania 31, the Raw crowd was red hot. We saw the debuts of Kalisto as part of the Lucha Dragons (winning an 8-man tag match with New Day against Kidd and Cesaro and The Ascension) as well as Adrian Neville, who appears to have lost his first name. I can’t get over how stupid it is that his name is just “Neville” on the main roster and will continue to complain about it for weeks to come (maybe forever if they don’t give him back his first name).

Sheamus also came back and went full heel almost instantly, though it’s fair to say that his new haircut was enough to tell everyone that he’s not gonna be a face anymore.

Brock Lesnar wanted his rematch against Seth Rollins but Rollins said no…and Lesnar absolutely lost his mind. He tore up the set, pushed the announce table on JBL and Booker T, F5’ed Michael Cole and then F5’ed a cameraman twice. Stephanie suspended Brock indefinitely (to no doubt write him off the show for a few months) but I could see this as the beginning of a face turn for Brock as he fights against The Authority and their champ, Seth Rollins.

Dean Ambrose had a really good match for the US title against John Cena but ended up losing. Whether it’s the US or IC title, I just hope Ambrose is the next guy to win gold because he really deserves it.

And the Raw crowd HATED Roman Reigns. Like, even more than the crowd at WM31. Reigns was in a 6-man tag with Randy Orton and Ryback against Rollins, Kane and Big Show. The crowd was the least into this match of the entire night and proceeded to chant anything they could think of (namely NXT related chants), did the wave (which the cameras watched for a while instead of the match) and chanted “Please retire” at Big Show. But here’s the thing – a few mere minutes after chanting at Big Show to retire, they wildly cheered him for beating down Roman Reigns. That’s how much people hate Reigns – THEY WERE CHEERING BIG SHOW.

Lots of other stuff happened too on Raw but this is running way too long and I can’t remember everything so that’s it for now. Here’s hoping that WWE can build on this momentum into Extreme Rules and that Reigns doesn’t just immediately get another match for the title at Extreme Rules (he doesn’t deserve one either – he won the Rumble, got his shot and lost), though I’m almost certain he will.

(Gifs and images were found on r/SquaredCircle and /wooo/ or from Twitter. Also, the panorama at the top was by a Reddit user whose name I took down to give him credit then lost - sorry.)

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Friday, March 27, 2015

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

NXT, 3/18
Tonight is a special presentation of NXT, the first episode taped somewhere other than the NXT Arena at Full Sail University, at the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio earlier in March.
Looks like a pretty big crowd. The entrance is weird though. There’s no ramp and the actual entrance is on a stage then the wrestlers have to walk around to the side of it and walk down some steps to get to the ring – or just leap into the ring if you’re Kalisto.
Kalisto in singles action for the first time in forever. I guess Sin Cara didn’t make the trip. He takes on Tyler Breeze.
Breeze trying to keep Kalisto grounded early but once he gets going, he uses the ropes and his quickness to take Breeze to the mat with crazy arm drags and a ridiculous stalling, hand spring hurricanrana. But Kalisto tries to springboard into the ring and Breeze catches him with a dropkick to the face.
Kalisto gets a nearfall off a 450 but Breeze manages to grab the ropes. Kalisto was getting some boos before that near fall cause Breeze is so damn over despite being a heel.
Kalisto sets up for the Selina Del Sol but Breeze pushes him off his shoulders and when Kalisto collects himself, Breeze hits the Beauty Shot for the win.
Lots of filler. A video package of the Owens/Riley feud. And a long package about NXT at the Arnold Classic. NXT wrestlers visiting sick kids at a hospital, Triple H getting an award from the International Sports Hall of Fame, Hulk Hogan talking about how the NXT title would look good around his waist and more.
Finn Balor talks to Alex Riley. Balor tells him he’s got Owens next week and he’ll be watching like a hawk. Riley says good, he wants him to watch. Riley says he wants to humiliate Owens and there isn’t going to be a tomorrow for him and that it’s time to rage. But Balor tells him not to overlook Owens or there’ll be no tomorrow for Alex Riley.
Colin Cassady vs Wesley Blake up next.
Blake and Wesley come out to a lukewarm reaction. But the crowd is super-hot for Enzo and Cass (and Carmella is there too). The boos are huge for Carmella when Enzo introduces her.
Cass says Arnold likes to pump iron but they like to pump fists. And that Wesley Blake needs to pump the brakes because he’s about to run into a roadblock. Enzo says that “the Australian kid” needs to didgeridoo himself a favor while they still have the NXT tag team titles is kick rocks in flip flops and skedaddle, sweet boys.
It’s kinda surprising how much Cass can hold his own on the mic even though Enzo is generally considered way better on the mic.
Crowd starts a “This guy’s sawft” chant at Blake as the match starts. Then a “We want Blue Pants” chant. They ought to consider putting her with them somehow. Have her and Carmella constantly at odds despite being part of the same group.
At one point, Murphy  jumps on the apron to distract Cass. Carmella jumps up to yell at Murphy and Cass boots him in the face knocking him to the floor. But then Blake shoves Cass into the ropes, knocking Carmella to the floor then rolls him up for the win. (Maybe grabbed the tights?)
Highlighting a new NXT Diva, Dana Brooke, who apparently was competing in the Arnold Classic. She’s pretty jacked but also pretty agile too it looks like.
Now Alexa Bliss takes on Sasha Banks in a nontitle match.
Sasha taking control early, stomping Alexa’s face into the bottom buckle then dropping he knees across Alexa’s midsection. But Bliss comes back, escaping a crossface choke and hammering on Sasha Banks. She hits a Glitz Flip, a back handspring into a double knee drop on Banks.
She hits a Thesz Press on Banks who rolled out of the ring and when she gets up, throws her into the post. Bliss rolls back into the ring and Banks is counted out! Alexa Bliss picks up a win over the Women’s champ!
Kevin Owens says he’s gonna make Alex Riley wish he never quit his coushy commentary job. He knows why Riley quit – he needs to prove he can still do this, but the truth is he can’t. Not against someone like Kevin Owens. And he can’t wait for his match against Finn Balor because he wants to prove that no one is taking the title away from him and his family.
Alexa Bliss talks about how happy she is she beat Sasha Banks in her hometown and showed her who’s boss, but Banks steps in and says she never pinned her. William Regal gets between them and says there’s an easy way to settle this, next week Sasha Banks defends her title against Alexa Bliss.
Main event now, Alex “Say it to my face” Riley taking on Kevin Owens.
Owens gets in the ring and gets right in Riley’s face, holding the belt up and smirking at him. Drake tries to get between them as Riley and Owens start to shove each other and Drake tries to back them up to opposite corners.
Owens takes advantage early, keeping the pressure on Riley hammering him with punches and chops. Riley tries to mount a comeback but Owens puts quick stop to it and hits a cannonball in the corner. Crowd solidly behind Owens with “Kill Owens Kill” chants and even breaking out “Mr. Wrestling.” Owens mocks Riley as he’s on the mat “Come on, Riley! Rage!” and drops an elbow.
Owens lays in a headlock by Riley fights to his feet. Hits a few stiff punches and sends Owens to the outside. Owens goes for another cannonball and Riley avoids it then hits a big spinebuster for 2.
Owens avoids a crossbody then hits three sentons to regain control. He throws Riley to the outside and into the solid steel guardrail of the arena. Lifts Riley up and tosses him into that steel and Riley crashes to the ground. Owens throws him back in and as Riley rushes in, Owens hits a pop up powerbomb for the win.
Riley rolls to the outside and Drake checks on him as Owens leaves. But Owens stops and grabs Riley, dragging him to the apron. He’s about to set up for an apron powerbomb when Finn Balor’s music hits. Owens is distracted by Balor who tells him not to do it and Owens drops Riley. Owens acts like he’s going to leave, but then picks up Riley and sets up for the powerbomb, when Balor jumps off the stage and onto Owens, hammering him on the ground. Balor throws him into the steps then into the ring.
Balor hits him with a big dropkick sending him into the corner and sets up for the double stomp but Owens manages to roll out of the way (and gives Riley another stomp as he leaves) and collects his belt before leaving the ringside area.

At the WWE Axxess events during the week leading into Mania, NXT will be holding a tournament where the winner gets a spot in the Andre the Johnson Memorial Battle Royal. Doesn’t say everyone involved, only that Finn Balor, Adrian Neville, Tyler Breeze and Hideo Itami will be in it.
In the semifinals, Hideo Itami defeated Adrian Neville to advance to the finals and Finn Balor defeated Tyler Breeze in the other semifinal match to set up a meeting between the former tag team partners with a spot at WrestleMania 31 on the line.
In a big surprise to many, Itami defeated Balor and will take part in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal on Sunday. Many had speculated that the winner would be Adrian Neville with an outside chance of it being Finn Balor (I thought it would be Neville) but WWE swerved us all and Itami now gets a chance to become the second Battle Royal champion.

Also, I just saw this on r/SquaredCircle - the semifinal and final match of the NXT Axxess tournament! Despite the fact that WWE didn't feel the need to film these and air them on the network, someone found fan-cam footage of the three matches and now you can watch them too.
I'd watch them quick because they'll probably be taken down soon.

Lucha Underground, 3/18
Recap of Dario Cueto turning The Crew into his personal wrecking crew and Star and Ryck battling for the chance to face the Crew. As well as the series between Drago and Aerostar and the Fenix/Mil Muertes feud.
The opening match is the third match in a best of 5 between Drago and Aerostar. Both have a victory against the other.
Drago using unique offense to tie up Aero’s legs and keep him on the mat but Aero eventually grabs the ropes. Aero tries to get something going, kips up off a whip into the ropes but Drago catches him and Alabama slam for a 2 count.
Aero escapes the ring and slides through the corner. Drago follows and Aero catches him with a kick and takes control. But not for long as they both hit a cross body on each other and are down.
Aero hits a crazy reverse splash to the outside. Aero sends him out with a big dropkick, Aero springboard to the top and leaps off backwards onto Drago but Aero looks hurt as well.
Both guys hitting huge moves even late into the match and it could be anyone’s game. Aero hit a crazy double stomp on the apron but Drago takes control after baiting Aero in hanging onto the middle and top rope then leaping over the ropes for a twisting corkscrew tope.
Aero hits a rana from the corner then a springboard splash to pick up the win over Drago. Aero leads the series, 2-1, and only needs one more win to earn Cueto’s “unique opportunity.”
Konnan video package likening the art of war to chess. That the strongest and fastest doesn’t always win but the one who wins is the one who positions himself the best and the one who believes he can. (Konnan was playing chess with Prince Puma and beats him, then smashes the clock with his cane)
Crew in the ring for a 3-on-1, no DQ, elimination match against Big Ryck.
The Crew taking it to Ryck early. Hitting “The Treatment” their three move combo in the corner.
Bael brings in the first weapon, wedging a chair in the corner. They try to throw Ryck into it but he overpowers them, tosses Cisco aside and throws Bael into the chair. Cortez Castro tries to sneak attack him with the kendo stick but Ryck no sells it, takes the stick and breaks it over Castro’s back.
Ryck eliminates Bael first with a chokeslam. Ryck grabs Castro by the throat and Cisco comes in and gets grabbed up too. Then boot him in the gut and try to suplex him but he suplexes them both over.
Ryck eliminates Castro with a kendo stick lariat. Cisco realizes he’s the last one and tries to walk out on the match and heads up the steps, but Sexy Star meets him at the top and hits him with a few forearms and sends him tumbling down the stairs. She throws him back in the ring and Ryck levels Cisco with a big right hand. Cisco is busted open and Ryck hammers the cut.  He sets up the chair and hits a uranage through the chair and pins Cisco for the win.
Next week, AAA champion Texano defends the title agaisnt Alberto El Patron in a bull rope match and Prince Puma defends the LU Championship in a Boyle Heights street fight match against Cage.
The main event up now - a “Grave Consequences” casket match.
Several figures dressed up in “Day of the Dead” facepaint bring the casket in. Mil Muertes out first, descending the stairs with the stone. Fenix out next with some new gear, black tights with yellow/red designs (looks like fire) and bright white boots. Catrina also comes out with Fenix, the first time I think that she has actually accompanied him to the ring.
But as soon as Fenix hits the arena floor, Mil dives through the ropes with a tope, picks him up and slams Fenix into the announcer table. Sends him in the ring and just starts hammering on Fenix.
Fenix slams Mil into the casket and then both guys start hitting each other with the decorations brought out for the casket. Fenix then DDT Mil onto the casket and dents it. Fenix runs into the ring and sets up for a tope through the ropes but Mil lifts up the casket and Fenix crashes into it.
Mil, looking like he’s trying to rip Fenix’s mask off, and tries to pull him up on the casket. But as he’s doing so, he rips Fenix’s mask open and Fenix scrambles to try and pull it down over his face. But Mil stays on the attack, undoing the bottom turnbuckle and taking it to use as a weapon and smashes Fenix in the face with it over and over and Fenix is busted open big time and Mil bites the cut numerous times. I don’t know how Fenix mask is staying on.
Mil takes Fenix up the steps and smashes him into the railings and support beams. He throws Fenix over a railing and onto a ledge and Mil threatens to throw him to the floor below. Fenix turns it around, trying to suplex Mil to the floor but Mil lifts him up and throws him into some metal box hanging from the ceiling then into the crowd and they head back to ringside.
Mil clearing the announcer table and powerbombs Fenix onto it but it doesn’t break! Mil drags the casket into the ring but Fenix is getting time to recover. Mil sets the casket in a corner as Fenix pulls himself back into the ring. Fenix rushes in and Mil overhead belly to belly onto the casket! Mil goes back to the cut and bites it as Fenix tries to collect himself in the corner.
Mil rushes into the corner and Fenix superkick and goes up top. But Mil uppercut stuns him and lands a top rope codebreaker.
Blood is pouring out of Fenix’s head. Mil pulls the casket back out and onto the roller. Mil takes Fenix around the arena and through the crowd. Mil smashes Fenix with a chair in the crowd, over and over (wooden chairs too so there’s no give). He misses a kick and gets crotched on the guardrail and Fenix headkick sends him down to the floor. Fenix on the rail and tope con hilo onto Mil on the floor! He’s covered in blood and his mask is barely hanging on.
Fenix tries to whip Mil into the guard rail but gets reversed and he hits hard. Mil then slams his head into the railing over and over. But Fenix somehow has enough to hit two superkicks and climbs onto the railing and hits a moonsault onto Mil!
Catrina very close to the wrestlers, watching the battle intently. Fenix ducks a clothesline and Mil levels Catrina! And she writhes on the ground, Mil is distracted briefly and Fenix enzugari. Fenix back in the ring and Mil follows, biting his head more.
Catrina back up and staggering to the side of the casket. Mil has Fenix in a suplex position, trying to take him over the top to the floor or onto the casket. Fenix blocks as Catrina opens the casket.
Fenix hits a combo of strikes and frees himself. Mil collecting himself on the apron and Fenix head up top and lands a huge double stomp to the back of his head, sending Mil into the casket. Catrina grabs Mil’s stone, licks it and throws it into the casket and closes it giving Fenix the win. The procession of death comes back to wheel Mil away.

Ring of Honor
ROH is hosting “Supercard of Honor IX” in Redwood City, CA on 3/27. Three big main event matches have been signed along with several other matches.

-Jay Briscoe defends the ROH Championship against Samoa Joe
-Jay Lethal defends the ROH TV Title against Jushin “Thunder” Liger
-reDRagon defends the ROH Tag Team Titles against The Kingdom (Matt Taven and Michael Bennett) 
-Original members of The Decade square off as BJ Whitmer faces Jacobs
-Michael Elgin vs Frankie Kazarian
-Christopher Daniels vs Roderick Strong

Evolve 39 results
-Drew Gulak defeated Timothy Thatcher
-Biff Busick defeated Tommy End
-Chris Hero defeated Ethan Page
-Ricochet, Rich Swann and Uhaa Nation defeated The Premier Athlete Brand (Caleb Konley, Brian Cage and TJ Perkins)
Dragon Gate USA Open The Freedom Gate Championship
-Johnny Gargano (c) defeated AR Fox
(Gargano’s knee  is pretty banged up after the match so we’ll have to see if he’s able to face Drew Galloway on Saturday)
Evolve Championship
-Drew Galloway (c) defeated PJ Black

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla
PWG’s “Don’t Sweat the Technique” will be held on April 3 from scenic Reseda, California.
Scheduled matches are:
-Roderick Strong defends the PWG World title against Zack Sabre Jr.
-World’s Cutest Tag Team face Beaver Boys in a non-title match
-Chris Hero vs Tommy End
-Brian Cage vs Biff Busick
-ACH vs. Tommaso Ciampa
-“Speedball” Mike Bailey vs Trevor Lee
-Andrew Everett vs Ricochet

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Exclusive Ring Rust Radio interview with former WWE and current TNA star Jeff Hardy

The hosts of Ring Rust Radio – Donald Wood, Mike Chiari and Brandon Galvin – were recently able to interview for WWE and current TNA star Jeff Hardy. With Hardy returning to Impact Wrestling after missing several weeks because of an injury, Hardy looks to get revenge on James Storm as well as discussing the resurgence of tag team wrestling and the future of the Hardy Boys as a team in TNA.

Donald Wood: You make your return to Impact Wrestling Friday night at 9 p.m. on Destination America when you square off against James Storm in a Six Sides of Steel match. Are there any reservations for you in a match this dangerous after you suffered your most recent injury in a similar bout?

Jeff Hardy: None. With this one there is actually a roof on the cage.  It’s kinda like the Lethal Lockdown match, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Lockdown pay-per-views from the past, but there’s a top on this cage.  So there is no escape whatsoever.  There are weapons hanging from the roof, we went in there and we tore it up as you will see this Friday.  The show is all about Hardy’s revenge.  I’ve been out for a month, James Storm knocked me out with the cowbell, I hit the stairs and was unconscious, and I get my revenge this Friday.

Mike Chiari: Your willingness to do high-risk spots and kind of throw caution to the wind is obviously a big reason why you became so popular in the first place. And you’re obviously still capable of doing those big spots as evidenced by falling on the steps against Storm, but as your career progresses do you have any thoughts of toning down your style, or do think that’s always going to be who you are as a performer?

Jeff Hardy: It’s always how I’m gonna be till I can’t do it anymore.  It’s kinda of a day by day, match by match process with me.  I’m pretty sure I know what my body is capable of doing and getting away with without getting seriously injured.  That’s the main thing is to avoid that big, serious injury.  I feel confident in whatever I come up with in my mind that I can pull it off.  I always go for it unless someone shuts me down.  As long as I am able to wrestle I will always be that Jeff Hardy style people know and love until I can’t.  

Brandon Galvin: Your fall onto the steel steps at Lockdown garnered mainstream attention, which s always a priority for any company, but how important is that for you as the performer knowing you created such a buzz for the product?

Jeff Hardy: It doesn’t even really matter to me.  Matt is more the social media guy.  He is the one that wants to get it everywhere.  I’m kinda stand behind the evolution of it all.  I don’t even tweet that much but I will tweet a picture after a match with my face paint and say thank you Orlando or wherever I am.  That’s really all I do, I’m pretty much an anti-social when it comes to that.  That stuff is more along Matt’s territory where he cares about all that stuff and I really don’t care about the impact it makes on others.  I just care if it was a great match and if the story is good.  This Friday on Impact at 9 p.m. on Destination America it is Hardy’s revenge.  You gotta tune in to check it out, I get so much revenge on him you just won’t know what to do.  It’s a great match, great show, and a flawless story.  TNA is doing great right now and we’re just gonna keep climbing. 

Donald Wood: While you are returning Friday to square off against Storm in a singles match, you are still very much part of The Hardys and the quest for tag team gold. You and your brother have yet to win the championships in TNA. What would winning the titles mean for you as an individual and as part of The Hardy Boys legacy?

Jeff Hardy: It’s all about the collection you know?  It’s something to add to the collection and naturally as a pro-wrestler you want to every title you possibly can.  From the lightweight championship, tag team championship, US title, intercontinental title, world heavyweight championship which is the metaphorical brass ring to grab they say.  Naturally you want to win them all to add to your collection.  To look back on your career and say that you did that, that is something Matt and I haven’t done yet.  We have had some killer matches in TNA with the Wolves, Team 3D, and we are going to continue to have those matches until we win those World titles.  It’s inevitable that we are and I am looking forward to it.   

Mike Chiari: You and Matt getting back together as a team is something that I think a lot of fans have enjoyed, especially since you’ve gotten to mix it up with some of the up-and-coming teams like The Wolves. The Hardys were instrumental in the resurgence of tag team wrestling in the late-1990s, so do you and Matt kind of view your reunion as an opportunity to do that again and restore the importance tag team wrestling?

Jeff Hardy: Kind of yea, I would think so.  I was always a believer of tag team ranks could be just as important as the world championship and singles matches.  I think we could see that down the road in some company where the world tag team titles are more important than the world heavyweight title.  Back in the day when we were just the Hardy Boyz before we went our solo ways, we just went out there and had the greatest matches ever.  We wanted to steal the show every night and I feel that way now with Matt every time we get together and have a match.  I always want to mention the Young Bucks, cause we have wrestled them several times and it is a blast getting together with those guys.  We always put together killer matches and tear it up.  This weekend we are wrestling RVD and Sabu at WrestleCon out on the West coast.  That will be another dream match for sure.  It’s just so cool later in life, especially with what I have been through and what Matt has been through, and to come out of the dark times on such a good note and be better than we ever have been in the ring at this age.  It’s a good feeling, and therefore the future is limitless as to what we can do and accomplish.

Brandon Galvin: As far as years in the business, you're one of the most experienced wrestlers at TNA. Do younger wrestlers come to you for advice and do you view yourself as a leader in TNA's locker room?

Jeff Hardy: I never view myself as a leader.  I compliment people when I see something I really like and tell them that was good, keep doing what you’re doing.  That’s as much as advice as you will get out of me.  Matt is more that trainer to help a young star be better.  If he ever opens a school I might pop in and my big claim to fame is selling and how to take a good butt whooping.  I never saw myself as a leader but Matt definitely is that guy.

Donald Wood: At the end of last month, you became the first OMEGA Heavyweight Champion since 2000. With so much family influence on this independent promotion, what has it been like creating something new and unique in the business?

Jeff Hardy: It’s extremely cool.  To capitalize on that like Shane Helms the Hurricane has, all the power and weight behind those shows and everything it takes to pull those off.  He was hanging at my house one weekend and we watched a show where the Hardy Boyz wrestled the Briscoe Brothers.  Just from beginning to end it was such a good show and all I could say was wow.  It was pay-per-view worthy and it was just a match at a high school.  All the way through it was built and built until the main event perfectly.  Now the possibilities are endless especially now that I have this alter ego Willow.  Now when I have these crazy ideas I run them by Shane and he says, “Oh wow, yeah that is cool.”  It’s a new day in pro-wrestling and with Omega we can and we will pull of anything.  Down the road with Jeff Hardy and Willow you are going to see some really cool, I almost want to say magic-like and special setups for some alter ego Willow stuff going on with Omega.   

Mike Chiari: Sting is a guy who you worked with pretty extensively during his time in TNA, and one of the biggest stories in professional wrestling right now is Sting making his WrestleMania debut on Sunday. What were you able to learn or pick up from Sting when you worked together, and how do you think he’ll perform on the big stage?

Jeff Hardy: I think it’s overdue and about time he gets that WrestleMania moment because he deserves it.  I saw the Wyatt promo on Raw, which I loved, then I saw the whole Vigilante vs. King promo for Triple H and Sting’s match.  I got goosebumps from it, I wasn’t even a wrestler at that point I’m just a fan.  Sting was one of my first and biggest influences.  One night in North Carolina when I reached out and touched his shoulder, he had the face paint on, and I didn’t know why but I loved it.  I wanted to be just like him and I was only 11 years old.  Now that he is going to be in a match at WrestleMania blows my mind.  I can’t wait to see how it turns out but I know it will be great I am sure.  Every time I was in the ring with him it was just a blessing for me to be in there with a role model and a guy I looked up to so much.  I can’t wait to see his moment in WrestleMania.

Brandon Galvin: Throughout your career you've competed in some of the most high-risk and ground-breaking matches. TNA is often looking to try new types of matches. Is there a different variation or completely new type of stipulation that you think fans would want to see in TNA?

Jeff Hardy: Stipulation as in match wise?  There’s always room for that.  I have an idea but I haven’t pushed it yet.  I asked the guy in TNA that does the ring work if there was a way to spin the ring like WCW did back in the Universal days.  It would spin around so I got to thinking, and I asked if he could put a ring on a thing that would spin to make it go around and around, make it go faster and slow it down.  A rotating match to pull off in the future, where you start the match and at a certain time it’s going to start to rotate and go faster and faster.  If you could pull off spots while the ring is rotating would be awesome in itself.  Anything is possible if people are willing to attempt to pull it off and get over the fear of trying.  I’m willing to try anything.

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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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