Monday, 28 November 2011

BritWres - Things Are Looking Good

British wrestling has seen a big upturn in 2011 in my books, OK, no promotion has yet to secure a TV deal but I am sure one will soon. Just over the last couple of weeks three British promotions have been in the wrestling news.

First, on the weekend of November 19th & 20th the FWA did their usual show at the Memorabilia Show at the N.E.C. in Birmingham. I was lucky enough to be there on day 1 where the group put on three matches the third of these was a tremendous match between Jonny Storm & The ‘Rockstar’ Spud. Jonny went into the match as the babyface and Spud as the heel, the latter of course being from the Birmingham area but by the end of the match, the two had switched roles and they took part in a superb double turn. The crowd was a mixture of wrestling fans and general Memorabilia show goers but the two guys in the ring did such a great job as did referee Chris Roberts that they were able to pull it off.

Hopefully big things to come from the FWA, please check out their great youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/frontierwrestlingtv

On Friday November 25th, I went to the final show of the year from the AWESOME Fight Club Pro. This show was entitled ‘Infinity 2011’ and I have done an article on this show elsewhere on the site but I just want to repeat, I love FCP, the guys give 110% and the company NEVER fails to impress me. Also, due to the crowd at FCP, the aforementioned Spud was back in his heel role and it works a treat at FCP, the guy is awesome in his role, great gimmick – Top guy overall. Just in case you missed the other column, it had the Infinity 2011 tournament which consisted of two 4 way matches with the winner of each going into the final – MK McKinnan, my favourite worker of 2011 as I have seen him live 4 times now and was in 2 of my favourite matches of the year, one of which was on Project Mayhem Night 3, see below, won the tournament. Also, it was night 1 of the UK leg of the Nigel McGuinness retirement tour, he was set to face FCP champion Trent Seven and he did just this but along with the added spice of former ROH champion, like Nigel himself is, Eddie Edwards. Edwards ended the night as FCP champion, great match, great show and year in FCP overall.

I can’t wait for the next FCP show, please support them by LIKING their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fight-Club-PRO/234516669556 and BUY Project Mayhem on DVD off them over at http://fightclubprob.com

And to top this off, this past Sunday, IPW-UK had their 7th Anniversary show and the card was loaded, thanks to @gadget80 on twitter here are the results :
Marty Scrull over Dean Allmark (Cruiserweight title tournament bracket A final), Project Ego beat Tempest Warriors, Joel Redman over Nigel McGuinness, Eddie Edwards over Noam Dar (who was in for Martin Stone who could not compete but was there), Dave Mastiff won a 4-way over T-Bone, John Ryan & Terry Frazier to become number 1 contender to the IPW-UK title , IPW-UK champion Sha Samuels over the Lion Kid. The main event was IPW-UK tag team champions Marty Scrull (again) along with his Leaders partner – Zack Sabre Jr. going over The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson). I imagine this match was great, the Bucks have a bit of a reputation but loved their match recently on ROH TV so I can’t wait to see this match.

British wrestling is looking good, there are more promotions of course that I have not mentioned, Steven Fludder is doing great things up in Preston with PCW so look out for his upcoming show in December that will feature McGuinness as he continues his retirement tour.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

FightClub: Pro INFINITY 2011 - Thank You Nigel

I was at FightClub: Pro's final show of the year on Friday, and oh what a show it was. The show was built around the 2011 Infinity tour which consisted of 2 4-way matches and then the final but also, it was the show that had Nigel McGunniess on in the first match of the UK leg of his retirement tour. Nigel would be facing FCP champion Trent Seven, the two guys started the show off with an in-ring promo, as the guys were getting ready to go to the back some music began to play, people were looking around at each other wondering who it was, I did know who it was as a ROH fan because it was former ROH champion Eddie Edwards. Eddie got on the mic, and said how he wasn't booked for the show but when he heard there was a world title up for grabs he wanted to be a part of it and both Nigel & Trent agreed so the match was set.
The first match of the night was the first match of the Infinity tournament as it was Lee Hunter vs. Bobby Barrett vs. Dave Mastiff vs. Clint Margera - Order of elimination was Barrett out first followed by Mastiff and then Margera so Lee Hunter went into the final.
The second match was the second in the Infinity tournament as it was Jim Hunter vs. MK McKinnan vs. Dave Williams vs. The Rockstar Spud - Order of elimination was Williams out first, followed by Hunter and then Spud who went down to the MK McKinnan shining wizard.
The next match was the triple threat for the FCP title, all 3 guys looked terrific, and as I said to a friend i was with on the night, Nigel did not look like someone who needs to retire. In a total shock after an awesome match, Eddie Edwards pinned Trent Seven and became the new FCP champion. After the match Eddie took to the mic followed by both Trent and Nigel. Awesome speeches by the guys, I have posted a video of it at the end of this article.





Somehow, MK McKinnan & Lee Hunter had to follow that great match but they did just that, may not of been MK's best match in FCP but was still very good and Hunter held his own too. And to end the night, we had McKinnan crowned 2011 Infinity champion and he went onto say amongst other things "I love this shit" couldn't of put it better myself.

As stated, this was FCP's final show of the year and it was AWESOME like all the othera I attended which was just the 3 prior to this but I'll be hopefully going to a lot more next year if not all and I suggest you guys go and check FCP out too if you can. For now, BUY the Project Mayhem 3 disc set from http://fightclubprob.com

I'm hoping for a Best of DVD to be released by FCP sometime soon so I can see this stuff again, as well as the stuff I missed like Davey Richards vs. Trent Seven and MK McKinnan vs. El Generico plus the matches featuring Mike Quackenbush & Colt Cabana.

As promised, below is the video of the speeches by Eddie Edwards, Nigel McGunniess & Trent Seven

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

R.I.P. Bison Smith

Bison Smith passed away on November 22nd 2011 in Puerto Rico due to heart complications at the age of a mere 38 yrs old.

I had the pleasure to watch the big man wrestle in person for Pro Wrestling NOAH back in 2008 right here in the UK. Bison can also be seen in the Beyond The Mat documentary when it shows All Pro Wrestling where Bison got a lot of his training.

Not overly known for working the American wrestling scene, Bison made his name in Japan for NOAH where he was one of the top ganjin's.

Pro-wrestling has lost another star and at such a young age. People should check out Bison on Colt Cabana's Art of Wrestling podcast either on http://welovecolt.com or iTunes

R.I.P Big man.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

You cant see M… My heel turn By Azan Saigol

Tonight The Rock returns to wrestling after seven years. Tonight The Rock teams with John Cena for the first time. Tonight John Cena turns heel?

Yes, this question is asked every Sunday before a PPV. But tonight is better then ever. Think about it, it’s at BLOODY Madison Square Garden. Turning Cena would be HUGE. I mean look there is no way Rock and Cena can go into Mania as The crowd will not accept The Rock as a heel against Cena. Obviously babyface vs. babyface does not work. You want to tell me that it’s bad marketing. Well clearly you did not live through the Attitude Era. The nWo was a heel stable. They sold tons of shirts. When DX was a heel stable, they sold tons of shirts. When the Austin 3:16 shirt came out, and Stone Cold trashed the crowd on the mic, everybody was wearing his shirt. Why is WWE afraid to have this guy turn for the betterment of their overall product? By turning Cena heel, they're essentially turning him face since 75% of the crowd can't stand him now, anyway. His merch sales might actually go up.

Another reason for Cena’s Heel Turn:
You might have noticed for the past few weeks, the whole focus of this match has been on Cena and Rocky. What if this was done on purpose just to show how Cena would turn on Rocky? I mean he invites him to be his partner out of the blue, then screws him over at the most historical stadium. Think about it. Rock gets a beat down by Cena Miz and Truth. Okay, maybe that is thinking a bit too far. What if Rock and Cena win the match and at the end Cena attacks The Rock to end the PPV. Keep in mind that this is the Garden, and Vince is not sending the fans home without a “BANG”.

Well as far as im concerned. Tonight is going to be AWESOME. If I was you I would buy this PPV simply for the mainevent. Other than that, let’s see what happens. If Cena turns HEEL, well lets just say it will be another proud moment where I can tell the world why I love the WWE. And if not, atleast I got to see The Rock wrestler after seven years.

HIT me up on TWITTER Follow me and discuss wrestling
@azansaigol

UFC To Rely On Unique Challengers By Shaun Nichols

The two biggest fights in UFC in 2012 will arguably see the two most dominant champions face their biggest challenge. Georges St Pierre is next scheduled to defend his title against Nick Diaz, while Anderson Silva is lined up to defend his title for a second time against Chael Sonnen.
Now while it's fair to say that GSP and Silva are well established main eventers and PPV draws it is also fair to say that their opponents go a long way to determining just how successful those PPV numbers are going to be. GSP's biggest PPV success in recent times was against Josh Koscheck who masterfully used that season's Ultimate Fighter to boost the buyrate. Anderson Silva the undisputed Middleweight champion was boosted considerably by the trash talking abilities of Sonnen. Chael is able to talk like no other UFC fighter and was solely responsible for thousands of extra buys.
The fight which saw Sonnen dominate Silva for four and a half rounds, until Silva was able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by locking in a triangle armbar. With Sonnen failing the drug test and then being banned it looked like we would not see the re-match that most UFC fans were craving.
Chael Sonnen though is back and brasher than ever, made his return to the octagon at UFC 136 against Brian Stann. Many commentators had doubts that Sonnen could return to his previous heights after his extended lay off. In the run up to his match, Sonnen toned down his usual antics realising that Stann seen by UFC fans as a genuine American Hero. Instead he let his performance do the talking for him by completely dominating Stann.
Once the fight was over, Chael was back to his usual self by calling out Anderson Silva who was in attendance. As I said earlier Sonnen is like nobody else in the company his ability to connect with the fans and to get them to pay to see him fight is on a different level to anybody else. He challenged Silva to a fight in his post match interview but with stipulations attached. If Sonnen can beat Anderson then the current champion would have to leave the division, if Silva could beat him a second time than Chael would not just leave the division but the UFC itself. Surely Vince McMahon was taking note of this??
What this did was make Chael Sonnen the number one contender, regardless of the fact that Anderson Silva wants nothing more to do with him. As far as Anderson is concerned, he beat Sonnen and therefore he has nothing more to prove and there are other potential challengers waiting. He sees Chael as disrespectful and is in no hurry to want to help Sonnen get a big pay day. The problem for Silva, is that there is one fight available to him that will draw considerably more than anyone else he can fight. That fight is against Chael Sonnen and Dana White will make sure it will happen in 2012.
Their fight will do a lot more buys than their first in August 2010, they can use the footage of that first fight. Anderson's outrage at being forced to defend against somebody he sees as unworthy and than the icing on the cake, the promoting skills of Chael Sonnen. Fans will be clear as to whether they will be supporting Chael in his efforts to become the new UFC Middleweight champion. The stipluation that Chael issued after the Stann fight as now been withdrawn, with Chael claiming that the offer only had a limited time period and Silva missed it but it hardly matters. It got Sonnen the match that he wanted, and while he'll probably regret walking off 'Off The Record' with Michael Landsberg in the last few days when the host pushed him on it. It won't stop Chael from being the king of promoting a fight.
Nick Diaz on the other hand is a completely different animal from Chael Sonnen. While Chael utilises press conferences and general promoting like nobody else, Nick Diaz would rather not promote anything at all. And there lays the charm you could say, one Nick Diaz in UFC is considered to be a blessing but having anymore than one would be a nightmare for the company.
Diaz was scheduled to face GSP at UFC 137 but was axed from that match when he missed numerous event related appearances. Surprisingly Diaz wasn't cut from the card but was pushed into the semi main event against BJ Penn. This allowed Carlos Condit to take the title match, which as it turned out didn't happen when GSP had to pull out due to a knee injury. This meant that Diaz was back in the main event and if he could beat Penn then he would be next in line to face GSP if he successfully defeated Condit at a later date.
In typical Diaz fashion, he was unhappy having to figt Penn stating that they were friends and it wouldn't be right. He only agreed to fight Penn when BJ had already agreed to fight Diaz first. In the press conferences he did attend, he was often late rarely said anything to promote the fight. He didn't want any part of the media circus but in the UFC that's not something that can be avoided.
Diaz dominated the fight and convincingly won by unaminous decision, after the fight he then called GSP out. He said that the UFC Welterweight Champion wasn't hurt and could have competed and if he was trying to really push for a fight against GSP he then said the magic words 'he's scared'. It's funny because your wondering who GSP was scared of? He wasn't facing Diaz, but rather Carlos Condit. And most people thing would expect GSP to beat Condit.
GSP was outraged and demanded to face Diaz next with Condit stepping aside. GSP in the press conference said that he would give Nick Diaz the worst beating that had ever been given out in a UFC fight. Quite the prediction from the usually composed Canadian. Diaz for his part continued with his now legendary and bizarre performance in the post-show conference. He complained how badly he had fought, when everybody else fought that he had done a great job. He complained that he wasn't paid enough, couldn't afford to pay his training team. Couldn't afford to buy a house in a nice neighbourhood and that he felt that he was always on the verge of being robbed by drug users. He was simply on a roll and most journalists got to the point where they were laughing at Diaz because they thought he was joking. He wasn't and that pissed him off even more and his numerous complaints including a suggestion that he should be paid the same as Floyd Mayweather led to Dana White responding with a few choice words for Diaz.
That being said, Dana knows that a GSP-Diaz fight is the one that makes the most sense. It will also be a bigger success in 2012 than it would have done had they fought last month as originally planned. They have greatly motivated GSP, a great clip of Diaz saying the champion's scared which is basically the money shot in countdown specials.
So in a year that UFC have generally seen their PPV buyrates fall, they will greatly benefit from two completely different characters. Both Chael Sonnen & Nick Diaz will be essential in helping the company earn two massive nights of income, regardless if either of them actually manage to win.

Chikara: High Noon Review By Ashley Hendricks

On Sunday November 13th, The Wrestling world was given a treat as CHIKARA Pro presented their first iPPV, High Noon. I may just be a CHIKARA mark and I may be giving it too much credit but this PPV was the best PPV I have seen all year, if not top 5. This PPV was worth the wait and worth the money. To purchase this iPPV (until it comes on DVD which by Chikara’s standards, it may already be out) you can go to GFL.TV, now on to this Review.

Match 0 – Jigsaw vs El Generico

This match was available to everyone on the pre-show available on Ustream. The problem for me was Ustream was skipping and jumping throughout the entirety of this match, so I can’t really report on it. I did see the end which was Jigsaw picking up the win via double foot stomp.
Winner- Jigsaw
Rating ***

Match 1 – The Colony vs The Young Bucks

I like the Colony and I don’t mind the Young Bucks as faces, so I was excited for this match. Both are great tag teams and it did make for a great contest. Solid Colony crowd. The commentary (Remsburg, Chikarason and Loudspeaker, not all at once) were fantastic at explaining how Chikara works for the newbies) Fire Ant out shined everyone in this match. Solid action from all, especially when they focused more on the Lucha side of wrestling, when you could roll out of the ring and it is considered as a tag out. Matt Jackson is a beast of a man, capable of doing a double powerbomb into a buckle bomb and lifting the Colony on his shoulders. The ending came when A missed Bang for your buck leads to a roll up for the pin and the win in a fantastic opening contest.
Winners – Colony
Rating *** ½

Match 2 – Sara Del Ray vs Jakob Hammermeier

Saras gonna kill you at Happy Birthday chants to start the match. Sara Del Ray pretty much beat the shit out of this poor Bastard. He got a bit of offense but Sara dominated him. Glorious. Sara won via Royal Butterfly.
Winner – Sara Del Ray
Rating ***

Match 3 – Green Ant vs Tursas

The culmination of over a year’s worth of build-up and one of the best matches on the card, here was Green Ant vs Tursas. Green Ant did the slam again but this time on the floor followed by an elbow drop from the top to the floor. Tursas was his usual behemoth self, just being a general badass but Green Ant used a modified Chikara Special (called the Chikara Special: Green) for the submission victory.

Winner – Green Ant
Rating - *** ¼

Match 4 – Colt Cabana vs Archibald Peck

This was a fantastic match, not because of the wrestling; it was because of the comedy. Whenever Archie would go to attack Cabana, he would fall flat on his face. Fantastic. The ending came when Colt Cabunny (Arichie’s mascot in a Cabana singlet) hit Archie with a baton, leading to Colt getting an easy win.
Winner – Colt Cabana
Rating - ** ½

Match 5 - Gregory Iron vs. Icarus

The most hated man in independent wrestling going the most inspirational wrestler, in which was built as the final confrontation. I enjoyed this match. There wasn’t much I could say about this match. The crowd was a little dead. Icarus got the pin after the Blu Ray. After the match Gran Akuma (who had returned the previous night) made an attempt to attack Icarus only to knock the head out of poor Iron.
Winner – Icarus
Rating - ** ¾

Match 6 – Spectral Envoy (UltraMantis Black and Hallowicked) vs. The BDK (Ares and Tim Donst)

Great feud ender. Fun match. Great Spots. Fun brawl all across the arena. UltraMantis Black is over like a motherfucker in Philly and I don’t blame the Philly crowd, Mantis is a legend. The interesting part is that Tim Donst walked out on Ares leading into Mantis pinning him for the win.
Winner – Spectral Envoy
Rating - *** ¾

Match 7 – Eddie Kingston vs. Mike Quackenbush

The main event of the show was master vs. student as ‘The War King’ Eddie Kingston went up against ‘The Master of 1000 Holds’ Mike Quackenbush for The Chikara Grand Championship. The Chikara Grand Championship looks pretty. Before the math Bryce Remsburg was looking very emotional. Kingston was over with the crowd. Quack was until he started acting Rudo during the match. Eventually Quack started brawling and Kingston started using submissions. During the match, the lockeroom emptied as Chikara wrestlers past and present (no Hero or Claudio) surrounded the ring. Kingston eventually won. The title was then presented to him by friends and family of the late Larry Sweeney. He then cut a promo calling out; WWE, TNA, CZW, John Cena, CM Punk, Triple H and AJ Styles. The show came to a close with Kingston, Ultra Mantis, Hallowicked, Icarus and Jigsaw (Chikara’s class one) in the ring together.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

UFC 139 Henderson vs. Rua Preview By Paul Dyer

Coming on the heels of one of the most hyped MMA shows in the sports history, UFC 139 from San Jose seems almost forgotten. It’s hardly surprising that some events are missed as this will be the 24th live show produced by the UFC in 2011, by the end of the year they will have had an average of 2.25 shows a month. And that’s just from one company, don’t forget about Strikeforce, Bellator, Dream, Titan Fighting, M-1 Global, Maximum Fighting and the numerous others all over the world. To be a hardcore MMA fan in this era is to be a master of the calendar and time management. Between Friday and Sunday there will be 4 decent sized MMA cards and the main will obviously be the card headlined by the former Pride alumni in California.
​ I’m only going to preview the main card as quite frankly I don’t have the time to do the Facebook or Spike TV prelims and most of you won’t be watching them anyway! First up we have one half of the “greatest fight in UFC history” Stephen Bonnar vs. Kyle Kingsbury. Bonnar is on a 2 fight win streak after having a bad run and Kingsbury in his third fight of 2011 going for his 5th straight win. Neither fighter is what you’d call elite nor can see either ever getting to that level but this does have potential to be an exciting balls out slugfest. Kingsbury has the edge by a slight margin in the wrestling department and I can see him clinching towards the end of the round en route to taking it by decision but as with most of the fights on the main card it’s a pick ‘em.
​Martin Kampmann vs. Rick Story intrigues the hell out of me, as both men have real potential to fight for the welterweight strap if they have a few solid victories in succession. The Dane is coming off two controversial decision losses to Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez, even if he does lose this fight, I don’t think he’s in danger of a three strikes and you’re out of the UFC. Story is also coming of a loss as he was upset by Charlie Brenneman at UFC Live 4 back in June in a great 3 round matchup. Kampmann has the upper hand in the striking but Story is by far the better wrestler, so I think this comes down to Kampmann’s ability to stuff the takedowns or his aptitude to stand back up after the event. I can see this going all three sounds with Kampmann taking a close victory.
​“The California Kid” Uriah Faber vs. Brian Bowles in a bantamweight clash of former WEC champions. Faber will be as over (to use a pro wrestling parlance) as anyone on the card due to his history of fighting in his home state. He’s coming off a loss to UFC bantamweight title holder Dominic Cruz in a match that won fight of the night honours. Bowles on the other hand is coming off two victories after taking his first loss of his pro career against the aforementioned Cruz. Brittle hands have slowed down Bowles’ progress and that could be a major factor if he decides to switch his usual game plan. Faber comes into the fight physically stronger and much more aggressive fighter and will be the more eager to get it on the ground. If he does get the Georgia native to the ground he will continually make him work and won’t stop working from the top. I see Faber taking it again by decision to again face Cruz in 2012.
​Wanderlei Silva vs. the UFC debuting Cung Le is your co-main event of the evening. Everyone knows “the Axe Murderers” game plan, start swinging and hope you hit something. Cung is more of a puzzle, he’s 39 years old and hasn’t fought in 18 months while concentrating on his film career. Does ring rust play a factor in the San Shou masters debut? I think yes is the answer. Silva’s chin is as weak as any in UFC including coming off a 27 second KO loss to Chris Leben. This is the tale of opposites, Le needs to remain at distance and use his fantastic kicks whereas Silva needs to stand in the pocket and use his Muay Thai/punches to try and decapitate the former Strikeforce standout. I’ll give it to Silva by TKO but again it’s a tossup.
​Main event time is the returning Dan Henderson against the former light heavyweight champ Mauricio Rua. What a great fight to headline the forgotten UFC. This is a five round fight and that could really make a huge difference to the 41 year old Henderson.  Henderson has struggled in five round fights and seems to fade in the championship rounds but he also has a right hand to die for and unbelievable power. Shogun is a frustrating fighter at the best of times, as he sometimes looks a world beater and other times looks distinctly average. I’m leaning ever so slightly to picking the Brazilian as I think he can sit in the pocket and use his vicious knees to Hendo’s body in the latter half of the fight and during the opening salvo stay away from the hands of the former Olympic grappler with kicks from distance.
 
This should be a great night of fights on PPV in North America and ESPN in the UK, and don’t forget the prelims on Facebook. @Theszbien signing off.

Friday, 18 November 2011

WLH PPV Prediction League Phase 2: A Great Prize To Be Won

Here we are again, another PPV, one of the WWE's biggest - Survivor Series. We'll see The Rock team with John Cena against R-Truth & The Miz. It's a great prize to be won, so all those people who have been involved in the prediction league should get yours in via email to wlhstu@aol.co.uk

Here is the line-up:

The Rock & John Cena vs. R-Truth & The Miz
WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk
World Champion Mark Henry vs. The Big Show
US Champion Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison
WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix vs. Eve (LumberJill Match)
Traditional Survivor Series Match: Team Orton - Randy Orton, Sheamus, Mason Ryan, Kofi Kingston & Sin Cara vs. Team Barrett - Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, Hunico & Dolph Ziggler

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Alex Shane – Stealing Shows And Creating History By Alex Kirkham

Alex Shane will steal the show in 5 seconds, steal the show in 4 seconds, 3 seconds, 2 seconds, Now. Something British fans of wrestling have grown used to over the last 10 or so year, is the figure of Alex Shane. The 2 time FWA champion, is one of the pinnacle points of the revival of British wrestling, and continues to light up FWA tapings with his no nonsense attitude and his barrage of moves. Though Shane’s career has not always been plain sailing, its to his credit that he is a 2 time FWA Heavyweight champion and one of the finest heavyweights to grace this country since the late 70’s.
Under the watchful eye of the great Dino Scarlo, and fresh from a spell with the prestigious NWA Hammerlock promotion, Shane, then under his real name of Alex Spilling, was approached by the newly formed Frontier Wrestling Alliance promotion. Along with his tag team partner Guy Thunder, Spilling appeared on the 2nd ever FWA show and from there on out, he never looked back.
His success with the FWA, allowed Shane to open his very own wrestling school, where he could mould the future stars of the business. As CCPW (Capital City Pro Wrestling) grew, it became the official London home of the FWA, but also opened doors for Shane, allowing him to move into the booking side of the sport, helping run the 1st FWA event in 2001. It was later in the same year, that Shane would adopt his most successful and well known persona, as the “Showstealer” he would become key to the development of the FWA and its success.
By the beginning of 2002, due to events in and out of the ring, Shane had seized majority control of the FWA which meant he was helping making British Wrestling a formidable force once again. As arguably one of the top face persona’s in British Wrestling at the time, Shane was loved by fans, culminating in he and former rival Ulf Herman winning the FWA tag titles in late 2002. This was huge success for Shane, but soon things would change, as just months later, Shane would turn on Herman, and become one of the most hated figures within the sport at the time. This was the beginning of the rise of Alex Shane, taking his status to the top of British Wrestling, and leading to him to notable feuds with the King Of Oldschool Steve Corino and the Anarchist Doug Williams, the latter of whom Shane would defeat for his inaugural FWA Heavyweight Title.
During the boom period of British Wrestling, Shane put his booking skills to the ultimate test, Shane presented International Showdown live, with a star studded card including Samoa Joe, CM Punk, Raven, Sabin, Daniels, Styles and the list goes on and on. In what was dubbed “As Good As It Gets” by British media, it was a showing of what British wrestling could do, and what it had achieved since its rebirth.
As a showing of the acclaim Shane was gaining, he was named Ring Of Honor’s head of European marketing, where he would promote ROH events, promoting the companies 1st ever overseas tour with huge draws and financial gains overall. Shane worked off of this success, to promote his own “King Of Europe Cup” later in the same year, featuring talent such as Doug Williams, Nigel McGuiness, Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli and the late great Trent Acid to name a few. Again it met with huge success, as it closely followed the ROH events, and built off the hype they had created. It simply showed that Shane as a booker had gained tremendous fans and backing from companies like the FWA & ROH and was showing his skills with his booking.
By now the name Alex Shane was big in the world of wrestling booking, both in the UK and in the US, which is why it was no surprise when TNA wrestling approached Shane to promote their 4 day tour of the UK in 2008.
The name Alex Shane, held respect, honour, and dignity by 2009, so it was no surprise that he was the man who put forward to the idea to bring back the FWA, which had folded 2 years earlier in a storyline feud. By August of the same year, the FWA made its comeback, to wide acclaim and enormous praise for Alex Shane. Although he remained backstage mostly, he did make his return to the ring in 2010, with yet more success, helping lead the newly formed “Agenda” faction into the New Year as the most dominant unit in European Wrestling.
As the FWA returns this weekend, with their Memorabilia event at The Birmingham NEC, i feel it only necessary to thank Alex Shane for his countless work and enthusiasm for both the FWA and British Wrestling as a whole. Id personally like to say that he has done so much for the sport, and that i congratulate him on past, present and future success. He embodies the determination that kept alive one of the countries real great sports. Again i thank Mr Shane for his prolonged involvement in British & European wrestling, and wish him & the FWA success in the future.

Never forget your passion for wrestling people

Hit me up on twitter @WholeKirknShow

Wherever you read this article, it originates from http://wrestlingslasthope.com

The picture that accompanies thi article is Alex along with Colt Cabana, try and check out Colt's podcast The Art of Wrestling with Alex as his guest, it can be found on iTunes or http://welovecolt.com

Monday, 14 November 2011

4FW Halloween Spectacular Review By Paul Dyer

My love hate relationship with the wacky business that is professional wrestling continued a couple of weeks ago (29th October) as my driver (@PhilJones77) and I made the 90 minute drive to Swindon for the latest show from 4 Front Wrestling.
Now I have to be honest, I knew two things about this show before traveling down. I knew Dick Togo was working it as part of his retirement world tour and some guy called Prince Devitt was going to be there. That’s all I knew but these two things were enough to make me part with my money, a feat that is rarely duplicated. As some of you may know I have interest/obsession with the way shows are produced and much to my own chagrin am hyper critical of bad staging, poor microphone/sound system and most of all, my numero uno pet peeve on wrestling shows is a poor ring. So you have to be surprised that coming out of this show I have nothing to complain about and ask anyone that knows me I like to complain! The show was unbelievably well produced on a level I’ve not seen in the UK since the “glory” days of the UWA. The guys and gals running the show were extremely professional throughout and a pleasure to deal with. It may sound like I’m “putting them over” and I am, if 4FW (@4FW) is anywhere near you, hell even if they’re not it’ll be worth your while. One last thing I have to make comment of is how great the audience was for large portions of the show, they knew most of the guys and knew the storylines that were in place and were very vocal which helped the show a great deal.

The first match of the six match card pitted the former Ring of Honor Pure champion, John Walters against Joel Redman. I cannot say enough good things about this match, I loved it. I’d obviously seen Walters during his ROH tenure but this was the first time I had seen Redman but definitely not the last. Both are mechanically very good indeed with Walters having more personality but that will come for Redman over time. The two worked very well together with some really beautiful reversals and nothing obviously botched. With it being a technical match it did take the crowd a little while to get into it but the guys did their job with Redman winning with a small package.


Next up was the first of two tag team “attractions” of the evening. Jack Dynamo came out first and did a really good job of explaining his recent heel turn on former ally The Saint, which cost the former the 4FW heavyweight title. For someone not aware of the storyline going into the tag match, this promo was excellent and certainly helped with the storytelling of the match for a newbie. The match consisted of the aforementioned Dynamo tagging with current 4FW champ JD Knight against the saintly one and the recently returned Eddie Ryan. Again another fine match with all four wrestlers doing a great job but I have single out Dynamo for his great facials and selling when Saint was tagged in. A lot of the match was Ryan working with the dastardly heels for large portions and teasing the tagging in of The Saint which got the crowd into it until the roll up finish at the end with the bad guys stealing the pin.

The last match before the intermission was current K-Dojo “student” Owen Phoenix versus the reigning IWGP Junior Heavyweight champ Prince Devitt. Devitt played heel to the generic babyface of Phoenix and seemed to have a blast in what is an unusual role for him. Phoenix is very vanilla at the moment but working and learning with the K-Dojo guys is only going to benefit him and you can see the potential that he has, nice smooth movements and transitions between moves so I’m eager to see him reach his potential. The match was good from start to finish with some really stiff chops from Prince and a couple of double foot stomps from the top rope to lead to the bloody Sunday by the Irishman for the pin.

First match after the interval was fellow Welshman Wild Boar against Jason Larusso. This was decent and Wild Boar certainly has potential but nothing between these two really struck me. This could be just because it was straight after the break but whatever the reason nothing caught my attention until the finish, which saw Larusso hit an ace crusher for the face win. Another tag match next as The Professor and Matt Lomaxx against the Asian duo Ho Holun and So Sai King. The work in the match was alright, nothing fantastic but nothing bad either. The two major positives for me were The Professor’s facials that reminded me of William Regal’s which is high praise indeed and then we have the greatness of Ho Holun. He has amazing presence and is highly entertaining, especially when you compare him to his tag team partner who apparently was a huge fan of the now era Masahiro Chono. Finish saw The Professor package piledrive Holun for the win for the bad guys.


The final and main event of the evening as former WWE superstar Dick Togo went head to head with Behnam Ali. This was part of Togo’s retirement world tour and all I can say is I am very glad I saw this match and shake the man’s hand and say thank you for his incredible efforts through the years. At 42 years old and 20 of them in this business, he gave everything of himself to make this match the best it could possibly be, including juicing for the added drama and it worked beautifully. They took the crowd by surprise by brawling to the outside near the start of the match and again that only added to the excitement. The style that Togo has worked for his career isn’t the most conducive for long term health but he hasn’t lost much speed and more than makes up for it with being smart and doing things at the right time. The highlight for me came in the middle of the match with a sequence that follows, both guys on the apron and Togo gets knocked down, Ali runs and gets launched into the corner post. Togo gets to his feet the does a gorgeous rolling senton for a huge pop. After about 30 minutes of really good action the finish saw Togo hit his famous top rope senton for the 1-2-3.


In true Jerry Springer style my final thoughts are that bell to bell this was one of the best shows I’ve seen in an awful long time and I’m very glad that I made the trip and I’m certain I’ll be making more in the future, at least until I move back to Texas! @Theszbien signing off!

Thankyou Mr. Cena By buzzUK

John Felix Anthony Cena, wrestler, actor, rapper and tv personality. The winner of 22 titles in his wrestling career,with world titles held in UPW, OVW but the mainstay of his career thus far is 19 titles in WWE 12 of which were World titles, with a record 10 times WWE champion. The fourth highest number of combines days as WWE champion behind the likes of Hulk Hogan.

However, despite all this glory and being WWE's main guy for some years now, just the mere mention of his name brings up such a mixed bag of responses like never before seen towards a WWE superstar. There are the kids and women and some guys who love Cena, he is the WWE to them, they won't say a bad word against him. John Cena's mentality of hustle, loyalty and respect is their mentality, they were their t-shirts, their caps and their wrist bands with pride.

Then however we have the other side of the coin, these are mainly the guys, they have a real dislike of this guy, they love to see him lose. I would imagine that most of what they would call him if asked direct is not possible to put in this column.

The question is, why? Why is their such a split down the middle of fans for this guy. I mean let's be honest here, he works his backside off to make every match a great match. In all the years of watching wrestling, I have never seen anything like it. I would not even compare it to the Rock, as when the whole "die rocky die" was going on, I very much doubt that he was the number one best seller of merchandise like Cena is.

John Cena is a freak of wrestling, he gets booed and cheered in the same match but despite that he is constantly in the main event picture, and in my opinion thereason for that is purely down to that very reason. He gets a reaction, love him or hate, cheer or boo, you are reacting and that is what WWE and Cena wants. It means one way or another he is doing his job, if your getting no reaction then it means the crowd don't care, your not over my friend.

That point alone brings me on to this whole turn Cena heel debate. Let me ask you guys reading this a question, why? Why turn Cena heel. To me it doesn't matter if he is heel or face, he is going out there and doing what he does. It's not a question of good or bad it's about getting the job done, and that what he does. He has the best of both worlds, the truth is and this is my opinion turning Cena heel is a pointless exercise and will achieve nothing.

I will be completely honest here, I am not a huge Cena fan, but then again I am not a massive fan of one individual wrestler, I am a wrestling fan and I love seeing different guys getting their chance at glory. That is my one gripe about Cena and I don't blame Cena personally at all, he isn't the one booking the matches, he is doing his job and putting on the best show he can.

Ask yourself this, if you were John Cena and you were in the main event picture or part of one of the biggest story lines at that point, would you turn around and say sorry but I would rather not do this let some one else do it. Cena is no different to that guy or women in offices around the world, who is the man that every one goes to, the top guy or gal and They will be no different to Cena they will do their job and keep taking the plaudits and accolades that comes with it.

John Cena is a product of a new world of wrestling, and a new world wrestling fan. If you love him then cheer for him, if you don't like him then boo him. Wrestling is all about reactions, putting on a good show and have the best match you possibly can. In that case I say Cena is doing exactly what he is supposed
to.

If you don't agree with this then let me know @buzzuk ... Please be polite....

Duckman on UFC on FOX

One night stands – great aren’t they? What do you mean you don’t know? You mean to tell me you’ve never had one? Not once? Not even a five minute knee trembler in a damp pub car park? Really? Poor, poor you. What a sheltered life you have lead. I actually feel quite sorry for you now. Wait, look, I’m sorry, don’t cry. I’m sure your life has been great. Please. Ok how’s this for a deal - I’ll get you one for Christmas! How’s that? Granted, I can’t guarantee it’ll be enjoyable, memorable or indeed legal, but at least you’ll be able to say you’ve done it.

Although once you’ve joined the ‘one nighters’ club you could find that the hype outweighs the actual event. In fact it usually does. Don’t get me wrong, at the right time and with the right person, a one night stand can be awesome. It isn’t always about guilt and leaving before the lights come on you know. Sometimes a clumsy and slightly embarrassing one night stand can actually be the start of a beautiful new relationship.

For anyone who has read the title of this article, then read the two opening paragraphs and STILL hasn’t worked out I’m writing about UFC’s debut on FOX this weekend – get out. No, seriously, get out right now. This isn’t the right place for you. You’re looking for the kind of wrestling/MMA opinion and comment that usually comes on three large, brightly coloured, cardboard pages that are marked as ‘waterproof’ and ‘chewable.’ Just Google something like, ‘me like punching’ and I’m sure you’ll end up in the right place…the MMAfighting.com message board perhaps? Now there’s an example of evolution in reverse if ever I’ve seen one…

So then, for those of you who do remain (all three of you), please bear with me as today Duckman isn’t interested in wrestling. Today it’s all about the morning after the night before and what we’ve learned about the UFC’s big debut on network TV with FOX. Now, before anyone complains, I know this isn’t about wrestling and that might cause a few people to question what they’re reading. I mean you’ve come to WLH, so no doubt you want to read about wrestling.

You’ll just have to trust me, non believers, this is a damn big deal for MMA in general, not just the UFC and I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about it. But fear not, I have a purely wrestling related article currently gestating and it will soon be given to the world. In other words – normal service with Duckman on WLH will be resumed soon!

With that disclaimer out the way, what ‘s the main news coming out of the ‘biggest night in MMA history?’ Well, first things first – we’ve got a NEW UFC Heavyweight Champion, namely the brutally powerful and technically excellent Brazilian striker – Junior Dos Santos. He did what many pundits and fans didn’t think he could - hand Cain Velasquez his first ever loss in the UFC. Not just any old loss though. This was one of those losses that will end up being a question on the UFC Trivial Pursuit game (due to be released in time for Christmas 2015).

It was the defining moment of Dos Santos’ career and a finish that’ll play over and over again on UFC TV. It was as brutal and final a finish as he could have hoped for; an over hand right of epic proportions, powered by two hundred and forty plus pounds of Brazilian fighter, connected with Velasquez just above the right ear and he was done. A few more punches on the ground to seal the deal and 65 seconds into round one, the fight was done! New Heavyweight Champion! Awesome, right? Not totally…

I’m one of the lucky MMA fans who live in the UK and therefore all of my UFC viewing is free and sometimes the coverage is even better than what is broadcast in the states. This show was the perfect example of that advantage.

In the weeks building up to the show a lot was written, bitched and shouted about the fact that FOX had decided to air only one fight during the hour long broadcast, namely the main event . Their reasoning was simple and understandable - this was a taster for non-UFC fans to see what the sport is all about. FOX wanted big names and a big fight to go with them. Even the most causal fan will read or hear the words, “heavyweight championship of the world” and understand that it’s a big deal. So the call was made to air a ton of hype videos and interviews and then just the Heavyweight Title fight.

So why am I lucky being a UFC fan in the UK? Well, our version of the show had THE fight of the night on it and what a great fight it was – one of the best of the year. Benson Henderson defeated Clay Guida in an epic, fast paced, highly skilled and extremely exciting 3 round unanimous decision to become the new number one contender to the Lightweight Title. This was the fight that most commentators and fans believed should have been shown on Saturday night and you know something? They were right.

This was 15 minutes of the very best of MMA, the perfect appetizer to the main course Heavyweight Title showdown and a fight that would have easily hooked a lot of casual viewers. The action was so exciting, so intense and so unpredictable that both Henderson and Guida would have been made stars if the fight was shown on FOX. Problem was, they didn’t show it and with the featured fight going less than ninety seconds, this would have been a great way to fill some time and give new viewers a different ‘flavour’ of MMA from the big dudes.

It’s important to note that this was a decision made by FOX for this particular show. UFC could have put up more of a fight to ensure Henderson/Guida was broadcast but given the early stages of the deal, I’m not surprised they went along with what FOX wanted. Plus if you’ve got a net connection and a Facebook page, you could have watched the fight online.

Don’t be scared though homie (copyright the AWESOME Nick Diaz), when the FOX specials officially start airing next year they will have more than one fight and will be more along the lines of the usual non PPV shows the UFC produces. However as a fan of MMA I can’t help feel that a HUGE opportunity was missed to bring in casual fans by not airing the Henderson/Guida fight.

While the Heavyweight Title fight was the draw and the focal point of the show, they had an undercard fight available that would have helped establish what MMA is all about prior to the heavyweight title fight airing. Very similar to the booking used in WCW in the late 90s. The big names in the main event would get the asses in the seats. But the athletic and state of the art style of the workers on the undercard keep those asses in the seats and bring them back for more in the future.

As it stood, fans in the US watching the show on FOX got 30 minutes of interviews, comment and hype videos, then 10 plus minutes of walk outs and introductions, 60 seconds of fighting and then another 10 minutes talking about the 60 seconds of fighting. If I was a first time viewer to the UFC I’d have been let down by what I’d seen. Although from my perspective, having had the Henderson/Guida fight on the version of the show I watched, I loved the whole hour!

That being said, I think you’d have to be very na├»ve to believe that the future of the UFC on FOX can be judged off one event. Even with all the hype and the biggest Title in the UFC on the line, this wasn’t even the first official show on FOX. It was a taster. It was a teaser. Granted a huge fight happened and a Title changed hands but in terms of showing the wider public what MMA and the stars of the UFC are all about but I just can’t help feel there’s so much more to come from this deal. We haven’t even scratched the surface with just what UFC on FOX can do for both companies.

There’s no doubt both sides can learn a lot from this show but the early signs are promising. The rating information is in and UFC on FOX drew an average of 5.7 million viewers for the one hour show. I wouldn’t be surprised if that number topped 6.5 million if the fight had gone on longer and perhaps been more of a back and forth war. These days word of mouth travels so quickly on Twitter and Facebook that if a classic fight had unfolded on Saturday, the rating would certainly have increased. Then again that’s the problem with a shoot sport, sometimes shit happens that you have no power over.

According to FOX, it was the most watched professional fight since boxing heavyweights Lennox Lewis and Vladimir Klitschko drew 7 million viewers to their HBO fight in 2003. The network also says it projects it’s on course to win its key demographics, including the coveted 18-to-34-year old age group. That demographic Vince is desperate to bring back to WWE. Still not in competition though, right Vince?

Interestingly the biggest news from the fight was the reaction in Brazil as one of their fellow countrymen captured the biggest Title in a sport that has it’s roots firmly planted in Brazil. A TV viewing audience of approximately SIXTY MILLION watched the fight live on Brazilian TV. A viewership percentage of over 35%! As Dos Santos said when he heard those numbers, “wow, I’m famous!” Damn right you are buddy!

Now THAT is a number that UFC, FOX and everyone else involved in MMA should take a note of. There’s an practically untapped market in Brazil that could easily propel UFC/MMA into being one of the most watched sports on the planet in a few years time. Personally I think they’re on their way there but the market in Brazil could certainly speed the process up. With JDS now standing at the top of the MMA world and Anderson Silva universally accepted as the best pound for pound fighter in the world, plus the absolutely rabid reaction to everything UFC by the fans in Brazil, the pieces are falling nicely into place to open that market up and take UFC/MMA to the next level.

Away from all the numbers and the hype surrounding the debut on FOX what have we actually learned? Well, we’ve learned that JDS throws wicked punches like no one else in the sport. We’ve learned that perhaps Cain Velasquez wasn’t fully healthy for the fight. We’ve learned that there is a market for MMA on network TV and with the right kind of promotion and most importantly, the right kind of show, some big ratings could be drawn. Conversely we’ve learned that if you have a one fight show and that fight goes sixty seconds, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan!

The big test will be once the UFC on FOX programme gets going next year and we can judge how many new PPV viewers are being attracted to UFC. THAT is the whole crux of the matter because just like pro-wrestling, UFC draws a huge chunk of its income from PPV buys. The success of UFC on FOX will of course be judged by the wider public on the ratings they draw. That’s not the key measure though and it’s going to be very interesting to see if UFC will be able to use their position on FOX to hype upcoming PPVs.

All in all you have to call this event a success. The rating is strong and solid in the demographics UFC and FOX are hunting down. There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the UFC and in particular Dos Santos. Plus the door is open for a rematch once Cain is healthy and back to winning ways – a rematch on PPV that could draw some big money. On top of all that we’ve got the small matter of Dos Santos’ next opponent, either Alistair Overeem or Brock Lesnar who will face off at the end of December for that right.

So there you have it. UFC on FOX, one of the most significant moments in MMA history and a glimpse into the future of UFC on network TV. So tell me, was your one night stand with the UFC on FOX as good for you as it was for me? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the show, the lack of Henderson/Guida on the TV show, if you were viewing UFC for the first time, what did you think?

Thanks for reading and continuing to support Wrestling’s Last Hope. Be sure to check out all the other recent articles by the talented dudes here. There are also two great audio interviews on the site with indy legend Homicide and future star Adam Cole, so give them a listen and give Stu some feedback for his future interviews and audio show appearances. And finally, don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter @WLHDuckman.

Ok, that’s an article written and cheap plugs done…time to fly!

Until next time…

Peace

Duckman

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Remembering Eddie Guerrero By Azan Saigol

Today for many people is just another ordinary day. Many people are sitting at home enjoying their Sunday watching some TV. Some wrestling companies are putting on a PPV tonight, while another wrestling company just finished it’s tour in Europe. Today none of that matters to me as on this day just six years ago, November 13, 2005. The world lost one of the greatest person and wrestler Eddie Guerrero.

The first time I saw Eddie Guerrero was back 12 years ago on Nitro. At the time Eddie was upcoming and a great cruiserweight competitor in WcW. He was looking for an opportunity and waiting for his chance. Capturing many titles in WCW such as the cruiserweight belt. Eddie Guerrero has also held numerous championship belts in all of the organizations he wrestled in. How many people can say they did the same? He was extremely popular in the WWE including when he played the part of a heel.

Watching Eddie wrestle was one of the greatest things. I remember his match again JBL at Judgment day. Eddie put on one of the greatest performances of his life. No matter what kind of match Eddie was in he seemed to have that thing where you knew that regardless of his opponent Eddie would bring up the crowd and give one hell of a match. One popular thing he did that went along with his “ I Lie, I Cheat, I Steal” mantra was when he would wrestle in a match, he would take advantage of the referee being distracted. He would get a steal chair, slam it down on the mat and then toss it to his opponent. He would then lie down on the mat and pretend he was hit by the chair. The ref would turn around after hearing the banging noise; see Eddie on the mat and his opponent holding the steel chair. The referee would then think the opponent hit Guerrero with the chair and disqualify him, thereby causing Eddie to win the match.

One thing that Eddie Guerrero has taught me is to never give up. After Eddie’s relapse and getting released from the WWE for drug usage. He fought hard and returns just 14 months later and captured tag team and intercontinental gold within months of his return. I have watched WWE for many years, but as we all know it is suppose to be fake. One thing that I realized was the night I found out about Eddie’s death. I sat and got a bit emotional as I realized I was never going to see this guy on my TV screen on Monday nights from now. It was one of these moments that made me realize how true my passion for this sport is. After reading this article, I hope you all go on Youtube and watch one match of Eddie Guerrero’s so you can say what a great wrestler he was.

Eddie Guerrero wrestled in the ring like he lived his life. He was fast and wild. Ultimately it caught up with him and he paid the price for it. Fast living often results to a fast end. Eddie Guerrero was loved by all and was inducted into the WWE’s Hall of Fame in 2006, just months after his death. Long Live Eddie Guerrero. Viva La Raza.

Twitter: @azansaigol

Let's all remember Eddie Guerrero for the great man and wrestler he was.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

The Indy Corner's Interview with Adam Cole of CZW & ROH

The Indy Corner returned on November 9th and during the show we had an interview with CZW Junior Heavyweight champion & ROH roster member Adam Cole, look for the show on iTunes in the next day or so but here is the interview in full conducted by the one and only Steve Grieve along side co-host of The Indy Corner, WLH's own Stu Rodgers.

I would appreciate any feedback be it good or bad just so I can try and improve my interviewing skills so to speak. I didn't get to ask all my questions to Adam but I hope one day we'll have him on the show again, where we'll try and focus on him this time, anyway, hopefully you'll enjoy the interview.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Let Me Speak on This (11.11.11)

I've just finished listening back to the interview Steve Grieve and I conducted with Adam Cole on The Indy Corner live on Wednesday night over on the totalwrestlingshow.com network. I don't want to go on about it too much but when doing the Indy Corner there is one particular listener who does nothing but hate, not so much Steve, TWS or the show but more so myself. I have no idea who it is because obviously they won't say who they are but I just want to know off other listeners what do they think of myself on the radio? I'm not trying to boost my ego I just want to know if radio shouldn't be my thing, any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

The previous two interviews that have taken place on the Indy Corner with Homicide and Blk Jeez have been pre recorded and conducted by Steve on his own but this time around it was a live interview and Steve was a bit under the weather so I knew I was being thrown in at the deep end. Steve asked some questions before I got the chance to ask my own. It went OK, Adam Cole was awesome really but after listening back I need to be less excitable I think is the word but over all, I loved the interview.

Please follow Adam on twitter @AdamCole

So onto other things, for the record the following was written by myself on
2/11.

In a bit of a shock to me, Evan Bourne has been given a 30 day suspension for violating the WWE's wellness Policy. Bourne of course is the current Unified tag team champion along with Kofi Kingston. Not sure what will happen with the tag belts, ideally they should strip 'Air Boom' of the straps because like any wellness violation the WWE make it public and so should make it look like Bourne other than his suspension gets punished by being stripped of the title.

In other news, John Morrison finally gets a win on RAW. yes, after multiple weeks of jobbing out, JoMo seems to of turned a corner and many attribute this to the fact he has split up with his girlfriend Melina who got released by WWE on reportedly bad terms. We'll need to see what happens because with the news of Mick Foley returning there will even less time for the likes of Morrison on TV.

In closing, this weekend, CHIKARA Pro Wrestling have their first iPPV High Noon,
http://gfl.com is the place to go to order it.

One final plug, on November 25th FightClub: Pro have their final show of the year at The Planet in Wolverhampton, the show will feature Nigel McGuinness kicking off his UK stint on the first leg of what is being led to believe is his retirement tour.

Information for both shows can be found on the right hand side of the site.

Until next time, this has been Stuart Rodgers

Thursday, 10 November 2011

WLH PPV Prediction League Phase 2: A Great Prize To Be Won

Here we are again, the next installment of the WLH PPV Prediction League, we have TNA's Turning Point this Sunday (13th) and I want all of you who have taken part to send in your predictions to wlhstu@aol.co.uk - Don't forget the prize at stake here, a multi-signed WWE DVD region 1 - Backlash 2006, autographs featured are Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Triple H and more.

Here is the line up, don't forget, if anymore matches are announced other than these, they will not be added to the list. Fingers crossed AJ Styles is fit enough to wrestle.

* Jeff Hardy vs. Jeff Jarrett
* Crimson vs. Matt Morgan
* NO DQ MATCH: Rob Van Dam vs. Christopher Daniels
* KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH: Velvet Sky © vs. Gail Kim
* TNA X-DIVISION TITLE MATCH: Austin Aries © vs. Jesse Sorensen vs. Kid Kash
* TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Mexican America and Sarita © vs. Ink Inc and Toxxin
* TNA WORLD TITLE MATCH: Bobby Roode © vs. AJ Styles

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Vince, what's Going On? By BuzzUK

Has Vince McMahon hit the nail on the head by insisting that no one use the wrestling word, and should we all just call it sports entertainment.

I think this is a fair enough question when all the TV shows we watch, whether RAW, Smack Down or even IMPACT. We are getting less and less wrestling on our TV. Every week there are those out there who watch the whole show through and make note of how much actual wrestling takes place. With out any actual data, but purely based on what I have seen over the weeks, I make it about an average of 40 minutes wrestling on 2 hour TV shows.

This can't be right can it, I mean do we really tune in week in week out and only get only 1/3rd of a show. Now don't get me wrong I appreciate a decent segment or skit like anyone else, but when it is taking over I have to say enough is enough.

I mean this coming week is a prime example, I will not be surprised if we have the least amount of wrestling in weeks, as we have the king of the segment The Rock back on our screens, a rumoured appearance by Mick Foley, Kevin Nash will take us back to the 1990's with another droning promo that adds nothing.

I guess that's why Vince wants us to call it sports entertainment, maybe we all had it wrong in the first place. We expected wrestling on a wrestling show, so stupid of us. I mean hell they can't even call themselves wrestlers any more.

I want to turn in to a TV show and not spend half of it, fast forwarding through things like Michael Cole and JR in some stupid adds no value skit. If you want Cole to be something else, make him something else, you want JR commentating then put him there. Don't waste your viewers time with such pointless things and expect them to keep tuning in.

This continual push away from actually put wrestling matches on TV outside of PPV is just bad business. You want viewing figures up, then it's quite simple:

1) Don't put the Muppets on wrestling
2) Don't mess with tradition, put your major segment first and get in to the
wrestling
3) Put something that people care about, not cole and jr...
4) Give us some real commentary, it can make a match.. Watch Undertaker vs. HHH at
Wrestle Mania and listen to JR
5) Give the Mid card guys something to aim for, that way matches mean something

Other than that quite simply put.... WE WANT WRESTLING???


Let me know your thoughts @buzzuk on twitter

Sunday, 6 November 2011

The TNA World Title - Some Observations

I was listening to the Still Real To Us podcast this past week and the host 'The Champ' Jeff Peck came up with a thought that Booby Roode even though he is facing AJ Styles at Turning Point is just holding the belt for one Jeff Hardy. The thought of Hardy getting the belt back after what happened with him at Victory Road in his match, and I use that term loosely, with Sting. It's well-known the problems Hardy has had, for me, all brought on by himself but either way, TNA using him is one thing but making him the world champion again is something totally different.

The world title situation in TNA is to be frank, a bit shit at the moment. Kurt Angle, a guy I like as a wrestler has really come to that point now where he really needs to 'hang them up'. He faced Roode at Bound For Glory and after an extensive build up with really good video packages for Roode, we thought, well I thought the strap would change hands but it didn't, there was somewhat of screwy finish so I thought this would lead to him getting a rematch with Angle but that didn't happen. Any followers of TNA or users of the news sites will know that the IMPACT tapings following BFG James Storm beat Angle in a really quick match to become the TNA champion. Roode as his friend and partner in Beer Money was happy for for him on the surface at least. Roode had a match on IMPACT beating Samoa Joe to become the number 1 contender for the TNA title and he went on to beat Storm for the title while turning heel in the process. As stated earlier, AJ Styles is booked to face Roode at Turning Point but on a side note, he got injured at a house show this past Friday night but hopefully will be fit for the PPV.

Now, back to the matter at hand, could TNA really be considering putting the strap back on Hardy? I think TNA look at Hardy as the real big draw in the company, they
think if anyone can but asses in the seats it's him and we know he is the biggest seller of merchandise in the company, well he was before this latest bout of trouble at least. I personally think it's a real bad idea to give it back to Hardy but I suppose they will have to live by whatever decision they make.

I looked forward to any feedback you want to leave, either below this article, email at wlhstu@aol.co.uk or on twitter @WLHSTU

Cena, Rock, Survivor Series - Why It Fails By Shaun Nichols

The Rock's return should be a major event and I should be looking forward to it, but I have to be honest I'm not. I fail to see why the WWE think it's a good idea to put Cena and The Rock together in a match. The Rock's return to PPV will definitely mean a boost to PPV business and it may even double what last years event did. However that would be the same or even better if they kept Cena and The Rock away from one another.
The fans made it clear on the post-Wrestlemania Raw that they do not want to see The Rock being friends with John Cena, when The Rock did attempt to put over Cena by endorsing him all that happened was that the fans booed The Rock. Quite the result when you think that all The Rock was trying to do was make the WWE's biggest star even more popular. The fans do not want them to be on the same side, they do not want them to be friends but what they do want to see is The Rock give John Cena an ass kicking of a lifetime.
So apparently having learned this lesson to keep the two of them apart. We got the occasional promo from both guys trying to bury the other and reminding the fans that they will finally meet at next year's Wrestlemania. Great that's what they should be doing.
Then in a move that frankly defies belief if you give a damn about booking logic the WWE decide that John Cena should team with The Rock at the Survivor Series. During the summer if you have been watching Raw regularly you will have noticed that John Cena can beat Miz and R-Truth on his own. The Miz and R-Tuth have in no way been made into ruthless kick ass heels, they have not been booked strongly and were acknowledged on TV that they were brought back to the company because they are good ass kissers in a backstage segment with John Lauranitis. Well that makes me want to take them seriously.
In the handicap match that led to this PPV main event, John Cena was comfortably beating up both men until R-Truth in desperation had to resort to using a foreign object to lead to the DQ loss. So this leads to an obvious question, if Miz and Truth can't beat Cena cleanly 2 on 1 then why does Cena feel the need to call for help from a man that he doesn't even like because he feels that no-one else is cut out to help him. It's ridiculous he could partner Jim Ross and they would still be favourites to beat Miz and R-Truth.
The following week The Rock does a promo where he teases that he won't team with Cena but then because the fans want him to then he will because he's all about pleasing the fans. He then says that he thinks that The Miz and R-Truth badly need to get the asses kicked. Why? I can't remember them cutting promos against The Rock, its a real stretch to understand The Rock's motivation for aiding his enemy against two wrestlers who he doesn't seem to have any issues with.
It's also a really big leap of faith to accept that The Rock was convinced to do the match because his fans want him to team with Cena. When he did his taped promo the fans in the arena reacted biggest when he said that he wouldn't team with Cena. Here was a man with principles, a man that didn't want to stand with Cena but rather beat him up. And then he said he would team with Cena and the arena just sighed. Sort of excited to get to see The Rock return to the ring but not exactly thrilled with the match that they would get to see the Great One in.
To further build to this very anti-climatic PPV showdown, Cena yet again defeated The Miz by making him tap to the STF despite an attempt by R-Truth to interfere a couple of minutes earlier. After the match R-Truth tried again and Cena left him laying as well. So as Raw drew to a close we get to see Cena standing tall as he stands over both Miz and R-Truth and we ask the question again why does he need The Rock to help him? On commentary Jerry Lawler said that the only way Miz and R-Truth can win is if Cena and The Rock can't get along and basically cost themselves the match. Great way to sell me a PPV main event?
The only possible way that this match could be saved would be for either Cena or The Rock to turn on the other. But unfortunately circumstances indicate this isn't possible. The fans are not going to turn on The Rock if he attacks Cena and anyway The Rock has to be a babyface at Wrestlemania as it will be held in his hometown. The WWE will not turn Cena, despite the 'Cena Sux' chants, he is clearly the company's biggest star and he moves the majority of the merchandise. So they may tease problems but they will win and The Rock will disappear for a few months and as a fan watching I'll think what a waste of time. It will not make me any more excited to see Cena-Rock at Mania, they will have made The Miz and R-Truth yet again look like goofs and then wonder why we don't them take them seriously.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

You Can’t See What’s Cooking At Survivor Series By Azan Saigol

So it has been a while since I’ve written an article, been taking care of some college applications. FINALLY I have returned, (just like The Rock). So let’s get right into this.

In two weeks is one of WWE’s Big Four PPV’S. The main event as well all know is Cena and The Rock vs. Miz and R truth. Everyone’s excited for this match simply because it’s the great ones return to the ring after seven years. After watching Raw for the past three weeks personally I feel as if this match needs more time to buildup on Raw. First off you need The Rock on Raw to do that. Secondly they need to show that R truth and Miz have an edge over Cena/Rock simply because we already know who’s going to win. Maybe they should simply have Rock/Cena not get along building up to the PPV. Overall this match is great as it being held in Madison Square Garden, which is just another way to promote Cena vs. Rock. Not only that but Miz and R truth will get a great boost and I don’t see why they wont be holding the tag titles after Survivor Series IF this match goes as planned.

Moving on, It is official that Mick Foley is back in the WWE. As he made his debut in Ireland this past week running in and putting Mr. Socko into Miz’s mouth. Now the bigger question is which storyline does Mick fit into? My guess would be HHH Vs. Nash, As a special referee of course. He did it once before and he can sure as hell do it again. Speaking of Kevin Nash.. He’s a main eventer again WHOOHOOO. (Sense the sarcasm?)

But honestly the way Nash attacked HHH was great, I haven’t seen someone get “injured” like that in a while on Raw. This story looks great as far as HHH out for 5 weeks I don’t think that’s true. This is going to be a great match IF it takes place at the Garden! And the stipulation would be great to see.

Now lets discuss Mark Henry and the Big Show as we all know that Show got his match vs. Henry this week on SD (sorry for spoilers LOL) .. Well really I don’t know what’s going to happen. I mean after seeing the ring collapse I don’t see Henry pinning Show clean, its either Show winning the title or Henry gets some outside help (care to disagree? HIT me up on Twitter! @azansaigol)

The second world title match is between Del Rio and Punk. Well as most of us know IF we read the dirt sheets Punk wont be winning the title. So im guessing after Del Rio wins punk will probably get one more re match. I’m hoping for a great match between these two. Would be awesome to see Punk take the title at the Garden. Then again this has been the year of Del Rio and he has indeed been the highlight of the “Big Four ”PPV’S. So Del Rio walking out with the title is pretty much expected. Also it will be CRAZY when punk honors The Macho Man with his Elbow drop at the Garden a place where Savage helped build!

Well this is about it for my article
Survivor series is live November 27 2011! It is worth the 40 dollars just because the Great One is wrestling! If I were you I would buy it! Also this would be a great time to tell you all to pick up the New Age Outlaws Shoot video that is coming out on the 21st Of November available for only 10 dollars message NAO at newageoutlaws@yahoo.com for more information!

I hope you all enjoyed this article IF any of you care to disagree with anything or have anything to add to this article or want to just talk about wrestling in general hit me up on twitter @azansaigol or E-mail azan.saigol7@gmail.com

Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Indy Corner Presents An Interview with 'Prince' Fergal Devitt


Q: What are your memories of wrestling growing up –were you a big British Bulldog mark like myself and most other young UK wrestling fans? Which wrestlers inspired you to make this your career?

A: Actually one of my earliest memories, and the only memory I have of my granddad is of watching world of sport wrestling with him on a Saturday afternoon.... then when Sky came to Ireland I was a huge Ultimate Warrior fan, and The Rockers. I used to love everyone, especially the lads that moved around a bit Rude, Perfect, Razon Ramon, Savio Vega... I was never a huge Bulldog fan at that age.

Q: I read you played gaelic football when you were younger. Any ambitions to become a professional gaelic footballer, or did you always know you wanted to be a wrestler? Then again, I’ve seen Gaelic football – being a pro wrestler is probably less dangerous!

A: There is no such thing as a professional gaelic player, even at the top level the sport is played for pride of county. The players don't get paid which might sound insane to people watching the premiership. I played at quiet a high level and achieved quite a lot as a player, But when i started wresting at 18 that slowly started to take over and become my passion and gaelic football slowly phased out of my life over the following few years.

Q: You were relatively young when you made the choice to go to the USA to pursue your career as a professional wrestler. How difficult was the decision? What did your family and friends think about you going to the States at a young age?

A: If you want something bad enough there is NO hard decisions, you simply do EVERYTHING it takes to do to follow your dream. Its an easy choice, stay in Ireland and UK and imagine doing SOMETHING with wrestling OR go out and MAKE EVERYTHING happen! My family supported me, I'm sure some people though I was a dreamer and I would be back in a few months, because I thought the same too.

Q: You are now most well known for your career in New Japan Pro Wrestling where you have been extremely successful. What were the early days of training in the NJPW dojo like? Everyone has heard horror stories of how hard and intense the training is, how did you find it? How did it compare to the other training you had undergone in the UK and the US?

A: The horror stories are true, 1000 squats, 100's of push ups, cardio drills, endless bumps, etc etc, everyone knows what goes on in the dojo. But that is a small price to pay to wrestle for one or the most prestigious companies in the world. I was lucky to have come up the hard way. Andre Baker at hammerlock was no pushover when it came to training. They were some of the hardest sessions you could imagine, and having training like that behind me, and then my few months in the LA dojo had somewhat prepared me for what was to come in Tokyo. There are no short cuts training, you just have to DO IT! Simple. If you can do 1 squat you can do a 1000 squats, its just a mental wall in your head stopping you, all you need is some guts to push your self over that wall.

Q: In your early career in NJPW you were compared to Chris Beniot and even given the Pegasus Kid 2 gimmick. How did you feel about this at the time? Was it flattering to be compared to a worker as skilled and respected as Benoit was at that time? Or was it a case of you not wanting to be the 2nd Pegasus Kid but the first Prince Devitt?

A: It was flattering, but for me I was never a Benoit fan, I could never see the comparisons apart from being a foreigner in the dojo. Exactly I never wanted to be the next anyone, I cant understand people that think like that. I want to be ME

Q: Since your debut in NJPW you’ve worked regularly with one of the biggest legends in Japan, namely Jushin Thunder Liger, a man who revolutionized pro wrestling in the 90s with his gimmick, in-ring style and also his idea to create the Super J Cup. What are your thoughts on Liger? What kind of impact has he had on your career?

A: A fantastic man behind the mask. Welcomed me with open arms at the dojo, and has helped my training and development in the ring no end. I'm still learning and picking up things from him every time we lock up. Its the simplest of things, that most people wont even notice, but even still it blows me away to think I hadn't noticed it before. And whats more impressive is that he is showing no signs of slowing down!

Q: You have had a lot of success in tournaments in NJPW with wins in the J Sports Crown 6 Man Openweight Tag Team tournament. As well as a run to the final in the Super J Cup in 2009. After the disappointment of suffering injuries in the 2007 and 2008 BOTSJ tournament you got to the final in 2009 and of course won the whole thing in 2010. How important have these tournaments been to your career in NJPW? Why do you think the US promotions don’t use this same model to help establish new stars?

A: Injuries are a part of wrestling, and I've had my fair share but I won't complain, sometimes they have actually forced me to work harder and smarted and therefore have made me a better wrestler for it. I love the tournament format, people watching, the fans in the building, they know how hard the lads are working, when they see you walk through the curtain for sometimes the your 3rd match of the night, having already wrestled every night for the last 2-3 weeks straight to get there and you can feel the respect and the anticipation in the building. Of course when your presented in these situation time and time again it gave me the perfect stage to show people what i could do and gain some credibility as a serious challenger to the title. It is used in the states to an extent in king of the ring and the best of the best I think its called…? but in the states they relay more on stories telling to establish new stars so opposed to the Japanese method of work rate.

Q: Was your IWGP Jnr Championship win against Marufuji must have been the greatest moment of your career to date? Could you believe that the same kid from Ireland who started training 10 years before had now won one of the most prestigious titles in pro wrestling against a legend like Marufuji? It must have felt like a dream come true. How much did that moment mean to you?

A: It was a dream come true, but at the same time i wasn't bowled over by the moment. Obviously facing Marufuji, who I consider to be one of the finest workers in japan, was a big honor in it self. It had been a long and hard road to that point in my career so i didn't feel out of my depth but I was something that I had wondered maybe i was going to keep coming up short in attempting to active so in a way it was a relief. I was happy with the way the match went and mostly for the reaction for the NJPW fans in Osaka that night.

Q: NJPW really allowed you the chance to ‘run with the ball’ as the IWGP Jnr Champion, your Title reign lasted over a year and you faced some of the best Jnr wrestlers in the world during that run. No doubt a lot of the matches hold a special place for you. But if you had to list your top 3 favourite title defences, which would they be?

A: To be honest I can't remember many of the title matches, and I felt that the title run it self was hampered by injuries and that I could have gotten a lot more out of many of the matches. The match at the dome with Ibushi stands out in my mind only for the fact that it is a huge milestone in anyone's career to have a singles title match at the dome coupled with the fact that my parents had traveled out from Ireland to see it made it without a doubt that standout moment of the reign. Hopefully I can recreate a something like that I'm my 2nd reign.

Q: I’m going to name some wrestlers and I’d like you to give me one word or phrase that you would associate with them:

Kenny Omega - Ultimate Warrior
Kota Ibushi - graceful
Minoru - perfectionist
Ryusuke Taguchi - under-ratted
Giant Bernard - Gentleman
Koji Kanemoto - Face-wash
MVP - Dr.Dre
Davey Richards - Intense

Q: I know probably always get asked this question but have you had any offers from WWE to work for them? Does working for WWE interest you? If you did work for WWE do you think you’d be able to keep the style of in-ring work that has made you so successful in Japan?

A: It interests me very much. I'm sure a time will come where I want to try new things and new challenges and if the time was right i would absolutely be open to it. Its important for me to keep pushing forward and keep pushing myself. As regards style in the ring, it's still going to be Fergal Devitt, regardless of what name or guise I would be under, beneath it all it will still be me and I will work just as hard there as i would in NJPW.

Q: Who are you favourite wrestlers working today?

A: Nakamura, Tanahashi, Karl Anderson, Gedo, Orton, Cena, Ziggler, Paddy Morrow, Sean Maxer Brennan

Q: As a pioneer and inspiration to all UK based wrestlers, what advice would give to them to help them achieve their dreams of becoming a successful pro wrestler?

A: The person that will help you the most in life is YOURSELF. All it takes to get where you want to be is EVERYTHING. No 'what if's?'

Q: Finally, if you could have a dream match with any wrestler, past or present, who would it be with and why?

A: Shawn Michaels, in my opinion the greatest performer ever.

WLH & The Indy Corner would like to thank Fergal VERY much to take the time out of his schedule for doing this interview. And as WLH editor-in-chief I would personally like to thanks our very own WLHDuckman for constructing the interview for the site.

I hope you all enjoyed it.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Wrestling And The Internet by @buzzuk

The introduction of wrestling hotlines in the 1980's was huge business, for the first time people were talking about wrestling and giving you so called inside information. These were huge but in they still managed to keep the mystery to it all. You still had kayfabe, and the wrestlers on screen were their characters, you believed the Undertaker lived his live like that. It added to the power of what you watching.

Then gradually wrestling started to change in what it was showing and gradually the wrestling fan changed, they wanted to know more, they wanted to know what was going to happen before anyone sense. They also got a thirst for talking about wrestling with other people, they wanted to to like minded people and discuss the programming and in a lot of cases moan and complain about what was and what wasn't happening. Everyone thought they were. Booker, a promoter and better wrestlers, and then came along the greatest thing ever to a wrestling fan..... THE INTERNET

The Internet gave wrestling fans that place to vent and argue with one another round the world, there was wrestling sites popping up everywhere. It seemed at one point, unless you owned and were part of a wrestling website then you just were not a wrestling fan.

The Internet also bought about, in my opinion, the end of surprises in wrestling. Once the Internet became more readily available and as technology improved people from the industry or some who knew someone could have that information out in the wide world ready for everyone else to see. Taking away the days of turning on a TV show or PPV and getting a surprise return someone signing from another company. You could read about it in advance and that in it's self could be the difference between watching or buying a show and not.

The Internet fan was different to any other fan, the internet fan made his opinion very clear, if they thought your match sucked or thought you were just god awful then that is exactly what they put. There were a lot of wrestlers who started to hate the Internet fan, they didn't like being slagged off by some one probably sat in their mums basement getting out of breath just typing, telling them how to do their job.

I know that it is ironic that I am writing about such a thing when I read a lot of wrestling sites, I have written about wrestling for a long time on and off and the fact that your reading this right now on a wrestling site.

The reason I bring up now is the fact that we seem to have gone full circle in the sense that wrestling is now embracing the internet and social media. The use of twitter has exploded with the wrestling world, people can comment live as it happens with others, they can talk about a certain topic worldwide and have it trending. That right there has to be for someone like Vince McMahon a dream come true when people are talking about your show to the point it is one of the most talked about things in the world.

WWE alone have embraced twitter to the point they are putting the wrestlers handles on the screen graphic as they enter the ring and also encourage the use of hash tags for their show. You can't buy advertising and surveying like it, you instantly have a fans response to show at your fingers as it happens.

The word is that this is just the beginning, word is that WWE have big plans possibly set up with twitter for a major show in the future.

The Internet and wrestling will continue to grow and change the way it is viewed by its current fans and the future generation of fans as they become more interactive and with more information available to them at their finger tips.

Let me have your thoughts via twitter @buzzuk