Thursday, 31 May 2012

Work or Shoot – Spud vs Marty Scurll By Darren Rogers

(Disclaimer : The following article is my opinion and not necessarily fact)

I shouldn’t need to explain what a ‘shoot’ is in wrestling terms. The very fact that you visit this excellent website means that you, the intelligent wrestling fan, know what I’m referring too. A quick hunt on the internet will show you the many shoots in wrestling, the most infamous being the ‘Montreal screw-job’ at Survivor Series ’97 where Vince McMahon called for the bell to stop Bret Hart leaving WWE with the world title.

Now, ‘shoots’ in their truest sense are few and far between. Pro wrestling is *spoiler alert * a worked form of entertainment. Therefore, the 2 combatants need to work together. One person legitimately hurting the other is not fair and it will not lead to a good match. So, for 99.999% of the time, what we see in interviews and in the ring is not genuine animosity.

However, Rockstar Spud wants us to believe that he genuinely hates Marty Scurll.
This allegedly stems from Spud’s appearance on BBC’s “Snog, Marry Avoid” which Marty then trumped with an appearance on ITV’s “Take me out” – which also featured Jimmy Havoc being called ‘Nick’ by host Paddy McGuiness – which alone was more memorable than Spuds ‘make-under’. Spud then took to the internet to berate Marty by Twitter and Facebook and Youtube to try to garner a response and elicit a feud with Marty. I also saw him try to attack Marty after a recent IPW show. Then he stole Marty’s cruiserweight belt or something, I can’t remember to be honest because all I can think of is Spud’s videos talking about ‘rats’!

I have to give Spud credit. He has used his Twitter and Youtube accounts to get himself a match\angle with arguably one of the most high profile UK wrestlers not currently employed by WWE or TNA, so fair play to him for that. He’s tried the same with Matt Morgan, who offered to throw him as ‘drawf throwing was still legal in the UK’ - and this has led to people tweeting Dixie Carter to get Spud on “TNA’s Gut Check”. Spud is using social media to drum up interest in a feud, from scratch, which is a great idea and more wrestlers should do it. Jimmy Havoc retweeted my #BookHavoc tweet to his followers and they have bombarded Progress Wrestling about booking him. This all started from one tweet and, despite not being successful yet, has just been mentioned in the latest Progress Wrestling Youtube video.

But is the hatred between Spud and Scurll real? In my opnion, no. Just like CM Punk referring to ‘breaking the 4th wall’, and Scott Steiners tweets about Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan recently, it’s all just an angle. As someone that has worked behind the scenes at FPW (hey, that pumpkin didn’t get on that pole by itself you know!) it is not good booking practice to put two guys together with genuine ‘heat’. It doesn’t sell any more tickets than a worked angle, so why even bother pretending.
I’ll be at IPW’s show this weekend cheering on Marty Scurll – I hope he kicks Spud’s arse then buys him a beer afterwards!

NB – I also think the ‘Montreal Screw-job’ was a work by the way...

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

R. I. P. Tag Team Wrestling By Robert McDowall

When I was younger the Hardy Boyz were my heroes. In hindsight, possible not the best of role models, but I’m teetotal and have never smoked/taken drugs in my life - so I worked out alright in the end. When my younger sister and I watched them, they made us want to be wrestlers. We wanted to grow up to be the WWF Tag Team champions. I loved Jeff and still do, she loved Lita and God knows I still do. I spoke to her about this a while ago and she was quite embarrassed about it. What was really embarrassing for me though was when she asked me who the best tag teams around were now…

The Hardys, The Dudleys and Edge & Christian, 3 tag teams I idolised growing up. Well, truth be told, I was never a huge Edge and Christian fan but I am now. These 3 amazing tag teams fought in a TLC match at SummerSlam 2000 that rewrote history. This was one of my favourite matches of all time.

This match was designed specifically for these teams and their signature weapons. The Dudleys had their tables, The Hardys had their ladders and Edge and Christian had their chairs. If you have seen this match, then stop reading this article right now - go on YouTube and watch it. Right now. Back? Amazing, right?

The match was repeated less than a year later at Wrestlemania 17. This was probably down to the huge success of the first one. You should also watch this match if you can.

However, on October 2002 on a RAW Roulette they had a very different TLC.
Kane vs. Bubba & Spike Dudley vs. Christian & Y2J vs. Jeff Hardy & RVD
So 3 marvellous tag teams who participated in one of the greatest matches of all time were no longer together? Why? Well, I have my suspicions.

Like most things, I reckon it’s something to do with money. I can only assume that the big leagues pay singles competitors more than tag teams. This must be even more so for their champions. I also reckon pride has a great deal to do with it. I mean why be Tag Team Champion when you can be World Heavyweight Champion, right? And nobody wants to be remembered as the Marty Jannetty of a tag team.

When Shawn put Marty through the barbershop window he started a dangerous precedent. Now whenever a doubles competitor looks like he might be getting good enough for a main event push, he screws over his partner. We saw it most recently with Bobby Roode and possibly in the near future with Dolph Ziggler. Try as they might, they will never recreate the shock and wonder of The Rockers breaking up. In almost every tag team that has split up, one has gone on to much greater heights whilst the other has languished on the lower card, possibly having to find another partner because they weren’t seen as an able singles competitor.

When I think of the great tag teams we had to look back at it’s easy to dismiss today’s teams as junk.

Apart from the Hardys, Dudleys and Edge & Christian we also had DX, New Age Outlaws, Rock & Sock Connection, The Steiners, The Eliminators, The FBI, The Road Warriors, Demolition, Blanchard & Anderson, The Midnight Express, The Rock & Roll Express, The British Bulldogs and of course The Rockers. That’s some pretty tough competition for R-Truth and Kofi Kingston (2 guys who will never main event WrestleMania as singles competitors) but they are doing their best.

As my good friend Jamie Morrison put it, “I personally think that R-Truth and Kofi could revive it if they were given the chance! We just need more watchable dedicated tag-teams”.

Perfect point! So where’s the competition? Ziggler & Swagger (ZigSwag as I call them) look to be on the verge of a breakup, Epico and Primo are average, The Usos are talented and O’Neil/Young are starting to get a push. So we could have 5 tag teams soon? That’s a great start. As for TNA, they have split up their best (and possibly the world’s best) tag team in Beer Money. Samoa Joe and Magnus seem to be a great combo and got over with the crowd rather quickly but will they always be seen as 2 guys who couldn’t make it by themselves?

Maybe nobody wants to see tag team wrestling? Am I the only one who loves it? Lemme know in the comments or on Facebook/Twitter @MrRabtastic.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Shell Shocked: Alex Shelley Leaving TNA By Trey Dent

So we learned last week that Alex Shelley has chosen to either quit TNA or not resign with them. On the surface, it may seem like a suprise to many observers. He has had a pretty decent run in TNA the last few years as part of the Motor City Machine Guns, so why tamper with success. Why leave a company where you have reached a comfort level and are in no danger of losing your spot. TNA's tag team division has dried up over the last year so the Guns will always be in a position to challenge for the belts. Not to mention that the X-Division is championed by Austin Aries, a man Shelley has known and competed with for the better part of a decade. So why leave now and what is on the horizon for the former "Paparazzi Productions" front man.

Option 1- Take time off and come back to TNA. There is no place like home and that is what TNA has been for the last 8 years. If Shelley can take solace in anything, he needs to look no further than his former Generation Next partner, Austin Aries. After a couple of lackluster stints in TNA before, Aries has caught fire and taken the company by storm. He is currently feuding with some of the top names in the company and Bobby Roode has even requested a feud with him now. Shelly has just as much talent and charisma as Aries and if given the right angle to shine, could ascend the ladder just as easily. He could also take the easy way and just stay with the Guns and keep teaming with Sabin and possibly become one of the elite tag teams of all time. Its easy to see TNA building a new tag team division around the Guns with their boyish good looks and innovative offensive styles. TNA is far more conducive to a guy Shelly's size and offers a far more relaxed travel schedule than WWE and offers more appeal than Ring of Honor.

Option 2- Go back to Ring of Honor.Right now, this might be the most obvious place Shelley goes to. Ring of Honor is where Shelley first gained notice in the wrestling business and fits his style perfectly. It's quite possibly even better than before with how hot the current world champion,Kevin Steen, is right now. Story line was it's simple. Jim Cornette vows to get the belt off of Steen and doesn't care who takes it. Cornette tries the guys on his roster and when that fails, he goes out and starts hiring face mercenaries to come in and take the gold. He brings in guys like Shelley, John Morrison, MVP, Matt Hardy all in an attempt to get the gold off of Steen's waist. This would give Shelley a chance to shine against on of the top workers in the US and possibly capture his first major World Title. It also gives Shelley a chance to work with guys in his size frame and really showcase his wrestling talents. The other thing ROH does better than any other company is listen to its fans. If someone catches fire with the fans, the company runs with it. If Shelley were to catch fire, the company could capitalize on his charisma and talent.

Option 3- The WWE. Shelley could make a run at a WWE career. he has the looks and the talent to make a name for himself in the land of sports entertainment. For all of the noise people make about the WWE being overly friendly to big guys, the WWE has shifted gears in the last few years. The Giants who dominated back in the 80's and 90's have been replaced by current title holders CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, guys who were former ROH Standouts. In the last few years we have seen Christian, Miz, Rey Mysterio, Jericho, and Jeff Hardy all hold world titles in WWE and none of them are much bigger than Shelley. Then there is also talk of the WWE Cruiserweight show that is coming when the WWE launches their network ( yeah, they are still working on it). This would give Shelley a platform to showcase his talents against rumored opponents like Tajiri, Brian Kendrick, and whoever else the WWE can scrape up to put this show together. I'd like to think that this show will succeed but then again I also thought NXT Redemption would be done by now. Vince knows talent when he has it for the most part and does a good job of putting it in positions to succeed. Plus, the pay is better and the exposure is better so even if a career in WWE fizzles, Shelley then could launch that into a bigger money deal with TNA.

Where Shelley goes from here is anyone's guess. But when you are young, talented and have the ability to grab a mic and entertain people, the sky should be the limit. You just have to hope that he doesn't get pigeon holed as just a cruiserweight in a place like WWE or fall into obscurity in a place like ROH. Best of luck Mr. Shelley in all your future endeavors.

You can follow me on twitter @captainomg and give me your thoughts.
Be sure to check out The Still Real To Us show by going to & EVERY Thursday
And be good to yourself and others.....but mostly yourself.
Until next time, It's Been Obvious.

Trey Dent

Women In Wrestling By Robert McDowall

Call them “Divas”, call them “Knockouts” or call them something a lot worse. Everyone has an opinion on women in wrestling, whether it’s the guy who calls the one match per PPV a “piss break” or the guy who licks his lips at the scantily clad ladies.

As wrestling moved into the PG era (which is understandable when you look at the massive amount of revenue they can make from kids) they could no longer have Bra and Panties matches, Jerry Lawler could never scream “Puppies!” and we could no longer see boobs on TV. So what were they gonna do with all the expensive arm candy they had? Fire them? Could you imagine the backlash if WWE fired all of their female wrestlers?

The fact is that our view of “women’s wrestling” is white washed by the crap WWE shoves in front of us for gender equality and to amuse the pervs. We’re coming into a new age in wrestling where people are starting to appreciate guys like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan instead of the tall, muscly “Superstar” yet we still think all women wrestle like Kelly Kelly or Eve?

Do you think all women look like Cheryl Cole or the Kardashians? For every Cheryl Cole there is a Susan Boyle. Someone who is exponentially more talented but will never receive the same amount of press coverage. Susan Boyle will never have a footballer husband and that is a sad reflection on us in general.

TNA are ever so slightly better. Their matches are proper matches, they have women’s tag titles and the Knockouts can actually work. They still have Tazz acting like a younger Jerry Lawler but they’re getting there. Slowly.

If you wanna see proper women’s wrestling then my advice is the same for anyone who tells me they wanna see proper wrestling in general. Go Indy! Independent wrestling is the last true bastion for this great sport. And it is a sport. I dare you to tell any wrestler to his/her face that it isn’t.

Having trained with a wrestling school I can’t begin to tell you how hard these girls work and how dedicated they are. It may just be a coincidence but at least 5 extremely talented female wrestlers have come from the one wrestling school in Glasgow. Any girl who walks into what is seen as a man’s domain instantly has her back against the wall. Whether it’s wrestling, engineering, construction or driving a taxi. This triggers the Fight Or Die reflex and they are either overwhelmed or they thrive. With the right training and support there is no reason why they can’t all thrive.

Despite all this, there will still be people who will laugh at them or won’t respect them and there will still be guys who just see them as arm candy. My hope is that for every person that thinks that way that there will be just as many who appreciate them as equals in the ring. For that to happen though, we’re gonna have to start lobbying . As I mentioned, people are really getting behind the whole Indy scene which has seen wrestling change to adapt. Think about that for a second. Wrestling. Change. WWE. Change. This is the company that has 2 black wrestlers and puts them in a tag team with the gimmick of criminals. The company who takes 2 members of the most prestigious wrestling families in history and makes them adhere to every Mexican stereotype there ever was or will be.

If you agree with me, great. If not, still great. At least you’re thinking for yourself. Something that a lot of wrestling fans seem unable to do when it comes to stuff like this. But before you dismiss me or laugh, watch some Manami Toyota, Lady Apache, Sara Del Ray, Madison Eagles or if you can find it, a real Natalya match.

Saving that, try not to think of the ladies of the WWE or TNA as ladies. Take out the “sex factor” by imagining that they’re your mother or sister and see if you appreciate it. There is hope for us all yet.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Blue Blazer… We miss you… RIP OWEN HART By Amanda Hiser

It has been 13 years today, since some witnessed one of the most tragic moments in live television history. On May 23, 1999, Fans were waiting for the “Blue Blazer” to make an epic super hero like entrance. Instead we heard JR announce “this is not a part of the entertainment tonight, this is as real as real can be” But the people in the arena did not know that Owen Hart had fallen to his own death. It’s a very sad part of WWE history.

Rather than dwell over it, I’d like to celebrate his accomplishments, and best moments.

One of my personal favorite moments of Owen, is when he won King of the Ring on June 19, 1994. The man was so happy, and he was so deserving of it. And he wore it well. Then there is the match he had with Bret at Wrestlemania X, Brian Schmid ‏@SchmanthonyP agrees! “Gotta be Owen-Bret at WrestleMania X.”

We can’t forget later that year - Michael Jezykowski ‏@TapouTGuy407 said “Survivor Series 94 when he was begging Helen Hart to throw in the towel, he played the role perfectly.”

There are thousands of quotes of fans talking about how much of a family man Owen was, and how he really did love the biz. I asked "What's one thing you have to mention when you think of Owen Hart?" Jacob Steinbrook ‏@Jacob4Freedom said “Ribbing and family.” To sum it up - Polar Bear ‏@TwiztidRellik9z says ”you can't name just 1 favorite moment because everything he did was memorable #RIPOwen who's still the #KingOfHarts“

Whether you were watching him in WWF back during Saturday night main event… or you followed him in through his year in WCW, or you watched him return to WWE with THE NEW HART FOUNDATION, or his long term feud with Bret, or when he was teamed up with the famous British bulldog, or watched him entangle with Jarrett, it’s all memorable. The man was taken way before his time and it’s sad. Chris Gelling ‏@cabby316 said “He was always exciting to watch cause you never knew what he was going to do next, great athlete, gone way too soon.” And we all couldn’t agree more.

So today, please remember- its possible to be a king, and hold multiple belts, work for multiple promotions, but you cannot fly

If you ever want to give me your opinion, please- Find me on the Twitter @HEELchampMANDY or email me

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Fight Club: Pro Margera vs. Masada (18/5/12) – Review By Derrie Catton

Fight Club: Pro appear to have a good working relationship with Combat Zone Wrestling which they make the best of on occasion. They did so last year with their three night super show entitled Project Mayhem and they did it again with this year’s May 18th show known simply by its main event. The promotion broke from the norm a little to mix talents with the company across the pond, but they didn’t completely ditch their hallmarks. What they presented was a show full of variety, culminating with the titular death match. So how did that work out?

Chuck Taylor vs. MK McKinnan

An International Dream match and it’s no surprise to see MK McKinnan taking on this month’s guest star as he is often tasked with this role. McKinnan never fails to be fan favourite, it’s partly because of his hometown but it’s mostly because of his ability. Chuck Taylor on the other hand is popularly known for his numerous appearances with Chikara and often watched YouTube clips featuring invisible slow-motion inducing grenades and the scaring of small children. While all entertaining in their own right, one finds interest in how he’ll fit into the FCP collective.

Taylor received some boos as he entered if only for the fact that he’s facing McKinnan who got a unsurprisingly loud ovation. The two displayed some good technical wrestling in the early going before Taylor took the lead. One thing that sinks in very quickly is Chuck Taylor’s charisma. He exudes a personality which makes him stand out and even though the crowd is against him, they are entertained by his antics. His actions and speech were funny while never sacrificing the credibility that an aforementioned hand grenade might have lost him. In time McKinnan came back in a ferocious manner, reeling off his best forearms and kicks. He followed up with some new maneuvers that impressed all, and kept things flowing smoothly. McKinnan had never looked so good. His trademark dive to the outside was just the latest in a long line of torturing dives directed at the fence that borders the ring. A prominent bend in frame now places it at the point of no repair. The match soon came to a good end with an impressive blitz from McKinnan (If you don’t like reverse hurracanranas, let’s not be friends).

When all was said and done, Taylor and McKinnan were two wrestlers that worked really well together. Their styles connect perfectly, and both were smooth and on form. Chuck Taylor certainly made an impression and showed that his popularity was well deserved. MK McKinnan put in one of his best performances which bodes well as he moves towards a title match with Eddie Edwards in the future.

DJ Hyde vs. Dave Mastiff

The Booker versus The Bastard. The owner of CZW steps between the ropes to take on a man who has yet to taste defeat in singles competition at FCP. One might feel sorry for the former if he weren’t such a big man himself and a formidable looking opponent. But he is still in for a challenge against Mastiff who continues to establish himself as a dominant force in Fight Club: Pro.

DJ Hyde received little response from the audience and Mastiff received a more solid reception which was soon to be strengthened when he was announced as hailing from the Black Country. Hyde got the crowd firmly against him by taking to the mic and talking trash to those gathered. This put everyone firmly behind seeing Mastiff put him down. At times Hyde’s wrestling ability came off as weak, but when they turned to big man against big man the crowd was into it. The two exchanged tough slaps, tough shoulder blocks and the crowd were always on The Bastard’s side. Mastiff shined with his trademark cannonball to a cornered Hyde, and the ring managed to hold up for a big superplex, soon after which the match reached its culmination.

Following the match which had kept Mastiff firmly established as a monster, Hyde took to the mic to talk more trash on Fight Club: Pro. It didn’t take long to provoke a response from Trent Seven and MK McKinnan, two wrestlers at the core of FCP, who hit the ring and defended the promotion. An intense war of words debating which was the better company eventually built to an announcement that pleased the audience. Project Mayhem II (and that is exactly how it should be stylised), and it would be FCP pitted against CZW. The pocket of fans who had come for CZW were now sure to come back, but before Seven departed he was keen to set up a match which would see him take on Hyde when the event took place in late October. Mark your calendars.

The Hunter Brothers vs. Rockstar Spud & Bobby Barratt (w/ Dave Williams) vs. Jonathan Gresham & Chris Brookes

The likes of The Hunters, Spud and Gresham aren’t quite the core of Fight Club: Pro, but it just wouldn’t be the same without them. They are some of the best and brightest wrestlers around and this match is a treat that makes sure they aren’t tossed aside while CZW are in town. And the plot thickens as a feud or two weaves itself through this match. Chris Brookes is the young wrestler on the rise, or at least he would be on the rise if The Rockstar Spud hadn’t been putting him down at every opportunity. With Gresham in his corner, maybe this was his chance to finally get one over on the Spud, and break out at FCP. Meanwhile, Spud and his partner in crime, Dave Williams, have also upset one Blue Dragon (just a wrestler, not a mythical creature) by stealing his mask and laying the proverbial smackdown on him several times. This feud has been integral to FCP for many months now and it’s good to see it extended at this show.

The Hunter’s receive a good response as always, if only for coming out to Glenn Fry’s The Heat Is On. Rockstar Spud, who has been subdued in recent months due to outrage at being booked against Brookes, displayed a welcome return to form on his ring entrance as he strutted, gyrated and pouted his way to the ring in a manner that makes audiences love him before he even attempts a lock up. They still hate him though, but the entertainment factor isn’t in doubt. Next to the ring, it’s an always welcome return for Gresham and a lesser reaction for Brookes who’s lost momentum in recent months. With everyone ready for action, it’s time for the announcement of a special referee. Enter the previously mentioned Blue Dragon. Once the match was underway, some great technicality was shown by Gresham and the Hunters. Soon however, the match would descend into Spud’s vendetta against Brookes. Back to his usual antics, Rockstar Spud was on top form. Whether in the ring, out the ring or not even remotely involved what was going on, Spud was always the man to watch to see how he was reacting and hear what he was saying. Between arguments with crowd members, to arguments with his opponents, to arguments with his own tag team partner, he was stealing the show in hilarious fashion. In time, The Hunter’s took control and showed why they are such a renowned tag team with their and teamwork. Imagine one Hunter swinging an opponent by the legs while another Hunter catches said opponent in the head with a dropkick, and you’ve got a taste of the Hunter Brothers’ quality. Brookes would finally get his moment, and after a few moves the crowd were behind him again. There then came a point where Gresham took control and shined with a stunner and RKO combo that dreams are made of, and by finally hitting that ever elusive 450 splash. The match rounded off with an exciting finish that put the exclamation point on a great match, seeing Blue Dragon making a dive to the outside while Brookes made a save for Gresham and picked up a victory over Spud.

The match was a rollercoaster ride of enjoyment featuring the best talent that Fight Club: Pro invites in on a regular basis. The Hunter’s and Gresham shined, as did Spud in his own way, but it was Brookes picking up the win which was a satisfying advancement in their feud, setting up a possible future for the young and aspiring wrestler.

Trent Seven vs. Sami Callihan

The Super Don takes on the Death Machine. Trent Seven is on top of the mountain known as Mount FCP, making The Super Don a rather appropriate nickname. As is often said, if there is a head to the promotion, he is it. But Sami Callihan is still the number one independent wrestler in the world. The stature of these two makes it an exciting match in mind alone. What makes it more exciting is the previous two encounters the two have had at Fight Club: Pro, which have set a high standard. No need for lock ups here, these two are gonna go at it for the FCP faithful who want to see it.

Trent Seven gets a loud response, as fans bash the fence that surrounds the ring to the beat of his ring entrance. Callihan is less interested in entrances and hit the ring before called for introductions to be scrapped and the bell to be rung immediately. The tension was built, and even after the bell rung the two were locked in a stare down as each waited for the other to move for. Then they finally struck, and broke out into a brawl. The competition was vicious with Callihan trying to tare Seven’s mouth open as he held him in the corner, and Seven delivering incredibly stiff chops to Callihan. Intense is the word that became closely linked with this match. The two went hell for leather in the ring and out, with Callihan delivering an outstanding suplex into the fence. Seven was still giving back though with hard strikes whenever possible and the crowd were firmly behind his shots. At one point Callihan retired Seven with a tigerbomb into a shoulder breaker that evoked awe from everyone in the venue, and then Callihan showed smarts as he targeted Seven’s leg. Seven managed to work through his moveset, hitting the always impressive piledriver and frogsplash, but Callihan’s use of a submission that twisted and contorted Seven’s leg was enough to make him tap.

The crowd were into this match all the way, begging for Seven not to tap and both gutted and exhausted when the match finished. It was another stand out match that personifies Fight Club: Pro and showed off both their star and the top independent star. With the addition of that victory to one Callihan achieved over Seven at CZW’s recent Best of the Best event, he had brought the playing field level with two victories each. Before departing, Callihan took the mic and called Combat Zone Wrestling his home, making his allegiance clear for Project Mayhem II and alluding to a deciding match in the future. As Seven exited he received much applause and everyone was left looking forward to his next effort against the Callihan Death Machine.

Margera vs. Masada

It’s in the name and it’s on the poster so one would assume that this match is pretty important. It is of course the main event and it’s and FCP favourite versus CZW’s heavyweight champion. And it’s a death match. Many things could be said about death matches but let’s take them for what they are. Those who like death matches want vivid violence, and heavy dose of violence is what Margera and Masada promised when they labelled this contest. The former has a great history of hardcore matches in this promotion alone, while the latter bares a championship bely for his efforts, meaning hopes are high for what these two will achieve.

Chairs. Barbed wire. Barbed wire chairs. These things have been placed in and around the ring as a prelude to the carnage ahead. The ever likeable Margera gets a good reception and a good amount of streamers thrown for him while Masada manages to raise the volume of the CZW fans in attendance. The two began with some futile lock ups and quickly turned to a steel chair each and went at it. When a steel chair wasn’t enough Margera went for one that was wrapped in barbed wire and things built from there. We soon saw blood, from a laceration on Margera’s head and a rogue cut on Masada’s arm. The two would then start bringing in all sorts of toys. A few astute fans had supplied a cheese grater and a keyboard, and the way the keyboard exploded over Magera’s head made it a must use weapon for all future death matches. The stand out weapon of the night however was a collection of BBQ sticks designed for making sheesh kababs out of opponents and I am fairly confident in saying that no one will forget Margera being drilled in head with these, so hard in fact that they were left embedded in his head. Those who witnessed it are not likely to forget it. There were also a bag of thumbtacks spread onto the mat which each wrestler took a tumble on. Another outstanding sight was Masada taking an armdrag on to a set up chair – rest in piece chair. Margera’s crash and burns onto precariously placed guard rails and barbed wire boards were noteworthy, but the exclamation point was Margera driving Masada’s head into a television screen, and sometime after that the match found its end by referee stoppage.

Well it was violent. It was at times scary and at many points awe inspiring. It was further impressive how Margera and Masada crafted a match with ups and downs around showcase of violence. Masada won chants from the audience, and both earned great respect from the crowd for the punishment they’d put themselves through. After Masada bigged up Margera’s effort on the mic, both received lengthy applause as they departed. Clint Margera received a well deserved chant of his own.

After a month’s absence, FCP came back with a stacked card and gave the crowd all they could handle. They had the home crowd favourites, the talented additions, the guest star treats and then a little extra from CZW and their match stipulation. It was worth far more than the price of admission, and whatever you look for in wrestling there was something to enjoy. Does anyone else offer entertainment this good for five pounds? Does anyone else invite you down the pub for a drink after the show? Does anyone else sell Hunter Brother hot pants at the merch stand? Simply put, you should be a part of this atmosphere. I haven’t seen every promotion in the UK, but that doesn’t stop me thinking that Fight Club: Pro is the UK’s best promotion.

Fight Club Pro returns in June and has Project Mayhem II scheduled for late October. Look for them on Twitter or Facebook and follow them to catch further details.

I can be found on twitter @DerrieCatton

PROGRESS Chapter One DVD Review By Shaun Nichols

This was the first PROGRESS wrestling show that was held on March 25th from Islington. The show was based around an 8 man tournament to crown the promotion's first champion.

The first match was El Ligero vs Noam Dar, Ligero was the clear fan favourite in this match and it took approximately a minute before we saw our first dive to the floor. Dar played his role rather well as the heel who interacts with the fans and earning himself such chants as 'Scotland is Shit' and 'Deep Fried Mars Bars'. Dar spent most of his time working on Ligero's legs in a bid to slow down the high flyer through good basic offence. Fans reacted well to this and generally they were quite happy to react to what they were seeing. Ligero advances to the final after catching Dar with a springboard DDT.

Up next was 'The Showstealer' Nathan Cruz against Colossus Kennedy, both men cut promos before the show. Kennedy looked like he was reading off a card, Cruz's effort was very good as the cocky heel and he's clearly got personality. Cruz's outfit instantly led to a 'Shit Zack Ryder' chant, now imagine how offensive that is. Kennedy got a 'Funkasaurus' chant which he didn't know what to make of it. He looks like a combination of the Big Show and ECW's Roadkill.

It seems strange to have a 360lb and 6'6 man playing babyface and although he had a decent agility he seemed a bit out of his depth here. Cruz bumped around a lot in the earlier stages before being able to ground the big man. Cruz advanced after a dropkick to Kennedy's knee followed by a kick to the side of the head.

Comedy was theme next as Colt Cabana faced 'Loco' Mike Mason who's gimmick is that he acts like a dog. Early fun saw Cabana use tennis balls to distract Mason to the point where Mason was running around ringside trying to catch them. Fans loved this by the way, back in the ring Cabana dominated the action with good solid mat wrestling. Mason made his comeback thanks to interference from his manager Becky James, Cabana while selling told Mason he was a 'Bad Doggie'. Cabana looked to have it won with the Billy Goats Curse but James again interefered allowing Mason to use his metal dog collar and punch Cabana in the head with it for the upset win.

Change of direction next in the final qualifying match we had tag team partners squaring off as Zack Sabre Jr took on Marty Scurll, this was excellent and great mixture of old school British mat wrestling, stiff kicks and the occasional really big move to keep the fans interest building. They were also giving a good 20 minutes making it comfortably the longest first round match. There was a lot to enjoy in this but among the highlights were a very nice Dragon Suplex from Sabre Jr, a sitout powerbomb into an armbar also from Sabre Jr. Fans were in the camp of Zack but then again he didn't appear on ITV's Take Me Out. Scurll got the win after reversing a backslide into a roll up of his own for the clean pinfall. This was a match that you should go out of your way to see.

Before we get the final there is a 3 Way for the BCW Scarlo Scholarship title, that as to be the worst name ever for a title surely? The champion is Xander Cooper and he's defending against Zack Gibson and Darrell Allen, Allen is the fan's favourite as he comes from London. Taking into account the lack of experience this was a fine effort but I really don't need to see an enzuguiri every minute of the match. Allen nearly won with a 450 splash which he actually mistimed and could have seriously hurt himself, Cooper retained by stealing the pinfall on the prone Gibson.

Before the final we get the presentation of the Champions Staff (no title belts in PROGRESS), fans soon start a chant of 'Nazi Staff' which was something else but understandable if you've seen it.

The final is an elimination match which pits Ligero vs Cruz vs Mason vs Scurll. The opening 10 minutes is basically a brawl round the building, including trips to the bar and the Ladies toilets, due to the filming positions that was used a lot of this was missed. Note to the company, unless your going to change how you film the show then avoid doing arena brawls.

The match settled down into the ring which also seems strange when you have had chairs used and then it suddenly starts to look like a regular tag team match. Ligero got a lot of time to showcase his stuff which is a clear giveaway that he's eliminated first which he was after Cruz kicked him in the head. Ligero didn't take this well and in the melee that followed Mason was pinned by Scurll after a roll up.
This left Scurll vs Cruz which in my opinion was the right way to go and they were given about 10 minutes as the final two men, fans stayed with this although they decided to have a fairly standard five minutes before they went to the nearfalls. Scurll scored a visual pinfall when he hit Cruz with a Roaring Elbow but the referee wasn't in a position to count. Cruz nearly stole it with a low blow followed by an Ace Crusher but Scurll just avoided the three count. Scurll went for another roll up but as Cruz kicked out , he was met with a kick to the side of his head as he went to get up and Cruz became the first Champion.

On the 2 Disc set we also get a set of interviews with both co-owners, Scurll's post-match comments and interviews with Cruz, Sabre Jr and Cabana so PROGRESS are trying hard to offer fans something more than just the show. The show is available for £10 and due to demand the initial 150 DVD's have already been sold but they will be back in stock on June 2nd.

The second PROGRESS show is on June 24th and they have sold a good number of tickets but they have standard tickets (£12 each) and standing tickets (£8 each) still available. With the main event pitting Nathan Cruz defending against Marty Scurll in a 2/3 falls match. The show was an entertaining affair and looks to be even more fun if your able to attend these shows live as the company seems to understand how important the fans are and how they can help to benefit the product. They also seem to be aware that they shouldn't try to charge ridiculous amounts of money, as front row tickets were priced at a respectable £17.

This article was originally published on and can I please ask you to LIKE

ROH Fails Latest iPPV Test By Shaun Nichols

Here at WLH we generally try and look on the positive. Not only that but regular visitors of the site will have noticed that we are fans of Ring of Honor, over the last few months there have been a number of blogs that praise the product, hype upcoming events etc. Stuart is very open in stating that ROH is his favourite promotion.

But sometimes in the interest of fairness you have to state the obvious, when there is a major issue you have to comment on it. The whole issue of internet PPVs is a full story in its own right but ROH were to a certain extent pioneers of that medium when they ran their Final Battle 2009 as an internet PPV.

I actually watched that show live at a friends house and realised two things very quickly, firstly that ROH needed to shorten the lengths of their shows and secondly that picture quality would need to be improved. The in-ring ability of the wrestling shown although obviously important would not be enough on its own.

ROH's original arrangement was with and dependent on venue and good fortune the shows ranged from impressive to complete failures. When everything worked, the reviews were generally very positive but when there was gremlins in the works fans found themselves experiencing a very frustrating experience.
Now generally if the live feed proved to be problematic the replays were generally of very good quality but of course they were missing the all important special ingredient, they were not showing a live event. After problems at both Wrestlemania weekend shows, ROH decided to move away from This had both advantages and negatives, with the main negative being that they they are basically blaming their broadcast partner for all the previous faults and if those same faults exist after their move away then they would look pretty foolish.

ROH decided to show the event on their own website, to try and ensure that they would be able to cope with demand they offered a CM Punk vs Bryan Danielson match to watch on their website free as a trial. Unfortunately for ROH their site crashed but they came to the conclusion this was because thousands of wrestling fans were trying to watch that match without paying a fee.

They felt that the number of fans ordering the 'Border Wars' iPPV show would be considerably lower and that their server would be able to cope with fans buying the show. Sadly this was not the case, the show was a complete disaster if you were watching on a computer. Even 24 hours after the event ROH had not been able to offer the show to the fans who had paid good money to see it.

The show itself from what I can gather was a very entertaining affair in front of a great Toronto crowd but that's pretty much irrelevant if you can't see the show on your computer. Now of course fans will be able to see the show on DVD in the future but you cannot escape from reality of what this means to ROH on iPPV.

They have offered fans who bought this show that they will get the next ROH iPPV show for free which is a nice gesture and a classic example of damage limitations. But raises a rather obvious question which is this: If the hardcore ROH fans are getting the next iPPV for free, then who is actually buying the next show? The last few ROH iPPV's have unfortunately had some issues which could have easily put off paying fans.

The issue as not stopped with, it is clear to me as a wrestling fan that it will take a number of iPPV events to run smoothly without any kind of issue before you get anyone ordering these shows who are not classed as hardcore ROH fans who we know now will not be paying for the next show. This can only mean that a major revenue of income for ROH, one that they really can't afford to lose is already on the verge of disaster.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Indy Corner Interviews Noam Dar

First off, thanks Noam for taking the time to answer some questions for us
today, I hope you're well at the moment.

So Noam, tell the readers a bit about yourself, where did you grow up, who were your favourite wrestlers while growing up?

I moved over to Ayr, Scotland from Israel when I was around 5 and have lived in
Ayr ever since. I was always aware of wrestling when growing up but never had
the means to indulge in regular viewing until I was around 11. In terms of
favourites, I missed the era of The Rock, Austin and alot of those guys, the
first guy I saw was Eddie Guerrero and he has always been the source of my
initial aspirations to perhaps be a wrestler. I loved so many guys for various
reasons so it be hard to name any more.

When you finally made the choice to go from being a fan to actually being a wrestler, how did you go about it?

Not as directly as I would have liked in retrospect, sure I was obsessed with
wrestling but I never thought of it as a possible career path, it always remained a childhood and teenage fantasy and I accepted it as that. However when I was 14 one of my friends who was a few years older started training at the Scottish Professional Wrestling Academy and suggested that I tagged along with him every Sunday . He eventually fell away from it and obviously I was hooked. It was like discovering a whole new world, within a few months I went from watching wrestling in sheer awe, spending hours daydreaming about being all my favourites to being given an environment to learn to be a wrestler, 50 minutes from home, with endless possibilities, it overwhelmed me.

What did your friends & family think when you told them you were going into the business?

My family are very supportive in anything I want to do and knew how much I was
infatuated with wrestling at the time so they just kind of accepted it, much like if I had started after school netball or curling. My friends didn't really get it was an actual school with possibilities of a profession, they thought I was just bouncing on someone elses trampoline every Sunday and they all knew how much of a wrestling geek I was so they didn't take much notice and I made little noise about it.

Who was it who trained you and any words you want to say about them?

I was trained by Ross Watson (Kid Fite) and Adrian McCallum (Lionheart).

I think the reason that they are both great teachers is they are realists in terms of what they are trying to show at each specific time. They both continue to help me tremendously and Ross especially is having continuous success with his school at the moment which is testament to his abilities.

So tell us Noam, what was your training like?

Great! I think I enjoyed it so much and a reason I still try to attend as much
as possible is because of the mix of different aspects they focus on. Sure, some
sessions I didn't enjoy as much as others but I was learning something every time
even if it was indirectly. We were lucky that we received so many guest seminars
from such a wide array of international talent each of whom stepped our training
up to the next necessary level. I honestly believe, much like footballers, people should always try to train regardless of the level of success they have attained, the best athletes in the world train everyday.

Was there ever a point you thought you wanted to get out?

No. Any time I suffered any grievances I had such a good circle of friends who I
looked up to and still do that helped me overcome those doubts.

Onto some of your matches, the first time I got to see you live was at Dragon Gate's show in Nottingham in 2011, what was it like for you to be on that card with all those great workers and how do you feel your match went?

I first met the Dragon Gate guys in 2009 during their first European tour on the
Barcelona leg. Back then I was still very green and hadn't been on a show or
even exposed to such a professionally sound stable of guys. Each of them exuded
professionalism to the point it seemed majestic. That opened my eyes to the company and since then I became a huge admirer. The show in 2011 was my main goal for the year and was extremely humbling to receive the spot, I loved the match and again learned tremendously from just being around and watching those guys.

Is Dragon Gate over in Japan something you aspire to go for in your career?


You are young really working in the business, how do you find it with the older guys on the British circuit even if they are in their 20's?

I've always been "old" for my age and sometimes I forget the uniqueness of my
situation due to my age. I'm lucky in a sense that I have so many great guys
that look out for me and help me a tonne. In the same respect some guys who
maybe treat me like an 18 year old, or even when I was younger it was sometimes
worse, it doesn't bother me because its their prerogative, I think age is
irrelevant in wrestling.

What do you consider the best match you have worked so far in your career?

The Dragon Gate bonus match in 2011 is definitely one, purely for the environment
and how much I made that my goal for 2011. It also showed me how much work I will have to put in the reach a level to be considered for that platform. I'm the worst for answering this questions cause I've enjoyed many of my matches for so many different reasons, maybe matches I hated would have been more interesting, haha!

Below: Here is the match Noam speaks about above, one on one with Daniel Robert from Dragon Gate UK's 22/10/11 show in Nottingham

The last time I got to see you live was at SWE's Speed King tournament where you faced The Rockstar Spud, now leading up to this match you were the subject of one of his infamous youtube videos, what did you think of this video and what are your thoughts of the 'Baby Jesus of British Wrestling'?

His obvious talent aside, I think the reason Spud is successful and admired is he understands what's necessary to create genuine interest for any situation he desires. There's a difference between capitalising on already existing heat and creating heat, genuine enough to make people interested in it, irrelevant of small details that so many well thought "storylines" rely on. This effective simplicity garners interest out with a specific circle and in turn opens British wrestling to a bigger market.

On the subject of Spud, what's your take on his 'beef' with Marty Scrull?

They both wear horrendous vests, I assume that's the main cause of dispute.

You have wrestled for many promotions here in the UK but I want to ask, you was part of the debut PROGRESS Wrestling show back in March, talk us through your experiences of that day and the what was you thinking when you got the "deep fried Mars bars" chants?

From the way they deal with their talent to their production everything is given
100% effort and respect. Its so refreshing to see all aspects of a company
working towards the same cause, especially on a debut show. This focus and commitment is already made PROGRESS a top company within Europe for fans and workers alike and their already obvious success is a tribute to their hard work.

"Deep fried Mars bars" is definitely a favourite. Its apparently as synonymous with Scotland as haggis and heroine. Both make wonderful chants.

Who on the British circuit would you like to wrestle who you haven't already?

I want to work pretty much everybody I haven't and would love to work those who
I have again! I learn from every match and in my opinion no experience is a worthless experience.

And, is there a promotion in the UK you haven't worked for that you'd like to?

Very much the same as above. Any promoter that commits their self properly to
producing professional shows is always a preferred company to work for.

In July of this year, you will be facing TNA superstar AJ Styles, what did you think when you were first told you would be wrestling AJ?

The whole anticipation and secrecy to the announcement was completely legitimate, only a few people knew AJ Styles was coming to Pro Wrestling Elite, I however, was not one of them. The announcement as it happened was exactly how I found out and my reaction was genuine, I had no inclination it was going to be such a big name. Given my age and how I got into watching wrestling relatively late, AJ Styles was the first guy that captivated my passion for any wrestling out with the WWE. I was very much a fan of entertainment aspect until then, AJ made me a fan of the sport and has been a massive influence ever since.

I'm overwhelmed that I'm going to have the opportunity to step in the ring with him and I completely understand how monumental the match can be for me, I'm sick with nerves but I cannot wait.

Below: This is the moment Noam & everyone else there that night found out he was going to be facing AJ Styles

We have some reader questions, Peter Blackham would like to know, what was it like being the final 1PW Openweight champion before they went under again and how did you feel reading the All or Nothing book about 1PW?

I think its a shame what happened to the company and the negative effect its had on former fans. It was good to be given the belt but in all honesty by that time the company was already on a downward spiral so the belt became meaningless even though I was honoured to receive it.

I have no intention of reading the book but I'm sure it has some very truthful
insights mixed with bitter people spitting on its grave, the same people who
when it benefited them were 1PW mascots.

To close, we'll do some word association; just tell me the first thing you think of for each of these names:

'Lionheart' Adrian McCullum


Marty Scrull

Big Ron.

Zack Sabre Jr.

Armbars and Barcelona.

Kris Travis

Never heard of em pal!

Mark Haskins


Rockstar Spud

Loud noises.


It'll be alright on the night

Thanks for your time Noam, and good luck with your future career.

Follow Noam on twitter @NoamDar

Below: Noam Dar vs. Zack Sabre Jr. From Pro Wrestling Elite (21/10/11)

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Indy Corner – Upcoming British shows.

Hi all, just a little blog about some upcoming shows here in Britain. This coming Friday, May 18th Fight Club: Pro return with a show at The Planet in Wolverhampton which will be headlined by MK McKinnan against top US indy guy Chuck Taylor known for mostly working in CHIKARA & DGUSA. This match should be off the charts, MK as many of you will know is a favourite of mine and Taylor is a great worker himself so I’m expecting great things from him. Also announced is CZW’s DJ Hyde against ‘The Bastard’ Dave Mastiff who is undefeated in FCP so will DJ Hyde be the man to hand him his first loss? Just today as of typing this Clint Margera has challenged CZW’s world & Ultraviolent champion MASADA to a death match so anyone coming to the show can expect an all-out war between these two. Trent Seven has issued a challenge to Sami Callihan for a match which as of yet is unanswered but I’m sure it will be and these two will beat the crap out of each other once again.

If you are in the UK and not too far from Wolverhampton try and make this show because at a mere £5 a ticket, it is GREAT value for money.

On May 27th, SouthSide wrestling present Notorious II, the card is pretty stacked featuring former WWE star Rene Dupree who will take on The Rockstar Spud. Also on the card, SouthSide champion T-Bone will defend his title against Rampage Brown, Marty Scrull will defend his Speed King title against Mark Haskins plus there will be a money in the bank style match with Jonathan Gresham, Jonny Storm, Martin Kirby, Max Angelus, Robbie X & Nathan Cruz. It really does look like a good card, it’s a shame I’ll not be able to attend myself as I’ll be at another show but if you can go then do so – here is the events page on facebook:

Another show I want to talk about is from New Scene Wrestling here in Birmingham and it is NSW Presents Futures which will take place on June 23rd, for more details on the show, search and LIKE New Scene Wrestling on facebook. A match announced to me is ‘The Bastard’ Dave Mastiff vs. Kid Fite. More matches to be announced soon, very soon. Please LIKE the guys on facebook by going to

The same night as NSW, Southside will be having another show and again it will be featuring Rene Dupree, this show is entitled Menace II Society II – Here is the facebook events page
Thanks for reading guys, if you haven’t yet please LIKE us on facebook –

Sunday, 13 May 2012

From The Prototype To The Chain Gang Soldier To PG... WHY WE LOVE HATING JOHN CENA by Mandy Hiser

Here we have Cena in his days as The Prototype

Whether you love him or hate him, you have to respect him. You can't deny that the man has worked his way from the bottom up. JC has some of the best mic skills. And we recently have gotten to see them return. (Thanks Rocky) But regardless of what he has done for the WWE in the past- WHAT can THEY do for him now?

This "Super Cena" that we love to hate, has got to change. What are some prospective hopeful storylines to expect? Most people want him to become a bad guy or heel. Much like Hogan did in the past. Change is a good thing and he most defiantly needs it. So- love or hate the situation- a change needs to happen! Do we want him to turn heel? Justin Summers ‏ (@HeavyseT330) doesn't feel like that would make a difference. - " #HeelCena solves nothing. He needs to be the face that all the Heels get over on. Hogan got stale because he didn't put anyone over. Hogan is and has always been all about himself. The nWo even got stale because it started to become the same old shit week after week. Cena needs to spend less time in the main event and title picture and put some over. Most faces get over on their own -Cena helped Punk fulfill the level of what everyone knew Punk was. He needs to do the same for Dolph, Cody and ADR and if he does win the title he needs to drop it to some of the talent I just named. “Justin has a valid point. We need a solid big name to give up coming talent a push. It’s not fair to hard working "mid cards" that should be main eventing- if not now- the near future-, to be a JOBBER to push over an entrance. The WWE has some great talent. And you forget about them because they get pushed and taken back, because of this "super Cena" and someone returning "for good" or for a fun energetic entrance..... I understand that the WWE has its own way of upbringing new talent. But as a fan, it’s hard to fall in love with a great superstar, see him win, get this small push and then get taken back to jobber status the next week. Great example? DOLPH ZIGGLER! I’ll go on the edge and assume, that being the ultimate fan himself, John Cena is even questioning. We saw him with Zack Ryder for a while, which was FANTASTIC! He was there for the kind of lame storyline, but ultimately pushed Ryder at the time.

Here we have Cena when he first embarked as a rapper

Back when Cena was the Prototype, or our beloved chain gang soldier, our “white boy rapper” he was never truly heel. He was never telling the fans to piss off. (Maybe here and there, but not on a regular like early Rocky, or Hollywood Hulk. If anything, when he made a low blow for the entertainment value, he has generally apologized for what he said. He’s a real person. And I know as an avid WWE lover, I appreciate that. He has wit, and charisma, looks, attitude, but he’s still your nice guy next door. (If you’re not familiar with his Make a Wish work, Google it.) However....

Do we really want Cena to stay face? To stay in this “pg” mode? If he does stay face, we defiantly need him to start from scratch with his character. A complete Revamp of John Cena. As the ECW Faithful would put it in a 3 syllable chant- "Same Old Shit". Yet- fans are still very loyal to him. Magdalena Katsourdis ‏ (@MaggieBooh) says "I thought I hated the guy but you really can't lol ... #CeNation is alright but a nice change would do some good like a heel turn but I know WWE won't do it” There are also people like Brett D'Angelis (@BadBobaBrett) who said “I guess I am pro-Cena, he serves a good purpose, is a good guy who loves the biz, still should go heel though." Again- it’s hard to argue with that statement. Cena is a great guy. A wholehearted American. He truly loves the business. He has bled PINTS of blood, sweat gallons in the squared circle and fallen to the famous. He has stood tall and proud as the champ many times, he’s been injured and had surgeries. One thing he hasn’t done is leave. His whole heart is in. I truly believe it.

No matter what the man does, he will ALWAYS have people who truly hate him. Not people who love to hate him, like a lot of fans. Hell, I am a big fan of the guy and I love busting his balls! I know I’m not alone with saying that I’m sick of his stupid move set and you can’t see me- and hustle loyalty respect. This is washed up. Just like Hulkamania. It is something that you have to respect in the business, but just don’t want to see any more! I do like the rise above hate change. But it was gone so fast! I, like most fans, I miss the days of the chain gang soldier. Cena was funny and purely entertaining. He was not afraid to push the limit with his “raps”. He was not just a literal Face of the WWE. The super Cena we now know makes people feel like this -Damo Williams ‏ (@Damo200) “I despise him with every fiber of my being! Wish Lesnar had torn his head off!” (In reference to the recent WWE PPV Extreme Rules that I was LIVE at) HEY- I’ve seen people say way worse things about him – like wishing death upon him. -_- (I’m not going there)

And here we have Cena as you all love/hate him

Throughout the years, all the hatred that the man has endowed, he always is positive. “I was enjoying every single moment that they were enjoying” in reference to ECW ONE NIGHT STAND when he wrestled RVD (Rod van Dam) for the infamous WWE Spinner Championship Belt. The crowd was chanting vulgarities the entire 3 hours the event went on. Things from “FUCK YOU CENA” to “CENA SUCKS” and “You can’t wrestle”. There was not one fan in the arena that night that was chanting pro Cena. I’d think that they would of gotten beat down! If you’ve ever watched any ECW match, you know those fans are intense! The match I’m talking about is on a few different WWE DVDS- It’s worth the watch. Any who!

The days of there being “ten percenters” are gone. And the IWC (internet wrestling community) is taking over. More and more people all over the world are logging on to everyday! With the technology and money that WWE has, they have no problem utilizing Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and social media. They know what people want, or at least have access to seeing it. Sure, not every IWC fan is a smark, or even mark, but they ALL can go to and vote or hashtag for them-they can like something on Facebook or retweet something on Twitter. We “ten percenters” are still strong. We the adult market that spends the money, travels to shows, support younger talent, and truly loves the WWE. (Me for instance)- But for every ten percenter, I’m going to guess that there are at least 5 IWC fans that are either under age, or not the strongest fan. Kayfabers. What the WWE needs to KNOW that people want change. And we’re not talking about “people power” (that’s a blog for another day. ...) we want to see new faces. Yes, you have given us some great returning “big names” in the past couple of years, but we want young fresh talent to start to take over. As Mathew Zaller (@mizfitMathew) would say- “it’s a GREAT time to be a wrestling fan” And I couldn’t agree more. WWE as a whole is amazing! But when our main events over and over are super Cena and his moves of doom night after night. It gets old. Changing his shirt or colors doesn’t exactly revamp him when they are literally all the same anyway. In my opinion, I want a heel Cena. I want him to blow up. Go crazy. Almost r-truth crazy for a while. WE JUST WANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT!!! It’s been said over and over; let’s hope that we get to see it soon.

Hope you enjoyed reading, please leave any comments below and you can hit me up on twitter @HEELchampMANDY

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Building A Main Eventer By Captain Obvious

We, as a wrestling community, are always clamoring for the next big star. We seem to want to see what the younger talent can do when given the chance. But when those chances don't come as fast as we want, we tend to react quickly and severely and wonder what in the hell are these companies doing. But each company has their own style as to build their main event roster and we are gonna take a look at how it's done.

WWE has a very distinct plan of action when it comes to building their top level stars. Everyone in the last 20 years has gone through it. It's the WWE's way of finding out how each Superstar can handle success and failure before they hit the big time. First, the Superstar debuts on TV, usually via vignettes or backstage segments. The Superstar then goes on a long run of squash matches and defeating lower level stars. Then, they are given a taste of gold by either competing for a US or Intercontinental Title or even winning the title. They get a small run at that level before dropping back to the pack with a string of losses to guys they should be defeating. Now, depending on how they handle that success and failure determines the next course of action. Guys who don't show promise of being an elite level player get stuck at mid level for a long time and it could take their own actions to show creative that they can be seen in a new light. Those who show promise may get a renewed push as an underdog type character or they get the ever popular character turn in order to refresh their character and show them in a new light to fans. Let's use Randy Orton as an example. Orton came to the WWE and was show in small vignettes and had a small push to start followed by a string of losses. Luckily, in a sense, he injured his shoulder and was taken off TV for a while. When Orton returned, he was turned heel and showcased in Evolution as the future star while sharing time with the legend, Ric Flair, and the present cornerstone, HHH. He was built gradually from mid-card talent to finally being allowed to shine. Orton became the youngest WWE Champion of all time and was promptly turned face in a feud against HHH. Then after a brief time as a face, his character turned heel and took on a new persona and he went to a new level of stardom. Now he is one of the cornerstones of WWE.

TNA is the scavengers of the wrestling world. If you look at the top main event level guys in their company, only two were home grown. If you add in AJ Styles, who basically is back in the mid-card level now, that makes 3. What TNA does is wait by the phone until someone gets released or their contract is up and then they offer them a job with a decent salary but a lot less travel time. It's easier on the body and allows the wrestlers more home time with the family. The bad side is, we see the same guys on TV that we have seen for the last 15 years and the brand isn't building an identity of it's own like they did in their early days. Think of every major star they have right now except for Roode and Storm. Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, RVD, Mr. Anderson, Hulk Hogan, Devon, Bully Ray....all guys who achieved success somewhere else first and then came to TNA and were thrust upon the main event stage. Even past workers like Booker T, Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner fit into this category. The best part off TNA has been their undercard division where their homegrown talent lies. The problem is they never really give them the ball to run with it.

I'm using Ring of Honor as the third promotion because they are number 3 in the US and they have another distinct style. ROH uses the old school grinder approach to building someone. You start at the bottom and work your way up. Everyone on their upper level has done this. It's the way to earn respect amongst your peers and those in the creative process. It builds character and allows the fans to watch you grow as a performer in the ring and on the mic. Kevin Steen went from being a curtain jerker to very possibly being one of the top 5 favorite performers among internet wrestling fans. Davey Richards started out as a protege' of Kenta before becoming the World Champion in Ring Of Honor.

The ways of elevating a wrestler from potential to actualization are numerous. All anyone can ask for is to see their favorite performer given the chance to shine. Next ime we are going to take a look at my top 10 guys who never realized their potential in wrestling. If you have guys I should consider, hit me up on twitter @captainomg or on facebook @ For now, It's been Obvious!

Captain Obvious Trey Dent
Co-host of The Still Real To Us Show

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Looking Forward To ROH Border Wars with Stuart Rodgers

Ring of Honor have finally announced where the fans unable to attend the upcoming iPPV Border Wars from Toronto, Canada on May 12th can order the show from and that is direct off their very own site – Some are complaining even now it has been confirmed where it can be ordered that it took ‘too long’ but I don’t feel that way at all, I just hope, I really do that all goes well with this stream after the disaster that was Showdown in The Sun.

Now onto the show itself, the main event is set to be ROH World champion Davey Richards vs. Kevin Steen. This match has been built up for a while now with Steen berating both Richards & ROH executive producer Jim Cornette. Work or not, Steen has made some valid points one being when ROH had an iPPV in 2011 Richards was over in Japan and as Steen pointed out the world champion should of been on the show and who could argue?

I must admit, I'm looking forward to the match but I do feel it's come too soon. I expected the match to happen at Final Battle or maybe even June's Best in The World show but either way, it's one I'm looking forward too.

Recently the news came out that Richards was involved in a car accident which led to NJPW stripping him and his partner Rocky Romero of the IWGP Jnr heavyweight tag team titles and there was a fear Richards wouldn’t be available to defend the ROH strap against Steen on the iPPV but Richards has tweeted that we have no need to worry, he’ll be at the iPPV.

Also on the card we have once again, the ROH tag team champions The Briscoe Brothers will face Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team but this time in a ‘fight without honor’. I’m not a fan of WGTT and seeing them against The Briscoes again is not something I’m looking forward to but a fight without honor could be something.

ROH world television champion Roderick Strong will be taking on the one and only Fit Finlay. This is Finlay’s first match in ROH, he has of course worked some matches on the US & UK indies since his release from the WWE including a couple of matches against Sami Callihan which were great. This match should be decent, and I am looking forward to seeing the ‘Belfast Bruiser’ in an ROH ring.

Former ROH world champion Eddie Edwards finds himself on the card squaring off against Rhyno who is now part of Truth Martini’s stable. I like Edwards’ work whereas I’m not over keen on Rhyno’s but I expect him to go over ‘Die Hard’ in this match.

Lance Storm asked for and received a rematch with Mike Bennett who defeated him at Showdown in The Sun. Storm looked OK in that match and Bennett just oozes charisma and is a very good worker to boot. Maybe we could see Storm go over in this one and maybe set up a rubber match but I’m expecting it to be great either way.

Jay Lethal will be trying to be the first man in ROH to defeat Tomasso Ciampa but I think the latter will win and hopefully move up the card to face the ‘bigger’ names on the roster.

A match I’m looking forward to on the show is Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin. I am a big fan of Cole and I have been really impressed with Elgin recently, especially in his Showdown in The Sun match against Davey Richards which I think will be up there for top indy matches of the year. Cole got the shock pinfall win over Richards at the 10th Anniversary show in the tag tem main event but I think Elgin should go over in this match so hopefully he can stay in the world title picture. Should be a very good match.

And the final match announced is a six man tag between The Young Bucks & Mike Mondo vs. The All Night Xpress & TJ Perkins. I’m a really big fan of the Bucks and I think ANX are a tad overrated but I do think the ANX/Perkins team will win this one.

The card looks very good and I’m really intrigued to see what will happen in the title match.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

WWE Throws Millions of Dollars Away By Shaun Nichols

There are certain situations in wrestling booking that there is a really obvious direction to go in. That as been the case a number of times in the WWE and yet for all of Vince McMahon's experience he often fails to understand what is right for business.

The most startling example of failing to capitalize on a opportunity was the Invasion angle of 2001, given a choice to either make more money than he could ever have dreamed of or making a statement to show the fans that the WWE superstars were better than WCW wrestlers, he chose the latter.

What of course he ignored was that he is running a business designed to try and make as much money as possible. By hiring the major WCW talent such as Goldberg, Flair, Sting and Scott Steiner in the summer of 2001 and booking them as a strong and credible talent would have led to stronger TV ratings, better PPV buyrates and larger attendances at house shows. However they had been packaged they would be WWE superstars and they would be making money for the WWE.

Three of the four names did eventually make the move to the WWE, but by then there was no longer the clamor from the fans to see the dream matches between the best of WWE vs the stars of WCW. They were pushed as individual talents and when things didn't quite happen the way Vince thought they would then the booking of those former WCW stars made less and less sense.

Although not such an obvious mistake, the booking of Nexus at Summer Slam 2010 was another classic example of Vince making a major error in judgment. In the weeks before the show following the debut of Nexus (and what a fantastic angle it was), Vince claimed that the Nexus angle was going to kickstart a stagnating WWE. Again like in 2001, it centred around a group of wrestlers invading the WWE and trying to make themselves a dominant faction. Now unlike in 2001 where most casual fans actually knew the WCW wrestlers that Vince had decided to hire, in 2010 fans knew very little about the Nexus group unless they had watched the NXT show.

They were given wins on Raw, they attacked a number of WWE stars in group beatings but what was blatantly obvious was that they needed a decisive win on a big stage. That should have been at Summer Slam, but Vince again made the wrong call and whatever momentum Nexus head going into the PPV they lost of all of it. They became just another part of the product with only Wade Barrett becoming a relevant character after the show. In short a missed opportunity to do something different.

This brings me finally onto the reason I decided to write this blog, the mind boggling call to have John Cena pinning Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules. In the run-up to the PPV, the Wrestling Observer website ran a poll to see who the fans thought should win the Cena-Lesnar match, 95% thought Lesnar should win and the vast majority thought he should do so in less than 10 minutes.

There is also the view that having Lesnar have his first match on 'B' show was a major mistake and there is a lot to be said that if they had kept Cena vs Lesnar until say Summer Slam they would have doubled the buyrate for whatever they did at Extreme Rules at the very least and more than likely it would have been much better than that.

The WWE have given Lesnar a contract like no other talent currently on the roster, he has agreed to only a limited number of dates to the point that he won't be on the majority of TV and he wouldn't be working away on the road appearing at house shows. The WWE gave him that deal because they think he will make a difference to their PPV business. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that UFC fans will start ordering WWE events because Brock is on the show which is something I don't see happening. WWE fans certainly bought UFC shows when Brock was fighting, but even when Lesnar was UFC Heavyweight Champion a lot of MMA fans couldn't wait to see the former WWE star lose, they certainly won't pay to see him on a wrestling PPV.

That might mean that Brock doesn't single handedly double WWE PPV business but pushed in the right way he's a compulsive and unique character that stands out from the rest of the WWE. In all his appearances and interviews on Raw were done just about perfectly, but his opponent John Cena seemed to be more interested in John Laurinaitis and then in the final Raw before the event was booked as a man scared to death and yet won. Lesnar all of a sudden didn't quite seem the special attraction he was just weeks before.

The announcement of Brock Lesnar vs John Cena was done in the most low key way possible, surely you would want give great fanfare to Brock's return to a WWE PPV after more than eight years away? The WWE have badly damaged the aura of Brock Lesnar they needed to have him as a unstoppable force leading up to the main event of Wrestlemania XXIX where according to the original plan we would see either Steve Austin, The Undertaker or The Rock face Brock Lesnar and depending on who it would be it could even be a WWE Championship match, remember The Rock's post Mania interview where he had a dream he would once again be the WWE Champion? What better way to do so then against the mighty Brock?

With the angle with Triple H, the character of Brock Lesnar may be saved to a certain extent. Especially if they keep him away from TV until the biggest event of the summer where hopefully the WWE realise he needs to go in and destroy Triple H to recapture some of the allure he had when he made his return. But it was truly a stupid decision to have him lose to Cena that will mean that Lesnar will require some re-hab to be the potential saviour for the business interests of the WWE.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Shane Douglas Interview with Inside the Ropes

Just before Extreme Reunion Shane Douglas spoke with the Inside The Ropes show. He talked about Sabu having problems, his view on TNA and how Flair almost signed with ECW in 1998. Here's the highlights:

On wiping the mat with the WWF in the 90’s

-If we’d had a backer like Panda Energy or Ted Turner, I think….no I know we’d have wiped the mat with the WWF. Paul Heyman was that talented a booker and our dressing room was that talented. Vince McMahon ripped everything off from us. He’ll tell you he didn’t but it’s as blatant as the nose on my face.

On Sabu

- I remember in 1993, sitting in the back watching him, I’d never met him. He hit a triple moonsault, I jumped out of my seat as a fan, I’ve always been a huge mark for Sabu. I spent this past weekend with Sabu and he’s been going through a tough time recently with his family and his wife and things. I’ve heard all sorts of horror stories about Sabu that he turns up at shows not able to perform.

On How TNA Books their locker room

- I look at Dixie’s dressing room and you have Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, they had Petey Williams. I’m a mark for those guys. That said, I’m anything but a mark…. I’m a critic for the way that talent has been used. I hope that in a year from now, I’ll be able to say I’m booking for the Bobby Roodes, AJ Styles and Samoa Joes as opposed to having to sit back and watch them being mis-used by a company that just doesn’t get it.

Difference between the old ECW and Dixie Carter’s TNA

- Without going into my whole TNA rant, she’s over $150 million in the red, has nothing to show for it. Hasn’t produced one bankable star in 7 years. The original ECW on the other hand launched in 1993, spent $8.27 million dollars, and in 7 years how many bankable stars did ECW, Paul Heyman create? Dixie was onto a decent idea and then instead of going with what could have given her Dad some return on his money, she went with the whole Hulk Hogan/Ric Flair routine. My personal differences aside with those guys, the fact that in 2012, we’re still talking about the guys that headlined wrestling in 1984, is laughable at best, sad at worst.

On his work being copied by Austin (Foul Mouthed Promos) in WWF then Punk (Worked Shoots) in WWE

- Well to say it’s not true would be ignorant. The fact I’ve carved out a niche in the business and had an almost 30 year career and done well without competing at a WrestleMania is something I’m proud of. To be in a business that’s dominated by one guy and be able to do well without having to walk on that stage is great.

Why he left his successful run in ECW in 95 for WWF as Dean Douglas

- The way it was pitched to me isn’t the way it played out. It took 7 or 8 trips up there for me to sign. There was something in the back of my gut that told me it wasn’t the right fit. I no desire to leave ECW but in 95, I was reaching my mid 30’s I’d been the World Champ multiple times…I’d pretty much done everything in ECW, all I could do is repeat. That was one of the reasons I didn’t wanna miss an opportunity to make a living for my family. The last time I went there, I took my ex-wife with me, and I was working as a teacher 5 days making good money and making pretty good money the two nights a week working for ECW, she looked McMahon in the eye and said “What could you possibly offer my husband to make him leave all that and being home in bed with me every night?” and he leaned across the table and he stroked her hand and said “You have my word as a gentleman that I’ll make your husband a very wealthy man” He went on to tell me “its not uncommon for someone in the position we’re putting you in to earn $300,000 a year minimum base salary” I spoke to Piper, Hennig etc and they said Vince told them the same thing and they got rich. I called home one night and my wife said the cheques hadn’t been great and she said they all came to $1400 and I told her to add them up and she said that was them all added up.

On being comfortable with his feud with Flair being put on TV in 2000 in WCW?

- Hell Yeah. If a company is investing a seven figure income to me, which Bischoff did for me for three years, but I’ll go into any situation in the ring. I’m a professional.

Flair negotiating with ECW in 1998

- Flair had started discussions with ECW when he had his problems with Bischoff, about working with me. His concern to Paul Heyman was, that I would shoot on him. He wanted $150,000 for one match which we couldn’t possibly afford that. So I suggested to Paul, offer back to him, 3 shows, first one in Charlotte. I put him over, 55 minutes. Second, Pittsburgh he puts me over, same time frame. Third time in Philadelphia, I have no doubts that promoted well, we could’ve sold the Spectrum out.

Quick Fire Thoughts

Triple H – An over achiever. He doesn’t seem to have the skillset to get to the position he’s at. But in saying that he’s a good ring general and I think he’s the one guy in the locker room that could’ve worked in the original ECW.

Bret Hart
– He’s one of those guys, he’s the universe’s Ric Flair. When I met Flair, he fell far short of a hero or someone to look up to. When I met Bret, I was shocked at what a down to earth guy he was and just worked his tail to get to where he was.

Dixie Carter
– Way out of her league.

Hulk Hogan – He’s the phenomenon that he’s believed to be. I do believe Hogan is as big an icon in our business. He always made sure he left time for the kids at Make a Wish Foundation.

Check Inside The Ropes out here - and the shows/interviews the guys have done can be found here -

HEW Tears Are Falling Review By Adam Joyce

Last Saturday I made my way down to my local promotion HEW. The promotion itself in the last couple of years seems to have become more of a showground for the talent of WAW then an individual promotion. That in itself means that some of the promotion’s achievements have been over looked. However if the end to Tears Are Falling is anything to go by then HEW once again has the fire to stand out the way it has done in the past, by doing things that blur the lines of shoot and work.

While the card at first glance didn’t stand out as being anything that would blow the audience away that can sometimes prove HEW’s strength; having the lesser cards being the more eventful building up to bigger events down the line. Saying that this didn’t seem to stop most of the HEW faithful who packed out their little hall in Takeley and were their usual receptive selves for the most part. They didn’t make a bad choice either as all the matches were good.

Another thing that stood out was that following, what seems to be some success, from their last event they now have a regular commentary team on hand to call the action. It certainly helps make the shows feel a little bigger. Not only that but it helps make the matches seem better when watching them on DVD releases. Also worth noting is that regular MC Steve Lynsky was absent and Commissioner Cox was his replacement. Unfortunately Cox’s lack of experience as an MC showed but it didn’t seem to impact the overall quality of the show.

The first match on the card featured the HEW debut of “Bully Beater” Milky O’Hagan as he took on the intimidating, though mildly inexperienced Mitchell Starr. Milky is a very talented worker but is currently struggling to get over spending a number of years as a comedy character. Before the match he cut a positive anti bully promo that really seemed to go over well with the kids in the audience. The match itself was a well told story of the plucky babyface trying to takedown the bully heel. Some of the crowd took a while to get into the match but that didn’t seem to do any harm to the action going on in the ring. Milky put up against a valiant effort where it looked at time like he could pick up the victory but Starr got the best of him in the end with a neckbreaker variation.

Due to a slight card shuffle, that I’ll go into later, the next match was a rematch of sorts from the previous event featuring the winner and loser of the fatal 4-way that opened Living on A Prayer 8 in Brad Slayer taking on Zebra Kid. For my money Zebra always has been one of the best, most believable workers the UK has currently on the circuit. On the otherside of the ring Brad is a young guy with a good upside that has potential to do well. The match itself was a great encounter with Brad’s technical style playing off against Zebra’s thuggish Hooligan style, which really helped put the crowd solidly on the side of young Slayer. One thing that made me smile was referee Michael Mann busting out the classic rule of not being able to touch a guy while he until he had gotten up from the previous move. Eventually Zebra got the win by low blowing Brad behind the refs back allowing him to get counted out of the ring.

The last match before the interval was a classic old school brawl between veterans Danny ‘Boy’ Collins and ‘Rowdy’ Ricky Knight. Ricky did his typical pre match spiel that always gets the crowd vocally into the match. Danny Boy maybe getting on in years but is not letting his ring style show it. A lot of the action in the match was very hard hitting. Zebra Kid has often stated that Danny Collins was one of his heroes and it certainly shows where he got his stiff looking style from. At one point the action spilt to the outside that sent one of the ringside commentators running for cover. The end to the match was a bit of a contrast to the ground oriented match with Danny winning with a top rope cross body that still fitted in with the match and was a believable finish.

The first match after the interval featured EWW’s women’s champion Skarlett taking on the Shimmer and HEW woman’s champion Sweet Saraya for the HEW belt. One thing that stood out from the start, that Saraya even pointed out before the bell, was that both women were dressed in black with fishnets and red hair as well as both being champions (Saraya mentioned it was flattery gone a step too far). Appearances aside the characters of both women really stood out and the contrast complimented each other well. Saraya worked over Skarlett well with her submission and hard hitting style with some great comebacks from Skarlett, at points even using the moves Saraya had used on her. After a lot of back and forth Saraya got the submission win over Skarlett with a boston crab. Following the match Saraya went over to the ringside commentators and turned the table over on them, Skarlett on the other hand freaked out yelling at the audience for not helping her win.

In the main event of the evening saw the Devil’s Playboys defend their tag tam titles against the Young Ones. Originally this was scheduled to have WAW’s Special Edition, Brad Slayer and Kip James, challenging but Kip was unable to make the show. Resulting in Brad changing places with TJ Daniels and Alex Young making a welcome return after a few months away. This did make more sense as Young Ones are more established in HEW so in theory more eligible for the title shot. The match itself was a solid back and forth encounter with the Playboys using their power and size advantage to combat the speed of the smaller Young Ones. Both teams played the Face/Face match well with the crowd being familiar with all the guys in the match meant that they were invested in both teams so neither ended up losing out on any crowd support. The climax of the match came with both TJ and Brett Meadows getting the tag from their respective partners but Meadows managing to overcome TJ’s house o’ fire with an Essex bomb for the win.

The ending of the match is what made the show memorable. Immediately following on from the celebration at the end of the match EWW’s Charlie Rage and Dominator, accompanied by Skarlett, ran in the from door and started attacking the Playboys leaving Sam Knee bleeding quite badly in thee middle of the ring. With this all of the locker room ran to the ring to help out which certainly was an interesting image seeing people who had been rivals in previous matches united against the intruders. Following this the commissioner started getting issuing people claiming they needed the hall empty to make t easier for the medical assistance that was on the way. As people started to leave Danny Blaze made his way in claiming that this was all an elaborate set up and the start of the ‘Age of the Blaze’.

The ending can be seen here.

While it seems up in the air as to the level of planning involved in that end part going by Sam Knee’s facebook page he was admitted to hospital to be patched up and didn’t compete at the WAW show the next night. This certainly creates a level of intrigue as to where this is going to go. Will it stay solely in HEW or will there be some form of receipt at a future EWW show? Neither promotion’s exactly share a big crossover of fans but if this is an invasion angle of sorts then it could work in their favour. If HEW is going to start booking again with this sort of forward thinking then it certainly gives their shows a level of interest that could encourage a healthy level of company loyalty, as they have just announced they will soon be running a bigger venue in Braintree Leisure centre then it can’t hurt to have a great angle going in. I know it certainly has me interested.

For information on HEW and their upcoming shows check out