Friday 30 July 2010

KENTA Profile

Kenta Kobayashi (小林健太, Kobayashi Kenta), also known by his ring name KENTA, is a Japanese professional wrestler and one of the last two trainees of the All Japan Pro Wrestling dojo before the Pro Wrestling Noah split, which he followed. He initially used his real name, but due to obvious potential confusion with his mentor Kenta Kobashi (in both English and Japanese), he dropped his surname and began spelling his given name in Roman all caps. His style is a combination of martial arts kickboxing (he mastered kickboxing at an early age) and shoot style. He has even challenged heavyweights like Mitsuharu Misawa and Genichiro Tenryu to staredowns and feuds despite often being on the losing end of attacks.

Early Career

Following the split from All Japan (where Kenta Kobayashi debuted in May 2000 Vs. Naomichi Marufuji) one of Mitsuharu Misawa's main focuses in the new Noah group was the junior division, which had never really received much attention in AJPW but had been used by other promotions (notably, New Japan Pro Wrestling & World Championship Wrestling) to great success. This meant that juniors like the then-Kenta Kobayashi would be allowed the opportunity to shine like never before. Having struggled with injuries in the early part of his Noah career, Kobayashi returned on the July 2001 "Accomplish Our First Navigation" tour as simply KENTA and began his rise up the ladder.

When GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion Naomichi Marufuji was forced to vacate the title after suffering a knee injury on the April 7, 2002 Tokyo Ariake Colossium show, KENTA entered into the tournament that would crown a new champion. He defeated Kotaro Suzuki and veteran Tsuyoshi Kikuchi en route to the final where he fell to Yoshinobu Kanemaru. Following another unsuccessful challenge for Kanemaru's title on December 1, KENTA continued to improve in the ring and refine his increasingly popular character, now as part of mentor Kenta Kobashi's BURNING stable with Tamon Honda, Kentaro Shiga and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi.

Rise To Stardom

On the March 1, 2003 Nippon Budokan show, KENTA teamed for the first time with Naomichi Marufuji, who had returned in January from the aforementioned knee injury against Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Makoto Hashi in a match which they won when Marufuji pinned Hashi. They teamed semi-regularly from then on (mostly in trios matches with Kotaro Suzuki) before entering the tournament to crown the first GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team champions on the June/July "Accomplish Our Third Navigation" tour. They defeated Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Mitsuo Momota and Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Yoshihito Sasaki in the opening rounds before beating junior heavyweight legend Jushin Liger & Takehiro Murahama in a highly rated match in the final at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium. KENTA challenged for the GHC Jr. Title once again on November 30, 2003, but was once again beaten back, this time by Takashi Sugiura. However, in that match, and indeed, throughout the year, KENTA showed enough growth to earn himself a seven match Trial Series going into 2004, which would be a rare opportunity to face some of the company's top heavyweight stars in singles action.

Following another successful defense with Marufuji against New Japan wrestlers El Samurai & Wataru Inoue on the year opening Budokan Hall show, KENTA began his trial series on the "First Navigation" tour, beating Juventud Guerrera. This was followed by a defeat to Yoshinari Ogawa and another against Jun Akiyama on May 14, 2004 at Korakuen Hall. The final match of the series was a loss against Naomichi Marufuji in October. While the series was taking place, KENTA & Marufuji made even more defenses of their titles, against Yoshinari Ogawa & Kotaro Suzuki, Kotaro & Ricky Marvin, Marvin & SUWA and, on Noah's first Tokyo Dome show against Kendo Kashin & Takashi Sugiura on July 10, 2004.

On July 16, 2006 in the Budokan, KENTA & Marufuji revived their tag team to take on WILD II (Takeshi Morishima and Takeshi Rikio) in what ended up as a 30-minute draw.

Singles Success

The first few months of 2005 passed with KENTA being involved in little of note until the March 5, 2005 Budokan Hall show, where, in an undercard trios match, sparks flew between KENTA and all three of his opponents—Yoshinobu Kanemaru, SUWA and Takashi Sugiura, all of whom he had issues with in the past which were still unresolved—with Sugiura winding up knocked out on the outside of the ring. This set the stage for many of KENTA's programs throughout the year as on April 24 he had a violent match with SUWA that ended in his opponent getting disqualified for referee violence. After an incredible display in the 2005 Differ Cup, where they had extremely highly rated matches with indy stars such as Ibushi Kota & KUDO, Spanky & Kaz Hayashi and Minoru Fujita & Ikuto Hidaka, winning the tournament, KENTA & Marufuji faced Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Takashi Sugiura on June 5 in Sapporo with the GHC Jr. Tag Titles on the line. After nearly thirty five minutes of yet another highly rated match, Sugiura pinned KENTA to crown new champions after a near two year reign. This would signal the end of the KENTA & Marufuji tag team, as KENTA re-set his sights on the GHC Jr. Singles belt and Marufuji formed a team with heavyweight Minoru Suzuki, going after the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles.


On July 18 at Pro Wrestling Noah's near-sellout second Tokyo Dome show he challenged Yoshinobu Kanemaru (who defeated Jushin Liger for the title at the previous year's Dome show) for the third time and finally managed to wrestle the title away from him, in a match that is considered by some as the match of the night at one of wrestling's greatest ever supershows in terms of quality from top to bottom. KENTA made his first defense of the belt at Budokan Hall on September 18 in a match with SUWA that had to be restarted after weapon use by SUWA, then kept going despite further blatant conduct; nonetheless, KENTA ended their feud with the pinfall victory. He made his second against Mushiking Terry on October 28 at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium. Also, after his defense against SUWA, rising heavyweight star Katsuyori Shibata offered congratulations and suggested that the two should tag together. KENTA accepted, and on November 5 at Budokan Hall, they formed The TAKEOVER. The two challenged recently crowned tag team champions Takeshi Morishima & Mohammed Yone, entering a strong showing but losing when Morishima pinned KENTA. The two regrouped to defeat Mitsuharu Misawa & Go Shiosaki on December 4 in Noah's final big show of the year.

On January 22, 2006 at the Tokyo Nippon Budokan, KENTA made his 5th GHC Jr. Heavyweight title defense (the 3rd and 4th were made in America; see Foreign Excursion) against Naomichi Marufuji, finally beating his long time friend & former GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title partner. KENTA's win broke up a run of 6 consecutive Marufuji singles wins against KENTA. On March 5, KENTA faced Kenta Kobashi, and lost due to a Wrist-Clutch Burning Hammer; he is to date the only junior heavyweight as well as arguably the only Noah "trueborn" (despite training in the All Japan dojo, he debuted on the "split" tour and his career is almost entirely in Noah) to receive any variation of the Burning Hammer. On April 23, 2006 KENTA made his 6th GHC Jr. Heavyweight title defense against Taiji Ishimori, also at the Tokyo Nippon Budokan, making him the to date most successful GHC Jr. Heavyweight champion. KENTA lost the GHC Jr. Heavyweight title on June 4 to Takashi Sugiura after tapping out to a grapevined ankle lock. On October 29, he received a shot at the GHC Heavyweight Championship against his long-time partner Naomichi Marufuji, but lost after a Pole Shift, in a memorable match which won "Best Bout" in Tokyo Sports' annual professional wrestling awards.

Return To The Tag Division

On March 20, 2008 KENTA won his second GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, this time with Taiji Ishimori, who had become his regular tag team partner. It was the first title that he had won in over a year and a half. In their first defense of the titles, KENTA debuted his new submission hold the "Manji-Lock" on Ricky Marvin to pick up the victory. They later lost the title to the newly formed heel team of Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Kotaro Suzuki. On September 6, 2008 KENTA and Ishimori won the NTV Jr Tag League Tournament after defeating the current champions (Kanemaru & Suzuki) in the finals.

Foreign Excursion

KENTA, along with his Noah colleague Naomichi Marufuji, made their debut for independent promotion, Ring of Honor, at ROH's last show of the year, Final Battle 2005 on December 17, 2005. KENTA defended his GHC Jr. Heavyweight title for the fourth time against Low Ki. Earlier in his foreign tour, KENTA made his third defense against Ace Steel in his North American debut for Harley Race's WLW promotion on December 10, 2005. He also defeated Ty Dalton on December 11, 2005, again for WLW.

KENTA returned to the United States to wrestle for Ring of Honor at the main event of the Best in the World show in New York City on March 25, 2006. He and Naomichi Marufuji (for the first time teaming in the U.S.) defeated the team of Samoa Joe and ROH World champion Bryan Danielson after KENTA used the Go 2 Sleep on Danielson. KENTA returned to Ring of Honor for a one week tour during the month of June. KENTA returned to Manhattan on June 17, featuring him in the main event against Samoa Joe and ROH World champion Bryan Danielson in a non-title, one-fall Triple Threat match, where KENTA pinned Danielson after the Go 2 Sleep, marking the second time KENTA has defeated the ROH World Champion. After the match, KENTA declared he wanted a championship match. June 23 saw his Detroit debut against one half of the ROH World Tag Team champions, Roderick Strong, whom he defeated with the Go 2 Sleep. The following night, he debuted in Chicago against the other half of the ROH Tag Team champions and former ROH World champion, Austin Aries and was victorious with the Go 2 Sleep. The ROH Wrestling School in Philadelphia held a training seminar with KENTA, along with head trainer Bryan Danielson, on June 18.

On August 4, KENTA competed for ROH for a sixth time when he debuted in Long Island, teaming with Davey Richards to face the Briscoe Brothers. However, he received his first (indirect) loss after Richards was pinned. On August 5, though, he went one on one with Davey Richards and defeated him with the Go 2 Sleep. On September 15, KENTA, along with Naomichi Marufuji, has made his eighth appearance for ROH when he debuted in East Windsor, Connecticut, where he teamed with Marufuji to defeat the Briscoe Brothers. On September 16, his ninth appearance featured his return to Manhattan at ROH's debut in the Manhattan Center where KENTA competed against Bryan Danielson for the ROH World title and lost via tap out to the Cattle Mutilation, which Dave Meltzer rated four and 3/4 stars (in effect, 95% out of 100%). KENTA and Danielson had a second match on a December 2 Pro Wrestling Noah show, which KENTA won.

KENTA would soon end his American tour, but not before teaming with Davey Richards once more, going against Austin Aries and Roderick Strong in a hard hitting match at Honor Reclaims Boston on November 3, only to see loss again when Richards took the fall once more. On November 4 at The Bitter End, he ended his excursion with a win over Matt Sydal. Afterward, he had one last confrontation with Samoa Joe, sending a message to Noah and signaling that KENTA would more than likely be back in late 2007.

KENTA returned to Ring of Honor on May 11 and 12 in Connecticut and New York. On May 11, he faced the masked wrestler Delirious in a first time match-up. This match ended with KENTA victorious. He went on to team up with Nigel McGuinness against Bryan Danielson and Morishima in a losing effort. He returned to the Midwest during the weekend of June 22 and 23 in Dayton and Chicago. He defeated Noah addition & No Remorse Corps member Rocky Romero in Dayton. He also had his third singles match with Danielson at the Chicago event, which KENTA again won in a very sporting contest. KENTA's next venture to ROH was during both nights of the Glory By Honor VI event on November 3 and November 4. In Philadelphia on the first night, he teamed with the GHC Heavyweight Champion Mitsuharu Misawa in his ROH debut against the team of the former Ring of Honor Champion Takeshi Morishima and Naomichi Marufuji, with the match ending in a thirty minute time limit draw. The following night in New York, KENTA lost to Misawa in a match for the GHC Heavyweight Championship.

The Still Real To Us Podcast - Awesome!!

On this episode of The Still Real to Us Show: ”The Champ” Jeff Peck is joined by Brett Clendaniel and Jim Williams from! The guys give their thoughts & opinions on an recent interview VINCE MCMAHON did with the CONNECTICUT POST to debate whether or not wrestlers should be provided HEALTHCARE by the WWE, who does the WELLNESS POLICY actually refer to and more! The guys then take a look at NEXUS and discuss if an established superstar needs to lead the group after all or would it hurt the group in the long run. Finally we wrap up this week’s show by discussing if the MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE is on his way back to the WWE!

Download the Podcast – HERE!

Power Slam Wrestling Magazine: Back on Form By Stu Rodgers

I gave PS a break for a while but just today, I picked up issue 193 and I thought it was a very good read. Many think FS Magazine is the best on the market but for me, its Power Slam.
Issue 193 has two great interviews, first with Paul Heyman who is right at the forefront these days in the pro-wrestling/MMA Circles as he is constantly linked with coming into TNA as the 'booker' and he was at Brock Lesnar's side at UFC 116 when the former WWE champion defeated Shane Carwin in his first match after his life-threatening illness. Heyman is also helping Lesnar write his autobiography. To no surprise, this was a very good interview.
The second interview was with Ireland's own Fergal 'Prince' Devitt who won both the Best of The Super Junior Tournament and the IWGP junior heavyweight title recently which I have on DVD to watch. Again, a good interview for a wrestler who is making a name for himself on the international stage.
Also in the issue is the usual news, in the Japanese news section, it mentions the NJPW Dominion show from June 19th which PS states as 'one of the best cards held anywhere this year' and I have this show on DVD and I must admit, it was an awesome show. There is PPV coverage of WWE's Fatal Four Way and TNA's Victory Road.
The DVD reviews for this issue are 2 releases I already own myself, TNA's Beer Money Inc. & Motor City Machine Guns and WWE's Best of Pay-Per-View Matches 2009-2010.
There of course is Twitter watch, Q&A section, Ground & Pound MMA section with my old friend Mo Chatra, PPV History Part 18 covering WCW Beach Blast & WWF Summer Slam 93. Feature column is The McMahon Quarterly Report and there is the letters section to round off an overall very good issue. Give it a read on my recommendation. Oh and those on Twitter, Power Slam's is

Thursday 29 July 2010

Looking Back - Super Junior Cups I-IV By Shaun Nichols

Super Junior Cup 1994

The orginal tournament was held by New Japan Pro Wrestling on 16/4/1994 as a one tournament which featured 14 wrestlers from a number of different promotions. Among the wrestlers that featured were Jushin Liger, Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit), Great Sasuke (Pictured), Black Tiger (Eddy Guerrero), Hayabusa and Taka Michinoku. The tournament is widely seen as the best one night tournament ever seen and while that's open to debate, I would have to say that it comfortably sits in the top three. Pegasus and Sasuke both were lucky enough to receive byes into the last eight. Among the entertaining first round matches fans saw Liger defeat Hayabusa in a short but very exciting contest. MPW's Super Delfin outsmarting a very young Shinjiro Otani and Black Tiger sending Taka packing with a Tornado DDT.
Quarter finals saw Pegasus open his account against familiar face Black Tiger in a well constructed match, the disappointment of Gedo going over Super Delfin (I was a big fan of Delfin in the 1990's), Liger thankfully eliminating Ricky Fuji and the Great Sasuke putting his own marker down by defeating El Samurai. The semi finals is where the tournament really starts to take off which is how it should work in any event. Wild Pegasus ensured his place in the final in a keenly fought battle with Gedo. The second semi final took things to a completely different level as NJPW legend Liger faced Jap Lucha sensation Sasuke. This went well over 15 minutes and was clearly designed to make Great Sasuke come off as a major star and a viable draw and challenger in NJPW in the months that followed. Indeed it was the master of the Space Flying Tiger Drop that did advance by eliminating the home favourite Liger in a ****3/4 match. After seeing such a classic match between Liger and Sasuke few imagined that the final could come close to matching it nevermind surpassing it, but Pegasus and Sasuke did that and the final had great drama with the fans in attendance going absolutely mental as Pegasus finally managed to subdue the MPW representative.
Winner: Wild Pegasus
Breakout Star: Great Sasuke

Super Junior Cup 1995

The second incarnation was presented by WAR and was held on 13/12/1995 and again was a one night tournament featuring 14 wrestlers from an array of different promotions. Featuring were Wild Pegasus trying to defend it, Jushin Liger, Ultimo Dragon (pictured), Lionheart (Chris Jericho) and Sho Funaki. Also appearing on the card but not in the tournament were Rey Mysterio Jr and Psicosis in an exhibition match. This time it Pegasus and Liger who benefitted from getting byes into round two. First round winners included Shinjro Otani winning by submission over Maasaki Mochizuki, Ultimo Dragon pinning Sho Funaki and Lionheart getting a victory over Hanzo Nakajima.
Quarter finals saw Jushin Liger advance by pinning the entertaining Gran Naniwa, Ultimo Dragon battling past a very determined Otani in a great match, not as amazing as their J Crown tournament match in August 1996 but a damn fine match. Gedo made his second consecutive semi final by defeating Mexico's Dos Caras and finally Wild Pegasus ended Lionheart's evening in the last match of the round. In the first semi final we had the dream match between Liger and Dragon which ended with Liger making his first final mainly due to the benefit of having only wrestled once before the semi final. Gedo shocked Wild Pegasus in the second semi final to ensure that the home promotion was represented in the final. Before the final took place we had exhibition match btween Rey and Psicosis and it completely stole the show with their high dives and lightning quick reversals which ended as their matches usually did with Rey Mysterio Jr getting the three count. In the final Jushin Liger managed to cement his reputation as the dominant junior heavyweight in Japan by pinning Gedo.
Winner: Jushin Liger
Breakout Star: Rey Mysterio Jr

Super Junior Cup 2000

The third incarnation was hosted by MPW and it was the first time that the tournament was held over two nights (1/4/2000 and 9/4/2000) and featured 16 wrestlers. The first round took place on the first night with the remaining three rounds taking place on night two. Wrestlers appearing included Jushin Liger, Naoki Sano, Ricky Marvin, Great Sasuke and CIMA (Pictured). At this point it is clear that the quality of the Super Junior Cup is beginning to take a downward trend, the quality of wrestlers that appeared at this event you would have to say is not quite at the level of the previous years. Second match of the tournament ended in a DQ victory for Ricky Fuji over Sasuke the Great. Other winners included Liger, CIMA, Great Sasuke, Sano and Gran Hamada. Although the tournament cannot compare to the first two versions it is still a pretty fun show to sit down and watch. The highlights of the quarter finals were seeing the emergence of CIMA on a bigger stage and Liger's victory overs Mens Teioh. To no great surprise Liger made his second consecutive final by pinning the veteran Gran Hamada, the other semi final was a more intriguing prospect. CIMA vs. Naoki Sano, Sano was Liger's main rival in NJPW in 1989 and 1990 and the pair had many great matches including a few ***** matches. A Liger vs. Sano final would surely be fun for fans of nostalgia. A win for the brash and far younger CIMA would indicate the bookers were looking very much to the future. Happily it was CIMA who triumphed and made a date for the final against the legendary Liger. The only downside to the final and to a certain extent the whole tournament was that it was difficult to see anyone other than Jushin Liger winning it. And so it proved as NJPW's main man made it two wins in a row in a decent if not outstanding finale.
Winner: Jushin Liger
Breakout Star: CIMA

Super Junior Cup 2004

The fourth event was on 21/2/2004 and was hosted by Osaka Pro Wrestling and was a one night event featuring 8 wrestlers that included Noamichi Marufuji, OPW's own star Takehiro Murahama, Wataru Inoue and Jun Kasai among the field. If the event in 2000 indicated that the best days of the SJC were over in 1995 than this did little to change that view. With both Marufuji and Murahama in separate halves of the draw it was pretty obvious who we would see in the final. That being said don't be fooled into thinking that this wasn't an entertaing event and there wasn't any great wrestling on the card. As well as the tournament, the event also saw a 6 man tag which pitted KENTA (Pictured), CIMA and Heat vs. Liger, Delfin and Jinsei Shinzaki (wrestled as Hakushi in WWF in mid 1990's) and a pretty good tag title match which saw TAKA Michinoku and Shiryu challeging for the belts. What it does illustrate is that the SJC itself was not considered to be strong enough to draw without being supported by a couple of strong matches alongside. Marufuji went over in the final against Murahama in an excellent final.
Winner: Naomichi Marufuji
Breakout Star: Takehiro Murahama

That looked to be the end of the Super Junior Cup franchise, until Jushin Liger announced in November 2009 that we would see a fifth version that would take place over two nights on 22 & 23/12/2009 and the wrestlers would include Marufuji, Liger, Kota Ibushi, YAMATO, Koji Kanemoto, Prince Devitt among the 16 strong field. I will be reviewing this event for the site in a couple of weeks time and I'm excited to see if all the positive reviews are accurate, especially as the first round features a ***** classic.

Wednesday 28 July 2010

DVD Review: TNA Best of 2009 By Steven Wilson

Might seem a bit dated now but I thought this was a decent DVD and worth a review on the blog

2009 will go down in many TNA fan’s eyes as the final year in the pre Hogan/Bischoff era. To many that’s a good thing, and to many that’s a bad thing. In this case it doesn’t matter what side of the fence you fall on, as TNA’s latest DVD release features the best wrestling matches of the 2009 calendar year. Beyond any critcisms of creative that people have had for the TNA product, one thing just about everyone can agree on is the fact that the stars of TNA know how to more often than not deliver a solid wrestling matchup. The Best of 2009 DVD is a prime example of that.

2009 was yet another monster year for Kurt Angle as he is featured in 4 out of the 7 matches on this DVD. As the year began he was leading The Main Event Mafia against TNA’s frontline, and one of the matches this feud led to was a 2 out of 3 falls Tables match between Angle and AJ Styles on Impact in January. This may of been a television match but could of easily been on PPV, action packed from begining to end, and was even stronger at the time due to the heat between the factions. Easily one of the best matches for 2009 and well deserving of being featured on this DVD.

Another classic bout Angle had in January was his No Disqualification grudge match against Jeff Jarrett at the Genesis PPV. This match took place well before the controversy erupted in mid summer where it was revealed that Angle had split with wife Karen Angle in real life, who in turn had begun dating Jeff Jarrett. Looking back on this match and knowing that makes it even more enjoyable, as it’s a match people want to see right now. These two tore the house down in this matchup and easily deserves to be featured on this DVD. Although this isn’t given the nod as Grudge Match of the year it should have been.

Instead the Grudge Match of the year was In February when Angle was feuding with Sting for the TNA world heavyweight championship. One of the matches in this feud was an empty arena match between the two on a edition of Impact. Compared to the previous 2 matches mentioned this match isnt exactly in their league, but is a decent match. Angle ends up taking a pretty big dive in the matchup continuing to show why he is an obsessed wrestling machine who will risk his body despite the fact that he is so often in bad shape.

The final matchup involving Angle is what many considered to be up there for match of the year in 2009, especially in TNA. Im talking about the November Turning Point PPV matchup between Angle and newcomer Desmond Wolfe. This match was a technical masterpiece and is more than deserving to be on this DVD, in fact I was somewhat surprised it wasn’t given the Match of the year nod in the DVD (that was given to the afformentioned AJ/Kurt bout)

TNA’s signature X division is represented on this DVD with their trademark Ultimate X match. The bout took place at Bound for Glory in October and pit Amazing Red vs Homicide vs Suicide vs Daniels vs Alex Shelley vs Chris Sabin. Anytime the X division is turned loose it usually ends up being a good match, this is just one of what could have been many examples.

Also from Bound For Glory is the match that was hyped as Sting’s possible retirement match. It likely wont end up being so but this match was a major one in 2009 for TNA. The emotional promo following the match will forever be remembered by TNA fans.

The Knockouts Match of the year award is given to Alissa Flash vs Sarita. I must admit when i first looked at the DVD lineup, I found it odd that they would include this matchup. The matchup is a very good outing for both girls from an episode of Impact in mid July, but while It is a good match, it’s perhaps perhaps not Knockouts matchup of the year.

The Main Event of this DVD is the 3 way battle between AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels. This was a rematch of an 2005 PPV main event, a match which is my all time favorite TNA matchup hands down. I was somewhat worried going into this matchup as I didnt think they could live up to the hype and expectations people had for the match, myself included. In the end they may not of surpassed it, but they came very close to doing so, and is worthy of the nod as Top TNA PPV match of 2009.

DVD Extras included are the Madison Square Garden Press Conference that shocked the wrestling world when Hulk Hogan announced he was joining TNA. Also the interview from Impact with Dixie Carter adressing the changes and a TNA music video are included.

TNA put out a Best of the year DVD back in 2007 but didnt follow up in 2008, Im glad they decided to revive the release for 2009. The DVD is highly recommended as you can acquire a good collection of matches with a single purchase, it includes matches from television that would not of been included on other DVD releases, and is also a good way to introduce the action of TNA to some of the new fans who are getting into the product thanks to Hogan & Bischoff.

Staff Announcements - By Stu Rodgers

Hi all, you have probably noticed there have been other articles on the blog other than my own. These are from Shaun Nichols who has been a great friend of mine since 1997 and was a massive help to me when I ran my newsletter WLH (Wrestling's Last Hope). Shaun will continue to be a part of the site when he has the time to do articles/DVD reviews. Now, recently, there has been a new writer on the blog, Sean Walford, I gave Sean admin controls aswell so he could post his articles up when he wanted to whereas Shaun Nichols prefers to email his to me to post up myself. Tonight i had to take Sean's admin controls off him due to reasons that don't need to be discussed i just wanted to make this public so Sean knows it's not personal, he knows why I had to do it. Sean may very well continue to be apart of the blog by emailing articles to me. If not, I just want to thank Sean for the bit of stuff he has done so far.

Also, an idea from Sean was to come up with a different name for the blog so it shows up on google searches so I went along with Wrestling's Last Hope as it was the name of the newsletter I once ran as mentioned above.

All the best


Why a ECW Invasion, and not a ROH invasion? By Sean Walford

Before I begin I do realize from this day and time, it looks like its just a one off ECW PPV, but I have a strong feeling the ECW guys are going to be sticking around in TNA for a while. Anyway back to my point.

WWE currently have their Nexus invasion, and once it had started days later rumours came out that TNA would follow with the same sort of thing, instead using the ECW guys. Once we starred to see it come alive, Raven, Tommy Dreamer, Stevie Richards and Rhino all at ringside, it really frustrated me.

TNA only listens to a minor percent of its fans, of course you are going to get fans saying they liked a particular product, when the only fucking survey you take was one in the area the promotion originally ran. I’m personally sick of old guys, no offense to them and I appreciate all they have brought to the business, but they just can't work in ring with the young guys, and should stick to behind the scene work, or being managers/valets. TNA at the moment has a very big roster but about 45% - 50% is old guys, and let's face it, most of them are on the last proper run.

A ROH invasion would work well, especially as most of the old guys have not got long left before they go into retirement, and TNA will start looking for. With the invasion, TNA would be able to see some potential future stars (from ROH) and who works well with who. They also have the flexibility to have TNA guys go to ROH, such as Samoa Joe.

It's not like they can't afford ROH guys, I'm pretty sure ROH guys are cheaper to hire than ECW guys. However TNA are frightened of losing even more viewers, if that's possible. Furthermore there would be great publicity for both TNA & ROH. There are many other options you could go with this including bringing in some CZW guys to help TNA, seeing as CZW invaded ROH a few years ago, it would be complicated but something we have not see before. But that's TNA for you, they just don't think through anything before they do it.

Monday 26 July 2010

WWE BLU-RAY Review By Sean Walford

WWE Wrestlemania 24 Bluray Review NOT PPV REVIEW

Recently I purchased a Sony Playstation 3, I hooked it up to my 32 inch HD Ready 1080p T.V.

Anyway whilst in Game, (the shop) browsing there pre owned HD DVDs they had Wrestlemania 24 for the bargin price of £7, i didn't have this so bought it to add my collection and to test Blu Ray, seeing as it is being said to be the future of Television.

So is it any better?
The quality in this DVD is simply phenomenal and right from the very first minute of the PPV you can see this. Some of the details in the most simplest of things, (Palm trees, crowds, etc) are all really impressive. The crowds are the thing that really stood out to me. When you watch a match on RAW, Smackdown, NXT, (Not in HD) you can vaguely see the crowd, however on HD the crowd are crystal clear, you can see the writing/design on peoples T-shirts down to the last detail, and the expressions on the fans faces make it even more of a enjoyable experience. The wrestlers look amazing and you can see there cuts, sweat, blood, and tears so much more clearly. The ring itself and in-ring action also looks very clear and smooth.

Audio like the video is fantastic, and the roar from the crowd when people like Shawn Michaels' hit the entrance ramp, it can make you feel like your there. Commentators can always be heard, loud, and clearly.

Overall, you need to see this for your self, but take my word it's definitely worth it and if you can find it cheap like me, even better! But if you have the extra money definitely get a Bluray copy of any future event I guarantee you will be pleased

I would give this 5 out of 5 (This review is based on quality of WWE HD, not the actual PPV.BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

CZW, Blood, Guts, and Disgusting interviews By Sean Walford

Now if you have ever read any of my old blog posts on a different website (which are shity, old, and grammar along with spelling, is appalling, so you probably haven't and that's a good thing) you would know I slated CZW, now since then it has slightly grown on me, not much but a little, I still think it's way over the top with ear drum bursting, headache creating commentators, some of the gayest names for wrestlers possible, also there is still too much dust from the ridiculous amount of kendo sticks and fluorescent light tubes used, the poor quality cameras can't see a thing. However everyone should be entitled to a little violent, stupid entertainment, once in a while. With the annual Tournament Of Death coming up (every match outside with some sort of death match stipulation, in a king of the ring stlye 1 day tournament) I took it beyond myself to view the very first of the build up for the epic annual PPV, on this week’s CZW Wired T.V./ Internet Show.
(You can view free on

I wasn't expecting much seeing as we are still some amount of time away from the PPV yet, but the opening contest is a replay of a old TOD (TOD = Tournament Of Death in case you haven’t caught on) match which was awesome, the match ended after a finisher was preformed of the top of a truck into a table covered in florescent light tubes. This is what I like to see, not amazing stunts preformed the whole way
through a PPV, but something we don't see very often, keeping you on the edge of your seat. This sort of promo worked really well and would definitely encourage me to buy the stream in June. Another thing that pleased me was, not having to view the utter disgusting interview after the match, where the wrestlers show there cuts, then carry on with the interview whilst being stitched up. We didn't see this only due to the fact that it was being squeezed into a hours show and it was just encouraging us to buy tickets to TOD. Hopefully we get that sort of thing this year, but seeing as it's a live stream and the Nick Cage accident last year, (wiki TOD 2009 for info) it leaves me wondering will CZW take it down a notch? Will the air ambulance have to arrive again this year? Will it be available live for the U.K.? Will we be able to see half the matches you pay for, or will the fluorescent light tubes have other plans as usual?

Only time will tell

Friday 23 July 2010

Internet Wrestling Radio Shows - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I listen to a LOT of wrestling radio via the internet both US and UK shows. I wanted to do a blog giving my views on the shows and what I think of them. For the US ones, as advertised on the page of thisblog site, I am a fan of the Don Tony & Kevin Castle show coming out of New York live on a Monday night 11:15 pm which is 4:14 am here in the UK or you can get the archive on the site or iTunes. Don Tony (Anthony DiBlasi) is a straight shooter, he won't beat around the bush, he'll say exactly what he feels, a lot of his opinions I don't totally agree with but that's OK, the way he does his shows make for good listening. His co-host, Kevin Castle is a different type of guy. Very knowledgable about the 'old school' product and this he will bring up during discussions about the current product. And another thing I like about Kevin is he like myself, is a fan of the shoot interviews and Kevin will do great reviews of the interviews on the DTKC show which is good for me because I am so far behind and need to catch up and if Kev reviews one and he puts it over, I know it's worth checking out. I watched one some time ago that was awful, shortly after, Kev did a review, I just wish I'd heard the review before wasting my time watching the shoot LOL. Overall, if you like outspoken presenters with a good knowledge of wrestling history then the DTKC show is for you.
Also on the same 'network' ( there are a couple of other shows, DT does Breakfast With Blasi live on a Tuesday night after WWE NXT (11:15pm/4:15am in the UK)and it is very much like the DT&KC show but different LOL. Also, DT does The Masked Maniac show with The Maniac who is USA Pro promoter Frank Goodman, I have not listened to many shows but what I have listetned to have been great. And finally, the guy who runs the site for the guys, Anthony 'Missonary' Thomas does The Wrestling Soup show with Joey Numbas and this show is great. Both guys follow the indies a little so the discussion is different to the DT&KC & BWB shows and Missionary has interviews on his show too. I love this show big time. If you are able to catch any of the shows live, which I recommend, then get in the chat room on the site because it is full of knowledgable fans, some say outlandish things sometimes which can be very funny, well worth it.

Other US radio shows I listen to; The Wrestling Observer site ( have 2-3 shows a day sometimes, OK you have to pay to be a subscriber for this service but other than the radio shows, you get archived shows aswell as Dave Meltzer's weekley Wrestling Observer Newsletter and Bryan Alverez's Figure 4 Weekly newsletter. Dave only appears 1-2 times a week, but Bryan is basically running every show, he'll have co-hosts too as well as Lance Storm on once a week and as anyone knows who reads Lance's blogs, he has a lot to say for himself.
Also, another one of my favourite radio shows is Pro-Wrestling Radio ( with former ECW ring announcer former CZW commentator Eric Gargiulo. EVERYTHING is covered on this show, WWE, TNA, indies and MMA Eric also takes phonecalls from the listeners each week. Overall, a very good show.
Eric is also part of a show called The Still Real To Us Show which can be found on the Real Guy Network on the actual host is 'The Champ' Jeff Peck and is a big fan of pro wrestling. When Eric is not available, the guys from jump in and co-host the show with Jeff. I really like this show and it deserves more listeners, please check it out.
That's it basically for what I listen to from the US now let's move onto the UK shows.

It's no secret, I am a massive fan of Drop Kick Radio ( hosts Jeremy Graves & Martyn licchelli are big fans of pro wrestling and watch alot of stuff, not just WWE & TNA but indies too and Jeremy is a follower of the Japanese product which is just great because there are not many who host wrestling radio shows that watch that product anymore. DKR for me is the number 1 UK show because of it's content, for me it's the content tha gets my vote on wether something is number 1 or not. As the two guys cover more than just TNA/WWE it automatically makes it a better show than anything else in the UK, and the guys are real genuine guys, they don't have their heads up their arses. Please check out Drop Kick Radio, I'd be surprised if you were disapointed. Also, DKR has great interviews, a great chatroom, great competitions and often has phone-ins.

Now, the show that does think it's number 1 in the UK is Ministry of Slam, I don't want to give them any publicity but I need to comment on all shows. MOS is hosted by Lee Tyers & Andy Evans who before than did The Squared Circle show & The Legends & Champions show. I didn't hear any TSC really but I did hear the LAC shows and I liked them for what they were, shows basically reliving pro-wrestlings yesteryear. When MOS started, it was just the two guys and the show was OK, didn't really cover anything other than WWE/TNA but was OK. As time has gone on, they have added co-hosts to the show, they don't need to be named but one is a lead singer of a UK rock band, one is an editor of an XBox 360 magazine and one is editor of Fighting Spirit Magazine. Five guys basically doing the same show is not good radio in my opinion, and that's all it is, my opinion. What annoys me though about this show is they only cover WWE and TNA and the reason given "it's what's in the mainstream". So, because other wrestling is not seen by UK fans on TV even though UK fans see other wrestling on the internet or via DVD, then they don't cover it. And you can't say anything about this or they will spit their dummies out and toss their toys out the pram. So when something negative is said, rather than say "OK, we take that on board, we'll ask the listeners what they wants us to discuss" they will say something like "if you don't like it fuck off and don't listen" and people who read this blog and also listen to that show will know I am telling the truth. So narrow minded as a pro wrestling radio show in my opinion.
I stated earlier, DKR is the number 1 UK wrestlking radio show because the presenters are knowledgable and they cover more types of wrestling. MOS thinks they are number 1 because "the listener numbers prove it". No, what they prove is more people have been exposed to MOS than they have DKR. I am not going to lie, I listen to MOS live when I can, I join in the chatroom because I am a wrestling fan, no I don't like what they do with the show but should that be a reason not to listen, am I a hypocrite? I don't think so because, let's be frank, I'd say 99 percent of people reading this watch WWE's RAW, are you happy with the show week in week out? I am sure you are not, but does that make you think oh, this weeks RAW was rubbish, I won't watch it again? No it doesn't, you'll tune in and hope things change.

I am sure I'll get some heat for this article but it's a free world, these are my opinions and I value yours.

Thanks, Stu

Sunday 18 July 2010

DGUSA Fearless PPV Review (Features Spoilers) By Shaun Nichols

TJP vs. Gran Akuma **3/4
Quacksaw vs. CIMA & Super Crazy ***1/2
Brian Kendrick vs. Jimmy Jacobs ***
Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Davey Richards ****1/4
Young Bucks vs. Doi/Yoshino vs. Shingo/YAMATO ****
BXB Hulk vs. Dragon Kid ***3/4

Fearless is DGUSA's 4th PPV and is the turning point of the company presenting storylines and angles as well as just a collection of great matches. Show opened with Brian Kendrick and Jon Moxley doing a promo where Moxley keeps calling out Tommy Dreamer out and Kendrick saying that Dreamer isn't man enough to show up. Thankfully this was shorter and more coherent than Kendrick's previous PPV promo. First match was TJP (the former TJ Perkins) against Kamikaze USA member Gran Akuma, this is basically just a collection of moves with very little selling or psycholgy involved. Akuma's performances are definitely getting better but I was a bit disappointed with TJP in this. TJP wins by submission that comes out of nowhere. Next was the continuing build between CIMA and Mike Quackenbush, well it would have been had the fans not had Super Crazy as their clear favourite which didn't help as CIMA and Crazy were pushed as the heels. Crazy is doing a damn fine impression of CMLL's Super Porky, though he still does a lot in the ring and the fans of which of the majority seem to be old ECW fans rather than Dragon Gate fans loved seeing him. Very entertaining and quick paced as you would imagine ended with the Chikara team picking up another win.
Kendrick put forward his best performance in DGUSA so far in his battle with Jimmy Jacobs. He seemed to be putting in far more effort and the fans liked the fact he brought out Lacey as his valet. Lacey was not looking good by the way. Crowd took a while to take to Jacobs as the babyface which they did finally. Jacobs looked to have got the win with End Times until Lacey distracted him and he got caught with Sliced Bread #2 for the loss. Afterwards Kendrick said he was going to break Jimmy's heart which involved Moxley clotheslining Lacey. This brought out Tommy Dreamer to brawl with Moxley to set up a match down the road. Fans loved Dreamer.
Davey got to win the FIP title against Mochizuki in what turned out to be his last match in DGUSA. What's worse it took Gabe Sapolsky (DGUSA booker) a long time to convince Dragon Gate to agree for Davey to go over and only on the condition that Davey would then lose at a future event. Davey then signed a new deal with ROH and as a result didn't work for DGUSA, FIP or Evolve again and thus never got to defend the belt.The match itself was excellent like all of Davey's matches in DGUSA. As you may imagine it was all stiff kicks, big moves and smooth submission attempts. Davey also did his usual insane dive into the 3rd row where Mochizuki made the decision not to catch him. Unlike the opener this did have great psycholgy and the fans were very hot for the final five minutes or so. After Davey won with the Kimura,both guys showed their respects and Davey celebrated.
Next was the 3 way tag team battle, commentators explained that Shingo and YAMATO tag team regularly in Japan. What they didn't explain is that in DGUSA Shingo as always been a babyface and YAMATO the dastardly heel.and why they would be working together. This was elimination so was naturally a bit scrappy until we had the first elimination which was the Bucks. This makes sense as they had signed contracts with TNA so it defies logic to put them over 4 of the promtions biggest stars. Match settled down really well, with Yoshino coming across as the star as he got both eliminations. Again this is great booking as Doi is already established as the major star and is undefeated on the first four shows. Yoshino needed to get the win after losing on the first two shows to Dragon Kid, Poor Shingo is 0-4 so far but every match as been great and he might be the exception of a wrestler who can keep losing but it has no impact on his ability to carry a feud or be a draw.
Finally we had BXB Hulk's first title defence in DGUSA against Dragon Kid, for some reason the fans really didn't care. This was actually a very good match, but a fair number of fans didn't react to anything. It got to the point where Dragon Kid hit the awesome Ultra Huracanrana and the fans clapped politely. When he hit it in Oxford last year on the Dragon Gate UK show, every fan went mental. That's the point of this the fans really hindered this and with it being the main event it came across more than if it was a mid card match. Hulk retained by nailing Kid with the EVOP. After the match Kamikaze USA ran in to attack both men, Shingo teased making the save but turned on Dragon Kid (who since the 3rd PPV has joined Warriors 5). Chikara guys ran out and they were followed by CIMA and his trusty broom who eventually cleared house. What was strange in this is World-1 (Doi and Yoshino) didn't come out even though Hulk is a part of the faction.
CIMA announces that he's bringing his best tag team partner GAMMA to DGUSA next shows in Phoenix (WM 26 weekend), which is cool as GAMMA is very entertaining. He also asked if they should come back to Chicago, fans indicated that he could please himself.
The pacing of the show I thought was excellent, as a result no matches overstayed its welcome and the card was set up nicely so that all the matches had a chance to get over without impacting on what was to follow. My only complaint is with the fans, they were more interested in the old ECW guys and to a lesser extent over US workers and didn't seem to be bothered about the top DG stars which amazed me. Overall it was a fantastic PPV which I would urge you all to see.
If you get the 2 disc version, on the bonus disc you will get Mochizuki beating Davey for the FIP title in Japan and also Hulk's first defence against Yokosuka on the same show both matches have received **** ratings on a number of review sites.

Thursday 8 July 2010

DVD Review: DGUSA Presents Independent Tour De Force Vol. 1

INTRODUCTION: Dragon Gate USA has decided to scratch the backs of their affiliate promotions who helped get the word out about their upstart company. It seems like all the successful indy promotions have formed good relationships with other promotions, as opposed to adopting the “us against everybody” philosophy. DGUSA would have been successful either way, but they earned a lot of respect for working with other groups. So this DVD features matches from Pro Wrestling Riot, Chikara Pro Wrestling, Hybrid Championship Wrestling, Women Superstars Uncensored, All American Wrestling, and Full Impact Pro. Sounds like a good mix, so let’s get the party started.



“Sweet & Sour” Larry Sweeney vs. Sal Rinauro: I wanted to make sure I mentioned, for those who are keeping track, Larry Sweeney is now a 21-time ICW/ICWA Texarkana Television champion. Both of these competitors are consummate heels, who also rely on an element of comedy to gain a psychological advantage over their opponent. In between the wrestling, they went from a chicken dance, to a test of strength, to a pose down, to an arm-wrestling competition. They kept shaking hands afterwards, out of some kind of weird bad guy respect. One spot saw Sweeney sneak out and hide under the ring, so Rinauro jumped off the top rope with a loud BANG! Sweeney came out from under the ring holding his ears. Seeing two heels try to out cheat each other was a real treat for the fans. One cool thing about PWR is that the announcers sneak in a lot of old school references. Sweeney had his trunks pulled down and did the finishing with his crack exposed. Rinauro pulled out a foreign object and took a swing at Sweeney, who ducked, and put Rinauro into the sleeper-hold! Sweeney cinched it in until the referee lifted and dropped Rinauro’s arm three times. Some old WCW fans will be interested to know that our good friend Scott Hudson was a guest commentator for this event.



Christopher Daniels vs. Dave Cole: Christopher Daniels is one of the top professional wrestlers in the world, and I’ve heard a lot of good things about Hybrid champion Dave Cole. This match was fantastic. However, the production quality was absolute crap. The lighting was non-existent, and the ring had a few rolls of duct tape keeping it together. Oh yeah, and there was no commentary track. They clearly don’t care about their product. Thank the wrestling Gods that Daniels had the talent and ability to make us forget all of that. This was during Daniels’ creepy mustache phase in TNA. Daniels stole the show but the heel Dave Cole stole the victory and escaped with his championship in tact.



Mercedes Martinez (c) vs. Nikki Roxx: Those who have followed my DVD reviews, know that I have been on the WSU bandwagon since its inception in 2007. They have had their ups and downs, like any promotion, but they have developed into a pretty remarkable little group. One of the reasons I love WSU so much is its current champion, Mercedes Martinez. Nikki Roxx hasn’t been a regular full-time member of the roster, but IS a former WSU champion, AND IS one of the best female wrestlers in the world. This match was long and worth every minute. Both girls tried to use the others finisher, but failed to get the three count. Martinez gutted it out and won the match, to keep her beloved WSU championship once again!



Jimmy Jacobs vs. Ryan Boz: One of the things I miss about Ring of Honor is seeing Jimmy Jacobs perform. The guy has got to be the greatest independent wrestler there ever was – so underrated, in my opinion. He can compete against anybody in any match, and deliver every time – if his heart is in it (which it usually is). For this match, Jacobs found himself competing under I QUIT rules, which is right down Jimmy’s ally. I haven’t seen much of Ryan Boz, but I know he’s been around long enough to know his way around the squared circle. This fight got really hardcore really fast. God bless, Jimmy Jacobs. You know things got even more violent when a cheese grater was introduced into the mix. Of course the object of the match was to force your opponent to yell “I Quit!” into the microphone, so there was a lot of room for some pretty dastardly psychological warfare. They did an insane table spot, but I won’t spoil it for you. Jacobs pulled out the dreaded spike and stabbed Boz in the genitals, causing him to scream I QUIT! A little over the top, but it doesn’t get any more intense than that.



Jigsaw & Helios & Equinox vs. Hallowicked & Fire Ant & Arik Cannon vs. Chuck Taylor & Vin Gerard & STIGMA: I guarantee you haven’t seen this many masks in one ring in your entire life. Chikara is one promotion that is different than all others. The production value is simply amazing, the ring is well lit, and the commentary is smart and void of any vulgarity. Believe it or not this is the first Chikara-promoted match I’ve ever watched. I’ve seen Chikara featured on Ring or Honor, Full Impact Pro, and Dragon Gate shows, but never an actual Chikara show – which is supposed to be one of the few remaining family products left out there. The bottom line is this; if you’re watching Chikara you’re having a lot of fun! The crowd was chanting “this is awesome!” and I am chanting “this is awesome!” too!



Erick Stevens (c) vs. Go Shiozaki: Go Shiozaki’s FIP contract had been purchased by Heartbreak Enterprises (aka the Heartbreak Express) and he was immediately utilized in their mission to secure the FIP World Heavyweight title. Erick Stevens had just recaptured the FIP World title from long-time rival Roderick Strong, and this was his first opportunity to defend the title in Florida. The outfit that manager Superstar Sean wears is just hilarious. The match went on for quite some time, as Stevens went from simply defending his title, to desperately struggling to survive the battle. The finish was pretty intense, which is not unusual for well-booked FIP main events. I don’t think anybody expected a title change this quickly, so it was a big surprise when the Japanese challenger dethroned the champion and brought the FIP championship into the Heartbreak Enterprises mix.

CONCLUSION: With six amazing matches, lasting well over two hours, this DVD is a great way to get a taste of the American indy scene in one satisfying dose.

Sunday 4 July 2010

Booking Ideas for WWE, TNA and ROH for the rest of 2010 By Shaun Nichols

There as certainly been times this year when you get the familiar deja vu feeling that it's the same old thing time after time. There are also occasions where you wonder why the promotion is booking their wrestlers into seemingly total oblivion, an easy pick is TNA but certainly the WWE have been guilty of this as well. With that in mind I thought I would throw out a few ideas and see what people think.
Starting with the WWE, I have no problems with keeping the WWE Title on Sheamus for the rest of the year. I have been pleasantly surprised with how well Sheamus as done since his surprise title win over John Cena at the TLC PPV last December. Sheamus has proven to be consistant on his promos and while his wrestling ability wouldn't have him anywhere near a Shawn Michaels level. The fact is that this isn't neccessarily as important in the WWE as it would be in other promotions. Keeping the title on him for an extended run will also enable the title to regain some of its importance. The constant title switches we have seen in the last several months as led to title switches meaning very little. This was clearly illustrated by John Cena's promo after the Fatal Four PPV saying titles come and go. Way to go if you want your fans not to care when they see a title change either on PPV or TV.
What happens with the Nexus group in the next few weeks depends entirely on what direction the writers decide to go. Watching Raw over the last few weeks as been both interesting and also confusing. The problem that the WWE has, is that eventually the rookies will have to have matches and that's where the wheels could easily come off. As it stands Nexus lives and dies on the ability of leader Wade Barrett who is doing a sterling job so far, apart from him though I don't see a lot more that the group offers. Love Justin Gabriel in complete fear before he hit Vince with the 450, never as a career looked like it could end so quickly. Also on a different note, hopefully Ricky Steamboat will soon be out of hospital in the next few days. The brain aneurysm that he suffered had nothing to do with the angle that he did with Nexus on the 28/6/10 edition of Raw.
Finally on the WWE side, I wold book CM Punk to win the world title from Rey at SummerSlam in a title vs mask match. By all accounts the WWE will go in this direction as far as booking the match but they could easily decide to put Rey over.I would go for Punk as champion as he is one of the few performers on Smackdown that as not lost his heat with the fans, to really make the point that Punk feels he's better than Rey, I would have him voluntarily giving up his mask as soon as he wins the title. Rey's second title run is clearly a thank you for staying around and putting his time off on hold. I feel that Vince still doesn't think Rey is strong enough as a draw to have anything other than a short run as champion. By dropping the title in the summer hopefully he would then be able to take a well deserved break and get the surgery that he has required for a long time.
Onto TNA, and to me two things stand out that must happen for TNA to have any chance in moving forward. They are going ahead with Hogan vs. Abyss programme and while its a feud that does nothing for me as a fan. The push of Abyss still as not worked at least it doesn't come across on TV that the fans care for him. The sudden switch from Hogan loving babyface to a rambling heel makes no sense and thus because it defies logic people don't care about it. To make them care and because its likely that only Abyss will still be with TNA as surely Hogan will walk away by the time 2011 comes around. You have to book Abyss as clear and decisive winner against Hogan, Hogan must realise for the sake of TNA that if does want to put the company first that this is the only possible outcome. Whether Hogan would lose on PPV and make Abyss a credible main eventer is a different question all together.
As far as the TNA title, I would book Samoa Joe to take the title off RVD. It was only a few weeks ago on Impact that they teased a RVD and Joe confrontation during a fourway featuring Sting and Matt Morgan. And for a few seconds the fans actually really got into what they were seeing, also the fans seemed to be backing Joe. Chants of 'Joe is gonna kill you' were heard. This is surprising considering that firstly RVD is pushed as the main babyface and secondly how dreadful Samoa Joe as been booked in the last 18 months. The fans clearly want to persist in their faith in Joe, they want to support to him and TNA should not waste this opportunity and continue with the likes of Sting and Jeff Jarrett. Having Samoa Joe dominating the title picture will also negate the travesty of Hogan vs. Abyss dominating TNA TV over the next few months.
Finally onto ROH, unlike both the WWE and TNA everything seems to be going fine with the promotion. The recent Death Before Dishonor internet PPV has had fantastic reviews. Tyler Black is having great matches as champion, the promotion is also reaping the benefits of finally deciding that re-uniting the Kings of Wrestling is the way forward. The turn of Roderick Strong now hooking up with Truth Martini could be hit or miss. The continuing feud between Steen and Generico will entertain for months to come. If Davey Richards is to believed he will quit wrestling in the next few months and that would be a major blow if only in terms of match quality should that be true. What is interesting is that Tyler Black wants to be a clear babyface champion, an ambition not shared by ROH fans who are itching to turn against him but Black's abilty to have great matches is just about stopping them. ROH of all promotions are fans of lengthy title runs such as Danielson, Joe and Nigel. All of which in certain parts ran for too long, they may have regained their steam later on. For example Tyler Black would have benefitted far more by winning the title at either Take No Prisoners or Death Before Dishonor VI both in 2008. Some of the more interesting and entertaining runs were far shorter, I was a big fan of both Austin Aries first run and especially CM Punk's classic 'Summer of Punk' title run in 2005. With that in mind why not put the belt on Christopher Daniels, I have always felt that ROH should have given him the title at Glory By Honor 2 (2003) or have him take the title from Punk (they went with James Gibson, one of the few booking mistakes that Gabe made in ROH). Since his release from TNA (can someone explain that to me?), Daniels has been booked strongly and has been put into the title picture. With Davey apparently on his way out it doesn't make sense to give him the gold. Daniels with the ROH title ticks all the boxes with both old and new ROH fans. He has great matches, he cuts entertaining promos (the one thing that Black fails at), works equally well as a face or heel, he is also probably the most prominant wrestler on the ROH roster to non-ROH wrestling fans. This could be a factor if the use of internet PPV's beome a regular event, early figures indicate that DBD was the most ordered iPPV of the three so far which is a positive. With that in mind I would book the 'Fallen Angel' as ROH Champion by the end of the year at the very latest.

Brock Reigns Supreme At UFC 116

After nearly a year out of the octagon, after battling a life threatening illness, Brock Lesnar returned to the UFC to fight UFC intrim heavyweight champion, undefeated in 12 MMA fights, never been outside the first round - Shane Carwin. Everyone thought Carwin would be Lesnar's biggest challenge to date and boy, was that so true. It wasn't long into the fight when Carwin exploded on Lesnar, catching him with a great uppercut, rocking Lesnar and knocking him to the ground. From there it was obvious, Carwin went in for the kill and pounded on Lesnar, Lesnar was cut above his right eye, his face was swollen as Carwin was relentless in laying in the shots on the champion. How the referee didn't stop it I don't know, I have seen fights stopped for less in the past but to an extent, even though Brock was being battered, he was defending himself even if that meant covering up. At one point, Joe Rogan on commentary said "Oh, you can hear these shots" yes but they were shots against Brock's arms and not his head. Brock managed to survive the first round which meant it was un-chartered territory for Carwin. The second round saw Carwin make the first attack but Brock did what Brock did best and took Carwin down, Carwin was visibly shot, inside Carwin's guard, Brock was looking to get out and hit a submission and that is what he did, he popped his leg out moved to the rightside and put Carwin in a arm triangle choke, Carwin looked like he could fight it off but Brock turned his body and that was it, Carwin couldn't escape and tapped.
It was a great performance from Brock and I will say I marked like a bitch. The fans were booing Lesnar before he even came out but that only made him more determined. At ringside was Lesnar's next oppenent, Cain Valesquez who has an 8-0 record. Should be a great fight.

Here's the fight in full, it won't produce a hyperlink so just copy & paste