Thursday 30 June 2011

What A Week In Wrestling It Has Been

Oh what a week in wrestling. Not for a long time has there been a week so, for better words, awesome in wrestling. The week started on Sunday with the Ring of Honor iPPV Best in The World 2011 from New York. The show was built around the battle of the American Wolves, ROH champion Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards. Before we got to that match we had a better than decent undercard which included the returning Jay Lethal with a win over 'The Prodigy' Mike Bennett. Also, ROH TV champion Christopher Daniels dropped his strap to El Generico in a tremendous match. Also, the ROH tag team champions The World Greatest Tag Team faced off in a four-way elimination match The Kings of Wrestling, The All-Night Express & The Briscoe Brothers. In what we all expected to be a great match was just that and then some. The result saw the WGTT retain and then get blindsided by the Briscoes with steel chairs after the match. Many I spoke to predicted the 3 main matches as they turned out, in this match I actually wanted the Kings to win back the straps but it wasn't to be and this could be because they are on the way out of the company to the land of WWE but we'll just have to see what happens with that story. Personally, like when CM Punk, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles and Bryan Danielson left ROH I was gutted that we'd not get to see their great talents in the greatest wrestling promotion in North America but the WWE is the pinnacle of wrestling in the U.S for many of the workers because it's where the big bucks are and I have no problem with the guys going there to earn themselves a financial future. Anyway, back to the show, the buzz was to do with former ROH worker Kevin Steen and wether he was going to show up or not as he had made it clear on the internet that he wanted to return to ROH and clear a few things up. He had Steve Corino batting for him from within the company but ROH made it clear via the social networks etc. that Steen was banned from the building. Before his match with Michael Elgin, Corino cut a speech about Steen and how he deserves a second chance like he was given and like Jimmy Jacobs was given who had accompanied him to the ring. Eventually, Steen came through the crowd but was cut off before making it to the ring. The match took place and following the finish Steen returned to aid Corino, Jim Cornette came out and Cornio basically begged him to let Kevin speak and got the fans to chant it. Cornette allowed this and Steen at first cut a sympathetic babyface promo before saying Fuck Ring Of Honor and giving the crowd the middle finger before laying out Jacobs and then Corino with a package piledriver. Steen just smirked as he was carried out the arena. This was a great angle, full props to all involved be it Cornette or producer Dave Lagana or whoever.
The main event was the battle of the American Wolves as it saw former tag team
champions ROH champion Eddie Edwards defend against Davey Richards. The match had the potential to be a match of the year and it was just that. The two guys gave their all and showed us that no matter what a certain other companies say WRESTLING does matter. ROH is my preferred promotion and they NEVER fail in giving the fans a great wrestling product and in this match where the man who had been proclaimed 'the best in the world' by those same fans realised his dream and became the ROH world heavyweight champion.If you have not seen this show, see if you can pick up a replay on or purchase the DVD when it is released because I know I will be.

Elsewhere, in the land of the WWE, CM Punk gave a stellar 'shoot' promo on an otherwise dire RAW show. Punk's contract is about to run out and they have brought this to TV. He said it runs out on July 17th the night he faces John Cena for the WWE championship at the Money In The Bank PPV. Hexsaid he would win the title and maybe take it to New Japan Pro Wrestling or his former home Ring Of Honor. Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman also got a mention. A lot of other stuff was mentioned and for those who have not seen it I have posted it below.

The bigger question is, what is all this leading to? The ideal dream for the smarks would be for some sort of inter-promotional war between WWE & ROH like they did with the original ECW back in the mid to late 90's. I'd love it to happen to tell the truth and although it looks like something could happen, I just don't think it will. I discussed in an earlier blog some things that are possible for Punk (scroll down to read it) but I must say, the WWE product does nothing for me but this promo drew me in and I'm really intrigued to see where it leads.

Follow me on twitter @WLH_Stu

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Wrestling Matters By Trey Dent

Over the last few months, we wrestling fans have been bombarded with talk of why wrestling matters. From Impact using it as their moniker to Ring Of Honor showing the best pure wrestling in the US, we have all been thinking about it. So I figured that I would sit here and tell you all a little tale of why wrestling matters to me and take you into the mind of a nearly middle aged wrestling junkie.
I am 34 years old. I am married and have a beautiful 3 year old daughter. I have worked full time since I was 16. I went to college. I don't think of myself as brain dead or inbred. All my trucks run fine. I don't live in a trailer. I am not an alcoholic. These are a lot of the labels you hear the mainstream media put out about wrestling fans. They try and come up with excuses as to why an industry such as wrestling can still be so popular after all these years. They try to rationalize it that only the less intelligent can be fans of something that is mislabeled as a sport when the results are predetermined. They try to show it as mind junk food and that only people who still believe it's real must be following it.
I have come here not to bury wrestling but to sing its praise.
My grandmother got me into wrestling when I was 6 years old. I would go to her house on Saturday mornings and we would watch WWF together. I would marvel at the size of Andre The Giant. I would watch in awe of the high flying Jimmy Snuka. I would boo the Macho Man Randy Savage. We would even watch Hulk Hogans Rock n Wrestling cartoon and laugh at the antics of Rowdy Roddy Piper, the quintessential cartoon villain. On Saturday nights, we would watch World Class Championship Wrestling and watch the Von Erichs defend their home area against the likes of the Fabulous Freebirds and the maniacal Gary Hart. I started to crave watching it. I started watching Mid-South Championship wrestling with Kamala and Ted DiBiase, listening to Jim Ross call play by play.
When I was 9 my dad came home early from work one day and told me to get in his truck, we were going for a drive. I thought I was in trouble because that's what he said when I was about to get my ass chewed out for something. I climbed into his truck and braced for the tongue lashing that was about to commence. Instead, he sat there silently, driving and driving. I ran through a list of things in my head that I had done recently to make sure I had all my stories straight. I wasn't a bad kid mind you, I just tended to try and do things my way. Some things never change. Finally after what seemed like an eternity, which was only about ten minutes, we pulled into a NAPA Auto Parts store. My dad and I got out and walked inside. There, sitting at a table signing autographs, was my hero, Steve "Dr. Death" Williams. It was like looking at a human brick wall. His head and neck seemed to look like a bowling ball on top of a tree trunk. His shoulders were as broad as the Rocky Mountains. Now my dad is no small man. He looks like the love child of Popeye and Bluto. He stood about 6' and weighed about 210 pounds with forearms like cannons. We walked up to the front and listened to Doc chastise a woman about asking dumb questions. My dad and I approached and as my father reached out for a handshake, I saw Doc's hand engulf his. It was like watching a catchers mitt grab a puppy's paw. Doc scribbled an autograph out for me on an 8x10 black and white photo and tousled my hair as my Dad told him thank you. Just like that we were done and I met my hero, only to not utter a word. My Dad and I got home and I ran over to everyone's house in the neighborhood showing off my new prize. I was hooked.
Over the next few years, wrestling was my main joy. I started watching everything I could get my hands on. I never was a huge Hulk Hogan fan or WWE fan for that matter. I kind of felt the got too hokey after a while with their cartoon like gimmicks. NWA and then later WCW became my main interest. I watched and waited for guys like Sting, Lex Luger and Dusty Rhodes tried to take down Ric Flair. I still love watching the tag team wrestling from them as The Midnight Express and Rock n Roll Express had one of the greatest rivalries of all time. I wished I could someday grow up to be just as bad ass as The Road Warriors. WCW taught me how to appreciate the art of wrestling and story telling during a match. Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard would just find a body part of their opponent and just work it over the entire 15 minutes until you truly believed they were going to just sever it from the rest of the body. Even Tony Schiavone couldn't dissuade me from watching.
As I became a teenager, wrestling was still a huge part of my life. Even though girls and work took over as my main focus, wrestling still relaxed me. The beginning of the Attitude Era drew me back to WWE. I became a huge fan of Shawn Michaels after he threw Marty Jannetty through the window of The Barber Shop. Wrestling became my outlet for any anger or frustration with life I had. When Hulk Hogan left WWE for WCW in 1994, I was in shock. Although I knew about free agency from watching baseball and football, you never really saw it in wrestling as a major thing until then. Sure guys would jump back and forth, but you always thought of them as strictly a WWE or WCW guy. Even Ric Flair, who won the WWF Championship I couldn't buy as a WWE guy. Hogan jumping to WCW made me realize how much wrestling had become a business and was turning more into the other sporting events I followed. Over the next few years, I rarely tuned into WCW. It became more like the WWE of old with bad gimmicks, unbelievable stories, and predictable in its finishes. I got hooked watching the character of Stone Cold Steve Austin grow and blossom into the iconic figure he is now. I even started thinking about how beautiful the women in WWE were with the likes of Sable and Sunny.
In 1996, wrestling changed again for me. The birth of the nWo made it really cool to be a bad guy. I watched as the virtuous icon Hulk Hogan turned heel and along with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall began running rough shot over WCW. The nWo almost made me completely stop watching WWE. It became exciting to see who would turn on who and join the nWo. Wrestling crossed over into more reality based wrestling and the line between reality and fiction was completely blurred forever. The Internet brought even more wrestling into my life as I was able to learn about ECW. Seeing some of my old favorites like Don Muraco and Jimmy Sunka square off against an entirely new style of wrestling drew me in more. Guys like Raven,Sabu, and Sandman made me want more out of the other companies. Seeing Chris Jericho and Eddie Guerrero for the first times made me know that wrestling had a bright future. Then in WWE, D-Generation X was born and now I was completely torn. My family thought I was going crazy from trying to watch as much as I could. I would blow off dates and work sometimes to try and watch more wrestling. I was addicted and I could not get enough.
The early 2000's really brought me down when it came to wrestling. I learned that not only was this a business, but wrestling was an addiction to it's performers as well. I sat back and watched my heroes fall one by one to various addictions. From pain killers to depression, the men who had changed my life began losing there's. It started with Owen Harts tragic passing in 1999. Owens passing began a slow tragic run that wrestling is still on now. Guys like Yokozuna, Davey Boy Smith, Eddie Guerrero, and many many others have led me to be more pragmatic about wrestling. I still love it as much as I ever have, but now I really feel for the guys who do this for a living. The Chris Benoit tragedy shook me to my core. Dr. Death's passing in 2009 broke my heart. Macho Mans death recently all but killed any nostalgia for my childhood I once had.
Now as I sit here in my early 30's I have become more occupied with it. Wrestling doesn't consume me like it once did, but I have a new found respect and admiration for it. Monday nights, sitting with my daughter, we watch WWE and cheer for our favorites. My daughter loves diva and knockout wrestling more than anyone else. She loves Natalya because of her pink wardrobe. She gets scared when Kharma comes out and lays waste to the women. She puts her hand in front of her face and proudly proclaims you can't see her. She will tell anyone who listens that she is the Iz and she is AWEEEEEESSSSOOOOOOOMMMMEEEEEE. Wrestling matters for me for different reasons than it once did. Once, I was consumed with the rebelliousness and the energy wrestling brought me. Now, I love wrestling for it's purity in form and the fact that wrestling bridges generations. Ask around and people will tell you that they once liked wrestling. Everyone knows the big names like Hulk Hogan, The Rock and Steve Austin. Wrestling matters because it allows us to follow someone we know has vulnerabilities and yet somehow triumph in the end. Wrestling matters because it is good vs. evil, man vs. man, David vs. Goliath. Wrestling matters because it allows us to suspend our disbelief and put aside our real life drama and sit back with our loved ones and get lost in the story. Wrestling matters because, as fans, we matter.

Trey Dent
aka Captain Obvious

Thursday 23 June 2011

What is Happening With CM Punk?

At the moment this is quite a big story. Punk is apparently leaving the WWE in July after his current contract expires. 
Punk went a good amount of time losing on TV etc. and this was probably because his contract was up for renewal and Punk wasn't signing a new one. However, recently he has been on a winning streak including winning against Rey Mysterio on this past weekends PPV Capitol Punishment and the following night on RAW he beat Mysterio and much touted Summer Slam main event star Alberto Del Rio in a number one contenders match. This match with WWE champion John Cena is set to take place on July 17th at the second annual WWE Money in The Bank PPV. After the recent RAW victory Punk actually did an in-ring promo saying that that night of the PPV is the last night of his contract and he is going win the WWE title and leave the company.
What interests this writer and maybe many other fans is what exactly is happening with CM Punk? I believe if Punk was leaving he wouldn't be getting a push let alone a PPV main event against the company's biggest name for the WWE title. Situations like this usually see the worker on the way out get jobbed out but the total opposite is happening to Punk. Now, does this mean Punk is staying and like pretty much everything in pro wrestling, this current angle is a work or is it WWE offering him the proverbial olive branch to get him to stay on in the company? Recently I have heard discussed that Punk could be leaving but only to take some time off with the intention of returning at a later date so this push could be for that very reason.
Now, the story is obviously setting the wrestling world buzzing on the Internet on exactly what will happen with Punk if he does leave WWE and doesn't take an extended leave of absence. The two places Punk 
could go of course are IMPACT Wrestling and ROH. The thought of Punk going to IW is, despite it possibly being a lighter schedule, rather un-realistic in my opinion. Punk has been in the former TNA before but to no surprise, not used to his full potential.
We all know and some will recall that Punk was in ROH before signing with the WWE and he held the world title. ROH under it's former ownership wouldn't of dreamt of being able to lure someone like Punk back to the promotion but now they have been purchased by the Sinclair Broadcasting group, ROH now have the financial means to employ this type of wrestler who has been on big bucks up north in the WWE.

For me, I'd love Punk to go back to ROH but I just can't see it myself. The next month will be interesting to say the least

Follow me on twitter @ WLH_Stu

IX: The Unloved Mania Part II By Matthew Husson.

SHOWTIME: Shawn Michaels(c) v Tatanka was a great way to start the show, especially as Shawn was defending his IC title against a man, who since making his debut in February of 1992 was unbeaten on television. The finish was slightly confusing, but at least there was the sub plot of Sherri vs. Luna Vachon going on as well. The Steiners vs. the Headshrinkers was an enjoyable match and still holds up well today. The highlights of the match included Rick Steiner slamming Samu while on the shoulders of Fatu, and Scott Steiner being tossed over the top rope flapjack style while Fatu pulled down the top rope. How Scott was able to protect himself during the fall I will never know, especially when he was given a cane shot from Afa for good measure afterwards! Both Doink vs. Crush and Razor Ramon vs. Bob Backlund were short matches, which was good as there really wasn’t any need to for them to go any longer, and they both got their point across. It was also nice to see a former WWF champion make his Wrestlemania debut (Even if it did last only 3:45!). Money Inc. vs. the Megamaniacs was built around Brutus and his mask, thus making way for Hogan to come in to make the save. The match ended with a DQ but it didn’t stop the crowd getting excited for Hogan posing afterwards. Lex Luger vs. Mr Perfect was one of my all time favourite Luger matches, thanks mostly to Mr Perfect and the four scantily clad models being involved. The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez wasn’t good, but at the same time it wasn’t expected to be a classic either. You have a big man against an even bigger man, who will be the one to knock the other one down type match? Undertaker won by DQ and remained undefeated. The main event of Bret Hart(c) vs. Yokozuna was well done. It wasn’t overly long and they worked around any limitations Yokozuna may have had due to his size. After the Pin, Mr Fuji got on the mic and challenged Hogan to face Yokozuna for the belt. About 30 seconds later, we have a new WWF champion and an enjoyable way to send the fans home happy.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Despite the event being held outdoors and with just over 16,890 in attendance, a lot of the atmosphere was lost for those watching at home. I thought the majority of the matches held up well and I was entertained throughout, regardless of how some of the matches ended. I do feel that the loss of star power hurt the event the most. Unlike previous years, this Mania just didn’t have a big time feel to it. What I will say though, is that everyone from Bret Hart on downwards did their very best to make this a mania to remember. Go out and get your hands on a copy of Wrestlemania IX. Rip the sheets off your bed and make a toga. Drink a keg full of beer and have yourself a great night. TOGA! TOGA! TOGA!

Saturday 18 June 2011

Paul Heyman Reveals His Plan to SAVE TNA/IMPACT Wrestling

WLH PPV Prediction League - Prizes To Be Won

Every WWE & TNA PPV anyone who enters the prediction league has to predict the result for each match on the PPV, if you get the result right, it's 2 points for you in the league the first counting of points will be after the WWE Summer Slam show in August and then after the final PPV of the year. The winner of the league will have a choice of a DVD of their choice from a list to be determined. I must say, don't want to annoy any American readers but this is for UK readers only for a DVD, any American readers that take part will get a PAYPAL payment instead.

Obviously, you don't have to predict for every PPV but the more PPV's you do, the better chance you have of getting more points.

Email ALL predictions to

1. WWE Champion John Cena vs. R-Truth
2. US Champion Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler
3. World Champion Randy Orton vs. Christian
4. IC Champion Wade Barrett vs. Ezekiel Jackson
5. The Miz vs. Alex Riley
6. Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio
7. CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio

Friday 17 June 2011

The AJ Styles Conumdrum By Shaun Nichols

AJ Styles is without doubt the most successful wrestler in TNA history if you were to look at titles won. There isn't a title in TNA that he hasn't won and most of them he has won more than once. In fact he was the NWA/TNA World Heavyweight champion on four occasions and his last title run which ran from September 2009 to April 2010 was widely pushed as the longest title run in the company's history.
From a mainstream point of view he is considered to be TNA's most successful creation, a wrestler who as the ability to have great matches on a regular basis and with the benefit of having a crowd pleasing style which works well when he is a babyface and not so well when he is a heel. Stuart made his thoughts clear that he thinks that TNA are doing with Styles is frankly awful and that AJ deserves better.
When you look at the wrestlers ahead of him such as Mr Anderson, Sting, Rob Van Dam, Bully Ray, Matt Hardy, Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle a pattern emerges that gives a sign as to why AJ finds himself as a plucky mid-card babyface at the moment. All of the above talent were stars at one time or another at either the WWE or WCW and it seems clear to me that the general feeling within TNA is that if you were not a star in those companies then you will not be successful in driving the company forward.
Styles is an average promo guy and even when he had his last title run he still came off during interview segments as a fan who taken a title belt to the show. However the fact remains that when he is actually wrestling and he's given time for his matches then he's more likely than anyone to have a **** match. He's still in his early 30's so still as plenty of time left in his career now he's wrestling a more toned down style and so far he's resisted the temptation to go the WWE figuring that he would not be pushed beyond the Evan Bourne's of this world.
TNA have announced that at their next PPV they will re-create the best match in TNA's history which was the 3 way featuring Styles vs Samoa Joe vs Christopher Daniels from 2005. TNA have tried this tactic before by making that match the main event of the Turning Point PPV in 2009 which was a fine match and led to a Styles vs Daniels feud for the title. But despite the fact that the matches were good as soon as Hogan & Bischoff arrived on the scene then Daniels was taken out of the equation and Styles was soon replaced by 'bigger' name talent in the form of Jeff Hardy and RVD.
I fail to see what long-term benefit the three way match will have for Styles or indeed Joe or Daniels. Samoa Joe as been booked into oblivion when he's even appeared and surely now cannot be taken seriously as a major player in TNA. Daniels clearly does not enjoy the support of the TNA echeleon and will no doubt help to make the match really good and then disappear off TV and PPV's for the next few months. Styles himself won't be taking any more seriously if he wins or if he loses at the PPV. The only way he's going to reclaim his main event spot is if he's booked strongly over the talent that TNA see as bigger stars, more than that TNA should ensure that he is no longer seen as an underdog in his feuds. They should bill him as TNA's most successful wrestler, a guy who fans expect to win the big matches. They won't though because he isn't a former WWE or WCW superstar and there isn't anything he can do to change that, all he can hope for is that TNA change their mindset and I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Wrestlemania IX: The Unloved Mania - The Build Up By Matthew Husson

We have a new writer to WLH, Matthew was introduced to me by my good friend and WLH columnist Shaun Nichols, Matthew is one of a few that likes the Wrestle Mania IX PPV from 1993. We got talking and he told me about what he thought of WM IX so I said, well put it down for others to read so here is part one of his article - The Build up.

What was so terrible about Wrestlemania IX, and why do fans consider this to be the worst Wrestlemania of all time? Well, I may not be able to give an accurate answer to the question, but at least I may be able to persuade you to reconsider and give it another go.

STAR POWER: Things weren’t always going to be easy. Hulk Hogan left soon after Wrestlemania VIII. Randy Savage took time out from wrestling and got behind the mic as a colour commentator. Sid Justice left in late April of ‘92. The Ultimate Warrior was fired before the 1992 Survivor Series, and Ric Flair went the following February back to WCW. This automatically eliminated arguably the five biggest superstars at that time and the double bill main event from Wrestlemania VIII. Where was the WWF going to find that kind of star power in time for their biggest show of 1993?

THE BUILD UP: Wrestlemania IX was being advertised as a double main event show. The first of which was Bret Hart(c) Vs Yokozuna. Bret Hart, making his first Wrestlemania defence of the WWF Championship against the 505lb Yokozuna. It was never going to be a classic technical match, but they were going to do everything possible to get people to buy the show. On television, alongside Mr Fuji, Yokozuna would smash his way through jobbers and use the Bonzai drop effectively to a point where you couldn’t take Yokozuna to be anything other than a credible opponent and someone who could genuinely take the belt off Bret. This came to a head nicely one week before Wrestlemania on Superstars. The contract signing was being held, with both participants in the ring and at either end of a table going face to face. Bret was being interviewed at his end of the table and before he had a chance to finish what he was saying, Yokozuna slammed the table into Bret’s knees throwing him off guard long enough for Yokozuna to get him into position to execute the Bonzai Drop. Now, both guys did their roles perfectly but the Pièce de résistance came from Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan on commentary. Heenan was shouting things like “if Yokozuna has hurt him, then there’s no match!” and “I think he’s made a mistake, I don’t think this was the right thing to do!” Monsoon picked up the ball and responded perfectly to Heenan which made everything that went on in the ring seem that little bit more devastating. After the attack, once the referees had managed to clear the ring, Bret was left there to recover, slowly rising to his feet. - This left the perfect question and reason to buy the PPV. Will Bret recover in time to defend his belt? - The build up and the doubt left hanging in the air were perfect.

Who would have thought that the second main event would be built around Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake? Well, sort of! Beefcake had already taken a lot of time off due to a parasailing accident back in 1990, which was acknowledged on air as the genuine reason for his disappearance. Something they didn’t tend to do back in those days. This background information led perfectly to an angle and return of Hulk Hogan. Beefcake had agreed to have a singles match with Ted DiBiase, who was then tagging with Irvin R. Schyster (I.R.S) in a team called Money Inc. Soon after the bell had rung, it didn’t take long for Schyster to get involved. The situation came to a head when, with a steel briefcase in hand and with DiBiase holding Brutus, he took a running swing with the case at his head. All at the same time Jimmy Hart, who was Money Inc’s manager, was desperately trying to stop Schyster, only to be thrown out of the ring and to the floor for his troubles. The following Raw, Vince McMahon announced the return of Hulk Hogan. Hogan said he had returned because he couldn’t sit back and watch his friend being attacked. This brought out Hulks friend to the end ‘The master of the strut and cut’, Brutus ‘The Bionic Barber’ Beefcake, and, Jimmy Hart who had left Money Inc. to form a trio known as the Megamanics. Hulk announced that it was Jimmy’s job to get DiBiase and Schyster into any form of match that he could, be it singles or tag team. It wasn’t long after that, that Money Inc. challenged the Megamanics to a title match at Wrestlemania IX, proclaiming that Brutus would be the weak link due to his facial injuries. It was announced shortly before Wrestlemania that Brutus had been cleared to wear a face mask for his title match. The only difference being that this wasn’t any old mask, oh no! It was designed by NASA and most importantly was yellow and red in colour!! - We’re finally going to see Hulk Hogan back in the WWF and at Wrestlemania, and that Money Inc. is going to get what’s coming to them.

The undercard featued Shawn Michaels defended the I-C title against Tatanka, Lex Luger making his first WWF PPV appearance against Mr Perfect. This was quite a big deal after Luger had been stuck in Vince's WBF bodybuilding group after his departure from WCW. The Undertaker faced another former WCW foe in Giant Gonzalez, while tag team action was provided by the Steiner Brothers (in the first Wrestlemania) facing the Headshrinkers. It was now ready for show time.

Monday 13 June 2011

Wrestling Should Matter

Another IMPACT Wrestling PPV another PPV where we, well I am left scratching my head.

Plenty of predictions for this card before it took place and for me in particular it was for 2 matches and neither were the top 2 on the card. 

I was interested to see what was going to happen in the AJ Styles/Bully Ray Dudley match, not how the match was going to go quality wise but just who was going to go over. I don't think I'm alone in thinking what TNA , I mean  IMPACT Wrestling are doing with Styles is crap to be honest. In past weeks they had him put Tommy Dreamer over and now on the PPV put Ray over. Styles one of a few who has been there since day one of the company has been the stellar worker along with Chris Daniels, Samoa Joe (for a while) and Kurt Angle but recently they seemed to have lost faith in Styles as a top of the card worker. I hope sometime soon they realise as WRESTLING MATTERS that they use the wrestlers that can wrestle and do it well.

Another annoying result to come out of the PPV was X Division champion Abyss leaving the PPV  still in possession of the title. He worked in a 3 way with Kaz & Brian Kendrick and even if they wanted to keep Abyss strong they could of just had one of the others score the fall over the other. It wouldn't be that much of issue as it's the usual TNA craziness but their next PPV is Destination X and it sees the return of the six sided ring and from all accounts the PPV will be built around the X Division and this is why I and I imagine others are pissed off with Abyss still being champion.

There is 4 weeks to go until the PPV so Abyss still could drop the strap and the company could push the PPV....then again.

Oh yeah Mr Anderson beat Sting for the TNA title.

Follow me on twitter @WLH_Stu

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Sunday 12 June 2011

Great Booking - ROH Final Battle 2010 By Shaun Nichols

Watching wrestling and especially TNA can be a highly frustrating experience. You wouldn't say that watching a wrestling event that makes sense would be the highest of demands. But more often than not you get matches and angles that make absolutely no sense or stipulations that are never adhered to.
Final Battle 2010 PPV was a definite exception, this blog is not a review of the show as it's quite likely that a lot of you reading this will have watched the show. This blog will explain the simple steps that ROH took to ensure that their fans got value for money and no fans felt cheated. Look most PPV's the show was centred on only a few matches and Final Battle followed this with the show being sold on 3 specific matches.
Firstly El Generico vs Kevin Steen, this match was 12 months in the making since Steen attacked Generico after their loss at Final Battle 2010. Since then they had waged a vicious war that included Colt Cabana & Steve Corino but without a clear winner. The winner fittingly would come at the biggest ROH show of the year, this match was mainly sold on a key stipulation. If Steen lost then he would leave ROH but if Generico lost then he would lose his mask. This was a great stipulation because honestly it was difficult to imagine either happening but the strength of the build up ensured that one would have to happen. Looking at post Final Battle cards also gave little indication as to who would win. As we know now it was Steen who lost and so far he as yet to return to the group although Steve Corino recently teased a Steen return as his sponsor, but we had a stipulation that was upheld and that's a win.
Secondly we have Roderick Strong vs Davey Richards for the ROH World Title, this is based on what many ROH fans consider to be the best wrestler in the company (Richards) chasing the title. As a story that's one of the most simplist and most effective draws a wrestling company has. The match was also in the run up considered to be a sure fire great match and again this proved to be the case. The fact that Richards failed at the show does not stop his chase for the gold drawing again on iPPV as evidenced with Davey challenging again at 'The Best In The World 2011' iPPV later this month. The only point to query is if ROH are waiting too long for Davey to win the title.
The third match was the Briscoes vs Kings of Wrestling & Shane Hagadorn. The hook again is very straight forward, if you buy this show you will see Shane Hagadorn get his ass kicked by Papa Briscoe and that's it. You won't necessarily see a great match but Shane will get beaten up. The WWE for the last two Wrestlemania PPV's have had similar matches with finishes that you think they couldn't get wrong (Bret vs Vince and Lawler vs Cole) and yet they completely made a mess of it. ROH set up a very basic premise and delivered, job done.
The undercard's job is to provide a pretty entertaining 90 minutes with some good wrestling. The opener All Night Express vs Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly was a great start which went a long way to help the ANX as potential tag title challengers while showcasing Cole & O'Reilly. Cabana vs TJ Perkins was just a fun 10 minute match that had no other motives. The womens tag made clear that Haze (who needs a few good meals) and Del Rey are a worthy part of ROH. The Eddie Edwards vs Sonjay Dutt match although pretty good is purely designed so Kevin Kelly & Dave Prazak on commentary can push how great Edwards is and that he will be a major star in 2011 for the company and of course he's now the World Champion. Only the Christopher Daniels vs Homicide could be classed as a bit of disappointment but that match in truth was only a small part of the show and for those who bought the show they were sold by the three main matches and they all delivered exactly what you would have wanted and expected. In short a case of a show that had smart booking.

Friday 10 June 2011

WLH PPV Prediction League - Prizes To Be Won

Every WWE & TNA PPV anyone who enters the prediction league has to predict the result for each match on the PPV, if you get the result right, it's 2 points for you in the league the first counting of points will be after the WWE Summer Slam show in August and then after the final PPV of the year. The winner of the league will have a choice of a DVD of their choice from a list to be determined. I must say, don't want to annoy any American readers but this is for UK readers only for a DVD, any American readers that take part will get a PAYPAL payment instead.

Obviously, you don't have to predict for every PPV but the more PPV's you do, the better chance you have of getting more points.

Email ALL predictions to

TNA World Heavyweight Title Match
Mr. Anderson vs. Sting

TNA Tag Team Title Match
The British Invasion vs. James Storm & Alex Shelley

TNA X Division Title Match
Kendrick vs. Kazarian vs. Abyss

TNA Knockouts Title Match
Angelina Love vs. Mickie James

Last Man Standing Match
Brother Ray vs. AJ Styles

The Final Battle
Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Jarrett

Crimson vs. Samoa Joe

wXw Kreuzzug ZXI (10/04/2011) DVD Review By Shaun Nichols

This was the second of two shows that the German promotion ran in New Jersey. Featuring stars from Europe, North America and Japan the show promised to be a damn fine entertaining show, but did it deliver?
Opening match was Kyle O'Reilly vs Marty Scurll, this is basically a continuation of the highly rated feud between O'Reilly & Adam Cole vs The LDRS (UK's Scurll & Zack Sabre Jr) which have wrestled two great matches. Scurll and O'Reilly are both fine wrestlers but seemed to be unable to connect with the fans on this particular night. Scurll also seems to have an issue working out if he's wrestling as a face or as a heel which is something that I noticed in other matches. Scurll was victorious on this night in a perfectly adequate opener **1/2
Up next was one half of the wXw tag champions Karsten Beck vs Chris Dickinson, Beck did a promo at the start of the match but unfortunately this was not picked up for sound. Dickinson is a local wrestler that the local fans were aware of. Majority of the match was Dickinson using his superior strength to dominate Beck, the match came to a premature ending when Dickinson seemed to blow out his knee when he missed a double stomp from the top. Unaware of what to do, Beck applied a armlock which Dickinson immediately tapped out to. Dickinson also apologised to the fans as the backstage crew helped him out of the ring. You had to feel for the poor guy *1/4
Tag team action followed with Necro Butcher & Bad Bones facing Drake Younger & Big Van Walter, Necro has aged about 10 years since 2009, he also unfortunately suffered a neck injury in an earlier match against Jun Kasai and frankly should not have been out there. What this meant was that Bad Bones would be playing babyface in peril, as the heels Younger & Walter are perfectly fine using standard heel tactics to keep Bones at a disadvantage while big German made the occasional comebacks. Necro get the hot tag but due to his injuries this didn't really work and it was only short time later that he fell to a big splash from Walter for the loss *3/4
I was looking forward to seeing Sam Callihan vs Jun Kasai, I heard great things regarding Callihan especially during the 16 Carat weekend where he one the tournament. Here I have to say he was a disappointment. Kasai with horribly scarred back is full of charisma who does a nice turn in comedy. Everything good about the match basically came from Kasai but it was Callihan who came away with the win by submission **1/4
The show so far is not making a positive impression, thankfully the second half was better the first. Adam Cole faced Emil Sitoci, this was similar in a lot of ways to the opener but just better in every way. The story was simple in that Sitoci kept outwrestling and embarrasing Cole to the point we had standard spanking spot where Cole complained to the ref that he's being violated. Sitoci laughingly say's he'll tone it down. When Cole does get control it's all very basic stuff that makes sense, with Sitoci doing his best Steamboat babyface comebacks every few moves. A corkscrew tombstone piledriver seemed to have given Sitoci the win but Cole impressively kicked out. A scorpion deathdrop later and it was Adam Cole who celebrated the win. This could easily have gone on another five minutes ***1/4
Semi main event is Chris Hero vs Zack Sabre Jr, this was a really good match. Chris Hero as been consistantly great over the last couple of years and Zack more than held his own here. The early part of the match was classic mat wrestling with numerous great reversals. The story here was that Sabre Jr kept catching Hero in a cross armbreaker but that Hero was always able to escape. Hero dominated most of the match but ran into trouble when he missed a roaring elbow and hit the ringpost. This allowed Zach to take over and now the fans were able to buy into his attempts to get to Hero to submit to the armbreaker. Hero though was able to win though when he switched from a roaring elbow to a roaring kick for the pinfall ****
Main event time wXw World Champion Daisuke Sekimoto & UK's Johnny Moss vs The Briscoe Brothers this was another really good match. For a lot of the match both Moss & Sekimoto were able to dominate both Briscoes but were dragged back by the Briscoes superior tag team wrestling which allowed them to get the heat on Moss for several minutes. The match though really came alive in the last five minutes as the power moves of Moss & Sekimoto began to really hit the mark. Among the highlights were Sekimoto hitting a German suplex on his own partner who was trying to hit the same move on a Briscoe. The fact he suplexed Moss seemed bizarre to me but the fans loved it, Moss hit a delightful rolling Northern Lights suplex on Mark in the highlight of the show which was followed by a delayed German suplex by Sekimoto for the win ***3/4
The final three matches ensure that the show ends up on a positive note and the final two matches are certainly well worth going out of your way to see.

Thursday 9 June 2011

Looking Forward To Tanahashi vs. GOTO in NJPW on June 18th With Alan Counihan

When Hirooki Goto headbutted Hiroshi Tanahashi on May 3rd in Fukuoka,
it marked the end of a simmering tension between the two and the
beginning of all out war for the right to hold the most prized belt in
Professional Wrestling – The IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.

Goto will get his shot at the title on June 18th in Osaka. He’s had
chances before, twice against Tanahashi (in 2007 and 2009), but never
before has he been positioned so strongly going into his title
challenge. The feeling is that this is HIS time, this match will mark
the beginning of the Hirooki Goto title reign. He’s more than ready
for it.

Tanahashi won the belt on the January Tokyo Dome show from Satoshi
Kojima. He’s gone on to make four successful defenses against Kojima,
Shinsuke Nakamura, Charlie Haas and in a Match Of The Year contender,
Yuji Nagata. Some have predicted that with the big “All Together”
co-promotion show in August, New Japan will still want the marketable
and charismatic Tanahashi as their champion and thus he will retain
here. Goto just cannot suffer another failed attempt though. He has to
break through here.

The match has all the makings of a classic. These two always tear the
house down and have great chemistry. Tanahashi brings cleverness,
skill, technique and even some high flying. Goto relies more on a hard
hitting, power style. Since his brief trip to Mexico in March, he’s
exhibited a much more intense attitude and even a mean streak. However
the crowd have taken to this side of him and loud calls of GOTO-O are
very likely in Osaka. Tanahashi always gets a huge reaction himself,
so the atmosphere for this could be electric.

To me, this is THE match of the summer. No match anywhere in the world
has been built to this well. You could make a case that this has been
building since their first title match in November 2007. That night
Goto was inexperienced and perhaps didn’t have the killer instinct
needed. Come Osaka that won’t be the case.

About the author: Host of the DKP show at Happy young lad full of ProWresLove!!!

Follow Alan on twitter @Alan4L

Tuesday 7 June 2011

What is ROH's Future?? By Shaun Nichols

As most wrestling fans now know, Ring of Honor was recently sold by Cary Silkin to Sinclair Broadcasting in which he sold his full 100% ownership of the group. It also is not a secret that ROH was losing some money, obviously not necessarily a lot of money or Cary would have sold earlier or pulled the plug on ROH. There was a feeling within the group that could have been a possibility but happily the sale to Sinclair will allow ROH to continue, the main question though is in what form.
The purchase by Sinclair will once again allow ROH to have TV coverage something that they have not had since the end of the HDNet deal which saw the final show air in April. The major complaint of the TV show on HDNet was that the production did not look good and often did a poor job in relaying the ROH product to the fans watching at home especially those that may have been more general wrestling fans. On the plus side HDNet ran ROH on Monday nights and they also put the show on in ROH's main markets such as New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Jim Cornette has noted that he feels the main difference between the TV shows will be the improved TV productions that will be able to better get across the messages that ROH want to use their TV shows to convey. The feeling was that under HDNet the TV show came across as fairly low rent but also the fans attending the tapings did not particularly like the shorter matches that television demands compared to the the usual ROH product.
Sinclair themselves are said to be worth $800 million and they made approx $75 million in profit in 2010 however they made substantial losses in both 2008 & 2009, they are also well known for running their businesses as cheaply as possible which also as the knock on effect of not paying well. That being said if they didn't think that they could not make money through the purchase of ROH then they would not bought the company. ROH works on pretty low overheads, this includes in-ring talent, minimal front office, the cost of running buildings and so forth. ROH as never had a lot of money to spend so are used to working with a minimal budget. On the other side of the coin this means that things do not have to improve greatly for the company to become profitable. Even with the loss of the HDNet television house shows have not seen big drop offs in attendances and the company seems to be hopeful that iPPV's will stay around 1600-1800 buys per show.
Sinclair will be providing funding for the product but will not be paying a licence fee to ROH, like Spike does for TNA as an example. What that means is that they will probably not be overly concerned if there are small losses on the wrestling end of the deal. The first TV tapings will be in Chicago Ridge on August 13th and as far as introducing ROH to a new television audience this is likely to be seen as a re-launch for the company. For the markets that ROH will be airing in are not markets that are familiar to ROH and its product. It will take time to slowly get the wrestlers who many viewers may not have seen before and to make them stars. Cornette as also said that he thinks that the current roster is perfect as a group of wrestlers to introduce a new wrestling TV show although in his position he can hardly say anything else.
Among the markets that ROH will be airing are Tampa, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Buffalo, Nashville, San Antonio, Raleigh, Birmingham, Las Vegas and Oklahoma City. What you ROH fans may have noticed is that a number of those cities have not witnessed a live ROH event before. Never one to miss an opportunity to have his say, Eric Bischoff poured cold water on the sale that saying having 22% market penetration then you do not exist from an advertising point of view and that by not running in the major markets of New York, Chicago or Los Angeles your not going to make any major advertising income. He may be right but you'd think he would have other things to worry about. To say that ROH will not be successful with the new TV deal would be jumping to conclusions but it would be a fair assessment to say it will take time and as a result the first few months of TV will not neccessarily be very enjoyable to the hardcore ROH fans who do not need to be introduced to the stars of the group.
As far as how ROH will continue to operate, they will continue to build up to around 5 iPPV's a year including the now traditional double shot at Wrestlemania weekend. They will also continue to have every house show as a unique event which they will then hope to sell on DVD. That's okay if your running about 30-40 shows a year at the most but if the plan is to take the wrestlers on the road more than that would be something that would no longer be viable. It's not known at the moment if ROH are targeted to hit a particular number of viewers, when they had the HDNet deal rating numbers were never an issue however with Sinclair it very easily could be. If they are targeted and don't meet them what happens at the point? They are also scheduled to have the TV show air on a Saturday night which is going to be far harder proposition to attract viewers compared to a Monday night.
When the Wrestling Observer website put up a poll asking their subscribers thought the ROH sale was good, bad or not sure. The general feeling was that people just didn't know how this will play out and I find myself in that camp. I've read blogs and heard podcasts from both those who think it is the greatest thing ever and also those that think ROH as ended as a wrestling company that we've enjoyed since 2002. I personally don't see enough evidence to be convinced by either view and will merely hope that ROH continues to progress and present good wrestling shows and I think most fans can agree with that sentiment.

Saturday 4 June 2011

Remembering - Bret Hart in 1997 By Shaun Nichols

It's very easy to forget when you've watched the WWE provide pretty tedious and dull programming over the last couple of years that there was a time when the WWF TV was exciting and if you missed an episode of Raw the chances were you missed something that was pretty great. Arguably the most entertaining year of all was 1997, this was probably in part due to WCW winning the TV ratings war throughout the year and Vince spent the year playing catch up.
One of the main reasons why the WWF was so entertaining was Bret Hart, although always considered to be a great wrestler and deservedly so many were not convinced by his talking ability and also he was not seen as a guaranteed draw especially on PPV as the WWF champion. Pushed to the top of the card after the steroid scandal hit in the early 1990's and then helped tremendously in a career defining feud in 1993 against Jerry Lawler which made him a legitimate top babyface in the company. Still as the WWF were still trailing WCW in the ratings in 1997, Vince decided that he had to go back to his default plan which were to push the bigger wrestlers into the WWF title match at Wrestlemania. This gave us the not very thrilling Undertaker vs Sid main event.
Also in the earlier part of the year, Shawn Michaels' left the company temporarily when 'he lost his smile'. The result of this is that the booking of Wrestlemania had to have a number of major changes one of which was Bret Hart would face Steve Austin in the semi main event. Austin ever since winning the previous years King of the Ring tournament was becoming a bigger star by the month. He had a lost an excellent match to Hart at the 1996 Survivor Series PPV which did a lot to convince the company that Austin would be a firm fixture in the WWF main event ranks sooner rather than later.
As I mentioned in an earlier piece for the site, I consider Bret Hart's match against Austin at Wrestlemania 13 is the best Wrestlemania match so far. It deservedly took Match of the Year honours but more importantly it allowed the WWF to pull off a fantastic double turn, where Austin went babyface and Bret went heel. A few weeks later ECW tried to do a similar deal with Taz and Sabu at the Barely Legal PPV and even in front of the biggest ECW fan you couldn't say it came close to matching the Hart-Austin result.
By turning heel, this was Bret's first opportunity to be hated since the late 1980's when the Hart Foundation were under the guidance of Jimmy Hart. At that time Bret obviously wasn't the mouthpiece of the group, so this was his first real attempt to cut promos as the lead heel of the company. In a lot of ways he was the first heel to justify his position and his actions, this technique as since being used by Chris Jericho and CM Punk among others. Now joined by his brother Owen, Davey Boy, Jim Neidhart and Brian Pillman to form the new Hart Foundation. Although they were a fantastic group they lacked great talkers and this I'm sure would have put a lot of pressure on Bret. However Bret responded brilliantly and cut a number of memorable interviews, the key to this was that he argued that they hadn't changed at all and that it was the fans that had turned on them. With a special twist that made this period even better.
That twist was that in the United States the Hart Foundation were dastardly heels but everywhere elses they were booked like heroes defending themselves against the cocky Americans. The WWF ensured that a fair amount of their TV was filmed in Canada so perfectly illustrated the blurring of the traditional face/heel barrier. The highlight of 1997 and indeed Bret's highlight was the Canadian Stampede PPV where the Hart Foundation defeated Steve Austin, Legion of Doom, Ken Shamrock and Goldust in front of a rabid Canadian crowd.
In the run up to Summerslam, Shawn Michaels returned to the company and was assigned as special referee in Bret's world title match against the Undertaker in the main event. One superkick in error later and Shawn was forced to count to three and crown Bret the new WWF champion. Moving the Undertaker out of the title picture and with Steve Austin breaking his neck after an Owen Hart piledriver went awry this left DX versus the Hart Foundation as the main programme for the final part of the year. Sticking to the tried and tested anti-USA promos which were still working great, the first live WWF event I went to was One Night Only in Birmingham in September 1997 where Bret and Owen were beloved stars and hilariously the Patriot was booed unmercifully and he wasn't even wrestling a Hart.
We all know what happened at the Survivor Series in Montreal and considering that wrestling is fake I really could not understand why Bret would not drop the title to Shawn on his way out of the company. I guess that the mutual animosity and a failure to keep things into perspective forced an end result that did little to make anybody look good, although a by-product was that it launched the heel 'Mr McMahon' character which was a major reason why the WWF overtook WCW the following year. That being said if you ignore TV ratings or PPV buyrates and simply ask yourself the question of am I being entertained? Then if you saw a lot of the WWF TV in 1997 then I cannot imagine that you were not and arguably the main reason that fans really enjoyed that period was Bret Hart who gave us in my opinion his best ever year.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Remembering the Golden Days of Michinoku Pro Wrestling  By Shaun Nichols

Michinoku Pro Wrestling was formed in 1993 by the Great Sasuke the style of the promotion was a hybrid style which meshed traditional Junior heavyweight style with the lucha libre style from Mexico. The style was known as 'Jap Lucha' and as been taken forward by firstly Ultimo Dragon's Toryumon group and later by Dragon Gate.
Based in North East of Japan it is still running today and still reatins the services of Great Sasuke, Jensei Shinzaki (now running the promotion) as well as the new wave of MPW stars such as Fujita 'Jr' Hayoto who made a tramendous impression at NJPW Super Junior Cup 2009 among others. Michonoku Pro came to the attention of most western wrestling fans at the inaugeral Super J Cup back in 1994. There Great Sasuke, Super Delfin and Taka Michinoku certainly made a startling impression, although Taka lost to Black Tiger in the first round and Delfin fell at the quarter finals to Gedo they certainly did not disgrace themselves. The star of the night was Sasuke, although he may have benefitted from his friendship with Liger (who booked the event) he produced three excellent performances culminating in two ****1/2 plus matches against Liger and in a losing effort in the final to Chris Benoit.
Super Delfin also benefitted from his time in NJPW by going to the finals of the annual Best of the Super Juniors tournament also in 1994, this along with their performances at SJC gave them some much needed exposure to the masses. The MPW style was a breath of fresh air from the more serious NJPW style, comedy was often a major feature of their cards and complemented perfectly the high flying style of their main eventers. Unusually for Japanese matches, their best matches were not singles or even tag matches but were 6 man, 8 man or ideally 10 man tags that went over 30 minutes but felt like it was only 15 minutes.
During the mid 1990's Sasuke and Delfin remained as the two main stars of the group but they were supported by an awesome array of wrestlers. They included Taka Michinoku, Men's Teoih (who wrestled as Terry Boy in the earlier days of the promotion), Sho Funaki, Gran Naniwa, Shiryu (Kaz Hayashi), Dick Togo and Gran Hamada. During 1995 the heel group of Kaientai was formed led by Togo but also included Taka, Funaki, Shiryu & Teoih they had several ***** matches against Sasuke, Delfin and friends.
What looking back at the group was simply how young they were during the promotions heyday of 1994 to 1997, Togo was in his mid twenties and was one of the most experienced. While Sasuke and Delfin were also of a similar age. Taka Michinoku & Shiru were both in their early twenties while the baby of the group was Naniwa who wasn't even eighteen when he made his debut for the group. Famous his crab walk on the middle rope while he delayed dropping an elbow drop which usually missed, Naniwa was a fine wrestler with great comic timing. He died last October at the age of 33 and I was shocked not only had he died at such a young age but also realising how great a wrestler he was before his twentieth birthday.
Probably the highlight of MPW occured in December 1996 in absolutely fantastic 10 man elimination tag match that pitted Kaientai against Sasuke, Delfin, Naniwa, Tiger Mask IV & Gran Hamada and is would easily get into my all time top ten matches. I f you haven't seen it then you should really do yourself a favour and track it down. The following year MPW made a breakthrough into the States by appearing on PPV for two different promotions. Firstly they did a six man tag at ECW's Barely Legal PPV where Sasuke, Hamade and Masato Yakushiji defeted bWo Japanese branch of Taka, Terry Boy and Dick Togo in what was a clear match of the night, a couple of nights earlier they had another 6 man where Naniwa had wrestled instead of Yakushiji which was even better but unfortunately Naniwa injured himself so missed out on a PPV appearance.
Three months later and Sasuke and Taka found themselves wrestling at the WWF's Canadian Stampede PPV, this is really strange as the show only featured 4 matches and neither of the MPW wrestlers had appeared on WWF televsion before the event. They also wrestled on the following night's Raw with Sasuke winning on both occasions. Sasuke returned to Japan and Taka stayed around becoming the first WWF Light Heavyweight champion in what turned out to be a short lived attempt to compete with WCW's Cruiserweight division.
1997 proved to be the end of the glory days of MPW, the following year Super Delfin broke away from MPW and took with him Gran Naniwa, Dick Togo and Masato Yakushiji among others. It's easy to forget just how entertaining MPW in the mid 1990's was as the years rolled by their commercial tapes were often packed with weird storytelling and usually clipped matches which didn't make a great deal of sense and were not the easiest tapes to watch or follow. But between 1994 and 1997 their match quality stands on a par with any wrestling promotion and I certainly have fond memories of them.