Friday 26 August 2011

The Rise Of Punk - By Captain Obvious

Some of you may see the title of this and tell me that CM Punk has been risen. That the Internet wrestling community has known how great CM Punk has been for while now. That this is no surprise to us, we knew all along he was the best in the world. Well, this isn't about what we knew. This is about why the "normal" wrestling fans have taken a shine to him and catapulted him to elite status with the names of John Cena and Randy Orton.
What makes CM Punk so special. He isn't the biggest guy in the world, but neither were Flair, Bret, Michaels, and Jericho. He isnt the flashiest guy, but neither was Austin, Angle, or Funk. There has to be something about him that draw people in. Maybe its the fact we can all see how much he loves doing what he does. CM Punk would be a horrible poker player because you can genuinely see his emotions when he is on screen. You can tell when he's having fun or when he is just going through the motions trying to make corporate happy. The guy eats, sleeps, and bleeds wrestling. Punk is always looking for ways to improve his wrestling ability, his character and also help bring along the guys who helped him get to where he is. The great thing is the guys he wants to help out don't suck in the ring.
Another thing that has really helped Punk is the era we live in. Reality TV is everywhere still to this day. As people, we love to be voyeurs and then ridicule the people we love to watch. Car wreck TV, so to speak. Why else would Jerry Springer have a show on this long. How do you think Oprah got her fame? She wasn't interviewing Tom Cruise when she started. She was interviewing the midget who had a foursome with an albino track star, a chemistry teacher, and a 400 lb. McDonald's drive-thru girl who kept getting stuck at the window because she couldn't get out. Punk has tapped into that vein, even before his "shoot" promo on him leaving the WWE. He is the most real character on wrestling television today. He says he is straight edge and he lives his life that way. Everything he says seems to end up happening, so why doubt the words now?
In the same way that Hulk Hogan got us to all say our prayers and take our vitamins, CM Punk has tapped into that vein of purism. Every time we look around, we see all this negativity in the world. People running around shooting one another, doing all kinds of insane amounts of drugs, just day to day crap that seems to want to bury us all underneath it. Punk has come along and brought of ray of Truth (sorry R-Truth). his candor and honesty is refreshing and he is actually someone kids can look up to and admire. I doubt we will be seeing any half naked pics tweeted from him (although one from Beth Phoenix I wouldn't mind). Punk can the bearer for this generation much in the same way most wrestling fans think of the virtuous days of Hulkamania.
The other thing Punk has recaptured from the attitude days is this undertow of animosity towards corporate America. It's no coincidence that Punks sudden rise to mainstream fame was done in the same way Steve Austins career took off. The hardcore fans noticed how great the in-ring work was and then the mainstream fans noticed their anti-authority stance and followed suit behind their respective antagonist. Punk has grabbed the flag that Austin layed down and waves it proudly as the voice of the voiceless. It's everyones dream to punch their boss in the face and we get to live that excitement every Monday night.

Captain Obvious Trey Dent
Part time co-host of The Still Real To Us Show
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Saturday 20 August 2011

Existing in the Past - Sting vs. Flair in 2011...Really? By Shaun Nichols

On March 27th 1988, Ric Flair basically made Sting a genuine main event star at the first Clash of the Champions special. Although the match ended in a 45 minute draw and the judges were split as to who they thought had won it turned Sting from a popular midcard guy into WCW's most popular babyface. Interesting note to that match, is that the judge who picked Flair as the winner was a woman called Patty Mullen who was a former Penthouse Pet of the Month. Obviously Flair's boasts of 'Space Mountain' were remembered well.
The serious point though is that was over 23 years ago and TNA have decided that now is the time that Sting will once again face the 'Nature Boy' on PPV. Why TNA think that their fans would want to see Sting and Flair wrestle one another in 2011 is a complete mystery, have they decided that their obsession of trying to re-create WCW of the 1990's was not retro enough so that they should go back to the 1980's.
Weirdly the idea that Sting vs Flair should appear on PPV, was an idea that TNA have wanted to do since Ric Flair made his debut in TNA in January 2010. They have a feeling that although it was successful in 1988 and eventually WCW did make the decision to have Sting as the company's main man in 1990 when he defeated Flair for the World title at the Great American Bash in an event that was titled 'The New Revolution'. Unfortunately though Sting was not a success as a draw and the title was quitely put back on Flair in January 1991 when WCW decided they couldn't wait until a PPV event to move the title back to Flair.
Those two matches in 1988 and 1990 are the only real evidence that these two have good chemistry together and could attract ratings and PPV orders. Although they had the occasional feud in the 1990's they were mainly kept apart, Sting got to hang out in the rafters and Flair would be booked to be a complete idiot for the last several years of WCW. However they remained to a certain degree the main stays of WCW and on the final episode of Nitro they wrestled in a frankly awful match in which as usual Sting won. The quality of the match though was irrelevant though it was an emotional send off to the company and it was the two biggest stars that got to do the final goodbye.
TNA have in my view have always seen Sting as more important than he actually his, I have never been convinced that Sting as shown that he as been able to make that much of difference to TNA ratings or the PPV buy-rates. As he is now into his 50's he is pretty limited as to what he can do, he can still put in decent performances when he is working with the right person but it's obvious that in his matches he needs to be led. His promo work is better than it's probably ever been and while people initially enjoyed his new Joker persona, it's becoming frankly ridiculous. Although it was noticeable that in the final show before Hardcore Justice PPV, Sting toned down the persona in a final effort to attract PPV buys.
The use of Ric Flair also would seem to show that he is also not worth the money they are paying him. He has also not been seen on TV for several weeks a combination of Flair suffering a torn rotator cuff and also that he made his minimum number of appearances and so in an attempt to cut costs he wasn't used for a while. His promos are still more often than not great although they tend to be more wacky and less focused than in his glory days. He often seems to go out to just entertain himself and contradicts TNA's attempted storylines. He really should not be wrestling anymore although the truth is that if they do manage to have a good match then the credit will go to Flair.
The scariest thought of all though is that the Sting vs Ric Flair match at the No Surrender PPV is simply a stepping stone to the big event in TNA this year. The match in question is Sting vs Hulk Hogan, a match which considering Hogan's current physical state could be about as good as Hogan-Warrior 2 from Halloween Havoc 1998. And yet TNA do not seem to be aware that trying to offer themselves as a nostalgia promotion is a terrible idea. There seems to be very little that TNA can do to effect things in any kind of positive manner, the buyrate for Hardcore Justice seems to be the same as Destination X which was 8,000. However the company really needs to look for the future and with every passing month they seem to be more inclined to look towards the past and hope that the magic of March 1988 will work again, it won't.

"What Happened To All The Promos?" The Duckman Discusses

With one promo WWE was turned upside down. Actually that’s an understatement – with one well constructed and brilliantly executed promo WWE was turned upside down. I don’t know about you, but back on 27th June during those famous seven minutes when CM Punk picked up a mic, sat cross legged on the stage and seemingly spoke from the heart live on Raw, memories came flooding back to me.

Memories of a time when promos were original and outlandish, engaging and entertaining, interesting and intense. All the things a regular WWE promo hasn’t been in YEARS. While reminiscing about the glory days of the great wrestling promo a question came to mind – why has WWE killed the wrestling promo?

And kill it they have. Sure, we get moments every now and again (like with Punk or Paul Heyman before him) where suddenly a promo is allowed to be powerful, impactful, important and attention grabbing but those moments are few and far between. They come along every five years or so and they’re usually in the form of a ‘worked shoot’ attempt by WWE to make something scripted and planned appear real. Sadly those moments, no matter how great and exciting they are at the time, don’t change the fact that in WWE the promo has died a sad, slow and pointless death over the last few years.

I’m sure some of you are thinking I’m being overly dramatic but the facts speak for themselves. It took one promo - one heartfelt, intense, well crafted and natural sounding promo to shine a light on how far the art of the wrestling promo has fallen in WWE. I’ve been struggling to find a good reason for the death of the wrestling promo in WWE. There are still guys in WWE that can kick a wicked promo. They just never get the chance. Why have we ended up here when things used to be so good?

There’s only one place to start when it comes to great promos and that’s Gorgeous George – a man who’s influence on professional wrestling is criminally over looked and greatly under appreciated by today’s modern wrestling fan. George was a pioneer. He understood that talking the people into the seats was just as important as impressing them with your match once they got there. He realised he could make the people care to such a degree with just his words they would pay big money to see him eat those same words at the hands of his opponent.

George had that realisation earlier than anyone else in professional wrestling in the late 40s and early 50s and he made a ton of money from it. With the advent of wrestling on television Gorgeous George put together a package that has been copied, adapted and improved upon for the past six decades by all wrestlers – character/gimmick and promos.

His ring work was almost secondary because George was able to connect with his audience on an emotional level just by talking. With his gimmick and his words, George made the people care and if the people care, they will pay to see you and that’s the key to the whole profession.

One of the greatest promo men in the history of all sports, Muhammad Ali, always gave credit to Gorgeous George for being the inspiration behind his brash and cleverly constructed interviews. George was the man who gave Ali the idea to put sting in his words and it was his influence that changed the way boxing, professional wrestling and more recently MMA has been promoted in the years that followed.

Of course promos have changed a lot since the days of Gorgeous George – especially since WWE became the wrestling world. Many different styles of promos have been used down the years depending on the situation and the wrestlers involved. No matter the style, the promo should always have a point and drive forward a storyline or be used to put over a wrestler’s character/motivations etc. They must PROMOTE something. Here are some examples of what I’m talking about:

Date, location, opponent promo – some of you might be too young to remember these. Dude stands in front of the camera and talks about coming to this town or arena on a certain date to wrestle someone. Short, sweet and usually ending with a finger being pointed towards the camera for added emphasis. Sometimes these promos would appear in a box in the corner of the screen while the wrestler talking was beating up some jobber. This lead to the brain melting situation of hearing a guy talk about beating someone up, while at the same time watching him beat someone up, who wasn’t the guy he was talking about beating up!

Interview promo – a simple and effective promo device. Dude stands with interviewer and cuts a promo in a question and answer style. These promos would lead to some ad libbed back and forth between the wrestler and interviewer. Ric Flair was the master interviewee with Gene Okerlund the master interviewer.

In-ring promo – this style of promo has become more prevalent in recent years. Pushed to the limit by HHH during the mid 2000s when no Raw could begin without Hunter cutting a 20 minute promo about how fucking awesome he was. Oh wait a minute, that’s how the last 3 episodes of Raw and Smackdown have begun…cue Back to the Future music.

Back and forth in-ring promo – usually happens when subject of said “in-ring promo” comes out and interrupts the original speaker. Again, lots of opportunity for ad-libbing and some truly great moments – anything involving Steve Austin and The Rock spring to mind. Although in recent years Edge, Chris Jericho, CM Punk and even…John Cena have had some classic moments in these situations.

Video promo – mostly used in WWE to introduce a new wrestler to the audience. The peak of the creativity for these videos was in the heyday of ECW. Raven, Mick Foley, Sandman, Tommy Dreamer and even Steve Austin all benefited from the tremendous video promo production skill used in ECW. The mix of music and strange camera shots was truly groundbreaking. See the NWO videos in WCW for a good example of how to bring (steal) this style onto the national stage.

The “we don’t know we’re being filmed” promo –two wrestlers are talking about something, maybe planning an attack, but never acknowledge their every word is being recorded for millions to see and hear. This style has now been developed by TNA to include; filming through half closed blinds, filming through pot plants, filming from miles away while hiding behind a wall and using a mirror to look around said wall. With their coup de grĂ¢ce being - filming the promo while the camera rolls from side to side in the hands of a drunk man with Parkinson’s Disease in a dimly lit backstage area.

I’m sure everyone has their favourite style of promo and I might not have mentioned it. What it does show is how much the style of presentation of a wrestling promo has changed down the years.

When I was putting this article together earlier in the week I decided to get some input from the internet wrestling community. I know, I know, a risky move but it does help. Honestly, it does. Normally when you ask for input on a wrestling forum you feel a bit like the toy makers in that episode of The Simpsons when they are trying to come up with their new Christmas toy and they asked the kids – what do you want from a toy? Only to be bombarded with every conceivable type of toy the kids could think of. Stupid kids. (I believe Funzo was the end product.) Thankfully when I raised the subject of promos no one shouted, “they should have a telescope, no a periscope, no a MICROSCOPE, can you come back to me?”

When talking about promos the same words kept coming up and the same names were put forward as masters of the craft:

Intense – Steve Austin/Jake Roberts

Entertaining – Ric Flair/Roddy Piper/Chris Jericho

Cool – The Rock/The Miz

Heartfelt – Dusty Rhodes/Mick Foley

Cutting edge – Raven/CM Punk

Coked up and crazy – The Ultimate Warrior (ok, that was my suggestion).

A wide range of promo styles have been successful over time and there have been some expert practitioners of the promo. One point that kept coming up was that the promo had to be believable. Not in the case of what the wrestler was saying was a shoot, but that the wrestler believed in what they said. It helps you to suspend your disbelief if the guy cutting the promo sounds like he believes it.

You know why 90% of the guys listed above sound like they believed in what they said? Because they did. They sat down and they created the promo. The promoter/booker would add a few bullet points they wanted them to cover. Then they went out there and they cut their promo. It was the wrestler’s own words, own emotions, own style of delivery and their own character (all be it with the volume amped up) that was saying the words to the fans or the camera.

It worked. For years. Decades. Then suddenly and without any real reasoning behind the decision, WWE decided to change things up. I guess they wanted more control over what was said on TV. God forbid someone went out there and spoke from the heart or spoke in a way that was natural and believable. No, no, we can’t have that. That’s never drawn ANY money...*sigh.*

So in their (and by “their” I mean Vince McMahon) infinite wisdom they decided that no longer will they have a Steve Austin coming up with the line, “Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass,” or a Dusty Rhodes talk about “hard times,” or even a Ric Flair putting it out there that “to be the man, you’ve got beat the man.” Instead they would rather have a sit com writer or some other non wrestler come up with the promos for their talent.

A few years after the decision we now have a WWE where, instead of Chris Jericho working his ass off to perfect his debut promo on Raw or Mick Foley spending hours of his day in “promo land” coming up with his latest poetically violent masterpiece, it’s a guy who barely watched wrestling prior to getting his job putting words in their mouths. We are now in a world where a character like The Undertaker, the fucking Undertaker, uses the corporate ‘blue sky thinking’ phrase, “WWE Universe” on a regular basis…


It’s a decision that’s only more baffling than the one to put Booker T on Summerslam commentary instead of Jim Ross. And just like that decision it’s one that can only be bad for business and for the fans of WWE.

CM Punk used the phrase, “the voice of the voiceless,” when describing himself a few weeks ago. He’s wrong. The real ‘voice of the voiceless’ in WWE are the creative team. The men and women who sit around and decide what someone like Christian or John Cena should say and how they should say it. Obviously because these script writers have more understanding of the characters of the wrestlers in WWE than say…the fucking wrestlers themselves!

Think about that for a moment. A 50 year old dude, who only got his job because he once wrote jokes for Two and a Half Men and who has probably has only ever heard of Hulk Hogan, let alone watched one of his matches, is now tasked with coming up with promos for a 15 year plus veteran like Christian. He has more of an understanding of Christian’s character than Christian himself. At least according to WWE.

Thousands of people in the IWC complain about John Cena being a bad promo guy. The truth is John Cena is a GREAT promo guy, it’s just the lines that are written for him invariably involve turds or turd related humour and even John Cena can’t polish a turd. Granted sometimes he should pull a Jericho or Punk and just chuck the script in the garbage and go out there and talk like he would really talk - with passion, believability, with his own character and humour laced throughout. Unfortunately it’s very rare that will happen…

Yet when it does, in the case of CM Punk, the whole fucking world goes nuts! People suddenly go, “wow, someone in WWE is talking on TV and he doesn’t sound like a high school actor reciting lines from the end of year play. Maybe I should watch this stuff again, reminds of the days when promos were awesome!”

They get a spike in interest. People, who remember a wrestling promo before it was shackled with WWE’s corporate control measures and ruined by non wrestling writers attempting to sound like a wrestler, are interested in the product again. But WWE never put two and two together and make the call to give the wrestlers a chance to get over in their promos by using their own words and their own characters. It’s absolutely baffling. More baffling than Booker T on commentary.

The saddest indictment of the whole situation is that the best wrestling promo guy in the world today doesn’t even work in wrestling. Chael Sonnen in the UFC made himself a legitimate star with his promos in the run up to his Middleweight Title fight with Anderson Silva. He took the best parts of his favourite pro wrestler promos and used them to such a smart and entertaining degree that he easily added 100,000 PPV buys to his fight with Silva. I mean how can you not watch a guy who uses lines like:

“Anderson complained about having a sore rib before our fight. I told him his rib had the same problem as his arms and his legs – they’re attached to a wimp.”

Sonnen would be a massive star in WWE – ten years ago. Now he’d just be cutting ‘generic heel promo 101’ like the Wade Barrett’s and everyone else who doesn’t get to add their own personality to their promos.

When it all comes down it the only thing that matters in wrestling, be it in matches, promos, characters or feud is emotional investment. If people care and believe, people are interested and will pay. Case in point – the promo by Davey Richards at the end of ROH’s recent IPPV Best in the World. If you haven’t seen this promo I urge you to go out of your way to find it. I can’t do it justice because I can’t convey the raw emotion and passion of Richards, who after winning the ROH World Title in one of the most hard hitting, intense and well constructed matches in ROH history, falls to his knees with his training partners and the man he just beat for the Title – Eddie Edwards.

Through real tears, one of the toughest mother fuckers I’ve seen in wrestling, talks about the struggles of the past year – from both his grandparents dying (who raised him and got him into wrestling) to his extremely messy divorce from his wife. He wraps everything he’s been through in real life together his year long struggle to gain the ROH World Title. He doesn’t do in a Hollywood style. He just speaks like a man who has something emotional and important he wants to say.

The utter conviction in both his words and his body language is spine chilling. This isn’t a man reciting lines he’s been given in the back by a dude who got into wrestling six months ago as a way to move onto another writing gig in Hollywood. This is as real as a wrestling promo gets. Even more real than anything CM Punk has said over the last two months.

It isn’t an insider line filled shoot. Or a clever way to set up a storyline by appearing real. It’s a man who has fought through personal and professional adversity, talking about what he’s been through, how it’s effected him and what it means to come out the other side as a World Champion. It is a REAL wrestling promo.

So there is hope folks, maybe the true wrestling promo isn’t dead yet. If you’re like me and long for the days of promos that were created by the wrestlers delivering them unfortunately you might need to wait another 5 years to hear one in WWE.

However, just like long matches and well planned booking, if you cast your eye to a certain promotion that is coming on to TV on September 24th you’ll find those promos that WWE have tried to kill off. ROH are the life support of professional wrestling and I just hope they keep charging the defibrillator and keep alive this aspect of the crazy genre that I love.

CM Punk might’ve got all the headlines but in ROH, where he learnt to cut those promos, the real wrestling promo is thankfully still alive and well.

Thanks for reading and thanks for continuing to support Wrestling’s Last Hope. As always comments and feedback are gratefully received. Remember I can be found on twitter @WLHDuckman. Catch you guys next time.



Monday 15 August 2011

Duckman Has A Look Back At WWE Summer Slam 2011

“Anticipation has a habit to set you up, for disappointment in evening entertainment...” – Arctic Monkeys – The View from the Afternoon.

Well, well, well. So that’s Summerslam been and gone. I’m writing this on Monday afternoon. I had to work this morning so didn’t get to see the show live. After seeing, what has been, one of the most talked about major WWE PPVs in a while, no doubt there’s a ton of opinion and conjecture seething across the Internet Wrestling Community as I type this – what’s new, right?

I’m not going to do a full review of the show. You’ve probably all seen it by now and there’s people far more qualified than me to give a detailed review. Instead I’m going to give my thoughts on the show as I watched it a running train of thought if you will.

However, before we get started let me pose a question. A question I ask every time I purchase a WWE PPV – was it worth the £15 that I spent? Now, granted, that’s a tough question - especially considering all the things you can buy for £15, for instance:

• 2 texts on my ridiculously expensive and complex Vodafone IPhone Payment Plan.
• 0.05 seconds of CGI footage from Transformers 3.
• A bottle of cheap vodka and a pack of cigarettes in Glasgow.
• 30 minutes with the most expensive hooker in Glasgow.
• 60 minutes with the cheapest hooker in a bottle of vodka...and a pack of cigarettes...and a bag of chips.

Look, the point I’m trying to make is did I find Summerslam value for money? Given I’m in the elusive 18-35 male demographic that WWE are desperate to bring back to their product should I be happy with my purchase? Well there’s only one way to find out! So sit back, put on some good tunes and get ready for more fun than you can get for £15 in the red light district of Glasgow, as I bring to you:

Duckman’s Summerslam Snapshots!!

Ok, I’m not a fan of the band I don’t know who this old looking hippy is. He’s no Jimmi Hendrix at Woodstock doing the US national anthem, that’s for sure. He hasn’t taken enough acid for a start. Personally I’ve always felt that the song, “America, Fuck Yeah,” from the hilarious Team America: World Police would be a much more fitting song to kick off a WWE show if they want some nationalistic pride. It just seems like a Vince kind of song, he’s probably got it as his ring tone.

Set looks great, crowd sound hot...oh give me a fucking BREAK – Booker fucking T on commentary? Booker T? And NO JR!!! That cheap ass hooker is looking more inviting by the minute. Great, 20 seconds into the show and Cole and Booker have made a joke about one of them being a cheerleader in high school...are these guys sent to personally ruin every WWE PPV I watch? WHERE THE FUCK IS JR?!?!

The six man was a good opener. Got the crowd going and didn’t do too much – exactly what the opening match of a PPV should do. Kofi Kingston gets higher on his moves than Bob Marley on Jamaica Day. Seriously impressive. Speaking of Kofi, what in the hell was Miz trying to do to him with that weird cutter/DDT thing? Apart from drop his height by 4 inches. Nasty.

I know some people don’t like Del Rio but I think he’s awesome. No one in WWE looks more happy with himself after kicking a midget than ADR does each time he kicks Rey Mysterio. Credit to Rey for working the match, you could tell he was hurting and moving slowly but he still hit his spots and looked crisp doing so.

The finish was fun with more dives than a Barcelona vs. Real Madrid game and the crowd were into it by the end. Plus it set up Rey nicely for his WWE Title match on Raw tonight. Job done.

You remember I asked if the show was worth the money? CM Punk just made it worth 2 hours with that nasty Glaswegian hooker. Seriously, what a fuckin LEGEND that man is. His promo with Laurinaitis was great but the follow up with Stephy baby? ONE MILLION BUYS. His comic timing is masterful. That final line was up there with some of the best zingers against Steph by guys like Jericho and The Rock. Ah, happy memories.

Sheamus vs. Mark Henry – the man with the World’s Strongest Spandex. I really like Sheamus as an arse kicking babyface and so do the crowd, he seems to be really getting over. As for Henry? Look, he’s been with WWE for 15 years and every now and again they think people have forgotten he’s as boring as cheese on toast, so they give him the big push and what happens? Nothing. That’s not to say he’s terrible, this last run has been quite good. It just highlights how thin WWE are on main event level heels that they’re back to the emergency Mark Henry push.

Ok, Booker T has got to go. I can’t understand a fucking word the guy says. There’s a moment where Henry lands on Sheamus while he’s draped over the ropes. I can’t make out what Booker said but it sounded like, “Ah hee doo da skee that boy.” And to think Vince used to go fucking nuts at Mick Foley on commentary! He must have a damn brain hemmorage every time Booker opens his mouth! Someone needs to explain what Booker T brings to commentary because I sure as shit don’t hear it.

The finish was ok, I suppose. I think a double count out would have been better for both guys or maybe double DQ. The visual of Henry smashing Sheamus through the barricade was ruined only but the horrendously camp actor plants in the front row of the audience. One dude had his hands over his mouth with an expression of utter shock on his face the whole time. He just kept looking at Sheamus and then looking at his suspiciously muscled and good looking friends, then back to Sheamus, like he literally couldn’t believe the carnage he’d just witnessed. You think he’d just seen a basket of kittens thrown out a 12th floor window and land in a wood chipper! Even for wrestling, that was terrible acting – expect that dude to be in the lead in the next Michael Bay movie.

Christian is always good for a promo but man, does Jon Favreau owe someone in WWE money? Talk about a brutal burial of Cowboys and Aliens – that was worse than Nexus at Summerslam last year!

Yay – a 15 minute musical interlude on a wrestling PPV, just what I paid for! I hope this goes as long as Kid Rock at ‘Mania last year... Still, good to see Mo from Men on a Mission still getting a gig. Not the same without Mable though. Some awesome shots of bored looking CM Punk fans texting. Nice to see the B Team Divas out shaking their asses for their PPV money. Oh and speaking of asses, The Bellas? GOOD GOD! Ok Mo, please, please, please say “fuck you” by mistake. Nice suggestive tongue gesture by Mo to finish things off. Lots of parents having to answer awkward questions from the their little Cena clones after that one. I don’t know where you come from, but on the mean streets of Argyll, that gesture means lesbian...or so a big boy told me.

Divas match. Unfortunately I went for a piss towards the end of Mo’s set. How the fuck can Kelly Kelly still not run the ropes? Jesus. I heart Beth’s constantly falling down zip. Ok, Booker finally made me laugh with his ultra creepy line, “look at Eve, just standing there looking...goooood.” Doesn’t make up for the rest of the show, but it’s a start. Anyone else think Kelly was picturing Orton’s face when she went all bat shit crazy? Nice roll up on the finish but the match was below par.

You know what this PPV has that I thought WWE had forgotten how to do? Segments that link a story through the show that build to the main event. Remember when they used to do that? When backstage moments served a purpose? Instead of pointless ‘comedy’ skits to crowbar in some sports dude or actor no one knows...oh, hi R-Truth and tall Basketball player I don’t know...normal service is resumed.

Ok, Barrett vs. Bryan. I’ve been looking forward to this. Not so sure it’s such a good idea to mention last year’s Summerslam main event, considering how far Barrett’s stock has fallen since then. Oh for the love of God can you please just stop burying Daniel Bryan ALL THE TIME! What is the point of any of it? Cocks. Bryan busting out some of his trademark ROH spots. This match is hellish stiff and has had tons of replays of big spots. Crowd pretty dead though. I wonder if that’s because they’ve been conditioning to think of Bryan as a useless nerd?

I love the different style of strikes these guys are using. Bryan’s big kicks spot towards the end probably made most of the kids in attendance cry. Loved this match. A really different, hard hitting and realistic style of offense that you don’t see enough in WWE. You compare that to what Morrison and Kofi do and it’s like night and day. Don’t get me wrong, both styles have their place, I just like this style more.

Here we go. Christian vs. Orton. The ‘Keith Richards feud,’ because just like Keith, this feud can’t be killed by conventional weapons. What is this, like the sixth time these two have faced off in the last five months? If that doesn’t highlight the lack of new, main event level talent, being made in WWE in the last year I don’t know what does. Then again Orton and Cena faced off on 347 consecutive PPVs in the last 5 years. Or at least it felt like it.

Hey it’s EDGE!! What a crowd pop! I sense a swerve coming. Yep, there it is. Poor Christian, he looks really upset. No one does the weasel heel better than Christian and it’s in full force here tonight. Orton’s selling like a demon – great work. Still not sold on him doing that Thesz press. It just totally kills the crowd because it looks so fucking weird. I think it’s the way he splays his legs and arms as he hits it. Something just ain’t right. Oh man, superplex on the flat table! Christian busts out Foley’s steps spot. Yay – the RKO finally broke an announce table. Randy will be pleased.

Ok, this finish is just brutal. I take it back about John Favreau owing WWE money. Christian must’ve mugged one of HHH’s kids! A burial of the highest order. Like, don’t just bury him. Burn the body, then bury the ashes, then set the grave on fire, then bury the graveyard. Holy shit! I don’t think the Spirit Squad got killed to fuck as badly as that. That RKO on the steps was a hell of a visual though.

Up until Christian got put six feet under by Orton that was a fucking awesome match. I loved how it back referenced to the previous matches with the spitting, and the leap off the ropes into the RKO. I loved the aggression of both men, their excellent selling and facial expressions throughout. The total and utter destruction of Christian though? Felt unnecessary – unless he’s taking time off for injuries. If not, say good bye to him ever drawing as a main event level wrestler again.

So, main event time. What’s going to happen? Will the IWC explode in a shower of rage and cheesy poofs if Cena wins? Will the IWC collectively orgasm if CM Punk wins? Will WWE fuck the booking of the match in the A? How much camera time will HHH steal?

The video package should be renamed “WWE – America’s Game.” Seriously, if the NFL don’t send a strongly worded letter about that I’ll be shocked. Cool video though – WWE fighting back in the hype video stakes just when I thought UFC had taken the lead.

Phew, HHH decided not to borrow Shawn Michaels guest referee shorts. You know, the ones he smuggles that Budgie in. That’s one less thing to worry about. Huge reaction to Punk – they cut whatever he said to HHH when he walked across the ring from the reply I’m watching. LAME! Huge reaction for Cena, pretty negative but some cheers. Major heat for this one. Man, has any angle in WWE clicked as well as this one in recent years? Look at all those Punk t-shirts in the crowd! Someone can afford a new tattoo now!

Poor Cena, he tries a few mat exchanges that don’t look that bad and get’s the ‘you can’t wrestle’ chant. I wonder what’s more annoying for the wrestlers, that chant or the ‘what’ thing? Some decent exchanges in this match – the work is smoother than at MITB. They’ve struck gold with that running knee to Cena’s face! They did it three times and each time the crowd popped. I liked the reversals of the submissions, even if Cena was struggling to work out what he was supposed to do. Nice drop kick Mr Cena! Where’s that been hiding all these years? Some great near falls with their finishers.

And there goes all the air out of the arena. The foot on the ropes spot that isn’t seen by HHH? Really? That’s the finish? If this doesn’t telegraph ADR cashing in tonight and they’re going with a 3 way with Cena, ADR and Punk at Night of Champions, nothing does. Look at all the Punk fans with their hands on their heads waiting for the screw job...and here it comes...wait, what? KEVIN NASH?

Ok, I didn’t expect that. Adds a layer of drama to things – did HHH bring him in or maybe Steph? I hope to Christ we aren’t getting a Punk vs. Nash even WWE wouldn’t do that to us.

Here’s ADR. And boom, cash in and new WWE Champion. I can’t say I didn’t see it coming. Look how happy he is, he’s jumping out the ring and leaping about without the WWE Title! Give him the Title ref. Well then...

So the dust has settled and I’ve had time to think things over. I didn’t like the finish to the WWE Title match at all. That foot on the rope spot is so redundant in 2011. Especially with Cole, Lawler and Booker all screaming, “he had his foot on the rope” and the countless times that finish has been reversed. Never mind the 100 foot high screen they could show a replay on. I know it gives Cena a reason to stay in the Title mix but I’d have thought they’d do something a bit more innovative than that.

I’m not as pissed off at Punk losing the Title as I imagine some people are. I’d kind of accepted it was going to happen. I just hope it leads to Punk and Del Rio because that could be fun. The Kevin Nash run in was WAY out of left field but as it ties in with the HHH/Steph stuff, I’m actually for it. It’s logical if they did hire him and it also works as a nice lead to continue Punk vs. HHH.

So was Summer Slam worth the money? Could my £15 have been better spent? Did I miss a trick and a bag of chips with that hooker? Probably. But it’s WWE – I never entered the deal with hopes of this PPV and the finish to the main event blowing my mind and ushering in a new era in WWE. It was entertaining enough and it does set things up for Raw.

My big concern is whether or not the fans who have sided with Punk are going to stick with him and do the most important thing - spend money and time on him. Be it merch, PPV buys or TV ratings. If Punk’s fans go back to the net and back to ignoring WWE that’ll be the perfect sign to WWE that this experiment didn’t work. That the IWC aren’t worth catering too because they don’t spend money on the product. I did and I do kind of feel a bit disappointed now that I’ve reflected on what I saw.

I’ll watch Raw though, just to see how they follow the whole thing up. I think the 3 way at Night of Champions in the logical step but I can’t help feel that Punk and WWE have had a lot of cold water thrown on them in the last few weeks and it’s all down to how they’re telling this story. But I’m open to be proven wrong.

Anyway, that’s my take on Summer Slam. I hope you guys enjoyed it. I’d love to hear what you all thought of the show. Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter and if you don’t already I’ve changed my handle to @WLHDuckman. I’ll be back later in the week with a new article and I hope you’ll all come back to Wrestling’s Last Hope to check it out. Cheers.



Saturday 13 August 2011

WLH PPV Prediction League - Prizes To Be Won - Final PPV of The First Half

So here we are, it's the final PPV of the first half of the years for the WLH PPV Prediction League, whoever has the most points following Summer Slam will win a wrestling DVD. Hopefully, for the second half of the year I will have more people involved, it's a good bit of fun and there is a DVD to be won so tell your friends to get involved. Anyway, below are the matches for Summer Slam

1. Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett
2. Mark Henry vs. Sheamus
3. WWE Diva's Champion Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix
4. WWE United States Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler v Alex Riley (I have been told this match HASN'T been announced)
5. No Holds Barred World Heavyweight Title Match: Christian v Randy Orton
6. WWE Championship Title v Title Match: CM Punk v John Cena Special Ref: Triple H

Thursday 11 August 2011

Duckman’s Definitive Summer Slam Memories!!

Unless you’ve been living under a Dwayne Johnson for the last few weeks you will know what is right around the corner. The official ‘biggest event of the summer!’ One of the most anticipated shows of the year. An event so incredible and life changing that you would give up a limb just to be able to say, “I was there.” It’s a happening like no other that takes place this weekend and the eyes of the world will be trained on it. This year controversy has ran wild in the build up and no one knows what is going to happen. All they can say for sure is it’s going to be one hell of a show.

Alright, Duckman, “enough of the hype,” I hear you cry. “Get to the good stuff.” So without further ado, let’s get to the ‘biggest event of the summer!’ That’s right, I’m talking about the one and the ONLY…Mid Argyll Agricultural Show!! The seventh (out of eight) most popular Agricultural Show in the West of Scotland!! I know, I’m almost too excited to type this!!

Trust me, there is no other feeling in the world that compares to the excitement of standing in a muddy, rain swept field, a half cooked E-coli ridden ‘burger,’ in your hand, surrounded by drunk farmers, as you take in the true wonder of the best sheep in show…show. Or the tractor display – you’ve never seen a plough being pulled until you’ve seen it being pulled by a New Holland T-9 tractor, now that’s what I call a party!

So sit back and settle down as I bring you over 2000 words on the history of the ‘biggest event of the summer,’ and together we can relive some of the glory days – including Mrs McGregor’s unprecedented seven consecutive wins in the ‘best scone’ competition. The highly controversial decision to allow sheep from outside Mid Argyll to be considered for the ‘Miss Mid Argyll’ beauty pageant as well as…wait, what? Summerslam? No I didn’t agree to write about Summerslam. I did? What email? Hold on, I need to call my agent…

*editors note – He really was going to write about a farming show. Yeah, apparently it’s on this weekend and he’s really excited about it. I don’t get it either, must be a Scottish thing.*

Well apparently Summerslam is also on this weekend and WWE own the phrase ‘biggest event of the summer,’ so legally I have to write about Summerslam, otherwise I can’t use that phrase...and I love that phrase. Just another example of Vince McMahon throwing his weight around, I’m sure you’ll agree. So it is under extreme protest that I bring to you:

Duckman’s Definitive Summerslam Memories!!

Oh what a jolly jape. To be honest, you probably have to live in Mid Argyll to find all that even slightly amusing. And it also helps to know that I don’t actually look forward to ‘the show.’ I’ve been to it once and found it to be the most weird, boring and slightly unnerving thing I’ve attended since Sunday School when I was 5.

Yep, no doubt about it, all the best jokes need a full written explanation to make them funny. So to the 3 people reading this that enjoyed that opening skit – you’re welcome. To the rest of you – I’m sorry, I’ll get to the wrestling stuff now.

So, Summerslam, one of the official ‘Big 4’ Pay Per View events that WWE introduced to the wrestling world back in the 80s that revolutionised the business. Along with Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania and Survivor Series, Summerslam is one of the crown jewels in the WWE PPV calendar and one of the few events I’ll still pay to watch. Though given these days it’s up against such ‘must see’ events as Fatal Four Way and Capitol Punishment, it’s no wonder I look forward to and willingly pay for Summerslam.

I’m sure plenty of other people on the multitude of wrestling websites out there have given their thoughts, complaints and predictions about this year’s Summerslam show. I like to do things a little differently, so follow me down memory lane as I look back at some of my favourite Summerslam moments and matches and hopefully squeeze a half decent article out of it! Oh and as far as this year’s show goes – I’m in the ‘Punk or riot’ camp but fear the Alberto Del Rio cash in is going to ruin it for everyone.

Anyway...what better place to start a look back at Summerslam than the first one in 1988? A show I remember for 3 reasons; The Ultimate Warrior’s 30 second squash of the Honky Tonk Man to win the IC Title and begin his run to the top of the WWE, Miss Elizabeth taking off her skirt in the main event to reveal some bikini bottoms and Superstar Billy Graham proving that he was not just ahead of his time when it came to steroid use, but also shit commentary, as he engaged in the kind of rambling, nonsensical drivel than even Booker T would struggle to understand.

Of course as a kid seeing Warrior win like that was mind blowing. Although not as mind blowing as Miss Elizabeth’s distraction in the main event. Shows you how far wrestling and society in general has changed since 1988 – at the time what she did was considered shocking and sexy. I dread to think what she’d have had to do these days to get that kind of’d probably involve a number of props, a Rabbi and a harness. Oh and they’d have to broadcast it at half time of the Superbowl.

The best part about the main event (which was a terrible match) is the really subtle look of annoyance Randy Savage gave to Hulk Hogan when he lifted Elizabeth onto his shoulder as they celebrated their win. All it took was one look to plant a seed for one of the hottest feuds in the history of wrestling...ah subtly in wrestling booking, remember those days?

Oh and for those of you sitting there thinking, “fuck me, the one he wrote about commentators was long enough – he’s got 20 years of PPVs to go through here,” I’m not going to cover every single Summerslam, don’t worry.

Which is why we’re jumping forward in time to Summerslam 1991 and the famous wedding between Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. Interesting fact, this show still holds the record for the most number of women wearing huge glasses and shoulder pads shown crying on PPV. Honestly, female wrestling fans are even lamer than us blokes.

The wedding was horrendously cheesy and actually quite creepy if you know the real life story of Savage and Elizabeth (him a controlling maniac coke head, her miserable in their relationship) and the fact they’d actually broken up in real life a couple of years earlier. Still Jake Roberts and the Undertaker did a great impression of Scotsmen at a wedding – by smashing the place up and getting into a fight with the groom. Respect gentlemen, respect.

Behind the scenes this show is notorious for The Ultimate Warrior threatening to no show unless Vince paid him a substantial amount of money. Hilariously Sgt Slaughter and Hulk Hogan discussed “dealing with the situation physically,” but unfortunately they didn’t go through the with the threat. Man I’d loved to have seen that, a three way slap fight between a yellow balding hulk, a dude from GI-Joe and a crazy bastard in war paint and tassels. Personally I feel sorry for Warrior, you have any idea how expensive face paint and cocaine was in 1991?

Summerslam 1992 – my favourite WWE show ever, it wasn't shown live on PPV, it was on a tape delay in both the the UK & US but it was from England, which meant I was practically there. Even though I wasn’t. Interesting fun fact - in the crowd that day? None other than a young Nigel McGuiness (or Desmond Wolfe to the 3 people who watch TNA). It was also the only WWE PPV to be broadcast outside the States and the single biggest gate WWE ever drew. The Wrestlemania 3 gate was vastly inflated but at Wembley they legit drew over 82,000 fans.

This show stands out for a few reasons, other than the fact I was 10 years old and having an aneurism of excitement for everything I saw. There were loads of green foam hands in the crowd which made for a hell of a visual. The Road Warriors got one of the biggest fucking crowd pops EVER when they came out on their motorbikes and Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith for the Intercontinental Title was, hands down, one of the best matches of all time. Not just for the in-ring work but the phenomenal crowd reaction to every single second of it.

Of course in the years that followed we found out on the night Davey Boy was out his face on a heroic amount of drugs, forgot everything they had planned for the match the minute he got to the ring and had to be carried through the whole match by Bret who called every single spot. That alone should earn Bret the tag of ‘greatest worker of all time,’ because even watching it back now, it’s hard to tell just how fucked up Davey was and how much Bret saved the damn match.

Oh when Davey won the IC Title and the crowd erupted? Little Duckman nearly lost all his feathers -an incredibly emotional moment and one of the most important memories to me as a wrestling fan. From that moment I was as hooked on wrestling, as Davey Boy was on somas.

Right, we all know the mid 90s weren’t kind to WWE and Summerslam didn’t escape. I submit to the jury, Giant Gonzalez in the main event of Summerslam 1993, Lex Luger in general and real Undertaker vs. fake Undertaker at Summerslam 1994. Yeah, let’s just leave that alone and move along – nothing to see here folks.

Summerslam 1995 – Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels in their ladder rematch from Wrestlemania 10. I love this match. It’s almost better than their first. It also features a staple of all WWE shows in the mid 90s, namely Shawn Michaels freaking out at something going wrong during his match.

Still, this was one of the most exciting and innovative matches of all time and set the tone for all ladder matches that came after it. Interesting fact – this show was the first PPV appearance by a certain triple lettered man who is going to be the guest referee at this year’s Summerslam. He beat Bob Holly – which made my friend Dorling cry for a month.

Summerslam 1996 and Shawn Michaels once again freaked the fuck out when Vader screwed something up during their match for the WWE Title. I can’t for the life of me think why Michaels had a reputation for being a little diva bitch during this era...that match was great up until the finish which was so overbooked even Vince Russo would’ve asked them to tone it down a bit.

I know I said wasn’t going to go year by year, but come on it’s Summerslam 1997 – the night Owen Hart nearly cost the WWE its biggest and most popular star of all time. When he dropped Stone Cold Steve Austin on his head with that wacky piledriver I’m sure Austin thought his career was over. I’m also sure if Vince had known how much money Austin would make him in the following few years, his arse would’ve fallen out the second Austin’s bald noggin hit the mat.

Thankfully Austin was able to continue his career after that moment, although it was cruelly curtailed. The sight of him crawling up with half his limbs not working and slowly rolling Hart up for the pin is one of the bravest and saddest sights I’ve ever seen in wrestling. Toughest SOB on the planet? Oh hell yeah!

Summerslam 2000 marked a high point in terms of in-ring work and business in WWE. The company was on fire, drawing huge numbers on TV and PPV and blowing the sinking ship of WCW out of the water. The first TLC match with The Dudleys, Hardys and Edge and Christian is one of the most spectacular matches of all time. Ten years on it’s easy to say that this match and the other similar high risk stunt matches that followed had a big part in shortening the careers of some of the main players and no doubt pushed them down the prescription medication path. However, and this sounds selfish as hell, it was one fucking great match!

Summerslam 2000 also saw Shane McMahon continue his desperate pursuit of acceptance as a wrestler by jumping off as many high places as he could. Chris Jericho and ‘he who shall not be named’ had a great 2/3 falls match. The main event three way for the WWE Title was memorable mainly for Kurt Angle getting KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT by a HHH pedigree through the announce table when the table broke too soon and H put Kurt’s head through the concrete floor.

I still remember the camera moving in and Angle snoring like a hibernating bear! Credit to HHH and The Rock who managed to salvage the match and credit to Kurt Angle, who came back out for the finish, even though he looked like a 90 old dementia patient trying to remember where he parked his car in 1947.

Summerslam 2002 was one hell of a show for two reasons. Firstly the epic, brutal, bloody and downright legendry unsanctioned street fight between HHH and Shawn Michaels. You all know the story of Michaels coming back from a career ending back injury to have this match and then going on for another 7 plus years to even greater in-ring performances than his first run. This match was about as good as wrestling gets and one of the best matches of either man’s career.

Secondly it marked the official start of Brock Lesnar’s criminally short run as THE MAN in WWE. His match with The Rock was tremendous, the young animal going up against the established Champion and the torch being passed at the end. The vignettes used to hype the match with both men training are some of the best promos WWE have ever done. The footage of Brock running up a mountain carrying a fucking TREE on his shoulder should be shown before every UFC fight he has.

It’s a shame Brock found life in WWE wasn’t for him because personally, I think he could have been as big as Austin in terms of drawing power. That man had unlimited money making potential in wrestling. I’m sure Vince cried himself to sleep when the million plus buy rates came in for Brock’s last two UFC PPVs. The only man to break one million buys on PPV TWICE in one year since Mike Tyson. Say what you will about his attitude and his willingness to move on when things don’t go his way but Brock Lesnar DRAWS MONEY.

To be honest, since that show it’s kind of slim pickings when it comes to great Summerslam moments. Randy Orton becoming the youngest WWE Champion of all time? Shawn Michaels over selling for Hulk Hogan in one of the most hilarious matches of all time? ‘Taker vs. Edge in a Hell in the Cell match? CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy in a TLC match? All pretty cool, sure. The scary thing, in researching this article, is seeing how much star power WWE has lost since the early part of the last decade.

Or even worse, how poorly booked their shows have been over the last 3-5 years, to the point where at Summerslam last year they had their hottest angle in YEARS with The Nexus but by the end of the night, they’d all been pointlessly killed to fuck by John Cena. And a year on, half of them are gone from the company, one of them spends every show having Michael Cole take the piss out of him on commentary and the one guy who should have been the true star out of the whole deal, Wade Barrett, is spinning his wheels in Smackdown mid-card hell.

Wow. Ok, this is ending on a downer. Thanks WWE, you cocks. Hopefully this year Summerslam can live up to the amazing shows of the past and with the CM Punk angle, perhaps it can bring back the fans who have no doubt drifted away since 2002. Then again, the show is on Sunday and they’ve announced 4 matches...for the second biggest PPV of the year...and people wonder why I watch Ring of Honor!

So there you go folks. I hope you had fun on this ramble down Summerslam memory lane. Don’t worry, I won’t really be attending the Mid Argyll Agricultural Show this weekend. I’ll be too busy watching riots on TV and praying that they don’t fuck CM Punk over in the same way they fucked over Nexus last year! And would you know it, just as a typed that, ‘Cult of Personality’ came on my IPod. Seriously. That’s awesome. Here’s hoping that’s the last song we hear on Sunday night when Summerslam 2011 is done and dusted.

As always, thanks for reading and supporting Wrestling’s Last Hope. If you’ve got some favourite Summerslam memories I’d love to hear them. Also if you have any suggestions for future articles, let me know. You can follow me on twitter @EFKDuckman and I’ll be back next week with more wrestling related rambling. Cheers.



Tuesday 9 August 2011

The Indy Corner - 07/08/11

As many of you may know, I do a segment on the Total Wrestling Show called The Indy Corner. It airs in the pre-show at about 17:45 GMT every Sunday and is supposed to be attached to the podcast. This weeks for whatever reason wasn't on the podcast so here is basically what I spoke on the segment with Steve Grieve.

First off I want to congratulate UK worker MK McKinnan on getting selected to wrestle for CHIKARA in the 2011 Young Lions Cup that takes place on August 27/28th in Easton, PA. I didn’t know of MK until recently when I saw him in a 3 way match against CZW’s Jonathan Gresham & Shinya Ishikawa at the FightClub: Pro show on July 15th. I said at the time, it was easily one of the best matches I had seen this year. MK is one to look out for at the YLC and more.

Talking of FCP, they have some great shows coming soon in Wolverhampton the first being on August 19th called ‘International Tekkers’ that will feature the aforementioned Jonathan Gresham as well as CHIKARA’s Mike Quackenbush & the one and only Colt Cabana. And on September 23rd, 24th & 25th they have a great trio of shows under the title of ‘Project Mayhem’ which will feature CZW, Big Japan, WXW (Germany) & UK guys. Check out their site for further details click the links on the side of this site.

PWI 500 – Indy wrestlers in the list, former ROH champions place in the top 15 with Eddie Edwards cracking the top 10 in at #9 and Roderick Strong makes it in at #13. Current ROH champion comes in at #25 and Christopher Daniels in at #26. Obviously Richards would be higher if the list was done now but the list is graded from June 2010 to May 2011. Other notable indy guys in the top 100 are #36 Chris Hero, #44 Claudio Castagnoli, #49 Adam Pearce, #53 Seth (Tyler Black) Rollins, #94 Colt Cabana, #99 Tommaso Ciampa. I have posted the FULL PWI 500 2011 below on the site.

Sunday 7 August 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

1. The Pope vs. Devon
2. Winter vs. Mickie James (Knockouts Title)
3. RVD vs. Crimson (BFG Series #1 vs. #2)
4. Mexican America vs. Beer Money (Tag Titles)
5. Brian Kendrick vs. Alex Shelley vs. Austin Aries (X Division Title)
6. Fortune (Daniels, Kaz & Styles) vs. Immortal (Gunner, Abyss & Steiner)
7. Ms. Tessmacher and Tara vs. Mexican America (Rosita and Sarita)(Knockout's Tag Titles)
8. Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson
9. Sting vs. Kurt Angle (World Title)

Saturday 6 August 2011

Full PWI 500 2011 List

It's been known for a while now who was number one in the list but it's only today I have seen the full list. Pro Wrestling Illustrated is not taken seriously in the wrestling world these days but the PWI 500 always garners some attention. The list is graded between June 2010 and May 2011. It's no secret I'm no fan of The Miz so to see him at number 1 is more annoying but anyway, time for me to stop feeling sorry for myself as I know there are a LOT of people who think his placing is deserved. So without further ado, here is the full list.

The Top 50

1. The Miz 2. Randy Orton 3. John Cena 4. Kane 5. Takashi Sugiura 6. Alberto Del Rio 7. Mr. Anderson 8. Rey Mysterio 9. Eddie Edwards 10. CM Punk 11. Rob Van Dam 12. Sheamus 13. Roderick Strong 14. Suwama 15. Daniel Bryan 16. Jeff Hardy 17. Dolph Ziggler 18. Kurt Angle 19. Wade Barrett 20. Jeff Jarrett 21. Sting 22. Hiroshi Tanahashi 23. Ultimo Dragon 24. AJ Styles 25. Davey Richards 26. Christopher Daniels 27. John Morrison 28. Dr. Wagner Jr. 29. Kofi Kingston 30. Bobby Roode 31. The Big Show 32. Matt Morgan 33. Christian 34. Kazarian 35. Cody Rhodes 36. Chris Hero 37. James Storm 38. Ricky Banderas 39. Jack Swagger 40. Bully Ray 41. Satoshi Kojima 42. Samoa Joe 43. Sin Cara 44. Claudio Castagnoli 45. Shinsuke Nakamura 46. El Generico 47. Alex Shelley 48. Chris Sabin 49. Adam Pearce 50. El Zorro

And the rest

51. R-Truth
52. Drew McIntyre
53. Seth Rollins
54. Togi Makabe
55. Hernandez
56. D’Angelo Dinero
57. Mark Henry
58. Negro Casas
59. Gunner
60. Abyss
61. Justin Gabriel
62. Douglas Williams
63. Brother Devon
64. Go Shiozaki
65. Matt Hardy
66. Heath Slater
67. Robbie E
68. Ted DiBiase Jr.
69. Evan Bourne
70. Naomichi Marufuji
71. Shelton Benjamin
72. Tommy Dreamer
73. Prince Devitt
74. Jay Briscoe
75. Rob Terry
76. Austin Aries
77. Max Buck
78. Ezekiel Jackson
79. Charlie Haas
80. Jushin Liger
81. Mark Briscoe
82. Orlando Jordan
83. Jeremy Buck
84. Jesse Neal
85. Kenny Omega
86. Shingo Takagi
87. Carlito
88. Volador Jr.
89. Crimson
90. BXB Hulk
91. Shannon Moore
92. Vladimir Kozlov
93. Homicide
94. Colt Cabana
95. Yuji Nagata
96. Eric Young
97. David Otunga
98. Yamato
99. Tommaso Ciampa
100. Santino Marella
101. Kenny King
102. Dean Ambrose
103. The Sheik
104. Low Ki
105. The Great Khali
106. Alex Riley
107. Brian Kendrick
108. Jimmy Jacobs
109. Rhett Titus
110. Scott Steiner
111. Minoru Suzuki
112. La Parka
113. Tyson Kidd
114. Mike Bennett
115. Adam Cole
116. Johnny Curtis
117. Michael McGillicutty
118. Jay Lethal
119. Mason Ryan
120. Tyson Dux
121. MVP
122. Kevin Steen
123. Minoru Tanaka
124. David Hart Smith
125. Ryota Hama
126. Ultimo Guerrero
127. Hirooki Goto
128. Blue Demon, Jr.
129. Husky Harris
130. Giant Bernard
131. La Sombra
132. Michael Tarver
133. Chessman
134. Kaz Hayashi
135. Ryusuke Taguchi
136. Amazing Red
137. Yoshi Tatsu
138. Yoshihiro Takayama
139. Toru Yano
140. Zack Ryder
141. Delirious
142. Takuma Sano
143. Primo Colon
144. Karl Anderson
145. Wataru Inoue
146. L.A. Park
147. Averno
148. Kotaro Suzuki
149. Mohammed Yone
150. Hiram Tua
151. Joe Doering
152. Joe E. Legend
153. JTG
154. Kota Ibushi
155. Takeshi Morishima
156. Mephisto
157. Kono
158. Tayo Kea
159. Big Daddy Voodoo
160. Rhino
161. Steve Corino
162. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
163. Tyler Reks
164. Magnus
165. Chris Masters
166. Masato Tanaka
167. Anarquia
168. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
169. William Regal
170. Murphy 171. CIMA
172. Trent Barreta
173. KENTA
174. Heavy Metal
175. Curt Hawkins
176. Masakatsu Funaki
177. Paul London
178. Luke Gallows
179. Kensuke Sasaki
180. Ray Gonzalez
181. Akitoshi Saito
182. Atlantis
183. Yoshihiro Tajiri
184. Yuji Takahashi
185. Brodus Clay
186. Tetsuya Naito
187. Sami Callihan
188. PAC
189. Jimmy Uso
190. Jon Davis
191. Bo Rotundo
192. Jey Uso
193. Jun Akiyama
194. Bison Smith
195. Oliver John
196. Hector Garza
197. Masato Yoshino
198. Kory Chavis
199. Jack Evans
200. Arik Cannon
201. Perro Aguayo Jr.
202. Tim Storm
203. Electroshock
204. Taiji Ishimori
205. Darren Young
206. Richie Steamboat
207. Extreme Tiger
208. Xavier Woods
209. Masahiro Chono
210. Hartley Jackson
211. Brad Allen
212. Naruki Doi
213. Derrick Bateman
214. Johnny Vandal
215. Big E. Langston
216. Eric Escobar
217. Silver King
218. Chris Grey
219. Calvin Raines
220. Brodie Lee
221. Jerry Lawler
222. Tommy Taylor
223. Byron Saxton
224. Glamour Boy Shane
225. Peter Orlov
226. Drake Younger
227. Jado
228. Ultimo Gladiador
229. Michael Elgin
230. Raven
231. Matt Taven
232. Kyle O’Reilly
233. Necro Butcher
234. Chris Angel
235. Rasche Brown
236. Jon Rekon
237. Cibernetico
238. Keiji Muto
239. Sabu
240. Percy Watson
241. Keith Walker
242. Joe Lider
243. Gedo
244. Conor O’Brian
245. Metal Master
246. Martin Stone
247. Cody Hawk
248. Tim Donst
249. Titus O’Neil
250. Octagon
251. Vampiro
252. TJ Cannon
253. Dragon Rojo Jr.
254. Tiger Mask IV
255. Super Crazy
256. Jacob Novak
257. Blue Panther
258. Caylen Croft
259. Bruce Maxwell
260. Lucky Cannon
261. John McChesney
262. Ricky Reyes
263. Tokyo Monster Kahagas
264. Petey Williams
265. Akebono
266. Akuma
267. Cody Deaner
268. Johnny Gargano
269. Shawn Spears
270. Sterling James Keenan
271. Latino
272. Ryan Eagles
273. Mascara Dorado
274. Tozawa
275. Matt Cross
276. Derek Wylde
277. Damien Sandow
278. Joey Ryan
279. “Mr. 450” Hammett
280. Chuck Taylor
281. Jigsaw
282. Icarus
283. Ares
284. Ruckus
285. Jayson Cypress
286. Okada
287. Tito Colon
288. Eddie Kingston
289. Mike Quackenbush
290. Josh Daniels
291. Rocky Romero
292. Mason Beck
293. Sebastian Suave
294. Darin Corbin
295. Joey Mercury
296. Hunico
297. Robbie Heart
298. Rich Swann
299. Matt Riviera
300. Dragon Kid
301. Jason Bane
302. Dennis Rivera
303. Pepper Parks
304. Lance Bravado
305. Harlem Bravado
306. Dylan Kage
307. Kijimuna
308. Dan Lawrence
309. Matt Cage
310. Silas Young
311. Craig Classic
312. Shane Hollister
313. Brandon Locke
314. Sugar Dunkerton
315. Slyck Wagner Brown
316. Aden Chambers
317. Robert Anthony
318. Robbie McAllister
319. T.J. Perkins
320. Hallowicked
321. Cliff Compton
322. Don Paysan
323. Robbie Gilmore
324. Max Bauer
325. N8 Mattson
326. Brian Milonas
327. Mohamad Ali Vaez
328. Wes Brisco
329. Brandon Espinosa
330. Eli Cottonwood
331. Arick Andrews
332. Desean Bishop
333. Samuel Elias
334. Christopher Rockwell
335. J.D. Maverick
336. Jinder Mahal
337. Donny Marlow
338. Alexander Rusev
339. Ace Hawkins
340. Cole Callway 341. Jerome Hendrix
342. The Blue Meanie
343. Andy Ridge
344. C.J. Esparza
345. Mike Mondo
346. Ophidian
347. Diego Corleone
348. R.D. Evans
349. Amasis
350. Jake O’Reilly
351. Kirby Mack
352. Brett Gakiya
353. Steve Boz
354. Jake Crist
355. Tommy Treznik
356. DJ Hyde
357. Ryan Bisbal
358. TJ Mack
359. Paredyse
360. Vance Nevada
361. Shane Haste
362. Franky the Mobster
363. Lince Dorado
364. Dave Crist
365. Kyle Sebastian
366. Devon Moore
367. Asylum
368. Corey Hollis
369. Mike Sydal
370. Ryan Rush
371. Roman Leakee
372. Matt Burns
373. Russell Walker
374. Kevin Grace
375. Adam Revolver
376. Steven Walters
377. Sam Shields
378. Danny Havoc
379. Mike Rollins
380. Ted McNaler
381. Damien Slater
382. Jake Manning
383. Ryan McBride
384. Sinn Bodhi
385. Josh Alexander
386. Bloody Harker Dirge
387. RJ City
388. Alex Silva
389. Mega
390. Jonny Puma
391. Aaron Epic
392. Adam Windsor
393. Cobian
394. Chase Del Monte
395. Shiima Xion
396. Ricochet
397. Papadon
398. Josef Von Schmidt
399. Pat Buck
400. Dan Maff
401. Jason Static
402. Bazooka Joe
403. Bobby Shields
404. Grizzly Redwood
405. Breaker Morant
406. Scott Zenzen
407. Bobby Dempsey
408. Maifu
409. Kekoa the Flyin’ Hawaiian
410. Kid America
411. Mathieu St-Jacques
412. Saifu
413. Bryan Logan
414. Sylvan Grenier
415. Crazzy Steve
416. Eric Cooper
417. Brandon Aarons
418. Matt Logan
419. Pat Guennette
420. Whipdog Johnson
421. Damian Dragon
422. Jason Jones
423. Cheech
424. Elvis Pridemore
425. Rastakhan
426. Mr. Fantastic
427. Matt Saigon
428. Player Uno
430. Sexxy Eddie
431. Benjamin Kimera
432. Stupified
433. Chris Wylde
434. Shaun Rickers
435. Jake Davis
436. Jimmy Cicero
437. Ernesto Osiris
438. Mike Posey
439. Gee Gee
440. Axl Rotten
441. Joe Gacy
442. C.W. Scott
443. Shorty Smalls
444. Noah Lott
445. Scott Wright
446. Mozart Fontaine
447. Cloudy
448. Jimmy Lee
449. Mike Dell
450. Tim Horner Jr
451. Vincent Vega
452. Leslie Leatherman
453. CUJO the Hellhound
454. Bill Collier
455. American Kickboxer II
456. Chrisifix
457. Scott Tytus
458. Outlaw J. R. James
459. Kevin Douglas
460. Tommy Mack
461. Rudy Switchblade
462. Steve Stasiak
463. Don Vega
464. Dennis Allen
465. Chris Cooper
466. Sabian
467. Vince Beach
468. Bodie Williams
469. Nick Fury
470. Brain Damage
471. Fred Flash
472. Biff Slater
473. A.J. Istria
474. Abraham Washington
475. Shockwave the Robot
476. Marc Mandrake
477. Martin Stanley Fuqua
478. Pee Wee
479. Damien Kass
480. Will Calrissian
481. Kwan Chang
482. AHTU
483. Ethan Page
484. Griffen
485. Barry Hardy
486. Jimmy the Hippy
487. Preston Maxwell
488. Scarry Garry
489. Brandon Bishop
490. Ryot
491. Joey Kings
492. Corey Blaze
493. Ash Walker
494. Justin Sane
495. Brandon Thurston
496. Milo Beasley
497. Peter B. Beautiful
498. Sinister Cross
499. Johnny Adams
500. Gino Martino

Friday 5 August 2011

ProMMANow.Com Interviews Davey Richards

Special thanks to for letting Wrestling's Last Hope publish this interview. Please visit their site for great MMA news.

There is a reason why fans chant his name when Ring of Honor World Champion Davey Richards walks to the ring. His world-class athleticism and dedication to becoming the best professional wrestler in the world is evident whenever he steps through the ropes.

But while fans know of his accomplishments in a wrestling ring, they may not be aware of his involvement in MMA.

Richards, who is about to test for his purple belt in jiu-jitsu, trains around the globe with some of the best MMA teachers in the world.

With the help of that training he was finally able to realize a dream this past June when he won the ROH World Title at Best in the World 2011.

But for Richards, the journey didn’t end when he became champion. In reality, it has only just begun.‘s Josh Cross spoke with Richards earlier this week about his jiu-jitsu training, how being on the road a lot has benefitted that training, and if he wants to step into the cage for an MMA fight.

In addition, Richards talked about winning the Ring of Honor World Championship, his upcoming title defense against Roderick Strong, and what he is fighting for now that he has finally won the championship that had eluded him for so long.

PRO MMA NOW: Starting off can you talk about how you became introduced to MMA and what led you to start your MMA training?

When I first moved back to Washington from Atlanta there weren’t any pro wrestling schools there and I had always wanted to compete. I amateur wrestled in high school and college and there was a Pancrase Gym in Spokane, Washington called TKO Martial Arts. I started going out there, but it was a two-hour drive from my house. I went there by myself a couple of times a week, but then when I started wrestling more and traveling more I stopped going. Then I moved to Charlotte and I started going to a Gracie jiu-jitsu gym and I kind of just feel in love with jiu-jitsu there so when I moved to St. Louis I found Absolute Martial Arts and really dove into jiu-jitsu and I’ve just been plugging away and competing at that ever since.

PRO MMA NOW: What was it about MMA and the jiu-jitsu training you were doing that sort of pulled you in and hooked you?

DAVEY RICHARDS: For me personally it’s just the thrill of competition, but I think why it appeals to people is because it’s kind of the essence of man. Everyone can relate to overcoming odds or fighting. It’s a very primal sport. It’s a very primal instinct that people have. You fight for what you want in life. There are very few times in life where you hold your fate in your own hands and it’s not dictated by a boss or a committee or someone else’s opinion. When two people are fighting for their own fate I think it’s the essence of what makes us human, that ability to be able to fight for what we want. It’s a really pure sport I think and that’s what draws me in.

PRO MMA NOW: Being on the road as much as you are, how often do you get to train and what does a typical training session look like for you?

DAVEY RICHARDS: So I just got back in town today. I’ll do kickboxing from noon until 1 p.m. Then from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. I do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and I’ll go back tonight and do live rolling. When we go tomorrow it will be open mat for jiu-jitsu and kickboxing so we get that in four to five times a week. Then when I’m on the road I’ve just got to make it happen. We were just in Baltimore to sign a contract for TV and I found Crazy 88 Jiu-Jitsu and went to an 8 a.m. jiu-jitsu class there. I’m going to Atlanta to train with Ricardo Murgel this weekend. I go to Japan and when I’m there I’ll go to Tri-Force Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It’s like anything else man, if you want it you’re going to find a way to get it. When we were at WrestleMania last year for the Phoenix shows I found a jiu-jitsu gym there. You’ve just got to make it happen. Whenever I go to New York I always treat myself to go to Marcelo Garcia’s gym. He’s just a top guy in the world and I try to learn from him. The traveling actually helps me because I get a lot of different perspectives on jiu-jitsu that I wouldn’t get just staying at my gym as great as it is.

PRO MMA NOW: You’ve talked in the past about wanting to get a black belt in jiu-jitsu. Is that something you’re still working on, and if so, is there a certain time you’re hoping to have your black belt by?

DAVEY RICHARDS: I’m about to test for my purple belt now. Obviously it’s all up to my coach, and he dictates when I get what. The great thing about jiu-jitsu is that there is no timeline because it’s about the journey itself. It’s the experience, so I don’t really care when I get my black belt. As long as I’m able to do jiu-jitsu I’m happy.

PRO MMA NOW: How would you say that your MMA training has helped your professional wrestling career?

DAVEY RICHARDS: I mean you can tell a real athlete from a pretend athlete in wrestling. I’ve said that for a long time. I have no interest in doing pretend wrestling and being a pretend athlete. I’ve been an athlete since I was 10 when I started wrestling, and I’m an athlete today through Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. That’s something that people can tell. Athletes have a different mindset. When things get hard they work harder. They don’t quit and they don’t back down. You can’t teach someone that. Only if you’ve been out there and you’ve been in deep waters as an athlete can you understand that. So it has helped me a lot.

PRO MMA NOW: Have you ever thought about taking an MMA fight at some point?

DAVEY RICHARDS: I’d absolutely love to compete. I’m traveling so much now between here, Japan, and Europe that I just don’t have time to cut weight and put together a proper camp. I mean I compete in jiu-jitsu tournaments often, but as far as training for a full on fight, it’s hard to put together a proper camp because I have to travel so much now.

PRO MMA NOW: What was it that led you to choose a career in professional wrestling over say a career in MMA?

DAVEY RICHARDS: Well when I started looking at wrestling, mixed martial arts was not extremely popular and I had grown up watching professional wrestling. Those guys back when I was growing up, like Dynamite Kid, were every bit as tough as an MMA fighter. It wasn’t like today where you’ve got a lot of guys who are on there who wouldn’t last three seconds in a real fight. To me a pro wrestler was every bit the athlete that a mixed martial artist was. I have an equal love for both, but I grew up watching professional wrestling. That’s what I wanted to be for a long time, but it doesn’t negate my love for mixed martial arts or martial arts period.

PRO MMA NOW: Now you’ve said before that you really enjoy wrestling for Ring of Honor. What is it specifically that you enjoy about ROH, and what do you think sets it apart from the other professional wrestling companies out there?

DAVEY RICHARDS: It’s the fact that we are athletes and we take what we do seriously, as an athlete should. You know competition is very fierce there. Everyone wants to have the best match and everyone wants to perform the best. It’s that kill or be killed mentality. It’s like when I go to Japan. If you can’t keep up they’re going to smash you. That’s the way it should be and that’s what I like about it.

PRO MMA NOW: You became the Ring of Honor World Champion after you defeated Eddie Edwards earlier this year at Best in the World 2011. Now you two have been friends for a while and have been ROH Tag Team Champions together in the past. Can you talk a little bit about that match and did the friendship you two have make that match any harder for you?

DAVEY RICHARDS: It’s hard because it’s hard to take something from someone you care about. Being champion is a good feeling. Everyone wants to bring you in and pay you a lot of money to wrestle for them. It feels good especially for a guy like Eddie, who very much deserved it, to go from where he was at to straight to the top. It’s hard to get that just taken away. I didn’t want to be the guy to take that away, but at the same time I’m not here to be anything less than the best. If I’m not going to be the best there’s really no point in me doing this. As far as like the physicality [of the match], that’s not really a thing because Eddie and I know what we’re getting ourselves into. We know what kind of style we like and we know what we bring to the table. If someone is going to get hit and get knocked out, it just comes with the territory. If you’re desperately seeking to avoid that or you’re deathly afraid of that or if you’re going to feel bad about that then you’re in the wrong sport.

What would you say winning the Ring of Honor World Championship means for you personally and for your career?

DAVEY RICHARDS: For me personally it means closure to a lot of personal things. For my career it just means that I’m the top guy now. I’m the best pure wrestler in the world. It comes with the title. The fact is that I have to earn the status of that title. I have to go out there and train harder and fight harder, which I’m more than willing to do because I have something to show for all of that now. To me it’s a motivating factor to go out there and prove to everyone that I’m the best.

PRO MMA NOW: Now your first title defense is going to be against Roderick Strong, who you faced last December at Final Battle. In that match Roderick was the champion, but you weren’t able to beat him. What did you take away from that match that will help you win this time?

DAVEY RICHARDS: Well for one you have to realized that our match at Final Battle I had just come back from Japan after being there for six weeks so I was really jet lagged. Another thing is that I don’t fight with that same heavy burden on me that I have to make this mean something or the last five years of my life has been for nothing. All I have to do is just go out here and be a wrestler. As great as Roderick is he’s just simply not better than me. He’s a great fighter, he’s strong, he’s tough, his technique is good, but there is not a wrestler out there that is putting in the work that I am. Saturday we drove seven hours to West Virginia, wrestled, and I drove seven hours back. I woke up at 5 a.m., went and did an hour of cardio and then did strength and conditioning that night. You’re either going to or you’re not. I choose to put in the hard work more than anyone else. That’s why no one at this point in Ring of Honor is going to beat me.

PRO MMA NOW: Now this match with Roderick Strong is going to be taped on August 13 in Chicago Ridge, Ill. and it will air on September 24 when ROH makes its debut on Sinclair stations across the country. Can you talk a little bit about that, how fans can get tickets to the show, and what makes Chicago such a great place for wrestling?

DAVEY RICHARDS: Well Chicago has always been great. It has helped build a bunch of really important matches throughout the years. We’ve had Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA there and we’ve had Joe vs. Punk. We’ve had a lot of different big matches there and I’m happy to be a part of those big matches and the history of that city. People can get tickets through Ring of Honor’s website and they’ll have tickets at the door. It’s the start of something. Very rarely are you going to pay to see an event where everyone is 100 percent motivated to blow everyone’s mind. It’s going to be a really great night.

PRO MMA NOW: What would you say that someone is missing out on if they have never seen a Ring of Honor show before?

DAVEY RICHARDS: Sincerity. A lot of people pretend to be wrestlers and a lot of people have the persona of a wrestler, but in Ring of Honor we are wrestlers. I know that sounds bland, but that’s the best way that I can put it to you. When you see us wrestle you very quickly will understand what I’m talking about.

PRO MMA NOW: You’ve been chasing after the Ring of Honor World Championship for a while. Now that you’re finally the champion, what’s next? Is your focus now just to defend the title or is there something more?

DAVEY RICHARDS: I want to win the IWGP Title from New Japan. That’s a really big goal for me. As far as Ring of Honor I guess people could say that the journey is over now that I’ve won the title, but really I think the journey has just kind of begun. There is a whole new talent cropping up and the tides of Ring of Honor are really shifting. New guys are coming in like Kyle O’Reilly, Michael Elgin, and Mike Bennett, and these guys who bring something completely new to the table. Whereas when I came in I was the young guy and Bryan Danielson was on top. I’ve flip-flopped and you know I want a legacy. That’s what I fight for now. It’s to have a legacy and to be up there with Joe and with Punk and with Bryan. My goal is to have a legacy.

PAC on the Verge of Making Dragon Gate History

For all of you fans that have a soft spot for statistics, PAC is one defence away from becoming the most successful champion in Dragon Gate history. PAC has made 8 defences of the Open the Brave Gate title since winning a tournament to become the 20th champion of that title. Since then he's gone from strength to strength which includes winning the DGUSA tag titles with Masato Yoshino and a short tag title run with Dragon Kid back in Japan.
Although Dragon Gate have four major titles, two of which are singles titles (Dream Gate & Brave Gate), tag titles and finally Triangle tile it's very rare for any champion to have more than 5 successful defences. In fact until PAC defeated Ricochet for his latest defence, Naruki Doi was out on his own as the champion who made the most title defences in any one title reign. PAC is currently on a break from Japan and Dragon Gate are doing a storyline that Naoki Tanizaki as stolen the belt and is now claiming to be the Blood Warriors Authorized Champion. Hopefully when PAC returns he wil become the first champion in DG history to have more than 8 successful title defences.

Shaun Nichols