Saturday 31 March 2012

Wrestle Mania 28 - My Version By Captain Obvious

So everyone who writes blogs about wrestling has come up with their predictions for what is going to happen this Sunday at Wrestle Mania 28. I was going to do the same thing but then I remembered, I have access to the greatest wrestling podcast in the world, The Still real To Us Show. So if you want to hear my predictions for the show, be sure to check the link at the bottom of this page. Instead, today I am going to do a little fantasy booking and let you, the highly intelligent readers of my article, what I would have set up for Wrestle Mania 28 if I had the current available talent for the show.

Match 1- Diva Title- Beth Phoenix vs. Natalya

Since Kharma is unavailable for the match, this makes the most sense to me. Ever since Eve turned her back on the fans, Natalya has kind of become the forgotten talent in the diva division. She has been relegated to fart jokes and putting other divas over. Quite simply, she is the best technical female wrestler in the world right now and it is a shame she isn't being showcased in that light. Putting her in the ring with Beth would be a great chance to highlight both womens abilities and would be a chance to make Natty the face of the womens division and also give Beth a reason to make Eve her new BFF and partner in Pin Up Strong. Result- Beth retains with help from Eve

Match 2- Tag Team Titles - Epico & Primo vs. Kofi and R-Truth vs. Jack Swagger & Dolph Ziggler

I still hate how WWE uses their tag team divisions. It is completely an afterthought to them. As many of the writers here have said, they should really look to ROH on how to do a tag team division and make it viable. WWE, tends to use the division as a way to build younger guys to later split off into single or as a way for them to kill time with talents they don't know what to do with. In this instance, you have to teams who fit the mold of creative trying to find you something to do and a young team still trying to find their way.The tag titles are another perfect chance to build Swagger and Ziggler as the future of the company. It allows them to be on both shows and build them as almost un-defeatable. Plus the heat they get from having Vickie as their mouthpiece is second to none. Result- Ziggler and Swagger win and embark on a year long run as tag champs.

Match 3- US Title Match- Santino vs. David Otunga

This is a match of 2 guys who a year ago we all thought was going to be future endeavored. Otunga hasn't progressed that much in the ring and Santino has been more of a joke than anything else for the last few year. But a funny thing happened on the way to both guys being released.....they actually became decent in the ring and somewhat entertaining to watch. This match would give both guys a chance to shine and would give John Laurinitis a cornerstone to build his new empire. If Otunga wins, he gains credibility in the ring and gives Santino someone to chase and show off a more aggressive style and be taken more seriously as a wrestler in the ring. Result- Otunga wins due to Laurinitis interference.

Match 4- Monster's Ball Match- Big Show vs. The Great Khali vs. Kane vs. Mark Henry

Ok, so I am stealing an idea from TNA but that just seems par for the course with everybody stealing from everyone else. This no holds barred match for the title of biggest monster in WWE just seems like a fun excuse for four big mn to beat the crap out of each other for 15 mins. Plus the original idea of just having them debate the presidential election just seems a bit out of place. Result- Big Show wins helping to exorcise some past Wrestlemania demons.

Match 5 Intercontinental Title Match- Cody Rhodes vs. Zack Ryder

OK, so I love the work Cody has done with Big Show leading into their match at Wrestlemania 28. He has come along so far so fast it's impressive. This is the guy that many people felt would be the Marty Jannetty of Legacy and now he has really broken through. It's awesome what a pair of kneepads can do for a guy's career. Zack Ryder has gone from being an afterthought to one of the 5 most popular wrestlers on the WWE roster in just about a year. A match between these two could give both men a chance to shine and could very possibly be a foreshadow of things to come in the world title picture. Cody and Zack could be one of the great feuds WWE has to show for the future. Result- Cody wins, retains the title and begins to step into main event status.

Match 6 World Title Match- Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

These two men have needed bigger builds to their matches at Wrestle Mania this year. Kane vs. Orton has been an after thought and Daniel Bryan's match with Sheamus has been one of the least hyped World title matches in history. I know this feud is probably coming soon enough but why wait. Bryan has taken to the crazy sociopath character like a duck to water and no one in the WWE plays the intensity card better than Orton. If people thought the Orton-Christian matches were good, matches between Orton and Bryan will blow those away. Result-Bryan retains by hook or by crook.

Match 7 Undertaker vs. Sheamus

If you listen to The Still Real To Us Show (and why wouldn't you), this is the match I wanted to be announced right after the Royal Rumble. I wanted Sheamus to forgo his World Title match for a shot at the streak. There are a ton of similarities between these two guys. Remember when Undertaker first broke into wrestling with his red hair also. Two very agile big men going at it. Sheamus looking to take the torch away from the Undertaker. i think this would be a great match and would give Sheamus another brick in his foundation of becoming one of the biggest stars WWE has and a nice way to make him the preeminent big man in the WWE. Result- Undertaker wins and gives Sheamus the "handshake of respect" afterwards.

Match 8 HHH vs. The Miz

This is basically a reward match for The Miz. I know a lot of people have been down on him this year but the guy works his tail off and I thought he did a great job as WWE champ last year. Maybe not as far as in ring work but definitely as far as TV exposure and making the title even more high profile he excelled. This is just another example of the past vs. future approach I seem to have taken to this card. Lots of similarities between Miz and a young HH and this would have been a great batch of promos leading into this match. Add in a Shawn Michaels appearance and run-in from John Morrison and you have a great match. Result- HHH wins in possibly his Wrestle Mania send off match.

Match 9 CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho

So two matches from the real card I am leaving alone. Why, you may ask. Because I think the actually got two matches right that people want to see. Jericho has been the best technical wrestler in the world since probably 2001 and since his career has tailed off wrestling wise, Punk has claimed that mantle and ran with it. This should be match of the year easily and has the potential to rival the Shawn Michales-Bret Hart match from Wrestle Mania 12. I don't think this rivalry is over after one match but I do expect the war of words to get even better once they throw this whole Punks family is messed up angle out the window. Result- Punk wins and Jerciho attacks after the match setting up rematch at Extreme Rules.

Match 10 John Cena vs. The Rock

Lets get all the Cena fan kids and all Rock fanboys into a circle and just start smacking them all. The funny thing to me about all of this is that The Rock was despised just as much as Cena was early in his career by all the hardcore wrestling fans. he was shoved down our throats and we were almost forced to hate him. Sounds familiar? Cena is in the same boat, the only exception is that Cena makes the WWE alot more money than The Rock did early on and there is no viable alternative to Cena like The Rock had with Austin. That being said, I said on SRTU that I thought Cena would win the match. The match being in Miami doesnt matter much to me because WWE does just as much to make their hometown guys look bad (ask Jim Ross) as they do to make them look good in their hometown. With the idea of it being only one much, I think Cena wins. but if the rumors hold true that their is going to be another much, then I am going with The Rock to win. More than likely, Rock wins, both guys get attacked after the match and Cena and Rock fight them off together and both men celebrate to close out the show. Result- Rock wins, kids cry, girls wet their panties and Balloons fall from the sky.

Ideally, this is how my Wrestle Mania would shape up. Be sure to let me know what matches you guys would have liked to seen to see this year. Check back in a couple weeks for my Wrestle Mania 29 preview show.

Captain Obvious Trey Dent

twitter-- @captainomg

And be sure to listen to The Still Real To Us Show by going to or

Friday 30 March 2012

ROH Showdown in The Sun Night 1 Results March 30th 2012

Thanks to Kyle Patin of for providing these results.

(1) The Briscoes defeated TMDK (Mikey Nicholls & Shane Haste). The Briscoes won with the Doomsday Device.

* Jim Cornette introduced NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce. Pearce cut a promo on beating Adam Cole last night at an NWA event. Cornette noted that Pearce won with a piledriver, which is illegal in ROH. Pearce said the sign last night the sign didn't say ROH, it said NWA. Adam Cole came out and said he was challenged last night, but learned he could beat Pearce if he had another chance. They agreed to a match right now, non-title.

(2) Adam Cole defeated Adam Pearce. Pearce tried for a Sunset Flip. Cole dropped to his knees and pinned Pearce. Post-match, Pearce offered his hand and Cole shook it.

(3) The All Night Express defeated The Young Bucks in a Tornado Tag Match. Titus attacked from behind with a rollup victory. Post-match, Nick hit Titus with a chair on the knee that Titus recently injured. King grabbed the chair and chased off the Bucks.

* Prince Nana, RD Evans, and Tomasso Ciampa came to the ring. Evans said they had been served with a letter from ROH saying that if Ciampa didn't return the belt within 24 hours, all of the Embassy could be suspended. He said that they were already in Florida when the papers were delivered, so Ciampa didn't have the title with him, but they will have it for tomorrow's iPPV.

(4) Jay Lethal defeated Kyle O'Reilly to retain the ROH World TV Championship. Ciampa was at ringside during the match. They traded strikes and Lethal hit a superkick on a kneeling O'Reilly. He followed with the Lethal Injection for the win. After the match, Lethal and Ciampa looked each other over. Lethal wanted him to get in the ring, but Ciampa slammed his chair down and took off.

(5) Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team defeated Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman.
WGTT attacked during the handshake. Benjamin ran in and pushed Coleman into the ropes to knock Cedric onto the turnbuckle. Benjamin jumped tot he top and hit his throw for the pinfall .

(6) Mike Bennett (w/Maria) defeated Lance Storm. Storm tried for a superplex but Maria held onto Bennett's leg to stop it. Bennett punched out and hit a side slam from the second rope for a near fall. A frustrated Bennett hit the F6 for the win. After the match, Bennett shook Storm's hand, but then hit another side slam.

(7) Kevin Steen defeated El Generico in a Last Man Standing match. Steen setup for big swing with the chair, but Jimmy Jacobs ran out and stood between both men. Generico took down Steen and Jacobs handed Generico a chair, but reached in his coat pocket and pulled out the spike. He hit Generico with it and then ripped his shirt a part. Steen gave Jacobs a chair and Jacobs knocked Generico out or a Steen win. After the match, Steen and Jacobs celebrated.

(8) Davey Richards defeated Roderick Strong (w/Truth Martini) and Eddie Edwards in a Triple Threat Elimination Match to retain the ROH World Championship. Strong rolled up Eddie about 18 minutes into the match for an elimination. Davey hit a superkick on Strong and a spinning kick to the side of the head. Davey rolls him to his back and covers for the pinfall victory. After the match, Michael Elgin attacked Richards and Truth Martini cut a promo saying Eglin would win the World Title tomorrow.

The Indy Corner Presents An Interview with Michael Elgin

The Indy Corner: First off Michael, we just want to thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for us today.

The Indy Corner: OK, let's go to the beginning, growing up, was you a fan of wrestling and if so, what did you watch and who were your favourites?

Absolutely. Being the youngest in my family, and my closest relatives all being boys as well it was a wrestling household. So I begin watching it probably the second my cousins were around me as a baby. In my area, we really only got WWF on tv and only the WWF tapes for sale or rent. So we were huge WWF fans, as a little kid my favourite was obviously Hulk Hogan at the time. But soon enough through tapes of other WWF shows, Steamboat and The Buldogs.

The Indy Corner: What was it that made you go from being a fan to actually getting trained up?

Family decided to stop enjoying wrestling, and gave me all their hand me downs. So as a kid I played with the toys and watched the tapes. I never grew out of it, and at the age of 14, I found a school that would take my money. I took the train 2 hours there and 2 hours back 3 days a week for about a year. I kind of got the hint it wasn’t good training early on, but wanted to be in a ring so stayed until I found a better school. That school came with Squared Circle Training.

The Indy Corner: Tell us about your training, where did this take place and who trained you?

As I kind of covered in the previous question, My initial Training was not the best. Although I could bump my ass of, and had the basics down. Also myself and a friend would go in early so we could work on things and stayed late to do the same. Then we both found Squared Circle out of Toronto and joined. There I really started to get pointed in the right direction. My trainer was Rob Fuego. He was very knowledgeable and was good friends with many great Wrestlers who we saw in the gym regularly. Tyson Dux, Edge, Christian and Joe Legend all came in. Tyson and Joe more often obviously.

The Indy Corner: Do you recall your first match and if so, tell us about it please

I do, its something you don’t forget. Kind of like a first kiss or the first time you get laid. It was in Hamtramck, Michigan and it was actually Truth Martini who ran the show. Myself and 3 other guys drove up to try and get work and were booked in a 4 way. It was me vs. Ashley Sixx, Anton Arakis and Hornet. We joke a lot, because Hornet and Arakis had some sloppy moments and Ash being the most experienced at the time said I was better then them already hahaha

The Indy Corner: What were some of the first promotions you worked for in Canada and is there any wrestlers who went on to be more well-known elsewhere and if so, who?

New Vision Pro Wrestling, BSE, PWX and NCW. Also many one off shows. Tyson Dux had his stint with TNA as team Canada, Sinn known as Kizarny during his time in WWE, Shawn Spears who had some time in FCW and on tv, as well as the Highlanders who teamed up on WWE TV.

The Indy Corner: Some promotions the readers will be familiar with are IWA-MS & CZW, tell us about your time in these promotions.

I only had a few experiences with CZW, but it was great. I was a fan of the promotion when I started training and learned about the indies. As Well as IWA-MS I want to say the first indy show I saw via VHS was TPI 2002. IWA was great for me, they helped me grow to who I am today and gave me a lot of great opportunities. I spent close to 3 years with IWA-MS and enjoyed my time there.

The Indy Corner: In IWA-MS you wrestled a genuine legend to me and that was Too Cold Scorpio, what are your memories of wrestling Too Cold?

Scorpio is just so good, he’s one of those guys you just can’t help but learn from. This was my favourite match for a long time. And it still holds a place in my heart. I was honoured to share a ring with him, and hope I get the chance again someday.

The Indy Corner: Also in IWA-MS you formed a tag team with Sami Callihan, what did you think of Sami from back then?

I had a lot of fun teaming with Sami. We both wanted the same things, and always wanted to set the wrestling world on fire. I thought he had what it took, worked his ass of f to get into shape, and was good in the ring. We sometimes clashed in what to put where, but I thought our tag stuff went well in Mid South. I knew he would be all over the place sooner then later even back then. It’s always great to share a rinf with someone who wants it as bad as you do.

The Indy Corner: What do you think of Sami now becoming one of the biggest names on the indies?

I think it’s great and he deserves it. He’s good in the ring, works hard and wants it. You have to admire that in anyone. I am happy for him and hopefully our paths will cross again soon in the near future.

The Indy Corner: What do you have to say about IWA-MS promoter Ian Rotten?

I like Ian, I mean we had some differences here and there but we became friends not just Employer and Employee. So what friends don’t have there arguments? He never did me wrong, and I am thankful for my time in Mid South.

The Indy Corner: You only made two appearances for CZW is there any reason for this I mean, did you have problems agreeing terms with the promotion or was it something else?

I really think I just never had the right chance to shine in those appearences. It is somewhere I’d be interested in working and hope to do so soon. We never really moved forward in discussing working out something for a full run.

The Indy Corner: Onto ROH, you made your debut after a try out at the Battle of St. Paul show in 2007 where you faced Rhett Titus now of the All Night Xpress, memories of this match?

It was short but fun Rhett was good even back then. Jimmy Rave made is return from a broken jaw that night, and took out Rhett challenging me. I had fun with that, as I thought and think Rave is great. Was a good experience and loved doing it.

The Indy Corner: It was a whole year before you returned to the promotion but it was in November 2010 when you made your main roster debut as part of the House of Truth with Truth Martini, memories of this time?

Earlier in 2010 I was in kind of a slump, not knowing where I was headed next. Being a big fish in a small pond only satisfies you for so long. I need a bigger platform and tried many places in 2010 including DGUSA and WWE. Neither gave me a shot until ROH did. I was excited and thrilled, but most importantly Ready to grab the bull by the horns.

The Indy Corner: For a while you found yourself on the losing end of many matches but on March 19th 2011 you signed a contract with ROH which runs through to December of this year, how did it feel when ROH offered you a contract?

It felt like I had accomplished something. That night was very special actually, as I had just wrestled Eddie Edwards in Boston that same night. I was on a high and when that contract was offered it was a relief. I was excited for the Future and knew I could situate myself in a top spot within ROH’s talent pool

The Indy Corner: This seemed to pick up for you soon after, you were a part of the Honor Takes Centre Stage iPPV’s beating El Generico on night 1 but then falling short to then TV champion Christopher Daniels, thoughts on these matches and the guys involved?

Both men are amazing. Truly 2 of the best going right now. I was thrilled to wrestle them, and I felt both matches were good. I think around this time I started coming into my own and was comfortable in the landscape of ROH. I still hold these matches dear to me, as these weekends are huge for the company and get a lot of attention.

The Indy Corner: At the best in The World iPPV you beat Steve Corino which must of been a big thing for you in the house where Corino had great times in ECW, thoughts on this match and what it meant to you?

I actually enjoyed the match a lot, but Steen showing up before the crowd really didn’t care. I understood though, as Steen coming back to ROH is and was a huge deal. Corino is a legend of the sport, and being able to come out with the win was huge.

The Indy Corner: The match was followed by Kevin Steen coming to the ring and he gave the infamous F Ring of Honor promo, what do you make of Steen and his rise in ROH?

Steen is awesome, don’t really wanting him to take ROH hostage or the Title for that matter. I want to be the Next ROH Champion, and if by chance he gets it first, well then he has me going after him. He deserves what’s happening and all, but still that Title is coming to me sooner or later.

The Indy Corner: At the 2011 Survial of The Fittest show, you won a four-corner survival match over Kenny King, Adam Cole & Tomasso Ciampa which got you through to the final, a six-way elimination match which you won, tell us about this massive night for yourself.

I made my debut the year before and witnessed Eddie Edwards winning it, then soon becoming the ROH World Champion. Going into the tournament I knew it had huge implications. I was mentally and physcialy prepared unlike any other time I had stepped into the ring. I think I did something special that night not only being the only man to beat 8 men instead of the usual 6, and also having a good performance in both outings that night.

The Indy Corner: At the ROH Northern Aggression show, you were a part of the mammoth 80 minute match with yourself being in the match for 74 mins and it was eventually won by former ROH champion Eddie Edwards when he beat your House of Truth partner Roderick Strong, tell us, what was it like going through this match.

It was tiring, but thrilling. I shared the ring with 7 others, who are all top notch athletes. I was very happy with the landmark we made that night, as well as hanging in there with some of the sports best. I would have liked that cheque at the end, but you lose some and you win some.

The Indy Corner: At Final Battle 2011 you were involved in what was one of the better matches on the card when you defeated TJ Perkins, thoughts on how the match went?

That was possibly my favourite match of 2011. And was a huge show, I went in having the mindset of tearing the house down. And I think we did that night, TJ Perkins is an amazing wrestler, and it showed in that match. I was glad that the outcome was in my favour, and look forward to wrestling Tj Perkins again.

The Indy Corner: At the Homecoming show, you beat now WWE development wrestler Chris Hero, how was this match for yourself and what are your thoughts on Hero?

It was a big win for me, and I think was one of the victories that helped me climb the ranks in ROH. What can I really say about Hero that fans don’t already know? He’s one of the best and deserves to be a part of WWE. I am happy for him, and was privileged to have his last match in ROH.

The Indy Corner: This coming weekend ROH is in Florida for the Showdown in the Sun double header, on night 2 you will be facing as of now the ROH World Champion Davey Richards, tell us your thoughts leading up to this match please.

This is the biggest match of my career. It truly means a lot to me, as I remember sitting back and watching ROH wanting to be a part of the company and being in the ring with the best. Well March 31s I get that chance on one of the biggest shows of the year. As much as I want to be ROH champion if Davey comes into night 2 without the belt that match is still huge. I was prepared for SOTF, but I am even more prepared now for this sat. I am ready to show the world exactly who I am and what I do. I am going in with new things under my belt, and am ready to shock the wrestling world.

The Indy Corner: OK Michael, we’ll wrap it up there as we’ve asked you a lot but we just want to thank you for giving us this time is there any website, facebook or twitter you want to plug and any messages you have for your fans around the world?

Follow me on Twitter @ROHMichaelelgin, Facebook is Michael Elgin and Buy my new t-shirt coming out next week!

Keep up the support of ROH, Catch up on the DVD's, and be sure to check out the 2 iPPV’s this weekend, its only 19.99 for 2 of the best shows you will find anywhere.

The Indy Corner: Thanks Michael, and good luck at Showdown in The Sun.

Thank you for having me was a pleasure, take care!

Thursday 29 March 2012

FCW: Who Should You Believe? by Jimi James

Around midnight on 3/20/12, news broke of the demise of Florida Championship
Wrestling. It was reported that the television deal with Brighthouse Network was nixed effective immediately, but was allowed to air 3 weeks of episodes that have already been filmed (the 3/25/12 episode is not on YouTube as of this writing). As the news broke, fans took their backlash to Twitter, causing FCW to trend almost immediately. We know when things related to WWE trend on Twitter, WWE takes notice.

During business hours on 3/20, issued a statement from the office of WWE COO Robert Levesque, aka Triple H. The statement disproved the rumors, stating the closing of FCW was completely false. The statement also said there would be announcement about the future of WWE developmental coming in the weeks following WrestleMania. WWE employees took to Twitter to say that the "Dirt Sheets" got another one wrong.

Well, the "Dirt Sheets" weren't completely wrong. FCW is still in jeopardy.

FCW became the developmental territory of WWE in 2007, removing all interests from OVW, based out of Louisville, KY. This move was the decision of John Lauranitis, who at that time was the Vice President of Talent Relations. This decision was not the best in regards to developing future main eventers in WWE. Since FCW became the sole developmental territory for WWE, more mugshots have come from FCW than main event talent. DUI's became a huge problem and talent, no matter how experienced, came up to WWE unprepared and most went back down or released outright, with only a few still holding roster spots currently in WWE.

When Triple H officially moved into his role as WWE COO and the eventual successor to Vince McMahon, Lauranitis was moved into a TV role and reportedly removed from the position of VP of talent relations. WWE reportedly posted a job opening for the VP position. The reason for this is because Triple H, like the rest of us, is not a fan of Lauranitis.

Triple H is also not a fan of FCW, no matter what he tells you. It is reported that he feels the production and presentation of FCW television is an embarrassment to WWE. Which is why the deal with Brighthouse was nixed, feeling that WWE can do better. He feels that all the failures of FCW fall square on the shoulders of Lauranitis, since he is responsible for FCW becoming the sole developmental territory and signing all talent currently on the FCW roster.

It is also reported that since the rumors of FCW's closing and the fan backlash, Triple H has no idea what to do about FCW. FCW's fate lays solely in the hands of Triple H, and no one else. The announcement that is coming after WrestleMania, could still state FCW is closing. If the announcement is that FCW stays open, I believe it is safe to say that it won't be the same FCW that fans have been watching since 2007.

Now, here is my take. I'm not writing this to be doom and gloom. I do have faith in Triple H in his current role of COO or whatever he is in the offices of World Wrestling Entertainment. Triple H does have a good mind for the business, even if his past suggests that he would rather put his friends over than those that deserve it. Triple H does understand the importance of developmental. Even if FCW's future is in doubt, the future of developmental is not. I just don't want to see NXT or Superstars become developmental, it needs to remain a separate entity.

My problem is that WWE ended the relationship with Brighthouse too early. WWE Network, where FCW could be aired, isn't even close to being ready for launch to cable providers. The news of FCW's TV deal is why I never believed Triple H's follow up to the rumors of FCW closing.

Moral of the story, believe the "Dirt Sheets" you trust. Use common sense. But, always remember, in the world of Pro Wrestling, anything can happen. If you are a fan of FCW, show your support. Make it known to WWE what you want. We are less than a week away from WrestleMania, not a lot of time to rally for a stay of execution for FCW, but it can happen.

-I would like to credit Wrestling News World for providing the facts that have backed up my feelings on this news since it broke.

Why CM Punk Needs The Win At WrestleMania By Chris Stanley

Anyone who knows anything about wrestling today know the name CM Punk. He needs no introduction. And anyone who knows anything about CM Punk knows that he’s the guy who worked his ass off to be where he is today, going from independent wrestling circuits, wrestling in high school gyms with a phantom mic, to wrestling for the indy company Ring Of Honor where he had the epic Summer of Punk, and finally into a marquee matchup at WrestleMania 28 as the WWE Champion. But CM Punk is also a guy who doesn’t settle for second best. In anything he does. CM Punk isn’t just a guy who wants his name to go in the history books of wrestling next to legends like Hulk Hogan or The ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. Names like Shawn Michaels or the Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin or Triple H, to name a few. He doesn’t want to be remembered as ‘on of’ the best wrestlers ever, CM Punk wants to be THE best ever. Or as he would say, the Best In The World.

What sets these wrestlers apart from CM Punk. Punk is a multiple time champion, including runs as the ECW, Intercontinental, World Tag Team, and even the World Heavyweight and WWE Championships. With a resume like that anyone could easily say Punk is a future Hall of Famer, but not quite the best. The one thing Punk is missing is that true and defining WrestleMania Moment. All of the names above and so many more have had their moments in history, some more than others. But CM Punk has yet to have his one defining WrestleMania moment. He’s had great matches at past WrestleMania’s, sure. In fact, he’s still the only repeat winner of WrestleMania’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match, winning the event at WrestleMania 24 and again at 25, a match I saw personally. He took the high flying Rey Mysterio to the edge before falling to him and the following year wrestled a near perfect match against The Viper, Randy Orton, before making a fatal mistake and leaping from the top rope into a devastating RKO. But none of the moments truly stand out.

This year is different. This year, for the first time in his career CM Punk is entering WrestleMania as the defending WWE Champion and is on the hottest streak in his amazing career. People still talk about his epic promo in the summer of 2011 leading up to the Money In The Bank PPV. And his match against John Cena at that PPV, when he ‘left the company’ with the WWE Title, was hailed as a 5 Star Match to those who care about rating matches. It was this promo in which he started calling himself the Best In The World, and he was out to prove it. He suffered a small setback, losing the title for a short time before regaining it at Survivor Series and he hasn’t look back since then. He had another top notch match at the TLC retaining his title against The Miz and Alberto Del Rio in the PPV’s namesake, a TLC Match. January saw Punk face a new challenger in Dolph Ziggler who he beat at the Royal Rumble PPV, then February brought the match that would truly test Punk’s metal. He was forced to defend his prized possession in the destructive Elimination Chamber against the likes of Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, R Truth, The Miz and the returning Chris Jericho. But it was the Straight Edge WWE Champion who would win the day and again retain his WWE Championship.

Which for Punk, meant going to WrestleMania, but who would be his deserving challenger. A new story unfolded as Chris Jericho revealed his master plan to reclaim the title Best In The World, or as Jericho would say, ‘the best in the world at what he does.’ Chris felt that CM Punk had stolen the name from him and wanted it back, and he would stop at nothing to get it from him. So the stage has been set for WrestleMania 28. CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho. Best In The World vs. Best In The World. And as usual, Jericho has done some digging and found dirt on various members of Punk’s family, claiming Punk’s reasons for turning Straight Edge are due to his father being an alcoholic, claiming his sister in an abuser, and that Punk himself is a bastard, having been born before his parents were married. But the stubborn CM Punk insists this will not deter him from leaving WrestleMania as the conquering champion. Their war on the social network Twitter has been a back and forth battle for weeks and months, each one taking shots at the other.

The question, however, remains the same. Who is the Best In The World? CM Punk needs this match. And more importantly, he needs to win this match to validate his claim to being the best wrestler in the world. Chris Jericho has already had a Hall of Fame worthy career full of defining moments, including a few standout WrestleMania moments. But if CM Punk can overcome the odds once again and take down his Lionhearted challenger, if he can beat a man who is already a legend in the wrestling industry, CM Punk will be one step closer to truly being the Best In The World. Will CM Punk be just another notch on the belt that is Chris Jericho’s storied legacy, or will CM Punk finally have his defining WrestleMania Moment?

Chris Stanley (follow me on Twitter @CM4Real)

iNeed a ROH Show - March 28th 2012

Kyle Patin and Zach Grigg of discuss the latest Ring of Honor TV episode, preview the Showdown in the Sun iPPVs, and more.

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Dragon Gate: Shingo vs Yokosuka 3 DVD Review By Shaun Nichols

DVD starts with a video package which highlights the action from the previous night at Broxbourne. Again I like the idea of those packages on the release. Now onto the action at Nottingham and Night Two.

BxB Hulk vs Lion Kid

This is billed as a grudge match, not sure what the grudge is though. Typically Lion Kid roars his way around the ring and as a large number of fans join him with him. Don't know what Hulk thinks to that, the chant of 'Kill the emo' as also made the trip up north. Lion Kid actually dominates the early stages by out wrestling Hulk and hits a early dive to the outside to the fans appreciation. Hulk returns fire with his usual kicks, Lion Kid does a running dive through the ropes in the corner to the floor. Camera angle doesn't really do it justice, but I'll give him credit for it. Back in the ring, Hulk starts to gain the upperhand and seems to have the match won with the EVO, Lion Kid kicks out but another four kicks to his head is enough to put him down and give Hulk the win. This was an absolutely fine way to start the show. ***1/4

Akira Tozawa vs Naoki Tanazaki

A battle between Blood Warriors here, Tozawa offers a handshake but Tanazaki cheap shots him. Tozawa decides that for one night only he's going to represent the UK so we will get the all-action babyface tonight. Fans absolutely adore Tozawa here, Tanazaki though isn't daunted and soon uses a range of dirty tactics to keep Tozawa down. Tanazaki is awesome at distracting the ref and reacting to the crowd, even as he says 'I don't understand you' to the fans. Tozawa kicks him off the top rope and we will get to see the running dives from Tozawa. Although I've seen it a number of times, its always great to see. Tozawa celebrates with high fives with the fans, back in the ring Tanazaki hits back from nice knee strikes and a shining wizard. Tanazaki hits his implant finisher but Tozawa kicks out much to his opponent's shock, Tozawa hits a standard german followed by his package german suplex for the win. After the match, Tozawa thanks the fans and then realises that he actually hates the UK and goes back to being a heel. A very entertaining match. ****

Masato Yoshino vs Naruki Doi

A match between the former Speed Muscle tag team partners, this was also the re-match from main event of Final Battle 2010 PPV. Yoshino starts the better and is soon working on Doi's right arm to weaken it, the dastardly arm-wringer was back in operation. Doi gets things moving in his direction through a couple of short cuts but there's nothing particularly memorable although everything is well worked. Doi hits the cannonball in the corner but Yoshino retaliates with the slingblade. Doi decides that he should use the referee as a shield to stop Yoshino's offence. Yoshino hitsthe Torbellino but can't lock on the Soi Naciente submission and barely kicks out of the cradle. Doi nearly wins with another roll-up but is caught holding the ropes. Doi hits his Doi Fives and the sliding kick but can't hit the Muscle Bomb which Yoshino reverses into the lightning cradle. A second Soi Naciente also fails but it's third time lucky and Doi is forced to tap. The last five minutes were pretty great but they seemed to be coasting a lot of it. Still it was very well worked for what it was. ***1/2

Marty Scurll & Mark Haskins vs CIMA & Gamma

Throughout the introductions, you'll notice that the wrestlers have their DG:UK records announced. CIMA at this point is 0-4 and if loses here then he won't be able to wrestle on anymore DG:UK events. Personally I don't care for announcing the records as it won't lead to anything but here at least there was a story to it. It was announce that CIMA would have a mystery partner, and although Gamma is a babyface and a member of Junction Three, in the past CIMA & Gamma have won the tag titles twice. Team UK are the clear faces and the fans are ragging on CIMA for not being able to win. Scurll and Haskins dominate early against Gamma while CIMA looks on nervously until the tide turns. Haskins soon finds himself in the wrong part of town and on the receiving end of some nice double teams. Haskins finally makes the tag, Scurll runs wild and hits the back buster on CIMA but Gamma ensures that we don't get the same finish two nights running. Gamma uses the kendo stick on both Scurll & Haskins, tombstone piledriver off the middle rope and CIMA follows up with Meteora on Scurll for the win and to save his DG:UK career. Blood Warriors out to celebrate with their leader, Gamma gets attacked after all he's not a part of BW. He gets saved by Scurll, Haskins and Yoshino. ***3/4

PAC vs Dragon Kid

This is a Open the Brave Gate title defence, though the belt isn't here. PAC uses his strength to gain control early and it takes all of three minutes before we see the first dive of the match. PAC is getting so confident it's not long before he's asking Dragon 'Where's the challenge?' Attempted springboard by PAC but Kid manages to dropkick the rope and PAC crashes. Long period of control by Kid, nothing much out of the ordinary is happening highlight is running dropkick into the corner. PAC with his comeback, hits a great German Suplex as Dragon bounces off the ropes. PAC with a moonsault off the top to the floor. Dragon responds with a couple of nice huracanranas, goes for a reverse huracanrana but PAC lands on his feet, PAC attempts a German Suplex but Dragon also lands on his feet and hits a perfect DDT which as the fans chanting 'This is Awesome' well it was. Dragonrana gets Kid another two count, PAC catches him on the top rope picks him up for a slam but hits a fantastic moonsault crushing Dragon. PAC goes for 630 but doesn't connect, a 360 Shooting Star Press however does moments later and PAC is celebrating yet another successful title defence. This took a while to get going but built towards the finish very well. ****1/4

Shingo vs Susumu Yokosuka

This is the grudge match after they shared the first two matches. Shingo bullies Yokosuka in the early stages, however a nice dropkick by Yokosuka slows him down. Yokosuka continues to work the knees including a spot where he picks Shingo up and simply drops him on his kness. You could call him an Anderson, he threatens to drop Shingo knee first from the apron to the floor. Shingo though hits a Deathvalley Driver on the apron and starts his assault on Yokosuka's right arm. One thing I want to highlight is the fantastic job both men did have selling their injuries throughtout the contest. When both men get a chance to get offence in they regularly go back to their opponents weakest areas. Both men trade backdrop drivers, fans are so into the match they react big for a suplex tease spot. Yokosuka goes his clothesline but it doesn't have the same impact due to the effectiveness of Shingo's early attack. Fans are going absolutely crazy in the last few minutes, Shingo hits 2 of his Made in Japan finishers but Yokosuka somehow kicks out. There is literally nobody sitting down now. Yokosuka hits 2 of his Jumbo no Kachi!gatame but he also is denied as Shingo kicks out. The end is coming though as Shingo hits a third Made in Japan for the win. This was just a fantastic match and my basic review as not done it justice, but frankly this was one of the best matches I've ever seen either live or on DVD and there is only rating that can be given. *****

The Nottingham show is simply one of the best wrestling cards seen anywhere in 2011 and I cannot recommend this show enough. My advice is simple: Buy the DVD.

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A look at Great Bear Promotions by @DMC316

March 25th 2012. That is the date that Great Bear Promotions debuted in large room in Cheshire, and they called the event Battle Kingdom. Debuts make for exciting times as a group tries to make an impact with a product and hope to succeed, while fans watch in anticipation of finding entertainment that they want to support. So how did GBP fair on this scale? Unfortunately a review of the entire show is not possible, but we can take a snapshot from the event with a look at an International Challenge match. Let’s not waste time.

Chris Brookes vs. Jonathan Gresham

Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Jonathan Gresham is one of the best performers on the independent circuit. As he tours around the globe he wins over crowds in every venue he graces from Germany to France and of course, England. His presence on the card really raises the calibre of GBP’s roster. In the other corner is Chris Brookes who, after keeping busy throughout the midlands, is now starting to breakout and make his name known. Through self-promotion and hard work he earned appearances at the esteemed Fight Club: Pro promotion and he now sees a great opportunity in going toe to toe with such a strong name. Brookes will no doubt give his all to keep up with Gresham and prove his worth.

The duo began trying to outmaneuver each other with some very technically sound wrestling. It was a style reminiscent of the World of Sport wrestling as each man tried to apply and escapes holds in a way that makes wrestling look like an art form. The audience became immersed in the match and could not refuse to applaud every time that one of the pair got the upper hand. In only a few minutes Brookes and Gresham had gained the audiences respect. This was wrestling. The tide would turn when they resorted to strikes and two would then begin to take out other weapons from their arsenal. Brookes harboured great ability with his feet while Gresham’s advantage came from his arms in the form of chops and forearms. The two would trade tough shots that earned audible reactions from those in attendance. The match built as the pace quickened and the pair started delivering stiffer strikes before reeling off some of their more impressive moves. The combination of a Jawbreaker and Cutter (or a Stunner and RKO) will forever be in my heart. While being no less hard hitting, the two would continue to show technique with clever reversals and pin sequences that would excite the crowd. It would eventually only require Gresham to lock in an Octopus Hold on Brookes to earn himself a convincing win by submission.

Gresham would of course receive a strong ovation from the crowd who had witnessed a great wrestling match. Gresham then offered his hand to Brookes in respect to his strong showing, a sentiment echoed by the audience’s applause. Brookes would accept the handshake and exit before Gresham took his final bow at the end of a match which, if it is any representation of the show as a whole, speaks very well for the event.

A certain author of a certain article would have happily paid seven English pounds to see Gresham vs. Brookes alone, but that was only a fraction of what GBP put on offer. Other appearances included an assortment of champions with veteran Damon Leigh appearing as a former GPW champion and Sam Bailey headlining as a former NGW champion. Others brought a touch of international experience with a name like Pete Dunne having wrestled in Poland and Spain, while Benham Ali has been sharpening his trade in Japan. And worth special mention is Jack Gallagher, the man who kept up with and earned high praise from Ring of Honour Champion Davey Richards. The preceding still only covers half of the talent that Great Bear Promotions promote.
After reading the above one would assume that the show didn’t disappoint, and the Twitters and Facebooks would seem echo that point of view as fans and talent alike have voiced a positive reception towards the show. The general consensus is that, if and when GBP present another event, the people will return.

This leaves you with two courses of action and both involve getting connected to ‘Great Bear Wrestling’ on Facebook or @GBPWrestling Twitter or just plain bookmarking . Then you can keep watch for the release of the Battle Kingdom 2012 on DVD which not only houses the great match reviewed above, but offers five other matches for your viewing enjoyment. Then your eyes can keep a lookout for their next showing which should look to build on their initial success and see them reach greater heights.

Monday 26 March 2012

PROGRESS Wrestling: Chapter 1 Review By Darren Rogers

On the face of it, how good could a wresting card promoted by a stand up comic and his manager be?

After watching the debut of Progress Wrestling last night the answer is simple - Very good.

Presented at ‘The Garage’ in Islington, a legendary music venue, already set the stage (no pun intended) that this show was going to be different. Elevated setting on the stage, a huge crowd in the standing room only area and an adult only crowd that had the opportunity to drink? This was not going to be ‘PG’.

Jim Smallman was one of the promoters and as a stand-up comic; he knows how to conduct himself infront of an audience. He encouraged the crowd to swear, heckle and chant anything they wanted. This was like a green light to the fans. But not in a “I’ll get myself over by being rude and noisy” way. Genuinely funny chants were rewarded with a round of applause. All the wrestlers responded to chants and some even included them in their matches!

So, to the matches, first up was Noam Dar vs El Ligero. I was familiar with Dar having seen him in IPW, but this was my first look at Ligero – although I knew his reputation as a very good worker – and this was a great bout. Dar played heel with a long ring entrance and cocky attitude, the crowd responded with a chant of “deep fried mars bars”. Dar played off the crowd really well, Ligero obviously had to get by with claps to get the crowd to make some noise, and either man would have been a good fit as the inaugural Progress champ. Ligero won after a swinging DDT off the 2nd rope.

Next was Colossus and Nathan Cruz. This match didn’t grip me as much as the first match, as seeing Colossus as the babyface monster didn’t really work. I tried to start a “Funk-a-sauraus” chant but people were enjoying shouting “Shit Zack Ryder” at Nathan Cruz . To be fair, this match had the least crowd heat but every other match was so well received that on an average show this might have stood out as being a very good match. Cruz won with a running boot to the head.

Colt Cabana, who is one of the nicest people that I have ever met, then met the replacement for RJ Singh – Loco Mike Mason. How can I describe this match adequately? Only in wrestling would 200 adults cheer as another man throws a tennis ball into the crowd for another man (who thinks he’s a dog) to chase. I think we had tennis ball jokes for a good 5 minutes. Mason, who I’m told doesn’t have a lot of experience, was carried to a good match with Colt here although it was largely a comedy match. Mason won with a chain after his valet distracted the referee. Crowd not happy, but it allowed Colt to spend more time having his photo taken with fans at his merchandise table.

We all knew that the LDRS squaring off had the potential to be the match of the night, infact I’ve seen on the Wrestling Observer update that it was one of the best matches that the UK had seen in years in the opinion of some fans. I can’t wait to see it on DVD as what I saw was excellent. I went down to ringside for the end of it and even being that close the elbows and fore-arms during the end sequence looked really snug. Marty played a slightly heel role, but the crowd was only 60-40 for Zack. Sabre is, for me, one of the best workers in the UK right now. His kicks look so good, he sells very well and when he got Marty in the armbar the crowd erupted! However, Marty reversed a roll-up to progress to the final. The crowd gave them a standing ovation – and rightly so. One crowd chant here that I mustn’t forget to mention, when the match-up started they were doing an English style match and someone shouted “Are you gonna kiss?” so the LDRS did just that!

Intermission time, Colt and the LDRS were very popular and so were the guys from “Defend Indy Wrestling” - I had some spare time to take in the crowd. Lots of UK wrestling stars in attendance, plus the guys from Wrestle Talk TV and Alex Shane.

Next up was the bout for the BWC Scarlo Scholarship title between defending champion Xander Cooper and challengers ‘Dazzling’ Darrell Allen and Zack ‘Diamond’ Gibson. I have only seen Darrell as a heel in the Bhangra Knights tag team so seeing him as the babyface here was different. The crowd decided to hate both his opponents and this was an entertaining bout. Again, the crowd got involved as Gibson shouted ‘Liverpool’ at one stage. On a southern show, what did he expect? Chants of ‘2-1 Wigan’ is what he got, and I don’t think that’s a chant heard often (even at Wigan games). Cooper retained after Allen hit a 450 splash on Gibson but injured himself so Copper got the sneaky pin. Unfortunately, I was distracted here as I had to help Darrell outside as he separated his shoulder – so by the time I came back in the 4 way main event was well under way!

All 4 men were brawling in the crowd. I walked in and guys were being slammed head first into the wall next to me, thrown into chairs (luckily, Mason asked them politely to move!), and Marty downed half a pint of lager to wild applause. There was too much going on to remember it all, but Ligero was eliminated first, then he tripped Mason to allow Marty to roll him up. That left Scurll and Cruz, to win the Nazi staff! What, you didn’t know what the winner received? Well, it was a long staff with the Progress logo on the end which is a black eagle which made it look like a Nazi staff? So when Cruz got the upset win, “He’s a nazi chants” filled the room. Marty then did a promo and a Ric Flair impression before host Jim Smallman – who was marking out for every match – thanked us warmly for making it such a memorable evening and plugged the next show on June 24th.

This event was unlike any other wrestling event I had been to. Someone compared it to Fight Club: Pro, if that’s true, book me a train ticket to Wolverhampton!

This was progress.

This Is Progress.

Below: Jim Smallman thanks the fans at the end of the night

Fight Club: Pro The Return - Review by @DMC316

Above: MK McKinnan Joins Clint Margera To Face The Hunter Brothers - Picture Credit to Ben Ward

For the first time in 2012 Fight Club: Pro saw it’s championship defended. It’s return around the waist of a visiting Eddie Edwards is perhaps the most important return of all. But The Return is just a headline, and as usual FCP strived to put on a show that would bring three more matches of tremendous quality. There was excitement for every match on the card which put a lot of on the shoulders of FCP. So did they carry it well, or did they crumble? Be sure to check out the videos from the main event if you haven't already

The Hunter Brothers vs. Clint Margera and a Mystery Partner

The Hunter Brothers saw a welcome return to the ring with a warm response which lasted all of 60 seconds before their opponents were announced. Clint Margera, an FCP favourite, received a good reaction as always, but it was the announcement of his tag partner being ‘The Future’ MK McKinnan that would stick the crowd firmly in their corner and leave the Hunters all alone with only their wrestling ability to keep them warm. But they were not likely to freeze with the skillsets that they own, and while McKinnan wanted to prove himself as a title contender and Margera wanted to alter his losing streak, they were not in for an easy ride.
McKinnan broke out the gate with fury which quickly told the fans how displeased he was at not facing Eddie Edwards. While there was no doubt that he could keep up with Hunters ring technicality, he favoured kicks, forearms and double stomps which the crowd were always happy to see, and so the night had started with a bang. Margera received his turn and despite his strong striking ability chose to show his technical side and furthermore he held up with the pair that excelled at it. Eventually though, two men who knew the ins and outs of tag team wrestling would take over and show off their renown teamwork and the maneuvers that it allowed them. While the fans were not on the Hunters’ side, they often earned applause and awe with their efforts. A mass of impressive sequences would arise including a double dive to the outside and a flurry of superkicks that were cut off by a strong elbow strike. Despite an impressive shine by McKinnan, The Hunters’ prowess in tag team wrestling would see them get the pin on Margera, extending his record of losses.
The Hunter Brother received some resentment from the crowd but the respect for their abilities was undeniable. Margera had put in a good performance but was greatly frustrated by his loss before quickly departed the ring. The strong presence of MK McKinnan however garnered a well-deserved ‘Future For Champion’ chant, showing a great deal of agreement to McKinnan’s bid for championship. Ideas festered that McKinnan wasn’t done with his appearances for the night as involvement in the main event seemed likely. The result was highly anticipated.

Dave Mastiff vs. Jonathan Gresham

Dave Mastiff is liked by the FCP crowd and instantly fits in with the roster. But the adoration for Jonathan Gresham in the Wolverhampton based promotion is rarely matched, and it took only a moment for the majority of the crowd to pick who they would support. Gresham had a mountain to climb, but the audience were keen to see him manage it.
Mastiff’s powerful style was enforced in the early going. The size difference was enough to put him firmly in control, but Gresham would soon fight back with what he could to bring down the big man and the crowd were hanging on every attempt. Gresham earned appreciation with moves such as a Moonsault to outside, and the fans were right behind him, calling for him to keep going and defeat The Bastard. Mastiff was not easily thrown of his game though and in an impressive display attempted to break the fence that surrounds the ring by putting a certain professional wrestler through it. He would mostly dominate but Gresham would show heart that kept the fans behind him, gaining great ovations when he fought back, even managing to German Suplex his larger opponent. But Mastiff’s power was enforced again as he put down Gresham with a big clothesline that managed a three count.
While the ending was sudden and many were left disappointed with the result, Mastiff had remained the most powerful man on the FCP roster with another win in a strong showing. It simply became a matter of who he would knock off his list next and how long it would be before he himself held up the Fight Club: Pro Championship. Jonathan Gresham, while on the losing end, still received devotion from the crowd for his continually strong performances and as usual the crowd would look forward to his next appearance.

Rockstar Spud & Dave Williams vs. Chris Brookes and a Mystery Partner

Rockstar Spud picked up his entertaining theatrics on his ring entrance, strutting along to the tunes of Jon Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer to the delight of all attendance. But no love was lost and the fans were still against Spud and his partner, Dave Williams, and as they hit the ring and were hit by a mass of toilet rolls, a ploy worked up by Chris Brookes over Twitter. The sight of the two being hit with a dozen toilet rolls is one to be cherished as Spud and Williams lost their cool much to the audience’s amusement. Then Brookes would receive his warm reception and trademark ‘We Want Brookes’ chant. It was then that Brookes would reveal his partner to be a man who hadn’t been seen in six months since he had, as one of the most hated men on the roster, been bounced off every surface in the venue and dropped on tables and thumbtacks by Clint Margera. In spite of his history, Dan Ryder would receive a surprisingly warm reception and a few words on the mic would see the fans accept his change in attitude and give their full support to the team of Brookes and he. However, unable to hold out for another week, Ryder pulled out an early April Fools on all in attendance and displayed his true colours by knocking down Brookes. It was a genius ploy that would draw pure hatred from the fans, gaining chants from the crowd which can’t be repeated in a PG article. Brookes’ hopes were squashed again, that was until the Dragons made an appearance, donning new masks in place of the ones that Spud and Williams had stolen, and found a friend in the enemy of their enemy. Once someone worked out the maths, it became apparent that there was a six man tag on the cards.
Rockstar Spud & Dave Williams & Dan Ryder vs. Chris Brookes & The Dragons
After proudly displaying their new masks, Blue Dragon and Gold Dragon would rush their opponents and start a brawl outside the ring. That left Spud picking up the pieces on Brookes and left this match fully underway. When order was restored, Spud’s team were dominating as they singled out their victim and beat him down. This left the fans in anticipation of The Dragons’ talents being shown off and them giving Spud and company what they deserve. Brookes would get the tag, and in turn Blue and Gold would dominate over the three opponents and show off what they could do. Blue Dragon’s moment would steal the spotlight as he removed his pads, trousers and top to reveal a look that mimicked that of the Rockstar Spud. Gold’s shine came from strong and dominant moves that impressed those in attendence. The match would come to a close with dives to the outside putting most out of action. A beaten and painfully slow Brookes would look to follow up with a dive of his own, but The Rockstar Spud would get one over Brookes again with a roll up pin.
Spud and his entourage were quick to escape with the victory that they could shove in everyone’s face. The Dragons’ looked unimpressed with the actions of their partner but took no action before exiting. Brookes had come out of the match looking weak, but fans were still hopeful. Between the mass of tweets sent and the t-shirts bought, fans were still invested and were willing to see Brookes receive one more chance to prove himself. Faith was wavering though.

Trent Seven vs. Eddie Edwards

Trent Seven was forgiven for his actions against McKinnan at the previous event and received a good response from crowd. But the popularity of Eddie Edwards was unparalleled as his reception rose above any else’s. For the man who took FCP’s title away from Wolverhampton he was well liked, but no less was deserved for a top Ring of Honour star who received a mass off chants in his favour. Everything was business for this one and the match was soon underway.
The two started with basics and were even in their ability as they lay the groundwork which they would build from. Eddie started laying bricks early as him opened up his toolbox and rained his skills down on Seven, sending the crowd into a frenzy with his displays. Edwards gave no reason for the crowd to give a moment of silence and no reason to stop banging the metal fence around the ring. Seven would soon get his advantage with his style of strength and heart, opening up his repertoire of strong moves and laying them on Edwards. As the energy built they reached a moment that was built for the Fight Club: Pro audience and began a chop battle. The insanity of the number of chops delivered was matched only by the force of each one as they went at each other with unbelievable attacks. They would eventually turn to trading clotheslines which gave Seven the advantage. By this point Seven had convinced the whole crowd that he was the man to hang a Fight Club Pro Title on and a perfectly appropriate ‘This Is Awesome’ chant broke out. Edwards was soon showing his immaculate form off too and began reeling off trademark moves to an outstanding reception. The man owned the whole arena with his performance and never faltered, bringing a World Class performance to an independent show in Wolverhampton. As the crowd reeled from this match, breathless and with hoarse voices, it was Eddie Edwards who picked up a dominating victory as he beat Seven enough to gain a stoppage by the referee. Eddie Edwards retained his title and the audience were very pleased with both the match and the result.
How would one describe this match? Well I’d tell you but first I want to go to Wikipedia and change the entry for Main Event to ‘Trent Seven vs. Eddie Edwards’ because this match was the definition of main event. Other pages to be edited include the entry for Five Star Match and the entry for This Is Awesome. This was one of the finest matches one can hope to see. Eddie Edwards brought a World Class performance and Trent Seven kept up with him. Nobody minds Eddie Edwards leaving with the title and of course they can now look forward to another return from him. Furthermore everyone now understands why Trent Seven leads the company, because he can hold up with the best of them. The title of ‘Super Don’ is well deserved.
Following the match, a man everyone had talked about in the build-up but had completely forgotten during the match made his appearance. Mk McKinnan made his bid for the title and received his shot at a proposed return for Edwards. As much as McKinnan is loved by the Fight Club Pro faithful, he finds himself with big shoes to fill now that Seven has set the stage. All eyes will be on the anticipated title bout. Eddie Edwards would thank the crowd and leave with a lot of love and support.
Another show in the books and what did the highly rated Fight Club: Pro promotion offer? One of their best events and one of their best matches. It may have been a little promotion in a little night club in little old Wolverhampton, but they brought a standard in the main event that was world class.

Here are two videos shot by Stu Rodgers from the main event:

Other promotions would ask a lot of money, FCP continue to request only £5 and I can not stress enough how much you should be attending Fight Club: Pro events if you aren’t already. If you are already attending, let’s high five each other for seeing such a great show and I’ll see you on May 18th.
Fight Club: Pro can be found on both Twitter and Facebook for updates.

Retro Review: WWF One Night Only 1997 By Marc Elusive

Editor's note: I asked Marc for this review as I was there live and at the time thought it was something special especially the last 2 matches at the end of article you will see a highlights youtube video where I will be visable :) Anyway, enjoy the review.

NEC Arena, Birmingham, England; September 20, 1997

Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jerry “The King” Lawler & Jim Ross

This was a pay-per-view that aired in England on Sky Box Office. In between In Your House 17 “Ground Zero” and In Your House 18 “Badd Blood”; I placed it with the In Your Houses because it is essentially an In Your House (or a glorified Raw), took place as a secondary PPV during a time when they were called “In Your Houses” it is just not titled as such.

Dude Love vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Chyna): Pre-match, the Dude cuts a cheesy promo mimicking Austin Powers. Hunter was the King of the Ring and been hanging with Shawn Michaels in the still unnamed D-Generation X stable; Dude Love is one of Mick Foley’s alter-egos and a play on a character Foley pretended to be in his youth. Dude controls with a shoulderblock and a slap; he hits a reverse elbow and a backdrop. Dud does the Charleston dance and Hunter sneaks in an eye poke. Dude comes back with double chops and rams him into the buckle; Hunter retreats to the floor and tries to reenter but Dude knocks him off. The WWF looks like they got the special ring apron delivered the morning of the show and did not have time to iron out the many folds created by the packaging. Hunter tries to boot the Dude but he catches the boot and controls the arm and drives knees into the arm. The Dude arm tosses Hunter over his shoulder and applies another armbar; Helmsley breaks free and tries a drop-toe hold but the Dude jumps over it and applies his own drop-toe hold taking Helmsley down into a leglock. Dude applies up an Indian deathlock and then punches in the corner; Hunter gets whipped upside-down in the corner and traps himself in the Tree of Woe. The Dude mounts the buckles and chops Hunter’s knees for a fan-assisted ten count and then the running elbow. Dude tunes up the band for Sweet Shin Music but it misses and Hunter retreats to the floor where Chyna surprises him with a clothesline. Helmsley takes over from there and hangs Dude off the top rope; Hunter punches in the corner and Chyna sneaks in a few free shots as well. Dude tries to comeback but Hunter counters a telegraphed backdrop into a facebuster for a nearfall. Helmsley applies a rope-assisted abdominal stretch; the referee catches him so Hunter gets in his face and shoves him, the referee ain’t taking’ shit tonight so he shoves back and lays in the verbal tirade. RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH! Hunter trembles in the corner, eventually retreating to the floor to a MASSIVE ovation. Back in the ring, Dude comes back and bulldogs him for a nearfall; Hunter immediately turns it back to his favor with a swinging neckbreaker and bows at him. He tries the Pedigree but Love counters and catapults him into the turnbuckle; they recover and Dude makes his comeback. He sends Hunter into the buckle for a Mr. Perfect-like flip sell. The Dude clotheslines Hunter into the corner but meets a boot on the second time; Helmsley climbs to the top but the Dude recovers and arm drags him off the top. Dude hits Sweet Shin Music followed by the double-arm DDT but Chyna puts Hunter’s foot on the top rope to break the referee’s count. Dude Love argues with Chyna allowing Helmsley to recover and land the Pedigree for the three count. 8/10 Great match between these two as they have been feuding since the King of the Ring so their work has become quite polished as they helped get each other over for bigger and better things.

British fans lay their opinions on who will win the European title match tonight; a lot more Shawn Michaels picks than I thought.

Tiger Ali Singh (w/Tiger Jeet Singh) vs. Leif Cassidy: Sunny is the special guest ring announcer; this is Ali Singh’s in-ring debut. Pre-match, Ali Singh says he wants to everyone to stay drug free and call himself the messiah; Jeet Singh rambles in Hindi until Leif (Al Snow) attacks Tiger Ali from behind. Tiger Ali comes back with punches and boots away in the corner. Singh tosses Cassidy cross-corner a few times and hits a nice belly-to-belly overhead release suplex. Tiger boots away but Leif slides off a counter and hits a pair of clotheslines and a spin kick. Leif applies an armlock and tosses him into the corner; Cassidy wrings the arm and drops a leg onto it, he stays on it with an armbar and maintains it. Tiger fights back and “hits” a float-over schoolboy rollup for two. Cassidy tries to set up a superplex but Singh does not get his legs up high enough and barley gets on the turnbuckles; Tiger pushes him off and drops a top-rope bulldog for three. 2/10 The match was awful as Tiger seemed to have no idea what to do in the ring; he wasn’t bad on the microphone so they eventually repackaged him as a high-caste heel but he failed at that so he eventually became a manager and then was released.

WWF Tag Team Championship The Headbangers vs. Los Boricuas: The Headbangers won the titles in an upset at Ground Zero and this maybe their first defense. Savio Vega and Miguel Perez are repping the Boricuas tonight and attack the Bangers from behind. Mosh and Thrasher come back with stereo clotheslines; Perez attacks Mosh from behind but gets nailed with a Mosh Pit avalanche in the corner and arm drags him down into an armbar. Thrasher tags in and hits a second-rope clothesline; Savio charges in and they clothesline and double elbow drop him. Savio legally tags in and hiptosses Thrasher into a mat head scissors; Thrasher reverses it and applies his own mat head scissors until Vega makes the ropes. Miguel tags in as the fans chant “Headbangers”; boy, they sure were over. Mosh applies a side headlock; Savio hits the ol’ Tully Blanchard kick from the apron move to get the Boricuas the advantage. Savio tags in and hammers away in the corner he tosses him cross-corner and swings the trapped spinning wheel kick. Miguel tags in and applies a headlock and drops a leg; he clotheslines Thrasher to keep the advantage. Los Boricuas use another time-tested tag heat maneuver; they draw Mosh into the ring and hammer away on Thrasher while the referee is chasing Mosh back to the apron, then they illegally switch with no tag. Vega applies a trapezius hold; Thrasher fires back and hits a crossbody but Savio recovers quicker and hits a spinning wheel kick for nearfall. Miguel returns and bodyslams Thrasher and hits a second-rope senton followed by a backflip splash for a nearfall; Perez applies another trapezius lock. Savio suckers Mosh into chasing him outside the ring so there is no one home when Thrasher attempts the tag. Miguel plays to the crowd and hits a vertical suplex; Mosh breaks up the pinfall to a big pop but the Boricuas stomp away on Thrasher whilst the referee is dealing with him. We get a false tag spot allowing more devastation to Thrasher; the crowd fires him out of a chinlock but runs into a knee. Savio tries a splash but Thrasher gets the knees up and almost makes the tag but Savio knocks Mosh off the apron; Miguel applies a reverse chinlock. Thrasher sneaks in a sunset flip but it only gets two; Savio misses a Stinger splash and Thrasher drives a backdrop suplex. Thrasher FINALLY makes the tag to Mosh cleans house on the Boricuas hitting a dropkick and clotheslining Savio to the floor. Mosh hits a super hurracanrana for two and the match breaks down; Mosh powerslams Perez but Savio interrupts the count. Mosh backdrops Savio on the floor as Perez powerbombs Thrasher in the ring; Mosh climbs to the top and hits the Stage Dive for three to a GIGANTIC ovation. 5.5/10 Pretty good match with a LONG heat sequence; the Boricuas busted out every sheep heel tag tactic this side of Ric Flair to assist the Bangers overness.

The British Bulldog discusses his sister who is battling cancer and dedicates his match to her; he says his parents and family will be in the arena. Davey Boy says this is one of the biggest moments of his career.

Flash Funk vs. The Patriot: This is an unusual babyface match; the Patriot gets some boos as the fans boo Old Glory. The Code of Honor is followed; and they do some takedowns and mat wrestling. A top wristlock by the Patriot and he controls with a shoulderblock; Flash gets in a few avoidance moves and hits a dropkick. Funk misses a spin kick and the Patriot clotheslines him; he applies a reverse chinlock. The Patriot controls with another clothesline and drops a head-butt. Patriot applies a reverse chinlock; Vince McMahon has to interject that the rest of the world may view Americans as pompous, hence the booing of the Patriot. Funk avoids a corner charge and flips onto the ropes and comes off the top with a crossbody for two. Patriot blocks another spin kick but then just stands there and waits for Flash to clothesline him; Funk applies a reverse chinlock. Flash drives a knee into the head and then snapmares into another chinlock. Patriot tries a comeback but gets short-clotheslined; Funk lays chops in, in the corner, but the Patriot no-sells. He reverses a whip into the corner and drops Funk with an atomic drop/back suplex combo but takes forever on a cover and gets a nearfall so we go back to the reverse chinlock. Funk switches into a reverse surfboard-like hold and segues into an armbar. Flash hits an inverted spinning wheel kick for a nearfall; Patriot hits a powerslam. Flash comes back with a led scissors roll up for two; Patriot hits a clothesline, he goes to the top for the Patriot Missile but it only gets a nearfall. Funk comes back and splashes him in the corner. Funk to the top and hits a twisting splash for two; Flash goes for the moonsault but it meets knees. Uncle Slam follows and gets the three count for the Patriot to the chagrin of the Brits in attendance. 4/10 Basic simple match; the reverse crowd reactions and the commentary banter made this match.

The Legion of Doom says they are coming for the Godwinns and payback is a bitch; Hawk sneaks in a little nursery rhyme.

Legion of Doom vs. The Godwinns: The LOD (legit) broke Henry Godwinn’s neck and they slowly turned heel during their impending revenge tour; Hank starts off with Animal. They lock up and stalemates a few times; Henry reverses a whip and sledges away. Animal immediately comes back and shoulderblocks Henry to the floor; Phineas gets a tag so does Hawk. Hawk punches and kicks and hits a running clothesline; Hawk misses a second tag and posts his shoulder. Phineas applies a chinlock and drives him down. Henry misses an elbow drop and Hawk comes back with a clothesline; Hawk jawjacks him. Animal returns and the LOD double clothesline him and Animal hits the chinlock. Phineas sneaks in a knee from the apron and Henry Cactus clotheslines Animal to the floor and the Godwinns take over. Phineas tags in and hits a Fujiwara armbar and works it into a hammerlock; Hank tags in and continues the arm work. Phineas comes in for a standing arm breaker but misses a second rope something allowing Hawk a tag. Hawk hammers away on the Godwinns and drops Phineas into a neckbreaker. Hank tosses Animal to the floor and they double clothesline Hawk. Henry hits the Slop Drop and then keeps Animal at bay but only gets a nearfall; Phineas chokes Hawk with the Godwinns’ Confederate flag in the corner whilst Hank distracts Animal and the referee. Phineas tags in and applies a trapezius hold. That move is quite popular tonight. Phineas folds up Hawk with a knee in the kidneys; more Godwinn double teaming ensues. Hawk comes back with a pair of clotheslines and tags in Animal; he hits a dropkick and a powerslam. The Godwinns try a double back suplex but Animal lands on his feet and double clotheslines them. Hawk clotheslines Hank to the floor and nail Phineas with the Doomsday Device for the three count. 4/10 Late in career LOD matches all ends the same; kill someone with a Doomsday Device. The Godwinns did a good job keeping the heat on them as well.

Jim Ross is in the ring to talk to Ken Shamrock who was scheduled to wrestle Owen Hart but was injured by Faarooq by a spinebuster. Shamrock says if it was up to him he’d be ready to knuckle-up; he says he has a punctured lung. He is thankful for his ovation but is upset he cannot compete; Rockabilly struts to the ring. Rockabilly calls him on his injury and runs him down and slaps him. Shamrock slaps the ankle lock on him and he taps out.

Bret Hart says he believes he is still the great champion he always was; he reiterates he is the best there is the best there was and the best there ever will be. Bret says the Undertaker will be a difficult challenge. This Bret is more like the babyface version since they are not on American soil; he admits is does matter what the British fans think of him.

Vader vs. Owen Hart: Vader is subbing for Ken Shamrock who was injured; Owen gets a huge babyface ovation, Jim Ross says it is residual babyface heat from teaming with the British Bulldog. Owen drapes his Canadian flag all over Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler at the announce table, yelling at Vince as he goes by; he makes fun of Owen’s haircut foreshadowing his Mr. McMahon character. Vader pushes Owen around the ring and hits a vertical body splash sending Hart to the floor. Owen sunset flips Vader and avoids the impending sit-down splash and hits a Frankensteiner; Owen moves in cautiously as Vader looks a little shaken there. Vader reverses a whip but Hart busts out a springboard crossbody for two; Owen tries the Sharpshooter but Vader shoves himself free. Vader blocks a vertical suplex but Hart slips over the back and schoolboys Vader for two. Owen goes for the Sharpshooter again but Vader grabs the ropes. Vader turns Owen’s crucifix attempt into a Samoan drop; Vader squashes Owen with a second-rope splash but HE KICKS OUT to a massive reaction. Vader methodically dismantles Owen and tosses him into the corner chest first really hard; Vader pummels Owen with punches. Hart tries a bodyslam but cannot get him up; Vader applies an armbar. Jim Ross mentions Vader’s detention in Kuwait for scaring the crap out of some reporters as he segues into a chinlock. Vader hits an avalanche and drives him down into a Fujiwara armbar; Vader moves down to the leg and applies a leglock. Owen fights free and avoids an avalanche but he tries to bodyslam Vader again but gets hammered again. I’m sure if he does slam Vader the place will come apart; looks like an old Bret Hart psychology trick. Vader delivers more punishment in the form of a clothesline and punches to the face; he reapplies the leglock. Hart fights free again but Vader peppers him with more lefts and rights. Vader splashes Owen for two; he tries a powerbomb but Owen flips out and lands the enziguri. Hart applies the Sharpshooter but Vader makes the ropes. Owen finally BODYSLAMS Vader… to a huge eruption! See it worked. It only gets a two count though. Owen is fired up but runs right into Vader; the Vader Bomb meets knees and Hart heads to the top and lands a missile dropkick. Owen nips-up and the crowd goes ballistic. Hart hits a spinning wheel kick but it only gets another two; Owen heads up again… but gets caught with a powerslam for three. 8.5/10 That was a damn good match; Owen Hart as a babyface in his King of Harts character is something to see. He could have been huge over as a babyface but a few things derailed that, specifically he was such a great cheating whiny heel.

Undertaker, bathed in blue light, says that Shawn Michaels will not be there to help Bret Hart tonight; Taker will expose the true demon that is Bret Hart… taglines are hit.

WWF Heavyweight Championship Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Undertaker: This is the only rematch from Summerslam ’97 (that I can recall happening and is available on Tombstone: The History of the Undertaker DVD. Bret receives a warm welcome in England. Taker stalks at the bell but Bret avoids and punches away. Taker says “ok, enough of this shit”, reverses and kicks the crap out of Bret in the corner. Undertaker choke tosses Bret and lays into him in the corner. Vince McMahon gets all Shylock claiming Undertaker could extract his pound of flesh tonight. Bret undoes a turnbuckle while the Undertaker intimidates the referee all of the way to the floor. Taker whips Bret cross-corner but the follow up charge meets Bret’s feet; Hart comes back and drives Taker towards the exposed buckle. Taker cuts it off with a short-clothesline. Taker misses an elbow drop and, like his brother earlier, immediately goes for a Sharpshooter but Taker kicks him off and sits-up; Bret clotheslines him back down. A clothesline sends Taker to the floor and follows up with a slingshot baseball slide; Bret tries to come off the apron but gets caught in a spinebuster onto the floor. He then rams Hart’s back into the post, Bret hobbles into the aisle, and they fight there and onto the stage where the Undertaker bodyslams him onto the ramp. They continue to battle in the aisle and back into the ring; Taker pummels Bret for a brief period until Bret hits a DDT. Taker tries to sit-up so Hart drops legs and drives elbows to keep him there; he keeps getting up, vexing Bret. Hart gets a whip reverses and he goes sternum first into the exposed turnbuckle; Taker works the chest utilizing a rare heart punch. He keeps the heat on, dropping elbows and applies a bow-and-arrow lock and segues into a crucifix like roll-up for two. Bret stomps the toes of the Undertaker, trying to crated distance, but one shot puts Hart back down and he applies a backbreaker into a the backbreaker stretch (submission hold); he releases for a nearfall. Hart kicks the legs again but Taker counters a whip into an elbow out of the corner; Taker misses a knee in the corner damaging worsening the leg and allowing Bret to work a body part. Bret vultures in on the leg stomping away as boos begin to rain down; he tenaciously works the leg and eventually applies the ringpost figure-four. Back in the ring, Bret applies a traditional figure-four leglock; after almost two minutes of leglock the Undertaker turns Hart over forcing Bret to relinquish the hold. Taker hobbles over to Bret and punishes him in the corner and along the ropes; Undertaker misses a big boot and Bret takes over working on the leg with a grapevine. Bret keeps the advantage by avoiding a standing clothesline and drops him into the side-Russian leg sweep for two; snap-suplex and backbreaker follows but the second-rope driving elbow finds Taker’s boot. They clothesline each other for a double KO; Taker, of course, sits up first and drops a wishbone legdrop for two. Undertaker tries another wishbone legdrop but Bret catches the leg and applies the Sharpshooter from the canvas (à la Summerslam ’91 (full review, click here)) but the Undertaker powers out and Bret goes right back for the hold but gets goozled; Hart kicks the leg out but Taker pummels his midsection from his knees. Undertaker scores with a big boot and a legdrop, brother… for two. What a match! Onto the floor, Bret grabs the ring bell but Taker boots him in the face before he can use it; Taker tries to use it but the referee saves him a DQ by ascertaining it, Bret uses the distraction to clip his leg. Bret hits some rope-assisted splashes until the Undertaker kicks him over the top onto the cameraman; he joins Hart on the floor and launches him into the ring steps. Back in the ring, Taker tries to cross-whip Hart into the padless turnbuckle; Bret falls to his knees to avoid the steel but winds up going back-first into the ringpost. Ropewalk Forearm attempt but Bret pulls him off the top; Taker tries a Tombstone but Bret counters into an O’Connor roll… for two. Bret tries a Tombstone but Taker reverses it; Bret grabs the ropes to Taker lets him go and Hart hangs his head in the top rope. The Undertaker annihilates a defenseless Bret, despite the referee’s warning, and gets disqualified. Post-match, Undertaker will not stop attacking Bret so the referee tries to stop him so the Undertaker chokeslams the referee. A few WWF officials including Gerald Brisco and Owen Hart run down to free Bret; Taker catches Brisco and chokeslams him as well. 9/10 Great match, despite the schmoz ending, with the great storyline of Bret working over the leg and the Undertaker refusing to stay down.

Shawn Michaels says he is going to be the first grand slam winner, adding the European title to his collection. Shawn had his crew of Rick Rude, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna but they were not referred to D-Generation X yet.

WWF European Championship British Bulldog (w/Tracy Smith)vs. Shawn Michaels: This match is widely accepted as the “birth” of DX despite them having been working together for weeks. Bulldog is insanely over, obviously; Shawn is beginning to work in his DX shtick here as well. The Bulldog tosses HBK all around the ring showcasing his power advantage; Davey Boy drives Michaels up the ropes and then flings him off the top. Bearhug by the Bulldog followed by a pair or running backdrops and then a clothesline over the top where Shawn lands face-first on the steel ring barricade. Shawn feigns leaving. Michaels pokes the Bulldog in the eyes and gets a few shots but Davey Boy comes back and brings HBK back into the ring via inverted suplex; press-slam, and Davey Boy threatens to toss him to the floor, but the referee keeps getting in between to prevent it so he just drops HBK in the ring and applies an abdominal stretch. Michaels hiptosses free and stomps away, he charges, so the Bulldog backdrops him to the floor and then slingshots him back into the ring. Bulldog arm drags him into an armbar and maintains it with armlock lifts; Shawn forearms free and runs the ropes, the Bulldog leapfrogs one too many times and Michaels pokes him in the eyes upon his landing. A hurracanrana by Michaels is countered into a Batista Bomb by the Bulldog and he returns to a hammerlock; Michaels fights free and tries a crucifix but the Bulldog turns it into a Samoan drop. Davey Boy locks up a Mexican surfboard, but is forced to release, due to his shoulders being pinned. Davey argues with referee Earl Hebner and allows Michaels to take the leg out and stomp away; the Bulldog counters a telegraphed backdrop into the delayed vertical suplex for a nearfall. Michaels’ insurance policy Rick Rude saunters to the ring and helps free Shawn from an O’Connor roll; the Bulldog begins to fire back but Rude trips him up. Davey Boy takes a swipe at him and gets sledged to the floor by Michaels; HBK distracts the referee allowing Rude to post Davey Boy, Shawn follow up with a top-rope sledge. Rude continues to cause complications at ringside, shoving the Bulldog into the ring apron, back in the ring, Shawn hits a reverse elbow. Michaels applies a sleeper hold for a while. Bulldog back suplexes free and Michaels maintains the advantage tossing the Bulldog into the buckle, hard. HBK hiptosses into a short-arm scissors; Bulldog powers up into a one-armed Electric Chair and then they run the ropes for a double KO as Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna head out to ringside to join Rude in Shawn’s corner. Bulldog backdrops Michaels nearly into orbit and sends him upside-down in the corner; he gets a nearfall off a slingshot into the buckle. Davey Boy misses a charge and posts his shoulder; Shawn hits a pair of top-rope elbow smashes and tunes up the band. The Bulldog is so out of it from the elbows he does not get up so Shawn props him in the corner to deliver the superkick but it misses and Davey Boy scoops him up for the powerslam but Rude grabs the Bulldog’s ankle. The Bulldog avoids calamity and clotheslines Michaels on the other side of the ring but Hunter is waiting on that side. The Bulldog quickly dispatches with him and tries the running powerslam on the floor but his leg slips off the matting and gets wedged between the ringside area and the ring platform. Shawn catches him with Sweet Chin Music and Hunter and Rude both work over his leg on the floor; Shawn distracts the referee as Helmsley Pedigrees him on the floor. Shawn removes the Bulldog’s DonJoy and tosses it at Diana Hart-Smith seated at ringside. Sexual harassment? Michaels applies a figure-four leglock on the unprotected knee; Chyna and Hunter assist by pulling on Michaels’ arms for more leverage. The Bulldog nearly has Michaels turned over so Rude gives him a shot knocking him back into the ring. The Bulldog eventually passes out and Shawn wins the European title and becomes the first ever four-belt grand slam winner. Post-match, the fans nearly riot and toss stuff into the ring; Michaels grabs a microphone and insults the Hart family and humiliates Diana. Shawn reapplies the figure-four; Diana gets in the ring to help out but Chyna grabs her. Bret Hart and Owen Hart run in to save their sister and brother-in-law. 8.5/10 Great match as DX officially formed as Triple H, Shawn and Chyna celebrated and became full on douche heel. The Bulldog never submitted, saving face, and Shawn broke his English undefeated streak. Michaels used his character to begin to help catapult the WWF back to respectability.

OVERALL 8.5/10 This is a really excellent pay-per-view continuing on the excellence of 1997; Bret, Taker, Undertaker, the Bulldog, Owen and Vader all delivered excellent matches as did Foley and Helmsley. Even the “pencil this in for a crap match” matches did well Godwinns/LOD and the Bangers/Boricuas was good too. The official “birth” of the group that would become known as D-Generation X was here and it would be Bret Hart of all people who would coin the phrase.

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Here is a highlight video from the show