Saturday 30 June 2012

Love Or Hate, A Look At The Top Two Promotions in the U.S. By Nolan Glaze

So, here we are. In the middle of a small war within the wrestling community. Not on the TV, but within the fan base. Anybody who frequents the halls of the Internet Wrestling Community (you're doing so now if you're reading this) has seen the arguments between fans of Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wresting and World Wrestling Entertainment. Go to a YouTube video, you see an argument in the comments about how one of the companies "sucks" and the other "rules." The same goes for; Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and almost any forum. Seriously, just look.

Over the last few years, we've seen drastic changes in the world of main stream wrestling. TNA brought in Hulk Hogan, WWE finally let one of it's stars speak their mind. However, it seems that no matter what the companies do, they'll keep having "haters."

Now, do I choose a side? No. I'm honestly neutral on the argument. I support all companies, even those that I don't watch (i.e. Combat Zone Wrestling.) I look at the state of these two companies in specific, in see major things that need to change. So, let's begin my critique of the companies shall we?

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, aka IMPACT Wrestling: I've been watching TNA since it's time on Fox Sports Network here in the United States, and was automatically captivated with the X Division and the severely missed 6-sided ring. Since my discovery of TNA about six years ago, I've watched every episode I could, and even bought a few PPV's. I've watched as the talent of the company continue to grow at an alarming rate. When you have the like of AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, Kurt Angle, and now Austin Aries, the roster is by far as impressive as the WWF "Attitude Era" when it comes to talent. However, Dixie Carter and the others who run TNA backstage continue to bring in these big stars who aren't absolutely needed. In 2008, they brought in Mick Foley. Now, they brought him in as a management role under the title "Executive Shareholder," but it didn't take long for them to slap the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on him. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Mick Foley. Have been since his days in the all brown attire in his Mankind days.

In 2009, they brought in Hogan and Bischoff. These two men, who had such a been hand in the 80's, 90's, and early 2000's, have caused the most pain towards TNA. In fact, they have caused huge fans of the company to quit watching. They got rid of the 6-sided ring, pushed themselves in multiple storylines, and even dropped the ball on one of the biggest stories in TNA history, AJ Styles being mentored by Ric Flair. Now, three years later; the wrestling quality is great, most of the stories are great, and the fan base is once again growing. However, we are now force fed Brooke Hogan, Garrett Bischoff, this pregnant junky story, and the list continues to grow. The fans that TNA lost over the last four years have yet to return because most of have lost faith in the product, much like the disappointed fans from the "Attitude Era" turning their backs on WWE, which leads us to the next paragraph.

World Wrestling Entertainment, what can I say about the largest, most successful wrestling company(if you can even call it that now) in history? I've watched WWE(WWF) since before I can remember, I've watched it go from the boring product of the early to mid 90's to the "Attitude Era" and then the product we have now. In the early 90's, WWE(WWF at the time) put on the over the top, close to cartoony product that is common on the WWE YouTube series "Are You Serious?" With the likes of Papa Shango, Repo Man, and the Bushwhackers on our TVs every week, the people who watched the wrestling from the 70's were unamused. With the older audience growing tired of the childish product put on by WWF, the growing company that was a former NWA promotion, World Championship Wrestling grew into power. Over the next half a decade, WWF was hurting and needed to shake things up. This is when we witnessed my personal favorite "Era" in the "Attitude Era."

It was during this time that we saw the rise of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Shawn Michaels(hitting his peak,) and the birth of so many more. The people raised in the 90's, or didn't watch wrestling until the 90's, remembers this time very fondly. It was a time where wrestling was, at times, played very close to the knuckle.

Anyways, last I checked this is a critique, not a history lesson. So let's zoom to 2010, the title is switch hands between Randy Orton and John Cena, the overall WWE product has been dulled down to fit with USA channel's request for a "family friendly" wrestling show, and the majority of the fans growing tired of a boring product. Ok, now let's zoom to June 27th, 2011. WWE Monday Night Raw is on TV, and in the closing segment, CM Punk grabs a microphone and sits on the stage. He cuts a promo saying what so many fans had been saying for years. Everything he said hit deep in my heart, I still get chills when I watch it on YouTube. With one man's words, a fire was ignited. A fire that was fueled by the passion for wrestling of every single last fan.

Now, it's June(almost July), and we have some great up and comers in the company. Richie Steamboat, Kassius Ohno, Seth Rollins, and many more are coming through the ranks of FCW and NXT. I feel the young superstars showing their skill in NXT and FCW will bring on a new era in WWE. However, until then we will continue to see CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, and the others be over shadowed by WWE's narrow minded sight as John Cena continues to be the main event of the PPV's.

Find me on twitter @TexanFreakshow

Friday 29 June 2012

Rhianna - Have You Cena? By Stel Stylianou

There’s something about being stuck in London traffic which makes my mind wander. Perhaps it’s the mind numbing boredom and repetition caused by needless roadworks, overpopulation, or reckless drivers.

So I’m sat there, channel hopping on the radio, hoping to hear something which may stimulate my mind.

Preset channel 1 is playing yet another Rihanna song. Exactly how many songs has this wretched woman released in her career thus far? Christ, she sounds like a turkey who has swallowed electric screwdriver.

Preset channels 2 and 5 are playing the same Rita Ora song (after all, she’s only got 2 songs – right?), whereas 3, 4 and 6 have the nerve to play a Coldplay featuring (you guessed it) Rihanna, Jessie J and Will I Am respectively.

I’m going somewhere with this. Trust me.

After five minutes or so of more hopping, something dawned on me which was blatantly obvious, although I hadn’t really thought about before.

These radio stations are encouraged to promote and over play these “artists” in a tactical ploy to basically brainwash listeners to buy/download (legally, *pffft*) their albums and singles.

It’s almost as if they’re forcing people to spend their hard earned cash on this crap..errr..I mean, Music.

“You WILL like this Music and you SHALL conform”

Then it got me thinking about the state of the WWE at the moment.

John Cena has been the number 1 face of the company for God knows how long. He has had title reign upon title reign, main event after main event, and a ridiculous amount of TV and promo time.

So, what is it about John Cena that I really dislike?

I am not a Cena fan, but I am a fair person. I won’t criticise someone without looking at both sides of the coin. It is easy to say “I hate the c**t”, but unless there’s a feasible reason behind this notion, then it’s a bit of a harsh statement to make.

In my honest opinion, Cena’s in ring style is very clumsy and reckless – although those aren’t the reasons why I dislike him.

He seems like a nice bloke. Granted, he’s a Wrestler and it’s his job to act like a “nice guy” for the fans. I haven’t been bothered to do any research about his private life, nor do I care if he refused to give someone his autograph. Don’t care, won’t care.

Looking at all of this again, realistically he hasn’t done anything wrong for me to dislike him.

Hogan had the title for a while and was always in the spotlight, as was Shawn Michaels and Triple H.

So, why the Cena “hating”?

It’s obvious when you delve into it.

When I was between the ages of 9 and 18 the top Faces had their fair share of TV time, but none of us were really forced to like them. Sure, there has always been and always will be a huge emphasis on squeezing as much money out of the Faces by the WWE. That’s how they have got where they are today.

I can’t begin to imagine the profit margins following “Hulkamania”, “Austin 3:16”, “DX”, etc merch sales. The WWE’s marketing team has well and truly “earned its corn” over the years.

None of us were forced to like Hogan because we had other “goodies” (didn’t know the term “face” back then) as options. Personally, I preferred the Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage, purely because they weren’t so predictable – and the Undertaker used to make me s**t my pants (OK, not literally. Milk Shakes, yes. Undertaker, no)

As I got older, I began to appreciate Wrestling more. I no longer saw it as “bad vs good”, but more like “who entertains me more”. Bret and Owen Hart, Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon and Diesel were the names who stood out at the time. Each one of these guys got their fair share of TV time and I’d say at least 80% of storylines they were involved in were interesting.

I was 16 when Wrestlemania 13 came around, and was fascinated with the Bret Hart – Steve Austin matchup. At the time, it seemed a bit too brutal for Wrestling. Granted, “brutal” may be an over exaggeration, but it wasn’t what I was used to seeing from the WWF.

Austin then went on to win the KOTR, had numerous title reigns and an amazingly written and performed feud with Vince McMahon.

As we all know, during this era it was WWF vs WCW. Austin and Vince vs the nWo. This is how I remember Wrestling at its best.

Austin, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, HHH, Mick Foley and The Undertaker were all huge Faces in the years which followed, but none received the treatment that Cena has.

Could it be because none of these guys started off with a “white rapper” gimmick (cringe)? After all, it’s quite obvious that there is a link between Wrestling and Metal/Rock and Rap music is frowned upon.

Maybe it’s because Cena lacked and still lacks the in ring technical abilities of Bret Hart and Chris Benoit. Then again, I don’t remember the Stone Cold character having an array of moves.

Perhaps Cena was made to win Royal Rumbles and titles straight after coming back from injuries? Ummm, I’m sure he’s not the only person to have done this.

OK, how about his mic work? No one likes a 5-10 minute monologue, right? Oh..That’s happened before with others.

I think I have it! Maybe it’s because he beat a load of fan favourites like Edge, Orton, HHH? Nope. That’s not it either.

In my honest opinion, there are a few factors which has caused all this Cena hate, and none of them are his fault.

If I am not mistaken, the purchase of ECW by the WWE coincided round about the same time John Cena became a main event character.

We all know ECW changed the face of Wrestling, one way or another. Its unorthodox, controversial and quite literally extreme dynamics altered the mentality of many Wrestling fans. It was a different “animal”. Faces and Heels were adored, and the company gave fans what they wanted.

Once ECW perished, its hardcore support was left bewildered. Who would they follow as an alternative? Their options were limited.

Let’s put this into perspective. Whilst ECW fans were adoring the likes of Tommy Dreamer, Sandman, Sabu etc, John Cena was rising to main event status in the WWE.

Needless to say, the ECW fans who submitted to the WWE’s dominance and rekindled it’s interest in the brand, were none too happy with seeing their heroes (indirectly) replaced with Vanilla Ice’s “jacked up” double.

All of a sudden “Cena sucked!” even more.

Vince had won the war with both WCW and ECW over a short period of time. There was no competition. He and his creative team could do whatever they wanted, and whether or not Wrestling fans liked it – there was nothing they could do about it.

The WWE slowly moved away from the “Attitude Era” to a more “PG” format. Clearly the marketing team and money men of the company had a plan – and it was simple.

Capitalise on the dominance. Make the product more appealing to the kids. It is they who will bring in the money.

This is precisely how the WWF operated in the late 80’s – mid 90’s. WWF/WWE figurines, replica title belts, t-shirts, badges, posters, mugs, whatever it takes to make the company more valuable and profitable.

So, as Hulk Hogan was the man kids adored in the 80’s and 90’s, the WWE needed a 21st century Hogan.

Cena was already over with the kids. His “battle raps”, attitude and personality resembled a certain Marshall Mathers, who had set a precedent by being the first white bloke to be accepted into the Rap industry. His style appealed to most Rap fans and gained the Industry more white fans – Yes, I “went there” with the race thing..ZZZZZZZZ. Once again, RAP MUSIC is frowned upon by a lot of Wrestling fans. Yet another excuse to dislike him.

However, Cena was obviously a much “watered down” character to Eminem. There were no references to killing ex-girlfriends or taking drugs. No. Cena was and still is clean cut. There were no prayers or vitamin quotes, but quirky alternatives like “U Can’t C Me”, “Rise Above Hate” and “Hustle, Loyalty, Respect” with the latter being an extra positive slogan which was a “cool” thing for kids to say and enabled the WWE to line their top face with their anti bullying campaigns.

As time progressed, Cena was shown more and more on TV. He was given a title run for a year, was put in feuds which (naturally) he’d overcome. Kids love his wit, women love his charm. It’s a combination which goes hand in hand up a successful marketing path.

Nevertheless, the more Cena was on TV, the more older male fans despised him. They felt robbed.

“Who does this guy think he is? Why are we being forced to endure this bulls**t every week?”

Cena clearly was the new unacceptable and unforgivable face of Wrestling.

Unfortunately for Cena, it was “cool” to cheer heels and to make matters worse for him, it was also “cool” to shout “Cena sucks”

Hogan was rarely chastised as a face, but things were different back then. There wasn’t as much emphasis on promoting a Wrestler’s merchandise and character. Modern technology has changed the way we all live, so it is normal that the WWE would use this to exploit their target audience.

Cena’s character has been forced upon all Wrestling fans and it seems that over the years, the WWE’s determination to put him over as a bigger Hogan backfired just a little.

Regardless if you love or hate Cena, he’ll be a main event superstar for a long time.

Unfortunately, the WWE hasn’t yet put as much emphasis on current and future main event Wrestlers, but that is purely for business reasons. It is clear that they are attempting to squeeze as much money out of the Cena brand as possible. Once he becomes less marketable, they’ll just do what they normally do and move on to the next “Superstar”.

Cena will always sell more merchandise than, say, CM Punk purely because he appeals to a younger crowd, whereas Punk has a more mature following – given his background in the industry and outspoken character.

In all fairness, little of this Cena hatred is his fault. Truth be told, his charity work and support for the US Military should be commended. There’s no doubt that he’ll be a future hall of famer – and good luck to the bloke.

Does he honestly care that he is being booed by a minority of people? Not really.

He’s been in films, appeared on talk shows and his fan base continues to grow. In fact, the only threat to his career is his soon to be ex wife. Cena is up against the biggest challenge he’s ever faced.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if Liz Huber-dooby-deau is awarded a huge sum of money, walked out of the courtroom and cut her own promo by saying “U Can’t See Me!!”?

That’s your lot…for now

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @Che_Stel

Thursday 28 June 2012

British Wrestling is Doing Just Fine By Stuart Rodgers

British wrestling has some fine young workers at the moment, I think it's the best crop of guys I have ever seen while being into the British scene. Some of the better ones we have come from not only England but Scotland and Wales too.

I myself am a big fan of Wolverhampton based wrestler MK McKinnan, all the times I have been there in person to watch him live, and there has been quite a few, I have never seen him have a bad match. I really think MK could go far if given the right opportunity and on July 6th that will of arrived when he gets to go one on one with former ROH triple crown champion and current Fight Club: Pro champion Eddie Edwards at FCP's "Die Harder" show in Wolverhampton.

From north of the border we have Noam Dar who is a tremendous worker himself. His stock has risen greatly over the last 12 months, from wrestling a dark match at Dragon Gate UK's excellent show in Nottingham last year to being booked all over including in his native Scotland for the also great Lionheart Adrian McCallum's promotion Pro Wrestling Elite. In July & August Noam has two massive matches one against AJ Styles for PW Elite and against Davey Richards for SouthSide Wrestling in Nottingham. This guy really has got the breaks already and it's just going to get better for him.

Representing Wales there is 'White Lightning' Mark Andrews. Mark is a terrific wrestler, has a great move set and does some great high-flying moves. Mark doesn't limit himself to the UK, like the other 2 guys, he travels round venturing into Europe quite a bit. Mark was in the MOTN at the PROGRESS Wrestling Chapter 2 show on June 24th and good things lay ahead for the young man from Cardiff.

Some of the more well-known British wrestlers on the scene at the moment are Marty Scurll, Zack Sabre Jr, The Rockstar Spud and some to look out for are Ryan Smile, Pete Dunne and Nathan Cruz who is the current PROGRESS champion.

Another promotion who I think will be making waves in the coming months is New Scene Wrestling and it will overall be an exciting time.

Things are looking good for British wrestling and it's a good time to be a fan.

Tuesday 26 June 2012

This is PROGRESS - Stel Stylianou Gives His Thoughts on Chapter 2

I’m not starting this blog by mentioning how non wrestling fans frown upon people like me and you, because we’ve already heard it all before.

In fact, it’s not even worth giving examples of the things that are said – because, well, we’ve already heard it all before.

However, one of the things I love about wrestling fans is that we’re proud to admit it. I’ve rocked into Pubs and Bars wearing my Colt of Personality T-Shirt and decided from now to wear my “Ask Him” T-Shirt when I go to my Cousin’s Birthday do in Camden, at the end of July.

At the beginning of March I was sent to Newcastle for work. Our company bought a branch up there and we had to make the trip up there to make sure their systems were up to date, and staff trained on the new system we were about to implement.

Those of you who work in IT (especially Systems Support) would probably agree with me in the sense that it can be quite a mundane and repetitive job – so I often keep myself occupied by listening to podcasts.

During a wrestling podcast I was listening to, I heard an interview with Jim Smallman who was promoting a wrestling event called “Progress Wrestling, Chapter 1”, which was being held at The Relentless Garage in Islington. Also, one of my favourite wrestlers, Colt Cabana, was scheduled to make an appearance – so my mind was already made up. I jumped on the Progress website and bought a pair. Seeing as my Mrs has been into the WWF/WWE since she was a kid, I knew she’d love to go.

I took her to a live RAW show a few years ago, but I had a feeling that Progress would bring something special – and boy did it deliver.

Admittedly, I hadn’t heard of many of the names on the card as my knowledge of UK Wrestling wasn’t that great. Nevertheless, after Chapter 1 the names El Ligero, Noam Dar, Zach Sabre JR, Marty Scurll, Mike Mason etc won’t be forgotten.

I even got to meet Colt Cabana and buy some merchandise. I guess that seeing as Progress paved the way for me to meet someone I admire, the organisation has my loyalty for life.

It was the first UK Wrestling event I had ever been to, but definitely not the last.

Once I received the Newsletter from Progress regarding Merchandise and the Chapter 1 DVD, I got the Credit Card out and prepared to abuse it. It was so difficult to contain my excitement when the date for Chapter 2 was announced.

I was sat in front of the TV one evening and received the Newsletter on my phone. I immediately grabbed my Laptop, Credit Card and bought 2 front row seats for the event. There was NO WAY I was missing out on this one.

A few days later and another Newsletter was received, this time for the pre-order of Chapter 2 T-Shirts. Aside from the fact that it was a T-Shirt for the event, I loved the Soviet look to it. Given that I’ve got a soft spot for the Commies, this guaranteed another appearance from my Plastic friend.

So, the 24th of June arrives and I’m pumped for the event. Weeks of Tweeting people who also follow Progress and counting down the days was over.

An old friend of mine, Paul (who is also a huge Wrestling fan) had bought tickets to the event for himself and his nephews – based on the amount of excitement I had shown on Twitter – and they weren’t disappointed.

For certain reasons I won’t go into why his **ahem** 14 year old nephew was one of the stars of the show, but buy the DVD. Trust me, it’s going to be GOLD!

Unfortunately, my Mrs had made other plans with my Mother In Law, so I took my friend John instead. He wasn’t a Wrestling fan though. Sure, he watched the old days of WWF and knew who The Undertaker, Hogan, Savage, etc were, but that’s as far as it went.

However, to his credit, he was more than happy to come along and see what all the fuss (that I had been making for months) was all about. Needless to say, he was very surprised with what he saw.

Now, I know I’m not the only one who makes Wrestling references in their day to day lives. I’m pretty sure that some of you have yelled “Holy Shit” or “ECW” when you’ve seen a minor Car accident, or done a Ric Flair style “Woooooooooooo” at inappropriate times.

I once silenced my Gym by doing a Daniel Bryan “Yes,Yes,Yes” after looking down at the scales and saw I lost 3lbs in 4 days.

So, imagine the laugh everyone in The Garage, Islington had when The Lion Kid entered the ring and gave his trademark “ROAR”, which was followed by a Daniel Bryan inspired “ROAR, ROAR,ROAR”. At one point, someone yelled out that African “Arseneeeeee Wengerrrrrr” sounding intro to the Lion King music. Brilliant.

His opponent Stixx was the typical Heel and played his role very well – although he was slated for the amount of chest hair he had. Then again, having a Mediterranean background, I was in no position to poke fun.

We then saw an entertaining match between Mark Andrews and Mike Hitchman.

The banter continued when Paul decided to make it known to everyone in the building that Andrews resembled Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter – which led to loads of hilarious Harry Potter references. This was actually the first time I had ever seen a Face heckled more than a Heel, but its WRESTLING. Not everything is supposed to make sense or go to plan.

There was even a run in after the match.

Up next was, I think (I say “I think” because I can’t remember the bloody order in between the first 2 and final 2 match ups) Noam Dar vs Darrell Allen.

Now, Dar opened Chapter 1 with El Ligero and was subjected to many anti-Scottish jibes, seeing as he is from up there. In fact, during Chapter 1, someone came up with one of the funniest chants I have ever heard, which was “Deep Fried Mars Bars”. If you don’t get the joke, look it up.

This time, however, the bloke who came up with the chant brought a SIGN with “Deep Fried Mars Bars” written on. Classic.

During an exciting match, Dar was given more abuse and at one point he bit Allen's arm and someone yelled “That’s not Kosher” – once again, look into it.

Allen was wearing a black Shoulder protector which he injured at PROGRESS Chapter 1 and someone got away with “Take his BRA OFF”.

After was the first ever Tag Match in Progress – the London Riots vs the Velocity Vipers. Judging by the size of both men, we knew it would either be a squash match or one with a lot of high flying moves. Truth be told, it was both. The London Riots were huge individuals who threw the much, much smaller Vipers all over the place.

Unfortunately, we witnessed our first serious botch when Viper Kid fell awkwardly and had to be carried out. At first we thought it was a work, but found out the day after on the Progress Twitter that he’d broken his leg in 2 places. We’re sure he’ll be back though and wish him all the best in his recovery.

It ended up being a handicap match which can only be described as Funkasaurus and Matt Morgan vs the 1,2,3 Kid (OK, slight exaggeration, but I’m doing this off the cuff, alright?!).

Following the interval, we were reminded that Paul’s nephew was 14 – but given the kid’s sense of humour, he pointed out that he’d just turned 15 – cue a building full of people singing “Happy Birthday”. Unreal. Just unreal.

The first matchup after the interval was the much anticipated Progress debut of Jimmy Havoc. We demanded blood, but we got, errr a Spoon – plus a very entertaining matchup with Danny Garnell.

Truth be told, we all knew that Havoc can do more than just Death Matches.

Garnell was very impressive and showed some ridiculous strength. At one point, Havoc was up against the ropes, upside down, and balancing on his head. Damn, that looked painful.

We saw some “Bro-mance” spooning and even Jim Smallman got some “man love” too. Don’t worry though, it wasn’t in the Homoerotic sense.. Just buy the God Damn DVD man and you’ll see.

The penultimate match up was a 3 way between El Ligero, RJ Singh and Greg Burridge to determine the number 1 contender for the Progress title.

Burridge came out to a massive pop. Clearly “The Cockney Geezer” was a fan favourite. He walked towards Paul’s **cough cough** 15 year old nephew, threw him over his shoulders and walked around the ring. Cue a bigger pop.

In a match full of entertainment, comedy and some high flying moves which resulted in a few bumps outside the ring, a number 1 contender was determined.

Our main event was Nathan Cruz vs Party Marty Scurll in a 2 out of 3 falls match for the Progress Staff.

Those of you who aren’t aware of this, Progress does not have a championship belt. It is a Staff with the Progress Eagle on top.

Once it was unveiled at Chapter 1, a chant of “Nazi Staff” kicked off – and it’s stuck.

Scurll came out to a huge pop and the fist pumping from the crowd began. Cruz, on the other hand got a load of Heel Heat and upon walking to the ring, two rows stood up and did the Nazi raised arm – saluting the Staff. This was so wrong on so many levels, but it was abso-frickin’-lutely hilarious. I took a couple of photos of this and, had my manager not been on my Friends list on Facebook, I’d use it as the cover photo..It was GENIUS.

This match had it all: Near falls, high flying moves, manoeuvres which made you shout “Holy Shit”. There was also a very funny incident which involved an attempted count out and audience participation, which caused a hilarious botch.

The winner was decided via outside interference.

Notice how I haven’t really stated who won? It’s intentional. Of course most of you probably know who won, and if you don’t you can Google it – but I’ve pointed out the funny bits because they alone are worth forking out for the DVD. However, this was one of the best events I have been to. I’ve seen the WWE when they’ve been over here and none of their cards were as entertaining as this.

So, congratulations to Jim, Jon, Progress employees, staff at The Garage, Security, Wrestlers, fans and everyone involved in Chapter 2. This is one event that I, and many others will never forget.

Roll on Chapter 3

Follow me @Che_Stel, OR, check out my Blogs on

Monday 25 June 2012

WWE Wrestlers: Mid Year Thoughts By Shaun Nichols

As we are approaching the end of June, it seems an appropriate time to give some thoughts on those in the WWE who are doing well and indeed not so well and give a little bit of insight as to why I think that is the case.

John Cena - Although he's been kept well away from the WWE title picture this year, don't be fooled into thinking that he's anything other than the undisputed top dog in the WWE. We can see this by the fact that it is Cena rather than CM Punk who is main eventing PPV shows and Cena more often than not is the all important final angle of Raw. He attracts fans that simply other WWE stars cannot and while the promotion's attempts to get the fans to cheer against The Rock failed he does seem to be more liked by fans as a whole in his feuds with Lesnar & Laurinaitis. The 'Cena Sux' chants are nowhere near the levels of earlier on in the year. Look for Cena to continue to be Mr Nice Guy (even if it annoys a lot of us) and be the franchise player for the WWE for a long time to come.

Randy Orton - Things are not going quite so well for Orton, they teased that he would win the Royal Rumble but ended up going with Sheamus, Daniel Bryan's title run involved The Big Show until Mania. This left Randy treading water, he had a reasonable feud with Wade Barrett and then got stuck with Kane which led to being booked in a Wrestlemania match that nobody can remember. For the record he lost, though won the feud overall on Smackdown. Was heading for programmes with firstly Chris Jericho and then Dolph Ziggler until suspensions got in the way. Should be back for SummerSlam but doesn't seem quite as secure as the clear Number 2 that he was last year.

CM Punk - On the positive side he's been the WWE champion throughout 2012 and has had generally pretty good matches and one excellent atch with Daniel Bryan. He also seems to have replaced Orton in the pecking order which he'll be pretty pleased with. However his promos which helped him really breakthrough last year seem to be a thing of the past. He comes across annoying on a fairly regular basis and his feud with Jericho didn't really seem to hit the heights which many of us hoped for. As I stated with my comments on Cena, Punk is far behind him in terms of importance to the product. Although a lot of fans really like him he has yet to capture the broad base of the really successful WWE stars of the past. He could also do with removing himself from the AJ angle where it really isn't doing anything for him.

Daniel Bryan - Nobody as probably had a better 2012 than Bryan, given the World title after cashing in the MITB case after promising to wait until Wrestlemania. The heel Daniel Bryan was off and running, but you wouldn't have been surprised if he was giving the title reign only reserved for Rey Mysterio & Jack Swagger. Yet this as not happened, showing a surprising talent as an interview and fully embracing the antics of MMA star Diego Sanchez (Yes, Yes, Yes) meant that not even an 18 second loss at Wrestlemania as slowed him down. Infact it only made the fans determined to ensure Daniel Bryan was the most over regular at the following night's Raw. His PPV match with Punk was outstanding and you know that there is a babyface turn that can happen at anytime which will continue his elevation.

Sheamus - Given the biggest push of the year, was a surprise winner of the Royal Rumble. This in hindsight probably didn't help him that much, as the fans were more disappointed that Jericho lost rather than pleased that Sheamus won. Followed by his 18 second win over Bryan also saw fans angry though this time it would have been the length of the match. And the 2/3 falls match between the two was pretty well received. He should stop trying to get the fans to chant 'Brogue' it hasn't worked, and the fans have yet to really love him. At the No Way Out PPV the fans were cheering for Ziggler, no matter what Jerry Lawler had to claim. He should keep the World title for a while but I would have thought that he would have been more over then he is due to the push he's been given.

Brock Lesnar - A while ago, I wrote a blog that lamented the decision to have Lesnar lose to Cena and I certainly haven't changed my mind on that. To me the WWE need to make their mind up about Brock, do they want to give themselves a chance to make money with Brock or call it a day. They are paying Lesnar a fortune for the dates he's working, if they want to make him a special attraction then he needs to beat Triple H clean. If he doesn't then you have to wonder why they brought him back at all. Having Lesnar as a unique personality with Paul Heyman as his regular mouthpiece it could still be an entertaining ride. I'm just not overly confident that the WWE will have the common sense to do it.

Chris Jericho - Like most fans, I was looking forward to seeing the next chapter of Jericho's wrestling career but I have to be honest it hasn't quite met my expectations. As it been bad? No it hasn't it just has not got any better than good. The storyline that Jericho was mad at Punk for stealing his gimmick seemed sound, but in virtually every angle Punk came out on top. Jericho also lost all the big matches as well. He recently stated that his music was more important to him rather than his wrestling career because he feels that he can continue to advance in that field. What that indicates is that whether Jericho is a heel or a face he'll be putting over his opponents the majority of the time.

Dolph Ziggler - He has good matches, he's really started to show some personality and they have finally moved him away from Jack Swagger a partnership that could have worked but in the end did absolutely nothing for either man. You would therefore think that Dolph should be doing really well, what's happening is that he's losing a lot on TV infact I think he's only won about 3 of his last 15 TV matches. The danger being is that you'll condition your fans to see him as nothing more than a loser no matter how talented he actually his. By all accounts he seems to be the favourite to win Raw's MITB match this year which of course makes perfect sense in the disturbed world of WWE bookers. Thinking about you could say exactly the same thing about Cody Rhodes if you were looking at the Smackdown brand. So if Ziggler & Rhodes both prevail at MITB remember where you heard it first.

The Big Show - Say what you want about The Big Show, but he's shown himself to be able to play a number of different roles. He played his part in the success of Daniel Bryan, then found himself in a fairly mediocre feud with Cody over the fact that he had a hopeless record at Wrestlemania. Ignoring the obvious lack of logic in his firing then his re-hiring by John Laurinaitis he's now re-packaged as the unstoppable monster, this will be interesting to see what they'll do with Mark Henry when he returns as he had a similar gimmick. A short term feud with Cena which he'll lose will be first on the agenda but what happens during the latter part of the summer seems to be up in the air. But he's had an entertaining first six months and hopefully he will keep that run going.

Sunday 24 June 2012

ROH Best In The World 2012 Review By Jason Namako

Ring of Honor Presented "Best in the World: Hostage Crisis" Internet PPV Live from New York, NY (Hammerstein Ballroom) on June 24, 2012 - Thanks to Jason Namako of for allowing us to use this review.

Hello everyone and welcome to the "Best in the World: Hostage Crisis" iPPV recap. If you all are ready, then let's get on with the show!

Kevin Kelly & Nigel McGuinness welcome us to the show, from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. Kelly & McGuinness talk about tonight's ROH World Title match & Tag Team Title match before taking us to our opening contest.

Tag Team Grudge Match: "The Baddest Tag Team on the Planet" #DemBoys The Briscoes (Jay & Mark) vs. The Guardians of Truth w/Truth Martini

"Man Up" chants for the Briscoes and loud "Shut the F up" chants for Martini. Martini comes out alone and introduces his "Guardians of Truth", who are two guys wearing faceless black masks. GOT start taking control with frequent tags isolating Mark Briscoe until The Briscoes take the advantage. Jay with a spinebuster, followed by a dancing back senton from Mark off the middle rope. The ropes are very loose as the fans chant" Fix the ropes". Mark with a headbutt, followed by a right hand. Tag into Jay as the Briscoes hit their double shoulder tackle. Martini goes on the apron as the GOT does a switcheroo. The other GOT hits a flatliner on Jay, then unloads on him with stomps.

Tag into the other one as they hit a side slam/dropkick combo for a near fall. GOT #2 with a chinlock as the fans will on Jay. Jay fights out, but GOT #2 rakes the eyes. GOT #1 now in as they drive Jay into the corner. An attendant comes out to fix the ropes as the GOT work over Jay in their corner. GOT #2 chokes Jay while the referee is with Mark. Jay fights out of the corner and then tags in Mark.

Mark with some Redneck Kung Fu to both GOT, knocking them down. Mark with the Uncle Mule Kick on one of the GOT, then heads up top and hits the Froggy Bow. However, the other GOT breaks it up until Jay comes in. Martini hops up on the apron as the Briscoes go for the Doomsday Device.

One of the GOT tries to reverse it, but Jay counters it with a roll-up for the victory.

Winners: "The Baddest Tag Team on the Planet" #DemBoys The Briscoes by pinfall (Roll-Up)

After the match, the Briscoes go over Martini and try for the Doomsday Device, but the GOT comes back in to break it up. GOT hit a double flapjack on Jay and continue the assault until security comes in to break it up.

Die Hard Challenge: "Die Hard " Eddie Edwards vs. "The Notorious 187" Homicide

Kelly & McGuinness mention that while in training, Eddie Edwards injured his arm. Dueling chants for both combatants. Homicide does not adhere to the Code of Honor and then Edwards slaps him. Lock-up and Edwards with a belly-to-belly-suplex that sends Homicide to the outside. Edwards gets a head of steam and hits a tope dive on Homicide.

Edwards with a series of chops on the outside, but Homicide rakes his face. Homicide with a right hand and a chop, then rakes Edwards' back. Edwards comes back with some more chops, then sends Homicide back into the ring. Edwards heads up top and hits a front missile dropkick for a near fall. Homicide with a knee to the gut, but Edwards counters a back suplex with a release German Suplex, followed by a Shining Wizard for a near fall. Homicide with an uppercut, then both exchange forearms and chops, followed by boots to the head until both nail each other. Edwards charges, but Homicide catches him with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Irish whip by Homicide, but Edwards goes up & over and charges, but Homicide moves out of the way and Edwards goes shoulder first into the ringpost with his injured arm.

Homicide sends him into the ringpost again, then goes out outside and grabs a steel chair. Referee stops Homicide from doing so and Homicide goes on the apron. Homicide pulls at Edwards' arm while using the ropes for leverage. Homicide bites at Edwards' hand, then taunts the crowd. Edwards fights back, but Homicide comes back, locking in an armbar. Homicide pulls at Edwards' mouth, then drives a knee into the injured arm. Homicide goes for the Three Amigos, but takes too long on the 3rd as Edwards then goes for the Three Amigos himself. Edwards goes for the third, but Homicide takes him down by the arm. Homicide heads up top, but Edwards nails him with a running kick.

Edwards goes up with Homicide and hits a Top Rope Superplex. Homicide goes for the Gringo Cutter, but Edwards counters with a fallaway facebuster. Edwards then with a Fisherman's Buster for a close near fall. Edwards goes for a Tiger Suplex, but Homicide counters out. Homicide runs into a back elbow, then Edwards hits the Boston Tea Party (2nd Rope Codebreaker) for a near fall. Edwards switches to an STF, but Homicide reaches the ropes to force a break. Homicide comes back with an inverted atomic drop, followed by a charging forearm and a 2nd Rope Tornado DDT for a near fall. The crowd is chanting "SI SI" for Homicide as he charges, but Edwards places him on the top turnbuckle. Edwards goes for the Chin Checker, but Homicide counters out and then hits the Gringo Cutter for a close near fall. Homicide pulls off his elbow pad, looking for a lariat. Homicide with a Northern Lariat, but Edwards with a superkick, but then Homicide with a big lariat for another close near fall. Homicide goes for the Gringo Killa, but Edwards counters out and then roll ups Homicide for a near fall. Homicide charges, but Edwards catches him, hooking Homicide in the Achilles' Lock. Homicide kicks at the injured arm of Edwards to break free, then hooks Edwards in an inside cradle for a near fall.

Homicide goes back to the arm, then hits the Gringo Killa for the victory.

Winner: "The Notorious 187" Homicide by pinfall (Gringo Killa)

After the match, referees attend to Edwards' injured arm and help him to the back.

We see video detailing the rules of the Hybrid Fighting Rules match before our next match.

Hybrid Fighting Rules Match (Must win by KO or Submission): Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly

Cole tries to sweep O'Reilly's leg, but O'Reilly steps out of the way, goes behind Cole and takes him down with a waistlock. Cole tries for a switch, but O'Reilly hooks Cole's arm and hiptosses him. O'Reilly takes Cole down and nails him with strikes. Both men miss one another on strike attempts and we are at a stalemate. O'Reilly with a kick to the gut and tries a back suplex, but Cole slips through and tries one of his own. O'Reilly counters out, but comes down bad on his ankle so Cole goes after it. Cole then dropkicks O'Reilly's bad leg out from under him. Cole with a dragon screw legwhip, then tries another, but O'Reilly counters with an enziguiri. Cole holds onto the ankle, then O'Reilly tries for another enziguiri, but Cole ducks and uses O'Reilly's momentum against him for another dragon screw legwhip. O'Reilly is down in the corner and Cole unloads with punches until the referee forces him to back off.

O'Reilly then rolls through into a cross armbreaker, but Cole makes the ropes. Cole tries to fight back, but O'Reilly catches him with some stiff strikes to knock him down. O'Reilly lets the referee count, but Cole starts to get up, so O'Reilly puts him in a seated abdominal stretch while repeatedly drilling him with open hand strikes to the face. O'Reilly tries an arm wringer, but Cole breaks free and hits a leg lariat. Cole with a series of back elbows using his good arm, but then both men exchange forearms. Both men hit simultaneous big boots and both go down. Both men then trade right hands back & forth and while doing so, Cole's front teeth are knocked out and Cole's mouth is bloody.

Both men then trade headbutts coming off the ropes until Cole drills O'Reilly with a superkick. O'Reilly beats the count and knocks Cole down, but he pops right back up. Both men are covered in blood as O'Reilly hits a series of hard strikes, followed by a backdrop driver. The crowd boos as a doctor from the NY State Athletic commission takes a seat at ringside. O'Reilly locks in a front guillotine choke, but Cole counters out into a brainbuster onto his knee. O'Reilly gets to his feet, then Cole superkicks him again, sending O'Reilly tumbling out to the floor. O'Reilly gets back in and tries for a cross armbreaker, but Cole reverses into a Texas Cloverleaf.

O'Reilly tries to reverse into the LeBell Lock, but Cole blocks it and then locks in a Figure 4 and O'Reilly has no choice but to tapout.

Winner: Adam Cole by submission (Figure 4)

After the match, Cole extends his hand, but O'Reilly slaps him across the face and walks off, while the fans give Cole a standing ovation.

We see video showing comments from Michael Elgin before the show, where he says he does not want Truth Martini & Roderick Strong out at ringside for the match.

Challenge Match: "The Belfast Bruiser" Fit Finlay vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin w/Truth Martini

Both men adhere to the Code of Honor, then Finlay pulls Elgin in for a very tense staredown. Lock-up and Elgin sends Finlay to the corner, Finlay reverses it and then breaks clean. Finlay takes Elgin to the corner and head feints at Elgin, but Elgin doesn't flinch. Finlay with a side headlock. Elgin takes Finlay to the ropes and slowly breaks, but Finlay takes Elgin down, then stomps on the knee and kicks him in the face. Elgin then with a forearm as a receipt. Finlay steps on the back of Elgin's knee to take him down to the mat, then hits an elbow down on the top of his head. Finlay with a drop toehold into a side crossface. Elgin tries to roll Finlay to his back, but barely manages a 1 count before Finlay rolls back and then goes after Elgin's arm. Elgin with a pair of forearms, but Finlay just dropkicks Elgin's knee out from under him and goes back to the side crossface. Finlay takes Elgin down to his knees again and hits a forearm to the chest. Elgin comes back with a pair of forearms, but Finlay takes him down again and grinds Elgin's knee with his elbow. Elgin tries to peel Finlay off, but Finlay holds on until Elgin rolls out and we have a stalemate.

Finlay slaps Elgin in the face, then Elgin comes back with a pair of forearms, but Finlay takes him down yet again. Elgin with a waistlock, but Finlay counters out and takes Elgin back down into a keylock. Elgin gets to the ropes, but then Finlay uses the referee to distract Elgin so he can come in and kick Elgin in the gut. Finlay with a series of forearms to the chest of Elgin. Irish whip by Finlay, but Elgin reverses it, however Elgin runs into Finlay's boots. Elgin then comes back with a suplex, followed by a big clothesline. Both men go out to the outside, where Finlay rams Elgin's back into the ring apron. Finlay then picks Elgin up in a fireman's carry and drops him across the top of the guardrail. Back in the ring, Finlay boots Elgin in the face, followed by a forearm. Finlay with a short-arm clothesline, followed by a knee drop for a near fall. Finlay locks Elgin in with a chinlock. Elgin tries to counter out with a back suplex, but Finlay maintains control of the chin lock. Elgin counters into a head scissors, but Finlay escapes and takes Elgin back down. Elgin comes back with an enziguri, then avoids a charge from Finlay as Finlay goes shoulder first into the ring post.

Elgin with a series of clotheslines in the corner, followed by a superkick. Elgin then lifts up Finlay from his knees and turns it into a version of the Hellavator for a near fall. Elgin goes for a powerbomb, but Finlay counters out with a backdrop. Finlay charges, but this time Elgin catches him with his boots. Elgin goes up top for a moonsault, but Finlay shoves him out to the outside. Finlay brings Elgin back in the ring and gains a near fall. Finlay then hits the Celtic Cross for a near fall. Finlay then lifts up Elgin for the Tombstone and connects with it, but Elgin barley kicks out and Finlay can't believe it. Finlay goes or another Tombstone, but Elgin escapes and drills Finlay with a spinning backfist.

Elgin then hits the Buckle Bomb, followed by the 360* Powerbomb for the victory.

Winner: "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin by pinfall (360* Powerbomb)

Finlay wants to shake Elgin's hand after the match, but Truth Martini laughs Finlay off. However, Elgin comes over and shakes Finlay's hand. Martini gets in Elgin's face about it, then Elgin backs him to the corner and yells at him until Martini backs off.


Back from intermission as Mike Bennett makes his way to the ring with Maria Kanellis and Brutal Bob Evans for the first ever live edition of the Prodigy Service Announcement. Bennett says New York City wasn't his first choice for this since he's from Boston, but ROH told him that he could wrestle anyone he wants on the show, however Bennett says that unless it's a title match, he won't do it because he's the best wrestler on the planet and nobody else comes close. Crowd starts a CM Punk chant as Bennett says that they can chant for the Best In The World, but he's Better Than The Best, so he's just going to hand the microphone back to his fellow Bostonite Bobby Cruise, and he and Maria will show the fans the best makeout session they've ever seen. Bennett & Maria start to play tonsil hockey, but Mike Mondo comes out from the crowd.

Mondo says he's from New York and that the first show he ever came to was here at the Manhattan Center and it's always been his dream to wrestle here. Mondo says he keeps getting ignored by ROH management when they see his number on the caller ID, but he wants to live his dream and he says he's not leaving until he gets to fight Mike Bennett, then after he gets done fighting Mike Bennett, he's gonna f*** Maria.

Bennett & Mondo go at it until referee Paul Turner comes in to break it up, leading to.......

Challenge Match: "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett w/"Brutal" Bob Evans & "The 1st Lady of Ring of Honor" Maria Kannelis vs. "No Fear" Mike Mondo

Mondo goes out to the apron and takes out Evans with a Lou Thesz Press, but then Bennett picks him up and hits a spinebuster onto the ring apron. In the ring, Bennett unloads on Mondo with a series of right hands. Mondo then fires up and unloads on Bennett with a series of uppercuts and knee strikes to the head. Mondo heads up top, but misses a Top rope headbutt.

Bennett stands over Mondo and talks trash, but then Mondo reaches up and catches Bennett in an inside cradle for the victory.

Winner: "No Fear" Mike Mondo by pinfall (Inside Cradle)

We see video of how the Triple Threat match for the TV Title came about before our next match.

Triple Threat Match for the Ring of Honor Television Title: Roderick Strong w/Truth Martini vs. Jay Lethal vs. "The Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa w/The Embassy Limited

Lethal and Ciampa need to be physically held apart during ring introductions, but go right after each other as soon as the bell rings. Strong is sent out to the outside ,then Lethal charges and connects with a tope dive on Strong. Lethal goes back in the ring, but then Mia Yim gets up on the ring apron and superkicks Lethal. Strong then hits an uranagi backbreaker on Lethal for a near fall. Lethal unloads with a pair of chops on Strong, but then Ciampa comes in and connects with a reverse Electric Chair on Strong for a near fall. Ciampa unloads on Lethal with chops in the corner, then goes for the running KO knee, but Lethal pops up and drills Ciampa with a superkick. Lethal charges, but Ciampa catches him coming in with the KO Knee.

Strong sends Ciampa to the outside and gains a near fall on Lethal. Strong with a suplex for another near fall. Strong unloads with a series of forearms while talking trash. Lethal gets to his feet and both men exchange chops. Ciampa comes in, but Lethal & Strong then go back and forth on Ciampa with chops. Lethal then takes both men out with running clotheslines. Lethal with a handspring elbow to Ciampa, then runs off of Strong's chest to hit Ciampa with a tornado DDT. Lethal locks in a Figure 4 on Strong, then at the same time, locks Ciampa in a Crossface, but Ciampa gets to the ropes to force the break. Lethal hits Strong with a Pop-Up Neckbreaker, but then Ciampa cleans his clock with another KO Knee. Ciampa then heads up top and hits Lethal's own Hail to the King for a near fall. Ciampa tries for Project Ciampa, but Strong comes in and nails Ciampa with a leaping knee. Lethal with a leg lariat to Strong and then places Ciampa on the turnbuckles. Lethal tries for a superplex, but Ciampa shoves him off right into a rolling elbow from Strong.

Strong then hits a leaping enziguiri on Ciampa, followed by going up with Ciampa and hitting a Top Rope Superplex. Lethal then goes up top and hits Hail To The King on Ciampa for a close near fall. Strong sends Lethal to the outside, where Truth Martini tries to go after Lethal, but Lethal nails him. Prince Nana tries to go after Lethal, but Lethal sees him coming and the chase is on. The chase leads into the ring where as Ciampa lifts up Strong for Project Ciampa, Nana rolls into Ciampa's leg, knocking him down.

Strong falls on top of Ciampa to eliminate him from the match.

Tommaso Ciampa is eliminated (Thanks to Prince Nana)

Lethal goes off the ropes, looking for the Lethal Injection, but while the referee is with Ciampa to try and get him out of the ring, Martini nails Lethal with the Book of Truth on Lethal's handspring in.

Strong then hits the End of Heartache on Lethal to retain the title.

Winner and STILL Ring of Honor Television Champion: Roderick Strong by pinfall (End of Heartache)

We see video of how the Ring of Honor Tag Team Title match came about.

Ring of Honor Tag Team Titles: Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team ("The Outlaw" Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) (c) vs. The All Night Express ("The Pretty Boy Pitbull" Kenny King & Rhett Titus)

King and Haas start us off and the crowd tells Haas what they think of him, so he tags out and Shelton goes at it with King instead. King gets a series of hiptosses and armdrags as Shelton bails out to the floor. King unloads on Shelton with right hands, then rams him hard into the corner, and finally backdrops him before taking him down with a headlock. Benjamin tags in Haas, but King quickly recovers and ANX then hits a double team splash/slingshot legdrop. King then winds up in the wrong corner and gets choked out by Haas, followed by Shelton hitting an enziguiri as Haas gains a near fall.

Shelton tags in and locks in a chinlock on King. Shelton with a snap suplex for a near fall. Haas hangs King in the Tree of Woe and charges in, drilling King with a knee. Haas tries another charge, but King leapfrogs Haas and rolls him up for a near fall. Haas knocks King back down, then tags Shelton in, who hits a series of kneedrops. Shelton then hits a version of the Glam Slam on King. Haas comes in and works over King until the referee steps in, and that allows King to use the distraction to roll Haas up for a near fall. Haas and Benjamin go for a double suplex on King, but King counters it to a double DDT.

Titus gets the tag and he is a house of fire. Titus cleans house on WGTT, backdropping Shelton and then nailing Haas with a big boot to the head and a leaping bulldog. Titus with a big boot/discus clothesline combo on Shelton for a near fall. Titus heads up top and when Shelton tries to do the leaping suplex, Titus drops under Shelton and hotshots him across the top turnbuckle. King charges in, connecting with Shotgun knees on Shelton for another near fall. Haas then comes in and hits King with an exploder, followed by the Olympic Slam on Titus as Shelton gains a near fall. King tosses a chair into the ring to Shelton and dares him to use it, but the referee sees it and tells King to get lost, but then Titus sneaks in and hits Shelton with a DDT onto the chair for a close near fall. King then takes Haas out with a corkscrew plancha. Titus goes for one as well but Shelton blindsides him and clotheslines him over the ropes to the outside. While the referee is with Haas, Shelton nails Titus with one of the Tag Team Title belts and Titus is busted open. Back in the ring, Haas unloads on Titus in the corner and then chokes Titus out with his boot. Shelton tags in unloads with stomps as the referee stops him to check on the blood, but then Shelton and Haas come back to beat on him some more. Haas takes the microphone and asks the referee if he's going to stop the match, because they're going to kill him if he doesn't. The referee lets it go, so Haas says the blood's on his hands, and he goes back to beating the hell outta Titus. WGTT set up Titus for the Leap of Faith, but King comes in and takes out Shelton with a Tornado DDT.

Haas takes out King with a big boot, but Titus then comes in from behind and surprises Haas with a roll-up for the victory.

Winners and NEW ROH Tag Team Champions: The All Night Express by pinfall (Roll-Up)

After the match, the celebration is on as the ANX breaks the wine open while Haas & Benjamin stand in the ring in disbelief. WGTT then attack ANX, laying them out before leaving. WGTT leave, but the new champions get back up and raise the belts high before heading to the back.

We see what happened on the last ROH TV between Richards-O'Reilly vs. Steen-Jacobs before our main event.

Main Event in an Anything Goes Match for the Ring of Honor World Title: "Wrestling's Worst Nightmare" Kevin Steen (c) w/"The Zombie Princess" Jimmy Jacobs vs. "American Wolf" Davey Richards w/Kyle O'Reilly

Steve Corino comes out before the main event and says that he's proud to be evil and he's going to sit on commentary for the main event so Kevin Steen has representation from someone who cares about him, unlike "that fat piece of s*** Jim Cornette." This brings out Cornette, who says that he's not stupid because he knows that Corino will get involved if his boy gets in trouble. Corino's a contracted announcer for ROH so he can sit in on commentary, but Cornette will sit right out here with him, and if Corino gets involved the slightest bit, he's going to do something about it.

After the ring introductions, Kyle O'Reilly gets the mic and says that he's not in Davey's corner because Davey didn't like how he handled his loss to Adam Cole. He respects Davey, but he's not going to let Davey slap him around on TV, and he's not out here to stab him in the face, he's going to stab him right in the eye because he's telling him to his face that he's tired of being Davey's little bitch, and that's all he's going to be as long as he stays with him. No more Team Richards, no more Team Ambition, there's Davey Richards and Kyle O'Reilly, and New York can kiss his ass. O'Reilly drops the microphone and walks off.

Steen goes right out to the apron to start the match, but Davey kicks him off and through a ringside table. Davey goes after Jimmy Jacobs, but he turns around and runs right into a pop-up powerbomb on the ring apron by Steen. Steen rams Davey into the guardrail and slams him on the floor, then throws a couple of metal barricade covers on top of him and comes off the ring apron with a splash.

Back in the ring, Steen goes for a Swanton, but Davey gets his knees up. Richards charges, but Steen catches him and suplexes him into the corner. Davey then kicks Steen out to the outside before getting a head of steam and nailing Steen with a tope dive. On the apron now as Davey drills Steen with an exploder suplex. Davey sets up a table at ringside and puts Steen on it, then heads up top and double stomps Steen through the table. Back in the ring, Davey connects with another top rope double stomp for a near fall. Davey goes after Steen with a chair, but Steen blocks it and hits a Codebreaker using the chair, followed by a slam on the chair for a near fall. Steen heads up top, but Davey goes up after him, suplexing Steen onto a pile of chairs in the ring for another near fall. Davey gets another table and sets it up in the ring. Davey places Steen up top and goes for another superplex, but Steen rakes him in the eyes and hits a super fisherman's buster through the table. Steen sets up a couple of chairs face to face, but Davey fights back and then suplexes Steen onto the chairs.

Davey grabs a chain and chokes Steen with it, then wraps the chain around his boot and Kawada kicks Steen before sitting him up and drilling him with kicks to the head for a near fall. Davey is incensed and then proceeds to lay out the referee Todd Sinclair with a kick to the gut. Davey gets a ladder out from under the ring and slides it under the bottom rope, but Steen pops up and surprises him with the F-Cinq for a close near fall. Steen now is incensed as he lays out the 2nd referee Paul Turner with the Package Piledriver. Steen goes for the Package Piledriver on Davey, but Davey escapes and hits the DR Driver onto the ladder.

Davey covers Steen, but there is no referees left. Davey then grabs Sinclair and drags him back in. Jacobs comes in now and goes after Davey. Jacobs pulls the steel spike out of his boot, but Jim Cornette comes into the ring and grabs the spike away. Cornette threatens to go after Jacobs with it, but turns around and gets kicked low by Corino, who left the commentary table. Jacobs gets the spike back and goes after Davey with it, but Davey catches Jacobs and drills him with an exploder suplex. Steen then gets ahold of the spike and hits Davey in the nuts with it.

Steen lifts up Davey and connects with the Package Piledriver to retain the title.

Winner and STILL Ring of Honor World Champion: "Wrestling's Worst Nightmare" Kevin Steen by pinfall (Package Piledriver)

After the match, Steen gets a mic and says that he's closed out the last two ROH shows with the mic, and now he's going to make it a hat trick.

He's waited a long time to stand in front of those people in this ring, in this building, with this belt.

Steen says he hates hypocrites like Jim Cornette, but right now he wants Davey to know that for the last 18 months, he's been a hypocrite because he's needed to get a title match.

The stuff he said about Davey being an undeserving champion wasn't true, he thinks Davey is one of the hardest working people in the business and he is the best in the world.

Steen then says that the fans are the most hypocritical people in the wrestling business, and to illustrate that, he talks about how the fans cheered when Generico beat him and sent him packing at Final Battle 2010, but then six months later he showed back up here and he was like a god.

Steen says that everyone thanks Cary Silkin for everything he did for the company, but they went nuts when he was going to break his neck with the Package Piledriver.

Steen says the fans buy tickets to an ROH show, then chant for Bryan Danielson and CM Punk, two guys who probably don't even remember this company.

Steen says that the fans turn on every World Champion, they did it to Nigel McGuinness, Tyler Black and Davey Richards, but can't turn on him because he doesn't give a s*** what they think.

Steen says he is going to be the last ROH World Champion, and now instead of saying f*** ROH, he's going to say what he means and burn Ring of Honor to the ground to close the show.

Saturday 23 June 2012

Scotland's Insane Championship Wrestling Joins WWNLive For First iPPV

Days removed from leaving a British television station, ICW's most recent tapings are now available on demand and uncensored on

ICW's weekly adult-themed TV series was broadcast in nine countries before the satellite station aired a rerun in an early Sunday morning slot, getting into trouble with OFCOM (the British equivalent of the FCC). After initially being ordered to self-censor future episodes, the network suddenty dropped on June 15th to avoid further problems with OFCOM. ICW owner Mark Dallas has stated that ICW was at no time informed a repeat of ICW was airing each week at 5am and that he is stunned with the incompetence of the T.V station.

ICW 1: "Up in Smoke" features top independent talent from Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom such as Dragon Gate UK star Noam Dar, former NWA British Heavyweight Champion Johnny Moss, and Zero One star James Scott.

Lionheart, who headlined TNA's last event in Glasgow against Jeff Jarrett, also competes for number one contendership.

This is the country's biggest stars in front of a standing room only crowd, exclusive to for just $9.99

A trailer is available below:

And more information is available at WWN Live Description:

"The UK's highest rated wrestling promotion brings the action formerly exclusive to MyChannel to the world wide web!

In front of a standing room only sold out crowd at the Classic Grand in Glasgow, Scotland, BT Gunn defends the ICW Championship against three men he has defeated in singles action, but he doesn't need to be pinned to lose the title in this fatal four way.

Waiting in the wings are Lionheart and Mikey Whiplash, both looking to become the #1 contender for the very first time.

Zero G Champion and Dragon Gate UK star Noam Dar teams with friend Andy Wild in a tag title tournament quarter final against the Coffeys, while "Teen Sensation" Christopher takes on Mr. ICW, Chris Renfrew."

Monday 18 June 2012

Fight Club: PRO Fight For The Future (15/6/12) Review By Derrie Catton

(Left: Here we have Trent Seven before he squared off with MK McKinnan - Picture credit to John Searle)

On June 15th 2012 you could have watched England in Euro 2012, you could have even watched Bridget Jones’s Diary on Channel 5, or you could have visited the Planet to see a Fight Club: Pro event live. FCP aren’t boasting any guest stars on this occasion, instead their intention is to put on a solid show consisting of the core roster. The card looks like goldmine after a quick read through, but as with everything it is the execution that matters.

The Hunter Brothers vs. Dan Ryder & Dave Williams (w/ Bobby Barratt)

Always hated in the Fight Club: Pro zone, Dan Ryder managed to amplify that reaction when he returned several months ago after attacking a fan favourite, and now he steps back into action for the first time this year with no love lost between him and the crowd. The feeling towards Dave Williams is not too dissimilar after his decision to back Rockstar Spud in taking out and mocking several popular wrestlers. The two are not afraid to throw abuse at the crowd and receive it in turn, receiving chants of “Penis Ryder” (I cleaned that up) and “Uncle Fester” respectively. Their opponents, hailing from Tipton, were looking to avenge the assault on their fellow Tiptonite (a term I wish I could take credit for) and the fans welcomed the prospect with a warm reception for Jim and Lee Hunter.

The Hunters were great at getting the crowd behind them, leading many interactions even during the introductions. Ryder and Williams gave the fans verbal abuse which squashed any chance of support, and they kicked off the match with a surprise attack on the Hunters. However it was mere moments before the Hunters were on top and showing off their sound wrestling ability and always outstanding teamwork which includes a variety of impressive trademark maneuvers. It was the involvement of Ryder and Williams’ affiliate, Bobby Barratt at ringside, that would turn the tide and see the pair steal momentum. The duo would then continue to get the crowd worked up with their dirty tactics and remarks, while a lone Hunter successfully did all he could to keep the fans behind them. The Hunter’s found their stride again in a comeback after Bobby Barratt was ejected from ringside, and one would assume the match was coming to a natural close, but like a pleasant surprise it kept going and building on itself. Each player in the game reeled off a least one impressive move and teased nearfall after nearfall. Eventually Barratt would return and be the deciding factor. After taking a Dropkick from a Hunter then inadvertently taking out his own team, it was an Assisted Tombstone Piledriver that got the job done for The Hunters.

Not only a match in which strong wrestling ability was on display, this match shined with it’s ability to keep a hold of the fans. Be it the Hunters making sure the crowd were supporting them with chants, or Ryder and Williams throwing abuse at the fans, or each giving notable reactions to the match content itself. The interaction with the fans hooked the quickly and kept them involved to make the match engaging and fun. The Tiptonites (please put it on a shirt) came out looking good on top, and there was a fallout between Bobby Barratt and the team he had cost victory,

Dave Mastiff vs. Chris Brookes

Chris Brookes has earned himself a spotlight at Fight Club: Pro, with the rivalry between him and Rockstar Spud having become integral to the promotion. After months of having Spud trample his hopes and opportunities at establishing himself, he now has a new opening with which he can earn an official place on the roster. It’s a trial series of three matches with which he must proof himself. On any other day that would be good news, but on this day his match was against The Bastard Dave Mastiff, let’s call him ‘Bad News’ for short. Bad News is monster who has yet to taste singles defeat. He’s flattened the cream of independent wrestling and top imports, and in this case he looks set to murder Brookes. No hashtag can save him now.

Both wrestlers received a good ovation upon their entrance, Mastiff being a well-established wrestler and Brookes starting to gain more faith from the crowd. Despite his height, Brookes had to play the little man and tried to use his quickness to avoid The Bastard. Bad News soon had him though and an impressive beatdown was what followed. A slow approach saw Brookes suffer stiff chops, clotheslines and drops among some moments of pure brilliance. One such moment saw Brookes trapped in the corner Tree Of Woe style, only to receive a big Splash after he had pulled himself up to untie his trapped foot, thus turning him into an accordion. Another moment saw Brookes placed on the top turnbuckle, only to be propped so that he could drop into a European Uppercut. Each was a unique and impressive offence. Brookes wasn’t complacent however, and had a few surging moments of attack. When a man with Chris Brookes’ tall and slim figure hits a running Big Boot to a cornered opponent, it is always impressive, and Brookes’ best moments came from the use of his feet. Mastiff held control however, toying with Brookes by pulling him out of pins and slowly working up to a powerbomb that puts the stiff in Mastiff. No surprises on a convincing win.

Mastiff receives the same adjectives he has for the past year; Dominant and Impressive. The man satisfies fans with his roll of destruction, and is still the man to beat in the promotion. While suffering a losing effort, Brookes has earned the fans support with the few flashes of skills he manages to show off and his heart to keep going and earn his place at FCP. One looks at who his next two opponents might be with interest.

The Rockstar Spud vs. Clint Margera – Death Match

For many, this already feels like the highlight of the night. The Rockstar Spud is simply the most entertaining person on the FCP roster and possibly the most entertaining person in the British wrestling industry, that’s why they call him the Baby Jesus. His style is fun to watch, comical at times and always engaging. His recent engagement has been gaining hate with his actions of knocking off Fight Club: Pro favourites with underhanded tactics and plenty of support. So when the small star is trapped in the ring with FCP’s resident death match worker, fans can already imagine the entertainment value of such an occurrence, making this match unmissable. His opponent is synonymous with Fight Club: Pro’s most hardcore matches and comes off the back an intense match up with a death match champion. Funny isn’t the word Clint Margera looks to embody as he steps in the ring with Spud.

Usually confident and flamboyant on his entrance, Spud shuffles into the arena nervously with his jacket zipped up, bubble wrap hanging out of his top and a safety helmet under one arm. The audience laps up the fear as Spud’s legs are visibly shaking. Margera then hit the ring to a strong reaction. On announcements, Spud’s weight was said to include 3 stone of mass padding, and it was now that Margera decided to bring in some of the toys he had left over from his last death match, prominently a chair wrapped in barbed wire and a kendo stick. In humorous fashion, Spud jumped on the mic to reason why this match shouldn’t happen, only to be subsequently decked by Margera much to the fans delight. The match was under way and the two played cat and mouse as Margera pursued Spud who would try several avenues of escape including climbing the metal fence that surrounds the ring only to be pulled back by his opponent or held off by fans. The cage door too was held shut by the crowd as Margera had instructed, and the sight of Rockstar Spud begging for release was ate up by fans. Loud chants were the obvious sign that everyone wanted Spud to get what he deserved and it was met with a great cheer when he finally received a big kendo stick shot to the head. One might think they’d take it easy, but no such ideal occurred. More weapons were retrieved. Margera took a VCR straight to the head and got dropped on barbed wire, while Spud was thrown onto a ladder. All the while, Spud’s reactions made the match. His fear of dangerous weapons and his desperation to escape were fantastic. Towards the end, the two teased around a patch of thumbtacks for several minutes until Spud took a Back Drop onto them to huge cheers from the fans. The match ended there on a great high.

This was another match that exceeded already high expectations. There was a certain amount of respect for what Spud had suffered through, but all in all it was a joy to see the man people love to hate get what he deserves. Even while being on the backfoot for a lot of the match, he was the most entertaining element to the match and off the night. Despite the fact he is going to receive boos, every single fan in that venue wants him back for future shows. Clint Margera came out strong, showing what he is best at but also shattering his losing streak and hopefully setting out on the road to even stronger showings in his future matches. Margera took to the mic after the match, to talk down on Spud and talk up on the main event.

Trent Seven vs. MK McKinnan

Part II. Rematches are always exciting. Two men who know each other inside and out can elevate the quality of a match. The slow build up has already been done in thirty minutes or so on another night and the competitors can pick up where they left off to tare the house down. Trent Seven has often been referred to as the face of Fight Club: Pro, still leading the promotion even if the title isn’t around his waist. In recent events however he has failed to come out on top in his matches, and it has given ground for the well deserving MK McKinnan to catch up and challenge Seven for his spot at the top of the mountain. McKinnan already has a title shot against Eddie Edwards set in stone, but a match against the former champion gives him an opportunity to say a lot about what position he should take in the company. Seven won’t want to give his spot up so easily.

Seven came out to theme music so good at getting the crowd going that they play it at the Euros every time someone scores a goal. McKinnan too would evoke a strong response with the electric guitar rift of his theme. The atmosphere was electric with an almost even split between the support for Seven and the support for McKinnan. It was so loud and emphatic that at times it could carry the match, not that it needed carrying. After an intense staredown and a tease of trademark strikes, the two connected and went off like a rocket. The two went back and forth, and the audiences’ emotions were played with as trademark moves were set up, then blocked and then finally hit out of nowhere keeping the contest interesting. Some great moments of originality arose, such as Seven pulling McKinnan by his leg from the top rope into a clothesline. In control, Seven delivered chops to The Future and as fans across from the ring indicated that they couldn’t hear said chops, Seven took McKinnan from corner to corner and obliged in letting them get a up close rendition. McKinnan got his offense in too and set up his trademark cannonball flip to the outside. When it hit, the whole cage was shifted over half a meter and yet somehow managed to stay whole. The two collided in an outstanding moment on the ring apron which saw McKinnan thrown down face first before receiving a Death Valley Driver on that spot. Luckily McKinnan barely caught the ring apron as he was brought down, but it was the unpadded floor below that really upset him. Once back in the ring, the two continued to go strong with fast and hard hitting sequences. It was enough to ignite a ‘This Is Awesome, the first of several. The two would also dip into each other’s arsenals, gaining great reactions as Seven hit a Superkick and McKinnan hit a Lariat. After more gripping back and forth, the latter would go further and steal Seven’s Piledriver finish, which many would have called as the ending for sure. McKinnan would then lead off on Reverse Hurricanrana (or Futurana from what I’m told) and a Shining Wizard to secure his victory.

No one can doubt this match’s status as main event, it was the match that the crowd was most invested in and truly the climax of the night. MK McKinnan was on top form again and looking capable of being the man to take the title off Eddie Edwards and lead the promotion in the future. Seven, while still presenting a strong presence, has added to his recent losing streak and must now set out on rebuilding his record. Following the match, McKinnan took to the mic and thanked the fans who chose FCP over football. He then asked for respect from Seven and received a handshake and a hug before the Super Don departed, leaving him to voice his intentions to bring the Fight Club: Pro title back to it’s home ground.

It was another great showing by Fight Club: Pro. One that met expectations and exceeded them which is always a great result to a show that only costs five pounds. If the promotion proved anything that night, it was that they have a solid roster capable of presenting a strong show without the need for guest stars. This also means that when they do import a wrestler, you are getting more than what is already more than your money’s worth, making the choice between wrestling and football a no brainer (Hint: You should choose the first one).

The next Fight Club: Pro event lands on the 6th of July and for any and all updates you should follow the promotion on Facebook or Twitter.

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Sunday 17 June 2012

The Indy Corner's Preview of ROH Best in The World 2012 By Stuart Rodgers

Please LIKE and follow us on twitter @TheIndyCorner

I would like to think you all heard The Indy Corner which went live at the end of this past week (if not, why not?) seriously, if not you can find it here - where myself and Paul Kissock discuss the upcoming iPPV and below are basically my thoughts that you would of heard.

So, on June 24th, ROH have their next iPPV, Best in The World 2012 – ‘Hostage Crisis’. The main event will be ROH champion Kevin Steen defending against the man he won the title off Davey Richards. This show of course will give Richards the chance to win the title at two Best in The World shows in a row after beating Eddie Edwards in 2011. The match has been built around some dissention with Richards and ROH executive producer Jim Cornette, Cornette didn’t want to give Richards his rematch but under pressure he conceded and said he could have the match but it would be his one and only chance. Now the last time this stipulation was used was of course at Border Wars when Cornette said the very same thing to Steen who then of course went on to win the title so does that mean Richards will regain the title at Best in The World? For me I’d say no, it’s far too early to take the strap off Steen but it’s all about Cornette I feel and the fact he may want a more technical wrestler at the helm of ROH. Either way this match should be a cracker, the fans in New York are always behind Steen and Richards seems to get a lot of heat, we’ll have to wait and see, could this be that moment when Jim Cornette aligns himself with Kevin Steen, I wonder?

Elsewhere on the card, the TV title will be on the line as champion Roderick Strong will defend against the man he won the title off, Jay Lethal and the man who until Border Wars was undefeated but suffered a loss to Lethal Tomasso Ciampa. Three-ways can be good this one however I don’t think will work because of the different styles, I hope I’m proved wrong and it’s a great match. Also, I hope this is finally the time Ciampa gets his hands on the strap.

The ROH tag team champions Wrestling’s Greateast Tag Team (Haas & Benjamin) will defend against The All Night Xpress (Rhett Titus & Kenny King). I think this could be finally the time the ANX win the ROH titles, do I personally want them to, no, but I am not a fan of WGTT either so it’s a lesser of two evils maybe the ANX having the straps will be something different, I’d like one day soon for The Young Bucks to win the straps so with a baby face team of the ANX who have a history of sorts with The Bucks could be the team to drop the belts to So-Cal’s finest.

We have a battle of former ROH champions as Homicide will battle against Eddie Edwards. I don’t think people give Homicide enough credit, they look at him as a thug but the guy is a great wrestler and one of my favourite ones ever on the indies in ROH and JAPW he has had some great matches. On the flip side, as good as Eddie is, and I have seen him wrestle live twice myself, people seem to really put him over and as I said, he is good but not really great, but that’s just my opinion of course, you all have your own. I recall vividly the fans in New York turning on Homicide as he then signed an exclusive contract with the Urban Wrestling Federation but he has been back a couple of times since and I hope the crowd get behind the hometown boy and he goes over Edwards in this match.

After previously facing Roderick Strong in ROH, Finlay returns to face Michael Elgin. This is going to be a war, Elgin is a big dude but if you’ve seen Showdown in The Sun, you will of seen Elgin go against then ROH champion Davey Richards and you will know, he can go. This match will be a hard hitting affair like most Finlay matches but I hope ROH/Finlay do the right thing and put Elgin over.

Futureshock were a great team in ROH but for whatever reasons they have been split and will now finally face each other one on one in an iPPV match. These two guys are of course Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reily. Cole who I have seen wrestle live twice too is a tremendous wrestler and Kyle is good too but there are too many MMA/Davey Richards influences in his style and for me, this takes away him being a top tier guy for the time being. I would like to think Cole will go over after all, he did pin the then champion Richards in the main event of the 10th Anniversary Show where Cole teamed with Edwards to face Richards & O’Reily.

Also on the card, we have The Briscoe Brothers squaring off against The Guardians of Truth, now as discussed on the show we don't really know who these guys are going to be for sure but it has us guessing, that I know.

They are all the matches I know of as of yet but I’m guessing someone who should be on the card is Mike Bennett because he is a top tier guy in the company for me. I’d also hope the Briscoes will be on the card. Of course I’m a fan of The Young Bucks but I hear, I don’t know how true it is, that they, along with TJ Perkins will be kept off ROH shows until August to cut costs.

Arda Ocal Talks With Bret Hart Once Again (Part 3)

theScore's Arda Ocal (@arda_ocal) sits down with Bret "The Hitman" Hart in the final part of his three part interview. Bret touches on Lex Luger, his opportunity to carry "the ball" for WWE and his role as the champion of the company in the 1990's.


On Ratings after dropping the title to Michaels at Wrestlemania XII and Steve Austin.

"At the time, ratings plummeted after I dropped the belt to Shawn at Wrestlemania XII. They started losing the ratings to WCW. Shawn did not fill the void like I did and they kinda ended up where its like 'We're gonna go back to Bret Hart' The guy that pulled them all out of that was Steve Austin and that was the guy I had a lot to do with helping shape where he was going in his career. I think I had a lot to do with, through the '90s and I think I had a lot to do with the direction the whole company went, and the stars that did make it for WWE, like Austin and even Shawn I had a lot to do with helping get where they were."

On carrying the company through the 1990's

"[Vince] needed someone immediately, like someone right now to carry the whole thing and not drop it. And thats what I love about my era. Its like 'Here, give it to Bret Hart'. And they gave me all that. And you know I say, guys like Flair and some of these guys say Bret Hart didn't draw money, and thats not true at all. I did draw money. I drew big houses. And I had the tough job of having to carry things, I had to be the big star after Hulk Hogan, who was a failed hero at the moment."

On changing the 'rules' as champ

"The big one was I was never a big fan of the big star on the door dressing room. Warrior had it, Macho Man had it too with Liz, but Liz had to change and it was a different thing with Macho, but I always felt Macho earned it. Hogan had the fruit basket, the flowers and the special room with star on the door too. I always felt Hogan earned it too. I never thought he didn't deserve any of that, he did. I know just when it came to me, you know the limo rides, and the limo service and all that, I didn't want any of that" ... "I want to change in the dressing room with the other wrestlers. I don't need the star on the door, I don't want it. Save the "its all a big show" for somebody else, I don't want it. I was the first champion to refuse that" ... "You see guys like Warrior and Hogan that didn't have the time of day for anybody but themselves. I changed that. I wanted to be not just the peoples champion, but I felt like I was the dressing room champion".

In his opinion why Lex Luger didn't become WWE champion

Arda Ocal Talks With Bret Hart Once Again (Part 2)

Part 2 of Arda Ocal's (@arda_ocal) interview with Bret "Hitman" Hart (@BretHart) has been posted and involved a very interesting discussion about Ric Flair:

1) Ric Flair and his matches with Ric in 1992 when Bret first became WWE champion:

"Flair was a tricky guy to work with, when I worked with Ric. When he was champion we had much better matches and the moment the title got switched we seemed to screw up my match every night… I always felt it was sabotage. I actually went to Vince, cause (Flair) was leaving the company, I thought he was purposely screwing up to ruin my run. We finally got the agents and Flair in a room to try give a little better effort in the matches and at least follow the story line… He confessed his mind wasn’t into the matches and he was having some problems at home. We would go out after the big talk and have the same screwed up match as we had the night before. I think over a period of time over the next few weeks I can remember Vince coming up to me saying he didn’t think Ric Flair was doing it on purpose - that he just didn’t know hat he was doing. I kind of agreed after a while. Ric Flair, as great was and a hard worker as he was, he just tends to get lost in the ring.”

2) Bret Hart talks about being a Champion in the WWE and how he was constantly reassured by Vince McMahon that he was the top guy and WWE was 100% behind him

3) Bret Hart’s opinion on why his first WWE championship win came at a live event in Saskatoon and not on TV or PPV:

”I think it must have been some kind of condition agreed to by Vince and Flair. I can’t imagine Flair saying that he didn’t want to lose on T.V or something like that- maybe it was something like that. I know Flair, upon dropping the title, gave Vince news that he was leaving and going back to WCW, at the time. So, I think it was all amicable. Vince was like probably happy to get rid of him- I think.”

Thursday 14 June 2012

The Indy Corner presents An Interview with Homicide

The Indy Corner: Welcome to The Indy Corner Homicide, thanks for your time today. First off, tell us as a fan growing up what wrestlers/promotions did you enjoy watching?

I enjoyed pro wrestling a lot when I was a kid , I was a big fan of the NWA, AWA, World class, WWF, growing up watching Terry Funk, Masahiro Chono, Sting, Carlos Colon and The Four Horsemen

The Indy Corner: What made you make the jump from being a fan to actually getting into the business?

I wanted to become a pro baseball player (MLB) but hanging with gangsters doing really stupid stuff my dreams for playing in the majors vanished , so as a fan of pro wrestling I wanted to become a wrestler

The Indy Corner: Where did your training take place and who trained you?

I trained in Brooklyn New York , there were helpers not trainers so basically I trained by myself for couple of years until I met the Raging Bull Manny Fernandez.

The Indy Corner: What year was this?


The Indy Corner: Any stories you recall from your days training that the readers may be interested in?

I don’t remember the past but I had my school called The Doghouse and there was really tough training , I'm talking about 24/7

The Indy Corner: Tell us how you came to use the name Homicide.

In the beginning I was the "Latin Terror a cross of Sting and The Undertaker for2 years, it was so bad and I wanted a change, I hang out with guys from the gangs, gangbangers as they are known, so my friend told me be yourself, I didn't know what that meant, so we was watching a show called Cops and I saw a guy on the run for Homicide, my friend told me , that's it Homicide I hated it haha but it stuck on me all these years

The Indy Corner: I first saw you wrestle in the early 2000's on the New York indies like ICW & USA Pro, tell us about some of memories you have of these shows?

To me both were the same, one had story lines the other had story lines, the shows ended but it was fun.

The Indy Corner: Your partner on most of these shows was Boogaloo, fill us in on him.

Baddest guy on the planet he could do MMA and wrestling, I always say don't let the size fool you I'll make you vomit and he break your arm lol

The Indy Corner: ICW promoter Jac Sabboth gets a bit of a rough ride on the internet by a lot of people on the New York scene, do you think this is deserved and what do you have to say about Jac be it positive or negative?

I've heard so many stories about how bad he is as a promoter but he never screwed me over but until this day people still mad at him because of bounced checks

The Indy Corner: USA Pro promoter Frank Goodman has a reputation of his own, unlike Sabboth, Goodman was/is a wrestler himself under the guise of The Masked Maniac, again, tell us your memories of working on his shows and the man himself please.

Goodman has always been good, his shows were very long but good, when ECW was around they (USA Pro) packed the arena called the Elks Lodge in NYC, after they closed ECW Goodman was the only promoter to pack that arena something like of 900 to 1000.

The Indy Corner: Also in the early 2000's I saw a lot of you in JAPW which was one of my favourite promotions but anyway, JAPW featured people very close to you like Low-Ki & Dan Maff, tell us about these days in JAPW as well as Ki & Maff.

JAPW is my home fed and one of the greatest promotions in the world , I trained Low-Ki and I knew he was going to be a star because all he wanted to do is train hard and take over the world. In JAPW he had battles with people like Teddy Hart, Jack Evans and the list goes on. JAPW was that group 1997 through 2011, right now they taking a vacation but when it starts again hopefully they will rule the indies again

The Indy Corner: Staying with JAPW, a couple of names the readers may not be familiar with are Derranged & Ghost Shadow, the former did get a spot inthe early days of ROH as part of Special K and the latter did feature on one ROH show in 2003 but whatever happened to Ghost Shadow and what other memories do you have of these guys?

Derranged was small but good too, had a big heart , he became a rapper and he is good. Idon't know what happen to Ghost Shadow but I tell you he had talent, he brought that lucha style

The Indy Corner: Now onto ROH, you came in during the early days with Boogaloo as the Natural Born Sinners, a question I've always wanted to ask, what was the story with the horror masks, in your case Michael Myers from Halloween, I guess you were a big fan of the movies?

I love Halloween the movie , we love horror flicks , so we took the horror style to the wrestling ring

The Indy Corner: In ROH you two were more of a hardcore style tag team, was this something you wanted or was it something you wanted yourself at the time?

We could do any style, at that time it doesn’t matter if we did that hardcore style we was team players but now it’s a different story doing that style.

The Indy Corner: You were embroiled in a very violent feud with Steve Corino, this culminated in a no rope barbed wire match, memories of this feud, that match and Corino around this time?

I don’t like him, I popped his ear drum and he injured my shoulder , to me it wasn’t a feud it was real life, now we getting older and we got kids so it like we need to relax and let our kids be the future, as right now we still don’t talk but we got respect for each other that we could be in the same locker room , that doesn’t mean we go to clubs and hang out because we don’t.

The Indy Corner: The feud I think really got people's attention involving you that saw the wrestling side of Homicide was with Samoa Joe, the two of you had some tremendous matches, thoughts on the feud and Joe?

Joe brings the best wrestling out of me in the ring and I know I bring that fire when he steps in the ring with me, Joe is the toughest opponent I’ve had, we traveled the world and brought 110% to the feud everywhere we went, small place or big it does not matter, it was a classic feud.

The Indy Corner: You also feuded with the late Trent Acid and the always controversial Teddy Hart, memories and stories of these two?

I knew Trent when he was 16 year old and I feuded with him from New York to New Jersey to Philly, he was tough and a hard worker and I still wish he was here. As for Teddy Hart, he’s got a big mouth but that crazy son of bitch could back it up .

The Indy Corner: At Final Battle 03 you were on there with AJPW's Satoshi Kojima, you were knocked cold during the match bit was able to carry on, what if any, memories do you have of the match?

He give me a belly to belly overhead suplex and I got knocked out, all I remember is Steve Mack, Low-Ki and CM Punk checking on me. The next day I travelled with The SAT's and All Japan roster to Texas and all I was thinking is I hope I don’t have a concussion and I’m thankful I didn’t, Kojima is the man and I want a rematch , this time with no outside the ring suplex lol.

The Indy Corner: Back at Do or Die IV in February 05 you defended the Full Impact Pro title against Antonio Banks who is now known as MVP, did you think back then he would go on to have the success he has had in the WWE & NJPW?

I wanted him in my group in ROH called The Rottwilers but the booker told me WWE going to sign him and I had a feeling he will go and he did, we still talk and good friends and now he’s ruling NJPW.

The Indy Corner: Also in 05 you had a great Best of 5 series with Bryan Danielson, tell us what do you recall of this series?

A brawler vs a wrestler, and I wanted to show my wrestling side, matter fact I did defeat him with a SUBMISSION in match #2 but he did win the series but I know it was not easy for him

The Indy Corner: Like with MVP, did you ever think Danielson would actually go to the WWE and be the success he has?

No I really thought he wasn’t not going to the WWE, I thought he would finish school and become a teacher for college , he is a smart guy now I’m happy for him especially he winning the heavyweight title and feud with CM Punk.

The Indy Corner: At Unforgettable also in 05 you got to team with Japanese legend Kenta Kobashi to defeat Samoa Joe& Low-Ki, first off, what was your reaction when you were told you'd be teaming with Kobashi and how do you think the match went?

ARE U KIDDING lol, it was crazy teaming with Kenta , I’ve watched him for years , I always remember Low-Ki had me in a camel clutch and Kobashi chop Ki so hard that I felt it.

The Indy Corner: In 05 you ventured to the UK to be a part of the Universal Uproar show which was promoted by Alex Shane. On the show you faced long time friend Low-Ki, I was there that night and the match was amazing, tell us of your time here in the UK and your experiences of that show please.

The UK is a great country I’ve been there 4 times and it has always been great business and fun, it’s a 10 hour flight but it worth it, great country, great fans and great beer.

The Indy Corner: You finally got your hands on the ROH title when you beat Danielson for the strap at Final Battle 06. I recall this match as being an emotional match; talk us through the build up, the match and the aftermath please.

I was getting screwed every time so I decided that I couldn’t beat Brian, and I would leave. But that night might be my greatest moment in my career, afterwards when I won the belt when everyone came to the ring, it was real when I came to the back I had the Briscoes pouring beer on me and CM Punk came from Chicago to check out the show and partying with Joe & I, great night that I will never forget.

The Indy Corner: We’ve talked a lot about ROH and the interview has gone quite far so let’s change direction and talk about TNA. You debuted there in December of 2005, but you are more known for your time with Hernandez & Konnan as the Latin American Xchange, memories of what you thought when you first got into TNA?

Konnan got me the job and I was like I’ve made it, a kid from Brooklyn will be on TV, at first I had two partners, first it was Apollo from Puerto Rico but he got messed up so he got let go then it was Ricky Vega and he was good but Konnan didn’t want him so Hernandez came into the picture and LAX was on fire, we were the first Latin NWA tag champs, I had a Blast in TNA being part of the LAX group.

The Indy Corner: TNA has had some decent teams such as TheMotor City Machine Gunns, Team 3D, The British Invasion, Beer Money to name afew, tell me what team do you think was the best to do business with and the worst?

The Machine Guns were fast and good, we never feuded with them or The British Invasion, Beer Money was the future of tag team division and The Dudleys are legends, they was my favourite fighters to feud with in TNA

The Indy Corner: You turned on Hernandez and joined the World Elite group in September of 2009, was this something you wanted, didn’tyou feel the LAX had run its course or did you did you try and fight it with the creative team in TNA and keep the team together?

I didn’t want to turn on Hernandez , I think Eric young is underrated but I feel me and Super Mexx got a full tank of gas and TNA had a different vision and I didn’t like it and it was a dumb move, it wasn’t a business decision , it was something else, I tried to fight it but I guess I lost.

The Indy Corner: After an injury and sporadic appearances on Xplosion & IMPACT you began to seek a release from your contract and then you finally got it in August 2010, how did it finally feel for you to be free from the shackles of a TNA contract?

I didn’t tell the office I wanted my release, that was a rumour that is on the internet but I did want to leave when Hogan and Bischoff came in , afterwards when I got let go I was happy, it was like I got released from jail, then I got little angry because I like to know why I got released .

The Indy Corner: At this point, I want you to shoot on TNA, let us all know what you feel about TNA and your time there.

TNA never was bad until the WCW bots came along , I got there in late 2005 and I had a blast but politics came along I guess Hogan and Bischoff didn’t like the vision and didn’t like me, so I respect it but when they came it turned bad and that when my pride took over, I don’t watch TNA but I hope they do good without the bull shit plus, everything Scott Streiner says it true.

The Indy Corner: You made your way back on the indies and it was a different crowd, you tangled with the likes of Sami Callihan and JonMoxley who is now in the WWE’s development system as Dean Ambrose. What was it like working with these younger guys and was it much different on the indies from what you left behind?

It wasn’t different it was disappointment because of myself and my damn injuries. Mox is going to be a star and Sami is going to get signed, I’m hoping I work with these men because now I’m healed and not hurt if/when I face them. They got hurt Homicide , now I’m like Homicide that rocked the world with my ghetto fork a couple years back

The Indy Corner: Something I have to ask you, even though it was on a US tour, how did it feel to finally get to work under the NJPW banner when they toured in May of 2011?

As a fan it was bad ass lol but a pro was still a bad ass. That roster is awesome, hard workers and I love to WORK FOR NJPW

The Indy Corner: Your first match with them was you teaming with Low-Ki going over the legendary Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger & Tiger Mask IV and in your second match you teamed with a man who is considered the best in the world Davey Richards & Rhyno where again you went over this time against, Kazuchika Okada,Ryusuke Taguchi & Togi Makabe tell us about these matches and what they meant to you.

The first two matches was great, myself and Low-Ki teamed up vs Tiger mask & Thunder Liger was good, Liger & I have wrestled a singles match before and was great so I knew his game plan, the six man the next day was good too, had a chance to team with Rhino and Davey plus I had a chance be in the ring with NJPW best of Kazuchika Okada, Ryusuke Taguchi & Togi Makabe , I’d like to battle them again and bring Eddie Kingston with me.

The Indy Corner: On the final day in Philadelphia you & Ki teamed again to face IWGP Jnr tag team champions Apollo 55 (Prince Devitt& Ryusuke Taguchi) and this for me was a bit of a dream match, how was the match for yourself?

My opinion it could be wayyy better than the match in Philly, I didn’t like it and I hope we will get a rematch and mark my words it be way better than the first one , those guys are great fighters and champions

The Indy Corner: You returned to ROH in September of 2010 where you were involved in various matche sand angles but this run also saw you reunite with Hernandez where you challenged but failed in your quest for the ROH tag team titles against, probably one of the best tag teams in the world at that point, The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castignoli) – What was it like reforming the LAX for one more night and what did you think of the KOW, would you rank them as one of the world’s best teams yourself?

LAX was a one time that year because Hernandez was with TNA, that might be my best match on my return in ROH because I put on a horrible performance because of my injures at that time. I’ve know Chris for years and Claudio is the total package , both men are very good and one of the best teams in the world

The Indy Corner: You wrestled Rhyno in a street fight at Best in The World 2011 and surprisingly to me and maybe to others you actually went over, I say I was surprised because like the crowd in attendance I knew you had signed an exclusive contract with the new group the Urban Wrestling Federation and the fans didn’t give you a great send off, I know you cut a promo after the match but really, how did it make you feel to hear your hometown crowd turn on you in that way?

I didn’t care that they turned on me , next time I came back it was like Stone Cold was there so they are confused but I really think it was those jack asses that go on the message boards who can’t get a girl friend and jerk off to a Brad Pitt movie. I love my fans and respect them but I LOVE being a bad guy, so it’s like be careful who u boo because you might buy my shirt or DVD lol, damn smart marks lol

The Indy Corner: You again returned to ROH in September of2011 and then the last time you worked for them was March of this year, how are things with yourself and ROH now?

It’s good, new owners with a different vision, I’d like to be there full time when I heal, when I came back I had two groin injuries and a crack left rib, I laugh so hard when some ROH fans was saying “Homicide doesn’t have his fire, I hope he gets it”, well I’m not a machine I’ll be working with injuries for the fans but some should get kick in the balls for thinking they know it all.

The Indy Corner: You also ran the ropes in Dragon Gate USA& EVOLVE both booked by former ROH booker Gabe Sapolsky, did you find Gabe any different to how he was when he was booker in ROH?

Gabe is the man, it was different but like I say I was hurt and I was wrestling with nagging injuries, I don’t watch his product anymore more but I’m hoping it gets big.

The Indy Corner: I’ve asked you how your relationship is with ROH at the moment but recently they have released a 2 disc best of compilation of your time in the promotion, did you have any input in the matches included and if not, are you happy with the choices?

Haha, nope but I am happy, it’s my third DVD and I think this is going to be a great release.

The Indy Corner: I have to know, next to Low-Ki, one of your closest friends in the business is Eddie Kingston, tell the readers about Eddie, I’ve interviewed him before and his knowledge of old school wrestling, like yours, is immense, please, give us your views on Eddie.

Kingston is very passionate and he takes his work very serious , one of the realest , true guys in the business and out the ring , I always say he’s my evil twin brother.

The Indy Corner: Before we close, I have to ask you about your time as a trainer, you have trained a lot of guys in the business such as Low-Ki, Derranged, Monsta Mack, Grim Reefer, Dan Maff and the name most mainstream fans will know – Ezikiel Jackson, aside from Ki & Jackson as he was on WWE TV, who has been your best trainee?

Azreil, Steve Mack and Papadon . I will say this, I am one of the best trainers in the world, but don’t let my size fool you and my party ways.

The Indy Corner: To end, a bit of word association, I’l lgive you some names or something linked with the wrestling business and you just say the first thing that pops in your head.

Johnny Rodz - One of the toughest Latino in wrestling

Konnan -
Hall of famer

Steve Corino - My wrestling enemy

Teddy Hart - Crazy SOB but he is a Hart

Hernandez - Proved that big men could fly

Bryan Danielson - Best in the world

CM Punk - The next big thing

Raven - Great mind in the business

Frank Goodman - Like him or hate him but he is one good promoter

Jac Sabboth - C’MON JAC

Gabe Sapolsky - Paul Heyman of ROH

Adam Pearce - King of old school

Delirious - Tough SOB lizard

Jim Cornette - One of the best mangers of all time

Cary Silkin - He did save ROH mid years

Dixie Carter - WHY

Jeff Jarrett - Loves Nascar

ROH - My second home

TNA - Bring back the six sided ring

Eddie Kingston - My evil twin

Low-Ki - The future

Pro Wrestling - Sport without the BS

The Indy Corner: Homicide, I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and good luck with the rest of your career.