Thursday 27 September 2012

How Can You Call Him A Hero? By Stuart Rodgers

Recently I have seen a blog about the man more commonly referred to as 'Canadian Wrestler X' - This writer who has appeared on the pages of WLH but not for a few weeks and they put across their thoughts on this wrestler and the whys and wherefores of the whole case. The writer does state how they feel, like us all and quite rightly so, when what happened came to light on the fateful night in 2007 was a dark day not just in wrestling but in life itself.

What promted me to write this blog myself was when all said and done, the writer doesn't think the wrestlers career should be forgotten about as WWE have erased all mentions of the person in question on their websites etc and they make sure on any DVD's that come out he is not mentioned or shown. And what really got me was the writer stands by the fact this wrestler was a 'wrestling legend' and a 'hero' to them. This for me is just awful, as a father myself the thoughts of that day remain one of the worst times I mean even if I wasn't a wrestling fan I'd still find this appalling and I'm sure the world outside of wrestling did just that.

In short, this wrestler had numerous tests and was said to have been in a bad state of mind through various concussions and head trauma but still, this person being wiped from the history books is the RIGHT thing to do in my eyes and for someone to state this person is a 'hero' to them I find disturbing.

Here are some of the responses on the article itself the first one below is the one I said I totally agree with:-

His accomplishments in this business will forever be overshadowed by his heinous crimes.

The writer responded with:-

They will always be overshadowed by it. Benoit at the end was an animal, but his skills and achievements are rarely matched. It’s about time we can enjoy his in ring abilities without being judged for it. He is still my wrestling hero to the day, and will always remain so.

Elsewhere in the response the writer would go on to say that due to what happened WWE changed it's welfare policies and to quote "Perhaps he saved some lives and didn’t just destroy them."

I agree in the fact WWE changed a number of things in their company following the tragic incident and that is all good and I only applaud them for that and I applaud them for erasing any trace of this wrestler on their product.

In closing, I just want to say how anyone can say about this man "He is still my wrestling hero to the day, and will always remain so" is beyond me.

Any comments are welcome below.

Thanks, Stu @WLHSTU

The Indy Corner Previews: PROGRESS Wrestling Chapter 3 (30/9/12)

PROGRESS Wrestling bring Chapter 3 '50 Shades of Pain' this coming sunday, so in the 4th preview of the day, here we go. So, like Chapters 1 & 2 this show will again take place at The Garage in Islington, London and the card is stacked with a great debut on the card.

In a rematch from Chapter 2, STIXX will have his chance for revenge against The Lion Kid. At Chapter 2 in what I considered was a bit of an upset Lion Kid got the win over STIXX so the big man from Nottingham will be looking for a measure of revenge.

For the BWS Scarlo Scholarship we will have Mark Andrews defending against former champion Xander Cooper. Cooper was the original champion but was defeated by Andrews in a four way ladder match (the match featured Sam Bailey & Wild Boar) and at Chapter 2 after defeating Wild Boar, Andrews was attacked by Cooper in the ring but that wasn't the end of it as he went on to attack Andrews again during the interval. These guys really want to get their hands on each other so this match I expect is going to be a hard hitting match as Cooper tries to take the title back

In a tag team encounter, Darrell Allen will team with Danny Garnell to face The London Riots. Now both Allen & Garnell were featured in singles matches at Chapter 2 and The Riots made their PROGRESS debuts where they basically demolished the young team of the Velocity Vipers which included Alex Esmail having his leg broke in a freak accident. I am always impressed with Allen when I see him and Garnell has been on the scene for a while and is well-respected on the British circuit but The Riots, wow, they for me were a great heel tag team, they were tough and wrestled tough too so I think the team of Allen & Garnell have their work cut out in this match.

Making his debut for PROGRESS at this show will be MK McKinnan, he is a wrestler who is getting noticed now all around the UK and so he should because he is a great wrestler and anyone who knows me either personally or online via my site or podcast will know MK is a favourite of mine in British wrestling. His opponent will be a man who appeared at both Chapters 1 & 2 and that is Noam Dar. Dar has had a tremendous year wrestling some big stars in wrestling as MK has to be fair and is really on a role right now. Both these guys are at the top of the tree for me as far as British wrestling goes at the moment and is a match I'm really looking forward to.

Jimmy Havoc gets another chance in PROGRESS this time facing another one of his former trainers in Jon Ryan. Havoc surprised many at Chapter 2 showing he could actually wrestle as he is known for 'death match' wrestling which is a point to this match as it's being billed as a Strictly No Blood No Hardcore. This brings with it a few possibilities, does it mean that's exactly what we will see? Either way, I think we'll see an entertaining match.

The 'Bollywood Dream' RJ Singh has got himself into a match with a guy who went down the same route as Jimmy Havoc to get booked for PROGRESS and this is Rob Cage, however, PROGRESS shut this down quick but Singh offered Cage a lifeline and challenged Cage to a match at Chapter 3 and if he wins, he can be apart of the Bollywood Empire. Should make for an interesting match and look out for that 'Ethnic Submission'.

The main event will be PROGRESS Champion the 'Showstealer' Nathan Cruz teaming with El Ligero to take on the team of....Right, first things first, this match was supposed to see Marty Scurll try and get some form of revenge over Cruz & Ligero following the happenings of Chapter 2. Scurll battled Cruz in a tough 2/3 fall match which ended when Ligero inadvertently struck Scurll which led to Cruz getting the pin and the thrid and final fall and therefore retaining his championship. The story here those was the fact when Ligero did what he did he just shrugged his shoulders and walked off. This led Scurll to go on a rant and vow to get pay back on both of them. Eventually Scurll announced his partner as being Greg Burridge. However, Scurll has since been signed up to wrestle for the TNA British Bootcamp and so is unable to take part at the show and so making his debut for PROGRESS we will see 'Bastard' Dave Mastiff. Mastiff is a beast and in short, if he gets his hands on either Ligero or Cruz I'm sure he'll beat the living daylights out of them. It's going to be a great match I think, I enjoy watching all 4 guys so we're in fo a treat.

So there you have it guys, I hope this has wetted your appetite for what I'm sure is going to be a great show. I'm not sure if there are any tickets left but if you want to find out head over to

Check out my podcast The Indy Corner where we cover all aspects of indy wrestling both US & UK and strive to get interviews with wrestling personalities from all over - or search for us on iTunes

The Indy Corner Previews: New Scene Wrestling Presents...Dunne vs. Gallagher (29/9/12)

This show will take place in Great Barr in Birmingham.

Announced for the show is as follows:-

'Dynamite' Pete Dunne vs. 'The Grappler' Jack Gallagher

Eddie Dennis vs. T-Bone

'The Star in The City' Ryan Smile vs. 'White Lightening' Mark Andrews

Tiny Iron vs. Marshall X

With more to be added which will include Kidd Lykos

Again, this has been previewed by me on the podcast but I will do it again right here.

Pete Dunne vs. Jack Gallagher should be a great match indeed. I am expecting it to be somewhat of a technical masterpiece because both guys can sure work the technical style and Dunne can also take to the top rope if he needs to, so should make for an interesting battle. Gallagher has been in there with Davey Richards twice in his career most recently in August so he can hang in there with the best and Dunne in his time has locked up with the likes of Zack Sabre Jr. but is one of the younger guys on the scene and yet is so damn good. Really excited for this match.

Eddie Dennis vs. T-Bone will be a battle of the big men but don't think this we be just that because I know Dennis can go, I've seen him live and on DVD and I am impressed with his stuff. T-Bone has been around a while and like Dennis can also go, last time I personally saw him wrestle live was the last NSW's show Xtreme Limits back in February of this year where he got to team with then TNA tag team champion Matt Morgan. Should be a good match and different to the others around them.

Ryan Smile vs. Mark Andrews is a match I am really looking forward to, when Paul & I spoke about the show on the podcast the other night he said how he wasn't familiar with Smile but I however am. I really like everything about Smile in wrestling, he is a great worker for starters and his character is equally as great. Paul did know about Andrews and like myself is impressed with him. Some of the stuff he does is quite amazing really so this is set to be a great match really, the guys have a bit of history too so this will all add to the match.

And the final match announced will be the MASSIVE Tiny Iron squaring off against Marshall X, this match is the big man against the young lion. Marshall is a couple of years in the business but has a great look and I'm sure if he gets the right break he'll have a bright future. Tiny is well another story altogether, famed for being in movies he has been a bodyguard for hip-hop star 50 Cent they guy is known and has a cult following. Not sure what to expect from this one but it's NSW so I expect nothing but good things.

There will be other matches too which you will find out about on the night.

The Show as stated takes place on Saturday 29th September at The Collingwood Centre in Great Barr, Birmingham. Get down to this show if you can guys, you'll be pleasantly surprised with what you see. Further details here -

The Indy Corner Previews: Fight Club: PRO THREE (28/9/12)

Fight Club: PRO return with what I am sure will be another great show. This show is titled THREE as it's their third anniversary show. Here is the card in full:-

'Unbreakable' Michael Elgin vs. 'Bastard' Dave Mastiff

FCP Champion MK McKinnan vs. Trent Seven

Clint Margera vs. Dan Ryder

Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham vs. The Hunter Brothers

Once again, I'm sure this will be a cracking event, as I said on this weeks podcast I have NEVER been to a bad FCP show, the guys always give 110% and always deliver. On to the show itself.

Chris Brookes has the third match in his 'trial series' and this time he is teaming with his good friend Jonathan Gresham to take on the great tag team of Lee & Jim Hunter. Brookes has come a long way in a short time and this match will be ideal for him, tagging with such a great worker like Gresham against an equally great pair of wrestlers in The Hunters. Really looking forward to this one.

Clint Margera reignites his heated feud with Dan Ryder. Margera calls himself a 'death match worker' and in short, he'll put himself on the line to give the fans a great match. Last month the two had a match that went all over The Planet right there in Wolverhampton but in the end, Margera was blindsided by another co-hort of the Rockstar Spud which led to Ryder getting the win. So you can bet your bottom dollar, this match is going to be wild. And I just want to say, like I have previously on the show, Ryder is a great heel, the reaction he gets from the crowd is one of the best I have seen in British wrestling by far and Ryder needs to be given credit for this, great job.

FCP champion MK McKinnan defends his title for the second time after his awesome match last month against Prince Devitt of New Japan fame. On this occasion, MK will defend his strap against former champion Trent Seven. This will be the third time the 2 have met one on one both holding a win a piece with MK's win coming this past June at 'Fight for The Future'. This match should be a cracker, both guys can go and although I've not seen the first match, I've heard it was great, I was there for the second match and it was just that and then some. Once again, one I'm looking forward too.

And finally, we have what is going to be the main event as in from Ring of Honor and other notable US indies we have 'Unbreakable' Michael Elgin coming in to face 'Bastard' Dave Mastiff, as Elgin said in his interview with us, when he was announced as coming to FCP people said to him they thought he may be put in there with Mastiff and, I like many fans am glad this is the match that has been booked by FCP. This match is going to be a war, this guys can both go, both can hit as hard as anyone else in the business and this is, as I said, going to be a WAR!! Looking forward to seeing this and Elgin live for the first time.

Guys, tickets for this FCP show are only £5, to say it's well-worth the money is an understatement, get there if you can, people travel from all round the country for FCP even if it means staying over in Wolverhampton for the night because FCP is worth it.

Check out the guys here:

The Indy Corner Previews: PCW Last Night of Freedom (28/9/12)

There are some great looking indy shows coming up here in the UK on the weekend so I will do a preview for each.

First off on Friday (28/9) Preston City Wrestling will be holding The Last Night of Freedom in Preston itself and here is a rundown of the card:-

Kris Travis & T-Bone vs Lionheart & BT Gunn

PCW Cruiserweight Championship 3 Way Dance
Noam Dar (c) vs El Ligero v Joey Hayes

Dave Rayne vs Martin Kirby

CJ Banks vs Dean Allmark

Bubblegum vs 'Unbreakable' Michael Elgin

PCW Tag Team Title Match
Fight Club (c) vs DISCO Madness

Kay Lee Ray vs April Davids

This looks like a great card on paper, the match at the top features two of my current favourites on the British scene those being Kris Travis & Lionheart and I've not seen BT Gunn work but I am told he's a good worker and T-Bone, I have not seen much of but again, can do what is required in the ring.

The cruiserweight championship 3 way should be outstanding, Noam Dar is a big favourite of both Paul & I on the podcast and we all know El Ligero is a work horse and has taken part in one of the best matches to take place in the UK this year (against Akira Tozawa again in PCW) and Joey Hayes is not someone I've seen a lot of but hear good things about from Paul.

The match that has got a bit of attention indeed is Bubblegum vs. ROH's Michael Elgin, as the story goes, Bubblegum sold the PCW belt so to punish him PCW put him in a match with Shaun 'The Hammer' Davis but he paid Davis off so now PCW have brought in the hard hitter from ROH - 'Unbreakable' Michael Elgin to face the native of Manchester.

Overall this should be a great card, if you're in or around the Preston area make the trip. Details can be found over at

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Does the UK scene really want it’s own version of WWE/TNA? By Robert Shade

(Pictured here the one and only Rockstar Spud - Picture Credit to Jamie Simpson of JAMIEphoto)

I keep on hearing of various people who work in the UK indy scene saying how we possess the wrestlers, the promoters and the support to amalgamate everything and have our own UK weekly big company along the lines of a WWE or TNA with it being televised and held in big arena’s assumingly to crowds numbering in the thousands with a regular commentary team and the wrestlers selected probably under contract preventing them from appearing elsewhere.

Is this the ultimate pipedream for our scene or could it be the absolute ultimate nightmare?

A lot of people I know who love indy wrestling watch the big boys almost out of habit or because they want to stay in the loop of what Is happening as opposed to being really on the edge of their seats with excitement at what they are viewing unlike at a live indy show when it can be a truly exhilarating experience.

So why the hunger for this?

I can see that if it worked the wrestlers would be able to make a comfortable living from it and would work less dates than currently for more money so fair dues, they would also be on television which would make them more likely to cut the grade one day in America.

I can see that whoever was running the show if it went well could make a lot of money out of it and who can blame them for that?

But do the fans benefit? We would have one weekly show as opposed to any number of options most weekends at various indy events around the country, even if this big weekly show moved around the country it would mean that most of the population each weekend could not watch wresting of any real quality (as the big company would no doubt procure the best and most watchable talent).

Currently most indy shows charge adults between £5 and £12 for a show, if they moved to large arenas with big bills to pay what is the betting that those prices would increase two or threefold or even more?

What type and standard of matches would we see, let’s make no bones about this, if this was to work it would need to be on a popular channel and in the current politically correct world we live in it would by necessity have to be a heavily sanitised product very much along the lines of the WWE which we so frequently complain about for precisely that reason.

How likely is this to happen and is it realistic?

In my opinion we do genuinely possess enough decent wrestlers and characters to form a suitable roster for television, I also am absolutely certain that we possess enough decent characters to play the roles of managers heel and face, announce the matches, commentate, referee etc etc to make that side of it work.

We have plenty of guys who can produce x division style matches you know the high flying technically wonderful type of matches that most of us love, we do have in my book an underestimated heavyweight scene in the UK, Stixx and Dave Mastiff are only two of a number who for their size are capable of some pretty amazing in ring stuff, Rockstar Spud can cut a promo to rival CM Punk or anybody else in America and with wrestling very popular on television - WWE frequently receives more viewers on Sky Sports than Premiership Football, TNA is often the most watched program on Challenge and now Wrestletalk has made it onto the box, it would not be that big a shock if a television company was approached in a professionally packaged approach from UK promoters for this that it could indeed happen.

I do have my doubts though over whether or not we possess the fan base for this, it is possible if such a company survived in the short term that over time the crowds would increase as people watching on TV got to identify with the wrestlers and bought into the storylines, after all they turn up in their thousands every time WWE or TNA put on a UK house show but initially I doubt that enough current hardcore fans would be prepared to back with their money on a weekly basis a company which is taking away from the core what they love with a passion and at vastly inflated prices, TV loathes showing events with lots of empty seats with the impression it creates on viewers and also the lack of atmosphere so if this happened they may need to be prepared to start in smaller arenas where it would be packed with a cracking atmosphere then build up into the larger arenas as and when possible.

So yes I think that it could happen in those respects BUT do I think being honest about it that it would happen and my answer is an absolute NO.

I wrote an article recently about safety for wrestlers and the responsibility of promoters to ensure that is their foremost concern at all times and I suggested the formation of a regulatory system/body to register said promoters with once they had passed stringent tests upon their H&S procedures and their emergency plan if a wrestler got seriously injured on their show.

I pointed out that it will only take one wrestler to end up in a wheelchair or worse due to an injury suffered at an indy event where legal action was taken and it was proven that the indy company had failed to provide adequate safety procedures and not only that indy company but the whole scene would be instantly shutdown due to potential legal ramifications.

All I have seen since then is bickering amongst various promoters and wrestlers and people who run wrestling schools over whose fault the most recent incident was and going in circles arguing amongst themselves even resorting to name calling in public forums.

It is the same issue it seems whenever a suggestion is made over working in a unified manner to move british wrestling forwards, it seems that self interest and defending their own manor takes precedence over working together to form coherent policies for the good of UK indy wrestling.

In an ironic way I am quite relieved that is the case in some respects as it means that what I believe to be this monster hanging over our heads of this big company being formed is highly unlikely as it would require various warring promoters to work together and for some to make sacrifices for the greater good as you can only have one top man! However it is disappointing in other respects when nobody is taking the lead, looking at the bigger picture and putting squabbles to one side and prioritising the safety of wrestlers.

So to conclude I think such a company could happen and could work but would require solid and unified leadership and be backed by proper guidelines and procedures but I am quite sure that it will not happen for the reasons outlined above and from a personal stance I for one am glad of that!

Please feel free to rant at me or agree with me, my twitter is @Shadetheshoot.

It's Alive - WWE brings back tag teams! By Duckman

“From the smallest acorn, the mightiest oak can grow.”

At some point in your life you will have heard that classic saying, or some variation of it. You haven’t? Well, congratulations -you just learned something new! If you’re wondering what the hell acorns and trees have got to do with wrestling, allow me to explain. That little horticultural ditty is my way of describing the current tag team division in WWE. Clever, eh? Ok, not really, but it’s the best I could come up with at short notice.

I’m a huge fan of tag team wrestling. It’s one of my favourite things about watching wrestling. I’m not alone in my love of the wrestling tandem. For as long as men and women have put on their underwear in public and fought in a choreographed fashion, to a predetermined conclusion, there have been fans of tag team wrestling. Down the years tag team wrestling has been one of the fundamental foundations of professional wrestling.

From the old school glory days of Pat Paterson and Ray Stevens; to the insanely over and ridiculously roided up Road Warriors; to the double team majesty of the Midnight Express; all the way to the Hardys/Dudleys/Edge and Christian trifecta of attitude era awesomeness, there can be no argument that tag team wrestling has been a key element to any promotion.

And it used to draw money. Wads of the stuff.

Throughout the years tag team matches have provided fans with heated, entertaining, exciting and must see moments. As the name suggests, tag team wrestling brought a team element to what is essentially an individual focused profession. There are many examples of the team being more than the sum of its parts. Thanks to this some teams were treated like rock stars, while others were hated with the power of a thousand suns. This allowed wrestlers who wouldn’t necessarily have been singles stars to achieve a great level of success as part of a tag team.

Tag Teams have come in a plethora of different combinations, including but not limited to; two high fliers; two big powerhouses; the technician and the powerhouse; the talker and the enforcer; the sneaky double teaming heels and the plucky never-say-die babyfaces. A different combination to suit every taste. With so many different combinations of teams it was easy for fans to connect with their favourite, or their least favourite teams. It must have made life easier for bookers and promoters to put on matches with entirely different in-ring dynamics from week to week, which in turn would keep their product fresh and interesting for their fans.

Tag team wrestling also helped create some of the most successful singles stars of their respective generations. While there’s little doubt Steve Austin, Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels would have eventually broken through as singles stars, it certainly didn’t hurt that they served their apprenticeships in successful tag teams.

So let’s recap: Tag team wrestling creates stars, brings fans exciting, entertaining and innovative matches and draws money. If you were ticking boxes of what wrestling should do, then the tag team division would use up most of your ink. It’s difficult to envision a time when tag team wrestling wouldn’t be important to a promotion, but in recent years that’s exactly what has happened in WWE.

Somewhere around the middle of the last decade tag team wrestling as a feature attraction in WWE was pushed to the side. No one really knows why. Many have asked the question but no one has been able to come up with a satisfactory answer. Only one man can answer that question because it was his decision to ignore tag team wrestling and leave fans feeling like their favourite childhood toy had just been thrown in the trash. Well, that’s how I felt, I don’t know about the rest of you.

Everyone knows that Vince McMahon IS professional wrestling. Well, he’d say he IS sports entertainment but no matter how much he wants to be seen as an all round entertainment svengali, he is the single most successful promoter of wrestling of all time. That’s just one of those facts you can’t argue away. What Vince presents as professional wrestling is what the world considers professional wrestling. Those of us who spend time outside the WWE bubble might not accept that but we’re a tiny minority. To the majority WWE is professional wrestling.

When Vince decided he didn’t like tag team wrestling we saw a division that had been one of the cornerstones of WWE for decades almost completely written off. No longer would teams with great personalities who were tag team specialists be a part of WWE. Instead tag teams became a vehicle to team two guys together for a couple of weeks, then split them up and have them feud.

The intricacies of tag team wrestling were forgotten. The heat and the drama and conflict of tag team wrestling were diluted down until the tag team titles were rendered practically meaningless. I could go months without knowing who the tag team champions were in WWE or who they beat to become champions. Fans were conditioned to accept that tag team wrestling as a centre point of WWE was no longer the norm.

Before too long tag team wrestling was a shadow of its former self in WWE. Fans like me longed for the days of the Survivor Series 1988 that boasted a match with five babyface tag teams against five heel tag teams and every single one of those teams were a legitimate full time team, with a great gimmick, who were over with the crowd. Even the Conquistadores! Instead we got half assed feuds with half assed champions and none of the variety and entertainment that had made the tag team division so important in the past.

Of course I’m talking WWE specific here. In TNA and ROH the tag team division has been given much more focus and attention as an important part of those companies. From the tag division of TNA we’ve seen plenty of great matches in company history. Beer Money, AJ Styles/Christopher Daniels, LAX, Motor City Machine Guns –all these teams been part of some of the best moments in TNA history.

Across in ROH their tag division is given just as much prominence as the World Title and with the likes of The Briscoes, The Kings of Wrestling, Austin Aries/Roderick Strong and Kevin Steen/El Generico ROH has been at the forefront of tag team wrestling for as long as WWE has ignored it.

But in WWE, which for all intents and purposes is professional wrestling, there’s been a serious dearth of credible, over, interesting tag teams in the past 5 years. Thankfully in recent weeks that trend appears to be reversing and the slow rebuild of the WWE tag team division is underway. Surprisingly it’s all thanks to a guy with borderline tourettes syndrome who looks a bit like a goat and a guy in a mask who many thought was past his best, but has shown a skill for comedic timing and delivery that has rejuvenated his career. We used to know them as Daniel Bryan and Kane but from now on, we can call them Hell No.

The ironic thing about Hell No is they started life as exactly what has been hurting the WWE tag team division for so long, namely two singles wrestlers who were paired together in a throw away fashion in an effort to get something else over (in this case it was supposed to be Charlie Sheen’s shitty new ‘sit-com’ Anger Management). However like most things that make it big in WWE they appear to have accidently became the single most entertaining act on WWE TV and certainly the most over with the live audiences.

One thing WWE does better than most is recognising when something is hot and then immediately screwing it up (CM Punk leaves WWE angle, Zac Ryder, Nexus etc). They tend to have a mindset of seeing that the fans are reacting to something in a big way and then trying to run with it and make it a ‘WWE approved’ version. This invariably ends badly as WWE seem determined to remove all the fun and original aspects that got an act over in the first place and replace it with a bland, controlled and corporate friendly clusterfuck. So far, Hell No have been able to avoid this pitfall and we should all keep our fingers crossed that things continue in this vein.

It’s not just been the emergence of the wonderfully entertaining Hell No that has sparked a re-birth of sorts in the WWE tag team division. If it wasn’t for one badly timed Kobe Bryant rape joke, I think there’s a good chance that The Prime Time Players would be the current tag team champions or at least had a run with the Titles after a win at Summerslam. They are still being showcased as a team who are chasing the tag team titles and while their act lost a lot when AW was shit canned, there’s still a ton of potential in PTP to become a focal point of the new WWE tag team scene.

We’ve seen Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara teaming up recently. This is one of those ‘set up a future feud’ teams. There’s no doubt those two (staying free of injuries and off drugs for long enough) will face off at Wrestlemania next year. However for the time being they are a team that is popular with kids, can shift a load of merch (always a driving force behind any push in WWE) and for the most part should have tremendous matches with just about anyone they step into the ring with.

Kofi Kingston and R-Truth have been carrying the ugly ass tag titles for a while without there actually being much of a division for them to be champions of. Both are more effective and useful to WWE as upper mid card babyfaces but if they do stay as a team they’ve shown they have decent chemistry and can work with a variety of opponents. Oh and they also shift merch. That Little Jimmy shit continues to be huge with kids.

The most recent edition of RAW saw the formation of the Rhodes Scholars (what a brilliant name) team with Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow. If this the first set of challengers for Hell No then the revamped tag division is off to a wicked start. Rhodes has floundered since Wrestlemania. Sandow has all the potential to be a top heel in WWE. Putting them together is a great move as it gives Sandow someone to work off in promos, they can come up with some great double team moves and if booked correctly could be seen as a credible threat to Hell No. Hopefully this will avoid them being constantly jobbed out to the likes of Cena, Orton, Big Show etc which is a pitfall nearly all the upper mid card wrestlers befall in WWE these days.

Outside of those main teams there are the likes of Primo and Epico, who despite receiving a pop no louder than a mouse farting in a church, do have a ton of potential to get over in that ‘plucky, never-say-die’ babyface team slot. The Usos are damn talented but pushed inconsistently. And there are plenty of other singles wrestlers with little to no current direction who could be paired up to flesh the division out – Ryder/Santino, McIntyre/Mahal to name but two. Plus a team like The Ascension in NXT are being primed to be big players in the future.

Where Hell No have succeeded and where Rhodes/Sandow will follow suit is they have very well established personalities. The fans can connect with them in a positive or a negative way. The only way I can tell Primo and Epico apart is that they have their names on their gear. I have no clue which Uso is which. That’s not because I’m racist but simply because WWE have given us no reason to care, not just about the teams, but the individuals within those teams.

If the tag team division in WWE is truly going to be revived then every team, from the bottom of the card to the top, has to be given mic time to get their personalities over. The in-ring work is only a small fraction of what gets someone over in WWE. The fans need to be given a reason to care about these guys and if the only way I can tell them apart is by the names on their gear, then I’m not going to emotionally invest in their matches or their pursuit of tag team gold. The PTP are a perfect example of this. They might not change the world with their promo skills but at least we know who they are, what they want and how they’re going to go about getting it. That’s a good start.

Of course it’s not perfect. The whole division could fall apart if the focus is simply on Hell No and their eventual break up. But something feels different this time. The pieces on the board are being very deliberately moved into place. Challengers and potential challengers are being slowly set up. Teams who are very much specialist tag teams are coming to prominence. Someone, somewhere in WWE is gradually bringing tag team wrestling back to the fore and as a WWE fan who has been crying out for a competitive, focused and pushed tag division since the days of the Smackdown 6 under Paul Heyman’s booking, I’m feeling pretty damn positive about the whole thing.

As always with WWE the chances of any of this going anywhere are determined by forces that have very little to do with wrestling. All it will take is Vince to once again decide that tag teams are once again a waste of his time and we’ll be back to where we started. Or maybe this is really the dawn of a new era built on the back of one of the most entertaining and surprising Tag Team Champions of recent years. Tag Team wrestling is alive and well in WWE? Hell No? I say Hell Yes!

That’s a wrap for this time folks. As always thanks for reading and continuing to support Wrestling’s Last Hope. Remember you can follow me on Twitter @MFXDuckman and of course you can hear my WWE and TNA ramblings every week on the MFX Podcast. You can find all the details over at

Until next time...



Tuesday 25 September 2012

The Indy Corner Episode 15

The latest episode of The Indy Corner is up with previews of Fight Club: PRO 'Three' on 28/9 - Preston City Wrestling 'Last Night of Freedom' also on 28/9 - New Scene Wrestling Presents Dunne vs. Gallagher on 29/9 & PROGRESS Wrestling Chapter 3 '50 Shades of Pain' on 30/9 and this is not all, we like to give you interviews and this week we have THREE of them, first with Jonathan Gresham then RJ Singh and finally Michael Elgin. Check out the show right here

AJB’s Biggest British Wrestling Pet Peeve Number 2 & 3 – Adam James Bullivant

Welcome again. As I type this, my Spotify account randomly flicks through my favourite music tracks to create the soundtrack to my work. It has just skipped from Rolf Harris to 2Pac to The Glee Cast. A wonderful show of diversity and a seemingly pointless way to start this piece. Let us begin.

AJB’s Biggest British Wrestling Pet Peeve Number 2 – Not Knowing Your Role.

We all have one, if you care to look hard enough for it. Now in my time as a ‘Pro Wrestling Nobody’, I’ve both set up camp and briefly skimmed through a number of wrestling training schools/companies. I’ve awkwardly shaken the hands of a vast amount of young aspiring pro wrestling somebodies, instantaneously forgetting the name the moment our hands part one another. Not a sign of disrespect, simply a demonstration of how truly useless my brain stores information. For the most part anyways, they have all been excited, passionate, wrestling obsessed and ready to learn the art of Pro Wrestling and become a star in the sport (dare I say sport entertainment) they all hold so dear. Very few of them will.

It’s a harsh fact, but a fact none the less.

Whatever your generation, we all had a childhood hero. Whilst everyone else was secretly throwing up the finger being the teachers back in the playground or poorly attempting to raise the eye brow whilst spouting a baker’s dozen of popular catchphrases, Adam James Bullivant was hopping in circles on one foot whilst divulging the value of the Three I’s to all that would hear. Minis 5 wrestling fans points to anyone who cannot remember them of the top of there head. To sum up, Kurt Angle was my boy. Even if he was a heel at the time. I guess I was a ‘Smart Mark’ before I knew such a thing was, well, a thing. Later on, I looked to the Old School for my inspiration. Beginning a lifelong unwavering admiration for both Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes. And the near perfect decade long feud the two shared. So when I started my pro wrestling training in July 2006, I had the deluded dreams and aspirations that all young trainees should have. The world was my oyster, and I was going to take it. One needlessly stiff knife head chop and Dusty elbow at a time.

I never did. My wrestling career, for want of a better word, was below average to put it nicely. As was to be expected, after being comically out of shape and poorly trained by a former UKFF Shitarse 50 ‘Wrestler’. Number 11 for anyone that can be bothered to go find his name, a name I won’t be plugging in any such way in this blog. From training session number one to my last match, I was a pro wrestling trainee/wrestler for 3 years, 3 months and 30 days. I guess De La Soul was right when they famously rapped that “3 is the magic number”. I stepped away from the ring of my own choosing; knowing I was not at the level I personally felt I needed to be in a roster of ever increasing talent. I stepped away from the ring, but knew I was not ready to step away from British Wrestling as a whole.

I knew my talents, whatever they may be worth, could be served better in another role. I wanted to help British Wrestling in any role I possibly could. I knew it was not going to be as an in ring wrestler. It’s sad, and anger causing, to see certain wrestlers who, although somehow even less talented then I, and “in the game” before I was, are still unashamedly flogging the dead horse to the 6 people who turn up to see them. To name and shame no one, other than Andy Hogg. Too busy feeding there ego to see they should have given up years ago. And yet, never did.

Since hanging up the cheap leather boxing boots I wore because I could never afford the expensive shiny lace up boots the proper workers wore, I’ve trail ran many other roles in British Wrestling, of which the full list can be found in my last article. I was always trying to find my best role for me to fit. Currently I’m settling in a trifecta of graphic designer, blogger and referee. Hopefully the latter of the three will blossom into something worthy enough to climb out of the abyss of “Pro Wrestling Nobody” and enter the in comparisonV.I.P like status of “Pro Wrestling What’s-His-Name-Again?”

My point about roles being, as stated in the very first line of this post: We all have one, if you care to look hard enough for it. If you are not good enough, or maybe I should say determined enough to, become a legit professional wrestler, that’s nothing to be ashamed off. Being a great wrestler is bloody hard. Whether it is daily gym visits. Eating nothing but tuna and brown rice for the next 10 years. At the very least, weekly training sessions. Spending years putting up and taking down rings. Being the butt of everyone’s ribs. And the minefield that comes with politics, from fellow trainees to promoters, everywhere you step. In every one of the say over 2 dozen training schools that currently litter the UK, there are maybe 10% of students that could ever actually make a real go at becoming a full time professional British wrestler.

That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with other 90% enjoying the ride, as long as they don’t go out, only half trained, and start taking bookings for free in shoddy start-up companies. Simultaneously taking bookings away from actual talented wrestlers and ruining the market with below acceptable shows, souring the taste for Wrestling by the locals and harming possible business for legitimate companies who wish to run that town in the future. Or even worse, starting their own training schools after only a few matches under their belt. A painfully common practise these day.

Everyone has the right to give it a go. But if you respect British Wrestling, you will know when to step away from it if you are not doing it any good. The people who can’t see that, well, simply don’t deserve to be part of it. If you are not good enough, or at least not motived enough to get good enough, to hang with the big boys, then get out. Simple as.

The biggest misconception there is out there states that just being a fan is a lesser role. If you love British Wrestling, you don’t need to be part of it internally to contribute to it. If you want the wrestlers to know/like you, it’s better to be seen as a great fan outside the locker room then a no idea punter inside it. If you tried wrestling training, it didn’t work out and you walked away, don’t be ashamed to return to being “just a fan”. Almost everyone that has ever stepped foot in the squared circle is “just a fan” at heart. Want to help British Wrestling? You can. You have a flair for writing? Write a blog. Buy a DVD. Hook up with a local company and offer to hand out flyers for them. Like the sound of your own voice? Record a podcast. Have a webcam? Record a video and upload it to social media, ala Marc Pearson (themarcrpears0n on Youtube).

And if nothing else, go to the shows worth attending and enjoy yourself. As a fan. It’s both the most enjoyable, and the least pressure filled, role you can have in British Wrestling. Never be ashamed of it.

AJB’s Biggest British Wrestling Pet Peeve Number 3 – Referring to your company as a “Fed”

“Fed”, the shortened term for Federation, can either be defined as either:

“A group of states with a central government but independence in internal affairs”


“An organization or group within which smaller divisions have some degree of internal autonomy”

Your joke of a show, in the arse end of a in a working men’s club, filled with skinny kids in pleather doing moonsaults and WWE finishers for a replica Intercontinental title belt you got for your 16th birthday is neither of the above.

Adam James Bullivant can be found at:
Twitter at @TME_AJB (for banter)
Tout /adamjamesbullivant (for pointless videos)
Facebook at /adam.james.bullivant (for reffing & design work)

CM Punk & Paul Heyman Take over the World By Dani Mitchell

This picture was taken by Dani herself at the show

CM Punk is known as the Best in the world, Paul Heyman a legend known for taking wrestling up a notch... combine the two and you have an unstoppable force about to steamroll the WWE and everything in their way.

Punk is a force all his own. He has proven time and time again that he is one to be respected in the ring, on the mic, and on tour. He is a superstar that can stand on his own two feet; mic in hand and people listen... they might not always like what he has to say, but they listen. He says things that pushes the limit and keeps people talking week after week.

Paul Heyman.... a master of the mic. He has been able to shut people up for years. Manly hated for it, because he says things that you might not want to hear... He doesn't stop until the majority listens to what he has to say.
Obviously, it was only a matter of time till the voice of the voiceless and an advocate for the disrespected would team up to form a fireball that will burn through the WWE universe. It seems Heyman can do no wrong... everything he touches instant gold... but since Punk already has the gold on his shoulder... what's next?

This has been a topic thrown around by everyone as of late... and well... most people want a new heel stable. In my opinion it’s the next feasible step in a takeover; that’s exactly what I am expect a WWE takeover... With talent out the waa-zoo.

CM Punk, the leader... He's the champion. He demands respect and doesn't mind voicing exactly how he feels about anyone or anything. He's done it again and again. Pipe bombs exploding everywhere... I'm ready for another great one to happen and I'm hoping it’s going to be when he announces who will be joining the CMPUNK elite.
Who else...

Damian Sandow, He's been trying to build a name for himself in the ring. He has something to offer. I see some great things happening for him ... soon. Joining a stable with other notable adversaries is exactly the push he needs. He's smart and there is no telling what all he could be capable of, that’s where Paul Heyman's genius would kick in. At Raw Tour (State College) over the weekend is where I saw that it could work. During a lumberjack match, CM Punk facing Big Show.... Punk was out numbered with a good many faces or talent that just hasn't had a chance to develop yet... and when Punk was going to be pinned, Sandow through his foot up on the rope. That's when I saw the glimmer of something great that Sandow could bring to a stable. I like dirty fighters ... there should be more.

Cody Rhodes, talented but in need of a home. His obsession with the mask of Sin Cara is growing old... but his obsessions and devious ways would fit in this stable. Not as strong on the mic but makes up for with his wrestling abilities and the fact that he was building up steam in the last stable he was in... He needs this now.

Randy Orton... His problem is ... he comes back from a suspension... beats people... meaningless squabbles with Sheamus and Del Rio... but no real direction yet. Could he bring something to table? Maybe. He's been a part of 2 great stables already, so maybe he is over the whole stable thing. But I think he could lead him in the right direction.

I am going to throw the name of Tyson Kidd out there too. He’s a good guy. I’d like to see something different. He’s a smaller guy, he has untapped talent and he is looking for the respect that Punk and others have already achieved. I think if had a push from this kind of stable and distancing himself from the Hart Dynasty could really benefit what he could do next.

I'd love to throw Daniel Bryan in the mix. If the tag team thing fizzles out... I'd love to see him join forces with CM Punk and Paul Heyman. In my opinion Daniel Bryan and Punk are probably the two best talents in the business. Their feud was full of fury, action, and made us sit on the edge of our seats. To see them bringing the WWE universe to their knees would be killer. They could honestly take over just the 3 of them and it would probably be the most dynamic stable we have seen in years.

Forget nWo... this is a new era for the WWE. I for one cannot wait to see what is about to unfold at Hell in a Cell... and for months to come.

Or......... the alternative... we are going to see a power struggle between 2 of the most powerful men in the business. Two strong personalities, two people that own the mic, 2 people that climb and fight their way to the top. Punk and Heyman might implode.

Strap in kiddies. WWE is getting real.

-Dani Mitchell
Follow me on twitter, give me your feedback @Buckeyebrain

Monday 24 September 2012

A Bird's Eye View #02: This Week In WWE By Glenn Bird

Hi folks Glenn Bird back again for column #02 of A Bird’s Eye View. This week I’m going to talk about the happenings in WWE from the past week, it will include my thoughts on Night Of Champions, Raw and SmackDown. I would like to state that not all of my columns will be WWE related, I will bust out some BritWres columns from time to time but as of right now I’m a little bit out of the BritWres loop. Once I get to a few more shows I’ll get back in to the BritWres side of things but for now I hope you all enjoy the WWE talk.

So Night Of Champions, I actually really enjoyed this pay per view. To me it was actually better than SummerSlam because in all honesty I didn’t enjoy SummerSlam all that much. It wasn’t a bad pay per view, not at all but it just didn’t feel like a SummerSlam to me. Night Of Champions though I really enjoyed, the four way opener was a nice fast paced match which flowed really well. I don’t recall seeing any botches from either Sin Cara or Rey Mysterio either which is always a bonus. The finish of the match was quite unique to and I thought it was really well done. A good match to open things up and the crowd seemed to eat it all up too, some crowds appear to sit on their hands but this one was rowdy and only made the pay per view better.

On to the diva fiasco. So the dirt sheets tell us that Kaitlyn was never meant to win the number one contenders battle royal a few weeks ago and that it was meant to be an Eve Torres win. Okay, accidents happen, I mean both Chris Jericho and Alex Riley have been eliminated from Royal Rumbles prematurely (Although Jericho’s was off camera and he slipped back in), it’s always a risk in Rumbles and Royals, that’s fine but over the past few weeks Kaitlyn managed to get over with the crowd, even getting chants on SmackDown. It’s not often you hear chants in divas matches, hell in some you hear anything but silence (Can you actually hear silence?) so why didn’t WWE roll with it? Eve is already an established diva so why not give Kaitlyn the ball while she was getting over? Even if it was just till Raw the next night or next week, why just totally take her from that match?

As far as the diva division goes I know a lot of people who use that division and those matches as a ‘break’, I personally don’t as I try to give everything I watch on a weekly basis a chance. Sure some diva matches are the pits but some get a bad knock even when they’re good. There was a time where the divas division was red hot, back in the times of Trish, Lita, Victoria, Molly and a few others. It can be that way again if they gave it a chance. Take AJ Lee, she’s over more than a lot of the guys and could have been the first step to redeeming the division so what do they do? Make her the General Manager. That was a good move but in the long run I think it’ll hurt her momentum, if they let her continue the nutjob thing in the actual division and in matches that could be the first step to bringing the divas division back from the dead. I think the fact that Kaitlyn was over could have helped too. Hopefully it will lead to Kaitlyn finding out Torres had something to do with the attack and we get a revenge angle, that would keep things hot but I fear that they’ll just leave Kaitlyn off TV for too long and people will forget and she’ll lose that overness she had. We’ll see though

Next topic, the WWE Tag Team Division. It seems that WWE have finally got their heads together regarding tag teams and it’s about time. I’m a huge fan of Tag Team Wrestling and have been sad at the state of the division in the past few years but now I’m enjoying what’s going on in the Tag Team Division. The Prime Time Players are one of my favourite teams right now, they’re just two arrogant dick heads who play that role well and they’ve got a good thing going with a storyline now. Tag teams in storylines? Surely not! But really, they have the storyline of being ‘screwed’ out of their title shot and this week took it out on the new Masked Marvels tag team (Mysterio and Sin Cara). I personally hope that goes somewhere. I’ve been bored of Rey Rey for quite some time but I do kind of like this team of his with Cara. I hope it leads to a Masked Marvels versus PTP feud which eventually leads to PTP taking the Tag gold.

That leads me in to the next part of my column perfectly, the WWE Tag Team Champions. Kane and Daniel Bryan got the titles at Night Of Champions and are somewhat of a comedy team but you know what? It works and it’s massively over. Now I’ve seen some people say “uuuuugh Bryan Danielson is a wrezler and he’z too goodz for this!” I say that’s bullshit, yes D-Bry is a wrestler but he’s also in the WWE which relies on things like comedy and character development. Do you all honestly think Daniel Bryan cares? He’s one of the most over people in the biggest company in the world, yes he’s known for his wrestling ability but there also needs to be character development too. I’ve seen people say that they prefer the independent scene because there’s none of these ‘stupid anger management segments’. Thing is, if they could afford the time on their shows to have those kind of segments on their shows then it’s pretty likely that they would. Just a thought there. As for Kane, it’s down to character development with him too. Kane has done that much and been that much over the years it’s hard to do something different with him but I believe that now they have. He’s been a monster face, a monster heel; he’s probably the only legitimate tweener in the business. He’s done dark, serious, comedy, monster... But never, until now, has he been the Big Red Hugging Machine! I personally enjoy the Anger Management segments and what they’ve done with D-Bry and Kane. Kane and D-Bry have singlehandedly (Wait, can tag teams do things singlehandedly? Is it doublehandedly? Fourhandedly?... ) made the tag team division red hot and relevant. The end of SmackDown this week was one of the best ends to a show I’ve seen in a while.

Here you have all these tag teams looking for the gold, new tag teams like Rey and Cara, or Sandow and Rhodes as well as other teams like The PTP, International Airstrike (Kidd & Gabriel for those not keeping track) and the Uso’s yet two guys who can’t get along are The Tag Team Champions. So all these teams see that as a weakness. The PTP, I.A. and The Uso’s were all lumberjacks in the Sandow/Rhodes versus Kane/Bryan main event, yes, the tag team title storyline main evented the show, when was the last time that happened? That match ends in a DQ and then all the teams get involved. This is where Kane and D-Bry, assisted by two chairs, finally unite and take out all the teams gunning for their titles. Now I know what some people are thinking, they’re thinking that Kane and D-Bry just killed off the Tag Team division. I see it differently though, I see it as them making the division as well as those teams that tried attacking them all relevant. Look at it this way, throughout the night Kane and D-Bry were at each other’s throats, Rhodes and Sandow scored wins over them both in singles matches, adding them in to the mix. Kane and D-Bry used Rhodes and Sandow to join forces in the main event to face them in a tag match. There are teams left, right and centre wanting the tag titles whereas in the past few years there’s barley been two teams going for the tag team gold. What they have done with the tag team division is brilliant, they’ve not only made it relevant but with Kane and Bryan leading the way they’ve boosted it up in to the main event too. I just hope that they keep on pushing it like they have been and not lose interest because right now WWE are taking big steps in the right direction as far as the tag team division go.

In other news Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal have formed a stable, apparently they’re calling themselves Encore. It does seem kind of random, especially since Drew, as a face, fought Mahal last week on SuperStars but hey, if it means getting some new blood something decent I’m all for it. Slater has been really entertaining for the past few months and he’s one of those guys you just love to see take a kicking. Jinder has a good look about him, as well as a gimmick that draws heat, he just needs to improve in the ring. Drew I’ve always been a fan of, even when he was Drew Galloway, what they’ve done to him is a travesty in my book. However if this is getting him back on TV he’ll hopefully get some more wins under his belt and get back up the card where he belongs. Booked correctly they could make an impact on the WWE roster, they’ve started with Brodus Clay who has barley lost a match, hopefully this leads to one of them scoring an upset win over Brodus and then a push. I just hope it’s not the case of teaming them just so Ryback can say “Feed Me Three” and kill all of them. Sure, have them feud with Ryback but don’t have Ryback kill them, hell have Drew be the first to beat Ryback. Why not? It’d boost Drew and Ryback wouldn’t lose anything whatsoever from losing a match, its win win. I think that’s just wishful thinking on my part though...

Random thoughts time!

Quite looking forward to WWE 13, glad they brought Create a Championship and Special Referee match back...

I’m finally giving in to the Twitter bug...

I’m tremendously addicted to my new iPhone, don’t know how I managed so long without one!...

Sick of anything reality TV related...

Going to the Raw taping in two months, really hope they have the No! Shirt on sale...

Well folks that’s it for this edition of A Bird’s Eye View. As always I hoped you enjoyed the read. Feel free to add me on Facebook, just search Glenn Bird, or follow me on Twitter @Glencyclopedia.

Hope y’all have a good week!

Sunday 23 September 2012

NJPW Dominion 2012 Review By Shaun Nichols

This was the big NJPW show from June which had Kazuchika Okada defending the IWGP Heavyweight title against Hiroshi Tanahashi as the main event.

Kota Ibushi, Kenny Omega & Daisuke Sasaki vs Prince Devitt, Kushida & Bushi

This really is the way that you should open up a major show, fans were very happy to see Devitt and Ibushi open proceedings. The Ibushi led team are all based in the DDT promotion though the match was wrestled in a babyface style with lots of clean breaks early on. Among the highlights were Team DDT doing a triple dive to the floor, Bushi doing a very cool plancha into a huracanrana on the floor and celebrated by taking off his second mask, he was wearing a third underneath. The New Japan guys also hit a triple plancha, Devitt hitting Omega with a mean looking double foot stomp but Sasaki managed to save him. Ibushi hit a Sky Twister on Bushi, Bushi responded with a 1 man Spanish Fly and again Team New Japan was thwarted when Sasaki saved. Ibushi took the win after hitting Bushi with a powerbomb. This was lots of fun and didn't outstay its welcome. A good start to the event. ***1/2

Tomohiro Ishii, Rocky Romero & Yoshi-Hashi vs Yuji Nagata, Wataru Inoue & Captain New Japan

Two things to note, Romero was wearing his outstanding fur coat which you may have seen if you follow PWG and secondly Captain New Japan's outfit looks like he bought a Mr America costume and dyed it yellow. This was a clash of a number of styles all wrapped into one, this started out with Nagata and Ishii working very stiff trading forearms & hard slaps which the fans reacted big to. Though it was the younger Inoue and Yoshi-Hashi that got most of the match and worked for the most part pretty well. Poor Captain kept getting ignored when tags were being made though he finally entered and hit a dropkick which surprised me, I thought Ishii would have killed him. Captain hits a Rock Bottom on Ishii, holds him as Nagata goes for a running kick. Nagata hits the Captain by mistake, Ishii with a clothesline and a brainbuster on the Captain and the heels win. Despite the match changing styles rapidly this was still enjoyable. ***

Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask vs Taichi & Taka Michinoku

This is for the vacant IWGP Jr Tag Titles after Davey Richards & Rocky Romero were stripped when Davey missed the big Wrestling Dontaku show. This had a long story of Taichi being obsessed in unmasking Liger and this continued throughout the match. Liger appeared here in his white icicle outfit which is pretty horrendous. Taka was awesome here and doesn't appear to aged in the last 10 years, his heel work was first class. Match started to break down when the heels threw Tiger Mask into the referee, Taichi continued to rip at Liger's mask which allowed Mr Thunder to give him the red mist and also to Taka for good measure. Liger had facepaint underneath the mask so his face couldn't be seen. He ran Taichi through a table, attempted to hit him with a spike and finally powerbombed him fully through the table. Taka got hit by a piece of table when he tried to save. Taichi was finally pinned with a Tiger Suplex by Tiger Mask. Not the best match technically but very enjoyable for what they did with the fans delighted that Liger had beaten the heels and won yet another title in his career. ***1/4

Shelton Benjamin & MVP vs Karl Anderson & Tama Tonga

Fans really reacted to Karl Anderson but not so much to the other three, I wonder how much Shelton enjoyed wrestling in front of such a large audience compared to his ROH run. MVP basically does the same routine that he did in the WWE right down to still using his Ballin Elbow. Tonga is quite the tribute act as well as the obvious Jimmy Snuka routine you also got nods to Ric Flair, Bruiser Brody and Mil Mascaras. End came when MVP took out Anderson with a plancha to the floor and banging his head on the rail when he landed. This allowed Benjamin to hit the Paydirt on Tonga for the clean pinfall. This was a perfectly fine midcard tag match. **3/4

Low-Ki vs Ryusuke Taguchi

This is for the IWGP Jr Title, Taguchi started quickly and hit a running dive on Ki within the first 60 seconds. He soon got caught in a tree of woe spot and sold that he had hurt his left knee. He did a good job of that, Ki then turns into a ruthless stalker constantly attacking the injured bodypart. He reminded me of Yul Bryner in the film Westworld at one point. Taguchi got the occasional comeback but Ki quickly retaliated. Fans started to believe they would see a title change when Taguchi kicked out of the Ki Krusher. Low-Ki used a sharpshooter that was very poorly executed and Taguchi made the ropes. Finish came when both men were battling on the top rope, once again Taguchi found himself in the tree of woe. Ki hit his Warriors Way stomp and retained. After the match Kota Ibushi came out to challenge for the title, Ibushi was a former champion who had to vacate the title due to injury. Ibushi issued his challenge in English, Ki accepted in Japanese, fans really popped for Ki accepting the challenge that way. A good but not great match. ***1/2

Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka vs Satoshi Kojima & Hiroshi Tenzan

This is for the IWGP Tag Team titles, fans badly want to see Kojima & Tenzan become new champions. The champs actually go into the crowd to attack the commentator. Challengers leave the ring to make the save and they continue to brawl, the referee makes his count they ignore him and match is declared a double count out in less than 3 minutes. Champions are delighted but their joy is short lived they are re-starting the match. More brawling and chair shots, things pick up when Kojima gets the hot tag. Challengers hit the Dudley Death Drop on both champs but they can't get the three count. The referee gets thrown down, more brawling and chair shots. New referee has seen enough and he throws the match out. Fans not happy with that call, when Kojima was on offence this was very good but a lot of it was average brawling. **1/2

Shinsuke Nakamura & Masato Tanaka vs Tetsuya Naito & Hiroshi Goto

This is a tag match featuring four genuine title challengers to the IWGP title. This was then as you would expect quite the batle, all four were given opportunities to shine. Naito for his size is really a very exciting talent. He's had two classic IWGP title matches against Tanahashi and Okada but as yet to break through. Goto was the I-C champion at this point, Nakamura has that ability to just drip charisma so the fans react to what he's doing. Finish comes with Tanaka hitting Naito with his Sliding D clothesline, Naito reverses a second attempt into a cradle where Nakamura kills him with a Boma Ye kneedrop out of nowhere. One more Sliding D this time in the form of an elbow from Tanaka is enough to pin Naito. This was a very good match. ****

Togi Makabe vs Minoru Suzuki

Your semi-final, they started out really stiff with slaps and hard chops quite similar to the Nagata & Ishii match from earlier on. Suzuki is frankly a terrifying heel. Suzuki gets an opportunity to work on Makabe's knee and legs and its good standard mat work with the fans willing Makabe to make his comeback. Suzuki gets a heel hook and Makabe refused to tap, Suzuki was urging the referee to stop the match as he continued to put more pressure on. Makabe finally made the ropes, the comeback was on. He hit a Death Valley Driver for a two count, Suzuki then went to the kicks. Finish once again was centred around a battle on the top rope which Makabe won, he hit two big kneedrops which knocked out Suzuki allowing him to the score the pin. A good match which was well worked. ***

Kazuchika Okada vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

This had the big match feel right from the start, it's almost impossible to believe that Okada did absolutely nothing when he was in TNA and yet he now is such a major star. Tanahashi dominated the early parts of the match and got to work attempting to weaken the left knee of Okada. The champion managed to lift Tanahashi onto to the top rope and the then dropkicked him to the floor, this apparently wasn't worth showing again. Okada starting to use kravat type holds to attack Tanahashi's neck, they are doing a great job of moving into the big moves and doing reversals which shows they are trying to build these matches into a great series where each man learns from previous matches. Tanahashi hooks a Texas Cloverleaf but Okada manages to escape. Tanahashi goes for High Flow but Okada rolls out of the way, Tanahashi reverses a tombstone piledriver into a dragon suplex. He hits a High Flow but to Okada's back, he turns him over but the second attempt only connects with Okada's knees. They again trade tombstone piledriver attempts which Tanahashi again gets the best of it, yet more awesome reversals before Tanahashi finally prevails with the sling blade followed by the High Flow. This was a fantastic main event. ****1/2
Overall this as to be one of the best wrestling cards anywhere in 2012. It always helps when you have a fantastic main event which sends the fans home happy. But this was a strong card from start to finish and there were 4 matches that was ***1/2 or better.

I cannot recommend this show enough, so seek out the tape traders and buy this ASAP.

Friday 21 September 2012

The Indy Corner T-Shirts Are Now Available

As you know, I along with my co-host Paul Kissock run The Indy Corner podcast which as you can guess focus' on the world of independent wrestling. We cover both the UK & US and we also have interviews with top stars & personalities on the indy scene. some of the names we have had that are more internationally known are Johnny Gargano, Davey Richards, Ricochet & Prince Devitt and from the UK scene we've had Noam Dar, Kris Travis, Jimmy Havoc and top UK referee Chris Roberts and we have also had on promoters, from PROGRESS Jim Smallman, from SouthSide Wrestling Entertainment Ben Auld & Andy Quildan of RevPro UK.

We strive to bring the listeners the best indy coverage and interviews and by purchasing an Indy Corner T-Shirt not only are you helping the running costs pof the podcast but you are getting the word out about us if you were to wear the shirt to a wrestling show etc.

Thanks for your support guys, it's gratefully appreciated.

Order your shirts here

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Thursday 20 September 2012

Buyer Beware on ROH iPPV - by Ari Berenstein

Ari Berenstein writes about ROH's response to Death Before Dishonor iPPV mistakes and why they no longer deserve the benefit of the doubt.

Some people may know that I used to write a column on called Column of Honor, which covered Ring of Honor for many years. That is probably not worth much to some, but I feel it necessary to state in advance because this isn’t just some capricious or an unwarranted attack coming from some source that doesn’t know a thing about the product. Though I covered ROH news and both praised and criticized shows when it was warranted, the bottom line is that I was at the heart a fan of the promotion and a customer.

While ROH has come under fire from many over the years, it has been especially difficult to be a fan of the promotion since ROH came under corporate ownership via Sinclair Broadcast Group. The promotion started to change, in some positive aspects but also in many negative ones. However, this letter is not about old ROH versus new ROH. It’s not about what I’m happy about in this new era versus what I am upset about, whether it be regarding booking or talent usage, production value or comparing quality of matches in the golden era of Punk, Danielson, Joe and others to what ROH presents now.

I am writing today specifically about ROH’s recent actions (or inactions) regarding the Death Before Dishonor X internet Pay Per View that was broadcast (to some but not to many others) on September 15th. 2012. As many now know, there was a problem with the feed and gaining access to the website in order to watch the stream. The problems prevented those who purchased the show from watching much of if not most of the first half of the show. It is also the latest in a steady stream of mishaps for ROH regarding their ability to provide a steady and reliable internet Pay Per View product in 2012.

It is an understatement to say simply that I am disappointed in how Ring of Honor, its officials and its staff have handled the problems during and after the Death Before Dishonor X. They believed nothing was wrong with the feed because it was all well and good on their end, but refused to believe the countless messages they received that night about how people were unable to see the stream. Then they doubled-down by stating the feed was working when many were posting images of the “stream unavailable” error message. Then ROH offered no solutions about how to fix the problem once they realized there was an issue.

It took them thirty-six hours to post an apology and an explanation about the errors that happened on Saturday night. Even then, I get the feeling that if it were not for people like me and others repeatedly mentioning through Facebook and Twitter posts that they hadn’t made a statement yet that they likely wouldn’t have done so at all, or at least taken even longer to do so.

Afterwards, ROH gave its customers only twenty-four hours to send in a request for a full refund. Thirty-six hours for an explanation, twenty-four hours for a refund request (otherwise customers will receive a DVD of the event). That is hardly a fair and customer-friendly amount of time to request the refund, and I’m sure ROH officials were counting on that lack of time to reduce the amount of money they would have to give back. Of course, the full show wasn’t even available for days after the show was completed due to more bush-league mistakes on their end. Yet, Smart Mark Video was able to put out THREE days’ worth of CHKARA shows that took place that weekend and make it available for purchase in the time it took for ROH to put up a complete (and yet still not error-free) viewing of their iPPV.

The final straw for me regarding ROH’s handling of the mistakes of this show was a recent blog by Patrick Edwards on the website (

The statements in this blog are the height of kayfabe column writing in an attempt to completely babyface the situation in ROHs favor. It spends the briefest minimum of time acknowledging there was a problem, states how everything was really great that night (when it clearly wasn’t), puts the blame on dirtsheets and rumor mill sites for “stirring the pot”, and then blithely promotes the ROH brand as awesome and the greatest thing since sliced bread number two before moving on to promoting the next iPPV. There are promises to deliver the goods with hyperbole and endless flowery language.

Mr. Edwards writes: "...albeit there being some issues at the start of the broadcast, everything came together quickly which resulted in an awesome night..."

I wouldn’t equate the up-to two hours of frustration of constantly hitting refresh on one’s computer as "everything came together quickly" or an “awesome night”. When someone buys an iPPV, there is an understanding that the service will be delivered. Yes, the technology perhaps isn’t quite perfect. That hasn’t stopped WWNLive and Go Fight Live from having almost error-free presentations in 2012. However, even with the knowledge that there may be some minor hiccups, but not to even have access to a working stream at the start of the show is a major problem and there is NO covering for it, despite Mr. Edwards’ attempt to do so.

Mr. Edwards continues: "I must admit that I'm very impressed at how ROH has made the bold choice to take their live stream iPPV events into their own producing it themselves at all costs in order to deliver a significantly better end product to the fans."

Again, I would not equate a "significantly better end product" with two-out-of-four presentations having major difficulties and causing ROH to give either refunds or freebies. Go Fight Live may have had issues with the Showdown in the Sun events, but the problems of the first night were due to poor planning and the second night was an act of god and poor weather. GFL had a fine presentation of the 10th Anniversary Show and a so-so presentation of Final Battle 2011 (the audio feed had some early issues that were resolved quickly and a few bush-league production gaffes, but at least the stream was available from beginning-to-end). All told, GFL & ROH have now had about an equal amount of bad experiences w/ ROH iPPV in 2012. This in other words, is not “significantly better”. It speaks to huge inadequacy issues that ROH cannot get this right on a consistent basis yet other promotions and smaller companies than them have done so and continue to do so.

Mr. Edwards states that "ROH remains committed to not let the fans down...will always do right by the fans as in this case by providing free copies of the 'Death Before Dishonor X' event DVD or the right to a full refund even though the majority of the show was perfectly streamed." There were still people complaining through the night about broken feeds. The stream was NOT working "perfectly" for a "majority" of the show. Half a show is decidedly not a majority.

Mr. Edwards then appeals for his readers to "turn the page and ignore negative columnists out there with an axe to grind that make their living by ‘eh hmm, slamming’ everything". Are those the same gossip pages ROH often needs to provide social media buzz and positive reviews for their DVDs, TV shows and iPPVs? Furthermore, I am hoping Mr. Edwards did not mean to insinuate that this group includes the people who were reporting the facts of the situation as it happened, the people who offered constructive criticism to ROH because they would like to see (as in actually able to see) the product when it's offered, or the customers who purchased the show and then had to take to social media to state what was happening with the show, since help was certainly not forthcoming from Ring of Honor’s official channels.

Taking a promotion to task is appropriate when the fault is on them, and the fault is certainly on Ring of Honor, Sinclair Broadcast Group and everyone who was in charge of working on providing the feed and presentation of the show that night. Repeatedly hammering it over and over is necessary because ROH and its staff refuse to accept the criticism. It isn't stirring the pot. It's making sure people in the right places get the message that what happened during Border Wars and Death Before Dishonor X is NOT ACCEPTABLE. Especially when instead of being humble and letting things fade away, they have a PR flack write a column about it pretending that everything is perfect, roses are in bloom and there are no clouds in this blue sky. We can read how everything is great, support ROH, and NOTHING will go wrong again, just like we promised you last time it went wrong and will do so again the next time it goes wrong.

How dishonorable can you get? How arrogant and stupid on the part of Mr. Edwards to write this article and for ROH’s web team to post this blog just days after the iPPV incident. It is insult to injury and rubbing salt in the wounds. Do they not get that those who were complaining the loudest were their own customers? Putting this message up just days after the iPPV problems only serves to further alienate and disillusion the fans who invested their time and their money into trying once again to watch a show and once again arrived at futile ends.

It is infuriating and upsetting to witness the lack of quality consumer service from ROH. There is no more faith in ROH to deliver upon what they promise for internet Pay Per View. How can there be? This is no longer a few minor setbacks. They don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt anymore. They don’t deserve patience, or idealist expectations that they will get it right the next time. They don’t deserve the blind and unwavering loyalty of the fans. They don’t deserve the money. Buyers Beware.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Have Recent Events Shown Wrestling To Be A Safe Business? By Robert Shade

We all know of the events surrounding Jerry Lawler in the WWE on the recent live RAW show, debates I guess will rage forever in terms of what the WWE should have done in terms of carrying on with the show or stopping it, taking Michael Cole off commentary etc etc, for what it is worth Jerry I am sure would have wished the show to continue so I believe that they did the right thing but that is not really what the body of this article is about.

There are two incidents which have occurred in world wrestling in the past week which I would like to discuss, one is Jerry and the other surrounds a young UK wrestler who got injured on his competitive debut in a small UK indy promotion.

How do these relate? Well in their different ways they relate pretty directly as I believe that in both instances the promoters were irresponsible and their actions could have led directly to serious injury or in Jerry’s case something worse.

If we look at Jerry first, but we cry the WWE were heroes they had a doctor there who reacted instantly, they did the right thing in getting him backstage so that they had space to treat him properly, they had him whisked off in an ambulance and I am sure that they have not been tight with helping to fund Jerry’s care in hospital as of course there is no NHS system in the states.

But let us examine the situation more closely, let us look at the events building up to Jerry’s collapse, let us look at the cold hard facts of the situation, Jerry Lawler is 62 years old, yes a fantastically fit and athletic guy for his age but his body is that old, Jerry had wrestled on an indy show on the weekend prior to RAW, he had also flown for many hours in the previous seven days, why do I mention the previous seven days, well because when Michael Cole mentioned that Jerry had chest pains on the previous RAW I understand that was not a work, Jerry had also complained of chest pains to his close friends and family in the previous week.
Despite this all being information that the WWE were aware of they still put him into a match on RAW and also of course had him commentating both before and after his match.


I have no doubt that Jerry himself insisted upon wrestling, rumours are already coming out of the hospital that Jerry’s main questioning of the doctors is when can he wrestle again, it is in his blood, it is his life and I understand that BUT where was the responsibility and maturity of the world’s leading wrestling promotion in this instance, what took precedence? Jerry’s wellbeing or the continuation of a storyline along with the always popular pop of Jerry in the ring?

This raises some questions for me:-

- Do WWE have medical examinations for wrestlers prior to shows or should they?

- Should there be either a limit upon the age someone can wrestle at or if not more stringent checks as even in the fittest you are at more risk of injury/illness at 62 than you are at 22.

- What measures (if any) did WWE take when they were aware of Jerry’s chest pains before they put him onto the place to Montreal let alone into a match once there?

- If the worse had of happened and I appreciate we shall not know the answer to this thankfully what would the WWE’s approach have been? Would they have taken any form of responsibility or done their best to absolve themselves of having anything to do with his collapse?

- What would the damage to wrestling have been worldwide if Jerry had passed away? I realise that by far the bigger issue would have been the loss to Jerry’s family and friends but it is an important secondary issue.

I do not give a tosh about Linda’s political campaign and the negative effect events would have had upon that but I DO CARE about wrestling worldwide and the fallout from this which would have been created.

Moving on…..

In the UK last Friday a young wrestler who to be fair to him and his family I shall not name had his first ever competitive match, during that match he fell badly after a botched move and ended up being taken to hospital, the most up to date news I have is that he will recover which is obviously great but he was wrestling for as I understand it a relatively new small indy promotion and in their wisdom they put this guy into the ring for a match after he had received only approximately 25 hours of training.

I do not wrestle so I have had to rely upon others to inform me that 25 hours is absolutely nowhere near enough to be anywhere near a match even for the most advanced of students, this came to me from one of the leading wrestling schools with a long held reputation and they were adamant that none of their students would ever be put into this situation, in fairness they absolved the wrestling school that this young guy attends from blame and put it squarely at the feet of the promoter who I understand has apologised for his actions, basically he approached this kid with the offer of a match on a show and being young and excitable he naturally and understandably accepted and got injured as a process.

Now credit when it is due, the promoter did have in place St Johns people who reacted quickly BUT again totally irresponsible actions by someone looking to not necessarily make a quick buck but certainly trying to avoid being out of pocket and putting on enough matches to make a show put a young guy’s whole career in jeopardy before it even should have commenced, in theory it could have been even worse than that.

I have been fortunate enough to never have been to a poor UK Indy show, people keep on telling me that plenty of them do exist and it is nearly always because of the promoter when it is a poor show, now as I’ve written previously I have total admiration and respect for the guys who put themselves on the line to put on shows for us but when a promoter pulls a stunt like this in my opinion no matter what apologies come out of it it has to be debatable as to whether or not he should ever promote another show in the future.

This leads us onto a big question.

Should there be formal and legal legislation in place to govern UK wrestling or alternatively should there be a form of a licensing system ran by a UK wrestling governing body who run checks on promoters such as previous shows, what H&S issues did they deal with, what safeguards do they have in place etc and if satisfactory when advertising a show they are allowed to put a recognisable logo on their various adverts evidencing the fact that they are cleared as a ‘safe’ show, if not then they are not allowed to insert such a logo and at least then wrestlers can check for themselves if is a new promoter to them or even set up something on a website where wrestlers can check to see if the promoter is cleared or not simply by typing the promoters name into a search box on the appropriately set up website?

I know from speaking to people within the UK indy scene that amongst some of the reputable promoters there is an appetite for the legal approach, when I voiced concern that it would all be very costly and would probably put most indy promotions out of business instantly the response was yes but it would leave 10 - 12 highly reputable promotions across the UK where wrestlers and fans know that they are absolutely 100% safe in terms of the promoter being responsible.

I realise that some of this is dry stuff but you know it will only take one incident like the one on Friday resulting in something more serious and before you know it legal action is happening from the injured wrestler or someone on there behalf and before you know it the whole indy scene is shut down whilst they await the outcome just in case it could affect them OR even worse someone will be permanently disabled or even worse due to an irresponsible promoter so it matters!

The talent as in the wrestlers need and deserve protection, I have a 13 year old son who soon will be having his first ever time in the ring at an excellent wrestling school local to us, I trust the people who run that school to not only look after my son when he is with them and training but also in the future if he ever does progress down the line and reaches the point of trying to work on promotions as they have the right connections and they are absolutely responsible in everything they do but I am helped by knowing some of the people there and knowing of others there, not every parent is in the same fortunate situation.

Whilst the two discussed incidents are as different as they could be from each other in so many ways they are both equally important and in some ways very closely related, at totally different scales we have the largest promotion in the world and a new tiny UK promotion making the same mistakes borne from irresponsibility to their talent which in both cases caused significant distress and in both cases could have been far worse.

Where do we go from here?

I have some ideas but would love to hear those of yourselves.

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