Saturday 26 January 2013

Royal Rumble 2013 Preview By Azan Saigol

The Royal Rumble takes place this Sunday. The Rock makes his return this Sunday; Cm Punk reigns champion for 434 days this Sunday. 30 men fight for one dream this Sunday. After all the facts have been laid out, the real question is who will come out on top this Sunday?

The Royal Rumble is a Pay Per View that fans looks forward to each year, simply because it's exciting, different and most importantly sets us up for the road to WrestleMania. This year we can expect a lot of fun, excitement, surprises and drama. What we all expect is that John Cena will win the Rumble. This will NOT happen. I personally believe that Cena will not walk out the winner of the 2013 Royal Rumble. I believe the winner should be someone who is upcoming and actually needs it. (We all know Cena will end up in the main event of WrestleMania regardless of winning the Rumble.) Now you may ask who will win it? There are four other possible winners. Orton, Ryback, Ziggler or Sheamus.

Moving away from the Rumble match, we have Team Hell No vs. Rhodes Scholars. Simply I believe the tag titles will change hands. However the titles will not change hands via a clean win, The Shield will have something to do with costing Kane and Bryan the titles. This sets up a perfect WrestleMania contest between Ryback, Team Hell No and The Shield.

The match that I have waited 10 years for is just a few days away. Finally The Rock will win the WWE Championship after 10 years 6 months and 8 days. The only thing stopping him is the most dominant WWE champion in 15 years, for 434 days the Best In The World Cm Punk. My honest opinion is The Rock winning. However I prefer Rock winning the title at the Elimination Chamber, just to prove that Punk is dominant. Again Punk won't win straight up.

The only way Punk can retain the title is:

A. Lesnar returns and costs Rocky the match (this is a long shot)

B. Since The Shield cannot interfere in the match, maybe new members could come and attack Rock (similar to Barrett vs. Cena. Husky and Michael Mcgilicuty made their respective debuts and cost Cena the match. )

C. Brad Maddox. This man is the wild card in this contest. I'm sure Maddox will interfere somehow. My prediction is that he might run in whilst the referee is knocked out and attempt to count The Rock's shoulders down for a pin fall.

The Royal Rumble is always exciting and doesn't forget to make fans jump out of their seats or scream "holy shit". This year will be no different! The road to WrestleMania begins on Sunday! Time to kick back, relax and enjoy the best 3 months of wrestling in the year!

Friday 25 January 2013

With El Generico To WWE, Who's Next? By Stu Rodgers

Listening to the Still Real To Us podcast recently I heard the guys chatting about El Generico signing with the WWE and who they think will be signed up next if any are. Generico is one of a list of guys that have been plucked from the indies in recent years such as CM Punk (OK, a good few years ago now), Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan), Tyler Black (Seth Rollins), Jon Moxley (Dean Ambrose) and more recently PAC (Adrian Neville).

Anyone who listened to me on The Indy Corner podcast over the last few months knows although I am an 'indy guy' when the wrestlers get the chance to go to the big time like WWE or even TNA then I always wish them well despite being annoyed that we will lose them off the indy scene. I wish them well because wrestlers in general have a long career so for them to get to WWE and make some big bucks so maybe they can retire with some decent money while hopefully still being healthy to enjoy their lives then I don't begrudge these guys doing this at all.

In saying that, there are very few if any wrestlers who break in who don't dream of going to the WWE and no matter how popular they are on the indies and Punk & Danielson were just that, the WWE I guess would of always been the pinnacle they were aiming for.

Now, thinking about who maybe next even though they have just reformed their tag team, The American Wolves, both Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards could be a good fit for the WWE if that's the route they want to take. Another one I feel the WWE could be having a look at is Ricochet, like PAC, this guy is phenomenal and if they do give the cruiserweight/junior heavyweight division a rebirth then Ricochet would be a perfect fit because the guy is amazing. Johnny Gargano is another guy who would be a great addition to any type of cruiserweight division. I've seen the guy on DVD loads of times in promotions like PWG, Dragon Gate USA and CHIKARA but when I got to see him live for the one and only time at Fight Club: PRO (vs Jonathon Gresham) in 2012 I realised then just how awesome of a wrestler he was.

In a different style, Kevin Steen is often mentioned of maybe going to the WWE, he's not what was 'typical' WWE, he's not like PAC or Ricochet, he's not even like Punk, Black or Danielson but he does offer something unique because, he doesn't the look the part so much but man, can the guy wrestle or what? Steen has been over the years involved in some great matches both for ROH & PWG and he can offer a different aspect to what the WWE has now and I wrote above how the WWE is probably the pinnacle of most wrestlers careers Steen makes no bones about it, he is a massive WWE fan and would love to work there.

2013 is only just over 3 weeks in so we'll just have to see who if any get the chance to work in the WWE.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

TNA British Bootcamp Series Review By Shaun Nichols

I had doubts how successful and entertaining TNA's British Bootcamp would be considering there were only 3 acts competing for a TNA contract, those being Marty Scurll, Rockstar Spud and the Blossom Twins. I found it hard to believe that a reality TV show would work with only three acts over the course of a TV series. However I after watching the full series, which compromised of six episodes each running for 20 minutes I have to say that I found the show to be an entertaining and deserving the positive reviews it has received. Here's an episode guide.

Episode One

This is where Dixie Carter announced the competitors at a TNA fan event, we get packages on each of the three acts and a understanding of why they feel they should win. At the event Scurll get's the biggest reaction but that's to be expected since he's the babyface here. Spud insults him by reminding the fans that Scurll appeared on ITV's 'Take Me Out' dating show and that shows that he is a sad man. Scurll has to resort to slating Spud for wearing sunglasses indoors, the Blossom Twins basically look on while this is happening. You can tell they are taking this seriously as Rockstar Spud puts his chewing gum on Marty's trousers, oh the comedy.

To celebrate the opportunity all four decide to decide to hit the town. Marty and Spud try and fail to sort out their differences, the Blossom Twins attempt to mediate and aren't thanked for it. In a really sad low, Marty and Spud actually have a major row over the number of twitter followers they have in the limo. Finally Spud heads off into the night on his own, and according to TV footage sits in a London pub until 2am where there are no other patrons, they aren't playing music and he has bought his own bottle of Jagermeister. Suspicious? No it's a wrestling version of TOWIE obviously. Interestingly when showed clips of our wrestlers, the Blossom Twins footage came from OVW, could this be a hint?

Episode Two

At the end of the first episode it was revealed that 'Rollerball' Marc Rocco was going to be the trainer. After his exploits in Episode 1, Spud ended up feeling a little bit tender and was soon throwing up in the car park. Rocco was suitably not impressed, back to the training and the Blossom Twins were up first, they were pretty good not fantastic but absolutely fine. One of them hurt their ankle on a dropkick and gutted it through. Next up were the boys and here Marty Scurll used his superior wrestling ability to make Spud look a fool, annoyed Spud heads for the exit. Rocco brought him back and beat him up in the ring, Spud refeused to give in but looked awfully out of his depth.

At this point, Mr Rocco said that all four had shown enough ability that they could proceed through to the next part of the process. I can't possibly imagine anyone thought they would be any other outcome. Arguably the most pointless tease in TV history. Onto the publicity interviews in the UK, not a lot of really interesting comments, all though Marty Scurll saying he 'would do Dixie' and was thankfully giving a dressing down for such a ridiculous and stupid comment.

Off to appearing at a PROGRESS show where Jeremy Borash would be judging how they cut a promo in front of a live audience. Rockstar Spud did a nice job and helped out the Blossom Twins when he called them ring rats. This allowed them to state they could kick his ass, much to the fans delight. Finally we had Marty Scurll, as he's booked as the promotion's top babyface, he unsurprisingly won the fans votes. Spud however clearly beat him fair and square.

Episode Three

It's off to the States and making an appearance at TNA's biggest show of the year, Bound For Glory. Spud has a bit of nightmare with his luggage which is really quite amusing. At TNA, Spud reveals to Christy Hemme that Mary Scurll jerks off over her picture. I'm sure she really appreciated that. They then posed for with fans at a fanfest, well the Blossom Twins did there was not a lot of interest in either Marty or Spud.

They then attended the TNA Hall of Fame ceremony where they were seated with Kurt Angle who was pleasantly surprised about our UK competitors and gave some gentle teasing to Spud about his jacket. Later they met Dixie, Hulk and Sting who said the key to be successful was longevity. I thought the key was making people still believe that your important because you were a star in the 1990's. All four of our heroes were very respectful which was nice to see.

Finally they were told that they would be shown sitting in the front row at the Bound For Glory PPV for about 30 seconds, again it appeared to Rockstar Spud who made the most of this opportunity.

Episode Four

We start with Dixie sending the Blossom Twins off to a beauty salon, not sure what means. Both Hannah and Holly both seem happy with the results and the boys are complimentary when they pick them up. Wouldn't trust what Marty says though as he's been after trying to get off with Hannah from episode one.

They had a meeting with Dixie about their cameo at the PPV, Marty is told off about chewing gum. He clearly infringed on the gimmick of Mr Anderson, Spud got most praise although Dixie wasn't thrilled with his nod to Gene Simmons. They then went out drinking with the James Storm and to a bar showing TNA's Bound For Glory so they could relive Storm's win over Bobby Roode. All four went terribly over the top considering they actually saw this live. Storm was very nice to all of them, he got into a drinking contest with Spud which seemed to involve Jack Daniels. Spud got really wasted and started to strip, this got him kicked out.

Off to Ohio Valley Wrestling where Al Snow enjoyed giving them a bit of a hard time, he also points out that Marty Scurll can't even hit the ropes correctly. Don't give up Marty it didn't stop Kelly Kelly having a career in the WWE.

Episode Five

We get to witness a couple of tag team matches, first up is Spud & Scurll teaming against a pair of talent enhancers. Scurll decides he's going to use a new finisher and asks Spud if he can debut it here. Spud agrees, this match really took me back to the days of WWF Challenge circa 1991 although I'd let you decide if that is a good thing.

Spud swerves Marty and doesn't tag him in and instead giving him the finger. This apparently was the receipt for Marty making him look bad in front of Marc Rocco in episode two. This leads Al Snow and Doug Williams to wonder if Spud could be trusted in the ring or if he would go into business for himself.

Obviously no such problems for the Blossom Twins, they again have a decent showing. Well that's compared to some of the current TNA Knockouts, they are hardly mid 1990's All Japan Women standard but you can't have everything. They got good reviews from both Snow & Williams. Just like in the second episode we then had another pointless assessment to see if they would go forward to the last challenge on the final show. We know they are all going to make it, I really do not like these teases because no-one buys it all.

Finally Dixie announces who they will be facing in the Impact Zone in our final episode, the Blossom Twins vs. Gail Kim & Madison Rayne while Marty Scurll will go one-on-one with Rockstar Spud. Needless to say the boys are not happy.

Episode Six

We start by a ridiculous Hulk Hogan promo, did you know he once pressed a 700lb giant? Up first is Scurll vs. Spud, Spud does his usual entrance and as a result looks really good. Scurll comes out looking awfully excited, the match for what we see looks pretty good with Jeremy Borash and Magnus on commentary. We also get comments from Hulk Hogan which are typically useless, apparently a lot of the TNA roster can learn a lot from Marty and Spud. Not sure about that.
Scurll gets the win and again jumps around like a 8 year old who has had too much sugar. Backstage both men get praised by both Hogan & Dixie. Up next is the girls, the match was severely edited and because they were going against TNA stars they obviously lost. Again though they were greeted with kind words as they headed backstage.

Now it's decision time, again Hulk Hogan and Dixie Carter say that they are all a credit to wrestling but they can only be one winner. The winner is Rockstar Spud and to be honest he is definitely a deserving winner. Spud was overcome with emotion and said it proved he wasn't a failure and that wrestling wasn't just a dream. Marty and the Blossom Twins took the news pretty well.
Dixie though wasn't finished, she said they would all be a part of TNA's UK Tour and they were an opportunity for Marty Scurll and the Blossom Twins to become a part of TNA.

Overall it was a pretty fun ride and was better than I expected it to be, I was happy that Rockstar Spud was the winner. To me he was the standout competitor and if Bully Ray compared him to his 'Bastard Son' who am I to disagree. Saying that, I remember having a photo taken with Spud at ROH's first UK show back in 2006 and then a friend asking 'Who's your girlfriend?' after seeing it. It's amazing what can happen over the years.

Below, here is the final episode in full.

Tuesday 22 January 2013

WLH Book Review By Jimmy Wheeler - Terry Funk: More Than Just Hardcore

By Terry Funk, with Scott E. Williams, published by Sports Publishing L.L.C. released 2005, 242 Pages, Hardback.

Terry Funk defines hardcore from his work ethic to his later style of wrestling. He has wrestled in six separate decades for more than just a handful of promotions, everywhere from All Japan Pro-Wrestling (AJPW) to Xtreme Pro-wrestling (XPW), and of course the WWE (Formerly World Wrestling Federation). He held the National Wrestling Alliance's (NWA) World Heavyweight Championship for over a year, along with various other titles in the aforementioned promotions as well as Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and United States Wrestling Association (USWA) just to name a few. He is a member of all the major Hall of Fames within professional wrestling the Wrestling Newsletter Observer, NWA, WWE, Stampede Wrestling, St. Louis Wrestling, Professional Wrestling, WCW, Hardcore, and finally the George Tragos/Lous Thesz Hall of Fame.

More Than Just Hardcore reads like a story at time more so than an autobiography. Scott E. Williams makes sure from the outset to use Terry Funk's words to paint a picture to fully set the scene for this, in a world when the word legendary is thrown a round an awful lot, truly legendary wrestlers life. Giving a glimpse of what it was like to grow up the son of a professional wrestler and promoter during the 50's travelling around the country before finally settling in Texas. He shares story of both, his father, Dory Funk Sr's outings in the ring but also, his brother, Dory Funk Jr's triumphs in the business. The story is eventually swung around showing how all the memories captured in the opening of the book helped pave the way for Terry breaking away from college football to become a wrestler. Funk shows no shame in admitting a lot of his way was already paved for him due to being the son of an already established name. He would still learn by travelling around the country though before going back home to help prefer for Dory Funk Jr's NWA world heavyweight championship run. The book flows steadily on giving insight to how Terry's run with the same heavyweight title his brother had previously held, explaining why holding the belt was only a short term plan in his mind. Shohei 'Giant' Baba's promotion AJPW is prominent through-out this portion of the tale, Terry goes into detail with what it was like wrestling in Japan along with why he feels himself and Dory Jr really helped Baba stay in the fight with New Japan Pro-wrestling (NJPW) at a sacrifice to himself. Naturally Funk addresses his major feuds such as with Jerry 'The King' Lawler in the Memphis based territory and possibly his most famous feud with Ric Flair from NWA-WCW in the late 1980's culminating with the now famous I Quit match during the Great American Bash. Terry Funk gives his reasoning for many of his retirements some of which he feels were more misunderstandings rather than planned events. Terry could not possibly write an autobiography without talking of ECW, although he does not really go into great detail of his time there he does provide a little insight, during the same portion speaking of the now infamous King of the Death Match tournament during the mid 1990's against Cactus Jack (Mick Foley). Funk starts to wind up discussing his short tenure in WWE during the late 1990's and various independent promotions that he took part in after his final stint in a main stream promotion.

This autobiography is an interesting read full of analytical insights into what makes the wrestling business work from promoting/booking matches, to actually working the match and delivering promo's. A real whose who of stars in the catch-as-catch-can based industry including Abdullah 'The Butcher', 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, Dick Afflis, The Blackjacks, 'Bruiser' Brody, the Dibiase family, the Hart family, Dusty Rhodes, Fritz Von Erich, Baron Von Rashcke, Sabu, Shane Douglas, and Mitsuharu Misawa just to name a few. It's a though Terry Funk could have composed a book twice as long, but he managed to capture the majority of key moments in his career and complete an entertaining read. A book that any age wrestling fan could enjoy and most probably learn something from.

4/5 Stars

By Jimmy Wheeler.

Sunday 20 January 2013

PROGRESS Chapter 5 ‘For Those About To Fight, We Salute You’ (27/01/13) Preview By Stu Rodgers

The first PROGRESS wrestling show of 2013 takes place next Sunday once back at The Garage in Islington after Chapter 4 was in Tuffnell Park.

On the card we have the core roster back and a couple of debuts so let’s get on with the preview.

Making his PROGRESS debut will be Jonathan Windsor going against ‘Wild Boar’ Mike Hitchman. Now, I have to admit off the bat, I have not seen Windsor wrestle live only via YouTube but he seems very capable and to be honest against Hitchman, he’ll need to be. ‘Wild Boar’ is no stranger to PROGRESS as he wrestled back at Chapter 2 against Mark Andrews and he is an excellent worker in the mould of former ECW champion Rhyno. I hope Hitchman doesn’t take that comparison as a knock because I really rate him as a worker. After the little bit of stuff I’ve seen of Windsor and all the stuff I’ve seen of Hitchman I expect this to be a good match.

Making another appearance at PROGRESS will be the ‘Heavyweight House of Pain’ STIXX he’ll be facing off against a big favourite of the PROGRESS crowd and that is Danny Garnell. Danny missed Chapter 4 dues to suffering a broken leg at the hands of The London Riots during a match where he teamed with ‘Dazzling’ Darrell Allen against The Riots at Chapter 3. Both these guys are big but this won’t be a ‘big man’ match because both are very capable wrestlers and as I said, Danny is well-liked by the PROGRESS crowd and STIXX, well, he’s not liked much at all so this will play a big part in the whole atmosphere of the match.

RJ Singh has issued an open challenge for anyone to face him at Chapter 5, he has promised that there will be no interference from his entourage. Singh has wrestled at 3 previous PROGRESS shows, losing once and winning twice. I really have no idea who it is that will face Singh so like all the other fans in attendance I look forward to see who accepts his challenge.

Now we are at the top end of the card, former champion the ‘Showstealer’ Nathan Cruz will face another wrestler making his PROGRESS debut – Rampage Brown. I have seen Brown on DVD a few times but never live so this will be a first for me. During his interview with The Indy Corner podcast, Cruz did speak of Brown and I think he does respect him but respect goes out the window in this one because Cruz not only wants to steal the show, he wants to get back on the winning trail so he can try and secure a rematch for the PROGRESS championship that he won back at CHAPTER 1 and lost at CHAPTER 4 to El Ligero. Now although Cruz hasn’t got his rematch at Chapter 5, PROGRESS owners Jim Smallman & Jon Briley have allowed him to pick the opponent for Ligero at Chapter 5 which I’ll come to in a moment.

The match I think I’m looking forward to the most is this next one; the so far undefeated London Riots will face one of the UK’s premier tag teams – The Leaders (Marty Scurll & Zack Sabre Jr.) These two have been a team for some years now and have wrestled together all over Europe against some great teams and at Chapter 1 in the Championship tournament; they faced each other in what was easily one of the best matches to take place in the UK in 2012. However, as good as The Leaders are, The London Riots are on a roll in PROGRESS and are so far undefeated after beating The Velocity Vipers (breaking Alex Esmail’s leg), The Bastard Squad of Danny Garnell & Darrell Allen (breaking Garnell’s leg) and at Chapter 4 they beat another top team from the UK, The Hunter Brothers. This I think will be the toughest test for The Riots and I really couldn’t pick a winner but as I said earlier, it’s the match I’m most looking forward to.

The final match of the night will be PROGRESS champion El Ligero squaring off against the man chosen by Nathan Cruz....’The Bastard’ Dave Mastiff. Now the two are no strangers to each other and I’m expecting this to be a good one. Anyone who has seen these two before will know, style wise they are polar opposites which I hope makes for a unique type of match. For a first defence of his championship, this is going to be really tough for Ligero but one I’m sure he’ll face head on next Sunday at Chapter 5.

I think there might be a minimal amount of standing tickets left for the show so head over to to see if you can get hold of one because if you have never been to a PROGRESS show before you’ll really enjoy this one.

The Biased Royal Rumble Article By Derrie Catton

When it comes to January, every wrestling fan and their dog are required to discuss the Royal Rumble. The unique match format comes once a year like Christmas and has injected everyone with their own set of favourite memories which we are compelled to share, just as this article intends to. By no means is this a comprehensive look – I have not seen every 30 man showdown, nor do I intend to, but I am happy to take on your recommendations for outstanding happenings just as I hope you will enjoy mine.

WWE lore credits Pat Patterson as being the brain-parent of the Royal Rumble idea. Patterson, known as the first ever Intercontinental Champion, one of Mr McMahon’s stooges, or a guy you see backstage from time to time (depending on how old you are), is assumed to have been influenced by the Cow Palace Battle Royal, an annual event from the 1970s which he himself won twice. While the Battle Royal match format featured the over the top rope elimination motif, it was Patterson who developed the idea of rolling entrances for competitors as the match progressed, an element which arguably supplies half the fun of the Royal Rumble as it creates a great opportunity for surprise. An important element with the match holds from its predecessor are the idiosyncrasies of eliminations – Over the top rope with both feet touching the floor. It has allowed for many moment of significance playing off the legislation and is sure to offer many more. Since the sixth Rumble in 1993 it has been tradition to grant a title match at Wrestlemania, a tradition stemming from the 1992 Royal Rumble being for the title itself. This added feature gives the Royal Rumble the prestige it holds today, for Rumble winners are commonly destined to be associated with the main event. It is the refinement of this unique match type that makes it a wrestling highlight, one which has endured for over twenty-five years.

So now that we know a little about the match, let me announce that I am entering this year’s Royal Rumble. As we make an approach to the event, you’ll find everyone throwing their name into the Rumble hat. From the Randy Ortons to the JTGs, it’s the generic statement to make on the road to Wrestlemania. The best moments however stem from originality, a pulse of creativity, a moment that makes you perk up and realise you’re watching something different. I dare to say none did it better than The Rock (few rarely do) when it came to Royal Rumble promos. That is why I first offer up The Rock at his best, with his Rumble bid in 2002.

That’s just foreplay though, and ironically enough The Rock didn’t even enter that years Rumble, but his sentiment is a memorable one regardless. True Royal Rumble memories are created on the night of the event however, and a man who carved out many moments of history was The Texas Rattlesnake.

Stone Cold Steve Austin’s name is synonymous with the Royal Rumble making it no coincidence that when it comes to WWE games, winning the Rumble match is usually how you unlock the three one six. In 1997, Austin threw his first Rumble curveball after being eliminated unbeknownst to the referee and then climbing back into the ring to win it, rounding out an outstanding performance from a less injury ridden superstar who was arguable at his best. In the 1999 Royal Rumble, it was nice of 28 other superstars to turn up but it was all about the Austin/McMahon rivalry which was played out in classic Attitude Era fashion and eventually saw Stone Cold go the distance from number one entrant to last person eliminated, courtesy of the chairman of the board. Austin would also make his name as the only three time winner of The Rumble, when he became the last man standing in the 2001 Rumble. It is however the 1998 Rumble that holds my interest more than any other. Austin entered as a past winner and a marked man, and as a wrestler often linked to overcoming the odds when the deck was stacked, he was sure to offer another of his famous moments.

As mentioned, Steve Austin’s greatest moments came from his confrontations with adversity and his ability to overcome when such an action seemed impossible. When ten superstars stop and set their sights on the entrance ramp ready to knock off the Rattlesnake, it’s a joy for any wrestling fan to see Austin get the better off them and emerge triumphant.

When it comes to Rumble performances, there is another man worth honourable mention. Already boasting back to back Rumble victories and a record for the most eliminations through the years, Shawn Michaels is another man known for his participation in the match. It was to be his 2010 entry though that would hold more weight than any other participant in Rumble history. The Heartbreak Kid was set for more than a title shot on the grandest stage of them all, he was set for perhaps the most important opportunity in professional wrestling, a chance to end the Undertaker’s unbeaten Wrestlemania streak. His wish and the audiences craving for a second Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker match managed to make the showstopper’s appearance transcend the Royal Rumble, and offer an emotional attachment that Shawn Michael’s is famous for evoking. Evoke he did.

For my tastes, Michaels offers up the most significant Rumble elimination of all time as he carried an entire audiences dream over the top rope with him. By hook and by crook, Shawn would eventually reach his dream match at Wrestlemania but his incredible journey holds an exclamation point thanks to his Royal Rumble performance.

And there you have it, three of my best memories associated with the Royal Rumble. But there’s a plethora of moments left to indulge in. Sheamus and Jericho still managed to bring originality to match in 2012 with their last few minutes before the end. Then there’s cheap popping legend returns scattered throughout history. Classic happenings go all the way back to 1988 when a phenomenally popular Jim Duggan won the first Royal Rumble, and let us not forget that there are many more to come. As we approach the 2013 Rumble, imagine if The Rock lost his title match then entered and won the Rumble to get his second chance. Imagine if a title holder entered the Rumble and set his sights on unifying the titles. Imagine if the Rumble were not for a shot at the title, but at The Undertaker’s streak. Just a few ideas and who knows what else could develop in the WWE’s mind. All we now is that they have a fine match in which to execute their plans.

My tastes linger around 90s Attitude and late 00s PG, but I’m now set to watch the 1992 Royal Rumble on what seems like unanimous recommendation. After indulging in my Rumble moments, I ask you to further educate me and share those moments you favour from the 30 man battle. Share in the comments or get it straight to me @DerrieCatton on Twitter. I look forward to hearing about what memories have stuck with you. Now as I take my leave, let me close on another Royal Rumble favourite and something that is a credit to Jerry Lawler. Remember, it takes a King…

PCW More Bang For Your Buck (18/01/13) Review By Aiden O'Brien

My first live show of the year was also Preston City Wrestling's first show of 2013 as on January 18th they presented "More Bang For Your Buck". Coincidentally I closed out 2012 by attending PCW's supershow "Festive Fury" in which PCW presented their first sold out show as 800 fans paid to see names like Eugene, Chris Masters and in his first UK Indy appearance, John Morrison, so I began 2013 with yet another PCW show. The show was entitled "More Bang For Your Buck" as it featured the former TNA and ROH and current PWG, DG USA/EVOLVE tag team, The Young Bucks. This was only their third time in England in 3+ years, and their first time in the north of England. Also it was only six days removed from The Young Bucks reclaiming the PWG Tag Team Title's in DDT4 2013, although unfortunately they didn't bring the belts with them. The main event was all about the PCW Heavyweight Championship as Kris Travis, the third Champion, defended against the original and longest reigning Champion, T-Bone, in a first time ever done in the UK stipulation match of a Bullrope match. The story of the match was told excellently in this video package below:

PCW really have hit oil with their venue, the Lava Ignite nightclub as it's located directly in the city center meaning it's easy for the traveling fan to get there with the train and bus station not far away and near-by parking for the drivers. As mentioned the maximum capacity for the venue is 800, and the venue itself is gorgeous. A large spacious hall with the ring directly in the middle beneath a stunning chandelier and with this being a nightclub there are several large video screens dotted around the venue. You have to walk down some steps to enter the hall and on the other side of the wall the entrance way for the wrestlers also consists of them descending down steps. With this being a nightclub drinks, and cheap drinks at that, are a focus. So this has really helped create a PCW community having the venue be so accessible and also the social aspect of having a few drinks at the wrestling has resulted in a strong and loyal PCW audience who are very vocal. Another aspect that has made PCW such a success of the past year and a half is the PCW's promoter's, Steven Fludder, tireless efforts to promote his promotion, shows and talents through the use of the internet and social media, postering and flyering, advertisements in local newspapers and radio, you'd be hard pressed to be a local wrestling fan and not know of PCW's existence.

Kicking off the show and my first live match of 2013 was The Young Bucks vs Project Lucha, the tandem of El Ligero and Martin Kirby. I can't really think of a better way to begin the year with a match of this caliber as you had The Young Bucks, one of the best tag teams in the world right now, against two guys who have spent six years wrestling one another and I'm sure Ligero had a hand in training Kirby. I wasn't expecting to see this as the opening match so was pleasantly surprised with it's positioning as for fast-paced high-action openers this ticked all the boxes and this was probably my MOTN. Things started gentle with a little comedy as the crowd chose between chanting for tassles (Bucks) and horns (Ligero) and The Bucks heeled it up a little bit by working a horn, wringing it as if an arm and following it up with their trademark team work double ax handles off the top rope before the double stomp onto the exposed horn. The action quickly picked up as both teams began to use both wrestlers in the ring at the same time for some inventive double teams, reversals and reversing the reversals as this match increased the pace and became more of the sprint style expected in modern Indy tag wrestling. Memorable moments include Ligero managing to reverse the More Bang For Your Buck by wriggling free and throwing Matt into Nick in the turnbuckle, crotching Nick as Kirby came charging out of nowhere to leap up onto Matt's back to perform a superplex onto Nick. Nick performed his springboard sitout face facebuster onto Kirby, flipped backwards through the ropes to go for the asai moonsault onto Ligero on the outside, only for Ligero to quickly slid back into the ring through his legs and then perform a suicide dive onto Matt outside the other side of the ring. Considering The Young Bucks have been criticised in recent years for their over-use of superkicks, they were a lot more restrained in this match hitting the Early-Onset Alzheimer's stereo superkicks to a kneeling Ligero, and during the finishing stretch Ligero was once again superkicked (I should note that only a few weeks earlier Ligero suffered a hairline fracture to his cheekbone!) which took him out of the ring for The Bucks to capitalize with their retired friends, The Cutler Brothers, tombstone piledriver with springboard assistance onto Kirby for the three count. Great match and fantastic start to the show as well as the new year.

Next up Joey Hayes defeated Andy Wild with the Teenage Kick. This was my second time seeing Wild and while I thought he was good on initial viewing, I couldn't see why so many people rated him so highly. Last night he again didn't leave a lasting impression but I got a better idea as to why - He's this generations Doug Williams. Please don't get me wrong as that is nowhere near a bad thing to be compared to Doug. But while Andy is technically proficient and has all the tools to be a great wrestler, he's very lacking in the personality and fire department. Fortunately Hayes more recent heel persona allowed him to carry the character portion of the match, but he didn't really do anything overtly heel-ish to warrant a strong heel reaction. If anything his response to cheering for him of "I'm the bad guy!" further fueled that section of the crowd and others to cheer for him more. A very fine wrestling match, but with Wild not giving a strong enough reason for the fans to get behind him against the more local wrestler who was only a few months ago a strong babyface in Preston before his heel turn, the crowd merely chanted for and against Joey. But still I really enjoyed the finishing stretch which culminated with Hayes finally hitting the Teenage Kick for the three count.

Sean Maxer made his PCW debut by beating Bubblegum. The Irishman may be more well known as Shawn Guinness who wrestles for the Japanese company Zero-One and he is currently one half of the NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Champions. I do believe this may have been his English debut as I cannot find any record of him wrestling in England previously although I may be proved wrong on that account. Bubblegum got a much stronger heel reaction than Hayes in the match before - The crowd turning Gum's "Jus' A Rascal" theme music into a chant of "Jus' A Rentboy" - And also attempted to either get out of the match or have Maxer "play nice" with his knee as he is legitimately hurt and awaiting surgery which may bring an end to his active wrestling days. But again with Maxer being unknown to the audience, the match relied heavily on the strength of Bubblegum's heel reaction although Maxer didn't appear devoid of his own personality, he just never engaged the crowd. A lot of the match was dominated by Bubblegum and I genuinely could only count under a handful of wrestling moves done by Maxer as a lot of his offense/defense consisted of kicks and elbows. Still, even with Gum's very real injury, I was surprised to see Maxer to go over as Bubblegum recently defeated ROH stand-out Michael Elgin and is a new found assistant to PCW's top heel in T-Bone. With the win I wouldn't mind seeing Maxer return to PCW as I don't think I got to see enough of him to make a fair assessment.

In the match before intermission Noam Dar faced Dave Rayne's hand-picked opponent in Dave Mastiff. Dave Rayne was due to face Dar for Dar's PCW Cruiserweight Championship after winning a Money In The Bank briefcase at the previous show but the night before the show he was involved in a very real car crash which means he will be unable to wrestle for the next few shows. Rayne has become a beloved figure in PCW which shows the quirky and unique atmosphere in Preston as Rayne is essentially a comedy heel, but the fans love him regardless. In the opening mic exchanges Dar immediately ripped into Rayne's fan support as the crowd in Preston will pretty much cheer for anything. The ref, Des, gets some of the biggest and loudest chants and cheers of the night. The announcer Richard Parker and commentator G-Man all get loud ovations. At the previous show a wrestlers Mom and a Dog both got chants and even though both were missing tonight, they were both chanted for in this segment to further Dar's point. The crowd even chanted for "VHS" at the beginning of the show when DVD's and Blu-Rays were being plugged! But when Rayne finally announced his replacement against Dar, I was over the moon. These two have only faced each other the once (In a PCW ring as well) and I was gutted to have missed their first match which Dar won back in April.

Mastiff is a beast of a man. A genuine super-heavyweight shaped like a boulder so there's no unsightly flab or anything of that nature, so he immediately looks like a dangerous man. Dar while being the Cruiserweight Champion is not your usual lightweight flying all over the ring, he wrestles a more physical, strike and submission based style and tends to ground opponents. Knowing he was out-matched as soon as Mastiff got to ringside he was met with Dar flying right at him with a suicide dive. From there Dar followed it up by flying off the ring apron onto Mastiff with an elbow to the face. Inside the ring Dar was ferocious with elbows, kicks and headbutts, but all it took was one retaliating strike from Mastiff to send Dar down. Mastiff was able to over-power Dar and easily throw him around the ring, but showed breath-taking agility when he hit a high-angle dropkick onto a charging Dar and then perform a kip-up immediately after. Let me give you a mental picture to that - A 5'10, almost 300 pound man performing a kip-up like he was a much lighter man. When Mastiff started ascending the ropes for a moonsault (!!!) Dar kicked his leg out from under him and then Dar's game plan took shape as he repeatedly kicked away at the knee to work at the knee bar submission. Dar managed to apply the hold twice but both times Mastiff was able to power and kick with his free leg out of it. The finish came when Mastiff damn-near killed Dar with a running cannonball splash to Dar in the corner for the three count. Post match Rayne three away his crutches and limped into the ring, briefcase in hand, to cash in on Dar's Cruiserweight Championship. Mastiff, still in the ring and watching the unscrupulous Rayne about to cash in on the defeated Dar decided to see how it unfolded, but strayed too close to Rayne's celebration after hitting Dar with his crutch and inadvertently was struck with an elbow from Rayne as he threw back his arms to pose over the downed Dar. Rayne pleaded mercy with Mastiff but after a long tease the big man eventually took Rayne out with his Finlay Roll/Senton splash combo. After that Mastiff and Dar stared each other down with new found mutual respect for one another and both requesting a rematch. Before Dar left the ring however he pulled down his tights and put his bare ass directly down onto Rayne's face generating a "Deep Fried Asshole" chant.

Before returning from intermission the PCW Tag Team Champions, Fight Club (who were not announced for the show) made their way to the ring, complaining that even as Champions they were not booked and once again PCW booked Americans over UK talents and made a challenge towards The Young Bucks at the merch table busy selling merch. The challenge was accepted but to Kid Fite and Liam Thomson's dismay it was announced as a PCW Tag Team Championship match. The Bucks took an early advantage hitting stereo dropkicks and sending Fight Club out of the ring and then Nick Jackson hit a springboard somersault onto Fight Club that took all three men into the third row. The Jackson brothers controlled the early section of the match but the tide swiftly turned when Kid Fite was able to work his way into the match and then the two Scots kept control of the match by any means necessary. After a lengthy heat section on Matt, Nick exploded back into the ring when he got the hot tag and was incredibly fired up as he hit running clotheslines to both members of Fight Club in opposite corners over and over again for what felt like a few minutes until finally mixing things up with a knee to Kid Fite and then a running bulldog/clothesline onto Thomson combo. The finishing stretch was hot as I did genuinely believe The Bucks could potentially win the belts especially after they were able to break up a low-blow/roll up combo but Fight Club did end up retaining the belts with their Kid Fite powerbomb, Liam Thomson second rope leap back-cracker combo. Another very good Bucks match that had a much stronger crowd reaction due to the face/heel dynamic as opposed to face/face in the Project Lucha match although I would say Bucks/Lucha was the better match of the two. PCW had promised a six match card plus an international mystery match and I don't think anyone in the audience was disappointed that it ended up being a second Bucks match.

In an inter-gender singles contest Carmel Jacobs beat Mad Man Manson when Manson tapped out... To himself. This was a really well done comedy match. Manson initially wasn't interested in wrestling a woman so when Carmel had him placed in a headlock, he merely powered her up to a seat on the top rope. And when she attempted a flying cross body, he merely stepped out of the way. Finally agreeing to wrestle her after seeing she was hell bent on wrestling him he allowed her to place him in another headlock, bounced her off the ropes and then took her down with a shoulder tackle. Running the ropes, Carmel went down to the mat so Manson stopped himself and leapt over her down onto the mat to try and strike up a conversation. Carmel merely jumped over him down onto the mat again. This continued, Manson following suit and attempting to engage her into conversation before finally calling Carmel a rude bitch and then leaping over her again... Through the ring ropes to the outside. Manson attempted his trademark nipple twisting spot, but every time Carmel blocked it and slapped him. Eventually Manson grew tired of the slapping and slapped her back - To his own horror! Going to her aid, Carmel tripped him up and then put him in an indian deathlock. Using Manson's own wrestling gear she tied Manson's foot in his straps while she encouraged Manson to tap out which he did - Without Carmel even physically touching him at the time. Post match Carmel was in the ring alone while the video screen counted back from 10 to announce former WWF/E diva LITA will be at PCW's end of May/beginning of June weekender joining both Steiner Brothers, Chris Masters and Goldust. It looks to have been heavily implied that there will likely be some sort of Carmel/Lita match which if this is the case, this could be Lita's first match in any Indy since leaving the WWE as she's primarily been used as a special ref or guest enforcer in American promotions.

And in the main event, the bloody Bullrope match, T-Bone reclaimed his PCW Heavyweight Championship from Kris Travis after using the bullrope like a noose and hanging Travis from the entrance steps to the venue hall to the point he passed out and the ref had to award the match and belt to T-Bone out of fear for Trav's life. With both being tied together at the wrist they did limit what they were capable of doing somewhat, but Trav was still able to use his kicks and T-Bone was able to power and throw Trav around. The two brawled around the venue several times and the cowbell was built up and used to good effect. Unfortunately when they were brawling around the venue I was unable to see much of the action from my view point, although there were a few large crashes and suitable OOOH's from the crowd. I do believe I either saw a cross body or a hurricanrana from Travis onto T-Bone off the bar. Along with the cowbell two steel chairs were added to the equation along with setting up a table outside the ring propped up against the steel barrier where the fans stand. To my surprise neither man drew blood as both took cowbell and steel shots directly to the head/face. But in times like these that may have been in the interests of health and safety especially after the bloody mess Trav became in his I Quit match against Lionheart last February. Thumb tacks were brought out and in a nod to the aforementioned February match, Trav used his old rival Lionheart's Rock Bottom slam to introduce T-Bone's back to the thumb tacks, deeply embedding themselves in there. T-Bone introduced another chair with plastic legs that unfortunately was so weak when he went to use his foot to kick out the leg, the damn leg broke! He attempted to compensate by draping that part of the table onto the ring ropes then emptied yet another bag of thumbtacks onto the table. Unfortunately the drama did not end there as when Trav was able to fight off Bone from the top rope, the other leg went and all the thumb tacks spilled down onto the mat well before T-Bone was sent crashing from the low and now empty table. Travis looked to have the match won but Bubblegum stopped the ref from counting to three so Trav retaliated by kicking a chair into Gum's face on the ring apron. T-Bone was able to take advantage of the situation and control Trav from that point forward, again taking him out of the ring and towards the previously set up table. Again with it being outside the ring I was unable to see what happened but I know it took two attempts before whomever went through the table. It was shortly after that that T-Bone was visible stood at the top of the entrance stairs with Trav as Trav attempted to kick him over, but it was Trav who was the one to take the fall over the railing. In an impressive feat of strength you could see T-Bone hoist Trav up with the rope around his neck from any angle in the building and he only let go when the ref called the match. A very impressive ending to the match and a very convincing way for Bone to take his Title back without making Travis look weak as it took Bubblegum's interference and T-Bone being willing to kill Travis for him to lose without officially being pinned or give up of his own choosing.

A very good show and start to the year for PCW. Both Bucks matches were very good with the opener against Project Lucha being my match of the night. Dar/Mastiff was great and made me very eager for a third match in their series. And the main event was a great spectacle even if some of the stuff they attempted wasn't pulled off just right. After such a strong show in December with a sold out crowd they kept the momentum going with this show and while the crowd didn't look that big just before the show (Admittedly after December a lot of crowds would look smaller by comparison) but a fair number of fans did join the crowd just before the show officially started. PCW have a very strong year ahead with their February double shot only being two weeks to the day after this show and featuring former WWE stars Brian Kendrick, Paul London and Super Crazy all taking part in a 16-man tournament that will dominate both nights. In April they continue the annual rumble and also features former WWF star Ted DiBiase, former ECW/WWE wrestler Tommy Dreamer and two current American Indy Champions as both ROH World Champion and DG USA Open The Freedom Gate Champion, Kevin Steen and Johnny Gargano respectively. And then the big supershow at the end of May with former NWA/WCW/TNA/WWF legends The Steiner Brothers, former WWE wrestlers Goldust and Chris Masters and in her very first time appearing for a UK Indy, Lita in what could be her first wrestling match in several years. All PCW shows are released with a quick turn around on DVD and Blu-Ray and the production quality is perhaps the best seen by any UK promotion right now.

Special thanks to John Searle for all the pictures used in this review.

PWG Mystery Vortex DVD Review By Barry Murphy

Excalibur and the usual cast of characters present another exciting night of pro wrestling action from Reseda, CA as PWG closes out 2012 with a bang.

Eddie Edwards & Roderick Strong vs. The Young Bucks

This was about as strong an opener as you could hope for, as all four men worked at a super-fast pace and did an excellent job heating up the crowd. I haven’t seen “The Dojo Bros” as a team prior to this, but Strong and Edwards worked very well in the role of hard-hitting, no-nonsense babyfaces, with stiff strikes and awesome flurries of tag team offense. It almost goes without saying at this stage, but The Young Bucks are one of the finest teams in all of wrestling and they were on form here, selling everything Strong and Edwards expertly. While still being competitive, the goal was clearly to showcase Edwards and Strong who had tonnes of great counters for all of the Bucks’ key spots. There wasn’t much of an actual heat period on either of the faces, and as is often the case in PWG, the match broke down towards the end with a big stretch of four-man highspots including Nick Jackson, with very little momentum, still clearing the top rope with a dive, followed immediately by Matt hitting a springboard DDT on the apron. On commentary, Steen was beside himself at how good this match was and how he had to follow it later. The finish saw Strong get one of the Bucks up in Canadian backbreaker position, Edwards leaping from the top rope and hitting him with a double stomp (while still on Strong’s shoulders) and Strong hitting a dominator in one smooth motion. A fabulous conclusion to a super opener. ****

Drake Younger vs. Sami Callihan

This was another match that would not have been out of place as a semi-main event on this, or most independent shows. They went all out and had an extremely intense, back-and-forth brawl. There were some aspects of this one that I know for a fact would mean this bout wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If a guy kicking out of brutal spots like piledrivers on the apron or a Gringo Killer in the second match of the show is too much for you, you might not be a fan of this. Not that the match was all spots and no story, far from it, but it was definitely a lot of very scary moves resulting in simple two counts. Similarly, and this one was slightly bothersome to me, if you’re irked by matches where guys take insane risks and, depending on who you ask, excessive punishment – you might take issue with this. I’m really not a fan of guys shoot headbutting each other until they bleed; call me old fashioned. It bothered me slightly in Drake’s debut match with PWG last July, but the idea of this being a regular spot in his matches doesn’t sit well with me. That aside, these two tore the house down, and I can’t fault the actual match they put on. Both have an incredible aura and bring an invaluable presence to any promotion smart enough to book them. Drake, to paraphrase Steen, did not lose an ounce of insanity when he got himself in shape and he brings a wild sense of unpredictability to every match. Similarly, Sami presents himself as a lowdown, dirty, ugly brawler and when he is on form, he’s impossible to draw your eyes away from. After exchanging a number of awesome nearfalls, Sami tapped Younger with the Stretch Muffler. ***1/2

Super Smash Bros © vs. RockNES Monsters – PWG World Tag Team Championship Match

RockNES is a team that never really clicked with me, but I feel like their new heel role was a great move. That said, as with the last several RockNES matches, there wasn’t much heat for this one despite a raucous crowd for the first two matches. After some comedy early that fell flat, Yuma and Goodtime worked over Player Uno, who made a brief comeback before tagging Dos who was also quickly cut off and worked over. There were some fun moments here and there, but I always feel like Goodtime and Yuma’s matches involve tenuous and clunky set-up and execution of these multi-man moves and it just doesn’t feel very fluid. Contrasting that with the likes of SSB and the Young Bucks; their matches always seem to fall slightly short of the PWG standard, in my opinion. To be fair, it’s a high standard, and the match certainly wasn’t bad. Things picked up once the Smash Bros made their second real comeback and the action broke down. There was a hilarious spot near the finish where Johnny Goodtime cut off a large section of his bizarre, multi-coloured beard and blew it into the eyes of Player Dos leading to a roll up and a near fall. SSB retained in what was, all in all, a solid undercard bout. **1/2

Joey Ryan vs. Scorpio Sky

Somewhat fittingly for Ryan’s last match with PWG, this was good but nothing beyond that, even with all the fun call backs. Having already wrestled former stable-mates Scott Lost and Chris Bosh in their respective retirement matches, Scorpio Sky made it a full house here by defeating Ryan and becoming the last surviving member of ‘The Dynasty.’ Things got off to a shaky start as Ryan awkwardly imitated Lost’s double stomp out of the corner, and was immediately heckled for his dodgy execution of the spot. Other Dynasty shout-outs included a ‘Big Fat Kill’ spinning kick, and a ‘Lioncock’ low blow from Sky. Sky was also getting heckled for his appearance as Harold in a WWE skit with Daniel Bryan. Ryan worked hard and despite initial jitters, the match was solid with good pacing. Given their position on the card, and both guys’ style – they didn’t try and steal the show. They did, however, give every other insane spot on this show a run for its money when Ryan hit a nasty looking spinning neckbreaker off the apron onto a row of chairs, in a moment that seemingly left Excalibur legitimately lost for words. They didn’t try to play this up as a CM Punk level exit from the indies, with jokes all night on commentary and Ryan himself alluding to the fact he could easily be back in the near future depending on how his TNA career goes, but it was still a very nice send off. Despite typically annoying rowdiness from the Reseda crowd, Ryan’s post match speech was very humble and he spoke candidly about just wanting to be whatever PWG needed him to be, whether it was world champion or an opening match guy. ***

Brian Cage vs. TJ Perkins vs. B-Boy vs. Willie Mack

You know you have a good show when this is a filler match for the midcard guys. They had a tonne of innovative four way spots, and everyone got to shine. Most notable was Brian Cage, who once again put on a very entertaining show with lots of big moves and impressive feats of strength. Most notable was TJ diving into the ring from the top rope, only to be caught in vertical suplex position by Cage. When B-Boy interfered and tried to briefly team with Perkins to hit a tag team suplex on Cage, Cage turned the tables and suplexed both men simultaneously in an unbelievable feat of strength. This wasn’t the typical snap suplex you see when people usually do this spot. Cage deadlifted these guys in a way you’d need to see to believe. Perkins also had a great showing, with highlights such as having Mack in a leg lock and B-Boy in an abdominal stretch at the same time. Later, with Cage in a figure four leg lock, Perkins was able to roll up B-Boy in a small package. They kept up the idea of Mack and Cage feuding, so I’d imagine that’s a feud to keep an eye out for in 2013, depending on Cage’s future prospects with TNA. The finish saw Mack pin B-Boy while TJ was distracted trying to submit Cage. ***1/2

El Generico vs. Rich Swann

It’s at this point in a PWG review that we begin struggling to find more positive adjectives to describe the action. Another stellar, fast paced contest. What really made this interesting was Generico played something of a heel role, allowing Swann to present himself as the younger, quicker, more explosive babyface for the crowd to get behind. And it worked. Both guys had answers for their opponent’s signature spots, so when Swann tried a handspring back elbow, Generico was able to counter into a blue-thunder bomb. When Generico tried to hit a Yakuza kick in the corner, Swann came prepared and caught him with a spin kick that cut off his momentum. Swann’s selling was really good in this match, and he worked well as the smaller rookie trying to hang with the experienced vet. The people are probably never going to boo Generico, but he did a good job in his role. All of Swann’s high flying was greatly received by the live crowd, and he really is a joy to watch – incredibly crisp in everything he does. After a thrilling back and forth sequence, Generico gets the win with a suplex-into-a-powerbomb that hasn’t been a regular part of his repertoire for quite some time. ***3/4

Super Smash Bros vs. Roderick Strong & Eddie Edwards

They did an angle at the show with Excalibur telling the tag champs they had to wrestle twice to night, to compensate not being in PWG since July, but that didn’t make DVD. Edwards and Strong gave another very good performance, and they really did about as good a job as possible getting over as a main event tag team in one show as you could imagine. They worked the heel role in this match, jumping the champs at the bell. Uno was targeted for a brief heat period by the heels. Player Dos finally tagged in and made one of the best hot tags I’ve seen in some time. A non-stop flurry of offence from Dos had the crowd going ballistic by the time he was done. First, a suicide dive over the bottom rope on Edwards, followed by a swinging DDT on Strong, ANOTHER dive on Edwards this time over the middle rope, a lionsault into a DDT again on Strong, and finally a dive over the top rope onto Edwards. That was a hell of a sequence. They gave Edwards and Strong a non-title win here, and really did a good job of making them look like potential champions, while still keeping SSB strong. Edwards hit double stomps on both champions on the apron, followed by Strong hitting his suplex into a backbreaker on Dos, and another stomp from Edwards to get the win. Very good match, but not quite at the level of the opener. ***1/2

PWG World Championship Guerrilla Warfare Match: Kevin Steen © vs. Adam Cole

An insane match to cap off the show. Steen rammed Cole crotch first into each of the posts, and then powerbombed him onto each side of the ring from the floor. So before weapons were even introduced, Cole had taken some insane punishment – those apron powerbombs don’t look like much fun at all. It wasn’t long before plunder came into play and a lot of it at that. Steen brought in half a dozen chairs, a ladder, a trash can and a lid. Cole eventually brought in another ladder. They did lots of huge moves like F5s onto ladders and more. This was a very enjoyable match, but to me it did just feel like a collection of spots. What really made the match was the insanity of some of those spots, although ironically that was also what took it down a notch or two in my eyes. Like the Callihan vs. Younger bout, there was some stuff in here that it felt silly to kick out of, even If it is the main event world title match. The big spot which the match pretty much built to from the beginning was Steen suplexing Cole onto a pyramid of steel and plastic chairs. This was a brutal train wreck spot, and Cole was actually bleeding from the back after taking it. There were broken chair parts, and dented steel chairs all over the ring for the remaining few minutes. This was only a two count. To me that’s just excessive. If a car crash like that isn’t a conclusion to a match, I don’t know what is. Steen, frustrated at being unable to put Cole away, brought thumb tacks into the equation. In a great spot, he poured most onto the canvas, but actually put several into his mouth before spitting them at Adam Cole. The crowd were reacting huge to every tease of someone going into the thumbtacks, and they exploded when Steen landed face first into them, as Cole hit him with a big German suplex. Cole then hit his finisher, a strait jacket German suplex, to get the win. As I said, fun but a little too much like a collection of spots with nothing holding it together, in my opinion. ***1/4

This was one of PWG’s best shows of 2013, and that covers a lot of ground. It’s an essential purchase for any fans of indie wrestling and it also wouldn’t be a bad place to start if you’re new to the genre. The variety of talent and different styles of match made this an exciting watch, and the two and a half hour run time just flies by. If you’re a fan of wrestling and you’re not following PWG, you’re making a huge mistake. Remedy that right now by going to and picking this DVD up.

Saturday 12 January 2013

The Art of Wrestling By Jose Haze

Devin Chen has established himself as one of the very best wrestling photographers around. Consistently producing photos with insane angles, amazing timing and reaction, Devin is the wrestling fan with a camera in his hand and a picture in his mind.

It is no coincidence his first taste of wrestling was an inferno match between The Undertaker and Kane back in 1998, probably the most visually stimulating match in the history of the WWF/E. From there he became an avid player of the N64 classic “WWF No Mercy”, which led to religious viewing of WWE Smackdown. “I fell in love with it. The characters, the color, the music, the stories….. It was so much fun”.

From the start, Devin has always had a deep connection with things that grabbed hold of his visual appetite. “It began in Northern California. I discovered independent wrestling as a fan, going to of wrestling shows; and that’s how it really starts. ” He is one of the photographers at the famous All Pro Wrestling academy in Hayward as well as a few of the other local wrestling promotions.

As the years passed wrestling came and went for Devin, but the love for it was always there. A friend of his told him about wrestling promotion in southern California by the name of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and asked him if he wanted to go see one of their shows. “ I ended up going to the show with him (Threemendous II), and up until that time it was the very best wrestling show I had ever been to…I had so much fun”. PWG became a monthly pleasure, driving down the 6 hours from the Bay Area with fans who he grew into friends with. All the while, Devin would bring along his camera, and take shots from the crowd.

“I would print up the photos and ask the wrestlers to sign them. It was really cool to see other people’s reactions to my photos. That’s something I still enjoy to this day.”

At Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s 7th year anniversary, appropriately titled “Seven”, Devin shot his first full set of photos from a PWG show. “I was really happy with the photos from that night and wanted to show them to someone right away.” After the show, Devin approached Excalibur, the “Liaison to the Board of Directors” of PWG; and that was the beginning of it.

The rest has been history for Devin in PWG. As he has worked more and more shows, his artistry with the camera has developed. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time and have the perfect angle. “That comes from just trying different to get the same shots in different angles all the time. As a wrestling photographer it’s really fun getting to know the wrestlers’ styles and having an idea of what might come ahead”. Similar to a pro athlete, he spends a lot of time in “the film room”.

“I enjoy the energy that comes from watching wrestling. It’s really cool to see the different perspectives of matches. It’s art”.

One of the great things about Devin’s work is how it seems to tell the story of every show. Almost like a real life comic book. “I’m always conscious of trying to tell the story in the ring with the photos, and even more when I go through and edit the stuff” he says. “The photos are good when the shows are good and vice versa”. “Same with wrestlers… A good wrestler is going to come out really good in his pictures, and a not so good wrestler is going to come out …. Well… not so good”.
Along the way he has been able to develop great relationships in the wrestling business, and has gained a greater understanding of professional wrestling, which he feels shines through in his photos. “Learning the little intricacies of what goes into a match and having a better understanding of what they are doing in the ring created sort of a quiet confidence inside me”.

Similar to the wrestlers, much of a photographer’s success is motivated by what people with the most influence have to say about the work. “You can’t really succeed on your own if you don’t have the right support. A lot of the wrestlers have said nice things about me and my work, and that goes a long way “.

Still, Devin considers himself a wrestling fan. If he weren’t, he says, he would not be able to see some of the things he has captured with his camera. He is a fan of the stories told in the ring through headlocks and toeholds and psychology.
“I feel like the psychology in the ring and the photography go hand in hand” he says. “If I understand why a wrestler is doing a certain move or hold, I can then try and anticipate what he will do next”.

Nowadays Devin has begun to branch out, working in different places including some local WWE shows for the website Slam. Still he looks for opportunities to enjoy wrestling as a fan.

“I have been to Wrestlemania; and there’s still no other experience quite like it. It’s amazing that an event can draw a city full of wrestling fans everywhere. The atmosphere is amazing.”

With aspirations of someday making it to the big show, WWE full time, he shares the same desires as the wrestlers he takes pictures of. Part of this motivation is seeing the wrestlers he idolized in the independent scene - as they have moved on to the WWE.

“I feel a bit of a connection with those guys. It’s different when the same guys you took pictures of are now on your television screen. I want to be there; not here watching. I want the story of my pictures to be complete ”.

Since he has been around PWG for a while, I wondered what some of his favorite things about PWG were and who some of his favorite wrestlers were.

“El Generico.. There’s just something about him. Maybe it’s in the character. He is super crisp and just flows in the ring. Anyone who has watched his matches can understand the story of it without even knowing it!” Another of his favorites is Kevin Steen. “

“He works so well with the crowd, and is so exciting to watch in the ring. Not many people can channel the energy of the crowd like Kevin”.
I’m sure Devin will continue to have a lot to work with in PWG, but don’t be surprised if you see him someday on your TV screen… ringside.

Thursday 10 January 2013

WLH Book Review By Jimmy Wheeler - Wrestling at the Chase: The Inside Story of Sam Muchnick and the Legends of Professional Wrestling

Author: Larry Matysik, published by ECW Press, released June 6, 2005, 232 Pages, paperback.

Who better to write the story of Sam Muchnick's brain child that was known as Wrestling at the Chase, than a man who was his friend and protege for many years, grew up watching the program, became a commentator for the promotion who would finally go on to run his own promotion; Larry Matysik. The show itself is widely considered one of the most prosperous wrestling programs from the territory based days, with consistently high ratings in the St. Louis area behind only the local news and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Larry Matysik allows the reader to see in to the world that was the very heart of the National Wrestling Alliance which Sam Muchnick was also the chairman of. This however is first and foremost a book about the St. Louis Wrestling Club and it's flagship program started in 1959 and would run for close to 30 years. Glimpses are given in to the workings of the NWA, insight behind decisions made by Sam that could only be provided by his close confident. As you would expect though, the writing focuses on the key parts that made Wrestling at the Chase a truly historically acclaimed wrestling program. Taking you behind the scenes into his own personal discussions with Muchnick, taking the reader inside Sam's mind explaining the way he booked matches, programs, storylines and why he, Larry feels he was the very best promoter in the business. Matysik goes on to look at Sam's overall philosophy of the business, the NWA world heavyweight championship, how it should be presented, and his view on what the audience needs. Not only does he provide this look through the door of the office, Matysik takes a look at the wrestlers who made an impact in the St. Louis area including 'King Kong' Brody, Dick 'The Bruiser, Dick Murdoch, and 'Wild' Bill Longson among others. Larry takes a look at how Sam was able to acquire such a varied array of talent to hold his shows, yet only ever holding a relatively small talent pool in his own area. A chapter aptly titled 'The War' covers what would be the coinciding time of Sam Muchnick retiring and Vince McMahon Jr's attempt to take over the wrestling business, Larry discusses the reasons for Muchnick's full retirement, what happened to the St. Louis Club and the similarities to how Sam had struck out on his own back in the late 50's. The book wouldn't be complete without a look at the aftermath of the closure of the St. Louis Club and the wrestling war. Larry Matysik sheds his opinion on what became of wrestling, the current state of it at time of the books release, he also briefly talks of his own employment in the World Wrestling Federation as it was then known, currently WWE.

Wrestling at the Chase is fairly easy read full of fun backstage stories, in ring antics to balance out the serious look at the demise of the territory system and an interesting look at possibly the only promoter no one has a bad word to say of. Even though Larry was a huge part of the whole operation, you forget this while he is authoring the book, besides at the beginning when he introduces what led to him working for Sam Muchnick and the aftermath, Larry Matysik only mentions himself when necessary choosing to focus on what he believes are the components which made Wrestling at the Chase the best television program ever made. For anyone that grew up watching this would be a great book to read and reminisce over what many consider a better time in the wresting business. An intriguing book to anyone interested in the history of the NWA and the very man responsible for it also for fans of the wrestlers highlighted through-out.

4/5 Stars

By Jimmy Wheeler


Monday 7 January 2013

WLH Exclusive Announcement For Southside's Speed King 2

On May 25th Southside Wrestling Entertainment bring you the second annual Speed King show from the Rushcliffe Arena in Nottingham. Already announced for the show are rising independent Lucha Libre star Samuray Del Sol who will be making his UK debut also announced, Dean Allmark, last years winner Marty Scurll and his LDRS partner Zack Sabre Jr. and now as you may of guessed by the picture, also making his way to the UK for Speed King will be former TNA and current ROH star Jay Lethal.

Since leaving TNA and returning to ROH Lethal has been the ROH TV champion and is currently working his way up the card as he tries to get a match with current ROH champion Kevin Steen.

This is a great coup for SWE so get your tickets now for this what I'm sure is going to be a great event. All the details you need are below.

For tickets:

There's not many front row left:

Second Row:

General Seating:

There are also family ticket options.

Southside on facebook:

Southside on twitter:

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Ring of Honor: A Year in Review By Stephen J. Sutton

(Left) Here we have Adam Cole who had a stellar year not only in ROH but all over the indies

It’s time for the first ever Honor Review a look back at 2012; the year saw forty five championship matches, forty two successful championship defences, seven championships changing hands and nine proving ground challenges. The year also saw an wrestler attempt to hold the company to ransom , a young tag team split up, the return of some former ROH Champions, a few wrestlers from other promotions, wrestlers leaving the promotion, upcoming talent making their name in the promotion and the return home for the promotion.

The year kicked off with the tapings for Ring Of Honor on Sinclair Broadcasting Group in Baltimore Maryland in which we saw the announcement that Kevin Steen’s package piledriver or any version of the piledriver had been banned by Ring Of Honor officials, Cornette fined Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team not once but twice for unnecessary chair shots (one being at Final Battle 2011) and in response Shelton said “It was worth it, I’ve got a lot of money.” However, Benjamin didn’t pay his half of the $5,000 dollar fine so was suspended by Ring Of Honor Officials. The first championship of the year was defend when Mike Bennett challenged Jay Lethal for his Television Championship in which there was no fifteen time limit unlike usual Television Championship defences (which are fifteen time limit). Also from the television tapings Future Shock spilt up by “mutual” consent as Kyle O’Reilly teamed up with his trainer Davey Richards to form Team Richards with their first match as a tag team was against Caprice Coleman and Cederic Alexander. After a match with Kyle, Eddie Edwards offered Adam Cole a chance to tag with him against Team Richards; and the offer was accepted and challenged Team Richards to a match anytime anywhere.

Ring Of Honor returned home to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (for the first time since the HD Net Television Tapings) and the return to the National Guard Armory (for the first time since Respect Is Earned II) . Kevin Steen made his Ring Of Honor in ring return officially against Kenny King and debuted the F Cinq (aka the F Five) after attempting the banned Package Piledriver on the ring apron. The show saw the final Ring Of Honor match of Chris Hero (who is now Kassius Ohno in WWE on nXt) against “unbreakable” Michael Elgin and knock out his personal adviser Shane Hagadorn after being called an bum who nobody wants; while Hero was leaving the company Jigsaw and Hallowicked (both returning to the company after a four year absences) returned to the company to take on the Briscoe Brothers in a proving ground challenge; Davey Richards defended his ROH Championship against the winner of the Honor Rumble back from Southern Defiance Ring Of Honor’s Television Champion Jay Lethal and was successful. The next night Ring Of Honor made their debut in Norfolk, Virginia at the legendry Scope Arena (the same place where Randy Savage captured the WCW Championship at World War III and where The Undertaker beat the Dudley Boyz in a handicap match but still buried his manager Paul Bearer in a concrete crypt at WWE’s Great American Bash 2004); the show saw Team Richards earn a opportunity against the Briscoe Brothers after beating House Of Truth, the winning streak of Tommaso Ciampa continued and earned himself a shot at his very first Ring Of Honor Championship after beating Jay Lethal in a proving ground challenge and Adam Cole started presenting The Adam Cole Diaries on TWS in the UK.

Another set of TV tapings kicked off the month with the conformation of the tenth anniversary main event being Adam Cole and Eddie Edwards taking on Team Richards in New York City in March, also the shape of the promotions Wrestlemania weekend for night one that the ROH Championship will be defended in a triple threat match and night two the championship will be defended in a single match but the challengers will be decided in the shape of the Blind Destiny challenge in Fort Lauderdale. Kevin Steen made his television debut and after his match attempted a package piledriver of Andy Ridge but Jimmy Jacobs came out and attacked professional wrestling’s worst nightmare and challenged him to a match at the tenth anniversary show. The team of Adam Cole and Eddie Edwards had their warm up match against Matt Tarven and “Giant Killer” Mike Mondo before they faced Team Richards at the tenth anniversary show. Charlie Hass paid an $10,000 dollar fine ($5,000 dollars for a chair shot to Mark Briscoe during their match and another $5,000 dollars for the fine of Shelton Benjamin from Final Battle). Plus it was announced the former ECW Tag Team Champion, WCW Cruiserweight, Hardcore and United State Champion and WWE Intercontinental champion and Tag Team Champion Lance Storm was returning to the promotion at Wrestlemania Weekend to take on Mike Bennett.

The promotion debuted in Cincinnati with Rise & Prove where four tag teams would face off in a tournament and whoever won the tournament would have earned a proving ground challenge against whoever where the Tag Team Champions at night one of Wrestlemania weekend . The show also saw the return of former ROH Tag Team Champion BJ Whitmer(after a four year absence from promotion) having a proving ground challenge against Jay Lethal and Davey Richards had an opportunity to become a double champion when he and Kyle O’Reilly went for the Tag Team championship against the Briscoe Brothers.

Another month and another set of television tapings eight men fought for the right to have an opportunity to win $24,000. Also at the tapings Wrestlemania weekend was still being build; Kyle O’Reilly challenged Adam Cole to a match for the second night in Fort Lauderdale and the anti Christ of professional wrestling Kevin Steen will once again go head to head with his former partner and the man who banished him from the promotion El Generico in a La Revencha Last man Standing match.

The promotion celebrated its tenth anniversary in New York City in the Hammerstein Ballroom. It saw the return to the company of former ROH Tag Team Champion Amazing Red (making his return appearance in the company in nine years) teaming up with TJ Perkins taking on The House Of Truth. Also Eddie Kingston returned to the company as the Chikara Grand Champion to confront the ROH Champion Davey Richards but ended up facing up with Kevin Steen who tried and convinced Kingston to form an alliance and destroy both Chikara and Ring Of Honor which lead to both men to brawl and to bring out Chikara’s Jigsaw and The Colony. In the main event of the tenth anniversary Adam Cole pinned the ROH Champion Davey Richards.

At the end of March Ring Of Honor made its debut in the sunshine state when Showdown In The Sun kicked off Wrestlemania weekend where ECW used to run the War Memorial Auditorium. Night one saw the return of NWA Champion Adam Pearce (first appearance for the Scarp Daddy since 18th December 2010 ) who took on up and comer Adam Cole (who beat Cole the night before in NWA Ring Warriors); also on the show Jimmy Jacobs turned on his former allay El Generico to join up with Kevin Steen. The second night saw Roderick Strong became the new Television champion and becoming the second ever Ring Of Honor Triple crown champion. Over the weekend it company put on five championship matches with only one title changing hands; also the show marked the in ring debut of Fire Ant. Night two also saw a protential match of a year candidate as Davey Richards defended his ROH Championship against House Of Truth member Michael Elgin.

However, this year’s Wrestlemania show were over shadowed by Internet Pay Per View problems, on night one was subject to some horrendous technical difficulties that it the stream was near enough unwatchable and on night two the stream went completely dead just before the battle of former partner’s Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly; thinking the problem was easy to fix both Cole and O’Reilly cut impromptu promo’s but the feed couldn’t be fix so the match had to start for fans in attendance and then the full match was posted up on the ROH Youtube channel; and after this mix up the promotion left Go Fight Live and started to stream Internet Pay Per Views through the ROH website.

This month’s set of television taping saw Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander earn an opportunity against the Briscoe Brothers after beating the Tag Team Champions in a Proving Ground Challenge thanks to interference of Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team, it was confirmed that Kevin Steen’s only opportunity will happen on 12th May in Toronto with the package piledriver would be allowed in the match. Also at the tapings Chikara wrestlers Los Ice Creams, Ophidian debuted taking on The Colony {Fire, Green and Solider Ant (Green and Solider Ant debuting)} in trios action exhibiting what the promotion can happen at the Chikara/ROH Synergy event on 28th April in Chicago.

At Chikara’s Hot Off The Griddle event (this event was before ROH’s Unity event) in Chicago; Eddie Kingston defend his Chikara’s Grand Championship against Wrestling’s Worst Nightmare Kevin Steen , Steen who had threatened that if he captured the championship he would put a transformer mask over the championship belt and give the title to his son. On the ROH Unity event The Bravado Brothers returned to the promotion after spending time in Japan working in the NOAH promotion and at their dojo, the show saw an Interpromotional trios match when the colony took on Adam Cole, Jay Lethal and TJ Perkins; in the main event of the evening the Briscoe Brothers went to defend not just their ROH Tag Team Championships but the pride of Ring Of Honor was also on the line as well against the team of Hallowicked and Jigsaw. The next night ROH where in Dayton , Ohio where the Briscoe’s and Wrestling’s Greatest Time squared off once again for the ROH Tag Team Championship and Adam Cole take on Davey Richards for the ROH Championship after ROH officials felt that Cole earned the opportunity after pinning Richards at the tenth anniversary.

Ring Of Honor presented their first Internet Pay Per View stream through the ROH Website after the mess at Wrestlemania weekend. That night saw the end of Tommaso Ciampa undefeated streak when Jay Lethal finally pinned the embassy’s monster, Canadian legend Lance Storm got retribution from Showdown in the Sun pinning Mike Bennett. That night saw two championships changed hands that night; Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team re captured the ROH Tag Team Championship by using ether in a Fight Without Honor; also, Kevin Steen’s dream came true but Jim Cornette’s and the promotions worst nightmare has he captured the Ring Of Honor from Davey Richards, but that not is the only shock out the night when Steve Corino who had been against Kevin Steen for most of the year embraced Kevin Steen and Jimmy Jacobs.

At this month’s television tapings it was announced that Eddie Edwards would complete in the Die Hard Trials series where he’ll challenge former Ring Of Honor Champions to stay intention of the ROH Championship, Finlay was announced that he will debut at Best In The World, Richard asked for his one and only rematch against wrestling’s worst nightmare, Eddie Edwards finally beat Davey Richards as one of his Die Hard Trial Series and Mike Bennett’s personal trainer Brutal Bob Evans made his in ring debut against Eddie Edwards. There was also a #1 Contenders Four Corner Survival match to decide who would face the winner of Steen Richards after Best In The World

Ring Of Honor returned to the Richmond Virginia were the feud between the Briscoe Brothers and WGTT in the form of Charlie Haas and Jay Briscoe fight in a lights out match which saw cups of beer, the top ring rope, steel wrench and their respective partners interfere in the match; Davey Richards took his frustrations on losing the ROH Championship on the zombie princess Jimmy Jacobs with Kevin Steen watching on at ringside (Steen was meant to be teaming with Jimmy to take on O’Reilly and Richards but Steen suffered an concussion at the television taping and wasn’t cleared to wrestle).

The promotion debuted in the Charleston, West Virginia. Adam Cole earned an opportunity at Roderick Strong’s Television Championship in pinning the champion in a proving ground four corner survival challenge, Davey Richards and Mike Mondo put on an wrestling classic going to a time limit draw, Kevin Steen turned away his first challenger away in Eddie Edwards for the ROH Championship and in their final encounter in a Texas Death match Jay Briscoe and Charlie Haas.

A week later it was time for Best In The World: Hostile Crisis coming once again for the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. The Briscoe Brothers kicked off the show against the mysterious tag team known as the guardians of truth who looked like the executioners (old school WWF Tag Team), Kyle O’Reilly took on his former partner Adam Cole in a Hybrid Fighting which got bloody very early, the All Night Express realised their dream and captured the ROH Tag Team Championship, Kyle O’Reilly turned on his trainer and friend Davey Richards minutes before Davey’s one and only opportunity at Kevin Steen’s ROH Championship saying that he wasn’t Davey’s lackey and there is no more team Richards, Steen retained his ROH Title over Davey Richards after receiving a low blow with a railway spike and the package piledriver.

At this month’s television tapings the queen of wrestling Sara Del Ray returned to the promotion evening the odds when Brutal Bob Evans, Maria and Mike Bennett tripled teamed Eddie Edwards and Adam Cole, Eddie Kingston returned to the promotion as request from Jim Cornette to attempt to take the ROH Championship from wrestling’s nightmare and Adam Cole captured his first piece of ROH Championship gold when he beat Roderick Strong for the ROH Television Championship and Mike Bennett finished his feud with Lance Storm by defeating the Canadian legend.

The promotion rounded off the month by running Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where BJ Whitmer and Jimmy Jacobs had their first singles match since Supercard Of Honor II back in 2007 (which was a bloody war) and Kevin Steen turned away the challenge from the messiah of the back breaker Roderick Strong.

(Right) This of course is ROH Champion Kevin Steen who had an amazing year in 2012

It was announced that The All Night Express had been stripped of their newly won ROH Tag Team Championship after Kenny King was released on his verbal agreement after appearing in an edition of TNA Impact; an tournament would start at the Television Tapings in August and round up at Death Before Dishonor X in September.

ROH made its Milwaukee debut this month. It saw Rhett Titus in singles action after his tag team partner’s release against brother of Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne in WWE) Mike Sydal, in the a return single encounter from Unscripted II BJ Whitmer took on Roderick Strong, an injured Mike Mondo was able to finish his match with Jay Lethal and a simple tag team match turned into a wild tag team match which saw Mark Briscoe live up to his insanity by jumping a off a balcony onto the world champion who was in a table in the ring.

Another set of TV tapings kicked off the month with the announcement of the eight teams which would compete for the opportunity to become the thirty forth Ring Of Honor Tag Team Champions they were Blk Out {making their ROH debut as a team (Ruckus was returning to the promotion since Ring Of Homicide II)}, Briscoe Brothers, Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman, Charlie Haas and a mystery partner, Guardians Of Truth, Rhett Titus and a mystery partner, The Bravado Brothers and The Young Bucks. Surprisingly enough Charlie Haas and Rhett Titus decided to put all differences aside (until they won the tag titles) so Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino entered the tournament so all SCUM (Suffering Chaos Ugliness and Mayhem) can control all the championship gold, Rhino was announced as the #1 Contender after beating Eddie Edwards in a anything goes match, Kevin Steen put Homicide challenge to his ROH Championship to rest, Mike Mondo earned an opportunity at Adam Cole’s television championship and Briscoe Brothers, Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman, Charlie Haas and Rhett Titus and SCUM advanced Death Before Dishonor X.

The promotion promoted its fifth iPPV of the year and on that iPPV QT Marshall earned an Ring Of Honor Contract, Adam Cole got redemption over Mike Bennett’s personal trainer Brutal Bob in a proving ground challenge, cracks where being to show in the foundation of the house of truth, Tommaso Ciampa suffered a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament during the two out three falls match against Jay Lethal, Sara Del Ray made her final appearance for the company by teaming with Eddie Edwards taking on Maria and Mike Bennett and Kevin Steen knocked back Eddie Kingston in a wild ROH Championship match that witness an powerbomb on a table (which was upside down) and a F Cinq on two open chairs.

The month kicked off with a return to Charlotte, North Carolina and to a show entitled “Cage Hostility” . The Bravado Brothers and Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman stole the show, Davey Richards returned to the company, Kevin Steen could of been fined $5,000 if he didn’t wrestle in the main event of the show, Kyle O’Reilly earned an opportunity at his former partners ROH Television Championship and Rhett Titus and Briscoe Brothers won a bloody cage match over SCUM.

The promotion promoted its sixth iPPV of the year Death Before Dishonor X State Of Emergency coming from Chicago, Illinois. SCUM and Rhett Titus and Charlie Haas reach the final of the ROH Tag Team Championship final with SCUM capturing the gold, Tadarius Thomas qualified for the 2012 Survival Of The Fittest, Davey Richards added himself into the Survival Of The Fittest, Irish Airborne (Dave and Jake Crist) (making their first appearance since Stylin and Profiling in 2009), ACH made his Ring Of Honor debut, Matt Hardy made an unexpected returning after the television championship match and calling Adam Cole a “Young Matt Hardy” and Kevin Steen over came House Of Truth member Rhino.

The next set of television tapings where entitled as “Fans Appreciation Night” and “Survival Of The Fittest 2012.” Adam Cole, Davey Richards, Jay Lethal, Roderick Strong, Mike Mondo and Michael Elgin made it to the final with Lethal capturing the 2012 crown, the unlikely team of BJ Whitmer and Rhett Titus defeated WGTT, Ciampa was kicked out of the guidance of RD Evans and was introduce into his latest client QT Marshall, Kevin Steen stopped Rhett Titus quest for the title and the Headbangers (yes Mosh and Thrasher the former WWF Tag Team Champions) where confirmed as the Guardians Of Truth.

The promotion kicked of the month with a show in Edison, New Jersey with a show called “Killer Instict.” Bobby Fish returned to the company (making his first appearance since Eliminating The Competition back in 2009) and the debut of the tag team 3.0 from Chikara, SCUM retained the tag team championship, Davey Richards and Mike Mondo put a technical classic and Jay Lethal fought Kevin Steen to a no contest and then Lethal ran rampant in the backstage and injured Jim Cornette. The injury angle wrote out Jim Cornette character after being hospitalised thanks to Lethal but there was speculation that it also meant that Jim Cornette would hand over the booking control to delirious.

Kevin Steen put Ring Of Honor on the spot by demanding the following things 80% of all Kevin Steen merchandise sales, Referee Paul Turner in various Outfits, Jay Lethal parents from all Ring Of Honor events, a new ROH Championship design, never to wrestle Jay Lethal again, to make the package piledriver legal again and to have unlimited amount of supply of milk and fruit punch Gatorade. If the demands not met then Kevin Steen will not defend the ROH Championship at Glory By Honor against Michael Elgin.

The promotion presented their eighth iPPV Glory By Honor XI Mike Mondo injured his ankle but continued to the finished against Mike Bennett, Jay Lethal proved that it wasn’t a fluke back Survival Of The Fittest against Davey Richards, dysfunction continued in the ranks of the house of truth when Roderick Strong refused to take on Tadarius Thomas so Rhino took the match and then lost to the up and comer then Rhino gored Truth Martini off the apron onto the guardrail and ripped truth’s pants reviling an nasty bruise on his leg, SCUM retained the ROH Tag Team Championship over the Briscoe Brothers, Kevin Steen retained the ROH Champion over last year’s Survival Of The Fittest Champion and fellow Canadian Michael Elgin. Ring Of Honor colour commentator Nigel McGuinness handed Steen a cardboard box and in that box was a El Generico mask and the chants of Ole Ole Ole Ole rang through the arena.
It was announced by the end of the month that Jim Cornette and the Sinclair Broadcasting Group agreed that it was time for Jim to set down as head of Ring Of Honor Head of creative but would stay on as a backstage and a production role.

The final set of television tapings took place with the announcement that Nigel McGuinness would become the new ROH Match maker for the promotion the first matches he set were a ROH Championship Ladder War between Steen and Generico and ROH Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Sudden Death match between Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman and the Briscoe Brothers challenging SCUM, Adam Cole retained his ROH Television title over his former partner and was rewarded with a new title design, Jerry Lynn would return to the promotion for his final match for the promotion at Final Battle, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly formed a tag team to target Davey Richards, Matt Hardy would return to the promotion to take ROH Television champion in a non title match, both Strong and Elgin confirmed that they were both done with the House of Truth, Kevin Steen retained the ROH title over Mike Bennett and Steve Corino and Jay Briscoe in a wild Steel City Street Fight.

The promotion presented their ninth and final iPPV of the year at the eleventh annual Final Battle. Jerry Lynn (his first show since Salvation 2007) and Matt Hardy (his first show for the company since Punk: The Final Chapter) both returned to the company but Lynn lost in his final match against Mike Bennett and Matt Hardy won against Adam Cole, Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team beat BJ Whitmer and Rhett Titus in a New York Street Fight which saw BJ take a sick bump through a table, Eddie Edwards returned from his tour of Japan to reform the American Wolves against Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly, Briscoe Brothers brought honor back to the ROH Tag Team Championship by becoming eight time Champions and Kevin Steen Survived to capture the new ROH Championship over El Generico after a brutal ladder war.

What is next for ROH promotion? Who will end the nightmare of the promotion? Will Steen’s nightmare regain supreme in 2013? Who will rise up to the challenge? Let’s see the promotion in 2013.