WWE Beast in the East Results and Recap: Balor Wins, Brock Destroys Kofi

July 04, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE started off July 4 with a big bang courtesy of its Beast in the East special. The live broadcast from Japan packed in two hours of some of the best action the WWE Network has seen in months, featuring another show-stealing performance from Kevin Owens.

Finn Balor defeated Kevin Owens to win the WWE NXT championship in the semi- main event of the show. Finn Balor and Kevin Owens tore it up in Tokyo on July 4 with a Match of the Year candidate. The match was action-packed and right up there with the Owens vs. Cena series, maybe better than the Owens vs. Cena match from Extreme Rules. The finish came at 19:25 when Balor pinned Owens after hitting the Coup de Grace. The match ends Owens reign as champion as well as likely ends Owens tenure in NXT.

Michael Cole was fantastic here on commentary (and throughout the night), telling the story of Balor’s journey from cleaning bathrooms in Japan to realizing his dream of becoming WWE champion. Cole was great throughout the show, offering a more “smarter” version of WWE commentary than I have ever heard him produce. Owens was super over here as a heel, Balor here to read more

WWE SmackDown Results and July 2 Recap

July 03, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Smackdown opens with Seth Rollins, flanked by J&J Security. Jimmy Uso is back on commentary this week, and I’m already in hell. Rollins says in today’s fast-paced culture, everyone’s always in a hurry to get where they’re going. It’s too bad none of you can get there in style. His boys, J&J epitomize style and will be riding around in a brand-new 2015 Cadillac CTS that he gave them. They’re generation, they’re up on technology, like Apple watches, like the ones he gave to J&J and Kane. He’s as eager to talk about the future as anyone, but they need to focus on the present. We are living in historic times. The world is changing before their eyes. Their children’s children, and their children, are going to want to know what it was like to be part of such a historic era. He then pretends to be a kid, asking “Uncle Joey” and “Uncle Jamie” about Rollins destroying the “Roman Empire” and burning “Suplex City” to the ground. We go to footage from two weeks ago when the Authority quadruple-teamed Lesnar. Back to the ring, Rollins says he never gets tired of seeing that. In the matter of two weeks, here to read more

PWG Battle of Los Angeles Rundown – Part 2

July 02, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

This year, the promotion hosts the 11th edition of its annual Battle of Los Angeles tournament, where 24 competitors will battle it out for the chance to win the trophy and take on current PWG World Champion, Roderick Strong. Here, I’m going to run through all 24 participants, and give you my opinion on their chances of winning.

#7- Mark Andrews – Here’s another familiar name for those 15 of you who still watch TNA. Mandrews won the recent season of British Boot Camp, and his style is comparable to Matt Sydal, including an awe-inspiring shooting star press. His run in TNA has been disappointing, to say the very least, and although I selfishly want all of the British entrants to do well, I can’t see Mandrews getting past the first round.

#8- Brian Cage – If you haven’t seen Brian Cage wrestle, its an amazing sight. For a man with such power and so many goddamn muscles, his agility and high-flying prowess is shockingly good. Cage has enjoyed much recent success in the company, and I can see him reaching the later stages of the tournament. Or a fantastic performance at the very least.

#9- Ricochet – The winner of last year’s here to read more

Mark Henry: Misused, Overlooked and Poorly Booked

July 02, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

There’s nothing like 2011 Mark Henry. He was a man on a mission, hell-bent on reaching the top and wouldn’t let anything stand in his way. He was tough, he was vicious and he was merciless. He wanted to maim, he wanted to destroy and he wanted the World Heavyweight Championship.

WWE Night of Champions saw him gain that prize and it was the culmination of 15 year’s worth of hard work and sacrifice. It remains my favorite time of his career, a time when his loyalty and dedication finally paid off.

I’m not here to eulogize Mark Henry, far from it. I’m not one of those guys that look at him now and automatically assume his career is dead and that he’s being kept around to fill a big man spot. In fact, I’m of the opinion he still has something to offer.

But the bad part is he’s not being allowed to do much of anything now. The World’s Strongest Man has fallen into The Big Show syndrome and no one wants to be there; not even The Big Show.

Basically, Mark is just kind of floating along now. He has switched sides a few times over the past year or here to read more

WWE Fans Speak With Low RAW Ratings

July 02, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The RAW ratings are in for this week and people aren’t happy. The June 29 RAW did the second-lowest RAW rating for a non-holiday show in almost twenty years. The fans are sending a message and the message here is that they aren’t happy and will find something else to do with their Monday nights until things change.

I don’t blog much about the ratings because quite frankly, I am not that interested in getting caught up in the numbers. However, from time to time those numbers do wind up telling a story. The story told in recent weeks is that the WWE is losing fans and losing them fast. Yet anyone watching objectively on Monday night could have predicted after five minutes that Monday’s show was going to a ratings loser.

Ironically the rating comes after a RAW that had arguably the best match on RAW in the last twelve months. JOhn Cena and Cesaro had what I thought was one of the best RAW matches I have ever seen, certainly one of the top three if not one for the last twelve months. While you could argue the point that the numbers prove fans don’t care about great here to read more

PWG Battle of Los Angeles Rundown – Part 1

July 01, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

If you’re a wrestling fan and you haven’t heard of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, you’re clearly doing something wrong. The Reseda based promotion has been increasing in popularity ever since its inception in 2003, and past world champions include the likes of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens.

This year, the promotion hosts the 11th edition of its annual Battle of Los Angeles tournament, where 24 competitors will battle it out for the chance to win the trophy and take on current PWG World Champion, Roderick Strong. Here, I’m going to run through all 24 participants, and give you my opinion on their chances of winning.

#1- Will Ospreay – As a British wrestling fan, this entrant (as well as the second and seventh) warms my heart. Ospreay has been one of the most consistent performers of recent years in promotions such as Progress and Revolution Pro. His high flying ability is something to behold, and I expect him to have a good run in this year’s tournament. As for winning it? Probably not.

#2- Marty Scurll – Similarly to Ospreay, Scurll’s stock has skyrocketed in the last few years, all thanks to a simple gimmick change. You may recognise him from TNA’s British Boot here to read more

Kevin Owens Is Breaking The WWE Mold

July 01, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

I will be the first to admit that I was wrong and guess what? I was wrong about Kevin Owens. The WWE has shown a commitment to Owens not seen since the Shield and the payoff may be the next elite superstar of the future.

As excited as some were about Owens coming in to wrestle John Cena, it was hard to ignore the obvious. The history of WWE creative shows that they get it wrong more than they get it right. Owens starting at the top had disaster written all over it yet in this case they got it right. You don’t get many better opening nights than the one Owens had at Payback.

Then came Money in the Bank and “the most anticipated rematch in WWE history” or at least that is what Michael Cole was trying to sell us. Like many, I was concerned. The obvious finish here was Cena going over and history told us that was where this was going to go. Cena did indeed go over but the creative team did a fantastic job of keeping his heat strong. As a matter of a fact look no further than this match as an example of a here to read more

Sasha Banks: Why “The Boss” Will Revolutionize the WWE Divas Division

June 30, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

As we all know, WWE’s Divas division desperately needs a revival. The WWE Universe has made it known that they prefer to see women in professional wrestling be portrayed as something other than sex objects; they prefer to see them portrayed as competent, authentic, worthwhile competitors. For this reason, fans have become less invested in WWE’s Divas division, and are now completely enthralled by NXT’s Women’s division. The women in NXT have impactful, meaningful storylines. They are given copious amounts of screen time, which helps their ability to tell the audience a story over the course of a match. Overall, NXT’s female performers are completely equal to their male counterparts, and it just works.

In order for the main roster Divas division to capture the same magic as NXT’s Women’s division, WWE must simply change their mindset. The company will have to split up on-screen air time differently, the creative team will have to provide them with meaningful storylines, and above all, they must move away from their current idea of women serving as only eye candy.

As history shows us, every crusade needs a leader. As mainstream sports show us, every organization needs a franchise player. This idea holds true in here to read more

Happy Birthday Terry Funk

June 30, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

If you were wondering, it is still unanswered question as to whether or not Terry Funk – who turns 71 today – is retired from the wars in and out of the wrestling ring. As a fan who has watched the former NWA World Champion over the course of five decades, I am not sure if given the chance the man who helped put hardcore wrestling on the map in ECW wouldn’t get in the ring for another run or two.

That’s the kind of performer and wrestler Funk has always been. And his life within wrestling circles is living proof that some in the business can never (ever, in the words of Chris Jericho) give it up.

Funk is known mainly for the hardcore wrestling style he adopted in the latter part of his career that inspired many younger wrestlers, including Mick Foley. He worked for at least 63 promotions around the world over his 49-year career, including all major American and Japanese.

I remember him as the villain who had many great matches with the likes of Jack Brisco, Bobo Brazil, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Harley Race and Eddie Graham in my childhood.

In major promotions, Funk is a three-time World Champion, here to read more

WWE Legends Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels Talk About Their Past and Present

June 29, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Legendary pro wrestling journalist Bill Apter had the opportunity to sit down with WWE legends Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart recently. The former heated rivals updated Bill on their friendship in this exclusive Apter Chat.

Bill sat down with both guys separately and asked them about where things stood today between the two. Both were very complimentary towards each other and tell Bill they have a great friendship these days. It’s a short video but well worth the watch considering the amount of history both Hart and Michaels have together.

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