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Archive for the ‘WWE | Pro Wrestling’

Sting vs. The Rock Rumored For WWE WrestleMania 31

April 22, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Now that Sting is finally a part of the WWE, fans are wondering what will become of the future Hall of Famer. With The Undertaker seemingly out of the picture, what do you do with him at WrestleMania 31? How about match him up against another icon?

A new rumor has surfaced that indicates we could see Sting go one-on-one with a WWE icon. One of the ideas being tossed around for WrestleMania 31 would pit Sting against The Rock in a dream match. The match would likely be Sting’s last and could be the swan song for the People’s Champion as well.

This isn’t exactly a new idea as there is more to this story than meets the eye. Reports back in 2005 indicate that The Rock was lobbying the company to sign Sting for a match between these two at WrestleMania 21. Vince McMahon had other plans and his disinterest in making the match played a part in creating a rift between Vince and Rock. 10 years later we could get that match.

Most expect The Rock to wrestle Brock Lesnar if he were to step back into the squared circle. The WWE has reportedly been hot on that match for two years now. Personally I don’t expect that match to ever be made. Rock was injured against John Cena in his last match and it almost cost him a big movie gig in Hercules. Getting into the ring against the most physical athlete in the WWE probably wouldn’t be a good idea at this point. Getting into the ring with someone safe could tempt the Great One, especially if it were Sting.

Sting has indeed signed as evident by his appearances throughout Warrior Week on the WWE Network last week. Early plans indicate that the WWE will be releasing a DVD on Sting sometime in September. Earlier reports suggest that the WWE aren’t interested in having Sting wrestle more than a handful of matches. I can’t think of a better way to get the most out of your investment than a match with Sting and The Rock.

I think it’s the way to go for both guys. Sting has slowed down as expected for a guy in his late fifties. That said, he had a few real good matches during his TNA run and did much better when he made sporadic appearances as opposed to when he appeared regularly. The demands on Sting to live up to the hype of a WrestleMania match would be too much with anyone else. With The Rock, they could go out there and camouflage Sting’s weaknesses with a fun, entertaining match.

I blogged about the potential for a Sting vs. John Cena match at this past WrestleMania a few months back when we were still guessing the card. I think these two could do something special together at Mania. It probably isn’t your best use of Cena but it does give him the opportunity to go over another legend/icon on the biggest stage of the year. As big as this could be it certainly wouldn’t be as big as Rock vs. Sting.

A lot of patience will be required by the WWE to get the most out of this match. I don’t think you need to hold Sting out of the ring until next spring, but you have to pick your spots with him. Less is more in his case and it is better off leaving fans wanting more than exposing him as a guy who has slowed down since his WCW days. It will be interesting to see how things play out over the next few weeks now that fans know Sting is indeed a part of the WWE Universe.

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Kane’s Brilliance Summed Up In First Segment of WWE Raw

April 22, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

In one 10-minute segment on Monday Night Raw, we finally saw the Kane we had becomes used to seeing when he first made his appearance in the WWE. And as a fan and a writer, I believe the move to a more destructive, evil, sinister character is the proper way to go in terms of entertainment value and the overall feel we are supposed accept as the WWE Universe moves towards Extreme Rules.

While this pay-per-view is one that has a Brock Lesnar feel for it, Kane – whether he captures the WWE World Title or not – will be the destructive force of the pay-per-view and will shine like never before.

On many occasions, I have moaned how the WWE has not given this man the proper respect he deserves. While the Undertaker is the most seasoned performer on the roster, Kane is the most underrated and most respected. And nobody can argue with that kind of statement.

For the past two decades Kane has shown everything that is right in the world of professional wrestling and when he dismantled Daniel Bryan (which by the way was a dead giveaway when Brie was standing in the ring with him) it was pure electricity.

And a great way to start the Raw program.

In my time as a fan and writer over the years, we have witnessed heels who got over with the fans who were ‘tweeners like Steve Austin, Randy Savage, Ric Flair and even Superstar Billy Graham. There have been heels who never resonated with fans like Alberto Del Rio upon his arrival to the WWE. With Kane, you get the entire picture and the complexity of his character in a few moves, a solid look and the fire from within. All of this makes for a compelling cartoon character who comes alive week after week and has been missing in action way too long.

While I like Kane as a fan favorite and a face, the sappy crap the company put him through over the past 18 months in my opinion diminished his character and put him in a situation like Mark Henry and Big Show where they needed one more true run as a heel and bad ass to be taken seriously.

This was Kane’s fate as well. The Team Hell No skits were cute and the tag team wrestling was pretty darn good, but a foe of Daniel Bryan is better than a playmate of Daniel Bryan.

Kane made his first appearance in the WWE at Badd Blood: In Your House on October, 1997, by using The Undertaker’s own Tombstone Piledriver to cost him the victory in the first-ever Hell in a Cell match with Shawn Michaels. In keeping with the notion that Kane had been scarred by the fire – and to conceal Kane’s identity – the character wore a mask, sported long hair, and wore red and black ring attire that almost covered his entire body.

Kane and The Undertaker feuded with one another over the following year, during which time their history against one another was expounded. He won his first match as Kane against Mankind at Survivor Series. In weeks prior on Raw, Kane had randomly attacked other wrestlers including Ahmed Johnson, Road Warrior Hawk, the Hardy Boyz, Flash Funk, and Cactus Jack/Mankind’s alter ego, Dude Love.

From then on, the man has become an institution within the company and someone the lockerroom and roster have depended on and trusted in the ring. Now in the twilight of his career (yes, at some point it will come to an end), he shows his true colors and the man we first were introduced to some 17 years ago.

Even in this new era of attitude, Kane’s contribution to the WWE and his chance at the WWE World Title are still a major highlight we all follow with extreme passion.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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Observing Young WWE Fans

April 22, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

For the most part, I tend to be a loner (a loner, Dottie, a rebel). As such, I like to do things by myself. I like to watch wrestling alone. Despite the fact that I love to write about it, I don’t really enjoy talking about it with other people.

So, it was begrudgingly that I watched a few episodes of Monday Night Raw a couple months back with my mom, her boyfriend, and his two sons. The two sons are 11 and 14. I’m 27, so I have zero desire to hang out with them or talk to them about anything. But, they seem to like me and especially seem to like my encyclopedia-like wrestling knowledge. “Chris, who was the guy who…” and “When did this guy…” and the like are routinely asked by them to me.

While I don’t like talking to people so much, I do enjoy observing and learning. I was watching two kids who grew up on PG-era WWE and had accepted that John Cena was their top guy. These kids have no clue what Ring of Honor is and don’t know Bryan Danielson or Claudio Castagnoli. These are straight up, the core WWE audience that the company goes for these days. These kids actually call the wrestlers “sports entertainers.”

Hulk Hogan made his second or third Raw appearance on one of these shows I watched with them. The music hit and I got one of those nice, nostalgic smiles on my face that you can’t hide. I leaned forward in my chair a little bit and listened to one of the masters do his thing. Classic Hogan promo and it sold. The crowd loved it.

I looked over at the 11-year-old. He seemed bored. He didn’t seem to care. Disinterested in the return of “Hulkamania.” [sidenote: it makes me happy that my computer says that’s a real word]. I thought to myself, “Maybe he’s just not into wrestling tonight. We all have an off night.”

A few moments later, a pasty-faced Irish ginger came on the screen. The kid sat up and exclaimed “Sheamus!” And then a little part of me died on the inside. Maybe that last bit was an exaggeration. But, I wasn’t happy.

I thought about it a little more. I put myself in his shoes. What did I like when I was 11? Three letters. You’re going to say them with that trademark deep voice: N. W. O. Yes, I was all about the New World Order back then. Do you know who I didn’t like? That old guy with the flabby pecs, Ric Flair.

The first time I became a legit fan of wrestling, Ric Flair was in his mid 40s. I didn’t discover how amazing he was until WWE started monetizing his video library in the early 2000s. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I liked Kevin Nash more than Ric Flair in 1998. Maybe one day this kid will say to himself, “Wow, I really liked Sheamus more than Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins?”

One good thing, I guess, that I noticed is that WWE is doing a good job of erasing what they don’t want the kids to know. The 14-year-old was talking wrestling during dinner and I was trying to ignore him. He then asked about Chris Benoit. Specifically, he asked me if I knew about Chris Benoit. Because, as I found out, he really didn’t know anything about him.

That day in 2007 is absolutely the worst day of my life as a wrestling fan. I could safely say that it was probably in the top 15 worst days of my life in general. That era was just a bad time for all wrestling fans. WWE erased Benoit from their history and these kids don’t know who he is.

“Didn’t he…” and “Then, didn’t he…” and “But how did he…” and all these Benoit questions were flung at me. I played dumb. “I don’t really know what happened” I said. They bought it.

I saw a statistic shortly after the launch of the WWE Network that said the top PPV event subscribers had watched was WrestleMania 29. All these decades of PPV shows from WWE, WCW, and EC-Dub… and people chose to watch Rock vs Cena?

It really shows the age of who is watching the Network. These kids were told that John Cena beating The Rock was one of the biggest moments in history, so they’re watching it. My hope is that the WWE Network allows the PG-era fans to expand their minds and learn what else is out there. There’s a great big world out there, you just have to get through John Cena and Sheamus to see it.

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Zach Gowen Talks About Adversity, Vince McMahon, & Inspiring Others

April 21, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Chances are, if you wrestled your final WWE match at the tender age of twenty, you’d mope about it bitterly for years following.

Not if you’re Zach Gowen.

For a five-month frame in 2003, the pre-booze-age Gowen lived the dream of any fan, coming to the aid of Hulk Hogan, scoring pinfalls on The Big Show and Matt Hardy, and even had a pay-per-view battle against wrestling’s most powerful figure, Vince McMahon. That’s plenty to take in for someone barely out of grade school.

“I was overwhelmed; you would be too!” Gowen merrily recalls. “My reaction (to getting signed) was shock and amazement when they called me. I was a bag boy at a local grocery store when Johnny Ace called me. Becoming a WWE superstar wasn’t even a thought in my head.”

“The first day on the job, at a Smackdown taping, here I was having a conversation with Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, and Vince McMahon before the show. I loved wrestling Vince. It was so cool for me to see just how freakin’ dedicated and hard working this man is. He’s truly a pioneer and is up there in the same ranks as a Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.”

For anyone to be in any position to rub shoulders on a national stage with such storied icons is unfathomable, triply so when you’ve got only one leg.

To know of Gowen is to know that, following a cancer diagnosis, his left leg was amputated at age eight. This made the pipe dream of finding success in any physical vocation, let alone touring as a professional wrestler, even more exceedingly daunting.

Yet to see Gowen perform, compensating for the missing limb as imaginatively as his mind and drive allow, is a thing of beauty. Running the ropes with a striding hop, and skipping up turnbuckles, represent two parts of a spectrum: artistic grace, and defiance toward hindrance. Now 31 years old, Gowen feels he’s perfected his act.

“The obstacles themselves have become almost obsolete. I was signed and put on the road after having less than 20 matches,” Gowen reveals. “It’s crazy to think about the idea of me being in WWE was a live experiment being played out on TV in front of millions on a weekly basis!”

“I didn’t know what I had, and the WWE didn’t fully comprehend how to get the most out of me, so there was a lot of throwing s–t against the wall to see if anything would stick. It bothers me a little bit that some fans think what they saw on TV is what my act is all about. That’s why it’s always a treat to wrestle at these independent shows for kids who have never seen me before, *and* for the fans who think they know all I’m capable of!”

Zach Gowen would last less than a year under WWE contract, but rather than chalk up the parting of ways as a failure, he instead looks at the positives of the reality check he received at a young age.

“I learned many lessons in the ring, but the biggest lessons learned were life lessons. Unfortunately for me, I had to learn most of these lessons by dealing with the repercussions of doing the exact opposite! Show up on time, how to conduct yourself as a professional, be kind to everyone, be helpful, etc. Wrestling has really laid the foundation for my life in a lot of ways.”

Post-WWE, Gowen lent his services to a number of high-profile organizations, including TNA, Ring of Honor, and even the Insane Clown Posse’s cult-status JCW promotion. Perhaps as he was destined to do, Gowen found his kindred spirit in Gregory Iron, a popular independent star most notable for overcoming his own affliction, cerebral palsy.

Together, Gowen and Iron perform as “The Handicapped Heroes”, serving to both inspire and dazzle onlookers across the globe. They even took on a manager, a young woman named Jill Dials, who’s confined to a wheelchair thanks to spina bifida.

“To have had, and to continue to have, the impact on the lives of fans with disabilities worldwide, Greg and Jill included, is absolutely astonishing and mind-blowing to me. I appreciate that more than ever now. I’m blessed.”

Gowen openly embraces this lot in life, to be seen not as a sideshow act, but as a real person making the most of life’s hand, showing others that anything can be achieved. By mining success and reward out of each day, each performance, and each appearance, it’s more than within reason that others can do the same, disabled or not.

“After disappearing from wrestling for a number of years, I came back stronger. I’m fully engaged and living life on my terms. I’m a father and a husband. I wrestle full time on the independent scene, speak full time to the youth of America, and just released the most in-depth piece on my life ever made: a documentary called “Finding Zach Gowen”.

The documentary timelines Gowen’s life and career, featuring testimonials from peers such as Truth Martini (Gowen’s trainer), Rhino, Jimmy Jacobs, former WWE official Jim Korderas, along with Gowen, his mother, and numerous others. Within, Gowen opens up about not just the obstacles of his cancer diagnosis and subsequent life adjustments, but also the drug use that plagued him in adulthood.

Gowen makes no excuses for his choices, and puts them on par with his childhood illness: just something else to defeat.

“I believe the sole purpose of my existence is to be of maximum service to God and to my fellow human travelers on this planet. One way I do that is by sharing my story through various platforms, in this case, professional wrestling.”

With many opportunities ahead of him, and many more souls to reach, Gowen would change seemingly nothing of his past. Incidentally, he’d change nothing of his present either.

“I have no goals in wrestling except to shine inspiration on whoever needs it when they see me in action. I would be an asshole if I asked for anything more, not only in wrestling, but in life. Wrestling has provided me a life beyond my wildest dreams and for that, I’m eternally grateful.”

(Mr. Gowen is available for speaking engagements through http://www.coolspeakers.net/, and accepts bookings through his website, www.zachgowen.com)

Justin Henry has been an occasional contributor to Camel Clutch Blog since 2009. His other work can be found at WrestleCrap.com and ColdHardFootballFacts.com. He can be found on Twitter, so give him a follow.

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Evolution, The Shield and Other WWE Thoughts

April 21, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE is in a position where it can really make a statement heading into Extreme Rules and beyond toward SummerSlam with The Shield and Evolution as its two main factions. The move to reunite Triple H with Randy Orton and Batista was bound to happen once Daniel Bryan won the WWE World Title and Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins all jumped to the side of good. There is a revived feel within the confines of the company. It smells like success.

And based on this sudden feud, there a hope that the masses that loved Evolution before will love Evolution again.

But only if…

Like we discussed before, Evolution was the concept created by Triple H as an homage to the Four Horsemen – each wrestler holding a title and each performing working to better the last match. Not only was it entertaining, it was brilliant and for once, since the New World Order, there was a ground of rugged bad asses that could run the asylum.

This time, there is no Ric Flair – but it looks like Kane will fill that slot and chase the world champion for a bit with Extreme Rules being the jump off point to begin the “old is new” campaign.

All of this newness and excitement comes with some apprehension on my part. After we all drank the Kool Aid and got over our Wolf Pac hangover, we needed a new “fix” – that is where Triple H made Evolution the new Horsemen.

But the concept of a recreation of Evolution and The Shield is great and Kane and Daniel Bryan will steal the show at Extreme Rules, where does it take off from there? If there is to be a true Evolution, then all three members of the originals and Kane must all capture titles. The only problem is beside the World Title and the Tag Titles, what is there for this group to accomplish?

Can the WWE get over with taking what was original, changing it, serving it to the WWE Universe and ask it to swallow it whole? Only time shall tell.

Divas Addition by Subtraction

I haven’t been this excited about anything associated with the Divas division sine Lita flew off the top rope.

The announcement that AJ Lee will be taking time away from the WWE is something both Lee and the WWE needs. Call it a bit of separation. Lee has been the dominant force behind the women in the division for so long, a real change was needed. Dropping the belt to Paige is a bit of a head scratcher, but then again, nothing in this division has made any sense of late – well for the past year. Where are you now Beth Phoenix, Eve and Gail Kim?

Take away the drama from Total Divas and this could be the start of something positive in the division. Paige will more than likely become a temporary champion. At some point, the strap should be placed on Tamina and hopefully some amazon comes along to battle the daughter of none other than Jimmy Snuka.

Kharma, where are you?

Seriously, Paige helps the company set things up for some positive matches that could be more entertaining than we are used to seeing.

More Brock, More Associates

In order for the WWE to look more like its old self, maybe seeing Brock Lesnar in the ring more would help. If the “Streak” stopper is to be taken more seriously, shouldn’t the WWE find a suitable wrestler to face him? Sting might work – if he officially signs.

So would Sheamus. Cesaro would have been ideal, but Paul Heyman made him one of his guys. If we are looking to add more wrestlers to Heyman’s stable, might we see Wade Barrett become the next “Paul Heyman Guy?”

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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Global Force Wrestling: Success in 4 Easy Steps

April 21, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

When Global Force Wrestling first became a thing, I have to admit that I rolled my eyes. But, as a person who is starving for wrestling, any attempt to bring new talent to a wider audience should be respected. As much as I watch WWE and have blindly supported them for years, they have definitely missed the boat on must have talents. WWE could use men like Prince Devitt and Adam Cole, but 9 times out of 10, they seem intent to sign those chiseled out of stone with no wrestling skills or football types.

WWE sets the standard for what is/isn’t cool in the wrestling industry, so if they tell you football types with no personality are cool, they are. Its claims to be an entertainment company first and foremost bred the mentality amongst mainstream fans that the indy wrestling companies aren’t worth the attention.

Despite WWE’s years long resistance to take notice of indie wrestlers, some of the biggest names in the company have made their names in the indies. Seth Rollins, CM Punk, Antonio Cesaro, and the newly crowned WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan spent years in the indie scene making a name for themselves before WWE was ever in their vocabulary. If anything, indie wrestling should be respected as not just a breeding ground for new indie talent, but the creators of the future of wrestling. You don’t have to only be in WWE to make a splash in this industry. The rise of the aforementioned is proof positive of that.

The announcement of Global Force Wrestling should be treated as good news. GFW has the chance to take the best of the best from the indies and give them an opportunity to put on a show like you’ve never seen. Meanwhile, that talent is given the chance at a new business opportunity and a greater exposure to wrestling fans. Believe me; I want more than anything for GFW to be a success. A wrestling industry cannot thrive without multiple wrestling organizations pushing WWE to its limits creatively and talent wise.

From my perspective, if Global Force Wrestling would like to remain a force, here are 3 things that the company should not do.

1. Do not in any way try to copy what WWE does.

I will probably spend days arguing this point, but I believe that copying WWE in a wink wink nudge nudge sort of way or openly mocking it is an acknowledgement that the GFW brand is weak. Companies too busy producing quality wrestling do not have time to bite off of WWE’s successful storylines or make fun of what they do. GFW does not need ride WWE’s or TNA’s storylines to get people talking about their shows.

At this very moment, Jeff Jarrett and his band of bookers should be working on at least 3 years of mind-blowing, original storylines that will put GFW on the map. Not reality show ideas or anything else but the wrestling. Appearing on TV with bad wrestling and even worse storylines is a disaster that should be avoided. Great wrestling, creative storylines and good looking production should always be the foremost thought of any wrestling company.

2. Jeff and Karen Jarrett should not be the television focal point of GFW

All I see when I look at the GFW website is too many pictures of Jeff and Karen Jarrett and not enough pictures or video of anybody else. Jeff and Karen being an obvious focal point of the company is not what GFW needs in the beginning. Jeff and Karen should take a backseat to the actual talent that they will be booking on the show. Posting selfies with different popular wrestlers with hash tags in the pictures is not an acceptable view into what we as fans will be seeing in terms of content, nor does it say anything positive for your brand to tease the appearances of big names in the industry who may decide to not participate in the show. Nor is it the smart thing to sell GFW shirts before a show is actually put on. But that’s not the point.

History has shown that Jeff Jarrett has a habit of making himself the focal point of wrestling shows, and it has always come back to bite him. Jarrett booking himself as a champion is something you’d expect out of 1985 wrestling promotions and not in the current age of wrestling where social media is your best friend and worst enemy.
GWF says that it wants to be a force in wrestling. So, they should act like it. Storylines itself are not hard to make believable. You just have to have the right mix of everything to make it work. I can only hope that a conversation about Jeff and Karen not being on camera is a discussion that is currently happening right now. Jeff may not agree with this, but he needs to lose the ego and make the wrestlers on his show the center of the show. It doesn’t take millions to make a company look legitimate, but it does require thought beyond a minute long video of the CEO of a wrestling company with a hood on his head walking in a field.

3. Build a niche market of women’s wrestling fans with a competitive women’s division that isn’t only about big breasts and short skirts.

As a lady who watches many hours of THIS BUSINESS, one of my biggest complaints is that I don’t have a women’s division that I can be proud of watching. I know you have to keep men’s eyes on the programming with some TNA, but women like Portugal’s Perfect athlete Shanna, Mia Yim, Leah Von Dutch, Veda Scott and many others should be on the show each week putting on wrestling clinics. Are there companies like Shimmer who cater to the women’s wrestling only crowd? Sure there are. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t put a stamp on a women’s division by doing cage matches, ladder matches and other types of specialty types of matches that women’s wrestling fans crave. Just because it exists doesn’t mean that fans of the type wouldn’t want to see more of it.

Let it also be said that GFW’s women’s wrestling should feature a wide variety of women in all the different shapes, sizes and colors that we come in. Pretty girls are fantastic, but women like Kharma are intriguing and exactly what a promotion like GFW needs.

4. Focus on the future talents and build your brand around them.

The oldest trick in the book with wrestling promotions is to invite stars of the past to appear on the show to get older fans to watch it. If your talent is strong enough, there is more than enough reason to not invite Scott Hall and Kevin Nash on your program and to focus on making stars instead of depend on the old guard. As a new company, what does it say to fans when they see Scott Hall or Bret Hart? That Bret and Scott are the stars and these other people are meaningless. Make the new talent your future. Build and create stars instead of depending on WWE’s stars. Be your own brand. Believe me, fans will love it.

GFW has the chance to change the industry by focusing on the wrestling, production and quality aspects of the business. By not doing these 4 simple things, GFW risks losing its audience and making a mockery of itself worldwide. Jeff Jarrett’s focus should be putting on an exciting wrestling show that fans will not be able to resist. The only way to do that is by taking risks and having faith in your talent. I hope that Jarrett can achieve greatness with GFW instead of creating another wrestling promotion that will be made fun of.

Shanna Harris has been watching wrestling for over 10 years. She loves women’s wrestling, NXT, and live tweeting wrestling shows. Her many wrestling commentaries can be found at Absolutesmark.wordpress.com, and her 140 character rants can be read at @AbsoluteSmark

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Warrior: The Ultimate Legend Is A WWE Masterpiece

April 21, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE paid tribute to the Ultimate Warrior last week with a full week of specials on the WWE Network. Yet it was their documentary, Warrior: The Ultimate Legend that was truly nothing short of ultimate.

The WWE outdid themselves last week, producing arguably the best documentary in company history. The new documentary chronicling the Ultimate Warrior’s career paid an honest, fair, emotional, and classy tribute to the fallen WWE icon. Even more impressive is that the WWE put the production together in just a matter of days.

The documentary takes a lot of clips from the new Ultimate Collection DVD as well as clips from an unseen interview, blending them with candid footage of Warrior’s Hall of Fame, WrestleMania, RAW appearances and commentary from his wrestling peers. There are a few wrestling clips in there but it was the emotional tribute by his colleagues that captivated me from start to finish.

Sting is included quite a bit in the documentary. Sting was able to give some context into Warrior’s early days as the two broke into the business together. Sting also gave some insight into Warrior’s failed WCW run. One of the more revealing and honest thoughts from the video came when Sting admitted he was jealous when Warrior wrestled and beat Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI.

Vince McMahon is arguably the star of the documentary. Vince offers insight throughout the documentary about the ups and downs in his relationship with Warrior. From my standpoint he came across probably more honest than he has ever been in one of these documentaries. The one thing that was painfully clear was that Vince was hurting. I still don’t know why this one hit him so hard but it has really taken a toll on him. Vince says at one point, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone” in reference to Warrior. Quite frankly the man seemed heartbroken.

Warrior’s relationship with the McMahon family was chronicled extensively in the doc. Warrior talked about visiting the McMahons whenever he was in town and staying over at their house whether the family were home or not. He talked about his relationship with Shane McMahon as brotherly and even refers to Vince at one point like a dad. You can’t help but watch and think about the huge weight lifted off of Warrior’s shoulders when he finally buried the hatchet with the McMahons and made peace with the family.

Another relationship that was strained and repaired was Hulk Hogan. He and Hogan have had said some brutal things about each other in the press over the years. Warrior says the root of their heat is from a deposition that Hogan gave when Warrior sued the WWE over the Self-Destruction DVD. Warrior said that Hogan refused to admit to anything. A very cool clip is played of the actual deposition with Hogan in which Hogan calls Warrior a flash in the pan. Hogan gives his side of the story which is that he was ambushed when he came into the deposition by Warrior’s team and quickly chose his side which was the WWE. Triple H says that he told Hogan not to approach Warrior until after the Hall of Fame. The cameras catch Hogan and Warrior making amends at WrestleMania with Hogan telling him how sorry he is and how much he loves him. I know the Hogan cynics will never buy it but he seemed very sincere about it as far as I could tell.

The cameras followed Warrior throughout the Hall of Fame which was very cool. There is some great footage of him and Vince McMahon hanging out before the ceremony. Vince was beaming and looked like he was having such a great time with Warrior. It should be pointed out that when they were talking about his speech Vince told Warrior to say whatever he wants, even negative words in which Warrior responds saying that he wouldn’t do that and it will be all positive.

You can’t help but have your heart break for his family as you watch the documentary. The man is a proud family man and his daughters were real proud of him. Say what you will about Warrior and you know what, some of the criticism is fair, but no family deserves to lose their father this young. My heart goes out to those girls.

It was hard to ignore the health of Warrior during his WrestleMania weekend of appearances. Warrior looked noticeably more tired that weekend than he did when he was filmed at earlier times during the documentary. Warrior looked tired and almost short of breath at times when talking to Sgt. Slaughter and Vince McMahon. At times he walked and looked like he had just finished a 20-minute wrestling match. In comparison to other interview clips with Warrior that were taped months before the weekend, he did not look healthy. This brings me back to those theories many have of Warrior knowing that his time was up, quoting the interview from RAW and his speech. Nobody will ever truly know the answer to that but a keen eye reveals a lot about his well being the last few days of his life.

There is talk about the WWE working with the USA Network to air the documentary. The consensus is that the movie is so good, that it needs to be seen by more people outside of the WWE Network. I can’t agree more. The world needs to see these sides of the Warrior and the McMahon family and get the true story of this WWE Hall of Famer’s career. Hopefully a deal can be made and more people can see the doc.

I still scratch my head at the numerous tributes that the McMahon family are giving Warrior but one thing is clear coming out of this movie. Their intentions do appear to be sincere. Why Vince is so heartbroken over this is another question. The fact that we got this classic documentary out of this tribute makes it alright regardless of the intentions.

Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection DVD

Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection [Blu-ray]

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

WWE SmackDown Results & April 18 Recap

April 21, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

This week’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown is headlined by a battle for former WWE world heavyweight champions as Batista takes on Sheamus.

MATCH 1: Alberto Del Rio vs. Intercontinental Champion Big E (non-title)
A cut-away promo from Big E says he hasn’t seen this much competition for a title in years. At Extreme Rules, one man will have the opportunity to be dropped by the Big Ending. The two lock up, and E backs ADR into the corner. ADR escapes, then kicks E in the leg before nailing some rights to the head. They crisscross, E ducks a clothesline and hits a shoulder for 1. E goes for a backbreaker, but ADR frees himself with rights to the head before hitting a step-up enziguri for 2. ADR stomps him down, then applies a rear chinlock. E gets to his feet and backs ADR into the corner, but then runs into a pair of boots. ADR hits a running kick to the ribs for 2, then assaults E in the corner. He goes for a charge, but E sidesteps him, sending him shoulder-first into the post. E hits a pair of clotheslines, ducks one and hits a belly-to-belly suplex. He goes for the Warrior Splash, but ADR, gets his knees up. E rolls to the floor as we go to commercials.

Back from the break, both men are on the outside. ADR rolls in first, and E follows. ADR sends him shoulder-first into the post this time, then plants him with a DDT for 2. ADR goes up top, but E catches him mid-air before hitting a backbreaker. E ducks a clothesline and hits a pancake. The Warrior Splash connects on the second try, and now he signals for the Big Ending. ADR escapes and hits a Backstabber for 2. ADR signals for the rolling jujigatame and locks it in. E locks his hands together to prevent it from being fully locked, and manages to crawl to the ropes. ADR goes to break the hold at 4, but holds on 1 second too long, resulting in a DQ.

WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Big E. ADR attacks E after the match with kicks, then nails him with a double-knee armbreaker. ADR pulls his kneepad down for his thrust kick because that totally makes sense, but E sees it coming, ducks, and hits ADR with the Big Ending.

Triple H comes out and says one of his jobs as COO is finding the greatest talent from around the globe, giving them a platform and an opportunity before watching them succeed. He likes seeing talent succeed, and at the top of the list of guys he’s proud of are the Shield. They are three of the most talented guys he’s seen in years, so he gave them power. Maybe he gave them too much power. When you have power, eventually you try to see how far it can take you on your own. When you set out on a journey to find that line in the sand, don’t cross the line. Two weeks ago, the Shield crossed that line and on Monday night, they paid the price. We then see what happened to the Shield on RAW. Back to the arena, Trips says the Shield found humility. They were humbled at Evolution’s feet. And as he told Michael Cole on Wednesday, they could move past this. He offered an opportunity to the Shield to get past this. All they have to do is grovel at Trips’ feet and beg for forgiveness. Instead, Trips received silence, save for a message from Roman Reigns that said, “Kings do not win wars; soldiers do.” While that might sound like a neat tagline for a movie, it’s not reality. In reality, soldiers are the currency in which empires are bought and sold. The Shield no longer have value. While it pains him to destroy what he created, at Extreme Rules, he’ll do just that. At Extreme Rules, the Shield will face Batista, Randy Orton and Trips himself. For the first time in 10 years, Evolution returns. Evolution returns to show the world what true destruction is. They return to show the Shield what true power really is. In life, you either adapt or perish. THAT is Evolution.

Paul Heyman is in the ring. He introduces himself as the advocate for the fastest-rising star in WWE, the “King of Swing”, the “Swiss Superman” Cesaro, and he’s also the one behind 1 in 21-1; he’s the advocate for the man who conquered the Streak, Brock Lesnar. You want to boo something, boo this: Lesnar conquered the Streak. He repeats this phrase a few times, and this why he’s a genius: He’s saying mostly nothing, and the crowd is absolutely furious with him. Now that he’s vented, he feels better. He’s glad he had this moment to shed the light of brilliance on the darkness of this Tennessee ignorance, and if he could just take one more second of time, he has something personal from the bottom of his heart to say…His client, Brock Lesnar, conquered the Streak.

MATCH 2: WWE Divas Champion Paige vs. Aksana
Tamina Snuka gets a cut-away promo. She says that her job was always to keep the belt around someone’s else. At Extreme Rules, the belt will be around the waist of someone who deserves it, by any means necessary. Before the bell rings, Aksana says everyone is jealous of Paige, and it’s because they’re insecure. Paige got lucky when she won the title, and tonight, the luck runs out. Aksana then nails Paige before the bell before grinding her face across the top rope. The ref checks on Paige to see if she’s okay, then rings the bell. Aksana hits a kick and a snap suplex before applying a waistlock. Paige backs her into the corner before hitting a series of back elbows to the head. She pulls Aksana through the ropes and hits a series of kneelifts on the apron. On the floor, Aksana recovers and hits a clothesline. Paige gets rolled back in the ring, and Aksana hits her with a standing spinebuster. Paige gets her face slammed into the mat, then receives an elbow to the back for 2. Aksana applies a rear chinlock with her knee in Paige’s back. Paige tries to get to her feet, and Aksana snaps her back down by the hair. Aksana crawls around her before kicking her in the face for 2. Aksana hits a couple more kicks to the gut before both women simultaneously go for cross-bodies off the ropes. Aksana is up first, and she slaps Paige. Paige returns the favor, hits a kneelift and a pair of short-arm clotheslines. Aksana shoves her off, and Paige nails her with a dropkick. Paige applies the Scorpion Crosslock, and Aksana taps out.

WINNER: Paige. LOVE that submission hold. Haven’t really seen anyone do it since Bull Nakano, and Paige damn near does it just as well.

Renee Young is standing by with Sheamus. She congratulates him on his advancement in the IC title tournment, then mentions he faces Batista tonight in a rematch from 3 weeks ago, where Batista got himself intentionally disqualified. Sheamus says that, rather than fight like a man, Batista took the easy way out. That won’t give Batista an edge, as it’s about who hits the the longest, not the hardest. Tonight, Batista can hit him with everything in his arsenal, and it won’t matter. Last time, Batista got all his shots in. Tonight, it’s his turn, fella.

MATCH 3: El Torito (w/Los Matadores) vs. Hornswoggle (w/Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre)
I’m curious as to why 3MB is still doing the band gimmick when they just dress like generic create-a-wrestlers now? The two go head-to-head, and Hornswoggle shoves Torito back. Torito reciprocates, and now the two lock up. Hornswoggle shoves Torito off, and Torito comes back with a waistlock. He turns it into a side headlock, then shoulders Hornswoggle off the ropes. They crisscross until Torito snaps off a hurricanrana. He follows up with a dropkick, and Hornswoggle bails to the apron. He manages to shoulder Torito through the middle and bottom ropes, then slams Torito’s face into the middle buckle. Hornswoggle goes to the bottom rope and hits a Banzai Drop. Torito counters into a sunset flip for 2. Hornswoggle comes back with a clothesline, then hits a jumping splash for 2. Hornswoggle applies a rear chinlock, but Torito elbows out. Hornswoggle clubs him across the back of the head, then hits a bodyslam. He walks across Torito’s back, then taunts Los Matadores, which allows Torito to schoolboy him for 2. Hornswoggle hits a kneelift and sends Torito into the corner. Torito avoids a charge, then gores Hornswoggle in the ass. He follows up with a bronco buster, then drags Hornswoggle to the middle of the ring for a double-jump moonsault, which is good for 3.

WINNER: El Torito.

Bad News Barrett is on his podium and asks for some decorum for what we just witnessed, the biggest little match in WWE history. However, he’s got some bad news. The fact that this crowd applauded that atrocity shows their low standards, and the entire world now knows just how small their brains are. Thank you very much!

MATCH 4: R-Truth (w/Xavier Woods) vs. Alexander Rusev (w/Lana)
Thus far, Rusev is only slightly more impressive than Sylvester Terkay. Remember him? Yeah, didn’t think so. Truth ducks a lock-up attempt and hits a few kicks, followed by some punches. He avoids a corner whip, ducks a clothesline and hits a jumping side kick. He nails a pair of boots in the corner and hits a seated dropkick from the middle rope for 2. Truth goes for Lil’ Jimmy, but Rusev catches him, drops him, then nails him with a kick. Rusev hits a series of kneelifts in the corner, then throws him over his shoulders for a modified Samoan drop. Lana tells him to crush Truth. After a few punches by Truth, Rusev catches him with a spinning side slam and applies the Accolade for the submission win.

WINNER: Alexander Rusev. The camel clutch has become such a weak finisher at this point, regardless of who applies it. I’m not buying Rusev’s version as devastating, regardless of how WWE is selling it. Rusev continues the attack until Woods hits the ring and nails him with a forearm. Rusev shakes it off and hits a standing avalanche. Lana once again orders him to crush, and he hits a running back elbow in the corner before throwing Woods to the floor.

We get a video for Masked Kane, because this gimmick really needed a comeback. Again.

We see Santino Marella and Emma heading out towards the ring, with Emma smacking Santino on the ass.

MATCH 5: Fandango (w/Layla) vs. Santino Marella (w/Emma)
A couple more matches, and Fandango/Santino will break the Cena/Orton record for “Most Matches Long After the Point the Feud Has Run It’s Course”. Fandango nails a punch to the head after a weak sweep attempt by Santino. Fandango hits a few more, then sends Santino into the ropes. Santino reverses and does the splits too early, allowing Fandango to boot him in the head for 2. Fandango hits a suplex, then goes outside for a slingshot legdrop, which misses. Santino ducks a clothesline, hits a hiptoss and connects with the saluting headbutt. He goes for the Cobra, but Layla grabs the sock again. Emma takes her out from behind. Santino blocks a roll-up attempt by Fandango, then lands a sunset flip for 3.

WINNER: Santino Marella.

Another Adam Rose video. I still don’t care.

MATCH 6: Sheamus vs. Batista
Batista would be wise to wear a sports bra to wrestle in. Plus, it would compliment his already super-douchetastic ring gear. Sheamus goes right after Batista with rights. Batista rolls to the floor and drags Sheamus with him, slamming him into the barricade. Sheamus gets his face slammed into the apron before being rolled back in. Batista gets back in, and Sheamus nails him with a clothesline. Back up, Sheamus throws Batista to the corner. Batista comes back with a kick and a corner clothesline. Sheamus kicks him off a back-body drop attempt and a clothesline gets 2. Sheamus hits a snapmare and drives a knee into his back before applying a chinlock/armbar combo. Batista gets a rope break and rolls to the apron. Sheamus goes for the 10 Beats of the Bodhran, but only gets about four shots in before Batista counters with a hotshot. As he tries to get back in, Sheamus knocks him to the floor with a running knee. Commercials.

Back from the break, Sheamus sends Batista hard into the corner, and Batista rolls outside to the ring steps. Sheamus heads out as well, and Batista slams him face-first into the steps before kicking them into him. Sheamus gets thrown into the barricade, then rolled onto the ring apron, where Batista nails an elbow. Batista rolls in to break the count, then rolls back out for another elbow. Back in the ring, Sheamus fights Batista off from the knees and sends him to the corner. Sheamus charges in, but Batista nails him with a dropkick to the knee, sending him face-first into the middle buckle. Batista sends him shoulder-first into the ring post, and Sheamus falls to the floor. Batista rolls him to the apron, climbs back in and catapults Sheamus under the bottom rope for 2. Batista sets up the Batista Bomb, but Sheamus escapse and throws Batista to the floor. Batista climbs back in and sends Sheamus in shoulder-first once more. Sheamus puts on the breaks, so Batista tries again, only to have Sheamus reverse it. Sheamus ducks a clothesline and hits a pair of Irish Hammers. Batista blocks a shoulder thrust with a kick and goes for the Batista Bomb. Sheamus shoves him back into the corner, hits a running kneelift and a corner high knee that sends him to the apron, where he connects with the 10 Beats of the Bodhran. Sheamus hits a slingshot Battering Ram back into the ring for 2, then goes for the rolling fireman’s carry. Batista escapes, but then gets caught with the Irish Curse for 2. Sheamus looks for the Irish Clover-Leaf, but Batista manages to get to the ropes. He hits a back elbow out of the corner, but then runs into a tilt-a-whirl powerslam. Sheamus signals for the Brogue Kick, but Batista rolls to the floor. Sheamus follows him and nails a forearm to the back before rolling Batista back in. Batista ducks a second Brogue Kick and hits a spear off the ropes for 2. He signals for the Batista Bomb yet again, but Sheamus counters with a back-body drop. He goes up for the Battering Ram, but Batista shoves him crotch-first onto the top rope. Batista nails a forearm to the back of the head before finally connecting with the Batista Bomb for 3.

WINNER: Batista.

End of show.

Dustin Nichols is a freelance writer, and you can keep track of all of his work on his Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/DustinNicholsWriter. Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out his mom’s official site by clicking the banner below:

TNA Impact Wrestling Results & April 17 Recap

April 21, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

TNA Impact Wrestling opens with Eric Young standing in the ring. He says he won the belt for himself, but he will be a champion for the fans. This is his way of paying the fans back. 10 years of unsolicited support for him, and this is payback. The time of paper champions is over. Things will change around here. We’re going to do things our way. He will defend the belt any way the fans see fit. This will be a party. The Impact Zone will…

Dixie Carter comes out, because of course she does. She calls last week an emotional week. 12 hard-fought years, and look at him now. We know there’s only one person responsible for this, and that person is herself. She’s always seen the potential in him. 8 years ago, he was almost fired, and she allowed him to stay. Also, this “thing” on his chin, she invented “The Beard”. She made this fashionably cool to wear on TV long before anyone else, and she should be the one to receive big, fat royalty checks from those that are ripping off her intellectual property. EY says he thought Bully Ray shipped her back to Nashville. MVP is now in charge, and they don’t need her. She says MVP is in charge of wrestling operations, but as champ, EY represents her. For better or worse, he is now the hood ornament for her 2014 Ferrari. He will go wherever she takes TNA, and he will ride along with her. EY says he hopes she has puke bags, because being around her that much will make him sick. She calls him an unemployed lumberjack, then says he is disrespecting her belt and her company with that talk, and he better hold her in high regard. EY says he’ll flush her like every other piece of crap. She says he is more interested in being a court jester, but he’ll honor and obey her. EY begs to differ. He’s his own man. If she’s interested in a paper champion, she’s looking in the wrong place. So, she’s going to stop making fun of everyone, then he’s going to grab the General Lee, run over her and her British paper champion. Dixie continues insulting him, then says he needs to be relevant, as well as high fashion. She will solve that by giving him a makeover later tonight. If he says no, she’s going to start in on his wife. EY gives her one warning…

…But before that can happen, Bully Ray comes down. He apologizes to EY, then asks how many people are sick of hearing her talk. He tells her to shut up, then says he’s here to take out the trash. The bottom line is EY is a role model for every wrestler who has ever been held down by a loser boss like Dixie. She should be proud of EY, a guy who has worked for her for 10 years, working from the bottom all the way to the World title. Dixie points out Ray double-crossing her. Ray agrees that he took the money, then spent it at a strip club. She doesn’t want to piss him off. He reminds her that, last week, he nearly put her through a table. He points out that she knows what happens to people like her when there are tables in the ring. This is EY’s moment, and his time. Ray then sings the “Hey, hey” song and gets the crowd to do it as well as Dixie leaves. As she heads up the ramp, Ray continues rambling. My feed cuts out at this point, so I miss a few things. I can’t imagine it was anything important.

MATCH 1-No Disqualification Match: Velvet Sky (w/Angelina Love) vs. Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne (non-title)
As the BP are waiting for Rayne to come out, she comes out through the crowd and nails Sky from behind. She takes off her belt, then boots Sky in the gut as she taunts Love, who has backed up to the stage. In the ring, Sky mounts Rayne and slams her head into the mat. Rayne gets thrown to the corner for some shoulder thrusts, and Rayne then reverses a corner whip before hitting a clothesline. She throws Sky to opposite corners, and Sky gets pulled to the floor by Love. Rayne grabs them both by the hair and pull them up, but they counter with a double hotshot. Sky grabs a cookie sheet and cracks Rayne across the back twice, then gives her a shot to the head for 2. Rayne gets thrown to the floor, and Love stomps her down before Sky heads out. Outside, Sky kicks Rayne and sends her back-first into the ring steps. Back in the ring, Sky gets 2, then kicks Rayne int he back. Love hands her a trashcan. She misses a shot in the corner and puts on the breaks, but turns around to Rayne, who kicks the can into Sky’s face. Rayne grabs the can and hits her across the back not once, not twice, but thrice. Sky gets up and runs face-first into the can. Rayne tosses it to the outside and signals for the spear, but Love cracks her across the back from the apron with a kendo stick. Rayne recovers and low-bridges Love to the floor. Sky grabs the stick, misses a shot, and gets hit with a horrible spear for 3.

WINNER: Madison Rayne. I think the spear is now officially the most overrated, overused move in pro wrestling.

We see EY and Bully Ray in the back. EY thanks him for what he said. Ray said he meant every word. He’d love to stay here and chat, but he’s got more of Dixie’s money to spend, so he’s headed back to Rick’s. As he leaves, Abyss approaches EY and challenges him to a match for the title tonight, based on what he said earlier, blaming EY for everything in the process. He laughs at EY, but EY grabs him by the arm and says he’s got a match, but it will be a Monster’s Ball. Abyss calls him crazy, and he agrees before walking off.

Rockstar Spud is looking for EC3. He finds him, and EC3 asks if Spud is scared of Willow Hardy. He understands why Spud is scared, but he shouldn’t be. Spud pushed Hardy off the ladder and put him in the ground for months. EC3 ended Kurt Angle’s career, and tonight, Spud will end Hardy’s career, because he’s a lion.

MVP comes out and says last week was an amazing night. We saw a man devote 10 years to this company, doing everything he was ever asked, who climbed his way to the top, and is now the World Champion. He applauds EY, then says Samoa Joe was lost in the shuffle. He was upset that Joe called in last week and said he wasn’t available. He and MVP go way back, but Joe hasn’t returned any of his calls. Word is Joe is disgruntled, and MVP wants to talk to him face-to-face.

Instead of Joe, we get Austin Aries. He calls himself the most disgruntled man who ever lived. MVP hasn’t been talking about him, to him, or thinking about him. It seems MVP has forgotten him. Since Lockdown, he’s been on the sidelines. He lists off MVP’s principles, then says he never needed motivation, but sitting at home six weeks lit a fire under his ass. For validation, MVP is ignoring his contribution, since he wasn’t in the gauntlet last week. As for participate, he wants MVP to participate in answers. MVP reminds him that he screwed MVP over. Aries says MVP offered him a bunch of promises, but he’s being punished because his feelings are hurt. MVP is screwing with his career. MVP says this is about the fans and no one else, and since Aries doesn’t need the principles, he’s ready to fight Aries now. Aries likes that idea, then says it’ll happen next week. He didn’t get this far being stupid. He’s not going to throw fists with a convicted felon. But next week, he’ll out-wrestle MVP and show him why he’s the greatest man that ever lived.

We get a video package for EY that is such a blatant Daniel Bryan ripoff that I’m about ready to throw up.

MATCH 2-World Tag Team Championship: The Wolves (Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards) vs. The Bromans (Jesse and Robbie E, w/DJ Z; Champions)
The Wolves dropkick the champs off the apron as they try to enter the ring. The bell rings, and the Wolves do their drop toehold/dropkick combo on E for 2 by Edwards. Richards tags in, and he hits an inverted atomic drop into a jackknife for 2. Jesse breaks up the pin with a stomp, then knocks Edwards off the apron. The champs go for a double suplex, but Edwards pulls Richards to safety, and the Wolves low-bridge the champs to the floor before hitting a pair of suicide dives. Edwards rolls E back into the ring as Richards goes up top, but Jesse crotches him. E takes advantage with some mounted punches after Richards falls to the mat, then gets a pair of 2-counts. Richards gets sent to the corner, where E hits a shoulder thrust. Jesse tags in, and they hit the Double Boom on the apron. Jesse applies a rear chinlock, but Richards fights out. He knocks E off the apron, but then gets Warrior Slammed as E tags in, hitting a middle rope elbow for 2. Jesse back in, and he nails Richards in the gut before sending him chest-first into the buckles. Jesse hits an elbow to the shoulder, then tags in E. Richards ducks a double clothesline before causing E to nail Jesse. He hits a victory roll, then pops right up to tag in Edwards. Edwards hits a double hurricanrana after a flurry of clotheslines, then begins chopping Jesse in the corner. E charges in, but gets sent into Jesse, then receives a series of chops as well. E gets whipped across the ring, and Edwards nails him with a running back elbow. Jesse blocks the same move, but then gets hit with an assisted Alarm Clock. Edwards nails a double stomp off the top to the back, and Richards follows up with one to the chest. Edwards goes for the pin, but Z nails him across the back with his laptop, leading to the DQ.

WINNERS VIA DISQUALIFICATION: The Wolves, with the Bromans retaining the titles.

It’s time for a dumbass, pointless Willow promo.

MATCH 3-2-on-1 Handicap Match: Ethan Carter III and Rockstar Spud vs. Willow
TNA is now selling Willow umbrellas. I wish I was making that up. Willow boots EC3, then chases Spud out of the ring. He hits EC3 with a headbutt, but EC3 whips him back down off a Spud distraction. Willow no-sells a couple of throws into the buckles, then nails a clothesline off the ropes. He hits an inverted atomic drop, a double legdrop, a low seated dropkick, an elbow and a running splash for 2. EC3 shoves him off a Twist of Fate attempt, and Willow climbs the ropes for a Botch in the Wind. Spud knocks him down from the apron, which allows EC3 to hit a suplex for 2. Spud tags in and hits a right before Willow trips him. EC3 tags in and hits a jumping elbow to the back. EC3 hits a bodyslam, then taunts the crowd. He applies a modified camel clutch, which Hardy is able to escape with gut shots. Willow hits a jackknife for 2, and a corner sunset flip gets 2 as Spud breaks up the pin. EC3 hits a dropkick and a flipping neckbreaker for 2. Spud tags in, and EC3 holds Willow up for some slaps by Spud. Willow kicks him, then hits EC3 with a sit-out jawbreaker and a reverse enziguri. Spud gets the Twist of Fate and Willow pins him for 3.

WINNER: Willow. EC3 attacks Willow after the match with punches, then begins working on his left leg. He signals for the spinning toehold, but Kurt Angle runs down before he can apply it. The two stand face-to-face until EC3 tries for a clothesline. Angle ducks it and nails him with a release German suplex.

After some commercials, Angle is still in the ring. He says EC3 looks like he saw a ghost. But Angle is no ghost; he’s the greatest wrestler alive, and he’s back. EC3 thought he ended Angle’s career. He’s a TNA Hall of Famer, and his career will end when he says it does. He reminds everyone of his “broken” neck medal win, then says EC3 might have injured him, but he didn’t end him. So, very soon, EC3 will be in the ring with him. And it’ll be just the two of them. EC3 will realize why they call him “The Cyborg”. He’s a devastation machine who can break every limb on EC3. He’s not going to do that right away. He’ll take his time. EC3 will tap out in his head before his body does. This fight will not end until they take EC3 out of the ring in a body bag.

AI is back with Bobby Roode, asking what’s going on with him and Bully Ray. He reminds us what happened at Lockdown, then says he’s taken the tables for his own. At Sacrifice, he’ll put Ray through another table. Tonight, he’s challenging anyone else on the roster to a Tables Match. Anyone who is dumb enough to accept will be going through a table.

We get a video for Sanada, talking about his training, as well as the pressure the Great Muta has put on him to succeed in TNA.

Kenny King comes out and says he knows everyone missed. “The King of the Night” is here, and he’s not going anywhere. He knows everyone is disappointed. Everyone has asked where he’s been, and last week, he came home. It’s a very different place, though, as MVP is the new sheriff in town. He’s out to talk business sense. If you had a player like Derek Jeter, would you put him in the dugout? Would Payton Manning be on the bench? No. The LaBron James of wrestling has been on the bench, and that’s not happening again. Tonight, he’s commentating this next match, and whoever wins will lay down the X-Division title at his feet.

MATCH 4-Match 2 in a Best-of-3 Series: Tigre Uno vs. World X-Division Champion Sanada (non-title)
As I said, Kenny King is on commentary. Uno and Sanada lock up, and Sanada backs Uno into the ropes before giving a clean break. They lock up again, and Uno reciprocates. One more lock up, and Sanada applies an arm wringer. Uno counters into a hip toss, then runs into an armdrag. Both try for a dropkick, and now we get an indy standoff. Sanada tries for a test of strength. Uno flips over him, the two crisscross, and Sanada puts Uno down with a dropkick. Uno avoids a charge in the corner, trips Sanada, then misses a split-legged moonsault. Sanada hits a springboard overhand chop for 2. He goes for the tiger suplex, but Uno counters into a hurricanrana for 2. Uno charges in, and Sanada catches him with a TKO for 2. He goes up for the moonsault, but Uno rolls out of the way. Sanada lands on his feet, and Uno nails him with a boot before hitting a vicious high-cradle suplex. Uno goes up top and hits the Saber-tooth Splash for 3.

WINNER: Tigre Uno, who has tied the score at 1-1. This match was better than the first, in my opinion. Nice sequence at the end, too.

Bully Ray is talking to someone off-camera, telling him he’s the best person for the job. He says to make sure Bobby Roode goes through the table, then tells him “Hoorah”, so I’m guessing that means Gunner.

Bobby Roode is in the ring, and he tells Ray he hopes a good seat, as well as a pen and paper for notes, because the master of the tables is in the ring. The tables are set, the open challenge is now. Is there a man in the back who is man enough to accept it? As I guessed, Gunner comes out.

MATCH 5-Tables Match: Bobby Roode vs. Gunner
Roode nails Gunner before the bell, then stomps him down in the corner. Gunner comes back with rights, then hits a running back elbow off the ropes. He nails more rights in the corner, then stomps Roode down. Roode comes back with a neckbreaker off a back-body drop attempt, then goes outside to pull a table out from under the ring. He sets it on the apron, and Gunner knees it into Roode’s face. Outside, Gunner hits a running clothesline on the entrance ramp. He brings Roode back to the ring and tries to throw him face-first into a table leaned against the ring post. Roode blocks it, then tries the same thing, which Gunner also blocks. He then reverses an Irish whip, sending Roode shoulder-first into the ring steps. Back in the ring, Gunner shoulders Roode from the apron, then tries to suplex him through a table set up on the floor. Roode blocks it and dropkicks Gunner, who lands back-first on the apron. Roode sets up a table in the corner, then boots Gunner as he comes back in the ring. Gunner no-sells some slams into the top buckle, then throws Roode in before going for a running powerslam through the table. Roode escapes and hits a boot out of the corner before connecting with a middle-rope blockbuster. Roode grabs the table in the corner and sets it up in the ring, then goes for a powerbomb. Gunner counters with a back-body drop, sending Roode to the apron. Roode hotshots him, then gets back in the ring, where he runs into a running knee. Gunner sets the table up next to the ropes before turning around into a spinebuster. Roode looks for the Roode Bomb, but Gunner escapes and goes for Hangar 18. Roode escapes and falls into the corner. Gunner hits a running knee in the corner, then follows up with a slingshot suplex. He drags the table to the middle of the ring, then lays Roode out on the table. He heads up top, but before he can dive, James Storm runs down. Gunner boots him away, but the distraction allows Roode to throw him off the top. Instead of going through the table, however, the leg breaks and one end gets slightly cracked. Roode sets it up as best he can and puts Gunner through it with the Roode Bomb.

WINNER: Bobby Roode. Storm attacks Gunner after the match, nailing him with rights. He looks for the Last Call, but Bully Ray runs down before that can happen.

MATCH 6-Monster’s Ball Match for the World Championship: Abyss vs. Eric Young (Champion)
EY tosses a bunch of weapons in the ring, then nails Abyss with a cookie sheet as the bell rings. He follows up with a trashcan shot, then a series of corner mounted punches. He bites Abyss and goes for a kendo stick. Abyss goozles him, but EY escapes. He hits a few rights before Abyss launches him to the floor. Outside, Abyss nails some rights to the head, then slams EY’s face into the apron. Abyss tosses a few weapons around, rolls EY into the ring and grabs a trashcan. EY baseball slides the can into him, then goes for a suicide dive, where Abyss nails him with the trashcan in mid-air. Commercials.

Back from the break, Abyss and EY are back in the ring, and Abyss nails a kick to the head. Abyss wedges a chair between the top and middle buckles, then nails EY with a right. EY avoids a corner whip, nails a couple of rights and dropkicks Abyss into the corner. Abyss whips him to the opposite corner, and EY nails him with a back elbow. He goes for a running dropkick, but Abyss blocks it and catapults him into the chair, where EY gets stuck for a moment. Outside, Abyss finds a bag of thumbtacks under the ring. Back in the ring, Abyss stomps EY, then dumps the tacks out near one of the corners. He signals for the chokeslam, but EY hits him in the nuts with a cheese grater. He hits a right to the head, Flair-Flips out of the corner, slides back in, ducks a pair of clotheslines and hits a flying forearm. He signals for the piledriver, but Abyss counters with a back-body drop. Abyss heads outside once again and pulls Janice out from under the ring. Back in the ring, EY ducks a shot, and Janice gets stuck in the top buckle. EY kicks Abyss in the nuts, then pries Janice off the buckle. He goes for a shot to the head, but Abyss goozles him and chokeslams him onto the tacks. Abyss goes for the pin, but only gets 2. Abyss rolls to the floor yet again, and this time, he pulls out a barbed wire board. He tosses the board into the ring and looks for another chokeslam. EY bites Abyss’ hand, then dropkicks him back-first onto the board. EY heads up top, nails the flying elbow and gets 3.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Eric Young.

End of show.

Dustin Nichols is a freelance writer, and you can keep track of all of his work on his Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/DustinNicholsWriter. Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out his mom’s official site by clicking the banner below: