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Showing posts from February 10, 2019

The Wrestling Scene is Alive and Well

Take a quick look at the above picture. 100 promotions listed here, and I left off several. The scene is alive and well and we should all be happy that we have so many options. I am making it one of my goals this year to review at least one match per each of the above. Support the scene. Support the business. Support wrestling. Try to complain less.

AAA Wins World Cup Elimination Match Versus Impact

On tonight's Impact, the last episode from the recent Mexico tapings, Team AAA won an elimination match to win the "World Cup". AAA was represented by Psycho Clown, Puma King, Hijo del Vikingo, and Aerostar. Impact was represented by Edwards, Callihan, Eli Drake, and Fallah Bahh

WWE and MLW Make a Deal on War Games Rights

WWE has come to an agreement with Major League Wrestling for the rights to the War Games name and gimmick. The rights had been trademarked by MLW years ago when they became available, which WWE only became aware of when they revived the gimmick in NXT.

Top 5 US Indie Teams That You're Sleeping On

The US independent scene is so vast that sometimes some real talent gets ignored despite their abilities. That said, I wanted to take a moment and recognize five tag teams in the states that I think far too many people are sleeping on. While the Bucks and Lucha  Bros might arguably be the best in the world, the following pairs are world-class workers that just haven't had the same luck with exposure and are long overdue to breakout. -The Gym Nasty Boys This is in no particular order, but I had to start with the GNB! Timmy Lou Retton and White Mike are sincerely one of the most entertaining teams that you'll ever see, mixing ring awareness and ability with a touch of comedy here and there. They are currently holding gold in Illinois promotion, The Resistance, and have also held tag straps in IWA Mid-South and FEST Wrestling. Though they are a relatively new group, they have developed as partners quickly and can steal the show on any card they're put on. Check them out:

Select Match Reviews: Clowns, Dragons, & Horses, Oh My!

Matches from AAA at Centro de Convenciones en Tamaulipas 1.AAA Latin American Title: Drago(c) vs Argenis vs Golden Magic vs Parka Negra ***1/4 2.Jinetes del Aire,Murder Clown vs OGTs ***3/4 3.Mercenarios,Monster Clown vs Psycho Clown,Rey Wagner,Aerostar **3/4 4.No DQ:Ciclope,Miedo Extremo vs Lider,Pagano *** Thoughts: I continue to catch up on AAA, a company I've been watching for years and one that has had more ups and downs than a freaking seesaw. Currently, they are riding a decent high which is aided by their new partnership with AEW. We start with Drago's first defense of the Latin American Championship since beating Fantasma for it in December. The talent involved made this very promising. It was especially nice to see Parka Negra in an title match. While it was basically just a move after move spotfest, that was kind of the point. Ten minutes of action and a good match. I hope that Drago remains champ for a while if these fun little defenses are what we'll

DC Lucha Libre Figures Coming Soon!

DC Collectibles announced at the New York Toy Fair that their next releases will include lucha influenced, seven-inch figures. The line is being called DC Lucha Explosiva, and is quite the eye catcher. The lineup includes figures of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Metallo, Cheetah, and Deathstroke. Sadly, names like Flash, Green Lantern, and Bane are not here but we can hope that a second wave might feature them. These figures will become avaliable August, 2019. UPDATE: These have, sadly, been canceled. No reason was given.

Dragon Ball Z: The World's Strongest Review

After enjoying the first film well enough, I decided to go ahead and work through to others. I currently own seven of the movies and will get the rest as needed. Like Dead Zone, I hadn't seen this in a long time. It also takes place during the first season of DBZ but has some continuity issues you'll have to look past. This was a touch better than Dead Zone, and a fairly good watch. If you enjoy the series, and haven't seen this one, know that it basically plays out like a mini-saga shortened down to an hour. The fight scenes were enjoyable, the villains were interesting, and the comedy sprinkled in largely worked. Since it was an hour long, nothing overstayed its welcome but that also means that nothing really settled down into much of anything, either. Worth checking out if you are a fan who missed out and you're seeking a quick action flick. Rating: ***1/4

Select Match Revews: The King, Bay Bay

Match from NXT 02/13/2019 1.Adam Cole vs Ricochet ***3/4 Thoughts: One of the things that holds me back from watching NXT every week is that the show tends to be rather inconsistent. TakeOver shows are always great, of course, but the weekly TV can be very hit or miss. That said, at least once a month they tend to feature something during that hour that gets recommended to me. This month, so far, we have this nice little one on one. Ricochet selling the limb work was excellent and made Cole look great and the endstretch worked very well as they built towards the finish. Both worked hard, as usual, and made what could have been a random filler match better than it needed to be. I also loved the chaos after, especially Undisputed Era standing tall. In all, this was a great, near TakeOver quality contest. Go check it out on Hulu when you have the chance.

Select Match Reviews: WWE presents Infinity War

Match from Smackdown 02/12/2019 1.Gauntlet Match:   -Bryan vs Kofi ***1/2   -Kofi vs Hardy **1/2   -Kofi vs Joe ***   -Kofi vs Styles ***1/4   -Orton vs Styles NR Thoughts: I might not watch much WWE, but they tend to do a few things well and gauntlets are up there. Up first we had Kofi taking on the champ in a pretty good contest. Kingston winning clean was a nice surprise. If I were writing for the show, I'd have the New Day take on Bryan, Rowan, and Harper at Fastlane (if Harper is he hurt...I'm not even sure). Have New Day implode in a Shield like turn during or after that match and set up a heated match at Mania between the former partners while Bryan moves on to something else. It will never happen. The next contest was decent, but never really became much of anything. Jeff doing the delete taunts was a surprise. I assumed that they had killed off the broken universe stuff a long time ago. Koji and Joe had a good match, and I appreciated the fi

Select Match Reviews: Horses in the Sky

Match from AAA @ Pepsi Center 1.Poder del Norte vs Jinetes del Aire ***1/4 Thoughts: I prefer to watch AAA's Worldwide series that they add to YouTube, but it is now Thursday and the latest episode isn't here yet (they usually add them on Saturdays/Sundays). As a result, I figured I'd just pull recommended and interesting matches from their Twitch streams instead of waiting. From the first tv taping event of the year, this is the sole contest that was worth seeing. Walking in, I had high hopes as both groups have been excellent lately and their last match, where the tecnicos won the Trios belts, was pretty great. The two groups put on a show once more with this sprint,making seven minutes seem like two. Fairly good contest. If you're in the mood for a chaotic trios match, here you go.

Select Match Reviews: Mexican Mayhem

Match from IWRG Torneo FILL 77 1.Copa Higher Power Cibernetico: Gym FILL vs Gym Pantera *** Thoughts: For those who don't know me well, cibernetico matches tend to be one of my personal favorites. IWRG, for all of their flaws, tends to do them pretty damn well, so when a new one turns up online I try to make sure to check it out. This time around, Black Terry's crew takes on Pantera's kids. I was hoping +Lucha would upload the contest to their channel, but it seems a slightly clipped version would have to be good enough. For a cibernetico, this was pretty fun. It didn't really break the mold, but I was entertained for most of the run time despite there seemingly being more sloppiness than usual. Things picked up nicely following the midway point which helped for sure. If not for the opening section and questionable closing minutes, this would have been a great overall contest. If you've never seen IWRG before, start elsewhere (such as the amazing apuesta

Select Match Reviews: Long Live the Bastard

Matches from Dragon Gate Truth Gate Night Five 1.Skywalker vs Kagetora vs Kanda ***1/2 2.Mochizuki Dojo vs RED ***1/4 3.Tribe Vanguard vs Big Ben ***1/4 4.MaxiMuM,YAMATO,Horiguchi vs Masaaki,Doi,Saito,Susumu ***3/4 5.Dream Gate Titles:PAC(c) vs Kzy **** Thoughts: The first big show of the year from Dragon Gate lived up to my expectations, with five worthwhile matches. Shun Skywalker continues to be a standout, this time showing off in a fun, spotfest threeway. Shun is being set up for a big things and I am very excited to see what they do next with him. Up next was a nice trios match. The Mochizuki Dojo kids showed a lot of promise, all three of which should be part of Dragon Gate's foundation in the future. The weak finish sucked a bit of air out of this one, though. KAI and U-T worked well together in our follow up tag. I had some reservations on adding KAI to Dragon Gate, but he is fitting in decently enough and it should be good experience for him. RED tensions, o

NJPW Announces UK Event

New Japan has announced that they will be running a show in London on August 31st.

What's Going On With Batista, Taker, and Goldberg?

Goldberg was spotted in Vegas ahead of the Double or Nothing rally. Batista had a meeting with Jericho recently. Undertaker started taking outside gigs and is teasing something.  AEW has a roster filled with up-and-comers alongside more established names like The Elite and Jericho, but it's hard to ignore that they could use a touch more mainstream names to boost hype and get the casuals more interested. Plus, Khan is a big wrestling fan and likely loves the idea of adding one of these big stars in general. Like it or not, that likely comes in the form of one, or more, of the names I mentioned at the start. So, the question is...who is most likely to join AEW? All three? None of the above? Update: Undertaker will be at Starrcast II

205Live 02/13/2019 Review

1.Lince Dorado vs Jack Gallagher **3/4 2.No DQ:Tony Nese vs Noam Dar ***3/4 Thoughts: It has been a while since I watched a full episode of 205, but I will say that last year I really enjoyed the series. If not for NXT having TakeOver events, I'd say 205 is the best brand that WWE has, actually. Too bad not enough people have given them a shot since they changed things up. I guess they are to blame, though. I mean, Enzo? Really? We kick things off with a look at what set up our main event, with a clip of Noam and Nese fighting in a parking lot and then Dar asking for a match. Fair enough. Our first match saw Lucha House Party member, Lince Dorado, taking on Gallagher in a solid opener. After seeing Drew and Riddle do the Catch Point shake last week on NXT, and seeing Gulak come out with Jack, I am hoping even more that we'll see some form of revival of the group within WWE walls. He seems to be recruiting. Heck, they have him doing the "Drew for a better ' i

Ashino vs Sekimoto Announced. In Other News, God DOES Exist

MLW FUSION Episode 44 Review

Matches: 1.DJZ vs Myron Reed **1/2 2.Puma King vs Gringo Loco ** 3.No DQ:Hart Foundation vs ECW Originals **1/4 Thoughts: Last week's special episode was a major disappointment, failing completely to live up the its own hype despite the title changes and MLW needs to step up big as we build toward Intimidation Games. The first match kicked the show off on a decent note, and I like the idea of them toying around with a heel Reed, but it was far from what they were capable of. The weekly Hart Foundation segment was...interesting as usual. I was hoping that the midcard match would be good, as I really like Puma and consider Gringo to be a good had, but it never really turned into anything past a random exhibition. MJF cut a good promo, as usual. Decent worker, great talker similar to Eli Drake or The Miz, actually. We close our in-ring section with the next chapter in Pillman/Dreamer's rivalry, promoted as a mystery partner tag. Everyone expected an ECW alumni to

Double or Nothing Officially Sold Out

AEW sold out the presale and vip seats in under thirty minutes a few days ago, but now they have also sold out the remaining general admission seats. This time, in under four.

Select Match Reviews: The Violent Union of Cat and Ninja

Match from HOG: Recapture the Glory 1.HOG Tag Titles: LAX(c) vs Pentagon Jr, Callihan ***1/2 Thoughts: Filling in for Fenix, who suffered the minor injury in Austin, was Sami Callihan. While another Lucha Bro/LAX rematch sounded fun, this mixup had some real potential. Of course, the bar was set high but the violent union of Sami and Pentagon lived up to expectations with a steady pace and solid action throughout. True chaos, just like it should have been. Go ahead and add this fun encounter to your watch list.

Red's Year End Awards 2018 Part Ten–Best Match

5.Golden Lovers vs Young Bucks 4.Golden Lovers vs Tanahashi,Ospreay 3.Sabre vs A-Kid 2.Gargano vs Ciampa (Unsanctioned) 1.Okada vs Omega 2/3 Falls -In a year full of amazing content, this one stood above the rest. I rarely give a match five stars. This is one of the very few that has ever gotten that rating from me. I consider Omega/Okada IV to be a true work of art and a gift from the wrestling gods. Misawa would be proud.

AAF Power Rankings After Week One

8.Memphis Express (0-1) Memphis put up a goose egg behind Hackenberg and were the worst team of the week. Gates seemed to be the only player trying for the entire game. 7.Atlanta Legends (0-1) Struggling on offense, with three interceptions between two qbs and an average of 3 yards per carry made for an underwhelming display. They allowed 40 points against, too. A lot of work needs to be done. 6.San Diego Fleet (0-1) A refusal to bench Bercovici until late ensured that the Fleet had no chance against San Antonio. It didn't help that the O-line was weak, either. Some tuning is needed, but don't could San Diego out yet. 5.Salt Lake Stallions (0-1) Of the teams that lost, Salt Lake looked the best. They had trouble finding their footing, for sure, but there were some good signs here. 4.San Antonio Commanders (1-0) Decent offense, better defense. The Commanders might not blow you away, but they seem credible enough to have a chance in any game. If they can just figure

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox Review

You might have seen that I reviewed the first Dragon Ball Z film and posted it here. I plan on watching the entire film series, but I have another set of movies that I plan on watching and reviewing. For those who don't know, DC Comics has been putting out quality material in the form of animated films for years. Many of the current animated releases that DC is putting out are part of a shared universe, known as the DCAMU. This continuity all starts with this very adaption. Flashpoint Paradox, on it's own, is a fantastic viewing experience that handles the source material very well. In many ways, it is a perfect example of how to translate the page to film, and I applaud the writing and direction of Krieg and Oliva for the success as well as the great work from the voice actors that really sold the entire plot. If you are seeking a mature blockbuster superhero flick with brutal deaths and major fights, this is a good pull. One of the few complaints I have is that the vil

ROH TV Episode 386 Review

Matches from ROH TV Episode 386 1.Villain Enterprises vs Bruiserweights,Quinn **3/4 2.NWA Heavyweight:Aldis(c) vs PJ Black *** Thoughts: Ring of Honor has stepped up nicely after loosing The Elite, and this was another enjoyable episode of their weekly series. We start with the Bruiserweights and Quinn in the ring suggesting that they are the next top group in ROH, though no official team name was given. This was likely just a setup to see Marty and crew take them out anyway. VE might not have lasting power, as Scurll is surely set to leave soon for AEW, but they are fun and are helping establish PCO and King as threats quickly which is smart booking. I also hope we see Corey and Skyler back soon. They are talented but never really stay anywhere of note for too long. Decent, crowd-pleasing opener. The Kingdom challenge after was a nice follow up. Our main event was better than expected, though a bit sloppy, and one of the best matches from either men. Solid, old school styl

Select Match Reviews: Please, Don't Leave! The Match

Match from Raw 02/11/2019 1.Raw Tag Titles:Roode,Gable(c) vs The Revival ***1/2 Thoughts: Outside of being the next stage in WWE's attempt to keep The Revival from leaving, this also happened to be a pretty enjoyable tag match. The issue for me, if I was in the position of the new champs, is that the chances of Vince remaining interested in pushing the tag division after a few months seems very unlikely given the track record, but I guess we'll see. I left wanting to see Gable leave WWE once again, more than anyone else involved here and nearly more than anyone else on the roster. He remains one of the most impressive roster members that WWE has and would excel in a promotion like NJPW, ROH, or AEW. Check this one out on Hulu to see one of the better main roster contests of the year so far.

RIP Pedro

First ever WWF Triple Crown wChamp and wrestling legend, Pedro Morales, has passed away at the age of 76. He was suffering with Parkinson's. My condolences to those he left behind.

Lethal/Taven To Main Event Upcoming Anniversary Show

From Ring of Honor: JAY LETHAL VERSUS MATT TAVEN FOR THE ROH WORLD TITLE WILL HEADLINE 17TH ANNIVERSARY **The following contains spoilers for future episodes of “Ring of Honor Wrestling”** Las Vegas is known for big fights and bright lights, so what better city for The Best Wrestling on the Planet to celebrate its birthday in? On March 15 at Sam’s Town Live in Sin City, Ring of Honor presents its 17th Anniversary show live on pay-per-view and for HonorClub VIP. The show takes place three weeks before the historic G1 Supercard at sold-out Madison Square Garden, so what happens at 17th Anniversary in Vegas will not stay in Vegas; the ramifications will surely be felt at The World’s Most Famous Arena in New York City on April 6. A huge main event has been signed for 17th Anniversary, as ROH World Champion Jay Lethal puts his title on the line against Matt Taven in a showdown that has been brewing since the summer. ROH WORLD TITLE MATCH ROH WORLD CHAMPION JAY LETHAL vs. MATT TAVEN Ever

Red's Year End Awards 2018 Part Nine–Best TV Series

5.NXT 4.Impact Wrestling 3.205Live 2.Lucha Underground 1.MLW Fusion -If I watched New Japan on AXS instead of on the World service, they'd be the winner her with everyone moving down a spot. Alas, I don't. Major League is an interesting show for me, though. Until recently, I just checked out a few recommended matches from the series but before long I found myself really liking the series, despite all of the flaws. The episodes are always entertaining even if the match quality should make the episode otherwise forgettable. It reminds me a lot of the feeling I used to get watching ECW back in the day. MLW is one of the few shows I find myself watching every week right now, and I am expecting that to continue next year, too.

Select Match Reviews: Trying to Rustle the White Bull

Match from CMLL Puebla 02/11/2019 1.Rush vs Cuatrero ***1/4 Thoughts: A better main event than usual for Monday shows, with Rush trying harder than he tends to do on these shows and NGD's Cuatrero keeping up decently. This was a good contest and one to consider checking out if you're bored enough, just know that it is heavy with Tirantes shit in the third fall.  Make sure to watch the recent Euforia match first if you missed it, though. Is taking an opponents head off and kicking it into the crowd a DQ?

Select Match Reviews: New Beginnings, New Era

Matches from NJPW New Beginning in Osaka 1.IWGP Junior Title:Ishimori(c) vs Taguchi ***1/2 2.IWGP Heavyweight Title:Tanahashi(c) vs White ***3/4 Thoughts: We arrive at the conclusion of the New Beginning tour with a show featuring a very important main event. Before we get to that, let's start with my first pull, though. The Junior Heavyweight Championship match saw the Bone Soldier and Bullet Club member, Ishimori, take on the ass king. Taguchi honestly might turn people off with the comedy stuff but tends to step up big when needed. Ishimori mimicking Taguchi's dance was surely a sight to see, and the match itself picked up nicely as it went along. In all, this was a pretty good defense. As a longtime fan of the current champ, I truly hope he has a nice, long reign. The Liger challenge was interesting to say the least. Now, we arrive at the main event. Meltzer has said that Omega was meant to retain and then defend to belt at the MSG show, but the AEW situation chan

Select Match Reviews: From Four 2 One

Match from 205Live 02/05/2019 1.Number One Contender,Elimination:Alexander vs Akira vs Humberto vs Rush ***1/2 Thoughts: If not for TakeOver events, I'd actually call 205Live the best thing going in WWE. It has been a few weeks since I have caught the show, but I had to check this one out. With Buddy as champ, they needed to find a new challenger. Of the pool, Akira looked like the best choice right now and I am glad they went that route. It is worth noting that I think they need to add another name or two to the roster to freshen things up. Either way, the former Ultimo Ninja is at least a good start. This lived up nicely to my expectations, and is worth checking out. Cedric's misstep was one of the sole issues here, and everyone worked hard to put on a show. Pretty good stuff. If you're like me and dislike the idea of subscribing to the WWE Network, know that you can actually watch 205Live (and NXT for too) on Hulu. Just a suggestion.

Red's Year End Awards 2018 Part Eight–Best Male Wrestler

5.WALTER 4.Tetsuya Naito 3.Takashi Sugiura 2.Tommaso Ciampa 1.Kenny Omega -Kenny is the best wrestler in the world right now. Even on autopilot he is better than most when they're trying their hardest. This year, he once again gave multiple MOTYC's at a rate higher than anyone else. This was an easy pick, and I don't think it's even really that close.

A Look at the AAF

This past weekend, we saw the official debut of a brand new football league, beating out the XFL by a year. The American Alliance of Football instantly won over fans with an imperfect yet entertaining series of games. The AAF honestly seems a bit like the NXT of the NFL and honestly more football is simply a nice thing to see. I am a Jets fan so my football season experience tends to end early. I got to enjoy a college game as a fan this year after the end of the Jets season for crying out loud. And the CFL season is still a few months away. Really, this is just nice. So, let's look at the league. The AAF is basically a southern league, with only one of the eight teams being from a northern state. Funny enough, the league was founded off of the idea that the XFL folding left a gap. Honestly, I think this league has much more lasting power than the XFL based off of what we know thus far of Vince's new league, but we'll see. AAF East 1.Atlanta Legends 2.Birmingham Iron

Masato Tanaka Debuts for Beyond Wrestling

From BEYOND: Masato Tanaka debuts at "Uncharted Territory" Episode 1 on Wednesday, 4/3/19 at Electric Haze in Worcester, MA! Season tickets go on sale this Friday, 2/15/19 at noon.

AEW on Cruise

As expected, the second Jericho cruise will feature AEW talent, this time taking place from January 20th-24th, 2020. Hopefully, we'll also see AAA and OWE talent.

International Pro Wrestling Episode One Review

Matches: 1.IPW:UK Women's Title:Sierra(c) vs Candyfloss **3/4 2.IPW:UK Junior Title:Castle vs Harada *** 3.Smooth vs Howley,Sexsmith **1/2 4.IPW:UK Heavyweight Title:Haskins(c) vs Bird ***1/4 Thoughts IPW:UK's new Fight Network series caught my eye this weekend. I've seen some of their past work and thought it was decent, and the fact that Harada is booked on the card ensured that I was going to check it out. Plus, since it's their first episode it seemed worth giving a go. Women's action kicked things off, with the sugary Candyfloss and the division champion putting in for a decent opener with an urgency helped set a nice tone for the episode. Better than expected, and I walked away impressed with both. After a commercial break, we joined the Junior title match in progress. The fact that this was to decide the first ever champion and that it featured NOAH standout, Daisuke, is why I was a bit disappointed that they didn't show the entire contest. W

Red's Year End Awards 2018 Part Seven-Best Promotion

5.WWE 4.EVOLVE 3.NOAH 2.MLW 1.NJPW -I had a hard time picking five for this. Many promotions that I am a long-time fan of have had a lot of issues this year. Heck, even companies like CMLL, AAA, and Dragon Gate put out a lot of great material yet also stunk up the joint with inconsistent shows and poor booking calls. Note that the only reason WWE made this list is because of NXT and 205. Anyway, New Japan wins this easily, as they remain the best overall promotion in the world for me. I tend to watch select matches from many, many companies, but New Japan is the one that I can almost always count on when I want to watch a full show instead. The rate of quality content they put out is simply unmatchable.