Wrestle Kingdom 12 had a ton of big buildup for it this year, particularly with the fact that Chris Jericho (who is still under WWE contract) was going to be taking on Kenny Omega. I’m doing a prose review because the last time I did a video Wrestle Kingdom review I got a copyright strike. (more…)

Advertisements

It’s a little late, but I’ve finally gotten around to NXT TakeOver Wargames.

The Gargano/Ciampa feud is apparently currently on hold as Ciampa is injured. This is, by its very nature, a Low, as this would be a good place to continue this feud. Like, straight up, putting Ciampa with the Undisputed Era and Gargano with AOP and Strong, and making it a 4-on-4 WarGames would have worked – continuing to simmer the Gargano & Ciampa feud for one more TakeOver, instead of leaving it ice cold.

Lars Sullivan defeats Kassius Ohno

Backstory: Kassius Ohno interfered in one of Lars Sullivan’s (squash) matches, and asked for a match from William Regal. He got it.

High Points: Sullivan goes to the top-rope in this match, showing some nice agility in addition to his power moves, looking very much like a new Mike Awesome (but with hopefully less unprotected chair shots to the head.

Low Points: Sullivan pretty much no-sells all of Ohno’s offense early on, making him look really weak, with Ohno only able to get effective offense in after Sullivan misses a top rope move, making Ohno look pretty weak – with Ohno only able to do damage after Sullivan clobbers himself. Once Sullivan gets his wind back, the no-selling continues. I get wanting to make Sullivan a monster, but this hurt Ohno more than it helped Sullivan.

Rating: 3/5

Aleister Black defeats Velveteen Dream

Backstory: Velveteen Dream wants Aleister Black-senpai to notice him and say his name. Senpai will not do so. So Velveteen Dream has gone all yandere on Black (in a platonic fashion), and is demanding he say his name.

High Points: I appreciate how Velveteen Dream has been doing mind-games in this feud, without falling into the archetype of the “deranged homosexual”. Great mind technical wrestling and mind games by the two. I thought it was nice to hear a “Say His Name” chant from the audience. Dream’s modified DDT was really amazing.

First “This Is Awesome” chant of the night.

Velveteen Dream being in the middle of saying his name when getting KTFO by Black was a really nice touch. Also, Aleister Black saying Velveteen Dream’s name after beating the crap out of him was a very nice touch.

Low Points: I can’t help but think that “Say My Name” should have been part of the stipulation for this match – pinning Black wouldn’t make him say Dream’s name.

Rating: 4/5

Asuka is in attendance at the event (along with Finn Balor and Sho Funaki).

NXT Women’s Championship: Ember Moon defeated Kairi Sane, Nikki Cross, and Peyton Royce

Backstory: Asuka was called up to the main roster without losing the strap, so the belt has been vacated, and we have a match for the title – with Ember Moon going up against Nikki Cross, Peyton Royce, and Kairi Sane for the vacant belt. I do appreciate that for the snippet of each person’s promo, Nikki Cross is just represented by insane laughter.

First in-ring appearance of SAnitY of the night.

High Points: Kairi Sane has the best elbow drop in the business. First “NXT” Chant of the night. Moon hitting the Eclipse on Royce and Cross at the same time was a great spot.

Low Points: Considering the relatively small number of matches on the card, I’d prefer this was an elimination match instead of a single fall Fatal Four-Way. Nikki Cross didn’t come out looking strong – Kairi Sane was fine, but Cross basically spent most of the match getting the stuffing beat out of her.

Rating: 4/5

After the match, Asuka bestows the belt on Moon – a nice touch considering that Moon was never quite able to get the win on Asuka. Samoa Joe is also in the audience.

NXT Championship Match: Andrade “Cien” Almas (with Zelina Vega) defeated Drew McIntyre (c)

Backstory: Image consultant Zelina Vega has helped Andrade “Cien” Almas find some discipline and clean up his act – so now he’s earned his NXT Championship shot.

High Points: Great contrast of styles between Almas and McIntyre. When you have two wrestlers with different styles, they’ll either clash horribly and not give you a good match, or they’ll counterbalance each other and make for something really entertaining. This felt like the latter case. Almas is a luchador and has a quick style, McIntyre is more of a power wrestler, and both have some good strikes in their arsenal.

Low Points: Shenanigans that doesn’t quite go anywhere. Vega interferes with a hurricanrana, and Almas follows up with a hammerlock DDT, but that doesn’t put McIntyre away. Almas still wins, but having the Shenanigans work would have set up a nice rematch and the continuation of the feud.

Rating: 4/5

WarGames Match: The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Reilly) defeated The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) and Roderick Strong w/ Paul Ellering & SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe, Eric Young, and Killian Dain)

Backstory: Strong’s feud with Sanity and the Undisputed Era is clear-cut, as Strong was feuding with SAnitY back at NXT Takeover Chicago. SAnitY has also won the NXT Tag Team Championships from the AoP (though they are not on the line this match). The Undisputed Era debuted at the previous TakeOver (which I missed), and is currently terrorizing NXT. We have a temporary Face turn, apparently, for the AoP, as they’re teaming with Strong.

High Points: Mauro Ranallo describing the Authors of Pain as “Menacing as a mind flayer.” Great teamwork between Strong and the AoP, in spite of basically being a thrown together tag team.

The other two members of SAnitY being released, and bringing a boatload of plunder into the Cage, before locking their opponents in the cage with them (and Dain swallowing the key).

Speaking of which, everything Killian Dain does in this match (especially the Van Terminator). Even if Young doesn’t get called up, I can see Dain getting called up and being used in a similar way as Braun Strowman, as, say, Smackdown’s unstoppable monster.

First “Holy Shit” chant of the night. Second “This is Awesome” chant of the night. First “Please Don’t Die” chant I’ve heard in a while.

The Undisputed Era did need a big win in their first major match, and certainly this is a win they really needed.

Low Points: As much as I appreciate the Law of Karmic Tables, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s rather old, and maybe, at least a few times, the person who sets up a table shouldn’t be the person who goes through them.

Strong really should have gotten the pin off of the top-of-the-cage-superplex. That’s a spot you protect. If he wasn’t going to get the pin, then someone else should have come out on top with that spot.

Rating: 5/5

Not much of an after-match segment – just The Undisputed Era celebrating in the ring (as well as you can after having the crap beat out of you).

So, with some of my reviews, I’ve been adapting them to videos on my YouTube channel. This won’t be one of them, for a large part because wrestling videos tend to get Content ID strikes, and I don’t want to get any more of those.

Anyway, NXT, the WWE’s developmental promotion, has been doing a series of major events in conjunction with the WWE’s big Pay-Per-Views of the year – the Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summerslam, and occasionally Survivor Series. In conjunction with this year’s Wrestlemania in Orlando, we got a NXT supercard to go with it. Spoilers below. (more…)

So, storyline wise, I wonder what’s going on with Miz and Bray Wyatt? The two times he’s come out to interfere was to protect The Miz, plus taking on Ambrose at Miz’ behest. Wyatt didn’t come for the save against Balor again, though, and when Miz went down in the ring to beat down Ambrose some more, he seemed very wary of Bray, attempting to actively give him a wide berth.

It doesn’t feel like they’re planning to have Miz join the Wyatt family. Considering Bray’s promo he cut before Payback and after the Shakeup, had him talking about his plan for Raw, having Bray be Miz’s enforcer would be an unfortunate step down from that. Also, considering how Miz is making a big thing in his promos about the style of an Intercontinental Champion, having Miz go with the grungy swamp Cthulhu cultist as his gun-for-hire seems like a poor fit (which, admittedly, is nothing new for the WWE).

Other than that, I like the feud they’re building with Sheamus and Cesaro vs. the Hardys, and the promo with Golden Truth (which I read about from Scott Keith as it was cut from the Hulu Replay), hopefully will lead to another storyline with the Tag Division outside of the title hunt.

I recently picked up the role-playing game Wild World of Wrestling by Timeout Diversions from DriveThruRPG. The game is from the same people who brought us the underrated RPG WWE: Know Your Role, which I also own and like. As I’m reading through the game, I’m also working on setting up my own little promotion. This is partly with original wrestlers and in a large part with adaptations of real-world wrestlers. But, first, I’d like to do a little world-building and set-up the in-game organization. (more…)

Shawn Michels: From The Vault cover art
Get "Shawn Michaels: From the Vault" from Amazon.com

Now, once again I have another wrestling DVD review this week, though this one takes a different tack from my other reviews, because I’m not doing a match-by-match recap this time. Why? Well, the review will explain.

The Premise:

The DVDs recap some of Shawn Michaels’ wrestling career, from his tag career, to the beginnings of his solo run, to his return to the WWE. (more…)

Alright, we’re on to the next Ring of Honor show after Unscripted. This is Glory By Honor I, held on October 5th, 2002 at the Murphy Recreation Center. As a reminder of who the champions are, all the belts are held by The Prophecy, with Christopher Daniels & Donovan Morgan winning the ROH World Tag Team titles in that tournament, and Xavier beating Low Ki for the ROH World Title. Our hosts are Jeff Gorman and Chris Levi, with Steve Corino having left the announce booth as part of his (concluding) feud with Rudy Boy Gonzalez. (more…)

Get The Worlds Greatest Wrestling Managers from Amazon.com
Get "The World's Greatest Wrestling Managers" from Amazon.com

So, I’m trying to watch some more wrestling stuff, and I’ve gotten a few wrestling DVDs in, which I’ll be reviewing over the next couple weeks. First up is more of a documentary focused DVD, based around various managers in the WWE’s history… as if you couldn’t tell in the title.

The Premise: Hosted by Todd Grisham, we take a walk back memory lane and discuss some of the greatest managers in the WWE’s history, and what made them great, as heels, or as faces. We have interviews with the managers in question, as well as with various WWE Superstars talking about those particular managers, and what makes a good manager in general. The individual mangers who get profiled include Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Captain Lou Albano, Paul Bearer, Jim Cornette, Paul Heyman, Sunny, “Classy” Freddie Blassie, “The Sensational” Sherrie Martel, and “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart, The Grand Wizard Of Wrestling, and The Lovely Miss Elizabeth, as well as a general profile of female managers/valets in wrestling (with particular mention given to Debra, Chyna, Trish Stratus and Rena Mero). (more…)

Get The Best of IWA Wrestling Vol. 2 from Amazon.com
Get The Best of IWA Wrestling Vol. 2 from Amazon.com

Well, after  much delay, I’ve decided to continue with my wrestling recaps and reviews. This won’t be as in depth as my Wrestlemania reviews, and won’t be done as regularly. Nonetheless, I’m gonna give this a try. First up is The Best of IWA Wrestling Vol. 2. As a slight note, this promotion is not the IWA promotion that’s currently active in Puerto Rico and Japan, nor IWA Mid-South. This is a separate promotion that was active in the Ohio area from the 1970s to some undetermined point.

Dates for the matches are not provided, though they’re all from TV tapings. Our commentary team is Lee Marshall and Diamond Dallas Page (from some point in his career between going from managing to actively wrestling).

Match 1: “Hitman” Tommy Stetson vs. “Lil’ Cricket” David Isley.

This is from the first round of the tournament to determine the first IWA Junior Heavyweight Champion. We get some chained standing switches before Stetson reaches the ropes. Isley locks Stetson in a rest hold (a standing headlock), which he chains into a hip toss to ground Stetson. Stetson gets out and tries to build momentum and gets an arm-drag and then a headlock for his trouble. Isley cradles for 2. Stetson and Isley get in the corner and exchange blows before Isley takes the worst of a turnbuckle splash. Rather, it was meant to be a turnbuckle splash but Isley started to come out of the corner before he got hit. Not sure if that’s deliberate or mis-communication. (more…)

Click to get American Dream - The Dusty Rhodes Story from Amazon.com
Click to get American Dream - The Dusty Rhodes Story from Amazon.com

So, World Wrestling Entertainment, which is currently the largest wrestling promotion on earth, also holds the largest match library on earth, the matches from many of the major promotions in what is known as “the territorial era.” To cash in on this they have put out the DVD “The American Dream – The Dusty Rhodes Story”, following the career the one of WCW’s major stars from their early days (and the second they’ve put out a DVD collection about) – “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.

The Premise: Basically, the DVD follows his career from childhood all the way to his last feud in with his son Dustin against Ric Flair and Jeff Jarrett, with a documentary film, as well as lots of matches and promos covering length of his career. (more…)

In the past few days I’ve been trying to unclutter my room. I have various e-books for Role Playing Games printed out single-sided and bound in, three-ring binders and taking up space. So, to try to free up some space, I’ve been getting those books printed double-sided and bound through Kinko’s – but they need PDF documents. So, I’ve taken just about all the articles from the RPG.net Wiki for WWE Know Your Role – match types, maneuvers, and wrestler stats, and using OpenOffice I worked some Desktop Publishing Fu (Table of Contents, adding pictures, etc.) and whipped up a PDF, giving us the Great RPG.net WWE: Know Your Role Netbook!

I am making the netbook available under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike licence version 3.0. This means you can feel free to share it, make changes to it (add content to it, correct content, etc.) but give credit where credit is due for your changes. Make sure the RPG.net wiki remains credited. Other than that, have fun, that’s what gaming is for.

Download the Netbook

Oh, and if you don’t have WWE: Know Your Role, Comic Images (the publisher) has stopped printing the book. However, there are some people selling the game used at Amazon.com and on eBay. Feel free to check your Friendly Local Game Store as well to see if they have a copy.

 

ECW: One Night Stand

Where & When: The Hammerstein Ballroom – New York City, June 16th, 2005.

Commentary: Joey Styles & Mick Foley

We start the show off with the introductions of Mick & Joey. Joey in particular looks rather choked up on his way out to the ring, though he does the cocky-heel foot wipe and kick on his way in the ring – though I can imagine he’s really pumped up. Say, Faith No More Guy is there! Big Joey Chant and a pop for “Oh My God!” Foley comes out to his WWE Cactus Jack music. My god, Joey comes up to Mick’s shoulder. I never realized how tall Foley really is. Either that or Joey’s really short.

(more…)

My apologies for the delay between posts. My computer’s been down for a few weeks, but now it’s back up so now it’s time for a right proper recap, and I’ve got several events lined up – ya see, The G1 Climax tournament happened in NJPW earlier this month, and I’ve got a fair chunk of it (about 5 out of 7 days), so I’ll be recapping that, starting with Day 3, 8/13/2008 (I haven’t gotten all of Day 2, the 11th yet, and I’m missing Day 1, the 9th entirely).

Quick run-down: the G1 Climax is a round-robin tournament, divided into 2 blocks. The winner of each block faces the other in a 1-fall match. Whoever wins that match wins the tournament.
(more…)

Rob Van Dam: One Of A Kind

Host: Josh Matthews.

Disk 1

We get a brief recap of RVD’s run in WCW. He’d already been wrestling in Florida for a year as Rob Van Dam before WCW hired him. At the time Bill Watts was the head booker, and didn’t like the “Rob Van Dam” name and wanted to use something different. As RVD had already gotten some mention in the wrestling press (I’m presuming Wrestling Observer and in Dave Metzler’s magazine) under the Rob Van Dam name he wanted to use something similar ultimately settling on the name Robbie V. Rob was apparently undefeated and didn’t particularly have any programs with anybody.

(more…)

Date: March 20th, 1994
Location: Madison Square Garden
Commentary: Vince McMahon, Jerry “The King” Lawler.

Background notes: Lex Luger and Bret Hart became co-#1 contenders for the WWF Championship after they became the simultaneous final eliminations of the Rumble. Commissioner Jack Tunney ruled that both men would get a singles shot at then champion Yokozuna, with a coin toss deciding who got a shot first (Lex won). Further Bret had also been feuding with his brother, Owen, after a collision between Bret and Owen caused Owen to be eliminated at the Survivor Series the previous year. Other notable feuds were between Bam Bam Bigelow and (sigh) Doink the Clown, Randy Savage and Crush, and a feud between “HBK” Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon over who was the proper WWF Intercontinental Champion.

(more…)

Wrestlemania VIII

Date: April 5, 1992
Location: The Hoosier Dome – Indianapolis, Indiana.
Our hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby The Brain Heenan.

A little background: “HBK” Shawn Michaels has finally, and dramatically, split off from The Rockers by super-kicking Marty Janetty through a plate-glass window during Brutus Beefcake’s talk-show segment, “The Barber Shop”. Also, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair jumped ship from WCW to the WWF, with the Big Gold Belt, and won the WWF Championship, ultimately leading to Randy Savage coming out of enforced retirement to try and win the belt back – well, that and the nekkid pictures of Miss Elizabeth that Flair said he had.

Champions:

  • WWF Heavyweight Champion: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair

  • WWF Intercontinental Champion: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.

  • WWF Tag Team Champions: Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Shyster w/ Jimmy Hart)

(more…)

A little background coming in:

At the Four-Way Iron Man match for the Ring of Honor title (I still need to get that event, by the way), Low Ki came out with the win, and became the Ring of Honor World Champion. Coming into Unscripted I believe he’s gotten a few title defenses under his belt, before facing Xavier (who made it into the quarter-finals at Road To The Title before getting beat by Red).

However, the start of the show is going to be a tournament to crown the first ROH Tag Team Champions – and unlike Road To The Title, we’re actually going to crown the champions at this show!

On the one hand, it’s another tournament show, and as I’ve said before, Tournaments tend to be meh, just because of the nature of the format.

However, since this is a Tag Team tournament, the tag team part may work in the tournament’s favor. I’ll be keeping an eye on this as I watch the event. (more…)

Wrestlemania VII

The Time: March 24th, 1991
The Place: The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
The Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, to be joined by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, a couple of guest commentators.
The Champions:

  • WWF Heavyweight Champion: Sgt. Slaughter (heel)
  • WWF Tag Team Champions: The Hart Foundation (Bret “Hitman” Hart & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) (faces)
  • WWF Intercontinetal Champion: “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig (heel)
  • WWF Womens Championship: Inactive

Being that Wrestlemania is stateside again, we start off the show with a performance of “America The Beautiful,” this time by Willie Nelson. Jesse Ventura split ties for the WWF between the last Wrestlemania and this one, leading to Monsoon going with a series of Guest Commentators over the evening – sort of, we do get one color guy for most of the show, but we have a few guests pop in, like our first match of the evening – with “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan on commentary.

(more…)

Wrestlemania V

I’m doing a few different things with this Wrestlemania recap. By this time Wrestlemania had become a big deal, as had Wrestlemania Debuts, so from here on I’ll be keeping track of Wrestlemania Debuts. A few people of note who debuted at Wrestlemanias prior to this: Bret Hart and “Macho Man” Randy Savage at Wrestlemania II, Ted DiBiase & The Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania IV.

Prior to Wrestlemania V, the gold had gotten between the Mega Powers, with the two men’s egos both backstage and on screen colliding, leading to a heel turn by Savage. Furthermore, the Intercontinental Title, once held by Honky Tonk Man in his legendary title reign, was lost to the Ultimate Warrior in about 45 seconds, completely burying HTM. Finally, the Hart Foundation turned face, and turned on their former manager, Jimmy Hart. Furthermore, Ted DiBiase, after continually failing to win or buy the WWF Heavyweight Championship, decided to introduce his own belt instead – the diamond-encrusted Million Dollar Championship. Also, Demolition turned face when Mr. Fuji turned on them, instead siding with the tag team of the Powers of Pain (The Barbarian and The Warlord).

Now, we come to April 2, 1989, and Wrestlemania V, again returning to Trump Plaza at Atlantic City. Leading us in, singing “America The Beautiful” is WWF Women’s Champion, Rockin’ Robin. While she works her way through the song the song, let’s think for a moment. Rockin’ Robin is the WWF Women’s Champion. She’s not defending the belt. She is, however, singing “America The Beautiful” which has previously been sung by Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin.

Our hosts this evening are once again Jesse “The Body” Ventura on color commentary and Gorilla Monsoon doing Play-by-play announcing, as we go to our opening match. (more…)