Sorry for the lack of wrestling blogs as of late. I’ve been so busy with my Clark Kent job that finding time to write has been next to impossible.
I never thought that I would say this about a Money in the Bank event, but the 2017 incarnation, for the most part, was a failed deposit. Every match had an anti-climactic finish, except for the WWE title showdown between Jinder Mahal and Randy Orton…And that’s not an endorsement.
Backlash was the first SmackDown Live PPV since last month’s “Superstar Shake Up.” The Allstate Arena in Chicago hosted the nine match card. The two main pieces of business were Jinder Mahal vying for the WWE Championship and the WWE in-ring debut of Shinsuke Nakamura. Despite the slower pacing of the matches, was the blue brand able to deliver?
I apologize for being late to the party with one, but I watched a really, really good wrestling match last week. It won’t go down as an instant classic or awarded five stars among journalists, however, the wrestlers took their time telling a fun and engaging story.
Whatever do I mean? Well…
Wrestling is an art form like any other creative and entertaining means of expression. Sometimes, in a particular space, certain nuances fall by the wayside, looking to be picked up again. In wrestling matches, it’s the little things that can make all the difference.
Over the last few years in WWE, punches, kicks, submission holds, and selling has been devoid of any real intensity and effort. Also, the action in the ring is too fast and does not leave enough time for anything to properly marinate with the audience.
Instead, back-and-forth matches, where the wrestlers take turns delivering big moves, appear to be a substitute for an arbitrary application of the smaller moves that support the assembly of a match.
Now, I know I sound like that older guy that emphatically claims it was better in my day, but stay with me. Continue reading →
WWE Television this week saw five more matches made official for WrestleMania 33 line-up for a total of eleven matches. Three of the matches were leaked online a few months ago, one was heavily implied last week and the last match wasn’t too surprising.
Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns: Will Taker slay another victim or is Reigns going to put down the Deadman? If Reigns goes over, will WWE try to keep him as a babyface or will they flip the script and go full on heel with the Roman Empire? This will end up being one of the most anticipated matches on the card because we have no idea who is going to win.
Raw and SmackDown this week began to bring about some clarity to WrestleMania 33, which emanates from Orlando, Florida on Sunday, April 2nd. While several of the key matches, including the main event, were officially announced, there were no shocking revelations considering that the card was leaked online a month ago.
Vince McMahon deserves credit for sticking to his guns this time around where in years past he would change booking plans if he got the slightest whiff of a leak. So far, the storylines leading up to the matches have been good, thus making the journey as important as the destination. Continue reading →
New Japan Pro Wrestling announced the brackets for this year’s New Japan Cup tournament. This will mark the 13th annual Cup where the winner of this single elimination tournament will earn a title shot at any singles championship they wish to challenge for at Sakura Genesis (formerly Invasion Attack) on April 9th at Sumo Hall.
The first round matches will begin on March 11th (The right side of the brackets) and March 12th (The left side of brackets) the quarterfinal matches will occur on March 13th and March 17. Semifinal action will take place on March 19 and the finals on March 20th. The Wrestling Observer has confirmed that the last two days will air live on New Japan World while the rest of the shows will air on a delay.
These matchups make for some interesting possibilities. I’d expect Hiroshi Tanahashi to at least make it to the finals of his bracket. Besides Toru Yano, who he’ll face in the finals is anyone’s guess.
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Minoru Suzuki in the first round is just all sorts of awesome. Booking their match in this position is the right call because placing them anywhere else in the same bracket makes the outcome too predictable.
O Kenny! My Kenny! What do we do with Kenny Omega? “The Cleaner’s” white-hot popularity makes him the easy pick to win the whole enchilada, however, does New Japan plan on having the Okada/Omega II on April 9th?
Now that the Royal Rumble is in the rear view mirror, everyone wants to know what’s going to happen on April 2 when WrestleMania 33 WrestleMania emanates from the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL.
The rumored card, and I stress rumored, card has made its way online with several web sites and various sources confirming what WWE creative (i.e. Vince McMahon) has planned for this year’s showcase of the immortals.
As of right now, only one half of a match is officially confirmed. Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton will face the WWE Champion. John Cena is the current title holder, but another wrestler is heavily rumored to hold the gold by the time WrestleMania rolls around.
This Sunday’s Royal Rumble card appears to be finalized with eight matches that will be rounded out by the 30-Man Rumble match. The Kick-Off show will begin at 5:00 pm EST with the official pay-per-view beginning at 7:00 pm EST.
What I’m digging about this year’s Rumble is that I have absolutely no idea who is going to win. Normally, it’s easy to figure out the winner well in advanced based on story-line direction or if a particular wrestler is getting a main event push.
AJ Styles and John Cena will duke it out for the WWE Championship while Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns will battle in a No DQ match for the Universal Championship, which leaves four main event players out of the Rumble. Continue reading →