Ricochet & Ospreay Are Changing the Game

Last year’s Best of the Super Juniors (BOSJ) match between Ricochet and Will Ospreay drew highly divisive opinions from the pro wrestling community. Chris Jericho praised the match for its aerial evolution while Vader panned it due its choreographed nature. Fans were equally torn on the matter.

Continue reading

Randy Orton Sparks the Great Indy Wrestling Debate

Randy Orton knows how to cause drama of the off-screen variety. In fact, he’s something of an artist at it. Last weekend, Orton retweeted a message from his original trainer in OVW, Rip Rogers, that criticized the current style of independent wrestling.

“Every Indy match now: handshake, drawn out move exchange, this is awesome chant, strike exchange, dive, no sell Indy strongstyle, dive, more strikes, no sells, dive, flippy floppy sequence, dive, hit everyone with each other’s finisher, then Humpty Dumpty, we all fall down. Fight forever chant, rinse and repeat until every move is useless and means nothing, dive, take unsafe shot that looks like shit and hurts like hell then roll-up finish. Handshake and hug after match. Everyone’s hand raised. All these guys chant. Go home and type on social media thanking your opponent and company for the match and telling others they should book these guys…dive.” 

Continue reading

My Favorite Matches #6: Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect

The night before the Summer Slam 88, a Mega Powers’ promo hyping their match against the Mega Bucks got me hooked on professional wrestling. The actual matches were ancillary as it was all about the drama and interviews ending in “whatcha gonna do.” Three years later, my wrestling fandom got flipped turned upside down by an amazing match between two all-time greats.

The Intercontinental Title match at Summer Slam 1991 between Mr. Perfect and Bret Hart completely changed how I looked at wrestling. I didn’t know anything about booking or storytelling at the time, however, the match was a masterful display of the art.

Continue reading

NJPW Releases Best of the Super Juniors Schedule

It’s one of my favorite times of the year as New Japan Pro Wrestling will kick off the Best of the Super Juniors 24 (BOSJ) on May 17th at Korakuen Hall. This tournament will span two weeks, which culminates on June 3rd at Yoyogi National Gymnasium.

The winners of Block A and Block B will face off to decide who will get a shot at the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title on June 11th at Dominion. That is of course, if the current champ, Hiromu Takahashi should win the tournament.

The brackets are very interesting. Block A is so stacked that I almost want to skip the Block B matches…Almost.

Block A

  1. Jushin Thunder Liger
  2. Ricochet
  3. Will Ospreay
  4. Taichi
  5. Taka Michinoku
  6. Hiromu Takahashi
  7. Dragon Lee
  8. Marty Scurll

 

Block B

  1. Tiger Mask IV
  2. Ryusuke Taguchi
  3. KUSHIDA
  4. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
  5. El Desperado
  6. BUSHI
  7. Volador Jr.
  8. ACH

Continue reading

Billy Corgan Buys the NWA; Now What?

Smashing Pumpkins frontman and former TNA Wrestling President Billy Corgan has purchased National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). PWInsider.com broke the news last week and has confirmed that Corgan owns the name, rights, and trademarks to the NWA as well as the rights and possession of the NWA championship belt.

At one time, the NWA was the governing body of professional wrestling and the NWA championship was the most prestigious belt in the industry. Iconic names such as Lou Thez, Harley Race, Dory Funk, Ric Flair, and others were among its stars.

The group of promoters who governed the NWA and voted on who the champion would be started going out of business by the 1980’s when Vince McMahon’s then-WWF went national, destroying the territory system.

Continue reading

Street Fighter V: Wrestling Special – Comic Book Review

Street Fighter V: Wrestling Special | Writer: Ken Siu-Chong | Artists: Jeffrey Cruz & Hanzo Steinbach | Publisher: Udon Capcom

Another Free Comic Book Day is in the books. Once again, I journeyed to Silver Moon Comics & Collectibles to peruse all of the offerings. One book in particular immediately grabbed my attention and as someone who grew up on WWF and the Street Fighter II video game, this was a must.

Our first of two stories focuses on the over the top master of “strongest style” Dan Hibiki and his professional wrestling debut. Dan is the comic relief of the series and wears a pink gi similar to Ken and Ryu.

Continue reading

Okada vs. Omega II Officially Announced

The match that many have called the greatest of all-time will get its second chapter. Kenny Omega will lockup with Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Title at NJPW Dominion on June 11, at Osaka-Jo Hall.

The match was made on Wednesday at Wrestling Dontaku when Okada called Omega into the ring after defeating Bad Luck Fale. Omega entered the ring for a staredown, looked to the camera and said that Okada is not the champion that people want.

Okada defeated Omega in January at Wrestle Kingdom to retain the championship in a 45-minute classic, which earned an unprecedented six-star rating by famed journalist Dave Meltzer. Those who missed out on their first encounter will no doubt look forward to the sequel.

Continue reading

WWE Great Balls of Fire…WTF

As someone who has watched, practiced and promoted professional wrestling for almost 30 years, I’m accustomed to the ridiculousness that the genre has to offer. Weird and zany names come with the territory.

So, when I heard that WWE’s July pay-per-view is titled Great Balls of Fire, I thought it was a rib and no sold it. Then, my podcast partner in crime Frank D ensured me that this was no ruse. The name of the show is legitimately called Great Balls of Fire.

Continue reading

Dear Undertaker, Thank You.

When one discovers their passion for a certain genre, they eventually find that one individual or character that they admire and sometimes even live through vicariously. For me, that passion is fake fighting and the character is a dead wizard with supernatural powers.

I’ll never forget the Undertaker’s first appearance, which occurred at the 1990 Survivor Series in Hartford, CT. It would be the final time the event was held on Thanksgiving night as the demise of a tradition brought about the genesis of an indelible legacy.

This imposing figure was the mystery partner of Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Team. As a kid who cheered every good guy and booed every bad guy, I was impressed. A year later, Undertaker won his first WWE Title from Hulk Hogan. I didn’t bat an eye when this evildoer who represented death stole the championship from an American hero.

Two months later, Undertaker prevented Jake Roberts from blindsiding Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth with a steel chair. OMG, was the Undertaker now a good guy? No, No, No. It was a simple misunderstanding…right?

Continue reading