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

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

Jinder Mahal is the #1 Contender for the WWE Title???

Jinder Mahal is the number one contender for the WWE Championship…There is no punch line here.

Mahal, who hasn’t won a match on television since September 12 of last year, will face Randy Orton for the title on Sunday, May 21 in the main event of Backlash. For the uninitiated, Mahal is pretty much the Glass Joe (Punch-Out) of WWE.  Continue reading

Looking at the WWE Bullying Scandal

Unfortunately, the biggest story in professional wrestling right now is the very real situation involving WWE commentators John (JBL) Layfield and Mauro Ranallo. It’s been reported by several news outlets that Ranallo, who suffers from mental illness, was bullied by JBL to the point where he was off TV for several weeks and is not expected to return to the company.

JBL is known for being a bully within the industry with reports going back over a decade. Several former WWE wrestlers have spoken out about JBL’s antics in light of the news. Coincidently, former WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts released his new book, which chronicles his time in WWE including several instances where he was bullied by JBL.

While many have called for the Texan’s resignation, his termination won’t fix the problem. Ribbing, hazing, and bullying has always been a part of wrestling and is ingrained in WWE’s corporate culture.

Continue reading

Shinsuke Nakamura has landed on SmackDown Live

In a long overdue move, Shinsuke Nakamura is finally on the WWE main roster. Nakamura debuted on the post-WrestleMania edition SmackDown last night following a segment involving The Miz and Maryse.

As the couple was finishing up their mockery of John Cena and Nikki Bella, a violinist was in the aisle way and Nakamura came out to a huge reaction. He did his signature poses in the ring without speaking a word to the audience tunes of “NA-KA-MURA.”

Continue reading

WrestleMania 33 Review: The End of a Legend

When it’s all said and done, the seven-hour spectacular that was WrestleMania 33 will go down as a newsworthy event that was better than it had any business being. Thirteen matches, a restroom break in the form of a Pitbull concert, one marriage proposal, the triumphant return of a popular duo, and the end of a legendary career encapsulates a roller-coaster of emotions for a show aptly named, the ultimate thrill ride.

WWE took over their home away from home this past weekend as Orlando, FL played host to the Hall of Fame ceremony on Friday along with an action packed NXT TakeOver card on Saturday. Then, the show of shows captivated a worldwide audience inside of the Camping World Stadium along with millions watching along on the WWE Network.

Kickoff Show:

Neville pinned Austin Aries to retain the Cruiserweight Championship:

Neville’s defense of the Cruiserweight title against Austin Aries was a well worked matched that was given an ample amount of time. Unfortunately, the crowd was still filing into the building, which made the match come off less than it was. Neville retained with the Red Arrow, which the Brit hasn’t used since turning heel. Fans had pegged Aries to go over, but Neville winning here will give Aries a chance to get over with the audience a little more while chasing the belt.

Mojo Rawley won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal:

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski sitting in the front row was a bright neon spoiler alert. Gronk’s friendship with MoJo Rawley has been mentioned over the past several weeks. Rawley was the first wrestler to declare his entry into the battle royal, so his win was a nice way to tie it all together. Plus, as a Pats fan, seeing Gronk hitting Jinder Mahal with a running tackle was a cool moment.

Surprisingly, Bruan Strowman didn’t do much in this match. Right now, he’s at the point where no one wants to see him lose. He was eliminated around the two-minute mark by ten wrestlers, which protected his character. NXT’s Killian Dain made it to the final three, which means WWE has plans for the big guy.

Dean Ambrose pinned Baron Corbin to retain the Intercontinental Championship:

When a fan-driven social media campaign got the SmackDown Women’s Title match promoted to the main card, no one expected the Intercontinental Championship match to take its place on the kickoff show. Many thought Corbin was going to win the title, but having him win it on the kickoff show won’t have the desired effect of making him stand out as a threat to be taken seriously. Smart money says Corbin wins it down the line. It was a TV match with nothing to complain about.

Now, let the main card commence.

Continue reading

Report: Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns Scheduled to Close out WrestleMania

One thing that you got to love about WrestleMania weekend is the rumor mill regarding the event. Earlier in the week, the WWE Universal Championship between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar was expected to close out the show on Sunday.

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer is in Orlando for all of the festivities going on around town. According to the famed reporter, the probable match to close out WrestleMania will be Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns.

My first reaction is what about Randy Orton? You know, the winner of the Royal Rumble? Then I calmed down and remembered that the Rumble winner hasn’t really been guaranteed the main event spot for several years now. Besides, the Orton/Wyatt feud has cooled down considerably.

WWE is notorious for changing their plans at the drop of a hat, however, Taker vs. Reigns getting the nod means that confidence is low in Goldberg vs. Lesnar being anything special. Goldberg probably can’t go more than ten minutes, and doing a squash match in Lesnar’s favor to get his heat back, is not a suitable scenario for the main event of WrestleMania.  Continue reading

Smackdown Women’s Title Match Back on WrestleMania Main Card

The card for WrestleMania 33 is always changing. Due to popular demand, WWE has shifted the SmackDown Women’s Championship match from the kickoff show to the main card. Alexa Bliss defends the title against Becky Lynch, Natalya, Mickie James, Naomi, and Carmella in a Six Pack Challenge.

Upset over the match’s placement on the show, fans started using the hashtag #GiveSDWomenAChance on social media to campaign for the change. The WrestleMania lineup on WWE.com no longer has the match listed on the kickoff show. Becky Lynch took to Twitter and confirmed the change.  Continue reading

Clarity, Ladders and Al Roker added to WrestleMania 33

It’s WrestleMania week and the go-home editions of Raw and SmackDown brought about some clarity to this Sunday’s ultimate thrill ride. Seth Rollins signed the contract making his non-sanctioned match with Triple H official.

I found it funny that a half hour after the match was made, a video package aired highlighting their feud. We all knew that Rollins was going to sign on the dotted line, however, can’t the production of the show at least pretend to be surprised? I guess that doesn’t really matter because wrestling-isn’t-real.

The triple threat match for the Raw Tag Team Titles got quite the upgrade in what will now be a ladder match. Reigning champs Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson blindsided Ceasro and Sheamus and later did the same thing to Enzo and Cass.

Their weapon of choice? A ladder, which was completely random at first. Now, it makes perfect sense. This stipulation was a gift from the heavens for these six wrestlers because no one cared about this match beforehand. Now, it could steal the show.  Continue reading