Thursday, 8 October 2015

Wrestle Ropes' Ready for the Weekend: October 2015 Week 2

     After last weekend had some amazing, huge shows take place, you could be forgiven for thinking this weekend would be a quieter affair. Not a chance of it! Another weekend, another packed calendar of events. Let's get Ready For The Weekend!

On Friday night, Insane Championship Wrestling shall be in Newcastle for the second night (the first taking place tonight in Dundee) of their UK tour with One Fall Brawl. One match which may have implications on the main event of Fear & Loathing VIII shall be the contest between Grado and Jack Jester. Grado is scheduled to challenge Drew Galloway for the ICW World Heavyweight Championship on November 15th, however his opponent, Jack Jester shall be looking to cause damage to Grado's chances in favour of his Black Label comrade. Grado will be looking to his main event match on November 15th but he can't take Jack Jester likely. Friday will also see the return of Johnny Moss to ICW when he faces the New Age Kliq's BT Gunn. Moss is one of the most dominating heavyweights in Europe whose speed matches his strength. His opponent is part of the one of the most dangerous factions in wrestling today. Moss has run through almost everyone in ICW but he returns now to a company that is vastly different from the last time he competed. BT Gunn is probably now more dangerous and ruthless than he has ever been. Gunn will look to make a statement against Moss and 'The Vigilante' shall want to make his return a winning one. Since The Black Label and ICW GM, Red Lightning have become a powerforce in ICW, they have done all in their power to suppress 'The Beast Of Belfast' Big Damo. Even going as far as joining forces with The 55 who have attacked Damo on numerous occasions. But the latter has refused to back down and now he's looking to take apart both groups on his road to the ICW World Heavyweight Championship. On October 9th, Damo turns his focus to 'The East End Butcher' Sha Samuels. Samuels is unforgiving, plain and simple. But Damo has a fire within him that few have ever seen. Without a doubt, Damo faces a big challenge in Sha Samuels but Damo has never ever been as dangerous as he is now. The Road to Fear and Loathing VIII Tour continues on Saturday and Sunday in Southampton and London respectively.

Moving on to Saturday and Southside Wrestling make their return to Sheffield with a double show event taking place at the Corporation. We're going to focus of the second show for this article but the afternoon show is of equal quality and we'd recommend attending both if you can. The Righteous Army are undoubtedly the power in Southisde Wrestling right now. One man that the leader of The Righteous Army and current Heavyweight champion, Joseph Conners has an issue with is Stixx. He has focused on the former champion since he returned earlier this year. On Saturday, both men will meet once again, this time in a tag team match. While Joseph Conners will team with The Pledge, Stixx has called on the assistance of former WWE star, JTG. The Righteous Army are a formidable team but Stixx has a partner who is a specialist in tag team matches, in particular with a heavyweight team-mate such as Stixx. This match could be the beginning of a turn in the tide for Stixx or it may be a continuation of The Righteous Army's oppression in Southside. Speaking of The Righteous Army, the main event this Saturday will see 'The Mexican Sensation' El Ligero continue his war with the faction, this time with the current Speed King champion, Jimmy Havoc. This match would be hate-filled anyway but this match will be a street fight. The Righteous Army have made it their aim to attack and embarrass El Ligero but now there are no rules and El Ligero will want to send a message to Havoc that he will not be a victim of theirs. 'Flash' Morgan Webster has been a on great run in Southside Wrestling recently with a win over Will Ospreay and a great match with Tommy End to name a few. He wants to face the best that Southside can provide and on October 10th he's going to have that chance when he faces Tommaso Ciampa in singles competition. Ciampa has had great matches in Southside as well as competing all over the world. Morgan has a thirst for great competition and the tools and talent to achieve it. This Saturday we could see a match that might just steal the show and Webster may possibly get a win over another word-class talent.

Sunday shall see the first out of Alpha Omega Wrestling since it was born from Paid Promotions in Morecambe. And they're not getting off to a slow start with two new champions guaranteed to be crowned at the event in Morecambe. One championship that will be unveiled and awarded shall be the Alpha Omega Women's Championship which will be up for grabs in a gauntlet match. The gauntlet match will consist of seven competitors, Lana Austin, Felony, Sammii Jayne, Viper, Debbie Sharpe, Jenna & Alexis Rose. Sometimes a favourite can be chosen in a match but that is eliminated with this match type as the order in which the competitors enter could play as big a factor as the wrestlers themselves. While there are competitors such as Viper & Lana Austin who have competed in Alpha Omega Wrestling (formerly Paid Promotions) before, there are a number of débuts such as Felony & Alexis Rose to name a few. This adds another unknown elements to the match. Really anyone could walk away the inaugural Alpha Omega Women's champion this Sunday. Another champion that will be decided will be the new Alpha Omega Tag Team Championship. Former opponents now turned allies, Sexy Kev & Shaun Vasey will face a team which couldn't be more bonded as a unit, The Referendum. That being said, Sexy Kev & Shaun Vasey or Big Sexxxy as they are now known, present an unknown in the fact that The Referendum don't know how they interact as a team. However, The Referendum are THE power faction in Alpha Omega with countless wins over opponents. The Referendum say they are destined for the gold. Big Sexxxy are out to prove otherwise. The main event on October 11th will see two men who hate each other so much that a meeting between the two was inevitable even if the powers that be tried everything to prevent it from happening. As the hatred between Johnny Phere and Craig Kollins is so great, a normal match would not be enough to settle this so that contest will be held under no holds barred rules. If either man is going to move on then this has to be settled on Sunday in Morecambe and it will without doubt be done so in the most violent was possible.

That wraps up this week's preview of the weekend's wrestling schedule. Of course, there are many more events taking place over the three days. To find out more about the shows we've highlighted here as well as all the others, check us out at for the latest show and match announcements, British Wrestling event list and more 

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Special Preview: WWE NXT Takeover: Respect

NXT Takeover: Respect is almost here! It feels like ages since Takeover: Brooklyn, doesn't it? What have we got to tuck into tonight then? Let's have a look, shall we?

NXT Women's Championship 30 Minute Iron Man
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks

How exciting is this? For years, people have maligned the state of WWE's Women's Division and after three years of NXT steadily chipping away all the preconceptions about women's wrestling in the main stream, we are left with this. Two women main eventing an NXT Special and deserving to be there. Bayley and Sasha Banks tore it up at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, unarguably having the best match of the night, and now it's time for them to take it up a notch. The thirty minute Iron Man match makes sure that the duo will have plenty of time to do what they do best, and offers another element for them to play with creatively. 

Who will walk out with the title? Undoubtedly, Bayley will be holding onto the title, but I expect that we'll see plenty of twists and turns throughout. Sasha recieved a huge spotlight on this week's Monday Night RAW, with segment arguably being the highlight of the entire show, so I'd expect to see Banks come very close here, potentially even grabbing the first fall of the bout. There's every chance that this could be Sasha's last match in NXT, so here's hoping for an emotional rollercoaster of a match and a fitting send-off for The Bo$$.

Prediction - Bayley retains the NXT Women's Championship

Apollo Crews vs. Tyler Breeze 

This is a real chance for both men to stake a claim that they deserve a place in the upper echelon of NXT. Tyler Breeze has struggled to get momentum, and despite putting on good matches on almost every NXT Takeover, he constantly finds himself as the bridesmaid of the promotion, whilst others have jump ahead of him the queue. Let's not forget that Breeze has been in developmental since 2010! On the hand you've got Apollo Crews, who's come of the Indies like a house of fire, since débuting at Takeover: Brooklyn, steaming through Martin Stone, Solomon Crowe and Johnny Gargano. Whilst Crews has impressed, this is a real chance for him to show this wider audience exactly what he can do in a longer and more competitive match.

This is a difficult one to predict. Personally, I believe that Tyler Breeze can't afford to lose here, after putting Jushin Thunder Liger over a Takeover: Brooklyn. There's an opportunity to create a compelling feud between the two, if Breeze is able to pull out a cheap victory over the former Dragon Gate star. But I've been disappointed on a number of occasions with Breeze not being given the big victory and with Crews clearly popular amongst his new fans and the back a like, I think we'll see the former PCW Champion go over here in a breakout match.

Prediction - Apollo Crews wins

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semi-Final
Finn Balor & Samoa Joe vs. The Mechanics 

Whilst it's been great to see a focus on tag team wrestling on television over the last few months, we've yet to see a break out tag team contest on television (at least in full anyway). Now is the time to give the tag team division a real spotlight and allow that division to take as much of a spotlight as the singles and women's division. For me, for that to be done, any angle between Finn Balor and Samoa Joe (it's inevitable, isn't it?) needs to happen in the semi-final. Keep the focus on the tournament for the final and not on Joe and Balor relationship. Therefore I'm hoping to see The Mechanics pick up the victory here, after some kind of rift between Balor and Joe to set up the title match for the next Takeover event. However, I have a feeling that NXT will want to keep Balor and Joe's star power for the final and think that will be the over-riding factor in the outcome here and eventually win the tournament.

Prediction - Finn Balor & Samoa Joe advance to the final.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semi-Final
Baron Corbin & Rhyno vs. Chad Gable & Jason Jordan

Similar to the match before, I'm hoping that we get to see the legitmate tag team triumph over the two singles stars. I'm certainly not Baron Corbin's biggest fan, so any momentum for him is a bad thing in my eyes! Gable and Jordan have bought plenty of entertainment factor to their act over the past few months and both are more than capable of putting on a solid match when giving the chance. Out of the two semi-finals, I'm expecting this to be the weaker of the two, simply because Baron Corbin is in it. Even if his match with Samoa Joe was decent, he's still to prove on a consistent basis that he actually knows what's going on when he's in the ring. Also what's with his belly? 

Prediction - Chad Gable & Jason Jordan advance to final

Asuka vs. Dana Brooke

Apart from her appearances on NXT, I have to admit that I'm not familiar with Asuka's work. I have heard nothing but good things. However, I am familiar with Dana Brooke's in-ring work and quite frankly have never seen (or heard for that matter) anything resembling good from her. Will the utter shitness of Dana Brooke shine through? Will Asuka just batter Dana? I'm hoping for a short squash, just so we can all quickly get through Dana Brooke being in the ring.

Prediction - Asuka wins


Let's all get excited! We've another NXT Takeover event to tuck into. These events are always excellent on the whole and are usually the highlight of the month. Bayley and Sasha Banks have a chance to make history and produce one of the finest women's matches there has ever been, whilst simultaneously main eventing a show. The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic coming to a close also presents an interesting opportunity for the tag team division to make a claim that they deserve more attention each week.

No matter what, enjoy the show and have a good evening. 

Guest Article: Running the Ropes with Marc P - Part 1

Look who's back! Cheers to Marc Pearson for stepping in at the last minute to join our new guest writer cycle. Sit back and enjoy as Marc talks about starting wrestling training at Futureshock Wrestling School in Manchester.

I'm too old.
I'm too fat.
I'm too out of shape. 

3 motto's that I had clung to like the proverbial limpet whenever anyone from Futureshock Wrestling had ever asked if I wanted to give their Wrestling School a try. For four years these were the excuses that I trotted out time and again. Sometimes I would throw in a forth, just to make sure as it were, I am THE worst wrestler in the world. Anyone who had the misfortune of seeing me stink up matches in my old backyard fed (UBW - Ultimate British Wrestling, check on Daily motion if you have 10 minutes to kill and want to laugh at me getting the living snot kicked out of me) will know that I'm not great at the old wrestling lark. 

Unfortunately (for yours truly) 3 of my 4 mottos have been put to test this year. Namely that I've lost a boat load of weight and got heavily into keeping fit. So that's motto's 2 and 3 out of the window isn't it? We'll come back to numbers 1 & 4 in a moment. I'd given real "proper"  Wrestling training a try once before, a few years ago with Chris Curtis, in my hometown of Stoke On Trent with a group called BWA. On that day I'd taken a bump incorrectly and landed with all my bodyweight on my left elbow, tearing a ligament in there, an injury that ended both my pro wrestling dreams but also my backyard days as well. That was until earlier this year, when I was offered a chance to train for the day with the Runcorn based RWA. While I didn't do any damage to myself that day I was one of only 2 beginners there and that took me right out of my comfort zone and riddled me with self doubt, which only intensified when I performed an armbar takedown incorrectly and my opponent - a young girl - was driven face first into the canvas. It didn't matter that the girl took the bump on her nose instead of on her cheek, I was seriously shaken up and was glad when the session finished soon after. 

I forgot all about being a wrestler for a few months, well I say months, I mean weeks. As in late August, Futureshock Wrestling announced that they would be holding an Induction Day in September. I thought long and hard about whether to attend or not, as mentioned my motto's and excuses had already been dismissed by some of the guys who train at the school and because it was an Induction day, I wouldn't be the only newbie there, hell, because of my new found love of fitness, surely I wouldn't be the worst one there either. So I agreed to go.

And so, on Saturday the 19th of September, I made the drive to Failsworth in Manchester. I almost didn't make it as half way there I had a mini panic attack which made me drive round a roundabout 4 times as I tried to decide whether to go home or to stop being such a pussy and finish the drive. Obviously I decided on the latter and soon thereafter pulled up behind the old cotton mill that is Morton's Gym. Now I have to say (and you may have guessed) that I'm VERY shy, and very introverted with people that I don't know. I was expecting to be ok with this though as I've known the head trainer Dave Rayne for a number of years and  thought that I'd be alright with a group of newbie's. My heart sank then as when I pulled into the car park I noticed Futureshock Wrestlers Penny Dreadful & Henry T Grodd. For some reason I had expected the Induction Day to just be beginners. I walked slowly up the stairs to the top floor  and almost ran out of the building when I entered the training area so the sight of a room packed full of people.

Session One

Futureshock's Ring

Again, man up time for sure. I took a few brave pills and decided to stick around and see if the warm up was as hard as I'd heard it would be. And from the moment we started warming up I relaxed. Running on the spot I took the time to look around the room and realised in seconds that I wouldn't be the worst person there. As we progressed through various exercises - press ups, squats, leg raises, planks and assorted gubbins, my confidence swelled, while I'd never call it easy, it was easier than I was expecting it to be, and when I was partnered up with a wonderful man called Kevin, he not only pushed me further than I thought I could go but made me laugh doing it (it turns out Kevin is a stand up comedian so that kind of made sense). Turns out motto/excuse number 4 was another one that I couldn't use. 

After the warm up the group was divided into 2, one group being the usual advanced class that occurs on a Saturday morning (which explains why there were so many wrestlers there) and us newbie's. We were taught how to lock up, doing a drill where we had to do a lock up followed by a squat, 50 times! How do 3 different types of roles (something I was pretty good at having done many of them as part of my exercise regimes) then how to transition from a lockup into a headlock or a hammerlock. Head Trainer Dave Rayne not only showed us how to do the moves, but WHY they are done in that way. This was something I had never experienced and it really opened my eyes to some of the inner working of the art of wrestling. Dave is also an extremely patient teacher, it mustn't be easy when an idiot like me asks to be shown something for the 7th time but he never once complained and made sure that I understood everything. 

But then we all came back together and I had to show the whole class what I had learnt, feeling like I was at school again, hating the thought of all these wrestlers who I respect and admire watching me. Some of them I've criticized on my reviews of Futureshock shows so my paranoid brain told me they all wanted me to fail. Fortunately my partner at this time was a Mr Bobby Cash, who I've known for years and who went out of his way to make me look good. And then we were done. Dave held a brief Q&A and before I knew it I was on my way home. 3 hours had flown by and I was left feeling both elated yet massively annoyed with myself for how my confidence seemed to utterly fail me where I mattered the most. I resolved myself to not only return as soon as I could, but to have a  much, much better attitude than I had shown that first day. 

Session Two

My back after running the ropes.

With that, 3 days later I was back at the school. This time I learnt that the warm up we had done on Saturday was a legitimately easy one. Dave had us run to the bottom floor and back to the top 3 times, then do 120 squats, 40 press ups, 40 burpees and more! In my second session I tried my hardest to be more confident, I volunteered to try things even if it meant doing it in front of the group and worked as hard as I could. We learnt headlock takedowns and running the ropes that night. I can get quite frustrated when I can't do things and I couldn't figure out the actual takedown part of the headlock takedown and had to be taken to one side by former Futureshock Women's Champion Danni Hunter and explained that getting frustrated like that in a match situation would be really bad and that it's something I would need to nip in the bud immediately.

Unfortunately it wasn't all good that night. After the warm up we had been doing some drills which involved us slamming ourselves onto our fronts as fast as we could. On my 9th dropdown I landed really hard on my left knee and straight away knew something wasn't quite right. I carried on though, full of adrenaline and determined to be better than I had been on the Saturday. But when I got home and that adrenaline had worn off I began to realise that I couldn't put any weight on my left leg. A day later and a visit to A&E confirmed a torn MCL and orders not to train for 6 weeks. I write this after 2 weeks and the frustration of not being able to train is already driving me crazy. But at the same time I know I'll be back as soon as I'm able to. I believe I've got what they call "The Bug". And I'll be here to tell you guys all about it.

Oh and if you wondering about motto excuse number 1, I'm 33 years old, the response I got when I mentioned this.............DDP was 35 when he started training. Can't really say anything back to that can you?! 

TV Review: WWE Monday Night RAW #1167

Just two days removed from Live from MSG: Lesnar vs. Big Show it's time for WWE to go full steam ahead toward Hell in a Cell, with just under three weeks until the PPV. The company promoted John Cena's United States Championship Open Challenge heavily throughout the show, with the challenge taking up the main event segment. Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar set their sites on The Undertaker and Kane and Seth Rollins' issues furthered, but was the show any good? Let's have a look.

Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar opened the show, with Heyman getting let lose on the microphone. The first half of the segment focusing on Lesnar's previous matches with the Undertaker meant that there were a lot of recaps, which felt a bit tedious to me, but I can understand why it was done to keep the casual fan up to date with all the goings on between Lesnar and Undertaker over the last year and a half. I did find Heyman making a point of saying that Hell in a Cell would be the last match between Lesnar and Taker to be rather interesting, as it was purposefully giving the match another selling point. Heyman said this a number of times throughout his promo, if you didn't know this was going to be the last match of the series by the end of this then there really is no hope for you.

Who came out to interrupt Heyman? Only the bloody Big Show! You know, the man who lost to Lesnar in less than five minutes the other night. Show said something about Lesnar losing to The Undertaker, like a twelve year-old school girl, and then got battered by the beast. Big Show is pretty much done now, if he wasn't already. Obviously losing to Brock Lesnar isn't a career killer, but Show has looked a complete idiot two times in a row and still no one could give a fuck about him. I'm sure even his wife changes the channel when his big mug comes on the telly. 

Match 1
Six Man Tag Team
The Wyatt Family
"The Apex Predator" Randy Orton, Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose

I found this one really hard to get into, because it was split up with two commercial breaks in between. The action felt a little segmented by this and the flow of the match on television was hard to get into. There was some action, especially in the closing stretch when the babyface team managed to overcome the Wyatts with the teams going back and forth with a number of cool spots. The false finish with Luke Harper being able to nail Roman Reigns with a superkick was particularly well done. It was a shame to see Harper take the pinfall off a Reigns spear however, as he looked the brightest of his team, but it did give Reigns some momentum heading into Hell in a Cell. His post-match promo, not so much.


Randy Orton, Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose via pinfall (Reigns on Harper (Spear)) in 15 minutes, 24 seconds

Match 2

"The Celtic Warrior" Sheamus vs. "The Man That Gravity Forgot" Sheamus

Squashy McSquash, because King Barrett got all involved. 

Sheamus via pinfall (Brogue Kick) in 34 seconds

Kane and Seth Rollins in-ring segment was a rather odd one. It didn't feel like a segment that was there to push a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match, just three weeks away. Admittedly, there were some funny moments like Rollins referring to Kane's "deflated balls", and Rollins did manage to get decent amount of heat by bringing up the local football team, but the tone was all over the place and I couldn't have cared less about a Rollins vs. Kane match at this point. Stephanie McMahon's involvement, allowing Kane to team with Rollins later on, and announcing that if the Demon couldn't beat Rollins at Hell in a Cell then Corporate Kane would lose his job, seemed mainly designed for her to get the cheap pop by again talking about the local football team. 

Match 3 

Paige vs. Natalya

The action here was fairly sloppy with the pair not looking quite like they knew what was going on, on a number of occasions. I think, I had much higher expectations than I would have a few months ago, because of how Diva's have been treated recently and how adamant people were that Natalya should have been part of the goings on. The commentary team completely missed Paige hitting the Paige Turner didn't help one of the matches near falls, either. The crowd was subdued throughout with neither performer able to get them warmed up, but at least Natalya getting the submission win opens up a few new matches in the next few weeks.


Natalya via Submission (Sharpshooter) in 6 minutes, 3 seconds

Match 4

Kevin Owens vs. Sin Cara with Kalisto

Another squash, there was at least a small come-back from Sin Cara. Ryback making the save for Kalisto after the bout, did more for their fued than Ryback's dodgy promo earlier in the night did.

Kevin Owens via pinfall (Pop-Up Powerbomb) in 2 minutes, 37 seconds.

Match 5 
Tag Team

"The Director of Operations" Kane & Seth Rollins vs. The Dudley Boyz

The Rollins and Kane stuff has gotten stale, very very quickly. Pulling the same stuff on Raw and Smackdown tends to do that. This whole match was focused around Rollins trying to keep Kane at ringside and Kane trying to fuck off to the back. If Kane wanted to hurt Rollins, why did he bother offering himself up as his partner in the first place? Send El Torito out with him, have The Dudley Boyz batter him and then Tombstone the fuck out of that two-toned weasel. The whole thing was over thought and convoluted, with a pay-off that you could see coming a mile off. Bubba Ray and D-Von could have been absolutely anyone in there, because most of the match they were a side-show to Kane and Rollins shenanigans.

The Dudley Boyz via Disqualification (foriegn object use by Rollins) in 13 minutes, 26 seconds.

Match 6 
Six Diva Tag Team
Team Bella vs. Team B.A.D.

A fine Diva's Tag Team bout, I think I preferred this one over the earlier Divas' singles match. The reason for this is that the crowd was very responsive to hometown girl Sasha Banks, and created a smashing soundscape for what was actually a fairly simple six person tag. Naomi worked as the face in peril for this one, and whilst as a television viewer it felt a little weird for the usually heel character to be in such a position, but with the crowd desperate to see Sasha get into the match, it actually worked quite well. The quick hot tag and melee resulting Sasha getting the tap out victory on Alicia Fox, was well done and the focus given to her match with Bayley on Wednesday at NXT Takeover: Respect also made me very happy. 

Team B.A.D. via submission (Sasha on Alicia) in 11 minutes, 47 seconds

Oh man, this segment was so, so bad. Lana proposed to Rusev and The Bulgarian Brute said yes...but only one he has a championship. Lana looked upset but continued on anyway. It went on and on and on and I couldn't get my head around. I just wanted it to end. What am I supposed to feel? Is there a match I'm supposed to be looking forward to because of this? Am I supposed to buzzing to find out what happen next and tune in next week? Because I didn't feel any of that. Did anyone else? Either way it's completely crushed Rusev's momentum, a whole lot more than losing his feud to John Cena.

Talking of John Cena, it was his United States Championship Open Challenge that would end the show. It was strange that Michael Cole kept pushing a variety of names who could potentially answer the challenge throughout the show. I'm sure this was done to get people to tune in later on, but it was so heavy handed in it's attempted that it made Cole seem a bit desperate. One name that was mentioned throughout the show was Dolph Ziggler, so when Ziggler's music hit it was no surprise. It was a swerve however when The New Day walked out, dragging an unconscious Ziggler with them. It didn't feel in keeping with their characters to have Ziggler like that and the image jarred just a little with me. If I'd have tuned in specifically to see Cena's open challenge and been offered Ziggler vs. Cena and then had that switched to Cena vs. Big E, then I'd have changed the channel.

Match 7

United States Championship
Big E with Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods vs. John Cena (C)

If I'd have decided to stick around, I think I might have tuned out a little bit after the match started. That's maybe a little harsh, because the match wasn't "bad" and everything was well executed, but it just didn't interest me at all. Big E repeatedly hit splashes on Cena, being unable to put him away at numerous times, even his splash onto the apron didn't look as good as it usually did, before some New Day antics lead to Cena hitting an AA and winning the match. I'm reasonably sure the AA was Cena's only offensive move, after taking a battering from Big E. I've always thought Big E had a lot of potential, but the lay-out and structure of this match did nothing for him at all. 

John Cena via Pinfall (Attitude Adjustment) in 9 minutes, 56 seconds.

One of the weirdest show closes I've seen in quite a while then occurred. Dolph Ziggler came to save John Cena from the New Day, accidentally superkicked John Cena, the Dudley Boyz came to make the save, but got beaten down also, with the New Day ending the show standing tall. I think the WWE completely missed why The New Day were popular and have given them an edge that no one wanted to see them get. Who knows what the group will be doing next week?


ATPW Scale Rating - 3.95

This really was a terrible episode of Monday Night RAW. Whilst the opening segment was okay, with the presence of Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman always lifting whatever they're involved in, it certainly wasn't their best appearance and the show got steadily worse from there. The Six man tag was probably the best match of the night, but it was nothing to go out of your way to see. Rusev and Summer Rae's segment takes the crown for the worst part of the evening, whilst the booking of the main event, as well as the repetition of Kane and Seth Rollins feud, also worked to pull the score down.

This show will do nothing to help the promotions ailing television ratings.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

PPV Review: TNA Bound for Glory 2015

Let's skip past the paid attendance, let's skip past the impending TV cancellation, this review is going to look solely at the three hours that Bound For Glory 2015 was on air, shall we? Matt Hardy and Drew Galloway challenging for Ethan Carter III's TNA World Heavyweight Championship in the main event, with a Bound for Gold Gauntlet, Bobby Roode defending the King of the Mountain title against Bobby Lashley and four other matches...could Bound For Glory pull it out the bag and prove there's life in the old dog yet?

Before the show began the live crowd were treated to dark match, with current NWA Southern Television Champion Shawn Shultz going over PWX Heavyweight Champion, John Skyler.

Things kicked off with an opening package that was focused around the entire show, with a voice over saying random words and then a different wrestler saying was a bit shit and I would have preferred a focus on one or two matches.

Match 1
X Division Championship Ultimate X
Tiger Uno (C) vs. Andrew Everrett vs. Manik vs. DJ Z

A lamented the state of TNA's X Division in the preview for this show, but these four guys went out there and put on a hell of an opening match. Exactly what it needed to be and what we came to expect from an X Division contest over the years. Full of flips, tricks and high spots the Four Way was a lot of fun to watch, especially in the second half of the bout. Whilst the quartet struggled to keep things as slick as they could have been in the opening exchanges, there was a lot of clever ideas in there, and the later sections picked things up as all four guys took to the skies. Andrew Everrett was the most impressive of the four for me, taking his TNA debut by the horns, hitting a spectacular Springboard 630 Senton, as well as stunning shooting star press to the outside. It was Everrett who played a major part in the finish as well, taking huge bump of the top of the structure that allowed Tigre Uno to retrieve the title and continue his now 103 day reign at the X Division. Big shoutout to colour commentator D'Angelo Dinero for his call "shades of Elijah Burke" which had me in pieces.

Tigre Uno in 8 minutes, 59 seconds *STILL CHAMPION*

Gregory Shane Helms (as play-by-play commentator Josh Matthews called him, he's best know as The Hurricane in WWE) turned up for a stare down with Tigre Uno after the match, before raising his hand...I imagine just because TNA was in the Carolina's, rather than a set-up for a future feud. 

TNA World Heavyweight Champion, Ethan Carter III coming out to cut a promo on The Hardy Boyz and Drew Galloway was absolutely fine...but I'm not sure it was particularly called wouldn't be the last of EC3 we'd see before the main event either.

Match 2
Bound For Gold Gauntlet
"The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero vs. "The Monster" Abyss vs. Tommy Dreamer vs. Chris Melendez vs. Tyrus vs. Mahabali Shera vs. Robbie E vs. Aiden O'Shea vs. Al Snow vs. Eli Drake vs. "The Man" Jessie Godderz vs. Mr. Anderson

This was way way too long for a match that was choc-full of guys that no one cared about and that TNA couldn't be bothered to give a storyline heading into the biggest PPV of the year. The first third of the bout especially dragged like hell as we waited for anyone of significance to make their way into the match. I suppose, Mr. Anderson was supposed to be able to carry this part of the match, but even the commentary team pointed out that he's sort of been floating around TNA for the last few months (try years). Without any early eliminations or interesting spots, the first ten minutes were enough to send even the strongest insomniac too sleep after downing a Red Bull. TNA's desperation to get the "Shera Shuffle" over is almost painful to is not "catching fire" no matter how hard you try...just fucking stop it.

Having the final two come down to Mr. Anderson and Tyrus was a bit of anti-climax, especially once Tyrus picked up the win with the ICU spike. There was a real opportunity to make a new star using this match, had it been crafted correctly, however what we are left with now is Brodus Clay as the Number Contender to the World Heavyweight Championship at 42 years old. The crowd hadn't really warmed to Anderson (having him eliminate the popular Tommy Dreamer was a head-scratching piece of booking)  for most of the match, but they were certainly behind him in the closing stretch, whilst they gave Tyrus' victory the silent treatment. Just about says it all really.

Order of Elimination

1 - Eli Drake (by Al Snow)
2 - Aiden O'Shea (by Mr. Anderson)
3 - Al Snow (by Tyrus)
4 - Chris Melendez (by Tyrus)
5 - Mahabli Shera (by Tyrus)
6 - D'Angelo Dinero (by himself)
7 - Abyss (by Tyrus)
8 - Robbie E (by Jessie Godderz) 
9 - Tommy Dreamer (by Mr. Anderson)
10 - Jessie Godderz (by Mr. Anderson)
11 - Mr. Anderson (by Tyrus)

Tyrus via pinfall (ICU) in 24 minutes, 30 seconds

Ethan Carter III risked over-exposure coming out to chat with Tyrus about winning the match, with the former Funkasaurus cutting a terrible promo, in which he claimed he would be fighting for the "Heavyweight World Championship of the World". State of you Tyrus, state of you. 

Match 3 
World Tag Team Championship
Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards, The Wolves (C) vs. Trevor Lee & Brian Meyers

Whilst the action was quite as clean as it should have been at points, this was still an enjoyable tag outing. Whilst the earlier part of the bout struggled to find it's feet, with The Wolves clearly a lot more over than their opposite numbers, as soon as Eddie Edwards made it across the ring for a hot tag (following a well-done double hurracanrana to Lee and Meyers) business picked up, along with the fans, and we were treated to some great action. With Trevor Lee looking to more promising of his team, there were a number of quality near falls as the pace continued to be raised heading towards the bouts conclusion, including a nice Double Stomp from Richards, a victory roll and a sweet German suplex from Lee. The conclusion of the bout with Edwards taking out Meyers with a hurracanrana off the top rope and Richards hitting a superplex, followed by The Wolves version of Chasing the Dragon got the victory on Lee, was a fine end to proceedings, with the champs looking superb in victory. 

The Wolves via pinfall (Richards on Lee (Chasing the Dragon)) in 14 minutes, 3 seconds *STILL CHAMPIONS*

Backstage, Drew Galloway's interview with Jeremy Borash was going so well, until Galloway said "I'm willing to kill myself" in reference to his want to win the World Heavyweight Championship...just no.

Match 4
King of the Mountain Champion
"The It Factor" Bobby Roode (C) vs. "The Destroyer" Bobby Lashley

I'm not sure whether this was a good match or a parody of a good match. Pretty much taking the same shape of their previous bout, both men kicked out of each other finishers, then hit the other man's finisher, which was kicked out of, then both locked on submission holds, before Roode hit his second Roode Bomb of the match, to pick up the win. The crowd was into it and there was some nice transitions by the two, especially Roode getting into finish, but it all felt a little bit paint by numbers and very very predictable. Completely fine to watch, and probably on the level with duo's series earlier in the year, but no real tension or drama here. I don't think it was helped by having the King of the Mountain title on it, either.

Bobby Roode via pinfall (Roode Bomb) in 14 minutes, 17 seconds *STILL CHAMPION*

Matt Hardy was up next with Borash backstage, and with the best promo of the night no less, focused on his family connections and full of was pretty clear that Hardy would be walking out with the title...unless a family member stood in his way.

Earl Hebner's Hall of Fame package, featuring numerous TNA talent saying what a great referee he was, played, before Billy Corgan came out to welcome Hebner to the ring. It was all very weird and the package even included grainy footage of Hebner holding up Shawn Michaels hand during the Montreal Screwjob...what's up with that?
Match 5
Knockout's Championship
Gail Kim (C) vs. Awesome Kong

Awesome Kong looked absolutely knackered about five minutes into this one. Like ovaltine and slippers, ready to curl up and have nice long nap knackered. The bout centred around a couple of big moments, that were done quite well, like Gail's husband celebrity (and by celebrity I mean, I have no fucking clue who this guy is) chef Robert Irvine taking a chair away from Kong, and while arguing with Earl Hebner, Irvine simultaneously allowed Kong to hit the Implant Buster onto his wife on the outside onto a pile of chairs. I thought the finish was pretty confusing as Gail awkwardly worked her way into hitting Eat Defeat on Kong in the corner, but it also looked like the latter was hitting a chokeslam at the same time. This was a decent match, but with women's wrestling taking strides elsewhere, this wasn't as good as it should have been.

Gail Kim via pinfall (Eat Defeat) in 10 minutes, 5 seconds

Jeff Hardy was the final interviewee of the night for Jeremy Borash, and I have literally no idea what Hardy said...there was some words and he shut his eyes at various points.

Match 6

No Disqualification

Eric Young vs. Kurt Angle

This was a shower shit. Firstly, if a doctor tells a referee that a performer can't continue then surely the match is over? Clearly it was all part of the show, but how am I supposed to suspend my disbelief if a doctor says to a referee points blank (and audibly) that a wrestler's neck is so badly hurt (after surgery month's earlier) that he can't continue the match and then the same performer wins the match after the other wrestler has fought off the doctors and continued the fight? No one of this made any sense. I didn't feel any kind of reaction with Kurt Angle other than pity, because it was a stupid piece of creative that harmed everything Angle could do in the ring and hurt the entire match. How does Angle going over help anyone in the long run? Eric Young tapped out to a man who was deemed medically unable to compete just minutes before. If this was Angle's last match and TNA want him to win, why fill it with all this over-booked shit, instead of letting Angle and Young wrestle a decent back and forth 10 minute encounter? This is why people have stopped watching TNA, bullshit.

Kurt Angle via submission (Ankle Lock) in 13 minutes, 10 seconds

Match 7
World Heavyweight Championship Three Way
Ethan Carter III with Tyrus vs. Matt Hardy vs. Drew Galloway 
(Special Referee: Jeff Hardy)

With the exception of a weak finish, this was a solid three way encounter to close the show. Focusing on a number of high spots that made a good use of the three participants, like a suplex of the apron through a table and a sweet tower of doom spot, the match raced through it's over twenty minutes of action, keeping a solid pace throughout. There were perhaps elements of the dynamic between the three characters that could have been explored more, but with the fragile build-up that the match received on Impact Wrestling, the performers weren't left with a whole lot to play with inside the ring. Matt Hardy and Drew Galloway's relationship was the thing that stood out as particularly underdeveloped. 

The problem with special referee's is that, you know that until the referee has had some sort of involvement in the match that the match isn't going to finish. Whilst Jeff Hardy saw action early when he ejected EC3's manager Tyrus for the banter and he took a ref bump off his brother, he really didn't do a lot until the finish. EC3 attempting to get himself disqualified (despite it being made clear in promos earlier in the evening that the match would have no disqualifications) was a weird creative choice and having Jeff basically give his brother the World Championship victory felt very flat indeed. Matt Hardy is simply no World title material. If you want to argue that he is a draw, just remember that in the main event of the companies biggest PPV of the year, Matt Hardy drew 280 fans in his hometown.

Addition: Matt Hardy vacated the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in a Youtube video two days later. This was explained as Ethan Carter III having an injunction against him. I don't know anymore. If you knew Matt Hardy wouldn't be able to continue as Champion, because you'd taped so much television with him not as Champion, why the fuck would you put the title on him in the first place? Why would he even be in the title match? Who is charge of the booking here? Awful, just fucking awful.


ATPW Scale Rating - 5.33/10

When you only produce two live PPV's a year, they better be bloody good and wasn't THAT good. It was alright, The X Division, Tag Team and King of the Mountain Championship matches were all quality bouts and even the main event was decent, even if I marked it down for having a piss poor finish. But what really let this show down, even past Matt Hardy winning the World Heavyweight Championship, was a 25 minute Gauntlet bout full of guys that one gave a shit about (expect Tommy Dreamer) and a Kurt Angle vs. Eric Young bout that had booked that made it hard to suspend your disbelief throughout. 

This was another case of TNA's numerous young and talented performers (The Wolves, Tigre Uno, Mandrews, Ethan Carter III, Drew Galloway, Manik etc.) being let down by a creative which seemingly doesn't know it's arse from it's elbow, let alone what it's audience (or lack of it) wants to see in 2015. 
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