Friday, 19 April 2013

WWE Superstars 11th April 2013 Review

It's been a while but Across The Pond is back and we're catching up with the last week of wrestling, starting with last weeks episode of WWE Superstars.

The Great Khali w/Hornswoggle & Natalya Vs. Darren Young w/Titus O'Neil


Now let's be honest, The Great Khali is never going to have a technical masterclass of a match, and there were no surprises here against Darren Young of the Prime Time Players. Young manages to carry Khali to a half way decent match, controlling Khali's legs and keeping him grounded for the majority of this short match, with The Punjabi Playboy picking up the win after a Brain Chop.

However, for me, the real interesting thing as part of this match, has to be the mistreatment of Natalya as of late in WWE. Especially at a time when WWE's Divas division is looking extremely lacklustre with only a hand full of competitors, it seems strange that WWE would place arguably one of it's strongest female competitors in this strange group of characters.

Another division that seems to be floundering as off late is the Tag Team division. Although Team Hell No are doing a solid job as Tag Team Champions, the title sometimes seem to get lost on the pair, whose ongoing storyline overshadows the belt. However WWE has not left itself with any viable options in terms of challengers for the belt. We've seen The Prime Time Players lose in a Handicap Match to The Miz recently, and having Mr. No Days Off lose to someone who clearly isn't going anywhere isn't going to help the situation.

Best of the Rest

Continuing with the Tag Team division, we had The Usos taking on Epico & Primo for what seems like the millionth time, however the two teams continue to impress with their matches, coming up with new elements for their matches, which keep their encounters feeling fresh. A number of false finishes including a butt bump from Jey and a nice neckbreaker from Epico, quicken the pace towards the conclusion of the match, where Jey hit a huge Superfly splash on Epico and Jimmy delivered a sweet Superkick to Primo.

It will be interesting to see where these teams go from here, as both have been made to look weak by the likes of Team Hell No and The Rhodes Scholars, both of which it is clear will eventually split, and WWE will have to spend time making both look like viable options as Tag Team Champions. Personally I think the Usos have the most potential as they are clearly the more charismatic of the two teams and can get a reaction from the crowd when needed, with Epico and Primo's strange face turn in the Summer of last year seemingly confusing the fans and removing any momentum which the team had going forward.

Finally, there was a multitude of recaps from Raw, including the ending of the Del Rio Vs. Swagger & Colter handicap match and Dolph Ziggler's Money in the Bank Cash in, Undertaker and Team Hell No's encounter with the Shield and finally John Cena's match with Mark Henry including Ryback's pre-match attack. Do we really need this many re-caps? It feels a little bit like WWE insulting the intelligence of it's fans.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Five Questions With... Veronica Ticklefeather

After last weeks interview with Jason Daniels, we're back with another Five Questions. This time it's Manager Victoria Ticklefeather, currently working for Chikara Pro in the US.

 Question One:

When did you first get into Pro Wrestling and what drew you to the sport?

Veronica Ticklefeather: 
 I was four or five years old when I got into wrestling. My dad was taping Saturday Night Main Event with Hogan v. Andre. Andre won the match and gave the championship to the Million Dollar Man. After that, I was hooked. Yes, I was a Hulkamaniac; but it was the presence and athleticism of Bret Hart that sealed the deal. Mr. Perfect, Piper, the Rockers, and Davey Boy Smith became my favorites as well.

Question Two:

If you could manage any wrestler or personality (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

Someone international. Either Bull Nakano or the British Bull Dogs. The reason why is to have a range of talent to manage. Plus, if Americans do not know the international talent, it's my obligation to be that person to open the door and let the fans know who they are.

Question Three:

 What is your favourite match of all time?


That's a real tough question: between Bret Hart v. Owen Hart at Wrestlemania 10 or Bull Nakano v. Alundra Blayze at Summerslam 1994. Any match between Aja Kong v. Manami Toyota was amazing.

Question Four:

  What is your opinion of the current state of Women's wrestling in WWE and TNA, as well as across the world?

 WWE: There's talent there but, not given enough time on Raw or Smackdown. Yes on their other shows on Saturday mornings and Wednesday night Main Event. However, they need more exposure and better stories to tell. I believe the NXT women are hungry and ready to prove what they got. So much has changed over the past years. I truly miss Beth Phoenix, Melina, and Kharma. But there's talent there that's ready.

TNA: Out of the two "big" companies, TNA has the best women workers. This company could expand so much like they do with the X division. Bring in talent from Japan, Germany, Europe. They could introduce so many talented women across the globe and they have the resources to do it.

Independents: Women are hungry, tough, strong, and intelligent. We have so many veterans to learn from and a great stage to perform and improve. These are the women you should be watching if you want to see real women's wrestling. Keep an eye out for Alpha Female, Heidi Lovelace, Hailey Hatred, and so many to make a huge impact on today's wrestling. Not just women's wrestling, but, all wrestling.

Question Five:

  Where can the readers of Across The Pond catch you next and will you be here in the UK anytime soon?

I'll be part of AIW on April 26th. Most Chikara and AIW shows are in America only. But Chikara will have their iPPV on June 2nd, so don't forget to order it! I would LOVE to come across the pond and manage a lucky talented wrestler in the UK. Make some noise fans! Let people know that you would like for me to come to the UK. I love British wrestling and it would be a honour (see what I did there ;)) to be part of an UK wrestling show. You can reach me on twitter: @veronica_mm1 facebook: Veronica Ticklefeather instagram: Veronica_ticklefeather email:
Thank you UK fans! Hope to see you guys soon! 


Friday, 12 April 2013

WWE Main Event 10th April 2013 Review

I've enjoyed Main Event since it debuted in October last year, I originally enjoyed the concept of one big match with interviews and build up before hand, which made it feel worthwhile viewing and something different to the usual WWE programming. However within the last few months it has reverted to a usual WWE format, similiar to that used by Superstars, albeit still using Superstars higher-up the WWE totem pole. That doesn't mean there still can't be some great matches from time to time, just removes a little of the shows originally unique identity.

In this weeks Main Event, The Shield took on Tons of Funk & Kofi Kingston. As well as appearances from Jack Swagger and Big E Langston.

The Shield Vs. Tons of Funk & Kofi Kingston w/The Funkadactyls

Another solid outing from Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. They are steadily becoming one of the best things about WWE programming constantly proving themselves in the ring against a huge variety of opponents. It's especially noticeable how far Roman Reigns has come since the formation of the group. I remember at the time wondering why WWE had put Reigns with Rollins and Ambrose after seeing the pair's previous work on the independent scene as Tyler Black and Jon Moxley respectively, but Reign's has since proved that he belongs amongst this elite group. 

It's also becoming interesting to see The Shield beginning to win their matches in a variety of way, we've seen the Triple Powerbomb, as well as The Flying Antelope, but on Main Event, Seth Rollins picked up the victory with a Leaping Knee Drop. Giving this group a variety of finishes will add to the unpredictable nature of the group that WWE has been running with.

However, we may have a case of too much of a good thing going on with The Shield, who we've already seen on Raw and NXT this week, and I believe we'll be seeing them on Smackdown as well. If WWE continue to have to group on all their programming, they may run out of steam quicker than they should do, which would be a shame after a great few months of build up.

Another point of interest is the fall of Kofi Kingston. After being a foot note in the Fandango and Chris Jericho confrontation on Raw, as well as being relegated to panelist on the Wrestlemania Pre-Show, and then another loss here to The Shield, it would appear Kofi is very out of favour with WWE at the moment, despite seemingly having a lot of support from the fans, both young and old, Kofi seems like someone who could do the rare thing of uniting the fan base, as he is both likeable and competent in the ring. However WWE obviously don't see that in Kingston as he has been stuck in the midcard for what seems like forever and now seems to have slipped even further. May we see Kofi future endeavoured very soon?

Best of The Rest


Zeb Colter continues to prove his worth to Jack Swagger, after a superb speech before Swagger's match with Yoshi Tatsu. Colter berated the Boston crowd on a number of topics including Boston playing a "Canadian Sport" which seemed to get a ton of heat (although it's difficult to tell on the pre-taped Main Event) Colter went on to bully Tatsu, by asking questions about his culture. This makes for uncomfortable watching, but I'm pretty sure that's the point, the character continues to push the fans buttons in wrestling world where real heat is difficult to come by, it's hard not to hate the Zeb Colter character and his views.

The match itself was quick and pacy, although it did not although either competitor to show much of what they could do in the ring as Swagger picked up an early victory with The Patriot Lock. It really is a shame how little WWE uses Yoshi Tatsu as he's had some of the best matches on WWE TV over the last few years, his match with Tyson Kidd (another under used talent) were completely different to anything on WWE at the time and they even managed to make an Object on a Pole Match worth watching.

There was also another outing for current NXT Champion Big E Langston who faced Zack Ryder. Before the match Langston was interviewed by Josh Matthews about his Wrestlemania match, his Raw debut and Dolph Ziggler cashing in Money in the Bank. Langston proved to be just as impressive on the mic as he is in the ring, switching between humourous and serious with expert pace. The match saw Langston dominate Ryder who barely got any offence in at all. It seems as if the Ryder Revolution truly is over (and not in the way Ryder had hoped)


This Main Event was basically a collection of squash matches, there was no doubt who was going to win all three of these matches, something which wouldn't have happened in the earlier episodes. However there was some interesting stuff on the show, The Shield's match was solid, and their Triple Powerbomb of Tensai was impressive, Big E Langston showed us what he could do with a Microphone and Zeb Colter continue to do great work in making Jack Swagger look like a star. However for me, this Main Event was one of the under utilized star, the likes of Kofi Kingston, Yoshi Tatsu and Zack Ryder all extremely talented, but this new Post-Wrestlemania landscape and new stars like Bray Wyatt, Kassius Ohno and Adrian Neville on the horizon how long will it before these Superstars are sent packing by WWE?

Thursday, 11 April 2013

WWE NXT 10th April 2013 Review

If you're unfamiliar with NXT, it's WWE's developmental territory in Florida, and features talent waiting to get the call up to the main roster a well as more established talent. The latest talent to emerge from the show on WWE television has include all three members of the Shield, current NXT Champion Big E Langston and Royal Rumble entrant Big E Langston.

This weeks saw the return of Brit William Regal to ring as he faced Kassius Ohno (formerly Chris Hero) after the two have been having quite the rivalry as of late.

William Regal Vs. Kassius Ohno

Firsty, it's great to see William Regal back in the ring, he's always been one of my favorites to watch in the ring as well as listening to on the mic. Personally I think he was one of the most misused talents in WWE, where he became something of a joke at points during his career, including as Kassius Ohno pointed out kissing Vince McMahon's backside live on Raw. Despite some silly storylines you can always count on Regal to perform in the ring.

 The match was a very enjoyable encounter between two talented competitors at either end of their career. It's interesting to see Regal playing the face in this match after spending most of his career as a dastardly villain, although Regal really hasn't changed his character that much, something which some WWE talent should take note of. Kassius works his role as student turning on teacher well throughout the match, as he has done since joining NXT.

Regal controlled most of the match, focussing mainly on the fingers of Ohno, bending them back, which made for uncomfortable viewing, especially when the camera showing Ohno putting his dislocated fingers back into the socket. The offence from Ohno focussed mainly on Regal's head, who looked off balance during parts of the match, including a nice two footed dive through the middle rope to the outside, as well as a big boot to Regal's head as it was propped against the ring post.

Regal won the match clean after Ohno missed with his KO and Regal hit the Knee Trembler. Hopefully this isn't the last we see between these two competitors as it feels like this rivalry has a lot more to give. Although if Ohno keeps putting in performances like this it can only be a matter of time before he gets called up to the main roster.

Best of the Rest


The opening contest saw Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns collectively known as The Shield take on Percy Watson, Scott Dawson and Axl Keegan. The match was short with the Shield dominating precedings throughout, eventually winning with their Flying Antelope double team on Axl Keegan. It's a shame to see Percy Watson who once looked destined for the main roster in this kind of match, as I had previously enjoyed his performances on the old incarnation of NXT.

After the match, The Shield cut another great promo on how they'd run Raw and Smackdown and will forever run NXT. They were interupted by Corey Graves on the titan tron. The Shield had previously cost Graves two shots at the NXT Championship and Graves challenged one member of The Shield to a match next week. Seth Rollins answered the challenge and gave Ambrose and Reigns the night of next week, saying once he was done with Graves he will Believe in The Shield. The match was later made a Lumberjack Match by NXT General Manager Dusty Rhodes. It was slightly confusing during this segment as to what roles The Shield and Corey Graves were attempting to play, as both have been,  presented as Heel over the past few months. Both the crowd and the wrestlers seemed to feel the same way.

There was also Divas action as Cameron & Naomi, The Funkadactyls took on Nikki and Brie, The Bella Twins. The match on the whole was well worked, with Naomi looking especially competent in the ring, it will be interesting to see if she gets another shot at the Divas Championship soon. However there were some moments of awkwardness where the competitors generally looked like they didn't know what was coming up next.

We also saw two interviews to continue two ongoing Diva's angles on NXT. Firstly, Tony Dawson interview Summer Rae, who gave the explanation to why she ran away from Paige the previous week as she had left her curling iron on. This worked well for Rae's character and she is really impressing me with her mic work as of late, even if The First Lady of NXT gimmick has been recycled from many other women's wrestlers. The Paige Vs. Summer Rae angle is heating up and it feels like it's only just getting started, take note main roster, if Divas are given stories to tell they can get themselves over with the crowd. Then we had Renee Young interviewing Emma about her dancing, in a silly segment. Unfortunately, neither interviewer or interviewee had any comic timing to pull off what was a pretty awful segment, ending with Emma falling over.


For me NXT continues to be one of the most entertaining wrestling shows of the week, the angles feel fresh and exciting and it's always nice to take a breather from the main WWE stories that are occassionally a little heavy handed in their approach. Hopefully we'll get to see Regal and Ohno go at it again very soon.

Next Week: Seth Rollins Vs. Corey Graves.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Five Questions With...Jason Daniels

Welcome to the first of what will hopefully become a new series of interviews, entitled Five Questions With... The concept is that each week we will feature a five question interview with a Professional Wrestling star from the United Kingdom and across the World.

The week it's the turn of British Wrestling star Jason Daniels.

Question 1: 

 When did you first get into Professional Wrestling and what drew you to the sport?


Jason Daniels:

 I first began training at the age of 15 in August 2007, with a company called wZw in Newcastle. I had always dreamed about becoming a Pro Wrestler ever since being a kid at school. My dad had been a Professional Footballer, playing for Wolverhampton Wanderers and in a cup final at Wembley. But my love had always been for Wrestling. While the teachers at school tried to make me practice and play football with the rest of the team at break times,I would always sneak off to play wrestling. We would make up storylines and pretend to be WWF characters. 

      Eventually though, I lost my love for wrestling and began to focus only on football. However, when I was about 12-13 years old, that passion came back. I got a group of my friends together and we began 'backyarding'. We did this right up until I began training. I had no idea that you could train to be a wrestler in the UK, so when I found out about wZw, I was over the moon. I turned up to my first session and immediately realised that everything I had been doing in the 'backyard' had been totally wrong, and that pro wrestling was going to be harder than I had ever imagined. 

      I kept my head down, turned up every week and trained with my heart and soul. Sadly though, the company was going through a bad patch and had to relocate to a different venue. A few months later, it closed down completely - so I was left with nowhere to train. It's a shame, because in my opinion, wZw were one of the best promotions in the country. They did everything the way it should be done. Everything about it was professional and I learned my most valuable lessons there. 

       So from June 2008 until January 2010, I did nothing in wrestling. It was then when I found CRW, who had a permanent ring setup and their own training facility. They weren't the best in terms of professionalism, as none of the group were professionals themselves. But it was somewhere where I could train regularly. I would go 2-3 times a week and eventually debuted on my first show in April 2010. Since then, I have been trained by some top names in British Wrestling and also, International stars such as Doug Williams and PAC (WWE NXT's Adrian Neville).

Question 2: What is your favourite match of all-time?

JD: Not sure that I have a favourite in particular. I'm just a fan of anything that has great build up and psychology. I have no time for the typical 'Indy' stuff, where nearly every match the guys hit a million moves and you see a thousand kick outs and false finishes. When used sparingly it works, but it's done FAR too often. A match that can provoke pure emotion with the simplest of moves is brilliant in my view. Stone Cold vs The Rock at WM17 is one of my favourites from when I was a kid.

Question 3: Who is your favourite wrestler to work with in the ring?

JD: My favourite wrestler to be in the ring with is my best mate, known to some as 'The Suicide Youth' Caden. Although, like myself, he isn't that well known - he simply GETS wrestling. He came into wrestling exactly the same way I did, with wZw, even though we didn't meet until 2010. We know each other so well outside of the ring, that whenever we face each other inside it, it all comes together like magic. We feed off each other and everything comes naturally. We hardly have to talk before we go out and wrestle. We are currently in the process of coming together and working as a tag team.

Question 4: If you could face or team with any wrestler, who would it be and why?

JD: I would love to face PAC (now known as Adrian Neville in WWE). Although I've wrestled alongside him on several shows and met him on numerous occasions, I've never had the chance, like my friend Caden did, to actually wrestle him in a match. In my opinion, athletically, he is the best in the world. Backstage, he is the most professional and down to earth lad I have met and is someone I look up to very much. Although I can't do 1/10th of the stuff he can do in the ring, I base a lot of my stuff - both in the ring and out - on what I have learnt from him.

Question 5: Where can the readers of Across the Pond Wrestling catch you action next?

JD: Like I mentioned earlier, I am currently in the midst of forming a tag team with my friend Caden. We're hoping to debut as a team within the next couple of months, so all I'll say is - watch out for The Runaways!

Across the Pond Wrestling would like to thank Jason Daniels for taking time to be interviewed. You can follow him on Twitter at @JDanielsUK.

Next Time: Chikara Pro's Veronica Ticklefeather

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

WWE Raw 8th April 2013 Review

 This Raw saw two championships change hands,  one major heel turn,  two in-ring television debuts, a re-united Brother of Destruction (with added goat) and a match that was supposed to happen at Wrestlemania. Somehow however the major talking point of the show was the crowd. For the entire evening they were absolutely wild and made the show ten times better with their random chants and sheer energy. Let's take a look at the show.

John Cena Vs. Mark Henry (If Mark Henry Wins He Recieves a WWE Championship Match)

This match was made in the opening segment of the show, with Cena coming out to talk about his WWE Championship win over The Rock at Wrestlemania, Cena goofed around for som time with some dancing, which swiftly lead to a deserved "BORING" chant from the New Jersey faithful. The WWE Champion announced that he would be having a WWE Championship later tonight, Mark Henry answered Cena's call, to a massive pop, stating his case to why he desereved a shot at the title. Cena agreed and the WWE Championship Match was set.

This however was not to be the case as Smackdown General Manager and new WWE Hall of Famer Booker T interupted the pair. I'm not quite sure what power Booker T has on Raw but it seems he can book matches now, making it a little confusing with so many match makers around. Booker said that The Rock was still Number One Contender due to the trusty rematch clause, however Rocky was injured and couldn't be there tonight, a clear "BULLSHIT" chant could be heard in the IZOD Centre. Booker said he'd make a match where if Mark Henry won against Cena he would recieve a Title shot. I'm not quite sure why WWE decided to set them selves up to fail with this one by offering a WWE Championship and then taking it away, this would become a theme throughout the night. 

The match itself was quick and ended in a count out victory for Cena after he pushed Henry into the steel steps. But the real talking point came after the match. With Henry seeking revenge for his loss by attacking Cena, the now familiar FEED ME MORE pre-empted the save from Ryback. After quickly seeing off Henry with a Meathook clothesline and an impressive spinebuster. The Human Wrecking Ball lifted Cena to his feet before allowing him to celebrate his victory, as Cena turned around he went face to face with Ryback, suddenly lifted The Champ into his Shellshocked manuever, stomped around the ring and delivered the move to a rapturous aplause from the crowd. 

Personally I think the heel turn is good move by WWE, it gives them someone new for Cena to fued against and the two seem to have some definite chemistry. Obviously, the two aren't going to deliver five star matches but if WWE can get their Universe to stop chanting Feed Me More, this could be a very interesting fued going forward.

Handicap Match: Jack Swagger & Zeb Colter vs. Alberto Del Rio w/ Ricardo Rodriguez

World Heavyweight Championship Match: Alberto Del Rio Vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Big E Langston & AJ Lee

 So the Handicap match, which really didn't use it's handicap stipulation all that much, with it basically meaning that the referee didn't have to be distracted for interference from Colter, which was still used sparingly. The match was another solid encounter between these two, which I would hazard a guess featured a few of the spots that were cut from Wrestlemania due to time constraints. Swagger focussed on Del Rio's ankle throughout, including a lengthy spell in the Patriot Lock, before Del Rio used a beautiful reversal into the Cross Armbreaker, where after some struggle Jack Swagger finally tapped out. It seemed weird to me that Colter did not break up the submission, maybe it would have been worth, taking him out of the match, either via Del Rio or his ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez. 

Del Rio sold his ankle injury well, with both Rodriguez and a trainer checking on World Heavyweight Champion. The IZOD Center once again began a "We Want Ziggler" chant, they were not to be let down on this occassion. As Mr. Money in the Bank strutted to ring accompanied by girlfriend AJ Lee and tag partner and current NXT Champion Big E Langston. The Show Off indicated he was cashing in on his chance at the World Heavyweight Championship and the bell rang and we were underway.

Although it was short, this was one of my favorite Money in the Bank cash ins. This is because they managed to make it look like Ziggler was in real peril of losing the match. Firstly with a huge corner enziguiri for a two count and then the Cross Armbreaker. This move have been pushed so heavily by WWE in recent months, that with Ziggler in the centre of the ring in genuinely looked as if he may tap out. Lookily, the Del Rio's ankle injury was not forgotten, as after what felt like an age in the hole, Ziggler pulled at The Mexican Aristocrat's ankle, before hitting a superb Zig Zag for the win. The crowd absolutely loved it and so did I, although I can imagine WWE will be less than pleased with the face reaction that Ziggler's win recieved. 

The Undertaker

I was extremly surprised to see The Undertaker on Raw last night, and even more so when it seemed that he was being a manuevered into a future angle. As The Undertaker began his speech to do with his match the previous night, he was interupted by The Shield who began to enter through the crowd. As Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins encircled the ring, one of the biggest and loudest flame pyros I have ever seen erupted from the ring posts as Kane's music hit and Team Hell No sprinted to the ring to stand side by side with The Undertaker. The Shield, seemingly being led by Roman Reigns, decided to wait to fight another day and scarpered through the crowd.

It was great to see The Brothers of Destruction back together again, and felt like a great moment for Daniel Bryan as well and shows how far he has come in the eyes of WWE management since last year and rightly so.

This is another intriguing rivalry, The Shield have be pushed to the moon in recent months, and continually deliver in the ring every time they team, whilst in The Undertaker they have a true legend to bounce against during promos and defeating him would surely cement their place as three of the companies top heels and a WWE Championship match for one (if not all of their members) would surely soon follow. When that six man tag happens, expect it to be an absolute barn burner.

The Best of the Rest

Now onto the complete shambles that was the Randy Orton/Sheamus/Big Show debacle. Firstly, Sheamus asked Vickie Guerrero for a shot at Big Show for revenge for the after the match attack at Wrestlemania, then Randy Orton asked the same of Booker T, again throwing up the question of who is really is in charge, which is more confusing that anything. Orton and Sheamus both pleaded their case to the WWE Universe with crowd cheering for both men, Jerry Lawler then announced a WWE Active fan Twitter poll, which saw the Viper win with almost three quarters of the votes.

Only for then Vickie Guerrero and Booker T to come out and announce that Orton would face Sheamus next and the winner would face Big Show at some undertermined date. This made very little sense, it would have been fine if Sheamus and Orton's votes were anywhere near close but they clearly weren't and WWE decided not to listen to it's fans. The crowd quickly turned on the match, which all in all wasn't a bad contest between the two, but after WWE once again teasing one match, only to give away another coupled with the bad feeling towards Big Show's safe heel turn the previous night, the fans deserverdly decided to make their own entertainment, with a number of random chants such as "Randy Savage" "RVD" and a chant for each of the three commentators, leading to massive Mexican wave which seemed to last forever. Meanwhile in the ring, it was obvious both Orton and Sheamus had no clue to react to what the crowd was doing.

Once Big Show came in and rescued the match for the fans, he recieved a "Thank You Big Show" chant, as he destroyed Randy Orton, delivering a Knockout Punch, a Spear on the outside before launching Orton over the top of the announcers tables. Big Show began throwing the announcers chairs around ringside. Hopefully WWE will listen to what they heard during the match and learn from the mistake that they made during the show, although I wouldn't hold your breath, WWE can be very stubborn and will only do anything when it is on their terms.

Another talking point of the night was Wade Barrett's Intercontinetanl Championship rematch against The Miz. This match was miles better than the one they had at Wrestlemania, as the two had a little longer and brought a few more interesting moments to the match, such as Barrett's homage to Cactus Jack with a Cactus Elbow to outside. Eventually, Barrett won back his title with a sick Bullhammer Elbow, a move which was seriously over with that crowd. As a Brit it was great to see Barrett win back his title, and have such a quality match on Raw, the length of the match really helped to make the title regain something that was lost during Wrestlemania. Although I'd question having The Miz win the title with very little fanfare, and then go onto to lose it the very next day.

We also finally got the Eight Person Mixed Tag that had been scheduled for Wrestlemania. The match was quick and simple between the eight people involved. It did feature a nice Hurracanrana from Naomi to Cody Rhodes, before Tons of Funk eventually picked up the victory with a double splash. As I have previously noted, this would have been nice changed of pace during Wrestlemania and allowed some of the more serious matches a bit of time to breath.

Elsewhere in the show, Paul Heyman announced CM Punk wanted to speak to the WWE Universe, and would do so next week, whilst Brock Lesnar wanted to fight but Heyman wouldn't let him do so for free. Fandango's Raw debut against Kofi Kingston was interupted by Chris Jericho, who placed the dancing rookie in the Walls of Jericho. The fans contiuned to sing along to Fandango's theme for the rest of the night. Big E Langston won his Raw debut in a short but impressive bout with Daniel Bryan, closing out the Team Hell No/Ziggler & Big E rivalry for now, with both parties moving onto bigger things later in the night. R-Truth, Zack Ryder and Santino Marella picked up a win over Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal of 3MB in a match that won't be remembered by many in a hurry, despite their being a lot of talent in the match.


 This Raw was one of the most enjoyable for me in a long time, partly due to the crowds antics throughout, but also due to some good moves on the part of WWE, including Dolph Ziggler's Money in the Bank Cash In and Ryback attacking John Cena. There was also some throughly enjoyable matches such as Wade Barrett Vs. The Miz and Alberto Del Rio Vs. Jack Swagger (& Zeb Colter). However, WWE also made some vital errors throughout, teasing the fans with one match, only to give them another, with John Cena's WWE Championship Match and Randy Orton Vs. Big Show, especially when they have asked the Universe to vote on a match, is never going to go down well with the fans. WWE had a red hot crowd in the IZOD Center and at times instead of giving them what was needed to get the desired reaction, WWE completely lost control and the fans decided they would control the show from there on in. If this trend continues WWE could have a problem on there hands.

Please feel free to leave comments below, or send them to me on Twitter at @IAmNotAlanDale, I'm here on Google+ as well. Send your e-mails to

Monday, 8 April 2013

WWE Wrestlemania XXIX Review

WWE Wrestlemania XXIX

Going into this years “Show of Shows” I had a few expectations of how the show was going to play out. Firstly The Undertaker against CM Punk would be the match of the night, secondly Triple H against Brock Lesnar would be an all out brawl and John Cena taking on The Rock would see a reverse of last years main event. On all accounts, Wrestlemania didn't disappoint.

WWE Championship Match: John Cena Vs. The Rock


 Now if you went into this match expecting a catch-as-catch can classic you'd have probably thrown your television out of the window before half way. If you'd gone into it expecting to see two of the most popular WWE Superstars of all time go at it once more, with a multitude of false finishes and all their top spots thrown in for good measure you'd have had a very enjoyable time. I for one was expecting the second.

Having been disappointed with the first match the two had at last years Wrestlemania, due to I think the overpowering year long built up to which the match could never live up to, I found myself enjoying this match a whole lot more. The false finishes worked well, I was pretty sure it was over when they did the switch of last year's finish with Cena delivering an Attitude Adjustment as The Rock attempted to steal the Cenation Leader's Five Knuckle Shuffle, and even believed The Rock had it won with a huge Rock Bottom.

Despite enjoying the match overall, there were a few things that niggled at me during the match. Firstly, John Cena could clearly be seen talking to The Rock during the crossface Submission. Now, I appreciate a lot of what John does in the ring, but one thing that has always annoyed me about him is how loud he is during his matches, which after the amount of time he has spent in the business, most of it spent at the top of the biggest wrestling organisation in the world and numerous Wrestlemania Main events, Cena really should be caught calling the match during what many would consider the biggest match of the year. You could hear Jerry Lawler scrambling for a reason to why Cena was casually chatting away, passing it off as “talking smack”

Another niggle for me was the ending, not that it was a bad finish, but it just felt like the end had come two minutes earlier, especially in terms of rounding out the storyline and the theme of redemption, when Cena suckered The Rock into thinking he was going to make the same mistake as last year, that for me should had ended it there, obviously after an AA from Cena.

The Undertaker Vs. CM Punk w/Paul Heyman


Now those predicting anything less than a match of the night encounter between two of the greatest WWE Superstars of all time should probably think about watching a different show. We hadn't seen The Undertaker in a match since his epic Hell in a Cell with Triple H at last years Mania, whilst CM Punk had continued his WWE Championship run for most of the year following. So it was always going to be interesting to see how these two meshed going into the Showcase of the Immortals, especially when at one point late last year that 'Taker wouldn't even be performing on the show and CM Punk carrying an injury into the event.

The doubts over both men's fitness were quickly dispelled when the worked their way to a fantastic back and forth contest. As with many of CM Punk's greatest matches, the first ten or so minutes of the bout were slow and calculating as the two competitors got warmed up and the tension built amongst the crowd in Metlife Stadium who knew the best was still to come.

We saw number of big moves thrown in from both me, Punk's early attempt at The Deadman's Old School move set the tone for the contest going forward. Punk works the disrespectful heel character very well, helped on by the always stellar Paul Heyman. The Phenom twice went for the Last Ride both times Punk escaping, the first leading to a leap from Punk from the top rope to Spanish Announcers table, which stayed strong, to land a huge elbow drop, which almost looked like The Best in the World wasn't going to reach. The second saw Heyman pass Punk the urn they'd carried in the build up, Punk bringing it down on 'Taker's head.

This lead to probably the biggest crowd reaction of the night, Punk attempt to pin Undertaker in his own familiar style, complete with outstretched tongue. I think the New Jersey crowd truly believed the streak was over at that point, and if I'm honest so did I. That was the great thing about this match, yes everyone predicted that The Undertaker would win, but it was the times when the performers in the ring made you truly believe that the match was about to go the other way, they made you invest in the match as a whole and when 'Taker kicked out, the crowd seemed as shocked as they had been when Punk kicked out of the Tombstone Piledriver minutes earlier.

In the end it was the second Tombstone that was enough to see off Punk. And as the The Undertaker took control of the urn once more, paying tribute to the late Paul Bearer, it got me thinking... have we just seen the last match of one of the greatest of all time? For me, if The Undertaker comes back next year, it needs to be for a match of this quality and looking at the current roster, I can't see anyone else capable of having a match like this with The Undertaker. So I guess we'll have to wait and see.

No Holds Barred Match: Triple H w/Shawn Michaels Vs. Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman

Now earlier, I mentioned that my expectations for this one would be and all out brawl and on that stance this match once again delivered. With a number of decent spots involving steel chairs, steel steps and of course Triple H's trusty sledgehammer. However this match suffered from it's placing on the card, having the follow Undertaker's victory over CM Punk was always going to be difficult, with a crowd clearly physically and emotionally tired from the previous match.

Whilst this match was a decent brawl, it heavily missed the element of realism that Brock's match with John Cena at last year's Extreme Rules show had. The hatred between the two that has been mentioned over the last several weeks and pushed throughout the match by Jerry Lawler and co. just didn't seem to be evident in the bout. It's clear that Lesnar is uncomfortable with dealing with WWE storylines by the fact that he wasn't present at any of the 'Mania promotions including the official press conference and this was clear for all to see during the match.

However, despite saying this the match is put together well as you'd expect from these two veterans, as well as Paul Heyman. Each spot felt like a natural step up from the one that had been seen previously as each competitor came up with new ways to try to put their opponents away.

Once Triple H had the Kimura locked on Lesnar after focusing on his arm, especially after Michaels sweet chin music to Paul Heyman, I was legitimately willing Lesnar not to tap out, just as the Metlife came alive in the match, the repeating Kimura attempt began to build and it felt like Triple H may beat Lesnar with his own submission hold. It felt like something Triple H would have come with backstage to help boost his already huge ego, luckily my opinion of Triple H was boosted when Lesnar eventually managed to get out of the hold.

The Game eventually picked up the win with a sledgehammer shot followed by a pedigree onto the steel steps, which felt like a much more satisfying ending to the bout. However, I'm not sure exactly what The Cerebral Assassins win and continued career really brings to the table of the current WWE. Hunter can still go that's for sure, but maybe it's time to step aside and let some younger stars take the spots on these big cards.

World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez Vs. Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter

This contest for me was the surprise of the night. I expect a good technical contest between the two, however Swagger and Del Rio went above and beyond those expectations, pulling off a great, if not a little short, technical contest with some nice reversals and some nice story telling involving both Rodriguez and Colter.

Last year, no one would have predicted that these two would be in one of the four biggest matches at Wrestlemania, with Del Rio out injured (returning the day after Wrestlemania) and Jack Swagger getting lost in the mess that was Team Jonny against Team Teddy. Swagger's run of bad luck continued for most of the year, until he was given time of for a repackage, whilst Del Rio stayed in the World Title hunt for most of the year having multiple PPV matches with Sheamus before getting lost in the card and ending up lost on Team Ziggler at Survivor Series, the answer to this, turning Del Rio into an unlikely hero. Despite thinking this could never work, I have enjoyed Del Rio's face run and the returning Jack Swagger, repackaged with a Xenophobic “Real American” gimmick seemed like the perfect opponent.

In terms of storyline build up, I thought this was one of the strongest matches on the card, helped by both stars being full time competitors and being afforded plenty of time across Raw, Smackdown and Main Event.

The ending of the match focussed on both men's finishing submission holds Del Rio's Cross Armbreaker and Swagger's Patriot Lock. Reversals were a plenty as these men showed of they're amateur wrestling ability, both managing to make each other look strong. Swagger holding on for so long in Armbreaker, allows him to stay strong going forward and hopefully we'll get a rematch between the two at Extreme Rules that will afford them the extra time they no doubt deserved for this outing. 

The Best of the Rest

For me, the best match on the under card, was The Shield's victory over the make shift team of Randy Orton, Sheamus and Big Show. The Shield continue to be built up very well by WWE and the steady build up for them has only helped the team gain popularity and momentum as WWE look to learn from their mistakes with Nexus a few years ago. The six man tags the Shield have had over the last few PPV's have been some of the best I have ever seen. They seem to have the psychology of these types of matches nailed on and the same could be said for tonight.

The biggest moment of the match came when Big Show managed to spear all three member of The Shield at once as they attempted their triple powerbomb on Sheamus. As well as Seth Rollin's dangerous dive to the outside, where he seemed to hit the barricade pretty hard, if he's not injured in some way, he's very lucky after Randy Orton failed to absorb any of the dive.

Towards the end of the match, WWE teased a Randy Orton heel turn, as Orton stole a tag from The Big Show, eventually leading to an RKO on Seth Rollins, and straight into a huge spear from Roman Reigns which lead to the victory. However, WWE in my opinion went for the easy options, turning Big Show instantly back, with two knock-out punches to Sheamus and Orton. This seems the case with WWE at the moment, they look scared to make that leap in case it goes wrong, with both Orton and a large proportion fans calling for a heel turn it's clear what should have happened, but maybe WWE just sees it as too much of a risk.

The Fandango and Chris Jericho matches was marred with a number of errors in a match that did neither men any favours. A lot was expected from these after WWE held off the former Johnny Curtis's début until the Granddaddy of them All and against a competitor of Chris Jericho's standing, it's understandable that the pressure was huge on the two to perform. However that performance never came and the match felt like the two going through the motions, with the awkward ending not helping towards this. It also seemed an odd decision for Jericho to kick out of Fandango's finish on his début, and Fandango to still win.

The Tag Team title contest, featuring Team Hell No facing the team of Dolph Ziggler and the debuting Big E Langston, was a solid contest but forgettable one. Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler proved during their short time in the ring, why they are considered two the most technically gifted competitors in the WWE with some stellar ring work, whilst Kane continues to amaze with his ability to still go at this level on a full time basis and Big E looked solid on his main roster début. A lot of people expected this loss would lead to Ziggler cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase later in the night, however this was not to be, and I'd hazard a guess that Ziggler's comments about The Rock and Cena earlier in the week might have something to do with it.

Mark Henry against Ryback went longer than I had expected but the bulk of the match was pretty much how everyone saw it. Two wrestlers of this size were never going to have a technical master class, it was was always going to be two big guys throwing each other around. They managed to keep both men strong with Henry picking up the victory, followed by Ryback lifting Henry up for a Shellshock, which was a spectacular sight. Ryback must have been training after being unable to lift Paul Heyman at Raw house show last year!

The pre-show featured the Intercontinental Championship match between Wade Barrett and The Miz. The match was had not much difference from the match they had on Raw a few weeks ago, about the same length and similar work from both. It was technically sound with no real botches of note, but felt like it was just missing something and seeing as the pre-show was a full hour could have done with having longer than it was given. The finish was nice with The Miz finally finding a decent way to get into the Figure Four Leg Lock which he has butchered for weeks.

Unfortunately the Tons of Funk/Funkadactyls Vs. Rhodes Scholars/Bella Twins was cut from the show. Although this would never have set the world a light it would have been a nice change of pace for the show.


Overall, I thought Wrestlemania XXIX was an enjoyable show, which largely lived up to my expectations (not that those were particularly high in some places) The variety of matches featured seemed like a good balance for The Shows of Shows, which I think would have satisfied the more casual of fans. Of course there is never please some areas of fandom, who will complain about the title being on a part timer and then complain again when, arguably, the hardest work guy in the company takes the title from him. Will complain one year about a main event not being for the WWE Championship, and complain the next when the main event is for the WWE Championship.

Personally I think the order did harm the show in it's latter stages. The sheer energy from the crowd during the CM Punk Vs. Undertaker match left the crowd tired for Triple H Vs. Brock Lesnar which couldn't live up to what had gone before, leaving the crowd flat going into the Main Event. I would have swapped the Punk/Taker with Triple H/Lesnar which should have lead to a louder more invested crowd for The Game and The Next Big Thing, with the quality of The Phenom and The Best in the World's match being able to draw the fans back. The Rock and John Cena might have then suffered, but if Diddy's performance was moved in between the two, it would have given the audience a chance to breath and hopefully be ready for the WWE Championship Main Event.

That's Wrestlemania done for another year, if you have any opinions of your own leave them in the comment box below. You can also message me on Twitter @IamNotAlanDale and if you can find me on Facebook I'm under my real name.

Time to get ready for tonights big Raw. I'm excited to see how it plays out.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Other Contributors Wanted

I'm looking for fellow British wrestling fans to help contribute to this blog to help make this as succesful as possible. I'd like a mixture of views about Pro Wrestling to go into this blog. I'll be needing people for Live Show Reports, Television reviews, PPV Reviews, general opinion articles and of course wrestling gossip. If you're interested comment below, or e-mail me at or get in touch via Twitter @IAmNotAlanDale

Coming Soon

Across The Pond Wrestling will launch on the 8th April 2013, the day after Wrestlemania XXIX. The idea is to showcase views of wrestling fans across the UK, looking at wrestling from all over the World. See you soon.