General commentary posts

NJPW G1 Climax 27 Announcement

New Japan Pro Wrestling recently announced the wrestlers who will participate in this year’s G1 Climax 27 tournament.

For those not familiar, the G1 is THE premiere tournament in international wrestling. A round robin format over the course of a month is concluded in a three night special where the A-Block and B-Block finals are held with the third night featuring the winners of both blocks facing off in the finals.

This is a historic tournament in it’s 27th year and last year’s winner, The Cleaner Kenny Omega, is a heavy favorite to repeat. Other featured wrestlers are IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito, Yuji Nagata in his final G1 appearance, Toru Yano once again playing spoiler, and three first time tournament participants: Juice Robinson, Zack Sabre Jr., and a returning Kota Ibushi.

We look at the tournament, explain it for new fans, and give some insight into what we may expect this summer from New Japan Pro Wrestling’s second biggest event of the year.

The Rise, Fall, and Evolution of the Four Horsewomen

Since their days in NXT, the group known as the Four Horsewomen: Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, and Bayley, truly did start a revolution of women’s wrestling in the WWE.

The Four HorsewomenCreating four unique characters, having the bravery to do things no other women stars have done before in the company, and performing at a high level in the ring, the future seemed bright for the former Divas division.

However, as with many stars, there were bumps along the way. Once on the main roster, the four women have yet to achieve what many fans had hoped, through no fault of their own, but to the concern of many.

Given how young all of them are though, the future still remains bright as they have the potential to turn a revolution into an evolution.

We go back and look at the last few years of the Four Horsewomen and what they’ve meant to the WWE, pro wrestling, and women around the world.

WWE Ratings Hit Historic Lows And Why It Doesn’t Matter

It’s not secret that WWE’s television ratings aren’t anywhere near what they were in the Attitude Era or any other time before. So, why does Vince McMahon think they don’t matter as much anymore?

We look at the various ways in which WWE makes their money, a record $730+ million last year, and understand why having a PG Rated television enterprise, marketing products to be sold, and licensing deals across the board are more important than holding pro wrestling shows at arenas and pay per view buys these days.

Russo vs. Cornette: The Good and Bad Of Their Flame War

The war of words between Jim Cornette and Vince Russo has gone on for years and years. It hit a new high (or low) this week following Cornette’s appearance on the WWE Network Show “Table for 3”.

Vince Russo responds to CornetteOn the show, Cornette bonded with former foe Eric Bischoff over their mutual dislike of Vince Russo. This triggered Russo to send an email to Vince McMahon and to comment on the issue on his podcast.

This week, Cornette responded once again by saying he’d meet Russo somewhere for a fight. Russo responded with sarcasm and suggested Cornette’s real issue is McMahon and Dixie Carter choosing him to book their shows over Cornette.

While it may be entertaining to hear these two go back and forth, it also might be contributing to the rather poisonous environment that is online pro wrestling discussion in the community.

Cornette is stuck in the 80s, Russo is stuck in the 90s, and both think the other is the scum of the earth. We examine their feud and what the good and the bad is of both of their arguments.

Okada vs. Omega 2: The Most Important Match of 2017?

On January 4, 2017 the pro wrestling world was talking about the fantastic match between IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada and the challenger Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 11.

Kazuchkia Okada and Kenny Omega battle at Wrestle Kingdom 11This weekend, the much anticipated rematch takes place during NJPW’s Dominion show at Osaka Jo Hall, also featured on New Japan World.

We take a moment to look back at the stories rivalry between the two from Omega’s rise to power in Bullet Club, Okada’s defenses over the last year, and what both men mean to the future of New Japan Pro Wrestling.

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10 Ways I’d Improve WWE: A Round Robin King of the Ring

The first video in this new series “10 Ways I’d Improve WWE” looks at some ideas and fantasy booking concepts that I personally would think would make WWE more interesting.

Booker T as WWE King of the RingThis first video uses an old WWE concept: stealing ideas from other companies and making them their own. In this case, merging the concept of the G1 Climax in NJPW and making the King of the Ring a round robin tournament that would feature a RAW block and a SmackDown block, with the finals being held at Summer Slam. The winner would go on to face either the WWE World Champion or the WWE Universal Champion at Survivor Series, thus giving opportunity for new feuds, dream matches, fan interaction through fantasy brackets, tying the shows together, and giving some importance to Survivor Series which has fallen off of importance over the years.

Best of the Super Jrs / NJPW Dominion Preview

This next week is a pretty big one for New Japan Pro Wrestling as the finals of the Best of the Super Jrs tournament takes place between A-Block winner Will Ospreay and B-Block winner KUSHIDA.

Jushin Thunder Liger's last Best of the Super JrsAlso, on June 11th is the long awaited rematch between IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada and Bullet Club’s Kenny Omega. Following their WrestleKingdom 11 match, which many consider one of the greatest matches of all time, can they top it and will Omega become the next IWGP Champion?

We break down the cards, look back at the BOSJ’s tournament, and much more.

Also, we announce the winner of our May giveaway for the NXT: The Future Is Now ebook.

WWE RAW 5/29/17: The Graves, The Angles, and the Bayley Burials

After a few months being away from WWE’s main roster, we got back to a full episode of Monday Night RAW on May 29, 2017 in preparation for this Sunday’s WWE Extreme Rules pay per view from Baltimore.

This Is Your LIfe BayleyI must say it was a mixed bag. While the angles with Corey Graves proved intriguing, the This Is Your Life Bayley segment with Alexa Bliss was one of the worst pieces of television I have seen in years.

The main event matches with Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe vs Bray Wyatt, as well as Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns, proved to be decent matches but the overall tone of the show is still off.

WWE RAW is still a show that is way too long, has too much silliness to it, too much bad acting and bad comedy, and tries too hard to be all things to all people (especially the mythical “casual fans”).

This is our review, reaction, and commentary on pro wrestling’s flag ship show, WWE RAW from 5/29/17.

Conversation Between Matt Hardy and IMPACT Wrestling President Leaked

Ed Nordholm, the current President of IMPACT Wrestling, leaked the correspondence between himself and former IMPACT wrestler and current WWE Superstar Matt Hardy. The growing issues with who owns the rights to the “Broken” Hardy gimmick continue and it has now gotten to a point of using social media to litigate the case.

The following is what Nordholm released:

Good afternoon,

In response to on-going speculation concerning our position with respect to the “Broken Brilliance” creative, I am providing this detailed log of our communications on the subject and the contractual structure of our relationship with Matt Hardy with respect to intellectual property matters (which is standard to our roster and in the industry).

There has never been any argument from Impact Wrestling that the Hardy’s were key contributors to the development of the characters and story line, or that Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy executed on their roles in spectacular fashion. But the position taken by the Hardys is a massive disservice to the contributions of the rest of the creative team at Impact Wrestling, including Jeremy Borash, Dave Lagano (sic), Matt Conway and Billy Corgan, and is totally at odds with the terms of their contracts.

The Hardys would have you believe that Anthem is somehow avoiding their lawyers to address this. This is the log of our communications with the Hardys and/or their lawyers. It is clear that we have not been avoiding them.

* March 10 – EBN speaks with executives at ROH about “Broken Brilliance” being used in ROH shows. I indicated willingness to provide an arrangement that would allow the creative to be used in ROH shows and encouraged ROH to have Matt speak with me if he wanted to pursue that discussion
* March 11 – EBN spoke at length with Matt by telephone about the structure of an amicable arrangement for use of the Broken Brilliance creative
* March 14 – Matt sent text message to Ed Nordholm at 4:05pm:

“Tried giving you a call, it rang & went busy. I’m open to working things out amicably as we spoke about. The lawyer who represent me is interested in seeing your offer. My lawyer’s email is {redacted} which you could send the offer to for review. Thanks.”

And I responded by text at 6:41 pm

“Thank you Matt. I was supposed to be [flying] into NYC today and am a little twisted. I will pull something together with [our] lawyers and try to get it over to your lawyer tomorrow or Thursday at latest”

* March 16 – At 8:25 pm I sent an update text to Matt:

“Hi Matt. My lawyer got me a draft too late to get reviewed for today. I will look at it in the morning. Sorry for the delay”

And he responded at 9:16 pm

“Ok, he’s ready for it. Thanks for the update.”

* March 17 – counsel for Anthem Wrestling delivered draft proposal to counsel for Matt Hardy
* March 24 – counsel for Anthem Wresting followed up with Matt Hardy counsel requesting comments on the proposal
* March 27 – counsel for Matt Hardy responds that they have been away and have not reviewed the proposal but will be back “in the next few days”

After which no further communication until

* April 18 – counsel for Matt Hardy leaves a voice mail message for counsel for Anthem Wrestling asking to arrange a meeting
* April 20 – EBN contacts WWE by email to determine veracity of internet rumours concerning WWE interest in Broken Brilliance
* April 21 — WWE respond by email that there “is no interest on our end” {redacted email exchange attached}
* April 21 – counsel for Matt Hardy sends a follow up message requesting a meeting
* April 27 – lawyers speak to arrange a meeting
* May 16 – lawyers meet but no agreement reached

Finally, I am attaching a copy of the relevant provisions of Matt’s contract with Impact. The clause is virtually identical to the corresponding provisions of every wrestler under contract with Impact.

The facts are that we tried to accommodate the Hardys for their Ring of Honour engagements, and have tried to elicit an indication from WWE whether they have an interest in using the Broken Brilliance creative in WWE. We are not hoarding it from WWE; WWE is not interested in it.

We fully respect the decision of Matt and Jeff to return to WWE and appreciate all of their contributions to Impact Wrestling. We wish them every success.

Our focus is on the future and we will not have any further public comment on this matter.

Ed Nordholm

Matt Hardy’s wife, Reby Hardy, released several responses on Twitter to counteract Nordholm’s claims.

This story continues to evolve but it may all be pointless as some reports indicate WWE is not interested in the “Broken” Hardy gimmicks at all.

Tyler Bate vs Pete Dunne from NXT TakeOver Chicago REACTION

NXT TakeOver Chicago had a few solid matches but none stood out more than the UK Championship match between Tyler Bate (c) and Pete Dunne.

Showing the closest thing to strong style in WWE, these two young performers tore the house down with an amazing display of European wrestling.

Featuring a variety of hard hits, amazing dives, and the fastest airplane spin in history, this was clearly the best match of the weekend in WWE.

This is our reaction to one of the best pro wrestling matches WWE has produced in a while.