Friday, January 30, 2015

TNA Impact Wrestling Review - January 30th, 2015

TNA Impact Wrestling Review - January 30th, 2015

Bobby Roode returns the TNA World Title to Bobby Lashley
Last week's show, while somewhat lackluster, did end with a fantastic cliffhanger as we saw Roode with the TNA World Title in hands after a scuffle with Lashley against the Beat Down Clan. That leads us to this opening segment where Roode put over Lashley well and returned his belt. As you know if you watched, Austin Aries and MVP come out and get involved which leads to a four way title match being made. Solid opening segment that did what it set out to do and also portrayed Lashley as the fearless dominant babyface who is always up for a challenge.

1) Taryn Terrell vs. Gail Kim vs. Madison Rayne - Knockouts Title Match
If all else fails, TNA can almost always count on their knockouts to deliver some quality action that fans aren't used to seeing in mainstream wrestling. That was most definitely the case here as we got an action packed triple threat match with the KO's Title on the line. The wrestling here was on point and there were several cool spots involving the steel ring steps. Good match that I really enjoyed.

Match rating - ***

Tommy Dreamer calls out Eric Young

Monday, January 26, 2015

My Thoughts on the Royal Rumble, Where Roman Reigns Goes From Here + More

Following the backlash that WWE recieved for the outcome of the Royal Rumble match last night, I decided to wait almost a full 24 hours before offering my thoughts on things. I've been known to jump the gun in the past and write an article in the heat of the moment so I figured it'd be best to let things sink in before conjuring my opinion on the booking decisions that WWE made last night. In that time, I garnered alot of thoughts that I will share with you in this piece so thanks for taking the time to check this out.

First things first, I'm getting tired of doing this. Doing what you ask? Writing my thoughts on one of the greatest PPV's in WWE history and it's all negative for the most part. This same thing happened last year when WWE pulled another one of their classic booking decisions by having Batista return to win the Rumble over the most popular guy in the company, Daniel Bryan.

Considering what caused an uproar last year, some casual fans may think "Why are fans so pissed about Roman Reigns winning?" And apparently that's what people in WWE thought last night which completely baffles me, but that's something that will be discussed later. None the less, the answer to the aforementioned question is simple yet it's a bit complex. Let me explain.

Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Dolph Ziggler are clearly the top four most popular talents in the company right now. However, three of those men (Bryan, Ambrose, & Ziggler) are different than one of those men (Reigns) in one crucial aspect. That aspect being a personal connection with the WWE Universe.

Fans gravitate towards talents like Bryan, Ambrose, Ziggler, and even the now retired CM Punk because they aren't your larger than your life character. They're an average, likeable person that they can relate to and they admire because they worked hard to get where they are. Now, before I continue, that's not to say that fans should boo Reigns because he didn't have to go through years of wrestling on the Indies or bad gimmicks/storylines/being held down, etc to get where he is. It's just to point out how Bryan, Ambrose, & Ziggler developed that connection with the audience.

That personal connection & ability to feel the audience is key to any superstar's success. There are many ways to develop that connection & ability to feel the audience and Roman Reigns hasn't found that yet. Hell, he hasn't even truly found himself yet and not only is WWE expecting him to be the next John Cena they are also trying to make him into what they want him to be. Think about how much pressure that puts on someone who's been in the business far less than a decade. I honestly feel bad for Roman Reigns more than anything else. So before I continue, I just want to clarify that I don't hate or dislike Reigns and that this isn't to bash him. As I said before, more than anything, I feel sorry for him and the fact that he has so much pressure on him at the moment.

None the less, back to the topic. I've had mixed thoughts on Reigns since he separated from The Shield simply because I knew this would happen. I always thought he had the presence, look, and potential to be the next Rock/Cena, but the key word there is POTENTIAL. I always looked at Roman as someone who would develop into that superstar with time, practice from working with more experienced talent, and just messing around on the mic until he finds his voice & character. So, when I saw him being thrust into the top spot this soon, I immediately began disliking him because after all, who likes something mediocre being shoved down their throat?

However after last night, I've realized that I don't dislike him. I just dislike how he's being booked because I fear that it could ultimately be the downfall of his career. Last night, that fear came to fruition and as a result, Reigns career has reached a crossroads. From here, there are three paths that it could go down.

The first path his career could go down is one similar to John Cena's. He will continue to get pushed and forced to be THAT guy before he's ready which will in turn prolong him becoming the star that he can be. So much so that when he finally develops into one of the greatest performers around, hardly ANYONE will appreciate it. Does this ring a bell? It happened to John Cena and I'd argue to say that although WWE & Cena himself have grown used to the reaction he gets, I'm sure they would prefer it not be that way. Over the course of the past few years, John Cena has developed into one of the best performers in the world whether people want to admit it or not. He's had awesome matches with everyone from Shawn Michaels to Umaga to CM Punk to Daniel Bryan. He plays the perfect babyface and while his character is subject to cheesy actions & booking alot of the time, he's one of my favorite talents to watch wrestle in WWE. I feel like if Reigns would have been given a year or two to truly find himself and become the high class performer that he is destined to be, the crowd would have absolutely embraced him winning a big match like the Royal Rumble. Instead, what happened last night took place.

The second path that Reign's career could go down is one that I think would be best for him. I call this one "The Ryback Road". The Ryback Road would see Reigns push come to an end to due to the backlash from fans. Reigns would go to the undercard and he would no longer be WWE's science project. Reigns wouldn't be viewed as someone that Vince can create into his prototypical face of the company, he will instead be looked at as a failed experiment. During this slump for Reigns, WWE will move on and find someone else they want to manipulate into who they want the fans to buy into, meanwhile Reigns will be lower on the card with less expectations and as a result, less people trying to turn him into something he's not. Reigns will be able to be himself more so than he is now and will also just get the chance to go out there and wrestle without the stress of delivering a main event caliber match like he is now. It's in this time that Reigns would find himself and become a fan favorite once again. It happened to Ryback after his big push in 2012-2013 and it seemed to have been a blessing in the skies as Ryback is one of the most "over" superstars once again. I honestly think this may be the best path for Reigns to go down. It certainly would be best for his future as he could develop into his own person, gain more fan support than ever (even the smart fans would join in), and he would become what the top babyface of a wrestling company should be - the most beloved talent on the roster.

OR Roman could down the Bobby Lashley road. Bobby Lashley is someone that I always viewed as a potential star during his first WWE run. I enjoyed his matches with John Cena in 2007, but unfortunately, that was the peak for him. He got pushed, it didn't work, and he faded away. I was bummed by it therefore it would be devastating to see the same thing happen to Roman Reigns, but it's certainly a possibility.

Now that we've discussed where Reigns goes from here, I think that leads me to the other thing that annoyed me most about the way the Rumble was booked. It leaves the aforementioned top three babyfaces with nothing more than an undercard slot on the biggest show of the year.

Dean Ambrose has been out to dry since his feud with Rollins ended. Dolph Ziggler experienced a career high recently however WWE chose not to capitalize on his talent YET AGAIN. Daniel Bryan just returned from action and appears better than ever in every aspect from in the ring to his popularity yet he has nothing set in stone for WrestleMania yet.

As it appears now, we'll be getting Reigns/Lesnar, Sting/HHH, and Cena/Rusev as the top three main matches at WrestleMania 31 and I really don't think it's the right decision. If WWE wants the best show possible, why aren't they booking their best talents in top spots? Hell, the best heel in the company, Seth Rollins, doesn't even appear to have a set slot on the card. I'm guessing he'll continue his feud with a returning Randy Orton, but that's something that should & could have been high on the card, even for the WWE Title as I predicted in my Royal Rumble article last week. Instead of putting Cena in a match that I'm not sure anyone is excited for against Rusev, why not place the most hated guy in the company (Rollins) against a veteran like Orton in one of the top matches on the card? It's missed opportunites like this that make me question WWE's outlook on things. Sure, Rusev is a new talent that's going to get a big match/opportunity, but just like with Reigns, is he REALLY ready for that? He's a good heel however he's not the most over heel in the company and on top of that, he doesn't have near the experience of other heel candidates for a top slot on the card such as Seth Rollins or Bray Wyatt.

I may seem like I'm complaining considering that everyone dies for someone new to be pushed yet bitches when it happens, but it just baffles me that WWE chooses the two young talents that are the least over to push. When you have Bryan, Ambrose, & Ziggler stealing the show & getting the pops of the night, why push Roman Reigns who is just beginning to come into his own and get over with fans as himself and not just as The Shield's powerhouse? Why place Rusev as the top heel on the card when you have Seth Rollins killing it in every PPV main event he's been in and getting "You Sold Out" chants still to this day?

Now, don't take me wrong, I'm not complaing on Rollins' booking because he's been handled the best of any single talent in WWE in years thus far. I just think he should be in one of the top three matches at WrestleMania ahead of Rusev & Roman Reigns. And who knows, he could be. The Road to Mania is just beggining. I'm just going based off the way it seems things are going coming out of the Rumble PPV. In fact, I originally was going to wait until after Raw to write this so I wouldn't be filing a complaint about something before giving things time to develop, but since Raw was cancelled I decided to go ahead and share my thoughts.

I hope this didn't come off as a negative rant from someone who just complains for the sake of complaining because that's not what this was intended to be. I just want the WWE product to be the best it can be not only because I love the business, but also because I'm the one spending my money on it. I also just want the best for all the talent mentioned in this article and while I could be completely wrong about all of this, it's simply my opinion and since everyone has been voicing their displeasure & other feelings towards the recent happenings in WWE, I felt compelled to give my two cents.

So, thanks for the reading and feel free to comment or tweet me your thoughts!

Twitter - @ThePWTruth

Personal Twitter - @EthanPWT

Saturday, January 24, 2015

2015 WWE Royal Rumble Predictions

1) Cesaro, Tyson Kidd, & Adam Rose vs. New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, & Xavier Woods) - Elimination Match

This match may as well be billed as the underrated/misused talent showcase. All of these guys can go so I expect this to be good if given time. With the elimination stipulation, it makes me think that they are gonna let this one get a significant amount of time. New Day has defeated Cesaro & Kidd twice in a row on Raw so unlike most, I think the "Brass Ring Society" will pick up the victory here. They certainly need it.

Who I think will win - Cesaro, Tyson Kidd, & Adam Rose

2) The Ascension vs. New Age Outlaws
On a PPV that is one of the most unpredictable in quite some time, you have this match which is probably one of the easiest to predict in months. The Outlaws coming back around the Road to WrestleMania to put over young talent is becoming a trend and while I can't really complain because it's doing more good than harm, I still think putting The Ascension against the tag champs or another established current tag team would be a better choice. The days of fans being impressed by a squash match are over. The Ascension would benefit much more from a highly competitive match with The Usos than squashing locals and legends. None the less, the outcome of this match is clear. The Ascension gets the win.

Who I think will win - The Ascension

3) The Bellas vs. Paige & Natalya

NJPW on AXS TV - Episode 3 - Tanahashi/Okada (Invasion Attack 2013) Review

New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS - Episode 3 Review

1) Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada - IWGP Heavyweight Title Match - Invasion Attack 2013
As someone who still considers themself a new fan of NJPW, I had mixed feelings heading into this bout. These two blew me away at WK9 earlier this month however the match that aired between them on last week's show from WK7 didn't really do much for me. Given that it's been recognized as the weakest match in their series, I headed into this match expecting something much better and not only did I get that, I got something that was on a completely different level than anything I had ever seen. This match blew their encounter from a few months prior at WK7 out of the water and somehow managed to outdo their effort at this year's Wrestle Kingdom event. Much like I was at WK9, I became so invested in this match that I was glued to the screen the entire time. It's not often you can say that nowadays in pro wrestling. From the time the bell rang, this one had a special feeling to it. I couldn't tell quite what it was, but I knew I was in for something spectacular. I think the best way to describe this match would be as a rollercoaster ride. It had everything that the perfect wrestling match should have - drama, emotion, storytelling, thrilling action. It was all put on display here. One exchange that truly exemplifies the greatness of this match came around 25 minutes in. Okada had attempted to hit the rainmaker lariat several times throughout the match, but was unsuccessful. At this point in the bout, he FINALLLY nailed Tanahashi with it and the crowd explodes as you hear the smack of Okada's arm against the throat of Tanahashi, he got ALL of that lariat! Okada looks as if he's going to win the title, BUT WAIT - Okada nailed Tanahashi with the same arm that had been worked over the entire match! Okada falls to the mat in pain as his adversary lays ripe for the picking in the center of the ring. The way they pieced things together like this is part of what made this match so fantastic. Just absolutely brilliant stuff. The big story that came out of this match came to fruition in the final few minutes as we saw Okada dig down to a place that he didn't even know he had. The commentators did a PHENOMENAL JOB of accentuating the story that the two athletes were telling in the ring. It's moments like this that remind me of why I'm a wrestling fan. As Okada kicked out of Tanahashi's frog splash, I got chills as the commentators proclaimed what I just realized, we are seeing what Okada is truly made of here. After seeing this match, I can confirm the statement that many have made by saying that this is the Austin/Rock, Flair/Steamboat, etc of this era. This match in particular is one of the greatest matches I've ever seen. If you've never seen this, it's something I HIGHLY recommend. It's well worth going out of your way to see. The definition of a classic.

Match rating - *****

Thanks for reading and be sure to follow me on Twitter @EthanPWT and this blog @ThePWTruth!

NJPW on AXS TV - Episode 2 Review - Okada/Goto from NJ Cup Finals

New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV - Episode 2 Review
My first full experience watching New Japan came on January 4th with their debut on American PPV in the form of Wrestle Kingdom 9. After seeing Shinsuke Nakamura & Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada tear the house down, I was hooked. So when it was announced that NJPW would have a series on AXS TV in the following weeks, I got pumped.

That leads us to this review of the second episode of NJPW on AXS. For those wondering, I did indeed see the debut episode however I didn't get the time to review it so I will offer a few short thoughts on it in these opening paragraphs.

I watched Tanahashi and Okada tear the house down at WK9 and was simply blown away. Thanks to the informative commentary from Striker & JR and a bit of research that I did on my own, I soon realized how important the match was as well as the history between the two. Last week on the first episode of NJPW on AXS, I had the pleasure of seeing one of the famed matches in the series between Okada and Tanahashi which took place at Wrestle Kingdom 7 in 2013.

Before Episode 1 began, I did a bit of research and found that many people considered that match the weakest in their series. After watching, I could see why. I may have only seen of their other bouts however the WK7 match was a big step down from the WK9 encounter so I can see why it's considered as such. Regardless, it was still a very good match, it just felt like dragged in a few parts which is what kept it from breaking past four stars for me. I may give it another watch to see if my opinion changes on it. Considering how good their WK9 encounter was, it's probably what hindered my enjoyment of this one since I was expecting something just as good or better.

It was a great choice for the debut episode though because it gave new fans a look at the most important rivalry in recent years. Another thing I liked about the first episode was the commentary. I had no clue what to expect from Josh Barnett & Mauro Ranallo and they totally exceeded any expectations I had. Their commentary definitely added to the match.

None the less, let's move onward to the second episode of New Japan on AXS TV which is headlined by the finals of the 2013 New Japan Cup between Hirooki Goto and Kazuchika Okada.

1) Suzukigun (Minoru Suzuki, Taka Michinoku, & Lance Archer) vs. CHAOS (Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii, & Jado)

Monday, January 19, 2015

#RAWlternative - Offering Fans An Alternative to Mainstream Wrestling

When most wrestling fans think of Monday nights, they think of WWE's Raw program. I'm one of those people. Realizing that three hours of wrestling will be on is what helps me get through most Monday's because I have something to look forward to. There's something different about this Monday however. While I am pumped for Monday night to get here because of wrestling, it's not solely because of Raw. It's because of a movement that YOU can be a part of. A movement that is setting out to give fans who are longing for something different in professional wrestling, an alternative to what they see on Monday night's. Its a movement that will help bring new eyes to hard working independent wrestling companies and help raise awareness as to what else there is out there. It's a movement aptly titled - Rawlternative (Raw Alternative).

On the evening of January 19th, 2015, over a dozen of the best matches that took place on the Independent scene in 2014 will be streamed for FREE on YouTube at the following link:

Many people have never checked out Independent Wrestling because it's not as easily available as WWE and because they don't want to spend money on a product that they've never seen before. For fans who have been eager to see what the indie scene is all about, this is the PERFECT chance to see what else the world of professional wrestling has to offer.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

ROH TV Review - January 17th, 2015

1) Frankie Kazarian vs. Cedric Alexander
This is a match that I was really looking forward to. Alexander had a very good match against Daniels late last year so I was itching to see him compete against Kazarian here. Thankfully, it lived up to expectations. There were some great exchanges & reversals here such as Alexander countering out of a slingshot ddt attempt and planting Kazarian with a michinoku driver for a near fall. Kazarian would end up hitting that DDT later on however and Cedric sold it amazingly well. The end came when Cedric went for a springboard and Kazarian caught him in mid-air with an ace crusher. That maneuver ended up leading him to victory. Good match to start the show.

Match rating - ***

2) Donovan Dijak vs. Jake Dirden - Top Prospect Tournament Match
Last week's top prospect tournament match was quite good. While this week's wasn't quite on that level and didn't go as long, I think it's safe to say that both men made an impression. Dirden's unique look is what stood out most to me, the commentators hyped him up well. As for Dijak, his athletic ability for a man of his stature and his sick finisher is what stood out to me. Fun showcase for two young up and comers. Dijak advances.

Match rating - **

Alberto El Patron debuts / Jay Lethal interrupts

Friday, January 16, 2015

TNA's Greatest Matches: Rob Van Dam Review

TNA's Greatest Matches - Rob Van Dam Review

As a way of trying to garner new viewers with their debut on Destination America, TNA has began airing a "Greatest Matches" series. Each show is one hour long and highlights one specific wrestler. I've caught bits and pieces of the episodes for Kurt Angle, but this episode featuring Rob Van Dam is the only one I've managed to catch in full. Thus why I decided to review it.

1) Rob Van Dam vs. Sting - TNA World Championship Match - Slammiversary 2010
In 2010, I stopped watching wrestling all together so this was my first time seeing this match and any match from RVD's TNA World Title reign for that matter. From what I've heard, his reign was pretty lackluster and sadly, this match exemplified that. Thankfully, I didn't expect much going on so this didn't really disappoint me per say. It was one of those matches that was included on this show solely for star power, I think. After about 10 minutes that featured some brawling in the crowd and basically just an exhibition of moves from RVD, the ref gets taken out by accident which allows Sting to hit RVD with the bat. This brings out Jeff Jarrett who evens the odds and allows RVD to get the win. Lackluster match. I sure hope this wasn't the main event on this particular PPV. If it was, I feel sorry for anyone who paid for this.

Match rating - **1/2

2) Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Mr Anderson vs. Abyss - Victory Road 2010

Thursday, January 15, 2015

WWE Smackdown Review - January 15th, 2015

WWE Smackdown Review - January 15th, 2015 - Smackdown returns to Thursday nights!
The show begins with Daniel Bryan being introduced by Byron Saxton, who will also be joining Cole & King on commentary. Nice interview with Bryan about his upcoming with Kane & the Road to WrestleMania before The Authority's music hits and they march down to ringside.

1) Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
Some people rolled their eyes when this match was announced because Bryan is returning to the same feud that he spent the majority of his WWE career in. In a way, I understand that, but the truth is, this was the best match to have for Bryan's first bout back. For storyline purposes, it works perfectly and considering how much these two have worked together, it's a safe choice for Bryan's return encounter. The other reason this was a good choice is that in my opinion, these two always have solid matches together and this one was no different. It ultimately ended in a DQ finish however it went atleast 10 minutes and we got some good action during that time.

Match rating - **3/4

2) The Usos & Naomi vs. The Miz, Damien Mizdow, & Alicia Fox
We don't see intergender matches that often in WWE so this was a special attraction. The males and females never had any physical interaction although it still made for an interesting bout because you could go from two superstars locking up to two Divas going at it. Speaking of the divas, they were the highlight of this match for me. Naomi & Alicia Fox are two of the most underrated women on the roster and they proved so here by delivering the best action of the match. The Usos did their thing and Miz & Mizdow did theirs. Very fun match.

Match rating - **3/4

Seth Rollins confronts Paul Heyman

Match of the Week for January 15th - January 22nd

This is my first Match of the Week article of 2015 so I'll give it a little background. Almost every week, I pick a match, from the past or present, to discuss and recommend to the readers of this blog. It's a great way to share wrestling with other fans and give them alternatives to what they see on TV each week.

The match I'd like to discuss this week is arguably the hottest match on the Indies at the moment - Biff Busick vs Mike Bailey. Every now and then, a bout comes along in which two guys have such chemistry that they can't have a bad match together. So much so, that it makes waves through the Independent Wrestling scene and as a result, every promotion wants to book it. It happened in the early 2000's with CM Punk & Colt Cabana, it happened in 2012 with Michael Elgin & Davey Richards, and now in 2014-2015, it's happening with Biff Busick & Mike Bailey.

In 2014, Busick & Bailey tore it up against each other in several promotions including CZW, Beyond Wrestling, and the promotion in which this particular bout took place, Canada's C*4 Wrestling. On top of last year, the buzz these two have created has led to this match being booked at PWG's upcoming event on February 27th. That's what led me to choose a match from their series of encounters as the match of the week this week.

On paper, these two are complete opposites. Biff Busick is a technician that also uses an arsenal of hard hitting strikes, such as uppercuts, to dismantle his opponents. Meanwhile, Bailey, nicknamed "The Speedball", is a quick, agile competitor that uses his tae kwon do skills to create a unique offense that sets him apart from most other junior heavyweights.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Indy Power Rankings for the Week of January 12th, 2015

Indy Power Rankings for the Week of January 12th, 2015
1.   Blake Steel (@BlakeIsOK)-After really getting on a roll in 2014, he struggled down the stretch towards the end of 2014 and missed out on the 2014 IPR 100 entirely. On January 10th, he sought redemption in the form of the PGP Ryan Buckley Memorial Tournament. It was the first of its kind and Blake Steel came to fight that night. Despite an attack by Ethan Page post-match that injured his left arm, Steel was able to defeat Tommaso Ciampa in the Finals after knocking off Louis Lyndon and then Ethan Page earlier in the night. A 3-0 weekend and the first ever Buckley Memorial Cup winner not only impressed over the weekend, but made it almost impossible for the official voters not to vote for him. We hope to see more big things out of him as 2014 rolls on. Also of note, this was a TIGHT voting race between 1-3. As always, the fan vote MATTERED as while Sugar Dunkerton had more votes than Blake Steel, Blake received just another votes in the fan poll to sneak him ahead of Dunkerton this week in the “total points/votes.” Tied for #5 in the online poll with 27 votes.
2.  Sugar Dunkerton (@SugarDunkerton)-In October 2014, we talked to Sugar Dunkerton on IPR Live on Weekly Wrestling Podcast (now under the Elite Podcast umbrella) and we discussed him never being able to be “the guy” in any company he’s worked for. He’s been a key piece and integral part of a card anywhere he goes, but over the weekend, he took the bull by the horns. First, he defeated Chris Hero in what was described as a fantastic match and then he won the Strong Style “Defining Moment” Battle Royal to become the first ever Strong Style Wrestling Champion. Truly a phenomenal weekend for a wrestler who hasn’t gotten nearly enough credit for what he does in and out of the ring. #2 in the online poll with 191 votes.
3. Rich Swann (@GottaGetSwann)-Going into WWN Live’s HUGE weekend in Florida, Rich Swann may have been the overlooked man as far as their champions went. Between Johnny Gargano, Rich Swann, and Drew Galloway, many expected Gargano and Galloway to have the better weekend. Swann succeeded a bit more than them in terms of shear match quantity. 3 matches. 3 wins (albeit with one of them being a DQ and one being a 6 Man Tag). A win is a win is a win however as Swann conquered Florida once again over the weekend to jump back into the Top 10. After JUST missing out on the 2014 IPR 100, Swann has some good momentum in the early part of 2015. He came very close to being higher, but the fans didn’t come to his aid this week as he received ZERO fan votes. Again, fan vote matters.

Monday, January 12, 2015

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - January 12th, 2015

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - January 12th, 2015

1) John Cena vs. Seth Rollins - Lumberjack Match
The segment that opened the show and set up this match was pretty decent. It did what it set out to do so I can't complain. As for this match, I really enjoyed it. I honestly liked it even better than their matches on Raw late last year. The counters were brilliant and they brought out the best in each other as we saw Cena break out some stuff we rarely see him use such as a sit out power bomb. The chemistry they have reminds me of the early chemistry we saw between CM Punk and John Cena during their first few TV encounters. Hopefully it continues to develop and we get some classics between Rollins & Cena in the future. The interference near the end caused me to drop my rating a bit as I originally had it at ***3/4. The match these two had on Smackdown in December 2013 has yet to be topped in my opinion, however this one came close. Had there been no interference and it went a bit longer, it very well could have surpassed it. Really good match worth checking out none the less.

Match rating - ***1/2

2) Cesaro & Tyson Kidd vs. Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston

Saturday, January 10, 2015

ROH TV Review - January 10th, 2015

ROH TV Review - January 10th, 2015
1) Mark Briscoe vs. Roderick Strong
I tuned in about half-way through this match so I can't give my thoughts on it as a whole although what I saw was very good. So good that I might try to catch the replay of this week's show so I can watch the entire thing from start to finish. In the few minutes that I did watch, there was a sick move where Mark was hanging from the second rope about to fall to the floor and Roddy grabbed his legs and slung him up in the air and Mark came crashing down on his neck on the apron. Brutal bump! This looked like a great action packed opening bout.

After the match, Roderick Strong gets on the mic and declares his intentions to win the ROH World Title again. That's something I'd be on board for, especially if Roddy is the heel. His work in PWG and Evolve has been superb as of late.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Indy Power Rankings for the Week of January 5th, 2015

 1.  Yuko Miyamoto-What a week for the BJW Death Match Heavyweight Champion (and DOVE World Heavyweight Champion) as he had a time limit draw, teaming with Isami Kodaka vs Kohei Sato and Shuji Ishikawa at BJW on 12/30, then teamed with Kodaka to win the three-organisations tournament, beating KUDO and Yukio Sakaguchi in the first round, Makoto Oishi and Shiori Asahi in the second round, Ryuji Ito and "Kokutenshi" Jaki Numazawa in the semis and then Yuji Hino and Yuji Okabayashi in the final, all on 12/31, then teamed with Ikuto Hidaka, Fujita Hayato and Isami Kodaka on 01/01 to beat KAMIKAZE, Daemon Ueda, Kengo and Voodoo Mask 15 at Zero1 and then beat Kankuro Hoshino at BJW on 01/02 to retain his title; then teamed with Isami Kodaka to beat Heisei Yakuza Duo (Kankuro Hoshino and Masato Inaba) in a ladder and steel cage death match at BJW on 01/04 to go 7-0-1 for the week. Miyamoto proved last week that the international influence has truly taken over the Indy Power Rankings and there may be no going back. Can Miyamoto continue this type of astonishing success (SEVEN wins in one week) for the rest of 2015? Doubtful, but it’s definitely possible for him to continue to win consistently. 

2. Jake Crist-1/2 of OI4K (or 1/3 if you prefer) had another great week this week after retaining his Rockstar Pro title TWICE in one week vs. very stiff competition. The multiple federation tag team champion teamed with Chris Hero to defeat Dave Crist and Aron Williams in a Double Jeopardy tag team match to retain his singles title on 12/31 and then defeated Chris Hero to retain the title again on 01/02 to continue his dominance of the Dayton-based promotion. 2 weeks into 2015’s rankings, he is the model of consistency after being absolutely unstoppable in late 2014. He has carried that success into 2015. With challengers lining up at Rockstar Pro and a lot of tag title defenses to come as well, can he keep up this pace? #5 in the online poll with 26 votes.

3. Doug Williams (@DougWilliamsUK)-Here’s a name we have not seen for a while in the IPR Top 10. The ACW German, Scottish Heavyweight, WAW Heavyweight and POW Intercontinental Champion defeated Josh Faulkner in the semis and Zack Sabre Jr in the final of the Worthing Trophy Tournament at Premier Promotions on 12/29 to go 2-0 for the week. With wins in 7 of his last 8 matches, the former TNA star has been crushing Europe in his recent appearances. Grand way to start of 2015 for one of the best in the world. If this week was any indication, you may need to keep an eye on him in 2015 as he looks to shine the bright spot light on himself once again.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

TNA Impact Wrestling Review - January 7th, 2015

TNA IMPACT Wrestling Review - January 7th, 2015

After a month or so away from TV, Impact Wrestling returns on a new network with a supposedly revamped product. Destination America seems to really be taking the ball and running with it as far as promoting TNA so heading into tonight's show, I was really interested to see what went down. Would it live up to the hype? Was it a total revamp? Let's find out.

The opening video package was pretty cool. It was WWE level production although it wasn't a carbon copy of something they would do, it was different, which is a good thing in the world of wrestling today.

The show began with a massive brawl that can only be best described as a clusterfuck. It was wild and all however the shotty camera angles and bad lighting took away from it for me. I've seen this type of thing from TNA before so I wasn't really impressed. Maybe it took some new fans by surprise and got them pumped, but it didn't do much for me as I was just anxiously waiting on Kurt Angle's music to hit.

Thankfully his music did hit and he came out to cut a great promo. Angle is a really underrated mic worker, he's always been one of the most intense guys around. He makes some announcements until he's interrupted by MVP, another underrated mic worker. This leads to a match between the two that Angle says will be a Street Fight. Hot start to the show, the crowd is on fire.

1) Kurt Angle vs. MVP - Street Fight

Monday, January 5, 2015

The 80 Elite Wrestlers of 2014

I've already released Year in Reviews for WWE, TNA, the Indies, & New Japan Pro Wrestling however I've yet to release a list that encompasses the entire world of Pro Wrestling. Until now, that is. This is the first ever Pro Wrestling Truth "Elite 80" list. It pretty much speaks for itself as it is a list of the Top 80 Wrestlers in the World in 2014. I'm planning to make this a yearly thing if all goes well so be sure to tweet me your thoughts after checking it out.

1) Shinsuke Nakamura - Delivered consistently amazing performances throughout the entire year. Made the IWGP Intercontinental Title feel just as important as the IWGP Heavyweight Title. Held the IC Title on three different occasions throughout the year and closed out the year with the title around his waist. Best overall performer in the world today.

2) Ricochet - Dominated every promotion he stepped foot in. Won New Japan's Best of Super Juniors Tournament by defeating Rysuke Tagachi in the semi-finals and KUSHIDA in the finals. Won PWG's Battle of Los Angeles by defeating Chris Sabin, TJ Perkins, Kenny Omega, Johnny Gargano, & Roderick Strong. Ended Johnny Gargano's record breaking reign as Open The Freedom Gate Champion.

3) AJ Styles - Began the year as TNA World Champion. Returned to the Indies & New Japan in 2014 and went on a hot streak immediately. Defeated Kazuchika Okada to become the IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Had a classic match with Minoru Suzuki at the 2014 G1 Climax Tournament. 2014 was Styles' best year in quite some time.

4) Brock Lesnar - Broke The Undertaker's streak at WrestleMania 30. Destroyed John Cena for the WWE Championship on two separate occassions. Closing out the year as one of the most dominant champions in WWE history.

5) Kazuchika Okada - The Rainmaker solidified his spot as the future of New Japan this year by winning arguably the best G1 Climax Tournament in history. He held the IWGP Heavyweight Title for several months before losing it to AJ Styles in a remarkable match.

6) Kyle O'Reilly - Possibly the most well rounded man on this list when it comes to success and in-ring ability. Won prestigious titles in both singles & tag team divsions across the world. Defeated Adam Cole for the PWG World Championship in May. Held the ROH World Tag Team Titles with Bobby Fish on two occassions throughout the year. Debuted for New Japan and won the Super Juniors Tag Team Tournament alongside Fish. Defeated Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA to become the IWGP Junior Tag Team Champions. Closed out the year with both the ROH & IWGP Tag Team Titles around his waist.

7) John Cena - Had another landmark year as he won the WWE Championship for the 15th time and despite losing to Brock Lesnar, he did a phenomenal job of making him look like a monster and delivered some of his best mic work yet. Had outstanding matches against the likes of Cesaro, Bray Wyatt, & Seth Rollins.

NJPW: Wrestle Kingdom 9 Review

New Japan Pro Wrestling Wrestle Kingdom 9 Review

I first discovered NJPW last year when I became virtually obsessed with professional wrestling. The American Independent Scene was my first discovery however it led me to checking out the Japanese style of wrestling known as puroresu. With New Japan being the second biggest company in the entire world and clearly the top promotion in Japan, it was the first puro I laid eyes on.

Since that time, I've watched some of the best matches from the past few years. Styles/Suzuki from last year's G1, Ibushi/Nakamura from the 2013 G1, Devitt/Omega for the Junior Heavyweight title, among others.

With that being said, I'm not completely new to the world of New Japan Pro Wrestling however my first time watching a full NJPW PPV event came with this event - Wrestle Kingdom 9.

Wrestle Kingdom is basically the WrestleMania of New Japan. It's the biggest show of the year where all the best wrestlers in the world come together for one night of unforgettable action.

This year's event is headlined by a rivalry that has reached the heights of Austin/Rock in recent years. That feud being between the IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi and former champion Kazuchika Okada. They face off in the main event of this show for the aformentioned title which Tanahashi won from AJ Styles. Okada comes into this match with a slight advantage considering he's 3-2 against Tanahashi. Can Okada regain the title he lost to AJ Styles and gain another victory of his arch rival or will Tanahashi even the score & retain his title in the process? That's the question going into the 9th annual Wrestle Kingdom event.

The other big match of the night is a rematch from the 2013 G1 Climax as Kota Ibushi challenges Shinsuke Nakamura for the Intercontinental Championship. Nakamura is known as the most charismatic man in wrestling and the king of strong style. He's been the most popular star and the workhorse of NJPW for the many years. On this evening, a new addition to the heavyweight divison in the form of Kota Ibushi will be attempting to take his title. It's going to be interesting to see how Ibushi adapts to the heavyweight division after spending years dominating the junior heavyweights. Can he hang with the King of Strong Style? Only time will tell.

Also on the card is a four-way match for the IWGP Junior Tag Team Titles between reigning champs ReDragon (Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish), who also hold the ROH World Tag Team Titles and former champions The Young Bucks, Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov & Rocky Romero), & Timesplitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA).

AJ Styles will be facing off with Naito in a match that is essentially a #1 Contender's Match although it's not billed as one. A win could propel Styles back into title contention while it could also send Naito in the same direction.

That's just some background on a few of the matches taking place on the card. It's stacked from top to bottom and promises to be an amazing show. With it being my first full NJPW event as mentioned before, I couldn't be more stoked heading into it. Especially since arguably the best color commentator ever in wrestling, Jim Ross, will be under the headset for the first time in forever alongside Matt Striker.

So without further a due, let's take a look at the event that shocked the wrestling world on January 4th, 2015 - Wrestle Kingdom 9, LIVE from the Tokyo Domo in Japan!

1) ReDragon (c) vs. The Young Bucks vs. Forever Hooligans vs. Timesplitters - IWGP Junior Tag Team Title Match
What a way to start off the evening! When four teams of this caliber are in the opening match, you know it's a stacked line up. The action here was fast and furious just like you would expect from these teams. There were several tags however everything happened so quickly that it was difficult to keep up. None the less, all four teams got their chance to shine in a match that I would consider an exhibition as we saw the best that each tandem had to offer. From Chasing the Dragon to the Meltzer Driver, it was all here in this action packed opening match. In the end, Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish picked up the win and retained the titles in a wild encounter with the best tag teams in the world. It was a huge win for them and they certainly did ROH proud. Perfect start to the show.

Match rating - ***1/2

2) Jeff Jarrett, Bad Luck Fale, & Yujiro Takahashi vs. Tomoaki Honma, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima