Friday, April 3, 2015

March 2015 - Month in Review

WWE Superstar of the Month - Seth Rollins (WWE World Heavyweight Champion)

After what took place at WrestleMania, who else could this award go to? NO ONE. Rollins has been the workhorse of WWE for quite some time by delivering quality television every single week and it all paid off just days ago when he cashed in his Money in The Bank briefcase in the main event of WrestleMania. The future of the WWE took his crown by defeating Roman Reigns & Brock Lesnar to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. It's a moment that won't soon be forgotten as it sent shockwaves through the wrestling world. This is Rollins' second time winning Superstar of the Month and I have a feeling it won't be his last. At this rate, he'll be looking at the Wrestler of the Year award come December. Congrats to Mr. Rollins on another groundbreaking month!

Last month's winner: Roman Reigns

Independent Wrestler of the Month - Tommy End (WXW, Evolve) (@TommyEnd)
Calling fans of Chris Hero, Kyle O'Reilly, & Drew Gulak! Give Tommy End a look and I guarantee you'll be hooked. His work this month proved to me that he's without a doubt on the rise on the Independent Wrestling scene. To start the month, his return to PWG was announced as he will face Chris Hero on April 3rd. End first wrestled for PWG in 2007 during their tour of England so while he's not technically new to PWG, this will be his debut in Reseda which is completely different ball game and a huge accomplishment. The middle of the month saw Tommy enter WXW's prestigious 16 Carat Gold Tournament where he defeated former TNA World Champion Chris Sabin, Andrew Everett, Axel Dieter Jr, & Absolute Andy to win the tournament. To close out March, he began his tour of the United States by debuting for EVOLVE/WWN Live in several impressive efforts against the likes of TJ Perkins (TNA's Manik), Biff Busick, & Drew Gulak. This was without doubt one of the biggest months in Tommy End's career thus far and his year looks to only get better from here.

Last month's winner: Josh Alexander (Alpha 1, AIW, AAW, PWG)

TNA Star of the Month - Spud (X Division Champion)

I've been up and down on TNA for the past few years. They had a hot summer then looked to reboot this year after some late year woes last winter however they failed to deliver the way I hoped they would. Until this month. This was easily the best month since their debut on Destination America and Spud was a big part of that. I always thought he was underrated when he was with EC3 as he portrayed a great old school heel and he only got better when he broke way from Ethan because he is the perfect underdog. TNA has handled his booking exactly how they should and the result was a phenomenal match to blow off the heat between Spud & EC3 on the March 13th of Impact. I heard it was good however i didn't know what to expect considering neither men are known for being outstanding, but my oh my, it was an epic piece of storytelling and I loved it. Spud bled profusely and although he lost, he stamped his name into the TNA history books for good. No one will ever forget about him or this match thus he will always be over with the audience after this incident. And to follow it up, he defeated Low Ki in an impromptu match for the X Division Title just one week later. If Spud's stock continues to rise like it has thus far this year, he could be looking at his first ranking in the Elite 80 at the end of the year.

Puroresu Star of the Month - Kota Ibushi (2x) (NJPW, DDT)
As of right now, Kota Ibushi has been the wrestler of the year in 2015. From the classic bout he had with Nakamura at WK9 in January to winning the DDT Open Weight Title in February to winning the NJ Cup this month, Ibushi has been on an absolute tear. This month, the one of a kind athlete delivered two high quality matches on his way to winning the NJ Cup, most notably his bout against Testsuya Naito in the finals which is arguably a must see. Defeating Doc Gallows, Hirooki Goto, & Tetsuya Naito to win the NJ Cup is a huge feat for a man who just recently began competing in the heavyweight divison after years of Junior Heavyweight competition. Ibushi's year is already clearly going to get bigger as he faces AJ Styles at this Sunday at NJPW's Invasion Attack event for the IWGP Heavyweight Title. Even though I'm a Styles fan, I'm really hoping Ibushi can pull this one off. But either way, it's very likely going to be a classic so I'm not complaining one bit.

"Holy Shit" Moment of the Month - Reed Bentley's Injury at IWA Mid-South
If you regularly use social media, I'm sure you've seen the picture that nearly went viral earlier this month of Independent Wrestler Reed Bentley. During his match with John Wayne Murdoch against The Hooligans at IWA Mid-South's March Massacre event, a chair shot went horribly wrong and split Bentley's skull wide open. It certainly takes the cake for the most gruesome thing I've ever seen in wrestling. For a man who's had outstanding matches with the likes of Chris Hero in the past year, this incident, albeit unintentional and a horrible occurence, got him some more much deserved press. So even though it's something I'm sure he and everyone else wishes wouldn't have happened, atleast he's doing good and getting some buzz off of it. And for that reason, I couldn't go without mentioning it in the Month in Review for March. Give him a follow on Twitter @TheReedBentley! I didn't post the picture of the injury here due to the graphic nature. It can be found easily if you search around on Twitter.

Tag Team of the Month - The Young Bucks (NJPW, ROH, FWE, 2CW, House of Hardcore)

This was an extremely tough award to give this month. Tag Team Wrestling is at an all time high right now, especially on the Independent circuit, so it's always difficult, but this month was even more so. It really came down to two teams, The Young Bucks and ReDragon, and while ReDragon defeated The Bucks live on PPV early in the month, their accomplishment list doesn't quit match The Bucks for this month. Despite the loss, Matt & Nick delivered another classic with O'Reilly & Fish, and they weren't close to being done as they set out to rectify that loss by defeating legendary tag team The Dudley Boys at 2CW in a Tables Match as well as former TNA World Champions Austin Aries & Bobby Roode at House of Hardcore in the SAME NIGHT. To top all of that off, The Bucks retained their FWE Tag Team Titles over The Colony and also made headlines due to the WWE taking yet another shot at them by threatening to trademark the "Too Sweet". The Bucks responded at FWE's event by saying "Sue this!", performing the too sweet hand gesture, and looking right in the camera and proclaiming "YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO CUT OUR F'N HANDS OFF!" Matt & Nick have been no strangers to controversy in recent years as they are the first people outside of WWE that have made the company go out of their way to try and tone down their popularity in quite some time. The Young Bucks closed out the month by heading back to New Japan with their IWGP Tag Team Titles for some action. In this day and age, no one makes headlines, delivers outstanding matches, AND covers as much ground as The Young Bucks.

Last month's winner: O14K (Dave & Jake Crist)

Match of the Month - Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins - WWE: WrestleMania 31
Up until this past Sunday, ReDragon & The Young Bucks had this award in the bag. I had seen nothing that I would recommend more for someone to watch than their match at ROH's 13th Anniversary PPV. Then came WrestleMania 31 and one of the most memorable & shocking main events of all time. It's not often we get this combination of stiffness, brutality, unpredictability, & hype from WWE nowadays so that makes this particular match even more of a must see. It may not have the same shock value considering you likely already know the outcome, but it's definitely deserving of this month's match of the month award. Three superstars at their finest playing their roles to perfection!

Last month's winner: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Togi Makabe - NJPW: New Beginning In Sendai

Runner ups / Honorable Mentions:

1) ReDragon vs. The Young Bucks - ROH: 13th Anniversary PPV

2) Fenix vs. Mil Muertes - Lucha Underground: 3/18/15

3) EC3 vs. Spud - Hair vs Hair Match - TNA: Impact - 3/13/15

4) Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito - NJPW: NJ Cup Finals

5) Zack Sabre Jr vs. Daisuke Harada - WXW 16 Carat Gold Tournament - Day 2

6) Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins - WWE: WrestleMania 31

7) AJ Styles vs. ACH - ROH: 13th Anniversary PPV

8) AR Fox vs. Shynron - Ladder Match - Beyond Wrestling: King of Arts

9) Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler - WWE: Raw - 3/30/15

10) Drew Galloway vs. Johnny Gargano - WWN LIVE: Mercury Rising

Final thoughts: Another phenomenal month for Pro Wrestling. I truly feel like we are in the start of a boom period and this month once again confirms it. You had many must see occurences from across the board. Whether it be WWE, ROH, NJPW, Lucha Underground, TNA or the Indies. WrestleMania season brought the wrestling world to California where ROH, Evolve, & WWN Live all delivered quality shows along with the return of the King of Indies tournament which was won by Adam Thornstowe. Samoa Joe returned to ROH and faced Kyle O'Reilly, Michael Elgin, ACH, & long time rival Jay Briscoe. Lucha Underground delivered it's first serious MOTY contender. TNA stepped up it's game. Kimber Lee and Reed Bentley put their bodies on the line in their respective promotions and made headlines, controversial ones at that. It was just an all around wild month that reminded me of why I love wrestling when I look back on it. With NJPW's Invasion Attack, WWE's Extreme Rules, and PWG's Don't Sweat The Technique, among other things coming up, April is bound to be just as good if not better!

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

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