Friday, May 29, 2015

NJPW on AXS - Season 2 Episode 1 Review - 2014 BOSJ Finals

After a few weeks away, NJPW returns to American television and what better way to start than with action from last year's Best of the Super Juniors tournament? It's awesome timing considering this year's BOSJ tourney is taking place as this airs. I'm a week late reviewing this episode due to missing it when it originally aired. Thankfully they replayed it prior to this week's edition so I got to catch it and give my thoughts.

1) KUSHIDA vs. Taichi - Semi Final Round Match
I'm still somewhat new to NJPW so this may be why, but I've never seen a match like this one in my time watching New Japan. It featured alot of interference that started before the bell even sounded. Taichi portrayed his sly, almost Eddie Guerrero like character by using a chair prior to the match and then taking every advantage to cheat behind the ref's back during the bout. Everyone from Alex Shelley to Taka Michinoku made an appearance to interfere here and it was enjoyable while it lasted, just not something you typically get from NJPW. It was what it was.

Match rating - **1/2

2) Ricochet vs. Rysuke Tagachi - Semi Final Round Match

Super fun match here. They cut out a few minutes of it though so I'm not sure what exactly I missed. Therefore, I'll just give a rating for what I saw. The action here was all crisp and there were some sweet exchanges between the two. It didn't have an epic finishing run or anything, just felt like a nice little exhibition and that's something I can't complain about.

Match rating - ***

3) Ricochet vs. KUSHIDA - 2014 BOSJ Final Round Match
UNBELIEVABLE! That's honestly all I can say as I type this just moments after I finished watching this match. These two absolutely pulled out all the stops and proved why they were worthy of being in the finals. They also delivered a match that reminded me of why I love this style of wrestling. It was a perfect representation of the junior heavyweight style by two men who do it better than anyone else. The match started with Ricochet & KUSHIDA going back and forth in a battle of oneupsmanship with neither man getting a clear advantage although KUSHIDA would soon begin implementing his game plan of working on the arm of Ricochet as a way of setting up for his submission finisher, the hoverboard lock. KUSHIDA got the upperhand for a few moments and while it didn't last long, it had a lasting effect because Ricochet continued grasp his arm despite regaining control of the match. He was clearly in pain. Oddly enough, strikes are what earned Ricochet the advantage about mid-way through the bout as he nailed KUSHIDA with kicks and other offense maneuvers to maintain control while he tried to rehab his arm. KUSHIDA wouldn't stay down though and he made his comeback which saw him hit a massive swanton bomb off the top turnbuckle. This is where things went from very good to absolutely epic. The final 10 minutes or so took this match to the entire next level, in my opinion because it's where everything they had been building towards came together. They not only had more flashy counters and big spots, they also had call backs to earlier happenings in the match as KUSHIDA continued taking it to Ricochet's arm. It was during this time that I actually realized why he had been working over the arm as he repeatedly began going for his finishing submission hold which is a variation of the kimura lock. Every counter felt epic, the crowd was hanging on every move & near fall, this was just a spectacle to see. Amazing match and without a doubt a must see.

Match rating - ****3/4

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - May 25th, 2015

1) Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins & Kane
This was a fun tag match as you'd probably expect. Some great exchanges between Ambrose & Rollins, Reigns did his schtick, and Kane's work was minimal so this was solid. There were also a few surprising nearfalls that I didn't expect from this. Speaking of surprises, Ambrose picked up the win over Rollins. Huge victory!

Match rating - ***

2) Rusev vs. R-Truth

Squash match. Complete waste of time and waste of R-Truth.

Match rating - DUD

Rusev asks Lana for an apology

Awful is the only word that I can think of to describe this segment. I had already nearly fallen asleep after that squash and this didn't do anything to help. Rusev did a solid job and so did Lana, but this entire thing got way too corny. Ziggler comes out and has this weird smiley staredown with Lana before they kiss again. The Hollywood/movie writers HAD to be who wrote this segment because it SUCKED.

Dean Ambrose gets arrested
IT GETS WORSE. This may not seem bad on paper however it didn't come across as enjoyable as you may think. The "officer" read Dean his rights via a script in plain sight. Dean did the "I know I've heard this before, this isn't my first time" cliche bad guy schtick. Too stereotypical for my liking.

3) Bad News Barrett vs. Ryback
Ryback's ribs are still taped and BNB targets them from the get go. After a minute or two of being worked over, Ryback mounts some offense only to get shut down again. BNB slaps him around and recieves a spinebuster out of nowhere. The crowd comes alive as Ryback hits his finisher for the victory. Not a bad match albeit pretty short.

Match rating - **1/2

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

RevPro TV Episode 6 Review - Nakamura vs Sabre Jr

When Zack Sabre Jr made came to the US last August and delivered some of the best matches of the entire calender year in PWG & Evolve, he really opened the eyes of many American fans to the British wrestling scene. Since then, I've been itching to check out some of the top promotions over there and with Revolution Pro UK launching their TV series on YouTube, I've now gotten that opportunity. There are multiple episodes up now and I almost started at the beginning, but I just couldn't bring myself to wait to see this match between two of my favorite performers at the moment. It's NJPW vs NOAH as then IWGP Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura battles then GHC Jr Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Zack Sabre Jr in a match from Summer Sizzler 2014!
Speaking of Summer Sizzler, to start the show, this year's event was discussed and man, the card is STACKED! AJ Styles will be in the house as well as Tomohiro Ishii. On top of that, Ricochet will be facing off in the main event with none other than Shinsuke Nakamura! Needless to say, it gave me yet another thing to be excited about this summer when it comes to pro-wres.

After we take a look back at past episodes, all of which can be found on YouTube, that featured the likes of Ricochet & Rich Swann, Will Ospreay, & Rocky Romero, it was time to head on to the main event. The reason everyone is watching - Nakamura vs Sabre Jr!

1) Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Zack Sabre Jr
The entrances alone for this match got over 20k views on YouTube which is what led Rev Pro to release this entire match for free. When I heard that fact, I was even more excited due to the charisma both men have as was displayed in their respective walks to the ring. Once both men were in the ring, a big fight feel set in as the crowd chanted "Holy shit!" Indeed, that's exactly how I feel as well! The opening sequence sees the King of Strong Style attempt to psyche out Sabre to no avail. Both men go for strikes, but neither were able to land any which leads to a stand off AND a standing ovation. Nakamura gets the first real advantage by outsmarting Sabre and jumping him from behind when he leaned out to say something to a fan in the audience. Sabre falls out of the ring and Nakamura's assault begins as he throws him into the crowd through some chairs. He then sets Sabre up on the railing and delivers a vicious running knee lift that floors the master of the arm bar. Back in the ring, Nakamura continues working over Sabre only to get caught off guard admist one of his signature mannerisms as Zack lands a huge kick on him. Things really picked up from this point on with so many slick, smooth counters. It was clear that both competitors had each other well scouted. Nakamura goes for the Boma Knee, SABRE RESPONDS WITH AN UPPERCUT OUT OF NOWHERE! Sabre hits a northern lights suplex and goes directly for the cross armbreaker, but NO! NAKAMURA BREAKS OUT AND LOCKS IN A CROSS ARM BREAKER OF HIS OWN! Jeez! Sabre gets out fairly quickly and sets Nakamura up for his signature soccer ball kick in the center of the ring. That gets him a two count and he cinches the cross arm breaker in fully immediately after. Nakamura can't get to the ropes and resorts to putting Sabre in a pinning predicament for a near fall. Sabre has him back in the hold in the center of the ring, Nakamura can't escape - or can he?! Nakamura is up and BOMA KNEE TO SABRE! Nakamura covers him, 1..SABRE IS OUT AT 1!!! Nakamura charges Sabre in the corner only to meet turnbuckle. Sabre immediately goes back to the arm with a vicious kick that shoots pain through the body of the reigning IWGP Intercontinental Champion. Sabre is wrenching on the arm now and Nakamura muscles him up! NECK BREAKER ON THE KNEE! He ascends to the second rope - BOMA KNEE OFF THE ROPE! BOMA KNEE AGAIN IN THE CORNER! 1...2...3! Nakamura wins after a pretty heated struggle. This match is definitely worth checking out!

Match rating - ****

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

Friday, May 15, 2015

WWE Payback 2015 - Preview, Predictions & Fantasy Booking

Another PPV, another loaded card. WWE has been on a roll in recent weeks and I'm more hyped about their product than I've been in some time. That means I've got even more crazy ideas and predictions for what will go down this Sunday considering I've been thinking about it more often. I plan to share all these thoughts, ideas, & predictions with you here as I run down the entire card for the upcoming Payback PPV. Enjoy!

1) Curtis Axel & Damien Sandow vs. The Ascension
I really don't what to think about this particular match. It's truly the definition of a mixed bag from a booking standpoint. Kudos to WWE for coming up with this idea of the faux Hogan & Macho Man teaming up to face off with the faux Road Warriors/LOD, but shame on them for not capitalizing on Sandow getting over AT ALL. This is the second time that Damien was on the verge of breaking out on his own and they've squashed it, albeit intentional or unintentional. The first time, he & Cena had one hell of a match for the World Heavyweight Title. Sandow couldn't win because they HAD to unify the belts for whatever reason. I was a bit annoyed although I decided to overlook it. Soon enough, Sandow fell completely to the bottom of the card only to work his way back up by taking everything WWE gave him and turning it to gold. I've heard people say things like "WWE gave him the Mizdow gimmick, how can you be mad at them?" Yeah, WWE gave him the Mizdow gimmick, but did they expect him to become more popular than The Miz? Not at all. The eventual feud came and it was lackluster. I was disappointed until Sandow came out as himself, cut a promo on the whole downfall and resurgence of his career, and even used the old "You're Welcome" catchphrase. The crowd gave him a round of applause. It felt like a fresh start for Damien Sandow. Then the next week came and it was the same thing all over again. Sigh. If the crowd was going nuts for it, I wouldn't mind and I'd say that maybe I'm just being a grump however the audience on Raw seemed pretty lukewarm on the idea. They wanted to cheer bc it's Sandow, but they wanted to boo because they know this will lead nowhere and they want Sandow being Sandow not Sandow being someone else. None the less, I expect Axel & Sandow to win here in this match that no one has a reason to care about because it will most likely lead to nothing. If the crowd's into it, it could be fun. I just see this being a failure based off how the universe reacted on Monday.

Who I think will win - Curtis Axel & Damien Sandow

2) King Barrett vs. Neville
Now, the negatives are all out of the way. The pre-show match is the only thing that I felt compelled to rant on, now we're onto the main show. BNB & Neville have been having an absolutely killer series of matches lately. From the pre-show of Extreme Rules to the KOTR finals, it's been awesome. They are 1-1 against each other which puts them on pretty even ground. I want to say that Neville will get a victory back here although they've been booking Barrett so strong lately, and rightfully so, that I don't see the King of the Ring taking a loss. It's an extremely tough one to predict, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say Neville will pick up a surprise victory on Barrett to even out their series. WWE doesn't often think ahead however I tend to do so and I say give Neville a win here considering he's not won many matches since debuting, have him go far in the chamber, possibly even in the final two, and then Barrett pins him to win the title & gets revenege for this loss. I think WWE needs to set up more things like that down the line to make the mid-card feel important again. Neville is a guy who's taken John Cena to his limit, there should be no shame in losing to him. I don't think WWE feels that way though. With that being said, I'm gonna go the double pick route here by having what I think should happen and what I think WILL happen.

Who I think will win - Bad News Barrett / King Barrett - WWE wants to make him look as dominant as possible as King

Who I think should win - Neville - Sets up future final showdown in Chamber between he & BNB

3) Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Lucha Underground Review - "Ancient Medallions" (May 13th, 2015)

I wasn't able to get together a review for last week's show although I did tune in. It's something worth talking about so I'll give my thoughts here in short by saying this - watch it. Johnny Mundo and Alberto El Patron put on a match that is being hailed as a classic and I can't find an argument to counter that claim because it was simply fantastic. It's honestly one of the best matches I've seen from either man and that's something considering both guys are former WWE Superstars.

That leads us here to this week's episode of LU. The news of Jack Evans debuting had me excited to tune in as well as the big #1 Contender's Match between Alberto El Patron & Hernandez. Therefore, let's talk about my pre-show thoughts no more and get right into tonight's happenings!

1) Jack Evans vs. Aerostar
Oh boy! Jack Evans in the temple? This is HYPE and it was solified by the monsterous reaction he recieved. It comes as no surprise considering that outside of Mexico, California is where Evans did most of his work in the US in promotions such as PWG and WAR back in the day. Now he's on my television and I'm stoked for him. Despite the beloved reaction he got when he entered, it didn't last long as his cockiness got the better of him. He still put on a show though as he nailed a 450 splash off the railing that proved to me that he was here to leave a mark. Jack didn't come out on top although he certainly made an impression. Aerostar picks up a victory that he really needed after coming off a big loss to Drago in their series. Great, high impact opener.

Match rating - ***1/4

2) Fenix vs. Cage vs. Mack vs. Killshot vs. King Cuerno vs. Sexy Star vs. Pentagon Jr
This match was for Dario Cuerto's Aztec Medallion. What that is, hardly anyone knows, but it promises big things for the winner. With that being said, these seven competitors put it all on the line here. There were several reocurring storylines in the match, most notably that of Pentagon Jr & Sexy Star still having issues. They touched on it throughout and even played it into an epic finish. Before I mention that however, I have to mention some of the insane exchanges that took place here. The first that comes to mind is Fenix going for a dive only to be caught by Cage in position for suplex! That man is a fucking machine! He waits too long though, KILLSHOT WITH A DIVE TAKING OUT BOTH MEN! That brought me out of my seat! Back in the ring, Pentagon Jr begins cleaning house. He ends up getting Fenix set up for the package piledriver, Sexy Star interrupts and OH MY GOD HE LIFTS HER UP AND HANGS HER FROM HIS SHOULDERS. What's gonna happen?! He hooks the arms of Sexy Star with his, picks up the legs of Fenix and PACKAGE PILEDRIVER WITH SEXY STAR ON HIS BACK! Jeez! Fenix got his head spiked into the mat and Sexy Star's took the full brunt as she was spread across his back. He goes for the pin, but its broken up. In the end, Fenix would recover and pick up the victory out of nowhere with a vicious reverserana on Pentagon Jr. Awesome multi-man match.

Match rating - ***3/4

3) Alberto El Patron vs. Hernandez - #1 Contender's Match

Elimination Chamber 2005 Review

With the spur of the moment announcement of the return of the Elimination Chamber PPV, I decided to take some time over the next few weeks and review several past Chambers. First up is the 2005 edition where the main story heading into was that of Evolution. Would Batista stay loyal to Triple H or would he take the chance to become World Heavyweight Champion? The title was vacant at the time so we knew there would be a new champion. Who would come out on top? Did Batista turn on Triple H? Was it as good of a match as it sounds like? Let's find out!

Triple H vs. Batista vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit vs. Edge - Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Championship - New Year's Revolution 2005
This one started off much slower than expected. It wasn't particularly bad, but they didn't have the most intricately thought out opening sequence either. Benoit & Jericho had a solid exchange to start albeit a bit rushed with the climax coming before another entrant came into the match as Benoit suplexed Y2J off the top rope. Triple H came in next followed by Edge who began cleaning house when he entered. Three of the four guys get busted open and things start to pick up just before Orton's pod opens. Triple H hits a vicious pedigree on a bloodied Jericho and Orton hits the ring. Orton goes right after the man who ruined his first World Heavyweight Title reign. As said before, this is where things really picked up. Great brawl between Orton & Hunter followed by some awesome exchanges by all the guys in the match at the time including HHH going for a pedigree only to be caught by a german suplex from Benoit and Orton catching Benoit with an RKO out of nowhere while he was applying a sharpshooter on HHH. Edge ends up getting eliminated first and the match continues at a good pace afterwards. There was a fantastic spot with Jericho holding HHH in the walls of Jericho while Benoit had him in the crossface. This takes place as the clock is winding down for Batista to enter the match. Batista strolls in and takes out both Jericho & Benoit. Up next is an epic foreshadowing segment with Batista & Triple H coming face to face and JR calling it like only he can, to the point that it gave me chills, even 10 years later. Before either man could make a move, Orton & Y2J break things up. Batista regains control and cleans house with a spinebuster on Benoit followed one on Jericho ONTO Benoit. This leads to the elimination of Benoit and eventually Jericho as well, but not before Batista threw him outside onto a cameraman. It's down to all three members of Evolution which is something that didn't surprise although it was still cool. HHH & Batista team up on Orton. Orton somehow comes back, RKO on Batista! Triple H watches in the corner as Orton eliminates Batista. The crowd boos as HHH jumps Orton immediately after sandbagging when Batista was down for the count. Batista still shows his loyalty though and comes back in when HBK had his back turned. Wow, just realized I totally forgot to mention that Shawn Michaels was the guest ref for this! Yeah, that was his role her. Not exactly sure why, but it happened. Flair distracts HBK, Batista nails Orton with a brutal lariat. HHH takes advantage and pedigrees Orton to become the World Heavyweight Champion. Batista, Flair, & Orton celebrate together to close this one out. This match was pretty great for what it was. I feel like if I was watching this when it happened, I would have marked out more than I did during this viewing a decade later however there are still moments like Batista & HHH facing off with JR calling it that will send chills down your spine. The action wasn't out of this world outside of one or two cool exchanges and the blood being involved, this one was more about storytelling, I think and did a perfect job of telling the story that it was supposed to by foreshadowing the forthcoming feud between HHH & Batista.

Match rating - ****

Which Elimination Chamber should I review next? I'm going to add a poll to the front page of the site where you can vote. I have the anthology set so I can review any of the ones included in that, those being 2002-2010. So feel free to vote in that or tweet me your vote on Twitter @ThePWTruth!

Monday, May 11, 2015

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - May 11th, 2015

Triple H makes his first Raw appearance in nearly a month to set things straight between Seth Rollins & Kane. Pretty entertaining stuff with HHH proclaiming "Daddy's home!" and alot of yelling between the three. Sets up two matches for later tonight - Reigns/Kane and Rollins/Orton. "We Want Ambrose" chants rang through this entire segment and the payoff was his match being up first.

1) Dean Ambrose vs. Jamie Noble & Joey Mercury
This actually got some time which surprised me. Ambrose rolls over them early then the numbers game gives J&J control. Ambrose makes his comeback and picks up the victory. The crowd was super hot for him with it being his hometown so this was fun. Short, sweet, and to the point. I don't think this is the last we will see of The Lunatic Fringe tonight though, at least I hope not.

Match rating - **1/2

2) Bad News Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler
Ah. This match brought some sombering news because both men got matches set for Payback against Sheamus and Neville respectively. That basically takes care of the IC Title picture so where does that leave DB? I hope this isn't a sign of things to come later in the night. None the less, BNB vs DZ is always good and this was no different. They go to commercial pretty quickly, but when we return, a great exchange goes down with Ziggler blocking the bull hammer elbow with a drop kick. Sheamus causes a distraction which leads to a bull hammer out of nowhere. BNB with the win over Ziggler. Sheamus toys with him afterwards. Ziggler gets a nice flurry before being shut down again. Nice little build for that match.

Match rating - **3/4

3) John Cena vs. Neville - United States Championship Match

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Fantasy Booking: The Fatal Four Way Match for the WWE Championship at Payback

This week on Monday Night Raw, the WWE Title Match between Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, & Roman Reigns scheduled for Payback got a new dynamic added to it as Dean Ambrose earned himself a spot in the match. Many people expected us to get a Shield Triple Threat Match at SummerSlam so when news came that we'd get it early, everyone went nuts including myself. This excitement turned into me coming up with many different scenarios in this match and I've decided to share them with you here.

This will be different than my other Fantasy Bookings in that I've never done one particular match before. Usually I do months worth of storylines and while I'm contemplating booking the summer, I had so many ideas for the complete layout of this match that I decided to do this instead/first.

If you've read my fantasy bookings before, you pretty much know what to expect. If not, I always like to give a bit of introduction and disclaimer. This is NOT what is rumored to happen, this is NOT what I expect to happen, this IS how I would book this match if given the opportunity as well as how I think it should be done. As the title suggests this is purely fantasy. I will go through this match and discuss certain moments/exchanges that I would have take place all the way through the finish. Buckle up, this is set to be a wild ride.

Seth Rollins (c) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Randy Orton - WWE Championship Match
The bell rings and all four men are each in a corner. Immediately, the faces (Orton, Ambrose & Reigns) begin targeting their enemy, Seth Rollins. They corner him and the men begin exchanging words. In the weeks leading up to this match, Rollins tried to hint at his Shield brethren helping him eliminate Orton so they could figure out who the best from The Shield really is. Ambrose & Reigns both shrugged it off.. until now. Ambrose & Reigns look around and realize the numbers game and turn their attention to Orton. Ambrose & Reigns followed by Rollins start walking towards Orton. Orton starts smirking and mouths "You've got to be kidding me, you're gonna listen to him?" Out of nowhere The Shield strikes! They attack Orton and back him completely into the corner. They beat him down viciously. The crowd goes crazy as this is reminiscent of The Shield's old beatdowns. They hit a few of their old double teams before sending Orton into the buckles. As the fight goes on, Rollins begins backing away. Ambrose & Reigns are still working over Orton in the corner when they realize Rollins has disappeared. They slowly turn around to find Rollins in position to strike just like he was the night he turned on them. Rollins puts his hands up and tries to say it's not what it looks like. Ambrose & Reigns disagree and nail Rollins with a double clothesline.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - May 4th, 2015

The opening segment of this week's Raw was a pretty nice change of pace. Orton & Reigns have an exchange that gets heated and out comes.. The New Day? I love mixing the mid card with the upper echelon of the roster. I wasn't a fan of how WWE handled New Day's push failing originally however as the weeks go by I'm starting to dig it. They get a ton of heat and all three guys ooze talent. With that being said, it was cool seeing them get a chance to go at it verbally with two main event guys. The verbal exchange was just the beginning though as they face off in a handicap match to start the show.

1) The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, & Xavier Woods) vs. Randy Orton & Roman Reigns
I had a big fear that this would be another case of two randomly paired together top talents squashing the tag champs like we've seen in the past. Most recently with Orton defeating Cesaro & Kidd ON HIS OWN. I was pissed when that took place however WWE would rectify that wrong here by giving New Day a good showing followed by a massive victory. New Day isolated Reigns and talked alot of trash. They really are embracing their characters. Orton gets the hot tag and we get a pretty exciting closing sequence. RKO OUT OF NOWHERE ON XAVIER! Kofi is up, Reigns goes for the spear, Kofi moves, REIGNS NAILS ORTON! Kofi takes advantage and gets the pin on Orton. This was fun. Speaking of fun, here's a fun fact for you: Kofi Kingston defeated Randy Orton on Raw last January when he was WWE Champion and it went nowhere. Hopefully this time it does and I think it will.

Match rating - **3/4

Ryback responds to Bray Wyatt
Smarky crowd remarks aside, this was a strong segment for Ryback. His promo game is stronger than most think and he proved so once again here by actually getting me interested in this feud with Bray Wyatt. Not much else to say, good promos from both men.

2) Cesaro & Tyson Kidd vs. The Ascension
All I have to say is this, Cesaro can't get over with the audience? CESARO CAN'T GET OVER WITH THE AUDIENCE? Vince is completely oblivious and that was proven once again here. Not even one week into Cesaro & Kidd working as faces, they are getting huge pops. Cesaro went into pure babyface mode here and demolished Konnor with running uppercut after running uppercut after running uppercut after running uppercut AFTER - RUNNING - UPPER - FUCKING - CUT! It ruled. He & Kidd go through all their stuff and get the win. Awesome prolonged squash with one of the best babyface comebacks I've seen recently from Cesaro & Kidd.

Match rating - ***

3) Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose

Monday, May 4, 2015

April 2015 - Month in Review

 WWE Superstar of the Month - Neville
There really wasn't that big of a race when it came to who was the most outstanding wrestler in WWE in April. Only two names stood above the rest. Those being Neville & Roman Reigns. I came extremely close to giving Reigns his second Superstar of the Month award this year however I don't think he made quite the impact that "The Man That Gravity Forgot" did. It's been awhile since a debuting talent had as huge of a first month as Neville did on the main roster. I'd even venture to say that he's the first person since The Shield to be brought up from NXT and actually used correctly. Neville debuted on the night after WrestleMania to close out March and left us all with the question of what was next? Well, what was next was a series of high profile matches in which Neville blew the minds of audiences across the world. From his match with Seth Rollins to his bout with Dolph Ziggler to his battle with Luke Harper, Neville was a spectacle to see on every single episode of Raw & Smackdown that he was on. To top that off, he defeated Luke Harper & Sheamus to advance to the finals of the King of the Ring tournament which was HUGE for him despite not winning the entire tournament. If Neville continues at this pace, I see him with gold around his waist soon as well as a Top 20 spot in our Elite 80 at the end of the year.

Last month's winner: Seth Rollins

Independent Wrestler of the Month - Mike Bailey (PWG, CZW, C4, Beyond Wrestling)

Last winter, I had the pleasure of discovering Speedball Mike Bailey for the first time as I watched a Best of C4 Wrestling compilation. I was blown away by his matches in recent years against the likes of El Generico & Michael Elgin. Then when his match with Kevin Steen aired during the #Rawlternative program in January and the reaction was big, I knew 2015 was going to be his breakout year however I'm not sure anyone expected it to be as big as it has. This month in particular was absolutely owned by Speedball. He started the month out back in Reseda for his 2nd PWG appearance where he created his first memorable moment of the month by delivering a reverse frankensteiner to Trevor Lee on the ring apron. This clip soon spread around the web in GIF form and garnered upwards of 50k views after PWG released the preview video. Following that epic moment, Bailey headed back up to the Combat Zone to compete in the star studded Best of the Best tournament where he outlasted last month's Indie Star of the Month Tommy End as well as Andrew Everett, Trevor Lee, former NXT star CJ Parker, and quite possibly the most underrated man on the scene today, Jonathan Gresham to win the entire tournament. While many frown on CZW due to unfair stereotypes of it being garbage running rampant on the web, the Best of the Best tournament is a prestigious event with past winners including current WWE NXT star Solomon Crowe (Sami Callihan) and referee Drake Younger, now known as Drake Wuertz. Winning BOTB was undoubtedly Bailey's biggest victory of the month however he wasn't done tearing the house down as he competed for Beyond Wrestling's double header to close out the month where he faced AR Fox and then teamed with Shynron as the Ninjas with Attitude to face The Young Bucks in a showstealing main event, all in the same day. I've been singing the praises of Mike Bailey for several months and I'll continue to because he continues to remind me of why I'm a fan with every match. The year looks to only get bigger for him from here as he will be returning to PWG again to face Johnny Gargano on May 22nd and will also be debuting for Evolve. Bailey could very well be in the running for Indie wrestler of the year when all is said and done! Follow him on Twitter @SpeedballBailey!

Last month's winner: Tommy End (PWG, WXW, Evolve)

Puroresu Star of the Month - Kota Ibushi (3x Winner) (NJPW, DDT)