Monday, November 30, 2015

ROH TV Review - Episode 218

I haven't reviewed anything in weeks because I've been busy with life outside of pro wres, but I'm back and kicking into high gear to try to catch up on all I've missed plus all the stuff I was already behind on. I got home just in time for this week's episode of ROH TV so I decided to try to squeeze out one more review to end November.

As you can probably guess after reading that first paragraph, I sadly missed last week's episode of ROH TV where Jay Lethal and Roderick Strong went at it once again. I always seem to have the worst luck when it comes to matches involving the two considering I damn near missed their ROH World Title rematch a few months ago. This go round, I completely missed their TV Title match which saw Roddy dethrone Jay and become the champion. A well deserved achievement, I must say. I feel like Strong will do what John Cena did to the US Title and elevate it to the level of the World Title. Lethal was an amazing champion, but as far as match quality goes, I think Roddy's buzz as being one of the best wrestlers this year will take the TV Title to the next level.

This week, Adam Cole faces Dalton Castle in the main event. Kevin Kelly is joined on commentary by Nigel McGuinness & Mark Briscoe. I guess Corino really is done..

1) Adam Page (w/ BJ Whitmer & Colby Corino) vs. Will Ferrara

Monday, November 9, 2015

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - November 9th, 2015

Live from Manchester, England. The UK crowd is sure to be on fire. Raw being in England has it's major perks, but major disadvantages as well. The perks are the crowd & the atmosphere. The negatives being the fact that it's taped and spoilers being literally everywhere online. This year, I set out to avoid spoilers completely and I came closer than ever before. I've only seen one match spoiler and one partial segment spoiler. SO, mostly everything will be fresh and I must say I'm excited. Where does WWE go with 2 weeks left before Survivor Series and no WWE Champion in the books?

Triple H opens the show with the answer to my aforementioned question. The tournament starts tonight. He brings out Roman Reigns and tries to persuade him to join his side. Well, in his words, Hunter wanted Reigns to "be his man" in order to be THE man so there's that. Reigns refuses despite Triple H selling me and probably 75% of the audience on joining his team. That man was on fire here. Reigns tells HAITCH to shove it and gets Big Show in a first round match for his troubles.

1) Roman Reigns vs. The Big Show - First Round Tournament Match
WWE's corniness was at it's finest here with Michael Cole reaching a new low. First he says that Reigns' last man standing match with Big Show put him on the map, then, Big Show roared about being a giant and Cole sounded like a child reiterating with "yes you are!" It was atrocious. The show goes on, though and nothing was notable aside from the closing sequence. The crowd surprisingly bites for the nearfall off a chokeslam from Show and I even got into it from that point on as well. Show goes for his punch and gets caught with a superman punch followed by a spear. Reigns goes to the second round.

Match rating - **1/4

2) Kevin Owens vs. Titus O'Neil - First Round Tournament Match

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Who will walk out of Survivor Series 2015 as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion?

Just this afternoon, news broke that WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins suffered an injury at a live event in Ireland last night. The injury took place during a No Holds Barred match with Kane and saw Rollins tear his ACL, MCL, and medial meniscus. This is something that will keep him out of action for 6-9 months and force him to surrender/be stripped of the WWE Title.

WWE has already announced all of this as well as the fact that in just one week at the Survivor Series PPV, a tournament will be held to crown a new WWE Champion. This has sparked a flurry of discussion on social media as to who will step up to the plate and take the crown as the champion of the largest sports entertainment company in the world. Being the mega-fan that I am, I formulated a few scenarios, each of which I will detail in this article. Many of the scenarios have the same basis as Roman Reigns has been viewed as the favorite to win the belt sometime during the next year, but there are truly a number of ways this could go and I don't think WWE is going to choose the most predictable route. None the less, here are just a few of the different things that I think could happen.

The first scenario that came to mind sees the return of the Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar, to compete in this tournament. You know that Brock is vying for a rematch for the title that he lost despite never being pinned. Plus, he undoubtedly deserves that chance once again especially after putting The Undertaker down for the second time. With star power being at a low with both John Cena, Randy Orton, and now Seth Rollins on the sidelines, the prospect of bringing Brock back to step into the spotlight is all the more possible. A WrestleMania rematch in the finals of the Survivor Series tournament between Brock Lesnar & Roman Reigns would almost be the perfect match to have. It's the two men that Rollins screwed over at Mania fighting for his prize with him out of the picture. Unfortunately for Reigns, if this happens, I could see Dean Ambrose coming into play and costing his former brother the World Championship. This sets up a comeback story for Reigns heading into WrestleMania as he deals with another betrayal and setback in the form of rivaling his former partner Dean Ambrose. Meanwhile, Brock Lesnar carries the star power for the WWE Title until Mania rolls around and we get the final match in the Brock/Reigns trilogy. This time, Roman Reigns slays the beast on his own in one hell of a fight and becomes WWE Champion after a year in the making. It's the perfect story and giving Reigns the title at Mania will set up nicely for Rollins return during the summer, building towards reigniting of their program from this fall.

As good as that first fantasy scenario may sound, I have several more, but the next one is less eventful. I personally had been leaning towards WWE giving Reigns the title and going over Rollins at Survivor Series so I would say that there's a good chance that we could see the plans staying the same in that regard if that was the original idea. Reigns fights through the field of contenders and wins the belt. It's a simple yet satisfying story however, I don't think it would feel as sweet therefore, I'd personally put a hold on him winning the title. The fans will see a Reigns victory coming next Sunday from a mile away and many of them will be ready to shit on his parade. Don't give them that luxury. Give them a story that will make them get behind Reigns. The one thing that MIGHT make this work is if Reigns goes against John Cena in the final and defeats him. Despite the epic sound of that match, I feel like a more intriguing idea would be better. One like what I detailed above or also, my personal dream scenario that I will go into below.

It's no secret that I've been a fan of Kevin Owens for a long time. Seeing him deliver in such a big way in the WWE is almost unbelievable and exciting to watch unfold. 2015 has been a huge year for him and since he's under Triple H's wing, why not cap the year off with Big Kev taking the crown as WWE World Heavyweight Champion. The crowd has lit up when Owens & Reigns have went face to face in tag matches & such during the past few weeks so putting them one on one in the finals for the title at Survivor Series sounds like a phenomenal choice. Much like with the Lesnar/Reigns scenario, I see Ambrose costing Reigns the title here. Ambrose/Reigns feud through the Road to WrestleMania. Owens defends against people like Cena and gets his wins back to build him up as the champ. Owens/Reigns at Mania for the title and Reigns finally wins the big one. Two young stars main eventing Mania sounds very unlikely though, especially when compared to the idea of the year in the making Lesnar/Reigns story so I'm not going to bet on this. It's nice to think about, though, right?

To keep things spiced up, I've been trying to give one hype-worthy idea followed by one more predictable idea. The last one would be a shocker so that means it's time for one that is quite predictable and will make fans roll their eyes. John Cena is in the midst of a break from WWE for unknown reasons, but apparently not because of injury. Now, we know when WWE is in need they will call for John, even when he's been out with injury in the past. So, that means having John return and make a run for this 16th World Championship is a VERY possible option. And now that I think about it, it sounds like a pretty wonderful story to be honest. A portion of the crowd may not like it however Cena gunning for his record breaking 16th World Title reign in a tournament for the vacant title and one of the historically known biggest shows of the year sounds like money, especially in Vince's eyes. Therefore, don't be surprised if this goes down! I don't think Cena will win the title, though, but I'll cover that later on.

The next idea while also sort of unpredictable is also one that will make many roll their eyes. While it may be a eye-roll worthy, it may be the best chance for WWE to take care of Sheamus and his Money in the Bank briefcase. I don't know if WWE sees him as a top level guy at this point however, I don't think many do. That doesn't mean they can't make him into one and I think Survivor Series could be the time to do it. As with every other idea I've had, I think Reigns will be in the finals and in this scenario, he wins. WHOO, Roman finally achieves his dream, but uh-oh, Wade Barrett & Rusev are on the attack. Sheamus' music hits as his newly found cohorts beat down the freshly crowned champion. Sheamus is ready to cash in, but HERE COMES DEAN AMBROSE! Reigns' friend and partner is here to have his back OR IS HE? Ambrose turns and drops Reigns with dirty deeds to the shock of everyone. Sheamus hands over his briefcase, nails Reigns with a Brogue Kick and pins him to become the new WWE Champion. The only thing I didn't like about my previous ideas involving an Ambrose heel turn is that the title match would have a screwy ending. With this, there's a clean finish and you put Sheamus & friends in a top slot while getting his briefcase story out of the way without having to rush it come next year. Plus, it's a perfect chain of momentous events with Reigns getting revenge over Ambrose then taking that and using it to redeem himself at WrestleMania by defeating Sheamus and finally becoming the WWE Champion and actually having a reign to follow that moment.

The last scenario I was going to discuss is one that I stopped writing about just as I began writing about it. Why? Because it's one created by a track record of moves by WWE and as I thought about it on it's own, it makes no sense. This scenario sees John Cena return and win the title. It IS WWE's safe option, but I really don't expect that to happen this go round. They need to start building towards WrestleMania and Cena winning doesn't really start building towards anything whereas Reigns being in the finals creates a number of different paths they could go down, many of which I detailed above. Beyond that, Reigns is rumored to be the guy they're building Mania around once again so it wouldn't make any sense at all for Cena to go over him in a title match. So sorry guys, no CENAWINSLOL this time. Then again, I've been wrong and with WWE in such a tough position, there's not much they can do that will surprise me from a dumb booking standpoint. The premise of Cena using this as a chance to pursue his 16th World Title is a bit intriguing though, but for that to work, he'd have to be given an edge to his character and we all know how redundant of a statement that is therefore this is one of the few times that I won't be putting my money on Cena.

However, what do you think? Like/dislike my ideas? Have some of your own? Comment or tweet me @ThePWTruth with your thoughts! Thanks for reading!

2015 Elite 80 Rankings Update - Rollins, Cena, Ibushi, & Styles all out of action!

The wrestling world has been shaken up with the absence of four top stars all across the board to due to injuries and/or sabaticals. In the past month, we've seen John Cena go on a break, Kota Ibushi & AJ Styles suffer injuries, and now you can add Seth Rollins to that list as the reigning WWE World Heavyweight Champion is no longer. He suffered an injury at a house show last night and is going to be stripped of the championship. This leaves our Wrestler of the Year tracking system at a very interesting point going into the final two months of 2015.

Currently, the Top 6 men on the list are as follows:

1) Roderick Strong - 190 points

2) John Cena - 188 points

3) Seth Rollins - 168 points

4) Kota Ibushi - 156 points

5) Kevin Owens - 153 points

6) AJ Styles - 150 points

Looking at that list today, November 5th, four of the competitors are inactive for various reasons which I detailed above. This REALLY puts the Top 10 and specifically the #1 ranked Wrestler of the Year slot in a huge toss up position. Roddy only has a two point lead over John, but he is out. Third place Rollins is gone, along with fourth place Ibushi. The only man with a chance of catching up at this point is Kevin Owens. It's a near 40 point defecit and with Roddy having a big ROH PPV coming up, potential ROH TV Title defenses, and two big PWG shows on the horizon, all of which are chances to rack up big points, Big Kev is going to have to bust some serious ass to catch up however I wouldn't rule him out. WWE is holding a tournament at Survivor Series to crown a new WWE Champion and I'd say that there's a good chance that Owens could be that person. If so, he could slide right up into a battle with Roddy over the #1 position.

As for the rest of the Top 10, it's going to be a battle. As of right now, the rest of the Top 10 is as follows:

7) Zack Sabre Jr - 135 points

8) Ricochet/Prince Puma - 117 points

9) Kyle O'Reilly - 114 points

10) Hirooki Goto - 111 points

Behind these four men are the aces of NJPW in the form of Okada, Tanahashi, & Nakamura who could all easily jump into contention as I've yet to view the King of Pro Wrestling event from late last month, not to mention there's still several New Japan events on the schedule for the remainder of this year.

As for Sabre, Ricochet, O'Reilly, & Goto, unless Styles & Cena are able to come back and jump right back into the groove they were in during the first 3/4th of the year, they could be looking at a run for a Top 5 ranking.

However, it's all speculation at this point. This is my first year using a points system to form my Elite 80 Wrestlers of the Year list and it's become pretty much a set in stone occurence for future years because it makes for exciting moments like right now as the rankings could shift in a variety of directions. With all this happening in the final two months of the year, who knows how this year's list will shake out. Only time will tell and be sure to stay tuned to the blog and @ThePWTruth on Twitter to keep up with all that goes down. Of course, I won't be giving updates in December to keep the ultimate reveal at the end of the month a surprise, but I'll try my best to be up to date through the month of November with so much taking place.

Much like the rest of this year, it looks like to be a wild final few months and I can't wait! Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the new Elite 80 system I've formulated! Feel free to tweet me your thoughts on Twitter!

ROH TV Review - Episode 215 - November 4th, 2015

Kyle O'Reilly opens the show with a pre-taped promo. Having watched him essentially from the start of his rise in 2011 to now, he's improved leaps & bounds in the ring obviously, but he's also been slowly taking steps toward being a better talker. This was another example of this as it's definitely one of his better promos. He hypes the main event even more. I had forgot about it, but NOW I'M SO HYPED AND CAN'T WAIT.

TONIGHT: AJ Styles vs. Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly

Mark Briscoe is joining Nigel McGuinness & Kevin Kelly for commentary tonight. Steve Corino is still out after snapping on BJ Whitmer a few weeks ago.

1) The Young Bucks vs. Silas Young & Beer City Bruiser (w/ The Boys)
This is an odd match. I love The Bucks & Silas so it's gonna be cool seeing them work together for what I believe is the first time. THE BOYS are dressed in tank tops and sunglasses. I guess that's the outfit of a real man? Matt gets isolated by Silas & Bruiser. BCB has the utter audacity to pull a page out of Big KEv's book with the runniing flip into the corner. Nick eventually gets the hot tag and I mean, HOT. This crowd is so hyped for The Bucks as usual. Nick cleans house before he's caught off guard by Silas. The Last Real Man perches himself on his head in the corner for his unique finisher and SUPERKICK! FUCK! The Bucks clean out the Brusier and they have this place rocking. Silas gets on the mic and says this match was originally supposed to be The Boys against "The Young Punks" and that he & Bruiser are done with it. Cliffhanger headed into the commercial break. We return to The Boys taking the place of Silas & Brusier just as he said. Matt takes out one of the boys. Nick gets in with the other boy. Silas grabs his leg and he ends up superkicking him on the apron along with the Brusier. The Bucks bust out some double team stuff and keep working him over. FIFTEEN PERCENT. The Bucks miscommunicate and THE BOYS MOUNT SOME OFFENSE! Dropkick off the top, double hurricanrana, and SUPERKICK. Well, the boys tried. Bucks go through their stuff and win with More Bang.

Match rating - **

Silas & Beer City Bruiser go after The Boys following the loss. The Bucks get back in the ring and superkick BCB. Silas escapes before he got a superkick of his own. I'm dying for a Bucks/Castle trios match now. The thought of the matching ring gear they could come up with has me sold completely on the idea.

NOAH: The Great Voyage in Osaka 2015 Review

NOAH had a loaded card on September 19th for their Great Voyage in Osaka event. The promotion has been hit or miss in 2015, but this is said to be one of their best shows this year and there's only one way to find out if this is fact or fiction.

The first few matches seem to be throwaway's for the most part despite a few being a part of the Junior Tag League. Therefore, I'm only reviewing the crux of this card in the form of the final six matches. The results for the opening contest can be found below, though.

1) Akitoshi Saito, Muhammed Yone, Quiet Storm & Yoshihiro Takayama defeated Hajime Ohara, Kenou, Captain NOAH & Genba Hirayanagi

2) El Desperado & Taka Michinoku defeated Kota Umeda & Mitsuhiro Kitamiya

3) Billy Ken Kid & Buffalo defeated Super Crazy & Hitoshi Kumano

4) Zack Sabre Jr & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Masamune & Taji Ishimori
It's my first time seeing everyone here except my top mate ZSJ. I'm going british, ladies and gents. None the less, this was a pretty fun junior tag match. Sabre is always a joy to watch and it was no different here. He & Ishimori had a fantastic exchange early on that sold me. They kept me interested throughout and delivered some hot action down the stretch. If the crowd was a bit more alive, this could possibly have neared the higher end of the three stars. They were there, but not fully into it despite giving proper reactions to most things. A good match regardless. Sabre gets the win for he & Ogawa with a BRUTAL looking submission, I don't even know how to explain, you should just see it for yourself and I'll let you decipher it.

Match rating - ***1/4

5) Shelton Benjamin (w/ Taka Michinoku) vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima

It's 2015 and Benjamin has somewhat re-emerged in a notable form as a member of Suzuki-gun here in NOAH. He hasn't been doing much of note, but this was easily his best singles match that I've seen in the past year or two. Nakajima is obviously the fan favorite due to Benjamin's Suzuki-gun affiliation so when Nakajima charged Benjamin right after the bell, the audience got right behind him. A nice flurry ends up being nothing more than that as Benjamin takes over and slings Nakajima into the railing several times. Despite the early transition periods with both guys getting a little time in control, particularly Benjamin, we end up with the two men trading kicks to the head in the center of the ring. Nakajima does a genius spot where he superkicks Benjamin into the corner 8 times as the crowd counts along. I have no clue if that was intentional, but dude, in this age of superkicks, how has no one thought of that spot. Instead of punches in the corner, do superkicks with the crowd counting along. Wow, I really sound like an advocate for killing the legitimacy of a superkick so I need to stop. The superkick was a vital part of this match though as Benjamin would end up hitting two on Nakajima followed by some sort of jumping facebuster for the victory after a number of momentum shifts and several near falls.

Match rating - ***3/4

6) Atushi Kotoge vs. Naomichi Marufuji

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - November 2nd, 2015

Roman Reigns kicks the show off. He's on my good side after that amazing match last week where he became the #1 Contender. Speaking of that, the champion himself, Seth Rollins came out to see his challenger here. They had a war of words that leads to Rollins teasing a run to the ring before The Authority comes out. A 5 on 5 Survivor Series-esque elimination match is announced for tonight with Reigns captaining one team and Rollins captaining the other.

1) Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler
Big Kev goes right after the injured leg of Ziggler as a result of attacks from Tyler Breeze and speak of the devil, he shows up a few minutes into this contest. It interrupts an attempted comeback from Ziggler off of an awesome DDT that sent Owens to the floor. This allows the IC Champion to regain the advantage. He wears down Ziggler with head locks and stuff. Ziggler starts mounting a comeback only for Breeze taking a selfie to distract him. Dolph runs right into a pop up powerbomb from Owens. That's a three count.

Match rating - **1/2

Post match, Tyler Breeze is sneaking a photo with Ziggler when he awakens and punches him in the face. The retaliation is short lived as Breeze hits him with the snapshot kick out of nowhere to put him right on his back again.