Thursday, March 31, 2011

DGUSA Mania Weekend PPVs Predictions

[DISCLAIMER: To your right, there is a banner for the DGUSA iPPV. I am part of the WWNlive.com affiliate program. That means if you use that link, I will get 20% of that purchase. While I have a financially incentive in you, the reader, using my link, I want to assure everyone that I will not let that incentive inform or affect my preview or my recommendations going forward]



DGUSA is producing two PPVs in Atlanta over Wrestlemania weekend (they also have a house show in North Carolina on the Friday night of Mania weekend). The Saturday night show, entitled ‘Mercury Rising,’ will be an iPPV on DGUSA’s new iPPV streaming site, wwnlive.com. The Sunday show, Open the Ultimate Gate, will air on cable PPV (usually they air about 5-6 weeks later).

The Saturday iPPV can be bought here: http://www.wwnlive.com/signup.php?id=28
More information on DGUSA can be seen here: dgusa.tv

On to the predictions!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Better Late than Never PPV Flashback: DGUSA Mercury Rising 2010

DGUSA had their first Wrestlemania shows in 2010, and they were quite the affair. First off, there was the big Davey Richards controversy as he essentially double booked himself for the weekend. Gabe has refused to ever book Davey Richards again as result (and you know he was offended, because Gabe booked TEDDY HART that weekend). Second, Gabe decided to book some names that would be more familiar (ie: more expensive) to a more casual audience, like Paul London and Tommy Dreamer. Unfortunately, the crowds for DGUSA were rather small (especially compared to the 1,000+ in attendance for each of the two ROH shows, so the investment in former WWE talent did not pay off. Finally, the crowd that did show up (at least for the cable PPV taping) was not that hot. So, matches, like the traditional 6 man tag, did not come off as special as they have in the past. Overall though, this was another strong cable PPV outing . Not as excellent as the earlier cable PPVs but it was still a fun show.

Match Ratings:

ROH Honor Takes Center Stage 2011 PPV Predictions



Another big weekend for Ring of Honor. The sudden Eddie Edwards World Title win has gotten the promotion some much needed attention after the promotion largely stalled out in the first two months in 2011 (in terms of eliciting excitement, not producing quality wrestling). While WWE will put on an entertainment extravaganza on Sunday night, ROH will put on two straight wrestling heavy iPPVs on Friday night and then Saturday afternoon. Each show looks to have a series of great athletic matches that every wrestling fan will enjoy. I do wonder how well these iPPVs will do though. Not only is Wrestlemania that weekend, but DGUSA will have an iPPV that weekend and ROH is only gonna be about 5 weeks removed from their last iPPV.

HYPE VIDEO~!



Each show can be bought individually for $15 or can be bought as a two show bundle for $20. In my opinion, the $15 price tag is a steal to begin with, the $20 fee is highway robbery.

The shows can be purchased here: http://www.gfl.tv/Events/Fight/Wrestling/Honor_Takes_Center_Stage_Both_Shows/968

The Latest VIDEOWIRE:



On to the predictions!

Wrestlemania 2010: Better Late Than Never PPV Flashback Report

Wrestlemania 2010 featured one of the most disciplined builds from the WWE in recent memory. Shawn Michaels and Undertaker were a part of one the best programs in Wrestlemania history. An inspired heel turn by Batista led to his best mic work of his career in expressing his frustrations and hatred for John Cena. Batista actually managed to make Cena a sympathetic babyface again in the eyes of most fans. CM Punk took his creepy, corrupt preacher character to new levels with his haunting rendition of ‘Happy Birthday,’ which he sang to Rey Mysterio’s daughter; people were dying to see Mysterio get his hands on Punk. Finally, Bret Hart returned to Monday Night Raw for the first time since 1997, and had emotional program with Vince McMahon. Sadly, all of those matches except Shawn and Taker, did not succeed in creating a memorable Wrestlemania moment. Instead this Wrestlemania will be remembered for failing to meet its large potential.

Match Ratings:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ROH SoCal Showdown 2011: Random DVD Review Series #26

My big hope for ROH in 2011 was that they would start producing more ‘MUST BUY’ DVDs for their fans. In other words, I wanted more of their DVDs to have more great matches. While the fall of 2010 was filled with bare bone shows, with (maybe) one great match, 2 out of the first 3 2011 DVDs have been great, ‘MUST BUY’ shows. While “Champions vs. All Stars” was a subpar show, ‘Only the Strong Survive’ and ‘SoCal Showdown II’ have been standout shows that any wrestling fan would be proud to own. There isn’t much storyline development on this show, but ROH instead just produces a brief (less than 2.5 hours) show with a ton of great wrestling. The standout match for sure was Davey Richards vs. TJ Perkins. It is one of the more unique matches on a ROH DVD in a long time. The two main events were great as well, but everyone should track down this DVD for the TJP/Davey match alone.

Match Ratings:

Raw Sets up Rock to Get Revenge on Cena at Wrestlemania

The end of the Wrestlemania go home RAW implies that the paying audience will want to see Rock get some measure of revenge on John Cena. That probably makes the most business sense since if this Wrestlemania has a draw, it is Cena and Rock, and not Cena and Miz. Unfortunately, we are getting Cena wrestling Miz, and not Cena wrestling Rock (yet). I still don’t know how much of a draw Rock is going to be if he is not wrestling, but at least his involvement will make for some great entertainment over the 4 hour show.

The other big news coming out of the show is that the feud between the Undertaker and HHH finally peaked, and that match is starting to sound much more like a viable main event. While I still expect the Cena/Rock confrontation to go on last, it can now be at least justified for HHH and Taker to go on last. The real question now is whether or not Shawn Michaels will get involved. Apparently, HHH was implying that Shawn would help him win, but then Shawn backed out. Presumably, that should lead to some HBK involvement with the finish.

Those two matches will probably determine whether or not Wrestlemania 27 is a great show, or just a good show.


Other Highlights and Lowlights from RAW:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wrestlemania 27 Matchups: which matches have momentum going into the go home show?


that would have been fun, huh?


I will have a full predictions column on Friday. I will also like to take this moment to apologize for my lack of posts this month. My senior thesis was due this past Friday and required significant attention. Hopefully, next year I will be able to cover the Road to Mania in more detail next season.

Match with Most Momentum

Random DVD Review Series #25: EVOLVE 6 Aries vs. Taylor 2010

EVOLVE 6 was the first show for the promotion after the Bryan Danielson’s return to WWE. Much like DGUSA, the American Dragon provided a much needed boost to EVOLVE, but at the same time, his departure created a huge hole to fill in interest from the casual Indy fan. Enter Austin Aries. A Double had just gotten unceremoniously released from Ring of Honor, which led to EVOLVE (and DGUSA) signing him up. While Aries would obviously not bring the exposure or excitement of a recently fired-from-WWE Bryan Danielson, Aries still provided a name that every Indy fan would know. This show also featured the first in a series of disappointing ‘one vs. one’ encounters between Homicide (in his EVOLVE match debut) and Jon Moxley. While this match was better than their DGUSA brawl, the match here was still nothing to write home about.

Match Ratings:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Match Spotlight Series #4: Jimmy Jacobs vs. Brodie Lee from DGUSA United: NYC 2011



DGUSA has released another free match in an effort to promote their brand. This time they released a match from their first 2011 show, United: NYC.

The show's replay can be purchased here: http://www.gfl.tv/priv/showSearchResults.do?searchTerm=Dragon+Gate+USA+%22United+NYC%22&type=Fighter&actorId=&eventId=935&venueId=&rightsownersId=

Eventually, the show will be released on DVD here: dgusa.tv

My review of the full show is here: http://maniaweekend.blogspot.com/2011/01/dgusa-ippv-review-1.html

Thoughts on the Match:

Match Spotlight Series #3: El Generico vs. Kota Ibushi vs. Jigsaw vs. Nick Jackson (Jeremy Buck from TNA) from CHIKARA King of Trios 2009 Night 2



Chikara is making a big online advertising push for their 2011 King of Trios Tournament. The 16 team tournament will feature talent from all over the world including Japan, Mexico, Australia, and Minnesota (look, I made a funny!). More info about that show can be found here: http://www.kingoftrios.com/

Part of their advertising has been putting past matches from King of Trios on their Podcast. This week's podcast features a crazy four way between Kota Ibushi, El Generico, Nick Jackson, and Jigsaw.

The show that contains this match can be found here (the show features the epic trios match between Bryan Danielson, Dave Taylor & Claudio Castagnoli [TEAM UPPERCUT~!] vs. Quackenbush, Jorge Rivera & JOHNNY FUCKING SAINT : http://www.smartmarkvideo.com/Chikara-DVD-March-28-2009-2009-King-Of-Trios-Night-2-Philadelphia-PA/


Thoughts on the Match:

Better Late than Never PPV Flashback Report: ROH Death Before Dishonor 2010

Welcome to the best wrestling PPV of 2010. Interestingly enough, 3 of the 7 matches were not all that good (even quite poor at points), but this show proved that my longstanding belief that a show with 3-4 great matches will always seem better that an show that has 6-7 matches that are just good. Both shows would be a ‘thumbs up’, but the former show will feel great. This show presents wrestling at its best. Buy this damn show right now!




Match Ratings:



ROH The Big Bang 2010: Better Late than Never PPV Flashback Report

The Big Bang was a very important PPV for ROH. Their first iPPV was riddled with problems, both technological and booking. ROH was in desperate need to establish new markets as 2009 saw many of the ROH markets getting burned out; Charlotte could be a new A show market for ROH, so they needed to get off to a great start. Tyler Black had no momentum on with the fans after becoming a world champion 14 months too late. And with one show, ROH produced a PPV that felt like a PPV, established Charlotte as one of its best markets, and Tyler Black’s first PPV defense became a MOTYC (although the match became largely forgotten, which harms its long term significance). ROH also produced a genuine shocking moment when Christopher Daniels came back to ROH without anybody knowing he had been released from TNA. While the show still had its issues (I think every ROH fan has tried to pretend that the lucha libre main event never happened), the show reestablished ROH’s credibility to produce great iPPVs with the paying audience.

Match Ratings:

ROH Only the Strong Survive 2011: Random DVD Review Series #24

ROH finally delivered a DVD only show that should be considered a ‘must buy’ for ROH fans. Not since Salvation 2010 had ROH produced a house show that was great to watch up and down the card. The show started with three real fun undercard matches and then closed with four good to great matches (wait what?, there were Mike Bennett and Andy Ridge matches in between? ok, the show wasn’t perfect). ROH presented a show with two matches that all ROH fans should see: Chris Hero vs. Davey Richards and Roderick Strong vs. Jay Briscoe. Both matches separated themselves from great WWE matches by being treated and performed like real fights. Consistently presenting more matches like these two on every show is how ROH can distinguish themselves from the other great indy companies in 2011.

Match Ratings:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Chikara Clutch of Doom 2011: Random DVD Review Series #23

I don’t get to watch much Chikara as the promotion does not necessarily book to my sensibilities. Chikara is basically a comic book about wrestlers come to life. The storylines are goofy, planned out in advance and last all year long (if not longer). The in ring style is a hybrid style with a most prominent influences seemingly to be lucha libre and puroresu. If you want to just jump in Chikara, knowing that you won’t understand everything going on, this show, Clutch of Doom is not a bad place to start. However, if you are looking for a wrestling show with blow away action, then you may want to wait for a different show. This show seemed to be designed to reignite the BDK feud with Eddie Kingston which would have seemingly come to an end at the Season 9 finale, Reality is Relative. The show very much accomplished that and now I really want to see the rematch between Eddie and Claudio.

Match Ratings:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

ROH Champions vs. All-Stars 2011: Random DVD Review Series # 22

Ring of Honor kicked off 2011 with one of their typical B Show offerings. The general ROH DVD strategy of late has involved trying to create one big match or main event that fans will want to pay to see; this strategy is especially used for the Friday B shows. The Champions vs. All-Stars concept was a decent idea for a DVD selling main event, but the match definitely lacked that necessary MUST SEE quality required to make this show a worthy DVD purchase. I’m guessing ROH recognized that as such, and added another “Best of” bonus DVDS. This time the put together a “Best of American Wolves” compilation, which obviously lead to a great bonus disc of action.

Overall the show was fine and did not feature anything that was especially frustrating. But like I said in my reviews of Tag Title Classic II and Survival of the Fittest 2011, ROH needs to do a better job of making their B shows feel like a bigger deal.

Match Ratings:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

DGUSA United We Stand 2011: Better Late Than Never PPV Flashback




DGUSA did their first triple shot in late January, labled United Weekend. They did a three day tournament where they would crown their inaugural tag team champions, the United Gate Tag Champions. The first two shows were iPPVs which I review here (http://maniaweekend.blogspot.com/2011/01/dgusa-ippv-review-1.html) and here (http://maniaweekend.blogspot.com/2011/01/dgusa-ippv-review-2.html). Overall the tag tournament came off very well because they provided 5 tag matches that ranged from good to great (the Ricochet/Doi vs. Yoshino/PAC match from Philly probably was the highlight). The main problem with the tournament is that the teams were not very established coming into the tournament, as only the Dragon Kid /CIMA team had worked as a team previously in DGUSA (although Gargano/Taylor had competed as a trio with Swann at the last PPV). While that may have been a problem, DGUSA placed an emphasis on tag team wrestling from the very first show, so there was a demand to crown a tag champion (creating a demand for a belt before you create a belt is a concept lost on WWE and TNA).

Overall, the weekend was very successful for DGUSA that produced many positive developments for the company. Ronin was established as a top group in the company (CIMA even tapped clean to Gargano on one show). Blood Warriors became the new top heel group in the company (although this also somewhat diminished the impact of Kamikaze USA which is an unfortunate consequence). And perhaps most importantly, Akira Tozawa established himself as one of the stars of DGUSA. He should be a constant presence in the main event for DGUSA for the foreseeable future.

Match Ratings:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Random DVD Review Series #21: DGUSA Untouchable 2010

DGUSA got a huge boost in momentum with the return of the American Dragon, Bryan Danielson. Sadly, though, it was not meant to last. About a month before this show took place, Dragon was a surprise return at the WWE Summerslam PPV. He then won the US Title from the Miz about 3 weeks later (and a week before this show). So, this weekend sort of served as a celebration of Bryan Danielson the wrestler, before he completely became Daniel Bryan the WWE Superstar. If anybody was cynical about whether he would phone it in during this last weekend, they would be wrong: Dragon had two great final DGUSA matches (and proved why ROH was foolish to not bring him in).

This show also had some rearranging to be done after Jigsaw got injured and could not compete with Quackenbush against Speed Muscle. Instead, Gabe wisely too k advantage of the opportunity and put Ricochet (who was coming back with a lot of buzz following his performance at BOLA 2010) in a position to become a star for DGUSA. So, instead of facing off against CIMA, Ricochet team with CIMA in the PPV main event against Speed Muscle (Dragon/YAMATO was supposed to be the PPV main event but Dragon resigning with the WWE forced him off national PPV).

Match Ratings:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

get some

http://maniaweekend.blogspot.com/2011/01/potential-big-roh-matches-for-mania.html

not to toot my own horn to much, but I did predict in that post above (from January) the two WGTT matches Mania weekend correctly. Plus, its is only $20 for both shows. thank you ROH!




Monday, March 7, 2011

Raw Thoughts....

...will be up sometime tomorrow. I won't have time to write an article so I will mostly just do bullet points. Short Version: a fun episode with solid angles but they could still use a little more wrestling

UPDATE: yea no thoughts on raw from this week, as i have too much Thesis work to do

Friday, March 4, 2011

Random DVD Review Series #20: PWG DDT4 2009

The Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Tag Title Tournament! A friend lent me this show; I had never seen any PWG before. Now, I am hooked and try to get my hands on every PWG show I can (I can’t wait to buy the Kurt Russelreunion II DVD which is hopefully coming out soon).

This show had some bad luck before it even started. Paul London was supposed to tag with Bryan Danielson, but London had to pull out. Roddy Strong then switched from tagging with Chris Hero, to tagging with Danielson. Hero then defended his world title against Joey Ryan (who wrestled twice on the show). The most unfortunate part of the booking changes was that the Machine Guns only wrestled one match on the show. Despite all of this last minute switching around, the show was great and made me love the PWG atmosphere.

Match Ratings:

Handicapping PWG's DDT4 2011



With all apologies for King of Trios, BOLA, and Survival of the Fittest, it is time for the best tournament of the year: The Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Title Tournament! (although the tag titles are not on the line this year; instead the winner just gets a title shot). DDT4 is a time for PWG to establish a tag team as the most prominent team of their promotion for the next year.

PWG is a great LA based indy promotion that everyone should be going out of their way to support, and now may be the perfect time. The company puts on the most consistent DVDs of the year, as almost every DVD is worth buying at full price (usually $15). This tournament should be no different.

Tickets for the show can be bought here: http://www.prowrestlingguerrilla.com/news/

Odds on each team to win from least chance to greatest chance:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

features that will be coming soon

PWG BOLA 2009 Review
ROH Vendetta 2005 Review
ROH Death Before Dishonor 2007 review

last four weeks of college are going on, so I am pretty swamped (hence the lack of posts in the last few days)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dave Meltzer's Reported Mania Card

This report is from Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer, which can be accessed at f4wonline.com

WWE Title Match
John Cena vs. The Miz

World Heavyweight Title Match
Alberto Del Rio vs. Edge

The Streak on the Line
Triple H vs. The Undertaker

CM Punk vs. Randy Orton

John Morrison, Kelly Kelly and Trish Stratus vs. Dolph Ziggler, Layla and Michelle McCool

Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel vs. Big Show, Kane, Kofi Kingston and Christian

Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes

Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole, Special Referee: Steve Austin
Cole's trainer Jack Swagger will be in his corner.

WWE United States Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus
Gail Kim will be in Bryan's corner while The Bellas will be with Sheamus.

* Another undetermined Divas match will also take place. There will be no Money in the Bank this year.

View from the Hawke's Nest: Sounds like a good card, but my main problem is that there are too many "participation award" matches. I rather have 8 matches that all have enough (otherwise you get a disappointing undercard like in 2010)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

RAW...oh, dear




This segment is the only one that i would like to remember from last night. enjoy