Thursday, April 28, 2011

Face/Heel Hierarchy on Raw and Smackdown: The More Things Change...

After the draft every year, one of the things that always interests me is what the perceived hierarchy of the performers on each roster. This article will take an educated guess at those perceived hierarchies. Hopefully, examining this will lead us to guess who is going to be pushed between now and Summerslam.

(Note: I do rankings with layers; for example 3 performers would be in the top babyface layer of Smackdown but only 1 performer would be in the top heel layer of Smackdown)

Top Babyfaces on Raw

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

WWE Draft 2011 Thoughts: Speculation on Summerslam Main Events

One of the rumors going around the internet over the weekend was that the plans for the 2011 draft were still up in the air because Vince McMahon wanted the Summerslam main events decided upon (which obviously affects the draft). Based on the draft on Monday (I'm assumming the supplemental draft will not have much affect on Summerslam main events), I think we can make some logical guesses at the Summerslam main events.

Tough Enough 2011 Episode 4 Review

Wow that was so cold blooded. That was practically an execution by Stone Cold there. We all knew Rima was not good enough to win this competition unless the fix was in, but damn to just do it in front of everybody without a bottom 3 was kind of brutal.

Another great episode this week...I love this show!

Other Thoughts on TE Episode 4:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chikara King of Trios Night 1 2011: Random DVD Review Series #30

The Chikara product is not always booked to my sensibilities but I have liked what I have seen in season 10. However, the main storylines take somewhat of a backseat during the promotion’s biggest weekend of the year: King of Trios! Chikara has brought talent from all over the world for this one huge event where 16 trios team compete to be called the King of Trios (although Kings of Trios would probably be a more accurate title unless the three winners fight for supremacy in some unknown battle). Some of the top performers brought in were Sean “1-2-3 Kid” Waltman, El Generico, Manami Toyota, Amazing Red, Akira Tozawa, Colt Cabana, and plus some of the top talent from Michinoku Pro,, Osaka Pro, and Dragon Gate. The biggest professional wrestling tournament of the year got a lot of hype from the live reports so my expectations for this ‘trio’ of shows (see what I did there?!) were very high. Let’s see how the first night worked out.

Match Ratings:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Evolve 7 Aries vs. Moxley: Better Late Than Never PPV Flashback Report

Evolve 7 was the first iPPV for the promotion and it aired on WWNlive.com. Much like Mercury Rising 2011, I was not able to watch the live feed but the onDemand version of the show had perfect picture quality. The only complaint I had was the headset of the color commentator (either Jacobs or Aries depending on the match) seemed lower in volume than the play-by-play guy (Rob Naylor from CZW). However, that was a minor complaint.

This show will probably be most remembered for Moxley’s goodbye from independent wrestling and a pair of show stealing matches: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Sami Callihan and Akira Tozawa vs. Chuck Taylor. The fans and some of the wrestlers gave Moxley a real nice sendoff, which definitely provided a positive emotional moment for the end of the show. While Moxley provided the pathos, four of the stars of tomorrow showed what they can bring to the table today. Sabre Jr. in particular could be a real big deal if he ever has an extended stay in America. Also, those four showed what Evolve is at its peak: fast, hard hitting WRESTLING. Those are the type of performances that can carry Evolve going forward.

My EVOLVE 7: Aries vs. Moxley iPPV Preview and Predictions has a number of promos devlivered by the wrestlers etting up their matches. The Moxley and Aries promos should definitely be seen.

Match Ratings:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tough Enough 2011 episode 3 review

No real larger point to cover this week, except that the show continues to be entertaining as hell. Oh, and I can't believe Ryan survived two bottom 3s.

random thoughts on the 3rd episode:

Monday, April 18, 2011

EVOLVE 7: Aries vs. Moxley iPPV Preview and Predictions

This iPPV can be purchased here: http://www.wwnlive.com/signup.php?id=28


Evolve is now in the iPPV game with their seventh show, Aries vs. Moxley. Evolve has not had a show since November with EVOLVE 6 Aries vs. Taylor. Evolve is producing their first in-house iPPV after DGUSA had a successful WWNlive debut over Wrestlemania weekend. Much like Mercury Rising 2011, I will have to wait for the on-demand viewing before I post a review (my Honors Thesis defense is Wednesday morning, and then I am done with college!). Gabe Sapolsky and Sal Hamaoui are way ahead in the iPPV game and have set the standard for all other independent promotions.

The show has two significant storylines: Jon Moxley main eventing his last North East indy match, and the three wins leaders facing spoiler matches. I’m guessing that Evolve is either building to a triple threat main event matchup at the next show between Jacobs, Taylor, and Gargano to determine the wins leader, or they are building to a Gargano/Jacobs match in a rubber match between the two of them in Evolve that will determine the Wins leader at the next show.



Match predictions:

Friday, April 15, 2011

CHIKARA PRE-SHOW A GO GO FOR KING OF TRIOS 2011~!


Video chat rooms at Ustream

Tough Enough 2011 epsiode 2 review

Matt "M-Dogg 20" Cross is everything WWE does not like about indypendant wrestlers: flippy little guys who do not talk well. So, I can't really say I was surprised when I found out he got eliminated this week. Matt has been on national wrestling pay per views, but he is not what the WWE envisions for their superstars. I hope he gets some good indy bookings as a result of this recent exposure. The heartbroken look on his face was truly depressing to watch.


Other Random Thoughts:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Match Spotlight Series #5: Sami Callihan vs. AR Fox vs. Frightmare vs. Jigsaw vs. Cheech vs. Rexx Reed from DGUSA United: Philly 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: Philly

My Review of the full show is here: http://maniaweekend.blogspot.com/2011/01/dgusa-ippv-review-2.html

The show's iPPV on-demand replay can be bought here: http://www.gfl.tv/Events/Fight/Wrestling/Dragon_Gate_USA_United_Philly/936

The show will be released shortly at DGUSA.tv

Thoughts on the match:

Monday, April 11, 2011

#ThankYouEdge




What an emotional roller coaster of a day for wrestling fans...I will have more to say about this day later, but sadly my college finals must come first. In short, I will just say that I am so very happy that Edge will be able to retire on his own two feet.

Rest in Peace Larry Sweeney



Better writers and closer friends of Larry can write his Obits. I would like everyone to join me in celebrating one of the greatest wrestling performers of the last decade. You can do this by using the hash tag on twitter: #Sweeneymemories.

The first two I think of are him getting punched out by Bruno Sammartino at the ROH 2007 Wrestlemania shows. The other one is Larry surprising everyone by showing up at Chikara's 2010 Dark Cibernetico to fight for Chikara against the BDK

Friday, April 8, 2011

ROH is not the WWE...



This is a photo of Jay Briscoe from the ROH wrestlemania iPPVs

CHIKARA Creatures from the Tar Swamp 2011: Random DVD Review Series #29

For my money (literally), Chikara does not produce many shows that I feel like I have to buy. Mostly this is due to the nature of the Chikara comic-book style of booking. Chikara essentially makes it so that you have to buy every single one of their shows so the viewer can get the full impact of their storylines. As such, a small, devoted cult following is all Chikara really needs to sustain their business model. However, there has been one feud in Chikara that has stood out to me from the rest. That feud is between Claudio Castagnoli and Eddie Kingston. This is an old school professional wrestling feud between two men who just plain hate each other. This is the feud that made me (and my friends) buy this DVD, and this is the feud that will eventually make me buy the show that features the blowoff. As a bonus, Chikara put together one of their better undercards in a while, the show is great as a whole too.

Match Ratings:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

CHIKARA Operation: Big Freeze 2011: Random DVD Review Series #28

I know I don’t usually watch much Chikara, but me and my wrestling DVD buying buddy could not resist getting these pair of shows because of the Eddie Kingston/Claudio Castagnoli feud. Chikara’s booking of feuds is usually more comic book based (see Kizarney v Ultramantis Black) but the Kingston/Claudio feud feels a little more professional wrestling to me. The only downside of this DVD is that the crowd is only intermittently emotionally involved in the action, which causes most of matches to not seem that special. Also, the basketball gym looked very minor leagues compared to some of the buildings Chikara worked in 2010. Despite that however, as usual, Chikara produced another solid DVD with fun matches up and down the card.

Match Ratings:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

DGUSA Mercury Rising 2011: Better Late Than Never PPV Flashback Report

I am really late with this one, but I have finally watched the DGUSA Wrestlemania iPPV (which you can order by clicking on the banner in the right column of the blog). This show really restored my faith in DGUSA after the very up and down triple shot weekend in January. This show was laid out perfectly with three very good main event quality matches. Just as important as the show’s substantive quality (if not more important) was the show’s production quality, as DGUSA was presenting their first in-house iPPV on WWNlive.com. While I did not watch the iPPV live, I can say that the on-demand picture and sound quality was top notch and far better than the viewing experiences (including on demand experiences) with Gofightlive.com. DGUSA has fired the first shot in the iPPV battle, and this will hopefully force GFL to step up their game (their on-demand experiences have been spotty with and me and their live telecasts have well documented issues). iPPV competition will be good for the promotions, and in turn, good for the fans. The real interesting thing will be if other prominent American indy promotions, like PWG and Chikara, will also move to iPPV. Will they choose GFL or WWNLive? A potentially exciting, and at least a newsworthy, time for fans of independent wrestling.

Match ratings:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tough Enough 2011 episode 1 review

I have never really enjoyed reality television, but I will always remember the one season of Tough Enough that I watched: season 2 (it had Matt Morgan, Kenny King, Jackie Gayda-Haas, and LINDA MILES~!). I was completely emotionally invested in that show and cared about who won. But I was 13 years old at the time and I have always assumed that I was retrospectively looking at the show with rose colored glasses. So i was real skeptical when the WWE and USA announced a revival of the show. I truly expected to not care about the revival at all, but I really enjoyed the first episode of the revived Tough Enough. I cannot guarantee that I will watch every episode but I am definitely intrigued to see where the show goes after this promising start.

Other random thoughts on the show:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ok Wow: WrestleMania 28 Card already taking shape

I started the Mania 2012 card banner on the right somewhat as a joke. I was using it mostly to show that the focus and purpose of the blog will remain. Little did I expect to have to start filling out the day after Mania 2011. It was a bold move by the WWE but I love it. For a year people will be excited to see this match. Anticipation will build and build, until finally we will see ROCK vs CENA. It will be awesome.

Also, of note, it appears that Hunter for all intents and purposes laid out a challenge to Taker for a match at the 2012 show as well.

Future of this Blog

Originally, this blog was only designed to cover the Road to Wrestlemania. However, the content covered has obviously expanded. Without Wrestlemania in the forefront, the blog may lack direction, but I still plan on posting as much as I can between now and mid-June (when I will be sans computer until Summerslam).

Things that will be continued:
Random DVD Review Series (if people want to send me dvds to review, contact me at my twitter handle: @shabang728
Better Late Than Never PPV Flashback Reports
Match Spotlight Series
PPV Predictions and Reports (if I watch them)

Things I'm thinking about starting:
Weekly Tough Enough Reviews

Please give me feedback on the future of this blog at my twitter handle @Shabang728

Wrestlemania 2011 PPV Report & Review with STAR RATINGS ~!

Well, it’s the day after Wrestlemania. It’s over. Opinions seem to vary on a lot of aspects of the show. It seems that I liked Lawler/Cole a lot more than everyone else, but everyone seems in a agreement that HHH/Taker simultaneously stole and saved Wrestlemania. I’ll save my overall thoughts for the end of the post. The Road to Wrestlemania 2012 is now underway.




Match Ratings (my thoughts on the matches will seemingly alternate between live ramblings and retrospective comments):

Sunday, April 3, 2011

ROH Honor Takes Center Stage Chapter 1 & 2 2011 PPV Report



ROH has made an annual tradition of producing 2-3 shows in the same market as Wrestlemania for some time now. It is a financial boon for the company because people from all over the world are in the market for Mania, and they are willing to pay top dollar for some good ROH action as well (well, top dollar by ROH standards anyway). ROH managed to find another way to add to their revenue this weekend by making both shows iPPVs at gofightlive.tv. While someone could purchase just one of the shows for the standard $15, ROH allowed fans to buy both shows as a bundle for the ridiculous low price of $20. If you are a fan of professional wrestling and have never tested the Ring of Honor product before, this is the perfect time to try out 6-7 hours of the product for a very cheap price. However, if you just want to pay for one show, I would recommend you get the first show, as it was more consistently great up and down the card (but the second show was still pretty damn good)

The replay for both shows can purchased here for $20 total: http://www.gfl.tv/Events/Fight/Wrestling/Honor_Takes_Center_Stage_Both_Shows/968

Match Ratings:

PWG Kurt Russellreunion 2011: Random DVD Review Series #27

Wrestlereunion has started a new tradition every January in Los Angeles: a ROH show on Friday and a PWG show on Saturday. This year’s Wrestlereunion featured the great ROH SoCal Showdown II and the even better Kurt Russellreunion II: The Reunioning! Last year, PWG brought in big names like RVD, Jushin Liger, and the Great Muta, but this year they instead emphasized PWG talent in the main matches. While there was obviously the legends matches, including the supposed Jake Roberts retirement match, the real reasons to buy this show are the three big time PWG showdowns: Davey Richards vs. (the returning) Low Ki, Kevin Steen vs. Chris Hero, and El Generico challenging Claudio Castagnoli for the PWG World Title. Those three matches, plus the interaction between Terry Funk and Roddy Piper carry this show to be an early front runner for Best Show of the Year.

Match Ratings

update

I've seen the two ROH ippvs and will have a review by monday (1st was great, 2nd was just good)

I will probably watch the DGUSA iPPV tonight, and then watch Mania early monday morning

I also, have finish Kurt Russellreunion II, so that review should be up later this week (in short, probably the best show of the year so far)

All 4 reviews should be up by wednesday at the latest

Friday, April 1, 2011

Wrestlemania 27 Preview and Predictions

Well, it is finally here. Professional wrestling’s biggest weekend of the year. Are you excited? I am. Over the next three days, Atlanta, Georgia will be home to four huge independent wrestling shows: two each from Ring of Honor and Dragon Gate USA. But most importantly, on Sunday, World Wrestling Entertainment will present Wrestlemania 27. The WWE will finally present the payoffs to 2+ months of build. The Rock has returned and lit a fire under the WWE’s ass. HHH and Undertaker have recovered from their injuries and will battle one on one for only the second time since the start of 2003. The Miz and Alberto Del Rio are rising stars that are both in world title matches (hasn’t really happened since 2005 with Batista and Cena). Jerry Lawler finally has a match at Wrestlemania. Steve Austin, Trish Stratus, Booker T, Jim Ross, Kevin Nash, and Shawn Michaels have all seemingly returned to the fold and will have various roles over the weekend. It is a great time to be a professional wrestling fan, and Sunday night will be a great night.

PREDICTION TIME~!