Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The 2014 TWB 100 Slow Release: #1

HONMA SMAAAAAASH
Photo via WrestlingRevealed.com
1. Tomoaki Honma

TH: ...

...

...

KOKESHI!


APRIL FOOLS!

The best worker of 2014 as voted by YOU
Photo Credit: WWE.com
1. Sami Zayn
Points: 7349
Ballots: 76
Highest Vote Received: 1st Place (TH, David Kincannon, Angelo Castillo, Ryan Kilma, Kevin Held, Kyle Kensing, Joshua Browns, Joey O., Brandon Bosh, Nick Ahlhelm, Erica Molinaro, Brandon Spears, Mat Morgan, Ryan Foster, Brian Heaton, Brandon Kyla, Trey Irby, Scott Holland, Brad Canze, Eamon Paton, Martin Bentley, Brandon Rohwer, Rob Pandola, Joe Ellis, Jesse Powell)
Last Year's Placement: 4th Place

Pro Wrestling SKOOPZ on The Wrestling Blog: Issue 24

HORB KNOWS WHEN THE DECISION TO HAVE ROLLINS CASH IN WAS MADE
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Okay, you've survived WrestleMania. You've survived the RAW after Mania. You've survived SMACKDOWN SPOILERS after Mania, and now, you get the best part of the week. THAT'S RIGHT, OL' HORB IS HERE WITH THE NEWS AND NUGGETS YOU NEED FOR SUSTENANCE. I had the first scoop on Madusa Miceli's speech growing ire with WWE officials when on SATURDAY AFTERNOON before the ceremony, I tweeted "If I had to guess who is going to piss off Vince McMahon tonight, it'd be Madusa." I blew the lid off Global Force Wrestling's debut shows when I told you that they would happen sometime between now and the Heat Death of the Universe in a location on the Western Hemisphere of Earth. AND SENT ALL OF YOU THOSE SCANDALOUS PICS OF VINCE MCMAHON PETTING A SHIBA INU. You couldn't see the crushed leaves, but trust me, THEY WERE THERE.

Sheamus' New 'Do Is Pro Wrestling

Sheamus shown embracing the absurdity of pro wrestling
Photo Credit: WWE.com

"You look stupid!" *clap clap clapclapclap* "You look stupid!" *clap clap clapclapclap*

The fans at the SAP Arena in San Jose, CA were not wrong, at least without context. Okay, I don't think it looks stupid, per se, but it certainly is unconventional. If I saw a guy walking down the street with a mohawk and an unconnected beard with braids on the goatee, I might look at him a little funny. If it were one of my friends in real life, I would give him the business for about five minutes before settling down. A person's look is a person's look, and honestly, more people should express their inner freak just to shake things up. However, sometimes the dull monotony of life breaks a person, and the genpop is by result conditioned to think of normal people looking a certain way. Sheamus does not fit that mold.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 207

Lots of Mania talk on the latest Austin show
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Steve Austin Show
Episode: 207 (March 31, 2015)
Run Time: 1:42:50
Guest: Wade Keller (8:53)

The 2015 TWB Tournament of Champions, Sweet 16: WWE and TNA Regions

They face off again in poll form
Photo Credit: Lee South/ImpactWrestling.com
The second round is finished, and the Tournament of Champions has moseyed on into the third round of hot, hypothetical man-on-man rassle action.



Before getting into said Sweet 16, I will recount the winners from yesterday's WCW regional second round action. They are Ric Flair, Big Van Vader, Goldberg, and Sting. Now, with the third round here, two regions will be knocked out a day, so it's time to decide the regional finalists for both WWE and TNA:

WWE: 9. Bret Hart vs. 4. Randy Savage, SCOUTING REPORT
HART - He's not called the "Excellence of Execution" for nothing. His training at his family dungeon prepared him for grueling battles by being technically superior to any and all potential opponents. He can counter out of any hold, and he works seamlessly towards applying his signature Sharpshooter. Beware his infamous "Five Moves of Doom."

SAVAGE - Savage is as eccentric in the ring as he is out of it. While he's known for his aerial pyrotechnics, whether the flying double axehandle or his finishing elbow from the top, the Macho Man's bread and butter has been brutal and vicious attacks, especially to the throat. Whether legal with his lethal stun gun or illegal using the ring bell, Savage knows that if you can't breathe, you can't wrestle.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The 2014 TWB 100 Slow Release: #2

BOMBS AWAY
Photo Credit: WWE.com
2. Seth Rollins
Points: 6769
Ballots: 72
Highest Vote Received: 1st Place (James Girouard, Dan McQuade, Brock Lutefisk, Frank McCormick, Rene Sanchez, Brian Brown, John Henderson, Bill DiFilippo, Brian Coulter, Joey Splashwater, Brandon Armstrong, Pablo Alva, Kevin Newburn, Mike Tunison, Ian Riccaboni)
Last Year's Placement: 3rd Place

TH: While I was not nearly as high on Rollins as my peers or even as I was last year, one cannot deny that he was among the top workers in WWE and in America in 2014. When The Shield turned face, he was allowed to settle into his most natural role, a hard-bumping, high-spot taking, best-possible-Jeff Hardy babyface who got the crowd invested by nearly getting pummeled to death before pulling out the ultimate gamble in an attempt to win. The couple of months between the Royal Rumble and Payback featured his best work with no coincidence. Afterwards, he was shunted into a heel role that didn't suit him as well, and even though his matches with anyone but Dean Ambrose left a bit to be desired, he worked hard and put his back into working the way he was asked to. I'll be counting down the days when Rollins turns back and becomes that which he is destined to be, but in the meantime, he's still doing some fine work in WWE rings.

James Girouard: From an in-ring perspective, Seth Rollins basically held the WWE upper mid-card and main event scene together the second half of the year. If there's a reason why I voted Rollins over Sami Zayn (and I can certainly the argument the other way around) it's that Rollins had to do more on a bigger state, and thus, had more opportunities to lay an egg. And I can't think of a single high-profile Seth Rollins match from 2015 that was anything less than very good.

Who Won Sting/Triple H? Obviously, Kevin Nash

Big Kev had him a Mania, didn't he
Photo Credit: WWE.com 
While Hulk Hogan and Scott Hall made bigger waves for taking bumps on the floor despite their perceived physical conditions, it was Kevin Nash who ruled the day among the New World Order cavalry that came to back Sting up at WrestleMania. I don't know how many people caught it - I know I missed it on first go-around - but when Billy Gunn trucked him, Nash fell to the ground and in a moment of self-awareness, clutched his famously-much torn quadriceps muscle, as captured in this mini-video captured by @Connox94.

Do Farmer Frogs Dream of Electric Amphibians?

Is anything as real as a dream?
Photo Credit: Zia Hiltey
The Estonian Farmer Frog saga has taken a turn for the bizarre as he released a curious video on his YouTube page. As it turns out, being an agriculturally inclined anthropomorphic amphibian allows that being to video tape his or her dreams and post them to YouTube. This dream featured the Farmer Frog battling with a familiar face, or maybe he was wrestling with... himself?

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 243

Tarver is Cabana's guest this week
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Art Of Wrestling
Episode: 243 (March 26, 2015)
Run Time: 1:08:54
Guest: Michael Tarver (10:27)

The 2015 TWB Tournament of Champions, Second Round: WCW Region

DDP and Sting will be facing off in today's matchups, and hey, Flair has a match too!
Photo Credit: WWE.com
The second round comes to a close today with the WCW Region, but before, it's time to recount the winners from the ECW Region: Raven, Terry Funk, Bam Bam Bigelow, and Sandman. WCW will now take center stage, even after Triple H did his best to continue WWE's ongoing burial of a 14-year dead promotion. IT STILL LIVES IN HERE *points to where heart is on chest*

1. Ric Flair vs. 8. Booker T, TALE OF THE TAPE II
FLAIR - 243 lbs., from Charlotte, NC, finishing hold - Figure Four Leglock, The Nature Boy

BOOKER - 256 lbs., from Houston, TX, finishing hold - The Bookend/Harlem Hangover/Axe Kick, King Booker

Monday, March 30, 2015

Instant Feedback: Every Week

Protecting the Champions shouldn't be a once-a-year thing
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Why can't every RAW be the RAW after WrestleMania? I saw this question posed on Twitter a couple of times before tonight's show began, and the flat ending notwithstanding, I'd say the three hour telecast delivered at least partially on its lofty expectations. The simple answer is that because WrestleMania can't happen every week, the watershed RAW that follows cannot occur every week either. But who says that WWE is only limited to booking a complete show from top to bottom one week out of the year?

The 2014 TWB 100 Slow Release: #3

Cesaro made a lot of hay in 2014, even if the booking did him zero favors
Photo Credit: WWE.com
3. Cesaro
Points: 6598
Ballots: 73
Highest Vote Received: 1st Place (Charles Humphreys, Mike Pankowski, Niel Jacoby, Francis Adu)
Last Year's Placement: 2nd Place

TH: Cesaro was the poster child for booking obscuring sheer results. One thinks that a month such as Cesaro's February could not be forgotten? WWE and Vince "I think Cesaro doesn't connect because millennials or some shit" McMahon took it as a personal challenge to make the audience forget. I'm the biggest proponent of not letting booking obscure results, but I didn't really realize I'd probably underrated Cesaro (and I had him sixth!) until I had already tabulated 20 or so ballots and thought it a pain to revise. The truth is, Cesaro put on a goddamn show any time he was in the ring, whether he was given all the shine in the world in February or he was languishing in jobber roles at the end of the year, being made to enhance everyone but himself. The man hustles like no other, and he stands out whenever the bell rings.

Dave Kincannon: Cesaro is proof that talent can often overcome bad booking. The first few months of 2014 featured Cesaro wrestling brilliantly, and rising in the ranks as part of the Real Americans with Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter. He won the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale by lifting up Big Show and throwing him out of the ring, which still impresses the hell out of me. We thought big things were in store for him, especially when he got Paul Heyman as his new manager. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t turn out as well as most fans would have hoped. He floundered in the middle of the card most of the year, but if he was bothered by his placement, he never let it interfere with his work in the ring. He is a consummate professional, and one of the best wrestlers in the world…I just hope that WWE figures that out soon.

More Details on Global Force Wrestling's Debut Events

The first shows have been announced
Graphics Credit: Global Force Wrestling site
Press release via WrestleChat

More news about Global Force Wrestling's proper debut have been released, and the big hook is that the first three shows will be television tapings. The shows will all emanate from the Orleans Arena on July 24, August 21, and October 23 of this year, all falling on Fridays. The curious thing here is that while the dates are all confirmed for taping, no television deal has been announced yet. Again, the end of the release says to keep watching for more details coming out, but I would think that an outlet for the end result of these tapings would be necessary.

Suplex City Is Burning: WrestleMania 31 Review

All hail your new overlord
Photo Credit: WWE.com
This review is in the TH style, and yes, you're gonna want to get your free month of WWE Network on April 1 so you can see this goddamn glorious event for free in its entirety.

Highlights:
  • Tyson Kidd and Cesaro retained the WWE Tag Team Championships in a four-way match against the Usos, Los Matadores, and New Day. Jimmy Uso hit the superfly splash on Big E, but Cesaro blind-tagged in before the splash and pinned E for the win.
  • Big Show won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale by lastly eliminating Damien Sandow.
  • Daniel Bryan won the Intercontinental Championship ladder match after headbutting Dolph Ziggler off the ladder.
  • Randy Orton countered a curb stomp into a RKO for the win against Seth Rollins.
  • After run-ins from the nWo and dX, Triple H defeated Sting with a sledgehammer shot to the head.
  • AJ Lee and Paige defeated the Bella Twins when Lee tapped out Nikki with the Black Widow.
  • John Cena wrested the United States Championship from Rusev after the former Champion knocked Lana off the apron and walked right into an Attitude Adjustment.
  • Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were chased off from the ring by The Rock and Ronda Rousey after the former made bold claims that they "owned" all the wrestlers and fans.
  • Undertaker defeated Bray Wyatt with a tombstone piledriver.
  • The Brock Lesnar/Roman Reigns WWE World Championship main event was turned into a triple threat match near the very end when Rollins cashed in his briefcase during a moment of mutual vulnerability. He captured the belt when Reigns speared Lesnar out of the ring and Rollins hit Reigns with the curb stomp to get the pin.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Triple Shot

Austin's last three shows detailed here
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Steve Austin Show Unleashed!
Episode: 204 (March 19, 2015)
Run Time: 1:41:46
Guest: Bas Rutten (5:42)