Friday, May 9, 2014

Pick Three: Kings and Queens of the East

Athena won the tourney last year; gold this year?
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
The weekend has arrived, and as you know, that means wrestling is afoot! Yes, shows are happening all over the country, the continent, THE WORLD even. Guess what? You can go to one. Certainly, a show is happening within driving distance of you. I will highlight three of the best shows of the weekend, but surely, you can get your keyster to a show that may not be listed below. Still, if you're in the area of any of these shows, you should definitely get to one.

GOLD - Women's Superstars Uncensored Queen and King of the Ring

The annual Queen and King of the Ring Tournament is this weekend, Saturday at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ. The show will start at 4 PM Eastern Daylight Time, and yes, it will be available on Internet pay-per-view. I attended the show last year, and it was a veritable hoot seeing the teams interact with each other. Last year gave the crowd the adorable Matt Tremont/Addy Starr pairing (well, as adorable as a team with those two titans of hardcore on it can be) where they wore each other's t-shirts, the synergistic pairing of Drew Gulak and Kimber Lee, and the grimy, punk ethos of Christina von Eerie and Masada. Last year's winners, AR Fox and Athena, will not be returning, mainly because the female portion of that team has a huge title opportunity. However, the lineup for the tournament proper is nothing less than stellar.

Lee and Gulak return this year, and what do you know, they have a bye into the second round. The other six teams will compete in first round matches. JT Dunn welcomes Shelly Martinez to the East Coast, and they will take on a couple of other West Coast staples in Joey Ryan and Candice LeRae. LeRae has blown up PWG, and both team members have rocked hard on their YouTube show. However, Dunn is in the midst of breaking out, and Martinez has a bit of name cache. While this match might be the best match of the first round, it won't be the most violent. Jewells Malone and Danny Havoc will get together and take on Tremont and his new partner (since Starr is still on sabbatical in England) Mickie Knuckles. Tremont and Knuckles teaming together should be regulated by FEMA, but don't count out Havoc and especially Malone. That Canadian is CRAZY. The other first round match will pit co-owner DJ Hyde and Sassy Stephie teaming up to battle the sleaziest team in the tournament, Shanna and Chris Dickinson. The semifinals and finals will also take place at this show.

I mentioned before that Athena would have another opportunity in this show, and it is a doozy. Since Jessicka Havok was fired and stripped of the WSU World Championship, she will go from also-ran to a rematch against the woman who beat her at Mutiny for the initial title shot, LuFisto. To up the ante, this match has been made a best two-out-of-three falls match. Their match at the last card was hailed as one of the best of the year to date. With the biggest prize in the company on the line, they could have a chance to top that. That vacant Championship won't be the only one on the line. Barbi Hayden returns to WSU with her NWA Women's Championship on the line against Neveah. In another rematch from Mutiny, Hania the Howling Huntress will go toe to toe with Jenny Rose, and rounding out the show, Angelus Layne and Angie Skye will battle in an uncensored opportunity.

Last year's show was super fun, because tournaments usually are. But the talent in this slate is on point, and the non-tournament matches are going to be out of this world. Will Havok not being here to pass her lineage down the right way hurt the show? I'd be lying if I said it wouldn't. She's also one of the best wrestlers in the country right now. But as the company always does, WSU compensates well. This show on Saturday ought to be a barnburner.

SILVER - Ring of Honor Global Wars

Next week's Ring of Honor show is the main entree in their cooperation with New Japan Pro Wrestling this month. However, the appetizer looks pretty damn tasty as well. Several NJPW stars will be making the trek into Canada for Global Wars, a show that will set up the War of the Worlds next week in New York. The card is actually split in half, with three New Japan matches announced, two ROH matches, one interpromotional affair, and a host of other ROH talent scheduled to appear. The show will happen at the Ted Reeve Arena in Toronto, ON. The bell time is 7:30 PM local.

The one ROH vs. NJPW match announced pits Michael Elgin, who gets a shot at the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in New York against current titleholder AJ Styles, against Takaaki Watanabe. Watanabe has been on excursion in America, and this match will more than likely be his stiffest test. As for his NJPW brethren, they are scattered in three tag matches. The former Champion, Kazuchika Okada teams with co-promoter Gedo to take on the nefarious Bullet Club, featuring Styles and "The Machine Gun" Karl Anderson. Gedo's partner in crime, Jado, teams with the wonderfully sleazy Shinsuke Nakamura to take on the legendary duo of Hiroshi Tanahashi and Jushin "Thunder" Liger. In a match with a heavy gaijin flavor, the Young Bucks defend their IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championships against the Time Splitters of Alex Shelley and KUSHIDA and the Forever Hooligans.

In ROH's offerings, Adam Cole will give Kevin Steen one final shot at the ROH World Championship. The two sometimes friends (mainly in PWG) and mostly enemies (in ROH) will clash for the right to defend the title in New York next week against Liger. Personally, I can't see Cole dropping the belt here, but no offense to the current Champ, I'd rather see Steen take on the legendary kingpin of the jr. heavies. Jay Lethal will also defend his Television Championship in a four-corner survival match against Silas Young and former Champions Tommaso Ciampa and Matt Taven. Other talent scheduled to appear are the Briscoe Brothers, ACH, Cedric Alexander, Mike Bennett, reDRagon, and The Decade of BJ Whitmer, Jimmy Jacobs, Roderick Strong, and TaDarius Thomas.


Sunday night, the intrepid BATTLEWAR promotion celebrates its second anniversary with a huge card at Les Foufounes Electriques in Montreal, QC. The show will begin at 8 PM local time, and it has a huge tag team attraction match featuring several hundreds of pounds of men crashing into each other. I'm talkin' indie hoss fight, baybay. In one corner, Le Tabarnak de Team, the Quebecois tag that is sweeping New England and soon the rest of the country, will face their greatest challenge yet. Sidney Bakabella has been promised a sweet payday, so he has brought his Devastation Corporation up north to the pay window in Montreal, doubly enticed thanks to the strength of the Canadian dollar. However, I wonder if he'll bring extra insurance to guard against any funny business. I haven't seen Flex Rumblecrunch in awhile...

In other matches, the hardest working wrestler in the biz Portia Perez will get another crack at noted woman-hater Shane Matthews, this time in a no disqualification match. If anyone can make Matthews eat his words, it's the devious and gifted Canadian Ninja. Dirty Buxx Belmar will have his hands full with two challengers for his BATTLEWAR Championship in "Speedball" Mike Bailey and Shayne Hawke. Also scheduled to appear at this show are Big Bad Quentin, the BBQ thief, and Player Uno.

Those three shows above are probably the best ones in my estimation, but that doesn't mean they're the only ones. In fact, if you stick around in Voorhees after WSU, you can catch Combat Zone Wrestling. Or if you're in New York, EVOLVE's running a doubleshot. Of if you can't get enough of the New Japan guys, Border City Wrestling will have them tonight. The options are nearly limitless. It's up to you to get out there and attend them. Besides, your favorite wrestler or promotion might be out there. You just don't know it yet.