Former WCW announcer, Tony Schiavone appeared as a guest on last Wednesday’s Wrestling Inc. podcast during which he took a trip down memory lane revealing his favourite broadcasting partner
“That’s a tough question to say… I have seen it online too where they say that Schiavone liked everybody, and I really did,” Schiavone said. “Bobby Heenan and I didn’t finish up on good terms, which was my fault, but I really liked working with Heenan because he made me laugh.”
Schiavone is known for his work as the lead voice of WCW Monday Nitro and later Thunder.
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Impact Wrestling champion Bobby Lashley sat down for an interview with ESPN ahead of his match against Alberto El Patron this Sunday night at Slammiversary. Below are highlights from the interview
Going from WWE to Impact Wrestling:
“When I came over [to Impact Wrestling] from the WWE, I didn’t know what to think. Wrestling is wrestling. WWE is the flagship program, of course. But there’s just so much incredible talent [here]. …When I came over and worked with Bobby Roode, we did two matches together, I thought he was amazing. Amazing. The guy is really good. Bobby Roode
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One half of the Raw Tag Team Champions, Sheamus took to twitter to note that today he is celebrating 8 years with the WWE. Throughout his career, The Celtic Warrior has captured multiple championships, won King OF The Ring and Royal Rumble
It was reported earlier this week that Impact Wrestling has officially acquired Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force Wrestling and has plans to rebrand itself as GFW
The Thursday night show on POP TV will remain as Impact however in order to distance itself from the old TNA name, legal drama and financial issues the company had. Anthem Sports, the parent company, will be rebranding TNA Wrestling as GFW with Jeff Jarrett remaining creative head of Impact
GFW headquarters will be located at Skywalk Studios and will be using Sunday night’s Slammiversary PPV as the re-launch of the company.
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Thanks to Philip Stamper for sending us the following: CZW EVILution July 8 in Voorhees; Richards-Rush-Strickland-Gacy! Join Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) for #EVILution on Saturday, July 8 at Flyers Skate Zone, 601 Laurel Oak RD, Voorhees, NJ at 7:30 pm! It’s time to wake up! Already announced: – CZW World Heavyweight champion Davey Richards vs. […]
According to PWInsider.com, British legend Johnny Saint finished up as a coach at the WWE Performance Center this week.
Saint was on a 6 month deal as a WWE Performance Center coach, and there was a big farewell party held for him as his run came to an end.
Update on Rumors of The Colons Departing WWE
PWInsider.com is reporting that despite rumors of The Colons being released from WWE, they are still booked for this weekend’s live events, and as of this writing do not appear to have left the company.
If Primo and Epico did indeed ask for their releases from WWE, it appears the request has yet to be granted.
The Miz was recently on the Singaporean pro wrestling podcast Hard Hidz. Miz opened up about his segment with LaVar Bell, his direction in the WWE before Maryse came back, and the direction of women’s wrestling.
Here are the highlights:
Thoughts on Lavar Ball Segment:
“People are still talking about it. It’s all over our sports hubs. In America, [people] are just talking non-stop about it. They want interviews with me and everything. You know, when you have celebrities come on the show, sometimes things get a little wild and crazy, because you never know what they’re gonna do or what they’re gonna say. It’s one of those situations where, you have a script, but sometimes they don’t follow that script, and you have to bounce off of it and see where they’re gonna go and see what they’re gonna do with it… It created a lot of talk, and a lot people are talking about. And, if people are talking – MizTV.”
His direction before Maryse returned:
“When Maryse came back, I was really doing nothing. I wasn’t anyone to be reckoned with, no one really ever talked about me. It was just like, ‘Oh. There’s the Miz. He’s a good hand.’ In WWE, if you want to be the biggest superstar in the world, you never want to be a ‘good hand.’ A good hand, meaning, ‘He’s good in the ring; we’ll just put him up with anybody. He’ll probably lose tonight, but nobody cares, whatever. He’ll get a reaction.’ That kind of thing. That’s the kind of person when they’re talking about a good hand. You never want to be that if you want to be the top dog.”
Direction of women’s wrestling:
“I think it’s just gonna keep on going. It all started with Miss Elizabeth, Sensational Sherri, Mae Young, all those old school women have generated to where literally generations upon generations. You go back to that generation, then you go back to the Trish Stratus and the Lita, then you go into my wife, Maryse, and then there’s Michelle McCool, and the Beth Phoenixes, and then you go into this generation, where they’re talking about Women’s Revolution. And I get that it’s a revolution, and these girls are getting opportunities, and they are swinging and they are knocking it out of the park. They are stepping up their game, they are doing great. But it all starts with the women that paved the way for them to have those opportunities.”
It’s not the respective rosters, though SmackDown Live boasts a more interesting group on the whole than Raw, at least to this writer’s tastes. It’s not the authority figures, which is basically a push. It’s not even the booking or even the creative direction, as it’s the same company and even when it’s a different popsicle it’s still flavored ice.
The Raw preview is generic and decidedly vague, with no concrete plans in place as of this writing. This is for the go home show to that brand’s next pay-per-view.
The SmackDown preview, meanwhile, is allowed to go in depth because damn near the entire show is already booked, with John Cena’s return, a women’s championship match, and a battle royal to determine the top contender to the United States title.
Yes, WWE has more motivation to announce the SmackDown card ahead of time because it’s a holiday and they need heavy promotion to avoid a disastrous rating (which is likely inevitable) but this isn’t the exception, it’s the norm. Each week, you can be reasonably certain the blue brand will tell you what you can expect next week while the flagship show will often keep you guessing all the way up until the last minute.
The Celtic Warrior has been dominating the WWE landscape for as long as some younger fans can remember. But there was a time before Sheamus. This BS period in WWE saw superstars come and go but none of them were as pale and ruthless as Sheamus O’Shaunessy. Yup, it turns out Sheamus has a last name […]
As noted earlier this week, Impact Wrestling has acquired Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force Wrestling (GFW) promotion.
It looks like that was a bigger story than first anticipated.
The Tennessean reported on Friday that Impact Wrestling is re-branding as GFW.
According to The Tennessean report, the company will be re-branding as GFW in an effort to distance themselves from the stigma attached to the Impact Wrestling name following their highly publicized financial struggles and legal battles in court in late 2016 / early 2017.
“We’re a global brand,” said Jarrett in The Tennessean report. “We have partnerships in Mexico, Japan, other places. Collectively coming together, we’ve combined forces and basically the re-brand final touches happen [on Sunday] at ‘Slammiversary.’”
Ed Nordholm of Anthem Sports, new parent company of Impact Wrestling, also spoke about the re-branding of Impact Wrestling as GFW in The Tennessean report.
“When Anthem got involved we saw a rare opportunity to get involved with an asset that already had global distribution,” said Nordholm. “It’s a 3,500-hour library, broadcast in 120 countries, existing distribution contracts in India, Africa and now the United Kingdom.”
Nordholm continued, “The timeline to take a ground zero promotion to that kind of penetration was 15 years. The work now is to fix some things.”
For more information regarding Impact Wrestling re=branding as GFW, visit Tennessean.com. Also, don’t forget to join us here this Sunday for live play-by-play results coverage of Slammiversary XV.
As we noted earlier this week, Impact Wrestling has officially acquired Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force Wrestling, and according to The Tennessean, TNA Wrestling has plans to rebrand itself as GFW.
The report notes that the Thursday night show on POP TV will continue to be called Impact, however in order to distance itself from the old TNA name and the legal drama and financial issues the company had, parent company Anthem Sports will be rebranding TNA Wrestling as GFW, and Jeff Jarrett remain the creative head of Impact.
GFW will have its headquarters located at Skywalk Studios, and the company is using Slammiversary on Sunday as a relaunch, so-to-speak, of the company. Jeff Jarrett had the following to say on the move:
“We’re a global brand. We have partnerships in Mexico, Japan, other places. Collectively coming together, we’ve combined forces and basically the rebrand final touches happen (on Sunday) at ‘Slammiversary.’”
Anthem’s Ed Nordholm added that the double meaning of TNA, which stands for Total Nonstop Action but also has a sexual connotation, was a turn off for many potential marketing partners. Nordholm also said the company is working on developing a streaming OnDemand service to access the vast Impact tape library. Nordholm had the following to say:
“When Anthem got involved we saw a rare opportunity to get involved with an asset that already had global distribution. It’s a 3,500-hour library, broadcast in 120 countries, existing distribution contracts in India, Africa and now the United Kingdom. The timeline to take a ground zero promotion to that kind of penetration was 15 years. The work now is to fix some things.”
The Thursday, June 29th edition of Impact Wrestling on Pop TV finished with 268,000 viewers, according to Showbuzz Daily.
Impact Wrestling this week saw a significant decrease in viewership for the Slammiversary XV “go-home” episode of the show. Last week’s show drew 342,000 viewers, marking a decrease of 74,000 viewers for Thursday’s program.
Speaking of Slammiversary XV, don’t forget to join us here this Sunday evening for play-by-play results coverage of the pay-per-view.
Just a few days before their big Slammiversary pay-per-view, there has been a major change announced in regards to the name of the company. The company will be going under the Global Force Wrestling name. The Tennessean first reported the story and we have confirmed that the Impact Wrestling name will remain as the name […]
Tonight’s episode of New Japan Pro Wrestling is all new on AXS TV and will feature matches from Dominion 2017. Here are the matches for tonight’s show: — Kazuchika Okada defends his IWGP Heavyweight Title against Kenny Omega — The Young Bucks defend their IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles against Roppongi Vice — Tetsuya […]
“I was thrilled to return to WWE earlier this year, be honored as a WWE Hall of Fame inductee and find a new home with the best in the business every Monday night as the Raw general manager,” he told media during a videoconference. “And now, I get to follow in the footsteps of many incredible names, like Bill Goldberg, Sting, Ultimate Warrior and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and be featured as the WWE 2K18 pre-order character.”
On Seth Rollins:
“Seth is an incredible young talent who is making his mark on WWE as only he know show. He embodies everything it needs to ‘Be Like No One,” which is the theme of this year’s marketing campaign,” Angle said.
Angle reveals he has not undergone any medical testing for a possible WWE in-ring return, but if he did return to the ring he had the following to say on who he would like to face:
“If that occurs, there is a lot of talent,” he said. “There is talent I would like to revisit again like Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Randy Orton, Triple H, definitely. When I wrestled Triple H last time I had just started. I didn’t consider myself very good back then. So I think we would have a much, much better match right now.
“I’d love to get Samoa Joe or AJ Styles in a WWE ring,” Angle continues. “Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Cesaro, Sheamus. Even some of the 205 guys like Austin Aries and Neville. There is a lot of great talent right now. I would love to be able to mix it up with them. Hopefully, eventually it will happen down the line.”
According to ShowBuzzDaily.com, this week’s edition of Impact Wrestling, which was the final show before this Sunday night’s Slammiversary PPV, averaged 268,000 viewers. This week’s number is down from last week’s 342,000 viewership average, and is the fourth lowest drawing Impact episode in 2017. Last week’s show drew the second best audience of the year so far.
This week’s edition of Impact Wrestling ranked #114 on the Cable Top 150, down from last week’s #103 spot.
It was an easy joke, yes, but GFW didn’t have much in the way of tangible assets. What they did have, however, was a name that wasn’t a double entendre and that wrestling fans didn’t often say with LOL in front of it.
So, according to a story just published in The Tennessean, the newspaper which covers TNA’s headquarters city of Nashville, from here forward Anthem’s wrestling company will be known as GFW. Their weekly show on Pop TV, Fight Network and other outlets will keep the title Impact.
Obviously, Anthem also acquired Jeff Jarrett, and this announcement confirms he remains in charge of all creative aspects of what is now GFW.
We’ll surely be hearing more about this as Anthem and GFW use this as a fresh start for their branding, and attempt to build off recent ratings increase and the social media success touted inThe Tennessean article to grow on across the world with new initiatives like a new on-demand streaming app they plan to make the centerpiece of their video strategy.
Recently, WWE has brought the pre-order exclusive character in each year’s edition of their partnership with 2K from the video game to the wrestling ring. Ultimate Warrior found his way into the Hall of Fame, Sting got a WrestleMania moment and a title shot, and Goldberg found himself in a championship program with Brock Lesnar.
Could that last template be used again for 2K18? Brock was on the cover of 2K17 and Goldberg was the exclusive downloadable character (DLC). This year, Seth Rollins will grace the front of the box while his kayfabe boss Kurt Angle has been confirmed as the pre-order exclusive.
The difference this time around is that Angle is already back in the WWE fold, so we can skip the months of “will a deal with 2K lead to mending fences with Vince McMahon?” It appears another difference might be an angle built right into the game.
Lesnar and Goldberg had a history against one another, so their infamous Mania XX encounter and a “Fantasy Warfare Just Got Real” tagline was enough for Paul Heyman to work with to set up Survivor Series and beyond.
This year, Angle and Rollins have never faced each other, and are – at present – both babyfaces. But Seth’s initial commercial for 2K18 featured him vandalizing iconic items from past WWE Superstars – not the most heroic thing ever, even with the “Be Like No One” marketing slogan associated with this year’s edition of the game.
And during his press conference yesterday (June 29) to discuss his involvement, Angle referred to that spot in very storyline terms:
Let’s be clear though. I have a small bone to pick with Seth Rollins. You obviously saw the announcement trailer. Seth broke into the WWE Archives and disrespected history. Up in flames went the memories of many incredible WWE Legends and Hall of Famers, who have come before him. Guys like Andre the Giant, The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, Ric Flair, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Undertaker, and many more. All I can say for now is just wait and see the pre-order announcement for the game, revenge may be on my mind.
Now, this could just be a mode of gameplay for 2K18. But Angle also hinted at how often the game and television have crossed over in recent years during his remarks:
As many of you are well aware, WWE’s video games with 2K play a huge role in the world of WWE each year. With WWE 2K18 being no exception when it releases worldwide on Oct. 17.
Could a match with Rollins be the long awaited return to a WWE ring for our Olympic Hero? Might it tie in to the recent teases during Raw of Angle being blackmailed by an anonymous party?
A trailer promoting Kurt as this year’s pre-order incentive DLC is supposed to debut during the July 10 Raw, and that might give us more to go on.
Until then, let us know what you think below, Cagesiders.
Impact Wrestling drew 268,000 viewers on Thursday night on Pop TV. This is down from the 342,000 viewers the episode drew last week. This was the go-home show for this Sunday’s Slammiversary pay-per-view event. The show ranked 114 in the top 150 shows on cable for the night, which is down from last week’s 103 […]
WrestleZone proudly presented the latest episode of our signature daily pro wrestling news podcast, WZ Daily earlier today. It features former WWE/WCW/NWO Superstar Sean “X-Pac” Waltman as the co-host.
Today’s episode also features an exclusive interview with one of the most talked about independent pro wrestlers in the world at the moment, “The Progressive Liberal” Daniel Richards.
On the chaotic scene backstage at RAW this past week after LeMelo Ball used a racial slur:
SW: There were some people that were panicked or whatever. They got all up in arms about it but you have to look at it in context. Well, you don’t HAVE to look at it in context but I would suggest we do. That’s how people talk that are of his ethnic background at his age. It’s not like one of us going out there and saying that. We gotta look at the situation, you are putting people out of there element with something like that. I just don’t think it was a very big deal. It was nice for some publicity or something like that. Yeah, it was fine, it got plenty of press. It did it’s job.
On how the Ball family was when they came back through the curtain:
SW: The old man just came back and walked straight back. Didn’t even come up to Vince or anything. He just walked straight back. The other two actually went over to Vince and shook his hand and he actually looked up at them when he shook their hands! (Laughs)
New episodes of WZ Daily will be made available Monday and Wednesday-Friday around Noon EST next week on Eric Bischoff’sIRWNetwork.com! WZ Daily will be taking the 4th of July off.
As previously noted by WrestleZone, Daniel Bryan announced that Lana will once again face Naomi for the SmackDown Live Women’s Championship on the upcoming episode on July 4 due to a technicality of one of her shoulders not being on the mat.
After Lana was defeated on the previous episode, she commented, “I’ll resiliently keep chasing my dreams no matter what people think & #CRUSH every set back I face.”
Annoyed that Lana is getting another title shot, she recently retweeted a couple of GIFs showing her thoughts on the matter.
In her recent Calgary Sun column, Natalya shared her thoughts on the recent Money in the Banks match, stating that she “felt sore the next day in a way that I never have, not even from the powerlifting workouts that I do. But it was all worth it when the bellrang and the match was under way.”
She also shared a story about fearing heights.
“My fear of heights stems from an incident in 2005, before my WWE career, when I landed incorrectly after a move injured my ACL, meniscus and kneecap. I wrestled a dozen more matches like that because I was afraid to face the fact that I was injured. Once I found out I needed surgery, I had to confront the reality that I was hurt. That meant a prolonged absence from wrestling.
The time away felt like a death sentence to me. It was the first time I had ever been injured. But once I overcame it, I realized the injury wasn’t so bad. The recovery process was not fun, but I crushed it. Looking back, the injury was the best thing that could have happened to me at the time. I focused on my diet, I re-assessed my in-ring style and I lost some extra weight I’d been carrying around.
Following my recovery, I was hired by WWE to a developmental contract. On the heels of my worst nightmare came the start of my greatest dream. The time off changed everything for me, from learning to face my fears, to working on my nutrition and my approach. I changed my whole perspective.
I wasn’t afraid anymore because overcoming a fear, and subsequently crushing it, is empowering. It makes you a survivor.”
Impact Wrestling Star James Storm recently sat down with Josh Barnett of USA Today’s ‘For The Win’ section. Below are highlights from the interview
Backstage changes in Impact Wrestling with Jeff Jarrett and Dutch Mantel back:
“I think it’s very good and I’m not just saying that because of the new ownership. I always felt Impact Wrestling was the best when you had Dutch and Jeff. Even when had the crazy ideas of Vince Russo there, you always had Jeff and Dutch to pull him back from certain ideas that he was trying to throw out.
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After Lana’s claims that she wasn’t actually pinned on this week’s Smackdown Live, WWE announced she will a third opportunity at the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship on next week’s July 4th edition of Smackdown
I obviously did NOT get pined! I want a FAIR title match! Clearly the ref & all of @WWE are cheaters & favor @NaomiWWE over me! #SDLive http://pic.twitter.com/puUUrbWIap
— CJ (Lana) Perry (@LanaWWE) June 28, 2017
.@shanemcmahon & I have seen the photo of @LanaWWE shoulder up at the end of her match w/ @NaomiWWE. While we won’t reverse the decision…
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Former Impact Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Lashley recently spoke with ESPN to promote the upcoming Slammiversary pay-per-view event on July 2nd in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios. He will be taking on Alberto El Patron in the main event. During the interview, he was asked about working with El Patron. “My style of wrestling, […]
Impact Wrestling has released the “cold open” (or introductory video clip) for their Slammiversary XV pay-per-view (PPV) ahead of the Sunday, July 2 live broadcast.
As the “XV” part of the show’s title indicates, this is the 15th edition of one of the company’s flagship events. As such, it makes sense the Anthem Entertainment-owned promotion would want to celebrate their history.
Problem is… much of the roster who helped write that history now work for Vince McMahon and WWE.
There’s not really much of a way around it, and it’s a really good video. Narrated by their long-time voice-over specialist Barry Scott (of “Cross the Line” fame), it establishes them as a player who’s managed – often to the amazement of fans and industry insiders – to stick around in a tough business. And it spends more time hyping the current roster who will compete in Orlando this weekend than the faces you recognize from recent Raw, SmackDown and NXT episodes.
But when most folks who watch wrestling think of you as “WWE Lite”… starting the biggest show of your reboot with images of performers now associated with the competition like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Sting, Kurt Angle, Bobby Roode, Eric Young, R-Truth and others (there’s a telling lack of Hardys, though) doesn’t do anything to change that perception.
Best case scenario is the current Impact roster goes out and creates a show which has the wrestling world buzzing next week, and their history can truly be looked at as prologue to something else.
“Fridays Of Honor” will feature a wide range of exclusive Ring Of Honor content on WrestleZone.com such as:
Podcast interviews with Ring Of Honor wrestlers and personalities
Video features provided by Ring Of Honor
Never before seen photo galleries
Original editorials from Ring Of Honor wrestlers and personalities
Reviews of classic ROH shows from WZ personalities and ROH talent
Ring Of Honor has become one of the hottest companies in pro wrestling over it’s more than fifteen years in existence. Its unique style and presentation has been a favorite of the kind of “hardcore pro wrestling fans” that frequent WrestleZone.com every day. It is regularly one of the most searched for items on WrestleZone.com.
Ring Of Honor General Manager Greg Gilleland had the following to say regarding Fridays Of Honor on WrestleZone, “We’re excited about this opportunity to provide exclusive content on a weekly basis for ROH fans and all WrestleZone readers. We take pride in delivering the best wrestling on the planet every week on our television show and this provides another way to engage with our fans and hopefully open the door for new fans showing them what Ring of Honor is from the talent to the staff, the culture and most importantly, the fans.“
WrestleZone.com is the most trafficked website on the planet for pro wrestling news. WrestleZone’s Executive Editor Nick Paglino had the following to say regarding the announcement, “I am excited to kickoff this new project alongside Ring of Honor, to bring the readers of WZ and pro wrestling fans everywhere a unique look at the incredible ROH product.”
WrestleZone looks forward to getting wrestling fans informed and excited for every new episode and live event from ROH!
On Thursday, WWE took to their social media channels to confirm new competitors for the all-female tournament, which is scheduled to air on the WWE Network.
WWE’s New Zealand Twitter account announced that Evie, who is from New Zealand, is now official for the tournament. The female pro wrestling star has been given a new ring name, as she will now be performing under the name “Dakota Kai” in WWE. She made the change to her official Twitter page shortly after WWE made the announcement regarding her inclusion in “The Mae Young Classic.”
Additionally, WWE confirmed a lady who is considered one of the best female wrestlers in the business today, Kairi Hojo, for the all-women’s tournament. She too will be working under a new ring-name, as WWE has given her the name “Kairi Sane.”
Impact Wrestling released the opening video for this Sunday’s Slammiversary XV pay-per-view event in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios. As seen in the video below, it features highlights from the past, including clips of Kurt Angle, Hulk Hogan, Sting, Dusty Rhodes, AJ Styles, and Ric Flair. Here is the updated card for the event: — […]
Even though most fans, the other wrestlers on the roster and SmackDown management didn’t think Lana deserved a title shot for her first singles match on the main roster, Women’s champion Naomi demanded it, so it happened.
Then the Ravishing Russian complained she was distracted at Money in the Bank by Carmella and James Ellsworth, which led to the champ agreeing to put her down again.
After a second defeat, Lana again has raised an issue – this time, that her shoulder was not down at the end of her quick loss to Naomi on the Tuesday, June 27 edition of SmackDown:
General Manager Daniel Bryan and commissioner Shane McMahon have decided to take action. While they won’t go so far as to change the outcome, like when they stripped Carmella of her Money in the Bank ladder match win two weeks ago, they are calling for another do-over…
Hopefully they have some interesting direction to take this story (Rusev return? Carm cash-in?) because running the same match over and over again isn’t really that exciting. Lana has acquitted herself pretty well considering her experience level, but remains someone whose heat is of the same “meta” variety as Eva Marie or Roman Reigns.
Still, that could work… or Team Blue could just have decided that since the repeat ladder match kept viewers around, why not try it with this program?
You’ll have to tune in Tuesday to find out… just like WWE drew it up.
(Photo by Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Date: July 9, 2017, Sunday Place: American Airlines Center
Dallas, Texas Time: 8 PM Eastern Where to watch: Live on the WWE Network
The next installment in theRaw exclusive pay-per-views takes place in Dallas next week. Inspired by the famous Jerry Lee Lewis song, Great Balls of Fire has some solid match-ups and has the potential to be a first-class show. Here, we take a look at the match card in depth and give our predictions on what the outcomes might be. As always, WZ will be providing complete, LIVE coverage of the PPV on Sunday, July 9th, so be sure to join us then!
More matches are likely to be added to the card, and below is a preview of what has been announced thus far.
1)Brock Lesnar (c) vs Samoa Joe – Singles match for the WWE Universal Championship
In his first title defense since winning the Universal Championship back at Wrestlemania, Brock Lesnar will take on Samoa Joe. The two behemoths tore the house down when they faced with each other in the ring on WWE Raw three weeks ago, and the entire locker room had to be called upon to separate the two.
Joe doesn’t fear Lesnar, and that was made clear by his ambush last week, when he attacked the former UFC Heavyweight Champion with a Coquina Clutch on the ramp. WWE is currently running with the idea that if Joe is able to lock in the hold next Sunday, we very well could have a new Universal Champion.
This one is unmissable, and if booked well, could be one of the best, hard-hitting bouts we have seen in recent years.
Prediction: Lesnar is sure to have his work cut out, and it will certainly not be the usual “German suplex, German suplex, F5” pattern for the man from Minneapolis. Joe is one of the fiercest strikers in the business and will bring his A-game to try and win his first championship on the main roster.
However, Lesnar should come out on top in the end and go into Summerslam as the champion. It will by no means a squash like many other of his matches, but the Beast Incarnate will survive and retain his title.
Brock Lesnar by pinfall
2) Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman – Ambulance match
Strowman returned on WWE Raw last week to inform Roman Reigns that he wasn’t done with the Samoan just yet. He challenged the Big Dog to an Ambulance Match at WWE Great Balls of Fire, and Roman duly obliged. Strowman is still furious at Reigns for putting him out of action with a dislocated shoulder, while the latter is still hurting at the former powerlifter costing him the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble in January.
This should finally put an end to their rivalry. Both men need the win, it seems, and the opinion is split on who will be booked to win. This is likely to have the most betting interest on the card, and you can use this promo code from SunBets to get in on the action.
Strowman will want to continue his momentum since Wrestlemania and push himself higher and higher up the pecking order. Reigns, on the other hand, hasn’t hit the heights he promised yet since beating The Undertaker back at the show of shows in April.
Prediction: Reigns has already declared himself as the number one contender for the Universal Title at Summerslam. He needs the momentum going into that match, either against Lesnar or Joe. Beating a monster like Strowman in an Ambulance Match is something the WWE could book Roman to do. The Mountain of a Man will dominate for large portions of the match, thereby looking great in defeat as well. This does look like the most logical outcome of this match, keeping the future in mind.
3) Alexa Bliss (c) vs Sasha Banks – Singles match for the Raw Women’s Championship
Banks won a gauntlet match last week on WWE Raw to qualify for this match. The Boss has been on the fringes a lot lately, but is now looking on course to becoming a main-event player once again. She hasn’t had the best 2017 by any stretch of the imagination, but the former Raw Women’s Champion will want to regain her crown at the first time of asking.
Her opponent Alexa Bliss is arguably the best heel in the entire company at the moment. Her naughtily evil antics have made her thoroughly dislikable, and she continues to surprise us all, despite the heavily panned “This is Your Life” Raw segment.
Prediction: This rivalry looks good enough to continue until Summerslam, although Bliss vs Nia Jax is possible for this summer’s big event. Bliss and Banks could put on fantastic matches together and if Sunday works out well, we are set to have a series of bouts between the two. Bliss has been fantastic of late and it doesn’t make sense to take the title off her at the moment. She needs to remain Champion to be taken seriously with her heel work, and putting the gold on Sasha so early won’t be the right way to go. There could be shenanigans, like a disqualification, but Bliss will walk out of Dallas with the belt still around her waist.
Alexa Bliss by pinfall
4) Neville (c) vs Akira Tozawa (with Titus O’Neil) for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Neville’s latest challenger for the Cruiserweight Title is Akira Tozawa. The Japanese wrestler has joined forces with Titus O’Neil and joined “Titus Worldwide”. Tozawa is an immensely talented individual and could pose a serious threat to the Englishman’s run as Champion.
Prediction: Neville is on a hot streak at the moment and is one of the most believable heels in the company. The whole Titus Brand gimmick hasn’t exactly been received with great enthusiasm by the crowd, and it doesn’t make too much sense having Tozawa become Champion. The Japanese cruiser is a fantastic wrestler and will get more opportunities down the line. Pulling the plug now would be undermining Neville, and therefore there is only one real outcome looking likely here.
Neville by submission
5) Bray Wyatt vs Seth Rollins – Singles match
Both Wyatt and Rollins have been completely lost in oblivion over the past few months. The former was the WWE Champion heading into Wrestlemania, but after dropping the belt to Randy Orton, he was drafted to Raw. The Eater of Worlds has lost his way completely since and this is the first meaningful he has got into.
The exact same thing can be said about Rollins, minus the bit about the draft. After beating Triple H at Wrestlemania, the Architect has been as cold as can be. He has never looked like being in the running fot the Universal Championship, and despite putting on good matches consistently, everything he has been doing has seemed directionless.
This will be an entertaining bout, but it’s difficult to see how a win would hugely help either wrestler.
Welcome to Figure Friday! Today we look at Shane McMahon’s very first Elite figure from WWE Elite 50! I got mine from RingsideCollectibles.com and you can, too! This figure is based on Shane’s match against Undertaker at Wrestlemania 32. That being said, let’s take a look at him in the packaging.
Looking at Shane in the packaging you can see he comes with the announce table from Wrestlemania 32. The Mattel announce tables are usually a highly sought after accessory, which will make Shane that much more desirable. The table makes the box pretty heavy, too, which is interesting if you should notice that as it’s just different than the typical Elite. The box says it’s based on a SmackDown Live appearance, which isn’t true, but they most likely did that since he’s GM there. On the back it has a large image of him as well as some stats. Also listed are those in the set, such as: Baron Corbin, Stephanie McMahon, Rhyno, Warlord and John Cena.
Taking a look at Shane out of the packaging you can see they did a nice job on the figure. The likeness is decent. It looks like him for the most part. I wish his hair was a little peppered than flat gray but it still looks fine in my opinion. His jersey is a molded rubber that goes over the articulated body, so it does limit his chest movement a little bit. Just be careful when posing his chest and his legs as the bottom of the jersey does restrict some of his leg movement. I noticed, too, that the slit under his arms may split a bit when posing his arms so be careful.
The detail on the figure in general is nice overall. You can see they put all the logos on his jersey, which makes the figure pop that much more. One thing I did notice is that the “Shane O’Mac” logo on his chest can be printed poorly sometimes so just be weary when you get yours. If you’re super anal about your figures keep an eye out for that if you can. Besides his jersey you can see the detail on his shoes, which is nice as Mattel doesn’t always put colors on their shoes.
Looking at his accessories, he comes with a piece of the Performance Center display. You have to buy all the figures in the set to complete it as it’s a cool way to display the figures on a shelf or wherever. He also comes with the announce table that breaks in pieces. The table is a bit fragile so it can be a bit of a pain to assemble since it doesn’t stay together all that well. It also comes with monitors, which is really cool as they sit in the slots built into the table like their real tables on the show.
Overall, the figure is decent. It’s a great modern Shane McMahon Elite for now. Of course the new Ringside Exclusive one will be out soon but that’s a younger Shane. If you missed out on the announce table be sure to pick this one up as who knows when another one will release with someone. You can get him on RingsideCollectibles.com if you want to guarantee you get him.
Look for an all-NEW episode of Figure 2 Photo this Monday on the WrestleZone Facebook and YouTube channels showcasing the making of the “Leap of Faith” photo above. If you’d like to keep up with myself and more Wrestling Figure News be sure to give my popular news Twitter a follow otherwise you can keep up with my wrestling figure projects on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube!
Now more than ever, the world needs a good dose of positivity. We here at Cageside Seats will do our small part to bring that positivity on a daily basis. Throughout the entirety of 2017, we’ll say something nice about wrestling and everything around it, past, present, and future.
As a reminder,only positive comments are allowed here. No negative comments, no troll comments, no back-handed compliments. None of that here. You have the rest of the site for that. Any comments that are not in the spirit of this feature will be flagged, deleted, and posters of said comments may be subjected to a ban.
Anyone who calls themselves “the white chocolate cheesecake of sports entertainment” better have the goods. Nikki’s got the goods.
From the little bit I’ve seen of her, she’s just a huge ball of energy and can convey most any emotion available. I saw her at an NXT house show a couple weeks ago against Ruby Riot, and I didn’t realize just how awesome she was until I saw her up close.
She’s also gorgeous and is by most accounts a good egg.
Your turn. Say nice things about Nikki Cross.
Got a suggestion for a future “Let’s Say Nice Things About…”? Hit me up on the Twitter gimmick @notoriouseddie. I may not always respond, but I will read it.
Over the last few days, there have been rumors popping up on the status of Primo and Epico Colon. The rumors suggest that they may have requested their release from WWE. We didn’t comment on the story because there was no confirmation but the rumors began popping up after merchandise for Orlando Colon (Epico’s real […]
WWE has announced a championship match for next week’s episode of SmackDown Live in Phoenix, AZ at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. The company announced via Twitter that Naomi would defend the SmackDown Women’s Championship against Lana. This marks the third time that the Superstars have wrestled each other. Naomi beat Lana at the Money […]
EB: I am so happy for Cody. He did his own thing. He was on the biggest stage in the world, he had the ability and the opportunity to ride that, make the big money and not take any risks but he did what his father would have done. I knew Dusty Rhodes pretty well. Dusty was a pretty independent minded person and if he believed in himself and he believed in something he was going to go with it. He was going to take whatever risks came along with that decision. I haven’t seen Cody since he was a little kid but I feel like I know him through his father. Just from the way he conducts himself and what I can see and read. I am so proud him. He is truly his father’s son and I just know that Dusty Rhodes has a big old smile on his face. He’s got his big old cowboy boots on up there in a pair of Wranglers with a pinch in his mouth and a beer in his hand just smiling away.
This week’s episode of Bischoff on Wrestling features Eric and Nick talking about a wide variety of pro wrestling news headlines from the past week. Including:
Vince Russo’s retraining order against Jim Cornette
Samoa Joe choking out Brock Lesnar on RAW
Cody Rhodes as the new ROH World Champion
WrestleCircus and EVOLVE’s Gabe Sapolsky going after each other on social media
WWE’s new show in India “WWE Sunday Dhamaal”
Mauro Ranallo’s return to WWE commentary
Eric also takes some time at the end of the show to answer a slew of fan questions. Some of the topics that Eric addresses in the #BischoffOnWrestling mailbag are:
Which pro wrestling funerals Eric has attended
The first match Eric did play by play for
Who does the podcast intro
What the business impact of WWE moving RAW and Smackdown to the WWE Network would be
Whose idea it was for the “I’m Back” entrance theme
The movie Top Gun and it’s upcoming sequel
If there is anywhere to get a transcript of the BoW episodes
What fans can do to get unblocked by Eric
If unique viewers of the instant-replay of Nitro factored into the ratings at all
Josh Matthews as an announcer
Who Vince will sell or hand the company over to when the time is right
You can find a special Bischoff on Wrestling Overrun on IRWNetwork.com featuring Eric chatting with the Executive Producer of Capitol Wrestling, Matthew Ryan. Matt chats candidly with Eric about the history of the company, what sets it apart, how to be different in a cluttered independent wrestling scene and more…
Brought to you by OSWtv Website | Facebook Keeping you up to date on the last 7 days of professional wrestling in Scotland What’s On This Weekend Insane Championship Wrestling have announced the following matches for their upcoming events: ICW Fight Club – July 9th – The Garage, Glasgow: Winner Faces Pete Dunne at Shug’s…
(Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Dana White on Ronda Rousey’s UFC Future
UFC President Dana White recently spoke with MMAJunkie.com, and during the interview White had the following to say on whether or not fans will ever see Ronda Rousey in the Octagon again:
“I highly doubt it. I don’t know. I honestly don’t think that, and I can’t speak for him, you’d have to speak with Nick himself, but if you ask me – people ask me, ‘Do you think Ronda (Rousey) is coming back?’ No. I think Ronda’s going to retire. Ronda hasn’t retired, but my opinion is, I think she will. I don’t think Nick Diaz will ever fight again. I just don’t think he has the desire anymore.”
CM Punk – MITB Note
9 years ago today, former WWE star CM Punk cashed in his 1st Money in the Bank briefcase against Edge on WWE Raw. It was the day after Night of Champions, during which Edge defeated Batista to retain the title.
Cathy Kelley on Kevin Owens Destroying Renee Young’s Phone
Kevin Owens spilled water on Renee Young’s phone on WWE Network’s Talking Smack, and Cathy Kelley looks at how it got even more awkward on Twitter:
Since 2015, former TNA Impact tag champ Chad “Gunner” Lail has been talking about signing with WWE. He teased it again in late May of this year, and last night, he debuted on a NXT house show in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Working under his real name and introduced as hailing from his real place of residence, Charlotte, North Carolina, Lail wrestled in the first match on the June 29 card. He took a pinfall loss to No Way Jose.
It’s a pretty low-key way to launch your WWE career, but not necessarily indicative of future plans. It’s not terribly unusual for new signees to work as house show acts for a while before receiving a name change and/or an on-screen push.
Still, losing in the opener seems really low key… especially on a show where you’re not even the biggest “debut” (though she’d worked as Evie in a televised loss to Nia Jax a couple years ago, the newly re-christened and announced for the Mae Young Classic Dakota Kai worked her first match since signing full-time, teaming with Ruby Riot and Lacey Evans to beat Mandy Rose, Taynara Conti and Sonya Deville).
Add another one to the list of former Impact Wrestling stars who have jumped ship to WWE … because Gunner debuted last night in NXT.
The 35-year-old appeared at an NXT event in St. Petersburg, Florida and lost to No Way Jose.
The wrestler was one of several recent signings to appear at last night’s event. Dakota Kai, who was just confirmed for the Mae Young Classic, also debuted and Fabian Aichner was featured in a tag match with Roderick Strong.
While there is no word on when Gunner will make it on TV, it’s official now that NXT is is new home.
WWE NXT St. Petersburg Live Event Results 6/29/17 St. Petersburg, FL Results courtesy of WZ reader Tom Gibson
No Way Jose beat Chad Lail. Even match with plenty of offense from Lail but No Way Jose getting the fall
Liv Morgan beat Vanessa Born. Vanessa dominated much of the match but Liv came back for the win with a fall. Born looking pretty good.
Heavy Machinery beat the Ely brothers. Heavy Machinery dominated the match with Knight and Dozovic working the crowd.
Promo from Demetrius Bronson before Lars Sullivan came out for a match against him. High flying from Bronson against the power of Sullivan with Sullivan having much of the offense before getting the fall. Good match.
Fabian Aichner and Roderick Strong beat Kona Reeves and Cezar Bononi. Strong and Eichner with most of the initiative. Eichner extremely fast and a very good match with Strong getting the fall.
Adrian Jaoude beat Marcel Barthel. Barthel on top for most of the match and playing up the German bad guy angle. Jaoude came back to win with an armbar submission
Ruby Riot, Lacey Evans and a new woman from New Zealand whose name I did not catch beat Mandy rose, Taynara Conti and Sonya Deville. The New Zealand woman got beat on for much of the match but Ruby eventually pinning Mandy.
Main Event: Drew McIntyre beat Steve Cutler (with Blake). Good, back and forth match with the offense split between both guys. After a mistimed attempt from Blake to help stunned Cutler, McIntyre got the pinfall
WWE held a live event on Friday in Tokyo, Japan at Sumo Hall and here are the results. — Enzo Amore came to the ring and called out Big Cass. Big Cass apologized for attacking Enzo. They hugged and left the ring together. Cass then beat down Enzo on the entrance ramp. — WWE Cruiserweight […]
Backstage changes in Impact Wrestling with Jeff Jarrett and Dutch Mantel back:
“I think it’s very good and I’m not just saying that because of the new ownership. I always felt Impact Wrestling was the best when you had Dutch and Jeff. Even when had the crazy ideas of Vince Russo there, you always had Jeff and Dutch to pull him back from certain ideas that he was trying to throw out.
“They weren’t afraid to think outside of the bubble. People might label them as Southern wrestling stuff, but they were willing to listen to guys’ ideas and use them a lot of times. A lot of times people get in that position who wouldn’t use the guys’ ideas because it’s not their ideas. Because if it works then it might make look bad in certain people’s eyes. Jeff and Dutch aren’t afraid to listen to guys and that makes them feel good and try harder.”
His time in NXT:
“Everything is about timing. I didn’t think it was the right time. I was treated with respect when I went down there, Hunter (WWE executive vice president Paul ‘Triple’ Levesque and I talked about things. He just said, ‘At the end of the day, you have to do what’s best for you. If things don’t work out, you have my number. Give me a call.’ It was great for him to say that to me. At the time, I don’t think I was ready for it with some stuff with my family life and my personal life to take care of. He understood that. It had nothing to do with wrestling. But never say never is the wrestlers’ motto that we live by. If it presented itself, I would talk it over my family again and see what we could do.”
There are few people who fascinate professional wrestling fans more than Paige and Alberto. Ever since the news first broke that the anti-diva was with Papi, people have been clamoring for more information about the couple. This story seems to have everything a good recipe for intrigue needs. Sex, drugs, and rock n roll. From […]
“I had a grade-one AC joint tear or, in layman terms, a separated shoulder. …When I hit the barricade, I knew that I was hurt. I heard something pop in my shoulder and I initially thought it was my collarbone. The pain didn’t hit until I rolled over onto my back. I remember telling myself that it hurts, but it won’t be too bad. As soon as the medical trainers tried to move me, I realized that it was worse than I thought. I remember literally hitting the floor with my hand, realizing that I was probably going to miss NXT TakeOver: Chicago.”
Getting a “Welcome Back” from the NXT crowd:
“I was honestly taken aback. After TakeOver: Orlando last April, when I was unable to defeat Asuka for the NXT Women’s Championship, I felt like I let down the NXT Universe. I dropped the ball, and I got humbled, a lot. Right when I’m on the verge of getting another opportunity, I get injured at the hands of Asuka. After those two moments, I felt like I had nothing left for the NXT Universe to believe in. So, when I heard that crowd erupt, it gave me something to fight for, and it showed me that the people still believe in me and still believe I can defeat Asuka. I want nothing more than to make those people proud.”
How she was two months ago compared to now:
“Two months ago, Ember Moon thought she was invincible. I thought I could take the world by storm with no consequences. When I lost to Asuka, I began a downward spiral, which culminated with my injury. When you lose the ability to do what you love, it makes you rethink some life decisions, and I realized I needed to make some changes. Today I realize I’m not invincible, but I’m also in a much better mindset because I am truly ready for anything, and I train to make sure that’s the case.”
As noted, Bellator MMA star King Mo discusses appearing in Bobby Lashley’s corner at Slammiversary this Sunday night, and he had the following to say on replacing Donald Trump, who was first invited to the PPV:
“I know Bobby Lashley knows a lot of people, and I know Donald Trump is Lashley’s boy as well. I also heard that Donald Trump was supposed to be out there to help Bobby Lashley for his wrestling match. From what I see, Donald Trump is busy. But Bobby, you know what? We go way back, man. I’ve been on your ass since 2005. I got your back!”
Moose, Eddie Edwards & More Impact Wrestling Stars Participating in Slammiversary Live Chat
Impact Wrestling’s 15th anniversary is just around the corner and FITE TV will be hosting a chat session during the livestream on the FITE app and website.
Scheduled to appear in the FITE chatroom are Impact’s superstars and Slammiversary competitors Eddie and Alisha Edwards, Moose, Eli Drake and Josh Mathews who will make cameo appearances to answer questions from viewers and discuss the show as it happens.
FITE TV’s residing star and special correspondent, So Cal Val, will host the discussion while watching the event together with FITE fans.
FITE Live chat traditionally gets a great turnout with fans cheering about their favorite athlete and celebrating the action together. Using just the FITE app, fans can watch the action live on the big screen TV while chatting with fellow fans online.
You can download the FITE App free from The Apple App Store and Google Play at this link. You can also order Impact Slammiversary right now in the video player below, then watch it right here on WZ on Sunday night and follow along with our live coverage!
Total Wrestling Magazine has an interview with former UFC fighter turned professional wrestler Matt Riddle who talks about the differences between MMA and professional wrestling, what was the hardest part of the transition between the two and his past with WWE. Below are some interview highlights:
On how the mentality and lifestyle of MMA is compared to professional wrestling:
The difference between MMA and pro wrestling is in MMA, you train a lot more, you train really hard, you train like three times a day, but you only fight three times a year, so you train all that time, and you only get three big shows, three nights of glory. In pro wrestling, I’ve literally been wrestling the last ten days straight, every night,“This is awesome”, crazy chants, “Bro Bro Bro” whatever, getting the crowd on their feet and the reason I got into fighting, wrestling, all of this is so that I can entertain people like I was entertained growing up.
That is the biggest difference between MMA training, fighting and pro wrestling training and fighting – pro wrestling is constant, gruelling all the time, but you get the privilege of performing and putting your craft out on the line. MMA is a very high reward, but it’s a very big risk as well – and only get a couple of shows a year, and each show means so much, if you lose, you might not get another. People ask about going back to fighting, I’m like no – because I look back at fight of the night, a slobberknocker, and people would point out that I lost.
On what aspect of the transition was hardest for him:
Be more of a showman, that was definitely part of it, but selling. It’s funny because people compliment my selling all the time now, but when I first started wrestling, I was like everybody else when they started, when they punch you on your chin, you grab you chin, when they hit your back, you grab your back, it looks fake and corny – when you watch a real fight, when the boxer gets punched in the face, does he grab his eye? When he gets hit in the stomach does he grab his stomach? No, of course not. You have to show the audience you’re getting hit in certain spots, but you can’t be cartoony about it – at least in my world, you can’t be cartoony about it, I like the more realistic approach.
On his previous relationship with WWE:
WWE hit me up just before my first Mania weekend, not this Mania, the one before and they told me they were gonna take a pass on me and I said that’s perfectly fine. They made me wait almost eight months after the try out, but I was perfectly fine and in the back of my head I was just thinking they didn’t even know what they just did, I felt like there was a weight off my shoulders, less stress.
With less people watching me I thought I can be a Chris Hero, I can be a Sami Callahan, I can be a Ricochet I can make my own money on my own terms, work my own schedule, work the way I want to work, work the match I want to work – I don’t have to worry about the WWE style, I can work my style. I was actually happy when I got the news.
I think I was holding something back for some reason, to appease the WWE, and once I knew it wasn’t happening, I could be me. Once I was me, the people could see that. The matches were getting better, and I was looser out there, more myself and that was it.
His thoughts on not working for WWE:
There was a period where every guy I wrestled, from Tommy End to TJ Perkins, I worked them and then they went to the WWE. It just seemed like a couple of us didn’t and I’m like honestly fine with me, bro. This is a big misconception. I love the WWE, it’s great – it’s what I grew up watching, it’s a great product- I love the WWE. Do I think the WWE fans are ready for someone like me? No. I don’t think they’re ready for Matt Riddle, not right now. I think in a year, the way things are going, they’ll be ready for me. Maybe they’re ready for me now? I just don’t think it’s the time. I’m loving what I’m doing, I’m very content, I don’t have a rough schedule, it’s super easy. I tend to overbook myself because I refuse to hire an agent.
As seen below, NJPW has revealed the new IWGP United States Championship. An eight-man tournament will determine the first champion featuring Kenny Omega, Michael Elgin, Jay Lethal, Hangman Page, Juice Robinson, Zack Sabre Jr., Tetsuya Naito, and Tomohiro Ishii:
Official Announcement and Photos of Four New Mae Young Classic Competitors
As noted, 4 more names have been added to the Mae Young Classic taking place this summer, and WWE has issued the following, along with photos of the competitors below:
An internationally feared pirate has set course for NXT and the Mae Young Classic.
Twenty-eight year-old Kairi Sane, nicknamed “The Pirate Princess” in her home country of Japan, where she is one of the most celebrated women’s wrestlers of the modern era, announced today that she has signed with NXT and will compete in this summer’s global women’s tournament.
Sane broke the news via a video message that played on the big screen inside Ryōgoku Kokugikan Sumo Hall, the site of today’s WWE Live Event in Tokyo.
Formerly known by the alias Kairi Hojo, Sane has wrestled for five years and was a multi-time champion in the Japanese organization Stardom. Her pirate persona is inspired by her elite background in yachting: Before entering the mat game, Sane competed in the yachting world championship and was considered an Olympic hopeful. Though Sane has often carried a spyglass to the ring, it’s her highlight reel-worthy diving elbow drop — thought by many to be the most beautiful in the world — that has navigated her to many milestone victories.
Sane, however, is not the only new blockbuster entrant confirmed for the Mae Young Classic. Joining her are two other international sensations, Dakota Kai of New Zealand and Piper Niven of Scotland, as well as NXT Superstar Bianca Belair, who won a Qualifying Match to earn her berth in the Mae Young Classic.
Auckland, New Zealand’s Dakota Kai has held titles not just in her native country, but also in Australia, Japan and the United States (including the SHIMMER Tag Titles with NXT Superstar Ruby Riot). The 10-year veteran, also known as “The Captain of Team Kick,” is famous for her wide variety of strikes, including a running Yakuza kick that, in GIF form, has taken on a life of its own among wrestling fans. She came into WWE’s orbit once before, in a 2015 loss to Nia Jax on NXT. Two years later, she is now a recruit at the WWE Performance Center and looking to prove she belongs for good this time.
Hailing from Ayrshire, Scotland, Piper Niven is an experienced powerhouse who has competed across numerous promotions, including Shine, SHIMMER and Glasgow-based Insane Championship Wrestling. Drawn to sports-entertainment at an early age thanks to the likes of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Chyna, Niven played contact sports in her youth, setting the foundation for her eventual in-ring debut in 2008. She is revered for her high-impact offense, which includes senton splashes, powerslams and a signature Michinoku Driver.
Bianca Belair, of Knoxville, Tenn., qualified for the Mae Young Classic with a recent victory over NXT Superstar Aliyah. (Watch the match in its entirety, below.) Calling herself the “EST of NXT,” Belair claims to be the strongest, fastest and toughest woman on the Performance Center roster. Before joining WWE in 2016, she competed in track and field at University of South Carolina, Texas A&M and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and she is a regional CrossFit competitor who has been featured in RX Magazine. Prior to making her NXT debut, she shined in last year’s inaugural Performance Center Combine, putting up amazing numbers such as a 400-pound trap-bar deadlift and a 2.07-second 10-yard sprint.
Today’s additions bring the total number of confirmed Mae Young Classic entrants to 13. The tournament, which will be announced by WWE Hall of Famers Jim Ross and Lita, debuts on WWE Network on Monday, Aug. 28.
WWE Tokyo Live Event Results 6/30/17 Tokyo, Japan Results courtesy of WZ reader Cory Hays
Chris Jericho vs Hideo Itami: very good match to start the night. Jericho wins with the walls of Jericho and then cuts a promo thanking the Japanese crowd and saying it’s his 50th tour of Japan today.
Bo Dallas vs Titus O’Neil: Titus gets attacked by Bo during his entrance but regains momentum. Titus wins with the Clash of the Titus
Austin Aries vs Akira Tozawa vs Neville for the Cruiserweight Championship:
Neville throws Akira out to start the match after the crowd cheers for Tozawa. Aries rolls Neville into a submission until Neville rolls out of the ring. Tozawa and Aries team up against Neville. Tozawa hits the senton off the rope and goes to cover Aries but Neville jumps in and takes the cover and retains.
Rhyno and Slater vs Sheamus and Cesaro for the RAW Tag Team Championships:
Slater and Cesaro kick off the match and Cesaro gets the upper hand. Slater makes the hot tag to Rhyno and Rhyno takes over. Cesaro throws Rhyno into the corner and tags in Sheamus. Rhyno and Sheamus exchange sumo moves to entertain the Japanese crowd. Rhyno knocks down Sheamus and Cesaro and tags Slater back in. Slater gets dominated until he makes a hot tag back to Rhyno. Rhyno sets up for the Gore but Cesaro grabs his leg which allows Sheamus to hit the Brogue Kick for the win. Sheamus and Cesaro retain.
Enzo Amore comes out for his entrance but gets attacked from behind by Big Cass. This goes into the ring where Enzo starts beating up Cass until Cass hits a big boot.
The Miz w/ Maryse and Samoa Joe vs Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins:
Miz says he wants Ambrose but instead tags Joe and runs away to start the match. Joe and Ambrose go at it. Ambrose tags in Rollins and they hit a suplex on Joe. Miz wants in and Joe tags him in. Miz against Rollins now. Rollins tags Ambrose but Miz gets pulled outside by Maryse. Miz continues to run from Ambrose until Ambrose catches him with a swinging neck breaker in the ring. Miz hits Ambrose with a big boot three times and Ambrose sits up like Undertaker three times. Miz attempts this a fourth time until Ambrose catches him. They fight back and forth. Miz tags Joe and Joe goes to work on Ambrose. Joe tags Miz back in. Miz puts Ambrose in a standing sleeper for a few minutes until Ambrose runs off the ropes and hits a clothesline. Joe and Rollins tag in. Rollins has momentum until Miz grabs his leg outside the ring and Joe gains control. Miz tags back in and hits the YES! Kicks on Rollins. Miz tags Joe back in and he tags Miz right back in. Miz and Joe work on Rollins in the corne r. Joe has Rollins under the bottom rope and tries to grab him but Rollins lands on his feet and hits a kick. In comes Ambrose and Miz. Ambrose has Miz beat and Maryse distracts the ref. Joe grabs Ambrose and allows Miz to hit the skull crushing finale for a 2 count. The ref throws out Maryse after she tries to slap Ambrose. The Japanese crowd is loving this. Ambrose beats Miz with the Dirty Deeds.
The shows breaks for a 15 minute intermission.
Six Women’s Tag Team Match
Asuka, Bayley, and Sasha vs Alexa, Emma, and Nia Jax:
Asuka Starts off against Alexa Bliss. Alexa runs away and tags Emma. Emma and Asuka shake hands and Emma tries to kick Asuka but Asuka kicks her instead. Asuka tags in Sasha and Sasha puts her butt in Emma’s face in the corner. Sasha tags Bayley and Bayley puts her butt in Emma’s face in the corner. Emma slams Bayleys head into the corner and it doesn’t affect Bayley. Bayley does the same to Emma. Emma grabs momentum and tags in Alexa. Bayley takes over and throws Alexa into the corner and tags Sasha. Sasha hits the double knees in the corner but Nia breaks it up. Bayley, Asuka, and Sasha hit a baseball slide on Nia. Nia tags in and hits Sasha with a clothesline. Nia throws Sasha on the ropes and distracts the ref which allows Emma to hit Sasha. Nia tags Alexa back in. Alexa tags Emma back in. Sasha is in trouble in the corner. Nia tags in and throws Sasha halfway across the ring. Nia tags in Alexa and Alexa slaps Sasha. Emma tags back in and Sasha is once again in the opposite corner. Sasha makes the hot tag to Asuka and Asuka goes at Alexa with a fleury of kicks. Nia saves Alexa and throws Asuka halfway across the ring. Asuka makes Emma submit to win the match.
Finn Balor vs Karl Anderson:
Both men wrestling like they know each other. Anderson threw up the too sweet to Balor then kicked him. Balor gains control and hits Anderson with a jump between the ropes then a kick to his face on the outside. Gallows gets involved and attacks Balor behind the refs back. They’re wrestling like they’re back home. Anderson takes control after the interference. Anderson throws Balor back outside and distracts the ref while Gallows kicks Balor. Balor barely escapes the 10 count. Balor regains control with a pelee kick to Anderson. Balor hits another pelee kick on the top rope but Gallows attacks Balor again. Anderson regains control. They go back and forth and Anderson hits Balor with a powerbomb for a 2 count. Balor regains control with a flip to the outside followed by sling blade into a diamond cutter by Anderson. 2 count. Balor regains control and hits the Coup Fe Grace for the win.
Main Event time
Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt:
Roman takes over early with a shoulder block. Bray walks up the entrance ramp to take a breather. Bray and Roman tie up and Bray gets hit with a clothesline off the ropes. Bray runs at Roman again and gets hit with an uppercut. Roman has control outside the ring until Bray gives him an Irish whip into the steel steps. Roman barely escapes the 10 count. Bray starts stomping him when he does. Bray hits a senton then starts head butting Roman. Bray grabs Roman back up and Roman hits an uppercut. Bray respond and gets a 2 count. Roman goes for a Samoan drop but Bray hits him with a DDT for a 2 count. Bray has Roman in a headlock and Roman is fading. Roman gets back up after hearing the crowd cheer for him. Roman whips Bray into the corner and hits him with another uppercut followed by a Samoan drop. Bray takes back momentum with an Irish whip into the corner but Roman hits off the corner into a clothesline. A lot of back and forth. Roman sets up for the superman punch but Bray is ready a nd plants Roman for a 2 count. Bray goes for Sister Abigail but Roman rolls him up and then hits the superman punch for a 2 count. Roman goes for the spear and gets countered into a sister Abigail attempt which Roman counters into the spear for the 3 count and the win.
Match of the night was the Cruiserweight Championship match.
The Japanese crowds are always into the matches and never stop cheering. The atmosphere is amazing.
Impact Wrestling Slammiversary to Open with AJ Styles and More
Impact Wrestling has released the opening video for Slammiversary on Sunday night and it features Kurt Angle, Ric Flair, AJ Styles and more names from Impact’s past:
Kurt Angle Has a “Bone to Pick” with Seth Rollins, Teases WWE Raw Angle
In related news, it was announced yesterday that Kurt Angle will be the special pre-order bonus character in WWE 2K18. Angle will have two different playable versions of him in WWE available – his “American Hero” persona and his ECW “Wrestling Machine” persona.
Below is footage of Angle speaking at the WWE 2K18 press conference, during which he says he has a “bone to pick” with Seth Rollins. WWE recently released the cover reveal trailer for WWE 2K18, which you can watch below, and it features Rollins going into the WWE archives and destroying past gimmicks from WWE’s history. Angle said Rollins “disrespected” legends like The Undertaker, Steve Austin, Ric Flair, Andre The Giant and more. Angle then added to wait for the trailer announcement, which takes place on the July 10th edition of WWE Raw, because he might have “revenge on his mind”.
As the longest reigning tag team champions in WWE history admit themselves during their stint as guest hosts of the hit YouTube series Good Mythical Morning, they like weird.
And when Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods play “Random Commercial Challenge”, things do get weird.
Now, your mileage may vary on The New Day. Whether or not their schtick has grown tired has been a topic of discussion among many wrestling fans over the later half of their record-setting title run, stint as WrestleMania 33 hosts and on to their recent introduction to SmackDown. Personally, I still dig it. Like any sketch or improv comedy, there are hits and misses. But you can’t fault the energy they bring to it… and if you pop for every endearingly creepy thing E says like your boy, well, all the more better.
So press play on the above video and let us know which random commercial is your favorite – then tell us why it’s either Big gyrating in drag while eating a jelly donut or Kofi’s caveman and his orange string rope.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!
If those fifteen minutes of madcap antics aren’t enough, Rhett & Link’s team also have the Princes of Positivity’s post-show “W-W-Tea Party” breaking down the episode, a behind-the-scenes featurette AND a bonus random commercial involving Booty Os and Big E doing his best Martin Lawrence in Big Momma’s House impression!
Former Impact Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion James Storm recently spoke with USA Today Sports to promote the upcoming Slammiversary pay-per-view event on July 2nd in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios. He will be taking on EC3 in a Strap Match at the event. During the interview, he was asked about possibly being inducted into Impact […]
– As noted, Dakota Kai, formerly known as Evie, has been announced as a participant in the upcoming Mae Young Classic. She also made her in-ring debut at an NXT live event in St. Petersburg, Florida on Thursday by teaming with Lacey Evans and Ruby Riot to take on the team of Sonya Deville, Mandy […]
As noted, WWE Hall of Famer and Raw General Manager Kurt Angle is the official pre-order bonus character for the WWE 2K18 video game. Seth Rollins will be featured on the cover of the upcoming game, which is set to be released on October 17th on Xbox One and PS4. Angle recently took part in […]
Nia Jax isn’t like most girls and she’s starting to really impress some people. Rumor is she is gearing up for a shot at the Raw Women’s Title at SummerSlam, but it was the #1 contender’s match on Raw for a match at Great Balls Of Fire that really sparked Edge’s interest. On a recent […]
Friday’s Rude Awakening looks at Kairi Hojo’s new name, another look at GLOW, and the go-home to Slammiversary.
We publish a whole lot of content here at Cageside Seats. We’re also [looks around and whispers so the bosses can’t hear] not the only place producing wrestling content on the internet. So, as a service to you on the weekdays, we’ll be producing a wrestling newsletter, “Rude Awakening.” Well, it will be a newsletter eventually: for now, it’ll just be part of your experience here at Cageside, collecting the news, recaps, and social moments from the greater wrestling universe daily so you won’t fall behind, with a newsletter format to come.
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Kairi Hojo isn’t just participating in WWE’s Mae Young Classic, though, it was announced on Friday morning that she’s going to be involved in that. No, WWE signed her to become part of their women’s division, too, and to that end, they gave her a new name. The Japanese pirate and former STARDOM competitor is now known as “Kairi Sane,” which should be a pretty simple transition for anyone who knew her before.
Though Sane has often carried a spyglass to the ring, it’s her highlight reel-worthy diving elbow drop — thought by many to be the most beautiful in the world — that has navigated her to many milestone victories.
If you’re out of the rumor loop, that might not mean much to you. However, earlier this year, Dave Meltzer mentioned in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WWE told Kairi to change her finisher because the elbow drop belonged to Bayley. That rumor never seemed right, for a number of reasons: for one, Bayley’s elbow drop is a lot like CM Punk’s was, in that it’s clearly a Randy Savage tribute and a transitional move that doesn’t really “belong” to them. Meanwhile, here’s Kairi’s elbow, which is actually her finisher:
WWE shouldn’t mess with perfection like that, and while their website’s writers are not the same as creative or Vince McMahon or Triple H, you have to imagine word would have gotten out to, I don’t know, never mention the super baller elbow that is better than everyone else’s elbow if you never plan on showing it off on your shows.
This isn’t Hideo Itami coming in to WWE while CM Punk is using Go 2 Sleep and Daniel Bryan is hitting the Running Knee on everyone, so he has to find something else. The elbow was Kairi Hojo’s, and it better be Kairi Sane’s. Sure, she could find something else, but [looks at the above gif again] why would you want her to?
For more GLOW, here’s Brandon Stroud talking to Britt Baron, who played the youngest wrestler on the show. A warning: there are definitely spoilers for the show in that article, so don’t read it if you haven’t finished.
WWE held an NXT live event on Thursday in Saint Petersburg, FL at the St. Petersburg Armory and here are the results. — Singles Match: No Way Jose defeats Chad Lail (former Impact Wrestling star Gunner) — Singles Match: Liv Morgan defeats Vanessa Borne — Tag Team Match: Heavy Machinery (Otis Dozovic & Tucker Knight) […]
Today is a double shot of IMPACT Wrestling superstars as The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling welcomes former IMPACT Wrestling World Champion, Eddie Edwards and “The Namer Of Dummies”, Eli Drake. Catch IMPACT Wrestling’s SLAMMIVERSARY on Sunday, July 2nd LIVE on Pay Per View. In this excerpt, Edwards discusses his match with former partner Davey Richards, the inclusion of both of their wives into their feud and his singles career in IMPACT Wrestling. Below are some interview highlights, with an h/t to The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling for the transcription:
The hype behind Slammiversary and his Full Metal Mayhem match:
“It is such a big event and it is something that the boys in the back, the office and the fans we all are trying to bring something extra and something special because you can feel it in the air that this is Slammiversary and it is the 15th anniversary of IMPACT Wrestling. We want to go out there and represent the company and put on a show. As far as my match, I am excited and looking forward to it of course but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I am a bit (not nervous) but I have the butterflies of it being a big match. There are a lot of risks that go into a match like this (obviously) and having my wife by my side, I’m obviously concerned for her well-being. When you go into a match like this you already know there will be bumps and bruises and the next day you are not going to be feeling normal.”
Is adding the wives into his feud with Davey Richards a big obstacle in settling their differences:
“It has taken that next step. People have seen the two guys go against each other and where anything goes and we’ve had street fights between myself and Davey and Last Man Standing matches but like you said when you add the wives it is an x-factor. It is something extra that you don’t know what to expect and people don’t know what to expect and I think it adds an element of intrigue. It is also something that I feel like fans can relate to because we’ve all been in relationships and you can imagine how I feel about Angelina (Love) attacking Alisha. So I think people can relate to it and it is a whole new level for us to go and we get to see what else we can do and what else we can create with what we have. So far I have really enjoyed it and I am really proud of what Alisha has done and brought to the table and Angelina has brought some good stuff to the table.”
What does he feel was the catalyst for his brutal feud with his former partner:
“I think there is a lot of things that go into it. I think the biggest factor is somebody who goes by the name of Angelina Love. That would be the biggest factor in all of this and by putting thoughts and ideas into his head. Maybe they were there on his own but I think she was the force behind it all.”
How did the recent tour of India help IMPACT Wrestling build towards Slammiversary:
“It was great and it was something that obviously I never expected to be able to do and to be able to go over to India and see the country and meet the people and be able to wrestle in front of that audience was something unique and something special. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I think everybody felt the same thing going into it as far as the wrestlers and the office that does go out there and shows the fans what we can do and what we are trying to do and those fans brought it and gave it right back. Those fans were insane and it was awesome feeling it.”
“The build up from the whole company and to have the last couple of shows leading in be done over there and with the fans following along and following the product was cool to see. The story lines are going forward and the people are following along episode by episode so I think we are right where we need to be right now heading into Slammiversary.”
Winning the IMPACT World Championship from Bobby Lashley in October 2016:
“Obviously, as far as being a little bit selfish it was an awesome moment for myself. It is obviously why we get into wrestling, we get into it to be the best in any company we go to and be able to win the World Title is what it is all about. To be able to go out there and against an athlete the caliber of Bobby Lashley and to be able to beat him and hold that World Championship in the middle of that ring was surreal. It was something that I wanted to do like I said but you never know at some point because there are ups and down and sometimes you don’t know if you are going to get there. At that moment when I was in the ring and I held that title and Brian Hebner raised my hand at that moment it is all worth it. The injuries, the travel, losing sleep, the missing out on family obligations is all worth it at that moment. For me it is something that I will never forget and hopefully the fans as well feel the same way.”
Was he made aware ahead of time by management he was winning the World Title:
“It may be a big cliché and maybe it has been said before but I didn’t know until I got there. I had no idea. There were rumblings that they were going to do some cool stuff at the tapings and that we were going to have some fun and when I got word I was like; What? It was a shock to me and I can only imagine how it was for the people watching.”
For this and every other episode of The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling please subscribe to us on iTunes, Podomatic, Player FM, Tune In Radio and The IRW Network, The EXCLUSIVE home of The Triple Threat Podcast featuring Shane Douglas & TMPToW. As well as follow us on Twitter @TwoManPowerTrip.
Yesterday, a WWE social media account from New Zealand announced that recently signed independent standout Evie had a new name and was entering the upcoming women’s tournament show, the Mae Young Classic (MYC).
The lack of an official announcement (and a blue “verified” checkmark by that Twitter account’s handle) led to some questions about the veracity of the report, but it turns out the company’s main online entities were just waiting to announce Evie-as-Dakota Kai for the Classic along with probably their biggest signing for the tourney.
In Tokyo this morning, Kairi Hojo appeared with video message during the WWE Live show from Ryōgoku Kokugikan to reveal she is now Kairi Sane – and she’ll compete in the MYC.
In a feature story on WWE.com announcing both women (who, considering their championship pedigree around the world, have to be considering serious possibilities to go far in the tournament, if not win the whole thing), two other names are also revealed for the MYC.
Scottish wrestler Viper, now going by her real name Piper Niven, is in. Niven, like Kai and Sane, is a veteran of Japan’s Stardom promotion in addition to working with several United Kingdom companies.
Finally, WWE’s spoiled the result of a qualifier filmed at the last NXT taping, which may mean they won’t be airing the match (shot along with a second qualifying bout – spoilers here if you want them), in revealing Biana Belair for the field. The college track star and Crossfit competitor had been working under her real surname of Blair.
That brings the field to 13, and with only a couple weeks to go until the taping on July 13 – 14, 19 more names still to come.
Here’s who we know is in:
Dakota Kai Kairi Sane Piper Niven Bianca Belair Abbey Laith Tessa Blanchard Taynara Conti Jazzy Gabbert Kavita Devi Toni Storm Lacey Evans Princesa Sugehit Sarah Logan
WWE has released the above video on-line of The New Day hosting a special segment on Good Mythical Morning Extra. During the segment they try to, “sell Booty-o’s to Grandma.”
You can watch the full episode of Good Mythical Morning below:
Jim Ross Reveals He Nearly Signed w/ Impact
Jim Ross revealed on the latest episode of his podcast The Ross Report that before he agreed to new terms to return to WWE his team was having discussions with Impact Wrestling about him providing play-by-play for this year’s Slammiversary PPV:
Not that long ago before I signed to return to WWE the Friday night before WrestleMania. My team was having ongoing business discussions with Impact Wrestling regarding the iTV project, but also, which a lot of people know about, but also about me being the play-by-play voice for Slammiversary. And so that was in the works. We weren’t close to getting a deal done but the talks were ongoing. Look, if we had come to terms and I didn’t have any other contractual issues, I would have no problems what-so-ever being a part of an event like Slammiversary. So I wish them good luck, have a good show and make me want to buy another one. That’s your job this weekend.