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*SPOILERS* NXT TV Tapings Results


NXT was in Atlanta, Georgia tonight for a series of TV tapings At Center Stage. Below are the results from tonight’s tapings for the month of January
January 10th Episode:
* Shayna Baszler makes her in-ring debut and defeats Dakota Kai. Baszler wins in under 1 minute via referee stoppage.

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Complete NXT TV Taping Results From 1/4, Three Weeks Worth of *Spoilers*

The following are complete SPOILER-filled results from this Thursday’s NXT television taping event at Center Stage in Atlanta, GA. The episodes will begin airing on Wednesday, January 10th and will take us through the NXT Takeover Philadelphia live special on January 27th.

Dark Match
Candice LeRae def. Vanessa Borne

Dark Match
Kassius Ohno def. Raul Mendoza

(1) Shayna Baszler def. Dakota Kai

(2) Lars Sullivan def. Lio Rush

– Sullivan called out Killian Dain before and after continuing to beat the crap out of Lio Rush, who then took Sullivan’s powerslam from the top rope.

– The Undisputed Era attacked Sanity backstage. They came out to the ring and talked trash, before William Regal booked the tag champions in a title match as punishment.

(3) Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly (c) def. Aleister Black & Roderick Strong to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships. 

– Adam Cole joined the Undisputed Era in attacking Aleister Black during and after the match. William Regal came out and announced Cole vs. Black in an Extreme Rules match at Takeover.

(4) Andrade Cien Almas def. Kassius Ohno in a non-title match

(5) The Street Profits def. Heavy Machinery

(6) Lacey Evans def. Aliyah

– Shayna Baszler came out to attack Aliyah, but Ember Moon made the save. Regal announced Moon vs. Baszler for the women’s title at Takeover.

(7) Roderick Strong def. Fabian Aichner

(8) The Authors of Pain def. The Street Profits to become the #1 contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championships. 

(9) No Way Jose def. Cezar Bononi

(10) Bianca Belair def. Luscious Latasha

(11) The Authors of Pain def. two unknown enhancement talents

(12) Johnny Gargano def. Velveteen Dream to retain his #1 contenders spot to the NXT Championship. 

The post Complete NXT TV Taping Results From 1/4, Three Weeks Worth of *Spoilers* appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

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Top Impact Wrestling star says goodbye to the company

Top Impact Wrestling star says goodbye to the company

On this week’s episode of Impact Wrestling, James Storm said goodbye to the company after losing a “loser leaves Impact” match to American Top Team co-founder Dan Lambert. Storm was up against the odds because he had to fight off several members of ATT. He was pinned after two beer bottles were broken on his […]

The post Top Impact Wrestling star says goodbye to the company appeared first on Wrestling News.

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Title Change Takes Place On Impact Wrestling Tonight, Who Has to Leave Impact Following Stipulation Match?

As seen on Impact Wrestling tonight, LAX defeated oVe to become the new Impact Wrestling Tag Team Champions. Had LAX lost the match, per the stipulation they would have had to disband.

The team of Ortiz and Santana won the titles, and you can check out photos and videos below.

Read Also: Top Impact Star Dresses As Sid Vicious After Sid No-Shows Independent Event

Also of note on Impact Wrestling tonight, James Storm lost a “Loser Leave Impact” match against Dan Lambert and is officially finished with Impact Wrestling.

Storm actually finished up with Impact back at the last set of TV tapings in Ottawa after Bound for Glory, which is when his match against Lambert was taped.

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Title Match Confirmed & Major Stipulation Added to NXT Takeover Philadelphia *Spoilers*

As we reported earlier in the week, Adam Cole of the Undisputed Era faction will face off against the deadly Aleister Black in singles competition at NXT Takeover: Philadelphia. The event is set to take place on January 27th.

Following tonight’s NXT television taping event at Center Stage in Atlanta, we can now confirm that the bout between Cole and Black will be an Extreme Rules match, per the order of the general manager William Regal.

Regal also confirmed that Ember Moon will defend the NXT Women’s Championship against former MMA star and Mae Young Classic runner-up Shayna Baszler, who made her in-ring debut at tonight’s tapings.

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The complete card for NXT Takeover: Philadelphia

The complete card for NXT Takeover: Philadelphia

WWE taped several episodes of NXT at Center Stage in Atlanta on Thursday night and the card for NXT Takeover: Philadelphia is set. Here are the matches: NXT Championship Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas NXT Women’s Championship Ember Moon (Champion) vs. Shayna Baszler NXT Tag Team Championship The Undisputed Era (Champions) vs. The Authors […]

The post The complete card for NXT Takeover: Philadelphia appeared first on Wrestling News.

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NXT TV spoilers taped on 1/4/18: Takeover: Philadelphia matches are set

NXT TV spoilers taped on 1/4/18: Takeover: Philadelphia matches are set

WWE taped several episodes of NXT TV at Center Stage in Atlanta, GA on Thursday night. Here are the results (click here for the NXT Takeover: Philadelphia card): Candice LeRae defeated Vanessa Borne. LeRae is close to signing a WWE deal. Kassius Ohno defeated Raul Mendoza. Shayna Baszler defeated Dakota Kai. This was basically a […]

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Report: WWE 2017 most matches, wins, losses and other stats released

Before the WWE closes the book on 2017, let’s fill the pages with some well tracked statistics. In pro wrestling wins and losses matter but how much do they matter?

Per the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required and recommended) here are some stats for the WWE/NXT Universe and who wrestled the most, and how much they won or lost.

Most matches competed in:

Jinder Mahal 185

Baron Corbin 181

A.J. Styles 179

Sami Zayn 178

Charlotte Flair 173

Most wins in 2017:

Dean Ambrose 144

Shinsuke Nakamura 131

Seth Rollins 127

A.J. Styles 117

Roman Reigns 116

Highest winning %:

Asuka 1.000 %

Nikki Bella .947 %

Aleister Black .916 %

Drew McIntyre .899 %

Finn Balor .889 %

Most losses in 2017:

Natalya 131

Nia Jax 128

Carmella 125

Jinder Mahal 124

Aiden English 123

Worst winning %:

Curt Hawkins .000 %

Gabriel Ealy .032 %

Uriel Ealy .033 %

Bo Dallas .041 %

Brennan Williams .071 %

Some takeaways from the year end stats:

  • With 185 matches competed in, if nothing else Jinder Mahal was a fighting champion. Mahal began his year on Raw but finished the year having spent the majority of his time on the top of SmackDown.
  • You expected AJ Styles to make an appearance on the most matches lists but how about Baron Corbin? Corbin spent his first full year on the main roster wrestling night in and night out.
  • Best in the world? Styles is also the only wrestler to appear in the top five in both most matches and most wins categories.
  • Despite their fans often questioning their place in storylines, Dean Ambrose and Shinsuke Nakamura lead the way in the win column; with the Lunatic Fringe holding a 13 win edge on second place.
  • Nobody is ready for Asuka and her perfect winning percentage is still pretty impressive across an entire calendar year.
  • After his NXT run in 2017, is Aleister Black destined for NXT gold in 2018?
  • How did Nia Jax end up on the most losses list?
  • June 5, 2017 where were you when Bo Dallas defeated Curt Hawkins on WWE Main Event episode 244?

What are your takeaways from the year that was on the WWE main roster and down in NXT? Biggest stat surprise of 2017?

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WWE Reportedly Is Giving Up On Bayley


On a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer asserted that Bayley may, in fact, be doomed in WWE.

“They have already given up on her. And they’ve given up on her a long long time ago. When they’re gonna protect Mickie James over you when Mickie James was brought

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Jinder Mahal was WWE’s iron man for 2017

Jinder Mahal was WWE’s iron man for 2017

Jinder Mahal has a very good 2017 as he carried the WWE Championship from No Mercy all the wall to Manchester, England when he finally lost his title to AJ Styles just before he was set to face Brock Lesnar in a champion vs champion match at Survivor Series. The Modern Day Maharaja traveled the […]

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WATCH: Chris Jericho vs Kenny Omega highlights and spots you shouldn’t have missed

WATCH: Chris Jericho vs Kenny Omega highlights and spots you shouldn’t have missed

Chris Jericho’s appearance in New Japan was surprising, to say the least. He and Kenny Omega have set the pro wrestling world on fire since their dream match was announced and it all went down at Wrestle Kingdom 12. These two left it all on the line and the fans got more than their money’s worth […]

The post WATCH: Chris Jericho vs Kenny Omega highlights and spots you shouldn’t have missed appeared first on Wrestling News.

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*SPOILER* Talent Backstage At Tonight’s NXT Tapings


PWInsider is reporting that Candice LaRae, Lio Rush and Dakota Kai are all backstage at tonight’s NXT tapings. LaRae has been getting cleared to sign with the company while Rush has been off TV since the heat he got over making a joke about Emma’s release.
Kai hasn’t been used

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Bitter Boys Club, Ep. 10: Kicking Off 2018

“The Hottest Free Agent in Wrestling” Ethan Page and Brent Brookhouse are discussing plenty of wrestling and answering lots of questions as always. But this is also the episode of Bitter Boys Club where we give our (and the listeners’) top five movies of 2017. Jump on in!

You can subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher, listen to the above video, or use whatever podcast app you prefer.

You can also follow Page on Twitter at @OfficialEGO and Brookhouse at @BrentBrookhouse.

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Triple H Hypes Tonight’s NXT TV Tapings at Center Stage in Atlanta, Major Name Works Dark Match Prior to Tapings

As noted, WWE will be taping future episodes of NXT television from the history Center Stage in Atlanta tonight for the very first time. This will be part one of three taping events the hybrid developmental promotion is expected to hold in the building, with two more set for February 1-2.

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Prior to tonight’s NXT television tapings, Candice LeRae worked a dark match against developmental talent Vanessa Borne. Both ladies were stand-outs in the 2017 Mae Young Classic ultimately won by Kairi Sane, and fans have been speculating on LeRae signing with the company for several months. She is married to NXT Superstar Johnny Gargano.

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Current ROH Champion hints at attending NXT television taping

Current ROH Champion hints at attending NXT television taping

Since Ring Of Honor’s Final Battle, Silas Young has been the ROH Television Champion. He won a pretty insane fatal four-way elimination match to walk away with the gold. But according to Young, he might be a free agent at this point. In a recent tweet, the current ROH Television Champion said he just realized he’s […]

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AXS TV Airing 3-Hour Wrestle Kingdom Special This Saturday, Watch the Video Package For Jericho/Omega

AXS TV will air a special three-hour presentation of Wrestle Kingdom 12 this Saturday, beginning at 8/7c. The show will feature commentary from WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross and UFC icon Josh Barnett, and will focus on its three championship main events: Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho for the IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship, and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

You can check out the incredible video package for the highly anticipated “Alpha vs. Omega” bout featured above, as well as comments from Okada and Naito down below.

The three-hour Wrestle Kingdom 12 special will cap off an eight hour marathon of NJPW content on AXS TV this weekend, featuring some of the best matches in 2017 including the G1 Special in Long Beach, the G1 Finals between Omega and Naito, as well as encores of both NJPW King of Pro Wrestling and NJPW Power Struggle.

AXS TV will then continue its coverage of Wrestle Kingdom 12 over the course of five hour-long episodes in its usual time slot, beginning Friday, January 12th at 8/7c. All three championship matches covered in Saturday’s three-hour long special will receive encore presentations during that time as well.

The post AXS TV Airing 3-Hour Wrestle Kingdom Special This Saturday, Watch the Video Package For Jericho/Omega appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

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POSSIBLE SPOILER: Top independent wrestling star backstage at tonight’s NXT tapings

POSSIBLE SPOILER: Top independent wrestling star backstage at tonight’s NXT tapings

Candice LeRae is backstage at tonight’s WWE NXT tapings in Atlanta. There’s no word on if she will appear but Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported earlier today that she was on WWE’s radar and going through the process before officially signing. LeRae is married to current WWE NXT star Johnny Gargano. We’ll […]

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POSSIBLE SPOILER: Top independent wrestling star backstage at tonight’s NXT tapings

POSSIBLE SPOILER: Top independent wrestling star backstage at tonight’s NXT tapings

Candice LeRae is backstage at tonight’s WWE NXT tapings in Atlanta. There’s no word on if she will appear but Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported earlier today that she was on WWE’s radar and going through the process before officially signing. LeRae is married to current WWE NXT star Johnny Gargano. We’ll […]

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POSSIBLE SPOILER: Top independent wrestling star backstage at tonight’s NXT tapings

POSSIBLE SPOILER: Top independent wrestling star backstage at tonight’s NXT tapings

Candice LeRae is backstage at tonight’s WWE NXT tapings in Atlanta. There’s no word on if she will appear but Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported earlier today that she was on WWE’s radar and going through the process before officially signing. LeRae is married to current WWE NXT star Johnny Gargano. We’ll […]

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POSSIBLE SPOILER: Top independent wrestling star backstage at tonight’s NXT tapings

POSSIBLE SPOILER: Top independent wrestling star backstage at tonight’s NXT tapings

Candice LeRae is backstage at tonight’s WWE NXT tapings in Atlanta. There’s no word on if she will appear but Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported earlier today that she was on WWE’s radar and going through the process before officially signing. LeRae is married to current WWE NXT star Johnny Gargano. We’ll […]

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POSSIBLE SPOILER: Top independent wrestling star backstage at tonight’s NXT tapings

POSSIBLE SPOILER: Top independent wrestling star backstage at tonight’s NXT tapings

Candice LeRae is backstage at tonight’s WWE NXT tapings in Atlanta. There’s no word on if she will appear but Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported earlier today that she was on WWE’s radar and going through the process before officially signing. LeRae is married to current WWE NXT star Johnny Gargano. We’ll […]

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Chris Jericho releases first comments after Kenny Omega match

Chris Jericho has had himself a busy past 12 months. From WWE Universal title feuds, US championship runs to the co-main event spot of New Japan Pro Wrestling Wrestle Kingdom 12, Jericho has consistently new ways to reboot his career.

Which brings us to Jericho’s feud and match with Kenny Omega at WK 12. What began as a Twitter feud quickly turned into an actual match booked for NJPW’s biggest event of the year. The build to Alpha vs. Omega pushed the limits, blurred lines and allowed for a WWE star to crossover to the world of NJPW.

Sure Jericho and Omega can create a buzz online but how would their chemistry in the ring be? After 34 minutes of shared ring time, Alpha vs. Omega met or exceeded most fans expectations.

Now the 47-year-old wrestler is taking an online victory lap.

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Jericho would go on to add

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“And that is how it’s done kids…. ”

Hard to argue with that Y2J.

For complete NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 results click here. To check out Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega in GIFs click here. For a review and recommendations on all ten matches on the card click here.

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Full spoilers from NXT’s Jan. 4, 2018 tapings at Center Stage

NXT is back – but for the first time, they’re not filming at their home base of Full Sail Live. Instead, Triple H has taken the franchise to WCW’s old stomping grounds in Atlanta where they’ll tape matches and segments for their regular Wednesday night series on WWE Network at Center Stage.

Tonight’s show (Jan. 4) will finish the build to TakeOver: Philadelphia, and maybe even include some material from after Jan. 27’s live special on the eve of Royal Rumble. It’s also the last Full Sail taping in a while, since they won’t tape again until Feb. 1 in this same venue.

Only two matches are set for Philly, so tonight’s action will tell us what and who will be joining Johnny Gargano’s challenge of NXT champion Andrade “Cien” Almas and Adam Cole vs. Aleister Black in Wells Fargo Center.

We’ll know more when results start rolling in from The ATL. We’ll be updating those here live, starting at the scheduled 6:30PM Eastern bell time:

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SmackDown ratings (Jan. 2, 2017): Viewers climb for the third straight week

Does Daniel Bryan versus Shane McMahon equal ratings? Despite fighting fan’s attention with Holiday activities or maybe because fans want to escape from Holiday actives, viewership for SmackDown rose for the third consecutive week.

Featuring an AJ Styles versus Sami Zayn main event, Jan. 2’s edition of SmackDown netted 2.72 million viewers. Featuring a commercial free first hour, the Dec. 26’s episode drew 2.65 million viewers.

Last Tuesday night SmackDown Live on the USA Network checked in as the number two program on cable in the 18-49 year-old demographic. The blue brand was only one of two sport’s program to make the top ten and was only bested by Curse of Oak Island on the History Channel.

Courtesy of Show Buzz Daily below is the top 50 original cable telecasts from Jan. 2.


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So how do you explain SmackDown’s recent run of rating success? Just that time of year? AJ Styles as champion? McMahon vs. Bryan? Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn’s awesome friendship?

For complete results and the live blog for SmackDown this week click here. To read a complete recap and review of all the night’s events click here. For a full playlist of the show click here.

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Second Match Confirmed For Kamikaze Pro ‘Underground IV’

Kamikaze Pro have confirmed a second match for their February 2nd event, Underground IV at The Empire in Coventry, England. It has been announced that “Relentless” Keith Lee will compete against Kay Jutler in singles action in Coventry on February 2nd. Photo Credit: Kamikaze Pro The announced match card is as follows: Match Card Zack Sabre…

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Championship Defence Signed For Futureshock Wrestling ‘Uproar 98’

Futureshock Wrestling have signed a championship defence for their January 14th event, Uproar 98 at the Stockport Guild Hall in Stockport, England. It has been announced that “The Ambassador” Xander Cooper will defend the Futureshock Adrenaline Championship against “The Last King Of Scotland” Wolfgang in Stockport on January 14th. The announced match card is as follows:…

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Championship Matches Signed For Tidal Wrestling ‘Wipeout 2018’

Tidal Wrestling have signed two championship matches for their February 4th event, Wipeout 2018 at Temple Of Doom in Leeds, England. The first match confirmed will see David Graves challenge H.T Drake for the TCW Championship in Leeds on February 4th. The second contest scheduled for February 4th shall see Little Miss Roxxy defend the TCW…

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Bruce Prichard Speaks On The Goldust Character


On the most recent edition of his podcast, Something To Wrestle With, Bruce Prichard spoke about the Goldust character and below are highlights
Prichard on how WWE was interested in Dustin Rhodes to work against Hulk Hogan for WrestleMania 9:
“Let me put it this way; we were interested in

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This Week’s Total Divas Draws Best Viewership Number In A Year

This week’s new episode of Total Divas, which featured the continuation of Lana drama, along with Rusev getting upset with his wife kissing another man, averaged 684,000 viewers according to ShowBuzz Daily.

The episode, which was the first of 2018, drew the highest audience for Total Divas since January 25th, 2017. This week’s number is also up from last week’s 612,000 viewership average. Total Divas this week ranked #25 on cable TV in the 18-49 demographic.

Next week’s new episode of Total Divas will feature part two of the two part SummerSlam special edition of the show, and the official synopsis is as follows:

Three Alarm Fire: Nia faces her fears and braves a date with a NYC firefighter; Lana’s criticim of Nattie’s skills on the mic gets in Nattie’s head before her big SummerSlam match, forcing Nattie to do something drastic.

Below are some highlight clips from this week’s show:

The Bella Twins and Nia Jax discuss their New York City adventures during SummerSlam Week.

After another argument with Lana, Natalya opens up to Nia Jax about her issues with The Ravishing Russian.

Lana tells Carmella she would never try to take her off Live Events and that Natalya is lying.

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Hot Takes and Hot Tags: WWE Needs to Lose Three Person Commentary Teams

Three is not only a crowd; it’s also very loud and sometimes antagonistically annoying on WWE television.

WWE has had a recent fascination with employing announcer teams consisting of three members: One play-by-play commentator and two color commentators. The play-by-play straight man calls the action down the middle (while sometimes vouching for faces acting justly), while the color commentators serve as opinionated in-ring experts who act as an angel and a devil on the shoulders of the viewer, justifying or condemning a face or heel’s actions.

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Michael Cole was interviewed for ESPN.com in late 2016 where he mentioned he enjoys three-person booths even though he’s aware many fans are not. “The main reason is because it allows me to be right down the middle. I can just be an unbiased play-by-play guy, and let Corey [Graves] have his views, and Byron [Saxton] have his views, and they can go back and forth and debate and argue with each other while I can just do what I do, which is call a match and tell stories.

“I think sometimes when you’re in a two-man booth,” Cole continued, “I get bogged down having to be the good guy a little bit too much, or the bad guy as it used to be. It’s tough that way, but just having that straight play-by-play guy to tell your stories, be unbiased, and have your two guys playing off each other, it’s perfect.”

For Cole and his personal sweet spot as a commentator, that makes complete sense. But unfortunately, this set-up often leads to commentators having to talk over the other’s points or outright argue with each other during the middle of a match. It often feels like there are one too many voices without the necessary chemistry for success in the commentator’s role on a wrestling television show. With that in mind, WWE should strive to return to an old format of only two announcers on the call of a show.

The two-man booth of a play-by-play and color commentator is a stable and an easily digestible set-up for the at-home audience for a multitude of wrestling federations and sports for years. The play-by-play man should be equal parts a narrator of a Shakespeare play and Pat Summerall calling the Super Bowl. They should be someone with the trustworthiness of Walter Cronkite and the wrestling acumen of Bret Hart. Most importantly, they should be the straight man calling the action as they see it in front of them with a babyface ideal of good and bad, especially in contrast to the heelish color commentator.

A great heel commentator admires and essentially jumps out of their seat in excitement when a bad guy or girl acts like a bad guy or girl. They should have a distorted worldview where every way the heels act is smart, advantageous and the right thing to do, despite the ire and scorn from the fans in the arena. Basically, their job is to be antagonistic to the views of the play-by-play man (the “voice of reason”) as well as the audience, while not becoming annoying in the process. This is a fine line to walk, but the best of the best have found the happy medium between the two.

Naturally, certain roles can be reversed to suit a particular announcer’s strengths. As a former wrestler, Tazz would interject his veteran knowledge of the wrestler’s psyche and move-set that Cole would not be able to deliver with the same air of expertise while the two worked together on SmackDown in the early to mid-2000’s.

History shows us that some of WWE’s best announce teams came in the form of two-man commentary duos, as well (Monsoon-Heenan, Monsoon-Ventura, McMahon-Ventura, Ross-Lawler, Cole-Tazz and the much-praised alignment of Mauro Ranallo and Daniel Bryan during the Cruiserweight Classic in the summer of 2016). This structure and its success isn’t just limited to WWE, either. Lucha Underground has employed the entertaining duo of Matt Striker and Vampiro for its three season run while Impact Wrestling had success early on with line-ups including Mike Tenay and Don West.

Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, as well. WCW Nitron and Thunder were able to work well with a three-man booth including some combination of Tony Schiavone, Tenay, Heenan, Eric Bischoff, Larry Zbyszko or Dusty Rhodes. Even Joey Styles made a name for himself in ECW as a solo play-by-play man with no other announcer to bounce thoughts off of. But in recent years on WWE television, the third color commentator on the team often has gotten left in the dust during conversation. On RAW, Cole drives the action of the match while Graves builds the tactics of dirty heels as acts of pure genius, while Booker T and previously Saxton are only able to add in quick quips about the action. On the “Blue Brand,” Ranallo and Jerry Lawler were prime announcing standouts in early 2016 SmackDown commentary as the exhilarated broadcaster and the brash heel, respectively. But, Saxton and David Otunga often were relegated to the third wheel of the group, barely getting a memorable quip or comment in edgewise.

My biggest gripe currently on the three-man teams in WWE right now involves the constant badgering and nagging between Graves and his counterpart on RAW or SmackDown in Booker or Saxton, respectively. Ventura and Monsoon would have disagreements that never went beyond ten seconds all while staying focused on the action in the ring. Graves and Saxton (as well as Booker) often have exhaustively long spats with each other where they snip at each other for a lengthy period of time, so much so that the viewer often forgets what they were arguing about to begin with. Again, it’s a fine line to walk. Bobby Heenan and Jerry Lawler were easily able to do it in their prime. This in-fighting derides the attention of the viewer away from the match and leaves the play-by-play man sitting silently in the middle of a childish tirade.

In the clip above from Clash of Champions a few weeks ago, it feels like Graves and Saxton are personally offended by the others views during the match and continue to grate at each other in snippy detail throughout the show. It takes away from the match and it makes plenty of viewers want to mute their streams or televisions during the show.

In an ideal universe, this is how I would break down the commentary teams:

RAW: Michael Cole and Corey Graves

SmackDown: Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton

NXT: Mauro Ranallo and Nigel McGuinness

If WWE is serious about having RAW and SmackDown stand on their own as separate, distinct brands, Graves needs to remain on one show, even if he is the best color commentator the company has at the moment. Percy Watson doesn’t have any outright bad mannerisms as an announcer, but he is without question the third wheel of the team next to the knowledgeable and excitable Ranallo and the wise and snarky McGuinness. Booker T has a tendency to go on long-winded tangents that don’t end at a concise point or argument. While Byron isn’t lighting the world on fire as an announcer, he certainly has potential and can be molded into a more intriguing voice through experience. The commentators that ultimately get chopped could potentially be reassigned to a backstage interviewer role like Renee Young or Charley Caruso.

While it seems minuscule, this small change can add a greater degree of watch-ability to WWE television in 2018.

The post Hot Takes and Hot Tags: WWE Needs to Lose Three Person Commentary Teams appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

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Chris Jericho Responds To Criticism Dedicating His Wrestle Kingdom Match To Benoit


Chris Jericho has taken to social media to respond to those criticizing him for dedicating his Wrestle Kingdom 12 match to “Fallen Brothers” Chris Benioit and Eddie Guerrero. In a post on his Instagram yesterday he posted fan art which had both Benoit and Guerrero behind him with the words "We" are

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WWE Looking To Sign Top Female Independent Wrestler


Candice LeRae who featured in the Mae Young Classic tournament is reportedly in the process of signing a contract to become a WWE Superstar and is high on the company’s radar.
LeRae has been used recently on NXT events but has not officially signed a deal and according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter,

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Rusev and Lana to represent SmackDown in the Mixed Match Challenge

With apologies to AJ Styles, SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan really does have a big heart. Mere hours after Kurt Angle and Raw announced their new B & B team, the Blue Brand stole the pro wrestling news cycle with a counter strike.

SmackDown also a brought more singing and dancing to the table with their reveal of Rusev and Lana as the next team to enter the Mixed Match Challenge field.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

What a joyous Rusev Day.

Oh and there was Aiden English singing. Then there was Rusev singing. Then everyone was dancing and singing the most catchy Lana themed song of the new year.

The MMC debuts live on Jan 16 right after SmackDown goes off the air exclusively on FaceBook Watch.

The power of love is a curious thing but will it be enough to carry Rusev and Lana to a Mixed Match Challenge championship?

With now 18 wrestlers remaining, what other pairings does Daniel Bryan have written down in organic recycled Eco-friendly notebook?

Alicia Fox, Asuka, Bayley, Goldust, Nia Jax, The Miz, Samoa Joe and whoever replaces Enzo Amore, Becky Lynch, Carmella, Jimmy Uso, Naomi, Natalya, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura and The New Day

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Street Fight And Tag Team Match Confirmed For Insane Championship Wrestling ‘Fight Club: It’s Always Raining In Glasgow’

Insane Championship Wrestling have confirmed two new matches for their January 21st event, Fight Club: It’s Always Raining In Glasgow at The Garage in Glasgow, Scotland. The first new contest announced will see Ravie Davie and the current ICW Women’s Champion, Kasey face “The King Of All Evil” Bram and Martina in Glasgow on January 21st.…

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Uncategorized

WWE Looking To Sign Top Female Independent Wrestler


Candice LeRae who featured in the Mae Young Classic tournament is reportedly in the process of signing a contract to become a WWE Superstar and is high on the company’s radar.
LeRae has been used recently on NXT events but has not officially signed a deal and according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter,

from WWE wrestling news, WWE Royal Rumble 2017 PPV results, Raw Results, SmackDown Results http://ift.tt/2EWOmj1
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Hot Takes and Hot Tags: WWE Needs to Lose Three Person Commentary Teams

Three is not only a crowd; it’s also very loud and sometimes antagonistically annoying on WWE television.

WWE has had a recent fascination with employing announcer teams consisting of three members: One play-by-play commentator and two color commentators. The play-by-play straight man calls the action down the middle (while sometimes vouching for faces acting justly), while the color commentators serve as opinionated in-ring experts who act as an angel and a devil on the shoulders of the viewer, justifying or condemning a face or heel’s actions.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Michael Cole was interviewed for ESPN.com in late 2016 where he mentioned he enjoys three-person booths even though he’s aware many fans are not. “The main reason is because it allows me to be right down the middle. I can just be an unbiased play-by-play guy, and let Corey [Graves] have his views, and Byron [Saxton] have his views, and they can go back and forth and debate and argue with each other while I can just do what I do, which is call a match and tell stories.

“I think sometimes when you’re in a two-man booth,” Cole continued, “I get bogged down having to be the good guy a little bit too much, or the bad guy as it used to be. It’s tough that way, but just having that straight play-by-play guy to tell your stories, be unbiased, and have your two guys playing off each other, it’s perfect.”

For Cole and his personal sweet spot as a commentator, that makes complete sense. But unfortunately, this set-up often leads to commentators having to talk over the other’s points or outright argue with each other during the middle of a match. It often feels like there are one too many voices without the necessary chemistry for success in the commentator’s role on a wrestling television show. With that in mind, WWE should strive to return to an old format of only two announcers on the call of a show.

The two-man booth of a play-by-play and color commentator is a stable and an easily digestible set-up for the at-home audience for a multitude of wrestling federations and sports for years. The play-by-play man should be equal parts a narrator of a Shakespeare play and Pat Summerall calling the Super Bowl. They should be someone with the trustworthiness of Walter Cronkite and the wrestling acumen of Bret Hart. Most importantly, they should be the straight man calling the action as they see it in front of them with a babyface ideal of good and bad, especially in contrast to the heelish color commentator.

A great heel commentator admires and essentially jumps out of their seat in excitement when a bad guy or girl acts like a bad guy or girl. They should have a distorted worldview where every way the heels act is smart, advantageous and the right thing to do, despite the ire and scorn from the fans in the arena. Basically, their job is to be antagonistic to the views of the play-by-play man (the “voice of reason”) as well as the audience, while not becoming annoying in the process. This is a fine line to walk, but the best of the best have found the happy medium between the two.

Naturally, certain roles can be reversed to suit a particular announcer’s strengths. As a former wrestler, Tazz would interject his veteran knowledge of the wrestler’s psyche and move-set that Cole would not be able to deliver with the same air of expertise while the two worked together on SmackDown in the early to mid-2000’s.

History shows us that some of WWE’s best announce teams came in the form of two-man commentary duos, as well (Monsoon-Heenan, Monsoon-Ventura, McMahon-Ventura, Ross-Lawler, Cole-Tazz and the much-praised alignment of Mauro Ranallo and Daniel Bryan during the Cruiserweight Classic in the summer of 2016). This structure and its success isn’t just limited to WWE, either. Lucha Underground has employed the entertaining duo of Matt Striker and Vampiro for its three season run while Impact Wrestling had success early on with line-ups including Mike Tenay and Don West.

Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, as well. WCW Nitron and Thunder were able to work well with a three-man booth including some combination of Tony Schiavone, Tenay, Heenan, Eric Bischoff, Larry Zbyszko or Dusty Rhodes. Even Joey Styles made a name for himself in ECW as a solo play-by-play man with no other announcer to bounce thoughts off of. But in recent years on WWE television, the third color commentator on the team often has gotten left in the dust during conversation. On RAW, Cole drives the action of the match while Graves builds the tactics of dirty heels as acts of pure genius, while Booker T and previously Saxton are only able to add in quick quips about the action. On the “Blue Brand,” Ranallo and Jerry Lawler were prime announcing standouts in early 2016 SmackDown commentary as the exhilarated broadcaster and the brash heel, respectively. But, Saxton and David Otunga often were relegated to the third wheel of the group, barely getting a memorable quip or comment in edgewise.

My biggest gripe currently on the three-man teams in WWE right now involves the constant badgering and nagging between Graves and his counterpart on RAW or SmackDown in Booker or Saxton, respectively. Ventura and Monsoon would have disagreements that never went beyond ten seconds all while staying focused on the action in the ring. Graves and Saxton (as well as Booker) often have exhaustively long spats with each other where they snip at each other for a lengthy period of time, so much so that the viewer often forgets what they were arguing about to begin with. Again, it’s a fine line to walk. Bobby Heenan and Jerry Lawler were easily able to do it in their prime. This in-fighting derides the attention of the viewer away from the match and leaves the play-by-play man sitting silently in the middle of a childish tirade.

In the clip above from Clash of Champions a few weeks ago, it feels like Graves and Saxton are personally offended by the others views during the match and continue to grate at each other in snippy detail throughout the show. It takes away from the match and it makes plenty of viewers want to mute their streams or televisions during the show.

In an ideal universe, this is how I would break down the commentary teams:

RAW: Michael Cole and Corey Graves

SmackDown: Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton

NXT: Mauro Ranallo and Nigel McGuinness

If WWE is serious about having RAW and SmackDown stand on their own as separate, distinct brands, Graves needs to remain on one show, even if he is the best color commentator the company has at the moment. Percy Watson doesn’t have any outright bad mannerisms as an announcer, but he is without question the third wheel of the team next to the knowledgeable and excitable Ranallo and the wise and snarky McGuinness. Booker T has a tendency to go on long-winded tangents that don’t end at a concise point or argument. While Byron isn’t lighting the world on fire as an announcer, he certainly has potential and can be molded into a more intriguing voice through experience. The commentators that ultimately get chopped could potentially be reassigned to a backstage interviewer role like Renee Young or Charley Caruso.

While it seems minuscule, this small change can add a greater degree of watch-ability to WWE television in 2018.

The post Hot Takes and Hot Tags: WWE Needs to Lose Three Person Commentary Teams appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

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Uncategorized

Rusev and Lana to represent SmackDown in the Mixed Match Challenge

With apologies to AJ Styles, SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan really does have a big heart. Mere hours after Kurt Angle and Raw announced their new B & B team, the Blue Brand stole the pro wrestling news cycle with a counter strike.

SmackDown also a brought more singing and dancing to the table with their reveal of Rusev and Lana as the next team to enter the Mixed Match Challenge field.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

What a joyous Rusev Day.

Oh and there was Aiden English singing. Then there was Rusev singing. Then everyone was dancing and singing the most catchy Lana themed song of the new year.

The MMC debuts live on Jan 16 right after SmackDown goes off the air exclusively on FaceBook Watch.

The power of love is a curious thing but will it be enough to carry Rusev and Lana to a Mixed Match Challenge championship?

With now 18 wrestlers remaining, what other pairings does Daniel Bryan have written down in organic recycled Eco-friendly notebook?

Alicia Fox, Asuka, Bayley, Goldust, Nia Jax, The Miz, Samoa Joe and whoever replaces Enzo Amore, Becky Lynch, Carmella, Jimmy Uso, Naomi, Natalya, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura and The New Day

from Cageside Seats – All Posts http://ift.tt/2qrx1vq
via IFTTT

Uncategorized

WWE Looking To Sign Top Female Independent Wrestler


Candice LeRae who featured in the Mae Young Classic tournament is reportedly in the process of signing a contract to become a WWE Superstar and is high on the company’s radar.
LeRae has been used recently on NXT events but has not officially signed a deal and according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter,

from WWE wrestling news, WWE Royal Rumble 2017 PPV results, Raw Results, SmackDown Results http://ift.tt/2EWOmj1
via IFTTT

Uncategorized

Rusev and Lana to represent SmackDown in the Mixed Match Challenge

With apologies to AJ Styles, SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan really does have a big heart. Mere hours after Kurt Angle and Raw announced their new B & B team, the Blue Brand stole the pro wrestling news cycle with a counter strike.

SmackDown also a brought more singing and dancing to the table with their reveal of Rusev and Lana as the next team to enter the Mixed Match Challenge field.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

What a joyous Rusev Day.

Oh and there was Aiden English singing. Then there was Rusev singing. Then everyone was dancing and singing the most catchy Lana themed song of the new year.

The MMC debuts live on Jan 16 right after SmackDown goes off the air exclusively on FaceBook Watch.

The power of love is a curious thing but will it be enough to carry Rusev and Lana to a Mixed Match Challenge championship?

With now 18 wrestlers remaining, what other pairings does Daniel Bryan have written down in organic recycled Eco-friendly notebook?

Alicia Fox, Asuka, Bayley, Goldust, Nia Jax, The Miz, Samoa Joe and whoever replaces Enzo Amore, Becky Lynch, Carmella, Jimmy Uso, Naomi, Natalya, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura and The New Day

from Cageside Seats – All Posts http://ift.tt/2qrx1vq
via IFTTT

Uncategorized

Hot Takes and Hot Tags: WWE Needs to Lose Three Person Commentary Teams

Three is not only a crowd; it’s also very loud and sometimes antagonistically annoying on WWE television.

WWE has had a recent fascination with employing announcer teams consisting of three members: One play-by-play commentator and two color commentators. The play-by-play straight man calls the action down the middle (while sometimes vouching for faces acting justly), while the color commentators serve as opinionated in-ring experts who act as an angel and a devil on the shoulders of the viewer, justifying or condemning a face or heel’s actions.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Michael Cole was interviewed for ESPN.com in late 2016 where he mentioned he enjoys three-person booths even though he’s aware many fans are not. “The main reason is because it allows me to be right down the middle. I can just be an unbiased play-by-play guy, and let Corey [Graves] have his views, and Byron [Saxton] have his views, and they can go back and forth and debate and argue with each other while I can just do what I do, which is call a match and tell stories.

“I think sometimes when you’re in a two-man booth,” Cole continued, “I get bogged down having to be the good guy a little bit too much, or the bad guy as it used to be. It’s tough that way, but just having that straight play-by-play guy to tell your stories, be unbiased, and have your two guys playing off each other, it’s perfect.”

For Cole and his personal sweet spot as a commentator, that makes complete sense. But unfortunately, this set-up often leads to commentators having to talk over the other’s points or outright argue with each other during the middle of a match. It often feels like there are one too many voices without the necessary chemistry for success in the commentator’s role on a wrestling television show. With that in mind, WWE should strive to return to an old format of only two announcers on the call of a show.

The two-man booth of a play-by-play and color commentator is a stable and an easily digestible set-up for the at-home audience for a multitude of wrestling federations and sports for years. The play-by-play man should be equal parts a narrator of a Shakespeare play and Pat Summerall calling the Super Bowl. They should be someone with the trustworthiness of Walter Cronkite and the wrestling acumen of Bret Hart. Most importantly, they should be the straight man calling the action as they see it in front of them with a babyface ideal of good and bad, especially in contrast to the heelish color commentator.

A great heel commentator admires and essentially jumps out of their seat in excitement when a bad guy or girl acts like a bad guy or girl. They should have a distorted worldview where every way the heels act is smart, advantageous and the right thing to do, despite the ire and scorn from the fans in the arena. Basically, their job is to be antagonistic to the views of the play-by-play man (the “voice of reason”) as well as the audience, while not becoming annoying in the process. This is a fine line to walk, but the best of the best have found the happy medium between the two.

Naturally, certain roles can be reversed to suit a particular announcer’s strengths. As a former wrestler, Tazz would interject his veteran knowledge of the wrestler’s psyche and move-set that Cole would not be able to deliver with the same air of expertise while the two worked together on SmackDown in the early to mid-2000’s.

History shows us that some of WWE’s best announce teams came in the form of two-man commentary duos, as well (Monsoon-Heenan, Monsoon-Ventura, McMahon-Ventura, Ross-Lawler, Cole-Tazz and the much-praised alignment of Mauro Ranallo and Daniel Bryan during the Cruiserweight Classic in the summer of 2016). This structure and its success isn’t just limited to WWE, either. Lucha Underground has employed the entertaining duo of Matt Striker and Vampiro for its three season run while Impact Wrestling had success early on with line-ups including Mike Tenay and Don West.

Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, as well. WCW Nitron and Thunder were able to work well with a three-man booth including some combination of Tony Schiavone, Tenay, Heenan, Eric Bischoff, Larry Zbyszko or Dusty Rhodes. Even Joey Styles made a name for himself in ECW as a solo play-by-play man with no other announcer to bounce thoughts off of. But in recent years on WWE television, the third color commentator on the team often has gotten left in the dust during conversation. On RAW, Cole drives the action of the match while Graves builds the tactics of dirty heels as acts of pure genius, while Booker T and previously Saxton are only able to add in quick quips about the action. On the “Blue Brand,” Ranallo and Jerry Lawler were prime announcing standouts in early 2016 SmackDown commentary as the exhilarated broadcaster and the brash heel, respectively. But, Saxton and David Otunga often were relegated to the third wheel of the group, barely getting a memorable quip or comment in edgewise.

My biggest gripe currently on the three-man teams in WWE right now involves the constant badgering and nagging between Graves and his counterpart on RAW or SmackDown in Booker or Saxton, respectively. Ventura and Monsoon would have disagreements that never went beyond ten seconds all while staying focused on the action in the ring. Graves and Saxton (as well as Booker) often have exhaustively long spats with each other where they snip at each other for a lengthy period of time, so much so that the viewer often forgets what they were arguing about to begin with. Again, it’s a fine line to walk. Bobby Heenan and Jerry Lawler were easily able to do it in their prime. This in-fighting derides the attention of the viewer away from the match and leaves the play-by-play man sitting silently in the middle of a childish tirade.

In the clip above from Clash of Champions a few weeks ago, it feels like Graves and Saxton are personally offended by the others views during the match and continue to grate at each other in snippy detail throughout the show. It takes away from the match and it makes plenty of viewers want to mute their streams or televisions during the show.

In an ideal universe, this is how I would break down the commentary teams:

RAW: Michael Cole and Corey Graves

SmackDown: Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton

NXT: Mauro Ranallo and Nigel McGuinness

If WWE is serious about having RAW and SmackDown stand on their own as separate, distinct brands, Graves needs to remain on one show, even if he is the best color commentator the company has at the moment. Percy Watson doesn’t have any outright bad mannerisms as an announcer, but he is without question the third wheel of the team next to the knowledgeable and excitable Ranallo and the wise and snarky McGuinness. Booker T has a tendency to go on long-winded tangents that don’t end at a concise point or argument. While Byron isn’t lighting the world on fire as an announcer, he certainly has potential and can be molded into a more intriguing voice through experience. The commentators that ultimately get chopped could potentially be reassigned to a backstage interviewer role like Renee Young or Charley Caruso.

While it seems minuscule, this small change can add a greater degree of watch-ability to WWE television in 2018.

The post Hot Takes and Hot Tags: WWE Needs to Lose Three Person Commentary Teams appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

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via IFTTT

Uncategorized

WWE Looking To Sign Top Female Independent Wrestler


Candice LeRae who featured in the Mae Young Classic tournament is reportedly in the process of signing a contract to become a WWE Superstar and is high on the company’s radar.
LeRae has been used recently on NXT events but has not officially signed a deal and according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter,

from WWE wrestling news, WWE Royal Rumble 2017 PPV results, Raw Results, SmackDown Results http://ift.tt/2EWOmj1
via IFTTT

Uncategorized

Rusev and Lana to represent SmackDown in the Mixed Match Challenge

With apologies to AJ Styles, SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan really does have a big heart. Mere hours after Kurt Angle and Raw announced their new B & B team, the Blue Brand stole the pro wrestling news cycle with a counter strike.

SmackDown also a brought more singing and dancing to the table with their reveal of Rusev and Lana as the next team to enter the Mixed Match Challenge field.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

What a joyous Rusev Day.

Oh and there was Aiden English singing. Then there was Rusev singing. Then everyone was dancing and singing the most catchy Lana themed song of the new year.

The MMC debuts live on Jan 16 right after SmackDown goes off the air exclusively on FaceBook Watch.

The power of love is a curious thing but will it be enough to carry Rusev and Lana to a Mixed Match Challenge championship?

With now 18 wrestlers remaining, what other pairings does Daniel Bryan have written down in organic recycled Eco-friendly notebook?

Alicia Fox, Asuka, Bayley, Goldust, Nia Jax, The Miz, Samoa Joe and whoever replaces Enzo Amore, Becky Lynch, Carmella, Jimmy Uso, Naomi, Natalya, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura and The New Day

from Cageside Seats – All Posts http://ift.tt/2qrx1vq
via IFTTT

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First Match Confirmed For New Generation Wrestling UK ‘Proving Ground 37’

New Generation Wrestling UK have confirmed the first match for their February 3rd event, Proving Ground 37 at Blackfriars At The Ouseburn in Newcastle, England. It has been announced that The Primate will face “The Professional” Nathan Cruz in Newcastle on February 3rd at Proving Ground 37. Photo Credit: New Generation Wrestling UK The announced match card…

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Two New Matches Signed For Southside Wrestling ‘Raw Deal 7’

Southside Wrestling have signed two new matches for their February 3rd event, Raw Deal 7 at The Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage, England. The first new match announced will see Big Grizzly compete against James Storm in singles action in Stevenage on February 3rd. The second new match scheduled for February 3rd shall see Jimmy Jacobs…

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via IFTTT

Uncategorized

WWE Looking To Sign Top Female Independent Wrestler


Candice LeRae who featured in the Mae Young Classic tournament is reportedly in the process of signing a contract to become a WWE Superstar and is high on the company’s radar.
LeRae has been used recently on NXT events but has not officially signed a deal and according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter,

from WWE wrestling news, WWE Royal Rumble 2017 PPV results, Raw Results, SmackDown Results http://ift.tt/2EWOmj1
via IFTTT

Uncategorized

Rusev and Lana to represent SmackDown in the Mixed Match Challenge

With apologies to AJ Styles, SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan really does have a big heart. Mere hours after Kurt Angle and Raw announced their new B & B team, the Blue Brand stole the pro wrestling news cycle with a counter strike.

SmackDown also a brought more singing and dancing to the table with their reveal of Rusev and Lana as the next team to enter the Mixed Match Challenge field.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

What a joyous Rusev Day.

Oh and there was Aiden English singing. Then there was Rusev singing. Then everyone was dancing and singing the most catchy Lana themed song of the new year.

The MMC debuts live on Jan 16 right after SmackDown goes off the air exclusively on FaceBook Watch.

The power of love is a curious thing but will it be enough to carry Rusev and Lana to a Mixed Match Challenge championship?

With now 18 wrestlers remaining, what other pairings does Daniel Bryan have written down in organic recycled Eco-friendly notebook?

Alicia Fox, Asuka, Bayley, Goldust, Nia Jax, The Miz, Samoa Joe and whoever replaces Enzo Amore, Becky Lynch, Carmella, Jimmy Uso, Naomi, Natalya, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura and The New Day

from Cageside Seats – All Posts http://ift.tt/2qrx1vq
via IFTTT

Uncategorized

Hot Takes and Hot Tags: WWE Needs to Lose Three Person Commentary Teams

Three is not only a crowd; it’s also very loud and sometimes antagonistically annoying on WWE television.

WWE has had a recent fascination with employing announcer teams consisting of three members: One play-by-play commentator and two color commentators. The play-by-play straight man calls the action down the middle (while sometimes vouching for faces acting justly), while the color commentators serve as opinionated in-ring experts who act as an angel and a devil on the shoulders of the viewer, justifying or condemning a face or heel’s actions.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Michael Cole was interviewed for ESPN.com in late 2016 where he mentioned he enjoys three-person booths even though he’s aware many fans are not. “The main reason is because it allows me to be right down the middle. I can just be an unbiased play-by-play guy, and let Corey [Graves] have his views, and Byron [Saxton] have his views, and they can go back and forth and debate and argue with each other while I can just do what I do, which is call a match and tell stories.

“I think sometimes when you’re in a two-man booth,” Cole continued, “I get bogged down having to be the good guy a little bit too much, or the bad guy as it used to be. It’s tough that way, but just having that straight play-by-play guy to tell your stories, be unbiased, and have your two guys playing off each other, it’s perfect.”

For Cole and his personal sweet spot as a commentator, that makes complete sense. But unfortunately, this set-up often leads to commentators having to talk over the other’s points or outright argue with each other during the middle of a match. It often feels like there are one too many voices without the necessary chemistry for success in the commentator’s role on a wrestling television show. With that in mind, WWE should strive to return to an old format of only two announcers on the call of a show.

The two-man booth of a play-by-play and color commentator is a stable and an easily digestible set-up for the at-home audience for a multitude of wrestling federations and sports for years. The play-by-play man should be equal parts a narrator of a Shakespeare play and Pat Summerall calling the Super Bowl. They should be someone with the trustworthiness of Walter Cronkite and the wrestling acumen of Bret Hart. Most importantly, they should be the straight man calling the action as they see it in front of them with a babyface ideal of good and bad, especially in contrast to the heelish color commentator.

A great heel commentator admires and essentially jumps out of their seat in excitement when a bad guy or girl acts like a bad guy or girl. They should have a distorted worldview where every way the heels act is smart, advantageous and the right thing to do, despite the ire and scorn from the fans in the arena. Basically, their job is to be antagonistic to the views of the play-by-play man (the “voice of reason”) as well as the audience, while not becoming annoying in the process. This is a fine line to walk, but the best of the best have found the happy medium between the two.

Naturally, certain roles can be reversed to suit a particular announcer’s strengths. As a former wrestler, Tazz would interject his veteran knowledge of the wrestler’s psyche and move-set that Cole would not be able to deliver with the same air of expertise while the two worked together on SmackDown in the early to mid-2000’s.

History shows us that some of WWE’s best announce teams came in the form of two-man commentary duos, as well (Monsoon-Heenan, Monsoon-Ventura, McMahon-Ventura, Ross-Lawler, Cole-Tazz and the much-praised alignment of Mauro Ranallo and Daniel Bryan during the Cruiserweight Classic in the summer of 2016). This structure and its success isn’t just limited to WWE, either. Lucha Underground has employed the entertaining duo of Matt Striker and Vampiro for its three season run while Impact Wrestling had success early on with line-ups including Mike Tenay and Don West.

Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, as well. WCW Nitron and Thunder were able to work well with a three-man booth including some combination of Tony Schiavone, Tenay, Heenan, Eric Bischoff, Larry Zbyszko or Dusty Rhodes. Even Joey Styles made a name for himself in ECW as a solo play-by-play man with no other announcer to bounce thoughts off of. But in recent years on WWE television, the third color commentator on the team often has gotten left in the dust during conversation. On RAW, Cole drives the action of the match while Graves builds the tactics of dirty heels as acts of pure genius, while Booker T and previously Saxton are only able to add in quick quips about the action. On the “Blue Brand,” Ranallo and Jerry Lawler were prime announcing standouts in early 2016 SmackDown commentary as the exhilarated broadcaster and the brash heel, respectively. But, Saxton and David Otunga often were relegated to the third wheel of the group, barely getting a memorable quip or comment in edgewise.

My biggest gripe currently on the three-man teams in WWE right now involves the constant badgering and nagging between Graves and his counterpart on RAW or SmackDown in Booker or Saxton, respectively. Ventura and Monsoon would have disagreements that never went beyond ten seconds all while staying focused on the action in the ring. Graves and Saxton (as well as Booker) often have exhaustively long spats with each other where they snip at each other for a lengthy period of time, so much so that the viewer often forgets what they were arguing about to begin with. Again, it’s a fine line to walk. Bobby Heenan and Jerry Lawler were easily able to do it in their prime. This in-fighting derides the attention of the viewer away from the match and leaves the play-by-play man sitting silently in the middle of a childish tirade.

In the clip above from Clash of Champions a few weeks ago, it feels like Graves and Saxton are personally offended by the others views during the match and continue to grate at each other in snippy detail throughout the show. It takes away from the match and it makes plenty of viewers want to mute their streams or televisions during the show.

In an ideal universe, this is how I would break down the commentary teams:

RAW: Michael Cole and Corey Graves

SmackDown: Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton

NXT: Mauro Ranallo and Nigel McGuinness

If WWE is serious about having RAW and SmackDown stand on their own as separate, distinct brands, Graves needs to remain on one show, even if he is the best color commentator the company has at the moment. Percy Watson doesn’t have any outright bad mannerisms as an announcer, but he is without question the third wheel of the team next to the knowledgeable and excitable Ranallo and the wise and snarky McGuinness. Booker T has a tendency to go on long-winded tangents that don’t end at a concise point or argument. While Byron isn’t lighting the world on fire as an announcer, he certainly has potential and can be molded into a more intriguing voice through experience. The commentators that ultimately get chopped could potentially be reassigned to a backstage interviewer role like Renee Young or Charley Caruso.

While it seems minuscule, this small change can add a greater degree of watch-ability to WWE television in 2018.

The post Hot Takes and Hot Tags: WWE Needs to Lose Three Person Commentary Teams appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

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Two New Matches Signed For Southside Wrestling ‘Raw Deal 7’

Southside Wrestling have signed two new matches for their February 3rd event, Raw Deal 7 at The Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage, England. The first new match announced will see Big Grizzly compete against James Storm in singles action in Stevenage on February 3rd. The second new match scheduled for February 3rd shall see Jimmy Jacobs…

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Uncategorized

Two New Matches Signed For Southside Wrestling ‘Raw Deal 7’

Southside Wrestling have signed two new matches for their February 3rd event, Raw Deal 7 at The Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage, England. The first new match announced will see Big Grizzly compete against James Storm in singles action in Stevenage on February 3rd. The second new match scheduled for February 3rd shall see Jimmy Jacobs…

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via IFTTT

Uncategorized

Two New Matches Signed For Southside Wrestling ‘Raw Deal 7’

Southside Wrestling have signed two new matches for their February 3rd event, Raw Deal 7 at The Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage, England. The first new match announced will see Big Grizzly compete against James Storm in singles action in Stevenage on February 3rd. The second new match scheduled for February 3rd shall see Jimmy Jacobs…

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Hot Takes and Hot Tags: WWE Needs to Lose Three Person Commentary Teams

Three is not only a crowd; it’s also very loud and sometimes antagonistically annoying on WWE television.

WWE has had a recent fascination with employing announcer teams consisting of three members: One play-by-play commentator and two color commentators. The play-by-play straight man calls the action down the middle (while sometimes vouching for faces acting justly), while the color commentators serve as opinionated in-ring experts who act as an angel and a devil on the shoulders of the viewer, justifying or condemning a face or heel’s actions.

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Michael Cole was interviewed for ESPN.com in late 2016 where he mentioned he enjoys three-person booths even though he’s aware many fans are not. “The main reason is because it allows me to be right down the middle. I can just be an unbiased play-by-play guy, and let Corey [Graves] have his views, and Byron [Saxton] have his views, and they can go back and forth and debate and argue with each other while I can just do what I do, which is call a match and tell stories.

“I think sometimes when you’re in a two-man booth,” Cole continued, “I get bogged down having to be the good guy a little bit too much, or the bad guy as it used to be. It’s tough that way, but just having that straight play-by-play guy to tell your stories, be unbiased, and have your two guys playing off each other, it’s perfect.”

For Cole and his personal sweet spot as a commentator, that makes complete sense. But unfortunately, this set-up often leads to commentators having to talk over the other’s points or outright argue with each other during the middle of a match. It often feels like there are one too many voices without the necessary chemistry for success in the commentator’s role on a wrestling television show. With that in mind, WWE should strive to return to an old format of only two announcers on the call of a show.

The two-man booth of a play-by-play and color commentator is a stable and an easily digestible set-up for the at-home audience for a multitude of wrestling federations and sports for years. The play-by-play man should be equal parts a narrator of a Shakespeare play and Pat Summerall calling the Super Bowl. They should be someone with the trustworthiness of Walter Cronkite and the wrestling acumen of Bret Hart. Most importantly, they should be the straight man calling the action as they see it in front of them with a babyface ideal of good and bad, especially in contrast to the heelish color commentator.

A great heel commentator admires and essentially jumps out of their seat in excitement when a bad guy or girl acts like a bad guy or girl. They should have a distorted worldview where every way the heels act is smart, advantageous and the right thing to do, despite the ire and scorn from the fans in the arena. Basically, their job is to be antagonistic to the views of the play-by-play man (the “voice of reason”) as well as the audience, while not becoming annoying in the process. This is a fine line to walk, but the best of the best have found the happy medium between the two.

Naturally, certain roles can be reversed to suit a particular announcer’s strengths. As a former wrestler, Tazz would interject his veteran knowledge of the wrestler’s psyche and move-set that Cole would not be able to deliver with the same air of expertise while the two worked together on SmackDown in the early to mid-2000’s.

History shows us that some of WWE’s best announce teams came in the form of two-man commentary duos, as well (Monsoon-Heenan, Monsoon-Ventura, McMahon-Ventura, Ross-Lawler, Cole-Tazz and the much-praised alignment of Mauro Ranallo and Daniel Bryan during the Cruiserweight Classic in the summer of 2016). This structure and its success isn’t just limited to WWE, either. Lucha Underground has employed the entertaining duo of Matt Striker and Vampiro for its three season run while Impact Wrestling had success early on with line-ups including Mike Tenay and Don West.

Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, as well. WCW Nitron and Thunder were able to work well with a three-man booth including some combination of Tony Schiavone, Tenay, Heenan, Eric Bischoff, Larry Zbyszko or Dusty Rhodes. Even Joey Styles made a name for himself in ECW as a solo play-by-play man with no other announcer to bounce thoughts off of. But in recent years on WWE television, the third color commentator on the team often has gotten left in the dust during conversation. On RAW, Cole drives the action of the match while Graves builds the tactics of dirty heels as acts of pure genius, while Booker T and previously Saxton are only able to add in quick quips about the action. On the “Blue Brand,” Ranallo and Jerry Lawler were prime announcing standouts in early 2016 SmackDown commentary as the exhilarated broadcaster and the brash heel, respectively. But, Saxton and David Otunga often were relegated to the third wheel of the group, barely getting a memorable quip or comment in edgewise.

My biggest gripe currently on the three-man teams in WWE right now involves the constant badgering and nagging between Graves and his counterpart on RAW or SmackDown in Booker or Saxton, respectively. Ventura and Monsoon would have disagreements that never went beyond ten seconds all while staying focused on the action in the ring. Graves and Saxton (as well as Booker) often have exhaustively long spats with each other where they snip at each other for a lengthy period of time, so much so that the viewer often forgets what they were arguing about to begin with. Again, it’s a fine line to walk. Bobby Heenan and Jerry Lawler were easily able to do it in their prime. This in-fighting derides the attention of the viewer away from the match and leaves the play-by-play man sitting silently in the middle of a childish tirade.

In the clip above from Clash of Champions a few weeks ago, it feels like Graves and Saxton are personally offended by the others views during the match and continue to grate at each other in snippy detail throughout the show. It takes away from the match and it makes plenty of viewers want to mute their streams or televisions during the show.

In an ideal universe, this is how I would break down the commentary teams:

RAW: Michael Cole and Corey Graves

SmackDown: Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton

NXT: Mauro Ranallo and Nigel McGuinness

If WWE is serious about having RAW and SmackDown stand on their own as separate, distinct brands, Graves needs to remain on one show, even if he is the best color commentator the company has at the moment. Percy Watson doesn’t have any outright bad mannerisms as an announcer, but he is without question the third wheel of the team next to the knowledgeable and excitable Ranallo and the wise and snarky McGuinness. Booker T has a tendency to go on long-winded tangents that don’t end at a concise point or argument. While Byron isn’t lighting the world on fire as an announcer, he certainly has potential and can be molded into a more intriguing voice through experience. The commentators that ultimately get chopped could potentially be reassigned to a backstage interviewer role like Renee Young or Charley Caruso.

While it seems minuscule, this small change can add a greater degree of watch-ability to WWE television in 2018.

The post Hot Takes and Hot Tags: WWE Needs to Lose Three Person Commentary Teams appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

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Uncategorized

Two New Matches Signed For Southside Wrestling ‘Raw Deal 7’

Southside Wrestling have signed two new matches for their February 3rd event, Raw Deal 7 at The Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage, England. The first new match announced will see Big Grizzly compete against James Storm in singles action in Stevenage on February 3rd. The second new match scheduled for February 3rd shall see Jimmy Jacobs…

from Wrestle Ropes http://ift.tt/2qmyhjz
via IFTTT