My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Saturday, January 31, 2004

Some thoughts and news from the past week

Only these three are annoying?
Go to amiannoying.com and check out their top one hundred most annoying people of 2003 list to see 3 current WWE stars on the list. Suprisingly, Triple H is the lowest at no.80, Goldberg is next (no pun intended) at no.47 and the highest ranked is Sable at no.19! I don't understand the voting process, but I'm pretty sure more people would find HHH's antics more annoying than watching the hot Sable strut her stuff. And shouldn't Vince McMahon be on this list somewhere?!?

Eddie Guerrero going to No Way Out
Eddie Guerrero won a 15-man mini Rumble on Smackdown to win a world title shot against Brock Lesner at No Way Out. At the same time the teasing of Angle's heel turn continues. Like many, I predict Goldberg screws Lesner at No Way Out, then we get Brock Vs Goldberg and Eddie VS Angle for the WWE Title at WrestleManiaXX.

Now it's a 8-man tournament
The New Japan Pro Wrestling IWGP provisional world champion tournament is now a 8-man tournament as after all his whinning, Hiroshi Tanahashi is officially in the tournament with an 8th man to be named later. Rumoured to be either Shinya Makabe, who won a recent New Japan Heavyweight Royal Rumble, or Kensuke Sasaki. I hope Tanahashi gets his ass eliminated in the opening round....

Other wrestling stuff
- Nidia finally turned on Jamie Noble this week on Smackdown as she revealed she has her vision back. An angle many thought would happen at the Royal Rumble. Rey Mysterio and Noble were also given more time to work their match on FREE TV as oppose to the three minutes they were given on PAY PER VIEW.
- Despite what went on during RAW, its said that Torrie Wilson & Sable will be in Playboy again and not Stacy Keibler and Ms. Jacky. Ok.....
- TNA put on what was said to be their worst main event ever when Don Callis beat Eric Watts in a totally over-booked and over hyped match. Four guys from Mexico's AAA promotion were on the show (Participants in the Americas X-Cup tournament) and no mention was even made of that! And Terry Funk is coming in next week. Big whoop.
- Matt Morgan took a stiff clothesline from Hardcore Holly at a house show and is now on the injured list. Nice going Holly.

Spoiling the Illusion...
This is something I'm gonna try and do weekly. I got the idea from Vince McMahon (gasp!) when he told his wrestlers to stop talking to the internet during the pre-show meetings cause it 'ruins the illusion'. So I'm going to try and point out the dumb mistakes WWE makes on its weekly TV shows that 'spoil the illusion' of pro-wrestling realism for me.
1 - On RAW, HHH and HBK confront each other in the ring. Both in street gear. Than Austin comes out, also in his street gear and brings out Chris Benoit, decked out in FULL WRESTLING GEAR, and we are to believe NO ONE KNEW HE WAS THERE?!?
2 - At the Royal Rumble, during Kane's rampage, the lights go out and we hear the Undertaker's bell toll. This distracts Kane and he gets eliminated. Then on Raw, After Kane disposses of the Dudley Boys, the lights go out again and not only do we get the Undertaker's bell toll, we get a titantron video that obviously has 'Taker's trademark. Then on Smackdown, Josh Matthews asks Vince if HE THINKS it's the Undertaker coming after Kane? And McMahon CAN'T GIVE A DEFINATE ANSWER? If this isn't a hint of spoiling the illusion, it shows both McMahon and Matthews are TOTAL IDIOTS.

That's it for now. Let me know what you think of spoiling the illusion and feel free to let me know anything on the shows that spoils the illusion for you.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Another thumbs up for RAW

I enjoyed RAW again this week as it did an OK job of following up the excellent Royal Rumble PPV.

- The opening handicap match was a good well paced bout as Y2J & RVD (Being punished for being the last two RAW guys in but not winning the Rumble) took on Evolution's Orton, Batista & Flair. Solid match but Batista & Orton blew a couple of spots near the end. Orton ain't no DDP as he blew the first RKO, but hit a 2nd to beat Jericho. Batista also took 2 chop blocks to his RIGHT knee, but both times he held his LEFT!
- I kinda feel they took the cheap way out forcing Y2J to use his Survivor Series favour to cancel a match between Trish vs Kane. Here's a guy that has every right to be in a main event spot and is being shot down again.
- Victoria & Lita on the same team? Coolness! My two fav wrestling Divas defeat Molly & Jazz, though the small package roll-up at the end came out of nowhere. Victoria has played her psycho character so well since she first started it and is probably the best running gimmick in WWE today. Hope she eventually does win the title off Molly.
- HHH is out next and begins to gloat how he is still the champion and try as he might, HBK couldn't get the job done (Reality was HHH got stretchered out, but HBK walked). HBK comes out and says this between them is just getting started. Does this mean their still gonna be feuding years from now with a ton of false finishes?!? Anyways, Austin comes out and compares their Last Man Standing match to the Texas Chainsaw Masacre, what with all the blood they left in the ring. He then says the winner of the Royal Rumble gets to face the champion at WrestleManiaXX, but was never stated WHICH champion (Please note last year they did....). Austin then brings out the 2004 Royal Rumble winner Chris Benoit and he gets in the faces of noth HHH & HBK as he doesn't care who he faces at WrestleMania is as his spot is guaranteed.
- Next up Kane and Bubba Ray Dudley put on one hell of a FIGHT!!! This was fun 'till Kane got himself DQ'd for hitting Bubba with the ring steps. DVon gets taken out trying to help Bubba, then the lights go out and the bell tolls again like during the Rumble. This time we also get a titantron video clueing us in more that the Darkside Undertaker is coming after Kane.
- Rico with Ms. Jackie beats Rene Dupree with Rob Conway after Jackie flashes her goods to distract Dupree! What a damn lucky live audience as the camera was behind her when she did it! During the match I think she popped out of her very loose top as King suddenly went nuts. I musta blinked or something...
- Post match and Stacy Kiebler comes to the ring and confronts Ms. Jackie, but then raises her arm as its announced the duo will tag... IN PLAYBOY!!!
- Next up it's Coach & Mark Henry Vs Goldberg. Coach was being punished for laughing at Bisch cause Heyman attacked him at the Royal Rumble. Teddy Long used it as an example of how whitey was only using the blackman and offered Mark Henry's services. Good big-man bout between Goldberg & Henry. Goldberg slams and tosses Henry out of the ring before hitting the Spear & Jackhammer on Coach for the win. He then called out Brock Lesner, not caring which show he was on.
- Show ends with a great promo segment by Mick Foley as he confronts Randy Orton in the ring and scares the be-jesus out of the youngster before pounding away on him only to get ganged up on by Flair & Batista. Foley comes back with a chair and cleans house to end the show. Foley's promo was just excellent.

Puroresu news and thoughts
- It's been announced that Jushin Thunder Liger's V1 defence of the GHC Jr. Title will be against 55yr old Mitsuo Momota! Will be interesting to see if the son of Rikidozan can bring the gold home to NOAH. The match will take place on 2/15, same show as the IWGP provisional champion tournament.
- Long time NJPW regular, AKIRA has also announced he will be a freelancer as he did not renew his contract with NJPW. I think its fitting as he doesn't wrestle as often due to the fact he also has a career in stage acting.
- There's also talks of a rematch between Shinsuke Nakamura and Alexey Ignashov. All I got to say about that is that after seeing Ignashov in action (see below), Nakamura better win!
- On 1/25, Kenta Kobashi succesfully made his V6 defence of the GHC Title against Naoki Sano with a avalanche-Brainbuster at 25:58. Much like HHH in WWE, NOAH seems to be having a hard time finding credible challengers for Kobashi. But unlike HHH, he is on a legitimately higher level than almost all the roster (save maybe Akiyama & Misawa). His next defence is scheduled to be against Akira Taue before going on to face Akiyama at the Tokyo Dome. Should be an entertaining match at least.

Caught a good K-1 show on satellite TV again this past monday. It was part of the 2002 World Grand Prix and had the following 4 fights:
- Alexey Ignashov beat Peter Aerts by Decision after 5 rounds. The man who would claim a tainted victory over Shinsuke Nakamura looked OK here. Has very high stamina, but like the description of his match with Nakamura, seemed to not know how to finish off an already exhausted Aerts.
- Rey Sefo beat Gilbert Yvel by KO, or shoud that be Knock Down as he totally clipped Yvel's leg till he couldnt stand anymore? This bout was just killer as after absorbing some blows from 'The Hurricane', Sefo shrugged off Yvel and just battered away before taking out his legs with some sweet kicks to the thigh area. Sefo is my new K-1 fav :-)
- Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson beat Cyril Abidi by KO. This one was over quickly as Abidi was totally embarrassed by PRIDE regular, Jackson. The striker got outpunched by a grappler in under a minute!
- Mirko CroCop beat Remy Bojansky by Referee Stop. CroCop spent the first round feeling out the longer limbed Bojansky, but really let loose in the 2nd round after closing in and pounded away. The referee stopped the bout when Bojansky could do nothing but block CroCop's assault, rather questionable decision and Bojansky wasn't happy with the call.


Monday, January 26, 2004


Dudley Boys VS Flair & Batista (World Tag Team Title Tables Match)
To win only one man must be put through a table. Cool spot when Bubba slid a table all the way accross the ring hitting Batista in the ribs. The Dudleys hold the advantage till Coach runs in and Batista takes out both Dudleys before putting D-Von through the table with a spinebuster.
Winners: And Still World Tag Team Champions, Evolution

Backstage and John Cena gets his rap interupted by Rob Van Dam. Fun stuff. Cena has new Word Life knuckle rings.

Rey Mysterio VS Jamie Noble with Nidia (Cruiserweight Title Match)
A fast pace match as expected. Nidia accidently trips Noble as she crosses the ring leading to Mysterio hitting the 619 followed by a guillotine leg drop to retain his title. This match was over way too fast.
Winner: And Still Cruiserweight Champion, Rey Mysterio

Two matches in under fifteen minutes so far. And that includes the show opening sequence and wrestler introductions!

Chavo Guerrero Jr with Chavo Guerrero Sr VS Eddie Guerrero
Good recap of the whole angle leading up to this one. Nicely worked matched. Eddie wins when he counters Chavo's attempt at his triple rolling suplex with 3 of his own followed by the frog splash for the win. Post match, Eddie low blows his brother Chavo Sr and continues to beat and bloody up Chavo Jr as a helpless Chavo Sr looks on tied to the ropes by his necktie. This one dissapointingly was over way too soon, under ten minutes I believe.
Winner: Eddie Guerrero

Backstage and Chris Benoit gets his interview interupted by a celebrating team Evolution where Flair berates the Wolverine for being the best technical wrestler in the business, but always falling short of winning the big one. Tazz agrees and this sets the stage for the predicted Benoit jump to RAW.

Hardcore Holly VS Brock Lesner (WWE Title Match)
Good recap package with a sick image of Holly getting dropped on his head by Brock a year ago. OK match but nothing special. Brock hits a belly to belly and a fisherman's buster while trying to wear down Holly for most of the match with submission holds. Holly comes back hits his Alabama Slam and locks on his Full Nelson. Brock manages to escape and hit the F5 for the win. This was over quickly as predicted.
Winner: And Still WWE Champion, Brock Lesner

Four matches in under an hour. The main event better deliver...

Shawn Michaels VS Triple H (World Title Last Man Standing Match)
Again a good recap package highlighting the history of the two from their D-X times to present day. Crowd boos a spot where both men trade punches ontop of the announce table only for HHH to get knocked off and not through a table. Big spot where Michaels misses a springboard cross-body out of the ring and crashes through the Spanish announce table to get busted open. Back in the ring HHH gets frustrated as a bloody Michaels keeps getting up and asking for more punishment. This promps HHH to whack him on the back with a chair but Miachels still gets up! HBK counters a Pedigree on the chair into a slingshot into the corner followed by a sick chairshot to the head, busting HHH open. HBK rallies back but HHH counters Sweet Chin Music with a low blow. Several near counts and HHH hits the Pedigree! HBK gets up at 8 and hits Sweet Chin Music but himself is down as the ref counts ten! We have a double KO as the fans boo the decision!
Flair and Batista come out to help stretcher HHH out of the ring, but HBK refuses to be stretchered out. Shows he should be the winner.
Winner: Double KO when both men couldn't answer the 10 count. Title stays with Triple H.

Again they take the cheap way out for HHH to retain the title while making HBK look credible. Next Up: THE ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH!
Jim Ross and Tazz call the action. Good idea!
Before the Rumble starts Eric Bischoff comes out and badmouths Smackdown GM Paul Heyman, prompting Paul E. to come out and start brawling with Bisch. As expected Austin shows his bald head and stuns both GMs. That's five minutes they could have given more to Eddie & Chavo instead of this cheap pop getter.
While the ring crew clean up the beer in the ring, we go to an interview with Goldberg that gets interupted by Brock Lesner. Seeds being planted for WrestleManiaXX....

30-Man Royal Rumble Match
Probably one of the greatest Royal Rumble matches of all time! Highlights:
- A record number of German Suplexes thrown throughout the match!
- Bradshaw comes in on a rampage delivering Clotheslines From Hell on everyone till Benoit counters one to a Crossface and eliminates him
- Tajiri Mists Mark Henry and locks on the Tarantula, Rhyno Gores Henry and knocks Tajiri out
- Rhyno tries to Gore Kane but runs right into a big boot.
- Kane comes in on a rampage, than the buzzer goes off, the lights go off and the Undertaker's gong goes off! Kane is in shock and gets eliminated by Booker, It's then revealed that Spike Dudley pulled a fast one on Kane! But he pays the price as Kane chokeslams him on the rampway and could not continue.
- Ernest 'The Cat' Miller makes his WWE PPV debut only to dance like an idiot and get eliminated by Orton.
- Test scheduled to come in at no.21, but doesn't show. Cut to the back and he's been taken out as Austin orders the guy off camera that did it to replace him in the Rumble. It turns out to be none other than MICK FOLEY! He immediately goes after a shocked Randy Orton and predictably eliminates himself and Orton with his pattented Cactus Clothesline out of the ring. The 2 continue to brawl out of the arena.
- Nunzio makes his entrance as Foley & Orton brawl on the rampway and walks right into a Mr. Socko Mandible Claw! Nunzio sits at ringside acting inconspicous till John Cena throws him in.
- Goldberg goes to town on everyone in the ring and sets to Jackhammer Big Show when suddenly Brock Lesner runs in and F5s him! Goldberg yells, "Your Next!" as he staggers to his feet and gets eliminated by Angle from behind.
- Jericho, RVD, Cena and Benoit all hit their trademarks on Big Show and together with Angle all 5 of them still could get the big lug out!
- Cena seemed to twist his ankle when Show tossed him out, same for Hurricane when Morgan tossed him out.
- Jericho gets Big Show in the Walls of Jericho and Show taps! But he still manages to eliminate Jericho after Angle breaks the hold by Chokeslamming him right out of the ring!
- Angle counters a Chokeslam and locks on the Ankle Lock! Big Show taps! Just when it looks like Show is gonna climb out of the ring for a lame looking elimination, he uses his legs to launch Angle out of the ring!
- Chris Benoit counters a Chokeslam into a Crossface and Show Taps AGAIN! Show counters it into a sidewalk slam, but Benoit survives all odds as he counters a gorilla press into a front face choke (which I know what it feels like cause he locked it on me 2 years ago!) and manages to pull Show over the top and eliminate him and win the big one!!!

Below is the sequence of entry followed by who eliminated them and the sequence of elimination. (*- Eliminated in under a minute)
1. Chris Benoit
2. Randy Orton - Foley - 18/19
3. Mark Henry - Benoit - 3
4. Tajiri - Rhyno/Henry - 2
5. Bradshaw - Benoit - 1*
6. Rhyno - Benoit - 8
7. Matt Hardy - Dupree - 9
8. Scott Steiner - Booker T - 5
9. Matt Morgan - Benoit - 11
10. The Hurricane - Morgan - 4*
11. Booker T - Orton - 13
12. Kane - Booker - 6
13. Spike Dudley - Unable to continue after assault by Kane - 7
14. Rikishi - Orton - 12
15. Rene Dupree - Rikishi - 10*
16. A-Train - Benoit - 14
17. Sheldon Benjamin - Orton - 15*
18. Ernest 'The Cat' Miller - Orton - 16*
19. Kurt Angle - Big Show - 28
20. Rico - Orton - 17*
21. MICK FOLEY!!!! - Self - 18/19*
22. Christian - Jericho - 20
23. Nunzio - Goldberg - 23
24. Big Show - Benoit - 29
25. Chris Jericho - Big Show - 27
26. Charlie Haas - Goldberg - 21
27. Billy Gunn - Goldberg - 22
28. John Cena - Big Show - 25
29. Rob Van Dam - Big Show - 26
30. Goldberg - Angle - 24

How about that? I'm 5 for 6 in my predictions! I just loved the Rumble match this year. The first four matches on the card unfortunately weren't anything special that they couldn't have given away for free on TV. The double KO in the World Title match came out of nowhere. Even I expected the match to go longer and the fans were not happy with the decision. Expect another rematch on RAW in the coming weeks. I think this was the longest the Rumble has ever gone after no.30 entered. I was sure they were saving Big Show for Goldberg to eliminate and Orton would make it to the final two. I was also sure Big Show would fall out of the ring when Benpoit hit the Swan Dive Headbutt while he was hanging on the ropes but instead fell in the ring! And how smart is Spike Dudley? For that matter, how bout the smarts Big Show demonstrated when he eliminated Angle? I just wished guys like Bradshaw and Hurricane weren't eliminated in under a minute. I hope Helms and Cena didn't injure themselves when they were eliminated as they seem to land pretty hard on their ankles. Also, They did a good job of booking it so that the big names of both brands came in as little contact with each other as possible.

That's it for what must be the longest article I've ever posted so far. Hope you all enjoyed the Rumble as much I did.


Saturday, January 24, 2004

WWE Royal Rumble predictions and other thoughts...

Royal Rumble predictions

Rey Mysterio VS Jamie Noble (Cruiserweight Title): If this match doesn't get bumped up to HEAT to give the other matches more time, I expect Mysterio to retain after Nidia reveals she has her vision back and backstabs Noble for all the abuse these past weeks. Yet another happy couple ruined cause the writers can't think of anything else to do with them....

Ric Flair & Batista VS The Dudley Boys (Tag Team Title Tables Match): Evolution retain cause the Dudleys have a big history in Philadelphia and McMahon never lets the hometown wrestlers win. But it leaves the gates open for a young team like Mark Jindrak & Garrison Cade to finally win the gold as a face team.

Eddie Guerrero VS Chavo Guerrero: Expect this match to be the highlight of the show. Eddie wins but gets beat down by both Chavo Sr. & Jr.

Brock Lesnar VS Hardcore Holly (WWE Title Match): Brock was a monster these past few months, now Hardcore Holly returns for revenge and he's scared of him eventhough he's bigger and stronger than him? Is he gonna wimp out like a little girl when Zack Gowen wants revenge for pushing him down the stairs? Anyway, I don't expect this match to last very long. Brock retains and Holly goes back to the midcard status feuding with whoever helps Brock retain here.

Triple H VS Shawn Michaels (World Title Last Man Standing Match): This could just out-work Eddie Vs Chavo for match of the night (Unless HHH tells Vince to order them to tone down their workrate so as not to make the World Champion look slow...). Expect HBK to carry most of the match like their previous title match on RAW. And of course Triple H retains after all kinds of interfearance from Evolution and starts bragging about it for the next two months.

30-Man Royal Rumble Match: Hopefully no one gets eliminated in under a minute this year. There's also talk of a mystery 30th entrant, which I might predict as Mick Foley to get his hands on Randy Orton, or the expected return of the old-school Darkside Undertaker to get his Revenge on Kane for burying him alive at Survivor Series, It's most probably the later as its rumoured as a SmackDown talent.
As for the winner, since who wins gets to pick which brand champion he can challenge at WrestleMania XX, there are 2 possibilities. Benoit defies the odds as No.1 entrant and wins, but goes on to challenge HHH on RAW as Hunter brags about being the best in the industry after beating HBK. And Benoit being the best technical wrestler on the planet won't stand for it, hence his jump to RAW and a one month World Title reign as he beat HHH at WMXX but loses it back to him a month later.
The other high possibility is Bill Goldberg becomes the 1st man to enter at No.30 to win the Rumble match. However, on the following RAW while HHH rambles excuses trying to get out of his match with Goldberg, Da Man comes out and just before HHH wets his pants, Goldberg says to forget about it cause he's challenging the SmackDown WWE Champion! Then after Flair changes Hunter's diaper, Benoit appears and makes the challenge for Hunter's World Title!
Benoit winning the Rumble seems more likely as Goldberg's last WWE match is suppose to be at WrestleMania XX and I don't think it's wise to have Goldberg in the main event if it means he's gonna lose the match. I find it even less likely he wins and forfeits the title after or drop it back just days later.

Other WWE thoughts of the past week...
As expected, WWE's pre-show talent meetings are turning into a chance for Vince to rant at the talent as he continues to point the finger for the companies troubles at the hard working men and women who draws the crowds that put money his pockets. I don't think Vince has ever pointed a finger at any of the writers or bookers unless they oppose his ideas (i.e Paul Heyman).
Vince also ordered the workers to stop talking to internet reporters. Why? Cause it "ruins the illusion" when they talk about the business. Didn't WWE say that the internet community was the lowest demographic? Why would they care so much if it was? Either way, it's no big secret already about the reality of the pro-wrestling business. If Vince doesn't want to "ruin the illusion", he should try not writting angles where wrestlers fall into dumpsters engulfed in flames only to appear a week later with hardly a scratch on them.
As for the miss-use of talent, WWE could probably learn a thing from New Japan Pro Wrestling by signing its talent to one-year deals instead of multi-year deals when they have nothing to do for them. Think about it. If the talent were signed to just a one year deal, wouldn't that encourage them to work harder as the year comes to a close to encourage WWE to resign them? It would also be less hassle to release workers that aren't drawing or have nothing for them (i.e Spanky) at the end of the year instead of just have them sit home and collect paycheques till their multi-year contracts run out. Most of the time they just sign them to multi-year deals just to keep them away from working for other feds despite not having anything to do for them.

Johnny Fairplay's less than stellar TNA debut
After the hype, Johnny Fairplay just seems to be another cheap heat getter. I wasn't really impressed as all he did was bad-mouth the fans and it takes just one powerbomb by A.J. Styles to put him out. I would have prefered Styles brawl with Fairplay till the heels gang up on him to at least make Fairplay look like a real wrestler. I should probably wait to see Fairplay's in ring work before passing final judgement.

New Japan contract negotiations continue-
Yuji Nagata, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Osamu Nishimura, Manabu Nakanishi, Jushin Thunder Liger, Katsuyori Shibata and Mitsuya Nagai have renewed their contracts despite receiving paycuts. Nagata wasn't happy with his 20% paycut as he was just given a hefty bonus the previous year. Could we see more of 'Demon Nagata' as he vents his frustrations out during his matches? That would be cool to me. Despite a incredible breakout year, even Tenzan was given a paycut and is himself not happy with the situation.
Is it just me or does this year's contract renewals seem like one big angle involving the entire company?

That's all the ranting I have for now. Check back monday for my Royal Rumble report and thoughts.


Wednesday, January 21, 2004

RAW gets a thumbs up

This week's edition of RAW was a thumbs up show for me as they did an excellent job of hyping the Royal Rumble match itself by having the 15 RAW entrants battle for the No.30 spot in a series of matches. Also on the plus side, HHH, HBK and Bisch wasn't around and Stone Cold only made a short appearance in the 2nd hour.
The series of matches that were held were also good TV grade matches. The Booker/RVD vs Christian/Hardy match had a good ending when Booker jumped out of nowhere to hit the double scissors kick on both heels and RVD followed with the frog splash for the win.
Rene Dupree showed more in his one singles match with Y2J then he did his entire current WWE run. It actually looked like he would win when he blocked the Lionsault and hit a Death Valley Driver!
Except for a few kicks, Rico was expectadly squashed by Mark Henry. Everyone says Rico is an underated wrestler, but I still say he sucks unless he does something else other than kicks in the ring. Tajiri can throw kicks too but at least he has a more varied arsenal.
Probably the biggest win Spike Dudley has had in a LONG time when he got Kane DQ'd for shoving the ref and the ref mistook Kane for it! Would have been better if they let Spike show his fighting spirit and still part take in the main event battle royal despite his injuries.
The Goldberg/Steiner/Test match was pretty good. Though I've noticed recently that after the opening minutes of all his matches, Goldberg tends to get very sluggish in the ring. Note to WWE: Start building Goldberg/Steiner for WrestleMania XX NOW!!!
Despite a very convincing and serious promo, you had to know Hurricane wasn't going to beat Orton. OK match though, which would have been better if given more time.
The main event battle royal got off to a good start when Goldberg took 3 finishers from Booker, Y2J and RVD. RVD & Book where than eliminate in record time which I always hate to see in a battle royal. Goldberg then goes into sluggish mode but wins spearing, Jackhammering and then tossing Orton out onto his fellow Evolution team mates. Good show overall.

Here's the full card for this Sunday's (Monday for us in Malaysia) WWE Royal Rumble. Personally, I wouldn't be suprised if one of the matches gets bumped up to HEAT. No prizes for guessing which match...
HHH vs HBK - Last Man Standing World Title Match
Flair & Batista Vs The Dudleys - Tag Team Title Tables Match
Brock Lesner Vs Hardcore Holly - WWE Title Match
Rey Mysterio Vs Jamie Noble - Cruiserweight Title Match
Eddie Guerrero Vs Chavo Guerrero
30-Royal Rumble Match

New Japan contract re-signings
So some of New Japan's talent aren't satisfied with having to take a 30-50% pay-cut if they re-sign with New Japan. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Yutaka Yoshie are 2 of 'em who re-signed and started complaining after. Justifiably they had a standout year and rose significantly in the ranks in 2003 and should probably be treated better unless NJPW was risking them walking out of the company and heading elsewhere.
Personnaly, I think Tanahashi re-signed cause he's so obsessed with entering the IWGP Title tournament in February. This has grounds for turning Tanahashi into a major heel.
Currently Ryushi Yanagisawa, Hiro Saito and Masahito Kakihara have not re-signed with the company. Saito should accept the pay-cut cause he's way past his prime. If Keiji Mutoh were smart, he's steal Kakihara back to All Japan and have him finally dethrone KaShin's strangglehold on the PWF Jr Heavyweight title. I don't know much about Yanagisawa to comment on his position.
Also re-signed: Masayuki Naruse, Koji Kanemoto, Shinya Makabe, El Samurai, Wataru Inoue, Jado, Gedo, and Toru Yano.

I also caught a K-1 show on TPI Digital (A satelite channel) this past monday and it had a very good fight between Zero-One regular Josh Dempsey and K-1's golden boy, Musashi. Musashi won by decision after 5-rounds. Dempsey showed his fighting spirit near the end of the 5th round as he just put down his guard and absorbed punishment from Musashi, daring him for more since he knew he was losing on points anyway. Dempsey also withstood a stiff hook kick to the right of his jaw in the 1st round and didn't even go down! I had no idea who any of the other fighters on the show were though.


Saturday, January 17, 2004

Royal Rumble and IWGP Title Tournament thoughts

Currently blaring through my speakers: "I Don't Want To Be Me" by Type O Negative and "White Wedding" By The Murderdolls.

So it's now being said that the winner of this year's Royal Rumble match will get to choose to face the champion of either brand at Wrestle Mania XX. I think it's just a lazy way to switch brands. Though it wouldn't suprise me if Chris Benoit won and suddenly challenged HHH for the RAW World Title. God knows Hunter is desperate to have a good match at WrestleMania and since he's killed everyone on RAW, why not start burying talent from the other brand to enforce his dominance?

Also a rumour going round that Jimmy Hart and Hulk Hogan are planning on starting their own fed. As if Jeff Jarrett's power trip in TNA wasn't bad enough. Imagine Hogan if he had total control... Hey, didn't that happen in WCW at one point?

And New Japan Pro Wrestling has released the brackets for their big upcoming 6-man IWGP Heavyweight Title Tournament:

1. - Round 1: Yuji Nagata vs. Tadao Yasuda
2. - Round 1: Masahiro Chono vs. Genichiro Tenryu
3. - Semi Final: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Winner of Nagata/Yasuda
4. - Semi Final: Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Winner of Chono/Tenryu
5. - Final:

Unless Yasuda pulls off somekind of miracle, Nagata is a sure thing to face Tenzan in the Semis. Whereas the other side is gonna be harder to call. Chono and Tenryu will definately be exhausted for their semi final against Takayama. Chances are high for a Tenzan/Takayama rematch, though I expect Tenzan and Nagata could bring the house down, and at the same time probably soften each other up for whoever makes it to the finals.

One thought still lingers in my head, couldn't they have made it a standard 8-man tournament? Bringing in Keiji Mutoh for one more NJPW match would definately help ticket sales, and Tenzan would definately like to avenge his Wrestling World 2K4 lost. And Chono could put up or shut up by letting Kensuke Sasaki in the tournament. Sasaki is a marked man and alienating him is not what they should be doing now.

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Thursday, January 15, 2004

Let's hope everyone else is smart enough to follow suite...

Ranting while listening to "The Impossibility Of Reason" CD by Chimaira

The big news in the WWE now is that about a month after Nathan Jones walks out of WWE, Ultimo Dragon starts showing his frustration with the way he's being used, and now Brian 'Spanky' Kendrick has called it quits with WWE. This seems to be a trend with WWE. Bring in a hot talent and hype 'em like crazy, give 'em a less than steller debut with a mini-push to get them off the ground, And then all of a sudden we either never see them again or their regulated to the 'B' shows like HEAT and Velocity.

Don't think so? Where's Sean O'Haire? Like Jones, he was given many short promo vignettes, than all the sudden was paired up with Roddy Piper, like Jones was paired up with the Undertaker. Then Piper gets canned by WWE and O'Haire hasn't been seen since. Except for the APA Invitational Bar Room Brawl where he looked good till ONE moonsault from Shannon Moore takes him out for the rest of the match! Jones on the other hand just never made it on TV, till the Survivor Series when they finally find something for him, but then he's already sick with the business and walks out.

Paul London and Zach Gowen both received national exposure on NWA:TNA and were both quickly picked up by WWE. While Gowen received a novelty push against Vince McMahon and a dull short feud with Matt Hardy, their really isnt much that can be done with him. I'll admit I'm not really a big fan of the wonder kid, but honestly, there's only so much you can do with him. On a personal note, while I was working offshore, I played the Gowen/Hardy match from No Mercy and all my colleagues erupted....with LAUGHTER!!! They couldn't believe they were watching a one legged kid actually hold his own against someone of Hardy's calibour. And they were in tears.....LAUGHING when Gowen won the match!!!

Paul London had future X-Division champion written all over him, and now he's working dark matches and Velocity, where he'd regularly team with Spanky. Like what many wrestling news sites have reported, the dreams these youngsters have of working for WWE is turning into a nightmare.

So now Spanky is going back to work for ZERO-ONE in Japan where he first made a name for himself. But WWE has left the door open for him to come back if he wants, probably meaning when his stock goes up again they'll try to con him into coming back for one short run before burying him again. Right now I'm hoping guys like Ultimo Dragon and Paul London take a cue from Spanky and call it quits with WWE. Because I feel they have a better chance of getting exposure elsewhere instead cause the WWE is stuck using the same guys week in and out, till they run out of ideas. Then they'll switch talent with whoever isn't being used and rerun the whole thing all over again, just with different faces. That's my opinion anyway.


Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Rambling bout RAW

It sounds weird watching WWE Monday Night RAW on a Tuesday night, but that's ASTRO for ya.

Three stand out moments on RAW:
1. Those hilarious Randy Orton promos that were paid for by 'Friends and Supporters of Randy Orton'. And I think I know who one of them are...

2. The very good one-on-one face-to-face interview with HBK & HHH. You can see the intensity between the two and it almost makes the World Title secondary to the feud. With the stakes so high either man could win, though I'm sure many would like to see HBK beat HHH, I don't see it happening unless they plan on HBK dropping the belt back to HHH at Backlash a month before WrestleMania. Maybe a double KO could happen since it's a Last Man Standing match? But then the critics would just bash it as a rehash of the Foley/Rock match years ago. Also a sweet spot where HBK KO'd Jonathan Coachman with a swift superkick to get the point accross it only takes 1 second for something to end the match. Very serious throughout.

3. Solid IC Title match between Randy Orton and Rob Van Dam in the main event. Alot better than their previous PPV match. And a good clean finish for the heel. But was I the only who thought HHH was gonna Pedigree Orton when he came out from nowhere by himself after the match to celebrate with Orton?

Three bad moments:
1. The rather bad ending to the Women's tag match.

2. Matt Hardy's stock falling like a rock since coming to RAW. Obsviously he was brought to RAW with no idea what to do with him after the Lita angle ended.

3. Kane getting DQ'd for whipping Booker T into the steps TWICE! Would they suspend him if he did it a third time? Once again the logic book is thrown out the door.

- Apart from the above, we had the usual skits with Austin abusing his authority and accusing Matt Hardy of IMPERSONATING a wrestler. Take a look in the mirror Baldy, at least he still CAN wrestle!
- Suprisingly there was no Hurricane & Rosey this week, Bischoff was also kept to a minimum, unlike Austin.
- Is Theodore Long himself forgetting to 'Back the Mack' since we haven't seen him in weeks?
- And it must have really hurt when Jericho pulled out some of Mark Henry's dreadlocks when he bulldogged him.
- The build-up to the Royal Rumble Match itself so far still seems pretty week.

As of this week the card for the Royal Rumble is as follows:
HHH vs HBK - Last Man Standing World Title Match
Brock Lesner vs Hardcore Holly - WWE Title Match
Flair & Batista vs The Dudley Boys - Tag Team Title Tables Match
30-Man Royal Rumble


Sunday, January 11, 2004

UNTOUCHABLES win back GHC Tag Titles

Mitsuharu Misawa and Yoshinari Ogawa brought the GHC Tag Titles home to NOAH when they defeated the New Japan team of Yuji Nagata and Hiroshi Tanahashi to become the 8th champions in front of 16,000 fans at the Nippon Budokan last night. Misawa pinned Tanahashi with his Emerald Frosion finisher to win the titles at 29:41, also becoming the first 2-time champions.

At least it wasn't Ogawa that got the pin, but I still don't agree with them holding the titles as they are a team that definately don't need any titles to get any more over than they already are and there's no reason why they couldn't have given a younger team the big win. Maybe Misawa was giving Ogawa a consolation prize for not winning the GHC title from Kobashi awhile back?

Yuji Nagata also said after the match that he's gonna concentrate full time on wrestling in New Japan now and has broken his ties with Tanahashi as he will now be waging war on the younger generation that Tanahashi is a part of. Guess we won't see Nagata at NOAH's Tokyo Dome Show then.

Also on the card, KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji succesfully defended their GHC Jr. Tag Team Titles against the New Japan tandem of El Samurai & Wataru Inoue when KENTA nailed Samurai with the Busaiku Knee Kick for the win at 28:01, Their 4th Succesfull defence of the titles.

Misawa has also announced that at the NOAH Tokyo Dome Show, all four GHC Titles will be on the line. I would prefer a clue as to the card for the night would be as nothing has been confirmed yet. I expect alot of outsiders to be on the show, much like All Japan's Tokyo Dome shows were. I also hope it's not filled with an abundance of tag matches and just 2-single title bouts.


Thursday, January 08, 2004

Kobashi Vs Sapp?!?

So it's now rumoured that the main event for NOAH's first Tokyo Dome show will be Kenta Kobashi Vs Bob Sapp?!? I can't really blame Misawa as it would probably take a big name like Sapp to help sell more tickets in the Dome. But where does that leave Akiyama? Maybe they could change it to Misawa Vs Sapp as the semi main event so that they could go as planned with Kobashi vs Akiyama for the GHC Title. At least if they do go with Sapp in the main event, Kobashi's the right man to put him in with as he can match power with Sapp and could suplex the big man easily provided Sapp is willing to take a few bumps. I don't expect Sapp to bump much anyway as his rumoured fight with Mike Tyson would be about a month later and I'm sure he'd rather not risk getting any injuries before that historic fight if it's confirmed.

I also feel its a shame Shinsuke Nakamura had to hand back the IWGP title due to his injuries. Serves NJPW right for putting him in a shoot fight just days before his big match with Takayama. I do wonder what's the point of having a tournament for a 'temporary champion'? Why not just make it for a new champion, but have Nakamura 1st in line for a title shot when he recovers from his injuries?

Anyway, check out the My Puroresu Collection section as I've put up My entire list of puroresu tapes I currently own. I'll be updating that page as I get more tapes.


Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Coming Soon, My thoughts on the current wrestling scene, show reviews, match reviews and tape reviews