Monthly Archives: January 2017

Royal Rumble

The Royal Rumble is a strange event.  I’m not normally a fan of battle royals but for some reason I tend to quite enjoy the rumble (as I did the 12 man rumble at RISE recently). The past few years the rumbles have been OK but the build up have not left me feeling excited. This year, however, has been a little different. There has been a bit of a buzz. Lesnar, Goldberg, The Undertaker all involved. Will Angle, Michaels, Omega, or Zack Sabre Junior show up? Will Tye Dillinger come out at 10? These factors had me excited. 

Alexa Bliss, Mickie James and Natalya vs Becky Lynch, Naomi and Nikki Bella

There is a lot of talent in this match, possibly too much for a preshow match, but the rosters are both strong and the rumble match will be long. This was a strong showing from all involved. Whetting the appetite of the audience and showcasing what the women’s division on smack down gas to offer. It also served to further push Naomi.

Gallows and Anderson vs Sheamus and Cesaro

This really was a match that should have been on the main card. The raw tag titles on the line and two excellent big name teams. They match they had in raw recently was great so I was looking forward to this.

Gallows and Anderson have impressed as a tag for years, Sheamus and Cesaro have recently been thrown together but I feel have grown to be a great team and I hope they stay together a while.

The match was enjoyable and built well on their last match, although I didn’t think it was quite as good as that previous effort, and the title change made me even more confused and disappointed that it had been demoted to the preshow.

Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax

Given that Sasha is one of the most over faces in WWE, relegating this match to the preshow also seemed odd, and is certainly testament to the strength of the roster. I’ve enjoyed the build up for this match and had high hopes. I don’t think they were particularly fulfilled in what was really a squash match but I did think it built well on the injured knee angle and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a stretch muffler look so brutal. The match also shocked me. Which is alway a bonus.

Bayley vs Charlotte

Presumably this is the biggest match of Bayley’s career so far, and this meeting of these two horsewomen on a main roster pay per view has been highly anticipated. The match was great. A perfect way to kick of the pay per view proper. Some excellent wrestling from two incredible wrestlers who know each other very well. Charlotte looks unstoppable right now.

Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns

Firstly, the gimmick.y2J in a shark cage above the ring. A somewhat unique gimmick. Ellering was in one many years ago, suspended above a cage with a roof, at the lost battle of Atlanta. It may have been slightly lessened by the fact that Ellering was again in one a fee well ago on NXT, but I still think it’s unusual enough to be interesting here.

Owens is an incredible talent who has honed his skills over many years on the independent circuit, and Reigns is a huge, strong, athletic guy with pro wrestling running through his veins. He gets a bad rep from some of the main roster crowd, buy I think it is unfairly.he’s had some incredible matches over the last few years and I suspected this would be another.

I felt it was a great match. It built a story and used both the no DQ and the shark cage part of the gimmick well. Both wrestlers played their part in a brutal and riveting match that had me hooked from early on.

Rich Swann vs Neville

I first saw Neville many moons ago wrestling on the UK indy scene under the name Pac. He impressed me then and he’s continued to ever since. Swann I didn’t really know before the CwC but I have enjoyed him since then. 

This was a great match,  but for some reason the crowd were not really into it. This seems to be a common feature of cruiserweight matches these days. Perhaps the main roster crowd just isn’t the place for cruiserweight’s,  as the crowd for CwC was incredible. Still, it didn’t stop my enjoyment of a brilliantly worked match.

AJ Styles vs John Cenarth

AJ Styles has consistently been one of the best wrestlers in the world for over a decade. John Cena has been at ten top of WWE for that same time. Both have achieved the magic “5*” match grading from Dave Meltzer and both have had incredible matches with many of their peers. Hell, they even had an amazing match with each other last year. This match was, is, an exciting event.

What.A.Match. from start to finish this was incredible. The narrative throughout was brilliant and told well from both competitors. There were some incredible shows of strength and power. There was perhaps the most devastating clothesline I’d ever seen, some fantastic mat work and trading submissions and moments when I was genuinely in shock and awe. Amazing match.

Royal Rumble Match

As I mentioned at the outset, there was a genuine excitement for this year’s rumble that hasn’t really been felt previously.

It started well. It was gear to see Jack Gallagher get a stint. Strowman cleared the ring in get fashion. Tye came out at 10 and it was awesome. The whole match was awesome. It had everything a rumble should have, unpredictability, feuds continuing, feuds starting, foes teaming up and friends fighting each other. Everything was done perfectly. There was a brief moment about 58 minutes in when WWE trolled me massively into thinking I knew the outcome, but then it finished differently and was amazing. I’d go as far ands to say the best Rumble Match ever. Certainly for the last 15/20 years.

General thoughts 

January has been an incredible month for pro wrestling. It started in new Japan with wrestle kingdom and it seems that that event has made the rest of the world up their game. Show after show has been incredible and I’ve loved every minute. The rest of 2017 has a lot to live up to.

Dominant 5 star

Let’s start with the name. What’s this company called?! The press release said 5 star, the TV guide says Dominant, they keep referring to themselves as Dominant but the belt and the ring are both emblazoned with 5 star. It’s bizarre.

The show kicked off in a ratger odd fashion, the Arena looked empty and John Morrison came out with the belt to lay down an open challenge. This led to a procession of WWE old boys (Rey Mysterio, Carlito, Chris Masters, PJ Black, Drew Galloway) arriving to throw their hat in as well as Nick Aldis and Moose.

Carlito was getting cheap heat “don’t want to be in Dundee” and was oddly wearing a Chris masters t shirt. Galloway cut a gold promo and Nick Aldis garnered heat with an excellent English heel gimmick that played in the age old rivalry, ti be honest it felt a bit loke a convoluted start!

Moose vs John Morrison (Mundo)

In my opinion letting Morrison go was a massive mistake from WWE. The fact he continues to have excellent matches around the world doesn’t make me alter that opinion. Moose is a huge former NFL player, I’ve not seen much by him before but he did have a great match with Joe Coffey before. This was a decent match for what it was, Morrison showed off his high flying skills and moose some power. But it was over in less time than the convoluted start promos.

Rey Mysterio vs Nick Aldis

Reybis bigger these days than he has been, but he’s not lost any agility. Aldis is a worker and this was a good first round match. Aldis producing some great heeling throughout and Rey showing he’s not lost a step. It seemed odd that Aldis wasn’t using the name Magnus but still had it on his trunks….

Carlito vs PJ Black

I always had a lot of time for Carlito when he was in WWE, but I’ve not seen him since.  PJ Black I loved as Justin Gabriel, and he has impressed me a number of times on the independent circuit since. It was at this point I noticed that Steve Linsky was ring announcing, which struck me as odd given that he’s one of the top refs in the country. This match wasnt bad. Two good workers putting in a decent match. 

Chris Masters vs Drew Galloway

Both these guys have done much better for themselves since leaving WWE than they did in the company. Fairly solid match. Crowd are massively behind the Scott and he looked strong.

Rey vs Carlito

The crowd just wanted to see another 619. Solid match. Build on Rey’s injury angle and Carlito continued after the match.

Drew Galloway vs John Morrison

This had potential to be match of the night, with probably the two best wrestlers present involved. It was a good match and both looked great, but I was left baffled as to why they would build Drew up as the home town hero then not even have him in the final? It did leave us with a potentially great match to finish though.

Rey Mysterio vs John Morriston

These two are great high flyers and they gave us a match befitting their ability. It as a but of a shame that the finish was given away when Morrison’s music was hit prematurely.

General thoughts:

Some good matches from some great wrestlers. Nothing world shattering though. 

Seems odd to build a big face and big heel at the start of the show and then not have them get through the final.

It also seems weird to harp on and in about the thriving UK scene and not use anyone from it. The only two UK wrestlers in it are US based and best known for their US work. This is especially odd given the amount of amazingly talented UK wrestlers on their promotional material.

The arena was much bigger than the ticket sales needed. Would have been better to book somewhere a bit smaller.

At the end of the show John Morrison announced a huge tournament to take place over the summer which will include 128 wrestlers from around the world over 30 shows. This is a massive undertaking and the announcement comes only a few well after WCPW announced a similar tournament that would have 64 wrestlers.over 10 shows. Grand ideas that it will be interesting to see play out. Dominant seem to be aiming for the MEN arena for their final. That is a huge arena so I’ll be interested to see how full it is.

NXT Takeover: San Antonio

Tye Dillinger vs Eric Young
I am quite a big fan of Tye, and have been since the firest time I saw him on NXT. I’ve also been a fan of Young a while, and the added bonus of having Cillian Dan,  the man I’ve known as “Big Damo” on the UK indies, involved was nice. 

The match was a good solid opener. It hot the crowd warmed up nicely and the finish made sense but they had gotten me invested to a point that I was gutted by it. Here’s hoping Tye enters the rumble at 10.

Roderick Strong vs Andrade Almas

I’ve been a massive Strong fan since the early 2000s when he was wrestling in RoH and TNA. Almas has impressed me a bit since he arrived, and although I’ve not seen any of his earlier “La Sombra” work I hear great things.

This match was another great match. I see a great few years ahead for both these guys. There was some brutal parts in this and some real exciting parts. Looking forward to sewing move up the NXT card.

Authors of Pain vs DIY

DIY are, along with the revival, one of the best tag teams I’ve ever seen.  They were involved in some of my favourite matches in 2016 and I’m sure they will be in some of my favourite matches in 2017. The authors of pain are humongous and brutal and dominant. I was unsure how the styles would mesh and I was generally in the dark about how this match would go.

I thought this match was brilliant. I would even go as far as to say it was perfect- by that I mean I don’t think these two teams, given the build up and the storyline etc,could have had a better match with each other here than they did. I was gutted to see DIY drop, and hope they can have a rematch at takeover Orlando. 

Asuka vs Peyton Royce vs Billie Kay vs Nikki Cross

These 4 women are all extremely impressive wrestlers and the prospector them competing in a four way was exciting! This was a great match, if a tad short. All 4 ladies showing off their incredible talents. A massive bump, some great story telling and a fantastic finish. The NXT women’s division certainly has recovered from losing the four horsewomen.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs Bobby Rode

This had a big fight feel. The entrances, the crowd, the lighting, it felt like this should be a main roster, or even a mania main event. In full expect both of these guy to make the jump to main roster in 2017 and when they do to quickly ascend to the main event status. But are fantastic wrestlers who may be new to WWE but are certainly not new to pro wrestling and have been very successful elsewhere. what an incredible match. Two incredible ring veterans took the audience on a roller coaster journey of emotions. As far as the emotional journey goes, I don’t recall any recent match that has done that so well. In fact the last one that good may have been Miz vs Jerry Lawley in a ladder match for the world title in raw. In many ways this was pro wrestling at its finest. Great wrestling from both parties, amazing story and some good spots. A clear signal that both are more than ready for the main roster. My match of the night. 

General Thoughts

The news that Nigel McGuiness was joining the NXT commentary team was exciting. I liked Nigel as a wrestler and I enjoy his insights as a commentator and I’m looking forward to hearing him on NXT.

It was great to see Tyler Bate there, I heard he had a dark match, hope it gets on NXT this weds.

I love the cast majority of programming the WWE puts out, but I would say that NXT takeover is probably my favourite bit, and this show was no different. I’ve always read some negative opinions and it kinda feels like some people are only happy when complaining. This was a great event full of great matches. If the rumble is half as good it will be glorious.

I did think that Roode would lose, and show up in rumble, so now I’m hoping Nakamura does. I also hope Tye and Samoa Joe do too! 

Live at the Cockpit 12

Magee vs Lias 

Solid opening match from 2 wrestlers I’d not seen before. Strange finish though. I certainly hope to see more of these guys.

Dennis vs Bodom

I’m a big fan of both these guys in ring ability and this match didn’t disappoint. Both were able to show off their skills in a back forth contest.Bodom in particular is someone I see destined for big things. And I’m already looking forward to seeing Eddie Dennis battle Rampage Brown in Leeds for TCW in Feb. 

Revolutionists vs Contenders

I enjoy Shakespeare Samuels ,  but I’d not seen any of the other 3 before. The match was very short, but it was enjoyable nontheless and served as a focal point fir a falling out between Sha and his tag parter James Castle.

Tyler Bate vs Dave Mastiff

I’m very familiar with, and a huge fan of, both these guys. As such I was very much looking forward to seeing this match and it was good. I would gave liked it to go a little longer, but these two told a great story and included some great wrestling.

Pete Dunne and Marty Scurll vs Shane Strickland and Ryan Smile

Pete and Marty are, in my opinion, two of the best wrestlers in the world today, so seeing them on the shame team is an incredible thing. Their opponents are two amazing high flyers and this always looked like a match that would steal the show. But then it didn’t happen. Instead train banks came out and helped Pete and Mrty in a 3 on 2 situation, until Will Ospreay appeared to save his best friend Ryan Smile. I think originally this was supposed to be Will and Shane but Will was pulled due to New Japan Commitments,  however he made it back the match was made a 6 man and moved to the main event.

Trent Seven vs Zack Gibson

I love Zack Gibson,  and I quite like Trent Seven so this was another I was looking forward to. Gibson spoke before the match to a chorus of boos befitting wrestling’s hottest heel and then they put on a great match. Their styles meshed well together and I’d like to see these two face off again.

London Riots vs Redman and Sterling

The riots are a team I have grown to love over the course of the last year. I’ve seen them work great matches with a ton of different tag teams who wrestle a ton of different styles. Redman and Sterling are a team I’ve only seen once (at High Stakes) and as such haven’t made up my mind on them yet.

In this match they certainly impressed. They put in a lot of good tag team wrestling, cutting the ring in half, heat double team moves and some great spots. As well as that both impressed individually in the bits where they were wrestling on their own. Their style complemented the style of the riots and between them they put on a great match that had me invested and had me falling for false finishes even though I knew who had gone into High stakes as champion!

RJ Singh vs ZSJ

I had been enjoying RJ Singh as a commentator but I am glad to see him back between the ropes as I think he has a lot more to offer in the ring. ZSJ is another one who I would consider in the bracket as the best wrestlers in the world today. I very much enjoyed the match, I though ZSJ put on a clinic for all watching and RJ showed that he certainly does still have a lot to offer. The story was good and the wrestling was great.

Main Event

I was massively excited when this was a tag match, but adding in Banks and Ospreay, two of the best around, and making me wait another hour was a brilliant move that ramped my excitement into overdrive.

The excitement was certainly warranted. This was an incredible match. All 6 competitors looking phenomenal throughout. Some awesome comedy moments,  including Pete Dunne stripping off to reveal new ring attire based on Vader’s, who feuds with Ospreay last summer and Pete interfered in the match. There was Pete and Marty answering Zacks comments about T shirt sales by selling T shirts at ringside during the match. 

There was some awesome wrestling in a variety of styles, technical, strong style, lucha libretto. There was someone great 3 way moves (3 way cheeky nandos and just kidding being my favourites), and just some brilliant reversals and transitions. This was match of the night. 

All in all I really enjoyed the show and hope to someone more Live at the Cockpits. 

Progress 42 РLife, the universe and wrestling 

Great atmosphere for a new venue. Crazy crowd and Jim on fire as always. I had seen a spoiler that Finn Balor had been there, but that didn’t stop goosebumps and generally marking out when his usic hit. The “shit Jordan Devlin” chant may be the funniest ever and that was followed by a game of musical chairs that, rumour has it, Dave Meltzer has rated 7stars.

Ringkampf vs London Riots

I’m not overly familiar with Ringkampf, i have seen Axel Deiter jr before but only once or twice and I’ve only seen Walter in previous PROGRESS appearances. As they came out they certainly looked the perfect foil for the Riots. The match was excellent. Plenty of big power moves, great story telling, some great agility on show and moves that just look like they hurt. I hope to see more of Ringkampf and always look forward to seeing the riots.

Sebastian vs Jack Sexsmith

Sebastian is a great heel, and Sexsmith is always good fun so I knew this match would be enjoyable. Especially given that the pastor wold be at ringside so no doubt involved somewhere along the line!

The match was good, both played their roles well and told a gear story. The angle between Pastor and Sebastian continues and I look forward to seeing whee it goes next.

Jimmy Havoc vs Tommy End

What an awesome bonus match! It didn’t go too long or get too mental but one assumes that this could be due to Tommy needing to wrestle again a couple of hours later in Blackpool. They still put on an awesome match.

Before the match Jimmy cut a great promo on all the stars he is feuding with at the moment and the ringing boos for Ospreay were incredible. Shows what an awesome job he did on his turn.

Alex Windsor vs Livii Grace

I’ve seen Alex Windsor before, but I’d not seem Livii Grace. Alex is an experienced wrestler who knows how to work a great match. Livii is young and full of potential. I enjoyed this match, as I have all the Natural Progression 4 matches so far.

The Origin  (Banter Edition) vs SPPT

It”s actually impossible not to love the Banter Edition, and it’s also impossible not to hate SPPT  (cos they’re so good at being heels) so this was always going to be awesome. As well as a great face/heel dynamic it had a ref not afraid to get involved, great wrestling and amazingly funny parts  great match that I very much enjoyed. 

Spud vs Paul Robinson 

I remember first seeing Spud about 15 years ago in the Coventry sky dome and thinking he was awesome. I also met him after and he seemed a genuinely good bloke. I saw him a number of times after and was majorly pleased for him when he made it to TNA. So it was great to see him show up in my favourite promotion, and this time not wrestling a 1 year old, but Paul Robinson who is an incredible heel.

The match was brutal, they had me hooked from the start and I as majorly engaged by it throughout. Awesome wrestling, and at times out and out fighting, and both guys played their part well.

Rampage Brown vs Matt Riddle

This was another awesome match. Rampage impresses me more every time I see him, and Matt Riddle never ceases to amaze me. Brutally stiff work from both guys in what can only be described as a war. A war that took place between two faces not for a story line reason but because the both wanted to take the Atlas title home. Great match.

It’s hard to pick between the final two matches as to which was match of the nightime,  as they were both brilliant. 

General thoughts

The overall show was great, as always and it’s testament to PROGRESS that they can put on such always great show despite their champion always and tag team champions being unavailable.

The fact Finn Balor and Tommy End were at the show, and that Tommy wrestled, suggests that their is absolutely no need for people to be worrying about the #WWEUKCT competitors contacts affecting PROGRESS. Clearly the two companies are getting on just fine.

I can’t wait for the next chapter!

High Stakes

For a while I’ve been looking to get to a rev pro York hall show, and tonight I managed it. I think RevPro is my second favourite British promotion behind progress, and the one I like best out of the big name import bringers. This card was awesome and I’d been looking forward to it for ages.

Josh Bodom vs Ryan Smile

Ive seen quite a lit of Josh Bodom on RevPro over the years, I haven’t seen much Ryan Smile but I know he’s involved with Lucha Forever with will Ospeay so I had good hopes. The match didn’t disappoint. It wad a great starting match that had some great spots amd told a good story. Now we have an interim champ to challenge Will when it happens.

Sterling and Redman vs War Machine 

Solid match. War machine looked strong as ever really taking the match to Sterling and Redman. It looked for a long period that one a WM win would be plausible, but they pulled off a  great finish that was infinitely more believable than I thought it would be.

The aftermath involved a great run in from Brookes and Banks – although I then wished they were appearing! 

Sterling and Redman were on the receivingend of a hilarious “you’re generic” chant.

Yoshi Hashi vs Pete Dunne

Fantastic match. Great ovation for the brusierweight making a homecoming of sorts to RevPro after the #WWEUKCT. Some in the crowd tried chanting “you sold out” but the rest of the crowd got behind Pete who clearly deserves all the exposure he is getting and expertly worked the crowd into a frenzy for him and against him. This was a great technician vs a Japanese legend and I could have watched it forever. Unfortunately it had to end but it was briliant nontheless.

At this point in the night Andy Quildan,  in a waistcoat that didn’t fit, announced the Young Bucks for epic encounter in the most amazing way that made me wish my holiday was a different time. 

ZSJ vs Marty Scurll 

When this match was announced for this show I knew that it would, alone, be worth the entrance fee. ZSJ is, in my opinion the best technical wrestler ever and one if the best wrestlers ever. Marty Scurll is, again in my opinion,  the best wrestler in the world today. And one of the top 5 ever. He has it all, he can wrestle in every style and have an amazing match with anyone. He’s massively full of charisma and can hold every audience in the palm of his hand. 

These two have wrestled each other a million times and have teamed together a million times. I’m led to believe they are genuinely good friends and all this leads to a massively amazing match. It had some striking, masses of technical wrestling and it told an amazing story. 

This was without a shadow of a doubt the best match I’ve ever seen live, and I was at WM 20, I’ve seen some awesome matches live, but none as good as this.

It was interesting to watch Marty interact with the crowd. I feel he’s hit a point in his gimmick, in his career, where he has superseded the face/heel area. He is that good, and that cool, that crowds just want to get behind him. In the way they did to turn Steve Austin, Eddie Gurrero and the Rock face in the past. ZSJ plays the tweener really well and was perfect foil. I hope to see both many more times. Match of the night by a country mile.

Trevor Lee vs Trent Seven

This was a decent match. I’m quite impressed with Seven as a tag worker in moustache mountain and British strong style but I’ve yet to see him in a singles match that blows me away. In this match Lee portrayed an arrogant tna heel and did it really well. I very much enjoyed it, yethe I still prefer Trent’s tag work. 

Martin Stone vs Jay White

This match was awesome. I had a good chat with Martin Stone before the event, reminiscing of Stix and Stones and working with Alex Shane and he was telling me about the masses of staples he had to have in his head in the #WWEUKCT. Jay White has grown up, last summer he looked like a kid playing at being a wrestler in RevPro,  now he has the look, the body size and the ability. As a rugby fan I love that he’s drawing from the all blacks in his ring attire. The match was solid, two great workers putting on a showcase.

Shibata vs Matt Riddle

If you wanted to book a match where both wrestlers may look dead at the end, this is exactly the match you’d book. Shibata is an incredibly stiff hitter who destroys all in his path.  Riddle is an MMA convert who does the same while laughing and being a total skater pot head gimmick. This match was always going to be awesome and didn’t disappoint. 

Great event.  Hope to get to many more Rev pro events.

WWE UK Championship Tournament Day 2

Expert use of social media had created a buzz around Sam Gradwell and Pete Dunne, which was the first match, so it was exciting from the get go. This all made for an awesome video package. 

Pete Dunne vs Sam Gradwell

Pete is a favourite of mine from the UK scene and the person I want to win. I’ve seen him tear the house down in singles and tag team matches in various promotions and I have been looking forward to swing him in a WWE ring. Sam is someone I’d not seen before the tournament but he was quite good on the first day.

The match started quickly and hooked the crowd. Both guys getting a good chance to show what they can do and get over. I enjoyed the match but would have like it to be longer. But I guess the winner has possibly 2 more matches tonight so they don’t want to go too long. Crowd were.massively behind Pete,  despite some good heel work. 1-0 for predictions.

MAndrews vs Joseph Conners

Two great wrestlers with styles that I thought would gel very well togetherl and boy was I right. The match of the tournament so far this was a pleasure to watch. Both wrestlers showing their talent and getting over and telling a great story. 1-1 for my predictions and the guy I thought would win goes out.

Trent Seven vs Wolfgang 

I believe these two have had some amazing bouts in ICW recently that I have yet to see, so this match had me excited and it didn’t disappoint. If they can have a match this good in this short a time I need to see the ICW matches. 1-2 on predictions now. Day 2 obviously much more unpredictable!

Tyler Bate vs Jordan Devlin

I’m a big Tyler fan, I’ve not seen Jordan before and although I wasn’t overly impressed on day 1 I thought he looked solid and played a heel well.

This match was enjoyable, Devlin looked a bit better than yesterday and Tyler looked awesome – as he is. 2-2 on predictions and I then had to rethink my predictions.

MAndrews vs Pete Dunne

These two met in a tag match (FSU vs The Dunne Brothers) last year that was one of the best tag matches I’ve ever seen. So I was keen to see this match.

I.thought it was a great match for the time given and would love to see them go at it longer.3-2

Tyler Bate vs Wolfgang

Well these two are both impressive and they put on a great match given the time constraints. Very much enjoyed the back and forth they had. And popped when Tyler got the pin to set up an all British Strong Style final. Thought Pete showing up after set up a good face heel final.4-2

Neville vs Tommy End

Jesus Christmas I marked out when Tommy End came out. Massively exciting to see him. Especially against someone as good as Neville. 

This was a great match, I was massively impressed by both wrestlers, I always was a great showcase from “the king of the cruiserweights” and the man who I feel is going to be massive in WWE.

Pete Dunne vs Tyler Bate

Two amazing talents, well deserving of being in the final of this tournament put in a match that deserved to be the final. Match of the night, boy guys got over massively. Pete generated some heel heat and Tyler is the white hot face. Enthralling match from start to finish. Well paced and told a great story. Tyler Bate a worthy winner. 4-3 for my predictions on the night.

A great tournament. Night 1 wasn’t bad, night 2 was brilliant. Some incredible matches from some incredible talent. Looking at the ages of those guys involved we can look forward to seeing them for many years to come.

Progress 41 – Unboxing Live

I watched this a week or so ago and started to write this up,  but then Wrestle Kingdom happened ed and I forgot to finish it. So here are my thoughts.

The idea behind the show was interesting. No matches were announced before hand and I had managed to avoid spoilers, which was good.

SPPT vs FSU and Nixon Newel

This was a great match. I live all.six of these wrestlers and they put on a cracker to open the show. Nixon showed again that women can certainly wrestle.with men, which is something we talked about recently on the podcast. I can’t wait to see Nixon in WWE having feuds with Asuka and the 4 horse women! And I can’t wait to see MAndrews in the WWEUKCT!

Toni Storm vs Kay Lee Ray

Two phenomenal wrestlers put on one hell of a match. Both have been in progress a couple of times recently and I hope to see them both agaim soon.

Waste man challenge

It was nice to see Mad Man Manson, and this wasn’t terrible, personally I’d have preferred another match, but I know the audience isn’t just me and the crowd were well.into it so fair play.

Moustache Mountain vs London Riots vs Leaders of the New School

This was awesome. All of it. From Trent and Tyler throwing the titles at Glenn to Jim announcing a third team to Marty literally unboxing ZSJ as his tag partner… all this had me sold on the match before it even got underway!

Then the match was fantastic. Three amazing teams putting it all on the line. We saw a different Villain on this show. He was merging the lines between face and heel and having a lot of fun with his old mate ZSJ. It remains to be seen if this is a permanent fixture or just festive fun. 

Pete Dunne vs Fabian Aichner

I love bit these guys. I’ve seen Dunne loads in many UK promotions and am loving the fact he is in the middle of a well deserved PROGRESS title run. Aichner impressed me in the CWC and has impressed me much more in his two PROGRESS appearances since. Great match.

Pastor and Sebastian vs Sex on the beach

This was a solid match from four solid wrestlers. I have a lot of time for the Pastor and see him as a future massive star. Sebastian is a great heel and Chuck and Jack have a lot of fun. Quite enjoyable this match, and builthe a story well.

Jimmy Havoc vs Will Ospreay

What. A. Match. This was amazing start to finish. These two feuded for a long time, with Jimmy the out and out heel and Will the blue eyed baby face. When the match was announced I thought this might be how they turned Jimmy back heel, boy was I wrong.

When Will came out he had an odd look on his face, and as the match started he was wrestling in a very different style, really taking it to Jimmy. Will told a fantastic story throughout this match, showing everyone that the baby face had gone and the new Will Ospreay means business. I can’t recall another match where this has been done so well (Although ZSJ did a good job against Jeff Cobb last year). The after match antics just cemented it.

I loved this match for the story it told, but I also loved it for the wrestling on show. Both guys adding more moves to their repertoire. I can’t wait to see where this feud goes.

All in all, another amazing show from progress. Can’t wait for Chapter 42.

UK Championship Tournament Day 1

Great intro, venue etc looks great. Nice to see Nigel M on WWE TV. Also nice to see the commentary team pick 3 of my final 4 predictions as their favourite’s! 

Trent Seven vs HC Dyer

Good start to the tournament. Seven was his usual awesome self and Dyer looked good too. And I’m 1- 0 up in predictions.

Jordan Devlin vs Danny Burch

Good match from two great wrestlers. Devlin put in some good heel work to get genuine hest.  The ending was a tad bizarre. But allows for Burch not to ein but not lose stock.2-0 for my predictions.

Saxon Huxley vs Sam Gradwell

Good match from two great wrestlers again.  I’ve seen a lot of Saxon as he is RISE champion and RISE are a promotion local to me, so I wanted him to progress. But alas,  it wasn’t to be. 2-1 now on the prediction front.

Pete Dunne vs Roy Johnson

Solid match from 2 guys I’m already quite familiar with. I love Pete Dunne and think Roy gave him a great match to kick of the tournament. 3 – 1 on predictions and the guy I want to win the tourney is still in it! I also couldn’t belive how big a pop Pete got when he came out!

Wolfgang vs T Bone

I’m a big fan of both of these and they put on a solid first round match here. Wolfgang is one of those guys who I look at and think “how can a guy that big be that agile?!” And T Bone puts in good matches with anyone. I enjoyed this one. 4-1 on the predictions. I couldn’t work out why Cole seems to think being 35 is positive for Trent but negative for T Bone.

Joe Conners vs James Drake

I’ve seen a lot of both these guys before and I have enjoyed all of it. Drake is amazing at fast paced matches and Conners can do it all and oozes charisma – which is why he was my pick to win the tournament. I expected this to be the match if the first round. I don’t think it was, but that was because it wasn’t really given long enough. In 8 minutes they managed to tell a great story and show off some of their skills. I have no doubt that they could have put on a MTOY candidate given enough time. 5 – 1 on the prediction front.

MAndrews vs Dan Moloney

This was a great match. Possibly the match of the night for me. MAndrews is quite possibly the most likeable person in the entire world. From the moment he appears you just want him to win. Then his ability and move set make you want it even more. He’s a born baby face and I love watching him wrestle. Moloney played his part well in the match, but it was all abouthe MAndrews for me. I also recognised his entrance song and wondered if it was actally his band? If you know I’d love to hear.

6 – 1 on the predictions.

Tyler Bate vs Tucker

Tyler is someone I like a lot. He reminds me of a young Doug Williams, who was/is one of my all time favourites. Every match of his I see is great. This was no different. Tucker looked good too, I’d not seen him before. And enjoyable match to round off the night. 

All in all a good first night for the UK Championship Tournament. Solid matches showcasing some great talent. Matches were too short generally but that was necessary for the time available etc.

Pete’s antics after and Regal’do reaction were priceless. And did you hear the chants on Facebook like. “Bruiserweight, Bruiserweight”… looks like I’m not the only one hoping for a Pete Dunne victory.

Wrestle Kingdom 11


Well worked, well booked. Great comedy moments, good to see some returns – Kobayashi was an unexpected delight. Very good warm up. 

Tiger Mask W vs Tiger the Dark 

Not a bad match. Some great spots and a fast paced match to continue to warm up the crowd. This certainly whet my appetite for what was to come.

The Young Bucks vs Roppongi Vice

Great match, well worked by two great teams. The young bucks are awesome and the stock continues to rise. The simple, but massively effective, start where they left, hit super kicks and tries to win via count out was awesome.

The only thing that I’d have slightly negative to say about the match was the ending, it seemed a little weird and a tad rushed. 

6 man tag titles match 

Well worked, some great spots and some great wrestling. This was a real showcase for all involved who each got a small amount of time to show what they are capable of,and they did.  

Juice Robinson vs Cody Rhodes

Great match. I’ve been a fan of both these guys for a while and they put a great match on for us. Cody showing some great heel skills and the attack on the knee took us on and journey. Some good high spots and some real great mat skills on show. I particular like Cody’s modified Indian death lock.

Kyle O’Reilly vs Adam Cole

Great match between two amazing wrestlers. Adam Cole is, for me, one of the top 5 wrestlers in the world at the moment and in O’Riley he has found an awesome foil. Great moves, great spots, great psychology. I felt this match (and a few of the earlier matches, we’re perhaps a tad too short. However I can understand why, as they wanted to ensure as many wrestlers as possible got their chance on the big stage. This match in particular though, I could watch forever.

3 way tag championship match

This was a great match between 3 teams I was unfamiliar with but would love to see more of. Three way matches are difficult under any circumstances, but tag team 3 ways must be even more so. 

This match kept me riveted throughout and left me wanting more. I thought the story they weaved was excellent and the story superb. 

Kushida vs Takahashi 

Oh. My. Word. This was a phenomenal match. Two amazing wrestlers war. Awesome high flying moves, awesome mat wrestling, brutal striking. This match had a bit of everything.

I’ve been a big fan of Kushida for a long time, but now I’m a massive fan of both.  I can’t wait to see the next installment of this feud.

Shibata vs Goto

Another jaw dropping match. Fast paced from the start these two put on a clinic.  Shibata showing an amazing mix of technical brilliance and brutal strong style and Goto playing his part to perfection as Shibata dominated him for large periods. These two are amazing wrestlers and I can’t wait to see more of them.

Tanahashi vs Tetsuya Naito

Another phenomenal match. In vast contrast to its predecessor this match didn’t start at 100mph. It started more restrained and gradually built. That certainly doesn’t make it any less ofor a match, and I would argue a great card should include matches that do both.

Both wrestlers showed an impressive move set and built up an incredible story in the ring. I’ve not seen much of either of them before, and not understanding the language the promo video at the start went straight over my head, but they still had me hooked and invested in the match. Great wrestling. 

Okada vs Omega

Wow. If the last e matches weren’t enough, this match was certainly enough to top it off. 

Okada has been one of the top guys in NJPW for a while now, and is probably the non wwe Japanese wrestler I have seen the most – and I’ve yet to see him have a bad match.  It’s easy to see why he is in this position. He looks like a star,  oozes charisma and has the in ring skills to back it all up. His mobe set is great and draws from an array of styles. 

Omega is also awesome. He seems to get a little more impressive everyone I see him. Together we were treated to a phenomenal match. It started nicely with some locks and holds, then we moved through both arsenal’s with stops at strong style, technical work, high flying antics and more. Brilliant match.

Overall I felt the event was incredible and a great way to start 2017. Every match was superb. There were a couple that I would have liked to be longer, but the event already lasted over 5 hours so I can see why.