Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Random Wrestling: Zack Sabre Jr.

 I’ve always taken a liking to the British style mat wrestling and those who have traveled over to the States demonstrating that style.  For me it started with William Regal and grew to include Fit Finlay, Dave Taylor, Doug Williams, and now Zack Sabre Jr.   Honestly he is one of my favorites to watch right now and he has had some unbelievable matches in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.  All of these matches I watched on You Tube and I have also included some PWG highlight clips….Enjoy.

Revolution Pro Wrestling
Taped at Summer Sizzler June 15, 2014 Bethnal Green, London
Posted April 28, 2015

Zack Sabre Jr vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

The match starts at the roughly the 12 minute mark as this is the entire episode and not just the match.  The first 12 minutes features a decent build towards the Summer Sizzler 2015 and a nice video package for High Stakes 2014.

This match is significant not just because of the men involved but because they were both current champions.   Sabre was 1/2 of the Pro Wrestling NOAH Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion and Nakamura was in his 3rd reign as the New Japan IWGP Intercontinental Champion. 
Action starts in the ring with both men exchanging some solid mat wrestling.  Sabre gets the better of Nakamura who takes it to the floor gaining the upper hand with some brawling tossing Sabre into the stands.  Once back in the ring it stayed there with both men showing why they are two of the best wrestlers in the world today.

It won't let me link to match above as I did Evolve below, here's the link: Zack Sabre Jr. vs Shinsuke Nakamura

Evolve 7
Taped April 19, 2011 Manhattan, NY
Posted December 25, 2015

Zack Sabre Jr vs. Sami Callihan

Sami Callihan just spent the past couple years floundering in NXT as Solomon Crowe before asking for and getting his release in November 2015.  He has quickly returned to the independent scene winning the 2CW Championship just 5 days after his release.

Sami Callihan was featured in an excellent documentary by Kenny Johnson called “They Came For Stiff” so as you can imagine these two brought “the stiff” kicking and clubbing the tar out of each other.  Not only that but it featured some great mat wrestling, false finishes and pin reversals that had me going.  Great, great match, worth checking out

Pro Wrestling NOAH
Taped April 29, 2012 Japan
Posted July 18, 2012

Zack Sabre Jr vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
I don’t know who Kanemaru is, but this match Sabre is excellent.  It is a great back and forth match showing the skills of both competitors.   It’s solid.

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Roy's Review: Top 10 Shows of 2015 I Attended

Well the final show count for 2015 is 51. Here is the list of my top 10 shows for 2015.
Honorable Mentions:

World Women's Wrestling
Beverly, Massachusetts
November 22, 2015
Cove Community Center
My first all women's show. There was some really good talent that I had never seen before. But there was also some not so good talent too. Davienne vs. Ariel was an awesome match, by far the match of the night.
Notable Matches: Davienne vs. Ariel

Lewiston, Maine
December 12, 2015
Anderscoggin Bank Colisee
One of the best WWE House Shows in Maine in a long time.
Notable Matches: The New Day vs. The Lucha Dragons vs. The Usos for the Tag Team Titles … Charlotte and Becky Lynch vs. Naomi and Sasha Banks
I was at this show and I also really like Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger

IWE at Bangor Comic Con
April 25, 2015
Bangor, Maine
Cross Insurance Center Ballroom
It seems that the talent turned it up for this one. The crowd was huge and into the show the entire night. Ace vs. Mack was awesome. Also Tomahawk got the best Kenny Roberts match ever.
Notable Matches: Tomahawk vs. Kenny Roberts … Ace Romero vs. Tommy Mack for IWE Title

Limitless Wrestling Stage One
September 12, 2015
Brewer, Maine
Cityside Restaurant
Good show and big breath of fresh air in the state of Maine. Good action the entire night. O'Neil vs. Lee was crazy. The best show in about 6 months in Maine and the best show I have ever seen at Cityside Restaurant.
Notable Matches: Alexander Lee vs. Chuck O'Neil … Ace Romero vs. Alex Mason

Chaotic Wrestling Presents Pandemonium
Woburn, Massachusetts
December 11, 2015
Woburn Elks #908
My first time going to a Chaotic show and I was very impressed. The main event was great. It was filled with talent and it was a cool concept.
Notable Matches: Scotty Slade vs. Anthony Greene … Mark Shurman vs. Elias Markopoulous vs. Warbeard Hanson vs. Donovan Dijak vs. Brian Milonas vs. Brian Fury vs. Brick Mastone in a Pandemonium Match

Beyond Wrestling Presents Powder Keg
September 26, 2015
Somerville, Massachusetts
National Guard Armory
This was a good show, I just expected more from it considering the talent on the card.
Notable Matches: Donovan Dijak vs. Andrew Everett … Death by Elbow vs. The Kingdom … Ricochet vs. Shynron

Limitless Wrestling
November 14, 2015
Orono, Maine
American Legion Post #84
Great show. Another great performance from Alex Mason. I was very surprised by the Women's match and Ace and Wild put on a very hard hitting main event. This was the best show in Maine for 2015.
Notable Matches: Jeremy Leary vs. Shane Marvel in a No DQ Match … Tim Donst vs. Alex Mason … Sonya Strong vs. Maximum Mecca … Ace Romero vs. Scott Wild
I agree I can't say enough good about this show, best show in Maine since the 2012 Robbie Ellis Tournament.

Boston Pro Wrestling Marathon Show #1
March 6, 2015
Abington, Massachusetts
Emerald Hall
Great show. Got to see some great new talent. The main event was excellent just a really good match with a ton of talent.
Notable Matches: Alexxis Neveah vs. Tessa Blanchard … Alex Chamberlain vs. Julian Starr … The Addiction vs. The Kingdom vs. The Spirit Squad vs. Team Friendship vs. Biff and Ted's Excellent Podcast Adventure in a Gautlet Match
Show #2 featuring Biff Busick vs. Mike Mondo was the best pure wrestling match of the weekend
Boston, Massachusetts
December 13, 2015
TD Bank Garden
A solid PPV by WWE. The tag team ladder match was insane and the main event was very good. There were some stinkers but the good vastly out weighted the bad.
Notable Matches: New Day vs. Lucha Dragons vs. The Usos in a Ladder Match for the Tag Team Titles … Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns in a TLC Match for the WWE Championship

Beyond Wrestling Presents Americanrana 2015
July 26, 2015
Providence, Rhode Island
Fete Music
This was a great show but not the best overall Americanrana in its 3 year history. Donovan Dijak vs. Brian Fury should be a match of the year candidate. It was incredible. Tremont vs. Stockade was very violent and the Atomicos match was a crazy brawl
Notable Matches: Matt Tremont vs. Stockade in a Casket Match … Donovan Dijak vs. Brian Fury … Team Pazuzo vs. Da Hit Squad, Nick Gage, Shynron and Eddie Kingston in an Atomicos Match … Death by Elbow vs. The Young Bucks

NECW 2015 Iron 8 Championship
May 9, 2015
Beverly, Massachusetts
Cove Community Center
This show was awesome. Just great wrestling all night. The Iron 8 Finals was a crazy battle that saw Mike McCarthy prove just how good he really is.
Notable Matches: Mike McCarthy vs. Anthony Greene … Slyck Wagner Brown vs. Brad Hollister for NECW Championship … Mike McCarthy vs. Brandon Thurston vs. Chris Escobar vs. Genesis in the Iron 8 Finals

XWA Rumble
January 17, 2015
Warwick, Rhode Island
West Warwick Civic Center
I'm a huge mark for Royal Rumble styles matches and this was the best one of have seen live. The undercard match between Biff Busick and Trevor Lee was oustanding.
Notable Matches: Biff Busick vs. Trevor Lee … The XWA Rumble Featuring: Biff Busick, Trevor Lee, Brian Fury, Carlito, Snitsky, Donovan Dijak, Warbeard Hanson, David Starr, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett and Team Tremendous

Beyond Wrestling Presents Greatest Rivals Round Robin
September 26, 2015
Providence, Rhode Island
Fete Music
This is the best wrestling show I have ever seen. The atmosphere was indescribable. This show needs to be seen by anyone who loves wrestling. Eddie Edwards vs. Drew Gulak was probably the best wrestling match of the night but the main event of Eddie Edwards vs. Biff Busick was just incredible. The atmosphere for this match made it the best of the night.
Notable Matches: Brian Fury vs. AR Fox … Eddie Edwards vs. Drew Gulak … Ricochet vs. JT Dunn … Biff Busick vs. Eddie Edwards


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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Kenny Johnson Wrestling Documentaries

A couple days prior to the Limitless Wrestling Killin’ & Thrillin’ show on November 14, 2015 promoter Randy Carver shared a You Tube video that was a documentary about Tim Donst who was appearing at the Limitless event.

The documentary is entitled “Wrestle Donst Wrestle” and is about Tim Donst’s battle with cancer and his realization that he may never wrestle again.  It was excellent!  The documentary was done by Kenny Johnson and is posted on his YouTube channel.  In the About section he describes himself as;

"I'm an aspiring documentary filmmaker living in Columbia, MD.
I make short and long documentaries, and all kinds of videos about people I meet along the way.
I also love Professional Wrestling."

In total he has 13 documentaries ranging from 8 to over 30 minutes in length.  I’ve watched them all and They are truly fantastic!  He has features on Johnny Gargano, Sami Callihan, Kimber Lee, Tim Donst, Ethan Page, The Handicapped Heroes, Greg Excellent, Adam Cole, Veda Scott, Timothy Thatcher, Intergender Wrestling,  and his newest is on Johnny Gargano and Candice LaRae: A Wrestling Couple.

Most of his footage appears to be shot at AIW, CZW, and GBW shows.  I don’t know much about filmmaking, but I know what looks good and what looks like garbage.  These are so well done.  Sound and video quality are superior, no matter the content if it looks and sounds bad it’s tough to watch.  His editing style how he mixes the subjects narrative with the footage and the background music is wonderful.  I truly am looking forward to what he puts out in the future.

He also has lost of other non-wrestling and short subject documentaries that a worth checking out as well. 

Here's a link to his page: Kenny Johnson Videos

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

WWE Supershow, Lewiston, Maine 12/12/2015

On December 12, 2015 Paul, Alex, Addison, Canaan, and I went to The Colisee in Lewiston for a WWE house show.  Roy and Mikey also attended and we sat next to Canaan’s friend Nolan and his family.  We got there about 615pm and the line was all the way down the parking lot.  We were in the building just after 7pm.  While standing in line Mikey, Roy, & Paul met up with us.

Straight away I was annoyed though, as after waiting in line that long you get up to the building and they won’t let people bring bags of any kind into the building.  So I truck back to the van while the kids go in with Paul and Alex.  I drop the bag off and carry my camera back, I get all the way up there and they say you can’t bring your camera in.  This is ridiculous as the WWE has always let people take photos.  So I challenge them and ask to see the list of banned items.  The happily and eagerly produced it and it didn’t say cameras.  It said no video cameras and no recording devices but nothing about cameras.  They said it says camera’s in general, and pointed out that it was very specific as to what type of camera you couldn’t bring in.  

Regardless I had to bring my camera back to the van and along the way Paul calls to say that they set the merchandise table up in front of our seats and moved us to the floor which just angered me even more.  I finally get into the building and find they moved us to the floor in what would be the eight row.  Now I bought the tickets I did for two reason, the price and the fact that we would be elevated off the floor in the front row so no one would be in front of us and if people were standing they wouldn’t block the kids view. 

I’ve sat on the floor and I don’t like it for the same reason, you always have some jerk that has to stand up the entire time blocking your view.  As it turned out the seats were quite good because we didn’t have anyone like that plus the empty seats were placed in such a way that we had an unobstructed view 90% of the time.

They have an automated announcement they always plays saying what you can and can’t do during the event, record the show, jump in the ring, throw stuff at the ring, and what not.  One of the announcements was them stating photography was allowed.  Which of course they want you to share your photos on social media.  Phil was very upset has he has been going to WWE for 30 years and has always brought his camera and taken photos. 

Moving on to the matches, it was a really good night of matches.  One of the best WWE House Shows I have ever been to. 

Triple Threat: Tag Team Champions: New Day: Big E Langston & Kofi Kingston defeated Lucha Dragons: Calisto & Sin Cara and Usos: Jimmy & Jey when Kofi pinned Cara with a roll up.
Big E just looks so awkward gyrating all around and in person he is just huge!  The kids loved the Lucha Dragons because of their masks.  Good competitive match where Kofi got the backdoor roll up for the win.

R-Truth defeated Tyler Breeze w/ Summer Rae
This was a short match with Truth getting the surprise win on a reverse roll up for an out of nowhere pin.  I was surprised that they had Truth win if there were building Breeze.

Goldust pinned Bo Dallas w/ final cut
I was quite excited to see Goldust on the card, I’m a big fan of Dustin Runnells/Goldust for years.  Goldust has been wrestling for so long he had that link back to the better years of WCW so it’s also a nostalgia things as well.  Also with him wrestling Mike Rotundo’s son, that was pretty cool to me.   It was good match with Goldust being dominate then hitting the final cut for the win.  Bo had some great heat.

Diva’s Champion: Charlotte & Becky Lynch defeated Team B.A.D.: Sasha Banks & Naomi w/ Tamina when Charlotte submitted Sasha w/ figure eight leg lock
Addison’s favorite match by far!   I was surprised the got Charlotte and Becky, I figured it would be Team Bella, I’m glad it wasn’t.  These woman are so good in the ring, I don’t think the match was long enough.  Charlotte’s finish is so impressive to see in person, the way she arches up so high. 

Dean Ambrose pinned Intercontinental Champion: Kevin Owens in a non-title match
Owens is a fantastic heel that the WWE so desperately needs, it’s the little things that he does that makes him extra despicable.  Like when he took the microphone from Eden to run the crowd down but has to stop and remove a hair and toss it back at Eden.   Great match between these two, but I didn’t expect anything less from them.  They are both work horses.  Match was one of the longer matches of the nights, was quite surprised to see Ambrose go over clean in the center of the ring after hitting his finish.

Brief intermission followed this match.

United States Champion: Alberto Del Rio pinned Jack Swagger
I wasn’t expecting much out of this match but one gain Del Rio blew away my expectations, much like he did at NEW in August.  Swagger was pretty over with the crowd.  This was a 20 minute match and about ¾ of the way through I was thinking that it was a great match and they these two have wrestled each other a lot before.  That’s when Paul brought up how at first he didn’t care about this match because he’d seen them wrestle so many times before but that he thought it was really good.

The Dudley Boys: Bubba Ray & Devon and Ryback defeated The Wyatt Family: Luke Harper, Eric Rowan, & Braun Strowman when Ryback pinned Harper after shell shocked
Short match, about 6 minutes.  Strowman is still pretty green and you can so it as his timing was off a bit. Ryback got one of the biggest pops of the night.  A flurry of activity with all 6 in the ring cleared out to the legal players and a shell shocked later the good guys win.   Of course the Dudley’s hit the 3D and the what’s up headbutt to make the fans happy.

Roman Reigns defeated World Heavyweight Champion: Sheamus by disqualification after Sheamus threw a chair at Reigns striking him in the head.
I wasn’t expecting a lot and they destroyed me expectations.  The longest match on the card at nearly 25 minutes with both men going all out with several false finishes before Sheamus got himself DQ’d.  This was a really, really good match with both giving it their all.  This is the best I've seen from Reigns, if he brought this on TV he'd get over better.  Lots of false finishes and a DQ finish that actually made sense as apposed to just a run in.  Sheamus the chicken shit heel champion felt his championship was at risk so he threw a chair at his opponent.  

Again this was one of the best WWE House Shows I have ever been to.  Addison held up great through intermission but after she slowly started to fade and eventually fell asleep at the beginning of the Main Event and slept through to the end at a time when the crowd was the loudest.  Canaan had a blast, honestly it's the most fun I've ever seen him have a WWE show and I think it was all because he buddy Nolan was there. 

I tried taking some photos with my phone but they just didn't come out. I got the one good one above but otherwise they were all soft or blurred. 

Phil messaged my this morning that he was so angry that he contacted WWE about it.  I doubt anything will come of it but I think it's important to express your opinion. 

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Last Match: Died in the Ring

This blog talks about the last match of those wrestlers who have tragically died in the ring.  It maybe offensive to some people, that is not this posts intention.

Mitsurahru Misawa
Last Match NOAH June 13, 2009 Hiroshima, Japan
No contest teaming with Go Shiozaki against GHC World Tag Team Champions: Bison Smith & Akitoshi Saito.

Saito hit Misawa with a belly to back suplex and Misawa died in the ring shortly thereafter.  Official cause of death was never revealed but many believe he suffered a major injury to his cervical vertebrae.
Misawa was a legend on the Japanese wrestling scene starting with All Japan Pro Wrestling in 1981 and later founding Pro Wrestling Noah in 2000. 

Perro Aguayo Jr.
Last Match Crash, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico March 20, 2015
Teaming with Manki lost to Rey Mysterio Jr. & Xtreme Tiger

Aguayo was given a dropkick by Mysterio to the back and should and he took a bump over the middle rope to be hit with a Mysterio signature move, the 619.  When Aguayo hit the ropes he went limp and lost consciousness.  Once it was determined that something was wrong with Aguayo he was removed from the ring and attended to.  Later it was discovered that he died from a cardiac arrest after suffering a spinal stroke and three fractured vertebrae. 

“Iron” Mike DiBiase
Last Match July 2, 1969 Lubbock, TX
No contest with Man Mountain Mike

DiBiase is the adopted father of “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. During the match DiBiase suffered a heart attack and Harley Race attempted CPR.  He was transported to the hospital via ambulance where he was pronounced dead. 

Gary Albright
Last Match WXW January 7, 2000, Allentown, PA
Defeated Lucifer Grimm

Gary Albright took an Ace Crusher and did not get back up.  Grimm pulled Albright on top of him and told the referee to count him down.  Medics worked on Albright in the ring and attempted to resuscitate him with no success.  
A Rhode Island native Albright started his career in Stampede Wrestling before making it big in Japan with All Japan Pro Wrestling.

Luther Lindsay
Last Match February 21, 1972, Charlotte, NC
Defeated Bobby Paul with a splash

Lindsay debuted in 1951 wrestling in Portland, Stampede, Texas, Japan, and Hawaii before coming to Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling in 1966.  He won several regional NWA titles during his time in the ring.  He tragically died from a heart attack after landing a splash on his opponent.  The referee discovered Lindsay had died after counting the pinfall and Lindsay didn’t respond.

Plum Mariko
Last Match JWP August 15, 1997 Hiroshima, Japan
Teamed with Command Bolshoi losing to Mayumi Ozaki and Rieko Amano

Ozaki gave Mariko a running Liger Bomb to win the match.  The impact of the maneuver put Mariko in a coma and she died hours later.
Plum Mariko was a veteran wrestler in her 11th year competing.  She was the first wrestler that I had ever heard of dying from an incident in the ring.  

Daniel “The Spider” Quirk
Last Match Ultimate Championship Wrestling, Taunton, MA May 28, 2005
No contest vs. Hi-Lite Kid

Hi-Lite Kid went for a piscada onto Quirk who was outside the ring.  Quirk caught Kid with both men falling to the floor with Kid’s body falling onto Quirk’s head causing it to strike the floor.  There were no mats on the floor outside the ring which is not uncommon at independent shows.  After the maneuver the match was stop and an ambulance was called.  All attempts to revive Quirk were unsuccessful. 

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