Monday, June 27, 2016

The Last Match: NWA World Champions

The NWA World's Heavyweight Championship was at one time the premier championship in all of wrestling.  The championship originated in 1948 with Orville Brown as the inaugural title holder, but it's lineage can be traced back to 1905.

In this post we are looking at the Last Match of former NWA World champions.

Seven time NWA World Champion for 1,799 combined days
"Handsome"Harley Race
Last Match: November 28, 1993 Jacksonville, FL for WCW
Race battled "Nature Boy" Ric Flair at a house show he was filling in for Big Van Vader

Race was a 7 time champion holding the title for 1,799 days in total.

Two Time NWA World Champion
July 7, 1990 - January 11, 1991
October 22, 2006 - November 19, 2006
Last Match September 20, 2015 Houston, TX WWE Nigh of Champions PPV
was defeated by WWE World Champion Seth Rollins

Sting was a 2 time champion with his second reign coming 25 years after his first.

Jack Brisco
Last Match February 9, 1985 Baltimore, MD WWE House Show
lost a $50,000 Tag Team Battle Royal and then later teaming with Jerry Brisco lost to "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Bob Orton Jr.

Jack Brisco was 1 time champion from June 20, 1973  - December 10, 1975 he passed away February 1, 2010

"American Dream" Dusty Rhodes
Last Match: July 22, 2007 San Jose, CA WWE Great American Bash PPV
lost to Randy Orton in a Texas Bullrope match

The Dream was a three time NWA World Champion and passed away June 11, 2015.

"Scrap Iron" Adam Pearce
Last Match Taped December 21, 2014 airing January 31, 2015 Port Hueneme, CA
lost to Colt Cabana at Championship Wrestling from Hollywood

Pearce is a former 5 time NWA World Champion and currently works at a trainer at the WWE Performance Center.

If you wondering why I didn't include such champions as Lou Thesz, Pat O'Connor, or "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers you can read about them in my post about The Last Match: Legends of the Ring

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

NJPW Dominion 6.19 from Osaka jo-Hall

June 19th was not only Father's Day here in the states but a big day for Professional Wrestling with WWE presenting Money in the Bank and NJPW presenting Dominion 6.19 from Osaka jo-Hall.  And I must say after watching both cards New Japan but on a much better show from top to bottom.

Dark Match: Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manubu Nakanishi, & Satoshi Kojima defeated Jay White, David Finlay, & Juice Robinson 

An excellent showing by Jay White who is leaving New Japan for an indefinite leave to Ring of Honor to gain experience.  I'm excited to see him this September, I hope he is on the card.

Bullet Club: Bad Luke Fale, Yujiro Takahashi, & Hangman Page defeated Hunter Club: Captain New Japan & Yoshitatsu and Togi Makabe

This was Page's debut for NJPW and he made a big impact hanging both Tatsu and later Captain New Japan.  He also scored the fall pinning Captain New Japan.

Chaos: Tomohiro Ishii & Toshi-Hashi defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon: Bushi & Sanada

Solid match with both Ishii and Hashi applying submission holds to Bushi and Sanada for the tap out victory.

Hirooki Goto defeated Evil

Goto's finish the GTR is so sick!  It's a downward lariat into a back breaker, devastating!

Four Way Tag Team Elimination Match: The Young Bucks: Nick & Matt Jackson defeated IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions: Richochet & Matt Sydal, reDRagon: Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly, Roppongi Vice: Trent Beretta & Rocky Romero to win the titles

Elimination could occur by being thrown over the top rope and to the floor or a pinfall on one member would eliminate both.  Roppongi Vice & reDRagon where both thrown to the floor with reDRagon coming back in and attacking Sydal and Ricochet.  Finish came when they hit Sydal with the Meltzer Driver to become the 5 time Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.  The most reigns of any single tag team.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion: Kushida defeated Will Ospreay

Kushida retained after a hard fought contest. I'm not a fan of Kuchida, he just doesn't impress me much in the ring.  Kushida worked the left arm all match getting the submission with his version of the kimura the hoverboard lock.

The Briscoe Brothers: Jay & Mark defeated IWGP Tam Team Champions: Guerrillas of Destiny: Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa to win the titles

I'm not a fan of the Briscoe's either.  After the match Hangman Page and Takahashi attacked the new champions through Jay to the floor where GoD worked him over and Page hung his third victim of the night.  Page and Takahashi then held up the titles letting their actions show that are challenging the new champions.

Katsuyori Shibata defeated NEVER Openweight Champion: Yuji Nagata to win the championship

This was the best match of the night!  I'm talking both WWE and NJPW's shows.  People say strong style left when Shinsuke Nakamura departed NJPW, but Nagata & Shibata showed that it was alive and well!  The amount of punishment that 48 year old Nagata dished out and received was truly not believable!  Both of these men delivered a hellacious beating to one another with Nagata getting busted open in the mouth.  This topped the viciousness of Shibata vs. Ishii from WrestleKingdom 10.

I will be watching this match a couple more times at least!

Ladder Match: Michael Elgin defeated IWGP Intercontinental Champion: Kenny Omega to win the title

The first ever ladder match in NJPW's history.  No disrespect to Michael Elgin but I think the match would have had more significance if Tanahashi had been healthy or if another Japanese wrestler replaced him.  It was a great match, right at the beginning red shoes found the Young Bucks under the ring and sent them to the back giving them the suck it sign.  It didn't prevent them from returning to interfere later.

This was a very western style match with multiple ladder spots, a table spot, trash cans and other.  The finish was the Young Bucks handcuffed Elgin to the ring post, Hangman Page and Takahashi, Yoshitatsu, Captain New Japan, Ricochet, & Matt Sydal all interfered as well.  Omega was climbing to get the belt when Elgin broke free and tipped the ladder over sending Omega onto all those that had run in.  He then climbed to retrieve the gold.

Kazuchika Okada defeated IWGP Heavyweight Champion: Tetsuya Naito to win the title

Okada is so good in the ring, TNA really wasted his talent of both of these men when they went through the company.  match was decent, I've seen better from both but still a solid match.  That drop kick of Okada's is so good.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Fabulous Freebirds unique WCW Championship reign

Recently while researching my blog post One Day Champions I came across a very odd match listing and I just had to share it here.

On February 18, 1991 in Montgomery, Alabama The Fabulous Freebirds: Michael PS Hayes and Jimmy "Jam" Garvin lost the WCW World Tag Team Championships to Rick and Scott The Steiner Brothers.

I know what you are thinking, one team losing tag titles to another team isn't that unusual, in fact it has happened several times.  What makes this unique is the next entry in the title lineage.

February 24, 1991 Wrestle War 91 Phoenix, AZ Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin (w/ Big Daddy Dink) defeated WCW Tag Team Champions Doom (w/ Teddy Long) to win the titles at 6:57 when Garvin pinned Simmons after Reed accidentally hit his partner with a foreign object thrown in the ring by Long, with Dink then shoving Garvin onto Simmons for the win; prior to the bout, the challengers were escorted to the ring by Diamond Dallas Page who then introduced Dink as the Freebirds' "road boss" before leaving ringside; after the match, DDP and the Diamond Dolls returned ringside and celebrated with the new champions as Reed assaulted Simmons with the weapon and left the ring with Long

Yes you read that correctly they lost the titles 6 days before they won them making the Fabulous Freebirds that only Champions whose title run was negative days.  It was literally over before it began!

I realize that the match that was held on February 18th was taped for television and didn't air until March 9th, however they still technically lost the titles before even winning them.

This incident is a result of WCW and they odd televisions taping schedule for their syndicated shows which they taped several weeks in advance.  I recall reading in Mick Foley's book about how he watched the team of Pretty Wonderful: Paul Roma & Paul Orndorff cutting a promo about beating Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan for the tag team championships before Cactus and Sullivan had even won them.

What's even more interesting to me is that according to The History of WWE Doom would defend the titles at house shows between the 18th & 24th while The Freebirds were billed as tag team champions at house shows between the February 24th and March 9th.

At the end of the day though,officially the Fabulous Freebirds were Tag Team Champions for negative six days.

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The entire television taping held on February 18, 1991 thanks to

WCW @ Montgomery, AL - Civic Center - February 18, 1991 (1,500)
TV taping:
Included the debut segments of the Diamond Mine, Larry's Legends, and the first appearance of Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong as the Young Pistols
Bobby Eaton defeated Buddy Landel via disqualification when Terry Taylor interfered; after the bout, Tom Zenk made the save only to be knocked down by Eaton
Tom Zenk & Bobby Eaton defeated Terry Taylor & Buddy Landel
Sting & WCW US Champion Lex Luger defeated two unknowns; the bout didn't air due to a blown spot in which Luger was to have press slammed Sting onto the opponents outside the ring; Sting hit the apron on the way down and the two opponents were out of position to make the catch
Worldwide - 3/9/91:
Sting & El Gigante vs. Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker & Lt. James Earl Wright
Dan Spivey vs. Tim Parker
Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong vs. Jim Boss & Pat Rose
Sid Vicious vs. David Isley
Bobby Eaton vs. Terrence Taylor
Barry Windham vs. Brad Armstrong
WCW World Champion Ric Flair vs. Tim Horner
Pro - 3/9/91 - featured Tony Schiavone & Larry Zbyzsko on commentary:
Rick & Scott Steiner defeated WCW Tag Team Champions Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin to win the titles at 4:06 when Scott pinned Garvin with the Frankensteiner after Rick hit a clothesline on Garvin, knocking Garvin backwards into Hayes on the top, causing Hayes to crotch himself; Hayes & Garvin did not win the titles until 2/24
Worldwide - 3/16/91:
Bobby Eaton & Tom Zenk vs. Terrence Taylor & Buddy Landel
WCW Tag Team & US Tag Team Champions Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Rob Morgan & John Peterson
Big Josh, & WCW Six-Man Tag Team Champions Ricky Morton, Tommy Rich, & the Junkyard Dog vs. Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker, Lt. James Earl Wright, & Magnum Force
Ron Simmons vs. Joe Bruce
Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong vs. Doug Vines & Jeff Sword
Sid Vicious vs. Larry Santo
El Gigante vs. Joe Cruz
3/91 - featured Lance Russell & Diamond Dallas Page on commentary:
Brian Pillman defeated WCW TV Champion Arn Anderson via disqualification in a non-title match at 3:04 when Barry Windham and Sid Vicious interfered after Pillman hit a clothesline off the top; Pillman's shoulder was taped as a result of his injury sustained by the Horsemen; after the bout, Pillman fought off Anderson and Vicious, and avoided Vicious' powerbomb, but was eventually beaten down
Dark match: Barry Windham & WCW TV Champion Arn Anderson defeated Doom in a streetfight after Butch Reed accidentally hit Ron Simmons with a shoulderblock; after the bout, the two partners brawled around ringside 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

NXT Takeover The End of the Beginning Review

NXT Takeover: The End of the Beginning
June 8, 2016 from Full Sail University
Orlando, Florida

It's funny because I thought the sub-name was just The End and there was lots of speculation on the internet over exactly what that meant, then during the opening promo the whole sub-name The End of the Beginning appeared.

Andrade "Cien" Almas defeated. Tye Dillinger
I assumed that Dillinger was going to lose this match from the beginning because no one has ever been hyped up come in and lost their debut match.  I fear that Dillinger is going the ways of Tyler Breeze and Dolph Ziggler, a guy who is really good in the ring but is relegated to basically putting other people over with minor pushes here and there.

Cien look decent, I was expecting him to be masked, his finish looks devastating!  Personally I would have had this match be the second match on the card.  Cien was making his debut but he wasn't a known wrestler to the crowd and they weren't pumped for him.  Dillinger was wicked over with the Full Sail crowd.  The tag match should have opened the show.

The Revival: Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson defeated Tag Team Champions: American Alpha: Jason Jordan & Chad Gable to win the titles.
I had Alpha winning this match and was surprised to see Revival become the first ever two time NXT Tag Team Champions.  This was was so freaking amazing though, it was somehow better than their Dallas match!  Legit the chemistry these two teams have is so good and they both put on a fine display of was Tag Team wrestling is all about and what it should be!  Both teams really bring me back to the height of JCP in the mid to late 80's.

Jason Jordan's dropkick is off the charts!  I mean seriously he almost kicked over Dawson's head.  I hope these two teams have a third match at Takeover Brooklyn.

I was shocked to see Paul Ellering come out to represent the team that beat down Alpha post match.  I had to look them up, Gzim Selmani from Albania an MMA fighter with a 4 - 2 record & Sunny Dhinsa a Canadian freestyle amateur wrestler have no prior pro wrestling experience prior to signing with NXT.  They have wrestled a few house shows against American Alpha and others.  I'm very interested in where the relationship with Ellering comes in or why WWE brought him back.

Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Austin Aries
A very stiff strong style match that had Nakamura on the defensive more in this match than any current TV match in NXT to date.  Austin attacked Nakamura with reckless abandon through-out the match and it cost him in the end has he crashed and burned into the guard rail and shortly after that it was over.  It'll be interesting to see where Aries goes from here.  Nakamura I think will be competing for the NXT Championship at Takeover Brooklyn.

NXT Women's Champion: Asuka defeated Nia Jax
For those of you that don't know, Nia Jax is the Rock's cousin, I mean you did see her go for the "peoples" leg drop.
I really hate Nia's entrance music, it's rather dumb and between her and Dillinger it was the night of the high collar entrance gear.
I gotta say I liked this match and I didn't have high hopes for it.  It was a good story with Jax beating the tar out of Asuka the entire match using her size to her advantage countering everything Asuka had.  Asuka withstood the beating and when Jax was tuckered Asuka dished out a series of SEVERE strikes to Jax' head gaining the pin fall victory.

Earlier today we see Bobby Roode once again.  I look forward to his debut!

Steel Cage Match
NXT Champion: Samoa Joe defeated Finn Balor
I've maintained that a cage match with out blood just isn't a cage match I know I'm old school but that's how I feel.
It was a decent match, I didn't expect that a decisive of a finish with Joe getting the pin off a second rope muscle buster.  I expected a coup de gras off the top of the cage or at least an attempted one.  I thought the finish would be Balor doing his corner dropkick but it kicks Joe through the cage door and to the floor.

All in all it was a good show with some really good matches.  I've never been disappointed by a Takeover event, I'm sure Brooklyn is going to tear the house down.

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Saturday, June 4, 2016

NJPW On The Road Series

New Japan Pro Wrestling has launched a new documentary series on their you tube channel called On the Road.  It's not a traditional documentary it's more a day in the life type where the camera crew follows the wrestler around for various activities.

These series are in English with Japanese subtitles and when Japanese is spoken we get English subtitles.  I believe these series were made to draw in more English speaking fans.  I really enjoy them.

Series 1: Will Ospreay
So far they have posted 3 segments about 11 minutes each, overall they highlights Ospreay's first trip to Japan for NJPW.  Overall it is amazing to watch how humbled and blown away Ospreay is to be there.  It is literally a dream come true to him and gets emotional at times.

Part 1: April 7th, we meet Ospreay at the airport he seems surprised by the camera crew.  They follow him to his hotel where he unpacks and talks about getting into wrestling.  What it mean to come to New Japan, shows off his custom gear and how excited he is to a part of the CHAOS group.

Part 2: We follow Ospreay to the New Japan offices.  He meets with Okada where a press conference is held. Next it's April 10th at Sumo arena where Will is blow away at the size of the venue as this will be the largest crowd he has ever wrestled in front of. I find the seating interesting as there are no seats they audience sits on the floor on areas that are sectioned off and you have to remove your shoes. These sections are on risers, seats are on the floor.

Part 3: April 10th at Sumo Hall featuring the Will Ospreay wrestling Kushida for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship.  We get about 6 minutes of in ring clips and then a post match interview with Ospreay

Series 2: "Young Lion of Blue Eyes"Jay White
Three segments varying from 8 - 13 minutes long.  Jay has been with New Japan since early 2015 where is lives in the New Japan Dojo as a young boy.  This is the first time I have ever seen any quality footage of the dojo and it's interesting to finally see something I have heard about many times over the years.

Part 1: March 29th we find Jay training at the New Japan dojo talking about getting into wrestling.  Other gaijins in the home David Finlay and Juice Robinson formerly CJ Parker in NXT.  Jay shows us some of the tasks of the young boys. Jay shows us his room at the dojo.

Part 2: Jay talks about his journey to New Japan and how difficult it is for family and his girlfriend.

Part 3: April 1st, Korakuen Hall Road to Invasion Attack 2016: opens with Jay finishing up setting up the ring.  We cut to Jushin Thunder Liger who has a mask on but there is no hair attached and the mouth area is completely open the eyes are not screened over.  It looks so odd!!  He is very complimentary of Jay.  We get a clipped match of Jay vs. David Finlay where he wins with the lion tamer.  We see Jay backstage talking about the match with the interviewer.  As with all young boys Jay wears black trunks and black boots to the ring.

These two series are really fantastic and I hope that they continue to do and release them on their you tube channel or New Japan World.

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