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Pro Wrestling - in Review

Pro Wrestling in Review 11-27-2023

Professional Wrestling - In Review       Monday - 11/27/2023

By: Kobain Reid


News and Interesting developments

    Cm Punk signs with the WWE amidst Survivor Series After the Men’s Wargames bout.

AEW: Dynamite ratings out after the holiday weekend. AEW Thanksgiving Eve Special drew 845k on Cable TV with a 0.26 in the 18-49 demo. This number is consistent with past weeks and only just missed where they were at this time of year in 2022, 880k/0.32. 

Cm Punk expected to have a live mic promo on RAW. Many fans online, and some that I’ve talked to, will be watching for the first time in a couple years. Cm Punk is definitely best for business and creates talk wherever he goes. Unfortunately, most of the time that also leads to drama, which in Punks case usually ends on the extreme side of things. He was fired from AEW with cause and left WWE with cause. At the end of the day, it’s been 10 years, he sells merch, creates talk, and the fans wanted it, Punk wanted it, so WWE pulled the trigger. It was a Nick Khan call and he is the one who made the call to Punk, none of the TKO staff, Vince Mcmahon, or even the talent were aware he would be there. Only Khan, Levesque, and Punk himself.


Show Recaps

–Monday Night RAW started off with a very heated promo between Rhea Ripley and a returning Randy Orton, setting up a match between Orton and Dominik Mysterio as the Main Event bout. Backstage pre-recorded comedic segment featuring Alpha Academy, recording artist, Jelly Roll, and R-truth leads to Jelly Roll on commentary and starts off the #1 contendership 6-way Tag Team Turmoil Match. Alpha Academy (Akira Tozawa, Otis) Vs DIY (Johnny Gargano, Tomasso Ciampa) to start. Very different in terms of pace compared to previous RAW weeks. It started and stayed pretty quick between the first two teams and Alpha Academy played the crowd hard. DIY takes out Alpha Academy after a running knee and super kick combo, page out of the Golden Lover’s playbook very happy to see that here. Indus Sher (Veer Mahaan, Sanga) is the next team out. DIY eliminates them pretty quickly after a crescent flip roll-up by Gargano. The Creed Brothers out next. They keep up the pace well and there's some nice team sequences from the Creed Brothers, but Gargano shows out by himself taking on both by himself and getting a “Johnny Wrestling” Chant. Leapfrog falcon arrow by Creed Brothers, then Julius Electric chair and Brutus ball from the top rope and finally eliminating DIY; crowd was very pleased with the showcase from both teams. The New Day (Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston) is out next. Really surprised with the wrestling shown between Creeds and New Day here. Very simple sequences, Brutus hits a suplex from the apron to the ring for only 2. Woods hits a back breaker and Kofi comes in with a double-stomp off the top rope for 2. Brutus dodges the “Trouble In Paradise” and tags Julius. Julius catches a kick and turns it into a power slam of sorts. Then the Electric Chair and Brutus Ball combo eliminates the New Day. Imperium (Ludwig Kaiser, Giovani Vinci) is the last team out and immediately both men are the ring attacking the Creed Brothers. Imperium haphazardly counter the Brutus ball and are setting up for a top bottoms lariat power-bomb but the Creeds counter with a superplex and then another Brutus ball electric chair combo on the opposite corner and gets the win. Securing the #1 contendership for the Undisputed Tag-Team Titles.


Backstage with Judgement Day, Damien Priest is looking inattentive and believes the others are upset with him; but they say they are a family and stick together, relieving his worries. They decide to go to check on JD Mcdonagh because he's still banged up from the RKO off the top of the cage at Survivor Series: Wargames.


Cody Rhodes promo is next,  he talks about Survivor Series and a small bit on Punk and declares for the 2024 Royal Rumble. Suddenly a Shinsuke Nakamura vignette appears and he essentially reveals that Cody Rhodes–is the person he was talking about in his mysterious promos the past several weeks. After the vignette, Shinsuke appears and attacks Cody from behind. This gives something for Cody to do before Roman at Wrestlemania 40.


Bronson Reed Vs Ivar w/Valhalla is next. Barrett says they are both “meat Planets” and says “this is Monday Night Meat”. Lots of holds and Splashes, slams, and strikes. a surprise Picture in Picture we don't usually get on RAW which they end up doing all night. Good big man match, very entertaining, and both men weren’t going all out, just mostly simple stuff. Reed avoids a top rope splash and tries one for himself but Valhalla stops him. She gets ejected, both men play to the exhaustion angle where they cant hit or lift as hard or as much. Ends in a Double count-out. After the bell rang, Bronson hits a Death Valley driver onto the barricade. Ivar and Bronson get up and still keep fighting, taking it into the crowd. Security and Pearce try to stop him, but Bronson throws the guard at Ivar. Out of nowhere, Ivar jumps off a barricade onto Bronson. “Holy Shit!” chants rang through the arena.


We go to a Prerecorded backstage promo from Zoey Stark and Shayna Baszler that gets interrupted by Nia Jax which sets up Nia Vs Zoey which is next. Cut to another Backstage segment after the commercial, with Judgement Day again. Mcdonagh is wearing a neck brace and they are walking through their locker room – ”Clubhouse” – they call it. They find R-Truth eating Jelly Rolls on their couch.


Very entertaining comedy promo and we cut back to the ring for Nia Jax Vs Zoey Stark. Still hate putting segments between matches. Crowd was pretty dead for this match. Nice springboard move from Zoey then a roundhouse kick for a near fall. Tries a springboard dropkick for another near fall then heads to the top rope again but Nia counters and catches her into a Samoan slam and a running senton in the corner. Then an “annihilator” for the 3 count and the win.


After we see a backstage segment with Imperium, after some talking Vinci and Kaiser walk off speaking German supposedly heading to speak to Adam Pearce. The Miz comes over to talk to Gunther. Says he knows he can beat Gunther, and Gunther says Miz is a great entertainer/wrestler and belongs in the ring; just not with him. Next was a Seth Rollins Promo, he calls Punk a hypocrite, and teases a World Heavyweight Title bout tonight. McIntyre interrupts and says he has to focus on what's most important, the World Title. Rollins says McIntyre deserves a shot but he thinks more people are deserving. Rollins talked to Pearce, said there will be a World Title match next week against Jey Uso. McIntyre is pissed he picked Uso (Mcintyres Rival) over him. Hard elbow strike to Rollins from Mcintyre and he continues to beat down rollins. Jey Uso comes to save Rollins and fights McIntyre out of the ring. Uso Picks up the World Title, looks at it, aggressively hands it back to Rollins, and leaves the ring.


Next is the Women’s Tag title Match between - Tegan Nox, her newly appointed mentor Natalya Vs Chelsea Green, Piper Niven (C) - in between team entrances, Sami Zayn and McIntyre have a promo backstage. Sami declares interest in the World Title and calls McIntyre a spoiled little brat. McIntyre says he's right and he's gonna talk to Pearce about getting a match next week–against Sami. Back to the ring, big fight feel, and spotlights come down for team in ring announcements. The announcement of Chelsea Green's name needs to stop. Normal tag sequences, Top rope dropkick from Green, leads to a near fall. A comedic team sequence from the champs and they are fully in control doing team offense in their corner on Natalya. Green is legal and has Natalys on the top rope, Natalya counters into a power bomb and tags Nox. Nox hits some decent hot, comeback offense on Green. Top Rope 450 senton from Nox on Green, then Niven saves the champion from getting pinned and helps get Green back in control. Niven sneakily tags in, Nox and Natalya still focus on Chelsea and throw Green into the barricade. Niven comes out of nowhere and hits a diving senton from the apron taking out Natalya and Nox. Diving crossbody from the top rope onto Nox for the win, retaining the Tag Championships.


Backstage promo with Jey Uso apologizing to Randy Orton and saying he's changed from how he was when he was with the Bloodline, Orton forgives him. Main Event Bout is next, Dominik Mysterio w/Rhea Ripley are out first. Guaranteeing Punk will be the Main Event promo segment this week. Back from the commercial, they mention again that the Cm Punk return got 71 million views across all social media accounts. Backstage interview with Becky Lynch. Nice pop for Orton. Cole says only 2 people have held more world titles than him, John Cena, and Ric Flair. Barrett Praises Orton's physique upon return from double-fusion back surgery. Orton looks dominant with shoulder tackles, strikes and lariats with some crowd playing. “Who’s your daddy!” chants at Dominik. Classic Orton sequence gets the crowd awake and cheering. Piped in whistling noises are a really weird addition–it's the same whistle sound every show. Jelly Roll gets involved, pushing down JD Mcdonagh to a crowd pop. Orton does 2 back suplexes to Dom onto the announce table and brings dom in the ring, dom counters with a 619 but Orton counters the frog splash and hits a RKO for the win. Good Main Event, did what it was supposed to. Normal Orton match, but it was his first match back in a RAW ring in over 1 ½ years.


Cm Punk comes out, and says that Hell must’ve frozen over, if he's really in a RAW ring with a live mic. Says Saturday was a career highlight for him and says only two words can describe this for him, even though it's cringey and not like Cm Punk. “Im Home''. Says WWE has made himself feel like himself again; but he feels like he's really home, and that no one forgot him, even though maybe he wanted to. They never stopped chanting–*fans chant “CM PUNK”*--says he's back because he loves the fans and wishes he never had to leave. Says once upon a time, a wise man told him, to get what he needs, he has to leave. He says the wise man was right, and that behind the camera after coming back, has been nothing but love from staff and talent. Questions about AJ (Lee) arose he mentioned, answered with, “She’s fabulous and sends her regards”. Hugs from everyone, well, almost everybody. Says some people have been the “best in the world” for the last 10 years; but they weren't really the best in the world, the best in the world, is Cm Punk. Says the man with living color is–*Holds Mic up*-- fans chant “CM PUNK!”. He leans into the camera and says, “I’m not here to make friends, I'm here to make money”. Show goes off air.


–WWE: Main Event was taped as well and will be broadcasted on Hulu and posted on Peacock on-demand as well. This week features Charlie Dempsey Vs Duke Hudson, and Apollo Crews Vs Riley Osborne.


PWIR: Bound For Glory 2023 Review and News

Professional Wrestling - In Review   Impact Wrestling - Bound for Glory Edition

By: Kobain Reid     10/23/2023




News and interesting developments in Pro Wrestling:

        WWE have been slowly building their WarGames match for Survivor Series on 11/25 in Chicago. They haven't announced the match yet, but currently that is the plan. WWE also made many fans think they were teasing a GM Vs GM WarGames match, this has been debunked as reports have stated that is not the current plan. I never thought it would until they announced the new Smackdown GM, making the brands more split, but even then, they’d have to have stricter brand split rules. They are very lenient as big stars and factions are tried to be represented on each show weekly. They've currently distributed 15,128 tickets for the event. Amazing number, not out of the ordinary for WWE, but still a great number.

        CM Punk was spotted backstage at TV tapings for Impact Wrestling on 10/22. This is probably due to Ace Steel potentially becoming a producer for Impact. But fans are still speculating and fantasy booking scenarios. He was also backstage at WWE Raw events shortly after his release from AEW. It was thought Punk was a straight shot with hardcore WWE fans, and there is still speculation that he will appear at WWE Survivor Series in Chicago. However, Punk has not signed a deal, and reports from WWE higher ups claim no talks are in progress, WWE believes they can sign him if they want, but that the internal belief is the negatives outweigh the positives.

        AEW is on fire, in terms of match quality and story elements featured on TV. Unfortunately they are dead cold with ticket Sales, and TV viewership is down a small percent each year. Lack of consistent local marketing and negative social media light among other factors, such as the decrease of cable in homes, definitely helped cause the decrease.

        Will Ospreay is currently on the best professional wrestling run of all-time and there's no debate in that. His last several matches were all classics and included the likes of, Mike Bailey (Impact BFG 2023), Zach Sabre JR (NJPW Royal Quest III), Kenny Omega, Chris Jericho, Kota Ibushi (6-man Tag AEW WrestleDream), Yota Tsuji (NJPW Destruction in Kobe), Naomichi Marufuji (NOAH), Kenny Omega (AEW x NJPW FD II) and many more. Reason we say this is, Ospreys contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling is set to expire 2024, and while I expect him to re-sign, there will be a bidding war, every promotion is said to have interest. WWE previously offered Ospreay a contract in 2016, he politely declined and decided to hone his craft in Japan and around the world for the last 8 years. 



Bound For Glory 2023 

        Impact Wrestling held their biggest event of the year this past weekend at Cicero Stadium, in Chicago, IL. 2500 were packed and on fire all night. Same amount NJPW drew for their show “Battle In The Valley” earlier this year, and just shy of the AEW Collision attendance of ~2900+ in Memphis, TN that happened the same night. The show started 30 minutes early so the Impact Wrestling Hall Of Fame could take place. Inducted this year were Mike Tenay, Don West, Traci Brooks. They share the honor with, in order of induction, Sting, Kurt Angle, Jeff Jarrett, Earl Hebner, Gail Kim, Abyss, Ken Shamrock, Awesome Kong, Raven, and Team 3D (Bully Ray, Devon).

        Show opens with NJPW’s Kenta Vs Chris Sabin (c) for the Impact Wrestling X-Division Championship. Quickly paced opening bout that was very enjoyable and also was a decent wrestling match. Kenta played the heel in this match and controlled the crowd through the in-ring story. CM Punk, an infamous name in the wrestling world and in the City of Chicago, popularized the “Go-2-Sleep” move in the US, although Kenta was the originator of the move. In the match Kenta would tease the move only to have it countered each time, Kenta then decided to not hit it at all and showed the crowd two middle fingers. Obviously, Kenta wanting to protect his finisher is the reason. The match went 11:28 and Sabin Retained, they didn't go all out, but they didn't have to. Good opening contest to get the crowd invested, it did what it needed to and both performers did well. If I were to rate, I’d go ***.

        The Monsters Ball Match was next, participants included PCO, Moose, Rhino, and Steve Maclin. This match wasn't anything special, it featured mostly PCO carrying the match, doing his usual insane stunts and bumps. PCO deservingly gets the win.

        The Impact Wrestling World Tag-Team Championships were on the line next. Bullet Club ABC (Ace Austin, Chris Bey) used their “Feast Or Fired” contract to get this title shot against champions, The Rascalz (Zachary Wentz, Trey Miguel). This match reminded me so much of the Motor City Machine Guns Vs Beer Money Feud. The style of wrestling, transitions, sequences and plans were impeccable. What hurts the match is it being under 10 minutes, but to its credit, it felt like 12 or 13 minutes. I really did enjoy the match, ABC came out on top and reclaim the titles. There was a spot where Bey was supposed to fly in from the top rope to break up the pin, the cameras spoiled the break-up beforehand, something small but ruined the spot for me. Regardless, very great stuff, every performer on this show showed out tonight. I’d say also ***.

        A match that absolutely is a draw on paper, mainly due to Will Ospreay. However, if you didn’t know Mike Bailey, you knew his name tonight. Big fight title match feel when Ospreay’s title wasn't actually on the line. This is how you make a star. Ospreay sold so well and Bailey pulled every move in his arsenal out. A modern pro-wrestling spectacle, call backs to TNA Wrestling with Ospreay doing a Styles Clash, and the crazy aerial techniques that defined the X-Division and what defined TNA. Bailey worked on the torso of Ospreay for this match. Moonsaults, shooting star double knees to the back, countered the Oscutter with a code-breaker type move, physical chops, strikes, and amazingly athletic and physical kicks. Really great preview of what Bailey can do and the near falls were perfect. Ospreay hit a Storm-Driver ‘91, same thing he did to Kenny at Forbidden Door II, but this one looked cleaner, then Hidden Blade and Storm-Breaker for the win in 17:59. I wished it was longer but I loved every bit, and the crowd and fans at home were nothing but praise. This match will be looked on for generations. I’d go *****.

        Next was the “ Call your shot Gauntlet Battle Royal Match '' It's just a very gimmicky and silly rumble, but It was probably the most entertaining battle royal any promotion has produced this year. OK technical ability, and the end featured Jordynne Grace Pinning Bully Ray to win and becoming the first “Knockout” to win it. Some notable surprise names to show up were Matt Cardona, and Juventud Guerrera.

        Next the Knockouts World title Match. Trinity (c) def. Mickie James by pin in 11:58. Mickie James looked great, both women clearly had chemistry and the ability to produce a decent match together. Nothing crazy but not boring, and barring a few botches, a good, and interesting match. Trinity Submits Mickie James and immediately lets go and kisses James before celebrating. You could tell this was emotional for her. I’d go **¾. 

        The Main Event is probably the match that had the most story going in besides the Knockouts and Tag title matches. Josh Alexander, who is a 2-time Impact World Champion, and the longest reigning Impact world champion before becoming injured and being forced to vacate. Steve Maclin would go on to win the vacated title at Multiverse United I of this year, Alex Shelley would take it from him at Against All Odds in Columbus and continue to hold it to this day. Alexander comes in to challenge Shelley for the title he never lost. It was a Physical, quick paced, technical pro wrestling match. Lots of fantastic mat work and grapples. Each performer got adequate offense and it was the longest non rumble match on the card at 22:32. There were some gnarly submissions and near falls. Shelley has challenged Alexander for the belt before and lost, so this time it took everything. They show this in an interesting way by having Shelley knock Alexander's headGear off and Mouthguard out of his mouth before hitting a shellshock for the win and to finally prove that he is the face of modern Impact. Which leads us to a new era in Impact Wrestling history. I’d go ****. The screen immediately cut to an emotional cinematic with multiple TNA and Impact originals. They said it was time to rewrite history and create their own chapters. They said wherever they go, no matter what, the fans never forgot what they truly loved, Total Nonstop Action. They will be rebranding and changing everything aesthetically to match starting at Hard To Kill 2024. Scott D’Amore cut a very emotional promo, He said “TNA Wrestling is back! We’re F*****g back!!” and sounded like he was about to cry at the end and I was already crying. If you love something, don't let it go.



2023-11 | 2023-10

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