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Pro Wrestling - in Review

Pro Wresling In Review 11/29-11/30

 

News & Interesting Developments:

-QT Marshall is set to leave AEW. Thanks Tony Khan and says he enjoyed the work he did there, but that they aren’t going in the direction they were in 2019 and says it's his chance to go “All In!” QT will have fulfilled all obligations and duties by the end of 2023. A big factor in this decision was the usage of his character on TV and in the ring. It was reported CM Punk, when he was with AEW, said he didn't understand “QTV” (QT Marshall’s talk show type segment) and said he thought it didn't have a place on Dynamite, so Khan cut it. Khan has since taken full responsibility and blame for the decision but it still has seemed to have hit QT’s morale. Nothing yet known about his intentions after AEW, and we probably won't know anything until after his current contract ends.

-Swerve on his Texas Deathmatch with “Hangman” Adam Page, says in an interview with TMZ Sports, "That’s what AEW was built on. Pushing boundaries, doing things that other places just couldn’t do, or are not able to do. You’re not able to see that anywhere else. The fact that it was done, it makes people [go], ‘I don’t believe you. I gotta go see this for myself.’ That’s what that was. We pushed boundaries." This was the most accurate statement on AEW’s identity I’ve probably read. AEW was built on being different and offering every style of wrestling while also being more progressive in their ideas, more willing to take risks and push boundaries.

-WWE is finalizing and seeming to get ready to officially announce their new TV deals. Levesque and Nick Khan have been in Los Angeles, the home of all the major TV networks that are in the running to buy RAW. Dave Meltzer confirmed the announcement will be soon. There were rumors that Warner Bros Discovery were the highest bidder; but that was denied by Dave Meltzer on the Wrestling Observer this week. Currently all we know is who is interested in RAW, the idea and report from Meltzer claimed FX was highest chance with Netflix, USA, WBD, Amazon we’re all being talked about. WWE has already secured the deal for NXT with them moving to the CW, and for Smackdown, who will most likely be moving over to the USA network with RAW looking to leave the network.

-Although business seems to be going up in WWE, more corporate layoffs were reported on Friday, December 1st. Back in September during the closing of the merger with TKO, over 100 corporate employees and some talent were released and this seems like the next and possible final round of staff layoffs. Fans online were quick to criticize the layoffs, stating Christmas was only 24 days. Some mentioned this as despicable behavior and I have to agree. Although this is business, and it just happens to be unfortunate due to circumstances beyond any of the former staff's control.

-AEW: Dynamite on 11/29 ratings are out, 858k/0.29 in 18-49. This beating the WWE: NXT TV on 11/28, 659k/0.18; and Friday’s WWE: Smackdown on 11/24, 789k/0.24. AEW: Collision and Rampage ratings from 11/25 also came out, AEW: Rampage was on right before Collision for 3 hours of programming. The Rampage hour drew 264k/0.08, and Collision drew 317k/0.09. WWE: Raw on Monday night, 11/27, drew 1.88M/0.65.

-AEW is expecting to gross around $175M by the end of the year in revenue. The new TV deal negotiation will help their net profits but we won’t know more until that happens.

-Ronda Rousey made her ROH debut last week teaming with Marina Shafir against Billie Starkz and Athena. This was the second meeting between the teams, first being at Wrestling Revolver - Revolver Unreal Event. Their match in ROH main evented the show and was very good, better than their first match, and about 3 minutes longer as well. Many fans, and I as well, thought this would lead to her signing with AEW/ROH. It would definitely help her improve and hone the craft and art of pro-wrestling. In a recent interview with TMZ however, she was asked whether or not she would be officially signing a contract, she said “No, no, I don’t think so,” and, “…just trying to be home with the family, and be a full-time mom.”

-Ric Flair released a statement supposedly in response to the feedback from his signing with AEW, and the promo he gave on Wednesday's AEW: Rampage taping. Flair said he was tired of all the negativity while he’s trying to have fun and retire alongside one of his good friends. Says he appreciates Tony Khan but is willing to step down if he is embarrassing the company, or showing them in a bad light. My stance is, whatever your feelings on Flair are as a person outside of TV, should be kept separate from his current work. The aforementioned promo that was cut, was indeed in bad taste, we are unaware if it’ll even air. I believe Flair genuinely meant no harm and was being sarcastic, but it was not received well. Many on social media are not over his past antics 30 years ago. Current wrestlers and talent responded to Flair's post including Miro, who said, “Stop reading the dirt sheets. They are poison and they do not represent the fans.”

Show Recaps:

AEW: Dynamite

Dynamite was a very great show, it felt like a return to what AEW does best, professional wrestling. On social media the opinion is skewed with many false narratives getting traction. The next 3-4 weeks of shows will be centered around the Continental Classic and the American Triple Crown Championship; but AEW and Tony Khan I think have done a great job about not overshadowing the other stories being told. The women deserve more TV time which is a mostly universal opinion. They’ve done good things with the TBS and TNT titles making them more relevant and prominently featured on TV, with quality stories and engaging characters behind them. Toni Storm being AEW Women's World Champion is a good call but I think AEW needs to do a better job of explaining and developing the Mariah May and Storm story. 

 

Bryan Danielson starts off the show coming out to be on commentary for the night. Continuing the Continental Classic with action in the Gold League, Jon Moxley Vs Jay Lethal are first. They Trade takedowns and Let’s go Moxley chants ring out. Jay put on a Figure 4 but they rolled each other out of the ring. Lethal hits a topé and plays the crowd, he goes for another but Moxley counters and taunts him then hits a topé of his own. Back in the ring,  Lethal hits a dragon Screw and a short-elbow drop off the top rope for a near fall. Lethal starts targeting the leg with offense and leg holds trying to strengthen the effectiveness of his patented figure 4. Moxley tries to turn the match around countering and hitting a cutter, but Lethal stays in control and puts Moxley on the top rope and hits a dragon screw. Moxley baits in Lethal and counters with Hard strikes which immediately leads to drilling strikes signaling the start of the ending. Lethal counters the death-rider and hits the Lethal Combo for 2. Targeting leg again by slamming mox’s knee on the floor, they trade falls and Mox is seemingly in control; springs up from the corner but Lethal counters with a roll-up and Mox counters into his own pin but lethal turns it into a figure 4. Mox escapes and baits Lethal again, playing that he's exhausted but hits a stock piledriver for a nice false finish; but immediately into the rear-naked choke and eventually locks the arm. Lethal has to tap. 

 

Eddie Kingston Pre-Recorded promo from collision airs. Says no one deserves anything and everything is earned and Tony didn't put any scrubs in this tournament, says he's got Bryan (Danielson) next, and he's not going to be behind the 8-ball. Says he will give it all he's got. Bryan Danielson cuts a quick response promo since he's on commentary. Says he's not behind the 8 ball and that he's coming to win, and coming to be the first AEW Triple Crown Champion. We cut to backstage with Tony Schiavone and he announced Greensboro, NC is the location for Revolution 2024. It'll be on Sunday, March 3rd, in Greensboro Coliseum. Sting and Flair give some words and we head back to the ring.

 

 Rush Vs Briscoe is up next. Both men are searching for their first points as they’ve both lost all their previous matches. They start off hot. Briscoe hits a back suplex onto the barricade and then a diving elbow drop from the apron; Tazz makes note to say shades of “Cactus Jack”. Rush hits a German suplex and super- kick combo, Briscoe bounces off the ropes and hits debilitating lariat. Keeps the offense going and is in full control, stalking and teasing Rush. Briscoe, with strikes in the corner, but Rush counters and whips Mark into the corner and beats him down. Rush steps back for a running move but it gets countered by Briscoe. Rush stays in control though, puts on a cloverleaf figure-4 leg-lock. Both men duel chops and taunt each other. Briscoe hits an exploder, Rush hits a belly to belly in the corner. Rush steps back and sprints for Briscoe in the corner again, but is countered again with a spear by Briscoe for 2. Then neck breaker for 2. Rush countered Jay-Driller, Briscoe counters with an enziguri taking both men to the apron. They trade chops on the apron, Rush takes advantage and kind of botches the counter but gets a “Holy Shit!” chant from the crowd. Rush kicks out of Froggy bottom bomb for 2. Rush counters the Jay-Driller again and takes down Briscoe in the corner with a hard elbow then hits his signature diving senton for the win. And gets his first 3 points in the Continental Classic as well. Briscoe remains with 0. 

 

We cut to backstage to hear from Ms Toni Storm, fun promo but needed more, will probably hear more from her later in the week. 

 

MJF comes out and cuts a promo putting over Samoa Joe who is his opponent at AEW: World's End in Long Island. Says he respects Joe because of what he's done for the industry and because he knows Joe believes in AEW and isn’t there for a check which he respects. MJF says he remembers when he first saw TNA, and the athleticism, the wrestling they had, was unlike anything he’d ever seen. He said even though he wasn't a world champion in WWE or had a chance to be, he proved alternatives matter and that you can be big without it (WWE) and anything Joe did for wrestling is bigger than the WWE World title. Says without Joe there is no AEW, “Thank you Joe!” chants ring out. MJF says however, he's been here since day 1, and has helped build AEW brick by brick, “MJF!” Chants, he says he did it by beating every top guy, but he hasn’t beaten Samoa Joe. “Dec 30 isn't about Joe's legacy, it's about mine–and  if I can outlast the final boss in this sport, one more time.” Screen goes black, Spotlights flash all over the ring. Masked men hold MJF, looking to attack him. Joe comes out of nowhere and saves him, because no one will get their hands on MJF before Joe does. Feed cuts out and stays black for around 15 seconds, then some words type out on the black screen, “will you face the unknown Samoa Joe and MJF in a tag match?” MJF accepts the match for next week, for Joe and his behalf, because he wants to reveal the masked men. Schiavone says whoever is the devil can apparently control their broadcast. 

 

Wardlow Vs AR Fox is next. Fox tries some aerial offense with some topé suicidas, Wardlow catches Fox on the third and slams him on the apron. When both get in the ring, the bell finally sounds, Crowd chants “WARDLOW” just like the “GOLDBERG” chants of old. Wardlow takes over for most of the beginning until Fox counters and is able to hit a 450 but Wardlow kicks at 1. Manhandles Fox into a deadlift Powerbomb, and then another. Wardlow then hits a swanton from the top, and finally looks to end with a Jack-up Powerbomb; but ref ends it before Wardlow can pin. Another Wardlow squash but the winning decision was different here.

 

 6-man tag between The Hardy's/Brother Zay, Vs Top Flight/Action Andretti. A returning Dante Martin after a miracle clearance joins his brother and seemingly new member of the brother/brother tag-team. Match starts with Andretti Vs Matt. Simple beginning stuff, Matt tags Jeff and they do a classic team sequence. Hardy puts on a headlock and they go through a counter sequence ending in taunts. Jeff tags Zay, Action tags Darius, both men fresh and hot. Top Flight comes out on top. Coming back from commercial the Hardy’s ended up in control. After simple and classic sequences from both teams, they bring up the pace and Dante gets a near fall but Zay is able to tag in Hardy who tries to hit a side effect on Dante but is countered. Dante wanted to check on Darius but got caught and all three on the other side took over and hit a triple Powerbomb on top flight. Teams counter moves and finishers but in the end Dante gets the final move and final pin in his miracle comeback return. Komander and vikingo vs Top Flight tease. 

 

Next was Emi Sakura Vs Julia Hart for the AEW TBS title. Emi taunts Julia but Julia isn't having any of it and takes over with some light offense of kicks and strikes. Sakura retaliates with some punches but Julia leads her to the ropes and knocks Sakura to her knees and roundhouse kicks her while she leans on the ropes. They head to the outside and Sakura counters and lands a running crossbody onto Julia onto the outside steps. Sakura brings Hart back into the ring and hits an inverted neck breaker for 2. Machine gun chopes by Sakura in the corner. Julia tries to counter but gets knocked down hard. Sakura puts Julia in a double-underhook piledriver position, and turns to show each side of the arena, Julia hanging upside down,  before turning it into a back-breaker instead. Hart tries to counter with some offense but gets dropped by the challenger. Hart eventually counters into a submission and Sakura taps but Ref tells Julia she can only win by pinfall. Julia hits a moonsault press and covers for 3 to retain the title. 

 

Adam Copeland challenged Christian Cage for the TNT title earlier this week. Cage was scheduled to respond to the Montreal title challenge. He comes out and calls Adam to come out for him. After some persuasion he doesn’t come out and Cage stumbles. Says he really wants to speak to him, and if he doesn’t come out, he’ll come to him. Copeland comes out. Security guarded Cage, but he tells them to leave. Commentary calls Cage a ring general. Cage mentions the challenge and says they wont make it and Copeland immediately knocks out Cage and says, “Nice try dumbass, and says go f**k yourself”, referencing Cage’s remark to Copeland weeks before. The F*** by Copeland was uncensored on TV, fine if given is expected to be upwards of $325k.

 

Lastly, was the AEW: Dynamite main event, featuring action in the gold league of the Continental Classic, between Swerve Strickland and Jay White. Both men have won their previous bouts in the Classic. Crowd chants “Whose house? Swerve’s House!” while both men stare down and eventually lock up, leading each other in the corner. They take it to the outside and throw each other into the barricade. Swerve tries to do another barricade shot but White counters and whips SS into the barricade again. In the ring White chops swerve in the corner a few times. Swerve counters with a boot and chops White on the ropes. They end up on the outside again and Swerve throws white into the crowd then goes for a swerve stop off the apron onto the back of White. Tries to bring white in the ring but white counters quickly with a DDT while Swerve was coming in. White yells “Whose House!” and crowd chants “swerves house!” They do this a couple times. White takes it to the outside this time and Swerve comes out on top again and counters with a back breaker and a running boot off the apron. Back in the ring, White counters with an exploder out onto the floor and whips him into the steel steps only for a 1 count. White immediately puts on a hold targeting the shoulder. Teases the crowd again. Locks in another hold, this time with a double underhook on the arms. Swerve tries to counter but Jay swings Swerve down by his hair, Swerve gets right back up and chops him twice. I loved all the sequences in this match, it was almost over done, but i think it was the perfect match for its length. Very good match. White hits a back suplex for 2. Swerve hits a back suplex of his own and hits some hard looking left and right hands. Swerve showcases some of his amazing athleticism and rolling movement sequences getting a 2 count. Crowd is also loving this match. White hits a Flatliner, a deadlift German, Swerve retaliates though with a corkscrew lariat. Both men in the middle of the ring trade strikes, Swerve comes out on top but White tackles his knee taking him down and hits a uranagi for 2. White has a Sleeper hold on, swerve tries to counter but White puts on the fujiwara armbar. Swerve rolls through and does joint manipulation, bending White's arms back, and then doing his signature kick while in the hold, basically destroying White's arm. Then Swerve hits another Killshot to the back of the head for the 3, and the 3 points. I’d go ****¼ for this bout. Easily a match of the week contender.

 

ROH TV

Ring of Honor TV, taped on 11/22, had a great turnout of 5,066. The show aired to the public on Honor Club on 11/30. Better show than previous weeks and sticks to the current formula of Ring of Honor. It showcases many younger, and underdeveloped stars, while also featuring many veteran talent to help guide and train the new. Decent wrestling this week, subpar to some other weekly shows they’ve produced this year, but still entertaining and announced the Women’s World Championship match with Billie Starkz turning on Athena. Year long story of the classic prodigy vs teacher storyline. The turn came off of Athena naming Lexy Nair as the Valedictorian of her academy, M.I.T (Minion In Training). Seems like the women will also be main eventing the upcoming ROH PPV event, Final Battle, in Garland, TX. Hometown crowd for Athena and with Eddie Kingston seemingly not defending the ROH world title as it is being unified and on the line during the Continental Classic. The biggest stories going into the PPV are, the aforementioned Women’s feud, the tag title uncertainty, and the vacant TV title being crowned.

 

Impact Wrestling TV

Impact Wrestling aired an IPWF (Impact Wrestling Provincial Federation) throwback show. The IPWF is a “promotion” where the Impact Wrestling talent wrestle under alter-egos and everything aesthetically, down to commentary and story, is all different. Like a different universe in the Impact Wrestling world. Honestly a super entertaining comedy show. I really enjoyed most of the show and laughed at all the absurdities. Wrestling wise wasn’t up to par but it wasn’t supposed to be. Impact Wrestling is in the middle of their final stretch under the Impact banner. Starting in 2024, they will be returning to the TNA branding. We’re still unsure what will all come with that.

Tournament Standings around the world

AEW Continental Classic

 

Swerve Strickland

6

Jon Moxley

6

Jay White

3

Rush

 

Jey Lethal

 

Mark Briscoe

 

 

Andrade El Idolo

 

Bryan Danielson

 

Daniel Garcia 

 

Brody King

3

Eddie Kingston

 

Claudio Castagnoli

3

 

NJPW: WORLD TAG LEAGUE

Hirooki Goto/Yoshi-Hashi (Bishamon

3

Yuji Nagata/Minoru Suzuki

 

Hikuleo/El Phantasmo (Guerrillas of Destiny)

2

Taichi/Yuya Uemura (Just 5 Guys)

6

Yota Tsuji/Zendokan Jr 

4

Atlantis Jr/Soberano Jr (CMLL)

5

Lance Archer/Alex Zayne (MonsterSauce)

8

Bad Luck Fale/Jack Bonza (Bullet Club-Rogue Army)

2

 

Shota Umino/Ren Narita

6

Tomohiro Ishii/Toru Yano (Chaos)

6

Great-O-Khan/HENARE (United Empire)

4

Mikey Nichols/Shane Haste (TMDK)

8

Alex Coughlin/Gabe Kidd (Bullet Club-War Dogs)

6

Evil/Yukio Takahashi (House of Torture)

4

Kaito Kiyomiya/Ryohei Oiwa (NOAH)

4

Bishop Kaun/Tia Liona (Gates Of Agony)

2

 

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.

 

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