26th March – 1st April: This Week in Wrestling History

We are now less than 24 hours away from Wrestlemania 28 and I’m sure wrestling fans everywhere are starting to feel the excitement and the anticipation. Last time I covered Wrestlemania highlights from the last calendar week (19th – 25th March) but that only begins to scratch at the surface! What happened on THIS calendar week (26th March – 1st April) in Wrestlemania history I hear you cry? Well, here are two more selected Wrestlemania moments to tide you over until the big show! This is This Week in Wrestling History: Wrestlemania Special Part 2!

by Neil

Follow me on Twitter: @shootwrestling

Champion vs. Champion: The Ultimate Warrior (Intercontinental Champion) vs. Hulk Hogan (WWF Champion)

Hulk Hogan had been the WWFs biggest star through the late eighties. Not only was Hogan the biggest draw in the company, he was the biggest draw that the WWF and professional wrestling had ever seen. Hogans popularity had reached levels previously unheard of as he became a household name and a global celebrity. Simply put, in many ways, he was in a league of his own. Other big names in the WWF at this time just couldn’t reach the same levels of popularity with the fans. Men such as “Macho Man” Randy Savage, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Andre The Giant and Jake “The Snake” Roberts were all beloved by fans but it didn’t seem as though these men were ever going to receieve the same kind of response from the audience that Hogan did. There was however one man who threatened to stand in the way of the WWF Champion.

The Ultimate Warrior, from Parts Unknown, was a larger than life, colourful, exciting character. He may not have been one of the most loved, respected men by many of his peers but the people who did love Warrior were the WWF fans and yes, I was one of them as a small child. Warrior was intensity personified and was quickly becoming the biggest rival to Hulk Hogans popularity. Leading into Wrrestlemania VI, on April 1st 1990 infront of nearly 68,000 at the Toronto Skydome in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, The Ultimate Warrior was Hulk Hogans most popular challenger.

Both men had been pushed into the spotlight leading up to this encounter, both having lengthy championship reigns. At Summerslam 1989, on August 28th, The Ultimate Warrior won back his Intercontinental Championship from Rick Rude. Hogan had won his WWF Championship at Wrestlemania V, on April 2nd 1989. Both titles were on the line in this main-event. This event would either see Hulk Hogan defeat the biggest threat to his championship and his popularity or see The Ultimate Warrior take the Immortal One’s spotlight and potentially his spot at the top of the pile in the WWF. Theres surely no doubt in anybodys mind that going over on Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship would be the biggest accomplishment in any mans career at this time. If the Warrior could pull it off then doing so on the grandest stage of them all would immortalise his name and his legacy in the WWF forever.

Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels

In 1998 Shawn Michaels was forced to retire from professional wrestling due to a back injury. An injury that most seemed to think would keep Michaels out of the ring forever. However in 2002 the “Heart Break Kid” made his triumphant return to the ring and, somehow, was able to dazzle fans by stopping shows in that same, trademark, unimitable fashion that he did before his injury. Michaels return to the WWE was a huge success and he even captured the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in his second tenure.

In Michaels absence, Chris Jericho had climbed the ranks of the WWE. Since moving from WCW to the WWF in 1999 Jericho had captured his own championship, winning the very first Undisputed Championship when the WWF and WCW belts were unified in 2001. When Jericho was training to be a wrestler and when Jericho was still trying to make a name for himself around the world, in Japan and Mexico among other places, the wrestler he most often imitated, looked up to and respected, according to the man himself, was Shawn Michaels.

Shawn Michaels is “Mr. Wrestlemania”, a name not given to him lightly. Shawn Michaels had battled Razor Ramon in the famous Ladder match at Wrestlemania 10, gone over an hour with Bret Hart in an iron man match for the WWF Championship at Wrestlemania 12 and been double-crossed by Mike Tyson in his defeat to Stone Cold Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 14 in one of, if not the, biggest main-event in Wrestlemania history. Shawn Michaels was “Mr. Wrestlemania” because he had provided more “moments” than anyone ever had before at this event as well as elevated it to heights nobody ever had.

On March 30th 2003, at Wrestlemania 19, these two men would meet in a highly-anticipated match that had all the makings of another potential show-stealer. Whether Shawn Michaels would triumph over the cocky, dastardly Chris Jericho or whether Y2J would be able to defeat his idol on the biggest stage possible, these two men were always likely to stop this show together – despite main-events later in the evening featuring huge matches between Hulk Hogan and Mr.McMahon, the final chapter  in the Rock/Austin saga and Kurt Angle defending his WWE Championship against Brock Lesnar.

TNA Impact Wrestling 03/29/2012

We start off with seeing the World Champion, Bobby Roode, coming out to the ring with several rent-a cops. He goes into his speech saying that he won the war with Sting stepping down as GM (General Manager) & that TNA President, Dixie Carter got hers for sticking her nose into Bobby’s business. Bobby then went into saying that the officers were not there for his protection but rather they were for The Cowboy, James Storm‘s protection. Bobby even said that he was far better than Storm & would prove it at Lockdown. The Cowboy came out to the ring wanting to get his hands on Bobby but settled for telling him or more to the point he asked Bobby “What kind of man touches a woman?” in reference to what Bobby did to Dixie at Victory Road. Storm went to get his hands on Bobby but as usual Bobby scooted out of the ring after some assistance from Bully Ray this all set the tone for them to have a main event match later. 

Cameras roll in the back & we see The Knockout Champion, Gail Kim, talking to her BFF Madison Rayne.  Madison was apologizing for how she has been acting the past weeks & Gail surprised her with a gift. Madison got all wide eyed when she opened it to find a tiara inside. Gail told her that no matter what that she’d always think of Madison as a queen. Then Gail told her that she knew without a doubt that Madison would kick Velvet Sky‘s butt in there upcoming match in the night. 

~~ Match One.. Knockout Single’s Match ~~

Madison Rayne vs Velvet Sky

  Madison took it to Velvet early on in the match but Velvet was able to turn the tide & even got an early 2 count pin before Madison was able to kick out. Madison regained control in the match but Velvet was able to kick Madison off her in the corner then face planted her bulldog style & got the win. 

   WINNER: Velvet Sky by pinfall (after the match Velvet was interviewed outside the ring by Christie Hemme. She told Gail Kim that she will get a rematch with her & will become the new Knockout Champion)

We got to see a pre-taped segment of Dixie Carter & Hulk Hogan talking about her offer to Hogan for him to become the new GM of Impact Wrestling. Hogan told her that he knew his past choices in regards to his actions alongside Eric Bischoff were not the best times in his career but that he had made peace with himself, Sting & all the other wrestlers. In Hogan’s mind he sees himself as “the ship has already sailed” meaning he should move on from wrestling but Dixie begged him to think about it & asked him to be at the Impact Zone later that night to give her his official answer. Hogan agreed & the taped segment ended. You could hear by the fans reaction to what they saw that they all want Hogan to become the new GM but they as all others would have to wait until later in the night to find out his decision.

The X Division Champion, Austin Aries, comes out to the ring to talk about what had happened the week prior between he & Bully Ray when Bully put a boot to his face. He looked serious when he said that he “had a set” bigger than both of Bully’s calves & that he knew James Storm was set to fight both Bully & Bobby Roode in a handicapped match but that he wanted to fight beside Storm to make it a tag match. (We’d find out later that Storm agreed to have Aries team up with him in the main event.)

~~ Match Two ~~

Crimson vs Matt Morgan

  This match started & not necessarily ended outside the ring. There was a brief period of time where these two fought in the ring & to coin a phrase “slobberknocker” would be an understatement. The volatile nature of these two has been brewing but it exploded at Victory Road when Crimson speared his tag partner & then left him to finish the match. There was no winner so Crimson’s undefeated streak continues but I foresee many more brutal matches to come for these two. 

   WINNER: Neither due to double count out

The storyline of Abyss‘ mysterious disappearance continues as we see his brother, Joseph Park, asking for any information about Chris aka Abyss. When will this storyline come to an end? And when will Abyss reappear? We all will have to wait & see. 

~~ Match Three ~~

Mr. Anderson vs Jeff Hardy

  The match started out routinely with each man gaining & losing the advantage but it was a solid match for each competitor. With both Jeff & Mr. Anderson giving their all. Then when the referee’s back was turned Kurt Angle came running out. He delivered a low blow to Jeff from behind then ran Jeff’s head into a corner pole before ducking down outside the ring so the referee wouldn’t see him there. Mr. Anderson had no clue as to what Kurt had done but he gained the one.. two.. three win none the less.

   WINNER: Mr. Anderson by pinfall

We get to see a clip of ODB & Eric Young (reigning Knockout Tag Champions) talking to a wedding planner. They looked at dresses, pillows for their rings & etc but ODB sent the lovely wedding planner out, telling her they didn’t need her after the planner started getting a little too friendly with Eric in ODB‘s eyes. She then sat back down beside Eric & told him that they’d be getting married 3 days before Lockdown at the Impact Zone in a Steel Cage. Eric was all excited & the two love birds kissed before their segment ended. 

Eric Bischoff comes out to the ring gloating about his contract & that it states he can get air time anytime that he wants. He even talked about being so amazing that he amazes himself daily. And not just that but that he makes a check list of things to do & that he’d gotten one list item completed. This being to have Sting step down as GM. But he hasn’t gotten one very important item completed & that is his son, Garrett Bischoff, to leave Impact Wrestling. Eric then called out his son & wanted “the prick” to come down to the ring for a final ultimatum. Garrett (as most knew he would) came down to the ring to confront his father & hear what he had to say. Eric then told Garrett for him to take his warning & leave wrestling or that he’d be hurt. Eric went on to tell Garrett that at Lockdown he’d be in a cage match against Gunner unless he opted to leave Impact Wrestling then & there. Garrett grabbed the mic from Eric & told he that in no way was he leaving wrestling & that he would gladly see Gunner at Lockdown for a cage match. 

~~ Match Four: Main Event Tag Match ~~

Bully Ray & Bobby Roode vs Austin Aries & James Storm

  Aries starts off against Bully. Bully proceeded to do a lot of trash talk for a while then he turned & tagged in Roode.  Aries showed off his speed & agility against Roode factors that have become synonymous with the X Division. But Roode & Bully teamed up against Aries to gain the upper hand with their size & strength but Aries was finally able to get Storm tagged in. Storm took it to both Bully & Roode with Roode sliding out of the ring. Aries was outside trying to regain his breath as Roode slid out & grabbed Storm’s beer, taking a huge swig. Roode climbed back in & Storm ducked just as Roode spit the beer out aiming to blind Storm but instead caught Bully full on in the face with it. Storm delivered a super kick to Bully as Roode rolled out of the ring with the referee looking straight at him then Storm pinned Bully.

   WINNER: James Storm & Austin Aries by pinfall

TNA President, Dixie Carter, came out & called Hulk Hogan to the ring. She asked him for his decision about the GM position with Impact Wrestling. Hogan started to not accept saying again that his “ship had sailed” but Sting comes walking out with A.J. Styles, Matt Morgan, Garrett Bischoff, James Storm, Jeff Hardy, Mr. Anderson & Devon Dudley behind him. The Stinger asked Hogan what he was going to do, that Impact, the other wrestlers & the fans wanted him to be GM & that they believed in him. Hogan asked one question of Sting, “Will you the Stinger have Hulk Hogan’s back?”. Sting quickly answered “YES!”. Then we got to hear Hogan’s response to Dixie’s request. Hogan agreed to become Impact Wrestling’s NEW GM! 

 

~ Final Thoughts ~

This was overall a good night. Lots of things happening through out the night. The idea of Garrett Bischoff in a cage match against Gunner at Lockdown has left me with mixed thoughts but I know Garrett will give his all. Crimson & Matt Morgan coming to a conclusion soon.. I don’t see it ending in the next few weeks. Then Hogan becoming the new GM. I am excited to see it happen & look forward to seeing what he does. Next week The Motor City Machine Guns are back in action so I am stoked to see them. As always stay tuned for further info. 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

Hornswoggle to make Movie Debut in Leprechaun: Origins

As first reported by Variety, WWE Studios is joining forces with Lionsgate for a two-film slate, the first of which will be a reboot of the hit “Leprechaun” franchise. “Leprechaun: Origins” will star WWE’s own mischievous Superstar Hornswoggle making his feature film debut, proving the old adage that there truly are no small parts, only small actors. A writer or director has yet to be announced.

The comedic horror series got its start in 1993, and starred Warwick Davis in the titular role. It also launched the career of “Friends” megastar Jennifer Aniston in her first major part. Five sequels followed, creating a cult favorite series. The formidable tag team of Lionsgate and WWE Studios – the same pairing responsible for “See No Evil” starring Kane and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s “The Condemned” – will share production costs and the development of marketing strategies for the relaunched franchise. Lionsgate will lead the distribution efforts.

Hornswoggle, a WWE fixture since 2006, will grace the silver screen for the first time. The master of the Tadpole Splash and former (and final) WWE Cruiserweight Champion, ‘Swoggle has also been the official mascot of D-Generation X. This Sunday, he will be the flag-bearer for Team Teddy in the huge WrestleMania battle with Team Johnny for General Managerial control of both Raw and SmackDown.

The newly announced star played a game of “Hide and Tweet” at WrestleMania Axxess on Thursday, encouraging members of the WWE Universe to locate the diminuative grappler and discover the so-called #swogglesecret, which turned out to be his involvement with “Leprechaun: Origins.” Once found, he broke the news on twitter.

Original Source – WWE.com


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WWE Using Social Media in Several Different Ways for WrestleMania 28


WWE issued the following:

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. : Social Media Event of the Year WrestleMania®

WWE® (NYSE:WWE) today announced the first ever “WrestleMania Pre-Show,” simulcast live on YouTube, Facebook and WWE.com this Sunday, April 1 at 6:30 p.m. ET, as the centerpiece of its record-level digital and social media activities for WrestleMania Week in Miami. WrestleMania XXVIII broadcasts live on pay-per-view this Sunday, April 1 at 7:00 p.m. ET. “The Social Media Event of the Year” also includes:

WRESTLEMANIA INTERACTIVE PRESS CONFERENCE
To kick off WrestleMania Week, the WrestleMania press conference at the Eden Roc Hotel will live stream on YouTube, Facebook and WWE.com tomorrow, Wednesday, March 28, at 2:30 p.m. ET. The press conference will take live fan questions via Twitter, allowing online participants to get the scoop from the WWE Superstars in attendance.

PEREZHILTON.COM RED CARPET COVERAGE
WWE Divas will bring fans along for all the WrestleMania festivities as they happen, providing exclusive coverage for PerezHilton.com, including tweets and photos from the WrestleMania VIP Party on Thursday, March 29 and the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, March 31.

MIKE TYSON: WWE SOCIAL MEDIA AMBASSADOR
This year’s celebrity WWE Hall of Fame honoree, Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson), will be tweeting live from key events, including the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, WrestleMania Axxess and WrestleMania XXVIII. Exclusive videos, photos and articles of Tyson participating in WrestleMania events will be uploaded to YouTube and WWE.com.

TWITTER FACE-OFF: THE ROCK® VS. JOHN CENA®
WWE will also involve fans, celebrities and WWE Legends in a Twitter hashtag battle over who will win the WrestleMania main event featuring The Rock vs. John Cena, utilizing the respective hashtags: #TeamBringIt vs. #Cenation. WWE Superstars will also be tweeting throughout WrestleMania, letting fans in on all the action backstage.

EXCLUSIVE YOUTUBE VIDEOS
On Friday, March 30, WWE will post exclusive WrestleMania videos on YouTube’s home page. The series will feature WWE Superstars The Rock, John Cena, Triple H®, Undertaker®, CM Punk® and Chris Jericho®. WWE Superstar Santino Marella® will also film his popular YouTube show, Santino’s Foreign Exchange, at WrestleMania Axxess.

TEXT TO WIN WRESTLEMANIA TRIP TO NYC
Fans have the chance to win one of 100 pairs of tickets and an all-expenses paid trip to New York City for next year’s WrestleMania at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, April 7, 2013 by texting from their phones or entering online at WWE.com during WrestleMania.

WRESTLEMANIA WEEK TWITTER HASHTAGS
#WrestleMania
#Axxess – WrestleMania Axxess
#WWEHOF – WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
#WMParty – WrestleMania Premiere Party: A Celebration of Miami Art & Fashion

Text to Win Sweepstakes/Contest Rules
Sweepstakes ends Sunday, April 15. No purchase necessary to enter or win. Open to U.S. and Canada residents only (excluding Quebec), 18 and older. See wwe.com/winmania for Official Rules.

Follow me on Twitter Brad_SLTD

March 19th – 25th: This Week in Wrestling History

 

by Neil

Follow me on Twitter: @shootwrestling

That time of year is nearly upon us again already. Tomorrow we go into Wrestlemania week and the final week of programming before the event itself. A whole year of hype and build-up is almost over as John Cena takes on The Rock in The Great One’s home town of Miami, Florida. The match is big, the match is money and the match could hopefully provide some ‘Wrestlemania moments’.

A ‘Wrestlemania moment’ is a moment in time stopped, immortalised and replayed for years to come. Every year we still see Hogan slam Andre, Shawn Michaels fly from the ladder and The Undertaker destroy everything in his path. A ‘Wrestlemania moment’ is an assured legacy.

So for twenty nine years now men and women have been striving to perform on the “grandest stage of them all” and earn their right to be remembered, re-played and enjoyed for years to come but exactly what kind of ‘moments’ have been made at the big show? Well, three Wrestlemania’s have been held in this particular calendar week in years gone by and there are certainly a few ‘moments’ to highlight in This Week in Wrestling History: A Wrestlemania special!

Wrestlemania VII – “Macho King” Randy Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior

Throughout the majority of his WWF career “The Macho Man” Randy Savage was shadowed by his manager and love interest Miss Elizabeth. The former WWF Champion won the King of the Ring tournament in 1989 and, following a feud with Hulk Hogan that saw his jealousy get the better of him, “The Macho King”  dropped Elizabeth and paired himself with the charismatic Sensational “Queen” Sherri.

Cementing his legacy with feuds and bouts with the likes of Hogan, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Dusty Rhodes, Savage had a new challenger standing in his way going into Wrestlemania 7 – The Ultimate Warrior. A man often criticised for a supposed lack of understanding or appreciation for his success and a limited move-set in the ring The Warrior was, however, adored by masses of young fans, including myself. His immense popularity led to Warrior successfully defeating Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship a year earlier at Wrestlemania 6.

These two forces would collide on March 24th 1991 infront of 16,000 fans at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California and the stakes were high. The stipulation for the match stated that the loser must retire from the WWF. Miss Elizabeth was caught by cameras sitting ringside for the match and The Warrior, usually furiously energetic in his entrance, strolled perhaps anxiously to the ring in anticipation for the match ahead.

Arguably the two most high-profile omissions from the WWE Hall of Fame, these two legends battled a twenty minute encounter. Savage seemingly shouldering the majority of the workload, he, as the likes of Hulk Hogan had done before him, gracefully put the man from “Parts Unknown” over and helped to make Warrior look the dominant, powerful champion he had been in his time in the WWF. After an enjoyable match-up, Miss Elizabeth would be reunited with The Macho King and, on the grandest of them all, professional wrestlings original power-couple would take the stage and make an emotional Wrestlemania moment that would truly live forever.

Wrestlemania X – Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart

In quite possibly the most high-energy opening to a Wrestlemania ever, the brothers Bret and Owen Hart opened the show at Wrestlemania 10 on March 20th 1994 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

In a prime example of a “see-saw match” as Vince McMahon used to say, Bret and his younger brother Owen brought up the curtain on the 10th anniversary of Wrestlemania and stole the show. It’s a much used cliche when discussing wrestling but if there was ever a better example of one man being able to read the other perfectly in the ring and “knowing what he was going to do before he did it” than Bret and Owen then I don’t think I’ve seen it. The chemistry in the ring that the Hart brothers possessed was nothing short of spectacular to watch and this was a match for the ages.

The youngest of the Hart brothers, Owen always arguably stood slightly in the shadow of The Hit Man and his successful career. This was played out on screen as Owens jealousy became stronger and forced a divide between the brothers. By Wrestlemania 10 the relationship had imploded and Owen had a point to prove.

The understanding and fluidity of movement between Bret and Owen was, one would assume, the result of two brothers born with wrestling in their blood. Wrestlemania X was an opportunity for the brothers to show the quality of work they could prodice in the ring and for Owen to step out of the shadow of his brother Bret and begin to build his own legacy in the WWF. The resulting match-up from these two men was exhausting just to watch as the brothers battled, back and forth, for supremacy. What made this twenty minute classic even more impressive is that big brother Bret, as well as opening the show in such an exhausting fashion, would close it also – winning the WWF Championship from Yokozuna later that same evening in the main event.

 

Wrestlemania 13 – Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin in a Submission match

Simply put I would not be a wrestling fan and I would not be writing this if it wasn’t for this match. Without this match wrestling would be a distant memory to me – watching the likes of Hulk Hogan, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and The Ultimate Warrior as a small child in the late eighties and early nineties. My love for professional wrestling would never have been re-ignited had a friend of mine not gave me a tape of Wrestlemania 13.

On March 23rd 1997 over 18,000 fans packed the Rosemont Horizon in Rosement, Illinois. The main event for the WWF Championship was a no disqualication match between Sycho Sid and The Undertaker as the Dead Man captured the title. However it was a match lower down on the card that stole the show.

When I was watching WWF when I was a small child I loved Bret Hart and it was The Hitman that helped me to find that same excitment for it years later when I watched him face Stone Cold Steve Austin in a Submission match. In what was arguably a pre-cursor to the hardcore Attitude Era, the two men embroiled in a bitter rivalry at that time took the fight out of the ring into the crowd, a rarity in those days, and brought weapons into the match in the form of steel chairs and a ring bell into an intense match-up.

Bret Hart worked the majority of his WWF career as a baby-face, an example of right prevailing over wrong and good over evil and as a result, amassed a following of young fans to whom The Hitman was a role model. Bret has spoken with great pride of the opportunity the WWF gave him to represent such a character for his fans and so when the decision to turn him heel was made, fans were left stunned by what unfolded. Steve Austin was the antithesis of a good guy. The brawler from Texas was beginning to lead the WWF into a new era of the anti-heel, the villain that the fans could not help but love and support. As his bad behavior gained him more and more followers, the landscape of the WWF and the product they were broadcasting was changing dramatically. This match is often referred to as potentially the turning point and the birthplace of a new era. “Stunning” Steve Austin and “The Ringmaster” Steve Austin were no more and, alongwith his famous “3:16” speech at the King of the Ring the previous year and maybe even his old ECW promos where a legimately pissed off Austin ranted at his former employer WCW and Eric Bischoff for firing him, this match helped give birth to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

In the weeks leading up to Wrestlemania Bret Hart was venting his frustrations towards the WWF and Vince McMahon as Austin continued to gain momentum and threatened his spot within the organisation. This newly bad behavior from Hart culminated in the physical assault of Vince McMahon, as Hart shoved him to the ground in anger. The heel turn for the Hitman was almost complete and when these two men hooked up, the scientific wrestling ability of the former WWF Champion combined with the brawling style of Steve Austin was played out expertly as the match quickly became a war. The inclusion of the “Worlds Most Dangerous Man” and the former UFC Champion Ken Shamrock as a special guest referee also greatly aided the feeling of legitimacy in the contest as he struggled to manage the brutality of Austin and Hart. I also believe the big fight feel surrounding the match was enhanced greatly by Jim Ross at ringside, a perfect call from start to finish as he captured the drama and the tension of the contest.

When Austin attempted an Irish Whip on the outside of the ring and was reversed, sending the Rattlesnake to the steel railing at ringside, the match took on a whole new level of brutality. Austins head collided with the barrier and the Texan was legitimately cut, bleeding profusely onto the floor and the mat for the remainder of the match.

What followed as a result of this is one of the most iconic images in wrestling at this time and in the evolution of the character of Stone Cold Steve Austin. Locked in a painful sharpshooter, The Hitmans trademark submission hold, Austin tried desperately to avoid submitting and break the hold, screaming in pain and determination with blood streaming down his face and pouring from his head. Following the conclusion of this match the transition was complete. Bret Hart had cemented his place as the top heel in the WWF whereas Stone Cold Steve Austin, cheered and applauded from the ring, had taken The Hitmans spot as the most popular babyface (if its ever appropriate to call him that) in the company. The torch was passed in a stunning, enthralling match. The feeling of excitement I had watching it was, without question, mirrored by those in attendance as the fans rose to their feet. The deafening roar from the fans as they showed their appreciation for a true classic just added to the feeling of electricity I still get whenever I watch this match.

(The picture that became an iconic image in WWF)

I know that I often describe matches I write about here as classics. It’s unavoidable given the nature of the blog and the careful selection of highlights that I use for content here. I cannot however stress enough that this match is a true classic. An epic. In the 22 minutes that these two greats went to war I became a wrestling fan again. I found the excitment and the drama that had captured me as a child and I believe it is in no way an understatement to say that, fifteen years later, I still have an appreciation, a respect and a love for professional wrestling because of Stone Cold Steve Austin, because of Bret “The Hit Man” Hart and because of this spectacular match in particular. To those who do not share that same passion, have that understanding, or have no idea why anyone would find entertainment and legitimacy in professional wrestling I say to them – watch this match. If, by watching this, you dont see the allure or understand the enjoyment to be taken from watching a wrestling match then I suggest that you simply may never be able to watch wrestling the way I and countless others watch wrestling.

If a wrestling match is to be judged on the story being told then, in my opinion, never has a greater story been told in a wrestling ring than on this night.

TNA Impact Wrestling 03/22/2012

Episode #725 opens with Dixie Carter reliving the events that happened to her on Sunday night’s Victory Road pay-per-view where Bobby Roode & Sting battled. Sting went for his “stunner” but the back of his head hit the steel chair causing a concussion & the beginning of the end for the match. But Roode wouldn’t stop with a simple win he went on to torment TNA President Dixie Carter by dragging her into the ring. Roode was pleased with his terrorizing of Dixie & Sting tried to help but it only got him a steel chair to the back. Dixie came out to the Impact Zone ring intent on firing Roode but Sting walked out to tell her that he had been thinking a lot about the General Manager (GM) position. Sting then told a stunned Dixie that he wanted to give a 100% to wrestling instead of being a part time wrestler & part time GM. He told Dixie to trust him & that he’d been in talks with the perfect person for the GM position. Then he named Hulk Hogan as the man who could give 100% to the position. 

:: X Division Title Match (Four Corners Match) ::

Champ Austin Aries vs Zema Ion vs Anthony Nese vs Kid Kash

 The match was as fast & high flying as we have all come to expect. It looked to be promising considering a “Tower of Doom” move had al four combatants on the mat. That was until a pissed off Bully Ray interfered in the match & the referee ended it due to disqualification. Bully proceeded to take out his aggression on the four men including Aries.. who he is supposed to be on the same side of.. and Aries got a massive boot from Bully when he asked him why did he interfere.

    Winner: Draw due to interference of Bully Ray

Cameras roll outside the building to let us see Repo Man Josh Lewis starting to haul away the Mexican America’s ride. They were able to talk their way into a little more time since they along with Rosita & Sarita had championship tag title matches later in the night. 

:: Knockout Tag Title Match ::

Champs ODB & Eric Young vs Rosita & Sarita

 The match had ODB taking early control thanks to her strength but Rosita & Sarita teamed up to keep her on the mat & in the ring away from tagging Eric in but ODB powered through & was able to tag in her man, Eric Young. Eric came in doing cartwheels & gained himself the attention of Sarita & Rosita. This attention angered the highly jealous ODB who took care of the ladies who dared to mess with her man. Then ODB turned her short lived anger on Eric until they kissed then she tossed him onto Rosita & he gained them the 1.. 2.. 3 victory.

   Winner: ODB & Eric Young (who are getting married on April 12th at the Impact Zone)

Cameras roll on Crimson watching one of Matt Morgan‘s Direct Insurance commercials then he pauses it to tell the viewers why he left his tag partner during their Victory Road match against the Tag Champions Magnus & Samoa Joe. Crimson went as far as blaming Matt for them losing their titles in the first place & that he had finally taken out the trash he had been carrying. Crimson even challenged Matt for a match next week. Matt let his fists answer the challenge when he ran in & delivered a severe beat down on his former partner.  

Jeff Hardy was shown back stage talking about his loss to Kurt Angle at Sunday’s pay-per-view & said he wants a rematch against Angle at Lockdown since Angle only won by cheating when he held onto the ropes. Then Abyss‘ brother, Joseph Park, walked up to Jeff & asked if he had any ideas as to what happened to his brother & where he might be. Jeff gave a heartfelt reply of “I wish I could help you” before walking off.  

We were then shown an awesome video hyping James Storm vs Bobby Roode at Lockdown.  “The Cowboy” James Storm came out to the ring to call out Bobby Roode for his actions against Dixie Carter & Sting. Storm told everyone that Roode’s actions were wrong & that at Lockdown he’d deliver Roode the beat down he deserved & would become the NEW World Champion. Roode’s lawyer, William Kelly, came out to tell everyone that Bobby would be staying at his home in Toronto until further notice & that he would show up to Lockdown to win against Storm. “The Cowboy” told the lawyer to give Roode a message for him then delivered a “Last Call” superkick to the lawyer & left him laying in the ring. 

:: 3 minute Challenge Match ::

Kurt Angle vs Garrett Bischoff

 This match came about after Kurt replied to Jeff Hardy’s challenge for a rematch at Lockdown & Kurt got reminded of his loss to Garrett the prior week in a challenge match. Garrett went on the offensive after they each shoved one another mid-ring. Then Garrett played it smart by avoiding Kurt as the timer was going down. Gunner however had other ideas & came down to the ring for a little 2 on 1 beat down. But Jeff Hardy ran out & cleared the ring.

Winner: Garrett Bischoff by disqualification

 

 

  

 

 

:: Tag Team Title Match ::

Champs Samoa Joe vs Mexican America

 An awesome match that came to a head when Joe was using one of his submission moves but Sarita & Rosita got on the ring apron to distract the referee. They succeeded until “Repo Man” Josh Lewis came out & carried the women away on his shoulders. Magnus & Joe turned up the tag team heat by Magnus sending Magnus into one opponent in the corner & Joe pinned. 

Winner: Samoa Joe & Magnus by pinfall

 

 :: Handicapped Match ::

James Storm vs Kazarian & Christopher Daniels

 To coin a phrase “Slobberknocker” aptly describes this match that is until Kaz & Daniels got into an argument mid-ring with Storm in the corner catching his breath. Then Daniels got sling shotted into the corner by Kaz but missed a ducking Storm. Daniels head hit the top turn buckle & while he was down Storm delivered a “Last Call” superkick to Kazarian then waited on Daniels to get up before delivering a “Last Call” to him as well. 

Winner: “The Cowboy” James Storm by pinfall

Sting & Dixie Carter came out to the ring to discuss the options of what Sting wants to do then Hulk Hogan came out & agreed with Sting. Dixie went back & forth in her mind.. evident by the look on her face.. but the show ended before she made her decision. 

 

~~ Final Thoughts ~~

The episode itself was solid & makes one wonder will Dixie name Hulk the Impact Zone’s GM? She knows the history behind Sting & Hogan as does everyone else. Good call? I will personally wait to see how it goes on the GM front but I do see a tag match coming for Jeff Hardy & Garrett Bischoff vs Kurt Angle & Gunner.  Stay tuned for next week’s episode where Matt Morgan & Crimson will go at it head to head. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

March 12th – 18th: This Week in Wrestling History

by Neil

Follow me on Twitter: @shootwrestling

Dean Malenko vs. Chris Jericho (c) for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship – Uncensored ’98

Back in 1997/1998 WCW was an exciting place to be. The product was conclusively winning the ‘Monday Night War’ between WCW Nitro and WWF Monday Night Raw. It really is unthinkable in this day and age in 2012 that another wrestling product could get anywhere close to knocking WWE off of the mountain but back then WCW was “where the big boys played” and was pulling in the ratings week after week. WCWs dominance, of course, would not last. As they tempted big stars away from WWF such as Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Lex Luger and Bret Hart, the smaller, younger talent were pushed down the card and given little to no opportunities to grow within the walls of its organisation.

The WCW Cruiserweight division was arguably producing more classic matches than WWF at this time. Young, talented wrestlers brought pure wrestling and high flying to a mainstream American and global audience  in an exciting, refreshing division. Chris Jericho and Dean Malenko were involved in an entertaining rivalry as two of the divisions stand-out stars. What Dean Malenko lacked in charisma, he possessed in pure wrestling ability. An incredibly talented, professional performer – the “Man of a Thousand Holds” helped to provide the backbone of the WCW product at this time. This particular show, Uncensored on March 15th 1998 at the Mobile Civic Center in Alabama, predictably had matches such as Lex Luger vs. Scott Steiner, Sting vs. Scott Hall and a main event of Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan higher on the card. As the “dinosaurs” drew the money and occupied the spotlight, Malenko and Jericho provided the strong wrestling match.

“Lionheart” Chris Jericho, the petulant villain, was another performer looking for his break in WCW. The Cruiserweight Champion succeeded at getting under the skin of Malenko, declaring himself to be the “Man of a Thousand and Four Holds” – a hilarious promo from their feud together and a personal favourite of mine.

Kurt Angle vs. Eddie Guerrero (c) for the WWE Championship – Wrestlemania XX

On Sunday March 14th 2004 Eddie Guerrero was enjoying his time on top of the pile. Securing his first WWE Championship the previous month when he defeated Brock Lesnar at No Way Out, Eddie then entered into a feud with Kurt Angle in the build-up to Wrestlemania.

Originally jumping ship from WCW to the WWE with close friend Chris Benoit, the two men who many saw as underused and underappreciated in WCW occupied the main events at Madison Square Garden as Chris Benoit battled for the World Heavyweight Championship in a triple threat match with Triple H and Shawn Michaels.

In a feud that included references to Eddies legitimate issues with drugs and alcohol the Olympian only helped to further establish Guerrero as one of the companys top faces, despite playing the part of a heel throughout the majority of his career. These two men are often referred to as two of the very best in-ring performers of their time and at Wrestlemania 20 they arguably stole the show with an astounding, technically sound wrestling match.

In just a few short hours at TNA Victory Road Kurt Angle will take on Jeff Hardy and if their previous matches, such as their encounter at Victory Road 2010, are anything to go by then it should be a classic. Until then get a taste of exactly how good Kurt Angle can be when he’s on his top of his game. You will struggle to find many better examples of pure class than this one.

TNA Impact Wrestling 03/15/2012

 Show starts with “The Cowboy” James Storm coming out to the Impact Zone ring to talk about his match coming up against Bobby Roode for the Heavyweight Title the the LOCKDOWN pay-per-view. James said Bobby would need all the luck he could get because he was going to deliver the worst beating of Bobby’s career that night. Then who had to come out but Bully Ray.. he started his trash talk & brought up the fact that he was the one who kicked a steel chair into James’ face. But James quickly called Bully’s bluff & told him to come on into the ring for his ass kicking. Bully just kept repeating “You want to fight” to James then said alright you wanna fight then you’ll get a fight with Gunner tonight. Gunner walks out & James meets him outside the ring to deliver his own style of justice before the refs got it all under control & everyone back into their dressing rooms to get ready for later in the show. 

 Cameras come up in the back to find Gail Kim & Madison Rayne arguing about how Gail cost them the Knockout Tag Titles the week before. Then we see Sting walk up behind the ladies & they both get quiet for a moment before telling him they need a match to redeem themselves. Sting promptly says for them to not worry because they’d both have matches tonight with Gail to face Mickie James & Madison to face Velvet Sky. 

 The cameras then move to Bobby Roode in his dressing room & we hear him complain about his match at Victory Road pay-per-view. Bobby says that Sting shouldn’t have come out of retirement much less put himself into a main event match. But he said that if Sting wanted it then he wouldn’t disappoint & that he would “take out” Sting permanently. 

::Madison Rayne vs Velvet Sky:: 

This match went back & forth with these two knockouts going head to head. Madison gained an early advantage but Velvet was able to turn the tide & started gaining the upper hand. Madison soon rebounded but Velvet rolled Madison into a pinning situation then Madison rolled through so Velvet’s shoulders were pinned to the mat & to insure that she won she held onto the back of velvet’s ring attire with the referee placed behind her to gain the win. 

 Cameras show us Matt Morgan & Crimson talking about their match the prior week, And true to form Crimson bragged about being undefeated. The two seemed almost at odds over how Crimson tagged himself in after Matt had gotten them their advantage the prior week but they came together on their desire to attain the Tag Titles away from the current champions, Samoa Joe & Magnus

::Crimson vs Samoa Joe::

This match was hard hitting with each man having their tag team partners ringside. Joe seemed to have the clear advantage though over Crimson but while the referee’s back was turned away to get Magnus off the ring apron Matt Morgan interfered by pulling Joe’s neck across the top rope after getting Joe’s attention then while he was stunned Crimson delivered an effective spear & gained himself the win. Retaining his unbeaten streak in competition. 

 The X Division Champ, Austin Aries, came out to the ring to show off his montage of his greatest moments since he was “the best” X Division Champ ever considering he has held the title for 182 days. After the montage was shown #1 contender for the title, Zema Ion, came out & showed total disrespect for the champion. Zema even went so far as to tell Austin that if he wasn’t careful that what happened to Jesse Sorensen (who is currently recuperating from a neck injury) would happen to him. 

  ODB & Eric Young talked about their upcoming wedding & the various places it could be held but they both agreed upon them getting married in the ring at Impact Zone. Their upcoming nuptials will be one to not miss. 

 Kurt Angle challenged Garrett Bischoff to a 5 minute challenge match for later in the show & he issued a warning to  “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy (who he has a match against this Sunday at Lockdown) that he would end Jeff’s career because he hates him that much. 

::Gail Kim vs Mickie James:: 

This match between the two knockouts had Mickie gaining the early advantage but then after Gail worked over Mickie’s right knee (that most know has been injured before) Gail started gaining momentum. But Mickie dug deep & came out with the very clear advantage. Gail ducked between the ropes to get her Knockout Title from ringside then with the referee trying to get Mickie off of Gail she hit Mickie in the head with the title. Knocking Mickie onto the mat clearly dazed & possibly knocked out. The referee had no idea what had happened to Mickie as Gail had dropped her title & moved to pin Mickie. Gail who is not against being underhanded to win gained the ultimate 1..2..3. 

::Christopher Daniels vs Mr. Anderson::

The first official match of Mr. Anderson’s comeback was a great one with him having the upper hand even when Daniels tried his best moves & dirty tricks. Kazarian comes marching out to the ring intent on being a factor in the match to help Daniels to win but while he was up on the ring apron to get the ref’s attention A.J. Styles comes running out from the back & jerks Kazarian off the apron by the back of pants. The fight outside the ring was almost as brutal as the one inside since Daniels had somehow gotten a cut across his cheek. But A.J. carried his fight with Kazarian up the entrance ramp to the back while Mr. Anderson face planted Daniels into the mat & won the match. 

::Kurt Angle vs Garrett Bischoff:: 5 min challenge

This match Garrett was fighting for his survival from the moment the bell rung. Kurt effectively worked on Garrett’s ankle to prepare him for his patented ankle lock. He even had Garrett in a pinning situation but pulled Garrett up before the referee could count the pin fall wanting to torture Garrett or should we say Kurt wanted to humiliate Garrett. Kurt wasn’t paying attention to the countdown clock, the countdown went to zero & the bell rung ending the match with Kurt having Garrett pinned but due to the rules of the match Garrett survived. Kurt went ballistic thinking Garrett had humiliated him. He decked the referee then put Garrett into a post-match ankle lock. Garrett was screaming in pain then finally Jeff Hardy came running out to help him. 

::Gunner vs James Storm:: 

This match was wild & furious from the moment the bell rung. James delivered his version of a beat down to mass crowd approval even with Bully Ray rooting Gunner on from ringside. Gunner at a few points during the match looked like he would pull out a win but The Cowboy delivered the ultimate ass kicking to Gunner then with his eyes on Bully he pinned Gunner 1..2..3!  

Final Moments ::Sting & Bobby Roode contract signing for Victory Road::

Each man signed the contract to make their main event match official then when the ring announcer was letting everyone in the arena know that it was all official Bobby Roode grabbed the microphone. Sting remained motionless & silent the entire time that Bobby talked down to him. Bobby went as far as calling Sting scared then he tossed the microphone & started to exit the ring. Sting stood up with purpose, tossed the table over then kicked the chair out of his way while he was pulling out his jar of makeup. He put some on then made Bobby jump when he looked back to find Sting standing right there behind him. 

~~ Final Thoughts ~~

Next week looks to be an amazing time with all the side stories not to mention the ongoing story of the disappearance of Abyss & his brother, Joseph Park, searching for clues & anyone who might have an idea of what has happened. Then add in all the updates from this Sunday’s pay-per-view. Stay tuned for more info as it comes in! Until next time! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Lots of John Cena and The Rock News, McMahon Enjoying Legit Heat, Austin Backs The Rock and The Rock on Cleveland.com

Multiple sources have confirmed to the Pro Wrestling Torch that there is legitimate tension between Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena, which reflects in their war of words. Furthermore, Vince McMahon is doing nothing to stop it as he and those in upper management love the conflict.

As in the past, McMahon enjoys seeing top stars challenge other. He feels the audience will sense real friction between two wrestlers, thus furthering interest in the match he’s trying to sell. In the case of Johnson and Cena, the top circle likes that fans are sensing their friction and believing that they may legitimately come to blows at WrestleMania XXVIII.

Steve Austin Discusses Talents Problems with The Rock, Returning & More

WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin was interviewed by The LAW this past week about his new movie Recoil. The LAW can be heard every Sunday night at 11pm EST with Dan Lovranski, Jason Agnew and John Pollock on TSN 1050 Toronto and online at liveaudiowrestling.com. Here are some highlights, courtesy of Chris Maffei:

Talent Having Problems with The Rock returning: 
“My thoughts on that are, you earn what you get in this business. Rock has earned the ability to come and go as he wants, because the business still needs him, it can still use him, and it can elevate the profile with having such a mainstream guy there. I don’t know about the promos between John (Cena) and Rock. I think some of them have gotten kind of personal, you wonder how much of it’s a work and how much of it’s a shoot. At the end of the day, it’s a worked business. Again, I think it’s a good thing for Rock to be involved with this. He’s earned his right to come and go and do whatever he wants.”

Current talent being vocal to creative: 
“(CM) Punk was a guy, and is a guy who, man, that guy flew by the seat of his pants. He was pissed off, he vented, he cuts great promos. He worked himself out of a bad situation into a great situation. He knew when it was time to pick his spot, when he contract was gonna be up. That guy’s been around the horn a few times, and he’s been kicked around a little bit. He saw how the other guys were being treated, and he needed, and deserved, and earned the right to be treated in that same fashion. Guys, you gotta pick your spot, but you gotta be vocal. It is a very interesting machine these days. They need voices to question them. They need voices to inspire them, or fuel them, to rethink some of the things that they’re doing and make it a better product.”

Returning under the right circumstances:
“There’s nothing up in the air for me. If there’s something that presents itself as a business opportunity, then I have an open ear to listen to it. It would have to be right for myself, my opponent, and obviously the company. I’m not lobbying for another match. There’s always talk. People ask, ‘am I capable of having another match?’ Yeah. If I was in a bad situation, I would get back in the ring full time if I had to, but I don’t have to. I’m happy doing what I’m doing.”

The Rock Says He’s Come Close to Slapping John Cena’s Lips Off His Face

The Rock recently spoke with Cleveland.com about facing John Cena at WrestleMania 28, returning to wrestle for WWE and more.  Here’s some of what Rock had to say about Cena:

“Coming back into this world, I felt like I needed something real to sink my teeth into as a performer. [This is] very real. Whatever Cena has said in the past publicly, three or four years ago, I always remembered it. Then, that gave us a nice launching point. It’s not personal. I don’t personally hate John, I don’t hate anybody but the tension is nice and real and I like it. I think it plays well into what we’re doing at WrestleMania. People feel that. I don’t have to be your friend, I don’t want to be your friend. But when we go out there, let’s entertain the people.

But that tension is very palpable and it’s nice and real. I’ve come close a couple of times to slapping the lips off his face. It’s OK. I like his lips where they’re at for now. [Laughs.]”

FCW TV Report 11 March 2012

 

Florida Championship Wrestling

11th March 2012

by Neil

Follow me on Twitter: @shootwrestling

Recap: Mike Dalton upsets Leo Kruger last week and wins the FCW World Heavyweight Championship

The commentary team of Chris Russo and William Regal stand ringside. Russo calls what happened last week the biggest upset in the history of FCW. He confirms that the main event this evening will be Keo Krugers rematch for the FCW Heavyweight Championship and states that FCW President Steve Keirn will make a major announcement.

 

Alexander Rusev & Big E Langston vs. CJ Parker & Jason Jordan

The opening tag team match was very much a case of speed vs. power as the team of Rusev & Big E Langston took a huge size and strength advantage into this one. The much smaller team of CJ Parker and Jason Jordan were able to use their speed and quickness advantage early on as they made frequent tags and targeted Rusev. Langston would soon get the tag and turn the tables, isolatingJordanand taking control of the match up after Rusev was able to interfere behind the referees back, allowing his partner to dominate. The pair would make frequent tags of their own, utilising the referees five-count as they sent him to the ropes and impact fully sandwiched Jordan between their massive frames.

 

After successfully keeping him from his corner for quite some time, using brute force to flapjack him face first to the mat as he desperately attempted to climb the huge frame of his opponent and tag out, Jordan was finally able to fight his way to his partner. Coming in fresh off the tag Jason Jordan hit a beautiful cross body off the top rope and, following a sunset flip into an attempted pin, Rusev tried to sit out and crush the chest of the smallest man in the match but met the mat as Jordan avoided the contact. With kicks to the back of Rusev and a dropkick to the face, he then tried for a cover but Langston would make the save. The match broke down into chaos as Parker entered the ring and gave him a dropkick for his effort and then, teaming up, Parker and Jordan clotheslined Langston over the ropes to the floor. As Parker continued the brawl on the outside of the ring, Rusev hit a huge sidewalk slam in the ring and the match looked to be over. Opting however not to go for the cover the big man climbed the turnbuckle and, as CJ rolled out of the way, hit the mat face-first off a missed splash. Parker would take advantage of the opportunity and roll him up for a three count.

Kenneth Camron vs. Colin Cassady

After a video package of last weeks events showing Byron Saxton attacking Kenneth Camron after his match and knocking him out, Saxton emerges through the curtain for his match-up still wearing his sling on his arm and claiming he hasn’t been cleared to compete, introducing his replacement – the seven footer Colin Cassady.

Starting things off aggressively, Camron beat down Cassady in the corner. Honouring the referees request for a break before going right back to his opponent, throwing right hands and kicks. Grabbing the throat of Camron, the two lock in a battle for power and the upper hand before Cassady finally gets him up for a choke slam. Slipping off the back and reversing the attempt Camron went back to the kicks, this time to the thigh and calf of his larger opponent as he dropped Cassady to his knee. Maintaining the upper hand, Camron grounded Cassady with a dropkick and a high elbow drop. Getting just a two count off the cover, Camron hit elbows in a vicious ground and pound before locking in s a sleeper hold.

 With his opponent on his back Cassady forced Camron back into the turnbuckle and was able to mount some offensive of his own with a mule kick to the midsection before landing some elbows in the corner. Whipping him to the opposite corner, he caught Camron with a huge sidewalk slam and got a two count before locking in a sleeper of his own. Battling to his feet Camron was able to hit a jawbreaker and looked to put him away. However as the Brit went to the ropes Byron Saxton, removing his sling, interfered as he climbed to the apron and caught Camron in the back of the head with an elbow. Taking advantage of the opening Cassady connected with a big boot to the face and picked up the three count.

Sofia Cortez vs. Audrey Marie

This weeks FCW Divas match started with a bang in a flurry of hammerlocks, reversals, trips, near-falls and armdrag takedowns before Cortez rolled out onto the apron calling for a time-out. Drawing the former champion in, Cortez grabbed Marie and, dropping to the arena floor, hung Marie over the top rope and injured the arm in the process.

 Cortez went to work on the arm with placed kicks and an armbar, the Texan screaming in pain. Battling through the pain Marie rolled Cortez up and got a two count before the aggressor grounded her once more, placing her boot up under the arm and falling backwards to the mat. Back to her feet, Marie hit a succession of clothlines and, ducking a retaliation, locked in the headscissors into an airplane spin.

Cortez would get a second wind as she turned her attention back to the arm once more but would not capitalise. Audrey Marie prevailed as she caught Cortez coming off the ropes with a sidewalk slam and picked up the three count. After the match the Divas Champion Raquel Diaz and the as yet unnamed “mystery Diva” came to the ring and began to beat down Audrey Marie. However Kaitlyn would come to her aid and the pair, Cortez in tow, retreat.

As the show came back from a break, one of FCWs newest additions was at ringside with a mic. Kassius Ohno, a favourite for many years on the independent circuit where he was known as Chris Hero, addressed the FCW audience by stating that he won’t be there for very long and that he will be a WWE star. He talked about how he enjoys to knock out his opponents and how he prefers to knock them out rather than pin them or make them submit. He then signed off by suggesting that he has a match on next weeks show, stating that next week “it’s going to be Kassius….oh no.”

 

Following the commentary team informing us that there will be a major announcement from the FCW President this evening, we see Steve Keirn walking to the ring with his assistant Norman Smiley. Keirn thanks the FCW fans for their support and invites the General Manager Maxine to the ring. The President told Maxine that she had done a great job in the past but informed her of his disapproval of some of her more recent decisions, such as hiring James Bronson as a psychiatrist for the FCW roster. Passing the mic to the eager Norman Smiley to break the news, Maxine was then fired and told to leave.

 

Main event for the FCW Heavyweight Championship

Leo Kruger vs. Mike Dalton (c)

Last week the underdog Mike Dalton upset the champion and captured his first FCW Heavyweight Championship. Krugers rematch didn’t start out too well for him either as the two locked up andDaltonwas able to apply a headlock and take the larger man down. As Kruger used the ropes to break the hold and put the boots to Dalton, the champion connected with a beautiful enziguiri and, Kruger rolling to the outside, a baseball slide.

Back in the ringDaltonhit a cross-body off the top rope and picked up a two count. Kruger fought back and, tying up the arm into a hammerlock, repeatedly hit a defencelessDaltonwith savage forearms before snapping him over in a Benoit-esque suplex and grounding the high-flyer with a chin lock. Further asserting his dominance with clothleslines, holding onto the arm with every blow, the challenger got another two count off a punishing back suplex and a front facelock.

Back to his feetDaltonreversed an Irish whip into an athletically executed cradle before a series of roll-ups and near falls.Daltonwould try to roll up the challenger once more as he reversed a sleeper hold, however Kruger would manage a reversal of his own, sitting out into a crushing facebuster. The resilient champion kicked out of the resulting cover at two and appeared to get a second wind, catching Kruger off the top rope with a dropkick to the jaw followed by a series of flying forearms and a spinning heel kick, getting a two count of his own after a DDT when Kruger escaped by putting his foot on the ropes. The challenger would narrowly save himself again shortly after, getting to the ropes to break a beautifully executed single leg Bostoncrab.

The champions luck would run out however as Kruger was able to stopDaltonsmomentum dead with his signature sleeper hold. Battling desperately for survival by reaching the ropes, Kruger would hold on and eventually groundDalton, scissoring the midsection and forcing the referee to call the match asDaltonsunderdog story ended – passing out to the hold.

And there you have it. After just one week Leon Kruger wins back his FCW Heavyweight Championship in a great match as the two go for close to fifteen minutes in the main event. Having just watched WWEs Monday Night Raw from last night let me assure you that you wont see a finer wrestling match than that on that show this week! Both these men could potentially have their breakthrough year into the full roster this year as both have looked very impressive as of late. Next week there is sure to be more from this and one would assume an update on the void left by the firing of General Manager Maxine.

Thanks to @fcwuniverse for the incredible photos from the show!