Monday, 20 October 2014 08:47
Monday, 20 October 2014 08:23
Doug "Ox" Baker, whose menacing looks made him one of the more memorable heels of the 1970s, passed away today at the age of 80.
Baker had been in poor health for several months, and his death is believed to have been due to kidney failure at about 4:45 a.m.. Jerry Lawler posted the news on Twitter. Baker had a significant role as a villain who got into a fight scene with Kurt Russell in the John Carpenter movie, "Escape from New York," which made him memorable outside the wrestling world.
Baker was a headlining heel through most of the 70s, working at different times throughout most of the major territories, as the master of the heart punch. He was in the match where Alberto Torres died in 1971, and wrestled Ray Gunkel hours before Gunkel passed away in 1972. In some places, this was exaggerated into a story that Baker had anywhere from two to five men with his heart punch, which was put over as the most deadly move in wrestling.
During his career, he held championships in 16 different territories and wrestled almost almost all the top stars from his era from The Sheik, Dick the Bruiser, Fritz Von Erich, Dusty Rhodes, The Crusher, Giant Baba, Carlos Colon, Mil Mascaras and Superstar Billy Graham.
After his active career was over, he remained appearing at independent shows until recently, when his health issues became worse. He was a regular at the Cauliflower Alley Club. As far as national television went, he briefly managed The Russian Brute in the AWA in 1989 and managed The Night Stalker (Bryan Clark) in WCW in 1990.
Monday, 20 October 2014 08:21
To no surprise, A.J. Lee vs. Paige for the Divas title has been announced for Hell in a Cell on Sunday in Dallas.
Monday, 20 October 2014 08:17
M-1 Challenge 52: Battle of Narts took place Friday night, October 17th at the Summer Ampitheatre in Nazran, Russia. I haven’t seen attendance figures anywhere and I have no idea of capacity for the venue. One could see a lot of empty seats in the audience.
The show was headlined by a title fight for the vacant Featherweight belt with Ivan Buchinger of Slovakia stopping Tural Ragimov of Azerbaijan in the fourth round. Buchinger is a frequent veteran of Britain’s Cage Warriors promotion, one of the top promotions in that country. He’s most famous for being knocked out by Conor McGregor on December 31st, 2012, in McGregor’s last fight before signing with UFC.
In some ways M-1 presents a similar product to UFC and in some ways it’s different. The most notable difference is the design of the ring. M-1 uses a hexagonal boxing ring. It looks like a lucha ring. The ring has four ropes and the bottom rope is attached to the canvas with netting.
The ring changes the dynamic of fights compared to similar matches in the UFC. Similar to Pride, fighters can’t use the fence to post and stand back up after being taken down, because there is no fence. The netting is like the kind used in tennis, and it only extends to the bottom rope, anyway. Guys do use the turnbuckles to post, but that seems much more difficult than using the fence in UFC. Guys also occasionally grab the ropes to prevent being taken down, which of course is a penalty here.
The design of the ring means that when a fight goes to the ground, it generally stays there as long as the fighters are active and don’t get reset by the ref. There wasn’t that much more groundfighting here compared to the UFC, but if a fighter doesn’t have a good sprawl and he’s against a guy who likes to ground and pound, then the fight was staying on the ground.
On the other hand, M-1’s rules seem fairly close to UFC. I tried to get M-1’s actual rulebook off their English-language web site, but they don’t have it posted. In the past they have followed Pride rules, allowing knees and kicks to the head of a downed opponent. But watching these fights it is clear that those strikes are no longer allowed.
M-1 attempts to present itself as being on equal footing to the UFC. This was the promotion’s 188th event since 1997 and they have television contracts in Russia and elsewhere throughout Europe and Asia. Promoter Vadim Finkelstein often talks about the talent in M-1 being equivalent to the talent in UFC. M-1 uses a lot of Russian fighters and fighters from the Middle East who don’t fight outside of that part of the world and they have a stable of fighters who have been with the promotion for years.
Because M-1 uses their own fighters in their own part of the world, you’re not going to see a lot of prospects here that could make the jump to the UFC. Probably the most notable UFC prospect would be Buchinger, who could probably come into UFC and compete at Featherweight, although maybe not with the top guys. He seems to have signed a contract with M-1, since this is his third fight here, so I don’t know what his future plans are, but he’s a guy I could see winding up getting a shot in UFC.
This was also one of M-1’s weaker lineups in an unusual venue, so the talent level was a bit below that of their major shows. Besides Buchinger, if UFC was interested in scouting some of these guys, probably the only two worth looking at were Murad Abdulaev (170) and Artem Damkovsky (155). They both won their respective fights, although Damkovsky won a close decision against a guy who is only career 12-12 in a fight that could have gone either way. Tural Ragimov (145) also looked okay in his loss to Buchinger, even though Ragimov was stopped in the fourth round.
I didn’t see anyone else on the card that could make the jump. It’s not that the guys aren’t skilled, although I think there is less of a skill level here overall compared to UFC. It’s just that these guys are all fighters from that area of the world and many of them have been with M-1 for years. There are some fighters that come over to UFC from Russia, so it is possible. If UFC started running in Eastern Europe, then scouting guys out of M-1 or other Russian promotions seems more likely. But UFC has so many other international markets they could exploit before going into Russia or Eastern Europe in general. Russia has a great history of combat sports, but I can only imagine the politics and corruption involved in running a combat sports promotion in Russia. One of M-1’s primary sponsors is Karat, a Russian jeweler, and I can also only imagine what goes on behind closed doors in the Russian jewelry industry.
This was M-1’s debut in Nazran. Nazran is a town in the Republic of Ingushetia, formerly the Republic’s capital and currently its most populous town at 93,335. It is in the southwestern part of Russia, located in the North Caucasus, bordering the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania, the Chechen Republic and Georgia. Ingushetia is the smallest of Russian’s federal subjects.
It is also one of the country’s poorest regions. The area is marked by civil strife and is affected by the war in Chechnya, which frequently spills over into Ingushetia. In the past few years, Ignushetia has been the home of political corruption, kidnapping and murdering by government security forces, civil protests, and generally deteriorating human rights. The Summer Ampitheatre where M-1 Challenge 52 took place was the location of violent protests against the local police in 2012.
The title Battle of Narts sounds silly to outsiders, but it is a reference to Ingush folklore. The Nart saga is a series of tales originating from the North Caucasus and is the basic mythology of the local tribes.
A couple months ago M-1 announced that they would be debuting in Beijing at the MasterCard Center on November 11th for an event titled Battle of the Celestial Empire. M-1 claims it will be the first of 10 annual shows the promotion holds in China. The event is taking place less than two weeks after One FC debuts in Beijing at the Gynmnasium of the National Olympic Sports Centre. The venue One FC is running has a capacity of around 7,000 compared to 18,000 for the MasterCard Center, so I guess it is obvious which of those two promotions has the better political connections in Beijing.
M-1’s Beijing debut is headlined by Satoshi Ishii of Inoki’s promotion in Japan against Sergei Kharitonov, a Russian kickboxer who made a name for himself fighting the top heavyweights in Pride during that promotion’s heyday. Ishii won a gold medal in judo at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and does pro wrestling and MMA for Inoki in Japan.
“Of course, similar events takes place in China, but not as huge as ours,” Finkelstein said at the press conference announcing the Beijing event. “We have already held an official press conference [in Beijing].”
Finkelstein continued by saying, “We have a big future in the Chinese MMA market. CCTV will be showing our events.”
Also, announced so far for the Beijing show is Muslim Salikhov, a Sanda champion and the first non-Chinese to win the King of Sanda title. Sanda is a popular local form of martial arts in China. Salikhov, 30, is a multi-time Sanda champion who is 2-1 in MMA.
M-1 Heavyweight champion Marcin Tybura will also be making his first defense of the title against Dennis Soldarev. Both are undefeated. And former heavyweight champion Damien Grabowski will be facing Konstantin Gluhov. Tybura defeated Grabowski to win the title.
One FC, on the other hand, is coming into Beijing with a different approach. That promotion’s debut in Beijing is headlined by two Chinese fighters meeting at bantamweight, with Xian Ji (11-2) facing Yadong Song (4-0). Both are frequent competitors for Legend and Ranik respectively, which are Chinese MMA promotions.
Magomed Mutaev (5-2) stopped Bartosz Chyrek (4-1) at 1:51 of the third round. Middleweight.
Mutaev, 25, was fighting out of Russia. 4 of his 5 career wins came by way of TKO/KO. This was his third fight with M-1. Chyrek, 31, was fighting out of Poland. He went into this fight undefeated and was making his M-1 debut. Mutaev was wearing UFC brand shorts here with giant UFC logos on them, which is kind of funny.
Chyrek went for a double-leg, but couldn't get it and ended up on his back holding Mutaev in half-guard. Mutaev is pounding him with hammer fists. Mutaev passed into full mount, but they both stood and Mutaev hit Chyrek with knees in the clinch. Back to the ground and Chyrek went for a heel hook. Chyrek laid on his back and tried upkicks, but Mutaev ended up in his closed guard. Mutaev pounded him until the end of the round. The ref restarted them with 4 seconds left, I think warning Mutaev about gouging the eye. 10-9 Mutaev.
Second round, Chyrek went for a takedown, but couldn't get it. He shot again and ended up on the bottom with Mutaev in his closed guard. Mutaev moved into his half-guard and continued to pound him. The ref restarted them due to inactivity. Chyrek missed with a spinning back kic and went for a double-leg, but Mutaev sprawled and Mutaev ended up in Chyrek's half-guard again. The ref restarted them with about 30 seocnds left in the round. 10-9 Mutaev.
Third round, Chyrek went for a takedown, but ate some knees in the clinch. Chyrek shot for a takedown, didn't get it, and rolled onto his back again with Mutaev in half-guard hitting him with hammer fists eventually getting the stoppage.
Rustam Gadzhiev (4-2) beat Ingishkhan Ozdoev (1-1) via UD. Welterweight.
Gadzhiev, fighting out of Russia, was entering his third fight with M-1. Both of his losses came by submission via choke. Ozdoev, 21, is a local from Nazran in his second career fight, the previous also being in M-1.
They traded kicks in the center, with Ozdoev landing more. They traded combos and Ozdoev got a double-leg, but almost went into a guillotine choke. Back to their feet in a clinch against the turnbuckles. They break in teh center. Rustam with a takedown into Ozdoev's full guard against the mesh. Ozdoev neutralized Rustam by holding his arms in underhooks. Rustam continued to pound him and slide him away from the mesh. 10-9 Rustam.
Second round, Ozdoev caught a right low kick from Rustam and hit him with a right hand and then took him down with a single-leg. Rustam was able to stand back up and they clinched against the ropes. Rustam took Ozdoev down with a body lock into guard. Ozdoev was going for a kimura. Rustam hit him with knees to the body. The ref restarted them with a minute left in the round. Left high kick by Ozdoev. A couple of roundhouse kicks by Ozdoev. They clinched to end the round. 10-9 Ozdoev, but judging the round either way is fair.
Third round, Rustam take Ozdoev down immediately. Ozdoev went for the kimura again and then rolled and went for an armbar. Rustam got side control and then modified north-south and back to side control. Rustam threw knees to the ribs. Ozdoev moved him into full guard. Ozdoev was throwing hammer fists from the bottom, but getting pounded by Rustam from the top. Ozdoev went for a guillotine choke. The fight ended with Rustam pounding from the top, briefly in riding position and then side control. 10-9 Rustam. I had him 29-28. Rustam did a promo in Russian after the fight.
Artem Damkovsky (19-9) beat Said Khalilov (12-12) by UD. 160 pounds catchweight.
Damkovsky, 31, was fighting out of Minsk. He debuted with M-1 back in 2007, so he has been with the promotion for awhile. 7 of his 19 wins have come by TKO/KO and 10 by decision. 4 of his losses were by submission. Khalilov, 32, was fighting out of St Petersburg. He was riding a three fight losing streak entering this bout. He has been with M-1 since 2004, so he's another long-term stalwart for the promotion. 8 of his 12 wins have come by KO/TKO. 4 of his losses were by KO/TKO and three by submission. Damkovsky weighed in at 158.5 and Khalilov at 161.
They start in the center, exchaging low kicks. Damkovsky is landing more. A lot of movement from the two, bouncing around the ring. Damkovsky landing a loe of one-two combos followed by low kicks. Damkovsky misses with a spinning back fist. First round was essentially a kickboxing match. Khalilov tried to take Damkovsky down to end the round, but couldn't. 10-9 Damkovsky.
Second round, Khalilov tries to take Damkovsky down, but Damkovsky grabs the top rope. More kickboxing. Nice uppercut from Khalilov, but Damkovsky is landing way more again. Khalilov goes for a take down and they end up against the ropes, but they break back out to center. Khalilov is more aggressive now, pushing forward with combos, but he eats a couple of knees and goes for a takedown. Damkovsky sprawls and hits him with elbows to the ribs and hammer fists to the head. Back to their feet and a lot of exchanges of combos. Tough round to call. Go 10-9 Khalilov, but I think Damkovsky had more volume and could easily get the round.
Third round was more kickboxing. Both guys are still active, but not landing as much as in the first two rounds. Damkovsky is landing some one-two combos, but Khalilov is chasing him around the ring. Damkovsky gets a double-leg into Khalilov's guard. Damkovsky stands up out of it with Khalilov laying on his back. Khalilov gets up with 30 seconds left. They trade combos. They clinch and trade knees to end the round. Good fight, could reasonbly have been judged either way. I had this round and the fight overall for Damkovsky.
Murad Abdulaev (14-3) stopped Daniel Tabera (18-6) in the second round. Welterweight.
Abdulaev, 25, was fighting out of Russia. 6 of his 14 wins were by KO/TKO. He debuted with M-1 in 2009. He holds a decision win over current UFC fighter Albert Tumenov back in 2009. Tabera, 36, is from Spain and was fighting out of Thailand. He's a large welterweight who holds a decision loss to Glover Teixeira from 2010 in Brazil and a decision loss to former UFC Heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez from 2010 in Israel. He also has a draw with former Pride star Gilbert Yvel early in his career when they fought in M-1 in 2003. Tabera has been with M-1 since 2002.
Slow fight starting out. Both guys were waiting for the other to engage. This was like an early Ken Shamrock fight. Abdulaev finally landed a combo and got a single leg takedown into half-guard. He landed knees against the body. The ref restarted them for inacitivity, which was weird because they were more active on the ground than on their feet. Both guys were unloading more in the last 30 seconds with Abdulaev landing. 10-9 Abdulaev.
Second round, the ref has to stop to check Abdulaev's right glove for some reason, didn't catch why. More slow stand-up with both fighters hesitant to engage. Tabera went for a double-leg, but couldn't get it. Abdulaev pressed forward and unloaded with a left-right combo that knocked Tabera called. Abdulaev didn't realize and pulled Tabera down with a double-leg when the ref stopped it.
Ivan Buchinger (28-4) stopped Tural Ragimov (9-2) in the fourth round. Featherweight.
This fight was for the vacant M-1 Featherweight title. Buchinger, 28, is from Slovakia. He's the guy the UFC would probably be the most interested in on this card. He was entering this fight on a 6-match winning streak. He's a frequent competitor for Cage Warriors in Britain. 16 of his 28 wins have come by submission and 7 by TKO/KO. 2 of his losses were by KO/TKO. He famously was knocked out in the first round by Conor McGregor on Cage Warrior's 2012 New Year's Eve show in the fight that got McGregor into UFC. He also lost via decision early in his career to Akira Corassani. Buchinger made his debut with M-1 earlier this year.
Ragimov was fighting out of Azerbaijan. 4 of his wins were by TKO/KO and 4 by submission. He was on a 5 fight winning streak going in. He made his debut in M-1 earlier this year.
First round, Buchinger went for a takedown, but couldn't get it. Ragimov clinched him against the ropes and then the ref restarted them in the center due to inactivity. Buchinger unloaded with a combo on Ragimov and pressed him against the ropes in a clinch, although Ragimov turned it around and had Buchinger against the ropes. Buchinger then reversed the clinch with Ragimov against the ropes and was landing knees to Ragimov's legs. The ref restarted them, which again was weird because he restarted them for inactivity while Buchinger was in the middle of throwing knee strikes. They traded in the middle and Buchinger went for a double-leg, but Ragimov sprawled and they clinched against the ropes again. Ragimov tried a trip, but couldn't get it. Buchinger was bleeding above his right eye. Close round, despite the cut I had it Buchinger 10-9, but could have gone either way.
Second round, Buchinger went for a takedown, they clinched, and Ragimov threw him down with a nice bodylock, but they ended up back on their feet quickly. Buchinger clinched Ragimov against the ropes and then took him down with a trip into full guard. Ragimov kept Buchinger tied up fairly well on the ground, making it difficult for Buchinger to pound him. There was a scramble and Buchinger got side control. Ragimov was bloody. Buchinger went into full mount, but got swept with 10 seconds left and ended up holding Ragimov in half-guard to close the round. Good fight so far. 10-9 Buchinger
Third round, Buchinger went for a takedown, but Ragimov sprawled. Buchinger went for a takedown, there was a scramble, and Buchinger got side control. He was pounding Ragimov's face from a crucifix position. They ended up on north-south position. Buchinger took his back, but nearly got swept again. He ended up in side control. Buchinger was bleeding again. A scramble, and they went back to their feet. The ref checked Buchinger's cut with 45 seconds left. They restarted and Buchinger got a couple of combos before the round ended. 10-9 Buchinger
Fourth round, they traded combos and ended up clinching against the ropes. Buchinger hit Ragimov witth some knees. Ragimov was cut below the right eye. Buchinger tried a takedown, but ended up on the bottom. Back to their feet in a clinch against the ropes, and the ref restarted them in the center due to inactivity. Both guys were swinging wildly. Buchinger had Ragimov against the ropes and Ragimov turned away to avoid the strikes and the ref called it. Good fight.
Jeremy Wall is the author of UFC’s Ultimate Warriors: The Top 10. He can be contacted at jeremydalew at gmail dot com or followed on Twitter @jeremydalewall.
Monday, 20 October 2014 00:35Wrestling Observer Radio with Bryan Alvarez and Dave Meltzer returns tonight to talk all the news in wrestling and mixed martial arts including tons of thoughts on this weekend's MMA events, Strikeforce's first-ever show being replayed, NXT, the Tokyo Dome update for January, life and times of Dr. Ken Ramey, WrestleMania VII audio, your questions and tons more! A fun show as always so check it out~!
Monday, 20 October 2014 09:30
Before getting started, please tune into the Wrestling Outsiders podcast every Wednesday at 10pm EST We'll be joined by Bill Apter on October 29.
Baron Corbin squashed Elias Sampson
My eyes were forced to adjust as Baron's entrance started in complete darkness before giving us a blinding flash of light. Elias Sampson looks like Austin Aries' little brother and got beaten in 10 seconds with the End of Days.
- Sami Zayn hit the ring next, fresh off his clean defeat to Titus O'Neil last week. The fans sang the Ole song and already the crowd is livelier than it has been the past month. Sami said he is sick of losing and is better than that. He has proven time and time again that he is not a loser and he is going after the one thing to allude him since coming to NXT. Beating Cesaro? No, being NXT Champion.
This brought out Tyson Kidd who said that Sami will never be champion and any chance he gets he squanders. Tyson tells Sami not to lie to the people and pretend that the era of Sami losing is over. Sami told Tyson to go home and cry himself to sleep while watching re-runs of Total Divas, so Tyson called Sami a Total Loser.
Tyson called Sami the most pathetic person he has ever met in his life. Sami said we are on his road to redemption and he will beat Tyson tonight. Tyson accepted the challenge, but not until later when Tyson has called home to make sure his cats are okay.
NXT Tag Team Champions The Lucha Dragons defeated Team Thick
Team Thick are Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy, who teamed together once before, in the first round of the #1 Contender's Tag Team Tournament. Keep in mind they were in, but the Legionnaires were not.
Cara went for a front choke that Murphy actually turned into a front suplex, which looked more awesome than it sounds. Cara just broke a headlock before making the hot tag. Kalisto tagged in and got to do his flips all over. Cara tagged in and won with a wacky sunset flip from the top rope.
- Last week Tyler Breeze beat Mojo Rawley in a minute and it hurt Mojo's shoulder. Mojo cut a sad promo saying he will be out for a while, but he will come back stronger than ever.
NXT Women's Champion Charlotte pinned Becky Lynch
I'm sorry, but I do not understand the love for Becky Lynch. She is not any better than any other girl on NXT. Is she better than Eva Marie? Sure, but who isn't? Becky ran mild at the start before being dropped with the Game Changing Backbreaker (tm Alex Riley). Charlotte slapped on the Figure Four Headlock and slammed Becky's head onto the mat, which Becky just shook off. Charlotte blocked a suplex and hit a suplex that looked a lot like a body slam. Charlotte hit the neck breaker and the Natural Selection for the win.
- Earlier today, Ascension told Hideo Itami to leave.
The Legionaries vs Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy ended in a No Contest.
Did you know Enzo is a certified G and a bona fide stud? Or that Colin is 7 feet tall? Or that you can't teach that? This week we also found out that if they had a dime for every time they were beaten up as kids they would have no dimes. Louis wore the Kurt Angle wig and head gear. Lefort reached for the tag and accidentally ripped off Louis' wig. Louis flipped out and beat up the Stallion before leaving.
Because the match barely went 30 seconds, Enzo and Colin wanted another match, calling out a girl in blue pants. Turns out they aren't wrestling, but they do have the Girl In Blue Pants wrestling Carmella.
Carmella submitted A Girl in Blue Pants
Carmella lost her job as a hair dresser 6 weeks ago and now, with 3 weeks of training Carmella has her first match. She already has her own theme song available on iTunes. This match did not go long enough to suck. She won in a minute with a head scissors. Yes, a head scissors.
- Sasha Banks was backstage putting on extra coats of red lipstick when Becky Lynch came up and told her she was embarrassing. Sasha called her a loser.
- Some Girl interviewed Adrian Neville about his title defense next week with Titus O'Neil. He is annoyed that ever since he became NXT Champion he keeps being challenged by WWE Superstars who think they can push him around.
Sami Zayn pinned Tyson Kidd
It was mentioned that if Sami loses he may never ever get a shot at the NXT Title and it is mentioned that Tyson will never get another shot at Neville as long as Adrian is champion, so I am hoping Tyson is there next week. The announcers talked about how Tyson Kidd has a WrestleMania moment. If I remember correctly him and Harry gave Mr. McMahon the Hart Attack at Mania 26, but I don't think anyone considers that a WrestleMania Moment.
Sami schooled Tyson, who rolled outside the ring. Sami tried to be a smart ass and let Tyson back into the ring, but it eventually led to Tyson kicking in the head to take over. Both men hit amazing looking moves, like Sami Zayn with a Springboard Crossbody or Tyson with a twisting suplex for near falls. Kidd finally slapped on the Sharpshooter, which no one bought as a finish. After a rope break, Tyson went for his over-the-top-rope legdrop, but Zayn moved. Sami hit the exploder suplex in the corner and the Halluva Kick for the win.
That does it for another week in Orlando. Can Sami win more than one in a row? Find out next week and until then, make sure to say your vitamins and take your prayers.
Sunday, 19 October 2014 22:16The Bryan & Vinny Show returns today with two big shows to review -- Friday Night Smackdown which was a lot of fun until the awful main event finish, and WWE NXT from Full Sail, a really fun show that was a lot of fun until the great main event finish! Plus, songs, drops and more! A fun show as always so check it out~!
Monday, 20 October 2014 05:42
By Paul Fontaine, Wrestling Observer
Before the show starts, I have to clarify something from last week. There was one wrestler in the Honor Rumble who came in during a commercial break and didn’t get a proper introduction. Despite rewinding three times to try and catch the one time Kevin Kelly said his name, the best I could come up with was “Rudabon”. Well, it turns out it was Brutal Bob Evans, who I think I may have seen once before but he has not been on any shows that I’ve recapped. So my apologies to Brutal Bob, who I know reads these reports (he’s the one who pointed out the mistake to me on twitter). The next time I call you Rubadon, it will be an homage and you and I will both know that I know who you are. On with the show.
Cold open of Adam Cole promo hyping up tonight’s main event of he and Cedric Alexander. Cole vowed to take back his title and Cedric was the first step in getting there. He also referred to himself as the best professional wrestler on the planet. Caprice Coleman joined Keven Kelly in commentary for this show from West Virginia. Steve Corino is apparently on maternal leave.
Romantic Touch vs “The Warbeard” Hanson
Tale of the tape showed Hanson has a 1 inch height and 45 lb weight advantage. They adhere to the code of honor and then Touch tried to kiss Hanson’s hand, which went about as well as you’d expect. This was not quite a squash match but as close as you get on ROH TV as this was clearly a showcase match for Hanson. Touch got a little more offence in than a pure jobber would but no one, including the announcers, had any doubt who was winning this one. WAR MACHINE chant from the crowd right before the finish, which was a clothesline that nearly took Touch’s head off.
WINNER: HANSON by pinfall
Next week is a championship edition of ROH TV. The Decade cut a promo for their world tag team title against RedDRagon but didn’t specify which two members would wrestle. After commercial Jay Briscoe did a promo for his World title defence against Michael Bennett. Not your usual classic Briscoes promo but okay. This led into Michael Bennett coming out with Maria and her pink furry Title of Love. Bennett is now carrying the title. Cole was out with them as well but was still upset over being eliminated last week from the Honor Rumble.
Bennett did an in-ring promo putting over his win. Crowd chanted BENNETT SUCKS. Cole grabbed the mic from Bennett and said that Bennett winning that Rumble was not part of the plan and that he was supposed to be the King of this Kingdom. Essentially, Cole told Bennett that he is now supposed to give Briscoe the beating of his life to soften him up for Cole is what I took from this. At least that’s what Cole thinks at this point. Great storytelling here.
After commercial, the entire Decade came to the ring for a promo. Jacobs started by proclaiming this as the House that the Decade built. The Decade is not just about the past, it’s about the future and this is why they’ve taken Tadarius Thomas and Adam Page under their wings. They are giving the young guys a chance to prove themselves by booking them in a no-DQ match against each other.
Adam Page vs Tadarius Thomas
Coleman did a good job on commentary of acting disgusted at this match taking place, saying it was for the Decade’s amusement. Jacobs threw various weapons in the ring to try and get the younger guys to use them on each other. Thomas seemed to have the crowd behind him for the most part. THIS IS AWESOME chant. Coleman said that Page has completely changed and won’t even return his phone calls. Page actually using the weapons that Jacobs introduced to the match but Thomas seems to only want to wrestle clean. Finally Thomas started to use the weapons as well. Decade is laughing at ringside as Page is beating the crap out of Thomas. THIS IS AWESOME from the crowd again.
Jacobs clapping and egging Page on as he’s looking for more weapons under the ring, even though the ring is full of them. Thomas took control with a release German suplex on Page with Page landing on two chairs that he had set up in the ring. Thomas then grabbed a chair and nailed Page with a couple chair shots as the Decade egged him on and the crowd chanted ONE MORE TIME. Coleman was screaming at him from the booth to stop and Thomas was hesitating. Page got up and screamed at Thomas to HIT ME. Thomas then hit Jimmy Jacobs with the chair and walked out. Crowd did the Daniel Bryan YES YES YES chant. Caprice Coleman left the booth and followed Thomas to the back. Match ended at that point with Decade in the ring all arguing with each other.
Winner: MICHAEL PAGE by countout (?) or it may have just been a no contest, wasn’t really made clear.
Nigel McGuiness joined Kevin Kelly at commentary and they hyped up next week’s big show with two title matches.
MAIN EVENT: Cedric Alexander vs Adam Cole
Cole was out by himself for this one, at least to start. Nigel explained that as badly as Cole wants to regain the title, it’s a difficult thing to do as there have only been two repeat champions in ROH history. Tale of the tape showed the size and experience almost equal but Kelly points out that Cole has a higher level of experience due to his history as World champion. LETS GO CEDRIC/ADAM COLE chants. Kelly informs us that in two weeks AJ Styles will face the returning Matt Sydal. During a slow part of the match, Kelly and Nigel talk about Tommaso Ciampa and when and if Nigel will reinstate him. Nigel doesn’t really give an answer to that one.
After a commercial break, match is starting to pick up a bit with Alexander in control and starting to fire up the crowd. Cole getting a lot of heat with his “ADAM COLE BABY” self-congratulatory bit, which will be a chanting spot if he ever turns face but at this point, it gets the expected heat. The basic story of the match was Cole pretty much slowly and methodically dominating Alexander with Cedric getting brief flurries of offence. Crowd stayed with Alexander for the most part though. EDDIE chant from the crowd as Alexander did the ole Three Amigos suplex spot on Cole. THIS IS AWESOME chant. Alexander in control as we go to another commercial break.
WOO chants from the crowd as Alexander gives Cole chops in the corner and it just occurred to me that this match is very much like a mid-80’s Ric Flair TV main event. Cole is clearly taking a lot from that era in terms of his wrestling and in working the crowd. ROH chant after a Cannonball dive by Alexander onto Cole on the outside of the ring. Another THIS IS AWESOME chant. Frogsplash by Alexander but Cole got his knees up and then hit a backbreaker, which the fans thought was the finish but Alexander kicked out. Cole then locked on the Figure Four in the centre of the ring (furthering the Ric Flair comparison). Alexander tried to reverse it. He couldn’t do it, but managed to get to the ropes.
Alexander hit a Michinoku driver for another nearfall and he was starting to doubt himself. Cole hit back to back superkicks, which looked like it could be the finish but Alexander kicked out. THIS IS WRESTLING chant from the crowd. A third superkick was blocked by Alexander and he then spit in Cole’s face. He went for a running kick on Cole but Cole ducked, hit a superkick and then a Twist of Fate to get the win.
WINNER: ADAM COLE by pinfall
DVR cut out right after the pin so I’m not sure if there was anything post-match. Main event was fantastic, the kind of match you don’t really see much these days and Cole is such a great talent.
Sunday, 19 October 2014 16:19
By James Cox
Noteworthy: Zack Ryder made his second appearance in as many weeks on this show and again was good. Bo Dallas won a match. Cesaro and Kofi had a really good outing.
Bo Dallas beat Zack Ryder with the Bo-Dog in 4:30
It feels a little like 2010. Zack Ryder was pretty much on this show every week back then. At least it felt like it. Bo Dallas, who I had completely forgotten existed, came out to some nice heat and they had a fairly good 4 minute match.
Out of an early wrist lock exchange Ryder takes the upper hand and Bo takes a breather on the apron. Bo has this great angry face, a kind of scowl that he pulls that is so incredulous and pained. He could be a pretty decent heel if they booked him properly. Ryder scoops him up into a hip toss but then runs into an elbow from Dallas. Ryder recovers, plants another hip toss and then falls to the mat into arm bar.
Dallas uses a creative little move where he gets Ryder on the apron and pulls him into the ropes so that the ropes clothesline Ryder. Zack sells it, too, coughing, choking and grimacing and Dallas is able to work him over with some knees to the midsection and a clothesline. When he’s on top, there’s something of Jack Nicholson to Bo Dallas’ Cheshire cat grin.
Ryder manages to pull a facebuster out of nowhere and both men go down, buying Ryder some time. Ryder lands two clotheslines and Bo runs into high knees in the corner. Ryder goes to the top rope and hits a missile drop kick. Then Ryder uses another drop kick, this time to plant Dallas in the corner in position for the Broski Boot. Bo rolls out. Ryder leans out to grab hair, gets swept off his feet, and as he rolls back in Dallas gets up and immediately uses the Bo-Dog for the win.
There’s a post-match, back stage interview later in the show with Byron Saxton where Bo said that Ryder was saying “Bo, bo, bo-lieve” now instead of his signature “woo”s.
Cesaro beat Kofi Kingston with the Neutraliser in 8:31
After some pretty fabulous early chain wrestling, Cesaro uses a headlock take down to ground Kofi down. Kingston is just back from Malaysia this week and Tom Philips and Renee Young are kind of playing that into their commentary as a way to warn us that Cesaro is going over here.
They run the ropes, Cesaro shoulder barges Kofi to the mat and then, old school style, goes straight back to the headlock. Kofi then manages to get the space to hit a drop kick, Cesaro doesn’t even give it the time of day and kicks out before the ref has even started to count. Kingston then uses a middle rope springboard missile drop kick to plant Cesaro to the mat.
He rolls under the ropes on the apron and so Kingston goes to try to suplex him back into the ring. The suplex from the apron is blocked and eventually after several attempts each, Cesaro is the one to get the upper hand and Kofi is garrotted on top rope. Cesaro goes up top and lands an axe handle, Kingston goes down and we go to the break.
Cesaro is in control and works over Kingston, using a two footed leaping stomp to the chest, followed by boots and punches until Cesaro goes back to a wrist lock. The match then springs to life as both try several quick pin attempts. Cesaro catches a charging Kingston with a huge boot that completely stops Kofi in his tracks and the cover gets a two count. Cesaro charges to the corner and hits the most brutal looking running European uppercut to the corner. It looks like it was stiff to say the least. They should build Cesaro up properly and put him in with Brock Lesnar, it would be so great.
An enzuigiri from Kingston then dumps Cesaro over the top rope and Kingston hits a springboard cross body to the outside. Cesaro eventually rolls back in at 9; Kofi covers him but only for two.
Kofi hits the Boom Drop, goes for Trouble in Parardise but Cesaro rolls under the ropes and hits the charging Kofi with a shoulder to the midsection. Kofi then recovers and goes for the SOS, hits it but Cesaro is able to kick out at two. Kofi runs into a high knee and Cesaro looks like he is going for the giant swing but it is reversed and then turned into a slingshot by Cesaro. Kofi doesn’t hit the ropes and instead leaps up onto them, tries a top rope cross body but in mid air is caught with the European uppercut.
After all the Vines this week where Orton was super imposed onto people catching them with RKOs this was like one of those great Randy Orton RKO finishes. And I suppose that with this move, it’s the kind of move that Cesaro can be creative with in the same way.
Sunday, 19 October 2014 13:38
We've got an unexpected double issue this week, with an update on Hell in a Cell, Road to the New Japan Tokyo Dome, TNA Bound for Glory and its future, the local hero of the Gulf Coast bio, a look at the glory days of Australian wrestling, an in-depth look at UFC business and much more.
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