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Sunday, October 26, 2014

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When is Randy Orton at his best?

Speed on the Beat here. But, you already knew that.

For years, Mr. RKO Out of Nowhere has been one of the most consistent performers in the WWE. However, he's also been one of the most consistently misused performers--possibly because what the company feels he can do with what the fans may want/need him to do are usually not on the same page.

I feel that Randy Orton is best when he's kind of able to be "himself." Kind of a snarky, sarcastic, ready-to-flip-you-off-and/or-legit-beat-you-if-you-act-"STUPID STUPID STUPID!" a-hole. For instance, let's take a look at Orton's match versus David Otunga from around Christmas 2011.

Now, the match itself isn't great. In fact, like a lot of Orton matches circa 2009-2012, it was kind of garbage (my favorite Orton eras for quality matches are The Legend Killer era, followed--oddly enough--by 2013-present Orton). However, those moments of Orton being Orton, such as his "HO HO HO!" before throwing Otunga into the steps (or the "mmm cookies" face he makes in the beginning of this clip), made the match stick out to me. It was the perfect mix of "crazy, spot-filled goodness" and dark, albeit physical, comedy. Orton is the type of guy who doesn't let a botch or a "CM PUNK!"-chanting crowd really get to him (read: he absolutely lets it get to them then ramps up the awesome).

Let's look at earlier this year in a match versus Daniel Bryan. A fan, during a No DQ match, screamed out for the ref to ring the bell. Randy kindly reminded the fan of da rules...by suplexing Bryan onto the announcers' table after screaming "there's no bell to ring!"

If/when WWE lets Orton let the voices in his head actually tell him to be kind of a d-bag, Orton is golden. When the voices tell him to conform, we get Orton spewing drivel about how "XYZ is 'best for business.'" You want Orton to truly be the face of the company, Triple H? Let the guy become a straight-up anti-hero. Not a heel, not a face, not a tweener. A straight-up, "I play by my own rules (within the confines of the law)" anti-hero. That'll legit put butts in seats, in my humble opinion. That and keep him far the f*** away from John Cena.
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ROH Review for 10/25/14 Show

Ring Of Honor Wrestling Review – Airdate: 10/25/14

By Nathan Neumann (@Headliner5 on Twitter)

Hello once again wrestling fans, Nathan here to provide you with your weekly dose of Ring Of Honor in the form my review of this weeks episode of ROH TV.  It was another good show from the company this week so without any further ado lets get going.

We open this week with a promo from the current reigning and defending Ring Of Honor World Heavyweight Champion Jay Briscoe. He he has some words for his opponent for the evening, Michael Bennett. Jay Briscoe simply asks Bennett if he is ready for their match tonight?  It was a simple but perfectly acceptable way to set up tonight’s bout between the two men.

This week’s episode of Ring Of Honor Television was dubbed “Championship Night,” meaning that every single title was on the line in the hour. If my memory serves me correct, tonight was the first time something like this was done in the almost three year history of the show.

From there, we go to the first match of the evening, which was for the Ring Of Honor World Tag Team Title’s as Roderick Strong and Jimmy Jacobs of the Decade challenge the champion’s reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish).

Match 1

Roderick Strong and Jimmy Jacobs vs. reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish) {C}
ROH World Tag Team Championship Match

Result: reDRagon defeat Jimmy Jacobs and Roderick Strong after hitting Strong with Chasing The Dragon to retain the ROH World Tag Team Titles.

Thoughts: This was a really good opener. Although, I’m not a fan of the current storyline going on with The Decade (although Jimmy Jacobs is killing it in the role), the stable didn’t play too much of a factor in this one. Early on, Jacobs hit a flying head scissors on O’Reilly followed by some double team maneuvers from Strong and Jacobs.  At one point Jacobs picked up O’Reilly and tossed him into Roderick Strong’s Knee to a huge reaction from the crowd in the arena. The finish came when reDRagon hit Roderick Strong with Chasing The Dragon (Brainbuster head kick combination) to score the win and retain the titles.  

This match was perfectly acceptable and it allowed reDRagon to show everyone what they are capable of doing. reDRagon should be a solid contender for “Tag Team Of The Year” on anyone’s ballot because if I was to do a Ballot they would probably be my number one pick because they have had some great matches this year.  If you don’t believe me go back to ROH War Of The Worlds from this past April and check out their match against the Young Bucks. It’s a match that is highly touted as one of the best matches of the year. Even though I don’t like the “Indy Darlings” known as the Young Bucks, that match was damn good.

From there we go to a commercial break and seriously ROH stars need to stop doing commercials for their sponsors.  I understand that ROH is a business and they want it done but some of them are terrible. For instance, here’s Jay Lethal promoting the Health Alert Hotline.

Hilarious stuff.

From there, we head back into the arena for the second match of the evening, which was for the Ring Of Honor World Television Championship as recent ROH Dojo graduate Will Ferrara challenged current ROH TV champion Jay Lethal for the title.

Rating: **

Match 2

Will Ferrara vs. Jay Lethal {C}
ROH World Television Championship Match

Result: Jay Lethal defeats Will Ferrara with the Lethal Injection to retain the ROH World Television Championship

Thoughts: The first thing I noticed prior to the match even getting underway was the absence of one Seleziya Sparx, which automatically causes this match to lose a star rating (just kidding).  Bobby Cruise does the announcements for this match and he announces Jay Lethal as being the “greatest first-generation wrestler ever.” The two start the match and Jay quickly knocks Will out of the ring. Ferrara nearly dies on his way out of the ring after hitting the outside of the apron badly.

He was fine but that looked like it could have been a bit dangerous. Still, he’s okay so the match continues. Back in the ring, Ferrara attempts a Tornado DDT but Lethal reverses it and delivers the Lethal Combination (Modified backbreaker/Flatliner combo).  Later on, Ferrara hits a German suplex on Lethal for a near fall. The conclusion of the match came when Lethal hit Ferrara with the Lethal Injection (handspring ace crusher) to pick up the victory and his title retention. Nothing wrong with that match, it was perfectly acceptable and Ferrara had a good showing, which is nice.

Rating: **1/4

Back from a commercial, the main event is up next, which was for the Ring Of Honor World Championship as Michael Bennett challenged the champion Jay Briscoe for the title (as mentioned earlier in this review).

Match 3

Michael Bennett vs. Jay Briscoe {C}

Ring Of Honor World Championship Match

Result: Jay Briscoe defeats Michael Bennett with the Jay Driller to retain the ROH World Championship

Thoughts: First things first, I’ll admit that even though I’m not a fan of Michael Bennett (and probably never will be), he actually went a long way in impressing me in this match so there’s that. The match started off when Todd Sinclair rang the bell, immediately following that Bennett slapped Briscoe, which made Jay very angry. Jay proceeded to chase Bennett around the ring and to the outside.  

The two men go back inside of the ring to try and have a normal match but things quickly break down once again and the two men head back to the outside of the ring.  This time they make their way to the top of the ramp where Bennett tried to give Briscoe his patented piledriver. Jay however was able to reverse it and backdrop Bennett on the ramp.  Back in the ring Bennett locks on the Anaconda vice on a fallen Jay Briscoe teasing that Jay a man who hasn’t been pinned or submitted in a full two years might do so here. That however doesn’t happen as Jay reaches out and grabs the bottom rope with his right arm to force the break.  

The two wrestle to the outside of the ropes where Jay Briscoe picks Michael Bennett up and delivers a Death Valley Driver on the ring apron to a huge pop. The move was cool but those spots seriously need to stop happening. It does nothing but get a pop (which is its exact purpose), but it’s not worth risking permanent injury to your body in order to do those types of things.

Later in the match Michael Bennett attempts a pin on a fallen Jay Briscoe after hitting a blockbuster and gets the nearest of near falls. The finish of the match saw Jay Briscoe hit the Jay Driller to Michael Bennett to pick up the pinfall victory and the retention of his championship.

This was a perfectly acceptable match for Bennett. It’s probably the best I have ever seen him in (but the guy still leaves a lot to be desired at least for me while in the ring). Still, he went a long way in impressing me during this match. I think he may have succeeded in doing so. But, one match isn’t going to change my opinion on the guy.  Everyone is capable of having good matches because it all depends on who they’re in the ring with.

Rating: **3/4

After the match Bennett attempted a Twist of Fate on Jay Briscoe. Maria then got in the ring and Adam Cole ran down to save her from a Jay Driller. Mark Briscoe comes out followed by Matt Taven in a suit; Matt nails Mark with the “Title Of Love” and joins the Kingdom. It turns out that Matt Taven was the “Matt” that Adam Cole was referring to in the past few weeks. That means that Taven is a heel once again (but they honestly didn’t know what to do with him as a face. So I am fine with it, although it took a lot to get there).  The show closes with The Kingdom posing over both of the fallen Briscoes with both the “Title Of Love” and the ROH World Title as we go to black for the week.

That’ll do it for me and another one of my signature ROH Reviews here at EyesOnTheRing.blogspot.com.  Sorry that this review went on a little long but the more detail the better right?  Until next week wrestling fans I am Nathan saying so long and be sure to keep your Eyes On The Ring for more great articles from myself and the entire Eyes On The Ring Team. Also if you could please head on over to facebook.com/EyesOnTheRing and like us and follow us on twitter @EyesOnTheRing

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HIAC Preview

Hello, ladies and gentleman (and most importantly, the Eyes On The Ring readers). Nathan here, once again, to bring you your monthly dose of WWE Pay Per View predictions. This time, we’re talking this Sunday’s WWE Hell In A Cell PPV. This, of course, will take place live on the WWE Network. As always, I am joined by Jon. So, let’s get to it, shall we?

Nikki Bella vs. Brie Bella

Loser has to become the winners servant
Jon: I wish this feud would end soon. Unfortunately, it will be drug out for at least another 30 days due to the stipulation of the match; the loser of this match becomes the personal assistant of the victor. Since I have to choose a winner I shall go with Nikki.
Nathan: This feud is cringeworthy, it’s spawned some of the worst television segments I have ever seen on RAW. And, because of that, it’s a leading candidate for the “Worst Storyline of the Year” award if not the “Worst Storyline in Wrestling History” award (there have been worse, but this is pretty bad).
Seriously, this storyline is so bad that I wish it would receive a Slammy award in December for its terribleness. Furthermore I wish someone from WWE Creative would apoligize to me for putting it on my TV. I really hope that this match will be the last of this feud. But, given the recent stipulation to the match? I fear that it won’t be. We’ll probably have to sit through more of this garbage. In the predictions I sent to a few people, I said that Brie was going to win. But, I have a feeling now that given the stipulation Nikki will win and Brie will become Nikki’s slave (due to the psychology of how these types of things work out). Part of me wishes this match was a Hell In A Cell match.
Why, you ask? So Brie and Nikki both get decapitated via the cage and I never have to see them or hear one of their awful promos ever again.
Antonio Cesaro vs. Dolph Ziggler {C}
2 out of 3 Falls match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Jon: This should be an exciting match between two skilled individuals. Ziggler has lost a lot on Raw and Smackdown lately but I think he redeems himself and retains.
Nathan: I am really looking forward to this match. The inclusion of the two out of three falls stipulation means that the match will be potentially longer than if it were just a one fall to a finish match. I feel these two will get at least ten to fifteen minutes (I hope) to tell a proper story. This match could potentially be a big talking point from this event. I’m also hoping that Cesaro will become the new Intercontinental Champion with a win here--and become the star that we all know that he is capable of being.
Paige vs. AJ Lee {C}
WWE Diva’s Championship Match
Jon: Once again I'm not invested in this rivalry. I’m picking AJ Lee to retain her Divas title once again.
Nathan: This is a feud that, before it happened, I looked forward to seeing how AJ and Paige would work with one another. That was in May. In October, however, I just don’t care about this storyline. WWE has a way of doing something once, and have it go over really well. So, the creative minds decide to do it a thousand more times (which will be a theme to this PPV. Hi, Cena vs. Orton). That’s exactly the case here.  
These two women have wrestled each other way too much. With each match they wrestle, I care less and less. I’m hoping that this match will be the last we see of these two and their stupid “Frenimies” storyline can end. The winner of this match will be AJ Lee. Hopefully, she’ll go on to feud with someone new like Alicia Fox or who knows? Just do something else please (except the Bellas, of course).
The Miz vs. Sheamus {C}
WWE United States Championship Match
Jon: The Miz has 3 victories of the United States champion Sheamus--thanks to help from his stunt double Damien Mizdow. If there was a way for Mizdow to get the victory that would be great and an unexpected twist. Since Mizdow isn’t eligible for the win, I choose the Irishman Sheamus to win and retain.
Nathan: This is another match I really don’t care about all that much. I’ve never been a fan of the Miz and Sheamus, while a great wrestler, he’s not doing anything effective.  The United States Title is often forgettable (I had to visit wwe.com to remember who the champion was. That should tell you something). And, this match will probably add to that long list of forgetful United States Championship matches.  
Yeah, there have been some good ones sprinkled in here and there (see Sheamus vs. Cesaro). But, besides that? Nothing recently really comes to mind as memorable. I expect Sheamus to pick up the win and continue on with his title reign. The only way I could see the title changing hands is if Damien Mizdow somehow changes places with the Miz and picks up the win and wins the title in the process. Something tells me that is what will happen and I am hoping I am right. That way, we can get Damien SANDOW back (sans Miz) and he can do his thing because he’s being underutilized.
The Usos vs. Goldust and Stardust {C}
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Jon: I enjoy these to two teams; they play off each other well in promos and have great chemistry in the ring. They have put on outstanding matches each time they have faced each other.  Stardust and Goldust have taken the word “crazy” to a whole new level since they won the cosmic keys aka the tag titles. Because of this, they will also retain as champs.
Nathan: I really enjoy the Usos but I am not real high on Stardust and Goldust. Quite frankly, I’m sick of Stardust.  I’ve never been a fan of over-the-top gimmicks in wrestling and Stardust is just way too bizarre for my tastes. It’s doing Cody Rhodes a huge injustice by being stuck in the role that he is in. There is no need for a title change in this match, because the Stardust and Goldust just won them.  So I will go with Stardust and Goldust. Although, in a perfect world, Stardust would turn on Goldust and cost them the titles so the Usos could win the titles back. But, I just don’t see that happening right now.  So your winners and still Tag Team Champions Stardust and Goldust (unfortunately).
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
Hell In A Cell match
Jon: The match that should be the true main event (refer to our last article for reasons why) They hate each other. How far things have come from Believing in The Shield to wanting to beat the snot out of each other. Hell in a Cell gives the advantage to a crazy man like Ambrose; however Rollins ends the night on top just like he did on last week’s Raw.
Nathan: This is the match that I have been waiting for for months and they have lead up to it perfectly (except for the angle on this past Monday’s RAW which did neither man any favors in my opinion). It sucks that we wont get this as the main event. But, given WWE’s recent track record, we as fans should just be happy that the company is giving us the match at all, since they don’t always do whats “Best for Business.”
This is the match I am looking forward to the most on this show. I feel it’ll deliver whether it’s the first match on the show or the last match of the night.  This is a perfect match where I would hope for some blood. But given WWE’s stance on blood over the past years, if I don’t get it, I won’t be too disappointed. Blood or not, this match should be fantastic.
I’m hoping for Rollins to get the win here as he’s my favorite wrestler of the two. If Brock Lesnar was around and wrestling, I would say that Rollins would probably lose to Ambrose and then go on later in the night to cash in on Brock and pick up the title. But Brock and the title are nowhere to be found, that probably won’t happen. Rollins will be your winner and Dean will be left picking up the pieces or so I hope.
Rusev vs. The Big Show
Jon: Rusev wins. I don’t see the need for Big Show to win.  Show has power and a great KO punch but he will not beat the Bulgarian Brute. Plus, how could you lose with the Ravishing Russian Lana on your side?
Nathan: I’m a bit torn on this match and the outcome do I think it will be a good match?  Yes, but I’m not sure how this one is going to go. For predictions sake I am going with Rusev. But I could easily see Big show picking up the win due to WWE getting cold feet over this entire storyline (especially given what occurred on Monday’s RAW).  Either way, this should be a good match and I am looking forward to seeing how this match plays out given the current situation. So again I have a feeling Rusev will win like always via the Accolade. But it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Big show were to win here although I think we all know the end game for this entire Rusev thing but I will complain about that when we get to it and if it actually happens.
Randy Orton vs. John Cena
Hell In A Cell Match
Jon:  Everyone is tired of this match up, it has that “been there, done that” feel to it. John Cena wins and gets his chance to face Brock Lesnar once again. Sorry, Randy. You may be Triple H’s face of the company but Cena is Vince’s choice. Plus I think Orton vs Rollins at TLC will be a much more interesting match to see.
Nathan: 2009 called, they want their match back. Yes, ladies and gentleman, we have seen this match before--back at this very pay per view five years ago. I could care less about this match. For one, we have seen Orton take on Cena a thousand times before. And now, they are wrestling for the second time inside of the Hell in a Cell structure.  I hope at least that this match is better than their 2009 encounter and that they actually USE THE CELL this time around (If you go back and watch their match from 2009, they did not use the cell AT ALL). It was just a normal one on one match that just so happened to take place inside of a steel cage; there was nothing special about it.  
The only difference that this match will have is the stipulation (not the hell in a cell stipulation) of whoever wins this match will be the next in line to face the current WWE Champion, Brock Lesnar. Had this been a normal Hell In A Cell match without that stipulation we might see Cena win. But, since that caveat was added, I only hope that Orton wins this match.  That way we will get a match between Orton and Lesnar which has never happened before.  
I have a strange fear that we will get Cena and Lesnar once again. But, I hope and pray that Orton wins this one because he needs to for my sanity.
Well ladies and gentleman, that will do it for Jon and myself and our preview of this Sunday’s Hell In A Cell pay per view.  I look forward to seeing how both Jon and I did on our predictions come Sunday when the show goes live on the WWE Network.  Until this Sunday, wrestling fans.
Be sure and follow Jon on Twitter at @BigJonDaLegend and follow myself at @Headliner5 and be sure to tell us what you think of this Sunday’s event.  Who do you think will win the matches?  Be sure and let us know your thoughts and also be sure to keep your eyes on the ring and eyesonthering.blogspot.com for some great articles from the entire team here at Eyes On The Ring.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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That Time Dean Ambrose Talked to a Dummy

By Speed on the Beat (@SpeedontheBeat)

(And no, we're not talking about his back-and-forths with John Cena)

Remember when the internet was worried that Dean Ambrose would eventually be made into a laughingstock unable to draw heat, aside from go-away heat, be reduced to some punny jokes, and a crazed look? This past RAW we got a glimpse at what could happen if the WWE just ramps up the "crazy" Dean Ambrose angle up to "Choppy Choppy Your Pee Pee"-levels of sheer "Whaaaa?" For the TL;DR folks, here's what happened.

Dean Ambrose talked to a puppet version of Seth Rollins about HIAC, proceeding to torture said puppet and question the puppet's testicular fortitude with tongs.

I may get crucified for this, but this promo was horrible. It was something out of the Japan feds where wrestlers lose to thin air and blow-up dolls. Not saying that it's a bad thing. Blow-up dolls beating wrestlers with chokeholds, it has its place in the world. But in a serious feud--with a guy who has been booked to hate the living beetlejuice out of Seth Rollins--a grown man playing Saw with a dummy is just inexcusable. And the crowd, the "PG" crowd who apparently enjoys this sort of thing, let Ambrose know how they felt with mostly silence. Now, it wasn't "Katie Vick"-levels of gross, but it was getting there before Mick Foley came out. No, Ambrose didn't go necro with the Rollins doll, but it was just that feeling of creepiness, grossness, and overall "What the...?"

I'd, perhaps, be willing to overlook it. But, then I think back to the hot dog cart and the stolen-from-Nickelodeon "green slime" promos. We get that Ambrose wants to make Rollins' life hell (in a cell!), but slime and mustard? Save that crap for Cena and Cole. But, as more Ambrose's popularity grows, we can expect him to become a bit less "Lunatic Fringe" and a bit more "wacky anti-mainstream guy." It's a product of our times. That's, of course, not to say that a Rock or SCSA didn't have their moments of goofiness. But, as WWE continues to push towards "family-friendly," we'll have to deal with more goofy and less "Pillman's got a gun!"

You know...that may not be that bad a thing. That angle was just all sorts of wrong.

Monday, October 20, 2014

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Speed on the Beat's RAW Preview - 10/20

First of all, let's send some condolences to the family of wrestling great Ox Baker, who passed at the age of 80. Baker, one of the first wrestlers to bring the heart punch into the squared circle, faced off with the likes of The Original Sheik and Randy Savage. Baker also had a part in shaping the man we revere as The Undertaker. As seen in the below clip, he wasn't just an ox who liked to hurt people. He could also talk, something that's still a bit of a rarity in the pro wrestling world.

And now for something completely different: tonight's RAW.

Lillian Garcia isn't the only thing that's new, but still throwback on tonight's episode. Since this is the go-home episode before Hell in a Cell (and the next-to-last RAW before WWE 2K15 drops next week), we can expect a lot of build-up for HIAC and many not-so-subtle references to the game (probably less than next week's episode, but they'll still be plentiful). But, oddly enough, less than a week out from HIAC, there are (maybe) four matches set. So, with that said, here are some things to look for:

Some sort of development between A.J. Lee and Paige: 
For weeks, we've been getting this weird, borderline stalker/lesbian-esque angle between A.J. and Paige. Sexy pins, backstabbing, even a few "LOLAJWINZ" moments. But, at the end, we're still left with a "what's next" for the Diva's Champion and her rival. Expect a schmozz which leads to a match between the two at the pay-per-view. Now, granted, the fire/collective fanboy orgasm from these two battling has died down. But, with a pay-per-view on its way (and money to make), you can also expect some more of this.

Dean Ambrose to pop out of somewhere to attack Seth Rollins: 
Look, this event, even if it doesn't get the main event spot, is my personal main event and will be treated as such by a lot of the WWE Universe (notice I didn't say all; I'm not that delusional). So, my money's on Dean going all Lunatic Fringe on Seth and popping out of his briefcase appear out of thin air to layeth the Smackdown on Seth (to a nice, big pop). Seth's done a great job heeling it up to the point you want to see his effin' head kicked in. Inversely, Dean's played a great anti-hero you can still rally behind. Now, will Dean be the next SCSA, I honestly don't care right now. I just want to see these two beat the crap out of each other at every chance they get.

Something Something Cena, Something Something RKO Out of Nowhere:
Since this is the WWE we're talking about, let's assume that there's still another Cena/Ambrose vs Orton/Rollins match tonight. This probably leads to Randy Orton of #RKOVines fame hitting an RKO...out of nowhere (even though we see it every friggin' time). My money's on Cena eating canvas (since Cena will probably win on Sunday). I like Cena/Orton matches. I also like grilled cheese sandwiches. The thing with too many grilled cheese sandwiches, however, is that they can kill you. And yet another Cena/Orton match-up, to me, can kill the vibe from a crowd (unless we get something like this again).

Wyatt Family Values:
The Wyatt Family, one of the bright spots in the WWE, is rumored to be on the verge of a major restructuring. I'm intrigued to see how WWE will build on the past two weeks' promos. I mean, we got to hear Rowan speak! That's gotta be worth something. Now, rumors (gotta love 'em) say The Ascension will be Bray's new right and left-hand-men. However, I think that there's gonna be more in the cards for this "it's coming" tease they're showing. I mean, I don't exactly see The Ascension becoming Wyatts as a "peel the skin from the top of your head" revelation. Kevin Steen randomly popping up and almost instantly turning Bray face to challenge for the tag titles, setting up a Steen/Wyatt vs. Harper/Rowan feud, which ultimately leads to Steen vs. Wyatt for the Big W (I don't know what other nickname to give the WWEWHC)? Now, that would be a Bray revelation. 

...what? I can fantasy book, can't I?

Give Ziggler Something to Do:
[Insert random match here, with Miz/Mizdow coming out]

[Insert random Big Show/Henry beatdown of Rusev, leading to Rusev...crushing Big Show. Oh, and Lana. Lots of Lana]

Ok, and that's about it. I'm sure there'll be other things happening. For instance, the Bunny will be revealed to be...who gives a flying-you-know-what. But, hey. These were my thoughts on this week's RAW before it airs. 
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Ring Of Honor Wrestling 10/18/14 Review

By Nathan Neumann (@Headliner5)

Hello once again Ring Of Honor Wrestling fans. Nathan here once again to give you your weekly dose of ROH Wrestling. It was a quality show this week, so lets get going.

We open up this week with a promo from Adam Cole who seems to be very angry the promo was geared towards the man he will be facing in tonight’s main event Cedric Alexander. Adam Cole is an interesting case in ROH; he’s been handled a lot differently ever since he lost the World Title to Michael Elgin this past June.

From there we go inside of the arena and Kevin Kelly welcomes us to the show, he is joined this week by Caprice Coleman on colour commentary which made for an interesting combination at the table but Coleman did a fine job.

We go to the first match of the night between The Romantic Touch and the 2014 Top Prospect Tournament winner Hanson.

Match 1

The Romantic Touch vs. Hanson

Result: Hanson defeats The Romantic Touch with the Spin Kick Of Doom

Thoughts: This match was fine for an opener. The Romantic Touch is a great character for a company who doesn’t necessarily need characters. But, I actually don’t mind it.  He’s a breath of fresh air from doing what he was previously. (Rhett Titus is under the mask for those that didn’t know) When Titus was on TV, he had no real direction and they never seemed to know what to do with him.  However, The Romantic Touch although still placed in random matches, has more of an appeal with the crowd. He’s really over with the fans wherever ROH goes.  

Hanson got the upper hand in the match early on. The Romantic Touch really had trouble getting out of the gate the entire time due to Hanson’s overwhelming size and power. The finish came when Hanson hit a Cartwheel Clothesline and then followed it up with the Spin Kick Of Doom. The match was solid, as Hanson did some good work. It will be interesting to see how they handle Hanson going forward in singles competition, since his War Machine partner Raymond Rowe is still out of action following his motorcycle accident.

Rating: **

From this match we go to a commercial. When we come back, The Decade are shown cutting a pre-taped promo. They promote next week’s Championship Week on Ring Of Honor TV where all three of the ROH Title’s will be at stake in three separate matches.  ReDRagon will defend the tag team titles against two members of The Decade (it’s unclear at this point which two members it will be). Jay Lethal will defend the ROH World Television Championship against Will Ferrera and Michael Bennett will receive his ROH World Title opportunity that he earned two weeks ago when he goes one on one with the current ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe.

We then go to another backstage pre-taped promo--this time involving ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe. He says that next week he’s coming for Michael Bennett’s ass.

Next up, an in-ring promo from Michael Bennett who has the “Title Of Love” with him (It’s pink and it’s gross) he’s with both Maria and Adam Cole. Bennett tells everyone that he is going to win the ROH World Title next week and then he will no longer need the “Title Of Love.” This infuriates Adam Cole, who gets on the mic. We barely hear what he has to say though as Maria whispers something into Cole’s ear, which causes Cole to rescind whatever he was about to say. They then leave the ringside area.

Out next is The Decade, Jimmy Jacobs wants to see how the members of the Decade fare against one another so the next match. This was booked by Jimmy Jacobs, because for some reason, he’s a booker. The end result? Adam Page versus Tadarius Thomas.

Match 2

Adam Page vs. Tadarius Thomas

Winner: Adam Page via count out

Thoughts: This match was odd. It wasn’t “bad” by any stretch of the imagination. But, it was more of a match that happened to further a story which I’ll admit I’m not used to ROH doing matches this way but it worked out just fine. Both Thomas and Page went at one another in the match for a few minutes before Page went underneath the ring. He then pulled out a few chairs, a trashcan, and whatever else they left under the ring.

Adam Page immediately chucks a chair right at Thomas’ face. Thomas goes down meanwhile Page sets up two chairs, which he then proceeds to grab Thomas and German Suplex him through the chairs to score a near fall. The match ended when Tadarius Thomas hits Jimmy Jacobs in the face with a chair while Jacobs was on the apron.  Tadarius had enough up to that point and he walked out of the ring, which left Adam Page in the ring to score the victory by count out.

Rating: *1/2

From this match we go straight into the next match, which was the main event of the evening.

Match 3

Cedric Alexander vs. Adam Cole

Winner: Adam Cole via Twist Of Fate

Thoughts: This match involves an Eyes On The Ring favorite--and one of my personal favorites--in Adam Cole so this match was very nice to see and it delivered.  The two men shake hands the lock up and do a sequence of chain wrestling before Cedric takes Adam down with a picture perfect float over arm drag. Cedric then hit a Tornado DDT but Adam Cole managed to kick out at two, later in the match Cole gets a near fall of his own with a Shining Wizard.  

Cedric then rolls out onto the ring apron and proceeds to climb up to the top rope.  He leaps off of the top rope but Adam Cole Super kicks him out of mid air to score another near fall.   Cole hits Alexander with the Florida Key (a straightjacket German Suplex) for the nearest of near falls. The finish of the match finally came when Adam Cole hit Cedric Alexander with the Twist Of Fate (Matt Hardy’s move) to win what was one hell of a singles match.

Rating: **3/4

Anyways, that will do it for me and this edition of the ROH Review. It was a solid show this week and reminded me why I continue to watch ROH TV on a weekly basis (I’ve never missed an episode since the show started airingalmost three years to the date).  Until next week ROH fans, I am Nathan, the ROH Reviewer for eyesonthering.blogspot.com saying so long and keep your Eyes On The Ring for some more great articles from myself and the entire Eyes On The Ring Team.
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Thoughts on the Hell in a Cell Main Event

By @BigJonDaLegend

The Hell in a Cell pay-per view will take place this upcoming Sunday October 25, 2014. There have been two big main-event matches announced: John Cena vs Randy Orton and Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins. Both matches will take place in the demonic Hell in a Cell structure. There is one big question which needs to be answered before this event takes place. Which match should end the show as the main event?
Traditionally, the last match on a pay per view card is left for the most prestige’s title being defended at that event. This usually happens in all fighting sports, such as MMA, boxing and wrestling events. The WWE has gone away from this tradition on several occasions and mainly for one man: John Cena. 
Hell in a Cell, however, should not be time for WWE to close with another John Cena vs Randy Orton main event. 
John Cena has main evented the last 5 pay-per-views since WrestleMania 30. Not to mention he has been heavily featured in the main event scene for over a decade. As an audience, we have seen Orton and Cena battle each other on countless occasions (Ed. note: Apparently, they’ve only gone to war nine times in a PPV setting). This matchup--while always an entertaining bout--has happened too many times for the fans to really care as much.
See what we mean?
Now, Ambrose vs Rollins? They are a fresh rivalry, with a great storyline behind it right now. Yes, they have fought a few times before--but not nearly as much as the other main event option. The Authority has touted Seth as the future of the company. Ambrose and Rollins battled together for 2 years in The Shield, and the subsequent break up on the Monday Night Raw after the Payback pay per view has been the best storyline in WWE right now. Seth Rollins put Dean Ambrose out of action for a number of weeks when he curb stomped him onto cinderblocks. So, the vengeance factor for this match is at Level 10 to say the least.
Plus we get to see this in some way, shape, or form. Who can be against
Rollins looking like he just got hit by a truck in GTA V?
Has the WWE forgotten how these two superstars stole the show at SummerSlam in a lumberjack match? Take away the lumberjacks and imagine that match in a cell, where there is nowhere for either man to run and hide. It will be both men’s first Hell in a Cell match, along with their first chance at main eventing a big event. Imagine the damage that they would inflict on one another. Imagine the crowd feverishly cheering and booing with every sequence of events. Isn’t that a recipe for success, a way to get fans excited about what they will see on the WWE Network?

The top prize in WWE will not be defended at Hell in a Cell. No disrespect to the Intercontinental Championship, but it’s not close to being viewed as a main event title (Ed. note: at least not anymore; gone are the days of Shawn Michaels and Warrior main eventing PPVs over the IC belt). However. the Money in the Bank briefcase has guaranteed the holder a main event title. Only John Cena and Damien Sandow failed to successfully cash in the briefcase for a world title. Seth Rollins in the main event can only elevate the status of the briefcase for future holders, and prove that Seth can be the future.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tagged under:

All Eyes On...Hiroshi Tanahashi

Nathan (@Headliner5) here once again with another All Eyes On Profile, I wanted to do this piece because of what occurred this past Monday at NJPW’s King Of Pro Wrestling event (I’ll get to that later).  So here we go with the latest All Eyes On Profile: Hiroshi Tanahashi.

Hiroshi Tanahashi
Height: 1.81 m (5’11’’)
Weight: 103 kg (227LBS)
From: Ogaki, Gifu, Japan
Debut: October 10, 1999

After graduating from the New Japan Pro Wrestling dojo, Tanahashi made his debut in October, 1999 in a match against Shinya Makabe.  He was viewed as a big prospect and would earn big wins over Lucha Libre legend Negro Casas in July, 2000 and American wrestling Scott Hall in September 2001. He would continue his rise in popularity at 2002’s G1 Climax (New Japan Pro Wrestling’s most important annual tournament) when he would pin Kensuke Sasaki in just under two minutes. After this development, Tanahashi was paired with Kenzo Suzuki in a tag team named the Kings Of The Hills. This was a short-lived pairing, as it came to an abrupt end after Tanahashi was stabbed in the back, literally, by Hitomi Hara in November 2002.  Hara was a TV news reporter he had dated for a brief amount of time during that year.

Tanahashi was hospitalized, but would make a full recovery. This incident, however, would be perhaps the best thing to happen to his pro career. The stabbing was widely reported across Japan by Japanese Media and it created both a strong interest in Tanahashi and seeing him return to a pro wrestling ring.  He would make his return on February 16, 2003 in a match against Manabu Nakanishi in Tokyo in front of a sold out crowd.

In August 2004, he made it to the finals of the G1 Climax and on January 4, 2005, he headlined the Tokyo Dome show in a match where he would drop the U-30 Openweight Championship to Shinsuke Nakamura. 

On June 7, 2006 Tanahashi vacated the U-30 Openweight Championship in order to put full focus on his next opponent--Brock Lesnar.  He was supposed to face Lesnar, at the time the IWGP Heavyweight Champion. However, Lesnar failed to show up for the match. Thus, he was stripped of the belt and Tanahashi was placed in a tournament for the vacant title.  On July 17, 2006 Tanahashi won his first IWGP Heavyweight Championship when he defeated Giant Bernard (Lord Tensai, Tensai, Jason Albert, etc.) in the finals of the tournament for the vacant title.

Tanahashi would hold on to the belt for almost 9 months (270) days, and defending the title against the likes of Shinsuke Nakamura and others, Tanahashi would go on to lose the title to Yuji Nagata who had won the 2007 New Japan Cup to become the number one contender.  Tanahashi managed to come back from the loss by winning the 2007 G1 Climax, where he defeated Yuji Nagata in the finals, he then successfully challenged his rival to a rematch on October 8, 2007 where he pinned Nagata to regain the title.

On January 4, 2008 Tanahashi was defeated by Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP Heavyweight Title in the night’s main event at Wrestle Kingdom II at the Tokyo Dome.  In February’s New Japan ISM Tour, Tanahashi successfully defeated AJ Styles in a highly anticipated rematch of their 2006 bout in TNA. After this, Tanahashi was entered into the coveted New Japan Cup Tournament in which the winner would face off against then IWGP Heavyweight Champion Shinsuke Nakamura as the number one contender. Tanahashi would become the first two-time winner of the New Japan Cup with a win over Giant Bernard.

In mid-February, he was the subject of a contract dispute with New Japan. While negotiations were ongoing, Tanahashi took advantage of his free agent status to compete in All Japan Pro Wrestling’s Champion Carnival. A newly-minted heel, Tanahasi received the “Block from Hell,” as he had to face nearly all of All Japan’s top talent. This list included the likes of Satoshi Kojima, Toshiaki Kawada, and even his mentor Keiji Mutoh.  He went undefeated but would come up short in the finals losing to Suwama.

On January 4, at Wrestle Kingdom III in Tokyo Dome, Tanahashi defeated his mentor Keiji Mutoh to become the 50th IWGP Heavyweight Champion. This win began his third reign with the belt.  

Later, in a press conference, when asked who he would like his next opponent to be, Tanahashi without hesitation called out Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura accepted and on February 15, Tanahashi defeated Nakamura with a High Fly Elbow in his first title defense. After the match he was challenged by Kurt Angle. Tanahashi would defeat Angle on April 5 at New Japan’s Resolution 09 with two High Fly Flows. He would lose the title to Manabu Nakanishi on May 6 at Dissidence 09.  He would regain the title from Nakanishi on June 20 at Dominion 6.20 for his fourth reign. 
He successfully defended the title against Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Takahashi Sugiura on July 20, the first ever NJPW vs. NOAH match for the IWGP Heavyweight Title.

During a post match interview, Tanahashi was interrupted by Tajiri who sprayed Tanahashi with his signature Green Mist. Tanahashi was forced to vacate the IWGP Heavyweight Title on August 17, due to an eye fracture injury he suffered in a match with Shinsuke Nakamura in the semi-finals of the 2009 G1 Climax Tournament.

On November 8 at Destruction 09, Tanahashi returned to challenge for the belt he was forced to vacate. However, he came up short against the reigning champion Nakamura.  On December 5, Tanahashi would avenge his loss he suffered during the G1 Climax Tournament and end his feud with Tajiri by pinning him in a singles match with a High Fly Flow.  Afterwards, Tanahashi made a challenge to Pro Wrestling Noah and on January 4, 2010 at Wrestle Kingdom IV in Tokyo Dome he defeated Noah’s Go Shiozaki in a match that was promoted as “Ace vs. Ace.”

In August of 2010 Tanahashi would enter the G1 Climax Tournament and made it all the way to the finals, after four wins and a draw in the round robin stage of the tournament.  However, in the finals Tanahashi was defeated by freelancer Satoshi Kojima.  In October and November 2010, Tanahashi teamed with Tajiri in New Japan’s 2010 G1 Tag League. After a strong start, Tanahashi and Tajiri were defeated by the IWGP Tag Team Champions Bad Intentions (Giant Bernard and Karl Anderson).

After scoring back-to-back pinfall victories over top contender Hirooki Goto and Tetsuya Naito on December 11 and 12, Tanahashi was awarded a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Title and it’s champion Satoshi Kojima.  The match would take place on January 4, 2011, at Wrestle Kingdom V.  At the event Tanahashi defeated Kojima to win the IWGP Heavyweight Title for the fifth time.  He then went on to defeat Kojima in a Championship rematch on February 20 at The New Beginning.  He then would go on to successfully defeat New Japan Cup winner Yuji Nagata and Shinsuke Nakamura on May 3 to retain the title. 

In May 2011, Tanahashi took part in the Invasion Tour 2011 which was New Japan’s first ever tour of the United States.  During the tour he successfully defended the IWGP Heavyweight Title against Charlie Haas on May 14 in New York City.  On September 19, Tanahashi made his seventh successful IWGP Heavyweight Championship defense against G1 Climax Winner Shinsuke Nakamura.  On December 4, Tanahashi defeated Yuji Nagata to make his tenth successful defense of the IWGP Heavyweight Title.  In doing this, he would tie a record previously set by Yuji Nagata
ON January 4, 2012 at Wrestle Kingdom VI in Tokyo Dome, Tanahashi broke the record by successfully defending the title against Minoru Suzuki.  On February 12 at The New Beginning Tanahashi would lose the IWGP Heavyweight Title to Kazuchika Okada ending his reign at 404 days.

On June 16 at Dominion 6.16, Tanahashi defeated Okada in a rematch to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for the sixth time, tying Tatsumi Fujinami’s record for most reigns with the title.  On September 23 at Destruction Tanahashi successfully defended the IWGP Heavyweight Title against Pro Wrestling Noah’s Naomichi Marufuji avenging a loss he picked up at the hands of Marufuji during the 2012 G1 Climax.

On October 8, at King Of Pro Wrestling Tanahashi defeated Minoru Suzuki for the fourth successful defense of his sixth IWGP Heavyweight Title reign.  The match received rave reviews, including a five star rating from Dave Meltzer. On January 4, 2013 at Wrestle Kingdom 7, Tanahashi made his sixth successful defense of the IWGP Heavyweight Title against the previous years G1 Climax Winner Kazuchika Okada.  On April 7 at Invasion Attack, Tanahashi lost the IWGP Heavyweight Championship back to Kazuchika Okada. Tanahashi would attempt to earn another title shot but came up short against Prince Devitt on June 22 at Dominion.  From August 1 to 11, Tanahashi took part in the 2013 G1 Climax where he opened by losing three of his first four matches.  He would bounce back however to wrestle IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada to a time limit draw and winning his other four matches to win his block and advance to the finals of the tournament.

On August 11, Tanahashi was defeated by Tetsuya Naito, Tanahashi’s rivalry with Bullet Club leader Prince Devitt built to a lumberjack death match onSeptember 29 at Destruction where Tanahashi was victorious.  After putting Devitt far from his sights Tanahashi would re focus on the IWGP Heavyweight Title and the current holder of the belt Kazuchika Okada at the end of Destruction.  Tanahashi would fail in his title challenge at King of Pro Wrestling in October of that year.  After the match and losing to Okada Tanahashi bid farewell to the IWGP Heavyweight Title as he vowed never to challenge for it again after losing to Okada.

From there Tanahashi then entered the IWGP Intercontinental Championship picture after being nominated as the next challenger by the champion Shinsuke Nakamura.  This would set up the first title match between the two long time rivals in over two years.  ON January 4, 2014 Tanahashi defeated Nakamura in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 8 to win the Intercontinental Championship for the very first time.  In May Tanahashi took part in NJPW’s North American tour, defeating Ring Of Honor’s Michael Bennett in an interpromotional match at War Of The Worlds on May 17.

After defeating Katsuyori Shibata on September 21 at Destruction in Kobe, Tanahashi announced he was re-entering the IWGP Heavyweight Title picture and looking to challenge the reigning champion Bullet Club’s AJ Styles.  He would receive his shot at AJ Styles on October 13th after defeating Styles on August 10th to claim third place in the G1 Climax.  He defeated Styles to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for the record seventh time.

A lot of fans of New Japan Pro Wrestling tend to compare Tanahashi to John Cena, in that he’s always at the forefront of the promotion just like Cena is always in the forefront of WWE.  However there are a few differences. Tanahashi, unlike Cena, doesn’t get forced down your throats (I don’t speak Japanese so this is just an assumption). Also, Tanahashi is a far better wrestler than Cena is...but that’s just one mans opinion.

Tanahashi now has the record for the most IWGP World Title reigns as well as the record for the most number of combined days as champion at 1,241 and counting and his combined defenses are at a staggering 27 and counting.

There you have it, readers--anything and everything you ever wanted to know about current New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Hiroshi Tanahashi.  Sorry for the long-winded article, but I wanted to give everyone a full perspective of the history surrounding this unique performer. Until next time Eyes On The Ring faithful this has been Nathan with the latest entry to the All Eyes On Series. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it and until then keep your Eyes On The Ring and be sure to keep your eyes on Hiroshi Tanahashi.