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Friday, October 30, 2015

Tagged under:

5 Best Opponents For Undertaker at Wrestlemania 32

By @Cool_Calm_Chris 

With Hell in a Cell officially over and his rivalry with Brock Lesnar now over and done with, The Undertaker seems to be reigniting his feud with Bray Wyatt. However, with the celebration of “25 Years of The Undertaker” taking place at this year’s Survivor Series and Wrestlemania 32 taking place in Texas, it looks as though this may be the end to the Deadman’s storied career. As we approach the possible swan song of the Undertaker, the time has come for us to look at the top five possible opponents for the Undertaker at Wrestlemania.

5. Sting

-If this were a month ago, if this were five years ago, then Sting would be the number one pick on this list. However, after receiving a scary neck injury from being powerbombed into two turnbuckles by Seth Rollins at Night of Champions his chances of getting back into a WWE ring are looking slim. When asked about his injury in an interview with WWE.com, Sting states “They mentioned cervical spinal stenosis, but that’s only part of what I heard” after overhearing the doctor while he was at the hospital after the match.

Cervical spinal stenosis is without question a serious injury. It is the same injury that cut both Edge and Stone Cold Steve Austin’s careers short and might just be what ends the career of the WCW legend. However this is just speculation, as reported by Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio Sting’s neck is not broken, but he is not scheduled for any other appearances. If Sting is able to make it to Wrestlemania then the match fans have been waiting for can finally happen.

4. Kane

-Personally, I do not want to see another Kane versus Undertaker match at Wrestlemania, but if it is his last match then it would seem appropriate to have for storyline purposes. Kane and the Undertaker have been able to ride their Brothers of Destruction storyline for over a decade and each time WWE decides to revive it fans cannot help but be drawn to it. While most hardcore fans might not like the idea of another Kane vs Undertaker match at Wrestlemania, the casual fan will definitely be intrigued to see this feud revived once more.

One of the big problems that Vince Mcmahon and the rest of WWE officials see in Sting is that he might not be able to go a full match with the Undertaker, however Kane is still in great shape. Having kept his body together for over 20 years, Kane can still go in the ring and last a solid 15 to 20 minutes. If there is nobody that WWE feels would be right to face the Undertaker in his last match, then Kane would be just right.

3. Randy Orton

-Randy Orton has been pretty stale as of late, almost like he has done everything in his career and is not focused on wrestling as much. Another match with the Undertaker at Wrestlemania could definitely be the spark that gets the Viper rejuvenated and could be a solid way for the Undertaker to retire considering that he and Orton have already proven that they can have a great match against each other. The major difference between now and 2015 however would be the spots both men are in now. The Undertaker is at the tail end of his career and Randy is very much in his prime, so the Undertaker does not have to be the one that carries the match this time around because Randy is enough of a great performer that he can work Undertaker to a great match.

 2. John Cena

-Oddly enough, John Cena and the Undertaker have stayed very far away from each other for the better part of a decade. The two have not had a singles match against each other since 2006 and have not had a singles feud against each other since 2003, and for good reason. While the Undertaker remained on Smackdown, it was John Cena’s turn to become the face of the Raw brand and WWE. Now in 2016, it would seem as though Cena is his last good opponent.

Before Wrestlemania 30, this match would have seemed like a bad idea considering that the Undertaker is undefeated and John Cena is the face of the company. Had the WWE made John Cena the next challenger to the streak, then he would get a complete heel reaction from the crowd, which is not what they would want. However, the streak is long gone and Cena’s run as the top guy in WWE looks to be fading. Now would be a perfect time to have John Cena face the Undertaker at Wrestlemania.

1. Bray Wyatt

-Thanks to him and the rest of the Wyatt family kidnapping the Undertaker at the end of Hell in a Cell, Bray Wyatt just became the perfect choice for the Undertaker’s next and last Wrestlemania opponent. Having lost to the Undertaker at last year’s Wrestlemania, many fans were left confused as to why they would book Bray Wyatt to face the Undertaker, have the Deadman no-show the Raw’s leading up to Wrestlemania, and lose clean. However, with Bray Wyatt carrying the Deadman away this feels like WWE is trying to give this storyline a proper ending.

Of all the current WWE superstars that could possibly be the Undertaker’s last match, Bray Wyatt just feels like the spot on choice. For one thing, their gimmicks match up very well together which is why fans did not have a problem seeing them wrestle each other before. Bray Wyatt has the potential to give the Undertaker his last great feud and it could give a perfect end to an already stellar career.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tagged under:

Rebooking: The Rise of Cesaro

By @FatherTone 

Cesaro, who was a part of the stable “The Real Americans”, a tag team that went absolutely nowhere, finally got his big break at WM 30, winning the Andre the Giant Battle Royal in impressive fashion. Cesaro left the event with TONS of momentum and he was set to get a huge push. After Wrestlemania, Cesaro went on to enjoy that push for about a month before going back to jobbing to any and everyone. After about 3 months his alliance with Heyman ended and he went back to the lower mid card where he's been struggling ever since.

How I Would Of Booked It: 
There's no reason Cesaro's momentum was squandered the way it was. His Wrestlemania moment was truly something special and he should have been rewarded for it. So for Wrestlemania, I'd have Cesaro win in the exact same fashion that he did. The next night on RAW, he’d align himself with Paul Heyman, cementing his face turn and just like in real life and would go on to Extreme Rules to face Jack Swagger in the blow off match for their feud. After the PPV, the following night on Raw when Dean Ambrose was forced to defend his title in a battle royal, I would have Cesaro win to further his momentum instead of giving the belt to Sheamus.

Cesaro would then go on to defend the United States Championship all the way thru the HIAC PPV. Cesaro would fight Rusev for the US Title, and during the match Heyman would try and interfere on Cesaro's behalf, but due to miscommunications, he would accidently cost Cesaro the United States Championship. The following night on Raw, Cesaro forgives Paul and invokes his rematch clause for the title. Again due to miscommunications, Heyman this time gets Cesaro disqualified. Cesaro after the match reads Heyman the riot act and knocks him out with a stiff European Uppercut leaving the ring. With Heyman written off TV, Cesaro would then go to take Erick Rowan's spot in the Team Cena vs The Authority match with Team Cena winning in similar fashion, but instead of Dolph being the sole survivor, its Cesaro giving a gutsy performance eliminating Seth Rollins last. At the TLC PPV, Rollins goes one on one with Cesaro and right before Cesaro is getting ready to go in for the kill, cue Lesnar's Music. Lesnar comes down, hits Cesaro with 3 German suplexes, 2 F5s and walks out not saying a word. The next night on Raw, Cesaro wants answers, he wants to kick Lesnar's ass and he wants to fight. Enter Heyman who has returned with Lesnar saying something to the effect of “I gave you everything, I fathered you and you repay me by putting your hands on me, that’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made.” And then out of nowhere Lesnar attacks Cesaro from behind and lays him out with an F5. Cesaro demands a match against Lesnar at the Royal Rumble, but the Authority interrupts saying that Lesnar's next opponent is Cena (because Cena won at HIAC) and if Cesaro wants to fight Lesnar, he has to win the Royal Rumble. At the Royal Rumble, Cesaro goes the distance, last eliminating Roman Reigns, which would no doubt get a huge pop in Philly, and Lesnar retains against Cena. Roman would go on to face Rusev for the US Title, allowing him to continue to build his in ring work and his mic skills without the main event spotlight being on him, and Cena could face anyone else, while Cesaro who has been built all year as this master technician with endless momentum would go on to face Lesnar in a dream match for not only myself, but many other fans.

The following months leading up to Mania could be Cesaro defending his WM spot against Bryan just like Reigns did. And then after that, his focus could be taking out Lesnar and getting his hands on Paul Heyman. The match at Mania is physical (if you’ve seen Cesaro vs Sheamus you know Cesaro is a hard hitter ) and Cesaro is getting beat down by Lesnar, then out of nowhere a POP UP EUROPEAN UPPERCUT, 2 Neutralizers and he gets a 2. Cesaro goes for another Neutralizer and Lesnar reverses and hits an F5. Now this is where I’ll leave the rest up to the reader as you can either:

A. Have Lesnar pin Cesaro. 
B. Have Cesaro kick out and find a way to win. 
C. Have Rollins enter and cash in like he did in real life and win the WWE title. 

I'll choose B and finish Cesaro's year winning the WWE title in impressive fashion. Slaying the beast and holding the WWE title high on the grandest stage of them all. Let me know how you would book it and let me know what you would like me to book next.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Tagged under:

Ring Of Honor Wrestling Review 10/24/15

By Nathan Neumann (Twitter: @Headliner5 )

Hello once again ringers, Nathan here once again to provide you with yet another weekly dose of honor in the form of my ROH TV review for EyesOnTheRing.com. This show featured three matches in one hour which is fine (at least it’s not four) and it was a solid hour of wrestling.  They are now in the tapings after All Star Extravaganza 7. So, we are picking up where we left off from there and getting some of the fallout from it.

This show took place in San Antonio Texas as part of the Texas tapings and it continued to set up Final Battle 2015 which takes place on Friday Night December 18th. Boo to that, since I’ll probably be working and won't be able to see it live. With all of my housekeeping mumbo jumbo now out of the way (and some complaining about stuff that has absolutely nothing to do about wrestling), let's get to the actual review portion of this article.

Match 1
Moose vs. Donovan Dijak

Thoughts: The match starts and the two begin with a handshake and then start feeling each other out and trying to get an advantage over the other. Moose hits the first big offensive maneuver of the match by hitting a dropkick which sends Dijak to the outside of the ring to recover.  Moose follows Dijak to the outside. But, by this time, Dijak has made a full recovery and he grabs Moose by the throat and lifts him up into the air and drops him on the edge of the ring apron with a chokeslam.

Back in the ring and Moose has recovered somewhat, Dijak makes his way to the top rope but Moose dropkicks him off of the top rope back to the outside. Moose follows it up with a dive to the outside of the ring. Back in the ring again, Dijak has recovered and manages to hit Moose with a chokeslam on his knee for a near fall. Dijak tries to capitalize but before he can do anything he gets hit with a top rope Enziguri and then follows it up shortly after with a Flipping Spear to gain the victory via pinfall.

Match Result: Moose defeats Donovan Dijak via pinfall after the flipping spear.

Match Rating: **

From there, we go to the second match of the evening which was Dalton Castle’s first official match on ROH TV since losing custody of his boys to Silas Young.

Match 2
Cedric Alexander vs. Dalton Castle

Thoughts: The match starts and Dalton starts the action off right away by delivering a suplex, Dalton goes to the corner to hit a running dropkick on Cedric but Veda Scott grabs Dalton’s leg to both distract Dalton and make it so that Cedric can get the advantage. The match concluded when Dalton Castle pinned Cedric Alexander after an airplane spin.  Very short match but it did what it was supposed to do.

Match Result: Dalton Castle defeats Cedric Alexander via airplane spin.

Match Rating: N/A
Rating Description: Not even going to bother giving this a rating because it doesn’t deserve a one star rating.

After the match, Veda Scott grabs a microphone and says that she is going to sue ROH due to emotional distress while complaining that ROH is an unsafe working environment.

From here, Jay Lethal makes his way out to the ring with Truth Martini. Truth Martini gets on the microphone and touts Jay Lethal as being the best wrestler in Ring Of Honor which brings out Mr. ROH himself Roderick Strong. Roderick Strong grabs the microphone and says that Jay Lethal’s success is all because of Truth Martini and not Lethal himself. 

Roderick says he wants his rematch with Lethal which brings out Nigel McGuinness. Nigel says that he already named a World Title contender to Jay Lethal in AJ Styles but that the TV Title needs a number one contender. Therefore, Roderick Strong is named the number one contender to the ROH TV Title and that match will take place on TV in a few weeks' time.

From there, we go inside ROH with Mandy Leon as she looks at the Best of 5 series between ACH and Matt Sydal (which as of now is up to match 4). The fifth and final match will take place at Survival Of The Fittest Night 1 in Milwaukee. This actually pisses me off because I’ll be live at night two but since this match is taking place on Night 1. I’ll miss it! LAME!

But, from here, we head back into the arena for the main event of the evening.

Main Event – Match 3
Michael Bennett, Matt Taven and Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Reilly

Thoughts: Eh...if this part of the review sucks, I apologize; I hate reviewing multi-man matches like this. The match begins and all six guys are in the ring fighting it out.  They spill to the outside of the ring and Michael Elgin finds himself in alone in the ring and takes everyone on the outside of the ring, including his tag team partners, down and out with a splash over the top rope as we go to commercial.

Back from commercial and Taven catches O’Reilly with an Elbow drop from the top rope as O’Reilly was draped over Bennett’s knees after taking a backbreaker variation from Bennett earlier. A few minutes later and Elgin gives both Taven and Bennett a double powerslam, which was actually pretty cool, even if I’m not the biggest Elgin fan.
Elgin makes it back to a vertical base with Taven and runs at Taven full steam and hits him with a clothesline in the face.  The match ends when both reDRagon members hit Chasing The Dragon on Michael Bennett, which allows Kyle O’Reilly to pick up the win for Elgin, Fish and himself. 

Match Result: Michael Elgin, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish defeat Michael Bennett, Matt Taven and Adam Cole via pinfall after Chasing The Dragon.

Match Rating: **1/2

The entire story of the match was Kyle wanting to get a piece of Cole but it didn’t happen which probably means they are building to something bigger between these two at Final Battle which if that’s the case I can’t wait to see.

After the match, Kyle O’Reilly grabs a microphone and complains that he couldn’t get a piece of Adam Cole during the entire match because his “Butt Buddies” (O’Reilly’s actual words when referring to the Kingdom) were protecting him the entire time. This results in a Nigel McGuinness appearance where he adds O’Reilly to the match between Adam Cole and AJ Styles which is set for next week which will make that match a triple threat match which will be pretty awesome.

Middle of the road show this week; it wasn’t anything bad but it wasn’t terribly great either. We are getting a lot of storyline progression towards Final Battle in December though so that I am fine with because we have an idea of a few matches that could possibly end up on the card and I like it.

However that’ll do it for me and this week’s ROH review for http://www.EyesOnTheRing.com make sure to visit the site regularly and read everyone else’s articles in addition to mine because we all work hard on the stuff that we provide to you the readers. In closing, make sure to follow me on Twitter @Headliner5 and feel free to tweet me anything ROH related or wrestling related in general if you ever want to chat.

Finally make sure to follow Eyes On The Ring @EyesOnTheRing and check out the radio show each and every week on Sunday night at 11:00pm EST however this week we will be coming to you at 11:30pm EST due to the fact that WWE Hell In A Cell is this Sunday night.  We will do our best to bring you everything from the week and we will also talk about Hell In A Cell via http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com/ElitePodcastNetwork provided that Blog Talk Radio doesn’t suck on Sunday night.  Last but certainly not least make sure to like us on facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/EyesOnTheRing and until next time I am Nathan saying so long and keep your Eyes On The Ring!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Tagged under:

The Underrated: Ameen's 5 Favorite Tag Teams

Give Me 5: Favorite Tag Teams
By @MeenHendrix 

Tag Team Wrestling is an essential part of today's culture. It can be used as filler or to bring separate feuds together into one match. I'm not going to get all fancy with the introduction so I'm going to list my 5 favorite Tag Teams I've enjoyed. (Note: There won't be any obviously great teams such as Edge & Christian, The Hardys, Dudley Boyz and DX)

*John Morrison & The Miz:

-Morrison and Miz were a random pairing that became a perfect fit and that's what made them one of my favorites. Both were floating kind of aimlessly before being thrown together. They each had a chance to win the ECW Championship and failed multiple times. Their first match together was for the WWE Tag Team Titles and they won. That's pretty awesome. But what also made them great is that they were two scumbags who meshed well. They were like high school bullies who could trash you on the mic then kick you in your face and did whatever they could to hold on to those Tag Team titles.

*Jason Jordan and Chad Gable

-Jordan and Gable are a relatively newer team, pairing up since June. Most would argue that maybe more successful NXT teams like Blake & Murphy or The Vaudevillains but Jordan and Gable have tremendous potential together. One accurate comparison was between them and the World's Greatest Tag Team Benjamin and Haas. These guys bring a mesh of physical and technical styles to the NXT Tag Division. Gable is capable of out wrestling most competitor's he steps in the ring with and Jordan has the power to back up their brash and arrogant attitudes.

*Legacy: Rhodes & DiBiase

-Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase were meant to tag with each other from the start. They had instant chemistry from the start. Ted learned on the fly from Cody how to adjust to tag team wrestling as a few months before it was Cody who was learning from Hardcore Holly how to become a better tag team wrestler. The young cocky duo stepped up big time when called on. They went from wide eyed youngsters to following behind Randy Orton into the main event scene and even hold a win over Shawn Michaels and Triple H. What made them fun to watch was their growth together. You seen them get bullied as Orton's lackeys from the start to being able to lace up their boots and push Shawn Michaels and Triple H to their limits on multiple occasions.

*Rated RKO

-When Randy Orton and Edge got together I knew it was something special. These guys were former world champions looking to make it back to the top. However they were brought together through a common enemy in Degeneration-X. Rated RKO had instant chemistry together. Two guys who could talk and do whatever it took to win and it made for fantastic heel work. One of my favorite moments from their run together was when they dragged a bloodied Ric Flair to the ring because they attacked someone close to both Michaels and Triple H. It showed off their viciousness.

*Brass Ring Club

-BTE, Brass Ring Club, The Masters of the WWE Universe, Tyson Kidd & Cesaro go by many names. Originally deemed the Brass Ring Club because of Vince McMahon not wanting to push them to the top, Kidd & Cesaro is my favorite team to watch. It was a random pairing. Kidd & Cesaro had competed in a triple threat match for the Intercontinental Championship just 2 weeks earlier. You get two workhorses in the ring together you get a classic match. You put them on the same team and now you have an opportunity to raise the quality of the tag team division. These guys work perfectly together and bring out the best in not only each other, but the guys they share the ring with. They mesh well and mask their shortcommings on the mic by getting to the point fast in their promos and backing it up with a Giant Swing/Dropkick combination in the ring.

I really like these guys because they are two of my favorite wrestlers. Kidd's resurgence in NXT back in 2014 showed extreme improvement in his character development and really impressed me. Cesaro is arguably the best wrestler in the company with a skill set as wid as the Pacific Ocean. These guys know what the other does well and how to mask the weaknesses.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tagged under:

All Eyes On: Titus O'Neil

By @SmokeDudley

Are African Americans treated poorly in the WWE? I would hope not, as that's my career goal, but that's not the topic. Over the years, there have been certain WWE superstars that are black and got pushes. I'm here to weigh in on one particular WWE superstar who HASN'T really had a push in his career, Titus O'Neil.

6'6, 270 pounds, Powerhouse. Titus is EASILY one of the biggest guys on the WWE's current roster. He's been with the company since 2009, wrestled for Florida Championship Wrestling until 2011, and competed on NXT until 2012. Zack Ryder was his mentor during the 2nd season of WWE NXT, and Titus was the first elimination, but soon returned on the season finale to attack the winner Kaval along with the other participants who were eliminated. In March 2011, Titus was one of the 6 former NXT contestants selected to return for the 5th season which was named "NXT Redemption". This time around Titus was mentored by Hornswoggle, and feuded with  Darren Young. O'Neil went on to turn heel and feud with the likes of Percy Watson and Alex Riley. He formed a alliance with former enemy Darren Young during this feud and the two became victorious in their match against Watson and Riley. O'Neil also defeated Riley, but lost to Watson in singles competition.

April 18th 2012, it was announced that O'Neil and Young had been moved up to the main roster where they became a full fledged tag team, winning numerous matches. Later down the line, they just became two guys on the roster that no one really cared about. They turned face, but didn't really make a difference. Titus ended up turning on Young and completed his heel turn, which to me felt like a new beginning for him. I wondered if WWE had something right there, but it just didn't really work out, the feud was wack, and nobody cared really. Once that feud didn't work out, he just slid down the rankings even more. He lost matches on RAW, Smackdown, and Main Event to Big Show, Dolph Ziggler, Adam Rose, Big E, Kofi Kingston, the list goes on. He was put in a couple of battle royals, but of course he came up short in all of them. I don't think anybody would have been upset if he won the United States Championship Battle Royal or Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal.

In September 2014, WWE thought it would be smart to stick him with Heath Slater. "Slater Gator". Anyways, I think that kind of killed any type of seriousness the WWE Universe had for Titus honestly. I mean what is a 6'6 270 pound man doing in a group called "Slater Gator", I just don't get it! They won a couple matches, but lost majority though. Luckily it didn't last too long because on February 16th 2015, O'Neil turned face by saving his former enemy and partner Darren Young from the Ascension. They ended up reuniting for good once Titus fully earned Darren's trust back, and competed in several matches together, which led them to championship gold! Defeating the New Day at the Money In The Bank PPV, Titus and Darren AKA The Primetime Players won the Tag Team Titles. ISome crowds were feeling the Primetime Players also, as that Money In The Bank crowd gave them a huge pop after the win.

Sadly, PTP dropped the titles back to the New Day at the Summerslam PPV. The last time we saw Titus, he was being choked out by this weirdo Braun Strowman. Is this the end of Titus O'Neil? At 38 years old, obviously the WWE doesn't believe in him enough to give him the "Push", and not a mini push either. I'm talking matches with Randy Orton, John Cena, Kevin Owens, Cesaro, Seth Rollins, etc. Former and somewhat current WWE superstar Batista believes WWE is completely missing it with Titus and I agree! He's good in-ring, mic skills are okay and the fans seem to like him also. I know I'm not the only one who sees that pop when he gets that hot tag and goes straight crazy in the ring. All Titus needs is a REAL singles push, put him in the IC title picture or US title or let him win the Money In The Bank! My man would thrive in that position if given the chance with the right build up and it could be golden, but WWE doesn't want to. Whether it's racism or not, WWE knows Titus could be special if they gave him a legit chance. You can't expect ANYONE to thrive in matches with guys like Sin Cara and become bigger.

Even if WWE doesn't want to throw gold around his waist, a good feud with guys like Owens, Cesaro, Seth, Dean, Roman, Randy, Cena, whoever! Doesn't matter it will be better than what he's doing now, the man is a great dude. I've seen his Instagram, Twitter, he does a lot of good things for people, people who aren't as financially stable as him or just the fans in general. Heel or Face I believe Titus could be special, WWE doesn't, do you? But I mean at the age 38 is it too late? I don't think so. Do you? It's honestly just all opinions but I just wanted to share my thoughts on this because this is EASILY one of my favorite wrestlers and I just believe he deserves better.

Thank you, I hope you all enjoyed!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Tagged under:

ROH Review 10/17/15

Ring Of Honor Wrestling Review 10/17/15
By Nathan Neumann, Twitter @Headliner5

Hello to all the fellow ringers that are reading this, I am Nathan here to provide you with your weekly dose of honor with this review of ROH Wrestling television.  Now this review is actually for the show that took place last night October 17th but I didn’t write a review of it last night due to the fact that I watched the Evolve 49 iPPV and by the time ROH came on and got over I just didn’t feel like writing anything.  So better late than never and here we go with a review of last night’s show.

I’m not sure where this show took place because I’ll be honest I was so tired when ROH came on at 11:00pm my time that I wasn’t paying close attention to details like I usually do.  This show did however do a lot to set up Final Battle 2015, which is the annual final PPV of the year for ROH.  This show also only featured two matches in a one hour time span which if you know me by now and you read my reviews week to week you would know that I prefer it this way. And with all that out of the way lets get started by breaking down the action.

Match 1
The Addiction vs. The All Night Express

Thoughts: Pretty good match to start off the show but if you know anything about me then you know that I’m not a huge fan of the Addiction.  I didn’t mind this match though because it allowed me an opportunity to get a first hand look at ANX since they returned to ROH at All Star Extravaganza 7.  This was a battle of former tag team champions (although if you weren’t paying attention you wouldn’t even know that ANX had the belts at any point) and with the return of ANX to ROH the Tag Team Division is stacked.  While both of these teams are former tag team champions Kevin Kelly makes sure to point out that neither team was actually beaten for their titles.  ANX were stripped of the titles due to Kenny King leaving ROH for TNA and The Addiction lost the titles in a triple threat tag team title match after they weren’t even pinned.

We get a Code of honor and Sabin gets involved in the early going but Kenny King sends Kazarian to the outside of the ring via backdrop and Kazarian lands on Sabin.  Sabin is later removed from ringside as the referee gets fed up with his antics. ANX takes the early advantage as they isolate Kazarian in their corner with some double team maneuvers.  Kazarian tags out to Daniels after a few minutes but ANX does the same thing to Daniels that that they were doing to Kazarian earlier.  Daniels is finally able to turn the match around somewhat thanks to a distraction from Kazarian before the commercial break.

Going into the break we get a pre-taped promo from Jay Briscoe that hypes his match later on tonight with Adam Page.  Jay calls Adam “Green” and says he has no clue what he’s in for tonight.  Jay says that at the end of the match Adam will be more of a man than he was going into it but that it’s going to be a bad experience for him.

Back from the break and the Addiction are double teaming ANX and Daniels hits the Best Moonsault Ever on Titus before doing a cocky one-foot cover but of course Titus kicks out, as he should.  The fans begin getting behind Rhett Titus by chanting ALL NIGHT as Titus fights back but Daniels pokes him in the eye to stop him from getting any sort of momentum.  Titus starts fighting to get over to his corner of the ring to tag in Kenny King but Daniels punches King that sends him off of the apron thus not allowing Rhett to get the tag.  King gets furious and tries to get in on the match but the referee holds him back which allows for some double-teaming from the Addiction while the referee didn’t see it. 

Titus finally tags in King after a few more minutes of getting worked over and the place erupts as King makes his presence felt in the match.  Later on all four men get into the ring but Titus is still hurting.  The Addiction hit Total Elimination and then Frankie takes out Titus with a flying knee from the top rope while Daniels holds him for the cover but only gets the two count.  King recovers and starts fighting off Daniels and Kazarian but eventually all four men get knocked down in the center of the ring.

All four men recover around the same time and Daniels gets the first sort of offense after that by hitting King with a brainbuster.  He follows it up by hitting Titus with a uranage.  Out comes a masked KRD guy for the distraction on Daniels, Daniels starts chasing him but as he is doing this Daniels gets hit with a dropkick from Titus. Rhett picks Daniels up for a powerbomb while King comes off of the top rope for a lariat, which gets ANX the win via pinfall.

Match Result: All Night Express defeats Daniels and Kazarian via pinfall after Powerbomb/Top Rope Lariat combination.
Match Rating: **1/2

From there we go to commercial break, as we come back the Kingdom’s music is playing and they are in the ring dressed in style for an interview.  Maria is in a dress, which is totally uncharacteristic of her, but it works.  They show highlights of said KRD member from earlier interfering at the PPV, which helped the Kingdom, win the belts.
Bennett goes on some pointless rant as he tells some story about a farmer and a snake as the fans boo him profusely while chanting boring.  The moral of the story was that the farmer shouldn’t ever trust a snake; Bennett says that the Kingdom are the snakes in this story.  From there we flash to some highlights of ASE 7 where Adam Cole turned on Kyle O’Reilly in the main event.

Back in the arena and Maria takes the microphone and introduces herself as Maria Kanellis-Bennett (yes we all know who your dork of a husband is no need to remind us).  She then informs us that she is the manager of the greatest faction in the world (Suck it Bullet Club!).

She says she may work in a male dominant industry but she doesn’t take orders from any man and she makes her own rules.  She hands the mic off to Taven who says the Kingdom formed a year ago not out of necessity but out of greatness and you measure greatness by gold and they are the greatest tag team in the world today.  They say that they will not rest until Adam Cole is once again the ROH World Champion and they hold all the gold in ROH.

Adam Cole is next to speak, he says he turned his back on Kyle O’Reilly because O’Reilly doesn’t deserve to ever be World Champion let alone be near it.  He was sick when Kyle O’Reilly was listed as one of the top contenders when it should have been Cole himself. 
Cole went on to mock Michael Elgin who he says had such a “Great run” in the US that he had to go to Japan to make himself feel worthy.  “Way to go, Little Mike”, he says his line “Adam Cole baby” and the fans don’t chant along per the usual which means a heel turn is actually working in wrestling for once.

reDRagon make their way out and are being held back by security as the Kingdom taunt them from the ring with the titles in hand.  Bobby Fish gets the mic and warns Cole that he has no idea what he’s done and what he’s in for, he informs Taven that they will be taking the titles back.  Cole says that he would love to see the two of them take on the three of us.  This brings out Elgin to even the odds with the new #BigMike shirt to which I instantly puke all over the place.  I hope that shirt only sells one unit.

Elgin clears the Kingdom out of the ring and gets his hands on Maria, but the Kingdom pull her to safety.  Big Mike chants start up from the crowd as Elgin challenges The Kingdom to a six-man match but they blow it off and leave to the back.

Inside ROH with Mandy Leon is up now, she looks at the rivalry between Dalton Castle and Silas Young.  We see highlights of the last PPV when Young defeated Castle to gain custody over the Boys.  We then see what happened last week when Young and Beer City Bruiser defeated the Boys in a “Match” which was their first lesson in becoming real men.  Next week Dalton Castle is back on ROH TV without the boys for the first time since ASE.

From there we go to a backstage promo from Adam Cole hyping his match with AJ Styles in two weeks with the number 1 contender AJ Styles, he promises to drop Styles on his head in the match.  After a hype video for Final Battle, the Briscoe’s are shown Mark keeps interrupting Jay and all of this was just to tell us that “we will be back after the commercial break”.  Normally I would consider something like this pointless but when it’s Jay and Mark Briscoe calling this anything less than awesome is unacceptable.

Back from commercial and we head back into the arena for the main event of the night.

Main Event – Match 2
Adam Page w/BJ Whitmer vs. Jay Briscoe
No Holds Barred Match

Thoughts: Wow, what a dam match this was.  Prior to the match getting underway Whitmer joins Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino on commentary.  This should be interesting as Corino and Whitmer’s interactions are always “interesting”.  Kelly announces that Nigel McGuinness has signed a six man main event for next week as the Kingdom will take on reDRagon and Big Mike. 

Fans chant “Jay is gonna kill you” at Page as Page extends his hand for the Code of Honor but Page slaps Briscoe as Briscoe goes to shake his hand.  Briscoe jumps Page after that and they take the match to the outside Page’s shoulder is taped and Briscoe is concentrating his offense on that particular body part.  Page hits Briscoe with a hard chair shot and lays him out to take control, Page sets a table up but this gives Briscoe enough time to recover and he comes back at Page with a chair shot of his own.

They get back into the ring for the time being and Page sets up a chair in the center, Whitmer goes to hand Page his crutch but Mark comes out from the back and grabs it and takes it with him while hobbling to the back with the crutch because randomness and awesomeness.  Meanwhile Jay is in the ring hitting Page with punches, Briscoe sets up for a Jay Driller on a chair but Page escapes and ends up hitting a DDT to get control before going to a break.

Back from the break and Page has taken control, He’s screaming at Jay to “Say his name” as Briscoe continues to act like he doesn’t even know who Page is.  Page charges at Briscoe in the corner but Briscoe sees it coming and moves causing Page to end up on the outside table.  Briscoe jumps off of the apron with a double foot-stomp from the apron as ROH chants begin from the crowd.

Back in the ring and Briscoe is systematically picking apart Page, he hits a couple of neckbreakers and then grabs a chair.  He puts it around Pages neck and hits another neckbreaker as the fans go insane with “Man Up” Chants.  Briscoe goes to the outside and grabs another table from under the ring, he sets it up in the corner and set Page up to be driven through it.  He took too long to set up the table as Page is now recovered and Page comes back with a pump handle slam on Jay to put him through the aforementioned table but it only gets a two count.  The fans begin chanting “You Can’t Beat Him” at Page as we head into another commercial break.

Back form the break and Briscoe is once again in control as the two men fight on the apron.  There’s another table spotted at ringside and Jay teases putting Page through it.  Corino and Whitmer are arguing with each other at ringside (I’m surprised it took this long) Page gets control once again on Briscoe as the fans begin chanting “You Still Suck”.  Page gets another table as if two isn’t enough and sets it up outside while Jay is recovering.

They end up back in the ring but are battling on the apron near the table.  Briscoe hits Page with a slingshot lariat, he then teases a Jay Driller off of the apron onto the table but Page escapes and goes for a Rite of Passage on the apron but Jay escapes and grabs a chair that was laying on the mat.  He hits Page in the head with a chair and then lays him out with a Jay Driller though a table.  The fans begin chanting “You Just killed him.”  Back in the ring for the pin to which Page kicks out at two.

Briscoe is shocked at the kick out (nobody in my opinion should kick out of that move like ever but that’s just me, once in a great while is okay but twice in the same match is beyond overkill).  Whitmer is going nuts on commentary that Page kicked out as Briscoe is standing over Page’s lifeless body screaming at him “come on boy”.  Page gets to his knees and spits in Briscoe’s face.  Briscoe loses his mind and starts beating the crap out of him after that. 

Briscoe takes Page’s head off with a clothesline, while Whitmer and Corino are really going at it on commentary after Whitmer was making fun of Corino’s family.  While all this is going on at the commentary table, back inside of the ring Jay Briscoe hits Adam Page with another Jay Driller to pick up the pinfall victory.

Match Result: Jay Briscoe defeats Adam Page via pinfall after a Jay Driller.

Match Rating: **3/4
Great main event this week, a true break out performance for Adam Page, this kid is going places.

After the match concludes Kevin Kelly goes off on Whitmer after the match saying he was too busy arguing with Corino on commentary all while his boy Adam Page needed his help.  Corino joins in on making fun of Whitmer as the fans chant “That was Awesome” (“This is Awesome” and “That was Awesome” are the worst chants in wrestling history).

Whitmer gets into the ring with his crutch and beats Briscoe with it and this Brings Corino into the ring.  He takes off the suit jacket and grabs a roll of coins from his pocket and lays out Whitmer with one punch after Whitmer taunts him.  Corino gets a huge pop from the crowd as he leaves the ring.  He then goes to the outside of the ring and hugs Kevin Kelly because he knows what is going to happen next.

This was a great angle to close the show and it’s definitely headed in the right direction, if this is how we get the eventual Corino vs. Whitmer match at Final Battle I’m more than okay with it because this match needs to happen.

That however will do it for me and this week’s ROH review. Sorry I was a day late on this one but better late than never.  Make sure to read this and the rest of my ROH reviews at the home of Eyes On The Ring http://www.EyesOnTheRing.com.

This show was very good this week as everything made sense and it’s going to go somewhere.  I’ve said it publicly but I don’t think I’ve ever said it on here but it’s amazing how ROH can get everything they need done in one hour of weekly television while WWE has a three hour show on Monday and can barely get anything done in that span of time but I digress and that’s why I stay away from WWE when doing reviews for this site.

In closing make sure to follow me on Twitter @Headliner5 and feel free to tweet me anything ROH or wrestling related in general as I’m always willing to chat if I’m available at the time.

Also make sure to check out the Eyes On The Ring twitter account @EyesOnTheRing and be sure to check out Eyes On The Ring radio each and every week on Sunday night at 11:00pm EST as we bring you the entire week in wrestling via http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com/ElitePodcastNetwork provided zero shenanigans.  Finally don’t forget to like us on facebook over at http://www.Facebook.com/EyesOnTheRing and until next time I am Nathan saying so long and keep your Eyes On The Ring!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Tagged under:

The ESPN/WWE Connection, 2015 Edition

By Johnthan Speed (@speedonthebeat)

By now, you've probably heard a bit about ESPN's weekly WWE Top Plays segment, hosted by former WWE personality Jonathan Coachman. In its inaugural airing, we were treated to highlights from Roman Reigns, the Cena/Ziggler match, and The New Day dissing Derrick Rose. Plus, it gives me a reason to drop this GIF:

Will this move mark a return, of sorts, to the kayfabe-laced days of ESPN? I mean, will we see more wrestling on ESPN? ESPN originally stood for Entertainment and Sports Network, and professional wrestling is "sports entertainment." ESPN and WWE--and wrestling in general--are looking for new ways to engage their audience in an era where "cutting the cord" is becoming an increasingly enticing choice. What better way than to combine SportsCenter highlight reels with WWE theatrics? Additionally, the fact that Coach kept character when discussing the highlights made it that much more special, that much more meta in some ways. 

So, could it lead to wrestling shows on ESPN? Eh, maybe. Baby steps. But, it's a sign of the times. The lines between "kayfabe" and "shoot" are blurring more and more. Also, the lines between "legitimate sports news show" and "sometimes gimmicky sports news show" are blurring for ESPN. Seriously, remember when Will Ferrell appeared as Ron Burgundy? But, this pairing makes sense and marks the first time in a while that WWE is appearing on a weekly basis that isn't owned by Comcast. 

Now, I'm no financial analyst. But that's a big move.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tagged under:

Top 5 Ric Flair Matches

By @Cool_Calm_Chris 

Ric Flair is arguably one of the greatest if not the greatest wrestler of all time. Through a career that has spanned 35+ years and through some of the most difficult ordeals the Nature Boy has had to face, he still has been able to shine in that ring and on the microphone. Having wrestled all over the world against virtually every name that has come through this industry, there have been a number of important matches in his career that will always be remembered in the history of Ric Flair. In this article, I will list the five most important matches in his career, not necessarily the best, but the ones that fans will refer back to when discussing the legacy of the Nature Boy.

#5: The Nature Boy Challenges the Deadman Ric Flair vs The Undertaker: Wrestlemania X8

With WCW in his rear view, Ric Flair was in a much happier place in his career now in 2002. Having been previously been brought on with the intention of doing a specifically non-wrestling role, Ric Flair was not feeling at his best when he got back in the ring, especially when he was working with Vince McMahon. However, this match lands on this list, because it was the first time in a while Ric Flair felt at his best. Working with The Undertaker at Wrestlemania was an honor for Flair, and rightfully so considering that Undertaker is one of the most established superstars on the roster and just had a classic match with Triple H the previous year at Wrestlemania 17.

Ric worked one of his best matches during his second run in WWE with the Undertaker and gave him one of his best Wrestlemania matches ever. With a rather forgettable storyline going with The Undertaker and Flair leading up to the match it gets overlooked often in Ric’s history, but the ability Ric showed even at his age to still go toe to toe with The Deadman was nothing short of amazing. The Arn Anderson spinebuster spot towards the middle of the match was also pretty cool personally.

#4: The Nature Boy Goes the Distance
Royal Rumble 1992

Ric Flair’s first run in WWE may not have been as great as fans would have liked, but Flair himself was definitely pleased and felt rejuvenated when he returned to WCW in 1993. While we did not get the dream match of Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair at Wrestlemania 8, Flair still had some spectacular matches during his time. One of his best definitely was what some consider to be one of the best Royal Rumble matches of all time, Royal Rumble 1992. It was one of the most star studded Royal Rumble matches of all time, especially considering that most of the guys in that match would be gone the following year. The added drama of the World Wrestling Federation Championship being on the line was just more storyline to a match that was already filled with it.

Ric Flair entered at number three and lasted through the entire match and eventually (with the help of Hulk Hogan oddly enough) eliminated Sid Justice from the match and won the Royal Rumble and the WWF title, lasting an astounding one hour and two seconds. Flair’s record would last until 2004 when Chris Benoit would enter at number one and last a minute and 28 seconds longer than Flair. This would be the defining moment of Flair’s first run in WWE as the “Real World’s Champion”

#3: The Four Horsemen vs Dusty Rhodes Ric Flair vs Dusty Rhodes: The Great American Bash 1986

Ric Flair was never quite as over in any other time than he was in the eighties, and while Hulk Hogan was the biggest draw of that era, Flair was without question the best wrestler. As the NWA World Heavyweight Champion, when that title was probably the most important title in wrestling, Flair would travel to all the different territories in the National Wrestling Alliance to defend the title. In that time he not only put on excellent matches, but he made everyone he wrestled look even better than they might have been.

During this time he was also a part of one of the most influential wrestling factions of all time, The Four Horsemen. In its original inception, the group consisted of Ole Anderson, “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, and their manager James J. Dillon and were the top wrestlers each in their own right in Jim Crockett’s Mid-Atlantic Region. They were the top heels in the area and naturally Dusty Rhodes was the perfect babyface to rival them. The representative of the working class in Dusty was the complete opposite of the lavish and excessive lifestyle that the Horsemen embodied and whenever they clashed someone was going to get hurt, more often than not it was Dusty.

Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes have wrestled on numerous occasions before, in fact Flair won his first title beating Rhodes, but this match meant so much more. Contested in a steel cage, it was the perfect payoff to their rivalry and the two tore the house down. Dusty would leave with his hand raised as the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion and all the babyface wrestlers from the locker room came out to congratulate him. Flair would end up winning the title back on a house show in August, but this match meant so much and is the cornerstone of the legendary rivalry that some consider to be the greatest of all time.

#2: The Nature Boy Rides Off Into The Sunset Ric Flair vs Shawn Michaels: Wrestlemania 24

In November of 2007 Vince McMahon gave Ric Flair the ultimatum that if he were to lose his next match he would be forced to retire. For the rest of that year and into 2008 Flair would have a string of matches that all tied into the storyline and this all culminated in the retirement match he had with Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 24. With a career spanning over 35 years and millions of matches under his belt, now was as perfect as any time to wrap it up officially.

With his Hall of Fame induction the night before, the match on Sunday, and his farewell night on Raw, that whole weekend felt like a perfect send off for the Nature Boy. The night was perfect for this moment, Ric came out in a rare robe that he had never worn before, his family was in attendance, and the fans in attendance were excited and on the edge of their seat for this match.

Shawn and Flair delivered an amazing match with a number of huge spots like Shawn missing the diving moonsault on Flair and diving directly into the announce table, however the storytelling itself in this match was just as emotional as you would expect from these two Hall of Fame wrestlers. Towards the end of the match Shawn Michaels would  set up for his finisher, the Sweet Chin Music super kick, with a bit of hesitance in his eye and Ric Flair would get up from the canvas begging him to bring it with tears running down his eyes. Shaw Michaels would say to Flair “I’m Sorry, I love you” and deliver the finishing blow to end Ric Flair’s career. In a classy show of respect Shawn would immediately leave the ring and leave Ric to celebrate his last match with the fans and his family.
Though Ric would end up wrestling a few more times after he left WWE, this still ranks as his second most important match because it would serve as Ric’s last match on a major scale like WWE. Shawn Michaels would eventually retire two years later at Wrestlemania 26 in a retirement match against the Undertaker, however he has not stepped in the ring for a match since then.

#1: A Flair For The Gold Ric Flair vs Harley Race: Starrcade 1983

Ric Flair’s first run as NWA World Heavyweight Champion was not as special as it should have been. As stated before, Ric won his first title against Dusty Rhodes, but he did it on a house show in front of a crowd that was heavily in favor of Rhodes and he did not want to beat Dusty because that was one of his idols and Rhodes did not want to lose the title either. However, the second time around, the stage was perfect for Flair to win the title.
Ric would lose the title to Harley Race giving Race his seventh NWA World Heavyweight Championship on June 10, 1983 and begin his build towards reclaiming his title in November at the first annual Starrcade event. This match would serve as the launching pad for what would be an amazing decade for the Nature Boy and much like his match Dusty Rhodes, this was contested in a steel cage.

Much like how Wrestlemania was the launching pad for WWE, Starrcade was the exact same for the NWA in the eighties but on a smaller scale. Ric Flair came dressed in a special robe that he has not worn since and fireworks blasted as he entered the arena. The two brawled back and forth, each getting their share of offense. Ric would end the match with a flying cross body of all moves to get the win and regain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Much like Bret Hart’s second run with the WWF championship now Ric Flair was established as the top guy in not just the Mid-Atlantic Region, but the entire National Wrestling Alliance.

Ric Flair is an anomaly, even with his back being broken in a plane crash a few year years after his debut and being told by doctors he would never wrestle again the Nature Boy would still wrestle well into old age. Having wrestled 60-minute and 90-minute matches consistently in his prime, Flair is legitimately the true iron man of professional wrestling. While he has had many more amazing matches, like his trilogy of matches with Ricky Steamboat in 1989, these were just some of his most important. While Flair has a rather controversial personal life, his impact on professional wrestling will be felt for generations.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Tagged under:

Top NXT Prospects

By @stevesignore 

For the last several weeks I've noticed a number of fans commenting that NXT isn't as good as it used to be. Unfortunately, they're missing what NXT is in the process of doing: transitioning. Over the past six months they've moved on from a number of stars, including the likes of Neville and Owens, Lucha Dragons and the Ascension, Charlotte and Becky Lynch, and you've most likely witnessed the end of Sasha Banks in NXT. Soon you may get a returning Sami Zayn and Hideo Itami, along with the arrivals of Nia Jax and (spoiler alert) James Storm. In the meantime, the powers that be at NXT are looking to grow some new stars and storylines. I guarantee by the upcoming NXT Takeover we're going to have new rivalries evolving. Two solo stars and one tag team come to mind when considering the near future of NXT:

3. Jordan and Gable

-These two performers both carry amateur backgrounds, albeit Gable's was a bit more high profile. This pairing almost brings you back to the days of Haas and Benjamin. The only difference is these perfomers have a little more potential in the way of charisma. While they're not in line for an Academy Award, you see glimpses of personality from time to time. Jordan is still very young, age 27, despite the fact he's been down at NXT for over three plus years. The veteran of the group, Jordan has the look and the ability to become a blue chipper for WWE in the future. He just needs to put it all together in NXT before he gets that chance. Gable reminds me of Kurt Angle in some ways. Maybe not in stature, but in what he brings from an Olympic background and his quasi-comedic promos. Let's not forget, Angle didn't come out and deliver great promos, or at the least, comical promos from the start. It took him awhile. But you're already getting glimpses from Gable. I don't want to jump the gun here, but the stars are aligned for him to eventually become a breakout star.... In a perfect world, the tag team stays together long enough for the return of Angle, maybe to NXT as a part-time wrestler/coach. Okay, okay, maybe it's a pipedream, or maybe I'm rehashing a storyline that took place years ago, but it would be fun to watch.

2. Apollo Crews

-Who else is sick of the Lashley comparisons when it comes to Crews? Yes, they have a very similar appearance, but as far as agility in the ring, I don't think it's close. He does moves in the ring that some of the most agile superstars can't even do. The one thing you can see with Crews is he's green on the mic. Will that change? In the world of the Performance Center you never know. Nevertheless, he's gonna put on alot of great matches in the coming months. I'd love to see him have a run with Balor or Samoa Joe. And I wouldn't be shocked if that's the ultimate goal here.

1. Asuka

-When I first heard of Asuka's arrival to NXT, I wasn't sure what to expect. As a WWE/NXT loyalist I don't watch much wrestling outside of the company. I had to ask around about Asuka's ability, and as you'd expect, it was very positive.

Her first match at NXT Takeover had me mesmerized. She's unique. She's not like any woman wrestler we've seen in WWE or NXT and that's a good thing. While we can't ever expect a solid promo, she has a way about her that makes you want to root for her. She's gonna be in the title picture in no time, and the matches she'll have with Bayley should be entertaining.

Have any other prospects? List them below.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Tagged under:

ROH Review 10/10/15

Ring Of Honor Wrestling Review 10/10/15
By Nathan Neumann Twitter @Headliner5

Hello ringers, long time no see it’s been two weeks now since I provided my last ROH review but we are back in the swing of things.  All Star Extravaganza took place live on PPV on September 18th and on October 10th (almost an entire month later) we finally pick back up with the show that took place the night after the PPV at least timing and continuity wise. 

The show features your ROH regulars plus Watanabe of New Japan fame and San Antonio Texas is the home for tonight’s matches.  The show begins and the commentators waste little time in getting us to the ring for the first match of the night.

Match 1
Matt Sydal vs. ACH
Match 4 in the Best Of 5 series

Thoughts: Really good match to kick off the show but I question it’s placement a bit because to me it should have been the main event but whatever.  ACH is up 2-1 in the series heading into this match so it produced a must win situation for Matt Sydal one thing that wasn’t mentioned was that in wrestling when you have a best of five or sometimes even seven series it almost always goes to the deciding match so going in to the match it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Matt Sydal would win this match but we will get to that later.

The two men adhere to the code of honor to start although you can clearly see building tension between the two adversaries given how deep we are into this series.  The two start the match off with some mat wrestling and neither man can get a clear-cut advantage throughout that part of the match.  Sydal knocks ACH out of the ring and follows him out and they brawled in front of the crowd Sydal whips ACH into the guardrail but ACH recovers right away as they both return back to the ring.

ACH hits a double foot stomp to the back of Sydal’s head from the top rope to get a near fall.  We get a few more near falls from each man before heading to a break.  Back from break and Sydal is now outside of the ring and ACH who is in the ring nails Sydal with a sliding dropkick right in front of the announcers table.

The two make it back into the ring and ACH goes for a top rope move but Sydal nails him with a kick while ACH was in midair.  Sydal chops ACH down with knees and then hits a leg lariat for a near fall.  ACH makes it back up to a vertical base and then falls to the mat once again as the ref goes in to check on him.  Sydal jumps ACH before the referee can attempt to check on him.

ACH recovers and nails a running Elbow in the corner and follows it up with a bridging German suplex, which gets him a near fall.  Sydal hits a top rope hurricanranna but ACH lands on his feet in a really awesome spot.  ACH hits a roaring elbow and then follows it up with a swinging neckbreaker for a near fall. 

ACH goes to the top rope and sets up for the Midnight Star (450 splash) but Sydal quickly rolls to the outside of the ring.  ACH hits a Fosbury flop style dive to the outside of the ring.  Back in the ring and Sydal hits two jumping knees to the head and then makes his way to the top rope.  ACH hits a dropkick from the ground to the top to knock Sydal off of the ropes. 

ACH capitalizes with a brainbuster and goes to the top rope to set up for the Midnight star to which Sydal responds by getting his knees up.  Sydal gets the advantage and hits a standing Hurricanranna that dropped ACH right on his head.  Sydal then ascends to the top rope and hits a Shooting Star Press to pick up the win via pinfall and tie the series 2-2.

Match Result: Matt Sydal defeats ACH via pinfall after A Shooting Star Press.

Match Rating: ***
Fantastic match I can’t wait for match 5 of this series.

After it was all said and done the two shook hands and then were jumped by the Addiction and Chris Sabin and both men get taken out with Celebrity Rehab as we head to commercial break.

After break the Addiction are still in the ring Kazarian is mad because the World Tag Team Titles were stolen from Daniels and himself.  Kazarian rips on Texas to get some heat and then says that Texas believes in Justice and that they want Justice to be served.  Daniels grabs the mic and says he’s not addressing the fans because they’re beneath him.  Instead they are talking about whoever was dawning the red masks in their match at ASE 7 which cost them the tag team titles.

They say that they weren’t pinned therefore were never beaten and therefore are still the champions.  They then told the champions to bring their belts out to the ring and give them back to their rightful owners.  Instead of the champions coming to the ring the All Night Express of Kenny King and Rhett Titus made a surprise appearance.

Kenny King claimed that they are still the tag team champions because they never lost them (well they did and that’s Kenny King’s fault...but he will never admit it as they were stripped of the titles because he left ROH for TNA).  So it looks like they are putting ANX in the tag team title picture, which means that ANX might actually get a proper run with the belts this time around and hopefully Rhett doesn’t get screwed over again.

Up next Silas Young comes out to the ring with the Beer City Bruiser and the Boys.  Silas yells at them for still wearing Dalton’s stuff when he told them to wear real wrestling gear.  Because the boys failed to listen to their new owner (that sounds weird but I’m going with it) so their first lesson is to learn how to take a beating like real men.

Match 2
Silas Young and Beer City Bruiser vs. The Boys

Thoughts: At the start of the match Young orders Bruiser to do his dirty work as Silas leaves the ring.  Bruiser listens to his tag team partner and dismantles both of the boys for a few minutes.  Bruiser goes up top for a splash but the boys are able to move out of the way.  The boys ride bruiser like a horse in a way that is “unmanly” according to Silas.  This brings Silas into the ring and Young lays out both of the boys and hits Misery on one of them to pick up the win via pinfall.

Match Result: Silas Young and Beer City Bruiser defeat The Boys via pinfall after Silas hits one of the boys with Misery.

Match Rating: N/A: This wasn’t really that much of a match therefore I am not going to rate it even though I could give it the old one star rating which I’m not going to do because it was a match to further a storyline so it makes complete sense.

After the match Bruiser and Young carry both of the boys to the back over their shoulders.  Jay Lethal and Truth Martini cut a backstage promo hyping up Jay Lethal’s defense of the TV Title against Takaaki Watanabe in the main event.

From there we go inside ROH with Mandy Leon as she talks about The Kingdom and specifically Adam Cole turning his back on his former partner and friend Kyle O’Reilly.  ReDRagon cuts a very scathing promo on Cole and O’Reilly says he trusted him but now he feels bad for him.  He says that after reDRagon is done with Adam Cole that Cole will be eating through a straw. 

Cole comes back with a promo of his own which was outstanding he explains his actions by talking about his shoulder injury and saying that he got sick and tired of hearing people say that Kyle O’Reilly would be the next ROH World Champion.  Cole says that he will be the next World Champion.  Adam Cole then goes on to call O’Reilly the Marty Jannetty of Future Shock (He didn’t use that exact phrase but it’s pretty much what he said). 

The segment closes with highlights of the match where The Kingdom won the titles.

Out of that we go to the third match of the evening, which also happens to be the main event.

Main Event – Match 3
Takaaki Watanabe vs. Jay Lethal {C}
ROH World Television Championship Match

Thoughts: Before heading to the match we see highlights of the gauntlet match that Watanabe won which earned him this shot at Jay Lethal and the TV title.  The match starts by the two men obeying the code of honor.  Watanabe gets the first advantage of the match early on before Lethal powders to the outside.  Watanabe realizing the situation he’s in follows the champ out and rolls Lethal back inside of the ring.  Lethal pokes Watanabe in the eye and then Truth Martini takes over with some interference to put the advantage to Lethal.  Lethal uses a trio of suicide dives to Watanabe on the outside of the ring and poses on the top rope as we head to break. 

We return from break and head back to the action as Lethal screams at Watanabe “I’m the Ring Of Honor Champion” as the fans respond accordingly.  Lethal takes the advantage once again and has his way with Watanabe by using some illegal tactics.  The referee admonishes Lethal but Lethal doesn’t care because he’s too cool for school.  Lethal throws Watanabe to the outside of the ring and then stops to have a full-blown mid match conversation with Martini because he can.

Watanabe gets the advantage albeit brief as Lethal stops him by kicking him in the head.  Lethal nonchalantly covers Watanabe for a two count.  Lethal acts as if he’s going to go for a running kick on the grounded Watanabe but he stops and puts on a headlock and the crowd loves it.  Watanabe whips Lethal into the corner five times in a row to get the advantage, he then successfully hits an overhead suplex with a release but Lethal comes back soon after with a bicycle kick and sets up for the Lethal Injection. Watanabe breaks up the attempt and locks on a Full Nelson.

Lethal powers out of it before hitting some elbows but Watanabe takes Lethal’s head off with a short armed lariat.  Watanabe covers Lethal but only manages to get a near fall.  Martini slides the Book of Truth into the ring and while the referee is distracted by it and trying to get it out of the ring, Lethal hits Watanabe with a low blow and follows it up with a Lethal Injection to pick up the win via pinfall.

Match Result: Jay Lethal defeats Takaaki Watanabe via pinfall after the Lethal Injection to retain the ROH World Television Championship.

Match Rating: ***

Good match and a good showing from Watanabe who’s stay in ROH has really benefited him in a great way.  Lethal celebrates his win as the fans in the arena chant for AJ Styles as Lethal gets annoyed and leaves the ring to close out the show.  AJ Styles won a number one contender four way match at ASE 7 so it’ll be Styles challenging Lethal for the World title as Lethal’s next program as World Champion.

That however will do it for this week’s airing of ROH Wrestling and also bring an end to another one of my reviews for http://www.EyesOnTheRing.com.  Very good show this week, the opener and the main event are both worth your time and if you can’t spare an hour you can afford to skip the second match.

In closing make sure to follow me on Twitter @Headliner5 and feel free to drop me a tweet or two so we can talk some ROH or whatever wrestling you would like to talk about at any given time.  Also check out the Eyes On The Ring twitter account @EyesOnTheRing.

Finally make sure to check out Eyes On The Ring radio each and every week (sans last week because we didn’t do a show) on Sunday night at 11:00pm EST as we bring you the entire week that was professional wrestling via http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com/ElitePodcastNetwork.  Also be sure to like us on facebook over at http://www.Facebook.com/EyesOnTheRing.  Until next week Ringers I am Nathan saying so long and make sure to keep your Eyes On The Ring!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Tagged under:

The WWE Ratings Decline

By @Cool_Calm_Chris 

As reported by TVByTheNumbers.com, September 28th’s edition of Monday Night Raw drew a 2.33 rating and an average of 3.330 million viewers. This rating is lower than the 2.47 rating Raw received for last week’s episode and is currently the lowest number of viewers Raw has seen since the switch to the three hour format. According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, with the exception of a Christmas Episode back in 2012 these are the lowest ratings Raw has seen since an episode back in 1997. So why exactly are less and less people watching WWE’s flagship show? Well it would be hard to pinpoint one exact issue as to why the ratings are depleting, however there are a number of issues that you can look towards for the drop.

*Three Hours is Too Long
Fans have been complaining about the three hour format of Monday Night Raw ever since it was announced they would be switching to this format back in 2012. Three years later and many of the fans complaints haven’t really silenced, as the product has become very stale and difficult to sit through. With three hours being difficult to fill even the staff seem to have problems with the switch. On an episode of The Stone Cold Podcast on the WWE Network Triple H was interviewed by Stone Cold Steve Austin and when asked about what he would change about Monday Night Raw he specifically stated “I’d love it to be two hours”, so clearly the choice for it to be three hours goes directly to the boss Vince McMahon.

*Nobody is Getting Over

With the issue of three hours being prevalent issue there is an even bigger issue at hand as well, WWE is overcrowded with nothing but mid card talent. With the exception of John Cena, Randy Orton, and Brock Lesnar, everyone on the roster is treated as though they are just another wrestler and not like a top superstar. As much as Vince McMahon will not admit it wins do matter, wins help a wrestler get over. If a wrestler goes out and loses every match he is in, then he is going to look like a loser in the fans eyes, and if two superstars are trading wins back and forth in a rivalry, then who is going to get over as the winner of the rivalry? A great example of this would be Dean Ambrose, in 2014 he was one of the hottest superstars on the roster, fans wanted to cheer for him as he was chasing Seth Rollins and feuding with Bray Wyatt. However, his 0-6 record on PPV after the Shield split as well as his numerous losses on Monday Night Raw made the Lunatic Fringe quickly blend into the pack as just another wrestler on the roster. Why book everyone to be a loser if you want people to care about the product?

*Excessively Long Promos
With three hours to fill and “too many wrestlers” for the over 20 writers to give a story the writers have to fill most of the three hours with promos. Promos that run about eight minutes long and take forever to get to the point of why the superstar is speaking. This has hurt a number of superstars on the roster because it is difficult to fill this time and not lose the audience. One major example of this is Bray Wyatt, who is without question one of the best talkers on the roster. His presence and character make fans want to see what he has to say, however often he does not say anything in his promos. Imagine how difficult it would be for Stone Cold Steve Austin or The Rock to get over with the crowd if they cut promos that just ran on and said nothing?

*Relying on Old Stars for Ratings

With the ratings for Monday Night Raw getting worse, Brock Lesnar made an appearance on the October 5th edition of Monday Night Raw. Of course it is to set up his match with the Undertaker at Hell in A Cell, but it is also to help the poor ratings. This is a problem that has been going on since 2011 in WWE, they rely too heavily on their usual stars and legends to draw ratings. Instead of creating new stars, WWE goes out of their way to bring back the legends that older fans are familiar with and it does not help the ratings for the long term. They look for that cheap pop of bringing back a legend like Ric Flair or Stone Cold Steve Austin (who is supposedly are going to be on the October 19th edition of Raw). This is going to hurt WWE in the long run, because how are they going to thrive if they cannot draw ratings without Chris Jericho making his 56th surprise return?

With Monday Night Raw well into the autumn season, obviously they are going to see a ratings drop while in competition with Monday Night Football, but this trend of ratings continuously dropping speaks to an even bigger issue. The WWE is clearly losing members of the “WWE Universe” at what should be an alarming rate and it is not getting any better. With John Cena taking time off, it is only a matter of time before Raw’s viewers go into two million viewers. It is a shame to see how far the brand has fallen after reaching eight million plus viewers in the Attitude Era.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Tagged under:

Why Bayley versus Sasha 2 Will Change the Course of Wrestling

By Speed on the Beat (@speedonthebeat)

OK, you may be thinking "Speed, now you're REALLY on one. A women's wrestling match dictating what could go down in pro wrestling and a WWE one at that? Pshhhh." However, I implore you to hear me out. There haven't been that many women's matches billed near the top of the card in a way which isn't just "pee break material," as some would call them. And here we are, about a year-plus into the WWE Network, and NXT has featured quite a few of them. And, GASP, they're not pee breaks or designed just to titillate the male audience.

These matches have stories. Psychology. Near falls that keep you on the edge of your seat. Pretty much, Triple H's baby has everything that'd make Dusty Rhodes smile from beyond the grave--and it's applied to men and women's wrestling. And tonight's 30-minute Ironman match between Bayley and Sasha Banks for the NXT Women's Championship? It's the match that can take women's wrestling to a new plateau.

It's not focused on who's prettier, who has the most-fake breasts, or who slept with who. It's focused on two of the Four Horsewomen trying to settle a long-established score. It's about seeing the usually happy Bayley pulling out the stops to keep the championship around her waist. And it's in the main event. It's not there because the WWE ran out of ideas and/or script. It's there because it deserves to be there.

Bayley versus Sasha 2 is a huge step towards women's wrestling being respected in the WWE world. If it delivers the way I feel it will, it'll be a classic and usher in a new era for women's wrestling. One that focuses even more on talent than boobs than the "Divas Revolution" has.

Bayley/Banks 2 along with all the awesomeness of the next NXT Takeover special kicks off tonight on the WWE Network.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Tagged under: , , , , , , , , ,

WIRTB Review: Bash at the Beach 2000

I'm Speed on the Beat and I review the crap so you don't have to. It feels so good to say (read: type) those words again. After a stint of "Can We Not?," I've returned to my bread and butter for EyesontheRing.com, the WIRTB Review series. This is the part of the site where I go through pay-per-views which most (sane) people argue are horrid, putrid pieces of diarrhea-aided bovine excrement and attempt to determine whether or not they were really that bad. Today, I dive into the cesspool, completely sober, that most of my EOTR cohorts advised me not to.

Bash at the Beach 2000.

Our show begins with Commissioner Ernest "The Cat" Miller advising some other random black guy that he needs to get the Filthy Animals and "the M.I.As" and tell them to not interfere in the Cruiserweight match. I'm waiting for this to lead to something. Soon, the Yung Dragons appear and begin some of the worst-choreographed fight sequences I've ever seen, and we're talking a promotion which had the Fingerpoke of Doom. And they get destroyed as soon as I typed that. So, if this waste of my life is any indication of what's going to go down? I'm royally screwed.

Late 90s techno-rock blares through my speakers as we go inside the Ocean Center for BaTB. So, out of the seven Bashes we've had, only one's actually happened on the beach. That's like naming a pay-per-view Hell in a Cell and having one cell ma...oh, yeah. Anyhow, our first match of the night is Lt. Loco (Chavo Guerrero for those who forgot how this crap went down) versus Juventud Guerrera for the Cruiserweight championship. The match starts off hot, as most WCW Cruiserweight matches tended to. And then it falls apart.

Mark Madden says he doesn't know what "mano y mano" means as Juvy feigns a nutshot injury (oh, WCW. You and your love of penis humor and/or penis). We go back in-ring only to go back outside. Juvy begs for forgiveness, which (of course, because wrestling) leads to a turnbuckle attack and a taunt. I'm ten minutes in and I'm already bored. Chavo gets a near-fall and an armbar (insert Chris Jericho joke here). Lots of reversal flippy shit later and both M.I.A. and the Filthy Animals try some sort of "oh, we're in masks. They'll never know who we are" foolishness. I admittedly fell asleep for a bit during this match, but when I came to, Chavo got the win from a tornado DDT.

Next? Big Vito versus Norman Smiley and Ralphus in a handicap match for the Hardcore Championship. Oh Hayzeus. Can we stop with this crap? No? Well, at least Ralphus can swing a trashcan this time around. They fight everywhere, because HARDCORE RASSLIN'!, and ultimately The Big Stupid gets put through a table by Big Vito. It's no wonder people thought Ralphus died after WCW went under.

Next? Daffney versus Miss Handcock/Stacy Keibler in a Wedding Gown match where there are no losers, only winners. This is probably the only bright spot of the night so far. Plus, it gives me a reason to post this without feeling like I'm just trying to get the Fap-o-meter up.

Oh, wait. Stacy's in granny panties. Let's adjust that once for a second. 

I'm all for women wrestlers being good for their talents, and not their assets. But, sometimes, you've got to step back and say "damn, that's a nice ass." And Stacy Keibler had one of the best asses in WWE. That's not saying much, since most WWE Divas were kind of Lauren Collins-in-her-college-years-on-Degrassi boxy, but still. She usually wins.

Next, we get some more ignorance with the Jung Dragons trying to avoid Ernest Miller. BECAUSE WRESTLING!SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT!

After this shitload of fuck (thank you, Angry Video Game Nerd), we get The Perfect Event versus Kronik for the tag team titles. The Perfect Event, for those who don't remember, were a tag team formed by Shawk Stasiak and Chuck Palumbo who "stole" the Mr. Perfect and Lex Luger gimmicks. Yeah. That happened. You know what makes less sense than that? This match. It's boring as watching a can of paint with those "Geico stack of dollars" googly-eyes watching paint dry. Actually, that's a compliment. This match set a new low for boredom. Kronik regains the belts and we're back to losing again.

Afterwards we have a match where Booker T goes Super Saiyan and gets...a two-count and a loss for his troubles. This sets up the rest of the clusterbomb that's awaiting me, but still. I guess John Cena-era WWE isn't to blame for the multi-finisher-but-still-only-get-a-two-count bullshit we see so much of today. Ah well.

Our next match-up is a SCOTT FRIGGIN' STEINER match for the US Title versus Mike Awesome. Too bad his Steiner Recliner is outlawed. Which, of course, means that he's going to use it, because wrestling logic always dictates that whatever is outlawed/banned in the ring (in storylines, by the way) usually finds its way into the ring, especially if it's a signature of the wrestler in question. Steiner wins, gets stripped of the belt, and no one gives two craps.

I'm skipping over the Graveyard Match for one reason. You couldn't pay me to watch that shit with a straight face. At least everything else so far, while putrid, I've been able to sit here and actually somewhat critique. This match was pointless. I think even WCW knew it was pointless. I mean, why the hell else would it be mostly in the dark?

SWERVE ALERT!!! Buff Bagwell gets betrayed by Torrie Wilson and doesn't take the pin right after. Yep, we have a Buff Bagwell match on this PPV, even after his racially-charged moments off-screen. Vince, take note. This is how you book a racially-insensitive person, not fire them. Sarcasm aside, this match blows.

And here comes the clusterfuck heard around the world, in a PPV which seems like it's been on for days at this point.

After this elongated Destructo Disk, Goldberg beats Kevin Nash (and gets rid of the "contracts" Nash and Scott Hall had with WCW). Oh, and Booker T becomes WCW World Heavyweight Champion. The win was devalued by this pissing contest between Hulk Hogan and Vince Russo, shoot, work, or otherwise. The Hulk/Russo feud made Booker into a bit of a weak champion in the sense that he got his shot only because Russo, in the confines of the storyline, willed it into existence just to piss off Hulk. Not to mention Booker T got EL KABONGO'ed by Double J earlier in the night.

So, was it really that bad? If you've got to ask me that, my only reaction is this:

Once again, I'm Speed on the Beat and I review the crap so you don't have to.