Random Ramblings: Will WWE Blow it with The Big Show/Mark Henry Team?

by Daniel Johnson

randomramblingslogoThe WWE tag team scene has been hot and cold for years. Things like The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family, Team Hell No and some of The Usos matches have been awesome? What hasn’t been awesome? Well, enough stuff that it can’t be wrapped up in a nice sentence or two. However, one bright spot could be the duo of The Big Show and Mark Henry if WWE can pull it off.

The Big Show recently said he has four years left in him. Mark Henry says he has two. Each man has improved incredibly since Show debuted in 1995 and Henry debuted in 1996. Don’t get me wrong neither man is exactly Bret Hart or Ric Flair in the ring, but sending them out with a killer run where they demolish the competition would be a nice way to wind down these two big boys. However, because of their poor booking thus far, little acknowledgement of any of their past work together and WWE repeatedly turning either man heel at the drop of a hat when a monster heel is needed there is reason to believe WWE will blow it.

On last night’s WWE Monday Night Raw, Show and Henry technically won their match against The Wyatt Family, but it was only after the heels got disqualified when Rusev punked out Mark Henry. This in itself isn’t bad booking. The WWE creative team are obviously big on Rusev and if they want to push him as a major singles star Henry is a logical choice to be fed to him. As a veteran of the Olympics representing the United States it kind of makes too much sense to ignore and not have him square off with 1985’s anti-American evil Russian.

Yet, booking one thing well can sometimes hurt the booking of another person and this is absolutely true in this case. WWE’s tag team division is not as hot as it was even two years ago when the promotion had as many as eight clearly defined teams at one point. Still, aside from wrestling The Wyatt Family, Show and Henry have other teams they could work with and mesh well with. The Usos for instance have shown to be giving sellers, which is important for any David/Goliath match, which them facing Show and Henry would undoubtedly be. Likewise, Goldust is giving some of his best in-ring performances ever and Cody Rhodes is arguably even better. Perhaps, if there gimmick is made just a little less stupid (okay, a lot less) then feuding them with Show and Henry could be quite fun. Also, there are always those guys WWE has nothing for and just throw in a tag team for the heck of it who sometimes put on great matches regardless. How long until that latest Dolph Ziggler push dies anyway?

Aside from Show and Henry just not being booked that well to begin with, it also isn’t very reassuring when WWE seems to care so little about the team that they can’t remember this team has happened before. Yet, JBL will throw out a, “Their just not quite used to being a team yet,” to completely no sell their history.

Show and Henry feel like a team because they are both hulking monsters with similar move sets. It is a good sign that WWE seems to show some interest in using them more as a team due to them actually getting some promo time and hyped up as a team by the commentators. However, the failure to acknowledge their past may give some reason to believe WWE cares not about their future either.

Lastly, and what perhaps will be the final nail in the coffin of this team or anyone like it is that the WWE backstage crew is big on having a monster heel to run through the competition…the singles competition. Luckily for the Show and Henry, Brock Lesnar is around, Rusev is picking up steam and apparently Kane has switched characters so much that WWE will have him be a businessman one night and a demon the next. Still, Brock won’t be around forever, there is still some question as to how far Rusev can go and no one wants to see Kane as the company’s only monster in 2014 and beyond.

The future holds limitless possibilities. Show and Henry are unlikely to be around forever though and this last hurrah as a team has potential if WWE doens’t blow it. Which they probably will.

 

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Indie Flashback: Peter Avalon Wrestles Buggy Nova at IWL Higher in 2012

by Daniel Johnson

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Peter Avalon vs. Buggy Nova

Right before working for WWE in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) under a development deal, Buggy Nova took on Peter Avalon aka the man who would become Norv Fernum in TNA. This intergender match match took place for the California based Insane Wrestling League (IWL) at their IWL Higher event. Before you ask, yes, IWL Higher took place on April 20, 2012.

Avalon mocks Nova and the crowd throughout this match. As a matter of fact he is announced as, “the man laying on the mat” when he is showing his disdain for people by taunting them. During the feeling out process of this match a Pee-wee Herman chant breaks out directed at Avalon. Avalon dances like Pee-wee for about a second then flips off the crowd.

Avalon is hesitant to face Nova head on and runs away after a strike. The two actually chain wrestle for a few seconds, but then Avalon tosses the lighter wrestler out of the ring. Avalon throws Nova into a post and at one point even throws her into the crowd. Nova builds up for her comeback and then when the action goes back inside she crotches Avalon on the ropes then superplexes old Peter. The two trade some fiery chops a while later and despite being the face Nova soon gives Avalon a blatant nut shot. Who booked this show, Bruce Hart?

At any rate Nova goes onto hit a stunner that would make “Stone Cole” Steve Austin wince and then ends it with a bulldog.

The full match can be seen right here:

IWL’s next show will be IWL New Era 9 on September 28 in Monrovia, California. Click here for tickets.

The full results of IWL Higher can be found here.

For more in the Indie Flashback series featuring some action from around the United States click here and here.

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25 and Under: Austin Bradley at CWF Mid-Atlantic

by Daniel Johnson

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Austin Bradley vs. Lee Valiant

Back in February, Carolina Wrestling Federation Mid-Atlantic (CWF Mid-Atlantic) held the Pro Wrestling International (PWI) Tag Team Tournament. Although this two night event featured a whopping 14 tag team matches some singles performances helped round out the card and spice things up. Austin Bradley, a native of Kentucky, was just 19 at the time and featured in one of these matches on the first night.

Bradley has been working for some years now and has performed for Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) as far back as December 2012. Bradley has since worked for a variety of promotions including IWA Mid-South, Juggalo Championship Wrestling (JCW) and Evolution Pro Wrestling (EPW).

Although the commentators talk up Bradley by mentioning his credentials in being trained by Rip Rogers and Nick Dinsmore this is pretty much a two minute squash match. Bradley’s opponent, Lee Valiant was starting a new run where he showed more attitude and he demonstrates this by clipping Bradley’s knee then tearing into him with strikes. Bradley knocks Valiant down at one point with a clothesline. Although Bradley then pulls out a fisherman’s suplex of all moves he soon gets locked in the STF and it is quickly over. Valiant continues assaulting Bradley after the match prompting security to be called to the ring.

The tournament ended the next night with that card being headlined by The Killbillies (Aric Andrews and Evan Banks) and the duo of Chet Sterling and Trevor Lee.

The full match can be seen right here:

The next CWF Mid-Atlantic show will be CWF Mid-Atlantic Fire & Desire on September 6 in Whitsett, North Carolina. Click here for more information.

For the full results of CWF Mid-Atlantic PWI Tag Team Tournament Night 1 and CWF Mid-Atlantic PWI Tag Team Tournament Night 2 click here and here, respectively.

For more in the 25 and Under series featuring action from the American south click here and here.

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30 in 30 Reborn: Grand Pro Wrestling’s Channel

by Daniel Johnson

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Howdy people! There are mere hours left to support indie/foreign wrestling and vote for The Crown J here. Also, go here for details on how to win a $25 WWE Shop Gift Card. Info on the 30 in 30 Reborn series can be found here. Contest ends August 31, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.

The full Grand Pro Wrestling (GPW) YouTube channel can be found here.

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Here are the facts about GPW’s YouTube channel:

Number of videos: 32

Frequency new videos are added: No videos have been added in five months. The channel has featured 32 videos since October 2011.

Frequency full shows are added: No full shows have been added yet.

Total views of the most popular video: 2,708

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GPW runs out of Wigan, Greater Manchester, England and has put on a ton of shows since first opening it’s doors in July 2003. The promotion is very much alive, but it’s YouTube channel is woefully out of date, never having been that active to begin with. Yet, the content that is on his channel is great. Several full matches are included, which are shot from multiple cameras and have English commentary. The picture and lighting leave a little to be desired, but onscreen graphics are included so viewers are getting much more than just the raw footage. The stranger shorter bits on this channel range from weird and comprehensible to weird and less comprehensible. Rounding out the channel is a fair amount of promos. The promotion feature top tier talent from the English independent wrestling scene including CJ “The Juice” Banks, Martin Kirby and El Ligero (because this is an English promotion after all). The channel is still linked to from GPW’s official website, which is active so there is some chance new videos will be added.

A recommended clip:

Joey Hayes vs. CJ “The Juice” Banks

GPW does a great job of giving this 2010 main event for the GPW British Championship a big fight feel. From the lengthy ring introduction to CJ “he Juice” Banks being promoted as having only lost one match in the last 17 months to the commentators hammering in that this is the last time Banks and Joey Hayes will wrestle in a GPW ring, everything is there.

Beyond being a title bout this is a two out of three falls match. Hayes upsets Banks by scoring the first fall with a crossbody just a few minutes into the match. The two are supposed to have a minute to rest in between falls, but instead Hayes attacks Banks during the break with some punches and forearms. Banks battles back with some rolling German suplexes, but Hayes gets out of Banks’ grip before he can complete a third one. At any rate Banks still has an advantage and scores the second fall with his flash splash finisher (essentially a frogsplash).

Given the gravity of this match it is unsurprising that shenanigans take  place during the final fall. Fox Carter interferes on behalf of Banks when the referee takes a bump. To even up the score Martin Kirby also comes in and gives Banks a Rocker dropper. Carter and Kirby fight to the back while Hayes covers Banks. Hayes pins Banks for one…two…kick out! The encounter continues and Banks delivers three proper suplexes before executing his flash splash finisher again. Miraculously, Hayes kicks out, but Banks isn’t done yet. Banks goes back up top, drops on Hayes with a third flash splash and hooks his leg for one…two…three!

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Indie Flashback: LuFisto Wrestles Leva Bates at WSU Uncensored Rumble V

by Daniel Johnson

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LuFisto vs. Leva Bates

Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU) showcased then 15 year veteran LuFisto taking on then five year veteran Leva Bates at the WSU Uncensored Rumble V in June 2012. To set the tone of the match Bates took LuFisto down and started taunting her by messing her hair up. LuFisto responded to this with an eye poke.

The early going of this bout presented the two on equal footing and at the same time showed they were willing to go to any lengths. LuFisto changes the pace of the match some minutes in when she kicks Bates in the head in a maneuver that Bates sells beautifully. LuFisto continues her assault by using the ropes to choke and punish Bates. The two later exchange in some chopping, but LuFisto’s chops sound so much more vicious than Bates’ chops it is tough to buy it as an even exchange.

Bates pulls ahead in this match with a goomba stomp. Yet, the action is far from over and LuFisto comes back with a purple nurple of all the spots there are in this world. LuFisto follows that up with a German suplex and a fisherman buster variation. Neither move puts Bates away and she attempts a stomp from the top rope, but misses that one allowing LuFisto to deliver a burning hammer. It is not as deadly looking as some of Kenta Kobashi’s burning hammers, but lethal looking enough.

Aside from this match WSU Uncensored Rumble V featured a slew of worth watching footage including a WSU Spirit Championship match between Jessicka Havok and Marti Belle, the WSU 21 Person Uncensored Battle Royal and a casket match between Jessicka Havok and Mercedes Martinez for the WSU Championship.

The full match can be seen right here:

The next WSU show will be WSU Resurgence on September 13 in Voorhees, New Jersey. Click here for tickets.

For the full results of WSU Uncensored Rumble V click here.

For more WSU action in the Indie Flashback series click here and here.

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Kaitlin Diemond Interview

by Daniel Johnson

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Photo Courtesy of Kaitlin Diemond

Interviewer’s Note: “Anti-Diva” Kaitlin Diemond is a Canadian wrestler who has blazed across her native county’s wrestling scene and beyond. Some Canadian promotions Diemond has worked for include Great Canadian Wrestling (GCW), Magnificent Championship Wrestling (MCW) and Pure Wrestling Association (PWA). At GCW she is the current holder of the GCW WILD Championship having won the title in May from Skylar Rose. She is a former holder of the MCW Women’s Championship. Outside of Canada, Diemond has notably worked in the United States and Mexico. Some promotions that have featured Diemond include Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU), Desastre Total Ultraviolento (DTU) and Xtrem Mexican Wrestling (XMW). Rounding out her career thus far Diemond has appeared for super promotions WWE and AAA. Diemond can be followed on Twitter @kaitlindiemond. This interview was completed on August 19, 2014. In this interview Diemond and I focus on her work for GCW.

Daniel Johnson: For background purposes where and when were you born?
Kaitlin Diemond: September 25, 1989, Toronto.

Daniel Johnson: What is your earliest memory of wrestling?
Kaitlin Diemond: My earliest memory is the Bret Hart/HBK rivalry.

Daniel Johnson: When did you know you wanted to become a wrestler and how did you go about getting trained?
Kaitlin Diemond: I knew from the age of 10, I attended indie shows in my area and reached out to some pros who offered to train me. I worked as a face on and off from the beginning days of my career up until now.

Daniel Johnson: Does anything particular distinguish GCW from other promotions? How would you describe the women’s division in GCW?
Kaitlin Diemond: The GCW has a very diverse women’s division which also sets them apart.

Daniel Johnson: I saw that last year in GCW you teamed with WWE Hall of Famer, Koko B. Ware in an intergender match. What was that experience like?
Kaitlin Diemond: Teaming with Koko was a great learning experience.

Daniel Johnson: Earlier this year you won the GCW WILD Championship from Skylar Rose. What are your memories of this match?
Kaitlin Diemond: Winning the title from Skylar Rose, I remember it being my first match back from Mexico and I was just so happy to be speaking English again.

Daniel Johnson: This is not the only match you have worked with Skylar Rose. Earlier this year I saw that you also worked with her in Crossfire Wrestling (CW). How has it been working with Rose as an opponent and do you expect to work more with her?
Kaitlin Diemond: I work with her often. She’s a bright young star and I hope to have many more matches with her.

Daniel Johnson: In your view who have been some wrestlers you have worked with that you feel you have the best chemistry with?
Kaitlin Diemond: I click best with Jody D’Milo, KC Spinelli and Serena Deeb to name a few.

Daniel Johnson: What do you think makes you click with another worker?
Kaitlin Diemond: For me clicking with them is very personality driven. They have to be a fast improviser and quick witted.

Daniel Johnson: Are there any workers you have yet to perform with that you think in particular you could have a great match with? If so who are they?
Kaitlin Diemond: I’ve yet to work with Jennifer Blake and I know we would have a solid match. I hope to face her soon.

Daniel Johnson: When do you expect to have your next title defense and what do you hope to accomplish as champion?
Kaitlin Diemond: I’m not sure when my next defense is, but I did defend against Skylar Rose earlier this month.

Daniel Johnson: What has been your most memorable experience working for GCW to date and why?
Kaitlin Diemond: My most memorable GCW experience was teaming, winning the title the first time in a tournament where I wrestled three matches at one event.

Daniel Johnson: Getting into some other promotions you have wrestled for, last year you wrestled for WSU at the WSU 28 Person Uncensored Battle Royal as well as in a tag match the night before on a WSU Secret Show. How did this opportunity come about?
Kaitlin Diemond: WSU offered the girls who were already booked from my area the chance to bring someone else to fill a spot with them and they decided I was deserving.

Daniel Johnson: This is the only time you have wrestled for WSU to date. Do you have plans to go back at all in the near future?
Kaitlin Diemond: I hope to go back if the chance presents itself again.

Daniel Johnson: Speaking of WSU, this promotion is based in the United States and you have also wrestled in Mexico as recently as this year for Xtrem Mexican Wrestling. Is this the furthest you have ever wrestled from home? How did you get the chance to wrestle for this promotion and what was the experience like?
Kaitlin Diemond: XMW was just one of the companies I worked for there. I’m dying to work anywhere and everywhere that I can! I’m hoping to hit Mexico again next year as well as England if possible.

Daniel Johnson: How many Mexican promotions have you worked for?
Kaitlin Diemond: I first worked for DTU in Mexico. I did not keep track of the number of companies I worked for.

Daniel Johnson: What has been your most memorable experience working in Mexico?
Kaitlin Diemond: My most memorable experiences was doing three non-televised spot shows for AAA.

Daniel Johnson: Going back to your past for just a minute aside from the GCW WILD Championship you have also held the MCW Women’s Championship for nearly a year. What are your memories of this reign?
Kaitlin Diemond: MCW is fun. I’m the hometown girl in the city they run and I had my first matches with Courtney Rush there.

Daniel Johnson: I do not think you have wrestled for MCW since 2011. Do you have any plans to go back there again or is that not in the cards for the foreseeable future?
Kaitlin Diemond: Never say never in regards to a return there.

Daniel Johnson: Looking at the present how has this year been different from past years in your career?
Kaitlin Diemond: This year has been different because I’m now wrestling full time again. Mexico, tours all over Canada as well as four dates with WWE. No other year has compared.

Daniel Johnson: You mentioned working four WWE dates. How did these come about and when were they? Who did you wrestle with in WWE and what feedback did you get?
Kaitlin Diemond: I was selected to do extra work for WWE as a Rosebud so I did two non-televised events, Raw and SmackDown. It was a dream come true. I had a tryout match prior to the SmackDown taping a with another independent wrestler from Ohio named Angel Dust. The agents and superstars that watched it all gave me extremely positive feedback.

Daniel Johnson: Moving ahead what plans do you have for 2015?
Kaitlin Diemond: 2015, I’m hoping will be more of the same. As long as I can continue to make a living wrestling I will continue on this path.

Daniel Johnson: To close interviews I like to ask five non-wrestling related questions followed by a few more brief wrestling questions. What do you enjoy watching on TV these days?
Kaitlin Diemond: Big Brother is my favorite show.

Daniel Johnson: What has been your favorite movie to come out in the past year?
Kaitlin Diemond: I don’t watch a lot of movies so I really can’t answer that.

Daniel Johnson: Have you tried any new foods in the last year? If so what has been your favorite new food?
Kaitlin Diemond: Sushi is something new I have tried and liked.

Daniel Johnson: What has been your favorite song released in the past year?
Kaitlin Diemond: “Rap God” by Eminem is my song.

Daniel Johnson: What is the last book you read and would you recommend it?
Kaitlin Diemond: The last book I read was Chris Jericho’s autobiography and I absolutely recommend it.

Daniel Johnson: Getting back to wrestling who are some female Canadian wrestlers that wrestling fans should look out for?
Kaitlin Diemond: Fans should look out for Bambi Hall, KC Spinelli, Beautiful Beaa, Vanessa Kraven, Xandra Bale, Courtney Rush, LuFisto, Portia Perez, Jennifer Blake and Sarah Stock. I love all these girls!

Daniel Johnson: Who is one wrestler 25 or younger that all wrestling fans should know about?
Kaitlin Diemond: Seleyzia Sparx and Jasmin are two very young ladies getting some exposure everyone should know about them.

Daniel Johnson: Ribs and road stories are always fun. Do you have any that you could share?
Kaitlin Diemond: One of my favorite ribs is taking off when someone is at a stop for the bathroom or food. Hiding around the corner and seeing their face when they can’t find the vehicle for a little while. Simple, but effective.

Daniel Johnson: Finally, is there anything you would like to add?
Kaitlin Diemond: [Skip].

Check out Kaitlin Diemond in action! In this match she tags with Koko B. Ware in GCW to take on Maurice and D-Man.

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30 in 30 Reborn: The ZombieTakeOver’s Channel

by Daniel Johnson

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Hello folks! There is less than 24 hours left to support indie/foreign wrestling and vote for The Crown J here. Also, go here for details on how to win a $25 WWE Shop Gift Card. Details concerning the 30 in 30 Reborn series can be found here. Contest ends August 31, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.

The full The ZombieTakeOver (ZTO) YouTube channel can be found here.

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Here are the facts about ZTO’s YouTube channel:

Number of videos: 447

Frequency new videos are added: Usually a few videos a week are uploaded. However, wrestling videos are much less frequent. The last one to date for instance was added at the beginning of the month.

Frequency full shows are added: The good news is there are a ton of full shows on this channel. The bad news for pro wrestling fans is that they don’t have anything to do with pro wrestling.

Total views of the most popular video: 2,955

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ZTO is a media company that has produced everything from whacky zombie logos to obscure promos by obscure bands singing even obscurer songs. In  January 2014 ZTO got that much more awesome when they started uploading full matches from the Ohio based promotion Wrestling and Respect (WAR). Some of the more heavily promoted WAR talent include Jock Samson, Sherman Tank and Chris Hall. WAR has also featured some former WWE talent. such as The Highlanders consisting of Rory McAllister and Robbie McAllister. Matches are filmed with multiple cameras, include commentary and also have onscreen graphics. The lighting and picture of clips tends to be great though looking at the varying quality of footage some of ZTO’s cameras must be better than others. Outside of the WAR stuff the channel has a ton of videos with a little something for everyone. Unless you are big into horror movies and Ohio’s underground rock scene. Then this channel has a lot for you. Lastly, The Takeover Podcast is a series featured on the channel that runs about 30 minutes and can be a fun listen though it has nothing to do with wrestling.

A recommended clip:

The Highlanders vs. Robby Starr and Ernie Ballz

This clip  from WAR 11 starts off a little weird since Robby Starr and Ernie Ballz come out to “O Fortuna” despite being neither demonic or hulking monsters. Instead they are more cookie cutter arrogant heels and demonstrate this by cutting your standard heel promo. The Highlanders apparently don’t take kindly to this and interrupt Starr and Ballz.

If you have not seen Rory McAllister or Robbie McAllister since they wrestled for the WWE one thing sticks out immediately. These two have aged very differently. Their move set is about the same though and the match consists of a ton of brawling. Robbie throws a ton of punches then rubs his nuts in Starr’s face, drawing attention to this action further by lifting up his kilt and burying Starr’s head inside of it. Rory does the same thing later on after landing 10 punches in one of the ring corners. Yeah, these guys love this spot.

As the match winds down Robbie knocks Starr and Ballz’s heads together to daze the heels. Starr then eats a double reverse suplex to put over the former WWE talent. To end on a random note the commentators also mention that The Highlanders are members of the WAR Hall of Fame. Yes, you read that right. The Highlanders are legit hall of famers.

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CZW Dojo Wars: Nate Carter Wrestles Trooper Audubon

by Daniel Johnson

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Nate Carter vs. Trooper Audubon

Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) held CZW Dojo Wars 5 back in July, which featured six matches including this one smack dab in the middle of the card. All 260 lbs of Nate Carter went up against the considerably smaller Trooper Audubon. Leading into this match Carter had wrestled on every single CZW Dojo Wars show. Audubon on the other hand was making his CZW Dojo Wars debut.

Carter pokes fun at himself as he eats a cupcake before the match, which the ring announcer tries to take away. One attendee shouts not to touch a black man’s cupcake and there is then an, “Eat the cupcake” chant. Audubon doesn’t get caught up or distracted by the cupcake and instead challenges Carter to a test of strength. Carter asks his foe, “Are you sure about this?” Audubon then proceeds to lose the test of strength, but gets in some cheap offense by stomping on Carter’s foot then poking him in one of his eyes. Audubon then taunts Carter and brags to the camera, but then nearly gets his head taken off with a lariat. Carter finisher the encounter when he channels Ron Simmons and embeds Trooper into the mat with a dominator.  It looks like this one didn’t need a fraction of the 15 minute time limit. Carter closes out the clip by flirting with the female referee.

In other CZW news the company is gearing up for CZW Down With The Sickness 2014. For that event a CZW World Tag Team Championship match has already been announced. The Juicy Product (“The Juice” JT Dunn and “The Product” David Starr) will defend in ladder triple threat match against The Beaver Boys (John Silver and Alex Reynolds) and Ohio is 4 Killers (OI4K) consisting of Dave Crist and Jake Crist. Each team has released a promo apiece hyping the match, which can be viewed here, here and here, respectively.

The full match can be seen right here:

The next CZW Dojo Wars show will be CZW Dojo Wars 9 on September 10 in Blackwood, New Jersey. After that CZW will put on a major show a mere three days later with CZW Down With The Sickness 2014 on September 13 in Voorhees, New Jersey. Click here for tickets to either event.

For the full results of CZW Dojo Wars 5 click here.

For more CZW Dojo Wars action click here and here.

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MMA: Wrestling’s Distant Cousin 6

by Daniel Johnson

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Metamoris is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu company running out of Los Angeles, California and founded by Ralek Gracie, a member of the famous Gracie family. Although Metamoris is marketed as a straight Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu company rather than an MMA organization, if you’re a pro wrestling fan first, Metamoris is a great way to transition into also being a MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

I know, I know! Hardcore pro wrestling fans and hardcore MMA fans are probably crapping on this piece already. If you’ve witnessed even a fraction of the online debate between pro wrestling fans and MMA fans that I have you know that combining the two in anyway is considered by many to be an abomination. Yet, pro wrestling, MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are fields that each produce a ton of fun stuff to watch. As Dean Lister said in the video package building up to his fight with Josh Barnett at Metamoris 4, “If you don’t have an open mind you’re not going to go very far.” This is true not only of combat, but of fandom. So if you’re a fan of one of these areas and not the others consider expanding your interest and taking in Metamoris as a way to aid this growth.

If you’re still reading this then you’re open minded enough to allow me to make a pro wrestling analogy. Metamoris reminds me of your standard fairly popular regional wrestling promotion. Big, yet aging stars are on top to attract the casual fans and younger guys fill out the undercard. Wait, a minute that doesn’t just sound like a regional promotion! That sounds like WWE Wrestlemania XXX!

Anyway, the reason so many companies use this formula is because it works. At the most recent Metamoris event, Metamoris 4 held on August 9. The two marquee matches were Chael Sonnen vs. Andre Galvao and the aforementioned Josh Barnett vs. Dean Lister. All four competitors were over 30 and three of them were 36 or older. Yet, using these fighters allows for a fun introduction to some people who have done great in the MMA world. Just by looking at him you can see that Josh Barnett today is not the same Josh Barnett at his peak in the early 2000s. However, the former holder of the UFC Heavyweight Championship and former NJPW superstar can still go and create memorable moments. At Metamoris 4, Barnett submitted Dean Lister for the first time since Bill Clinton was President of the United States.

Sure, if you want to get into MMA you can and should watch UFC as well as go back and watch older fights. Yet, Metamoris adds some perspective worth having. The average age of a marquee name for Metamoris 4 may be greater than that of the upcoming UFC 177, but these Metamoris fighters aren’t beaten down horses ready to put out to pasture. Barnett was knocked out by Travis Browne in a minute in his last UFC fight and it can’t be said he still shows signs of his former greatness. How could it? His greatness never left. At Metamoris 4 he had an intensely physical performance that went nearly 20 minutes and once again ended with him submitting someone just not known to tap. Looking beyond Barnett, Sonnen also has plenty of gas left in the tank. Sonnen may have lost three of his last four UFC fights, but his opponents for those losses were Anderson Silva, Jon Jones and Rashad Evans. All three of those men had momentum going into these fights ranging from decent (Evans) to incredible (Silva and Jones). Heck, Silva and Jones are arguably two of the best MMA fighters ever regardless of weight class. If Sonnen had any competition less than the very best his recent win/loss record could look very different.

Other than the fighters another reason pro wrestling fans interested in becoming fans of MMA/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu should check out Metamoris is the theatrics. Metamoris has some stuff that UFC currently is very unlikely to do. One of the more interesting contests was an unannounced secret fight between Baret Yoshida and Jeff Glover. Glover was only announced after Yoshida had already come out. The real kicker though is that Glover had been doing commentary then after being announced took off his headphones and revealed he was wearing tights. That’s some pro wrestling schtick right there!

Lastly, the pure spectacle of Metamoris offers makes it worth watching. Like UFC, Metamoris has top notch production values. The buildup packages heading into fights get you pumped for the showdown. Likewise, the highlight videos give you anything you could want of any combat sport organization wrapped up in a nice little package. In about ten minutes you are fed six stories worth of action and even more awesome smaller bits. If you can’t set aside some hours to watch an entire Metamoris event than 10 minutes can offer a great condensed version of the spectacle the company offers.

Metamoris held it’s first event in 2012 and produces a slim amount of content compared to the likes of UFC. Yet, it is a case of quality over quantity. Metamoris is a three in one company that has something to offer if you are a pro wrestling fan, a MMA fan or just a fan of straight up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Although not a flat out MMA organization Metamoris offers a great chance in particular for pro wrestling fans to expand their interests into MMA/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu due to it’s fighters, theatrics and spectacle.

 

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30 in 30 Reborn: Gold Rush Pro Wrestling’s Channel

by Daniel Johnson

30in30rebornlogo

Hi pals! Support indie/foreign wrestling and vote for The Crown J here. Also, go here for details on how to win a $25 WWE Shop Gift Card. Information about the 30 in 30 Reborn series can be found here. Contest ends August 31, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.

The full Gold Rush Pro Wrestling (GRPW) YouTube channel can be found here.

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Here are the facts about GRPW’s YouTube channel:

Number of videos: 51

Frequency new videos are added: The channel has not had a single video added to it since July 2013, but back when the channel first launched in February 2012 eight videos were uploaded in one week.

Frequency full shows are added: Most of the full matches on the channel make up a few full shows put on the channel that were spaced out as little as a month apart at one point. The last full show added was in June 2013

Total views of the most popular video: 4,485

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GRPW is a pretty cool promotion based out of Pacifica, California. The thing that makes GRPW particularly neat is that aside from promoting young talent the company has held several fundraisers for various causes around the San Fransisco Bay Area. The man behind the promotion is Sparkey Ballard, a referee who prior to forming the company had refereed more than 2,000 matches, working in the United States and Australia. Although the promotion is largely made up of local talent, workers based outside of California have worked for GRPW as well. Some talent featured on the channel to look out for are AJ Kirsch, Amber O’Neal and Will Rood. The matches on this channel are filmed in two different ways. Some are shot with multiple cameras and others are filmed from one fixed camera. No commentary or onscreen graphics are included, but the lighting and picture quality are decent. The channel passed away in July 2013. Given that GRPW’s official website was updated as recently as April 2014 it is possible the channel could be resurrected, but that is not incredibly likely.

A recommended clip:

D-Torch vs. AJ Kirsch

Despite coming out in a punk rock style jacket D-Torch declares, “Look at all these kids, I feel like Justin Bieber.” AJ Kirsch by contrast is a more serious wrestler and has no such one liners.

Kirsch gets down to business after feeling D-Torch out and takes his opponent down then follows that up with a front face lock. Despite his name and his tights AJ Kirsch is not much like AJ Styles and has a more grounded style. This leaves the high flying of the match to be performed by D-Torch.  Although Kirsch dominates for a little while inside the squared circle when the action spills outside D-Torch wallops Kirsch with a crossbody from the ring to the floor.

As soon as the match goes back inside Kirsch again takes charge until D-Torch rolls him up. When Kirsch kicks out, D-Torch delivers a neckbreaker then when that fails to win him the match D-Torch starts dolling out some stiff sounding kicks. Unfortunately for D-Torch his streak of offense ends when he runs into Kirsch’s big boot. Kirsch then executes a falcon arrow, but D-Torch kicks out at two. Will Rood then comes out prompting Kirsch to ponder allowed, “What the hell are you doing here, Rood?” This is enough of a distraction for D-Torch to finish Kirsch off with a schoolboy.

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