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Lots of wrestlers/producers/other staff released from WWE today.

Wrestlers gone:

WWE has come to terms on the release of Kurt Angle, Drake Maverick (James Curtin), Zack Ryder (Matthew Cardona), Curt Hawkins (Brian Myers), Karl Anderson (Chad Allegra), Luke Gallows (Drew Hankinson), Heath Slater (Heath Miller), Eric Young (Jeremy Fritz), Rowan (Joseph Ruud), Sarah Logan (Sarah Rowe), No Way Jose (Levis Valenzuela), Mike Chioda, Mike Kanellis (Mike Bennett), Maria Kanellis, EC3 (Michael Hutter), Aiden English (Matthew Rehwoldt), Lio Rush (Lionel Green), Primo (Edwin Colon) and Epico (Orlando Colon Nieves). We wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

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On 20/05/2020 at 8:48 PM, Dog-amoto said:

Former WWE wrestler Shad Gaspard dead at 39 after being caught up in a riptide while swimming. 
 

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/may/20/shad-gaspard-wwe-missing-swimming-venice-beach-body-found

 

Saw he’d gone missing a few days ago. What an awful way to die, sacrificed himself to save his son apparently. RIP. 

Just awful news.  I don’t know much about swimming in the ocean although it sounds as though they were a long way off shore.  Listening to some of the current and former wrestlers talk about him and he really sounded like a good guy.  Really tragic.

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Been watching The Last Ride on the WWE Network. Been great, especially seeing all the backstage stuff and outtakes of Undertaker promos from the early 90s. Had a feeling it would lead up to this, but Mark Calaway has announced his retirement on the latest and final episode. 

Absolute legend. One of the all time greats. Wish him nothing but happiness in life after the ring. 

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That show looked really good and one I’ll definitely check out next time I have a period of being subscribed to the network.

3 hours ago, Dog-amoto said:

Mark Calaway has announced his retirement on the latest and final episode. 

Is that immediate or after some upcoming special match?

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No, that’s it now. His match against AJ Styles at WM36 will be his last. 

Edited by Dog-amoto

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I think that’s a pretty good way to go out. Though I did kind of expect they might make that type of match a regular thing to squeeze out a bit more Undertaker action.

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I really enjoyed the documentary too. A very interesting insight to the man behind Taker. I can see the announcement being genuine but I can also seeing him come back for another match if he wants to. He’s had so many matches that seemed to be a retirement match. 

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Anyone got any recommendations for some good wrestling books? I was gonna move onto Jericho's first autobiography but I fancy a more general book first, something maybe focusing on the 80s and 90s. I've already read The Death of WCW (which was great by the way).

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I’ve only ever read biographies of wrestlers, which I don’t think you need any advice on. The Death of WCW sounds really interesting, I’d never thought to read anything on the wider industry - are there any others like that you know of?

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7 minutes ago, will' said:

I’ve only ever read biographies of wrestlers, which I don’t think you need any advice on. The Death of WCW sounds really interesting, I’d never thought to read anything on the wider industry - are there any others like that you know of?

One for New Japan thats been on my list for a while is 'Eggshells: Pro Wrestling In The Tokyo Dome' but with my NJPW knowledge only stretching back a few years I've held off on it until I watch more of their backlog. There's also another WCW one called 'NITRO: The Incredible Rise and Inevitable Collapse of Ted Turner's WCW' but I haven't read that yet.

I think there are quite a few general industry ones out there, I just never know which are worth reading lol.

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Actually, I just notice that the NITRO book is on sale on Kindle today so I think I'll grab it.

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2 minutes ago, Happenstance said:

Actually, I just notice that the NITRO book is on sale on Kindle today so I think I'll grab it.

$1.99!! I picked it up too.

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The missus and I ended up watching night 1 of Wrestle Kingdom 14 last week as we were interested in giving NJPW a go and with it being free to watch on njpwworld, we thought why not. And it was great. Definitely some of the best wrestling I've seen in a long time and I know the night 2 is supposedly to be better so we're considering subscribing to watch that.

We did end up picking up NJPW Collection 2016 - 2019 on Fite.TV and have spent most of the weekend working through that. Its pretty much a greatest hits of NJPW matches for that time period and by god has it been incredible. Everything has just been top tier and has just made me want to watch more and more NJPW. Getting to see the Kenny Omega vs. Okada match from Dominion in 2018 was just amazing, can 100% see why Meltzer ranked that as the best wrestling match ever.

Having only heard bits and pieces about it over the years and through watching AEW, it's been great to finally watch some of their stuff. Their singles work definitely puts everyone else to shame. Its no wonder that other promotions have tried so hard to sign some of the talent because they're just so good. Considering I've also been watching some of the older AEW PPVs from last year that I didn't see (I only started watching when Dynamte started), its definitely put some of their singles matches into a whole different light, well a shadow more like (though I will say that Omega vs. Cima match from Fight for the Fallen last year was so good. Hopefully see Cima back down the line).

At least AEW have probably the best tag division. Having the Lucha Bros. back is so good as Fenix and Pentagon Jr. are just great. Looking forward to their match with FTR this week.

 

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I've started that Nitro book. Up to chapter 9 so far. It seems ok but I definitely prefer the Death of WCW book I mentioned. This one seems a lot broader while the death book (as I shall now call it) talks a lot more about the week to week, the wrestlers, storylines and interesting stories from the time.

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Randomly came across Bill Burr narrating a classic shoot with Antonio Ionoki and some fat Antonio and its made me rather interested in shoot side of stuff;

anyone got recommendations for any good classics/watches? seen a few already. also my mate/wrestling gog to go gave me a few good Dark Side of the Ring episodes to watch - Brawl for All and New Jack.

Fuck me. On both fronts.

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Ended up subbing to NJPW World back in July and I've been working through stuff on there, going through a list of some of the best matches and damn, its just so damn good. Don't think I've watched a match that hasn't been incredible. Certainly puts every other wrestling promotion to shame just with the shear work rate of the guys in NJPW.

I had Takahashi v. Ishimori on the other night from their G1 meeting in 2018 and god damn was that a good match. Put on Okada v. Tanahashi from that year as well and similarly just so damn good. Likewise, the couple of Will Ospreay matches I've had on have been brilliant.

Obviously ended up finishing up Wrestle Kingdom 14 night 2 and loved that. The Okada v. Naito match was so good. I remember following it along on Twitter in January and it was just a slew of people posting finisher after finisher but that really did a disservice to just how good that match was. He'll, even Jyushin Thunder Liger's last match was a good watch (I'm still shocked that he's only 55 and done somewhere north of 3500 matches across so many different promotions, just insane).

Was a bit skeptical about subbing but more than warranting its monthly fee with the quality of matches they put on. Summer Struggle finished yesterday but the missus is on nightshift so having to wait to catch the end of that but heard its great so looking forward to sitting down to see Naito v. Evil. But yeah, so good so far. I'm still watching AEW alongside going through this but NJPW is just on a whole different level of quality.

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New Japan announced the blocks for this year's G1 Climax starting on the 18th.

Block A

  • Kota Ibushi
  • Jeff Cobb
  • Kazuchika Okada
  • Tomohiro Ishii
  • Will Ospreay
  • Shingo Takagi
  • Minoru Suzuki
  • Taichi
  • Jay White
  • Yujiro Takahashi

Block B

  • Hiroshi Tanahashi
  • Juice Robinson
  • Hirooki Goto
  • Toru Yano
  • YOSHI-HASHI
  • Tetsuya Naito
  • SANADA
  • Zack Sabre Jr.
  • KENTA
  • EVIL

That Block A looks insane. While Block B certainly has a strong line up, I'd be really hard pressed to say where I think they'll go with Block A. Pretty much anyone's game. Cool to see that Ospreay made it back over, likewise Kenta. Guessing he'll have to wait that bit longer for his US title match against Moxley, though if they haven't been able to agree to a time and place for the match for Kenta to win it, I imagine they'll save for Wrestle Kingdom which will likely mean Kenta isn't winning G1 (I probably wouldn't expect it anyway).

Do wonder if they'll continue the Ospreay push this year through it as they had intended before the pandemic started or if they'll bounce off of that and go with the singles push for Ibushi, maybe even have it be Ibushi v. Tanahashi as the final now that their tag team work is done. Will be interesting to watch and excited to actually sit down and watch it all for the first time with having the NJPW World sub, can stick it on in the morning after exercise.

On the AEW front, All Out was pretty good at the weekend. Moved stories ahead, albeit a bit slower than I think many would have wanted. The less said about the Matt Hardy v. Sammy Guevara match the better because that should not have continued. They're going with it being Matt's call but both ended up injured and it was just a clusterfuck from the get go really. He's too old to be doing some of those spots.

At least they followed it up with a great Women's title match. Great for NWA, not so great for AEW and their Women's champion as Thunder Rosa really did run rings around Shida. The ending was as expected but it just felt so flat after Shida had been on the back foot the whole match. Great advert for Thunder Rosa and happy that she'll be getting a few more matches out of the temporary deal. Wasn't keen on FTR winning the tag belts but it is what it is. It'll set up the single push for Hangman Adam Page (a redemption arc for sure) and the return of The Cleaner for Kenny Omega so there's that from it.

They've also brought in two former WWE wrestlers in the last couple of days. Matt Sydal (whose in ring debut at All Out had him botch a move off of the top turn buckle and land on his head) and Miro, aka Rusev. Do think that's where they need to draw the line there and focus more on bringing in indie talent if they're signing (They've also brought in Tay Conti formerly of NXT too and have Matt Cardona on a 5 match deal/trial). They've got some really good indie talent on Dark that they could and should sign over anyone else from WWE.

Edited by Ganepark32

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I have a feeling they might go back to pushing Jay White. New Japan seemed pretty high on him for a while.

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