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Coming up on my annual monthly sub to New Japan for Wrestle Kingdom. Feel like I haven’t seen much build up at all to this year’s but there’s some good matches on the card:

Day One:

Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles

Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Great-O-Khan

KENTA vs. Juice Robinson for the IWGP US title contract briefcase

Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Guerillas of Destiny for the IWGP Tag Team titles

Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Phantasmo

King of Pro Wrestling Ranbo

 

Day Two:

Winner of Naito-Ibushi vs. Jay White for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles

Taiji Ishimori vs. Hiromu-ELP winner for the IWGP Jr. title

SANADA vs. EVIL

Shingo Takagi vs. Jeff Cobb for the NEVER Openweight title

El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi for the IWGP Jr. Tag Team titles

4-way match for the KOPW title

Dark match featuring Stardom talent

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Really unbelievable, feel for his family and friends. Bray Wyatt wrote a really nice thing for him, sounds like he was very well liked and will be missed. Crazy to be so young and in shape and have something like this just take it all away.

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18 minutes ago, Will said:

Really unbelievable, feel for his family and friends. Bray Wyatt wrote a really nice thing for him, sounds like he was very well liked and will be missed. Crazy to be so young and in shape and have something like this just take it all away.

I never really watched a lot of his stuff over the years as I had dropped away from wrestling by then but just reading all the nice things various people have had to say about it I actually found it quite moving. Obviously was one of the nice guys in wrestling.

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Very shocked to see this. Never saw his stuff in AEW so didn’t realise who it was right away. It’s been a sad year in the wrestling world. 

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Heard the news this morning and even now, I'm still shocked. Didn't know him from his time in WWE but his work in AEW was great, with two standout matches against Jon Moxley and Cody Rhodes in a dog collar match. What he did to elevate The Dark Order there, how he integrated himself so well with them and how everyone was just glowing in their praise for him as a person in and out of the ring regardless of what company they were part of shows what a genuinely good person he was.

From what I'd heard, he was miss used in WWE so to see him get a title run and some great character work and matches really seemed to be turning his career I  the right direction. Its a shame he never got to have a match in front of a full crowd, what with Covid putting a stop to his debut in his home town of Rochester, but he definitely left a mark and will be sorely missed by many. Glad to hear that the team at AEW have been helping aa much as possible with his wife and kids and looks like thats something they intend to keep doing in the long term.

The out pouring of support does show one thing: that the walls that have been put up between companies in wrestling really should come down because Brodie Lee's praise has been universal and when they are so many on the same page, surely it would benefit to come together not just for this moment but generally speaking. Its unlikely with how WWE operate but it seems something that some companies are looking to do to make it a more universal collective rather than walled gardens.

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On 26/12/2020 at 4:08 PM, Happenstance said:

Coming up on my annual monthly sub to New Japan for Wrestle Kingdom. Feel like I haven’t seen much build up at all to this year’s but there’s some good matches on the card:

Day One:

Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles

Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Great-O-Khan

KENTA vs. Juice Robinson for the IWGP US title contract briefcase

Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Guerillas of Destiny for the IWGP Tag Team titles

Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Phantasmo

King of Pro Wrestling Ranbo

 

Day Two:

Winner of Naito-Ibushi vs. Jay White for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles

Taiji Ishimori vs. Hiromu-ELP winner for the IWGP Jr. title

SANADA vs. EVIL

Shingo Takagi vs. Jeff Cobb for the NEVER Openweight title

El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi for the IWGP Jr. Tag Team titles

4-way match for the KOPW title

Dark match featuring Stardom talent

Really looking forward to this. Hoping to watch both nights live this year, though the missus finishes night shift on the morning of night 1 so might not catch the whole thing then and there.

Night 1 has the better card of the 2 nights. Looking forward to all of the matches on that night. Takahashi vs El Phantasmo should be good, especially to set up the title match on night 2. I'd love to see another Takahashi vs Ishimori match given their match at the Super Jr's a few years back was incredible but I have a feeling that they haven't just brought ELP over to lose.

It could go either way for the US Championship contract. Kenta has defended it enough at this point to have more than earned his shot but Juice has been in good form (he looked great during G1) so yeah, it's either or really. With the new travel restrictions in place, I suspect that its more likely that we'll see the title stripped from Moxley sooner rather than later so this match may not mean as much in the long run unless AEW actually let's Moxley wrestle Kenta on NJ Strong.

GoD will win the tag titles. The build they had through tag league makes me think its a sure thing.

Okada isn't walking out of the Tokyo Dome with a win. Whether Ospreay gets a clean win is a different question but with the Stardom talent there for night 2 and Ben Priestley being around, I suspect there'll be some interference for Ospreay to get the win to keep that feud going long term.

Likewise, I see Tanahashi losing to Great O-Khan. They've tried to build him as this monster of a wrestler and given the rough ride Tana had during tag league (too many blows to the knees in G1), I sadly don't see him taking the win. Possibly end up leading to an Okada/Tana tag match with Ospreay and O-Khan down the line.

Ibushi has to walk out of night 1 with the titles. He's been so close so many times, it just makes sense. My only hope is that with night 2, Gedo hasn't booked it as  single night run for him. I know he's high on Jay White and there's a big push behind him but this is easily a long running feud is Gedo let's it so have Ibushi finally over come the odds to win on night 1 and then finally pick up his long sought after win against White on night 2 and let the feud unravel from there, maybe with Evil costing White the win for the Bullet Club drama.

Evil vs SANADA should be good. Have Evil win against White losing and you set up a longer rift of who's in charge of Bullet Club. And Takagi vs Cobb will largely depend on what Cobb turns up. If its the one that turned up towards the end of G1 then it should be a good match (with the title most likely changing hands to labour the Empire/Ospreay faction take over).

So yeah, looking forward to it.

Edit: looks like Juice Robinson is out on injury so it'll be Kenta vs Kojima. So a Kenta win there. There must be a video package to fall after the match from Moxley otherwise they need to strip the title as a match isn't happening any time soon.

Edited by Ganepark32
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The Brodie Lee news was shocking, and I was so impressed with the outpouring of support and stories from his peers. He was so well-liked and respected by those that worked with him, it is so tragic.

The AEW tribute was so well done, and the emotion shown by those involved was heartbreaking, and many of those only got to know him over the past year.  Seeing Erik Rowan / Redbeard make an appearance with that sign & then embracing others in tears in the ring broke me 😢.

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So I finally gave in and got a WWE Network account since I wanted to watch the Royal Rumble. It's kinda wierd having the arena so quiet that you can hear what they're saying in the ring. I've only watched half so far since hell if i'm sitting on my ass for four hours. Finished watching the women's rumble atleast, i'll watch the rest later.

I have no idea of what storylines they're pushing or even who anyone is since the last time I watched wrestling was in 2004 Once I watch a few episodes of Raw and Smackdown then I might get into the swing of things and start making sence of what they're trying to do and who everyone is.

Is Vince still running things or has he retired?

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Not sure if it’s been mentioned on here, but the 83 Weeks podcast with Conrad Thompson (Ric Flair’s son in law) interviewing Eric Bischoff is absolutely superb. Bischoff responds to all criticism in a mostly measured and articulate manner. He completely shits on that Death of WCW book that I know has been mentioned on here and I’m more inclined to believe his take on what happened - you can dissect the “Fingerpoke of Doom” as much as you want, but what truly seemed to kill WCW was simply that Time Warner didn’t want wrestling on their network after the merger. Most of the dirt sheets of the time were mostly based on rumour and conjecture, with few sources actually named, and that is mentioned plenty of times by Bischoff, but he also does not shirk away from the mistakes he made.

Well worth a listen. Especially the episode where he makes RD Reynolds (Death of WCW author) backpedal like crazy. The podcast goes into detail on many subjects, including the formation of the nWo and the Monday Night Wars, the failed purchase of WCW before Vince got it, Bret Hart, Sting, Bischoff in WWE and loads more. 

Edited by Dog-amoto

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On 02/02/2021 at 5:00 PM, martinist said:

So I finally gave in and got a WWE Network account since I wanted to watch the Royal Rumble. It's kinda wierd having the arena so quiet that you can hear what they're saying in the ring. I've only watched half so far since hell if i'm sitting on my ass for four hours. Finished watching the women's rumble atleast, i'll watch the rest later.

I have no idea of what storylines they're pushing or even who anyone is since the last time I watched wrestling was in 2004 Once I watch a few episodes of Raw and Smackdown then I might get into the swing of things and start making sence of what they're trying to do and who everyone is.

Is Vince still running things or has he retired?

Vince is still the top guy in charge, yes. This is usually a good time to watch though. WrestleMania season is usually the better time. Currently Smackdown is regarded as the better show of the main two. And there does seem to be some potentially good storylines for Wrestlemania in the works. 
The network has plenty of stuff to watch NXT and NXTUK are two must sees, they are usually better than Raw and Smackdown each week. If you’re into the documentaries there’s some really great ones on there too. The 24 and 365 are good shows to watch. 

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Seems they don't show Smackdown or Raw live on the network. So I had to sign up for BT Sports and i'll use the network account for the pay per views.

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On 06/02/2021 at 5:56 PM, martinist said:

Seems they don't show Smackdown or Raw live on the network. So I had to sign up for BT Sports and i'll use the network account for the pay per views.

It’s never been live, always on a four week delay. It’s something to do with US streaming rights with other companies I think. Network is still worth it for all the other content. 

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Not sure how many here watch NXT but even if you don’t give Takeover Vengeance Day a watch. Absolutely top notch from top to bottom and Balor vs Pete Dunne for the title was easily MotY contender already. Not a single Irish Whip into the ropes, not a single run of the ropes, they stayed inside the ring the whole match and it was 90% pure wrestling moves. I urge anyone with the network to watch it. Or find a way. 

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Conrad Thompson now has Kurt Angle on his podcast. Very interesting listen. He talks about that moment at Wrestlemania 19 with Brock as well as his signing with the WWF after the Olympics and his appearance at the controversial ECW event with the crucifixion. WWF offered him a 10 year $5m dollar deal in 1996 but he turned it down. He ended up having to try out 2 years later but on a developmental deal worth 10 times less.

https://open.spotify.com/show/5lcBcZbI1JO3BASz163jjh?si=Odh16HDjS827i27lZ7sP1A

As I’ve mentioned before, the Eric Bischoff podcast is also a must listen for anyone interested in that period of history. 

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Started watching Raw from 1998 on the network. Just finished the No Way Out '98 PPV so far and they have this Mike Tyson / Steve Austin angle gonig. Before that at the Royal Rumble '98 there was this nice casket match between Undertaker and Shawn Michaels where Kane comes out near the end and screws over Undertaker before he takes an axe to the casket and sets it on fire while Paul Bearer eggs him on and JR is screaming bloody murder like "The Undertaker is inside gawd damn it!!"

After that Undertaker was gone. Haven't seen him since on Raw or the No Way Out PPV after the rumble. They'll probably bring the guy back at WrestleMania 14 or something. Should get a nice loud pop if it does happen. I still have six episodes of Raw to watch before that though.

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That casket match was where Shawn Michaels hurt his back, forcing him to retire from in-ring a bit later until 2002.

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3 hours ago, Happenstance said:

That casket match was where Shawn Michaels hurt his back, forcing him to retire from in-ring a bit later until 2002.

Aye.  It also caused him a lot of issues which nearly cost him all his friends and his WWF/E career until he found faith, cleaned up and got back into shape.  The Summerslam 2002 match being his first back, he was strongly protected by Trips as to not re-aggravate his back issues.

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