About Ryan Simmons

Pro Wrestling Fan | Social Optimist | Family Man | Toy Collector | Small Business Owner

What If: WWE buys TNA

whatifwwebuystna3At ProRasslin.club, we’ve asked the question ‘What If‘ 18 times. Sometimes we’ve re-written wrestling history, other times we’ve made predictions for the future and sometimes we do a hybrid of both. Today’s edition is interesting because of every What If we’ve ever pondered, this one is imminent. TNA will be sold this week. It seemed like the Orlando based company would change hands last week as rumors of bankruptcy flooded the internet, but a mystery investor infused enough cash to make Bound for Glory happen. Because this is wrestling, the list of mystery investors (and potential buyers) is limited only by your imagination.

Anyone with money and/or an interest in pro wrestling has been discussed among fans. Was it Hulk Hogan with all that sweet Gawker cash? Did Broken Matt Hardy take out a second mortgage on his sprawling North Carolina compound? Is WWE Hall of Famer Donald Trump going to Make TNA Great Again? With no real details surfacing regarding the mystery third party, you can’t rule anyone out just yet. So when TNA is finally sold, who is most likely to end up owning it? The safe bet remains Billy Corgan but it’s been reported by Forbes that the WWE remains a very real possibility in some capacity. So this week we ask, What if WWE buys TNA? Continue reading

What If: Corey Graves Didn’t Have to Retire

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When we think of superstars whose careers ended too early, two names immediately spring to mind: Edge and Daniel Bryan. After more than 10 years in the ring, numberous world championships and multiple high profile Wrestlemania matches, long term injuries caught up to both men. Their retirements were shocking and emotional for everyone, especially in an industry where guys like Flair, Sting and Hogan wrestled well into their 50s. Edge and Bryan still had star power, but they did what was best (and right) for their futures. Edge was inducted into the Hall of Fame less than a year after his shocking retirement. Daniel Bryan will join him whenever Daniel Bryan chooses to. Neither end was ideal, but we can take comfort in knowing that both men lived their dream, their future is much brighter having retiring and we got the chance to take the wild ride with them.

In a way, those were the best possible worst scenarios. Some guys don’t know when to call it quits. Some guys don’t have what it takes to make it that far. Or in the case of Corey Graves, some guys get so close, then have it all ripped away. That brings us to this week’s What If…

What If Corey Graves didn’t have to retire? Continue reading

Billy Corgan aims to save TNA

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In 1996, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony released their hit song and ground breaking music video ‘Tha Crossroads’. Having just revisited it for the first time in 20 years, it’s over the top, a little morbid and predictably dated. But for whatever reason, it resonated hard with 10 year old me. When it came on MTV or The Box, I was captivated with the special effects and unique rhythm. So you can imagine my outrage and anger when MTV’s Video Music Awards rolled around and Smashing Pumpkins won almost every award for their ‘Tonight, Tonight’ video. 10 year old me hated Billy Corgan.

Around the same time as the 1996 VMAs, I began to discover pro wrestling. This wasn’t the fake yellow and red Hulkamania crap that I was too cool for in my pre-teen years. No, this new wrestling. It was the nWo and Hollywood Hogan. It was crazy guys like Mankind or cool guys like Shawn Michaels. It was ECW. I was hooked on all 3 but it was ECW that meant the most t0 me as they were my hometown promotion. So imagine my excitement when huge rockstar Billy Corgan showed up to play an original song about ECW. 14 year old me loved Billy Corgan. Continue reading

Beyond the Network: Wrestling Streaming Options

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A few weeks ago, we discussed how the WWE Network changed the face of the WWE as well as the method for distribution for the entire industry. Video On Demand has long been apart of indies (even before the network), but this ‘over-the-top’ monthly subscription is a direct result of the WWE’s paradigm shift. Now you can stay up to date on small North American companies like Beyond or international juggernauts like New Japan Pro Wrestling. While we don’t have the money to subscribe to all of them, we decided to put together a list of the most notable streaming services we were able to find. This list isn’t entire comprehensive, so let us know if we missed any that you’d like to see added! Continue reading

5 Up/5 Down: This Week in Wrestling

This week, we began incorporating wrestling from all over the world. As always, we pay no mind to spoilers and base all Ups and Downs on shows that air from Wednesday through Tuesday. If you feel like we’re missing someone or a promotion, tell us about them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and we’ll take a look! 

5 Up

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The Brian Kendrick has returned to the WWE main roster and he’s wasted no time picking up where he left off: chasing championship gold. During his last run, Kendrick and his tag team partner Paul London held the WWE Tag Team titles for a record 331 days (A record that stood until New Day recently broke it!) Wrestling on Raw for the first time in 7 years, Kendrick bested 3 other cruiserweight stand outs to earn a shot at TJ Perkins’ Cruiserweight Championship at Clash of Champions. At 37 years old, this could be TBK’s last title match in WWE…or the start of a fascinating and deserved reign as champ.

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Chikara Grand Champion Hallowicked is on fire. Now serving the evil entity Nazmaldun, the Sleepy Hallow native has dominated Chikara over the past 18 months. When the Philly-based promotion visited the UK early last year, Wicked defeated Icarus to become the Grand Champion and the first wrestler in Chikara’s history to win every title. He lost the title briefly to Princess Kimberlee before taking it back in Scotland a few months later, becoming the first ever 2 time champion. His match with Drew Gulak at last Saturday’s The Black Goodbye was an instant classic and would have fit right in on the Cruiserweight Classic. As a matter of fact, maybe we should add him to the list of potential 2017 CWC participants!

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ProRasslin’s WWE Figure Wishlist

img_9769Above was ProRasslin’s Wish List for 2016 SDCC reveals. We didn’t get a ring attire Lana, Carmella, Byron or Shane McMahon but boy did Mattel hit on most of our wants! Amazingly, this want list is already starting to feel outdated. Luckily for collectors, with Ringside Fest coming up in October, there is a good chance we see a couple new figures. We’ll definitely see the near-final products for most of the figures above. So what do action figure collectors have to look forward to in October? How many new figures might we see? The answer to both could be a lot!

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2015 Ringside Fest Line Up

Though nothing has been announced for this year yet, Ringside Fest typically happens in early October. Ringside Fest, toy distributor Ringside Collectibles’ annual event, is a real treat for fans who can get tickets and make it to NYC. Top stars appear for autograph sessions, release dates of late 2016 and early 2017 figures will come into focus and you get to see many new figures on display. Ringside is the online leader in WWE toys often getting the most recent figures weeks or months before Walmart, Target and Toys R Us. Once they announce which figures will be in what series, the figures typically go up for preorder on their site. The prices are higher than almost everywhere other than eBay or your local hobby shop, but there is something to be said about getting your hands on the newest figures well before retail store toy hunters. Continue reading

What If: The Brand Split Ends Again (Belt Edition)

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Following WWE’s acquisition of WCW in 2001, there was an overabundance of performers under contract. The influx of talent and titles coming in from WCW were utilized in the Invasion storyline which pitted Shane, Vince and eventually Stephanie against one another as the respective owners of WCW, WWF and ECW. The Invasion provided some memorable, I-can’t-believe-my-eyes moments like Kane & Taker winning the WCW Tag Titles and The Rock beating Booker T for the WCW World Title. Still, the WWE felt no need to carry that many championships. All of the WCW titles were unified with their respective WWE counterparts by the end of 2001.

This clarity of champions lasted only a few months. As a way to create competition for itself in the absence of Monday Night Nitro, WWE announced the first ever brand extension in early 2002. Raw was Raw. Smackdown was Smackdown. No crossover. The recently retired Big Gold Belt was resurrected as Raw’s World Championship with the WWE Title becoming exclusive to Smackdown. Other titles were added over time to balance the brands but none stayed around too long.

By the time the brand extension officially ended in 2011, the only remaining titles were the WWE, World, US, IC, Divas and Tag team championships. The World title was merged with the WWE title in 2013. The champion would walk around with both belts until August 2013 when Brock Lesnar was presented with a single title featuring the new WWE Logo. Big gold was no more and the WWE was back to 5 championship belts for the first time in over a decade…until this summer.

With the WWE brands now home to 9 combined titles, we ask ourselves…What if the brand split ends again?

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