It’s no secret that we here at ProRasslin.club are big fans of the Cruiserweight Classic. Hell, we’re already eagerly looking forward to next year’s edition. While TJ Perkins took home the trophy this time around, when the tournament kicked off, my pick to win the thing was “The Whole Shebang” Johnny Gargano. I’d seen Gargano wrestle years earlier at the old ECW Arena, and was excited when he debuted on NXT and was subsequently announced for the CWC. He may have fallen short of victory, but he certainly did not disappoint, delivering two excellent matches before he was eliminated. There are good times ahead for Johnny Wrestling.
Yesterday, we profiled one of the absolute best woman wrestlers in the world today, Candice LaRae. She has squared off with some of the top female performers of this era, but something that sets her apart is her ability to keep up with the men during intergender matches. She is inarguably a show-stealer. She’s also the new bride of Gargano, as the couple was just wed a week ago today.
In today’s match from Absolute Intense Wrestling’s September 2014 WrestleRanger event, these newlyweds go to war with one another, and they pull out all the stops. With so many high spots and false finishes, this one has such a big match feel to it that it could be a pay-per-view main event. So take a timeout from your Friday to get your indy wrestling fix with Johnny & Candice – you’ll be happy that you did. Just don’t hold me responsible for the commentary.
As we head into the final episode of the WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic this Wednesday night, only four men remain in the tournament. Zack Sabre Jr., representing the United Kingdom, is one of them. The exposure that ZSJ has garnered through the CWC has given many American fans their first taste of his work, but Mr. Sabre has been tying opponents in knots for years.
In this Progress Wrestling match from May of 2014, Sabre Jr. takes on another wrestler on his path to greatness, Prince Devitt, better known to WWE fans as Finn Balor. Devitt, whose elaborate costumes have always been a staple of his persona, pays homage to Heath Ledger’s Joker for this contest, one of his last before heading to the WWE. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only time that these two technicians have gone toe-to-toe in the ring, but given the current state of their careers, they may very well meet again someday on a much grander stage.
To celebrate King of Trios, we take a look back at a 2009 Rey De Voladores match featuring Cruiserweight Classic star Kota Ibushi vs Jigsaw vs Young Buck Nick Jackson vs Sami Zayn’s mentor El Generico. As mentioned in yesterday’s King of Trios 2016 overview, Rey De Voladores is a King of Trios weekend tradition in which the “King of Flying” is crowned after 2 gravity defying fourway elimination matches and one final 1 on 1 match. The 2 bookends of this matched featured Player Dos vs Austin Aries vs Fire Ant vs Matt Jackson and the final match-up (which we won’t spoil for you!) Enjoy the match and your weekend!
Ps. If you’re going to King of Trios on Saturday, keep your eyes peeled for a chubby 4-eyed, bearded dude and his beautiful wife…that’ll be me! Stop and say hello!
From 2000 through 2010, Dave Meltzer gave 5-stars to only six matches. This Styles-Joe-Daniels X-Division bout is one of them. It was the first 5-star match of 2005 and is TNA’s only entry ever on Meltzer’s exclusive list. Of course, if you read a certain article earlier this week, you already know how this one ends.
Amazingly, the second 5-star match of 2005 came less than a month later and also featured Samoa Joe. Of the 6 5-star matches over the first decade of the 21st century, Samoa Joe wrestled in 3 of them! Enjoy TNA’s greatest match ever (and one of Joe’s top 3!)
This is TNA’s very first match, from their very first weekly pay-per-view. With Destination X on the horizon, I think it’s appropriate that we remember that the X Division ushered in the dawn of the company. Here, the future face of the franchise AJ Styles teams with Low Ki (or Senshi, or Kaval, whatever you prefer) and ECW’s Jerry Lynn to take on the Flying Elvises, a team of…um…flying Elvis impersonators comprising Jimmy Yang, Sonny Siaki and Jorge Estrada. The generic stock theme music and overall awkwardness of the “legends” watching the match backstage serve to foreshadow the proudly lackluster flavor that TNA still carries with it today.
I was never a fan of undefeated streaks in wrestling. I think the one Crimson is currently enjoying is worse than the average, but I wasn’t a fan of Goldberg’s or Samoa Joe’s or Brock Lesnar’s either. In addition to the numbers often being fudged, one of the reasons I tend not to care for them is that, in most instances, the wrestler involved in the streak has actually lost before, either in a non-televised match or in a TV debut weeks before being repackaged with the gimmick of being undefeatable. Such was the case for Brock Lesnar, as he pulls the job to Mr. Perfect in this house show match. Now, there’s no shame in losing to Mr. Perfect, but I hated seeing Lesnar pushed as undefeated when this video exists and is accessible to any fan with an internet connection.
Don’t get me wrong, some guys can pull it off. Well, one guy could pull it off. In my experience, the only undefeated streak for a debuting superstar that I thoroughly enjoyed was that of Kurt Angle in his first tour of the WWE. I could be forgetting someone, as I’ve given this topic approximately 30 seconds of thought, but for now I’ll stick to my guns on this argument.
You might not recognize masked luchador Chimaera, but you should. Why, you ask? Because his name is Ricardo Rrrrrrodriguez! The personal ring announcer of Alberto Del Rio worked as Chimaera in Chikara, Dragon Gate USA, and even in WWE’s developmental promotion, Florida Championship Wrestling. Now that he’s been converted to Ricardo Rodriguez, he continues to wrestle in FCW as his new character while also serving to introduce Del Rio at WWE events, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we eventually see him lace up a pair of boots and wrestle on the main roster. This isn’t his best match, so don’t judge him based on this bout against Johnny Goodtime inside of an extra-small, extra-noisy ring. The dude can go. Like Del Rio, he’s been another success story as far as luchador to unmasked character conversions go. Hopefully the newest WWE signee Averno can follow suit.