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

Profilin’: Candice LeRae

Candice LeRae, wrestling, disney, johnny gargano, joey ryan, pwg, pro wrestling guerrilla, women's wrestlingHailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, the 5’2″ Candice LaRae may look like an unassuming “diva,” but don’t be fooled by her cuteness. LaRae was changing the course of women’s wrestling years before the “revolution” that debuted on Monday nights last summer.

Wrestling professionally since 2002, Candice LaRae’s dance card is filled with the names of this generation’s top female performers – she’s wrestled the likes of current NXT trainer Sara Del Rey, Cheerleader Melissa, Awesome Kong, and Kimber Lee, among others. Beyond that, LaRae has demonstrated time and time again that she can hang with the boys, having squared off with guys like Eddie Kingston, Claudio Castagnoli (now Cesaro), Chuck Taylor, and Necro Butcher. She’s done tours in SHIMMER & Shine, Chikara, Ring of Honor, Combat Zone Wrestling, Insanity Pro – the list goes on. Basically, there is no challenge too great for this Canadian Goddess. When opponents hear her arrival signaled by The Darkness’ “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” over the arena’s PA system, they’d best have brought their A-game.

LaRae’s arsenal of moves is downright insane. From her signature Balls-Plex (more on that later) to her smash mouth high-flying, there’s very little that Candice LaRae doesn’t do. After tiring her opponents with DDTs and suicide dives, LaRae will often bust out a Canadian Destroyer or a springboard reverse rana that will leave the crowd in awe. Utilizing a collection of moonsaults that would make Lita jealous, LaRae also manages to maintain an impressive technical prowess, never hesitant to tie an opponent up in an octopus hold. With her in-ring ability being what it is, it should come as no surprise that she was an immediate fan-favorite upon her 2006 debut in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. 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

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?

Continue reading

Full Match Friday: Eddie Guerrero vs Rey Mysterio Jr.

Today, we close out Cruiserweight Week with a match that was instrumental in making the idea of a cruiserweight division not only palatable, but exciting, for American audiences. In his youth, Rey Mysterio’s high-flying antics were an awe-inspiring spectacle. Regardless of how tired his shtick may have gotten by the end of his WWE tenure, the man revolutionized the sport. Without Rey, this is no Lucha Libre movement. Meanwhile, if you watched the CWC, you heard just about every competitor cite Eddie Guerrero as a source of inspiration. These two were both masters of their craft, and they both brought their A-games to WCW Halloween Havoc ’97. This Mask vs Title match is a truly impressive athletic display, and if you’ve never seen it, it’s mandatory viewing. It changed wrestling forever.

Of course it wasn’t just Eddie and Rey who altered the wrestling landscape and opened the floodgates for a generation of smaller competitors. Guys like Dean Malenko and Juventud Guerrera had a lot to do with it, as did Chris Jericho and Ultimo Dragon. Today, cruiserweights rule the indies. Despite its questionable beginnings, the Cruiserweight Championship has become an important part of North American wrestling, and matches like this are how that was accomplished. Now, thanks to the groundwork laid by men like Mysterio and Guerrero, the future of the cruiserweights is looking brighter than ever.

 

Big Wrestling Weekend in Long Island & Philadelphia

Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore is a diamond in the rough in the wrestling world. 100%. The Innovator of Violence could have easily built a cash grab promotion filled with wrestling has beens but House of Hardcore is anything but. Dreamer typically stacks the card with I-can’t-believe-my-eyes matches that you’d see no where else. Yes, there are Legends featured on most shows but they’re used in a such a way to entertain, celebrate history and contribute to the current landscape of professional wrestling. Here are just some matches put on by HOH in the past:

London & Kendrick vs The Young Bucks at HOH
John Morrison vs 2 Cold Scorpio at HOH 2
AJ Styles vs Kevin Steen at HOH V
The Young Bucks vs The Hardys at HOH VII
Sabu vs Abyss at HOH 11
RVD vs Chris Hero at HOH 12
Rhino vs Moose at HOH 14

Each of those matches was surrounded on the card by legends, TNA guys, NXT guys, former WWE guys and other independent wrestling stars. In 4 years, Dreamer has only done 16 of these shows with 17 and 18 happening this weekend in St. James, NY and Philadelphia, PA. The discipline required to go for quality over quantity is remarkable and infinitely respectable. Dreamer is more than likely breaking even on these super shows. But the fans are making out like bandits. See this weekend’s cards below. Continue reading