Friday, December 28, 2018

MLW's Baby Steps...

I have really enjoyed the Major League Wrestling product since its return last year. The matches are booked well, the talent is strong and improving, and they brought Tony Schiavone back which is just great. On July 7th, 1996 Tony gave us, "you can go to hell Hogan, straight to hell," the night Hulk turned heel and started the nWo (That's for you Travis). Court Bauer has not been afraid to sign and develop some of the top wrestlers in the game. 

"Filthy" Tom Lawlor is one of those guys. An MMA fighter, Lawlor is booked that way, and plays the part well. He should because it's exactly who he is. If Lawlor didn't get paid to fight he'd be doing it for free. The UFC veteran brings honesty and toughness to the ring every time out. I would like to see him wrestle matches that aren't always street fights of some kind. He is a very capable wrestler and showcasing those skills would go a long way to developing him.

Salina DeLaRenta is beautiful and easy to boo. She is easily the top female manager in the sport today. Her promos are strong, and she interferes just enough to get her guys over. Salina brings the threat constantly and she has an evil stare that makes your toes curl. Low-Ki has done yeoman's work as the champion and working with Selina in Promocionas Dorado has been equally strong. The veteran is the unquestioned leader in the ring, and has cemented his grip on the MLW World Championship. He defends the title against Tom Lawlor on February 2nd which is the culmination of a feud that has gone for more than seven months. It's sure to be a great match, and it has been built beautifully. One thing though, there is no need to say that Low-Ki is undefeated in MLW for fourteen years. When they discussed it on the broadcast it was uncomfortable. We know MLW was dormant for more than a decade, so please don't tell us that. Or, have Low-Ki say it, and have it thrown back in his face instead. Looks minor league.

Rush is awesome. This guy needs to be in front of more people. He is a supremely gifted wrestler, and brings personality, character, and charisma to the ring. El Toro Blanco is an immediate contender for the Championship, and it's already been announced that he'll face LA Park in New York City April 4th in the Main Event. It hasn't been announced yet, but I won't be surprised if this show is live. If that's the case I hope they're more prepared for it than they were in Miami. No pun, but it felt rushed to me. There was no need to do it, and the location's sound was poor at best. MLW has been maticulous about many things and the live broadcast has to be one of them...

Teddy Hart is great, and so is the Hart Foundation. Hart is a terrific athlete, and the new MLW Middleweight Champion. The middleweight division is deep with Kotto Brazil, Dezmond Xavier, Dragon Lee, MJF, DJZ, and the injured Marko Stunt give Hart plenty of contenders for the belt going into 2019.

MLW has had hiccups ,but they're not afraid to take risks, and shows a lot of creativity. They're going in the right direction, and more patience in 2019 would be beneficial for a company that did a lot of great things in 2018.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

WWE Can't Help Themselves...

Full disclosure, it's been months since I've watched Raw or Smackdown. I've seen most of the pay per views and have felt no need to watch the shows. I watch the PPV's and have missed nothing. There is no need to watch the weekly show. Last night's Smackdown Live is exactly why. The so-called WWE Universe was promised changes and we got The MIz and Shane as a team, which is awful especially when there are decent teams on SDL getting no love. Not to mention Shane stinks in the ring apart from his predictable spots.
Then AJ Styles is so upset he attacked Vince McMahon. I know folks who were shocked and don't know why. Styles did this a couple years ago to Shane setting up their Mania match. Why WWE? Are you not taking the rise of Indie Wrestling seriously? Vince has survived so many attacks he probably believes he's invincible and it's hard to argue that thinking. However, the Indie thing is legit and in five years if they aren't careful it won't matter how many NXT's there are.
The reason WWE has continued as the big fish for so long is primarily their massive scale. Nobody in wrestling has been able to compete, and the WWE has looked invulnerable.
If the WWE continues with these story lines their ratings will continue to slip, and attendance will decline at the live shows. That is when the sharks circle. In any sport you only hear of competition when the major league is struggling, and WWE isn't. They make money and their stock price recently was at an all time high. Yet they aren't flourishing to the people who matter the most...the fans.
I've enjoyed WWF/WWE most of my life, but I would rather watch, write, and cover wrestling that may miss spots, or not cut the best promos because the matches are exciting, and the effort is there. I hear fans always say, when Trips takes over it'll be great. We shall see because I don't think NXT is perfect either, but at least WWE would have some fresh ideas, and it would be an improvement at this point. Vince McMahon belongs on the pro wrestling Mt. Rushmore. He's one of the greatest promoter's of all time, and has built his brand to be virtually impenetrable, but if more fans like me stop watching...

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Andy Brown vs. Chris Bey | Phase VI

Why I Changed on Women's Wrestling...

My buddy always likes to say that I hate women's wrestling. First, I never hated it, or wished it would go away. I always said that I didn't care if it went away. The reason was because it wasn't very good. Women's wrestling in the 90's and 2000's was more of a sex show than a wrestling match. Pillow fights, and lingerie matches happened far too often. In my opinion they denigrated what the women like Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Wendy Richter, Sherri Martel, and Madusa Miceli/Alundra Blaze had done before.
I'm coming to the understanding that wrestling is less sport than it was in 1985 when I discovered it. I don't necessarily like it, but I get it. Women's wrestling was so far out there that for me it was unwatchable. Then Stephanie McMahon spoke of a women's revolution. I yawned and said, "who cares, it'll be the same old thing."
What I didn't know was how much better the talent was in the pipeline. It isn't just WWE either. Natalya, Alexa Bliss, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Asuka, Ember Moon, Shayna Baszler, Tessa Blanchard, Taya Valkyrie, and Ronda Rousey. These athletes have all helped bring the toughness, and physicality into women's wrestling. Instead of it being about boobs and bottoms it's more about slams and submissions. We see good wrestling moves, transitions, and power. The aerial game is evolving too as more women take to the skies as part of their offensive game plan.
This is the best talent overall (WWE, Indies) women's wrestling has ever had. Their matches are headlining shows and rightfully so because the women are far more interesting than the men are especially in WWE. I love the heat they build with strong promos, and even better matches that rarely disappoint. I'm a fan of women's wrestling now, and I am very excited for it's future.