Southside Wrestling Speed King 2014 review

Martin Kirby

Martin Kirby poses with his Speed King title

Southside Wrestling held another Speed King tournament on Saturday night in Nottingham, and boy was it incredible.

The show itself was sold out, with people packing in right up to bell time. More chairs were bought in and at the start of the night there were over 370 people packed into the Rushcliffe Arena, West Bridgford, Nottingham.

The show started off slowly with Pete Dunne taking on Scotland’s Noam Dar in a slow, technical affair and El Ligero facing off against Kay Lee Ray in another slow-burning match. Dunne and Ray advanced to the final.

Petey Williams Robbie X

Petey Williams and Robbie X lock-up

Then came one of the big-name imports on the show; Petey Williams. The master of the Canadian Destroyer faced Robbie X, a great young British talent who eventually bested Williams in a match that really started to get the crowd going.

Martin Kirby vs Dean Allmark was next with the current Speed King champion Kirby ambushing Allmark before the bell rang to get a head start. Kirby ended up winning and advancing to the final which already contained Robbie X, Pete Dunne and Kay Lee Ray.

CZW’s AR Fox vs Kris Travis was next and what a match these two had. It had comedy, it had emotion, and it was fast paced and hard hitting. The crowd came alive for this one, thanks on the whole to how over AR Fox was. His moveset combined with Travis’ heel mannerisms made this match the best of the night… So far. Fox beat Travis to advance to the final.

The final match before intermission was Will Ospreay vs Mark Andrews, two of the UK’s highest flyers. These two had a great high flying match which received a standing ovation from the crowd. A fantastic way to send the crowd off to the intermission to recover and recollect. Ospreay advanced into the final.

Prince Devitt

Prince Devitt as Anti-Venom

During the intermission, fans, including myself had the chance to take a photo with the main attraction on the card, New Japan Pro Wrestling star Prince Devitt. Irish native Devitt is famous for painting his body to look like many different comic characters and at Southside’s Speed King he chose Anti-Venom.

The experience was fun and Devitt seemed like a very nice guy. The set-up ran smoothly and ensured all fans got some brilliant photos and memories during the short intermission.

Post-intermission saw Prince Devitt face Mark Haskins for his Southside Heavyweight Title. Devitt got the match started early and set a high tempo which continued throughout the match with brutal kicks and some risky dives into the crowd. Devitt and Haskins had match of the night and got a well deserved “this is awesome” chant from the crowd in attendance.

Devitt’s future now hangs in the balance with many thinking he is WWE-bound. Only time will tell on that one.

The Speed King finalists get technical

The Speed King final was the final match of the night and saw Pete Dunne, Robbie X, Kay Lee Ray, Martin Kirby, AR Fox and Will Ospreay competing in a 6-person elimination match for the Speed King Title. Fox and Ospreay provided the high-octane moves while Kirby tried every underhanded tactic in the book to keep hold of his title.

Fox was the fans clear favourite to win but when it came down to Martin Kirby and Kay Lee Ray as the final two, the fans got firmly behind Ray. Ray and Kirby went back and forth for a good ten to fifteen minutes and had a hard-fought singles match which saw Ray kick out of everything Kirby threw at her. In the end, Kirby retained his title but Kay Lee Ray went home as an even bigger star than before thanks to her excellent showing.

So while the show started off slowly it built into a fantastic showcase of the British wrestling scene. Every match from AR Fox vs Kris Travis to the Speed King final had a shout at match of the night and all received standing ovations from the crowd in attendance. The inclusion of Prince Devitt to the roster gave the card a true boost of star-power thanks to Devitt’s current success in New Japan but wrestler’s like Robbie X, Will Ospreay and Kay Lee Ray shone brightly on a great night of British Wrestling.

All images courtesy of Brett Hadley.

WrestleMania 30: One week away

WrestleMania 30 logo

WrestleMania 30 is now just one week away and preparations have begun for The Grandest Stage of Them All.

Talents have received itineraries (Cody Rhodes tweeted his below), the stage is being put up and the card is pretty much finalised with 8 matches set to take place.

A blog post closer to the time will detail my predictions but here’s a general overview of what to expect in New Orleans on Sunday April 6:

  • Fans will LOVE Daniel Bryan. This one is no surprise considering Bryan has been the biggest star in the WWE for a good number of months but inside the SuperDome the noise for Daniel Bryan will be loud.
  • There should be some great matches. Cena vs Wyatt, Bryan vs HHH, Shield vs New Age Outlaws & Kane and the tag team Fatal-4-Way all have the potential to be fantastic for their own reasons. Again, something that I will go into detail on in a future blog post.
  • Expect a party atmosphere. New Orleans is known for Bourbon Street and Mardi Gras and WWE have taken this ethos and ran with it in its promotional videos and themes. Expect the Divas in New Orleans-inspired gear.
  • The Streak will go to 22-0. Brock Lesnar is a beast both in the ring and in the UFC Octagon, but there is just no way he will break The Undertaker’s legendary streak.

Look out for WrestleMania-related posts throughout the week including predictions and a review following the big event itself. WrestleMania 30 will be live on Sunday April 6.

 

Will the real Sin Cara please stand up?

Hunico as Sin Cara Image credit: WWE.com

Sin Cara returned to RAW last night to face Alberto Del Rio. At the same time he checked in on Foursquare to a restaurant in Mexico.

Coming out with what looked like a new tattoo, Sin Cara proceeded to defeat Del Rio in a shock victory. Then this happened…

In turns out the real Sin Cara doesn’t have a new tattoo. He wasn’t even at RAW.  Wrestling as Sin Cara on RAW was actually Hunico, who you can see a recent photo of here on WrestlingINC.

So is Sin Cara being kept off WWE TV for a while and letting the more WWE-experienced Hunico wrestle under the mask or are we about to see a repeat of the Sin Cara vs Sin Cara Negro feud?

Kane announced as WWE’s Director of Operations

Image credit: WWE

Triple H has revealed Kane is now ‘WWE’s Director of Operations’ (DOO.)

The change, which is clearly a storyline one, comes as a continuation of Kane’s new corporate gimmick which has seen him ditch his trademark red mask for a suit and tie instead.

WWE has posted pictures of Kane’s new corporate look here.

Another sit-down interview between Triple H and commentator Michael Cole has also been posted which sees Triple H describe Kane as his monster to control. Check it out here.

Whether Kane will soon turn on The Authority and don the trademark mask once again remains to be seen.

Daniel Bryan: “Randy Orton is going to have his head kicked in.”

WWE have posted a new promo video from Daniel Bryan, who faces Randy Orton for the WWE Championship this Sunday at Hell in a Cell.

In the video Bryan states the words “professional wrestler”; a phrase which has almost become taboo within the WWE. He even gives a nod to the chants that he used to get in Ring Of Honor, which went a little something like this (NSFW)

Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton go head to head inside the Cell this Sunday for the WWE Championship with HBK Shawn Michaels the special guest referee.

Bound For Glory: AJ Styles wins big to top an awesome PPV

AJ Styles is the new TNA Champion, beating Bully Ray in a fantastic match-up that topped off a brilliant PPV from TNA.

The show began with a star studded Ultimate X match that saw Chris Sabin, Manik, Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy and Austin Aries fight it out for the X Division Championship. The match was full of crazy moves, fast-paced action and hard hitting (thanks, Joe) and ended up with Sabin winning the title via a distraction from girlfriend Velvet Sky, thus continuing and developing his cocky heel gimmick.

Abyss returned, attacking Bad Influence.

Then came the surprise of the night. Bro-Mans (Robbie E and Jesse) defeated Gunner and James Storm to win the Tag Titles. The match itself was an entertaining tag match with Jesse showing off how far he’s come in the ring since first debuting as just another reality contestant TNA want for ratings. Fist pumps all round!

Gail Kim won the Knockouts Title after defeating champion ODB and Velvet Sky after the mysterious and powerful Lei’d Tapa got involved and helped Gail get the win. Tapa, a huge figure that dwarfs most other Knockouts, should feature prominently in the Knockouts division going forward in the next year.

Kurt Angle then respectfully declined TNA’s Hall of Fame invite, saying that he will accept when he’s ready but for now he wants to prove himself and be better than ever. He didn’t get off to a good start though, losing to Bobby Roode in an excellent technical match-up. Taz said on commentary how Roode and Angle are two of the best in the world today and I have to agree. Roode has been on fire over the past number of years since winning the TNA Title and Angle is as intense as ever. A standout match on an already great card.

Ethan Carter III defeated Norv Fernan (also known as Peter Avalon in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla) in EC3’s debut match.

Magnus got the best of Sting in a match that was billed as a passing of the torch ceremony. A match that was supposed to put Magnus on the map. While it was a good match I don’t think it did either of these things, except for tease a potential rivalry after Magnus cockily obliged Sting’s handshake after the match. Magnus is a star though and TNA have a future world champion in him.

Finally AJ Styles defeated Bully Ray to win the TNA Title in a great main event that simply topped off an excellent night for TNA. AJ Styles is finally back on top of the house that AJ built; a place where The Phenomenal One hasn’t been since 2010.

GO OUT OF YOUR WAY TO WATCH THIS SHOW.  For UK viewers, it is available on Challenge on Wednesday 23 October at 9pm.

You can view photos of the event on TNA’s official website here.

Cody Rhodes and Goldust: how to build a storyline

Image credit: WWE.com

When Cody Rhodes first got fired by Triple H on RAW a number of weeks ago in a storyline angle, most people dismissed it as a rushed decision by WWE management to a problem they had known about for a while. That problem of course being Cody Rhodes’ wedding.

Cody Rhodes got fired after losing in a good match with former stable-mate Randy Orton and went away for a few weeks, leaving the spotlight to his Dad Dusty Rhodes and half-brother Goldust. Dusty Rhodes can deliver a promo and his promo work with ‘The Authority’s’ Stephanie McMahon was engaging in itself but then Goldust returned to face Orton for Cody’s job and blew all expectations out of the water. Goldust is 44 years old and he put on an incredible match with Randy Orton coming up just short of regaining Cody’s job.

While the results weren’t coming for the Rhodes’, the hype was. Goldust’s match had gone down a storm and the continued presence of Dusty had the fans engaged in a storyline building around a guy who wasn’t even on the shows. And then this happened:

Cody and Goldust’s attack on The Shield took everyone by surprise and felt real. The fans loved that a rogue pairing were attacking The Shield and actually getting to them and, already, Cody Rhodes seemed more important than he has been in a number of years.

At Battleground, the Rhodes brothers faced The Shield to win their jobs back and after some build-up tweets from Cody on Twitter hyping up his special gear for what could be his last ever match in WWE and some brilliant interviews with Cody and Goldust, the crowd at Battleground witnessed a fantastic tag team match which resulted in the Rhodes brothers winning and getting their jobs back. The finish of the match was full of emotion and celebration; the underdogs had finally conquered the all-conquering Shield and had then running with their tales between their legs. The Rhodes brothers had the upper hand and had the emotional support of the WWE fans behind them.

Finally, on Monday’s RAW, The Shield’s tag team titles were on the line against the Rhodes’. Once again another excellent match that gave hope to another tag team revival within the WWE and a match that elevated the tag team titles even more after The Shield’s long-term reign. Cody and Goldust won the tag team titles in a main event match on RAW. That’s right; the tag team titles were not only defended on RAW, but also in the main event, with two teams who mean a lot to the fans and have good builds behind them.

The payoff to this month-long storyline was Cody and Goldust leaving RAW with the tag team titles, and they did. The crowd bought in and they were finally rewarded with a guy who has been on the cusp of WWE greatness in Cody Rhodes and a guy who proved he can still hang with the best of them in Goldust. Now the tag titles are held by a team that the crowd loves and a team that have a lot of possibilities to them. Will we finally see the brother vs brother feud and WrestleMania that Goldust was clamouring for not long ago? Time will tell but one thing is for sure: Cody Rhodes finally has the build to match his talent and the sky is now the limit.

Low Ki retires

Image credit: Low Ki on Facebook

International wrestler Low Ki has announced his retirement from wrestling.

Low Ki, also known as Kaval and Senshi during his time in WWE and TNA respectively, announced the news on Twitter:

Low Ki had been out with an rib injury sustained whilst working for All Japan last month.

Low Ki has been a champion in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Ring Of Honor and performed brilliantly on WWE’s NXT show. Remember this?

The Undertaker gets his very own mode in WWE 2K14

2K Games have revealed details of a Streak Mode within WWE 2K14.

Alongside the 30 Years of Wrestlemania mode, Streak Mode takes The Undertaker’s fabled, legendary streak and lets you either attempt to beat it, or defend it in a non-stop gauntlet style match.

If you choose to attempt to break the streak of The Phenom, you will be faced with an Undertaker that is of unparalleled ability and difficulty and one that will utilise strategies and techniques unique to this game mode.

Choose to defend the legendary streak though and you will face off against a constant barrage of superstars, attempting to rack up a high score as you defeat them one by one.

Both current and retro Undertaker will be playable in this mode whilst defending the streak and breaking the streak is possible with any of the wrestlers on the WWE 2K14 roster.

WWE 2K14 will release on Xbox 360 and PS3 on 29 October (US) 1 November (UK).

Money In The Bank predictions

WWE’s annual ladder match turned Pay-Per-View returns for the third year in a row tonight and there are two big title matches, two big Money In The Bank ladder matches and the return to the WWE of Rob Van Dam lined up for the fans.

Image: WWE

The show will begin with the pre-show at 7.30 ET/4.30 PT/12.30 UK with Rollins & Reigns defending their Tag Team Championships against The Usos. The Usos haven’t done too much since debuting a number of years ago despite being a good team. This is largely in part to WWE’s lack of focus on the tag division and no fault of twins Jimmy and Jey. That being said, I see Rollins & Reigns retaining tonight and continuing their strong run in the WWE.

Winner: Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns

Image: WWE

Chris Jericho vs Ryback. Here I see Chris Jericho being the good company guy he has been for a number of years and putting Ryback over. This match holds little importance in the minds of WWE fans but the WWE will be hoping to re-establish Ryback after a long losing streak on PPV. Expect Ryback to win whilst Jericho’s position remains unchanged.

Winner: Ryback

Image: WWE

AJ Lee vs Kaitlyn for the Divas Championship. This feud has been extremely entertaining and the best thing in the Divas division for a number of years. The feud is real, entertaining and full of anger and hatred between the two former best friends and Chickbusters. Kaitlyn could still do with some improvement but AJ Lee seems accomplished in the ring and I envision her holding onto the title tonight.

Winner: AJ Lee

Image: WWE

The Miz vs Curtis Axel for the Intercontinental Championship. After winning the IC Title from The Miz, Axel hasn’t really done much after debuting strongly. While I think The Miz is a good mid-card talent, I don’t see him regaining the title so quickly, especially with WWE looking to build Axel.

Winner: Curtis Axel

Image: WWE

Alberto Del Rio vs Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship. Ziggler and Del Rio have both switched roles recently, with Del Rio turning heel while Ziggler has become a face. The fans are now firmly behind Ziggler and with Del Rio missing Ricardo Rodriguez after the announced was suspended recently for violating WWE’s Wellness Policy, I expect Del Rio to win in heel-like fashion. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a little bit of tension and separation between Dolph Ziggler and girlfriend AJ, so don’t be too surprised if AJ turns on Ziggler and officially breaks up the relationship whilst also costing Dolph the title.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Image: WWE

John Cena vs Mark Henry for the WWE Championship. This match came about after Henry’s genius retirement ruse which surprised both John Cena and the entire WWE fanbase. Henry delivered a fantastic, believable promo which made the attack on Cena at the end of it even more shocking. Henry has been a huge player in the WWE since 2011 but I expect John Cena to retain and hold the WWE Championship further into the Summer months.

Winner: John Cena

Image: WWE

World Heavyweight Championship contract Money In The Bank Match (Wade Barrett vs Cody Rhodes vs Damien Sandow vs Dean Ambrose vs Fandango vs Jack Swagger vs Antonio Cesaro.) Here’s where the PPV gets interesting and the reason most fans will be turning in tonight; the Money In The Bank ladder matches. This particular match features seven young WWE stars, who are, incidentally, all heels. Really, this match could go any one of seven ways, but I see a number of favourites; Dean Ambrose, Antonio Cesaro and Wade Barrett.

Dean Ambrose is the current United States Champion and the highly regarded member of The Shield. Ambrose is a huge talent and for him to win the briefcase would be another notch in the belt of the dominant Shield.

Wade Barrett has been relatively decent since returning from injury a number of months ago, and he has everything the WWE look for in a World Champion.

Speaking of everything the WWE look for, Antonio Cesaro is another favourite of mine. Cesaro is an absolute machine, and while he hasn’t done much since siding with Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter, I could see Cesaro winning the briefcase and costing stable-mate Swagger in the process, leading to a feud between two extremely talented guys for the World Heavyweight Championship over the Summer.

Winner: Dean Ambrose

Image: WWE

WWE Championship contract Money In The Bank match (Randy Orton vs RVD vs Daniel Bryan vs CM Punk vs Sheamus vs Christian.) This match is billed as the “Money In The Bank All Stars” and rightly so. All six competitors are former world champions and all have a legitimate shot at winning. Having said that, my favourites for this match are Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and RVD.

Daniel Bryan has been the hottest guy in the company for a number of months now, having some outstanding matches with the likes of Randy Orton and Sheamus and getting huge reactions every time he emerges from the curtain and I expect Bryan to win the briefcase and take on John Cena throughout the Summer.

CM Punk is the Best in the World and if he was to grab the briefcase it would be for a record third time. While Punk could win the briefcase, he doesn’t really need it considering his superstar status already.

RVD is a wildcard in the match, having been absent from WWE since 2007 and wrestling for TNA since. In front of a Philadelphia crowd, Rob Van Dam is going to be cheered like a hometown hero after growing up with ECW in Philly. If RVD was to win it’d be a huge shock to most people, but who knows.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

There’s my predictions for the show tonight. Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@DeadmanDRB) who you think will win. Enjoy the show.