Friday, March 30, 2007

IWW Staff predicts WM23!

I’ve been polling the Indeed Wrestling Weekly staff about Wrestlemania 23. We’re only a few days away from the big event and results are intriguing. There’s eight announced matches headlined by two Face vs Face brand Title encounters and a “Battle of the Billionaires” Hair stipulation featuring RAW’s top Heel and the babyface ECW champion. Of these three top matches, the former two still have a huge split in who is projected to win while the latter is beyond a foregone conclusion. However, WWE should be lauded for raising the stakes high enough not only to garner significant interest from casual fans but excitement from longtime fans too.

They’ve got four hours. Let’s run down the card and the latest predictions!


While many people complained about how boring specific matches would be (in particular, the plodding Undertaker/Batista and Kane/Khali match-ups drew a number of derisive remarks), not a single person complained about the prominent Lashley/Umaga battle. I believe that everyone is eagerly awaiting the insane facials from Vince McMahon when he loses, along with the huge pops as Steve Austin delivers stunners left and right. Will Eugene be running down to help man the clippers? Will we see VKM in a wig next week ala Kurt Angle? It should be a fun spectacle.
WINNER: BOBBY LASHLEY (11-0 in IWW polling)

This doesn’t promise to bring the house down in a technical classic. Fit Finlay and Dean Malenko have worked wonders in the past bringing out some surprisingly entertaining women’s matches in the past years. However, this one doesn’t promise to even live up to last year’s great Mickie James/Trish Stratus matchup. The pressure is reported to be on Melina to have a good match as the company sees her as a top act, but also as someone of an arrogant and possibly dangerous (Mickie James’ just got hurt again at a recent show) talent. Ashley is riding the wave of Playboy publicity but isn’t very good in the ring. Do you move an already meaningless title just so the babyface wins? Or do you keep the title on a rising act (which is now cemented as a singles act since Joey Mercury was fired) and line up new challengers such as a returning Beth Phoenix? IWW voters were also closely split 5-5. However, TC Watts weighted in at the last moment and agreed with my vote to call this one for the heel. In a year, I think Melina will still be around while Ashley will be gone or in TNA.
WINNER: MELINA (6-5 in IWW polling)

Originally, I had assumed this would have some kind of stipulation added to it. Not necessarily “amateur wrestling” rules, but perhaps making it a chain?, cage?, scythe?, something match. But, as of the time I’m writing this, it’s still an ordinary wrestling match. Kane has a lousy Wrestlemania Record (4-5) with his sole singles victory being a DQ win over HHH at WM15. Great Khali was moved to RAW from ECW to become a heel contender. Rumors have a returning Mark Henry feuding with Kane in coming months. What does it all mean? IWW Voters weren’t sure either:
5 votes for KANE victory
3 votes for KHALI victory
2 voters for KANE VIA DQ (i.e. Mark Henry attacks Kane and Khali is disqualified)
1 vote for KHALI VIA DQ (i.e. Kane takes out his hook and Kane is disqualified)
What do we know? As IWW Navy correspondent, Empire JH put it – “This match may even take place in slower motion than Hogan vs. Andre from 20 years ago.” Maybe that’s the real reason it’s on WM!
WINNER: KANE (7-4 in IWW polling)

ECW NEW BREED (Burke, Striker, Brown, Thorn) VS ORIGINALS (Sabu, RVD, Sandman, Dreamer)
The story of this match really is what’s happening with Rob Van Dam. As Kip Corona put it, “if RVD is planning on not resigning and will be leaving the WWE, it’ll be the New Breed. Otherwise, the Originals will win.” I laid out my thinking in this column a few months ago. I think we’re at point where the New Breed needs to win in order to really be worth something. Otherwise, they’re basically less than Tommy Dreamer on the totem pole, and can you really be any less than that? (See also, Balls Mahoney.) On the flipside, some (like IWW’s DJ Terry) have argued that giving the ECW Originals a victory at Wrestlemania would be seen by the audience as “a great feel-good moment”. Perhaps Mick Foley will get involved and help out the old-timers. Still, voting was close and...
WINNER: ECW NEW BREED (6-4 in IWW polling)

It appears that Ray Rhodes & I are truly in the minority on this one in believing that Montel Vontavious Porter will take the title away from Chris Benoit. Reportedly, the two have been having long, excellent matches (not quite a rarity when you’re working with Benoit!) on house shows leading up to the PPV. While there have been rumors about moving Benoit to RAW in the next few months, it appears most IWW voters don’t think this will be the moment he’ll lose his title.
WINNER: CHRIS BENOIT (7-3 in IWW polling)

Edge, Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Fit Finlay, CM Punk, Ken Kennedy and Booker T
This is another match with very interesting ramifications. The WWE has done an excellent job making the MITB contract into a very important thing on par with the role that the Intercontinental Title used to hold over a decade ago. IWW voters had a wide array of comments concerning this match ranging from bemoaning the lack of Shelton Benjamin, Ric Flair & Carlito to questioning whether the Edge vs Randy Orton dynamic might overshadow the match. They expanded the match to include two more competitors than last year. Whether that will be a good idea remains to be seen! As Biff from Tampa put it, “8 men? This could really be a cluster…. (mess)”.
Fit Finlay: a Smackdown star that is respected by all but not really seen as singles main event material
Randy Orton: a RAW star that has been the chosen one (in particularly, HHH wants Batista & Orton to be his legacy in creating stars) that may have been hurt by the recent drug allegations.
Jeff Hardy: has proven himself a capable performer since returning from TNA but questionable whether he’ll ever rise above the IC title.
Matt Hardy: a relentless popular performer on the Smackdown brand with some important creative people aligned against him becoming a headliner.
CM Punk: the “internet darling” who is rising in popularity; may be too soon though!
Ken Kennedy: the “golden boy” who has already feuded with top stars like Undertaker.
Booker T: the former champion who is already reduced to a role where most people forget him and wonder why he’s even in the match!
Edge: currently working through an injury, he’s been a lead heel on RAW and carried WWE’s top feud in 2006.
The favorites are EDGE (5 votes) & Mr. Kennedy (4 votes) with CM Punk, Matt Hardy, Fit Finlay and Randy Orton receiving stray mentions. I’m once again over-ruled with my personal vote: Mr. Kennedy. Edge already has had a run at the top and is well-established as heel. But perhaps the tailor-made feud with Randy Orton that will no doubt be heavily featured on the next few PPVs will include his new MITB win.
WINNER: Edge (5 votes in IWW Polling)

Undertaker is 14-0 at Wrestlemania having defeating Snuka, Roberts, Gonzalez, Bundy, Diesel, Sid, Kane, Bossman, HHH, Flair, A-Train, Big Show, Orton & Mark Henry. Batista is actually also undefeated (2-0) with a win over Triple H and the Evolution tag match against the Rock & Sock Connection at Wrestlemania 20. Originally, there was heavy internet gossip circulating that Batista had been the chosen one to end the Undertaker’s win streak, about the only record in Professional Wrestling that seems to matter anymore. Recent post-WM house show ads have even advertised Champion Batista vs Challenger Ken Kennedy. However, internally, the tide seems to have definitely changed. Batista’s aloof nature hasn’t won him many friends. While Smackdown creative members Michael Hayes & Dusty Rhodes (now with ECW) lobbied Vince hard for Batista to regain the championship when he returned (they didn’t support comedy heel Booker T as the top draw), it’s difficult to argue that Batista needs to keep the title against a legend like the Undertaker. Also, Batista notoriously injury-prone nature doesn’t make him a safe headliner.
All in all, IWW voters all seem equally impressed by Undertaker’s credentials. Only two voters even ventured that Batista would leave Detroit with the title (and Ray Rhodes felt that would be possible only via Disqualification!) Popular sentiment among Indeed Wrestling Weekly staff is clear.
WINNER: Undertaker (10-1, though with the outside possibility that Batista retains the title via DQ)

The Heartbreak Kid always brings his A-game to Wrestlemania. His matches with Razor Ramon (ladder; WM10), Bret Hart (Iron Man; WM12), Triple H & Benoit (WM 20) and Kurt Angle (WM 21) are legendary. Win or lose, this has the potential of being the best match on the card. (Money in the Bank is the other major contender.)
John Cena continues to ride a wave of enormous popularity. He really proved himself with excellent feuds against Umaga & Edge in recent months, and has been a model employee. Backstage, he’s reported spend his time closely with the boss (Vince) and as Emperor JH put it, “If they want him to be the next Rock, he’ll keep the title.” Personally, the only way I see Cena is losing is if they decide to give Shawn Michaels one more run just as a thank-you for his years of service. Triple H isn’t scheduled to return until Summerslam and so that feud seems a long way off. Additionally, if HBK were to win that would mean both titles changing hands at Wrestlemania. This year, I don’t see it happening.
WINNER: Cena (8-3 in IWW Polling)

Additionally, I asked everyone what that thought would be the last match. It’s not going to be Hair vs Hair. Kip Corona had an interesting (though unlikely) scenario where Edge cashes in his MITB title and goes right for the MITB shot that evening and goes right for the RAW Title Most people suggested “John Cena/Shawn Michaels” which I’m inclined to agree. Four voters thought it was possible that Undertaker/Batista went last, but only if Undertaker was clearly winning the title. Again, I must quote the good Emperor JH: “What will be the last match? Cena vs HBK. Even if Taker vs Batista happens to be last, I'll probably fall asleep during it, so Cena/HBK will be the last match I remember!” Well put.

Where are the tag matches? Hmmm.. let's hope for some last minute additions!

Thanks to all the IWW Staff: Ray Rhodes, Biff Cheddarhead, Geddy Lee, Zip Whittle, DJ Terry, TC Watts, Kip Corona, KGBeast, Emperor JH, WJ and LadyA!

Be sure to email your thoughts on Wrestlemania to INDEEDWRESTLING@GMAIL.COM
Also, be sure to the listen to the latest Indeed Wrestling Weekly Podcast! 44 minutes talking the final days before Wrestlemania, looking at new WWE DVDs, TNA's mini-tour, where is Rob Conway?, Mr Fuji & other HOF notes, ZUFFA BUYS PRIDE, Hogan is nuts, Batista is a jackass and MARK HENRY HAS RETURNED. A really fun show!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

IWW TRIVIA (weeks one, two and three)


WWE Hall of Famer Roddy Piper has a long history of performing at Wrestlemania, particularly in the early years. So. which Wrestlemania was the Hot Rod not involved?

a) Wrestlemania II
b) Wrestlemania III
c) Wrestlemania IV
d) Wrestlemania V

Wrestlemania X at Madison Square Garden had one of the all-time great matches when Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels faced off in a Ladder Match for the IC Title. Also on that card was the Japapense behemoth, Yokozuna, defending his World Wrestling Federation Championship. Legendary manager Mr Fuji was again in Yokozuna's corner that evening. What other wrestler did Mr Fuji manage that evening?

a) Papa Shango
b) Crush
c) Adam Bomb
d) Leilani Kai

The Undertaker has been a phenom in the WWE for well over a decade. He's putting his streak on the line at Wrestlemania against Dave "The Animal" Batista. Going back, who was the Undertaker's first Wrestlemania match against?

a) Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka
b) Giant Gonzalez
c) Kamala
d) Jake "The Snake" Roberts


Email IWWTRIVIA@GMAIL.COM with your answers for each week. Be sure to include your name & address so we can ship you the prizes if you're a winner!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

IWW Raw Blog by Ray Rhodes

IWW Raw Blog: 3/19/07
by Ray Rhodes

Tonight we are promised Wrestlemania Reversal, where Cena and Michaels will face someone from their upcoming Wrestlemania opponents Wrestlemania past. Got it? Cena will face Benoit, Michaels will face JBL.

HBK's out first and here comes JBL's limo. Bradshaw says he's wearing his $8,000 custom suit and he goes on to cut a $8,000 dollar promo on HBK. Those will wrote him off all those years ago...SLAP YOUR MAMA! It leads to the Superkick which is fun because it's not if it's going to happen—it's when. Great opener here and all the Internet Marks relax that JBL didn't wrestle and surprise them.

Edge and Orton discuss tonight's Last Change Battle Royal and it's for...Edge's Money in the Bank spot. Seriously, if I'm anyone else in the match I'm pissed that I'm getting the shaft but still expected to put my body on the line. Hmm, I wonder if Edge is going to roll out of the ring (or never get in) and wait until the end to enter the Rumble, easily winning?

Bobby Lashley becomes the third person to break the Masterlock, but the only one to do it "legally". Man, if Hacksaw couldn't do it...I didn't think anyone could. This would have been a big deal—before Masters' got suspended and buried when he came back. Good thought, though.

Eugene spills some coffee on Mr Mcmahon in the back, and if there's one thing we remember about spilling coffee, it's Kane and Jericho. Neither of these men are involved tonight, however, and I expect Eugene to be in a bad way by the end of the night.

Edge wins the Last Chance Battle Royal to the surprise of maybe one guy who's never seen wrestling, RAW, a WWE Battle Royal, or Edge before. Man, I miss Lita. Edge fakes an injury and slides in just in time to throw Flair over. I just have to say, Flair got clotheslined over the top rope and managed to stay on the apron. I was impressed. Edge is going to Wrestlemania...still!

Eugene feels the wrath of Umaga and McMahon snaps, shaving Eugene's head. Zip suggests a new Basham or perhaps the third Highlander?

The Internet was abuzz over real life heat between Candice and Melina all week. Some were adamant that since they weren't in a program, the HEAT was LEGIT. Then, they did the angle on Raw. Another odd commercial break as they return and Melina and Candice are mid-way through their Bra-and-Panties match. Which Melina wins. But don't worry! Here comes Ashley for a STARE DOWN. Khali makes his way to the ring to inflict violence but upcoming HOFer Jerry Lawler makes the save only to get consumed by Khali. The only thing left was his Obnoxious Shirt, which Khali spit out.

Jeff Hardy and Orton have a match but at this point me and my girlfriend's ferret has decided to go under the refrigerator and not come out. Jeff Hardy hits a leap frog leg drop off a ladder for some reason. Eh, look it up if you don't know. The WWE is trying to get as much mileage off Hardy before he GETS ADDICTED AGAIN. Smart business plan.

After a decent match, Cena makes Benoit tap-tap-tap. HBK and Cena have an amusing tease of their finishers before JBL announces next week, it's Cena and HBK v Undertaker and Batista. It's also McMahon v Lashley.

Final Thoughts: Decent build-up for Wrestlemania but at this point, you're either sold or you aren't. I'm just ready for the damn thing. I give it 4 Garvin Stomps on the week to weigh it on at about a B.

WWE plans international expansion

One of the biggest stories in the past five years broke recently when it was revealed that the WWE is considering a true global expansion. CFO for World Wrestling Entertainment, Micheal Selick, discussed their developing plans in an interview with Financial Week. The idea centers on establishing separate WWE promotions which would run full-time in distinct international markets. Each region would have their own unique storylines and televisions tapings. In short, the WWE product would go from three North American-centered brands (RAW, Smackdown, ECW) to a series of brands on different continents across the world, each producing their own content for that area of the world.

Although the plan is still in the preliminary stages, the territories that are being considered for expansion are:
1) PACIFIC REGION covering Japan, South Korea, China, Australia
2) EUROPEAN REGION covering Europe
3) HISPANIC REGION covering Puerto Rico, Mexico, South America
As it stands, the idea is to export the Smackdown brand (which has shown strong rating & attendance drawing ability in the Southwest U.S.) to become the Hispanic Region brand. WWE would continue to operate two separate touring brands, RAW & ECW, in North America (covering USA & Canada). Additionally, there was mention of adding a Russian territory expansion at a later date.

These expansions would require that each region have a sufficient production team capable of creating their own weekly television programming within each of the regions. So, each territory would need an experienced TV executive (with region-specific familiarity), along with at least one senior agent and one television writer to run the territory. Of course, wrestlers for each brand would also be required to move full-time overseas. Understandably, there are plenty of questions, doubt, confusion and uncertainty internally in WWE with the prospect of having to uproot families to move across the world.

At this moment, Shane McMahon and Selick are responsible for developing the plan. Then they will present it to the executives at WWE, most notably Vince McMahon. Allegedly, Vince is very excited and interested at this international prospect. However, considering the extreme level of precision and control that Vince likes to exercise over his television, it’s questionable whether he’d allow such decentralization of production.

While the proposal is still being drafted, there have been a few discussions with specific people. Paul Heyman, who is at home, still under WWE contract but not being utilized, has been considered for the Pacific Region. Head RAW Writer Brian Gerwitz (responsible for the Rock’s most recent impromptu appearance) has been given specific assurances by Stephanie McMahon that he will not be required to move overseas. However, beyond that, much remains to be seen. There is certainly a measured amount of apprehension among the wrestlers who know they don’t have much say in whether they will be utilized domestically or internationally in such an expansion.

Obviously, the plan will call for hiring many more people with a wrestling background. In the most recent WWE annual report, they list having over 500 employees, but that doesn’t include the wrestlers (who are labeled “independent contractors” in the filing). On each RAW & Smackdown brand, you have about 27 active wrestlers. (ECW has around 18.) Additionally, there are two announcers, about four referees, and 4-6 other people (Midgets, Managers, Commissioners, people to say “DAMN!”). With all the Diva search hirings and swimsuit models, each brand has 6-8 woman and 3-6 agents and writers. In total, there at least fifty people per brand. So, these new territories would probably call for at least 150 new hires.

There are a lot of pros and cons to implementing such an ambitious and extensive expansion plan. WWE is an internationally recognized pro-wrestling brand. They are easily the biggest pro-wrestling company in the world and a market leader. Their international tours have draw strongly and over the last three years, the reality of the situation is that strong growth and support in markets outside of North America have really kept WWE financially solid.

However, there’s a significant difference when you move from sporadic international tours (coming to Europe twice or three times a year) to becoming a permanent, weekly entity. WWE’s latest plans for overseas tours have already begun showing signs of burn-out and disinterest in places such as Mexico and Australia. Are these territories stable enough to support a weekly promotion with the production values that WWE is accustom? For instance, while CMLL & AAA might draw tens of thousands of fans to major arenas in Mexico, the ticket prices are still quite low when compared to WWE. In such a fragile economy, can a brand be implemented that will be profitable at WWE’s production scale? If wrestlers will continue to receive North American wages, can the territory earn enough money to be profitable at all? Will WWE be able to strike deals with key television networks such as Televisa and replace lucha? Will the WWE style be popular in the country or will they need to change how they perform?

Japan also has established competitors with New Japan, All-Japan and NOAH. However, Japanese pro-wrestling has lost enormous popularity to MMA promotions and these former powerhouses have nearly collapsed. WWE would be entering an expensive and difficult climate where wrestling has already been pushed to the fringes of Japanese television. Again, their latest tours of the Far East have showed many signs of not drawing to expectations.

Europe’s appetite for pro-wrestling, especially in the UK, Ireland, Portugal, Germany, Spain and Italy has been exceptionally important for the WWE since the end of the boom period of the late 90s. Without a major European promotion (there are several independent companies in each country, but nothing that could be considered a legitimate competitor to WWE), less of a language barrier (English is widely understood in the EU), and a history of selling PPVs abroad, this region probably has the best shot. There are several European workers in the company (Fit Finlay, William Regal and Paul Burchill) who could work as strong lynchpins for helping establish the new brand.

The advantage of the territory system is that wrestlers can be rotated from one region to the next in order to prevent them from becoming stale. Recently, the WWE announced that for all PPVs going forth, members of all three brands (ECW/Smackdown/RAW) would be involved. While this is seen as a necessity to keeping B-level branded PPV buys strong, it will only contribute to further water down the distinctiveness of the brands and keep the same top talent consistently on the television screen. In the old territory days of wrestling, moving wrestlers around the circuit from promotion to promotion keep people fresh, but gave them experience working different styles in different types of crowds. One major criticism that veterans have for this generation of pro-wrestlers is their lack of experience working a variety of styles in front of significant crowds. In theory, a well-orchestrated system of rotation among the territories could give a vast wealth of experience and training to young wrestlers.

In the end, I believe that this expansion plan will probably be scaled back to establishing a European brand and increasing tours of the Southwest & Mexico using a more Hispanic-focused Smackdown brand. I have a lot of questions about what would happen to the developmental leagues (OVW in Kentucky & DSW in Atlanta) if these territory expansions continued (Would they send new talent overseas before bringing them on American TV?). Neither Japan nor Mexico has extensive history buying PPVs in order to really support a wrestling product. Will live attendance at events along with television rights fees be enough to support the product? Will the touring areas be too large in some case? A lot of questions remain to be seen. However, as WWE intends to compete with UFC (with their PPVs reaching over a million domestic buys, a number WWE hasn’t made in years) and PRIDE (with a faltering business that may have already been sold), they look to international markets as a source for creating new stars, new territories and new opportunities. It’ll be years before such an ambitious plan can be implemented, but it’s a very exciting idea that we’ll be following quite closely! Among industry insiders, the biggest fear is burning out or failing spectactularly in any of these international markets on a scale that would shake or destroy WWE’s reputation and confidence in global opportunities.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

ZW Runs down the latest Wrestlemania Card

It might be Spring Training for Baseball, but right now is the final homestretch for wrestling fans. Wrestlemania is only a few weeks away and the card is firming up quite nicely. We’ll examine the matches and also who is NOT on the card.

Vincent Kennedy McMahon’s HAIR vs. Donald Trump’s HAIR

It’s hard to believe it’s been less than a year since Umaga (formerly Jamal of 3-minute warning) vacated the All-Japan Tag Titles and returned to the WWE. The gimmick seems to be a throwback to the Wild Samoans and may have started as somewhat of a rip-off of Samoa Joe (UMAGA: “Samoan Wrecking Machine”, Joe: “Samoan Submission Machine”), Umaga firmly planted himself in the top echelon on RAW very quickly. Second only to Edge, John Cena’s feud with Umaga was resulted in a host of fantastic matches in 2006 and a very exciting encounter at this year’s Royal Rumble. I still feel that Umaga has plenty of credibility as a vicious and dangerous heel despite his losses to Cena.

Bobby Lashley’s road to this important match has been stop & start the past 18 months. Like Umaga, Lashley is relatively new to WWE television (he debuted in September 2005). He has feuded with the top heels on Smackdown (JBL, King Booker, Fit Finlay) before moving to ECW in November 2006 to win the ECW Title from Big Show. Having already defeated Test (now released), Hardcore Holly and RVD, there isn’t anyone on ECW who really represents a very credible threat to Lashley’s ECW title at this moment though I imagine that post-WM the new top ECW heel will be Snitsky. Reportedly, Vince McMahon is actually viewing the entire ECW promotion as little more than an opportunity to make a star out of Bobby Lashley. At one point, when WWE was negotiating with K1 star Bob Sapp for ECW, there was discussion of turning Lashley heel, but momentum in that direction dissipated awhile ago.

So, you have two fresh stars – a strong babyface (Lashley, aligned with Donald Trump) and a strong heel (Umaga, aligned with Vince McMahon). They’re both large, young, formidable opponents that will gain excellent exposure by being in this important event. There are still some questions that remain:
• Is there enough motivation behind the actions? Why exactly does Lashley want to defend Trump’s hair so badly?
• Austin vs. McMahon is always the undercurrent whenever Stone Cold is around. Will that add to the dynamic of the match?
• Can these two click? Lashley has been dreadfully exposed in some matches and Umaga hasn’t done a lot of long, competitive matches with anyone.
• Will all the mainstream exposure on the B-circuit television shows equate to a bigger buyrate?
• Do people actually believe there is any chance that Trump would lose?!

John Cena (CHAMPION) vs. Shawn Michaels

This has been the classic build for a babyface versus babyface. Cena is the hot, charismatic of the 2000s. HBK is the superstar from the 90s who has returned and been walking stars to great match. They’ve got the tag titles to build the “two guys that don’t want to get along” vibe which has always been great fun. (There was a very similar to build to the Rock/Chris Jericho feud in Fall 2001.)

Cena had a stellar year as champion in 2006 feuding with Edge & Umaga. HBK put on a clinic at the Royal Rumble with Undertaker once again demonstrating how he’s got it. I expect a very good match from these two. Michaels had a great bout with Hogan in 2005 and Cena is far more mobile and agreeable than the Hulkster has ever been! I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Micheals wins this match for another short title reign as a reward for his years of service. Then again, he’s needed time off since DX feuded with the Spirit Squad and this could finally be the big paycheck that signals his departure for a little while.

Batista (CHAMPION) vs. Undertaker

Batista is a ticking tricep-tearing timebomb. Undertaker is the undefeated (at Wrestlemania) undead phenom. It would be an enormous waste to end the UT’s streak this year. The crowds are still fully behind Taker and have begun turning on Big Dave whenever they are forced to choose between the babyfaces. Undertaker showed some real fire last year in his matches with Kurt Angle and this year at the Royal Rumble showdown with HBK. The age difference between the two is a lot smaller than you’d probably ever believe. I dearly, dearly, dearly hope that Undertaker walks away with the championship. Have him do a short feud with King Booker, Fit Finlay, a returning Mark Henry or even one last time with Ken Kennedy. Just don’t leave the title on Batista.

Melina (CHAMPION) vs. Ashley

Melina has cosmic heat backstage over hurting Mickie James in their latest matches. Allegedly, the ultimatum is “Have a good match with Ashley or get packing”. Some say that really the pressure is the belief that Johnny Nitro & Melina have the potential for main events, but she has to prove she’s got it. Any way you want to cut it, Ashley is basically in this match just to promote her (second) Playboy appearance. Forget the fact she can’t wrestle. This will hopefully be short and less ridiculous than the Pillow Fight. Expect this to go on before a big match as a way of calming down the crowd.

Randy Orton vs. Ken Kennedy vs. Fit Finlay vs. Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Booker T vs. CM Punk vs. Edge

The past two years have had significant, memorable Money in the Bank matches. This year has far more stories going into it as opposed to previous years. There is the Randy Orton vs. Edge RKO break-up dynamic. Ken Kennedy has been the WWE’s “Golden Boy” this past year being positioned in top feuds with Smackdown & ECW stars. Jeff Hardy & Matt Hardy will both be in this match; will we see a better encounter than the unmemorable match-ups in prior Royal Rumbles? CM Punk is the internet darling who has been positioned as a major player in ECW. And then there is Booker T. Poor Booker T, just sort of there. In terms of having the impact that Edge or RVD made last year, I can’t see Booker T making it. I expect Ken Kennedy walks away with this one. Shame there won’t be another Ric Flair/Fit Finlay “Battle-Of-The-Men-Who-Can’t-Wear-Their-Kneepads-Correctly”. I expect this to be the second best match on the show. But no Shelton Benjamin? Alas.

Tommy Dreamer, Sandman, Sabu, RVD vs. Elijah Burke, Matt Striker, Marcos Cor Von, Kevin Thorn.

RVD sneaks onto Wrestlemania teaming with SABU, SANDMAN and TOMMY DREAMER. I don’t think I’d have believed it a year ago if you told me they’d be on Wrestlemania in 2007. ECW is full of goobers. I don’t even know who this feud is really going to elevate – Monty Brown, perhaps? The heels have to go over in this one. The faces are all over as much as they will ever be and they're old, broke down men. I don't blame CM Punk though for not joining the goofs: the vampire, teacher, jumpsuit and alpha male. SHEESH~!

GREAT KHALI vs. KANE (Some Gimmick Match)

A lot of people were really down on the Kane run-in on Monday’s RAW but I liked it. For one thing, Khali/Kane needs a gimmick. Second, fans of Kane (there are actually some, believe me) dig his horror gimmick. So, adding a ridiculous meat hook/scythe is no worse than anything TNA did on it’s last PPV or the absurdity of the Inferno matches.


I expect tag matches, possibly with London & Kendrick and MNM. Also, there will be new ECW tag titles in the near future (Dusty Rhodes’ idea) with several teams including FBI (Nunzio & Vito) and Cade & Murdoch fighting for them. I don’t know when they are going to institute them, but perhaps soon.


Hulk Hogan claimed his offer for WM23 was $400k. I don’t know if that’s true. I do know that WWE is irate with him, especially for the stint when he put Johnny Ace’s secretary on the radio during Bubba the Love Sponge and revealed the Hall of Fame voting they were doing. It might seem surprising to have Hogan not on the 20th anniversary of his big show, especially seeing as they are back in Michigan, but his relationship with Vince McMahon is as volatile as ever right now!

Big Show is at home, losing weight and being a 35-year old guy that doesn't have to constantly tour or take bumps. Angle wants him for TNA. Hogan wants him for any project he would pretend to start. It's unknown if he'll do anything, but it's doubtful he'd commit to any long-term deal with any company besides WWE and he's already turned down the lucrative spots he could have had at WM23 so he's clearly hurting and wants time off.

Paul Heyman is still at home. Attempts to bring him back to ECW as an authority figure (RVD/Lagana's idea) were not accepted. He's also been rejected from going to OVW to teach promos.

Rey Mysterio Jr. is in for a monster push when he returns; they already have big plans for him and his merchandise continues to sell even though he's off TV; his lone appearance on Smackdown drew a very strong number!

Chris Jericho is sending out very mixed signals. He will probably return to wrestling some day, even "fairly soon" but right now there is definitely nothing definite. Hard to say whether he’d go back to WWE or rather opt for TNA’s lightened schedule.

Comments? Questions? Be sure to contact me. You can also hear the latest Indeed Wrestling Weekly podcast to catch up on all the rest of the news & notes in wrestling today!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ray Rhodes' RAW Blog for 3/12/07

by Mr. Ray Rhodes

I missed the first 15 minutes but it seems I didn't miss much. I came during Orton-Flair-Carlito and promptly went upstairs to take a shower. I made it back in time to see Orton lay out Carlito with the RKO and qualify for the Money in the Bank. That wasn't even remotely clever. Have Carlito and Flair get interrupted one week and throw in Orton to qualify. Whatever. It seems that Edge and Orton will overshadow the match itself. Thanks for showing up, King Booker.

Normally I'd applaud any RAW air time for Super Crazy and I marked out for his Super (see also, Crazy) Offense but the Masterlock Challenge was so like, 2006. Yawn.

Lilian Garcia directs us to the TitanTron for...THE ROCK! Even though it would have been 100 times more intense if he was live, the video feed was enough for me. I might have wet my pants just a lil'. Great touch!!

Cena and HBK are in a Gauntlet match for the tag titles. One, I love gauntlet matches. Two, this is a perfect way to drop the tag titles that I've been moaning on about for weeks. WGTT...DAMMIT! Cade and Murdoch . . . DAMMIT! We go to commercial as the cage drops, come back and it's mid match with MNM. Uh...not so great on tonight's segment and break layout, guys. Someone's getting fired. Well, if anyone is going to win, it's gonna be MNM.



Waitasecond, you mean the WWE used it's tag division as storyline fodder and buried everyone in it even more? They wouldn't do thaaattttt. Sigh.

Well, Jeff Hardy is out and so is Edge but Edge bails out and allows the The Great Khali to consume Jeff's flesh right off the bone, and then squat and take an Extreme dump on the first row. Part of that is true, at any rate. Kane comes out with his See No Evil hook-and-chain and scares off Khali and his bologna nipples. Kane loses on Smackdown (to Batista, but still) and we're supposed to take him as a threat to Khali? I JUST DON'T GET IT. I do, however, hope this brings Kane back to another level. Only thing better than his hook-and-chain would have been a flail or a mace. Every time Edge has a big gimmick match upcoming he takes like, 3 weeks off, has anyone noticed that?

Mr. Fuji is the next Hall of Famer. Strange, I thought he already was. Welcome aboard. Again.

Foley. Todd Grisham. Ashley. All in one segment. That's all I need to say.

Melina takes on Torrie in a match where the kept moving around but nothing seemed to be happening. Afterwards, plain clothes Mickie ran out looking HOT but had crazy hair and soon after Victoria got involved as well. Ashley gets herself some and Melina bails out. Torrie and Mickie throw her back in so Ashley can...throw her out. It seems Ashley is destined to follow in Christy Hemme's footsteps. Diva Contest. Pose Nude. Awful Wrestlemania match. Fired.

Backstage Edge and Mcmahon have a strange talk, Edge convinces Mcmahon to have Lashley fight Orton on ECW and if Orton doesn't show up, he'll get thrown out of the Money in the Bank. He also touched Mcmahon like, 3 times. I was waiting for Mcmahon to tell him to stop. Alas!

I have no idea what Wrestlemania Reversal means.

In a long ass segment, all the players from the Battle of the Billionaires meet up for a contract signing. Estrada has become almost phantom-like. He's there, and you can kind of see him, but he just blends into the background now. Austin comes out, and in a humorous fashion, gets in Trumps face. The segment kept going and going and there is so much tension in the air while I wait for Trump to say something ridiculous. Then, finally, Trump pushes Mcmahon over the table.

This segment had promise but was riddled with the inherent problem of lack of physicality. The main event of a wrestling show for Wrestlemania hype and the "pay off" was Mcmahon getting shoved on a table. Didn't do it for me.

Final Thoughts: Raw just didn't do it for me tonight. Some more decent build up for Wrestlemania but it's beyond me why the Edge and Orton feud is taking place in the midst of the train wreck that is Money in the Bank. It was fun seeing Rock and Austin and they prove once again that they have "it" and say, Chris Masters does not. I'll give it 3 and a half Khali Nipples which will give tonight's RAW a C+.

Monday, March 12, 2007

New IWW Episode: Week TWO of WM Trivia


This covers a TON of news including:

* WWE's plan for international expansion (TONS of news on this important story and plenty of ZW analysis)
* Kurt Angle's payoff for a New Japan Match & his latest STEROID woes
* Big Changes for a major Japanese Company
* Lots of ratings news with WWE & TNA
* Some comments from Dana White that would get a public executive fired & maybe sued!
* Chaos between PRIDE & PRIDE USA
* Latest on ECW's new tag divison and which teams might be getting switched over
* Other international stars who recently tried out for WWE (besides Mistico!)
* WWE Tour of Mexico not looking great

Friday, March 09, 2007

TC Watts comments on Randy Couture's win last week!

by TC Watts (elusive IWW cohost!)

Randy Couture at the age of 43 is the NEW UFC Heavyweight Champion of the World. I never thought I would hear those words again but on March 3, 2007 in the city of Columbus, Ohio in front of 19, 049 rabid fans, Captain America AGAIN defied the odds.

This is the same man who lost his last heavyweight fight to Ricco Rodriguez in 2002. This is the same man who lost 3 of his last 5 fights by knockout. This is the same man who dropped to light heavyweight at the end of his career. This is the same man who was retired for the previous 12 months. This is the man who DOMINATED former champion and 6' 8" (203 cm) 255 (116 kg) slugbot Tim Sylvia.

Coming into the championship bout, not many thought that the old man Couture could manage the ridiculous reach and height advantage that Sylvia possessed. The odds in the betting world told the same story. Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia (-256) vs. Randy Couture (+236) was the line in Vegas. That simply means you have to bet $256 to win $100 on Sylvia and $100 to win $236 on Couture.

I am sure there were many happy souls in Vegas and the world around come Sunday morning and many kicking themselves that they didn't BELIEVE in Mr. Couture.

Why would you believe?

Sylvia, possibly the cockiest UFC heavyweight champion ever and hated by many, was still a feared striker. With an 84 inch reach he should have had no problem battering Randy's head, right? Sylvia was 23-2 with 15 KO's. One of those KO's was against the man with the hardest head in the world, Wesley Cabbage Correira. I remember watching him pepper Cabbage with shots and Cabbage being out on his feet and thinking maybe Sylvia really is worthy. Sylvia went on to then beat heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez (you know the same one who beat up Couture) for the UFC title, only to have his arm legit snapped at the hands of Frank Mir. He eventually lost to Andrei Arlovski, by achilles lock for the vacant title after Mir nearly lost his life in a brutal motorcycle accident. That didn't stop Tim Sylvia from pushing forward and continuing his trek back to the title.

Training with some of the best at Miletich Fighting Systems, Sylvia eventually went on to throttle Mike Block, Tra Telligman(brutal head kick) and Assuerio Silva (another KO) before his rematch with the 'Caveman' Andrei Arlovski. Sylvia knocked out Arlovski in 2:43 of the first round. He then beat Arlovski and noted grappler and 5’9 Jeff Monson in 2 of the most boring fights known to man. Yet, the Maineiac continued to talk like he was the greatest heavyweight in the world even saying he would handle ANYONE in the world with ease. The temerity of Sylvia to say these things after not being able to put away a hurt Arlovski and a non striker in Monson, the world turned on him.

Right around this time, Randy Couture, who commentated, the Monson/Sylvia, fight went on to say he saw many weaknesses in Tim's game and that he could beat him. Sylvia took great offense to this and Couture signed a 3 fight deal to come back at HEAVYWEIGHT.

So the fight was set and the world began to doubt Couture again. Why not? In the real world 43 year old wrestlers with a 12 inch reach disadvantage against a striker, just have no chance in hell, right? Couture took all this to heart and formulated a phenomenal game plan to dispatch of the brash champion.

As the main event arrived the crowd was electric. I am getting chills just thinking about it again. Chants of RANDY, RANDY broke out before the fight even started and didn't stop until the arena was emptied. As hey both stood in the cage staring at each other during introductions, there was a special feeling in the air. Still though, how could Randy overcome that reach and striking ability? All questions were answered about 15 seconds into the first round.

The combatants came out circled and sized each other up. 15 seconds in Randy threw a leg kick followed by a ROCKY like right hand and dropped the big doofus right on his ass. The crowd exploded bigger than anything I have ever seen in MMA or pro wrestling. Sylvia though was not out, just rocked and as Randy charged he turned his back and Randy kept control of said back, working for a rear naked choke for the remaining 4 minutes of the first round.

The two came out in round 2 and decided to have a kickboxing match. Something Sylvia should easily get the best of, right? Well, Randy had the head and body movement of a polished championship boxer. Bobbing and weaving and circling and making Sylvia miss over and over. Meanwhile while Sylvia was striking out, Couture kept hitting the same combo over and over. Left to the body, right hand over the top, and it was effective. They clinched midway in to round 2 and despite the size and weight disadvantage
(255 to 222) Couture took him down with ease. With 30 seconds left the referee stood them up. Advantage Sylvia, right? Wrong, Couture took him right back down as the bell sounded and the current heavyweight champion of the world looked flustered and beaten.

Round 3 began and Sylvia looked tired. A round full of kickboxing followed, and with a one foot reach disadvantage he was outclassing Sylvia on his feet. The fight was dramatic because everyone knew that one punch or kick from the feared striker could floor Couture and end the fairytale. Sylvia, though, was afraid to kick out of fear of being taken down. The bobbing and weaving this round from Couture was simply a thing of beauty and something to behold. Round 3 ends and both men looked completely gassed and breathing hard. (Sylvia was even BURPING between rounds.)

Randy again took him down to begin round 4 and stayed there until the ref stood them up with 2:52 left in the round. Couture went to work and gained side mount before going for his back. Sylvia being a monster reversed and ended up in north south position. In a moment of genius, Randy left his hands on the ground so Sylvia couldn't knee him. The first 'championship' round ended and it seemed Couture was up 4-0. The crowd was ridiculous at this point, with RANDY chants breaking out more and more. Matt Hughes in the corner of Sylvia (I wonder where Tim gets his cockiness?) looked near tears at the impending doom of his friend big Tim.

Round 5 began and as Sylvia left his corner he muttered, ‘Is this the 5th?’ Not a good sign for the CHAMP. Randy Couture took him down again and went to work, grinding on him and just simply beating on him. Sylvia's left eye was now closed from all the right hands over the top. Couture garnered mount and Sylvia finally got up, only to be dumped back on the mat by the accomplished wrestler. The round finally ended and the chills began as Couture raised his hands in anticipation of the impending announcement.

The announcement came and the HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP of the WORLD was strapped around the waist of 43 friggin year old Randy Couture. In a very fitting moment, Joe Rogan appeared to interview Randy and near tears, said, 'I don't know what to say, there are no words.' Randy simply said in that Captain America style that we all love, 'Not bad for an old man!'

No, Randy, not BAD at all.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

IWW Trivia Week One Question

Roddy Piper was a stable of early Wrestlemanias. However, there was one that the Hot Rod wasn't at. Was it:
A) Wrestlemania II
B) Wrestlemania III
C) Wrestlemania IV
D) Wrestlemania V

email your answer to: with your name & address to enter this contest. Answer all four weeks of trivia correctly is all it takes to be eligible to win a prize!

Wrestling Observer MOTY & Runner-Ups

1.) Bob Backlund vs. Ken Patera (5/19 - Madison Square Garden)
2.) Bruno Sammartino vs. Larry Zbyszko (9/8 - Shea Stadium)

1.) Pat Patterson vs. Sgt. Slaughter (4/21 - Madison Square Garden)
2.) Dusty Rhodes vs. Ric Flair (9/17 - Kansas City)

1.) Tiger Mask vs. Dynamite Kid (8/5 - Tokyo)
2.) Ric Flair vs. Bob Backlund (4/7 - Atlanta)
3.) Bob Backlund vs. Jimmy Snuka (MSG)
4.) Bob Backlund vs Adrian Adonis (1-30 MSG)
5.) Buddy Rose vs David Schultz (Chain match Portland)
6.) Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat (2-7 Greensboro)
7.) Ric Flair vs Stan Hansen (10-3 Atlanta)

1.) Harley Race vs. Ric Flair (11/24 - Greensboro)
2.) Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood vs. Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle (3/12 - Greensboro) (actually outvoted Flair-Race)
3.) Tiger Mask vs. Dynamite Kid (4/23 - Tokyo)
4.) Antonio Inoki vs. Hulk Hogan (6/2 - Tokyo)
5.) Terry Funk & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy (8/31 - Tokyo)
6.) Von Erichs vs Freebirds 7-4 Ft. Worth
7.) Ric Flair vs Kerry Von Erich (12-25-82 Dallas)
8.) Don Muraco vs Jimmy Snuka (7-23 Landover)
9.) Kerry Von Erich vs Michael Hayes cage match (11-24 Dallas)
10.) Roddy Piper vs Greg Valentine dog collar match (11-24 Greensboro)

1.) Freebirds vs. Von Erichs (7/4/84)
2.) Sgt. Slaughter vs. Iron Sheik (6/16/84)
3.) Ric Flair vs Kerry Von Erich (5/6 Texas Stadium)
4.) Dynamite Kid vs The Cobra (7/5 Tokyo)
5.) Yoshiaki Yatsu vs Nobuhiko Takada (4/19 Tokyo)
6.) Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat (5/29 Meadowlands)
7.) Nobuhiko Takada vs Kazuo Yamazaki (12/5 Tokyo)
8.) Hulk Hogan vs Iron Shiek (1/23)
9.) Davey Boy Smith-Dynamite Kid-David Schultz vs Antonio Inoki-Fujinami-Cobra (7/13 Japan)
10.) Bruiser Brody vs Jerry Blackwell (10/21 St. Paul)
11.) Dynamite Kid vs Davey Boy Smith (7/20 Osaka)
12.) Super Tiger vs Akira Maeda (9/11 Tokyo)
13.) Ricky Steamboat vs Dick Slater (early June Greenville)
14.) Ric Flair vs Kerry Von Erich (5/24 Yokosuka, Japan)
15.) The Cobra vs Kuniaki Kobayashi (8/2 Tokyo)

1.) Kuniaki Kobayashi vs. Tiger Mask (Misawa) (06/21/85)
2.) Jaguar Yokota vs. Lioness Asuka (08/22/85)
3.) Ted Dibiase vs Jim Duggan cage match (3/22 Houston)
4.) Ric Flair vs Kerry Von Erich (1/25 St Louis)
5.) Freebirds vs Road Warriors (9/28 Chicago)
6.) Ric Flair vs Harley Race (2/24 Meadowlands)
7.) Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff vs Mr T & Hulk Hogan (3/31 New York)
8.) Rick Martel vs Jumbo Tsuruta (9/29 St Paul)
9.) Hulk Hogan vs Roddy Piper (2/18 New York)
10.) Fabulous Ones vs Sheepherders (8/12 Memphis)
11.) Antonio Inoki vs Bruiser Brody (8/1 Tokyo)
12.) Riki Choshu vs Genichiro Tenryu (6/21 Tokyo)

1.) Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham (2/14 - Orlando)
2.) Yoshiaki Yatsu & Riki Choshu vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu (1/28 - Tokyo)
3.) Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Akira Maeda (6/12 - Osaka)
4.) Midnight Express vs. Rock 'n Roll Express (8/16 - Philadelphia)
5.) Shiro Koshinaka vs. Nobuhiko Takada (9/19 - Fukuoka)
6.) Fantastics vs Sheepherders (4/19 New Orleans)
7.) Midnight Rockers vs Buddy Rose & Doug Somers (8/7 Las Vegas)
8.) The Cobra vs Nobuhiko Takada (6/27 Nagoya)
9.) Ric Flair vs Ricky Morton (7/5 Charlotte)
10.) British Bulldogs vs Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake (4/7 Chicago)
1.) Rick Steamboat vs. Randy Savage (3/29 - Pontiac)
2.) Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham (1/20 - Greensboro)
3.) Chigusa Nagayo vs. Lioness Asuka (2/26 - Kawasaki)
4.) Nobuhiko Takada vs. Shiro Koshinaka (2/5 - Tokyo Sumo Hall)
5.) Akira Maeda & Nobuhiko Takada vs. Shiro Koshinaka & Keiji Muto (3/20 - Tokyo Korakuen Hall)
6.) Ric Flair vs Barry Windham (4/11 Baltimore)
7.) El Hijo del Santo vs Negro Casas (7/27 hair vs hair match Los Angeles)
8.) Jerry Lawler vs Austin Idol hair vs hair match (4/27 Memphis)
9.) Jumbo Tsuruta vs Genichiro Tenryu (10/6 Tokyo)
10.) War Games I (7/4 Atlanta)
11.) Choshu & Maeda & Takada & Fujinami & Strong Machine vs Inoki & Saito & Sakaguchi & Fujiwara & Murdoch (9/17 Osaka)
12.) Akira Maeda & Nobuhiko Takada vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Kazuo Yamazaki (9/1 Fukuoka)
13.) Antonio Inoki vs Masa Saito (4/27 Tokyo)
14.) Nick Bockwinkel vs Curt Hennig (5/2 San Francisco)

1.) Ric Flair vs. Sting (3/27 - Greensboro)
2.) Midnight Express vs. Fantastics (3/27 - Greensboro)
3.) Midnight Express vs. Fantastics (4/26 - Chattanooga)
4.) Footloose vs. Shinichi Nakano & Shunji Takano (7/19 - Tokyo Korakuen Hall)
5.) Ted DiBiase vs. Randy Savage (4/25 - Madison Square Garden)
6.) Chigusa Nagayo vs Lioness Asuka (8/25 Kawasaki)
7.) Antonio Inoki vs Tatsumi Fujinami (8/8 Yokohama)
8.) Tatsumi Fujinami vs Riki Choshu (6/24 Osaka)
9.) Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara vs Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu (8/30 Osaka)
10.) Midnight Express vs Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson (8/26 Greensboro)
11.) Ted Dibiase vs Randy Savage (7/22 MSG Cage match)
12.) Owen Hart vs Hiroshi Hase (5/27 Sendai)
13.) Hiroshi Hase vs Shiro Koshinaka (3/19 Tokyo)
14.) Jumbo Tsuruta vs Tiger Mask (3/9 Yokohama)
15.) Owen Hart vs Keiichi Yamada (6/10 Hiroshima)
16.) Akira Maeda vs Kazuo Yamazaki (5/12 Tokyo)
17.) Owen Hart vs Shiro Koshinaka (6/24 Osaka)
18.) Kazuo Yamazaki vs Nobuhiko Takada (8/13 Tokyo)

1.) Ric Flair vs. Rick Steamboat (4/2 - New Orleans)
2.) Ric Flair vs. Rick Steamboat (5/7 - Nashville)
3.) Ric Flair vs. Rick Steamboat (2/20 - Chicago)
4.) Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk (11/15 - Troy, NY)
5.) Jushin Liger vs. Naoki Sano (9/20 - Osaka)
6.) Jumbo Tsuruta vs Genichiro Tenryu (6/5 Tokyo)
7.) Ric Flair vs Terry Funk (7/23 Baltimore)
8.) Footloose vs Doug Furnas & Dan Kroffat (6/5 Tokyo)
9.) Jushin Liger vs Naoki Sano (7/13 Tokyo)
10.) Bob Backlund vs Nobuhiko Takada (12/22/88)
11.) Rockers vs Brainbusters (2/17 Hershey)
12.) Akira Maeda vs Nobuhiko Takada (1/10 Tokyo)

1.) Jushin Liger vs. Naoki Sano (1-31) Osaka
2.) Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (6-8) Tokyo
3.) Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane vs. Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong (7-8) Baltimore
4.) Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior (4-1) Toronto
5.) Steiners vs. Nasty Boys (10-27) Chicago
6.) Atsushi Onita & Tarzan Goto vs Dragon Master & Masanobu Kurisu (4-1) Tokyo
7.) Keiji Muto vs. Hiroshi Hase (9-14) Hiroshima
8.) Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger (2-25) Greensboro
9.) Tommy Rogers & Bobby Fulton vs. Joe Malenko & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi
10.) Yoshihiro Asai vs. Negro Casas (6-7) Tokyo
11.) Jushin Liger vs. Chris Benoit (8-19) Tokyo

1.) Steiners vs. Hiroshi Hase & Kensuke Sasaki (3-21) Tokyo
2.) Bull Nakano vs Akira Hokuto (1-4) Tokyo
3.) Ric Flair & Larry Zbyszko & Sid Vicious & Barry Windham vs. Steiners & Sting & Brian Pillman War Games (2-24) Phoenix
4.) Cactus Jack vs. Eddie Gilbert (8-3) Philadelphia
5.) Steiners vs. Sting & Lex Luger (5-19) St. Petersburg
6.) Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko vs. Ricky Steamboat & Dustin Rhodes (11-18) Savannah
7.) Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior (3-34) Los Angeles
8.) Curt Hennig vs. Bret Hart (8-27) New York
9.) Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada & Kenta Kobashi vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue & Masa Fuchi (4-20) Tokyo
10.) Jushin Liger vs. Hiroshi Hase (5-6) Tokyo
11.) Keiji Muto vs. Masahiro Chono (8-11) Tokyo
12.) Jushin Liger vs. Chris Benoit (10-18) Hiroshima
13.) Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Kenta Kobashi (5-24) Osaka
14.) Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair (10-25) Oakland
15.) Jushin Liger vs. Owen Hart (4-27) Okinawa
16.) Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Toshiaki Kawada (10-24) Yokohama
17.) Aja Kong & Bison Kimura vs. Esther Moreno & Manami Toyota (4-29) Tokyo
18.) Ric Flair vs. Tatsumi Fujinami (3-21) Tokyo

1.) Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas vs. Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (5-25) Miyagi
2.) Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman (2-29) Milwaukee
3.) Manami Toyota vs. Kyoko Inoue (4-25) Yokohama
4.) Jushin Liger vs. El Samurai (4-30) Tokyo
5.) Manami Toyota vs. Toshiyo Yamada (8-15) Tokyo
6.) El Hijo del Santo & Atsushi Onita & Tarzan Goto vs. Negro Casas & Tim Patterson & Horace Boulder (5-16) Los Angeles
7.) Sting & Nikita Koloff & Dustin Rhodes & Ricky Steamboat & Barry Windham vs. Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton & Steve Austin & Larry Zbyszko & Rick Rude War Games (5-17) Jacksonville
8.) Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog (8-29) London
9.) Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs. Yumiko Hotta & Suzuka Minami (3-17) Tokyo
10.) Eddie Gilbert vs. Terry Funk (11-14) Wayne, NJ
11.) Royal Rumble (1-19) Albany, NY
12.) Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman (12-27) East Rutherford, NJ
13.) Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage (4-5) Indianapolis
14.) Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (11-27) Richfield, OH
15.) Sting vs. Cactus Jack (6-20) Mobile
16.) Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Masa Fuchi & Yoshinari Ogawa (7-5) Tokyo
17.) Sting vs. Big Van Vader (7-18) Albany
18.) Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs. Aja Kong & Kyoko Inoue (4-20) Tokyo
19.) Rick Rude vs. Masahiro Chono (8-12) Tokyo

1.) Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs. Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki (4-11) Osaka
2.) Steve Williams vs. Kenta Kobashi (8-31) Toyohashi
3.) Akira Hokuto vs. Shinobu Kandori (4-2) Yokohama
4.) Cactus Jack vs. Vader (10-24) New Orleans
5.) Stan Hansen vs. Kenta Kobashi (7-29) Tokyo
6.) Hikari Fukuoka & Cuty Suzuki & Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki vs. Aja Kong & Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue & Sakie Hasgewa (7-31) Yokohama
7.) Sting vs. Vader (2-21) Asheville
8.) Lightning Kid (X-Pac) vs. Sabu 4-17 Minneapolis
9.) Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty (7-10) New York
10.) Stan Hansen vs. Toshiaki Kawasda (2-28) Tokyo
11.) Toshiaki Kawada vs. Kenta Kobashi (4-14) Nagoya
12.) El Hijo del Santo vs. Heavy Metal (1-29) Mexico City
13.) Winners [Abismo Negro & Rey Misterio Jr. & Super Calo] vs. Jerry Estrada & Heavy Metal & Psicosis (1-29) Mexico City
14.) Bret Hart vs. Curt Hennig (6-11) Dayton
15.) Mitsuhau Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada (3-27) Kyoto
16.) Atsushi Onita vs. Terry Funk (5-5) Kawasaki
17.) Devil Masami vs. Bull Nakano (4-18) Tokyo
18.) Steiners vs. Tom Prichard & Jimmy Del Rey (8-30) Auburn Hills, MI
19.) Heavy Metal & Psicosis & Picudo vs. Winners & Serup Calo & Rey Misterio Jr. (2-14) Mexico City

1.) Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon [Scott Hall] (3-20) New York
2.) Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada (6-3) Tokyo
3.) Great Sasuke vs. Chris Benoit (4-16) Tokyo
4.) Love Machine & Eddy Guerrero vs. El Hijo del Santo & Octagon (11-6) Los Angeles
5.) Terry Funk vs. Shane Douglas vs. Sabu (2-5) Philadelphia
6.) Ric Flair vs Vader (12-27-93) Charlotte
7.) Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (5-21) Sapporo
8.) Nasty Boys vs. Cactus Jack & Maxx Payne (4-17) Chicago
9.) Jushin Liger vs. Great Sasuke (4-16) Tokyo
10.) Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan vs. Nasty Boys (5-22) Philadelphia
11.) Aja Kong vs. Manami Toyota (11-20) Tokyo
12.) Akira Hokuto & Kyoko Inoue vs. Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada (12-10-93) Tokyo
13.) Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Steve Williams (7-28) Tokyo
14.) Great Sasuke vs. Jinsei Shinzaki (4-29) Tokyo
15.) Chris Benoit & Shinjiro Otani vs. Black Tiger [Eddy Guerrero] & Great Sasuke (10-18) Odawara
16.) Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (8-29) Chicago
17.) Steve Williams vs. Kenta Kobashi (9-3) Tokyo
18.) Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (3-20) New York

1.) Manami Toyota vs. Kyoko Inoue (5-7) Tokyo
2.) Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (8-27) Pittsburgh
3.) Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Psicosis (10-7) Philadelphia
4.) Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada (1-24) Yamagata
5.) Toshiaki Kawada vs. Kenta Kobashi (1-19) Osaka
6.) Eddy Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko (4-15) Philadelphia
7.) Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada (6-9) Tokyo
8.) Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Psicosis (9-22) Mexico City
9.) Ultimo Dragon vs. Chris Jericho (7-7) Tokyo
10.) Manami Toyota vs. Akira Hokuto (9-2) Tokyo
11.) Oleg Taktarov vs. Tank Abbott (9-8) Casper
12.) Cactus Jack & Head Hunters vs. Terry Funk & Shoji Nakamaki & Leatherface (Rick Patterson) (4-2) Tokyo
13.) Manami Toyota & Sakie Hasegawa vs. Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue (8-30) Osaka
14.) Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Stan Hansen vs. Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada & Johnny Ace (4-2) Tokyo
15.) Shawn Michaels vs. Jeff Jarrett (7-23) Nashville
16.) Sabu vs. Devon Storm (10-28) Woodbury, NJ
17.) Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada (7-24) Tokyo
18.) Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue 4-15 Tokyo
19.) Rey Misterio & Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Fuerza & Juventud Guerrera (3-2) Xalapa
20.) Eddy Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko (5-13) Philadelphia
21.) Eddy Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko (8-26) Philadelphia
22.) Manami Toyota vs. Aja Kong (6-27 Sapporo
23.) Pit Bulls vs. Raven & Stevie Richards (9-16) Philadelphia

1.) Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Steve Williams & Johnny Ace (6-7) Tokyo
2.) Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Juventud Guerrera (3-9) Philadelphia
3.) Dick Togo & Mens Teioh & Shiryu [Kaz Hayashi] & Taka Michinoku & Shoichi Funaki vs. Gran Hamada & Super Delfin & Tiger Mask & Gran Naniwa & Masato Yakushiji (10-10) Tokyo
4.) Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (5-23) Sapporo
5.) Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels 3-31 Anaheim
6.) Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Psicosis 7-7 Daytona Beach
7.) Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin 11-17 New York
8.) Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel [Kevin Nash] 4-28 Omaha
9.) Ultimo Dragon vs. Shinjiro Otani (8-4) Tokyo
10.) Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Psicosis (12-13-95) Tokyo
11.) Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind (9-22) Philadelphia
12.) Bas Rutten vs. Masakatsu Funaki (9-7) Tokyo
13.) Kenta Kobashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada (10-18) Tokyo
14.) Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Ultimo Dragon (11-24) Norfolk
15.) Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Dean Malenko (10-27) Las Vegas
16.) Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Steve Williams & Johnny Ace (9-5) Tokyo
17.) Don Frye vs. Amoury Bitetti (5-17) Detroit
18.) Antonio Inoki vs. Vader (1-4) Tokyo
19.) Manami Toyota & Mima Shimoda vs. Mariko Yoshida & Kaoru Ito (8-6) Hakata
20.) Sabu vs Rob Van Dam (4-20) Philadelphia
21.) Rey Misterio Jr. & Ultimo Dragon vs. Psicosis & Heavy Metal (6-1) Los Angeles

1.) Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (3-23) Chicago
2.) Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi (1-20) Osaka
3.) Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (10-5) St. Louis
4.) Eddy Guerrero vs. Rey Misterio Jr. (10-26) Las Vegas
5.) Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada (6-6) Tokyo
6.) El Samurai vs. Koji Kanemoto (6-5) Tokyo
7.) Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (12-6-96) Tokyo
8.) Great Sasuke & Gran Hamada & Masato Yakushiji vs. Mens Teioh & Dick Togo & Taka Michinoku (4-13) Philadelphia
9.) Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi (10-21) Tokyo
10.) Jushin Liger vs. Shinjiro Otani (2-9) Sapporo
11.) Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (11-9) Montreal
12.) Bret & Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith & Jim Neidhart & Brian Pillman vs. Steve Austin & Ken Shamrock & Goldust & Legion of Doom (7-6) Calgary
13.) Ultimo Dragon vs. Dean Malenko (12-29-96) Nashville
14.) Hector Garza & Juventud Guerrera & Lizmark Jr. vs. La Parka & Psicosis & Villano IV (7-13) Daytona Beach

1.) Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi (10-31) Tokyo
2.) Undertaker vs. Mankind (6-28) Pittsburgh
3.) Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Tsuyoshi Kohsaka (6-27) Yokohama
4.) Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada (5-1) Tokyo
5.) Steve Austin vs. Dude Love (5-31) Milwaukee
6.) Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (12-5-97) Tokyo
7.) Juventud Guerrera vs. Billy Kidman (11-16) Wichita
8.) Rock vs. HHH (8-30) New York
9.) Kenta Kobashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada (6-12) Tokyo
10.) Kenta Kobashi vs. Jun Akiyama (7-25) Tokyo
11.) Koji Kanemoto vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. (6-3) Osaka
12.) Ric Flair vs. Bret Hart (1-25 Dayton
13.) Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels (3-29) Boston
14.) Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Koji Kanemoto & Dr. Wagner Jr. (8-8) Osaka
15.) Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Jushin Liger & El Samurai (8-2) Tokyo
16.) Genichiro Tenryu vs. Shinya Hashimoto (8-1) Tokyo

1.) Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi (6-11) Tokyo
2.) Edge & Christian vs. Hardys (10-17) Cleveland
3.) Bret Hart vs. Chris Benoit (10-4) Kansas City
4.) Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama (3-6) Tokyo
5.) Steve Austin vs. Rock (4-25) Hartford
6.) Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada (1-22) Osaka
7.) Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama (10-23) Nagoya
8.) Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Minoru Tanaka & Koji Kanemoto (10-11) Tokyo
9.) Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Yoshihisa Yamamoto (6-24) Tokyo
10.) Juventud Guerrera vs. Blitzkrieg (4-11) Tacoma
11.) Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn (3-21) Asbury Park
12.) Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Psicosis vs. Blitzkrieg vs. Juventud Guerrera (4-19) Gainesville, FL
13.) Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn (5-16) Poughkeepsie
14.) Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Vader (5-2) Tokyo
15.) Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Vader (10-30) Tokyo
16.) Great Sasuke vs. Magnum Tokyo (2-7) Yokohama
17.) Masato Tanaka vs. Mike Awesome (11-7) Buffalo
18.) Jushin Liger vs. Koji Kanemoto (3-17) Hiroshima
19.) Rock vs. Mankind (1-24) Anaheim

1.) Atlantis vs. Villano III (3/17 - Arena Mexico)
2.) Triple H vs. Cactus Jack (1/23 - Madison Square Garden)
3.) Dudley Boys vs. Edge & Christian vs. Hardy Boys (8/27 - Raleigh)
4.) Toshiaki Kawada vs. Kensuke Sasaki (10/9 - Tokyo Dome)
5.) Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Koji Kanemoto & Minoru Tanaka (6/25 - Tokyo)

1.) Keiji Muto vs. Genichiro Tenryu (6/8 - Tokyo Nippon Budokan)
2.) Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho vs. Steve Austin & Triple H (5/21 - San Jose)
3.) Toshiaki Kawada & Masanobu Fuchi vs. Yuji Nagata & Takashi Iizuka (12/14/00 - Osaka)
4.) Minoru Tanaka vs. Takehiro Murahama (4/20 - Tokyo Korakuen Hall)
5.) Triple H vs. Steve Austin (2/25 - Las Vegas)

1.) Chris Benoit & Kurt Angle vs. Edge & Rey Mysterio (10/20 - Little Rock)
2.) Genichiro Tenryu vs. Satoshi Kojima (7/17 - Osaka)
3.) Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels (8/25 - Madison Square Garden)
4.) Keiji Muto vs. Toshiaki Kawada (2/24 - Tokyo Nippon Budokan)
5.) American Dragon vs. Low Ki (3/30 - Philadelphia)
6.) Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Jun Akiyama & Yuji Nagata (2/17 - Tokyo Nippon Budokan)
7.) Spanky vs. Low Ki vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Doug Williams (7/27 - Philadelphia)
8.) Naomichi Marufuji vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa (12/9/01 - Tokyo)
9.) Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle (9/22 - Los Angeles)
10.) Eddie Guerrero vs. Edge (9/24 - San Diego)

1.) Misawa/Kobashi 3/1 Tokyo
2.) Angle/Benoit 1/19 Boston
3.) KENTA&Marufuji / Kanemura&Hashi 9/12 Tokyo
4.) Jerchio/Michaels 3/30 Seattle
5.) Danielson/London 4/12 Philly
6.) KENTA&Marufuji/Liger&Murahama 7/16 Osaka
7.) Angle/Lesnar 3/30 Seattle
8.) Kobashi/Nagata 9/12 Tokyo
9.) Tenzen/Akiyama 8/17 Tokyo
10.) Angle/Lesnar 9/16 Raleigh

1.) Kenta Kobashi vs. Jun Akiyama 7/10 Tokyo Dome (362) 2,270
2.) HHH vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit 3/14 New York City Madison Square Garden (218) 1,974
3.) Samoa Joe vs. C.M. Punk 10/16 Chicago Ridge (163) 1,681
4.) Kenta Kobashi vs. Yoshihiro Takayama 4/25 Tokyo Budokan Hall(38) 410
5.) Randy Orton vs. Mick Foley 4/18 Edmonton (28) 352
6.) Eddie Guerrero vs. Brock Lesnar 2/15, San Francisco Cow Palace(7) 209
7.) Samoa Joe vs. C.M. Punk 6/12 Dayton (12) 140
8.) Kensuke Sasaki vs. Yoshihiro Takyama 8/8 Osaka (1) 124
9.) HHH vs. Shawn Michaels 12/30/03 San Antonio (4) 108
10.) HHH vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit 4/18 Edmonton 94

1.) Kenta Kobashi vs. Samoa Joe 10/1 New York (263) 1,968
2.) Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels 4/3 Los Angeles (176) 1,580
3.) Kenta Kobashi vs. Kensuke Sasaki 7/18 Tokyo Dome (177) 1,574
4.) Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels vs. AJ Styles 9/11 Orlando (94) 1,195
5.) Kenta Kobashi & Go Shiosaki vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima 11/5 Budokan Hall (62) 514
6.) AMW vs. XXX 2/5-04 Orlando (25) 443
7.) Satoshi Kojima vs. Toshiaki Kawada 2/16 Tokyo Gym (13) 371
8.) Mistico vs. Ultimo Guerrero 2/15 Arena Mexico (12) 161
9.) AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels 2/13 Orlando (12) 148ls
10.) KENTA vs. SUWA 9/18 Budokan Hall (4) 145

1.) Do Fixer vs Blood Gen. (ROH 3/31/06)
2.) KENTA vs Marufuji (NOAH 10/29/06)
3.) Bryan Danielson vs KENTA (ROH 9/16/06)
4.) Bryan Danielson vs Nigel McGuiness (ROH 8/12/06)
5.) Samoa Joe vs AJ Styles (TNA 12/11/05)
6.) KENTA vs Low Ki (ROH 12/17/05)
7.) Chris Benoit vs Finlay (WWE 5/21/06)
8.) Cage of Death: CZW vs ROH (ROH/CZW 7/15/06)
9.) Rikio/Morishima vs KENTA/Marufuji (NOAH 7/6/06)
10.) Kurt Angle vs The Undertaker (WWE 2/19/06)

11.) Averno & Mephisto vs. El Hijo del Santo & Negro Casas 12/16/05 Mexico City
12.) Samoa Joe vs. A.J. Styles vs. Christopher Daniels
13.) Ikuto Hidaka & Minoru Fujita vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Takashi Sugiura (3/5 Tokyo, NOAH Budokan)
14.) Bryan Danielson vs. Roderick Strong 3/31 Chicago Ridge (ROH)
15.) Edge vs. Mick Foley 4/2 Chicago (WWE WM22)
16.) Chris Hero & Super Dragon & Necro Butcher vs. Samoa Joe & Adam Pearce & B.J. Whitmer 4/22 Philadelphia
17.) Edge vs. John Cena 9/17 Toronto
18.) Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe 11/19 Orlando

1. Bryan Danielson Vs. Takeshi Morishima (8/25/07) (118) - 1,199 pts.
2. KENTA & Taiji Ishimori Vs. Kota Ibushi & Naomichi marufuji (7/15/07) (131) - 1,108 pts.
3. Bryan Danielson Vs. Nigel McGuiness (6/9/07) - (146) - 1,061 pts.
4. John Cena Vs. Shawn Michaels (4/23/07) (74) - 809 pts.
5. John Cena Vs. Umaga (1/28/07) (46) - 458 pts.
6. Briscoes Vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico (9/15/07) (28) - 403 pts.
7. John Cena Vs. Shawn Michaels Vs. Edge Vs. Randy Orton (4/29/07) (26) - 280 pts.
8. Cima, Shingo Takagi & Susuma Yokosuka Vs. Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito & Masaaki Mochizuki () (45) 267 pts.
9. Hiroshi Tanahashi Vs. Hirooki Goto (11/11/07) (2) - 212 pts.
10. Hiroshi Tanahasi Vs. Yuji Nagata (4/13/07) - (1) - 196 pts.
11. Bryan Danielson Vs. Takeshi Morishima (9/15/07) - 184 pts.
12. Undertaker Vs. Batista (4/1/07) - 173 pts.
13. John Cena Vs. Shawn Michaels (4/1/07) - 167 pts.
14. BJ Whitmer Vs. Jimmy Jacobs (3/31/07) - 127 pts.
15. Briscoes Vs. Ricky marvin & Kotaro Suzuki (1/21/07) - 125 pts.
16. Takeshi Morishima Vs. Claudio Castragnoli (8/10/07) - 119 pts.
17. Chris Harris Vs. James Storm (5/13/07) - 96 pts.
18. Briscoes Vs. Claudio Castragnoli & Matt Sydal (5/12/07) - 88 pts
19. Kurt Angle Vs. Samoa Joe (12/10/06) - 67 pts

2. Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels 3/30 Orlando (140)933
3. Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe 4/13 Lowell (33)622
4. Blue Panther vs. Villano V 9/19 Mexico City (30)594
5. Kenta Kobashi & Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama 12/2/07 Tokyo (36)539
6. Nigel McGuinness vs. Austin Aries 12/29/07 New York (37)475
7. Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson 2/23 New York (49)405
8. Undertaker vs. Edge 3/30 Orlando (22)386
9. Naomichi Marufuji & Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. KENTA & Kota Ibushi 9/14 Tokyo (39)360
10. Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino & Genki Horiguchi vs. Cima & Ryo Saito & Dragon Kid 3/29 Orlando (12)348
11. KENTA vs. Naomichi Marufuji 10/25 Tokyo 313
12. Undertaker vs Edge 8/17 Indianapolis 301
13. Nigel McGuinness vs. Tyler Black 3/16 Philadelphia 280
14. Bryan Danielson vs. Tyler Black 7/26 Detroit 251
15. Naomichi Marufuji vs. Shuji Kondo 11/3 Tokyo 217
16. Kenta Kobashi & KENTA vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima 6/14 Tokyo 198
17. Volador Jr. & Sagrado & La Sombra vs. El Hijo del Fantasma & La Mascara & Valiente 4/30 Mexico City 192
18. KENTA & Taiji Ishimori vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Kotaro Suzuki 9/6 Tokyo 114
19. Kurt Angle vs. A.J. Styles 8/10 Trenton 113
20. HHH vs. Jeff Hardy 10/5 Portland 113
21. Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. Masato Yoshino & Naruki Doi 3/28 Orlando 109
22. Kurt Angle vs. Yuji Nagata 1/4 Tokyo 78
23. Kevin Steen & El Generico vs. Tyler Black & Jimmy Jacobs 9/19 Boston 76
24. Takeshi Morishima vs. Naomichi Marufuji 12/2/07 Tokyo 72

2. Davey Richards vs. Shingo Takagi 9/6 Chicago (81)855 points
3. KENTA vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima 3/1 Tokyo (51)737 points
4. Bryan Danielson vs. Naruki Doi 9/6 Chicago (66)706 points
5. KENTA & Go Shiozaki vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima 6/22 Tokyo (63)517 points
6. Davey Richards vs. KENTA 4/3 Houston (29)432 points
7. Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho 6/28 Sacramento (19)322 points
8. Bryan Danielson vs. Davey Richards 9/25 Boston (19)199 points
9. Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels vs. A.J. Styles 11/15 Orlando (4)187 points
10. KENTA vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima 2/11 Tokyo (2)143 points
11. Bryan Danielson vs. Takeshi Morishima 12/27/08 New York 143 points
12. Kurt Angle vs. Desmond Wolfe 11/15 Orlando
13. John Cena vs. Randy Orton 9/13 Montreal 112 points
14. C.M. Punk vs. Jeff Hardy 8/25 Phoenix 90 points
15. Rey Mysterio vs. John Morrison 9/1 Cleveland 82 points

Deceased Wrestlers

Gary Will has compiled a very informative list of professional wrestlers who have passed away. People often ask about whether there an epidemic of wrestlers dying young.

So, there are about 1324 wrestlers listed there. Only 1085 have at least a year of death listed and only 854 of those have an age listed. I don't know when every person started their wrestling career, but let's just pretend they debuted when they were 18 years old. (Now granted, that puts a guy like Mike Awesome as debuting in 1983 when in reality it was several years later in 1989.)

So, by decade using this idea of a start date here are the counts:
[u]debut year[/u]
1860s -- 2
1870s -- 9
1880s -- 2
1890s -- 11
1900s -- 28
1910s -- 55
1920s -- 110
1930s -- 161
1940s -- 166
1950s -- 108
1960s -- 65
1970s -- 65
1980s -- 51
1990s -- 18
2000s -- 3

If you want to argue that most wrestlers weren't really into their career until they were about 25 (age David Von Erich died at), the list moves a bit further:

[u]decade when they were 25[/u]
1860s 1
1870s 2
1880s 8
1890s 2
1900s 19
1910s 27
1920s 67
1930s 142
1940s 156
1950s 162
1960s 82
1970s 68
1980s 63
1990s 50
2000s 5

Not perfectly scientific, but some basic analysis. Of the last five groups they divide as follows:
debuted in 1960s : 31%
debuted in 1970s : 25%
debuted in 1980s : 24%
debuted in 1990s : 19%
debuted in 2000s : 2%

Now, let's take into account average age of death for each decade:
(again I'm listing the decade of when they were 25)
1860s: 41.0 years old
1870s: 73.0 years old
1880s: 64.5 years old
1890s: 81.0 years old
1900s: 66.5 years old
1910s: 69.9 years old
1920s: 64.9 years old
1930s: 72.5 years old
1940s: 70.0 years old
1950s: 65.4 years old
1960s: 54.6 years old
1970s: 45.4 years old
1980s: 37.2 years old
1990s: 31.4 years old
2000s: 23.8 (for anyone who was less than 25 years old, I adjusted their debut date back to when they were 18)

Now, this list seems to be mostly US & Canadian wrestlers with some Mexican & Japanese personalities.

Now, it's not exactly fair to just compare 68 deaths from 70s personalities vs 50 deaths from 90s personalities because there has been more time for aging to occur. As of twenty years ago, how many people from the 70s had died and what was the average age?

As of the end of 1987... (by debut decade)
1930s: 73 deaths, avg age 61.5
1940s: 52 deaths, avg age 54.2
1950s: 28 deaths, avg age 46.9
1960s: 23 deaths, avg age 39.7
1970s: 13 deaths, avg age 32.0
1980s: 8 deaths, avg age 28.0

So, the average age of death from stars of 1990s as of now is 31.4 years old. However, there have been 50 deaths. This compares to only 13 deaths from stars of the 1970s (measured 7 years into the following decade) but at an average age of 32 years old.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

RAW March 5, 2007 BLOG by Ray Rhodes

Indeed Wrestling Weekly: RAW Blog 3/6/07 by Ray Rhodes

RAW kicks off with Cena and HBK talking backstage. Good promo exploiting the tension, with HBK saying he doesn't want or need Cena's help. The promo, at least locally, strangely cuts off and goes to commercial. When we come back, HBK is walking down the ramp. Not sure if that was a mistake or what.

It's HBK against Orton to kick off in a sweet hot opener. HBK's body is showing it's age but give the man credit, he still brings it like no one else. Good match but after Michaels takes a hard drop to the outside, the MID MATCH COMMERCIAL BREAK hits and ruins any momentum. We're back and HBK hits his patented comeback and after a series of traded reversals, a ref knock, and an attempted belt shot, Michaels gets the roll up victory. Good finish here, building on the Edge-Orton split as well. Orton gives HBK the RKO on a chair (which looked like it hurt HBK's knee just as much) but before they can continue to assault, Cena makes the save.

They show a graphic for the upcoming Guest Referee selection with the bald black shadow figure. My girlfriend remarks that if rumors are correct, the shadow actually looks like the mystery man (Austin).

Jeff Hardy gets a rematch with Umaga and since we're still in Phase One of "Let's forget Umaga lost to Cena twice and get him back on track as a monster" the outcome is already signed, sealed, and delivered. Hardy gets a few more shots in here, but can't sustain the pressure for too long. Eventually, Hardy succumbs to Umaga's Two Minutes of PAIN also known as his Signature Move Bonanza. While I get the idea of Umaga killing one of the most over face to make him more of a monster, I can't help but think he deserves better then to be eventually squashed out. He has, after all, lost some of the GUT he came back with.

Flair and Carlito have a little exchange, setting up the final Money in the Bank Qualifier. With Flair pretty much a non-factor last year with the mid-match injury angle, I hope if one of these guys has to make it, it's Carlito.

The MasterLock Challenge with....Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Is Hacksaw seriously on the roster? This has to be the most odd pity job in the company now that Animal was released. The Masterpiece wins, and one wonders if the writers actually watch week-to-week. Is Masters a goof or is he the real deal? I liked when they were breaking the hold and he was finding a technicality for saying it wasn't officially broken. Now I guess he's back to being the real deal but honestly, does anyone buy it anymore?

McMahon, Bishoff, Foley, The Phenoix Gorilla, Shane McMahon and Stone Cold Steve Austin have a Classic Raw Segment which really, makes no sense but it was entertaining and channeled some of the glory days of RAW. It's good to see Austin back and McMahon's faces were priceless.

Mickie James takes on Melina in a Falls Count Anywhere match for the Women's Title.

Hardcore Women's matches are always a hoot, remember Ivory and Ninja Tory from a few years back? Fun match which takes it backstage and into the women's lockerroom. Camera man gets taken out and we go to commericial. We come back and the women are making their way back to the ring. For a second time in a match with Melina, Mickie winds up falling on her head, this time going for a top-rope hurricanrana. That's a little thing IWW likes to call OUCH! Melina wins and Ashley, who was the guest announcer, gets into a little thing with Melina, taking the spot Mickie's more than earned. If there is one thing Christy Hemme and Ashley have taught the Divas: Pose for Playboy, Get a Wrestlemania Push. Nothing like selling out your self worth for a Wrestlemania pay day, right?

I talked with Zip on the last IWW podcast about Ashley briefly but man, she has the body of a 12 year old boy with ginormous fake breasts. Eat something! And what a pretentious entrance with the playboy cover coming down. She's so not-over Playboy has to put Chyna, Torrie, and others in the same issue. Showing the playboy bunnies on her Bazooms at No Way Out should have been a Diva Mark Out Moment...instead it was turned into another wasted moment.

Carlito and Flair wrestle for awhile until The Great Khali comes down and interrupts the match, eventually killing and eating both men, Torrie, and Chloe. He then takes a dump on the Announcer's table which looks like the pile of poop from Jurassic Park. He then utters what translator's eventually distinguish as, "I want Kane". Some of this is true, and one wonders–if Khali wanted Kane so bad why wouldn't he just you know, show up at Smackdown where KANE IS?! LIKE HE DID LAST WEEK?!

Orton tells Edge he doesn't have his back. Interesting!

Nick Bockwinkel joins Mr. Perfect, Jerry Lawler, and Dusty Rhodes in this year's Hall of Fame. Next IWW show I hope to go over this year's choices and debate with Zip on if he thinks they are good or bad choices.

Edge takes on Cena....sort of. Instead, Edge has MNM come down and in a strange promo talks about how he's colorblind and he's from Canada so Johnny Nitro gets to fight Cena. I'm honestly not sure what he was saying but RAW totally broke down at this point. Edge's promo and MNM's involvement made no sense and all it did was set up HBK's "will I, won't I" moment. Mercury and Edge beat on Cena, HBK starts to make the save but doesn't. As Edge leaves and Mercury and Nitro continue the beating, HBK still stalls. Eventually, he makes the save and walks away.

Final Thoughts: As Wrestlemania gets closer I think we're going to see less and less clean matches and lot's of interference and BS so it's going to be hard to judge on match quality. Entertainment wise, RAW moved along briskly and it was good to see a lot of old faces. The Women's match was fun and the hot opener was main event quality. I'll give it 4 out of 5 Viscera Heads, which marks a solid B, but mostly due to it's entertainment value and Wrestlemania build-up and not on it's matches.

Friday, March 02, 2007

New IWW episode - with DEBUT OF IWW TRIVIA CONTEST! (win great prizes)


Ray Rhodes & Zip Whittle spend an hour covering the new & notes from around North America including:

* WWE Developmental (bunch of 2nd generation guys&girls coming in)
* Current Wrestlemania Card
* WWE & TNA firings
* No Way Out review
* TNA state in this world
* Chavo's lunch habits
* Possible stips for Khali/Kane
* WSX collapse?
* DVD news
* and random banter!

It was fun. We also debuted "THE GREAT IWW TRIVIA CHALLENGE." Listen for the question and then email your answer to: to enter our big contest! ROCK. Prizes include a replica John Cena spinner belt! (Remember, we're only a month away from WM23 on April 1, 2007 in Detroit!)