RETRO EXPRESS: WCW NITRO #18 (JANUARY 1ST 1996) – WCW KICK OFF 1996 WITH HULK HOGAN VS RIC FLAIR

Welcome to the Retro Express. This is where we’re taking a stroll down memory lane at wrestling history. This post is part of an ongoing series where we’re reviewing every episode of WCW Nitro from start to finish. Links to the previous posts are at the bottom of this post. We hope you enjoy.

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WCW were victorious in the battle between themselves and NJPW at Starrcade 1995. They won the series 4-3 as Sting and Lex Luger hoisted the trophy up and celebrated with the rest of Team WCW. Sting and Luger then turned their attentions to each other and Ric Flair in a triangle match for a crack at the WCW World Title. They both lost as Flair picked up a count out victory and then, due to interference from the Four Horsemen, Flair won his 12th world title by beating the WCW World Champion “Macho Man” Randy Savage.

 

Date: January 1st 1996

Brand: WCW

City: Atlanta, Georgia

Rating: 2.5 (The first time in 3 weeks that Nitro lost to RAW in the ratings)

Commentators: Eric Bischoff, Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Bobby Heenan

 

A brief warning to those who are unaware about wrestling history from 1996. This company is about to flipped completely on its head in terms of the type of content they would be producing. Here we start in 1996 with Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan competing for the WCW title. A year from now, big turns will take place, major signings will take place and very much the product will be nothing like what it is now.

 

Randy Savage vs Arn Anderson

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For those wondering, in the off chance you didn’t read my review for WCW Starrcade 1995, Randy Savage and Arn Anderson squared off here because Arn cost Savage the title at Starrcade. He ran down and laid out Savage with the brass knuckles and Flair covered Savage. This match was done as a blow-off if you will for that finish and it was actually a good scrappy match.

I also want you to keep this in mind because Savage was visibly shown to be seething at Arn as he attacked the man. This was a man pissed off that he lost the title and he was looking for retribution. He huffed and puffed as he beat up Arn in this match. He even ran into the ring to attack Arn for the opening bell. He raked at Arn’s eyes and Arn raked Randy’s eyes. This was a dirty, scrappy fight in its core with both men doing whatever it took to lay in punishment.

Arn worked the arm and smashed Savage’s arm into the post. He locked on an arm lock for a few minutes. He hit a big DDT out of nowhere which actually got a big pop to which Savage got his foot on the rope. I actually like that he hit the signature out of nowhere. It wasn’t like a formula where you wait for the end for the big moves to be hit. Arn wanted to win so he hit a big move at the first chance he could after working on the arm.

Arn tried to use the brass knuckles as the Horsemen ran down. Savage reversed it and used the brass knucks himself for the win. I liked the finish of Savage pulling one over on the heels by giving them a piece of their own medicine. A smart babyface being able to out-think the Four Horsemen. I liked this.

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Benoit and Pillman ran down and pleaded to the ref afterwards. By the way, the Horsemen had a t-shirt on. I’ve just put the picture on the blog and it’s such a pretty t-shirt which I’d very much wanted to track down. I was able to find it on Amazon and I’ve submitted the order, as there was a wrestling t-shirt seller that did have this shirt available in my size. I’m very much happy with this purchase.

 

Chris Benoit vs Steven Regal

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Speaking of the Horsemen, Chris Benoit had a match with Steven Regal. It was a sublime piece of professional wrestling and it told a very simple, subtle and effective story. They started off with the test of strength and soon as Benoit grounded him, Regal battered away with headbutts.

Regal went to work with European uppercuts so it had the same feel to Savage vs Arn in that it was scrappy but it was more of a defined scrappiness where both men are scrappy with the intention of just winning the match. Savage and Arn wanted to like hurt each other because of their bad blood. For Regal and Benoit, it was just business.

Benoit dropped Regal right on his head with a German suplex to which Regal responded with a beautiful butterfly suplex. Regal took even more punishment with a big electric chair drop. Regal, I don’t know what it was, but he sold and sold for Benoit in a bumpier fashion than usually. He took some hard hits for Benoit.

In terms of evening things up in terms of hurting themselves, Benoit missed a diving headbutt and then Regal wailed on him with headbutts. These were like the most realistic but safest headbutts you could possibly pull off though. This was not like Shibata levels of insanity with these headbutts.

Regal tried a tombstone but Benoit reversed it into a tombstone piledriver of his own but Regal rolled to the floor. If this had not happened the night before with Benoit and Liger, this would have probably played way better to this crowd and to me. By the way, Regal didn’t even try to wrap his arms around Benoit for protection when taking this Tombstone Piledriver. Regal waved his arms in panic as Regal had some serious faith in Benoit to deliver the move to him. In Regal’s defense, Benoit pulled it off fine from the looks of it. Eric Bischoff then said Benoit “perfected that move as of late.” I thought: “Oh yeah, how about when Benoit tried it at the PPV but Liger reversed it?” I’d say “perfecting the move” from a kayfabe point is stretching it.

Benoit missed a springboard splash to the floor and smashed into the concrete floor. Regal rolled Benoit into the ring and pinned him. A great match and you know what, it told a story where Benoit kept taking risks and in the end, he misjudged a dive and it ended up costing him the match. This was an awesome match. I’d go out of your way to go watch this ten minute perfectly sound and solid wrestling match.

 

Brian Pillman cut a promo on Benoit and Arn with Mean Gene coming down to the ring with the mic. Pillman chewed out Benoit and Arn for losing. Benoit said that the only way Benoit can be beaten is sheer luck. Benoit says he’s proven himself. Pillman goes into Arn and he talks crap about the Dungeon of Doom again. Arn talks about Pillman starting fights that they didn’t need right now. He tells them they need to protect the world title for Ric Flair. Arn tells them there’s nothing to achieve going after Mr Wonderful and the Dungeon of Doom. Zodiac, Taskmaster, The Giant and Jimmy Hart suddenly all go down to the ring. Zodiac and Taskmaster try to attack the Horsemen but THE GIANT is the one hold them back with just his two massive arms as Jimmy Hart pleads with the Dungeon of Doom.

 

Sting and Lex Luger vs The Super Assassins w/Col. Parker

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One of the true highlights of this episode was the Super Assassins. These two were in fact The Barbarian and The Warlord of all people. These were flanked by Col. Parker. These guys couldn’t have looked like bigger geeks. The Super Assassins waddled down with their arms out like robots. It was like their singlets got stuck in a frame and they walked around like the frame was still on.

They come out in this gear. I have no idea if these guys were supposed to look like super heroes, ninjas or luchadors but they did not come out looking like Super Assassins! Anyway, they come out to have a horrible match with Luger and Sting. They even had a split screen during this match because Sgt. Pittman comes down to the announce booth and ask Steve “Mongo” McMichael for help. Pittman went to Bobby Heenan previously, he went to Jimmy Hart on Nitro and now he’s resorted to going to Mongo for help!

By the way, to anyone who said they were only willing to cutaway from cruiserweight matches on Nitro, they were willing to cut away from STING AND LEX LUGER in action so they could do a segment with SGT. CRAIG PITTMAN. Mongo basically told Pittman to get lost.

Sting, as this is going on, is beating up the Assassins by himself. So when they finally cut away from Pittman and the announcers, we just catch Sting rolling out of the ring and onto the floor. I have no idea what the Assassins did to suddenly get the heat on Luger and Sting. Maybe they threw a ninja star at him. But all of a sudden, the Assassins overcame Sting and went to work.

When I mean “they went to work”, a Super Assassin gets Sting in a dominator/backbreaker position and then just… vibrates. No word of lie. He doesn’t like bounce up and down like Luger with the torture rack. He stands and vibrates like The Yeti at Halloween Havoc with Sting on top of him selling. It’s one of the funniest submission attempts I’ve ever seen.

Sting wrestles for the tag. As the Assassins distract the ref, Luger gets the hot tag but the ref didn’t see it. The Assassins did a suplex/spear combination but the ref is too busy arguing with Luger to pay attention. An Assassin hits a powerbomb. The Assassin goes on the apron, fixes his gear and goes to the top but he misses a top rope splash.

This finish was exceptionally badly executed. Luger got a hot tag to a big pop. Luger goes to work. Luger goes for the Torture Rack on an Assassin. Luger waits for the Sting to get in the ring so he turns around and spins into the second Assassin as he has the first one on his shoulders for the Torture Rack still. Sting finally wakes up and gets in, he does a chop block on the other assassin and eventually gets him into the Scorpion Deathlock so Sting and Luger can do a double submission spot. The Assassins finally tap out after all of this.

It took them forever to get to that position where both men are doing submissions on the Super Assassins. All they had to do was get the Assassins into position and it took them like 30 seconds to do this. Other wrestlers that have been locked in the torture rack by Luger lately for like 5 seconds before they tap. This move has been put over big as of late. This Assassin, because of this screw up where Luger is waiting for Sting, lasts like 20-30 seconds in the Torture Rack! They inadvertently made that Super Assassin look incredibly strong in this match!

This match was amazingly horrible!

 

Mean Gene does an interview with Jimmy Hart and The Giant. Mean Gene cracks a joke and then Jimmy Hart goes: “Are you really that short or are you just standing in a hole?” Mean Gene suddenly gets all defensive and goes “STOP IT.”

Jimmy cuts this promo as Mean Gene just keeps looking up at the Giant. Jimmy said some stuff as my notes read. The Giant yells at Hogan for costing him the title a few weeks ago and attacking him with the chair. The Giant said Hogan was gonna get his like he’s never got it before. Mean Gene concludes by saying: “I have no idea what he just said.”

 

Ric Flair (c) vs Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship

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It is rather astonishing to me that the WWF never did this match at WrestleMania when they had the chance. This was legitimately the biggest match you could have possibly booked between two of the biggest wrestlers in the history of wrestling. Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair. They had it RIGHT THERE, I think they even announced it on TV, and then it just… never happened.

…thankfully we had Nitro and we got it for free on TNT,

There was noticeable boos for Hogan but it was more like 60/40 in favour for the Hulkster. I don’t wanna make comments on someone’s age but man Hogan’s lack of hair was really visible here. Keep in mind that it wasn’t until Vince Russo called him bald on TV where he did a lawsuit for someone slandering his hair! Did Hogan not re-watch this match? Hogan looked so old and if there’s anything he didn’t need to make himself look any older was this hair without a bandanna and him in his traditional yellow tights. Thankfully, he’s getting a new wardrobe around 6 months from now so it’s all good!

Flair chopped away and then Hogan started no selling it. I’d say this gimmick of Flair chopping at someone but the other dude no-selling was getting old, as Luger and Sting did this the night before. However, the fans were still going nuts for this as Hogan rained in the punches. Ric Flair cuts off Hogan and Hogan does a horrible bump to the floor.

Hogan had a horrible night here. He just didn’t look impressive at all. Hogan does a big clothesline to Flair and Flair crashes onto the apron. Ric works on Hogan. Bischoff said you can hear the fans going “Hogan, Hogan” to which I didn’t hear a thing watching this on television. I then heard the fans going WOOOO and cheering as Flair locked on the figure four leg lock.

Hogan turns it over and Jimmy Hart runs down. Hogan is distracted as Flair stomps on the leg to regain the heat. Flair did a stalling suplex to Hulk Hogan which is quite a feat of strength considering how tall and big Hogan was here.

Flair goes for a cover but Hogan hulks up out of it. Hogan fires away does the big boot and Leg Drop as Jimmy gets on the apron. Arn hits Hogan with the brass knucks and Hogan NO SELLS THE BRASS KNUCKS. Of course if anyone was going to no-sell getting hit with brass knucks, it’s Hulk Hogan!

Hogan gets the brass knucks thrown at him and the referee sees Hogan with the brass knucks and calls for the DQ. At the very least, it made sense to me why the referee immediately didn’t question it as they’d had a big match at Starrcade where brass knucks were involved. Hell, the opening match on this episode of NITRO had a finish where brass knucks were involved!

Hogan then fires away at the Four Horsemen with the brass knucks as the Horsemen beg him off. I assume they begged him off because Hogan, I guess is still on probation so if Hogan wails on them with brass knucks, Hogan would be in trouble with WCW… in storyline.

The Giant runs down with a big chair stool. I have no idea in which coffee shop The Giant got this stool from but Savage stopped him and made the save too a big pop! This time Zodiac backs The Giant away.

Mean Gene did a interview with Hogan and Savage. Hogan and Savage challenged Arn and Flair to a tag team match for next week. Savage said they had a secret weapon but Hogan tells him not to spoil it. Hogan said they’re gonna go to infinity and beyond. These two were rather going nuts!

Bischoff did actually have a good line. Bobby said they should make Jimmy Hart a referee to which Bischoff goes: “Make Jimmy an appetiser.” That I liked.

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I liked this episode of Nitro. We got some really good scrappy matches with Regal vs Benoit and Arn vs Savage. We got a big world title main-event, we got our Super Assassins and it really didn’t seem like a chore to watch at all. It seemed very easy to watch the show, absorb and understand the storylines and motivations and to be prepared for next week where we have the Mega Powers reuniting to face the Four Horsemen. It was a great show.

WCW Nitro Reading Order

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TNA Review: Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy Final Deletion Match LIVE REACTION

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How’s it going everybody? Thomas Robinson here with the Armbar Express, giving you a rare TNA post. This TNA post is actually rather justified in the fact that we’re talking about the match that is on everybody’s lips as of me writing this…

The highly-anticipated Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy ‘Final Deletion’ match took place on this week’s edition of Impact Wrestling. The match took place in a backyard arena designed by Matt, which is actually a callback to the start of the Hardy Boyz’ careers. The two of them started out as backyard wrestlers and in a way, they still wrestle with that same mentality. The match could only be won by pin fall or if a submission was “recorded” by the referee! This was for the ownership of the Hardy name.

Let me just state that I thought this match was incredibly entertaining, which is the whole point of professional wrestling as a whole. As a wrestling fan, it can sometimes be really frustrating to watch Monday Night RAW. The reason for this is because a lot of their content is repetitive and a lot of their content is incredibly micro-managed. When I watched TNA this week, I just sat back and relaxed. When I saw RAW’s line-up for the July 4th show, there was nothing there that stood out as must-see television. For TNA, I just knew that this match was going to be nutty and unpredictable. As expected, I was right. The Final Deletion match was nutty and unpredictable. That makes for HUGELY must-see television.

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Only a match like this involving the Hardyz could feature a spot, where Matt is shooting fireworks and Jeff is shielding himself with a trash can lid! It was like a superhero movie, like if Ironman was shooting laser beams at Captain America!

As a technical wrestling match, there was nothing really to it. It wasn’t like they spent the first few minutes chain wrestling or anything. However, they did a tremendous job at telling a story. Both men were having fun as they did all they could to end this blood feud once and for all. There was an amazing amount of suspense to this match as they delivered false finish after false finish. The music, while seemingly cheesy, added to the suspense and the direction of the match. It was a wrestling match that was put together like it was a movie.

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I encourage anyone reading this, whether you’re a wrestling fan or not, to watch this match on YouTube. There are a lot of times, as a wrestling fan, where I’m praying that a family member or a friend doesn’t walk in as I’m watching a goofy segment. With this match with Matt and Jeff, I would encourage those family members and friends to grab some popcorn and watch it with me. These are two kids that let their imagination run wild, with the assistance of a production crew from one of the top wrestling companies in the world!

I had such high expectation for this match that I just felt the need to record my own reaction upon watching it for the first time. The earlier segments of the show, where Matt unleashed his drone holograms, were not recorded but they were pretty incredible stuff. However, down below is the recording of my reaction to the match. I’ve not done a lot of these reactions in the past, so this is rare territory. Please comment with your opinions on the recording of the audio and things like that. Who knows? Maybe this could lead to more live reactions in the future!

Have fun in watching and/or re-watching this unforgettable match between two brothers, which included fireworks, trees, tasers and fire!

Update On Cody Rhodes’ Independent Endeavours

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Out of the wrestlers that have recently left or have been released from WWE, Cody Rhodes’ time on the independent scene will look to be the most interesting of all. For you see, Cody Rhodes has a plan of what to do. Not that everyone else that was released hasn’t got projects in the pipeline already but Cody has a recently compiled a list, that he tweeted  out at the end of May. The list consists of specific wrestlers, events and other wrestling goals that he hoped to achieve now that he’s in the independent circuit.

The list is very thought-provoking and I have embedded it below in case anyone hasn’t seen it or has seen it and just needs a quick reminder…

Cody had an ambitious list but the son of the “American Dream” has suddenly become a hot commodity, with his summer schedule already starting to be booked up. How well is he doing in terms of his list? Well, let’s run down the matches and projects that has already been announced by Cody or by those he’s doing business with.

 

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An early announcement  was Cody’s involvement with the wrestling promotion EVOLVE, a company which does have a partnership going with WWE. I think in terms of keeping the door open for himself to return in the future, it does benefit him to work with a company that’s at least on good terms with WWE. EVOLVE’s actually been able to open the doors to everybody. TNA’s Ethan Carter III and Drew Galloway both showed up there recently and cut shoot promos on WWE. I’m not sure whether Cody will actually “shoot” on WWE, but Cody might be working more than his originally advertised appearance at EVOLVE 66 on August 19th.

This match is rumoured to be involving Rhodes wrestling Chris Hero, which does tick a wrestler of his “hit-list” of matches.

 

 

Cody Rhodes vs Mike Bennett

Scheduled for August 26th is an interesting one, as Cody will be accompanied by his wife Eden (who also left WWE recently) when he takes on TNA star Michael Bennett. Michael will also be accompanied to the ring, with Michael’s wife Maria also being at the show.

Michael’s being groomed for big things in TNA, so it’s interesting for Cody to do business with a TNA star right off the bat. I know that TNA’s contracts aren’t as secure as WWE’s contracts, allowing anyone to take independent dates, but it’s still an intriguing endevour. Also, Eden could easily be playing the role of “personal ring announcer” as listed on Cody’s list!

 

Cody Rhodes vs Kurt Angle

One of the earliest matches announced for Rhodes was a mouth-watering one to say the least. With “Angle” on Cody’s list, it has been announced that he will be taking on the Olympic gold medalist at an event in New York on August 27th.

This will be the first time that these two will ever face off and it’s quite a slobberknocker of a match. These two are perfect for each other in terms of the pacing of each other’s work. Angle can work quick and slow matches, as can Cody. With Kurt currently not signed by TNA or any other major promotion, probably the biggest name on Cody’s list is already in the bag.

 

Cody Rhodes vs Pat Buck

A lot of independent fans will know a lot more about Pat Buck than me but this match was actually of the more recent announcements regarding Rhodes. Cody mentioned on Twitter after this was announced that he lost to Buck in his first ever professional wrestling match at Corydon, Indiana. I guess it’s time for him to get his revenge ten years later!

He’ll be wrestling there on September 10th and interestingly enough, Buck is not the only Buck on Cody’s list….

 

PWG Battle Of Los Angeles

PWG fans will be a huge fan of this announcement. Cody is confirmed to be taking part in a major indie event in Los Angeles called Battle Of Los Angeles, and it’s very safe to assume that he’ll be able to tick off a number of wrestlers on that list. I know a lot of PWG fans that are going crazy over the news. I’m a fan of PWG myself, even though I don’t check them out NEARLY as much as I should. It’s a major coup for the company and his participation will really raise the prestige of this tournament.

 

And that about covers everything for Cody’s announced matches in the near future. If I’ve missed anything, please notify me with a comment or on Twitter by tweeting @ArmbarExpress. However, these are the only ones that have been retweeted or confirmed by Rhodes on his personal Twitter as of June 7th 2016 so I’ll stop right here. I’m sure a lot of these other names will be ticked off real soon.

It’s interesting that ROH’s Moose and Roderick Strong are on the list, as those two names have been linked with a move to WWE. If Cody wants these two, he’s got to act fast. There’s no guarantee that those two will budge, so it could just be the case of Rhodes just biding his time anyway. A lot of the names on that list currently wrestle for ROH, so that could very well be a permanent new home for Rhodes. I personally thought that Cody might be tempted to do some dates in Japan, with NJPW really rising in popularity.

Any other independent wrestlers that you want Cody Rhodes to face? Should he go to NJPW? Should he got to TNA? Should he got to ROH? Should he go to Lucha Underground? Give us your thoughts and be sure to follow @CodyRhodes on Twitter, as he’ll be sure to shed some light on future projects.

How I Would Book… AJ Styles’ Road To Wrestlemania 32

After years of speculation, the “Phenomenal One” AJ Styles has signed a WWE contract and is now a part of the WWE universe. After more than a decade as the face of TNA and years of experience in Japan, we finally get to see AJ Styles throw down in the WWE. However, with his arrival comes many questions. This is someone that has made a name for himself in the independent scene, who is now in unfamiliar territory. This was one of the worries Vince Russo had, when he heard AJ was starting up in WWE. How do you treat him? Well, we’ll see if we can make things comfortable for the newcomer. Here’s How I Would Book… AJ Styles’ Road To Wrestlemania 32.

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To say that this is AJ’s first rodeo with WWE would actually be untrue. AJ was actually in the developmental territory for the WWF as he was starting out in wrestling. His initial run is highlighted by a WWF Metal appearance, when he wrestled the Hurricane. Now though, he enters the company as an established wrestling superstar. His reaction at the 2016 Royal Rumble tells you just how much of a hot commodity he is. People want to see AJ Styles and WWE have pulled quite a coup with the signature of AJ Styles.

Signing these top stars is all well in good, but it means nothing he is not booked accordingly. AJ’s actually coming in during an exciting period for the company. He’s too big enough star to be lost in the shuffle for Wrestlemania period. In fact, he helps WWE tackle their issue of having the stars at their disposal. AJ will probably be getting a big match at Wrestlemania.

However, which match is right for AJ? Which match will firmly establish him as a future main-eventer in the company. Well, let’s take a look at the options.

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As hinted by the elimination of AJ at the Royal Rumble and based off reports from Wrestling Observer, it appears that WWE has some kind of plan with AJ and Kevin Owens. That would actually be a good feud going into Wrestlemania for Kevin, after losing his feud to Dean Ambrose. Going up against AJ, who has already got instant overness, will benefit Kevin and maintain his own overness. It makes sure that he doesn’t get lost in the shuffle and has direction, keeping his momentum up at the same time. However, is this the best thing for AJ too? Well, let’s take a look at the other options.

On Monday Night RAW, AJ beat Chris Jericho. This was followed by a resistant handshake by Jericho, who seemed confident that he was going to beat AJ. If this were to lead to a Wrestlemania match, I think this would be a great Wrestlemania debut match for AJ to really shine. Their match on RAW was pretty good and I think it’s just a matter of getting used to each other. Since they’ve already competed on television, there’s no harm in putting it on during the house shows leading into their big match. Then again it would take away from their big Wrestlemania match, if they fought several times before that. Surely AJ’s big Wrestlemania match should be a special one right?

When looking at the active roster at the moment, it would seem that our options for AJ are limited in terms of true star power. However, there are other mouth-watering prospects for AJ at Wrestlemania. Wouldn’t it be truly fantastic to see a triple threat match with fellow high-flyers Kalisto and Neville? You could put the United States Championship on the line if you wanted, but it’s really debatable about if AJ’s first title win should be the US Championship. Alternatively, he could challenge the former US Champion Alberto Del Rio. That would be an unique mix of styles… no pun intended. Dolph Ziggler could be a great opponent for him, as Ziggler would be capable of keeping up with the speed of AJ. Sometimes, Dolph has a tendency of working too quick for a lot of wrestlers. Thankfully, AJ has worked in environments that features a lot of fast-paced action and is very quick himself… even at 38 years old.

When looking at all of those options, it’s a tough call which ever way you slice it. However, I believe the right man to face AJ… is Dean Ambrose.

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This is the perfect way for AJ’s status as an upper midcard/main eventer to be cemented early on. Dean’s just coming off being in the final two of the Royal Rumble and has a lot of momentum at the moment. My scenario would have AJ challenge Dean for the Intercontinental Championship at Wrestlemania… and win the belt.

Here’s what’ll happen.

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Dean’s match at Fastlane is already set. He will face Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar in a triple threat match with the winner going up against Triple H for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania. He’s taken care off until then. For AJ, it’s a lot more tricky.

AJ Styles’ only just debuted, so no major feud is already in place. This interests me. We’ve got a great opportunity to throw AJ in with a number of upper midcarders right off the bat. My idea would be for Kevin Owens to start off Monday Night RAW, complaining that he is not in the picture for any championship. He demands a shot at something when Alberto Del Rio comes out. He does the same and demands a rematch for the US Championship. Chris Jericho comes out and throws his name into the hat for a title shot. This results in Stephanie McMahon making two matches for that episode of RAW, claiming that she’ll be watching. It’s Chris Jericho vs Kevin Owens and Alberto Del Rio… vs AJ Styles.

Owens and Jericho fight to a double DQ and AJ beats Del Rio. This leads to Stephanie claiming that she’ll need one more match to decide who is truly worthy of an opportunity. Jericho, Del Rio and Owens are booked in a triple threat match, which is won by Owens. Stephanie decides to give all these men an opportunity to earn a title match of their choosing at Wrestlemania (except the WWE World Heavyweight Championship of course). If the winner selects the Intercontinental Championship, he will challenge for the title on the night after Wrestlemania if Dean wins at Fastlane. I’m pretty sure that covers that aspect of the storyline. We want to make Stephanie seem that she’s got everything figured out. If Dean ends up winning, she’s got a back-up plan. Whether’s it’s stripping Dean off the title after Fastlane or scheduling the title match for RAW, we want to keep the Intercontinental title in the mix.

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At Fastlane, it’ll be a fatal four way match. It’ll be Chris Jericho vs Alberto Del Rio vs Kevin Owens… vs AJ Styles. At Fastlane, AJ picks up the win. On RAW, we get an all-champions tag team match. It’s United States Champion Kalisto and Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose vs the WWE Tag Team Champions the New Day. The New Day cause a DQ and do a three-on-two beatdown, when AJ comes down to the ring to even things up. When the New Day flee, AJ decks Dean with the Pele. He holds up the Intercontinental Championship and declares that he will challenge for that title.

In the weeks leading up to the event, AJ talks about how he’s no rookie when it comes to professional wrestling. He’s been wrestling for nearly two decades and has been successful everywhere he’s been. He’s says WWE will be no different. AJ talks about hearing “stories” and “myths” of how those that love professional wrestling are treated like dirt in WWE. AJ says that he doesn’t care about those stories and the “backstage politics” won’t stop him from being the best in the world. He vows to win the Intercontinental Championship and surpass the title reigns of every other great that’s ever held the belt.

It’s not a heel turn but it’s AJ showing ambition. AJ’s letting off some of the cockiness and arrogance in him without becoming a full-blown heel. AJ will also NOT hit the Styles Clash on anyone during this road to Wrestlemania. He can win matches by heel locks or corkscrew splashes, but he’ll never win with the Styles Clash. He’ll never use it. The anticipation builds to Wrestlemania, where AJ and Dean meet. The people are starting to think “will this be the day he hits it?”

NOTE: On this week’s edition of SmackDown!, AJ Styles actually did hit the Styles Clash on Curtis Axel. This does annoy me because you had a great opportunity to really put over the move. It should be a move which you should build anticipation for, like when Hideo Itami kept teasing the GTS on NXT. Make the fans wait and wait. Make them wonder whether WWE are not allowing AJ actually hit the move because of how dangerous it can be if something goes wrong. WWE spent the entire Royal Rumble having AJ try to hit the Styles Clash, only to be stopped by someone in the match. Why not continue that until at least Wrestlemania? Why throw it away for an episode of SmackDown!, which does not have an audience like RAW or Wrestlemania? 

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If we’re lucky, these two are given 20 minutes to wrestle on that show. AJ and Dean give each other anything but they both keep kicking out. AJ goes for the Pele on Dean but Dean moves out of the way. AJ ends up hitting the ref somehow. Dean hits Dirty Deeds on AJ but the ref is down. As Dean wakes up the ref, AJ low blows Dean. The ref is still not up and Dean gets back up slightly from the low blow. AJ goes to the outside, picks up the title and hits Dean with it. The referee finally wakes up and makes the count but Dean kicks out. AJ brings up Dean and yells in his face, which leads to Dean spitting at AJ. AJ gets mad and finally hits the Styles Clash to pick up the win and win the championship.

That is how I’d do it. I feel the Intercontinental Championship is the right belt for AJ to have and I feel he should have it sooner rather than later. After he’s done with Dean, it actually sets up a nice little feud with one of NXT’s top stars. Someone that is reportedly on his way to the main roster soon. That man… is Samoa Joe.

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That about does it for this edition of “How I Would Book.” I’m pretty sure a lot of people would have wanted somebody other Dean. A lot of people probably want AJ to go up against a true star like Brock Lesnar or Triple H. Others might want to have AJ go up against someone like Daniel Bryan or Kevin Owens. I’m sure there’s TNA fans that would want to see AJ going up against a debuting Samoa Joe AT Wrestlemania. I’m positive that NJPW fans will want to see AJ in some incarnation of the Bullet Club. However, I feel this is the right way to throw AJ into WWE as a serious player. Dean Ambrose is currently a main-eventer in WWE, which makes the timing perfect for AJ and Dean to tear the house down in Dallas. Whether WWE does it my way or a different way, I just hope that the road to Wrestlemania for AJ Styles is a phenomenal one.

Have any suggestions for a How I Would Book? Simply tweet me at either @ArmbarExpress or @TomRobinson5199 on Twitter with your suggestions. Do also check out the rest of the content on my blog. I do a lot of other cool fantasy booking blog posts with my playthroughs of fantasy booking game Extreme Warfare Revenge. And there’s all sorts of other wrestling content as well. You never know, you might just like what you see!

EXTREME WARFARE REVENGE: TNA 2010 PART 13 – AGAINST ALL ODDS

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Previously on TNA EWR…

It was not exactly the greatest of days in terms of ratings as we only got a 80% overall, with none of the matches put on able to get into the 90s. However, we’re hoping to rectify that with our 99th card booked in this particular game (including Impact and other shows) and we’ve got quite the show in store.

John Cena won the first battle in the feud between himself and Samoa Joe but things are going to get interesting as their rematch at Against All Odds will be a Last Man Standing Match!

TAKA Michinoku will defend the X-Division Championship against Christopher Daniels and Alex Shelley in a triple threat match, with Daniels intending on dominating the X-Division before challenging for the TNA World Heavyweight title.

AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy will settle their differences with interim general manager being the special guest referee, Brother Devon and Jay Lethal will settle their differences in a tables match and Chris Sabin will take on Jeff Jarrett in a hardcore match.

The rest of the card features a grudge match with Bobby Lashley and Abyss working together to take on Beer Money Inc, Rey Mysterio takes on Mr Anderson and Jerry Lynn and Tyler Black will challenge “Deadly Sin” Raven and Rhino for the TNA Tag Team Championship. Can Lynn and Black dethrone the champions that have reigned for around eight months?

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Pre-Show – El Hijo Del Santo Announced As The Newest Signing For TNA

In the TNA EWR update, I mentioned that there would be two HUGE new editions to the roster that would be announced. At Against All Odds, the first new signing was revealed as El Hijo Del Santo. Despite his age, Del Santo’s overness was still very strong. Seeing as how he was available as an active wrestler, I decided to snap him up. It got a 90% rating, which is a great start to his TNA career. I’m not really sure where I’m going to be going with Del Santo but I’d like to see him in a big role. Let’s see how this goes.

 

Match 1 – Jay Lethal def. Brother Devon in a tables match

I’m happy with the rating for this. If you’ll recall, their six man tag team match at Genesis score a 75% rating so I’m happy with the huge improve. It increased by 10% as Lethal beat Devon. After this feud has finally wrapped up, Lethal will be in the hunt for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. I will explain later on.

 

Match 2 – Chris Sabin def. Jeff Jarrett in a Hardcore Match

Very happy with the results for this one. As promised in the Genesis post, Sabin got the win at the end of the feud. He was really the one that needed it and it’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here. I do have a short term plan for him and hopefully, that plan will pay off. This is Sabin’s chance to break out as a serious title contender. Samoa Joe interfered which caused Sabin to win.

 

Match 3 – Jerry Lynn and Tyler Black def. “Deadly Sin” Raven (c) and Rhino (c) to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship

NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS! After eight months of reigning as the tag team champions, the Deadly Sin finally drop the gold to Jerry Lynn and Tyler Black. Jerry’s gotten really over in the last few months and Black has really risen up as well. With Raven and Rhino’s overness dropping as of late, I figured now was the time to get the titles off Deadly Sin. Tyler is really the one that I want to elevate but Jerry I think will be a good partner for the foreseeable future. I still like the mix of master and student as champions.

 

Match 4 – Rey Mysterio def. Mr Anderson

The two don’t really click in terms of in-ring work but they’re both over enough to make up for that. I probably should have paired Mysterio up with another X-Division star but I wanted to give Anderson a big feud too. Mysterio gets the win here. I haven’t really decided who is going to win the feud as there’s arguments for both men to win. It’s very tough to call at the moment.

 

Match 5 – “Beer Money Inc.” Bobby Roode and James Storm def. Abyss and Bobby Lashley

Beer Money grab the win. Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have went with Beer Money to win considering they’ve won a lot of PPV tag team matches in the past four or five months. However, I still wanted to play out the Abyss/Lashley dysfunctional spiel. On Impact, Abyss ended the partnership by attacking Lashley. Lashley’s not turning face or anything but at least Abyss can focus on being TNA Global Champion

 

Match 6 – AJ Styles def. Jeff Hardy with Kurt Angle as the special guest referee

Kurt accidentally ate the Pele from AJ which was the ref bump. As Kurt was out, Jeff gained control. He went to the top for a Swanton Bomb when the lights out. When the lights came back on, Sting appeared with a baseball. Jeff went to jump at him but was clocked with the bat in mid-air. Sting hit the Scorpion Death Drop with Angle getting up. Sting goes to leave but Angle hits the Angle Slam. AJ hits the Styles Clash on Jeff and Angle reluctantly goes to count and AJ wins the match. A 92% rating. A very solid match between AJ and Jeff. Great results. I also have some news on Kurt Angle which I’ll mention later on after the PPV.

 

Match 7 – Alex Shelley def. TAKA Michinoku (c) and Christopher Daniels in a triple threat match to win the TNA X-Division Championship

An 89% rating for a triple threat match which I was very proud of. Shelley’s got an incredible amount of overness and I thought it was time to take advantage of that fact to elevate the X-Division title. Shelley wins and I’m very much looking forward to booking his reign as champion!

 

Match 8 – John Cena (c) def. Samoa Joe in a Last Man Standing match

Jarrett got retaliation for earlier as he helped Cena win the match with a Attitude Adjustment off one announce table onto the other. A solid finish to the PPV with the 94% rating. Joe vs Cena was the hottest angle in the company in the last two months. I give them both credit for that. I’d hate to have Joe lose twice in a roll but I didn’t want Cena to lose the title just yet!

 

So the news as I alluded to earlier. There’s two bits of news to discuss before we sign off…

  1. Jay Lethal, Chris Sabin and AJ Styles all won their matches at Against All Odds. Angle, who wants to reward the X-Division, put them all in an Impact Series. Over the next few weeks on Impact, Lethal, Sabin and Styles will all be put in matches with each other. Firstly, Sabin will take on Lethal. Following that will be Sabin vs Styles, with Styles vs Lethal following that. At the end of the series, a triple threat match will take place between all three men. The man who wins the most matches in this series will be the new number one contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Destination X.
  2. Kurt Angle suffered an neck injury which means he will be out for the next eight months. It’s not like I can use him in a non-physical role or anything. I can’t put him on the shows. It’s a blow considering the storyline I’m trying to tell so I had to write him off the show. Sting Pillmanised Angle to take him out of the picture on Impact. It’s annoying but I do have an end game which I can still stick to despite the injury.
  3. The second newest signing will be revealed on the next edition of TNA EWR!

Stay tuned for that and have a great day!

EXTREME WARFARE REVENGE: TNA 2010 PART 12 – GENESIS

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Previously on TNA EWR…

Kurt Angle is now running the ship in TNA after Hulk Hogan was taken out by a mystery attacker. Kurt Angle is the interim general manager while Hogan is away and he’s got quite a show to run now that he’s in charge. On Impact, Kurt talked about having tough shoes to fill in. Kurt admitted that he wouldn’t be wrestling as much but he would do what’s best for Impact. He decided that what’s best for Impact is to find out who attacked Hogan in the first place. The prime suspect is Sting, so Kurt has decided to call out Sting to appear on the Genesis pre-show to find out the truth.

John Cena’s new challenger for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship is Samoa Joe, who attacked him following his title defence against AJ Styles. Joe told Cena that he’s not here to smile for the crowd. Joe’s here to dominate and be the best wrestler in the world. He called Cena a fraud and Joe vowed to win the title.

AJ Styles was given another chance to compete for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship when he was put in a fatal four way match with Samoa Joe, Mr Anderson (due to his win over Christopher Daniels at Final Resolution) and Jeff Hardy for the number one contendership spot. In a big fatal four way on Impact, Mr Anderson was taken out by Daniels with Styles looking to pick up the scraps. AJ went for the cover but Jeff broke it up by hitting AJ with the Swanton. As Jeff gets up, Joe locks him in the choke for the pass out to become the number one contender.

Since then, AJ has been angry at Jeff for costing him the TNA World title. The match has been made for Genesis as the two men that have fought for the title in the past will fight again.

As mentioned earlier, Mr Anderson beat Christopher Daniels at Final Resolution. Anderson said that Daniels sucked and was not championship material. Daniels, of course, got involved in Anderson’s fatal four way match. Daniels told Anderson that he was just as good as anyone on the roster and wanted to prove it to Anderson at Genesis in a no disqualification rematch. The winner got to challenge for whatever title he wanted. Anderson agreed but wanted Daniels to agree to never compete for the TNA World title again if he lost. Daniels agreed as he was confident in shutting Anderson up.

Chris Sabin confronted Jeff Jarrett at Final Resolution and challenged the TNA Owner to a match. Jeff said no as he wanted to help run TNA with Hogan out. Sabin attacked him in response which led to Jarrett getting angry. After a few teases,  Jarrett finally agrees to give Sabin a match.

And finally, “Extreme Coalition” member Stevie Richards jumped ship from TNA to WWE. The group promised that a new member will join the group that would become the leader. In a shocking swerve, Brother Devon was revealed as the new member when he turned heel and attacked Jay Lethal. Lethal gets a team together including himself, Jerry Lynn and Tyler Black against Devon and the tag team champions Raven and Rhino.

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Pre-Show – Kurt Angle/Sting Confrontation

Kurt Angle talks about the Genesis PPV and promises to deliver one of their best events yet. He talks about rising stars like Tyler Black getting their chance to shine at Genesis and TNA originals like Jay Lethal, Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley all breaking out as top stars. Although he initially was unsure about these young stars, he realises now that these men are giving professional wrestling a good name and wanted them to give it their all.

Before the future can start though, Angle said that we needed to address the past. Hulk Hogan was attacked and Angle wanted answers. Angle noted that Sting was very critical of Hogan in the last few months and named him the prime suspect. He calls him out. Sting came out and told Kurt that he had nothing to do with Hogan getting attacked. Sting talked about Kurt Angle being the right man to replace Hogan. Sting said that Hogan brought in old-timers from WWE, WCW and ECW that didn’t deserve to be in TNA while Angle is looking out for the future. He respected that and wants Angle to continue the good work.  However, he told Kurt to back off. Sting told Kurt that while he respected him, Kurt should not get in Sting’s way. Kurt told Sting that he couldn’t allow him to be the vigilante that’s taking out all of the talent. Kurt said that he and Sting have fought side-by-side and against each other several times in TNA but was not going to let Sting run rough shot. Angle said that if he finds out that Sting is lying about Hogan, he was going to break his ankle. Sting tried a cheap shot but Angle ducked and hit the Angle Slam. He went for the Ankle lock but Sting got away.

This segment was the strongest segment of the night which is not saying much. It also sucks that the best segments on the show wasn’t even on the main card!

 

Match 1 – Matt Morgan def. Hernandez

Two big guys battle it out here in the opener. Hernandez is surprisingly over despite losing his feud with Kaz so I decided to give him another big man to deal with. Matt Morgan is probably the top monster face we’ve got in the company so it makes sense. Not to thrilled about the 77% rating but then again, I was not expecting it to be in the 90s or anything. I’ll give them credit as they surprisingly didn’t get the worst rating on the show.

 

Match 2 – “Extreme Coalition” Brother Devon, Raven and Rhino def. Jay Lethal, Tyler Black and Jerry Lynn

I know six man tag team matches usually don’t get to great a rating but I felt these six got robbed a bit. To put this match as the worst match on the PPV was a bit heavy. I think maybe the contrasting styles might have had an effect somewhat but you’d expect people like Lethal, Devon, Raven and Rhino at least to pop at 80% rating with their overness.

 

Match 3 – Rey Mysterio def. Alex Shelley in a falls count anywhere match

The winner of the match of the night award at Final Resolution was also the joint top rated match for Genesis! Shelley and Mysterio just clicked together really well and this feud as helped out Shelley in the long run. Shelley was the only one that got over from the rivalry according to the road agents! Mysterio was already at 100 which was the highest he could go but the fact that Shelley caught up to him is quite impressive. I have big plans for Shelley believe it or not.

 

Match 4 – Abyss (c) def. Bobby Roode and James Storm in a triple threat match to retain the TNA Global Championship

I was very disappointed this one because whenever I throw Abyss in a singles match with either member of Beer Money on Impact, it’s usually in the upper 80s to mid 90s. Kinda surprised with it being the second worst match on the show. Abyss retains the Global title for now. We’ll see how well he does as champion because he’s pretty over at the moment.

 

Match 5 – Jeff Jarrett def. Chris Sabin

I have no idea why I thought this but I was positive that this match was going to be the worst match on the show! I thought the styles just wouldn’t click but it turns out I was wrong. It got a 82% rating and was one of only four matches to get into the 80s for this PPV sadly. However, Jarrett got the win. Sabin cheap-shotted after a handshake. Jarrett goes over here but I do plan on giving Sabin the win in their rematch because he’s getting quite a bit from this feud and I feel he should be the one that goes over in the end. For now though, Jarrett gets the first win in this feud and retribution for the attack at Final Resolution.

 

Match 6 – Christopher Daniels def. Mr Anderson in a no disqualification match. The winner would earn a championship match at whatever title he desires. If Daniels lost, he would never receive a TNA World Heavyweight Championship

The 77% rating was disappointing but I kind of get why it got the rating it did. I get frequent road agent notes that Anderson and Daniels don’t really click in the ring. Daniels won the match and I’ll reveal now that Daniels WON’T be going after the TNA World title. Daniels decided that he needs to prove to himself that he was a true champion before going after the title. He wanted to win the TNA X-Division title instead and then call out the TNA World Heavyweight Champion in the future. I have a VERY interesting X-Division program in store that will have TNA World title implications. Daniels is super over so he will be in the mix.

 

Match 7 – AJ Styles def. Jeff Hardy

AJ beat Jeff after Bobby Lashley interfered on AJ’s behalf. AJ, Lashley and Abyss had an unofficial alliance in the past and since Abyss is focusing on the Global title, Lashley decided to help AJ against Jeff here. I expected a bit more but at least it was in the 80s. Not a bad match.

 

Match 8 – John Cena (c) def. Samoa Joe via disqualification retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship

Despite the disappointing ratings from this PPV, I’m very thankful that the main event was at least the joint best match of the show! It got a 85% rating. Joe gets disqualified for hitting Cena with the belt. Joe does a vicious beat down after the match and holds the title up high in the end. I don’t want to put the belt on Joe at the moment but I also want him to show that he could kick Cena’s ass. I know it seems that Joe was stupid by getting himself DQ’d during a title match but trust me. There’s method to the madness. He was the last man standing in this battle and with that, you all probably know where this is going!

 

Thanks for reading and we’ll see you at Against All Odds, where Kurt Angle will introduce a new signing to our show as mentioned on the TNA EWR update!

EXTREME WARFARE REVENGE: TNA 2010 – UPDATE #1

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How’s it going everybody? Thomas Robinson here once again to bring you our very first TNA EWR update, where we basically tell you were things are going in our Extreme Warfare Revenge universe and what to expect in the future.

As you will have noticed, the TNA series has returned and in full force. We returned with Bound For Glory and we’ve seen a number of posts since. We did BFG, an Impact special “Joker’s Wild”, Turning Point and Final Resolution. That’s a lot to take in so what we’re going to do is drop the links to all the parts down below…

Part 1 – Destination X

Part 2 – Lockdown

Part 3 – Sacrifice

Part 4 – Slammiversary

Part 5 – Victory Road

Part 6 – Hard Justice

Part 7 – No Surrender

Part 8 – Bound For Glory

Part 9 – Joker’s Wild Special

Part 10 – Turning Point

Part 11 – Final Resolution

Any posts you’ve missed or if you just want to go back and get yourself clued up on what’s happened in this series, there are all the links you need.

For those of you that are new to the series, TNA has changed quite a bit. Allow me to give you a bit more detail on the current storylines I’ve got running as we’ve wrapped up 2010 and are now going into 2011!

 

Plot

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AJ Styles was TNA World Heavyweight Champion at the start of the series and he went through a lot of competition including the likes of Kurt Angle. He did drop the belt to Jeff Hardy but quickly won it back. After retaining at Bound For Glory, he was met with a new challenger… AND HIS NAME IS JOHN CENA!

That joke will never get old in my mind!

Seriously, Cena did win the TNA World title from Styles and goes into 2011 strong as our top guy.

Currently running the ship is Interim General Manager Kurt Angle. Hulk Hogan had been running things since the start of the game (as well as Bischoff until Bischoff retired in the game). However, Hogan was mysteriously taken out leaving Kurt Angle to be named as the head honcho of TNA for now. The heel Sting had questioned Hogan’s intentions in the past but what will the Stinger make of Kurt Angle being in charge? What impact will Sting and Angle have on TNA in 2011?

There’s been plenty of stables on the scene as well including the likes of Reckless Ambition headed by L.A. Par-K and the British Invasion. A new stable has just emerged called “Global Supremacy” (led by Desmond Wolfe) but the most prominent group has been Extreme Coalition. Raven and Rhino have been tearing up the TNA Tag Team division as champions but will there be more additions to the group?

There’s been a number of new signings over the year. Along with John Cena has been Rey Mysterio that’s been able to mix it up with the bright X-Division stars like Jay Lethal, Christopher Daniels and the Motor City Machine Guns.

There’s also a number of developmental stars waiting for their chance to shine and also stars like El Generico, Kevin Steen and Claudio Castagnoli hoping to break out as top talents in the company.

It’s an exciting future for this game and we’ve just actually become the top promotion in the company in terms of public image (which determines where the company’s are in terms of size). We’re still behind the WWE in PPV buys though so that’ll be something we’re hoping to surpass them in.

 

Schedule

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Our last post was Final Resolution and we’ve actually done two PPVs since then which just need writing up. Both Genesis and Against All Odds have been done and graded by the game and we’re hoping to have Genesis up on the blog soon. I’m hoping to have at least one new post up by next Friday so stay tuned for that.

For the time being, I’m going to stick with just doing the TNA series. The WCW series is obviously the more developed one that has really helped the blog out but I’ve noticed that the TNA series has actually been effective in its own right. We decided that we might as well give it the chance to shine. Also, I wanted to have a break from the WCW series and it’s good to try something else! Don’t worry though WCW fans. We will be coming back to it… eventually!

 

Knockouts Division

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I know the Knockouts division hasn’t really been a big deal in the series but we do have a bit of announcement regarding its status. Our champion ODB recently jumped ship to the WWE meaning that the title has been vacated. We had a look at the roster and judging by how much we’ve not used a lot of the women, we’ve put the division on halt for a bit. The title has been suspended and we’re probably not going to crown a new champion until later on in the year when a few of the developmental female stars join the main roster. Trust me, we’ll come back stronger than ever with the TNA knockouts!

However, we do have a number of other signings that have joined us in recent months. The likes of Konnan and Primo Colon have joined the Reckless Ambition stable and the Hart Dynasty has also joined us. I mentioned DH Smith was signed to the company at Final Resolution but Tyson Kidd has also came on board. I’m hoping to do a lot with them.

There’s been a few signings but other than Cena and Mysterio, no major ones that will be a big part of the PPVs. I’ve signed independent stars like Joey Ryan but he’s not really been over enough to be featured on the main shows. Also, AAA snapped up Ryan on a written contract from under my nose just recently! -.-

I can reveal though that TWO new big signings will be revealed soon so stay tuned for that. I’ll actually give you two clues for each of the new signings.

  1. The first new signing has been a huge star in Mexico and has actually had a rare five star rated match from Dave Meltzer at Wrestling Observer.
  2. The second signing is former multi-time world champion for WWE AND has appeared in the last ten Wrestlemania events.

So there you go. There are your clues. They’ll both be revealed in due time.

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That’ll wrap things up for this update. Again, be sure to follow @ArmbarExpress on Twitter for news on when Genesis and Against All Odds are up!