Thursday, March 31, 2016

March Mania Fatal 4 Way Round!

We have nailed 48 matches to four in our quest to determine the best modern Wrestlemania match. Now the field gets narrowed even more as only two will walk into tomorrow's finals!

Daniel Bryan and Triple H's opener from Wrestlemania XXX swept over Lesnar, Reigns & Rollins, but now it faces an interesting conundrum against the main event from the same card, where Randy Orton defended against Batista and Bryan. Which Daniel Bryan match will make it to the finals?

The other bracket features a showdown of last hurrahs. Cesaro & Kidd scored some votes, but were dominated by Shawn Michaels' retirement match against Undertaker at Wrestlemania 26. Edge beat Alberto Del Rio at the next year's event, only to announce his retirement ten days later.

I encourage everyone to head over to the WWE Network and heck out these four great matches! Then get your votes in before it's too late!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Help choose the top four matches of modern Manias in the March Mania 8 Way Scramble Round!

Several big matches were eliminated yesterday as sixteen choices narrowed down to just 8. Today's vote will bring it down to just four, but for that we need your help.

Perhaps the most interesting fact of the remaining matches is that only one individual appears in more than one match. He has three battles still on the card and perhaps a bit shockingly, isn't named the Undertaker.

So without more chatter, on with the polls!


Daniel Bryan's victory at Wrestlemania XXX is a high point in his career.
Image credit:

Daniel Bryan had a true Wrestlemania moment with his win over Batista and Randy Orton, but CM Punk also reached his Wrestlemania pinnacle with his title bout against Chris Jericho. Only one title match will continue on to the next round!


The tag team pre-show bout last year was a solid victory for Cesaro and Tyson Kidd and has stood up through two rounds of voting. But it takes on a true Wrestlemania moment today: the streak versus career match of Undertaker and Shawn Michaels.


Daniel Bryan is the man to survive with three matches still in the top 8. Once again, his battle with Triple H squeaks by into the third round. It faces its stiffest test yet as it goes head to head with last year's main event, where Seth Rollins crashed the battle between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns.


Edge and Alberto Del Rio wrestled the best match of the night in their opening bout for the World title at Wrestlemania 27, and clearly fans respond fondly to Edge's second to last match. But it faces a truly great spotfest from last year's show, the Intercontinental title seven way bout where Daniel Bryan once again came out the winner.

Remember, your vote decides the victor. Voting is open for the next sixteen hours (1:30 a.m. Central) so get in their and get your votes in before time runs out!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

March Mania Sixteen Match Rumble Round! What will be the eight best modern Wrestlemania matches?

Yesterday, the field narrowed from 48 to 16. Today, it will narrow again from 16 to 8. Voting is open to midnight Central time tonight, so get yours votes in!

But enough with the preliminaries. On to the match ups!


Image credit: WWE.
Edge's final pay-per-view match against Alberto Del Rio scored big in its first round match-up, while decisions were split for The Shield battling against Kane and the New Age Outlaws in one of their first battles as a babyface unit. Both are stellar matches, but only one moves on!

Image credit: WWE screen grab

The end of the streak for Undertaker had to go through a tie-breaker to get to the second round, while last year's 7 way Intercontinental Ladder Match did much better, dominating over Triple H vs. Sting.


Seth Rollins crashed last year's main event between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, helping that match secure a win in the first round. Jack Swagger's victory in the Wrestlemania XXVI Money in the Bank match was a tighter race.

I was a bit surprised to see the Wrestlemania XXX match between Triple H and Daniel Bryan go to a tiebreaker after stiff competition from Jericho and Edge. Rey Mysterio versus CM Punk had none of that trouble, completely sweeping their opening round battle.


CM Punk and Chris Jericho's World title battle swept its division while Triple H and Undertaker's war at Wrestlemania 28 scored big as well.

Daniel Bryan vs. Batista vs. Randy Orton was almost a no brainer to take its first round match, while the conflict between John Cena and Bray Wyatt barely sneaked out a win.


Tyson Kidd and Cesaro's victory in last year's 4 way tag team match was the only preliminary show match to make it to the final round. John Cena battling the Rock in the Twice in a Lifetime match dominated completely against lackluster challengers.

Undertaker retired two other matches much as he did Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 26. John Cena and Batista barely squeezed past Undertaker and CM Punk to keep this from being two Taker matches pitted against one another.

That's all the matches featuring some huge competitors in some stellar matches! Make your voice heard by voting now!

The Indy Lowdown: Evolve 57

The influence of independent promotions on the modern wrestling scene cannot be overstated.  The indies are the new developing ground for the hopefuls of tomorrow, and have taken a life of their own for performers to make a mark on the industry outside of the major promotions.  The EVOLVE promotion has emerged as a top destinations for aspiring indy stars, as evidenced by the recent visits from HHH and William Regal to EVOLVE events.

I had the opportunity to check out the most recent EVOLVE show, EVOLVE 57.  The shows are heavily focused on the wrestling action, without the over-the-top characters seen on WWE.  But over the past six years, the EVOLVE brand has developed enough characters to provide some compelling story lines to spice up the in-ring action.   Today's blog will focus on three things I really liked, and one thing I didn't like about EVOLVE 57.

Thumbs up: Ethan Page

Ethan Page: This veteran Canadian performer, known as "All Ego", has ten years in the business although he is only 26 years old.  Page opened the show with a win over Fred Yehi with the Package Piledriver.  Page has been playing the role of the heel trying to change his ways.  As part of his penance, he has been wrestling the opening match for the past several shows.   I watched Page in a couple of live matches last summer in Cleveland, which I greatly enjoyed.  He doesn't have a WWE-style physique, but he is a solid worker and a very engaging personality.

Thumbs up: Matt Riddle

Matt Riddle: Also 26 years old, Riddle is a rookie in the ranks of wrestling.  He is well known for his MMA success on the Ultimate Fighter.  His rise through the ranks of the UFC ended prematurely with a pair of positive drug tests for marijuana, but Riddle has the size, the look, and the athletic credentials to become a star in the wrestling business.  Riddle submitted Chris Hero after a solid match at EVOLVE 57, and has issued a challenge to Evolve champion Timothy Thatcher on April 1 in Dallas.  Initially courted by Drew Gulak for training, Riddle instead chose his own path as an arrogant heel.  His cocky smirk and his reputation as a rebel make the heel role a natural fit.  The sky is the ceiling for this guy.

Thumbs up: Timothy Thatcher

Timothy Thatcher: Another ring veteran, Thatcher is an amazing technical wrestler who holds the EVOLVE championship.  At EVOLVE 57, Thatcher won by submission over Caleb Konley, but the big news is that Thatcher is facing a double whammy on Wrestlemania weekend.  Thatcher will face Matt Riddle on April 1, and Sami Callihan on April 2.  Both these matches should be tremendous!  Thatcher is a bit generic by WWE standards, but his work in the ring is second to none.

Thumbs down: Chris Hero

Chris Hero: How the mighty have fallen!  Hero is one of the best workers on the planet, and has a terrific mind for the business.  Unfortunately, his lack of commitment to physical fitness cost him his shot at a career in WWE.  Since his release, things have gone from bad to worse.  Until he gets control of his weight, Hero is more likely to achieve success as a sumo wrestler than a sports entertainer. 

Image Credits:,,,

Monday, March 28, 2016

Welcome to the opening round of March Mania!

March Mania is running wild!
Tournament brackets are a grand March tradition. You can find them pretty much anywhere, but I know for a fact that tournaments and professional wrestling go hand in hand. With that in mind, The Wrestling Weekday is proud to launch its first ever March Mania tournament!

Each year we will debut a new tournament in the lead up to Wrestlemania. This time around we will look at the first half of the 2010s as we determine the best modern Wrestlemania match. Forty-eight matches enter the tournament today, but come this weekend, only one will survive. And the best part of it all is you get to vote!

The first round features 16 three way knockout votes. Tomorrow will bring the 16 match round, followed by 8, 4 and the final two. A special Sunday pre-Mania post will reveal the winner of the whole affair!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Celebrating "The Godfather"

It's time, once again, for everybody to come aboard… the HOOOOOOOOOOOOO Train!

Congratulations are in order to The Godfather for his selection to the WWE Hall of Fame. The Godfather was one of the most colorful characters of the Attitude Era. But it was a long and winding road for Charles Wright to achieve this honor. In over a decade of action, Charles Wright was cast in a variety of roles- Voodoo Man, Ultimate Fighting Machine, Defiant Militant, and even the Crusading Do-Gooder. In each and every role, he put forth the best he had to give to be an entertainer. But Wright finally found his path to stardom when he emerged as the fun-loving Godfather! The catchy guitar riff, the outrageous attire, the over-the-top strut, and of course, the bevy of scantily clad beauties were sure to light up the crowd on any given night. Pimpin' ain't easy!

So where is the Godfather's real place in wrestling history? Never a world champion, never the main eventer, but always a consistent worker regardless of the gimmick. Wright was the Steve Buscemi of the Attitude Era!

In modern-day terms, the best comparison I can make is to Kane. Demon Kane, Big Red Machine, Corporate Kane, "Team Hell No" Kane- I can't help but admire the guys who bring their talent to the ring, take whatever opportunity they are presented, and give their best effort to the fans.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Drew Galloway: the champion TNA needs, not the one it deserves

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The Dark Knight meme is strong as I look at the crowning of Drew Galloway as the new TNA World Heavyweight champion on this week's Impact Wrestling. As the first man to successfully cash in the World title Feast or Fired case, the former Mr. McIntyre finally ascended to the place he should have been at months ago in TNA: on the top of the card.

But in many ways, it feels like yet another hotshot move by TNA where they make the right call for ratings a little too late. Galloway has been left as something of a cipher in recent weeks, only inserted into segments when he's needed rather than naturally being involved in storylines. His matches with Kurt Angle were great, but Drew isn't a talent that needs the approval of an aging veteran to be a main event star. He should have been crowned champion months ago but instead had to step aside for a lackluster run by consummate midcarder Matt Hardy as the top star in the company.

This is far from the first time or the last time that TNA made a decision that seems designed to try and bring back viewers alienated by bad booking decisions of the past, but at this point in their company's history, it might be time to consider just booking in ways to make fans happy more often. I'm not saying the hero should always win by any means. EC3 had a great championship reign as a nefarious evildoer. But most fans taking the time to check out non-WWE brands have moved past a need to see WWE nostalgia acts at the top of the card.

That doesn't mean TNA fans don't love the Hardy Boyz together or individually. They are still a strong pair of wrestlers, but they are not the kind of figures TNA should ever bank on at the top of the card ever again. With their age, their wear and their history of drug abuse, TNA has enough rising stars, both home grown and from under-utilized WWE runs, to build a great roster.

It just needs to start doing that. Keep the focus on Galloway, EC3, Mike Bennett and other focal points like Tyrus, James Storm and Bobby Roode. Even Eric Young and Bram have something to offer. Use WWE talents that have passed their prime like Lashley and the Hardys as key figures on TV, but not as the major stars TV regularly focuses upon.

Ultimately, Impact Wrestling seems to slowly be righting their own path after disastrous years in 2014 and 2015. Here's hoping they can continue that route instead of miring themselves in the same old mistakes the company has made time and time again. But they need to show a lot of fans consistency in storytelling before they ever start attracting viewers. Programs like Lucha Underground and NJPW on AXS have proven niche marketing can work for professional wrestling. It is time that TNA stops trying to be WWE and find what it's best at it. And I suspect that is good old school wrestling stories in the Southern tradition. I can think of few stars that can fill that formula quite as well as Drew Galloway.

If all goes well, the future looks bright for TNA to finally #StandUp.

Monday, March 14, 2016

SCW "Luck is for Losers" in review

For the first time in way too long, I made it to a Scott County Wrestling show in nearby Walcott, Iowa. The tiny village of less than 1500 still seems a strange place to have a thriving little independent wrestling company, but SCW continues to put on great shows to the delight of just over 100 fans every month.

I have kept up with the basic couple of plot threads since my last SCW show. Mark Storm fell out of power with the company, though he still manages Johnny Wisdom and does color commentary. Shane Hollister turned on Marek Brave, but didn't get the title. Eddie Machete (the former Eli) turne don Connor Braxton after a payoff by Storm, costing them the titles and starting an ongoing war. Mason Beck returned to the company and ran roughshod in his quest to take on Brave for the SCW Heavyweight belt.

Friday, March 11, 2016

A few words on Mr. Anderson

It came out yesterday through the internet release of a profanity laced promo at the UK based ICW that Ken Anderson, better known to most as either Mr. Anderson or Mr. Kennedy, has left TNA. Apparently, Anderson was released from his contract following the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania tapings in late January. It is a sign of how poor his push had been in recent months that no one even noticed he wasn't around for the last several weeks.

In the wake of his promo, a lot of rumors have spread on the internet about his release. His contract was apparently terminated, but we really don't know anything more than that. Supposedly he had an attitude problem backstage at those tapings, while other sites have conjectured he might have drug or alcohol abuse problems.

Too much of that sounds like damage control for TNA, a company that has ate up and bled away talents for the last several years. Multiple stars have left TNA on extremely negative terms since AJ Styles started the trend in late 2013. In recent weeks, TNA has tried damage control due to recent news stories about the company, up to and including the release of details of contract negotiations between the company, AJ Styles, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson.

Mr. Anderson may have all kinds of problems. I have no clue and neither do you. But in a company that pushes top talents away, perhaps it is best to give him and not TNA the benefit of the doubt. This is the company that hired Anderson as a hot free agent only to book him in storylines that made a mess of his gimmick and killed all the momentum he had coming out of a WWE firing that seemed mostly geared towards keeping Randy Orton happy. His only main event feud for the company came against Jeff Hardy at the height of the Immortal storyline, where Jeff was known to often be in a drugged out stupor while champion.

And he had to carry around that awful purple belt as
champion. Image credit: Dennis Gates Jr.
Maybe Anderson did have an attitude problem. I would probably have one too after working for a company that did nothing to help my career for the past several years. And hey, they built his entire gimmick around him being an asshole for years. But again, we don't really know the story.

Sometimes it's best not to believe the rumors. I personally hope Mr. Anderson continues to find success as he enters the world of independent wrestling.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

How it all began: My life as a wrestling junkie

Nick here! We are proud to introduce Dave Little to The Wrestling Weekday to discuss a few new topics on professional wrestling, both modern and as in today's case, old school! Take it away, Dave! 

Hey, fans! Thanks to Nicholas for the invitation to contribute to the Wrestling Weekday. I have been a fan of this wacky sport for over 30 years now, and there's nothing better than talking wrestling with other fans across the country and around the world.

My wrestling journey began on a Saturday afternoon in the summer of 1983.  I was a bored college student taking a study break and doing some channel surfing when I discovered this piece of Georgia Championship Wrestling magic:


I remember it clearly- BUZZ SAWYER had a big unbeaten streak on TV, and PEZ WHATLEY was unknown, but the popular JUNKYARD DOG came out to give Whatley a pep talk and slapped him across the face!  Whatley went nuts, but JYD told him to take his aggression to the ring.  The little known Whatley beat Sawyer and ended the win streak.  Sawyer went berserk, and about 10 minutes later stormed out to the ring, and Whatley pinned him again.

The action in the ring, the chaos of the events, and the fascination of listening to Gordon Solie hooked me from the first moment.  The cameo by Ole Anderson, the ranting of Larry Zbyszko, and the celebration of Junkyard Dog, Tommy Rich, and other wrestlers from backstage made this little angle an epic treat.  Before long, I was tuning in to WTBS at 6:05 pm every Saturday night!

Gordon Solie was the master of the microphone.  Known as "the Walter Cronkite of Wrestling", Gordon had the serious demeanor and the educated vocabulary of a college professor.  He took the broadcast role seriously, deadpanning the detailed anatomical references ("he's chopping away at that pre-frontal cortex"), and throwing in his own inimitable references:
"He's all man and a yard wide.""The name on the marquee is WRESTLING.""He asks for no quarter, and he gives none."
Watch here as Solie works another angle, probing the mystery of the masked man accompanying Ernie Ladd.

What about you, readers?  What was your first experience with wrestling?  What got you hooked?  Post your comments below.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

ROH could take some tips from New Japan

Ring of Honor is always a frustrating company for me. They have all the talent in the world with stars like Jay Lethal, The Young Bucks, Dalton Castle, Moose and Michael Elgin all regularly working their shows. They have a deep roster with a healthy mix of veteran talents (The Briscoes, Kazarian, The Motor City Machine Guns) and new stars (Donovan Dijak, Adam Page, Jonathan Gresham). But they also seem buried in a malaise where stories take months too long to develop and characters are never allowed to evolve naturally. And while the hotshot booking of TNA and WWE isn't necessary for a company as wrestling influenced as ROH, the company seems to have no understanding of how to integrate slower building old school feuds with new school storytelling.

Their Japanese promotional partner New Japan Pro Wrestling has been doing just that for years. In many ways, NJPW continues the wrestling as sports focus of Antonio Inoki it was founded upon forty years ago. The style has become more innovative, but New Japan is a company where wins and losses matter. It is a company where status is something that must be achieved. Even the current champion Kazuchika Okada still has nay-sayers, despite having years now as a major main event player in the company. Hirooki Goto and Tetsuya Naito have worked as heavyweights for nearly a decade each, but now both are entering the title picture for the first time. Yet New Japan continues to tell solid stories with their talents as they develop them through the regular storytelling cycle that kicks off at New Year Dash every year and culminates with the next year's Wrestle Kingdom.

ROH and NJPW have worked together for years now, even debuting full ROH
crossover events in Japan now.
Here are a few tips I think ROH could take from NJPW to help keep so much of its program from routinely feeling stale.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Hayabusa 1968-2016

I have to be honest. Despite my love for so much of Japanese professional wrestling, I have only ever seen a handful of Hayabusa's matches. Most of his career fell into a period where I didn't view the sport. But his single ECW appearance, teaming with Jinsei Shinzaki against the perfect foes of Sabu and Rob Van Dam, is one of the highlights of that brand. As an in ring star, his career was synonymous with Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling, the hardcore promotion that inspired ECW. He would wrestle dozens of amazing matches, sometimes with ridiculously dangerous stipulations. Yet it wasn't the barb wire or explosions that ended his career in 2001.

Sadly, his  career would follow FMW's trajectory and be cut short just a few months before the company itself fell apart. In a match, he botched a springboard moonsault, one of his regular offensive maneuvers. American fans probably would know it as a Lionsault. He slipped as he hit the move and fell head first to the canvas. It left him paralyzed for over a decade and he never regained full movement.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Austin Aries in in WWE, but his future is far from certain

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Austin Aries seems like a strange choice for WWE. Even with independent talent, WWE has rarely shown interest in smaller talent. Sure, Rey Mysterio and Kalisto are notable exceptions, but when Daniel Bryan towers over you, WWE just doesn't seem to have much interest. They passed on Davey Richards. When they hired Jimmy Jacobs. it was as a creative consultant and not an onscreen talent.

So Austin Aries' NXT debut can definitely be looked at as a surprise. When it was first announced on weeks ago, it certainly lit up internet wrestling forums.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Is Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar secretly the Wrestlemania main event?

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Wrestlemania is still a week away, but WWE's narrative took a weird twist on Monday's Raw. Dean Ambrose, standing in for his injured friend Roman Reigns, challenged Triple H to a WWE World Heavyweight title match. The storyline weaved through the episode of Raw, leading to a main event match between Ambrose and Alberto Del Rio. Triple H and the League of Nations attacked Ambrose, but in the aftermath Hunter gave Dean his title match. 

This match is now set to main event the former March to Wrestlemania event, now called WWE Roadblock. (Can I just say how refreshing it is that WWE finally took the whole Road to Wrestlemania thing they've used for years and started to make car themed special event titles.) And with Reigns being off television for at least a couple weeks, one wonders if WWE might pull the uneven star out of the Wrestlemania main event. 

A title win by Dean Ambrose at Roadblock could easily set up his No Holds Barred match at Wrestlemania to be a huge main event, arguably a much more substantial one for fans as well. Lesnar is a proven WWE commodity, while Ambrose is the man that WWE fans want to get behind right now. Ambrose validating his ascendancy with a win over the nearly unstoppable Brock Lesnar at the biggest show of the year certainly could bring in viewers for a WWE desperately short on star power. 

Or this could all be wishful thinking. Roadblock could just be a short bump in the WWE schedule with little actual storyline setup for the thirty-second Wrestlemania. It seems we will have to wait until March 12th to find out.