Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Get ready for the second biggest weekend in wrestling!

WWE has two big shows coming this weekend, which I'll talk about in more detail in the next couple days. But they are far from the only promotion running pay-per-view events. Several independent promotions are also running shows over the weekend, including internet pay-per-views and even a streaming special over an indie service akin to WWE. Here's the details on some of the happenings going down.

Ring of Honor isn't quite an independent, but they are running on Friday night. It's also the odd show out as it is the only one not in the northeast area.
  • ROH World Title - Jay Lethal vs. Adam Cole: The storyline behind this one is ridiculous. Lethal insisted on a title match because he had his head shaved by the Bullet Club. Why not just demand he get a one on one match with Cole non-title? The whole thing presents Lethal as an idiot, especially since he's likely to drop the title.
  • ROH World Television Title - Bobby Fish vs. Mark Briscoe.
  • Silas Young vs. Katsuyori Shibata: Shibata makes his United States debut. I look forward to seeing Silas get his face kicked off.
  • Toru Yano and Roppongi Vice vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Guerrillas of Destiny: None of these stars make regular appearances for ROH, though Roppongi Vice has made more than the others. It feels strangely inserted, especially with regular Bullet Club members Adam Page and Young Bucks not with a listed match.
  • No other matches are listed despite Los Ingobernables De Japon, Michael Elgin, Jay Briscoe, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and tag champs The Addiction all in attendance. Strange to see ROH selling their show on so little, especially when compared to their Japanese partners that give away all planned matches ahead of time. 
The more interesting card on Friday though has to be EVOLVE 66. Gabe Sapolsky's promotion has some of the best wrestling in the world every show and this one brings the independent debut of one Cody Rhodes. And Cody's not facing just some scrub.
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  • Cody Rhodes vs. Zack Sabre Jr.: Most folks might just be learning about Sabre, but this should push Rhodes' wrestling skills to the test in what I hope will be an epic encounter.
  • EVOLVE Title - Timothy Thatcher vs. Matt Riddle.
  • Two battles between Cruiserweight Classic talent: Drew Gulak vs. Tony Nese and TJ Perkins vs. Cedric Alexander.
  • DUSTIN (a.k.a. Chuck Taylor) vs. Ethan Page
  • Catch Point's Tracy Williams and Fred Yehi vs. Jigsaw and Peter Kaasa

Saturday brings more EVOLVE action with EVOLVE 67. Despite the lack of Johnny Gargano on the cards, they're doing pretty well here. (Gargano wrestles his farewell EVOLVE performance in September.)
  • Cody Rhodes vs. Chris Hero: An independent dream match. 
  • EVOLVE Title - Timothy Thatcher vs. Drew Gulak
  • Six Man Grudge Match: Drew Galloway, Ethan Carter III & DUSTIN vs. Tracy Williams, Fred Yehi & TJ Perkins. 
  • Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Cedric Alexander in another battle of Cruiserweight Classic competitors.
Finally, Chikara uses the Chikaratopia platform to finally debut their first ever full length network special entitled "No One's First and You're Next". Though it has only one title match, this looks to be a doozy.
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  • A four corners two falls to a finish tag team match to crown undisputed Campeones de Parejas - NRG vs. Los Ice Creams vs. Devastation Corporation vs. Moustache Mountain. After Los Ice Creams beat NRG for the titles in an erroneous one fall to a finish match, the titles were held up. Now those teams are joined by two teams with their own rights to contendership to make one of the most compelling four way tag matches in Chikara's history. 
  • Team Fire Ant vs. Team Hallowicked: Hallowicked has amassed an army of Hexed Men, Chikara roster members that have fallen under his spell of Nazmaldun. Fire Ant and The Colony have opposed them, but with Silver Ant hurt and dissension between Soldier and Worker Ant, it remains to be seen who will fill the rest of Fire Ant's unit.
  • Princess Kimberlee vs. Heidi Lovelace.
  • Eddie Kingston vs. Jakob Hammermeier in a battle to determine who is King of Chikara.
  • Team Big Deal vs. United Nations: The former Hornswoggle looks to cement his place on the Chikara roster by beating Juan Francisco De Coranado's unit with his own. 
  • Ophidian vs. Hermit Crab in a student vs. teacher match.
  • Abominous Rex vs. Oleg the Usurper: The world's greatest viking wrestling faces off with Sidney Bakabella's new monster. 
With Takeover: Back to Brooklyn and Summer Slam wedged into this weekend as well, it will be a crazy weekend for wrestling.

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