By Nicholas Jason Lopez
All Elite Wrestling grasped the wrestling world after their first Pay-Per-View last week, topped off with a Five-Star Rhodes Brothers match, Awesome Kong, a tag team classic between The Young Bucks and Fenix/Pentagon Jr. and of course, Jon Moxley (the former Dean Ambrose of WWE fame) at the end.
Anybody who looked to WWE for an answer was left hopeless on Raw and SmackDown, side for a surprise mention by Sami Zayn on Raw.
The only true competitor with WWE’s name is its NXT brand, spearheaded creatively by Triple H. The 25th TakeOver event celebrates all that has happened before while also giving us another five-match standout card to feast on.
The essence of TakeOver is the heart of NXT itself – it’s where the up-and-comers showcase their true potential. Who knows where we would be if we didn’t get Zayn-Shinsuke Nakamura, Bayley-Sasha Banks, Johnny Gargano-Adam Cole and The Revival-#DIY, amongst other countless memorable bouts? It’s matches like those that have elevated NXT to the bar that has been set for wrestling expectations in 2019.
TakeOver has become more than a live event. It’s a movement. Beyond that, it has happened in America, United Kingdom, Canada and other places. It has brought NXT to the conversation of actual world domination.
Triple H’s formula to build stars, sign big names, focus on wrestling and characterization is one for success. It’s hard to believe there have been 25 TakeOvers, but we don’t think anybody will disagree that NXT can make 25,000 more TakeOvers for all we care.
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) was once signified as the “Be All, End All” of professional wrestling.
By now, that statement has been detracted with talent like The Young Bucks, Colt Cabana and Kenny Omega, all of whom have achieved financial efficiency and without any WWE stints (or pushes in Cabana’s case) to boot.
Ron Snyder’s “Wrestling’s New Golden Age: How Independent Promotions Have Revolutionized One Of America’s Favorite Sports,” released by Sports Publishing, succeeds in its goal to inform and explore just how independent wrestling came to be from its eerie territorial beginnings.
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
2016 has a been an odd year for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.
While things have been financially bleak where even this event’s occurrence was questionable three days prior, TNA has been rechristened with its most vivacious creative direction yet.
There was a lot to flaunt about – the payoff to many feuds like The Miracle-Moose and TNA Knockouts Champion Maria-Gail Kim to name a few.
The show was undoubtedly headlined by the biggest match they could offer for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship between unstoppable heel Champion Lashley and his biggest threat, Ethan Carter III, who looked to become an “EC3-time Champion.”
Add to that the absurdly brilliant “Great War” between TNA World Tag Team Champions Decay and The Broken Hardys, BFG almost made us forget last year’s show.
*An RSN Wrestling Podcast Exclusive*
Check out the latest episode of The RSN Wrestling Podcast, as PWO’s own Nick, “The Mastermind” Sal and “Big Guy” Rich take the time out to discuss all things TNA, from the early Asylum days to the many faction warfares in its heyday to that time Impact competed against WWE Raw on Mondays in 2010.
The Knockouts, Dixie Carter, The Miracle, Ethan Carter III, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, you name it, it’s spoken of!
By Anthony Zevoteck
WWE can be a “make it or break it” territory for a wrestling career. It has been proven that when things go great, they go very great, to the point that when a superstar leaves the company, it can leave a hole that while Creative fills, fans can’t help but fantasize “what if.”
“What if they had been given full time to blossom?”
“What if they actually got that push?”
Of course, the biggest: “What if they ever come back to WWE?”
Below are five returns we think are possible sometime down the road and of course, fantasized by WWE fans daily.
Brother Vs. Brother
– “Big Money” Matt Hardy possibly had his career moment with his latest heel turn and following promo to close out last week’s show upon winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. As always, follow-up’s key. They addressed Jeff Hardy’s thoughts on it, who was purposely recommended to go to the hospital by Matt and his wife Reby before the match so he wouldn’t intervene in their plans. We liked how the show started with Jeff being approached backstage by cameras and addressing how Matt wouldn’t return his calls or texts and needed answers. Of course it was a little silly that in the midst of a serious search for explanations, he felt the urge to go paint his face first. This was a slick lead-in to the opening video which showcased Matt’s turn by resorting to low-blows, extreme Twists Of Fates and a hammer to finally become new Champion, turning Ethan Carter III babyface in the process, also gaining EC3’s former bodyguard, Tyrus.
One Last Time
– The opening video showed how Matt Hardy was undefeated through the TNA World Title Series until he met with TNA World Heavyweight Champion Ethan Carter III and lost. Desperate for another chance, he put his own career on the line if he lost again. EC3 upped the ante and made it a Last Man Standing match. On this show, we’d get the big-time bout with these two potentially writing Matt’s final chapter. Little did we know what they were really setting up…
First Stop On the Farewell Tour
– The opening video provided fair hype on recent storylines – TNA World Heavyweight Champion Ethan Carter III getting his groove back by defeating Lashley and Matt Hardy in one night to end the TNA World Title Series on top. Another big focus was the first match of Kurt Angle’s esteemed “farewell tour,” as he’d battle Drew Galloway.
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Known for their filler-esque themed cards and subtle-to-mild hype, it takes a lot for one to look at a “One Night Only” show with excitement.
However, TNA in 2016 actually took time to dedicate reasons to hype a live version of “ONO,” including Kurt Angle being in action, “The Miracle” Mike Bennett’s in-ring debut and the marquee factor – a sudden, but enjoyable Beer Money reunion, thrusting James Storm into a storyline from his big return after a brief swim in NXT waters.
Despite a few highlights, this show reminded us why TNA cannot handle live capabilities, making silly mistakes in production and on commentary.
TNA has tried to make some good news, but like always, it always ends up bad.
– The opening video hyped the night’s matches and occurrences, particularly focusing on the Beer Money-Bram/Eric Young, three-way tag, Lashley-Tyrus and #1 Contender Knockouts Gauntlet matches.
More Than Your Cheap Pop
– The opening video discussed the primed athletes being determined to be TNA World Heavyweight Champion, hyping the TNA World Title Series’ final four – Lashley, Matt Hardy, Ethan Carter III and Eric Young.