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Heel Turns: Rumble isn’t only show in town

Posted by Achilles Heel On January 17

Achilles HeelNext weekend will be a busy time for wrestling fans in South Philadelphia. Sunday’s Royal Rumble is the headliner, but it’s far from the only show in town.

Ring of Honor kicks off the festivities Saturday (7 p.m.) with an event at 2300 Arena (formerly the ECW Arena). CHIKARA runs an event at the same venue on Sunday (2 p.m.). Also on Sunday, there will be a debate involving Chris Jericho, Bruce Prichard and Eric Bischoff at Dave and Buster’s on Columbus Boulevard.

Ring of Honor event features a pair of six-person tag team matches, at 2300 Arena. The Bullet Club (A.J. Styles and the Young Bucks) battle ACH, Matt Sydal and Cedric Alexander in which should be an action-packed match. In an inter-gender match, Ring of Honor World champion Jay Briscoe, Mark Briscoe and ODB square off with Michael Bennett, Matt Taven and Maria Kanellis.

Other bouts include Michael Elgin vs. Moose, and Jimmy Jacobs vs. Tommaso Ciampa. The semifinals and finals of the Top Prospect Tournament will also take place at this event.

The big Philadelphia wrestling weekend continues Sunday with CHIKARA’s “A New Start,” its 2015 kickoff event. Icarus defends the Grand Championship of CHIKARA against Chuck Taylor in the main event.

Former grand champion Eddie Kingston squares off with Kevin Condron, formerly known as Kid Cyclone. In a tag team bout, The Batiri battle Hallowicked and Frightmare. In a six-man tag team match, The Colony (Fire Ant, Silver Ant and Worker Ant) face Jakob Hammermeier, Pinkie Sanchez and Soldier Ant.

Another tag team match pits Missile Ant and Arctic Rescue Ant against Race Jaxon and Hype Rockwell. UltraMantis Black takes on Juan Francisco de Coronado, and Ophidian face Nokken.

CHIKARA is clearly hoping that some fans choose to check out its event in the afternoon before eating dinner and watching the Royal Rumble, either at home or on WWE Network.

Another afternoon option Sunday is the event at Dave and Buster’s. There will be a one-hour VIP meet and greet during which fans will be able to get pictures and autographs with Prichard and Bischoff. Following the meet-and-greet session, Jericho will moderate a debate between Prichard and Bischoff about the Monday Night Wars between RAW and WCW’s Monday Nitro. (WWE Network has been running a series of shows on the Monday Night Wars.)

VIP Tickets, which include one autograph and photo opportunity with Bischoff and Prichard, VIP seating and food and beverage, are $60. General admission to the debate is $30.

It should be an amazing 27 hours for wrestling fans in South Philadelphia.


ADDITIONS TO RUMBLE: Jimmy and Jey Uso will defend the tag team titles against former champions The Miz and Damien Mizdow at the Royal Rumble. Expect at least one other match to be added to the card.

Big Show, Kane, Goldust and Stardust have been added to the Royal Rumble. The previously announced participants were Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan, Rusev, Wade Barrett, Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt. Ten participants have been revealed for the Rumble – and this assumes that Bryan won’t lose his spot on Smackdown this week when he face Kanes. Although several spots are always reserved for surprise entrants (Chris Jericho? Sting?), the Greek God of Wrestling would prefer that more than 10 of the spots be filled entering the final week before the Rumble.


ROLLINS IN VOORHEES: Before what Seth Rollins hopes will be the biggest night of his career – he is involved in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match with Brock Lesnar and John Cena at the Royal Rumble – he will appear at Adventureland Store in the Voorhees Town Center in Voorhees, N.J., from 10 a.m.-noon. Tickets are required for autograph and photo opportunities.


OH YEEEAAAAHHHH!!! “Macho Man” Randy Savage was the first inductee announced for this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class. It goes without saying that Savage, who died in 2011 at 58 years old, deserved to be inducted. In fact, his induction is overdue. The Hall of Fame ceremony will take place March 28, the day before WrestleMania 31, in San Jose.


TITLE CHANGE: Austin Aries’ reign as X-Division champion turned out to be a short one. After beating Low Ki for the title on Impact Wrestling’s debut on Destination America, Aries lost the title to Low Ki in a rematch. Low Ki is now part of the top heel faction, consisting of MVP, Samoa Joe, Kenny King, Low Ki and (maybe) Eric Young. As if often the case with TNA storylines, it’s not clear if Young is part of the “Beat Down Clan.”

The heels ruled during this week’s edition of Impact Wrestling. Samoa Joe made Kurt Angle submit, Young beat Bobby Roode and the Beat Down Clan beat down TNA World Heavyweight champion Bobby Lashley, who completed his babyface turn. Almost lost was the Hardy Boyz’ victory over The Wolves (Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards).


WINGING IT: Mick Foley will compete in Wing Bowl, WIP Radio’s annual wing-eating extravaganza, at Wells Fargo Center on Jan. 30. The Greek God of Wrestling would have preferred to see Big Show or Mark Henry enter. Unlike Foley, they’d be serious contenders to win.


BRYAN IS BACK: It sure seemed as if the fans were thrilled to see Daniel Bryan back in action on Smackdown. It’s terrific to have the talented Bryan back in action after missing eight months with a neck injury.


RING OF HONOR SEMINAR: Ring of Honor will host an advanced training class on Sun., Feb. 15 from 4-9 p.m. at the Ring of Honor Dojo in Bristol, Pa. Instructors include Ring of Honor head trainer Delirious and former Ring of Honor world champion Adam Cole. Applicants must have at least one year of professional wrestling experience. Enrollment is limited to 20 applicants.


RUMBLE PREVIEW: Royal Rumble week will be a good week for you because Achilles Heel will have two stories the week before the Royal Rumble. A preview of this year’s Rumble will be the lead item in the next Heel Turns. But the Greek God of Wrestling will grace you with a second article, a look back at the 2004 Royal Rumble in Philadelphia.

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