6

Consecutive losses for Flyers at Tampa Bay

The Greek god of wrestling previews SummerSlam, which he says has all the elements to be a terrific event. Achilles Heel also criticizes WWE for firing Alberto Del Rio, tells you when to watch TNA (at least for the near future), which former Ring of Honor champion signed with WWE and which former WWE wrestler won the EVOLVE championship.

Jimmie Johnson is shooting for his second straight championship and his seventh overall, which would tie the all-time record. But NASCAR has introduced a new format for qualifying for the Chase, putting a premium on victories, and for the Chase itself. Will the new format help or hurt Johnson? Who will be his top challengers? And will Danica Patrick’s feud with Richard Petty escalate or fizzle out? Eric Fisher tries to answer these and other questions.

The Greek god of wrestling takes some precious time from his travels in Europe to preview CHIKARA’s first event in nearly a year. Achilles Heel also runs down the announced matches for WWE’s Payback, tells you where in Philly you can see Chris Jericho next weekend and recommends a 1996 Spectrum pay-per-view that can be found on WWE Network.

Archive for the ‘Wrestling’ Category

Heel Turns: New champs dust the competition

Posted by Achilles Heel On September - 27 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Achilles HeelFor the second time in less than a year, the Rhodes brothers captured the WWE Tag Team Championship from a team that had a successful run with the titles.

Technically, it was Goldust and Cody Rhodes who defeated The Shield’s Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns on Oct. 14, 2013, while last Sunday at Night of Champions it was Goldust and Stardust who defeated Jimmy and Jey Uso to capture the titles – or the cosmic key, if you prefer. But, as far as Achilles Heel is concerned, Cody Rhodes and Stardust are not to be counted as two different people.

The Usos had a solid eight-month run as champions after defeating the New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn and The Road Dog, Jesse James) in March. The Outlaws had captured the belts from the Rhodes brothers in January. The highlight of the Usos’ championship reign was fending off the challenge of the Wyatt Family’s Luke Harper and Erick Rowan in a series of excellent matches.

But that’s enough about past champions. Let’s examine the current champs.

Goldust and Stardust form a bizarre team. That might be the understatement of the year. Their behavior and interviews are unusual, to say the least. For the first time in his career, Goldust seems like the “normal” member of his team.

Goldust, a.k.a. Dustin Rhodes, deserves a lot of credit. He has lost weight and seems to be as good as he’s ever been in the ring. Goldust made a successful return in 2013, having a tremendous match with Randy Orton in his first match back with WWE.

Cody is also instrumental in the team’s success. He has a history as a successful tag team wrestler. Cody won the World Tag Team Championship with Bob “Hardcore” Holly and twice with Ted DiBiase (the son, not the “Million Dollar Man”). He won the WWE tag team titles with Drew McIntyre before teaming up with his older brother last year.

Cody has taken the Stardust gimmick and run with it. He is playing off his brother’s Goldust persona, but he’s making it his own. Stardust is not a carbon copy of Goldust. He has his own quirks and personality traits.

The Greek god of wrestling believes the Dust brothers are in for a long and very interesting title reign.

*****

NIGHT TO REMEMBER: The tag teams championship wasn’t the only title to change hands last Sunday at Night of Champions. The Miz defeated Dolph Ziggler to win the Intercontinental Championship, and A.J. Lee won a triple threat match with Paige and Nikki Bella to wrest the Divas Championship back from Paige.

The two best matches, in my humble opinion, didn’t result in title changes. Sheamus retained the United States Championship against Cesaro, and Randy Orton defeated Chris Jericho.

In the words of Jim Ross, the match between Sheamus and Cesaro was a slobberknocker. These two guys beat the crap out of each other. It wasn’t an all-out brawl. The damage was done with maneuvers as well as with clotheslines, uppercuts and fists.

Orton and Jericho put together a wonderful match. The pacing was perfect. Orton won when he caught Jericho with an RKO as he leaped from the top rope. I hope the younger wrestlers were paying attention as two old pros demonstrated how to tell a story in the ring.

Brock Lesnar retained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship when Seth Rollins interfered as John Cena applied the STF. Rollins was about to cash in his Money in the Bank opportunity on an injured Lesnar, but Cena interfered. Stay tuned for further developments.

*****

REIGNS HAS SURGERY: Seth Rollins’ match with Roman Reigns did not take place at Night of Champions because Reigns had surgery to repair a hernia. Reigns had been elevated to the upper part of the card. He is expected to be out of action several months.

*****

DEVASTATING NEWS: Devastation Corporation (Blaster McMassive, Flex Rumblecrunch and Max Smashmaster) won CHIKARA’s King of Trios last weekend during a three-day event in Easton. After defeating Team 3Peck0 (Archibald Peck, Scott Parker and Shane Matthews) in the semifinals, Devastation Corporation topped The Golden Trio (Icarus, Dasher Hatfield and “Mr. Touchdown” Mark Angelosetti) in the final.

*****

BOUND FOR DISASTER? One of the Greek god of wrestling’s biggest complaints is the failure of promotions to announce matches in time to properly promote pay-per-view events. That is one reason – and far from the only reason – he is thoroughly annoyed with TNA.

Bound for Glory is supposed to be TNA’s biggest event of the year. This year’s show will take place at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo on Sun., Oct. 12. And not one match has been announced for Bound for Glory. Not one.

One disadvantage of taping shows so far in advance is that last Wednesday’s Impact Wrestling did nothing to promote Bound for Glory. Nothing at all.

Why should fans purchase tickets or pay-per-views when the promotion can’t be bothered to set up the matches in time to properly promote them?

TNA, of course, will be puzzled when its buy rate for Bound for Glory is awful.

*****

DREAMER’S GAIN: With TNA not having any United States dates on its schedule, independent promotions such as Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore are benefiting from talent being available. TNA’s Austin Aries, Matt and Jeff Hardy and The Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards) are confirmed for Nov. 15 as Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore comes to the 2300 Arena, better known as the ECW Arena. Also confirmed for the card are the Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Johnson), Harry Smith and, of course, Dreamer.

*****

NETWORK NUGGET: One of the terrific offerings from WWE Network this past week was a special on ECW’s influence on the competition between WWE and WCW. There are some fascinating insights during this show, many of them from Paul Heyman. Go out of your way to check out this show.

*****

COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT: While I’m complaining, let’s take a shot at WWE for the manner in which The Miz defeated Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship at Night of Champions. No, Achilles Heel isn’t referring to Miz pulling Ziggler’s trunks to get the pinfall.

My problem with the title change was that the match was a backdrop for the announcement that Georgia Line will perform at Tribute for the Troops in December. Two members of the band were doing commentary throughout the match and even pushed Damien Sandow. More attention was paid to Georgia Line performing at Tribute for the Troops than was given to the Intercontinental Championship changing hands.

Fortunately for WWE, it got a second bite of the apple the next night on RAW. This time the match, with Ziggler regaining the gold, was the center of attention.

*****

WWE COMES TO TOWN:  WWE will be in Trenton next Saturday (Oct. 4) for a house show at Sun National Bank Center. The following night (5 p.m.), WWE will make its debut at PPL Arena in Allentown. On Tues., Oct. 7, WWE comes to Wells Fargo Center for Smackdown and Main Event.

Heel Turns: Champions take center stage

Posted by Achilles Heel On September - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Achilles HeelThis is a huge week in professional wrestling, with TNA in Bethlehem, CHIKARA’s King of Trios in Easton and Night of Champions on WWE Network.

Let’s start with Night of Champions. The main event Sunday is a rematch between WWE World Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and former champion John Cena. The storyline concerns whether Cena will be able to bounce back after the physical beating he absorbed from Lesnar while losing the championship at SummerSlam.

Cena delivered one of his most effective promos last week on RAW. He stressed how much he enjoys being John Cena, which is why he resisted Paul Heyman’s offer to tell the fans to shut up. Cena has something to prove against Lesnar. He must withstand the beating Lesnar is going to try to dish out, and then must overcome the punishment to win the title. The Greek god of wrestling is certain Cena will fare better in this rematch than at SummerSlam, but somehow he won’t recapture the title – unless Lesnar is going to be MIA until WrestleMania.

Aside from the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match, the most intriguing matches at Night of Champions don’t involve championships. Seth Rollins takes on Roman Reigns in a battle of former Shield members, and Randy Orton clashes with Chris Jericho.

It was a bit surprising to see Reigns beat Rollins clean on RAW. Another clean win for Reigns on Sunday doesn’t make sense. Either Rollins is going to get payback with a win Sunday or the match will include the return of Dean Ambrose, the other Shield member.

Orton and Jericho are both seasoned pros. They should produce a terrific match. If Jericho is about to take another hiatus to concentrate on his musical career with Fozzy, it would make sense to have Orton win.

There are four more title bouts at Night of Champions. Sheamus defends the U.S. Heavyweight Championship against Cesaro; Dolph Ziggler defends the Intercontinental Championship against former champion The Miz; Jimmy and Jey Uso defend the tag team championship against the bizarre team of Goldust and Stardust; and Paige puts the Divas Championship on the line in a triple threat match involving A.J. Lee and Nikki Bella .

Title changes are possible in all the matches in the preceding paragraph, but the most likely title change is the tag team championship. The Usos have had a good run as champions, most notably with some terrific matches against the Wyatt Family’s Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. But the time might be right for the Rhodes brothers to win this battle of brothers.

Cesaro and The Miz have a relatively equal shot at retaining their titles. Miz could beat Ziggler with some sort of chicanery involving Damien Mizdow, The Miz’s “stunt double.” There isn’t as much of a storyline involved, but Cesaro has an equally decent chance of winning the U.S. Championship. Achilles Heel only sees one of these two titles changing hands.

The Divas title could also change hands. Achilles Heel envisions a scenario in which Nikki steals a victory, leaving “frenemies” A.J. Lee and Paige competing with each other to regain the Divas title.

In a battle of powerhouses, Mark Henry squares off with Rusev. Whether this takes one match or two, Rusev needs to come out on top so he can take the next step up the ladder. Achilles Heel wouldn’t be surprised if Big Show, Henry’s tag team partner, plays a role in this match.

Night of Champions should feature some tremendous in-ring action. The Lesnar-Cena main event, Orton vs. Jericho and Rollins vs. Reigns should all be very good. There is potential for the undercard also to be good, so Night of Champions has a lot of potential.

*****

TOP TRIOS: There are some very intriguing first-round matches at CHIKARA’s King of Trios – one of the Greek god of wrestling’s favorite events – which takes place Friday through Sunday at the Palmer Center in Easton.

The Spectral Envoy (Frightmare, Hallowicked and UltraMantis Black) open defense of their King of Trios title – there wasn’t a King of Trios last year while CHIKARA was on hiatus – against The Flood (Volgar, Jimmy Jacobs and former CHIKARA grand champion Eddie Kingston). In another first-round match, The Golden Trio (Icarus, Dasher Hatfield and “Mr. Touchdown” Mark Angelosetti) battle LAX (Homicide, Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero, Jr.). Achilles Heel could envision three of these four teams (except The Flood) winning King of Trios, but two of them will be eliminated in the first round.

In addition to the tournament semifinals, Saturday’s show (7 p.m.) will feature two elimination matches. One elimination match consists of Chuck Taylor, Tigre Uno, Rich Swann and Shynron. The other elimination match features A.R. Fox, The Great Sanada, Orlando Christopher and Amasis.

There will be an interactive fan conclave on Saturday (2 p.m.) and a potluck cookout on Sunday (1 p.m.).

*****

TAG TEAM EXTRAVAGANZA: TNA’s television tapings at Bethlehem wrap up Friday night with the tag team championships on the line in a Full Metal Mayhem match. This is the final match in a series featuring Matt and Jeff Hardy, Bully Ray and Devon and The Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards).

Anyone who saw these teams in action during Wednesday’s Impact Wrestling should be looking forward to Friday’s match.

*****

UNCERTAIN FUTURE: TNA doesn’t have any United States events scheduled after Friday’s matches in Bethlehem. Bound for Glory will be Oct. 12 in Tokyo, and there is a British tour set scheduled for January, but there aren’t any U.S. dates on the horizon.

Achilles Heel gets the feeling TNA is taping as many editions of Impact Wrestling as it can this week in Bethlehem so it can bide some time as it continues television negotiations, which will have a major effect on the company’s future.

*****

GET INTO THE RING: Ring of Honor will hold a tryout camp on Oct. 18-19 at the Ring of Honor Dojo in Bristol (Bucks County). Instructors include the recently dethroned Ring of Honor world champion, Michael Elgin, Ring of honor TV champion Jay Lethal, Roderick Strong and head trainer Delirious.

The camp is limited to 35 applicants. The registration fee is $300. For more information, click here.

 

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