Weekend Wrestling Podcast – Episode 03 – October 30, 2016

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On this week’s edition of the Weekend Wrestling Podcast, we go over Hell In A Cell 2016 predictions for tonight, the debacle that was this week’s episode of Raw, the No-Chin Music Heard Round The World, and Mother Nature Mickie James making her return to the WWE facing Asuka at NXT Takeover: Toronto for the NXT Women’s Title!

Sadly, I didn’t watch Lucha Underground this week, so there’s no review for it in this episode, but I’ll resume reviewing it next week.

I’ve just been really busy with midterms and big projects these past couple of weeks, so this podcast is a lot more off the cuff than usual. I really like the feel of this episode, so I’ll be using this format from now on, but better organized and less of me skimming through some things. Again, I was really busy this week, so apologies for rushing through some topics.

Weekend Wrestling Podcast – Episode 02 – October 22, 2016

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Non-WWE Wrestling News (From SEScoops)
  • Billy Corgan’s Lawsuit Hearing Delayed
    • The first hearing in the case of Billy Corgan’s lawsuit against TNA, originally set for October 20th, has been rescheduled for October 26th. The temporary restraining order that Corgan got against TNA last week will be reevaluated at that hearing, and the judge will hear his request for a temporary injunction. With the lawsuit sealed, it’s still unclear what specifically he’s trying to stop.
  • The Fight Network’s Parent Company Confirms ‘Working Capital Loan’ to TNA
    • The Fight Network has issued the following statement:
      • Toronto – Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp. (“Anthem”), the parent company of Fight Network, today confirmed that it recently made a working capital loan to fund the operations of TNA Impact Wrestling. Fight Network is a licensee of TNA programming for broadcast in the U.S., Canada and other international markets, and is also the exclusive licensee of TNA for streaming Internet-delivered TV.
      • Fight Network has also offered to provide TNA Impact Wrestling with funding to repay the loans made by Mr. Billy Corgan and is positioned to provide additional transitional assistance to the company.
      • “TNA is a strong property for Fight Network and as a licensee and global distribution partner we have a keen interest in seeing the company not only survive but continue to grow and thrive, alongside our own growth,” said Leonard Asper, CEO of Anthem. “We are hopeful that the company can soon get back to doing what it does best, which is to produce great wrestling content.”
    • Note that this only takes care of the debt to Corgan and not TNA’s debts to Aroluxe Media, Audience of One Productions, American Express, The Navarre Corporation, etc. But it’s a life raft that will presumably lead to the resolution of Corgan’s lawsuit.
  • Bubba Ray Dudley Continues To Tease A WWE Return
    • The Dudley Boyz bid farewell to the WWE Universe on RAW back in August, the night after SummerSlam. The two were laid out by Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, leading many to believe their departure was a storyline to set up a feud between the two teams. Since then, Bubba has been working independent dates while D-von is now working as a producer backstage. Over the past week, Bubba Ray sent out several tweets indicating he is getting the itch to step back in a WWE ring.
Raw News
  • Paige Comments On Her Surgery: 3 Screws In Her Neck, Hernia Worse Than Expect
    • Paige underwent successful neck surgery on Wednesday and is now starting the long road to recovery. The procedure was performed in Tampa by Dr. Juan Uribe, the same surgeon who operated on Tyson Kidd’s neck. Paige revealed the damage was worse than expected and her neck has been ‘straightened out’ with the help of 3 screws.
Raw Review
Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho come out to cut a promo to begin the show. Owens said that Raw General Manager Mick Foley clearly has a vendetta against him, putting him in the HIAC match in an attempt to shorten his career.
Jericho then goes off on the referee for his match against Rollins that he lost last week, and of course puts him on The List.
I love that Jericho put some decals on the back of his List, and it’s great how over The List is!
Owens then says that he’s already replaced Rollins as The Man and that he’s gonna retire Rollins at HIAC. #RedesignRebuildReclaimRetire
Rollins comes out to make fun of Jericho’s scarf, mustache, and trunks, calling him Sparklecrotch.
I thought this line was clever initially, but when he had to explain it to Jericho and then kept on repeating it in hopes that the crowd would start chanting it, which they eventually did, it killed it for me.
Props to Jericho for selling Sparklecrotch not only in this segment, but in the match that followed!
Jericho then put Rollins on The List, and in order to put a rift between the two, Rollins said that Jericho should put his friendship with Owens on The List. After some more verbal jousting, Jericho told Owens to go in the back so he can beat Rollins on his own, and after he walked to the back, the match got underway.
I really love the dynamic between Jericho and KO, and I’m sad that WWE is creating tension to tease a split between the two. I’m sure they’d have kick-ass matches against each other, but they work too well as a team and I don’t want to see them split this early. Now this early split could be so Jericho has an out to go on tour with Fozzy in 2017. It’ll be a dark day for WWE when Jericho decides to go on tour with Fozzy, as he’s been the most consistently entertaining performer in the company.
CHRIS JERICHO vs. SETH ROLLINS
Lots of near-falls and finisher-counters here. Owens later came out to stand at ringside to watch the match, despite being explicitly told by Jericho to stay in the back.
Rollins got into a Walls of Jericho and was reaching for the rope for the break, but Owens pulled the rope away. The ref caught him and was scolding Owens for a bit and made Jericho break the hold.
After countering some more finishers, Rollins eventually hooks in the Pedigree for the win. Owens then walks to the back.
After the match, we see a quick throwback clip of Goldberg beating his first opponent in WCW, Hugh Morrus. This is the first of four clips that they aired to not only get the nostalgia-gasms going, but to help fill in younger viewers who may not know about Goldberg. And I think they were effective in building up Goldberg’s eventual arrival mainly because they were short and sweet.
We then see the interview Lita did with Charlotte earlier in the day.
It’s stuff like this that really drives the point home of why Charlotte is the top female performer in WWE today. Her promos are leaps and bounds above the other women, and she sounds totally natural on the mic. The other women, and let’s face it most of the men too, sound like they’re very obviously reading off a script. I really wish they’d let the people who can talk do their thing without reading lines verbatim. Just give them bullet-points and let them go. If they say something that rubs the company the wrong way, then punish them so that it discourages others from doing the same, just like they did with the Blood Ban when they went PG.
Backstage, Jericho is visibly upset with Owens for coming to the ring when he said not to. Jericho stopped mid-sentence when he almost called Owens a stupid idiot. They continue to argue when Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon clips the mic and tells them to basically get their shit together because she needs them for Survivor Series to lead the charge against Smackdown.
I’m curious to see who they’ll be teamed up with at Survivor Series.
SHEAMUS (w/Cesaro) vs. BIG E. (w/Xavier, Kofi Kingston)
The match was largely forgettable, except for Cesaro on Facebook Live and going out into the crowd. Sheamus then got mad and yanked his phone away, which got some loud boos. Cesaro then got his phone back, and Shemus said to record the best Brogue Kick ever. Big E then surprised Sheamus with a corner splash and a schoolboy for the win.
We then see another throwback clip of Goldberg vs Hollywood Hogan for the WCW World Title, where Goldberg became the first and only undefeated man to win the WCW World Title.
After that, we go to the announcers interviewing Paul Heyman via satellite. Heyman then advises Goldberg to not accept the match against Brock Lesner, because if he does, it’ll “piss Brock Lesner off”.
Pretty short, but it does the job in getting the crowd hyped up for Goldberg.
Then, we cut to Byron Saxton interviewing three lanky jobbers who call themselves The Mile High Club.
Full disclosure here, I don’t watch any of these shows live. I watch Raw and Smackdown on Hulu, which cuts out a good portion of the fluff. So I haven’t seen any of these Braun Strowman or Nia Jax squash matches before, and I was wondering why they decided to leave this match in on the Hulu version of Raw.
BRAUN STROWMAN vs. MILE HIGH TRIO
The match begins with Strowman looking like a beast throwing these guys around and pulling off some brutal offense. He got the win via a big-ass powerslam and dropping one of the other guys on top while he pinned them both.
If this match followed the same rules of the Triple Threat at No Mercy, then that pin wouldn’t have counted, but hey, #RawLogic.
Strowman then cuts a promo on Foley once again to say if he won’t give Strowman the competition he wants, then he’ll go into the back and find some himself. Then Sami Zayn’s music hits and they have a staredown in the ring. Zayn shoved Strowman, which prompted him to shove poor Zayn from the ring to nearly through the guardrail. Zayn sold it like a million bucks.
Backstage, Zayn was asked why he would pick a fight with Strowman, and he replied that because nobody else will.
I’m glad that they’re finally doing something with Strowman other than the usual squash matches that he’s been doing since the brand split several months ago. And I’m also especially glad that Zayn is finally doing something! After his feud with Owens was blown off, he’s been lost in the shuffle up to this point. Which is sad considering how over he was in NXT, how likeable he is even on the main roster, and just how good of a worker he is. I’m not sure if this will either lead up to a feud or if Zayn will be just another victim to Strowman.
Rusev and Lana come out to show off Rusev’s family via slideshow, just like their wedding. I was hoping that his family would get cheers of “Mama Rusev” or something of the like, but they just booed the whole time. I laughed hard when Rusev defended his mother with “Don’t you dare boo my mother!”.
Then Roman Reigns comes out to interrupt the segment, and it’s so blatantly obvious that they do this segments to get Reigns cheers when he walks out to the ring. It’s just sad how hard WWE Creative is working to get people to like this guy. Just turn him heel already so that we can cheer him and he can turn back organically.
After some jaw-jacking, Rusev kicks Reigns in the head, throws him into the barricade, and then into the ring steps. Rusev then brings the steps into the ring and threw Reigns into them again. Rusev then slaps on The Accolade with Reigns on the steps.
We then get another Goldberg throwback clip to him spearing The Rock back in 2003.
Then we cut to Lita interviewing Sasha Banks earlier that day. Sasha does her usual “Women’s revolution this, little girl that” filled promo.
To be fair, it did do its job in saying that Sasha isn’t afraid of Charlotte and that they’ll make history together in The Cell.
We then see the final Goldberg throwback clip of the night, where he beat Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship.
T.J. PERKINS & CEDRIC ALEXANDER & RICH SWANN vs. BRIAN KENDRICK & DREW GULAK & TONY NESE
A couple of good spots here, but this was clearly designed to hype up the TJP vs Kendrick Cruiserweight Championship match at HIAC, so everyone else was secondary in this match.
Kendrick got the win via a Captain’s Hook on Swann. Guess he couldn’t handle that 😉
I did like how Nese was holding TJP back to prevent him from breaking the hold on Swann, and TJP was really selling the helplessness of being unable to save Swann from the dastardly Kendrick. Still waiting for some unorthodox tricks from The Crafty Veteran.
After seemingly inhaling some helium, Stephanie apologized to Foley for answering Shane’s challenge without first consulting him. Foley then suggested a Raw main event of Jericho vs. Owens vs. Rollins for next week. Steph said she doesn’t like it, she loves it. He offered a high-five and said they have a connection. She asked if it was like the Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection. They did a leaping high-five and Foley walked away.
I really got flashback to when Stephanie first had an on-screen role back in the day as the preppy well-behaved daughter of Vince McMahon. Stephanie was really trying her damndest to come off as a bubbly babyface here, and it was pretty well-executed, but all of us fans see through the ruse and are just waiting for the other foot to drop.
We then get to the main event; Goldberg’s response to Lesner’s challenge. The buildup to this was so well done, from the clips throughout the show and when we get to see the man walking from backstage to the ring. In addition to the usual backstage staff, there were loads of wrestlers on the sides cheering him on as well. You could see everyone’s face light up and it was such a great moment! Best of all, the Denver crowd was hot for Goldberg, chanting his name the whole time!
He looked choked up from the massive pop he got, but he was anything but choked up when he got on the mic! He thanked everybody for the warm welcome after being out of the WWE for 12 years. He said that this moment is special because his wife and son are able to see him live in the ring for the first time. He’s been traveling around the world promoting WWE 2K17, and it made him think about what he missed about the business, other than kicking ass, was being a superhero for kids around the world.
He then says that he’s ruffled some feathers in the company and began to wonder if he should just keep it in the video game. Then, he said that Lesner challenged him to a fight, via Heyman, and he thought to himself if he had one more left in him. Goldberg end the promo saying that not only is Brock Lesner next, he’s last! He then goes out of the ring to hi-five and hug kids as the show closes, a very touching end to an emotional segment.
As I’ve said before, the build-up to this segment was so well done and the payoff made me feel like a little kid again, back in the day watching wrestling with my dad on the weekends! It’s pretty obvious that Goldberg didn’t need to memorize a script like everyone else, and that’s what helped sell this promo so well! Can’t wait for Lesner’s response next week!
Smackdown News
  • AJ Styles Says He Wants Shawn Michaels At Royal Rumble 2017
    • WWE World Champion AJ Styles wants to face the currently-retired Shawn Michaels at Royal Rumble. In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, “The Face That Runs The Place” said he wants Michaels in the Heart-Break Kid’s hometown of San Antonio, TX, where the 2017 Royal Rumble will be hosted.
    • “I’d love to learn from him, but who’s to say if that’s going to happen,” AJ explained. “Right now, it’s all speculation and rumors that I’m finding out like everyone else is, but man, what a match that would be.”
Smackdown Review
We start off this week’s episode of Smackdown Live with Dean Ambrose backstage showing James Ellsworth his new shirt from the WWE Shop, which is just a black shirt with an iron-on of Ellsworth making a goofy face. Or maybe that’s how it normally is…
Then we cut to Randy Orton trying to put Bray Wyatt over as the more demented of the two, which made me roll my eyes. This feud is so dead, Wyatt himself was then shown in a coffin surrounded by Black Sheep masked people.
Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper
After some back-and-forth action, Orton managed to hit his father’s old move on Harper; the Superplex.
Then the arena went black and Wyatt came out doing his best Undertaker impersonation riding in a coffin with his Black Sheep masked druids. This match almost became a Casket Match as Orton nearly tossed Harper in.
Orton went for a Draping DDT, but then Wyatt ran in and he and Harper double-teamed Orton for a DQ. After trying to get Orton in the casket, out popped Kane.
Orton and Kane were able to get the upper hand on the Wyatt and Harper, but then the Wyatt jump-scare played and they disappeared. Looking confused, Kane then did his trademark pyro bit.
I’m sorry, but I cannot for the life of me get into this feud. It’s just not doing it for me. Neither of these guys have any buzz behind them so anything they do to each other just gets a well-worn “meh” from me.
We then go backstage to AJ Styles who remarked that Ambrose will interfere somehow and that if Ellsworth wins against him tonight, it’ll be the most ridiculous upset since David Arquette won the WCW World Title back in the day. Styles says if that happens, he’ll hunt down Ambrose.
Styles was very noticeably tripping over his lines here, and he couldn’t really get his groove back. It wasn’t Titus O’Neill bad, but it was still an off promo.
Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss
Much better match this time around! Naomi does her athletic moves like a springboard crossbody and Alexa does her dastardly heel spots like a hair pull to break out of a headlock. Bliss got her win back via Twisted Bliss.
After the match, Alexa went all Snow White on us and said that the fairy tale would soon be over for Becky Lynch and that the fairest of them all will be the new Women’s Champion.
My guess is that at No Mercy, Naomi was put on the spot and went into that match with Alexa unprepared so she was off her game. Thankfully her and Alexa were able to bounce back tonight, and the right woman won this time!
Curt Hawkins vs Apollo Crews
Hawkins comes out to cut a promo on Crews before the match using verbiage even bullies in Nineties movies would cringe at. Crews popped him in the mouth, only for Hawkins to call off his re-debut match and walk to the back.
Who in their right mind would find a walking Chuck Norris Facts mixed with Eva Marie’s no-wrestling gimmick in any way entertaining in 2016?! Also, how is Hawkins depriving the audience of his matches in any way gonna get heat on this guy? The crowd was so indifferent to him walking out. This gimmick needs to die.
Carmella comes out to cut a promo on Nikki Bella, basically saying that the only reason she got anywhere in WWE is because of her boyfriend John Cena. We then see a compilation of footage from Total Divas/Bellas taken out of context to show Nikki’s needy/greedy side. Nikki then says she doesn’t need her man to fight her battles or pay her bills. She’s fearless and had to fight the odds when doctors told her she’d never wrestle again after her neck injury. Carmella then makes a few more cases of nepotism when she suggested that she used her own sister Brie to get in the ring, her boyfriend to become a celebrity, and her looks to get in the door.
Carmella is so effective as a heel! The key to being a great heel is believing that you’re in the right and that the babyface is the real heel. A good example of this is when Chris Jericho turned heel on Shawn Michaels when Michaels was faking a knee injury and later won a match Jericho was a special guest referee of. Jericho knew Michaels was using underhanded tactics to win, and was mad that he was still getting cheered by the fans regardless. And Carmella is definitely taking notes from that feud!
Dolph Ziggler & Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. The Miz and The Spirit Squad
Some pretty good back-and-forth between the teams. The crowd was hot for Slater and chanted “We Want Slater” throughout the match. Ziggler hit a superkick on Miz and got Slater the hot tag as the crowd exploded and Slater cleaned house. Rhyno jumped in and Gored Mikey. Miz got a cheap-shot in on Slater outside the ring, and he got rolled up by Kenny for the pin.
We go backstage to Smackdown GM Daniel Bryan discussing with Smackdown Commissioner Shane McMahon about the upcoming Survivor Series matches when Natalya volunteered herself to be on the Smackdown women’s team. As if a wrestler of her caliber would be overlooked when they need all hands on deck during Survivor Series. She then quotes Whitney Houston, because #LolSoRando and then shows Bryan pictures of her cat on Instagram.
Baron Corbin vs. Jack Swagger
Pretty brief match with Corbin picking up the win with End of Days. Not much to say about it, but Corbin later went on Talking Smack and put over his win against Swagger as this monumental thing considering that he’s a former world champion and amateur wrestling champion. Corbin’s promo on Talking Smack really got me to believe in this guy again, and hopefully he can do something good with Swagger or someone else in the future!
We then cut backstage again with Natalya continuing to bore Bryan to death with cat pics when Ambrose walks by with a ref shirt on. Bryan said that he couldn’t be the ref for tonight’s main event, but he could do whatever else he wanted, like color commentator, timekeeper, announcer, etc. Ambrose said yes and walked off, Bryan not sure which one he agreed to.
After Styles and Ellsworth were in the ring, Ambrose came in to announce the competitors for the main event. He really hyped up Ellsworth as the second coming of Muhammad Ali or something, while getting in some digs at Styles
AJ Styles vs. James Ellsworth
Ambrose clanked the bell continuously for about 30 seconds to eventually start the match.
During the match, Ambrose got on the house mic to plug Ellsworth’s new limited edition shirt on WWE Shop, much to the chagrin of Styles. Styles then went to give Ellsworth a Superplex, but Ambrose interrupted again to plug the show’s sponsor; Verizon.
Styles tries to put Ellsworth in a chinlock that he immediately escapes from, which was hilarious! Ellsworth hits a superkick that David Otunga called “No Chin Music”. Styles sold it like he got shot! Ellsworth then covered for a near fall that got a MASSIVE pop! Styles attacked Ellsworth in the corner, and Ambrose continued instigating him by calling him a soccer mom, which prompted “Soccer Mom” chants from the hot crowd. Styles continued to assault Ellsworth in the corner and didn’t break out after 5 counts by the ref, so Styles was DQ’d and Ellsworth won the match!!
Afterwards, Ambrose announces Styles the loser, Styles attacks him, and Ambrose hooks in the Dirty Deeds to lay him out. Then without missing a beat, Ambrose picks up the mic and announces Ellsworth the winner, and someone who had more wins over Styles than even John Cena! Ambrose celebrates with an unconscious Ellsworth as the show ends.
I dunno about you guys, but I’m really loving this addition of Ellsworth to the Ambrose/Styles feud!
With Cena filming for his TV show American Grit and generally out doing John Cena things on TV, he’s gonna be preoccupied for quite some time.
Aside from maybe a quick cameo, I’m not expecting Cena to be back until the beginning of 2017 for the Royal Rumble. So I don’t mind that WWE is killing some time and not having Ambrose and Styles go at it one-on-one all the time.
However, I don’t want this Ellsworth angle to be driven into the ground for the next couple of months left in the year, so I hope that they have another guy for Styles to face between now and The Rumble to keep things fresh. And hey, Ambrose could also feud with this other guy too, on account of him moving into his territory with Styles.
NXT News
–         Adam Rose is teasing a return to WWE after his domestic violence dispute with his ex-wife
–         WWE Developmental Talent Arrested & Suspended
o   24 year old Terrance Jean-Jacques, a former collegiate wrestler who was signed to a WWE developmental deal back in April, was arrested in North Andover, MA on Sunday and arraigned Wednesday on charges of assault and battery, kidnapping, witness intimidation, destruction of property and threatening to commit a crime. The news was first reported by The Eagle-Tribune.
o   Jean-Jacques allegedly hit his pregnant girlfriend, who was with his parents in court yesterday. A judge ordered him to be held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Tuesday. He was said to be on the verge of tears while in court. His mother asked the judge to release him to their care, as he’s scheduled for surgery this week, but the judge denied the request.
o   Jean-Jacques has been training at the WWE Performance Center but he has since been suspended. WWE confirmed the suspension to Prowrestling.net, “We have zero tolerance for matters involving domestic violence, and per our policy, Terrance Jean-Jacques has been suspended indefinitely following his arrest.”
NXT Review
We start off with a very well put-together recap of the events that have transpired between Samoa Joe & Shinsuke Nakamura these past couple of weeks.
No Way Jose & Rich Swann vs Tony Nese & Drew Gulak
God the sheer amount of cheers Jose and Swann got were astronomical! The “Can You Handle This?” “No Way Jose” back and forth chants in the beginning of this match got me super-hyped! These guys had a great match with Swann doing a superb Tope Con Hilo on I believe it was Gulak.
Despite Nese being jacked to the gills, he was outmuscled by Jose throughout the match, which I didn’t like. Jose was the only non-Cruiserweight in this match, so yeah, it made sense for him to use his weight advantage on Nese and Gulak, but it still made Nese look weak by comparison. Jose didn’t BURY the guy, but he certainly didn’t do him any favors.
Jose got the win for his team via a Half-Nelson Slam into a pin on Gulak to advance to the second round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
After the match, Swann and Jose cut a short promo saying there was “no way” they were going out in the first round, and asking their second round opponents, The Authors of Pain, if they could “handle it”. These guys gel so perfectly as a tag team that I’m sad it’ll likely end after the Dusty Classic wraps up because Swann is on the Raw Cruiserweight division and Jose is still in NXT. Sure, Jose could get the call-up, but they’re not gonna have Swann break away from the Cruiserweight division to have him do something else on Raw. The division needs all the people it can get at this point.
We cut to the Trainer’s Room where Tye Dillinger is getting looked over by either medical staff or a trainer (not sure) and demands a match with Bobby Roode at Takeover: Toronto, which we’re told has already been approved by NXT General Manager William Regal. I’m still sad that we didn’t get a longer run with Glorious Ten, but I have a good feeling about their match at Takeover, which will be a homecoming for Roode.
Backstage, Austin Aries cuts a promo mocking Hideo Itami for dropping out of the Dusty Classic due to injury. Aries goes on to say that his tag team partner is the only athlete who deserves to tag with him.
Bobby Roode vs. Sean Maluta
Not much to say about the match itself. Maluta got a couple moves in, but was dominated by Roode, who won via pinfall after a Glorious Drop aka Lifting DDT.
After his win, Roode cut a promo on Dillinger saying he doesn’t know why he’s upset since Roode tried to lift him out of mediocrity into something more Glorious. Dillinger ran to the ring and got in some great offense against Roode. The crowd was super-into their brawl and Roode eventually bails.
We then cut backstage to an interview with Liv Morgan being asked about Peyton Royce costing her match against Billie Kay last week. As Liv is about to respond, both Billie and Peyton jump her and give her a helluva beating that eventually leads out to the stage, where referees attend to Liv as Peyton and Billie cut a short promo, putting the entire women’s division on notice, including Asuka. I’m sure Mickey James might have something to say about that…
Austin Aries & Mystery Partner (Roderick Strong) vs. Otis Dozovic & Tucker Knight
After Aries makes his way to the ring, it’s revealed that his tag team partner is none other than the former Mr. ROH, Roderick Strong! I’ve heard a lot about this guy, but have never seen him wrestle before. I was worried at first about the very lukewarm response to Strong’s entrance from the normally rambunctious Full Sail crowd, but they eventually started up a couple “Roddy!” chants, so there’s hope for the guy.
I also assumed that this would be a quick and decisive win for Aries and Strong since he’s debuting, but to my surprise, these guys put on a very competitive match that was easily Match of The Night! Lots of big man double-team moves by Dozovic and Knight as well!
Strong did pick up the win for his team via a Gutbuster/dropkick double-team into a pin to advance to the second round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, and while I’m looking forward to seeing them advance, I’m also looking forward to seeing more of Dozovic and Knight as a tag team, most likely after the Dusty Classic wraps up!
We then cut to Andrade “Cien” Almas cutting a promo in Spanish that’s being translated by Andrea D’Marco. Almas is basically upset because he had to give up his mask to come to NXT, and that the respect he deserves in return for that hasn’t been reciprocated. Now, he’s only in it for himself.
You know, I’d be upset too if I had to give up my mask to dress up like a Chippendales dancer and have the crowd not give a shit about me, so this heel turn is fully justified! I’m really hoping that he steps up his in-ring game too since he’s been average at best lately, and after what we’ve seen from other luchadores in the CWC, it’s really making him look worse by comparison.
Nikki Cross vs Danielle Kamela
Nikki acts crazy throughout this match, including biting and scratching herself, and gets the pin via a swinging fisherman’s neck breaker. After winning, Nikki then continues to beat down Danielle to the point that the referee REVERSES THE DECISION and awards Danielle the win via DQ. What. The. Actual. Fuck? There have been countless post-match beat-downs by heels over the years, and I have NEVER heard of a ref reversing his decision based on a post-match beating! What the hell was he thinking?!
We then go to the main event of the night with Shinsuke Nakamura coming out to address Samoa Joe. A very serious Nakamura tells Joe that he can try all of his dirty tricks, but he plans on beating Joe with no mercy. The Prince wannabe Patrick Clark comes out to make some Prince references and gets whipped by Nakamura pretty quickly.
I still say that Clark looks like the gay black guy from Revenge of The Nerds, so I was hoping that his new character would be more of that and less of a Prince rip-off. You know, the kind you’d find in a second-hand store. 😉
Joe then comes down the ramp, to which Nakamura lays the finishing touch on Clark with a Kinshasa and tells Joe to bring it, but he backs away.
Aside from the incredibly random and very much unneeded appearance of Clark, this segment got me excited for a serious Nakamura! He’s always been a laid-back guy who kicks ass, but this side of him is a new dimension for his character that I like! His English skills are honestly the only thing holding him back from the main roster at this point, but he’ll be a shoe-in once he gets his Eigo down-pat!
Lucha Underground Review
– Lucha Underground Title Match: The Monster Matanza Cueto defeated Killshot @ 4:05 via pin [***]
– For a Unique Opportunity Match: Drago defeated Fenix and Aerostar @ 8:45 via pin [***½]
– Prince Puma defeated Mil Muertes @ 8:50 via pin [***¾]
We open this episode with Vampiro meeting with Prince Puma to wish him luck in his match with Mil Muertes. Vamp was going to offer assistance, but Puma refused, saying that he’s rather die by Muertes’ hands than live by Vampiro’s. Super-cool line!! Vamp then predicts that Muertes would die by Puma’s hands.
Full disclosure here, I have never watched Lucha Underground until very recently, although I have been listening to the goings-on via Solomonster’s podcast for some time. In preparation for adding Lucha Underground on my To-Review List, I caught up on the rest of Season 3 previous to this episode so I’d have at least some idea of what’s going on here fresh in my mind. I wanted to binge-watch Seasons 1 and 2 as well, but I’ve already got enough wrestling on my plate as it is, so maybe some other time.
Meanwhile, back at ringside, Dario Cueto comes out to spin his Dial of Doom to randomly select a challenger for his brother and Lucha Underground Champion, The Monster Matanza Cueto. The dial lands on Killshot and the match gets underway!
Lucha Underground Title Match: The Monster Matanza Cueto vs. Killshot
With a bandaged back from his Weapons of Mass Destruction match, Killshot is selling it well throughout this match. Matanza pulls off some brutal clotheslines and other offense, but Killshot had him in a MACH hold, which as a Veteran perked my interest to see an actual move we were taught to defend ourselves in close unarmed combat being used here by someone with the gimmick of a Marine Veteran. Props for doing your research!
 Killshot got some good offense in, which got the crowd hyped, but he missed his double stomp which led to Matanza nearly decapitating him with a running elbow, then finished him off with Wrath of The Gods into a pin to retain his title.
I really love how Matanza is basically like Jason Vorhees, right down to the mask and coveralls! Although not super-tall, he’s tall enough and more than powerful enough to pull out some monster moves! Plus I love how invested Dario is with his matches, being his de-facto manager.
After the match, an unknown man walks out to the ring. Killshot looks like he’s seen a ghost, even touching him to see if he’s real and then hugging him. The mystery man then kicks Killshot in the face and beats him down. He then stands over Killshot, dropping his tags on him and saying that he left him for dead. Great way to set up a feud between these two and I’m excited for how it’ll turn out!
After a vignette for someone or some group called White Rabbit, Dario comes out again to announce the return of Aztec Warfare in four weeks! Seeing as no one has come close to defeating his brother Matanza, in order to give him a real challenge, he’s decided that Matanza will defend his title in the Aztec Warfare match itself and will enter at Number 1! Dario then says that he wants Fenix, who is in the ring with his teammates Aerostar and Drago, to have the chance to enter at Number 20, but he’ll have to fight his own teammates and win. Dario then adds a twist: whoever loses will NOT be in Aztec Warfare!
For a Unique Opportunity Match: Fenix vs. Aerostar vs. Drago
Great balls-to-the-wall match!! As Trios Tag Champions, these guys obviously know each other very well and it shows here!
Fenix gets his mouth and nose bloodied up via a superkick from Drago, which really sticks out from his white mask! They then do a three-way submission spot ala the Triple Threat match from No Mercy last week, but they end up breaking it to continue the match.
Drago hits a Destroyer on Fenix and a Blockbuster DDT into a pin on Aerostar to win the match! So Drago will be entering the Aztec Warfare match at Number 20 while his Trios teammates will be sitting on the sidelines. I’m wondering if this will cause friction between them leading up to Aztec Warfare, which I’m guessing is Dario’s plan.
We go backstage to the dressing room, where Drago is looking in a mirror and Kobra Moon arrives. She says that she expects him to win the title and bring it back to the tribe. Drago says that he left the tribe a long time ago never to return. Then Creepy Vinnie, eating some pizza, shows up and says he thought this was the men’s room.
We then cut to Dario’s office where Johnny Mundo says he needs to be the champion and tells Dario he’s desperate. He has Dario’s briefcase from season one still full of the money Dario paid him, well $93,000 of it (he had to pay off some issues with an internet photo). He wants a match with Sexy Star, and Dario says he gets a Gift of the Gods Title shot against her next week. Not sure what the backstory is here since I didn’t watch Season 1 yet, but my guess is that Mundo will try to pull a fast one on Sexy Star and get her Gift of The Gods Championship, which I’ll explain what it is for those who don’t know. I originally thought that The Gift of The Gods Title was Lucha Underground’s secondary belt, like the US Title or the Intercontinental Title, but it’s more like their version of the Money In The Bank briefcase where you can cash in the title for a shot at the Lucha Underground Championship, but you have to give the champion at least one week’s notice.
Mil Muertes vs. Prince Puma
This was a kick-ass match!! Something interesting that I noticed was that Muertes was using a big wooden chair to hit Puma instead of the usual steel, which to me looked much heavier and probably hit harder than its thinner steel counterpart. Lots of great high spots in this match as well, with Puma doing a crazy-high dive out of the bleachers onto Muertes at one point!
Puma managed to escape out of Muertes’ finisher, The Flatliner, with elbows and kicks. Muertes tosses him into the corner for a series of clotheslines, but missed one and ended up getting the post instead. Puma knocked him down with some kicks and hit the 630 for the win! So it looks like Puma got his win back after losing his Lucha Underground Title to Muertes back at Ultima Lucha, which will be good fuel for their inevitable next match!
We close out the show with Rey Mysterio in a very Japanese looking set, discussing his feud with Chavo Guerrero to an unknown person and asks them where Mysterio will stand with the family if he battled Chavo. The unknown person is then revealed to be Chavo Classic, Chavo’s father. Chavo Classic asks Mysterio if he was sure that fighting Chavo was the only way. Mysterio then says that either Chavo goes, or he does.
About WWP
I’m your host TheAndySan! Join me as we go over WWE programming like Raw, Smackdown Live, NXT, and PPVs/Network Specials (when shown), as well as Lucha Underground!!

What Matters Is That You Start

So before we begin, I want to give a quick update on where I’ve been lately since I haven’t uploaded any new or reuploaded videos or made a new blog post in awhile.

I’ve been busy wrapping up Summer I semester projects as well as working a lot at McD to catch up on bills that I fell behind on those last couple of months when I was unemployed. I feel like I’ve turned a dark corner in my life and that I’m in a much better position than I was at the beginning of the year or even the beginning of the summer. Come Fall semester, I should be much better prepared. Just gotta work on my time management, you know?

Anyway, new and old stuff will be coming soon so stay tuned! Now onto the post!!

 

Getting Started on YouTube Today

I was browsing around my YouTube Subscriptions and came across this video:

When I began YouTube back in 2006, it was a lot harder to get into making videos because you had to have a digital camera since there were no cell phones with video cameras on them at that time (or at least decent ones that weren’t insanely expensive). Now, with a camera on every phone, it’s almost TOO easy to get started making a video for YouTube.

But over this past decade, more and more YouTubers have joined the platform and the upload and production quality has significantly increased. This is both good and bad in that there are some very legit looking videos on YouTube now that could very easily be aired on TV without anyone batting an eye at the production quality, but at the same time, it’s getting more and more intimidating for new YouTubers starting out.

Just know that when everybody starts out, we’re not that good. We suck. We’re awkward on camera and we don’t yet know what we want our channel to be. THIS IS NORMAL. Go back and look at ANY big YouTuber’s first couple of videos and compare them to their videos today and you’ll see a HUGE difference.

Once you get into the groove of making videos, then you can begin to add the cool special FX, intro, green screen, better camera, and all that stuff. All of it is secondary to the video itself, the CONTENT if you will. None of the cool whizbang FX are gonna save an inherently crappy video.

It doesn’t matter what you start off with when you decide to make YouTube videos; what matters is that you start.

TheAndySan

My Thoughts On What YouTubers Should Be

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post: My Thoughts On What J-Vlogging Should Be.

 

I was talking to one of my friends on Facebook about how the current J-Vlog scene seems so artificial and he was upset that I would imply that the newer YouTubers (he thinks that the new wave of J-Vloggers aren’t J-Vloggers but rather YouTubers who live in Japan and make videos about Japan and talk about Japan. Yeah, doesn’t sound like something a J-Vlogger would ever do /s) are being lazy or cheap in their efforts. I want to make this its own post rather than just add it to my previous one, so let me do some clarification.

 

What?! YouTubers Are Lazy?!!

 

I’m not saying they’re not putting in any effort, quite the opposite.

 

The thing that’s bugging me about how “People Who Are Totally Not J-Vloggers Who Live In Japan And Make YouTube Videos Showing Notable Parts of Japan And Occasionally Making Social Commentary About The Culture of Japan” (yup, totes not J-Vloggers /s) is that their videos are too slickly produced and it creates a distance between the YouTuber and the audience because the YouTuber has made this idealized version of themself that the audience can’t relate to.

 

I feel that as a YouTuber, you have to be 100% yourself, warts and all. When I met up with other YouTubers in Japan, I got a couple comments about how “it really was me” when they finally met me in person, and that made me so happy. As Kurt Bell aka SoftyPapa once said, “The message sent is never the message received” and I was initially afraid that the YouTubers I was meeting would have the wrong impression about me from my videos, but thankfully that wasn’t the case. Speaking of Kurt, he’s a great example of an authentic YouTuber!

 

I know a lot of people were upset that he left Japan and wants nothing to do with making videos about it anymore, but that’s his prerogative. He was upfront about his frustrations and shortcomings living in Japan, so he decided to move back to Cali.

 

If he wanted to be “a YouTuber trying their best to make big videos that will attract an audience”, in order to retain that large audience he gained, he would have either tried to stay in Japan or continued to talk about his time in Japan while in the States, even though he doesn’t want to do it. But he stuck to what he believes in, told everybody what was going on, and explained the refocus of his main channel, and I respect him a lot for that.

 

What About YouTube Shows?! 

 

I know some people might be thinking, “But Andy! What about the people on YouTube shows? Are the characters on these shows not real YouTubers?!”

 

There’s certainly a place for characters on YouTube, but you have to be upfront with your audience that this is a character you’re performing and not who you really are. Otherwise people are going to get the wrong idea about you and not take what you have to say seriously when you do try to be authentic.

 

What Are Your Thoughts On What YouTubers Should Be?

 

I’d like to know what you guys think about this! Let me know in the comments below!

 

TheAndySan

My Thoughts On What J-Vlogging Should Be

It’s been a week since I made a post, but I’ve been very busy with work and school so it’s hard to find the right time and creative headspace to sit down and write something. Until today! 😀

 

There’s been something that I wanted to talk to you guys about, but I didn’t quite know how to approach it. I still don’t, but I’m gonna give it a shot anyway.

 

I’d like to talk about what I think J-Vlogging (Japan Video Logging) should be about (hence the title).

 

I’m sad that the community lately has been largely focused more on the inner drama between a couple people (who they are changes with the weather it seems, so no use in naming names), going to well-known spots in Tokyo making Travel Channel-like videos, and making the occasional “Is Japan Racist?” video (this doesn’t happen as often as it used to, but it still happens more than it should).

 

I’ve been a member of the community since its inception at the beginning of YouTube. I’ve seen lots of great J-Vloggers come and go, I’ve seen the community at its zenith, and I’ve seen it split off into the different subgenres of J-Vlogging that we see today.

 

I’d like to think that during my first time in Japan from 2013-2015, the AndyJapandy series was an authentic POV of my stay there. I was very hesitant on using B-Roll and doing voice-over for that stuff like I’ve seen so many other channels do because I feared that it’ll come off as pretentious and I’ll lose that connection with the people that watch. I also didn’t want to come off as a subject matter expert who knows every little thing about Japan because while I do know a lot about Japan, there’s still much I don’t know. However, I want to share what I do know and share my experiences without just making it a blank slate for anyone to insert themselves into to experience Japan vicariously. To me, it’s very personal.

 

Not sure if any of this made sense, but that’s just my feelings towards J-Vlogging; it should be about YOUR experiences in Japan and not a Travel Channel show about notable spots in Japan. You can show off those spots, but remember that it’s about YOUR experience there first and foremost.

 

If there are any J-Vloggers out there reading this, it’s not a dig on you guys; these are just, well, my own thoughts and opinions on J-Vlogging and you’re more than free to agree or disagree with me.

 

On that note, I’d also like to open the floor to you guys. Tell me what you think about the J-Vlogging community today. Is the TV show-esque voice over of B-roll footage what people like more than the original vlogging style of face in front of the camera and then voice behind the camera focusing on the scene? Or are those styles simply just different instead of one being better than the other? Just remember to be civil in the comments; no need to start a flame war here 😀

 

TheAndySan

Good News & Bad News On My Study Abroad To Japan

So I just got back from school today after talking to my VA coordinator, and it turns out that my Post 9/11 GI Bill won’t cover study abroad costs or even the courses offered there. If I were to do the study abroad, the funding would have to come out of scholarships, grants, and out-of-pocket.

 

This is both good and bad in that while I can’t use the GI Bill at all during the study abroad, I will be able to resume using it when I come back. It’ll suck not having a monthly source of income from BAH while abroad, but I do have plans on applying for scholarships to help fund my stay in Japan.

 

In addition to scholarships, I’m also looking into other ways of funding such as GoFundMe. It’s still very early to announce my GoFundMe campaign because I need to look up what scholarships are available to me and the expenses incurred from studying abroad. That way, I can list a breakdown of everything so you’ll know exactly what you’re funding instead of me just putting up “Hey! I wanna go 2 Japan! Halp meee!”.

 

After work tonight, I’m going to email the study abroad coordinator for more info and to figure out where to go from here. I’m not considering the inability to use my GI Bill abroad as a solid NO for going back to Japan, but rather an extra roadblock for me to overcome. Once I get more info about scholarships and other means of funding, then I can establish a plan for getting back out there again.

 

Well, I have work soon so I’m gonna get ready. Bye guys!

 

TheAndySan

Feeling Deflated Lately

My financial situation is really wearing on me. It sucks not being able to do anything. Sure I could go out and walk around town, but it’s just a barrage of stuff that I can’t buy, and that’s depressing. Not that I want to buy a lot of things, but it’s nice to know I can if I want to.

I don’t really feel sad about it since I’ll be getting paid in a week, but I’m not happy either. As the title says, I feel deflated; a real lack of energy.

I’ve also been cutting back my coffee consumption to just 1 cup a day instead of 2 in order to save on coffee and to better sleep at night. Despite those benefits (I’ve been sleeping really good lately), my mind has been feeling really sluggish and doing anything seems to be an ordeal.

 

Back To Japan In 2017?!

In happier news, I’ve been looking into study abroad programs in Japan offered at WMU and I’ve found one that I really like; the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU) in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture. It is a very scenic area with Hikone Castle and Lake Biwa very close by, and it’s only a 45-90 minute train ride to Kyoto, Osaka, and Nagoya, so there’s plenty to do and see! It’s gonna be about a year or two before I’m eligible for the program as I’m still a freshman and need to bump up my GPA a bit more. It should be good come 2017, but my rental contract doesn’t expire until April 2017 so I’ll have to stay here until then at least. Thankfully, the program seems flexible enough for me to start in the fall of 2017, but I need to talk to the program coordinator to see about expenses and if the Post 9/11 GI Bill will still cover me while in Japan. From what I’ve read, it should; but it’s best to make sure.

Also, just a little side note here, but if I do end up going back to Japan in 2017, it’ll coincide with the 10 year anniversary of Rodger Swan’s Tokyo Swan series, which started on September 19th 2007! It’s funny because we’re both J-vloggers and from WMU, although Rodger went to Keio in Tokyo.

I talked about the program and how excited I was to be possibly coming back to Japan, but a lot of my friends pointed out the amount of money that I need to get over there. It’s gonna take some time and I’ll have to sell a lot of my things to help cover the initial expenses. Thankfully from what I’ve read, as long as I’m still a full-time student I can also collect BAH even in Japan! I’m not sure what the dorm costs will be out there, but my expenses should be significantly lower once I get myself situated. I also still have my Japanese cell phone from when I was in Yokosuka, so I could get it reactivated at Softbank while I’m in Japan, so that’s one less thing to buy.

 

Gonna Watch Some Anime, BRB

Well, I’m gonna watch some good ol’ anime to relax tonight. I’m thinking first season of Genshiken (the best IMO) and then maybe finish up where I left off with the second season if there’s time. See ya guys!!

 

TheAndySan

Got My First Check From McDonald’s…

…and it was only $18! What’s a guy to do with that? Why, buy a 4.5 pound (2 kg) bag of chicken nuggets of course! Hey guys, Andy here in the wee hours of the night!

In super awesome news, I just passed 300 followers on Instagram! Thanks so much, everybody! I know I don’t post as many pictures there as I used to when I was in Japan, but I’m so grateful for the support!

Watchin’ Teh Animuus

Lately, I’ve been getting back into anime. I really like to find older series because it was before the moe boom in the 00s, which got tiring to watch all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed most of those moe series, but when that’s the only thing being made, it gets boring and you begin to notice the cookie-cutter anime-by-numbers approach these series like to do. Oh, that’s the glasses one. That’s the normal one, That’s the clumsy one. That’s the one with the tig ol’ biddies. That’s the one who’s flat-chested. It became so easy to spot, and sadly, they didn’t get much character development beyond their one-note fetishes that they’re marketed to the super-obsessive Japanese otaku for in hopes of paying $80 for a DVD or Blu-Ray with maybe 3 episodes on it. I guess all that illegal totes legit downloading from back in the day before Crunchyroll and Hulu were a thing caught up to us somehow, huh? /rant

YouTube Schedule Mess-Up

I want to apologize for messing up the YouTube upload schedule this week. I totally forgot to schedule the videos for this week, which is why you only got the May 2016 Update PART DEUX and one reupload. I’ve since fixed the schedule for this week, and reuploads will be out once a day everyday at 10AM EST for the time being. If you guys are okay with that time slot, I’ll stick with it for now. If not, let me know.

Also, I’m working on the last 3 episodes of my Go! Go! Nippon playthrough on AndyCade, which will be released when they’re complete. I had to shift some things around due to work, getting homework done, and stuff like that. I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted on that so you’ll know when they’re coming out.

Back To The Animuus

Well guys, I’m off to start watching Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 tonight. Dunno how many episodes I can get through before bed, but we’ll see. Good night!

TheAndySan

Watching Anime Makes Me Feel Good!

Tonight, I decided to finish up Denpa Kyoushi (Ultimate Otaku Teacher) on Hulu. It was a fun little series that I relaxed to on my couch. Next up tomorrow will be Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, as recommended the other day by TkyoSam.

I’ve really been enjoying watching anime lately. It’s been filling me with all kinds of nostalgia and memories flood back whenever I watch a particular series or hear their OP/ED song. Yeah, dorky I know, but it’s what I like 😀

Something I’ve noticed with my creativity is that it has its ebbs and flows. When I’m stuck or burnt out, I usually just chill out for awhile and it’ll come back again. I can feel it coming back to me again, but I’m not at 100% yet.  These random late-night blog posts I feel are helping me get back in the groove again too.

Well, I’m gonna head off to bed, so take care guys!

TheAndySan