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The Punk podcasts are pretty damning, not only for the stuff about his health and how they fired him, but also about how they didn't utilize him to the fullest. Punk tells a couple stories about endorsement deals he either put together or was approached about, and the WWE gave them to someone else. Much like Daniel Bryan, Punk was never their guy. Unlike Daniel Bryan, Punk's going to make a stink about it. You can bet that he would have raised holy hell if they wanted him to be eliminated meekly halfway though the Royal Rumble after a nine month layoff.

The McMahon podcast basically just confirms everything you already know about what's wrong with the WWE. You can hear him bury Cesaro and talk about how pushing someone into the pool is the funniest thing in the world, though. rolleyes.gif

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Yeah, I also saw the HHH one the other day. It was interesting. Actually a bit less edgy than the Vince interview, and a fair amount of softball questions tossed in, but interesting nonetheless. After watching that and hearing all the Punk stuff from his own mouth, it's true that Vince pushes wrestlers further than they probably should be, factoring in health and emotional well-being. But that's nothing new. Old school wrestlers talk about that stuff all the time, and in fact, the ways that it was much worse back in the territorial days, and you didn't have some of the amenities that modern wrestlers have. I don't think many would begrudge Punk doing what he did, but ultimately, I can understand some of the business moves as made by the WWE. They've got a rationale to what they do, and no one is held at gun point and forced to go along with it. It sucks for fans and for some guys like Punk that what happened happened, but it is what it is.

On another note, I just signed up for NJPW's streaming service. It's a bit less than $10 a month, and you get all kinds of historical matches going back to the '70s. Plus, live access to their shows and PPVs. They have to be streamed from a computer, but it's still nice. I've got Shinya Hashimoto vs. "big bang" Vader on right now. When I get some free time at home I'll check out some of this newfangled Japanese rasslin I've heard so much about.

--edit: I also ran across a Steiners vs. Sting and Muta match from 1992, and found a video from last month, which is an hour just showing them putting the ring and stage together! Madness.

Edited by karamazov80
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Finally got to watch NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 9 and enjoyed it alot. Big plus point was actually hearing JR Call a match instead of just reeling off his catchphrases all the time and not actually saying anything about the match in WWE.

If I had a small niggle it would be the amount of tag matches on the show but I would guess thats to try an get most of the roster out there.

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I also saw the bulk of it. Minoru Suzuki and Shinsuke Nakamura impressed the hell out of me, but across the board that was a pretty damn awesome PPV. Tanahashi and Okada put on a better main event than I remember seeing in the WWE in ages. The ROH guys were also fun to watch, and it was good to see AJ Styles again (who I discovered was their champ just a few months back). I even enjoyed the battle royal at the beginning, seeing a bunch of their equivalents of Bubba Ray Dudley and DDP with Fujiwara, the Great Kabuki, and the guy who I guess invented the senton splash. It was the worst thing on the show, but still way better than the WWE's version.

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I have been pretty addicted to it, but then, I haven't been watching any of their stuff in awhile, so I've got a lot of catching up to do. Would be better if I could watch on TV instead of the laptop, but still really nice.

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10 minutes into RAW and we have awkward moments where promos turn into WWE Network advertising and we have a rare Katie Vick reference! Looks like my night has just cleared up for other things, namely, ANY OTHER THINGS.

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My wife is out of town, so after I put my daughter to bed I ended up watching all of Raw. First time I've done that in I don't know how long. I didn't think the show was terrible, but I was also building a Lego set and only half-paying attention. The WrestleMania build is really underwhelming though. Reigns just is not ready for the spotlight, and the people aren't behind him enough. They are behind Bryan, but the company obviously isn't, so we're stuck in this weird half-assed booking purgatory. And the Authority really needs some new blood. Enough Kane and Big Show already.

Well, the NXT special will be good, I'm sure, and New Japan has two big shows this week, on Wednesday and Saturday (I think). Styles vs Tanahashi on the first one.

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Once again, NXT sets the bar high. I missed the first half hour or so, tuning in just as the tag match was ending. That wasn't very good. But the three big matches (Balor/Neville, the Women's four way, and Owens/Zayn) all delivered. Balor and Neville had a hell of a match. Just great. Balor is such a star, I'll be shocked if he's not a big time player in WWE before long. The women had a terrific, physical match and all four really shined. The main event wasn't so much about match quality as it was telling a story, and it did so very effectively.

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Agreed totally with your comments. I thought the decision on the main event was bold and awesome. I was telling my wife that this was pretty sophisticated storytelling as far as pro rasslin' goes. I could tell how the match was going to end about 5 minutes before it happened, but am glad they played it out that way. And it's a good move because it sets up Zayn's justifiable rematch demand, that the pseudo-chickenshit heel Owens will try to duck, no doubt. Owens is getting a super push obviously, and he has earned it paying his dues in ROH. For whatever reason, Balor is connecting with the audience and putting on really good matches in this system, while I feel KENTA is not living up to my expectations. He was involved in one of my favorite all-time matches (against Danielson at Glory by Honor), but he feels like he's not really finding a way to fit into the pseudo WWE system yet. Hopefully he will find a way to come around. Women's match was awesome, as well. Tag match and the opener were a'aight, but nothing special. I'm not much into the big dude with the weird tattoos, but I suspect he'll get a shot on regular TV as soon or earlier than anyone else on NXT. Because. . .he's a big dude with a good "look" I guess.

Edited by karamazov80
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You mean Corbin? Yeah, I don't really get him either. But there's more then a few acts on NXT that I don't get, with the Jersey Guys being at the top of the list.

On KENTA... Dave Meltzer was just talking about him the other day, and said that he basically decided to completely change his style when he came to WWE, and that it hasn't worked out for him because he's lost what made him special. I'm more familiar with him by reputation I'm afraid, but my sense when he signed was that it was an odd fit. Unfortunately that's proven to be the case so far. They didn't do him any favors with the way they debuted him, and Balor completely overshadowed him once they brought him in. Really, the only big reaction he seems to get is when he teases the GTS.

I really liked the main event finish too. It's the kind of thing that would be done completely wrong on the main roster, but here in NXT they pull it off beautifully. You could see it coming, and when they got there it didn't feel cheap. Real good stuff.

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Yeah, if they tried to do it on Raw or something, they wouldn't have the balls to do it all the way, and it would end up being stupid.

Those Jersey guys are the worst! laugh.png They'll be the next guys to move up to the main roster after large tattoo guy. But yeah, KENTA's main thing was really his stiffness, and his intimidating demeanor. That works really well in New Japan, but they're not gonna let a guy get away with that approach in WWE most of the time. Though, Bryan has used his stiff kicks to great effect, you don't see lots of silent bad-asses in WWE. Oh, well. Watching Balor's entrance, I can so imagine that becoming hugely popular on the main shows, particularly when you mix that with his obvious in-ring talent.

Considering all that. . .he'll probably get moved up, flounder in the mid-card for a couple of years a la Tyson Kidd while the writers "don't know what to do with him," and then he'll go back to Japan or something.

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I dunno, I think Balor of all the guys in NXT is the one most likely to be a big star in WWE. He's just got things you can't teach. I think Owens, Zayn, and Neville all don't have enough of the WWE look to go as high as their talents should take them. But Balor's got the look and the charisma.

Oh, I also should say that I really liked Cory Graves on commentary tonight. He seems like the one guy that's actually calling what he's seeing and not just telling the story they are trying to sell. Albert is okay, better then Riley certainly, and the weenie doing play by play was passible, although there were several spots (Neville kicking out of the small package springs to mind) where you could really use a guy that can take it to the next level.

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Balor's lacking one extremely important quality--size. Not many small guys getting over in the WWE, as you know. For it to happen to Bryan, the fans essentially had to revolt en masse, and even then it took McMahon et al. the longest time to actually start treating Bryan like "the Man."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, pretty good main event tonight IMO. Unfortunately, it ended the way I figured it would, but a good, stiff match nonetheless. I give Reigns credit for being able to sell, if nothing else (and there isn't much else I'm afraid). I'm not particularly excited about Wrestlemania at the moment. I think Reigns is far from ready. But maybe they'll give Bryan someone to wrestle that will be worth watching.

Edited by karamazov80
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Yeah, I was a bit surprised that the tag match ended the way it did, but I haven't been following WWE on TV or anything. Cesaro is the most underused and under-appreciated wrestler on the WWE roster at the moment, and the way they mishandled him this time last year was criminal. Tyson Kidd has also been overlooked for many years. If this leads to something positive for those guys, then I will be really happy about it, though I doubt the writers will know what to do for them. As great as they are in the ring, that kind of thing seems to trump everything else.

Edited by karamazov80
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I only watched the last few matches. They were fine, though they had a really bad crowd. I thought Reigns looked as good as he possibly could, but he's not over to the level they need him to be. Eh, whatever. How are you enjoying New Japan World, K80?

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The crowd was hard for me to read, but probably for the best--from WWE's POV--that they weren't really tuned in, smart mark types. Though they didn't get too into anything, they seemed pretty happy with whatever, so Reigns doesn't get embarrassed in the PPV leading into Wrestlemania, anyway.

I haven't watched NJPW for a couple weeks now. Was really into it for a few days, and now I hardly think about it. The lack of the ability to watch it on TV plays into this.

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for me talking about none WWE to watch

ANY NXT!! best "Mainstream" stuff going full stop. If you think you like WWE, NXT beats it down.

ROH this is wher stars are born. DB,Cesareo, Steen (Kevin Owens) Zayn (El Generico)

PWG. When I can see it. First place I saw Uhaa Nation and for big guy he can shift. It also funny to watch as the commentary y rocks

NJPW (Only with English Comentery) Best wrestiling going. An Bullet Club is the best bad guys since nWo and the tshirt you can wear without getting pointed at.

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I feel bad for poor Adrian Neville. Has the belt for such a long time, loses it, and now he can't win a match. This move from last week was one of the most impressive demonstrations of pure power I've seen in a long time.

http://youtu.be/sT2nKXcAr50

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