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Hey Doc, thanks for the well wishes man I appreciate it. Hopefully this place didn't get too rowdy in my absence haha. As for my trip, it was a fun time. I believe I told you before how I'm not a big fan of the outdoors, but the resort we stayed at made it seem like you weren't even in the mountains; which was great. The weather however was pretty bad for the first 2 days. It was border line freezing and it rained basically nonstop, but after Monday the weather was great. We were able to take a few trips into nature and I must say the wilderness durning autumn truly is beautiful, but it's best in small doses... at least for me haha.
In alcohol related news, I think you would be proud of me Doc. On Monday night we went out for dinner to this very fancy (and super overpriced restaurant) well my wife asked our waiter about their wine selection and he recommended a "champagne" however I noticed it was from California and I corrected him and told him that it's technically not champagne since it's not from France... He laughed, but he seemed annoyed hahaha..... I'm gonna have to look into a thermometer just for my beer lol. I'm still super jealous that you were able to try the Westvleteren 12. I assume it's a little easier to find over there. Here, it's next to impossible. You have to order it online through the brewery, but I looked into it and it would be around $95 for a 6 pack with all the shipping etc. That's a little too much in my opinion lol.
Also, I don't know if I told you, but about 2 weeks ago my buddy and I tried to brew another beer. This time we went for a vanilla porter. We spent a little bit more money on the barley and the vanilla beans in order to ensure a higher quality. The recipe we followed says it should be around 6% alcohol so I'm pretty excited to try it out. This will be the 3rd beer we have attempted (well this is the 1st time I really participated in the brewing process). The first two were a traditional lager that tasted like soap water xD and a German Pilsner that was actually not that bad. So I'm pumped to try this vanilla porter. I'm not expecting it to be amazing, but I'm just hoping it's decent. Even if it is bad I can't be upset I only spent around $45 and we're gonna get an entire keg of it lol.
I agree with you about Ricochet. I think he's the best wrestler right now. I definitely wouldn't argue with you calling him Wrestling's MVP of 2016. In fact he may have been the MVP of 2015 as well (which is crazy when you put it into context). The only guy I might give the edge to as 2016's MVP is Kenny Omega. He's having a crazy year, ever since attacking AJ Styles and becoming the new leader of the Bullet Club he's been on fire. I think Ricochet is the better wrestler hands down. It's just that Omega might be having the better year of the two. Although I'm interested in seeing this new 5 Star match you're talking about. Where was it at? PWG? Also how is this his first 5 Star match lol ? I'm also gonna try to catch up on those Itami matches.
Damn they're not the main event ? Well that sucks. I should have figured it was too good to be true lol. I don't think it should be the main event just cause they're women (like some idiots believe) I think it should main event because it's the only feud on RAW that seems complete. KO & Rollins should be good, but they're ruining it with "cheesy face" humor from Rollins and due to the fact that they're basically waiting for HHH to return which overshadows KO. But I agree with you about Charlotte. I know WWE must have been big on her since they gave her the title first, but I also don't think they expected her to be such a great heel. And I'm not saying Sasha is bad in any way, but right now her face character is getting beat by Charlottes heel character is every way IMO. I'm also pulling for Charlotte this Sunday. Honestly it's one of the few matches I'm looking forward to haha.
It’s funny you mention Lucha Underground, six months ago when Stardom did some shows in Las Vegas, Shirai, Hojo and Iwatani worked a dark match at the Lucha Underground tapings. I think it was a test to see reaction with the potential for a tv appearances once they tape season four in the future. That’s not going to happen now though, obviously.
Asuka was brought in I think to serve two purposes; test how US audiences would take a non-english speaker, as a forerunner for the likes of Nakamura, and bring veteran experience which is lacking in the womens indies outside joshi. She’s been a huge success in both instances. WWE may have realised Asuka’s too good to be beaten by anyone in NXT and have acted. The two biggest joshi stars outside Asuka is pretty much a given to get offers, and instantly legit.
If just Io Shirai comes in, the next Takeover after Toronto appears to be April 1st. It would suck to have Asuka in NXT another six months, but that’s when to have the match. Io is 25 years old, she has time to be in NXT a year, wheras Asuka doesn’t really. She’d be instantly credible as a contender too. If she signs, that’s instantly my number one most anticipated match for 2017. It would be good for Asuka too, I can’t imagine doing basic matches with rookies is helping her ring sharpness compared to working 30 minute match in Japan every week.
I’m actually surprised at Kairi’s thoughts. As a western viewer, I’ve always seen her as the likely biggest potential success in WWE – great look, big smile, cuteness and quirkiness appeal, and very strong signature moves (the best elbow drop since Macho, of course that’d get over). Her only flaw is height; she’s Alexa Bliss size without the thickness and mic prowess, which could be an issue with the taller western girls. Io Shirai is the better wrestler, the bigger star in Stardom, but I’ve always thought Hojo was the better all-round performer in terms of character work.
Booking them in NXT would be a tough order. I’m thinking Io comes in heel and Hojo babyface to differentiate them. Shirai is booked instantly strong, Hojo more a slow burn underdog role. They both speak English although nothing better than Asuka or Naka.
The faction idea is a good shout. Sorta introduce them via a BFFs style deal in NXT. Worked for Charlotte and Sasha off the back of Summer’s overness at the time, then worked for Becky on the back of Sasha. An invading Nexus/Shield faction could be cool, although they have mixed results. The Shield worked because they were booked so strong, something Vince hasn’t usually done with his factions, and only really did in that case because he saw Roman as the face of the brand. Straight Edge Society, Nexus, the returning NWO, Spirit Squad, LON, The Wyatt Family weren’t so lucky. Even DX weren’t booked that strong.
I can’t really see a Low Ki situation happening, probably because Shirai doesn’t seem like a complete a-hole. Also, it’s not like Asuka has ten years left on her career, like Bryan had at the time. She could retire in a few years, whereas Io could have ten more years on her. WWE may see money in Japanese female stars (Asuka has a lot of merch in the WWEShop) but realise money in Asuka may be short-lived, so want to start to build replacements.
I would have loved a legend killer gimmick on Asuka, it fits well, although, I’d have loved it better on the main roster. Imagine them girls coming back on Smackdown. Would be great. I think Gail Kim is super unlikely but ‘one more match’ would be awesome. Wrestling Asuka on a NXT Takeover may actually be tempting for her. If they sign a lot of japanese ladies, Asuka's reaction would actually be interesting. She's not exactly got on well with joshis in the past.
On the Foley podcast with Austin early this year, they discussed what a nice guy Vader is, a real gentle giant. I don’t doubt for a second Shawn was a jackass to him; that was Shawn in the 90s. At 61, he’s had a long, rough career probably with a lot of concussions. His mind might not be very sharp right now so forgetting spots is likely, a guy like Ospreay should realise that. It might not be right, but from Vader’s perspective a big payday landed on his lap, of course he’s going to try and milk it. If the bookers put their foot down and said it was a one-time deal, he’d have done the job I’d imagine.
I’m not sure if Vince would be able to start a wrestling company now, although I’m not sure if anyone could create a company the size of WWE now from scratch. TNA had solid financial backing and ran for double the time Nitro ran, and barely made an impact of significance, even when the roster was very good. Shows like PWG are hugely popular but I think part of the charm is that they have no intention of growing in anyway whatsoever. They have rejected a lot of offers for livestreaming etc, and seem happy with the profit margins they have from dvd sales. Rev Pro and ICW are great but super niche, and LU is struggling to get ratings or funding for each season. I think the market is at its limit to be honest, and I can’t see the market growing, especially as curious new viewers are naturally going to watch Raw or Mania first which are both the worst wrestling shows on the market currently, potential new viewers are going to turn off before seeing anything good. It’s a shame as I went to NXT London with my friend who’d never seen wrestling before in her entire life, and she absolutely loved it.
Regarding TNA, I think unfortunately they are done. Looking at the email leaks etc, it sounds like Billy Corgan had agreements with Dixie in writing to own the company, and Dixie went behind his back to try and cut deals without him so its going to turn into a messy legal fight. I’d agree Dixie gets way more flak than she should, but she can’t be doing that stuff. In the grand scheme of things, WWE lost more money with the XFL in three months than TNA lost their entire history. WWE lost more on their dumb restaurant in Times Square than TNA lost in any year. TNA seems to be worse every week, and with tapings being delayed due to no funding they will be in breach of contracts pretty soon. Apparently they have ten times the debts of their assets so not looking good, just when the product was turning around too. It’s a real pity when a wrestling company goes under but TNA have been struggling along for a long time, without profit. There’s only so long you can do that before its time to just cut your losses – to Dixie’s credit, she’s been very good at getting funding every few months to keep everything going but when there’s no profit, it’s a fruitless endeavour. I think if Billy is serious about owning a wrestling company, it’d be a lot less painful to just start his own.
TNA stars being free agents would be very interesting. Reports are that Triple H was very interested in Matt Hardy coming back. I’m not sure how many would go to WWE, but would be big for the indie scene. There’s some really good talent there, particularly on the female side that could diversify the divisions. And Allie does the hopeless assistant a lot better than Dana Brooke does.
With Cody, I really saw his list as genuine. He seems to love the business and there is so much to accomplish outside WWE right now, and he’s really getting through it fast. He’s been taking bookings apparently at £2,000 a pop four times a week since leaving WWE, so he’s good proof there is money outside WWE. Good for him I’d say. This Flosports deal could potentially bring even more money to the indie scene.
Doctor Cube! Long time.. Finally settled in for me to have some free time on here and get to reply to my fav and fellow commenters, ready for a women's masterclass this Sunday? It certainly feels like the best and right match up inside the Cell, sums both competitors up, too bad Foley got too personal in their contract signing, yikes!
Bit more from WON:
"There is a belief that Hojo doesn’t want to go to WWE so much as prove she’s better than Shirai. Among the fans, Hojo has always been No. 2 to Shirai because Shirai is considered the better wrestler of the two, even their hardcore Stardom fans like Hojo more. It’s been pushed to Hojo that if she stays, she’ll be the No. 1 female wrestler in Japan, but if she goes to WWE, that will never happen, and that because Shirai is the “bigger star” and better looking in WWE’s eyes along with being a better wrestler, that she would never surpass her going there."
Big news that I felt was coming sooner or later in the Wrestling Observer this week:
From this weeks Wrestling Observer:
"Both Io Shirai and Kairi Hojo have gotten offers to start in WWE in 2017 in the last week or two. Both told Stardom management about it this week. Shirai said she was going, and said that she was called by Shoichi Funaki. Hojo was contacted by Shinsuke Nakamura and Simon Inoki. Hojo at first didn’t make a final decision and there is some question if she can pass the physical because she’s had two major concussions in the last two years. In July, when WWE ran at Sumo Hall, Hojo was introduced to Nakamura through Simon Inoki, who knew her because they had worked together when Hojo did an IGF tour. Nakamura pushed to Hojo that she’d do great in WWE. Hojo most recently told the Stardom office that she’s interested in going to WWE. Stardom officials believe Shirai is gone for sure, but they are working to keep Hojo and Hojo then said she’s not sure what she’s going to do."
In two minds, I love watching these girls wrestle 30 minute matches every week as stars of their company, but then they deserve a big spotlight and as much money as they can get. Kinda surprised Mayu Iwatani isn't mentioned, she's the speedy highspot-orientated wrestler the womens division really doesnt have. If Shirai comes, that's who you beat Asuka with at Takeover no?
I tell ya, Doc Cube, that was some of the best wrestling I've seen EVER! BOLA never fails to impress! Everyone came to play. We got Cody, Pentagon Jr., Cobb, Ricochet, Ospreay, The Young Bucks, and shoot, everyone! Every single one of them went out there and had a great time, and so did I! I would have finished it Sunday, but my computer was acting up, and that put me behind because I had school and deadlines to meet. But I finished it today, and I am so glad that I now have this in my life!
Smackdown writer being interviewed about the quality of Raw. https://streamable.com/bnub
"Can Raw can..." Yeah. --> "Can Raw get..." Brain still offline. Not enough sleep.
What do you say Doc, can Raw can any worse? Or putting it the other way round... is there any way to save it? Damn, this show sucks lately. And I'm pretty pissed that at the Live Event in Frankfurt next week, I'll only see Raw people. Would probably have paid double for a Smackdown Live Event. Ugh.
By the way, no unification match in WWE 2K17 for you. I don't play the minor leagues, IC champion? Please. Also, 2K doesn't allow mixed gender matches anyway, probably because they're scared that the women would beat the crap out of the guys. Well, at least some of the women. And especially The Omega.