Strong Style Saturday Thread

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Cedric Alexander has announced he’s leaving Ring of Honor after five years with the company, Triple H spoke to 98 FM Dublin about WWE’s wellness policy and helping former employees, and the big news of the last couple of days: Paige and Alberto Del Rio are currently dating.

Elsewhere, WWE Japan released the cards for the Sumo Hall shows on July 1st and 2nd (Nakamura vs. Wyatt features on both cards), and NJPW announced that the Super J Cup preliminary round of 16 will take place on July 20th and feature four wrestlers based in New Japan, five from NOAH, and one each from AJPW, Ryukyu Dragon, CMLL, ROH, Kaientai Dojo, Dragon Gate, plus one wildcard entry.

Now talk, damn it!

Sunday Thread

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At last night’s EVOLVE 61 PPV, Drew Gulak and TJP qualified for the Cruiserweight Classic, whilst in the main event, Ethan Carter III interfered in the match between Drew Galloway and Johnny Gargano then cut a promo running down NXT and WWE’s relationship with EVOLVE. You can read a full transcript here or see some poor quality fan footage here. A feud between TNA and WWE booked by Gabe Sapolsky? Truly these are the end times.

Tyler Breeze and Kevin Owens have launched a GoFundMe campaign to assist the victims of the forest fires in Fort McMurray, Alberta. The money raised will be given to the Red Cross and those who donate more than $100 will receive a personal video message from Breeze and Owens. If you’d like to donate, you can do so here.

Ring of Honor’s Global Wars PPV takes place in Chicago later today. The show is headlined by Jay Lethal vs. Colt Cabana for the ROH title, and also features Tetsuya Naito vs. Kyle O’Reilly and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Bobby Fish. The full card is here.

Now talk, heathens!

Strong Style Saturday Thread

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Yesterday, WWE released Alex Riley, Hornswoggle, Zeb Colter, El Torito, Cameron, Santino Marella, Wade Barrett, and Damien Sandow from the company. I’m sure you’ve already discussed this, but hey, discuss it some more. I didn’t realise Santino was still with the company and I’d assumed Barrett would ride out his contract, but the rest aren’t a surprise. Swagger somehow makes the cut again.

EVOLVE 60 took place last night, headlined by Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Chris Hero, a MOTY contender from what I hear. Tonight’s EVOLVE 61 PPV is headlined by Drew Galloway vs. Johnny Gargano, and features the Cruiserwight Classic qualifiers and a Brit-off between Sabre Jr. and Marty Scurll.

In today’s LOLTNA story, Meltzer reports that over Wrestlemania weekend a TNA talent confided in him that: “he was actually told to send a Tweet by management about how great the morale is. He didn’t, and said for the people who have been with the company for a long time, it was the worst ever.”

Now talk, damn it!

NJPW Wrestling Dontaku

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May 3rd, 17:00 from the Fukuoka Kokusai Centre, Fukuoka

New Japan follows up last month’s excellent Invasion Attack with Wrestling Dontaku. Due to the recent earthquakes in Kyushu, Dontaku’s sister show –  Wrestling Hinokuni – was cancelled and its matches rescheduled. The Junior Tag and NEVER title matches were added to today’s show, which means that all but one of the company’s titles are being defended. The show is headlined by Naito vs. Ishii for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

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Sunday Thread

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According to WWE Network News, The WarGames collection, The Chyna Collection and Becoming The Rock will soon be added to the service.

Kevin Owens and his son appeared on UpUpDownDown. Watch: Part 1 and Part 2. You can also, if you so choose, listen to WWE’s themes for Gallows & Anderson and No Way Jose. Yes way.

If you’re looking for some spiritual nourishment today, why now check out some of the fine writing on this very Blog? You can read Maffew’s latest ECW on Sci-Fi review, Tommy Hall recaps WCW Thunder, Kyle Conner covers Lucha Underground, Rick Poehling analyses Ring of Honor, and earlier this week I reviewed New Japan’s Road to Wrestling Dontaku. These and many more pieces can be read for free and there won’t even be a break for TrueCar or DDP Yoga ads.

Now talk, heathens!

Strong Style Saturday Thread

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Payback is tomorrow. The card looks great to me, the best WWE show on paper for a long while, and my expectation is that Zayn vs. Owens will be Match of the Night. The esteemed Brian Bayless has written a preview for Place To Be Nation – you can read it here.

Following the release of Rich Brennan on Wednesday, WWE yesterday released Kyle Edwards (real name Arda Ocal). Will this merciless cull never end?

Dave Herro, founder of Great Lakes Championship Wrestling, claimed on the latest episode of Pro Wrestling Report that Bobby Roode and Eric Young were owed “a combined six figures” by TNA which led to their decision to sign with NXT.

Now talk, damn it!

NJPW Road to Wrestling Dontaku

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April 27th, 19:00 from Hakata Sutaren, Fukuoka

Wrestling Hinokuno was due to take place on April 29th in Kumamoto. As I’m sure you’ve heard, there were earthquakes in the region a few weeks ago and as a result the show was cancelled. The matches set for that card were rescheduled, so the Junior Tag and NEVER title matches have been added to Wrestling Dontaku on May 3rd, while the CHAOS vs. Los Ingobernables de Japón eight-man tag, Tanahashi vs. Fale, and Omega vs. Elgin for the Intercontinental title were added to today’s show.

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Sunday Thread

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WWE ran the final European house shows of the tour last night in Glasgow and Malaga, and at the NXT event in Poughkeepsie Samoa Joe retained over Austin Aries and Finn Bálor in a triple threat match. Bálor stated in a promo that he’s staying in NXT.

It was announced at last night’s TNA Impact tapings that the Slammiversary PPV on June 12th will take place at Universal Studios in Orlando. The main event was also set. At Lucha Underground’s tapings, also last night, an injury caused a long delay and eventually meant a big match could not continue. Here be spoilers.

Elsewhere on the BoD, get a load of: Maffew’s latest ECW on Sci-Fi review (featuring Big Show vs. Ric Flair in an Extreme Rules match(!)), Scott continues his Wrestling Observer Flashback series, and Thomas “The Machine” Hall casts a critical eye on WCW Thunder.

Now talk, heathens!

Strong Style Saturday Thread

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What a glorious day it is (where I am).

WWE continues their European tour, with shows last night in Sheffield and Paris. The Paris card was headlined by Ambrose & Zayn vs. Owens and Triple H, during which Owens (aka The Headlock Master) crowned Trips as “The King of Chinlocks”. At the NXT show in Rhode Island, meanwhile, Finn Bálor gave a heartfelt post-match promo about his title reign and the changing landscape of NXT. Make of that what you will.

Chyna’s manager Anthony Anzaldo spoke to the New York Daily News about her passing. He said there were no signs of any foul play or trauma and that her brain will be donated to Dr. Bennet Omalu for CTE research.

Bret Hart spoke to the Portsmouth News ahead of his one-man show this weekend.

Now talk, damn it!

Sunday Thread

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Finn Bálor has today become the longest reigning NXT Champion, surpassing Adrian Neville’s previous record of 287 days. This is also the longest title reign of any of WWE’s developmental territories.

NJPW and DDT are among the Japanese promotions fundraising for Kyushu at upcoming shows in the wake of this week’s earthquakes.

Alicia Fox became the first female performer in WWE history to appear in front of a crowd in the UAE as she introduced the live event in Dubai on Friday. #DivasRevolution

Maffew’s latest ECW review is now up, as are reviews of WCW Mayhem 2000 and Thunder by the machine that is Tommy Hall.

Now talk, heathens!

Strong Style Saturday Thread

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WWE have confirmed some of the qualifying matches for the upcoming Global Cruiserweight Series. Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Flash Morgan Webster and Jack Gallagher vs. Pete Dunne will take place at PROGRESS Wrestling’s April 24th show, while Drew Gulak vs. Tracy Williams and TJ Perkins vs. Fred Yehi will take place at EVOLVE 61 on May 7th.

Shaq and Big Show have been talking up a potential match at Wrestlemania 33, via TMZ and Myles respectively.

NXT Takeover: TBC will take place on June 8th at Full Sail. Tickets go on sale this Monday.

Now talk, damn it!

NJPW Invasion Attack 2016

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April 10th, 16:00 from the Ryōgoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall), Tokyo

Big show today headlined by Okada vs. Naito for the IWGP Heavyweight title, with all but one of New Japan’s titles also being defended. Will Ospreay makes his debut against KUSHIDA in a much-anticipated bout, CHAOS vs. Los Ingobernables de Japón continues, Shibata battles another of The Old Bastards* (*not actual stable name), and Yoshi Tatsu returns after a broken neck and disastrous attempt at English-language commentary (which today is provided by Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino).

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Strong Style Saturday Thread

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MVP has been fired from Lucha Underground a week after signing with them. On YouTube he explained that his contract was terminated after he interviewed members of the cast for his podcast, which violated the non-disclosure terms of his deal.

According to Wrestling Observer, Ring of Honor’s Cedric Alexander is the latest name to be rumoured for WWE’s Global Cruiserweight Series, with EVOLVE, Progress and Revolution Pro expected to announce their qualifying matches in the next week or so. Kota Ibushi, meanwhile, claimed in Tokyo Sports that there were no concrete talks with WWE during last weekend’s visit, but “If there’s an offer, I’m definitely interested.”

NJPW Invasion Attack takes place tomorrow, headlined by Okada vs. Naito for the IWGP title and featuring, KUSHIDA vs. Ospreay for the Junior title, The Elite vs. Tanahashi, Elgin and a returning Yoshi Tatsu, and Sydal & Ricochet vs. Roppongi Vice for the Junior tag titles (the result of which will surely give a clear indication of Ricochet’s status).

Now talk, damn it!

Wrestlemania ★ Sunday Thread

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Yes indeed, it’s Wrestlemania Sunday and here’s some music to get you in the mood:

The Hall of Fame ceremony was last night and, as expected, Sting officially announced his retirement.

I could go on a rant here (and did, then deleted it), but I hope the show over-delivers and that interesting stuff happens. If we end up with Reigns winning clean and Shane beating Taker without the help of a certain stable I don’t want to be responsible for the fallout (and won’t be, that’ll be on the dedicated WM Hour 4 thread).

Enjoy the day everyone, it comes but once a year. Now talk, heathens!