Thursday, January 10, 2008

PWI Top 500 2007 Tourney round two results:

Masato Yoshino...better than Angle

SORRY I've taken so long to publish the results. Blame that old Gold Belt Wrestling computer - it really can't deal with Australian summers. *SIGH*

Anyhooo, round two was pretty interesting in parts. First off, rank outsider Franky The Mobster continued his giant-killing ways by destroying Matt Sydal.

In the first of many upsets, Kurt Angle fell to Dragon Gate's Masato Yoshino. I blame Vince Russo, personally (how the fuck did he wind up on the GBW computer?). Angle immediately started bleating about leaving wrestling and going into MMA, but no-one believed him.

Also at the losing end of things were two other top 10 rasslers, Christian Cage (felled by Ares) and Perro Aguayo Jr (pinned by Toscano).

Minoru Suzuki went down to Dos Caras Jr, who now faces another stiff battle in the shape of Triple H next round. Hunter almost stumbled against Jay Briscoe before he eventually prevailed to get the three-count. It was a bad day for the Briscoes, as Mark also lost, pinned by Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Umaga (beaten by Ricky Marvin) and Scott Steiner (submitting to Ric Flair's figure-four leglock) were shock defeats, too. Oooooh, that's gotta smart, Mr Steiner.

So here's the draw for Round 3:

Franky The Mobster (397) vs Satoshi Kojima (64)

Edge (2) vs Brent Albright (63)

Mistico (3) vs Tank Toland (195)

Yoshino (125) vs Milano Collection AT (61)

The Undertaker (5) vs Mohammed Yone (197)

Akira Taue (251) vs Ric Flair (70)

Ares (122) vs Sabu (58)

Toscano (121) vs Kensuke Sasaki (57)

Bobby Lashley (9) vs John Morrison (56)

Takeshi Morishima (10) vs Brother Ray (74)

Ultimo Guerrero (11) vs Homicide (54)

Val Venis (245) vs Averno (53)

Batista (13) vs Danny Doring (205)

Dos Caras Jr (115) vs Triple H (51)

Randy Orton (15) vs Atlantis (79)

Mitsuharu Misawa (16) vs Chris Hero (49)

Bryan Danielson (17) vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan (81)

Booker T (18) vs MVP (47)

Sting (19) vs Chavo Guerrero Jr (46)

Mr Aguila (109) vs Kenta (45)

Mr Kennedy (21) vs Gregory Helms (44)

Ricky Marvin (107) vs LA Parka (43)

Abyss (23) vs CM Punk (42)

El Sagrado (233) vs Delirious (88)

Nigel McGuinness (25) vs Hiroshi Tanahashi (40)

Erick Stevens (231) vs Rhino (39)

Takuma Sano (230) vs Negro Casas (38)

Chris Sabin (28) vs Rocky Romero (37)

Jeff Hardy (29) vs Matt Hardy (36)

Toshiaki Kawada (99) vs Jake Gymini (222)

El Hijo Del Santo (31) vs Jay “Black Machismo” Lethal (95)

Shuji Kondo (225) vs Finlay (33)

Hmmmmmm...some verrrrrrry interesting match-ups there.

NEXT TIME: The results!

Monday, January 07, 2008

A chip off the old, block

INTRODUCING Savannah Summers from Riot City Wrestling in Adelaide. She's a promising newcomer AND she's my second cousin. :D

MORE AWARDS: Aussie wrestler of the year & promotion of the year

Aussie Wrestler Of The Year for 2007: Bishop Sommers

- photo courtesy of

WHETHER it was serious matches or comedy bouts, Bish was money in the ring and gold on the mike. His feud with Will Phoenix in UWA didn't last anywhere near long enough for my liking while his work in PWA Elite was fantastic (especially his classic bout with Crofty The Klepto Maniac in Marrickville). His upcoming matches with Mikey Broderick and, hopefully, Ryan Eagles promise to be rocking affairs.

Tip of the hat: Blakestone (the man-monster is a force to be reckoned with in PWA Elite...his chops are things of savage beauty)...Powerhouse Theo (a quick learner and a great talent...the best thing in the AWF right now)...Sean O'Shea (PWA Elite's most promising wrestler next to Blakestone)...Mikey Lord and Alex Rudka (fromthe UWF; two of the best cruiserweights in Sydney right now)...Jag (the SA veteran consistently puts on brilliant matches and is also involved in some compelling storylines in EPW).

Aussie Promotion Of The Year
As Australia's leading wrestling journalist, I checked out most of the country's local promotions (either in person or on DVD) in 2007. In my opinion, crowds may have been down (particularly in Sydney), but the quality of wrestling has never been better. But which promotion was the BEST in 2007? How does one gauge success in a business where no-one's getting rich.

AWF brought in the most overseas talent during the year, so we should be grateful for TNT's ego. CIMA and his Dragon Gate cohorts, Sabu, Raven, X-Pac and so forth added greatly to the top of every AWF card. TNT was fine as a main eventer, although he lacks something as a babyface and should turn heel again. Sadly, AWF's undercard is generally lacking, although I respect Powerhouse Theo, Il Cognito, Mark Hilton and the Platinum Playas (as a charismatic heel unit).

IWA got TV, which was a fantastic achievement. Generally, the shows on Aurora were fine as a way of promoting the IWA, and some of the matches and angles were entertaining. The group is well-served by the likes of veteran Mark Mercedes, Tyson Gibbs, Kasey Jackson, Brett Brady and Rob Matrix. Let's face it, Angeleeka is awfully easy on the eyes. However, the booking was confusing at time and some of the people pushed on TV made no sense whatsoever. I only saw their TV shows, so maybe they toned down the in-ring action for the cameras. If not, then IWA is clearly a very old-school promotion. Still, that's a minor quibble - this group got friggin' TV! No other promotion achieved that distinction. Kudos to Mark and Ty.

UWA put on the most consistently entertaining cards from start to finish and deserved bigger crowds. The promotion needs to look at other venues 'cos Seven Hills-Toongabbie RSL is dead dead dead. The group was well-served by the likes of Will Phoenix, Troy The Boy, Salem and Devlin DeSkyes after losing of some greattalent during the year, but that spurred the group to bring along some promising newcomers like Johnny Rage and Mike Valuable (who deserves a huge push in 2008). UWA also utilised wrestlers from other promotions such as UWF, AWF and PWA Elite. The addition of The Captain, Matt Wolf and Dean Draven helped bolster the ranks, as did the return of TJ Haze and Bishop Sommers at the end of the year. They should cover the loss of Jass, Crofty and Big J (Ha! Just kidding on the last fuckwad).

UWF can be an entertaining group as it features some of the best cruiserweights in NSW. Mikey Lord, Adam Lord, Alex Rudka, Noramak, MH Cydell, etc put on some of the most exciting bouts in Oz right now. How will they cope in 2008 wrestling non-UWF regulars such as The Captain and Matt Wolf? It'll be interesting to see. Meanwhile, Morbid plays the babyface monster superbly, while heel champion Greg Stekker adds immense experience to the roster. On the negative side, the promoter pushes some questionable types in the main events (CJ Irwin, anyone?) and the UWF uses the worst fucking commentator on God's green earth (get cancer and die, you racist cunt), but this group shows a fair amount of promise heading into 2008.

PWA Elite probably has the strongest roster of workers of any Sydney promotion. Despite all my smart-arse comments about shiny belts and shiny pants, PWA has got themselves some fine wrestlers including Ryan Eagles, Mikey Broderick, Sean O'Shea and the awesome Blakestone. If the promotion has one big fault, it's the sameness of the in-ring work (which was really exposed in the recent Steve Corino Cup). A lot of the guys use the same moves, match after match. Oh, and can anyone say "too many chops"? Basically, after Blakestone's finished reducing his opponent's chest and back to jelly, it seems pointless for anyone else to use chops - they're all lame by comparison. More variety from PWA wrestlers would only add to fans' enjoyment.

I've seen glimpses of three promotions on DVD/Internet, so I'm unable to properly judge how good or bad they are. However, I CAN say that Riot City Wrestling in Adelaide looks promising if their web site's anything to go by. PWA Queensland - led by the talented Mason Childs and Ash Riot -put on one of the best weekends of wrestling in April, headlined by one of my fave US indy grapplers Chris Hero. And Wrestlerock in Melbourne used some great Victorian talent. And some of the skits they filmed for their DVDs are hilarious: Rohan Herbstreit's Rocky-style training video was a classic!

But far and away the best promotion in this country in 2007 was Adelaide's EPW. Great veteran wrestlers such as Jag, Havoc, Jayson Cooper and Damien Slater were supported by fine younger talent like Chris Vice, Robby Heart and Greg Graham. I only saw two shows involving EPW grapplers, but I have a friend (and his young daughter) who attended just about every card during the year and they confirm what I already knew: EPW cards make sense - angles were set up at one show and and flowed seamlessly to the next show. Long-term storylines were carried through until a satisfactory conclusion. Talented grapplers were pushed to the top and not held back. New stars were created, including monsters such as Wayne "The Maniac" Mattei. Media coverage was obtained and maintained throughout the year (via Network Ten sports news presenter Mark Aiston). Most importantly, EPW got great crowds to each show (600+ at times). What's not to love about EPW? Well done, fellas.