Category Archives: Blog

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Fans Talk Wrestling: A New Site For Our Discussions

We want to formally announce the launch of a brand new site: FansTalkWrestling.com.

What is Fans Talk Wrestling?

We aren’t just a copy and paste site. We are looking to start conversations and join ongoing discussions about what’s going on in the world of professional wrestling. Is it nerdy? Heck yes. But are we having fun doing it? Totes. This is not a job. This is a project for fans, by fans. Fans Talk Wrestling.

What About The FTW Writers?

All previously written posts over the last 6 months have been moved to the new domain, along with the comments. We’ll continue writing there and invite you to do the same. Start a discussion and let’s talk some wrestling.

Some quick links:

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Reader Poll: Where Do You See TNA in Three Years?

In three years, where do you see TNA? Who is headlining? What does their business and ratings look like? What is the overall scope of the company?

Check out what TNAsylum.com’s audience had to say →

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What If AJ Styles Doesn’t Advance to the BFG Main Event?

There has been A TON of speculation, rumors and news surrounding AJ Styles and his contract/future with TNA Wrestling in recent weeks.  While it’s difficult to separate fact from fiction and reality from “work”, the most recent AJ rumor/news is that Styles is re-signed to a short term contract only through Bound For Glory.  Who’s to say that AJ isn’t actually signed to a contract past BFG (one that would be a new long-term deal)?  To pretend that the IWC knows the exact situation in this regard is pretentious and ridiculous.  Last time I checked, TNA was still a privately owned company that doesn’t give those details every single time that someone is re-signed, especially in this kind of scenario where the contract deal is woven into the actual storyline.  The IWC regularly gets “worked” by TNA when reporters mistake rumors and rumblings as facts.

Continue reading this article by BigDawg on TNAMecca.com →

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Official WWE Night of Champions 2013 Card

Last updated: September 9th, 2013 at 10:20pm PM.

Here is the official WWE Night of Champions 2013 Card. It will be updated as we continue to get closer to the event.

Join us live on Tuesday, September 10th for our Night of Champions 2013 preview. Here’s the card as we know it right now.

Official Card

WWE Championship
Randy Orton (c) vs. Daniel Bryan

World Heavyweight Championship
Del Rio (c) vs. RVD

Curtis Axel (c) and Paul Heyman vs. CM Punk
Elimination Handicap Match

Divas Championship
AJ (c) vs. Naomi vs. Brie vs. Natalya

Prime Time Players vs. The Usos vs. Tons of Funk vs. The Real Americans vs. 3MB
Tag Team Turmoil #1 Contenders Match


As you can see, not much has been officially announced. Here’s some other matches that it seems like WWE is booking towards:

Likely To Be Booked

Miz vs. Fandango


Still Unclear

US Championship
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. ???

Damien Sandow vs. ???

Ryback vs. ???

Tag Team Championships
Reigns and Rollins (c) vs. Big Show and Mark Henry

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Embrace the Change – Why Wrestling Fans Need to Learn How to Adapt

Fan reactions to Sami Callihan’s new name of Solomon Crowe are generally favorable right now. He’s no longer “The Death Machine”, but there are no complaints about the new moniker. Some even go so far as to say that it fits him better than his indy name. This is a far cry from a couple months ago when indy wrestler El Generico was repackaged as the charming and lovable Canadian Sami Zayn. If someone busts their butt for years on the independent circuit, wrestling in tiny venues in front of tiny crowds, why are fans so quick to turn their backs when that wrestler realizes his dream of making it to the WWE? Is it just the name changes, or is it something else?

Why are fans so attached to the past? Is it wrestling hipsters wanting to say “I knew his work before he was famous”?  Is the wrestling world afraid of change, or are fans desperate to prove they know every piece of trivia about every wrestler? Do fans all need to be the ultimate insider? Before wrestling dirt was readily available on the internet, wrestlers were introduced with seriously crappy gimmicks, but when those gimmicks changed into something that the crowd embraced, fans were none the wiser to their not-so-glorious pasts. Kevin Nash had the stupid gimmicks of Vinny Vegas and Oz before he played his most famous characters, Diesel and Big Sexy. Before playing Kane, Glenn Jacobs played Issac Yankem, an evil dentist. He is also known to have taken over as Diesel after Kevin Nash left WWF for WCW, one more way Vince could show wrestlers that he owned the rights to everything. The repackaging into Kane wouldn’t have worked if fans started yelling “Evil Dentist” or “Not Real Diesel” at him when he debuted.  Kane had the liberty of debuting under a mask, but he also didn’t have loads of fans investigating his every move on the internet. By the time everyone found out about his past catalog of characters, he’d already made his mark as the Big Red Machine.

Fans searching through Bray Wyatt’s wrestling past will find a host of terrible characters, as well. Any fan can look up videos of the bleached blond Duke Rotunda, who I believe was FCW’s attempt to bring about the second coming of Wyatt’s real life uncle, Barry Windham. Most fans remember the character Husky Harris, and they seem unwilling to let the character die although it’s a terrible character with a terrible name. Bray Wyatt is a compelling character with a rich back story, but fans tried to ruin his debut by chanting “Husky Harris”, lessening the impact of the character.

El Generico is a popular comedic character, but he’s not a character that makes sense in the context of WWE. He’s a pasty pale Canadian posing as a Mexican luchador, he butchers Spanish, and he’s a parody of the storied, celebrated tradition of lucha libre.  His presence in independent promotions reminds fans that they’ve all seen some ”generic”  luchador thrown into a show to add flair. His new persona, Sami Zayn, is adorable and charming. His wrestling talent shines through despite his character change, and audiences who are unaware of his masked past support him in droves. Others still chant his popular theme song “Ole Ole Ole”.

The name Solomon Crowe is currently well received by the fans. It is one of the few that the fans have rallied behind.  Ultimately, it is up to him to make fans care about his character, and it is up to him to make his time in the WWE outshine his time in the indies. Fans don’t need to forget his past entirely, but it is not good to romanticize it to the point that they are unable to see the good in his new venture. New fans might embrace him, but will his former audience follow him to his new home in the WWE? Only time will tell.

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Should AJ Styles Stay in TNA?

The flag for AJ Styles has been and gone. A harsh blunt statement I’ve provided here considering we are talking about easily one of the most technically gifted wrestlers in the business. His work ethic and prowess in the ring would be an asset to any organisation some might say including WWE.  Personally I don’t believe we will ever see AJ styles in the WWE, and I think it’s in his best interest for his career that we don’t see him jump ship.

With recent contract negotiations and budget cuts on-going at TNA,  it is inevitable that people are going to speculate about Styles’ tenure with the company. Why would he stay there? TNA at this current moment is a sinking ship in my mind. Cutting people left and right while still having overpaid 60 year olds and past their prime MMA fighters on their payroll.  You have a person like AJ Styles who has given pretty much his whole career to that company, “Mr TNA” that still manage to be further down the pecking order than washed up talent from WWE.

Just take a look at his promo on last week’s Impact, although it was obviously a work, there had to have been some self-belief in what Styles was saying when talking about his situation and status in the company.  What also hit home in the promo to me as a viewer was how the fans didn’t really grasp the supposed importance of the situation and the non “kayfabe” elements regarding his contract that surrounded this whole promo. When CM Punk dropped the infamous “pipe bomb”, people stood still and took notice. WWE really built it around the fact that they we’re going to lose their hottest talent on the roster at that time whereas with Styles, it didn’t seem apparent during that promo that this was one of the biggest guys on the roster teasing a departure with the company, if you read between the lines.

Regardless of the pop two weeks ago when the “phenomenal” gimmick was brought back, the fans or company didn’t really do a big job of making AJ Styles seem like the reason anyone should be watching TNA. When you look at WWE at this current moment, people want to see RAW for someone like Daniel Bryan, his intensity and skill in the ring is selling PPVs at the moment, can the same be said for AJ styles I’m not too sure.

Now we look back at TNA between 2006-2010 much can be said differently about Styles then. Matches with Samoa Joe, Daniels etc. were easily stealing the show. It is during this time that maybe I could have seen Styles moving over to WWE and being built into one of the great Indy stars turned superstars like Punk & Bryan. However Styles stayed loyal and has given his whole career to this company, but at what cost?

Styles is seen as one of the true originals, one of the faces of TNA, influential in making the product what it is today with his wrestling style that was so prominent in building the X Division, yet TNA as a company has failed to capitalise on these great unique moments and talent involved, instead focusing on the Hulk Hogan’s, Jeff Hardy and other former stars instead of building up their own.

If AJ Styles moved to WWE, it should be as big as Goldberg coming to WWE from WCW or the outsiders jumping ship to WCW back in 96 but it won’t be. A move like that can either go as well as Nash and Hall’s or instead be as completely uninspiring as Goldberg’s move to WWE and that is how I feel it would go for him. Styles will always be seen as a “TNA Original” and at this time with the company in the state it is in and the stigma around it, it isn’t necessarily a good thing to be hanging over your head.

TNA are less relevant now than they ever have been, they are not even competing with WWE and the talent is surely not attracting Vince or Triple H for a potential move. The best thing AJ Styles can hope for is for the company to give him a little service back for all the service he has given them with a push and a little emphasis on the “phenomenal” we might even see the gold back round his waist this year.  Although if I was AJ, I’d think less about loyalty and a little bit more on what’s best for me and professional wrestling.


This story originally appeared on WrestlingNewsSource.com and was written by Josh Bennett.

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Should TNA Continue To Theme Impact Live?

MisterTNA from TNAMecca.com made a great observation about the last few months of TNA’s Impact Wrestling structure:

There has been a notable change to TNA’s approach with Live editions of Impact since the departure of Bruce Prichard. That change is since Prichard left, every live Impact has had some form of theme or promotional hook. The trend started with Destination X back in July in Louisville. The next live Impact had the hook of the identity of the man behind the August 1 Warning, followed by Hardcore Justice, this past Thursday’s Must Win Impact and then No Surrender in 2 weeks. It looks from the outside TNA have adopted the mindset that they want every Live Impact to feel different, and if it continues, it could be a great philosophy to increase interest in the product. MisterTNA

Impact Wrestling definitely has had a different feel lately. But, are these “themed” Impacts good for business? We talked about this on FTW180, but here’s a clip:

What do you think?

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Why Worked Shoot Promos Are So Great

For years now, wrestlers have used “promos” to help them get over in the world of wrestling. For some of them, the only way to get by was by running your mouth. Jimmy Hart, Captain Lou Albano, and Paul Heyman are prime examples of people in wrestling who have relied on their ability to use their gift of running their mouth to get them by. While wrestlers like The Rock, Stone Cold and CM Punk could work in the ring and on the mic. This was made famous in the summer of 2011 in the “Summer of Punk” when he came up with the term “Pipebomb.” This week on the “Highlight Reel,” we are going to focus on those special moments when wrestlers, or anyone involved in wrestling would get on the mic and deliver something real, something unexpected, or in the immortal words of CM Punk, a “Pipebomb.”

Continue reading this article on TWRNetwork.com →

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Daniel Bryan vs The Corporation. Will It Work?

Rumors across the internet has already embedded a horrible feeling in the stomach when I found out that Randy Orton is “penciled in” to remain within the WWE Championship picture at least until January 2014. I’ve got no qualms about Randy Orton’s present run however do these rumors do take the excitement out of this storyline?

Randy Orton has taken a much needed turn into the “dark side” with an ascending baby-face that consistently motivates electricity with the WWE Universe. Daniel Bryan being the hero seeking vengeance has a natural ability to draw in support from the crowd that’s progressively matured over time. The creative department has a trend of thrusting talent down the throats of the people, yet Daniel Bryan’s climb to the top feels a comfortable journey.

There are comparisons swirling on the web that show similarities to segments conducted from the past that involved “Stone Cold” Steve Austin & Vince McMahon.  Our goat faced protagonist seems to have a tougher challenge, that’s said without intention to diminish the Stone Cold/McMahon feud that was so popular.

World Wrestling Entertainment seems to be delivering a lot of the E part of their acronym, Daniel Bryan opposing an almighty corporate foe breeds fantastic television. Questions are burning where this story ends up going, people are trying to pin point when Randy Orton may lose the title. There are also predictions about how long Daniel Bryan would hold the title after potentially reclaiming the gold. Personally I leave those thoughts locked in the back of my mind because it spoils the viewing pleasure.

The intrigue for me lies with the choice of direction that could unfold. Big Show is immediately highlighted as an ally to Daniel Bryan which would sound unlikely before perhaps. These wrestlers once battled over the World Heavyweight Championship and are now intertwined as allies by an injustice that’s out of their control. All the cards are seemingly held by the evil oppressive powers at be that have The Shield helping do their dirty work to preserve the desired company image through defending the undeserving but very capable WWE Champion.

What the McMahons may at some point lack in muscle, they make up for in political powers which makes them overly formidable. The creative clockwork backstage must turn at an accelerated pace to catch up with ideas that allow Daniel Bryan to gain an upper hand rather than introduce a returning character down the line that possesses no influence on the company. Changing Triple H doesn’t appear as a logical plan and he should not turn back as a face because it’s too soon & simply doesn’t work. Perhaps Shane McMahon could change the balance of power, this would make sense however the deck is still stands against them.

As the key story that’s going at this moment in time, there’s so much potential that gives the top tier title prestige. This also offers the opportunity for WWE to apply meaningful time to other areas of the roster to restore interest, namely in the mid card championship divisions. With the next few months supposedly dedicated to the main story which is strongly signposted to conclude at next year’s Wrestlemania, it’s safe to say the creative department can usher in changes to benefit the overall product. If the main event has a recipe to constantly deliver, why not focus on making everything else even better?


This story originally appeared on WrestlingNewsSource.com and was written by Daniel Barker.

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Match of the Day: Ultimate X Guantlet

In preparation for the 12-man guantlet match this week on Impact Wrestling, here is the Ultimate X Gauntlet Match from Victory Road 2007.