Hello there, it’s The Wrestling Classic here, coming at you with a brand new TWC Report. Im back, and I apologize for not writing a TWC Report in almost over a month, but I have been dealing with a lot of personal stuff this last month and I actually like to focus on these blog posts compared to when I’m just spamming on Instagram. If this is the first time reading a TWC report, let me tell you a little about what it is. It’s my main blog to talk about various topics happening in professional wrestling today. It’s the blog where I share my opinions, thoughts and ideas, encouraging others to chime in with theirs whenever they like. There is a chance some of the topics discussed here may be become a separate blog with the focus mainly on that topic or that a random thought may become a feature in the next TWC Report, with me going further into detail. I expect to do one to two of these a month. I hope you enjoy.
The Man, The Guy & The Dude
Image via WWE.com
“Whether we are friends or enemies, we are going to own this business” – Dean Ambrose on The Shield.
If someone told me in 2012 that one day all three Shield members would be WWE World Champions by the end of this decade, I would have believed them. However, if someone was courageous and psychic enough to tell me that they would all hold the title once during the same night, I’d contemplate how that would even be possible, but it was. Never say never in the world of wresting right?
I knew “The Man” before he was Seth Rollins but he was Tyler Black rocking the indy’s. I’ve heard the stories about “The Dude” Dean Ambrose during his hardcore independent days as Jon Moxley, and did my research to witness the insanity of the Lunatic Fringe where I heard he got signed to the WWE for development. “The Guy” Roman Reigns was the only new face to me when they debuted as the Shield, having only seen him a couple of times on FCW and NXT. Therefore, in my mind Seth Rollins was already The MAN killing it at ROH and NXT, Dean Ambrose was that DUDE doing some fucked up shit in the independents and who was supposed to feud Foley, and Reigns was always just that GUY who was always intriguing but I didnt know much about yet or saw much of him after he got signed.
Enter the Shield, and all three them as a group became the most dominant group in professional wrestling. They went undefeated for months. They weren’t over the top but badass and dangerous. They went after anyone and everyone. They were hungry and ambitious. They were all champions at one point. Their losses you could count on your hands. They got a clean sweep in victories against the legendary and decorated group of Evolution. Seth Rollins was speed and brains. Roman Reigns was power and enforcer. Dean Ambrose was the loose cannon and wild card. The Shield was fucking awesome. I think them debuting as a group like that helped them avoid getting lost in the shuffle as single stars yet allowed them to stay relevant as a top tier group. It allowed them to grow before testing the waters as single stars. Instead being apart of that group made them stars on the main roster.
When the time was right, the Shield was broken up when Seth Rollins bought in to the Authority and turned on his brothers in arms in 2014. Rollins did so by taking a chair to his fellow Shield mates backs and shaking hands with “The Game” Triple H and Randall Keith Orton. It was finally time to see if all three members were going to be able to succeed as single stars, and it didn’t surprise anyone when they basically dominated 2014 and 2015 just like they dominated as a group from 2012-2014. Roman Reigns focused on the WWE Title immediately and continued to fight at the top of the card. Rollins being the Ultimate Opportunist used his ties with the Authority to win the Money in the Bank briefcase and sneak his way to the top. Dean Ambrose continued to be a thorn in Rollins side after the betrayal and continued to add to his list of achievements winning the Intercontinental Title. The Shield may have been no more, but the three members continued to play prominent roles on WWE television.
In was 2015, when the three Shield members really cemented their place in the top of the card. Reigns who started losing the support of the fans, won the Royal Rumble to guarantee him a match against Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania for the WWE World Title. The same event where Rollins was involved in a match of year candidate against Cena and Lesnar. It was at Wrestlemania, the first Shield member won the WWE World Title, and it wasn’t the member participating in the match himself. It was the brains of The Shield Seth Rollins who came and cashed in his Money in the Bank contract, pinning Roman Reigns to cap off Wrestlemania 31 at the first Shield member to win the WWE World Title. Rollins dominated 2015 as the WWE World Champion, where he spent the early Summer months defending the strap against Dean Ambrose. It was here where the people started getting behind the idea of Ambrose as the WWE Champion. The story of Ambrose from here forward was that he would always get so close to winning but never actually got the job done. When it was finally time for Reigns to get his shot at the WWE Title and Seth Rollins at Survivor Series, Rollins suffered a knee injury. Thus being the second time a Rollins/Reigns match on a big event got postposed due to an injury. As previously in 2014 when they were supposed to face each other at Night of Champions but Reigns suffered a hernia injury.
In was during this time Roman Reigns became a two time WWE Champion, winning the tournament at Survivor Series for the vacant title defeating Dean Ambrose in the finals and then again defeating Sheamus on Raw for the belt, the same man who cashed in on him at Survivor Series after he first won it. Reigns would later lose the WWE title to Triple H, when he was forced to defend it in the Royal Rumble against all the other participants. Dean Ambrose then again got another shot at becoming WWE Champion against Triple H at Roadblock but came up short. Reigns than won a match against Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar to decide who would face Triple H for the title at Wrestlemania. At the biggest Wrestlemania of all time, Reigns finally regained the WWE Title, becoming a three time WWE World Champion, already surpassing Rollins in Championship reigns in less opportunities than Dean Ambrose. It was clear at this point. Reigns the GUY destined to be at the top. Rollins the MAN who created his own opportunties and believed in his own hype to get to the top. Ambrose was the DUDE everyone wanted at the top but only kept coming close.
In conclusion they all became major players as singles competitors, but this Summer of 2016, the three former Shield members cemented their spot in wrestling history and proved they owned this business. At Extreme Rules Seth Rollins returned from injury attacking Reigns after his match and holding up the title he never lost. This lead to the match that had been postponed twice at Money in the Bank, Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns. Although, we got the match we expected from the two stars, the night didn’t end with either one of them standing tall. Instead it ended with the new Mr. Money in the Bank, who just earned that moniker that same night, standing tall with the WWE World Championship after cashing in on Seth Rollins who just reclaimed it. It was on the very night all three members of the Shield held the WWE World Title on the same night. It also marked the first time THE DUDE had successfully captured the belt.
Personally, I would have waited until Summerslam, but I assume they have big plans for the biggest show of the Summer because we’re getting The Shield triple threat at Battleground. It is either the fact that they have big plans for Summerslam or that the Shield members will be split a part on different shows after the draft. The buildup has been lacklustre since Reigns got suspended for failing the wellness program, but Rollins and Ambrose have been doing their best to build anticipation to the triple threat without Reigns being there for the weeks leading to the big match. Regardless, it is certain that Battleground is a must watch event for any Shield fan, because its the first time all three competitors face each other at the same time. It’s the event where we finally find out who is THE BEST between THE MAN, THE GUY and THE DUDE. I can’t wait. One thing is for sure though, whether they are friends or enemies, The Shield own this business right now.
When the Apex Predator meets the Beast Incarnate
Its about damn time. Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton has been confirmed for Summerslam. I have been looking forward to this rivalry ever since Brock Lesnar made his shocking return to the WWE in 2012. The only time these two had a televised match against each other was in 2002, when Randy Orton was a fresh new face on the main roster and Lesnar was already building a name for himself on the main roster as the Next Big Thing. Things this time around will be totally different. Randy Orton is 14 time World Champion and cemented his place in the WWE as a legend and future Hall of Famer. Randy Orton has become more vicious, confident, dangerous and his RKO finisher can come out of nowhere. Orton has been on top of his game ever since joining Evolution in 2004, the same year Lesnar left the WWE. Point being is that this isn’t the same rookie Orton, that Lesnar faced in 2002. Brock Lesnar on the other hand is didn’t just prove he’s the Next Big Thing in his initial run in the WWE, but left the WWE and left his mark in the MMA world fighting for the UFC. Lesnar then returned to the WWE, only to end the Undertakers undefeated streak, winning the WWE Championship and creating the terror known as Suplex City. Lesnar has not been pinned or submitted cleanly since defeating the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 30. If I was a betting man, I’d easily have to put my money on Lesnar, just because how he has been pushed since Wrestlemania 30. Orton also doesn’t need the rub of defeating the Beast, but just has to give Lesnar a run for his money. I’ll be the last one to complain if Randall does defeat the Beast Brock Lesnar but I do believe a younger or newer talent may benefit more from that rub of defeating Lesnar. Lesnar was the one to end the streak as an already established star so there is a chance Orton could be the one to stop Lesnar. It may not be the best choice, but it’s certainly not the worst. Look how beating the Undertaker’s streak revitalized Brock’s current run with the WWE.
I really want this match to be a back and forth match, where it shows that Orton may be Brock’s hardest challenge yet. I don’t want to see a match full of suplexes, and risk having Randy Orton injure his shoulder yet again. I don’t want the same singles Lesnar match we’ve seen ever since he defeated Cena for the strap at Summerslam 2014, in which Lesnar performs a limited amount of moves and a billion suplexes. I want Randall to return vicious and dangerous and seem like a legitimate threat to Lesnar. I am hoping for a quality wrestling match between two of the best wrestlers of the Modern Era and I want it to end with both stars getting themselves over.
Although, there is one more big thing to factor in when it comes to this Lesnar vs Orton match. It’s the fact that Brock Lesnar is making his UFC return tonight at UFC 200, against Mark Hunt. I know it is two completley different worlds, but Brock getting laid out in the octagon can really hurt his push as a monster in the WWE. Mark Hunt is no joke or easy opponent either and it’s not just going to be a cake walk for Lesnar to defeat him. There is also a chance that Lesnar could get hurt or leave the event with a possible concussion. If we’ve learnt anything in recent years, the WWE is very strict on letting wrestlers compete with even the most minor concussion. Which is a very good thing but still could determine the fate of this dream match. I wonder if when Lesnar’s team, Brock Lesnar, Dana White, Vince McMahon and Triple H met, if any of these things were taken into consideration? It makes me wonder if announcing this match with Orton before UFC 200 was a smart idea? It also leaves me wondering if it creates a more even battlefield if Lesnar loses tomorrow or if it just hurts the presence of Lesnar’s WWE character overall?
I’m not sure how tonight’s UFC event is going to make or break this match, but I know regardless I am looking forward to UFC tomorrow and Summerslam. Maybe that was the goal both companies were going for, to create anticipation for both shows. I am very curious of how they are going to build up this match and if we’ll see both Orton and Lesnar have a face to face altercation before Summerslam. A lot of the responsibility is on Brock’s shoulders to be successful tomorrow to help the match for Summerslam. The match may be booked, but there is a lot we have to be patient for until we get there. Until then, the idea of two of the highest ranking members on the WWE food chain going face to face is something to get excited about. The Apex Predator trying to slay the Beast Incarnate is intriguing and a dream match of mine.
The Cruiserweight Classic
Image via WWE.com
When the Cruiserweight Classic tournament was announced earlier this year, I was excited. Growing up as a kid during the Monday Night Wars and Ruthless Aggression era, I loved cruiserweight wrestling. In my opinion. it is the style of wrestling that is missing from the current WWE product today. Don’t get me wrong, there are some acrobatic and talented high flyer’s on the WWE roster today but that one guaranteed cruiserweight match every Monday on Nitro or Thursday on Smackdown is truly missed. Nowadays to catch some light heavyweight or cruiserweight action you can find it a lot in NJPW and independent organizations, yet not much in the WWE. Then it was announced that the WWE was reaching out to the best Cruiserweights worldwide.
The WWE wanted to bring in the greatest wrestlers weighing in at 205lbs or less, that have unique wrestling styles and interesting background stories together for one tournament that showcases these the fast pace cruiserweight style. There was a mixture of popular independent talent, new names I’ve never heard before from the independents and veterans who have spent time in the WWE previously. Notable independent names such as Zack Sabre Jr, Jack Gallagher, The Bollywood Boys, Rich Swann, Cedric Alexander, Drew Gulak, Johnny Gargano, Tomasso Ciampa, Noam Dar and TJ Perkins just to name a few are apart of this stacked tournament. All these guys getting their first taste and opportunity to work under the WWE umbrella. I can’t even imagine how much it means to a lot of them who have been striving to get here for so long. NJPW star Kota Ibushi and former WWE stars such as Tajiri and Brian Kendrick are involved in the tournament as well. I know the tournament is being taped and its very easy to just go read the spoilers, however I would recommend holding off from doing so and watching the CWC when it airs on the WWE Network. Trust me, it’ll make it so much more entertaining and fun to watch. My prediction is that the final two are going to end up being Zack Sabre Jr and Ibushi, but I could be wrong. I would love to see someone as talented as Kendrick make it to the end and have his moment. I would also love my hometown buddies, Gurv and Harv Sihra be the final two. Therefore the brothers would have to face off for the win but I have to think from the WWE’s perspective and Zack Sabre Jr vs. Kota Ibushi makes the most sense to me as the money match.
The list of competitors and who they’ll face in the first round is below. Its really going to be something special and I can’t wait until it airs next week,
ECCW: Ballroom Brawl 6
These next couple of months have so much going on now that I think of it, that there is a lot to look forward to. There is UFC 200, Battleground, the CWC, NXT Brooklyn 2 and Summerslam all taking place this Summer. However, here on the Pacific Northwest, in the Vancouver area of British Columbia, there is one more important show that takes place during the Summer and that is ECCW’s Ballroom Brawl. Ballroom Brawl 6 takes place in the heart of Downtown Vancouver at the Commodore Ballroom, and is always a sold out show. Commodore Ballroom is a historic venue here in Vancouver, where bands such as Pearl Jam and Nirvana have performed and now its the home of ECCW’s biggest night. It features the biggest and brightest stars of the Vancouver area featured in Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling, and as well as talent from around the world coming here to be a part of the big event.
For example, at this Ballroom Brawl event, Lucha Underground’s Brian Cage will be taking on ECCW Champion El Phantasmo for the belt. EL P has been on a roll but this might be his biggest challenge yet because its an opponent he’s never wrestled before. The rest of the card is really shaping up as well. It’ll be Sid Sylum wrestling his final wrestling match against one of his former partner Bishop in a No Holds Barred match. Also, well be treated with a tag team TLC match for the ECCW tag titles when the Good Brothers defend their tits against the Westcoast Express. Another big match on the card is Mike Santiago challenges his former American Gunz team mate Ethan HD for the Canadian Championship. The Bollywood Boyz face off against The Cunninghams in the grudge match. Shreddz faces off against Jamie Diaz. Nicole Matthews, Billy Suede, The King of the Yukon, Xavier Galaxy and Andy Bird will all be featured as well. Personally I can’t wait.
If you haven’t seen any of the previous Ballroom Brawl’s you’re able to watch them by subscribing to their onDemand service on Pivotshare by clicking right here.
– I got a ton of questions and thoughts about the upcoming brand extension but I do plan to do an entire blog that focuses on that.
– I haven’t watched “The Final Deletion” match between Broken Matt and Brother Nero yet and thats because I’ve heard mixed reviews about it. Its been praised for being creative and different, yet people have trashed it as well. I know I’ll check it out and when I do I’ll share my opinions on it.
– I’m strongly debating going to California for PWG BOLA this year in September. If anyone else is going let me know.
– Battleground is really getting a lot of the matches I thought we wouldn’t see until Summerslam and I honestly think its because the draft is coming up soon. It leaves me very intrigued on how Summerslam is going to turn out.
– Two weeks after Wrestlemania, was the last time we saw Sasha Banks on TV until last month when she returned in a match against Summer Rae on Main Event. Thankfully she’s now challenging Charlotte again for the Women’s Title. I know she had to recover from a concussion she suffered working a live show, but my only concern is that its going to become a common thing that when they don’t have anything for Sasha to do they’re going to keep her off TV. It is almost as if Sasha is an attraction herself, and they can’t risk having her popularity dwindle by having her in pointless matches week after week when she’s not in the title picture. In that case, I don’t mind it but I do enjoy having Sasha on TV. Is she still undefeated?
– I still think there should be Womens Tag Team Titles, however with the draft around the corner I don’t know how that would work and how the Women’s division is going to be separated over all. The Total Divas on one show and the womens wrestlers on the other? Will the Women’s Champion be featured on both shows?
– Where has Shane O Mac been the last couple of weeks?
– AJ Styles and The Club bring so much to the current product, and AJ has done nothing elevate the product since debuting in the Royal Rumble.
– I wonder how many the guys in the Cruiserweight Classic might actually get signed to the WWE within the next couple of years.
– When will Finn Balor debut and reclaim his club? I think we’re going to get Cena vs Styles two at Summerslam, but I was hoping for Balor’s debut.
– Imagine Cena, Enzo & Cass vs. The Club was a War Games style match at Battleground. Put the guys in the Chamber or a Cell and play by War Games rules. I could totally dig that.
– Kevin Owens is Mr. Entertainment.
– I am nearly 100% sure that Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn will be drafted to two different shows, as its the only way to stall their feud for a little while. Its impossible to have them on the same show and not be thorn in each others side.
– We’ve been hearing rumours for weeks but I am really curious which stars they will bring back to beef up the rosters during the new brand extension era.
– They stopped referring to the WWE World Title as a World Title but simply the WWE Title. I don’t know but this might be signalling the return of the World Title.
– Nattie using my promo suggestion on Raw and The Rock following and commenting on my IG page really motivates me towards my dreams. It allowed me to feel like anything is possible when I started losing hope. Thank you Natalya and Thank you Dwayne.
– I still really hope that Eric Bischoff makes an appearance trying to argue his case to be the COO of Raw or Smackdown.
– I’ve been watching a lot of Progress Wrestling and I’ve been loving it.
– If you have not checked out any of the Women of Honour episodes of ROH TV or matches on YouTube, I suggest you do.
– I’m starting to wonder if Kurt Angle will ever have another match in the WWE. I am sure he’ll be inducted into the Hall of Fame one day, but will Angle have another match? That is the real question.
– I’m doing a couple of giveaways, so remember to keep checking out my IG page for all the info on how to win free stuff.
Thats it for this edition of the TWC report. I hope you guys enjoyed it and leave your feedback, opinions and ideas below. Ooooh yeah! Dig It?! Start a discussion below in the comments section, by leaving your comments, feedback and thoughts on some of these topics. Also, if you have any suggestions on what you want me to focus on or elaborate more on for the next TWC Report, comment below.
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