New Japan Pro Wrestling’s biggest event of the year happened last night/this morning (depending on where you live).
The January 4th show at the Tokyo Dome has been a tradition for decades, but they have branded it ‘Wrestle Kingdom’ the last eleven years. The last few January 4th shows have been epic and this year’s card was stacked as well.
2016 was all about anointing new stars in New Japan after losing stars Shinsuke Nakamura and A.J. Styles to the WWE, and Kota Ibushi to, um, free agency? NJPW has been trying to push Kenny Omega, Tetsuya Naito and random other members of Los Ingobernables de Japon to the next level.
Could this be the show when New Japan crowns a new face of the promotion?
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is probably the most popular form of wrestling known across the world. Its popularity has been sustained for the last three decades without any threat. It may lead to some thinking that they know everything there is to learn about WWE, and it is certainly not the case. Here are the top 11 mind-boggling facts about wrestling.
11. There are big professional wrestling promotions in countries other than the US
Contrary to popular opinion, even though WWE is the most marketed wrestling company, UK also boasts tens of promotions and championships. Wrestling is more than just a sport.
The WWE have lost nearly half of their audience on RAW over the last few years and WWE Network subscribers have hit a plateau, even after giving away free programming month after month.
The WWE is a public company and even if they want to live in a kayfabe world of record profits, it’s not what is really happening. The brand split increased the ratings for Smackdown Live, but Smackdown house show attendance is almost at record lows. The roster is so thin right now that it is really hard to keep booking interesting matches.
Here are ten ways the WWE could improve their product right now.
She has been in the news since she failed a drug test in late-August the same day her boyfriend Alberto Del Rio also failed his test. It was reported that they failed for different reasons. Del Rio announced later that he was taking testosterone to help with his physique.
Her boyfriend worked out a mutual release with WWE, since an ‘out clause’ was coming up soon anyways. Paige has a couple years left on her contract, so there’s no way WWE would let her out of her contract, especially since she’s a high profile talent on their programming and E!’s “Total Divas.”
Impact Wrestling has been the center of many rumors the last week. Most surrounded the impending sale of the promotion. As of this post, majority owner Dixie Carter is still in control.
The ‘Bound For Glory’ pay-per-view went off as planned and it was a pretty solid show overall. Carter must have received funding from one of the groups wanting to buy Impact Wrestling (or TNA Wrestling) from her.
Billy Corgan (yes, the Smashing Pumpkins lead singer) is currently trying to purchase the promotion. He’s currently the President of Impact Ventures, the company that owns Impact/TNA. He acquired that title after letting Impact Ventures borrow money for a few television tapings.
The San Diego Comic-Con is the largest comic book and entertainment convention in the world. Movie studios, comic book titans and the top toy companies in the world unveil a lot of exclusives only available at the SDCC.
A few months ago, SDCC released a small flier showing the toy companies and brands that will have exclusives at this year’s convention. It listed the usual suspects like Funko, Marvel, DC, Ghostbusters and many others. I was shocked to find WWE on the flier since they haven’t had a SDCC exclusive since Rey Mysterio’s Funko or Mattel’s Ministry of Darkness Undertaker elite a few years ago.
Well, Mattel and Matty Collector spilled the beans a few weeks ago and announced that their exclusive is a Shockmaster elite!
WWE is in the midst of a youth movement. Their farm system NXT has been seen as a huge success. Young wrestlers (WWE likes to use the term ‘superstars’) are now more prepared than ever to take the next step and be on the main roster.
Roman Reigns is a product of NXT and is a member of the famed Anoa’i family, which includes The Rock, Rikishi, Yokozuna and over a dozen other former and current wrestlers. WWE had every reason to strap a rocket to him and push him to the top.
They added him to a stable called ‘The Shield’ with two other wrestlers that had a lot of experience in the indies, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. The group has long since been dismantled, yet Reigns still stuck in the same character.