Posts Tagged ‘Madison Square Garden’

As seen at All InCody Rhodes defeated Nick Aldis to become the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion. NWA Vice President and producer, Dave Lagana, recently appeared on X–Pac’s podcast, XPac 12360 to talk about the success of All In and where the NWA Heavyweight title will be defended next, among other things.

About the reaction Cody received after winning the NWA title and the build up to the match, Dave said, “We all knew what we wanted. And I think that was the goal of this whole project – and Nick talks about it, and Cody talks about it; we wanted to create the big fight feel — the UFC, boxing event — and every decision we made was to execute that. Even from the walks, and you know, the aftermath. Everybody who was there was a part of this story.

“Everybody that was involved in this project from soup to nuts, as far as our inclusion had a part in being there. And it’s the weird cliché of everybody involved in that match too, at one point or another, decided to say ‘screw the tradition, we’re going to bet on ourselves’. Everyone! From Billy and I, from leaving TNA, to Nick leaving TNA and basically being out of the business, to Cody leaving WWE, we all had something to prove. And everyone’s like, ‘Oh, what a moment when Cody won!’ The moment to us I think as a team felt the strongest was when the bell rung. For whatever it was, 45 seconds, the crowd simply honoured that moment of ‘here’s this dead brand’. Deadspin (wrote) ‘Billy Corgan buys oldest and deadest brand in pro wrestling’, you know, like, to have it be literally 11 months in to get that reaction for a title match — it just, it was so overwhelming. That to me was the greatest success point of the match. Cody winning – yes, the crowd was going to go crazy. But, for them to be that excited for the bell, that was amazing!”

Lagana also said that the NWA World title belt will “have a not to the past of NWA.”

“We’re going to bring back the National Championship with the belt,” Lagana stated. “The belt will have a nod to the past of the NWA and we are going to reveal it till the week of the show if not that night. Because there’s one thing I’ve learned from wrestling fans, they may or not have a lot of hot takes on things (laughs) so we’re gonna have the new championship that week, I look forward to everyone’s hot takes cause there will be them. The people who do know already have hot takes, everyone’s got an opinion on it which means I know it’s gonna work as far as what people want. I’ll say this, there’s nothing like it right now in pro wrestling.

Lagana then went into great detail about where the NWA Heavyweight title could be defended next.

“We did a 10 Pounds (of Gold) when Billy sold out the (Madison Square) Garden and we would love the NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship to be available and defended on any stage imaginable. So if it’s Madison Square Garden, if it’s the Barclays Center, if it’s WrestleMania, if it’s the Tokyo Dome… we have put zero limits on how and where, and I think each time we can have that, we are proving our value to be on that stage. Because I remember when the announcement happened at All In, everyone was like, ‘Oh, Aldis versus Cody, I mean I guess the moment when Cody wins, I guess it will be something’ and we over delivered in that moment and I know we can over deliver on any stage. Because I think our success at what we’ve been able to do has proven that.

“We’re not a traditional wrestling company with 50 guys under contract, running all these live events were a promotion more like a Money Mayweather promotion or De La Hoya, you know what I mean? We promote fights and have successfully now promoted I would say two really big ones. Like the first was the Tim Storm fight with Nick (Aldis), we got the attention on two people that they didn’t expect they wanted to see and now with the Cody one we’re a promotional machine. And in reality entertainment is not defined. Go look at traditional entertainment right now and the shifts going on, a sitcom in 1998 had a lot more value than a sitcom in 2010, 2018. So it’s all about what the audience wants to watch and how they want to watch it. And the fact that there are a lot of wrestling companies producing a lot of content that people aren’t paying attention to and we’ve been able to succeed by producing less content, making the content more important.”

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Although Chris Jericho had previously claimed that he’d never work a non-WWE show in America out of respect for Vince McMahon, the 47-year-old has now changed his tune.

‘Y2J’ appeared at ALL IN, where he disguised himself as Pentagon Jr. to ambush Kenny Omega, and now has his sights set on another landmark non-WWE show: Ring Of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling’s upcoming G1 Supercard (6 April 2019) at Madison Square Garden.

Per the man himself on a recent episode of Busted Open Radio, Jericho is open to all possibilities as a free agent. He didn’t confirm anything, but said there’s a chance he’ll work the G1 Supercard, provided his schedule allows it.

2018 has seen the former WWE Champion take his career into his own hands. He wrestled Omega at NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 12 in January, then took Tetsuya Naito’s IWGP Intercontinental Title a few months later. Up next is his Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Rager cruise (27-31 October), then, surely, a New Japan return.

It’s hard to imagine Vince McMahon being best pleased at this, particularly as the G1 Supercard takes place over WrestleMania weekend, though his control over Jericho is now non-existent.

In news that will irritate Vince McMahon more than a short wrestler sneezing all over his face, the G1 SuperCard co-promoted by Ring Of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling has sold out Madison Square Garden, with zero matches announced, in well under an hour of the tickets going on general sale.

This is a major deal. WWE hasn’t sold out its spiritual home in years.

One might point to the hub of wrestling activity that is ‘Mania Weekend as the primary driver of sales – that is, after all, why the specific date of April 6, 2019 was chosen – but it’s hard to envisage that this is something some 18,000 fans have decided to just “do” “while they are there”. This is genuine, uplifting history, and the ardent wrestling fans want to be a part of it. This won’t damage WWE one iota, beyond a bruise to the ego – the TakeOver event on the same night will doubtlessly sell out also – but this should, in theory, force WWE to up their own game. Or just throw Fox money at talent with no motivation to promote them with conviction. One or the other.

Cody tweeted the following in response to the news – the show itself was an encouraged response to the smash success of his ALL IN venture – “I am the game now”.

And, since G1 SuperCard is guaranteed to sell more tickets than TakeOver at the Barclays Center, he may have a point.

Prestigious New York City wrestling mecca Madison Square Garden this morning let slip that The Undertaker will lace the boots once more, for a Raw brand house show set for the venue on 7 July. It’ll mark ‘Taker’s first MSG match for over eight years, his last being a defeat to then WWE Champion Kane on the 10 September 2010 ‘Bret Hart Appreciation Night’.

This time last year, we all thought The Deadman had placed his urn on the mantelpiece for good, but this past April, The Undertaker returned from the dead once more to battle John Cena in what was technically a match at WrestleMania, before burying Rusev in a casket match as part of the Greatest Royal Rumble.

The Jeddah gimmick bout seemed like a non-canonical one-off appearance for ‘Taker, designed to appease the investors of WWE’s Saudi Arabian farce, but apparently not. There’s no word yet on who The Phenom will contend with in New York, though it’s likely to be heavily promoted as the event draws near.

A host of the usual suspects including Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, and Ronda Rousey are already listed for the show. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Bálor vs. Elias is currently the only confirmed match.

This week The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling welcomed former WWE Superstar and wrestling’s smartest man, “The Genius” Lanny Poffo. Poffo joins the show to discuss the Kickstarter campaign that will bring his autobiography to life: “The Genius Lanny Poffo – Wrestling’s Smartest Man”by Inverse Press. We also explore some of Leaping Lanny’s greatest moments in his career, his family’s renegade promotion ICW and his legendary run with Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig to include his upset victory over Hulk Hogan during the height of Hulkamania. The full episode can be downloaded at this link.

PLEASE CREDIT The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling FOR THIS TRANSCRIPTION

Who inspired him to begin to write poetry:

When I started out as a boy and I don’t know if you believe in God or coincidences but you’ll never guess who he threw into my life, Shell Silverstein. “Where the Sidewalk Ends”, “The Light In The Attic”, “Falling Up” and also he wrote some songs for Johnny Cash including “A Boy Named Sue” and he wrote “The Unicorns Song”.

“I met him twice in my life and he inspired me to write poetry myself. Unfortunately he died in 1999 so I was unable to say to him and to thank him for inspiring and say here was a book that was just published “Limericks From The Heart and Lungs” and it would have made him very happy but unfortunately he passed away before the book became published but what a fantastic man and how lucky I am to have been influenced by him.”

What he did to standout to Vince McMahon:

“I was a guest on TNT and I knew that if I was boring that they would never invite me back. I wore a suit of armor and I did a poem about Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon that it was great and why don’t I do a poem before each match. I was so excited because I finally had a gimmick and not only a gimmick it was legit that I actually write poetry and I love to do it.”

Throwing out frisbees to the crowd prior to his matches:

“With the frisbees I copied that from Al Costello. He was a tag team champion with Roy Hefferrnan in the Fabulous Kangaroos and they used to throw cardboard boomerangs out to the audience. They used to come to the ring with the carved boomerang from an aborigine but of course you can’t throw those out to the audience so they threw the cardboard ones out and two of the fans that used to go for those boomerangs were the Macho Man and I when we were just children. I thought what could I throw? I am not Australian and what can I throw that would get some traction. I rolled up some scrolls and threw those out but they didn’t make it into the first row. I put a poem on the frisbee and we typed the poem and put it on the frisbee and that is what caused all of the hullabaloo. They started selling them at the arena and after I’d win, lose or draw I’d sign them for the audience and we would sell out every night of frisbees. We sold hundreds of them and every once in a while I run into a fan that has an original signed autographed frisbee.”

Being teamed with Mr. Perfect as The Genius:

I’ll tell you what. I loved Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig and I am very sorry that he passed away and in a twenty-one year career. I’ll say that the four months that I spent with Curt Hennig and got to be a nemesis of or whatever I was (a piece of gum on the boot) of Hulk Hogan, those for four months were the greatest four months of my career. I got three main events in Madison Square Garden, we broke box office records in places like the Las Angeles Sports Arena and in the Myriad in Oklahoma City (I don’t think they call it that anymore). Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig was the consummate professional and I am very sorry he passed away too soon.

“It all ended at WrestleMania 6 and I got faded out. That is what happens and it is like one is in jail and the other is just visiting and I was just visiting. But it was fantastic and I drank from the silver challis of success for one shining moment and it was all worth it.”

Is wrestling missing the larger than life characters of his era:

“I don’t want to be one of those old timers that knocks the stars today. They are trying to make a living too and hopefully a fortune and they risk their lives every night. The only advantage that we had over them is we didn’t have writers and they do. Once you have writers than how are you going to have a personality like Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Macho Man Randy Savage, Jake The Snake Roberts, Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig? We didn’t use writers we did it all ourselves and until they start firing the writers they are never going to have the personalities because it is going to sound like people reading. That is what they are doing, they are reading. They are memorizing lines and are reading and it is just cookie-cutter. They are great athletes and they deserve to make a living and a fortune it is just that they are handcuffed and are cookie-cutter.”

The Honky Tonk Man is best known for holding the WWE Intercontinental Championship for a record 64 weeks. In a recent interview with Andy Malnoske of Wrestling Inc., he discussed losing the title to The Ultimate Warrior in the inaugural SummerSlam in 1988.

By 1988, The Honky Tonk Man was one of the biggest heels in the wrestling business. He said at that point he had made himself a pariah to audiences, so they were wishing for anyone to beat him and take his title.

“It’s like, every kid out there that was eight years old when I said, ‘I’m walking down the streets, I’m the greatest of all time, I’m looking for a fight, nobody can beat me,'” Honky explained. “Every eight-year-old kid out there that’s 38 now would say, ‘Boy if he comes down my street I can kick his rear-end, I’ll kick this guy’s butt.’ So then when I go out and they wanted anybody to beat me, they didn’t care who it was, they wouldn’t have cared if it was the milk man that beat me, they just wanted somebody to beat me, just get the belt off this guy.”

The Honky Tonk Man was originally supposed to face Brutus Beefcake, but he had was pulled out of the match due to a storyline injury. So Honky got on the mic and made an open challenge, which The Ultimate Warrior responded to. The Ultimate Warrior pinned him in just 31 seconds, sending the crowd into a frenzy. But Honky remembers how deflated they were when they realized who was the new champion.

“So when I did lose, there was such an explosion in the building if you go back and listen,” Honky said. “Then I lose to The Ultimate Warrior and then the people are like, ‘Yes! Yes, he lost!’ And then the second breath is, ‘But not to that guy! We wanted him beat, but not to that guy.’ So you can’t win.”

Honky said he knew his run at the top of the card was over, so he wanted to go out on his own terms. He said he had complete control over how he would lose the Intercontinental title.

“My time was up and I knew it. The one time I had creative control over everything, was that match,” he said. “I put it all together, it was my idea, they let me do it that way. It was good for him, it was good for the company and people still hated me anyway.”

Honky also discussed how he became a top heel in the WWE. He said it was through learning from the great wrestlers that came before him. He would take certain aspects of various heels and apply them to his character and that helped him get on the audience’s bad side.

“Being the bad guy with my mannerisms and the way I would do stuff, I studied the good ‘bad guys’ in the business back then,” he said. “I would watch and see Harley Race, how he would have a match with Jack Briscoe, or I would watch Terry Funk have a match with someone and see what they did and how they did it and how they made people mad. And then I would listen to interviews, those key words that guys would say… Those things make people mad. So I was able to capture the audience that way.”

 

Matt Hardy came out to new entrance music at a WWE house show yesterday.

The 43-year-old’s new theme – a sequence from Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata – was unveiled on Twitter by a fan who attended the event.

The piece of music is the same one he walked out to during his run as “Broken Matt” in TNA, the gimmick that he has started using on Raw over recent weeks.

After a protracted legal battle with his ex-employers, Hardy now goes under the name of “Woken Matt”.

His burgeoning feud with Bray Wyatt is so far proving to be one of the most popular WWE storylines of the year, with many believing it could run all the way to April’s WrestleMania 34.

Clearly, a makeover of some kind was needed after Hardy originally returned, alongside brother Jeff, under the familiar “Team Xtreme”-era guise.

But the introduction of a new entrance would appear to confirm that the company sees his new role as a long-term one.

It may also have implications for Jeff, currently nursing a long-term shoulder injury, who could perhaps embark on a singles run of his own when he returns next year.