Posts Tagged ‘Ring of Honor’

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WWE Hall of Famer Booker T was a guest on Busted Open Radio. Among the topics discussed, Booker reflected on how much the independent wrestling scene has progressed, even claiming that it’s perhaps the hottest it’s ever been.

Booker has recently been investing in to his own independent wrestling school, Reality of Wrestling, where he actually wrestled against the ROW Heavyweight Champion, Rex Andrews in a one-on-one match this past Saturday at ROW The Last Stand. Booker recognizes that with a promotion of his own, along with the newly formed All Elite Wrestling, established promotions like Ring of Honor, New Japan, and Impact Wrestling, and other organizations that stay just beneath the mainstream radar, professional wrestling has an abundance of opportunities right now.

“It’s rich right now, I mean the independent world is rich,” Booker explained. “Oversees the money is good right now, small businesses, like myself, are flourishing because we’ve got social media and we can actually stream our stuff online without actually having to go and pay some big network and stuff like that. So the wrestling business right now is at its hottest that it’s perhaps ever been, not just in two decades, perhaps it’s ever been.”

Booker would go on to compare it to the days when WCW, WWE, and ECW were in a heated competition for ratings, saying that now-a-days, things like wrestling cons and the independent wrestling scene have taken it further than the days of the Monday night wars. Booker would also add how wrestlers no longer need to be involved with WWE to maintain financial stability.

“Even in the WCW, WWE, ECW wars,” Booker added. “Literally, from the independent scene on up, it could be the hottest it’s ever been with the wrestle cons and stuff like that going on. It’s huge right now. Guys don’t need to be in the WWE to make a living anymore. That’s saying something.”

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With Kenny Omega defending his IWGP Championship in several hours at Wrestle Kingdom 13, his future appears to be very much in the air. Despite Omega being under contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling until later this month, Dave Meltzer reported on the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio that WWE made Omega a “fantastic offer.”

With All Elite Wrestling being announced earlier this week, Meltzer noted that Omega is a “wildcard”, as NJPWobviously wants to keep him while AEW wants him as well.

In a related note, Meltzer said that AEW, ROH and NJPW will all be meeting on Saturday. While they may discuss how they can all work together, there are the obvious issues with ROH and AEW partnering as the two promotions are signing their talent to U.S. exclusive deals while competing for the same talent.

Omega defends his IWGP Championship against Hiroshi Tanahashi later tonight at Wrestle Kingdom 13. To access our full NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13 coverage, click here.

IWGP US Champion Cody Rhodes is currently in the UK and during his time there he appeared on Fight Forever Wrestling’s production of Bruce Prichard’s Something To Wrestle podcast.

Responding to a fan question about returning to WWE, Rhodes noted he had “passed on the WWE offer a few weeks ago” and felt there is a market for non-PG wrestling after the success of “All In” back in September. The Young Bucks and Rhodes’ self-financed show in Chicago sold-out in a flash, and ever since there has been talk of not only an “All In 2” but a whole new All Elite Wrestling promotion.

Speaking of a follow-up to “All In,” Rhodes teased, “Hypothetically, would it necessarily be ‘All In 2’… or ‘All In: International?” Rhodes continued about the potential of having an international show.

“There are two major territories outside of the US in terms of wrestling: the UK and Australia,” Rhodes said. “If you put up a ring, they will come.”

As noted, the group has already moved away from the NJPW owned, Bullet Club, now going as The Elite. Rhodes (along with Adam Page and the Young Bucks) have repeatedly reminded fans they will be free agents on January 1. For Rhodes, his contract with ROH has already finished up, but he will be wrestling in his final match at ROH Final Battle against ROH World Champion Jay Lethal.

ROH COO Joe Koff spoke to Wrestling Inc last month and commented on if he thought The Elite would return to ROH.

“I don’t think so, and I don’t think that’s new news either,” Koff said. “They definitely have something in mind … and I’m very thankful for Cody and The Young Bucks and Page and their contributions to ROH. They were part of our great year. They’ll always be a part of the ROH family and I’m always excited when people choose to take a different direction or go in a different direction because it’s exciting for them as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.”

Last month, Tenille Dashwood did an interview with Backstage Impact Interviewer Alicia Atout on her AMBY Interviews YouTube channel. Dashwood talked about her psoriasis and sharing her experiences dealing with it on social media. Last month, she shared a photo of a flare-up on her Instagram to give awareness on the skin condition. In the above interview, she also talked about her shoulder surgery, physical therapy, and her signature sunglasses. Here are highlights from the interview:

Update on her shoulder surgery:

“Good actually, it’s been almost six weeks now. I’ve had a huge improvement. Over the last week or two, I can kind of use my arm otherwise I was in a sling. So I can take it off now and straighten my arm. I can’t lift it up. It’s going to be a long process about six months in total when I’m finished. I’ll be better than I have in a long time, so it’s worth it in the end.”

Going right into physical therapy after surgery:

“It started the day after surgery, which I couldn’t believe. ‘I’m still on a bunch of drugs, ow!’ The therapist moved my arm making sure it didn’t go stiff and all those things. From what I hear this next month is supposed to be really intense. Just going to be more and more painful. Basically just trying to move it properly because everything has been tightened up. Yeah, so it’s already painful as it is, so I just kind of grit my teeth and put up with it and just keep doing that until it’s better.”

Wrestling with her skin condition (psoriasis):

“It was painful. People don’t realize that it’s painful either. I guess when you have an extreme case, it almost feels like burns all over your skin. It got to the point where I started wearing-you probably can look back at photos from the last few months, you’ll see me. I started wearing extra stockings, fishnet stockings on top of that. So, I had like two or three layers over my legs covering all those spots that were everywhere. I wore t-shirts in all my matches because my stomach and everything was covered. My arms, I couldn’t cover because I didn’t have the right gear for it. So you can probably see on some photos the spots I had on my arms. They were like red coals, like burns. That’s how the rest of my body was.

“But yeah it can get to the point where it can crack or bleed. I would have to have baths to soothe the pain. It’s a whole process. Basically, I stayed home for a few weeks trying to take care of myself and ease it up a little. It can get really severe and people didn’t realize it either. It’s good that people have a good understanding of these conditions.”

How her sunglasses give her confidence:

“The aviators I actually sell [the silver ones] in merchandise. That’s just part of my persona and character. Have you ever seen that movie Big Daddy ? The little boy puts his glasses on and feels his confidence. For me, if I put my glasses on, gear, and gloves I’m in my own world and I can focus and do what I got to do.”

Madison Rayne spoke with CBS Local Sports: Pittsburgh on her talks with WWE, wanting to face Brandi Rhodes, and wanting to take on Alexa Bliss. Here are some of the highlights:

Voting in a recent ROH poll to take on Brandi Rhodes:

“I actually did vote on that! Well, I voted on it because I wanted to see what the result was. Until the poll on Twitter is over you have to select one to see what the percentages are. I think that I voted for Brandi.

“Here’s why: I’ve been in the ring with Sumie, and I’m hopeful to be in the ring with her again in the very near future, because I loved my time working with her in the ring. She’s just such a fun addition to the locker room. She brings that happy energy that I was just talking about. Kelly, I’ve been in the ring with numerous times. Even before my time at Impact, years ago, in the early years of my career, I worked a lot with Kelly. Jenny I’ve actually never had a one-on-one, a singles match with, but I would love to.

“But there’s just something about Brandi. She’s this really hungry, not up-and-comer, because she’s been around the wrestling business for a long time. There’s this star quality about Brandi, and it makes me excited as a fan to watch her grow and evolve and change. As a competitor, she’s somebody that I really want to get in there with and I want to test her, but I also kind of want to test myself against somebody who’s so young and hungry into being in the ring.”

Her dream opponents:

“I’ve made my little dream list. The one that people talk about a lot, probably for varying reasons, would be me and Alexa Bliss. We’re both from Columbus, we’re both small, we both tend to have a bit of attitude when it comes to our in-ring persona. I’ve met her several times, I knew her years ago, when we both competed in fitness competitions. So, I just think that it would be fun for that to come full circle and for us to meet in the ring. I would love, and I hope that not far down the road it comes to fruition. I would also love to get in the ring one-on-one with Tenille [Dashwood]. I’ve not had that opportunity yet, so I’m really looking forward to that.”

How talks went with WWE and why she didn’t sign with them:

“Conversations between WWE and myself were always positive. I always got great feedback on everything I did, from the tryout a year ago to just recently doing Mae Young. This past year has been the first and only time that I’ve ever worked in any capacity with WWE. So, that was really exciting this many years into my career, to finally have been able to do that.

“But it’s about trying to figure out what was going to be best for me and which company I would flourish the best in. I felt that Ring of Honor was my best option, and that is not saying that WWE offered me something and I said no, I just feel like I was always very honest and upfront about the fact that Columbus was my home and Columbus would remain my home. I understand that they have a system that they put their talent through, regardless of whether you’ve never taken one bump, or you’ve been wrestling for many years, and that system starts in Orlando. While wrestling is still very, very important to me, being a mother and being a wife, those two things are greatly more important.

“There was never that definitive conversation, but just given the fact that I knew and I never wanted there to be any gray area in my communication with WWE, and I made it clear that I could and would not be willing to relocate, I think that probably kind of settled the question there as far as whether or not a contract with WWE was going to be in my future.”

It’s sounding like plans are being talked about for an “All 2” and even an “All 3,” according to the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter. As noted, a big chunk of the Bullet Club have contracts ending at the end of the year and that needs to sort itself out first before planning for more events can really take place.

Thanks to the longer weekends, Memorial Day and Labor Day have been looked at as potential future dates, but with Memorial Day that wouldn’t be much time from the ROH/NJPW show at Madison Square Garden on April 6. The turnaround may be too quick for the similar fan base who is already headed to that MSG show.

Possible locations for future shows are Chicago and Southern California.

After last month’s “All In” came to a close, Matt Jackson, Kenny Omega, and the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Cody Rhodes gave some parting words to the live crowd, which included a tease about having an “All In 2.”

During the post-show speeches, Rhodes got on the mic and said, “I know when you make a bet, sometime you go double or nothing.”

In a more recent NWA video, Rhodes talked a bit about if there would would be another show.

“There is a question of whether we do it again,” Rhodes said. “And the best answer I can give you is, it could have been a great night of matches at Chicago, sure, that’s all it could have been. But it felt like more, it felt like a revolution. Revolutions aren’t just one night.”

Speaking on the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted that WWE recently made an attempt to sign Adam ‘Hangman’ Page, only for the ROH and NJPW star to turn them down in favour of sticking with the Bullet Club.

According to Meltzer, various sources reported Page would be willing to head to Stamford only if the full group is alongside him. It seems to be a case of not now, but eventually.

Page’s refusal to sign up with the Performance Centre formed the basis of this week’s episode of ‘Being The Elite’, during which he received a gift from a single H, bearing a note reading: “If you want to be an assassin, you have to be cerebral.”

Six time ROH tag champion Page has been a part of the Bullet Club since joining New Japan in 2016. When the group underwent its protracted ‘Civil War’, he was the only man to fully support Cody’s bid for leadership. It’s no wonder he received such a prominent position on ALL IN, where he eventually prevailed in a brutal street-fight opposite Joey Janela.