New Japan Pro Wrestling is a company built on traditions, and one of its longest-running customs has been to send members of its roster on learning excursions – extended trips to work in other promotions around the world in order to develop their characters, improve their grappling abilities, or just to have time away from NJPW fans so they can come back to the company with a new character or mentality. Although most wrestlers are sent on excursion during their days as a Young Lion (New Japan’s rookie wrestlers), some are sent away once they are a permanent graduate member of the NJPW roster to improve even further. But of all the many talents that have been sent abroad over the years by New Japan, which had the most successful journeys? Who was the biggest hit in their foreign promotions, and who made the biggest impacts upon their return? Let’s find out – here are the Top 10 Most Successful New Japan Pro Wrestling Excursions.
Tis’ the spooky season! So I’m celebrating by looking at the most ghoulish, terrifying, bone-chilling series of pay-per-views in all of wrestling – WCW’s Halloween Havoc! Every October from 1989 to 2000, wrestling fans were petrified by plastic pumpkins, terrible booking, and some of the most idiotic decisions in pro wrestling. Sure, this staple of World Championship Wrestling had plenty of memorable moments, from incredible matches such as Mysterio and Guerrero, multiple Texas Death Matches, Savage vs. DDP and the thundercage tag team match, to the wonderful little touches like beautiful seasonal sets, horror legend Elvira promoting the event, and Paul Heyman dressed as a vampire. However, Halloween Havoc is mostly remembered for the curse it cast upon those that appeared on it – the curse of fucking terrible wrestling. So, prepared to be spooked as we explore the worst moments in Halloween Havoc history.
One month ago, I embarked on my biggest project to date – searching through every match given a full five stars by renowned journalist, Dave Meltzer, and ranking my top twenty personal favourites (CLICK HERE TO READ). It took many hours of research and hard work, but after channeling my inner Meltzer, the amazing response I received was more than worth it. However, after spending so many hours indulging in these rare, amazing quality matches, it got me thinking about an even rarer type of match, a match so bad it had to be banished to the other end of the grappling spectrum. While just over ninety matches were given that prestigious five-star rating, only five bouts in the history of professional wrestling were branded with the dreaded minus five stars. Out of the hundreds of thousands of matches to take place since 1983 when the Wrestling Observer Newsletter was founded, only five were considered to be the worst of the worst.
On August 25th 2016, I started this blog as a way of expressing my views and knowledge on my biggest love in life – wrestling. It has dominated my life for as long as I can remember, in the last twelve months more so than ever, so for my one year anniversary, I am going to explain exactly why I spend hours upon hours every single week watching and writing about this wonderful, crazy sport we all adore. Here is what wrestling means to me.
During the 1990s, we witnessed one of the biggest rivalries in television history: The Monday Night Wars. Two behemoths of sports entertainment competed on a weekly basis for ratings supremacy until one of these juggernauts finally fell. But it wasn’t just on TV stations that these battles were happening. WWF and WCW were also competing in the video game market to see who could produce the best, and ultimately, the most popular releases, and the interesting thing is, these wars played out exactly the same on video game consoles as they did on television. The highs and lows of both companies were just as apparent in their games as they were on TV, and it made for some fascinating results. So let me take you on a journey through three generations of games consoles, three eras of wrestling, and a whole lot of attitude, as we look at The Monday Night Video Game Wars.
We all love a good old wrestling game. Whether it’s the simple yet perfect control scheme of WWF No Mercy, Here Comes the Pain’s story mode, or the 2K games vast range of content, there are plenty of great grappling games to please any video game fan. However, just like every other genre, there are plenty of bad wrestling video games. For every Fire Pro Wrestling or SVR 2006, there’s a WCW Backstage Assault or WWF Steel Cage Challenge. But there’s this weird thing about wrestling video games: no matter how bad they are, there’s always some kind of joy to be had out of them. Whether it’s the ridiculous features they have or simply just laughing at how terrible the whole thing is, bad wrestling games provide plenty of entertainment for true fans. So if you’re looking for a bad game to fall in love with, look no further than these: here are my Top 5 Wrestling Video Games so Bad, they’re Good.
If you had asked me my thoughts on Chris Jericho before 2016, I probably would have responded, “Meh, he’s alright.”
I’ve never been much of a fan, but I’ve never really known why. When I was a child, I just didn’t take to Jericho and his weird hair, and that carried on as I got older. Have you ever thought a song sounded okay, but it was by a band you hated so you didn’t allow yourself to enjoy it? That’s how I felt with Jericho. Even when he was doing great things I couldn’t acknowledge to his brilliance. That is until this year. His current run is the lengthiest he’s had in years, and has arguably been the best work of his career. He’s one of, if not the most entertaining parts of WWE at the moment, and his impeccable work this year has made me realise how great he is, was, and always will be.
As much as I adore wrestling, it has to be said that it does have its problems. Possibly the biggest drawback of all to this industry is its clear gender inequalities. As someone who’s focused the majority of their university studies on sexism, feminism, and representations of gender, it pains me that one of my biggest loves in life is plagued with unequal gender opportunities, and at times, overt sexism. Thankfully though, gone are the days of the Bra and Panties match, and bikini contests, as the major companies have finally realised that the fans aren’t actually watching their products for partial nudity and mild titillation, we’re watching for some good ol’ fashion wrasslin’.
I have been a wrestling fan ever since I first saw a man wearing a pink and black singlet back in 1998 on WCW Nitro. So in my eighteen years of pure, uninterrupted obsession, I have seen a LOT of finishing moves, so picking out the worst of the worst was a difficult task. Nevertheless, I powered my way through to bring you my Top 10 Worst Finishers of All Time.
I have been a wrestling fan ever since I first saw a man wearing a pink and black singlet back in 1998 on WCW Nitro. So in my eighteen years of pure, uninterrupted obsession, I have seen a LOT of finishing moves, thus whittling those hundreds of maneuvers down to just fifteen of my favourites was a daunting task. Nevertheless, I powered my way through this struggle just for you, the reader (yes, I really am that good to you). So after a lot of debate and trips down Nostalgia Boulevard, I have compiled my top 15 favourite finishers of all time.