A rather truncated set of shorts as we go into Carat week…
NEWS: Welcome back Roman Reigns! He made his return on Raw this past week, announcing his leukemia was in remission.
NEWS: WWE announced five signings for their NXT UK brand… most of them not exactly surprises. Ilja Dragunov, who was at one point mooted for the “full fat” NXT brand, put pen to paper on a NXT UK deal, having appeared in a dark match at the most recent tapings in Coventry. Also signed were Kay Lee Ray (who’d been in vignettes on NXT UK shows in recent weeks), Jazzy Gabert (Alpha Female, who was ringside with Kay Lee Ray during Takeover: Blackpool), Jason Melrose (formerly known as Primate – which explains his sudden write-out from Defiant) and Oliver Carter. I’ll admit, I didn’t see anyone in the bubble expecting that last one.
UPCOMING: Next week, we’re off to Oberhausen and Essen for 16 Carat Gold weekend. All being well, we’ll have live reviews/summaries (delete as you see fit!) after every night of Carat, as well as the Ambition tournament. Coverage of the Inner Circle and #WrestlingDeutschland2 will be up after they drop on wXw NOW.
UPCOMING: EVE’s “She Fights on Fridays” has gotten a main event: Emi Sakura & Leon vs. Kay Lee Ray & Command Bolshoi. Tickets remain for that show this coming Friday, March 8…
UPCOMING: Last week we reported on the Fite TV “Collective” package – this week, we’re able to confirm what’s in the Fite Fest package.
If you sign up for Fite today using the code “ndvzkdo” you’ll also get $15 credit on the FITE app. http://fite.tv/invite/ndvzkdo – unfortunately, that credit doesn’t seem to be usable in the purchase of these packages…
Anyway, if you order before March 11, for $119.99 you’ll get access to these shows on the Fite Fest package (and a $10 credit for later use)
April 3 – WrestlePro Does Funny Money (8.30pm ET start)
April 4 – wXw Amerika ist Wunderbar (4pm ET start); Destiny Wrestling (4pm ET start); WrestleCon Mark Hitchcock Memorial Supershow (7pm ET start); DDT (8pm ET start); IMPACT United We Stand (11pm ET start); Kaiju Big Battel (11.55pm ET start)
April 5 – WrestleCon US vs. The World (11am ET start); SHIMMER (11am ET start), Rev Pro Live in New York (3pm ET start), WWN Supershow: Mercury Rising (3pm ET start); STARDOM (4pm ET start); Joey Ryan’s Penis Party (8pm ET start)
April 6 – The Wrestling Revolver – Pancakes and Piledrivers (11am ET start); WWN More Than Mania Wrap-Up Party (2pm ET start); Drags and Dropkicks (6.30pm ET start); ROH/New Japan G1 Supercard (7.30pm ET start); WrestlePro vs. CZW (7.30pm ET start)
Still available for $99.99 (with a $20 credit for later use) is a package called the Collective, which offers these shows:
April 4 – IndependentWrestling.TV: Family Reunion (noon ET start); GCW Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport (4pm ET start); ISW Boner Jam IV: Balls Out (7.30pm ET start); AIW – The Slumber Party Massacre (11pm ET start)
April 5 – CHIKARA Once Upon a Beginning (2pm ET start); Black Label Pro Adventures in Wrestling (3.30pm ET start); GCW Joey Janela’s Spring Break Part 1 (8pm ET start); Blackcraft Wrestling No Apologies (11.59pm ET start)
April 6 – NOVA Pro Born to Run (12 noon ET start); IWS Unstoppable (4pm ET start); GCW Joey Janela’s Spring Break Part 2 (11.59pm ET start)
All of those shows are available separately on an iPPV basis. Over on independentwrestling.tv, a subscription to that service will get you the Family Reunion show, plus the ISW, CHIKARA, Black Label Pro, NOVA Pro and IWS shows… and the two Beyond Wrestling TV shows that’ll bookend WrestleMania week.
Meanwhile, the New Japan/ROH G1 Supercard of Honor (how many tags can they shoehorn into one name?!) will stream on Honor Club, New Japan World, and also be available via Fite.tv as a one-off purchase, if you don’t want to go for the Fite Fest package.
On the More Than Mania side of things, EVOLVE 125 and WWN Supershow: Mercury Rising will stream live on Club WWN (the $10/month subscription). The shows from wXw, DDT, Kaiju Big Battel and SHIMMER will be available as iPPVs from wwnlive.com.
In other words, with no cross-over between the Fite packages, if you’re looking to gorge yourself over WrestleMania weekend – and beyond – you’re going to be looking at dropping $230 for 30 indy shows, in addition to the NXT/WrestleMania/Hall of Fame stuff from the WWE Network and any other shows that will be dropping as VODs after the fact. IPW and Fight Club: Pro, we’re looking at you!
NEWS: PROGRESS have announced that they are going to be doing away with the Atlas division title. At last week’s Chapter 84 show, the challenge was made to unify the titles… and that has been accepted. The “middle Sunday” of Super Strong Style 16 will see the unification match, as Trent Seven is either going to lose his Atlas title and leave belt-less, or leave Alexandra Palace with the PROGRESS World title instead. Our review of Chapter 84 will be up before we leave for Germany!
The Atlas title began life in 2016, with Rampage Brown crowned as the original champion, having beaten Joe Coffey in the finals of a round robin tournament at the “first real big PROGRESS show” in Brixton. Since then, we’ve seen the title belt by Matt Riddle (twice), WALTER (twice) and Doug Williams, until Williams lost at Wembley last year to Trent Seven, whose reign thus far has been comprised of Open Challenges, defeating Gino Gambino, Zack Gibson, Kyle Fletcher, Dan Moloney, Los Federales Santos Jr. and Timothy Thatcher in his reign.
ICYMI: We’ve not had much time to write about new wrestling this week, but we have been able to catch some stuff… Last weekend’s WWR Widowmaker show was a fun matinee, with Kris Stadtlander’s main event against Victoria/Tara being the headline draw. It was a heck of a weekend for Stadtlander, who was the standout in Beyond’s Treasure Hunt tournament.
NEWS: We’d like to send a “get well soon” to Willow Nightingale, who had neck surgery following her appearance at Beyond’s Treasure Hunt tournament last weekend. I’m not a doctor, but I’d dare say that landing on her head from a Chris Dickinson half-and-half suplex may have been the culprit…
NEWS: Tracy Williams is done on the indy circuit. During Beyond Wrestling’s Treasure Hunt show, promoter Drew Cordeiro announced that Williams’ contract with Ring of Honor was an exclusive deal, and as such, he would no longer be able to appear for Beyond. Considering how he was cast aside following the death of Catch Point in EVOLVE, that’s quite a change! Now, that’s three bits in a row we’ve referred to the same show!
UPCOMING: Rev Pro’s announced that Aussie Open will get their title shot at Suzuki-gun at Epic Encounter 2019 – May 10, at York Hall. Tickets go on sale on Monday 5th…
ICYMI: While not a promotion we tend to cover a lot, Bar Wrestling’s trios tournament from earlier this month has already dropped on the HighSpots Network – featuring what could well be Kris Wolf’s final match in Bar Wrestling.