Your humble host

Your humble host
Greetings from the Major!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

State of the nation.

RAW becomes less essential every week. This week's edition which emanated from the 02 in London was largely fast-forward fodder.

It was notable only for the raucous crowd and Cenas suggestion that Wrestlemania should come from London.
Other than that what stirred the blood?
The Divas battle royal? The Lucha Dragons? Any of the main eventers?

Of course not.
With the obvious exception of the outstanding NXT, the most recent scrutiny reveals WWE is either inadequate or requiring improvement  depending on who writes up the report.

If anyone is impressed by Paige just YouTube "Brittani Knight" and see what this lady can really do. Then try to argue that WWE is allowing the Divas to shine.

Compare this to the genuine excellence of "The Rising"/BDC feud developing in TNA at the moment. Superb booking and richly deserved spotlighting of Drew Galloway. WWE couldn't see how to use him?????? Then again the mighty EC3 wasn't deemed worthy of the old NXT!

Comparing either of these to the perfection that is Lucha Underground actually seems unfair. This show is flawless. Dream roster, beautiful matches, great stories, superb commentary and innovative marketing. The only concern is if a 2nd season will be commissioned (crosses fingers!)

Other than that discussing my love of wrestling with "Hogan Jr" and seeing him obviously try to assess if I was being truthful would be a situation familiar to many of you I guess.

Until the next ease.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

72 hours.

It's just the way it is.

A 48hr visit to this nation's capital began with taking photos of "everyday wrestlers" (shops etc with wrestling related names) for a forthcoming feature on this very blog.

Obtaining  a brand new Wrestlemania Heritage Series Ric Flair was obviously a great addition to the collection...WOOOOOOO!!

As well as being a tourist yesterday it was essential to fit in a discussion on the Lucha Underground Trios tournament and be seriously happy with the latest Dario Cueto (greatest owner ever) promo.
Managing to get the Luchador aircraft from "Planes" at a bargain  £2.99 was just a pure bonus.

Today was capped off by sourcing a mini-luchador figure in Poundland for,you guessed it, £1 to produce #LuchaEverywhere photos, and an in depth conversation with a very knowledgeable lady in a leading retail store about TNA, PCW, AJ Styles and Drew Galloway amongst other things.

All in all just a regular 72hrs in the life of The Major, it's just the way it is.

Until next ease.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

1 hour shows.

Thinking about NXT (WWE's best wrestling show) and Lucha Underground  (this planet's best wrestling show) and whether or not being an hour makes it easier to produce high quality viewing.

I would argue it is actually more of a challenge and I'll explain why.

Think for a moment about how the 3 hours of RAW could be used. This is an opportunity to really build stories,  develop characters and carefully introduce talent. It could also be used to spotlight NXT performers and make their transitions smoother.

Rather than this it feels bloated, repetitive and large portions are easily fast forwardable.

Impact suffers from this to a degree although a less restrained roster holds the interest better. Both WWE and Impact are hampered by constant recaps which really break the flow in my view.

SMACKDOWN isn't viewable in any way sadly, important moments are few and far between and available on RAW anyway. 2 wasted hours.

These longer formats are ideal vehicles for development and should be essential but they're not.

NXT develops characters and plots, uses "bigger" stars sparingly which makes their appearance feel special. Matches are allowed to ebb and flow  better than in the main event, especially the Divas, and the special events feel just that as a result - special. Hats off to all concerned.

Lucha Underground manages all of the above but is cutting edge in other ways too.

Highly intelligent use of recaps drives multiple storylines along with well scripted vignettes in show. The viewer is neither saturated or confused at any time, perfect execution in only an hour.

I would also contend that to have multiple masked wrestlers with unique identities is not easy to deliver. Yet this is done perfectly in a 60 minute show. Would anyone confuse Fenix for King Cuerno for instance? No. But Sin Cara and Kalisto? Interchangeable "characters."

Add to that the finest wrestling anywhere and one really marvels at what is being achieved on the El Rey network and makes the rumoured "Ultima Lucha" an absolutely mouthwatering prospect.

60 minute shows should be harder to make work over time and yet the argument outlined above shows this is not the case.

Until next ease.

Friday, 3 April 2015

AJ Lee retires from WWE

Who can blame her?
AJ Lee has done everything she could in WWE and returned to what?

A company where main event Divas play out 5 minute matches to the sound of silence whilst their peers in NXT are allowed to shine. A division which is presented as being second rate and it's immediate competitors (TNA/ROH/Lucha Underground) allow their women to blossom either relatively or absolutely.

If AJ wants to wrestle on the Indies or Japan  would be obvious destinations but maybe, like Punk, it's time for a change. We mustn't rule out his direct influence or pressure from WWE about him in all this either by the way.

I'll miss AJ, she actually had character - a tremendous heel, and was underrated as a wrestler in my opinion.

I fear for the futures of Paige, Sasha Banks, Charlotte and Becky Lynch to name a few.

Take it all in ladies.

Until next ease.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Kevin Owens is ready.

Will we get to see Brock and Heyman crash matches again like they did back in the day? Hope so. WWEseriously lacking that "unpredictable" aspect.

Wyatt neutered at this point following loss to an immobile Taker, Ambrose is as predictable as Cena.

WWE have a great wildcard. He's called Kevin Owens and he wrestles on NXT. Don't expect to see him on RAW/Smackdown anytime soon.

Until next ease.

Lucha Underground Episode 21 - wrestling that makes you believe.

So after a great day at Duxford Imperial War Museum it would take something special to finish the day off in style, luckily episode 21 of Lucha Underground was waiting.

The opening match is Johnny Mundo vs Angelico. In most other promotions this would be match of the night and headlining. Here it sets the scene...and how. Two wrestlers at the height of their powers have a great match. The Mundo victory will set the scene for a later vignette with Alberto El Patron. That promo should make WWE creative hang their collective heads in shame. Both Alberto and Johnny put across more character in 2 minutes than in their entire Stamford scripted adventure. Either one could be headed for heel country based on this.

The best of 5 between Aerostar and Drago goes down the street called "Wrestlng 101" ending in the Luchadores tying on two victories each, Unlike so many matches of this ilk it is a great in ring exhibition, is not forced down the audiences throats every week and evolves. Crucially every match differs in ring and enhances both men. As a contest of this kind it is up there with Benoit/Booker T and Beer Money/MCMG's in my opinion. As for the "unique opportunity" offered to the winner - a cruiserweight type title debut?

The main event sees the debut of the Trio Championship belts in a tournament series.

Sexy Star is positioned as the most credible part of her team, female wrestlers can shine - take note WWE and TNA, and is presented as an equal to her male counterparts.Although her team (Superfly and Pentagon Jr) loose to Big Rycks new crew the match develops the plot, positions Sexy as the crucial member and showcases Pentagon who is just about my favourite wrestler in the world at the moment. Looks as if Sexy and Pentagon are heading for a feud going forwards.

As if that wasn't enough Lucha Underground has made Big Ryck (yes, Ezekial Jackson) a credible character and ring presence, something WWE was never able to achieve. Week after week in Dario Cueto they have the best onscreen owner, in Matt Striker and Vampiro the best announce team since JR and Heyman, which is high praise, as well as awesome production values and camerawork.
Just to top it off the best belts to be seen in pro-wrestling in years are on this show, check the pictures and say I'm wrong.

If you haven't tuned in already then do it, you're seriously missing out.

Until next ease.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The quality of refereeing.

People complain about the quality of football referees but the guy in the title match at Wrestlemania appeared oblivious to the stipulation of the Money In The Bank briefcase.

Was there an assessor in the audience?

Does he have to referee a sub-standard (Smackdown) show as a result of this incompetence?

Is there any accountability in WWE refereeing?

Until next ease.

Live from Boyle Heights

So tonight's Lucha Underground will feature the debut of a Trios Championship,
Johnny Mundo vs Angelico and the return of the fantastic Pentagon Jr?

This show gets better and better. Miss it and miss out.

Until the next ease.