Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Best of the SUPERIOR Juniors

NJPW's Best of the Super Juniors 
Tournament concludes

Ryusuke Taguchi won the contest after defeating finalist Low Ki where both dominated the tournament.

This year’s theme was – “The door to the glory.” 

Finals took place on 10th June 2012.

The comeption emanated from Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, sold out to 2,050 fans in attendance.

The tournament is built on a points format, where a win receives two points, drawing gains one, and a loss equals nothing. Previous time limits were at twenty minutes, which has since increased to thirty. All participants are divided into two blocks, A and B, of equal numbers from the participants involved. The top two highest scorers proceed to the semifinals.

Ki defeated a former victor (from 2010), Prince Devitt in the semi-finals, while Taguchi, Devitt’s tag team partner also, downed PAC to advance.

Devitt, with 2010's gorgeous trophy

Taguchi went on to earn a title shot at the IWGP Junior heavyweight championship, one of Japan’s finest, and prestigious titles in existence.

Low Ki was the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight champion at time of entering and participating in the event.

Taguchi nabbed the pinfall to win the tourny after a seventeen minute and one second match up, after Ryusuke, for the last five years in a row, was the runner up every year.

Other combatants in the series were Taichi, Rocky Romero, Jushin Liger, PAC, Gedo, Angel de Oro, Jado, Hiromu Takahashi, Tiger Mask IV, Daisuke Sasaki, Taka Michinoku, Alex Koslov, Kushida, Bushi, Brian Kendrick and Prince Devitt.

Jushin Liger, Japan’s esteemed pinnacle of prestige made this his twenty-first entry to the tournament. Liger also shares the tournament victory with Koji Kanemoto, both at three successes of the contest while Tiger Mask IV is the only star to win twice back to back in consecutive years.

Last year’s reigning champion, Kota Ibushi was unable to defend his honour, due to injury last year.

Some expert matches took place including PAC and Prince Devitt, as well as the final, making the tournament an interesting insight to wrestling once again, with some tantalising images below. 


Look Out! 

PAC drops onto Prince Devitt with high altitude

PAC, Koslov, Angel de Oro and BUSHI

© Max Waltham 27th June 2012

Monday, 25 June 2012

Randy Orton: Flipping the R'K'O?

Randy Orton's ominous rebirth? 

In light of a recent suspension of sixty days, and putting his career in jeopardy, many now question the validity of Randy Orton turning from his good, caring character to a fully-fledged bad boy once more.

As ever, debate is rife and Wrestling Wonders puts forward cases both for and against the move, along with an overall decision on where to go with it.

On April 25th 2011, Randy Orton become the lead face of WWE’s Smackdown brand. As an extremely popular choice, Orton was a sustainable choice to redefine the Smackdown lifestyle as a fan favourite after being chosen as the third pick to move in the annual WWE draft.

With his career transgressing into a stale and non-progressive predicament, even the wrestler understood the need for new horizons on the blue brand.

WWE chose to move Orton as the third choice, behind John Cena (and Rey Mysterio), in an irrelevant move to fox the audience, where Cena returned in the same evening draft to Raw to fool the audience, which destroyed all momentum, the legitimacy of the draft, (no one star can more and then switch back, as selection to one brand then removes them from the selection pool once transferred) including Randy Orton, who, as new star face of Smackdown, should have been the first selection.

Now resting atop the B show, Orton settled in quickly. After the Extreme Rules PPV, World Champion Christian, fresh off the PPV with a ladder match victory over challenger Alberto Del Rio, and World champ for the first time in seventeen years, was scheduled to defend his title in the first notable outing against WWE most noteworthy star, Randy Orton. Raising both superstars’ overall status, both had the chance to become Smackdown’s new era of stars that the company desperately called for.

It wasn’t what WWE ordered. Choosing to elect Orton as champion, after Christian’s victory just five days earlier on PPV, The Viper yielded the title from the company's newest top level star. Plucked from Captain Charisma, WWE, whom felt Christian was below champion material, had been forced to eat their own moralistic ‘words’ once the audience in their thousands verbally vented their ferocity at the decision. Cast into uproar, the WWE’s universe, surprising to the company, were fully behind the fallen champion as a new star able to draw. Even super favourite Orton recognised the respect to Christian. Orton also returned that respect in their heightened series over the next few months creating the biggest feud of the year for 2011, which no one could come close to.

In this series towards the end, Randy Orton’s bad boy ways were teased to return once again. They did not fully develop through, though tantalised the possibility. Many wanted the change facilitated.

Orton, as a fan favourite, able to speak volumes as favourite WWE superstar over CM Punk and John Cena, to all cultures around the world, as well as enticing back the male audience on all platforms to the sport, WWE understood it needed to reconnect with those male fans lost to the PG dominated era that cost a good proportion of wrestling men, grown up with the product, who had been forced to abandon or lose faith in the show unfolding every week.

The darkness of man’s heart

Most males instantly say “Just turn him” , wouldn’t we all love that, however, Orton, should he turn to the dark side once more, would have many options, one being that the obvious to lead a supergroup of new, talented stars, while fighting new ones on the flip side to further enhance all levels of new talent on both opposing sides, or to even dominate the program for months on end.

With these new supergroups, WWE and Orton led, new stories would unfold, add a deeper backstory to wrestling feuds and reasons to compete for a title, adding higher prestige and meaning, while providing explicit matches for the audience to sink their teeth into wholesomely.

What other benefits would Orton have? If going solo, as perceived, Orton would once again be deadly, uncontrollable and playing up to the suspension to add further immense dislike to the audience, would highly connect to the people’s product. Orton has always been stronger as a naughty man either oppressed, downtrodden or berated against. This man’s intentions would also launch him into the title scene and uphold every possible outcome, while creating more for those involved. Orton would create further challengers and give them huge reasons for the audience to support them. Orton, is the only man to lead the future of the new batch, where Punk and Cena fail.

The shining beacon of light

His holy grace, the blinking twinkle in the WWE’s Universe shines brighter than anyone else on all astral planes. Becoming a pinnacle of strength, remaining the world’s only significant entity, that gleams clamour would be a cataclysmic loss on any rostrum.

Randy Orton, the only guy that fans truly smile for, be it for sheer hotness, caring about the people, or interacting with them on a level of deep connectivity to real life personality that most WWE stars have to distance themselves from, as well as seemingly respective of all cultures, nationalities, sexualities, ethnicity and faith, Randy Orton ticks every box that fans are looking for.

People come to their WWE experience for Randy Orton. The vast majority, come to see him, in light of the Cena and Punk portrayal. Though he isn’t shouted about, at the top of everyone’s lungs, Orton is the sole focus of many being at a WWE event, or online as well as in front of a TV screen, because he transcends the real life qualities and enthusement fulfilling their content when having to bare the sheer banal of John Cena’s infuriation’s, or Punk’s stale shadow of John Cena title bareage failing to change one dimension in WWE after the initial buzz. Randy Orton gets them through.

How can he remain goody goody and deliver? The answer is simple. WWE need to give Orton further aggression, in the esteemed role. Without this Orton is classed by some non-understanding of the role he must portray in this position as “Randy-Boreton.” WWE’s tradition of commendable characters means limited wrestling holds permitted and standard script to appear a certain position of dormancy is introduced. Of course, goodies must abide by rules, (which Cena is allowed to break tenfold) and Orton, a wayward character at times, can have his teasing moments as he does, akin to the Christian feuding, eventually turning bad boy in the near future. His turn will come, no doubt about it, but remaining honourable keeps viewers coming, being enthused with the product and the most key part of the process, enjoying the wrestling, embodied with narrative structure in place to influence the audience to support wrestling to its further levels of professionalism.

Randy Orton is one of the few performers who has wrestling psychology and uses it perfectly to shape a match placing all pieces of the puzzle together to give a five star match almost everytime, regardless of who is involved.

Orton’s successes have been vast, including Kofi Kingston(Roddy Piper/Survivor Series build up), Sheamus (as WWE champion) at Royal Rumble, Dolph Ziggler on Raw last October/November and putting over both The Miz and Alex Riley, when Miz became WWE champion from his Money in the Bank cash in, which most other champions would not have been willing to do, as well as carrying Riley in tables matches and stipulation bouts that sent Riley, a man who didn’t wrestle much, up to being at a Wrestlemania event without in depth activity which really put Alex Riley up there as a WWE potential until bosses dropped the ball on it. Now that’s talent.

Verdict on The Viper?

Randy Orton is a devil in disguise; He can crush any foe expertly, while maintaining their levels of personality, instead of killing them off completely. Leading a supergroup would be best fitted for Orton after a lengthy single run on his own. He can lead this group then eventually disband or be ousted. The problem is WWE’s choice of booking it incorrectly or similar to every which way they know, to copy the Evolution, Legacy and previous groupings before them in the same fashion. The key is making it completely different to anything ever before and not allowing same old characters to seem inferior which are the problems that destroy all involved, making sheer wastes of everyone’s time.

Orton could re-design the concept, by having a group of goodies instead of the flip side being the one that dominates. That way WWE will also bypass its problem of lacking favourites in short supply to be called upon. They must not look inferior. If they mess up after a few fair chances, demotion is obvious. Create opportunities to run with, or stumble at the starting blocks.

Orton has had immense difficulty moulding from bad boy to lovable rogue. Now in that position he has worked years to fit perfectly for the audience, at the height of his charismatic levels of appreciation and reforming the product for people correctly, to undo all of this wilfully and whimsically would be a woeful choice to conduct.

The easy option is to turn. The notable word is “easy.” Nothing ever comes easy, and those easy choices are what drive the product further away from fans encouraging themselves to re-invest and emotionally connect with the rotten core of the WWE epicentre.

The view is that Orton should remain as he is, come back refreshed, a little mischievous in a capacious and cheerful position. To crush everything just earned would be short-sighted. Orton appeals to everyone that no-one else in any wrestling business aims to achieve.

Max Waltham, ringside with Randy

In the WW 2011 Pro 50, we wrote, where Orton was ranked at number 2, “WWE would be lost without him.” They would lose the only thing left to latch onto those fans with any level of credibility. The problem has always been the lack of stars opposing the positives. People don’t want a CM Punk or John Cena in a new star. They don’t wish to see CM Punk, making headway as a star, plucked and moulded into a John Cena clone. “I can make a new John Cena.” – Vince McMahon.

The fans don’t want a redeveloped genome. They require a star that becomes a new, fresh and powerful force, adding a completely different dimension, whether good or bad, in order to protract quality, performance, wrestling and superstardom that delivers the audience need intuitively, then encouraging them to be at a WWE event live. 

Max and Rand, enjoying some Mojito's! :)

They don’t want to ‘come’ to an event, they want to ‘be’ at the show. Others, of course, want to be a part of the universe. WWE need to leave Orton in his position, alongside CM Punk and Cena, because, it needs to produce new stars to battle the earmarked names, which also adds immense challenge and honour to toppling a huge name on the WWE roster that creates their levels of rising, whether it be three months, one day or two years. Building their WWE resume knocking off certain people or how they had a classic match regardless of win/loss outcome, will truly exude star quality.

© Max Waltham 25th June 2012

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Chris Jericho's second coming to WWE

Chris Jericho: Max Waltham’s 
Plagiarism Protector

The Ayatollah of Rock n Rolla, Chris Jericho returned to WWE after a lengthy absence from September 27th 2010, for his second time, seeing the former multi time champion shock the WWE Universe on the January 2nd Raw.

Filled with multiple surprises in his build up videos featuring a female child and a boy mostly in a classroom, with an eerie essence to the subliminal messages involved, had many of the audience guessing who would return to the show.

The veteran superstar returned to a high capacity crowd, who most already worked out, while others perplexed, pondered the mystery.

Jericho did indeed return, to an over hyped near ten minute return, which was adequate for the star. What wasn’t sustainable was the return contained no words from the overwhelmed, broad smiling superstar, who proceeded to arrive, work the crowd, then leave. The sound of fans chanting was near deafening at the time.

Some weeks later, WWE and Jericho were confused as to why fans were miffed and had distanced themselves from what should have been a monumental return. Weeks in, Jericho finally mustered a word or two, which then saw him leave. Fans were fuming that they paid for a WWE moment of ‘being there’ when it happened, only to speak ill of the downplay. Audience need wasn’t catered to, which then bore witness to the online audience noting Jericho would change tack.

He would. Jericho returned to rub the audience noses in it, revealing he had “Jeri-trolled” them all. Before the January 2nd show, Jericho’s Twitter feed contained Photoshop images in locations around the world, to fool the audience, once caught papped in the airport of Raw’s evening location. Some snaps included joining The Beatles at the famous Abbey Road crossing in London, as well as the Pyramids of Giza, one of the World’s wonders.

Two wonders of the world, and Chris Jericho, riding Bobby the camel

After the teasing was torn apart, here - Chris Jericho returning on Jan 2nd? WWE finally booked Y2J into a feud leading to the biggest Wrestling supershow in existence, Wrestlemania XXVIII. Who Jericho would face would be the question. Leaving the possibilities open for a challenge to The Undertaker or WWE champion CM Punk, most knew the outcome, though was considered by the ‘E extensively. 

Returning to the title scene, Jericho explained his reasoning for his return to the company in January had been for one sole goal, to topple CM Punk and liberate the WWE title. His liberation wasn’t fully explained in detail, though many assumed it was to facilitate the change CM Punk claimed he would encourage but failed to follow through on.

Jericho would also attempt to stop all forms of plagiarism as continually conceived by online people trying to write who cannot write a certain thing, and steal from others either text, ideas or concepts that are remoulding slightly differently reworded, which in hindsight, incenses WWE, among others at the inadequacies, which, then forces them to change the product in order to stop random and cheap angles ruined to go forward on product. Fans screw themselves by attempting to get a latest bit of “buzz” which is only a passing comment and not valid comments, akin to the lame one all over YouTube etc. “Lol, so funny” “Cool” “You Suck” “Next …. (So and so likening)” If you are not in the know and are sharing some random opinion which adds no level of writing well, and “well” doesn’t mean a nice flowed piece of words tidied up, don’t bother to write it, because you will never be classed as a writer. WWE professionals do what they do, Wrestling (or not), where actors, do acting, singers do singing and writers, write. Don’t convince yourself you can do it because a platform “encourages” you to write only for one reason – to build their name profile, which is built on abusing you, taking from others, and not having any credentials of their own to build a product on. #Down with capitalism.

Up-side down, boy you turn me...

Jericho, claiming everyone was a Y2J wannabe, was equally incensed. None more so that CM Punk would not push forward with any change in this area neither. Upon reading a journalist’s articles and noticing the CM Punk: Hero to modern day saviour and CM Punk title run in New Japan? here, Jericho, doing his research, discovered CM Punk’s family history. Using this as a mechanism to irk the champion, Punk finally coerced himself into a challenge with the obscene Jericho. Lewd comments about Punk’s father and sister weren’t shied away from.

Attempting to get Punk to drink a drop of alcoholic liquid of any variety. Hoping the taste onto his lips would tempt the champ, Punk would cast away his morals, as well as being the ultimate straw for Jericho to slurp out Punk’s creative juices and pluck the title from his waist.

Jericho, pouring his pungent liquid over CM Punk
After a feud on cards that had greater matches, both realised and aimed to make the best of the situation when cast into it. Realising they had the stage at their disposal, both put on interesting match outings, though had to miss a few vital ingredients. Their series, which went on far too long without a level of change, title change, or strengthened character on the PPV’s when it came to it, despite the fact the build-up to PPV was excellent, and what the taster was set onto, perhaps it was WWE diluting the distillery. Perhaps it was the overshadow of the PPV matches not receiving full attention, or possibly both performers just going as far as they could with a limited story.

Whatever the reason, good matches were on show, but both left this exchange none the greater. Punk didn’t develop any further dimensions, and Jericho had no role to do anything inside of.

Rewind to May 2012. Jericho, had now been shifted over to, and inserted into the Wold title picture, to support Alberto Del Rio, lacking slightly by fickle fans, not truly understanding the levels of wrestling involved, which they claim they wish to see, and Sheamus, as champion, completely exposed without guidance from veterans. Randy Orton, also among the series, could not guide Sheamus any more than he already had done expertly. WWE, giving a refreshing boots, applied Jericho to the role, in which it was his turn to build Sheamus.

Got the green ball of mystical light, namely the World title

ADR sit down dropkick. Look at the flight. Class.

Jericho, a Raw superstar, and considered yet remained on the roster instead of being drafted to Smackdown, which was irrelevantly cancelled, saw Y2J begin to move over as a Raw superstar for a Smackdown heavyweight title, which would have added even more levels of infeasibility to the title worth, which WWE were planning to raise, and Del Rio, still a Raw superstar, after WWE ‘moved’ him to Smackdown on the quiet, and insist he is a Smackdown star who never had any legitimate moving and is still technically a Raw superstar, as well as fans viewing him this way. Orton was the only contender legit enough to snare the strap.

Oh, Brazil... :o

What would unfold next would be a minor disaster to WWE’s plans. On a house show recently touring Brazil, Jericho, would venture off key, in order to inject some pizazz into his match with CM Punk. Punk, proudly waving the Brazilian flag, then saw Jericho, in retaliation, take the national emblem and crease the flag and kick it out of the ring in order to do his job and entertain the fans in attendance. Jericho’s notion was misplaced – see here - Chris Jericho in crease and arrest . This memorable experience saw Jericho expelled from WWE for thirty days. WWE needed to be seen to take action on the serious matter. They allowed Jericho, who would be touring with his rock band Fozzy in the UK over June, the time off to do that, and seem justified in its according actions. He was going to the concert anyway. Jericho shall return in time for the 1000th Raw build up set for July 23rd, when Y2J re-joins the Raw brand this coming Monday, 25th June.

Rock it with ya .... out!
Leading the charge on Plagiarisers, there is only one way Jericho could conceive this. Travel back to London and pick up a certain London resident writer, take them back with you, and, “invade” WWE Raw. Just a thought. :)

To travel further into WWE’s future, Jericho needs to remain on one branded area (Raw OR Smackdown) as everyone else should, and maintain brand identity separation, as well as protecting the written word and maintaining title / wrestling honour.  

©  Max Waltham 24th June 2012