WWE taped an episode of Main Event prior to Monday Night RAW in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania today that will air on Hulu this Friday at 7pm. Here are the results:

  • Emma defeated Mickie James

And you guys say WWE isn’t using Emma.

Four Things NJPW Can Do to Get Americans to Give Them Money

Colette Arrand:

NJPW is actively courting [US] viewers, hiring a full-time English language commentary team, running a best-of show on American cable TV, and promoting events in the United States for the first time. The company has found wild success—the already ubiquitous Bullet Club’s merchandise is now for sale at Hot Topic—and has wildly swung and missed guessing at what an American audience wants from its shows, as evidenced by the Long Beach, California crowd’s rejection of Billy Gunn’s IWGP Intercontinental Championship match with Hiroshi Tanahashi. The company’s expansion plans are generally hazy; while it’s clear there will be more American shows in the future, how quickly those will happen and how they’ll take shape.

All four are good points, and all four need to happen before the vaguely-defined “casual” wrestling fan will take notice. Being a fan of NJPW in America is still a bit like running Linux on the desktop.

Lucha Underground Season 4 “Looks good”

Matt Fowler:

Currently in the midst of wrapping up the back half of its third season, Lucha Underground hasn’t been gifted with a fourth season renewal yet, and while Chaisson couldn’t confirm one for us solidly, he did say that the show’s future “looks good” and that one of the things really being discussed right now is where to place it on the network’s schedule going forward. He and famed filmmaker/network head Robert Rodriguez love the show and can’t wait to make more.

Don’t mess with me, you guys. I need my fix.

International Object Podcast 123 – Chelsea Spollen

Chelsea Spollen of Shoulders Up joins K Sawyer Paul to talk about the G1 Climax tournament, hot wrestlers, Dean Ambrose, the appeal of Los Ignobernables, and the catharsis of comedy matches.

Asuka Passes Another Milestone

Casey at Squared Circle Sirens:

As of today it has been 484 days since Asuka defeated Bayley at NXT TakeOver: Dallas and became NXT Women’s champion.

She has now officially surpassed New Day’s reign (483) and, Asuka is now 8th longest reigning champion in the history of WWE.

in 19 days she will surpass Rockin Robin’s WWE Women’s Title reign, which would make her the second longest reigning women’s champion behind Moolah’s several year long reign.

For the stats fans.

Lionizing Shibata

Youtube channel “Showbuckle” is doing what isn’t often done with wrestling: arguments and articles with video accompaniment.

This video, which showcases some of NJPW’s camera work, is a good use of this medium. It’s almost definitely easier to show the camera tricks than describe them. But I have a problem with this video, and readers of the blog probably see it.

A good amount of the video lionizes Katsuyori Shibata. I don’t necessarily disagree with the arguments made about Shibata (he was good at playing to the camera), but the fact is, this video was posted after Shibata’s concussion. I think it’s in poor taste to fawn over his style when it put himself and others in danger. I didn’t see a single comment underneath the video that echoed this, so I’m going to assume I’m a minority in not wanting to think negatively about Shibata right now, but that’s where I stand.

The God-Awful Spring

Brandon Stroud:

WWE has been in rough shape since WrestleMania. Mania itself was good, but then the Superstar Shake-Up™ happened in the middle of a batch of bi-weekly pay-per-views and everything got turned around ass-backwards.

The bigger problem came at Payback in the form of (1) the House of Horrors match, which is the pro wrestling equivalent of someone sticking a thumb in your ass when you aren’t expecting it, and (2) Chris Jericho, the best guy on Raw for most of the previous year, leaving Raw for Smackdown. On his first night on Smackdown Jericho lost the United States Championship, was stretchered away and left to tour with his band.

With Jericho gone and the Superstars Shooken-Up™, Smackdown went from “the good show” to “additional Raw.” Backlash, Money in the Bank and Battleground were about as bad a 1-2-3 punch of pay-per-views I can remember, at least from a company and roster that could do better. Even the weekly show, save for the Fashion Files segments, have been the hottest turds.

I don’t often agree with Brandon, but I wrote almost exactly this sentiment yesterday.

Your Own Private WWE Offseason

Sawyer Paul:

Here’s something you know: you can go back and catch up on the good stuff. The New Day and The Usos had a great tag match at Battleground. You have a Network subscription, and can go back and watch just that match. But then you can turn it off and not watch any more of that show. You will know what to do. You will know what makes you happy.

This column publishing in July means you can’t go back an unwatch the last four months. But here’s what you can do: book the spring of 2018 off from watching WWE. I’m giving you eight months warning. Watch WrestleMania 34. Watch the RAW after WrestleMania 34. And then, stop, and schedule to come back a few weeks before SummerSlam (around this time next year). It’ll be your personal WWE offseason. There’s almost nothing better for your enjoyment of pro wrestling than to not watch it sometimes.

Then again, maybe I just can’t handle WWE without Chris Jericho. 

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything more than a few sentences about pro wrestling. “Create your own off-season” has been a talking point of mine for years, but I figured it needed a 2017 polish.

Kenny Omega vs Toru Yano

Bryan Rose:

This was so much fun. It was one of those matches where wrestling purists are going to hate it because of the comedy and unbelievability of some aspects of the match, but you know what? It was fun.

All the spots worked and made sense. It also helps that people buy into Yano’s pinfalls because in previous years he has pinned people in record fashion.

Sounds like my kind of wrestling match.

Samoa Joe and Brock Lesnar pre-planning

Samoa Joe via Bill Hanstock by way of Wrestling Inc:

“Not a lot of people get into Brock Lesnar like I did. Brock is every bit as intimidating as you’d imagine he would be times two. No, I mean, he’s a shaved gorilla. It’s just he’s stronger than strong. I don’t even think he even realizes how strong he is. I mean, he [has] got great control, but he is The Beast. He’s a big dude.

“When you’re going in there and you’re going to get into it with Brock. Brock isn’t going to work on a lot of stuff; he’s going to want to go out there and he’s going to want to get down, so like Brock’s not a preplanned dude at all, man, so you’ve just got to go out there and do it. For some people it trips them out, but for me, I’m like, ‘if we’re going to scrap, we’re going to scrap.’”

I’m shocked, shocked that Brock Lesnar doesn’t like to do any work before performing.