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.

Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley added to WWE SummerSlam card

Joseph Currier:

After the fatal four-way for the Universal Championship was announced for SummerSlam earlier in the show, another match was later confirmed for the pay-per-view on tonight’s episode of Raw.

There are now three matches officially set for SummerSlam on August 20th. Naomi will defend her SmackDown Women’s Championship against Natalya, and Brock Lesnar will put his Universal title up for grabs in a fatal four-way match against Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe, and Roman Reigns.

Wait, hold on. Summerslam has two one-on-one Women’s matches? That can’t be right.

Total Divas Season 7

Later this fall, The Bellas will return to the fan-favorite E! series Total Divas, which premieres its seventh season. Following the explosive Season 6 finale, the new season introduces fans to Carmella, Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss, and rounds out the cast with Natalya, Maryse, Lana and Naomi. Total Divas gives viewers a beyond-the-ropes look at how these strong, influential women juggle life on the road with their personal and romantic lives.

Not even two years ago, the Total Divas cast was largely women with little wrestling ability (with the exception of Naomi and Natalya, who were both criminally underutilized as wrestlers). What a turnaround. It makes the name of the show itself seem antiquated.