Dragon Gate – Dangerous Gate, August 17, Tokyo: Live Results

-Sellout crowd. Between 4500-5000.

Pre-Show Match: K-ness & Kenichiro Arai vs. Shachihoko BOY & Ryotsu Shimizu

Fun little pre-show match. Shachihiko and Shimizu did a funny double team move on Arai: Shimizu held Shachihiko Boy in a wheelbarrow position while Shachihiko did the fish pose and then splashed Arai.
Arai landed a flying headbutt on Shimizu for the win.

1. Jimmy Kanda, Jimmy Kagetora, Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!! vs. Yosuke♡Santa Maria, Gamma, Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa

Stalker was shot into Kanda’s butt headfirst. Gamma was going to spit water into Kanda’s mouth, but Yosuke took it willingly. Pretty gross.
Yosuke with a gnarly jump off the ropes into nothing but a kick from Genki. Big dive over the corner turnbuckle by Yosuke. Stalker tried an Asai Moonsault but crashed and burned. A surprisingly awesome bridging German by Stalker on Genki, though he then failed the handspring corner attack. Maria kissed Kanda and Gamma but slapped Stalker. Kanda with a big top rope diving elbow (The Gekokujoh Elbow) on Stalker for the win. Fun match. I really like Stalker and Maria’s comedy.

2. Don Fujii, Yuga Hayashi vs. Jimmy Susumu, “Mr. High Tension” Kotoka

Fujii wailed on Kotoka early on. Nice plancha by Hayashi. Hayashi with a flurry of elbows on Susumu who no sold them and then laid him out. Kotoka tried to knock Fujii off the apron with little success until Susumu came over and helped him. Kotoka and Susumu isolated Hayashi for a while. Hayashi made a comeback with a big slap and a dropkick on Kotoka. Fujii tagged in and cleared house. Kotoka with kicks to Fujii that had no effect. Fujii took him down with a lariat. Hayashi with a nice judo throw and armbar on Kotoka. Susumu broke it up. Double stomp from Kotoka on Hayashi. Kotoka went for the pin, Fujii calmly walked over and slapped him off Hayashi. Chokeslam by Fujii to Susumu for two. Bridging German from Hayashi to Susumu for a nearfall. In the end, Susumu pinned Hayashi with Jumbo no Kachi. Everyone shook hands after the match, except for Hayashi, who pushed away Kotoka. Hayashi was very popular with the crowd.

BxB Hulk and Naruki Doi came out for…a chat?

3. No DQ Match: CIMA vs. Punch Tominaga

I enjoy Punch’s new persona. Kind of an angsty teenage possessed yakuza guy.
Punch tried to get the jump on CIMA with a Mad Blankey distraction but he was ready for it and nearly got the quick win. Blankey members attacked CIMA right away. Kong, Kzy and Ryu were all at ringside to assist Punch. CIMA did some really unique mat work on Punch. CIMA with running double knees into the corner followed with a nice dropkick from the turnbuckles. Punch with a leg submission where he kept his hands in his pockets and acted possessed. CIMA made the ropes, but isn’t it no DQ? CIMA took some headkicks and then fired back with a running dropkick and backstabber off the turnbuckles. Kong came in and hit a huge lariat on CIMA. Punch made a pile of chairs and tried suplexing CIMA onto them. CIMA fought out of it and hit a nice Perfect Driver onto the chairs. Kzy hit CIMA with the yellow box and Punch hit him with a big exploding chair shot. Punch, with the assist from Kzy, kicked a chair into/through CIMA’s head for the win. Punch’s pin was just standing over CIMA with one foot. Pretty heel. Big win for Punch.
Fujii immediately came out and confronted Punch. Nothing happened except for some yelling.

4. Open the Brave Gate Championship Match: Flamita vs. Mr. Quu Quu Tanizaki Naoki Toyonaka Dolphin

Flamita went for the handspring rebound off the ropes but Naoki caught him with a dropkick. He then dropkicked him out of the ring. Naoki controlled Flamita early and kept the pace quite slow. He hit a diving knee drop across the back of Flamita’s head. Naoki with some clobbering knees in the corner but Flamita fought back with a dropkick and then a suicida. Flamita went to the stage and dove off onto Naoki. In the ring, Flamita hit the handspring back elbow off the ropes and a standing moonsault. He then hit a middle rope 450, followed by a tope rope 450 for two. Naoki avoided a package codebreaker and hit a penalty kick. Tombstone variation by Naoki, followed with an Implant for two. The finish came when Flamita caught Naoki with a Flame Fly, quickly followed by a second, short-arm Flame Fly for the win. Great match. Really smooth action. Flamita is very impressive.

5. Open the Twin Gate Championship Match: T-Hawk, Eita vs. Masaaki Mochizuki, Dragon Kid

Masaaki destroyed Eita and T-Hawk early. Dragon Kid got trapped in the corner and double team stomped. Dragon Kid tried some forearms on T-Hawk but they didn’t work. T-Hawk chopped him down. Nice double team dropkick from Eita and T-Hawk. T-Hawk just wailed on Dragon kid until Masaaki came in and kicked him off. Dragon kid with a kneedrop followed with a handstand into another kneedrop. Cool move. Dragon Kid did a little side flip over a downed Eita and then a quick dropkick to his head. Unnecessary, but cool. Both Dragon Kid and Masaaki put their opponents into submissions. Fairly slow paced match up until now. T-Hawk blocked a Masaaki armbar by lifting him and slamming him with one arm. Eita did a big dive to the outside. Big lift-up knee strike by T-Hawk to Dragon Kid. Masaaki blocked a suplex and put T-Hawk into a crossface but Eita broke it up. Standing top rope Frankensteiner by Dragon Kid with Eita perched on Masaaki’s shoulders. T-Hawk powerbombed Dragon Kid for two. Eita escaped the Bible from Dragon Kid and put him in a submission until Masaaki broke it up. Masaaki with kicks to Eita. Eita kicked out of a pin attempt at one. Awesome huracanrana pin by Dragon Kid on Eita for two. Big kicks from Masaaki to T-Hawk for a nearfall. Big double team codebreaker on Masaaki for two. T-Hawk hit Night Ride but Dragon Kid broke up the pin. Eita backflipped to the outside from the top turnbuckle onto Dragon Kid. Masaaki stood straight up after T-Hawk’s Night Ride. T-Hawk hit it again for two. T-Hawk finally put Masaaki away with Veracruz. Fantastic match. Best of the night so far. Really amazing finish between T-Hawk and Masaaki.

6. MONSTER EXPRESS vs. MAD BLANKEY Loser Revives Survival Instant Comeback Captain’s Fall Elimination Match: Masato Yoshino, Shingo Takagi(c), Akira Tozawa, Uhaa Nation vs. YAMATO(c), Kzy, Cyber Kong, Mondai Ryu

I must say I don’t completely understand the rules here. From what I can tell, the captain has to be pinned for the other team to win. If someone is eliminated, they can be brought back when someone from the opposing team is eliminated. Over the top rope rules apply. Got it? I don’t.
Ryu was eliminated instantly by Shingo. Kong threw Yoshino over the top, eliminating him, which brought back Ryu. I think I get it now. Uhaa double powerbombed Ryu, eliminating him again.
Kong threw Tozawa to the outside but Uhaa caught him and put him on the apron, only to be kicked off and eliminated by YAMATO.
Shingo got kicked off the top turnbuckle and nearly went tumbling to the outside but held on for his life. He scrambled back in before getting kicked out. Yoshino did a backflip to the outside from the turnbuckles (that didn’t count as an elimination for some reason). Uhaa followed suit with a backflip off the apron. Yoshino with a nice cradle pin on Kong to bring back Tozawa. Yoshino hit a great missile dropkick/senton combination. Shingo with a backwards falling top rope elbow on YAMATO for two.
Uhaa got outnumbered and eventually eliminated by YAMATO.
Kong landed a big diving elbow on Shingo for a nearfall. Tozawa did a top rope superplex on Kzy, whose facials are great by the way. Yoshino hit a really quick spinning armbar takedown, which Tozawa followed up with a bridging German for two. Kong came in and hit a big lariat and Cyber Bomb on Tozawa to eliminate him. Uhaa and Tozawa are both eliminated at this point.
Yoshino fought out of a Gallaria from YAMATO for a very long time, but was eventually pinned by Kzy. Three members of Monster Express are now eliminated. Shingo is now 1 vs. 4.
Kzy hit CDJ for two. Kong hit a second turnbuckle powerbomb for two. Big whiplash on Shingo’s neck when he landed. Shingo eliminated Ryu to bring Uhaa back with Last Falconry. Uhaa flipped onto Kzy to death – a flapjack and two standing moonsaults, one shooting star. Kzy was eliminated.
Shingo hit Last Falconry on YAMATO for a nearfall. YAMATO finally put away Shingo with Gallaria for the win. Really fun match. Not as confusing to follow as I first expected.
YAMATO talked after the match, until We Are Jimmyz came out and attacked Mad Blankey. Words were spoken, Japanese words. From what I gathered, it will be Mad Blankey vs. Jimmyz at Korakuen Hall.

7. Open the Dream Gate Championship Decision Match: Naruki Doi (Interim Champion) vs. BxB Hulk (20th Champion)
-If Hulk wins, it counts as his first defense.
-If Doi wins, he becomes the 21st champion.

Really good opening sequence with both guys trying for the advantage but neither giving it up. BxB Hulk finally got it. He got Doi in a single leg and laid some kicks into him while in the hold. Hulk with a float over exploder suplex. Outside the ring, Doi sent Hulk headfirst into the ring post. With Hulk caught in the ropes, Doi hit a running dropkick, and then a diving senton onto a draped Hulk. Big reverse DDT by Doi. Doi put Hulk into a weird camel clutch, with one leg behind Hulk’s head. Hulk came back momentarily with a flurry of kicks, but was cut off with a big DDT. Nice high kick and wheel kick from Hulk. Tope Con Hilo from Hulk onto Doi and Mad Blankey. Springboard wheelkick by Hulk back in the ring. Hulk went up the second rope but someone from Mad Blankey pulled him down. Doi hit a cannonball in the corner and then a powerbomb for two. Nice backflip kick off Doi by Hulk. Mad Blankey distracted the ref while YAMATO hit a running dropkick in the corner. Really big high angle spinebuster by Doi for a nearfall. Doi hit the Bakatare sliding kick but didn’t go for the pin. Doi took Hulk up top but Hulk fought out and hit a running powerslam for two. Hulk accidentally kicked the referee, which led to Mad Blankey all coming in and attacking Hulk, until the Jimmyz came out and helped him. Kzy accidentally threw the powder into Doi’s face. Doi was then attacked by Dragon Kid and Masaaki Mochizuki. Hulk hit First Flash for a nearfall. Hulk went up top but was stopped by Mad Blankey. Doi then hit a crazy top rope Tiger Suplex on Hulk for two. With the ref distracted again, Doi hit Hulk with the yellow sign and then hit the Bakatare sliding kick but Hulk kicked out. Hulk with a great reversal of the Muscular Bomb. Doi went for it again and this time nailed it. Very scary landing for Hulk. Doi hit a flipping piledriver, but Hulk stayed up and kicked Doi in the head. Top rope powerslam from Hulk followed with H Thunder for two. Hulk then kicked Doi’s head off with First Flash, went up top and hit the Phoenix Splash for the win.
Pretty incredible match. Hulk took some really crazy bumps on his neck. A lot of interference from Mad Blankey and Jimmyz, but it didn’t detract from the quality of the match too much though.

After the match, Masaaki and Dragon Kid came out. It seems they are leaving VTR to start a new unit with Hulk.

Final Thoughts

Very good show overall. The last two matches were particularly great, but only if you really enjoy the car crash no-sell style of Dragon Gate.
Hulk vs. Doi was pretty incredible. Hulk too some really wild bumps. The top rope Tiger Superplex and Muscular Bomb from Doi were very scary.
The captain’s fall match between Mad Blankey and Monster Express was a lot of fun, if not a tad confusing. It never surprises me how agile Uhaa Nation is. Shingo and Tozawa are always great to watch.
Match of the night for me was T-Hawk & Eita vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & Dragon Kid. Just a really solid, fun tag team title match. T-Hawk is really good, and the finish between him and Masaaki was fantastic.
Flamita was really impressive in his win against Tanizaki. He’s very reminiscent of a young Rey Mysterio.
The first three matches were all entertaining. Nothing amazing, but no duds. I really like Punch Tominaga’s new character, and Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa is so great at being terrible it’s ridiculous. Great stuff.

Prince Devitt: Questions Nobody Asked Answered! & Top Devitt Matches!

WWE recently  announced  that they’ve signed International Superstar Fergal Devitt to NXT. “Who?” you ask. Fergal Devitt, aka Prince Devitt. I’ve got the answers to all the questions you didn’t ask about Fergal Devitt. And to get you hyped up for his NXT debut, I’ve put together a collection of some of his most popular matches. But first things first.

Just who is this Fergal fella?

In short, Devitt truly is an international star, having worked in the UK, Mexico and Japan among other places. He really rose to prominence in New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he won the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight championship three times, and was a two-time winner of New Japan’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament. What’s more, he was the former leader of the hottest stable in all of professional wrestling (and will hopefully continue to be hot despite its newest member, Jeff Jarrett), The Bullet Club. Just before leaving New Japan to WWE, he was ousted from the Bullet Club and replaced by the Phenomenal A.J. Styles.

What kind of name is Fergal, anyway?

“Fergal” is an Irish name meaning “Man of Valour,” which makes sense because Fergal Devitt himself is Irish. And he’s full of the valour.

Why is he also known as Prince Devitt?

He was given the “Prince” name likely because the “er” sound in “Fergal” is difficult for Japanese people to pronounce. The sound literally does not exist in the Japanese language. Also he’s from Ireland which is close to the UK where everyone’s a prince, I assume.

Where is he the prince of?

My heart. And wrestling.

Is he even a real prince?

Are you?

Does Devitt do cosplay?

Yeah pretty much. Devitt is a bit of comic book fan and has wrestled in face/body paint styled after characters from comics and movies such as Carnage, Spider-Man, Venom The Joker, The Punisher just to name a few.


Does he give a f%$k?

No.

Most importantly, is he any good at wrestling?

Is he any good? Well, take a look at some of Prince Devitt’s most popular matches (in no particular order) and decide for yourself.

SPOILERS: He’s pretty great.

Matches

Prince Devitt vs. PAC (NXT Champion Adrian Neville)

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xrkluv_09-prince-devitt-vs-pac-njpw-06-06-12_sport

Apollo 55 (Prince Devitt & Ryosuke Taguchi) vs. The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin)

Prince Devitt vs. Kota Ibushi vs. Low Ki

Apollo 55 vs. Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi)

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xnvown_kenny-omega-kota-ibushi-vs-prince-devitt-ryusuke-taguchi_sport

Prince Devitt vs. Gedo

Prince Devitt vs. Naomichi Marufuji

Prince Devitt vs. Kazuchika Okada

 

Thanks to these folks on twitter for helping compile these matches. Go follow them!

@fujiwaraarmbar
@SenorLARIATO
@PWNradio
@AonRockShit
@LudgerKresnik
@TomBente)

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New Japan G-1 Climax 24 Finals, Seibu Dome: Live Results

Finals Card

  1. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Tiger Mask, Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.,  TAKA Michinoku, Desperado
  2. Togi Makabe, Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi vs. Bad Luck Fale, Doc Gallows, Yujiro Takahashi
  3. Kazushi Sakuraba, Toru Yano, Yoshi-Hashi vs. Minoru Suzuki, Takashi Iizuka, Shelton Benjamin
  4. Jushin Liger & Captain New Japan vs. Adam Cole & Michael Bennett
  5. Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA vs. Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly for IWGP Jr. Tag Titles
  6. Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomoaki Honma
  7. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Karl Anderson
  8. Hirooki Goto vs. Katsuyori Shibata
  9. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. A.J. Styles for Third Place in the G-1
  10. Kazuchika Okada vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in the G-1 Finals

Results

1. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Tiger Mask, Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr., TAKA Michinoku, Desperado
Taguchi and his soul patch got the pin on TAKA with Dodon and the win for his team.

2. Togi Makabe, Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi vs. Bad Luck Fale, Doc Gallows, Yujiro Takahashi Yujiro pinned BUSHI with Miami Shine. Nothing special. Nagata was good but didn’t do much.

3. Kazushi Sakuraba, Toru Yano, Yoshi-Hashi vs. Minoru Suzuki, Takashi Iizuka, Shelton Benjamin
Iizuka made his way through the crowd. It took a while. Yano and Iizuka gave each other inverted atomic drops. That was amusing.
The match ended when Suzuki held Sakuraba in a choke in the ropes. I guess Sakuraba’s team win by DQ. Nothing amazing here. Just setting up the Suzuki/Sakuraba feud.

4. Jushin Liger & Captain New Japan vs. Adam Cole & Michael Bennett
Liger’s theme is the best theme. The Captain got worked over for a long time until he got the hot tag to Liger. Liger got caught by Cole with a superkick coming off the ropes. Teh Captain got distracted by Maria on the apron. Bennet took advantage and pinned the Captain with a piledriver. Cole and Liger were good.

5. Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA vs. Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly for IWGP Jr. Tag Titles
Really good match. KUSHIDA did a big plancha from the top rope onto everybody over the guardrail. Fish hit a diving headbutt on KUSHIDA while Kyle had him in an armbar. Shelley hit a double stomp on Kyle while he had KUSHIDA in a guillotine. KUSHIDA out away O’Reilly with the Kimura. Great match. Really innovative stuff by both teams. O’Reilly was especially impressive.

Jeff Jarrett came out and signed an agreement between New Japan and Global Force. A signing without a table getting flipped isn’t a real signing.

6. Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomoaki Honma
Honma missed his first Kokeshi attempt. He did hit a nice deadlift suplex on Naito. And he landed his second Kokeshi attempt. Honma with a big sitout powerbomb and brainbuster for an early nearfall. Honma missed the diving Kokeshi, of course. After a flurry of strikes by both men, Honma hit a running Kokeshi. Naito hit a release German but Honma no sold it and nearly rolled up Naito. Naito came back and hit the Stardust Press for the win. Of course. God dammit.
Naito tried to shake Honma’s hand after the match but Honma slapped it away.

7. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Karl Anderson
Ishii got busted open from the mouth early. It was from an elbow by Anderson. Ishii tried the deadlift superplex, but couldn’t keep Anderson up. Both men came crashing down very dangerously. Ishii kicked out of a spinning Gun Stun. Great shot of a woman in tears in the crowd. Ishii hit the branbuster on Anderson but Yujiro pulled out the ref and attacked Ishii’s injured arm. YOSHI-HASHI came out for the save. I’ve never been so seen to see YOSHI. In the ring, Anderson hit the Bernard Driver for two. Anderson reversed a brainbuster into the Gun Stun for the win. Very good match.

  1. Hirooki Goto vs. Katsuyori Shibata
    Incredibly hard hitting match as expected. Shibata won with the Go2Sleep and the Penalty Kick.

9. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. A.J. Styles for Third Place in the G-1
Fantastic match. Styles looked to have Tanahashi beat after a Bloody Sunday. Styles went for the Styles Clash but Tanahashi reversed it into a pin for the win.
After the match the Bullet Club members attacked and Styles finally got to hit the Styles Clash. Jeff Jarrett came out to make the “save” but ended up bashing Tanahashi over the head with his guitar. Jeff Jarrett is Bullet Club. Oh well, the Bullet Club used to be cool. Great segment though.

10. G-1 Finals Match: Kazuchika Okada vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Nakamura reversed a Rainmaker into an armbar but couldn’t get it all the way. Boma Ye to the back of Okada’s head. The crowd was pretty wild at this point. Okada hit his trademark dropkick but like like he normally does. Looked like Nakamura was supposed to hold onto the ropes. The did the spot again, this time Nakamura held the ropes and after Okada landed, he hit him with a Boma Ye for two. Nakamura went for another one but Okada his the dropkcick. Nakamura blocked the Rainmaker with a knee. Okada with a blackslide for two, but he held on for a short arm clothesline. Another short arm clothesline and then the real Rainmaker for the win. Pretty incredible match.

The Curious Case of Colt Cabana

Is Colt Cabana Still Relevant in 2014?

A few weeks back, I read a very spot on piece listing 5 things that independent wrestling promotions shouldn’t do. The column was by one of my favourite wrestling writers, the writer of “The Best and Worst of WWE RAW/WWE NXT” columns, Brandon Stroud. The fifth point in the article struck a bit of a nerve among wrestling fans. Mr. Stroud simply listed at number five: Colt Cabana.

Now, I took this as being done in a humorous manner. The disclaimer at the start of the column explicitly said not to take the column seriously. I don’t believe Mr. Stroud has any ill will towards an independent wrestler trying to make living by doing what he loves. I don’t think the message was, “Stop booking this man.”
If it was, then that’s Mr. Stroud’s business. If you listened to Colt Cabana’s “The Art of Wrestling” podcast, well, that’s pretty much exactly how he interpreted it. Cabana didn’t explicitly mention the article, but I don’t believe there were any other articles mentioning Colt Cabana in that context around the same time.

Whatever the intentions were, the point about Cabana did get me thinking. Thinking about Colt Cabana’s career, about what he’s done and what’s left for him to do. Has he peaked? And is Colt Cabana still relevant in 2014?

Let’s take a brief look at Colt’s career before we answer that question.

The Wrestling

Cabana debuted professionally in 1999, so he’s now a veteran of the business. He’s worked all over the world; in the big leagues like the WWE, and in the little leagues like almost every other promotion in the world compared to the WWE. You may have seen Cabana in the top independent promotions such as ROH, Chikara and PWG just to name a few. He’s worked for Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan, Insane Championship Wrestling in the UK. You name the promotion, chances are Cabana’s worked there. If you’re a Colt Cabana fan, that’s great for you. If you’re not though, then you’re probably sick of seeing Colt at every indie show you go to doing his usual blend of comedy and technically proficient wrestling.

It’s that blend of wrestling styles that Cabana has mastered over the years. In a single match you can experience brilliant mat wrestling, but also some of the best comedy wrestling around. As a big fan of technical wrestling and comedy wrestling (When it’s good – meaning almost nothing seen on WWE TV), I quickly became a fan of Cabana’s work.

The Podcasting

Outside the ring, Cabana pioneered the wrestler hosted/themed podcast with “The Art of Wrestling.” On the podcast, Cabana talks about wrestling, road stories, and life with the who’s who of professional wrestling. CM Punk, Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, William Regal, and more recently Good Ol’ J.R. himself, Jim Ross. Not so long ago, a podcast like “The Art of Wrestling” was a fairly unique thing. For a long time Cabana basically had the internet all to himself, but recently the podcasting game has grown, and bigger, more mainstream stars of the wrestling industry have thrown their respective hats into the ring (not the squared one). Jim Ross, Steve Austin, and Chris Jericho just to name a few, have all started successful podcasts of their own. What was once unique is now commonplace. “The Art of Wrestling” may be the original, but with all the big names out there podcasting now, it may get lost in the shuffle.

The Comedy

Cabana’s not funny in the ring, he’s funny outside of it too. Cabana ventured into the comedy circuit, performing comedy on top of his pro-wrestling and podcasting. Considering his wrestling style, comedy does seem like the logical progression for Cabana’s career.
Always one to do things a little differently, Cabana’s recent comedy tour with Marty DeRosa involves Cabana and DeRosa providing commentary to bad wrestling matches. It’s a simple enough idea, but again, like when he introduced us to “The Art of Wrestling” podcast, it’s something that’s not really been done before in this capacity. I haven’t seen the show so I can’t comment on whether it’s actually funny or not. But at this stage, I think it’s safe to give Colt the benefit of the doubt.

The Wrestling Road Diaries

Like the wrestling, podcasting and comedy wasn’t enough, Cabana is also a documentary film star. Well, as far as stars of documentaries go. Cabana was one of the stars of “The Wrestling Road Diaries.” The film followed Colt Cabana, Bryan Danielson and…that other guy (Sal Rinauro. I had to go check. Sorry, Sal) as they travelled from city to city to town to shack wrestling on Bryan Danielson’s final indie shows before heading to the WWE. The film was one of those really interesting and rare looks behind the curtain of the independent wrestling world. We got to see what the life of an independent pro-wrestler is like. The wrestling, the traveling, the fans, and the friendships. If you haven’t seen it yet, you really should. The success of the film led to its sequel, the illgramtically (not a word) titled “Wrestling Road Diaries Too.” This time, Colt is joined on the road by former WWE Superstars Cliff Compton (WWE’s Domino) and Big LG (WWE’s Festus/Luck Gallows) for another round of road stories.

The Verdict

“The Wrestling Road Diaries Too” kind of sums up Cabana’s career at this point. In “Road Diaries One,” Brian Danielson is on his way out of the indies and heading towards the monster that is WWE. Meanwhile, Colt Cabana continued with his very successful career as an independent pro-wrestler. In “Road Diaries Too,” Cabana is joined by two pro-wrestlers who have left the WWE and returned to the independent circuit. People seem to be moving in different directions around Cabana, some are getting picked up for the big leagues, some are returning to the minor leagues. (Sorry, independent wrestling promotions, as great as a lot of you are, if the WWE is the majors then independent promotions are the minors. It’s simple baseball. A sport I know nothing about) All the while, Cabana has remained in the exact same place. He’s more a less become a mainstay of the independent wrestling world.

When CM punk waved and said hello to Colt Cabana during his infamous pipe bomb, I thought that Cabana’s arrival to the WWE was imminent. Whether it be as Colt Cabana, Matt Classic (My favourite!), a returning Scotty Goldman, or plain old Scott Colton. Cabana seems like the perfect fit. But, nothing happened. More recently, Cabana mentioned on his podcast that he went to the WWE and tried out as an announcer. Again, I expected Cabana would be a sure thing and the WWE would finally snap him up from the independent world, like they have many of Cabana’s colleagues like Sami Zayn (El Generico), Cesaro (Claudio Castagnoli), that new NXT referee that looks like Drake Younger from CZW (Drake Younger), among others. And again, nothing. Of course, the WWE could still give Cabana the call up and we’ll soon be seeing him alongside Maggle and Bradshaw at the announce table. Heck, with Santino having recently retired from in-ring performing, there’s suddenly an opening for resident comedy wrestler. Cabana would be perfect for that position. However, there is a feeling that if Cabana was ever going to make his triumphant return to the WWE, it would have happened by now. So the questions remain. Has Cabana peaked? Is he still relevant in 2014? Short answers: No and absolutely, respectively. No, he hasn’t peaked, and yes, he’s still relevant.

WWE has passed on other incredibly talented independent wrestlers like Ricochet and A.J. Styles. In Ricochet’s case, it was said to be a matter of size, and that WWE already has an abundance of smaller, high flying wrestlers. As for Styles, I have no idea. Age perhaps? Anyhow, both guys are absolutely killing it on the independents, and more specifically over in Japan. Styles is the current IWGP Heavyweight champion in New Japan, and he’s having the performance of a lifetime in the G-1 Climax 24. Ricochet is winning titles and wowing fans in Dragon Gate and New Japan. Earlier this year he held Dragon Gate’s biggest title, the Open the Dream Gate Championship. And he’s a top contender for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight championship. So despite not making it (yet) to the WWE, life goes on and there’s still success to be had in professional wrestling. And the same goes for Colt Cabana. He hasn’t made it back to the WWE since his stint as Scotty Goldman, but WWE is not the be all and end all for pro-wrestlers. Sure, it is the goal of a lot of guys to one day get signed. WWE is certainly the biggest and most widely known promotion in the world. But not being in the WWE does not equal failure. Cabana is a top guy. Not in the top company, but he’s still a top guy. He’s one of the most in-demand wrestlers in the world. He’s hugely entertaining to watch perform (or listen to). He can wrestle a variety of styles and could have good match with almost anybody. He’s charismatic, he’s an intelligent interviewer and podcast personality. Cabana is a jack of all trades and master of many. Cabana’s career is constantly evolving. If he doesn’t wind up in the WWE, that’s their loss. Either way, Cabana will be succeeding in whatever venture he chooses to pursue.

Maybe you’re tired of seeing Cabana at indie shows. But if you ask me (you didn’t), a show with Cabana will always be better than a show without.

 

Share your thoughts in the comments section or with me @TheKoalaMask

New Japan G-1 Climax 24 Day 11, Yokohama: Live Results

Day 11 Card

  1. Tomoaki Honma vs. Shelton Benjamin
  2. Toru Yano vs. Yujiro Takahashi
  3. Hirooki Goto vs. Lance Archer
  4. Tetsuya Naito vs. Karl Anderson
  5. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yuji Nagata
  6. Katsuyori Shibata vs. Doc Gallows
  7. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bad Luck Fale
  8. A.J. Styles vs. Togi Makabe
  9. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
  10. Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki

The Situation (Thanks to The Wrestling Observer)

*If Hiroshi Tanahashi beats Davey Boy Smith Jr., he goes to the G-1 championship
*If Tanahashi loses or goes to a draw, and Shinsuke Nakamura beats Bad Luck Fale, Nakamura goes to the championship match
*If Tanahashi loses and Fale beats Nakamura, Fale goes to the championship match
*If Tanahashi goes to a draw with Smith Jr. and Fale beats Nakamura, then Tanahashi goes to the finals
*If Tanahashi loses and Fale and Nakamura do a no contest, and Katsuyori Shibata beats Doc Gallows, then Shibata goes to the finals
*If Tanahashi loses, Fale and Nakamura do a no contest, and Gallows beats Shibata, then Tanahashi advances

*If Kazuchika Okada beats Minoru Suzuki, he goes to the finals
*If Okada loses and A.J. Styles beats Togi Makabe, then Styles goes to the finals
*If they both lose, Okada advances
*If Okada and Suzuki draw and Styles wins, Styles advances
*If Okada and Suzuki draw and Styles loses, Okada advances

Results

  1. Tomoaki Honma vs. Shelton Benjamin
    If there is a God, please let Honma win!
    Kokeshi off the top ropes to the outside on Benjamin very early on. Backdrop onto the guard rail by Benjamin. Military press into a slam back in the ring by Benjamin. Jumping Kokeshi by Honma. Honma hit a standing Kokeshi, but then missed the diving Kokeshi. Superkick by Benjamin and then paydirt for the win. Honma’s G-1 ends without a single win.

2. Toru Yano vs. Yujiro Takahashi Takahashi defeated Yano. He wore a cup to block Yano’s low blows.

3. Hirooki Goto vs. Lance Archer
Archer won with Blackout. I couldn’t pay attention due to lingering sadness about Honma.

4. Tetsuya Naito vs. Karl Anderson
Anderson jumped Naito while he was doing his pre-match pose in the corner.
Naito came off the ropes for his usual forearm but Anderson caught him midair with the Gun Stun for the win. Cool finish.

5. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yuji Nagata
Great match. Ishii beat Nagata with the brainbuster.

6. Katsuyori Shibata vs. Doc Gallows
Gallows landed the Gallows Pole and Chokebomb for the win. Pretty surprising win.

7. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bad Luck Fale
Really good match. Nakamura won after two successive Boma Ye.

8. A.J. Styles vs. Togi Makabe
Good match. Styles hit the Pele kick while Makabe was on seated the turnbuckle. He then picked up Makabe off the turnbuckles and hit the Styles Clash for the victory.

9. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
Davey Boy Smith Jr. defeated Tanahashi with a sitout powerbomb. Great match! I believe that means Nakamura goes to the finals.

10. Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki
My goodness! What a brilliant match. Okada won with the Rainmaker. A win that sends him to the finals of the G-1 where he’ll meet fellow CHAOS member, Shinsuke Nakamura.